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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Way back when-sday

This week's WBW post is titled, "Reasons why it's amazing that I ever found a husband." Enjoy:

Summer 1998... making braces look good

Studying and being generally attractive/displaying feminine qualities (post-soccer practice, clearly) some time around 1999 (not 1994, as the picture's time stamp suggests)

I look like a bat.

I promise my butt is not actually that huge. For the record, I let Allison and her roommate do this to me (make-up, hair, attire) one random Friday night in college "for fun"... looks like a blast to me.

And now, for the grand finale, aka: a picture I never would have thought I would willingly put on the internet. Apparently, I really do have no shame.

I believe this one was actually taken after Brian and I started dating, some time in 2004 at the Chi Omega house. I was eating breakfast on a Saturday morning, MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS, when a certain roommate/identical twin sister decided to "surprise" me with this picture, mid-bite of cereal. She even went so far as to print off a copy, which is why it eventually ended up on the Chi O House Girls' "Wall of Shame." A proud moment indeed.

Now go join in on the WBW fun:

The Blogivers

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday musings

For those of you that were wondering (even if that applies to none of you), I have now been Words with Friends-less for 4 days, which feels a little bit like an eternity. There are currently 11 notifications on my iPhone, just taunting me every time I look at it.

I know what you're thinking- why not just remove the app entirely so I don't have to see the notifications? I'll tell you why- because that, my friends, would be the easy way out. It's not nearly as hard to resist temptation when the temptation is non-existent, and I like a good challenge, so I'm leaving it on there. It's tough being so hardcore.

In other iPhone news, I wanted to share a funny text message exchange with my sister-in-law, Shannon, that took place recently. Last Tuesday night, Brian decided to stay up late to work on his sermon. I went ahead and got in bed, and once I was finished playing my final rounds of Words with Friends (if that's not living it up on Fat Tuesday, I don't know what is), I decided to text message him in the other room to say goodnight.

Just saying "goodnight" would have been far too boring, however, so instead, I sent him this:

I thought it was a little unusual that he didn't answer right away, but I assumed his phone was probably on silent and just went to sleep. I had forgotten about it entirely until a few days later when I got a text message from Shannon and scrolled up to see the following:

Ha! Oops! It would appear that I blew a kiss and said goodnight to the wrong Joiner... my bad! Not wanting to make me look like an idiot and/or not wanting to acknowledge the fact that her sister-in-law was sending cheese ball text messages to her brother, Shannon opted not to respond and just to let it go. Good call, sis :)

And speaking of her brother, it just dawned on me that I never gave him proper credit for ensuring yet another memorable Valentine's Day! He started off the morning by giving me two gifts - the Fray's new cd and this book that my friend Beth recommended (written by "Kelly" from The Office - I've only finished chapter 1, for the record, and it is already hilarious!).

He continued the day's festivities by showing up at my office with this special delivery during my lunch break:

The flowers are beautiful, yes, (and still alive 2 weeks later, by the way!), but perhaps more important to note is the box of CUPCAKES from Gigi's! And let me tell you, they were delicious. I didn't take a picture of the actual cupcakes because I was too busy stuffing them into my mouth... sorry.

We ended the evening with dinner at Churrasco's (just like last year, as you might recall) and some time spent attempting to make plans for this year's vacation. And on that note, we are having a tough time deciding where to go this year. I know, very much a DINK problem, and I would feel guilty complaining about it being that so many of my readers have kids and a tight budget... except for the fact that you have kids and we don't. So please pardon my lack of pity for the time being :)

And on that note (since my segues have been awesome tonight), we still don't have any kids, for those that were wondering. Want to hear something sad? I realized recently that when my friends ask how I'm doing, I generally assume they are actually asking how fertility stuff is going, and therefore my response typically starts with, "Well, I'm on day xx of my cycle..." Oh how magical the day will be when I stop thinking of my life in 28-day (or in my case, sometimes 50+day) segments.

But until then, I hope you continue enjoying hearing about it! And if you don't, just go read Allison's blog... because let's be honest, it's a lot like reading mine, minus the fertility issues/plus the cute baby pictures.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Way back when-sday

Oops- did I go a whole week without posting? My bad.

Today I'm taking you way back to early 2007 when Brian and I had our engagement pictures taken. It was January and we lucked out with perfect weather- 60 degrees and not a cloud in the sky! I guess that made up for the fact that on our actual wedding day, it was cloudy, humid, and approximately 100 degrees outside. Note to 24-year-old self: get married in January next time.

Anyway, sit back, relax, and enjoy (oh, and try to ignore the repeats, aka: pictures that have been repeatedly displayed in the blog header and/or new Facebook timeline):

I like this picture because it makes us look like we're so gigantic that we can't fit into a normal-sized photo lens.


We were supposed to casually slide down this slide, which would have worked perfectly had it not been built for tiny tots. We were so large and in charge that no actual sliding took place... it did make for a few laughs, though! 

 My dress flew up just in time for a neighborhood boy to cruise by on his bike. That was spesh.

Oh, you know, just dancing outside of an abandoned building. 

What? Taking pictures is tiring!

 Go, Lance, go! (Disclaimer: I am actually not a big Lance Armstrong fan.)

We should really frame this one and put it in Baby Dinosaur's room, don't you think?

Now go join in on the WBW fun:

The Blogivers

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Way back when-sday

Today's WBW post is going to take you back to February 2008. Back in the previous December, we had adopted Noah, our lovable Siberian Husky mix, from the SPCA. We had talked about getting him a playmate one day, but didn't have plans to do so any time in the near future. As is often the case, however, apparently God had other plans.

Go here to read about the day we found this sweet little dachshund mix by the dumpster at our church:

As the post says, we put up signs and tried our best to find his owner, but when none was found, the aptly named "Buster" became officially ours. Ready or not, Noah was a big brother:

As I'm sure I mentioned in a later post, we foolishly believed that this little guy was full-grown and probably around 4 years old. So imagine our surprise when we took him to the vet and found out that he was only 4 months old! And what we didn't really understand until a couple of years later was that he was anything but full-grown when we found him:

(picture taken in 2011... just a few pounds heavier)

Anyway, we are thankful that we found that dumpster dog 4 years ago and that we decided to bring him into our home... Noah might not always agree, but deep down I'm sure he is thankful to have Buster in his life, too :)

Now go join in on the WBW fun:

The Blogivers

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

This one actually required effort

That’s right, I’m doing two Monday survey posts in a row. Depending on how you feel about surveys, you’re welcome/I’m sorry.

I was tagged by my pal, Brittnie, and was more than happy to comply. Fun fact: I work with Brittnie’s father-in-law. When he found out about my fertility issues (yep, that’s right, everyone knows), he mentioned that his son and daughter-in-law were going through a similar struggle, and that she, too, had a blog. We swapped blog information and the rest is history!

Two other fun facts: (1) We accidentally met once at Freebirds when I recognized her from her pictures and chased her down in the parking lot. One day I hope to meet her on purpose :) (2) She is now pregnant with a baby girl!

Ok so let’s get the show on the road. First, here are the rules:

Rules For Bloggers: (you must repost these)
1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them that you’ve tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about ‘you are tagged if you are reading this.’ blah blah blah, you legitimately have to tag 11 people! 

11 Random Things About Myself:
1. I use the same chapstick tube until it’s completely gone (rather than having multiple). The same goes for pens at work… I use one until it dies.
2. So strong is my love/need for dessert that sometimes I have a post-dessert dessert. For example, after I have chocolate pudding at night, I typically follow it up with a Hershey’s kiss.          
3. On a fairly regular basis, I dream that one of my contacts has somehow grown in size and is too big to fit into my eye… as in, it has grown to the size of a frisbee.          
4. I am ok with admitting that the primary reason for my joining both a sorority and the Junior League is that I knew my mom expected me to.           
5. Speaking of my mom, if I am ever complimented on something I’m wearing, 99% of the time it’s something she bought me.
6. If I ever When I get pregnant, I fully intend to invite Needle Lady to my baby shower.
7. I think doing my taxes is fun and sometimes I secretly wish I had been an Accountant.
8. October is my 2nd favorite month (with May, obviously, being my most favorite).          
9. I have already decided what I want to give up for Lent this year: Words with Friends. Trust me, it’s necessary.          
10. My lucky number is 13.          
11. I weigh myself on a weekly basis, and every single time I’m about to step on the scale, I legitimately pray for God to be merciful. Sad, I know… this is probably because of fact #2 above :)

1.       Describe yourself in 3 words.
I used to ask this questions in interviews and a guy actually responded once with “tall, dark, and handsome.” Barf. I would say loyal, persistent, and honest (to a fault!).

2.       What is your dream vacation?

3.       Most adventurous/daring/risky thing you have done, in your opinion?
I went skinny dipping twice in high school, does that count? Other than that, I’m going to go with planting a church – definitely the most adventurous/daring/risky thing in my adult life!

4.       What brings you joy?
Friends and family (especially nieces and nephews)… and chocolate.

5.       If you could only eat three foods for the rest of your life what three would you choose?
Peanut butter, chips/queso (I’m counting those as one because Allison said I could), and turkey sandwiches

6.       Describe your family growing up.
Growing up with my family was entertaining, to say the least. I’m the youngest (by one minute) of 4 kids – 3 girls and 1 boy. We also at one time had 20+ pets, thanks to my animal-loving brother, so as you can imagine, it was a full house. Miraculously, my parents are still married (40 years later)!

We had a pretty typical childhood- playing outside with friends, family vacations, and plenty of sibling fights about important things like who gets to sit in the front seat of the car. We also lived near most of our cousins/extended family (until we moved to Austin), so we were fortunate to grow up alongside them as well!

7.       Favorite way to spend a Saturday with nothing to do?
Morning run/walk with my pal, Katie, non-cereal breakfast with Brian, minimal errand-running, followed by dinner out (Mexican food, obviously), and dessert at home with Dateline on the tv

8.       Have you ever been hospitalized? If so - for what?
Nothing overnight, but I have gone to the hospital twice for stitches (both under the age of 10, so it’s been a while!).

9.       Three things you love about your spouse.
1 – He is an eternal optimist! Sometimes this drives me insane, but deep down, I appreciate his ability to always look on the bright side.
2 – He is funny! Making me laugh is no easy task, so the fact that he does it on such a regular basis is impressive.
3 – He takes care of me. I appreciate that he goes out of his way to make sure I’m happy, and I know that he would go to just about any length necessary to keep me that way :)

10.   Did you go to college and if so, what did you study?
Only to the greatest college in the world- Texas A&M University! I double majored in Spanish and International Studies, neither of which do I use on a regular basis. Oops.

11.   If you could have ANY job in the world what would it be? Think big people - sky is the limit here.
This is an easy one – a MOM! You would think this goal wouldn’t be such an easy one to attain, but you’d be wrong!

My questions for YOU:
1. If you had to have any one song play to announce your arrival whenever you walk into a room, which song would it be?
2. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? (Note: there is a correct answer to this question in my book, so answer carefully.)
3. What one thing is guaranteed to make you cry?
4. What do you do for a living? Did you grow up wanting to do this?
5. If you had to name your next (or first) child after a pet you’ve had during your life, which name would you pick?
6. What’s your favorite sport to play? And to watch?
7. What’s your pet peeve of the moment (because if you’re like me, they change from day to day)?
8. If you had to eat one thing for breakfast every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
9. How many glasses of water do you drink, on average, per day? Are you proud of this number?
10.What was your favorite grade in school growing up and why?
11. How many pairs of shoes (estimate) do you own?

Bloggers I tag for the above 11 questions:
1. Allison from the blogivers
2. Kelly from The Nelsons
3. Erika from something beautiful
4. Heather from The Durbin Diaries
5. Brittany from Reid All About It
6. Camille from Camille Rodriquez
7. Chrissy from The Year of the Cheeri-o
8. The Bird from Bird meets Bee
9. Kaimey from new every morning
10. Katie from Tales from the Hill's Country    
11. Amanda M. from The McDaniel Family
*And anyone else that wants to participate :) I tried to leave off any new mommies to spare you from having one more thing on your to do list, but feel free to join in anyway!   

Friday, February 10, 2012

Doctor's orders

I seem to have caught a cold this past weekend, and though I fought it, the cold eventually won, leaving me at home sick from work on Wednesday. Brian had actually urged me to stay home on Tuesday, but I resisted, and unsurprisingly ended up still feeling pretty crummy when I got home from work that night. Rather than say, "I told you so," Brian instead just prayed at dinner that I would feel a little worse the next morning so I would stay home and get the rest I needed. Ha, if that's not love, I don't know what is!

Anyway, when I told Brian that I was going to stay home, he told me that he would have to talk to "Dr. BD" and get a prescription for me. For those that have forgotten, "BD" stands for "Baby Dinosaur" (who, in addition to attending 3rd grade, has apparently also managed to graduate from medical school).

He came back into the room shortly thereafter and handed me this:

In case you couldn't decipher the cryptic dinosaur handwriting, allow me to translate his strict instructions for me in order to help me get well:

1. Bed - I was to stay in bed as much as possible. Fortunately, with special permission, I was also told it would be ok to use the couch.
2. Rest - This one is obvious.
3. Take 1 PB (peanut butter) M&M every hour. - I didn't follow this one to a T, but tried to make up for it by eating several at lunch.
4. Today Show - Apparently starting off the day with Matt, Al, and Ann was supposed to maximize my chances of getting better, so of course I obliged.
5. (Greater than or equal to) 1 Bath - I have said it before and I'll say it again - baths can cure most of life's problems. So glad to have a doctor that shares this philosophy!
6. Dawson - More specifically, Dawson's Creek. Unfortunately, BD wasn't aware that DC is not currently played on tv OR available on instant Netflix. Fortunately, he deemed Felicity to be an acceptable substitute.
7. Heating Pad - The fact that I had a cold and not a torn muscle is irrelevant because, as Dr. BD knows, heating pads share the same healing properties as baths.
8. Buster - When I asked for clarification on whether or not this meant I had to snuggle with Buster, he informed me that I just needed to spend as much time in Buster's presence as possible. The only reason he didn't list Noah, for the record, is because he is not quite as warm and cuddly as Buster.

And then you'll see Dr. BD's signature at the bottom. After reading through the prescription with me, he remembered one important instruction and promptly scribbled it on the back:

Apparently I have a reputation for resisting instruction #2 written above, which is why this one got its own page AND an exclamation point. For the record, I did my best to comply with this one but with one small exception... I vacuumed. I couldn't help myself! Lounging around like a slob surrounded by a pile of used Kleenex just made me feel gross, and somehow having clean, dog-hair-free floors made me feel better.

Anyway, apparently this prescription was just what I needed because I am feeling much better! And in case any of you are feeling under the weather, now you know which doctor to call :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Way back when-sday: The Infertility Edition

Today's WBW post is going to take you waaaaaay back to 2009, aka: life before infertility. I realize that the main point of Way Back When-sday is to show pictures, but because I don't actually have any before/after pictures of my reproductive system (and because I wouldn't share them with you if I did...), I'm just going to take a moment to reflect back on what life was like before I was aware that I was sub-fertile:

- I didn't even own a thermometer, let alone use one on a daily basis (although thanks to Needle Lady, I have refrained from practicing this habit for the past couple of months).
- And on that note, if I mentioned "96.8" in a conversation, I would most likely have been talking about a radio station and not my average basal body temperature.
- Receiving an invitation to a baby shower didn't make me cry.
- Seeing a couple that was married for a shorter time period than us announce a pregnancy on Facebook made me curious, but not irrationally angry.
- I went to the doctor approximately one time per year.
- I hadn't thrown up (or really even felt nauseas) in approximately 10 years.
- I ate Raisin Bran on a daily basis, blissfully unaware of the apparent harm caused by a raisin-filled diet.
- I had no idea what the acronyms, "CM, TTC, BD, BBT, LH, FSH, or PCOS" actually meant.
- I never once used the word "ovulate." In fact, I don't think I even knew the definition of the word.
- The only prescription I took on a regular basis was birth control. Isn't that ironic?
- If given the option of having someone stick needles all over my body and being run over with a car, I very likely would have chosen the latter.
- I didn't live in fear of getting that random phone call/e-mail from a friend that's also trying to get pregnant gently letting me know that their efforts, unlike ours, had been successful.
- Being asked to go out of town for work (without Brian) didn't make me panic about "missing our window of opportunity."

Yes, it's safe to say life was different back then. To be fair, there are many other positives that I was missing out on as well... friends that I never would have met, a deepened ability to sympathize with others, a reliance on the Lord that one only learns through experiences that teach you how utterly helpless and out of control you actually are, and the list goes on.

Sometimes I actually look back at pictures and am jealous of how ignorant I was of what was lying ahead. And on that note, I have heard people say that if God would just tell them how long they would have to go through infertility, then they would be able to endure it more easily knowing there was an end in sight eventually. I, however, couldn't disagree more... I am convinced that God doesn't tell us how long our suffering will last because if He did, we would never "agree" (as if we had a choice!) to go through the journey that is required to get there.

Anyway, just to keep with the "rules," I'll throw in a picture from 2009 anyway! This one was taken on a trip to College Station with the Olivers in September 2009, the same month that we went off birth control and our journey began!

So there you have it... now go join in on the WBW fun:

The Blogivers

Monday, February 6, 2012

Not the first time I've copied her, believe it or not

Like me, many of you probably read Allison's recent survey post, and even though she very rudely didn't tag me to do it as well, I'm sure that she meant to. Right, sis?

I have already scheduled a post for Wednesday that required thought, so I figured I would steal this one in order to meet my obligatory two-posts-per-week quota. You're welcome.

1. How old were you when you had your first kiss? 14- I'm so cool that after it happened, I wrote down the exact date, time, and location on a post it note and planned to keep it forever to remind me of that magical day. Eventually I broke up with that butt face guy, however, and threw the post it note away.

2. Do you remember his name? If so, what is it? Oops, I guess it's rude to reveal that information now that I called him a butt face, but I'll tell you anyway- David.

3. Where's the furthest you've traveled? Spain - summer 2004 for a study abroad trip

4. Where's your favorite place to get away? Does the bath tub count? 

5. What's your favorite ice cream flavor? Chocolate chip cookie dough, although I'm also a pretty big fan of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie

6. Do you prefer a wood fireplace or gas fireplace? And why? I'm going to go with gas, because I'm fairly certain that having actual logs in the house = having actual bugs in the house.

7. What was your very first car? I'm starting to feel like it was pointless for me to fill this survey out since my answers are almost all identical to Allison's, but I'll answer anyway: a fire engine red Jeep Grand Cherokee that used to belong to our mom. We shared it, which never started any disagreements, as you can imagine :)

8. If you were forced to choose between a chapstick, toothbrush, or hairbrush to go with you on a desert island, which one would you pick? Who calls it "a chapstick"? Regardless, that would be my choice for sure. I can deal with sub-par breath and tangled hair, but chapped lips, I just won't do.

9. What past time period would you live in? Since Brian and I have been watching The Wonder Years on Netflix, I'm going to go with the late 60s. I'm sure I would have been far too straight and narrow/judgmental to join in on all of the hippie fun, but it would have been interesting to observe. Plus I would have wanted to hang out with Winnie Cooper.

10. Which food could you not live without? Chocolate chip cookies... only because Allison already stole my original answer of chips and queso

11. Which food do you believe is of the devil (figuratively speaking)? Oh, you didn't mean literally which food do I believe was created by Satan himself? I'm going to go with peanut butter M&M's. Remember the old saying about potato chips- "I bet you can't eat just one"? For me when it comes to peanut butter M&M's, it's, "I bet you can't eat just one hundred."

Check back on Wednesday for a post of actual substance!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Way Back When-sday: Bridal Party Edition

As you might recall, last week's WBW post featured a picture of Allison and me as bridesmaids in our older sister's wedding. Being that weddings are highly photographed events, I thought a Way Back When-sday post focused on weddings that I've been a part of would be easy fun!

I'm not doing a repeat from the first time I served as a bridesmaid because (a) you already saw a picture from it and (b) the other ones are even less flattering. And speaking of less flattering, isn't it special that I was in a grand total of 4 weddings during 2005-2006, aka: the largest I have ever been in my life? At least I had trimmed down in time for my own in 2007, right? :)

May 2005: Bridesmaid in Maryanne & Lorne's wedding

Bridesmaids with our dates (all of whom ended up becoming our husbands!)

December 2005: House party member in Lauren & Drew's wedding

We passed out programs like it was our job... because it was.

July 2006: Bridesmaid in Brittany & Chris's wedding

Pretty in pink! As a side note, this was the tannest I think I have ever been... even tanner than on my own wedding day.

August 2006: Bridesmaid in Allison & Wade's wedding

With Elizabeth (pregnant with Brown) and Amy (Wade's sister)

June 2007: House party member in Kelly & Andrew's wedding

Toasting with the sissies at the reception

September 2008: Bridesmaid in Sara & Clayton's wedding

These dresses were from J. Crew and get my vote for "most likely to be worn again!"

June 2010: Bridesmaid in Risa & Jared's wedding (Risa, you have been such a blog slacker that I'm not even going to link to yours! But I still love you :)

The first time the 4 of us (a) were ever photographed together and (b) attended a wedding together... did you believe me for a second there?

November 2010: House party member in Beth & Richard's wedding (speaking of slacking, Beth, you also owe us an update!) - Did anyone notice how it looks like I have a LARGE baby bump in this picture? That's fun, considering how un-pregnant I was/am.

This was actually taken the night before at the Rehearsal Dinner but it's a better pic of the two of us :)

Lots of fun wedding memories- thankful to have been a part of all of these girls' special days! One slightly depressing fact: Of the 9 weddings I have been in, 7 of those couples now have a child/children or are currently pregnant. Yep, I just had to go there, didn't I?

Now go join the WBW fun!
The Blogivers