It all feels broken.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched, but are felt in the heart. - Helen Keller // LifeLoveandGarlic.com

This has been a tough year for me. There were certainly bright spots, but when I look back on it (at least right now) it’s full of dim, sharp, hurty things and I want nothing more than to fast forward my life to a time when it all just hurts a little less. I find myself begging for the days to pass, the weeks to fly and the months to blur together.

I’ve mentioned that we sold our house and lived with my in-laws & my mom for two months. What I may have left out is that right at the tail end of that my Dad died, on June 30, unexpectedly. He had been deteriorating for years, but for all intents and purposes he was stable. Until he wasn’t. We, also, had scheduled our move (without, obviously, knowing he would pass away) for 3 days later — starting July 3. To say that week was awful would be an immense understatement.

As the weeks wore on, the memorial passed and though still mourning, I was fighting my way through the fog. Christian and I decided that I would stop taking Clomid (helping us ovulate/conceive with my PCOS) for a couple of months since I was grieving, stressed and just not in the right frame of mind to be trying to get pregnant.

On August 27, Christian’s birthday, I found out — very unexpectedly — that I was pregnant (without drugs). It seems as if there would be a light at the end of this dark tunnel, after all. I immediately began having cramping (no bleeding) and very sore boobs, both of which I was reassured by the nurse at my OB/GYN office were normal.

It’s funny how finding out something like this quickly changes everything. Where would we put a nursery? What projects do we need to put on fast forward to get the house in a little better shape? What will maternity leave look like? Crap, I can’t go to one of my best friend’s weddings. Should I buy new dress pants or just wait until I need the maternity ones? What will I wear on our trip in November if I don’t fit in my clothes? Let’s talk about names. Let’s spend many, many, many hours researching pre-natal vitamins and stalking pregnancy boards on The Bump to feel even the slightest bit of pregnant camaraderie.

You get the idea. Our due date was initially set for May 3. I couldn’t wait. It was almost like having a school year baby — in in the fall, out in the spring.

After the initial positive test, I called my doctor to set up my 8 week appointment. September 23. I circled it on the calendar and methodically counted down the 26 days that would take to get there. Which, for the record, were the slowest 26 days of my life.

Christian took the afternoon off to go with me. We loaded up the car and drove to Parker (about 20 minutes from our house) where my doctor had moved her practice. After signing in, a urine sample and a short wait in the waiting room we were taken back for our first ultra sound and I couldn’t wait. My stomach was a mixture of nervous butterflies and knots — I wanted to see that little heart beat more than I wanted anything on this earth. As soon as the black and white images flashed on the screen I began searching for any sign of a heartbeat, any flicker.

I didn’t see one.

The tech told us she was going to check my ovaries, cervix etc. before circling back to the baby. But, I knew it wasn’t good. As she rounded back to the baby, you could tell. There was nothing resembling a heartbeat. She said she was very sorry, but that it appeared the baby had stopped growing about a week earlier and wasn’t showing a heartbeat.

All I could think was that she had to be wrong, this had to be wrong. How could the baby I prayed for, prayed over daily and wanted so badly just be gone? Not after the year I’ve had, there’s no way that this could really be happening. No possible way.

But, it was.

My doctor assured me that I hadn’t done anything to cause this, that most likely it was a chromosomal issue that my body hadn’t allowed to continue. After meeting with my doctor, I was sent home with Cytotec (to induce my miscarriage since my body hadn’t started on its own) as well as Percocet and Zofran to help combat the impending side effects of what was about to happen. That night, I sucked it up. We had family in town and my brother-in-law’s 30th birthday to celebrate. I went, I smiled, I broke apart on the inside.

Wednesday morning, after a good cry on the phone with one of my best friends, I made it to the office. Tried to hold it together and ended up leaving because all the emotions I was trying to hold in just wouldn’t be jailed any more and the sobs weren’t exactly conducive to a productive office environment.

I started the Cytotec Wednesday night — needing the uncertainty to end — thinking that maybe if I put the process of the miscarriage behind me rather than letting it linger I would feel better, less defeated. From what I’ve heard about miscarriage, there isn’t a good option – between DNC, “the pills” and trying to pass it naturally… no option seems to have much up on any of the others. The Cytotec induced labor like waves of cramping and a whole host of symptoms that had me very sick for the next four days. During that time I, also, had to go back in for a Rhogam shot due to Christian and I having different (negative vs. positive) blood types.

Passing your baby at home, no matter how small, is nothing I would wish on anyone…miscarriage is nothing I would wish upon anyone.

My follow-up appointment was the next Tuesday — I still had more to “pass”, but it appeared that “the pills” had done their job. I had hoped that I would feel better and more on the mend. But, I don’t. I feel more defeated, frightened and heartbroken than ever. I’m trying to process, trying to find things in my control, all without much avail.

This baby made me a Mom, though I will never get to hold my baby, watch it grow — I will always cherish the time I got to spend carrying him/her and know that we’ll be reunited one day. And, truthfully, this is what I’m holding on to and what is helping me push through.

I’m sharing this because I was blindsided by my miscarriage and felt/feel very isolated by what has happened. Miscarriage is extremely common, possibly in upwards of 1 in 4 pregnancies. Personally, I didn’t know anyone that had shared their miscarriage story, that could fully understand what I was feeling, what I was grieving. Miscarriage is something a lot of people don’t talk about – it’s hard, it’s grief, it’s uncomfortable. But, it happens and we shouldn’t be ashamed, we shouldn’t hide it in our hearts, we need to be open to talking about it.

Today, October 15, is Infant Loss and Remembrance Day. This post isn’t something I’m super comfortable putting out there, but if it makes even one person feel less alone, then it’s worth it. 

Year 3.

2014-10-03_1020

Three years ago today I woke up to a snow storm, put on the prettiest dress I’ll ever wear  and said I do to the man that I’m lucky enough to get to spend the rest of my life with.

::I get to kiss him goodbye each morning — even if I am wearing an eye mask (and, ear plugs too).
::I get to send him ridiculous emoticon messages throughout the day — even if I know it will be received with a smirk and a head shake.
::I get to hide my head in his shoulder when movies get too scary — even if the movies aren’t really very scary (re: Hunger Games).
::I get to splurge on my strict food rules without nary a second glance — even if I, also, did it the night before and the night before that.
::I get to be asked, kindly, “If I’m feeling alright” — even if that usually means I’m being a royal brat.
::I get to be tucked in when I’m sick — even when I’m highly contagious and moaning like a dying woodland creature.
::I get to be told, regularly, that we’re in this together, forever and that his love is unwavering — even when things we never wished for bubble up.
::I get to yell and scream and cry and forgive and be forgiven — even when it was totally all my fault.
::I get to test my kitchen creations on him – even the ones I claim are “cheesy” but don’t have even a teaspoon of dairy.
::I get to know in my heart of hearts that we were meant to be – even in the moments where life is too ridiculous to notice.

Happy anniversary handsome pants. There’s no one I would rather be in this with, than you. I love you.

Currently.

Oh Lawdy – it’s been a bit. With that said, here’s a shot at what my life looks like, currently:

Currently

Currently Reading: I’m going back and forth between “The 19th Wife” by David Ebershoff (Whoa, roller coaster of emotions) and “A Thousand Acres” by Jane Smiley — both of which, at this point, I highly recommend.

Currently Listening: Technically I’m listening to “The 19th Wife” — via Overdrive & my local library. Have you heard of Overdrive… because if not, look into it RIGHT NOW. Free audio books directly on my phone? Yes, please.

Currently Indulgence: It’s my birthday this weekend and I’ve had a very real craving for Funfetti cake (which I haven’t had in years).  I might also have some ice cream cake at some point… probably, certainly, definitely.

Current Nail Color: None — my sister-in-law and I invested in a gel nail system which has been fun, but I’ve let my nails “air out” for the last month or so!

Current Drink: Mostly water and green tea with jasmine. I’ve been addicted to this green tea, specifically, and could drink unlimited cups.

Current Food: We had stir-fry for dinner. Brown rice, bok choy, bell pepper, onions, steak + sauce for dinner. My impromptu, throw it together, meals have been top-notch lately.

Current Favorite TV Show: It seems like Christian and I go through phases with shows. We started the summer out binge watching New Girl and now we’ve killed three seasons of Fringe (we just started season four and I’m already sad knowing that it ends after season 5).

Current Wish List: New shoes. I’ve worn the same style of nude, Steve Madden flats (these, actually) for the past two years. I’ve gone through 4 pairs because I wear them everyday. I’m thinking that I probably need to mix it up, but sticking with my tried and true pair just seems easier. (Plus, they go with everything — or at least I think they go with everything.)

Current Needs: More time — isn’t this what everyone says? Working out, prepping meals, writing, cleaning the house, walking the dogs, spending time with Christian, spending time with family and friends, trying to make our house (with ugly blue carpet) a home… you get the picture. It’s busy and I could use a couple more hours a day.

Current Thoughts: That this has been a pretty crappy summer — which I might go into a later date. Due to a semi-crappy June and completely awful July, I feel like 2/3’s of the summer have just slipped through my fingers and I can feel the frigid temperatures from the season that shall not be mentioned inching their way closer to reality. Does that sound dramatic? It feels dramatic, but also true.

Currently Anticipating: Crossfit. I’ve been going pretty religiously, three times a week, since February (whoop, whoop – 6 month mark). On the days I go, I either dread or excitedly await the 5:30 start time. On the days I don’t go, I sort of (sickly) wish I did or could. Also, we’re having a birthday WOD tomorrow… I have no idea what’s in store (just praying, hoping, pleading that there aren’t any double unders).

Current Blessing: That we have a home. We moved in July 4 – which was one of the most supremely miserable weeks of my entire life, thus far. I was hoping that moving into our new home would be fun and exciting, instead it was draining, stressful and couldn’t have happened at a rougher time.

Current Bummer: That summer is going so quickly — whaaaa. <—- for the record, that’s my crying big, pathetic tears of sadness for the quick passing of my favorite time of year.

Current Outfit: Nothing attractive. A black running skort, pink sports bra and forest green ribbed tank top. Bare feet. A fashionista, this summer, I am not.

That’s it — I can’t say that I’m pulling out all the exciting stops or doing anything CRAZY. Frankly, I’m taking it day-by-day knowing that things will eventually get better.

Let’s chat, over a cup of tea.

Things have been changing in casa de Stecker and we’ve been busy bees the past couple months.

So, I thought, instead of keeping all this business to myself,  I’d rather make myself a cup of tea (you should make yourself one too), curl up on the couch with a blanket (because it actually snowed – A LOT – here this week) and have a little girl to girl chat.

On The House:

We worked our tails off this past year to get our house just where we want it (beautiful backyard, new granite counters, painted cabinets, fresh paint (almost everywhere), newly tiled bathrooms, new vanities, new hardwood floors/stairs….. the list could go on). And then, about a two months ago, we decided to sell. The housing market in south Denver is really hot right now (I’m talking really hot) and we would be able to get much more than we bought it for. I’ve never loved our house and even though we’d put hours upon hours (and lots of $$$) into this little abode, it felt right to try to find a place that truly felt like home.

We listed it on a Friday, had 40 showings in 36 hours, received 8 offers and after 7 hours sitting at a table evaluating all the options, we went with one that was significantly over the asking price with no closing costs, no contingencies and they even agreed to pay the difference if the appraisal came in under the purchase price. Talk about a dream scenario, right?

It all closed 3 weeks ago and we still don’t have a new place to land, which means we’re living with parents. The benefits are pretty great — dinner at night, no yard work and always having someone to watch movies with. Turns out that it is weird to not have all your stuff and to feel a bit like you’re on vacation – or a guest – all the time.

We’re extremely thankful that we have family to stay with and are doing just about everything, including crossing fingers, praying, and non-stop refreshing the search screen in hopes that we’ll find our new home soon.

Boston:

The last week of April/First Week of May we went to Boston and Newport, Rhode Island for a wedding. I’d never been before and the overall verdict (and probably predictable answer from me) is that they have delicious food. I mean, really, what were you expecting me to say? Lobster rolls, clam chowder, entire Italian neighborhoods, restaurants dedicated to chocolate alone — must a say more? I’m gaining weight just thinking about it.

If the food was the highlight (which it was) then I’d have to say that the weather was the overall bummer. I was wearing 4 layers and was still fighting to stay warm — hello humid, windy, frigid weather. I’d say that Boston was about a month behind Denver as far as their “spring” was concerned and I’m now in desperate need of a HOT, beach vacation.

In Boston we toured Fenway, walked the freedom trail (and stopped for a tour of the bell tower and, get this, the crypt of the Old North Church), completed the fastest ever run through tour of Harvard, meandered through Beacon Hill and spent the rest of the time just taking it all in. And, eating. Ahem.

In Rhode Island we toured 5 of the BIG, BIG, BIG summer cottages (re: built by the Vanderbilts and other high society folks before there was income or property tax) — one of them was 138,000 square feet. Think about that for a minute. I’ll wait.

We, also, did a tour of “servant life” which made my Downton Abbey loving soul so happy. Our tour guide was up on the Downton Abbey lingo & characters which made the tour even more fun — highly recommended.

At the end of the trip we attended the wedding we went out there for, it was beautiful (albeit cold) and we were so glad we got to be there!

Queen Bed: 

As I mentioned above, we’re living with parents (currently Christian’s parents). In our home, we have a King Bed. We’re both 6′ and over, which means we (and by we I mean “I”) prefer to have more room to thrash around in attempts at falling asleep.

When we moved in with the parentals, we shifted to a Queen size. It’s been an adjustment and I’m proud to announce that I’ve only hit Christian in the face one. He may or may not complain that I leave him only six inches of room, but I say that without proof he doesn’t have a case.

Summer:

I hesitate to even talk about this. Because, you see, I’ve been trying to slow down time… and the very mention of the word summer might speed things up to a pace that it will pass and I won’t even have had time to enjoy it. KnowwhatImean?

Warm spring days/Summer/Warm fall days are my favorite and I’m doing my very best to savor each and every second… I might even have to make a summer bucket list to make sure that I cross of all the “must-do” items for the next three months? Anything in particular I should add to the hypothetical list?

Sigh, tell me that I’m not the only one willing pool days, sun tea and flip-flops to linger as long as possible this year.

What’s going on with you these days? What would you tell me over a cup of tea?

So, It’s been a while.

Cough, it’s been a while. For real.

I started the year out posting regularly and then right after that last post on PCOS I just stopped caring. Which, for the record, isn’t the norm around here. Usually there’s at least some level of guilt associated with not posting (right up with “things I should be doing, but am not”). But, not this time… no guilt, not even a real sense of freedom.

Maybe it’s because I’m dealing with some things that I’d rather let play out on a private stage before releasing them to the never-ending time capsule that is the internet? Maybe it’s the stress of moving, selling a house and finding ourselves living with our parents because the real estate market in Colorado is IN-FREAKING-SANE at best. (Also, living with parents has some serious perks). Maybe.

Either way, it’s a new thing for me. This waning urge to spatter my thoughts out on a blank canvas read by strangers (and non-strangers). I don’t know where that puts me, if it leaves me here or somewhere else entirely.

If you do still stop by on occasion, I’m here. I just don’t know what I’m doing. (Which, really, do I ever?)

 

PCOS: An Update.

*[Word to the wise, there will be a lot of talk about periods, ovaries and other such things – feel free to skip this if that isn’t your cup of tea.]

I’ve had it on my mind to write an update on this whole PCOS thing for months now. Each time I sit down to write about where I’m at, what I’m feeling, what I know and where I’m going… I just clam up. I don’t know how to adequately put it all into words – the ups that make me feel like this is all just pretend, a flash in the pan – the downs that leave me swirling, scared and anxious.

In case you missed the first post on my diagnosis, you can read it here

When I left off last August, my main goal was to try and work on treating the PCOS naturally. Now, when I said “treating it” I meant more specifically that I would be working to balance my hormones enough to have children in the not so distant future. There are, of course, the long-term repercussions of this illness that I should probably be working towards as well.

Side note: what do you call it? An illness, a disorder, a sickness, a problem? I don’t even know.

This past fall, I started working out (sporadically) and really tried to clean up my eating. I’d go in spurts of extreme strictness to barreling toward a gluten-filled cheesy pizza at warp speed. The bottom line is that I wasn’t consistent. For every salad I’d pile high with chopped veggies, I’d snarf through a piece of rum cake. It wasn’t pretty.

Initially, I set a deadline of Jan. 1. If things weren’t moving in the direction I wanted (re: weight loss, resumed period etc.) then I would look at going on Metformin after meeting with my doctor. As January 1 neared, I realized that the month of Christmas cookies wasn’t doing me any favors and I decided to push back my “deadline” to January 31. I hopped on the Whole 30 train and busted my butt to eat cleaner than I ever had for 30 days. I succeeded and ended up losing 12 lbs.

——

On the period front…

I had my first, natural period right after Thanksgiving. This was a BIG WIN and as much as it sucked, I felt lucky that things seemed to be getting back to normal. Then December came and right along with it came the absence of my period which felt like a BIG FAIL and a reminder that things weren’t really headed in the right direction.

As I rounded the end of the Whole 30 challenge, I got my second natural period in a little over a year — January 22, to be specific. But, here we are in March with nary another visit from Aunt Flo — so I’m not sure where that leaves me.

——

At the end of January, I scheduled an appointment with my lady doctor and went in fully intending to start Metformin the next day. They had prescribed it to me in August and I figured that they would just continue with the current plan, even though we were starting 6 months later. I can’t tell you the number of nights I laid in bed researching Metformin, the results I could expect, other people’s stories… instead of sleeping, I devoured any and all information that would give me hope that Metformin was the solution.

That’s why I was surprised to hear from my doctor that they had changed the protocols for fertility with PCOS to skip completely over Metformin. All of the build up, anticipation and hopeful certainty — gone. In it’s place Clomid and a discussion on what that means for my chance at having multiples. Say what? The odds are 7% for twins and less than 1% for triplets and more. God help us all if that happens — my Mom (or Christian’s parents) will most certainly have to move in to help me maintain my sanity.

My instructions, leaving the office, that day were this:

1.) Make an appointment with Sally Jobe for genetic counseling — due to the high occurrence of cancer in my family, there’s a slight chance that Clomid will increase my risk of cancer (in addition to the increased risk with PCOS) and I needed to discuss testing with the counselor.

2.) Buy LH ovulation test strips — her exact words were, “might as well spy on what’s happening in there”.

3.) Pick up your prescription for Clomid.

4.) Begin taking in on day 4 of your next period (day 1 being the first day with heavy bleeding) — if I didn’t have a period within the next few weeks I was supposed to call and they’d prescribe Provera to jump start things.

5.) Stay on a slightly more relaxed version of Whole 30.

As soon as February 1 hit, my Whole 30 ended and the start of “must eat all things I was deprived of for the past 30 days” commenced. There was pizza, there was mashed potatoes, there was cake. It was glorious and, also, stomach ache inducing.

I’ve spent the last 1.5 months trying to navigate a “healthier” and yet less restrictive way of eating. The good news is that I haven’t gained back all the weight I lost, but the bad news is that I did gain back a little and have eaten horribly in the interim.

So, that’s where I am. This post was actually started about a month ago (takes me forever to spill these things out) so I have more updates (Sally Jobe, Provera, Clomid and more that I’ll find time to post about in the next couple weeks). But for now, that’s at least an update!

March Favorites.

My March Favorites

Here are five things I’m loving this month!

1.) My sisters-in-law gave me this Tiny Hands Body Butter Bar from Lush two Christmases ago… and it finally surfaced. At first, I thought it was soap, but when it didn’t suds up in the shower I ended up doing a little research to figure out what exactly it was. Now that I know it’s a body butter bar I can’t keep my hands off it. I more or less force anyone that comes over to try it and so far they’re addicted to. I’m straight up in love this product.

2.) This Jasmine Romance green tea came to me via a BirchBox sample a few months ago. After one sip I found myself on Amazon ordering a case — yes, I’m serious. If you love green tea + jasmine, I promise that you won’t be disappointed.

3.) Now that I’m working out regularly (thank you Crossfit), these workout Capri’s from Costco have become my go-to pair. They’re tight, but forgiving, slimming but supportive and just the right fit for me. I always feel a little twinge of disappointment when they’re dirty. I have “nicer” workout bottoms, but these out do them every time. (note: I can’t find a link to where you can buy them, currently. Costco is selling the pant version… hopefully they’ll bring the capris back this summer!)

4.) If you haven’t heard of or tried the EOS lipbalm, you might be living under a rock. They’re everywhere and I’ve been on the bandwagon for several years. This sweet mint flavor is my favorite, followed by summer fruit. They’re cute, they smell delicious and they’re über moisturizing. Yum.

5.) Christian and I use Vega protein powders (and sometimes SunWarrior). They’re vegan and pretty darn delicious. This protein smoothie mix, though, takes the cake. It’s chocolate-y, it’s smooth (he he smoothie, get it?), it’s delicious.

Finally Friday.

It's ok to be happy with a calm life.

Whoa there. Friday? Are you sure it’s Friday? I was pretty convinced that yesterday was Friday and that didn’t turn out, at all, the way I had hoped. Not at all. 

You can, then, understand why I’m a little less enthusiastic about “this” Friday. Turns out having two “Fridays” in a row makes it feel just the tiniest bit less special. Also, I was probably spoiled from the 3-day President’s Day weekend and subsequent 4-day work week last week. Back to a full five days feels like some sort of  joke!

Anyways. Enough about that.

This week had all kinds of good packed in. Here’s a glimpse, via list-form:

1.) Denver Restaurant Week — we tried Vesta Dipping Grill & Oceanaire, have you ever been to either?
2.) Nuggets Game — they lost to the Trailblazers… it was a fun game, but seems to be the story of the season.
3.) Crossift — I can’t fully straighten my left arm, but at least I finished (even if it was last).
4.) Bathroom Remodel — because we can’t go long without tearing something else up, we’re onto the bathrooms.

That about sums it up! This weekend, in addition to the hoping for warm weather, we’re watching my Mom’s golden retriever, Joe — he’ll be having a little doggie vacation at our house. On Friday we’re having dinner with family, then on Saturday we’re Crossfitting and painting numerous rooms around the house (re: basement & bathrooms). We, also, made an appointment with a Realtor for Sunday. Part of me thinks it’s time to move on (since I never loved this house to begin with) and another part of me feels like we finally got the house in beautiful shape… then we leave just to start it all over again. Tis life, yes?

What are you up to this weekend? How’s the weather in your part of the country?

Here are my finds from around the interwebs this week:

This is the favorite from the entire week — I’ve even pulled it up on my phone twice to show it to people (since I can’t stop blathering about it)… Did you ever watch the Thornberry’s growing up? Well I did. And, this story of a French little girl who grew up in Africa and befriended wild animals is pretty much the epitome of my childhood dreams come true. Trust me, after reading this you won’t be able to stop thinking about it. Side note: She’s standing on a crocodile — are you kidding me?

It’s no secret that I’m tall. Almost 6′ tall, in fact. These 34 things every tall girl can relate to was spot on — especially #:   . If you’re short — they have an even longer list for you too!

It’s, also, no secret that I love my dogs. Or fur-babies, if you will. That’s why this list of 15 signs that you’re an overly obsessed dog lover really hit it out of the park. I can firmly agree with #’s: .

Do you love Costco as much as I do? Pretzel bread (swoon), lemon cakes (drool), cases of bacon (shout for joy). Sometimes, when shopping, I do wonder if I’m actually saving any money buying in bulk (the addition of all the impulse buys — cough, cook book, cough, workout pants — probably don’t help). But, now, I have a great list on what “real food” items are actually cheaper at Costo. This means that I can purchase with confidence.

Life is messy. Sometimes that messy comes with four kids, a husband, rats and a house that’s falling down. Rebecca’s writing is so honest, eloquent and impossible to stop reading.

My Mom is my best friend — I rarely go a day without talking to her at least once (and sometimes it’s even more). So, in the spirit of sharing the Motherly love — here are 30 signs your mother is the best person in your life. I can agree to *almost* all of these. I sure do love that lady.

*Image Source: Melody Ross.

That Time I Tried Crossfit.

Mid-January, in the midst of my Whole 30 and the 2014 Coldmageddon, I decided that Christian and I needed a big SHAKE-UP to our workout routine. There was little appeal when it came to inserting yet another Jillian Michaels DVD into the player after work each night, and forcing myself to turn on the treadmill was all but impossible. Affording a personal trainer was out of the question, joining 24 Hour or Lifetime felt pointless since we have free rec centers (if only I’d use them) in Highlands Ranch. So, what’s a girl to do.

I’ll tell you what she did do. On a whim and the spurring of a Groupon deal, I bought both Christian and I a one-month membership (and Foundations classes) at a Crossfit box by our house. Over the years I’ve had friends, boyfriends of friends and blogs I follow get really into Crossfit, but the cost and intensity always dissuaded me from giving it a try. But, that day, there must have been something in the air because I hit “purchase” without a second thought.

Fast forward a few weeks… We were signed up for “Foundations” which consisted of 2 hours of training on Saturday and 1 hour of training on Sunday. The overarching feelings leading up to that training included: excitement, fear and sheer intimidation. For heaven’s sake, I can’t even do a girl-style push-up, how the hell was I going to do whatever they had in store for me.

You may not believe me when I say I can’t do a girl-style push-up… you may even think, “Come on, you can do at least one — you’re on your knees after all!”. But, alas, I cannot. Not a one. I’d post a video, but I don’t need that proof of shame following me around for all of internet eternity… only to surface years down the road. Nope, I do not need that.

Lone Tree Crossfit

We showed up at 11:00 and there were four other “newbies” ready (or at least pretending to be ready) to take on whatever they threw at us. Turns out, those first two hours can be summed up with one word.

SQUATS. 

Followed by MORE SQUATS. 

There were plain squats, squats with a PVC pipe, squats with a bar, squats with a bar + weights, different versions of squats with a bar… squats, squats, squats, squats. At least 1.5 hours of squats.

Now, I may fully admit to push-up shame, but I’m no wimp when it comes to squatting. You want my butt touching my ankles, no problem. You want me to crank out 100? Again, no problem. You want me to do them for 1.5 hours with weights… yes, there’s a problem. But, I muscled through each move all the while fighting the urge to sit on the floor and play with my shoe laces.

Lone Tree Cross Fit

After the squatting portion (the majority of class) was complete, we headed over the pull-up bars. [cue laughter]

We were taught proper form, what kipping looked like and how to complete knees to elbows and toes to bar… all things that had my inner “can’t do a push-up girl” just about peeing her pants from laughing at the prospect.

Then, it was go time. Being rather tall, I had to jump up to the highest bar and work on flailing my curvaceous frame around. With each swing, my legs flopped and based on the feedback of our coach I was at least, sort of, doing what I was supposed to be doing. Turns out, praise gives me a big head. I swung a little harder, pushed myself more… and … then… I fell off the push-up bar, twisted my ankle and found myself with some seriously scraped up knees.

Guess I have a little work to do.  Ahem.

That mostly sums up day one. Which leads us to Sunday — the second portion of our Foundations Class.

As Christian I drove to the box on Sunday morning, we discussed what we thought we’d be doing. “Surely it won’t be more squats, right? RIGHT?”

Lone Tree Cross Fit

Turns out we were wrong. (You had to see that coming, yes?) We worked on Olympic lifting, which, again, has some level of squatting for most moves. Sunday can then be summed up by eight words:

Squatting while lifting a bar over our heads. 

By Monday morning, I needed help getting out of bed and made a slew of attractive noises each time I had to get out of my chair at work. The handicap stall was my friend in the bathroom and it would be accurate to say that I walked with a waddle. There were places on my body that I didn’t even know could be sore — but they most surely were. My abs over my uterus hurt. My side-boob region hurt. The back of my armpits hurt. All these little areas in conjunction with my quads, hamstrings, shoulders… (you get the idea). If it’s a muscle, it hurt. Bad.

Christian and I aren’t quitters… so we signed ourselves up for classes over the next couple of weeks, which we completed, barely (burpees are my new arch nemesis). And, so, the verdict: Crossfit is perfect for what I need now. I need the motivation, the changing up of our workout routines and something to push me further than I’ll push myself… even if it means being yelled at to lift more, go faster and stop being a complete pansy.

Have you tried Crossfit? Would you try Crossfit?

Julep Maven Subscription Box.

Over the past year, I’ve become a bit of a subscription box addict. It all started with Birchbox, then Stitchfix and now the Julep Maven box.

Snail mail is my favorite kind and the anticipation of receiving a box full of surprise goodies each month is so hard for me to turn down. I hadn’t heard of Julep until recently when a couple of the fashion blogs I follow started mentioning it. Then, via creepy Google advertising (simultaneously great and stalkerish) their ads kept popping up several times per day and it turns out that I’m a marketers dream… because I took their online quiz and ended up as “Classic with a Twist”. I clicked through to see the other options and ended up ordering the originally suggested box.

Taking a sneak peek into other bloggers monthly boxes is something I love, so I thought I’d share mine.  After ordering, the box came a few days later… with good packaging I might add.

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This month, there were two nail polishes:

-Myrtle

-Zora

A cuticle serum and nail buffing blocks.

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There was a free code: FREEBOX (feel free to try it and see if it’s still working), so I only had to pay the $3.99 in shipping (what’s the harm in that). I’ve painted my nails two different times with each of the colors and have loved the consistency and color of the polish. The only down-side I’ve come across is that the bottles tip easily since they’re designed to be so slender.

Also, I didn’t love the cuticle serum… but you win some you lose some.

If you’re curious, I’d say it’s absolutely worth the $3.99 to try it out and, honestly, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for February. To sign up for Julep (or to browse around their site, you can click here!