Probably a little TMI…

Every morning, when I wake up, I walk around my apartment getting ready, or when I am in the middle of doing chores on the weekend, I remind myself that I need to get back on my blog and make a life update. Since I was last here, I have traveled and got a new great job. So, friends, tuck in and let’s chat. It’s going to be a long one.

Things have happened since I have talked to you all. I spent a great week in Michigan, and a great week after with my cousin, Maiya, for her 18th birthday. We spent time at the beach and then in New Orleans. I also was able to find an amazing job, that I feel so lucky to have, after looking for only a couple weeks. I cannot say how lucky I feel.

Now, for what has been on my mind for a little while. This is what I wanted to write about for two weeks, but I have felt like I don’t have quite enough information to feel like I can write about it.  I have started and restarted this post several times, and I just do not know where or how to begin.

For as long as I can remember, I have had irregular cycles, unless I was on birth control. I thought that was normal. Sometimes I would have two cycles in 30 days, sometimes I would skip a cycle altogether. My previous gynecologist looked at a record of my cycles and said she wasn’t worried, so I tried not think about it anymore. I also suffered from severe cramps for a very long time, the worst was when I was on the Nuvaring birth control. I used that for a little less than a year, and every month, I would call out of work at least once because I would be in so much pain that I couldn’t move, let alone work. So I stopped using it. The severity of the cramps lessened, but were still painful, although after experiencing that, I have been able to tolerate what I do have for the most part. I had cystic acne, oily skin, and had some hair growing under my chin. That sucked. Since I stopped using the Nuvaring, I gained a lot of weight, although I have always struggled with my weight, and have had the hardest time losing it.

I came up with every reason to excuse away my symptoms. Maybe my cycles were irregular because of stress, or I was traveling, or my weight, or just because. The acne? It was because of my diet, maybe. Or, maybe I just wasn’t taking good enough care of my skin in general. My weight was also because of my diet, and the fact that when I changed my job, my activity level went down. The cramps, well some women just have that. I was the master of making up excuses. But I was also one of those WebMD people looking up all of my symptoms on the internet. I found that my symptoms fit best with polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS. The only symptom I didn’t have were cysts on my ovaries, so I was always unsure.

Also, I was scared to ask the question. If you ask the question, you may get an answer that you don’t like.

But this summer, after finding out that I have family members who have PCOS on both sides of my family, I decided it was time to officially ask. In the beginning of September, I talked to my doctor. She chuckled at me good-naturedly when I listed my symptoms and said that I wanted her opinion on whether or not she thought that maybe I had it. She asked when my last cycle started, which had been a week or two before and I gave her a history of my cycles for the last year and a half. She said “It sounds like you’ve done your research.” I had. My doctor said that given my symptoms, it was possible, but that she wanted to run blood work to check for diabetes, which goes hand-in-hand with PCOS sometimes, and to check my hormone levels. She said that sometimes PCOS shows up in a blood panel. Sometimes, it doesn’t show up. Sometimes, you will have blood work done one month, and it will be negative, and then the next month it will be positive. That was not reassuring. She said after we get the blood work back, if it was inconclusive, we would do a pelvic ultrasound. I left the doctor’s office uneasy and anxious. Because the appointment was in the middle of the day, and in all the research I had done, I never checked how they diagnosed PCOS, I didn’t anticipate needing to have blood work done, so I hadn’t been fasting for it. I went home without going to the lab and pushed it out of my mind.

A thing you should know about me: I hate needles and having my blood drawn. I put getting blood draws off as long as I possibly can. Which is why it took me a month to have the blood work done.

Well, fast forward a month, and I had, again, skipped a cycle. I was sitting on the couch, and realized “Holy cow, it’s October 1st.” I checked the app on my phone to see if I had cycled in September, and maybe forgotten it, and saw that I had not. I told myself “Well, I just started a new job. Maybe my body is just stressed from the change in my schedule. Maybe that’s what happened.” I knew I was just trying to make myself feel better. Remember, friends. I like to make excuses! I looked at the lab order sitting on my kitchen table, because I still had not gone and had my blood drawn, and knew it was time to go in. That Friday, after work, I went to the lab and let them take my blood. The following Thursday, after waiting anxiously for a week, my doctor finally called me.

My blood glucose levels were normal. No diabetes. I am also not pre-diabetic. That’s the good news. But – it seems like there is always a “but” – my testosterone levels were high. Really high. Sky high, honestly. She also said that my sex hormone binding globulin (which I had never even heard of) was very low. This is how PCOS shows up in blood work. My doctor told me she could give me a prescription for a medication to combat any hair loss and the small amount of hair growth under my chin, but I told her that the hair growth is manageable on my own. It’s not bad enough that I feel like I need a medication. And the only option I have been given so far to combat all of my other symptoms is birth control. This is the common treatment for women with PCOS who are not actively trying to have a baby, which my husband I are not. But since we got married, we have not been actively avoiding pregnancy. We have operated under the idea that, if it happens, it happens. I explained this to my doctor at my initial appointment, and again over the phone when she gave me my diagnosis. She didn’t say anything when I said that. That dead air on the phone was pretty deafening. She told me to call the office if I had any other questions. That was the last time I talked to her, almost three weeks ago.

I didn’t have any questions at the time. I was at work and was still trying to process everything, as well as do my job. But the first thing I did when I got home, after telling my husband and my family my fun new news (listen for sarcasm there, friends.), I started my research. I spent hours on the computer over the next few days reading everything I could, and looking for other forms and types of treatment.

I experienced so many “Ah-ha” moments. I knew my acne was probably caused by PCOS, but my oily skin that I have been complaining about for years? That’s a symptom. Mood swings? Check. Dark skin in various areas? Yup. Hair loss from the scalp? Well, I thought maybe that was stress and because I wear my hair up too often or use too much heat, even though those had never really been issues before. But that’s a symptom too. All these little things I had noticed about myself, I had written off as normal, or stress related. Like I said, I am really good at making excuses for myself.

But now I have an actual answer.

I still have more questions than not. The biggest being: Am I going to have a hard time getting pregnant? PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in women in the US, according to the many, many articles I read over the internet this weekend. It affects around 200,000 women each year nationally. I reached out to a couple friends, and it turns out, I know 4 other women who have PCOS, including two family members. It is so common, but no one talks about it.

Anyone who knows me knows how badly I have always wanted to be a mom. I have had baby-fever for years. Literally, years. Probably since my sister had her first, which was 8 years ago. Yes, I was 19. No, I was nowhere near ready to have a baby, but I would not have hated having one. (Don’t worry, family. I was not being irresponsible or trying to have a baby. I promise!) I love babies. The thought that getting pregnant will be twice as hard, and that I will be more likely to have complications during pregnancy scares the life out of me. I am a “worst case scenario” person. I assume the worst is going to happen so I can prepare. The last thing I want is to be caught off-guard and not know what my next step will be. Maybe I am an over-planner? But I don’t know how to prepare for something like this.

So before trying to start preparing for the worst case, I have decided to get a second opinion on what my treatment options are, and how we will proceed when Peter and I decide to actually start trying to get pregnant. Will they tell us to try naturally for a shorter amount of time? Will they immediately offer assistance? Or will it be business as usual – “Try for 12 months, and then come see us if you’re not pregnant.” How likely is it that I cannot get pregnant?

Right now, I have no answers. I hope no one came here looking for any. I am not an expert on PCOS, and there are far better sources to go to, if you are looking for insights. I am just another girl, joining the large group of women with a hormone disorder. If you are in the same boat, follow along. I will try to be better about updating my blog with news and how I am progressing and dealing with this. But I also do not want to turn my blog into a PCOS only blog, because I do not want my life to be about only that, even though for the last two and a half weeks, it is all I have thought about with my spare time.

This was not a fun post to write. But I do feel better after having written it. It has been on my mind for a little while now, and I just haven’t known how to write it. But, like I have said before, sometimes, you just have to start.

And sometimes, there is no good ending point for a post. So, like I have done before, I will just have to sign out.

Send some good vibes my way, friends.



Disney will always be magic.

Disney will always be magic.

Hi friends! I promised that I would share with you our trip to Disney World, and here it is! It may get a little lenthy. I can gush about all things Disney forever. It’s one of my favorite things ever. If you don’t know that yet, you will. I promise. 🙂

So Disney World. The place where all magic happens? Yes, indeed. The place where I met my husband, which makes it even more magical? Also, yes. Is it my favorite place in the world? Absolutely.

Way back in March (I think? Correct me if I am wrong, Ashley.) my older sister asked me to help her plan a trip to Disney World for her kids. She and her husband, Dennis, wanted to go all out, and because I worked there, they wanted my help. And, because I love Disney almost as much as I love them, I had to help without a doubt. I know a few insider secrets and things that they absolutely had to do while they were there, although a lot has changed since I worked there in 2010. And then, my sister, being the awesome and amazing big sister that she is, asked if Peter and I wanted to come with them. She offered their hotel room to us so that all we would have to do would be buy park tickets and get ourselves there. She said we could come for the entire week they were there, if we wanted, or just part. Whatever worked for us. We couldn’t turn it down! There was NO way I was going to miss Alex and Juliana’s first time at Disney World.

So, Ashley and I had many phone calls and texts back and forth, and finally, we had their entire trip planned out. The hotel was set; They were staying on property at The Art of Animation, because they decided if they were going to do Disney World, they were going to do Disney World. They had a couple reservations set, they had their park tickets, and their flights. They were excited.

Pete and I were excited as well. As it was a closing week at his job, he couldn’t take the full week off for the trip, unfortunately for me. But we were able to go Thursday through the following Monday. We would be able to spend Friday and Saturday with Ashley, Dennis and the kids, as they were leaving on Sunday morning. But it allowed Pete and I to have a day at the park just the two of us to really hit the park as hard as we wanted to. And man, did we hit it.

Once the decision was made, and all of the tickets and everything were purchased, my sister and I started counting down days. Literally.  Did I have my suitcase entirely packed two weeks before our trip? Yes. Yes, I did.

My suitcase to Disney
This was my suitcase for Disney. And yes, I wear that HomeT all the time. It’s amazing.

Finally, the end of May rolled around, and it was time for our trip. Pete and I drove for about 6 or 7 hours from Mississippi to get to Orlando, which wasn’t too bad of a drive. By the time we got there, it was around dinner time. We managed to get into my sister’s hotel room so we could change our clothes, then we drove over to Disney Springs for dinner at Earl of Sandwich, where we used to frequent. We wandered around for a while, taking in the new sights of the shopping district of Disney. That has been built up so much since we lived in Orlando! We got shakes at Ghiradelli’s, which if you haven’t done, oh, my God, go get one. What are you doing with your life?

By that time, Ashley, Dennis and the kids were on their way back to the hotel, so we drove back to meet up with them.

Let me tell you: This trip was perfect. My niece, Juliana, and nephew, Alex, are at such a great age to experience Disney World, and I felt so lucky that I was able to see them there. They are 6 and 8, respectively.

Alex, J and myself
I have to tell you guys, in this picture right here, I was in absolute HEAVEN. These two are my favorites.  (photo credit: my sister)

Our time with my sister’s family was precious to me. It had been almost 6 months since I had seen them, so I was just soaking up all of the love and cuddles and giggles that I could. We went to EPCOT first. We went on a couple rides and saw a few characters, which was really cool. I won’t lie to you: I almost cried a couple times. Ashley kept teasing me about it. Oh well. Then went back to the hotel and swam in the super cool pool at The Art of Animation Resort. We ate dinner at the hotel and then headed back to EPCOT to watch the fireworks. The next day, Alex HAD to go on Tower of Terror with me and Peter, so we went to Hollywood Studios. It was awesome. We also managed to get into The Little Mermaid show (which is like a 10 min musical show that has live actors who just sing the songs from The Little Mermaid, which happens to currently be Juliana’s favorite princess movie right now). The cast members saw that she had a birthday button on, as she turned 6 while she was at Disney World, and asked her to open the show for them. That was pretty cool.

Once she saw Cinderella, Juliana couldn’t take her eyes off her until she finally made her way over to our table. It was perfect.

For Juliana’s birthday, we went to the Grand Floridian Resort for dinner with Cinderella, Prince Charming and the Tremaines. Seeing my niece interact with my favorite princess was the best thing that I have ever been able to see. That little girl did not want to stop looking at Cinderella. It was precious, and, while I was close to it, I did not cry. I swear.

After dinner, Peter, Dennis, and I went to Animal Kingdom for Extra Magic Hours (which is when the park closes to everyone, except those who are staying on Disney property at one of the designated Disney hotels) in hopes of getting into the new land Pandora, which is based off of the movie Avatar. Peter was extra excited to get back to Animal Kingdom because that was where he used to work. When we got there, the line to go into Pandora was already obscenely long; Peter figured it probably had about 10,000 people in it, and the park hadn’t even closed yet.  The opening of Pandora was for people staying at Disney Resorts first. It opened to the general public the next day. So we decided to wait to jump in line at Pandora until the park emptied out a little more. Instead, as much as I hate it, Dennis and Peter made me ride Dinosaur: The Ride. If you’ve never been on it, it’s awful. It’s loud, and dark, and it throws you all over the place. But not in a fun roller coaster way, because I love roller coasters. But in a way that you feel like you might fly out of the car you are in. I hate Dinosaur. But I was going to be a trooper. We made it onto the ride just in time, because they were getting ready to close. Then we ran over to Mount Everest and walked onto that ride. Literally, there was no line. It was awesome. And if you have never had the chance to ride Everest at night, oh, my God, do it. It is 100% better at night than during the day. We managed to get onto Everest twice before we investigated the line for Pandora again. By this time, the park had probably been closed to general guests for about half an hour. We jumped in line, and as all of the guests filtered through the park towards Pandora, we found out that, yes, we would get to walk through the new area, but the lines to the rides were already closed because there were too many people. The three of us decided that wasn’t worth it to us, as Dennis had an incredibly early flight in the morning with two kids, and Pete and I were planning to run around Magic Kingdom all day the next day. So we decided to head back to the hotel.

Saying goodbye to my sister’s family is never a fun thing. But I knew that I would be seeing them again this summer, so it wasn’t too bad.

Yes, I made my husband wear a matching shirt with me. He didn’t want to. But he loves the shirt and wears it around the apartment often now. So, in the end, I was right, and that’s all that matters, right?

Peter’s and my last day was spent at Magic Kingdom. We went to dinner at one of our favorite date night restaurants, Tony’s, watched the fireworks and ran all over Magic Kingdom, just the two of us. It was pretty wonderful. It was the first time we had been back since the Fantasyland Expansion had opened up, and I was ecstatic to see that. I worked in Fantasyland when I was on my internship, and I saw them doing something of the building, so I was over the moon to see it finished. It was hot as all get out, because Florida in basically June, duh. But I loved every second of it.

As we walked around Magic Kingdom, we talked about eventually getting annual park passes, because Orlando is only around a 5 hour drive for us now that we live in Pensacola. We haven’t bought them yet, much to my chagrin. But eventually, maybe. Leaving Disney World was a sad day, because it will always hold an incredibly special spot in my heart, but we will be back.

So that was our short trip to Disney World (because in my opinion, a trip to Disney is never long enough).


I am still alive. I swear.

I am still alive. I swear.

Oh, my gosh. Wow. It’s been so long. I honestly don’t even have a good excuse for you guys. I just got lazy and felt like I ran out of things to write about. I am alive, I promise.

My face
Y’all, the SnapChat filters are my jam. I will be really sad when they go away.

But, hi. How are you? I’ve missed you! What is new? It’s summer, now. In some places that’s a wonderful thing. But I live in the south, and I am not by any means a summer baby, so it’s just hot to me. That’s not terribly fun for me. But what about you? Do you love summer? Have you done anything fun? Have you gone anywhere? I haven’t but I have plans. More on those later. Fill me in on all of your fun news, dear reader. Tell me everything! I am sure it is way more fun than I have had.

So, new with me. Well, not much. Oh! Since I saw you last, I went to Disney World! That was fun. I hinted at a trip in a previous post, and had planned on showing you how I was going to pack for that trip, but never did. Over Memorial Day, Peter and I drove from Mississippi to Orlando, FL to meet up with my sister and her family for a few days at the parks. I was going to put all of that into this post, but it was getting to be pretty lengthy. Honestly, I could talk about that trip for hours, it was just so perfect. So I decided to put that into its own post. I will include pictures, because obviously you guys want to see those, right? I am going to assume you said “Obviously, Sam! Duh!”

Cinderella's Castle

Around the same time that we went to Disney, Peter was offered a new job in Pensacola, FL, which is where he is from originally. It was a really great opportunity, so he accepted it. Unfortunately, Pensacola is a bit of a hike from where we lived in Mississippi, so we have since moved. Leaving my job sucked, but I felt so lucky to have been there for as long as I had been. I learned so much, and I loved working with one of my oldest friends every day, but sometimes you just have to make a change. So we now live in Pensacola, Florida. We moved at the end of June, and we love it. We have a nice apartment and we live in a great part of town, so we are both really happy. I haven’t started looking for a job yet, because I have a vacation planned that will eat up about two weeks of August, so I didn’t want to accept a position and tell my new job “Oh, hey, by the way, I have a huge trip planned, so I need that time off. Thanks!” So, when I am done with my vacation, I will jump into job hunting, which I hate, but it is a necessary evil.

Honestly. SnapChat filters give me life.

Okay. This vacation. I am so excited. Next Wednesday, I am flying back to Michigan to spend a week with my family. I have not been back home since January, so I am excited to see all of my family and some friends. I am looking forward to having a week to visit with people, as opposed to the long weekends that I usually have. 5 days is so much better than two. I will show how I pack for this trip. I promise! I am a master packer, although if you really want to see me do work, you want to see me pack for a long winter weekend. Usually for those trips, I would only take a backpack. And if you live someplace that there is actual cold weather, unlike what we have here, you know how bulky winter clothes are. That is a challenge. Anyway, I digress. When I leave to come home, I am bringing my cousin, Maiya, who will be turning 18 in August, home with me to Pensacola. I am so excited to be able to do this with her for such a milestone birthday. I will actually have her on her birthday, so I need to make it extra special. We are going to go to the beach, we are going to go to the zoo (because if you say you don’t like the zoo, you’re lying.) and then we are going to spend a couple of days in New Orleans. It’s about a 4 hour drive from here to New Orleans, so we are making that the end of our trip, as she is going to fly back to Michigan from there. She is pretty excited, and I am too. If you live in the Pensacola area and know of any super fun things to do, let me know!

Other than that, nothing is too new here. I found that even though I got rid of so much stuff, moving still sucks and no matter how much you get rid of, when moving, you always have too much stuff. 100% of the time. I stand by that number. We almost didn’t have enough space in our moving truck, but that also may have been because our movers kind of sucked, which I can say because we didn’t have friends help us load the truck up. So our movers were pretty terrible at packing the truck, in addition to being over an hour late. The whole moving an entire household experience totally soured me on the prospect of ever moving again. And that was just for Peter and myself! I cannot imagine if there had been kids involved.

Anyway, I think this is enough information for right now. I will come back to you with a post about our trip to Disney, and another about getting ready to travel, because I think that will be a really fun one to write.

Hey, thanks for checking back and reading this. I know I haven’t been active at all lately. I am going to try to change that.

Talk to you soon. (I promise!)