Thursday, February 25, 2016

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

It's hard to believe it's already been a year since I started this little blog.  When I set out to start it, I wasn't really sure what it would become.  I'm happy to say I'm proud of it and look forward to adding even more posts about hope, happiness and Jazzy! 

       Hope Quotes (click through for more)    
Doesn't Spring Just Make You Happy?       Hope                         Jazzy's Favorites

A big reason I started this blog was to share about my struggles with losing my baby and the ensuing infertility.  It's been wonderful therapy!  It's also made me be more reflective about my struggles.  I wanted to create a blog that was very honest and open and would hopefully help out other people dealing with the same struggles.  I've had many people reach out to me who are in or have been through similar situations.  Had I not put this blog out there, I would never have connected with these people.  And I'm truly grateful to have made these connections.  

Funny Infertility Checklist   This Really made me LOL!!! unfortunately too true. would have been helpful to give out though:             

Keeping a strong focus on hope has helped me stay positive throughout this past year.  Focusing on hope in my blog posts has forced me to look for the silver linings in life and keep moving forward.

    Free Printable | Sometimes You Just Have to Put On Lipgloss and Pretend to Be Psyched - Mindy Kaling |   
The Reset Button                    Fake It Til You Make It               Kindness 

On a lighter note, it's also been fun to keep track of all the diy projects Adam and I have worked on over this past year.  When I look back, I realize we've kept busy making our house a home.  It's nice to have a running record of all our projects.


And, of course, there's Jazzy.  She's the real star of the blog.  I find myself re-reading old posts about Jazzy for entertainment.  She's such a doll and I'm so lucky I get to be her mom.  


Thanks to all my family, friends and random strangers who have taken the time to read my blog!  Hope you've enjoyed reading as much as I've enjoyed writing!    

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Infertility Can Be Lonely

One of the things that has surprised me most about dealing with a miscarriage and infertility is how lonely it can seem.  I have felt many feelings over the past three years and loneliness is one that I felt often.  I felt like I couldn't talk about what happened to me because it would just make people sad.  I felt like I had to deal with this horrible situation on my own.  And I had no clue how to deal with it.  

I was incredibly lucky to have two co-workers reach out to me right after I lost my baby.  I wasn't particularly close to them, but they stepped up.  They made themselves available to me and shared their stories with me.  I will be forever grateful to them.  They took away some of my loneliness.   

Before dealing with it myself, I knew of very few people that had to deal with miscarriages or infertility. Since talking about my infertility struggles with my family and friends and starting this blog, I can hardly keep track of all the women who have come forward with their own struggles with me.  I can only hope that one day I am able to offer someone the same comfort others have given me.   

Why are people so hesitant to bring up miscarriages and infertility?  I think people can be unsure of how to bring up such a sensitive topic.  They are afraid of upsetting women who are already dealing with a hardship.  As long as people are thoughtful about when and where they bring up the topic and do so in a loving, caring way, I think it can only offer support.  

I recently read this powerful blog post that speaks to this same topic.  I found myself agreeing aloud with everything it said.  And then there's this post that also had me nodding my head in agreement.  That's one good thing about this digital world we all live in.  It can help us put ideas out there and allow people to connect who are in similar situations.

So my hope with this blog post is to help open up conversations around these subjects.  There are so many women out there who I know feel alone.  We should all look for ways to help each other feel less alone, no matter what struggle they are facing.  

This is one of my favorite quotes. No matter what you're going through, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Plato:         

Friday, February 19, 2016

Big Plans for a Little Space

Adam and I have decided to renovate our little half bathroom.  When we were looking for a house to buy, we didn't even consider to look for a house with a half bathroom on the main living level.  It just so happens that the house we ended up buying has a half bathroom.  It has come in super handy and is great when we have company.  

However, it is in need of a little refresh.  We started off by fixing the toilet.  Well, to be fair, Adam fixed the toilet.  I watched and offered moral support.  After replacing the flapper, it now flushes without having to hold the handle down forever.  This makes me far happier than anything toilet-related ever should.  

Now, we are onto replacing the sink.  The sink that is in there now is fine, but it's really big for the space. Plus, it's just not our style.  So, we threw around the idea of a pedestal sink, which we are still considering.  But then we also saw some options with more storage at Lowe's.  

They both have smaller base cabinets that would fit our small bathroom a bit better while also offering a bit of storage.  We'll have to continue to mull over which sink to choose.  

We're also mulling over which paint color to choose.  We've gotten several gray samples, but have yet to find one we like.  We'd also like to add some wainscoting to the wall and paint the baseboards, window casing and door white.

Big changes are coming for this little space and I'm excited to see how it all turns out!    

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

You Simply Can't Have Too Many Organized Drawers

I believe that you simply can't have too many organized drawers.  My last drawer organizing project turned out so well, that I wanted to organize even more drawers!  My next target was the junk drawer that hangs out in our kitchen.  

Now, it wasn't terrible.  I had made some makeshift storage containers out of cardboard boxes that I wrapped in scrapbook paper.  They were okay, but not very sturdy.  And Adam and I had started to throw random items in there that we weren't sure where else to store.  

So, I set to work clearing out the drawer.  I went through each item and thought about whether or not I really needed it.  I ended up throwing away a bunch of junk, including a phone book (who even has a phone book anymore?), dried up super glue and just plain trash.   

I used a similar method for deciding which types of containers I needed that I used when completing the kitchen drawer organizing project.  To add a punch of fun to the drawer, I lined the bottom of it with some cute wrapping paper.  Then, I put the containers on top of it, like so.  

Then came the exciting part of filling up all the spaces.  It's much easier to find what we need now.  And it makes me happy when I open up the drawer and get to look at all that organized goodness.  

Monday, February 15, 2016

Heartbroken on Valentine's Day

Well, Adam and I spent Valentine's Day heartbroken.  We found out that our last IUI attempt didn't pan out.  We aren't pregnant.  To say we were heartbroken is a bit of an understatement.  

I think we both really thought we would end up pregnant this time around.  We were both really hopeful and positive.  Which, of course, only seemed to make things worse when we found out it hadn't happened for us this month.  

Three years ago, on Valentine's Day, we found out we were pregnant with our first baby.  I remember being in shock and not really believing it was true.  So now, Valentine's Day is always a bittersweet day for us.  We can't help but think about what our sweet baby girl would have been like if we'd had the chance to meet her.  And we're reminded of the fact that we are still without a baby.  

Let me clarify.  We're still without a human baby.  We do have our sweet little Jazzy.  And she sure does offer us lots of love and comfort.

And Valentine's Day does remind me to be thankful for all the loving people I have in my life.  I'm super lucky to have parents who continue to support me wholeheartedly through this frustrating struggle with infertility.  And, of course, I have Adam.  He's in this struggle with me and always there for me.  

We'll just keep moving forward and staying hopeful that we'll get to be parents in the near future.      

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Jazzy's Little Fiasco

Well, Jazzy had a very eventful evening last night.  I'm sure she's happy it's over.  It's a bit of a long story, so let me start from the beginning.  

When I came home from work on Friday, I noticed Jazzy was limping and holding up one of her front paws. I was immediately worried.  Jazzy hates when anyone touches her feet, so I knew this was going to be an ordeal to figure out what was going on with her little paw.  I was able to trick Jazzy into showing me her paw by rubbing her belly.  Once she was on her back with her feet up in the air, I could get a closer look at her foot.  That's when I saw that her dewclaw (apparently that is what the toenail that is on a dog's leg is called) was bleeding a little.  

My first thought was to call Adam and make him come home from work early so we could rush her to the emergency vet hospital.  But then my freak-out ended and I started thinking more clearly.  

After I stopped rubbing her belly, she jumped right up and pranced to the front door.  She was ready for her afternoon walk.  I figured she had just snagged her dewclaw on something or bit it or some other random thing.  If she was willing to go for a walk, I figured nothing was broken or in need of a trip to the emergency vet hospital.  

So, I kept an eye on it over the weekend.  She was okay on Saturday.  But it seemed to really start bothering her on Sunday.  She was holding her paw up more and it would bleed randomly.  Adam and I decided we would take her to the vet after work on Monday.  I told Adam he would have to come with us, as I am a wimp.  

Adam kindly obliged and we made it to the vet yesterday evening.  Jazzy figured out where we were going and started shaking rather violently.  She was a trembling mess on Adam's lap in the vet's waiting room. Poor thing.  

As soon as the vet looked at her paw, she said Jazzy's dewclaw would need to be snipped off.  Luckily, it wouldn't need to be surgically removed.  Thankfully they took her in the back to snip it off.  I'm glad Adam was there to keep me from turning into a blubbering mess.  I was worried Jazzy was scared back there all by herself.  

Of course, she was fine.  She was in good hands and well taken care of.  When they brought her back out to us, she had her leg all bandaged up.  It made it look a lot worse than it was.  We were sent home with instructions to keep the bandage from getting wet and to encourage Jazzy to take it easy.  In other words, no nightly run with Adam.  

Jazzy was not thrilled with the bandage.  She wouldn't even pose for a picture with it on at first!  

The little stinker!  Jazzy kept holding her paw out in front of her, as if to say, "What is this thing doing on my leg?  Get it off!" 


Luckily, she didn't mess with it or try to get it off.  She eventually came to terms with it.  She was treated rather well.  And she even got to eat her dinner on the couch.  

The vet had told us we could take the bandage off later on in the evening to make sure it wasn't still bleeding.  That was a challenge.  First of all, we had to touch her feet.  Secondly, the tape holding the wrap on was all stuck in her fur.  It took us awhile, but we eventually got it off of her.  Jazzy was rather stressed out by the situation.  She ran to her crate after that ordeal.  I don't think she's spent any time in her crate in about 5 months, so she must have really been stressed out to go in there.  

I felt so bad that Jazzy had such a traumatizing evening that I convinced Adam to let her sleep in our bed last night.  I told Jazzy she had to stay on my side of the bed so her daddy could still get a good night's rest.  Boy, did she listen!  I spent my night sleeping on the very edge of the bed with a tiny corner of the sheet on my legs.  Jazzy sure hogged my side of the bed.  Oh, well.  She's worth it.    

Friday, February 5, 2016

Where Shall I Set My Drink?

Adam and I love the sectional that we purchased this past summer.  It's very roomy and it fits in our living room perfectly.  The color is a nice contrast to our dark chocolate walls.  Plus, you can't see all the dog hair that Jazzy leaves laying around on it.

We spend a lot of time on the sectional.  We watch far too many hours of Netflix sitting on it.  And I'm a bit ashamed to admit it, but we even eat dinner sitting on the sectional most nights.  We found ourselves in a bit of a conundrum while eating our dinner on the sectional.  You see, if we were holding our dinner plates, then we had no way to hold our drinks.  One of us could sit next to the side table, but the other one of us had to put our drink on the tray on the ottoman in front of the sectional.  But, if we wanted to take a drink we would have to stand up and reach over the ottoman to get our cup.  First world problem, I know.  But still a problem for us.  

So, we starting brainstorming some solutions.  Adam found this sofa table idea on the Ana White website.  I was sold!  So, Adam got to work.  

He whipped up a sofa table that fit the dimensions of the back of our sectional.  After he built it, he stained it using General Finishes Water Based Wood Stain in Java.  Once the stain was dry, he sealed it using General Finishes High Performance Polyurethane Water Based Topcoat in the Satin finish.  Adam raved about both, saying they had better coverage and weren't as smelly as other stains he's used in the past.  

After Adam put the final topcoat on, we let it air out in the garage for a few days.  Then, we brought it into the living room to fully cure.  

After another couple of days, it was ready to be moved to its final location behind the couch.  I think it adds a whole other layer of style to our living room.


And it's functional!  Now we have a place to set our drinks! 

Adam made me switch out the coasters we were using in the living room with the coasters from the family room.  These blue glass coasters that we got at an art fair in Pittsburgh have rubber feet on the bottom, which means there's no chance of them ruining the finish on the sofa table.  

Not only do I now have a place to set my drink, but I also have some more light in the corner.  I can read in my favorite spot on the sectional now. 

Thanks for the gorgeous sofa table, Adam!  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Stitch Fix

Have you heard of Stitch Fix?  I kept seeing ads online for Stitch Fix and was intrigued.  The basic premise is you fill out an online profile of your style and wardrobe needs and wants.  Then, a stylist will pull together 5 pieces of clothing and accessories.  The items will be sent to your door so you can try them on in your own house.  You can then decide to either keep the items or send them back.  

I decided it would make me happy to try it out, so I signed up.  You pay a $20 styling fee, which can be put towards any item you decide to purchase.  I got my first Stitch Fix in the mail the other day and it felt like Christmas morning when I saw that it had arrived!   

I ripped that sucker open and started trying on the items my stylist sent right away!  I felt so fancy, having a stylist to call my own!  It was quite fun to have a little fashion show right in my own bedroom.

Overall, it was lots of fun and I'd love to try it again.  There were some definite pros, including: 
-The stylist really listened to what I wanted.  There was even a note included that told why she picked each item and how it could work for me.  
-There were style cards included that gave you ideas of what other clothing and accessories you could pair with each item.
-I got the chance to try some items that I never would have picked out for myself.
-You can try on the pieces with the rest of your wardrobe, since you get to try the pieces on in your own home.  I was able to see how the items would look with the clothing I already own.  

On the flip side there are a few things to consider, such as: 
-The cost.  The items ranged in price from $29-$99.  Being a bargain shopper, I don't typically spend that much money on my clothing.  There's not room in my budget to buy all the clothing or to have Stitch Fix after Stitch Fix sent.  But it's fun to splurge every once in awhile.  I can see myself doing this again for a special occasion, but it certainly won't be a monthly experience for me. 
-If you don't like any of the items and decide not to buy anything, you loose the $20 styling fee.

Overall, it was a fun experience and I'd love to try it out again!  I ended up keeping one of the shirts.  It's a black top that is flowy on the top, but fitted around the waist.  It's not something that I would have tried on had I seen it on a rack, but I really like it!  And I was able to try it on with a skirt and some jeans I already had.  

If you are interested in trying out a Stitch Fix for yourself, feel free to use the following referral code: