Sunday, November 29, 2015

Jazzy Decorates Her Space

I guess Jazzy's spent way too much time with me.  She told me the other day that the wall space above her bed wasn't jazzy enough.  So I told her we could work on some cute diy projects to help make her "bedroom" cuter.  Jazzy didn't really feel like lifting a paw to help me out, so she turned over the projects to me.  I was more than happy to oblige.


I am a big fan of initials and thought having some sort of "J" would be perfect.  When Adam and I were out running errands the other day, I dragged him into JoAnn's.  I was having a hard time finding a "J" that was a cute font and the right size.  After spending far too much time looking at wooden letters, Adam told me he could just make one.  

And that's just what he did.  I did a Google image search for J's and printed off the one I liked.  Then, Adam traced it onto some thin wood and cut it out with a jigsaw.  

He sanded down the edges and handed it over to me.  I am pretty impressed with this new-found talent of Adam's.  He just might have to make me some more letters to hang up around the house.  

In addition to the "J," I thought Jazzy might like to have a family photo.  She could look at it when we're at work and remember how much we love her.  I found one at JoAnn's that was unfinished wood and decided to paint it and the "J" the same color, to help tie them together.  

I used some white pearl acrylic paint that I had hanging around my craft supplies.  I also grabbed a silver paint pen to make some polka dots on the "J" once the white pearl paint dried.  I ended up using 3 coats of paint to make sure the letter and frame were nicely coated.  

Once all the paint dried, I used some command strips to hang up the "J" and the frame.  They will keep things nice and secure so they won't come crashing down on Jazzy.  

I think Jazzy loves her new decor!  It fits her personality perfectly and gives her "bedroom" a little more pizzazz.  

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Christmas Card Outtakes

In an attempt to get things started off on the right foot for the holiday season, I thought I would get my Christmas cards ordered sooner rather than later.  I've been waiting for the day when I could feature my kids on our Christmas card.  Now I have a furry kid: Jazzy!  

I had grand plans for our Christmas card.  I set up the camera on a tripod in our living room.  I have a handy remote control thing that takes the picture without having to push the button on the camera.  Adam took over that responsibility while I tried to wrangle Jazzy.    

It's safe to say it took us a few tries to get the hang of it.  Adam eventually figured out that he needed to put his hand down rather quickly after aiming the remote at the camera.  And I eventually got Jazzy settled down enough.  

First, I thought we could bundle up in scarves and have our Christmas card say "Warm Wishes."  Turns out, Jazzy was not quite a fan of the scarf and Adam looked pretty silly wearing his.  After looking through all the scarf pictures Adam said, "Well, at least you'll have some pictures for your blog."

Jazzy was not having it.  She even tried to rip off the scarf with her teeth.   

We ended up taking somewhere in the ballpark of 85 pictures.  And I do believe only one of them made the cut for our Christmas card.  Although it took awhile and we didn't exactly end up with the perfect pictures, Adam and I had a blast looking at all the outtakes.  We would take about 10 pictures, look at them, crack up, start crying from laughing so hard, wipe away our tears and then repeat the process.  

Adam was watching a football game in the background, so there were many pictures with him staring longingly at the tv instead of the camera.  

Adam also thought it was funny to hit the remote and take pictures when none of us were ready, like so: 

Eventually, we ended up with a winner.  It was NOT this one: 

Once we had our winner, I bought a Groupon for Vistaprint and ordered our cards.  I'll have to show it to you all once we get it in the mail.  Good luck with your own Christmas cards! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Why I Will Never Ask a Lady If She's Pregnant

Prior to losing my baby, I hadn't really ever considered how asking a woman if she was pregnant might make her feel.  I can't remember ever asking a lady if she was pregnant, but I definitely won't be asking any gal ever again.  The same goes for asking husbands if their wives are pregnant.  Not even if she is clearly nine months pregnant.

The reason why is that it can be incredibly hurtful to women, especially if they are having difficulty conceiving.  And I speak from experience.  Luckily, most of my family, friends and acquaintances are incredibly kind and considerate of my situation.  They know how desperate I am to get pregnant and are very respectful of the topic around me.  

I realize that by blogging about infertility, I am opening up myself and my experience to others.  I do welcome conversations about infertility and am happy to talk to anyone who asks.  My point is that there's a time and place to talk about such sensitive issues.  

When I have one-on-one conversations with my friends or family members and they ask how things are going, that's a perfectly acceptable way to bring up the topic.  By phrasing questions like, "How are you and Adam doing?" or "I think about you all the time," people give me the floor to speak about our infertility struggles without being disrespectful.  It allows me to share whichever piece of information I would like to share.

Asking me point-blank if I am pregnant is not very helpful or kind.  Especially, if we're in the company of others or through social media.  It becomes a horrible reminder that I am not pregnant and it is embarrassing for me to have to admit that I'm not pregnant.  Quite frankly, it's rude.  And it's no one else's business.  

I can think of one particularly difficult example.  When I was working at our district's registration day before school started last year, I had a nosy parent ask me if I was hiding a bump underneath my dress in front of a humongous line full of people and a big group of my co-workers.  After making a mental note to never wear that particular dress again, I responded by saying, "No, I'm just a bit fat."  Now, this was not the most professional answer and given the chance to replay the situation, I would have responded differently.  But in that moment I was so shocked that she was so bold about her question.  It put me on the spot and made me feel awful.  

Unfortunately, there have been other instances when this issue has come up.  To be fair, I don't believe people acted out of malice or any ill-will towards me.  And I know that if they knew how much it hurt me, they would take it back.  

My hope with this post is not to make anyone feel bad about things they might have said to me or other women.  I just want people to stop and think before they speak.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Thinking About Thanksgiving

I can't believe it's already the middle of November!  Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means I better start thinking about it!  Adam's family is coming to visit the weekend before Thanksgiving and we plan to have a Thanksgiving spread cooked up for them to enjoy.  

I am all about organizing and planning, no matter what I'm doing.  Thinking about a Thanksgiving meal is no different.  So, I've started to consider a few things and plan ahead.  I thought I'd share my plans with you on the off chance they may help you out, as well.  

Plan the menu ahead of time. 

Thinking about what dishes you plan to serve ahead of time helps you be more prepared when the big day arrives.  Dreaming up and writing down your menu helps you figure out exactly which dishes you need to cook and also helps you buy ingredients when they are on sale in the coming weeks.  It also prevents you from having to go to the grocery store on the day before Thanksgiving, which makes me quickly forget all the things I'm thankful for and utter ungrateful comments under my breath at the lady who is blocking the whole baking aisle with her cart.  Sorry, I got a bit sidetracked.  Planning ahead also allows you to gather new recipes you might like to try.  

Schedule a time and place for each dish.  

It really helps to make a cooking schedule.  That way you can think about which items you can make ahead of time.  And on the big day, you are better able to keep track of when each dish needs to go into the oven.  

It's equally helpful to set aside a baking dish for each item with a label of what goes inside.  This allows you to make sure each item has a proper dish and if anyone is helping you out, it allows them to do so more easily.  

Consider cooking a turkey breast in a crock pot for smaller gatherings. 

I do not pretend to be a cook.  Adam and I were in charge of cooking one year and the turkey was by far the most difficult part of the meal.  We spent a good 20 minutes trying to figure out where the bag of random turkey parts was hiding in the turkey.  (Eventually I had to call my mom, who helped me realize they were hiding in the neck cavity.  Gross.)  And then we spent another large portion of time trying to figure out how to tuck the wings under the bird so they wouldn't burn.  We also didn't realize you were supposed to cook a turkey with stuffing in it longer than without it.  It turned out alright, but I'm not quite sure it was worth all the effort.  

Since Adam and I will only be cooking for 5 people, I am toying with the idea of just cooking a turkey breast.  And to make things even simpler, I might even let my trusty crock pot cook it.  I haven't asked Adam about it yet, but I have a hunch he'll be on board with my idea.  

Add some cute Thanksgiving decor.  

Gatherings are always made more special with some themed decor.  I plan to keep the paper pumpkins I talked about here as my centerpiece.  They are nothing fancy, but help bring a bit of Thanksgiving charm to the table.  

I also hung up my "Give Thanks" banner recently.  It helps remind us of the meaning of the holiday and also looks pretty darn cute.  I got the idea and printed the letters for the banner from here.  

Don't forget about your dog! 

I have to give Adam credit for this one.  He picked up some Turkey and Cranberry dog treats at Trader Joe's the other day.  We are certainly thankful that Jazzy is a part of our lives.  Giving her a little something special helps us show her just how much we love her. 

Jazzy has been practicing not eating her treats until she has permission.  She can wait patiently, but she can't look at the treat.  It must be too tempting.  

Happy Thanksgiving planning! 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Jazzy Gets Crafty

It's no surprise that I love to do crafts.  There's just something exciting about turning a random assortment of supplies into something cute.  I have tried to pass along my love of crafting to my dog Jazzy.  But she's not really having it.  

After seeing some darling Pinterest projects involving dogs walking over a canvas with paint on their paws, I convinced Jazzy to give it a try.  It didn't exactly go as planned.  The only evidence of this project that remains are the blue paw prints on my deck.  

I don't really know why I thought this would be a good project for Jazzy.  First of all, she hates when anyone touches her feet.  She refuses to let Adam or I touch her paws, which means we have to take her to the vet to get her nails trimmed.  She's not exactly a fan of anything being on her paw either.  Once, on a walk, she stepped on some random electrical tape that was on the sidewalk.  She immediately stopped walking and help her paw up in the air until I got the tape off of her little foot.  I'm not sure why I thought she would like dipping her paw in a glob of paint.  

Clearly, I wasn't thinking this project through very well.  I'll spare you the details, but let's just say I used way too much paint and she had a blue paw for awhile.  At least I made sure it was non-toxic paint.  I should have made sure it was washable, as well.  Adam concluded that she was just cheering on her Kansas City Royals.  

I wasn't ready to let Jazzy lead a life without crafting just yet.  So I looked on Pinterest to find a more Jazzy-friendly project.  I ran into a cute idea for making paw print ornaments.  I realize it's a bit early to be thinking about Christmas, but I just couldn't resist.  Besides, the only thing Jazzy would need to do was step on a slab of dough, which would require far less stress than the paint debacle.   

Jazzy was a very good girl and put up with Adam and I squishing her paws in the dough.  It wasn't the most fun she's ever had, but she definitely liked it more than our painting project.  

I opted to let the ornaments air dry over night so they would keep their fresh, white color.  I strung some leftover silver ribbon I had through the hole so they could be easily hung up on our Christmas tree.  I also wrote Jazzy's name and the year on the back of the ornament using a silver paint pen.   

Jazzy is very proud of the final product.  I have to give her props.  She did craft some darling ornaments.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Are You There God? It's Me, Sara.

This post has been floating around my brain for a long time now.  I wanted to take my time with it and be very thoughtful about what I wrote in regards to God.  I know it's a touchy subject and I don't want to disrespect anyone's beliefs.  My thoughts in this post are my own and are not meant to sway anyone to think my way.  I simply want to share my experiences in the hopes that it might help others gain insight.  

One of the reasons I started this blog was because I wanted to create a blog that focused on dealing with the loss of a baby and struggling with infertility in a non-religious way.  So many of the blogs and support groups I looked into were very religious.  Religion brought me little comfort and I didn't want to be constantly told about "God's plan."  I was angry and upset and God wasn't helping me out.  

A huge struggle of mine during this whole crazy journey has been figuring out God's role in all this.  It has tested my beliefs and made me reevaluate my feelings about God.  While I still don't understand everything or even have a clear grasp of my own feelings about God, I have come to some conclusions.  

Crappy things happen.  Period.

I used to think that if you tried to be a good person, then good things would happen to you.  I had the crazy notion that good people were immune to bad things.  Boy, was I wrong!  Crappy things happen. They happen to good people and to people who don't make the best choices in life.  People lose loved ones. People get cancer.  People suffer.  It's awful and it's horrible and it's not fair, but that's just how it goes.  

Why?  Why do crappy things happen?  I don't know.  I don't think anyone really knows.  Crappy things just happen.  It's as simple as that.  No one deserves to have these crappy things happen to them.  And no one's immune to them.  That part's scary.  It doesn't seem to matter if you are a good person or not.

But, in a way, this idea sort of brings people together.  We are better able to empathize and understand each other because of this.  This idea reminds me of a quote I stumbled across on Pinterest:

by | christopher poindexter:    

This leads me to my next conclusion...

I don't believe God has control of every aspect of our lives.

I can't and don't want to believe in a God that would ever choose to make someone suffer the loss of their baby.  Or give an innocent child cancer.  Or any of the other countless, horrible things that people have to endure.  

I believe God is waiting in heaven with all the people we have loved and lost.  And his job is to take care of us after we've died.  I don't think he controls everything that goes on down here.  I just can't justify all the horrible things that happen in this world.      

Love and happiness = God. 

I believe that God provides us with love and happiness.  When I think of all the people who sent me love and kindness after I lost my baby, I felt like God was a part of that.  When I see rainbows and ladybugs, I feel like God is in that, too.   

There it is, everything I believe about God.  I know that lots of people may disagree with me or think differently and that's okay.  I think the whole point of religion and God is to develop your own understanding.  And I'm sure my beliefs will change and grow as I do.   

While I will continue to pray and hope to God that he will send Adam and me a healthy baby (just in case he's in charge of that), I don't fully believe it's up to him.  If it were, we'd have a healthy baby in our arms right now.

Okay, enough about God.  I'll get back to Jazzy and house projects in my blog posts. :)    

Monday, November 2, 2015

Bed Makeover

I've been itching to get a new quilt for our bed.  While the comforter set on our bed was perfectly nice, it looked a little "bed-in-a-bag", because well, it was a "bed-in-a-bag."  It was a little too matchy-matchy and in need of a makeover.  

I've been on the lookout for a quilt for awhile now.  Everything that I've liked has been very pricey.  I like nice things, but I like getting a good deal better.  I finally found the perfect quilt this weekend.  I found the perfect patterned quilt at the perfect price.  It was only $32.99 at Ross Dress for Less.  I was on a roll this weekend because I also found a cute throw for only $19.99 at Macy's that coordinates with the quilt.  

Since the temperatures are a bit more chilly these days, I decided to put our flannel sheets on our bed. They still match the new quilt and are super cozy.  When I put them on the bed, I always put the top sheet right side down.  Like so.  

That way when I turn down the quilt and the sheet, the right side is showing.  

After I put the flannel sheets on, I added the quilt and put the throw at the end of the bed.  I used a throw pillow that I already had to add a bit of polish to the bed.  

I think our bedroom needed some more pattern.  The pattern is very pretty and mimics the pattern on our curtains.  I also like how the throw is a bit more masculine.  It's a nice contrast between the pretty quilt and the handsome throw.  

I can't wait until I get to crawl into my brand new bed.  I think it's a successful makeover!