Always, Katie: February 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

Funding IVF: Silent Auction: Extended Silent Auction Time

This week's auction is supposed to be ending tonight at 9PM, but there are still several items that haven't been bid on yet.  So we are extending it until Monday night at 9PM - for items that have NOT been bid on yet.  Items that do have bids STILL END at 9PM tonight. :-)

Please, please share the link to this album

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Funding IVF: Silent Auction: Caravan Sonnet's Parcel Post Tribe

I've mentioned my sweet friend Rebecca here before.  She is the heart and talent behind the "Caravan Sonnet" blog (full of posts about faith, illness, and hope), "The Paper Sonnet" etsy shop (full of gorgeous, detailed, shabby-chic paper art), "Chalk & Pine" instagram shop (a weekly sale of her lovely vintage thrift finds) AND the brilliant "Parcel Post Tribe."  

property of Rebecca at

The Parcel Post Tribe in Rebecca's words: 
The parcel post tribe will mail to you TWO beautiful and handmade cards each month for a very low cost. In addition to this you will receive a surprise little gift in the mail (for you to keep or giveaway), a 10% coupon for the month to spend at my Etsy shop, The Paper Sonnet, and an e-newsletter that is designed to encourage you to find joy in the simple beauty of life and to be inspired to live a creative life everyday! (The e-newsletter will also feature other artists who are living life beautiful and creatively!) AND guess what?!? The two cards will also come with the correct amount of postage so all you have to do is address them and drop them in the mail! AND a portion of all of the proceeds from each month will go to those who are chronically ill and struggling financially.
See, I told you it was brilliant! I know a BUNCH of bloggers who are striving to be more intentional about sending happy mail, and this would really help make that goal easier to accomplish! 
Annnnnddd... she has generously donated a full year's membership for our IVF auction!  That's 24 gorgeous handmade cards and postage, plus all the other goodies for a whole year :-)  How exciting is that!?! 
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Funding IVF: Silent Auction: Teresa's Canvas Creations

I am really excited about this next auction item!  Teresa, of Teresa's Canvas Creations, is the sister-in-law of one of my favorite people EVER!  And she is donating a really neat item to our IVF Fundraiser auction.  

She paints these really cool canvases, then embellishes them with glitter and sequins and other fun stuff!  Art after my own heart!  Check out some of my favorite samples of her work: 

Notice I'm not posting a picture of a specific item that she's donating...?  It's because she is donating a CUSTOM 11x14 canvas creation!!  The winning bidder gets to help create a canvas that will be perfectly suited to them!  What would you get for yours?  A favorite quote?  Something to match kid's room decor?  A sports-themed canvas?  I'm confident that Teresa and the winning bidder will come up with something fabulous :-)  Check out her Pinterest board for more examples of her work, and maybe scour Pinterest for inspiration for what you'll have Teresa make for you if you win this item!  :-) 
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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Funding IVF: Silent Auction: Baby Booties

When I shared the beautiful baby blanket my friend Kimberly crocheted for our auction, I mentioned that she was working on another item.  Check out these sweet little baby booties!

We are selling them as a set of 2 pairs.  The first pair - pink with a white flower - are about a size 0-3 months.  Then your little one can grow into the second pair - red, with a strap and white flower - which fit about a size 3-6 months foot :-)  

Reminder - if you're thinking about donating an item to our auction and you would like it featured here, I really need confirmation and photos of the item ASAP.  My original deadline was tomorrow, but I should still be able to write up blog posts about donations for a few more days.  The silent auction starts on Facebook on Monday the 24th, though!  So please shoot me an email if you're still planning on helping us in this way! Thank you so much!

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

IVF Adventure: First Meds

As much as we've longed and tried for a baby, it is still so hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea that I am now taking birth control pills!  

I had bloodwork drawn on Monday, to see what was up with Aunt Flo.  They drew estradiol, progesterone and HSG.  My estradiol was low (no surprise), HSG was negative (good to know I'm not already pregnant before starting IVF!) and my progesterone was 1.  The IVF nurse coordinator told me that 1 is extremely low, and that a period usually starts when it goes under 3.  My doctor said we could go ahead and start the pill instead of waiting for a period that may or may not have come :-)  So I started it on Tuesday afternoon.

Since this is my first experience with "the pill," I figured that if it made me moody or whatever, it would take a couple weeks or so for those side effects to kick in, and by then we'd be almost ready to move on to Follistim.  Um... nope. I was wrong.  2 pills in, and I feel so weird.  Things have been going pretty great around here, really.  Work is good, IVF is moving along, everything's kinda coming up Katie right now... but I have been swinging between weepy and ragey all day today.  Which makes me REALLY nervous about the bigger gun drugs!  Please pray that I can adjust to these hormones and all the rest to come!
A pin I've been repeating to myself over... and over... and over.... :-)

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Outfit Post: Black and Floral Skirt Work Outfit

I finally got around to taking a picture of my outfit yesterday!  I've been trying reeeeeally hard to wear reasonably put-together outfits to work, so there have been plenty of opportunities... but I never remember or have time in the morning, and I usually look pretty run down and rumpled by the time I get home ;-)  

Most of these pieces are from my post-Christmas, pre-internship shopping trip to the outlet mall.  Did I mention that there's a really nice outlet mall about 10 minutes from our house? 

  • Cami: Worthington from JCP.  (They come out with seasonal colors - all pretty basic now, but watch for great new colors in spring and summer! I need one in every color they make - LOVE this cami!)
  • Black Ribbed Tights: LOFT Outlet
  • Cream Cardigan: LOFT Outlet 
  • Black and Floral Skirt: LOFT Outlet
  • Black Pumps: Easy Spirit Outlet (I got an amazing deal! Two pairs for $30 (I also got them in textured nude leather).  For Easy Spirit!  They're so comfortable, perfect for subbing or my internship, when I spend more time on my feet than I'm used to.)
  • Necklace: 4th Anniversary gift from Ethan <3
Outfit posts was one of my "to-do" list items for 2014, so I'm excited to go cross off the first of these posts of the year! :-)
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Funding IVF: Silent Auction: Trendy Infinity Scarf

The second fabulous item I get to tell you about is a beautiful and very on-trend infinity scarf by Brette at KutKloth!  Brette went to school with Ethan, and though I've never met her in person, from the emails we've exchanged, she seems like a fun and genuinely kind lady... and as soon as I clicked the link to her shop, I was obsessed with these scarves!  The pom-poms are just too stinkin' cute :-) 

She has agreed to donate a pom-pom infinity scarf in coral and black... check it out...

See what I mean?!  Yum!!!  I'm picturing it with a green tee... would almost look like watermelon! :-)  The scarf is made of a soft knit material with pom-pom trim, and Brette has even sweetened the deal by offering free shipping with this item to whoever wins it :-)  

You can visit KutKloth on Etsy, check out her business Pinterest board, and connect with her on Facebook, too!  Thank you so much, Brette, for your generosity and support!  We appreciate it so, so much! 
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The Girl between The Lines - Favorite Photo and Story

Today, I'm joining Lauren and Hayley's "The Girl between The Lines" link-up party :-)

The prompt this week is "Share one of your favorite photos & the story behind it!"  Which is both fun and difficult for me, because I LOVE pictures...  I have hundreds of favorites!

But here's the one I've chosen...

On the morning of our wedding, our wedding planner brought me a card from Ethan.  It was beautiful, with sweet words - Hallmark and his own - that made my heart soar and my feet itch to get to the end of that aisle!  It was such an Ethan thing to do... so thoughtful and loving.  And I love this picture for the reminder of that gesture, and for the look on my face.  That's the face of a woman being reminded yet again of what a great man she was marrying. <3

Girl Between the Lines Link up
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PS: I have another silent auction item preview posting this evening, and a small IVF update hopefully tomorrow :-) 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Funding IVF: Silent Auction: First Item Sneak Peek!

When I was 14, I started volunteering as a candy striper at our local hospital.  I loved the people - fellow volunteers, supervisors, security, housekeeping, medical staff, patients... everybody! - and my duties so much that I stayed there for the rest of junior high and high school, giving over 600 hours of service, and making wonderful memories and life-long friends.

Senior Picture in my apron, circa 2006
One of these friends is the talent and sweet, sweet heart behind the first auction item I get to share with you!  Kimberly, a recent law school grad who loves her two cats about as much as we love Charley, crocheted a beautiful baby blanket for the lucky highest bidder :-)  The blanket measures about 24 inches square, and is made of plush baby yarn in variegated white, yellow, green, blue, and pink!  It looks deliciously soft and snuggly, and I am going to have to commission one just like it when we have a bundle to wrap in it!

If you'd like to see what else Kimberly is up to, visit her brand-new facebook page!  And keep an eye out for another sweet crocheted item she is working on for this auction. :-)  Thank you so much, Kimberly!!  You're wonderful :-)
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Friday, February 7, 2014

On the Calendar...

We had a FANTASTIC visit with our RE yesterday!  We reviewed our game plan - which hadn't changed, thankfully - and then got to sit down with the IVF nurse coordinator and talk scheduling.

So here's one of those weird things I can't believe I put in black and white (or maybe a purplish-navy blue and white?) for the whole world to read... as a fun little feature of my PCOS, my period is late... again.  But whenever it finally shows up next, our IVF clock starts!!!  On CD3 (cycle day 3, or 3 days from start of period), I will start taking birth control pills to let the IVF staff "take complete control" (their words) of my cycle :-)  I am fairly sure I ovulated about a week and a half or two weeks ago, so any day now...

I'll stay on those pills for a few weeks while we line up the three doctors we'll need in attendance, get my meds ordered, and attend a class.  The class, I believe, is going to mostly consist of filling in official dates, financial paperwork, and learning to give injections.  I THINK the majority of the shots are subcutaneous, which is the same way I used to give my insulin, in my pre-pump days (and still do when my pump is acting up), so I'm fairly confident that we'll pass that part of the class. ;-)  If there are any intramuscular shots, I will be a bit nervous, but I'm glad that at least one typically scary part of the process is already fairly familiar to us! 

In related news, I am really excited about how our silent auction fundraiser is coming along!  I have some dates to share: 

And I am going to have some really exciting items to auction off!  To hint at a few... an afghan crocheted by a friend's mom; a printable or pretty decor item from a sweet bloggy friend of mine (and former student of Ethan's); items from the ever-amazing Rebecca (I'm assuming something from her darling etsy shop, gorgeous, shabby-chic paper crafts), and a few other "something"s from some other very talented friends!  This is going to be awesome!  But please keep sharing this info with your crafty, generous friends... this cycle is coming up quickly!  And as always... thank you for the encouragement and support.  We feel blessed and loved :-)
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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Funding IVF: Silent Auction: Seeking Donations

Thank you all so much for the love and support you've all shown Ethan and me these past few days.  We are almost 5% of the way to our goal, in just 2 days... and at least as importantly, we have received sweet messages of encouragement from so many of you.  We are overwhelmed and so touched by the support!

In my last blog post, I mentioned planning an online silent auction.  I will be hosting it on Always, Katie's facebook page, hopefully the last week of February.  

Where I need your help (besides bidding on items in a few weeks!) is with the items I will be auctioning off.  I am asking for donations, especially of handmade items... this is a great opportunity for small business owners/craftsmen, as I will be talking the items up on this blog and on Facebook, as well as Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest... and you will of course be more than welcome to send business cards or literature along with your donation. 

Some examples of categories I'd love to see represented in this auction would be:
  • Knitted/crocheted items 
  • Baked goods
  • Paper art
  • Printables
  • Bath and Body/Spa Products
  • Paintings/etc
  • Photographs/prints
  • Direct Sales Items
  • Gift Cards
... just to give y'all some ideas.

If you know anyone who may be interested in donating and helping us out with this, please, please share a link to this blog post!  Pin it, Facebook it, tweet it... we will be ETERNALLY grateful!  I am excited about this as a way to both make some money for our IVF cycle, and to get to know and support some other small business owners and artisans :-) (And here is an update with important dates for donors to know!)
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