Monday, May 21, 2012

Published (& the house transformation of late 2011/early 2012)

Enough depressingness.  Pardon me and the moment of self pity I was having last week.  So unbecoming, but it's where I was at, so whatevs.  Just keeping it real.

In other real news, you may remember that we did some major kitchen remodeling and also decorated our living room and dining room, thanks to the incomparable Capella Kincheloe.  The reason I have not shared any after photos (unless you're a facebook friend) is because we were trying to get a room (or rooms) published.  Well, the fine folks at BHG's Real Life Kitchens & Baths decided to use our kitchen in their next publication.  I don't have all of the details yet, but we miiiiiiiight be on the cover of the winter issue, and they are coming to shoot the kitchen in late June.  So, I can't share any kitchen photos, but here are a few living room and dining room shots.  These photos were shot by my very good friend and ultra talented photographer, Jenny.  Pretty amazing, especially considering she has no experience shooting interiors!

(I am only posting photos Capella has on her website until I get the all clear from her to post more... and I'll tell you a secret, she has two shots of my kitchen on her website... it's the photo you'll see before the ones below.  The photos were taken before my fabulous Roman shades arrived and were installed, but they definitely finish out the kitchen wonderfully.)

My kitchen might be here... crazy.

Dining room before

Living room before

Living room before

More old house posts here, here, here, here, and here.  It's been quite the transformation!  I will do a post eventually with sources, what we did (a fair amount of DIY, per the usual), etc.  Suffice it to say, we are happy to have it done and are enjoying our beautiful home!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I get it...

All the rest of you who have struggled with infertility longer than I have, I get it.  It being the "bitterness" for lack of a better word.  I sort of got it before.  It's easy to be a little bitter when it seems like everyone else around you can conceive with no issue and is complaining about pregnancy side effects or babies that don't sleep (with that I do sympathize, truly... I like my sleep and that is certainly one thing I will not love about the newborn stage, but I still want it).  Before, it was a little eye roll and the internal thoughts of "if only."  But, now I feel like I'm starting to really get it.  I'm not full on bitter, but I definitely feel the jealousy creep up more or the total lack of sympathy over certain facebook posts I read or the almost resentment of people trying to encourage me when they have no idea what I'm going through.  Not that everyone hasn't fought their own battles, but you don't know what this one is like.

I think it was on the Resolve website where I read a post that put it into words better than I could, so I am using some of their words and some of mine.  Infertility is different to everyone who experiences it.  To some people, it is the worst thing in the world, and it's awful when someone says it isn't.  You don't know what someone's worst thing in the world might be, and to those who have wanted to be parents more than anything for their entire lives, it might be the worst thing in their world.  To me, it sucks royally, but it is not the worst thing in the world.  It still annoys me when someone says those words to me, because they don't know how it feels.  But having lost loved ones, especially my dad, I see this as temporary.  I understand the permanence of death (at least in this mortal world).  All that said, it's a totally different but eerily similar type of pain.  When someone you love dies, that is permanent.  You can grieve and be mad and cry and scream and yell and it S-U-C-K-S.  When someone you love dies, no one would imagine saying to you that it's not the worst thing in the world.  Or say many of the crazy-ass things people come up with and say to you when you want to have kids and can't.  But, the thing is, you deal with it and you move on, because that's it.  There's no changing it.

Now imagine those emotions, maybe to a lesser extent, but imagine experiencing that feeling of loss roughly every 30 days.  My month looks like this... I start my period, and I am mad/ sad/ frustrated/ lonely/ lost/ pissed, etc. (stages of grief... compacted) --> I put on my big girls panties and muster up hope and encouragement again --> get excited at the prospect of getting pregnant --> hopes crushed yet again.  With infertility, there's no dealing with it and moving on.  It's the same thing every.single.month.  Even though I know there's a one in a million chance that we could procreate on our own without medically assisted family building (so, you're saying there's a chance!), I still hope I will be pregnant this month.  And, it will still suck when I'm not (P.S., God... I know You are there... prove me wrong.  Thanks in advance.).  And then starts the IVF cycle again, which is filled with even more hope and more letdown if it doesn't work.

And, frankly, I am scared.  I am not excited this time.  At least, I'm not today.  I am so damn scared that I am going to feel these awful feelings again.  The loss.  I don't think that people that haven't been through failed IVF can really understand that.  And, I presume everyone is different.  But, to me, those were our babies.  I don't consider it like a miscarriage... I never truly had the chance to bond with them or know I was clinically pregnant (well, for a moment but that's neither here nor there), but those two embryos were living things, the future of our family.  I still have the pictures.  I don't know what I am supposed to do with them, but I can't throw them away (they're tucked in my Bible for now).  And, just like that... one test and it's all crushed in a matter of minutes.

The thing is, I don't want to be bitter.  I don't want to roll my eyes at people sharing their pregnancy news or feel jealous at their happy announcements or be annoyed by someone complaining about how big they are.  I am not always, but I don't want to feel any of that at all.  I want to be happy for them, unconditionally.  I want to be hopeful and positive for myself.  I want to be able to accept freely the words of encouragement people give me.  I want people to feel like they can talk to me and ask me how I'm doing without fear that I'm going to punch them in the ovaries (sidebar- anyone else excited about Anchorman 2!?!?).  But today, I don't know why today, but I just can't.  Tomorrow is a new day.

P.S.  To the one person who acknowledged me on mothers day, you know who you are, thank you.  You are a blessing to me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


We headed south to Jacksonville last Thursday to celebrate my little sister all weekend!  And, celebrate we did.  On Thursday evening, she had her pinning ceremony as she graduated from the dental hygiene program at Florida State College at Jacksonville.  We are very proud of her... she has done so well in school and the final thing will be passing her state boards in June!

We also completely lucked out on the timing, because she was chosen as the Dancer of the Week for the Jacksonville Sharks Attack Dance Team!  She never thought she would be chosen, because frankly, dance is not really her thing.  She's never had any formal training and was a competitive cheerleader.  So, while she has rhythm, it's just different.  But, she's a hard worker and hot as can be, so I am not surprised.  I am pretty sure there were more people there to see her on Friday night than any other individual person!  We had quite the turnout in support of Brando.  And, the Sharks won!  It was a really fun game with the whole family.  My nephews loved it.

Then on Saturday, we had a graduation party for her.  It was a fun time seeing a lot of her friends that I haven't seen in forever (except on facebook) and have known since they were in elementary school!

Warning, lots of pictures to follow.

Here is her video which was played on the jumbo tron during the game.  If only I had that bod... I'd probably walk around naked all the time.  ;)

Love these four.  Bub, Sis, and my adorbs nephews.


The whole fam damily - Mom, Brody, Christine, Steve, Derek, Matt, James, me, and Brandi!

Oh yeah, she was even featured on their electronic billboards, one which conveniently located on our way to the Arena!

program feature

front and center

our seats were awesome... and I feel the need to go do some situps now.

My silly Godson.

OMG, I love him and want to eat him up.

Silly bubba.

Goofing off.

Momma and her girls.

oh yeah!

Walking out to the field for her time in the spotlight while her video played on the jumbotrons above.

party time

The graduate with her spread.  How hilarious are those apple smile things she made?

We definitely had enough food.

Last but not least, cousins.  Maddie, Max + Roxy.  I told Roxy to lay down and she took my command quite literally.  Love that little Rocko Socko.  Best dog and she's a pit bull.  Proof that they are only mean if you teach them to be.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Jamie Dragon for Miss USA

Please take a few minutes and go vote for my friend, Jamie Dragon, as the fan's selection for Miss USA 2012!  Jamie won Miss Vermont USA this past November after SEVEN years competing (and I cried like a baby).  Vermont has not made the semi-finals of the pageant in 50 years or something, and it's time that the small state curse ends this year!  Besides being beautiful inside and out, Jamie is an entrepreneur and opened her own salon and boutique just days after capturing the Miss Vermont USA title.  She is one of the most hard working ladies I know, coming from a very humble background and busting her butt for everything she has.  I could not be more proud to call her my friend!  Now, GO VOTE

P.S.  You can vote 10x per day per e-mail address :)  Which means crazies like me use every e-mail address they have access to... I am traveling to Vegas for the pageant and I want to see her in that top 16!