Friday, October 28, 2011


I didn't think I would reach this date without there being a little baby in my arms. I guess God has a few more finishing touches for Lil' T before he/she enters the world. Steven and I are finding ourselves very impatient, but we've been waiting a long time for this little baby.

As you may know, we struggled with some infertility before God blessed us with this little life. I say 'we' even though really it was my body/hormones that was the cause of the infertility. I'm very open about our experience, much to Steven wanting me to keep a little more quiet, because I feel there is so much stigma attached to infertility. Steven has been such a huge support to me, but I still felt alone because of my inability to become a mother. I wanted other women out there to know what I went through and that they are not alone. I also wanted people to be aware about what you say to other people about having kids. You really don't know everyone's story. So I thought I would share ours.

Steven and I started trying for a baby in September of 2009. I won't go into too many details for you guys out there, but if anyone has any questions on what I share, PLEASE, contact me and I will answer any questions and go into more detail. Natural Family Planning and Fertility Awareness Method are two ways to chart the female cycle and be aware of the best times for conception. After only one month of charting I realized that I had a cycle issue that would prevent us from becoming pregnant. I thought if I gave it a few months it would resolve itself and we would get pregnant right away.

After nine months, I still had this issue and after some research I knew it was caused by a lack in the hormone Progesterone. On a short note, progesterone pretty much tells a female's body not to start her period so that a fertilized egg can implant. I didn't have enough progesterone which meant that any fertilized eggs didn't have enough time to implant so my body wouldn't stop itself from getting my period, hence, no baby. I knew this was the problem and came to the fertility center with my charts and expressed my concerns. It was very frustrating to know what was wrong, but to still have to go through the motions of trying different medicine combos to help regulate my cycle.

Even after visiting the fertility center and starting with medications to help regulate my cycle, I still always wondered if what we were doing was "right." Fertility issues can really put a stressor on a couple, but Steven and I ended up becoming closer than ever. We really put a lot of faith into God and knew that if we were meant to get pregnant we would. Every month I struggled with understanding God's will. I always asked myself if we were going against God's will by going to the fertility center. I constantly wondered, "If God wanted me to be pregnant, He would fix my hormone issues." I tried to compare it to being sick. My body wasn't working correctly and I needed some medicine to help regulate how my body was supposed to work. We weren't doing artificial insemination or IVF, we were just getting medicine so that my hormones could do their job. For nine more months, it was still a lot of experimenting with medications and hormones before we finally got the right combination and became pregnant. *I can go into further detail if anyone has questions about which medicines I was one.* One concern was that even though I became pregnant, my progesterone could still be low and I would need to supplement it throughout the whole pregnancy. God is great though and my own body took over and I haven't needed any hormones or medicines during our pregnancy!

It was really hard to hear about other people's pregnancies and children's births throughout our trying. I wanted to be happy for people because I knew how happy we were going to be when it finally happened. We were lucky that our parents and friends weren't asking us a lot about when we were going to have kids. We didn't feel any pressure from outsiders which made me grateful. I ask all of you to be aware of the questions that you ask people. Whether it be, "When are you getting married?" or "When are you going to have kids?" and more recently, "Did you have that baby yet?" You really don't know peoples' stories.

I still find myself about to be jealous when I hear about someone being pregnant, but then I remember that I'm pregnant. That sounds weird, but when you tried for a year and half it takes time to stop jealous feelings. I have loved every second of my pregnancy because I appreciate all that it took to get to this point. Steven and I are so ready for this baby to be born and we feel extremely blessed. We promise to share pictures as soon as Lil' T decides to come out. Please pray for us and our soon-to-be bigger family.

God bless!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Now that we are done with our siding (last time I mention it I promise) it is nice to get back into some what of a routine. Honestly the first week after we had finished, it took Cassandra and I a while to remember what a "normal" Saturday was like for us. Don't worry it didn't take us long to get back to the way things were. It is nice to spend our Saturday's just cleaning the house, getting groceries, etc. We also added a hike to our normal Sunday routine. Since the Newman Center is nearing the end of it's remodeling project, and it had to add a mass since mass is currently being held in the basement, we go to the earliest mass and then we have a bunch of free time that we didn't normally have, and we are able to take Rudy to some of the local trails and get a good couple of hours of hiking in Hixon Forest (get ready Miller) before the Packer game.

Speaking of the Packers, how great is it to see them doing well after a rough start. I think that Dom Capers should be in the running for some sort of award seeing as how he has had nothing to work with in terms of players on defense all season yet they continually have people just fill in like it is nothing. So I tip my hat to you Dom. Well done!

Also, with routines, I am working on writing here more. I don't want to promise a weekly update(because that hasn't always happened the way that I would like), but it will be a more frequent updating.

I am almost ready for snow, but I want to get through the Turkey Trot before the first snow fall. My past two runs have been great, and I really feel ready for this 5k. Then it is time to let the snow fall and to dust off the ol' snowshoes!!!!!

Stay Classy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Finished Siding

Well folks sorry for the over 4 months (seriously has it really been that long?) delay in writing a blog entry. I wanted to finish our siding project and so I left the blog world for a while to focus on the job. We started back in the end of June with Cassandra's uncle, parents, and my dad, helping with tearing off the old siding, adding new insulation, housewrap, and then the siding So without further ado here are some photos from the completed house:

This is the house from the front on the driveway side.

This is on the same side of the house, but the back half of the house.

This is in the front yard, but the other side of the house.

This of the back side of the house.

This is the garage.

I want to thank everyone who helped with this project at some point, without you, we would still be working on this project a year from now.
Now you might be asking yourself, "Self, did it really take 4 months to work on residing their house?" Not quite, while we did work every night and weekend during July and August, it got to a point where we just needed to take time for ourselves as well. Here are a few things that we we have been up to during the whole time:
Cassandra got a long-term sub job in Black River Falls, WI, teaching 6th grade science, a reading class and a language arts class. So that has been a great expirence for her. She also completed her second half-marathon. She jumped out of a plane going skydiving with my mom, my sister and her sister.
I am still enjoying my job at the Y. I started running and have one 5k under my belt and will be doing another one in a few weeks. I gotta beat my time of 37:48. I already feel more prepared for this one.
We had some visitors, Nick and Claire, who we realized that we hadn't seen or really talked to them in 5 years, but it was great because it was like no time had past and we had a great time catching up. We also took Rudy camping for the first time, and he did great sleeping in the tent dispite me hearing some coyotes off in the distance. We have also been taking Rudy hiking quite a bit on the local trail of Hixon Forest.
My good friend AJ and his wife Sarah welcomed little Gabbie to the world, and I was lucky enough to meet her during their visit to the midwest.
The 2010 NFL season is half over, sad I know.
When I starting writing this blog I was trying to think of all the things that we had been up to and I know that I missed lots, but now that I am writing it I am coming down with a case of writer's block. Oh well, I am back now.
Stay classy!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I almost forgot about spring!!!

Let me start off with wishing all the fathers and soon to be fathers, a Happy Father's Day! Thanks for all that you do!

I realized that with summer offically starting tomorrow I never posted my favorite things about spring:

  1. Seeing everything become green again
  2. The sun coming out more
  3. Being able to spend time outside and not have to bundle up just to go for a walk.
  4. Opening week of baseball.
  5. The NFL draft.
  6. The beginning of cutting the grass season, and the smell of freshly cut grass.
  7. In general people seem to be much more friendly.
  8. Seeing new animals try to enter our yard only to have Rudy quickly chase them out.

Lots of things has happened since I last posted. Cassandra and I (along with the rest of my family) went down to Texas to visit family down there, and I must say the weather was awesome, and not too overwhelmingly hot.

Cassandra and her mom did some nice landscaping in our yard and I must say that it looks nice to have the bare patches of the yard filled with some flowers...even though they are pink.

I am continuing with my training for my trip to the Grand Canyon, and have dropped down 17 pounds now. Cassandra and I enjoy looking and trying new trails in the area, so if you have any suggestions please throw them our way and we might just have to check them out. Also on that note, my backpack just arrived (nice looking pack too, right?)!!! and I haven't had a chance to fill it with stuff to test it out around the yard, I think that will happen tonight though, pictures to follow. Now I will have to work on getting the rest of the equipment that I'll need.

Other then that not a whole lot else is new. We'll be residing the house in the beginning of July and then I'll post photos of our house with everything put away, crazy to think that we've been here almost a year already.

Stay Classy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Making a difference

Often times when I tell people what I do for a living, I first tell them my official title, School-Age Director, which often gets the strange looks that scream, "What does a School-Age Director do?", but I have always been able to identify these looks and know how to respond with a half-joking, "I make a difference in the lives of kids." While that isn't the only thing I do, but in reality this is a true statement.

I realized this as I was helping out with the season opener of the Miracle Field at our Onalaska location. The Miracle Field is a special rubberized baseball diamond that is designed to allow children with disabilities to play baseball. This was truly a great experience for not only me, but all the people that are involved in this cause. It was amazing to see the joy on these kid's face when they hit the ball, just run around the bases, or just spend time with other children who have disabilities and play a sport together. While I didn't get to see this, I heard that there weren't too many dry eyes in the crowd either. Here is some video from two local newscasts with some of the highlights. If you look closely you can see me in the may not recognize me, but I am the mascot. This was amazing because I have always wanted to be a mascot, and because I was able to be on the field for this experience and was able to see first hand the joy that all participants had.

Yep, just me making a difference.

Stay classy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Challenges, new goals, new heights

In previous blogs, I talked about doing the indoor ironman at work, which was a great motivator for me to work out on a regular basis. Since finishing that in February, Cassandra has been asking me what my next goal would be, and until this past Sunday I kept giving her the clearly indecisive answer of "I don't know."
Now it wasn't that I didn't want to have a goal, but lots of things that I thought would be a good motivator would just fizzle out and I would lose interest in a matter of days. This was tough for me because when I was younger I trained for some bike rides, (two time finisher of the Tour de Cure: A Ride for Diabetes right here), but I wasn't really feeling like doing bike rides again (keep it up AJ, I look forward to hearing about how your riding is going), I really don't like running so setting a goal of completing a long distance run didn't interest me, I think that triathletes are a little crazy (I just want to congratulate Miller on closing in on completing your first tri...and I am sure that you can read about it here, but you'll have to wait until next week) and just working out in the wellness center was getting a little stale.
So this last weekend, Rudy and I went for a hike because it was an amazing day and we had no reason not to. While on this hike I had my "Aha" moment that helped me decide what I my next goal will be, I want to backpack down the Grand Canyon camp out for a few nights and hike back out.

Now some of you might be wondering why I chose this as my next goal, and I have lots of reasons why:

  1. I have never been to Arizona and therefore never seen the Grand Canyon.
  2. In college, Cassandra and I took a backpacking class, and I have always wanted to do more of it, but I made excuses (I know, I know I am always the one telling others to "Make plays and not excuses.") for not getting in to it more.
  3. Since graduating college, I have realized that I have become more stagnant then I should, and because of that I have slowing been gaining weight.
  4. I want to lose this weight that I have gained over the last couple of years (ok, it has really been since high school, closing in on 7 years now).
  5. I just want to be more healthy (I was already working on this and have currently lost 6 pounds).
  6. I live in an area where training for this hike is good because cause of all the bluffs around me.
  7. Since I've start to work full time, I found that I am "losing" my camping ideals...meaning I remember not too long ago when I was content just looking up at the stars, staring at a camp fire, or just going hiking, I found that I keep staying inside watching TV or facebooking or anything else. Basically making excuses to keep myself inside. And I've missed the outdoors.

I am sure that there are other reasons that I've missed but as you can see there are lots of good reasons why this will be a great motivation for me to be active again.

Since this is not a goal I can achieve over night, I am planning on taking my trek either in the fall of 2011 or spring of 2012. Why so long you might be asking? First I need to get in shape, second I am going to need some equipment, third I am going to need to save up some money in order to make it down to Arizona. Since this is a very large goal, I will be setting some smaller more easily attainable goals that will help me get to Arizona, I'll keep you posted on those once I figure out what they are.

I know that I won't be able to do this journey along, my good friend, Andy Miller who has an awesome goal of seeing all of the National Parks in the US has also never been to the Grand Canyon has already agreed to do this with me. I will also need prayers and encouragement from all the readers of "From the River" please check in with me once in a while to see where I am on things. Also, for those of you who live in Arizona, or have already hiked the Grand Canyon, or know a lot about buying backpacking equipment, or know of a good way to train for this hike, I am all ears and I welcome your advice. If some of you are interested in joining Andy and I please let me know.

I can't wait to smell a rose like this first hand.

Stay Classy!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

House Repairs

I tell you, I really enjoy owning a home. Part of it is that we aren't spending all of our Sundays driving around to open houses, trying to figure out what we would like in a house or trying to figure out what we can afford. It is really great to have these days back. Actually I often find myself not knowing what to do on Sundays because first it was football season so the majority of the day was taking up watching football, and this time last year we would be out of the house all day looking at different houses. It is great to have this extra free time, and we've enjoyed taking the time to go for bike rides, long walks or just hang out at home.

Now that we have been here since the end of July, things have finally settled in a little bit, and we survived our first winter, without too many worries. We have undertaken a few projects like reroofing the entire house, hanging gutters, replacing soffit and fascias, fixing a leaky shower valve and caulking the shower. Now I have never really done a whole lot of this kind of stuff, but I am finding that I really enjoy working on things. I don't know if it is the smell of sawdust, or the sound of the drill, or the satisfaction of getting something accomplished. But I really enjoy this part of owning a house.

Now you may be wondering what will the next project be, well hopefully later this summer we will be able to tackle residing. Again (like all the other projects) I have no idea about where to start, but fortunately we have family that knowledgeable and willing to help us out. I can't wait, until then I'll just enjoy what we have and work on the little things like hanging up photos. Don't worry AJ, pictures will be coming soon.