Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Favorites- 7/31/15


Today I'm linking up with the Momfessionals blog, A Little Bit of Everything blog, and Grace and Love blog to blog about some Friday Favorites!


ONE
Faith


I love this quote! This week has had some ups and downs for me. Its just hard when I so badly want to become a mother and it just isn't happening! Sometimes I just need to remind myself that even though we haven't gotten pregnant yet, that doesn't mean that it never will! This week I am reminded to stay faithful, and trust that God has a plan. 



TWO


These boots! I know its not boot season yet, and we still have plenty of time to wear our sandals and flip flops, but I bought these boots this week. I ordered them from Nordstrom Rack for $13 and some change! Less than $14 for a pair of boots?! How could I pass that one up?? I'm pretty excited about getting these in the mail next week.




THREE
Kenny Chesney



Yep... Kenny Chesney... Can't wait to see him in concert this weekend! Not only am I excited for the concert, but I'm especially excited to have a weekend away with my hubby, my sister-in-law, and my brother-in-law! Love them!!


FOUR
This weather... I love a little summer heat here and there, but the weather these past two days has been amazing! Warm and sunny, but not super humid and sticky! If it could stay like this for the next 6 weeks or so, I would be thrilled!!




FIVE

Pizza Dip... So yummy! Check out my recipe that I posted this week. If you're getting together with friends this weekend, you should try out this dip! Once you cook your meat, you just dump all of the ingredients in your slow cooker! 




Happy Friday everyone!! I hope your weekends are wonderful! 


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Pizza Dip

Pizza dip... this one is always a crowd favorite. Almost every time my family gets together, someone  requests that I make this. I like this dip because it is usually something that everyone likes, even the picky eaters.  Here's how I make it:


Ingredients
1 lb. Italian sausage (I have used both sweet and hot in the past- both are good!)
5 slices bacon
1 cup chopped pepperoni (about half of the normal 8 oz. bag)
36 oz. pizza sauce or marinara sauce
1 cup shredded Italian cheese (mozzarella or any Italian blend, but it should be something other than Parmesan)
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. sour cream
1-8 oz. container of grated Parmesan cheese (2 cups) 
1 heaping tablespoon of pesto
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
water if dip is too thick (optional)


Start by cooking your Italian sausage and drain any grease. Dump the cooked sausage into your slow cooker. 

Next, fry up your bacon, remove it from the grease and chop it up. Dump it into your slow cooker as well. 

Starting with the marinara sauce, put the rest of your ingredients in the slow cooker one by one and mix them all up.  If your dip is a little thicker than you'd like, its okay to add a little bit of water. I usually put about 2 tablespoons of water in each of my marinara sauce jars and shake them up to get any excess sauce off the jar and dump all of that into my Crock Pot. 

Keep your slow cooker on low for about 2 hours, or until the cream cheese melts and the dip mixes together evenly. After that, change your heat setting to warm. 

This dip is hearty and filling, and so so good! You can mix and match it with other meats, or even add your favorite veggies. 

My favorite thing to serve Pizza Dip with is garlic bread, but it is also great with bagel chips or crackers. Enjoy! 


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What's Up Wednesday- July 2015






Hi everyone! Happy July! I haven't blogged much this month, as I haven't had any fertility treatment news to share, but overall it has been a great month! I decided instead of writing a few paragraphs about our month, it would be more fun to link up with Mix and Match Mama and answer the What's Up Wednesday questions.



What we're eating this week:
Over the weekend we got together with family and I made my Pizza Dip!! YUM! This dip is so good! Check back tomorrow for my recipe :) 
mmm... so yummy! 

What I'm reminiscing about:
This month I have been reminiscing about my study abroad adventures in Spain, back in 2011. This was by far my favorite collegiate experience... so amazing. Facebook gives me a daily notification about what I posted on each day in the past, so all of my Spain pictures and statuses have been showing up this month. It is hard to believe I was in Spain this time 4 years ago... I remember like it was yesterday! 
Love these people! 


What I'm loving:
Not having any homework this half of the summer! I am currently in graduate school seeking my Master's in Business Administration. I finished my first summer class, and was signed up for another class for the 2nd half of the summer, but decided I was school-ed out for the time being, and didn't have the focus to cram in another class, so... I dropped the course. I'll start back up in the fall, but for now, it is oh-so-nice to have a break from homework and studying!

What we've been up to:
VACATION!! woo hoo! We just got back last week from our Florida vacation. We went for a friend's wedding, and also got to spend a few days at Disney World. This trip was a busy one, but was so much fun!
Family vacation at Disney World


What I'm dreading:
Starting classes again at the end of August...some days its just hard to work all day and then come home and find the motivation to study. The bright side is that I only have 3 more semesters to go, and then I'll be finished with school forever! (BTW, I know that going to graduate school is a great opportunity, so this is definitely one of those #firstworldproblems situations.)

What I'm working on:
New decor for our dining room! We have lived in our house for a little over 2 years, but I never really hung anything on our dining room walls, so now I'm finally getting around to doing that.

What I'm excited about:
Since our last fertility treatment, I had a semi-normal cycle of 31 days! This is really really great, especially because this was all on my own with no fertility drugs! God is so good! I'm hoping my cycles will stay that way, and not get super long like they did prior to starting fertility treatments. That's my current prayer request.

What I'm watching/reading:
I just caught up on the season finale of The Bachelorette last night (so happy that Kaitlyn picked Shawn), and I'm currently reading Nobody's Cuter Than You. Mix and Match Mama also suggested this book on her blog, and I ordered this copy for me and one of my bff's! Its book about friendship, and I'm really enjoying it so far. It's an easy read, and totally relate-able. 


What I'm listening to:
Currently listening to Lee laugh his booty off watching the Jimmy Fallon show. I have to agree with him... the Jimmy Fallon/Tom Cruise lip sync was hilarious! 

What I'm wearing:
I recently bought these purple Under Armour shorts, and I've been living in them when I come home from work! They are so comfy! I also have two similar pairs in blue and black, and they are equally as comfortable. Definitely my fav comfy shorts! 

What I'm doing this weekend:
Catching a concert with my hubby, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law! 
Kenny Chesney, here we come! 

What I'm looking forward to next month:
Going boating! The river here has risen so high, we haven't gotten to take our boat out in July at all. So we are hoping the rain will finally slow down, and we will be able to use our boat a few weekends in August.

What else is new:
Not a whole lot! As I mentioned in my last blog post, we are taking a break from fertility treatments this summer. We did 6 IUIs earlier this year, and none of them resulted in pregnancy. Our doctor has recommended that our next step be IVF. We are definitely interested in going that route, but have decided to give ourselves a break for the summer. Once we get back from our trip to Mexico this fall, we will call our doctor and get the ball rolling. 

In the meantime, I did have some blood work done at my last doctor's appointment, which showed I had very low levels of Vitamin D. So now I am taking Vitamin D supplements daily, and will go back for more blood work at the end of August to check my vitamin levels again. Other than that, we are just enjoying our summer with no fertility drugs and no doctors appointments. So far it has been nice and relaxing, and I am so thankful for that!

What will I miss most about summer?
Definitely going to miss not having to do homework the absolute most! But also I'm going to miss the warm, sunny days spent boating. There's just something so relaxing about being out on the water, hanging with my fav person, enjoying the sunshine, and forgetting about life's problems for a few hours. 

Thanks for reading, friends! I appreciate all of your love, prayers, and support so far this year. Please let me know if there is anything that I can be praying about for you!!





Thursday, July 9, 2015

Post-IUI #6 Update

As you all know, during the month of June we had our 6th IUI. We did not get pregnant this month, so Lee and I decided now would be a good time to take a break. So far, this break has been nice. I really think it is just what Lee and I have needed. We are planning to pursue other options after a few months off.

We met with our doctor last week to discuss what those options might be. He said at this point, if IUI hasn't worked yet, there's a slim chance (10ish %) that it will in the future. We agreed that we really aren't interested in having anymore IUIs. We feel like we gave that process a fair shot, and tried a good amount of different medication combinations. We are ready to move on. Dr. Griffin thinks our next step for continuing fertility treatments should be In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

IVF is a process in which I will take medication to encourage my ovaries to produce several follicles (eggs) that are large enough for fertilization. I will take the medication and have several ultrasounds to track the activity of my ovaries. Once I have several mature follicles, the doctor will do an egg retrieval. This is where I will go under anesthesia (still breathe on my own and all that, just basically be asleep), and he will go in and retrieve the mature eggs. Next, my eggs and Lee's sperm will be joined in a lab. Once they join, they will hopefully grow for about 5 days or so and become embryos. The embryos will then be placed back into my uterus, and I will take a pregnancy test several days later to see if they implanted. For those of you who are not familiar with the process of fertility treatments, you are probably thinking Octo-mom or Jon and Kate + 8. No worries- we are NOT going to have 6 or even 8 babies at once! Dr. Griffin said he would not feel comfortable placing more than two embryos in my uterus at once. That way, even if they both split and become twins (which is not super common), we would have 4 babies, MAX. Given our track record, we will be lucky if just one implants and we have one baby....but let's be real, we are not opposed to multiples at this point, and we will be happy with what God gives us!! Dr. Griffin has only had one set of triplets in his time as a doctor, and all other successes have been single babies or twins. He did say that we can choose to only place one embryo back into my uterus if we want, but Lee and I both agree that we would prefer two so our chances of success are higher. If more than 2 embryos survive the 5 day growth process, they would be frozen and we would use them later for future children, or additional tries if the first round does not work.

Wow... That is  LOT of information! Lee and I were both on information overload after our appointment, and you might be too after reading all of that. Once the time comes, I will try to do a separate blog post for each step of the process to make it seem less complicated.

So, when will that time come? We are thinking later this year. Lee and I have never been to a destination wedding, but as it turns out, we are going to two this year!! One in Florida this summer, and one in Mexico this fall. We have decided that we want to enjoy these trips with our families, enjoy the summer months without the added stress of appointments and medications, and that's what we're going to do, and have been doing!

Once our two trips are over, we will plan to start the IVF process, and hope to have it complete before the holidays come around....we all know how crazy that time of year is. To us, this seems like perfect timing, and we are happy to have a game plan again, but also are enjoying our time off.

I will write another blog post later this month about how July has been going without medication, what we've been up to, how my cycle has been, etc., but for now, I just wanted to make note of how our doctor's appointment went, and what our plan is. I like to use this blog not only as a way to update friends and family on how we are doing, but also kind of as a diary for me, to remember what we've done so far... a super public, not-private-at-all diary. :)

We are still praying that God allow us to grow in our faith during this time, and that he bless us with a child. Some of my goals over the next few months are to focus on enjoying time with friends and family, allow myself to fully trust God and his plan, and to not be anxious about the future. Those are our prayer requests for the time being. If there is anything I can pray for you about, please let me know!