Tuesday, November 20, 2012


There is so much to be thankful for this time of year, and all the other days of the year for that matter too. This Thanksgiving, Rhett and I have two very special, very little people to be thankful for, our precious little sweet peas that are snuggling up inside mommy. I always hoped and prayed for the day that God would bless us with a child, and it was well worth the wait, as He gave us a double blessing. I thank God every night for this amazing gift that has been bestowed upon us. We truly feel like the luckiest people in the world!

We had our ultrasound last Thursday that showed our precious little ones (this week the size of two little lentil beans) and it was the coolest moment ever! Right away we saw the gestational sacs with their little yolks pop right up! We were over the moon with joy, relief, and love! Since then I have been overjoyed, exhausted, and nauseous, but I will take anything this pregnancy brings, as I am just so happy I feel like nothing can let me down!

Rhett of course, has been amazing. Doing everything, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the boys (I think he's ready for a yard) and getting me anything my heart desires. I look at how well he takes care of me and I feel so blessed to know these babies are going to have the most amazing father in the world.

On Thanksgiving we are headed to my brother and sister and law's house and I can't wait to hang out with them and play with my adorable lil niece, Lucy. She will be an amazing cousin to our little sweet peas. The day after Thanksgiving will be filled with more celebration, as Rhett and I have our second ultrasound appointment in which we see the little heartbeats! We can't wait!

We hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Bailey, Rhett, and our two lil peas in a pod

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hip Hip Hooray!

Well, I worried for nothing, as many of you were telling me, (Rhett included). I got the call and my numbers were beautiful! The were right where they should be so we couldn't be more excited! Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers! Now we are onto our ultrasound on Thursday! We can't wait! Maybe we will even see how many there are!

Have a good night!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Waiting is so hard. We have waited for lab results, waited to finally get a positive pregnancy test, and now we wait on HcG numbers. Waiting is hard, being patient is hard, but it is a virtue and one I try get better at everyday.

On Friday, we went in for our 2nd repeat blood test after the positive pregnancy test on Monday. I waited all day to hear the news, to find out my numbers had not quite doubled. They increased quite a bit, but because they didn't double I am going in for another blood test on Monday. My progesterone levels have been decreasing a bit, so they added some more progesterone to my medication plan and we are hoping that should take care of that problem. So now, we wait. I have been trying to stay very positive, but of course am a bit worried. I know that worrying won't help anything so I am trying to stop myself from going down that path.

Luckily I have a big distraction to consume my mind today and it's name is CONFERENCES! Yes, ladies and gentlemen that time of year is here, so I sit surrounded by piles of papers to stuff, organize, and write comments on. Conferences go everyday this week after school, and then next week, we have a whole week off. If all goes well tomorrow, we have our first ultrasound on Thursday to detect the gestational sac and the yolk, and then the day after Thanksgiving we should be able to see a heartbeat! So much to look forward to, please keep the prayers coming!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Up, Up, Up!

Today I went to the doctor's office before school to get another blood test to see how my HcG numbers were coming along. They doubled which is great, exactly what it is supposed to do. This was such a relief to hear, as of course I am hoping and praying that everything continues to sail smoothly. While I was at the doctor's office they gave me the best gift... a pregnancy handout of do's and don't and what to expect right now. I was elated. Who knew four pieces of paper stapled together could make a girl so happy? I almost pinched myself, thinking I'd wake up from this amazing dream. I still can't believe it worked, I am walking on clouds right now! We both are.

I have been feeling well but extremely tired and a bit nauseous in the mornings. I haven't been throwing up but also haven't felt much like eating in the morning. I have been keeping crackers on hand and was able to suck down a green smoothie this morning, so I am taking care of myself, don't worry!

We go again on Friday to see if my numbers doubled again. If all looks great then we will do our first ultrasound next week to detect the gestational sac and yolk sac within the uterus. The week after that we will be able to see the heartbeat or beats! Talk about having a lot to be thankful for! Speaking of being thankful I have the best hubby in the world. He has stood by me through all the struggles we've had with conceiving the past 4 and a half years. He has been my rock, my friend, my shoulder to cry on, my brightness in a dark place. He has been taking such good care of me, walking the dogs, lifting everything, getting me food since I have been too tired to cook, tucking me and the babies in with a kiss for me and three kisses for the belly. I look at him and can't help but think, life is good, God is good! I am so happy to be sharing this exciting time in my life with my best friend and soul mate!

Have a good night.

Bails and the bambinos

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Yesterday Rhett and I received the best news we have received in a long while.. we are PREGNANT!!! We went in for the blood test and got the call later that we are in fact pregnant with good, strong numbers. The doctor said that with numbers like ours it is possible there is 1,2, or even 3 in there! I get my blood drawn tomorrow and then again on Friday. They are looking to see that my pregnancy hormones are doubling every other day. I have a great feeling and just know everything is going to be happy, healthy, and wonderful for the next nine months. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers and please keep them coming. It is wonderful to have such a great support network in our friends and family, We can't wait to continue to share this journey with you!


Bailey, Rhett, and the lil ones

Monday, October 29, 2012


Hope is a wonderful thing. It fills you with warmth, with promise, with light. It is the voice inside your head that says if you want it, you will get it, you may have to wait, there may be pain, but if you keep your faith and hold onto your hope, someday, it will all be okay.....

Rhett and I have never lost hope, even on our darkest of days, the most disappointing of moments, we have never let the thought consume us that we won't be parents. We just can't buy into that thought. Even in the midst of our fifth IVF I refuse to let the shadows of previous cycles loom over me. I a pregnant until proven otherwise. I already find myself rubbing my belly and thanking God for the blessings inside me. I believe in the power of positive thinking and I am willing my embies to burrow and stay safe.

Friday was our embryo transfer. We woke up bright and early! Rhett had taken the dogs out and was sitting on the couch and I came bounding out of the bedroom proclaiming, "I'm too excited to sleep!" (My fav quote from an adorable little boy on a Disney World commercial years ago) He asked if he could take me out for a pre-pregnancy breakfast and I obliged ( I never turn down food) We went out to a cute, organic diner down the road from our fertility center. We enjoyed a breakfast filled with lots of laughs and excited talk about our impending procedure. Once at the center we were called back, and before we knew it, three amazing embryos popped up in the screen and then they were placed in me, and it was done! We headed to acupuncture and thanks to the valium we added to this cycle I came home and slept most of the day! My mom arrived Friday night and her and Rhett took great care of me, feeding me, cleaning the house, and most importantly making me laugh! I am one lucky girl!

I am now 4 days past embryo transfer. Today is around the time when the lil ones should be implanting. I try not to read into any symptoms because most of the meds I am on mimick pregnancy symptoms, but I have been extremely tired and yesterday was very nauseous and even threw up. I didn't feel like I had the flu, so I am hoping it was hormones doing their work! I have been very sore in my low back and lower hip regions where the monster needles are injected. This cycle we added blood thinners, which can help with implantation. Those needles go in my belly and they hurt like a um... they hurt. I keep telling myself it will all be worth it! This is my last day of bedrest and I am taking it easy cuddling with the boys, watching tv and already had a nap. I am not a napper and I have had one everyday since Friday!

Thank you all for your calls, texts, messages, cards, etc. You have helped me keep the hope. Let's keep on hopin' together!

our cute lil embie trio

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

All Aboard the IVF Train!

Well after a nice hiatus Rhett and I ready to board the IVF train again. This past month has been filled with shots and patches and mood swings (pray for Rhett). But Transfer Day is almost upon us. This Friday, October 26th, we will be placing 3 beautiful embryos back to me and pray and hope and will a successful outcome! I have been so busy with school and just life in general that I honestly haven't given it too much thought and I can't believe it's almost here! My mom is coming up to help me while on bed rest with cooking, cleaning, and watching chick flicks (again, pray for Rhett) and I am so looking forward to some qt with two of my favorite people in the world. I have taken Friday off of work for the transfer and then Monday as well to give those embies some time to nestle in for the next nine months!

So here's to our fifth IVF cycle...let's make this one a winner!



Friday, July 6, 2012

If at 4th You Don't Succeed

Well, we got the heart breaking call yesterday that our 4th attempt at IVF failed. Sad, frustrated, confused, angry.. the list of emotions I felt go on and on. I sat on the couch and cried for a while and then I did something I haven't been able to do in a while, I laced up my running shoes and hit the pavement.

I guess grief can make you do crazy things, as it was over 100 degrees yesterday and I went running at 5. It may have been a crazy choice ( I got quite a few quizzical looks from passer-bys) but it was seriously the best thing I could have done for myself. When Rhett got home we went to a cute little wine bar in Roscoe Village, and split a bottle of wine and some apps and just tried to count our blessings.

There really are no reasons this happens, sometimes I feel like I've done something wrong and am being punished, but when I glance around the crowded waiting room at the fertility center, I know this can't be true. Surely all these kind people aren't being punished, it's just one of those things that aren't fair. There are a lot of things in life that aren't fair, a child who spends their days in a hospital, a young mother who loses her battle with cancer, a hard-working family who loses their house due to financial turmoil. Really, in the grand scheme of things, we are so blessed.

As I lay awake last night I cuddled the three men in my life (Rhett, Boomer, and Bauer) and was so thankful for their health. We really are so lucky. We are of course deeply saddened, but there are 16 other frozen embryos waiting for us and pleading that we not give up, and we won't.

Give up, never! Few month break, yes, please. I intend to enjoy the rest of my summer by doing things I had to give up, running, coffee, sunbathing, drinks with girls, and just living in the moment. Dwelling on what we have-not gets you nowhere and only makes you bitter, focusing on what you have makes you fulfilled. Child or not, we've got a lot and that's more then some can claim.

Rhett is taking me to a bed and breakfast this weekend in Saugatuck,Michigan for a weekend of relaxing and us time. I am thrilled to spend it together and thankful for our wonderful neighbors, Missy and Matt that are watching the boys for us. Have a great weekend everyone! Thanks for being you, we couldn't get through times like these without all of you.
Our 2 fur babies:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The IVF Ride

IVF has it's ups and downs, it's peaks and lows, and I think it is quite appropriate to compare it to a roller coster ride. I like to think that Rhett and I have done our best to see the thrill it holds and try not dwell on the low points. Right now we are trying to focus on the excitement as the ride slowly inches up the hill before the big drop, the only problem is, waiting two weeks for the big drop (aka pregnancy test) can wear on you, so what else can you do but grab the loved one's hand next to you, smile big, and know that thrill inducing, heart pounding excitement will be here before you know it.

Right now, I am "pregnant until proven otherwise". I am 4 days post embryo transfer, and have been relaxing, keeping my feet up, watching endless red boxes and lifetime movies (seriously forgot how much I love myself some lifetime, did I just publicly admit that?!?)and just doing all I can to take care of myself and these darling little embies that reside inside me.

The transfer was on Sunday and went great! We transferred back 2 perfect grade, adorable little embies and the transfer went without a hitch! My lining was great, and I felt very relaxed and happy. Rhett did a good job of making me laugh before the procedure by being his goofy self and fanning me with magazines. These progesterone shots and estrogen patches have brought on some pretty awesome hot flashes, gotta love hormones! We went straight to a post embryo transfer acupuncture treatment and then home to rest!

My ovaries are still enlarged from all that stimulating, so I am only allowed small amounts of water and mostly gatorade, V8 and anything salty, which is supposed to avoid hyper stimulating. Well, there is only one kind of gatorade I can stand, which is the light purple kind, and CVS had gatorade on sale so Rhett went out on a mission to stock us up! Turns out a lot of people like that flavor as they were sold out at our local CVS! Have no fear, three CVSes later, Rhett came through for me with a box of purple gatorade! He has been nothing short of a saint, walking the dogs, taking care of dinner, replenishing my red boxes daily, and doing it all with a smile on his face. Is he going to be a great dad or what?!?

Here are some pics of the shirts we made for transfer day and our adorable little embies, who should have started implanting today!! Aren't they precious?

Friday, June 22, 2012

We like our eggs..... FERTILIZED!

So we got the call that out of my 44 eggs, 27 were able to be fertilized and are doing fabulously well in their petri dishes. They are dividing and hatching all on their own, so we get to do a day 5 embryo transfer which is ideal! We are so thrilled with these results! I guess we are going to have to have a big family!

Sunday is the day that we will have our embryo transfer, and we will get a call tomorrow in regards to what time. Once I know, I will be sure to let you all know! We are getting really excited to have the transfer day almost here, in fact so excited, we may or may not have had some t-shirts made for this occasion! Pictures to follow!! Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Retrieval Day!

Yesterday morning was a big day in our cycle. We had our egg retrieval. We arrived at FCI at 7:00 a.m. for our 8:00 egg retrieval. After given some next step instructions, and verifying my name and birthdate, I was pricked in the hand to begin my IV. Let me tell you, I have grown quite accustomed to be pricked for my blood everyday for the past week or so, but that is in the arm, getting pricked in the hand is a whole different playing field and it hurts so much more! I know you're probably thinking, good luck with childbirth, sweetie. Anyways, I digress. After having the IV in for about 20 minutes, they wheeled me into the procedure room. They prepped me for surgery and had me verify my name one last time, put the sleepy-time drugs (yes, I believe that is the medical term) in the IV, and I was out.

I awoke as I was being wheeled into the recovery room, where my darling hubby awaited me. I asked the nurse as she helped me into the bed, "Did I say anything weird?" I was assured I did not. After I was situated in bed, the doctor came in and told me that they had retrieved.... wait for it... 44 EGGS! I was blown out of the water! He said, they can't tell too much from just looking at them, but they appeared to be some good quality eggs to boot! We were both so excited! He did say that because of that many eggs, they will have to make sure I don't hyper stimulate, which is a condition in which the stimulated ovaries can cause fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity. The fluid comes from blood vessels that are found in the abdomen. This can be a serious condition, so they don't take it lightly. If this were to happen, they would need to freeze all embryos and make me wait about 2 months before transferring the embryos. We are praying and hoping this is not the case,as having an embryo transfer at the beginning of the school year would be less than ideal, and would probably mean me having to push it back even further. I am trying to just live in the moment and tell myself that this won't happen and just be happy with the results of our retrieval.

As far as how I am feeling, I am sore, I laid in bed all day yesterday and I plan to do the same again today. I am quite tender, but other than that no complaints. The nurse will call this afternoon and let me know how many embryos they were able to make and how they are doing in the petri dish. I will get another call the day following to let me know if and when the transfer might be. Please keep the prayers coming, and as always thanks so much for all the love and support!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Put a Fork In Me- I'm done!

Well, I got the call today, and it's go time! Tomorrow morning we will arrive at the fertility center for our 8 a.m. egg retrieval! It is a fairly simple procedure,that I won't remember, as they put you under for it. I will most likely blurt out odd things, as I did last time, as I come out of the medicated blur. Rhett has said he might have to tape me, I did not oblige, haha.

We will get a call after the egg retrieval, usually in the day following, to let us know how our little embies are doing. Then, we will have our transfer either three days or five days after tomorrow, depending on how they are sustaining in the petri dish. We are both so excited that it has finally arrived, and my ovaries are too. Carrying around 20 plus follicles takes it's toll on a girl and it was getting a bit uncomfortable! I will be sure to keep you updated! Thanks for all the prayers!

Here are some pics from this weekend:

Rhett ran in a warrior dash on Sunday:

Rob and Sarah had us over to celebrate Father's Day, We gave Lucy a necklace like one I have that she adores and a doll from Mexico, I think they were both a hit!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Home Away From Home

It seems like these days my home away from home is a place filled with needles, ultra sound equipments, and some of the most amazing sonographers and nurses that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. My home away from home has been a fertility center, and as weird as it sounds, it isn't half bad.

Four years ago I was 26 years old, had been married about a year and was so excited that Rhett and I had made the decision to try and start a family. As most people, I thought it would take a few months, I'd get pregnant, and then boom, instant family. Well, as we now know, that plan didn't go exactly as planned. Infertility has caused a lot of pain, stress, and taken it's toll on us emotionally, physically, and definitely financially. There are things I am thankful for in this journey, and the main one being the amazing staff at FCI where I go for my treatments. The sonographers, nurses, and anyone else I've come in contact with has made me feel loved, cared for, and like I have some cheerleaders in the corner rooting for us, and hoping and praying that we achieve our dream someday. I have spent quite a few days in the past years in that office, and I actually enjoy going, being welcomed by smiling faces, and reassured by compassionate nurses when I start to freak out about something small, or in some cases, something big. I have spent everyday in the office since Sunday, and truth be told, I actually look forward to going. Just today, I got to sit down and chat with my favorite nurses, and it made me so happy to see them and know that they are more than just nurses they're friends. They care about my outcome, and they care about me. It's a really nice feeling to have, that you're being looked after in the best way possible. I feel fortunate to have fostered relationships there, and to be on a first name basis with a lot of the staff, I just hope soon, I'll be bringing our little one or ones in for a visit, not for labs and ultrasound!

Speaking of labs and ultrasound, my follicles continue to grow, my estrogen has been yo-yoing a bit, so my meds have been increased to try and help with that. I am feeling very relaxed, but a bit uncomfortable in my stomach and low back from all these shots and enlarged ovaries. It will all be worth it though! They are thinking my egg retrieval should be Monday or Tuesday, as long as everything keeps growing and numbers keep rising. Please keep the prayers and positive thoughts coming, we feel them and appreciate them! Happy Friday!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer, Summer, Summertime!

Yes, I am that cool. The title of this blog is inspired by an old-school favorite written by the talented Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff. I remember the first week of summer as a youngster, in my p.j.s til God knows when laying on the couch and watching music videos, and getting so excited when this video would come on, it instilled feelings of freedom, happiness, and anticipation of the exciting things that summer would hold. Now, as a 30 year old teacher I still get those giddy feelings and am seriously contemplating turning that jam on and dancing around my condo with my dogs, because it's 10:30 on a Monday, and really, who else is home to catch me? Aww summertime...

It has been a month since I've blogged and so much has been going on. The school year ended on May 25th and then Rhett and I jetted off for an amazing week in Riviera Maya, Mexico, which is about an hour away from Cancun. We relaxed in the sun, drank fruity cocktails, played some "loco games" the friendly entertainment staff had to offer, and basically just lived it up. It was so nice to spend so much one-on-one time together. I ate and drank anything I wanted because I knew as soon as we got home, I would be starting my shots for our upcoming IVF.

I started follicle stimulating shots on this past Wednesday. The purpose of this is to stimulate the follicles and make them mature at a more rapid rate. The follicle is what holds the egg that is released each month. Most women who ovulate normally, produce one mature follicle each month, which in turn releases an egg, and there you have ovulation. Well, when you are doing an IVF, the goal is to get many eggs, so that they can weed out the best ones, combine them with a generous um, "contribution" from my dear hubby and make some embryos. Some that will be transferred back 3-5 days later, and some that will be frozen to use for a future IVF cycle.

I went to the doctor yesterday and I have quite a few follicles, none that are at maturity yet, but well on their way. I went back today, as they will be watching me really closely now, as they don't want to overstimulate me which can cause my cycle to be cancelled. The nurse yesterday told me my egg retrieval could be anywhere from Thursday to Sunday, so we are getting closer. I feel so relaxed, as this is my only job this summer, making a baby. I am excited to hear what they say today, and can't wait to get to retrieval and later my embryo transfer. I feel so hopeful, as I know I always am, but I really think the time is now. I will never give up hope, and neither will Rhett. We are destined to be parents and I just hope that God has decided now is our time! I will be better about blogging and keep you all in the loop!

I hope your summer is off to an amazing start!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

WAY overdue!

So I am sitting here in the quiet of my house, drinking my coffee and listening the the rain fall outside. There are a million things I should probably be doing; going to work out, clean, laundry, but the gloominess of the weather outside is silently telling me this weather is meant for laziness, so for now, I will embrace it ( until later when I freak out that nothing has been crossed off the to-do list, ha)

It has been such a long time since I have blogged, and it is way overdue. The end of the school's year is quickly approaching on May 25th, and it's craziness has consumed me, and not left me with much else on my mind! So here is a quick recap on what has been going on.

The trip to Saint Louis to see Ross and Brea, was rebooked to last weekend due to Rhett's crazy work schedule. We got to see their new house, which is gorgeous, and left us quite envious of a having a yard! They had a fabulous Cinco de Derby party and we were able to meet some of their friends, play some bags, and dance to some old school tunes ( when I say old school, I refer to the 90's, and early 2000's).

I have been frequenting the fertility center for lots of blood draws and one ultrasound. After weeks of waiting and our genetic results are in, we are fine! We are not passing anything on genetically abnormal so we are free and clear to start our IVF. I have started the birth control pill to suppress my hormones ( I know it seems a bit counterproductive, but that is how all IVF's are started) and will begin my shots on June 6th! I could have started them earlier, but we are going to Riviera Maya, Mexico on May 29th through June 5th, and decided having to pack needles, and run back to the room for shots, might not be the most relaxing thing to do on our trip.

In other news, my maternal grandmother, AKA Mamma, has been in the hospital for the past few weeks due to a tear in her aortic valve, through a stint they were able to repair the tear and she is doing so much better. I am so relieved she is okay, as I can't wait for her to hold and meet our precious little on someday soon. I hope all is well with everyone, enjoy your weekend, rain or shine!

Rhett deciding between beer and sangria.. life is hard!

Rhett loves dancing with dogs!

Rhett and I in our Derby Attire!

Ross and Brea!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

We're In This Together!

Our First Blood Draw This Cycle!

Just a few short months ago I heard myself tell people that Rhett and I were done trying for a while, that there was no way we'd pour anymore money into IVF, and that we'd probably just adopt down the road.. but this past Tuesday Rhett and I sat facing our doctor going over our plans for our next IVF cycle. The truth is, we just aren't ready to let go, to accept that the IVF won't ever work. In our hearts, we just feel that the timing hasn't been right, and that we must endure a little more to accomplish our dream.

At the advice of the doctor we had our blood drawn to see if there is possibly anything genetically that Rhett or I could be passing on, that could be causing problems with our struggles to get pregnant and stay pregnant. Those tests take two to three weeks to come back, so it's a little nerve wrecking waiting to find out if everything is normal. The doctor assured us that there is a less than 5% chance that there is anything wrong with either of us, but it never hurts to check. If one of us was carrying an abnormality then it would mean that we would need to have a donor egg or sperm depending on where the irregularity was residing. I am hoping and praying we won't have to go down that road and just take it one step at a time. If all goes according to plan we will be doing our IVF this summer and I will hopefully we going back to school with a baby in my belly!

In the meantime we have been having fun celebrating Bauer's 4th birthday and started the birthday celebrations a little early for Rhett's birthday this coming Wednesday. I told Rhett he gets a week long celebration, as we are headed to Saint Louis to see my brother-in-law and his girlfriend this coming weekend!

As Rhett and I embark on the next step in our journey it is comforting to know that I have an amazing partner who is my rock and my best friend. We are in this together every step of the way and I just know our story is destined to have a happy ending.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spa Day!

Yesterday was an exciting day in the Stenzel household, well for three members, Rhett had to go to work. Boomer, Bauer, and I all got our hair done! Don't worry, not all at the same place! It is sad that their haircuts cost more than mine, though!
Next weekend we are headed for a quick trip to Cincinnati, so I thought I'd do my family a favor and not come with two smelly dogs in tow! Here are some pictures from our day getting pampered!

Boomer and Bauer before:

Boomer and Bauer after

Me, a WHOLE inch taken off later! ( It took a lot of persuasion on the hairdresser's part, I wanted half an inch, they said and inch and a half, we settled on an inch) oh and you can't even tell it's shorter, haha.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Break!

Teaching has many benefits. The chance to see children learn and grow, the satisfaction and rewarding feeling to know that everyday you are making a difference, oh and winter, spring, and summer breaks!
My Spring Break started last Friday and Rhett and I headed off to Arizona to see his parents. We had a wonderful time, soaking in the hot tub, basking in the sun, catching a Cub's Spring Training game, and best of all, visiting with Rhett's parents, grandparents, and aunt! We had such a wonderful time and were very reluctant to leave family and the amazing weather. We got back Tuesday night and I have been slowly trying to unpack and get this place in order ever since!
This Spring has felt a lot like summer, and has pushed me to get out the door and back into running which has felt absolutely wonderful! I'm feeling like my old self and have learned that although I do want to get pregnant and the eastern side of medicine says that running is a big no-no, I feel that if it keeps me sane and happy, that has to be a good thing! Spring is in the air, a sign of life, happiness, and hope of what's to come. I hope everyone is enjoying their spring too!

Rhett's Parent's dog, Buddy Sun Bathing!

Rhett at the Cub's Game

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Little Yellow Room

I think we all have a place in which we escape to in our mind, a tropical paradise, a fond memory, a hope or dream we wish to pursue. I too, have that place and mine is a little yellow room.
Two years ago, as many of you know, Rhett and left our city dwelling and ventured out to Joliet. We rented the cutest 1920's style bungalow, with lots of room, charm, a yard for the boys, and our family right down the street. After eleven months though, of 3 hour daily commutes, we traded all this and returned to the city for more of a quality of life, one in which we actually see each other during the week!
Moving from a quaint (read, tiny) condo to a 3 bedroom, plus den, house requires a lot more furniture, as you can only imagine. We worked hard to fill all our newly acquired space with a lot of help from my mom's expert eye (and extra furniture) and had the house looking like a home in no time. There was one room, however that remained empty. A little yellow room, right next to our bedroom. It had perfect sunlight, space, and a gender neutral color, that would one day hold our precious little one. There would be days that I would walk in there in the morning, coffee cup in hand, and imagine what the room would look like, picturing a rocker in the corner, where Rhett and I would ease our child to sleep, or share bedtime stories. Yes, there were days that simply walking into that room would fill me with a complete sense of happiness and hope.
There were days too, that I couldn't even go in the room, leaving the door closed, as the sight of the empty room was too much for me, it's vacancy reminding me of the vacant feeling that I often would carry in my heart.
Two years later, I carry that yellow room with me, sometimes an escape for me, a lovely place to travel to, a wonderful place of hope of what's to come. Other days, it remains a place that creeps into my mind, that I quickly try to flee from, that all too familiar vacant feeling creeping back in.
I walk through my days, sometimes telling myself that that little yellow room could be many things one day, and maybe the head interior decorator Himself has other plans for that room, and I try very hard to accept whatever design He has in mind, but in my prayers, I do put in my two sense, that a crib, and a rocking chair might look fabulous after all...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Au Natural

This past week was one with it's ups and downs. So I'll start with the downside, bad news first, right? I came home from work Monday, exhausted and went to let the dogs out and planned on a relaxing night on the couch cuddled up with my two little fur babies, but poor Bauer could hardly walk. I took him to the vet that night, and it looks as though he is having some spinal issues. The vet said that Cocker Spaniels are prone to these problems, and sent us home with some activity restrictions and some pain pills. The next morning though, Bauer's back was worse and was having an even harder time walking. So I rushed into school and busted out some sub plans, and took him back to the vet. He is now on muscle relaxers and an anti-inflammatory, and is doing much better. The hardest part has been trying to keep him from jumping on and off of furniture, anyone that knows Bauer knows he is full of energy, we're hoping to keep him from having to get back surgery in the near future.
On the upside, I went to my first acupuncture appointment in months, well since the last failed IVF, and I am trying to get pregnant completely naturally, with the help of herbs, supplements, acupuncture, yoga, and whole food, healthy eating. It may be a long shot, since I don't even ovulate, but it's worth a shot. I've done all these things before, but always in conjunction with a medicated cycle of IVF. IVF has proved not to be good for me, and has left me feeling anxious, sad, let-down, you name it. I'm going to go in full force, and really try to do this with full commitment. It isn't going to be easy, but nothing worth it in life is. I feel empowered and hopeful, and by putting this out there I'm accountable now, and have to follow through. I often have thought about life without kids, and I know as long as I have Rhett, I'll be okay and life will be grand! I am saddened though by the thought of not being able to try and be the mom my mom has been to me, and Rhett's has been to him, and has also been to me since the Stenzel family came into my life 7 years ago. Rhett and I don't want to give up, and are going a down a different path, and we're hoping our happy ending is in sight.

Happy Superbowl Sunday, GO GIANTS!!

My two recipes given to me, from my two moms:

Skyline Chili Dip- Cincinnati Representation

The famous stuffed mushrooms, always a hit!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Battle of the Yogis

Yesterday a friend and I went to a huge warehouse sale for our favorite workout clothes, Lululemon. Now, to those of you who know the clothes, you know how awesome they are, but also how the price tag hurts the eyes (and your wallet). So when we heard of this sale, with amazing discounts we were there in a heartbeat, ready to get our workout clothes shopping on!
We arrived and waited in a few long lines, with our credit cards and i.d's in hand, no coats or purses allowed. We entered to the jams of a d.j. and Lulu Lemon employees clad in running tutu's greeting us with a lot more energy then I could feign on a Friday afternoon, I was tempted, but resisted the urge to buy a running tutu myself, as Rhett would probably never run with me again. We started walking up and down the aisles and snatching up some great finds. As I was looking at a pair of yoga pants, some workers wheeled out another rack of clothes, before a thought could even form in my mind, crazed girls on the pursuit of new merchandise swarmed around me, reaching over my head and shoving me aside grabbing at whatever they could get their hands on, I ducked and made my way out, making sure I still had all my hair, okay maybe it wasn't that bad but it still was quite unexpected, and very un-zen-like. Needless to say the next time, that cart came out I stayed clear. Don't mess with a yogi on a mission, apparently.

When I found my friend she said she had to duke it out with a girl that had grabbed a shirt at the same time she had, luckily my friend's teacher eye was all it took, and the other girl decided it wasn't worth the battle. Shopping can be dangerous, and you must be in top shape to compete :) I overall loved the sale, and would recommend it, but you might wanna wear a helmet.



Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Parking is A Girl's Best Friend

Growing up in suburban Cincinnati, a good parking spot was when I won the battle with my brother to park in the extra spot in the garage if my mom or dad weren't using it. There were parking lots everywhere, and the only time I ever parallel parked was in my driver's test which incidentally, I had to do twice.
Now that I live in a big city, and have for about 6 and half years now, a good parking spot is a gem, and quite hard to find. When we first moved to Chicago we had a garage spot that was awesome (and quite narrow, my car has the scuff marks to prove it). When we bought our condo 5 years ago, we no longer had parking and the chore of finding a good spot became a constant part of my life. Parking three streets away with groceries, or my laptop bag and teacher tote were to say the least, not my favorite thing in the world.
So you can imagine my delight when I arrived home one day a few days before Christmas to have my husband hand me a small wrapped gift which held inside what has become one of my most prized possessions, a garage opener to my new gated parking spot across the street. I jumped for joy and moved my car in there right away, deeming this one of the best presents I've ever received. Not to say, Rhett didn't give me many wonderful gifts this year, as I sit here and enjoy a hot cup of coffee from my new Keurig Coffee Maker, thanks babe!
To any big city girl, I know you can relate. Shoes are amazing, and diamonds are fabulous, but parking... is a girl's best friend!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tackling 2012

Well it's now three days into 2012 and my resolutions are coming along quite nicely. Rhett and I went out and got a food processor yesterday, that I am very pumped about and I have already looked up tons of recipes, on my newest obsession, www.pinterest.com. I can just see my 23 year old self looking at this sentence and saying, "Seriously, Bailey? A food processor? What did you crazy kids do next, go vacuum cleaner shopping?" It is funny how things change, right? So to go along with my cooking more resolution I'll be making homemade veggie burgers for myself and some meat for my darling, carnivorous, hubby.
On the running more front, I signed Rhett and I up for the Shamrock Shuffle 8k race that takes place at the end of March. I have been getting back into the routine a bit, but having a race to train for has always helped rev up my motivation!
As far as my blogging, second time this week! I also started writing my novel, and have the prologue done. It's amazing what you can accomplish with time off work! Our school didn't let out for Christmas Vacation until the 22nd, which at the time was kind of a bummer, but now as I sit at the table drinking my coffee and watching kids board the bus to resume school, it's nice to know I won't be falling back into that routine until January 9th! I hope everyone's 2012 is off to a wonderful start!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

As I reflect back on 2011 I think about all the events that happened, good and bad. I became an aunt again to my beautiful niece Lucy. Rhett landed an amazing new job that he's excelling at and quite happy with. We witnessed some good friends getting married, we did a bit of traveling, and celebrated our five year wedding anniversary.
There were the not so fond memories too, losing both my grandfathers and some unsuccessful IVF's, but I choose to focus on the great memories of 2011. The lessons that were learned, and the gratitude for the newfound strength to conquer life's little obstacles.
I remember getting ready to go out for dinner on our anniversary a few nights ago and turning to Rhett and saying, "You know, this is the first anniversary that I didn't spend wishing, praying, and wistful for a child, I feel very much at peace." Of course Rhett and want children but there is a reason it hasn't happened for us and we both seem to have become at peace with this. I adore Rhett and the life we've built together. I think for a long time, I felt that being a mother would define me, that I wouldn't be complete without it. I've realized lately that there is a lot more to me, to life, then following the path that the majority of the world takes. I know that being a mom would be amazing and fulfilling, but if God has another plan for us, to adopt one day, to be world travelers, to help those in need, then I need to open my eyes, ears, and heart and be willing. I've started to realize that God is talking all the time, but perhaps I haven't stopped to listen because it wasn't what I wanted to hear.
With New Year's always brings resolutions, mine are:
1.To count my blessings every day
2.blog at least 3 times a week
3.start writing my book ( my lifetime dream has been to be a writer)
4. cook more
5. run more
6. go to church more

"My life may not be going the way I planned it, but it is going exactly the way God planned it."

Cheers to handing over the wheel and enjoying this wonderful ride, we call life. Buckle up and Happy New Year. May 2012 bring joy, peace, happiness, and contentment.

Love you all.