Monday, May 30, 2011

The Weekend Rundown

Alrighty then!  I've been on kind of a lazy blogging stint all weekend, forgetting my camera at times, not remembering to take pictures at other times, yeah...  I guess I just felt the need to just live and not document quite as much this weekend, you know? 

It's been a great weekend though!  So, I'll try and give you the rundown.


I met Sara and Erin for a coffee and light breakfast at a little cafe.  I'd already had some blueberries and yogurt at home, so I opted for a lemon poppyseed muffin and a latte.

We didn't spend long at the cafe before moving on to take a walk on a riverwalk trail nearby.

Love these girls...

Clyde came with us and led the way.

We have had a lot of storms in the area lately, and we all noticed the damage along the trail.

Eventually, we got to a point in the trail where it was closed.

It was still a great little walk though.

Later, I again met up with Sara for a movie.  We saw Something Borrowed.  I read the book a couple years ago and liked it, so was curious to see how it played out in a movie.

I thought it was very well done and pretty accurate to the book.  Thumbs up!

After the movie Sara invited me to come back to her house for dinner.  Twist my arm :)
We had delicious mahi mahi fish tacos and grilled corn.  Kevin also made this great black bean salsa and sent me home with some!


Sunday I had a movie date with Erin.  She wasn't able to come with Sara and I to the movie on Saturday, so we made an alternate movie date.  We saw a matinee of Water For Elephants.

I actually have a copy of the book, but haven't read it.  I thought the movie was great.  I love Robert Pattinson :)

I attended a BBQ in North Charlotte later in the afternoon.  I brought this pasta salad.


This morning I was actually up bright and early to do a little race spectating!  Two of my friends, Kelly and Michelle were running in a 5K in South Park, and I offered to come cheer them on.  They actually wanted me to join them in the race, but I've only been running about once a week lately, and knew I wasn't in prime racing shape.  I did about 3.4 miles on Friday in about 37 minutes, walking and running.  See, not exactly prime racing condition, considering my PR is more like 27 minutes ;)

Anyway, I was up with plenty of time to get ready and head to the race.  I was on my way, and got about two exits down the highway before realizing I had forgotten my camera- FAIL!  I turned around to retrieve it and ended up getting to the race later than planned- I missed their start.

I actually saw both of them cross the finish line, but didn't have my camera out in time (I know, I'm not going to win any spectator of the year awards at this race!).  They both did an extra mile, which was an optional part of the race, so I was armed and ready for that lap :)

They both did great in the race!  Michelle only missed her PR by like 20 seconds, and the course was hilly.  We headed to Dean and Deluca for a late breakfast.

My spectator buddy:

We all went with the make your own omelet option, and I got one with ham, cheese, scallions, and tomato.

We followed up breakfast with a two mile walk around South Park.
I said goodbye to the girls and headed home to get some stuff done at home. 

I made cookies for Tina's bake sale winner so I can get them in the mail tomorrow.

And finished my book club book.

We have our meeting coming up and it should be interesting to talk about this one, since I know a few of my friends were not big fans of the book.  I actually found it interesting.  More on that when we have our meeting!

I actually think this weekend flew by because of all the stuff I had going on, but it was wonderful to have the three day weekend.  How was your weekend??

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Celebrating Five At Pewter Rose

Wow, you guys made me want to cry with all your supportive comments on my last post.  Thank you SO MUCH for reading, commenting, and listening to me whine.  I don't want to sound repetitive but it is just a hard thing to feel this way and to struggle with trying to conceive.  I just sometimes feel hopeless when I look at my odds with Greg being away and how narrow the window of when it can happen is.  I'll keep on trucking a long and hopefully we will get lucky.  In the mean time, thank you all for thinking of me, praying for me, and reading.  I really appreciate the support!

Anyway!  As you know, Greg was not here for our anniversary last week.  That kind of thing really doesn't bother me at all, because I know we can easily celebrate it another day and it's not a big deal.  It's him missing my ovulation altogether that really gets my panties in a bunch ;)  So to celebrate our anniversary, we decided to go to Pewter Rose Bistro, a little restaurant in the South End of Charlotte. 

I've been there for drinks, but never eaten there.  My main reason for choosing it, was that I've heard they have some great vegetarian options.  Since Greg tends to gravitate towards vegetarian choices, I figured I would choose somewhere with at least a couple good options rather than go to a place with like one thing on the menu.

I love the inside of the restaurant, with exposed brick, trees, and Christmas lights.

My hot date.

And me.

I bet you guys can't guess what I ordered to drink?

Yup, that'd be my usual- a Malbec.

Greg knew right off the bat what he wanted- the lasagna:  pasta, mushroom duxelle, sautéed spinach, butternut squash, gruyere cheese, sofrito.

And it came with garlic bread- which doubled his pleasure.

I had a hard time deciding what to order, but knew I desperately wanted to try the truffle mac and cheese.  I opted for a side of the mac and cheese with a goat cheese salad topped with a crab cake.

The crabcake and goat cheese salad was excellent, but the truffle mac and cheese totally stole the show.

It was "heavens opened up and angels sang" good!  The first words out of my mouth were "OH MY GOD".  Yeah...  It was awesome.  I kind of want a vat of it to bathe in...  I have already decided that next time I go, I'm going to order two side orders of the truffle mac and cheese and a side salad.  I could order three orders and no salad, but that would be excessive, right?

We had an excellent date night out celebrating five years.

If you're in Charlotte and looking for excellent veg options and a cute place for a nice date, Pewter Rose is an excellent option.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Trying To Conceive Blues

I'm feeling kind of blue today. 


Ever since I've been trying to conceive, my months are filled with ups and downs and hope and disappointment.  It really is a roller coaster.  This cycle started with high hopes as I marked my husband's days off (when he would be home) on the calendar like I do every month and then used some ovulation predictor charts online to figure out when our best chance to conceive would be and more importantly, whether Greg would be anywhere near me at that time.  Two or three cycles in a row we've tried on, the day before, or two days before I got my LH surge on an Ovulation Predictor test.  Everyone says "the swimmers" (as I like to call them) can live up to seven days in a woman's body so in theory we could have gotten pregnant by trying within a few days of ovulation, but in our case that hasn't happened yet.  I've been dying to have a cycle where we could try RIGHT ON the day I ovulate, which would actually be about a day or two past when I get my positive OPK test. 

By my calculations, this could have actually been THE month that could happen since I usually get my surge right at day 14 of my cycle and Greg was supposed to be home a day after that!  Imagine my disappointment when I took an OPK on day 11 of my cycle (because I usually start taking the tests a few days before, just in case), and I had a positive already!  I ovulated early :(  This was bad news since my hubby was sitting in hotel room in LA, and I was on the east coast headed to Hilton Head.  It basically meant I again ovulated while Greg was no where near me.  Awesome.  I basically had to laugh.  I don't know how we really have any hope of hitting it (pun intended) at the exact right time with Greg flying all over the place and never home at the right time.  Especially since my ovulation/egg is now jumping all over the place like a greased pig that doesn't want to be caught by switching up days on me.  I think I need to injure Greg, Kathy Bates style, so that he'll be home for an entire month and we actually have a legitimate shot at this. 

Juuuuuuuuuuuuuust kidding!

Honestly, I'm kind of exhausted emotionally and physically over this process.  I feel like I've lost myself lately.  A few months ago I was on top of the world about it all.  I even remember smiling while running my marathon knowing this was the next BIG THING.

Physically- I was so excited to try to conceive after my marathon, knowing I was in such great shape.  I was lean and strong, and thought it was the perfect time to have a baby.  Of course, in the following months, I cut way back on running to give my body some rest and settled into low-impact stuff like walking that seemed more conducive to carrying a baby.  I still am afraid to do much physically besides walk, and that doesn't seem to be cutting it these days.  I feel lazy and sluggish and it's doing nothing for my self esteem.  I pretty much feel like a blob.

Food wise- I still eat pretty healthy most of the time (cupcakes not included), but without working out as much, I probably should be watching what I'm eating more, since I'm not burning it off like I was when I ran regularly.  I feel uninspired to cook a lot of the time lately, and definitely haven't been coming up with much new stuff to cook.  I have kind of lost my healthy living mojo.  I just kind of want to lay on the couch with my puppy, eat some chips, and watch trashy TV.  It's awful.  Who am I?

Emotionally- Like I said, it's just draining to go on the up and down roller coaster of hope and disappointment every month.  Again, I was in such a GREAT place after the marathon when we started trying.  I was excited about the idea of becoming a mother and feeling like what I waited for so long was finally going to happen.  I also felt great about myself, I was in a really good place with where I was with the world, my marriage, my life...  ready to bring a baby into all that joy.  Now, I kind of feel like I've fallen off that high, and it's a struggle to feel like I'm my best self these days.  A lot of people keep telling me to be positive, but it's tough. 

The other thing about being a person 5-6 months into this journey of TTC is that I feel like I don't fit in anywhere in terms of relating to people, except a small few that I know are in my same boat.  I often feel kind of alone in it all.

Diagnosed infertile people kind of hate me for whining, thinking I surely will conceive easily and that it's way too early for me to be concerned.  Infertile people have this awesome network of support though, and I'm envious of their ability to tweet, blog, and discuss their struggles and that have each other to lean on when things are tough.  It's an exclusive club, and I can only watch and listen since I'm not really a part of it.  I don't know if I have actual issues or not yet or if we'll need medical help to conceive, I'm still going to try for a little while longer before I see my doctor since I know timing is an issue for us.

People that had an easy time conceiving can't always relate either.  They just keep telling me it'll definitely happen.  I'm not mad at them at all for saying this at all, I wish I could be as positive as they seem to be.  I also just know that they don't know how hard it can be when it takes a while.  *sigh*

I constantly feel like I'm not supposed to feel disappointed, sad, or frustrated that it hasn't happened and that I'm being ridiculous for feeling this way at this point in the journey.  Well, I do feel disappointed, sad, and frustrated.  I don't think I can help how I feel anymore than an infertile person does.  And, I think I do deserve to feel this way.  I've gone through a lot in my life to finally get to the point where I could try to have a child.  I'm in my 30's and my husband is nearing 40.  I would love to have started trying earlier, but it would not have been the responsible thing to do, to bring a child into our lives when things were so unstable and chaotic.  Walk a mile in my shoes and tell me I don't deserve to feel how I feel about it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Restaurant Quality Dinner At Home

This is week is flying by!  Not that I'm complaining.  I have a three day weekend coming up and I'll gladly take it!  Also, tonight Greg and I are planning on celebrating our 5th anniversary out to dinner :)  Definitely looking forward to that!

So, to finish up my recap of Hilton Head this past weekend, I had to share my awesome family dinner with you guys.  It was kind of a joint effort in cooking, but I actually didn't contribute much to this meal (I think I was showering?!).  Most of it was cooked by my mom and brother.

My brother is a great cook.  He had an interest in cooking fairly early on, because he always wanted to eat.  I distinctly remember him making batches of fried rice was he was all of eleven years old.  If he hadn't gone into finance, I seriously think he could have had a career as a chef.

First up, he made a batch of guacamole.  He pretty much did it the same way I do.  I think the the only thing he did differently was to chop the tomato VERY finely, and try to de-seed it as much as possible.   
Okay, so eating lots of guac probably was the main reason I didn't contribute much to dinner ;)

Next up, he made seared scallops.  I believe they were seasoned with a little paprika.

Into the cast iron skillet.

He cooked them PERFECTLY.  Restaurant quality.  Seriously, it was that just done enough, but not overdone perfect amount of time in the pan that people strive for with scallops.

The salad was mainly made by Ashley, with assorted veggies, lettuce, and spinach.

My brother also did the spice rub for the steak, which consisted of 1/3 cocoa powder, 1/3 salt, and 1/3 chili powder.  I think this was a Bobby Flay recipe, and the rub is PHENOMENAL.  Cocoa powder might sound a little strange, but trust me, do it :)

My mom focused on cooking the Shrimp/Herbed Pasta.  Here is the recipe:

1 lb angel hair pasta
2 lbs shrimp, cleaned, devained, dried & sprinkled with seasoning like lemon pepper or Emril's
4 T EVOO divided
lg clove minced garlic
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup pasta cooking water
1 lemon, juiced
2T each chopped fresh basil, parsley, rosemary, chive
1 T butter
salt & crushed red pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cook angel hair and set aside, reserve 1/4 cup cooking water.
Heat large skillet to medium high and saute shrimp in 2T EVOO a couple minutes per side; you may need to do it in 2 batches. Remove from skillet and place in bowl.
Add garlic just to heat through, do not burn!
Pour in wine & deglaze pan. Add reserved pasta water. Return shrimp, add lemon juice and herbs, butter, salt & pepper and remaining 2 T of EVOO. Quickly mix & heat through.
Sprinkle with shredded fresh Parmesan cheese if desired.

This pasta is fantastic.  It's light, lemony, buttery, and herb-y.  So good!

My plate, which also included fresh steamed green beans and I also tried to slices of my bro's spiced rubbed steak.

My dad's choice for our wine that night was this Acrobat Pinot Noir.  Yum!

He recently got into using an aerator and said it really seems to make a difference.

Dessert was leftover raspberry, chocolate, almond birthday cake. 

Meals at my parents' house are almost always restaurant quality good.  Our dinner conversations are always lively and fun too.  I love being at my parents' house :)
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