Sunday, February 16, 2014

Valentine's Day 2014

This year, the week of Valentine's day was super busy! Besides work for me and school for Adam, our dishwasher broke on the 12th, we had a ward progressive dinner on the 13th and we made a dessert for it on the 12th, Adam had a huge paper due at midnight on the 14th, I had a friend's wedding to attend to and help out at on the 14th, and Adam volunteered to show perspective Physical Therapy students around campus on the morning of the 15th. I, for one, have been super tuckered out!

Although Adam was trying to work like a madman on his paper, he took a break to help make the cake for the progressive dinner.
We made two Chocolate Oreo Cookie Cakes. They were delish and were a big hit!

Since this week held so much chaos for both of us, we held our Valentine's Day celebrations yesterday. It was kind of neat because we realized it had been 5 years since Adam had proposed! I was in charge of planning this year and while it was no where near what Adam has planned for us in the past, it was still fun and we improvised a lot. We started out by grabbing a quick lunch from the value menu at the Wendy's drive thru and a smoothie from Jamba. Then we perused the clearance Valentine's items at a few stores. Next, we played 2 rounds of bowling at ISU. We each won a game. Then, we went and played a round of miniature black light golf... which Adam won. We spent a little time wandering through furniture stores looking at couches, dining tables, and beds. We were just dreaming. Then we ate a delightful dinner at the new Mackenzie River Pizza. Finally, we came home and watched the US hockey team beat the Russian hockey team by a hair in the winter Olympics and we also watched Ender's Game from Redbox.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Ok, this is totally unrelated to Valentine's day, but important enough to me that I thought I would share. Consider it my Valentine gift to you- an infertility awareness of sorts.

Shortly after our last miscarriage, I was looking at puppies for sale on KSL E-V-E-R-Y-D-A-Y. I was desperately hoping that our landlord would let us get a puppy and was convinced that was the only way that I was going to heal and move forward. Now, I only occasionally look at KSL and it is mostly for the area news. I am glad that I looked today because there was this great article:

Infertility requires a changing dynamic in friendships
February 13, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY — One of the best parts of life is traveling through it with friends. You may attend school together, start your first jobs at the same time, then transition into adulthood, which may mean marriage and children. Infertility is often a divergent path for some friendships, but it doesn't have to be.
Many women who are experiencing infertility watch as their friends become pregnant and experience childbirth. An event that is life-changing is now a topic of conversation that may become “sticky” among friendships.
Just like most personal events, it’s difficult to understand infertility if you haven’t lived it. People understand things like cancer better. Interestingly, studies completed by Dr. Alice Domar suggest those experiencing infertility have the same levels of stress as those recently diagnosed with cancer. Regardless, the pain of infertility is largely misunderstood and at times not taken seriously.
Those experiencing infertility often hear “don’t worry it will happen, maybe if you just relax.” Being relaxed has no correlation with conception.
Here are a few things to think about if someone you care about is experiencing infertility.
  • Don't minimize. Infertility is the death of a dream. Many couples imagine and plan for their family well in advance. When it starts to become clear that this may not be a reality, they feel a loss of control, disappointment in one's body, and anger. Reproduction is often viewed as a basic human task, not being able to do what, on a most basic level, our bodies are “meant” to do, can be quite devastating. Many of us ascribe to the idea that if we work hard for something we will achieve it; infertility flies in the face of this concept. In particular, during "child-bearing years," couples may feel they have jumped through the hoops of education, employment and financial stability only to find that a family (created in the traditional way) isn't easily attainable.
    Your friends are facing a loss of something they always thought would be there. It can't be underestimated.
  • Rely on other friends or family to discuss your pregnancy. If you are expecting and an infertile friend is not, share your joys and complaints with other friends or family. Although it is sad you aren't able to share such a rite of passage with a friend, you'll save your friendship if you rely on other parts of your support network during this time. For someone trying to conceive, the birth of a child may too much to talk about and be reminded of. They won't feel this way forever, just honor the time that they do.
  • Show them you care. Do what you would do if someone had a newly diagnosed condition, which could mean casseroles, cards, flowers, long lunches with a listening ear. This isn't anything different. Let them know that you want to be supportive. Ask them, “Do you want me to ask about how things are going, or wait until you share it?” Some feel that infertility is a private matter, others seek support.
Lastly, if you or a loved one is experiencing infertility, Resolve, a national infertility association, can be an excellent resource. Find information about family-building, the emotions of infertility and information on peer-lead support groups. Go to, and hang in there.

Whitney Barrell, LCSW, has a master's of social work from the University of Utah. In her private practice she enjoys working with children and families on myriad mental health issues. She can be reached at

Monday, February 10, 2014

Resolution Should Haves

Apparently one of my New Years resolutions should have been blogging. I sure have been slacking. Here's what's been up with us:

At the end of January, Adam's Grandpa J turned 94. We were able to visit with him earlier in the month and listen to his classic Grandpa J stories while pop music played in the background. Haha! We learned that he taught soldiers how to operator turrets during WWII. Happy Birthday Grandpa J! Here's to many more!
In January I also finished 2 sewing projects- a little girl petal dress and tying a twin sized boy quilt called Popsicle Sticks. My mom and Adam helped tie the quilt and my mom did the binding. Some of the strips in the quilt are from Adam's old ties.

While I played with Locklynn and Abby, Adam helped my dad work on building a wall of book shelves. I helped Abby give Locklynn his very first bubble bath and she did a gel manicure on me.

I so love my family!