Coping and Hoping During the Holidays

The holiday season brings a mixed bag of emotions for couples having difficulty getting pregnant: there’s the joy and hope that comes naturally with the season, but so is the fear and dread of having to answer that awfully nosy question at family gatherings: “So, when are you going to have kids?” Add into that mix the rush of office holiday parties, surprise pregnancy announcements, and child-centric holiday traditions everywhere, the holidays can be a truly tough time when you’re experiencing infertility or loss.

Here are four ways to both cope and hope during this holiday season. 

1. Focus on the gifts you share with your partner. 
Trying to conceive can be a trying time indeed, especially so if you’ve been diagnosed with fertility issues and are currently seeking treatment. It can be a draining process: physically, emotionally, spiritually. Make some quality one-on-one time with your partner this holiday season. Instead of focusing on all the stress of your journey so far, just focus on and celebrate each other. Remember and indulge in why you started this journey together in the first place. 

2. Be kind to yourself. 
You might be giving plenty of gifts to others, but give yourself the gift of self-care this holiday season. If showing up to holiday parties is a must, you’ll be using plenty of emotional reserves to get through them, so refuel your heart and mind with something that makes you feel awesome: spa day, mani-pedi, or even just curling up on the couch watching your favorite movie, uninterrupted. This holiday season, put yourself at the top of your gift list. 

3. Politely decline those holiday invitations. 
RSVPs don’t always mean you have to show up; there’s a reason “regretfully decline” is always an option. Sometimes you just don’t have the emotional energy to deal with colleagues, coworkers, or even family. Think of declining those invites as just another way of being kind to yourself as an act of self-preservation. And if you’ve already said yes but realize it’s too much, remember: no one questions a stomach bug. 

4. Celebrate and honor your journey. 
The holiday season marks another turn of the year – a season of endings and beginnings. Make peace with the close of this year and everything you’ve experienced – and then focus on your goals for the New Year.

This holiday season, Aspire Fertility wants to grant the ultimate holiday wish for five hopeful parents with their #AspireToHope IVF Raffle: up to FIVE lucky winners will receive a 50% discounted IVF cycle at Aspire Fertility’s Houston, TX clinic, opening in January 2016!
To enter, simply visit

Entries will be open through December 31, 2015. 

Learn more and connect with Aspire Fertility on Facebook and Twitter

Rocksbox {1 month free giveaway!}

Have you heard of Rocksbox?

I hadn't either, but I am so glad I know about them now because I am hooked!
Rocksbox gives you unlimited access to rent from an ever-rotating closet of designer jewelry that you don't have to buy.

You sign up, add pieces to your wish list, get 3 pieces of jewelry on loan in the mail, then return the pieces to get 3 new pieces. Shipping is free both ways!

If you decide that you like one of the pieces, you can purchase them! Each month you have $10 in Shine Spend to apply towards a purchase AND they give you discounted price.

Here are the pieces I was sent this month. And let's just say, my stylist gets me COMPLETELY. I love all 3 pieces.
Sophie Harper
Layered Disc Necklace
Price $65 || Insider Price $52

Kendra Scott
Sophee Drop Earrings in Gold
Price $50 || Insider's Price $40

Margaret Elizabeth
Teardrop Bangle in Chrysoprase
Price $88 || Insider Price $66

Here's the great news! Rocksbox has offered my readers 1 FREE month to try them out! 

Use the code asandersonxoxo to receive 1 free month!

If you love it, you can continue receiving jewelry for $19/month.

If you aren't impressed even though I know you will be, you can easily cancel your membership and then you got free jewelry for a month!

What are you waiting for? Click here to sign up. I promise you'll thank me later.

Body Image + Pregnancy

Body image is something I think all women deal with. And when you are pregnant I think it gets worse.

I wrote a very similar post to this one back in February 2014, but it is ringing true again now so I thought I would repost it.

I can tell you when I was my most fit. It was in 2011. I had just ran my first half marathon and was consistently running and working out. I loved how I looked. These pictures are some of my favorite, but they also are tough to look at because I don't look like that anymore.
I think in my mind I still picture myself this way, but then I see pictures of myself now and realize that things have changed.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change any of the past 4 years. Those years may have been trying, but they brought us Raegan and Hudson. Even though I am grateful for both of my babies, it doesn't mean I don't struggle.

I am not complaining of gaining weight. As someone who has struggled with conceiving, I will never complain about anything associated with pregnancy. I know I need to to keep my baby healthy, but it doesn't mean I don't struggle with it every time I look in the mirror.

Then I realized that I was worshipping myself and my body. God created me and my body in his most perfect image. And I am stomping all over that.

I have become obsessed with how I look, what people think of me, and how much weight I'm gaining.

I would sit and look at my bump update pictures and touch up my double chin and try to figure out how to position my face for the next week's picture to eliminate that double chin! The maddness must stop!

It has to stop. The self destructive talk of how fat my face looks or the fact that my bum and boobs are literally doubled in size has to stop.

So to counter act the negative feelings, I have made a list of things I plan on putting into action ASAP.

1. Be thankful.
I am pregnant. God has blessed Kyle and I with a second baby that we have been praying for for a very long time. And I never want to seem ungrateful for this amazing gift.

2. Get up and move!
For the past 3 weeks I have been getting myself back into baby boot camp (3 times a week) and making myself work out. I may not feel like it, but I know that it's important for me and for my baby. If the gym is too much for you, then just get active! A walk around the block once a day is enough!

3. Be kind.
I need to start telling myself I'm beautiful and believing it. God has made me the way that I am and He does not make mistakes. I need to remind myself of this when those thoughts creep into my mind. And when Kyle tells me I'm beautiful, I need to believe it!

4. Spoil myself.
My body is changing constantly and I've decided that once a month I am going to purchase an outfit that fits me at that point in my pregnancy. We need to feel pretty at every stage of our pregnancy and having clothes that fit right and look right is so important! I hate sitting in my closet wanting to cry because nothing fits!

5. Give myself more grace.
My body is changing! It's supposed to! Things are supposed to get bigger and ya know what? It's ok! I am beautiful and you better believe I'm going to rock this bump and my gigantic tatas! :)

6. Pray.
I need to give my insecurities to the Lord. He is the only one who can make me feel better about myself and who make me see how beautiful I really am!

Will you join me in this plan? Even if you are not pregnant, but are dealing with body image. Every woman deals with her body image at some point in her life and we need to rally together and remind each other of how beautiful we are no matter our size!

Oh hey, Friday! {24 week bump update}

And another week has come to a close.


Linking up with the farmer's wife and September Farm for today's post!

First up, Halloween! It had been raining the whole week before and we worried about even getting to go trick-or-treating, but the rain held off for us. Thank goodness!

Raegan was a Cabbage Patch Doll.

Just try and take my candy. I dare ya!

 I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth!

 Couldn't have been any cuter!

Monday was the anniversary of our first IVF. One of the best and scariest times of my life. Waiting to find out if we were going to be parents was excruciating, but in the end, we have blessed beyond measure by this little one and we can't wait to welcome her baby brother in February.

Hudson's nursery is in full swing decoration mode! We are going with a vintage baseball theme. I've been working on some prints to hang and I'm completely in LOVE!

I have decided to get behind the camera and do a fun Christmas photo shoot with Raegan. I am using this picture from Pinterest for inspiration.
My dad is a truck buff and is a part of a truck club in the area. He found a member who had a red truck that we can use. I can't wait to post the pictures and share all the fun outfits!

24 weeks. Holy moly. I can't believe we are moving right along to the 3rd trimester!
How far along? 24 weeks

Total weight gain: 20 pounds. Can you see it in my face? Ugh. Was hoping to keep at least my face from blowing up.

Maternity clothes? you betcha.

Stretch marks? nothing yet.

Sleep: I'm sleeping well lately except for getting up to pee.

Best moment this week: Nothing too special this week.

Miss anything? sushi. End of story.

Food cravings: Everything? I want food ALL.THE.TIME! Guess the 20 pound gain shouldn't be so shocking.

Anything making you queasy or sick? not really anymore.

Gender: Sweet baby boy! Our sweet Hudson.

Labor signs: Braxton hicks have began in my lower belly. Not bad, but definitely can feel them. And heart burn has begun. Maybe he will have a lot of hair?

Symptoms: Lots of stretching, peeing all the time, heartburn occasionally, and braxton hicks.

Belly button in or out? In! But it's starting to pop a little.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or moody most of the time: I'm feeling moody lately. I know I'm growing a baby, but I'm struggling with my weight gain. I'm working out and trying to eat better. I guess I'm just one of the gals who puts on a lot during pregnancy.

Looking forward to: the holidays for sure!

How's Dad doing? He's doing good! We started decorating Hudson's nursery so the financial side of that may be stressing him out a bit ;)
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