Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for our troops. I know I constantly talk about my brother in the military but I am so proud and so thankful for him and all the troops serving our country.

Kathy over at Hoping for Baby4678 posted a link yesterday that warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes. Xerox is showing their support for our troops by sending thank you cards to them. When you click the link below, pick out a card, pick a message, and Xerox will print and mail it to a member of the armed forces overseas. You can't choose who it goes to but I know that every person overseas deserves to know that they are supported and thought about. It's is completely free and literally takes a minute of your time. I ask that everyone do this. It means so much to our military men and women when they get something from home. 

What are you thankful for today?


Swagbucks and Groupon

A couple of months ago, I joined a site called Swagbucks. In those 2 months, I have gotten free money just for searching the internet. It is so easy! Really, it's one of the easiest ways to earn prizes and gift cards. I mainly joined the site when I found out that I can earn free Amazon.com gift cards. There are so many ways to earn Swagbucks. Instead of using google or bing for my search engine, I just use Swagbucks. Depending on what I search, I earn bucks. For voting in a daily poll, I get a buck. There are several other ways to earn bucks too. I think everyone should sign up.

Of course, for referrals, you get Swagbucks, too. Follow this link and sign up. It's free and you can earn free stuff so why not?

The other site I joined just last week is Groupon. I've been able to get restaurant certificates at more than half off! I really thought it was too good to be true but it's good and it's true. All you do is sign up, select your city, and start saving money on the places you like to eat. They have daily deals and this is where you can save the most money. In addition to restaurants, they have had daily deals on hotels,  concerts, and day spas. The best thing for travelers- If you know you're going to another city and when, you can search that city for deals too!

Follow this link and sign up. Again, it's free and you can save yourself some money.

Those are my sales pitches for the day. :) Hope you can enjoy those sites as much as I do. After all, nothing is better than getting free stuff and saving money.


Snow Day!

I had my first snow day today. We only had  3" of snow but I am the first to admit that we southerners can't drive or do anything in the snow. The entire city shuts down. It's pretty funny actually. There were over 100 wrecks last night alone. (I know, that part isn't funny) Luckily, the majority of the wrecks were fender benders. The interstates were at complete stand stills for over 5 hours. It was completely ridiculous!

I spent my day cleaning the house and doing laundry. I spent the time wrapping the rest of the presents that I have. I spent the time watching the cheesy mid-day news shows. I probably spent more time starring out the window like a 5 year old though.The snow fascinates me. Then again, I am easily amused. :)

I also did some of my Christmas cards. I've spent a ton of time on these and am proud of them. 

Josh and I also went to dinner tonight. It was such a relaxing day and definitely what I needed. I'll be back at work tomorrow but we are supposed to get some freezing rain and temperatures in the single digits tomorrow night so I'm willing to bet that I won't be at work again Wednesday and possibly Thursday. I think it's going to be a fabulous week! :)

So proud!

As most of you know, my younger brother, Matt, is a Soldier in the Army. He is currently stationed in Afghanistan and has been there since this past May. When he is in the States, he is stationed at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. Ft. Campbell' Public Relations department works closely with an area newspaper who does "human interest" type articles every now and then. My brother was chosen out of his brigade to have an article done about him. 

You can read the article here.
I am so proud of him. He has matured so much in the last 2 years that it's unbelievable. I know he will do great things in life. 


I love ya'll!

From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely thank each and every one of you for your kind words, e-hugs and words of encouragement. All of you have made an impact in my life and I couldn't have asked for better people to share this journey with. You all keep me going with a smile on my face and you give me the warm and fuzzies. You keep me going when I want to give up and throw the towel in.  If I could, I would meet every single one of you in person and give you a big freakin' hug. Ya'll are absolutely wonderful!


Month 14, Cycle 8

I moved on to cycle 8 this morning. I know, cycle 8 isn't necessarily a big deal. I've seen plenty of women get pregnant on cycles 8-12 and even 13. It's this whole 14 months thing that is the big deal. It sucks. Cycle 7 was 79 days long. In case you can't add, that's over 2 blessed months! I don't understand why I can't have as many chances as others. That's the part that bothers me the most.

I am really okay with moving on. I am. I promise. I keep telling myself that it's just part of the journey. Shit happens and you move on. The last cycle wasn't our cycle. It's fine. I've only gotten my hopes up one time in this journey and I won't ever do that again. That was rough!

My poor husband is one of a kind, that's for sure. I love him to death. He has all the confidence and optimism in the world. I wish I saw just a little of what he sees in life. Some of you may remember my Pumpkin Patch Post a couple of months ago. Coincidentally, we were sitting at the same restaurant Monday night when Josh looked at me and said that I will get pregnant on the cruise. The only thing I could muster up at the time was "My body doesn't work like that, honey". Without hesitation he says, "It's going to this time". I almost cried in the middle of a sports bar. This cruise that he speaks of is the first week of January. This would mean that I would have to have a somewhat normal cycle where I would ovulate the earliest that I ever have which would be cycle day (CD) 27-31. That is damn near impossible in my books. I really hope and pray that he is right but I just don't see it happening like he does. I see it being February before we have another shot at getting pregnant. Ya know... because my body sucks like that.

Since we are moving on and this cycle will roll over to the first of the year, we have decided to begin testing. I know I said I was going to have 7 days past ovulation(DPO) bloodwork this last cycle but I just wasn't feeling it. We will do 7DPO bloodwork and a semen analysis this cycle. When cycle 9 comes around in February probably, I will have an HSG to check for blocked tubes if the SA comes back normal.

I had some 7DPO bloodwork done back in April and everything was perfect and above normal except for my thyroid levels. From what I understand, I have a slightly elevated thyroid level at 3.75. The ideal level for trying to get pregnant is closer to 1.0 and anything over 3.0 isn't good. However, apparently in my area this is completely normal and acceptable. I spoke to every doctor that I have ever seen. I called every doctor that my in-laws and husband sees and I called the infertility clinic. They all say anything less than 5.5 is fine. I'm so lost and confused. I know that an elevated thyroid level can cause longer cycles. I guess this is something that I will discuss with the OB and RE together since they will be working with me as a team for insurance purposes.

Josh and I  have also decided that when we get back from the cruise, I will begin acupuncture treatments. I have completed hours upon hours of research on acupuncture and acupuncturist in my area. Josh and I have done phone interviews with a list of 6 and we then narrowed it down to one lady that has had positive results with ladies who have long cycles. Not to mention, she was very open and positive about her work. She didn't seem stand-offish like the others and I think the three of us clicked so well.  She says that I should see a difference in 2 months. She went on to tell us about all the success stories that she has had over the last couple of years. I am very confident that she will help get my cycles under control without medication and that hopefully it will help lead to me getting pregnant.

I really am ready to move on and get some answers. I hate being in cycle limbo hell and never knowing what my body may or may not do. The only thing I know for certain, at this moment, is that 2011 has got to be better then 2010.


It's Christmas!!!

It's definitely Christmas in my house! Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love the lights, the shopping, and the gift giving. I love spending time with my family and closest friends. I love the new and old traditions that we honor each and every year. 

There's just one teeny, tiny thing wrong with Christmas in my house. It's the tree. I hate this tree. It's ugly. It was Josh's tree from him previous marriage and bachelor days and he has some weird attachment to it.  I *WILL* be buying a new tree after the holidays when they go on sale. This one just has no meaning to me and our relationship and well, I think it should. I've tried decorating it as best as I could. My poor mother felt bad so she went and bought me a gorgeous angel but the tree is so small that the angel looks ridiculous! It's kinda funny. Anyway, I've got a lot of the presents wrapped but I still have some more things that I need to get and wrap so there will be more! 

The bows my mom made for the stairs and some of the doors.

I made the arrangements. :)

Here's my decorative kitchen towel.

Josh wants to show all of you his stocking. This is his favorite part. 

So, there you have it. Some of my favorite Christmas things in my house. I started with nothing 3 years ago(other than that thing called a tree) but I'm working my way up to having a bunch of Christmas stuff!

New Hair & Christmas Sneak Peek

Yesterday was hair day. Wahoo! I love hair day more than I can explain. There is just something about it that boosts my confidence and makes me feel absolutely beautiful. 

I'm not one for changing my hair too much. I normally just boost my natural color. Bryan, my old pageant guy/hairdresser very rarely tells me what he is actually going to do with my hair. Instead, I sit in the chair and he works his magic. 

I'm now an almost redhead! I love it. I wish it was a little more red though. 

Before- I know I look like a hot mess. Just look at the hair. I took this the night before my appointment.

After- This was taken tonight before dinner.
Today, we decorated for Christmas. I didn't have time to get all the pictures but here's a sneak peek. 

Here's my new wreath on the front door.

And the other sneak peek is the centerpiece on the coffee table in the entertainment room. Any time other than Christmas, this has ivory candles and neutral colored rock in it. 

I will get all the other pictures tomorrow and post them. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!


Wishful Wednesday

If I had my way, I would have had one of these a long time ago. 

Today, I wish for a 2011 GMC Acadia. 

Josh and I have decided that we will get one probably next year some time but I want it now!


Boring Tuesday Equals...

Boring Tuesday = A shit load of presents wrapped and an aching back.

I still have more to do. Who wants to help?


I have an obsession

with wrapping paper that is. Pictured below are about 40 rolls of paper. Oops... haha

Someone should probably  definitely leave the house with me every time or else I might have the urge to buy more.


I was one of THOSE people

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Josh and I had a very relaxing day. Well, I say we had relaxing day but it was only relaxing until the Cowboys game. Josh and his dad are lifelong Cowboy fans and they both were on the edge of their seats during that game.

As most of you know, my brother was not able to be with us this year. That, however, did not stop my mother from making him a "place" at the dinner table. I admit, she is a bit nuts. :)

If you look closely in the upper left hand corner, you will see a bear holding an American flag. The bear has on an Army uniform and is holding a flag. She put the bear on pillows to get it to table height. She then put a plate, cup, and silverware in front of this bear. I'm honestly surprised she didn't put food on the plate. I love my mother but this was a bit over the top, even for her.

Here is a picture of Josh and I at my parents house.

And then there was Black Friday...

My mom, older brother (Brad) and I left my mothers house at 4:00. We were parked and in Macy's by 4:30. Surprisingly, we were able to get a front row parking spot and the store was pretty deserted. Yay for us! I got a $625 Michael Kors suit for $175 for Josh! I was so excited. It was the only one of that style that they had and it was Josh's size. I swear it was meant to be.

After Macy's, we went to Stein Mart where I saved $50 just by doing separate transactions. I had several $10 off $25 purchases so every time my purchase got to $25, I would make the cashier stop and let me pay. I may have been annoying but at least I saved $50. I did the same thing at Macy's. :) I also got a $100 pair of boots for $20 at Belk. Woot woot!

By the time the day was over, we had shopped for 15 hours. I was worn out! I still have some shopping to do though. Ugh! I will say that this was the calmest year for shopping. The only place we stood in line for longer than 3 or 4 minutes was at the Christian bookstore. The line there was all the way to the back of the store but they moved pretty quickly and we were only in line for 15 minutes or so. 

Anyway- I hope you all had a great holiday and if you braved the shopping crowd, I hope you got some fabulous deals.


Eureka Springs, Arkansas

I realized that I never posted about our little getaway a couple of weeks ago for my friends 30th birthday.

We went to a little town called Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It's a bed and breakfast town complete with old, beautiful buildings. The town completely shuts down from 4:00-5:00. At 5:00 all the restaurants open until 9:00. There are a couple of bars that stay open until 12:00. There is a main strip where all the shops and restaurants are. The strip is no longer than a mile. The best thing about all the shops: the owners are the ones that work the store. We didn't meet a rude person in this town either.

I really did think the town was great and we enjoyed the relaxing weekend so much, however, I don't think we will be going back. There wasn't that much to do in the town. The only attractions were caves, horseback rides, and haunted hotel tours. The caves that we tried to visit were closed. When I say closed, I mean they just didn't want to do any tours that day. They stated that they closed at 2:00. We got there at 1:00 and they said they weren't doing anymore tours. We asked if they would be open the next day and was told yes. We go back the next day and they are closed. I definitely think this town is for much older couples that just want to shop and relax.

Ya'll know a post by me is not complete without some pictures. Here ya go!

Our B&BTown Post OfficeBaptist Church right on the square

Then there's Christ of the Ozarks. This is a 7.5 story tall statute of Jesus. This is one of the main reasons people go to this town.

Me and the birthday girl.
Horseback RidingTeresa and I took over 400 pictures. It was really tough to narrow it down. :)

Have a great week everyone!


Thankful Thursday

The photo above was Christmas dinner at my parents house last year. Take away the red and green napkins and add several more dishes and you have Thanksgiving dinner with my family. My dad cooks at least a 15 lb. turkey every year. Mom makes at least 4 different pies and cakes. There are probably 25 rolls and every vegetable under the sun. I should probably tell you that there is only 5 of us. If you include Josh, there is 6. Always has been. I have no other family other than my parents and brothers as my grandparents passed away before I was born. I have no idea why my mother makes enough food to feed an army but she does and we eat it for days!

I am thankful that Thanksgiving is only a week from today. I have been craving some dressing since last Christmas. I am thankful for the time that we will be able to spend with our families.

I wish there was some way I could get sweet potato casserole over to Matt in Afghanistan. It was always his favorite. :( The holidays this year will be tough. I can't even imagine how our military heroes overseas will cope as the holidays pass and they can't spend it with their families. This will be the first year that we aren't all together. I'm pretty sure that if it weren't for my older brother not having anywhere else to go for Thanksgiving dinner, my mom wouldn't have Thanksgiving until Matt was back in the states sometime in the Spring.

Anyway, I need to stop with the sadness today. This post went in a completely different direction than I wanted. Oh well, it's just one of those days. Which reminds me, I'm thankful that I get off work early today. I'm going to go home, vacuum, and then curl up on the couch and not move for the rest of the day.

What are you thankful for today?


Wishful Wednesday

I have $438.94 worth of stuff in my "wish list" from Victoria's Secret. Who wants to buy it all for me? I have about $200 more worth of stuff I would like to add before you make the purchase. Let me know before you buy it all. Thanks! :)

Seriously, I wish I could get everything on my wish list from there. I love it all.

There's this. I will buy this for sure though. It's on sale for $12! I won't be wearing just a bra underneath it though.

Then there's this sweater.

Oh and there's this shirt.

Anyway, I really wish someone would buy it. I have an obsession with "wishing" for things from Victoria's Secret. I'm sure half of my Wishful Wednesday posts are about them but I really do love their clothes!

100th Post!

So this is my 100th post. There's really not much to say about it. I really want to do a give-away but don't know what I would do or how it would happen. I don't get that many comments so that's another issue. Oh well...Maybe once I reach 50 followers, I will do a give away. That sounds good, right? I do want to say thanks to my readers. I know what I write about isn't that interesting but hey...I must be doing something right. Love you all! :)

In other news, apparently my weight gain is a hot topic in my office building. There's some rumors flying around too that are a bit irritating. Here's the backstory to a conversation that took place this past Monday. I work in a 2 story building that is home to 4 offices and mainly woman work in the building. When I was a smoker, several of us would have our schedules down to where we would all go out and smoke together every 45 minutes to an hour. Well, since I quit smoking this past January, I haven't seen those ladies very much. Here is a conversation with one of the older ladies:

D: You've gained weight. You look great. How much have you gained?
Me: Ummm ::caught off guard:: Thanks? I've gained about 15 lbs.
D: That's what married life will do to ya. You really do look great. You really were
too skinny and you're glowing! You're pregnant aren't you? You can tell us!
Me: ::seriously, did she just say that?:: Nope. Not pregnant, promise. ::fake laugh::
D: Oh, come on... I know you're pregnant. You don't have to lie. You haven't gained
all that weight for nothing.
Me: No, really, D. I'm not pregnant. I've just enjoyed sitting my fat ass on the
couch with my husband. Gotta go. I wanna grab my cheese sticks from Sonic
before the rain starts. ::ya know, because I'm a fat ass and all::

Yes, I've gained weight and yes, it's been brought to my attention by everyone that I know. My bank account noticed too. Ya know...from where I had to go buy all new pants because I couldn't lay on the bed and button my pants anymore. Guess what though? Quitting smoking, getting married, and trying to have a freakin' baby will do that to someone. Hell, Josh has gained damn near 35 pounds in the almost 3 years we have been together. Moreso in the last year though and I promise it's not my cooking. :)

Anyway- just a little conversation that I thought I would share with the peeps on the interwebz because who in their right mind tells someone that mess? Ugh!


Thankful Thursday/Veterans Day

It's pretty obvious what I am thankful for today. I am thankful for our military and the sacrifices they make for our Country.

Thank you to all of our military men and women; past, present, and future. Words cannot describe what you all mean to me.

A very special Happy Veterans Day and thank you to my Veteran (my dad-Navy) and also to my hero, my little brother.

Daddy is on the right and my brother, Matt, is on the left (obviously). This was taken moments before we said good-bye before Matt's deployment this past May.

I heard this song on the way home from work today. Luckily, I was sitting in stopped traffic because I started crying like a baby.
There isn't a video for this song yet but listen to the words and have some tissues handy.

James Otto- Soliders and Jesus

Happy Veterans Day!

2010 CMA Awards

Back in April, I did my review of the 2010 ACM Awards. Now, it's time for the CMA Awards, also know as "Country's Biggest Night".

Last nights show was phenomenal. For once, I loved almost all of the performances and agreed with most all of the award winners. I will give my rundown of the attire and then I'll talk about the performances.

**All images are from Getty Images**

Carrie Underwood is a gorgeous lady. She carries herself so well and I'm pretty sure she makes everything she wears look fabulous.
I love this teal dress!Carrie and Brad Paisley were spectacular hosts for the evening. They work together very well.
Sara Evans looks fabulous in this little black dress. I would love to have this in my closet!
Laura Bell Bundy debuted at the ACMs this past April and she has impressed me very much. This girl has potential and she is stunning. I love this liquid beaded dress.
Martina McBride- This picture really doesn't do this dress justice. The dress was beautiful. I loved the bubble sleeves! Of course, Reba McEntire. Her look is so timeless. She will never go out of style. This black, liquid beaded dress fit her like a glove. It was perfect and one of the prettiest dresses of the evening.Next up- The lady who stole the show and her hunk of a man, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton. These two had a huge night. I am beyond thrilled for Blake. He won his first ever CMA, Male Vocalist of the Year. This was his 11th trip to the awards show. He deserved the award very much!
This fuschia dress was one of my favorites of the night. The color looks fabulous on her!
Post Show Press DressThis dress was one of my favorites too.
As a former pageant girl and future bridal, prom and pageant store owner, I was thrilled when I found out that all four of the dresses Miranda wore were from well-known pageant designer, Sherri Hill. Sherri, who is so sweet and one of the most talented designers that I know, and Miranda custom designed all of the gowns specifically for the CMA's.


I love watching George Strait perform. He has so much emotion and you can definitely tell he loves what he does.

Mr. Dierks Bentley was superb. I'm lovin' the bluegrass feel of his single, "High Up on the Ridge". The set was very minimal and I believe it was perfect for the song.

The Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson's performance was almost perfect. I was not impressed at all with ZBB attire. I was expecting more from them. It was almost like they didn't care.

I loved Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson's duet. They are both such talented artists. I wish Kelly would sing country more often. She is awesome. And a picture because I think they are both stunning individuals. Oh the things I would do to Mr. Aldean.....

Gwyneth Paltrow stole the stage last night. I was so surprised. I can't wait to go see the movie, "Country Strong". She is a very talented singer.

Finally, Brad Paisley. I am speechless. There really are no words that can describe his performance. I cried. The song he sang describes country music and what it stands for. You should watch "This is Country Music". It's going to be a huge hit.
Random Thoughts

I am a bit confused how The Zac Brown Band was nominated for the New Artist Award and how they won it. It made me raise an eyebrow for sure. They aren't new artists. They've been around for a couple of years. There were other true, new artists that deserved to have a fair shot at that award and unfortunately, they weren't given that shot.

Kid Rock- I love him and I love that he sings country music. He definitely brings the rock side of us out. :)

Jeff Gordon does not look good in a cowboy hat. He isn't good looking to begin with but he just looks down right funny. I know it was all a joke but seriously...I never want to see him in a cowboy hat again. Stick with the Hans Device, kay? It's a much better fit for you.
My last thought for the day...well, at least for this post... I am beyond thrilled that Brad Paisley finally won Entertainer of the Year. It is so well deserved and I can't believe it took this long to get it. I cried, again, during his acceptance speech. There is just something about a grown man crying that gets to me. I'm pretty sure I actually clapped when they called his name. Ya know, as if I was sitting at Bridgestone Arena(which is only about 25 minutes from me) watching it live and all.