Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What The Military Has Given Me

So often we hear from spouses what the military has taken away from them, now I am not diminishing anyone's feelings or saying that I haven't gotten annoyed or angry because we all deal with situations differently. I have seen so much negativity lately directed at the military and I wanted to share some pretty amazing things that the Army has given me.

1. Healthcare- In no way is the military healthcare system perfect (but to be honest what healthcare system is) but there are no words to describe how much I appreciate it. We have been blessed to have wonderful doctors and those who have advocated for our fertility journey. To have to pay next to nothing for treatments and have a significantly reduced cost for IVF if we have to go that direction is a lifesaver.

2. Culture- I am city girl, born and raised in Las Vegas. Never in my wildest dreams did I envision myself moving away from home and living like a nomad. Moving homes every 2-3 years and seeing new places. We have lived places that I had never dreamed of seeing, being immersed in the culture of new places is incredible. Being able to have family visit us in new places is pretty cool too, sharing new places with them is always fun.

3. Friendships- How many people can say that they have friends all over the world? Some of my dearest friends I have met because of the Army and I will be forever grateful. I know that any given point I can call them and they will be there. It's a good feeling. 

4. Independence- I have always been a fairly independent person but this life has pushed me even further. Taking care of everything when Kyle can't has taught that I can do it. To go through a deployment and come out of it stronger and better was a great feeling. 

5. Education- There are no words to describe how grateful I am for the GI Bill. When Kyle opted to give it to me, it extended his service and he didn't think twice. I was able to achieve something that I likely would not have done had it not been for the Army and GI Bill. 

 6.  Greater Appreciation for Family- Since we don't live in the same place as our families our appreciation for them has increased tremendously. We make the most of the time we get together and it is something that we don't take for granted. Living this life has forced us to make every moment count. 

 Kyle and I will always be grateful for the lessons we have learned and the opportunities that we have been given. Life isn't perfect but we choose to always make the best of it and realize that we are stronger because of it.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Recovery and Running

It doesn't feel like a normal Monday in our house because Kyle is off work. After his surgery last week he is on convalescent leave for 7 days. Speaking of the his surgery, it went really well. The doctor said everything went according to plan and that we will begin to see results in 3 months, however the full effect of those results won't be seen for roughly 12 months. It is still a step in the right direction and something that needed to happen. Now we don't know for 100% certainty that the problem is on his end because I could still miscarry but we are willing to do whatever is necessary. 

His recovery is going well but he is sore and uncomfortable, plus it doesn't help that he can't do anything physical besides walking for 4 weeks. Try telling that to a very active and fit soldier, it doesn't go over well. I am basically the enforcer of said restrictions lol.

Since Kyle is sidelined I ran another race solo on Saturday morning, Running for a Cure 5k. This one was very special because it was for cancer and I ran it in memory of my amazing Mom, Kathy. I felt her the whole way and just wanted to honor her in the best way I could. 

I felt really good this race, that hasn't been something I have felt lately. I look at these pictures and I realize that I don't need to be stick thin, I would rather be fit and healthy. To me these photos show that. I know my Mom would be proud of how far I have come.

This upcoming week is going to be busy, taking care of vehicle inspections, oil changes, cleaning, and running various other errands that didn't happen last week. :)

I hope you all had a good weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fall Is Here

*Thank goodness for scheduled posts. 

Yesterday was the first day of fall and I couldn't be more excited! However, when you live in Louisiana fall is more than likely weather in the 70's but I am totally okay with that. I am ready for all things sweaters, scarves, and boots.

As a runner I am so thankful for the cooler temps especially with my marathon training beginning on October 1st. There are several things that I am looking forward to this fall. I have finally started putting together my list.

*Go to the Anderson Farms Pumpkin Patch. (My sister and the kids get to go with us!!)

* Fort Polk MWR Hay Ride, this is a free event and I know it will be fun.

*Angola Prison Rodeo. Please look this up, it's a rodeo actually held at a prison, the inmates make crafts to sell. It happens every Sunday in October.

*Chennault International Airshow. I haven't been to an airshow in ages so I am really looking forward to it.

*Dark Woods Haunted House, I am still somewhat on the fence about this but Kyle just may talk me into it.

*Trick or Treating with my sister and kids. I'll be in Florida for Halloween and I can't wait. 

*Inglewood Fall Festival in Alexandria. 

*Historic Rapides Cemetery Tour

*We also have a few races planned, which will pair nicely with cooler weather haha.

What are your plans for the fall?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Semi-Wordless Wednesday

Race #50 is completed! We had such a blast, can't wait for the next one.

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Turning Point

This week is a pretty important one in our house. We are leaving for San Antonio tomorrow for Kyle to have surgery. As most of you know this is for fertility purposes and we are hopeful that it will be a turning point in our journey. To be honest it could be THE turning point in this entire journey and that is exciting. 

As you all know I have been more than transparent when it comes to this journey but of course there are things that I don't share, that I do feel are personal. I have always tried to find a happy medium between not sharing and oversharing. There will never come a point where I stop sharing because I have been there before and it is not a fun place to be. Sharing our journey has brought me a sense of peace because it has opened my eyes to a community that I had no idea existed. 

With any journey you will encounter those who feel that how you are going about things isn't right. Throughout this journey I have had people tell me that running isn't healthy, going on vacations isn't right, or that I am sharing too much. I cannot let this journey consume every aspect of my life because if I do then I will miss out on so many other amazing experiences. We choose to embrace every moment that we have together and that is important to us. When it comes to the depression side of it I have been working very hard to get better, I cannot be afraid to live and I won't let anything stand in the way of that. Everyone's journey is unique and it's important to do what is best for yourself and your situation.

Infertility is all about timing, timing of treatments, timing of blood tests, etc and there will always be waiting involved. No two journeys are alike and ours is unique to us because our circumstances are unique. We are choosing to exhaust every option we possibly can, we have done everything from timed intercourse to IUI and those were experiences that have given us a lot of information. Again, these are choices that we have made that have been the best for us. 

I will likely be somewhat off the grid this week taking care of Kyle and focusing on this very important step in our journey. We are hopeful that this is the beginning of something amazing.

I hope you all have a very wonderful week!

Friday, September 18, 2015

My Favorite Things

I haven't done a favorites post in quite a while and I figured today was a good day. :)

I am in love with this stand that I found on amazon. I have been looking for something for our 1/2 bath downstairs and this jumped out at me. It's perfect!

I was never a dancer so I'm not sure why this show has sucked me in haha. Probably because I could never do it but I am loving this show!

These pajama pants, I mean come on aren't they amazing?! I found them at a local store here and I could not walk out without them.

Fishy, I mean come on how can you not love him especially when he sleeps like this. He is pretty much the best cat ever.

My journal. I have to say that this has helped me so much lately. Spending time each day writing down my thoughts has helped me get through my struggles more than I ever thought it would (or could).

I hope you all have an awesome weekend! We are running a 5k Mud Run tomorrow and I am really looking forward to it. :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Small Town Charm

One of the best things about Louisiana are the small towns that make up the fabric of the state. One of those cities is Natchitoches (it is also the oldest town in Louisiana). Kyle had Monday off so we headed out to do a little site seeing. We have been here once before for the Christmas Festival last year but it was so packed we didn't really get to explore.

Not many stores were open but the ones that were open were adorable. I love family owned businesses they just provide something extra special.

We had lunch at a place called Maglieaux's on the Cane. It's an Italian/Creole restaurant and it was delicious, I didn't take pictures of the food because I was too busy stuffing my face haha. We sat out on the deck and enjoyed the amazing 75 degree weather.

Afterwards we walked around and explored a bit. The gardens on the river are beautiful and there were a few historic houses that dated back to the 1740's.

Our last top was the house where Steel Magnolias was filmed. It is now a bed and breakfast but you can also tour the house. It's one of my favorite movies so it was awesome to see the house in person.

My sister and the kids will be coming to visit at the beginning of October so we can't wait to take them here.

It's always fun to play tourist, do you enjoy doing that?

Have a great Wednesday.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Great Outdoors

Another weekend has come to a close and this one was pretty awesome. Kyle only had a few meetings to finish up for this rotation and he was home free.

He had to miss a 5k on Saturday morning, but I still went and had an amazing time. It was a 5k benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis foundation and I ran the race in honor of my cousin, Brad, who passed away in 2014. I had no ambitions of running fast or placing, I just wanted to run for him. Well, imagine my surprise when I ended up placing 2nd overall for females!

It was such a special event and it made me so proud to honor him in that way. Kyle grilled steaks as a treat for me that night and it was delicious.

Kyle had an early meeting yesterday morning but afterwards we packed up lunch and headed up to Kisatchie State Park. We hiked roughly 5 miles on the Lakeshore Trailhead. It was absolutely beautiful.

We had an amazing view of Kincaid Lake, there were quite a few people out there boating which was awesome.

We can't wait to go back and explore the area even more. We are heading up to Nachitoches today for lunch and to do a little shopping. 

It has been so nice to spend time with Kyle after only spending a total of 5 hours with him over the last month.

Hope you all had a great weekend.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Never Forget

It has been 14 years since our country was changed in the most catastrophic way. I will always remember where I was when it happened and the feelings that I felt.

Kyle and I have had the honor to visit ground zero and see those reflecting pools honoring those who were lost on that day. The emotions that we felt are something that I cannot put into words. 

Those who were lost in those attacks including the first responders will never ever be forgotten. Nor will we forget those thousands of amazing service members who have defended this great country against the evil who committed those acts. We almost lost a very dear friend in the attack on the Pentagon, had he left his office a few seconds later we would not have him in our lives.

We Will Never Forget.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Little Exploring

Finally this weekend Kyle and I will get to spend some quality time together. He has a few meetings on Saturday but Sunday his day is open and I knew I wanted to do something fun. We haven't spent much time outdoors so we are going to venture out to the Kisatchie National Forest and do some hiking.

How beautiful is this?! There are several trails and we are opting for the 7 mile trail, it intersects with 3 others so we can choose to go for longer if we want. I am excited to start checking off things from our bucket list of things we want to do here. With how much he works we don't get much time together to just explore. We are going to bring food for a picnic and get lost (well not really because I just bought him this fancy Garmin that he uses for work lol). 

It's possible that he could have Monday off so I am planning fun for that day too haha. There is a cute little town about an hour from us called Natchitoches (this is where Steel Magnolias was filmed and where the real family lived). It's the oldest town in Louisiana and has adorable shops, plantations, and gorgeous views of the river. 

We went for the Christmas Festival last year and I have been wanting to go back since then. Here's hoping that the weather cooperates.

I know some time together will do us both a lot of good and I am really looking forward to it. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Few Bright Spots

I headed down to my sisters on Wednesday and have spent the majority of the time relaxing. It has been nice.

We had a girls day at the beach. It was overcast weather but still beautiful out.

My diplomas came in the mail and Kyle sent me pictures. It definitely made me smile that he opened them up to snap a photo for me. He is a good one! :)

Yesterday was spent at the river, it was another nice day to just relax and do nothing.

I head home tomorrow and it will be time to makes changes for the better. 

Hope you all had a great weekend.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

What They Don't Tell You

Before I start this post I just have to say that it took me a long time to decide if I wanted to share this but I knew that I needed to because there are many others suffering in silence. 

I am struggling with depression.

This is one part of the infertility journey that they don't tell you about, they don't tell you that you will feel like you are a broken person. I thought I was just sad and then realized it was much more than that, with my educational background I was able to break down my symptoms and realize what it is.

I noticed it a few months ago but over the last several weeks it has gotten progressively worse. More often than not people who are also dealing with infertility with deal with depression as well. I have always given this outward appearance that everything is okay and we are so positive but to be honest it's not always like that. I feel like I am drowning most days and I don't know how to cope. I see pregnancy announcements on social media and all I can think about is why can't that be us, why can't we have a baby, why does this have to be so difficult. I know that people say things such as "things will happen when they are meant to" and "it will happen just relax", statements like that don't help someone who is struggling. I feel like we are getting so close to a solution but it still feels so far away or that it could end in more heartbreak and dealing with that is hard.

I struggle with the simplest things such as getting out of the bed in the morning and going out in public. There are nights when I don't sleep and in the morning I want to pull the covers back over my head and forget about everything going on. I cry for no reason and feel like I am living in a constant fog that I can't get out of. I have to force myself to do the simplest things so that I can feel normal, it's the classic case of perfect on the outside but crumbling on the inside.

Let me be clear that I have never had thoughts about hurting myself, but I am not who I was a few months ago. I finally came clean to Kyle on Tuesday and the rest of my family yesterday because if I can't tell them who can I?! Everyone has been incredibly supportive and it means a lot.

I have decided to seek help from a professional, I know that I need to talk to someone who is not personally involved in the situation.  Whether that involves medication or CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy), I need to figure out what is best for me to feel well. 

There should never be a stigma about depression, I am being open and honest in hopes of helping someone else. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Two Things

Two things that make me happy:

Fresh new hair color!!

New running shoes!

Happy Wednesday everyone!