Nov 27, 2014

It takes a village

Today is the last day of my Ten Days of Thankful series! Can you believe it's Thanksgiving?

Today I am thankful for you. 

Every time I try to express how much the blogging world means to me, I fall short. I think because to truly appreciate the marvelous-ness of it, you have to be part of it.

I've met some of my closest friends through blogging, and I've built and cultivated relationships with so many of you readers.

I appreciate every remark, every time you read a post, and every time tweet or facebook comment. So many times you all say you're glad I share my story here, but honestly, it's only because of you. You've created a safe and open space where we all can be frank and not judged and I will never be able to form the words for that.

So thank you for being you.

Yes you, reading this right now; whether your comment on every post or not at all. (Although, hi lurkers, would love to meet you!)

It takes a village to build a happy life. Thank you for being part of mine.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 26, 2014

This crazy life

Today is day nine of my Ten Days of Thankful series; every day from now until Thanksgiving I'll post about something I'm thankful for - I'd love for you to join me!

Today I am thankful for life. 

Bear with me - I woke up at 4 AM, couldn't go back to sleep, got up at 5, started knitting (obviously), and then threw up for a bit, so it's been kind of a weird morning.

Earlier as I was sitting in the quiet, just the slight click of my knitting needles together, I was thinking how I was grateful for...everything. For being able to get up and do what I please, for deciding how I want to spend my day, for the food we have to make in preparation for tomorrow...just...everything.

I know this is an easy time of year to be thankful for all the good in our lives but this morning I'm just going to roll with it.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

What are you thankful for today?

Nov 25, 2014

Compassion

Today is day eight of my Ten Days of Thankful series; every day from now until Thanksgiving I'll post about something I'm thankful for - I'd love for you to join me!
 
Today I am thankful for compassion. 
 
I don't know if I'll be able to say I'm grateful for infertility, but I'm thankful for the people it's brought into my life. When I think of all the compassion that has been shown to Ben and me along our infertility journey (much less this year), it almost brings me to tears.
From our weekend getaway
Compassion is a quiet miracle. The more it's shown to me, the more I want to expose it to others.
 
I am thankful to all who demonstrate it, and the determination to let it be a leading force in my life.

What are you thankful for today?

Nov 24, 2014

Oh the handmade

Today is day seven of my Ten Days of Thankful series; every day from now until Thanksgiving I'll post about something I'm thankful for - I'd love for you to join me!

Today I'm thankful for anything handmade, and those who create it.

I could wax nostalgic about how much I love handmade, or I could just show you some of the fabulous items I've come across in the past month or so.

What better to start with than a take on a song, but applying it to books? This tote is from one of my favorite shops, Brittany Garner Design.
Photo courtesy of BGD
How beautiful is this Olivewood bowl from Amani Ya Juy, handmade in Kenya?
Photo courtesty of Amani Ya Juu
Speaking of kitchen decor, how sweet would this personalized cutting board be for as a gift for the holidays?
Photo courtesy of Elysium Woodworks
And last but not least, how can you not love this print to add to your kitchen? It cracks me up!
Photo courtesy of HappyLetterShop
Do you share my love for the handmade?

What are you thankful for today?

Nov 23, 2014

A love for the written word

I missed yesterday, so today I'm doing days five and six of my Ten Days of Thankful series. Every day from now until Thanksgiving I'll post about something I'm thankful for - I'd love for you to join me!

Today I'm thankful for reading and for writing.

Reading and writing have been loves of mine since I was a young child, but this year I'm especially thankful for them both.

After the beginning of this year, reading has been a true escape for me. According to my Goodreads profile I've read 60 books this year, and at least 90% of them have been romance novels. Romances were such a comfort to me - historical, contemporary, it didn't matter - because I was guaranteed a happy ending, and there were no story lines about miscarriages.

This year I stopped apologizing for what I was reading, and simply enjoyed it. (Thank you, Book Riot podcasts). And after my work with P, I no longer take reading for granted.
Pics from an amazing bookstore we visited on vacation in June
Writing has also been an escape for me, but in the complete opposite way. I've written things I couldn't say out loud, and have worked through multiple complex emotions.

I'm grateful for the support in my love for reading and writing, and only hope I can spread a little bit as well.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! What are you thankful for today?

Nov 21, 2014

Stitched with love

It's day four of my Ten Days of Thankful series; every day from now until Thanksgiving I'll post about something I'm thankful for - I'd love for you to join me!

Today I am thankful for knitting.

I first learned how to knit in college. I made a few scarves, thought it was fun, and then one day got distracted by something else and put my knitting needles away.

A couple years ago I was talking to a friend about knitting - she's an avid knitter, and she encouraged me to get back into it. She helped me re-learn, introduced me to my favorite knitting store, and that was that. I've learned, I've grown, and there's still so many different types of things I want to make!

I am thankful for what knitting has given me - skills I've learned and honed, sure, but more importantly a way to be myself that I didn't even realize existed.

There's something about making an item - creating it from nothing into something beautiful, that takes my breath away every time. The time I spend making it, the thoughts I have for the person it's going to - I truly believe knitting has made me a calmer and better person.

It's not always a walk in the park - sometimes there are cuss words and tears involved. All the tears. But  we have a lifelong love affair, knitting and I; it understands when projects have to be put away, (even if unfinished), but knows I'll always come back again.
Progress on Lemon's blanket
Do you knit or crochet, or create things? Is it relaxing for you?

What are you thankful for today?

Nov 20, 2014

A grateful wife

It's day three of my Ten Days of Thankful series; every day from now until Thanksgiving I'll post about something I'm thankful for - I'd love for you to join me!

Today I am thankful for Ben. 

I love him and he makes me laugh and I could talk for ages about how he's the perfect match for me, but the way he's stepped up during this pregnancy has been incredible.

When I think about the first trimester all I think is "survival." Between being sick, having no energy, and my anxiety that I was going to miscarry at any moment (I even had dreams about it and would wake up panicked), it was honestly just about getting through it.

Ben has been a champ.

I can't tell you how many times he's woken up to the sound of me throwing up (nice, right?) and he checks on me, gets me water (or a hair tie if I didn't have time to grab one), and then indulge my ridiculous after being sick cravings, like a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel from McDonald's. (I swear it was my cure all for a straight week).

He's told me I'm more beautiful now than ever, even when I know there's no possible way I could look decent at that moment. He's taken out the trash, kept up with dishes, and made sure food is put away, all so I don't have to smell anything strange.

He's done errands for me when I'm tired, soothed me when I'm worried, and made me laugh through my tears. At our 12-week ultrasound (the first one where the baby actually looked like a baby), he held my hand and whispered, "no medicine - that's all you babe. You're doing this." Then he played 50 Cent's "In Da Club," on his phone and held it up to my stomach to see if that would make the baby move around more.

Honestly...he's just been....Ben. I'm so excited for this next step and to see him as a Dad. I love him and am oh so thankful for him every day.
What are you thankful for today?

Nov 19, 2014

A home to cherish

It's day two of my Ten Days of Thankful series; every day from now until Thanksgiving I'll post about something I'm thankful for - I'd love for you to join me!

Today I am thankful to love where I live. Our move this summer was a long time coming, and while there were things I enjoyed about living in a one-bedroom apartment, every day when I come home, I smile as soon as I walk through the door.
Our white picket fence!
More space yes, but just...being happy where we are, and making this not just a house, but a home we cherish completely.

Have you ever felt this way about somewhere you've lived?

What are you thankful for today?

Nov 18, 2014

Day 1: Resolve to be thankful

Today I'm happy to be bringing back my Ten Days of Thankful series. This was inspired a few years ago by Lisa's Ten Days of Thanksgiving; every day from now until Thanksgiving I'll post about something I'm thankful for - I'd love for you to join me!

I'd like to kick off today by talking about an organization I am so incredibly thankful for: Resolve. Including them in my Ten Day of Thankful was part of my plan, so when they contacted me about being part of the Giving Tuesday campaign,  I couldn't say yes fast enough!

Giving Tuesday is two weeks from today - Tuesday, December 2nd. It's the Tuesday after Thanksgiving - after the chaos of Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, it's a chance to give back to an organization who help so many.

I want people to know what amazing things Resolve does - they form support groups, they hosts huge events like Advocacy Day and the Walk of Hope, and they build awareness about infertility, to help take the stigma out of a disease that is still not often discussed.

At the beginning of the year I was in a bad place. After years of trying to expand our family I was finally pregnant, only to have that pregnancy end in a miscarriage. I had anger and sadness and so many emotions I couldn't even explain.

Resolve gave me an outlet for it.

I signed up for Advocacy Day, and spoke to my Congressional Representatives about legislation concerning infertility.

I formed a team and participated in the D.C. Walk of Hope.

But for me, Resolve is about the people. The people I've met in support groups who understand sometimes you just start crying; the people I've met who advocate, who are now some of the first I turn to when I'm having a hard day. Even the people Resolve hires, who understand having to cancel a meeting because it's an anniversary of when you lost your baby.
One of the signs along the Walk of Hope path
I don't think the word grateful is enough to describe how I feel about this organization.

THIS is what you're giving to on Giving Tuesday. This is the kind of organization that not only spreads awareness, but has shown me some of the most compassionate people I've ever met.

Thank you Resolve - for everything you've done for me, and others. I don't know where I'd be without you.

Nov 17, 2014

18 weeks

How far along: 18 weeks!

How big is baby: Lemon went from an avocado, to a turnip, and is now the size of a bell pepper!

Sleep: Still pretty good - weird and mundane dreams all around.

Excited about: Being pregnant! Also, in a few weeks we'll be finding out the gender. I used to say "oh I could totally go the whole pregnancy without knowing," and I've now realized what a big fat lie that is. I cannot wait to find out!

Anxious about: Being pregnant. Ha! The anxiety is getting better, but there are still days that I get worried. Hoping this will ease at some point, but we'll just have to see.

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: This isn't really a craving but I've really been trying to hydrate like crazy these days. We're starting to get colder weather and dry skin and I read that while pregnant you can put as much lotion on as you want, but if you aren't hydrated the dry skin will not go away. I have a few fun bottles that I seem to drink faster from so I'm trying to start my day with water so I reach for it first later on.

Gender: Don't know yet!

Movement: Nothing yet - I figure it'll be a few more weeks before I feel anything so we'll see.

The belly: I think a teeny bit bigger than I was at 16 weeks, but it really depends on my outfit. Some days I'm like "hey I'm pregnant," other days I look like I ate too much at lunch. It makes me laugh when I walk by strangers because I can see their eyes go to my stomach and I'm sure they're wondering, "is she?"

Miscellaneous: I'm still randomly getting sick, but it's gone from every day to once or twice a week so here's hoping that starts to go down even more! The only frustrating part about it (um, besides the whole throwing up aspect), is there's really no rhyme or reason. The other morning I ate half a banana and then had to rush to the bathroom, yet later that day ate Chick-fil-a like a boss. Who knows!

Best moment of the week: When I talk to my niece on the phone she asks, "how's the baby in your belly?" It melts my heart every time!

I was at my favorite yarn store this weekend, and I saw this fabulous bright yellow yarn - it was in my hands and I was thinking "baby blanket," before I could stop myself. It's just so fun! It's bright yellow (the color is called "Squash Blossom"), and all I could think was Lemon! So last night I started making a lemon blanket for Lemon.

After I finished the first row, I started crying. If you've read this blog at all, you know how knitting is love for me. When I make something for someone I think about them while I'm knitting it, and how happy I am that they're in my life, and I send good thoughts their way, so when they put on or use whatever it is I made, they are literally surrounded with love.

For so long I've dreamed of things I could make for a baby, and now I get to think about how much this child is already loved, and let my anxiety melt away with each stitch. Starting a baby blanket for our child is literally a dream come true.