Monthly Archives: December 2011

Goodbye 2011.

Source: fiskars.com via Amanda on Pinterest

2011 didn’t really turn out the way that I expected it to. While there were definitely some highlights, the bad seemed to overshadow the good.
The Bad:
  • E has been deployed for almost a year.
  • We suffered through 1 failed F.emara cycle, 4 failed IUI’s, and one cancelled cycle because of overstimulation.
  • I found out that I have issues with my luteal phase and progesterone levels, which may or may not have contributed to miscarriage #2.
  • I had 3 ovarian cysts rupture at once, which was probably the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my whole life.
  • I had to put myself on the IVF wait list (I guess this is good/bad).
The Good:
  • E and I got to spend 2 wonderful weeks together while he was home for R&R.
  • I finished 16 college classes and maintained my 4.0 GPA.
  • I met some fabulous new girlfriends here in NC.
  • My niece, baby A, was born.
  • My saline sonogram came back all clear. Hopefully my HSG comes back clear also.
Goals for 2012:
  • Get pregnant and stay pregnant (I know this is pretty much out of my control, but it would be beyond wonderful if this goal is achieved).
  • Continue to eat healthy and exercise regularly. I’m looking forward to E coming home so I can start cooking again on a regular basis. It’s so hard to cook for one!
  • Be the best student teacher that I can be. I’m looking forward to actually teaching full time for 12 weeks.
  • Graduate with a 4.0! Graduation day is coming up soon – June 15, 2012.
  • Get a teaching job and start researching how to obtain my reading specialist degree and/or ESL certification.
  • Throw E a surprise 30th birthday party.
  • Find a new hobby – I was thinking about maybe taking guitar lessons (since I actually have an acoustic guitar) or taking a class to learn how to use P.hotoshop correctly at the local community college.
  • Volunteer – at least a few hours a week.
  • Take a trip with E to someplace we’ve never been to before. This may include a trip to Florida to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I would also love to take a long weekend trip out to Asheville.
  • Walk the dogs more often. Right now the dogs get one walk a day. I’m hoping to bump it up to two walks a day. This will be good for all of us.
  • Replace the carpets in our guest bedrooms with hardwood flooring. Maybe our tax return will be enough to complete this goal!
Thanks to my readers for following me throughout the year. I appreciate all of the support you have given me! I hope 2012 is a great year for all of us!

Christmas Recap

Hey bloggies!

It’s been a crazy few weeks. I just got back from a 10 day trip to Pennsylvania yesterday and I’m happy to be home!
First, I spent 2 glorious days with my best friend, her husband, and baby A! I’m so in love with this little girl. I got to spend some quiet, cuddle time with her while mom and dad got a little extra sleep. I changed diapers, made bottles, fed her bottles, and burped her like a pro. All of my nannying/daycare experiences definitely helped me insert myself into their routine. She’s such a happy little baby and I’m so glad that I got to meet her. BFF and I also got to cook, bake, and chat together. We made 4 types of Christmas cookies (including these lemon ricotta cookies, which were AMAZING), eggnog waffles, and chicken and pasta with cream sauce. I think I gained my 3 pounds back that I had lost before going home.
(Baby burrito. This is before she “hulked” out of the swaddler.)
(Such a sleepy girl!)
(Check out my awesome Santa onesie from Aunt Lauren!)
(BFF and I. Love this picture!)
After hanging out with BFF and family, I made my way back down to my parents’ house for the next 3 days. I met up with a friend to check out bridesmaid dresses for her upcoming wedding in July. I need to get over to Da.vid’s B.ridal to order mine in the next few weeks.
The parents and I went to Christmas Eve mass. Unfortunately, they decided to go to the children’s mass, which was kind of difficult for me to sit through. So many pregnant bellies, adorable babies, laughing children, and happy families. Thankfully, I made it through without crying, even though it was hard at times. After dinner, I got to watch “A Christmas Story”, which is my Christmas Eve tradition. Love it!
Christmas morning was nice and relaxing. My parents got me an awesome N.orth Face jacket, a leg lamp ornament, a few gift cards, and some kitchen goodies. After indulging in our Christmas feast, we headed over to my aunt’s house. I haven’t seen my extended family since our wedding 5 years ago. I was warned a few days prior that my one cousin announced to everyone at Thanksgiving that she just found out that her and her husband were expecting. Thankfully, her and her husband spent the night at her husband’s family’s house. On the other hand, one aunt did ask, “So when are you and E having kids”. With no expression in my face, I replied, “We’ve been trying for almost 4 years”. Yes, that shut her up. No, I didn’t feel bad about it.
(Christmas tree #1)
(My awesome jacket. Excuse the PJ pants.)

(Someone looks bored)

(Leg lamp ornament! This will be the first one that goes up next year.)

(Murph-man with his new toy, which he promptly destroyed in 10 minutes.)
The next day, I headed up to E’s parents’ house for a few days. My father-in-law’s birthday was on Monday, so we cooked a Mexican fiesta for dinner. We made some awesome homemade guacamole, black bean and chicken enchiladas, and fried ice cream. The fried ice cream was a disaster, but everything else turned out perfectly. Next, we opened Christmas and birthday presents. My in-laws gave me some bakeware and a beautiful piece of artwork that I was admiring when visiting an art gallery in DC earlier this year. My little sister-in-law also painted cute pictures frames for E and I.
(Christmas tree #2)
(Awesome print)
(Hey Bella!)
I also had the opportunity to hang out with one of my college roommates, H and another friend K. I had a great time chatting and catching up with these ladies. I wish we lived closer so I could see my friends more than once a year. I also wish I had taken some more pictures. I always bring the camera along, but forget to take it out.
While Christmas was fun, I do hope that next year we have our own child to share it with. I felt like there was something missing as I celebrated with family and friends. I hope everyone had a great time with your family and friends this holiday season.

A Soldier’s Christmas Poem

I came across this poem when I was taking a technology course over the summer. I wish I could figure out how to upload the mp3 because the reading brings the poem to life. Instead, I’ll just share the written poem here.

– Author Unknown

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone,
I had come down the chimney with presents to give
And to see just who in this home did live,

I looked all about, a strange site did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree,
No stockings by the mantle, Just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distance lands.

With Medals and badges, Awards of all kinds,
A sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
I had found the home of a soldier once I could see clearly
I heard stories about them, I had to see more
So I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.

The solider lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up in this, His one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder
Not how I pictured a United States Solider.

Was this the War Hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
His head was clean shaven, his weathered face tan,
I soon understood this was more than a man.
I realized the families that I saw this night
Owed they’re lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.

Soon round the world the children would play
And grownups celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of these soldiers like the one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone
On a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye
Dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The Soldier awakened and I hear a rough voice,
“Santa don’t cry, this is my life my choice:
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more
My life is my god, my country my Corps.”

The Solider rolled over and soon drifted to sleep
I couldn’t control it I started to weep.
I kept watch for hours. So silent and still
And we both shivered from the cold nights chill.

I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
And I covered this Soldier from his toes to his head.
And I put on his T-shirt of gray and black,
With an eagle and an Army patch embroidered on back.

And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
And for a shining moment, I was United States Army deep inside.
I didn’t want to leave on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor, so willing to fight.
Then the Solider rolled over with a voice soft and pure,
Whispered, “Carry on Santa, Christmas Day is Secure”

One look at my watch and I knew he was right
Merry Christmas my friend and to all a good night.

Happy holidays!

It’s been a rough couple of days – dealing with pregnant bellies, adorable babies, excited children, and happy families. I pray that all of my friends struggling with infertility and loss this holiday season find some peace and joy. I’m sorry that 2011 has been so tough for so many – myself included. I hope that 2012 brings us all the babies that we’ve been dreaming, hoping, and praying for. I want to share the joy of the holidays with my own children. I want to see their smiling faces as they open their presents under the tree. I want to dress them in fleece pajamas and snuggle with them by the fire. Please Santa, make a mommy by this time next year.

To all of my readers – Happy Holidays! Enjoy the precious time spent with family and friends. For my milspouse friends who have deployed husbands – thank you for your sacrifice. I know I’m looking forward to having E home in a few weeks or so. I’ll catch everyone up on the holiday happenings once I get back to NC next week.

A real update

I guess it’s about time to sit down and write a post about what’s been going on now that I have some motivation to write. The past 3 months have basically been a whirlwind of studying, writing papers, and completing observation hours.

I finished up my finals about 2 weeks ago and my final grades have finally been posted. I’m happy to report that my 4.0 lives on! At the beginning of the quarter, I thought that this quarter would be easy. Boy was I wrong. I think this was by far the hardest quarter so far. I worked my butt off, was exposed to topics that I haven’t studied before, and found that I love working with ESL students. I’m even considering getting an add-on certification to work with ESL students once I finish up my master’s/initial certification. I start my last quarter of classes on January 9th. I have 3 classes – World Geography, Mathematics Instruction, and Child Development. Hopefully the classes are interesting!
In addition to finishing up my classes, I’ll also be finishing up my P.raxis tests that are required for certification. I take my content knowledge test (the one that I’m dreading) on January 9th and the curriculum test sometime in mid-March.
Finally, I got my student teaching assignment. I will be working with 5th grade students and couldn’t be more excited about my placement. The class is small (only 15 students) and they work in small groups for the majority of the day. The small group setting will provide me with some great opportunities to practice differentiation in lesson planning and provide more one-on-one support to students. Graduation is June 15th – the countdown is on!
Since the quarter ended, I’ve been doing a whole bunch of nothing. Too much time on the computer and in front of the television. While I enjoy the lack of school stress, I’m bored! However with all of my free time, I managed to get all of my Christmas shopping and wrapping done early. I also made some homemade Christmas gifts for friends and started on my baking. I told myself that I would limit the baking this year, but once again, I found myself adding more cookies to the list. Today I made chocolate walnut fudge, chocolate crinkle cookies, and shortbread cookies. Tomorrow, I’ll finish up with pumpkin snickerdoodles and peanut butter blossoms.
E surprised me with some awesome anniversary presents. He sent me a beautiful bouquet of Christmas flowers and bought me a sapphire ring. Great presents this year, E!
I’m looking forward to heading home for the holidays. First, I’ll be spending a few days with my BFF and my little niece. I’m beyond excited to have some girl time! After my visit, I’ll be spending a few days with my parents and then a few days with E’s family. I have plans to hang out with some high school and college friends and to go bridesmaid dress shopping for a July wedding that I’ll be in.
With Christmas approaching, the end of deployment is also approaching. We have a general idea of when E will be home and it’s getting closer every day. I can’t wait for him to come home. We’re planning on having a late Christmas/anniversary celebration. I got him a few small presents and we’re also thinking about taking a weekend trip to somewhere nice. Maybe Asheville or Savannah. We’ll have to see what the weather is like when he gets home.
Of course I have to end this post with some pictures of the pups. I’m not sure if I’ll be posting over the holidays, so I want to say Happy Holidays to all of my readers! Enjoy the time spent with family and friends!