Let’s Talk Vacation

Let the countdown begin, its less than 2 months til my long awaited and long deserved vacation. Its all I’m thinking about right now, well that and school. The plan is to go down south to California and visit Death Valley National Park, Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park.  I’m particularly excited about this itinerary because we can bag 2 more national parks for my bucket list. (My 2 travel bucket list items are to visit all the national parks and to visit all the continents including Antarctica). It will bring my percent visited up to 25 %. I love it when recreation and accomplishing goals go hand in hand!

Mojave National Preserve is home to the largest Joshua Tree Forest and Cinder Cone National Monument (Cinder Cones are mini volcanoes) plus since its a national preserve instead of a park the dogs are allowed on the hiking trails. We are only planning on driving through Death Valley since it will be so hot in late April. Guess we will have to see if Joshua Tree National park has any dog friendly trails.  I am nervous to take the dogs since it will be Willows first camping trip. I have visions of her howling all night at every little noise. That would not be cool. I plan on asking the vet to give her some sleeping pills for the occasion since benadryl doesn’t work on her. Also I wont take her tent camping (way too much noise) so I really hope Jack can get our VW camper up and running again. Lately its had the tendency to die and then restart 5 min later. I really don’t ant to deal with that on a long trip.

I just cant wait. So glad to be getting back to doing what I love. mojave

source nps.gov website

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Things behind me, Things on the horizon

(you might want to skip this post its kind of dense and boring, mainly I wrote it for purposes of self reflection, instead enjoy this cute dog picture)

puppies

Things behind me:

New Years- Every year I set new years goals and I usually set new goals on my birthday (or recommit to the new years goals). I am a big time goal setter. I think one of the reasons the infertility journey was so hard for me was my total lack of control on whether  or not I achieved my goal of getting pregnant. I also put all my other goals on hold to devote myself 100% to it, so most of the rest of my life came to a screeching halt and everything came unbalanced (including my mind!) I am slowly digging myself out of the slump I have been in for the past year. My new years goals were to 1. Start taking care of and loving my body again. Action items include getting 3-4 hours of exercise a week, eating 5 cups of fruit and veggies a day, and forgiving my body for its shortcomings (ie lack of fertility, extra pounds etc) So far I have been getting at least 3 hours of good exercise per week, Im meeting my fruit and veg goal about 1/2 the time and I am to the point where I am no longer angry at my body. Loving it is probably a little down the road. 2 Dig my finances out of the quagmire they were in at the end of the year. Between 30 grand in fertility expenses and both dogs getting really ill in a 2 month period (hello 5 grand in vet bills) we were tapped out. We got ourselves a iphone budget app called Ace Budget which allows us to sync out budgets through email and we are doing really good. With our tax refund and a side job my husband did we are catching up fast. We managed to pay off the credit card 2 months early and pay my first term tuition. Now attention will turn to the student loan… 3. Bring the sex back to my marriage. Pre infertility we had an awesome sex life but infertility completely quashed it. For some reason I am finding this to be my most challenging goal, I used to be the adventurous one in the relationship and now I have zero desire. The drive has not really returned with the leveling out of hormones nor has being in better shape helped. I’m kind of at a loss here..

Therapy- We are done with therapy. I find therapy works best when it is short, sweet and goal oriented. Each session we were given homework assignments but the one thing that brought about the most change was something she said, not something we did. I was talking to her about how hard it as to accept a potential future with out children, how unfair it felt that life wasn’t going according to plan and she said simply.. “change your script”.  It was said at the right time for my brain to hear and latch on.  I am moving forward with goals in mind knowing they might not pan out, that I am resilient and able to adapt when life doesn’t go according to plan and I am excited for the unexpected/unknown turns life will take.

Things ahead of me

School- I am beyond excited for this. Going back to school wasn’t in the new years goals but I decided that my career needed to move to the next level. I am approaching my 10 year anniversary of college graduation and its making feel stagnant.  Also I am deeply unhappy with some aspects of the nursing profession and I think I might be able to work for change as an educator. So I am getting my masters in nursing education. I am starting in March (yea, one month earlier) at Western Govenors University. Its an online school started by governors of western states who wanted to take online education to the next level.  Its fully accredited and has a good reputation. Its also much less expensive than other online schools and the degree program is supposed to take 2 years but is designed for acceleration. My goal is to do it in 1 year, sounds intense right?

Vacation- My first vacation (not including long weekends) since my honeymoon is coming up in April. I cant wait! We are going desert camping for a whole 9 days and I get to check 2 national parks of my to do list.

Fertility treatments? Who knows at this point. Honestly if we didn’t have 9 embryos we would be done for good.  Right now I am really and truly enjoying out life how it is. I am remembering how great our life was before infertility and I’m not looking to rock the boat right now. We sleep in, waste time, hang out, go on adventures. Its great. Plus my clinic had been sending us repeated bills for large sums of money that we don’t owe. Recently they sent my sister (the donor) a bill for 2800 bucks from 6 months ago telling her to pay up. That was the straw that broke the camels back. She is the donor, she doesn’t owe anything! We don’t owe anything because we prepaid for everything! Even after explaining this they continue to tell us the bill is taken care of and then they send it out again several weeks later. Plus they cant tell us what the charge is for, “lab work” is all they can come up with and we prepaid for all her lab work.  We will never go back to that clinic, ever. It is the major university center ranked 9th in the nation for success rates but I am finally realizing that customer service is more important to me. So we will need to find a new clinic now too. Oh, and this time I’m not taking any bull shit, the new clinic will work with my schedule or not at all. The end. So since I have so much else on my plate and no real desire who knows what will happen on the  fertility front?

Bathroom renovation- We are finally almost done with the living room/hall/basement reno that started out as just wanting to get rid of ugly carpet and ended up a total gut job including laying new sub floor, new sheet rock/insulation, rewiring the electrical, replacing windows and all interior doors etc. It has taken us almost 2 years. The bathroom will have to go quicker than that since we only have one. Its scheduled for labor day weekend and I have to get all the money saved up. I hate the ugly bathroom and cant wait to make it better.

I decided to blog again

I miss writing in my blog but I’ve decided to shift the focus to moving on from infertility.  That doesn’t mean we are giving up on the idea of having a family but it does mean an acceptance that  we may never achieve  our goal.  I am okay with that now… really, I swear.  I have come to terms with that and I want to focus on the process of moving on. The title refers to our 5 year plan to pay off student loans, hopefully build equity in our 2 houses, finish school and change jobs, and change our lifestyle, all in preparation to ditch it all and move to my future hippie compound in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Why Oregon you ask? Well I looked in my Sunset Western garden book many years ago and determined it had the perfect climate for everything I want. Plus I am originally from the Pacific Northwest and long to go back there. The icing on the cake? My donor sister (who I currently live next door to) and her husband are one board to come with!

I am excited for what life has in store for me, children or not. I cant wait to move on to the next chapters of my life. I wont be writing much about fertility treatments as the soonest we may cycle again is in June so I understand if people don’t want to follow this blog. I’m mostly writing for me. Blogging was the best I have ever done at keeping a journal so here goes….