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Paleo Week 1

I guess working at JD has changed hubby's mind about what type of food we should really be eating (that and he has Crohn's Disease and I have PCOS, we are both out of shape and working on our 5k for Nov. 11th). He came home a few weeks ago with a Paleo Comfort Foods Cookbook and said, "We're starting this next week." Ummm hello- excuse me "We're" you mean, YOU! I was totally not looking forward to giving up my bread, dairy, sugar, and processed foods for 30 days. We stared our Paleo 30 challenge 1 week ago, and I have to say When I weighed in this morning, I had lost 4 pounds. Running my behind off everyday  every other day and getting rid of processed stuff has not only allowed me to really prepare for my race, it has gotten me compliments! I am already showing signs of improved health and just FEEL better when I wake up! So, have I convinced you yet?

This is what you would be eating:

Okay, I know what you are thinking: So basically, I have to eat chicken and salad and water for 30 days. NO THANKS! You're wrong. You don't have to eat that, but you do have to get creative! We started here and have been very successful! We also started with this cookbook too! Hubby brought it home from work and I was skeptical really enjoyed cooking out of it! So how can one turn a boring non realistic eating plan into realistic with results? GET CREATIVE! I even made CHOCOLATE FUDGE (Paleo friendly of course, click the link for details)!!Here are some of the things we ate in our first week of Paleo:

Organic "Fried Chicken" with Cauliflower "mashed potatoes" and green beans: our gravy didn't turn out that great and the "mashed potatoes" were a little on the spicy side from the garlic, but good first attempt! We would make this again!
Many days for lunch I would have leftovers from the night before I would bring chicken and salad. I found that getting a rotisserie chicken was easier for me with time, money, and packing in advance. I also searched high and low for a dressing that would be acceptable (no sugar, no wheat, no crap) and I actually did! I found it at Super HEB! It tastes really good too!

For dinner another night we got our cookbook out again, and got creative with making Pumpkin Paleo Pancakes! They are made with almond flour, NO sugar and are perfect if you are craving something sweet and bread-y! They actually have pumpkin in them, so they did come out a little wet, so to me, they tasted more like french toast. We topped them with wild berries and honey. We also had cage free eggs and organic sausage! We felt as if we were cheating, that's how good dinner was!!

Snacking at school I would usually stick to fruit, but I also got addicted to these:

Before my runs, to protect my potassium and my blood sugar drops, I would have a banana (soft carbs) with cinnamon and honey. Super sweet, but eaten 20 minutes before a run helped me to regulate and push through! It also kept me from leg cramps!
I started to get tired of chicken, salad and dressing so I used some homemade salsa (the only kind out there that doesn't have crap and sugar in it) on my salad! We had some left over from our fajitas hubby made!

Speaking of Fajitas, we tried our hand (for literally an hour) at making coconut flour tortillas. They looked beautiful, but didn't taste that great! We threw them out, tried again and finally I headed to HEB where I bought Corn. You cannot  have corn products or wheat products, but since we were having friends over, we decided to cheat and then we ended up getting yogurt because our friends forced it upon us!
On the note of cheating, I was about sick of lettuce this week, and decided to get a JD gluten free sammie with chicken, avocado, and tomato. It was heavenly since I hadn't tasted bread in so long. On Paleo, you can have some gluten free products, but during the 30 day challenge you are to steer clear of ALL grains, including rice flour (which gluten free bread is made from). Oh well. After a long run, I felt I deserved a "healthy cheat."

WE have a run this Sunday and I am so excited. Paleo has not only given me the confidence to get through it successfully, It has rid me of the waste. In one week I can tell I am feeling better sans junk, wheat, dairy, and sugar. I can even see it on the scale!

Last Tuesday, Day 1:

This Tuesday, Day 7:

That's a 4 lb loss in 1 week! I think this way of eating is definitely helping my PCOS symptoms. I have been doing C25K since April. Off and on, I would diet here and there throughout, but my results weren't noticeable, just water weight. I think that through all of this running, others can tell I am getting healthier. A few people have said comments and I unbelievably went on about my business. I had a family member tell me to look at my FB pics and I would see how I've changed. BOY have I. Left is from 1 yr ago on Halloween. The right is just 2-3 weeks ago, even before the above 4 lbs lost. Inches lost are showing (and this is just in the face and cheeks)!!!!!
I cannot wait to tell you all about our color run and week 2 results from Paleo! I am so excited to feel better, look better, eat better and run better! Speaking of running look at that time! I beat my fastest mile! WooHoo GO ME!!! I know it isn't fast, but the more I lose, the faster I seem to go! I actually just increased to run 2.5 the other day! I'm not yet at a full 3 but I got to 2.3 out of the 2.5 I was was pretty proud of that. On that run, I also beat my mile time! I was beaming afterwards! GO PALEO!



Just Because...

Just because I'm infertile, doesn’t mean I am contagious. It doesn’t mean that I don’t know how to have fun. It doesn't mean that I am weird or abnormal. It doesn’t mean that every time I am around we have to talk about it. Just because I am infertile, doesn’t mean that I am any less of a woman or less of a friend, In fact, I am more. I am more because I know how pain feels. Just because I am infertile doesn’t mean that I am desperate and lonely, depressed, or even ungrateful for the life God has blessed me with; it just means that I yearn for something that so many others have or “control.” Sometimes I feel like saying, “It must be nice that life works out for you and you get pregnant when you want, or that life sucks and you accidentally get pregnant and weren’t expecting to...when's the wedding again?” Sometimes I feel like asking the people who have said hurtful things to me, how they would feel after three years of not getting pregnant. One time someone said to a friend of a friend, She is so (can't remember the actual word, but something to the affect of ugly, or rude)-- no wonder she cant get pregnant..that's why God hasn't blessed her, she doesn't deserve it." The person did not realize that I saw that conversation on a social media site, but I did. When other people think one is the reason for not getting BLESSED they have it all wrong, and words like that hurt. This week three years ago, Cody and I made a decision that would forever change our perspective on life. It would forever change who we would become. That decision was to honor God's law, regardless of my condition, and get off of Birth Control. Not just until we got what we wanted, but---for life. WE made a forever choice that has forever changed who we are. And to be honest, sometimes the effects of that decision have led me places that I don't wish anyone to go. That decision has made me into the best person and sometimes, the worst person-- but I am human. I make mistakes. If I can forgive others so easily, why do others hold grudges against me?

In dealing with infertility with myself and my close friends and family, I would have to say that someone else getting pregnant isn’t so much what hurts those of us who can’t; it is the slow fade of the friends that continue to have children and leave you behind. It is the "we just don't have anything in common anymore" statement that puts an uncloseable gap between two people, so big that eventually the relationship can't be healed. It is the acceptance of the still, quiet, life that you didn’t dream of. Loneliness is a cold dark place that most people don’t know, and to be honest, most couldn’t handle.
Yesterday as I listened to the homily at mass, God was speaking to me. Father Ross said that God gives us what we need for Eternal life, not what we want. “Maybe I don’t need children for eternal life” I thought…but then I began seeking then what it was that I needed. I won’t know what I need or don’t need, and it isn’t my job to find out. But I can tell you this: I definitely do not “have it all” like some people, but I have everything I need, today. Today I have what I need and I've got to acknowledge that.

I spoke with hubs himself today, and he has given me great advice: today is the feast day of St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church, I am seeking her counsel today since she lived in a community of all women and felt as if she wasn’t wanted. I plan on spending the rest of my day off (1/2 day today Parent/Teacher Conferences this afternoon) in contemplative prayer with St. T.

To read more about this Saint: click here.


P.O.R.N. Militia

My husband writes a blog over at P.O.R.N. Militia and asked me to guest write! Check out my post here




Happy Blessed Sunday everyone! I woke up sleepy, made eggs and bacon and coffee for my hubby and thought today was going to be productive, and out of no where, there was a knock at the door. It was my depression.

As I laid in bed and held back tears while hubby was home, I couldn't hide it much longer. I always hate when he asks me "what's wrong?"  because I know, I just don't feel like acknowledging it by speaking it. As I laid in bed and wished for the things I didn't have and thought about how I've failed at many things, Cody walked in and consoled me.

On his way out the door, he kicked out my depression, and I laced up my new running shoes that I got for my 29th birthday! I put on my running clothes, got my ear buds and my ipod arm band, and I was DETERMINED to accomplish what I had been fearing for days (Week 5 workout 3, a 20 minute straight run), so much so that I kept repeating week 5, day 2 workout! Eek! Now, to your avg. runner, that is no biggie, but for someone who is not yet a distinguished runner, 20 minutes is a LONG time to run without stopping. I have been attempting C25K since April, yep, since April, but hey, at least I am doing it, even with all of my excuses! I have weeks 6, 7, and 8 left for training and in 8 weeks, I am running my first (but not last) race! Here is my DETERMINED pic BEFORE my accomplishment:

I beat my fear of the 20 minutes today; I beat my depression this morning. In the past, I was in therapy, and because of that, I can now successfully deal with my problems and depression. I know how to tackle it first hand. Now, some days do I want to? NO! Sometimes I want to be useless and cry and eat all day, but it only makes it harder in the long run. It isn't that I am FAKE because I can move past it, it is that I am REAL and that I have a GOD so wonderful, that he loves ME because I FAIL. He loves me because I forgive, he loves me because I am giving, and he loves me because I am overweight. He loves me (period). He loves me so much that he gives me the smile on my face and the strength to keep hitting my foot on the pavement.

Today, I won and I am so very proud of me! Now I know that I can run two miles straight, can I run three? YOU BET. Because in Matt. 17:20 it states, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

C25K do's

  • get fitted for running shoes
  • buy running clothes that don't ride up
  • listen to music that calms your breathing pattern, the longer you can stay calm, the longer you can run.
  • Eat a pre run snack: my favs are a bagel with peanut butter or 1/2 turkey sammie
  • run outside as much as possible because that is where you will be running your race, not on a treadmill
  • repeat workouts as necessary before moving on to the next C25K challenge
  • get a C25K app on your phone- it will tell you when to walk and when to run. It plays in the background so you can listen to music still.
C25K don'ts:
  • don't eat junk like I did, it makes it so hard to run in the afternoons!
  • don't run in random shoes like I did, because your feet are not secure
  • don't skip having water all day and expect to run successfully- I love me some DIET COKE:/ 
  • don't skip workouts or whole weeks at a time without repeating some workouts again
  • don't run everyday until you think you can handle it
  • don't expect to keep up the pace with your husband, you have shorter legs!
  • don't give up.
Here I am AFTER my run! Whew! I rocked it!

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
-Hebrews 12:11-13


Happy 29th to Me

Today is my birthday! I made it to 29 years of age! Sometimes I think, I can't believe I am 29, when I was 15 I thought at that age one was old or established. Today's journal in my classroom is: "What do you think your life will be like 10 years from now." I love hearing all of my students' dreams and goals; it always brings me back to 19 and thinking where I would be at this 29th year! I have to say though, that even since last year's birthday post  (click here to read) that I have come a very long way. In the last year I have:

  • completed and failed several fertility treatments
  • grown closer to my husband
  • lost some weight
  • started running
  • changed from regular foods to more organic
  • bought a keurig
  • moved from a small town to a city
  • sold a ton of stuff that I never use
  • celebrated birthdays of the many babies God has placed in my life
  • had my God children, M____ and D ____ spend the night and successfully made it through mass with both of them
  • Became a new Godmother to baby K____
  • spent mother's day as a God Mother with baby K___
  • celebrated births of C____ , L _____, and G _____
  • started my Master's Degree in School Counseling
  • made lots of new desserts and appetizers
  • took family photos
  • Worked summer school :( grrr
  • bought my second NEW item for our home in six years of marriage
  • learned to feel comfortable in the life I have been blessed with
  • signed up for The Color Run on Nov. 11th
  • started seeing a new Catholic based fertility specialist with NaPro Technology
  • gained new friendships and strengthened my current ones
  • successfully completed many fasts with my husband
  • Shopped, shopped, and shopped some more
  • decorated and re-decorated
  • bought ANOTHER kitchen table
  • went to Alamo Draft house
  • Prayed, prayed, and prayed some more
  • and last but not least...Celebrated. 

From 28-29,  I celebrated my wonderful and blessed life, my God, my church, my husband, my family, my friends, my job and co-workers, my students, my doggies, and all of the babies God has placed in my path until I am blessed with one of my own.  I celebrated my failures and my success. I celebrated the rough patches and the smooth rides. I celebrated when I didn't feel like it, and some times too much!

From 29-30 my goals are simple: Live Life. I am not living in the future, the past, or in my dreams. I am simply living, as a 29 year old success and I finally feel like I am right where I need to be.


Moving On...

Running therapy > Writing therapy and = to real therapy!! That's where I have been folks! Running! My first race is November 11th and I am excited about our Color Run! For our 6th anniversary we are celebrating in our Nike's! Change is the new theme in our home as we have not only been running, we have also been moving on! We just moved and are excited to start our new life and new adventure God has planned for us. It seems that through running and moving I have had little time to write, much less think about the big I word "Infertility." I had a mini breakdown a few weeks ago, but other than that- I have recovered! Hubby also told me that night at dinner what my birthday present was going to be. He asked Max Bemis to write a song for me about my struggle with Infertility and how I am not broken, even though I can't make babies! After I had reapplied my make up 4 times that very day, I then started bawling AGAIN at the dinner table! Max is the artist of Say Anything, a band we use to  frequently listen to, go to concerts for, etc...but as we have aged, our taste has changed to other types of music! Cody saw that Max was asking his fans to write a page about whatever they wanted their song to be about, so Cody wrote about me! Max only accepts 100 fans' letters so I am thrilled to hear it! And with that I can say (confidently) I am moving on. The baby-less-ness is getting easier to deal with and my self acceptance is uncovering itself.

God always has his hand in things and he sure did with our home. After buying a lemon we finally got out of it. It took my husband's career change, which freed up some space to apply for government help, but we are OUT! We owe nothing and it barely dented our credit! By the grace of God, our deed in lieu was granted and we are free. We moved last weekend with the help of our great friends, parents, and some extra help-- one that wasn't an English speaker and one that was-- leave it to MY dad to get the two mixed up! Talk about funny stuff! We have moved on to better things and this allows us to be able to transfer anywhere in Texas that Cody applies for higher positions with JD. After trying to sell our home several times, God wanted it THIS way, HIS way. It's odd to live in a new place, to look back and see where life took a turn for the better, even when that turn looked like a turn for the worse.

I saw a C.S. Lewis quote the other day, and ever since then I have been needing to blog! Change is scary and uncomfortable, but it allows to become something we have never been before. That's why I love being a teacher; I can change who I am as a teacher, each year. I finally got my ticket for change. It was not exactly how I expected and for the last few days I have been pinching myself, saying, is this really my new life? All of a sudden, in one second I went from what I was, to what I wanted to be. I am moving on everyone, and happy.


Busy Bee

I have been overly busy. So busy that I feel like I did 10 years ago when I was in college. Oh, wait. I am :/ I am currently working on getting my Master's Degree in School Counseling. This is a bridge move to what I really want to do, and that is become an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor). My dream job would be to stay at home with my children and work part time as an LPC. Okay, but really, with no kiddos and no master's yet, I am setting that on the 5 yr list. Not that I will have a nervous breakdown if I am not there in 5 years or anything (I have had PLENTY of those in the last almost 3 of trying). Speaking of that- October makes 3 years of us deciding that we are going to live as The Church teaches, being open to life. I am sad that we weren't thoroughly involved in our faith the first 1-2 years of our marriage, but, HEY, we are all sinners and are all on a journey! I often wonder what life would be like if we had children like some of our friends and schoolmates do, and then I just cannot imagine it. On our way to crabbing last weekend, I looked in the back seat, and then asked Cody, "Could you imagine what it would be like if we got pregnant right after we got married? We would have a kindergartener!" I can't understand what that would be like and what maybe we would be doing, but I know HE has a plan!

About a month ago, prayers were answered for our family. I sat at my desk with my head down, and talked with God. I said, LORD, put us where you want us to be. Open the door wide open if the next step for my husband is YOUR WILL, or LORD, even though it might sting, shut the door. We are waiting and listening. 24 hours later, He shut the door alright. And it slammed. I never worried one bit. I never got disturbed or sad. I was actually smiling when the door shut, because it was an answered prayer! 5 days later, another door opened. A more beautiful door—a door that fits our "home" better. God not only answered our prayer, he gave my husband an opportunity of a life time, an opportunity to work for a God centered place that instills values in their managers. We are so thankful for that! I then looked up to God and I said, I get it now, you needed to take away, bring something better, and settle our family before the next step, and I find great comfort in that, especially with the TTC stuff!

Other life changes have kept us busy too, one being getting back on the ball with fitness and health. By the grace of God, I have been content with my infertility. I think the TTC group can understand this rollercoaster I am describing. And right now, I am okay. We do, however, want to use our time wisely and definitely want to get this PCOS weight off! My husband is my biggest fan and he is right there with me as we attempt (for the 3rd time since May) to complete C25k (Couch 2 5k)! We got all the way to week 3, but back tracked in late May when we had some life changes! We are back at it and doing GREAT! After reading some in my theories class, I have realized that running is the number one method of therapy (meditation being number two) and together, we will be getting fit and healthy and will push each other to train, even on the days we "don't wanna."

Also, I am teaching summer school, not because I applied or anything, but because on the last day of school, after our teacher luncheon, I received a call. They needed someone to teach and even though every bone in my body said no, I excitedly said YES! So, as pull myself out of bed each morning, and unenthusiastically find clothes to wear that look acceptable and comfortable, I crankily drive my car to Ozen and pull in. I get out, walk 2.5 miles to the door, and plaster on fakeness. But hey, God wanted me to have it for SOME reason; after all I didn't even seek the job!

Have a rockin' summer y'all!


Facing the Giants

It’s movie week over here in room A-5. With 8 ½ days left of school, everyone has pretty much given up. We have faced the giant TAKS test, the giant curriculum and the giant six weeks exams. WE are all tired at this point! I cannot tell you how excited I am to be enjoying my entire summer: 11 weeks, all 77 days to myself! I will not be working summer school this summer! My friend next door, my beloved teaching partner, lent me a movie, Facing the Giants. At first glance a football movie, but so much more! When she mentioned the writers of Fireproof and Courageous were the same as Facing the Giants, I was surprised! I had no idea that Sherwood Baptist Church had a movie prior to Fireproof. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. If you have, you know how powerful it is. As I sat behind my computer screen, I could feel my cheeks blushing with anxiety… class after class...feeling that all eyes were on me. You see, my students cannot comprehend why I don’t have children and when they realize it, they think about it. In their mind, it makes no sense. Children, to them, are things you have, not necessarily blessings you get from God. Every year starts off the same"

“Mrs. Castillo, how many kids you got?”


“Why? You’re like 30 something…how come?”

Those conversations usually turn into questions of

“Mrs. Castillo, how many kids you want?”

“As many as God blesses me with!”

A few weeks later the questions become, “When you want kids?”

“When ever God gives them to me but hopefully real soon…” is usually my answer!

They realize that I haven’t been able to have children and with some classes, I might tell them a bit of info, especially if they are persistent in asking. They are 16, so I think they are mature enough to understand. Few realize the gravity of the situation…they cannot possibly understand, they are children themselves. But towards the end of the year, the questions become statements of “Mrs. Castillo, I hope you have a baby- I want you to have a little girl! She would be so cute…etc” While we were watching the movie, in 4th period, I heard a whisper one day last week that I ignored ,"That's Mrs. Castillo." When they saw the pain and the struggle of the character on the movie, they got it. They could connect something. I ignored it but I was blushing. I felt a stare down as I put grades in at my computer.

As they mature, they realize that you don’t just have everything you want in life. Sometimes you don’t get what you think you have the right to have! Sometimes facing the giants in life means, that you end up stronger than you think you are… you end up fighting a battle that you didn’t think you were ever going to fight! You will always win when God is on your side. Winning does not mean that life ended up the way YOU wanted it to, but that you trust God enough to survive the storm. Over the last three days as I watched the movie six times in a row, I realized that I needed to hear it repetitively to understand that I am right where I need to be. Miracles will happen and maybe one will come my way. And if not, that is a miracle in itself because God has allowed me to suffer through my infertility--suffer for my friends, family, and loved ones. This movie, Facing the Giants has given me hope and most of all strength. Some might say that I wallow in my sorrow, but I say, until you are in my sorrow you cannot say what I do. I am a strong, faithful woman of God. I have more strength most days than I ever think I could have had. I am looking this giant straight in the face. I have been facing this giant for 2 1/2 years. Some have faced it longer. I am not backing down. I am not bending my sentences when people inquire about my marriage or "children." I am looking at those giants…I am telling them the truth. "I have an infertility problem" I will say. God will grant me the strength when I keep seeing those negative tests, when I keep writing those checks out to the doctor, or as I continue to give myself infertility medication, when I pray at the abortion clinic, or when someone else is pregnant and I am not. God has, and he will. Too many of my friends have had pregnancies when I dreamed of them, and I have survived and set aside my difficulty for their victory. Too many times I have put a smile on my face because that is how I wanted to feel.  I have written this prayer and find comfort in it. Hopefully, you or someone you know will too.

“God, guide me to my children and direct me to the path You want me to be on. Show me the way You want us to go about having children for You. Lead us to the doctors that will honor our decisions about fertility treatments and help them to heal me. Thank you for blessing us with the beautiful children we will have and the beautiful children you have placed in our life. Help us to raise them to have a fire for You."

One of the turning points in the movie is played with this song by Ana Laura. I am leaving it here for you in hopes that you  find comfort in it today.


What I've Learned

In my life, it seems that I have one experience or challenge after another. It seems that in the mire and the muck that I always to fall in I can’t understand how I will ever shine again. Miraculously there is a new me when I am washed off…a “brighter” me—figuratively and literally. So what have a learned?

I’ve learned that in some weird way, God puts the people we need right in front of our faces. There have been several times I have struggled with my infertility in the past 2 ½ years, and in that time God put people that struggled or are struggling in my face, it was just my job to be open enough to get to know them, because if I wouldn’t have, I would have never know they struggled too.

I’ve learned that sometimes people don’t understand you because they don’t want to change.

I’ve learned that a “good cry” and a “stomping of my feet” is okay, because God can handle it.

I’ve learned that when everyone else is too busy, my husband is always there, and he has a listening ear like no other.

I’ve learned that when I get frustrated at doing my job, to be thankful and say, “God, thank you for the job you have given me, and thank you for the job you will lead me to in the future.”

I’ve learned that is okay to not say everything that is inside of your heart, because when you open it up all of the way, you take too great of a chance with someone damaging your valuable, vulnerable, feelings. It’s okay to hold back a little, as long as you have a consistent healthy way of expression. One doesn’t need to put all of their trials on the clothes line.

I’ve learned that I shouldn’t ask God to be with me, but that I should be with God.

I’ve learned that I am smart enough to go back to school, and I really enjoy what I am pursuing.

I’ve learned that thanking God for our beautiful children, even before he blesses us, puts my total faith and trust in Him.

I’ve learned that nothing ever goes as planned for my life—and you know what, nothing goes as planned for anyone else’s, and that’s okay. God has something better planned.

I’ve learned that people who know me and love me will accept me and my husband, my family, our religion, and our life for what it is, and they are here to support us in our decisions and downfalls. If you aren’t present in my trials, don’t expect to be there in the triumphs.

I’ve learned that I am a pretty lucky person because I have two parents, that are still married and who raised me to be a conservative, young lady that makes good choices; parents that love me so much, they would just rather Cody and me live with them, instead of a 1.35 miles away.

I've learned that throwing the scale out of the window (literally) has allowed me to not be a slave to a number on the scale.

I’ve learned that no matter how many gymnastics moves I do, or medicines I take, or foods that I omit, I am not going to have a baby, until God wants me to. (Now, this doesn’t mean that I still don’t have days that I don’t get out of bed, but I know it to be true).

I’ve learned that eating is a temporary fix to my emotional holes.

I’ve learned that people will slander you, just to become friends with one of your friends, because they have no friends, and if that is what they want to build their relationship on, it’s okay. It speaks volumes about their character. If they want my friend that bad, and she believes their fallacies, they can have each other. I don’t need anyone to justify me as a person; I am strong enough with God and my husband. It still stings, but there are plenty of people in the word for me to pour my energy into, besides the drama type.

I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how crazy my life gets, I am right where I need to be.


Infertility Awareness Week

April 22-28 is National Infertility Awareness Week. I hope you'll join me and many others this week as we try to help raise awareness for infertility.

It’s here. National Infertility Awareness Week and I have been battling with my feelings all month. The truth is—I have been battling with my infertility voice on my blog too. This last cycle we were pretty convinced we were pregnant. I had implantation bleeding, and all of the simptoms, even a late period. I was dreaming of a December baby that I always wanted, but she didn't show up. Instead her aunt came a week later. After this devistation, I hit my wall, hard. So many days I have wanted to write about something, but for fear of offending someone with the ugliness of infertility- I didn’t. I’ve remained silent for a month and I'm finding some strength now to say how it really feels to be infertile. I'm sorry if you read this and get offended; it is probably because you aren’t me (well, duh you aren't me, but you know what I am saying) and you don’t know how I feel. Infertility is a silent disease that no one talks about—but today, we are talking about it. This week, we are talking about it. I don’t ride roller-coasters, but I'm on this one. I wanted to share with you all my roller-coaster feelings on what I deal with the majority of the time. I want to share with you that if you don’t think you know anyone who struggles, you do. You or someone you know is affected by infertility. They go to sleep most nights in tears, they hold back what they want to say all of the time, they have a lot of feelings that cannot be explained. So, here goes:

What might go through someone’s mind that is infertile?
  • I am garbage, damaged goods- if I can’t function as a woman, why would my husband want me?
  • I don’t know why I feel like crap today, but I do. And if one more person announces on face book that they are expecting, I might lose it!
  • I'm so happy that ______ is expecting; I'm so angry that I'm not. I'm so angry that I'm just going to give up. Why can’t I catch a BREAK? I have been trying for twice as long as she?
  • I have no friends. Everyone is busy with their children. I stop everything I am doing for them and their children, but does anyone do that for me? Right then, when I need it most? I'm going to just start pulling back and keeping things inside.
  • Please don’t ask me, please don’t ask me, and please don’t ask me- about why I have been married for nearly 6 years and “So, do y'all not want kids, or what? It’s about that time? Why haven’t y'all had them yet?” I mean, first of all, whose business is that of yours? I’ve seen you twice in like 5 years- WHAT I would like to tell you is all the money we have spent trying to conceive, all the doctors’ appointments we have been to, and all of the tears I have shed.
  • What should we "do" next? What does my husband really think about me crying all of the time?
  • I don't want to take the shots and the hormones and throw-up to find a negative pregnancy test in the end.
  • I know you think IVF is the way to go, but unfortunately, I don't believe in it- and I cannot take that 25,000 dollar chance because I am not rich.
  • I know you know someone who knows someone who got pregnant after adoption, but life isn't about magic spells, and that is not what I hope to do, just so that my life turns out like that?
  • No, I'm sorry, I cannot bear to go to another baby shower where I everyone is pregnant except me and the mother of the expectant.
  • No, I'm not pregnant, just bloated because I'm on medication that does that to me and I just had a wand up me for 30 minutes.
  • I can't drink, I might be pregnant.
  • I can't go to the gym, my blastocyst might be traveling right now.
  • I think I will find other things to do than worry about this (I mean, you can only re-organize your cabinets so many times- so thank goodness my parents are paying for my graduate degree)
  • I totally don't understand, I'm not a parent, I am sure you are busy- (welcome to everyone else's life)
  • I want to drive to the beach, cry all day, scream as loud as possible, then drive home.
  • I am not sure I can plaster a smile on one more day!
  • I'm kind of glad I don't have kids today, so I can sleep in.
  • Who loves damaged goods?
  • How can all these people get pregnant, and I am constantly faithful with nothing in return.
  • I have it all planned out, how I am going to tell my husband, family, friends, and co-workers-- It hurts when what I want to happen, never does.
  • If all of my blood work shows that I should be pregnant, why am I still not? I don't think I can bare this type of cycle again.
What might someone do along their infertile journey?

Now What? How can others help, and not hurt (because they really do not mean to)

Infertility can spur up very ill feelings. Most of the time, you have to understand, they are uncontrollable feelings that make you sick to think about even having, but the truth is, when you have the desire to be a parent and you cannot possibly achieve it, it seems like the entire world is on pause. Most don’t get it and say hurtful things that they don't mean. Some people try to get it, but they don’t or forget about your pain, when they are successful on the journey. Few people actually get it. I have put up some links, and I hope that you will visit them!

For help with those infertile ladies in your life, click here

For help with infertility and to read other people’s journey, click here
Before posting today This blogger had stolen my words in beautiful way. Check her out. She is really great!

I'm leaving you with my feelings wrapped up in this video...


Thank God for Husbands

Whine Whine Whine. I was doing a lot of that last week. (It would have helped if I was doing more wine, wine, wine, but I was too lazy to buy a bottle). When I came home Friday, I asked Cody late that night if he had read my blog. He didn't say much. It wasn't that he didn't appreciate my writing, he was just thinking of what exactly to say to me. When I woke up on Saturday to feed our dogs who demand to eat at 6:00 am- No. MATTER. WHAT. I crawled back into bed to some scholarly words of wisdom from my husband. He said. Babe, I know you feel "stuck" sometimes, but think of our situation this way: God thinks you and I are so special, he is giving US time to be where we NEED to be to be good parents. He thinks so much of us and loves us for our devotion to him, that he has given us a grace that most couples would love to have. He said that God is giving us time to get healthy, and financially sound--- get our "act together" before he gives us more to handle and the ball is in our court. He is trusting us to get it together! He is giving us time to get our marriage back on the same page. That is all he had to say. It was like someone waved a magic wand over me and I "got it." It all made sense. I am so thankful that he waited to say the right thing. I am so happy that he told me that. Because even though I had already thought of that in my head, it just made more sense coming from him. So, after that conversation and some much needed time for myself this weekend, I am feeling ON TOP OF THE WORLD! Happy Monday y'all.


What IS up?

What has been up with me lately? Nothing. I find that I spend most of my life, with zero changes on my end, living through the events of other people. It's is like Groundhog Day all of the time, with random events of others sprinkled in accordingly. It seems that everyday is the same. I get ready, head to work, teach, eat lunch in A3, teach, go home, occasionally workout, and it is a tossup between the last: church, dinner out, or home in a vegetative state with hubby. My life has no IT factor. There isn't anything exciting going on over here. What I have noticed though is that it seems excitement is always going on in the lives of others. I sometimes find myself saying... (whining) “Life isn’t fair for me.” I find myself whining all of the time and then when I catch myself I figuratively slap myself in the face with “Thank you God for all of the gifts you have bestowed upon my life, I am sorry for the unjust comments to you. Thank you for my Church, family, friends, job, knowledge, health, abilities, and the love you have for me, but.” Sometimes I say “but…” and sometimes I don’t. I feel sometimes like I am just “along for the ride” in everyone else’s life because my car is broken down. Imagine that for just a minute. Literally. When your car is broken down and you rely on others to bring you from one place to another, you feel a sense of helplessness. Now, imagine your car being broken down for years. Every morning you wait for someone to pick you for work and take you home. It is beyond frustrating. Figuratively in life, when your car is broken down, it is like you have no life, no voice, and no “take off.” Every day is mundane and you rely on the excitement in everyone else to take you to that that place as well. I find myself always in PAUSE at all times, I am always waiting in the wings of everyone else’s show. I know in the back of my brain, I am supposed to continue life as I know it, but it seems there is nothing really to do. I mean, really. Imagine. Your life. With your car. Broken down. For years. How would you feel? My favorite lyric to Dream, by Priscilla Ahn is “I asked God who I'm supposed to be. The stars smiled down on me, God answered in silent reverie. I said a prayer and fell asleep.” Press play and enjoy the song. Have a great weekend y’all!


Today is a New Day!

Today is a new day. It is time to answer the call and become the best version of yourself. I really liked the part of the video where Chrystalina talks about putting God off until a later time. Now is the time. We are not called to be perfect, we are called to be faithful, even when we don't FEEL like it. I am not on a soap box, believe me. I take this video as my own advice. But I can tell you this. With out my faith in God, my journey with infertility, my martial issues, broken friendships, and a stressful job would be much more difficult to overcome and bear if I didn't know he was carrying me. My strength literally comes from him. When I am broken it does't matter how many cupcakes I eat- I need to drive myself to adoration, lay prostrate on the floor and hand it to him. I continue my faith and walk with God even when I am mad or disappointed, when I am afraid and when I am doubtful- and I am those many many days. It is the one constant in my life, and it can be yours too.


Be Patient...God's Timing is Always Perfect

So Saturday, I was again, home in a quiet house- nothing to do and guess who showed up? Remember my post about great aunt depression- yea...she came back. Y'all, it's like sometimes I just can't SHAKE IT OFF! I want to so bad, but I can't. Until you are in my shoes, you can't fathom what it is like. It seems that what I am going through, I would be used to by now, almost "over it" but I am not. Being infertile makes you constantly feel like you aren't good enough. It makes you evaluate and analyze every part of your life, not just your ovaries! It makes you re-look at who you are and what you have done with the life God has given you. It makes you bitter at the times that you don't want to be! I could tell you that so many times I have wanted to be truly happy and joyous in the past months, but I. Just. Couldn't. From my perspective, people seem to then not know what to do. It seems the more you struggle with infertility... the further and further people move away from you. Is it because they are tired of listening to you "whine"? Is it because they don't have time to help you because they actually have a life and things to do because they have children? I don't know. I really don't know. What I do know is, it's that infertility is an awkward and lonely disease. There are several angels in my life that have gone through this and are still going through this. They have really been there for me during this time. Last year, I thought I would never get to the point where certain things bothered me about being infertile, but now, they do. It's an uncontrollable life changing situation that I have to learn to be patient with. This weekend was depressing for me. After I went to confession and spent some time at adoration praying and praying, not for me, rather for others that I "envy" I left and went to visit my mom. There, she had a gift for me. Her very good friend, my second mother, "Ms. Carol" had brought a gift to me. The letter inside of the envelope was a story about her neighbor and her struggle with PCOS and infertility. She tried many years to get pregnant and to carry a baby to term. I do not know much, but I do know Ms. Carol was over visiting her NEW BORN! She got to talking and the neighbor shared her story of PCOS and her struggle. Ms. Carol shared mine. The lady left the room teary-eyed and brought back this: Her mother brought it for her during her struggle and she wore it daily to remind herself to "Be Patient. God's timing is always perfect". That is what is inscripted on the bracelet. She gave it to Ms. Carol to give to me! It was so special for me to get this after my hard day. I've been wearing it since and will continue to.


BUNCO and Delish Treats!

MMmmmmm! YUmmmm! That's what everyone was saying last night at my house! We had our monthly bunco gathering and it was my month to host! I racked my brain, but then came up with the Mardi Gras theme, and it was a BIG HIT! Cody made chicken, sausage, and shrimp Jambalaya-and we had salad and french bread to go with it! Everyone was pleased with dinner and hubby even had leftovers when he returned home! But the biggest hits of the night were two new recipes that I tried! One was a Chocolate Fondue- that I served with marshmallows, fruit, potato chips and pretzels! The best part about it was the Malibu Rum that was mixed in with the chocolate! I made it in my small crock pot and mmmm I was so glad to have leftovers! The other big hit was the Black-Eyed Pea Salsa. The next time I make it 1- I will make a double recipe because it was gone in 20 minutes and 2- I think I will add chunks of avocado to it! BOTH WERE FAB! I am so proud of myself for trying something new! It was really really good too! Of course our celebration would not have been complete with out a King Cake! We had a blast....hope you try out the recipes :)


Sinking into PCOS

I am really frustrated right now. I want to write a blog post, yet I don't. I know it is the PCOS-weight, depression and infertility. Why do I have PCOS? I mean, for 25 years of my life I was in normal weight range-- is it because I gained weight that I now have it? No-- I just don't get it! How does it all of a sudden sneak up? I am frustrated today. I am tired today. I look at myself and don't know where exactly I have gone. For 25 years of my life I never thought it would be a problem to have a baby- really? A baby-- millions of people do it blindly and on a whim-- they wave a magic wand and POOF it happens. They don't even understand how their body works and they can make a baby. I, on the other hand have to know every detailed number of every level of blood work and exactly at what rate the ovary will release and egg minus the number of hours it takes for sperm to travel to my fallopian tubes and at that very moment in time not be doing something off the wall like Zumba. I mean....REALLY? I see plenty of 16 year-old children that make babies two and three times having sex "once." So put that atop of being overweight and frustrated and you get an overweight depressed non functional woman-- Heck yes it takes a lot for me not to go off people. Maybe it is that I am not depressed, but mad. I am mad, yes. When I try to breathe through it or let it go, the overwhelming feelings circle around again. The carb-y foods I eat are my army. They work for me to kill off any ill feelings of baby wanting and skinny dreams. PCOS is like a vicious cycle. want a baby---can't have a baby---eat---too fat---depressed--eat---depressed--want a baby-------OVER AND OVER AND OVER again. I feel like I have the shortest attention span at eating well. I get so frustrated sometimes that it sets me into a depression. Then I don't prepare for my work week (pack lunches, cook dinners, chores, etc) then I eat out and gain weight- I feel bad and know that if I take the one medication that is supposed to help all of this I will be very ill because I haven't been eating clean for at lest 7-14 days. So you see, it is a horrible cycle. I finally met my wall with somethings lately and it has really really been draining me. Sometimes you think you are really strong, but you aren't. When you find out that you aren't you just want to hide under a rock until you can brave the world again. I ask myself, do other PCOS sufferers find it challenging to remember to take their medications? Do they go through this same cycle of depression? If all I have to do is eat healthy, be prepared, and take a medication to help myself lose weight at a normal rate of speed (1.5-2.0 pounds/week) then why can't I do it. I am frustrated today. Thanks for understanding! Encouragement and advice always needed :)


Calorie Tracking

-Besides doing the detox, I am also tracking all calories on myfitnesspal. You will need to sign up, but it is totally free! G from work showed me all about it- and it totally rocks! All you do is put in what you weigh and how much you want to lose in a week (.5, 1, 1.5 or 2 lbs) according to your option, they will give you a calorie tracking plan! -It is really awesome because it works. I am supposed to lose 2 pounds a week, and this week I did! If you eat, you search the huge database and add your foods! If you exercise, you put in calories burned! You can either eat those calories, or not eat them! If you don’t eat them, you would lose even more weight! (Example: 45 minutes on the treadmill at 4.0 speed is 325 calories!) that is another .5 pound each week if you exercise 5xweek. It tells you each day, “If you eat like this every day, in 5 weeks, you will weigh ___)” that makes me happy to see! -What I like about it most, is that it monitors your intakes of carbs, protein, sugars, etc. So it’s not like WW points- I have 6 points left, let me eat a bag of M&Ms. When you look at Myfitnesspal you think “No, I already ate all of my carbs/ or I still need 6 protein” so you can see exactly what you should be eating. My Friend at work got me started. Many moments last week we asked—is it worth it? Is that candy bar that I HAD to have worth it? No, not when you are looking at that calorie workup! Its pretty awesome—check it out!

Sugar Detox

  • By popular demand—everyone is asking about this sugar detox I tried after the holidays! If you want the full run down, check out this cook book: The Eat-Clean Diet, Stripped. I came across this cook book in the Woman’s World Magazine at the beginning of January. In the magazine, the writer gave a few meal plan options that one could go by if they didn’t have the book. From memory, here they are:

  • Breakfast options:
  • 3 egg whites, plain oatmeal, 1 small apple, almonds
  • 3 egg whites, ½ cup of black beans, salsa
  • Chocolate-banana shake (homemade recipe is in the magazine, but I use the packet from HEB near the veggie section) It makes 3 servings.

  • Lunch options:
  • 1- 4 oz Salmon, mixed veggies
  • 2- 4 oz Chicken, mixed veggies
  • 3- 4 oz Lean turkey patty, mixed veggies

  • Dinner options:
  • 1-Chicken breast, sweet potato, green veggie
  • 2- Shrimp and whole grain pasta tossed with EVOO and zucchini
  • 3- Turkey (you could make turkey spaghetti with whole grain pasta, turkey chili, or even taco soup) with any green veggie. No carby veggies like potatoes with the dinner option that has whole grain..
  • Snacks (3 per day)
  • 1- 1 apple and 12 plain almonds ( 1 get the 100 cal packs from emerald)
  • 2- Cucumber and guacamole (some days I would substitute cucumbers for 12 whole grain tortilla chips)
  • 3- Mixed fruit salad (sometimes I would substitute for ½ a naked fruit drink)
  • 4- Celery and hummus

  • Drinks :
  • 6 to 8 glasses of water/day
  • Unsweetened tea

  • I suggest if you want to see more food options either get the book, or go to the store and get the Womans World Magazine from January 2012. You really could do any variation of a protein and vegetable for lunch and any variation of a protein, whole grain carb and vegetable for dinner. Sometimes, instead of a cucumber, I would add a serving of whole grain chips with my afternoon guacamole (just because I needed that extra crunch, and even though it was healthy, it made me feel like I was cheating a bit).
  • The main goal is to abstain from all processed foods and sugars, especially aspartame! Aspartame (in diet coke and artificially sweetened items…EVEN LIGHT YOGURT) processes in your body as real sugar does. It starts to store as real sugar does and it is not good for you. You begin to crave more aspartame, more real sugar, and more carby foods when on it. Women with PCOS should steer clear of aspartame (as well as the white- carby food) and should have protein with every meal. I have decided that I would eat this way during the work week, and twice of on the weekends I could go out for a treat meal no holding back, and even have a diet coke. 2 diet cokes a week is NOTHING compared to the 5-6 I would have a day—sans water! Limit dairy to no more than 2 servings a day.
  • You might think you could NEVER eat plain oatmeal; yes you can if you are hungry. You might think salad and chicken would never fill you up at lunch—on this plan, it does. You have to be willing to sacrifice something to get what you want. In the magazine, the writer calls this a 7 day detox. If you would like, you could do it for 28 days. After that, your body needs a fat day—to reset your metabolism. I have decided for me 80/20 works best --and that even comes from my RE. 80 percent of the time, I will eat this way, and 20 percent of the time I will have what I love! Best of luck to you!


New Year...New You

Good morning followers! I have been unusually busy this week. It was my first week back to work since the 2 week Mid Winter Break (we can’t say Christmas, you know). I decided that this year to try my hardest (with reason) to cure my PCOS. I decided that I am worth more than equating myself with a disease. I also follow PCOS Diva on her FB and webpage. She has some excellent tips with cooking, living, and planning around PCOS. I thoroughly enjoy reading her posts and ideas! One of her posts was about choosing a word(s) that would represent the new you in this New Year. The words I chose were calm, satisfied, and determined. I choose those words because I want to have a calm attitude in all adventures that come my way. I could yell and scream and complain and fuss, but instead I am going to try to see them as blessings. This would especially apply to my job (I SO need to be calmer in that whole situation) Secondly; I decided that this year, I am going to be satisfied with what I have. Instead of dreaming of babies and a bigger home and a smaller figure, I am just going to dive in and accept it. I don’t have children, so there are many trips and goals that I can still meet, that may be harder for others that have children. I have a tiny, quaint home and I am trying to not compare my belongings with those of others, so I am going to keep decorating it and enjoying it until we just don’t fit in it anymore. I am a size 16 and there has to be something beautiful about me, because my husband still tells me on a tri-daily basis that I am. I am not a mom, not wealthy, and not skinny. But I am me! This year I am going to take baby steps and along the way enjoy each rainy day! My last word for the year was determined! I am officially determined to (bite by bite) lose my comfort- my overweight-ness. When you are overweight, you find comfort and acceptance in that fat—it is yours. You don’t necessarily want it, but it is part of you. You have lived with it so long that even though you desperately want it off, in a weird way that is all you can accept yourself to be now. I don’t, by any means want to be that size—more like a 6, but it didn’t happen overnight and it is going to take longer than 2 months to get there. I have decided that I can’t be perfect all of the time, but most of the time I can do a good job! SO in 52 weeks, if I only lost one pound a week, I would meet my goal. I am not going to do extreme diets to lose weight, but I will take extreme measures to become healthy! I will cut out my aspartame intake in all foods and in Diet coke, but I will enjoy ONE or TWO in a week, not 5-6 in a day! I will cut out all eating out and heavily processed foods, unless it is a special occasion or holiday. I will cut out foods that feed my fertility disease, but I don’t mind enjoying them once a week, just to celebrate being me! Stay tuned to my next blog post where I will post the sugar detox plan and how you can make simple changes that will make you feel like the best version of yourself!