I Don't Know What I Expected

I mean who really gets pregnant on their first month of prometrium?

Apparently I thought I would. (Even knowing I was out of town for about half of my fertile days).

Yep. Stupid. I know.

I think the worst part is this BB that I get every. single. month. for about 5 days before CD1 finally gets around to showing up.

So for the next 5 days I get to be reminded that CD1 is coming. No chance to even get my hopes up.

Except that I did get my hopes up.

Yep. Stupid. I know.


Why I Need Football

Last Friday was spent with 60,000 of my closest friends. No, I wasn't out hitting the stores for the Black Friday sales. Instead, I spent the afternoon eating deep-fried turkey and chicken wings; homemade pepperoni rolls; buffalo chicken dip; and a whole table full of things I'm not eating any more as of yesterday. I drank beer and talked about things like offenses and defenses; records and rankings; coaches and players. I laughed and smiled and stressed out over important questions like: would our offensive line show and play well? And, oh my, what about our special teams? And, of course, could Coach Holgorsen be the first WVU Coach since 1903 to defeat Pitt in his first Backyard Brawl?

And then the game started. And it started ugly. And at one point all I could do, literally, was scream at the top of my lungs because of my frustration. I threw my hands up in the air in disgust, high-fived my new friends behind me in triumph, and covered my eyes every time we went out to receive a punt. I added cinnamon schnapps to my hot chocolate and wondered why we didn't bring more.

During half-time I sat with my arms crossed tightly and my lips sealed tight. I had nothing nice to say and decided it was best to keep my mouth shut. I always say that the stress of a WVU game is going to kill me and for a while Friday night as my knees felt week, my pulse pounded in my head, and my heart beat out of my chest I thought this was going to be the game that did it.

But our defense held the line. All. night. long. Stopping the Panthers each and every time, because it mattered most each. and. every. time. And as the game ended with the final score reading WVU 21 Pitt 20, and John Denver's 'Country Roads' started to play over the speakers at Mountaineer field, I linked arms with The Man and belted out Country Roads at the top of my lungs, complete with squeaks from raw vocal folds combined with tears, with those same 60,000 closest friends.

And it was in these moments that it hit me. That THIS, all of this, is why I need football in my life. I've always loved the game. My dad taught me the rules and the language from an early age. My best friends in high school were football players and other girls who loved the game as much as I did. And this is all important. But in the midst of the deepest heartache of our lives, football gives me the gift of 3 1/2 - 4 hours were I completely lose myself. I think of and worry about nothing related to me or The Man or the children we don't have. For these few hours it's not about me at all. Yes, I stress out like it is. Yes, if you were around me on game day you'd think I was actually playing IN the game. But when it comes down to it, whether the Mountaineers win or lose has nothing to do with me (but I will still continue to partake in all of my game day rituals, just in case).

This football season was hard for me to fall in love at first with because the start of it came the reminder of so many unrealized dreams and worries. But looking back, each weekend, for a few hours, I was given the gift of losing myself. I focused on the game and not the cute kids around us and felt like 'me.'

Football is my outlet. It is my release. It is where my brain finally shuts off and just lives 100% in the moment. Yes, it is much better for all involved when the Mountaineers win. But truly, win or lose, I love this game. I love this team. And now, I have a new love of and appreciation for the gift I am given every Saturday in the fall when I am freed from myself. It is in all of this that lies the answer to how I get through days like the ultrasound I described yesterday. And now, I understand it. I understand why I get upset and anxious when something threatens to interfere with my football watching.

Some people craft; others, like The Man, turn their music up real loud; others find this release in prayer; others find it in exercise; and still others in art. I find it in the game of football.



I've tried to find the words to describe what it was like to have the transvag.inal ultrasound done a couple of weeks ago. They've been in my head and heart, but it wasn't until talking with Alison the other night that I finally was able to give voice to them...

My local doctor's office is brand new and with it came brand new, state of the art ultrasound rooms. In the room was a couch for The Man to sit on and a big screen TV high on the wall in front of me so that I could see everything that the ultrasound technician was seeing on her screen without twisting my neck.

And the reaction that felt like a punch in the stomach was instantaneous. The immediate feeling of empty overwhelmed me almost to the point of tears. Fortunately for me my curious, question-asking self kicked in and I quickly starting asking the 'what's thats?' and moved on.

But that first instant stayed with me. The first instant where it was painfully obvious that this wasn't the 'first' ultrasound I'd been dreaming of. It was very clear that this was an empty uterus that was being looked at - there was no dark circle in the middle with a white 'bean' in the center of it. I've seen enough ultrasounds of friends' babies to know the difference in what I was seeing on the screen. I wasn't expecting to see a baby - it was early in my cycle, I knew I wasn't pregnant. I knew the purpose of this ultrasound was to check the structures and see if everything looked OK. And yet, this wasn't how the first ultrasound was supposed to go.

The Man wasn't supposed to be sitting on the comfy couch beside me watching the measurements of my ovaries. He was supposed to be beaming from ear to ear as he met our first son or daughter. I wasn't supposed to be asking 'what is that?' and expecting the answer to be 'your ovary.' The technician wasn't supposed to be asking 'what is this ultrasound for?,' but rather saying 'let's listen for the heartbeat.'

I knew going in what the purpose of the ultrasound was. I had no expectations of seeing anything other than an empty uterus and my ovaries. Thankfully the results came back 'normal' (how I'm starting to not like that word.)

And yet the image of that empty uterus is burned into my memory; seared into my soul.


The Last Backyard Brawl?

Yesterday, Donna left a comment that totally embarrassed and shamed me. NOT because of anything she said, but rather because it marked a glaring omission on my part this year.

Her comment:  I imagine there's a story in "The Backyard Brawl"??

Yikes! How can I have done such a lousy job of talking about football, specifically WVU Football 'round here this year that one of you didn't know what THE Backyard Brawl is. I'm seriously thinking I need to be punished somehow!

So, in answer to Donna's question - yes, there is a story behind The Backyard Brawl. It started 104 years ago on a football field when the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) Panthers and the West Virginia University (WVU) Mountaineers first played one another.

Morgantown (home of WVU) and Pittsburgh (home of Pitt) are separated by a mere 80 miles along Interstate 79. Essentially, we are neighbors sharing a backyard. And the game has the feel of a pick-up game in the backyard, with the stories of heroics and tragedy on the field to go along with it.

Most recent years this game is the last home game for the Mountaineers and Senior Night. And on any given night, a huge upset can happen to either team. If you beat Pitt, the rest of the season doesn't really matter - it makes everything better. Or, worse, like in 2007, the Mountaineers were ranked #2 in the country, had only 1 loss, and with a win were going to the National Championship game. It was the 100th Backyard Brawl. Pitt was 4-7. Everyone from the outside looking in said WVU was a 'sure' win. Those of us closer to the situation knew, it's Pitt...anything can happen.  And it did. And I just can't talk about the rest of it any more.

In 2009 there was finally some redemption. But just hearing the numbers 13 and 9 in the same sentence still makes my stomach turn.

In 2010, we won again and did so in our Nike Pro Combat best.

And this year, with all of the conference changing, there is a very real possibility this could be the last installment of the Backyard Brawl.

As much as I hate Pitt, I hope the Athletic Director's at the schools find a way to keep the game going. I hate it when they beat us, but I can't imagine a football season without the Backyard Brawl circled on the calendar from the start of the season.

So today, I'm getting ready for the 104th edition of The Backyard Brawl. Everything I wear will be gold and blue; the tailgate food will be the best of the season (deep fried turkey, chicken wings, buffalo chicken dip, homemade pepperoni rolls, and more!); and our season that has been less-than-what-we-hoped-for can be totally redeemed with a win on the field tonight.

Let's GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Mountaineers!!!!!!


Thankful Thursday

I'm not gonna lie. This is hard this week. Yes, I have MUCH to be thankful for. So. Much. But today, I am really feeling the hurt of what is I do not have. Last year it just never even entered my mind that I wouldn't at least be pregnant by this Thanksgiving. It is precisely days like today that I started this series of posts; why I decided that I needed to remind myself regularly of all that I have and all that I am blessed with. So, while my heart is heavy today, it is with deep gratitude for all that I have that I am writing.

This week, I am thankful for:

  • An opportunity to see Dr. S. in December. In less than one month.
  • A Thanksgiving Dinner with one part of my family.
  • The Backyard Brawl!
  • The Season of Advent - the opportunity to await a baby that has already come and saved us all from our crosses.
  • Breakfast with Kim yesterday.
  • Two sweet pups.
  • And so much more...
And I leave you with a quote I posted on Thanksgiving in 2009 that I think truly says it all about my intentions for these Thankful Thursdays:

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.
~Meister Eckhart

What are you thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day?

(I was having linky troubles, so please just leave your links in the comments this week :). Thank-you!)


Wordless Wednesday

Scenes from NCYC 2011...

Eucharistic Procession into the Conference Center
Center Stage the First Evening
Bishop and Priests Venerating the Altar at the start of Mass Saturday night (please excuse the camera arm in the photo)
Bishop calling the Holy Spirit upon the sacrifice on the altar.
For more Wordless Wednesday click here.


Not Normal

Exactly 2 months ago, I was told everything is normal by my regular Ob/Gyn Midwife (how I have a midwife without a pregnancy is another story). I was devastated and lifted back up all on the same day and started to feel like I was on the path to answers.

Six weeks ago, the first signs of hope in a while started to appear with the beginnings of an answer at my first NaPro appointment.

And yesterday, P., my Nurse Practitioner called and I got some more of the picture.

There is evidence of insulin resistance. (For those of you who like the numbers my insulin went from 5.2 before drinking the orange drink to 42.8 after drinking it.)

My progesterone is too low. The highest it ever reached was 12.8 (17.8 is the goal).

My pre-peak estrogen is good, really good actually, at 293 (250 is the goal).

My ultrasound was normal.

For anyone who might be going 'that's great, but what in the heck did you just say?': This means my body produces too much insulin and this extra insulin can cause cysts to form on my ovaries blocking ovulation and when there is ovulation, the cysts can block the corpus luteum from producing enough progesterone (doing it's job).

I have a mild case of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) with insulin resistance.

My thyroid is good and there is no evidence of diabetes.

There is a prescription for prometrium (to be taken P+3 through P+12 to increase my progesterone) and metformin (to keep my insulin lowers) waiting for me at the pharmacy.

Carbs and sugar are no longer my friend. *sniff* Chai from Starbucks I will miss you.

We are also awaiting the results of the se.men analysis. Please say a prayer that this goes well and the results are good. The Man is amazing and with every fiber of my being I want these results to come back better than normal. Let our problems be with me, not him.

I'm sort of stuck in the middle between being so grateful for some answers and wishing that everything were 'normal.' Between wanting to cheer with gratitude and wanting to burst into tears.

Oh and then there is the hope. The hope that maybe, just maybe, this journey is coming to an end. The hope that said immediately 'it's not P+3 yet this month you can start the prometrium right away.' The hope that was only tempered by the fears. The two sided fears of 'what if this doesn't work?' and 'what if this does work?' The hope that I will finally get to POAS and the fear of the of the result. The hope that the appointment with Dr. S for January will get to be cancelled. And the fear that it won't need to be cancelled. If I've ever needed God's Grace to handle this journey it is now.



What an amazing week! And the fact that I am saying that after spending 4 days with 23,000 teenagers is just a beautiful testament to God's Grace :).

Last Wednesday, I headed West on I-70 (is there a flatter road in this country? I'm thinking there is not.) towards Indianapolis to attend NCYC as our Diocesan Group Leader. And my first stop was at the home of the lovely Jenny from All Things. She and Daisy were so awesome to meet and hang out with for a couple of hours (the time flew by!). And Kali and Mei Mei say thank-you so much for the awesome treats! It was so great to talk in person with someone about our IF journey and not have to explain things - though Jenny had to do some explaining for me and she was so gracious. Daisy was so excited we were taking pictures, she decided to join us.

My next stop was my hotel. And dinner at the Colts Grille. I knew I should've packed my black and gold!

NCYC began on Thursday and was a truly amazing experience. Jamie at Roman Catholic Cop has a list of the top 15 things about NCYC and they are pretty right on target - I love that his #1 is time with his daughter. Emma is a sweet heart and it's so nice to see a teen who still enjoys hanging out with her dad. Jamie and I had plans to try to meet up at some point, but we didn't plan to run into each other on Thursday afternoon (even before the kids from WV arrived). Emma took this picture for us on Friday afternoon, thanks Emma!

Saturday evening was the culmination of the week with Mass. There are no words to describe what it's like to experience Mass with 25,000 other people. Truly amazing. Truly awesome. Truly hope-giving.

On Sunday, I got to sleep in a little and then headed towards home. BUT, I only had to go about 15 minutes before my first stop at Sarah from Fumbling Towards Grace's home. She was a lovely host and made yummy french toast with bacon and homemade applesauce. I've been reading Sarah's blog since I started blogging (I think I might have been reading her blog before I started my own) and was so excited to meet her and sweet Maggie (her husband too, of course!). We sat down to talk after brunch and the time flew by - it was like we've been friends forever.

I know my purpose for traveling west was for NCYC, and I loved every minute of the conference (though I am also quite sure that youth ministry is not for me, and I'm totally OK with that!), but where God was most present to me (other than in the sacraments of course!) was in my time with these three people. There is something about meeting someone face to face for the first time and there being zero awkwardness or need for small talk that is truly heart warming. It was in these conversations, these laughs, these hugs that the Body of Christ was truly evident to me.

Thank-you to both Jenny and Sarah for opening their homes to this girl from WV; for the laughter and the shared stories. Thank-you to Jamie for laughing with me at my silliness and sharing your sweet Emma with me. NCYC was amazing, but my trip to Indianapolis in 2011 will always be remembered for the times that we spent together.


Does the Fairy Tale Even Exist?

I saw this question posed on twitter the other night. My initial reaction was 'yep, I live it and I should blog about it.' But then, I thought, oh that would 'jinx' us wouldn't it? And that would come across as bragging wouldn't it? And, even worse, that might come across like we don't have any problems (or that I am in denial of those that exist).

And then I thought this:

Does the fairy tale exist? Yes.

My fairy tale includes a time when I almost threw it away before we were engaged. It includes spending 2 and 1/2 years of almost 14 living in separate towns - all of which after we were engaged, 6 months of which were after we were married. It includes a trial that had my mom wanting me to consider postponing our wedding and my dad saying 'this can't happen again.' It includes 2 surgeries in 2 years to fix the wrists that are so important to The Man's work. It includes filing for bankruptcy. And it includes infertility. And it includes other things.

Wait! You mean this 'stuff' wasn't in the fairy tales you watched or read as a child? It wasn't in the ones I watched either. And it wasn't what I pictured when I stayed after work one day to have wings with the cute boy who took the trash out for me the night before almost 14 years ago.

But it's still my fairy tale.

It's my fairy tale because through it all, The Man has been by my side. Together, we've faced 'sickness and health,' 'richer and poorer', and 'good times and bad,' and the fact that when presented with the question of whether or not the fairy tale existed, my first instinct, deep in the core of my being was 'YES!'

My fairy tale may have all of those 'bad' things above, but those 'bad' things are real. And they are what makes up the story of the two people who still love and laugh every day. They are what make up the fairy tale of our life. It might not be cartoon-movie worthy, but it is our life. And for every sickness there is health; for every poorer there is a richer; and for every bad time there are a hundred good times.

So, as I consider the question 'does the fairy tale even exist?' I say 'YES!' with a confidence that only comes from living through the bads. I say 'YES!' knowing there will be more bad in our future. And I say 'YES!' with the anticipation of what lies ahead.

Our fairy tale exists because we choose for it to exist. We choose love and laughter. We choose 'happily ever after' in the face of adversity.

I needed this reminder. I needed to remember that The Man and I know how to get through tough times. That if our infertility is truly an inability to have children we will get through it. That, what we have said from the very beginning of 'us' is true - that as long as we have each other we have everything we truly need. And that is why I say the fairy tale does exist; that is why my answer is yes.


Thankful Thursday

This week, I am thankful for:

  • Safe travels to Indianapolis for the National Catholic Youth Conference.
  • An awesome travel snack package put together for me by The Man. It had everything {this} girl could want: Vitamin Waters; Twizzlers; Almonds; Banana Chips; Air Heads (don't judge :)); Apples; Oranges; and Sweet Potato Chips! It was all packaged in an awesome hand made basket he bought for me. I SO appreciated not having to stop for fast food on the way.
  • Blogger meet-ups galore! Yesterday I met the beautiful and kind Jenny (and Daisy!) from All Things; sometime in the next couple of days I'll get to meet Jamie from Roman Catholic Cop; and on Sunday I get to meet Sarah (and 'Atticus,' Maggie, and Sirius!) from Fumbling Towards Grace! I will post pictures (from my new camera and using my new SD card reader) early next week. I've learned my lesson and will not procrastinate this part!
  • A job that gives me lots of opportunities to travel.
  • The opportunity to learn and grow from all of the adults and teens that will be at NCYC this week.
What are you thankful for this week? I will be taking time during Adoration on Friday to say special prayers of thanks for all of the things you are thankful for this week, so be sure to link your post or leave your gratitudes in the comments.


My Camera

Well, it turns out that the 'robber' (can you really call the person that since I conveniently left my doors unlocked for him/her?) did get something valuable out of my car...

My camera...

With the memory card in it...

That had the pictures of my meet-up with Joy (I'm SO sorry Joy!); those of our goddaughter's baptism; and the ones from my cousin's wedding last weekend.

The camera can be replaced, in fact, I'm picking up a new one tomorrow (thank-you to The Man for not being too upset and understanding that I will beat myself up more over this than anyone else could).

It just makes me ill. I'm still glad that my rosary wasn't taken, but I'm so mad at myself for leaving my car unlocked (we don't have a garage or anything like that). I know better.

When do we get a break? Even if it's only from my own stupidity.


Thankful Thursday

This week, I am thankful for:

  • Warm, fall weather. It's coming to an end today, but it's been awesome while it lasted.
  • The end of the blood draws for my hormone panel.
  • Amazon Prime. A new SD Card reader should be here tomorrow. (I realized, even if I ordered the one with WiFi, it didn't help me with getting the pictures on my current card onto my computer. Yes, I realize if I had not thrown away the handy cord that came with my camera I would not be having this problem. Details.)
  • That the person who got into my (unlocked) car the other night took only change and my phone charger - not the rosary that is made from the rose petals from my Pap's funeral or the single decade chaplet my mom recently brought me from the Vatican.
  • For the opportunity to spend time with family I rarely see this coming weekend.
Please link your Thankful Thursday post up below. It is one of the best parts of my week to pray with gratitude for the gifts in your lives.


My Friend, I Care

Don't tell me that you understand, don't tell me that you know.
Don't tell me that I will survive, how I will surely grow.
Don't tell me this is just a test, that I am truly blessed.
That I am chosen for the task, apart from all the rest.
Don't come at me with answers that can only come from me,
Don't tell me how my grief will pass, that I will soon be free.
Don't stand in pious judgment of the bonds I must untie,
Don't tell me how to grieve, don't tell me when to cry.
My life is filled with selfishness, my pain is all I see,
But I need you and your love...Unconditionally.
Accept me in my ups and downs, I need someone to share,
Just hold my hand and let me cry, and say, "My friend, I care."
~Author Unknown


Winners and Results

Congratulations to...

Joy, Ania, and Tooje!!!!!
You are the winners of the 25 Free Christmas Cards! Email me at RebeccaWVU02 at gmail dot com and I will send you the details!

And the results of the Big Idea Poll are:
More details to come...

I love starting the week off with good news :).


Quick Takes

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!
1. Wow. Somehow it's been a busy week around here. First, thank-you all so much for your prayers for Cody.

2. Don't forget today is the last day (both end at 9:00pm EDT) to enter the contest to win free Christmas cards AND to vote in the polls on my sidebar as to your choices for the Big Idea (I really need to come up with a 'cool' name for this).

3. I'm missing my 2nd home football game in 2 years tomorrow.  (After an 8-year streak of not missing any :( ). Once again, this one is for a wedding. This time it's my cousin. The last of the 'adult' cousins to get married on my mom's side.  The next wave of family weddings won't be for at least 10 years or so. That makes me kinda sad.

4. Speaking of football, it's official, WVU is FINALLY in the Big XII. It only took them long enough! I'm just glad we are off the sinking ship that is the Big East.

5. Tomorrow should be my last blood draw for my hormone panel that is being done this cycle. I was actually totally calm, cool, and collected about this whole thing until driving home from the lab last night. It's starting to sink in that we may just be on the path to some answers, and the fears are creeping up again. As CD1 is approaching, I'm sure a whole post will follow.

6. I bought The Man sock monkey slippers (after seeing Mary's post about hers). He loved them. If you follow me on Twitter, you've already seen that he didn't even wait to take of his shirt, tie, and dress pants before putting them on :).

7. I have so many pictures to upload, including ones of Joy and me, of the baptism last weekend, and more. Sadly, I have misplaced the usb card reader to get the pictures from the memory card onto my computer. I'm giving it until Sunday to reappear and then I'll be buying a new one.

Have a great weekend! Don't forget to visit Jen for more Quick Takes!


Important Prayer Request

If you are looking for today's Thankful Thursday, please go here.  I have never posted twice in one day before, it's just not 'for me.' But this can't wait until tomorrow...

I received a message from my friend, Cody, this morning. He has been in Philadelphia discerning entering the Order of St. Augustine. Last night, he learned his application would not be accepted.

Cody is one of the kindest, gentlest, unselfish people I have had the privelage of meeting. The look of sorrow in his eyes when I told him of our struggle with IF was tangible proof of what an awesome servant of God's people that he is. My heart is breaking for Cody. He has asked for prayers, and he has asked for the prayers of my friends.  Well, friends, prayer warriors, will you please pray? Will you please cover Cody in the prayers that you have covered me with so many many times? If they give him even 1/10th of the peace they have given me, his heart will calm and his anxiety will decrease.

Specifically, please pray for:
~a peaceful, grace-filled heart
~clarity in decision making that remains open to God's will
~that fears of the now unknown future will remain quiet
~for strength

Dear friends, I thank-you in advance for your prayers. So many of you (and I) have walked a path in which we feel called to something (motherhood for most of us, the priesthood for Cody), but instead of reaching that something we are gifted with a cross. While our reasons for our hurts are different, we share the knowledge of the weight of the cross of uncertainty; of wondering why; of the unknown

I will close with Cody's words:
Ultimately, I have faith that all will be well. I have faith that since I undertook this risk in obedience to God's will for me, that God's will has been done and will continue to be done because I have done what He has asked of me. I only hope that one day it might make more sense.
I ask you to pray for me, and to ask your friends to pray for me as well. I am going to be in need of them.

Thankful Thursday

This week, I am thankful for:

  • A giveaway for you (click here for details).
  • A big idea! (Click here for details.  Vote in sidebar :)).
  • A growing knowledge of and appreciation for the Saints. I don't even know where to begin, except to say, why did no one explain all of this to me a long time ago?
  • Lauren's Marriage Monday posts. I prayed about what I should work on this week, and making dinner every night has proven to be a wonderful blessing for us.  Thanks Lauren!
  • For {so far} problem-less and {mostly} painless blood draws for my hormone panel this cycle (only about 2 more blood draws to go).
I pray with gratitude over your Thankful Thursday posts every week. Please link your post up below and have a great day!


Stylish? Me?

Mary at Hope Echoes has gifted me with this fancy award. I had to giggle a little at the title because Stylish I am not.

The 'rules' say that I am to tell 7 things about myself (don't y'all know everything already?)...

1) I love mobster movies. The Departed. Goodfellas. The Usual Suspects. The Godfather series. American Gangster. etc. etc.

2) Ice cream is it's own food group in my world.

3) I am messy. Seriously messy. Especially in my closet dressing room. (Yes, I've taken an entire room in our house and turned into a big mess of clothing. Something tells me I should be embarrassed by this fact. I don't. I just feel free to finally embrace my inner Pigpen.)

4) The thought of the packing that would be required if we were to move again makes me want to curl into a ball and rock back and forth while humming with my fingers in my ears.  Seriously.

5) I do believe it is almost time to put the heated mattress pad back on our bed. What? You don't have a heated mattress pad? Get one. You can thank me later.

6) I have 2 polls on my side bar, don't forget to vote (for details, go here)!

7) I'm having a contest this week.  You could win free Christmas Photo Cards.  Go here.

The 'rules' also say that I am supposed to pass this award on to 5 others, however I think every blogger I know is waaaaay more stylish than me, so I'm going to ask you to leave a comment with one 'stylish' tip that works for you in the comments and then, to pay it forward, please go visit someone else who commented that you may not know well.

Thanks again Mary!


Free Christmas Cards from Shutterfly - For You and Me!

I am normally not one to be thinking about Christmas before Thanksgiving (I'd like to tell you it's because I'm all sentimental about Thanksgiving, but the truth is I'm just not that organized) but when I received the email with the opportunity to share Shutterfly's Christmas cards with some of you (and to receive 50 free cards again this year) I figured I'd go ahead and think about Christmas early this year.  (Yikes, how's that for a run-on sentence?)


I love me some technology and I love uploading my photos from my couch and having my cards arrive in the mail and Shuttefly allows just that.  I also love ordering Photo Gifts, like this mug I got for The Man for Christmas last year:

I also love Photo Books. Switching from film to digital was of no help to me at first.  Instead of having tons of photos laying around everywhere, I just had tons of photos on my computer that I never did anything with.  Then, a couple of years ago, I started creating one photo book for each year with my favorites from the year.  It's a great way to keep our memories in an organized way and not have to stress about all of the photos I take without having a nice way to display them.  Photo books are my second favorite way to share photos, second only to a digital picture frame (that I don't yet have.  Hint. Hint. for The Man ;)).

I'm looking forward to creating our Christmas card this year, but I'm even more so looking forward to giving away 25 free cards to THREE of you!!!!

Yes, that's right, this year I not only get free cards, but I get to give free cards!  I can't tell you how excited I am about that (really!).

And I'm making it super easy to enter.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post sharing one Christmas memory or tradition that you remember from growing up or that you love to do each year still.

The contest will end at 9:00pm (EST) on Sunday, November 6, 2011. I will post the winners on Monday, November 7.

(Disclaimer: I am receiving 50 free cards for doing this post.  The 25 free cards that 3 different people will win are a free gift from Shutterfly as well.)