nourishing & unapologetic
Baby-making and infertility have their own alphabet.
Raise your hand if you agree?!
All of these abbreviations become your every day vocabulary during this process. Whether you just started trying or it’s been a long road, these combinations of letters are familiar. And, for once I wish I didn’t have a mastery of words, that I didn’t know these definitions.
Or, that I was clueless and still thought you just got married, decided to have kids, did the deed, and then 9 months later brought home a newborn.
This process, this hurdle, this hiccup, this mountain we've been assigned -- what a doozy.
Nicholas and I are 1 in 8. ONE in EIGHT couples who have struggled with conceiving a babe, carrying to term, and becoming parents.
I’ve never been one for math, (and if you are, that’s a 12.5% chance) but that means more than likely you know someone else struggling with unfulfilled dreams of being mommas and daddies. We're also 1 in 4 to have endured a miscarriage.
This week, during National Infertility Awareness Week, we’re helping #FlipTheScript. We’re turning those acronyms into meaning. We’re telling our story.
We've been not preventing, trying, not trying, and trying for the bulk of three years.
We’ve had one BFP on an HPT — that's a big fat positive on an at home pregnancy test.
But we’ve also had a D&C because of a missed miscarriage.
We would have been 8 months along this very week.
We haven't done IUI or IVF and are uncertain if we will.
We made a miracle that was too good for Earth and we pray we’re lucky enough for a second chance.
Long ago now, we learned our ABCs. And as much as we didn’t ask for it, we’ve got this alphabet down too.
For now, these letters are the only ones I’m going to focus on, and encourage you to, too:
Y-O-U and M-E
That's right we've got a fan club and prayer squad like no other.
We've got genuine, soul-smiling hope.
And until it’s our turn, we will talk about trying.
We will still celebrate baby joy for others.
We will still love life. Every ounce of it. The good and the bummers.
Because we were made for this.
We can do hard things.
And so can you.
Until next time,
Hey there. It's been a while. Like, an unacceptably long while. I could tell you that I've been reflecting/letting my new age marinate but let's get real. Life is full.
Freakin' full of mostly good stuff.
Since I've last posted I've legitimately launched my real estate business. I have a listing (yes, check out the home I got the privilege of taking on as my first listing! You might know someone for whom it would be the perfect fit...and if so, please refer them my way.) Plus, I have two buyers I'm currently working with. Albeit small, it's a start. Let's hope this is the beginning of a rocking' real estate career.
Anyway, I've have been 30 for more than a month now. Yep, I turned 3-0 on February 1st. Funny how time works though, because I am writing this post around the time my momma tells me shoulda been my due date. (5 weeks early folks, that's how I roll. I was supposed to be a Pisces. Looks like my proclivity to overachieve must have been developed in the womb.)
A lot of people have asked how I was handling giving up my twenties. And you know what, I was happy to kick them to the curb. I'd had them for 10 years after all (buh dum bump, haha!) But in all seriousness, I was pretty eager and open to my impending birthday. My twenties were predictably filled with milestones and unpredictably marked by awesome moments you couldn't even have dreamt up. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I did spend a little too much time in Sephora searching for anti-aging cream...but I think that's probably a rite of passage. (And, totally hit me up if you have any to die for rituals or products!)
Word on the street is your 30s are when all the good stuff happens. Maybe it's because at this point you've sloughed off most of your self-consciousness, loved and lost and loved again, built your tribe, fostered your passions, and grown into who you're supposed to be all along.
So what to do if you're nearing the big 3-0, or another big year? Well, in my humble opinion, I think you absolutely MUST:
5. Take an inventory of the good things in your life, all that you have to be grateful for, and the cool opportunities you have ahead.
4. Plan a trip during your birthday month (or within the year). It could be to anywhere-- near, far, or exotic, just get away for a while.
3. Throw yourself a kickin' party and invite as many of your crew as possible. Be sure to serve your favorites sips and sweets!
2. Wear an outfit that makes you feel comfortable, spectacular, gorgeous (insert your own adjective here).
1. Own it :: Rock it :: Be it
And to help soften the blow for my friends and readers who've not hit thirty yet (or those who are struggling with whatever age comes next), I've compiled some of the redeeming qualities your birthday brings.
PS For those of you in the Forever 29 camp, there are plenty of us who will enjoy 30 for you. But, consider joining us soon! You've earned it!
In case you're wondering how I ushered in my big birthday, I coordinated a fiesta at our home with some of our nearest and dearest (minus those who couldn't make it). We had a "It's NACHO birthday" bar and plenty of dessert and drinks. Here's the high level recap in photos. Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate with us! And, I so appreciate all the birthday love I received throughout the month. Y'all are the best!
Until next time!
It's winter in Kansas. And, I love me some snow, but at resolution time I always am thinking of warmer weather.
I consider myself pretty #blessed in life. However, the blessings truck must have passed me by when lean body types were being doled out. (And, yes, I know if I eat clean, I'll get lean... but I'm only willing to go so far...because tacos. oh, and brownies. and potatoes. the struggle is real, people!)
So, in 2016, I'm going to give it my best. (Mind you we're only 11 days in...) You see, if there's one part I covet on other ladies, it's toned arms. Think arms a la Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, Michelle Obama, my sisters-in-law ...
To be able to wear a sleeveless shirt, a tank, a strapless and totally rock it...gah. I mean, can I get an amen? That surely is fashion heaven. No, seriously, have you ever had to not buy a shirt because the arms felt tight...if so, we're basically soul sisters.
Then it dawned on me, if I want to have better arms, I probably need to work for them.
Naturally, I did what every twenty-something girl would do. I consulted Pinterest on this matter. I have a pretty robust workout board of things I should do, wish I did, and sometimes do, but I still sought out some new pins. And, I think I hit the jackpot! This pin takes you to a mini-motherload of quick beginner's arm workouts. You can find them HERE. My plan is to start light and build up. I am pretty sure the latest health and fitness gurus say you have to lift some heft consistently to see real gains and good benefits, but we all have to start somewhere. And repetition, it's good for the spirit. Er, that's a saying somewhere, right?
I'm working my way through the videos the link provides and trying to add them on the regular, like in a real rotation! YES! I may or may not have been walking around with arms that are a bit like jello these past few days (yep, the tough reality hit me, I guess my upper body is really that much out of shape...), but I think that means there's hope for a bit of definition yet! I think I can, I think I can...
Keep me accountable, readers. Ask me about my curls, extensions, and presses. And better yet, join me for 2016: the year we got arms. (Or if you already have killer arms, pick another focus area and give it some love.) Let's make it happen!
Until next time,
HAPPY NEW YEAR! wooooooooooooo.
2016, holla! Let's revel in its blankness and its possibility. This the time many of us: jot down goals for the next 365; silently commit to eating less or exercising more or whatev other way we can be better to ourselves; or resolve to somehow rock the new year with a new hobby, skill, or job. Whether or not you make resolutions is absolutely a personal choice. If 2015 you was stellar, hey, keep it up! If you wanna make 2016 yours, take action!
Either way, here are some suggestions for totally killing it this year:
1. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. (you can stop reading now if you want, this is enough for a great year.)
2. Find your tribe. You know, those guys and gals (fam and friends or strangers) who support you best. Do your part to cultivate those relationships. #squad
3. Our outdoors are great, if you haven't heard, so get some sunshine. (but, probably wear your sunscreen.)
4. Put your time and energy into things that build you up and bring you joy. No one has time for fun sponges, obligations for obligation's sake, and time suckers.
5. Serve somebody or something without expectation. I promise your soul will smile.
6. If something isn't working, make the change. Take the leap. You owe yourself and those you love the best you. Find and keep that perspective. (on a personal note, thanks for that lesson, 2015!)
There you have it. You can now take 2016 by storm.
Wait, were you expecting 16 quick tips? Well, obviously that would have made sense. But don't feel short changed. Honestly, 16 statements might have belabored this post. So, you get six. Let's be frank, these are reminders of what your brilliant self already knows. 2016 is yours for the taking and making. We are already on our way to being our best selves. It's Day 1 of 365... let's do this.
I'm eager to see what incredible, challenging, and rewarding things our New Year brings. Thanks for the privilege of sharing this space with each and every one of you. Peace 2015! Bring it 2016!
Until next time,
Oh, and just because I love #flipagam, here's the 2015 #mrandmrsborn highlights:
One more thing. #bonus
There is no "perfect." Life is as grand as it is messy. More than anything, it is personal. Let's give each other that. I'll be me. You do you. Live the life that is yours now.
This is a story. A story of love and carbs, and change.
I do carbs well (like A+ skill). I love love and do it pretty well. And change, that one, whew, not so much... but life it is a funny thing.
We moved to Wichita a little over two years ago for Nick's job. Starting our life here meant I left a job that I really liked. Looking back, I actually loved it. But, we made this move together. I agreed to our move without hesitation and excitement because I love Nick and I love us. And, because he got the offer many others in his field covet.
So, I got a new job in Wichita. We actually started our new jobs the same day. My experience at my new job in Wichita allowed me some great experiences planning big events, helping craft concentrated marketing efforts, connecting with some impressive people, and develop some good relationships. I had a good run in that position. But I started this blog because I wanted to share stories and honest reflections (and great food!). Accordingly, I have to be transparent. In this position, I struggled with my authenticity, the value I provided, my work-life balance, and, frankly, my happiness. Thus, I reached a tipping point and had to make a change. YES, I inserted change, BIG CHANGE, into my own life.
Switching jobs is scary. Leaving one that is stable, poised for possible growth, and reasonably compensated for one that is for lesser pay well that's enough to send a lifelong risk-manager into a tailspin. This is where the love comes in. Throughout my entire job search and interview process, Nick was the paramount cheerleader. He was my champion. He provided me the permission I thought I needed to walk away from something fine for something that could bring me new challenge and more peace. He did give me some tough love and a quasi-mandate to make a decision and not look back, either way no matter what I chose.
It came down to taking the risk. Or facing regret. I would have only stayed in my former position out of fear of the unknown. So I had some lengthy consultation with those I love the most and did some soul-searching. Then I went to sleep. Yes, I slept on it. Then I woke up and charged ahead on decision day resolved to take the leap. I found this quote that describes the feeling I had, "And suddenly you just know it's time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings."
In this journey, perhaps amplified by ever nearing end of my twenties, I've come to realize giving my energy and time to something that fulfills you is critical. Adding value to your life and the lives of others is awesome and necessary. Moreover, happiness is important. Happiness with self, work, and life. If something is standing in the way of happiness you have to move it or move you. New beginnings only happen if we make them happen.
I am happy to report that I think I'm going to love my new job. I get the opportunity to tell the stories of our community's school district. I get to showcase what's good about public education and the success of students and teachers. I also get to help foster opportunities for support. Other bonuses about this new job: Practically no more extra hours. Nick and I have about the same schedule. And it frees me up to take another leap, errrr, well perhaps tip toe into the world of real estate (more on this when there's more to report.) It's true that the newness hasn't worn off, but it's safe to say I made the right choice.
All this change makes me hungry. Carbs, shall we? Let's talk donuts. Better yet, pumpkin donuts.
with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing
Original Donut Recipe from King Arthur Flour
Makes 18 donuts
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients with hand or stand mixer until well blended.
3. Stir in flour until smooth.
4. Spoon batter into non-stick sprayed standard donut pan. Fill wells about 3/4 full.
5. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Let cool in pan for 2-3 minutes then move donuts out onto cooling rack.
While cooling, make icing, if desired.
1. Beat 5 tablespoons cream cheese, 3/4 cup powered sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar with hand mixer. Adjust powdered sugar and use about 2-4 tablespoons of milk to create desired consistency. We like it a little more cream cheesy, a little less sweet, and a teeny bit thick but that's the beauty of it all, customize to your liking.
Note: I made the donuts the day before icing them. They were a bit sticky the next day. So I popped the donuts back into the oven at 350 for about 2-3 minutes and then dipped these babies into icing.
This treat. These are incredibly easy. And the pumpkin spice is like whoa. Enjoy them this fall (more than once if you can handle it.)
Before I sign off, I have to give a shout out to by husband and those who took this leap with me. THANK YOU for helping me pursue my own path and loving me through my crazy antics, my over analyzation, and my dreams.
If you're headed towards a crossroads or faced with any difficult decisions, trust your tribe, trust yourself, and take the risk. Read the quotes below as they were pulled from my Instagram feed and GO FOR IT!
Until next time.