thursday thoughts

I realized something this afternoon.

I had just gotten home from school and sat down on the couch to try and decompress for a few.  I hopped on one of my favorite blogs only to see that she was doing a giveaway for a maternity dress saying, “you should enter if you’re pregnant or trying.”  Before I could even contemplate it for five seconds, I found myself closing the window, thinking “well that’s not for me.”

Quickly approaching is my greatest chance ever (thus far) of becoming pregnant (49% to be exact).  And yet I realized today that I don’t truly believe it can or will happen.  Cuddled up with a blanket and Olive, comments I’ve made recently and thoughts I’ve had started swimming through my mind.  Why am I not believing this can happen for me?

I’ve been attempting to get up as many mornings as possible and do a yoga workout (I use an awesome app called Pocket Yoga).  This morning – for the first time – I took my time in savasana to really envision the next 4-6 weeks.  I envisioned every bit of the process and the outcome.  Laying on my back, staring up at the dark ceiling, I pictured myself joyfully declaring “it worked!”  and allowed myself to soak up the inexplicable elation that would consume me if I had the privilege of making such an announcement.  In an effort to protect myself from disappointment, I usually don’t allow myself to go there.  But deep inside I feel it’s important to believe that it can happen.  That it will happen.  And I want to believe it.    How can I make let myself believe it?

For the past 17 months I’ve carefully teetered on the line between protecting myself from disappointment and allowing hope to course through me.  But this is it, you know?  Not that this is my absolute last chance ever, but we’re pulling out all the stops.  I guess I’m just so scared to let myself go.  And yet I’m scared not to.

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I’ve got a lot on my mind tonight.  Today when I got to work, there was an impromptu staff meeting called.  We all gathered in the library with our principal to learn that one of our students passed away last night.  It was a completely random and unexpected incident, and to say that everyone was in shock would be a major understatement.  It was a sophomore football player, and the fact that my class roster shows nothing but sophomores made it an even more difficult day.  Seeing the kids confused and hurting really hit me hard.  First, it made me want to hug every one of my students today and tell them how much I care about them, and second, it made me feel compelled to try and keep a good perspective about everything that’s going on.  I really am thankful because as painfully difficult as infertility is, it’s the worst thing I’ve had to deal with in my adult life, and I know that is a serious blessing.

Heavy stuff tonight.
On a lighter note –  I just finished an amazing vegan chocolate chip cookie from Oklahoma City’s very own…..Whole Foods, which opened it’s doors for the first time last night!

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bullet points

I’m not even going to begin welcoming myself back and making excuses for the months that I’ve been MIA.  It sounds like much more fun to just cut to the chase….bullet point style.  There have been many things going on over the last couple of months – some more welcome in my life than others.

  • We took a mini trip to Dallas and bought new living room furniture!  Buying a new couch was way overdue, and we finally just went for it.  We got a really great sectional that fits our living room perfectly and seats so many more people plus a dining set.  We are loving it them!

  • I started a new job.  Teaching.  If you’ve been reading CSM for more than a year, you know that the path I’ve walked with teaching has been rather…bumpy.  There have been many highs and lows and unexpected twists…so it should have come as no surprise when yet another crazy change landed in my lap.  Backing up a bit…last May I started teaching international students at a language school in our new city.  I absolutely loved it.  You guys know that international students are where my heart is, and I was seriously thriving.  And then I got a text from my best friend and former teaching co-worker.  And it changed everything.  One day I was just fine, and 24 hours later I was making the decision to quit my job and go back to my old school as a sophomore English II and PreAP English teacher.  It was a combination of being flattered, being offered a brand new classroom with great technology and a window, being lured back by my teacher friends and not wanting to say no to the money.  I was never completely sure those were great reasons to go back, but for some reason it just seemed right.  Now, almost halfway through the fall semester, I can honestly say it was the right decision.  I LOVE my kids.  I never knew I could enjoy students so incredibly much.  To be blunt, I think I just really had a bad batch for my first year of teaching.  But this time I’ve been blessed with some really awesome students.  It has still been stressful.  And I wanted to kill myself over 170 essays last month, but I truly feel like it’s worth it.

  • We’ve started the IVF process.  Obviously, we are still wandering through the injustices of infertility, seeing as how you have yet to see a CSM baby announcement.  Last month, after trying multiple other strategies, my doctor recommended that we start this process.  We’re a little over 2 weeks in, and honestly, it’s making me crazy.  I’m currently on birth control to regulate my body, and later this week I’ll start my first round of injections.  I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m just doing my best to stay positive.  I’ve been dealing with so many issues and feelings over the last couple of weeks – fear, hope, anxiety, excitement, impatience, thankfulness, anger, hormonal mood swings, constant headaches, numbness – just to name a few.  It’s not getting any easier, and I’m not sure it will until this is over and we know the outcome.  There’s so much more that could be – needs to be – said on this…but another time.
  • We took at trip to the state fair!  Enough said.

  • We went to Washington D.C.  Last year I tagged along with Jon on his work conference trip to D.C.  And I completely fell in love!  After accepting my new job, I wasn’t sure I was going to get to go again this year, but we made it happen.  It was just as great as I remembered.  Because we did so much sightseeing last year, we enjoyed a few less sights and a little more relaxing this year.  We added on a couple of extra days to the front of the trip as a sort of vacation…and then I flew solo the other days.  It was much needed time away.

it rained almost the entire time, and it was freezing!
I’ve missed blogging.  I truly have.  In the midst of the emotional highs and lows of the last couple of months, I oftentimes find myself retreating a little bit.  I find myself saying that I really just want to crawl into a whole and hide until all this is over, and at times I feel like I have no energy left for relationships or the things I love in life.  I know these feelings are only temporary – a result of medication and just a stressful phase of life, but it’s not a good place to be.  So, tonight I’m stepping out.  For the first time in a while, I’m not allowing myself to be defeated..  Tonight is all I can commit myself to right now.  But right now it’s all I need.  Tomorrow will be another day.

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twenty-eight years

Last weekend I celebrated 28 years of life.

The husband worked so hard all week to put together the best birthday party ever.  It was themed. And there were drinks.  And an incredible spread of food.

And of course….the best cupcakes in town.

There was homemade lemonade and non-alcoholic sangria.

And best of all?  All the people I love most in the world.

And when everyone was full of tacos and salsa, we played games.

Of course there were gifts (which were perfect), despite the “don’t bring gifts, just a good time” printed at the bottom of the invitation.

One of my favorite students, Blue, and favorite co-workers, Shelly, stopped by to visit.

Earlier in the day, Blue cooked an amazing spread of Arabic food for my family to enjoy.  He made everything from some potato pastries (that’s what I call them anyway:) to kabobs, to fruit salad, pudding and cake.  It really was incredible.  International students are awesome.

Falling three days after my actual birthday, it was such a perfect way to celebrate a whole new year of life.

Last year at this time, I made a list of 27 things that I wanted to accomplish in my 27th year.  Some of them I did succeed at, and some of them I didn’t.  This year of life showed me that sometimes our best thought out plans are not quite as great as we imagine them to be.

So, it turns out that I didn’t quite get 20 books read, didn’t get our car paid off, have yet to open up a CSM t-shirt shop and definitely wrote a lot less.

But, here are the unexpected things I did do: started trying to have a baby and instead began my battle with infertility, had surgery for said infertility, became a certified yoga instructor, tutored the sweetest students in the world, said goodbye to our sweet little house and our college town, lived with my mom and step-dad for four months, moved to Oklahoma City, supported the husband in accepting a new job, built a house, started a new job, became an aunt for the first time, quit the new job and then started another new job (more on this to come!).

Needless to say, aside from our year spent living in Thailand, this has definitely been our craziest year yet.  And even though we’ve faced some of the most trying challenges of our lives, we have grown so much.  Number one on my list was “fall more in love with my Savior.”  I have to be honest and say that for while the opposite was happening.  At times my anger and confusion over infertility gave way to questioning and stepping away from God like a small, defiant child.

And while I still have many questions, and I still don’t understand everything I want to understand about God, I’ve come to one conclusion.  And that is despite whatever happens in life – whether good or bad – He is there.

For the entire first 26 years of my life, I took what I’d been told about God and I counted it as absolute truth.  I never questioned it.  I never really thought much about it on my own.  And for the first time this year, I’ve questioned God.  I’ve doubted Him.  And while I wish I could say that my faith has been perfect, I have deepened my relationship with Him far beyond what I imagined before.  I’ve come to the realization that I would much rather question Him, than never be challenged enough or think deeply about Him at all.

I can not even begin to imagine what this next year will hold for me.  My prayer is that our family of two will become a family of three.  We will be able to continue pursuing our dream of launching our own business. I’ll be able to love my job.  And we’ll continue building and deepening relationships.  But I’m holding onto those things very loosely, with an open fist, keeping in mind that He is in control.  And remembering to not count too much on the plans that I lay out for myself.

Here’s to another year.

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a lovely breakfast

Thank you all so much for the sweet responses to my post from Monday.  I couldn’t have asked for more encouragement and understanding than what you all showed me.  It was a difficult post to write, but once I put it out there I felt immense relief.  It felt really good to be open about everything, and your words brightened my spirit.

On Monday afternoon I had another doctor’s appointment, and the news was not what I wanted to hear.  For certain reasons, my doctor feels it’s best to hold off from doing another treatment this month and instead give my body a month to rest.  It’s hard to feel like I’m just sitting back, making no progress.  But I trust my doctor one hundred percent, so I’m trying to just distract myself and not dwell on it.  One thing I’ve learned more times than I would have liked is that it is not a good idea to put timelines on this process.  I get ideas in my head about when I want things to happen by, and so far I’ve been let down every time.  I’m working on letting go of any plan I have and just focusing on other things in life instead.  Easier said than done, right?

In other news, I’ve been trying out some awesome vegan recipes as of late.  My new kitchen was calling my name from the second we moved in, and I have seriously been in heaven since I started cooking again!

One of my favorites from the last couple of weeks is one I snagged from Vegan with a Vengeance.  I’m telling you – if you don’t have this cookbook yet, you must pick up a copy.  Everything single recipe I have made from it has been awesome (see here, here and here)…and this was no different.

The husband and I woke up late last Saturday morning…okay, he woke up late, and I woke up even later.  And when I dragged myself into the kitchen, he had all the ingredients laid out for a lovely little breakfast of pumpkin waffles.  After some intense discussion, we decided to nix the waffles and try out this scone recipe from VwaV.

He made chocolate chip.

And I went with blueberry (his were better).

But they were both delicious.  I think I ate about 4 scones in the following 12 hours.

A lovely Saturday indeed:)

I hope you all have had a great week, and are looking forward to an even better weekend.

What is your favorite cookbook – vegan or non-vegan?

Mine is a tie between VwaV and Eat Drink and Be Vegan.  Couldn’t live without those two!

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here i am

This weekend, for the fourteenth time, my heart felt as if it was broken into a million tiny pieces.

For the fourteenth time, I found out that once again, I will not become a mom this month.

Over the past several months, things have been pretty quiet around here.  I found out the hard way that when something difficult is going on in your life that you’re not quite ready to tell the world about, putting your everyday life out there becomes pretty tough.


A word that used to seem distantly scary…something that only happened to other people…has somehow become a constant in my life.   I wake up to it at 5:30am every morning, thermometer in hand, and every night when I go to sleep it’s by my side.  It tortures me in the most random moments of my day, reminding me that there’s something not quite right with me and leaving me in it’s dust wondering – am I worthy?

Every month is another identical path:  I attempt to walk the fine line between protecting myself from disappointment and staying positive and hopeful until the truth arrives.  Then, like the opening of a dam, all the positivity I had built up gives way as sadness, hurt and disappointment wash over me.  Back to square one.  Let’s do it all over again.

For many months I was so angry.  Angry at myself.  At God.  At the world.  But God is changing me.  In this fallen world, there is so much sadness, hurt and disappointment, but He walks with us through it all.  He calls us to praise him.  Whether in the happiest times of our lives or the darkest days, He is there.  And He deserves our praise.  And I am finally beginning to see His work in my life through this situation.  It has taken a long time, and my faith has at times been hanging on by a thread.  But He never leaves me.

I’ve come to a place where I can feel the tears soaking the sheets and grieve over what could have been – what I prayed would have been – but in the same breath thank Him that He loves me.  And thank Him that He has saved me.  Among so many other things.

For a long time I didn’t want to tell anyone about this.  I’m not sure why I wanted to keep it private….truly, I don’t have a reason.  Maybe I was afraid of what people would think.  Maybe it just seemed too personal.  But over the last several weeks, I’ve found so many reasons why I want to talk about it here.

First, I need to.  I need an outlet for the anxiety, doubt, guilt, fear…all the emotions that I filter through each month.  And as always, like a knight on a white horse, writing comes to my rescue.  Somehow writing and then stashing it on my hard drive just doesn’t feel the same as putting it out there to be read by real people.  Which brings me to reason number two.

Community.  I’ve said a million times that this community has been such a blessing to me.  When I read a blog post from someone who is dealing with the same things I am, there is a connection that somehow helps ease the pain.  It reminds me that I’m not alone.  It helps me feel a little less crazy.  If I can connect with other people though this and offer to someone else even a small escape from the loneliness, then it’s worth it.

Third…I want people to know my heart.  I want to have a child so badly.  I feel it as a deep ache all the way into the depths of my heart.  Every. Single. Day.  But on the outside no one would ever know.   I want to be a transparent person.  Someone who is open, who people feel as if they really know.

So, here I am.

I’m scared in so many ways.  I’m scared of who all is going to read this and what they will think.  But I’ve come to the point where this infertility is too much a part of my life, and I find too much joy in sharing my life through this blog to let it keep me away.

ChiaSeedMe is not going to become an infertility blog.  While my journey to having a baby is a part of who I am, so are all the things I’ve always loved – healthy living, food, fitness, photography and all the little things in life.  I will always write about those things.  But I need to write about this too.  I understand if some of you are completely uninterested – please feel free to just skip the posts about this topic if you’d like.  But I’m ready to include all aspects of my life in this little blog now.  And I hope you’ll all stick around.

So here’s to being real.  And here’s to fighting every battle in life with an open heart and trust in Him.  Seeking out the good in everything that life brings and letting the hurts soak through us, feeling them, and keeping on going.

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