Thursday, December 22, 2011

2012 is my Year!

Dicky - bringing in 2006 like he does

Okay so 2012 is going to be my year...it has to be!  I know everyone always says that, but I'm serious.  Yesterday I had my "test" (HSG- test to check that my fallopian tubes are clear and open) and I am happy to say everything is normal.  It was actually very interesting to be able to see the x-rays as they were being taken.  If you are daring check out this website to see what "normal" and "not-normal" look like: http://www.advancedfertility.com/hsg.htm

I called my mom to let her know I was going for my test and said...think happy tube thoughts, she couldn't hear me and said, "WHAT?  Thank happy tube socks?"  Yes- Mom happy happy tube socks! LOL!

Anyways, on the way home from the hospital my sweet sweet hubby and I had a conversation that went something like this:

Me: SO, everything is normal...still
Him: Yup
Me: So what does that mean?
Him: It means that your eggs are just too picky.
Me: What!?
Him: That is just like you.
Me: Thanks honey. 

So anyways...that is about it from here.  We are all set for Christmas!  Our plans are set for New Year's and I am so ready to bring in 2012 with a bang!  Happy Holidays to all of you and see you in 2012.

Julie

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

12 Days of Christmas - IF Version


This is not your typical Christmas Carole, but sometimes you just need to laugh at your problems when they hurt too much to cry.  Thanks to the members of http://www.inspire.com/ for helping me complete day's 8-12 :).  Here goes:

The 12 Days of Christmas - IF Version

On the first day of Christmas,
my IF sent to me
An appointment for my HSG.

On the second day of Christmas,
my IF sent to me
Two clomid daily,
And an appointment for my HSG.

On the third day of Christmas,
my IF sent to me
Three IUI's,
Two clomid daily,
And an appointment for my HSG.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my IF sent to me
Four fake pregnancy symptoms,
Three IUI's,
Two clomid daily,
And an appointment for my HSG.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my IF sent to me
Five HPT's,
Four fake pregnancy symptoms,
Three IUI's,
Two clomid daily,
And an appointment for my HSG.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my IF sent to me
Six lost friends,
Five HPT's,
Four fake pregnancy symptoms,
Three IUI's,
Two clomid daily,
And an appointment for my HSG.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my IF sent to me
Seven days of AF,
Six lost friends,
Five HPT's,
Four fake pregnancy symptoms,
Three IUI's,
Two clomid daily,
And an appointment for my HSG.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my IF sent to me
Eight ultra sounds
Seven days of AF,
Six lost friends,
Five HPT's,
Four fake pregnancy symptoms,
Three IUI's,
Two clomid daily,
And an appointment for my HSG.

On the Ninth day of Christmas,
my IF sent to me
Nine vials for testing
Eight ultra sounds
Seven days of AF,
Six lost friends,
Five HPT's,
Four fake pregnancy symptoms,
Three IUI's,
Two clomid daily,
And an appointment for my HSG.

On the Tenth day of Christmas,
my IF sent to me
Ten days of stimming,
Nine vials for testing,
Eight ultra sounds,
Seven days of AF,
Six lost friends,
Five HPT's,
Four fake pregnancy symptoms,
Three IUI's,
Two clomid daily,
And an appointment for my HSG.

On the Eleventh day of Christmas,
my IF sent to me
Eleven suppositories,
Ten days of stimming,
Nine vials for testing,
Eight ultra sounds,
Seven days of AF,
Six lost friends,
Five HPT's,
Four fake pregnancy symptoms,
Three IUI's,
Two clomid daily,
And an appointment for my HSG.

On the Twelfth day of Christmas,
my IF sent to me
Twelve K in expenses,
Eleven suppositories,
Ten days of stimming,
Nine vials for testing,
Eight ultra sounds,
Seven days of AF,
Six lost friends,
Five HPT's,
Four fake pregnancy symptoms,
Three IUI's,
Two clomid daily,
And an appointment for my HSG.


This was meant to give those a laugh who struggle with IF (including myself) on a monthly, daily, hourly basis.  Everyone else, please keep us in your prayers!

Julie

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December Fitness Challenge and My New Hobby

Part 1. December Fitness Challenge
How do you stay motivated to work out during the winter?  It is cold and dark and for the most part miserable outside.  Last year I was preparing to run a 1/2 marathon in April and that kept me on task.  This year I don't have anything like that planned so I decided to set a fitness challenge for myself which is 500 minutes of cardio workout in December.  It is about 30 minutes 4x per week! 

It may sound silly, but it is working.  Right now I have 395 minutes to go!  I also am doing this with a friend who set the same goal so we can reward ourselves in January with getting a Swedish Massage!  Did anyone else set a fitness challenge in December?

Check out my progress: http://juliesjunkdrawer.blogspot.com/p/fitness.html

Part 2. My New Hobby
Yes, yes...it is an unusual hobby, but it is something to keep me busy.  When I was getting married my soon to be Aunt-in-law's gave me a beautiful pink plate that belonged to their mother.  It was absolutely beautiful.  The more I looked into it I found out it was a piece of depression glass.  Pretty cool huh!  Update actual photo:



So I decided I wanted to start keeping my eyes open for other pieces and low and behold I may have struck gold on my first attempt.  I checked out Good Will last night and found a plate very similar in an amber color with the tell-tale "glass-bubbles".  I have to do more research to know for sure.  Update here is a picture:


You can do this by looking up the pattern.  Here is one site I found: http://antiques.about.com/od/depressionglass/ig/Depression-Glass-Patterns/.  Anyways, I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season and hopefully one of these days I can get around to posting some actual pictures!

Julie

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Drug-Free December

WHAT!?  Okay please do not get the wrong idea about this.  If you have read my previous posts you will know I am on a fertility drug that makes me a little, okay a lot hormonal.  Moving forward with our plan in December includes taking a month off from the drug!  Hooray right!?  The holidays are wonderful in my book and normally I get so caught up in other things that in the past I haven't gotten too emotional, but who knows how I will react given my situation this year.  Crossing my fingers I can be strong and in control of my emotions this year (for my husbands sake).

Anyways, hopefully I can let my mind go on a little vacation in December from the worry and pain of IF, deal with my one little test (HSG) and enjoy everything else the holiday's have to offer.

We put our tree up this past Sunday and the house is already feeling festive.  We had one "bulb" incident with our puppy Lady who likes to chew on everything!  We are also wondering whether she is actually eating the tree?  I guess we will find out soon enough.  She already has eaten one of my house plants so I won't put it past her. 

Other exciting news is the arrival of my second niece Amelia Jean into the world 11/28/11 and we are so excited!  Anyways, hopefully one of these days I will post some pictures of our holiday decorations!  Until then, enjoy the holiday season and everything it has to offer!

Julie

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Time for Plan B or is it C...or D?

Hello everyone!  Happy Thanksgiving Week!  I wanted post a follow up to my appointment last week for those of you who are following along on our IF rollarcoaster...

I had the appointment last Thursday and I showed up just on time to avoid as much as the "waiting room" time as possible only to get told the doctor was just called out to deliver a baby.  Hmmm...yeah, sweet sweet irony as I am told, you will have to come back at 2:30.  I don't know why I was just in such an emotional state after that and I teared up an unnecessary amount of times during my appointment.  The nurse took my blood pressure and said...oh it is perfect 110/60.  Thanks, yet another reminder that THERE IS NOTHING WRONG with me healthwise - yet everything is wrong and I just don't know what it is.  The doctor recommended a HSG (click to find out what this is) for next month and if that all checks out okay we are officially graduating to a fertility specialist and our first IUI.   I am excited about this because as I understand it there is a lot more monitoring that takes place during this entire procedure and hopefully we can find out what is going on "in there".  I am not excited because this take everything to a whole new level and makes the whole IF thing very real.

As we enter the holiday season it is a time for being thankful and starting over.  We can't change the past, but we can change our attitude about the future.  I guess for me this involves keeping an open mind and positive attitude as we take on our next challenges.

Julie 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The New Reality

As a freshman in high school they teach you in health class so much about how to prevent pregnancy and get you thinking that pretty much if you look at a boy the wrong way you could get pregnant.  I am very gullible and took that as a fact.  (No wonder I waited until I was 18 to even kiss a boy!) 

Two years have officially gone by that we have been trying to start a family with no success.  I have learned so much in these past two years about how the body works and down to every detail about "where babies come from".  They never tell you in health class that sometimes it can take months or even years to have a baby once you start trying and sometimes not at all.  There are so many things that aren't talked about because the subject is kept hush hush.  Don't even get me started on insurance coverage for infertility...we can talk about that another day.

Anyways, I have been trying to take this "new reality" in stride as I go on with my life and try to remain normal while dealing with so much pain as each month brings a new disappointment.  I was reading the detailed process on a cellular level on where problems can occur during conception and you wouldn't believe everything that needs to take place for it to be just perfect. 

From http://www.advancedfertility.com/unexplai.htm

As an overly simplified example of the science involved:
  • The hormones that stimulate egg development must be made in the brain and pituitary and be released properly
  • The egg must be of sufficient quality and be chromosomally normal
  • The egg must develop to maturity
  • The brain must release a sufficient surge of the LH hormone to stimulate final maturation of the egg
  • The follicle (eggs develop in structures called follicles in the ovaries) must rupture and release the follicular fluid and the egg
  • The tube must "pick up" the egg
  • The sperm must survive their brief visit in the vagina, enter the cervical mucous, swim to the fallopian tube and "find" the egg
  • The sperm must be able to get through the cumulus cells around the egg and bind the shell (zona pellucida) of the egg
  • The sperm must undergo a biochemical reaction and release their DNA package (23 chromosomes) into the egg
  • The fertilized egg must be able to divide
  • The early embryo must continue to divide and develop normally
  • After 3 days, the tube should have transported the embryo down into the uterus
  • The embryo must continue to develop and expand into a blastocyst
  • The blastocyst must hatch out of its shell
  • The endometrial lining of the uterus must be properly developed and receptive
  • The hatched blastocyst must attach to the endometrial lining and "implant"
  • Many more miracles in early embryonic and fetal development must then follow...

A weak link anywhere in this chain will cause failure to conceive

The above list is very oversimplified, but the point is made. There are literally hundreds of molecular and biochemical events that have to happen perfectly in order to have a pregnancy develop.

Tomorrow I have my next doctor's appoinment on what we are going to do next.  Thank you so much to those of you who have kept us in your prayers.  At this point that is all you can do.  I joked with my Mom that if we get enough people bugging God each day to send my husband and me a baby, maybe he will give in so we quit bugging him so much.  LOL.  I need to realize that we are at a point where there is nothing we are doing wrong and need to find peace in the fact that God is in charge and has a plan for us.

Julie

P.S.  This video gives a little insight as to what people struggling with IF go through http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiT4S8ZxeR0

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Time is Flying!


Wow!  It is already almost Halloween!  I am traveling this week for work at the biggest tradeshow of the year.  I can't believe how quickly this year has gone by!  I don't feel like anything drastic has happened, but I think with the holidays fast approaching it just feels like the year is already almost over.  The weather was pretty odd this year which made last winter run right into summer and when summer ended it was pretty abrupt.  Now it is fall going on winter and I just want things to slow down, but soon the snow will be falling and we will be putting up Chistmas trees.  Our big fall excitement was saying good bye to our 1997 Monte Carlo with over 180,000 miles and saying hello to a 2008 Ford Focus with under 40,000 miles!


That and welcoming a new sister-in-law into the family!  We had fun at the wedding!


So that is all for now! 

Julie

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

More Chances for Opportunity or Disappoinment?

Hello there readers!  Today I am fighting with myself because yet another month has come and gone with no sign of baby.  In fact this month my "thing" (I no longer can handle calling it my "friend") showed up four days earlier than last month.  This comes as good news and bad news.  The fact that I used to have between a 35-36 day cycle and now it is more like 30-32, but this month was the exception at 28 days.  That is like...woah...normal!  "Glass half full" says more opportunities to get pregnant, "glass half empty" tells me more sadness and disappointment.  This month marks the two year anniversary of "trying" with no success.

The math says at 28 days that gives us 13 "opportunities" per year while 36 days is more like 10.  At this rate though it feels like just 3 more times per year to be really bummed out.  I can't say 100% why this month was so short, but I did begin using the fertility DVD "Restoring Fertility" this month and based on the reviews, others have said it helps keep your cycle regular.  The month is split up into four sections that follow your cycle very closely.  This not only helps you stay in tune with your body, but also sets your mind with the right attitude at the appropriate time of the month.  The DVD calls this setting your intention.

So...today I struggle, I feel the disappointment and that allows me to mourn the loss of the baby I never had last month and look forward to the opportunity that next month brings.  I realized there is no getting around the rollercoaster infertility brings.  There is always next month.

Julie

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chicago Trip

Beers on the Rooftop!

Molly's Cupcakes...YUM



Turtle Races

Hat/Trendy Day

The Bean, Millenium Park



Chicago Style Hot Dog

Fancy Girls!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Getting back on the Workout Wagon

Okay, so I admit I haven't been serious about working out since I finished my 1/2 marathon.  Yes - it was in April and now it is September.  I guess now is a better time then ever to get back on the workout wagon.  Last night I hit up the gym and hopped on the treadmill and wow!  I felt like I was dragging a bus behind me, and keep in mind just 6 months ago a 3 mile run was just a warm up.  I made it two miles and then I had to start actual work at the gym (I am a desk manager).  I was exhausted!

I am almost certain one of the worst feelings in the world is feeling out of shape.  It is so difficult to get motivated and even more difficult to actually exercise because when you do you are so out of breath and sore.  I think the most difficult thing for me is motivation.  I have no problem making it to the gym when I have motivation, for example...my wedding.  I had every reason to get to the gym because I knew I wanted to be a beautiful fit bride.  Then I started signing up for races and that was my new motivation. 

This is a terrible time to feel like I am lacking motivation because the number of races, 5K's, 10K's are dwindling and I decided that in the near future I want to stick to shorter races so 1/2 marathons are off the list.  I better figure something out!  It is too bad "being healthy and loving myself" don't get me motivated, because I love myself whether I am pumping iron at the gym or polishing off the last oreo cookie!

What motivates you to stay fit and hit the gym?

Julie

PS.  On another note...stay tuned for pictures from my recent trip to Chicago!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Quick Update...don't get your hopes up.

Happy Friday Everyone!  Not that anybody is waiting at the edge of their seats or anything, but I wanted to update you about my doctors appointment on August 31st to discuss our options for..."what next" in my battle (at least that is what it feels like) against infertility.

I asked Dick if he would come along with me and he had the day off so he could come.  We got to the appointment on time, but since they have a new computer system they seemed backed up, not that anybody mentioned that we needed to expect a wait.  So we sat in the waiting room and watched countless 7-8 months along pregnant women bustle in and out.  Oddly none of them looked happy or excited.  This was odd to me.  I guess going to the doctor is never an exciting thing and I don't know their story so maybe I should just shut up.  One that really stuck out in my mind was this had to be 16-18 year old girl who was so pregnant she looked like she was going to fall forward with how small she was and how big her belly was.  She was just strutting around the reception room back and forth between what I assume was her boyfriend and the front desk lady.  The boyfriend did not look at all happy to be there.

Such wonderful blessings these people have been given and not one of them seemed happy about it.  Then again, I shouldn't judge because I don't know their situation, but it is hard not to.  Anyways, the deal is we waited about 45 minutes and finally about the time we were ready to find out what was going on.  They called my name and we went back.  I tried to plead my case about the pills and how moody, bipolar and crazy they made me, but she reasoned with me that everything seemed to be getting on a regular cycle and getting through this will all be worth it.  I had to agree.  Three more months on the pills, the tracking, timing everything out and then we will discuss what we want to do.  She is going to recommend IUI.  I said, I hope we don't need it.  The end.

I am looking forward to a nice weekend away to do a little hunting (opening bow hunting season), spending time with the in-laws, and preparing yet another naive young woman to join the MRS. GOSS club.  (Kate if you are reading this that is only a joke ;)

Julie

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Red or White?



Great friends, great wine! 1950's theme night!
  This post is to all my "wino" friends!  I have decided to begin a quest to transition myself from a white wine drinker to a red wine drinker.  Why?  I don't know, maybe because it seems more sophisticated, I have heard it is healthier, well I guess I don't really know why!

Anyways, I was reading on Wine Lover's Web Page that many American's bascially grew up drinking and eating things that have been artificially sweetened and that is why when we drink wine we generally prefer white.  This makes sense!  I like my sweet white wine cold (another thing they mention is that we generally prefer drinks cold.)  I remember traveling overseas one thing I always noticed is that they never put ice in anything.  So this also makes sense.  The main thing that really was helpful in this post was that you aren't supposed to compare the experience of drinking white wine to drinking red wine.  Ah-ha!  I don't have to be a "red" only I can be both!  It is like comparing iced coffee to green tea.  They both have caffeine, but they are two completely different drinks!   You see where I am going with this.

Okay so where to get started?  The first thing I would like to do is get to know my red wines and why they are different and maybe find something that can get me started in the "reds".  Most people don't start drinking their coffee black right?  Now I need your help.  If anyone can recommend a nice red that is not too dry, but a serious "red" wine (not just a fruity, red in color wine) for a red wine drinker I am all ears.  I don't want to just make a guess and end up disappointed.

Any other advice is much appreciated.  I also want to share a good website for all you Wisconsin wine drinkers out there.  This is the homepage for the Wineries of Wisconsin: http://www.wiswine.com/.  There is nothing like a good wine tasting!

Don't forget to leave your comment below or on my facebook page!

Julie

Monday, September 5, 2011

Oh Fall...I love you!

Okay, so it isn't officially fall, but it kind of feels like it doesn't it?  Many of you who know me, know that I love to decorate this time of the year.  It is kind of dorky, I know, but I know there are others out there.  I've actually had discussions over santa vs snowmen and scarecrows vs spooky.  Anyways...here are some of the things I put up over the weekend...




My reading corner.

New oil warmer.

A few kitchen updates.


Okay, okay maybe I am a little out of control, but I think there are things that are worse than being really hyped up about fall.  Anyways, I had a great weekend and got a lot done.  Bosko and Lady made sure to stick by my side all weekend until they had no energy left :). 

Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone and Happy Fall!!!


Julie

Friday, August 26, 2011

Before and After

Who doesn't love a good before and after.  It was time for a change and I decided to do a little makeover at home.  So here it is:


Before



After



I think it was well worth the $8.99!

Julie

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

REJECTION...isn't always "no" forever

One thing I have learned in my advertising sales career is that even though you get a lot of rejections, those rejections don't always mean no forever.  Most of the time it is more like, NO (not right now), NO (I'm too busy to talk), NO (until I get fired and replaced by someone who will say yes...this is my favorite) or NO (I'm not even the right person to be talking to in the first place.)

With this thought I can compare them to my problems with infertility.  Dealing with the emotions of rejection each month is very much like being told NO on a sales call.  Most of the time with a sales call you hang up, get over it and make the next phone call, but take what you learned from the previous and apply it to the next.  Each NO is one step closer to the next yes.  You can't really control what the person on the other line is going to say much like you can't control when you body decides to get pregnant. 

Okay...where am I going with this?  Over the past 23 months I have learned a lot of things that do not work for me.  I am still in the middle of my 3rd and final month on Letrozole and finally realized that the added stress of the drug messing with my hormones is not for me.  Not only has it not worked up to this point, but in my opinion has made dealing with everything more difficult.  My husband refers to it as the hormone rollercoaster and it has made me do and say some pretty crazy things that I wouldn't normally and for the most part I haven't felt like Julie the past 3 months.  While I am still in this 100% and my feelings haven't changed about what I want, I feel like I need to go about my "treatment" differently.  I have my check-in with the doctor next week and will hopefully be able to discuss some alternative treatments.

In addition I am going to add "Restoring Fertility" which is a Yoga Infertility DVD to my routine.

Your prayers, luck, wishes, good juju are always welcome, until next time "Namaste".


Julie

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Caffeine Addiction is a Serious Problem...True or False?

Monday as I was finishing my cup of coffee and popping my 2nd can of Diet Coke I began to think.  Woah..wait a minute here...why am I drinking so much caffeine.  Since I work in an office all day it is pretty common to keep something at hand to sip on and lately it has been all things caffeinated: Diet Coke, Coffee and Tea. 

Yesterday I decided to "cut back" and see what happened so I brought in a large glass to fill with water to keep at my desk and everything went pretty well.  I was a bit more tired than usual.  Today...BAM...like I slammed my head into a brick wall.  I have a massive headache.

I can't help but think I did this to myself and now I should pay the consequences.  I am addicted to caffeine!

I don't think I will try to cut it out completely as this was just kind of an experiment to see if I was really needing the caffeine or drinking it just because.  So what do you think?  Is caffeine a harmful addictive drug or just something to wake you up in the morning and keep you going through the day?

Julie

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Suhrfest

2005
 Ahhhhh....it is Suhrfest weekend once again.  A time to relax, kick back (drink a beer or two) and spend time with family & friends.  Well mostly all now family.  There has been skydiving, t-shirts, running and biking, lots of campfireds, bean bags and one year we even went canoeing (but we don't talk about that anymore).
2010

This year I look forward to getting my mind off a few things and really just getting away to enjoy some time with Dicky!  I'm sure there will be pictures to come!

Julie

PS.  I ended up buying the NOOK!!! and I LOVE IT!

UPDATE: Here is our Suhrfest 2011 Family Portrait!!!


Good times were definitely had by all.  Including Bosko and Lady!

Friday, July 29, 2011

e-Reader or Paperback

In the spirit of my NEW link  Reading (CHECK IT OUT!) I thought I would toss around the idea of an e-reader.  (Also notice the blogs navigation has moved over to the right hand side.) 

Anyway...show of hands (likes, comments, ect) are you happy with your e-reader?  Do you recommend black and white, color, nook, kindle, just getting an ipad or ipad 2..whatever?  How easy is it to get new books?  Do I just hop on wireless, do I have to connect it to a computer? 

OR...should I just stick to my system of borrowing paperbacks from friends or ordering them on amazon.com?

Julie

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Decisions...decisions

Warning...this post may contain information that could be considered "TMI"

I am back on the topic of infertility and the time is coming again where I will find out if I need to start buying diapers or decide how to continue on my "treatment" if thats what you want to call it.  I hate that word because it almost makes me feel as though there is something wrong with me or I am not quite right.  August will be my 3rd month of Letrozole and my next doctors visit is August 31st.  I had hoped that I wouldn't need to make a decision like this since the doctor assured me in most cases this is all it usually takes.  I still hope she is right, but maybe I am not usual.

The next step we spoke about at my first doctors appointment was to do IUI.  I am still not sure how I feel about that.  It seems so unnatural.  I guess the feeling of not being in control of your body is unnatural.

I am considering trying a more wholistic treatment before I got the IUI route, acupuncture, massage, vitamins...I guess I am just trying to be proactive instead of reactive.  I am too much of an emotional mess to make these kind of decisions when the time comes to make them. I have come to the point where it is very hard to stay positive because if the test doesn't have to be (+) I don't either anymore.  I guess maybe it just makes the disappointment easier.

Anways, these are many of the things that are stirring around in my mind as I try to get through each day preparing myself emotionally for another month of disappointment.  Please feel free to leave "constructive" comments.  I don't need to hear anything more about being patient, it will happen when it is right, reminding me I am still young, or telling me to just relax..I did that the first 22 months and look how well that worked out.

I'm looking more for types of herbal treatments, acupunturists in the area or other alternatives.  Feel free to remain anonymous or email me instead at julie.goss@hotmail.com .

Julie

Monday, July 25, 2011

Recharged and Ready

Hello all!

After feeling quite down last week, (refer to previous post http://juliesjunkdrawer.blogspot.com/2011/07/you-cant-always-have-what-you-wantright.html) I had quite the adventurous weekend and put a lot of miles on my Equinox!  The weekend started (early because I took Friday off) with a visitor from PA!  My college roommate Mrs. Katie "Po Po" Spangs came to visit Beka and I in little ole Fortkinson!

 Friday morning it was off to Fennimore to visit my brother and sister-in-law and Baby Noah!  I got to spend a few hours baby sitting, and had a great time going to lunch and Grab-a-cone (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grab-A-Cone/120925807931647).  Saturday it was off to Sauk City to spend some time with a long time friend (21 years to be exact) Melissa and make our annual trip on Sunday to Noah's Ark in the Dells.  I guess that pretty much covers most of Southern Wisconsin.

It was nice to just get up and get away for the weekend and spend time with great friends and family!  I discovered a renewed excitement for cooking having been treated to some awesome food the past couple of days.  Melissa and I have decided to start a "Dish of the Month" where we will decide on a recipe, cook it for dinner during some point in the month for our hubbies.  Review the dish and give eachother feedback and store the recipe in our cookbooks.  I will make sure to post pictures to my cooking link (http://juliesjunkdrawer.blogspot.com/p/cooking.html).  Anyone is welcome to join by adding yourself to our facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/222957291082088?ap=1

Happy Monday!

Julie

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

You can't always have what you want...right when you want it.

Hello everyone!

I know it has been awhile, but as usual summer has started sucking up all my free time and this heat...well  99 degrees out as we "speak" (read...write...whatever!?) is making everything difficult.  Its like when everything shuts down in Florida when it snows, I think everything should shut down in Wisconsin when the temp. goes above 90 degrees.

Anyways the weather is totally irrelevant to this blog post.  I may just be procrastinating because this is a very difficult blog post, but I finally decided I wanted to write about it.  Well here goes:

What the heck is this Julie?  This room to me represents a dream, a wish, a want.  This is the "spare" bedroom in my house.  What do I mean? 

Many of you do not know that we have been trying to start a family now for the past two years and so far unsuccessfully.  I have been through a lot of frustration and disappointment over this and also learned a lot since my first "check up" with the doctor on May 20th this year to find out ...what the heck is wrong with me that something so natural, so normal has become so difficult
(sad, frustrating, terrible, upsetting...).

What I learned though since that doctors appointment is that I am not alone!

 Almost 1 out of 6-7 people have problems with fertility. 

It is such a private topic (even though I am now blabbing it to the entire web) but it is actually very common!  There is entire communities on the internet and support groups, I am pretty sure there is even an entire language for us "infertiles".  (http://www.fertilethoughts.com/forums/general-infertility/704976-list-infertility-acronyms.html)

The result of the doctors appointment was that we are two very healthy people and we fall somewhere into the mystery category that the "blame" (can't think of a better word for this) doesn't fall on either of our shoulders.  However, they put me on a medication called letrozole to help things along.

 Back to the photograph of the spare bedroom...I spend a lot of time lost in thought and hope that someday it might become a nursery.  Until then I will keep taking my perscribed medication (Letrozole) aka crazy pills (they make me very moody) and keep you updated with any progress/news.

Please feel free to ask me questions or share your own story and check back often!

Julie

PS.  Hopefully this weekend some pictures to come on a few garden/landscaping projects.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Little Funny

You know those embarrassing moments when at the time they don't seem funny, but when you think back about them they really are.  I don't think I could make it through life if I didn't laugh at myself.  Somehow I manage to get myelf into some interesting situations. 

Last night Dick and I had our bible class and our Pastor asked us if we had ever experienced any miracles.  After thinking about it a few came to mind that I thought maybe that could have been, but I wasn't sure.  We went on to talk about how God has his angels watching over us at all times.  He again asked if we thought we had any experiences that we thought maybe we could tell God had sent his angels to protect us?  A few more experiences came to mind and I smiled and nooded.  Dick responded with, "I think my angels are all too busy watching over Julie... she is kind of a clutz."

I can't disagree with him or maybe it is just bad luck...no I guess I am just a clutz.  When I was a kid I always followed along with my older brother on the farm and one time he got sick of it so he decided to walk out by the cows and walk along the water trough.  Well I didn't keep my balance and I fell in.  Thankfully my dad got me out of there and I didn't get hurt.  A few years ago at work I was walking down the steps and my shoe fell off and I stepped on it and ended up falling down the stairs.  When asked if I was injured I had to tell them, "only my pride".  I can't forget I did get into a car accident with the "short bus."  A few days ago I was attacked by an angry red-winged blackbird when I was out walking my dogs and I walked under her nest.  When I was done screaming and being upset I realized...oh I guess she didn't actually hurt me.

With that being said I could probably come up with a lot of funny/embarrassing situations about myself, but I couldn't help posting this picture of my husband on our trip to Puerto Rico.  Yes this is at the airport.  Yes he did have a fillet knife packed in his carry on because he had used that same bag for a hunting trip a couple weeks before.  Yes he is quarentined.

Feel free to share your funny or embarrassing story in the comments!  Happy Friday!  I'm off to spend the weekend with the in-laws!

Julie

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Taking a Step Back


This picture recently resurfaced on Facebook (thanks Kari) which is a funny picture that was taken when I was studying abroad in Australia looking like a homeless person.  I won't go into the details of the story, but that picture sparked some memories of a few things I actually did go without: 

1. Car - funny how you just take things for granted like driving to the grocery store or driving to a friends house.  Some of my best memories were walking to the grocery store (can't remember what they called it over there...maybe someone can remind me) and then carrying home all my groceries in a backpack or using public transportation (Bender's Bus :) )

2. Cell Phone - ahhhh...countless hours spent in a phone booth talking with my "boyfriend" aka "the boy".  Not to mention the time difference!

3. Laptop - long hours spent in a computer lab, sometimes doing homework, but most of the time chatting with friends on, ummmm what was that MSN! ha!

4. Income - this is kind of foggy, but I am not sure how I lived for 5 months in Australia with no steady income.  I do remember how broke I was when I came home though!

These things may seem silly, but one of the main lessons I learned about going without those things is that sometimes taking a step back and going without those things can actually spark a little creativity and resourcefulness!  This among other reasons is why my husband and I have decided to go the summer without cable TV at our home.  It is such a simple thing, but already I have noticed my change in pattern! 

More time to spend with that book I have been meaning to read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest.  Rediscovering my singing talent...hahah cough cough  Karaoke Revolution Glee: Volume 2.  Finding more time to work on my gardening, working out and hopefully soon getting back to my craft room.

This should be an interesting summer, but feel free to send your story about taking a step back and how it has changed your life!

Julie

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer Activites


The past couple of days in Wisconsin indicate that we have skipped right over spring and gone straight to summer.  I think many people had to turn their heat on last week and their air conditioner this week.  I guess you just never know what to expect!  Thankfully it is very easy to forget those long, cold winter days when the temperature jumps from 50 degrees last week to 90 degree this week.  What the heck bust out that swim suit!

We have been taking full advantage of the weather warming up by doing a lot of fishing and yard work.  Mostly I do the yard work and Dick goes fishing, but on the rare occasion as you can see below we go fishing together.  This particular trip even Lady got to come along.

This past weekend was Memorial Weekend so we got to take an extra day off and drink beer and eat brats....ahhh heaven!  This is also the time of year that each weekend seems to book up faster than you can write it down in the calendar.  I hate that!  It makes it difficult to find time to do all the things I love in the short amount of time we have before it starts to get cold again.  It makes it very difficult to decide which things to attend and which to send your regrets.

So how do you decide?  First come first serve?  Attend everything you can?  Limit which things you attend?

Julie

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Up North"

Photo taken by Kendall Suhr
What is your "getaway?"  You know when you just need some time to take your mind off of the real world, forget about responsibility and just relax? 

We are very lucky becase almost 20 years ago (may have to check on that number) my parents bought some land in what we refer to as Wisconsinites as "up north" and we have been going up there on weekend getaways ever since.  I guess it isn't really that far north, but it is just enough to carry the mystique of northern Wisconsin.  A private lake, pine trees, fishing, mosquitos, grilling out and campfires, and anyone who has been "up north" knows the feeling behind it.  Whether you are camping, or staying in a cabin that feeling is the same.  You can't go for a walk without having most of the vehicles wave to you, the local bar always has your favorite beer on hand and ready to serve, and the fish are always biting.  It is almost like an alternate reality.


I just love going up there because it almost feels like a weight is lifted off your shoulders and when you pull in the driveway you can almost feel a calmness like nowhere else (or maybe that is just from the beer you cracked open before noon.)

So where do you go to getaway?  Does any other state have a comparable "up north"?


Julie

Monday, May 2, 2011

What next?

This past weekend I participated in my very first (and probably last) half marathon.  What an amazing experience!  I have actually been training for this for quite some time, but the past few weeks got a little off track. I actually only made it up to 6 miles in my training so I was a little nervous about how I would last for the full 13.1 miles.

I had a very nice day to run it was cool and a little windy, but when it was at my back was perfect!  The first 7 miles I just so happened to run with a girl who ran at the same pace as I did.  We would cheer each other on at the mile markers.  She kept me going and got me past my difficult step of breaking past 6 miles.  She moved on a little faster and I started slowing my pace.  Mile 8, Mile 9 and then Mile 10.  I felt a big surge of emotion at mile 10 and actually teared up a little bit.  Mile 11-13 was just a complete mind game, but the last .1 mile I had Kendall (my sister-in-law) Melissa (my good friend since first grade) and Dicky  (my hubby) to cheer me on and a final adrenaline rush to push me past the finish line.  2 hours 13 minutes and 18 seconds, no walking and only a pause at the water station to grab something to drink.

What an awesome feeling to be able to push myself and accomplish my goal.  As mentioned I don't have a desire to do another one or even consider a full marathon any time soon.  I am very happy with running my 3 miles and being done, but I am so happy to say, "hey I've done that!"

The question now is what will be next?  Truthfully I don't really know.  I am happy right now just to get back to regular cross training, having time to garden and walk my dogs. 

Any suggestions are welcome!

Julie

PS Check out the Fitness Page for more pictures and a link to view my stats from the run.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Family Member

Since I have been back from my trip, one thing has been really taking up much of my time.  We have been having so much fun with our new family member Lady.  She has brought a new energy to the house and keeps us constantly entertained whether she is chasing her ball, scattering her toys or just sitting in your lap.  Bosko is even starting to get used to her and has started playing with her toys and teasing her like a big brother.

She is well on her way to being house trained and we are starting to work on "stay" and "lay down".  Having two pets is very time consuming, but well worth the challenge.  This weekend we will be making our first trip down to the Goss Farm with our two pets.  It should be interesting!

Happy Easter!

Julie

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Living Outside the Box

Well a lot has happened since my last post!  All very good things of course except my brief run in with the stomach flu.  Of course let's start at the beginning with the trip to Seattle, WA.  The trip of course was taken with my Mom and we had a great time!  We saw a lot and also tried a lot of new things!  That is how the theme of the trip came to be "step outside the box".
We got in on Friday pretty late and started off Saturday with some gambling!!  Mom got to try her very first sushi experience at the casino restaurant.  Later that afternoon for dinner we had an all you can eat seafood buffet including a lobster tail and crab legs! mmmmmmmmm.  That night we went out with my cousins to a local bar for some karaoke.  Singing talent does run in the McFarland family!  Everyone kind of gave us a look when we chose to sing "Fishing in the Dark", but of course we didn't care.



Sunday we went to an organized MS Walk to support my cousin (http://www.nationalmssociety.org/index.aspx) and had a great time.  We had a big chili dinner that afternoon and got to catch up with all the cousins!

The rest of the week was filled with new dining experiences, trying new beer and wine and of course more gambling!  Some of my most favorite moments of the trip were just sitting around and getting to spend time with family that we don't get to see very often. 

While we were there my new nephew was born on the Goss side: Noah Edward Goss 7 lb 10 ounces 3:41 AM on April 6th.  We are very excited to go meet him on Easter Weekend!

Also, Sunday when we got back home we got our new little addition to the family, our puppy Lady who is "Cockalier" or part King Charles Cavalier and Cocker Spaniel.  We are having a blast with her and Bosko is getting used to her.  I think he is trying to keep his cool as the older more mature dog.
We adopted her from the Shorewood Cocker Spaniel Rescue and you can read her story on Happy Endings (http://www.cockerrescue.net/Happy_Endings2011/happy2011.html) click on the left on Lindsey Now "Lady".  If you are interested in adopting a Cocker Spaniel you can also view Dogs Available for Adoption: http://www.cockerrescue.net/cockersavailable/cockers.html.

As you can see the past couple of weeks have really been busy and exciting.  I believe stepping outside the box every once and awhile can have a really positive impact on your life, but then again it is also nice once again to get back to that familar routine.

Julie

Friday, March 25, 2011

Discipline

Ahhh...another cute Bosko picture to draw you into today blog.  Today's post is about a topic I am working on improving not only my dog Bosko, but my own dog training skills which also takes discipline.  Anyone who knows us and knows our dog Bosko knows  all to well that he is not the best behaved dog in the world.  As a family with no children (not yet anways) we tend to treat our dog like a small child.   This becomes a problem when your dog begins to rule the house.  Anyone who is a pet owner knows how difficult it is to scold your pet when they look up at you with those sad eyes as if to say, "Sorry I didn't do that on purpose!"

 The more I read about dog training and discipline, the more it seems like I am doing it all wrong.  It can be frustrating because you can't actually communicate with your dog so when they are upset or distressed they can only give you signs.  We have really begun to focus on this with our dog because we are planning on bringing in a new puppy into our little family.  We don't want the bad habits our dog has to rub off on the new puppy.  However, what I have read is that a lot of the destructive behavior comes from loneliness and lack of exercise and we are working on correcting those problems as well.

I find dogs very interesting.  Understanding the different breeds, adopting vs going through a breeder, and the various training methods.  Stay tuned as we go through the adoption process with our second dog and of course to see pictures of the new puppy!

To all my "DOG" people, you know who you are, feel free to leave any funny stories about your pup.

Julie

A great place to find pets who need a home in your area visit: http://www.petfinder.com/index.html