Changes on the Blog

Over the past several months, I’ve debated whether or not I should shut my site down all together or continue on. I’ve been super sporadic, pretty much only posting fertility updates (or perhaps I should be calling them infertility updates? Whatever- you know what I mean!). After spending some time thinking about what I want out of my life, I decided to keep on…and go further ๐Ÿ™‚

When I first started blogging, I thought that my blog needed a niche. It overwhelmed and discouraged me as I truly didn’t feel that I fit in anywhere. I wasn’t a healthy lifestyle blogger despite eating and creating healthy meals for my husband and I and exercising. I wasn’t a fashion blogger because I like the sale/clearance rack and get more excited about cute work out clothes (although a few good pairs of nice fitting jeans are a must. And I love shoes!). I wasn’t a mommy blogger because I’m not a mom.

Writing about the miscarriage was therapeutic for me. Months of trying to conceive turned into two years (with a deployment thrown in there). THAT became what I was passionate about- being a military wife trying to overcome infertility, molding a career for myself in a border city, and dealing with a deployment.

 

Cheers to this ๐Ÿ™‚

I realized that I don’t need a niche. I’m not doing this for anyone but myself, although connecting with many amazing women along the way has been awesome! Friendships have been created or resurfaced because of this little space of mine, and it honestly got me through one of the darkest times of my life.

So here’s my plan.

  • I’ve been asked on several occasions for recipes for photos that I’ve posted of meals (or smoothies!) that I’ve made. I will be posting a healthy recipe of some sort once a week.
  • I plan on discussing something that I either come across online or that I’m going through with infertility or IVF once a week. I want to share knowledge that I’ve gained because I know how shitty it can be, especially if you’re at a military installation that doesn’t have great treatment in this department.
  • This is more for me, but I want to give a recap of our week or weekend to look back on. I have a 3 year gratitude book where you have a few lines to scribble a few sentences about your day. I don’t know how the eff this is so hard for me to do, but I tend to do it once a week at most and end up scratching my head about what the hell happened that day. I think a quick weekly post about this will help in that department ๐Ÿ™‚

 

I also want to share some of my DIY projects, crafts, or inexpensive small renovations, but I’m not planning on dedicated weekly posts to this. However, I have a few cute things I’ve done and I’m definitely going to let you in on them!

Great quote, but my dreams have been redonk lately and about dinosaurs- not about hope. WTF :/

This change will take place over the next few weeks, so it won’t be sudden ๐Ÿ™‚ Another thing- I tend to have a bad mouth and write as I would speak. This can be a good and bad thing. I try to find a happy medium between the two- I don’t want to deny who I am and try to act all proper, but then again I don’t want to sound like a white trash sailor.

I hope the rest of the week treats you all well. Luckily, I’m off tonight (although tomorrow night at work may be a beast), and I’m looking forward to some Monday night football and homemade cheeseburgers grilled my hubby (93% lean grass-fed, no antibiotic/hormone) and baked sweet potato fries and green beans compliments of moi ๐Ÿ˜‰ He leaves again tomorrow which sucks a huge one ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Have a great night!

 

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First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes….IVF ????

Well, after a meeting with our GYN here back in June, then having two consultations with different Reproductive Endocrinologists in the Phoenix area, we have ultimately decided to move forward and plan on doing IVF (in vitro fertilization). We will also be doing ICSI (intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection) and more than likely PGS (preimplantation genetic screening) with it. I’ll briefly explain what are three procedures are, then answer a few questions that I have been asked.

IVF- Basically, it’s the process of taking the women’s eggs that she produces out of her body with a long needle and putting them into a lab dish with sperm in hopes that they will combine, then transferring an embryo (or embryos) back into a woman’s body. Now it’s much more complicated that that, haha. There are various protocols for different doctors, but a women is typically on birth control from 2-3 weeks to shut down her ovaries and control her cycle. A few days after the last pill is taken, she should have menstrual cycle (I was told it could be very light), and then monitoring via ultrasound and blood work begins as she starts on medication. Injections are then added to the mix to help produce lots of eggs.  The woman is usually put under during the retrieval of the eggs.

You can either do a fresh or frozen cycle. If it’s fresh, the embryos are put back inside 3-5 days after the retrieval. If it’s frozen, you don’t do the transfer until the following cycle. I’ve heard that more and more doctor’s are doing frozen cycles as they are more successful overall (this is what both of the RE’s we spoke with do), but there’s obvious success with both. The woman is NOT put out during the transfer, but is supposed to take it easy for a few days (and sometimes even be on bed rest) in hopes that implantation will occur.

ICSI- ICSI is simply used in combination with IVF. The meds and montoring are done the same way, but after the retrieval, the embryologist actually directly injects a sperm into an egg instead of just hoping they will combine in the lab dish. This is more effective when you have a male factor involved (as we do) or if the woman does not produce many eggs. Yes, it costs extra, but it’s obviously worth it!

PGS- This is a screening that is sometimes controversial.One or more cells are removed from each embryo to check for any chromosomal abnormalities. When an embryo has a chromosomal abnormality, there is a high chance that it will not implant; thus, the IVF cycle will obviously fail. However, it if does implant, it will often times lead to miscarriage. There’s the whole debate between people on how embryos are already considered a form of life and shouldn’t be messed with. I’m not here to discuss this issue. At first I didn’t think twice about this screening as it’s pretty pricey (about $3,000-$5,000 extra on top of the IVF/ICSI), but Tyler was all for it as it will decrease our risk of miscarriage and increase our chances of a live birth. Only embryos that pass the screening will be transferred back into me.

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Had to insert this little prom pose photo from the ball in July to break up the text, haha.

Hopefully that makes things a bit more understandable about the process ๐Ÿ™‚ You can read about why we chose to go the IVF route HERE.

I’ll save our tentative plan for next time, but here’s a few questions that I’ve been asked lately:

 

Does your insurance cover it? No, Tricare does not cover IUI or IVF. Basically, anything that is not being done in conjunction with timed intercourse isn’t covered. However, there are a few military bases across the country that do these procedures at a discounted rate. The closest one to us is in San Antonio, and I was actually referred there by my GYN but was denied as they were not accepting new patients then. There are a few reasons why we chose not to go to a military hospital that offers treatment. First of all, you have to be there for about 3 weeks total. That’s a long ass time and you obviously have to pay for travel and lodging expenses. Tyler wouldn’t need to be there the whole time with me, but still. Secondly, each hospital does the IVF in clusters and they only do the cycles 3-4 times a year. I understand the concept to it, but what the hell. Also, they do fresh cycles and do not do the PGS. So there’s that ๐Ÿ™‚

Hopefully this is true ๐Ÿ™‚

Where will you be doing this? I spent weeks researching RE’s in the Southwest cities that are within driving distance from El Paso and Fort Huachuca, AZ- Albuquerque, Tuscan, and Phoenix. I looked into Colorado Springs, but that’s almost 12 hours from Huachuca and that would be God awful sitting in a car for that long feeling like shit on stims or sick after the retrieval. Plus, I need to be able to do this drive on my own if need be, and I ain’t driving that far ๐Ÿ˜‰ After viewing websites and reviews, I found a few doctor’s in Phoenix that caught my eye and narrowed it down to two. The facility we are doing this at is in Gilbert, AZ- and the ironic part is that the building is literally right next door to the apartments I lived in back in 2008/2009. Like I could see my old balcony from the office, haha.

We dropped off our medical records before we met with another RE in early August and were both highly impressed with the facility, New Direction Fertility. After a mix-up about a phone consultation two weeks ago, we were able to rescheduled for last Friday night. Tyler and I spoke with the doctor on speaker phone, and he answered everything thoroughly and then some. This doctor was the only one that found that I have elevated AMH levels which is a sign of PCOS. I have been told for almost two years that I don’t have PCOS (no multiple cysts, no facial hair, high testosterone levels, not overweight, not resistant to insulin), but elevated AMH levels can make it more difficult to conceive. My AMH was 7.62ng/ML, so while it’s nothing out of this world, it’s not within normal range for my age.

The doc also seems to work well with out-of-state patients making it as easy as possible. IVF is a very time consuming, emotional and physically challenging procedure, so anything that will help me understand and relax is appreciated. Him and his wife suffered from infertility and they now have two sets of twins from IVF which he did himself!

Why are you going straight to IVF and not going to attempt IUI first? I mentioned that in my previous post, but to be more specific, it’s due to success rates and finances. The RE we are seeing does IUI’s for a pretty good price and said he thinks we could get pregnant in 3-4 rounds of it. Key word is “thinks”. While we know that IVF is not a sure thing, the chances of success are about 70-75% (with PGS) compared to the 7% with IUI. We also had to think about traveling to Phoenix for each round and the emotional stress of it. Plus, IUI might not work and then we would proceed to IVF so we’d be paying more in the long run.

Lmao. This should be interesting as I was such a treat on Clomid :/

That’s all I’ve got for now, but please don’t hesitate to ask any questions! ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, I understand that everyone has their own different views and opinions not only about advanced reproductive procedures, but about our journey as well. While I’m willing to discuss it all as I know it’s a sensitive, taboo, and sometimes embarrassing or shameful topic, I just want it to be known that it’s still hard for me to wrap my mind around it all. We are more than ready for the next chapter in our lives (not just meaning pregnancy and parenthood), and I’m both scared and excited about what the next several months will hold for us ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

How I’m Naturally Trying to Regulate My Cycles & Boost Ovulation

When we got news that Tyler was deploying, we agreed that I would keep monitoring my progesterone levels each month, but I would not use ovulation tests and partake in temping. It became too stressful to constantly use OPKs, only to get a negative pregnancy test month after month. There was no point in me keeping track of this stuff on my own.

It was honestly a relief to just be free for a while as those little strips would sometimes have an impact on my mindset or mood. However, I’ve researched the crap out of conceiving via the “natural route” (herbal remedies, acupuncture, etc.) and Western medicine. There is no discrimination on our end- we are for them both. However, TJ and I both agreed that trying to prepare my body for conception a few months before he got home was a proactive measure. Out of the nearly 10 months Tyler was gone, there were only two months where my progesterone was above 5 (September was around 6 and October was around 7). Every other month my body just simply wasn’t ovulating, and it’s impossible to conceive without ovulation. Side note: some women do not ovulate every single cycle- that’s not abnormal. It becomes abnormal when it happens repeatedly.

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Fertilaid, 81mg of baby aspirin, Pregnitude, folic acid, Vitex, and fertility tea. I don’t use these all at the same time!

I continued taking a prenatal vitamin after Tyler left, but I switched to every other day with a woman’s multivitamin in between. I didn’t want to waste the multivitamins, so that was the main force behind that decision, haha. The prenatal vitamins I use are from my OBGYN and I pick them up from the pharmacy on post. That and the folic acid tablet, which I take when we are activity TTC, are both free with Tricare!

I also heard about Pregnitude. It’s a little pricey, but we’re all for investing money in trying to have a baby. I’ll be honest- I didn’t take two packets a day as the directions showed- I only did one. However, the months I did this, my progesterone was higher (see above)! I don’t know if it was the Pregnitude or just a coincidence, but I stopped taking it after October and my progesterone was never above 2 after that. Perhaps I should’ve kept on taking the supplement, but I didn’t see the point as Tyler would still be gone for many months so it felt like a waste of money.

After reading numerous articles about it online, ordered Vitex via Amazon a few months ago. You can read about it HERE. One of the benefits of it is that it is supposed to help naturally regulate your cycle which is what I need. The capsules are like freaking horse pills and look like dirt is inside of it. I got one caught in my thought and it tasted like I just ate a block of wood๐Ÿ˜ย  Aside from that, my cycle from March-April was 33 days long! Keep in mind that I took Vitex and Pregnitude. My progesterone on CD 21 was still less than 2 though, so while it shortened my cycle, I didn’t ovulate which is our ultimate goal. However, evenย if/whenย I ovulate, who knows if the egg quality will be good. A RE would be able to do tests and relay this information to us.

Fertilaid is another supplement that is supposed to help balance out female hormones which helps aid in conception. I only took this a few times so I can’t give my opinion about it yet. I also ordered Fertilaid for Men for Tyler. Some men might get all butt hurt about taking a supplement, but he was all for it (as long as it was all natural- can’t take your chances of pissing hot while in the military unless you’re a dummy). He stopped taking it once I “thought” I may have ovulated as this shit isn’t cheap. I say thought because I don’t trust OPK’s 100% based on past cycles with getting positive tests, yet NOT ovulating based on my progesterone results or getting good readings but not getting knocked up. Then there was that month when I got like 10 straight days of positive tests, haha. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyways, Tyler will get his seman analysis done early cycle. My doctor told us to hold off and enjoy ourselves this first month. His last analysis about a year and a half ago came back normal, but they like to test every 12 months when TTC (although we weren’t active much of this time) and after a deployment as you are pumped with various vaccinations.

Moontime, the organic fertility tea, is actually super good! It has a slight minty taste to it, and I’ve enjoyed it in the morning and evening. I’ve also been sipping on hot Green tea and adding the Pregnitude to it.

As I mentioned before, we are trying medicated cycles now (first round of Femara at 5mg…but I’m pretty sure this cycle was another bust). However, I hope the supplements have been helping my body prepare for conception in the near future. I had a vaginal ultrasound done last month on like CD 28 and the lady said my lining was thin and I should expect a period in about two weeks…but my period started 3 days later. So yeah. I’m wanting to thicken my uterine lining as that plays a huge role in implantation. I honestly don’t think we will even try Clomid again as one of the side effects is thinning of the lining. I’ll have freaking nothing left, haha!

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Needed a selfie to break up the text ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Alright, I’m off to watch a movie with Tyler and our boys. Hope you all have a great week!

*Have you or someone you know ever tried natural fertility supplements?

*Do you know of anything else that I didn’t mention?

 

 

 

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

Today is Friday and I’m off- woo! I’m looking forward to spending the day with Tyler. I’m in charge of planning what we’re doing this morning and he’s in charge of the afternoon, so we shall see how this turns out ๐Ÿ™‚ I have to admit- I got a bit nervous about him coming home and thinking about if things changed between us, if he changed, etc. The whole period of being reunited and getting settled back into everyday life is called reintegration, and I read blogs and articles about how it can be a struggle. I may write more about this at a later time, but things have actually been the same around here, if not better ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyways, today I’m linking up with Jen inย honor or Military Spouse Appreciation Day (yes, this is a real thing, haha). I don’t even remember how I stumbled upon Jen’s blog (http://kyleandjensmith.blogspot.com/), but she writes about everyday life, running, and everything in between. The following questions were asked to be answered, so here we go

 

//Tell us about yourself and your blog.

My husband, Tyler, and I moved to El Paso (Fort Bliss) in June of 2012. I was a full time student at the time, trying to figure out this wife thing and finding my place in the world. I honestly don’t know how I got started reading blogs, but I think it was through finding healthy recipes to make for us online, haha.ย After a while, I realized that I don’t need a place in the world- I needed an outlet. After much encouragement from Tyler, I startedย Living in Bliss. At first it was to just document our time living inย El Paso together… but thenย we got pregnant and endured a missed miscarriage at 14 weeks and I knew thatย this would be a great way to help me recover mentally and hopefully reach out to other women who are feeling alone and helpless. Now, I basically talk about our fertility issues and trying to conceive again, military life and deployment, crafts and DIY projects, and whatever the hell else I feel like ๐Ÿ™‚

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June 2012. We spent a few nights on a blow up mattress while we waited for our furniture to be delivered ๐Ÿ™‚

 

//What branch of military are you affiliated with?

My husband is a First Lieutenant in the Army. We’ve been together over five years, but married just under three. After attending Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning, TJ went on to BOLC at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and he proposed in Oklahoma City in April 2012. We married in El Paso that June- no messing around ๐Ÿ˜‰ Long story short- Tyler enlisted in 2001, the year he graduated high school (he was actually in boot camp when 9/11 occurred). He signed up for six years, went through two tours in Iraq, lived in Italy and at Fort Campbell, and got out as a Staff Sergeant in 2007. He moved back to our hometown and we met in Februaury of 2010 (though we’re from the same town, we didn’t know each other despite having some “acquaintances” in common. T went to a different high school and is three years older than me…cradle robber!). Shortly before graduating college, he decided to go back in the army as an officer.

//What is one thing you enjoy about the military lifestyle?

This may sound odd, but I actually like the fact that we have moved away from our hometown and established a life for ourselves. Of course I miss our family and friends and it saddens me not seeing them often, but we’re always just a plane ride or phone call away. Although this is our first duty station together, I’m excited to move every few years and experience different places- not to mention all the traveling and visiting awesome places that we otherwise wouldn’t have experienced. My husband already has almost 10 years of service under his belt, so we won’t be living this life forever. I’m eager to see where we settle after he retires!

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Military Ball. December 2013. Found my dress for 10 bucks at Plato’s closet and did my own make up, nails, and hair ๐Ÿ™‚

 

//What advice would you give other spouses who are new?

I have a few words of advice. First of all, do not listen to the generalizations of enlisted vs. officer wives. There are amazing spouses and those that are assholes on both sides of the fence. Also, not every duty station is gonna be a picnic. I never in a million years thought I’d be living in El Paso, and I heard lots of bad things about it. Yes, I miss the seasons, greenery, beaches, and knowing what everyone is saying out in public (my Espanola is not perfecto, haha), but it’s not forever. Go in with an open mind wherever you go and find the good in the area. I’ll admit that I never got involved with the FRG, but I know that’s helped a lot of spouses. There are other ways to get involved though and there are services on post that help with job searching (ACS). I feel as though many spouses use frequent moves (or in my current situation, because El Paso is primarily a Spanish speaking community) as a crutch to not be able to further their education or land a job. Annoying. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Keep a positive mind set and don’t bitch at your husband about where you’re stationed. Go on day trips and invest time into hobbies you enjoy.

 

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One of our many day trips. This was at White Sands in New Mexico ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Also, deployment isn’t a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Tyler’s last deployment was sprung upon us- he literally left within two weeks of being notified. That rocked my world as he was in a non-deployable unit, haha. My biggest piece of advice is to stay busy. We obviously don’t have children and if we did, it would have been different. Seriously- get a job, volunteer, learn something new- do whatever you can to stay busy as it’ll make time go by faster.

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Lounging around watching movies in late 2012.

 

 

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask! I hope to connect with some awesome ladies ๐Ÿ™‚ If you’re affiliated with the military, what is one thing you enjoy/despise about the lifestyle and what advice would you give fellow spouses or significant others?

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! I’ll be back next week to talk about some DIY projects, healthy recipes, and fertility stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

April 2015 Update

So this morning I had a follow up appointment with our doctor. All of my labs came back normal (except my progesterone which is always very low). That’s awesome in a way, but sometimes I feel like if we knew what the deal was, then perhaps there would be some type of actual treatment for it. Anyways, my cycle day 21 fell over the weekend, so I got another blood draw to check my progesterone levels after my appointment.

My doctor set up Plan A for us which goes as follows:

  • On cycle day 35 (Saturday, April 25) I can either take the Provera she prescribed me to induce a period OR wait for it to come on it’s own. Over the past several months, my cycles have been anywhere from 40-57 days long… Tyler is wanting me to take the med (as am I)…we wanna get the show on the road when he returns. However, I took this medication last year and nothing happened- NO menstrual cycle. I finally had to be put on birth control for a month to induce a period ๐Ÿ˜ฆย  So we shall see.

 

  • After a new cycle occurs, I was told to call my doctor ASAP to notify her. I’ll then have to go get an HCG (pregnancy) blood test done on post to ensure I’m not pregnant (dumb because my husband has been gone for 9 months, but procedures over rule). She should receive those results within a day or two and then send in my prescription for Femara (letrozole) to take on cycle days 5-9

 

  • I will have to go through this each cycle (calling, HCG blood test, then picking up my prescription) which is different than Clomid. I didn’t have to go through the blood work to get my prescription with Clomid, so although it’s a bit more of a hassle (especially with working full-time and the labs/pharmacy being slow as fuck sometimes), we are content with trying a different medication with less side effects.

 

  • We will repeat this plan for 2-3 cycles. If nothing happens, we will move foward.

 

Plan B will either be trying Clomid for 2-3 cycles OR being referred to a specialist. There is only ONE RE is El Paso, and the wait time is a few months. However, there are one or two OBGYN’s that specialize in infertility, so we would probably go that route due to our time restraint of PCSing early next year. Injections and/or IUI would be Plan B if we choose not to do Clomid again.

So that’s it- short and sweet. Honestly, all I want is to see my husband again. It’s the little things in life that he does mean the most to me, such as kissing me goodbye every single morning before he goes to PT; demanding a kiss when one of us comes home from work; holding my hand while we’re driving, at the movies, or just out and about; playing with our dogs as if they were children…I can’t wait to see him watching his boring ass TV shows (I’m sorry, but I cannot get into Game of Thrones for the life of me) while I cuddle up next to him reading a book or simply drifting off to sleep…

Anyways, we shall see what happens. I’ve been trying to focus on the things I have, rather than the things I don’t have. And it’s made life a tad bit sweeter ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Cubs Spring Training in Arizona last March. I obviously don’t have recent pics of us, and this is fitting for the time of year. Go Cubbies!

 

Military Stereotypes

Military Stereotypes. Yep,ย  I’m going there. I’m going to reference a link below, so click on it before you read my thoughts:

Click HERE.

These are just my random thoughts….

  • All military spouses are unemployed- No, they’re not. I’ve met a handful of spouses, both enlisted and officer’s wives, that are stay at home wives/mothers or are working. However, I’ve noticed that on both sides of the spectrum, those with one kid or several do not work. Some of them are involved in the FRG or other volunteer work though. I could honestly give a rat what anyone else does as long as they don’t get in our way. I’ve read on numerous sites/Facebook pages that it’s impossible to find a job here in El Paso because it’s such a predominant Spanish speaking community. I DO agree that it’s difficult, but not unattainable. My Spanish has gotten better since being employed, and while I don’t have the exact words to speak back to people sometimes, it’s kinda cool to know what they’re saying in a different language. I joke that I’ll be fucked if we move to Germany next and I won’t know a thing ๐Ÿ˜‰
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When I was a stay at home wife, full time student ๐Ÿ™‚ Taking this cutie to the dog park!

 

  • All military spouses are pregnant- Yep, I agree. Just kidding. I have no idea, but I DO see many young women at the hospital/clinic when I go for my appointments. I heard the super preggo girl in front of me the other day say she was born in 1998 and about crapped my pants. I’m kind of conflicted with this generalization. My husband was married before (when he was enlisted), but they choose not to have kids right away (thank God). I will say that we are out of the ordinary for our age (I’m 29 and he’s 32) and not having any children. Most of the activities on post are children oriented. Bottom line- women get pregnant all the time in general. Men: wear a rubber if you’re not married. Don’t believe that your girl is on birth control or taking it right.

 

  • They have a hill of kids at home-ย  I’ve seen families with 3-5 kids and some with none at all (VERY rare). Once again, don’t most families have children? Is it a proven fact that military families conceive more? I wouldn’t doubt it based on the amount of time it takes me to book a god damn doctor’s appointment for something simple, haha.

 

  • They wear their service member’s rank- I’ve never really seen this. I have seen it against me though. After it was known that my husband is an officer, it was thrown in my face that “he makes more so we can afford things” and whatnot. UMM, my husband earned what he has because he got a college degree. Seeing that he was enlisted before, he knew how to live on the salary of each rank as well. I’m proud of my husband. Like somtimes, it makes me want to cry, proud. But I’m just his lady…I’ll follow him wherever he goes, but his rank is HIS doing. I am going to make the best out of MY career wherever we go ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Cold as balls in Georgia, but my pinning my babe!

  • ย All military spouses are uneducated- I’m not going to lie. I tend to see on social media that there are many enlisted soliders’ wives not only without college degrees, but with no high school diploma! Unless you’re a rock, graduate from high school. If you don’t want a Bachelor’s degree, at least get an associates or some other type of schooling. Look into MYCAA. Do NOT rely on your husband and his job/income to supplement your lifestyle and bearing children. I’m more of a “what if” happens kind of person…I know if the big D ever happened to us, I’d at least have my degree and experience in my favor. I also see many officer wives that have an education and not working. So yeah. It’s all situational and what works best for your family ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Tyler MADE me walk…then took me out for brunch ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

  • All military spouses are wealthy- Who the eff said this? LMAO.

 

  • All military spouses are lonely- ย Yes, field exercises and deployments are lonely. Some people deal with their loneliness by going out all the time, or unfortunately, cheating. Luckily, I’ve always been a more introverted person. Don’t get me wrong- I love being with my family and close friends, but I can handle being alone. I can organize the shit out of things, read, clean, work out, play with my dogs, make crafts, and cook/meal prep. Work takes up most of my time, but when I’m alone I try to push aside the loneliness by distracting myself with old reruns of TV shows on Netflix or music playing in the background.
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My boys have been a huge blessing during TJ’s deployment. They look out for their mommy!

 

  • ย All military spouses are bossy- ย  Uhhh? Never heard this before. NO.

 

  • All military spouses are high maintenance-ย  I’ve only met a few this way. I could give two shits about designer brands (on certain things). If you’re that high maintenance, you must come from money.

 

Alright, so that’s it. What do you think about the military spouse stigma?

Focusing on What I Have, Rather Than What I’m Without.

So we are in the last stretch of this deployment…Things have slowed down a little bit at work, I made my last quick trip back home to Indiana in January, and now things are just kinda whatever.

Throughout the past week or so, I’ve seen three Facebook pregnancy announcements. Before I go any further, I want it to be known that I’m truly happy – for real. But part of me still gets emotional. I get pissed that we are losing out on 9 months of our lives not only trying to make a baby, but making memories together in the meantime. Then I get ashamed that I’m mad because I’m scared and worried for my husband and his safety.

I cannot control any of this. I CAN control what is in my life now, and I want to write about what I’m grateful for in the present moment.

  • ย Family- Tyler and I both have awesome families. My familial situation transpired into a much happier place, and I honestly couldn’t have married into a better family. My brother and sister are my best friends (as is Megan P), and while I don’t talk to my parents all the time, our relationships are better than ever.
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Bad photo, but all of us kids with our parents together…and TJ ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Me with Tyler’s parent’s, nieces, and grandma…and their dogs, Molly and Mike! My sister and brother-in-law were out of town that weekend I flew home ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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Old picture, but one of my favorites. My MIL with my SIL, BIL, and their two girls!

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My uncle and aunt. I can’t talk about them without tearing up…they gave me a true home, support, and unconditional love. I was ashamed and bitter about my immediate family situation for a long time, but I realized had that not occurred, I may not have been blessed with getting to know these two amazing people as I did.

  • ย My Best Friend- I don’t talk about my social life on my blog much…but I want it to be known today how absolutely thankful I am for her friendship. I met Megan in 6th grade, and while we’ve had our fair share of turbulence, she is the one thing that has remained constant in my life over the 18 years. Together we’ve endured obnoxious arguments, fun vacations, personal challenges, life lessons, and just everyday bullshit. Megan…I’ve told you before, but you’ve picked me up when I’ve been down, and never judged me. We may have sucked at being roommates, but our friendship is one thing that I have never doubted. You’ve been there for me during my darkest hours and brightest days. I hope that I have reciprocated this friendship. I love you and your family…and thank you for being a part of my life.
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7th grade!

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My best girl a few days before we moved to Texas. June 2012.

On a different note, I’ve also had to end ties with a friendship or two. Relationships are a two-way street, and if efforts are reciprocated, then really…what’s the point? In addition, people simply grow apart. Instead of dwelling on on the relationship, it’s sometimes better just to face reality and accept that things have changed. And that’s okay ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Our Dogs- Stiffler has been Tyler’s light and joy since the day he got him (before my time). He’s gone through a handful of mommy’s, but it makes me feel good knowing that he will finally come to me when we are out at the dog park. A few years ago, he basically would look at me say say “F you” and run away ๐Ÿ˜ฆ As far as Wrigley goes… Tyler asked me what kind of dog I wanted a few years ago. I know we could’ve gone to the pound, but we didn’t. I knew what I wanted. Long story short:

My mom and her ex would go through wild breakups, and in the midst of one, she said we could finally have a dog. I liked my ex’s dogs, which were Weimaraner’s, but wanted something smaller. It was between a vizsla or a German short-haired pointer. We found a breeder in Michigan that had vizsla’s up for adoption, so that’s what we went with. We all drove 4 hours to pick out/up our pup…Chris and Kath were playing with the puppies, and while I stood in a corner and one little guy ran up to me and just sat there, starring at me. I scooped him up and he was the cutest, most loving, and calm puppy ever. I promptly went over to the kids and my mom and said he was the one. And his name was Charlie.

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I can’t go through old photos, so here is one I found on Facebook of CharChar.

Much more goes into this, but I couldn’t have Charlie, so my ex took care of him after we broke up. I’d still go to see him from time to time or we would meet at the dog park, but it wasn’t the same- and it broke my heart. I was working and going to school, trying to get my life on track. I vowed NEVER to get a pet again until I was financially secure. Then enters Tyler. It may sound effed up, but I wanted another vizsla. I loved Charlie (he was unfortunately aggressive towards some women and children, but NEVER towards me), and TJ and I even tried to figure out how we could go get him (unfortunately, wasn’t possible). I found a breeder outside of San Antonio, and TJ didn’t hesitate. We drove there and back to verify and pick out our pup, then there and back again after he was ready to come home. Although we knew we wanted a male, I couldn’t decide which puppy, so I made Tyler. And he chose the fattest….Wrigley was seriously pawing and making noises at his brothers and sisters in the fenced in area, haha.

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Cutest little disaster ever!

This little guy is the light of my life. He follows me everywhere- even into the bathroom. I’ve taught him to sit, lay, and shake….woo! He sleeps with me at night- HAS to be laying on me somehow- his head, legs..anything! On a side note, I truly do love Stiffler, and I’m happy that Wrigley can help keep him young. Stiff is well-mannered, isn’t a lunatic, and comes when I call him. We’ve come a long way ๐Ÿ˜‰

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A few weeks after we brought Wrigley home. One of my favorite photos.

  • ย My Job- Keeps my busy and I work with some awesome people. I’m not a field I’m educated in (in certain aspects), so it can be challenging, but I’ve learned a lot thus far. I’ve also made peace with not beating myself up over where I’m at in my life career-wise. But you know what? I have an amazing husband of over two and a half years who would do just about anything for me and supports me. We have some future endeavors in mind that I’m excited about, so I know this chapter in my life isn’t forever. It’s merely just a stepping stone ๐Ÿ˜‰

I can’t freaking wait until Tyler comes home. I’m excited and scared and nervous all at the same time…Until then, I’m going to get our house in order. I’ve already filled two huge garbage bags of stuff we don’t need/want anymore (we meaning I, haha), and started deep cleaning. Cleaning blinds is a bitch BTW.

* What are you thankful for?

* Have you ever had to pull the plug on long-time friendships?

2014 in review

My blog was pretty much placed on the back burner over the past several months. I go through periods where I want to write about so much, and other times, I feel as though I have nothing to give or say at all. However, it’s pretty cool to see the breakdown of things throughout the year.

It seems as though my “most popular” posts are when I’m venting about random shit or discussing our fertility issues. Take a look at the breakdown of it all- it’s cool!

Also…I’d love feedback on what YOU like to hear about most. My (naive) thoughts on everyday life, (in)fertility issues, crafts, military related things, fitness and nutrition (which I barely discuss anyways). PLEASE let me know via comment, email (kannsingleton@gmail.com), or leave a Facebook message!

Cheers to 2015….I can’t tell you how happy I am to ring in the New Year with my love…even if we’re alone and on opposite ends of the world.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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I Have Nothing but a Survey…

I’m trying to get back into blogging…but honestly, I have no motivation. I was given this survey by a fellow blogger, and I’m relaxing with my boys tonight while watching Elf, so figured I’d give it a go.

 

The Four Survey

 

Four names that people call me other than my real name:

  1. Kimmy
  2. Kimby (Tyler’s name to me when I’m being a huge biach illogical/irrational or not agreeing with him)
  3. Boo (Tyler’s endearing name to me)
  4. Big Saf back in the day? haha. My mom calls me Kimbers, and my dad calls me Kimberly.

 

Four jobs Iโ€™ve had:

  1. babysitter
  2. sales associate/manager at a tanning salon (for like 5 years…but moved to AZ and back for 6 months in between).
  3. stay at home wife/student…I was taking 6 classes so I wasn’t really a stay at home anything, I just wasn’t bringing in a paycheck ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Can I do this forever?
  4. Assistant manager at a global retailer

 

Four movies Iโ€™ve watched more than once:

  1. Forrest Gump
  2. Titanic
  3. Big
  4. Stepbrothers

 

Four books Iโ€™d recommend:

  1. Something Borrowed (and Something Blue) by Emily Giffin…Do NOT read her latest book, The One and Only. Sucks…and I’ve read everything by her.
  2. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes….SO GOOD
  3. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty…What Alice Forgot and The Hypnotist’s Love Story are also good. Currently reading Big Little Lies.
  4. The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. My grandma gave me this book to read in middle school. She was also a fan of Nicholas Sparks (middle finger to all you haters…sometimes it’s MORE than just a cheesy love story). She’d buy his books and read them then give them to me to read and we’d talk about them afterwards….hence, my soft spot for these novels…and I’ll continue to buy them. Unfortunately, some hardbacks got ruined when her basement was flooded, but I’m trying to buy them back despite being paperback (no, I don’t want these in my kindle…to personal!).

 

Four places Iโ€™ve lived

  1. Merrillville, IN
  2. Valparaiso, IN
  3. Gilbert, AZ
  4. El Paso, TX

 

Four places Iโ€™ve visited:

  1. Numerous places on the Gulf Coast of Florida…Indian Shores being my favorite!
  2. The Bahamas
  3. Las Vegas
  4. Oklahoma City…I obviously need to travel more…TYLER… ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

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Carefully holding my drank!

 

Four places Iโ€™d rather be right now:ย ย  I’d obviously rather be with my husband (or family) anywhere, but that ain’t happening, so I’m writing where I’d like to go someday.

  1. The Mediterranean (Spain, Greece, Italy, France, Croatia, wherever!). Anywhere that is lined with the ocean in Europe. Sorry, I know there’s a shit ton of history there, but I want beautiful, tranquil scenery.
  2. San Fransisco and Yosemite Park
  3. New York City- I’m not a city girl by any means, but I think it’d be fun to go here for a long weekend and compare it to Chicago
  4. Some resort with white sandy beaches and crystal clear water

 

Four things I prefer not to eat:

  1. Salmon
  2. Sauerkraut
  3. Pretty much anything fried
  4. Not a fan of hot sauce…so anything with that.

 

Four of my favorite foods:

  1. Italian (pizza, pasta)
  2. Avocado
  3. Greek yogurt
  4. Honey crisp apples

 

Four TV shows I watch:

  1. House Hunters
  2. The Real Housewives of Orange County
  3. Started Orange is the New Black before TJ left…but haven’t brought myself to finish the season. Though we watched and own the entire series, I’ve been watching Breaking Bad randomly again.
  4. Old 90’s shows (Full House, Home Improvement, Growing Pains, The Wonder Years, Step by Step, Boy Meets World, etc.) I’m lame.

 

Four things Iโ€™m looking forward to this year: ย ย  (doing 2015)

  1. TYLER COMING HOME
  2. TYLER COMING HOME
  3. TYLER COMING HOME
  4. A long weekend home in January

 

Four things Iโ€™m always saying:

  1. I love you/I miss you
  2. Wrigley!!!! Come!
  3. Stiffler!!! Stiffler!!! Stiffler!! Stiffler! Stifffffllllerrrr!!!!! Come. (he is either confused that I’m his REAL mom or he doesnt give a fug, haha).
  4. ย Oh my god/No way

 

Four people I tag to answer these questions:

  1. Lauren from Laurealism
  2. Elizabeth from Elizabeth Loves
  3. Dani from Love Comma Mom
  4. Dawn from Our Greatest Desire

Simple Ways to Save Money

I’m by no means a financial expert. In fact, I didn’t even open up my first credit card until I was 24 because I lived with the mindset “never buy more than you can afford”. I still believe this to a certain extent, but you also have to have credit. Unless you’re making bank each month,ย you may needย to charge some things once in a while. Anyways, here are a few things that I currently do to save …or not spend unnecessary money.

Nix getting your nails done. I go through phases with painting my nails because because sometimes I become lazy and don’t care (this happens often). I’ve gotten regular manicures done and the no-chip (or shellac, whatever you call it), but I’ve come to think that it’s a waste of money. Regular mani’s are for sure a waste- my nails would chip within 2 days and that’s like 15 bucks down the drain. I think the no-chip is only good for vacations or big events, so I will indulge when either or those roll around. My secret to doing nails at home that will last is simple- I LOVE Wet n Wild Megalast Nail Color– I have every shade and love them except for one ugly nude color (don’t buy it). I always do two coats and top it with a clear top coat. The color lasts for days and typically only chips at the ends. If this happens, I just touch them up and I’m good to go for another few days!

WP_20140211_017The other nail polish I love is Sinful Gel Tech nail color- it works great! Both brands are under $3 per bottle. Essentially, I could buy 5 bottles of nail polish for one crappy manicure that will last me a few days! Same routine- 2 coats of polish and top coat. Oh, and buy a cuticle cutter (not sure if that’s what it’s called but that’s my name for it).

I give myself pedicures as well, but will indulge in getting it done once or twice a year. I know many women go to the nail salon to relax and treat themselves, but I can’t fathom spending that much money a month on something so simple. I DO, however, get my hair cut and touched up professionally ever 8 weeks or so. My mom was a beautician so I’m anal about keeping my hair healthy.

*** I wrote this post before Tyler left, and I must note that I’m going to indulge in pedis every now and then throughout the duration of his deployment. This will not only give me something small to look forward to, but I wear sandals at work at my feet get super dried out. Plus, we are bringing in more due to the deployment and my income (however, paying off all bills is our priority, so I’m not gonna go buck effing wild).

Meal plan and eat leftovers. Every Saturday or Sunday I come up with a tentative meal plan for the upcoming week. I consider the following things: what we already have on hand, what we have a taste for, what we have not had in a while, and what our schedule looks like Monday-Friday. I typically make a big meal on Sundays (or Mondays if we have off)- that way we have leftovers for the following day (and possibly the day after) AND I can freeze a small portion to have on hand for later use. Big meals include things such as chilis, soups, pastas, or pretty much any sort of crock pot or casserole dish.

DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR LEFTOVERS. If you don’t think you’re going to eat it in a timely manner- freeze it. I was a huge brat growing up and wouldn’t eat leftovers (if I knew they were leftovers, I’d pitch a fit). There are still certain things I don’t like left over, such as fish, so I only make enough for one meal for TJ and me.

Don’t be embarrassed to hit the clearance (or sales) rack first. I’ve done this for years. Why even bother looking at shit that’s full price if you can get something you like for cheaper? I understand that sometimes the clearance rack is a mess and everything is fugly. It’s honestly hit or miss. Take 5 minutes and scan through before you hit the normal priced racks though- you never know what you might find! Here are a few things I have recently found on the clearance rack:

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Marshall’s- regular $50 on clearance for $15

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The Limited- Regular $100, on clearance for $20

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Target- Regular $30, on clearance for $10

I know these pictures don’t do justice, so I’ll take photos once I actually wear them within the next few weeks. All in all, don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed to browse through clearance/sale items.

Don’t do 20 small loads of laundry per week. Okay, I actually have no how much money this actually saves; for all I know we could be saving a honkin’ 3 bucks per month. However, since it’s just Tyler and I in the house, I do about 3 loads of laundry a week. Obviously if you have kids you’re going to be doing more. He tends to have more than I do, simply because of his PT clothes five days a week (which I don’t mind at all!). Tyler used to think his towel to dry off with after a shower was dirty like every time. This makes no sense- you are CLEAN..so why is your towel dirty? Use that bitch a few days in a row.

 

What are some ways you try to save money?

Do you tend to shop at more high end stores or do labels not necessarily matter?

Tell me your best money-saving technique!