Crushing the Fall Checklist like RAH!

Hi everyone!

We are officially in the season of WINTER!  Woohoo!  I know.  I know.  Technically, winter visited us on the 22nd of December, BUT there have been temperatures closer to Summer than Winter. Nevertheless, I wanted to check in and show how we did on our Fall Checklist challenge.

So you know how it goes.  We came across a great Fall Checklist by SimplyKierste and blogged about it here.  So, here's how we did.



1.  Bake pies.  Yep!  I baked two pecan pies for the very first time.  I also made sweet potato pies in Fall.  And while cobbler isn't exactly pie.  I made a peach cobbler as well!  Woohoo!

2.  Visit the pumpkin patch.  Yes! In our Fall recap, Superbug, Honeybee, and I visited the pumpkin patch for a nice Fall retreat.  A couple of weeks later, the entire family went to a pumpkin patch to celebrate National Adoption Month.

3.  Go through a corn maze.  Done!  Granted, it was a tiny one for the babies but it still counts!

4.  Bake fall cookies.  Yes!  We made some great white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies and some oatmeal raisin cookies as well.  Nothing says fall like the fresh smells of fresh cookies.

5. Trick-or-treat.  Well, we didn't actually trick-or-treat since we don't really do Halloween.  But we did go to our church for their Trunk and Treat and that's pretty close.

6.  Go on a hayride.  We did this twice!  And had a great time every time we did so.

7.  Decorate.  We knocked this one out for Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving accents were everywhere.

8.  Tailgate.  My college homecoming was the perfect tailgating location!

9.  Count our blessings.  :) Each and every day.

What we didn't do :(
1. Jump in a pile of leaves.  We don't have that many trees yet.
2.  Go on a nature walk.  We'll tackle this one for sure in the future.
3.  Pick apples.  How disappointing it was that we couldn't get out to the orchard and pick apples.  That's a must next year.
4. Sit by the fire.  We did it in the summer, but that doesn't count for the fall.  We'll try it again next year.
5. Carve pumpkins.  Never really been a fan of things pumpkin related *gasp I know*
6.  Roast pumpkin seeds.  See above.
7.  S'mores and bonfire.  I love s'mores.  But we did it in the summer and not the Fall.  We have to do better next year.
8.  Drink apple cider.  Yuck lol.  Not a fan!  But maybe Superbug will try it next year.

So, 9 items out of 17 completed.  I say we knocked out quite a few.  Woohoo!!!  Now it's time to focus on our Winter checklist.  That one is coming soon!

Have a great evening.
-WinterMommy



Christmas funs

Hi everyone!  I apologize for falling off the map.  It's been pretty uneventful in our household though we did just celebrate an awesome Christmas.  There is always something so great and special about spending time with people you love and celebrating the true reason for the season of Christmas.  (We even bought a Happy Birthday, Jesus cake).

Christmas is an a great time for our family.  This year was the first one where we were able to celebrate with our Honeybee as a legal (official) member of the family.  No worries about pictures that my mother couldn't take because of confidentiality agreements.  No plans for social worker visits.  No.  This time we just enjoyed spending time with each other.

We started with Christmas Eve.  Every year FatherWinter's family has their annual Christmas Eve fellowship.  There's tons of food, gift exchanges, and fun memories.  This year, because NanaWinter is ill, we decided to host the event at our home.  Enter 24 people, massive amounts of food, special memories for NanaWinter, and a great time that didn't end until 3AM Christmas morning!



FatherWinter and I still had gifts to wrap, so we were up for another two hours wrapping and placing gifts.  It was a great time, but meant we were exhausted.  No one moved until 10AM Christmas morning.

I like to do Christmas brunch.  So I made our Baked French Toast Casserole, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, and Cinnamon Rolls.  A really great meal but I felt a little twinge in my stomach that was a foreboding of things to come.

Fast forward to 3PM and we still hadn't opened gifts.  To his credit, Superbug was very patient.  He knew there had to be a good reason.  He was right.  A bit later Superbug's birth father, FatherPharoah came to visit.  For the record, I love his visits.  They are a testament that blended families do work.

FatherPharoah came and he and FatherWinter embraced.  We all chit chatted, caught up on life, and then began opening gifts so that FatherPharoah could be present for all the gift unwrapping.  I think that's an important time and Superbug was so pleased to have him there.  Then Superbug gave FatherPharoah a gift he'd purchased for him (thinking he would mail it to him).  As always, his timing was perfect  FatherPharoah loved the gift Superbug gave him.

After gifts were opened, we invited FatherPharaoh to go downstairs and have a yummy meal from the feast leftovers.  The fellas then played a few games and then it was time for FatherPharaoh to visit other family members.





Christmas and Honest conversations

Merry belated Chistmas!  I've been trying to get to this blog for a couple of days now, but it has been nonstop and crazy here.  First, we hosted my husband's family's Annual Christmas Eve fellowship.  It was wonderful.  Twenty-four people, tons of food, gifts for S.'s mom who is currently fighting a terminal illness (but she's fighting and we are fighting with her), and great conversation.  Unfortunately, it wasn't over until 3AM and S. and I hadn't wrapped gifts yet.  So, for the next two hours, we wrapped and placed gifts under the Christmas tree.  There weren't a ton, but the wrapping was pretty extensive lol.  S. and I didn't lie down until 5 and the family didn't move until 9:30 AM.
I did our traditional Christmas brunch and we waited until afternoon when other family members stopped by before we opened gifts.  It was a great time...until the virus hit.


I got hit by a massive stomach virus that had it coming from both ends.  I recognized it as the same virus that had hit my hairdresser's home about two weeks ago.  She told me they'd been around someone with the same two week prior.  Made sense with the whole two week incubation period.

I was pretty weak and only just started taking crackers and water this afternoon. It was also this afternoon that my husband and I had some earnest and honest conversations.

It started with our talking about how successful the Christmas Eve party was and somehow we got on the subject of pregnancies.  Don't ask me how.  We usually don't discuss them.  But this time we had honest conversations about how many pregnancy announcements there have been since S. and I have started out #TTC journey.  In almost four years, we've had literally hundreds including simultaneous announcements of two sisters.  This Christmas we've seen the birth announcements of two friends who delivered on Christmas Eve.  Last week I was informed a colleague is expecting at 5 months.  She's skinnier than a twig lol.  It's something to be sure.

There have been tears, angry moments where I cried in showers and parking lots.  There have also been countless celebrations for the same persons.  We've genuinely been excited and happy for the announcers, but it didn't take away from the pain that we weren't conceiving.

S. said one simple phrase and it made me feel better.  He simply said, "One day it will be our turn". That meant a lot to me because we never address the elephant in the room.  We don't talk about it.  We just keep hoping and praying that God is going to let this month be our month.  We held that attitude for our IUI.  We were disappointed, but not defeated.  It will happen.

S. even talked about how we would announce our pregnancy.  He wants to have a party and announce it there.  I wouldn't mind that.  I hope we can do it soon though.  I don't think another four years is feasible.

For now, we're working on TTC naturally until we can figure out where we can find 20K for an IVF treatment.  Sigh....why does it cost so much to become a parent.  And why do insurance companies now cover abortions but not fertility treatments.  Sigh, that's a subject for a different day.

Have a great evening.  Merry belated Christmas.  Happy Holidays.

I understand...

Since starting this TTC journey, I have found so much comfort in the shared stories of other families walking the same path.  Some, like me, are facing secondary infertility.  The unexpected difficulty in conceiving hit hard and the perceived slight that some in the community offer as if secondary infertility isn't "real" infertility has been a shared sentiment.  In other cases, also like mine, the culprit seem seems to lie with the males.  Test results showed abnormal counts, abnormal shapes, or abnormal movement. Then there were PCOS cases, unexplained fertility cases, endometriosis cases, and so many more.

Somewhere in all of the diagnoses and all of the treatments, this secret society was born.  #TTC or trying to conceive sisters were born.  Women who knew the struggle of daily blood draws and hormone injections.  Women who fought the battle of baby envy and baby-related event withdrawal. They just didn't speak to each other.  The kept their stories to themselves.  Sometimes it was a feeling of shame, of failure.  Sometimes it was a perception of embarrassment.  Whatever the reason, it was a silent cry that repeated itself over and over again.  But that's starting to change.

A couple of days ago, a beautiful woman whom I have never met shared a video on her social media account of another beautiful woman who was also trying to conceive.  This woman had a strong following in the social media world.  Her grace and character was felt in every post.  But this post was different.  This post was a letter of pure, open, raw, and unadulterated honesty.  It spoke of her pain and journey with infertility.  Her emotions.  Her pain.  She was effectively "coming out".  More than that, she was becoming a beacon of light for so many.

That woman will never know how many lives she has impacted by being open, honest, and transparent.  She will never know how many people are so appreciative for her stepping into the public eye and sharing something that so many others think should remain private.  This woman spoke eloquently of her experiences with infertility and I am so glad she did.

I knew she understood.  I knew she wouldn't judge me for crying at a pregnant belly or sobbing in the shower after multiple pregnancy announcements.  I knew she wouldn't give me a side eye for peeing on multiple sticks on multiple days.  She would understand.

That's one of the reasons I started writing this blog.  I wanted to do something similar.  I wanted people who have the desire to read to know that they are no alone.  Someone else is with them, supporting them, hoping for them.  Someone else cares.

And today I need the support of the #TTC community more than ever.  Today, S. and I have had to face the sobering reality that an IVF is not financially feasible at this time.  A recent company acquisition by a new buyer has found my husband and his department without employment.  He's been there for over 8 years and has made some very close friendships.  A testament to his heart, he is more worried about his colleagues than himself.  Of course the timing sucks.

We were looking into financing options for the IVF as other options were exhausted.  Unfortunately, without employment, everything must stop even though I am still gainfully employed and there are other sources of income available.  So, I have to call the RE on Monday to cancel our upcoming appointment unless something changes between now and next month.

We won't stop trying to conceive.  Never that.  But, at least for now, we'll continue trying to do things the old-fashioned way.

Have a great evening.
-K