Thursday, September 18, 2008

The duck has left the pond!

I had an appointment with Jaffe yesterday and she did another ultrasound.  I could not see the screen this time so I have to take her word for it but she said that the duck is gone.  YEAH!!!!  Jaffe had a nurse and an ultrasound student in the room with her and she was asking them what they were looking at on the screen (that I could not see) and they were not sure, the nurse said a lake (in reference to the pond and duck from last time) and the ultrasound student said she was not sure, so I yelled at "hydrosalpinx".  Jaffe said I was right and the nurse was confused because I could not see the screen.  I told the nurse that I listen to every word that Jaffe says.  So according to Jaffe we have no more wildlife and the pond is "suffering" from some sort of drought because it is shrinking.  I will go back to her in 4 weeks for another scan.  She kept me on the birth control pills hoping that they will help the pond shrink some more.


On September 6th, Garrett and I were able to attend the UCF/USF football game.  We received tickets from Jennifer's Aunt Sandy.  These were not just any tickets and they came with a parking pass.  We got to drive up and park right at the stadium and our tickets were in the club seating section.  We took an elevator to our seats and they were the nice seats with backs and cup holders (not the aluminum stadium seats).  We felt very special.  We had a great time but had to leave in the beginning of the fourth quarter (Garrett was preaching at Zephyr the next day and we had to leave the house by 7:00 am) so we did not get to see UCF come back and tie it up  and go into overtime.  UCF ended up losing, but they put up a decent fight.  The fans were having a good time.  At one point they played some music and everyone started bouncing up and down, the whole place was shaking and the lady behind us said that they had not reinforced our section yet.  GREAT!!!!!!  It was fun!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Couch Potato

My most favorite place to be is on that couch! Whether it is taking a nap or watching something on the television, I LOVE "getting on the couch". You can imagine my surprise when I got the idea for running a 5K. I am not sure where it came from but I found the directions for the Couch Potato to 5K on the Internet and Garrett and I decided it would be a start to getting ourselves in shape. It takes a couch potato (ME!!) and starts them on a journey to run a 5K. I got really excited and for my birthday asked for running shoes and workout clothes. So we had all of the gear and started on our journey on Wednesday (9/3/08). The 1st week is suppose to be easy, a 5 minute brisk walk then alternating 60 seconds jogging, 90 seconds walking for a total of 20 minutes. Well, we could say that I am totally out of shape. I was in pain. Friday came and about 15 minutes into our walking/running I thought I might die. I made it but it was really bad. Then Monday comes around, I did not even try to run, Chief and I walked the entire time while Garrett & Luke went ahead of us. It is going to take me much longer than the plan has figured out, but I plan to keep trying and maybe if I can shed a few pounds the running thing will get easier.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I have a duck in my pond

I had a 7:45 appointment with Jaffe this morning. I fell asleep twice in the exam room before she came in about one hour later (all of you ladies can feel my pain---I was undressed from the waist down and it was freezing cold in the exam room- the only thing I had to cover with was the paper drape across my lap.) Once the exam started I saw the usual- fluid filled tube-my ovary-and then all of a sudden out of no where comes this HUGE cyst with a blob in it. Cysts are normal for me but this one had a life of its own and it had a visitor. Jaffe's exact words were "oh my gosh!!!!!!", not good, not good at all when the doctor has a probe inside of you and is saying "oh my gosh!!!!!!". She said " Oh it looks like you have a duck swimming in your pond", WHAT?? What pond? What duck? What is she talking about????????? She was talking about a Hemorrhagic Cyst. Hemorrhagic cysts occur when a blood vessel in the wall of a cyst breaks, causing blood to enter into the cyst. The nurse asked me if I was in a lot of pain. Thankfully I am not in any more pain than what is normal. So no IVF for us this month, we are obviously not ready. She has put me back on the birth control pills so hopefully no more cysts will grow. I am not sure if it is suppose to try and shrink this "pond" (my cyst with the duck) or not. I will have another scan in 2 to 3 weeks. So, please keep us in your prayers and ask God to take away the pond and the duck!!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 8/25-8/31

Monday-Southwest Lasagna Rolls- 1st time recipe, I'll let you know.
Garrett really liked these- I thought they were O.K.
Tuesday-Frozen dinner of some sort- I have Bible Study on Tuesday nights and I am always eating as I am running out of the door, so I decided on something simple.
Wednesday-Skillet Pork Chops with Potatoes and Onions-Yummy!
Thursday-Smothered Steak and Peppers with Jasmine Rice
Friday-Baked Ziti

I don't have anything planned for Saturday or Sunday yet!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Menu Plan Tuesday (oops!) Week of 8/18/08

Monday-Having dinner with Joe & Ilene Johnston at their house-they made lamb burgers in pita pockets with a sauce of feta cheese/tomatoes/onions--they were very good. They also served chocolate cake and ice cream to celebrate my birthday.

Tuesday-Carie's birthday-Tropical Storm Fay has postponed all birthday celebrations so my wonderful husband has made chocolate chip pancakes (my favorite) for breakfast, and grilled Italian sandwiches for lunch. The plan for dinner is empanadas and yellow rice!

Wednesday-Pork steaks-asparagus-parsley potatoes-sliced tomatoes

Thursday-Grilled Italian sandwiches

Friday-Ravioli with meatballs-salad-garlic bread--this will be another birthday dinner that we will be sharing with our good friends Jerry, Tina, & Paige Landis, Margarito, & Cathy Landers.

That is all I have for now!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Missing him

Garrett is at Lincoln for a class and I am missing him. I just could not stop crying when he was getting out of the car on Tuesday morning at the airport. Here are my excuses (as if I need them-it is totally okay just to miss your loving husband): (1) I hate being away from him, (2) I really believe this IVF stuff is playing with my emotions, (3) The job that I have is in jeopardy- the flooring industry is doing really bad right now and we just don't have any work. So in other words---I am a total and complete mess right now!!!!! He will be home on Friday at 12:30 midnight so some of the misery will be over.

So, I just opened an email from him and this is what I got:

I just love him so much!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday- Homemade Pizza - I use this recipe from Rachel Ray as a starting point, I use bacon instead of the pancetta and I add spinach and onions.

Tuesday-Friday I am on my own G is out of town.

Sorry not much to report

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A full plate

Well, I figured that since I haven't actually contributed to this blog for a few months that I should probably say something! So I thought I would share what has been going on with uncle G (as Brady calls me).

Have you ever looked at your "plate" and thought, "how did I fit all that on there?" I definitely have eyes that are bigger than my stomach, both in a literal and figurative sense. My plate lately has been extremely full with the following:

-Work, which has been crazy lately. We have a record number of applicants, which means a record number of times I've gone crazy.

-School, which is going well, but keeps my stress level at a constant high. For those of you who don't know, I'm working on my M.A. in New Testament. In order to keep up with everything, I should be reading about 50 pages a day and writing about 1,000 words a week. Needless to say, these goals are not always "reached."

-Preaching, which is a bittersweet situation. I love preaching, and it gives Carie and I a lot of time together (since we're in the car for 3 hours every Sunday). It's also a little extra income, which is definitely a blessing. Of course, the downsides are that we're in the car for 3 hours every Sunday (count the dollars flying by...), not to mention the reason for my being there--the normal preacher, Pat, is fighting cancer.

-IVF stuff, which takes up a whole lot more time and emotional energy than most people realize.

-Being a husband, which is the most important, challenging and yet rewarding thing of all. Carie deserves all of my best, and sometimes I fall short of giving that to her. But her understanding and gracious attitude is unparalleled in anyone I've ever met, and it daily makes me want to be a better husband.

I thought I would close with an interesting "discovery" I made the other day while studying the book of John for one of my courses. If you already knew this, well, then you're one step ahead of me.... This was a huge epiphany for me, and I just get really excited whenever I have one. Here it is:

In the second temple period (the time when Jesus lived), Jews celebrated the Feast of Booths (sometimes called Sukkot, or the Festival of Tabernacles) in a unique way. In the morning of each of the 8 days of the festival, the priests would gather water from the pool at Siloam, mix it with new wine from the harvest, and pour it over the altar in the temple. The water would flow down the temple steps and out into the courtyard beyond. Then at night the priests would light four large menorah's in the Court of Women, just outside the inner court of the temple, and the glow of these lamps would radiate the temple area. (Just as a side note, the Court of Women is also where the treasury was located. This detail is important).

In John 7 and 8, Jesus is speaking to the Jews, and John writes, "On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'"

Then, in chapter 8 (after a side-step episode) it says, "Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." A few verses later, John gives the detail that Jesus said this "in the treasury," hence, the Court of Women. Jesus was a master of situational teaching!

I love it when things all fall into place like that.

Until next time....

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mom's Birthday

We celebrated my mom's birthday on Friday, August 1st. We had pizza and "white cake" with "white icing" and "white ice cream" as my mom had requested it. I talked to her the morning of her birthday and she told me that she dreamed about chocolate cake, I told her it was too late because the "white" cake was already made. We had a nice time. Brady was so cute, he had to put the candles in the cake.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

This is my first attempt at blogging my menu plan for the week:

Monday-Tortilla Chip Casserole ( new recipe)

Tuesday-Chickpea/tomato/feta salad with homemade bread

Wednesday-Bacon Cheeseburger Chicken

Thursday- Marlboro Man Sandwiches- these look amazing... I can't wait to try them!

Friday- Mushroom Quesadillas

Saturday-Baked Ziti

Sunday-Ballard Biscuits

Most of these recipes I borrowed from the other bloggers at If they are in yellow you can click on the link and find the recipe. I have the other recipes on a Word document so if you want the recipe just let me know and I can send it to you.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Walk away

I just love my animals. They have the cutest personalities. These are not my cats but it is surely something that I could see them doing and the caption is just perfect.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yummy dinner

I got this recipe in an email from We had it last night and it was yummy!

You can check it out at this link.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Blessed are those....

Johnnie Donley has challenged our Bible Study group to memorize scripture. Garrett said that I should try to memorize Jesus's Sermon On The Mount, so I have been trying. Matthew 5:6 says "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." Today I was reading "The Orange Peel Gazette" and it said "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst, for they are sticking to their diet."

I had to laugh out loud. I should probably realize that and try to stick to a diet!!

Monday, July 28, 2008


I forgot to post my #'s from the bloodwork on 7/22/08.
Estrogen 98.7
FSH 11.2
LH 4.07 ( this is normal)

The nurse said that the FSH level being lower could be from the estrogen # being higher. In otherwords, don't get excited.
When we met with Jaffe she said that the # that she is looking at is the Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) level and that was what she is using to determine our medicines.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Present your requests to God

Philippians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

This is the picture and scripture verse that I got in an email yesterday. The email said to smile and that it was God's way of telling us to "Have a nice day!". Yesterday was also the day that we had the appointment for our consultation with Dr. Jaffe. I was so anxious about our appointment so the scripture verse was perfect for me. Jaffe had a plan, she gave me some birth control pills to try and get rid of the cysts and lower my estrogen level and scheduled a follow up visit for 2 weeks ( to check my estrogen level and do an ultrasound). We were so happy that she did not mention the "s" word (surgery- we have had our fair share). We were very pleased with our appointment.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A "Dark Knight" Day

Garrett's parents were here from Tennessee for the Service Master conference. Garrett, Andrew, Deb, Greg & I went to see the Batman movie the "Dark Knight" on Saturday afternoon. We all loved it. We had a great time, Heath Ledger was great as the Joker and I have decided that Christian Bale has the perfect mouth for Batman. When he has the suit on, his mouth is the only thing you can see. The only thing that I was disappointed with was that Katie Holmes did not play Rachel Dawes again. Maggie Gyllenhall took over the role. After the movie we went to the Columbia restaurant for dinner. We all had the 1905 salad (yum!!!!) and the Shrimp Supreme. Greg, Deb, Garrett and I had the white chocolate bread pudding for dessert and Andrew had the churros. It was all delicious.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Our pretty bathroom

I am so excited about my new bathroom. It had been the same since I moved into the house 8 years ago, but that all changed on Saturday. I got the shower curtain at Bed, Bath & Beyond and the wall hanging is from Pier 1. My mom & I painted (Garrett did the cutting in, the paint is Behr-Belgian Sweet). The walls had previously been white so this was a big change. I also am a little hesitant about painting the house. The 1st time Garrett painted the front room, kitchen and dining room I actually cried. He eventually changed the front room to a color that I really like and painted all of the other living spaces (except for the dining room & kitchen) the same color. I am happy now (poor Garrett). I still need a few things but I just love the new bathroom.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Birthday to you...woof!

The boys had their birthday this week. Chief is 8 and we say that Luke is 3 (we adopted Luke on Chief's birthday in 2006 and are not positive about his age but we assume he was 1 which makes him 3 now). They each got a birthday cake (dog-friendly, with beef baby food-yummy) and a can of tennis balls.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Not-so-good news

Why is it that I find it so easy to share good news and so incredibly hard to share not-so-good news?? I have wanted to share every aspect of this journey so far, and I am sure some of you know way more about me than you ever wanted to. I don't want to spread bad news. I want to keep it all bottled up inside and hold onto it, kind of like if I don't share it then maybe it won't be true. Maybe I can change the outcome of these test results if I don't tell anybody. What in the world am I thinking?? I could be CRAZY!! The results from our day 2 blood work (6/24/08) STINK! My estrogen level was 81.5=BAD, my FSH level was 17.2=REALLY BAD. These numbers are horrible. The FSH level being so high means my egg reserve is REALLY BAD (that # is considered premenopausal, although I find that terribly hard to understand, I know that I am old but I hardly think that 34 should be considered premenopausal). I have at least 2 cysts on my ovary and my partial right tube is possibly causing some problems. I was given all of this information on Tuesday night (6/24/08) and Garrett and I were just devastated. "It's just not right, it's just not fair, we don't understand", this is just about all we could say over and over again.

We spent Wednesday at home with each other just trying to get a grip. We got a phone call from the nurse (at almost 5:00pm) to try and figure out some of the questions that we have. First, how can my FSH level go from 7 to 17???? She said that it changes and could be better next month. REALLY!! That makes absolutely no sense but OK! Secondly, could my blood pressure or thyroid medicine cause the numbers to change??? NO (Stink, stink, stink-we were hoping that could be an answer) . Thirdly, can we get in to see Dr. Jaffe any earlier than 07/27/08?? NO!-she is on vacation and has no other openings, unless someone cancels. Garrett and I talked about a bunch of options and meanwhile my mom and sister were busy looking for other doctors. Cheryl found one in Colorado who has excellent #'s. We are incredibly blessed with a very supportive family who are very excited about the potential of having a Carie/Garrett little one running around.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Meds are in!

Our meds have arrived. My mom just called and said that they were in. We had our medication shipped to my mom's since she is home during the day. I am on pins and needles.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I have placed the order for our IVF medications. (Breathe)

The medications were:
Follistim AQ cartridge 900 international units =$2768.00
(Breathe, Breathe, Breathe, Breathe, Breathe, Breathe, Breathe,)
Doxycycline 100 mg=$free-covered by our insurance
Ganirelix Acetate=$342.76
Ovidrel 250 mcg=$138.00
Progesterone in Oil=$free-covered by our insurance
Progesterone Capsules=$free-covered by our insurance
Misc. syringes=$6.00
VIP membership (to get these amazingly LOW prices)=$12.00

GRAND TOTAL=$3498.36
(Breathe, Breathe, Breathe, Breathe, Breathe, Breathe, Breathe,)

I must really go and get on the couch now and try to relax and not think about all of that $$$$$.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dog Tired!!!

How about these 2 guys. They are so tired!! They have a very stressful life and much of their day is spent recovering from playing with the tennis balls and eating.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

IVF appointment

We had an IVF appointment today. My blood pressure was good (124/77) and they had the results from the AMH blood test, it was .4. The nurse said that was a little low and they based my protocol accordingly. If everything stays on track then we should start with the injections on either 6/24 or 6/25. This would be a 10 day process of injections before all of the real fun (Ha!Ha!) starts. I won't go into all of the details until I know more. As for the cysts, we will check on them on 6/24 or 6/25.

Thank you for all of your prayers!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

We had our IVF appointment today. The "mock transfer" went well and my uterus still looks good. Jaffe did find 3 cysts on my ovary which is not necessarily a good thing and my blood pressure was around 156/92 (or something) when I got there, so they decided to take it before I left and it was 147/85 (which is not good, I am on blood pressure medicine and I go to Dr. Thorne on Friday (06/06/08) for a follow up appointment.) They did blood work today to check the AMH level (anti mullerian hormone- ovary reserve) and it will take 3 to 4 days to get that result back. They are re-checking it to make sure that the cyst on my ovary did not have any effect on the original number. So we have another appointment on 6/17/08 to check my thyroid numbers and my blood pressure.

I am crazy emotional right now and we have not even started any medication yet. We had to sign our consent forms today and Garrett & I both started laughing (at the same time) when we read the part that talked about mood swings. I have been blessed with an absolutely amazing husband who can deal with these so called "mood swings". I can hardly stand myself sometimes, and he just looks at me with those amazing blue eyes and I know that everything is O.K. He is so patient and that is just what I need.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Nervous or Anxious????

I am not sure what the correct term is for the way that I am feeling right now, is it nervous or anxious??. We just scheduled our final IVF appointment. It is for the ultrasound with "mock" transfer and to get the information on our treatment protocol. I can not express in words how much we want this to work and hope that God's will and our "wants" are the same.

Friday, May 9, 2008

No Furniture!!!!!!

I went for the diagnostic hysteroscopy yesterday. The procedure was more intense than I had thought it was going to be. I originally thought that it would be done in the exam room, BUT NO it was actually in the OR. It is the same room that I was in for the HSG, egg retrieval and embryo transfer last time. I had to put the sterile head cover and feet covers on. Dr. Jaffe came in and was trying to convince me how awesome it is that we were going to be able to look at my uterus. The more I think about it now I realize the "awesomeness" of this whole procedure. There was some pain that Dr. Jaffe called "pressure", it felt like a bunch of needles being stuck into me. The pain was worth it. The scope had a camera on the end of it and there was a TV for me and also for Garrett (who was in the waiting room) to see what was going on. I saw the inside of my uterus. AWESOME!! But even better than that was that we did not see anything inside my uterus, or as Dr. Jaffe put it "NO FURNITURE"!!!! Yeah!!!! She said it was an empty room waiting for someone to occupy it. They also did a biopsy to check for some kind of endometrial something ( I can't remember the term she used-but something they could treat with antibiotics). We will have to wait a couple of days for that result and then we should be able to move on. WOO!!!HOO!!!! NO FURNITURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Here is some info about our ivf journey. I went for blood work on Monday (5/5/08) and they did not get enough blood to do all of the tests that they needed to do. Luckily, they did get enough to do the day 2 or 3 tests that were needed. I received the results yesterday and everything looks good so far, estrogen level =110 (good), FSH=7.2 (good-needs to be under 10), LH=4.39 (good-needs to be under 11). I went to Quest for the rest of the blood work today. The technician that took my blood was wonderful. I did not even feel the needle. I thanked her for being so gentle. Tomorrow is the next step. I am scheduled for a hysteroscopy at 10:30 am. It will allow Dr. Jaffe to look inside my uterus and make sure that everything looks good.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Our boys

How can we have a blog and not talk about our dogs??? Call this post "The Dog Blog."

Chief (left) and Luke (right) are our "boys." We love them to death and look forward to seeing them every day.

First, let's talk about Chief. There's so much to say about him. Chief is a very sly dog; he's very smart and knows how to get the best of us. I've even seen him open the porch screen door by jumping up and pressing the handle with his paw (probably an accident, but it worked!). One of his favorite things to do is sleep, but he probably loves eating just as much. He gets a little crazy sometimes, too.

Luke is the baby of the family. We adopted him two years ago from the pound in St. Cloud. We love the little guy. His original name was Sniper--who would name a dog Sniper? We hated the name, so naturally we changed it.

More than anything, Luke loves tennis balls. He will do anything for a tennis ball, and it's rare to see him without one in the immediate vicinity. Try taking his tennis ball away from him and see what happens!

We love our dogs.
Next week: our cats!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I have OPTIMISM!!!!

Kinda sounds like a disease of the eye. We had an appointment with Dr. Jaffe today and usually when she does a sonogram she does not like what she is seeing. Today she said that my ovary looked nice and she did not see anything that she was concerned about. So on the ride home from the appointment I said to Garrett " I have optimism" and he thought that I was having trouble seeing!!! We are so excited!!!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hair today---gone tomorrow

As much as I love my husband's hair----he hates it. He has been saying for weeks now that he wanted to shave off his hair. So last night he yells from the bedroom that he is going to shave it off. I am against it, but I want him to be happy. So I walk into the bathroom about 3 minutes later to find a sink full of beautiful hair and a shiny bald head. He is so happy and that makes me happy. Plus, it is only hair and it will grow back. Won't it????????

Monday, April 7, 2008

First Post

This is the first blog that we've done together! Right now we're at FCC on my (Garrett's) work computer. Yeah, this is how I work.

Our purpose in creating this blog is to keep people informed about the things that are going on in our lives. Between work, school, pets, family, etc... we keep pretty busy! We want to share our lives with you as you share yours with us!