ttc mug exchange 2017.


**The Mug Exchange for 2017 is now closed.**

It’s time for our 2017 TTC Mug Exchange! Wooohooooo! Last time we had over 1500 ladies participate and it was a BLAST! All women in all phases of infertility (trying to conceive, pregnant, adopting, new moms, etc… more details on this below!) are invited to participate. I absolutely LOVE how all of these women come together to support one another and spread positive energy and love.

Before I share how to sign up participate, let me answer a few commonly asked questions about these exchanges: (even if you have done this before, I still suggest skimming this as things always change a bit!)

Who can participate?

Anyone who is currently trying to get pregnant, including those suffering from secondary infertility; those who have recently adopted, are in the process of adopting or searching for their new family member; anyone who is currently pregnant after dealing with infertility or recently having had a baby after a struggle and lastly, anyone who is using a gestational carrier, egg donor, sperm donor or surrogate.

Please note that while I will do my best to partner you with someone in a similar stage, you may be given anyone to purchase for. As this exchange grows, it has become increasingly more difficult to ensure that you get an equally appropriate match. My very best efforts are given! Just try to remember that you are encouraging another TTC sister no matter what their story is!

How does it work?

Once you sign up and get the name of the person you are sending to (more details below), you will work to put together an exchange box for them, including a coffee/tea cup/mug. You will be given a “send-by” date and I ask that you respect that date unless there are extreme circumstances. You will send and receive a box to the same person.

How much is this going to cost me?

Typically the suggested amount per box is $20 plus shipping. I don’t advise that you spend more than $20 but we definitely do have some generous women who put together a box worth more. Since not all mugs cost $20, you are able to fill the package with ANYTHING else that might make someone smile! Lucky socks, a special treat, a fun lipgloss or nail polish …. You can’t go wrong (unless you break the law) – this is definitely a situation where it’s the thought that counts.

I do ask that you invest in a lot of bubble wrap and a good box. It helps tremendously to ship it US Priority and get a tracking number just in case anything should happen during transit. (Plus it comes with $50 insurance!) No one wants to receive a shattered mug due to poor packaging!

Besides a mug, is there anything else I HAVE to include?

A note! Please include a card inside with a special word of encouragement for your new friend.

I live in the US/Canada/UK/Australia/etc, can I participate?

Yep! We always have women from all over the world participate and I think that is what makes it so much fun! HOWEVER, you will only be assigned an overseas person if you agree to be open to shipping internationally. (More about that below). I do ask that if you live outside of the US, that you be open to shipping internationally, as many of the participants are located in the United States, however I know that sometimes that’s not an option and that’s okay too. If I cannot find you a partner I will let you know.

What kind of mug do I need to send?

You can get ANY kind of mug. Travel, big, small, delicate, clunky. It could be a cute mug from your local coffee shop, something you ordered on Etsy, bought at Walmart, or ordered off Amazon. There are SO many adorable mugs out there – be creative! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself – this can be a mug that you adore or that you think someone else would love.

Because shipping a mug can be tricky, there may be some women who just want to order a mug online and have it shipped directly to their person and then they can send a separate little box of surprises if they didn’t spend $20. (If you do this, take advantage of the “gift card” section in a order to let them know that’s what you are doing).

How many women participate? Is this a legit exchange?

Our Mug Exchanges have been doubling rapidly. Back in 2013, we had about 30 women, in 2014, we had over 400. In 2015 we had nearly 800! Last year, over 1500!  I am excited to see what this year brings!

What happens if I send a package but never get one back?

Ugh, guys, it does happen, I have to be honest. It doesn’t happen often but there are definitely a small handful of women each exchange that are subjected to a lost box, a flakey partner, or some other sort of weird circumstance. I will do my best to reach out to your sender once or twice but sometimes due to the sheer volume of participants, it just becomes impossible to make sure everything gets straightened out. From the very beginning of the exchanges I have warned participants that you have to come into this exchange with the understanding that you may not get a box. It stinks that there are some people that might taint this experience but I do promise that it is far and few between. I am a firm believer that it is a blessing to give and if you are one of the few unfortunate few that receives a shattered mug or nothing at all, just know that your gift has blessed someone else. So please understand the risks involved but know that you likely won’t have a problem! In exchange for my time coordinating this, I just ask that you follow through with your commitment to send a package, sound good? :)

If you have fallen victim to someone not sending a package in the past, you will see a place on the form for you to note this.

Can I share this on my blog/with my instagram followers/on facebook/twitter/etc?

Of course! We LOVE new participants and their friends. Anyone in the infertility community is welcome to join in. We will be using the hashtag #TTCMugExchange2017 so feel free to share and let’s spread the love! (Also, if you want a live link, you can send them to this one:

What are the dates I need to know in order to participate?

You will need to sign up no later than end of day Sunday, October 8th. That’s a good 2 weeks of time to sign up, spread the message and start brainstorming. You will then receive your exchange partner from our team no later than October 18th (hopefully sooner!). (Because of the hours it takes to coordinate, I have an amazing team to help me out this year, and all emails may not go out on the same day. So if you see someone post that they got their person and you have not yet heard from us, it’s likely due to the amount of time it’s taking us to email everyone back individually. Do not panic!) Once you receive your person, you will have until Saturday, November 4th to put together your package and mail it out. Please make sure if you sign up that you are able to get your box out on time.

What happens when I get my package?

This is the fun part! I LOVE seeing all of the posts where people show off their package! Post your mug to social media and tag it with #TTCMugExchange2017 so we can all peruse the pictures. Send a shout out to your person, blog about it, Instagram it, do whatever you want to celebrate this fun exchange! I do understand too that there are many women who are not publicly sharing their infertility journey with others so know that you don’t have to share it publicly in order to participate. The key thing is that we offer encouragement and support to one another, even if that circle stays small.


Alright, here is how you sign up!

1. Click here to complete the form:

**The Mug Exchange for 2017 is now closed.**

You will be routed to a Google Form. If for some reason, you have an extremely difficult time getting this form to work (it’s only happened 1-2 out of hundreds), you can email me at (Please allow 48 hours for reply.)

I will close the exchange at midnight on October 8th (CST) and will not be able to accept stragglers after that.

2. Make sure you receive a confirmation page! This will verify that your entry has been received.

3. Share! Let your friends know about the exchange! You can share my blog or instagram account so that they can find out more information. I feel awful when someone finds out “too late” and can’t participate so help me make sure no one gets left out. Again, use #TTCMugExchange2017 to share – the more the merrier!

4. Shop, write, smile and sip! Once assignments go out, shop and send out your package with an encouraging note. Then wait patiently and enjoy your mug once it arrives. Share the thoughtfulness of your new friend! I have seen so many amazing friendships form as a result of this exchange. Cell numbers are swapped, emails are exchanged – I have even seen friends plan trips to visit one another due to the friendship formed over a simple package! I LOVE THIS PART!

That’s it guys! I am so excited for this. These exchanges are among the highlight of my year. YIPPEE!!!!

Ready, set, GO!

PS – Have you checked out our devotional on waiting called In the Wait? You can purchase a copy over at Amazon  or find more information on our encouragement community here!

mom life.

Why hello friends! It’s been 3 months since I last posted and they have been 3 months unlike any others. This summer has whizzed by, and has been filled with the wonderful joys and exhaustion of having newborn twins. We, of course, would have it no other way! Don’t get me wrong – the hard is hard, but it’s hard with a purpose, laced with joys and answered prayers. Exhaustion due to two little peanuts is far better than exhaustion caused from Lupron shots and early morning monitoring appointments, wondering if it would all be worth it.

There’s no good way to summarize how life has changed. The first 8 weeks were completely disorienting as we worked to get to know our newest family members and discover who we were as parents. Toss in 8 times a day feedings, 16-20 diaper changes, 4-6 hours of pumping (I am exclusively pumping and bottle feeding) and I feel like life was a blur. A wonderful, tear-filled, humbling, redefining blur. Both kiddos struggle with reflux and it took a good 2 months to find the right medicine to help their writhes and wiggles. I vividly recall sitting in the nursery at 2:00 am, night after night, staring at Josh with sleep-filled eyes as we tried everything we read to keep Logan from spitting up more than he was consuming. Josh only got a day or two off of work once we got home from the NICU stay, and we have been incredibly thankful for the family who has stepped up to help out, especially in those early weeks.

Once we hit 10-12 weeks, I feel like a fog lifted! And now they are nearly 17 weeks! Our routine is starting to feel more feasible. Smiles are emerging and Kirsten and Logan’s little personalities are beginning to shine through. The smiles change everything and make every hard, tiring, moment SO worth it. What can we do to make them smile again!? Cue dance moves, silly sung songs, wacky flaily arm twirls and much more. And guys, they are the BEST. BABIES. EVER.

I kid you not, at least once a day, Josh and I look at each other in awe that these two kids are ours. We constantly thank God for blessing us with them in His perfect timing, timing that never made sense to us in the moment, but timing that could only be explained as perfect now. We have been blessed with the most precious son and daughter and knowing that God chose us to be their parents is so humbling and the best feeling of all.

I didn’t want you guys to feel like I disappeared – I am still here! Life certainly looks different than it did 6 months ago. I am in the slow process of learning who I am now as I add “Mom” to the list of roles I play. I miss writing more than I thought and spend the wee small hours of the morning writing in my head, but I miss getting it out as much as I used to. I know there will be a season for that ahead and I hope to dabble in it a bit more as our daily routine steadies even more. But the days, though sometimes long, are short when laced together. In just a week, K & L turn 4 months – a third of a year – and where the time went baffles me. I don’t want to miss out on moments with them, but I also am learning how important it is to also incorporate self care. It’s a fine balance, one I am not even close to perfecting.

I feel like we are in the season of Psalm 34:8a – “Taste and see that the Lord is good…” We have waited and are now in a season of harvest. Reaping in blessings where we had planted and watered in tears years ago. It’s hard work still, but rewarding work. We constantly look at their little fingers, toes, eyelashes, knuckle dimples and think about how many people have prayed for them. It blows us away and we continue to be so grateful for the role you have played in God’s story for us.

Last night was the first night we attempted to move the babies from rock’n’plays in our bedroom, into their cribs in their room. Oh how the tears fell! How are my babies old enough for this next step? I feel the time slipping through my fingers – have I savored it as much as I need to? I close my eyes as I cuddle them close, hoping to imprint everything into my brain and heart – the smell of their post-bath heads, the feel of their tiny fingers curled around my hair, their breathy sighs as they lean into me. This is everything I prayed for, everything God knew He would be providing me in His time.

It’s about time for bed and I am reminded that another day has passed and tomorrow they will be a little bit bigger. I love seeing the new developments they are learning and listening to them finding their voice, but also know they will never be this little again. Oh my heart.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures, and a promise to return again soon…and ask that if you think of it tonight as you close your eyes in bed, if you could pray that our transition to their cribs would go well? Last night went great until the middle of the night, and they have been amazing sleepers thus far and we are hoping that will continue even in their cribs. I would *so* appreciate it!

Leave a prayer request in the comments and know I will be praying for each one late at night when I go to pump. It’s my privilege.

With love,


(Newborn photos taken by Molly Sheilds Photography)