Friday, December 24, 2010

Focus on Jesus

Today my temp was down .5 from being down .2 yesterday morning. I was still holding out for the best, but took a test this morning and negative nelly. I am trying really hard not to get down and reading this post really helped me refocus my priorities where they need to be this day and beyond. I will not let this change my plans of happiness and joy for this holiday weekend. I have too much to be thankful for and to look forward to.

My prayer buddy was a cake walk! She was already pregnant so I just needed to pray for her safety during delivery and for the arrival of a healthy child. Little Joseph, mom, and dad are all doing really well and so now I just pray for them to be wonderful Christian parents to their precious boy. I had the joy of praying for "My New Amazing Life". I had not read her blog very much before, and I love love love getting a prayer buddy I don't know as well as others so I can read and get to "know" them better each day. I will continue to pray for her and her family. God bless you all.....

I hope you all have a very happy and holy Christmas this year. May God bless you all richly this holiday season and may Christ's love fill your hearts and souls.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oh how merry and bright!

I have a few minutes to spare and thought i would do a quick takes Thursday (even though I know most people do them on Friday :)

1. I met Sew and Bill's Hannah Monday after school! She is beautiful, tiny, and perfectly formed! They definitely have the very best Christmas gift ever. She just slept although I got to see a tiny bit of her eyes for just a moment before she drifted off again. Sew looks absolutely great too after just giving birth, God is good.....all the time!

2. LOL!! I thought I was bringing Sew gluten free sweet potato chicken enchiladas along with the salad and beans, but last night I opened the freezer to get the white chicken chili and much to my surprise (and chagrin) I saw the enchiladas. I asked Blake, "what in the heck did I give Sew then if they are here?!?!" Turns out I sent the Thanksgiving sweet potatoes instead. What a great meal, right? Sweet potatoes, chili beans, and salad. LOL!!!

3. Tomorrow starts my marvelous Christmas break! I am literally counting down the hours until that glorious half day tomorrow which starts a 2 week vacation. Gotta love teaching.

4. My husband is seriously too good to me.....It has been crazy cold lately and every morning I get into a frost free warm car with plenty of gas. I have bought gas twice since we married and he was so upset I didn't wait for him to get it for me. He is such a provider :) Now that it is getting cold and his business is slowing down, he will be Mr. Mom for the next 8 weeks or so. He cleans, washes clothes, and get dinner started.

5. Last Friday I had my neice and nephew after school until around 6, then the other 2 nephews and neice came to spend the night. We went light looking, ate Mexican (my nephew ordered in spanish and told us "gracias por la cena tios" which is thanks for the dinner uncle and aunt). I was so proud of my little student! Then we rode the golf cart to my sis and her husband's house to visit, we had a great time with those sweet kids.

6. Our dear preist, Fr. B. will be coming over for dinner Friday night along with my mom and dad, sister, brother in law, and good friend who went on pilgrimage with me, dh and myself. We are getting out the china and having a gourmet meal to thank him for helping me so much with the pilgrimage. We are having assorted cheeses and crackers for apps, Boston lettuce salad with pears, feta cheese, and candied pecans, pork tenderloin with blackberry demi glace (sooooo good, one of DH's faves) rough mashed red potatoes, sauteed green beans with tri-colored peppers, and homemade truffles for dessert. My mouth is salivating as I type...

7. I cannot wait to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" Saturday night and finish wrapping the gifts I will hopefully buy on Saturday. I can barely get through 5 minutes of that movie without crying. I may follow it up with "Bell's of St. Mary's". I love love love old holiday movies.

Any suggestions for some other holiday favorites? I just rejoined Netflix :) and......

8. and just to add another is CD 19 which means I will test on Christmas Day........

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nativity scenes

Last year Blake "strongly encouraged" me to give away some of our Christmas decorations. We had 11 Rubbermaid containers of decor and now we have 8, still alot I know but this year I only put out my favorite things and the result is stunning, if I say so myself :) It is not overdone, but shows the Christmas spirit in each room. My favorite decoration to put out of my parents' home as a child was the family Nativity set and things have not changed. I still love my Nativities best, and have always collected Nativity scenes especially when I travel. Here are some of my favorites.

This nacimientito (in Spanish, a tiny nativity) is actually 3 ornaments, but they look so precious in the village of houses and town with the other people and buildings.

I bought this at a craft fair in Memphis years ago during the hot months of summer. The star just had to be glued again last week. It is so hard to pack each year!

My mother made these angels when I was a little girl. The nativity is a miniature Fontinani (spelling?) that she had brought me back from Rome and was blessed at John Paul II's mass.

This is one of my absolute favorites ever. I bought this Nativity in Guatemala for about 8 dollars, and I am sick I didn't buy more for gifts but I was almost out of money at that point at the end of my trip. Each figure is clothed in traditional clothing of the local Guatemalans.

Another true favorite, my dear sister bought this one for me in Mexico when we took a cruise on my 3oth birthday. I love the dotted halos Mary and Joseph are wearing as well as the tiny, adorable sheep. The picture of Jesus was drawn by my sweet neice Maddie when she spend the night over the Christmas break years ago.

This is my first "expensive" Nativity. A real Fontanini that I bought pieces at a time when I first moved out after college. I still have more pieces I want and will continue to add a bit at a time.

This nativity is the Willow Tree nativity that I have had for years. 4 Christmases ago when I lived alone and had just bought my house a year before, I had this nativity in the same spot but the mantle was not secured to the wall. In the middle of the night I heard the loudest crash and my dog was at my bedroom door hair raised barking like mad. I called Blake who lived about 30 minutes away and was scared to death, I just knew that I was about to be raped and pillaged by some crazed burglar. After much coaxing and courage, I came out to find my mantle in the tree, ornaments all around, sheep with 3 legs, shepherds without hand and staff, Wisemen minus their gifts, you name it! I still don't know how this happened but assume my cat, Fredbaby, had jumped and trampled them all together. I had a time with the super glue the next day. I still pull out the sheep every year and laugh remembering my near brush with death, or so I thought!

In Lourdes I was looking for a Nativity right after another pilgrim on our tour had our daughter, Mary Sofia speak to me through her. I only found one I liked there and gave it to my mother.
Does anyone have any Nativity sets they love and enjoy putting out every year? Do any of you have the willow tree set of a different Fontinani?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

CD1 among other things.

Today is CD1 which means I have little time left before ttc overwhelms me again. My RE said we could try again after one cycle after this last hysteroscopy. I am nervous, but have faith. This will be the first month ttc after my cleansing trip to Lourdes and Fatima. Our Lady is going to protect our next little one, I just know it. JBTC sent me a beautiful St. Andrews novena rosary and the very next day a co-worker (who suffered with RPL) gave me the St. Andrew novena prayer saying that the two times she conceived in December saying the novena gave her 2 healthy girls. I feel strangely calm about it this time. We have too many people praying for us!

One of the Sisters fo the Missionaries of Charity called me while I was on my pilgrimage and left a message about a doctor in Georgia for me to contact. This doctor helped another volunteer of theirs in Atlanta with her IF and also RPL and Sister thought she might be able to help me too. I googled her name and found stellar reviews (excepting one who complained that she wouldn't give her the pill ). I am not sure if she is Napro, but she is a Catholic pro life obgyn.

I wrote a lengthy, descriptive letter about our past almost 2 years of pregnancies and miscarriages, tests and surgeries, and asked if she could help me or if she thought I was doing all that I could do. She called me Wednesday and we talked for a good while. She said she thought I was in great hands and have done everything that should be done. She said the only thing she would do differently is to have my anti-thyroid antibodies checked and maybe a round of doxycycline in December before ttc again but I had antibiotics pumped through the iv during my last hysteroscopy so that it was not needed. I called my RE about the anti-thyroid test and the nurse said I didn't need that test because all my thyroid tests were normal. ???

Thanksgiving was a day of gluttony, pure and simple. It was such a wonderful day of family and food. We went to mass then had lunch at my inlaws around noon. We then ate again with my family around 6. So....2 full meals, and I mean full, and I had leftovers last night after shopping from 7 am to 8 pm - I was EXHAUSTED, but got all gifts save a couple of people so it was worth it to be able to relax the rest of the holiday season!

Last Thanksgiving was so hard, I remember (ashamedly) taking Loritab leftover from my DC a couple weeks before to make it throught the day of seeing all my tiny neices and nephews. I spent the better part of that day on the couch reading blogs and researching probability of pregnancy after miscarriage on my phone. This year was much better. There was only one low moment after dinner when my SILs were both discussing how there were not ready to to have other children yet, they were avoiding it for now, and how there was a limited window of time left to have them. I am 3 years older than one of them and DESPERATELY trying to not avoid having a baby so this discussion was upsetting so I left to start the dishes....

DH has gone to the deer camp for the rest of the weekend :( but he is so very excited which makes me so excited for him. When I came home last night, the house was beautifully lit up with lights, garland, and the Christmas decorations out of the attic. I have a busy day ahead of me but looking forward to it too. We will be getting our tree Sunday afternoon and I can't wait to have the smell of evergreen wafting through our home for the next few weeks. Pure bliss....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Post-Op appointment and Patron Saints

Yesterday was my post-op appointment after the hysteroscopy last Thursday. I have felt a little different this time than the hst in May. I have had more cramping especially when exercising, but then realized I am CD 15 and probably was having ovulation cramps. I had a long day at school and Blake was going out of town for the weekend to set up his hunt camp for the weekend, so I was just kinda grumpy.

I hate post-ops. I always see a resident who makes me feel even older than I already feel. Today was no exception, thought thankfully it was a young male rather than a pregnant woman like I had in May- that really bottomed me out. As he "tried" to answer my questions, I felt the all too familiar lump in my throat and tears starting to well up. He asked if he could answer any questions for me to which I promptly responded, "yeah, tell me why I can't carry our babies." He said unfortunately over half of women with RPL never find a single reason that can be treated but that rather it is a combination of several factors. A woman's body and reproductive system is like 20 cooks inside trying to make the same recipe. If one thing is off, the recipe is doomed. I have several factors (age, I smoked for years, my DH pericentric inversion-though he said that was not to blame, I have read studies online from India and Iraq that differs- my fibroids and polyps, MTHFR, previous heavy caffiene intake, and more) that could be contributing to my losses, not just one that can be treated with medication or surgery. I had the polyp removed and it was not cancerous, so we are ready to go again in December after another cycle in a couple of weeks.

I thought back to to the article from "CONCEIVE" magazine I had read while waiting for him. "A woman's fertility starts to decline at 30 and immediatley slopes at 35. I will be 36 in February.....

(For those who have or are suffering with RPL, I have found a new blog that I can really relate to and am finding some fellow sufferers of this cross: http://

I was so excited for the patron saint draw. I was hoping with all my heart I would get Blessed Mother Teresa or Blessed Jacinta Marto since I feel such a connection to them already, but I recieved Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski. I googled him and he is the founder of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, how appropriate for me after my recent pilrimage to Lourdes and new devotion to Our Lady! I read a little about him and then read this from a google search:

It was March 18, 2002. I was in my 20th week of pregnancy with my son Michael when a specialist told me, following an ultrasound, that my baby would not survive. He would most likely die in utero. A Doppler flow study showed gaps in the blood flow through the umbilical cord, and the doctor said that the condition was "non-reversible."

I was devastated. Along with seeking a second medical opinion, I called my mother in Baltimore, Md. She faxed my husband and me a prayer to Fr. Stanislaus Papczynski. My mother told me, "I'm going to start to say this prayer for the baby. I'll pray that there will be no gaps in the blood flow."

Well, on a visit to the second specialist, we learned there were no gaps in the blood flow! The night before that visit, as I looked toward the bedroom door, I saw a slender man in a white robe with one hand held up. The figure moved toward the door and vanished. Nothing like this had ever happened to me. I know it wasn't a dream. Father Stanislaus seemed to be reassuring me, "Everything is going to be fine."

And it was and is fine. Michael was born on June 17, 2002, at 32 weeks. He is now a perfectly normal little boy who has just started kindergarten.

This is why I am so happy to hear of the beatification of Blessed Stanislaus.

The following is the Prayer through the Intercession of Bl. Stanislaus Papczynski:

Our Lord and God, in consideration of Your Servant, Blessed Stanislaus, who, in spite of many obstacles, trusting in the help of Your Providence, faithfully followed in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, and of His Mother Mary, Conceived Immaculate, grant us this grace that we may be marked by an unwavering trust in Your omnipotence, goodness, and faithfulness, especially when You lead us upon a thorny road towards the glorious promises of Your love. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessed Stanislaus, hear my prayer.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Having my 5th surgery in 2 years today

I am getting ready for another surgery this morning. Please offer any prayers you can at 7 am this morning. I am having another hysteroscopy with my new RE who found what he thinks is a polyp or part of our last baby. He said the surgery was totally up to me and likened my uterus to the parable of seeds sown. Without the surgery, our next embryo would be like a seed thrown on rocky soil. After the surgery our embryo would be like implanting in lush fertilized soil.

I have met my deductibles and the surgery would be free. I already have issues keeping pregnancies so why not have it? I just can't believe it is the 5th one. My poor body. St Sophie pray this does the trick.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Miracle I experienced on Pilgrimage!

I can't put into words (or fewer words than writing a novel) how this trip changed me and intensified my relationship to Our Blessed Mother. I am not this same Allie, and for this I am eternally grateful for the opportunity afforded me on this pilgrimage. When I first starting blogging after meeting Sew, I remember reading so many blogs, namely Sew's, thanking God for the cross they were given to bear of IF or RPL. I thought to myself, "Are they crazy? Why is this cross a blessing?!" After this trip, I fully embrace my cross and am blessed to have shouldered the pain, suffering, and disappointments because I see how much closer I have grown to Our Lord while in the midst of such suffering. I know that God chose me for this hardship because he wanted a more intimate relationship with me. Had I carried our first pregnancy to term without going through these trials, my faith life would be somewhat mediocre. I would not be the stronger, faith-filled woman I am here today.

There are so many wonderful experiences from my trip. I kept a prayer journal retelling day and there are so many wonderful things I want to share. Sadly, my wallet was stolen from my basket at kroger the day I returned so I can't share any pictures (YET!) from Fatima, which was by far my favorite part of the trip. I am getting copies of my friend's pictures from her and will tell all about Fatima when I can post some pictures. I loved Lourdes also, but Fatima was by far my favorite part of the trip (aside from the miracle I experienced in Lourdes). Lourdes was commericalized. Stores sold gold chains by the inch all around the basilica. Restaurants, shops, camera stores, perfume stores, and more. Fatima was humble, smaller, and we were there on the 13 of October which is the last day Our Lady appeared and at the feast day mass there were about 200,000 faithful there and at least 2000 priests in procession. It was breath taking to see.
I cried more those 10 days, than I have in a year. I cleansed my soul, my mind, and I feel so positive for the future. I have no doubt Mary will listen to my prayers. Before this trip, I said occasional rosaries, but after Fatima, I am fully convinced of the need to say daily rosaries, and multiple rosaries in a day!

Our pilgrimage group was a motley crew at best. There were people ages 18 to 80 but by the end of the trip, we were one huge family. Our tour guide was OUTSTANDING. He is the most faithful, pious, humble man I have ever had the priviledge of knowing. Being a tour guide of holy places is undoubtedly his vocation. I can't say enough wonderful things about him. Every morning we were up at 6 and nightly international rosaries put us in bed at 10:30 or later. I was exhaused but rejuvinated at the same time. We had daily mass, rosaries, Stations, and tours. Our spiritual director, Fr. B is - I can promise you - the most humble, faithful priest on earth and I can't imagine the trip without him. The tour organizer and I are now great friends, she is a convert, and knows more about our faith than I could ever hope to know. She is amazing and I can't wait for the next pilgrimage with her on 12-12-2012 to Guadalupe!!!! If any of you want to come with us, start saving and make plans to join us, I can't wait!

There was a young girl in our tour group, named Marissa who just graduated from high school and is taking some time off before she decides what to do with her life. She was quiet, very devout, had the most beautiful voice I have ever heard, and would sing songs in Latin after our rosaries or Stations of the Cross. It was like an angel was singing. This trip was her birthday, graduation, and Christmas gift from her parents, and I couldn't help thinking was an exceptional girl this was. At 18 I was no where near her in terms of my faith, and as strange as this sounds, I was a little jealous of her for that.

The 2nd to last day we were in Lourdes Fr. B offered Blessing of the Sick after our daily mass. I had already been annointed after my first general confession (I could write a novel about that experience as well). Those who weren't getting the Annointing after mass were asked to go leave so I headed out of the Basilica to the shops to look for a nativity set for my mother and me. Well, Marissa followed me out of the Basilica and kind of followed me around the shops. I asked her to help me look for a nativity and she shopped with me for 30 minutes or so. I thanked her for helping me and we went back to our rooms. I thought it was a little odd, but thought maybe she just wanted a little company?

That afternoon there was an international Eucharistic procession and Benediction. Our tour guide told us we could sing in the international choir and that we just had to be there in the underground church at 4:15 instead of 5. There were about 5 of us who wanted to sing, and I met them all in the lobby of our hotel. On the way there Marissa asked me if I knew someone named Sophie. I said no, but I love that name and that it was the name of our first baby we miscarried, Mary Sophia but called Sophie. Marissa starts SHAKING and BAWLING CRYING. I was like What is WRONG?!!? She sobbed out, that when she left the Basilica that morning she felt the need to follow me. So she starting walking towards me and as she was looking at my back and getting closer, she felt something wash over her and she heard, "Tell her Sophie says hi". She didn't understand what is meant but was following me that morning trying to tell me but coudn't get the words out. She kept apologizing and didn't want to make me upset. I was like WHAT!?!?!? Do NOT apologize!!! This is the greatest thing you have shared with me!!! I know this is awful, but I have always had a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that our 4 babies are in heaven. I believe a child is concieved at the very minute of conception, but this has always been hard for me to understand, especially the first baby that had no heartbeat and that was a "blighted ovum". BUT..... THIS IS THE BABY THAT CHOSE TO MANIFEST HERSELF TO MARISSA AND ME!!!! I told her this meant EVERYTHING to me and that I couldn't ask for a better miralce to happen to me while on pillgrimage!! Now I know without a shadow of a doubt that our babies are in heaven waiting on us, praying for us, helping us become better people. I cannot explain, nor will try to, my feelings of elation and joy that day. It still makes me cry (with gladness) everytime I think about our little Sophie speaking to me through Marissa.

She said nothing like that had ever happened to her before and I joked, keep close to me in case you get any more revelations! That Eucharistic Benediction was very emotional, with Marissa and I both crying often through the procession and singing when we could with others singing along with us in Italian, French, German, and we in English. It was beautiful. I felt so wonderfully complete.

The last day after our English speaking mass at the grotto (where Fr B placed all the intentions so many of you emailed me :) we got in line (in frigid 40 degree weather) for the baths. We prayed the rosary while we waiting and I was still so emotional from the day before, Marissa, Melissa, and I huddled together trying to keep out the cold while we waited. We went inside and I cried the entire time. I undressed, was assisted by several women into the first step of the bath which was freezing and prayed my heart out while immersing in the waters of Lourdes. It was the strangest thing. Coming out of the frigid waters, I felt no coldness, almost felt warm. I dressed easily, the water seemed to dry immediately. On the way back to the hotel, despite it being 40 degress and the fact that I just immersed my whole body in just as cold water, I felt strangely warm. It was unreal.

The last night there before dinner, we joined together in the basement of our hotel to say good byes and thank our guide, Javier, with words and tips. He shared with us a story of how his son met and regularly speaks with Cardinal Bertone and even spoke with the POPE! His story was breathtaking and we were all amazed. He asked us to share any experiences with the group from our 10 days together. I wanted to share but was afraid my emotions would get the best of me. I asked Marissa to do it, she slowly shook her head and I started the story. Afterwards, there was not a dry eye in the group. Everyone was touched and moved by such a miraculous experience Our Lady allowed us. I said, I may not ever have my own natural born child after this trip and the intentions and bathing, but I have received my own miracle here through Sophie.......

Crosses made from pilgrims all over the world. I made one that afternoon and tied Melissa and my intentions to the cross.

Javier (our saintly guide), Melissa and I outside Bernadette's home. During roll call he would always say, "the twins" for us!

Lourdes Basilica

Commercialism of Lourdes which Bernadette greatly opposed and one of the reasons why she left Lourdes for Nevers

Our group members who sang the day of the Sophie miracle. Marissa is on the far right, you can tell we had been crying all through the Benediction!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Prayer Intentions for Fatima and Lourdes

Only 10 days left......

We leave Memphis at 6:15 pm (thanks be to God, maybe we will sleep!)and will be flying into Lisbon, Portugal where we will first visit St. Anthony's church. St Anthony is invoked often around my family - especially my mother - who loses things quite frequently! I always thought he was from Italy, but nope, he was born and raised in Lisbon.

Then we head for Santarem, one of the oldest cities in the world and home of the first Eucharistic miracle. From there we head to Fatima and spend 2 days touring the Basilica, Little Chapel of Apparitions, the children's graves, site of the apparations. We will walk the Stations of the Cross along the Via Sacra and join pilgrims from around the world in a candlelight rosary.

Next stop is Salamanca, which will be the cultural/historical stop of the trip, and then head to St. Teresa's hometown of Avila and ON HER FEAST DAY we will be there - what a rare blessing this will be for us!

Saturday we head for Lourdes, stopping first in Loyola which is birthplace of St. Ignatius. We head to Lourdes and engage nightly in candlelight processions. We will walk the lifesize stations of the cross, immerse in healing baths, and attend the blessing of the sick.

I will be leaving a week from Saturday, and a few bloggers have asked to send some prayer intentions with me. I would be more than happy to accept your intentions. There is a grotto there in Lourdes where petitions are placed, and I plan on placing a nice fat little bundle. Email me your intentions so I can print them off and place along side mine in the blessed grotto!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I love TOMS shoes!!!

When DH and I went to New Orleans for spring break last year, I found some shoes that I have literally not taken off since. They are called TOMS and are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. The first pair I bought was red (so cute!) and I wore them so much that DH bought me another pair a couple weeks later. The premise behind this company is the reason I bought the shoes, and I am sure you have seen the commercial for VISA with a good looking curly headed man promising a pair of shoes sold means a free pair donated to a child in a third world country. Below is a history of TOMS shoes:

The video and commericals makes me cry everytime, especially the children of Argentina who aren't allowed to attend school unless they have shoes since parasites most commonly enter through the foot. They are a bit expensive but I promise the are ridiculously comfortable and so cute too! I wear them with shorts, jeans, dresses, skirts, whatever, and they look cute with everything (I think anyway :) The new fall TOMS in cord are out and I am dying to buy a third pair, but need to save for my pilgrimage!!!

Buy a pair, help a child in need, look cute, and be comfortable!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

10 Things

Thanks to Somehow, Someway, Someday for tagging me - I am a little late to this, but here goes!

1. My sister is almost almost 8 years younger than me, but everyone thinks we are closer in age because we are best friends and super super close. I can't imagine what I would have done without her support during these difficult times. My whole family is super close - 5 siblings and no one lives less than 20 miles apart.

2. I previously posted this about a month ago, but I think it is pretty darn interesting...I talked my way into a job teaching Spanish when I knew about 2 words. I worked my butt off studying for a year and lived in Guatemala for a few weeks last summer and passed the high school teacher's Spanish Praxis test and got my certification!

3. I didn't get married until I was almost 35 years old, but Blake is well worth the wait :)

4. I was engaged before and called off the wedding about 2 months before the date. Invitations were out, dress bought, house had a contract, you name it. Saints be praised I had the courage to scram. It was the hardest decision I ever made in my life, but my life would be miserable if I had not left the relationship. He was lawyer/musician (the problem) and a partier to boot. I wouldn't have met my DH if I had not done it!

5. I have had about 17 wrecks in my life. Most were minor like hitting a garage, or wall in a parking garage, or minor fender benders that required little to no work, but I totalled 2 cars. My attention span was a bit spastic. Now I don't text or rarely dial calls while driving. I am better driver now and have been accident free for about 5 years. (knock on wood!), although my brother still makes the sign of the cross on my neice and nephews heads before the take off in a car with me.

6. I desperately wanted to go to cosmotology school, but my dad stongly urged (made) me go to Mississippi State. I hated it until I joined a sorority and had so much fun I didn't want to graduate. Thankfully I changed my major from forestry to Education. LOL - I wanted to be a park ranger at one time.

7. My favorite things to do are cook, garden, and exercise. All 3 things stress me out though because I work hard to find time to do them all, but relax while doing them. My new favorite is power yoga - I am obsessed with it :)

8. I am going on a pilgrimage in less than 4 weeks to Fatima, Spain, and Lourdes. I am on pins and needles with excitement! I will have 6 stamps on my passport when I return. Where to next....

9. I love reality tv, especially The Bachelor, THe Bachelorette, Housewives of New Jersey, Housewives of DC, and especially Dancing With the Stars. If I could do anything at all well, I would choose dancing. Another thing that is stressful though is finding time to watch them.

10. I love love love my faith. My life has changed so much (for the better) since all this fertility mess I have been enveloped in for the past almost 2 years. I definitely pray more, have changed my life in little ways, but I am ready to pray in praise, not supplication~

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

More results from miscarraige testing

I met again with my new RE (in the same office) to finish up some final tests. I had read JBTC email earlier and recognized that lonely feeling all too well. One day everything is fine, I am enjoying a beautiful day with family, DH, or friends, and for no reason at all, I begin to feel incredibly lonely and depressed. It comes with no warning, and seems like more often lately. I think I never properly grieved this last m/c because school was starting, I was busy, and it all happened so suddenly too. Well, it seems I am experiencing delayed greiving the past week or so. But like I always say....This too shall pass.

Here are my latest test results. PLease feel free to comment what you think about them. So far all the testing I have had done has been normal or above average for my age (35) and still.......they cannot find a reason why I cannot keep our babies. I am so desperately wanting to go see Dr. KK, but I don't now what I would do if she suggested one of the treatments that we cannot afford (or we could afford and could not adopt if the pregnancy didn't progress again). Here are the latest results:

prenatal screen - normal
chlamydia - negative
AMH - 2.9
LH - 4.21
FSH - 5.5
Estradiol - 23
Follicles on CD3 - 13(left ovary) and 15 (right ovary)

I go for another hysterosonagram tomorrow at 11:30, even though I told them the m/c IS NOT DUE to fibroids or polyp. I had a HSG in May which revealed a polyp I then had removed via hysteroscopy and the fibroids were removed 2 years ago. This new RE is very very thorough and said he wanted it done again anyway. So off I go, also to have my anti-philosphid antibodies checked again. It has been almost a year since it was checked and 2 m/c ago so I figured it wouldn't hurt. I know alot of people are negative for it, but after subsequent pregnancies or m/c it can pop up. That would be so great if we could find a dang cause - it is so horrible that I am begging and wanting to find something wrong with me. Maybe God is wanting a miracle to be worked within me in Lourdes. Lord, bring it on!!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blessed Mother Teresa Novena starts Thursday

As I posted a month or so ago, I volunteered at Missionaries of Charity this summer for 3 weeks at their urban youth camp and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I knew of Mother Teresa and her work thoughout India, but had no idea the extent of her works until I spent some quality time with the Sisters. This Thursday marks the centinnial of her birth and the Sisters are having a novena with a mass said everyday for 9 days and a celebration after the 9 days. I sent Lauren @ Magnify the Lord Within Me the novena book after prayer buddies and we will be praying it "together" and for each other. I thought I would pass the information to you all as well. Obviously distance seperates us and we can't celebrate the masses together, however, we sure can pray together! So starting tomorrow, here is the information about the novena. Pray for us Blessed Mother Teresa!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A hopeful new start begins with a pilgrimage....

I have not been on the blogs much lately, I have been busy with school starting back, but also I just needed a break from thinking, reading, writing fertility or lack there of. I have to remember some really good advice an email friend gave me after our 3rd loss, "you are not defined by the ability to mother a child, you are more than that, don't let the struggle to have children dominate your life to where you have nothing left but that, take care and enjoy all aspects of your life." So I am once do just that.

My dear priest who was transferred to another parish in Memphis is the spiritual director of a pilgrimage in October. I wanted to go desperately, especially when I found out my good friend was going, but I couldn't justify the cost, time off of work, time off of ttc or keep a pregnancy, and time away from my husband. (dh attends mass with me weekly, but is not Catholic, rarely flies, and could not take the time off work). After this last miscarriage I thought about it again and again, but thought no because the required 2 months of normal cycles after a m/c will be over then and we can try again. I felt like God kept leading me to this trip and I could not push the idea away.

Just for the heck of it, I asked my principal what she thought of me missing 7 out of our alloted 10 sick/personal days to go on a pilgrimage. Without a drop of hesitation, she said to go. My mother said she would pay for 1/3 of the trip (the plane tickets) and still I was back pedalling and could not make up my mind. I asked for God to give me a clear sign if I was to go on this trip. Well I got that sign. At all school mass this Wednesday - the same day I prayed for a sign - the homily was about the parable of the pearl of great price. If there is something good and holy in your life, we should do anything in our power to get it and maintain it. Then the communion song was written by "bernadette" something. I was like, okay Lord, you've got me!

So October 9-19 we are headed to Fatima, Portugal. Then we travel through Spain to see Theresa of Avila's hometown, St. Ignatius of Loyola's town, the town of the first Eucharistic Miracle at St. Stephens church and on to Lourdes, France. I am so excited about this opportunity and glad I have something else to concentrate on besides sadness, disappointment, and what is wrong with my body. I cannot wait.

I had to go to my RE's office for a final hcg check to make sure it zeroed out and I asked for a referral to Dr. Kwak Kim's office and my medical records. I had faxed the form earlier. The nurse asked if I would please see the other doctor in the clinic who is the specialist in RPL before I went to Chicago. I got in with him 3 days later and we talked for over 3 hours. He was brash and a little harsh at times, but he is insanely knowledgeable and has his PhD in reproductive immunology. He tested me for a few more things: prolactic, tsh (not sure really what this is besides what I have googled) prenatal screen and chlamydia. I go back on CD3 for LH, AMH, and ovarian reserve test as well as another hysterosonagram a few days after that. I told him to treat me like his daughter. What would you tell her? What advice would you give her? He did say that he would not prescribe me a blood thinner even though I have 2 copies of MTHFR, both a and c hetero. I thought this whole time I only had a! I know Kwak Kim would give me that dang lovenox or heparin... But for insurance reasons, and convience (since this trip came up) I am going to put the Kwak Kim deal on hold. Maybe - I pray to God - this new RE can find a problem, and by damn, can fix it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

My first Prayer Buddy

This was my first go-round at prayer buddies. I was very excited to find out that my prayer buddy was someone whose blog I had never read before. I loved that I was going to get to "know" a new person. I enjoyed reading about her IF troubles, adoption troubles, travel, marraige, and more.

It was a honor to pray for Lauren, at "Magnify the Lord with Me" everyday. I don't know why God has chosen not to answer my prayers for her as her adoption did not go through, and I wish I knew. Maybe it was divine providence that she was chosen for my prayer buddy as we have both had 4 losses, and that she has such amazing faith through all of her disappointments. She has strength, faithfulness, and desire, and I know God will be blessing them very soon with a child.

Dear Heavenly Father,
I ask you to send your divine mercy upon Lauren and her husband.
I ask you to continually bless and enrich their marriage each day.
Give them the strength, faith, and hope that their prayers of having a child will be answered soon so that they can worship You in an even greater way, through the raising of a beautiful Christian son or daughter on earth.
I ask this in your most holy name, for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Another Miscarriage, our 4th

So we have lost another baby AGAIN. I can't believe I am having to type these words out today. I can't sleep and my stomach is tied in knots. I just want to know what in the hell is wrong with my body to continually reject a life we both want so very badly.

I found out Tuesday CD 27, and immediately called my RE who had me come in for blood tests. I didn't even tell Blake until after the nurse had called me, I wanted to be sure. At dinner when we said grace and I prayed for many of you, then I added in thanksgiving for our new life growing inside me. He was so very happy, as he always is. We told our family after the nurse called with repeat blood work which we thought was a good sign (tuesday hcg 25/prog 28 and a repeat test on Thursday showed hcg 80/prog 27.7) My parents had just returned from a 12 day cruise in Europe and one of my gifts was a baby bottle of champagne from France, I smiled at mom and said, "maybe you should keep this one for awhile, I can't drink it hopefully for 9 months." My whole family upped the prayers.

Sew and I went to mass at Missionaries of Charity Thursday morning. THe last day of camp, I told one of the sisters about our previous 3 miscarriages and asked for her prayers. She smiled and said she already knew and they were already praying. She told me of a friend of hers who doctors said would never be pregnant. Sister gave that friend her first class relic of Mother Teresa to wear and now two babies later.....Sister said she wanted me to wear the relic. We stayed after mass, and she brought me her relic - I was so humbled to be able to hold such a priceless and precious gift. I put a ribbon on it, and have been wearing it since.

The nurse wanted me to come back Saturday morning since they test until the hcg hits over 100 and called that afternoon with a result of 118, not even 1/2 doubled. I had given this pregnancy totally over to God along with my worry and anxiety. Well after this call I lost all calm and immediately started googling non doubling hcg and was holding out for a miracle. Why not? I was wearing the relic, and I really thought a miracle could be worked in me. I clutched the relic all night Saturday and couldn't sleep AT ALL. I prayed and prayed and prayed for our baby not to be taken AGAIN.

We went Sunday morning and I waited in agony for the call. The nurse called right as I was walking out the door to new family open house at our school. HCG 35 repeatedly said she was sorry and to expect bleeding today or tomorrow and to come back Thursday to make sure levels zero out. I had to go to school and put on a happy face for new families and students when all I wanted to do was go home, curl up in bed with my husband, and cry myself to sleep.

I got home and he suggested going to have sushi and a beer so we went and sitting right beside us was a couple with the cutest little boy who keep smiling at DH, and I said will we EVER HAVE THAT????? He said absolutely. You have to have faith and believe we will. I feel that my body is a total failure. I wish I could be so sure.

I really believed this time would be different. I have been praying more, changing my life bit by bit, trying to make myself a more holy and worthy vessel to house life. I have been trying so hard to be healthier while not overdoing my exercise. I gave up caffeine and soft drinks months ago and spent a fortune on acupuncture and nasty tea and STILL THIS HAPPENS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!! I used the progesterone. I don't understand what else God wants from me.........................................What else must be in place before we are allowed our child and taken away from this most horrible, awful, debilitating pain of miscarriage.................................

I filled out new patient paperwork for Kwak-Kim in Chicago last night in bed. I will get my 500 pound medical records this week when I go back to make sure hcg is 0. I WILL FIND OUT WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME.

I am empty. I am broken. I am numb.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

One year Guatemala

Sis and Mel peeking through the windows at our luxurious hotel!

beautiful garden of Casa Madeline outside our room

Our Lady of Sacred Heart (my school it was a sign!) at Casa Madeline

Fernando's Cafe

Our first lodging, my room was so filthy I stayed with Sis and Mel and we slept in one twin (sis and I)

Did they wash our dished with those towels? We gotta find a new place to stay!

Mary and her teacher, Lucie

Mel and her teacher, Carmen

Women everywhere carried things this way, imagine the headache, some looked soooo heavy!

Authentic Guatemaltecas

IHS - decor was everywhere one Sunday, first communion day for many children

Mary in La Merced Church

Cristo Rey at La Merced

Jesus in the tomb at La Merced

La Merced Church

school children

We bought such great cheap things here at the mercado including my fave - a handmade nativity set with Mary and all in Guatemalan clothing

My teacher, Rosamaria, and I

Sis and I hiked this mountain!

Mary and Mel with Fernando at his cafe

slum housing

terrace farming

Sis and kids who don't go to school to be able to make .50/day selling hiking sticks which very few people bought in our tour group :(

Sis and I halfway to the top!

Great idea sis, this is quite a haul!

more children quitting school to make $ hauling tourists up the volcano by horse.

typical street parade, religious procession

hand building the cobblestone streets

Me making tamales, too bad it wasn't learn frijoles cooking day!!!

Kafka's bar and Victor, our favorite spot to have a cold beer after all that work!

Last year I spent most of July in Antigua, Guatemala. I would not change that experience for anything in the world! I learned so much, grew up alot (even at my age!), and was able to experience a rich, vibrant, loving, and religious culture that will stay a part of me forever.

I practically begged the principal of my school to give me my current job. DH had proposed in March and I immediately got my teacher liscense reinstated now that I could affort it. I desperately wanted a job at our local Catholic school where my neice and nephew attended, but there was a problem. The only thing available was librarian and a new Spanish teacher position. I studied French in high school and college, and still studied it from time to time and could hold a decent conversation. I knew (and persuadingly convinced) the principal that I could learn Spanish in 3 months and she would not be sorry she hired me.

So....I took Spanish 1 and 2 that summer, 3 in the fall while working, and 4 in the spring. I still needed to learn more to pass the high school teacher's praxis test (they don't have an elementary program, you have to pass the high school test to be certified in elementary). My dear priest suggested a trip to Antigua for a few weeks as he did years before to be more fluent. He gave me all the contact info, and I begged my sis and good friend to come with me. They were on the fence for a month and finally the day before I left, they booked a flight!

My sis and friend arrived 10 hours before me and by the time my flight arrived, it was 10 pm and we were exhausted and ready for our hotel. We booked an awesome, beautiful hotel, Casa Madeline, which was a mistake because we had to stay with a family next and we were spoiled by that luxury up front. We ended up leaving the house family we had originally been set up with because of the filthy conditions, parrots in the kitchen floor, shadiness walking back to the house at night, etc. It was a long first couple of days, but then we found a GODSEND in Fernando who owns a coffee shop behind the school with the VERY BEST COFFEE IN THE WORLD...You can even buy it online!! ( Our priest told us about Fernando, and to find him if we need anything - his English is impeccable as his wife is American! He led us to a clean, smelling of clorox room and we were saved! $24/day with a terrace upstairs to enjoy views of the volcanos, blue skies, and town of Antigua.

We went to class everyday from 8-12, lunch break, then class again 1-5. The school, Probigua, is pretty much non profit. Rigoberto, who started the school years ago, was a seminarian who was so saddened by the lack of teaching materials and how many children didn't attend school, that he left the seminary and started Probigua. They concentrate on opening libraries and classrooms, and providing chilren with books and computer centers (donated by Bill Gates). Many children had never seen a book before Rigoberto started his travelling bus bookmobile.

Food became an obsession. Black beans, black beans, and more black beans. I could eat nothing but them for the rest of my life if only I could prepare them the way they did. Runny beans with eggs, thick soupy beans, or my favorite frijoles coleadas - spreadable black beans. OMG I need some right now on some warm toast...... UGH! I tried to make some a month or so ago and they were good, but not as great as they were there. My last day there at Fernando's, I had a crepe with coleados, pico, eggs, avocado, cheese, and I swear, I will NEVER taste anything that good in my life! We were so exhaused of Spanish at the end of the day, but invigorated as well. My sis knew some Spanish but needed more for her job downtown nursing in Memphis. Our friend just wanted a vacay and to get outta the country, and of course I needed it to keep my job!

They left after a week before me, and I cried buckets while Fernando comforted me as the bus drove away carrying them to the airport. I am dramatic sometimes, but I really was sad and scared. I was now alone in a foreign country for a week. I went to mass daily, class, got on facebook to chat to sis and Mel, grabbed dinner, and called DH from an internet cafe everynight. The guys working the cafe always felt so sorry for me b/c I cried every time I talked to him. I was so homesick and lonely, but I did what I had to do to keep my job I love so much.

I could write for hours about our trip, we will never forget it and I want to go back all the time, sis said she could live there! I forged a relationship with my teacher that will go on forever, we email weekly and send photos, sometimes we Skype, though alot is lost in translation with the connection :) At first I wanted to change teachers because I thought she was rude and I was paying alot to learn! The 2nd day I started telling her how I had just had my first m/c at 10 weeks and 3 lb fibroids removed which they think caused the loss. She started crying and slowly began telling me that she was pregnant but her doctors did not expect the baby to make it and she would probably miscarry. This is what bonded us to the core. Sadly, she had left her husband (55 years old, she was only 35!) because he denied her children. He never wanted any with her and she battled it since they married when she was 17. She had a horribly poor life and left home at 16, married at 17, went to school to become a teacher all the way pining for a child. She finally left him and couldn't divorce due to high cost, and took up with a friend of his with whom she became pregnant. I am not saying what she did is right AT ALL, I just know that pining pain, and her intense desire which certainly made it easier to take up with this man and become pregnant. She miscarried the week after I came home, had 2 d/c, and developed asherman's syndrome so intense she can never have children now. I think of her all the time, and send her support and gifts from time to time.

My sis talked me into hiking Volcan Pacaya with her which took all day long. I had just had a serious surgery and was hiking for hours? What a trouper, right? It was an unbelievable experience though, and very difficult and extremely grueling. We climbed to the top and my legs were shaking like crazy, you could feel the earth move under your feet and steam escaping. About a month ago after the horrible sink hole and mudslides in Guatemala, this dang thing errupted!!!! I could've killed sis when I saw that on the news!!

In August I took the 2 hour long Praxis test (75% oral, 25% written) and sweated bullets for a month waiting for the results. I was totally sure I had failed, beyond a shadow of a doubt and was very upset. I don't know if the person grading my test was drunk or my guardian angel moved his hand over the wrong questions, but by the grace of God I passed, and am now certified to teach pre k - 12 grade! Es un milagro!

The videos are of a rooster that started crowing daily around 3!, riding in the Guatemala cab called a tuk-tuk, and the volcano hike.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mother Teresa's relics coming to Memphis!!!!

The Missionaries of Charity camp is Monday through Thursday, and after a full week of 100 + degrees with heat index of 110 or more, I am offically exhausted and welcomed the break today. The house has no air conditioning and the field trips are in a non a/c school bus which makes for some very hot bodies, especially when the girls wanna lie across your body on the seat to take a nap on the way back to the Sister's house to have lunch. Sadly as much as these children want you to hold them, sit in your lap, hug you, and you likewise to them, we have to be careful in our contact with them due to recent abuses in the Catholic Church. It totally sickens me that our world and our faith has to be burdened with this. We had to read a form and some had to watch a video (I had already watched before my job at our Catholic School). One of the volunteers told us how the Sisters had gone to various homes in the surrounding area to invite the children to the camp. One family was immediately against the invitation and said, "Are you Catholic?" The Sisters replied, and the door was slammed in their precious and holy faces.

I came home Tuesday after the field trip and immediately took a nap, didn't even change clothes. When I awoke 2 hours later (!) my tee and sports bra were still wet, this heat is stinkin oppressive, I tell ya. We are supposed to be getting a cool front coming through this weekend (just in time for DH's bday bbq Saturday night!) and I welcome the thought of it. This heat is literally unbearable.

Today Sew and I went to her parish for daily mass at noon where there was blessing of Our Lady of Mount Carmel scapulars and distribution of them. I LOVE LOVE her church!! Her priest during prayers of the faithful prayed a petition for all husbands and wives in their marriages, and for all women who are having a difficult time having a baby or becoming pregnant. I immediately got teary, and Sew asked if I was okay. She said he has never included that prayer before at his masses, what a divine intervention from Our Lady of Mount Carmel??!!!We went to lunch and she ordered an appetizer that would've filled up an infant so we left in search of more for her crazy pregnant self. I bout killed us crossing lanes to get to Chik fil a, we get in line, and she changes her mind and wanted Starbucks! Crazy pregnancy cravings, I told her I felt like the husband in Lady in the Tramp when he gets sent our for all kinds of wierd concoctions!

So....exciting news!! Blessed Mother Teresa's relics will be here next Thursday and Friday at 3 different parishes for 3 different masses in various parts of the city. My former beloved pastor is lucky to be at one of the parishes that is fortunate enough to obtain these relics for a short period of time. There will be bone fragments, hair, and her sandals. I told Sew I am going to rub those sandals raw and she said she is going to rub her adrenals all over them! Seriously though, this is such an awesome opportunity, and I can't wait to go to the mass and be a part of this celebration. It is even more special that my dear friend and priest will be a part of it at his new church as well.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mississionaries of Charity Summer Camp

After one of my last meetings with our beloved (and transferred now) priest, I received some very important advice. It was after my confession and counseling on how to deal with my anger, disappointment, and depression after the 3rd m/c. He is the most wonderful priest on the planet: completely selfless, humble, devout, I can't say enough wonderful things about him, and he gives the best advice and counsel in all things. He told me to be very careful of "navel gazing", or being so wrapped up and consumed in your own problems that you constantly are gazing to yourself instead of others. By spending time with others and helping others with 'their' problems, you start to worry about your own less, and in the process feel better mentally and emotionally by helping others as well. He encouraged me to find a charity or positive organization to focus some attention on to help curb my navel gazing.

At first I thought about Birthright, which is an organization aimed to help pregnant women find resources, help, counsel, and dissuade them from abortion. I thought to myself now THIS would definitely be selfless of my with my problems, but also would continue my navel gazing. So I decided to volunteer at the North Memphis Mississionaries of Charity. They have a summer camp for the poorest of the poor in which they have Bible class, movies and arts and crafts, singing, sports, singing, and field trips 2 x a week. I went to the volunteer meeting a few weeks ago and had decided to only help once or twice a week. I thought I may be pregnant and would be feeling sickly so I assumed I wouldn't be able to help much. I also thought it would be stressful and I am trying my darndest to relax and enjoy my summer break. Well after my first day, I knew I would want to come back more and more and more.

The sisters have mass at 7 before the campers arrive at 745 for breakfast. I cannot describe to you how much that mass touches my heart. I literally cried throughout the entire thing off and on, party "navel gazing" and partly at their sheer lack of desire of all things I desire materialistically and their intense love of the Lord. I can't wait to go back to mass next Monday and feel that supreme inner peace again, it is like a drug, I tell you! Mass consisted of two of the sisters (there are only 4 of them and 2 were outta town) 2 visiting Notre Dame students, and one mother and her two children who are staying at the sister's homeless women's shelter. It was in their chapel with no air conditioning and no kneelers or chairs. We enter in total silence and remove our shoes. It is simplistic but totally beautiful.

My class is "Little Flower" which consists of girls ages 5-7. There is a hispanic girl who I am so partial to :) 4 african american girls, and 2 caucasian girls. We start the day with breakfast for the children (many of whom haven't had nourishing food in awhile) then song practice - the kids totally love Fr. Abraham had many sons - then we have Bible lessons with the sisters, video of a saint, arts and crafts, sports, then distribute their lunches and they leave, most of them walking home in extreme heat. Speaking of extreme heat, the sister's house has no a/c, and Memphis is one of the most hot and humid places in the south. I start to complain and then look at the precious sisters in mile and mile of sari cloth with sweat beading at the lip and brow and immediately again quit navel gazing.

Yesterday we took a field trip after breakfast to a community center pool in a "not so safe" area, but I felt not one bit of fear with the children and the sisters. We loaded up in a old hot bus and sang songs the whole way there. None of these children are Catholic, so we help them with the sign of the cross and they repeat the prayers and try to sing along with us. Most of the older children know the songs after years of coming, but the little ones are still learning :) The pool was indoor luckily! but still steamy and my eyes were burning from the insane amount of chlorine. The kids had an awesome time, but the best memory I have is one of the sisters holding a small boy crying in the kiddie pool and she was sopping wet while she consoled him. Such a beautiful sight.

I want to share a beautiful prayer we volunteers pray together every morning before the camp begins:

Dear Lord, the great healer, I kneel before You since every perfect gift must come from you. I pray, give skill to my hands, clear vision to my mind, kindness and meekness to my heart. Give me singleness of purpose, strength to lift up a part of the burden of my suffering fellow men and a true realization of the priviledge that is mine. Take from my heart all guile and worldliness that with the simple faith of a child, I may rely of You. Amen SING: Be with us Mary along the way. Guide every step we take. Lead us to Jesus, your loving Son. Come with us Mary, come!

I can't wait to get back to the camp on Monday :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Family Vacation / Cycle update

Every year my whole family goes to the beach and stays in one house for a week. We have such an awesome time and look forward to it every year. Well, this year we rearranged our plans due to the oil spill. We rented a house in Norfork, Arkansas on the White River where we fished, cooked, swam (cold!), boated, tubed, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Since we didn't have a beach, we acted like the river bank was a beach. Bless the kids hearts, they defintely know how to make the most of all situations. The water was FREEZING COLD, but that didn't stop us from swimming off the bank in the back yard of the house - after a minute of two, your legs get numb and you can't feel anything!

The house had 5 rooms and was very very modern. No door, curtains, window treatments, nada. The main room where my parents slept had a gorgeous tub overlooking the river and after a bath, you had to jump out quickly and make sure no fishers were on the river - it was nuts. The pictures on the internet didn't do it justice. It was VERY nice, but not our style. I applaud my little sis who found it after searching for days for somewhere on short notice after the oil spill flubbed up our plans. My sis, her husband, DH and I had to share the bottom floor room with bunk beds since we are the only ones without children (yet again another tragedy with IF!)My SIL thought I would be needing to have our own room due to timing of my cycle and offered the apartment room with it's own bathroom, den, kitchen, etc for us. Bless her heart she was gonna crowd her 3 kids and DH in the bunks?? LOL, luckily that time has passed days before we left.

We all take turns cooking each night so we never go out to eat, that would be a feat in itself with 6 children under 11, 12 adults, etc. There was a movie theater that we all LOVED!!! especially my little niece GiGi, she was found there one day by herself, it was hilarious! And there was water, fishing, and good times to be had by all. DH had to leave on Tuesday and I got upset, I hate that because of his job, he never gets to spend the whole week on vacation. If we ever do have children, we will have to plan our vacays in the winter or early spring so he can stay the whole time.

In cycle news.... I started last Wednesday and was devastated. Per Sew, TCIE, and Ann, I started progesterone suppositories 3 days after ovulation. I have never used ovulation kits before and although I never got a dark as or darker than result, day 12 was ALMOST as dark and then they got lighter, so I am thinking I may have ovulated day 13 or 14. I have been doing acupuncture, teas, fertility yoga, eating more organically, ovulation testing, temperature charting, etc. and I am not pregnant. I was so upset, I can't imagine how upset some of you have been in the past month after month. But.for.some.reason. I really have a bad feeling this time around it is not going to be so easy like before. We'll see :(

My sister, oldest neice, and me in the freezing cold river! A balmy 45 degrees!

"the beach" LOL Can't we make the most of any situation?

GiGi in the theater by herself - my sister couldn't even get her attention for several minutes, she was in a trance!

the nephews fishing for trout

I braided all the little girls hair, how precious?!