five years ago today…

Five years ago today, my life changed – and all for the better.  On July 16, 2005 I married my wonderful and amazing husband, Justin.  We’ve had a rough time the last 3.5 yrs, but it has only made us stronger together and made me love him more.  He is sensitive and caring and always there for me when I need him.  I only hope I am the same for him.  We have a long road ahead of us, but I can only hope that come February we will have one more reason to celebrate together and fall in love all over again.  I love you Justin, and I can’t imagine my life with out you!

We did our pictures before the wedding, so this is shortly after we saw each other for the first time that day, all dolled up.  We got a bunch of great shots of the actual moment, where we twirled each other around, but I won’t bore you with those 😀  Doesn’t my man look amazing in a kilt??

We got married at the camp I had grown up next to, gone to as a camper and worked at my whole life.  It is a beautiful location and I was so happy to have my special day there.  Of course, it was the middle of July in Minnesota, so it was 98 degrees outside with about 80% humidity!!  Don’t believe Minnesota gets hot??  Come on up in the summer time!

My amazing bridesmaids: Best Friend Susie, my College Roommate Kiersten and my Niece Nicole.  They were all great!  The dresses we picked out didn’t come in junior sizes so I had my friend Kate recreate the dresses in a smaller size for Nicole – and it turned out beautiful!  Kate also made the flower girl dress and of course, my dress!

The groomsmen: Justin’s brother Josh, his Friend Chris, and my Friend Josh.  They were all good sports and agreed to wear kilts as well.  There was a lot of sexy man leg around!  Not only all the groomsmen and the groom, but both of our pastors wore a kilt and a number of our guests wore either kilts or man skirts.  It was great!

Justin’s family and my amazing In-Laws!  Brenda has been the best mother-in-law and is always supportive of both Justin and I.  Josh and I can talk in movie quotes all day long.  Since the wedding the family has grown to include Josh’s wife Jenn and their 2 kids Logan and Bella.

My family:  Dad-Nevin, Mom-Debby, Me, Sister-Robbin, Sister-Shannon, Bro-in-Law John, and niece Nicole.  Since then we’ve also added my niece Hannah!

One of the best shots of the whole wedding!  Sadly, my friend Kiersten got cut out mostly.  It was a lot of fun to do these shots though, and this is the one that turned out the best.  Look at those Twinkle Toes!! 😀

Our Ring Bearer Glen and Flower Girl Sophie – aren’t they just adorable!  There was a downhill slope to where the wedding was, and they ran the whole way down!  I was so afraid they were going to fall and do summer salts down the hill, but they made it!  Glen was great with little Sophie and held her hand the whole way so she would go to the right spot.

Justin and I walked in down the aisle together.  I never liked how people only stand up for the Bride – it was Justin’s day too and I wanted people to acknowledge that.  Of course, I think we just ended up confusing them and NO ONE stood up for us!  I guess I should have had the pastors instruct everyone to stand when we came in!  There were 2 aisle down to the front, then we met in the middle and continued the rest of the way together.  I loved it.

Our pastors Bob & Tripp.  Bob was my boss/pastor at the organization I worked at when I was in Lutheran Volunteer Corps and is a ELCA Lutheran Pastor.  Tripp is a wonderful friend of both Justin and I and had just gotten ordained into the ABC/USA (American Baptist) right before our wedding – this covered both Justin & I 😀  We also had Justin’s cousin, Andy, a Missouri Synod Lutheran pastor do our blessing.  I think we’re covered on most fronts (we know a lot of pastors)!  They all had stoles made out of the same material as Justin’s kilt.

My parents, checking to see if the pulled pork is ready to go for the reception!  Since the camp where we got married is literally right next door to my parents house, we had the reception there in the brand new shed my dad had just finished building that summer.  Really – I helped him put in the last bit of concrete 2 days before the wedding!

Our cake.  My sister Shannon and her husband John made and decorated it.  It was very pretty and fit in so well with everything else!  Also…yummy sheet cakes to go with it.  We of course, forgot to actually do the cake cutting at the reception (come on, it was hot, I just got married…you expect me to remember something like that).  We saved the top and froze it to eat on our first anniversary – yeah, I think it’s still in my parents freezer in the basement…

The reception was perfect, exactly what we wanted!  Low key, cheap and fun!  It was “catered” by a friend of my families.  By that I mean, Buster made all the food and dropped it off, but it was a serve yourself kind of thing!  It was great to have all of our friends and family together all at once, and to see different groups of friends come together for the first time.

Our first dance.  It was supposed to be to Norah Jones – Come Away With Me (the lyrics were perfect for the long distance relationship we had for 2 yrs), but I couldn’t find my CD and the DJ forgot to bring the song.  So it ended up being to Alison Krauss – When You Say Nothing at All (which was also perfect).  In the background you can see our keg.  Nothing but the best for our wedding! 😀

It was the perfect day with my perfect man.  I’m glad I have the pictures to help remind me (do any of YOU remember your wedding day exactly?).  Even though we’ve had heart break and tragedy, we’ve had each other.  We’ve journeyed together down this Long and Winding Road, and I’m looking forward to another 50-55 yrs more!


a year ago today…

This is my 100th post.  It seems fitting that this would be my topic on this milestone in my blogging life.

A year ago today my world came crashing down around me.

A year ago today my body could hold on no longer.

A year ago today they said to me, “don’t worry, it happens to 1 in 4 women”

A year ago today I was scared.

A year ago today I didn’t understand why.

A year ago today I was in excruciating pain.

A year ago today my heart broke.

A year ago today my husband held me as we both broke down.

A year ago today I lost all of my hopes and dreams.

A year ago today, my baby died.

Though it’s been a year, the pain is still fresh.  There are a lot of things that I don’t remember about that day, the grief was so much that I think it’s over written some of the details, but I do remember most of it.  I would have never guessed that in the year that I lost my first child, I would loose a second as well.  I know my beautiful Declan is watching over his precious sister Sophie.  At least if they can’t be with me, I’m glad that they are together.

My husband and I don’t normally do Valentines gifts to each other, but this year there was something that I very much wanted.  I spelled it out very specifically for him and said, “just an idea!”  But I knew he would do it.  Here is what he got me:

It’s a necklace with the names of my babies and their (would have been) birthstones.  An opal for Declan (October) and a Peridot for Sophie (August, the same as me).  It was ordered from La Bella Dame.  If you’re looking for something to remember your little one, or as a gift for someone I’d recommend this company.

Hoping (knowing) that this is what I was getting I wanted to get something for him to remember our little ones by.  I think I’ve mentioned this before, but Justin is in seminary now, working on becoming an ordained minister in the American Baptist Church/USA.  I wanted to get a cross for him, something he could use in his prayer time if he wanted.  He’s not a bit jewelery person (he had a hard time adjusting to the wedding ring!), so I wanted something that wouldn’t HAVE to be worn if he didn’t want to.  This is what I got him:

It has their names and the days that we lost them (the day we found out they were gone).  He wears it every day.

This day is hard, harder because of my recent loss.  Hard because if he had survived, he would be about 5 months old now.  Hard because we’re still on the long and winding road, trying to find our baby.  I miss you Declan, and I always will.  I love you.

keep on keepin’ on…

Welcome to my new blog layout! Do you like it? I needed to change it up a bit. Like my DH said, the old design worked well for what it was for when I created the blog, but I needed something fresh. Hopefully it’s easier to read!

Nothing much to report in the TTC department. I’ll be going in Friday for the blood work my ob/gyn wanted me to do. I was supposed to do it last week, but I just couldn’t make myself go in and do it then. I needed a break from it, and that’s what last week was for me.

On Friday night we had dinner with some of Justin’s seminary friends and then watched the Opening Ceremonies. It was a much needed night of relaxation.

Saturday morning we woke up and drove out to “the land of Chicago-land” – the suburbs! My best friend Susie and her family live out there and we went for a visit. There daughter, Jannah is our goddaughter. Here’s a great shot of her (she was running around the house with a color book page in her mouth):

Susie and I took the day and went shopping and had some girl time.  She is 21w5d along with her 3 pregnancy.  We were able to talk through what we have each been going through.  She had a miscarriage last year and has been trying to deal with the loss and the fear of now being pregnant after a loss.  Soup, Salad & Breadsticks at Olive Garden helped us to discuss our hopes and fears.  It was a great conversation and helped me get some stuff out that I’d been holding in.  If you get a chance, head over to her blog and wish her luck, as today she finds out if their little on is a boy or a girl!  Either way, that kid is going to be the best dressed baby around after all of the patterns I bought on Monday!!

Anyway, after shopping, we headed back to her place where the boys (her hubby & mine) had been taking care of the almost 3 year old all day!  Sounds like they had a good time, and even went to a dog sled race!  We had dinner, played a game of Settlers of Catan (my favorite) and then we had to leave.

That night we went to see our friends’ band, One of the Girls play at the Irish-American Heritage Center in Chicago.  The band is what they call “blueirishfolkgrass” and is always a good time.  It helps when you know the band!  Justin had to head home early (due to work the next day) but I stayed for the whole gig and then slept over at my friend Abbey’s house.

Kind of a fuzzy picture of the band: Roger, Tom, Tripp & Sean.  Mike D not shown.  Why?  Because…

…he was playing accordion on the bar.  Good times.

DH and I having an argument (not really, we were just kidding around).

Me, Sappers, Abbey & Evy enjoying the show.

It was a great night, and like I said, much needed.  It was nice to get out of the house and do something fun with friends!  It helped also that I had 4 Smithwick’s and a shot!  But really, just being able to have a fun day with the people I love did wonders for my mental state.

So the next steps: beta test on Friday.  Big blood work at the beginning of April.  Until then, I’m supposed to see a nutritionist (recommended by the MFM doc).  I’ll also be starting back up at Curves next week.  I’m hoping by April I can drop at least 10-20 lbs.  That’s my goal.  I may be doing some sharing on that here later, but for now that’s all I have to report.  Hope you are all doing well!

i love my husband…

My husband Justin is the most caring, wonderful man in the whole wide world.  I love him very much.  He wrote a post on his blog about our loss.  Please check it out.

halloween and puppies…

My appointment with the gynecologist about Metformin is tomorrow.  I can’t wait.  I’m hoping that it goes well.  Since I’m in a waiting time though, I really have nothing to report…so I thought I’d share some Halloween pictures!

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The hubby and I in our Halloween costumes.  100 points to anyone who can guess who we are!

(If you don’t know, the DH is Captain Hammer for Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog and I’m Helena Ravenclaw.  I’m a huge Harry Potter nerd, and also a Joss Whedon nerd, so very happy hubby has followed along with that one!  I made the dress myself!

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I spent Halloween night at a friends house, and was gone most of the next day.  When I got home, I was exhausted so I laid down on the couch.  My dog Malcolm must have REALLY missed me because he came up and squished my face and gave me lots of puppy kisses (Mal is not a bit kissy dog, so it is a rare treat to get one from him)!  He laid on my like this with his head on my face for about 10 minutes.

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My other puppy, Inara, missed me too – she curled up right next to me on the couch.  If you look in the background you can see Malcolm staring at me, too!


Well…hopefully I’ll have something to report tomorrow afternoon.  Wish me luck!

You never know when there will be a fire…

The above is a quote from my husband.  I’ll tell you the story in a bit…

First – the second IUI was today.  We got in MUCH quicker this morning initially, but there was still the hour wait after the specimen deposit which was more like  an hour and 15 minutes, but oh well.  Everything else went fine.  Husbands count was down, which we were expecting, but still good. 51 million with 94% motility.

So the quote: we go back to the room for the procedure and the nurse gives the classic “remove clothes from the waist down, I’ll be right back.”  I have to use the facilities first, so I leave Justin in the room.  When I come back in he says, “It’s a good thing I didn’t have my pants off when you opened the door!”  I say to him, “Those instructions were for me, not you silly.”  He jokes back, “Oh, right.  Well, I already had my pants off anyway.”  I look at him quizzically then remember that, yes, he would have had his pants off for the specimen deposit.  He then says, “I had my shirt off too.”  I ask why he would need to have that off.  He says, “Well, I didn’t want to get anything on it.”  Right.  Of course.  Then he says, “But I left my shoes on.”  I laugh.  I laugh some more.  I ask why he didn’t take those off too, “Well, you never know when there will be a fire…”



I laughed, a lot.  Just the image of him in the room, making a deposit in nothing but shoes and socks and then having to suddenly run for it because of a fire.  HAHAHAHAHA!  I said to him, “Personally, if there was a fire I’d rather be wearing a shirt than shoes.”  His response?  “Yeah, but there could be nails.”  I love him dearly.  It’s right about this point as we’re both laughing our heads off and the happy laughter tears are starting to spill down my face that the nurse comes in for the IUI.  I wonder what she was thinking about us!

Of course, she was a talker.  I don’t know about you all, but I’d rather not talk about the weather and my weekend plans as some lady is sticking a speculum and catheter up in my nether regions.  It’s just a bit awkward…plus I’m fighting not to yell out in pain, not really up for the talking.  Luckily husband takes over at that point for me.  Just as she begins the procedure, Justin leans over and whispers in my ear, “Just remember…there could be a fire at any time…”

Love him. 🙂


You won’t like me when I’m hungry…

hulk The above is a reference to the Edward Norton Hulk movie, if you haven’t seen it.  Had u/s bloodwork #2 today, and I think it was destined to be a crappy day from the moment we left the house.  The appointment was set for 7:40 am, so we left the house at 7:10, figuring traffic wouldn’t be too bad yet.  Well, it wasen’t horrible, but we did run into a bit of cluster f*ck on Lakeshore Drive…luckily we still got to FCI right at 7:40 so we weren’t late.

But………the waiting room was PACKED!  We always go early because I don’t want to have to miss work for all of these appointments.  Normally 7:40 am would give me plenty of time to do the u/s, bloodwork and drive to work and be there a bit early.  Not today though!  Finally got called back for blood work and ended up waiting another 15ish minutes for that.  Before they called me, my husband had to leave as he haden’t been able to tell his boss he was going to be late.  About 5 minutes after he left, I realized my car keys were safely locked in the car as he is usually with me the whole time, I leave them in there until we leave.  This time though, he’d walked off with his set and I was now stranded.  Nothing to do but try to borrow the clinic’s phone after my appointment and call him (hoping they had a phone book because I didn’t have the number on me).  I don’t have a cell phone, so that’s why I had to borrow the clinic phone.  Finally get called back for bloodwork, luckily got a good tech so they didn’t have to jab me twice.

Next, sent over for the ultrasound.  To wait another 10 minutes.  I see the tech pull my sheet and walk her patient over to bloodwork, then another tech comes out and calls the lady who came after me.  Great.  More waiting.  My tech finally comes back (after the 2nd lady after me got called back) and goes into her room – to talk with one of the techs and docs for another 10 minutes!  In the mean time, she could have put my chart back so another tech could have seen me, but oh no!  I finally get called back, do my ultrasound and head out to the front desk.

I get there and the lady asks me to pay the $600 bill.  I’m sorry what??  We’ve been going to this clinic for over a year now and they’ve always – ALWAYS let us wait until a bill comes in the mail to pay.  She wouldn’t hear of it though.  Not to mention that we had just been there Friday and our chart said $0 owed and now all of a sudden there is an odd $300 charge plus the $200 for today.  Well, I said “I need to use the phone because my husband has the car keys and I need to check and see if we even have that in our account before I can pay.”  We usually pull out from savings when a bill comes, so I wasen’t sure what to do.  I asked for a phone book “Oh, I don’t have one.”  I’m thinking, does someone in the office have one, or do you not want to go check???  Luckily Justin’s work number was on file so I called using their phone.  Got his answering machine.  Great.  Left a message, “You have the car keys and they want $600 dollars.  I don’t know what to do.  Call here and ask for me I guess.”

Apparently, about 5 min after I called Justin had just gotten to work, so he turned around and started heading back.  I’m glad he left so fast, but I wish I’d known he was on his way.  At this point I’m sitting in the waiting room crying not sure what to do next.  2 nurses come over and ask if I’m waiting for something else, as they know I’ve already completed my appointment.  I tell them, no, just waiting for keys to my car.

Finally decide to try and call again and get the receptionist at Justin’s office to track him down.  I was going to tell her it’s a minor emergency and I really need to speak with him.  Of course, though, she’s on another call so I have to go through the prompts to get to J’s phone again.  Answering machine picks up again.  Bah!  If I had gotten the receptionist she probably could have told me that Justin was on his way to save me.

About 2-3 min after call #2, Justin walks in.  I swear there was a heavenly light shining all around him, my savior for the day! 😀  We go over to bill lady and then all of a sudden we can just pay today’s bill and wait for the mailed bill to pay the $300.  Thanks lady, that would have saved me a LOT of stress and tears today.  At this point, the HULK is just waiting to rip through my skin and strangle this lady, but I also just want to get out of there before I sound like a total bitch for the way I was talking to her.  We pay and I book it out of there, tears now streaming down my face.

Next I drive like a crazy woman out of there and drop of my husband.  Trying to ignore the dumb ass driving the 15 passenger van that has decided to drive down the middle of both lanes in downtown Chicago.  Brilliant.  Finally turn on to Michigan Ave and get stopped at a red, and it’s red all the way down.  Beautiful.  It’s 9:00 by now, the time I’m supposed to be at work.  Because Justin left work so fast he wasn’t able to call my boss to say I might be late.  He was gonna call while I was on my way up now.  After getting cut off by taxis, buses and more dumb asses, I finally get to Lakeshore and again, hit a red.  HULK ANGRY!!!  Get on Lakeshore.  Cut off a few more times.  Finally get to my turn off.  Cut off by a bus who is turning left while in the right turn only lane off the exit.  At this point, I’ve decided I need a donut.  It’s odd, but almost every time I’ve had a bad appointment at FCI I must stop for a donut before I go to work.  Either my body really needs the sugar to help me at that point or something!  Get to the store, buy my donut (okay…2) and grab a DDP (Diet Doctor Pepper) which is bad, because I’ve stopped caffeine and alcohol since CD1, but I decided to heck with that for just today.  I’m not pregnant yet!

Finally got to work around 9:40, 2 hours after my alleged appointment time.  Grrr…argh (with a Zombie demon floating by).  Feeling better now that I’m here and having devoured 2 donuts and almost finished my DDP.  So, how was your day?