Friday, July 31, 2009

My wedding

Kelly's Korner does a post each week to get to know bloggers and for them to show off parts of their life. I decided to start doing this too as much as I can (or more like as much as I remember). This week is about the wedding (not the reception!) and all about the wedding, so here we go!

Jeff and I got married September 22, 2007. My family loves to camp (not just my parents... my ENTIRE family... aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.) and Jeff's parents also love to camp. My dad's friend owns a campground that has a BEAUTIFUL gazebo area and told us we could use it for free and have the reception there! It was exactly what I wanted.
(If you look behind the gazebo in the picture above you can see a covered bridge).
(There is a water mill next to the gazebo).

The morning of the wedding I woke up hearing POURING down rain (on a day it wasn't supposed to rain!!!). I panicked. But the rain left after about a half hour, unfortunately when it left the humidity came in. It was the hottest day in September!!

Our wedding took place at 3:45pm.

There was a string quartet from the high school I went to. They were AMAZING. The girls walked down the aisle to Bach's "Air on the G String" (my mom found this title hilarious, but I just loved the song!), I walked down the aisle to Pachelbell's "Canon in D". I want to point out that I heard this song when I was a kid and absolutely loved it. I had no idea that it was used for weddings. I even bought a tape of this song playing with ocean sounds. I would make my parents play it when we were in the car and over and over they heard the same song. They would wait until I was asleep and take it out. I have always wanted to get married to this song.

My favorite memory was walking down the aisle. My husband's face was amazing.

I truly think it is important to look at your husband and no one else when you are walking down the aisle. You have the entire reception to look at everyone who came... but only that one chance to look at the man you are about to marry as you are walking down the aisle. It was wonderful.

My grandfather performed our wedding. He is a minister. He baptized me, gave me communion, and now married it. It was very important to me that he marry us. Above he is pictured preparing for the wedding. Also in the picture is a table my dad made for me in college so that my TV could go over the AC unit in the dorm room. It ended up being a beautiful table and perfect for our rustic wedding! On it is our unity candle. We ended up lighting it at the reception because it was too windy to light during the wedding.

We did a circle of trust at the wedding, which my parents did at their wedding. This is where the parents come up to where we were and we all stand in a circle and speak a vow that we will go to them for guidance if need be, and they will let us find our way.

We both choked up during our vows (me more than him, but he did have a tear or two in his eyes).


I am an AVID football fan, as is my husband. (No seriously, for our wedding Jeff gave me a Patriots jersey with my new last name on it and the number 22 for our wedding date). I tend to be very vocal when we watch our team. My husband, me, my grandparents and my dad all used to get together to watch Sunday Night Football together (a tradition started by my dad when he wanted to spend more time with his grandfather). Well, the weekend before our wedding my team played. As we were watching and they scored I shot my hands in the air and yelled "TOUCHDOWN!". My grandmother thinks it is hilarious and then said that at the wedding, as we turned around to walk back down the aisle she was going to stick her hands in the air and yell "TOUCHDOWN!". My grandfather and dad quickly said they would too. Well, I didn't actually think anyone would do it until we turned around to be announced and walk down the aisle and see this:

And it wasn't just her too, most of my family was doing it, but my grandmother was the only one we got a shot of. They didn't yell touchdown, but their arms in the air was enough!

We walked back down the aisle to the "Hallelujah Chorus!" It was so fitting because we were together for 5 years and engaged for another year before we got married. HALLELUJAH!

I had written a poem for my husband to be read at our wedding, but because of differences with the reader we decided not to have a reader and decided to have it printed in the bulliten. Below is the poem I wrote for him:

A Message from Me to You

(written by Abbie at

I am hit with inspiration.

I pick up my pen and start to write,

and words come flowing from my mind.

I am writing a message from me to you:

My dear love, Mein Schatz,

Today I vow myself to you, I give my whole self to your whole self,

and you do the same.

And as we pledge to each other, looking deep into each others eyes,

Know this:

That just as I trust you will love me always,

I will always love you.

That just as I know that you will support me always,

So will I support you.

Through the years and the tears, the past and present, the good times and bad,

I will be by your side, just as you will be by mine.

Know that I will always be your companion and friend,

A safe haven when you need one,

Just as I know you will always be this for me.

You are my heart, and you have my heart.

You are my lover and I am yours,

My best friend, my confidant, and my rock,

Just as I am yours.

We are committing ourselves to each other this day,

To be steadfast through the laughter, through the pain, through joy and through sorrow.

As we look towards the future, with hopes and dreams in the deep blue pools of our eyes,

and overwhelming love in our hearts,

know that I am truly yours, and I give myself to you today, forever.

And just as you love me, I love you Mein Schatz.



I put my pen down, and wipe the happy tears from my eyes, and join you in the other room.

If you copy it, please credit me. I wrote this poem for my husband.

It was a beautiful day, and my favorite part of the day. A fter all, without the marriage part, the rest of the day couldn't have happened! I am so happy to be married to my best friend!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Insurance and Infertility

This is a hot topic. Currently there is no national mandate to require insurance companies to cover infertility treatments. There are a few states (MA and NJ to name two) who require insurance coverage for infertility, but recently PA (the state I call home) shot down a bill to require coverage. To ready why, click here.

Jeff's insurance does not cover infertility treatments. For those of you who don't know, here is about what popular treatments can run you:

Clomid or oral meds: up to $1500/cycle (depends on what monitoring your doctor wants)

IUI: up to about $5000/cycle (could be less). This really depends on the types of meds you are on to induce ovulation.

IVF: $15,000+/ cycle.

Might I add that Jeff's insurance covers ABORTION (and in this it includes termination for medical reasons, but it also says it does not discriminate and covers abortion of all kinds) but not infertility treatments.

The arguments against this bill are ridiculous. The first point, for example, says that while it can be extremely emotional, it isn't medically necessary (as in life threatening) for a couple to undergo fertility treatments. Really? So instead they would rather the insurance pay for $ in therapy bills because the emotions can be so hard to take at times that therapy is often necessary.

The second point is that infertility treatments are costly. Well of course they are and so you are expecting a couple to spend their life savings on infertility rather than saving it for their baby or spending it to help the economy. It is adding extra stress on marriages, on budgets, on both parents to HAVE to work because they need to pay off the debt of their infertility treatments. Oh and remember Octomom? How about John &(minus?) Kate +8... do you remember them? What about the other extreme multiple families we hear about in the news? If insurance coverage covered infertility treatments, women wouldn't have to feel like they need to use every last embryo for one shot at becoming in pregnant because they can't afford treatments in the future, which results in multiples. Multiples almost ALWAYS require NICU stays, costing insurances millions of dollars. So millions of dollars would be better than a couple thousand for the couple to have one child instead of feeling pressured that they only have one shot?

Another reason was on the language in the bill, saying that it didn't stop post-menopausal women and habitual aborters from using fertility treatments. Honestly? Change the language of the bill then. Don't shoot down a bill that could help out desperate couples who want nothing more than to have a child because of a few people who ruin it for all (which always seems to be the case, huh?).

But here is the bottom line... here is the reason why they shut this down: "While the Council is sensitive to those suffering from infertility, we were unable to find needed proof in the review of SB 1183 that coverage of infertility benefits would be cost effective."

Money. That is all that matters in this case. Money. That is so painful that money has to be something that would stop the state from requiring this coverage, even taking in consideration how emotionally painful this can be.

Types of insurance are chosen by different companies. Jeff's company (which we love and have always found them family friendly except in this one area) offers more than one option of insurance. I don't see why one of the options couldn't cover this. This would trump one of the arguments in the bill, which is that they want everyone to be able to afford healthcare and by adding infertility coverage, it would make it unreachable for some. Why not pick one of the options to include infertility insurance? I plan on sending a letter to his company that says something similar to this (feel free to copy and edit it/ use it. This was shared by someone on the infertility board that I frequent and I tweaked it to work for our case):

Dear [HR person]:
My husband has been a dedicated employee for the past three years. My spouse and I are suffering with the disability of infertility and request that you consider covering infertility treatment in [company name]'s health benefit package.

Often employers believe that adding and infertility coverage benefit will increase health care costs. However, recent studies indicate that including comprehensive infertility coverage in a health benefit package may actually reduce costs and improve outcomes.

For example, a recent employer survey conducted by the consulting firm William M. Mercer found that 91 percent of respondents offering infertility treatment have not experienced and increase in their medical costs as a result of providing this coverage.

As also proven in the following studies, the perceived cost infertility treatment is typically overstated.

Often patients elect treatment based on what is covered in their health benefit plan rather than what is most appropriate treatment. For example, a woman having trouble conceiving because of blocked follopian tubes or tubal scarring may opt for tubal surgery, a covered treatment, which can cost $8,000-$13,000 per surgery. Many patients are forced to forgo in vitro fertilization (IVF) because it is not a covered service even though it costs about the same as tubal surgery and statistically is more likely to result in a successful pregnancy. I have been faced with similar choices myself, and will have to face difficult decisions that might not be necessary, given adequate insurance coverage.

According to William M. Mercer, "The decline in use of high-cost procedures like tubal surgery would likely offset the cost to include IVF as a benefit and provide improved health outcomes." (William M. Mercer, Infertility as a COvered Benefit, 1997). In states with mandated infertility insurance, the rate of multiple births is lower than in states without coverage. (New England journal of Medicine, "Insurance Coverage and Outcomes of In Vitro Fertilization," August 2002). Couples with insurance coverage are free to make more appropriate decisions with their physicians based on medical necessity rather than financial considerations which often result in multiple births and a high rate of complications during and post-pregnancy for mother and babies. Wouldn't it be better to cover a $10,000 IVF procedure than a $2 million NICU stay for 3 babies?

Comprehensive infertility coverage may actually reduce premium expense by as much as $1 per member/per month. According to "The Hidden Costs of Infertility Treatment in Employee Health Benefits Plans" (Blackwell, Richard E. and the William Mercert Acturial Team, 2000), insurance premuims now indirectly provide coverage for "hidden" infertility benefits such as surgeries to remove scarring in the fallopian tubes for women or varicose vein removal for men. The cost of those benefits were calculated to be adequate to cover more effctive and often less expensive treatments such as ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization.

The cost of infertility services as a percent of the total health premiums went down after the 1987 Massachusettes mandate that required infertility coverage. (Study by Griffin and Panak, Fertility & Sterility, 1998).

According to a 2003 Harris Interactive Poll, 80% of the general population believes infertility treatment should be covered by insurance. (Harris Interactive Inc., Survey, 2003).

In vitro fertilization accounts for less than 3% of infertility services. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), 85%-90% of infertility cases can be treated with conventional medications. (ASRM website, Quick Facts About Infertility).

I have always felt that [company name] was a company that cared for their employees; however I have been disappointed that not one of the handful of insurance options offered by [company name] includes infertility treatment. Is that the kind of reputation they want to have about how they treat their employees? As the spouse of someone who works for [company name], I certainly hope not.

Please let me know if you would like any additional information on this issue. I hope [company name] will consider offering infertility coverage and support our family building efforts. Thank you for your consideration.


For more information on how you can advocate for insurance coverage in all of the states, or in your state, or mine, check out

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nothing too new

Nothing is really new around here. We have been enjoying our new vehicle, but otherwise life is fairly normal and slow right now.

I don't have a good feeling about this cycle. We will see. I only have one more cycle left after this to try before we have to stop until the spring. :( In a way it will be heartbreaking, but in a way it will be OK because then I can concentrate on finishing school and getting a job and then starting fresh in the spring. This next cycle will probably be with an RE (reproductive endocrinologist... fertility specialist), and then I will continue with that doctor in the spring (around April). We will see. I am triyng not to give up on this cycle yet.

Coming up I am going to write a post about insurance coverage, or the lack thereof, and what PA has just turned down from becoming law.

And just so you don't feel like this post is a waste, haha, here is an ADORABLE picture of the dogs (and Jeff):
Kota (on the left) would spend all day looking out the window if she could. Maggie likes to look out the window, but gets board rather quickly and would rather hog all of the toys.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New Something

Meet the new member of our family:
You may remember it from such commercials as this:

Or my personal favorite (they may look the same, but the music is different):

It is a 2010 Kia Soul + and it is our very first new car! Wahoo! It was so fun test driving and deciding on a new car (and a little stressful too).

We test drove the Kia Soul first, which REALLY set the bar high! We were so impressed with it (and to think that Jeff first thought it was ugly and now he loves it!). We loved all of the room it had inside and all of the details that this car had compared to the others in its class. But to let you know that we did do our research and test drove other cars, here is what else we test drove: After the Soul, we test drove the Nissan Cube, which is a similar car but EXTREMELY gimicky. Every reason the salesman (who we were not impressed with) told us to try to sell us on the car was an aesthetic reason, nothing to do with how good the car is except the style of engine it had. The car, standard, came with almost nothing in it. To get it up to the level of the Soul +, we had to add a ton of options to it which made the price WAYYY out of our range (over $20k!!!). We were NOT impressed. We also test drove the Nissan Versa, which is a hatchback. We weren't impressed there either. The price was high for the type of car it was compared to others in its class. It didn't have a whole lot inside and the interior felt very cheap to us.

We also test drove the Toyota Yaris, another 5 door hatchback. There was nothing WRONG with this car, it was just that it didn't have what the other cars we were interested in had (there were more cars, and I'll get to them in a minute). We also test drove the Honda Fit, which we liked, but again, it didn't have the room that other cars had. I realize that they are both good cars that will last and that Kia doesn't have that reputation, but I do think that Kia's cars have gotten A LOT better over the past few years. I know quite a few people that have Kias and LOVE their Kias.

Now for the competition... we test drove the Scion XB and XD (both made by Toyota). They were fantastic and real competition for the Kia Soul. Everything that the Kia had, they also had. However, they are a "pure priced" car, which means there is no negotiating on the price, Toyota policy. The price it is listed as is the price that it is. The Scion XB was our favorite of the two Scions, as it matched the Kia Soul with features, etc. However, it was high enough to be just out of our price range. The Scion XD was a great car and matched the price of our Kia, however it was a lot smaller than the Kia. We liked it but not as much as the Kia.

We got him talked down to a price that was comfortable (thank you to everyone who gave me advice on negotiating! I feel we did good for our first time. There is definitely room for improvement, but we did alright for our first time).

Why we loved the Kia Soul + (and why I keep putting a + sign next to the car name):
(I'll explain the latter first): The Soul comes in 4 categories: the Soul base model, which only comes in manual, the Soul + (plus), which has a lot more features standard in the car and comes in manual or automatic (and we are both automatic drivers), the Soul ! (exclaim), which had an interior we like, 18inch alloy wheels, but not too much more than the +, and the Soul Sport, which had an ugly interior (red and black! strange) but had some cool aesthetic features, like aluminum wheels, a sunroof that came standard, a rear spoiler, etc.

Now for why we loved it:
The Kia ran very smoothly and quietly (which actually ended up being pretty big when we test drove it!).
It has equal or higher saftey ratings than every single car that we test drove.
It came STANDARD with bluetooth in the car, so I can talk on the phone through the car!
It is extremely roomy inside the car. It is a cross between a hatchback and an SUV. It isn't as big as a crossover, but it is all but as big. the seating is like SUV seating, the seats fold down to leave A TON of room for storage, and there is even a decent amount of room when the seats are up, it had the most storage when it came to the glove compartment (enough to fit a 15" laptop if we wanted!).
The seats folded flat on the floor (instead of the trunk still being further down when the seats folded down.
The gas mileage was a lot better than what we have been getting with our cars (and no, neither of our cars qualified for the cash for clunkers program. Boooo)
The warranty.
Power windows and locks.
You can control the radio from the steering wheel.
A consol between the two front seats (you wouldn't believe how many cars came without a console or without armrests for the passenger! It was very annoying!)
There is definitely more but I can't think of them.

I went online to a few major websites that have done reviews or have consumer reviews and the only bad reviews it got was from people comparing the interior to a luxary car, which it is not. Otherwise everyone who has owned it loved it. Kia releases their cars in Korea first, to flatten out any bugs that may come up in the car before releasing it to the US.

We love the car and hope that it will love us back! We definitely needed a new car! We replaced Jeff's car, but for now it will be OUR car, not just his. It will become pretty much his car after I get a new one next year, but for now it will be our car. His car was giving us a lot of issues. It would just shut off when we were stopped, we've had a lot of radiator/heating issues with it lately, we just had a major engine issue this winter. It had no AC and only 3 windows went down (and none of those include the driver's window, making it terribly uncomfortable for the driver). You had to pull on a wire with pliers to get the hood open. There were other reasons I am sure. As you can see, it was time for a new car. We were ready to have a car that we could rely on!

And heck, we got the hamster car! That is what alerted us to it in the first place!

(Oh and props if you made it this far in this post! It was long and I didn't intend for it to be this long!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

They love it, I hate it

My dogs LOVE going to the vet. They love the attention they get and all the dogs they get to see (but hate that they don't get to play with the dogs). They were both scared to get on the big metal table, but were able to get on to be weighed. After that, Kota wouldn't get off of it! She LOVED it! Maggie on the other hand wouldn't go near it. She put her first two paws up there to get a treat and that was it. Everyone there loved our dogs. I love getting that response. :) Although I used to find it amusing that people would think they were labs, but now it is kind of annoying. Well, yesterday especially because this lady started whispering how "labs can be like that when they are young" (meaning very active and hard to handle), almost implying that we couldn't control our dogs (who were overstimulated, in a place they hadn't been to in a year, seeing dogs they couldn't play with all around them, coupled with the fact that they are really only 1 year old). I spoke up and said that they weren't labs and she was shocked. I also told her they were young and that was why they were still pretty active. Another lady thought they were stressed. Hm... my dogs really don't get stressed. They are so curious about everything and have found no reason to hate the vet so they love that they get to go somewhere new. Now... we had just taken them for a mile long walk and we were in the car, which doesn't have AC, so they were hot and tired from their walk. They were panting, but to cool down. Not because they were hot. The lady was arguing with me that my dogs were stressed. Um no, I know my dogs and know when they are stressed (believe me I do. Maggie can't stand fireworks and she cries and cowers down when she is stressed). They just wanted to meet the dog in the corner of the waiting room and they wanted to get off of their leashes and explore. I realize that a lot of other animals are stressed when they come to the vet (my parents' dog is one of these very stressed, must have a muzzle dogs) however the last time our dogs were at the vet was when they were babies. They LOVED it then and they had no reason to hate it now.

But they were VERY good. Maggie was 90 lbs!!! Kota was 83lbs! We thought that Maggie was 80lbs and Kota was 70-75lbs. They surprised us! And they also had NO CLUE they were getting shots or blood taken because they were too concerned that they would get the food that the vet was giving them. Meanwhile the vet was taking every measure he could to hide the shots from the dogs and told me not to let Kota watch Maggie getting shots. I don't think Kota would have had a clue that Maggie was getting shots. She just was so jealous that Maggie was getting attention and she wasn't. Boy was she happy when it came time for her to get the shots! Haha!

I hate the vet though because even though they don't mind their shots, I mind the shot at the very end and by shot I mean receipt that says how much I owe for that visit. Uggghhhhh.

But I will do what I can for these two beautiful (not lab!) faces:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lighthearted blog post

I got this in an email from my mom. I think it is hilarious! So check it out:

One For the Girls

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my shape to keep.
Please no wrinkles. Please no bags.
And please lift my butt before it sags.
Please no age spots. Please no gray.
And as for my belly, please take it away.
Please keep me healthy. Please keep me young.
And thank you Dear Lord for all that you've done.

Five tips for a woman...
1. It is important that a man helps you around the house and has a job.
2. It is important that a man makes you laugh.
3. It is important to find a man you can count on and doesn't lie to you.
4. It is important that a man loves you and spoils you.
5. It is important that these four men don't know each other.

Foot Note:
One saggy boob said to the other saggy boob:
"If we don't get some support soon, people will think we're nuts."

Friday, July 17, 2009


I used to be super organized. I was a neat freak also and my house was very organized. And then I had surgery and have since struggled to stay organized. One of our biggest issues is mail. Our mail gets collected in a basket inside our door and it is a small basket. It overflows and drives me NUTS! There is a blog giveaway for one of these:How perfect would that be for our mail (and keys, which I also always seem to lose!)? I entered to win and I am blogging for an extra entry. BUT YOU can enter too (and win this away from me! :P haha). Just check out Wedded Whims for entry info. If you let her know that I sent you over I'll get an extra entry as well. Then blog about it on your blog and your followers can mention that YOU referred them! Good luck!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I live vicariously through my dreams

Dreams and I live on a love/hate relationship. I love dreaming, but sometimes I hate waking up into reality. Last night I had a dream I was 9 months pregnant, and I woke up hating my body. The other day I dreamt I had a readheaded baby girl, which is something I've always wondered about and hope for because my husband is a redhead. I woke up and missed my baby. I loved these dreams, but hated waking up from them into what was really going on, which is not much of anything, sadly.

I am starting to feel some pressure because we only have two cycles left after this cycle ends before we have to put all of our treatments on hold until the spring. I finish my post-bacc certification in December and start teaching in December/January, but I'm not guaranteed a permanent job, which means I will be long-term subbing. If I don't get a permanent job, we can't try until April or May so that I won't be due in the beginning of the school year teaching with a new school. If I do get a permanent job I we may start right away because I will already be with the school for a while by the time I am due. I won't get hired for a job, though, if they know I'm pregnant and due in September or October, or even November, so if I only sub long term in January, then we aren't going to start trying again until my due date would fall late in the school year, like April-June. This will also allow us to save up for the next step of the process in treatments, which will probably be IUI. Sorry if this paragraph is confusing... I have a lot going through my mind. But after this break we are trying until it happens.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fantastic birthday!

I had such a fantastic birthday weekend! Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday wishes, both on here and not on here.

Friday the husband and I went to the drive-ins. It was a lot of fun, even though one of the movies was TERRIBLE. We saw Ice Age 3, which was cute, and Year One. Year One was awful. I don't recommend seeing it. I've never seen so many people leave during a movie as left during this one! It was funny! We stayed to watch it even though we both agreed that it was terrible.

Saturday, my birthday, was great. A friend of mine and I went to get a massage, which was FANTASTIC! I will never get over how good massages feel. Ahhh. I could use one every single day. We went out for Panera afterwords, which was just as yummy. :) Then I got home and Jeff gave me the presents he got for me (while I was out getting my massage... the man never plans ahead, haha). He got me golf shoes, the Twilight soundtrack, and Cars. Definitely awesome!

That evening we went to The Melting Pot for dinner with friends. (The pictures were taken by Steph. I forgot my camera). Here is Jeff and me at the restaurant. I love this picture!

These are our friends, Craig and Steph. Craig was Jeff and my roommate in college (we lived in a 3 bedroom apartment. Very good friends!)

The YUMMY cheese fondu. It was Fiesta style. THE BEST!!!! Seriously, I've had most of the cheeses at The Melting Pot and this one is the best by far, in my opinion, but I like spicy foods too, although you can get it without jalopenos.

This is a TERRIBLE picture of me, but you shouldn't be looking at me... you should be looking at the desert platter. The restaurant put a candle on the cheesecake! So sweet! :)

Seriously, if you haven't been there make it a point to go. Save your pennies because it isn't cheap, but it is the best restaurant ever!!! Afterwards we waddled to our cars and we all headed back to our house to play board games and drink some wine. It was a great night!

It was really great to spend the day with friends and my husband! It was really great to spend the whole weekend with my husband, who took off work to surprise me! I really had a wonderful birthday! :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thoughts on Becoming a Mother

Author Unknown

There are women that become mothers without effort, without thought, without patience or loss and though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be better.

I will be better not because of genetics, or money or that I have read more books but because I have struggled and toiled for this child.
I have longed and waited.
I have cried and prayed.
I have endured and planned over and over again.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.
I will notice everything about my child.
I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover. I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be crying for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see.

Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain.

I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body. I have been tried by fire and hell many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed.
I have succeeded.
I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.

I listen.

And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely. I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and when life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.

I have learned to appreciate life.

Yes I will be a wonderful mother.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's somebody's birthday...

on Saturday. Whose birthday? MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait! I love birthdays so much! It is my second favorite time of year (Christmas beats birthday!). I am going to get a massage during the day with a friend of mine and then Jeff and I are going out with our good friends (our roommate from college and his girlfriend) to The Melting Pot!!! YUM! Best day ever! Oh and the night before we are going to a drive-in. But what I am even more excited about is that Jeff surprised me by taking off this weekend. He wasn't going to tell me and instead surprise me Friday night by telling me that he doesn't have to work this weekend, but he was talking to his dad tonight and spilled the beans. WAHOO!!! He has worked so much lately and I am so excited to be able to spend a whole weekend with him... my birthday weekend to boot! I love birthdays! I love everybody's birthday!

So what do I want? A positive pregnancy test would be night, although I won't be testing on my birthday. I don't want it to ruin my day. Otherwise I have no idea. I am just so happy to have a wonderful husband, family, friends, dogs, house, etc. I am lucky. Infertility is not going to put a damper on my blessings, and especially not on my birthday weekend. I know that it can be depressing, but I will have a great weekend, month, etc. I am positive.

Oh and a cute story... since my birthday is around 4th of July, when I was a kid my mom would tell me that the fireworks were for my birthday so I used to think that everyone was celebrating my birthday and that all of the fireworks shows were for me. Now I still pretend that they are... :) A girl can pretend can't she?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Something to hope for

I have an aunt that suffered through 9 years of infertility before adopting her three children. She has been an amazing support to me. My birthday is on Saturday and I saw a lot of family this past weekend. The card my aunt gave me had an inspirational quote in it that is so fitting for now and really means a lot to me. Here it is:

"Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." ~Joseph Addison

How true is that. Something to hope for. I so often focus on what I don't have, and on the heartbreak that I am feeling, but I don't always focus on what I have to hope for. I have something to do (that is a given... I always have something to do!). I have something to love (a lot of somethings and some ones to love). But something to hope for... I do have that. I have a lot to hope for. Outside of infertility I hope that I will get a job with a great school, I hope that we will do well financially, I hope the Patriots win the Superbowl. But I hope that I will have a child as well. I do have that hope. I often don't get my hopes up from month to month that it will be the month, but I do have hope overall that I will become a mother someway... whether I carry my child in my belly or in my heart.

I do have something to hope for. What is your something to hope for?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th and some other stuff

Happy 4th of July (1 day early). I don't know if I will be able to jump on tomorrow, so I decided to do it today.

My family goes camping every year since I can remember for what we call the "Other Family Campout". It is my dad's side of the family and my mom's side of the family that gets together every year for the 4th to camp. I haven't camped with them for a while now, but would like to at some point. Instead, I go to where they are camping for a day trip on the day of the family party. Myself, and 3 of my cousins were born in June and July so when I was growing up and then when they were younger we had a family party to celebrate all of the birthdays. I stopped being part of the party when I was 20 or 21, (I guess I felt the need to grow up and that I wouldn't be looked at as "grown up" if I was still getting presents from my extended family for my bday. We really don't celebrate adult birthdays more than a card in my extended family). I still went for the family party though. We also used to have bocce tournaments, which was awesome. Now we just play bocce. I am going up tomorrow for the family potluck and party (although we aren't celebrating many birthdays this year). I am excited to go. I am going to spend the day and then come home after dinner. When we were really little, my cousins and I would play in the water and try to catch crawfish and build them "homes" out of rocks. Some of my favorite memories are from the Other Family Campout. I remember one year my cousin was born while we were all at the campout. (Well, she was born in the hosptial, but we got the call when we were there! By the way, today is her birthday... HAPPY BIRTHDAY HEIDI!).

Our area has one of the few remaining drive-ins in the nation, and actually the only one in the state. We used to have two in the area, but one was closed a few years ago (the one I grew up going to, sadly). Jeff and I are going to go to the drive-ins on Saturday night. I am so excited! :) I love going to the drive ins. We get a bunch of junk food and go and play games before the movies start. It is so fun. When I was a kid my mom used to make trail mix before we went to the drive ins. If I would walk in the kitchen and see my mom in there (which was a miracle to begin with because my dad is the one who cooks) with a BIG orange tupperware bowl (this thing was MASSIVE) I knew that it was drive-ins night! I hope that this drive in stays open long enough for our kids to make memories there and remember what drive ins were like because, sadly, they are dying out. Where else can you pay $7 a person for two movies that are out in theaters, not even old movies??? And you can sit in your own car and bring your own food!

So happy 4th of July everyone!!! I hope you all have a fantastic day making memories! Here's to hoping next year I have a little one to make memories with!

**EDIT** Someone anonymously left this website: in my comments that lists more drive-ins in PA. I don't know how up to date this website it or how many of these are still running, since it lists Columbia Drive-Ins and that was the one I grew up going to which is no longer in service. I just wanted to make a correction that the drive-in I *was* going to (Jeff found out he now has to work... bummer. Fingers crossed that he gets called off!) is not the only one in PA as far as this website is concerned, however I can't guarantee that this website is up to date or that many of these places are still around since articles I read when the Columbia Drive-Ins was going out of business said that there aren't many left in the country.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The movie "Orphan"

Wow... I just saw a preview for this movie and I have no intentions of seeing it. It seems like "orphans" are being made out to be evil. Society already has a bad view on what is to be an orphan and on orphan children, but this certainly does not help the case. The movie looks like it is about a family who brings an orphan into their home and the orphan turns out to be evil and does a lot of evil things. It is a horror movie. It makes me so sad to see this movie. There are already issues placing children in foster homes and older children in forever homes. This movie doesn't seem to help. I hope this movie has a better ending than I presume it will have, but I just can't see this movie.