What's Up Wednesday--August 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

When I start these posts, I normally talk about how I can't believe it's already the end of the month and how fast that month has flown.  But today is different.  I'm thoroughly enjoying writing today's post.

Why, you ask?

Because that means September is coming and to me, September is officially the start of fall!!

What we're eating this week...
Lots of sheet pan dinners.  I've got a really fun one to share soon with y'all.
And I made my diabetic friendly peanut butter pie for my small group tonight.

What I'm reminiscing about...
I can't think of anything that I'm reminiscing about!

What I'm loving...
The cooler temperatures, seeing footage of people helping one another in Houston, getting my nails done

What we've been up to...
I started back to school this month so my life has basically revolved around school.  I've got 2 preps this year so that's taking more time because last year I pretty much only had 1 prep.

I also shared Dustin's tailgate birthday bash party from July this month!

What I'm dreading...

What I'm working on...
New things for the blog!  I shot 3 looks Saturday with my sister, and I've really loved playing around with fashion posts for the blog.  

I also am looking into buying my own domain and self-hosting (am I saying that right?! haha).  If you have Bluehost, please let me know how it was transferring it over because I am not tech savvy at all!

What I'm excited about...
My 3 day weekend this weekend!!!  Beyond ready for a break

What I'm watching/reading...
If I'm watching tv, it's lots of Hallmark Channel or my DVR.  I've also started rewatching Frasier after catching an episode on Hallmark.  I watched it with my dad when I was little, and now it's so much funnier because I actually get the humor!

I'm still reading Knowing God and that's it other than what I do for my quiet time.  Sometimes I go through reading slumps and I'm going through now.

What I'm listening to...
Taylor Swift's new song....cannot get enough of her new video ha!
(Mostly because it's filled with so much symbolism and my English major self)

What I'm wearing...


 **Email me if you want a link to my Matilda Jane party September 7


 shirt | jeans



What I'm doing this weekend...
Two words: College Football!

What I'm looking forward to next month...
Fall everything!

What else is new...
I know this sounds so boring but not much!  August was all about surviving the beginning of school, so September will be much better now that we're all in a routine.

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**I earn a small commission on clicks or purchases through links in this post.  As always, I am so appreciative of your support for my blog!

Linking up with Jenn and Shay

September Goals

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

As we're nearing the end of the month and heading into September, which to me means that it's officially fall, I thought I'd go ahead and list my goals for September because I'm so ready for it to get here!

This may be the only time since I've started blogging that I ACCOMPLISHED EVERY SINGLE GOAL!!!! 🙌🙌🙌

Let's recap August...
-Read 1 book: Read one book and will recap Thursday!
-Begin the school year: Check!!  Love my kids this year!
-Exercise 3-4x a week: Okay I did not accomplish this goal the week school started but I'm counting it because I did every other week and it was hot in August, so I'm giving myself a pat on the back haha
-Buy back to school clothes: That was super stressful.  It's hard to find something that I think looks my age but is also school appropriate.
-Adjust my makeup routine: I did this, too!  Would y'all want to hear about what I've changed?

September Goals...
-Continue running regularly
-Decorate our home for fall
-Stock up on fall candles from BBW
-Have a college football kickoff breakfast
-Finish reading Knowing God (I keep putting it down and reading other books)
-Continue eating healthy

What are some of your goals for September?

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Linking up with Whitney and Lindsay

Friday Favorites!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Picture me yelling this from the roof 😂😂  

I didn't think Friday would ever get here!!  I'm totally blaming that on the solar eclipse, too.  
 Speaking of the solar eclipse, the teachers got to go outside to experience it while the 20 or so students had to stay inside per our systems requirements.  I think the neatest part was when it got dark enough to look like dusk and then all of the bugs began chirping and everything else was silent--kind of eerie feeling!

 I pulled a total teacher move this week and wore pajamas Matilda Jane one day.  I paired older ruffles with a newer top and it looked great!  I'm having a party starting September 7 so email me if you're interested in shopping online.  These are the best quality and comfortable clothes!

 I blogged a bunch of random thoughts yesterday and mentioned how sometimes I get lazy when it comes to fixing dinner and I just heat up multiple bags of steamable veggies haha.  Sad but true.  At least the veggies I buy are the healthier ones they sell!

 I finally drank the kool-aid and ordered one of these tunics.  TOTALLY WORTH THE HYPE!!!  Seriously, as soon as I put it on, I knew it would be a shirt that I could wear a ton of different ways and pretty much year-round.

Also, really wanting this sweater and this sweater.  Can you tell I'm ready for cooler weather?!  Me and the rest of the South ha!

 So excited about the fall linkup I'm doing with Emily!!!  I cannot wait to see what everyone blogs about on September 6.  I'll go ahead and give you a hint for my favorite fall drink...Starbucks is bringing it back September 1!!!!

I also posted about how to find the perfect running/walking shoe this week.  Whether you realize it or not, there's a science behind finding the right shoe for you, and wearing the wrong shoe can cause knee/foot damage.  

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Linking up with Erika, Christine, and Amanda

Random Thoughts on a Thursday

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Happy Thursday, y'all!  I haven't done a Thursday post in a long time so it's about time.  Today I've got a bunch of random thoughts (and probably lots of rambling) to share with y'all!

Speaking of Thursday, does anyone feel like this has been the most confusing week ever?  Because of the eclipse Monday and the fact that we had hardly any students at school, I've been so confused as to what day it's been all week.  I know yesterday was Wednesday, but I felt like it should have been Thursday.  On top of that, it's also been the longest week.  Here's to hoping this weekend feels long, too 😂😂

I love cooking but sometimes I don't love cooking.  This is pretty much what our dinner looked like last night.  I heated up 4 bags of steamable vegetables and then heated up some grilled chicken for Dustin, too.  Thank goodness for the ease of these vegetables--otherwise it might have been a sandwich night.

Speaking of random suppers, deer season is will be here before you know it and I'll be eating lots of random supper like the above.  The weekends Dustin is gone are nights I like to use for eating oatmeal for dinner or treating myself to cereal haha!

I went to get my nails done yesterday at a newer place in town and a new-to-me place.  It was exactly like I like--me sitting in the chair not having to talk to the lady doing my nails.  I like using that time to just relax and watch tv without having to carry on a strange conversation.  Anyway, I told the lady I wanted my nails a little shorter and she obviously misunderstood me because my nails are the shortest they've been in a very long time haha!  

We've got some cooler temperatures headed our way and I CANNOT WAIT.  It's been way too hot here, and on top of that, it's been extremely humid which makes everything worse!  I think today our high is only 84 with very low humidity--perfect running weather 😀

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How to Find the Perfect Running Shoe for YOU!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

I used to HATE running.  I suffered through it in PE class in school and only ran when I was required to run my mile.  I tried picking up running in college and hated it, but it was only when I was starting to lose weight that running actually clicked for me.

Want to know something funny?  I chose to pick up running because I thought it would be the cheapest form of exercise.  That I wouldn't have to pay a monthly gym fee.  And it is relatively cheap, but if there's one thing I've learned in the 6 years I've been running, it's that you cannot buy cheap shoes.  

I wore some cheap tennies from Academy when I first started "running"--I say that loosely because it was more like jog 30 seconds and walk a minute.  But when I really started to commit myself and build up my endurance, I learned that I needed shoes that were correct for my feet.  These shoes aren't cheap but they are worth the investment to protect your knees, feet, hips, etc.  The ones I just bought were $135 and that money was totally worth it.

Sorry this is blurry, but this was a 5 mile race!

My number one tip for buying running shoes is to visit your local running store to get fitted for shoes.  I have a Fleet Feet in my area and I purposely make the drive to buy my shoes from them.

I just finished my first half marathon!!

If you don't have a running store near you, here are a few tips I recommend in order to find shoes that work best for you.

1. Have someone video yourself walking away from the camera.
When you go to a running store, they'll put you on a treadmill (or watch you walk) and video you walking or running.  Then they'll play it for you and show you how you walk.  You need someone to get down on ground level and zoom in to video you walking away.

2. Figure out your gait (walking style).
Look for your ankles turning in a little as you walk (pronation), staying neutral, or turning out a little as you walk (supination or under-pronation).  I pronate so I need extra support and stability in my shoes--especially by my heels.  Regardless of how your gait is, you cannot expect to buy any type of running shoe and it fit you.  It's important to know exactly how you walk so you can buy the shoes correct for you so you can avoid an injury!

3. Research shoes for your gait.
Google the best running shoes for you.  You can google "running shoes for pronation" and lots of options for the best types of running shoes with detailed reviews.

4. Buy bigger.
Go up a half size to at least one size larger than your normal shoe.  You need the extra room in the toes so your toes don't hit the end of your shoe as you run.  This could lead to lost toenails!

5. Wear the right socks.
I am very particular about the socks I run in.  I wear these exact socks and own multiple pairs of them.  These help protect my feet from blisters and help keep them padded while I run.

I hope this advice was helpful to some!  Overall, don't forget to stretch properly because even with the correct shoes for your gait, if you don't stretch then you open yourself up to injuries!  

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Linking up with Jenn

Weekend Wrap-Up + IG Stories

Monday, August 21, 2017

Happy Eclipse Day!  There are a few school systems in our area that are closed today so students can stay home with their parents, but our school system didn't close.  I did poll my kids to see how many I'll have show up today and I may have 20 total all day 🙌🙌

This past weekend was a fun one, so let's recap with a few IG story pictures (and some regular ones!)

 I was at Anthropologie Friday night and they were having a teacher styling event.  Loved the little snack they provided us, and we got a cute little pin.  #totalteachermove but if it's from Anthro then I guess I'll wear it haha!

 I got some really good suggestions for sheet pan dinners.  If you have any, please send them my way!

 Friday I bought new running shoes (look out for a post on buying running shoes this week!) and had to test them out Saturday.  I've always run in Brooks but went with New Balance this time.

 Sunday morning I wore my favorite jumpsuit to church.

 And then came home and ate lunch and did a little reading.  I highly recommend this book to anyone!

And then took my shoes out for another spin!  That's 2 days in a row!  This time I walked because I'll be running again this afternoon.

That's the highlights for the weekend.  Dustin worked this weekend so on those weekends I have to find lots of things to occupy my time haha!

Happy Monday!
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Linking up with Biana

Friday Favorites!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Happy Friday, y'all!  I made it through my first full week of school with students and it's been wonderful!  Literally, my students are so, so good!  I'm so thankful for this year's bunch!  

But you know what else I'll be thankful for?  FALL TEMPS!  It's been so hot and muggy here lately and mugginess and the humidity is the WORST!  I cannot wait for a cool, crisp morning while burning my fall scented BBW candle haha!

As always, today I'm sharing some of my favorites!

I just wanted to thank everyone who reached out on the blog or through email regarding my post on Wednesday.  God blessed me so much that day with all of the encouragement and prayers from y'all and that was so unexpected.  So again, thank you for being so kind!

 It's been so hot lately (see my intro haha) and I've been unmotivated to workout.  But its all worth it when you finish a workout and you feel great after!  (It also helps when your Apple watch is paired with your sister and she works out at 6 AM)  I'm headed to Fleet Feet this afternoon to get a new and much needed pair!

 A sweet student gifted me with this Harry Potter bookmark!  She saw my HP stuff in my class and asked me which house was my favorite.  The next day she brought me a Gryffindor bookmark--so sweet!

 Small town living at its finest--truck probs = your husband and the shop owner (also a friend) underneath the truck in the parking lot.  Looks like Dustin's truck is going to need a pricey repair 😢

And then he found a screw in my tire, so if you watched my IG story last night you saw where the Shaneyfelt men plugged it.

And this is what I'm so excited about!!!  Last year Emily and I joined together and teamed up on fall favorite posts in September.  We had such an interest that we decided to make it a link up!!  Please join us for 3 weeks in September where we share our fall favorites!

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Linking up with Erika, Christine, and Amanda

Our Struggle with Infertility

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I’m so nervous to share this publically but I’ve felt a nudging sensation that can only be the Lord and the more I push it away the more disobedient I become.  I hope that our story points you to God’s goodness in the midst of our suffering.

            September of this year will be two years of Dustin and I actively trying to have children.  That’s so hard for me to wrap my mind around it because I never thought that we would be a couple that struggles to get pregnant.  It’s been hard, but it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would (until recently) because the Lord has been so gracious to us in this time of suffering.  Trusting in God’s plan for our family hasn’t always been the easiest but God is forever good and knowing and repeating that truth has made all the difference.  I’ve learned that I struggle so much with wanting to feel in control of my life and having children by a certain age is definitely something that I’ve tried to control.

            To summarize quickly, after lots of fertility medicine and a few IUIs along with switching to a new fertility doctor, I found out that I had severe endometriosis and had surgery in December of 2016.  I had no idea and found out that my pain tolerance is extremely high.  I didn’t really want anyone to know about that surgery because I assumed that once people knew it was because I had endometriosis then they would automatically assume we were trying to get pregnant.  Our parents didn’t even know at this point because we had dreamed of ideas on how to surprise them with a pregnancy announcement.  While I was still in recovery, the doctor told Dustin that she wasn’t expecting my endometriosis to be so bad and that she honestly felt like IVF would be our best option to get pregnant.  December was a very hard month for me.  Recovery from surgery was rough and then being faced with the news that getting pregnant naturally would be extremely difficult was a lot to deal with that month.  We finally told our families and close friends after Christmas.

            One thing God has blessed us with through infertility is that our faith has grown tremendously.  Knowing that the only lasting joy comes through Christ and resting in the biblical truths of God have been the only things that have made this suffering bearable.  Once Dustin and I were referred to our first fertility doctor, our prayer was for God to give us clarity in the direction He wanted us to take.  I prayed that prayer all the time, and after my follow up surgery visit with my current doctor, we felt a calm in choosing the path of IVF.  Even starting IVF and during IVF I was still praying for clarity and wisdom.

We are so thankful that our insurance covers a majority of the medicine because both boxes contain THOUSANDS of dollars worth of medicines!

            We were supposed to start my IVF meds late February to give my body time to heal from surgery, but it wouldn’t cooperate and I didn’t get to start until late April.  What I didn’t know about IVF is that you begin birth control for a few weeks to suppress your hormones before beginning the shots that are supposed to ramp up your hormones.

Nightly stim meds

            My first round of IVF meds began late April and were stopped on Day 8 because my body wasn’t responding to the meds like they were supposed to.  That was upsetting to both Dustin and I because based on the calendar they gave us, I would be pregnant over Mother’s Day and have my actual blood test confirmation a few days after.  Obviously that was something I was excited about, and I was devastated when the doctor cancelled my round.  That Mother’s Day was hard for me and I’m so thankful that Dustin took that day off of work so that I wouldn’t have to be alone.  Dustin has been the best supporter and encourager throughout this entire journey, and I know that I couldn’t do it without him by my side. 

My shot each night for stim meds

            I was put back on birth control and given my next calendar which had me starting my new meds on July 2.  Because I went up on my dosage over double, I had to be extremely careful.  I couldn’t do anything to jar my pelvis because I was at a high risk of twisting my ovaries.  Dustin drew up and administered my shots so I never worried about anything (this may be the only time I've ever been thankful for his type 1 diabetes!  Thankful the Lord prepared him in advance to give all of my shots!).  All of my stim meds were administered in my stomach and by the time we had finished all of those, I had bruises all over my stomach from the meds. 

 My stomach is swollen because my ovaries are so huge.

My poor body was bruised and beaten up but I've realized that you'll go through anything for what you want.

My first check up showed that my follicles (the sacs inside your ovaries that contain the eggs) weren’t growing again like they were supposed to.  I cried at that visit because it was the exact same thing that had happened the previous round.  But it was Dustin who pointed me to Christ and told me to trust that God was sovereign over that moment.  (See, I married a really amazing man!)  My next appointment was on a Sunday morning at 7:30 AM and my mom went with me.  That appointment confirmed that my body was doing what it should and that my follicles were growing.

 Going through our retrieval checklist while Dustin preps my trigger shot

trigger shot

            Once we found out that my body had made it, we then scheduled egg retrieval for July 13.  I was so nervous.  Dustin had to give me my trigger shot 36 hours before and it’s intramuscular.  I had to battle the fear of the trigger shot not working correctly and there not being any eggs to retrieve.  Worry and control are things I have to really work on, and it’s really been pointed out to me during our struggle with infertility.  The retrieval went great and we ended up with 3 embryos….3 babies.

Ready for retrieval!  

            Since the meds I had been on were so strong, my doctor had originally planned for us to do a frozen embryo transfer because my body would need time to calm down hormonally.  But since my body did great, she scheduled a fresh transfer 5 days after retrieval.  Dustin and I decided together not to tell anyone about this.  IVF robs a couple of the ability to surprise their friends and families with a pregnancy.  We knew that this would be our chance to still surprise everyone. 

            The transfer was on July 18 and we chose to transfer 2 embryos.  It went exactly as it should and once Dustin and I made it back to the car, I burst into tears because at that point, I was pregnant for the first time.  I stared at the picture of our babies and was so thankful to God that He brought us that far.  One of the things I’ve really learned through suffering with infertility is that you have to have good theology if you’re going to survive.  Throughout this entire process I’ve rested in the truth that God is good always—in the dark times and in the joyous times.  He’s good and He never changes even when our circumstances and plans change.

 We had just arrived to the hospital before our embryo transfer.  We were so excited to become parents!

This was taken right before we were taken back for the embryo transfer.

Our pregnancy test bloodwork was scheduled for Thursday, July 27.  I’ve read that most women who go through IVF take home pregnancy tests before but since the days before our appointment were Dustin’s birthday and then our anniversary, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I woke up on our anniversary, July 26th, with spotting.  I knew at that moment that I wasn’t pregnant.  I was devastated.  I cried a lot that day—I mourned the loss of our two babies while feeling incredibly guilty that Dustin had to rearrange our anniversary plans that he had made because I couldn’t make it in public.  I wanted that day to be a happy day, but I just couldn’t do it.  The next morning we had an appointment in Huntsville for my bloodwork.  I woke up feeling okay and inside I was hoping that I was wrong—that I was pregnant.  We got the call that afternoon and I made Dustin answer the phone.  After he told me I wasn’t pregnant, I immediately became angry.  Angry that I was right the day beforehand, angry that my body was betraying me yet again, and angry that we couldn’t have the children we constantly prayed for while so many women around me got pregnant so easily.  I did not want to read my Bible that night or pray, but I did ask God to not let my heart harden from this experience.

Our two precious babies--at that moment, I was pregnant and we were so very happy

Infertility is hard.  It’s hard when you want something so bad, but you know that it wasn’t in God’s timing—but He is still good.  Even when I don’t feel it (and I didn’t when I found out we weren’t pregnant), I still KNOW and that’s the most important thing.  I’ve learned that it’s okay to allow myself to feel angry and upset because the Psalms are filled with people crying out to God in their suffering, but those same Psalms also end with praising God for His goodness and grace.  I allowed myself the 27th to be angry, and then when I woke up the next morning, God had given me a new day.  My ultimate purpose here on this Earth is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.  That is my focus.  And although Dustin and I still hurt from losing 2 babies, in a way we’ve become thankful for our suffering.  Our marriage has grown, our relationships with the Lord have grown, and we’re going to be so much better parents because we know the purpose of our parenting—to point our children toward Christ.  I can see that God is shaping us and preparing us, and even though the wait is hard and painful and we don’t understand why, we trust in Him.

This is just a small glimpse into the struggle of infertility that we’re dealing with currently.  I hope to share our entire story at a later time.  Please, please pray for us as we long to be parents.  Pray for our wisdom in the decisions we make and pray that we keep our eyes focused on Christ.  Above all, I hope that you see God’s goodness in our story.  This Bible verse has been one that I constantly repeat to myself: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” Isaiah 26: 3-4
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