Thursday, June 30, 2011

The bigger piece

After waiting a week that felt like a heck of a lot longer, we got Dan's test results yesterday. They weren't good. Like, really not good. Without going into specific numbers, if the issues can't be corrected through changes in diet, supplements, and vitamins, we'd be looking at IVF as our only option, along with a special procedure to manually fertilize the egg first. And the chances are even more slim than for a regular IVF. And I'm not being all worst case scenario dramatic. These are researchable (read: google-able) facts that also appear right on the test results. Until we see the specialist, I don't know what we're looking at if we're able to correct the problems.

I'm equal parts hopeful for resolution through the RE and the help of a urologist, devastated, and numb. I have so many thoughts in my head. Part of me refuses to let the gravity of it set in before we see the specialist and know for sure what the options are. The other part of me is in panic mode. Mostly, I don't want to freak Dan out. I know how I felt that our troubles were all my fault when I got my results, and I don't want him to feel that way. I married him for him, and we'll take life as it comes. Together. But we're facing a very real possibility that there may not be biological children for us. I had hoped that my issues were all we'd be facing, but it turns out that there's a bigger piece to this puzzle.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Well, this is it. The Dirty Thirty. I've arrived. It's kinda fabulous. I woke up feeling a little extra cougar-y today, considering that for the next 4 months, I can say my husband is 26. Rowr.

My weekend was awesome. Better than I could have even asked for. The party Mrs. ESPN threw for me was so much fun. We had absolutely delicious food, tasty drinks (many tasty drinks) and great friends. I was even surprised by my cousins and aunt who drove up from Tucson. I got some awesome gifts - I get to shop at Target, Pier 1, and Kohl's. Oh, and Starbucks. How can I not love that? My mom framed the front page of the Tucson paper from the day I was born. Leave it Mom to give me the gift that makes me teary. My girls from The Bump sent me a unicorn pillow pet, which was just awesome.

All around, it was a great day of celebrating. I feel so blessed to have such a great friend in Mrs. ESPN, and I felt humbled that so many people came to celebrate with me or send me messages. My Facebook wall got blown.up, people. I have some truly amazing people in my life.

Today, I'm heading out to spend some gift cards, doing some laundry (it's gotta get done) and working on the arrangement for my gallery wall. I spent a gift card yesterday picking up some frames, and my gift from my mom gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get to work on displaying our memories. I'm not sure how it'll turn out, but it'll be a fun project. Tonight, I think we're going to dinner, or possibly cooking together. I'm not sure if Dan has decided. No matter what though, it'll be perfect, I know that much.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Good-bye, 20's. It's been real

This weekend is my last as a 20-something. That's kind of hard for me to believe. Looking back at what I remember from being a 20-year-old, I'm amazed at all that's changed. There have been amazing times and not so amazing times, I've endured and I've triumphed. I've gained some amazing friends, while other friendships have fallen to the wayside. I've loved and I've lost. It's amazing to think back on what I've accomplished in 10 years:

  • I made the decision to leave Northern Arizona University and my pre-optometry major (what, you didn't think I've always dreamed of being a tax analyst, did you?)

  • I was a psychology major for one semester at The University of Arizona before taking an accounting class, which led to my third and final major choice

  • While in college, I worked as many as three jobs at once, including a propeller hat-wearing kiddie photographer, a paint-your-own-pottery store assistant manager, an American Eagle clothing seller, and a waitress.

  • The summer before my final year of school, my parents helped me buy a condo, hence the many jobs, and I have been on my own ever since.

  • I joined the International Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi, and served as VP of Pledge Education my last semester while finishing school and working full time

  • I graduated with a BSBA in Accounting from the University of Arizona

  • I moved to Phoenix and started my first job, where I met Mrs. ESPN and got to travel the Western US

  • During my time at my traveling job, I went to Denver, Boise, LA, Seattle, San Francsico, and Nashville.

  • I went on three road trips: from San Diego to Napa on the PCH, Tucson to Rochester NY, and Tucson to Seattle

  • I traveled to Denver to visit a friend and former coworker and went to the Mile High Music Festival, where we saw Tom Petty, O.A.R., Jason Mraz, Flobots, Flogging Molly, and John Mayer. I actually missed the headliner, Dave Matthews, to fly back home.

  • I've been through 4 cars: a Toyota Tercel, a Nissan Pathfinder, a Nissan Altima, and my current Nissan Murano

  • I lived in 6 apartments in 5 years, which means my dad also accomplished a lot of heavy lifting

  • I adopted Paisley, and learned what it was like to have to truly take care of another living being

  • I discovered a love for baking and decorating, and have since made 2 wedding cakes and countless dozens of cookies and cupcakes.

  • I met and married my amazing husband and "I" became "we"

  • We adopted Clover

  • I earned my graduate degree in Taxation through the online program at The University of Tulsa and celebrated with a staycation at a resort.

  • We bought our first home and began trying to start our family

And that's just the stuff I can think of off hand. It's amazing the changes a decade brings. I'm excited for the weekend, and saying good-bye to my 20's. Mrs. ESPN is graciously hosting a party for me at her house, and I'm excited to see friends and family, hang out with everyone, and have some beverages and delicious food.

It's been great, 20's. Thank you to my awesome friends and family for making this past decade amazing. Here's to 30!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Never had a chance

I'm not even in a state to sugar coat this, so here it goes. I got some bad test results today. I found out that I'm highly deficient (as in 20% of the optimal unmedicated level) in the hormone that's responsible for supporting early pregnancy. Symptoms I've experienced support the results. Basically, even if we'd managed to achieve conception, my body was not going to support the embryo to result in a successful pregnancy.

Today was rough. I got a message from the doctor's office that my results came back "normal." However, upon actually receiving the results, my heart sank. I knew what the "goal" number was, and I was waaaay below. I called back to leave a message that I disagreed with the "normal" assessment, only to be told that my doctor signed off on it and reiterated her opinion that my levels were fine. Um. No. Not acceptable, and I knew I didn't agree with her analysis. Upon walking in the door at home and seeing my sweet husband, I burst into tears and let open the flood gates I'd been holding in all day.

This is a fixable issue, I should say that I'm thankful for that. I am. But there is still mourning. I mourn the carefree thinking that we would just easily have a baby. I mourn the element of surprise for me, for Dan, for our parents. I mourn for the thought that there may have been babies that never had a chance. That's the worst. That's what causes the big fat tears in the steaming hot shower. I know we had to go through the last year of trying to be able to get here to get this information, but it feels like a year wasted. A year of chances that never were.

So what's the next step? We have more testing to do, for both of us. At my appointment with the specialist in July, I'll likely be given supplements of the deficient hormone, and possibly other fertility drugs to correct the issue. Like I said, this is fixable. I know it could be far worse. I'm hoping this is the only issue, though I know that the remaining tests could raise other issues. But we'll deal with them. I debated whether to wish for no issues or for something we could point a finger at. Well, we got something to point a finger at. Now we have to resolve it. Hopefully, I respond well to the supplements and we get that chance we need. In the meantime, it's just me and him.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Meal Plan Monday: 6/6

Here's what we're having this week. So new stuff, some oldies-but-goodies. Hopefully, they'll all be crowd Dan pleasers.

Monday: Brats and sweet potatoes. Yummmmy! I could have sweet potatoes every day if I let me.

Tuesday: Meatloaf and broccoli

Wednesday: Chicken piccata and asparagus

Thursday: Turkey stuffed peppers

Friday: Shredded BBQ chicken sandwiches

We didn't eat out once this weekend, and I'm actually challenging myself to do it again. By loading some bigger meals toward the end of the week, we should have a variety of leftovers through the weekend.

My Big Fat Favorite Trainwreck

I have a new love in terms of reality television. At least until the start of the new season of Toddlers and Tiaras, that is. Have any of you see My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding? You need to, pronto, because it is possibly the most giddily ridiculous thing I've ever seen. Even more ridiculous than my my favorite episode of Outrageous Kid Parties and Lady Gaga's meat dress combined. For reals.

Now, unfortunately, I didn't take notes, so this won't be like a true recap, but I'm going to give you the run-down and the basics of what's been shown so far. MBFGW is a UK show highlighting the awesomeness of Romani gypsies and Irish Travellers. The basics: they're devout Catholics, which surprised the bajeezus out of me, considering their reputation for shenanigans and some other things I'll get to. But basically, the big moments in their lives are Chistenings, First Communions, and weddings. I mean, they go alllll out for this stuff. Second: it's a man's world. The women are expected to be housewives and travel at the whim of their husbands. Third: they really are fairly nomadic, yet they sometimes settle for years. However, even when settled, their homes are mobile. And get this: they don't believe in having toilet facilities in their homes. So they live in pottiless trailers. Lastly: because of their religious convictions, they don't believe in pre-marital boot-knocking, and they tend to marry young. Young as in, one girl was 20 and was "relatively old" to be getting married.

So how are these gypsies any more interesting than your average semi-homeless God fearing people? I present you with photographic evidence.

This first wedding dress actually has LED lights and motorized butterflies in it and weighed about 70 pounds. The dress maker was so worried about it catching on fire that she carried around a fire extinguisher for good measure. Thankfully it wasn't needed.

These next two one make a Pnina Tornai dress look semi tame. And this wasn't the half of it. In one episode, the bridesmaids literally walked down the aisle in what appeared to be costumes from an adult store, complete with corsets and thigh-high stockings. Adult women and little girls alike are frequently seen dancing very provocatively in revealing clothes, a term which I'm using very loosely. Which is ironic, since everything is skin-tight, cropped and see-through. And this attire isn't seen only at the events - it's all the time. The little girls told the camera in one episode that they learned their moves from hip hop on the telly. Awesome. It's basically like Toddlers and Tiaras on crack.

And speaking of kiddos, here's a First Communion Gown. The poor kid couldn't even walk in it.

I'm totally baffled by the contradiction between good wholesome values on paper and the reality of a society of hooker impersonators drowning in taffeta. Each episode is more ridiculous and over-the-top than the last. Seventy pound gowns, snow owl ring bearers, party buses, Cinderella carriages. Parties that last three days. It's all just... insane. And I, of course, am totally in reality TV trainwreck heaven.