Holly Jollies

There is too much to post in both words and pictures to describe all that we did this past week to celebrate Christmas. We are truly blessed to have such amazing friends and family. A few highlights were:
-Going Ice-skating @ the Galleria on Christmas Eve with the family
-Having Santa come to see my nieces on Christmas Eve
-Singing Karaoke with Abbi for hours on her new karaoke machine (thanks grandpa!)
-Late night settlers of catan games
-drinking all the diet coke a girl could want!
-making sugar cookies with my mom & abbi

Hope your Christmas was just as amazing and eventful!


Christmas Shinangans

Geoff and I feel so very blessed to have moved into a ward where we made instant best friends with 3 other couples. We spend almost every weekend together with these people and I seriously can't get enough of the three girls. I honestly believe we felt compelled to move into our place not only to be near amazing doctors-- but to meet these awesome friends. They have been so supportive and just amazing to us from day one.

This month we have done a few really fun things with them. We threw Kim a surprise birthday party and also went on a Christmas downtown tour of Houston. It's been a busy month but filled with SO much fun!


Raindrops on roses

One of my favorite things about Christmas time is the tradition of getting a new holiday dress. This year, I decided I needed a really awesome RED dress... and of course I turn to Shabby Apple to make all my dreams come true. Yes, i am a tad obsessed, but I never have to worry about modesty with the dresses but also never have to sacrifice style. I love pairing the dress with black lacey tights and my 5 inch black stilettos! Makes me wish I could dress up like this every single day!


Holiday Trivia

Saw this on a friend's blog and thought it was fun!

1. Holiday spirit ... is the BEST. I think that is one reason I love Christmas music so much. I love the feeling I get when you are sitting around with family drinking hot chocolate, listening to Bing Crosby by the Christmas tree. Does it get any better than that??

2. The Holidays are incomplete without....family. We have been blessed to spend our first couple of Christmas' of marriage with Geoff's family and the last one & this year with my family and they have all been so amazing just because we are with those we love. I don't think I could love a group of people anymore than I do my family.

3. My favorite things to do around the holidays are: bake with my Mom, play games with my family, watch It's a Wonderful Life and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and go look at Christmas lights.

4. A holiday tradition my family has is ... we have a small Christmas program every Christmas Eve, we enjoy quite the decadent feast, and we always open up pajamas on Christmas Eve night... and we always have a big slumber party. A new tradition the guys have started this year is staying up late playing computer games together, haha.

5. Christmas music is ... my favorite thing ever. I start listening at the end of October-- I am a freak! I love the old school stuff like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra... mixed in with the newer stuff like Michael Buble and Harry Connick Jr.

6. This year I'll be spending the holidays ... at my brother's house in Pearland. We will ALL be home this year and spending the night there. It will be a PARTY!

7. Holiday Wish List... to have a baby next year (:Other than that- I have everything I have ever wanted!



I am the first to admit I get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas. I adore decorating my tree and baking bread for neighbors and friends... that sometimes I forget what this season is all about. Tonight I came across this quote and it reminded me of the real reason for the "magic" of the season that is upon us and I just wanted to share it with all those who read my blog.

"Christmas is more than trees and twinkling lights, more than toys and gifts and baubles of a hundred varieties. It is Love. It is the love of the Son of God for all mankind. It is Magnificent and Beautiful." -President Gordon B. Hinckley


Next step

Well, finally my doctors and my MRI specialist came to a conclusion... my uterus looks GOOD! I am so glad they were thorough and really took time to make sure they did everything they could to come to that conclusion.

Next step is a consultation with both of my fertility doctors to write a plan for treatment. Can I just say how grateful I am for these wonderful men? They really have no idea how much HOPE they have given me that I can become a Mother with their help.

I wish I had some awesome pictures to post... but I don't. Geoff and I have been going a million miles an hour between teaching, but we are doing well. We enjoyed a visit with his parents over the Thanksgiving break and took them everywhere around Houston and enjoyed all the amazing food Texas has to offer (can't believe I actually lost a pound over Thanksgiving!)

I am so grateful for all the good people in our lives. I have had COUNTLESS friends and family tell us how they have fasted, prayed and thought about us with all that we have been dealing with. I feel like the luckiest person alive to have so many wonderful people in my life!! I will post more whenever I know more that is going on.


even more news

For those who are wondering and have read the post below, I just scheduled a pelvic MRI for the week of Thanksgiving to determine where and if my uterus (i have never said that word so much in all my life as i have the past couple of days!) can be fixed. if it can, we will schedule surgery (most likely over my 2 week christmas vacation-- merry christmas to us!)... so long as insurance will cover most of it. we are hoping and praying it is not too expensive... keep your fingers crossed!


more news

today is one of those days where i just want to kick, scream, cry and be mad at life... after a good cry I have calmed myself down enough to feel the spirit and know that there is a plan in all of this... whatever it may be, i know i am not alone and that heavenly father loves me.

i got a call from the doctor and he let me know that i have a uterus that is shaped in a way that will not carry a baby successfully. there are some surgeries that could correct this but honestly, they are so expensive that i do not know if we can even afford to do them at this point in time.

all i do know is that i am thankful for my savior. i know he knows exactly how i feel and that because of that, i can lean on him through these incredibly draining and devastating moments.

tomorrow will be a better day.


I did it.

After a couple of months of debate, I finally did it....

Thanks to my wonderful sister Becky, who is already a pro after only a few months @ cosmetology school-- She did my hair just like I planned!


The Deal-io

I know there are many reasons Heavenly Father wanted us to move to Houston, and I know one of the reasons is because Houston has some of the best doctors in the world. Today just validated that feeling for me.

Our first appt with Dr. Gill, our fertility specialist was today, @ the Houston Fertility Institute and I haven't felt this positive about things in a REALLY long time. He is such an amazing doctor. He was able to explain some testing/procedures that will be taking place to first figure out what is wrong AND he was just super positive and hopeful.

Here is what we will be doing. Today, I got ELEVEN vials of blood drawn to test for various things but mainly for Factor 5, which my Mom was recently diagnosed with. It is a blood clotting disease which can result in miscarriages if left untreated/unknown. He says people can be very successful in their pregnancies with this disorder with the help of fertility treatments.

Next, I will go in a couple of weeks where they will put me out and check out all my insides to see what all my "plumbing" looks like. Geoff will also be tested at that time. After all these procedures, the doctor will be able to draw up a plan for what is the best route for Geoff and I to become parents.

The best part of my visit was looking at the HUGE wall of photos & letters with pictures of babies that the doctor was a part of helping come to be. Crazy part was-- at least half of the pictures had pictures of twins/triplets-- yikes! This is definitely a very very expensive route-- even with insurance-- but I can't think of a better way to spend our hard earned money!

I haven't felt this hopeful in a really REALLY long time. Even if things don't work through this whole process, we will know we did all we could to try and conceive this route.

Thank you SO much for all the thoughts and prayers that you all have had on our behalf. We feel incredibly blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family supporting us and looking out for us through this process!


Have an Appt on Wednesday with a world renowned doctor and director at the Houston Fertility Institute. This place is AMAZING. They have a higher than national average rate of success with all different fertility procedures.

Even with insurance, it will probably break the bank. But that is ok. I can live on Soup and crackers for awhile if it means starting a family.

Trying not to get my hopes up too high but also trying to stay positive.

Wish us luck!!


Here we go again

Geoff and I have taken off the past eight months or so on trying to get pregnant and STAY pregnant (not that we have stopped trying, just haven't been focusing on it like the past 2 1/2 years prior). I will admit, it has been nice to not have that weight on my shoulders, but it hasn't made the monthly heartache any easier. Time does not heal all pain, I can tell you that from experience (:

Well, we are going to have at it again.

Tomorrow, I have an appt. with my general doctor tomorrow to get some referrals to get the ball rolling. Houston has a whole hospital dedicated to fertility issues in the Med center-- so hopefully we will find someone who can help.

I don't normally advertise this-- but I would REALLY appreciate any prayers said on our behalf. This has been the most emotionally exhausting endeavor I have ever had to go through and sometimes I don't know how much disappointment I can handle (Even though I know Heavenly Father doesn't give us more than we can handle).

I am so grateful for wonderful friends and family who have been so supportive, kind and understanding towards us while we figure out the path Heavenly Father wants us to take in starting our family.

Seriously... won't we be the coolest parents? Just look at us! (:


Becky & Houston-- Married!!


On my soapbox again

I may sound like a broken record, but while watching "The Biggest Loser" tonight, it always brings back feelings of when I was 250 lbs and what life was like for me then.

At the beginning of the show, they shared some alarming stats.

2 out of 3 Americans are not just over-weight, they are OBESE.

For the first time since the civil war-- life expectancy has gone down.

I know what life is like on both sides of the track. I have an obsession with food and that is what got me into big trouble growing up. I lived for my after school snack. I lived for the late night drive-through burgers at Jack-in-the-Box. I lived for the over sized route 44 ice-cold Dr. Peppers from Sonic. But what it all boiled down to, is a loss in life, not happiness. I was using food as a weapon and a way to "fill" a void in my life.

I am very concerned with the direction the health of our nation is heading in. I am glad for shows like the Biggest Loser to help educate Americans about the trouble we are in. Obesity is the NUMBER one preventable cause of death now-- more than smoking even.

I want to help anyone I can to show them how much better life is without all the extra baggage around their mid-section and to feel alive and healthy! Life is really too short to live it the way I did growing up. I wish I knew then what I knew now... but for now, I will just pay it forward sharing my story to help others over-come their struggle/battle with weight.

Before-- at about 250 lbs

After-- at about 150 lbs


Becky's bridal shower

Being the maid of honor & older sister, I decided to throw Becky a bridal shower and we had an awesome turnout-- it was SO much fun. Great laughs, great food and GREAT company. It's apparent that Becky is VERY VERY loved.


Dress decision!

So many have inquired about what dress I decided on for my free dress I won from shabby apple... Well, I rocked it out today at work and am kinda in love with it. Sorry for the crappy picture. Geoff is like the hardest working teacher alive and doesn't come home til like 7 (i am hoping this will soon fade and is just cause its the beginning o the school year) so i had to take this picture myself. Reminds me of the silly 14 year old myspace pictures.... anyways, here it is! I wore a brown belt rather than the sash to make it not-so-dressy for work.


I feel old...

Cause my sister who is SEVEN years younger than I looks like a grown woman in her wedding dress... isn't she breath-taking??? Love her. Her photographer Christa did an AMAZING job!


Houston & Becky

My baby sister is getting married! That's right, you heard it... she is engaged! And I am SO thrilled. She has got the sweetest, most amazing fiance' that treats her like a princess. It has been an exciting few months to watch both Houston and Becky change so dramatically. They are going to married on September 24th in a cival ceremony due to Houston being a member for only a month and a half and sealed next year in the Houston temple in September 2011. I get to be her maid of honor and am just so so excited for all the festivities that are about to begin! The best part is that I got to buy a new shabby apple dress (just what I needed right?) for the wedding! haha!


Decisions, Decisions

So for those of you who don't know... I won the Shabby Apple contest last week! Sorry for all the annoying facebook posts on this-- but I am slightly obsessed with shabby apple dresses and the chance for a free one, is awesome. I am pretty sure I keep this company in business (I now will own 11 of their dresses, yikes!) So I need your help deciding which dress to get!

Dress #1

Dress #2

Dress #3

Dress #4

Dress #5