Sunday, June 24, 2018

Infertility Round II

This post has been on the back of my mind lately.  If you've been fortunate enough to have never experienced truly struggling to conceive, than this might be difficult to understand.  If you've walked down this road, than you just get it.

Denial.  Sadness.  Anger.  Acceptance.  Hope.  Repeat.  These are the emotions that I experience every single month.  We've been trying for over 2 years now.  Since Isla was 7 months old.  It was such a struggle to conceive her back then, that I wanted to start trying right away.  It's always been my dream to have wee ones running through my home....that beautiful chaos that comes from a large family.  I'm 36 years old, and I know that time is not on my side.  

Since November, I've taken the medications, administered the shots, more meds, blood draws numerous times a week, ultrasounds, and experienced multiple failed infertility treatments.  All that I have to show for it are complications from the medications which wreak havoc on your body; poor health, hormones completely out of whack, a uterine tumor, cervical cysts that won't disappear on their own (ovarian drilling anyone?), and depression.  

Infertility is a dark, and lonely place.  And just because I've been blessed to have 1 child, doesn't mean that secondary infertility is an easy pill to swallow.

I put my instagram account on hold last month after my surgery to remove the tumor.  I couldn't handle the pretty images of smiling babies, and pregnancy announcements any longer.  The pregnancy announcements are devastating.  Not because I'm not happy for them, but because I'm sad for myself.  I almost pulled Isla out of our favorite mommy and me class because 5 of the mothers are expecting.  It's like putting a starving person in a room full of food and telling them they can't eat.  I withdrew her from starting preschool next school year so that I can keep her at home and enjoy her for one more year.  Thoughts of "this may be the only child I have" are daily.

I think of all the privileges that I have in life, but for me, not being able to get pregnant and have another child really, really hurts.  It's cruel, and unfair, and I don't wish these feelings on anyone.  I pray that once I resume treatments again in September (the projected time frame when I should be healthy enough to start again), that this IVF round will be successful and that I will be able to experience that stirring of life inside of me, and ultimately give my daughter a brother or sister.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Packing List For Upcoming Travel

The best decision I ever made was to stop following fashion "trends" a couple years ago and to start building up my wardrobe with pieces that I truly love and make me feel good.  I started paying attention to certain details or elements that I'm consistently drawn to (for me it's neutrals) and began investing in quality pieces to build up a really good capsule wardrobe.  Now whenever I want to pick up some new clothing for upcoming travel, I know that my purchases can be easily integrated into my wardrobe to create an easy, classic, and feminine look.

Below are some pieces that I recently picked up for our upcoming vacation - we're headed back to Italy!  I plan to wear these with lots of neutrals; white jeans, my easy Chloe flats, white Superga sneakers, slightly distressed denim, soft gray sweaters, camel colors, etc.  Just give me a glass of vino, and I'm all set.  Ciao! xx


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Blackberry Farm Recap

To celebrate my birthday last month, we took a quick little getaway up to Blackberry Farm.  This magical spot had been on my bucket list of places that I was dying to visit, and I am happy to report that the hype of this special farm is 100% real.  We were absolutely blown away by the charm of Blackberry Farm (so much that we immediately booked to visit again in late September).  

Nestled in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in Eastern Tennessee, the sprawling 4,000 acre property is about as "all American" as it gets.  The estate does an astounding job at blending the whole working farmstead experience with elegance and luxury.  The "farm charm" (as I dubbed it) is everywhere to be found; white rocking chairs are thoughtfully placed around the property to take in the views, fire pits are lit nightly to roast s'mores, a picturesque boathouse sits on a serene pond looking straight out of a Nicholas Sparks movie, sheep and horses graze lazily in get the picture.  It's laid back and totally refined at the same time all while oozing Southern hospitality in the most perfect way. 

Being completely surrounded by nature in this rural setting, combined with the crisp, fresh air was exactly what I wanted out of this trip, and below is a selection of photos that I took while we were on property.

^^ We were upgraded to a mountain home called "Elkmont" upon arrival.  It was beautifully decorated and was more than enough space as we were just traveling with Isla.

^^ We dined in The Barn only on the night of my birthday.  It is a much dressier environment (men are required to wear dinner jackets) compared to the rest of the property.  Wearing:  cashmere turtleneck (found here) //  Veronica Beard tweed skirt (available here) //  Chloe boots (here)

^^ We had a pretty set routine while we were at BB Farm.  During the morning hours we would explore the property with Isla by golf cart, we fed the pigs apples, would visit the barn animals, tromp around the forest surrounding the creek, look for kitty cats in the garden, etc.  After Isla's nap, we would drop her off at the kids camp for 3-4 hours (the kids camp was closed for the season so we paid for private sessions) and they tailored some really amazing adventures for her.  She still talks about how much fun she had with Ms. Polly and Ms. Miranda!  

^^ This is what we did while Isla was in the kids camp 🙌  Adam and I have done wine tastings all over the world and this was by far the most phenomenal wine + cheese pairing I have ever taken part of!  This was just the group wine tasting they do weekly, but we were the only guests participating so we had the sommelier all to ourselves.  A fun note about Blackberry Farm's wine collection: they house the second largest wine collection in North America with over 160,000 bottles of wine!

^^ Wearing: Emerson Rose sweater (last seen here) //  Good American denim (my favorite here) //  Sperry wedge boots (here) //  Barbour jacket (here)

^^ Isla's dream was to pet this horse named Willard. We also participated in a carriage ride around the property with a retired working Amish farm horse named 'Too Big'!

^^ The fly fishing shack

^^ I posted this photo of this cute market bag (which I quickly purchased!) on my instastories and had so many of you ask where you can buy it.  It's actually for purchase on the BB Farm online shop (here).  I get compliments on it all the time!

^^ One of the highlights of the trip was visiting the Lagotto Romagnolo kennel.  They are Italian truffle hunting dogs that the farm breeds and trains.  They have the absolute sweetest temperament, are hypoallergenic, insanely smart, and have a 3 year waiting list for a puppy.  We immediately added our name to the list :)

Fun activities that we booked:

Wine tasting - obviously

Carriage ride around the property - so fun to learn the history of the property and bundle up under blankets in the antique carriage.  Isla was bored, however, and threw her baby doll off the carriage and it got ran over oops!

Private bird watching hike - Adam & I did this 1 hour bird watching hike while Isla was in the camp and it was so much fun!  We had binoculars and our guide would point out native birds and other species on our walk - super fun!

I also want to mention our sweet travel agent, Orit, who has booked all of our travel this past year.  She is absolutely flawless at what she does and her attention to detail continuously amazes me every time we travel.   I think this area is really where she shines compared to most other travel agents that I have worked with in the past who is only concerned with booking you and moving on to the next client.  If anyone is looking for a new travel agent, I would be happy to provide her email address (I have asked her if this was okay, and she has allowed me to give her info out).  

Thanks so much for reading! xx

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