Thursday, February 2, 2017

Quiet

With all that has happened and is happening in the United States and around the world, to say that it is worrisome is an understatement.  I really do not like to get political online or on social media, as I do not like to invite confrontation and I'd rather respectfully discuss issues in person.

Since November, it has been difficult to wrap my brain around the election results.  It was sad to see Obama's last days in office as President.  On the day of the inauguration, I felt worse than the day after election day.  This past week and a half has been an overload on the senses with so many quick and drastic actions being taken.  It is very upsetting.

I worry about so many things that it feels difficult to know where to focus one's efforts and voice.  Healthcare, education, the environment, conservation, clean energy, immigration, libraries, public radio, human rights, free speech, they are all important.  And I'm sure there are other areas that I am forgetting because it is all so much.  It feels like the rule book is being thrown out and everything is rapidly devolving.

I'm trying to keep informed, but it can be overwhelming.  It is all very upsetting and I am worried.

However, I am glad that I am not the only one.  Someone shared this post.  A reminder of self-care is important.  Take action, and take steps to protect yourself.  It is likely going to be a marathon, not a sprint, to get through these next four years.  And on the state and local level, my eyes are opened wide.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

New Year, New Theme

For the past two years, instead of making a New Year's resolution, I've picked a theme with a corresponding quote.

In 2015, the theme was peace.  I felt the quote became something of a mantra and helped to center me.  Success!

In 2016, the theme was do, as in the opposite of procrastinate.  It was a big one to tackle.  Not sure how well I did there, I'd say mixed reviews.  However, I give myself credit for trying.  Small progress.

In 2017, my theme is health.

"Fall in love with taking care of yourself.  Mind.  Body.  Spirit." -- Unknown

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Elite Entry

In recognition for what was my best blog entry for the year, I am highlighting it here and hope it will be a yearly tradition.

When deciding, I think about something that really touched me deeply--not only while I was writing it, but that it also resonated with me after I wrote it.  There is something in the post that communicates something deep and significant while continuing to be appreciated after having reflected on that moment, idea or experience.  A lesson learned, something to remember carrying forward.

This year's Elite Entry:

Dark Side Before Venturing into TTC

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Cards

There is something about sending and receiving Christmas cards that warms the heart.  I think it is the thought of someone thinking about you.  And I get a little reminiscent and reflect of fond, fun memories of that person, whether writing the card or receiving it.

When I go home at Christmas time, my mom will invite me to look through their card pile.  Sometimes there are pictures or a little note.  Then I usually help my mom to tape them up on the inside of the front door.  It is one way to add to the decorations.

As I was perusing the cards this year, one particular card had a note that did not sit well with me.  Most of the cards were from people that I know, but this one I did not.  There was a question asking if my parents were grandparents yet.  And they continued by saying that having grandchildren is the best thing ever!  It ticked me off.  My first thought was that they must not really know my parents that well.  It felt like salt in the wound, maybe more for my mom and dad.  I felt protective of them and wanted to rip up the card.  But, it was not my card.  So, I put it back in its envelope and did not say anything to my mom.

About a month before that while talking on the phone with my mom, I asked her if she and my dad were disappointed or sad that they weren't grandparents.  My mom quickly and simply said no.  She said no and not to worry about it.  I try not to worry, but the guilt is still there.

Maybe the hopeful comment was more a reflection that if my parents were grandparents, they would be loving, caring ones.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Happy First Wedding Anniversary

Tal and I went to Chicago for the weekend to celebrate our first wedding anniversary!  It was a really nice trip, and a perfect to get away.  We left the house painting, Christmas shopping and end of the year work hustle behind and to be just us together.

We saw a play, Finding Neverland, enjoyed fancy meals, went to the Art Institute of Chicago and perused the Christkindlmarket.  We also went to see a late showing of Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them.  It was a fun weekend.  :)  Tal and I ended the weekend at home eating a replication of the top tier of our wedding cake, which was a surprise for Tal, and we opened gifts where we each gave the other something to do with paper.  It was not planned, but I thought it was sweet that we were thinking along the same lines.

Below are some photos from our wedding day!





Photo Credit: Kristen Nicole

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Some Good News

Another reason why I was fairly focused on thoughts about possible future children this past fall is because I had surgery in October on my uterus.  I didn't write about it at the time because I can be a private person, but also I can sometimes be a little avoidant when coping.  In this case it was a healthy coping because I didn't want to think about the surgery too much before it happened and then freak myself out.  Healthy la-la land was good for me by keeping busy with house projects and checking out my new running app.  So, I was not overly stressed leading up to or on the day of surgery.

I was also really glad that Tal was able to take off from work that day.  Part of me really wanted my dad to be there.  I'm a daddy's girl.  What can I say?  But, being that Tal is a nurse, I was in good hands.  Plus, he is a recovery room nurse, so he was in his wheelhouse so to speak.  However, I am thankful that I could share all of these feelings with Tal and he was kind, understanding and sensitive about it.

Just before my annual exam in the early summer, I had a few instances of some bleeding between periods.  Turns out, I had a small polyp that needed to be removed.  All went smoothly and the lab work came back with no worries.  During my follow-up appointment, my doctor was very positive and said that my uterus and ovaries looked great.  She gave the clear to start trying to have a baby.  The news really gave me peace of mind.  Things look healthy all up in there.  Then a few weeks later my regular doctor said my thyroid levels looked good with my annual screening for that.  More good news, which is also surprising given how the levels looked when I was in Florida.

Not to be cliche, but if it is meant to happen, it is meant to happen.  It appears my body is in fairly good shape for where I'm at in life to be trying for a baby.  I'll take that!  Right now in this moment, I feel very content and at ease.  I hope this feeling carries with me into 2017.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Dark Side Before Venturing into TTC

Okay, I've been avoiding my blog.  There has been something on my mind and I have been afraid to write about it.

First, with open enrollment at work for healthcare choices and tax savings accounts, it has gotten me thinking about how to afford a child while paying for daycare.  Staying home is not a very likely option.  Family is far way, so we cannot ask my parents to help out a few days a week.  The cost of daycare scares me, let alone getting a child into one after hearing horror stories of wait lists and non-refundable wait list costs, some that you still have to pay even if the daycare center does not eventually have an opening.  Let alone the rules.  We would only need part-time daycare as Tal and I work different shifts and my schedule rotates.  During the week, we would need about three days for four or five hours each.  But some places require that you pay for all five days.  Would we be lucky enough to find a daycare or private daycare provider who would be okay with a rotating schedule?  I know I'm putting the cart way before the horse.  But, you have to have some kind of plan before you try to have a child.  Or at least me.

Those worries led to worries about quantity and quality of time with a possible future child.  Working second shift makes it tricky.  But, there are other people who work second shift and have families.  It is doable.  Right?  I really like my job and I feel like it is a good fit.  That is also important.  Right?  Then, I'd feel guilty if I would not be spending enough time with a possible future child.  Would I be being selfish having a child and working the hours I'm working?  I think it could work and be okay for the first few years before they would go to school.  By then maybe there could be an opening for a position with more nine to five?  A lot can change.

Also, I guess part of me is somewhat grieving the loss of not being able to stay home to raise my child.  I always wanted that, more so than anything else.  As a little girl, the first thing I wanted to be was a mom.  People laughed at me or would tell me that was not what I really wanted to be.  I loved my mom and felt so loved by her that I wanted to be a mommy and take care of a child so they could feel as loved as I felt as a little girl.  As I realized that "mom" wasn't the answer people were looking for, I expanded my list to include teacher, ballerina and artist.  Don't get me wrong, I liked the idea of those, too. But, after I would say those things, I'd secretly tell myself..."and a mom."

So with lots of hard thinking about how to puzzle it all out with the logistics of having a child and making time to spend with a child, it got me thinking some more.  This is where the darkest question and fear loomed.  What if after all of this, if we had a child, what if we regretted it??  What if parenting was harder than we thought, like really harder than we thought?

Ugh.  I don't even want to admit that question crossed my mind.  It makes me feel like a horrible person.  Does it make me less deserving to be a parent?

I just don't want to screw it up.  I am afraid of being so stressed out that I will be a terrible mom, wife or person.  I do not want to lose me.  I do not want to be totally consumed by parenthood.  Life would change, no doubt.  Priorities would rightfully shift.  How do people do it?

With all of these thoughts running in my mind, I came across a blog from Mel's Friday Round-up.  Actually, it was part of the second helpings.

My response to "Women Who Wish They'd Never Had Kids" and "Why Parents Hate Parenting," by The Unexpected Trip

That blog and links within it led down a wormhole of some very raw, very hard realizations and insights shared by those who do regret having a child.  It is so sad, and my heart feels for those who have disclosed some very dark thoughts.  I don't want to be one of those people...one of those that is completely overwhelmed by parenthood or bitter or resentful.  No, so sad.  I do not want to judge people and I guess it is good for them to have an outlet to express themselves, but still sad.  As the author of the post that reflects on all of these links about parenting, maybe it is healthy for parents to have space to process feelings, all feelings, as a way to heal and carry forward.

How do people do it?  Maybe I am thinking too much.  I just don't want to be holding the experience of parenthood up to wildly, impossible standards then have it all come crashing down.

Then this post popped up on my Facebook feed.

10 Dark Parenting Truths We Never Talk About, by Kristen Oganowski

And while the author tackled some of the dark sides of parenting, she somehow made it less scary.  There are truths in her words.  And it is what it is, but real and with love.  Life with or without children, is different...not better or worse, but different.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Favorite Time of the Year

Fall!  I love fall and everything in it!  The weather is crisp and beautiful, the leaves change colors and it is sweater weather.  I love the smells of fall, especially pumpkin!  Pumpkin everything, yes please!



(Not pictured:  Pumpkin Beer)


I also make some awesome pumpkin chip cookies.  I love fall!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Unwitting Wishes, Maybe?

Tal* smiled and said, "You know, whenever you talk about our future kid, you always say him."

"Oh.  Really?"  It took me by surprise, and I chuckled.

We were talking about our work schedules and the possibility of a new position opening up in my department.  I work second shift and that is not so kid friendly.  While the new position may get me home slightly earlier, I would lose some of that time with a longer commute.  More importantly, the hours are not guaranteed as they may be adjusted based on need and I could end up with the same schedule.  Better to stick with the known for now.

But, it is still kind of funny to me that in our conversations about a possible future child that my default is boy.  In my mind's eye it flips back and forth between a girl or a boy. Although, what comes tumbling out when I speak is boy.  Hmm...

*I'm switching to referring to my hubby as Tal because typing the tilde following T is a bit annoying and old.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sticking to my New Year's Resolution Too Well

This year I made a resolution to not backdate my blog posts.  While I have been mostly successful, it has ended up with me posting less.  Not sure if it is really getting the result I intended.  Whoops!  Although, I think it has given me an opportunity to step back and think about my blog space.

Last year I had wedding planning to sprinkle into my rotation of posts.  It was nice to take some of the focus away from my past IF experiences or how IF pops up in my life here and there.

Maybe a shift set in motion.  This year there have been times where I may feel at a loss for what to write.  I have not been as inclined to write about IF, so I guess I have not been writing as much.  I've needed my life to be more, which it has.  It just may not be well reflected in my blog.  I should probably just write more about the everyday or what is current, rather than trying to make that connection to IF specifically.  Just write about life as it is.

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