Life Lately {in pictures}

Karlyn and I made a Play-Doh snake family, complete with house and grass.

Daddy did his first ponytail. Not bad!

I killed it at "Minute-to-Win-It" work games

Our little cheerleader had her first pep rally. 

I think she was mostly happy it was over.

Kar and I shopped for baby girl stuff to give to her teacher, Miss Holly!

I got addicted to these. Darn you Costco jumbo-sized bags.

I got all Dr. Mom and healed my kiddo's ear with homemade garlic oil drops. BAM.

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Pie was a hit. For everyone but dad and daughter. I don't care. It was good.

The queen came for supper. #loveher



Ramblings on NPC Prep

The longer I go between posts, the harder it is to start writing. I've been a little preoccupied with training for an upcoming NPC bikini competition. Basically going to work, going to the gym, coming home and cooking/prepping food for the week. Reading articles. I even went to two different posing help sessions. And I think I've made a decision. I AM going to compete. That is my goal. But it's not going to be on September 13th like I'd originally planned. There is a slight chance I could decide to compete the week before that, on September 6th but I think my gut is telling me to pick a show further out. (I know that doesn't make much sense but that weekend just won't work for me - read into that as you will!) Before I started this process, I tried to get feedback from people in the industry that I respected. More than one person suggested that I take the time to gain more weight/muscle first before I do this. Someone else told me I might be 8-10 weeks out. So I got different opinions. I ordered a suit and some heels! Eek. Competing is not cheap, as I mentioned before and if I'm going to shell out the money that show day requires, I want to feel ready. Really ready. I want to feel like I could actually compete up there which is kind of the point. Even though - YES - it's me vs. me in that this sport is about bettering yourself and learning/growing through the process, not just winning a trophy or medal, or beating someone else. It's about lifting more than you could the week before and proving to yourself that you're stronger than you think you are. It's a lot of mental + a heck of a lot of physical.

I'm learning just how much food it takes to support regular intense lifting sessions AND to grow. A lot. I've learned that I can count calories for only so long before I need a break. I hate counting calories or macros which is why I've never done it before...which is why over and over I've had a goal to grow but haven't seen it happen. (side note: My Fitness Pal rocks for this! Makes it easy to log.) But I'm still anti-measuring for the most part...something I have to get over and just do. I don't think counting/logging is a forever thing - gosh no - but when you have a goal it can be quite eye-opening and at the least for a few days can give you some insight. I'm learning you have to be consistent in the gym and pick a heavier weight. Do more reps. Do an extra set. And then eat. More. Repeat. I've gotten really excited about seeing some results but when I stack myself up, see just how far I have to go.

I know everyone starts somewhere and I have to remind myself that I HAVE made progress. I'm stronger than I was five weeks ago and stronger than I was in January. Back at the beginning of the year, I signed up for two months to work with an online personal coach. I've gained five pounds since then which for me is a lot! I wasn't working out at the time (January) and my appetite was definitely lower due to that. I want to put on more weight / more muscle. I want to practice walking in my heels and learning the poses until it comes naturally. (Soooo much harder than it looks) If that means competing in December or later next Spring, so be it. But at least I'll know I've put in my time.

That's all I got. =)


Catching Up

Hey there. I'm still alive over here...just haven't been blogging.

So I'll try to catch up! Let's see...

We did have our appointment with the reproductive endocrinologist. And then I cried afterwards. It was fine I guess and I'm glad that my OB's office warned me that he would be blunt and straightforward. Because he was. No hug around the neck, everything will be OK, let's get you pregnant pep talk. We sat around a table and he wrote down the most common causes of miscarriage, crossing off the things we had already looked into or tested for. We got to the bottom of the page and he wrote,

"I don't know."

Apparently "I don't know" is the point that we are getting to in this journey. He wrote out a timeline of what we would do next. Basically one last little test and then another medicated cycle. This time with more monitoring and some steroids and injections to help keep my body from attacking the baby in the early, early stages. Because that may be what's happening. He said a lot of times this works. But if we do all this and still miscarry, we could think about in vitro. That really threw me for a loop because I didn't think in vitro would even be in the cards for us. Not that it will be, but just the mention of it. I don't know.

Our visit was short - about thirty minutes long and as we stood in the parking lot afterwards I cried. Then the doctor almost ran us over trying to leave. I'm probably exaggerating but in that moment I decided that's what was happening. I'm sure in reality he was headed to another appointment because he operates out of several clinics. After that Ryan headed back to work and I numbed my emotions with In-N-Out and Yogurtland. Yep.

Ryan couldn't understand why I was less than enthused about the whole thing but I started thinking, I think he was probably more OK with it because they're both men. The doctor laid things out in a very non-emotional this is what we'll do kind of way and isn't that what guys do? Try to fix our problems. Anyways.

Remember when I talked about wanting to compete? Well I started working out, gathering info, found a friend to do it with me, and then I started not doing so great. I wasn't sleeping and whenever that happens, other things start to go downhill fast. I decided it wasn't worth wrecking my health over when it seemed my body was screaming HECK NO to my attempts. I called my friend and we both said, yeah, maybe not. Then I went to Target yesterday...and thought ya know...I still kind of want to do it.

Must have been the dressing room lighting and a slight back muscle making an appearance - or something like that - but I left and hit the gym for an hour of legs. I did back today. I told myself that I needed to decide by this weekend. This Saturday is 12 weeks out from the show I would do. And even though registration is not open yet, about now is when I'd need to start tightening things down and dieting somewhat. Not to lose weight...but to eat with a plan. I did get a meal plan from a semi-coach/competitor so I at least have a guideline to go by. I'm still haven't decided 100% and am giving myself another 4 weeks to do so. In the meantime, I'm going to act like I am doing it. My sleep has gotten a lot better and my body stopped freaking out on me. It does that occasionally. :-0 So I will definitely be keeping an eye on that.

I go back and forth. I'm like, yeah. I can do this. Sure I don't think I'll place and clearly I don't have years of muscle under my belt but I could do it. Other times I look in the mirror and think ha! You're kidding right?

12 weeks. 84 days. That's enough time to see improvements though right? And if nothing else, I can say I did it. For the experience. For the rush I get every time I finish lifting weights. Because I really do love it.

I really don't know how I feel about doing another medicated cycle. This time with MORE MEDICATION. And injections. How fun. It's just not something I'm super excited about right now or really looking forward to. But that could change. I've been a little all over the place lately and I think honestly - I've been this way after each of our losses. A little bit lost, a little bit bored, a little bit of wanting something different. Some where do I go from here and a whole lot of I don't know how much more I can handle.

I want to cut my hair. I want to sell all the baby stuff. But I can't do that because I sit in the middle of the room going through it all with tears running down my face. I want to take on challenges. But I doubt myself. I want to make a difference but I have a strong fear that my life is being wasted.

I hate getting into ruts (although ironically I love consistency) and at times I feel like the last two years has been one long rut. I can't tell you how many times I've said, "God I'm done. I'm done with this." What the heck does that even mean? God's not going anywhere and as much as I think I might like to escape it all, I continue to sit right in the middle of it. Not moving, it seems. Stuck. I want to get un-stuck. I'm just not sure what that looks like.



This girl is THREE AND A HALF today!!!

Karlyn, you are amazing. You make us laugh and bring more joy to our lives than we ever thought possible.

I'm beyond grateful to be your mommy and daddy is head over heels for you. We always tell each other what a great kid you are. And we can't stop laughing when you walk into the living room with a blanket over your head..because you're supposed to be in bed. 

You're growing up too fast kiddo. We love ya.


Lots and Lots of Forms

Ryan and I had to fill out both online and paper forms for our upcoming appointment with an RE. REI to be specific - reproductive endocrinology and infertility. I have mixed feelings. Now that it's getting closer, I don't know that I'd say "excited" but I am getting anxious to hear what he has to say. What he thinks. What the heck is going on with us. At the same time, I've gotten jazzed about the idea of training for an NPC competition. I need to make a decision soon but I'm not going to make it until after our appointment. I have some questions and doubts like...would training to compete be the best decision right now for my a) stress levels b) health c) future fertility? Don't get me wrong. It's something I want to do but I also realize where we're at in all this. I have no idea what he's going to say. Will he suggest beginning more fertility treatments ASAP? Do we need to wait a while? Is moderate to intense exercise a good thing for me right now or bad? Because to be honest, just in the past week of me thinking about all this and upping some workouts a little, I've had a few issues. I just don't want to make a dumb or costly decision that might impact our chances of getting pregnant even more.

If I decide not to compete this year, it will still be something I hope to do in the future. I know that much.

So...yeah. Wednesday we go! And the journey continues.



So...when I last left you, we had an appointment with an RE and I said I wasn't giving up on the whole baby thing. And I'm still not. But I might be taking a slight detour.

Our appointment got moved and it's actually now next week. But in the meantime...

See. I've had this "thing" on my bucket list so to speak for several years now. Before Ryan and I started dating, I would read Oxygen magazine and was in awe of the girls on those pages. They were figure and fitness competitors and they trained HARD to look the way they did. Off and on over the past few years, and somewhere in the back of my head I kept this idea. Fast forward to now. We have an almost 3.5 year old and in a lot of ways, that's pretty darn easy. No newborn, no nighttime feedings. For the most part, I get enough sleep each night and have energy to make it through the day. Karlyn's a good kid and the fact that NOW is easy compared to what life might look like later is not lost on me.

So. I think I might do it. There is an NPC show 15 weeks from tomorrow, on September 13th. Instead of just figure and fitness though now, they've added the bikini category. It's less muscle-y than figure and doesn't require a crazy routine like fitness. I feel silly, crazy, and way in over my head to even be thinking about this. There's not a lot of crazy things I want to do or feel driven to do, but for some reason, this is on my list. Stepping on stage in a bikini? Yes, that frightens me a little. But it's the training and challenge that appeals to me.

Most girls get a coach. And that's where the $$ starts. Add to it: a suit, shoes, jewelry, tanning, posing lessons, extra food, supplements, travel costs, etc. and it's easy to see that this sport can get pricey quickly. That's why I'm thinking about doing it sans coach. I have a fitness background and I know how to eat, but I'm still worried I won't be able to dial things in the way I need to. BUT if I can save that money and put it towards the other things, it might make this more doable. And seriously. I don't expect to place. Would that be awesome? Of course. But I'm doing this for the fun of it. And the challenge. So maybe I can pull it off on my own?

I know that if and when we have another kid, this is going to be almost impossible to take on. Not that I couldn't because moms of more than one kid I'm sure do it all the time! But I know that now would be easier. And to be honest, after a year of heartache, stress, and trying to have a baby, my brain and heart could use a little diversion. A little bit of "known" instead of unknown as one friend put it. As in, I do this = I get this.

I know some people won't get this and that's totally OK. I think with *kinda crazy* things like this, if you're not doing it for yourself, you probably shouldn't be doing it. I haven't 100% decided that I am going to do it but I have plenty of time to register. 15 weeks really isn't that far out though so I plan to make a final decision in the next few days.