Back to work blog post…

I am dreading going back to work tomorrow! Having two weeks off to relax and refresh was absolutely divine! Don’t get me wrong, there is a part of me that loves teaching. However, my heart just doesn’t feel into it anymore. Things at my school in particular have gotten very negative and now that I am building my business on the side, I really just want to be able to do that! Maybe one day Wildflower Photography can be full time, let’s all keep those fingers crossed!

Speaking of crossed fingers…I am so hopeful that our recent first round of IUI is sticking! Let me tell you, going through artificial insemination is a whole lot crazier than I expected it to be! There was five days worth of Clomid (hoping to up my hormone levels in order to release multiple eggs), an ultrasound to check my progress (unfortunately I only had one follicle this month), an injection to trigger ovulation (I was NOT able to give that shot to myself and I am thankful to have a sensitive hubby who helped with it, then 36 hours later was the insemination. The “big day” was a bit of an awkward experience! The doctor that performed the insemination asked if we wanted to keep the vile…the test tube that contained the “supplies.” Seriously, I said yes because I was giggling nervously, but what on earth am I going to do with that tube? Ha!

IMG_6469Sorry if this photo does freak anyone out…I am just trying to be as open as possible about the entire process! In the week since the procedure (a week which has felt like a month), I have been on an everyday roller coaster of thoughts! At some point during the day I tell myself that this is going to work and it’s going to be our time, but then I quickly remind myself that the chances are low and it’s not likely to work. Thus, I go up and down, up and down! I am not sure how women and couples have made it through all of this! It is much more emotionally challenging than I could have imagined. I am sure that I will feel differently if this doesn’t work. I am thinking that it will be a sad couple of days and then starting the next round will keep my mind occupied. We shall see!

So, most of my winter break was spent visiting family in Iowa, celebrating Christmas, and trying our first round of IUI. I am just now feeling all caught up after the holidays…and it’s just in time to go back to work! I have a few more blog posts in mind, and I am hoping to get those done in the next couple of days! I am going to share all of my recent Project Life pages, some of the home decorating projects we have done around the house, and my ideas for my PL process in 2013!

Maybe ’13 will be the lucky number!

 

Getting behind on the little things…

I get to be so tough on myself at times, it just astounds me. Why do we do that to ourselves? My priority has always been family and right now my family is just me and hubby. So, instead of stressing over little things that don’t matter as much, I have been really trying to make it a priority to spend quality time with Jas. To us quality time is out and about, off the couch, doing something fun, putting our phones away and on silent and not paying attention to anything but each other.

I think it was two weeks ago now (I forget with all the infertility craziness) we went downtown on one of the most fun dates we have done in a while: outdoor ice skating! I was surprised to find out that skating is free and it was only $2 each to rent the ice skates. We spent a couple of hours out in the chilly air skating around, joking and laughing! I am such a sappy romantic, but the twinkle lights all around the rink just sent me spinning! Here is a peek at our fun night out (all of these photos were taken with my iphone…I am still working on my iphonography skills!)

IMG_6011

The ice rink full of people and lovely Christmas lights.

IMG_6010

Us before trying to remember how to ice skate.

IMG_6016

His and hers rental skates.

IMG_6019

I loved this around the edge of the rink!

IMG_6047

IMG_6039

IMG_6052

A view of our downtown clock tower all lit up for the holidays.

IMG_6056

Also, this past weekend was full of Christmas activities! My Mom came over and we made cookies together while Jas was out of town! On Sunday I spent a lot of time getting most of the gifts wrapped, which felt like my biggest achievement in a long while!

IMG_6171

IMG_6174

After getting all of those Christmas tasks done, I snuck away for a little ME time to do some scrapping! I only got two simple layouts done, but some is better than none, right? First, I wanted to include our updated portraits in our PL album and I made this layout using some inspiration from Lindsay Moreno!

IMG_6188

IMG_6187

Then, I worked on Week 48 ( I am so excited to be “this close” to finishing an entire year using the Project Life system!!!) This week was full of errands, decorating, crafting and going out bowling after our Hometown Holiday Night.

IMG_6185[1]

IMG_6186

I liked this layout so much that I decided to use the same papers and kits for the entire month of December. That then inspired me to maybe make up my own kits for each month in 2013! Kind of like the new Studio Calico monthly kit, but my own version since nothing like that is offered for digital (that I know of…anything?). I was thinking of mixing the items I got with the Daily Digi Files with my favorite colors for the month, along with a few cards from the core kits and my favorite embellishments. I was just thinking that this would help make the album a bit more connected, as sometimes I feel like my pages get chaotic! I am also thinking of being extra brave with my 2013 album and putting papers behind the photos as a background instead of the typical grey…not sure how well I will stick to that plan!

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!

Podcast love!

I wanted to blog something today, because I was feeling the itch to write! But honestly, I have nothing big to talk about! I didn’t scrap anything new yesterday; in fact, all I did was shop! I can show a couple silly pictures from my shopping adventures!

IMG_5910[1]

The sweater dress I was finally brave enough to purchase!

IMG_5895[1]

Matching scarves I considered buying for my friend and myself.

IMG_5897[1]

More scarves I considered, but didn’t end up getting!

What I really wanted to write about today…because let’s be honest, my shopping wasn’t that interesting…was how much I love the Digi Show podcast that goes along with the Daily Digi website! If you are a digital scrapbooker, then you would LOVE this too! If you are a member of the Daily Digi you get several themed digital kits (usually valued around $50) for $7.50! Along with that it comes with a “Playbook,” which is an ebook written about how to use the kits and new tips and tricks for digi scrapping! They also have a blog with daily inspirational quotes! I signed up in November and loved both the November and the December kits! Amazing!

I’ve also been listening to the podcast each week! I feel addicted because I check every day if there is a new one out or not! When there isn’t a new one, I simply listen to the old ones! I think they have sixty-some podcasts right now and I am not even a quarter of the way through! The ladies sit and chat about inspiring ideas and more tips for digi scrapping! If you like to listen to music while crafting like I do, then I think you might like listening to the Digi Show podcast and hearing what these wonderful ladies have to say!

I guess that’s all I really have to share right now! For me, it’s back to the grind and trying to teach my kiddos something in Spanish! Que tenga un buen dia… have a good one! And remember to enjoy the little moments!

Motivated Monday!

I always joke (usually with only myself) that Monday is really Motivated Monday. You know how most people say they hate Mondays? I am a bit different and generally dislike Tuesdays and love Mondays. I know, I know…I’m weird!

The reason I love Mondays is because I set my calendar up with Mondays as the first day of the week. Monday represents a BRAND new start and another week to try and accomplish something! I will be honest and tell you that this wave of optimism and motivation usually only lasts until Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon!

For some really crazy reason, I am just feeling geared up to take on the world this week! I am sitting here at my desk and just making mental notes and digital lists about what things I want to accomplish this week. To further ensure my dedication to the tasks, I thought I would blog them so that I feel some pressure to get them done! Here is my list of *hopeful* to-dos this week:

1. Thanks to the Daily-Digi for the 100 item clean up challenge, I am hoping to clean out some *stuff* that doesn’t serve me very well anymore! I am thinking of cleaning out the magazines, the DVDs, my bathroom drawers, and possibly my scrap room. Now that I have gone to digital, I don’t feel like I need all of my paper products and hope that some of my Instagram friends would like me to send them things later in the week!

2. Thanks to Pinterest I saw a 52 week organizational challenge. My first thought was “Oh, how great would that be to do in 2013!” But then motivated Monday took over and convinced me that I should at least do the last few weeks of 2012, because it’s never to early to start organizing! I looked at the list for this week and it talks about organizing formal china and everyday dishes. It couldn’t have been some easy task to start when silly Motivated Monday took over?!?! We will see how organizing the kitchen cabinets goes!

3. Get some type of Christmas decorating done! I tend to make unrealistic lists for myself, so I am going to say that if I get the Christmas tree up this week that would be a great start! That way, if I get anything done above and beyond the tree, that’s just icing on the cake!

4. Digi scrap mania! I would really like to get my Project Life album caught up this week! I think I skipped and am missing two or maybe three weeks. I think I could get that done in the evenings if I focus and stop watching so much TV. I would also like to get a lot closer to being done with my hubby’s Christmas present album. I feel like I need to get that ordered pretty soon to beat the Christmas rush! I think I have ten more layouts of racing to complete and that task is finished!

5. It’s important for me to make a conscious effort to find some time for me. This week I would really like to do a couple things that only benefit me and how I am feeling (as I have been battling the blues lately). I would like to drink more water each day, make sure to do my stretching every day and I would like to try a Yoga workout two or maybe three times throughout the week.

I am thinking even though Motivated Monday always gives me a crazy sense of super power, like I can do anything and everything, that the list I just made is reasonable. On top of sharing anything I get done with Project Life and Holiday Fun this week, I will try to keep you updated on how many things I get accomplished from this list!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jason and I spent Thanksgiving with my parents and it turned into a low-key, peaceful holiday…which I am very thankful for! We spent the morning sleeping in and playing with our dogs before heading out to my parents’ house. I took a quick minute to capture our cheesy family photo at home, like we do each Thanksgiving!

 

The day with my family consisted of a delicious meal, starting a new family tradition, keeping up with some older traditions and of course, Early Black Friday Shopping. I didn’t have time to catch many photos of the food my Mom and Dad prepared, but I was quick enough to snap a picture of the centerpiece my Mom set out:

 

After eating, I convinced my entire family (Dad, brother and hubby included) to start a new annual Thanksgiving tradition. I believe I saw this idea on Pinterest and I just could not resist! We took a tablecloth that I had around the house and a sharpie (gasp!) and all filled a box with what we were thankful for this year, our names and the year. So, for now, only five boxes are filled with writing, but the goal is to add to it each year and fill the entire thing with the wonderful things we are thankful for in our lives! Here is what it looked like for us to start the tradition:

 

Then after we wrote our sentiments out in permanent marker, we headed straight into the older tradition of playing board games and eating pie all afternoon! This year it was Sequence, which is such a beloved game in our family that the board is literally falling apart where it folds in half!

 

Then, we were so full that we drug ourselves over to the couch and plopped down with the shopping ads! It is ever so important for my parents to plan out their evening of shopping! They need to choose what stores, what times and what items to grab first! I never knew this was such a big deal, but my Dad let me in on a little secret, telling me that Black Friday is my Mom’s “super bowl!”

 

Jason and I are not really into the Black Friday shopping at all! We like to go to Michael’s on Thursday night and get a new piece for our Christmas village each year, but that’s about it. This year we were oh-so-brave and ventured to Walmart with my Mom for the “first event,” where Mom’s goal was to get two crock pots, a stick vacuum and several boxes of Rubbermaid containers. I happily stood back and took some photos of the action while Jason took video! I was quite taken back by all the action! Mom even made friends while waiting in line and they all made a plan for how best to grab the crock pots (one gentleman was to grab the boxes and they would all hand them back in line until each had their carts full!) Who knew?

You learn something new every day, I suppose! Jason and I are heading to Lincoln tomorrow for his championship banquet for dirt track racing! When I am back and things calm down (hopefully!) next week, I am super excited to scrapbook Thanksgiving and share my newest pages! And maybe somewhere in there I will decorate for Christmas…remember, I am trying my absolute hardest to stay upbeat and in the holiday spirit!

Have a great day everyone…make the best of each moment and make sure to document them all!