Thursday, August 25, 2011

What Are You Living For?

Francis Chan illustrates how our life on earth is only a small, small portion of our existence. He poses the question, "What are you living for?"

Our life is but a flower quickly fading. Here today and gone tomorrow. A wave tossed in the ocean. A vapor in the wind. ~Casting Crowns (Who Am I)

God tells us that we are His. His children. Why are we living for today? Why aren't we living for the eternity that has been prepared for us?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Natural Remedies to Boost Fertility #3: Destressing

This is a continuation of a multiple-post-series based strictly on my personal research, especially through the book Making Babies. See here for #1: The Basics and here for #2: Lifestyles of the Naturally Fertile.


Stress Reduction Throughout Your Cycle
     Phase 1 (Menstruation)- Naturally, we have low energy during this phase. Stay home and cocoon. Also, we can feel disappointment from a failed cycle. Try to focus on the long-term and make a plan for this new cycle. Start fresh and keep optimistic.
     Phase 2 (Pre-Ovulation)- During this phase, we often feel positive feelings of well-being and have a higher energy level. Take walks with your husband, go out on dates, and talk about the future.
     Phase 3 (Ovulation)- We hold onto feelings of well-being, but can also feel anxiety and pressure about conceiving. Try to incorporate a few relaxation techniques into this phase.
     Phase 4 (Potential Implantation)- We often feel anxious, awaiting the result of the cycle. Reflect on positive images and memories.

Visualization Throughout Your Cycle

Sit on a chair with your feet touching the floor. Inhale, imagining breathing light into your body. Exhale, imagining breathing light out all around you. Finish by imagining yourself under a waterfall, the cleansing water passing over and through you, taking with it any problems, worries, or health issues.

     Phase 1- Turn your attention inward, focusing on your uterus. Imagine the lining leaving, creating a smooth surface. Visualize the blood vessels leading to your uterus and blood flowing through them to replenish it with a new supply of blood.
     Phase 2- Imagine 10-20 small follicles growing on your ovaries. Visualize one follicle becoming dominant. See it receiving all the resources it needs from your body. See it growing. Feel the potential this follicle holds.
     Phase 3- Focus on the dominant follicle on your ovaries. Imagine the egg emerging from the follicle and being squeezed out until it is sitting on the surface of the ovary. Visualize the egg being gathered up by the end of the fallopian tube. See the egg being met by sperm. Imagine a sperm merging into the egg. Imagine the fertilized egg on a journey to the uterus.
     Phase 4- Turn your attention inward, focusing on your uterus. Imagine the embryo arriving in the uterus and burrowing into the uterine lining. Visualize the embry drawing nourishment from the uterus' rich blood supply. Turn your attention back to your ovaries and see the ruptured follicle that the egg left behind. Imagine this follicle secreting progesterone to maintain the pregnancy.

Methods of Destressing
  • Take a day to prioritize your day-to-day activities and schedule in relaxation time
  • Weed out things that stress you out or are time wasters
  • Yoga
  • Trade 5 minute massages with a loved one
  • Get creative with painting, drawing, etc.
  • Take a walk
  • Play an instrument
  • Pay compliments to others
  • Cook a meal from scratch
  • Play. With a pet. A child. Your husband.
  • Volunteer
  • Meditate or pray
  • Pedicure/Manicure
  • Call a friend
  • Take a mental vacation to the beach, Italy, or the mountains
  • Write a poem
  • Choose one room in your home a day/week to declutter and clean
  • Blow bubbles
  • Cook a meal for a friend
  • Listen to harp music or other soothing tunes
  • Take a bath with essential oils
  • Go to the zoo
  • Memorize scriptures that are comforting
  • Get lost at a bookstore/library
  • Focus on head to toe relaxation while lying still
  • Go shopping
  • Quiet your inner critical voice
  • Get your hair done
  • Drink a cup of warm tea
  • Take time to look out the window
  • Be a tourist in your own state for a weekend
  • Calm your breathing, slow your mind
  • Write out a list of daily things you are grateful for
  • Have a movie and popcorn evening
  • Exercise
  • Immerse yourself in a scent you love
  • Savor a piece of dark chocolate
  • Focus on a hobby
  • Have a family reading hour
  • Light candles
  • Surround yourself with beauty- a painting, an old love letter, a desktop image, a color
  • Eat your meals at the table and have family time, focusing on each other
  • Flirt with your spouse
  • Drink a glass of cool water
  • Play a game with loved ones
  • Smile. Laugh.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

Coming soon: Fertility types, PCOS, and Fibroids. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Have a Problem

A Christmas Carol and Other Holiday Tales
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
Celebration of Discipline
Crazy Love
Eight Cousins
Gone With the Wind
Listening to God
Made to Crave
Men and Women-Equal Yet Different
Mere Christianity
Pride and Prejudice
Revolution in World Missions
Sacred Marriage
The Circle Trilogy
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat
The Red Tent
The Screwtape Letters
This Present Darkness
Those Who Love
Three Cups of Tea
Treasure Island
When Heaven Weeps

Thirty-one. 31 books I own and have owned for years and years several months AND have not read yet! I have a problem. AND, to make matters worse, I have maaaany more books that I am craving to get my hands on! AND, there will always be MORE.

Some people hoard clothing, some memorabilia from the past, some meaningless knick knacks. It appears...I. Hoard. Books.

Sigh. What is a girl to do. With all of these awesome books (ranging from classics to mysteries to christian non-fiction to new authors to music therapy case studies)...I better never complain about being bored again, huh?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

7 Links

I have seen '7 Links' posts going around health and fitness blogs and wanted to spread it further.

The idea is that once you get tagged in a 7 links post, you post your 7 links of the subjects below, and tag 7 other bloggers. That's a whole lotta 7's!

Here are my links:

1) Most Beautiful: Waiting In My Wings

If you are experiencing a waiting period in your life, you might want to read this re-post of Waiting In My Wings by Stephanie Bryant. It is so beautiful and gave me some much-needed peace.

2) Most Popular: Natural Remedies to Boost Fertility and Natural Remedies to Boost Fertility 2

My natural remedies posts are still a work-in-progress, but it seems as if my readers are quite interested in health, fitness, and learning about simple and natural ways we can boost fertility both instead of and also alongside ARTs.

3) Most Controversial: Guest Post: Colin

My wonderful husband, Colin, wrote a guest post answering questions from my readers. He wrote about married life, being a police officer, and also infertility. What became controversial, I think, is Colin's honest answer to his feelings towards medical intervention. He was in no way trying to offend anyone, but rather offering up his personal convictions.

4) Most Helpful: TTC Timeline and Things You May Not Know About Me

I suppose if you want to know more about me and/or my TTC timeline, these posts might be the most helpful to you!

5) Surprise Success: Dancing in the Minefields and Dancing in the Minefields 2

In these posts, I explore the song Dancing in the Minefields by Andrew Peterson. The line, "Oh, this is harder than we dreamed, but I believe that's what the promise is for" really speaks to me still. In post one, I took a look at the 'why' of infertility. In post two, I wrote about blessings through infertility.

6) Not Enough Attention: Dancing

In this post, I explore a book I read: When Wallflowers Dance: Becoming a Woman of Righteous Confidence. If you lack confidence in any area of your life, read my post and consider picking up the book. Another great book on this subject is So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore. Great reads.

7) Most Proud: We Do: A Look Back

It is not necessarily the writings of this post I am most proud of, but rather, the (easy) decision to say, "Yes!" to marrying Colin almost 5 years ago. He is the love of my life and makes me happy every day.

 *YOUR turn!* I am going to tag 7 people, but I want everyone who reads this to do it as well if you have not already. It is fun to look back at what you have written and how you have grown. If you need more links to check out, take a peek at my friends' blogs below!

My 7 in OCD alphabetical no particular order:

Saturday, August 13, 2011


The PS22 Chorus is an elementary school chorus from Staten Island, directed by Gregg Breinberg. They are amazing! This first video is a song co-written and led by young Greyson Chance (perhaps you've heard him take on Paparazzi by Lady Gaga) called Waiting Outside the Lines. The second is Rolling in the Deep by Adele. They are all over YouTube if you want more!

You never enjoy your life
Livin' inside the box
You're so afraid of taking chances
How are you going to reach the top?

Rules and regulations
Force you to play it safe
Get rid of all the hesitation
It's time for you to seize the day

Instead of just sitting around
And looking down on tomorrow
You gotta get your feet off the ground
The time is now

I'm waiting, waiting, just waiting
I'm waiting, waiting outside the lines
Waiting outside the lines
Waiting outside the lines

Try to have no regrets
Even if it's just tonight
How you gonna walk ahead
If you keep living blind

Stuck in the same position
You deserve so much more
There's a whole world around us
Just waiting to be explored

Instead of just sitting around
And looking down on tomorrow
You gotta get your feet off the ground
The time is now, just let it go

I don't want to have to force you to smile
I'm here to help you notice the rainbow
'Cause I know what's in you is out there

I'm waiting, waiting, just waiting
I'm waiting, waiting outside the lines
Waiting outside the lines
Waiting outside the lines

I'm trying to be patient
Each step is the hardest
I know you can make it
Go ahead and take it

I'm waiting, waiting, just waiting
I'm waiting
I'm waiting, waiting, just waiting
I'm waiting, waiting outside the lines

Waiting outside the lines
Waiting outside the lines

You never enjoy your life
Livin' inside the box
You're so afraid of taking chances
How are you going to reach the top?


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What I'm Loving Lately

Obsessions Loves:

1) Daily iced coffee straight from my refrigerator....

...okay, so I haven't quite given up caffeine completely. But at least I've been sticking to one morning mug, right? (Right?!?)

2) Oatmeal w/fresh fruit for breakfasts--to go along with my coffee! Made with warm oats, blueberries, peaches, homemade coconut pistachio granola, and a dollop of Justin's almond butter. You've got to try this!

3) Redecorating our bedroom. I saw a painting and HAD to have it! When you go home without it and are still drooling, you know it is meant for you. It is a painting of a Venice canal at night with turquoise and blue-sy tones. We also have a bedding set picked out to purchase in the next few to come!

4) Reality TV. Guilty pleasure. Big brother, Hell's Kitchen, Masterchef (and Survivor come fall). Oh, and not gonna lie, I totally watch Teen Mom/16 and Pregnant. That being said, we don't even have cable, we watch them online for free!

5) Looking forward to our vacation in September. We are going to Washington state, where Colin is from. His mom, step-dad, 3 brothers and family are there (Olympia/Chehalis areas). I heart Washington, especially Mount Rainier and all the other mountains-so gorgeous.

What are you loving?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Old Souls

I cannot believe it is August already. Before I know it, the snow is going to fly! In just 2 short months, we could have our first snowfall here in Wisconsin, and that is scary. I love snow for Christmas, but I am truly a summer girl. Give me blue skies, a body of water, let me go barefoot, and I am happy.

Colin had the last 4 days off, and we decided to play 'tourists' where we live. We took a 1 1/2 hour boat cruise around the Chain of Lakes in King, WI. Colin told me that we have old souls. These are the types of things that we enjoy. All the others on the boat tour, minus two small children, were 55+. One man was celebrating his 91st birthday. He was so cute.

*Colin always makes fun of me for saying old people are cute, but they ARE!*

We did meet a 50-something couple on the boat that easily revealed they had not had kids because of infertility. They thought we were newlyweds (!), and of course, when we stated we've been married for 4 1/2 years, they (like everyone else in the world) had to ask if we have kids. They were kind about it all, though, and very relatable.

It's amazing, just amazing, how my eyes have opened to how many couples have had to or currently struggle with infertility.

After the boat ride, we ate at a local restaurant--Clearwater Harbor--just off the water. We just had chicken sandwiches, chive fries, and shrimp bisque, but it was so nice to be able to enjoy a day alone with nowhere to be and no chores to do.

I love these days.