January 30, 2008

Update from Today's Appointment

Marcus and I met with the doctor this morning. They confirmed our blood work is normal and the tests they ran last week were fine. So, at this point, we have two options left to keep us a viable case for IVF.

We will be scheduling another appointment for hopefully next month. This one is a little more scary for us. It will be the most telling appointment and should give us some real answers that we can act upon.

I am very grateful that the Lord has given us a strong marriage to endure all of this. I have an amazing husband who is fighting so hard for us to have a child. I couldn't ask for more! I also am so blessed that we have so many friends who have walked the path that we are walking. Some hold children today and some don't have them yet, but I know that we are all together in this.

I am also so happy we are with Texas Fertility Center. They have a whole building of doctors, specialists, sub-specialists, embryologists and more all working together to help us and people like us have children. They speak regularly about our cases and review our files together. It feels so much better than thinking about our information faxing across town after every appointment.

We'll keep you posted as we learn more next month!

Cutting and Pasting

Last night my girlfriends Brandi and Mary came over to scrapbook with me. Brandi just got married and has pages and pages of wedding stuff to capture in her book.

Mary just returned from spending Christmas in New York with her French boyfriend, so her pages were filled with holiday cold weather fun!

I am happy to report my 2007 scrapbook is almost complete. If I finish it in February, it will be a record. Stay tuned to find out who wins the 2007 Scrappy Award for the face that appears the most time in my annual book. Kyleigh is the reigning scrappy winner!

January 29, 2008

Little Miss Ava

Today I met my former co-worker Michele for lunch to meet her new baby girl Ava. Look at how cute she is. She was so calm the entire lunch, with a dirty diaper to boot!

We ate at The Steeping Room in the Domain. What a cool place for ladies to do lunch. They serve classic tea sandwiches with the crusts taken off and had a full menu of yummy teas!

January 28, 2008

Valentine Party

Sunday afternoon was a fun filled day making Valentine cards with Stampin Up. They were all super cute and will be fun to send to friends and family.

Here is work related friends making cards- Stormi, Brandi, Dana and Kanice.....

And, here are some of my church girls working hard- Jessica, Heather and Natalie.

Not pictured were Marie, Chandra, Kristi, Erica and I. I hope everyone had fun making cards and even more fun sharing them with friends and family.

Since I am currently cupcake obsessed (buying the stand, carrier, icing supplies, baking equipment, even a t-shirt!), this seemed like the perfect party to make Valentine cupcakes.

Chandra came a little early and decorate the cupcakes for me! Yummy!

January 25, 2008

I wonder....

I wonder if Anna will check the blog before I see her tomorrow....
Here's whats waiting....I think I am starting to set the bar too high for myself....

Had to get the geek bachelor smell out.....

Happy Birthday Katy!

Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday dear Katy
Happy Birthday to You!
Katy is one of my Goddess Girls and is actually responsible for brining us all together. She wanted to make sure that we stayed in touch after college. I am so very grateful!
Have a wonderful 32nd birthday!

January 24, 2008

Oh My God- I Killed Babe!

So, today was a first for me. NPI is 1/2 of my responsibility in my new job. They are a medical training company that focuses on more hands-on learning. For the emergency procedures course, the attendees do a series of procedures on dead baby pigs. Yep, real live pigs from a pig farm. They are killed, cleaned, stuffed with baby wipes (to keep things in place and smells low) and then frozen and shipped overnight to the program.

They arrived early this morning and I had to remove the baby wipes to prep the pigs for our attendees.

After getting Babe settled, I gave him a pat, said a little prayer for him and smiled for the camera.

I captured these because I know that if I didn't, no one would ever believe I touched the pigs. After the course, I had to pull the tubes and needles out of the pigs to store them overnight.

Another great adventure in Miami!

January 23, 2008

South Beach

So, my first day in Miami was wonderful! I didn't have to work until late this afternoon, so I slept in and then drove to South Beach to shop Lincoln Road. It was a beautiful combination of high end stores, everyday shops, outdoor cafes and palm trees.

I was amazed at all the business people who ate lunch out in this beautiful setting. Lucky people- I eat Sonic or Chick-fil-A most of the time!

Some parts of South Beach, meant to be artistic, were just plain weird.

Look at this, it is a castle made of hair. Yep, like your hairdresser sweeps up after a trim. It was in a art gallery window.

On my way out, I saw this car hanging out on the side of the parking garage. I hope that driver knows how to get out of the garage!

The geek in his natural habitat....

With the wife gone....things are reverting to an deep state of bachelorism.
Computers.....take out chinese....cheetos.......I had to turn lights on to take this picture....
Laundry is still getting done. so things are still civilized.

January 22, 2008

Paying for a Baby

For some people, getting pregnant is free. When you are struggling with infertility, getting pregnant is far from free. IVF costs about $13,000 per try. Adoption is around $30,000.

When Marcus and I first saw that number in black and white from Dr. Vaughn we had a meltdown. I don't want to deplete a savings account, max out a credit card or reach into our retirement for IVF. Imagine the added feeling of loss if it did not work.

We have been blessed with the financial means to pay for IVF in ways that we never saw coming! We discovered that Marcus' employer is one of the vast minority that still pay for IVF and related treatments. After our small deductible, they pay 70%! On top of that, we received word of open enrollment shortly after our first appointment with Dr. Vaughn. Luckily, I was on COBRAat the time because of my new job and was able to join his insurance on January 1.

Then, at Christmas we were blessed with a gift of cash for medical treatment. It was such a blessing to have money in savings earmarked when the bills start coming in.

Last week, I received word that my employer is doing some creative medical benefits and I will be reimbursed for up to $2500 in medical bills incurred this year. I had not ever thought this was an option.

Finally, Marcus learned today that he is already booked more than his budget (year ends in July). That means that his monthly commision checks could be huge! We never ever saw this coming. It rarely happens!

I know that God has not blessed me with a baby yet, but he is blessing us with the means to have a baby! I don't want to lose sight of all of the little gifts he is handing us in the process. He continues to prove to us that His plan for us is bigger than we can dream of! We are so grateful for all that he is giving us.

Welcome to Miami!

So, I left Orlando at noon today and headed south on Florida's Turnpike. This is the route Mapquest recommended. As I entered the turnpike, the sign read, "Last Exit for 52 miles"! What! In 52 miles I might be thirsty, hungry, tired, have to pee, need gas, etc.

Luckily, I made it without any of these problems. However, not everyone was so lucky. I did see an older couple outside their car stretching and 2 young children being helped by their parents. They obviously had to go and let's just say it was much more complex for the little girl!

I arrived in Miami about 5:00 and was surprised to find that I had been upgraded to a Junior Suite with a great view of the bay. As a meeting planner, we often have to remember to upgrade our leadership. This is the first time I have been a department leader and they have upgraded me. It was an odd feeling!

Now, I just need a boy with me :)

Solo....day one

As Anna blogged, she has been in Florida starting this weekend. I went to see my mom in Merkel for the weekend, and yesterday was really my first day to be solo. Most guys would go hunt, or hang out, or go drink...but I...I am a geek. My evening was spent attacking the Scarlet Monastery, and battling in the 5v5 arena battles of World of Warcraft.
PVP (battling other players in the game) and PVE (questing, taking on monsters in the game) was were my time was spent last night...

January 21, 2008

ACCME: Day Two

Today is my second full day in Orlando. Tomorrow, I am off to Miami! I hear it is cold in Austin. It was a sunny 75-80 here today and will hit 80 in Miami. It feels great!
The hotel were the conference is at was sold out early, so I booked at the nearby Springhill Suites. I have a great little room with an office, kitchen, living room and free wireless internet.

There was even this nice fountain at the entrance to greet me upon arrival. Wow- a fountain, I thought, was a sign of a pretty nice place.

When I drove to the conference, I got a sight of their fountain. Well, it puts mine to shame.

The conference is at a JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton property connected by a conference center. It is 500 acres with golf, numerous lakes, a spa and fountains. Wow, so much for being impressed by the Springhill Suites.

Tomorrow I drive to Miami ( about 200 miles) and promise to update you on my journey!

January 20, 2008

ACCME: Day One

This afternoon while on a 15 minute break from my conference, I walked outside the meeting space to take a picture. I was bragging to Marcus about how pretty my view was while he was driving through the flat dry landscaping of West Texas.

I learned a couple of things in my 6 hours of education today-

1. I like to be in control. It KILLED me not knowing what was for lunch. As a meeting planner, I know what is for lunch 6 weeks before the lunch is even served. I grabbed a box lunch quickly to get to the session and found a tofu wrap in my box. I don't eat tofu and I don't like wraps. I ended up having BBQ potato chips for lunch. Yum.

2. I was a CME (continuing medical education) provider at TAFP from 2000 - 2004. When I left a lot of change was in the works. It happened and I am now clueless. People were talking in acronyms that I could not define. I have never felt so dumb and really wanted to ask, "What is the ISS or CS you speak of with the PI CME?" No joke- all mentioned regularly!

3. No matter who you are when you become a meeting attendee, you lose all sense of direction. I did not want to ask for directions. It is a meeting planner pet peeve to spend thousands on signage and then when have an attendee walk past the well placed sign to ask you (You are running late, checking rooms, talking on a radio and dying to go potty) where the exhibit hall is? I did it. I lost my focus and asked where Starbucks was? I also asked it in front of the break they paid too much money for that was free to me. I know better!

I'll keep you updated as I learn more tomorrow. Here's hoping I got smarter today and spew acronyms wisely tomorrow!


January 19, 2008

Fly the Friendly Skies

I flew to Orlando this morning to attend a conference of medical meeting planners. I had a short jaunt to DFW and then a longer flight to Orlando.

Something about flying makes me very spiritual. I don't know if it is the silence that makes me think and subsequently pray, the closeness and prescence of God from above the clouds or the Christian music on my iPod. It might be a combination of all three.

So, as I sat in seat 22F this morning, I prayed and I prayed. And then I cried. I just could not control myself. It was one of those times when I knew God was sitting there in seat 22F with me. I wanted to control myself, but the tears just fell.

I love these moments and wish I had them more often- in private of course! I remember the first time Marcus and I attended Great Hills, our church. The choir sang "Breathe" and I just lost it. I felt Him. I knew Great Hills was the right church for us and that He had brought us there.

I hope that everyone has moments like these and is able to truly feel God in their lives. It is an amazing feeling.

January 18, 2008

Birthday Mania!

Marcus and I will both be out of town for the next few days, but wanted to wish a happy birthday to:

Georgia Romike- the big 2 today! She almost got a little sister, Lilah, for her birthday!

Carol- Marcus' Mom has her special day on Saturday!

Beav- my Dad also has a birthday this weekend. He is on Sunday and is exactly one day younger than Carol.

Shaun- my brother-in-law turns 30 on Monday and is celebrating with a trip to the dentist. When your birthday is a holiday, those routine things like a dentist appointment get scheduled.

Happy Birthday to you all!

January 16, 2008

Update on Specialist Appointment

We met with another specialist today who spent a lot of time outlining the various treatment methods available to solve our fertility problem. No door has been closed, but no diagnosis has been made.

Through an ultrasound and some bloodwork we'll be able to determine if surgery is necessary at the end of the month.

We are both relieved to know that we still have options and look forward to knowing what lies ahead in just a few short weeks.

Marcus and Anna

Introducing Lilah Jane

My girlfriend Alison had her baby girl, Lilah Jane, on Monday. We drove to San Antonio to meet her last night.

She was a quiet, happy and hungry baby during our short visit.

Her sweet blanket was made by Alison's Mom. She has made one of these blankets for each of her grandchildren and various friends. It was super sweet! I look forward to wrapping my own gift from God in a homemade blanket one day.

January 13, 2008

Escape, by Carolyn Jessop

In my book club, we recently completed the book Escape, by Carolyn Jessop. I would highly recommend it!

The book chronicles the life of Carolyn Jessop who was a member of the FLDS and one of 6 wives of a highly regarded FLDS man. She had 8 children after the was forced to marry at age 18 to a man older than her father. The book shares a lot about how the FLDS came about, what they believe and what they have been told to cement those beliefs and gives a rare look at the inside of an FLDS household. It will make you appreciate your life and your freedom to marry the love of your life!

Happy Reading!

January 11, 2008

Patience is a Virtue

The last couple of weeks have been tough on Marcus and I. When you are told you need to see an infertility specialist you can experience so many emotions- you are scared, nervous, anxious, excited. In my mind, you were fertile or infertile- it was a fork in the road and then your path was determined.

We have had some more tests done late last month and again this week and they all represent forks in the infertile road. We will see another specialist next week. That doctor could tell us there is no chance that you will get pregnant with IVF and need to consider other means of having a child or could tell us with one simple surgery or treatment we could be pregnant naturally. It truly is one or the other and the answer may take more time. Until all of this is settled, we can not start the 8-week IVF process.

We are not patient people. Marcus and I both were raised that with hard work and determination you can accomplish anything. We were not taught to relax, be patient and rely on God to provide for us. (I am an event planner for heaven's sake. I have October 2010 planned!) This experience is teaching us that God has a role in the process. It is hard to sit back and wait on the Lord, but I know he has the perfect plan laid out for us and we have to trust in Him to reveal that plan to us.

In the meantime, I ask that you keep us in your prayers. We need strength to keep our heads up, patience to let the Lord guide us and a softened heart to trust His answer and believe in Him.

Marcus and Anna

January 08, 2008


Check it out- this is the 2008 BCS trophy awarded to LSU last night. I won my own prize last night- $150!

I beat out 9 other people from my office and Marcus' office with my mad skills. I also won the no money ESPN Bowl Mania competition with my church friends. I went 25-7 this bowl season!

Thank goodness there is a prize for spending so much time watching football the last 5 months!

Baby Shower for Alison

Sunday afternoon my girlfriend Chandra (the one with green hair on the Goddess Girl platter) and I drove to Spring Branch, near San Antonio, to attend Alison's baby shower.

Baby #3 will join big sister Georgia and big brother Gus next week. She had the cutest friends and received some really sweet and soft little presents for the baby. I can't wait to meet her new baby girl, possibly named Lila Jane. Isn't that sweet!

January 05, 2008

My First Bite of Wings!

I don't eat meat on a bone. I haven't in a really long time. Because of that, I have never had wings. While I like the Fried Pickles and the pasta salad at Wings-N-More, I hadn't ventured into the wings part.

Tonight Marcus ordered boneless wings, so I bravely asked for a small bite. It was in my mouth no more than 2 seconds and then it was out of my mouth.

Wow- that is a whole new level of nasty! It tasted like vinegar. I never got to the hot part or the chicken. All I could taste was vinegar. It was quickly and not very discreetly spit into a napkin followed by a pickle dipped in a lot of ranch and a half a glass of iced tea.

I don't know how you people eat them!

January 04, 2008

Steak Dinner and A New Gold Ring

Marcus took me out tonight for a nice steak dinner and we did a little jewelry shopping. No special occasion, just an ordinary date night.

We went to the world-famous Dairy Queen where Marcus ordered the STEAK sandwich and I got my own STEAK finger basket. I know- big spender!

Then, he even sprung for a fancy dessert that I was able to turn upside down.

After dinner we went shopping at the biggest store in these parts- the Wal-Mart for some home furnishings (read Caulk, spackle and peg board accessories).

Finally, on our way out he surprised me with a gold and blood garnet ring. What an amazing night! :)

Actually, we saw a DQ commercial and the new Kit Kat blizzard appealed to Marcus. I needed the peg board accessories and asked that we stop at Wal-Mart. Don't want anyone thinking my husband doesn't treat me right!

January 01, 2008

I Heart Trlica

We had some friends over this afternoon to watch the Texas Tech vs. Virginia bowl game. We were excited and then nervous and then frustrated and then excited again. Then, it all came down to a field goal. Our bowl success rested on the 12 of 20 leg of Alex Trlica.

Marcus nervously waited for the ball to be snapped.

Then, poor Ryan watches scared that Trlica will fail us.

Finally, with glee Marcus exclaims, "IT IS GOOD!" Please ignore the hole in Marcus' shirt. I'd like to think it ripped when he jumped for joy. We'll be washing our cars with this red TTU shirt soon :)

In honor of Trlica's big kick, we decided to name a few things in his honor....

Texas Tech University is now Trlica Tech. TTU is now located in Trlica, Texas. It can be found via Trlica Highway. The kicker is often a lonely underrated position and we think Trlica is due some respect.

Happy Trlica Year to all Red Raider fans!

Best of Both Worlds- Part One

Last night we rung in the New Year at our Second Annual Best of Both Worlds party. We started off the evening with a wonderful fancy dinner at Truluck's Restaurant. They had set up a fun festive atmosphere with party hats and staff taking group photos.

The food was wonderful and we had to have their special Chocolate Bag dessert. They take a hard chocolate shell (shaped like a bag) and fill it with pound cake, whipped cream, and berries. Tableside, they rip open the bag and pour hot fudge on the cake and berries. It is divine!

Joining us for the evening were some of our great friends. Jessica and Mo are in our Sunday school class, so we have known them for over 4 years. They had just drove in from Christmas in Indiana and looked fabulous for such little sleep!

Rob and Christi Utley are also in our Sunday School class. They are the hostess' with the mostest as they always open their house to our class. We have lots of posts on this blog from their media room! Christi also introduced me to Viva Day Spa.

Brian and Carrie Betzen also joined us last year. Carrie and Marcus worked together at ASI. They are lots of fun and blend right in with other couples so well. Carrie also has the best laugh!

This is Rob's dinner plate- a new specialty called the "Lounging Lobster". They take out all the lobster meat and tempure fry it (think lobster nuggets) and then lay out the shell with the tail as a river holding the sauce. It was quite funny to picture the lobster laying on his back with his "arms" behing his head lounging.

Best of Both Worlds- Part Two

After dinner at Trulucks, we went back to the Utley's house to play games and ring in the new year. What makes this the best of both worlds, is that we do it in our pajamas! No more tiht uncomfortable clothes, we get casual for this part.

The gang played lots of Wii- bowling, boxing, tennis, super heroes battling, Kabooki and of course, there was dancing!

Not being such a Wii performer, I enjoyed the new year by looking at the new 2008 Stampin Up catalog that came our on January 1. Kristi brought me a copy. I foresee more stamps in my future!

Here are Marcus and I at about 12:02 AM this morning.

Mo and Jessica lounging!

Carrie and Brian looking festive...

Ben and Kristi (my cousin) joined us for the part two festivities. Ben learned that you can bowl in Wii by sitting down. He was able to bowl better from the chair than standing up. It shot down Marcus' theory that you must includ the right leg behing the left leg finish as you do in real bowling to score.

Thanks again to Rob and Christi for hosting us! We appreciate your hospitality!


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