Monday, July 25, 2016

Weekend Heatwave Highlights

Happy Monday, friends! Hopefully you're in a part of the country that isn't sweltering like it is here on the east coast (and has been for the last few days). Let's just say I'm super thankful for air conditioning and water!

My highlights this weekend included:

~getting one of the most incredibly sweet and inspiringly powerful emails from a blog reader (hey Jenn!!) that really made my week and made me proud of my little space here on the interwebs!

~Gave myself a mani pedi with Essie's Go Ginza (hands) and Borrowed and Blue (toes)
~Doing the closing paperwork for the refinance on our house (totally free, lowered our interest rate, and our monthly payment--win win win!)

~MG and I had a little date night out in Old Town where we grabbed blue cheese burgers and some happy hour drinks before heading home to watch a couple of episodes of OITNB
~Saturday morning started off with blueberry pancakes and turkey bacon courtesy of MG followed up with yard work before it got insanely hot

~Took Cooper to the groomers for his cut--the groomer may have taken the heatwave a little too seriously when he decided to completely sheer Coop down to the skin....he looks a little silly, but I still love my little squirrel lol
~Met up with Christy for a lunch time blate--great minds think alike and we both ordered the same meal. Somehow 2+ hours went by in a flash! Always love our time together!
taken moments before the sweat started pouring off of us haha
~Finished reading One True Loves (really enjoyed it!) and started The Light Between Oceans since Christy gave it to me when I saw her for lunch

~Went on a double date with our friends Dave and Emily and tried out a new-to-us restaurant in Old Town. It was so fun catching up with them, and sharing about our trip (they almost came on it with us). Some yummy food and drinks later, we decided to come back to our house and share our bottle of wine that we brought back from Santorini.
(Em and I almost always order the exact same meal when we go out)
~The bottle of red and another one of prosecco later....the Virtual Reality goggles that MG has for his phone were out--hilarious!
~Woke up and ran some errands before it got scorching (again), then spent a lot of time indoors in the AC--some reading, laundry and tv watching ensued while MG had to go to work for a bit in the afternoon.

~Hung out with our friends who rent our condo and had dinner at Chipotle and saw Finding Dory together, which was SO good!
All in all, the first weekend back from vacation was a success, despite the 100+ temps!
Hopefully your weekend was fun, and cool, too!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Real Thoughts

Today I'm gonna get a bit serious around here.

You all pretty much are aware that our most recent attempt at IUI was our last before we moved on to IVF. Well, the Thursday that we left for Greece, I got the call that we're not pregnant.

Along with that came some heavy emotions. I was SO hopeful that this was going to be "it" for us...just like I let myself hope every month before this one. But more than that, it was the last stop before 'the big time' that is IVF. 

I'm not gonna lie. I had a HUGE full out cry fest full of sobs, hyperventilating, and some screaming into pillows. I haven't had these kind of feelings since my Dad died, and in some ways, it was the death of my hope that we could have this happen without getting to the next level.

I'm grateful that we had our vacay right on the heels of this--it allowed us both some much needed time to get away from the stresses that this year has brought us, some time to relax, reconnect and let loose. I'm SO thankful that we had this time together. 

And now that we're back, it's full swing into reality. Calling insurance, getting meds ordered, taking online IVF classes, signing up for classes about IVF and shots, making appointments for my mock embryo transfer. It's a lot. And my feelings are a range of emotions. I'm SO grateful that this is an option for us--that we have the finances in place (and insurance that is helping--thank goodness!), and the resources that make this available. Having just seen some great ruins from the past on our trip, reinforced how lucky we are that we have IVF as an option, whereas in the past, we would have just kept trying and hoping that one month we'd get a miracle, or given up completely.

I'm trying to remain positive. I know so many amazing women who have gone through this process. They've persevered through the painful shots, the anesthesia and surgery, the emotional and financial rollercoaster that is this process, and succeeded. 
I've kept my outlook hopeful, but I'd be lying if I told you that the fear and doubts aren't creeping in more than normal. After basically having 2 years worth of disappointments, it's hard to feel like there will ever be a month where we get good news. I pray that we do, but I'm afraid that I'm just getting used to the disappointment. It's not the head space I want to be in, but that's my reality. It's a possibility.

I think it's also scary because, this is basically the end of the line for us in terms of being able to have our own biological child. Before, there was always the "next" option. And now, we're at the end of that road which is terrifying. 

I know in my heart that I'm destined to be a mom. I know that MG is going to be the most amazing dad. And I just pray that this next step, as hard as it's going to be, will bring us this gift that we want the most. I know it's not going to be easy....and it's not going to be pleasant, but if it brings us that little baby we've been hoping and praying for, then it will be worth it. I never thought I'd have the strength to get through IVF....but knowing so many amazing women who have done it, and are supporting me through it, helps.

So, that's me getting real today. Life isn't fair...and it's certainly not easy. Everyone has their own obstacles in life to deal with, and this one is ours. I'm thankful that I have this support network, my family and friends, and that I have the summer off from work so that I'm not dealing with work stresses on top of all of this. All of these are blessings. 

So here's hoping that I can keep the positivity flowing, keep the negative thoughts at bay, and get rolling on this next part of the journey down the road to getting us a baby.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday {#50}

It's Wednesday and you know what that means! Time to share what's hap-"pinning" with you!
Since I've been away from blog world for almost two weeks, I thought I'd do a Currently post to get caught up on what's been going on!
Reading ...
During our 11 day trip, I made it through two books, Emily Giffin's First Comes Love and The Vacationers by Emma Straub, and I started my next read One True Loves after hearing good things about it around here. Reviews on the other two (and my current one, once I'm done) coming at you soon. But the quick and dirty is I'd rate Emily Giffin's book about a 3.5 and The Vacationers a 3 out of 5.

Watching ...
About a million shows that are stored up on the DVR. The good thing about being up at 4am because of jet lag is that you get a jump start on a week and a half worth of DVR shows! Although, I'll be honest, 4 hours of The Bachelorette is a little daunting to get through. Thank goodness for the ability to fast forward through commercials :)


Lately, I haven't been cooking anything--I've been eating my way through Greece and Turkey and somehow managed to not gain any weight on our trip despite all of the indulgences (probably due to all of the walking and adventures we took part in). I'm happy to get back in the kitchen and be making some healthier meals. I think I'll be making my Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus this week.

Looking forward to ... 
a Happy Hour with my girl friends on Thursday, and a massage on Friday morning. Who said the vacation had to end now that we're home? :)

Wishing...that the couple we met on our trip, who live in Detroit, lived closer. We had SUCH an awesome time hanging out with them, and EJ and I literally met our couple counterparts. 

Enjoying ...Cooper snuggles. I picked up my little fluff ball from my Mom's house on Tuesday and boy did my little guy wiggle his little tail off when he saw me! And he's been making sure he keeps me in his sight so we don't leave him again--bring on the Cooper cuddles!

Dreaming...of a good night's sleep. The night we got back (Monday), I had dreams about running all around the last island we were at, which was fun, but I felt like it was on a loop and that made it hard for me to get restful sleep. Does that happen to anyone else where you feel like you're trapped in one dream and you're aware of it? At least the scenery in my dream was nice!

Loving....that I got to have lunch with one of my besties yesterday. It's been a bit since we've been able to get together, so it was nice to finally get some face time...and the Mexican food wasn't bad either :)

Wanting ... to ignore all of the Nordstrom sale posts. But also wanting to read every single one, and fill up my cart. After our trip, though, and with some big expenses coming up, I'm gonna try and be good!

Wearing new necklace that I picked up on our last day in Greece at a little boutique shop. I had a hard time finding things that weren't super cheesy or touristy, but this one grabbed my eye and MG agreed that it was super pretty. The evil eye is supposed to bring luck and ward off negativity. Plus, the sparkle is right up my alley :)
Add caption
Grateful For...the ability to travel, and get to take my dream vacation, but also for the comforts of our house for us to come home to. There is almost nothing better than getting a shower in your own bathroom, and laying down in your own bed after being gone.

Now it's your turn to link up with Jessi and I to share what's hap-"pinning" with you!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Annnnnnd.....We're Back!

We made it back from 11 days of vacation yesterday late afternoon after 15+ hours of travel!

Given, the jet lag is real, but it is such an incredible feeling to come home from vacation to your house, with all of the creature comforts of your space--your shower, your bed, your's SO nice.

But, the fact that the vacation is over is such a bummer! We met some really awesome people--one couple in particular, saw so many incredible sights and places, read books (reviews coming!), ate tons of delicious food, and had plenty of adventure!

 I'll have some recaps for you since there is just a TON to share (and pictures galore), but for now, here are a few pics to tease you with (if you've been following me on social media, you may have seen some of these already). 

Are you teased yet?? Just wait for the descriptions and even more photos! This trip was definitely a dream vacation and I feel so lucky to have gotten to soak up and experience so many places!

Hope your Tuesday is quick and easy! If you need me, I'll be catching up on some sleep :)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pet Peeves

Today I'm sharing some of my pet peeves with you, in hopes that you'll share some of yours with me (or relate to some of these).
~when ambulance or police vehicles put on their lights and sirens when in traffic, and then turn them off once they get through it. Sorry, that's not an emergency and that's not what those are for.
~when you go to a restaurant that specializes in something (like a burger joint) and they've run out of one of the staple things they tout. For instance, I went to Chipotle a way's back and they had ran out of chicken and steak. Um...that's kind of two of the main ingredients in most of your dishes. Who dropped the ball on that order?
~speaking of Chipotle...when people say it Chip-ole-tee. The 't' comes before the 'lay'. "Chip-oh-t-lay". Public Service Announcement complete.

~when Cooper barks randomly out of nowhere, scaring the living daylights out of me. Even moreso when I'm home alone and the barking makes me think someone's outside trying to break in and murder me.
{via} no, that's not Cooper, but it looks like him doesn't it?
~when people don't show up when they say they're going to. Or when someone cancels plans super last minute, leaving you hanging.
~when people don't properly shut/roll up bags of things like chips or pretzels so they don't go stale. One fold over doesn't keep the air out. I'm glad you got what you wanted out of the bag, but the rest of us would like it to taste just as fresh when we go for some, too.

~when people are overly competitive, ruining a simple fun and friendly game for everyone because they're taking it too seriously. For instance, getting mad when playing Cards Against Humanity? (yes, this actually happened once). I'm all for being competitive, but there's a time and a place for it. 
~when appetizers come in odd numbers. Most of the time you're out with one other person, or 4 total. Why do so many apps come in 3's, making it awkward to figure out how to share 3 things among 2 or 4 people?

Do any of these things bother you, too? What are some of your pet peeves?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What's Hap-"pinning" Wednesday {#49}: Health and Beauty Product I'm Loving

It's been a while since I shared some of the product with you that I've been using and loving lately, so I thought I'd put 'em all together in a post for you since I know I get some good use out of you guys' recommendations! Here's what's hap-"pinning" with my love of products:

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap
This cleanser has been gentle on my skin, but also seems to have helped it feel cleaner and clearer. Breakouts, although few and far between, haven't occurred when I've been using this cleanser. Will definitely be re-purchasing.

Foreo Facial Cleanser
Amazon, $20
This little device, at a fraction of the cost of the Foreo ($20 versus $190), has really helped with getting my face feeling clean. I've noticed my pores look a bit smaller and clearer than they did before I started using this little machine. And the charge has lasted since I got it without needing a charge yet!

Rodan+Fields Sunless Tanner
You guys already know I love this one, but it bears mentioning again. I won this sunless tanner during a giveaway and was super excited to get it, but also a little nervous because you never know what you're gonna get with a self tanner.
Guys, let me tell you that I LOVE this stuff. I've been using it since I haven't gotten out into the sun much lately (not a bad thing) and it has made me look so much more alive than my Winter-white skin was looking. 
I've used it all over my body INCLUDING my face, without any breakouts or side effects from the product. This is one R+F item I will definitely be getting again.
Hands down: LOVE!

PiperWai Natural Deodorant
You've probably seen this around blogland before. Amanda was the one who piqued my interest in this and I eventually got around to ordering it. I was a person who used clinical strength deodorant all the time. And I also know that these deodorants contain aluminum which is a big contributor to cancer. No thank you. I also know that a lot of natural deodorants don't work well and I wasn't about that stinky life either. So when I heard that this actually worked I figured I'd give it a whirl. It's not as easy to put on as regular deodorant, but I don't care if it doesn't increase my risk of getting cancer. It took my body a couple of days to adjust to it, and now I can put on a bit in the morning and it has lasted me through some of the hottest, sweatiest days in sleeveless tops and dresses without stink!
It's $11.99 for the jar, plus shipping which seems like a lot, but I guarantee you cancer treatments are more expensive. #thinkaboutit

There you have it--some of my favorite products lately!

Now it's your turn to link up with Jessi and I and share what's hap-"pinning" with you!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Current Reads

I've been on a reading kick lately, which has been really nice since I hadn't been reading for a few months and I missed it.

I've finished off 4 books recently so I thought I'd summarize and give you my thoughts on each in case you're looking for some reads for this Summer!

A House For Happy Mothers by Amulya Malady
Goodreads synopsis:
In trendy Silicon Valley, Priya has everything she needs—a loving husband, a career, and a home—but the one thing she wants most is the child she’s unable to have. In a Southern Indian village, Asha doesn’t have much—raising two children in a tiny hut, she and her husband can barely keep a tin roof over their heads—but she wants a better education for her gifted son. Pressured by her family, Asha reluctantly checks into the Happy Mothers House: a baby farm where she can rent her only asset—her womb—to a childless couple overseas. To the dismay of friends and family, Priya places her faith in a woman she’s never met to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

I really enjoyed this book. It was about a topic I had NO idea about, and was quickly drawn in to the logistics of everything, and the story of the two women's lives. I found the book really interesting, and a quick read. 
I'd give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner
The (partial) Goodreads Synopsis:
For Kate Klein, a semi-accidental mother of three, suburbia has been full of unpleasant surprises. Her once-loving husband is hardly ever home. The supermommies on the playground routinely snub her. Her days are spent carpooling and enduring endless games of Candy Land, and at night, most of her orgasms are of the do-it-yourself variety.

When a fellow mother is murdered, Kate finds that the unsolved mystery is the most exciting thing to happen in Upchurch, Connecticut, since her neighbors broke ground for a guesthouse and cracked their septic tank. Even though the local police chief warns her that crime-fighting's a job best left to the professionals, Kate launches an unofficial investigation -- from 8:45 to 11:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, when her kids are in nursery school....

I thought this book was ok. I enjoyed the flashbacks to Kate's life when she was single, living in NYC with her best friend more than the present day story. I thought her husband was kind of a dick, and all Kate did was complain about how fat she was and how hard it was taking care of her kids. I sensed not a lot of love for them, despite her saying it like 3 times during the book. The mystery part was so-so. This book was good for an easy read, but wasn't a work of literary genius. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
The (partial) Goodreads Synopsis:
Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. 

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.

I had this book on my To-Read list for a while, and finally got around to reading it. This book is tricky for me to rank because I felt like the beginning was really hard to read. The way the summary describes Ove is true--and that's kind of how the book reads: a bunch of short sentences, about a grumpy guy. It was hard to get into and took until about 30-40% into the book before it got a little less doom and gloom feeling. BUT, the rest of the book turned sweet, and it was interesting hearing Ove's back story. I teared up at the end of the book
I'd rate the first part of the book 2 out of 5 stars, but the rest as 4 out of 5 stars. So I guess I'd give this one 3.5 stars out of 5.

Right before I left for my trip I ripped through After You, by Jojo Moyes, which is the sequel to Me Before You.
I won't post the summary here, because if you've read Me Before You, you know that this follows Louisa Clark in the aftermath of how Me Before You ended. 

I'll be honest and say that this was nothing like what I expected from the book. It had been a bit since I'd read Me Before You (but recently saw the movie), but it felt like a totally different character than the first book, which was probably the point. It took a bit to get into the book and wait for something to happen, but once it did, I enjoyed it and wanted to find out what happened. If you're curious what happened to Louisa after Me Before You, then you should check this book out.
I'd give this one 3.5 stars probably. Maybe 4. I go back and forth on this one.

What have you been reading this summer? Any good recommendations?
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