Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Swept Away

One of my favorite things about our marriage is that Cam really knows me, (and I really know him). There isn't one big moment where it's like "I know you!" It just generally comes across in the little things. These little things add up on a daily basis and remind me that I completely scored on the husband front. I completely married up. And I am so grateful for him. He's #1 on my "makes life golden" list every single morning.

This all has a point, I promise. We had the most fabulous, relaxed, perfect memorial day. We've given it some thought and since our anniversary is right around the first of the year, we've generally had about 2 weeks of vacation right before it. We don't really feel the need to "get away" by the time our actual wedding date rolls around. We do enjoy a nice dinner out, but nothing too crazy. We also both really like being warm. January isn't generally warm. So we'd rather take a trip when it's warm. Last year for memorial day, we went to Disneyland. Just the 2 of us. It was the most amazing vacation I've ever been on. And so, we discussed it, and we'll be celebrating our anniversary on Memorial Day weekend from here on out.

Cam planned the entire weekend and wouldn't tell me anything. I didn't even really know where we were going! He just told me to be ready to leave at noon on Friday. I took the afternoon off, he came and picked me up, and off we went!


He first took me to Lime Ricki in Salt Lake City to get a new swimsuit. I left with this:

We drove to Park City, and he took me to the outlets to browse while the hotel finished getting our room ready. We checked in and headed back out. Cam said we needed to run a few errands. We drove to downtown Park City. I had never been there before and was so charmed by the entire look of it. Old style shops, restaurants, and homes lined the entire mountain. Main Street was gorgeous. We stopped at a museum to pick up a $50 giftcard that Cam scored. [Love it when my man "coupons" :)]

We spent some time driving all over the face of the mountain and "house hunting." Stopping to pick up brochures, compare prices, talk about what we are looking for in the future. It's one of our favorite past-times.

He had also scored a $30 giftcard for Ruby Tuesdays so we enjoyed a nice cozy seafood dinner sitting side by side in the booth. Afterward, we went to the hotel for some time in the hot tub and played ping pong for an hour or two after the jacuzzi got a little crowded. I was so proud of myself for beating Cam until I noticed he had been playing with his right hand (he's left-handed)  the entire game! Ugh. I have got to polish up my skills.

We went back to the room for some late night TV, and just so happened to catch the OSU vs. U of A softball super-regional! Cam then continued to out-do himself by pulling Smart Pop popcorn and Oreos out of nowhere to snack on. There is nothing like vegging with Cam. He is a pro. While flipping through channels, we also happened upon a nice and lengthy infomercial for a new collection of 80s music. We sang, and sang, and sang. And I was actually pretty shocked at all the songs Cam knew more than 1 line to. Parents, you should be proud.

The next morning, after we didn't wake up to an alarm, Cam gave me 3 puzzles to solve that would tell me what we were going to do that day. He. is. brilliant. I love puzzles! He spoils me.

Apparently, he had also scored a great deal for passes to the Olympic Park. We picked them up and drove about 5 minutes to the park. After watching the Alpine Skiers Train in the pool for a while, we walked on down to the "Gravity Zone" where all the rides are.

We took a nice long ride up the chair-lift and rode 2 zip-lines and the Alpine Slide. What a blast!

The Olympic Park actually has a pretty cool museum about the Olympics that is free to walk through. We got to watch some of the footage of the Olympic Games and hear some of the back-stories of the athletes. They also had a lot of the props and costumes used in the opening and closing ceremonies, and a lot of information about and examples of the medals. I love seeing how things are made (that was my favorite part of Mr. Rogers growing up...) & the medals were really cool!

After the museum, we browsed the local library book sale, grabbed some Mexican food at a cute little place downtown and headed back to the hotel room for game 2 of the OSU/U of A super-regional. [Can we just talk a little bit about how selfless Cam is? It takes a special kind of man to watch over 5 hours of softball without complaining while on vacation. My father is one of those men. My husband is another.]

Cam then informed me that he had purchased a Groupon for the sushi place downtown that I had swooned over the night before. AH! We decided to figure out the free public transportation system and took the bus from our hotel. At this point, it was kind of blustery and very rainy. I was not exactly dressed for the weather, but I wanted to look cute! [My mom understands. :)] The food was delicious. But, Cam outshined it completely. Saturday night was delicious in every sense of the word.

After a long and unrushed dinner, we were greeted by this as soon as we walked outside:

The nice thing about Cam is he just embraces everything. We didn't even use the umbrella, just enjoyed the magical snowfall on a beautiful street. To celebrate, we walked to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and bought a caramel apple, a hunk of peanut butter fudge and 2 truffles.

We walked to the bus station, which looks quite similar to a historic train station, and played HP all the way home. :)

Sunday morning, we slept in again and got ready for church. It was just down the street and the ward was extremely friendly. Living in Park City, I'm sure they get used to having visitors. Sacrament Meeting was packed and a family with 4 little boys sat right next to us. I really enjoyed watching 2 of the boys fold the most intricate paper planes I've ever seen. The talks were incredible, though. I've never enjoyed a talk on pioneers so much. It was the 5th Sunday of the month, which meant that RS and Priesthood met together for the 3rd hour. The teacher was a former member of the Salt Lake City Temple Presidency. He spoke about the temple for the full hour. It was really cool! Cam was totally prepared for Sunday at the hotel. It was still snowing, but he had brought a Charles Wysocki puzzle to do in the lobby and he had my knitting stuff stashed in his backpack! To make things even better, right after we started the puzzle next to the fireplace in the lobby, a tray of fresh baked cookies were brought out for the hotel guests. We probably both ate 4 or 5 while sitting there working on the puzzle!

We finished in just under 2 hours and went back up to the room to read Harry Potter and knit until dinner. It's one of my favorite traditions. Cam reads out loud, we talk about the books, and I get to create something the entire time. It's wonderful.

For dinner, we ate at a charming little place called Good Thymes Bistro. I ordered a salad based solely on the dressing. It came with a "wasabi vinaigrette" and I wanted to try it. Hands down, it was the best salad I've ever had! I can't wait to go back! It had fresh cashew crusted tuna, ginger, julienned veggies, and these things that pretty closely resembled corn nuts. Oh, it was divine. Sushi in a salad. Genius. [I'm taking you there, mom. You will LOVE it. It's "less scary" sushi. You can do it!]

We stayed up late watching movies and slept in the next morning again, no alarm! Cam had scored a $40 giftcard to the outlets and we spent the morning enjoying all the sales for memorial day on top of the outlet prices! I sure love shopping. sheesh. We drove to another mall and watched Soul Surfer (which, if you haven't seen, you really REALLY should. Made me cry. I love inspiring movies) and headed home for more knitting and Harry Potter.

It sure was a blast of a weekend! Next time, I get to plan the getaway and cater it all to Cam. It's gonna be great!





Monday, May 23, 2011


There are so many things I've wanted to blog about in the past few days. In all honesty, Cam has had to physically restrain me a couple of times because things are just so exciting! We both wanted to wait to spread the news until we had a solid plan in place, though. Yes, both of us.

The past week and a half has been unbelievable for us. We have laughed, cried, let our jaws completely hit the floor more than once, and made phone call after phone call. We have felt your prayers, thoughts, love, and support more than ever these past few days. You're really not going to believe this. Let's start on Thursday of last week.

Thursday: We were going in for our 3rd (and last) IUI before IVF was on the table. We knew it wasn't going to work, but we had to do it before our Dr. would consider us for IVF. We had to do it in order to move forward. In the middle of the treatment, I was sitting in the waiting room and the nurse called me. She didn't know I was in the clinic, but she wanted to let me know that the Dr. had looked over our charts and wanted us to know that he didn't recommend us doing this 3rd IUI because our chances were so low. He said we could go through with it if we wanted to, but that he recommended us saving our money for IVF. We spent the next hour meeting with a nurse and asking all of our questions about IVF. Scheduling out everything, learning about medications and procedures, and asking about how everything works. We left the clinic and stopped at Cheesecake Factory (Free slice of cheesecake with purchase of $30 + $25 gift card = AFFORDABLE!) to celebrate actually being able to move forward. We were thrilled!

Friday: Because we were both fully and completely on board for this expensive procedure ($25,000 minimum), we decided to pull out all the stops and really organize our resources money-wise. At work, I got an e-mail letting me know that it was the last day to add money to a tax-free medical account that is put into the account at the beginning of the year and is paid back throughout the rest of the year. It's like a tax-free cash advance. Love it!

Saturday: We went to support Pound the Pavement for Parenthood. It was my first 5k ever and I was nervous! We were friends with the couple that was being sponsored and they asked how our the treatments were going. We told them how the Dr. stopped our last IUI and recommended us for IVF. They stopped the conversation right there and told us to talk to Jill, the race coordinator. Jill had received an e-mail from a fertility specialist in pleasant grove who was donating 50% off IVF to anyone who ran the race and needed it. WHAT?! We ran really, really fast that day. And this was when I wanted to blog so SO bad!

But we didn't know the details of the 50% off offer. Both of us thought it was too good to be true, or some sort of scam or something. We had to wait. Jill met with the Dr. (Dr. Foulk) on Saturday. She called us with the details on Sunday night. I will never ever forget what it felt like for me and Cam to be up in the second bedroom hearing about this man who was going to change our life while we had company playing games downstairs. Dr. Foulk is an extremely successful reproductive endocrinologist who has opened practices in Reno and Boise. He is ranked among the top 6 RE's in the nation. He was at the point of his life where he could retire, go golfing, go  on a mission, etc. He decided to send himself on a medical mission to Utah County in order to help the people here have families. I've looked over his statistics and success reports for the past 5 years. 60% of the IVF cycles he has done incorporate a procedure called ICSI that we will need. He is a specialist for our specific type of infertility. Because he's on a medical mission, he does all of his procedures at cost. He doesn't make a dime. This is his passion - helping people. So....the amount we put in the account last Friday? It just happens to be exactly the amount for the procedure and the medications.

We are floored. And we've been really thinking about what to do with our auction. The support and excitement it has generated is too much to pass up, but we would be incredibly ungrateful to keep it for ourselves. We don't need it. We want to help another couple reach their dream of parenthood. I asked Jill if her and her husband were taking Dr. Foulk's 50% off offer. She said they'd like to in the future, but they are still paying off a failed IVF cycle. I can't imagine the emotional turmoil a failed IVF cycle would cause. My heart hurts for this beautiful, selfless couple that, regardless of their own dreams of parenthood, have started an organization to help raise funds for other couples to have children. Especially when they have a huge debt to pay off from their past cycle before they can move forward and try again.

I asked Jill if, as a way of saying "Thank You" for this amazing offer her organization brought into our lives, we could change routes a little bit and do the auction for her and her husband. We're still working out the details, but we are so excited to get this going for them. To make things even better, Cam got a phone call on Friday from the insurance company. Remember when our car got totaled? Over 5 months ago? They wanted a fax number so we could sign a form for them to send us another check for our "pain and suffering."

Yesterday, the lesson in Relief Society asked the question: "How has God provided a way for you to be obedient?"

We have seen his hand, so clearly, in our lives the past 10 days. We're so stunned that things are moving so quickly, but we couldn't be happier. There are days when I look at Cam, just terrified and say, "What if this doesn't work?" and then minutes later I look up at him just as terrified and say, "What if this DOES work?"

What if it does?!



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The cure for anything...

They say the cure for anything is salt water. Sweat, Tears or the Sea.

I've worked out almost every day for the past 2 weeks. Sweat isn't doing squat.

I've also cried almost every day for the past week. Tears aren't helping.

Looks like my only other option is to go here:

I mean really, my hands are tied.
I'll let you know what Cam says.


Monday, May 9, 2011

My Mother's Day

About 3 years ago, I fell in love with a boy. His name is Cameron. For those of you who don't know, this boy's real name is perfection. See?

Because we don't really have control over when our little family will grow, Mother's Day is always kind of difficult for me. I don't look forward to it. I go to church and hear things like, "God trusted me enough to give me one of his children." And I sit in the pew and wrestle with myself and bite my tongue (literally) to keep tears from spilling down my cheeks.

But this year? Cam refused to let that happen. He woke up early and turned off all the alarms, so I wouldn't wake up. (Normally, I hear between 3 and  5 alarms every morning depending on the day. It is one of my biggest pet peeves.) I woke up to the sweet smell of fresh oranges and cinnamon vanilla french toast. yum.

I came downstairs and on my plate was a card and 2 presents. I read the card first. Cam always knows just what to say. He is my best friend. He is my rock. And he was preparing me for the inevitable battle that was going to happen at church today. He was helping me put my armor on.

I opened the first present:

(I understand this may look or sound disgusting to many of you. I completely get that. I told my mom what Cam got me for Mother's Day and she responded with, "uh. gross..." Trust me, I realize it sounds nasty BUT don't you dare knock it til you try it!) On my bad days, I go take a hot shower or bath and I save this Salty Caramel Ice Cream body wash for those days. It turns your shower experience into a buffet of sweet smelling happiness. It. Rocks. I first bought it as part of a giftset I found on extreme sale at Bath & Body Works when I worked there my sophomore year of college (almost 4 years ago). In the giftset was Cookie Dough lipgloss <--best color/flavor combo ever. I bought the set for the lipgloss and avoided the body wash because it sounded gross. And then one day I used it and good heavens it is amazing. Bath and Body Works doesn't sell the temptations line anymore. (sad.) And even if they did, this fragrance has been discontinued since I bought it (remember, it was on extreme sale) so Cam snagged the last 2 bottles of this in existence as far as we can tell. I mentioned to him one time that I was bummed that my stash was getting low. ONE TIME. He is stellar.

The second present had some familiar packaging, so I knew to be excited. It was from here. I love everything they make. EVERYTHING. My sweet mother in law bought me a necklace from them for Christmas last year and I kid you not, the empowerment that can come from a piece of jewelry is shocking. I wear that necklace more often than not. It never makes it onto my jewelry tree. I wear it, take it off and put it on my nightstand before bed, wake up and put it back on. I love it. Point of that story was I love their shop so I was excited to see what was inside.

Cam got me this:

And I cried. He is amazing. Consider me armed. :)

I asked him what I should wear for church, and he requested my favorite black dress. The dress is cute, but it needs a little something around the middle (especially because I wanted to wear my new pink shoes). I didn't have any pink ribbon or anything and Cam offered me his pink tie. A few safety pins later and this is what I came up with. (Thanks babe for letting me put a pin or two through your tie!)

And off we went to church. I couldn't believe my ears when the speakers started their talks. Each and every one was on how incredible WOMEN are, not MOTHERS. Sure, mothers were talked about. They were praised, etc. But the main focus was on women in general. What a breath of fresh air! I couldn't have asked for anything more. One of the speakers even said, "There are some women who are unable to bear children at this time. I believe we can learn so much from their grace through trials." I don't lump myself into the graceful category, but it was so wonderful to be acknowledged on Mother's Day of all days! Then, and only then, did I cry. I cried tears of gratitude and joy and faith because to me, that was my Heavenly Father protecting me on a day when my heart was so vulnerable. He knew I was there. He knew what I needed. And he inspired this sweet woman to deliver the message. Throughout the rest of the meeting phrases like, "Women's willingness to sacrifice to build up the family" and "Gentle diligence, faith, and optimism" were used frequently. For the first time on Mother's Day, I felt included. I felt like I actually belonged there. Not a single time was an insensitive word said.

(*Note: please don't take this the wrong way. I believe mothers deserve all the praise in the world. They do the greatest work here on Earth. I personally have one of the most incredible mothers. My selfish heart, though, on Mother's Day can't help but cry "What about me?" To all of you mothers, I am grateful for the love you show your children, your ability to sacrifice for them, how beautifully you carry your load and responsibility of raising the next generation. And thank you for allowing me to be a part of your children's lives. It means everything to me.)

We went to the marriage and family class for Sunday School. I psyched up for a mother's based lesson in Relief Society, but it never came. We had a wonderful discussion on missionary work. I went home with my hand in the crook of Cam's arm and a huge smile on my face. Church couldn't have been better.

Cam made roast, asparagus, and sweet potatoes for dinner.

We watched Harry Potter and cuddled on the living room floor for hours and hours, and kind of fell off the face of the planet for the afternoon.

I hope that whether your children are in your arms or in your heart, you had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday. I hope that for a moment, your heart was safe.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It Takes a Village

It isn't any wonder that Cam & I want to be parents. We talk about it enough! :) I'm sure those of you who have been able to have the blessing of children in your own lives understand why we would want that for ourselves so deeply. We attended the Utah Infertility Awareness Event last weekend and the gears really started turning. We went to a session in the Salt Lake Temple afterward to try and sort things out. It was wonderful to be together after the session and be completely on the same page. We had our answer. And  that answer was WORK!

This blessing of having children that we desire is not going to come to us without a whole lot of effort on our part and faith that our Heavenly Father will take care of us. Call it what you will (I choose "inspiration"), but while we were walking around temple square after the session, I was reminded of a post I'd seen on this blog a long, long time ago. (So long ago, in fact, that I can't find the post. I went through her entire archives and so I'm not even sure it was there. But I had convinced myself that it was...anyhow).

An online silent auction.

This was it. THIS was how we were going to make the money we needed to finally bring our baby home. And you should have seen us. We were giddy little kids coming up with all of the people we could contact who had said "If there is ever anything I can do, please let me know!" And then it set in. We were going to be asking people for help. Help with building a family. And I'm pretty sure humility is what our Heavenly Father had in mind when He told us we were going to have to work for this. We were going to have to work physically, but also work personally on coming to grips with the fact that we can't do this on our own.

It is going to take a village.

So we got to work. We have been contacting businesses up and down asking for donations to auction off. I designed a blog and have been posting the auctions as they are finalized. We have lists and lists of possible donors, but we know our connections are going to be exhausted quickly. However, we know you, and you know others. You shop at different places. Your friends own businesses we have never even heard of (or have heard of, but don't have a good connection to). Your friends have talents that no one else has. I have told this idea to a few friends who have responded with, "I WISH I had something to donate!" "I wish I was more valuable." And I said not to worry about it (and I meant it!). You are valuable to me. And then I woke up to an inbox with 3 new auctions from friends of friends. The support we have already been shown is overwhelming. It has brought me to tears more than once in just the past couple of days. We are slowly being taught that when you let people in, the blessings abound. Not just for us, but for everybody.

My sister said to me yesterday when I expressed how shocked I was at others' generosity, "When are you going to get it through your head that you and Cam are loved?"

And we are. We are so very loved. And the love that has been shown already for our little one brings tears to my eyes.

So here's the deal, if you have made it this far and still want to help. :)

Go Team Call

The ways to help are listed on the blog, but I wanted to put them here too:

1. If you are a business owner and would like to donate an item to be auctioned off, please click here for more information. We are also interested in finding a business that would be willing to match our total donation.....!

2. Bid on our online auctions starting June 24th! It's the best of both worlds! You get an item you love & 100% of the profits go toward our treatments!

3. If you are uninterested in either of these options, you can always go directly through the donate button and make a monetary donation.

4. Spread the word on your blog, facebook or twitter! (<-- this is HUGE! We not only need donors, but we need to get the word out about the auction! Most of the auctions start at 50% off or more, so there are great deals to be had!)

Bottom line is, though, if you don't want to, or can't donate please don't feel obligated to. That is the last thing we want! We love you just the same and you are absolutely still part of the village. :)