My Favorite Word, “Auntie”

We were fortunate enough to spend the past weekend with some of my family on a vacation in Iowa. It was a long drive but we made it there and back in one piece. We used my sisters time share to get a couple of apartment style rooms on a golf course in Panora, IA. (For the record she does not advise that you purchase time shares but since the deed is done we make the most of it!) The weather was perfect all weekend which always helps with kids so they aren’t couped up all the time. We had so much square footage that is was so nice to not be on top of each other for once. We had three kitchens and five bathrooms between the two apartments so that kind of space was darn near priceless. Typically the boys will go out golfing but as we were on the golf course the ladies got a chance to go out once as well. It was a blast.

And of course I got spend time with five of my favorite people. Each of them are such fun, sassy, outgoing, and loving people. I’ll never get tired of them calling out to me or hugging my neck tight. Sweet Alice still has a limited vocabulary but spits out, “Auntie!” just fine. 🙂 There are pros and cons to being a younger sibling. You constantly feel behind at life and are always trying to catch up to where your older siblings are at. But on the other hand being 4-8 years younger means I’m not quite at the same point in my life as they are. I don’t yet have children of my own. I have gotten to be just Auntie for a while now. I can focus and enjoy my nieces and nephew in the way only a childless Auntie can. Our connection is deeper because of that. Since I don’t have babies if my own I get to read bedtime stories and tuck them in or rock them to sleep. I get to have early morning snuggles and cuddles with them. I can be at some of their first recitals and concerts and games because I don’t yet have the time consumption of doing it with my own kids. I can spend all day with them and give them my full undivided attention. This is something I will never regret despite the infertility.

Of course family time can be stressful too. Differences of opinions, different ways of doing things, different ideas on how to spend your vacation time…you get the idea. So with stress, time away from work, and long drives, what makes family time worth it? Simple. The memories made, the pictures taken, and the laughter in between it all. And the older my siblings and I get the harder it will start to be to get all together.


Using The Wait Wisely

I had such a wonderful comment on a blog post the other day and it has really stuck with me. The waiting time of when you first wanted to get pregnant to the moment you actually do get pregnant is a wait time. You are waiting for it to happen. For some it is extremely short and for others it seems endlessly long. But no matter how much time passes between those moments it is a waiting game. And the question is how will you use that waiting period? How will you prepare and fill your time until the thing you want to happen, happens. And this can be true for many things in life. The wait time from the moment you decide you are ready to be in a relationship to the moment you are in one. The wait time between deciding you are ready to get married and the moment you get engaged. The moment when you decide what career you want and the time it takes to get to your dream position. The moment your relationship ends until the moment a new one begins. The moment you save that first dollar for a car or house until the moment you have enough money for the purchase. The moment you decide to adopt to the moment you first hold your child. All of these life events and more have a waiting period. How will you use that waiting time? Will you embrace it? Will you do something positive with it? Will you wait wisely?

I remember when M and I broke up for a period of about eight months. I remember being so focused on fixing things between us and getting back together that I didn’t use my wait time wisely. For many of us there are so few moments in life when you are on your own doing what you want whenever you want to do it. I wish that I had focused more on myself and done things that I wanted to do solely because I wanted to do it. Spent money on myself however I wanted without being held accountable to a partner, up and left on a trip with no responsibilities to tend to, and heck something as simple as eating at whichever restaurant I wanted to. That lesson of waiting wisely now has always stayed with me. Because one day the wait will be over and then you are left sometimes wishing you had used that time more wisely. 

We have a few things we’ve focused on as we wait. Health and wellness have been a big focus for us. We want our children to grow into healthy happy people and the biggest way we think to do that is through example. We also want to travel and spend as much time with family and friends as possible because one day it won’t be as easy to just jump in the car and go. The kids won’t be able to stay in their car seat very long without screaming and crying and soccer schedules and bible camp will all get in the way. We also try to spend quality time together just the two of us playing cards and board games, walking to the brewery, driving to state parks in the evening, and taking weekend naps with pets. One day we will be too tired and too busy to do it often. 

It may seem like that moment you’re waiting for will never come but if you want it bad enough it will. I’m so looking forward to that moment in the future where M and I look at each other and say, “remember when we didn’t have kids?…yeah what was that like?” And until we get there I’m going to enjoy the here and now. 

So how will you use your wait time?

Friday Blues

Thankfully my period came today so I can once and for all confirm that I’m not pregnant. I had a stern talking to him (I think it’s funny to call my period a him) and told him I wouldn’t put up with that crap anymore and that I was very worried why he was 12 days later than I had expected and that basically next time it was come on time or don’t come at all! He seemed to be red with shame.

You would think that now I’d be able to move forward and get on like business as usual but that was not the case today. Today I learned of my next door neighbor’s son’s passing away. He was in his mid forties and died suddenly from some virus that sent him into sepsis which he was unable to recover from. The scene next door has been hard to ignore since we’ve had such nice weather we’ve been keeping the house open for a nice cool breeze. Their house has been full with his family gathering to mourn his sudden loss. To witness such heartache right next door is like a reality show gone wrong. Their grief is powerful and contagious in the sense that you never know what happens in life and that every moment is truly precious. It reminds me of when my sister and her family were in a head on collision with a semi on their way back home from M and I’s wedding. They all managed to escape with little to no injury but at times like these I often think back to how it could have ended so much more tragically and how thankful I am. Try not to forget to be thankful and grateful for every moment with loved ones.

With Mr. Period curled up inside me making himself nice and comfy in my uterus and with the sadness next door on top of my frustration of how my day went (computer issues…don’t get me started!) I didn’t want to go to the grocery store to get the supplies I needed for the supper I had planned. Instead I wanted my favorite meal from the vegan restaurant with a side of heaping french fries. The only reason I was able to talk myself out of that idea was to tell myself, “why would you spend money on food when you have a freezer full of heat and eat meals, sorry can’t validate your wants today.” I’m mad at myself about it haha but actually very thankful that I will stay on track with another day of oil-free under my belt! Four days in and feeling good about that.

M is on his way home and we will have our favorite mac and cheeze for supper before heading out to “the pits” which is some kind of water hole area that M goes diving in. We are going to take the new truck and enjoy the gorgeous weather and outside time together. I’m sure that is just the pick-me-up that I need.

Have a safe and good weekend everyone.

A Touch of Sadness

Women who are trying to conceive have you ever experienced IPS? It’s the freakin worst. IPS is imaginary pregnancy symptoms. My brain knows full well that I currently don’t ovulate as far as I know and that the chance of me being pregnant is extremely slim. But it doesn’t stop your body from tricking you into thinking maybe just maybe this time you might be. This time it was less “symptoms” I experienced and more signs. I’ve been having a lot of pregnancy dreams. Dreams about me being pregnant and friends being pregnant so I was waking up already thinking about pregnancy for a few days. When I took a walk and saw a church sign saying “summer blessings” a baby was the first thing that popped up. When driving on the road I had never seen so many pregnancy billboards. Donating blood one of the questions asks if you are pregnant. The signs start to build and I think well what does this mean maybe I am!? And once that seed of a chance takes root it grows fast. The other thing that makes me think maybe just maybe I am is because I was hoping to have a period around now and it hasn’t come. If you know about PCOS you know that a common symptom is irregular periods. However since going plant based the length between my periods has been getting progressively shorter. But of course now it’s taking longer than I had hoped which just fueled my wishful thinking. It all came to a head the other day when I got a call from the blood bank. My heart beat ratcheted up because why would they be calling? Was there something in my blood they had tested that wouldn’t allow them to keep it? Did they find out I was pregnant or something and were calling to tell me?? But alas no they were just calling to thank me. All that build up of signs and symptoms burst right then and I came back to reality. It made me very sad for a moment. The frustrating thing about it all is that while we want a baby at any point I’m actually more focused on weight loss and my own healthy body before pursuing conception/adoption relentlessly. I just got myself all worked up even though I knew damn well what is what. 

But this surge of hope has renewed my determination to eat whole foods plant based no oil. I’m also tracking my food right now to see where I’ve been making mistakes like too much avocado and nuts and beans all in the same day. Not working right now has really helped me up my WFPB game. I’ve batched cooked so many sauces, wheatballs, and taco “meat” that I feel ready for busy days when they happen. 

I had this beautiful vegan salad at Panera on a lunch date with my mom and sister and niece.
We still haven’t gotten sick of this oil free/nut free cheeze sauce. We try it with different kinds of pasta and veggies and each time it’s a crowd pleaser.
I used my copper crisping tray for the first time with some diced potatoes. They definitely had more crunch than before and I’ve also been using my convection function more too for extra crispness.
A brown rice bowl with veggies and a spicy peanut sauce.
I love how easy mashed potatoes are with my instant pot! I’ve started to find a lot of recipes that make cooking a breeze.
My beautiful veggie platter lunch.
I needed a recipe to use up some of the leftovers in the fridge. I found this WFPB soup recipe that was perfect for all my leftovers! Full of veggies beans and brown rice this was hearty and delicious! It was also made in the made in the instant pot 🙂