My Christmas Letter 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Growing up I loved Christmas.  My mom had a way of making it magical.  One year I was concerned because we didn’t have a chimney so my mom donned boots and tromped snowy boot prints in through the porch and to the tree.  She dropped presents all along the way for me.  It does not matter I now know it was her and not Santa.  She created magic for me that year and I always look back with fondness and love.

After nine long years of struggling, trying, crying and sacrificing through infertility and finally adoption, I am a mother.  On October 13th, we got a call about a month old baby girl about to be released from the hospital and in need of parents.  We dropped everything and rushed to her side.  The moment I laid eyes on our little Baby Bug, I fell madly in love.

I spent many years broken hearted about who was no longer with me at Christmas especially my mother.  It pained me so much, I eventually avoided the holidays preferring to be alone.  This year I will start looking at who is still with me and who has joined us.  I pray I will be able to give Baby Bug the gift my mom gave me of many joyous memories.  Every day I wake her up with a song and she beams at me with her big gorgeous smile curing my heart bit by bit.  I believe my mother had a hand in our little miracle finding us once more providing magic and hope into my life.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  It is my most sincere wish 2012 is when the deepest desires of your heart come true.  Although if your desire is to win the lottery and you win, I will be expecting a small finder’s fee.

Love, Junebug

 

Simply Junebug will be on hiatus for the rest of the year as I relish in my first Christmas as a mother.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!  See you next year!

Why I Am More Than Infertility

Hello friends!!!  This week will be a little different format for several reasons. 

First of all, it is IComLeavWe, International Comment Leaving Week.  This is ran by Stirrup-queens and it typically centers around bloggers affected by infertility, adoption, etc.  While I have struggled with infertility (IF) for 8 years I don’t strictly blog on IF for reasons I will outline in a minute.  For those who don’t know the terms or want more information, click on the button just above called IF terms and timeline.  For IFers – I am preparing for another IUI with a new doctor (my ninth doctor I believe). In addition, we are going through the adoption process currently on the saving money and preparing our portfolio stage. 

Second of all, this is the week of the Fertility Focus Telesummit 2011.  That is two talks daily for the next week.  I listened in last year and hope to make it this year.  This will limit my time for keeping to my regular schedule.  Feel free to check out the telesummit for yourself.  If you are going through infertility I highly recommend this free event.  If you miss a live event it will be online for an additional 24 hours after it originally airs.  Today will be Dr. Marily Glenville, a leading nutritionist specializing in women’s health, and Lisa March, who will discuss creating an effective support network(ICLW is a great one). 

Now, to my main point, why I am more than infertility.  When I first started blogging in 2006 I did it on a whim.  I like to write.  I was reading the blog of a classmate from college and thought what the hell.  I was going through infertility but I didn’t write about infertility.  Several years later I was still blogging about travel trips, problems with trainers at the gym calling me the wrong name, stupid conversations I have with people and TV.  Then I discovered ICLW.  I was amazed that I wasn’t the only woman in the world who felt like a failure after every pee on the stick once a month.  I felt I had landed in a big fluffy pillow of love and support.  It was terrific.  I started making friends with other IFers and soon felt myself slipping into primarily talking about IF.  I felt more empowered about my struggle.   Then the inevitable happened.  BFP after BFP for all the IF sisters in my group.  I was so happy for them but as ladies get their BFP and when they successfully give birth they either stop blogging altogether or  they become mommy bloggers and rarely continue to comment with you.  This does not always happen.  I still have some fab-o IF sisters who  continue to move in the circle with other IFers but it is rare.  Some say it is because those left behind are bitter.  Some say it is because they feel guilt for being one of the lucky ones.  It could all be true.  I don’t know.  I do know that I am immensely happy for any woman who struggles with IF and finally wins.  But, on the other hand,  it leaves me feeling left behind somehow.  I’ve lost IRL friends because they had kids and stopped calling me so to lose virtual friends just adds to the pain.  It made me even more depressed.  I was dreading reading my google reader and felt no inspiration to blog.  I had to face the facts.  I have struggled with IF for more than eight years now.  Time is fighting me.  My chances are dwindling slowly down to none. 

Last May I was at my lowest point and I had blogged as such after learning that they wanted to take one of my ovaries due to an abnormal cyst.  I was quickly surrounded by my IF sisters beyond just blog comments but real emails and gifts and offers of extreme generosity.  At that same time I sat in and listened to the first Fertility Focus telesummit.  Armed with support from my IF sisters I gained through ICLW and the information I gained from the telesummit, I fought back and won.  With the aide of Hildegard, my cyst busting fairy, I went to my next sonogram cyst free.  Winning that battle made me realize that I am more than my infertility.  I’m a bad ass.  I healed my own body with the power of my mind and sheer determination.  I don’t recommend not seeing a doctor if you break a bone.  I believe that is beyond mind control although it may quicken the process. 

Instead of gaining and losing friends constantly within my IF circle, I realized I needed to expand my circle.  I wanted to keep those I could relate to because of infertility and, also,  find those I could relate to because of other aspects of myself.  If I allow myself to feel that all I am is a failure as a woman because I can’t bring a child to term, I will become one bitter miserable woman.  However, I need more than my infertility group because I am more than infertility.  I am creative(in short random bursts).  I love to travel.  I like to write.  I like TV.  I like photography.  Basically I want my cake and eat it too!  I want my IF sister friends.  I want my weekword friends.  I want to develop friendships with my new Tribal Blog friends.  I want all of that because I am more than infertility. 

If you are here because of ICLW, awesome!  I hope to make a new friend.  I will occasionally discuss IF as things come up here and there.  I will be glad to follow your path and leave comments, love, advice, etc.  But if you except me to blog about my numbers, every step of the process, all the tmi, then I am not the blog for you.   I’ve seen too many good bloggers step away from the keyboard, whether depressed from not getting that elusive BFP or getting the BFP and moving on, and I don’t want to become one of them.  I like my blog. No, I love my blog.  I like writing about whatever floats into my head.  I like being simply Junebug.    

To be clear, I am not knocking IF  blogs in any way shape or form.  I am saying it is not what/who I am.   I want other women who may be feeling depressed about their IF to know that they are more than IF.  Feel free to let your freak flag fly.  If you are depressed, start exploring other aspects of yourself.  I am a better blogger and greater IF supportive friend if I am a more complete person.  Being depressed, writing about depression and reading more depression leads me straight into….wait for it….wait for it….more depression.  When I write about funny stuff, interesting word and then read about somebodies depressive story, I can leave a warmer, fluffier comment.  If all I focus on is my failure as a woman, I’m no good to anyone.  I can give more to others by feeding myself first.  IF makes me feel empty on the inside.  I am an empty person but by adventuring beyond my pain I am starting to get a tickle somewhere down deep around my liver or maybe my gallbladder.  I don’t really know.  I failed biology but I am starting to feel a tickle somewhere that lets me know I am more than infertility.  At least that is what the voices in my head are telling me.  What are the voices in your head telling you?   

Social Sunday

My favorite posts from the week:

First a quick reminder for my infertility friends.  The Fertility Focus Telesummit begins tomorrow(Monday).  However, there is a special pre-summit talk today!  I listened to this whole summit last year and you can check out my reviews here, here, and here.  There is still plenty of time to sign up for this free event.  You can listen to one or all of the different talks.  I highly recommend, at the very least, checking out the ones you are most interested in.


Looking for some distractions?  Adele of Delinquent Eggs has provided some interesting ones.

Ever want to sell on Etsy?  I have.  Check out this article from Money Crashers it is a crash (hee hee) course on how to sell on Etsy. 

The tickets for Bloggy Boot Camp Denver went on sale this week which means Atlanta tickets will be coming up next!   I had a great time with The Chronicles of Marla in Austin last year!  Plus, her hubby made the best caramel apple martinis.  OMG!  I can’t make you a martini but I do know some great places to go to in ATL.  Who wants to join me in Atlanta in October?  Please think about it.  I am kind of shy and it helped so much to go with Marla.  Keep Oct. 22nd free and think of joining me in the fun.  I’ll be the unfashionable loser in the corner without an ipad.

Got March Madness but still looking for just the right bracket chart?  Check out Slate.com for one in team colors or team mascot.   I’m, of course, rooting for the Jayhawks!!!!  My bracket sucks *%%^$&^(!!!!!  I will not be winning anything in my group this year.  I joined Little Miss Momma‘s group and I am hanging in the middle of the pack. 

I’ve been envying people’s art journals for awhile now.  They are so awesome and inspiring.  I think I might sign up for this program.  For $59 you have access to an immense number(21) of workshops for four months.  Working at your own pace.

People had a great post from celebrity blogger Elisabeth Rohm discussing her struggle with IVF.  Great post!  I really related to her story.   Thanks Marla for the link via Twitter.  Everyone should follow Marla on Twitter.  She makes me laugh. 

Next weekend is Earth Hour.  On March 26th at 8:30 everyone is invited to shut their lights off for an hour in solidarity.  Now, their website say solidarity against climate change, I’m not getting into that debate.  I’m doing it because, whether it is true or not, I do feel we should all be conscious of the resources we use daily. 

I find it funny that this post rarely gets comments and yet it is one of my most active traffic days.  Which tells me that you enjoy Social Sunday. 

New Year – New Me?

I’m reposting my post from last New Year – 1/1/210 in case you are confused or drunk.  I’m currently working on my resolutions.  This should be fun.

I’m perplexed that one single day causes us to think we can suddenly change everything that is wrong with us. It is really just another a date and another year and yet we envision that suddenly with the dawning of a new day we will be able to lose 100 pounds(hopefully with those couple of fitness classes we try out the first week before disappearing from the gym), save money(a money tree will magically grow in the backyard or Daddy Warbucks will knock on the door), get rid of clutter(Peter Wal.sh will show up and clean out my house) and all those unfinished projects will get completed(by Santa’s elves in their off season). A girl can dream. Perhaps that is the real reason – dreaming. It is good to dream. I still have that dream about Ri.cky Sch.roeder where…oh never mind. The point is that I like pie in the sky dreaming. I believe it is good for us. I’ve narrowed my dreaming in the past few years. I can’t handle the possible looming fear that my dreams can’t come true. I’ve always been such a believer. It is against my nature to stop dreaming so I have decided to dream again. Here are my hopes and dreams for the new year.

I dream that I can make it to the gym or park to exercise every day.
I hope that I can make it to the gym or park five of 7 days and won’t beat myself up about not making 7 especially when I have to take at least a week for my surgery.

I dream that we will become debt free and be able to afford our $1,000+ infertility treatments per month and save for an adoption as plan B.
I hope that we get the infertility treatments paid for, pay off two cards, sell the house and move without adding any debt.

I dream that I will lose all my weight and become a size 8 again.
I hope that I become pregnant and get to shop for preggie clothes.

I dream that I will find my happy, optimistic, motivated, fun self.
I hope that I don’t step on too many toes, don’t hurt too many feelings and have less bad days.

I dream that my days will start with some tea and spiritual reading time, I’ll workout, then I will spend time writing and reading and basically be a fully balanced content person.
I hope that I spend less time farming on Fac.ebook, cut back on *bucks and write something.

I dream that everything I dream of comes true.
I hope at least one thing comes true.

I think that for someone faking it until I make I have come up with a pretty upbeat list. :-)

Reverb 10 – Action

Warning:  I am not having a good day.  This post did not turn out as positive and cheerful as I originally planned but I’m not going to change who I am good, bad and/or ugly.
 
Prompt: Action. When it comes to aspirations, its not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?

What! I go through the tough work of soul searching and planning and then I’m supposed to move?  As they would say, “There’s your problem!”  Actually I’m not sure what my next plan is going to be.  Sort of.  After I finish this last paper I hope to sit down and really put together my plan for the next year.  Then I’m going to do whatever it takes to make this my last holiday season(Halloween to New Year) avoiding fb, happy families, babies, parities, all the pregnant blogs, family, friends, etc.  Next year I will be a mother one way or the other.  Even if I have to sell a kidney to make it happen because I have almost sold everything else.  I know that there is no one who cares about this goal but me.  The world only wants to help people who can already pop out a child.  That’s fine.  I get it.  I’m not going to stress about being alone in this fight anymore.  I do realize that I’m not alone in the virtual world but trust me I am completely alone IRL!  All around me people have their hand out wanting my money and time because it doesn’t matter I need it to have a child.  Who cares about me having a child?  No one!  And the sooner I come to terms with that fact the better off I will be.  Ok.  This is so not where I was planning on taking this post.  I guess it is a rougher day then I had anticipated as I sit here feeling sorry for myself and crying.  This topic must really hit home.  I feel like action is what I have been missing.  I have been hoping and praying for ten years.  I’ve done the workouts, the shots, the planning and nothing has happened.  Perhaps I just don’t want the answer to be no.  I considered just deleting this post but I know that the only people who will understand are my IF blog peeps.  It’s ok.  Tomorrow I will be back to my “pretend nothing is wrong” self.  Today I am just feeling my endless sorrow.  Don’t feel sorrow for me just hug your children, husband, parents, siblings this season and know how lucky you are because not everyone has a family.     

Reverb10 – Moment

Prompt: Moment
Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

I have to admit that my most defining moment this year was my doctor visit in September.  I had been through such a roller coaster in the previous nine months.  First, the surgery to remove the abnormal cyst on my ovary.  Then the return of the cyst and the call from the dr. in April suggesting the removal of my ovary.  From the moment of that call I had been a bundle of raw nerves.  Every ounce of my body was screaming “NO, this is not the right answer!”  My dr. wanted to do surgery.  My husband just didn’t want me to die.  My body was resisting any answer but no.   So I did what I always do and pretend nothing is going on for awhile.  Procrastination nation.  I searched for any alternatives.  I ate a mixture of beets, aloe vera juice and molasses before every meal.  I did yoga regularly.  I kept up my workouts.  I invented a magic fairy and imagined her fixing my ovary.  But in the back of my mind I doubted myself.  What if I was wrong?  What if the cyst was still growing?  What if I died like my sister?  What if I ruined any chance of me getting pregnant(although after 8 years the batteries in my clock are dying)?  I fretted and worried all the way up to the dr. appt.  I walked in a bundle of nerves.  All I could think about was telling myself not to cry.  I removed my clothes and sat on the table attempting to get the little paper sheet to cover up as much of me as possible.  The only magazines were parenting ones (HELLO people this is an infertility clinic) and news so I just sat there chewing on my thumbnail.  There was the little knock and my dr. came in with her audience of one.  I laid down with my feet in the stirrups.  Looking up I wandered why they didn’t have some posters like some dr.s do to cover the ugly white ceiling tiles.  Then I tried to position myself so I could see the sonogram machine.  Last time the sonogram was so painful that tears had flowed down and the cyst was the size of a baseball on the screen.  I was prepared for the pain.  She put the wand in and I felt nothing.  I looked at the screen and saw nothing.  My heart lept.  I knew instantly it was gone but the dr. wasn’t talking.  She just kept shoving the wand around.  I could feel her disbelief.  She was determined to find it.  Finally I said, “Is it gone?”  She paused, still digging, and said slowly, “Yes.  It appears to be gone.”  I dropped back in complete relief.  I had listened to myself and I had been right!  “Oh thank you Jesus!  Oh my God I can’t believe it.  Seriously it is gone?”  I could feel the months of tension and self-doubt leaving my body.  I felt alive again.  The room was brighter.  I would say the air was fresher but it was an examination room after all.  I felt the disappointment rolling off my dr.  I guess she doesn’t like to be wrong but I thought she should be asking me how I did it.  We could save other women from losing their ovaries but nada.  So often I ignore my inner voice.  I’m so glad I didn’t this time.  There is an inner voice and it is there to help.  I plan on trying to be more alert and listen to what my body and my inner voice is saying from now on.  

Sociable Sunday

Sorry I’ve been so slow.  I know that I have not been around to my favorite blogs much lately and I’m afraid it might only get worse this month.  Hubby is gone most this week at a work conference and then returns in time for us to leave on Saturday for Savannah.  We will be there until Tuesday night and I come back to two tests.  This semester is kicking my arse.  I have not had so much homework in most my semesters.  So much writing and reading to do.  However, the bright spot is my new best friend.  She is in two of my classes and we have just hit it right off.  She is originally from Scotland and we all know my major love affair with Scotland.  I realized that I never really met many people who had been to Scotland.   She was, also, an IF’er at my clinic. 

 My favorite posts this week included:

A good friend of mine (IRL) has a blog and puts out a monthly zine called Residential Aliens.  It is a zine devoted to quality SciFi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction with a spiritual thread. He, also, does some reviewing of other books and such.  I enjoy reading the great pieces he picks.

I enjoyed an article on Is Extreme Frugality for You? at Watson Inc.  Since we are within a year of being completely debt free I’m more motivated in frugality then ever. 

Which led me to another article about How Living a Frugal Lifestyle has Changed my Thought Process at BeingFrugal.  It is so true!!  I’m not completely changed yet but I have discovered more often my thought process being very different when faced with a ‘really good deal’. 

I have to recommend Find Stillness to Cure Illness at Zen Habits.  I truly believe that my yoga and mind/body connection work is a big factor in my recent recovery.  Last Monday while laying there during hot yoga my right ovary hurt so much that I was crying.  I felt sure it meant Cecil would still be there on Thursday but surprise.  Loved this quote they included:
“Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Aarti won Next Food Network Star. I have been following her blog and was very happy for her. 

Betsy and Warren at Married with Luggage are only 26 days away from leaving on their big adventure.  They have spent several years planning, saving, reducing, etc. in order to take the next three years to travel around the world.  I am so excited for them.  How amazing!!  All their hard work is about to pay off.  They give a ton of advice in frugality, minimalism and saving. 

Feel free to let me know some of your favorite posts this week.  With my lack of time I need all the help I can get to find great posts. 

The Verdict is in……

Cecil is gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Hildegard did her job!!!!  I’m giving that cyst busting fairy a freakin’ raise.  Hell – I might take her on a freakin’ cruise!  Everything is clear and we are good to go next cycle.  I get to keep my ovary!!!  Unfreakin’ believable!!!
I just have to have annual checks of my ovaries for life but so freakin’ awesome!!  The weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  I don’t know if it was Hidegard or smothering hummus on my belly or yoga or the killing cecil concoction and I don’t care.  I would do everything all over again for this result.  Huge bloody smile!!!

Tuesday Topics: HodgePodge

Crazy times.  I have so much to write and so little time.

Company is coming tomorrow and the apartment is a disaster.

My fb status this morning: “At the vet this morning when the vet went to shove the thermometer in Othello’s backside he peed all over the vet tech holding him. I’m pretty sure that was his way of giving them the finger. He gave me a look that said I was next.”

We were there because he had a lump on his belly and I freaked out.  It was just a fatty deposit.  No big deal.  Oh and that ear lump that the vet last year wanted me to spend big bucks having surgery to remove – Completely gone!  I saved my baby pain and my pocket book money.  I’m glad I followed my heart and waited.  

IF NEWS:
I called and made a followup appointment with my RE.  She can’t see me until Sept. 9th but I made the appt. so everyone can relax now.  :-)  I’ve been going to a new yoga studio for the past two weeks.  My ovary really hurts during and after the sessions.  However, even though I’m on cd 100+, it appears things might be getting going again.  I think it is due to the yoga so I’m going to keep it up and see what happens. 

Other Big News:
Hubby has an interview this Thursday with a company out of the state.  Yes, we could be moving out of state again.  I love Kansas.  However, hubby is the one that works and he is the one that needs to be happy with what he is doing.  Of course, this would happen as soon as I decide to apply to grad school.  If he accepts something in the next week then I will have to drop classes which start this Thursday.  So much fun! 

Ok.  Topic day.  How about those blog swap events?  Have you had good luck when you did one of these?  I’ve only done one.  The Sock It To Me where we sent each other socks.  I got socks I loved and found cute socks to send and it worked out awesome.  I felt awesome about it.  However, I have heard several horror stories.  People go through all sorts of troubles and money to send off their deal and receive nothing in return.  I’m interested in what luck others have had.  Good?  Bad?  What are your favorites?  

Friendly Friday

I don’t have lots of favorites this week.  On Monday we reached 108 degrees.  Hubby shoved me out into the oven to walk for an hour.  I came home with a massive headache.  I woke up with the headache still there plus it felt like the right side of my head was in a massive sinus infection. Hubby stayed home to take care of me.  I’m sure it was purely out of guilt but I took it.  I must say that I discovered Excedrin for sinus infection.  Wow!  By noon after taking 2 pills twice I was feeling much relief.  I highly recommend this stuff.  I don’t like to take pills so that is saying a ton.  The whole thing took up much of my web surfing time. 
Here are some of my favorite posts this week: 
Recently found Silver Linings 4 Me.  She is currently vacationing in England.  I am loving her pictures.  I feel like I’m back vacationing in England.  This week my favorite visit was to Stonehenge and Bath.  We didn’t make it there on our trip.  I knew you couldn’t get inside the Stonehenge circle any longer except for the solstice, however, I learned via ss4m that there is a program that gets you in there before or after regular hours.  You have to make reservations and there are only a few morning slots left in the next few months and none in the evening until Oct.  I’m glad to know that I don’t have to try to coordinate my trip with the solstice now. 
Tip Junkie did a post on decorating with empty picture frames.  I loved the pictures. 
Busted Plumbing is one of the hosts for Follow Friday.  I’ve been enjoying running around finding some new blogs to follow. 
I enjoyed this interesting article on travel writers, over at World Hum, that died during their travels.  As one who dreams of traveling and writing it was a call to being cautious.  Perhaps I should start in Nebraska. 
Coming Up This Next Week:
Mary at No Polar Coordinates is hosting this weeks WeekWord.  The word is balance.  To say the challenge has thrown me off balance would be an understatement but I’m going to give it a go. 
Another Eavesdropping
Topic Tuesday – Seven degrees from Murder
It will be the last week I have 9 so it might be a light blogging week.