My Goals #20: Buy A House (Progress at Last!)

I realize it’s been a long time since I’ve written but fall has been incredibly hard for me.  At the end of August we lost our pregnancy which was devastating.  We decided to shelve any potential plans for baby #2.  At the beginning of October we lost my grandpa, who I was very close to, which has made the holidays very difficult.  Barely more than a week after we buried him, my youngest’s brother’s long-term girlfriend passed away at the age of 26.  So to say my family had a rough fall season is an understatement and to be honest I really didn’t have anything positive or uplifting to say for while there.  But that has changed!

About 4 years ago when we first got married, my husband and I put his town-house style condo on the market but the market was terrible and we never sold.  Now that the market has rebounded we’ve decided it’s time to try this again!

Yesterday we met with a relator and looked at a nice sized home about 20 minutes from where we live now.  While that house looked promising, it’s not quite the dream house we thought it would be so we’re continuing to look but we’re so excited to get this going!  Our goal is to put our home on the market in 2 weeks after Theodore’s 1st birthday party.

We’re probably biting off a little more than we can chew with a 2 week goal because with a baby and 2 dogs our house is a disaster!  Plus we have to finish planning and buying things for Theodore’s party.  At least my mom and grandma are coming up a day early to help me set up and prepare the food and my mother in law has done a lot helping with decorations.

32. See the Pandas at the Memphis Zoo

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When I was 22 years old I promised myself that I would take a vacation every year.  My parents never travelled with us when we were children, in fact, I remember only one vacation my entire life, to Six Flags when I was about 11 years old.  I started traveling with friends when I was 19 but because of the costs associated with putting myself through college I was not able to vacation every year.

Until this year I had made good on that promise to myself and was sometimes even able to take a couple short vacations a year.  But this year through some curve balls at me.  We had considered taking a cruise this past winter but my husband’s truck suddenly needed a very expensive repair.  With little left we decided to get a puppy instead of going on vacation this year.  So into our lives came our little corgi girl, Nora.

But a few months down the road, year end bonuses were finally paid out and we began to dream again.  This time we planned a camping trip to Smoky Mountain National Park with our dogs.  A few short weeks before leaving for our trip we found a lump on my older dog, Phoebe.  It was a mammary gland tumor with a 50/50 chance of being cancerous.  So instead we used our vacation money to have her tumor removed (not cancerous thankfully!!!) and have our younger dog spayed in order to avoid those types of tumors for her.  Apparently if you spay female dogs before their first heat cycles they are 99% less likely to ever have that kind of tumor.

Again we scrimped and saved and planned a fall camping trip to Rocky Mountain National Park but then I had an ectopic pregnancy and was out of work following surgery for several weeks.  With not working for so long it put a trip to Colorado out of the realm of affordable.  It appears 2014 was not the kindest to me and my family.

Luckily, we were still able to take a few days off and go somewhere we had talked about going to several years: Memphis, TN.  When I first met my husband he promised to take me to Memphis someday to eat some delicious ribs and this week he finally made good on his promise!  I was also able to cross something off my bucket list: #32: See the Pandas at the Memphis Zoo.  There are 4 zoos in the U.S. with my favorite animal, the Giant Panda.  Previously I had been to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and the San Diego Zoo.

I can’t even begin to say how impressed I was with the Memphis Zoo.  It was evident that a lot of thought had been put into the exhibits and the locations of each animal.  For example, Big Cat Country also included the Red Pandas, as they had a hunter and prey theme.  The China exhibit in which the Giant Pandas were located included information on U.S./Chinese relations and how the Memphis Zoo became one of only four in the entire country to have Giant Pandas.

I was a little bummed that the female panda was on a sleeping schedule and thus was not out in her exhibit but it was very cool to get to see the male panda.   It was without a doubt the highlight of my Memphis trip.  If you are planning a trip in or around Memphis the Memphis Zoo is a MUST!

They also had an amazing Sting Ray exhibit (for an additional cost of $4 a person as of Sept 2014).  I was able to feed sting rays which was such an amazing experience.  This exhibit is seasonal so be sure to check our their website before you visit if the sting rays are a big draw for you.

They also go giraffe feedings twice a day in which you can pay to feed a giraffe.  We were never able to time that one right in order to include feeding the giraffes into our day but it was really cool that they offered that as a possibility.   I have been to quite a few zoos including the San Diego Zoo which is widely considered the best zoo in the country and I would say this zoo is definitely the second best one I’ve been to, with a close third being the St. Louis Zoo.

Our Maybe Baby: Volume 1

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Five months ago, my husband and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary which marked the beginning of us trying to conceive.  At that point I was excited, hopeful, and optimistic about our family’s future.  But after five months of trying and no pregnancy it is hard to be anything but frustrated.

Sometimes frustration seems like too mild of a word to express what I feel about the whole conception process.  I try to rationalize something that has no rationalization. Fertility has nothing to do with your station in life, even though many of us work hard to put ourselves in the optimum position in life.  I wanted to graduate from college, travel a bit, start my career, get married, buy a house and then have a baby.

In between all that real life has kicked in.  I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and had to work much harder than the average person to get myself in a position where I am healthy enough to have a baby.  Which I am very proud to say I did.  Months of watching what I eat, taking prenatal vitamins and extra folic acid, consulting my primary care physician and a specialist, etc.  Everything leading up to the big moment when both life and the doctors gave me the green light to start trying.  And then nothing.  Well nothing but hurt, anger, and frustration.

The worst part is feeling like everything is just so far out of my control.  Like I can’t make any plans because I don’t know if I ‘ll be pregnant or not.  I have about a million things I could be paying down or paying off with the money I’ve saved for a baby but there is always the chance that this month will be the  month.  I feel like I am going out of my mind.

I’d be happy to hear from anyone else that has/had experience with conception frustration and how you are/have dealt with it.