Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Frist Giveaway... ever!!!

So, I've been blogging for several years, and never have had a giveaway.  I guess, partly because I didn't know how to even host one, nor did I know what to giveaway.

One of the problems was solved when I was selected to review a great digital scrapbooking product, Polaroid's My Memories Suite.  It was easy for me to do, because I've been using the product for a while now and I LOVE IT!  It's what we used for our "Family Essay" we needed to do for our agency, as well as our profile book.  Click here to see the picture essay. 

I've not ever, ever done anything with digital scrapbooking. As we started the adoption process, I knew we would have to do a profile, eventually.  I became panicked.  I had no idea what or how to do it.  I know there are several places online that you can pay to get them done, but I wanted it to be part of our process, and I wanted to make sure it truly showed who we were. 

I began researching the digital scrapbooking products out there, and I decided the easier the better (because adoption is hard enough, I didn't need software giving me grief either!).  Also, since we were spending up the nose for the adoption, price came into play (which is another reason we decided not to pay someone to ours, that and Travis is cheep).

Well, Travis being cheep, and me needing easy helped this whole process narrowed down easy.  There was once choice. My Memories Suite.  I downloaded the digital scrapbooking product, installed it, and started playing.  Wanna see my very first ever project....

Serioulsy... did it in less then 10 minuets (looking back now, there was so much more then I could do, but alas- it was my first time playing with the digital scrapbooking program!!). 

Like I said, I ended up using it for the Picture Essay and our Profile book, and other random projects. 

I love that you can use random digital scrapbooking kits you can find online (you have to manipulate how you get them in the program files, so it's not completely easy) but My Memories has an huge assortment of kits that are either free or low cost.  Eventually, I want to make my own custom header (have you noticed I've made changed around here!), I have the kit picked out and everything!

So, for all of us in the adoption world, if you have a profile to make, or want to update your profile this is an amazing product.  Once you make your pages, you can convert them to high resolution jpegs to print.

If you've already been blessed with your little one to take snapshots of, its great for 'quick pages' to send to grandparents or other relatives.  That's why I did the baseball one!  I sent it to my Mom.  I've sent other ones like that of the dogs, or our visit to the zoo or whatever and she prints them out, and keeps them.  You can also use the pages to have a scrapbook printed off as a keepsake. 

So... for the giveaway!  Your very own copy of My Memories Suite!
Here's how to enter!  You can have several entries per day, but please make one comment per entry!

Follow my blog (or tell me you are already following!)

visit My Memories Suite website and leave a comment here telling me which kit is your favorite (you can do this once a day)

tweet "I entered @jennadank #mymemoriessuite giveaway! Please RT" then leave me a comment showing me your tweet (you can do this once a day). 
I need you to leave a comment with each tweet to enter.

You can also go follow their blog, on facebook, and twitter.  They have fun speed scrap challenges, and announce special deals there!  (remember, leave a separate comment for each social networking venue you follow!)

do a blog post sending your readers over to the giveaway- SPREAD THE LOVE!!! (just leave a comment with your blog post link)

the giveaway ends on Wednesday, July 6th at midnight. Don't forget- please leave a separate comment for each entry.  The winner will be chosen from, and I'll announce it on Thursday July 7th!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011


Ok, this had been my infertility blog, that turned into an adoption blog, that turned into our life while we waitied for an adoption blog, but let's get back to the roots...

I think deep down I always knew something was up.  I never had normal cycles.  Ever.  My Mom could time her's to the hour of when it was coming.  Not me. 
Three weeks.

Five weeks.

Eight weeks.

Four weeks. 

I always just got a "surprise... here I am!".

Que infertility and then the very quick PCOS diagnosis. 

And then fertility cycles.

And four more miscarriages.

And giving up, grieving, moving on.

Getting back on birth control.

Starting the adoption process.

And then, out of no where a conversation started by my husband about going off birth control.  The decision to not 'try' with injections and ultrasounds, but just be hormone free.  And see what happens.  But knowing our family would grow through the blessing of adoption. 

For the first time in my life... I had a 32 day cycle.  And then.  The next month, another 32 day cycle.  What was up?!?  I was wondering if it would happen 3 times in a row.  Nope... it turned into a 40 something day cycle, and being the crazy person I can sometimes be, I peed on a stick. 


I mean, I knew it could happen.  We weren't doing anything to prevent.  I just didn't know... we didn't think.  Now what.  My bottom bathroom drawer has over 20 of these.  Positive tests.  I just can't bring myself to throw them away.   Weird. yes.  YES.  Maybe it's my one thing I use to cling to the children that never were.  The only proof that for a while, a short moment, they existed. 

Now what?  I knew what a call to my doctor would cause.  A prescription for injections, blood thinners.  Come in for Betas.  Wait for the news.  Repeat beta.  Numbers dropping.  Stop injections.  It was the weekend, and I knew that nothing could be done until Monday.  So we just waited.  And I thought shit. shit. shit. 

I tested again Monday morning.  No longer positive.  I didn't need to go to the doctor.  I had done this often enough.  I knew what it meant.  Betas were dropping.  It was over.  My cycle started the next day.  And I got further confirmation that I was indeed pregnant. 

Do we count it.  Do we add another tick mark to the chart under 'losses'.  Do we even need to?  My history already raises flags, one more isn't going to make it 'worse' or be the tipping point to be referred to a specialist.  I'm already long past any 'flags' that needed to be raised. 

So, I guess I need to come up with a new phrase in my story.  Seven losses. 

But still we wait for our adopted child to come home to us.  That is where our heart is, though moments (or days, or weeks) are discouraging.  We wait.

It has been a month, I just started my next cycle (36 days?), and I'll admit there was some relief.  Just a normal, old plain cycle.  (I do have an app that shows my 'ovulation and fertal days', and my husband was shunned during those times!).  Only a one other person outside our marriage knew I was pregnant, for those two days.  I've revealed it to a couple more since then.  But as my header says, this is real.  It's our story.  So it's a chapter that must be written.  I started miscarrying a few hours before my sister in laws high school graduation.  Not fun.  I was in horrible pain, emotionally and physically, angry at my husband for suggesting we stop birth control (though I agreed, my anger was completely misdirected to him at that point), thinking 'oh shit, now what', and dealing with a less then helpful step daughter that afternoon.  I'm sure to his family I seemed like a huge b-i-t-c-h.  I knew I couldn't get through much conversation without yelling or crying, so I just didn't talk.  I zoned out.  I wasn't present in the moment.  I was trying to protect myself.  And them from me.  But still, they had no idea... just saw my attitued.

Catching Up.

Lots of things have happened, in every aspect of our life.  Family, church, adoption, emotions.

Our garden has gone from this....
to this....
(yes those are tires... for sweet potato slips... that haven't been so successful, more on that later!)

My parents came into town, and Mom helped me turn these....


Into this for my front porch,
And this between our two car and one car garage.
They now look like this.
And this (not as vivid as real life, it was from my phone and washed out)

We went to see some shows while they were in town

We went shopping at The Landing (and outdoor mall right along the lake)

We "Rode the Ducks"

(seriously... these make the MOST annoying sound... and Trav still blows it at random times, always making me jump!)

The two best looking 'Quakkers' on the boat! :)

My Dad REFUSED to quack... not even once...

I got to drive!
Trav had a 'recruiting' event at a big race

The guys and gals that are waiting to leave for basic training were sworn in.  It was amazing, they all came marching out, and the entire grandstand stood silently, and the whooping and hollering after was so supportive.

The cars before the beginning of the final race.  We were asked to be 'special fans' and were invited to one of the suites! Holy cow.  They were so kind, we had a blast talking with them, and the food was ah-maz-ing!

The suite box looking down on the track!
We each got a big red bag full of stuff! The bottles on the left are a new type of liquid wax. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Sting

My parents are in town, and have been....

It's been amazing.  They haven't been here this long... well, ever!  Unfortunately, there is a motivating factor, my Grandpa was put into a nursing home because he's officially loosing it.  He's always lived in this alter world, you never do know what really happened.  So, my awesome aunt that lives in Chicago also came down, and we had a blast with her too!  We spent the first 3-4 days they were here focusing on Grandpa, getting his needs met, and getting him settled (new socks, clothes, and some 'home like' items like a bed spread).   But now that's mostly done, so we had fun! 

We've knocked out some projects like getting trellises up in the garden, and a baby shower present done (it's a crafty sort of one...).  My Mom and I also figured out the hardware for my my nightstand I built, and are going to get the fabric to line the inside tomorrow. 

Today, we had to return Grandpa's slippers for a bigger size.  We had to wait because the greater was helping someone else scan stuff for a return.  It was all baby stuff.  For a little boy.  She had a shower and got duplicates of several things. 

It reminded me that not to long ago, I was returning things to stores for a little boy too.  But for very different reasons.

It stung.

Damn it stung.

My Mom saw my eyes that were brimming with tears, and put her arm around me. 

I think about her.  They waited 17 years for me.  Seventeen years.  I've only waited a few, surely I can do it, I can make it.  But, I often think, I'm not nearly as strong as my Mom is.  She's an amazing woman, and a spectacular Mother. 

But still, it stung. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New Blog

So... this started out as a specifically 'infertility' journey.  But there is so much more that goes on in my life.  I'm an Air Force wife (which sometimes takes up more space then I would like it to).  I'm a daughter (what amazing parents who bytheway are coming to visit in THREE days!).  I'm a crafter (it's almost an obsession).   I'm also a builder of wood things...

So, I decided to do another blog that is just crafty projects.  I'll probably still mention them on here, but only show an 'end' picture.  I'll also post updated on our garden there.  So.... if that sounds like something you'd like to visit, come on over, and welcome to my 'other home'  5457 Whispering Hills!

And no, that's not my 'real' address.  It's a combo of all the places we've lived... to make a unique place we call home!