10th Anniversary + IVF Results

Today Ben and I are celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary. Crazy, right? I seriously cannot believe how fast time flies. I mean just look at us on our wedding day… we were just babies that fell in love our senior year of high school and married 6 years later.

wedding photoCan you tell this was before digital photos?
I just barely missed out on that amazing turn of technology. Woof.

wedding trolleySo Ben and I have been together for 16 years (6 dating, 10 married).
That’s almost half my life. Crazy.

Seriously love this man and am so thankful our relationship grows stronger every year. I mean, what other guy would let me draw with permanent marker on his face? And then post it on the internet?

benOr what guy would give up almost every weekend to help his wife with her next big DIY idea? Ben is always willing to lend a hand and follow my crazy dreams. The only thing we still need to work on is his eagerness to shop at thrift stores. That man is a major germaphobe.

kitchen backsplash tutorialBut he’s all mine, ladies. All mine.

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 11.49.34 AMI have to admit the majority of our photos together as of recent are from our condo balcony in Panama City Beach from each summer vacation. We always have plenty of photos from this exact spot…

Most of them are with Ben making silly faces though. Typical Ben.
And always making really corny dad jokes. 

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 11.49.50 AM

But I tend to forgive him because he’s easy on the eyes.
He might kill me for posting this pic too ;)

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 11.57.36 AMBen is also an amazing dad. Always up for a bike ride or hiking with Ellie, helping coach her soccer team, or endlessly discussing Harry Potter with her (love my little nerds).

ellie-and-ben 1And this guy is sweet, sensitive, loving, always by my side through the ups and downs, especially during our long battle with infertility.

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 11.48.35 AMSo if you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that our first beta test after the IVF transfer was a disappointing 8.5 (anything over a 5 is considered positive though). We were hoping the first beta test would be around 50. Yeah, not the news we were hoping to hear. We held on for hope but it appeared I was having a chemical pregnancy (early miscarriage).

My doctor’s office decided to schedule me for another blood test, this time 4 days later. They say your numbers are supposed to double every 48-72 hours so after a long 4 day weekend we were hoping for above a 34… my results showed 44.6.  Yep, still positive and climbing. I was shocked. Completely shocked. We were hoping the first result was so low because it just implanted late.

But my doctor wanted to keep a close eye on my numbers so we scheduled a third beta test for yesterday morning. We were hoping for above an 89… my results showed 143.7. Yep, still pregnant and growing strong.

This coming Monday I’ll go in for a 4th blood test, then upon those results we would schedule the first ultrasound. I have to admit though, I’m still sitting here on pins and needles. I miscarried before at 7 weeks so I’m trying to be hopeful yet cautious. We’ve been actively trying to conceive since April 2010 (yes, over five years). 9 failed IUI’s and 1 IVF. But here is our second miracle baby, hoping to arrive a little over 8 years after our first miracle baby turned our world upside down.

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 11.49.17 AMThroughout this process I’ve had a very supportive, loving husband who stands by my side through thick and thin. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in crime and I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years brings us. Love you babe!

Thanks again for all of your prayers and support.
I hope you have a safe and happy 4th of July!

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Well you probably wish I would have been finishing my parents’ family room or my master bedroom over this past weekend, but instead we took a little trip to the Wizardly World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando. And it was a BLAST! I sure am tired today, but it’s totally worth it. So since I have no new big project to show you, here’s some quick pics from the last couple days…

universal studios picFirst of all, if you’re thinking of ever going to Universal Studios, spend the money to stay at a hotel onsite. You automatically get an Express Pass to skip ahead in line. Totally worth it. Some waits were about 1 hour, but with our Express Pass we got on the ride in 10 minutes or less. Plus you get into the park an hour before everyone else.

And you get to stay in really cool hotels, like this one…

hotelThis is the Loew’s Portofino Bay Hotel. A little slice of Italy right in Florida!

loews portofino bay hotelSo if you remember my Christmas post, this was Ellie’s Christmas gift from us. Ok… not really. We’ve just never really taken a family vacation before and this was our excuse. She’s obsessed with anything Harry Potter so visiting Hogwarts and Diagon Alley was her dream come true.

diagon alleyOur first stop was Olivander’s to pick up a wand.

olivanders wand shop orlandoAnd Ellie was lucky enough to get picked for a wand fitting!
Talk about beginner’s luck… or really cute dimples.

olivanders wand shopThe rest of Diagon Alley was straight out of the movie.

diagon alley harry potterIncluding George and Fred’s shop filled with tricks and candies.

diagon alley harry potter worldOur favorite stop in Diagon Alley was Gringott’s Bank.

gringotts bank in orlandoYou get a tour of the place with these amazingly realistic goblins while you wait for the ride. Unbelievable attention to detail in this place!

gringotts bank goblinsNext we snapped a quick pic with the knight bus driver and the shrunken head. Yep, the head actually talked to us. Ellie thought it was hilarious.

night train harry potterWe followed up with a quick meal at The Leaky Cauldron. Throughout the Wizardly World of Harry Potter you can get Butter Beer, a sweet concoction that kind of tastes like butterscotch. I was only able to drink half at lunch because it was so sweet.

leaky cauldron restaurantThe next day we took the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade.

hogwarts express orlandoYou even got to walk through the brick wall at Platform 9 3/4.

hogwarts express train stationAnd when you get off the train from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade,
you’re greeted with this…

hogwarts schoolI wish we would have taken photos inside this castle, but you need to store your items in a locker before getting on the ride that’s inside.

Once we were done touring Hogwarts, we had some fun on the other rides like Jurassic Park. We’re in the last row at the very top of the photo. Now wait for it….

jurassic park rideYeah, Ellie’s expression is priceless.
I guess that hill was a little taller than we realized.

ellies faceThe last night we caught the parade just before sunset.

orlando universal studios paradeAnd snapped a couple tourist pics…

universal studios florida

universal studios vacation

family vacationJust two and a half days in the park, but it was actually the perfect amount of time. We had a blast, and walked about 12 miles a day. So please excuse me while I go soak my feet…