Thursday, April 28, 2016

35

Today is the BIG day..... Today I turn 35 and I am not sure if I thought I would wake up and feel THIRTY FIVE but I feel no different. I keep waiting to see at what year I will "feel" like a full-on-grown-up but it hasn't happened yet.  Maybe next year, right?
Today I thought I would share with you 35 Hopes, Dreams, Wishes, Words of Wisdom and/or just things that make me happy. This list is as much for me as it is for you, certainly this past month I need to take out the time to remind myself about the things that make me happy.
(In NO particular order other than when it popped into my head...)

35.  When I was 18 I thought that the life "plan" was Married at 23, Kid # 1 at 25, Kid # 2 at 27 and a partridge in a pear tree at 30. But that is just the life plan I thought I was "suppose" to have........

34. Married at 26 was the perfect year for me, I had enough time to live alone.... no room mates just me. I had time to gain independence and grow as a person before I added another person into the mix.

33. My Wisdom.... Live ALONE at least once and for at least a year.

32. Another thing I am guilty of is the thought process of "When I....... I will be....." EXAMPLE: When I get married life will be perfect, When I buy a house life will be perfect, When I have enough money life will be perfect...... You see the common thread? I am always reaching for that one thing and sometimes I forget to enjoy or just live in the meantime. Its a bad habit of mine. I need to change it.

31. Take a moment out of each day to see what you have done even if it was only doing laundry. Hey, I did something.....

30. Life doesn't change too much just because you are in your 30s

29. And life isn't over just because it's your last year in your 20s.

28. READ, I am so glad I was born with a love of reading! Reading each night at bedtime makes me happy!

27. Indulge, I love stupid celebrity gossip! Who doesn't love getting a small peak into the lives of someone else?

26. I only have 8 more hours of Real Estate School left and then all the exam prep! It might have taken me MONTHS longer than I thought to do this but I haven't given up!

25. I WILL be a parent one day.

24. Matt made me my favorite breakfast this morning before he left for work... PANCAKES! It made me and the dogs happy who also have a sweet tooth like their mom!

23. I LOVE my DVR and I have no shame! Watching my shows makes me happy. Literally the moment I get snuggly on the couch with my dogs.... I am in BLISS

22. I HOPE that I will touch someones life, or make a real difference in someones life one day.

21. I LOVE to travel and see new places and I have all the dreams of traveling overseas but I can barely stand to be away from my animals. Its a fine line.

20. Some people eat when they are unhappy... I shop. In that moment of a new purchase I am so happy. It's a seriously bad habit.

19. I have learned in the past year under-going infertility treatment that I am MUCH stronger than I thought. And I need to remind myself of this more often. And I need to be proud of that, it's something.

18. I wish I hadn't given up/retired from Dance at 27 when I got married. I wish I had stayed in shape a bit longer and "milked" it a little bit more. Hey, I could have been the 35 year old Broncos Cheerleader? HA!

17. I LOVE making people happy, I love it when someone smiles because of something I have done. At the same time this is kind of selfish because it makes me so happy.?!@#$#

16. My goal this year is so eat healthier but also step out of my box, I want to really challenge myself from time to time with things I cook at home. AND I need to share more recipes on here! I promise I will do better!

15. You guys it is snowing right now at my house and this weekend we are suppose to get another foot of snow! HA

14. I think we all need to be reminded that saying NO is not a bad thing. Saying YES and then hating something is much worse.

13. A goal Matt and I have this Summer is to use our raised planter beds to plant our first garden! Now we just need the snow to stop so we can plant something.

12. Movies are my escape, I love relaxing and just being entertained for 2 hours. I also love looking forward to a new movie I am excited about. Like how Matt and I have had our tickets for next weekends Captain America for a few weeks now! It makes me happy

11. Sometimes I worry how I have not had a child for 35 years or my life and how Matt and I do what we want will that transition be worse for us? Will I suck at being a parent since I haven't been one?

10. My animals are my world, as are my fur-siblings at my parents house. Sometimes I look at them and cannot get over how much I love them and I can literally feel the love in my heart

9. I miss Oscar every single day. I think about things I miss, I try and remember what it felt like to hold him, what he smelled like and how I would do anything to bring him back. My love for him was so big I am not sure the hole in my heart will ever heal.

8. I wish that people who pass judgement and call themselves Christians would realize that their sin of judgement is the exact same in the eyes of God as the sin they are judging. (This applies to no one and everyone at the same time in my eyes)

7. I hope that one day Matt and I will be able to take our kid(s) on fun family vacations and make memories that will last a lifetime.

6. I wish more than anything in the world I would NEVER have another migraine again. I haven't talked about them much because our infertility has been my focus on here but I battle them each week just like I always have. What I wouldn't give for a cure.

5. I am going to make Matt and I a Summer Bucket List, things we can do together and enjoy while we are on a break from all fertility treatments. May, June and July. And I want to spend afternoons being lazy at the pool!

4. My hope is that people will feel a kinship with me thru this blog, whether you struggle with infertility, maybe you love movies and books like I do, maybe you are into fashion as much as I am or maybe you love seeing my posts about food. But the point is I am real, I am not some unrealistic person you can never be like most blogs. I am me, a person who isn't perfect and isn't afraid to show all sides of life.

3. I love living in Colorado, Oklahoma will always be home but when I think about how I am happy here in Colorado it makes me feel guilty.

2. My sister just posted this on my FB wall and she gets me......

Happy Birthday to my kitty cat sis Nicole Savage ! 
Here is an impromptu rap for you:
She's sassy and she's sweet,
She's pretty cool and neat,
She rocks polka dots, she's pretty hot
She loves animals quite a lot
Gonna find her in the target parking lot
Let's celebrate her with all you GOT!
Woo! Love you sis.
Like
Comment


1. Today I am going to paint my nails, watch some shows and then go to dinner with Matt! Nice way to ring in 35!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What's Next?


I am BAAACCCKK from Okc and I will be doing a post about all of that soon but this week is IMPORTANT and I don't want to miss it....... It is INFERTILITY AWARENESS WEEK! NIAW
I know your all think "oh dear is she gonna preach to us" and well, maybe. ha! But first I told you all that after I got back from Okc I would let you all know what our Fertility Specialist said and whats next for us........

Last Thursday during the time slot that was going to be our embryo transfer we met with our doctor to discuss what went wrong with this IVF round and what is next for us. And honestly it is hard to type, it is really so complex but I will do my best to make this short, sweet and simple. When we walked into his office he gave us the biggest and most genuine hugs AND that is why
A. We are in the best hands
B. This team becomes family
C. His office is the #15 Infertility Clinic in the United States

Our doctor expressed to us that he was honestly as shocked and upset by our egg retrieval as we were, only 1 egg?? No one saw that coming. He reviewed everything, from the moment we walked into his office almost ONE year ago. During this cycle ALL my blood work, estrogen levels, follicles were exactly where mine should have been and everything pointed to a successful retrieval. But you see that is why this is a lot of "Seeing what works with your body" and "Trial and Error" you literally cannot watch the eggs grow. So he said last week he went back and spent a morning with our Embryologist and they went thru the fluids took from my follicles (gross I know) and what they found was good news. There was presence of these cells I will refer to as the "Hype" cells. Ha, no really.... they are cells inside the follicles that are the cheerleader cells for the eggs. And if they were absent then maybe my body wasn't growing eggs BUT they were there. SO.... my body is showing egg growth. NOW..... maybe this means they just wouldn't come out or maybe this means that we didn't have my medicines at the correct levels to promote growth. And what is crazy about all this is that a year ago other than myself having some lower estrogen levels this infertility diagnosis for us was a sperm problem. But lucky us now it seems that we are both dealing with a diagnosis. And he told us that due to this there is NO chance to get pregnant any other way.
SO what does this all mean?
Our doctor believes that by doubling our injections and medicine protocol and switching out a few medicines for others (among a list of other stuff) that we could very well have a successful IVF.
When?
My body needs 2-3 months to heal from what we just put it thru. So we haven't spoken with the IVF coordinator just yet but it would look like our IVF cycle #2 would be August. And both Matt and I are on board with trying again.
SOOOO??
You know it's weird, If you don't have anxiety this is hard to wrap your head around.... but I don't mean to hide my feelings about all of this, I haven't meant to "not process" what happened last week yet. But it's like I just can't. And sadly my body doesn't know what to do with all of it and so my anxiety since last week has been out of control. And in fact I have been breaking out in hives, even at the Thunder game on Monday while having fun... HIVES! I mean I want to say "NICOLE< Let's cry this out" but I don't work that way. So I am having a tough time in that regard, I am having a tough time moving forward. And ya, I am scared about doing this all again.... You know what they say, Ignorance is BLISS and this first cycle was that for me. But this time knowing everything before hand scares me because it's a lot. But I am willing to put myself thru this all again in the HOPE of a different outcome.
I can't take anything for my anxiety in preparation for this next cycle so I am trying to pray, deep breathes, acupuncture and blogging... you all know that getting it out is helpful for me.
Matt was upset last week but he is hopeful for this second try and is putting his positivity towards that already.
HOW?
This Summer Matt and I are going to focus on being healthy, taking our prescribed supplements, relaxation, NO stress is huge for my body, I will continue acupuncture and we are going to try to enjoy the Summer together. I am going to try to not focus on AUGUST AUGUST AUGUST because that is an anxiety minefield but that is easier said then done.

National Infertility Awareness Week......
Now you didn't think I would end this post without a lesson did you? hehe! For Infertility Awareness Week Refinery29.com did this post on What NOT to say and it is SOOOOOOO SPOT on. I told Matt before I left for Oklahoma that if ONE person told me to "Relax and let it happen naturally" I would loose my crap. #sorrynotsorry
But honestly even if you don't know check out this list and educate yourself on a LONG list of things that are HURTFUL and are NOT funny to those of us dealing with infertility. My husband tells me that people around him say these things to him at least ONCE a day, so this affects men too. What is he suppose to say... "You know we had no idea, you mean to tell me actually having sex while relaxed might get us pregnant?" When inside we want to tell you to STFU.
Remember 1 in 8 people are dealing with this, it could be your friend, family member co-worker and most are not vocal like I am. This isn't just a "me" issue, it's a 1 in 8 issue.
Click HERE to read this list!

Lastly, this quote kinda sums me up at the moment and I know a lot of friends can relate. Thank you so much for listening and supporting.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Bird Box

Hi guys, I decided I didn't want to step away from my blog while I am in Okc on a "downer" of a note. (AKA Last post) A friend of mine had to remind me of something yesterday that was helpful.... Remember how happy I was when Marissa got engaged? Remember how much you love cheering on your Thunder? And her point was that due to my state of mind this weekend I need to make a real conscious effort to enjoy the trip home IN THE MOMENT. Live in Marissa's happiness at her Bridal Shower and feel the love of the crowd at the Thunder game. It was honestly wonderful advice, and it won't be easy but I am gonna try.  Anyways back to todays post..... I wanted to leave you all on a post of something I love... BOOKS! And this is a good one....

Something is out there . . .

Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now, that the boy and girl are four, it is time to go. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat—blindfolded—with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster?

Engulfed in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening, Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey—a trip that takes her into an unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motely group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside—and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted?
I discovered this book from a Buzzed list of most suspenseful books and that sure does nail this one on the head! This is a completely new take on an apocalyptic world and this is one that includes some sort of creatures. I read this book in 3 nights because well sure, it was an easy fast read but I couldn't put it down!!! It was just the right amount of scary to make me question a sound in my room while reading but not to give me nightmares! You guys need to read this book...... it is such a unique book, I cannot compare it to anything out there! DO IT!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Strong

I know so many of you have been praying for our "Little Egg That Could" and there is no beating around the bush, our Little Egg That Could..... Couldn't. We got the call yesterday that our fertilized egg didn't divide and was in fact no longer viable. Thus ending our 1st IVF try.
I'm gonna be honest here I am not sure what to say, I will say that for a lot of people this doesn't work on the first try and that is part of the cruelty of this process. IVF is SO invasive and SO expensive and when it ends in a loss that is particularly hard. I think back to our 6 failed IUI's and the past 2 months during this IVF cycle and I think .... wow. I mean it's a lot. I also make a constant effort to remind myself how strong I am and how I have been able to go thru so much more than I ever thought I could over this past year. I am stronger than I know and so is Matt.

I'm also gonna be honest here and tell you neither Matt or I have really truly processed this information yet, we are a bit numb. Tomorrow we are going to meet with our Fertility team in the time slot that was to be our embryo transfer and we are going to discuss what went wrong and where to go from here. Are we candidates after this cycle to try this again? And if we take the Summer off is that counterproductive? Should we strike now while all the hormones are in my system? Those are all things we don't know and we hopefully will tomorrow. I think after that conversation we can process this better.
We are trying not to go down that rabbit hole of looking back over the past month and seeing what all I put myself thru and feeling sad, we are trying not to think about where are we going to get the funds to do this again?? Sadly, when IVF doesn't work the money put into it is a huge loss. BUT.... but.... this is one we do NOT regret at all, we are both in agreement of this.

Starting April 24-April 30 is Infertility Awareness week and the statistic is 1 in 8 couples have been medically diagnosed with infertility. Most people are not open like I am about this for good reason.... there is uneducated comments, judgement and many emotions that we open ourselves to when speaking about this. BUT it is that one email I receive and in fact did last week from a friend who told me how much I was helping them. That makes this worth it. The emotional component of dealing with other peoples emotions on this is something I was prepared for and I do struggle with.

I want to thank everyone of you who prayed and sent positive vibes to us during this past IVF cycle as well as the past 6 IUI's. And sadly we will continue to need your prayers as we decide what direction to head into next. But your support is so wonderful and we thank you. I also, We also want to thank everyone for your thoughts on the passing of our boy Oscar too. This past month has been BRUTAL but we are strong. Not one day goes by that we don't miss Oscar more than words and in fact this week I got the most beautiful gift I could have ever gotten...we got a custom portrait of our Oscar from a great friend and we couldn't cherish anything more.

I am gonna be off blogging for about a week.... Saturday since I am no longer going to be on bed rest from the embryo transfer I am heading to Oklahoma to celebrate my 35th Birthday with my family and to celebrate my baby sister at her Wedding shower. It's a quick 3 day trip, I don't want to be away from Matt for long but I am getting to cheer on my THUNDER at Mondays playoff game while I am home! SO if you are gonna be at the game I want you to reach out so I can say HELLO!!
So follow me on FB and Instagram for my trip home memories!

I will leave you all with this fitting quote......

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Story of God

The past few weeks I have been watching this mini-series on NatGeo called The Story of God and I am entranced. Here is the thing though this isn't a typical Christian documentary on our God but this series explores all religions and what God is to them and to you. It is fascinating, take a look.....


You see if you are closed minded then this may not be for you but if you believe like I do that all religions are woven together and all have a basis in one God then this is for you. I believe that our God, the Christian God we know from the Bible is the same God for all religions. I believe that each religion really broke off a piece a truth and formed their beliefs around that, so that ultimately we are all connected at the root. This series really shows that if you ask me, each week is a new topic.... Evil, Life after Death, Gods origin and it shows how people around the globe see those topics thru their religion and worship of God. It's so fascinating and I love learning and expanding my mind.... haha, I'm not as deep as that sounded!
Something this series also really highlights is Archeology and History. I have to ask you something.... What did you want to be growing up? I wanted to be and still want to be an Archeologist.  Stay with me here I am not switching subjects...... One thing about this show I love is being taken into the pyramids in Egypt to learn how they viewed God, following Morgan Freeman into a sacred Holy Temple in Jerusalem to see where Christianity started. It lights the fire inside of me that I had growing up for a love of Archeology. I also think that is where my love of the Paranormal started also. I love seeing an object or a place full of History, uncovering it and finding out why are spirits drawn to this place or thing? I love uncovering the past to find out how it effects today and that is no more prominent in anything than Religion.

If you haven't seen this show before you can catch up OnDemand, I think there are a few more weeks left in the series. I hope that maybe if you watch this it might spark something in you, maybe you will learn something about another religion or find the common thread in people.

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Little Egg That Could!

(pre-egg retrieval)
Saturday was my Egg Retrieval and I have to say that I am proud of myself I took the IV like a champ, I was really worried about that and if you know me then you know. I did have a mini-anxiety attack when I was taken into the surgical room, it was just all so real and that scared me. The anesthesiologist was holding my hand and told me that the medicine would burn really bad and I remember saying "my arm is on fire" and I was out. I woke up about 30 minutes later in recovery. Thats when the day took a turn, we were then told that we only had 1 egg. I cried, a lot....so did Matt and we made the nurse cry. You see everyone is different but mostly people will have anywhere from 14-30 eggs. And you all even saw my ultrasound photos in the last post... everything looked great but those follicles were empty. All my blood work showed the indication that my egg growth was on par and we don't know why this was the case but it was. Normally over 1/2 the eggs retrieved will die so only having 1, it's the worst case scenario. I mean 1?
SO after I was well enough to get dressed they sent me home and I slept the whole day, I was cramping and groggy. Saturday the embryologist called to tell us that my ONE egg was a Mature good egg! Great news! Then yesterday I got the call that the "Little Egg That Could" survived the night and was fertilized with Matt's sperm!! SO on the picture below my Egg has made it thru Day 1 of 5!! I will get a call today to see if the cells have started dividing to make an embryo. We have to have this little egg survive to Day 5, when we will transfer the embryo back inside of me. 

You know all weekend I wasn't sure if I was going to share this news with everyone, but it is part of my journey and I want to show that not everything goes according to plan. I gave myself Saturday to be sad and depressed and now I am trying to be positive that this little miracle egg will survive it's journey and do it's job. I also wasn't going to share this because I felt embarrassment, like all my "cycle sisters" I have found on Instagram they all had 24-30 eggs and like 14 fertilized, I feel inadequate. It's stupid I know, my journey is my own and we don't know why this happened. But I ultimately decided to share what happened with you all because this "Little Egg That Could" needs all the prayers and positive vibes it can sent it's way!
I know you all are wondering what happens if this egg doesn't survive the 5 days? Then we are done. For now.
What is happening with me this week? Well I am still VERY bloated and cramping from this weekend. I am so uncomfortable I feel like at any moment my abdomen will burst open and an Alien will pop out just like in the movie! haha! Also I start prepping my body for the transfer with more injections, oral medicine and vaginal gel (gross, I know). And I am going to acupuncture today as well.
I want to thank everyone who reached out this weekend, your thoughts and prayers were so appreciated, knowing so many people have our back is such a nice feeling. And to all the prayer warriors I had this weekend, my friends, my home church in Oklahoma it helped. Thank you. And now let's keep it up, let's all pray for my LITTLE EGG THAT COULD


Thursday, April 14, 2016

IVF, Egg Retrieval

40 is the number is Stimulation injections that Matt has given me since March 31. And this morning was my last Stim shot but we are far from over with injections. The picture below best depicts last night, I am over the shots and apparently my body is also. It took Matt 5 stabs for 3 injections.... we always work around the veins in my thighs but last night he stabbed and BOOM blood gushing, so we had to find a new place. Then on injection #3 the needle literally would NOT go into my stomach. Ya, this picture is a dramatic interpretation but I cried, a lot. 
 This morning was my 3rd Ultrasound this week and 3rd round of Blood Work this week, I look like a junkie, my arms are shot. This morning my doctor decided that my follicles (which are in my ovaries and hold the eggs) are mature enough to move forward. I have a good number of follicles and in the past 14 days I have literally gained 7 pounds in ovaries and bloating... I am FULL and uncomfortable.
 Here are 2 pictures I got to take home of a few of my follicles.... the large circles is what you are looking at and inside those pouches are the eggs. If you ask me I think the pictures looks like Horror mask from the movie Scream.. It made me laugh. Creepy mc Creeperson....

Tonight Matt will give me a HUGE shot called a Trigger which will tell my ovaries it's GO TIME. And over the next 36 hours I will prep my body for the Egg Retrieval procedure. And below is what is going to happen, so we can all learn a little something together. I will go to an out patient hospital Saturday morning where I will be put under anesthesia for the 30 minute procedure. Below you can see that they will use a needle/suction to extract out the eggs. Once it is over I will be in recovery for about 1 1/2 hours and then home to recover for the rest of the weekend. That is the simplest explanation I can give....
I will say I am SUPER worked up about the procedure, the IVF, the anesthesia and the pain level. I know it is a minor out patient procedure but all of this process is really stretching what I am comfortable with and I am very nervous. It's just my anxiety that is getting to me and I can't control that nor can I take anything to help with it... bumms
What happens after? I will do a post more than likely on Monday to update everyone but over the following 5 days the Embryologist will combine my mature eggs with Matts sperm in the lab and watch them grow to see how many viable embryos we will have to work with. Then next Thursday I will have the embryo transfer.
Thank you all for following along with us on this journey and like always it makes me happy when people reach out say they are learning something they didn't know before. Or that I have helped you to realize what other friends of yours have gone thru... You know me, I am an open book. Just please send your positive thoughts that we will get enough mature eggs to work with and send your calming vibes to me that I can get thru the next week stress free!
xo

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My Muse

 Lump first met Picasso on April 19, 1957 at La Californie, Picasso's hillside mansion in Cannes. His owner, David Douglas Duncan, had photographed Picasso for the first time during the previous year. On this occasion he chose to bring along Lump, as the Dachshund didn't get along with his other dog.[1] While having lunch with his future wife Jacqueline Roque and Duncan, Picasso enquired if the dog had ever had a plate of his own. When Duncan responded no, Picasso picked up a brush and paint that were on the table and painted a portrait of Lump on his own dinner plate. With the work dated and inscribed to Lump, he handed the plate to Duncan as a gift.[3] The dog felt immediately at home and stayed with Picasso for the next six years at La Californie, living with Picasso's Boxer Yan and a goat named Esmeralda.[1] Duncan spoke of Lump and Picasso, "This was a love affair. Picasso would take Lump in his arms. He would feed him from his hand. Hell, that little dog just took over. He ran the damn house."[2]
Duncan would return to visit Picasso during this time, and photographed the artist with Lump on several occasions along with Picasso's children. While Picasso preferred to work alone, he would often be accompanied by Lump. In one series of photographs, he made a rabbit out of a sugar impregnated cardboard cake box for the dog, who carried it into the garden to eat.[1][2]
Duncan spoke of Lump's stay with Picasso, "Lump had an absolutely pampered life there. Picasso once said, ‘Lump, he’s not a dog, he’s not a little man, he’s somebody else.’ Picasso had many dogs, but Lump was the only one he took in his arms."[1]
In 1964, during a visit with Picasso, Duncan was informed that Lump was unwell. The dog was suffering from a spinal condition leaving him without the use of his back legs and was being looked after by a local vet in Cannes. Duncan visited the vet and was informed that the condition could not be cured, and the vet was no longer feeding him.[2] Duncan sought a second opinion, taking back the dog, he drove it to StuttgartGermany, where he found a vet who was willing to treat Lump. The treatment took several months, but Lump would go on to live for another ten years, albeit walking as Duncan would describe "a bit like a drunken sailor".[2] He died ten days before Picasso, on 29 March 1973.[1][2]

 I loved this drawing not only because it was a weenie dog but there was back story about a weenie who inspired a great artist and last Fall when we got Oscars diagnosis I already had my mind made up that this is how I would honor him.
SO Saturday was the BIG day, the day that I would get a piece of Oscar to always carry with me. And ya, I know it's small but that soft spot on your arm hurts REAL bad. But it only took 30 minutes, thankfully! Matt is still deciding what he wants to do to honor Oscar. 
 This is the finished result, I am so super happy.... it's perfect, it is artistic, it has several layers of stories to it and it completely represents my boy Oscar.
 I am/ We are 100% still grieving and I break down all the time but that just reinforces the love that we shared. It was complete, real, honest, loyal and forever.


Monday, April 11, 2016

Championship

Farmers Insurance has 3 Distinction club for those who excel and last year if you all remember Matt and I got to go to San Fran because he made Topper Club. Topper Club is the Top 10% of Agents and District Managers in the United States. Now, above that there is Championship Club and that includes ONLY the Top 75 District Managers and the Top 75 Agents in the United States and I am proud to tell you that my Matty is among that group! I mean it's pretty huge he is one of 75 of the best in his company and because of that we have been invited to the Vacation/Party/Celebration this year being held in Boston! For 6 days in July we will be wined and dined by Farmers in celebration of what all the Championship people have done for the company! We are so excited, I have never been to Boston but I am honestly more excited because of how proud I am. Matt's hard work has paid off!
Now, it hasn't been officially announced yet but we also made Topper Club again! So this September it looks like we will be heading to Savannah, GA with Farmers Insurance to celebrate!
I am so proud Matt and I can't wait to celebrate with you this Summer and see some new places!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Meal Planning!

Sorry I haven't posted my meal plan in a few weeks but as you know my mind has been elsewhere. But I do have some fun recipes I am making this week and I wanted to share them with you all. I also needed to plan some things Matt could do because at some point this week I will be undergoing the IVF egg retrieval and I will need Matt to do the cooking!
Here is what is on my Menu this week.......
(Click on the item to be taken to the recipe)

Saturday
An oldie but a goodie, Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers
Arugula Salad with EVOO and Lemon Juice
Root Beer Floats (Something fun to have after Matt giving me my nightly 3 shots)

Sunday
I can't find the recipe online but it is from my fav cookbook Date Night In
Roast Beef Tenderloin Sandwich with horseradish mayo
Chips
Root Beer Floats

Monday
Barefoot Contessa Parmesan Chicken Cutlets
Arugula Salad
Barefoot Contessa Oven Risotto

Tuesday
Crockpot Chicken tacos
Chips and Salsa
Easy Sopapillas

Wednesday
If the retrieval is today then tonight is Matt's night
Easy Peasy.... Turkey Spaghetti
Cheese Bread

Thursday
Leftover Crockpot Chicken Tacos
Chips and Salsa

Friday
Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu
Oven Roasted fingerling potatoes

There ya have it folks.... a week in my kitchen! I hope this inspires you when you are headed out to the grocery store this weekend!!!



Thursday, April 7, 2016

Steakhouse at Home

In my early 20s I worked in a fine dining Steakhouse and that not only taught me so much about cooking (i.e. my mad Risotto skills) but it taught me about appreciating a good steak! And what's funny is that when I met Matt something I asked him early on is how he gets his steak cooked.... I am FOR REAL, I asked. If he was to say Med-well I was going to rethink the whole thing. Seriously though. Luckily Matt and I are on the same page about a good steak : 
1. You MUST get it cooked Med-rare 
2. We will pay a large sum of money for a good steak dinner

We have always cooked steaks on the grill, Matt is great but lately we have seen the light.... Steaks on  the stove top! And you guys literally I am very good at this! HAHA! Matt hates it when I say that but I cook a mean and perfectly cooked steak! The secret is???? It's easy! SO... I decided to share it with you.............

There is really only 2 things you need Butter and a HIGH quality steak. We go to this speciality grocer for steak night and you really need to make sure your filet is at LEAST 1 inch tall or this won't turn out! We get ours 6-8oz
Here is how:
Set your steak out to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to cooking!
Season only with Salt, Pepper and Seasoned Salt
Put in a LARGE pad of butter and set your pan at Med-High..... You need it screaming HOT!
Place steaks in pan.........
Cook the first side without moving it at all (don't do it) for 3 minutes! Then turn then over and add 1 more pad of butter to pan and cook for 2 1/2 minutes... NO MORE!
Then sear the edges, literally for only 20 seconds all around... NO more! No more I say!!!!
Then I like to top my steak off with a pad of Truffle Butter from the specialty grocer. You only want your steak to rest for 3 minutes, if you let it sit more until you eat it will continue to cook to medium or more.... trust me! SO make sure your sides are already to go before you start your steak!
This night we were easy peasy.... we just had a baked potato with Ranch sour cream and our steak! But look at that perfection! The hot pan gave it a flavorful crust and the inside perfectly soft!
Now, if your like me you might not eat your whole steak and thats a good thing because you will then have the perfect lunch or dinner for one the next night!!!

Steakhouse Salad night 2!
Need:
Leftover Filet
Arugula
Balsamic & EVOO
Shaved Parm
Get your pan screaming hot again and all your gonna do is heat your steak for about 2 min, each side! And don't forget to throw the butter in the pan too! You just want to get the outside warm......
Dress your arugula with Balsamic, EVOO, Salt and pepper..... add your sliced steak and top with shaved parmesan and BAM!!! Steakhouse Salad!
Go ahead and impress your hubby with your mad steak skills, you will thank me!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

IVF, Part 2 Injections

Last week was my first official IVF post and you can catch up on that if you missed it by clicking HERE. The post got a lot of positive feedback and a lot of you told me you had no idea what all went into this and that is EXACTLY why I am doing these posts. Because how could you? So this week we are in the middle of the cycle and I am currently feeling like crap!!! I have had a raging non-stop headache since the first shot went into my leg and I am told that is normal! wah wah! I have been on 1 daily injectable now for almost 2 weeks and Saturday we started the Stimulation injections which are 4 per day. But let me back up... I will be going to the doctor about every 3-4 days for a blood draw to see if the medicine dosage is correct and how it is effecting my body. Each time I go in I also have an ultrasound to see how my follicles are growing. I did that on Friday and then this morning again. I will wait for todays phone call around 5pm to see if I need to change up any of my dosages. 
 All these bad boys are Stimulation injectables....... which are going to Stimulate my ovaries into mega production mode. So hopefully by the end of next week we will schedule our egg retrieval. These medicines give me headaches, will make me gain weight, make me bloated and they make me cramp... which I am told is all signs they are doing their job! YAY (sarcasm)
Now about 1 1/2 years ago before this all started I passed out when I gave blood, I also had mild panic attacks when given a shot and now I can't believe I am letting Matt stab me 4 times a day. At least once a day I try to tell myself I am proud and strong and look how far I have come. It's true. NOW... I am not saying these shots are easy.... they are not and in fact I spend all day consumed about when we will do it again, it is mentally exhausting. I wanted to show you all what we do each evening and yes we do 1 shot in the morning as well. And the times HAVE to be 7am and 7pm, very strict protocol! Tonight we were going to either go to the Okc Thunder game here in Denver or see the Long Island Medium Teresa Caputo but the times don't work with my shots. But thats just a drop in the bucket these days.
I will do this routine for at least 7 more days.........
Now please ignore the amount of skin in this video.... there was no way around it, no judgement!!


SO that is what I am doing everyday.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Walker Stalker Con

The Walking Dead is on of our favorite shows and has been for 7 years, we are 2 OG's..... meaning we watched the premier on AMC, no bandwagon lovers in our house! ha! TWD is so huge that there is a conference for Zombie Lovers that includes our favorite stars from the show! When I saw it was coming to Denver I was so excited and I paid $50 a piece for our tickets! Here we are bright eyed and bushy tailed excited to see our favorite peeps........
 BUT..... here is the thang..... after you pay all that money to get in, that gets you NOTHING! If you want to meet, get an autograph or a picture with any of your favorite stars you need to have your pockets full of cash! $40 per autograph, $40 per picture and that is insane!!! And each line is about 50-100 people deep BUT I would have waited in if it was FREE!
Would I have loved to get a picture with Abraham?? YES but for $40? NO! We decided that if Rick or Daryl had been at the conference we would of paid for a picture with them only. I'm not gonna lie it was super disappointing. BUT...... I did get to play Michonne for a hot minute at the "Sword Booth".....
 And in case you were wondering Eugene's mullet is just as awesome in real life! But man, these celebrities must have banked all weekend with prices that high! We were able to walk around and take these second hand pictures of everyone and I was excited to still be able to see them especially one day before the finale! SO I don't regret going but unless you bring a ton of cash there is nothing for you to do other than stare.
Here is who all we saw.......
Some of the cast of Fear the Walking Dead
Freddie Cruger
AMC's comic book men
Eugene, Merle, Father Gabriel, Sasha, Sophia, Nicholas, Dwight, Abraham, Rosita, Tara, Noah, Morgan, Sam, Jesse, Aaron, Tyrese, Spencer, Axel, Eric, Francine

Anyhow, it was a fun Saturday for Matt and I but I would really think about how much you are willing to spend and that will be your level of fun to be had! wah wah

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