Friday, August 31, 2012

First Week Back Recap

1.  I survived my first week back to school! I came home exhausted everyday, but I managed, nonetheless!

2.  I have really good friends. . . like really good.  Some family, too . . . you know who you are!  I am grateful for them checking in on me, their sensitivities, and leaving me words of encouragement.  It's been overwhelmingly kind!

3.  We have decided to do IVF back in IL under my dad's practice.  We are fortunate to be able to get it at cost.  It will still set us back a bit, but will sure beat the 13k price tag here!  With some money saved and time off to be monitored, we'll start at the beginning of next summer. 

4.  My parents leave for France, one week from today, and I'm uber jealous!  It's my Papi's 80th birthday.  Oh, how I miss them! I'm thinking that I will repost my France entries from our trip last year . . . for old time's sake.  

My Grandparents' property - St. Die, France - April 2011 

On my Bring-Back-From-France wish-list:

*Chocolate (LOTS of it!)

*Timotei shampoo (for Steven)

*Le Petit Marseillais body wash for me . . .suggestions?

*Anything else that would be cute in my home - that is soooo Francais!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Steal of a Deal

I know that it's extremely tacky to leave the clearance sticker on my mirror, but I needed evidence of the amazing deal that I snagged!

While picking up a few desk items at Lowe's, I thought I'd check in on the mirror that I've been coveting for our powder room reno.  

Lucky me! There was one left and it was over 50% off of the original price!  

This little beauty has been on the back of my mind for a few months now.  This may have made my month!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Guest Room/My Office Inspiration

I know I've said it A LOT (here and here - most recently) about how I have so many things I'd like to do around our home, in order to make it 'our home'.  I'd really like a house of order before any little ones come along.  So that's my goal.

I've been looking at my Pinterest (what did we do before it?!) as inspiration for my next project!

**Side note - Does anyone else have the fear that Pinterest will go down, thus resulting in the loss of all of your fabulous recipes?  I do!  I've started saving them into a word document (just in case!).**

Our Guest Room/My Office is my next big project to complete!

I'm currently working on my desk redo.  I'll post more on that later.

I'm envisioning this for my office portion of the room. . .

Photos from

Clean, organized, and cozy all at the same time.  Plus, Anthropologie's Zinc 'D' really kind of makes it feel personal!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Go To Summer Dessert

Recipe from

The last couple of weekends, we have hosted dinner with friends or have been hosted by friends.  Needless to say, it's great.  It's fun to just be able to enjoy a good meal, with good company, and then play games or swim or what have you.

So, for the past two weekends, I have whipped up a new favorite of ours!  It's easy, tasty, light and fresh for summer, and has looks to impress.  No one will ever know that it was a last minute dessert.  Plus - it's all from scratch. . . no boxed cake mix here!

Makes 1 Two-Layer Cake

For the Cake (x2):


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup cold water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together all-purpose flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and coarse salt.
  2. Make a well in center of flour mixture and add vegetable oil, pure vanilla extract, white vinegar, and cold water. Whisk until well combined.  Pour into a prepared 8 in round cake pan.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
Cake Assembly:


  • 2 Cakes, baked in 2 8-inch round cake pans
  • 2 pints heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced

  1. Bake cakes and cool completely.
  2. Whip the cream to soft peaks, add the sugar and vanilla, and whip again until just stiffened. Do not over mix!
  3. Slice the top off 1 cake round to make a flat surface. Spread bottom cake round with a thick layer of whipped cream. Top with a layer of half the amount of strawberries. Top with the other cake round and spread with another thick layer of whipped cream. Top with remaining strawberries.
  4. Slice and serve with any extra whipped cream and berries on the side.

Voila! You won't be disappointed!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back to the Grind

Holy Cow! It's back to work for me tomorrow morning.  I kind of feel like it was just a few weeks ago, that I was getting excited for our trip to Hawaii.  About that, I probably should post on that for memories sake and make summer feel, not so over.

Steven's first day was today, and he came back with a good report.  So far so good.  I was getting nervous last week, because I was feeling like I was getting used to the routine of not working . . . but then I taught the 5 and 6 year olds (my favorite age group!) on Sunday, and realized that I can't wait to get back to these guys!

Overall, it was a pretty good summer!  Kind of emotional at times, but overall really good!  I have a lot of things to be grateful for and a lot of things to look forward to.  In a way, I look at the new school year as the beginning of a new year. . . which means new resolutions.  I want to keep myself busy with things that I've been meaning to do and meaning to learn.

Speaking of . . .

This past weekend, Steven's cousin taught me how to can!  Me oh my, domesticity. . . so fun!  There is something so fulfilling about learning to be more self reliant.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Jennie Comes to Town

Last weekend my friend, Jennie, came into town from Park City, UT.  She needed a break from work and Utah and I needed girl time.  It was perfect!  I think it's what we both needed!  

There was lots and lots of shopping (on Jennie's part).  I got to live vicariously through her! 

However, these little beauties did not stop me.  Gold, purple, and Kate Spade? YES, please!

We were able to spend a lot of time catching up.  I got to hear all about her fabulous career at the Montage Deer Valley, we caught a few sessions of Bingo (no winners), stopped by some stores that can't be found in Utah and had a relaxing afternoon at the Cesar's Palace Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis.

Did you know that ladies are FREE Mon-Thurs?!! Amazing!!!

As Jennie put it, "We did Vegas right!"

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Results Are In. . .

After about three hours at the doctor's office on Thursday, we made a game plan. 

Initially, we thought that we would go the IUI route, because we were under the impression that our insurance covered 6 rounds of the procedure.  They do in fact cover the actual procedure; but do not cover the meds, monitoring, etc . . . which would cost us over 3k per cycle.  Ahhh, never underestimate the fine print!

So at 3k per cycle - with very little probability (due to my condition), we are going the IVF route.  In a way, we had to pick how we are going to gamble!  3k a pop (with a low probabilty) for several rounds VS. the cost of IVF (with a higher probability) for up to a year's worth of embryo transfers.  We'll pick the latter.

**I learned something new.  With IVF, you create a batch of good embryos and then freeze them.  Each time you attempt implantation, is called a "transfer".  I was always under the impression that each transfer was around 10k, and maybe it is in some places . . . I don't know, but at FCLV we get unlimited transfers for a year or until it results in a pregnancy with a live birth (within the year).

So, there you go.  If we want a family, this is our route.

My (Honest) Feelings. . . 

- I am thankful for modern medicine.  We at least have an option to have a family, whereas, we probably would not have had one a few decades ago.
(I'm not dismissing adoption as being a family unit.  I'm strictly referring to having a biological family)

- Even though my dad is an REI of a physician, I feel like I personally only know of 5 others (maybe!), who are in our age group and have had to do IVF.  It's kind of isolating (I've used this word a lot - but it fits the circumstances).

- There are some feelings of, "Why do we have to pay to have a family, when others do not?"  Don't get me started on the people who are irresponsible.  It doesn't seem fair; but then again, life isn't fair for anyone. . .

- There is a level of guilt attached with the fact that, I am the factor.  I need to remind myself that we are in it together.  Steven has been nothing but supportive.  The guy deserves more credit than I give him.  I am beyond grateful for him!

-Okay. . . this part is funny!  Steven has this issue with how children are created/conceived.  He never wanted to tell anyone that we were trying because he didn't want for people to know what that entailed.   Well, it kind of all came out when we were trying forever and nothing . . . and then my surgery, etc.  So, at least our kids will be conceived in a lab . . . bam! Sterile, purely scientific.  Perfect for my science-teacher-of-a-husband! Ha!

**Disclosure - These may offend some of you, or you may perceive me as ungrateful.  These are my honest feelings about the matter and this being my personal blog; I am posting my thoughts.**

After some budgeting and saving, we'll start in a few months!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back On Track...

It's official.  We are back on the fertility treatment bandwagon.  We have our IUI consultation tomorrow at 3pm.  Steven is coming with me. . .  thank goodness!  Husband should be included in this for sure!  I'm not looking forward to this because I can guarantee that Dr. D will say something along the lines of "this is probably not your best option, don't expect anything to come of this".  Oh well, we do what we can, right?  It's the first steps.  It's what my insurance is willing to pay for.  I'm not the most optimistic person. . .only because if something good comes of something that I have low expectations for and it comes out as a success in the end, then I'm pleasantly surprised!  That was totally and completely confusing but does anyone else feel this way?

In all honesty, it was nice to take a break from being poked and prodded over the last month, but I guess it's back to reality.  Too many different doctors/techs have been all up in 'you know where'.  If we want to have a family, then this is our only option.  I won't lie there are feelings of isolation (majorly - from mine and Steven's families)discouragement, and "why us/me's?"  I jokingly told Steven that I'm thinking about becoming a crack whore. . .they don't seem to be having any fertility issues (no offense, but am I right?!)

I'll let you all know how tomorrow really goes. . . . in the meantime, enjoy my favorite songs of the summer!

Yay for Imagine Dragons being a local band!!  Love, love, love me some good Indie!

Both songs make me feel like, "Hey, I'm me and that's the way I am. . .so I'll deal with it!"

Thursday, August 2, 2012

On My Mind.

We're back!  We made it to Vegas safely. . . thank goodness!  I can say that this time around, I did most of the driving.  I didn't even get pulled over . . . I wish Steven could say the same. Ha! 

 In all fairness, he only got a warning (in Iowa - on the way to IL).  I'm only calling him out because he likes to criticize my driving.

Picture dedicated to my brother Christopher, who says, "Keep sending me pictures of palm trees and I'll move out there."  So I'm taking his word for it; he may be getting 1-2 pictures a daily.

Anyways, a glimpse of what has been on my 'impatient' mind (as my mom would say) as of lately. . .

- I forgot how much I love tennis!  We played a few times while we were in Illinois and had so much fun; that we made a deal to play more often when we got home.  First night back. . .and we actually did go and play! I won the first set!

-I don't remember ever being so impatient (see above).  Mid-ranting about something, I apologized to my mom for being so unpleasant during the majority of the trip.  We had a good trip. . .that's the truth. . .but if something frustrating came up that I would have to address or even hear about (medical bills for past and present procedures, coordinating plans while we were there, hearing about others' drama and frustrations), I was done.  I would not have wanted to be around me.  I'm surprised that my family didn't tell me to go back to where I came from!  Upon my apology, I told my my mom that I feel like I have very little control of what is going on in my life and that I hate it.  She told me that she completely understood but that I'm also showing signs of despondency, which should probably be addressed.  I'm lucky to have a mom who will sit down and listen.  She's always been that way and I am grateful for her feedback.

-I have a million things that I want to do around my house and the majority of them have to do with getting organized.  

-I'm not feeling the urge to socialize.  That sounds sad, considering I thrive being around others . . . but no,  I'm happy doing things by myself.  I'm happy to be around people, I'm not a buzz-kill.  At least, I don't think I am?

-Cooking has become sort of a passion of mine.  I love it.  I baked and cooked for my family back in Illinois and I've decided that researching new recipes, is as exciting as cooking in itself!  This morning I made stuffed French toast, and tonight; we had pulled BBQ chicken.  Leftovers are being used towards a Pinterest recipe!

-I'm glad that I cut my bangs.  It's a good change and Steven really likes them. . . surprisingly!  Christopher (my brother) and Steven call me "Bang-Bang".  It's funnier with the accent they use . . . makes me chuckle every time.  We'll see how long the bangs stay.  I'm thinking it's a phase; a need for control. For now, good.

-Speaking of control . . . I got on the scale last night . . .fully prepared to see my weight plus an extra 6 - 10 pounds.  I even took my hoodie off for the extra leeway.  My mom's cooking plus the fact that my chest grew back (maybe TMI - but when your hormones are chemically induced to go from menopause to faking-your-body-into-thinking-it's-pregnant, in a matter of seven months . . . it happens), I fully anticipated weight gain.  None.  Thank goodness.  It may sound completely bratty to be grateful, but I'm also completely irrational these days.  I'll blame it on the bi-polar hormones.

-I thought it would be a tough adjustment with the change in landscape, but no!  It feels good to be in the bright sun and see all of the palms again!  Plus, I kind of fell in love with our little home all over again!

And there you go.  The joys of a restless mind.