Jul 28, 2014

The happiest of moves

We are in. We are done done done with one-bedroom apartments. We have been in this house for less than 72 hours and I am already amazed at how we had this fit into such a small space for so long. I'm just...breathing easier because we are not so cramped. Moving is exhausting, and messy, and stressful, but at the end of the day, we're just so happy with where we are now.

Without further ado, our move, according to my iPhone.

First picture in the house!
Why yes, we do have a white picket fence.
Of course books are unpacked. Priorities, people.
After we turned in our apartment keys!
Ben gave me this rose and said, "happy new home babe!" (This guy, he's a keeper).
Unpacking...
More unpacking...
Happy, but tired.
We actually made a lot of progress this weekend - all of the rooms are unpacked at least 60% (or more!), and we even have some things hung on the walls.

There was a 24-hour period where we didn't have internet or cell phone service, but I've since blocked that out, because let's focus on the happy, right?

Bear with me as we're still getting unpacked - I'll try to pop in every few days or so to check in.

How was your weekend?

Jul 23, 2014

Lessons from a one-bedroom apartment

We are on the cusp of moving, and I'm so excited I can almost taste it! There is so much I will not miss about this place (loud neighbors, parking passes, loud neighbors, not a lot of space, loud neighbors...), but there have been some fun memories, so in case any of you out there are still in small living spaces, I give you a handful of random things I've learned. (Sounds appealing, no?)

*You can vacuum the whole place in less than 20 minutes. This might be the thing I miss the most. If you have an outlet that will let your vacuum stretch, you may even be able to beat this time. This means you can wait until half an hour before someone comes over to vacuum, and you'll still have time to relax before they arrive.

*Go up with your space. We have a decent amount of furniture in our apartment, but the areas that don't seem quite as cramped are the ones where we have shelves on the wall. Getting things off the floor makes a world of difference.

*If you think your neighbors are loud, just wait until the next set of people move in. Oh my gosh, I could tell stories. Let's just say we have been woken up by all kinds of activities, and it makes me long for the days where an active dog above us was the biggest complaint.

*Put your dresser in your closet. We have been spoiled with a huge walk-in closet the past few years, and putting a dresser in the closet helped more than we expected; it gave us more space in our bedroom, and I don't have to worry about waking up Ben if I'm debating on outfits in the morning.

*You can still host events. It's all about perspective. (She says, as she's leaving). You may have to get creative with arranging furniture, but it can be done. We had 16 people for our midnight dinner!

*Being in a small space can be fun. This may sound weird, but I'm going to miss not being able to see Ben all the time. His studio is next to our kitchen and about two steps from our living room/dining room. I'll curl up on the couch with a book, and he'll be at his table drawing, and every so often we'll just look over at each other and smile. As excited as we are to have a few more rooms (and stairs!) in the new place, I'll miss that closeness, and expect we'll put some kind of chair in his studio for me.

*It is what you make it. I can complain until I'm blue in the face about this apartment, but where we live is expensive and this was the best deal for us for many reasons. I don't believe you have to own something to make it feel like a home, just as you don't necessarily need a ton of space either. Will it be nice to have more room? Of course. But we've lived in a one-bedroom apartment for seven years - you just learn how to make it work. (Plus, it gives you great stories to laugh about later. "Remember when it sounded like our neighbors dropped dead bodies every night?")

Have you ever lived in a small space? Do you prefer that, or do you like to spread out?

Jul 18, 2014

Find what works for you

I'm lost in a haze of boxes and packing right now, but wanted to pop in and link to Lisa's blog. Lisa has a series of infertility interviews and I'm honored to be featured today!

Head over to her blog to check it out - and thanks again for having me Lisa!

Jul 9, 2014

Oh just everything

I seriously cannot handle anything more than blurbs right now. Maybe one day I will be cognizant enough to write a post with actual paragraphs, and topics that are thought out, but for now? Blurbs.

*Let's start with the good. We are moving! Locally, and not even far from where we are now, but you GUYS. This will be the first time in our married life that Ben and I will not live in a one-bedroom apartment. That's right, by the time we move we will have lived in a one-bedroom apartment for seven years. We are moving to the cutest little townhouse with (wait for it) three bedrooms. Three bedrooms! And stairs! I don't know what we're going to do with ourselves other than run around and play Marco/Polo to find each other.

*I'm still loving my new tank top. Between that and my favorite maxi dress, I'm pretty sure Ben thinks I don't have any other clothes.

*We are headed on a quick weekend trip soon to see some extended family (because moving isn't enough to take on in one month, we need to throw a road trip in there too), and I'm really looking forward to just relaxing and being in the moment.

*Holy mother of emotions. July and August are going to be rough. This time a year ago, Ben and I were getting ready for our first IUI - so full of hope and ready for joy. The beginning of August marks when we learned our first IUI didn't work, and then about a week later we hit my due date for Cece. Nora and I decided to call all these benchmarks "griefstones," and I am not looking forward to them.

*Today is actually six months since my d&c. It seems cruel that there are details about my pregnancy that are starting to fade, but I can remember everything about that day; the weather on the drive to the office, that names of the doctors and nurses, how I cried and told Ben I was scared but what I really meant was "I'm sad." Tomorrow is a month from my due date. I knew it would be harder as we got closer to that day, but I was doing so much better so when the emotions hit, they really hit

I came home tonight to a package from Kelly, and a note that read: "Dear Becky, I was going to send you a love letter this week but what more can I say than I haven't already said? Instead I'm sending you some books because they are always good distractions and you have sent me many books I've loved. I hope I can return the favor. I'm convinced that your 'story' is not over. Love you!"
I'd already been fighting back the tears today, but this just pushed me over the edge. I've said it before and I will say it again - God bless the blogging universe and the people it has brought into my life.

This post was a little all over the place (um, that's what blurbs are for, right?) but before I sign off, thank you. Thank you for reading, thank you for cheering Ben and me on, and thank you for being such an incredible support. Whether you've commented on every post or not at all, I appreciate all the love.

Jun 27, 2014

Loving lately

Lately I'm loving...

*This shirt from Wicked Clothes. Hell to the yes.
*Packing. (You can see some boxes in the edge of that picture!) I've always liked packing, but I think because I know this means we are finally getting the eff out of a one-bedroom apartment I'm a lot more cheerful about it than I normally would be. Now, the whole finding a new place to live and the actual move? Different story.

*Reading. This seems silly to include because I always love reading, but lately I've hit a groove and have been really enjoying some great books. I set a goal for myself on Goodreads to read 40 books this year and I've already read 37!

*Watermelon. Mmm! It just says summer to me. See also, angel food cake with strawberries. Double yum.

*Exploring self-care - more on this next week, but Kyla's recent post blew my mind and has me totally re-examining what taking care of myself looks like.

*All the new friends I've made through various infertility avenues. Infertility sucks and it's a shitty thing to bond over, but some of these women I've met are nothing short of incredible, and I am grateful for that.

*Taking my time with knitting. I love creating things for other people but nine times out of ten when I'm working on a project for someone I have several lined up behind it. Right now I'm working on something for me and I'm enjoying that freedom!

What are you loving lately?

Happy Friday!

Jun 25, 2014

A love letter to Resolve

Dear Resolve,

You get it.

You understand that wanting to have a child is a basic human right, which the disease of infertility snatches away.

You make it your mission to employ some of the most sensitive, dedicated people, who go out and educate others about what infertility really looks like.

You know having a baby doesn't happen when you "just relax." You are always on the side of family, and you've seen first hand how hard it can be to get there.

You facilitate events like Advocacy Day, and the Walk of Hope, and while I know there is a ton of work that goes into them, I want to tell you two words.

Thank you.

Two words cannot encompass all the gratitude and perseverance and love I associate with you.

Because of you, I found support groups, and people who understand the heartache this disease brings.

Because of you, people receive information to help them, encouragement to reassure them, and events to empower them.

Because of you, I have hope.

So no, thank you cannot possibly tell you the way you have helped me transform a disease into a cause.

But I'm going to say it anyway.

Thank you for giving me a launching board to help influence policy and laws, and most importantly, to take the shame out of this disease.

Thank you for showing up for everyone in the infertility community.

I promise to keep showing up for you too.

Love,
A grateful friend

Jun 23, 2014

A Walk of Hope

Saturday was the Walk of Hope. We got up early, headed to National Harbor, and were grateful that the weather held off. I could tell you about it...or I could just show you.
Oh no big deal, I was just a top fundraiser which mean we were cheesin' it with the President of Resolve.
There were so many people, including these two fabulous ladies who I met at Advocacy Day - internet friends unite!
We had such great family support walking with us, and to our delight so many of our faraway friends walking with us as well. (Seriously, they brought me to tears - search #walkforcece on Instagram or Twitter).
It's amazing how infertility bonds you. It's a shitty thing to deal with, but it's incredible to be around people who just get it.
Caption for this photo: walk a mile in our shoes.
Stickers that we could put on our shirts for why we were walking.
Signs along the way - I love how Resolve educates people.
Supportive parents make a world of difference.
Again, someone I met three days before the walk (we both volunteered to help stuff bags and do some prep work), and I feel like I could chat with her for hours.
With the Chair for the Walk of Hope, Julie - she's so inspiring, and we realized we went to the same college!
I climbed on a barrier and yelled, "this is for twitter!" when I took this photo. (No, I am not exaggerating).
We did it!
I wish I could sum up the walk in a tidy little paragraph. It was amazing to see families there (some of the kids were wearing shirts saying "I'm proof IVF works," or "miracle baby!"), but it was bittersweet because it was a reminder of where we should be right now, and wondering if we'll get that chance in the future.

However, overall, the walk was so uplifting for me; it was incredible the amount of people who were not diagnosed with infertility but were there walking with those who were. It was a reminder that no matter what, no one with infertility walks alone.

A big fat thank you to everyone who supported us for this day - we surpassed our fundraising goal, we had a hashtag going, and all day we got texts and emails and messages which made us feel like we were cocooned in love.

Thank you Resolve, for an incredible morning, a great event, and the return of hope.

Jun 16, 2014

Two steps forward, three steps back

Dear Cece,

I miss you.

There have been a lot of losses and tragedy that I've seen lately, and somehow it makes me yearn for you even more.

We've endured our first Mother's and Father's Days without you. Here's hoping those are the worst because they definitely were doozies.

I remember who screamed when I blurted out, "I'm pregnant." I remember who cried, who laughed, who squealed, and who cussed.  (Trust me, your mom isn't the only one who uses colorful language when excited).

I don't know if I'll have that again. Regardless of whether or not I actually get pregnant again, I can't see being anything other than terrified what happened to you will happen again. I'm working through that, but I just don't know.

Your Dad and I are walking this weekend for you. We are looking forward to it - we've named our team after you, and we have some pretty awesome shirts if I do say so myself. It's called the Walk of Hope, and I'm clinging to that idea.

Hope.

I could use some right now.

Because I'm sure the people will be wonderful, and the stories will be touching, but in my heart I know I would change this in an instant if I could - so I was still pregnant with you, and meeting you in less then two months.

All the love I have,
Mom


Jun 12, 2014

Tidbits

What's a blog without an occasional bullet-style type post?

*The Walk of Hope is a week from Saturday - whaaat? I feel like I was just signing up for it! I'm really looking forward to the walk - seeing how many people show up, all the different team shirts, and recognizing the bigger purpose of why we are there. (Psst, if you want to contribute to our team there's still time - go here!)

*Vacation was fabulous. Adjusting to real life after vacation? Whomp whomp. (I think I'm going through gelato withdraw). I am however diving into all the books I brought back from the trip - it helps me pretend I'm not in an apartment I despise.
*Speaking of which, we are moving. Yes. I don't know where, and not for a little while yet, but I have already started packing up some boxes. I am so over this complex, this apartment, and oh my gosh over the noisy neighbors. Say it with me: this is the year we are done with one-bedroom apartments. Cross your fingers for an easy search and a good deal!

*It's so funny when I tell people we're moving - I guess people assume if you're in your early 30s you're buying a house which is so not the case for us. A friend asked us if we were looking to buy - I told her we're not for a lot of reasons (um, hello big fat responsibility I don't care to take on), one of which is any kind of down payment has been sucked dry by fertility treatments. Later I told that to Ben, and we started laughing because it's ridiculous how much fertility medicine/procedures cost! (See also: find humor where you can).

*We are halfway through the year. Halfway through the year! I...just...what?!

*My manifesto is almost done and it. is. fabulous. It's ready to be printed, I just have to figure out what I want that to look like - hopefully I'll have something to show you soon!

*I am still loving the Book Riot and the Dear Book Nerd podcasts. They make my commute so much less rage-y.

What's bouncing around your head today? Happy almost Friday!

Jun 9, 2014

A delightful week

Vacation is for...

...finding not one, but two yarn stores.
...eating the best damn gelato ever.
...meeting blog friends (turned in real-life-friends) for the first time.
...and blog babies! (This was pre-coffee for both of us. Don't worry, we are totally besties).
Vacation is for...exploring.
...coloring and tic tac toe.
...almost passing out from joy over independent bookstores.
...meeting a fellow More Love Letter team member.
...taking time to honor our girl.
...saluting a sunrise.
...simply love.

What are vacations for you?