Tuesday, April 22, 2014

We are 1 in 8.

I love the idea of putting a face to it. One in eight couples of childbearing age in the U.S. face infertility. So, that may sound like a statistic... and it is... but let's put a face to that number.


Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system. It is defined as the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after 12 months of trying to conceive. If you are over the age of 35, the time of trying to conceive is reduced to 6 months. 

Infertility doesn't mean you will not ever have children.

I feel the need to make that clear because after i became a little more open about what we were going through (but before i went public, which i did after our miscarriage in March), i ran into an old boss at a store. I was buying a baby gift & she jokingly asked if it was for me. I said, "No... I wish!" (By this point of infertility, the filter was gone... i just told the truth.) So we got to talking about how my husband & I had been trying unsuccessfully for over two years and were seeking treatment. She said something along the lines of, "Oh, they say that when you're not thinking about it, that's when it will happen!"

When people say things like this, I don't get mad or upset. I used to, and i still might depending on what is said and how it is said. More often than not, though, I just enlighten them. Things like that are said out of ignorance. Knowledge is power. And let's be honest... if i wasn't go through this myself i wouldn't know either. So my response to her was, 'That may be true for people who have been trying for about 3 months, but when you are infertile, it's a little different. It's an actual medical problem."

Maybe i shouldn't have said "when you are infertile". Maybe that was a little too strong. It seems like if i had said, "when you're going through infertility" she wouldn't have reacted the way that she did, even though they mean the same thing. But i used the word INFERTILE & as a result, her eyes got REALLY BIG & she said, "OH. You're INFERTILE?!?!?!"

I just smiled and said, "It just means we have been trying without success for over a year. That's what infertile is. It doesn't mean we will never have kids. It just means we are going to need help to get there." And wow. The relief on her face was priceless.

You see, it's all about education. And i don't say all this to sound like I'm on some high horse. People just don't know. They don't know because they haven't been there.

Here are some other facts about infertility (taken from Woman's Health & RESOLVE)

-Approximately 1/3 of infertility is attributed to the female, 1/3 is attributed to the male, and 1/3 is a combination of problems in both partners, or is unexplained. (There are both female & male causes in our situation.)

-Most infertility problems in women are caused by problems with ovulation, such as PCOS or POI. Other causes of infertility are blocked fallopian tubes due to endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or surgery from an ectopic pregnancy, problems with the uterus, or uterine fibroids.

-Male infertility problems are caused by varicocele, or sperm problems such as low sperm count, morphology or motility. Sometimes a man is born with the problems that affect his sperm. Other times they start later in life due to illness or injury.

-Even though infertility is recognized as a disease among worldwide health organizations, most insurance companies do not recognize it as such. This is why infertility treatments are not covered by most insurance companies (although some states are better about it than others). My insurance covers ZERO, so everything we pursue in order to become pregnant comes out of pocket. (This angers me because we pay good money every month for health insurance, but the only things we have needed it for is RE appointments, labs & procedures.) Our insurance company calls infertility treatments a "life choice" & it's listed as one right next to liposuction!

As you can see this TRULY is a medical problem. Not just a matter of needing to relax.  Not just an issue of stress or bad timing or it not being meant to be, but a disease of the reproductive system. And this is why it is important to spread knowledge, to raise awareness. So others can have a better understanding of what it is.

Thank you for reading. By reading & understanding this post you have helped to understand those dealing with infertility. You are helping others who are, like us, that 1 in 8.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

5 Things for ya

I missed Five Things Friday. I always do. But here are five things for you anyway... :)

1. MELISSA V PHOTOGRAPHY

I am crazy-excited about photography right now. I did about a million shoots in October, November & December. In January, everything came to a screeching halt, which was fine & expected. People just did their Christmas sessions, everyone is broke, and spring picture time is just around the corner. In all honesty, I was glad for a little break. I did two shoots in January,  but then... the break went on. The weather was weird... i mean we had another cold day just the other day - It's APRIL! That is unheard of down here!

Well, now things are picking up again. I had the idea to do Mother's Day mini-sessions, and wow! Those things filled right up! I'm doing them the weekend of April 26, 15 minute sessions for two hours on Saturday & 2 hours on Sunday. Filled those things up, except for 8 am on Saturday. Guess that's just too early! :) I did a senior session last Saturday at Rosedown & was thrilled to realize i still knew how to use my camera. :) Can't wait to share those pics with you!

2. INFERTILITY

I'm doing really well, since the miscarriage. I am in a period of waiting, because you have to wait awhile after a miscarriage for your body to regulate again & to be able to start treatment again. But I have to admit... I am enjoying the wait. It is nice to just not have to think about it too much. Infertility is something that is just always on your mind when you are going through it, but for some reason, during this break, i have really been able to not obsess over how much time is being wasted, and instead enjoy my friends, my family, photography, theatre, and even work. When i realized how much time i would have to be on "break" i wasn't happy with it at all. But now, I've settled into it, and things are good. I am at peace. I don't know what the future holds, and there are moments that I wonder if children are in our future at all. (Of course they are... right?!) But mostly i am SO THANKFUL to God who has been RIGHT BESIDE ME during this entire thing! He is AMAZING!!! And so faithful.

Speaking of infertility. Did you know that next week is National Infertility  Awareness week? Well, it is. :) Lauren matched up bloggers going through infertility with bloggers who are not going through it, so that one can guest post on the other blog during National Infertility Awareness Week. Such a great idea! She put the two Melissas together, so I will be guest posting sometime next week at I Carry Your Heart. Will let you know when it's up!

3. TELEVISION

"My Shows" are the following & have been for awhile now: Parenthood, Law & Order SVU, Grey's Anatomy, and, most recently, The Voice. Thoughts on these as of right now:


Parenthood: I just love love love this show. LOVE LOVE LOVE! The only thing that ever really annoyed me is how Haddie disappeared (went to college) & not only never came back (until this week's episode) but WAS NEVER MENTIONED! Like Adam Braverman's oldest daughter never existed. That's not good writing, y'all. I'm sorry but that was a FAIL on the part of the Parenthood writers. And that show is very well-written! But you can't make a main character disappear without a good explanation. And if she just went to college she would just be mentioned occasionally, even if it's her calling home in a scene. Right? RIGHT. But i still love Haddie & am glad she is back. & (SPOILER ALERT) no, i'm not angry that they made her a lesbian. Parenthood deals with real life issues & you know what? That is real life these days.  (On Parenthood's FB page, christians were super angry about this, and their comments bothered me. So hateful, ignorant & homophobish. One reason this bothers me is because when another character had an abortion, nobody made a big deal.)

Rant(s) over.

Also, i love Adam & Kristina together. And Julia & Joel! And Hank & Sarah. But not Amber & Ryan. Amber needs to move on. He has done nothing but weigh her down! (Handsome as he is.)

I didn't mean to say so much about Parenthood, so i'll keep these short:

Law & Order SVU: I love it. I love Mariska Hargitay & every actor on this show. Just amazing.

Grey's Anatomy: Y'all. I'm done. I am so over this show. It's just not good anymore. I missed the last two episode & have no plans to watch them.

The Voice: This is my first season watching and I LOVE IT. So glad to have found a replacement for Idol! So much better! 

(I ALSO LOVE LOVE LOVE SCANDAL, and so does Brad, but we caught up on what is on Netflix & now are waiting for the next season to become available on Netflix. So we are way behind.)

4. The movie, GOD'S NOT DEAD


First of all, it was filmed in Baton Rouge!!!! Almost everything is on LSU campus, but i also recognized downtown areas & the old Woman's Hospital. And some extras! Recognized several people i know as extras. So that was fun.

The movie was good, i loved all the different storylines, especially the main one. However... i do think that it could have been better. I don't know how to explain it, but i didn't feel like it flowed well, for some reason. I don't know if it was the writing or what. I thought the acting was very good. Maybe it was the directing,but i think it was probably the writing. Obviously, i couldn't put my finger on it. We also thought a few moments were just a bit over the top. You'll know what i mean when you see it.

I'm not saying it was horrible & don't see it! Do see it! :) It's good. Just not, you know, the most well-done movie I've ever seen. But it had a great message. And i loved the storylines. 

5. Kari Jobe. More specifically, her new CD. More specifically, her new song, FOREVER. 

Y'all.

Y'ALL!

I heard this song & began pestering our worship pastor to let us do it for Easter. I mean... it talks about His death & resurrection. We HAVE to sing it. We have to!!!! The thing is, Billy gets requests from church members & praise team members ALL THE TIME, begging him to listen to a song. For some reason, he actually listened to this one that i was bugging him about. Later, i got a text from his wife, "You got him. We're doing it."

Here it is, live. He is having me lead the first two verses, and he is going to come in on the third one. Where she says "the ground began to shake". Good thing because that is right about where i lose it! FOREVER HE IS GLORIFIED! FOREVER HE IS LIFTED HIGH!


Happy Easter, y'all.

Monday, April 7, 2014

So much to tell you! {this weekend}


Friday night was our opening night of Frost/Nixon. It went well. Glad we are at this point. This means no more rehearsals, no more staying after rehearsal to fix/improve/discuss. Just do a show, wait for the cast to leave, lock up, go home. Done and done. Plus, the play is only 90 minutes with no intermission, so...it's just not bad at all!

Saturday i met my friend Brittany at Starbucks for a few hours before the show. So much fun! LOVE LOVE LOVE HER!!




Saturday night was fantastic. Two major mistakes happened with the actor's lines. At one point an actor skipped a few lines, which made me need to skip four light cues to get in the right cue! This was scary, because the light board on our second stage is just not my favorite. It also happened about 30 seconds before my "two pages of hell" that i talked about in my last post. But I DID IT!!!! Then, another actor skipped some lines, meaning the next actor would need to realize that & get to the stage SOONER than usual. I was praying, "please be there, please be there, please be there!" and he was. Everything went off without a hitch! I was SUPER proud of my cast for being amazing!! This is the kind of stuff that happens in theatre everyday, and it's scary/exciting. ;) I would not be talking about this all excitedly if we hadn't pulled it off! But we did. The audience never would have known the difference. ;)

The cast of Frost/Nixon, right after our Sunday matinee.

Sunday's performance was even better, because there were no scary mishaps. The play went off without a hitch! Yay!

So ... i am sure that's enough theatre talk for all of you! :)

Oh, wait! Let's back up to THURSDAY NIGHT, shall we?!

On Thursday night, i lost my keys. i realized they were missing AFTER everyone else had left the theatre. Oh, yeah. That was fun. Also, deserved, maybe? Karma? What goes around comes around? Something. Because see the tall guy in the pic above? His name is Jake. Jake lost his pocketwatch Wednesday night, and we didn't leave as early as i would've liked because we were looking for it. Thursday night, he lost his wallet, and i picked on him a little about it. I said, "Jake! I can't believe you lost something again!" Well...he found it...he left...and not five minutes later i COULD NOT FIND MY KEYS!!! Before the show, i changed clothes, went to put them in my car, walked into our main theatre to get some ice water at the bar, then went back to second stage (our studio theatre where we are doing this show). So i knew my keys must be in my car or on the bar in the main theatre. WHICH WAS LOCKED!!!!

Hubby had to come get me. He was thrilled, let me tell you! It sucked for me to have to wait 45 minutes later by myself for him to get there, but it sucked for him too to have to get in the car & drive all the way out to get me. Especially since he hates driving in the dark (bad night vision).

The keys were on the bar, by the way. Nice! Won't do that again!

Side Note: Most people are TERRIFIED to be at our theater alone. It's not in a good neighborhood, but i have never, ever felt unsafe. It also has a ghost named Rodney. He is why people hate being there alone. But I don't believe in ghosts. Which is a good thing, since i was the one left alone at the theater Thursday night!

(Rodney was a real life person that died during My Fair Lady in the 40's or something. Little bit of Theatre Baton Rouge history for ya.)

ANYWAY!
 *    *    *    * 

Sunday was AMAZING. Seriously, one of the best days I've had in awhile. Here's why:

1. I slept in. I normally don't do that on Sundays, because i have to be at church early for music practice. But after tech week, i decided to let myself sleep in.

2. I went to church & since i was late, i didn't sing with the praise team. Instead i worshiped from my seat. And it was really nice. I mean, i love leading worship, and singing backup, but sometimes a morning in the pew is needed. I honestly felt like my heart would EXPLODE with thankfulness to God. i'm not saying there aren't still moments of hurt & pain through this miscarriage, because there are - more than i would like. But lately i have been doing okay, and Sunday morning i poured out my heart to my God during worship. And it was awesome. We also had communion & then Billy led us in an old hymn,

There is coming a day, 
When no heart aches shall come, 
No more clouds in the sky, 
No more tears to dim the eye, 
All is peace forevermore, 
On that happy golden shore, 
What a day, glorious day that will be. 

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

There'll be no sorrow there,
No more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain,
No more parting over there;
And forever I will be,
With the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

I was weeping y'all. Weeping. God is SO good & even though i have a lot more years i want to live here on earth... i cannot wait to see Him in person. :) I just want a big ol' hug from Jesus! :)

3. Our pastor preached a powerful word on obeying God. Church was over, and i had to get to the theatre, but i got to do a little visiting & then laughed hysterically talking to my pastor! (Long story - but it was a really funny moment!) 

4. At the theatre, as i said earlier, we had an awesome show, i didn't miss a cue, my actors didn't miss a beat, it was perfect! Also, another funny moment happened there, that had me laughing until my stomach hurt. So TWO times like that in one day? Awesome. 

5. Went to Whole Foods. Got some groceries. Saw a handsome guy in his thirties ask  an old lady where she was parked. She pointed far away. He said, "Let me take your groceries to your car for you." Y'ALL. It was raining. I am sure he had other things to do. This wasn't an employee. Seriously? Everyone is in such a hurry these days - including myself. I mean, i try to be considerate, but i wouldn't have done that. I mean, that was taking consideration for others to a whole new level!
*    *    *    * 

Um... i am sure there is more to share. But for now, a few links! (I'm pulling an Amy!)

My sweet friend Briana just had a miscarriage at 12 weeks. Please pray for her! It's her fourth miscarriage. We were both due in October, and she was a huge source of encouragement to me during mine a month ago. I really loved what she wrote in "The aftermath" of a miscarriage. This was so true for me. (Most of it. I didn't have maternity clothes yet, and i didn't have to have a D&C. But the rest is exactly it.) 

A really good article on taking baby steps towards a healthy lifestyle. 

Loved this girl's story. And love what she says about brokenness, and how it belongs in the church. I'm so glad i go to a church where it is accepted & understood. I don't have to fake it til i make it there. :)

I thought this post was really funny. :)

Dog-Lovers: I loved these. You will too.


If you are still here, thank you. You seriously deserve a prize!! 


Have a great week!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Why I've Been MIA {theatre life}

I have not blogged since the 23rd? Well, that's just ridiculous. I need to remedy that immediately! Now that i have a minute!

 our theatre...nothing to look at, but one of my favorite places to be! :)

I have been stage managing a show at our theatre called Frost/Nixon. It's about interviews between Richard  Nixon and David Frost (talk show host) after Nixon resigned from office. It's a 90-minute straight play (no music). The script is 83 pages & I have 195 cues. That's a lot. (If you saw on instagram i sad 192 cues, and then on Facebook 194 cues, I haven't been exaggerating. I counted them. They just keep giving me more cues! Ha!)



Anyway, opening night was last night. Final count for cues is 195. Whew!

cast during warm-ups

If you have never worked in theatre, stage managers call cues...basically saying in their headset, "Standby lights 34....." & then at the proper time (aka, their cue), they say, "Lights 34, GO" & the lightboard operator hits go & the lights hit the stage. Got it? But I'm not on headset because i don't have a crew, and I'm not actually calling cues since i am running it all by myself! :) I am runing lights, sound, live camera feed & pre-recorded video. Got all that? That's a lot!

Preparing my script. Orange dots are for lights, pink dots are sound 
& i have various green dots for video & camera!

It is doable, although pages 58-59 of my script are impossible!!!!

Anyway. That's what I've been busy with. Originally they asked me to stage manage it when i was pregnant, so i said no. (Some people do shows while pregnant, but i will not be one of them! I'm exhausted doing a show NOT pregnant, can't imagine doing one while being pregnant!) Two weeks later, they asked if i knew anyone that could do it because they still hadn't found anyone. This was after my miscarriage. I started thinking about it & after weighing the pros & cons, i decided to do it. I came in late, since they had already been in rehearsals for two weeks at that point!

(I'm just now realizing i may have explained all this in my last post. Oops!)

 taken from my little window of the sound booth during tech rehearsal

So anyway. That's what I've been busy with. Stage managing a show with 195 cues. I keep saying that number because that is a LOT! That is more than some 2 & a half hour musicals & this is only a 90 minute play! It makes me feel good that i am looked to as someone who can handle that many cues, and it makes me feel good that i can accomplish it! :) For a self-diagnosed ADD girl, that's a miracle... although I am a good multi-tasker...so that helps! (Although those two pages are going to be the death of me!)
 
That would be my "holy crap, that's a lot of cues!" face. 

Anyhoo.That's what's been going on. I've been working each day & going to rehearsal each night! Coming home & falling straight into the bed. Pretty much.

But things are going well & emotionally, i am doing a lot better. Thanks again to those of you that have been praying for me!! :)

We opened last night, so i only have two more performances this weekend, and 4 performances next weekend!

In other news...

I got a belated birthday gift from my good friend Patti... (HELLO, AMAZON GIFT CARD!)


AND i got really pretty flowers on my Trader Joe's run. I LOVE that BR finally has a Trader Joe's!



And my dog is still the cutest sweetest. :) He misses his mama though!

classic shih-tzu underbite. :) 

That's about it! Wish me luck on all those cues tonight, PLEASE! :)

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My Weekend {bonfires, painted nails & theatre}

I had a pretty great weekend.

On Friday after work, we headed to a bonfire. Y'all. I don't know what it is, but i have been REALLY wanting to go to a bonfire lately. The subject always comes up on New Year's Eve, because I always say that when we have a house we are going to host the New Year's Eve parties every year, complete with a big bonfire. Haha. But lately I've really been dying to go to one, for whatever reason! I haven't been to one since 2007! In fact, i had to ask Brad if he likes marshmallows. I didn't even know if my own husband likes marshmallows! (He doesn't, by the way. Not even roasted.) 

So last Sunday, my friend's mom, Stacy, who goes to my church, invited everyone over Friday night for a bonfire at their new house. I was super excited & I am so glad we went! It was the perfect Friday evening. PERFECT.



We had so much fun. Lots of friends & family came, mostly from our church. TONS of delicious food...hot dogs, chili, all kinds of chips and dips and desserts and drinks. And of course, stuff to make s'mores. Definitely not a healthy night! But a great time was had by all. There were plenty of lawn chairs and the weather was chilly but not TOO chilly!! There was the sweetest dog there, a lab mix, that i loved. He was so friendly & sweet! The bonfire was HUGE!!! At one point we ditched the lawn chairs for a quilt i brought from home. Our pastor's son, Alex, played the guitar and we all just chatted and sang and looked at the stars by the bonfire.

 me, brad & my dad 

The bonfire!

The light from the fire lighting up the whole place! Gorgeous! 

 Me & one of my besties, Amanda. The bonfire was at her mom's house. 

 Me & my mom. Of course the normal pic of me came out blurry!

Yes, i did have roasted marshmallows! It's the only way i like them & it's been years!

I debated bringing my good camera, & decided against it. I knew i wouldn't be taking many pics & didn't want to lug my big camera. But this pic is so cute... i could've at least used the flash on my phone! Anyway, here are some ladies from my church that i love so dearly. Left to right is our pastor's wife, Mary Ann, Teddie, Sandra, Jackie & Nita. Awesome women of God right here!

GREAT NIGHT. Loved it.

On Saturday, after some cleaning & errands, my friend Mandy came over! LOVE HER! I gave her a few tips for editing photos & she painted my nails. :) YAY!


2 weeks since i have bitten my nails!! I can't even tell you the last time i had color on my nails!! Makes me happy, happy! :)

Side note: Did you notice i have the same shirt on Friday & Saturday, just in different colors? I can't help it! Loved the shirt so much i bought it in two colors... and apparently wear them both on the same weekend! Oopsie!

After she left, i caught up on my shows & also watched the movie Blue Jasmine, which i had picked up at RedBox at Wal-Mart. Really good, except they don't tie everything up in a neat little bow. They definitely leave things as they are. Very true-to-life but sometimes we want everything to be resolved in a movie. I don't feel like i'm giving anything away by telling you that, honestly i would want to know something like that going into it! Anyway... that didn't make me hate the movie, probably because Cate Blanchett is an AMAZING actress. I kept pausing it to go on and on to Brad about how brilliant she is. Ha!

Sunday was church, which was great. We had a missionary in as our guest speaker. His three sons sang a song & y'all. It was SO SWEET. They are 7, 13 & 15. The oldest played the guitar & the younger two sang. But they were precious. I cried because i just wanted to take their youngest home with me. (I'm not really kidding. Haha. They were so cute and innocent and singing to the Lord... I just couldn't take it!)

I came home, watched a movie (A Little Bit of Heaven on Netflix...can't believe I had never seen it!) & took a nice nap! And then tonight i headed to the theatre. I agreed to stage manage a play called Frost/Nixon. I was asked to do it after i found out i was pregnant and i declined, of course. But this past Wednesday, they still didn't have anyone. They've been rehearsing without an SM, which can make things really difficult! After making a pro/con list (seriously!), talking to Brad & talking to my good friend Ronald who is in the play, I decided to do it. It will only occupy my time for two and a half weeks & will keep me focused on something besides the fact that I had a miscarriage. I mean... sometimes keeping busy is good. And i don't think by doing that I'm not allowing myself to grieve, because I certainly am. But too much down time isn't so good. Too much time to think about everything. It's on my mind all the time anyway, but too much down time causes me to dwell ONLY on that, and that's just not good. So...2 weeks of theatre could be a nice break for me.

So I went last night & everything went well. I wasn't sure about it, because i only know 2 of the actors in it, i didn't know the director, and i had never read the script! But i enjoyed it, the actors seem nice & the director seems like a cool guy. So yeah... I'll be super busy for the next two weeks and then things will calm back down a bit! :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls | a paleo recipe

Been awhile since i shared a recipe here. Maybe more to come?! Let's hope. I am so excited to share with you this DELICIOUS meal. AND... bonus... it's paleo!!

(Don't let that term scare you. It just means it's made with meat & veggies & some spices... not a single bad for you ingredient!!)

I first got this recipe from Stupid Easy Paleo, and it's actually for STUFFED cabbage rolls. But when i got to the part of stuffing the cabbage, well. Things fell apart. And i just gave up & tore up the cabbage & added it to the stuffing part that was simmering on the stove. And guess what? IT WAS PERFECT!

So i have made it two or three times since then, and now i do it that way on purpose. Because it's easier & just as delicious. In my humble opinion. But if you prefer to stuff your cabbage, by all means. :) Check out the original recipe here.  The recipe below is my version.

Paleo (unstuffed) Cabbage Rolls
Adapted from Stupid Easy Paleo

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 head of green cabbage
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cups riced/grated cauliflower
kosher salt
black pepper 
garlic powder
coconut oil 


Notice the tomato stuff is NOT on my ingredient list. That's because when i was writing my grocery list, i forgot that i don't use them in my version. In the original version, she puts this mix under the cabbage rolls & over the cabbage rolls once they're in the pan. You don't need them if you do it the way i do. I'm kind of glad because i failed to read the ingredients before purchasing & discovered that the tomato sauce has high fructose corn syrup... a no-no if you're paleo. (It's bad stuff, y'all.) The other can is good, but i don't need it.

All of that being said, i feel like the tomatoes could be included in my unstuffed version... but we just didn't wanna mess with a good thing. Ha! Maybe next time i'll be a bit more adventurous & throw some of that in, too! 

MOVING ON!

1.) Put your ground beef in a pot, get it cooking! Add your salt, pepper & garlic powder, I just kind of tossed it in there, but if you need specific measurements, check that original recipe.

I browned it in a little coconut oil. I didn't start using this stuff til my whole30. I LOVE IT. It's wonderful. Check out its benefits here!

Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. Either one will do. (Although TJ's is most likely cheaper!) 

Don't let the word coconut freak you out. I know several people that hate coconut but like coconut oil. :) Of course you can use extra virgin olive oil if you prefer.

2.) While your meat is browning, rice your cauliflower. You do this by putting it in your food processor & pressing "GO" (or whatever that button says). IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A FOOD PROCESSOR, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING IMMEDIATELY & GO BUY ONE!!! They are HUGE time saving devices. I AM IN LOVE with mine. Both of them. (I have a mini, too.)

Anyway. Ricing your cauliflower looks like this:



3.) Add riced cauliflower to your pot. It will cook with the meat.

4.) Chop your onions (i use my food processor for this also. Saves SO MUCH TIME.) Add onions to the pot as well. Like so.


5.) Mix it all up real good & let it continue to cook.


6.) Wash your cabbage. (Your cauliflower should be washed first too. Feeling like this should be a given?) Anyway. Chop up the cabbage & throw it in the pot. This doesn't have to be perfect. Doesn't need to be diced small like the onion. I chop it pretty haphazardly. I use these little scissor things that we got for a wedding gift. I LOVE THIS THING. 

I used the ENTIRE head of cabbage, but you can use less (or more) if you want to. 


7.) Mix cabbage in with the rest of the meat. Cover. Turn temp to low or medium-low & let it simmer until the cabbage softens to your liking.


8.) EAT! :)


So GOOD!!! :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

random things & how i'm feeling

This past weekend consisted of LAZY. And i am okay with that. I fully believe in embracing lazy weekends, since so many other weekends are full of activity! Might as well grab it when you can, right? RIGHT! So... my weekend consisted of four non-lazy things (grocery shopping, kitchen cleaning, laundry, church), and LOTS of lazy things (catching up on my shows, reading, social networking). I did some meal planning, too, though. Um, i think that's about it.... YEP. :)


On Sunday night, my dad called me and said that my friend Ashlee (whose parents live in my parent's neighborhood) dropped off a gift for me. He said he was bored & would bring it out to me. Mom came, too. It was nice having a quick little visit from my parents! The gift was this... and this picture really doesn't do it justice.


Words cannot express how i felt when i saw this for the first time. How thoughtful. How beautiful. I love it. Thank you, Ashlee.

Awesome things happened last week, too, which I apparently forgot to blog about!

For example, on Wednesday, after my doctor's appointment (bloodwork never ends after a miscarriage, it seems), I decided to stop at Starbucks & use a gift card given to me for my birthday. Well, my friend Zac works there & before i knew what was happening, my drink was ready - on the house! :) Love him.
 

Thursday night, me & my hubby had a quick dinner at Five Guys. OMG. Love that place. (Remember, i started back paleo THIS week - not last week!) After that, we went to see Young Frankenstein at Theatre Baton Rouge. It was SO SO SO GOOD! We cracked up laughing the entire time. (Zac, the guy who gave me free iced white chocolate mocha, plays the lead. He did great!)

Anyway... back to this week! I mentioned getting shellac on my very short nails weekend before last? Well, as of about a half hour ago, i have peeled every bit of it off. It's not my fault... it was coming up at the edges on several fingers, and my type of OCD must have it perfect or not at all! It's like a piece of wallpaper is coming up & you just want to rip it off!! Which would be much worse to do to a whole wall - unless that is the goal. ANYWAY. Now i am scared i'm going to start biting again because they aren't covered with beautiful polish. (No... i don't paint my own nails. It's not a good idea. It gets EVERYWHERE but the actual NAIL!) I am going to have to go back at some point for a do-over. BUT my nails have grown! And i can't stop looking at them. :)

I haven't done photography in FOREVER. This is sad. I enjoyed the little break after the crazy busy season that was October-December, but um... I've only done 2 sessions in 2014, and both were in January! I am ready to take some pictures! i also am really wanting to get a website & a logo & figure out contracts and pricing and all that (not)fun stuff. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!

*  *  *  *  *  *  * 


I feel like I should have a million other things to say, but i don't. Some have asked how i am doing. Honestly, I am doing okay. Better than okay. I am doing a lot better than i expected. I don't cry over my miscarriage very often, and it's not because I'm in denial or i refuse to allow myself to grieve. It's just that i really & truly USUALLY feel fine. I often feel at peace & loved & supported. Most of the time.

But there are moments, daily moments, that are really hard. Something will happen to remind me that i WAS pregnant, and now I'm not. And it sucks. It hurts. To realize that I'm not having a baby in October after all. To realize that last Christmas was (probably) not my last Christmas without kids after all. To understand that there will only be 2 people in yet another Christmas Card (maybe). One really hard thing for me is realizing i'm actually NOT pregnant at the same time as or having babies the same year as certain friends. That really bothers me. That was part of this huge answer to prayer, and now it's gone. It sucks. My heart hurts.

However, I am still incredibly thankful for all God is doing through this. He is doing a great work... in my heart and in other people. He is really turning this situation for good & for His glory & i know that is what matters most. But i do want children. And there is a lot of fear taking place. Fear that i will miscarry again, yes. But also fear that it will take forever to get me pregnant again. And fear that we won't do the right thing. I don't know what our next step is. There are finances to look at. Conversations to have (with each other, with my doctor). There are a couple of things we are considering, and I need wisdom. We need wisdom. And whichever way we go, I need a PEACE covering us, so i am certain we have made the right decisions. All of that said, please please pray for us if/when we cross your mind!

Thanks, y'all.

XOXO

Friday, March 14, 2014

Back to it, y'all.

Many of you will remember, I did whole30 back in October. BEST DECISION EVER.

I proceeded to go RIGHT BACK to eating the way i ate before whole30. ACTUALLY, worse than that. I went absolutely insane. This is not whole30's fault. It's my fault. Whole30 is meant to be a 30-day restart. It's meant to get all the sugar & things out of your system. And when you are done, yes, you can have a little ice cream or something, but most people adopt a paleo lifestyle after they finish.

Not me. Oh, no! I have to completely sabotage my efforts! SIGH. I don't have a "little" ice cream or "a few" cookies. I have too much of all the bad stuff. And very little of the nutritious stuff. Ridiculous. I mean, I went back to drinking COKES! A habit i had quit BEFORE whole30! Seriously. It was OUT. OF. CONTROL!

And now i say, enough is enough!
 

The problem is, this: How do you change when you have lost the motivation?

I know, i know. You're thinking, "You just have to do it!" I don't know if that's true for me. I have never been able to FORCE myself to do something! I mean... other than get out of bed, when i feel like sleeping in, because i don't want to get fired. But i have always been highly unmotivated. (This is a terrible thing to admit. I have no shame.) Case in point? In school. I had a test the next day. I KNEW i had to study. If i don't study i am going to fail. If i fail i am going to have to repeat the class. I really should study. I really really need to NOW.

I wouldn't do it. I couldn't make myself do it. I would fail the test and eventually fail the class. Nothing i did could convince me to DO WHAT I HAD TO DO to get the results i needed.

I am the same way with food. But it's time to turn that around.

The reason I have been SO OFF the paleo-eating wagon for so many months now is because there is ZERO want-to. ZERO desire. No care or concern or anything. TOTAL APATHY.

I lost 16 pounds on whole30 last time, bringing me down to my lowest weight in many years. (Which is double what most of you weigh. Still, an accomplishment for me.) Since then i have PUT ON... i can't even tell you. I am SO ASHAMED. Let's just say i have put back on a LOT MORE THAN 16. Let's just say that i am just a few pounds shy of getting back to my highest weight ever... gulp.



Again... please do not blame this on the diet. It's not intended to be a diet! It's intended to be a lifestyle. This isn't a diet where you pay money for any kind of program, and you eventually have to quit. (Not knocking programs,  by the way. You have to do what works for you.) But this is something a person can do for life, and should! And i know it can be done. My husband was a TERRIBLE eater before we did whole30. Like, the worst! But whole30 changed him. He may not eat perfectly all of the time. But he traded his daily breakfast cereal for eggs. He traded his often NIGHTLY cereal for veggies or (more) eggs. He has maintained many good habits he learned while on whole30. I have other friends who have gone total paleo & have not gone back to old ways. Even if they had a little cheat meal or snack, they predominately eat the paleo way. It can be done! The program is flawless, in my opinion. I have tried EVERYTHING & have never lost so much weight & have never felt SO GOOD & satisfied, either. No, this was me. All my fault. I have no self control. I eat what i want to eat.


I was able to do whole30 because i was TOTALLY motivated to do it. This motivation HIT ME, full force & i was READY. But then it was gone & as soon as you go back to sugar it is so hard to get off of it again. That's because it is truly an addiction.

I have been saying for a few weeks now that i have to get back on it. I know some things set me back, emotional things. Infertility drains you, and the miscarriage was devastating. That's not an excuse. It is the truth. It is hard to give a crap when your world is turning upside down in every other aspect anyway. I mean, I didn't sit around gorging on bad foods, but i definitely made wrong choices when it was time to eat. Without a doubt.


All of this to say. It's time. I am done with eating crap. I MISS how good i felt on Whole30. I miss it a lot. I felt AWESOME! Both physically & mentally! Today at work I did some meal planning. After work, I stopped at the produce stand and then at Trader Joe's. I stocked up!! I am ready. I am actually feeling some motivation again!

Side Note: I know what some of you are thinking, so i am just going to go ahead and address it. :) Please do not comment that this will help me to be more fertile. Please don't. I know that already. I do. What i would like you to know though is... just because someone changes how they eat & just because eating well increases your chance of getting pregnant... that does not mean you WILL get pregnant IF ONLY you would eat right! We have issues on both sides... mine and his. And what is interesting to note is that my first IUI was mid-whole30. My second IUI was after the holidays but i hadn't gone very far off the wagon yet, and had just lost 16 pounds. My last IUI, the one that WORKED... was mid-eating JUNK & after gaining a lot of weight back. Not to mention the fact that we started trying to conceive almost 3 years ago & I have had many months of very healthy eating & weightloss throughout that time.

I am NOT saying that i do not think going paleo again and sticking with it WON'T help me! I know people who had infertility issues and then lost weight & got pregnant! It definitely could help, and it certainly won't hurt! I'm just saying that there are more factors involved in infertility than just how you eat. It's like telling someone with cancer that they can heal their cancer naturally if they only eat healthy! People DO tell people with cancer that & it is absurd. To me, that's as bad as a christian telling a person with cancer that if only they believed, they would be healed. Y'all. I get it: FOOD IS MEDICINE! Not only do i get it, but i BELIEVE IT! But that doesn't mean that it is ALWAYS going to heal a person! So please...know that. Understand that.

I want to do this to help my PCOS, to reduce insulin resistance, & to increase my chances of becoming pregnant. Of course I do. But there are many other reasons why. I want to live a long healthy life. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin. I want to not get winded doing things that shouldn't cause me to get winded! Haha. I want to have a healthy pregnancy. SO MANY REASONS. There are many reasons i'm doing this, including infertility. But to think that IF ONLY i would just follow a clean eating lifestyle then all my infertility troubles would melt away - well, that is just not true.

Whew! Sorry for that little rant. I just needed to get that off my chest. :)

Here is what i will be making next week.

Paleo Chicken & Tomato Soup 
Paleo Cabbage Rolls
Grilled chicken, sweet potato & roasted broccoli

That's what i am planning to make for supper, and we will have leftovers the other nights. No, i'm not cooking every night. I don't know how you people do that!! I also will make a batch of Basil Avocado Chicken Salad to have some days for lunch, with a side of fruit! :)

As far as breakfast goes, I will have to go back to eggs, but lately the smell makes me sick! I also have the stuff for smoothies. (Some frown upon smoothies during whole30 or paleo but i do not understand the problem as long as i only put whole30 approved things in that blender! So i am okay with that.)

For the record, I am not doing whole30, per se. I am just going back to paleo as a lifestyle. I told brad, "I'm not doing whole30. I'm doing paleo365." HA! Maybe i should start small... and say i'm doing paleo60? ANYWAY. Whole30 & paleo are basically the same. Whole30 doesn't allow some things that paleo does (ie, honey, paleofied desserts). I am not going to have any paleo desserts, but i am okay with small amounts of honey or stevia.


I guess that's it for now. Prayers about this are appreciated. I'm serious!! I need motivation... i need to get through the first week of NO SUGAR. :) I officially start Monday. I'm not going to TRY to eat bad foods this weekend or anything,  but Monday is the day i will really kick it into high gear. ;)

Thanks for reading! :)