Monday, May 13, 2013

{Friend Makin' Monday - Questions and Answers}

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please add your links there too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!
 Questions and Answers
  1. Do you use coupons?  Not really. I always intend to, but always seem to forget
  2. How often do you weigh yourself?  I try not to weigh more than once a week, but often it is more than that.
  3. What was your favorite TV show as a kid?  The Cosby Show
  4. How often do you drink alcohol?  Once a week, maybe
  5. Have you ever met a celebrity or public figure that you really admire? Nope
  6. If you had to choose between only your cell phone or only your laptop all week which would you choose?  I'd pick my cell phone
  7. What is your favorite brand of detergent?  We use Arm&Hammer or Gain
  8. If there was a movie about your life, who would play the role? I have not a clue in the world!
  9. What book are you currently reading?  I just finished Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom. I'm probably going to go for something in the chick lit genre next.
  10. If you could spend one day on vacation anywhere in the world, which place would you choose?  A beach, with beautiful turquoise water!

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions.  Don’t forget to link up in the comments, and say hi to someone new!  Happy Monday!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Jason and I haven't had professional pictures done since our wedding day, just over 7 years ago. The pictures we've had taken of us since then are few and far between, and usually are selfies.

Last spring, we had made arrangements to have pictures taken, based on a recommendation from a friend. About 2 weeks before the appointment, the photographer and I were emailing back and forth about locations, etc. In that email, she finally confided in me that they were nervous about whether they'd be able to get good pictures of Jason (he's got a startle reflex that doesn't love camera flashes), etc. So, that revelation scrapped pictures...

Jason and I talked a little more about it and decided to postpone pictures until after my surgery. We thought it would be nice to celebrate the "new me" and celebrate us. I've been following Laura Case on Twitter for a while. She's friend with several people I knew. At some point in the fall, I finally asked if she'd be willing to take pictures for us.

Three weeks ago, Jason and I met up with Laura at Sears Farm Park in Cary. We met around 6 p.m. because Laura thought the lighting would be best at that time. Usually, J is a little hard to photograph. I think Laura knew that she just had to keep interacting with him and keep him on his toes!

Laura said they were going to be fabulous before we left that evening... Boy was she right, look at these!

Laura mentioned this one in her comment, so I had to add it.
He does do this a lot! That boy!
Laura also took some pictures of us by ourselves. I love these! Look at my cute husband!

Had to have a hat on for one!

It might sound a little silly, but I really think that Laura caught the "new me" perfectly. I think she actually got genuine smiles out of me.

Thank you Laura! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

{Friend Makin' Monday - A Little About Me}

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please add your links there too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!
A Little About Me
  1. Have you ever experienced love at first sight?  I would say yes...The very first time I saw my husband, I just knew it was going to be different...
  2. What channel is your TV on most? Our TVs float pretty evenly between ESPN for the hubs and HGTV for me.
  3. Share one quality that you’re proud to have.  How can I say this without seeming pompous? I think that my ability to show care through service is a great quality.
  4. Describe your idea of a great evening.  So many choices... I think take-out and a movie is probably at the top of my list.
  5. If your friends were asked to describe you in three words, which words would they choose?  Bossy? Tough? I don't know. Just might have to ask though.
  6. What is your favorite holiday?  Christmas
  7. If you could change one thing that would make your life easier instantly, what would it be?  I'd wish for more outward self-confidence!
  8. What is one healthy food that you crave?  Cucumbers
  9. Do you wear socks when you sleep?  If it's really cold, I'll climb in bed with them on but they are usually off my feet within 30 minutes or so.
  10. Share at least three things for which you are thankful.  I am thankful for my hubs (7th anniversary today!); my best friend (Margaret) that's stuck by me though everything; and all my other friends (running, CrossFit, work, etc.) that bring so much to my life every day!

{Our 7th Anniversary}

Today, Jason and I celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary. Time sure does fly....

Seven years ago we were joined in marriage in front of our friends and family at Forest Hills Baptist Church in Raleigh, followed by a beautiful reception at the Albert Coates Local Government Center. Every day that I go to work, I get to walk through parts of the building where our reception took place and it still makes me smile.

In our seven years of marriage, we've been through our fair share of ups and downs, all the while working things out together.  While we may not always agree, but we are partners through it all and do our best to compromise on all things - big or small.

I am so thankful that the powers that be saw fit to have Jason and I meet. I am even more thankful that our relationship grew and we were later married.

(Truth be told, I am kind of a brat so he's had his work cut out for him. Glad he wanted to take on that challenge!)

(Classic Olan Mills pose - thanks Laura Case!)
Here's to many more years together!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

{Essure procedure}

First things first, what is Essure? Essure is a non-surgical permanent birth control. It is hormone free and works with your body to create a barrier to prevent pregnancy.

I was diagnosed with PCOS in August 2001 (Read more here, if you want). Since that time, I have been to multiple doctors to try to understand my "place" in the world as far as having kids goes, etc. Since getting engaged (in 2005), Jason and I have hemmed and hawed about having children. While we would love to see little Regan and Jason running around, we know that it would be more challenging for us in many ways.

In 2005, I was pretty much given the "no go" on kids. Because of my medical issues, Jason and I were told we'd have no choice than to go through fertility treatments. That began an internal tug-o-war... We could go through fertility treatments and have multiple scenarios - 1) get pregnant with 1-2 babies; 2) get pregnant with 2+ babies and possibly of subjected to "selection" (and I refused to even consider "selection"); 3) not get pregnant at all. Jason and I discussed our options, the financial aspects of it, and decided that biological kids just weren't in the cards for us. We agreed that I would continue to take birth control "just in case" until another non-hormonal option became more available to us.

In 2006, I made an appointment to speak with my WHNP about non-hormonal birth control options. I had grown increasingly tired of the shift in my mood, etc. because of birth control. We discussed the Essure procedure during the appointment. At the time, I still wasn't 100% comfortable with ending the possibility of having children.

Fast forward to 2012... The issues with PCOS, including cramping, mood swings, etc. had become increasingly hard to manage. I also was diagnosed with Celiacs disease, adding even more complications to our life together. Also, in November 2012, I had my tummy tuck. Since that time, my body has been adjusting to it's new "shell" and doing odd things. These odd things were causing more issues than they were worth...

In March 2013, I made an appointment with my WHNP to discuss my options again. I made it clear that I preferred a non-hormonal option, but wanted to understand all my options. During my appointment, we reviewed several options: 1) IUD (scared of that because of Brandy's situation); 2) Essure; 3) Tubal ligation; 4) go off birth control and just "see"

On Tuesday, April 16, I went to my ObGyn's office for the Essure procedure. It went something like this:

  • Night before - Take several medications to soften/open my cervix. Enter pretty severe cramping overnight.
  • Arrived at doctor's office at 10 a.m. 
  • Around 10:30 a.m. - Taken back for nurse to insert IV for anesthesia (I chose to "go under" anesthesia, much like the anesthesia for a colonoscopy.)
  • Drug-induced nap began around 11:15 a.m.
  • Essure procedure completed
  • 12 noon - Taken into room for monitoring, etc.
  • Back home by 12:30 p.m.
It's been about 3 weeks since my procedure and I am glad that I did it. I still have to take my birth control for ~2 more months. Three months from the date of the procedure, I will have a HSG at Carolina Conceptions. That test will (hopefully) show that my fallopian tubes are blocked and that Essure was a success.

While our decision to permanently end my fertility may not be right for everyone, its the right thing for us. I'd recommend this procedure to anyone that's done having children as it is probably the least-envasive option possible.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

{What a month!}

Oh my! My blog has been totally neglected for the last month. Rest assured that even though our life has been pretty hellacious, we've done our best to maintain some semblance of normalcy. This is what has been going on...

April 15 - Twice yearly HVAC system service

April 16 - I had the Essure permanent birth control implanted. (More on that later, hopefully)

April 17 - AC stopped working. Noticed (at 9 p.m.) that the secondary drain pan was full of water. (At least the sensor stopped it from overflowing and causing damage.)

April 18 - I had a work conference at UNC-Chapel Hill that I was helping "sponsor"/run. Due to the AC, I had to miss the afternoon sessions.

Newcomb & Company checked the AC in the afternoon. The repairs to the AC were going to be significant because of the parts involved. Jason and I decided it was best to replace the system vs. band-aiding a 15-year-old system. This was the beginning of ~18 days without AC (Thankfully, the weather cooperated!)

April 19 - A staff member from Newcomb & Company comes to give us a quote on new AC. During his visit, he inspected our hot water heater (we have HydroHeat) and sees that it was improperly installed. We were informed was a carbon monoxide poisoning and combustion hazard! Eeek!

Drama for the remainder of the day, including but not limited to: City of Raleigh called to report improper installation; City of Raleigh called PSNC to turn off the gas to condo; Multiple phone conversations with neighbor serving on HOA about the safety of neighbors that had same guy install their hot water heater; Newcomb & Company installed new hot water heater (to replace relatively new hot water heater); City of Raleigh inspector visits condo; etc.

Was told that person that installed hot water heater was not a licensed plumber and did not have hot water heater inspected after installation. Began "campaign" to make sure all my neighbors were safe. Most of our neighbors are older and probably don't know how the water heater should be installed (I sure didn't!).

Week of April 22 - The week was full of multiple conversations with our HOA, State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors, etc. Spent many hours working on 48page document to submit to the State Board of Examiners regarding the gentleman that installed our initial hot water heater. On Thursday evening, I had a long conversation with an older neighbor that had the same person install her hot water heater. It broke my heart when she started crying because of how scared she was :-(

Week of April 29 - Neighbor that serves on HOA Board "took over" hot water heater issue for condo complex. He was able to get some of our money back from gentleman that installed hot water heater in 2010, so long as I promised to notify the State Board (guessing he thinks that if he compensates us he won't be in as much trouble).

On Thursday and Friday, the 2-day installation of the new HVAC happened. Habitat ReStore removed old hot water heater from our deck. My mother-in-law and father-in-law spent all day Thursday at condo and MIL scrubbed the entire deck for me. Hubs stayed home on Friday while AC was being installed. One advantage of 2 days at home - was able to get lots of home projects done (resealed J's roll-in shower; re-caulked shower; re-caulked kitchen sink; etc.)

So, the saga with the hot water heater will continue, but I am hoping it will be relatively painless. I am sure that I will have to be interviewed at some point by the State Board, but they should have plenty of helpful information from my 48page complaint.

Jason and I are really hoping that things are finally getting back to normal! April has been quite drama-filled and I would love a couple of drama free months.