Austin 2021: New Home & New Hope

It’s been almost a year since we’ve moved to Austin. Our new home should be move-in ready by the middle of October. FINALLY! I’ll post all the pictures and bring you all for a tour in a later post. I promise.

For now, let’s focus on the HOPE.

**Please note that I will not be sharing our previous fertility issues on this page. I am only posting our current situation and the hopeful solution. Focusing on the past is not the way to move forward. If you know our story, please be mindful and respectful of what I choose to share publically.**

So let’s start with why this blog is named “Project: Life.”

I wanted to get my life and health back on track to eventually create a new life for myself, and ultimately start a family. I knew that me being unhealthy wouldn’t lead to any kind of future family, (life) and THAT is ultimately what Hubman and I want. Anyone who knows us knows that this has been our focus for a very long while.

At the end of 2019, Hubman and I had a conversation about our fertility issues. I’ll be the first to admit that I thought for sure once I got to a healthy weight and got some of my health issues under control, we’d plop out a baby or two to finally complete the family that we both so badly wanted.

That didn’t happen. So after constant heartbreak, month after month, we decided to deep dive into our fertility issues.

I saw a doctor in DFW that left me with more questions than answers and entirely too much frustration to even mention. After a few months of blood work, exams, tests, and all kinds of procedures, he didn’t seem to know what was going on so he sent me to a fertility doctor. The fertility doctor there didn’t help much either. Hubman was tested many times before anyone decided to take a true look at me. This doctor determined that it had to be 100% malefactor.

100% malefactor infertility means that the female reproductive system is working fine and the only issues are with the male reproductive system.

He was wrong. More on that in a bit. By this point, it was roughly May 2020 and the whole world was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We did find out at this time that the malefactor was part of the issue that was contributing to our fertility issues so Hubman spent many months researching, taking medications, and doing everything he could to build up his numbers.

By this point, I had been put on the back burner while Keenan took care of what we thought was the only issue. We also found out in July that we would be moving to Austin. Fertility, in general, had officially been moved to the back burner while we found a place to live, packed, moved, and got settled into our temporary rental house.

Once we got settled in, we started looking for doctors; normal doctors, dentists, optometrists, just the things we needed to have since this is our new home. In the process, fertility was brought back to the forefront. I found an AMAZING fertility doctor in Austin that asked more questions and was much more friendly and professional. He was so thourough with everything, never once did we leave an appointment of hang up from a phone call that left us feeling confused or frustrated. After many exams, treatments, and more failed tests, he decided something wasn’t quite right.

He sat down with Hubman and me both and suggested that I have a hysteroscopy. He wanted to get in there and see for himself what was happening, based on everything that we had told him. Based on my pain levels and cycle history, he suspected endometriosis and since he had found that my left tube was blocked during previous procedures and exams, he wanted to try to open it up as well.

Hubman and I trusted him completely. He knew exactly what he was talking about, and we felt confident that the surgery was the right thing to do. Even if it didn’t fix anything else, it could potentially make my monthly cycles much less painful and easier to deal with.

In March 2021, I had a hysteroscopy. While he was in there, he realized that I had extensive endometriosis, twisted tubes, tied up ovaries, and my bladder and uterus were fused. What was supposed to be a quick and simple procedure turned into something much less boring for my doctor. He rebuilt me, and because of this, what was supposed to be a quick 3-day recovery, was more like a month. It didn’t even matter though – I am so glad I had this surgery.

I’ll admit, I was a little upset about having to have the surgery because I didn’t think it was too necessary. However, looking back, it was necessary and I’m so mad at myself for not making this happen 20 years ago. It has truly been life-changing.

Once I recovered and was able to have more testing and procedures, it was determined that my left tube was still blocked. Though my doctor had succeeded in opening it during the surgery, it had collapsed back on itself during the recovery. With our previous treatments having failed, he suggested that we continue with IVF to give us the best shot at carrying a child to term and finally having the family that we both have been aching for.

We’ve since realized that while the malefactor is a small part of our fertility issue, it’s a very small part. Not enough to even matter. So while we are thankful for that part of things, we still have a long journey ahead of us.

Stay tuned to follow our IVF journey.

Until next time, shine bright, my lovelies.

Packing up 8 years of our life and moving to Austin – In Photos!

By this point, you know that we’ve moved to Austin and we’re building our own home. The moving process though – What a crazy insane trip that was. After we had our rental house situation figured out we started the purging and packing process. (Mostly purging because the packing was entirely too overwhelming if I’m honest.)

I tried to start earlier. I swear I did… I started purging in July! But packing?? Well, that was kind of a last-minute effort that only happened with the help of some VERY SPECIAL people!

This was when I realized it was becoming real. Wall space was starting to appear and the chaos was coming!
Hubman looking through photos of his grandmother and grandfather. We lost both of these amazing people, Grandma Rose right before we moved, and Pappy Doyal right after.

My last day at the office was bittersweet. My team was so kind and generous. They tried their hardest to keep me from crying! Cookies, cupcakes, breakfast, lunch, Starbucks – It was a wonderful day!

Liz and I stayed up until 11 am on Saturday packing. It was intense. There were tears, laughs, delirious conversations, hallucinations… All the things! She went home at 11 and I slept on the couch for a few hours before I hopped back up and went right back again.

We got all our Home documents signed, keys, and garage door openers packed and ready to go, then it was time to wait for our moving team. I’m so thankful for our cousin Marcus. He showed up from San Marcos and moved our stuff for us. We were SO THANKFUL TO HIM and Trey.

The amount of love and support of our friends and family was truly amazing. People brought boxes and tape and bubble wrap and packing paper. Others stayed up ALL NIGHT with me packing boxes. The memories made while packing up our home in Arlington were truly ones that I’ll keep in my favorite box forever.

Then we got to Austin and started unpacking…
The love notes on the boxes from everyone had me in tears. It had become VERY REAL that I had just left some of the most amazing people in my life about 250 miles away.

Here’s a little preview of our temporary rental home in Austin. The neighborhood is amazing! Everyone is super friendly and we felt like we fit right in within days. We’ll miss this neighboorhood when we move, but for now, it’s home.

The family that showed up, the friends that showed up, the ones that rolled up their sleeves and started throwing things in boxes – I’ll never be able to repay you guys for everything that you did. Certainly, the donuts and dinners were nothing compared to how you all helped us through this.

This woman showed up and finished the job. If it weren’t for her, my stepmother, and my aunt, I think we’d STILL be packing my bathroom and closet alone. We spent our last night in Arlington having dinner with this wonderful human. I’m so thankful she’s in our lives.

Hubman and I cannot thank you all enough. From purging, to packing, to even moving, we had the most support and love thrown our way. More than we could have ever imagined. You guys were the real MVPs!

We look forward to sharing our new home in Austin with these special people in our lives. So many people stepped up and carried us through this process. Truly, we couldn’t have done this alone. (Well, we could have, but it would have been WAY more brutal!)

We appreciate you guys more than a cold shower after packing for 14 hours. Truly.
Thank you all so much!

An open letter to the friends I’ve grown apart from

Dear Friends (who I’ve grown apart from),

I hope you know how much I love you. I hope you know how grateful I am for the season that you were my person. I know we’re not in each other’s day to day lives anymore, and that’s sometimes sad, but it’s also okay. Our paths took us separate directions, and I’m grateful for the time we had.

Sometimes I see you on Facebook or Instagram. I see your life now and the things and people that fill it. I see your new home, your new baby, and your new job, and I just want you to know I am so so proud of you. So proud. Even though I no longer sit across from you regularly sharing my heart and hearing yours… I’m cheering you on from afar.

I’m cheering for you with my whole entire heart, my friend. I want nothing, but good and wonderful things for you.

You are a part of my heart and journey forever.

Love,
Me

Originally posted here.

2020 – A time to reflect

2020. What a year for all of us. As I sit here each night and reflect upon what seems to be somehow the longest yet the fastest year so far, I can’t help but think about all that has happened around the world, in our country, and even in my own life. I think about the losses that so many have had to grieve due to COVID 19 and the grief that I’ve been through in losing some of the most loved people I knew, though none of them lost their lives to COVID 19. I think about the losses that the country felt and how they impacted change for the better. I think about Kobe Bryant and RGB. I think about George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. I think about our police officers and how many of them just try to truly protect and serve us.

Trying to process this year has been hard. Though through all the loss, I have hope. I see the progress that our country has made and certain wins show us that we are finally headed in the right direction. Our country is coming together to fight for change and while we are still so very far away from where we should be in 2020, we are at least moving forward.

I think about my family. I think about myself. I think about how at the beginning of this year I was going through one of the hardest mental breaks of my life, though many didn’t know. I think about how this virus shaped 2020 and I appreciate that it’s given me time to truly become one with my thoughts and really take a deep look inside. I think about how Keenan and I have had a chance to become closer and really spend some amazing quality time with each other. That’s when I start to feel grateful and fortunate, and then I start to feel terribly guilty that I’ve been so lucky this year while so many people around me aren’t as fortunate.

I think about the holidays. I think about how different they are this year and how filled with fear I have been of spreading a potentially deadly virus rather than the magic that usually fills me so full of love and happiness. I think about how thankful I am that members of my community still put up lights and Christmas decorations to bring some sense of joy and normalcy to this otherwise chaotic year. My heart gets warm and fuzzy with each holiday card I receive in the mail from my loved ones. I’m so grateful for the little things that I normally don’t stop and think twice about. On one hand I’m scared to death of passing on this virus to my family, and on the other hand I’m just so glad I’m fortunate to be able to spend the holidays with them all. The struggle is real.

I could complain about how much this year sucked, but what good would it do? It won’t solve anything and it certainly won’t make me feel better. So instead I choose joy.

Like many of you, I want so badly to say that 2021 will be better, but I also know that come January 1st, 2021 all the pain and issues we are dealing with today aren’t going to magically disappear. So as we all fight our own battles and adjust our expectations of what we thought life would look like in 2020 or 2021, I urge you all to take a moment and be truly grateful. Think of all that you have rather than what this year has taken from you. Think of the good that 2020 has brought you; maybe that’s more time to read your favorite books, listen to your favorite songs, spend time with treasured loved ones, or maybe focus on other goals. Let’s be thankful for what we’ve been given and try to focus on the happiness that 2020 brought us, rather than the sheer misery that accompanied it.

Let’s hug our loved ones a little tighter each time we see them. Let’s call our bestfriends at the most random times just to hear their sweet voices telling us that they love us too. Let’s throw frisbees outside with the kids next door just because we can. Let’s express gratitude that we are healthy and choose joy over despair.

Until next time, let your light shine bright.
Happy holidays, friends.