Thursday, August 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

In honor of my Grandpa Sal's 100th birthday today, I want to share a few memories of him. He passed away in 1993, but he still lives in my heart.

  • The cards we would get in the mail for every special occasion, complete with a poem that he wrote special for each of us.
  • My grandparents' house every Sunday for spaghetti and Grandpa's homemade sauce.
  • Vacations in Venice, FL where he and I got to feed the blue herring that came around every day.
  • Staying the weekend by myself at their house and playing cards, along with helping him with his insulin shots.
  • He was always so proud of his grandkids, every single one of us.
I miss him a lot and I pray that he is watching over his family and know that we are carrying the family legacy on. I just wish I had more time with him...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stupid Drivers

As I sit here waiting on the thunderstorm to slow down (I watched it come over the horizon), I can't even imagine what driving in it will be like. I certainly don't like driving in thunderstorms with lighting coming down all around me.

There are some idiotic drivers around here and I really need to vent about their stupidity.

  • There are those who don't turn on their lights when it is raining, especially when they have their wipers going.
  • There are those who don't use their turn signals and abruptly turn, coming to an almost stop in the process.
  • There are those who run straight thru intersections without even looking to see if the light has already turned red.
  • There are those who deciding riding up my ass instead of just passing me is the only way to make me go faster (I am not going faster just for you, but if you let me get over, I will).
  • There are those people who don't realize that they don't have a stop and insist on stopping anyway (incoming traffic into a parking lot normally).
I think that is all right now, but I think the drivers around here are the worst I have seen in a long time.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Time Goes On

Following my last post, I want to explain that I am not depressed all the time. It seems like I have to allow myself one day to feel very sorry for myself when the treatments don't work before I am able to move on with my life and everything that is going on around me. That is my coping method. I haven't been able to find anyone in particular to talk to, being new to the area and all. I certainly hope that I had my friends there to support, in which they always are. I am grateful for the ladies on TTTC and for the few friends who really do try to understand what I am going thru and talk to me, even if it is just to ease my mind.

I thought blogging things would help me cope, but as I have come to the realization that I have had my blog for over a year, I have barely over a couple dozen posts that relates to anything that has been going on in my life. I used to write all the time, but it was a lesiurely pace. Perhaps if I can get my feelings down, I can feel better with the progress that has been made and look forward to things to come.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Onto the next cycle...

Here I am on the first day of my new cycle. I have gotten to the point that I almost don't expect anything to work anymore. After all the meds that I have to take and the shots that Tim has given me (only got really bruised once), I don't know how I will feel if I ever see a truly positive HPT, I am so used to seeing only one pick line (or two only because I took it too early and it is remnants of the HCG injects). I am ready for that next step, but I don't know what that is. Dr. Mattingly mentioned having a Lap done, but he said it was up to me when because I would have to see another doctor in Columbus to have it done. I am thinking sometime this fall.

I am tired of everything and I feel numb to the world around me. I can't get excited about a coworker's baby shower. I have no interest in talking with my friends that already have kids (except for a choice few, you know who you are). I have lost interest in just about everything and would rather curl up with a book or play computer games than face what needs to be done at home, especially the painting.

Maybe if I could just stop feeling sorry for myself and move on, things might get easier, but after knowing something is wrong for the past 4 years and fully trying for the past 2, I am tired of it all. I just hope that I am able to pick myself up soon, like I do every cycle, and get to a point of knowing how strong Tim and I are for doing all that we can. Please pray for us.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Infertility Etiquette for NIAW

Infertility Etiquette

Chances are, you know someone who is struggling with infertility. More than five million people of childbearing age in the United States experience infertility. Yet, as a society, we are woefully uninformed about how to best provide emotional support for our loved ones during this painful time.

Infertility is, indeed, a very painful struggle. The pain is similar to the grief over losing a loved one, but it is unique because it is a recurring grief. When a loved one dies, he isn't coming back. There is no hope that he will come back from the dead. You must work through the stages of grief, accept that you will never see this person again, and move on with your life.

The grief of infertility is not so cut and dry. Infertile people grieve the loss of the baby that they may never know. They grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes. But, each month, there is the hope that maybe that baby will be conceived after all. No matter how hard they try to prepare themselves for bad news, they still hope that this month will be different. Then, the bad news comes again, and the grief washes over the infertile couple anew. This process happens month after month, year after year. It is like having a deep cut that keeps getting opened right when it starts to heal.

As the couple moves into infertility treatments, the pain increases while the bank account depletes. Most infertility treatments involve using hormones, which alter the user's moods. (That statement is like calling a lion a cat-my husband would tell you that the side effect is insanity!) The tests are invasive and embarrassing to both parties, and you feel like the doctor has taken over your bedroom. And for all of this discomfort, you pay a lot of money. Infertility treatments are expensive, and most insurance companies do not cover the costs. So, in addition to the pain of not conceiving a baby each month, the couple pays out anywhere from $300 to five figures, depending upon the treatment used.

A couple will eventually resolve the infertility problem in one of three ways:

They will eventually conceive a baby.
They will stop the infertility treatments and choose to live without children.
They will find an alternative way to parent, such as by adopting a child or becoming a foster parent.

Reaching a resolution can take years, so your infertile loved ones need your emotional support during this journey. Most people don't know what to say, so they wind up saying the wrong thing, which only makes the journey so much harder for their loved ones. Knowing what not to say is half of the battle to providing support.

Don't Tell Them to Relax

Everyone knows someone who had trouble conceiving but then finally became pregnant once she "relaxed." Couples who are able to conceive after a few months of "relaxing" are not infertile. By definition, a couple is not diagnosed as "infertile" until they have tried unsuccessfully to become pregnant for a full year. In fact, most infertility specialists will not treat a couple for infertility until they have tried to become pregnant for a year. This year weeds out the people who aren't infertile but just need to "relax." Those that remain are truly infertile.

Comments such as "just relax" or "try going on a cruise" create even more stress for the infertile couple, particularly the woman. The woman feels like she is doing something wrong when, in fact, there is a good chance that there is a physical problem preventing her from becoming pregnant.

These comments can also reach the point of absurdity. As a couple, my husband and I underwent two surgeries, numerous inseminations, hormone treatments, and four years of poking and prodding by doctors. Yet, people still continued to say things like, "If you just relaxed on a cruise . . ." Infertility is a diagnosable medical problem that must be treated by a doctor, and even with treatment, many couples will NEVER successfully conceive a child. Relaxation itself does not cure medical infertility.

Don't Minimize the Problem

Failure to conceive a baby is a very painful journey. Infertile couples are surrounded by families with children. These couples watch their friends give birth to two or three children, and they watch those children grow while the couple goes home to the silence of an empty house. These couples see all of the joy that a child brings into someone's life, and they feel the emptiness of not being able to experience the same joy.

Comments like, "Just enjoy being able to sleep late . . . .travel . . etc.," do not offer comfort. Instead, these comments make infertile people feel like you are minimizing their pain. You wouldn't tell somebody whose parent just died to be thankful that he no longer has to buy Father's Day or Mother's Day cards. Losing that one obligation doesn't even begin to compensate for the incredible loss of losing a parent. In the same vein, being able to sleep late or travel does not provide comfort to somebody who desperately wants a child.

Don't Say There Are Worse Things That Could Happen

Along the same lines, don't tell your friend that there are worse things that she could be going through. Who is the final authority on what is the "worst" thing that could happen to someone? Is it going through a divorce? Watching a loved one die? Getting raped? Losing a job?

Different people react to different life experiences in different ways. To someone who has trained his whole life for the Olympics, the "worst" thing might be experiencing an injury the week before the event. To someone who has walked away from her career to become a stay-at-home wife for 40 years, watching her husband leave her for a younger woman might be the "worst" thing. And, to a woman whose sole goal in life has been to love and nurture a child, infertility may indeed be the "worst" thing that could happen.

People wouldn't dream of telling someone whose parent just died, "It could be worse: both of your parents could be dead." Such a comment would be considered cruel rather than comforting. In the same vein, don't tell your friend that she could be going through worse things than infertility.

Don't Say They Aren't Meant to Be Parents

One of the cruelest things anyone ever said to me is, "Maybe God doesn't intend for you to be a mother." How incredibly insensitive to imply that I would be such a bad mother that God felt the need to divinely sterilize me. If God were in the business of divinely sterilizing women, don't you think he would prevent the pregnancies that end in abortions? Or wouldn't he sterilize the women who wind up neglecting and abusing their children? Even if you aren't religious, the "maybe it's not meant to be" comments are not comforting. Infertility is a medical condition, not a punishment from God or Mother Nature.

Don't Ask Why They Aren't Trying IVF

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a method in which the woman harvests multiple eggs, which are then combined with the man's sperm in a petri dish. This is the method that can produce multiple births. People frequently ask, "Why don't you just try IVF?" in the same casual tone they would use to ask, "Why don't you try shopping at another store?"

Don't Offer Unsolicited Opinions If They Are Trying IVF

On the flip side of the coin, don't offer unsolicited advice to your friends who do choose to try IVF. For many couples, IVF is the only way they will ever give birth to a baby. This is a huge decision for them to make, for all of the reasons I outlined above.

If the couple has resolved any ethical issues, don't muddy the waters. IVF is a gray area in many ethical circles, and many of our moral leaders don't yet know how to answer the ethical questions that have arisen from this new technology. If the couple has resolved these issues already, you only make it harder by raising the ethical questions again. Respect their decision, and offer your support. If you can't offer your support due to ethical differences of opinion, then say nothing.

A couple who chooses the IVF route has a hard, expensive road ahead, and they need your support more than ever. The hormones are no cakewalk, and the financial cost is enormous. Your friend would not be going this route if there were an easier way, and the fact that she is willing to endure so much is further proof of how much she truly wants to parent a child. The hormones will make her more emotional, so offer her your support and keep your questions to yourself.

Don't Play Doctor

Once your infertile friends are under a doctor's care, the doctor will run them through numerous tests to determine why they aren't able to conceive. There a numerous reasons that a couple may not be able to conceive. Here are a few of them:

Blocked fallopian tubes
Low hormone levels
Low "normal form" sperm count
Low progesterone level
Low sperm count
Low sperm motility
Thin uterine walls

Infertility is a complicated problem to diagnose, and reading an article or book on infertility will not make you an "expert" on the subject. Let your friends work with their doctor to diagnose and treat the problem. Your friends probably already know more about the causes and solutions of infertility than you will ever know.

You may feel like you are being helpful by reading up on infertility, and there is nothing wrong with learning more about the subject. The problem comes when you try to "play doctor" with your friends. They already have a doctor with years of experience in diagnosing and treating the problem. They need to work with and trust their doctor to treat the problem. You only complicate the issue when you throw out other ideas that you have read about. The doctor knows more about the causes and solutions; let your friends work with their doctor to solve the problem.

Don't Be Crude

It is appalling that I even have to include this paragraph, but some of you need to hear this-Don't make crude jokes about your friend's vulnerable position. Crude comments like "I'll donate the sperm" or "Make sure the doctor uses your sperm for the insemination" are not funny, and they only irritate your friends.

Don't Complain About Your Pregnancy

This message is for pregnant women-Just being around you is painful for your infertile friends. Seeing your belly grow is a constant reminder of what your infertile friend cannot have. Unless an infertile women plans to spend her life in a cave, she has to find a way to interact with pregnant women. However, there are things you can do as her friend to make it easier.

The number one rule is DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY. I understand from my friends that, when you are pregnant, your hormones are going crazy and you experience a lot of discomfort, such as queasiness, stretch marks, and fatigue. You have every right to vent about the discomforts to any one else in your life, but don't put your infertile friend in the position of comforting you.

Your infertile friend would give anything to experience the discomforts you are enduring because those discomforts come from a baby growing inside of you. When I heard a pregnant woman complain about morning sickness, I would think, "I'd gladly throw up for nine straight months if it meant I could have a baby." When a pregnant woman would complain about her weight gain, I would think, "I would cut off my arm if I could be in your shoes."

I managed to go to baby showers and hospitals to welcome my friends' new babies, but it was hard. Without exception, it was hard. Stay sensitive to your infertile friend's emotions, and give her the leeway that she needs to be happy for you while she cries for herself. If she can't bring herself to hold your new baby, give her time. She isn't rejecting you or your new baby; she is just trying to work her way through her pain to show sincere joy for you. The fact that she is willing to endure such pain in order to celebrate your new baby with you speaks volumes about how much your friendship means to her.

Don't Treat Them Like They Are Ignorant

For some reason, some people seem to think that infertility causes a person to become unrealistic about the responsibilities of parenthood. I don't follow the logic, but several people told me that I wouldn't ache for a baby so much if I appreciated how much responsibility was involved in parenting.

Let's face it-no one can fully appreciate the responsibilities involved in parenting until they are, themselves, parents. That is true whether you successfully conceived after one month or after 10 years. The length of time you spend waiting for that baby does not factor in to your appreciation of responsibility. If anything, people who have been trying to become pregnant longer have had more time to think about those responsibilities. They have also probably been around lots of babies as their friends started their families.

Perhaps part of what fuels this perception is that infertile couples have a longer time to "dream" about what being a parent will be like. Like every other couple, we have our fantasies-my child will sleep through the night, would never have a tantrum in public, and will always eat his vegetables. Let us have our fantasies. Those fantasies are some of the few parent-to-be perks that we have-let us have them. You can give us your knowing looks when we discover the truth later.

Don't Gossip About Your Friend's Condition

Infertility treatments are very private and embarrassing, which is why many couples choose to undergo these treatments in secret. Men especially are very sensitive to letting people know about infertility testing, such as sperm counts. Gossiping about infertility is not usually done in a malicious manner. The gossipers are usually well-meaning people who are only trying to find out more about infertility so they can help their loved ones.

Regardless of why you are sharing this information with someone else, it hurts and embarrasses your friend to find out that Madge the bank teller knows what your husband's sperm count is and when your next period is expected. Infertility is something that should be kept as private as your friend wants to keep it. Respect your friend's privacy, and don't share any information that your friend hasn't authorized.

Don't Push Adoption (Yet)

Adoption is a wonderful way for infertile people to become parents. (As an adoptive parent, I can fully vouch for this!!) However, the couple needs to work through many issues before they will be ready to make an adoption decision. Before they can make the decision to love a "stranger's baby," they must first grieve the loss of that baby with Daddy's eyes and Mommy's nose. Adoption social workers recognize the importance of the grieving process. When my husband and I went for our initial adoption interview, we expected the first question to be, "Why do you want to adopt a baby?" Instead, the question was, "Have you grieved the loss of your biological child yet?" Our social worker emphasized how important it is to shut one door before you open another.

You do, indeed, need to grieve this loss before you are ready to start the adoption process. The adoption process is very long and expensive, and it is not an easy road. So, the couple needs to be very sure that they can let go of the hope of a biological child and that they can love an adopted baby. This takes time, and some couples are never able to reach this point. If your friend cannot love a baby that isn't her "own," then adoption isn't the right decision for her, and it is certainly not what is best for the baby.

Mentioning adoption in passing can be a comfort to some couples. (The only words that ever offered me comfort were from my sister, who said, "Whether through pregnancy or adoption, you will be a mother one day.") However, "pushing" the issue can frustrate your friend. So, mention the idea in passing if it seems appropriate, and then drop it. When your friend is ready to talk about adoption, she will raise the issue herself.

So, what can you say to your infertile friends? Unless you say "I am giving you this baby," there is nothing you can say that will erase their pain. So, take that pressure off of yourself. It isn't your job to erase their pain, but there is a lot you can do to lesson the load. Here are a few ideas.

Let Them Know That You Care

The best thing you can do is let your infertile friends know that you care. Send them cards. Let them cry on your shoulder. If they are religious, let them know you are praying for them. Offer the same support you would offer a friend who has lost a loved one. Just knowing they can count on you to be there for them lightens the load and lets them know that they aren't going through this alone.

Remember Them on Mother's Day

With all of the activity on Mother's Day, people tend to forget about women who cannot become mothers. Mother's Day is an incredibly painful time for infertile women. You cannot get away from it-There are ads on the TV, posters at the stores, church sermons devoted to celebrating motherhood, and all of the plans for celebrating with your own mother and mother-in-law.

Mother's Day is an important celebration and one that I relish now that I am a mother. However, it was very painful while I was waiting for my baby. Remember your infertile friends on Mother's Day, and send them a card to let them know you are thinking of them. They will appreciate knowing that you haven't "forgotten" them.

Support Their Decision to Stop Treatments

No couple can endure infertility treatments forever. At some point, they will stop. This is an agonizing decision to make, and it involves even more grief. Even if the couple chooses to adopt a baby, they must still first grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes.

Once the couple has made the decision to stop treatments, support their decision. Don't encourage them to try again, and don't discourage them from adopting, if that is their choice. Once the couple has reached resolution (whether to live without children, adopt a child, or become foster parents), they can finally put that chapter of their lives behind them. Don't try to open that chapter again.

Monday, April 27, 2009

National Infertility Awareness Week

Please re post the above and share the word of National Infertility Awareness Week.

I'm sure so many of us never knew what this was when we first started TTC, but now that we do we must get the word out and get others and insurance companies to recognize infertility is a medical condition that needs just as much assistance and treatment as anything else!

Special thanks to The Pifer's Journey for allowing me to copy and paste from her amazing blog this week to help spread the word.

Infertility 101: Get the facts

Myth: Infertility is a women's problem.

Fact: This is untrue. It surprises most people to learn that infertility is a female problem in 35% of the cases, a male problem in 35% of the cases, a combined problem of the couple in 20% of cases, and unexplained in 10% of cases. It is essential that both the man and the woman be evaluated during an infertility work-up.

Myth: Everyone seems to get pregnant at the drop of a hat.

Fact: More than five million people of childbearing age in the United States experience infertility. When you seek support, you will find that you are not alone. Join RESOLVE, a support group, or talk with others who are struggling to build a family, so that you won't feel isolated.

Myth: It's all in your head! Why don't you relax or take a vacation. Then you'll get pregnant!

Fact: Infertility is a disease or condition of the reproductive system. While relaxing may help you with your overall quality of life, the stress and deep emotions you feel are the result of infertility, not the cause of it. Improved medical techniques have made it easier to diagnose infertility problems.

Myth: Don't worry so much -- it just takes time. You'll get pregnant if you're just patient.

Fact: Infertility is a medical problem that may be treated. At least 50% of those who complete an infertility evaluation will respond to treatment with a successful pregnancy. Some infertility problems respond with higher or lower success rates. Those who do not seek help have a "spontaneous cure rate" of about 5% after a year of infertility.

Myth: If you adopt a baby you'll get pregnant!

Fact: This is one of the most painful myths for couples to hear. First it suggests that adoption is only a means to an end, not an happy and successful end in itself. Second, it is simply not true. Studies reveal that the rate for achieving pregnancy after adopting is the same as for those who do not adopt.

Myth: Why don't you just forget it and adopt? After all, there are so many babies out there who need homes!

Fact: For many, adoption is a happy resolution to infertility. But choosing how to build your family is a very personal decision. Learning about all the ways to build a family can open your eyes to options you may not have thought of as a possibility. Education is key to finding resolution.

Myth: Maybe you two are doing something wrong!

Fact: Infertility is a medical condition, not a sexual disorder.

Myth: My partner might leave me because of our infertility.

Fact: The majority of couples do survive the infertility crisis, learning in the process new ways of relating to each other, which deepens their relationship in years to follow.

Myth: Perhaps this is God's way of telling you that you two aren't meant to be parents!

Fact: It is particularly difficult to hear this when you are struggling with infertility. You know what loving parents you would be, and it is painful to have to explain to others that you have a medical problem.

Myth: Infertility is nature's way of controlling population.

Fact: Zero population growth is a goal pursued in a time of world overpopulation, but it still allows for couples to replace themselves with two children. Individuals or couples can certainly elect the option to be childfree or to raise a single child. Infertility, for those who desire children, denies them the opportunity to choose.

Myth: I shouldn't take a month off from infertility treatment for any reason... I just know that this next month will be THE one!

Fact: It is important periodically to reassess your treatment and your parenting goal. Continuity in treatment is important, but sometimes a break can provide needed rest and renewal for the next steps.

Myth: I'll be labeled a 'trouble maker' if I ask too many questions.

Fact: The physician/patient team is important. You need to be informed about what treatments are available. What is right for one couple may not be right for another, either physically, financially, or emotionally. Don't be afraid to ask questions of your doctor.

A second opinion can be helpful. If needed, discuss this option with your physician.

Myth: I know I'll never be able to stop treatment until I have a pregnancy.

Fact: Pregnancy is not the only pathway to parenthood. You may begin to think more about parenthood than about pregnancy. You may long for your life to get back to normal. You may consider childfree living or begin to think of other ways to build a family.

Myth: I've lost interest in my job, hobbies, and my friends because of infertility. No one understands! My life will never be the same!

Fact: Infertility is a life crisis -- it has a rippling effect on all areas of your life. It is normal to feel a sense of failure that can affect your self-esteem and self-image. You will move through this crisis. It is a process, and it may mean letting go of initial dreams. Throughout this process, stay informed about the wide range of options and connect with others facing similar experiences.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ready to Go, with no planned Destination

My P4 came back at a 13.1 for P+7 and that is the best it has ever been measured. My doc wants to increase my Femera dose if this cycle doesn't work, so it will be a total of 25mg. Tim wants to talk to him first so we are seeing him Monday morning. Tim has questions that I just don't have the answers for. Since NaPro is very different from standard infertility treatment, I just don't know what the next steps are. I will say that I agree with Tim in wanting to know what is going to happen. We need to make a decision soon about what is going to happen. I don't want to be doing the same thing in a year's time. What is really sad is that this cycle is my last chance to have a baby in 2009 (edd would be 12/21). I don't normally care, but the conversation was brought up and it just struck a cord for me.

Tim and I have talked about starting the adoption process, but we would have to stop the fertility treatments first so we could concentrate at the task at hand. For how much I want to be able to give birth to my child, I want to be a mother more, so if that is what we end up doing, I will be happy.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Here I go again

I went for my P4 test today on my third HCG injects with Femera cycle. I am praying for a decent number after last cycle's terrible P+11 bloodwork draw of 1.1; the thing is that I still didn't start bleeding for another 5 days later. I have realized that I really need to get back in the habit of taking my meds on time and being consistant in both that and taking my blood sugar draws. I can only hope that I will get better soon because I have, not because I want to. (In other words, if I were pregnant). I also want to start blogging more on a regular basis, even if it is just a line or two.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Fool's Day sucks

I hate April Fool's Day. It has never been a good day for me. Usually it is harmless pranks and me being gullible to fall for them. This the "joke" was on me and I fell apart, literally.

Not only did one friend find out the sex of her "miracle" baby (I have reservations about her being infertile) and then another friend of mine announced, on facebook no less, that she was pregnant again (their little girl just turned one) and what really sucks is that her and her DH got married a week before Tim and I did. Lastly, a coworker announces that she is 5 months pregnant and only recently went to the doctor to confirm (that is something you hear about on TV, not in real life), which would make it a honeymoon baby. She had no reason to believe she was pregnant since she said missing several months was normal to her. That is not normal people, that means something is wrong. That whole situation sucks, especially since I had a gut feeling she was going to be pregnant before me. This is never fun, now that I know people who are on their 2nd pregnancies in the same time frame that I am still trying to have one.

Anyway, let's just say I literally broke down crying on the floor when I got all this news within a single 24 hour period. Normally I can handle news like that, be numb to the fact that I am jealous as hell, but a triple punch like that pushed me over the edge. I don't remember any other time when I completly broke down in tears over someone else's announcement.

I just have to keep reminding myself that just because "X" is pregnant, it has no direct bearing on why I am not pregnant.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Bucket List

Place an X by all the things you've done and remove the X from the ones you have not, then tag your friends (including me).

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, do the list and tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.) If you don't see the Tag people in the upper right hand corner you are in the wrong place.)

Things you have done during your lifetime

(x) Gone on a blind date

(x) Donated Blood

() Skipped school

() Watched someone die

(x) Been to Canada

() Been to Mexico

(x) Been to Florida

() Been to Hawaii

(x) Been on a plane

() Been on a helicopter

(x) Been lost

(x) Gone to Washington , DC

() Hugged a homeless person

(x) Swam in the ocean

() Swam with Stingrays

() Been sailing in the ocean

(x) Cried yourself to sleep

() Played cops and robbers

() Recently colored with crayons

() Ran a marathon

(x) Sang Karaoke

(x) Volunteered at a soup kitchen

(x) Paid for a meal with coins only

(x) Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch

() Seen the Northern Lights

() Been Parasailing

() Been on TV

(x) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't

() Made prank phone calls

() Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans

(x) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose

() Fed an elephant

(x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue

() Fired a gun

(x) Danced in the rain

() Been to the Opera

(x) Written a letter to Santa Claus

(x) Serenaded someone

() Seen a U.S. President in person

(x) Been kissed under the mistletoe

(x) Watched the sunrise with someone

() Driven a race car

(x) Been to a National Museum

() Been to a Wax Museum

() Eaten caviar

(x) Blown bubbles

(x) Gone ice-skating

(x) Gone to the movies

() Been deep sea fishing

() Driven across the United States

() Been in a hot air balloon

() Been sky diving

() Gone snowmobiling

() Lived in more than one country

(x) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets

(x) Seen a falling star and made a wish

() Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser

() Seen the Grand Canyon

(x) Seen the Statue of Liberty

() Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle

() Been on a cruise

(x) Traveled by train

() Traveled by motorcycle

(x) Been horse back riding

() Ridden on a San Francisco cable car

(x) Been to Disneyland OR Disney World

(x) Truly believe in the power of prayer

() Been in a rain forest

() Seen whales in the ocean

(x) Been to Niagara Falls

() Ridden on an elephant

() Swam with dolphins

() Been to the Olympics

() Walked on the Great Wall of China

() Saw and heard a glacier calf

() Been spinnaker flying

() Been water-skiing

() Been snow-skiing

() Been to Westminster Abbey

() Been to the Louvre

() Swam in the Mediterranean

(x) Been to a Major League Baseball game

() Been to a National Football League game

() Swam with sharks

(x) Been White Water Rafting

() Written a book or screen play

Monday, March 2, 2009

Your Engagement/Wedding

Yet another one, but this one was fun.

Cut and paste and put in your own answers. Let's see how much you remember about your engagement and wedding day! Then tag 10 more people who are married.

1. Your spouse's name: Timothy Ronald Ranck

2. Where did you meet? Initially online, but met in person in front of my dorm.

3. Who asked who out first? I asked him if he wanted to meet in person, but he asked me out on our first date

4. Where was your first date? Dinner and a movie

5. What was the date of your first date? Week of January 14, 2001

6. Did you "know" on that first date, or did it take a while to realize "this is the one"? It took a few months, but I knew within the first 6 months of dating

7. How long after the first date were you engaged? 2.25 years

8. Care to share the proposal experience? We had already shopped for my ring at this point in time, so I knew it was coming, just didn't know when. The night after he picked the ring up from the jewelers, we went back to my dorm room to hang out. He told me he wanted to show me a website he had found about wedding stuff, so I sat down and looked at the site. It was a very general site until I started checking out the links and found one that said "Top Advice for Newly Engaged". As I was reading it, it didn't occur to me that the first letter of each line spelled out the proposal of "Katie Will You Marry Me" directed to me until after I made the comment of "Oh, that is cute." Tim said read it again and once I did and turned around to see him, he was down on his knee with the ring and I immediately said yes. He had setup the entire "website" just to propose and I still have a print off of it.

9. When was the engagement? April 26, 2003

10. How did you tell others? Called them all the next day

11. Where and when was your wedding? June 19, 2004 in Knoxville , TN

12. Did you receive pre-marital counseling? Engaged Encounter weekend along with meetings with the priest leading up the wedding.

13. Maid of honor? My best friend from college, Becki

14. Best man? Tim's dad

18. Colors of bridesmaid's dresses? periwinkle blue

19. Who gave the bride away? My dad walked me down the aisle and my parents gave me away and Tim's parents gave him away to me

20. Any special songs, music? "It's Your Love" by Tim & Faith was our song, and we picked all the rest out ourselves

21. Vows... traditional, repeated, or said your own? Traditional repeated vows

22. Anything funny about that day? Tim was extremely nervous and paced the cafeteria while waiting. Also since we didn't get to eat much at the reception, we ended up ordering pizza at the hotel that night

23. Where was the honeymoon? Hilton Head Island

24. Where did you first live? His parent's basement for the first 6 weeks, my parent's house the next 6 weeks and then finally we moved to Murfreesboro

25. Any special marital advice? Honesty is best, no matter what.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

100 Things

So people keep tagging me in these...

001. Real name - Kathleen Elizabeth Ranck
002. Nickname(s) - Katie
003. Zodiac sign - Virgo
004. Male or female - female
005. Elementary - Sunrise
006. Middle School - Penn
007. High School - Penn-Trafford
008. Hair color - brown
009. Long or short - on the long side
010. Loud or Quiet - quiet
011. Sweats or Jeans - jeans
012. Phone or Camera - camera
013. Health freak - not really
014. Drink or Smoke? - neither
015. Do you have a crush on someone? - I married him
016. Eat or Drink - either
017. Piercings - ears
018. Tattoos - none

019. Been in an airplane - yes
020. Been in a relationship - yes
021. Been in a car accident - yes
022. Been in a fist fight - yes

023. First piercing - ears
024. First best friend - April
025. First award - 6th grade math class
026. First crush - middle school, Mark
027. First sport - swimming
028. First big vacation - Disney World

029. Last person you talked to - Tim
030. Last person you texted - Tim
031. Last person you watched a movie with - Tim
032. Last food you ate - Steak and chicken
033. Last movie you watched - What Happens in Vegas
035. Last thing you bought - dinner
036. Last person you hugged - Tim

037. Food - mashed potatoes and waffles
038. Drinks - Diet COke
039. Clothing - jeans and tshirt
040. Flower - roses
041. Where'd it go? - where did what go?
042. Colors - purple and blue
043. Movies - City of Angels and A Walk to Remember
044. Subjects - science

IN 2008..... I

045. [x] kissed someone
046. [x] celebrated Halloween
047. [] had your heart broken
048. [x] went over the minutes on your cell phone
049. [] questioned someone's sexual orientation
050. [] came out of the closet
051. [] gotten pregnant twice by ralphie elephante and diego elephante.
052. [] had an abortion with raphlie’s kid.
053. [x] done something you've regretted
054. [x] broke a promise
055. [x] hid a secret
056. [x] pretended to be happy
057. [] met someone who changed your life
058. [x] pretended to be sick
059. [] left the country
060. [x] tried something you normally wouldn't try and liked it
061. [x] cried over the silliest thing
062. [] ran a mile
063. [] went to the beach with your best friend(s)
064. [x] got into an argument with your friends
065. [x] hated someone
066. [] gone to disneyworld

067. Eating - nothing
068. Drinking - pop
069. I'm about to - fold laundry
070. Listening to - B105
071. Plans for today - laundry, dishes, shopping
072. Waiting for - next week to come

073. Want kids? - most definetly
074. Want to get married? - aleady am
075. Careers in mind - engineer

076. Lips or eyes - lips
077. Shorter or taller? - taller
078. Romantic or spontaneous - romantic
079. Nice stomach or nice arms - nice arms
080. Sensitive or loud - sensitive
081. Hook-up or relationship - relationship
082. Trouble-maker or hesitant - neither

083. Lost glasses/contacts - yes
084. Ran away from home - no
085. Hold a gun/knife for self defense - no
086. Killed somebody - no
087. Broken someone's heart - yes
088. Slapped someone - no
089. Cried when someone died - yes

090. Yourself - most of the time
091. Miracles - yes
092. Love at first sight - yes
093. Heaven - yes
094. Santa Claus - yes
095. Sex on the first date - no
096. Kiss on the first date - yes

097. Is there one person you want to be with right now? - yes, my husband
098. Are you seriously happy with where you are in life? - for the most part
099. Do you believe in God - yes
100. Post as 100 truths and tag a bunch of friends. :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

25 Things from Facebook

1. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at age 24, treating it now with oral meds, diet, and exercise.

2. I love to read, so much that we have two bookshelves full and I still get ones from each month.

3. I love country music! I grew listening to Top 40, but as soon as I went to college, I got into country music (thanks to WIVK) and haven't looked back since.

4. Tim and I have moved a total of 5 times since we got married 4.5 years ago, including just moving across town.

5. I am passionately Pro-Life and proud to support it, including "Choose Life" license plates in both Ohio and Tennessee.

6. I am a die hard Steelers fan, no matter where I live. Right now I am getting some nasty looks from my coworkers for my desktop background.

7. I miss my friends in TN, but at least I get to talk to them online if I want to.

8. I really enjoy my job and it is nothing I thought I would get to do, working in a small office, being responsible for entire projects.

9. I knew I wanted to be an engineer from the age of 12.

10. I have PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and Tim and I have been trying to have kids for the past 3.5 years.

11. Between Tim and I, we have 11 nieces and nephews, ranging from 13 years to 7 months.

12. I started scrapbooking last year, but I have only finished one book. I have all kinds of ideas, but I can't get them out of my head.

13. I hate the taste of coffee; my dad always wondered how I survived college without drinking coffee.

14. I am a coupon princess (I could do better, but I am only checking sales casually so I am not a queen yet).

15. I get momentarily, insanely jealous when I read of yet another baby announcement, especially when it is their 2nd and I don't even have any. Luckily, it usually passes as quickly as it comes.

16. I despise doing dishes, especially now that we don't have a dishwasher.

17. In the past 10 years, I switched from regular Coke and 2% milk to Diet Coke and Skim Milk, and I will probably never go back.

18. The decision to go out of state for college was the best choice of my first 18 years. I always get asked how I ended up in TN if I grew up in Pittsburgh.

19. I am chaotically organized. It may look like a mess to you, but I know where everything is.

20. I despise annoying people and they get ignored if at all possible.

21. I am most comfortable in jeans, a t-shirt and my slippers. I despise shoes and I would rather go barefoot than anything else.

22. I adopted our cat and Tim adopted our dog. Ciaran was rescued out of the rain while Ginger was adopted from a friend who couldn't take her to the new house.

23. We are in the process of painting our entire house and not just white. We have about 5 different colors going on, including blue, green, yellow, and aloe.

24. I am a kid at heart. If there is nothing on TV, I will turn on Disney channel and check out what is playing.

25. I am all about the Wii. We got it back in '07 along with almost every major game release to go with it. I really like Mario Kart Wii and I will race anyone who is up for a challenge.

Friday, February 20, 2009

One Word

It's harder than you think!! Here is what you are supposed to do...and please don't spoil the fun...copy and paste into your own note, type in your answers and tag a bunch of people - including me.

1. Where is your cell phone?...purse
2. Your hair...brown
3. Your father?...alive
4. Your favorite thing?
5. Your dream last night?...weird
6. Your favorite drink?...mudslide
7. Your dream/goal?
8. The room you are in?
9. Your fear?...childless
10. Where do you want to be in 6 years?...Home
11. Muffins?...Chocolate
12. One of your wish list items?...Car
13. Where you grew up?...Pittsburgh
14. The last thing you did?
15. What are you wearing?...jeans
16. Your TV?...on
17. Your pets?...sleeping
18. Your computer?...on
19. Your life?...complicated
20. Your mood?...annoyed
21. Missing someone?...yes
22. Your car?...dirty
23. Favorite store?...kohls
24. Your summer?...short
25. Your favorite color?...purple
26. When is the last time you laughed?
27. Last time you cried?...Sunday
28. Three people who email me?...Mom, Tim, Cathy
29. Three of my favorite foods?...Italian, Mexican, Chinese
30. Three places I would rather be right now?...beach, cabin, cruise

Thursday, February 19, 2009

48 Questions

Yes, I believe an aunt was named Katherine before me


not really


not yet


oh nooo...not me



raisin nut bran


cookies and cream

eyes and smile


my size

Cofo friends

sure, why not

khaki pants and brown shoes

(Hey, what happened to #20?) Good question...(Agreed)

the radio





football and hockey



not really


happy endings

House Bunny (DVD) and Coraline (theater)




don't really know

don't really care

Angry Housewives eating Bon-Bons


Kyle XY

hum of a fan blowing and water perking

Either or neither

vacation...California, but for long term had to have been UT for school, especially freshman year when my home was still in Pittsburgh

Not really

Jeannette, PA

Whomever feels like answering


Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Answer the following 25 questions, then tag whoever you want to do this!

Come on, play along - inquiring minds want to know! ;-)

1. What are your middle names?
Elizabeth and Ronald

2. How long have you been together?
7.5 years, married for almost 5

3. How long did you know each other before you started dating?
a couple of months, but that is only if your count talking online

4. Who asked who out?
I asked if he wanted to come over and hang out, but I believe he asked me if I wanted to go out on a date with him.

5. How old are each of you?
I am 27 and he is 32

6. Whose siblings do/ did you see the most?
His mostly it seems like, but they are all about traveling to see people

7. Do you have any children together?
Not yet

8. What about pets?
two...a cat and a dog

9. Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
Right now, being around families with lots of kids

10. Did you go to the same school?
Nope...we did, but not at the same time

11. Are you from the same home town?

12. Who is the smartest?
Fairly equal. He keeps most up to date on currant events while I am more scientific

13. Who is the most sensitive?
I am

14. Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Mostly casual restaurants...TGIFridays, Ruby Tuesday, O'Charley's, Applebees, etc

15. Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Detroit, MI in 2001 (leaving from Knoxville)

16. Who has the craziest exes?
He does and I always laugh at the stories

17. Who has the worst temper?
We are fairly equal there

18. Who does the cooking?
I do for the most part

19. Who is more social?
It seems like I am

20. Who is the neat-freak?
neither of us, we are both fairly sloppy

21. Who is the more stubborn?
we are probably the same

22. Who hogs the bed?
the dog for the most part, but we are pretty equal since we only have a double bed

23. Who wakes up earlier?
I do

24. Where was your first date?
Dinner and a movie (probably O'Charley's)

25. Who has the bigger family?
I have more siblings, but he has more nieces and nephews

26. Do you get flowers often?
Not really

27. How do you spend the holidays?
split between families if possible, but this past year we spent by ourselves

28. Who is more jealous?
I am for the most part

29. How long did it take to get serious?
3-4 months

30. Who eats more?
It seems like he does, but mostly snack stuff

31. Who does/ did the laundry?
I do most of the time

32. Who’s better with the computer?
His is, especially with maintaining the updates and such. But neither of us could live without a computer and internet connection.

33. Who drives when you are together?
For short distances, he does. For road trips, we switch off since we both tend to sleep in the car

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Senior Year

Fill this out about your Senior Year! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be!!

1. Did you date someone from your school?

2. Did you marry someone from your high school?

3. Did you car pool to school?
I only drove senior year and I was by myself

4. What kind of car did you have?
Dodge Spirit

5. What kind of car do you have now?
Ford Focus

6. It's Friday night...where are you?
football game and perhaps dinner out (if I was lucky enough to not have to babysit or work)

7. What kind of job did you have in high school?
Retail Sales

8. What kind of job do you do now?
Project Engineer

9. Were you a party animal? matter how hard I tried

10. Were you considered a flirt? matter how hard I tried

11. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?
Not by the time I was in High School...I was in Drama Guild though (crew only)

12. Were you a nerd?
I am sure most people thought I was

13. Did you get suspended or expelled?

14. Can you sing the fight song?
I could if someone started it for me.

15. Who was/were your favorite teacher(s)?
Serrperre and Mr. M

16. Where did you sit during lunch?
lunch table, same group of friends every day

17. What was your school's full name?
Penn-Trafford High School

18. When did you graduate?

19. What was you school mascot?

20. If you could go back and do it again, would you?
For some parts, it was great and others not so much. If I could pick and choose the moments, I would definitely do it again.

21. Did you have fun at Prom?
For the most part, but it could have been better.

22. Do you still talk to the person/people you went to Prom with?
No, never really talked to him past Prom weekend

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tribute to Myron Cope

I got this in an email today and I just had to share...

‘Twas the night before the Super Bowl

‘Twas the night before the Super Bowl, when along the gulf shore,
Steelers fans were praying for “just one more;”

The players were nestled all snug in the sack,
With visions of the first NFL Six-Pack;

Coach Tomlin was young, but wise for his years,
So I drifted off to sleep without any fears;

When at the stadium there arose some strange chatter,
The Cardinals feared, what was the matter;

We heard “Okel Dokel”, we heard “Double Yoi,”
We jumped from our beds, our hearts jumped for joy;

He stood at the fifty with a grin ear to ear,
Steelers fans everywhere started to cheer;

Then in an instant to our surprise,
This little old man had tears in his eyes;

He went to the booth and there took his chair,
While Terrible Towels waved in the air;

Then over the airwaves came his shrill voice,
The Steelers Nation began to rejoice;

He said, “I am back, but you know I can’t stay,
I just had to see my Steelers play;

From my home up above, I have a great view,
But I wanted to celebrate here with you;

So bring on the Birds, we’ll send them a flyin’,
On the way back to Phoenix, they will be cryin’;

Ben, Hines, Troy, Jeff and all of the rest,
No matter the outcome, to me you’re the best;”

The airwaves went silent, the stadium still,
Was this just a dream, it seemed so real;

In our team we have faith, in our team we have hope,
But the game’s not the same without Myron Cope;

Written by:
A.K. Young

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thought for the day...

I saw the following and it made me cry...

"I know how much you long for a child but it aches me more to see you
like that...I did my best to treat myself...but don't blame me
whenever I failed...I tried to be strong in front of you, for you not
to worry of me...I cried a lot when you are out, surf the net for
every possible solutions I can just don't know how much pain
I have for this situation i'm going through..if you should only
understand my desire and pain in my heart...I always pray to GOD not
just the desire to have a child,but to continue to guide and support
us as a COUPLE...
if you just only knew my pain...
if you just only knew my fear...

to all dear husband, comfort your wife by simply embracing them and
letting them know you love them so much amidst the situation. let her
verbalize the feelings to you it would really help your wife a lot.
pray together..."

It stop and made me think that I need to stop and talk to my DH whenever I am feeling blue and let him into my world when sadness is all around me.