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?

Jun 5, 2014

Salute the Sun

Ahhh, vacations. They can be chaos and logistics, but also so restorative. Especially when you get up before the sun, and welcome it with a salutation.
Photo by my Mom - I didn't even know she was taking it!
Love, and hope, and just...peace.

May 29, 2014

Summer infatuations

We all know how I feel about fall. (Um, if you don't, you obviously have not been reading this blog for very long, so read this, then come back).

However, winter lasted awhile this year so for now, I'm enjoying the warmer temperatures. I expect this to last all of three and a half minutes, so I figure I'll ride it out while I can.

We pretty much skipped spring - we go from chilly to humid here in Northern Virginia - and I already have a few summer favorites. Summer is about being flexible - less planning, more relaxing, and there are a few things that have already proven themselves up for the season.

*Sanuk flip flops - I have no idea how I've gone this long without knowing about these, but holy mother of fabulous. They are made from old yoga mats. Let me say that again. They are made out of old yoga mats. Recycling things for the environment and feeling like you're walking on clouds? Please and thank you.
Why yes that is fabric under the strap so they don't hurt your feet. Genius.
*A good bag and a comfy dress - I found this dress a couple months back and even though I had to get it hemmed (um, story of my life), I never wanted to take it off. I don't think I can describe how comfortable it is. Around the same time I discovered this Etsy shop and snagged this bag at a great price. It's canvas-y and light, and easy to throw in a few things and go - it's like it was made for summer. Put them together? All the stripes. Win.
I was looking at someone and didn't realize I took this picture. Then when I saw it later I couldn't stop laughing!
*An easy dish to bring to barbeques - I can't take credit for this one. My friend Tess made this when I had dinner at her place recently, and I loved it so much I made it myself the next day. I posted a photo on Instagram and was inundated with requests for the recipe. It's so easy I don't even want to call it a recipe, but here you go.
Yes, it is as good as it looks.
Ingredients:
1 can black beans
Corn from 4 cobs (I used 2 cans of corn and it was just as good)
2 avocados (she told me two avocados for every four cobs so if you're doubling this, keep that in mind)
1 pint/quart (whatever the small container at the store is) of tomatoes (I told you - so easy!)
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Lime juice

Drain beans and corn, cut up tomatoes and avocados, put everything in a big bowl and stir. Add both the powders (I put enough so the top of everything was covered), and stir. Add lime juice (again, just poured and stirred a couple times). Can eat immediately or refrigerate.

*A good read (or two, or three) - I've found a few fun novels lately - light and easy, but good writing, and there's nothing better than something that makes you laugh while you're enjoying the sunshine. I'd recommend A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White, Vintage: A Novel by Susan Gloss, and Hope in a Jar by Beth Harbison. I'm currently reading And One Last Thing by Molly Harper - I'm only a hundred pages in, but it's already made me laugh out loud several times! (Also, little reviews of each of these over on my Goodreads).

What are some of your summer infatuations?

Happy almost Friday!