Sunday, December 26, 2010

life is not easy

"Heavenly Father....I'm struggling right now, you know why and you know the many reasons. I don't want too, I don't want to let my emotions get the best of me, but they are right now. I am trying to not be selfish, and childish, and I'm not meaning to be, sometimes I just don't understand life. I know I'm not supposed too, but sometimes every now and then I wish I could see into the future to see what will happen. But I know that would not be wise, and I'm glad you have not allowed that. But I find myself today wishing that nothing good would happen in my life, because it seems like every time I have something good happen to me, something bad happens, and my heart gets ripped to shreds again. My heart is so sore Lord, so sore, it's been hurt so many times. I am a very emotional person, I wear my emotions on my sleeve, you know that, and I know you're there to pick me up. Help me to learn from my broken heart, help me to know how to be strong and how to be the Godly woman you want me to be. Life is not easy Father, you know that better then anyone, I need you today, I need your strength, your love and your grace. Thank you Lord, I know you always come through. "

In Your Precious and Holy Name,

Anna

Monday, December 20, 2010

DR Appt/Clomid Update

I just realized I forgot to blog after my DR appt last Tuesday, I'm so sorry! Life is a whirlwind at the moment, and I just forgot.

Anyways, I had an amazing appt, I absolutely love my OB, I hope she can deliver my babies one day. She talked with us forever, she was very glad I had already had the HSG so that we could move forward with Clomid.

For those of you who aren't quite sure what Clomid is or does, I'll try to inform you with the little bit of information I know. It's supposed to create a follicle, hopefully greater then 19 mm, and if it does, then I get an injection of BHCG to help promote ovulation of that follicle. This is all done on cycle days 17-19, then on day 21 I'm supposed to return to check my progesterone levels to see if I've ovulated. Then if I did, I take a PG test on day 45 if I haven't started my period.

Right now I'm just waiting for my period to start, I'm on day 50 today, the longest I've had in a while, lately they've been averaging 40-45, so I wish it would start so I can begin this Clomid process! But then again, my body seems to never want to cooperate when I want it too, lol. So we just continue to wait. :)

The DR will be putting me on a lower dose of Clomid to begin with, and if there isn't a big enough follicle and/or I don't ovulate, then the next cycle she'll up my dosage. Basically I can take Clomid for 6-7 cycles, then if that still doesn't work, she'll have to send me to the fertility specialist which we pray doesn't happen.

I am allowing myself to hope a LITTLE bit, I haven't hoped at all the past year or so just because I have had so many disappointments and heartaches, but the DR said that Clomid increases our chances by 50%, so going from basically 0% to 50% is definitely a step up in the right direction. At the same time I am very much afraid of being heartbroken again, and I'm just asking for prayer that the Lord will be with me during that time if it happens.

I would love nothing more then to have a sweet Sullivan baby in my arms by this time next Christmas, but I have wished for that three Christmases in a row now, and it's getting harder every time to have my heart broken. Let's pray that this is the last Christmas our arms will be empty! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Back in snowy, cold Minnesota!

We are back in Minnesota, and goodness it is cold and snowy, we are expecting quite a big blizzard starting late tonight and going through tomorrow night, oh joy! And it kinda sucks too because Jesse has to reserve at the CG Station in Duluth this weekend and I don't want to be stuck in my apartment all day with nothing to do, so I'm hoping to either go spend the day with my in laws or the day with my friend before the blizzard gets too bad, but we'll see.

We put all of our Christmas stuff up the other day, and our apartment looks so festive - I really hope that this time next year we'll be in an awesome house instead of apartment and be able to do even more cool decorating! It's really my favorite holiday and I love decorating for it and getting into the Christmas spirit, it just makes me happy. (Even when its freaking cold outside, ha!)

I have a DR appt on Tuesday to hopefully be put on Clomid, a medicine that I have talked about before, that will hopefully help me ovulate (which we think is my only problem infertility wise) and I'm hoping we don't run into any complications where we have to wait for the next cycle, so I'm praying it will all go smoothly and we can start Clomid next week. My best friend is getting excited, but I'm finding myself being guarded just because of all the hurts and disappointments I've had in the past, I hope I can allow myself to get excited someday soon though.

My little brother Nate leaves for Marine boot camp in CA on Monday, I can't believe he is going to be a Marine! We were all quite shocked when he told us that's what he wanted to do, and I will be definitely praying for him a lot, I'm thinking it will either make him or break him. I pray he will be able to stand strong in the Lord and that the Lord will constantly remind Him that He is all he needs!!

I miss my family in Mississippi and my family in Arkansas, being back in Minnesota amongst the northern accents and snow just makes me miss the south even more. I felt so at home in the south, I felt like I was with my kind of people, but knowing I will probably always live in the north, makes me realize I'd better get used to the people and accents fast, but also makes me not want to lose my heritage and roots, I love the south, nothing will ever change that.

And now, I must do some Christmas shopping for Jesse and my best friend Julie today - they are SO hard to shop for because they hate telling people what they want because they never know what they want, totally the opposite of me where I always have things I want! ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

life and stuff

Hello blogging world! I can't believe Jesse and I are here in Mississippi another week or so, and then we leave, we're leaving the Saturday after Thanksgiving and heading to Arkansas to spend some time with my family before heading back to cold and snowy Minnesota. This summer has flown by and it has been a blast spending time with my extended family down here, I will be very sad to leave, but I will just think about everything happy that went down this summer.

I had my HSG test a week from this past Tuesday, and oh my goodness it hurt like I've never felt pain before. Basically the doctor puts dye up the fallopian tubes just to check them out and make sure everything is ok. They have to administer this test before they can prescribe you any sort of fertility meds. I'm so glad it's over, and we made a doctor appt with my OB back in Minnesota for the week after we get back, and hopefully she will be able to put me on Clomid. I'm trying not to get my hopes up yet, but I can't wait for the day I'm actually on it and can maybe start getting my hopes up.

Jesse has been in Minnesota the last few days, he had to fly out there to test with a police dept that is hiring a couple of cops. They tested about 340 people though, and will only pick a few of the top people to actually interview. We'll pray Jesse is one of them, but the job market, especially for cops, is so difficult still. But whatever happens, happens, and we know the Lord is in control.

As much as I'm not looking forward to not going back to Minnesota because of the cold and because I have to say goodbye to family, we are very much looking forward to leaving this small hotel room and having an apartment again and a real kitchen. It's kind of ironic, we kept thinking our apartment was small and my kitchen there was tiny, but after having the living situation we've been in the past few months, I will be so grateful to be in our apartment and my actual full sized kitchen. I've so missed having an oven!

I'm also looking forward to really trying to start up my makeup artist business when I get back too, so if any of you live in Minnesota and know of people getting married or needing makeup lessons or anything, please direct them to my website: http://passionatebeauty.yolasite.com/. I also have business cards if anyone wants to pass them around at work or to family and friends. I love making people feel beautiful and I love creating beautiful faces and letting people's inner beauty shine through.

A friend of mine has been helping me with my clothing style lately, I knew I was just getting way too lazy and casual with my outfits and since I want to continue being a music teacher and go farther with my makeup business, I knew I wanted to start dressing more business casual, but didn't really know how. She has given me so many helpful tips and some basics to get, so I've been doing some shopping over the past couple of weeks and have picked up some awesome must have basics for my wardrobe. Dark wash jeans, blazers/jackets, scarves, printed tops, bracelets/chunky rings, boots, etc. She said the key was to get classics that don't really ever go out of style, and you can make all different kinds of outfits with them, and so far I'm loving my new look.

Wow, I hadn't realized how much I hadn't shared about our life lately, so there ya go, for anyone who was interested. Ciao!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm dreaming of Christmas....yes already.

Yes I'm dreaming of Christmas already, the weather finally got cooler here so it feels more like fall, and I just happened to watch a funny Christmas movie with my aunt and cousin yesterday, and then we ended up listening to Christmas music. So needless to say, that got me in the mood of wishing Christmas was here. Although I love Thanksgiving and can't wait to help my aunt cook all sorts of yummy things, I can't help but think about how I want to decorate our little apartment when we get back to Minnesota the second week of December.

It's going to be so hard for me though because I usually love to start decorating for Christmas right after Thanksgiving, so once we get back around the 8th or 9th of December, I'm going to have to kick myself into high gear and get everything up. So that's why I'm trying to start planning what I'm going to do now, so when I get back, I know what I'm going to do, hopefully.

Christmas is definitely my favorite holiday and time of year, I love making my home cozy and warm and beautiful for the holidays, and I want to do even more this year. (Shhh, don't tell my husband.) A few things I'm thinking of for my Christmas decorations this year include:

- Ornaments/snowflakes hung with ribbons from light and fan fixtures

- A beautiful wreath hanging on the wall in place of a picture or painting

- Holiday candle holders with candles sitting on coffee beans

- Dressing doorknobs with little red velvet bows and sprigs of greenery

- Fake poinsettas in baskets or pots in corners or by couches

And of course everything else I usually do, garland and lights on the mantle and on top of the blinds in the living room, candles everywhere, holiday table cloth on our dining room table, our beautifully decorated Christmas tree, and anything else I can think of.

Tell me what your favorite Christmas decorations are, I'd love to hear your ideas and suggestions! Or any websites that you get your inspiration from!

I'll leave you with a few beautiful Christmas decor pictures that I found online, that I absolutely love.







Friday, October 29, 2010

Anniversary Details

Well I suppose it's time for details on how our anniversary trip went eh? Since it's almost a week later now, lol. You can see pictures on my facebook from the trip, so here I'll just blog about what went down.

We left Wed at noon, and arrived in Vacherie, Louisiana around 3 or 4. The Oak Alley Plantation was pretty much way out in the middle of nowhere, located on a huge sugar cane plantation, and they actually were still growing and harvesting sugar cane on part of the property which was cool.

We checked in, did a little walking around and checking out the sites, and then asked around where a good local restaurant might be. We were told that there were only a couple, and only one was open that evening, it was called DJ's Grille, so we decided to try it. We went and the food was super yummy! I decided to not watch what I ate on the trip just because it was our vacation, so I got the chicken fettucine alfredo and Jesse got a homemade greek personal pizza. It was SO tasty!

After dinner we just hung out at our little cottage for the evening and once we decided to hit the sack, we discovered that our bed was extremely hard and very uncomfortable. What followed was a horrible night's sleep and we woke up very tired, but anxious to talk to the management to see what could be done for the next night. Before that though, we took advantage of the little on site restaurant for our included breakfast and that was really yummy.

So after breakfast we spent an hour or two trying to sort out our bed/sleeping mess, we finally were assigned another bedroom in our little cottage with a temperpedic mattress. The rest of the day we toured the beautiful Oak Alley grounds and we went on a tour of the actual mansion which was so cool, I love history. I would have loved to live back in those days and I think I would have fit the profile of a southern belle just splendidly. ;)

That evening we went to a restaurant in a town that was about half an hour away, and before we went to eat, we did a little shopping at an outlet mall, and ran into Kristin Tripp, an old Life Action red team member of mine, it was crazy! So good to see her!

Then we went to eat at a seafood place, called Sno's and we both had some yummy fried seafood and sweet tea. And for dessert we split a SO tasty bread pudding, omg it was so to die for. And we were SO full after that!

The next day we checked out, and then headed to New Orleans for the aquarium of the americas and the IMAX theater - the aquarium was so fun and huge, and the 3D movie we went to see was called Deep Sea and that was so cool. After that we headed down the riverwalk and went to the copied version of Cafe Du Mont's (the real one is on the French Quarter)and had some amazing chicory coffee and beignets. Oh they were heavenly!!

For dinner that night, on the way back home we stopped and got yummy steaks at Texas Roadhouse. And that concluded our very fun anniversary trip! Can't believe it's been four years, can't wait for the next four years.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

CarbQuik, I can bake again!

I was very excited tonight, on my new Iphone (yes I got one and I LOVE it) I downloaded an app for low carb recipes, and I found an ingredient I hadn't heard before, CarbQuik. So I looked it up online and found that it looks and tastes just like flour but they made it in a way that it takes 90% of the carbs out!

I haven't been eating bread, pancakes, baked desserts, anything like that because of all the carbs. SO I'm very excited that I can combine this with the splenda I've been using for sweetener, and be able to eat yummy things without all of the bad things attached.

I'm also finding wonderful uses for cauliflower that I never knew existed, you can grate it to make faux rice, mash it to be like mashed potatoes, roast it and fry it, do all kinds of things with it. I'm going to buy some cauliflower in bulk and start using it! :)

Once I get back to MN and have an oven again, I'm going to experiment with a lot of healthy CarbQuik recipes and I can't wait to try them.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Anniversary Trip Planning

Jesse and I are both so excited, we are going to New Orleans for 2 days and 3 nights for our anniversary this year. We were trying to decide where to go, since we're down south and we've been up north for our previous anniversaries and have always wanted to go south, we didn't quite know what to do since we're already down south. :)

So we finally decided on New Orleans, so we're going to stay at the Oak Alley Plantation that also has a bed and breakfast on the property as well. Here's a picture of the driveway up to the plantation, isn't it beautiful?



And we're staying in the Rene House, in the Victorian Room which looks awesome.




So we will definitely be planning a tour of the plantation house, can't wait for that. And we are thinking we'll probably do a nice steak dinner on the night of our anniversary. We also would like to go to the zoo or aquarium since it's the 5th biggest and best one in the US, don't know if we'll go to both of them or not. Oh and there is also an Oktoberfest festival that we are thinking about attending as well. We hope to take a lot of pictures and have a wonderful time celebrating four years together! :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Today I'm Thankful For.....

Sometimes I just need to sit down and remind myself of what I'm thankful for and what the Lord has blessed me with. He has blessed me with so much, and if I'm constantly dwelling on what I don't have or what I think I want and need, I will never be happy. I'm always the happiest and most joyful when I realize how much the Lord has given Jesse and I, He has blessed us so abundantly. So as you read through my list, think of everything that you're thankful for and dwell on what the Lord has blessed YOU with.

- A wonderful vacation of sorts here in Mississippi that's pretty much completely paid for

- Time to spend with my grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousin while we're down here that I haven't gotten to spend in so long

- Beautiful summer weather which has given me lots of time to spend by the hotel pool

- My husband having very good hours, and us getting to spend so much time together

- Meeting a wonderful church family and getting involved with the music ministry

- The possibility of having my makeup artist career start taking off

- Meeting new friends that are so wonderful

- Us having plenty of money to provide for our needs and even some of our wants

- Getting to plan our 4th wedding anniversary next month to New Orleans, it's going to be a blast

- Being married for almost 4 years and having learned SO much through the process

- The excitement and hopefulness of starting Clomid soon, a fertility medicine that will hopefully help us get pregnant

- Having self control and eating right and in turn, it's helping me feel better and lose weight

- Spending more time in the God's Word and growing closer to Him and my husband

I'm sure there are millions more, but those are off the top of my head right now. Just typing and reading this list and realizing how much the Lord has blessed us, makes my heart swell with happiness and joy. The Lord is awesome, He is amazing, and His timing is perfect. I thank Him so much for the gift of life and for the gift of His precious Son who died for each and every one of us, we don't deserve it but He loves us so much. I'm awestruck everytime I think of that reality, He loves me, loves me enough to prepare the way for me and allow me to go to Heaven. Thank you Jesus for all of your blessings and for letting me be your child!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Updates

A couple updates....I have an appt with a doctor here at the end of the month, I pretty much found out this past month that I haven't been ovulating and will probably need to take Clomid. Hopefully I can start taking that and hopefully it will kick start my body into doing what it needs to be doing!

Secondly, I built my makeup artist business website - go check it out!

http://passionatebeauty.yolasite.com/

Thursday, September 16, 2010

All about eyebrows

Got an idea from another makeup artist website, and loved it. I'm all about eyebrows, they really make a face, or if they're bad, they can really blow a face. I'm obsessed with eyebrows, lol.

So here are pictures of eyebrows I love and hate....so you can maybe get a good idea of how good eyebrows are supposed to look.

First eyebrows that just don't work, and some of these are either the wrong shape, wrong color for the hair color, too bushy or thin, things like that. And then I'm sure you can figure out the eyebrows I love.














Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Life here in Mississippi

We're trying to have some normalcy of a life here in Mississippi, or at least as much as we can. We found an awesome church, the First Baptist Church of Gulfport, I met with the Pastor and the Director of Family Ministries and they were so awesome and so welcoming to me. I've already joined the choir, and we're hoping to join a young couples life group Bible study on Sunday nights here soon.

We just moved from our first condo to a Residence Inn hotel suite, it's definitely smaller and cozier, but a lot more private and we really like that. We'll be here for three months, so we'd better get settled in! :)

I'm slowly but surely building my make-up portfolio, my new photographer friend is going to start taking pictures of me in different make-up that I do on myself, so I can put different looks in a book to show future clients. And I'm hoping to get a few people that I can also do make-up on for my book as well to show off different looks.

I'm still trying to lose weight by eating hardly any carbs and sugars, doesn't look like I'm ovulating, but I can't go back to my doctor until we head back to Minnesota at the end of the year, so I can't be put on Clomid until then. So for right now I'll try to focus on losing weight and getting more healthy. It's so much harder than it sounds, that's for sure.

It's so nice to be able to spend so much time with my Uncle, Aunt and cousin, and my grandparents that are down here. I'm so blessed to be able to have all this time with them, it's wonderful. I'm going to make the most of it.

Have a great day everyone! :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

True Peace

Sometimes I wonder if true peace is attainable, but I know through Christ it can be. Lately I've just been really thrown into the realities of life and issues and problems, not only my own, but others as well. Sometimes I find myself wondering if there are any good human beings out there at all, and well the answer to that is, no. We're all sinful and evil. But Christ is good - thank the Lord! And I have definitely found moments of true peace when I let myself completely listen to the Lord and let Him have His way without me getting in His way. And let me tell you, those moments of true peace I find are incomparable to anything else in this world.

Oswald Chamber's devotional book "My Utmost For His Highest" talks about peace today and it was very encouraging. I want to quote a few things from that particular devotional today if I may.

"Reflecting His peace is proof that you are right with God, because you are exhibiting the freedom to turn your mind to Him. If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself. Allowing anything to hide the face of Jesus Christ from you either causes you to become troubled or gives you a false sense of security."

This is so true, and I found it to be so true in my life. When I am not right with the Lord, or my relationship with him is dry and barren, my life is just not as it should be at all! But I have experienced full and utter peace and closeness with my Heavenly Father, just by renewing and restoring that relationship with Him. Makes me wonder why I ever stray??

One more quote I loved is this, "When a person confers with Jesus Christ, the confusion stops, because there is no confusion in Him." No confusion in Jesus Christ, no confusion! How wonderful!

Confer with Jesus Christ today so there will be no confusion in your life, believe me, it will be SO worth it!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Make-Up Stuffs

I'm all about make-up these days, fancy that, lol. I met a self taught make-up artist hee around the area we are, and is giving me SO much information and help, and I get to go observe/assist at a large wedding on Monday, can't wait for that. :)

I'm slowly building up my make-up artist kit, slowly but surely, make-up isn't cheap, but I'm still finding some good deals, so I'm excited. I just bought a couple things on my wishlist yesterday online, and there are some more things I'll be getting at Sally Beauty Supply today. Yesterday I bought:

88 Color Eyeshadow Palette from Makeup Geek



Black Gel Liner from Makeup Geek



NYX Black Eyeshadow from Makeup Geek



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And several items still on my wish list:

28 Neutral Eyeshadow Palette



Dinair Airbrush Foundation



Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Changes

Wow, I have been doing horrible about updating my blog, I'm so sorry. And I don't have too much time for a long one today, but I figured I'd do a quick one. I am in Mississippi with my husband, it was SO wonderful to be reunited with him this past Monday, I never want to be away from him for a month again. :)

We are in a beautiful condo on the beach, and Jesse comes home every night which is wonderful. We're in a condo with a couple other Coast Guard guys, but they are at the other end of the condo, so there is some privacy.

Oh and for those of you who don't know, I was going to stay for two months in Arkansas and then head back to Minnesota, where Jesse would soon follow. But plans change, and the more we talked, the more we talked about extending the deployment since there are no job opportunities in Minnesota for us right now. So I came down here to live with Jesse until the first of September, and he put in his extension request. We don't know if he will get the extension, since they're not finding as much oil, but we'll see.

We're also talking about our lives and our future and if the Lord wants us back in Minnesota at the end of the deployment whether that would be in September or later on this year. We're just trying to see where God wants us and I'm excited about the future and the possibilities that we are looking at and praying about.

So keep us in your prayers as we try to discern God's will for our future. :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Separation

So I know it's been a while since I've blogged, I apologize, but I think I have enough thoughts to put together to compose a post today. I have been away from Jesse now for 11 days, and it's actually been a lot tougher then I even imagined it would be. I've done my best to keep myself occupied and busy, which has helped, but I still have moments and down time where it just completely sucks to be without a husband right now.

Jesse is doing well, he is going to be stationed in Mississippi, around the Biloxi/Gulfport area, and he will be a part of the inland waterways oil recovery task force, whatever that means, lol. He's been in training and preparation the past week or so, but he will hopefully start his job on Saturday. I am excited that he's so close to my grandparents and aunt and uncle in Mississippi, so I'm hoping to fly down around the first week of August to spend some time with him which would be SO amazing and would really help to break up the trip.

I've been staying pretty busy, seeing a lot of friends and spending time with them and family which has been nice. I have also found though that this separation has made me pretty emotional, and therefore I have been shopping more than I need too, and really need to cut back on the spending. I guess I'm an emotional shopper, just like I am an emotional eater, both of which are not very good things.

Anyways, that's about it for me right now, God is good, giving me lots of grace, doesn't make it so much easier per say, but it is making my attitude a little better which is a good thing. Thanks for continued prayers and support, keep them coming!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

And so it begins.

Well Jesse officially got his orders, he reports to New Orleans on Monday. And so begins a long two months, I will miss him SO VERY MUCH.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Waiting, waiting, and more waiting

Yep we're in a waiting period right now, seems like we do that a lot in our lives, but I truly believe right now the Lord is trying to mold me, shape me, and make me as flexible as He can, because He knows how truly unflexible I am. We're still waiting to hear about Jesse, we're hoping he can leave the first week or two of July and be back the first week or two of September, that would definitely be ideal, as I already have my Arkansas plans for July and August set. So we're praying it happens soon, and he gets his orders, but with the military you never know.

So yes, my plan right now is to visit my best friend in Maine this coming Friday as planned for a week, then come back, my mom will fly in and stay a few days, we will go to Iowa to visit her sister for a day or so, then we'll drive to Arkansas in my car. Mom and I do have a lot of fun things and road trips planned for my stay in Arkansas and I must say, even though this seperation from Jesse and from my life in Minnesota will be difficult and challenging, I think my Arkansas trip will be loads of fun. Not to mention everyone I get to see and spend time with that I haven't in a very long time!

The Lord is really helping me see as many positives as I can for this whole situation, I must admit, the first week it was really hard to sink my teeth into all of this and have a good attitude. But I've been seeking the Lord's face, and realizing and remembering that He will be my comfort, my provider and all that I need and want. I just have to keep that at the forefront of my mind and my heart, and I will be just fine. But I know that the reunion with Jesse will be one in a million. :)

Once we know more about Jesse and his deployment, I'll update here. For now, "see" ya'll when I get back from Maine on the 27th!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Deployment

Looks like Jesse will be going down south to help with the oil spill in July and August, two whole months without him. The tentative plan right now is for me to cancel all my lessons for those two months, pack my stuff up, ship the cat to the in laws and visit Arkansas for those two months. It won't be easy, and it will be awesome to see my family and friends for a couple of months, but temporarily transplanting my life to AR for 60 days definitely won't be a piece of cake. And boy will I miss my husband. :sigh: I am not happy about this at all, but I know the Lord is big and has a plan for all of this, so we'll just see what happens I suppose. And not to mention it is impossible to create a baby with my husband being gone, so that will also have to be put on hold which is really hard to realize right now. :(

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Makeup For Everyone's Skin Tones

I have been asked by several people to put up a make-up post every now and then, and since I've been reading a few books on make-up from the library recently, I figured I would do a post on colors of makeup for different skin tones from a book I've read - so find your hair/skin tone below and try the colors, you will be pleasantly happy!

BLONDES - any skintone from porcelain to olive - colorful shades like pinks and rose bring color to your face and provide contrast.



Highlight - choose an opal irridescent shimmer, it has a blue-pink oil in water glow that shows when light hits it.

Eyes - make sure you choose shades in cool browns, taupes, bronzes, granite, tawny pinks, pastels, mauves and plums. Also, blondes tend to have eyelashes with blonde tips - either use a good dark mascara, or think about possibly getting your lashes tinted at a local salon!!

Cheeks - Roses, pinks, pinky bronzes, corals and cool peaches create a very fresh and healthy look for you blondes.

Lips - try pink, mocha pinks, peachy pinks, sandy pinks, roses, mauves, golden raspberry and cherry reds. And a tip, light shimmery colors make lips look larger than darker ones.

PORCELAIN SKINNED REDHEADS - a lot of these women with this coloring have a hard time finding makeup colors that look the best on them. Think soft peaches, coppers, bronzy tones so your skin will glow!



Highlight - look for a sheer white or vanilla tone, although you will barely see it, the effect will create a subtle halo of light that makes your eyes pop.

Eyes - choose sable or chocolate browns, toasty taupes, pale golds, peaches, light bronzes, coppers, burgundy browns, eggplants or khaki greens. Brown mascara looks more natural than black which can be too harsh against fair skin.

Cheeks - Choose peaches, apricot pinks, or light coral shades.

Lips - Peaches and warm pinks, sheer corals, apricots, honey colored nudes, raisins and gold flecked reds.

Tips - you are probably blessed with beautiful freckles, I wish I had a few, people associate freckles with youth so enjoy them! Don't hide them, let them glow and show!

BRUNETTES - you guys have naturally dark eyebrows usually and lashes that frame and define eyes. I have very light eyebrows and I'm a natural brunette, so I do have to fill in my eyebrows, but most of you have darker eyebrows.



Highlight - Champagne shimmer works best on you

Eyes - play with all shades of shimmering browns, silvery taupes, mochas, golden pinks, gold, bronze, navy, purples and plums, burgundies and forest greens - who says brunettes can't have more fun?? ;)

Cheeks - choose rose, berries, bronzers and terracottas

Lips - pick rose hues, berries, plums, bronzes, golden and browny pinks, shimmering mochas, wines and true reds. Avoid pastel lip colors, these will wash you out.

ASIAN - these beautiful women have full lips and skin that never seems to age, no fair right? Asian complexions look best when color is brought to the cheeks and eyes are defined.




Highlight - pale pink shimmer looks gorgeous on your skin

Eyes - choose colors in shades of tawny pinks, shimmering taupes and browns, burgundy, vanilla, emerald green, silvery plums and deep purples. Asian eyelashes tend to point downward, so curl them and you'll get an eye opening effect. And apply waterproof mascara to hold your curl longer!

Cheeks - wear pinks, berries, plums and roses.

Lips - opt for pinks, like raspberry, roses, golden pink shimmers, pinky browns, mauves and nudes.

MOCHA SKIN - women with this coloring have so many makeup hues to choose from and look especially radiant in golden colors.



Highlight - choose golden pink shimmers

Eyes - pick caramels, toffees, coffees, chocolate browns and deep wines, navy blues, golds, bronzes, emerald greens, teal, deep plums and violets.

Cheeks - choose berries, golden corals, bronzes, deep warm pinks and dark apricots

Lips - think sheer golds, beiges, coffees, caramels, toffees, bronzes, berries, wines, pinks, corals and garnet reds.

DARK SKIN - you can pull off bold, jewel toned colors like no one else! Anything too light or sheer might look ashy.



Highlight - choose a true gold color

Eyes - pick golds, coppers, bronzes, coffees, deep navy and cobalt, rich dark eggplants and purples, jewel toned greens, ebony, deep mahogany and chocolate browns. Also, make the whites of your eyes pop by applying sapphire blue pencil along the inner rims, known as the water line.

Cheeks - think dark raisins, burnt orange, magentas, fuchsia, and rich blood reds.

Lips - pick sheer lip gloss in shimmery clears, golds, honeys, caramels, oranges, corals, deep plums and bronzy pinks. Or choose lipsticks in sheer mahogany, blackberry, maroon, raisin or deep red.

OLIVE SKIN - in addition to women with Hispanic roots, this group includes all women with olive skin, such as those from Italy, India or the Middle East. Bright colors like coral on cheeks and lips, and everything from shimmery bronzes and pale golds to deep greens and blues around your eyes will play up your amazing skin color.



Highlight - pale golds and pinky golds to create a luminous glow

Eyes - pick rich sparkling browns and burgundies, copper, bronze, gold, warm tawny pinks, eggplans and warm plums and deep forest greens and sapphire blues

Cheeks - think warm pinks, corals, brownish rose and apricot

Lips - go for warm pinks, sheer shimmery nudes, corals, peachy apricot, golden berry shimmer and sheer blood reds.

Monday, May 24, 2010

OB/GYN Update

So Jesse and I went to an OB/GYN appt. today for an infertility consult and to discuss a few things.

I absolutely LOVE the OB/GYN I picked to go too, she is young, my size and SO personable, love her to death! She talked to us in length about what we can do, and since I'm currently on a long cycle, she gave me meds to take for the next 10 days to induce a period, and there are several things she wants to do once I'm on my period and in a new cycle like have a bunch of blood work done that I haven't had done, and some I have had done before, then she wants me to get an HSG test where they put dye in my fallopian tubes to just check everything out. And also hopefully during that time frame she can check to see if I did ovulate.

So once we see how my blood tests are and the HSG test goes, then I'll make another appt. to talk about Clomid which helps induce ovulation and periods. We'll see what happens in the next month or two, I'll be sure to keep everyone posted. I'm so glad I liked my new doctor, that's a huge plus for me. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

what would it be like to be a mother?

Tonight I am thinking, and longing and wondering what it would be like to be a mother. Or to even be an expectant mother....I would be having baby showers, getting cute things for the baby, picking out an awesome name, making plans for their birth-day, talking to my baby in my stomach, singing to my baby, I'm sure I would be doing all of those things and more. And I would love it, and I would be good at it, I just know it.

I'm not upset, or mad, or angry about not being able to get pregnant right now, I'm just wishful I suppose. I know having a child changes your entire life, and that you can't ever go on spontaneous dates as just husband and wife again, and you hardly get sleep at night, and your life revolves around them, but believe it or not, that's what I want. I want someone else sharing our lives with us, with Jesse and I, someone we can call our own and that can share our last name and live with us. Someone that we can watch grow up, and that relies on us and lets us teach them things, I want our family to get bigger and get even busier and more stressful than it is right now, yes I want these things.

And no, my period never did start, and no I'm not pregnant, I haven't taken a test but I know in my heart I'm not, I've been through this WAY too many times, I think I would just know deep within me if and when I ever become pregnant, I think I would know even before taking a test. My body is just being weird again, just like it always likes to be, I'm trying to not see this as a set back, but I really don't know what to think about it and I just have to wait, again, seems like I'm constantly playing this waiting game, its getting rather tiring, but there's nothing else to do at the moment. Seems like I'm back at square one, not being able to figure my body out even though I've lost some weight and have been eating better.

I keep trying to figure out if there is some underlying stress deep within me that I just don't see, because I honestly am no longer stressed about this whole thing any more, and haven't been in a while, I just get sad, wishful and I start longing really badly to be a mother. That's not stress is it? But I could have some stress deep within me that I don't know about that's causing my body to continue being abnormal, I don't know, and I don't think I'll ever know. I know the Lord is in control and He has a grand master plan, the fact that I don't know it is at times frustrating, but I know He knows what He's doing.

So in the meantime, I know as a sinner and a human being I will continue to long, and be wishful in my thinking, I know the Lord understands and knows my heart, and for that I'm truly grateful.

Friday, May 14, 2010

summer planning

So I've had plenty of baby posts recently, not too happy ones, so I figured to get myself in a different mindset right now I would blog about our fabulous summer plans. :) I love being busy, it helps me lose weight and the distractions are wonderful for my emotional health and well being. So here are our summer plans, enjoy and I'd love to hear what your summer plans are!

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May

- Fun make-up consult where I get to watch my new make-up artist friend meet with a bride and do her trial make-up, can't wait for that.

June

- I get to go to a wedding with my make-up artist friend and watch her in action and hopefully learn a lot of things.

- My sister in law Andrea graduates from college as a paramedic and I get to go to her open house - Jesse has to work which stinks, but I'll go and represent our family. :)

- Celebrate Jesse's 27th birthday, don't quite know yet what fun things we will do but I'll come up with something.

- Going to a Twins baseball game with our Bible study group.

- I'll be playing for a cool Barry Manilow tribute show that should be so much fun, I love that man's music.

- Jesse will be gone for 2 weeks for his summer coast guard training, so I will be flying to Maine for over a week and for this I'm SO excited - Julie and I will have a blast!

- After I get back from Maine, my beautiful mom flies in to see me for a few days, and I'm sure we'll have a blast too, we'll also be driving to go see Mom's sister and family in Iowa for an overnight visit, can't wait to see them.

July

- My friend Sarah and I have two weddings to play in, we have a violin/piano music wedding business that we call Bella Musica, so we're very much looking forward to July.

August

- We will be going camping with our Bible study group - something Jesse is very much looking forward too, and I'm trying to look forward too, lol.

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So those are our plans as of right now, I'm sure more will be added as the summer continues to approach. :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Normality

EDIT: I thought I had started my period the other day, but turns out it must have just been some breakthrough middle of the month bleeding. Which stinks because I was all excited - I would need to start by today before I'm late. I really thought I was starting and was beginning to be normal, perhaps I shouldn't have counted my eggs before they hatched, no pun intended, lol. Anyways, I'll keep ya'll posted....hopefully I start soon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SO excited, I just started my third cycle in a row that has been exactly a month long. I am so thrilled, I have not been this regular three cycles in a row in SUCH a long time. I know it's no picnic to be on your period, but for someone who has had a really long 2 years of crazy cycles and hormone weirdnesses, this is awesome. Especially on Mother's Day when I thought I would be really down in the dumps! The Lord is so good, this is such an encouraging sign to me, thanks so much for continued prayers and support. Hopefully this normality will lead to a precious little one very soon!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

:sigh:

Well Jesse got tested, and he is completely normal in the fertility aspect of life, so that means its all my fault. I'm really trying not to be down in the dumps and depressed that it's my fault we aren't getting pregnant, but I really feel like there's a huge burden and weight on my shoulders now knowing this. :( I am very happy that Jesse is fine and all normal, but it's hard knowing it's all me. And I know that the Lord has a plan for all of this, I just don't know what it is - my husband is being very sweet to me and is being such a trooper through all my emotions. It's tough.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Long time no post!

Wow, it's been a while eh? I'm sorry....life is crazy busy. It's a good thing, but it just doesn't leave much time to blog. Can you believe May is upon us? Saturday is May 1st, marking the two year anniversary of when we started trying to get pregnant. It's kind of surreal to think about, and to think about how long we might have to continue waiting.

Will we be where we are right now next May? Still no children and wondering and waiting? I certainly hope not, hopefully by this time next year we'll be in some process, whether it be that I'm pregnant or we would be in some adoption process. That's encouraging to think about at least, although I certainly hope we don't have to wait that long, only the Lord knows. That's comforting in a big way.

I'm missing my mom a lot today....her life is crazy right now with my dad being in the Republican US Senate Primary, that goes down in 3 weeks and until then, their lives are non stop. I do feel bad for my mom since she's having to play single parent a lot while my dad campaigns and I wish more than anything that I could be there to help her and hug her when she's tired. I don't get to see her again until June, and that day can't come fast enough. It is so difficult to be so far away from her, especially when she's in a house full of boys, I know the feeling, I was there once, lol.

This verse encouraged me today.....

DANIEL 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and he will deliver us out of your hand.

We know what happened to Daniel and his friends, God delivered them - that's how big and strong our God is, let Him come to your rescue today! Surrender to Him, lay your all on the altar, He can handle it. Praise the Lord!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Encouraging Changes

Hey everyone! I need to do an update on how my body is doing, I haven't in a while. There are some encouraging signs, and that makes me hopeful, I just finished another period, which means that now, these last 2 cycles I have were only 30-31 days! 2 cycles in a row! I haven't had that "normal" since I was on the birth control pill, which is saying a lot. :)

I'm still losing weight, and doing really good with my eating - I'm getting more into the habit of having self control of what I put in my mouth, and my portions are a lot smaller. My goal is to be 135 lbs by the time I go see Julie again on June 18th and that's only 8 pounds away! And I've been losing a pound a week pretty much, so I have 8 weeks to lose 8 pounds, very doable.

Hopefully my body really starts getting on track, especially since next month will be two years since we got off birth control - perhaps that's the magic month for me, the two year mark, then my body will return to normal and ovulate like it's supposed too. I'm sure praying that's how it is!

I've had a few challenging moments this past week as I was getting off my period, it was funny, because I had NO PMS leading up to this latest period, it just started and very much surprised me. I had more moodiness towards the end and was really struggling with not being a mommy - it hurt so, especially when I have a very close friend who's pregnant and definitely wasn't planning on the pregnancy. It made me mad too, because I've been having such a good attitude lately and leaving it up to the Lord, but when Satan gets me down about not being able to be a mommy, he really gets me down and I feel defeated.

But I'm okay now and I'm distracted again, we have company coming to visit and stay with us for a few days! They come on Friday, and we're very excited! The Lord is good to be constantly providing me with distractions, He knows I need them. :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Vacation Ramblings

Ahhh, we had a marvelous vacation, and I figured since I had a few moments here, I would blog about our trip. Besides, I just finished cleaning and picking up the apartment, so I deserve some internet time. ;)

Our flights to Maine were very uneventful, even though I did have to get up at the ungodly hour of 3:45 in the morning because our first plane left very early. And on top of that, I got NO sleep the night before, due to the mounting excitement of seeing Jules the next day. But running on adrenaline and then coffee later on, I wasn't tired one bit! And at noon, I was in the arms of my second love and best friend, oh what a glorious moment that was!! She was so cute and beautiful and sexy, and so excited to see me. Madison was there too, looking so cute and shy, it took her a while to remember us and warm up to us again, but once she did, there was no turning back.

That first day we spent chilling and catching up, it was so nice to be back in Chad and Julie's house. And so surreal that we were back in Maine a year after we had moved, crazy! I have listed as many memories as I can remember, I'm sure there were many more, but these stand out to me the most.......

We went out to eat a LOT and had a lot of yummy food, we watched movies and funny TV shows, drank a lot of coffee, laughed until our sides hurt, took pictures, watched the guys race go karts at a local speedway, watched a stupid movie at the theater after having a yummy prime rib dinner at Chad and Julie's favorite restaurant, Julie and I did a lot of makeup and had more coffee, we went to Target and Walmart a couple of times for random things, we went to a Red Claws basketball game that was a lot of fun, several trips to the mall and had more coffee, the guys got a LOT of xbox playing in, we got to see wonderful friends at church on Sunday and then went out for a marvelous Easter lunch, Julie and I had a couple of REALLY late nights just having amazing girl time going shopping, going to the beach and to the Bath waterfront, eating, and just having an awesome time catching up, and I could go on and on.

This trip really brought Jules and I even closer together, seriously, I didn't know two friends could get as close as we are, it hurts so bad that we have to live so far away, but it does make for amazing and unforgettable vacations and trips when we visit each other, so in a way, that's really cool. The goodbye sucked even more than the last one, especially knowing that it might be longer than 6 months before we see each other again. I'm hoping that perhaps I can go by myself to visit Jules in June while Jesse does his 2 weeks for the CG, so I'm crossing my fingers and praying that will work out, because that would be amazing.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip, I love the Jones family, Chadwick, Julie, Dylan, Aleeya and little Madison, they are best of friends and I can't imagine my life without them. They are such a blessing!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Back to Reality


We are back from Maine, after a very long 12 hour travel day yesterday, and it was so good to sleep in our own bed, but I'm missing my best friend terribly!! We had SO much fun, and made so many wonderful memories, and grew even closer, it was so hard to say goodbye. I'll blog more later this weekend, but for now, I'll leave you with a picture from the week.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Best Friend Excitement!

Okay, nothing baby related in this post at all.

I am super excited, Jesse and I leave in four short days for Maine, we leave on the 31st and I am SO pumped to see Jules! It has been probably about 6 months since she and her husband were up here to visit, and it's so hard for us to go even 6 months without seeing each other, but 6 months it has to be with money and our schedules and such.

I will seriously get butterflies in my stomach right before Jules picks us up from the airport, honestly, whenever I get ready to see my best friend again, I feel JUST like I did anytime I would be about to see Jesse again when we were dating and engaged. The butterflies, nervousness, excitement, Jules is someone I love dearly and I can't wait to give her a huge hug.

We have a bunch of fun things planned, and even though it's a crappy month of the year to go to Maine, lots of rain and such, nothing will put a damper on our spirits, absolutely nothing. I'm sure there will be plenty of coffees together (omg, I can't wait for that), movies, xbox, random shopping trips, staying up late, seeing our old house, going to the ocean, and lots and lots of talks and shared glances. I'm getting so excited as I talk about seeing her, I don't know how I can wait four more days! At least I will be super busy, so hopefully it will go by really fast.

I am so blessed to have Julie as my friend, I have NEVER had such a close and dear friend, I have a lot of close and dear friends, but with Julie it's several more levels of closeness and dearness - no one can understand, unless they have a bosom friend and a kindred spirit like this. But I tell you what, it's a tremendous feeling.

I think one thing I love the most about Jules, is that I will never offend her in any way, she knows me down to my very core, knows my thoughts and my reasons behind things that I say, and for that reason alone, she will never get offended, and vice versa. And believe me, we've had plenty of arguments (yes we get really mad at each other, lol) but it's seriously like a marriage with us, it's awesome. We know each other so well, we can't stay mad for too long. ;)

We will take plenty of pictures and I can't wait to have all the memories tucked away in my mind after we leave.

So do you have a bosom friend? A close and dear kindred spirit? If you're not sure, then you don't know how wonderful it is, I was just very blessed to have Julie come into my life, and if you are fortunate enough to have a "Julie" in your life, you will find yourself very blessed as well.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mother's Day Thoughts

There are only about 6 weeks left until Mothers Day, and I honestly thought that by now, I would be celebrating the 2010 Mothers Day, even if it just meant I was carrying a child, that would still make me a mother. There will be so much celebration and love going around on that day, and as much as I will try my best to focus on celebrating my wonderful mother, there will still be a sadness in my heart.

I read this prayer online this morning, from someone I don't know, but someone who loves the Lord and wants a child as badly as I do....I was encouraged, convicted, inspired, I want to pray this prayer every day.

Lord, help me to know that You are enough.
Take my eyes off of myself.
Take my eyes off of the child I desire.
Help me to delight myself in You.
Mold the desires of my heart to be in line with Your will.
I don't want to need to be a mother more than I need to be your humble, obedient child.
I don't want wanting to have a baby to be a stumbling block between You and me anymore.

Lord, I want to give this desire, this drive, this ache up to You.
Help me not to snatch it back as I so often do with the burdens I place in Your hands.
Help me to be truly content with Your will and Your timing.

Lord, You know that I still desire a baby - someone to mold, teach, train, shape, guide, and help to grow in You.
But until the day You give me that joyous blessing, help me to grow in You.
Let me reach out to those around me.
Let me witness and minister to the children You place in my path.

Lord, if adoption is the path You would have us take, prepare our hearts, and prepare the child who will share our home.
If adoption is not Your will for our lives, keep me from pushing ahead of Your plan.
Help me to stay submitted to my husband's will, and to Your will.
If we are headed in the wrong direction, change our hearts.

Thank You for lifting my burden.
Help me to keep You first! Let me seek Your face daily, and let me know that You are enough!

Fertility Prayer by Jennifer Saake

Friday, March 19, 2010

Blessed Distractions

As I walk along this very difficult and bumpy baby journey, I am so grateful for every blessed distraction I get, (note: I am pronouncing "blessed" like "bless-ed" with the emphasis on "ed"). But I definitely know I'm very blessed by distractions as well, but for this instance, I'm using this particular way of saying it because of the way I feel at this moment. :)

This has been a very difficult week, bump wise in my journey, finding out some pretty shocking news not about myself, but a friend, and it has made it hard to trust in the Lord, but He has been gracious. He has allowed me to lean on Him incredibly hard and I'm finding that instead of being bitter, I can reach out to this dear friend and speak words of truth and comfort.

So I've definitely had some distractions this week, which are always good, I think I made them for myself, but nevertheless, they are blessed distractions. I have watched many makeup tutorials (as many of you know, I'm mad about makeup) and have started making a couple makeup video tutorials myself, and put them on facebook. Several people have asked me how I do my makeup and what techniques I use, so I have found this to be a great distraction for me this week. Makeup is something I am very passionate about, and I have actually started considering the makeup artist route, and would love to pursue it amateurly (is that a word?) for a while and then hopefully as I gain more experience, become more of a professional freelance makeup artist.

Also, I recently found out that our apartment complex has a tanning salon, and I really wish I'd found out about this sooner - it's incredibly cheap! Now I just have to be careful to not abuse the convienence of it and go too much, but I'm not worried that I will - I'm pretty careful because I know that tanning isn't the best for one's skin. But I am excited about getting some nice color before summer and before I start going to the pool again. And no tan lines!!

Of course another distraction is knowing that in only 11 days from today, we are leaving for Maine to see my very best friend in the entire world. Oh it will be such a wonderful week of vacation and catching up, and I'm looking forward to that week with every fiber of my being - each day that goes by, that brings me closer to that glorious date of being in Julie's arms again, makes me smile even bigger.

And one more distraction as I end this post....here is a quote I found to be very amusing today, and thought I would share it with you guys.

"God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny."
-- Garrison Keillor

Monday, March 15, 2010

A New Week

A new week is here, and goodness, life seems to be flying by so quickly. The older I get, the quicker time flies. I'm sure all of my readers who are older than me can definitely attest to that fact. Oh and just an FYI, I did start my period, it was just brought on by several days of weird spotting - but thinking back to when I did have periods before ever going on birth control, this period resembles what my periods used to look like - so I'll take that as an encouraging sign that my body is really trying to get things back to normal.

In other exciting news, Jesse and I fly to see our best friends in Maine in only 15 days!! We leave the 31st and stay for an entire week! I absolutely cannot wait, while I do have so many awesome friends with whom I love to hang out, there is nothing like visiting your best friend in the whole world, she understands me and loves me like no one else does, (besides my husband of course).

In other news, the Lord truly convicted me last week that I was not spending time in the Word like I should, and not putting Him first in the morning after I would get up, so He was very gracious and has allowed me to change that, and I'm very grateful that He doesn't give up on giving me gentle reminders. Putting Christ first in the mornings really does give me different and more positive outlooks on life, and it does wonders for my marriage.....fancy that. :) And it's such a small yet monumental change I can make in my life every day.

So let me ask you, have you spent time in the Word today?

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Body - a Very Puzzling Thing Indeed

Right now my body is doing weird things and I have no idea why - I've had a tiny bit of spotting that happened a couple of days ago, so I thought for sure I would start my period, even though I'd had none of the PMS symptoms or signs at all leading up to that point.

Well, it turned into nothing, and here I am, still no period, and wondering what my body is doing. I've thought perhaps it could have been ovulation spotting, but to my knowledge I've never had that before, but it could be if my body is starting to get back on track. But I've only been on this diet and work out program for probably 3 weeks now, I don't know if that's long enough for my body to make these kinds of changes - but what do I know?

It is tough because I had resigned myself that my period was starting, and then it didn't, so then of course my mind starts wandering and I start thinking other things, but I just can't go there - I've "gone" there SO many times in the past and it has just led to heartache. I just can't be disappointed again. I just can't.

So who knows what my body is doing, could be that it's just having hormonal shifts since I started working out, and maybe my body is trying to get back into what a normal body's rhythm should be, who knows. And I have to also keep telling myself that it will be two years in May that we got off birth control, and could be it's been that long for my body to get back to normal itself, and that's why it's doing different things, because perhaps finally, it's gotten back to where it needs to be.

These are the questions that are puzzling my mind this morning.....all I can do is look to the Lord and pray and wait.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Progress

First, an update on my weight loss/muscle gain progress......I've officially lost a pound since going on this diet/lifestyle change, I'm extremely excited about seeing results, and not only have I lost a pound, I have lost several inches around my middle (where I gain the most weight) and I'm gaining muscles in my arms from lifting weights! If that's not progress, I don't know what is. :) It's such a huge encouragement to see results after changing my diet and working out consistently for only a couple of weeks!

Secondly, I have been experimenting with cooking healthier and putting more whole wheat and less sugar in things that I bake. I'm actually quite proud of myself and quite happy with the results in my cooking and baking changes that I've been making - so far, baking wise, I've made brownies with all whole wheat flour and a little less sugar than the recipe called for, and last night I made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with half whole wheat flour, and I substituted some honey for the sugar it called for - both baking experiences were wonderful and the desserts tasted yummy! I've been also cooking with more veggies and leaner meats, and as far as snacks go, we've been snacking on rice cakes, veggie chips and fruit and veggies - it hasn't been that hard to switch to these healthier options either, for that I'm eternally grateful.

Thirdly, I've been doing REALLY good with my working out - it's awesome to be able to go to the mirror and see little biceps in my arms for the first time EVER! Seriously, this is amazing! It seriously is fascinating me, to the point of weirdness I think, lol. I've been able to work out for longer periods of time as well, and not get as tired, I love being able to do more sets of my exercises then when I first started, I know I'm getting stronger.

My goal is to hopefully be as close to 139 as possible before we leave for Maine in 3 weeks - right now I'm 6 pounds away from that, so it will be tough, but I'm sure I will be close, it's a motivation for me to work really hard. I love setting goals and seeing if I can meet them. I haven't weighed what I weigh right now in a long time - I was 115 when I got married, then gained probably 5-10 pounds within the first year or two of marriage, a pretty healthy weight gain. Then getting off the pill in May of 2008 was when I gained the majority of my weight and got up to a whopping 155 by last summer/fall. :shudder: Never want to be there again, that's for sure. So knowing that I'm 6 pounds away from being in the 130's again is an amazing feeling.

This post makes me happy....I love progress in the right direction. Tell me what progress you've been making in your life lately!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Changing Blog Hosts

I just moved here to blogspot from wordpress, I just wasn't happy with the customizing options over at wordpress, and as I researched blogspot further, I found that I really liked it a lot better. So I moved all of my blog posts over here and will be blogging here from now on.

Anna

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Thankfulness.....a Lost Character Trait

There are so many things we take for granted, and I do believe as this world becomes more techy and people become lazier in their every day lives, thankfulness is being shoved right out the window.

I have been greatly convicted and encouraged by friends and blog posts around me who are choosing to be thankful for all the small things they have been blessed with. I want to write out a few things that I’m thankful for today…..and may I challenge you to do the same? Choose thankfulness today, we have so much.

- A loving husband who stands by me in my ups and my downs, who is strong and unwavering, who loves me for being me.

- The word of the Lord that is there for me whenever I need it, I just don’t pick it up often enough like I should. But I know it’s always there!

- Yes I’m struggling to get pregnant right now, but my body is healthy otherwise – I don’t have cancer, I’m not disabled, I don’t have any life threatening diseases trying to take my life, the Lord has blessed me with a healthy body, and gives me breath each day to keep living.

- Family and friends – I am surrounded by them, and surrounded by amazing family and friends! I love people, I love friends, I love family, I love to have them around me at all times, they make me so happy and I am so thankful the Lord has blessed me with so many.

- Even though Jesse doesn’t have a job, the Lord is continually blessing me with music students, and there is always money coming in somehow, we have everything we need and then some, Lord, please continue to show us how we can be faithful stewards of the money you give us.

- Music – oh where would I be without music? Music is involved in my life in some way, every single day, my life wouldn’t be quite as complete without music. I always have a song in my heart!

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Longing, Ever Longing

This morning I find myself longing….longing for a sweet baby to call our own and to hug, kiss and cuddle in the morning. Yes, I do long in general, but some days I have an extra longing, especially when I see pictures of mommies and babies together, so happy, so cuddly.

It’s on these particular days that I love to imagine what life would be like if we had a precious little one, I remember all the baby duties I so gratefully had growing up as an older sister, I would always squeal with excitement when mom would tell us she was pregnant again, I would help her get everything ready, wash all the baby clothes, and I would wait with such a happy excitement.

For you see, I knew, that being the older sister, once the baby was born, and was able to sleep through the night, the baby would move into MY room and I would share a lot of the responsibility – and mind you, I absolutely loved this! This wasn’t my parents forcing this upon me, I begged and begged, and would relish in the day the baby was moved into my room.

I remember changing oh so many diapers, the sweet baby smell after I either helped mom give them a bath or as I got older, would bathe the baby myself. I loved wrapping up the sweet little bundle tightly in the blanket after the bath and would hold him forever, as long as I could. It was never a chore for me to take care of the babies that came along, those times were some of the happiest of my life.

I did get to a certain point when I was 17 or 18, where I told myself, I was quite tired of babysitting and I either never wanted kids or at least wanted to wait many years before them. But now as I sit here, I know that was just a teenage restlessness, wanting to see the world, wanting to know what else there was. Now I’ve “seen” the world so to speak, I’ve done a lot of things I wanted to do, I was an EMT/Firefighter for crying out loud!! :)

And now I find myself settling into my role as a wife, and longing, ever longing for a child. I definitely won’t be one of those moms who stays at home, and homeschools, I would love to be able to at least still work part time giving music lessons, but I am definitely going to be one of those moms that absolutely ADORES her children, ADORES being a mommy and never takes it for granted.

Especially after having to wait a while to get pregnant, I will relish each and every moment, even the hard ones when we’re up all night with the children (yes I remember those nights when I had the baby in my room) and when the children are fussy for no reason, and when I just want to cry. I will take the time to remember my life as it is right now, full, but not quite as full as I would like it.

So I will continue longing….ever longing, and I feel quite certain, down deep in the depths of my aching heart, that the Lord will bless us beyond measure with offspring.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Charting and Temps

So I have begun to chart and take my temps again, I did it for a few months the first year I got off birth control, but my cycles were so wacked and my temps were so up and down, that I knew I wasn’t ovulating and got tired of doing it, so I stopped.

But I figured I could pick it up again, and so I’ve been taking my temps for the past 3 days, so far, they’ve been pretty even and exactly where normal temps should be, not at all like the up and down from day to day when I first tried doing this. So I’m encouraged and hopefully it will help me see for sure when I’m ovulating or if I’m ovulating.

One tidbit I read that I didn’t know was that some women have PCOS, but some women who think they have PCOS just have PCO – PCOS is polycystic ovary syndrome, and PCO is just polycystic ovaries. And I thought they were little cysts on your ovaries, but they’re actually more like follicles, and they don’t need to be removed at all!

I also read that women with PCOS, or even just women with PCO, will probably ovulate, but their ovulations will be less and much more sporadic, so I’m thinking that I probably do ovulate every now and then, but obviously I have no clue as to when those times are, so maybe if I chart for a few months, get a pattern down, and am able to plan around that, perhaps that will be the key! :)

I am finding all of this information extremely informative and I’m loving reading all of this, it’s definitely keeping my interest.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Love of Grandparents

I probably won’t always write about everything “baby journey” related here on my blog, because it is good to have distractions, and life happens, can’t stop that. :)

Jesse’s grandpa is not doing so well today, he had a heart attack and is in a fragile but stable condition at the moment. It really takes me back to the evening my grandfather passed away, the night before my wedding, it was so difficult, and I miss him so much.

Grandparents are such a part of everyone’s lives, and I’m finding these days that the older my grandparents get, the more I’m having to act more like the adult and make sure I stay in contact with them and call them, because their minds just aren’t what they used to be. And I only have one set of grandparents left, I don’t know if I’ll have any grandparents left when I have children, which is sad for me to think about.

Life is so short, and so fleeting, we have to grab a hold of each and every moment and take it by the horns and not let it pass! I know I’ve let so many moments just slip through my fingers, and I really want to promise myself to not let anymore go by.

It is so hard to think about grandparents passing away, especially since they’ve been a part of our lives for so very long, as long as I can remember. I know I’ll see them again in heaven some day, but still, it’s rough to think about.

I feel like it’s the ending of an era you know? One set of grandparents gone, the other set now getting older and not functioning as well as they used too, it’s so weird to think about. Life changes so suddenly at times, especially when you’re not expecting it. It’s during those times that you have to rely on the Lord, because guess what, He never ever changes.

So yeah…..thinking about grandparents today, they are so special. So if you have grandparents still living, make sure you give them a call, or send them a letter, or just tell them that you’re thinking of them and that you love them. Don’t let these moments slip through your fingers.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

I want to wish my sweetest and dearest husband a wonderful Valentines Day. I know it sometimes seems like a pretty cheesy holiday (even for me, a hopeless romantic) but it’s just another day to show my love for Jesse in a bigger way.

I am so grateful the Lord gave Jesse to me in marriage over three years ago, I didn’t say wedded bliss because it’s been a challenging three years, but I wouldn’t change it for the world – the Lord gave me a steadfast rock in Jesse, my soulmate and my ever present companion.

I will never find enough words to tell my amazing husband just how much I love him, and how much I’m grateful to the Lord for sending him to me in such a unique and special way.

Thanks babe for sticking with me through thick and thin, I love you SO much!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Research

Green light, yellow light….what do these things have to do with eating low carb? Well I picked up the “Low Carb Diet for Dummies” at the library the other day, and it was a most fascinating book on eating low carb and low sugar. The book is all about green light foods and yellow light foods – green light foods are foods which don’t count towards your daily carbs and you can be as “free” with them as you want and eat them whenever. Yellow light foods are foods that you have to be careful with and you can’t go overboard.

I love this book because not only does it have very helpful information, but it has an entire grocery list of green light foods and yellow light foods, very helpful. (Oh and a side note, I was able to give away a LOT of processed, refined and white foods to a friend of mine that we had in our pantry and freezer, so now with those foods out of the house, it will be so much easier to stick to this.)

So now for those of you who are interested in seeing which foods are green light and which are yellow light, I have included some for your benefit and mine! :) I have included the ones that I know I will eat and actually don’t mind.

Some green light fruits include apples, cantaloupe, grapes, mangoes, oranges, peaches, pears and strawberries.

Green light veggies – beans (green, wax, Italian), broccoli, carrots, celery, greens, mushrooms, onions, spinach, and summer squash.

A few green light proteins (and there are a bunch) are, ground beef, roast, short ribs, steak, ham, lamb, eggs, low fat cheeses, pretty much any type of seafood, chicken, and canned tuna.

A few dairy green light items would be buttermilk, fat free milk, and low fat or fat free yogurts.

Okay, now on to Yellow Light Carbs – remember, these you should only allow yourself 5 carb choices a day from this list, and each serving should be about 15 grams, and remember you can always subtract the fiber from the total carbohydrate value.

Starting with breads – bagels, bread, english muffins, pitas, and tortillas.

Yellow light veggies and fruits – bananas, corn, peas, potatoes, mixed vegetables and sweet potatoes.

Some yellow light legumes – any type of beans (black, pinto, lima, etc.), and peanuts.

A few yellow light grains, cereals, and misc – all types of cereal whether cooked or dry, cornmeal, flour, grits, oats, pasta, brown and white rice, green soybeans, any type of soup broth, sugar free cake mixes, Crystal light, low fat mayo and low fat sour cream.

And when it comes to snacky foods, you really don’t have to give up too much taste, for that I was very grateful. :) There were several yummy snack ideas in this book, and I thought I’d share a couple with you guys.

- low fat mozzarella string cheese and grapes

- chicken salad with low fat mayo and apples

- boiled shrimp and cocktail sauce

- prosciutto and melon

- pita chips and hummus

- deviled eggs

- veggies and low fat dip

- pineapple chunks with ham cubes

- tortilla roll ups

So see? You can still have yummy snack foods around the house to keep you full and satisfied, yet still lose weight and stay healthy! I’m very excited to be finding out all this information from my research, and hopefully it will help others as well. :)

And now I must go get ready for my little birthday excursion, hubby and I are going to a marvelous bed and breakfast for which I am quite thrilled. :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lifestyle Changes

Did any of you realize just how many carbs are in so many foods? Well I certainly did not, and it astounds me how many carbs, bad carbs I’ve been eating! I went to the grocery store yesterday to get low carb and carb friendly items, and there are more there than I thought.

Since deciding I need to change my diet in order to help with my PCOS symptoms, I have been learning a seemingly million things every day about carbs and what to eat and what not to eat.

Did you know that if you eat something with a lot of dietary fiber in it, if it has carbs too, you subtract the number of fiber from the amount of carbs and that’s the amount of carbs you will be eating – I guess fiber does wondrous things to your body and helps bad carbs either go away or not do what they’re supposed too.

Also, I didn’t realize there were good carbs and bad carbs – the good carbs that your body needs to live come in veggies and of course the greener the better, berries and a few other fruits, whole grains like in oats and quinoa, meats, and dairy products. The bad carbs come in foods such as anything refined and white – sugar, white rice, refined tortillas, refined pasta, things of that nature.

This whole having to watch what I eat, and eating healthier thing is actually very fascinating – I’ve watched other people go on “diets” like this and I was always like, “I could never do that, I love my yummy food too much”. Well, tell me that eating the way I do is possibly helping cause my infertility, and man will I perk right up! :)

I’ve also begun to work out daily, I have a workout program I made up for myself, one day I’ll target my arms and chest, the next day I’ll focus on my legs, butt and thighs, and then the next day my abs. So every three days I start over again, resulting in me working on each one of those areas twice a week. I started doing only 20 minutes a day so as not to burn myself out, but I want to work my way up to 30 minutes, and then eventually 45 minutes a day, I want to gain strength and a little bit of muscle, and tone my body and work away the fat.

I also started taking cinnamon and the chromium picolonate that the DR recommended.

This is the first time in my life I’ve been so motivated to make these kind of lifestyle changes, knowing I want to stick with them because it could help result in a precious baby.

Any helpful thoughts, or suggestions on this post from people out there who have had PCOS or had to go on a lifestyle change like this?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Possible Answers

I love getting good news, or at least possible answers to what my infertility problem could be!

I have been emailing a doctor friend of mine, an endocrinologist who has been trying to figure out my body and just recently looked at some bloodwork test results that I had done last year. My family DR had told me everything was normal, but when this endocrinologist looked at the results, he said everything was normal except my pituitary hormones, LH and FSH – they were flipped and opposite of what they should normally be, which points to patterns of possible PCOS.

He said there is no one test to diagnosis PCOS, only certain symptoms and the lab results that I had. The symptoms are irregular cycles and weight gain and difficult in losing weight – hello, that’s me ALL OVER! Ever since I got off BC in May of 2008, I gained weight and have had such a hard time losing it. And don’t even get me started on my irregular cycles.

This DR said that the core problem with PCOS is something they call insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is actually sluggish enzyme processes that are involved with glucose metabolism. You make all the insulin you need, but
your body appears like it doesn’t respond to it …. so your body makes
more insulin. The high insulin levels create the miscommunication
between the pituitary gland (LH>FSH) and the ovaries. Since the LH and
FSH levels aren’t correct ….. the end result is irregular menstrual
cycles and usually no ovulation occurs.

The treatment is to improve the insulin resistance which in turn lowers
the insulin levels. The lower the insulin levels are … the more normal
the LH and FSH levels will be.

Weight loss is the most important. Fat cells require 50 times the amount
of insulin that muscle cells require. He said that he has his patients start a low
carbohydrate diet such as South Beach and start an exercise program with
a focus on building muscle mass (weight training) rather than aerobic
exercise. There are some over the counter medications that improve
insulin resistance …. chromium picolinate 500mg twice a day and
cinnamon 1000mg every day. The only prescription medication used is one
called metformin.

I’ve had people mention PCOS to me before, but I just shrugged it off, especially after my blood work came back and my family DR told me everything was normal, I had no idea that my problem really could be PCOS! Thank the Lord for wonderful friends who are doctors and specialize in hormones!

So, I’m very excited about this new shedding of light on my situation and hopefully it will be an easier fix than I had originally thought, and I pray that the Lord will continue to give Jesse and I wisdom in knowing what steps we should take next.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Loooooooong

I’m in the middle of yet another very long cycle, 45 days, and it’s so frustrating to never know from month to month how long or short my cycles will be. I’m sure those of you who have been in similar situations know how tough and challenging it is to go through long cycles. I’m extra crabby, extra PMSy, and it seems to go on and on and on forever, my body doesn’t seem to know what it’s supposed to do and it feels confused.

It doesn’t help when I’m going through a long cycle like this, to have people ask, “So do you have kids yet?” It just makes me extra sad and extra crabby. LOL, I do feel very sorry for my poor husband during these times, having to put up with me. Thank you Lord for a patient and understanding husband!

I am hoping that soon I will start seeing results with this Red Clover Tea I’ve been drinking, but I’ve only been drinking it a little over a week, and I’m not supposed to start seeing results until after 3 weeks that I’ve been drinking it. So perhaps by next cycle it will start doing good things to my body, I certainly hope so.

In other random news….I can’t believe I’ll be 25 on the 9th of February. Seems like just yesterday I couldn’t believe I was 18 and graduating, now look where I am and what I’m doing. Crazy how life speeds up as you get older!

And now….I will go drink my coffee and relish in the quiet afternoon that is the Lord’s day.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Haiti

For some reason, up until last night I hadn’t thought too much about Haiti, I guess perhaps because it’s so far away from the US and wasn’t at the forefront of my mind. But last night as my husband and I were watching the live telathon dedicated to raising money and support for Haiti, things changed.

We had only been watching it a few minutes, when a special report started on the medical need in Haiti – and a doctor showed a tiny precious baby whom he had cared for, probably only a few weeks old, that’s when my heart felt like ripping from my chest. This morning as I type this, my heart is aching yet again.

Then there were more children in the special report, and more babies, oh I can’t tell you how fast the tears started flowing. So many children and babies are going to be orphans after this major tragedy, and I feel such a burden to help, even in some small way, and I don’t know if we’ll be able to do anything, but I found myself thinking, what if our baby is over there? What if we were meant to rescue one little life and change it forever?

I researched Haiti adoptions online last night, and found that all Haiti adoptions are being put on a standstill, because of the tragedy – and it makes total sense, what if a child got adopted, and then someday the parents of that child were found alive and looking for them, oh that would be awful!

But I definitely want to stay updated, because I know after a few months or longer, when all of the parents have been found and yet there are still so many orphans, I don’t know if the Lord will want us to look into adoption, but my heart is open and so ready, I want to be prepared always.

Will you join me in praying for the country of Haiti? And ask yourself, what can you do to help this tragic stricken people?