Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tales of TTC {part one}

...anyone know what that means? 

Trying To Conceive   
{let’s see just how many acronyms I can squeeze into one post, shall we?!}

…before you read any further, let me warn you that this may be is TMI, so feel free to close this window if you are going to judge me uninterested or disgusted…

If you’ve been reading Home is Where the Heart is for longer than three months you know a little bit of the journey we’ve been on this year {if not, take a look back to catch up}; this year has been ups and downs and everything in between.  Like many women, I was told this year that it will be difficult for me to become pregnant.  Not something a woman ever wants to hear.  I have been diagnosed with PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome {acronym count=three}.   PCOS causes a woman’s ovaries to develop small cysts which prevent mature eggs from being released, thus preventing a woman from becoming pregnant.  The picture below shows the difference in a healthy ovary and a PCOS ovary. 

PCOS also causes weight gain, acne and hair growth…loads of lovely things.  

I have been very fortunate with the weight gain and hair growth, but the acne was one of the first symptoms I suffered from—even before the lack of period.  In fact, this summer I didn’t even want to be in a bathing suit because my back was covered in acne!  Friends and family assured me it “wasn’t that bad”, but to me it was horrendous!  The dermatologist put me on some medication to ease symptoms but they never went away completely.  It was after almost two months sans period and multiple BFN, or big fat negative on a pregnancy test {acronym count=four}, that I realized I better go see another doctor.  A few blood tests, one sonogram and a trip to an endocrinologist later, I was diagnosed with PCOS and put on metformin to treat the symptoms.  Metformin decreases the symptoms by increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin and will sometimes cause the menstrual cycles to normalize.  Its one of the few main treatments for PCOS and the only one to use if you're TTC.  The others include birth control pills and another testosterone blocker, neither of which could obviously be used while TTC.
So where does this leave us? 

Needless to say, it currently leaves us without a baby…but also leaves us very hopeful because we have a diagnosis and a treatment plan.   I have been on Metformin for almost four months now and will continue to be on this medicine until we get a BFP, or Big Fat POSITIVE {fifth acronym…is this a record?!}!!! 

Do you know anyone who suffers from PCOS?  It can be a very confusing diagnosis because some people are a little fuzzy on the details…some people think you have to be obese or you have to have had irregular periods your entire adult life.  Truth is, PCOS, like many illnesses, comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, so to speak. Share your thoughts, ask questions...the best way to get answers is to ask the questions.  The main reason I even posted this is so others with PCOS may find it and know they are not alone!

...stay tuned for more...this is a marathon not a sprint!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ornament Swap!

I was feeling bold this year and participated in not one, but TWO swaps :) making up for lost time all the years I haven't join in!!

My real partner kind of went MIA so I was fortunate to have sweet Julie swap with me instead...and boy, am I glad she did!  Love, love, love the sweet ornament she sent my way!  You can read more about the swap and what I sent her way the meantime, check out this adorable ornament, and the adorable pup who can't resist a photo opp! 

Thanks again, Julie!!  XO

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Very Bloggy Christmas {Swap}

This was my first time doing a Christmas swap and I had so much fun shopping for Maria at Our Picture Perfect! She has the cutest family and is such a sweet girl... 
You can read about what fun goodies I sent her way here the meantime I want to mention the adorable things she got for me!

 Look at these cute lollipops and soap!  I love fun holiday ANYthing, and these look great in our half bath :) 

 If there is one thing I can't live without it's a calendar!  I love this pink pocket planner & weekly fridge planner.  I hope to use the weekly fridge planner for my meal planner [finally]!

 MMMM, coffee!! I love this travel mug :)

 Last, but certainly not least, she sent this little set of Hope goodies (journal, pen, notepad & cards) which I will get a lot of use out of! 

Thanks for swapping, Maria!  You were so much fun to shop for :)))

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday phone dump...

FACT: I take 95% more pictures on my phone than I do on my camera. 

Below are some fun/funny/adorable/sweet pictures I've taken over the last few weeks.  None of them will be life changing, but all will help me remember some special moments.  

This Thanksgiving I ran my first 10K with BL... he was so encouraging and fun to run with, even if I did run at half the pace he would have liked! 

I like to call this one "guitar hero coma" ...

Little demon doggie... 
He is actually sweet as can be but the flash does something crazy to his eyes...

Black Friday.  My Daddy was the very first person in line at Home Depot...true story, he had an employee come open the door 45 minutes before they opened, took his list and was his personal shopper before the doors even opened.  When he walked in at 6:00am, his buggy sat there filled with every single thing on his list.  How about that for customer service?! 

Little baby Westin ... all mommy wants is a silent night. 

Look at these two cuties hamming it up for the White Christmas app on my phone: 

Ok, that is all for now.  Hope you're all having a super Friday!

PS--my work Christmas party is tonight & it's a 'tacky Christmas party'!  Can't wait to share pictures :)))

Monday, November 28, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Very First Giveaway....WINNER!!

I had 22 entries for the Mwana blanket giveaway!  Thank you for taking time to see what Mwana is all about...don't forget to visit Brooke's ETSY shop to get a blanket of your very own (or one to share with a mom or baby in your life)! I know Brooke has been sewing up a storm so keep checking back for updated looks...

Now on to the winner....

Congratulations to Ashley at Hutson Happenings for winning your very own Mwana blanket :) 

I think it's safe to say I know how to reach you to give you your winnings....

Hope you all had a safe & blessed Thanksgiving!  I will be back tomorrow to share some of my holiday...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Last Day To Enter!

Be sure to visit my giveaway by 5:00pm EST today!!  

 One lucky reader will have their very own Mwana blanket and give one to a child in need in Africa :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday [8]

Today is Thurday, which leads to Thankful Thursday

...but more importantly, today is one of my nephew's birthday so I am going to focus the theme of my list on my nieces and all know how I love themed lists!! The beauty of this list is that it reminds me that it's really the little things in life that matter!  To them I am Chrissi, Aunt Sis, Aunt Cwissi, Auntie Chrissi...many variations, all melt my heart.  Not being able to have kids of our own right now has given me an opportunity to shower these kids with lots of love and attention...God is so good :) 

Without further ado, here is what I am thankful for today:

[1] first off, the birthday boy...I am thankful for him poking me on Tuesday night and saying "Sis!" I love that he calls me by name now!!
[2] even though these kiddos are far away from me, I love having extended neices and nephews to love on through my other half...just look at those smiles!

[3] I am thankful for these three cuties...AJ, Jr and Natalie (the tiniest members of our wedding party) they are all seriously growing up too fast for their own good.  
[4, 5, 6] I am thankful for the new babies born this year, giving us (on my side) #7, #8 & #9!!
Charlotte "Charli" (April): 

Henry (May):

Westin (born this week!):

[7] Thankful for this little one who told his daddy he wanted to "play Barbies with Chrissi" this week!  I also want to make sure it's documented to show him later that he wanted to play Barbies with me ;) Colton is too sweet for words...and also quite hilarious!

[8] Little Tinsley, the only girl in the Hutson bunch...I am so thankful for your smile and thankful that you will give my sister a chance to paint someone's nails in that house ;) You make your momma (and us too!) so happy!

[9] Thankful for living near over half of the kiddos above so I can love on them often!! 

[10] Not a niece or nephew, but so thankful for both sets of parents who made such an impact on our lives and who have taught us all how to love so that we can share love with all of these kiddos and invest in their lives.  Blessed is an understatement! 

What are you thankful for? 

Don't forget to enter my Mwana Giveaway, and make it a great day!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Very First Giveaway!!

I am beyond thrilled to host my very first giveaway for something that is backed by so much meaning, love and generosity!  

Mwana | Share Warmth is a budding new company with a lot of giving power and I am certain we're going to see a huge impact because of it.  I am friends with the founder of Mwana and can personally attest to her heart for Africa and her love of God's children around the world!  Here is a little blurb from Brooke's ETSY Shop:

At Mwana, our vision is to make a difference for the children of Africa. A visit to the small village of Mgyawi in Malawi, Africa identified a specific need of its children—to receive shelter from the cold night. We are impassioned to help. You can too. For each Mwana blanket purchased, an additional blanket will be personally delivered to a child in need in Africa. Make a difference. Share Warmth.

So what's the giveaway?  A stunningly beautiful Mwana blanket, of course!  Each blanket is handcrafted from plush, 100% cotton designer fabric, and for the blanket you receive, another will be given to a child in Africa. 

Here's how to enter: 
  1. 'like' Mwana | Share Warmth on Facebook (come back here to tell me)
  2. add the Mwana | Share Warmth ETSY page to your favorites (come back here to tell me)
  3. blog about this giveaway (and send me the link)
  4. tweet about this giveaway (make sure to include @chrissig in your tweet!)
  5. become a Home Is Where The Heart Is follower (or let me know you're already one)

That gives each of you up to five chances to win :)
The winner will be selected one week from today: November 23 at 5:00pm EST

But wait, that's not all...from now until the giveaway closes on November 23 you'll receive 10% off of your Mwana purchases on ETSY by entering in the code: SHARE10. That's a whole week to load up on some great blankets for yourself or for Christmas gifts, and you'll be sharing warmth with those you love and around the world.  

Make it a great day friends! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hunger Games

Great book series which I am extremely hopeful will be a fabulous movie series as well....
Hunger Games

The first trailer that came out was such a tease and just involved a girl (Katniss) running through the woods.  Meaningful, yes, but lame none-the-less because I wanted more!  Luckily for me, a much longer and more wonderful trailer came out yesterday....

If you haven't, go check out the books.  I promise they will be easy reads and will not disappoint.  Keep in mind, however, these are not warm fuzzy books.  They have sweet storylines throughout, but not your typical feel good novel.  Just saying. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday [7]

I am off to run a half marathon this weekend and want to focus my thankful heart on my run!

[1] thankful for legs which work well most of the time and will carry me across the finish line
[2] thankful for friends and family who run with and support me
[3] thankful for asthma decreasing over the years and making something like this possible
[4] thankful for a beautiful city like Savannah for hosting a Rock & Roll Run!
[5] thankful for time off of work to enjoy my hubby and family down at the beach
[6] thankful for Asics ... best shoes for my running style!
[7] thankful for my sister Elizabeth who got me on this whole running kick in the first place!
[8] thankful for cute running outfits which make me feel cuter while I run
[9] thankful for Gu ... not my fave but oh-so needed by about mile 9
[10] lastly, I am thankful for this beautiful life, where I am able to do such things and travel freely to run where I please...

What are you thankful for today?  Go on over to Curious Georgi and link up!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Phone Dump

I've been meaning to do this for a while, and it's about time I pull the trigger...or just hit 'send' on the email to get these pics off my phone! 

This is my favorite little snout out the window!  Love me some Guster!! 

Although we were two weeks late, we did eat a slice of our wedding cake.  It was surprisingly yummy :) I love cake almost as much as my husband

BL says this to me all the time when I talk too fast or too much...haha!  I clipped it from a newspaper headline and now post it to see at work everyday :)

Not ashamed to admit that after every long run on the weekends, my first stop is Mickey D's for some tea...  Guilty pleasure well-earned after running 11 miles!! 
This weekend I was in Chicago for work, but made time to go stand 103 floors above ground at the (newly renamed) Willis Tower.  I was so brave, until I stood there for about 10 seconds, then become suddenly freaked!  

Obsessed with this new nail polish...the pic doesn't do it justice.  I am usually very brand loyal to OPI, but a good sale at Ulta brought me this baby.

On a side note, I've changed all of these photos with the iPhone app Instagram.  Love this app!  If you have an iPhone, make sure you download this :) Sorry if I am totally behind the times and you all already have this app!  I'm a brand new iPhone user, folks!

Make it a great day friends!