All the Things - Living with Landyn Live

If you've been following me for any amount of time, you know that I love Living with Landyn's blog. So naturally, I was very excited to be one of the lucky ones who was able to score a ticket to Living with Landyn Live - and it did not disappoint! From the moment I walked in, I was wowed. The decor was perfect and totally Landyn. Gorgeous chandeliers, beautiful tablescapes, awesome vendors like Vici and Fashionable and of course 400+ amazing women. 

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The day was basically Landyn's insta-stories brought to life. We learned about health and fitness from Shed Fitness - the place where Landyn gets those amazing arms. Virginia from Your Life Edit taught us about nutrition and how to do well balanced meals. Melissa Schliecher was a major highlight for me. She's one of my favorite makeup artists - she does Carrie Underwoods makeup, NBD. Lori Paranjape taught us some really great interior design tips and Landyn shared her tips on all of those subjects and did also gave us her tips on how to be a great wife/mother/woman. I took away so much great info and was scribbling notes the entire time. 

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Of course an awesome swag bag was to be expected from Landyn so we couldn't wait to get our hands on them. They were filled to the brim with amazing things and amazing coupons.

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I absolutely love the Orca travel mug! And I used that Living Proof dry shampoo this morning and y'all, it's the good stuff. I was so excited and honored to be a part of the swag bags too. So many great things! Landyn assured us that there would be more Living with Landyn Live events so if you get the chance, don't miss it! It was such a great experience and the perfect gals day! 

XOXO,

Di

Staying grateful in the hard times

I’ve found myself in a difficult season. It’s a story that I know isn’t finished being written and I know it’s a story that God will turn into something good. But for now, it’s the season I’m in and maybe someone out there needs to hear my story.

In spring of 2015, Tim and I felt like it was time to grow our family. So we gave it a shot. And then a year passed, and nothing. Then a few more months - nothing. My doctor said that everything seemed fine with me so we decided to have Tim checked out. We were both very relieved to find that the trouble we were having could possibly be solved by a simple outpatient procedure that he would have to have. So he had surgery and then we tried again last October. And we had a positive test. That very first month! We were over the moon. FINALLY. That next week, I called the doctor to find out what exactly I needed to do. It's the strangest feeling to find out something so monumental and not be able to call my mom. But unfortunately, after monitoring my blood work for a week, they found that my HCG level wasn't doubling and that I was experiencing a non-viable 'chemical' pregnancy. I'd never even heard of that before! I was devastated, confused and ready to try again.

Fast forward to March of this year. I had another positive pregnancy test! I cried tears of joy and then I got my HCG level checked again. It was doubling just like it was supposed to. So I left town to my church women's retreat and I was so excited. I secretly drank decaf coffee and it was darn near impossible to keep it to myself.

But that next week, I woke up one morning and I knew something was up - I was feeling some cramps that just didn't seem right. So around lunch time I got up the courage to call my doctor and let her know what was going on. She told me to come to the office immediately - so I left the apple I had just sliced on my desk and ran out the door. Unsure what the urgency was all about, I went straight to an ultrasound where the ultrasound tech told me that my uterus was empty. Great bedside manner. My first thought was, "this was impossible because I had my levels checked and they were doing what they were supposed to do!" Then, I was taken to a room to wait for the doctor where she told me that I had an ectopic pregnancy and I had two options. One was an injection of a chemotherapy drug, methotrexate, that would hopefully stop the growth in my tube. The second was that I could have surgery but I would lose my left fallopian tube. "Which do you choose?" she asked me. I was still in total shock and I just found out that my uterus was empty about 15 minutes earlier and I couldn't imagine choosing either of these options. They checked my levels again and felt comfortable letting me go home and think about it. When I went back to the doctor the next day, she said that she was okay with watching this situation like a hawk and trying to let it pass it's own. She warned me about how dangerous it was if my tube ruptured so I was scared to move too much and felt like a ticking time bomb. But I was also grateful that there was a good chance that this could work out without needing methotrexate or losing a tube in surgery.

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Thankfully, it passed on it’s own, the pain subsided and I was able to put that experience behind me - with both of my tubes in tact. Again, I was devastated, confused and now I felt like there was something wrong with me. Not to mention the guilt that I was feeling from not being able to give Tim a baby. Two different pregnancies that didn’t work out. I started to feel very discouraged and broken.

We took a few months off from trying and I took a break from tracking every little thing in my fertility app.  We said we'd resume in the fall. I was channeling my inner Scarlet O’Hara, "I won’t think about it now, I’ll think about it tomorrow.” I felt at ease. I took the pressure off of myself. But then in July, I had another positive test! "Third time's a charm", I thought.

The day we found out, I spent the day shopping with my sister and it was so hard not to spill the beans. While I was alone, I took a stroll through Pottery Barn Kids and bought something for the baby. I was so excited. I was so sure that this time was different and the baby I was envisioning would be with us in nine short months.

That next week, I was back in the doctor's office getting my HCG level checked. Again, it was doubling beautifully. I let the nurse know that I'd like to continue getting my levels checked because, like I said before, I worry. So that following week, I went back to get the level checked and that afternoon I got the call that it had stopped doubling. Immediately, I knew I was having another ectopic. I went in the next day for an ultrasound and it confirmed what I already knew. Having gone through this before, I learned that it was likely that I could have another ectopic so I really tried not to let it get me down. That was until the doctor came to talk to me and we found out that this time it was in my other tube. I had just assumed it was happening in the same tube as last time. My doctor wanted me to go straight up to oncology and get the methotrexate injection but I was so hesitant. I decided to wait another day to see if my HCG level would go down in hopes that it would pass on it’s own again. And it did. And to me, that’s the important part of this story. The enemy was trying to break me but God fixed it every time

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So here I am. 3 positive pregnancy tests in the past two years and no baby. My story is still unfolding and I don’t know where it’s headed but for now, I do my best to keep my mind focused on gratitude because that’s the best thing I can do. 

While I was writing this post, I kept wanting to delete parts of it. I mainly wanted to delete the parts about how the things I've gone through made me feel. I spent a lot of time throughout these experiences feeling like I didn't deserve to feel sad or upset or devastated because I know that people have had much worse experiences than this. Dealing with failed pregnancies can be very isolating but the times that I felt most encouraged and hopeful was when I was reading the stories of the women who had been through similar experiences. I hope that this post can do just that for someone else.

XOXO,

Di

Fitbit, love it or leave it?

IMG_2322 I have had my Fitbit for a solid month now and I can't really remember life before I had this little chip on my wrist. Here are 3 reasons I love my Fitbit (and one reason I don't).

1. It makes me move more. Really.

There is nothing like reaching my 10,000 step daily goal, it feels like such an accomplishment! This makes me visit my old friends Mr. Treadmill and Miss Elliptical more often. If I call them friends, it makes me cuss at them less. You wouldn't cuss at your friends! Okay I don't cuss. Very often. Sometimes I feel like I don't know myself in the moments when I spend extra time on the treadmill because I'm 1,000 steps away from my daily goal. Or like last night when I was pacing around the apartment at 10:30 because I had just 150 steps until 10,000. And then there was this one time I went to the gym at 10 o'clock on a Friday night because I was in a steps challenge with a friend and she was kicking my butt (I won that challenge by the way).

I love having a way to see how many steps I have taken and having a goal like that to shoot for makes working out more digestible.

2. It tracks my sleep.

Every morning, the first thing I do is sync my Fitbit with my phone and see how restless I was throughout the night. This comes in handy when I want to remind my husband that we need a king size bed. Because it's definitely his fault that I don't get a solid REM cycle between his sleep talking, sleep karate practice or when he sleep bites me.

There's also a silent alarm where my bracelet wakes me with soothing vibrations. It really doesn't make me wake up but it's worth mentioning that it has that feature. You can also set it to remind you to relax or visit the spa because it really just feels like a mini wrist massage.

3. Challenges.

I mentioned this in my #1 point but I think it may be my favorite thing about Fitbit, I love being challenged by my friends! (By the way, if you have a Fitbit, add me!) If you don't know what I mean by challenges, you can do steps battles with your friends for one day, the weekend or the workweek! It's really cool and brings my inner competitor out. My inner competitor doesn't come out too often because honestly I'm not very competitive.

Okay now for my one dislike.

The bracelet. It's not the cutest thing in the world and I'm now going to have to purchase a darker color because my pink bracelet is getting dingy around the edges. So, all that said, if you're rich you can buy the Tory Burch bracelet for Fitbit for an affordable $195 and this is a non-issue. But if you're a gal on a budget like I am, just buy a black or navy Fitbit and convince yourself that a rubber bracelet looks really cute with your Pandora charms and move on.

Also, I have beef with the fact that it doesn't count that I've burned any calories when I style my hair. Some days this counts as cardio for me because between the combing and blow-drying and curling and brushing and hair-spraying, I know got my heart rate up. But whatever. It's really been enlightening to think that I shouldn't skip the gym on the days when I wash my hair. :) That was a joke.

Do you have a Fitbit? What are your likes/dislikes?

XOXO,

Di

I Am So Pumped About 2015!

IMG_2311Every January, I take the time to write down my goals for the year. I do this for many reasons but the most important reason is that it sets me up to be intentional. This allows me to constantly check myself and make sure that I'm spending my days working towards my goals and doing the things it takes to reach them. Those of you who read my blog (thank you by the way, for reading my blog) will get to see the exciting changes that take place in my life. One of these changes will be a new blog that I am going to be working on with two of my dear friends and fellow bloggers! I will still be here on Tennessee Pretty with my more personal posts but I will primarily be sharing on the new site we're working on. I cannot wait to share this new blog with you! You're going to love it!

Stay tuned for more exciting updates!

XOXO,

Di