Monday, November 24, 2014

Roasted Carrot Soup for Fertility

Since we are trying to make a baby AND it is colder weather, what better thing to make than soup. I love soup! I look forward to it all year long. Having just finished a nutrition class, I decided to put my new knowledge to work by creating a fertility soup. Really, it is just a yummy soup full of nutrients that help support the female (and male) body and hormones. Not only is it delicious, but my body is going to greatly benefit from the surge of vitamins and minerals provided by this soup.

Carrots: provide vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, fiber, potassium, folate, some iron.
Benefits: provides antioxidants, helps with blood sugar regulation, keeps hormones in check, helps the corpus luteum produce needed progesterone, supports reproduction and embryonic development.

Roasted Carrot Soup
-10 large carrots (chopped roughly)
-1-2 whole onions (chopped roughly)
-whole garlic bulb (cloves peeled and chopped in half)
-package of mushrooms (chopped)
-2 T coconut oil
-salt to taste
-2 t. fresh or dried thyme
-1 t. curry
-1 t. tumeric
-3 c. water
-3 c. vegetable or meat broth

Chop the carrots, onions, garlic, and mushrooms roughly and toss on a cookie sheet with the oil and a sprinkle of salt. Roast at about 425 for 25 minutes

Removed roasted vegetables from the oven and place them in pot with the water, broth, and seasonings. Let the soup come to a simmer. At this point you can leave it chunky, or blend it for a smoother soup.

I topped my soup with grated parmesan and scallions. Happy eating and baby making!

Friday, November 21, 2014

It is hard to make a baby when you are angry

After almost 5 years of marriage Andy and I have decided to embark on the great adventure that is baby making. There have been talks and trys before, followed by fears and stops, but this time is for real.

Since we decided that this time is for real I got a little more serious about my follow-through. I have armed myself with a few handy tools such as a fertility app on my phone and a handy dandy little thermometer that I keep next to the bed. I have diligently been tracking my basal body temperature (along with other fertility signs) in my app. After entering daily information, my app is supposed to tell me when I am most likely to be fertile. Amazing, no? (App is Ovia for iphone)

So on those 6 something fertile days that my body supposedly has, I figured it would be best to have as much sex as I can. Why not, right? Unfortunately, rather than just jumping on Andy, I proceeded to explain to him (very scientifically) all about my hormones, fertility, fertility tracking, and the importance of having a lot of sex on specific days. Surprisingly, he did not take that very well.

While Andy was thrilled at the possibility of daily sex, he was not, however, thrilled that it would be planned, documented, and pushed by a schedule. But I had a tight shift to keep, so sexy time was dictated by my schedule of course.

The first few days went fine, but then things went down hill. Andy was no longer excited about my schedule. He held out on me, no sex, he was tired. This obviously put a kink in my plan and I quickly became agitated and annoyed. Our conversations led to fights and despite being SO angry, I felt that we NEEDED to stick with my fertility schedule. This baby wasn't going to make itself after all!

So we fought and I pushed. Let's just say that it is very hard to make a baby when you are angry. Alas, I am learning from my amateur baby-making mistakes. While making a baby is a precise and scientific thing, it should be fun. Now I know! Future tries will be less "scheduled". :)

Quotes from Andy so far (I love him!):
-Pointing to my belly, "swim little spermies, swim!"
-Head on my belly, "are you there yet?"
-In response to daily sex, "no more, 'it' is tired."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Quitting Birth Control Pills

image via
My relationship with birth control began at age 15 when I got my period, (late bloomer) but with it came death cramps and vomiting. The doctor gave me the option of birth control or some other medication that may or may not work. Obviously, I chose the birth control (with my moms approval at the time). It felt weird to be on a medication like that when I was definitely not sexually active, but after some time it became routine. Sure enough, it relieved my pms, cramping, vomiting, and overall period sickness. Other than that I didn't notice birth control having any other affect on my life.

Fast forward 15 years and I was still on the darned pill. After 15 years and a variety of different types of birth control pills later, I decided that I was done. FINISHED! I have probably been on 10 different types of pills. Some pills were great, meaning they didn't affect my life except for relieving period symptoms, but others were horrible. I took one pill for four months that made me cry every day. After four months I realized it was the pill so I switched kinds. Another pill made me depressed for almost a year. I am a happy person, it takes a lot to get me down, but boy oh boy did I struggle that year! I tried everything to get out of my sad slump but nothing worked until I switched birth control. Once I switched pills the sun came out and I was my happy self again. I thought I was lost forever, but it was just that darned little pill.

So after years of ups and downs with birth control, I decided I was done putting extra hormones into my body. While it may work for some people, and has worked for me in the past, I am choosing to be done with it. Au natural is the way I want my body to be. The interesting thing about it though, is that being off the pill is almost worse than being on it.

First of all, I have now successfully been off the birth control pill for about 6 months. It has not been an easy time though. Immediately after going off the pill I felt great, my complexion was dewy and glowing (like it has never been before!) and I didn't get my period for three months. I wasn't so bothered by the missed period because I had heard of that happening, plus I was not eager to experience cramping again. After three months my period came and the cramps and vomiting were back with a vengeance, like they had never left. Then, my hair started to fall out. It has been falling out in clumps for the last three months! I've also had some chin-hair growth. (What?!) I now have a few solid black hairs growing from my chin that I keep track of and pluck more often than I'd like. Acne, that's another one. I feel like a teenager all over again with a forehead completely broken out. Lets see, what else...oh yes, the anxiety! The few days after my period finishes I experience some of the worst anxiety I've ever had. Sometimes it is so crippling that I struggle to get into my car and drive or run errands. After a few days though, it disappears until the end of my next period where it rears its ugly head once again.

Quitting birth control as it turns out, is NOT EASY. I am so happy to be free of the extra hormones, but this is almost not worth it. The times I have tried to come off it before have been similar, but short lived because of the awkward symptoms. This time I am determined to stay off. I know it will be good in the long run, but for now I feel like a mess. Oh to be a woman!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I'm Back!

Well, it has been a while...but here I am again. I know it has been over a year, but I've needed a year to just live (blog free) and get back to life here in Virginia. Gosh, I love Virginia. No matter what, I think Andy and I will always find ourselves coming back here. It is the beckoning of the mountains and our friends. Nothing will ever compare, and that's what I love about it here.

So on to more important things... Recently a friend of mine suggested starting a group-blog, a blog written as a group of women and friends. I was very interested and more than eager. "Yes, lets do it", I encouraged her. Nothing happened though. The more I thought about it, the more I was interested. Then I realized wait, I have my own blog, I can write anytime I want to write. So here I am writing in this old blog of mine that I so often neglect.

A lot of bloggers write because they think of themselves as educated writers. They know the grammar, the sentence structure, the formality of it all. I do not. I am not a writer, just someone here with opinions and thoughts. A person who, like all other people, just has something going on in my life. As I live life it just so happens that I enjoy jotting down a few notes to help me process all the big things going on in my head.

So here I am...I'm back in a sense. I was always here, just not taking notes on my wonders, thoughts, and adventures. Living life in Virginia is great, fantastic in fact. As life goes though, there are always bumps, questions, and wonders. Ahhh yes, the wonders. So I am back to explore these things as a form of processing once again.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Christmas Tree!

I love the holidays, though not in September. There is a time for everything and for me personally, December is the time for Christmas. I wait until December to let myself go with the holiday festivities, like finding a Christmas tree.

When I was growing up it was usually me who pushed for the Christmas tree come December 1. My parents were huge believers in waiting well into December (like the week of Christmas) before getting our tree. I think their reasoning was that they didn't want to get the tree so soon that it was dead by Christmas morning. Bah humbug I say! So December 1st would come and I would start prodding my parents for that tree. It normally took me about a solid week before my dad gave in and insisted that I go with him to pick out the tree. So we'd hop into our truck, sometimes with my brothers, sometimes not. I would make my dad traipse all over the tree farm until I found the best tree. Then he would chop it down and haul it home.

Since Andy and I have been married we haven't had a Christmas tree. Either we were traveling, or living in a group house where no one cared, so it never happened. This year we are in our own house with no excuse not to get a tree. So once again, on December 1st I told Andy that it was time to get a tree. Just like my dad, he insisted we wait. Lucky for me though, Andy is easier to convince than my dad, so late in the afternoon on December 1st we hopped into our truck and went to the tree farm. We had the best time walking all over the farm looking for the right tree. Finally, we decided on bluest Colorado Spruce that we could find. And let me tell you, it is BLUE! So for the first time in 4 years of marriage we have our own Christmas tree that was chopped down and hauled home. I have never been more proud of a blue tree!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Festive Brussel Sprouts

Here is a quick recipe right before Thanksgiving in case you are searching for one more side dish to add to your table. This is a combination of a variety of brussel sprout dishes that I have searched through.

Festive Brussel Sprouts:
-2 packages of brussel sprouts
-1 pomegranate
-1 package feta cheese
-olive oil
-lemon juice

Turn the oven on to 400 degrees. Chop the brussel sprouts into halves or quarters and toss them in olive oil and salt. Scatter the brussel sprouts over a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes.

While the brussel sprouts are roasting prepare your pomegranate seeds. The easiest way to de-seed the pomegranate is to score it in half and pull it apart into two pieces. Flip the half of pomegrnate downside into a bowl and smack the back of it with a wooden spoon. (This is slightly messy.) Smacking the pomegranate halves this way will knock out all of the seeds much quicker than picking them out with your fingers.

When the brussel sprouts are done roasting put them in a dish with the pomegranate seeds and feta cheese. Season with salt and a squirt of lemon juice.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Friendsgiving definition: Thanksgiving with good friends. 

Ahh, I love it! This year we are finally in Virginia over the holidays. Last year we had moved away in October to Maryland (where Andy had a project) and on our way to California (where we were moving for Andy's job). This year is the first year that we have lived in Virginia over the holidays since both Andy and I were kids. How wonderful, I am tickled with joy!

To celebrate being in Virginia and all of our good friendships, we decided to host a Friendsgiving. I was back and forth on hosting it because I wasn't sure if I would have to work over the weekend or not. At the last minute when I found out that I in fact did not have to work, I sent out the invite and feverishly started planning.

The meal and gathering turned out to be a wonderful success! Andy and I cooked the turkey, made a side veggie, and provided spiked mulled cider, and before dinner munchies. Everyone else brought a side dish and wine or beer. It was definitely enough food and by the end of dinner we were all happily stuffed. As the food coma wore off, one of our friends played dj and we had a hopping dance party. (Where I actually worried that our floor might cave in...luckily, it didn't.) What a jolly Thanksgiving party it was!

I am so completely thankful for my good friends here in Virginia. Most of them go back to middle school, some college, and some from after college. No matter our background and how long we've known each other though, we are all great friends. These people mean the world to me and I am beyond happy to be able to celebrate the holidays with them.

Try making this dish: roasted brussel sprouts with pomegranate seeds and feta cheese.