Thursday, July 30, 2009

Show Us Your Life...Wedding Party

This week on Show Us Your Life, we are doing a wedding party carnival. We got married on January 8 2005, which was to avoid the Christmas rush, but still have a winter wedding. I love winter and always wanted a 6:00 wedding in the winter with dark colors and lots of white and silver. It was so pretty! (if I do say so myself! Ha!) I had a ton of proofs, but they were almost all film and not digital, so I'll share the few I have saved on our external hard drive (which PTL survived the fire!!!!) so please excuse that some are a little crooked from scanning!

We were married at Patten Chapel at University of TN at Chattanooga where I went to school and where we met. My cousins also got married there in Dec. 1989, so it was fun to get married the same place they did! It was a beautiful day to be January. It was sunny and 64 degrees! It did get a little chilly that evening when the sun went down, but overall, I couldn't have asked for a better day!!!!

This was when we first saw each other. My favorite memory of the day! I was so happy I was hysterically crying!!!! It still made me cry last week when I watched our DVD for the first time in about four years. We gave each other our gifts then had about 200 pictures taken.

Michael wore a platinum vest and tie and I still love his boutonniere. It was a white rose with a stephanotis with a rhinestone center to match my bouquet.

My parents and I. Our moms and grandmothers all carried small bouquets of white roses. My mom's dress was a blue/green color that took different colors depending on the light. Very pretty! She bought it on clearance off the rack at the bridal store where all of the other dresses came from the spring before when we went to try my dress on for my Nana.

This is Michael's family. These pictures are very important to us because his mother passed away the following June from breast cancer. This was one of the last pictures I have of the four of them.

I had a lot of friends and family I wanted to include, so we had a HUGE wedding party. Each girl is very special to me and I couldn't get married without each and every one of them there. The bridesmaids (yes, there were 9, you aren't seeing things) wore Mori Lee #511 in grape. I know for a fact (I've seen pictures!) that several of them wore the tops with casual skirts or jeans or khakis later! It actually made a cute clubbing outfit! Ha!

All of my bridesmaids and the 3 jr bridesmaids and flower girl

This is Brooke and Lauren. Brooke and I met the first night of rush my freshman year of college and clicked immediately! We've been friends ever since, even though we were in 2 different sororities! Lauren is my BFF and we've been friends since 2nd grade, circa 1989!

Sarah and I were ADPi together, in the same pledge class. She is the one that introduced Michael and I on our blind date! So, obviously if it weren't for Sarah, we wouldn't be together! Blind dates your friends!

I believe weddings are much more fun with children involve. I had a unique situation in which I had a Jr. Maid of Honor, Aliza (the girl at the top). I was Aliza's nanny for 3 years during college and we had a very special bond and I had to create something special for her. So, we made up her very own unique title and she walked down the aisle with Lauren, the Maid of honor. The other two Jr Bridesmaids were my cousins, Ashley and Jordan and the flower girl is Ashley's little sister, Madison. Ashley's mom was my mom's junior bridesmaid, I was hers, and Ashley was mine! I need to hurry up and have a little girl fast!!!!!

The entire wedding party.

I wanted to include some ceremony pics as well. We had a lot of white roses with silver accents everywhere and lots and lots of candles. The only thing I told my florist was I wanted white flowers at the church with lots of candlelight for the entire event.

This is one of my favorite ceremony pics that I have on the computer.

We're off to the reception at the Sheraton Read House! See you there next Friday!

I Am Not My Infertility, I am Myself

Infertility is a part of my life, well, I'm not going to lie, a BIG part of my life. It is kind of like that so called friend that just won't leave you alone. It is everywhere I go and it is the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think of at night. It is with me at the grocery store when I see all the women with children. It is at the mall when I pass Baby Gap and Gymboree (which I was an avid patron of less than a year ago). It gives a whole new meaning to a line from my favorite movie, You've Got Mail, "it will be something really depressing, like a Baby Gap. I am being amazingly brave”. Kathleen Kelley was so wise when she wrote that in an email. (ok, I have probably seen that movie WAY too many times and it is disturbing that I just said that a character was wise!)

Infertility is with me at work. Everywhere I look there is someone pregnant, a new baby, or someone asking me when I will have a baby. Infertility is with me when I see a patient that has a dirty, unkept child (yes, I guess I am judging, another flaw of infertility). It is hard for me to understand why that patient has a child they do not take care of when that is all that I want, to take care of a child. Please, let me take your child and give it a bath, some clean clothes, and brush her hair. It is hard for me when my friend infertility is with me on those days.

Infertility is with me at home when I look at my extra bedroom and know that it is already painted for a nursery. I see all the families walking by with strollers and babies and I know some of those couples weren't even pregnant when we first started TTC. At that moment I wonder when will I get stroll down the street with my husband, child, and dog? Next summer, the one after that, or never?

In all these times when infertility just won't leave me alone I have to remember something that a friend of mine told me last week Friday we talked about my appointment. Don't let infertility become ALL that you are and be what identifies you, but rather let it be a chapter that built great strength and character that lead you to become a strong, better person. My friend also told me to not let it consume my marriage, but instead build on the experience. It can either tear us apart or make us stronger. (This friend knows who they are and I want to thank them for all the support, it means more than you will know) I KNOW it has made us stronger, especially now that Michael has acknowledged that there is a problem, not to just be patient. He is there for me in such a different way now that he is 100% ready for a baby (apparently he wasn't sure the first year or so that we were TTC) and as excited as I am at the thought.

I pray that this is "the reason" God has chosen us for infertility. I believe that He knew I needed something to build my faith and to strengthen my relationship with Michael. He was right, of course. I can see such a difference in myself and in us as a couple from where I was two years ago. I also see differences in my outlook on some milestones of pregnancy that I didn't appreciate as much the first and even the second time around. I am afraid everyone in the hospital will hear my tears of thankfulness and happiness at the sight of a heartbeat(s) for the first time and I can't even imagine how overwhelmed with the same emotions I will feel when my baby is born. It will truly be the greatest moment of my life and I cannot wait. At that moment I'll no longer be called infertile, but rather, a mother.

I found this quote on a blog list of inspirational quotes and it means so much to me because it is so true! "Your God is big, and He has a big plan for you . . . and one day you'll see . . . that plan will call you mommy."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Theme Songs

Have you ever thought of a song as the theme song for you during a particular time? For some reason, I always do this. Well, my current one is There Will Be a Day by Jeremy Camp.

Then, on the way home the other day I heard this song and it says EXACTLY how I think I will feel about my future child. This will definitely be my song then!

And I know that day will be here soon, I just have to continue to be patient!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Shrubs, River, and a New Recipe!

This weekend Michael's dad and his wife Joy came down from Knoxville to help us with our shrub bed. I am a bad blogger and I didn't get pics of the "before" because my neighbors were outside, I thought they would think I was crazy! Ha! Anyway, the shrubs and plants were out of control, so we trimmed everything WAY back and planted some new flowers and here are the results. It looks fabulous!!!!

We also went on the river through downtown Chattanooga and the TN River Gorge. It is a beautiful, scenic ride through about 30 miles of river that runs between three different mountains. Very pretty! Here are some pics I took of downtown Chattanooga.

The three most well known bridges in our city.

The TN Aquarium and Ross' landing

It isn't the best picture, but the big brick building in the background is all the hospital where I work. I work in the tall building to the left.

Tonight we had a fabulous new dinner. It will eventually make it to the recipe blog, but for right now, here is a sneak peak! I put two chicken breasts in the crock pot with a can of sliced pineapple (with the juice) and covered the chicken with teriyaki sauce. Cooked for 8 hours on high. When I got home I sauteed three bell peppers, red onion, and mushrooms in teriyaki. Placed over a bed of rice. VERY TASTY!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Speaking of Weddings...

Since we are looking at everyone's wedding dresses this week, I just had to ask, have you seen this???? It is on yahoo today and it is too fun!

I think this is the original, but it always makes me laugh and I just had to include it!

Yes, I had the ultra traditional wedding...trumpet voluntary and Canon in D. :-)
(which I tried to load on youtube, but I am not smart enough, hopefully Michael will be able to do it. Anyone know how to load a DVD on youtube?)

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Wedding Dress

The home tour has now turned into "Show Us Your Life". This week's edition is to show off our wedding dress!

I LOVE my wedding dress! We found it at a local bridal salon called Monica's in January 2004. I really didn't like how the sample dress looked on the rack, but the salesgirl insisted that I try it on and once I did my mom and I both LOVED it!!!! It was Mori Lee style 23o7. Yes, I remembered that! Ha!

January 8, 2005

It had a long train and a knee length veil that sparkled so much on my video it looked like I had lights on my veil when I was coming down the aisle! It was my favorite part of the dress!

In this picture you can see the detail on the skirt. I LOVED the design that went around the knee and then around the back where it came to a V at the end of the train.

I have always thought this was a fun picture of my shoes, necklace, and the detail on the hem.

I like these two pictures because you can see the crystals on the bodice of the dress and a close up of my veil, tiara, and jewelry.
Thanks for stopping by to see my dress! Come back next week to see the entire bridal party!!!!

Today Is The Day! We Have a Plan!!!!!

UPDATE! We have a plan!!!!!! Next cycle I will start clomid 50mg on cycle day 5-9 with a FSH lab draw on day 3 and an ultrasound somewhere around day 13-15 to check for a good follicle! We are very pleased with this plan. At the time we find a good, mature follicle we will decide if we want to do an IUI or wait. Right now our plan is to wait until fall on the IUI, but we'll see.

I am getting ready for my appt now! I have ALWAYS said I would not be one of those patients with a list of question, well, I am now. I'm hoping he won't think I'm crazy, just ready to get some answers!!! Hopefully I'll be back this afternoon with a plan of some sort! I will twitter this morning after the appt and update you then, so check me out on twitter! My user name is ajledford.

Thank you all for your prayers this week as we've been looking forward to our appointment. Also, please pray for my good friend Anna. She has an appointment right after me (with the same OB) to see if she is ready for her IUI today!!!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday

I have had a Wonderful Wednesday!!!! This week at work has been busy, but much less than last week. Today we had a patient come by and leave a HUGE chocolate cake and a basket of snacks for Dr. Smith and I. I'll take a pic tomorrow! It seriously means SOOOOOOOOO much when patients do that. It is rare, but when it does happen it means the world for someone to thank us for all we do.

Also, my parents went on a little mini-vaca to Gatlinburg this week and brought back a pair of my FAVORITE jeans in the entire world, Gap Long and Lean. I haven't been able to get my big fat hiney in them in about a year and a half, but I did today!!!!! I am so excited!!!!

My weight loss is now around 24 pounds total in 5 months. I know this isn't exceptionally good, but it is great for me. I am only 5'2 so it makes a HUGE difference!

I also wanted to show this PRECIOUS picture. This is what Spencer is doing right now while I blog...isn't he just the cutest?!

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend Wrapup (on Monday)

We had a good weekend. I started the weekend by having a surprise dinner with my good friend Victoria. We used to work together until she had to leave for a night shift job that would work around her going back to school. I was mulling over the pantry trying to decide what to fix for dinner when the phone rang and it was Victoria wanting to meet me for dinner and drinks at Abuelo's! I was there in 40 minutes! Good friend, Mexican food, and margaritas, what more could a girl ask for!

Saturday I went shopping with my mom for little while in the afternoon before coming home to grill out with Michael. We had a great dinner! One of our new favorites is to grill veggie kabobs, so we made veggie kabobs, blue cheese filets, and grilled baked potatoes! YUM!

While we cooked we just sat out on the patio and listened to itunes and cuddled with Spencer! We have gotten to where we really enjoy our patio and back yard this summer!

Oh! Who knew my roots were so bad!

Yesterday we just slept in REALLY late (for us!) until 11 and then went to the lake. It has been unusually cool here with record lows in the 50s and daytime highs barely breaking 80! It was a nice day, but not a lot of sun. Oh well, I'm sure we'll make up for it next week with full sun and 90s again! Ha! It was just a tease for fall! After the middle or so of July, I'm always ready to bring on football and fall, two of my favorite things! After we went out on the boat we ate some super tasty peel and eat shrimp at the marina before heading home and crashing around 9. Yes, we know, we were very lazy yesterday!

I woke up around 4 this morning with raging kidney infection so I slept in and went to work around 12. I got a nice painful rocephin injection and hopefully will be much better tomorrow. That is the downside to all of my kidney problems, most antibiotics don't work and I've gotta get a big shot in the butt!

Friday, July 17, 2009

One Week And Counting!

I just realized that we are only ONE week away from our consultation with my OBGYN! I am so excited, but at the same time nervous, scared, and anxious. I feel like we have been through so much over the past 20 months that I am worried that something else is going to go wrong. Lately I've had this huge fear of obviously never being pregnant again, another miscarriage, and for some reason a fear of my child having downs or some other disability. I know that it is normal to be worried about these things, but in the back of my mind I am terrified because both of my miscarriages were a type that can be linked to chromosomal abnormalities. After all that we've been through to get pregnant, I really don't think that I could handle that. (I would LOVE a child no matter what, but I don't know that I have what it takes to do it).

Anyway, on that note, I am compiling a list of questions, concerns, and what we would like our next step to be. (which right now we are leaning towards IUI in a cycle or two) I'm just ready to move this thing along! Our infertility is so much a part of who we are, but I am so afraid if things don't change soon it may become part of our identity. However, I think a lot of the frustrating, angry phase is behind me (at least for now). I see where it has made us a better couple and definitely made me stronger.

Please pray for us over the next week and pray for our dr that he has the knowledge and wisdom that we are looking for to guide us onto the next step.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

We have had a great weekend. Friday I took the day off (since we are not going on a "real" vacation, I've decided to just take a few Fridays off instead) and spent the morning picking up and getting groceries. That afternoon I went to the community pool for the first time! We've been in our subdivision for almost two years (we were one of the first 12 homes built out of 70) and they FINALLY finished our pool/clubhouse. I wish I had a picture of the clubhouse, but I don't. I'll try to get one this weekend.

The view from my chair! I didn't have my camera, so this is the best I could do on the blackberry.

I spent the day reading my current book, Pretty In Plaid, (which I LOVE!) and meeting neighbors! It was definitely a good day! (Doesn't my ugly bruise on my knee look great? I wish I didn't have my ugly leg in the picture, but since I couldn't really tell what I was taking a pic of because of the sun, you can see my ugly bruise...evidence of my aspirin use for my clotting disorder.)

Yesterday I went to the Farmer's Market with my mom to stock up on some veggies and then helped my neighbor Andrea set up for our neighborhood block party! We had a great turnout and already planning another one for possibly Halloween night! How much fun would that be?!

We had the party in Andrea and Jonathan's yard. We had a HUGE turnout! This was still pretty early and as you can see, it was already a great turnout!

Brittney and I. In case you don't know this story, Brittney and I met through Kelly's blog a few months ago when she just happened to click on a link to my blog and then noticed that my house looked like one down the street from her house. Not only did it look like one in her subdivision, IT IS in her subdivision!!! Haha! So, it took us both blogging and reading a blog about a family in Arkansas to meet a neighbor! We love to tell this story!

This is Andrea's little boy, Jackson. Michael and I love Jackson. He is so sweet and is a lot of fun! He loves to ride his bike in our driveway since we have a slight incline and everyone knows it is more fun to ride your bike down a hill! He showed the other kids our driveway and it ended up being the cool place to ride last night. At one point I counted 14 kids in our driveway with bikes or some other toy!

Today was yet another rainy, lazy Sunday. I don't know if we will ever see our boat again if this Sunday weather keeps up! We slept in and then got ready and ate lunch at Panera. We also walked around the mall and went to dinner at Bluewater downtown with Michael's best friend, Chad and his girlfriend, Natalie.

Hope everyone had a great weekend. This week is shaping up to be a busy one for me. I think I am going to be paying for the nice, quiet couple of weeks I've had lately!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Random Wednesday

Just wanted to share a few quick random thoughts with you for today...

We wanted to try something a little different for dinner tonight, so Michael is picking up a spicy enchilada casserole from CasaRolls. It is one of those places that prepares meals and all you have to do is cook them! I'm excited to see how it is since the store just opened up right next to Michael's dealership. If it is tasty, I'm sure we'll be back soon!

UPDATE: Dinner was super yum! We WILL be getting more meals there soon!

I want to welcome my good friend, fellow IF, and sorority sister, Chea to blogging!!! We are both from Chattanooga, although she moved to Texas after college. I wish she were closer, it would be great to have someone close by that is going through the same things! Please swing by her blog and leave her a welcome comment! :-)

Thanks to everyone who emailed or left me a comment with dinner ideas! It has been a really busy week and I haven't got around to thanking you yet, but I love hearing from you and everyone had GREAT ideas!

Lastly, I wanted to leave you with my new favorite inspirational song. I didn't like it at first because I thought it was cheesy, but after listening to it more, it says exactly what I need to hear...
I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"

Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody's gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I obviously didn't watch the MJ memorial today since I was at work but I did watch a few smidgets here and there on youtube tonight. As I watched Brooke Shields speech it hit me. She has been through so much of the same things I am going through. Sounds crazy I know! If you don't know about her struggles with IF, depression, and just everyday life, pick up her book, Down Came The Rain. It is great. I read it 4 years ago while on vacation and NEVER dreamed I'd be dealing with such similar stories.

Anyway, back to her speech. She focused on his favorite song, "Smile". I went and looked up the lyrics and I feel that it is exactly how I feel 99% of the time.

though your heart is aching

even though it's breaking

when there are clouds in the sky

you'll get by
if you smile
through your fear and sorrow

smile and maybe tomorrow

you'll see the sun come shining through for you.

Light up your face with gladness

hide every trace of sadness

although a tear
maybe ever so near

that's the time you must keep on trying

what's the use of crying

you'll find that life is stillworth while

if you'll just smile.

I always feel like I am putting on a happy face and just smiling no matter how I feel on the inside. I had a bad day yesterday when I just felt like things were never going to turn around for us. I had not thought about how transparent I had become until someone asked me what was wrong about 4 times in the first 5 hours I was at work then when I asked why she was asking, she said I didn't have my usual happy smile. It made me want to cry. My life really had become that controlled by my IF. It is just another sad thing that IF has done to me, it has taken away my positive attitude and made me completely transparent.

I have been feeling a little better today, although I am still very anxious and ready to meet with my OB at the end of the month to discuss what is next for us. I am also taking a "mental health day" on Friday to sleep late and enjoy the grand opening of our community pool. Dr. Barker will be out of town and I really just need a day to relax without anything else to worry about. So, until next time, think about this...


Monday, July 6, 2009

Weekday Meal Help

First, recap on yesterday. So much for our lazy Sunday! We ended up going out for wings and trivia at Buffalo Wild Wings then met up with a friend downtown and stayed out until almost 11. Needless to say, we are all exhausted today! I think my busy weekend caught up with me this morning. I am now at home in my comfy clothes and ready to chill on the couch until bedtime.

You girls were great about sending me pineapple casserole recipes (THANK YOU! I haven't had a chance to write any of you back, but they sound yummy!) and now I need help with another cooking issue. Michael doesn't get home until at least 7:30 during the week and we need some ideas for quick and easy weekday dinners. Feel free to leave it in the comments or email them to me. I am just tired of trying to fix a big meal so late, so help a sister out and share your favorite dinner ideas!

Hope everyone is having a good start to the week!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fun, Food, Friends, and of Course The Lake!

That is how we spent the 4th of July! I am a bad blogger and left my camera at home, but we have had a busy weekend so far.

Friday I had a busy day. Michael had to work so I used to day to clean the house and do some laundry in the morning then had a planning lunch with my friend from high school, Kauri. We are planning our 10 year reunion! If any of you reading just happened to have graduated from Chattanooga Central High School in 1999 and have not received anything by mail or email, we NEED your email and address ASAP! Michael was able to leave work around 5, so we went to the marina and cleaned the boat inside and out. It was some serious nast! I was embarrassed just how gross it was and just had to get it clean before the 4th! Ha! We rewarded ourselves for dinner with Kung Pao Shrimp and Signapore Street Noodles at PF Changs! YUM!

Yesterday was a lot of fun! We got up around 9:30 and immediately went back to the marina to finish cleaning, gas up the boat, and take off on an hour trip to Michael's friend Chase's parents river home. We saw a few of my resident friends that were also gassing up their boat and heading out at the same time. All of Michael's good friends were at the river and it was a great day. Lots of sun, a very tasty pig roast, lots of very tasty side dishes (I HAVE to find a recipe for a baked pineapple casserole, so if you have one, email it to me at!) and lots of fun! Michael got to see a lot of people from his old job (Chase's dad owns the dealership that Michael just left) and it was good to see them. We thought about spending the night, but since it was forecast to rain and we were an hour away from the marina, we decided to just go on home. We pulled back into the marina right after dark. It was DEFINITELY a full day!

I slept for almost 12 hours last night! I must have been exhausted! Ha! It is rainy so I don't think we'll make it back to the lake today. :-( I was looking forward to actually getting to the lake twice in one weekend for once. I think we are just going to have a lazy, rainy, Sunday. Maybe go eat some wings at Buffalo Wild Wings or Fox and Hound, but probably just sit around watching E! or my DVR cuddling with Spencer! Ha! Hope everyone has had a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Beginning of a Plan

Since we've been back in our house I've been pretty content just going with the flow and not stressing over TTC. I even put away my fertility monitor, thermometer, and ovulation predictor kits (a BIG step for this OCD TTCer!!!!!). I just KNEW I was pregnant this week at the end of cycle 15, but it appeared this morning as though I am not...
This is actually the 1st test I've taken in over 6 months! I am proud of myself! I have kicked my old habit of being a pee-on-a-stick-aholic (at least until next month, I'm afraid it may be like alcoholism, once you start again you can't stop!).

Well, after that lovely start to my morning, I spent the next few hours deciding if I was ready to begin full fledged TTC again. After checking facebook I saw where my friend Anna developed a plan with our OB this morning (we both see Dr. wonderful) and that helped me make my decision. I decided to call and schedule an appointment for Michael and I to go in and just talk with him about what our options are. We have been talking about IUI more and more lately since we found out that it is VERY affordable through the OB office. We also think after 20 months, 15 cycles, and 2 miscarriages it is time to develop a plan.

So, we see Dr. Wonderful on July 24! I am hoping that after maybe another month or two of just trying on our own we'll be able to attempt an IUI. Please continue to pray that we have a baby of our own one way or another soon!

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
Psalms 130:5