My Little Secret…

So, throughout the last two years of hubby and I trying for a baby, I think I have been restraining myself very well. For the longest time we didn’t talk to anyone about it. I have also refrained from buying any of the cute items I have seen when out and about. At one point, I was thinking to myself that women make “Hope Chests” for when they get married one day, why couldn’t I make a “hope chest” for when we have a family one day? Is that completely nuts?

I never made the Hope Chest and I have not purchased anything! Not one item and that’s saying a lot because those little baby Christmas dresses and little baby sweater vests with ties are adorable! And who can resist that cute little Baby Bullet food chopper? Anyone would swoon over that right?

So, now that you know I have been figthing off a serious case of Baby Fever and winning…I want to tell you that I broke down on ONE item! When Becky Higgins put out the Baby Edition for Project Life, I just could not resist any longer! So, to help myself accept the news we got about Jas this week and help bring myself back up to a place of hope, I did something that some people might judge as completely ridiculous: I made a starting page for a future baby album.

IMG_6128

Left side: introducing ourselves and writing a personal letter.

IMG_6127

Right side: Talking about what steps of the infertility process we have been through so far.

I know that I am putting myself out there for judgement and that is why I was nervous to post this, but I am actually proud of myself for doing this and that is all that should matter. On the left side of the page I wrote a letter to my “future baby” telling him/her that I have been anxiously waiting and will never give up hope. It felt like such a release to get those feelings written down! And instead of always focusing on the negative, I finally wrote about the hope and faith that I have and it brought all those good feelings to the surface.

A while ago, it dawned on me that this infertility stuff is not something that I need to be embarassed about. It is not something that I chose, it is just one of the challenges that God has presented me with. So, that is when I finally started talking to people about it and writing about it. Now that I am more comfortable being open with our struggles, I thought I could handle adding it to a scrapbook. When Becky released the Baby Edition, there are a ton of journaling prompts about the pregnancy journey and getting ready for a baby. Well, in my mind, these two years of infertility are part of our pregnancy and journey and they should absolutely be included in our baby book.

Now, I am realistic, and know that there is a possiblity we may not have our own baby and may have to adopt one day. But in that case, I would still like to include all of this in the album to tell our future family how much we really wanted to have children! I want them to know that they aren’t even here yet and we love them and would do anything for them to get here!

December Daily Update

I am LOVING my first December Daily Project!! I am actually liking the pages so much on their own, that I may end up printing a separate photo book for it, instead of hiding it in the back of my PL. If you haven’t learned yet, I can just never make up my mind! Here is my second full page, with days 6 through 9.

IMG_6129

I think that Day 9 might be my favorite so far! I love the photo of my feet in front of the tree while chillin in my pajamas! I’m a nerd, I know!

IMG_6131

Here are the pages I have made for days 10 and 11, as well. I haven’t finished 12 and obviously haven’t done 13 yet, but once I do they will all go into the 6×6 square template!

IMG_6132

You have to love the red Starbucks cups! I like the snowman better than the bird…

IMG_6133

I ADORE this photo of my dog Hooch wrapped in Christmas lights! I know it was mean of me to make him sit there all covered in wires, but to be fair I did give him some treats! I just melt for that look on his face!! Remember…no kids yet, so my dogs are my babies!

{Not so} Merry Christmas News.

I will keep today’s post as brief as possible, because I am feeling a little down and don’t want to drag anyone down with me. I did, however, really want to document this change in status for my hubby and I, as it is an important step.

Yesterday we got the results from Jas’ second round of testing. It turns out that even though everything is working well for me, it isn’t for him. Without getting into any graphic details, he has high volume, low count and a very low percentage of ‘guys’ moving forward the correct way. What we were told for now is that we have the option to try a couple rounds of IUI using hubby’s ‘material’ or we could try IUI with a donor. The problem with using hubby’s ‘stuff’ is that our chance of it working will be lower than a normal IUI. I believe our doctor told us that the normal chance of an IUI working was 15%…not sure how much lower is lower for us.

Here is how I am feeling:

  1. Relieved that we finally know what is wrong. After two years of just hoping nothing was wrong, but having that dark feeling in the back of our minds, it feels good to at least know the reason behind our struggles.
  2. Sad to know that our chances of having a child that is 100% both of ours is very little. Jas told me last night that “it’s hard to wrap his head around the idea that even when we have a baby, it will just be (mine), not (his).” That broke my heart into little tiny pieces. I feel so bad that he has to go through those feelings.
  3. Scared to begin the process of trying rounds of IUI. A tiny little corner of my brain was trying to stay happily unaware of reality and thought maybe it would still happen naturally for us. But the full weight of reality has set in now and I am very nervous of trying the treatments. Only the future will tell…

I swear I am still working on projects! In fact, I just finished hubby’s christmas present album (JUST IN TIME to use the Shutterfly coupon…this little Christmas Elf saved $47 on his gift!) and I will share that when I get another spare moment. I am a couple days behind on December Daily and will work on that tonight. I am also still a couple of weeks shy of being current in my PL album…but hope to finish those by the first week of January! I CANNOT wait to order my 2012 digi album!! The anticipation is killing me! I also started a special little project for myself, that when I get up the courage I will share as well!!

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season and making wonderful memories in the small moments! Take care!

The countdown begins!

Whew…that was a busy weekend! December 1st brought with it all the craziness of the holiday season! Our small hometown had a little Christmas festival and it was so much fun! Santa came in on a helicopter and dropped candy to the kids! I set up a little booth for my photography business and gave away a free mini photo session! I had lots of lookers and compliments on my work and lots of people take business cards. So, fingers crossed that I will get some business in the near future!

More importantly, was we put our Christmas tree and decorations up this weekend! It was a HUGE struggle for me! I was emotional to begin with, as we are waiting on results from my husband’s fertility testing. As we were putting up all these decorations and thinking about the season, I felt like I was just going through the motions. It is hard to face another holiday still childless. It doesn’t help that I am starting to get Christmas cards from family and friends and lots of them have new babies or announcing pregnancies. Sometimes I feel very alone in my struggles starting a family.

Despite the obstacles though, we pushed through and got our tree up! A friend was over to get some car parts from my hubby, and he brought his two little sons with! They are 4 and 6 and have lots of energy. When they saw the boxes of ornaments, they could not contain their excitement and wanted to help me decorate! Let’s just say I had to get over my OCD for this one! They are what, three feet tall? And this was the first time little people have helped me with the tree and I had to get over the fact that ALL the ornaments were on the bottom half of the tree! Hubby thought it ws hillarious…I fought the urge to move them all weekend long! Here is what our tree looked like in the end:

IMG_5894

I love taking photos of christmas lights and making them look like strabursts by changing the aperture on my camera (using a tripod and f/22) and this time I took it a step further and busted out my lensbaby lens. I usually don’t do well with the lensbaby, because it’s such a different look, but I got this photo and surprisingly LOVE it!

IMG_5879[1]

After finishing all the decorating and business work on Saturday, I spent all day Sunday trying to be productive on my scrap projects! I am going to throw it out there…I am stressing about my hubby’s Christmas present! I am only half way done with his racing scrapbook and feel like I need to get it ordered SOON (like tomorrow)! We will see how I do on that one. I was more motivated yesterday to work on my Project Life and my December Daily.

Go figure, I completely changed my mind on how to structure my December Daily! I can just never make up my mind! I think it will be easier for me to include it at the end of my 2012 Project life album. So, I decided to use the 6×6 squares template and put four layouts on one page. Here is what my first page looks like:

IMG_5884

I also started the Day 2 layout, to be put on the second full page.

IMG_5891

I am much happier with how these pages are turning out and it seems like I can manage the project better this way. I am thinking of including my every day activities into the normal PL layouts (IE: outdoor ice skating, snow tubing, movies, work, etc.) and focus on the special Christmas activities in the December Daily (ornaments, traditions, gifts, etc.) I am very excited to see how this turns out!

I also got a couple of PL layouts done yesterday! I am still trying to catch up and hope to be all done by the New Year so that I can order my album as soon as possible! Right now, I beleive I am missing weeks 48 and this week 49 as well as extra pages for my trip to Las Vegas. Here is the left side of Week 44, when we made Jack-o-Lanterns for Halloween.

IMG_5885On the right side, I made a VERY simple page just so that I could catch up that highlighted photos from the weekend. I did two photos for Friday, two for Saturday and two for Sunday, journaled a little and called it complete!

IMG_5887

Lastly I worked on week 47. The left side has photos from the short work week and our trip to Lincoln over the weekend.

IMG_5886

The right side has all the exciting photos from Jason’s track championship banquet. This was a really exciting evening for him and I was so proud that he accomplished such a big goal for himself! Way to go babe, you had an awesome season this year!

IMG_5889

I also wanted to point out that even though I forgot to take any photos, I did do A LOT of cleaning out last week! I followed the Daily Digi reverse 100 challenge and the goal was to donate or get rid of 100 items that we didn’t need. I did NOT take on the kitchen, because that was just unreasonable! I did however clean out my closet and donate a lot of clothing, shoes and accessories. I also donated some plates and silverware that we don’t use. The biggest accomplishment was cleaning out the paper scrapping supplies that I no longer use since I am digital! I sent out large envelopes of goodies to six of my fasted Instagram friends that asked for the items! It felt really good to send those things off to ladies who will put them to good use! As I continue to clean out and organize, I hope to tackle the stack of DVDs that we don’t watch, the magazines that we don’t read and maybe some of the makeup that’s old or lotions that I will never get to.

I hope everyone is having a great start to their Holiday Season! Let’s put family first and make the most of the small moments in life!

Project Life Week 46

Since my job gives me four day weekends now, I have been able to get a lot of work done on Fridays for my photography business as well as many house work chores done on Saturdays. For once, I have had some free time on Sundays, which is an amazing thing!

So, yesterday I sat down at the computer very excited to get some digi scrapping done and bam-creativity block! I get so frustrated on those days every now and then when I just cannot think of anything cute to do on my pages and I end up not liking the finished products. The good thing about digi, is that I can save the PSD file and come back to it later if I want to re-do it. I ended up scrapping a little, then going to eat a snack, scrapping a little, watching a movie, scrapping a little, folding the laundry. Needless to say out of an entire day, I got VERY little scrapping done! I also chose to jump around a little bit. Currently I am not done with weeks 44 or 45, but I wanted to start with this week first when I was working yesterday. Here is what I did get to:

Week 46, left side:

Week 46, right side:

Let me interrupt my display of PL pages to tell you how much I LOVED the last Twilight movie! I think the production improved tremendously from the first one and I thought the twists at the end were shocking! Call me a Twi-nerd if you want, but I enjoyed the movie very much! I think they did a great job of making my husband and I laugh, cry, gasp… I could go on and on, but I won’t submit anyone to that!

Here is what I started to work on for Week 45 (the week of Election day and my first time voting). I just could not come up with something I liked for this page, so I decided to leave it, not finish the right side yet and move on. I also can’t decide what to do, because the right side would be the weekend we were in Vegas. I am wondering if I want to include a few extra pages in the PL album or make a separate album. Decisions…decisions…

Next thing I wanted to share today are the few December Daily pages I have created! Remember the “plan” to keep it simple and not use many embelishments? Ya, that went out the window as soon as I started shopping for digitial supplies and saw all of the cute Christmas Kits that are out! I think I spent a good $25 bucks on digi supplies for Christmas! Ooops! Well, here is what I came up with for my title page with a lot of inspiration from my Instagram friend!

And here are my first two pages without any photos yet:

For a couple of days last week, I felt very excited for Christmas to come. I saw the crafts on Pinterest, decided to do my December Daily album and hubby and I came up with our list of holiday related activities. Everything seemed like it was going to be magical again. And then this weekend my cycle started over AGAIN! I’m telling you that trying to conceive can suck the fun out of everything! Without being too much of a Debbie Downer, I just wanted to document the fact that I am not looking forward to yet another holiday without a baby. Just in case anyone else is feeling the same way, because I think many people might be going through this! I am seeing all the cute new familes at the malls and the preggo mamas going out to lunch and it’s hard to stay positive for myself. I so want to do the Christmas pajamas tradition, and watch Christmas cartoons with a little one, and do the Elf on the Shelf, and have a little person shout with excitement when we turn the Christmas lights on. There are so many little wishes in my heart and I am barely holding out hope that it will happen one day.

Alright, I think I got my point accross without completely depressing everyone! My main goal is trying to find the magic in the small moments throughout the season and really enjoying my time with my hubby and family.

December Daily ~ Breezy Style

I am so excited to make my first attempt at a December Daily album! I am incredibly inspired for Jennifer Hignite’s pages that I can’t wait to start my own! I know myself pretty well and I know that too many projects will stress me out. I already have my regular Project Life album going (a couple weeks behind), I want to complete my husband’s racing album for a Christmas present (which is only up to April or May), and I have a couple of weekend getaways that I would like to make small albums for. Because of that, I know that adding a December Daily album is going to be a huge challenge. But, nonethless, I think that it will be a rewarding project and I am so ready to get started!

Here is my plan for my 2012 Breezy December Daily:

  1. Hubby and I made a list of 25 things that we would like to do in the month of December. That way if I can’t think of something to document, I always have a list that we made together to fall back on. It includes anything from: going to the Denver Parade of Lights, going outdoor ice skating, drinking hot chocolate with heart shaped whip cream (yet another Pinterest special), get a photo taken with Santa, get new Christmas pajamas, and give a gift off the giving tree at church. Any of the activities on the list will be fun to document both in December Daily and in Project Life.
  2. The entire album will be in digital format and as simple as possible! I spent some time today looking through digital kits and embellishments, but in the end I decided to just keep it basic. I plan on doing some type of 6×6 or 8×8 digi album and make each page a photo background. I am thinking of then just using some type of banner to mark the day of the month and the journaling. I may include some handwritten embellies from Ali Edwards…but only if everything is going really well!
  3. I want to use a “photo a day” approach, but not necessarily take one photo each day. If I decide to document a couple of special decorations or ornaments, I might take all the photos on the day I set up decorations, but split them into different days in the album. I think I am going to describe my thinking process as the 25 days of Breezy Christmas…my goal is to simply have 25 photos by Christmas Day so that I can make 25 pages. If I have more than 25, I will just choose my 25 favorites.

That’s my story and I am sticking to it and I will keep everyone updated on how things are going! Is December here yet??

Before ‘unplugging’ for the night, I did want to share a couple of my absolute favorite photos from this last weekend’s trip to Vegas. The best highlight of the trip for me was going to the Grand Canyon and being on the Skywalk, which is a glass centered, horse shoe shaped walkway that stretches out over 4.000 feet above the bottom of West Rim. I thought that is would be a piece of cake for me, but boy did those heights get to me. I was fine when I was looking out at the canyon, but when I would look straight down to the cliff edge, I would get so dizzy! Hubby did not go on the Skywalk with us because he is too afraid of heights and we respected that. I did ask the photographer to take a photo of me on the bridge with hubby in the background, so we documented that he was there! I was very bummed that cameras are not allowed on the walkway, but completely understand that they wouldn’t want anything to happen to the glass supporting the visitors. So, here are some photos from the Skywalk:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.