Sunday, January 29, 2017

New Blog


I have purchased my own little piece of internet real estate. If you'd like to follow along you can find me writing at my new blog.

My goal is the post every Sunday. I'm not perfect, but I'm focusing on progress not perfecting.

Join me!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Here's to Progress in 2017

I had big ambitions for today. I want to start a new blog; a real website type blog with my own web address. However, I haven't decided what I want to call it, where I want to host it or how I want to design it. So instead of rushing through all of that just to meet a deadline in my head, I will write in this space right here. Conveniently, my unofficial word for 2017 is PROGRESS. Sharing this post is progress even if it not perfection.

I don't want people to see my faults and flaws and so I don't share anything online for fear of making a fool of myself. I don't want to fail and I really don't want others to see me fail so I do nothing. However, lately I've been wanting to share. I am an oversharer to a few in-real-life people but I don't share much anywhere else. I want this to change.

I've been praying and studying the Bible more in the past six months than I ever have before and even though God doesn't speak to me with a clear-as-day voice (and wouldn't that be nice if He did,) I can't get the idea of creating my own space online out of my head. I don't know if He is tugging on my heartstrings or what, but I want to write. I want to share. However I don't want to add to the noise of the internet. I want to share when I have something good to say. I want my space to be a positive space. I think there is so much pressure on women to have perfect homes, bodies, meal-plans, children, parties, careers, outfits, etc. I feel like we can all learn from each other and start taking the pressure off. Sharing, like really sharing, helps people connect and not feel like they have to put up a perfect facade all the time.

So here is my not perfect blog post with a not perfect picture (that I snapped sometime last year while my husband drove; there is currently no snow on the ground but hey, it's winter so this imperfect picture works) All of this is to say, here is my not perfect goal of sharing more online. I'd like to show up once a week but again, I am giving myself grace. Eventually I will create my own website but for now, I am happy with this progress.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Infertility Venting


It's cycle day one which means my second round of Clomid was unsuccessful. I could feel the pangs of an upcoming period starting last night but I never take any pain meds until I actually start bleeding because what if it's the pangs of pregnancy and I just dumped a whole lot of pain killers into my body. But it is now for sure period pain and I HURT. I found myself googling "Clomid period pain" and discovered that yes painful periods are a side effect. So now my side effect list includes hot flashes, emotions that feel like they are going to swallow me up and periods that feel like they are going break me in half. Oh did I mention that I'm supposed to return to work today after being on vacation last week. What perfect timing. 

There were two pregnancy announcements on Facebook this weekend. I am so happy for those couples because I desperately want Kevin and I to be one of those couples. 

It's been 2 years 10 months that we've been trying to get pregnant. It's been 1 year 10 months since I miscarried our baby. Our baby would have been 14 months old this month. I still wonder who they would have been, what they would have looked like. 

I'm tired, I'm in pain, I'm frustrated that I'm still here without a child in my arms. I'm scared that we might never have children, sad about all that I feel like I'm missing, afraid of getting pregnant and all the worries that come (but still willing to do it, don't get me wrong) I'm frustrated that my body doesn't do what it's supposed to and mad that this hurts so bad. And more. Many many more emotions. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Thirty by Thirty in Thirty

A couple of weeks ago my sister pointed out to me that I have thirty months left until I turn thirty. This got me thinking, what do I want to accomplish before I'm thirty? So I've created a thirty by thirty list.

1. Become a mom Obviously I have limited control over this one considering we've been trying to get pregnant for almost three years now. But still, I would really like to become a mom.

2. Go to another timezone I have never left the Eastern Standard timezone. Apparently I like to travel very longitudinally.

3. Put my feet in the ocean again Its been seven years since I have had my feet in the Atlantic Ocean and five years since I've had my feet in the Gulf of Mexico. Although I've not a huge beach person, I still like to see the ocean every once in awhile.

4. Sew something I can wear My mom can sew, my sister can sew (and she's really really good) and I have a shirt that I started back in 2010 still pinned to the pattern but never sewn together. Even if I finished it it probably wouldn't fit me anymore. I want to challenge myself to actually sew something.

5. Bake bread from scratch This is something I've never done but I feel like it's a basic life skill that I should probably know.

6. Write a 50,000 word story This is one of my more ambitious challenges. If you've ever heard of NaNoWriMo it stands for National Novel Writing Month (the link takes you to Camp NaNoWriMo which is slightly different but still the same idea.) Well usually NaNoWriMo takes place in November and it encourages participates to write 50,000 words in one month. 50,000 is the minimum number of words needed for a novel. I might give myself a little more time then one month but I really like the concept.

7. Finish a coloring book I know this seems rather silly but if I'm spending my time coloring then I'm making sure I'm relaxing. I got a Harry Potter adult coloring book for Christmas and I've competed half of one picture so far.

8. Have a screen free weekend Unplug, unwind, relax, don't waste all my time on Pinterest.

9.Take my mom to Disney World Trip is booked and I'm counting down the days!

10. Take a photo everyday for one month I used to be really into photography and I'd like to get better.

11. See a movie by myself My husband does this all the time but it's something I've never done. Again it's kid of silly but it will push me out of my comfort zone.

12. Bake a cake from scratch (including icing) Again, skills that I want to have so I'm challenging myself to try.

13. Buy myself a designer handbag I've always wanted a nice handbag but I am so frugal that have never let myself get one.

14. Post on this here blog everyday for one month I've wanted to blog more frequently but I never make time for it. I'd like to give 100% for a whole month and just see what happens.

15. Cook through a whole cookbook Another ambitious goal but I want to push myself and see what I can create!

16. Memorize 'Main Title' from The Notebook soundtrack on the piano I've played this song for ages but I need to memorize it so I can play it anywhere.

17. Read Gone with the Wind 

18. Go to Kings Island It is one of the two major amusement parks in Ohio and I've been to Cedar Point a bunch of times but never to Kings Island.

19. Start a tradition with my mom and sisters I'd like to go out to lunch at a special restaurant once a year

20. See Michael Bublé in concert I really hope he goes on tour and comes to Ohio in the next 2.5 years. Although if he doesn't I will replace this with another concert I've always wanted to see.

21. Have a spa day My sister said she would help me out with this one. Maybe we can go get pedicures together. My original intention for this was to get a massage (I've never had one) but I'm kind of intimitaed with the idea of getting a massage. Is that weird?

22. Upload 10 videos to YouTube I watch a lot of YouTube and just like blogging it's something I'd like to try and see what happens. I did a book review on YouTube for work and it was a lot of fun.

23. Go to an NFL game Again because I've never been. Kevin and I are already taking about heading over to Indianapolis in the fall to see the Colts!

24. Open a retirement account What I mean by this is sit down with a financial planner and open an account besides our work retirement accounts.

25. Go to a national park Again, because I've never been to one. Maybe I'll go to a national park in a different timezone and cross out two things on my list a once.

26. Have a 'no spend month To save money, to appreciate what I have.

27. Pay for someone else drink or meal Because it's nice to share.

28. Send someone flowers I don't know who, when or what for but I would like to make someone smile with flowers.

29. Create and print out our wedding album We just celebrated our five year anniversary, I should probably get around to the wedding album...

30. Learn to drive a manual transmission car I currently don't know anyone with a manual car but hopefully in the next thirty months I will run into an opportunity to learn (and hopefully not "run" the car into anything in the process.)

So that's my silly, fun, challenging list! We will see that the next two and half years will hold!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Let's Catch Up!

Hello! (it's me) I don't think I'll ever be able to say 'hello' without thinking of Adele ever again. I'm still here, I'm alive. In case you were worried.

I feel like it's been so long since I last posted that I don't know where to start. So, I'm just going to jump right in.

Journey to Baby:
I last wrote about this in January of 2015 and here we are in April 2016. I am not pregnant, I did not have any miscarriages, just riding the crazy emotional rollarcoaster. The last year involved a handful of tests, some with great results, others with less than ideal answers. Next month we have an appointment with the fertility specialist. I am excited and nervous about this. Excited to hopefully get pregnant and grow our family, nervous about getting pregnant and growing out family (ha!) and nervous that this could get expensive. Kevin and I have talked about what we are and are not comfortable with and hopefully this experience is a good one. Maybe this time next year I'll have a little baby (finally) who knows!

Student Loans:
 DONE! I paid off my student loans in November! One of the best feelings ever!. I paid them off twelve years early and I am SO HAPPY that these are DONE DONE DONE!

Aunt-hood: I have shared about my adorable nephew on this blog a few times and I'm happy to announce that he has a little sister! That's right I now have a nephew and a niece. I am the oldest of three girls so I'm loving all things baby girl right now. There is so. much. pink. and I thought I would hate it but I don't; it's the best! My sister asked for the sake of her children's privacy not to share photos of their faces online. We have many friends who are foster parents and they cannot share faces and names of their foster children online so I take the same "rules" with my niece and nephew. So you will just have to trust me when I say that are the cutest!


We went to Disney World in the fall! (Yes I am little in love with Disney World) I was actually writing a day by day recap on the blogger app on my phone but I never got past day three. This is was my second time to Disney in three years but if felt like a completely different vacation. Highlights included: Keys to the Kingdom tour (AKA backstage tour at Magic Kingdom), fireworks at Magic Kingdom and Epcot, lunch reservations at Le Cellier in Epcot, swimming in the hotel pool, my second time flying, the buffet at BOMA at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, dinner at Raglan Road in Disney Springs, etc. etc. etc. maybe I should write up that full Disney recap. Kevin said this was the last time we will go to Disney for awhile, he would like to see some other things. However, if I am still not pregnant this fall, my mom and I might take a trip to Disney (shes never been!) (I am aware you can go to Disney World while pregnant, for me it would be the money that is the deciding factor (see expensive fertility specialist above))

Not much has changed around our house. We just went to IKEA a few days ago and I currently have my feet resting on a real coffee table. We also purchased two bookshelves and a standing mirror but we haven't assembled those yet. I had tonsillitis this week, which pretty much took all of my energy. We have some projects we'd like to accomplish around the house this summer. Getting the backyard trees trimmed, mulch, touch up paint, etc. We even talked about having the bathrooms re-done or re-finishing the basement but those large and not 100% necessary right now projects might have to be put on hold (again see expensive fertility specialist) We did talk about selling our home this summer. We would eventually like to move into a four bedroom house with a full basement. Right now we live in a three bedroom house with a partial basement. I would also like a larger dining area as ours is rather cramped. We live in a standard nineties suburban neighborhood where every house is one of the same five floor-plans. Well a house that is just like ours (it's even the same color) and was bought a week before we bought ours, well they just sold that twin house for significantly more than they bought it for (and we bought ours for a similar price.) That equity had me pretty tempted. I think I would like to build our next house. I even have a floor-plan picked out if I were to build in the new neighborhood that's going in just down the street. However, after crunching the numbers the new house would cost us more than what we are paying now and in all honesty, our house is plenty big for two people and two cats. I mean it's a three bedroom house and we aren't even using the extra bedrooms. So we decided to stay in this house a little longer. I do think if you buy a house you should plan to live there for at least five years (at least that's what I think Dave Ramsey always said when I used to listen to his radio show religiously) and we've only been in this house three and a half years so far. I love my little home sweet home and I hope to continue to make it my own until it's time to move on to the next home sweet home.

Last summer my Grandma (my mother's mother) passed away rather unexpectedly. I don't think I had cried so hard in a long time and this March my Grandpa (my father's father) passed away after a long period of failing health. It was hard. I've never been so sad and when I think about them still I get tears in my eyes and I probably always will. My Grandma always had my mom's fine china on display in her dining room and now it's on display in my kitchen (my mom doesn't really have a place for it) I love thinking of her every time I see it. The same thing can be said for my Grandpa (or Papo as I always called him) he was a very talented artist and I have a couple of his paintings displayed in my home. I absolutely love them. I will cherish these things forever.

Anything else? Probably, I can usually find something to talk about, whether it's the books I'm reading or my thoughts on cooking (I still don't like cooking) but I think that's enough for now. I hopefully won't wait so long to post here again. I hope everyone who reads this is doing well and enjoying every sunny day that comes your way this spring.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

My Dream House Reading Nook

In my last post I talked about realizing that my current house is my dream house. One of the things my dream house has is a cozy spot to read.

This is our front room. I guess some people would call it the formal living room but it's more than that. It's our music room and office since the piano and computer desk are located in here. Now, it's also my reading nook. I've been finding myself spending more and more time here, curled up on this couch with a book and a cat. Since the TV is in the family room this is a nice quiet spot to read.

For me, decorating is becoming more about arranging or styling what I have into something that looks good in my eyes. Maybe you don't think all these things go together but when I look at this little reading nook I've created for myself, it makes me smile.

The Harry Potter pillow which reads "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light. -Albus Dumbledore" was given to me by my youngest sister for my birthday. She made it out of a t-shirt that she found at the thrift store. These are the kinds of things I want to fill my home with. Thoughtful things that bring me joy.

My sister, Harry Potter, a comfortable place to read a book. These things are what makes this house my home.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

This IS My Dream Home

This is my dream home... at least that's what I'm going to keep telling myself. I have a tendency to day-dream; imagining the future is the place where life will be perfect. I like to picture a beautifully decorated home where everything is effortlessly organized because everything has a proper place. A mudroom for shoes, coats, keys, etc. a formal dining room where I can invite a huge group of family and friends over for the most amazing meals that I have prepared in an absolutely exquisite kitchen that has a subway tile back-splash (I'm all about subway tile back-splashes.) In the future, I am an excellent cook.

But here's the reality of the situation, I can have all of that here in my current house. This house can be my dream house. I may not have a mudroom, a formal dining room or a subway tile back-splash (and honestly I could install a back-splash if I want, I own the house.) It's not the rooms that make a house a home, it's the memories you make within the walls of those rooms or out in the yard, or sitting on the deck. Home is where you should be able to recharge your batteries, a place of relaxation and inspiration. Where you can be yourself surrouned by poeple you love and who love you.

I may have a small eat-in kitchen style dining room but I've propped up a folding table next to my dining table extending it out into our family room and enjoyed a whole group of people gathered around my table. I may not have a mudroom but I put an over-the-door coat rack on a nearby door and a rug in a corner for shoes so those things have a place when we walk into our house from the garage.

Sometimes I can be too much of a tight-wad for my own good. I don't want to invest money into this house if it's not my forever or dream home, but we've lived here for almost three years. There are rooms in this house we don't use. We have two spare bedrooms with lots of untapped potential. I wish this house had a full basement, but we don't even utilize the semi-finished part of our partial basement. I learned a lot from buying this house and I know my priorities will be different the next time we're in the market for a home, however moving isn't even on our radar. We could live here for another ten, twenty, thirty years -- who knows, we might not ever move. I worry that we will outgrow this house when we're expecting baby number three because the bedrooms in this house are rather small and it would be a tight squeeze with two kids sharing a room. Then I realize how ridiculous I'm being, baby number three! I don't even have a baby number one! Plus I shared a bedroom with both of my sisters at some point growing up (although I hated it then and that's a different story for a different day) but we all turned out fine.

What I'm trying to say is I have to see the blessing that is right in front of my face. This is my dream home. Growing up I would dream about when I would have my own home to decorate. While we lived in our apartment I couldn't wait until I had a home of my own so I could really feel settled and now I'm currently living in a house I've literally dreamed about and not appreciating it. Last year when we went to the Parade of Homes I kept thinking that everything those super expensive houses had I could recreate in my own home. A place to cook, eat, entertain & gather. A place to rest, sleep and wash. I don't need to have a six burner stove or a pub in my basement to have a beautiful home. I can live out my dreams right where I am.

Honestly, contentment sometimes hits me like a ton of bricks. I wish I would have been more content with places I've lived in the past and worked to make them my own little havens instead of always thinking the next thing will be bigger and better. I challenge myself to make the most of my situation, I hope you will do the same.

Bloom where you're planted.