Friday, January 30, 2015

Mama Holi Had Her Baby!

Mama Holi just sent me a text and asked me to announce her happy news! She's been meaning to post on her blog about it, but snuggle time with her new cutie and the usual post-delivery soreness and exhaustion have kept her from interacting with the bloggy world. 

So, just to keep you all in the loop, she asked me to share the precious details here! And I'm honored. :)

Eileen Marie
Born January 27, 2015 at 12:01am
8 lb 3 oz, 22 inches

So, so sweet! And her intuition was right all along... it's a GIRL!

Check out her blog for a full birth story, coming soon!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Stephanie's Recipes: Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

This smoothie, y'all.


(We interrupt this regularly scheduled recipe to mention that the G stands for Goodness in these here parts of the internet.)

I whipped this bad boy up a few days ago for a quick lunch and OMG. Just one sip and I was already saying things like...

"This is the best smoothie I've ever had in my life."


"Can I have another one yet?"

It was love at first sip. 

No joke. As soon as that first delicious sip crossed my lips, I was hooked. It's a serious addiction. 

I've always loved a good PB&J, and now I'm doing my happy dance because I have a healthier version that tastes just as good. 

It also works fantastically as a guilt-free-ish dessert. Just sayin'.

Nom nom nom nom!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

1 medium banana, frozen
4 large fresh strawberries, sliced
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp honey
1 cup milk

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Serves 1.

Side note: Use any type of milk you like. I went for cow's milk, 2%. But I bet it'd still be a home run with almond milk or soy milk.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sheenazing Nomination WHAT?!

Ummmmmmm, you guys!!!!!






I came home from my Creighton Model practitioner training all energized and excited and then my excitement gets ONE UPPED by an email from the Bonnie of A Knotted Life saying I've been nominated for a Sheenazing Award!!


Pinch me! This isn't real!

Surely you meant to nominate a different blog, right?

I can't even.

Apparently, as your kindness would have it, I've been nominated in the Best Under-Appreciated Blog category.


Just wow.

You do understand that I'm just a normal girl blogging about her every day, normal, kinda nerdy, kinda boring, always Catholic life, right? Like, my blog is not nearly as cool, hip, awesome as any of the other blogs on those lists of nominees, right?

You get that, RIGHT?

And then when I found out that at least three of you lovelies had to nominate me to make it to this voting round.


Just wow.


I don't know what to say other than what's appropriate to say: THANK YOU!


Just knowing that this little infertility blog has made a difference in this little corner of the Catholic blogosphere makes my heart smile really big.

I started this blog for a few reasons. To keep in touch with family and friends. To keep a record of our infertility journey. To find support on said infertility journey. And, probably most importantly, to be support to others going through the same stinky thing. Because infertility is better met with a big support network. At least, that's what I think anyway.

So that's probably why this nomination means so much. Because, if I can go ahead and assume, it's because my silly little blog has made a difference for some of you. And that means the world to me.

By the way, you realize you've nominated an infertility blog, right?? I mean, we're usually the ones that get ignored or passed over or forgotten because we don't have a bunch of cute baby pics and hilarious baby-pooped-everywhere stories to tell. Just stories about meds making us crazy and surgeries and doctor visits and empty wombs.

I mean, I guess the past year has been quite eventful for me. Almost adopting, hosting that Little Happies link-up, Stitch Fixin', and then being super-surprise-blessed with a pregnancy. But infertility is still at the heart of it all. And you know that, right?

Wow, guys.

Just wow.

You all are too, too nice.

I'm blushing!

Ok, so here's the part where I tell you to head on over to Bonnie's blog and VOTE!

But seriously friends, I am NOT looking for votes. No siree, pinky promise. I kid you not when I say this nomination is way more than enough. And that's the only reason for this post. Not to tell you to vote for me (please don't!), but seriously just to say thank you.

I am humbled.

(Have I said that enough yet?)

I do, however, want to encourage you to go take a look at all the other awesome blogs doing awesome things and vote for them. Or if not vote, just take a looksie. That list of Sheenazing nominees (and honorable mentions!) is a whole kitten caboodle of legit Catholic blogs out there waiting to be discovered by YOU. So take this opportunity to find some new ones. I know I will!

And thanks again, friends. Thanks times a million!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Creighton Model Practitioner Training: We Did It!

I know you're all sitting on the edges of your seats, waiting to hear how Creighton Model practitioner training went.

Guys, we did it!

Stephanie + Sew = brandy new practitioner interns <3

8 days and 7 nights of learning, studying, sleeping, rinsewash&repeat.

They don't call that bad boy an immersion course for nothing, I tell ya.

Sew and I arrived the night before classes started and settled into the house we were borrowing, AKA a priest's house. He was out of town. On an unrelated note, he also apparently stores old dead fish in his fridge, so we had to use the backyard and (thank Heavens) the low, wintery temps as our refrigerator for the week, to avoid our food absorbing that stink and gagging over fishy smells every time we opened the refrigerator door. I do not joke, folks. It was smmmelllllly. But mostly hilarious. I digress.

After settling, we met our teachers and three other classmates for a pizza dinner. Turns out, not only was a blessed to be taking this course with Sew, I was also blessed to be taking it with a blog reader!! (Hi, Stephanie!) Crazy small Creighton world.

From there, it was just a whirlwind. The first two days of classes are Anatomy & Physiology ON STEROIDS. Vulva this, ovulation that, estrogen and progesterone and pituitary gland, OH MY! So much to learn and so little time. But we did it! On day three, we took a big, fat mid-training Anatomy & Physiology test and ROCKED it. It felt so good. Then we went on to learn all about charting mucus, working with clients, how to keep a good record of our teaching, and all the other nitty gritties that come with the life of a practitioner. Basically, it was more information overload. But we absorbed it and came out on the other end ready to do this thing. We ACED our final exams, felt huge weights lift from our shoulders, and headed on our merry way back to our hometowns, excited to take on our first clients.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't wee bit scared. I totally am. I'm afraid of taking on too much at once. I'm afraid of messing up somehow. I'm especially afraid of not being able to find enough clients in the east Tennessee area once we move.

But none of that is worth fretting over. Yet.

We're still in the prepping phase now. We teach our first Introductory Session next weekend (eek!) and then get the ball rolling from there. Lucky for us, we've connected with the NaPro doc here in Memphis, so he's basically handing us a gazillion clients ready to go. It's pretty amazing. And scary. But mostly amazing.

Practicing the Intro Session

I get to teach women about the beauty of our natural cycles. About God's perfect design for our bodies. And how, with just a few extra observations each day, we can know so much about our gynecological health.

I'm seriously going to be opening some eyes, people.

My new job rocks. :)

And if I wasn't sure enough that this was a Divine calling, check out what God planted right in my face the day I returned from training...

At Mass on Sunday, I hear this responsorial psalm: Here I am Lord, I come to do your will. 

Yup, sounds about right.

And then the Second Reading was all about... well here, just read it:

Brothers and sisters:
The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord,
and the Lord is for the body;
God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?
But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him.
Avoid immorality.
Every other sin a person commits is outside the body,
but the immoral person sins against his own body.
Do you not know that your body
is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you,
whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
For you have been purchased at a price.
Therefore glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6: 13C-15A, 17-20
(Emphasis in bold by me.)

I mean, if St. Paul wasn't speaking to the NFP teachers of his time, I don't know who he was talking to!!!

I kid, I kid. I'm sure lots of folks heard lots of different things in this glorious reading this past Sunday, but my heart was looking for confirmation in my new role as a FertilityCare Practitioner Intern. And it definitely got it. Thanks God!

Gosh, pretty sure "Therefore glorify God in your body" needs to be my new tagline or motto or something.

Oh, and if you have no idea what any of this Creighton/NaPro mumbo jumbo is about, call me up, email me, let me know. I'll tell ya all about the Creighton Model and then some. You're gonna love it.

And if you do know what I'm talking about, THANK YOU! Thank you for the support, the encouragement, the prayers. I would not have made it through, heck, I wouldn't have even gone if it weren't for all of your cheerleading and gentle nudges along the way. You guys rock.

Now here goes nothin'!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Quick Takes

Let's make these super-quick takes, because...


I'm heading to Creighton Model FertilityCare Practitioner Training tomorrow. Eek! And I still have a giant textbook to read before it all starts. Oops, procrastinated.

At least Sew will be there with me. Yay for a blogger meet up! Hope we like each other, as we'll be driving together and living together for the week. Weeeee!

Wish us luck! Or actually, pray us luck, please! *cheesy grin face*


Sew and I decide to prep some freezer meals for the training. Here's what I'm contributing: Vegetarian Moroccan Stew and Chicken Enchilada Soup. She made fun of me for making a vegetarian meal. What she doesn't know is how AMAZING that stew is. Though I'm a little worried about how farty all those beans (lentils AND chick peas) will make us. 


Speaking of blogger meet ups, look who I met last week...

What?! You don't recognize my celebrity blogger friend? That's Amanda from True, Good, and Beautiful! If you've never read her (and her husband's) blog before, head on over and check it out. She's (they're) amazing. And so was our meet up. She was in Nashville for FOCUS's SEEK Conference, and since I live a short 3 hours away, I just had to drive up and see her. And her super beautiful new daughter, Josephine. And now we're real life friends, not just blogger friends. Cool. :)


John and I got a fancy new camera for each other for Christmas. Nikkon D3200. And my 'rents got us a 50mm lens. Expect nicer pics in the future. As soon as I figure out how to use the thing. 


Check out this pic I snapped of my adorable husband reading a how-to-be-a-supportive-husband-during-pregnancy-and-childbirth book. He da best.

Those blue eyes, tho.


My new year's thang is keeping a bullet journal

Me likey so far.


I am a pickle connoisseur. And not because I'm pregnant. I've always loved pickles. Though pregnancy may be exaggerating the obsession. My current faves are: Kosher Dill Farmer's Garden pickles by Vlasic. I eat (at least) one every day. O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D. 

K, bye for now. Next time you hear from me I'll be a mucus master FertilityCare Practitioner officially in training. Eeeep! 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Second Trimester, I Love You!

I'm starting to see why folks refer to the second trimester as the easy one. 

Remember that time I listed all my good, bad, and weird symptoms of the first trimester? Yeah, well after that 14 week mark, AKA the official end of the first trimester, most of the symptoms just disappeared. It was like magic! 

While you're living through the symptoms, you're basically convinced that they're never going to let up. But then one day, you wake up, and things are a little easier, and then a few days later, they're even easier, and finally, regular food becomes appealing again and WHAM, just like that, symptoms are (mostly) gone. 

Sure, they haven't all gone away, but most of the harder-to-live-with ones have: the puking, nausea, cramps, desire to sleep every minute of every day, food aversions, acne, migraines. All gone, gone, and gone! 

Though, there is one symptom that's made an appearance the past few weeks. 

Ladies and gents, I give you: THE BUMP!

Look at that belly growwwww!

I've also been blessed to feel tons of baby kicks and punches starting around 17 weeks. I may have felt them before then, but I never could tell if it was a faint little kick or a gas bubble or a gurgly digestion, so I wasn't quick to assign anything to baby. At this point, though, I'm mega certain it's the babe. This little character is a ninja, I tell ya! I never felt the "flutters" or the "quickening" as it's called, where you feel butterflies in your belly or something like that. Nope. Baby went straight to very strong and adorable kicks to my gut. And a week after I started for sure feeling movements, John started feeling them from the outside too. Strong baby, I tell ya!

Other than that, I've been feeling a liiiittle bit of reflux lately, and as of this week, sleep is starting to get uncomfortable. (Good thing I bought one of these ridiculous pillows 2 months ago. About time to put that bad boy to good use.) I always wondered why sleep was so difficult for a pregnant woman, but now I've discovered that it's basically because flipping from one side to the other is a lot of work when there's a watermelon on your stomach. And you only have a choice between right side or left side. Tummy sleeping (my fave) is obviously off limits, and back sleeping is supposedly bad too, because uterine arteries get compressed or something sciencey like that. Anyway, you only have two positions to choose from and add to that at least one bathroom trip per night and suddenly, sleep gets weird.

I've also had some leg cramping, starting as of yesterday. And my belly button is in the process of jumping out of my body. Oh, and I have trouble sitting up without John around to pull me up. Ha! It's quite the sight.

And at our 22 week ultrasound today, we found out I'm apparently growing a basketball player. Baby is measuring more than a week ahead, weighing 1 lb 5 oz (+ 3 oz) and is in the 90th percentile for size.

Your "grow, baby, grow" prayers are definitely working! :D

See the face on the right? And the little hand up top?

Just not too big, kiddo... k? At least try not to be as big as your newborn dad was: 10 lb 2 oz. Eek!

Seriously, though, I wouldn't trade any of it for anything. This second trimester has so far been a breeze! And no matter what the circumstances, chances are, there's going to be a hyper-cute baby on the other end of all this.

Worth it.

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