Saturday, May 11, 2013

Our Crazy, Chaotic Life

So much has happened the last few weeks! In the matter of a single day last month, our lives went from busy to chaotic. It seems like we are always on the go, and even when we are home, we are working our tails off. Since it's getting late, here's a few of the things we've been up to:

-Mike and his company got their first lab funded, which is currently being built. Hence the reason our lives are so chaotic at the moment! Mike is also working with a few more investors, so hopefully they will have funding for the next few labs soon! This was the evening the first truck arrived (the lab is currently being built inside this):
Most of the Board of Directors. From L to R: Mike, Jim (the Boss), Mike, Sean, and Mike. Yes, Mike works with a lot of Mikes!
-I am now the 'official' photographer for Mikes company. This pretty much entails me documenting day by day progress of the lab, until the sensitive technology is installed. I also take shots of various fields when we go out to the farm where they ran their first set of tests on their product. Pretty much I go into the office with Mike, camera in hand, and take pictures of whatever is needed that day.
-On top of doing that, I am also beginning to get SUPER busy with my regular bookings. Prime example: next week I have a shoot on Monday, one Tuesday morning, and another Tuesday evening. The rest of the week I'll be shooting for Mike's company for a good portion of each day. And it's only going to get busier!

-Sabrina (Mike's sister), had her baby girl last week, Paige Jennifer. We are all absolutely smitten with her! We are pretty excited to have another niece to spoil. Sabrina had me help with Paige's newborn shoots earlier this week, which was so much fun. You can bet I made sure to get some cuddle time in with Paige!
 -In other news, we finally figured out what we hope (and quite frankly feel), is the last piece to the puzzle in regards to our infertility. Come to find out, this last bit is all tied back to my first miscarriage and the trauma my body experienced. As a result, it has made it harder to conceive as well as to maintain pregnancies since. Among other issues. So, we began working on getting this fixed this week. I can already tell you it's not necessarily a pleasant process. We started on Thursday, and I have felt quite uncomfortable ever since.  Here I thought my body had *finally* rebounded from my latest miscarriage! Ha. I couldn't have been more wrong. But, it's good to know the final root of the issue is getting fixed. So no matter how uncomfortable (and at times painful) it is, I am completely and totally willing to do it. I will do a post later and delve a little deeper as to what is going on, but quite honestly, right now I can't wait to get in bed and fall asleep! So, on that note, have a good one everyone! And Happy Mother's Day tomorrow. Here's one more picture I took last weekend for your viewing pleasure: :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

With Spring Comes Changes

Right when we think things can't get any busier, they do. For the most part, it's the usual business that comes along with Spring, but this year is topped off with Mike working more than full time most weeks. We're finally getting into the new groove of things, which means my house is back to the level of clean we like it at, and we're not feeling like we're going out of our minds anymore. Thank goodness. I will, however, be glad when we have two cars again!
 Photographed Sugar's DYW (formerly known as Jr. Miss) March 22-23.
 Two of my favorite images from the program
The winner. I actually used to babysit her! Is she really this old already?
 I also did my cousin's engagements a few days before I left for Idaho.

I can't wait to do their wedding in June!
 

In the midst of all our craziness, there are a few fun things we have going on. First of all, I finished the Insanity workout program! By far the best program I have ever done. Usually my body adjusts to my workouts in a week or so, and unless the intensity at least doubles, I don't really get a whole lot out of them. However, this program was radically different. By time I am done, without fail, I am on the ground a sweaty mess feeling like I am about ready to die. Call me crazy, but I love it. I am performing at a level I have never reached before, and it's great! It's hard to believe that just 6 months ago I had a hip injury so severe (I damaged most of the important muscles) I could barely sit, let alone walk, without pain. Thank goodness for therapy! Just to give you an idea, here's my fit test results, the first number is from day one, the second number is from day 65.

Switch kicks (reps): 50, 63
Power Jacks: 48, 65
Power knees: 77, 120
Power jumps: 29, 38
Globe jumps: 9, 11
Suicide jumps: 17, 24
Push-up jacks: 20, 34
Low plank oblique (reps): 25, 31 (I had gotten 36 two weeks before on this particular one, but I got lower the last time because about 20 seconds into the move, my hip popped out and I didn't have time to resolve it before time ran out - ugh!)

I'm not too sad about those numbers! Especially considering I could barely do a good push-up before this program, which is no problem now. Oh, and did I mention I was doing the last fit test on a sprained ankle? Mike is always commenting on how muscular my back and legs have become, which neither of us are too sad about (you can see individual muscle groups when I flex!). When I pulled out my spring wardrobe I went to put on my white jeans, and they didn't fit! Not because they were too big, but because they were too small...around my thighs! Haha. (They were too small around my waist though.)
 Here I go really putting myself out there...left is day 1, right is day 65 (not flexing by the way). I was in pretty good shape before I started, but there were still some areas I needed work (lower abs, back, arms). The pictures aren't the greatest, but we're working on Mike's picture-taking skills!

Being in shape is something that has always been a priority for me (and Mike). Even when I am SUPER busy I always try to block out 40-50 minutes during my day to get a good workout in. Even if that means I'm doing it at 10:00 at night or early in the morning. People have tried to tell me that will change when we have kids, but I highly doubt it. We have our own home equipment (sans a treadmill until we move), and I have made staying fit a priority for 8 years. That's not something that's going to change with kiddos. I want them to grow up seeing how important it is to their parents. I am determined to be the kind of parent that is out playing ball with our kids without getting worn out in 5 minutes. I have no doubt Mike will willingly watch the kids while I take the time to workout, and vice-versa. It really is a huge part of our lives. We're also eating healthier around here too. I have absolutely ZERO refined sugar in my kitchen and pantry. I haven't had candy or sweets since October, and I do not miss it. I am SO glad I decided it was time to step it up and really start focusing on becoming healthier.

Ok, enough about that stuff. In other news, I will officially be out of my glasses (and contacts) Monday at 2:00! I am getting LASIK done! I can't tell you how excited I am about that. My eyes have gotten so bad it's gotten to the point it's interfering with not only my job, but day to day activities. To say I need it done is an understatement! It would not surprise me if I start to cry when it dawns on me I am seeing clearly WITHOUT contacts or glasses, because I can't remember what that's like! Although I was blessed with pretty good althleticism from my parents, I was also blessed with their *fantastic* eyesight.
Hope you're all enjoying the gorgeous spring weather, because I know I sure have been! This spring is bringing along a lot of new, but exciting changes. Can't wait to see how it all plays out.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Upward and Onward

After having a not-so-great past two months, things are finally looking up in this neck of the woods. I think it's safe to say both of us are ready for spring to get here. We'll be getting the last of our skiing bug out of us this weekend, so after Saturday, bring on the warm and sunshine!

Mike's job continues to keep him busy. Actually, come to think of it, 'busy' is a bit of an understatement! He loves what he does, and it shows. There have been some pretty exciting developments with his company, and we can't wait to see where things end up. I have a feeling this is going to be much, much bigger than we can comprehend. The next few years are going to be exciting ones!

We're in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Hawaii in September for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Polynesian Cultural Center. We weren't even thinking about going to Hawaii until next year for our 5th anniversary, buuut, when Mike's dad was called as the Chairman of the Board for the PCC, our plans changed. Dang. I guess we will have to live with bumping that trip up a little. Which also means our trip next year will be something different! Maybe Rome or Santorini again? Or Austrailia and New Zealand? Or a cruise? Bora Bora and Tahiti? A Safari? Austria? Russia? The Dalmatian Coast? Israel? The Almalfi Coast? So many places we want to go, and it will be possible to do so finally! Oh, and it's looking like we will be going back to Hawaii next year anyway to treat my parentals. We're so excited to be able to finally do some travelling on our own! Time to start chipping away on the bucket list!

With spring well on it's way, I've been getting more and more busy with my work as well. Next week I have an engagement shoot, followed by doing a two day long event in Idaho a few days later.

It's also looking like I'll be getting LASIK soon too!! I have a consultation the week after we get back from Idaho. Even the thought that I could be out of contacts and glasses soon is hard for me to comprehend. I was going to wait until after we were done with having kids, but with that up in the air again, and the fact we're not quite ready to give it another go yet, I've decided I'm done putting so much of my life on hold. It's time to move upward and onward. And this is one thing we decided to move forward on. It will be a happy day when I don't have to deal with my contacts and the headaches they have been causing lately.

I have a feeling this summer and fall is going to be epic. I cannot wait.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Processing

Today. What a crazy day today has been. I wasn't even able to sit down to relax for a few minutes until after dinner. And in a few minutes, I have a date with the gym. But, when I think about it, it's probably a good thing today has been so busy. It's kept my mind off things. This post is a little heavy in subject matter, so if you're wanting a fun post, skip this one. I've learned this is a good way for me to try to process things, and I do hope to help others better understand what this is like, and to help others going through it as well.

I would be lying if I said the last month has been easy. That I've always had a great attitude about what's happened. Because it hasn't. Mike and I can't even bring ourselves to say the word 'miscarriage' when talking about it, because it just hurts too much. Instead, we simply say, 'everything that happened.'

This time around, I held things in for weeks. Internalizing. Keeping it to myself. Letting Mike focus on his job without worrying about me falling to pieces. I hated it. That was the way I used to be, in high school at least. Then I went to school and met Mike. I learned to process my feelings in healthier ways without keeping things pent up. Trust me, it's so much easier. But for some reason, I found myself holding things in again. And I was reminded why it's not a healthy way to deal with things. Because when I finally let myself feel, I was a wreck. I'm talking crying for hours kind of wreck. I can't even begin to describe what this last miscarriage has been like, emotionally and physically.

Here's the thing. When I even begin to suspect I may be pregnant, I become a nervous wreck, because there are so many uncertainties for us in regards to pregnancy, and we are still trying to figure out all the pieces of the puzzle. This time was no different. However, instead of rushing to the store to buy a test as soon as I had my suspicions, I put off taking one for weeks, mostly because I was petrified that a few days after I took it and started to get even the slightest excited, I would find myself miscarrying again. I finally decided to go for it one day, but once again, a few days later, I woke up in the morning knowing I would be having a miscarriage that very same day. Despite doctors telling us there was still a chance the baby could be saved, I knew otherwise. Call it intuition I guess.

Even though this was our fourth one, and you'd think it wouldn't affect us as much, this one was the hardest. No one should have to see and go through what we saw and went through this time. I'll spare the details, but it was ugly. It was horiffic. Words cannot describe what it was like. The grief we felt, the shock, the emptiness, are beyond description. I still have nightmares about it. But despite all the despair we felt, we were also comforted. I guess you could call it one of our own 'Liberty Jail' moments.

Anyway, I've been holding this all in for weeks, and last week it finally spilled over. Thank goodness my mom came down and spent a day with us skiing. I can't tell you what a much needed break that was! I don't know how we do it, but we always find ourselves laughing so hard at one point we are crying. The culprit this time? A mahimahi wand. Random, I know.

After that, I was feeling pretty good again. Like I could actually cope with life once more. But, last night I unexpectedly hit a trigger, and it all came flooding back. I ended up talking to one of my close friends, and thank goodness she was able to give me some much needed perspective. She and her husband have been through almost exactly what we are going through, so she knows what it's like. That and talking to my amazing sister in law today have helped make things much more bearable. I'm so grateful for those the Lord places in our lives to help us along the way, and to show us we aren't alone; there are others who know what it's like.

As I have began to open up about and process things the last week or so, even though I'm still struggling, I came to the realization that, although this is extremely difficult to go through, I am grateful for it. Mike and I talked about this last night, but we now fully understand just how sacred pregnancy is. How much of an honor and miracle every single pregnancy is, and we have come to not take anything about it for granted. It's difficult to convey the feelings I have had the last 24 hours about everything that we've experienced. Yes, it has been hard, very hard, but we've been brought closer to each other and the Lord in ways I never thought possible. Our relationship has grown beyond anything I could have imagined. And I know when we hold our child in our arms when the time comes, we will be better parents because of this trial. Our baby will be nothing short of a miracle. And that is such a humbling thought! We honestly cannot wait for that time. It has never been a matter of if, it has always been a matter of when. In the meantime, we're trying to pick the pieces back up and keep pushing upward and onward.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Loving Life

A few of the things going on around the Bullock household:

-Mike continues to be busy, busy, busy with his new job. He just got asked to give a big presentation at his board meeting on Thursday, which he'll nail. He is also going to San Antonio in February for a huge trade show, where, fingers crossed, he can sign a few investors!

-Skiing. Lots and lots and LOTS of skiing. All the snow we've gotten this week = guarantee we will be on the slopes again this weekend. And my mom is coming down, so it's going to be a blast.

-I started a new workout regimen. It's pretty, ok really intense, but I love it. It's the first workout regimen that consistently pushes me to my limit and beyond. Every other one I've done in the past doesn't really pose a challenge beyond the first ten days. Running six miles in under an hour? That seems easy compared to the training I'm doing now!

-We got into a fertility specialist. It's bittersweet, as we were hoping the things we have been doing the last year in relation to our fertility would work, and they did insofar as actually getting pregnant, but now we've got to figure out why exactly we keep having problems staying pregnant. We hope we get things figured out quickly. We've been waiting for four years come February to have a baby, and can't wait for the time we can move on to a new chapter in our family's life.

-We just hit our four year anniversary this month. It's hard to believe we've already been married that long! I honestly could not ask for a better, more kind and loving husband. Gosh I love that man! I could go on and on as to why I love him so much, but for the sake of everyone's sanity, I will just say he never ceases to amaze me. The roadblocks he has faced throughout his life that he was told he would never be able to overcome, work around, etc., he has. With flying colors nonetheless. He takes those roadblocks that would stop people dead in their tracks, and turns them around until they become a strength. Sure he still has his limitations, the least of which has been and will always been his health, but the things he has been able to accomplish even with those limitations, is nothing short of astounding. I couldn't be more proud of him and what he's accomplished the last few years.

More things are coming up, so we will definitely keep everyone updated. We are loving life right now!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Recent Months

Where to begin...so much has happened in recent months it's mind-boggling. I guess I'll start with the good news. Sorry for the long post in advance! I just want to get this all down while I have the time!

Mike got offered a job with an amazing company as the Director of Investor Relations, and accepted! I can't even begin to tell how excited and humbled we are he was even offered this job. It has been amazing to watch him grow in the short time he's been working. As he puts it, this is his dream job. If he doesn't do a significant amount of work each day, he goes crazy. Sometimes I have to remind him to slow down a bit and take some time to still focus on school while not over-doing it! He talks about it constantly, which I love, and he is sooo happy to know our little family is being taken care of. He certainly feels pressure to perform well, but he loves it. And he loves the fact that not only will he be helping others directly with his job, but in a year or two, we will be able to help others outside his work, which we are both crazy excited about. Without going into too much detail yet about his job and the company, I'll just say they are going to be doing a LOT to help farmers. Which, let's be honest, is something I have always been a huge proponent of, having grown up in the heart of potato land. So it's something I'm passionate about as well.

We re-signed the lease for our condo for another year, but then we'll be calling it quits. Where we'll move is still yet to be determined, but we are 99% sure we'll still be in Utah Valley. We do want to move closer to Mike's family, so hopefully we can find something we like around Lehi or Highland. If things keep going the way they are looking like they are going with Mike's job, we'll be renting a house next year for a few years, then be building our dream home! Fingers crossed!!!
Christmas was insane, but so much fun. I got Mike loads of Legos, which consisted of the Lord of the Rings sets, a few Hobbit sets, and some Halo Mega Bloks. Oh, did I mention that was only half of what I got him? Ya, it was a huge Christmas this year thanks to me working so much! He in turn, surprised me with...an empty ring box...in lieu of a wedding band! I'm so excited! We've been shopping around to find one I like, and when we do, he'll contact his guy in Texas and have it made up for me. I'm finally getting my band after four years! I'm kinda excited about it. :)  And the fact Mike is a 'diamond snob' as I put it actually makes it even more fun, because he wants the best of the best. He's kinda awesome.
 *Some* of the legos Mike has gotten over the last few months. I love the fact he's still a kid at heart. Who doesn't love legos? I know Mike and I do!

We spent Christmas week in Park City at my in-laws house at the Canyons resort, which is always a blast. Ski in, ski out, life doesn't get any better! Not to mention the INSANE snow we got! There was fresh powder nearly every day we were up there. No, not an inch or two, we're talking knee deep, crazy amazing stuff. The kind of snow you dream of. The kind of snow you can't get enough of. The kind of snow you drool over. Ok, you get the picture. To top it off, I switched back to skiing after nearly an 11 year hiatus. Why oh why did I ever decide to switch to snowboarding??? Skiing is soooooo much more fun! And I can handle much, much harder runs. In fact, I skiied my first ever black diamond run, in ungroomed knee-deep powder. On my second day back on the skis. It was epic. I'm dying to do that run again. The fact I LOVE my gear doesn't help matters either. :) My first day back on the skis I just used one of the many pairs sitting in the ski room, but by time we were done for the day, my amazing father-in-law took Mike and me into town and fitted me up with brand new top of the line gear! You can imagine my surprise! And when I say top of the line, I mean top of the line. And did I mention my boots are 100% custom fitted to my feet?!? I can't even begin to tell you how amazingly awesome my gear is! I will not, however, divulge the price (eek!)! But aren't these skis beauties??? Next year, Ima gonna get myself a coat to match this awesomeness!
Mike is finally starting to do better health wise too. We've been working on it for a while now, as you many of you know, and it's finally paying off. Just to give you an idea how well he's doing, in 2009 and 2010 he could only ski a few runs before calling it a day, 2011, he was under doctor's orders to do absolutely no skiing or working out of any kind because it would put his body under too much stress. Buuuut, this year he was given the go-ahead for skiing, and he skiied more than me some days!! We would come in for lunch, and instead of taking a break, he would switch over to powder skis and go out for another hour or so before coming in to eat! And, he'll officially be working out again as of tomorrow, and he is doing school AND work on top of it. This is a HUGE deal. He's gone from being able to hardly handle a quick trip to the grocery store 18 months ago to being able to do work and school each day and still have the energy and stamina to go out and play on the weekends. Sure, he still has to watch things so he doesn't overdo it, but that's always going to be part of life. It's been amazing to see his health steadily improve this last year. And exciting! Oh, and he's slowly but steadily gaining back all the weight he lost! Wahoooooo! He doesn't look like a gaunt skeleton anymore, that's for sure!
 Taken in November during our trip to Idaho

Work for me got a little crazy from September-December. The last two months of the year we were gone nearly every other weekend, most of which had some kind of work attached to it for me. And when I was in town during the week, I was scrambling with shoots right and left! Thank goodness this month has been a slow one because I'm in desperate need of catching up with editing. Especially with things that have put me behind the last month, the least of which was Christmas! Hopefully I'll be caught up within the next week/week and a half.

In other not so great news, we had another miscarriage. I'm not quite sure exactly how far along I was, as I waited ages to take a pregnancy test, but this one was by far the hardest physically. The few days leading up to the actual miscarriage were easier than the past ones, as the cramping wasn't as bad, but the day I passed the fetus was excruciatingly painful. The day I started bleeding was not a fun one, because I knew and felt what was going on. I was in tears most of the day, but at the same time was willing to do whatever the Lord's will was, even if that meant having miscarriage #4. I was also put on complete bedrest in hopes that would save the pregnancy, but sadly, it didn't. The weird thing this time around was the bleeding actually almost completely let up before I had the actual process of the miscarriage. But the afternoon it happened, the bleeding was almost uncontrollable, which was a little nerve-wracking to say the least. By time it was done, my body was screaming at me that it couldn't go through that again. I'm still trying to recover in fact. I can slowly do a little more each day, but it's been SLOW. My previous ones I've bounced right back physically, in a matter of days, but this one has been completely different. I'm still on the mend, but I am improving each day.

I've been doing ok emotionally, strange as that may sound. I've had my hard days, but it's been easier to deal with. Partly because I don't have the guilt I had before, because I knew I had done absolutely nothing wrong (I felt like I had with all the others), and partly because I felt the reassurance from the Spirit this was not the end of the road, that this will be the last time I would miscarry. Through all the emotions, I've felt surprisingly close to the Spirit, and on more than one occasion, have even felt my children near me. My heart has been full of thanks. Thanks for the miracle that, against ALL odds, we are getting pregnant again. Thanks for the knowledge we will have a healthy pregnancy soon. Thanks for such loving and supportive friends and family. Thanks for the time Mike and I have had to foster the relationship between the two of us and the Lord. Thanks that the Lord knows us, what's best for us, and knows when the best time is for us to be holding our child in our arms. Thanks for the Atonement. Thanks for our eternal family. Thanks for the knowledge that our children are still in the loving arms of their Heavenly Father. The day I miscarried, although it was hard, the scripture that kept running through my mind over and over, which COMPLETELY explained how I have felt through this whole process was Job 1:21: "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

The next step for us now, is getting into another doctor, and starting more fertility treatments. We're just waiting to hear from the clinic to set up an appointment. We've been doing fertility related things for over a year now, and we feel like this is the final step we need to take. Where that will lead us has yet to be determined. But we're hopeful we'll be seeing a healthy pregnancy this year.

2013 is going to be quite the year, can't wait to see where it leads us!