July 21, 2011


Hello fellow ICLW's! I am brand spanking new at this, but thought I would join this month! I am looking forward to reading through all the other blogs and making sure to leave lots and lots of comments :)

So, here's the skinny. My name is Brittany. I am wife to an amazing husband and mom to three fur-pups that we love very much. I am passionate, creative and not at all motivated but I try to live my life as exciting as I can. I am also an Army Wife, and we have been at our current duty station for almost six years.

Both my husband and I are transplants from the Pacific Northwest. We are hippies are heart in every way possible, and aren't afraid to show it. We love music, art and a really good cup of coffee. I am extremely passionate about photography, and I get fired up about politics. I am as much of a bleeding liberal as you can get. I graduated from the University of Denver with my masters degree in Public Relations, and my dream someday is to run a non-profit organization. Currently I work full time doing marketing related stuff in a job I used to love, but love no more. I'm pursuing more creative outlets. I also love to cook and need to be better about posting my recipes here.

My husband and I started trying to have a baby almost four years ago. I have had one miscarriage (possibly a second one, but no confirmation on that for sure) but we recently found out that I am pregnant via IUI. We were shocked, and to this day I remain nervous and scared shitless that something is going to happen, but every day I try to remind myself that nothing has happened yet, and that being positive is the name of the game. I'm not comfortable talking about it quite yet with people in real life, but every once in a while I'll throw out some tidbits about how I'm feeling/doing either here or on twitter.

This is my blog. Welcome. I don't post near as often as I would like, but I hope to do more soon. Thanks for stopping by. :) Please make sure you follow me .... you can do so by clicking the fancy little google reader button on the right!

July 19, 2011

Cramps & Such*

Friday marks the 7 week mark in this pregnancy. I can honestly say that so far it's been different than the last time I was pregnant, although it's been two and a half years so the details are fuzzy.

The big concern I have right now is the cramping. For the past two days, I've had some on and off cramping that has me a little bothered. When I found out I was pregnant, I could definitely feel some ligament stretching. That stretching has stopped and for the past couple of days I've had some period like cramps that don't seem to want to go away.

I know that these are normal, and I'm doing everything that I can to help minimize it. But I can't help but think, what if. What if what i'm experiencing isn't the normal type of cramps? I've had no bleeding yet, but I can't help but think that this isn't a good thing.

I know I'm being paranoid, but it's that past miscarriage that is still messing with my head. My first ultrasound is next thursday, and I hope everything remains ok.

Farming With Fletcher*

I want to take a quick minute and pass along this awesome site to all of you. My good good & totally amazing friend, Cortney, writes at Farming with Fletcher, a blog dedicated to all things green, self-sustaining and healthy.

According to Cort's "About Us,"

We currently live in a state out west somewhere between the plains and the mountains, which was very much unplanned! He is retired Army (Infantry- Hooah!), now working at a local high school. She is working as a lab director, not using her ecology degree particularly well. We have a 3-5 year plan, of which the goals are to buy 10+/- acres of land, build a home, build a chicken coop, plant a garden, learn to can, manage the woods, raise heirloom birds and goats. Maybe even a pig or a horse. We have visions of a cold cellar full of veggies, a pantry full of canned goods, homemade soap and cheese, and the ability to live sustainably. And be ready for any zombie attacks or the end of the world- whichever comes first!

We want to be greener. We want to be healthier. We want to be self sustaining... or at least as close to it as we can get. We want OUR version of the American Dream (and it doesn't involve working till we are 70 and being in debt up to our eyeballs). In short, our goal is the live the dream and make a working, thriving, sustainable homestead for ourselves. Sooner, rather than later!

Cortney is all about being as green as possible. She makes her own deodorant. She makes amazing quilts out of old, worn tshirts. She writes about the awfulness that is the meat industry. Her posts are insightful and well thought-out, and I want to be just like her when I grow up.

She has a plan, and she's working towards her version of the American Dream -- something we can all admire. I highly suggest checking out her page for all her updates, and hopefully you can take away some of the great things that I have.

Also, be sure to check out the section to hear all about Fletcher. As an animal lover and someone who lost a pup near and dear to my heart, its worth a read. Fletcher's Farm is an excellent way to carry on the memory of a loved pooch!

So go. Now. Check her out. And make sure you follow her for all the updates!

July 8, 2011

Five Weeks & Slightly Crazy*

Today I am five weeks pregnant.

It still seems to sureal to me that just a week and a half ago, we found out that I was *finally* knocked up.

I still haven't told a ton of people, in fact only two members of my own family even know at this point, because having miscarried before I can't seem to get past the fear that something might happen again. Slowly but surely, day by day, I am trying to overcome this. But until I likely get into my third trimester, I'm not particularly feeling like I'll be all that confident.

See, just a couple of days ago, I would have thrown in a if that actually happens into that sentance. Miscarriage really has a way of fucking you up in the head.

Because of this, I'm having a hard time talking about it in detail. With anybody. It is still SO early in the process, and I have such a long ways to go in this journey. 35 weeks, to be exact, and that's a long ass amount of time. And so many of my friends who do know about this pregnancy are STILL dealing with infertilify. I don't want them to feel, AT ALL, like I still don't think the infertility process is a giant pain in the ass. But I also threw myself comletely into my first pregnancy, and after the miscarriage, the results were not pretty. I do NOT want to do down that road again. I'm not sure what little sanity I have left would survive.

I got lucky because of medical intervention. But my journey down this road hasn't been nearly as long or painful as some of the other women I know. And I don't want to make them feel at all like I suddenly don't remember how shitty it is to hear about a pregnancy, from an fellow infertile or not. Because even though I was always so happy for any of my fellow infertiles out there when they got their BFP, there was still a small part of me that thought "damn ... that stings. Why not me?" Yes, we are excited. But the husband and I are also cautious and nervous. I can't shake that feeling no matter how hard I try. I still glare at other pregnant women. I still laugh at how easy some people think getting pregnant is. I still scoul at the advice that has already been given to me in these early days and the "everything will be perfect" words of wisdom that I know to not be true.

My friends that do know, though, have been amazing. I have such a wonderful support group and without them, I never would have gotten through the last three and a half years of our lives. And it's so important to me that I don't ever become one of "those" pregant women; smug and carefree because nothing can ever happen. I truly love them like family.

One day at a time. That's all I can really do. My first ultrasound is the 28th, in a little less than three weeks. I'm excited to get to see the baby, and see/hear the heartbeat. I never got that last time, but I also fear that if something does go wrong it will just mean I was that much more emotionally invested in this.

Pregnancy should be a time of HAPPINESS and JOY. It should not be a time of worry. Somebody out there please tell me that I am not crazy, that feeling this way is slightly normal.


July 6, 2011

The Best Chicken Enchiladas EVER*

I found this recipe via Pinterest last week [really ... are you shocked?] and had to try it. I had a craving for some mexican food, but we're on a budget these days and I had most of the ingredients at home. I had never made enchiladas before, so I figured it was worth a try!

It was a little time consuming [I'm used to 30 minutes or less type of meals] and I got home a little later than I would have liked to have gotten started on this, but in the end, it didn't matter. The result was SO tasty. Like, beyond words tasty. So good, in fact, that my husband ate four of them in one sitting. I could have easily eaten more if my stomach would have allowed.

I followed this recipe step by step [which rarely happens] and didn't deviate at all. As is, these were hands down the best enchiladas I have ever had in my life. Make these TONIGHT!

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce
adapted from Tide and Thyme, orginally from America's Test Kitchen


1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine
1 teaspoon canola oil
3 medim cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons sugar
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 large beefsteak tomato, seeded and chopped
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 large breasts)
1 cup extra sharp white cheddar, shredded
1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
cooking spray, salt and ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine the onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil in a large saucepan. cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, and chopped tomato. Bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 5 minutes.

Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through (thickest part reaches 160 degrees), about 12-20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool.

Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer the onions to a large bowl and set aside. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to the onion mixture, and add 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup cheese, and the cilantro. Toss to combine.

Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40-60 seconds. Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.

Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 7 minutes, or until the tortillas start to brown slightly (skip this step if you don't like the crunch).

Reduce heat to 400. Remove enchiladas and pour sauce evenly on top. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil, and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until heated through.

Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, additional cilantro, etc.

July 5, 2011

Photo Contest Update*

A couple of weeks I had mentioned that I had taken the plunge and was planning on entering some of my photography into a contest at the local art museum. I am happy to say that BOTH of my pieces made it to the display!

I didn't win anything, which is fine by me, but it was pretty awesome to see my work up on a wall. Because I was in Chicago during the opening night, my darling husband went down to the gallery for me to represent me. But this weekend, some friends and I went to lunch nearby and then went and took a look at my work.

It's small potatoes here, but this is still pretty neat. It is definitely motivation to look for other contests and be more aware of what I am taking photos of! My friends and I went down this past Saturday to do lunch and take a look, and I love how proud of me they were.

We had so much fun just browsing the other photos. I have such amazing friends, and am truly blessed to have people in my life who care so much about me! It was a blast.

Anyways, these are my two photos on the wall. The flower is obviously mine, and in the photo with the two photos, mine is the one up top with the blackhawk. I know. I'm totally big time. ha!

July 1, 2011

Big. Fat. Positive.*


I'm pregnant. :)

My IUI was, apparently, a success. I was a little apprehensive about it afterwards because of only having one follicle on the day of the IUI. But apparently it's true ... all you need is one!

Today I am officially four weeks pregnant. We found out on Tuesday night after peeing on a stick that I was indeed knocked up. Wednesday morning I peed on another stick just to confirm and then called my nurse at the RE clinic to share the news. I was surprised that I got a positive test so early. It had only been 11 days past the IUI procedure, so probably about the same past ovulation. Which means I'm growing a pretty strong little bean in there, or I got pregnant before the IUI. Wednesday I had my first beta, which came back at 51.5. Today's beta came back at 103.

We are obviously OVER THE MOON. But this means so many other things, too. We've been trying for three and a half years, and I've only been pregnant one other time. That led to a miscarriage at 10 weeks, which most of you know. With that said, I am nervous. I'm trying to enjoy this moment as much as I can, and just enjoy what we've worked SO hard for. But I can't help but think "Am I going to screw this up? What if this happens again? Will I deal with it better?"

It's crazy to think like that, and it's crazy to not have hope that this will work out. But I'm telling myself every day that what is meant to be is meant to be, and just enjoying every moment that I can. There is so much happiness in our home right now. TODAY I am pregnant. And today it feels pretty damn good. My husband has been amazing these past few days. I'm pretty sure he's the most excited of both of us, and even though I keep telling him to zip it, he keeps spilling the beans to people. It's cute :)

So that's that! I'm very much looking forward to a LONG relaxing weekend. We have no real plans other than to hang out with friends and relax. It will be fabulous. I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July and stays safe!

Holy shit. I'm pregnant.