Growing, Learning, and Enjoying Every Part Of It.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

 
 
It is our first Christmas together as a married family, and it feels so good!  Love is everywhere and we have our health and happiness. We pray the same for you and your family.  Merry Christmas!
 
 
 
~ Blissfully Yours 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

3 Years

It was three years ago today that I signed on the dotted line and purchased my first home.  I still remember how proud I was of myself.  I still remember how excited Alyssa was to decorate her room however she wanted.
 
Over the past three years, homeownership has taught me quite a bit. I'm so happy I made the decision to buy where I did, and so quickly after moving Texas.  My neighborhood is wonderful, the people are great, the schools are great, and the house is great. It was a true blessing for me to be able to purchase the house, and I hope to always be grateful for the basic things like shelter, food, clothing, love because all the rest is just a bonus.
 
On December 22, 2009 I never thought that I would share this house with my husband.  In my mind I always saw us buying a house together the week before the wedding, so we could move in after the honeymoon.  But then the reality of school zones, and possible relocation in another short 3.5 years came into play.  So, we decided to rent out his place in a farther away city, and live in this home so our daughter can stay at her highschool until graduation, and we don't have to buy another house in this area only to try and sell it in 3.5 years when we will likely relocate after the daughter's graduation. 
 
As blessed as I felt when I bought the house, I feel even more blessed to call it OUR house now.  It is hard to believe that we have only shared this space for 4 months...it seems like this house has always been for all of us.
 
Thank God for home!
 
~ Blissfully Yours


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pretender

My therapist called me a master pretender today. And then she saw the look on my face, and told me in her no nonsense way that she meant what she said and that someone should have told me that long before now.
 
We were having a conversation about my mother.  I know, I know...it's so cliche, and on many levels, in my mind,  pathetic to talk about my mother issues in therapy. But, in order to not to become her and to stop resenting her, it is what I need to do.  I told her that I've gotten to a point where I can be tough on my mother when she starts verbally beating me up for not being the kind of daughter she thinks I should be, and when she lays on the guilt trips.  However, I told her that afterward, I feel bad and start to doubt myself.  I wonder if I am in fact a bad daughter and whether or not I'm "honoring" her.  She asked why is it that I can stand up for myself to her in conversation, but then start to doubt when the conversation is over.  I told her I don't know because during the conversations with my mother I truly mean every word of what I'm saying, but afterward her words make me feel bad.  She told me I had mastered the art of pretending and that I have become a master pretender.
 
I hated hearing that because I equate pretending to being fake, and no one wants to believe they are fake, especially not with someone you've known all of your life.
 
We discussed my "pretending" ways with my mother and the topic of emotional blackmail.  I've always called the latter guilt trips, but she gave it a real name and definition. The hardwork of being okay with not playing her games or being held hostage emotionally has begun. And, the even harder part of owning what I feel and believe and not letting someone make me feel bad about it has also begun.  My homework is to write my mother a PPF letter (that stands for past, present and future) about our relationship and my feelings.  I declare that 2013 will be a year of clarity in my relationship with my mother...one of forgivenss, healing, and redefinition (with boundaries).
 
 
~ Blissfully Yours

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

TTC Tuesdays - Week 11

Good morning!

Today I am on CD20.  I have no hopes of being pregnant this month.  After my post last week, I tested with an opk, which I always do just as a double check to the monitor.  Since starting this process with the monitor, two cycles ago, each cycle the strips and the monitor always correspond.  Well, this month they didn't.

The monitor had me peak on CD12, meaning I was to ovulate on CD13.  The opk had me peak on CD16, which means I would ovulate on CD17.  Though the opk had me peaking on CD16, on CD17 it was negative, but if it should have also been positive.

The monitor, which typically prompts me to test up until my ovulation date, prompted me to test every day since.  I have stopped wasting my sticks, though.

I'm so confused by what happened this month. I wish I would get ovulation pains like other women, so I would just know without a doubt.  I've tried to monitor Cervical mucus and basal temps, but I honestly hate that process.  It's too much work.  I just want to know I'm ovulating, have sex, and be pregnant.

Anyway, so if the monitor is right, I should expect a new cycle to start on the 26th, or if the opk was right I should expect a new cycle to start on the 29th...that's if I'm not pregnant. 

I guess the wait just got longer.

Since next Tuesday is Christmas I doubt I'll be blogging about TTC.  So I'll give you our plans if we are not pregnant.

If we haven't conceived this month, the doctor wants us to start our first cycle of IUI in January.

That's it.
 
~ Blissfully Yours 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekend Stuff

I still don't have words for what happened in Connecticut on Friday.  My heart still hurts for those families.  It is unthinkable. May God bless them.

Despite all the sadness in the world, my weekend went pretty well.  On Friday night my mother and I went to a Murder Mystery Dinner.  I took her as a birthday present.  Guess who won?? ME!  I had an absolute blast, and can't wait to go to another one.  RFA and I have talked about doing a murder mystery weekend in Vermont next year.  We really need to make that happen.

On Saturday I had wedding business work to attend to, but I was finished by noon, so I still got to enjoy some leisure time.  My daughter and I went to do some Christmas browsing (neither of us bought a thing) and then we saw a movie.  I love being with her.  Even though she's getting older and sometimes I want to shake her back to her wonderful 10 year old self, she is still one of my fave people.

Yesterday we went to church and I had one of those "I know you are talking to me right now" moments.  I swear my pastor's message was directed at me.  The topic was on relationships...he's been doing a series about "Fighting For Your Family."  This week he touched on parental relationships.  Since my mother moved to Texas in October 2011 our relationship has dwindled into of of obligation, resentment, and pure displeasure on my part.  I could list a laundry list of things I feel that she's done to make me feel this way, but truly it shouldn't matter.  That sentiment was reinforced by my pastor yesterday.  He said it is time to look beyond the issue and at the person.  God forgives us over and over and over, yet we can't forgive those that have "wronged" us.  I'm going to try to do better, and get over my issues.

I could talk about this - my issues with her - all day, but I won't...it's senseless.

Well that was my weekend.


~ Blissfully Yours

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

TTC Tuesdays - Week 10

Happy Tuesday!
 
I don't have much to report this week.  Though, I am at peak today, which means I will ovulate tomorrow. Yay...another opporutnity to conceive.
 
I am a little surprised that I'm peaking this soon, however. Last month I peaked on CD17 and ovulated on CD18, in October I peaked on CD15 and ovulated on CD16, yet this month I'm peaking on CD13 and will ovulate on CD14.  I'm not sure what made my ovulation cycle change by 4 days.  It is kind of scary. My husband was scheduled to take a business trip late today, but when I got my peak this morning, he rescheduled.  We were both thinking I wouldn't ovulate for a few more days at least. 
 
I'm also a bit disheartened by my number of known high fertility days.  My fertility monitor typically prompts me to test starting on Day 9 or Day 10, and I will usually get about 4 to 5 high fertility days before my peak and subsequent ovulation.  This time I only got 2 high fertility days and then boom...peaking.
 
I'm glad I have this monitor to track for me because if I were charting I would be so lost and probaby always BD on the wrong day. 
 
So, if I in fact ovulate tomorrow, then I should know whether this cycle was successful or not by the day after Christmas.  That would be 14 days past ovulation, which is the length of my luteal phase. If aunt flo doesn't show up on the 26th, I will be testing first thing on the morning of the 27th.
 
Oh...some other things:
 
I totally forgot to go get the folic acid, so I guess that won't help us this month.
We only half way followed the sperm meets egg plan because my husband was traveling for a few days.
 
I hope non of that matters and my uterus captures a baby this month anyway.
 
That's it for this week's update.
 
~ Blissfully Yours

Friday, December 7, 2012

Weekend Blast Off

It's been a whirlwind week. For starters, I can't even believe it's already Friday, it seems that only yesterday it was Monday.  I had a wedding planning related meeting everyday this week, except for today.  Business is booming and I am forced to manage my time more wisely.  Some of my household duties have suffered.  I think it's time I reevaluate my television time.

I have become quite the tv junkie, bringing in almost 3 hours of watch time a night.  There are so many more productive things I could be doing with my time.  I've gotten into the routine of saving large chores for the weekends - stuff like laundry, deep cleaning the bathrooms, etc.  I hate using my weekends for house stuff, I'd much rather be out doing something.  The only way to avoid that is to do these things during the week and stop watching so much dang tv.

I've been slowly getting my home office together.  My husband has set up shop in the library because there is tons of space and he works from home much more than I do.  My office space is set up in our bedroom.  I have a dedicated corner, but I'm starting to wonder how I can fit the both of us in the library.  I need more space.  I'm also looking for a used file cabinet because I have to start getting paper work organized.  I'm trying to be as paperless as possible, but I still find value in having some paper around.

Mr. RFA is gone for the weekend - his annual man trip.  Every year they go see their beloved Eagles play in a different city.  This time he will be near my hometown and he's going to stop by and say hi to my granny.  I don't like it when he's gone, I miss him immediately.

My daughter and I are putting up the Christmas tree this weekend. Yes, without my husband.  He's not into tree trimming.  I just don't get it.  Anyway, it's fun for her and I, so I can't wait.  I wish the weather would cool down dramatically so it could feel like Christmas and we could break out the cocoa and such.

Our Christmas cards came in on Wednesday and I love them!  I will post the picture on Christmas day.

That's all for now folks!  Have a blast of a weekend!

~ Blissfully Yours


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

TTC Tuesdays - Week 9

Oops, I missed yesterday.  Well here goes.
 
I got another big fat negative last cycle, so here we are in December, still with an empty uterus.  One thing I've learned is that my luteal phase is consistent even if my cycle isn't. It is 14 days on the dot.  That has also made me realize that I don't have to worry about wasting pregnancy tests anymore because instead of testing at 7am when I'm 14dpo, I should wait to see if my new cycle starts by 10:30am (its usual appearance time).  So I think from here on out, I will only test 15dpo, if needed.
 
I felt like we did everything right last month, so I don't know that there is much we can change up.  Here are just a few things we will add to the mix:
 
1. Start taking folic acid vitamins
2. Use the Sperm meets egg plan (google it if you want the details)
3. Meditate twice a week - I don't feel like I'm stressed, but taking some quiet, focused time surely won't hurt anything
 
Today is CD7, so I should be getting into my high fertility zone in about 3 to 5 days and ovulating in about 9 to 11 days.
 
That's it for this week's update.
 
~ Blissfully Yours

Saturday, December 1, 2012

One Single Thing

I've mentioned Gretchen Rubin here before.  She is the author of a phenomenal book - The Happiness Project.  I love her. She is so imperfect, but never ends her personal quest, nor that of encouraging others, to be better.
 
Last week she posted this question on her blog, and it made me freeze for about 10 minutes.  That's a long time given that was an extremely busy day and I was suppose to only be taking a 5 minute "clear my brain" break.
 
Anyway...here is her question:
 
 If, by the end of 2013, you could magically change one aspect of your life, what would you change? What single thing would add the most to your happiness?  With that aim in mind, can you come up with concrete, manageable steps that would help you accomplish it?
Well I'll be darned...it turns out that there are a ton of things I'd like to change, modify, tweak by the end of the year.  However there is one that has tugged at my heart for the past few months, and it popped in my head almost immediately upon reading the questions.  I froze for 10 minutes because I felt that it should be something a bit more profound. That "thing" is  Healthly living.  And, as I think about it, it is profound.  Given my family's medical background and my past history with fibroids, my health is my peace of mind, and that is certainly profound.
 
So to answer the question, I would magically change my health lifestyle.  It would absolutely add the most happiness to my life right now.  I'm happy, but there is a piece of my puzzle that is missing, and it's the pure joy I felt when I was living my best healthy life.
 
Here are the concrete, manageable steps that I believe would help me accomplish this change:
 
1. Make a gym schedule that I can stick to.  I can go to the gym 4 times per week, but I'm kidding myself if I think I'm going to make those 4 visits at 5:30am.  I used to pop out of bed for that routine, but my married life has brought on much longer nights, that require my full rest in the morning. So, I'll move my schedule to the afternoons.  I think by purely being honest with myself on the actual time I plan to workout will make a huge difference in my follow through. When I tell myself I'll workout at 5:30am and I don't, then something in me feels like I can't redeem myself until the next day at 5:30am. No more!
 
2. I will prepare my meals 3 days in advance. This is something I used to do that was very successful. If I stay ready, I never have to worry about getting caught in a desperate situation.
 
3. Have a talk with my husband and daughter about how my lack of healthiness is impacting my happiness and therefore we have to be a united house against bad foods for the betterment of our family.  If they know the internal struggle I have with turning down bad foods, I know they'll be willing to support an environment in our home where my struggle is dwindled, if not erased.
 
4. Re-learn what my body likes and doesn't like. I will do this by listening to my body after eating certain foods. I'll also start doing more research about fibroids and their correlation to food. I did this before, but I think I missed something. During my 40+ pound weight loss, I had a fibroid that grew to an enormous size that my uterus was that of a near 5 month pregnant woman.  While I was eating healthier, there must have been something I missed. I must find that missing link.
 
I know a month is a bit ambitious to make a full change, but it is definitely a start.  One step at a time is how to conquer those internal struggles.
 
Thanks, Gretchen...this question helped me focus on the steps instead of just some grand idea.
 
 
~ Blissfully Yours

Friday, November 30, 2012

One Income Living

Before we married, RFA and I spoke extensively about finances and our philosphy on spending, saving, etc.  We decided  that when the time came (marriage, that is) we would merge our finances, but live as if we were a single income family.  December 4th will be our 4 month anniversary and we haven't actually lived by our rule as yet.  During our first quarter financial review as married people, we decided that we needed to make good on our one income commitment.
 
We are starting in December, and for some reason I'm very excited about it.  On one hand, I can't spend like I've hit the lottery anymore, but on the other, more important, hand we will reap the benefits of being financially prudent.  That is the part that excites me!
 
I think by starting in December we'll get some big challenges under our belt for this new way of living that will make all the other months that much easier.  I'm specifically talking about gift giving to our family while meeting all of our other obligations.
 
 
Once thing I've noticed over the first quarter of our marriage is that the cost of two adults is more expensive that I estimated.  My husband is very low key, and very much a saver, but just the sheer cost of feeding him, has increased our food bill significantly.  I won't put all the blame on him.  My saving spirit dissapeared when I saw how much income we were bringing in between the both of us and I just wanted to feel the joy of spending.  I guess my budgeting mentality flew the coop.   Now that we are financially adjusted and the "mo' money" shock has worn off on me, it's time to get back to our respnosible selves (ok, me get back to my responsible self, he never wavered).
 
In addition to starting our new financial lifestyle, we are also going to give something else a test run for the month of December.  We will be operating with one car and leaving the other parked in the garage.  There won't be a significant cost savings from this venture because we still have to pay care insurance, but we are eager to see how we come out on gas consumption with one car.  I'm curious to see how families did this years ago before  two cars were the standard.     
 
I can't wait to see what our second quarter financials look like given our new changes!  Yippie, in advance.            
 
~ Blissfully Yours        

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Healthy Living Step


I stepped on the scale today after avoiding it for months.  I could see my body parts starting to grow again, but somewhere over the past year my mental switch at doing the “right” things in the way of eating and exercising had clicked off.

I really lost much motivation during our wedding planning process.  It was a unique situation and caused levels of stress I had never experienced before.  Funny how now I’m loving doing it for others.

Anyway…I do exercise still, just not consistently.  My food intake hasn’t been extremely terrible, but I have stopped making deliberate decisions about what enters my body.

Both of these things – eating and exercising are still near and dear to my heart.  These are things that are important to my life in tremendous ways.  Why then did the mental switch disconnect from my emotional switch?  I don’t know.

What do I know?  I know that I want to mend the relationship between the two. I know that I want to reignite my enthusiasm for deliberate choices.

So, I declare today is the day I will stop floating through my eating and exercising life, and instead I will go back to the 2010-2011 Me where I made choices, and didn’t just let things happen…and definitely didn’t AVOID knowledge.  I mean how ridiculous that I’ve been avoiding that stupid scale for months.  I knew it was going to tell me something that would force my hand, and I guess I just wasn’t ready.

Well, I’m ready…here goes, again.

On my drive into work this morning I was stuck thinking about what I saw on the scale.  I started to beat up on myself and wonder how I let so much progress piss away.  For some reason my mind went to Oprah.  Her health and weight struggles have been on display for all of the world to judge for years.  And, yet she continues to face her battle head on, albeit sometimes she takes long breaks in between…each time she has gotten back on the horse and tried.  So, I told myself to shut up and take back my control!

Here is a quote, coincidentally from Oprah, that I love: The big secret in life [health and fitness] is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work.
 
I'm ready to work this step in my life!
 
~ Blissfully Yours

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

TTC Tuesdays - Week 8

I forgot to post an update last week. So here goes...

I'm currently on CD30, so either there is a bun in the oven or my cycle will reset with a visit from the red monster very soon.

Let me back up to give an overview of this cycle.

I ovulated on CD18 this month which is two days later than last cycle. The funny thing is that my doctor told me that he felt like this cycle was going to be about 31 or 32 days long from the looks of my egg sacks.  At the time I thought that was weird, and a part of me thought he was losing it because I just knew things were going to be just like last month.  Looks like the doctor wins.

If my luteal phase remains at 14 days, which it was last month, if I'm not pregnant I should have a new cycle starting on mid Thursday to Friday.

Aside from the babymaking, I'm really enjoying learning more about my body, and how the female reproductive system works.  I've learned way more than I thought I cared to know...from cervical mucus to basal body temperatures, I feel like my body is an incubator waiting to cook its egg...lol.

Ok, back on track.

So today I am 12 days past ovulation.  That alone makes me want to whip out a test stick and start peeing, but I'm trying to be patient. My plan was to only test once I'm 14dpo, but since my darling husband will be away on day 14, we are going to test tomorrow.  He doesn't want to be surprised.  I think he's just on edge and as nervous as I am....we are both ready to jump up and down with excitement.

Last week I was feeling very optomistic about possibly being pregnant, but now I'm starting to feel like it didn't happen this month either. Today I feel like I'm having pre cycle symptoms.  It's weird because last month I had no pre cycle symptoms at all and the red monster just showed up.

Well, that's it....I'm off to bite my nails until the morning.

~ Blissfully Yours

Monday, November 26, 2012

Our First Thanksgiving

The Holiday was great!  My mother-in-law flew in from the east coast, and my mother came over.  I made all of the food, and everyone couldn't stop raving about it. It makes me most happy when my daughter and husband enjoy the food.  He always does, but she has her moments.  It was just an added bonus that my mother-in-law enjoyed my cooking.
 
During dinner we had several conversations, some better than others, but all of them ended up with my mother saying something ridiculous against me.  I think she was joking the entire time, but loves to say out of the way negative things to me when she's around my husband. And, she loves to tell me how to be a wife (you have to cook different foods for him, cater to him, surprise him all the time)...ugh. She does this with him sitting right there. It annoys me to pieces.
 
At one point she even started antagonizing my MIL about her mentally disabled cousin.  My MIL was discussing how her younger cousin has mental problems and often throws himself pity parties with her via text message. My MIL tries to help him out of it, but tries to be gentle with him.  Also, my MIL is a very religious woman.  My mother started badgering her about not listening to him complain about the same stuff. She told her that she needs to get tough with him and tell him to get over it.  My MIL reminded my mother that her cousin is mentally unstable, so it's unfair to expect someone to use an approach they'd use on those with good mental health.  That's when my mother said, "Well, as a Christian woman you shouldn't be enabling him to feel sorry for himself, you need to let him know that you won't stand to continue listening to it."  I wanted to disappear into my chair right there.  I was so embarrassed, and my husband was shocked.
 
I finally jumped in and started telling everyone what I was grateful for this year.  That cleared the air, and we moved on.
 
My husband is taking on a photography hobby, so after dinner we went outside to take some family photos.  They came out beautiful, so we decided to go ahead and do a few with just the three of us and the dog for our Christmas cards.  I'm excited about sending them out.
 
All in all, my first Thanksgiving as the Mrs. was great! I hope yours was as well!
 
 
~ Blissfully Yours

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bye-Bye Bank

I opened my first bank account when I was 18 years old.  Back then people still wrote checks.  I had a couple of "accidents" those first couple months where I forgot that the check was actually tied to an account with real money as opposed to being a magical paper that produced money from a money tree somewhere.
 
It didn't take me long to understand that I had to keep track of my spending, or I'd be in a world of trouble.
 
Since opening that very first account, I never switched banks.  It went from First Union to Wachovia to Wells Fargo, and with every change, and even every mistake they made, I stuck with them.  For some reason I tend to have weird loyalties to companies, even the ones that have ticked me off (i.e. why I've only every had Sprint Cell service).
 
Before I got married, or engaged for that matter, when we would have our "what if" conversations, we both agreed on joint accounts and a complete co-mingling of money.  I never understand why people are afraid to mix money in a marriage but they weren't afraid to promise forever, or why they would marry someone they don't even trust with money.
 
After we got engaged it was the perfect opportunity for us to start looking at what we were getting out of our current banks by way of incentives, customer service, etc.  We compared the services with other banks and finally made the hard decision (hard for me; he just wanted us to do what made sense) that we would go with a new bank and close our other accounts.
 
The week before we got married, we went into the new bank and got everything set up, so that things would be seamless after the I-do's. 
 
Well, the new bank set up was easy, but closing my other account was not as much.  I had to contact a thousand companies to give them my new information and stop direct deposit into the almost defunct account.  It sounds easy, but it wasn't.  It took almost 3 pay periods before my job got it right with the direct deposit; I forgot about 4 companies (netflix, bestbuy cellphone insurance, home warranty, and security system) so for the first time since I was about 19 I was faced with some overdrafts, and the stupid fees and embarrassment that come along with them.
 
I was so paranoid that I would forget something else, that I just started keeping money over there until I felt like enough time had  passed that everything was handled.
 
Finally, yesterday I got that feeling - that everything was in order. So, I marched into the bank and closed my very first bank account, my very first savings account, and Amy daughter's very first checking and savings accounts. I know this may sound crazy, but I kinda felt like I was breaking up with someone. Albeit someone who wasn't treating me like we had 16 years invested, but still...break ups are weird.
 
So even though we all switched to our new bank months ago, it finally feels done.  I'm glad we took a long hard look at what works for us and decided to move on from our old banks. 
 
Another marriage step under my belt!
 
~ Blissfully Yours

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TTC Tuesdays - Week 6


There's not much to update this week aside from what I wrote in a random, non TTC post.

Today is CD16 and I haven't ovulated yet.  I was a bit sad this morning because of that, since last month I ovulated on CD16.  Also, my monitor and OPKs will detect a hormone surge 12 to 24 hours before ovulation and even that hasn't happened yet.  What does that mean...I'm still at least two days away from ovulation - at the minimum.

If I hadn't just gone to the doctor last week and heard him tell me everything was fine, I'd probably be worried out of my mind right now.  Still, I can't understand why this month would be so totally different unless my cycle has plans on being longer this month. But, even then, why can't the stupid thing just be consistent every month??

A naturally conceived pregnancy would be so awesome...that way I could surprise my husband and reveal the news in some grand way.  Otherwise, we'll find out about our status in the confines of my RE's office.  I guess he's nice, so it wouldn't be the worst situation, lol.

I really hope and pray I get my peak reading tomorrow morning or tonight. That would be just awesome.

I blogged about the results of RFA's semen analysis last week.  In a nutshell, everything looks good for the most part, but his normal shaped sperm could stand to be a little higher.

I think that about covers this week's update.  All you praying people, get to praying for the conception of our babies...please and thanks! :)
 
~ Blissfully Yours

Friday, November 9, 2012

Busy Bee

Busy, Busy, Busy! Whew.  I like being busy, though.

I wanted to touch on a few things going on and/or on my mind.

Politics
First...one time for the re-election of President Obama! I never had a doubt he'd be reelected, but about two weeks prior, I think I started believing the hype of a "close" race.  In the end the Country spoke, and it wasn't even close from the electoral college perspective.  I'm also glad Mr. President won the popular vote.  I am no fan of the electoral college, and if he hadn't won the popular vote, I was all ready to make a statement about how it just doesn't feel right to celebrate a win that a majority of the country didn't provide.  At any rate, I'm excited and very much optimistic about the next 4 years.  I hope the republicans and extremist conservatives have learned that their ugly tactics and obstructionist ways backfired, and that it's time to to accept the olive branch the President has repeatedly, to the dismay of many of his loyal base, extended.

Also, one time for the Democrats securing the senate, and good for the Republicans keeping the house.  Typically, I'm a fan of the congress being split by both parties because it, in the past, has required much collaboration and compromise to get things done, which in the end is best for the country.  However, given the way the republicans have acted since winning the house in 2010, and even before that, made me worry. But, again, I'm hoping the huge Obama victory and the rejection of all the conservative extremists is a motivator for them to stop the crazy antics and work with the democrats to get things done.

TTC Update
We got the results of my husband's semen analysis last week. All is well on his end.  The only issue, which really isn't an issue is that the percentage of well shaped sperm is a little lower than what the doctor typically likes to see.  However, we were assured it should not pose a problem.  I also went in a for a fibroid check up this week, and praise God - everything is still clear!  We also discussed the go forward plan more.  It still stands that if we aren't pregnant by December, we'll return to the doctor and start IUI in January.  IUI stands for intrauterine insemination.  It's a process whereby they will take my husband's sperm, select the fastest and healthiest of his bunch, wash them, and inseminate them directly into my uterus on the day of ovulation.  The process helps ensure that the egg and sperm are actually meeting in the same space and given a better chance to "connect."  Ideally, we would both love to conceive naturally, but we are also thankful for technology and will take our babies any way God wants to give them to us.


Business
The wedding planning season is kicking into high gear for summer '13.  I'm having a blast working with my three couples, and I can't wait to take on a few more.  I'm bringing on an intern in the Spring. She is a senior out of state, but will be returning home to Texas soon after her graduation.  She wants to get some hands on experience in the event planning field, specifically weddings.  This is going to be a win - win for the both of us, I hope. 

As I look at things, I believe I can take on 6 clients at a time by myself; as long as their events are at least 3 weeks apart.

I'm having a great time building relationships and networking in a completely different industry than government.


Name
I keep trying to think of a blog name for my husband.  While we were dating, I called him Mr. RFA (right for Aretha) on the old blog.  While he definitely turned out to be totally right for me, I think he needs a new name here; especially since this is a new blog.  I'll keep thinking, I guess.


I think that's all for now.  How are you guys doing?

~ Blissfully Yours
 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Goings On

I've been a busy bee over the past two weeks.  I took on two new clients, which makes me extremely happy. Both are full service clients, one wants to be very hands off and has essentially given me her budget and asked me to make the rest happen.  The other plans to be highly involved (both the bride and groom). They have a clear picture of what they want, but would like my guidance at every step of the process.  I was hopeful, but didn't expect to jump off so wonderfully in my first official month in business. This past Sunday my pastor preached about people praying for blessings and then holding out a little small pouch for their blessings to flow into.  He said, we need to start holding huge garbage bags because that's how big our blessings will be when we're asking for things from God.  I guess dreaming big isn't enough...we have to EXPECT big also.
 
I missed my TTC update this week.  Just to recap, I tested on Monday and got a BFN (that's a big fat negative).  So, my uterus is still empty.  I told my husband and he asked if I was alright.  I was, surprisingly so.  Then after I got out of the shower I mentioned to him that we should go ahead and get him a semen analysis just to rule out any issues with him, and that on our next visit to the reproductive endocrinologist we should bring up  IUI to bypass any possible pathway issues.  He offered up that we may want to try for a few more months before doing all of that...and all of a sudden while we were standing in our closet getting dressed I just broke down.  The tears wouldn't stop.  I'm fine with waiting a few more months, but honestly I'm so freaking afraid that new fibroids will grow and my chances of more children will fade.  I shouldn't live with this fear, but I do and I hate it.  After I explained my fear, my husband said we could do whatever would give me peace of mind.  That same day we were in the doctor's office getting his analysis done.  He called and scheduled the appointment without me even knowing about it.
 
Back in June, our RE told me that he only wanted us to try from August to December, and that if I wasn't pregnant in my December cycle to come back because he didn't want to move slowly on things.  So  here we are on November 1st, and I'll be heading back to him next week to talk out some of my fears and discuss our ttc process and find out if there is something else we could be doing to help the natural order of things.
 
I think over the past couple of weeks we have pretty much decided that we'll be living in Texas until at least 2016, maybe longer depending on new life factors by that point.  We've also pretty much agreed we will live in the same house until that time because of my daughter's school district.  All three of us are ready for more space, but we all agree that my daughter's school is amazing and I don't want to move her to another one in the area, even though those are great too.  We also don't want to buy another house in the 2 mile radius that we'll likely sell in 4 years.  The great thing about these decisions is that my daughter will be happy she stays in her same school through graduation, and we are excited about keeping our low mortgage.  Now if we can just sells at least one set of these apartments my husband bought years ago, everything will be great! 
 
I have  a networking event tonight...something I haven't done in a while.  This time it's for my event planning hat as opposed to government.  I'm super excited.
 
What's going on with you???
 
~ Blissfully Yours

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Keeping Her Moving

As Volleyball season wraps up for the school year, I'm left trying to figure out what's next for my daughter by way of activities. She is very much involved in her philanthropy club at school, and is spending some time on her journalistic efforts, but she needs physical activity as well.
 
Since she was young, she's always been involved in some sort of sport.  Most of them she hated until she discovered volleyball.  When she was younger she was what I like to call a Miss Priss. She was opposed to sweating, being the least bit dirty, moving quickly, or exerting too much physical effort.  She was all about sitting around and playing with her dolls, reading, doing puzzles, or playing with her little dog by making him listen to her read or trapping him under a clothes hamper.  Simply put, she liked things that allowed her to enjoy her natural easy going pace.
 
I, on the other hand, had something different in mind for her.  I wanted her to go to every activity because I felt like that was the only way she'd discover what she liked. While reading and doll playing came natural to her, I always wanted to push her to discover those things that were below the surface.  And, I simply wanted her to be well rounded.  I knew she'd be smart, and she is. But, I wanted to make sure she appreciated music and could play an instrument, and she can.  At age 3 she started violin and played until about age 6 when she told me she didn't enjoy it anymore.  Then she moved on to the flute and loved it, but when it came to conflict with volleyball, she didn't want to do it anymore.  I also wanted her to play a sport.  I wouldn't have cared if it was fencing, softball, or whatever. I just wanted her to find a way to remain physically active while having fun. 
 
When younger, she played t-ball (ended up hating it); she played soccer (she was a goalie, but used the position moreso to pick flowers and look up at the sky until the teams made their way closer to her); she swam (she still loves swimming and wanted to do synchronized, but during one of our moves no such opportunity was available for her age group); she did gymnastics (hated it from the word go); she danced (loved ballet initially, but let her disdain for jazz get in the way.  In sixth grade, she even had a stint trying to learn more contemporary styles, but decided  that she liked volleyball more and didn't want to do both.); and she took painting and other forms of artistic classes 10 times over. 
 
My point is she is used to doing, trying, exploring things.  I'm happy about that.  However, now I'm left feeling compelled to "find" her something else to try.  Normally she would run in the off season, but because of her case of osgood schlatter's last year, she doesn't want to chance it and ruin her vball off season hopes.  A part of me is thinking about just getting her a membership at the gym, but I don't want physical activity to feel like a chore for her.  She has gone to the gym with me before and she is not a fan.
 
I've asked her to decide on something, but she's at a loss because at this age, you can't just decide you want to try out for, say the basketball team without having the foundational skills established.
 
I've also thought about asking her if she wants to try kickboxing, karate, or cycling.  I'm sure we'll end up finding something to keep her moving.  She has also, in the past, mentioned that she would be interested in doing a triathlon with me.  I have to take some swimming courses this winter, so maybe she can do that with me, too.  Physical activity and mommy/daughter time.  Him...writing this out has helped me.  She is also in the midst of thinking of new things to try, so I'll wait to hear her ideas and then we can decide to together (I hope she likes the swimming idea!).
 
~ Blissfully Yours

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Floors

Literally...I'm about to talk about floors.
 
I really don't like my carpeted floors, especially not downstairs.  Everyone in the house, myself included, acts like they can't remember to remove shoes in the entry way or garage hall prior to entering the living room.  This leads to constant reoccuring stains, no matter how often we steam clean it...and believe me, we have steamed cleaned that carpet tons of times simply because I can't stand to see it a mess.
 
I've wanted hardwoods since I moved in, but never made it a financial priority; something else is always more important.  We have pretty much decided we're going to sell the house and buy something else, but even if we decide to stay, hardwood floors would only benefit the value of the home. Personally, I'd like hardwoods throughout the entire downstairs including the entryway and kitchen, but my lovely husband thinks we should keep tile in those areas and only add hardwoods to the living room.  From a cost perspecitve, he's right. From an asthetics perspecitve, I'm right.  He'll likely win.
 
Our next move is to determine what style of floor we like.  We've decided on real hardwood, not laminate or bamboo or another alternative. But, we haven't agreed on pattern, or wood tone.  Here are our 4 choices:

1. Cherry toned -  My husband likes this style, but the hint of red makes me feel like it will date itself very quickly.  I also feel like it's not nuetral enough for any decor that may be added to the room in the future.
 
 
 

 2. Multi Toned wood - This is my absolute favorite.  I love the stark contrasts in certain places, yet it feels so cohesive.  And, I could picture a variety of decor in this room with the floor either becoming a focal point, or fading in the background and complimenting everything around it.
 
 
 
 3. Dark Chocolate - I also like this, but not enough to put throughout the entire downstairs.  Our downstairs ceilings aren't extremely high and they don't have the beautiful peaks that are upstairs, so I think this dark color will really make it feel like a dungeon down there.
 
 
 
 4. Maple/Caramel - I really like these as well.  They are a bit on the plain and boring side, but that's what also adds to their nuetrality.  And, anything nuetral is good for resale value. 
 
No matter what we decide to get, it has to be something we both like in case we decide to stay longer than expected, and it also has to be something potential buyers will appreciate.
 
This home improvement thing never ends.  Next, is tackling the kitchen...we have standard builder's cabinets, so I'm ready to dress them up with some hardward and maybe even take out the wood inserts and replace them with glass.
 
~ Blissfully Yours

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

TTC Tuesdays - Week 3

I'm on CD24 and 8DPO (days past ovulation).  My urge to pee on a stick is overwhelming right now, but I know that there could not be a trace of hcg in my system even if an egg has been fertilized.  This waiting is definitely the hardest part.  Luckily, I've found a TTC forum that allows me to talk about this as much as I want, and believe it or not I'm not the most delusional one there, lol.

Now that I'm on day 8, I'm on the lookout for signs of implantation. Every little twing I feel, I suspect it's my baby implanting into my uterus.  When I stop and think rationally, though, I know that I haven't felt anything out of the ordinary, so I'm really just searching for something.

Myself and a group of other ladies from the ttc forum that also ovulated on the 15th, plan to do our tests on the 29th - that is 14dpo.  I really don't think I can hold out that long, but I'm going to try.  My husband is adamant about me not testing too early.  I don't see a problem with testing everyday from 10dpo to 14dpo...what's the big deal?? lol

Anyway, so I've been keeping track of my symptoms with the other ladies from the TTC forum.  Here are mine

CD15 - Positive Opk in the morning. Peak on fertility monitor in the afternoon.

CD16 - Ovulation Day. Positive OPK in the morning. Discomfort and annoying feeling on left side of abdomen.

1DPO - Positive Opk in the morning (leftover from O day). Slight cramping and annoyance on lower left side of abdomen.
2DPO - Slight cramping feeling. Tender breasts
3DPO - light headed while driving (this sometimes happens while riding, but never when I'm driving)
4DPO - light headed
5DPO - Cranky and a bit emotional
6DPO - Extremely emotional and physically tired. Tender breasts.
7DPO - Very sluggish at bootcamp and tired in early afternoon.
8DPO - Lower abdomen a little annoying feeling.
 
Well, that's it for now.

~ Blissfully Yours

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Snippets

We recently discovered the showti.me series, Homel.and.  I had heard about it in passing, but until August I didn't have showtime, so I didn't think twice about it.  Anyway, we have found all the episodes of season one on demand and we are watching them.  The show has already sucked me in, so much that I stayed up until 2:30am watching last night.  That's not my style at all.  I'm in bed by 9:30pm most nights and asleep by 10pm or so.  I'm paying for it today for sure.
 
I've been wanting nothing more than soup and salad lately.  Not sure what that is about, but I wish it would hurry and get cold, so I can eat soup everyday without my husband looking at me crazy.  He is not a fan of soup as a meal....he claims to need something more hearty. 
 
This baby fever I'm suffering from is no joke.  I have almost completely designed a nursery in my mind and via pinterest for a kid that doesn't yet exist.  Oh yeah, I'm also in the process of trying to figure out exactly what grand surprise I'm going to pull together to inform my husband when I actually do find out I'm pregnant.
 
My daughter took the PSAT today.  She was a bit nervous, but I reminded her that it is her first take at it, and that she has until her junior to really be worried.  What I really wanted her to gather from the test was what to expect in years to come.  She will walk away today hopefully better understanding her testing strenghts and weaknesses.
 
I'm starting a bootcamp on Monday.  I haven't done a bootcamp in years and I'm excited.  I love group fitness that doesn't involve memorizing steps or moving to a beat.  Can we say uncoordinated? That's me.  
 
We're going tree shopping this weekend!  I'm so excited for this new backyard project.  We are moving very slowly with getting it done, but baby steps will get us there faster than no steps.
 
 ~ Blissfully Yours

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

TTC Tuesdays - Week 2

 
It appears that everything is moving along smashingly in our first cycle of TTC. I'm currently on CD17.  As I told you in the first post, we are using a fertility monitor to determine the day of ovulation. Well, because I'm a bit paranoid about missing my window of opportunity, and because I've read way too much informaiton on the topic, I am also taking OPKs in conjunction with monitor testing.
 
I take the OPKs in the morning and at night, and the monitor on the afternoons it instructs me to do so.
 
On CD10 the fertility monitor gave me a reading of "high fertility."  I almost jumped off the toilet I was so excited.  And, then I became a little dismayed because I was out of town and my husband wasn't with me, so we couldn't BD in celebration. 
 
Let me back up and offer some explanation about the monitor versus the OPKs.  The monitor gives you up to six fertile days in each cycle (if you ovulate that month).  Technically sperm can live in a woman's body for up to 5 days, so the monitors measures certain hormones in the body and determines when you are about 5 days out from ovulation.  It considers those days to be "high" because if you BD, there is a possibility that sperm will still be around when the egg drops on ovulation day.
 
OPKs, on the other hand, only give you a positive result within 48 hours of ovulation. There is no ambiguous "high" day. 
 
On the morning of CD15, we got up to go to church and as usual I took an OPK....since I started taking them on CD8, the test line was always very faint, if it was present at all.  So, imagine my shock when after 4 minutes I look over and I have two dark lines (the control line is always dark, but if the test line is the same color or darker, then you are going to ovulate within 24 to 48 hours).  I screamed and jumped up and down and told my husband the great news.  He was excited as well, but wanted to wait until the afternoon for the the monitor testing to confirm.


(This is the Wondfo OPK. See the two dark lines...the one to the right is the control line, and the one to the left is the test line.  Both the same...wooohooo!)



 
After church, I did the monitor test and sure enough...I got the peak symbol, which is a picture of what's supposed to be a uterus with an egg in it.  I screamed with excitement and texted it to my husband who had already left to go watch the eagles game.  I wanted him to come home right then so we could BD, but I decided to be patient and let him finish the game.

(This is my Clear Bl.ue Ea.sy Monitor. The angle is a bit weird, but what you see there is that my egg is ready to be fertilized. The "15" indicates the cycle day)


I swear when I saw both the OPK and the monitor confirm my impending ovulation, I was so happy you would have thought I just got a positive pregnancy result.
 
I pray one of his swimmers is able to meet up with my egg and make our first baby. However, I'm staying level headed as well and understanding that it doesn't always happen the first month of TTC. 
 
I'm just so happy we got the monitor and the OPKs because tyring to calculate on our own was like trying to shoot a target in the dark.  Just for kicks, I did another ovulation calculator to see what days it said I was fertile for the month, and low and behold, it has my fertile days as past ovulation. So if we were still doing that, I would have missed my actual ovulation day...and another month with no chance of baby.  Not to say a baby is garaunteed this month, but at least we know there is a chance.  Come on babies... go find a comfy place to attach in mommy's uterus!
 
 
~ Blissfully Yours

Monday, October 15, 2012

Her First Dance

My big girl went to her very first high school dance over the weekend (homecoming).  I cried. I'm a big baby about my baby.  She looked beautiful and more 16 than 14, I think that's what made me cry.  She really looked like a young lady instead of my little girl, and while it's exciting to see her blossom into her own, it's scary at the same time.

She went with a group of her girlfriends.  They went to dinner first, and then I took them to the dance.  I was a picture taking machine.  I made her take tons of pics before we left the house, then more when we picked up the other girls, then more outside and inside the restaurant before I left them to eat on their own.  When I picked them up, I of course had to take more pictures outside of the dance.

After she got home, we had a long talk about all the fun she had.  She told me that she danced alot...she even danced with a boy.

Here is a photo of my  young lady...my baby as she was heading out for her first dance.



~ Blissfully Yours

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

TTC Tuesdays - Week 1

 
This new weekly series will be all about our attempts to conceive a baby.  I will try to be as candid as possible, 1. Because I just typically tend to be open like that when blogging (I guess you can call it my one of my "safe" places), and 2. Maybe I can help someone through my story, and I’m all for that.  I bring up my intentions to be candid to say, if you don’t want to hear words like cycle, pee, mucus, hormones, etc. you may want to skip the TTC Tuesday posts, and come back on Wednesdays.

 
Here is a list of Acronyms I’ll likely be using on this journey:

BD – Baby Dancing (sex)

BFP – Big Fat Positive (pregnancy test result)

BFN – Big Fat Negative (pregnancy test result)

BBT – Basal Body Temperature

C# - Cycle number (fyi, I'm on C1 because this is the first month we are really trying)

CD – Day of current cycle

CM – Cervical mucus

FM – Fertility Monitor

OPK – Ovulation predictor kit

TTC – Trying To Conceive


 
I gave thought to starting a side blog about my TTC adventures, but who wants the hassle of managing three blogs (this one, business blog, and a TTC one)? Not me.

So I figured, I could share all my TTC moments with you all one day a week. 

In case you don’t know, let me give you some background.  I’m a 32 year old, healthy newlywed wanting my future babies to come right now. I am already the mother of one amazing teenaged girl (conceived when I was 17 and not ttc).  My husband, who is a few years older than me has no children of his own, though he views my daughter as his.   We want more kid(s) – plural, so we want to go ahead and get this show on the road.  Also, I’ve had issues with fibroids in the past, and by issues I mean they have invaded my uterus twice causing me to have them removed.

At my last check up, I was fibroid free and my uterus was the shape and size of a perfect pear. And, I had recently ovulated.  That checkup was in June.

My husband and I decided to leave Baby Dancing (BD) for marriage, so we didn’t start taking advantage of my perfect breeding conditions until August (the month of our marriage).  Though, in August we weren’t really TTC-ing with any sophistication, we were just having newlywed fun. 

In September, we decided to use an on-line calculator to try and determine my ovulation period. We’ve since found out that method wasn’t successful and my uterus is still without child.

So, my husband started off on some research.  That man is the research king of products. At any rate, he found some forums and such that were raving about a fertility monitor.  You guessed it, we bought it.  So starting this cycle we are using a fertility monitor by cl.ear blu.e easy (the reviews are overwhelmingly positive).  It seems pretty simple to use. Right now I’m just turning it on every morning waiting for the day that it tells me to pee on a stick and check my fertility level.

Why are we using a monitor?  Well, given the past fibroid issues and our ages, we don’t want to just “try” haphazardly.  Here’s the thing, there is only a 20% chance each month that a woman will get pregnant.  And that 20% chance can only take place when she ovulates.  My cycles aren’t the most regular, though not terribly irregular, so we don’t want to waste time (see years) - we're not spring chickens.  Also, there is a chance those little fibroid creatures could come back and block passage ways to make things happen naturally.  We are open to other methods of conception, but we would love to conceive the “natural” way.

So there you have it.  You have been brought up to speed and are now cordially invited to watch me on the journey of this super exciting life step.

 
~ Blissfully Yours 
 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Ramblings

I'm looking for another master swim class, but I can't seem to find one in my area during the Fall.  That makes no sense to me. I understand that the tri season is over, but what about people training for next season?  Come on people...give me a master swim class.
 
All of our Friday nights are taken up by my daughter's volleyball games.  We haven't had one friday night date since marriage.  Speaking of marriage - yesterday made 2 months. yippie!
 
I think the weather has finally broke here in Texas.  I initially thought that a couple of weeks ago, but then somehow it went back up to 90.  The heat is now gone...see ya sucka! 
 
I have a huge interst in carpentry. I want to build and design furniture. I'm not interested in doing upholstery work, though.  I looked into taking a carpentry class and they are more expensive than I initially thought. I'm going to try to teach myself some things with the help of youtube.
 
I'm back to a mild addiction to television.  I hate that. And, I'm not quite sure how it happens.  However, I know that I'm wasting some precious hours staring at the boob tube, and it's time to stop.  I read somewhere a long time ago that if you spend a year studying a subject in place of your typical tv time, you'll become an expert.  I wonder how true that is.  Maybe I should do an experiment. hmmmm...
 
We had a realtor come look at the house a couple of months ago to give us an estimated listing price and some pointers on how to make sure we can list at the top of the spectrum for our area.  One of the things she mentioned was the backyard.  Right now, it is literally a blank canvas with grass.  She told us to plant some trees.  A plants guy told me that the best time to plant in Texas is in the Fall. Guess who is going tree shopping in a couple weeks? 
 
Speaking of realtors and such, we are starting the process of getting one of my husband's properties on the market. And, of course that means we have to do some minor improvements to maximize list price.  It's hard to agree to focus on improving a place we don't live in, when there are things we could do for the one in which we actually reside.
 
I never thought I'd say this at 32, but I'm ready to make my final move for a long while. I always thought I'd want to move every 2 to 3 years, but I actually have a desire to settle down in one place and let some roots develop. It's true - marriage and age changes you...for the better in my case.
 
I'm so happy I fell in love with a man who loves to travel.  Maybe that's why I'm comfortable with living in one place now because I know we'll always be going somewhere new.
 
My daughter's first homecoming dance is next week.  She was asked to go by a boy she knows.  This boy, she told me, typically always grabs her books for her when she's walking to classes and offers to do things for her.  She told me that she has only viewed him as a friend, but she realized he felt differently when he asked her. Apparently she could tell by the look on his face.  She turned down the offer to be his date for the dance. Why? Because he's shorter than she is.  She did, however, want me to know that he was cute, but that she just couldn't go with someone who was that much shorter than her.  She made him believe that I wouldn't allow her to go with a boy, and that she was going with a group of friends instead.  Teens, I tell ya.
 
That's it for now.
 
~ Blissfully Yours