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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

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marriage

Ten Thoughts Tuesday – Serious and Not so Serious

I’ve seen these posts but have never done one myself, but it seems to fit today since I was just sitting here thinking about how I’d like to blog but aren’t sure how to tie the million thoughts together than I have in my brain.

 

1. I’m feeling like my blog is hanging in this weird area. It’s not really an infertility blog, humor blog, or a fitness blog or a mommy blog. It was meant to be a “whatever” blog but I feel like maybe I’m trying to include too much. But I don’t feel like I’m a fitness blogger, I don’t feel like I’m a mommy blogger and I don’t feel like I’m strictly a humor blogger. I want to put together something that encompasses all these things and I feel like lately I’m sucking at it. It seems like my interest is down. And I’m annoyed that that bothers me because the blog was supposed to be for me, not anyone else.

2. I hate having asthma.

3. Between toddlers, exercise, work, blogging, trying to keep the house from blowing up and attempting to maintain friendships and a marriage, sometimes I feel like I’m being spread too thin. At the end of the day I most often berate myself for spending time cleaning that I could have spent with the twins, or with Bryan.

4. I got a manicure for the first time in months and actually really like having my nails painted.

5. I could really be nicer to my husband. Clutter makes me anxious, and I don’t often deal with it well. I nag. I pick. I get upset over stupid things. He’s told me this before and yet old habits die hard. I need to start doing nice things more often, think about what he does do more often, appreciate him more often. It is difficult to get out of a negative mindset. We are supposed to be partners, and I don’t always treat him that way.

6. I could literally sit and watch episode after episode of Gilmore Girls and not get tired of it.

7. I am worried that I don’t know how to raise toddlers. Sometimes I have a short fuse, and I worry that I do and will raise my voice too often and say no too much.

8. I still chuckle when I think about how, when my parents came to visit this past weekend, I changed some of the shortcuts on her iPhone. (For example, when she typed house, it changed it to hillbilly shack, and yes became yellow submarine. How became gherkin pickle.) She was so confused.

9. It used to really annoy me when people would tell me “you’ll understand when….”. I get it now.

10. What did the fish say when it hit the wall?

Damn.

This Week in History

I’m staring at the cursor on the computer screen, albeit a bit distractedly, because out of the corners of my eyes are two pairs of tiny hands and feet.

Last year those hands and feet looked like this

Miles and Abby are the cute ones
Miles and Abby are the cute ones

Last year I blogged the transfer decision I made on my valium induced high to transfer two embryos. The two embryos that turned into Miles:

Its always a good day for a chomp chomp alligator
Its always a good day for a chomp chomp alligator

And Miss Abby:

Hi, I'm pretty
Hi, I’m pretty

Last year I wrote a post about Bryan and I, and how we met, because our anniversary happened to be the day after the transfer. I wrote about how I knew he was going to be a great father and I couldn’t wait to make him one. We didn’t do anything for our anniversary that day because he was working out of town. I don’t remember what we said to each other. I do remember not so patiently wondering what the result of our IVF was going to be (I know this is quite shocking to all of you). When I think back on last year I remember feeling a big mixture of feelings. I anticipated good news as much as I dreaded bad. I wondered how we’d afford more treatment, how much longer it could take if it didn’t work. I felt incredibly thankful we could afford it in the first place and that I had such a great man by my side who stuck with me despite all my craziness. I felt a bit empty, like something (or someone(s)) was missing.

This year as I type and watch the babies play, squeal and blow raspberries I again feel a mixture of things. I feel grateful for my family. I feel humbled by motherhood and the journey we took to get here. I feel excited for whats to come. I feel pain for those who are still trudging along in infertility. I think about last year and I feel how I felt then. I feel serene, at peace. It’s an interesting mix.

This year we have another low key anniversary day planned. We both work so there isn’t much time for anything fancy anyway. We are going to leave work, pick up the babies and go to dinner at Red  Lobster for no other reason than its close by and Bryan wants all you can eat shrimp. Sure its kinda lame, but we are going to celebrate our 3rd year of marriage together – all four of us.

As a family.

Our family
Our family

This year, I feel full.

Stuff I Want My Kids to Know #5: Remember What’s Important

Humans are inherently selfish.

Dr. Phil used to be one of my “guilty pleasure” shows up until even a few months ago. (By the time you guys are old enough to read this, you’ll have no idea what show I’m talking about.) I quit watching it because the people on the show started to DRIVE.ME.CRAZY fighting until the end in their attempt to justify whatever stupid behavior they involved themselves in.

This isn’t to say I’m not guilty of this. We all are. Somewhere in the mess though, the bigger picture gets lost. Until you have kids, your life is about you; maybe you and your spouse but mostly you.  (Hopefully you’ll compromise with your husband/wife periodically, though. 😉 )

When you guys were born one of the first things your dad said he thought was “wow, it’s not about me anymore”. People tell you that but it doesn’t hit home until you are handed your baby and suddenly everything about your life changes. Now I get why people live in houses they hate so they don’t have to move their kids away from their friends. I start to get why couples think it’s better to stay together “for the kids”. The things in life that used to hold value still do, just to a lesser degree. I’m finding that in most cases what makes me happy is your happiness. I used to say finishing a marathon was my proudest moment  – but then I gave birth, life changed, and so did my proudest moment. I used to say a 10 mile run was my days’ best accomplishment – until you both smiled back at me. My priorities and perspective took a drastic shift. Life is no longer about me, it’s about the two of you.

We all have our own agendas. I think we need to in order to not lose ourselves. What’s so frustrating are those people who absolutely CANNOT let go of theirs. You’ll know who I mean. Don’t be one of them.  You both will have many relationship bumps over the years. Some totally warranted; others not at all. You’ll get angry; someone will get angry with you.  Some issues will be huge and life changing, some you’ll laugh about later because you can’t even remember why you were angry in the first place. When that does happen though, remember this: your friend, dad, son, brother etc is not a mind reader. Talk about whatever the issue is. Resolve it – or not. You can always agree to disagree. But don’t shoulder an unnecessary grudge. Learn what things are worth fighting over and what things are best let go. Be the bigger person. Be the adult. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

Remember what is most important.

What I Like About You

Today is mine and hubs’ anniversary. (Tiffany, did I get the grammar right this time?) When we decided to get married on September 11, albeit 9 years later, I questioned this choice, wondering if it would seem callous. But, my friend had a point when she said that it could more of a symbol of new beginnings and moving forward.

I’ve been so wrapped up in all of this IVF stuff that when he called me last night and said “Happy Anniversary Tomorrow”!, I responded with “oh yeah, that’s tomorrow”. (In my defense, I remembered it when he was here for the egg retrieval – and is another case in point as to why I never get birthday or other related cards out on time, because I always remember at strange times)

Keeping somewhat in tune with Stupid Stork’s “A Weird Little Glimpse into my Marriage” theme (because I’m cheating a little and because I’m technically a day late….but not a dollar short, so I think this helps my case), today’s post is about my husband.

We met on Match.com

No, I’m not kidding. I opened an account seriously not expecting anything, and found the idea to be rather strange. But since I’m not a bar hopper, sports lover or avid church goer,  I gave it shot. The site annoyed me even more because it allowed you to “wink” at people you might be interested in, and I thought any guy who couldn’t get up the courage to send me even a  message over the internet vs clicking  stupid little button surely wasn’t worth my time. I mean seriously? You don’t even have to actually walk up and talk to me. It’s a computer. Don’t be stupid and wink at me.

He winked at me.

Perhaps I was feeling snarky that day, but against my better judgement and for reasons that I STILL don’t understand, I winked back, simultaneously rolling my eyes. (boy that would be a talent, wouldn’t it?). He won some bonus points when a little chat window immediately popped up. At least he wasn’t going to spend the whole night virtually winking at me, making me wonder if he has virtual eye spasms.

We tried this for a few minutes but the site was having issues, so we tried Facebook. When THAT was having issues, I suggested we try the phone. He sent me his number and I dialed.

He didn’t answer.

What is WITH this guy?

A few seconds later he called back – he couldn’t remember where he had left his phone, a habit that will continue and annoy me to no end in the years to come. After speaking on the phone for a bit I suggested we meet up, as I am not a fan of talking on the phone. We met at Barnes and Noble and talked till it closed. Then we stood in the parking lot an hour after it closed. We went out on a “real” date the next day and from then was attached at the hip. We dated for a year, were engaged for 3 weeks, and got married in my best friends living room. I bought a tea length dress on sale and we found wedding bands at a pawn shop a mere 2 hours before we got married. Sometimes the best weddings are the one planned at the last minute

Aren’t we cute?

I love this one

And now, him, in bullets:

  • He is a fabulous cook, which is awesome because I HATE cooking. When he’s not here I live on frozen meals, oatmeal, pizza and cereal. I’m simply too lazy
  • When he lacks sleep, he gets in silly moods and mumbles about things that make absolutely no sense. I mean they are in English, but they make no sense.
  • He doesn’t sing along to lyrics, he sings along to to the sound effects in the background
  • He can NEVER find his phone/keys/wallet. Sometimes all three. No matter how many times I suggest he put them in the same place when he gets home so they won’t get lost. There is always a last minute search for the wallet as we are walking out the door, usually accompanied with a “hey babe – do you know where my wallet is?” Why yes, I do, I just prefer to send you on a wild goose chase.
  • I don’t like to spend money on myself, and when I do I tend to feel guilty. So when I come home and tell on myself, his response is “good girl” (and not at all sarcastically either). I still find this amazing
  • He is extremely complimentary. He tells me I’m beautiful constantly. And even after all *I* have put them through with this infertility mess, when we got home from the egg retrieval he told me he was proud of me, and thanked me for putting my body through all of this just to have his babies (cue:  melt). He has been 100% supportive all the way through.
  • I like to mess with him when he is sleeping. Once, we had an entire conversation. He went to  bed early that night and suddenly I heard “what if it doesn’t fit in the box??!” Stunned, amused, and unaware he was still sleeping, I responded “WTF are you talking about?” He repeats “what if it doesn’t fit in the box?!”. Still confused but unsure how to respond I replied “I have no idea”. He responds “you should know you work there!!” (Turns out he was dreaming about being in the UPS store, renting a mailbox and wanted to know what would happen if the package didn’t fit in the box)
  • He is right on par with my “that’s what she said” jokes.
  • He once sounded a bit too excited when asking me why I was recording the XXX Olympics and how that must be a kind of “special” olympics . A few second later it dawned on  me and I responded that the XXX was the 30th Olympic Games.
  • He’s a handyman! He installed our floors and fence!
  • He makes up songs with me that have lyrics that make no sense
  • He doesn’t like to put the silverware away
  • He’s going to make a great dad, and I can’t wait to make him one
  • I still sometimes can’t believe we are married

Happy Anniversary, hubby.
(And on the IVF front, we learned today that we have 8 embryos will be frozen! And I feel totally normal. If I didn’t have the pics of embryos on my fridge I would have thought it never happened)

The Right One

A good friend of mine got married this weekend.

Without getting into too much detail about her personal life (because that’s her story to tell, not mine), as I said to her once “you’ve been through a lot of crap to get to this point”. But through all of the crap she found her happy ending, and in the time she has been with this man she’s been the happiest I’ve seen her.

As someone who sometimes lacks the ability to be truly happy for another person while wrapped up in this infertility misery (and I don’t mean that I am not happy for them, I’m talking about the “I think I’m more excited about this than you are” kind of happy), her celebration and my self imposed break from stressing came at the right time.

She tripped over many relationship rocks, but always managed to steady herself, and at the end she found the person she tripped over all of those rocks for. The one that made the wait worthwhile. I felt lucky to be able to be a part of this journey, and of course the wedding was fabulous.

Ready to be a maid of the bride

Rockin out the pockets

Oh there was a wedding? I came for the cake

Sharing some of the love

Bryan and I had a blast dancing like maniacs and our silliness carried over to the car ride home where we made up fake lyrics to real songs.  The backstory on this one was that we passed a couple of girls eating Frostie’s on the way home.

To the Tune of “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

Once upon a time I had a frosty in here

And now its just a straw in a cup

Dunno what I did

I must have just sucked it all up

I was warned to give credit where credit is due : Bryan made up the second line.

And in response to a “DUI Crackdown” sign on the freeway – to the tune of “The Final Countdown”

It’s a DUI Crackdown

Wee ooo Wee oooo

Wee ooo Weee ooo Weee

(like police sirens)

We are 29 and 35 with a combined age of 12.

Anyway, what prompted me to write this post was at one point during the reception, I overheard a family member say that my friend had said something to the effect of (I’m paraphrasing here) “I’ve been in love with him my whole life, I just had to wait for him”. While it was a rocky road to get there, he was worth the wait.

It dawned on me then that this is much like what the infertility journey is about. It’s a long, drawn out, rocky and painful wait. Like failed relationships you get your hopes up that this is the one and when it isn’t it’s a hard thing to recover from. Sometimes you feel like giving up. Sometimes you wonder if it’s meant to be at all. She watched friends marry just as I have watched friends have children wondering if your number will ever be pulled, if you will be the last one in your circle, trying to fit awkwardly into the conversations about relationships and children. It’s a lonely feeling.

But she waited, and she found him. He was the right one.

My biggest congratulations, my friend. You deserve it. And I couldn’t be happier for you.

I still hope to not have to the be the last, awkward one trying to voice my opinions about things I haven’t yet experienced regarding child rearing, but I know that one day it will be my turn. Many people say that the child chooses us.

It will be worth the wait.

It will be the right one.

Finding Us

Several weeks ago I got an email from my timeshare.

Usually, if you don’t use the points you get for the year, they are automatically saved so you can use them the next year. You can’t use them during the high season, but at least they don’t disappear.

Apparently timeshares are also feeling the effects of the economy, because this particular email informed me that if I wanted to save my points, I would have to fork over $35.

Are you flipping kidding me?

So naturally my logic kicked in and I declared DARN YOU TIMESHARE, I will show you by scheduling a trip, so I don’t have to pay you $35!!!! We are going to St Augustine over Easter weekend!!

Because the gas will cost like $150, so that train of thought totally makes sense right?

As it turns out, it did. But for a totally different reason.

Marriage is hard. Unemployment doesn’t help. Now let’s throw in infertility. Anyone with half an iota of experience in infertility can tell you that it can ruin marriages. Even when you’re on the same page as far as the plan. And don’t get me started on the effects of your….uh….extracurricular activities.

We did some planning ahead. A wonderful neighbor so nicely agreed to watch the dogs, we took food to cook and planned on spending most of our time at the beach and the pool (yay free activities!). Although we should have saved the money, we both agreed we really  needed the getaway. So we packed the truck, said goodbye to our furry friends and hit the road.

Friday we hit the beach. Bryan was an avid kite flyer many moons ago when his family lived in Savannah, so he brought them out of the dust. He is also an avid shopper at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. Although I make fun of him for it, he has actually purchased some cool stuff there, including our patio furniture, a George Foreman Grill and a Cappuccino machine (I have been there a few times and have yet to find anything that cool). At one visit recently, he announced that he spent $2 on a little pup tent that we could probably use. It was still in his truck (because, shockingly, we hadn’t needed it), but we figured it might come in handy. We found a spot, and set it up. It became apparent that he hadn’t taken it out of the packaging at the store:

Coolest tent EVER

Well, at least we wouldn’t lose our stuff.

Bryan spent the better part of 2 hours putting a kite back together that his dad made for him for his birthday. After much finagling (him) and string holding (me), he was able to get it into the air. Yes, that’s what it looks like it is

He had also borrowed a medal detector from a friend so he searched for treasure

While I enjoyed the view of my (soon to be very sunburned)  feet

hi feet!

Afterwards it started to get cold, so we went back to the hotel and had a nap, cooked dinner, walked around the outlet mall to window shop (where I subsequently bought a new pair of running shoes, justifying it by saying I’m using the money we would have spent boarding the dogs…..and that I really  need to have good shoes for my feet…..what? I do) and hit the hot tub. Saturday I went running (shock, right?) and we had lunch with his mom, step dad and grandmother, who happened to live only 90 minutes away. We hit the other side of the Outlet Mall that night, but this time, we were serious

That’s my window shopping face.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Although I didn’t NEED anything, I thought it would be nice to find something for the summer. In our search, we acted like spies:

Powers and Powers, super spies

Bryan also demonstrated just how cool he is:

And I tried on some SUPER attractive outfits:

For the record, I did NOT buy that.

 After our shopping excursion, we spent the rest of the evening downtown. We had a drink in this nifty historic tavern and had the BEST salad EVER at this Columbian restaurant, where I also had a giant piece of chocolate cake. Mmmm…cake.

Sunday, I got a pic with the Easter bunny…kinda.

As an added bonus, we stopped by his dad’s on the way home, where I was able to meet him, Bryan’s step mom, and their super cute Pomeranian. (of course I am not at all biased because I have one, too)

We were less than thrilled to head back to the grind on Sunday. But this trip made me realize something. We were STRESSED OUT. Not that I didn’t know that, but this trip allowed us to be US again – the silly, stupid song making, ridiculous picture taking, FUN couple we were before all of this nonsense started. We laughed, slept in, and enjoyed each others’ company. For a few days I wasn’t constantly worried about money and IVF. One of the suckiest side effects of infertility (besides the obvious) is the way that it can slowly inch its’ way into your marriage, and its’ ability to leave you feeling one day, seemingly out of the blue, that your relationship just isn’t the good solid thing it was before. You start to wonder “how did we get here?”.  These few days away helped us find US again. We need US to be successful at becoming parents. That isn’t to say that everything is perfect now that we are back home. Stress doesn’t go away, and unfortunately you can’t just run away from it. But the last couple days at least things have felt more lighthearted, and for once I’m glad to have that timeshare, so the next time I get an unsuspecting email about another charge I can say wholeheartedly TAKE THAT TIMESHARE! We will just take a trip!

What Infertility Has Taught Me (So far….)

February marks one year since our first visit to the fertility clinic.

It’s been a heck of a year.

I was much angrier a year ago, taken aback by some pregnancy news I didn’t expect, solidifying (to me) that everyone else was going to get pregnant before I was. I walked around in an angry cloud for a few months, and then started this blog. Though I knew logically that this pregnancy had NOTHING to do with me, I still felt as if it was some kinda of karmic slap in the face.

Today, I feel frustrated. I feel discouraged. I think that’s par for the course sometimes, especially as my unwanted visitor draws nearer. But I feel much less anger. Less jealousy. A better understanding of all the emotions and the fact that they are completely normal. More faith.

What I haven’t gained any more of is patience.(Hey, you can’t have everything)

Infertility has taught me that feeling bipolar is completely normal, and that yes, it IS possible to feel one way and then 10 minutes later, feel the exact opposite. Our most recent bump in the road has taught me this: a few days ago I felt at peace with waiting out the IVF a bit longer, until yesterday when I  forgot ALL of the reasons I decided that and started to feel like there was no way in He.ll I was going to wait any longer.

Infertility has taught me that sometimes I can be a crappy friend, though it was never my intention.

Infertility has taught me that HOPE can be a blessing, but it can also be a four letter word. There is no other way to explain why, when month after month of nothing, we continue to think that maybe THIS month is it. And why, when we are disappointed yet again, we keep doing this to ourselves.

Infertility has taught me that most insurance companies suck.

Infertility has taught me that money becomes both much more and much less important. Important because we need it to have the chance to build our family. Less important because I wouldn’t normally gamble tens of thousands of dollars for a slightly more than 50% chance on anything. But for this I will. Because when it works the money won’t matter anymore.

Infertility has taught me that a sense of humor is imperative. Thought I mostly believed this already, it becomes especially true in this case. If you don’t have something to laugh at, it’s easy to get sucked into depression.

Where else but pinterest?

Infertility has taught me that relationships are fragile. It’s easy to get so lost in the hope for a baby that you start to inadvertently disregard the relationship that made you want to build a family in the first place. It’s also solidified that I’m with the right man. Through all of my nuttiness he has continually supported me and been there for me. I wouldn’t want to go through it with ANYONE else.

Infertility has taught me that most people have no idea what infertility really means, which sometimes causes comments that seem sympathetic to them but hurtful and silly to us.

Infertility has taught me that it is important to have an outlet. Maybe its a blog, a club, a hobby or a collection. Maybe it’s a job. A pet. A nap. Several failed cooking attempts. An obsession with a celebrity. SOMETHING to keep your mind occupied.

Infertility has taught me that I have a really fabulous group of friends.

Infertility has taught me that infertility SUCKS

Infertility has taught me to have faith.

Most importantly, infertility has taught me that you’re stronger than you think, and you can keep going. I believe some of the strongest and most resilient women come out of the infertility community. They are also some of the most supportive. I’ve seen this especially recently as people have suffered losses – the outpouring of love and support was overwhelming to me.

We are a strong group of women (and men), and we must never let ourselves forget that.

pinterest

Date Night

Not a planned one.

Yesterday early morning Bryan went for a run. As I was leaving for work I found him laying on the kitchen floor complaining about back pain that got no better by the time I got home that evening. Oddly enough, I was given an ultimatum – go to Sams Club (he apparently thought he could walk it off), or drive him to the hospital. So we had an unplanned Date Night – to the VA hospital ER.

We got there, checked in, and I was told to wheel him upstairs to x-ray. Immediately upon arrival, Bryan blurts out “she tried to kill me”. Actually I’m pretty sure he said that to the nurse who checked him in, also.

Nice babe.

After that we wheel back down and are placed in this room that looks alot more like one that belongs in a psych ward than an ER. The bed was basically heavily reinforced plastic with a foam pad on it. And the door totally locked from the outside but not the inside. It also had one small rectangular window that my hair stuck to when I leaned against it. In hindsight I’m totally kicking myself for not taking a few pictures because it really would have supplemented the description.
A picture from last weeks’ race that seems to work well for a “why didn’t I take any pictures?!?” facial expression

We entertain ourselves by watching a documentary on dogs on Netflix on my iphone. Over an hour later, the doc finally comes in, decides he was having muscle spasms and goes off to write a script for muscle relaxers and pain killers. Bryan is apparently a better doctor because he asks for some anti inflammatory shot he got the last time this happened (this happened before?) and thirty minutes later he felt much better, we had a script and were off.

On the way out, I asked the nurse if they had a pain in the ass pill, but sadly, they didn’t.

Bryan says hes not going to take the painkillers.

On the way home we stop at Ruby Tuesday for the salad bar. I should have known he had taken the pills when we walked in because he declared to the host “Do you have a veterans discount? I just came from the ER!” and proudly displayed his hospital bracelet. He is also becoming noticably more giggly and “lovey”, for lack of a better word. I think he is starting to feel somewhat like this: (taken from my favorite shirt ever…..which makes me a total nerd)

It seemed to work though because we got a 25% off coupon. (yay insanity!)

Ironically, the evening was much more enjoyable than I ever thought a trip to the ER would have been, and certainly more memorable. Especially the part where he declared his undying love for me while slightly high on painkillers.

Isn’t it romantic?

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