Tag Archives: Infertility

Dear Embryos,

This is a very hard post to share with you all but I have had so much support my whole Infertility journey and after talking to so many people (I hope I’ve helped you all), I wanted to share the end of our story.

To the two embryos that tried so hard to stick during our first IVF, that ended in a chemical pregnancy and to the 3 that didn’t make it to freeze- thank you for teaching me how much I wanted to be a mommy and how strong I am.  To my beautiful 6 week and 4 day old baby that we saw grow and get to love for a short period of time, I miss you but thank you for putting us on a different path and a new doctor that would eventually give us your sister Kayla. To my little fighter embryo that was trying to grow but just not in the right place and ended in an ectopic pregnancy, you made me so brave and strong, thank you. To my embryo that really had no chance of finding a home inside of me because your fierce and strong willed sister Kayla, took up all the room (lol), thank you for letting her have all of that room and for officially making me a mommy.  To my Kayla, I’m pretty sure you were the toughest embryo I’ve seen and you haven’t changed one bit. To my miracle embryo- my Madison. I cannot wait to tell you the story of how amazing you just are and how I still cannot believe we made you.

And for my 3  frozen embryos we said good bye to this week and decided to donate to research- please know it was the hardest decision we had to make. To know we had three healthy girl embryos, this was not an easy decision but one in the end is right for our family. What makes this a little easier is to know we potentially could be helping doctors and embryologists in finding something new they haven’t seen in an embryo ,(because let’s be serious my kids are gorgeous and brilliant) (haha JK…kind of…) makes our decision a bit easier.

This closes our book on our journey with Infertility and becoming parents. Thank you all so much for following along, your support, kind words, prayers, gifts and hugs meant the world to us. Please know I am always here to help anyone who has a question, needs a prayer or to vent….don’t stop messaging me, I hope I can help more with what I’ve been through. As I sit here crying over the past few years, I know just how blessed and lucky I am because there still are many people who fight harder than I have and still don’t have ending like we did. As I think back to my procedures, dozens and dozens of early morning appointments, scans, bloodwork, and losses and then look over to my two babies….I would do it all over again 100 times over… in a heartbeat.  oxoxox



These are a few of my favorite things…

As a new mom, you hear from so many friends, social media posts, books- you name it, of the best gadgets and what to buy and use. I wanted to share a few of my favorite things that have made my life a little easier the last 7 weeks.

1- Rock n’ play, pretty much the best invention ever. At first we were just using it for when she napped during the day and a place for us to put her down safely. Unfortunately, Kayla like many other babies did not like her bassinet as much as this. During the night she would wake up frequently and many times the second we put her down, she would wake up and cry. With the rock n’ play, it is slanted (which makes me feel better about spit up) and is almost a little cocoon for her. It is magic!


2. Sound Sleeper App- which is free! (There are in app purchases, but no necessary at all.) We use this at night and not only does it put Kayla to sleep, but also my husband and I. It runs for 30 minutes and you can choose sounds for that are best for newborns, infants etc. She LOVED the womb sound for the first 2-3 weeks and now we have moved on to the ocean, rain or river. I have actually used the hair dryer one a few times as well, girlfriend used to kick in my belly when I did my hair and still loves it.


3. Dr. Brown’s Microwave Steam Sterilizer- oh the time it saves. At first we were using Dr. Brown’s bottles so there were about 5 pieces per bottle to clean and boy it was annoying and time consuming. We had a big pot on the stove and twice a day would have to boil bottles, nipples and any nuks we had. We had to change bottles and now use the Playtex with liners so we really just have to clean the nipples and nuks (I do sterilize the bottles every week too). This is amazing. We put 6 oz of water in the container with everything that we need done (holds a decent amount, we can put 4-5 nipples and lids in at a time) and mic for 6 minutes. Done! They come out looking great and we aren’t spending much time and less mess…a win/win.


4. Dexbaby Spin Changing Station- before we had Kayla, I thought I had the changing table and dresser all organized but I was wrong! Once she was here, I realized there were other things I needed in my reach and I found this $20 gadget on amazon- boom! It holds diapers, wipes, and anything else you may need. We have vaseline, her shampoo/soap for sponge baths, nose aspirator, hand sanitizer for us, q-tips and wine. HA just kidding- wanted to see if you were paying attention. This would make a great gift for a shower!! I highly recommend.


5. Had to come back and add one more thing I forgot! The Walgreens App! It makes it SO easy for you to order pictures right off your phone, facebook, etc. I printed over 200 from the last 6 weeks and within 1 hour, they are ready to be picked up. Make sure to google coupon codes, I found one for 50% off. This day and age we have everything on our phones and ipads, but this makes it so easy to save these memories. I purchased a photo album off amazon and will have them so my daughter will always be able to look back on her childhood!


There you have it- I will keep making posts like this as I find out what works for us as we go along. Let me know what you use that you would love to share too!


Best day of my life!! Sorry I haven’t updated in awhile- I have been a little busy 🙂 Kayla is 6 weeks already- how did that happen?! I have some fun ideas for posts coming up, please let me know if there is anything you want to know or find out what I have learned in my 6 weeks of being a mom!

I will try not to be too TMI on my story, but hey- I gave birth, it is all TMI! (While I am writing this, she is sitting in my lap lol, Miss Diva needs to be involved in everything.) On 9/25, I  was still working at home and feeling more and more uncomfortable. I couldn’t sit straight up and type and it felt like she was constantly tickling me! I even said to Dave as I was cleaning up my emails,  “I am not too sure I will be working next week!” That night Dave had to ref a game and I asked him to drive separate from his crew- just in case. 🙂 Right before he left, I did start to lose some of my mucus plug when I went to the bathroom, but that could mean nothing as many do go days, even weeks before giving birth.

4am, on Saturday the 26th, I woke up to slight cramping, nothing too strong but I noticed they kept coming so when I timed them and saw they were 8 minutes or so apart, I woke Dave up. When I went to the bathroom and saw a little blood- I thought, hmm…I think I may be in labor!!  (First timer here!)  The first thing I did was call my mom who lives in Florida so she could get a flight out. Then I called my doctor who told us to come to the hospital. Dave and I were pretty calm packing the car up and making sure Bradley was all settled. The 30 minute ride to the hospital was fine and once we got to labor and delivery, the nurse took one look at me and said we will check you, but you will most likely be going back home. Apparently, I was way too relaxed, calm and smiling. LOL  I was only 1 centimeter and 80% effaced, so they had me walk the hallways for a good hour before they checked me again. Nothing changed. I really thought I was further along, but NOPE. The doctor and nurse suggested we go home, get something to eat and try to get some rest. They didn’t think we would be back until later that night or even the next day…I thought different and so did Miss Kayla.

Once we got home I had a bagel, took a shower and was trying to nap, but the contractions were getting very intense and so painful. It was all back labor and the pain would shoot down my legs…awful. Around noon we started timing them and when I was in so much pain and threw up all over the bathroom, we knew it was time to get back to the hospital. My brother in law, sister, mom and dad all pulled up around the time we were leaving. I was hanging on to the fence crying and when my mom yelled- Team Kayla!!! I gave her the finger. (lol)  

Around 2:30-3pm we were back and the nurse took one look at me and said “a lot different this time huh?!” I was in tears and she could see how much pain I was in. The doctor checked and I was 3 centimeters and 100% effaced….about two minutes after that, my water broke on its own!  Thoughts going through my head: holy crap, I’m having a baby. I am only 3 centimeters? Thank God I got to the hospital in time. OMG this is so painful. Where is the epidural?! 

Once I was in my room and settled with the epidural (HEAVEN!), everything started moving SO FAST. I was 7 centimeters within an hour and my water gushed one more time- I cannot explain the feeling but I had no idea what happened. The nurses went to clean me up and saw that Kayla had her first bowel movement (Meconium) inside of me. They were very calm and explained they would have NICU nurses in the room when she was born to make sure everything was ok and she was all clear. It was quite scary to hear this, but the amazing nurses calmed me down and talked us through the situation. 

Once my parents and sister arrived, the doctor checked and could not believe I was 10 centimeters and ready to push. This was around 6:30pm and it hit me what was happening. I got extremely anxious and started to cry a bit…my family was so, so excited and literally flew out the door. I started to push with my incredible husband coaching me (he was so amazing the whole day!). The doctor and nurse said the baby’s head was low and seeing how fast my labor progressed, I thought this will be super quick!!  NOT. At first, Kayla was in distress and about 4 nurses flew in the room and flipped me to my left side. Once her heart rate was steady, we waited about 10-15 minutes to let everything calm down. 

Once I started to push, the doctor would come in and out of the room and basically cheer me on saying how great everything looked…then he would leave. Every time he left, I wanted to scream because I knew then I must not be close to giving birth. (He was delivering a few babies all at once!) Two hours later and I am still pushing and it doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon. I was extremely exhausted, Dave would give me water, I had an oxygen mask between pushes and I was a sweaty mess. Finally my doctor mentioned we could use a vacuum and that would work, but “we don’t have to do this just yet.” About 5 minutes later I said- “that’s it!! Get the vacuum, get her out!” I am so patient…HA. About 3 pushes later with the help of a vacuum, our daughter Kayla Hope was born at 8:42pm. I didn’t care at all what happened after that, I just wanted to make sure she was ok. My husband was crying and gave me a kiss then I basically pushed him to go check on our girl. She was so beautiful and HEALTHY. 

After the NICU nurses checked on her, they asked if I wanted to do skin to skin… YES PLEASE. See below at the pictures from our first night and day. The first few days are a blur, but wow, what an amazing feeling it is to be a mom. Rewarding, exhausting, and yet, the best experience in the world. Thank you for all the support!!!!!

God is good…

Around 7am the day I gave birth!

Around 7am the day I gave birth!

Around 8:45pm on 9.26. The first picture of my daughter and I! Pure bliss and indescribable love.

Around 8:45pm on 9.26. The first picture of my daughter and I! Pure bliss and indescribable love.

My husband and amazing father with our girl.

My husband and amazing father with our girl.

Auntie and her buddy!!

Auntie and her buddy!!

Pop pop and his granddaughter...I'm pretty sure she is thanking him for all the crumb cake he gave me.

Pop pop and his granddaughter…I’m pretty sure she is thanking him for all the crumb cake he gave me.

One of my favorite photos of all time. Grandma and her girl.

One of my favorite photos of all time. Grandma and her girl.


So in love with this face.

So in love with this face.

Maternity Pictures

Good evening all! I cannot believe we hit the 36 week mark and we are a month or less from meeting our daughter! So many emotions, I am feeling excited, nervous, scared, happy….just a lot of changes coming up. We are SO ready, but no matter how ready you are, I think everyone feels this way. I have been feeling pretty good! Lots of heartburn, starting to have trouble sleeping at night- lots of hip and leg pain sleeping on my sides, and a little swelling, but I can’t complain. 🙂

At 33 weeks and 5 days, we had maternity pictures done at the beach. I wasn’t going to do any but I am so happy we were able to capture this time and can show our future children how excited we were.  I highly recommend any one who is pregnant to take them!

Here are a few of my favorites:

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Already a beach baby!

Already a beach baby!


Of Course Bradley made an appearance!

Of Course Bradley made an appearance!

Jack and Jill Baby Shower!

On August 1st, my amazing sister and brother in law hosted our “BabyQ” at their house! With lots of help from my parents and in-laws, it was a gorgeous night! We had a diaper raffle (we have enough diapers for at least 6 months!), they didn’t have our guests wrap their gifts- just put them in baskets, clear wrap etc- so we could relax and not worry about opening everything.   Best part was- it was a ton of our family and friends!! Beer, wine and delicious bbq food was served all night under a tent decorated with mason jars, flowers and fun touches. It was such a beautiful night and I still cannot believe we had a shower. I have been to so many showers and turned down so many invites….the fact that this was for us- AH! Baby Girl received a whole library of books, tons of clothes, blankets, almost everything off of our registry (just had to buy the car seat with giftcards), and lots of fun goodies that we were not expecting. Here are some pictures from our exciting day.

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Second Trimester!

Ah… we made it to the 13 week (semi breathing) phase. The first few weeks of the second trimester, I was exhausted. I hear this is the best trimester for many and I was so frustrated I wasn’t feeling well, but after a few weeks of early bedtimes, naps and late night snacks lol, I finally started feeling better. I have to tell you, my Crohn’s disease has pretty much been in remission throughout my pregnancy so far. I am down to 4 pills a day (was on 8 plus steroids before). I wanted to go off them but my doctor is afraid I will have a bad flare-up after giving birth, so he wants me to stay on some. I am also on a pre-natal vitamin, iron supplement, baby aspirin and folic acid prescription. I am eating lots of wheat (lol) and ice cream and my stomach feels pretty darn great. I started incorporating protein shakes more in the 2nd trimester as well. I have Juice Plus protein powder and mix almond milk with kale, berries, and banana. So good!

I waited so long for this pregnancy, but it still can get very overwhelming all the changes in your body. I wasn’t completely in maternity clothes yet, but was having trouble fitting in many of my current clothes. This seems like such a stupid thing to get upset about but with my hormones and not feeling 100%, I definitely had my crying moments while going through my closet some days. My mom was so great and did some fun online shopping for me so I would get packages of clothes in the mail, which was amazing when you don’t feel like walking around a mall all day.

Around 19 weeks when my mom was in town, we registered!! Such an exciting day! When we walked into Buy Buy Baby, I was all set to go and didn’t think we needed any help. About 10 minutes into it and when we hit the car seats, I almost had a panic attack. There were about 30 car seat options!! I wanted the perfect one for our little nugget and had no idea where to start. We found an amazing woman who worked there who told me to take a deep breath then continued to stay with us for a good two hours through every section of the store. It was so much fun and so exciting because we also picked out our nursery furniture too! (Thanks to our amazing parents!!) This was starting to get so real. 🙂

Early May Bump!!

Early May Bump!!

My adorable hubby and baby daddy while registering. He had to get his own carrier. :) <3

My adorable hubby and baby daddy while registering. He had to get his own carrier. ❤

End of May bump!!

End of May bump!!

First Trimester

Hi All! 🙂 Well today I started my 3rd trimester!! Yes- 28 weeks! I apologize, AGAIN, for not blogging for a few months- ugh, I stink. But I want to get back in the groove before our little peanut arrives in October. So here we go!

First trimester is scary for any mom because it is so early and you don’t know what may happen. For me and many of us who go through infertility, it is three months of nerves, excitement, doctor appointments and lots of prayers. My first pregnancy,  was chemical so never even got to the ultrasound. My second pregnancy, we went in to hear the heartbeat and there was none. My third pregnancy, was an ectopic so we had the positive tests but they could need see anything and it wasn’t progressing or viable. So this time as much as I wanted to get my hopes up, we knew to prepare for the worst and not fully celebrate. When you do IVF, you have MANY more appointments in the beginning of your pregnancy. We went in around 5.5 weeks and saw the fetal pole and sac– yay!! Then we went a week later for BIG appointment, to hear her heartbeat. I’ll never forget our doctor saying as soon as he had it up on the screen -“I can already see it beating.” MUSIC TO OUR EARS! And hearing it- I cannot explain how amazing it was. 

We went back about a week later and everything was looking amazing and we were getting ready to “graduate.” Around this point- 7 weeks, was when I started to get super sick. I could barely keep anything down- even water- and was so worried I was going to get dehydrated or not be able to take my prenatal vitamin. Thank Goodness I never had to go to the hospital, but for a good two weeks, it was not pleasant. My doctor had to prescribe some anti-nausea meds for me, which did help quite a bit. I didn’t want to take too many pills, so I only took them when it was really needed.

When we went to our 8 week appointment with our fertility doctor, our last one, baby looked amazing but we had a scare with our blood work. Our HCG numbers were going down, or so we thought from the lab, so the doctor made us come back in two days later for another look and bloodwork. Talk about stressful and nerve wracking- I was a mess for 2 days. We went back in and she was perfect and growing! We had bloodwork done again and it was back up, so not sure if the lab messed up or what but we were a-ok to graduate and move on!! Bittersweet day because you get very attached to your nurse and doctor, but we were ready to move on.

10 weeks- first appointment at our gynocologist. We saw baby girl move!!! We couldn’t believe when we had the ultrasound she was moving her arms all over, cutest. thing. ever. At this point I wasn’t getting sick anymore but still tired and nauseous. I lost a few pounds in the beginning but was starting to gain some weight back. 

We didn’t want to announce to all of our friends and family until after our 15 week appointment, but we did have my brother in law take our announcement pictures around 12/13 weeks. We waited SO LONG for this!! Behind the scenes-



Of course Bradley was included! Here are the final shots and a bump picture from March 🙂 :


IMG_0459IMG_0454Thanks for reading! oxox


Road to Baby

Good morning! I am so sorry I haven’t written in months but….I’m pregnant! wahoo!! Thank you so much for all of your prayers, support, calls, texts…everything. Dave and I are so blessed and cannot believe this is real. I wanted to share our story over the last few months.

When you do a frozen embryo transfer, it is not as easy as just showing up to the doctor the day of. We started the process over a month in advance, starting with me going on birth control. Crazy right? But it basically quiets your system down and helps the doctors time everything. 

January 2nd- our first doctors appt! Everything looks good and that evening I start my shots. Because we had a cancelled cycle back in August due to using no meds and my body not cooperating, my doctor changed my protocol up. I was on “stimming” shots, to basically trick my body to make estrogen to help thicken my uterine lining. Not only was I on shots, but I was also on a baby aspirin, prenatal vitamin, folic acid prescription, two iron supplements per day plus my medicine for Crohn’s. Whew!  (I just wanted to point out last year exactly around this time we had our D&C for our miscarriage, it is amazing what a year can bring and wow, have I learned the art of patience.)

Over the next week or so, I had a few early doctor appointments (between 6-7:30am) and everything was looking pretty good. My lining was getting thicker, not as thick as I would have liked, but it was looking ok. Once the doctor gives us the ok, I started on progesterone shots (in my lower back, upper butt). That is quite a process! I ice it, Dave does the shot then rubs it, then I walk around because the progesterone serum is thick, so it is good to walk around so it loosens itself up in your muscle area. Then Heat…my awesome heating pad did the trick. 

On top of ALL of that. My doctor had me on benadryl…THREE times a day. (This was started two days before the transfer). The first weekend I was on it, I pretty much slept the entire time lol.  I don’t have much knowledge on what it does exactly, but they are saying it can help with implantation and I think it relaxes you as well. (All you people who get pregnant on your first time, in your own bedroom…look at all this work many of us have to go through!! It is nuts.) oh and I was going to acupuncture twice a week as well. 

On January 18th, we received a call at 10am to be at their office at noon in Basking Ridge, NJ for our transfer. It was a snowy, rainy and dreary Sunday, but Dave and I were so ready for this.  My parents took our dog Bradley, and we took off to go “meet” our girls. Yes, I said girls….we put two embryos in, both girls. 🙂 Dave and I knew the sexes of our 5 frozen embryos back in the summer when we had our egg retrieval and had their genetic testing done. This is getting more and more common among IVF patients, to find the best of the best. We had 6 embryos freeze and 5 were healthy, so we did have to have one thrown out due to a chromosome abnormality. We put two of the strongest embryos in…girls! Go figure 🙂

We paid $200 extra to have laser acupuncture before and after the transfer.  It did not hurt at all and was pretty relaxing. It also lasted about 2 minutes lol …$200 pssht. Here I am before:

IMG_2708Then, the most amazing and beautiful process begins. A doctor and two nurses came into the room with our embryos in an incubator. We were able to see on a large screen the embryos being put into a catheter, they are SO, SO tiny. I want to say as small or smaller then a poppy seed. Then we watch on the ultrasound screen as the doctor inserts the embryos into my uterus. (A Fairly painless process!) I was so in awe as you all of a sudden could see them pop out of the catheter and into my uterus. I started crying, it was so emotional and beautiful to watch. You could see them both just floating in and getting ready to stick. 🙂 The nurse patted arm as I was crying and told me I did “such a good job.” They are angels and what they do everyday is make miracles. My husband, Dave kept saying wow and both of us just stared at the screen. Once it was over, I had to lay there for about 20-30 minutes and the acupuncturist came back in and did the laser one more time. By this point, you are very uncomfortable because you have to have a full bladder throughout the procedure. I couldn’t wait to get up and pee!! lol 

I wanted to share this picture, because how cool is it that I have it? But here are our two embryos before they were brought to us. I don’t know why but I feel like the one on the right is our baby girl. It was already hatching in this picture!! She was ready to get this process going and is so strong 🙂  I have so much more to share and write especially about our first few weeks pregnant, but I will leave it here for now and thank you again for all of our support. I still cannot believe this is happening!!!! oxox


Prayer is powerful.

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had an amazing holiday season. My hubby and I had the best getaway in Arizona. We were upgraded to a gorgeous suite, had great weather, each gained 5lbs (haha!), and relaxed. Could not have asked for a better trip.

As we are starting 2015 and preparing for our transfer, I wanted to share how much my faith has helped me over the past few years. I may not go to church every weekend, but I pray constantly and I feel so close to God when I do. Last night Dave and I went to a special mass for couples trying to conceive at St. Lucy’s Church in Newark, NJ.  We were able to light some candles, write in a book to St. Gerard and pin a dollar on the beautiful St. Gerard statue’s coat. It was very traditional and what a gorgeous church. Here are two pictures.

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Many people pray in the morning when they walk up and read a daily devotion, but I love to pray before bed. I read my prayers, say my own of course and I have started to read the Bible on an app on my phone. I light my St .Gerard candle and it is very peaceful for me and a way to unwind. Here are a few of my go to evening prayers:



As you can see I have a St. Gerard medal that I wear, but that is not all! You do not have to be religious to be spiritual…everyone can find comfort and prayer in other things. here are a few of mine as well-

IMG_2518These all have a special meaning to me. As you can see I have an elephant bracelet and necklace- it is a sign for a new beginning. (I also read a book recently on elephants and it is amazing how they are all so close and into family.) I  have my “with brave wings she flies” necklace from a dear friend who thought of me and sent it my way. I have my Alex and Ani fish bracelet which stands for fertility. This one has an even more special meaning because two other girls in my support group wore it during their transfer process and one now has a baby and one is expecting! Last two- my balance bracelet from my sister. It has mud from the dead sea (the lowest part of the Earth) and water from Mt. Everest (the highest part). My last bracelet on the far right is from Arizona and has a small bunny charm on it as well. My husband and I walked up to a stand and out of dozens of bracelets I picked it up and the woman told me it was a bracelet to help with Infertility. Sold!! haha…but how amazing? Signs all over the place 2015 is going to be our year.

What do you wear, read or say to yourself daily to keep the peace?

Holiday Season

Hi Friends. 🙂 It has been quite a busy few months with traveling for work, shopping for the holidays and have photography sessions. I just received a message from a friend that made me slow down to write a post. I won’t say the whole message but it made my day… ” Thank you for doing what you do and showing that we’re not alone and everyone’s path is ‘easy.’ Thank you again for being so open and honest…” Thank YOU!! ❤

Ask any of my family members or friends and they will all agree with you that I LOVE the holiday season. I start decorating for Fall/Halloween the 2nd the weather hits 60 and my Thanksgiving decorations are out 11/1. This time of the year it is extremely hard to not have a child. It hits me starting in September when everyone is starting to get their fall pictures and first day of school.  I cannot wait to have a child to go pumpkin picking, apple picking, you name it with- it is my dream! Then we move on to Halloween where Facebook is covered in pictures of adorable kids in their costumes and trick or treating fun. (Oh and my birthday is early October so that is always fun another year without a kid).

Thanksgiving- I am sucker for the Macy’s Parade…balloons, Broadway dancers and of course Santa at the end! It kicks off the Christmas season and just reminds me of what I still do not have. Christmas season rolls in with adorable Christmas cards, tree pictures with kids and the Elf on the Shelf (which I cannot WAIT To do lol). It is just a hard time for all of us struggling with infertility and loss.

A year ago I was pregnant. At Christmas Eve mass Dave and I jokingly said “peace be with you,” to my tummy at church. Christmas day I was thinking of next Christmas and was so, so excited. Little did we know a few days later we would find out about the miscarriage, but I still think back to a year ago…I wish I didn’t. 😦

Anyways…for everyone struggling- you are not alone. I get it. Think of it this way- you can save a lot of $$ on gifts and drink a lot more wine on Christmas day then any parents out there. 🙂 I had my support group over for a cookie swap and have been busy with photography, reading and catching up on shows. The best advice I could give is to stay busy and enjoy yourself. Don’t feel like you have to say yes to every party and family gathering you are invited to. Dave and I are going away for a few days to just take a breather and focus on the new year to come. January will be here before we know it and I cannot wait. If I don’t write again before 2015…have an amazing holiday season and New Year’s! Enjoy your families, spouses and eat a lot of cookies!