the impact on relationships.

Navigating relationships while struggling with infertility can be a challenging thing! Friends, family, significant others. We walk a line of guarding our hearts, while loving others without hesitation. We try to figure out how to protect marital intimacy while being told when we can (and can’t) have sex. We throw ourselves into the friendships and community around us, all while they may (or may not) know about the desire for a family raging inside us. We watch siblings start their families and relationships with grandparents develop with our nephews and nieces and try to navigate all the emotions that come with wanting that too. We celebrate first, second, and third pregnancies for friends, while wondering if and when, our own family will grow.

When EmpowHer asked me to write a piece about the impact on relationships while struggling with infertility, I jumped at it. It’s not often talked about and I wanted to start the conversation. Start it. Because there is so much more to be said, but for today, this is a start.

“The impact infertility plays in life is tremendous. When faced with delayed dreams to start or grow a family, personal relationships are inevitably altered, in both good ways and bad. But how? To gather a variety of experiences on this topic, I did what any other normal millennial would do … “(click here to continue reading) 

I wanted to thank the TTC community for jumping into this conversation with me and being the voices (literally!) behind this article. The words you shared were vulnerable, real, raw, and diverse. I plan to share more of what you said this summer, so stay tuned!

Hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!


may crushes.

It’s hard to believe we are reaching the end of MAY. Where has this month gone? I feel like we will blink and the summer will be over. GULP! If that’s not reason to be more intentional about living fully each day, I don’t know what is!

Time for my May Crushes!

  1. trösta box.

I love this monthly subscription box! The goal of trösta box is to help you prioritize and care for yourself better, sustaining a real practice of self care. The items in my May box were awesome and totally promoted relaxation and self care.


Here’s the items I got:

  • A journal – ADORABLE – and also, a month long calendar of journal prompts. I love this part because it makes it easy to just jump into the fresh, clean pages with a purpose!
  • A Thai Lily candle. I have to say, I can be fairly picky about my candles. You know me, I am basically 100% apple-scented candles, but this candle made by Illume, is now my new favorite scent. It’s beautiful to look at and even more beautiful to burn.
  • A bath bomb. YESSSSS. A perfect self care practice for me. Give me a book, a bath tub and now, a bath bomb. Perfect! (Wine optional ….)
  • This Cloverleaf Nectar perfume from Illume smells amazing. I have to say, I don’t wear perfume often but when I do, I feel a little prettier and have a pep in my step. Kind of like I have it together in life, haha. Love this!
  • A fun colorful headband. I can totally see using this for working out in, or just throwing up my hair while running around to a few garage sales or to meet a friend in the park for lunch. It’s soft, comfy and doesn’t slide off my head – a huge win!
  • Colorful seed bombs. I love seeing flowers in the summer and this is a chance to get my hands a little dirty, which is relaxing, as well as fruitful when you see your hard work paying off. Okay, maybe not hard work. These seed bombs are super easy (instructions included!) and basically just need to be soaked, planted and watered. Can’t wait to see how my wildflowers turn out!
  • Cookies! Because, duh, nom nom.



You can sign up for a single box (June’s is sold out but July orders are now being taken!), or a set amount of months.

In fact, I am teaming up with trösta box to give away a free box over on Instagram, so hop over and check it out! YAY FREE THINGS! And wait, there’s more! If you use discount code TRIALSBRINGJOY at checkout, you will get 25% off your first box! They go fast, so don’t delay if you want in on the next one! (They also are a great thing to send to a friend as a surprise!)

(You will enter by following me and trösta box on Instagram, tagging a friend in the comments and then for an extra entry, signing up here for a one more chance to win!)


  1. Made to Crave devotional by Lysa Terkeurst.

I know the book Made to Crave is popular, but did you know Lysa also wrote a 60 day devotional on the same topic? I actually haven’t read the book, but have gone through this devotional multiple times and love it. As I rebooted my fitness journey last week, I picked it up again and take time to read through a day’s reading every morning. It’s Biblical, encouraging, and empowering. If you are looking for something short to read each day, specifically on the topic of breaking bad fitness/eating habits, this is it!


  1. Norwex Mattress Spray Cleaner. Ahhhh, it felt SO good this weekend to change our sheets, flip our mattress, wash blankets and mattress covers. One of the easiest ways we clean our mattress is using Norwex’s Mattress Cleaner spray! This stuff is the greatest thing ever. It’s an paraben-free, enzyme-based formula designed to help remove organic material and provide a deep cleaning of body oils, pet dander and other contaminants from pillows, comforters, pet bedding, fluffy toys and fabric furniture. We seriously just strip everything, spray it (1-2 for pillows, 5-6 for our bed), then let it air dry for 3-4ish hours. I can tell when we have cleaned it because I breath better at night, my allergies virtually disappear and Josh stops snoring! It’s crazy! We do it about every month or so (okay, maybe 6ish weeks). They say for optimal treatment, to do it monthly, but minimally quarterly. So so so easy. A bottle lasts a little over a year for us and it’s safe and non-toxic. That makes me happy!


If you are interested in ordering it, or any other Norwex products, you can pop over to my website to buy. (I have had this for a while but am not actively consulting. I just ADORE all their cleaning products and cloths so if you ever need to stock up on Norwex, feel free to do so here if you don’t already have a regular consultant!

Link to product:

Link to catalog:

(A few of my favorite products are: enviro cloths and polishing cloths, face and body cloths, the mop, laundry detergent, and the bottle brush cleaner.)

  1. “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake. Is anyone NOT snapping their fingers and jamming to this song this month? I don’t typically listen to the radio but when it’s on, this is a crank-it-up, windows-down, shoulders-swagging moment.
  1. Sarah’s Laughter daily devotionals. I had a reader (Hi Nicole J!) connect with me and let me know about this awesome Monday-Friday emailed devotional called Sarah’s Laughter.The“Daily Double Portions” are full of support and hope for those struggling with the unmet desire for a child. It’s all Biblically based and incredibly relatable. They share “stories of triumph over impossible medical situations, Biblical accounts of infertility and how God intervened, plus testimonies of couples who know the devastation of infertility—and have words of encouragement to pass on.” I have LOVED reading them and find myself forwarding them on to friends all the time. If you are looking for some extra encouragement and being pointed back to Him, check it out! You can sign up here:

Alright friends, that’s it! Don’t forget to check out the trösta box giveaway over on Instagram! Till next time!


the power of a pill.

The birth control pills I’m on are killing me.

I feel snappy, impatient, impractical, exasperated, hormonal, mean, and short. These tiny pills turn me the worst version of myself.

I can indeed smile, but it just feels tiring. And heaven help you if you try to tell me to do something right now, because that makes me want to roll me eyes and do the opposite.

Yes, that’s the kind of mood I’ve been in lately. That of a 3 year old.

And I don’t want to be like that! In fact, at church yesterday we sang “Oh to be like you , give all I have just to know you …” and if I’m being totally honest, I couldn’t sing “oh to be like you” out loud. Because I wasn’t really embracing the intention behind the words at the time.

Here’s where I was at: I said “stupid” 19 times on my way to church. I was frustrated at a situation totally outside my control and exasperated about that. I was engaging my frazzled brain in worrisome thinking about a sick family member. I knew I needed to extend grace to someone who I felt didn’t deserve it. And so singing “oh to be like you” made me feel like a big fat fraud and in fact, was going to take more effort than I was willing to put in at the moment. So instead of being a hypocrite, I just hummed over those words.

Yes, I probably could have push all the childish emotions down and focused on Him. I could have used that time of worship to mentally clean up my bossy, babyish actions but it just felt way to difficult at the time, exhausting even. And so I let the song slip by, knowing how silly I was being.

And friends, the silliest thing was that as I hummed over the words, I was excusing myself because of BIRTH CONTROL. Birth control! First of all, I am a totally flawed person with or without birthday control. But as I sit here, it makes me think about how often we can blame intangible objects for our moods, attitudes, and reactions. This pill does have some power, yes. It affects my hormones, my rationality, and obviously my body in order for it to work as it does. But God and His character are more powerful than a pill, which means since the Holy Spirit lives in me, I am more powerful than that pill too.

But the truth is, if you’re anything like me, some days it just seems too hard. Falling back on the excuses is far easier. I get it! Overpowering emotions is tough stuff. I irrationally kicked a hanger on the floor near across the room the other day because I was so annoyed with its out-of-place presence. (Sidenote: outbursts of anger is not me, so this was not only amusing to Josh, but that amusement also didn’t help the situation in the moment. Also, the words “it’s just a hanger, you gotta choose to let it go.” led to an facial expression that my 13-self would have applauded. However, his advice was wise. It really was just a hanger.)

Friends, we have to be bigger than our emotions. I am talking to myself here when I say we have to stop using excuses. Yes, a friend may have hurt your feelings, but it doesn’t give us the excuse to be hurtful back. Yes, the hormones we’re taking are ROUGH, but it doesn’t eliminate the need for us to treat others with love, respect and kindness. As soon as we let other things dictate our world, it just becomes toxic. I can attest to that!

So, now to battle this. We have to share our emotions, frustrations and irritations with God.  I have found myself speaking out loud more lately “Ugh! Lord, I am really frustrated right now! Help me gain perspective right now, calm my heart. Remind me it’s just _______ and it will pass.” And then we have to proactively bring this issue to Him so we can better manage our reactions. Now that I am more cognizant of how this new birth control is affecting my moods, it’s easier for me to pray practically about it in the moments of calm. Lastly, we have to continue to remind ourselves that we can overcome our emotions. We have the control – the opportunity for mood swing control victory! Now we just have to stop allowing the excuses to flow and start acting like adults. Well, at least I do. (And let me tell you, this is super vulnerable to share publicly because now I have to be accountable to my words, gulp!)

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)

Now I promise, I am not a crazy monster. Just a gal who regressed slightly thanks to a pill the size of a 2-month old ladybug. But I am hoping I’m not alone today and that this is something we can challenge ourselves with together. Who’s with me!?

(And I do have to say, I am able to sing this worship song today, using it as a prayer for the Lord to empower my thoughts, words and actions. I DO want to be like Him, even when it means some hard work!)

Scandal of Grace – Hillsong UNITED – Lyrics below – acoustic version linked above, because for me, acoustic, always. 

Grace, what have You done?
Murdered for me on that cross
Accused in absence of wrong
My sin washed away in Your blood

Too much to make sense of it all
I know that Your love breaks my fall
The scandal of grace, You died in my place
So my soul will live

Oh to be like You
Give all I have just to know You
Jesus, there’s no one besides You
Forever the hope in my heart

Death, where is your sting?
Your power is as dead as my sin
The cross has taught me to live
And mercy, my heart now to sing

The day and its trouble shall come
I know that Your strength is enough
The scandal of grace, You died in my place
So my soul will live

Oh to be like You
Give all I have just to know You
Jesus, there’s no one besides You
Forever the hope in my heart

And it’s all, because of You, Jesus
It’s all, because of You, Jesus
It’s all, because of Your love
And my soul will live

Oh to be like You
Give all I have just to know You
Jesus, there’s no one besides You
Forever the hope in my heart


update + celebrations.


Ladies and gentlemen, hold on tight … Here’s the post you’ve all been patiently waiting for!!!


So, last we talked, we shared that our embryo fertilization report came back that had 19 fertilized embryos. AMAZING NEWS! But how many continued to develop? How many would we have to freeze to add to our future family? Well, it all came down to one phone call, one voicemail from our doctor.

And, then we decided to wait to listen to the voicemail. Hear me out!! We had a mini vacation planned at the end of last month and as crazy as it sounds, wanted to venture into those few days without the weight and reality of the news that might be shared. We have felt such peace about this cycle, but there was a chance the voicemail would share we had no embryos and with that, our journey to starting a family would end. It was a loaded voicemail with potentially big effects … and so we saved it until we got back. I had such peace the entire time and wasn’t distracted by the wondering. It gave us a chance to enjoy our time together without distraction.


Snorkeling and enjoying precious time together!

So, imagine our utter delight and surprise when we listened and learned we have 7 embryos waiting to be welcomed into our home!

Thank you Jesus!

I feel incredibly humbled and moved sharing this outcome with you right now. While nothing is guarantee, we have babies! Teeny, tiny frozen babies that may grow our earthly family in incredible ways.

I have to admit – when I first heard “Fantastic news … 7 embryos!”, my eyes widened. Whoa, babies. If all goes to plan and these embryos result in pregnancies and live births, we may have a REALLY large family. And as I starred as Josh with big eyes, envisioning what this might look like, he sweetly reassured me that God has known this number and these babies all along. And so we continue to trust Him for that! And also, keep our eyes open at van potentials. HA!

No part of this cycle has been without Him. Not only has this cycle been SO significantly different (in a great way!) from cycles past, but the peace He has provided us has been unspeakably reassuring.

So, friends, our family is waiting for us in cryopreserved vials and we couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds. No matter God has planned for us, today we celebrate, rejoice, and THANK HIM for all He has done thus far.

Okay, let’s get a few FAQ’s out of the way!

How many are you going to transfer?

We plan to, in time, transfer all of them, because these precious babies deserve a family! However, we will begin by only transferring 2 of them. If it’s a success, yes, there’s a chance we could have twins. If it’s not successful, then we will transfer 2 more, so on and so forth. If and when we are successful, the others will remain frozen until we are ready to grow our family again. It looks like we have many more embryo transfers in our future. :)

When are you transferring them?

We are planning on a mid-September transfer. Yes, that’s later than we originally planned! There’s two main reasons for that decision:

1) Josh has a trip planned with his father later this summer and if the cycle were to work, he would be gone during some important ultrasound appointments. I know I will be a worried mess when I am pregnant (a huge test of faith!) and having him out of reach anytime during 8-12 weeks makes me uncomfortable.

2) I want to get back into shape! The last year has been a rough one for me in regards to health and fitness – I kind of crumbled after our March 2015 miscarriage and it’s taken me a while to get back into a good routine. This will give me time over the summer to get my butt into a pre-pregnancy health I would be comfortable with.

What did you do differently this cycle? (non-IVF’ers, feel free to zone out on this question)

First of all, we had a new doctor, who is AMAZING and I can’t recommend enough. I strongly believe Dr. Batcheller’s wisdom, care, and dedication to our success has impacted this cycle immensely.

Secondly, in the past we have done a birth control + Lupron suppression protocol. She shared concerns that it may not had been the right protocol for me and over-suppressed me. This time, after just a few short 15 days of birth control to regulate my cycle, we jumped right into stims.

Past: 150-200 IU’s of Follistim, 1 vial of Menopur, daily lupron injections, 10,000 hCg trigger shot, 8 days of stimming, natural fertilization, moderate caffeine intake.

This cycle: 300 IU’s of Follistim, 2 vials of Menopur, 2 spaced out Lupron trigger shots + 2,500 hCg trigger shot, Ganirelix injections starting day 6 of stims, 9 days of stimming, ICSI fertilization, vitamin cocktail, no caffeine for Chelsea, 1 8-oz half-caff cup of coffee for Josh a day, Chelsea gluten free.

What’s the vitamin cocktail?

Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine – Minneapolis gave us this handout and Josh and I both took each of these vitamins as recommended. There was SUCH a significant different in outcomes (see below) that I strongly believe these vitamins had something to do with it.

I am unsure copyright details, but will attach the handout here for you to review until I hear differently! :)

Vitamin Cocktail Handout – provided by CCRM-Minneapolis

Female Cocktail: 2016_01_12_12_30_05

Male Cocktail: 2016_01_12_12_30_48


Cycle 1: 11 eggs, 9 fertilized, resulted in 1 day-5 blastocyst, 1 day-6 blastocyst (frozen), and 1 morula for transfer.

Cycle 2: 14 eggs, 11 fertilized, resulted in 2 day-6 blastocysts.

CCRM Cycle: 27 eggs, 19 fertilized, resulted in 7 day-5/6 blastocysts.

How’s the puzzle going?

YOU GUYS! We’re still working on assembling it! This intricate puzzle is a perfect depiction of our journey thus far, haha! We can’t wait to share the final product with you when it’s all assembled and your names have been written! SWOON!

Now, join us in thanking God for His glorious provision for our precious little babies and if you could, continue to pray for their homecoming in September. (Well, 2 of them at least!). Also, if you could pray for my strength and dedication to get my butt back in shape, that would be incredibly helpful. I will certainly share more about that journey throughout the summer.

Alright, now your fertility update has officially concluded! If your eyes are crossed and you have NO idea what I am talking about up there, that’s okay! I share for those who do. And now let’s get back to our regular scheduled blogging updates going forward! I will keep you posted as our Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) plans start to kick in (mid-August) and we will keep rallying with you! HOORAY!

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)


PS: My reunion with caffeine was previous. Did you know that our budget includes $0 for Starbucks? Since 2011 when our infertility treatments started, it became a no brainer that coffee splurges were not a priority. And so, I began asking for Starbucks cards for birthdays and holidays, using them when there was a balance and skipping it when there wasn’t. And as silly as it sounds, I’m always amazed at God’s simple provision over something SO MINOR. Random giftcards are sent to me for no reason but thoughtfulness, always when, unknown to a friend, my balance is getting low. Or, I’m almost out and my free reward cup is earned and ready to be used. I know it’s silly how much a cup of coffee means to me, but it’s a highlight in my day when I’m running around or provides a cozy spot to write or work. As so, every sip of Starbucks reminds me God cares about the little joys in our lives. Love that!

miscarriage support.


The emails and texts are common: “My friend just had a miscarriage. What should I say or do?” I absolutely love the compassion these women express as they attempt to stand next to their grieving friend. I do my best to reply, but I know my experiences are unique and may not be the same as everyone.

So I opened the question up and connected with over 100 women who’ve stood in these difficult shoes too. We began to have a rich conversation on what was helpful and what wasn’t. I then was given the opportunity to write about that conversation and share these common threads, to help provide a resource for the future when these tragic and heart wrenching circumstances occur.

If you are looking for more information on how to help a friend suffering through a miscarriage, I’d encourage you to check out this article I wrote.

Click here for the article: 10 Tips to Help Someone Going Through a Miscarriage

Miscarriage talk is hard, often taboo, and it doesn’t make grief any easier. The support of others brings unspeakable healing. What about you? Did something not make the list that should have? Comment below and share with us what helped (or didn’t).

A special thanks to all of the women who vulnerably shared their grief, experiences, advice and words with me. While nothing is the same as holding your baby in your arms, the help and support you have been able to pass on as a result of your pain and grief is meaningful. Thank you.

maypril crushes.

Mkay, soooo, with all the excitement over NIAW last week, I totally missed posting my April Crushes so, welcome to Maypril! :) Go with it guys, we are all about grace here.


Let’s dive right in!

1. Monopoly Deal. You guys, this game! Josh and I have been obsessed with playing it (okay, me more than him, I may have worn him out) lately. It’s super fun, totally addicting and can be played in 15 minutes or less. A unique version of Monopoly that doesn’t require a board, tons of tiny pieces, 18 hours and won’t damage any relationships. WINNING! I ordered mine off of Amazon and we have just loved it. If you are a game player, order it and enjoy!


2. Le Tote. Anyone else super bad at fashion? Or, buys something, wears it a few times and then it gets washed wrong, shrinks, and then you never see it again? OR, you just need a dress, jacket, cardigan or necklace for one event or day and don’t want to invest in something you’ll never wear again? WELLLLLLL, have I got a solution for you! Le Tote!

In a nutshell, Le Tote is a monthly clothing subscription where you literally log in, pick out clothes you like from a gigantic closet of designers, have 3-4 clothing options and 2 accessories (think handbags, jewelry, scarves, etc) mailed to you (for free!). You wear it as little or as much as you want, then jam it into the prepaid bag it came with and mail it back to them. They wash it and as soon as you drop it off at the post office, you have a team putting together a new tote for you which will be in your hands a few days later. It’s brilliant!

You can either take your stylists advice and try new things, or override it and pick your own stuff. If you like something a lot, you can buy it at a super great discount, but there’s no pressure.

You get as many totes as you want a month (one tote as a time but easily replaced), insurance in case you spill or tear anything, and have free shipping both ways! Oh, AND, they have an entire maternity line. I am seriously hoping one day to use it! :)

Even better? Use this link and you’ll get $25 off your first month! (Total honesty:  when you use this link, it acts as a referral and I get a small credit! No pressure at all, but if you do sign up, I’d love the referral. It’s basically the only way it works for us to do it, but hey, then you’ll get a referral link too and the beauty of free stuff can continue!) There’s no pressure to do it more than a month. In fact, they have it where you can freeze your account for a week or a month at any time, there’s no commitment. So that Kate Spade necklace you have been eyeing up, toss it in your tote and wear it for a week! Winning!

Click here to sign up!


3. In the Wait being back in stock (and on Amazon!). FRIENDS! Did you know we totally sold out of our first run of In the Wait? Seriously, that’s a God thing because it’s just our little team of authors spreading the word about this devotional. What He is doing is so far beyond us. Our second edition is better than ever and I’m excited to share a couple things with you – stick with me, this is important stuff!

  1. We are now being sold on Amazon! (In fact, as I write this, it’s on SALE too!) YAY! (Hello Prime shipping!) And I am told that if you are international, you can add it to your cart and convert it to pounds and then ship it internationally for a small and super reasonable rate. So to all our international friends who have been asking about this, HOORAY! (If this doesn’t work or I am explaining it wrong, will you please comment or email me so I can get updated information out there? I have been told by a few UK friends that their books have made it into their hands!) We ARE still selling it on Holly Holt Design too and that’s a great way to support small businesses too.
  2. A new In the Wait Facebook group will launch on September 18th, so if you are interested in being part of a community of women who go through the devotional together, stay tuned for more information this summer! Our past groups have been life changing!
  3. We are now on Instagram! @IntheWaitStudy. This is a great account to follow for encouragement, direct your friends towards, tag us in as you share what you are learning, and help us move this book into the hands of the right ladies! Follow us over there and be sure to tag us and use #inthewaitstudy in your pictures!
  4. Lastly, would you do me a gigantic favor? Now that we have an Amazon listing, we desperately need your help with building our review portfolio. If you ordered the book and went through it, would you be willing to leave us a positive review on Amazon? It’s super easy once you are on the page, just click “share your thoughts with other customers” mid page and you’ll be done in two seconds. It doesn’t have to be profound, everything positive helps!

Photo Apr 12, 2 20 32 PM

4. August and After. I recently got introduced to this London-based indie-folk trio and they have been playing on my Spotify ever since! Super chill music, beautiful guitars and viola’s, keyboards and vocals. It kind of reminds me of Ben Howard meets Bon Iver. It’s hauntingly beautiful and the perfect coffee shop, chill on the patio kind of music. Check them out! (Their new album Cascade is beautiful.)

008 (1)

 5. Sleepovers. Oh goodness. We had our nieces spend the night last weekend to celebrate Kinsley turning 4 (gasp!) and had such a precious time with them. We giggled, played with vintage Littlest Pet Shops (who remembers those from when we were younger? Much different than the creepy eyed ones in stores now!), enjoyed “fancy cupcakes”, learned all about Shopkins (ahh!), and created so many fun memories. Here are just a few!


There you have it! Ohhh and we celebrated Cali’s 10th birthday this month too. Oh my goodness, this mama has all the feels. Love her so very much, as I know so many of you do too! This is one blessed pup and she brings me such joy! Here’s our cutie on her birthday!


Alright, that’s it! And no, we haven’t forgotten about that ever so important IVF update! We are truly just enjoying the month of recovery, the quiet and the break of it all. So in the next 2 weeks, you better believe you’ll have news, updates, plans and all the little details about what we did differently this cycle. (Vitamin cocktails! Medication protocols! Oh my!) We have been so thankful for all of your consistent prayers and still need them as we establish what’s next. Happy May!