The One That Almost Went Unpublished

Change is hard. Grief is unpredictable.

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Last month we moved into a new house. We left behind our first home, the place we started our fertility journey, and the place we ended it in so many senses.

I discovered in the moving process how bad I am at change. I also discovered that little apartment  which I had so many fond memories in, I also held so closely tied to our fertility journey.
I had no idea really STARTING OVER would be so hard.
We didn’t tell very many people, but immediately before we moved, we did some fertility re-testing to find our tests were much worse than previous. This was the end game. The final determinant. While we had already proclaimed we were done with fertility treatments, this was the nail in the coffin. It is over.

I pushed thoughts of fertility out to get the move done. I was perhaps the most stressed I have ever felt in my life. I blamed it on the move of course.
Now things have calmed. The boxes are unpacked, we are settled in.

Here I find myself in this house. Lots of space, perfect for a FAMILY.
There is a children’s bike left behind in the backyard from the previous tenants.
For the most part, I am me. Hopeful, excited, happy….but then these moments that I never saw coming come. My soul breaks open and the pain feels so sharp it is as though someone is squeezing my heart.

In those moments, I become that person I hate, that I won’t allow myself to be. The bitter one. The one who avoids pregnant friends. The one who allows strangers “You’ve been married for 5 years? No kids? What are you waiting for?!” questions to penetrate and hurt them. The one who sometimes has to fake a smile when people talk about their families. The one who cries in her husbands chest because she can’t shake that pain as quickly as she scheduled. The one who wants to go kick that damn bike and tell it to stop reminding her of what she doesn’t have.

It feels so selfish and overwhelming.

But then I pick myself back up…and trudge upward, searching for peace.

So friends, please excuse me while I am selfish for a while. Be soft for me when my heart is hard.

We will have a beautiful life, with or without children…
We will have a beautiful life, with or without children…
We will have a beautiful life, with to without children…

Today I am choosing joy, but pardon me if tomorrow I can’t.

Record Breaking Weekend

This weekend was one of the most fun I have had in a while. I am typically a big home body on the weekends, but this one I had fun things planned every single day! Saskatoon is such a great city!

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Friday my friend and I went for a coffee/walk [because I was too lazy to run our preplanned 10km] and then that evening, along with our new friend, went out for mexican [you guessed it, my fave- La Bamba] and then some live music at a local coffee shop, Mystic Java.

IMG_0018Saturday the hubby had a conference in the morning so I was left to my own devices to cook up a storm/relax. I made some easy buffalo cauliflower (roast cauliflower until soft/crispy and then douse in frank’s buffalo sauce) + granola + an amazing smoothie bowl.

IMG_0017Once G was finished with work, we headed out for a delicious dinner at Prairie Ink followed by heading over to Greenbryre Golf Course for Holly’s Wine and Paint class. We had a great time and ended up coming home with two very different works of art!:)

IMG_0016Sunday we slept in (skipped church) and then I made some gluten free crepes and then in the afternoon S and I went to help break the world record for the biggest snow ball fight!

IMG_0013EPICLY FUN is the only way to describe it! There were AT LEAST 8200 people (the previous record was held by seattle at less than 6000) registered…and likely a couple thousand more unregistered since they ended up running out of wrist bands and reg lines got really long.

IMG_0010Now we are settling in for a night in, my brother is coming over for curry, and we will likely finish The Incredibles which G and I started before bed last night, and I nearly fell asleep half way though in.:)

Have a wonderful week, and thanks for reading!

10 Random Thoughts

  1. Being a bad dancer is better than being a non-dancer. No one feels joy from non-dancers. JOY is present with confident bad dancers.IMG_0004
  2. Sweating feels GOOD. Believe me. Getting my but moving lately has been a real struggle …. BUT when I get out there and run or yoga or walk, I feel mighty mighty good after. While I am no where near back to normal in this sector, I did get out for a run and one hot yoga class this week. [P.S. Costco has these amazing Addidas thermal tights for $16…and they are really great]
  3. The Jinx. Seriously. People! If you think The Making of a Murderer on Netflix is amazing…You haven’t seen anything yet. M.I.N.D.B.L.O.W.I.N.G! G and I finished this series (only 6 episodes) last weekend and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.IMG_0006
  4. MY JEEP! Old Bernie was sent to the crusher, but beautiful Walter lies in her wake. We purchased a 2016 Jeep Cherokee North Edition, with a panoramic sunroof and 4-wheel drive. I had ZERO intention of buying new but the deal we received, on top of 0% financing and the security of 5 years of extended warranty….could not pass it up. I feel like a celebrity cruising down the street in this thing. Going from the most basic car (not even power windows or locks) to this lux SUV is pretty fun. I am definitely already noticing a difference in how much fuel it takes to power the thing though-only downside. IMG_0005
  5. ROAD TRIPPING. I am starting to look at the first half of our baby-detox road trip this summer. Researching the coolest places to see/stay/etc. I am beyond excited. If you have any suggestions for Salt Lake/Grand Canyon/LA/Seattle/Vancouver/Calgary/Saskatoon driving route….COMMENT!😉
  6. Soft Candy Canes. I discovered these bad boys too late-on the christmas clearance racks…but HOLY TAMALE…new favourite candy.IMG_0008
  7. Refreshed roots make me feel like a new woman. [the hair wash/head massage helps too.]Thank goodness for my hair dresser. [who shared with me she is pregnant for the third time with T.W.I.N.S!!! EEP!!!]IMG_0001
  8. Knitting. I can officially knit….sort of. I knit this thing. I don’t know what it is, but to me, it is a graduation to a real project. I am going to start a blanket this month. IMG_0002
  9. This. I saw it posted at work and loved it. Have a happy week.IMG_0007
  10.  Gosh that was a lot of pictures of myself. BAHAHA!

Perfectly Permanent Birthday

IMG_5477Another year has come and gone, and I am once again incredibly blessed in all aspects of my life.

For my 26th birthday today, I booked the day off, and spent it EXACTLY how I wanted.

I slept in until about 8:30 when the sun was just starting to rise and my Dad called. [He is always the first person to tell me happy birthday-he always beats G because he calls first thing in the morning, I love it.] I had a nice hot shower while I listening to my new Adele CD (a birthday gift from G along with a beautiful rose gold band and my favourite perfume), and put on some simple but pretty makeup and blow-dried and straightened my hair. I got into my favourite cute-comfy clothes.

 

G and I hoped over to the mall where I had a nail appointment for a pedicure. I was pampered and Graeme had his own hair cut and then got us both a starbucks.[BTW. It ALWAYS snows on my birthday..and of course in december-fashion it was snowing a bit when I came out with my sandals on :)]

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Next we went and purchased a variety of gluten free cupcakes from my favourite Cupcake Conspiracy downtown before returning home.

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We had about an hour before our next event which was perfect time for G to shower/shave [clean face just for me!] + put on some cologne [also a big deal, he hates cologne and I love it]. While home I got my Indigo delivery from black friday! Whoooo! Total surprise to receive a package on the weekend (Im assuming long hours for christmas)- but it contained some stocking things for G…as well as 3 candles I got for amazing deals. They all smell amazing! Happy Birthday to me! I also got to chat with my mom on the phone for a bit.(Mom + Dad contributed to our refugee sponsorship for my birthday which I appreciate wayyyyy more than a gift!:))

After we were done at home, we headed over to pick up my brother and then went to Famoso-my favourite pizza place for a casual lunch with a bunch of my friends! [some had to work and what not][the BEST gluten free pizza…and  I have NEVER been contaminated accidentally which is a huge feat at such a restaurant!]

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We had about another hour and a half before we had to head to a very special appointment so we came home. I had a cupcake and tea while cuddling with G watching my favourite show of the week: Last Man Standing on netflix. I was also able to finish up my goal list for the year! Fun things coming up!

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Finally, we went for the most anticipated part of the day. MY TATTOO!!!! Shannon at Alchemy Tattoo was AMAZING,  warm, kind…and didn’t seemed bothered at all by my type-A nature. She stencilled out my design twice, the first one was a bit small, the second perfect, and then she put the stencil on my arm around FIVE times while I hummed and hawed about exactly where I wanted it (I wanted it to be relatively straight even when moving…which is tough on the area I chose). Finally once I had decided, she reassured my fears of the pain, and started. Within 5 minutes, and essentially no pain [I have had paper cuts and running chafe that hurt more], it was done!!:) I absolutely adore it! My only regret is not going sooner. (Keep in mind the photo is five seconds after it was done, so all the blue is just from the stencils, all that will remain in a couple days is the black ENOUGH..and hopefully a  lot less redness. I’ll post a good pic when it is healed up.)

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After the tattoo we came home to do exactly what I wanted- to hang out at home! We are now relaxing on the couch, watching youtube videos, reading, sipping tea.

The only plans left are to watch my favourite movie, Marley & Me, maybe wrapping my final stocking gifts for G for xmas, and bed early for work tomorrow! [I planned a lunch out for this purpose…I’m a morning person!]

I am so incredibly thankful for this beautiful life I have, with so many wonderful people. Thanks for coming along for the ride.:) Here’s to 26!

 

 

STOP IT!

I need to address something here that is very VERY very important.

If I hear one more person tell me the secret reason they have never run is because they are too self conscious…..
I have heard this sad fact from at least 5 people this month. Tiny people, less tiny people, large people. Young people, old people.

PEOPLE! You are beautiful. If you are walking, shuffling, running, darting, ANYTHING, you are doing better than the majority of north americans sitting at home on their couch.

Screw them. Screw the kids who teased you as a kid. Screw the “elites” who make you feel slow. Screw bad body image.

We are all beautiful, and doing the best you can, and running is such a joy and gift because of just that-it teaches you to love yourself, and that you are capable of so much more than you think.

So whether you are 600 LBS, or 90lbs. 10 years old, or 80 years old… Lets get moving. No one else’s opinion should ever determine our health.

(PS. Me and all my ‘running friends’ are commending you…It takes incredible strength to get out there. Starting is hard, we were all there once.)

The End.

Love, Me.

A Mish Mosh of Thoughts.

Life lately has been odd.

Im not not happy, Im not sad, Im not anxious, Im not mad. I am just an odd ball of bits of everything. I had one REALLY hard week that I made myself a shut-in because I had such a terrible time coping-it hit me like a bag of bricks…and I didn’t know how to climb out. I spent a lot of time crying, and cancelled every single social thing scheduled to sit home alone in my sweat pants. Thankfully working distracted me, and I was able to pull out…. now I am just in this limbo of contentment, with occasional sad moments, but most often happy and good moments. Turns out you can’t just turn off grief or sadness because “You are ready to move on”.😉 Should have seen that one coming.

I am trying to focus on all the great things in my life, but the more I try to take my mind off of having children, the more I am brought back to this gut wrenching feeling that I NEED to adopt. The only way I can explain it is that in my soul, I know, my child is out there, waiting for me to bring them home.[I am aware of how incredibly INSANE this sounds] My head tells me; try IVF your chances are good…but my heart tells me; get going with adoption. THERE IS WHERE YOU FIND YOUR FAMILY. I am SO drawn to India; specifically children involved in human-trafficking there. Every day I spend away from the fertility clinic is another day my heart yearns for adoption more and more. The longer I am away, the more I dread going back. I literally CAN NOT WAIT to finally begin the process and make more solid plans next year.

These soul-searching feelings and thoughts are exciting, and scary…but mostly exciting.

In other news, our refugee fund is going well. A bunch of us were able to meet a family member of the family we are trying to sponsor which was incredibly rewarding. We were able to see pictures/names/ages of the whole family. It was so wonderful, but also sobering to hear about their journey to safety and freedom so far.

I am so inspired and amazed by what these people go through in their lives, and still come out so resiliently. The human spirit is such an incredible thing. I can’t wait to finally meet them in the near future. Fundraising is going well so far and I am so thankful for everyone who has contributed.

I have some-what gone off the rails in the last month-not running much, eating dairy whenever I want (and feeling relatively terrible with frequent allergic reactions). I am hoping to get back on track with this this week. Something about freakin’ cheese! So addictive. [and painful] There is some crazy little voice inside of me telling me to train for another full marathon this year….then I remember the pain of training: 32km runs in the WINTER. UGH. Who knows. I need a goal though. Oh…and the fact that I haven’t run more than 12km at a time since the summer. EK.

I have some pretty wonderful colleagues. I have been off of working nights for two whole months- and I have another two whole months of nights traded away which is quite incredible. I am SO thankful. Its very evident my body is happier this way. My hormonal temperatures have been 100% normal and predictable for the first time in the entire 3+ years we have been trying to have a baby. My skin is also clearing up, and my “menstrual issues” have been a lot better also. Its incredible how much stress and sleep have to do with your hormones!

I booked an appointment to get my first tattoo after a few years of humming and hawing. I am going on my 26th birthday to have the word ENOUGH tattooed, forever, on me.[lets not even discuss the panic I am feeling at the thought of commitment!] I finally had some clarity of what I needed to carry with me.

I AM MORE THAN ENOUGH; with or without a baby.
I AM MORE THAN ENOUGH; no matter what size I am.
I AM MORE THAN ENOUGH; to accomplish anything.
MY GOD IS MORE THAN ENOUGH FOR ME.

Finally….
I have the best support system in the world.
My family, my friends, my coworkers, random strangers reading… Seriously. How did I get so lucky? People are going through real, HARD things…and yet they still have time to support me through this whirlwind of a year. What the heck! My birthday is coming up…. which means a whole new year of fun, exciting, scary goals- keep your eyes out! I hope I can give back in some awesome ways this year.

Thanks for sticking with me through my ramblings and this crazy journey I call my life!;)

Choosing Joy

It has been a week of emotional up’s and down’s, but I am happy to say I am finding peace.

While my mind changes every.single.day as to if I want to try IVF or head straight to adoption…I have a lot of time, so I am trying to not let it stress me out.

I think it may seem like I am stuffing down my feelings in an attempt to not really deal with my emotions. That is far from reality. I am very in touch with my emotions, but I am trying to let joy be the prevailing emotion. So do I break down crying at the topic of infertility mid-run on a windy, terrifying bridge…yep? Do I let it take my whole run? Nope. I laugh about the ridiculousness of where I chose to break down, I express why I am sad…and I carry on.

Many people have asked, how are you? My most hated question. I don’t really know how I am. One minute I am sad, one minute I am happy, one minute I am planning my adoptive family. Haha. A short, “I’m Fine.” seems to be the answer lately. I am happy to talk about everything we are going through….but sometimes, at the end of a long HAPPY day, I don’t want to let sad emotions seep in. I want to choose JOY instead of sadness. I AM choosing joy…so if I don’t express my sad feelings to you, I am not trying to hide anything…I am moving on and picking happiness.

..Because? We will have a beautiful life with or without children.

So what are some things I am doing to help me CHOOSE JOY?

  1. Planning. I am a planner. If you ask my husband he will tell you what a bond me and my schedule book have. HAHA!! I am allowing myself to plan for an immediate (2-5 year) future without children. We are planning a trip, and making goals…and I love it.
  2. Eating healthy. I got a little off track in all the infertility treatments, so getting back to eating whole foods, and storing up on nutrients is helping me feel my best.
  3. Exercise. It is amazing how cathartic running is. In many ways I can run away from everything….zone out…dig deep. In many other ways, running helps me to delve deep into myself and my soul and feel my feelings in a healthy way, and then push deep to let them go.
  4. Keeping busy. I find joy in a full schedule. I love being able to look at a week and know exactly what I need to do.
  5. Loving fully. I am trying to not let infertility to cause me to be hardened. I am trying to express my love to my husband and friends without holding back…because that is who I am, and I refuse to let infertility change that.😉
  6. Simple Pleasures. I am forcing myself to take every day breath by breath. Smell the latte. Experience the flavours. Feel the wind on my face on the patio I am sipping the coffee. I am trying got be present, and ever amazed by the wonderful world we live in.
  7. Budgeting. Getting serious about our budget is helping me see that IVF/Adoption/Home ownership, etc. are not impossible and ARE in our future. It is also much less stressful to have a plan.
  8. Letting myself fall apart. In letting myself take 5 minutes in the moments I am sad to just feel bad for myself….I am able to deal with those emotions, and then consciously choose to move on. I am not dwelling in sadness, but I am acknowledging when it comes, and giving it a time limit.
  9. Giving to others. It is amazing how much joy can be found in helping and supporting others. I don’t mean financially. I mean really listening, caring, lending that helping hand when needed. I am trying to make this more of a part of my daily life.

Thanks for joining me on this crazy, but JOYFUL journey.
***If you find yourself free please join us to raise money for our refugee family. Beer night details if you follow this think…. https://www.facebook.com/events/799490583492942/***