tying up loose ends

TGIF pals!  I've got some loose ends to tie up on le blog so here goes. 

First off, thank you all so very much from the bottom of my heart for your kind words regarding the passing of Tiger Wiger. Its been really hard for everyone in the family to accept that he is really gone. I've been trying to respond to comments as soon as I can. This whole having a new job thing is getting in the way of blogging. I kid, I kid. 

I've been trying really hard to get five solid posts in each week. In the month of April alone I have passed the amount of blogs I wrote in all of Jan-March. Holla! I hope the trend continues. 

I did have a short set-back this week when I found out the family I used to nanny for had to put their dog of 13 years down. This is a dog that I've known for the past 10 years. The dog was one of the best dogs out there. I got very emotional about it and haven't really been able to think of much else.  I saw the dog most recently in March. I would often dog sit for them. Their daughter was closes to the dog named Penny Lane and posted this beautiful message on FB the other night. 

"A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his." Penny Lane, thank you for 12 years and 10 months of unconditional love, never ending loyalty, selflessness, friendship, and pure bliss. You have taught me to appreciate life's simple joys: ice cubes, freshly fallen snow, a nap in the sun. Everyone always said she was lucky to have us, but we were the lucky ones. Rest easy, sweet angel. May your days be filled with doggy bagels and mcdonalds. We love you more than you'll ever know. ❤️

I realized (due to comments) that I never did tell you if Ry-guy ever said anything about the email I sent him in the post on our first date.  He says he either never got the email or never responded thinking it was some sort of junk/spam email at the time.  I guess homeboy was getting some emails from ladies wanted him to chat and click on their "website".

I'm almost done with my first week at the new job. I love everything about it. I'm in the process of getting my new office set up and hope to have it done within the next week or so. I'm  hoping to have a post done next week about the new gig. Stay tuned. 

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!  We don't have too much planned, since last weekend was spent in Iowa and we head back there next weekend. 

what are you doing this weekend? 

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Resolve to Know More: National Infertility Awareness Week-Guest Blogger

Growing up I never thought about getting married, let alone having children. I love the time I spend babysitting/nannying and with my niece and nephews, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to have my own.  I've met some pretty amazing ladies through this little thing called blogging. One of those ladies is Lo.  Lo is a pretty cool cat. She was the first person I really met that was struggling with infertility.

(me, Lo, Meg)

 After hearing Lo share countless stories about couples struggling with infertility, I couldn't help but lend this blog to her and other women who want nothing more than to be a mother. Don't forget to stop by Lo's blog to here more than 20 stories of women and their battle with infertility. Today Kelsey is taking over the blog to share her story with infertility. Take is away Kelsey!

Before I share my story, I want to thank JJ for opening up her blog to help spread awareness about infertility. I think this year's NIAW slogan "Resolve to Know More" is very fitting and I'm hoping my story can help do exactly that. 

Growing up, I always said I wanted to adopt a child, but I never thought it would be one of my two options to have a family. When my husband and I were faced with infertility, we thought long and hard about the pros and cons of adoption and IVF. We came to the decision to try adoption because there are so many children in this world who need a loving family. Unfortunately, we were not prepared for the cost of an adoption. A private adoption in your own country costs anywhere from $20,000+ while a private international adoption costs anywhere from $30,000+. I would never put a price on having a family but we don't have that kind of money growing on a tree in our yard. Our only other option would be a public adoption through Children's Aid. A public adoption simply means you are adopting through your local Children's Aid. All adoption fees are paid for my the government. 

So in April 2011, we began our process of a public adoption. Children's Aid came out to our house and met with us. We were given a HUGE package to complete and police checks were done. We rushed to get everything done so we could start the PRIDE training in the fall. In September we started our training and our home studies also begun. It's hard to let a total stranger into your home and have them critique it and have them tell you everything that needs to be changed (like mounting bookshelves to the wall and looking up knife blocks). It was also hard having to go through all of the interviews. My husband and I were interviewed together, we were interviewed separately. We were asked intimate details about our lives and our families' lives. Finally, in December of 2011, we had been approved for adoption!
My husband and I chose the route of "foster with a view to adopt" because Children's Aid would like all children to remain in one home, one forever home. This is what is in the best interest of the child. It's a huge risk and it's very hard. My husband and I knew exactly what we were getting into, but it's next to impossible to prepare yourself for any negative outcome. You can't help but be excited and optimistic.
We received our first call for a placement of a newborn in February 2012. Words can't describe how we felt. Unfortunately, after 11 weeks of caring for this child, the court ordered Children's Aid to return the child to the birth father. I was heartbroken. It seemed like such a cruel thing to put an infertile couple through. I wasn't sure if I would be able to go through that again, but my desperation to have a family won over. 
In June 2012, we received another call from Children's Aid that would change our lives forever. There was a baby who was due in July who would need a foster with a view to adopt home. My husband and I decided to move forward with this placement and hope for the best. The baby was born a week late and we welcomed him into our home when he was 2 days old. He was absolutely beautiful. We fell in love with him right away. Four months after he was born, Children's Aid was granted crownwardship ( meaning we would be able to adopt him). This little boy's birth parents made a tremendously hard decision to give us their son. They wanted him to stay with us and give him the life that they could not provide. I was speechless when the protection worker told us the news. The next 30 days were the most nail biting, heart racing, scary days of my life. The birth parents had 30 days to change their minds on the decision they had made. On Christmas Eve of 2012, it was official, we would officially be adopting this little boy. On June 21, 2013, we happily went to court and had the adoption finalized.
And that leads me to where we are today. I still had the desire to carry a child, after all, that's what a woman's body is made to do. I also wanted our son to have a sibling. So when our son was a year old, we jumped into IVF. I had no idea how quickly IVF can move. It makes sense to me now since everything is time sensitive, right now to when you have to inject your hormones. Our IVF cycle resulted in 3 embryos. We froze two and transferred one fresh, which unfortunately ended in a chemical pregnancy. There's nothing like telling an infertile who is being pumped with hormones that technically you are pregnant but it won't be a viable pregnancy. We pushed forward with a frozen embryo transfer and transferred our second embryo. Words cannot describe how I felt when I took a home pregnancy test (which you are advised not to do) and saw two pink lines for the first time in my life. It was an amazing feeling, but I was also extremely panicked. Infertility robs you of just being happy. You invest so much time and energy into becoming pregnant, that when it finally happens, you worry something will go wrong. I carried this worry with me right up until I could feel the baby moving on a daily basis. I am happy to say I am now 28 weeks pregnant!! 
Even though we have beaten infertility, there are so many families out there still struggling, I even still struggle. My heart will always go out to those families and the struggle they face on a daily basis. Infertility is a daily thing. You are constantly reminded when you see a child or a pregnant woman. Each time your menstrual cycle begins, you mourn the loss of a child that would have your eyes and your husband's nose. Infertiles still want to be happy for you when you announce your pregnancy, but the best thing you can do is call your friend or email her so she has a chance to process this information. Chances are, she is going to feel sorry for herself, but once she overcomes this emotion, she will be happy for you. Baby showers are also extremely difficult for an infertile. So if you have a friend who is dear to you that declines to attend your baby shower, please be understanding of the pain she is going through. It's not because she doesn't want to celebrate with you, it's because emotionally, she just can't sit through the shower without crying. Infertiles all deal with their emotions differently, but just having the understanding and acceptance of family and friends can make a huge difference in our lives. 
If you want to hear more from Kelsey you can find her blog here.

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Easter 2014

for Easter this year we broke tradition and went down to Iowa to see our niece and nephews. We had a blast over the past four days, but we.are.EXHASTED! I have no idea how you parents do it. Kudos to you for everything you do. 

Zaya's first Soccer game. He scored two goals, one for his team and one for the other team. 

donuts for breakfast!

We bought them kites and it was a great day to fly a kite. They didn't listen to us when we said they kites could get tangled. Sad faces all around for tangled kites. 

Frozen movie night

The Easter Bunny showed up

egg huntin'

Uncle Ryan and his pals

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my last day

(I started writing this yesterday and got a little emotional so I decided to come back to this today)

today I walked into my building for the last time, sat at my desk for the last time.  For now the excitement of being offered a new job has worn off. Now I'm consumed by fears, what if I don't like my new job, what if I don't get along with my new boss, what if I made a step backwards, all the what ifs you can imagine are running through my head. 

and today I suddenly have been overcome by sadness. The fact that I won't see my co-workers who have essentially become my family for the past year and a half. I've laughed so hard I could pee myself so many times with these people, I've cried over heartbreak and loss with these people. I've experienced so many different emotions with these people.  Some know quirks and other things about me that my friends and family don't know. 

I really didnt want to have a shingdig in my honor. It feels weird to me to be at the center of attention. (ry-guy says this is bs.-ha!) If you've met me IRL you might think I'm an extrovert. In all honesty I consider myself an introvert. I don't like to talk to strangers. My wonderful boss insisted that we do something. I chose Pizza Luce ( a great pizza place here in MPLS) and cupcakes from Sweet Retreat.  

my goal for the day was to no cry. I didn't want to cry, because hugs usually come after crying happens. and I'm not into hugs. It was really tough to not cry. I did tear up numerous times when co-workers were saying some pretty nice things about me. Things I don't think about, I just do them since its part of my job.  Several people did ask for hugs, I did give them hugs. The last two I received at the end of the day are when I almost lost it bad. I wasn't expecting to feel such emotion from the hugs. 

this post has no fun photos. I just wanted to make sure to document this for me as I look back on life. 

I start my new job as a Student Services Coordinator this Monday the 21st.  I'm heading to Iowa this weekend to see the cutest niece and nephews for Easter. 

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what I'm reading (April)

Last month I had great plans to read these books. Whelp, I finished one book. Private by James Patterson.

After dealing with the loss of Tiger, and interviewing for a new job that didn't leave much time for reading. I'm hoping to get back on track this month. (all images and summaries taken from Goodreads.)

Here's what's on my nightstand:

Maybe Someday 
by Colleen Hoover

At twenty-two years old, aspiring musician Sydney Blake has a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her good friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter cheating on her with Tori—and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by her mysterious neighbor, Ridge Lawson. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the daily guitar playing he does out on his balcony. She can feel the harmony and vibrations in his music. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either: He seems to have finally found his muse. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one…

Private London
by James Patterson

For Hannah Shapiro, a beautiful young American student, this particular nightmare began eight years ago in Los Angeles, when Jack Morgan, owner of Private - the world's most exclusive detective agency - saved her from a horrific death. She has fled her country, but can't flee her past. The terror has followed her to London, and now it is down to former Royal Military Police Sergeant Dan Carter, head of Private London, to save her all over again.

In central London, young women are being abducted off the street. When the bodies are found, some days later, they have been mutilated in a particularly mysterious way. Dan Carter's ex-wife, DI Kirsty Webb, is involved in the investigation and it looks likely that the two cases are gruesomely linked.

Dan Carter draws on the whole resources of Private International in a desperate race against the odds. But the clock is ticking... Private may be the largest and most technologically advanced detection agency in the world, but the only thing they don't have is the one thing they need - time.

The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden
by Jessica Sorensen

For Kayden, suffering in silence was the only way to survive. If he was lucky, he could keep his head down, do as he was told, and make it through the day. But one night it seemed like his luck-and his life-might finally end . . . until an angel named Callie appeared just in time to rescue him.

Callie has never believed in luck. Not since her twelfth birthday when everything was taken from her. After the worst was over, she locked up her feelings and vowed never to tell anyone what happened. Now, six years later, she continues to struggle with the painful secret that threatens to consume her.

When fate lands Kayden and Callie at the same college, Kayden is determined to get to know the beautiful girl who changed his destiny. Quiet and reserved, Callie still fears letting anyone else into her world. But Kayden is certain that Callie has come back into his life for a reason. And the more he tries to be a part of her life, the more he realizes that, this time, it's Callie who needs to be saved . .

The Innocent Sleep
by Karen Perry

Tangiers. Harry is preparing his wife's birthday dinner while she is still at work and their son, Dillon, is upstairs asleep in bed. Harry suddenly remembers that he's left Robin's gift at the café in town. It's only a five minute walk away and Dillon's so tricky to put down for the night, so Harry decides to run out on his own and fetch the present.

Disaster strikes. An earthquake hits, buildings crumble, people scream and run. Harry fights his way through the crowd to his house, only to find it razed to the ground. Dillon is presumed dead, though his body is never found.

Five years later, Harry and Robin have settled into a new kind of life after relocating to their native Dublin. Their grief will always be with them, but lately it feels as if they're ready for a new beginning. Harry's career as an artist is taking off and Robin has just realized that she's pregnant.

But when Harry gets a glimpse of Dillon on the crowded streets of Dublin, the past comes rushing back at both of them. Has Dillon been alive all these years? Or was what Harry saw just a figment of his guilt-ridden imagination? With razor-sharp writing, Karen Perry's The Innocent Sleep delivers a fast-paced, ingeniously plotted thriller brimming with deception, doubt, and betrayal.

What are you reading this month?

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a baby is brewing

Over the weekend Ry-guy and I attended the baby shower for his oldest cousin Crystal. Crystal and her husband Josh are expecting their first child, and first grandchild on her side of the family on May 17.  Our family is full of May birthdays. We're so excited for them to be adding to our large family.  I'm hoping for a boy. I think most of the family is hoping for a boy. Crystal has three sisters.  Her mom jokes she won't know what to do with a boy. 

Josh likes to brew his own beer, so it was only fitting to have "A Baby is Brewing" theme. 

They attempted to find out the gender of the baby, but the tech couldn't get a definite answer. 


Ryan showing off our words of wisdom. Can you tell her was thrilled to be there.

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