June 25, 2011


I'm in Chicago for the weekend for the HOW Graphic Design Conference [woo!]. I just wanted to take this moment to say that I am LOVING being around like-minded people.

Graphic designers are a special breed. My freak flag is usually tucked away when I'm in North Carolina [and ESPECIALLY while I'm at work!] so it's nice being around tattooed, pierced, hair-dyed, art loving people.

I feel at home.

I attended this same conference last year in Denver and came back with so many great ideas that kept me going for some time. But I do miss being around these type of folk. Having individuals around me who are so closed-minded [not EVERYBODY, just the ones that affect my job] and so conservative in their way of living really takes a toll on you after a while. Having to push back on who I really am, and what I really love for 8-10 hours a day basically blows.

So being here with these amazingly talented people with so much love for life and creativity really helps the momentum of going forward.

And it's only day one.

On another note, I have taken some pretty amazing photos so far. I can't wait to share them with you.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

June 22, 2011

Home Improvements*

A while back, I announced here that our kitchen was about to undergo some heavy renovations. Unfortunately, we had to put that on the back burner as we took on another home project.

A couple of months ago, we removed our back deck to put down a concrete patio instead. Our deck was high and there was no privacy on it at all, even with the privacy fence. Also, it was so small that it really wasn't functional. We [and by we I mean my darling husband] removed it with dreams of somewhere we could hang out and actually have friends over to entertain.

Much to our surprise, once said deck was removed, we discovered nothing but rotten wood and siding where said deck had been.


Luckily for us, our home insurance covered some of the repairs [actually, it covered ALL of the repairs with a healthy dose of "extra" left over] for the rotten wood. We likely could have just replaced the siding on that particular side of the house, but the truth was it was outdated and the whole house needed an update. So, any money we had put aside for the kitchen was now going to cover the rest of the siding for our home.

It was a job that definitely needed to be done, and better to do it now so we can enjoy before we have to go and sell the house. And I have to admit, I'm in love with the new look.

It's a HUGE difference. It's like living in a brand new home. At least on the outside! The crew got the job done quick [three days!] Once the exterior of the home was completed, I decided I wanted to make a statement with the door [the sage green garage is just going to be painted white] since it can really be a centerpiece to your home. And since we couldn't afford a brand new door [and really, why? This one works just fine!] we went with a bright, bold orange.

I am in LOVE with it! I saw a color combination like this on Pinterest and thought to myself, that's exactly what I want to do. I had originally wanted yellow. M wanted bright red. I think this is a good combination. It goes so well with the dark grey of the house but really brightens it up! I have some cushions on the porch furniture that is actually this color, so to keep things matching a little, I took the cushion in with me to pick out the paint color. Ha!

So that's that. The garage still needs to be painted, and the back door needs to get a couple coats of the orange, but it's getting there. We have slowly but surely started on the kitchen as we've saved up some more money again ... the countertops have been replaced, which is already making a huge difference.

I have photos of all of this, which I will post later this week for sure. But I've been dying to talk about this project and I can't wait to show it off!

June 16, 2011

IUI 1.0*

Tomorrow marks my first ever IUI.

I'm nervous.

I mean, there really isn't much more to say about it other than I'm completely terrified. I am still in LAND OF THE BITTER & HOPELESS and I don't really know how to get myself out of this wreck.

Tomorrow is cd 15, which is I suppose a semi-normal day to have an IUI on. I know women who have had their MUCH later in the cycle so there's that. And, we've taken all the precautions necessary in case of an early O. But basically, my cycle looked like this:

CD4 I started on 75 iu's of Gonal F. On CD8 I went in for an ultrasound to check things out. I had one 11 follicle on the left, and an 11 & 14 on the right. Things looked good! When my bloodwork came back, it was only at 62 ... Nurse D had expressed that she wanted to see it around 100, so that was the first bit semi-negative in the cycle. Come CD12 for ultrasound number 2 and they can only find the follicle on the left. It's grown quite a bit (was almost an 18 on tuesday) but they can't find the other two on the right.

whomp whomp.

Nurse D even expressed her disappointment in only having one follicle. Which, you know, sucks and all. If this doesn't work, then we will up the dosage on the Gonal F to see if I react better to it with a higher dose. But the fact that we're already planning for the next round is shitty in so many ways.

I mean, whatever ... who am I to talk?? I am always planning for the next cycle. But this shit is tough. I'm not exactly sure what to do, or what to think. I want to be optimistic for tomorrow, and I have a serious goal to keep the next two weeks as stress FREE as possible to aid in any way with any of the this. But shit ... it's hard

I hope it works. I really, really do. I was not a huge fan of giving myself daily injections, and that trigger shot was a mother fucking BITCH. But it is what it is. I know that one juicy follie is better than none ... but dang. Just ... dang.

So, fingers crossed. I need all the love, support and HOPEFUL wishes sent this way that you all can muster up. Because I sure as hell am not feeling the hope. I hate it ... but it's not there.

June 10, 2011

Photography Contest*

I was recently informed by a friend that the local art council here in town was having a photography contest. I was also told I should enter.

I've wanted to be more proactive with some of my photography, and enter some contests to get myself out there a little more. But the truth is, I am my biggest critic. And while I think the photography that I do is good, I'm not always convinced that other people think the same. I have horrible self-esteem when it comes to this & am always seeking the opinion of others instead of trusting my own.

I'm working on this. I promise.

With that said, I've sent a few photos off to the printers and will be getting them framed next week sometime so they will be ready for entry. I'm entering four [the max number of entries you can have] and they will all go through an initial judging period. If the juror happens to like even ONE of my photos, it will go on display at the Art Museum downtown for about a month. Prizes will be awarded in three different categories. I don't really care to win [although not going to lie, it will be awesome!] as just making it through the first round and having a single piece [hopefully more!] up for display in a REAL art museum would be pretty bad ass. If I'm LUCKY, somebody may even want to buy them!

Here's the first [and my favorite!] piece that I'm entering. I took this a couple of months ago at our local Botanical Gardens, and I instantly loved it. I'll post the other three throughout the week! [And if you feel like following my photography page on facebook, go here! SHAMELESS PLUG!]

June 7, 2011

Wishful Thinking*

I am a Pinterest addict.

I really can't help myself.

I spend at least an hour each night, if not longer, cruising through the site, looking at all the adorable crafty things i wish i had time to make, home improvements i wish i had time to do, and awesome photographs i wish i had time to take.

If you are not on this site you really should be. I promise you. It's fabulous.

Lately, though, i've been on this baby "stuff" kick. I avoided it for a really long time, because lets face it ... the likelihood of me buying baby stuff anytime soon is kind of a joke. I mean, i'm not even pregnant as of right this very second. And even if i was, i learned my lesson last time from buying baby stuff too early.

But there is just so much cute stuff out there. So many great ideas for nurseries. Adorable onesies [and some just downright hilarious]. Cute photos. All the things that aren't really in my immediate future.

And I can't stop looking at them. I created a whole board called "Maybe Baby" that has basically become my wish list for things I want to do, or buy, or create. Maybe it's my subconscious being optimistic, but the bitter, spiteful all around negative nancy in me says that i'm wasting my time.

Seriously, i wish that person would go away, but that's another blog post for another day.

Either way, if i can't do these things for myself, someday i'll do them for somebody else. Maybe i'm crazy -- who knows. But I like thinking about it!

June 4, 2011

Another One Bites The Dust*

Round three of Femara is officially a bust. I knew it would be. Our timing was way off.

The weekend before our 'peak' time, M found out one of his very good friends from back home had died. That week was a hard week for us, especially for him, and trying to be a good wife I didn't pressure him for anything. I left for another work trip on CD15 and I knew in my heart that we had just not done enough.

But yet, there was still some sting with AF showed up yesterday.

It is what it is. I know that. It still doesn't hurt any less.

Our next step is to move onto IUI. I go in Monday to get my first injections and then we will go from there. Next Thursday or Friday will likely be my first ultrasound and hopefully I am responding well. This is where I have wanted to be all along. I'm sort of angry that three months of my life were wasted when I knew that the pills alone wouldn't work. But I'm glad to finally be at this point and hopefully this upcoming cycle will give us exactly what we want.

My company is being very understanding of this whole situation, as well. My director [my old boss, and my new boss's boss] & I had a wonderful chat last night on our way out. I was scheduled to head back up to another installation late next week, which would have thrown a crimp into the whole IUI thing. Fortunately for me, she was extremely understanding and I will no longer be taking that trip! They are planning to just hire a photographer instead to get the last family that needed to be photographed.

This takes a huge stress off my back!

So hopefully next week goes well. I'm back to having a slight bit of hope. I don't know what I will do if these IUI's don't work. But here's hoping, eh?