Mother’s Day 2015

I had a lovely Mother’s Day this year. It started the night before when I was rocking Lila before bed. She said “Daddy and I drew you a picture! It’s for you!” I asked her if it was for Mother’s Day and she said “Yes!” before settling back down.

The moment I woke up, my sweet husband handed me a decaf, breve, latte that he had gotten up early to run out to get. We laid in bed sipping our coffees just enjoying a slow morning. This a rare treat as Luke is an early riser who abhors just “laying” when there are things to get done!

Then Lila woke up and bounded into our room. With a little prompt from her dad, she said “Happy Muders Day, mommy” and gave me a big kiss along with the picture she drew me. We spent the morning playing tea set and dress up until it was time to go to church.

My mom and dad met us for mass, and while a bit roly poly, Lila made it through the whole hour without a hitch. Small victories here people!

After mass we headed over to brunch at Toledo Country Club. I was so impressed by the brunch they put on! Endless amounts of food from smoked salmon and shrimp cocktail, to duck in raspberry sauce and beef tenderloin and eight different types of dessert. I chose cheesecake with ice cream of course.

After brunch we milled around outside at TCC taking in the beautiful view of the river and green grass, while Lila and her cousin Reagan chased each other around, working off their ice cream rushes. We snapped these pictures to remember the day by.

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When we got home I took a short nap until my mom texted to see if I could join her at a movie. We saw Age of Adeline, which we enjoyed. I can’t reiterate how nice it is to be able to see an impromptu movie with my mom on Mother’s Day. This is why we moved home in a nutshell.

Still stuffed from our mid-day brunch feast, I got a night off from cooking dinner. Lila munched on some cheese and lunch meat, and Luke whipped up a giant bowl of coconut oil-popped popcorn for us to enjoy while we watched a documentary.

As I rocked Lila before bed, she lifted her head and said “I had a nice Mother’s Day with you.” My heart melted and I told her “I did too sweetie. You know, I always wanted to be a mommy, and when you were born, my wish came true.” Lila smiled and said “Just like in Cinder-rellie!” :)

During the whole day I felt loved and cherished, which is all I could ask for. I was worried I may feel a bit of sadness this Mother’s Day, by thinking about the pregnancy I lost this year and the subsequent struggles to conceive, but it really didn’t enter my mind.

I thank god often for giving me the gift of Lila before I entered this struggle with infertility. Going through days like Mother’s Day while dealing with infertility before having any children would be devastating, and my heart aches for the women who felt that on Sunday.

Being a wife and mother has always been what I’ve wanted most for my life. I just always knew that motherhood, while inherently challenging, would bring with it the most joy I would ever feel. This Mother’s Day, that joy was present in everything we did.

Update on Our Journey

I’ve been feeling guilty about not blogging here as much lately. I have had so many great things going on in my life that I mean to share here, but to be honest I’ve felt a little weighed down by our fertility journey.

It’s not that I am not enjoying all the good, like trips to Florida, planting a garden with Lila and celebrating 5 years being married to Luke, but it’s just that there feels like a heaviness in my heart that I carry. It’s hard for me to write from a happy, cheerful perspective and I also don’t want to get mired down either.

So I’ve been keeping to myself a bit and writing when I feel especially inspired. I hope you understand and stick around.

I will share a little update on our journey for those interested.

We started seeing a reproductive endocrinologist in March and I’m so thankful that we did because this doctor was able to diagnose my issue in the first visit. During an ultrasound, he noticed there was something abnormal in my uterus. Most likely a benign polyp or fibroid.

The good news is that it is relatively easy to remove. I will have surgery next week to clear it out. I am grateful we found this because polyps or fibroids cause infertility by blocking implantation. I had no typical symptoms, like heavy bleeding or painful periods, so we could have gone on and on trying without catching this.

These growths are caused by hormone fluctuations, so I’m thinking what most likely happened is that my miscarriage and the wild swing in hormones triggered this issue. But who really knows.

We are hopeful that this is my only issue and that my fertility will be back to normal post surgery. We meet with the doctor on Wednesday to get more information pre-surgery, but from what I’ve read online, you can start trying again the next cycle.

Throughout this journey, I’ve learned so much about myself, my relationships and my health. We are so hopeful that this long, sad process will be behind us soon. I appreciate all the prayers and support from our friends and family.

In the meantime, I’m keeping busy with work, gardening and loving on Lila. I have not lost sight of all the blessings in my life and am working to kick this rain cloud out of my heart. Here are some photos from the past few weeks that have made me smile.

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Housewarming Party

This Saturday we hosted our friends and family to our house for our official housewarming party. Although we’ve been living here since November, I wanted to get as much of the house decorated as I could before opening our doors to show it off. If you remember, we literally had no furniture prior to moving in, so furnishing our house has been a big undertaking for me!

My approach was pretty unorganized. I knew what my overall style was (cottage, country, shabby), and basically just started buying things I liked and hoped they would go together. Thankfully, I think for the most part it did all come together. I had some organization with the help of excel spreadsheets and Pinterest, but the for the most part I just had a mental vision for each room.

By far the hardest part for me was picking out suitable rugs for each room. Since our house has hardwood throughout, each and every room needed a rug. I tried it both ways, picking out the rug first and decorating around it and picking out the rug last to compliment the room. Both were hard and I second-guessed myself a lot! Thankfully my rug go-to’s and made the price of the rugs more palatable, so I didn’t feel too much pressure with each purchase.

Since I didn’t show you guys the outside of the house (for safety issues because this blog is public), I thought it would be fun to show you some pictures of the inside. My goal with this house was to have a mix of vintage, to go with the 1880 build date, and modern fun. Everything in the house also had to be toddler-friendly, meaning not cost so much that I would freak out if it got ruined. Nearly everything is washable, including all the couches/chairs!

Okay I’ll stop rambling on and on, here are some pictures. Enjoy!

Living Room: This is the first room you enter in our house. I wanted it to be the most “grown up” room in the house. The couches are Wayfair custom upholstery in Carly. They are slipcovers that can be dry cleaned, which is good for toddler life.

Blue, gray and cream living room slipcovered couch and chair

This gold bookshelf is actually a $70 IKEA hack. I spray painted the IKEA Vittsjo bookshelf with hammered gold spray paint and voila! IKEA Vittsjo hack
This is the kitchen and back entrance. The previous owners did a fabulous job opening up this space, so we can enjoy an open concept with the old house charm. The counters are a white speckled quartz, the backsplash is mother-of-pearl and the cabinets are a deep brown.

Open kitchen and dining room

The chandelier and table are from Wayfair, with the addition of an IKEA kids chair. The mirror is an antique store find for $30!

white dining table Barn door on bathroom

Wallpaper in bathroom
Off of the kitchen is a sitting room with built ins and a bar. Yes that is a kegerator! Probably my favorite feature on the first floor in this tucked away nook that is perfect for Lila’s toys. I painted her that little table out of an IKEA $20 kids table. 

Built in bar First floor toy storage
The TV room has original doors from 1880, but otherwise, I wanted this to be our fun, casual family hang out area. I got the white Ektorp sectional from IKEA and the entire thing is machine washable/bleachable, making it perfect for kids. The rug is another favorite of mine and is from We repurposed Luke’s old trunk from his days as a bachelor for a coffee table.

IKEA Ektorp white couch IKEA White Couch Rugs USA colorful rug
The house originally was a duplex, but the previous owners restored it to a single family home. While they did it, they exposed this beautiful brick.

Exposed brick in house batman Quote

When we moved in, the stair railing stopped in the middle of the stairs, leaving a big opening at the top.  I was worried Lila or another child could fall through, so we had this piece of glass fitted for the spot.Glass stairway

At the top of the stairs is a giant window that originally made me fall in love with this house. We turned the space into a sitting room, where my painted chair and an antique trunk now sit. The rugs upstairs are from and the buffet is from an antique store.

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Painted upholstery with chalk paint

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In our master bedroom, I wanted the focus to be on the beautiful antique bedroom set we received from Luke’s parents. It used to belong to Luke’s Aunt Lynette and is in perfect shape.

Custom Etsy Blackout curtains Antique bedroom furniture White bed
Lila’s room of course needed to be PINK! so I chose a very pale, pretty pink that she could grow into. Her shag rug is from RugsUSA and the furniture was picked up at a local antique store.

Pink girls bedroom Pink and green girls bedroom
Here’s our itty, bitty guest room. Too small to even really photograph, but still cute!

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Lila’s playroom is pretty much all IKEA. The IKEA daybed is awesome because it opens up to have a second twin bed and drawers for storage. This room gets A LOT of use. :)

Green and blue playroom IKEA playroom storage
The fourth bedroom is currently being used for Luke’s office. He rocks the stand up desk, so there wasn’t a need for much office furniture. One thing we got him that he loves is a beverage cart from IKEA that he uses for coffee and tea. And that’s an upstairs porch off his office, which will get a lot of use this summer.

Yellow home office

The upstairs bathroom (yes that is singular!) has the classic black and white tile floors with some great modern updates like the built in storage, pretty sink and white subway tile in the shower. Eventually we will outgrow this one bathroom up situation, but for now it’s working just fine. The IKEA cart provides some great extra storage and acts as my rolling vanity.

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 4.05.15 PM Black and white bathroom tile
Speaking of porches, here is the back porch on our first floor. My next project is to paint that table with chalkboard paint on top and blue on the bottom!

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So there you have it! Thanks for going on this little home tour with me. It’s still a work in progress, but I am really happy with how it’s all turned out so far. It’s nice after many years of renting furnished places, to finally live in a home that is exactly our style with our stuff.

If you’re curious about anything in the house, leave a comment and I’ll share a link to where I bought it or how I made it!



How Did We Get Here?

Well here we are, nine months after first trying to get pregnant, and still no pregnancy. My would-be due date from my miscarriage is coming up in March, and I feel a powerful sense of panic. Like I’m falling behind or something.

After getting pregnant with Lila the first month, and then again the first month this summer, I never thought I would be someone who struggled to conceive, but here we are. Am I officially in the “infertility” club? I’m not sure, and would never want to disrespect women who have been trying for years, but I guess I have to admit to myself that we are struggling.

Compromised fertility (we’ll just label me that for now) is such a strange thing to experience. I am naturally a very open person who tends to share a lot in the moment with people. I think I just like making that connection. But I’ve realized that when it comes to fertility struggles, no one really wants to hear about it (except for a few people I have come to rely heavily on). When I’ve brought it up in the past, desperate for someone to talk to, I’ve more times than not been met with blank stares or awkward attempts to change the subject.

I get it, it’s uncomfortable and hard to empathize with if you’re not experiencing it. Thankfully I have my blog as an outlet to share and connect – I just hope you all aren’t uncomfortable reading this!

I realized something wasn’t right with my body back in December. I was struggling to sleep, my ears were ringing constantly and I had no energy. Oh and I wasn’t getting pregnant. Thankfully I made an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist (re: fertility doc). There’s only one RE in Toledo, so the wait is extensive. My call in December got me an appointment late March.

Trying to get ahead of the curve, I saw my general practitioner to run tests on my thyroid, hormones and anything else relevant. After several weeks of testing, it appears that I have adrenal fatigue. My cortisol was off the charts, while all my other hormones are very low. Basically my prolonged stress these past six months wrecked havoc on my body and now my high cortisol levels are constantly “stealing” from my other hormones.

The scary part is, from what I’ve read, it can take your body years to recover from adrenal fatigue and for your hormones to balance back out. I definitely don’t want to still not be pregnant in a year.

While I wait to see the fertility doctor, I’ve been trying to do everything within my control to lower my stress and support hormone balance. I’m going full on crunchy here folks. I’ve dedicated myself to a healthy clean diet without sugar, which spikes cortisol. I’m doing yoga regularly. I’m meditating each night. I’m getting a Mayan fertility massage. I’m starting acupuncture and taking Chinese medicine herbs that are supposed to balance hormones.

I’ve been told more times that not that I need to “just stop worrying about it and it will happen.” I get this. I really do. I am fully aware that I likely am making things worse by trying so hard to get pregnant.

But me trying to not think about getting pregnant is just not possible. I want it so badly that is seeps into my thoughts constantly. And I’ve found that stuffing my disappointment, worry and sadness each month just results in insomnia and emotional stress. It’s much better for me to get it out, process it and move on.

I don’t write this to make anyone feel bad for me or worry about me. I realize it’s coming across a bit doom and gloom when it hasn’t been a year – the required amount of time to claim “infertility” – but I’m just coming off a negative result this month after getting my hopes high once again. The crash each month can be painful, but I always pick myself back up.

For now I’m just putting one foot in front of the other, enjoying my time with Lila, leaning on Luke and keeping hope alive every day. I hope that this doctor in March can help me. I hope I will finally feel good again. I hope I can give Lila a sibling. I hope this is all just a bad dream that will be over soon.

Thanks for letting me unload.