Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jeans are on a Journey

When the twitter-craze started, I was a skeptic. I couldn't imagine updating what I was doing every minute of every day...and not that I've gotten to that point (push me down the stairs if I do) but I have found it really helpful as a micro-blogging-opportunity.

It started with me updating on how IVF Numero Dos was progressing--I could send updates right from the RE's office: how convenient! Then came bed rest where I couldn't really access my computer: super! Then when I couldn't wrap my brain around a whole blog post, twitter captured my random thoughts: fantastic! And of course the second round of bed rest in the hospital, and then the arrival of the O-man: what an amazing thing to immediately proclaim he was here safe and sound! Amazing to think that in our conversation in years to come, twitter will be part of our story when we tell the O-man about his birth story.

So here I am, the conformed skeptic joining a journey of 30 moms for 30 days in the month of June twittering about being new moms-and testing out a few products. And I'm excited to have my blog buddy, Rach, along for the journey!

It also makes me happy to particpate in another area where I can share the wonderful things this community does for one another, and educate others about infertilty and how being a new mom doesn't come easy. Please know that while this journey includes new-mom stuff, it will have the IF-community-seal-of-approval: I know and respect my roots!

Seal of Approval:

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Me, Crazy?

Apparently Delenn thinks so! Thanks, my friend :0)

8 Things I Am Looking Forward To:

1. My trip to NYC next week with Bee Cee !
2. My trip to the Outer Banks with LJ and V
3. The NC Blogger Cookout @ casa de JJ & Mook
4. A mini-trip with Mook in July, since last July was a bit rough...
5. Seeing the O-man tomorrow morning and every morning-he is such a morning person!
6. Working on my ooey-gooey projects
7. Crossing things of my daunting to do list
8. Reading on the beach

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

1. Went to a motivational seminar
2. Watched DVR'ed episodes of The Real Housewives of NJ, So You Think You Can Dance? and The Bachelorette
3. Battled Mook in Guitar Hero (I won...)
4. Decided once and for all, I don't like beef hot dogs
5. Downloaded all my pictures from the wedding this past weekend
6. Finished unpacking from this past weekend
7. Learned I'm still afraid of the dark
8. Cried when I read "Goodnight Moon" to the O-man

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

1. Play piano and sing at the same time
2. Worry less
3. Enjoy running
4. Scrapbook more
5. Go on a cross country car trip
6. Convince Mook that not all infomercials provide quality products
7. Go on a singing tour
8. Calculate percentages in my head

8 Shows I Watch:

1. The Office
2. Family Guy
3. Weeds
4. Dexter
5. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
6. So You Think You Can Dance?
7. Any of the Real Housewives shows
8. Private Practice

8 Favorite Fruits:

1. Strawberries
2. Grapes
3. Bananas
4. Kiwi
5. Star Fruit
6. Apples
7. Blackberries
8. Oranges

8 Places I'd Like to Travel:

1. Australia
2. San Fransisco, CA
3. Canada
4. Scotland
5. Italy
6. Ireland
7. Maine
8. Montana

8 Places I've Lived

1. Elon, NC
2. Richmond, VA
3. Lynchburg, VA
4. Lewisville, NC
5. Farmville, VA
6. Kernersville, NC
7. Burlington, NC
8. I've only got 7 places

8 People I've tagged: (if you feel like it, of course)

1. IF Optimist
2. Incinta
3. Melissa, So it goes
4. Our Life
5. Baby Moxie
6. The Happy Hours
7. The Life of Liv
8. Sarah @ Taking it one gigantic, earth-shattering crisis at a time

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Motivation

I definitely don't lack it, I just get motivated in too many areas.
I definitely have some form of OCD that makes me want to do

I need to put some post-it-notes around the house coaching me to be OK with to-do-list is growing immensely long, and its got silly things on it, like: separate laundry. I mean really, can't I just throw it all in at the same time? But seriously, I do need to work on makes me incredibly sad when I get to the end of the day, and I haven't held or played with the O-man as much as I want to, because I'm apparently worried about the laundry.

Ironically, I went to a motivational seminar today with my co-workers, and I left with that ooey-gooey feeling you get after a week at camp. You promise you'll write and stay close...and it does last for a while, but then the new car smell starts to fade.

However, I needed that extra dose of ooey-gooey. It's given me that push to really start to take action on a few projects I get all warm-and-fuzzy thinking about...all driven by this journey, and as my thoughts come together, I can't wait to share them and get your feedback.

I struggle EVERY DAY to live in the moment, and I left with some tools to help me make some better decisions throughout my day.

Ehh, not so wordless, huh?

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Packing

The O-man's Aunt Dee-Dee is getting hitched this weekend! We are headed to the beach until early next week--this is the same beach where I thought I had lost him--and the first time we've been back since that scary night--an emotional trip for many reasons.
I can't wait to smell the ocean...

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday: My Birthday

I remember squeezing my eyes shut, taking an over-sized breath and blowing out candles on my birthday cake when I was 6 years old, wishing for a certain Care Bare:
Minutes later, my wish came true. I opened a box and there was the exact thing I had wished for! This memory has stayed so clear over the years, because there is a picture documenting the pure joy on my face as I held onto the coolest birthday present ever in the history of the world!

How many wishes can each of us say came true over the years of blowing out birthday candles? I know I have wished for pretty off-the-wall things since that 6th birthday: a 1969 Corvette, an entire mall just for me, world peace, to travel the world, etc.

Then last year, I decided to recall the gusto of my birthday wish so many years ago. I squeezed my eyes shut, took an over-sized breath and pictured this image in my head:

He didn't come neatly wrapped in a box minutes later, but he was worth never getting that Corvette, trip around the world, or any other material thing. This is the best gift I have ever and will ever receive...

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Skin

I actually have a lot of words to say, but just not today.
Just very thankful I went to get checked and am hopeful
my doctor got it all.
Still waiting on blood work for further analysis.
Ironically, May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month.
If you even suspect a mole/freckle looks funky-please, go get it checked.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Laugh, And The World Laughs With You; Vomit, And The Internet Holds Your Hair

I feel like I'm at the Academy Awards about to introduce the Best Actress winner...shaky, sweaty palms included! I am so privileged to have the wonderfully witty Aunt Becky of Mommy Wants Vodka, guest-posting for me today. Please make her feel welcome...
and I'm sure she'll share some of her vodka.

The Jeans and The Vodka: a stylish, yummy combination.

I started blogging sometime in 2004 (incidentally around the same time as Dooce did. But she makes trillions and I get occasional paychecks for my ads that read something like so-and-so measly dollars, so you can see which of us is The Smart One) after my then-boyfriend suggested that I start one. I had a stalker, you see, which sounds far more intriguing than it actually was, and he thought that the Stalker Chronicles would make for great blogging material. They would have, had I started it when he suggested. But no, I was not enough of a writer to imagine that anyone would want to read my drivel so I put it off until a good friend of mine and I started a co-blog. The purpose of that blog was to shock and entertain in a I-Can't-Believe-She's-Saying-That sort of way and it wasn't read anywhere beyond the small circle of bloggers I know (read: about 3.4 people).

But in 2007 my second son, Alex, was born. I'd been laid up most of my pregnancy, sick as a dog, and had somehow stumbled into the land of infertility blogs and mothering-after-infertility blogs and began to read them (I know, you all thought I started reading Mommy Blogs).While I struggled on through Motherhood x 2 with a child who earned the nickname Devil-Baby, my blog was notoriously silent when I'd post about what I'd gone through just to make it through each day. These are the breaks when your readers don't have kids, don't want kids, and don't want to hear how many centimeters dilated you were (also: should they care?). I noticed something shocking, though, among the infertility blogs I read: everyone supported each other. It was the strangest thing to me, because I only tended to garner comments when I would write a funny blog.

So after some hemming and hawing (read: deciding what the hell to call my blog), I had my-former-blog-suggesting-boyfriend-turned-husband The Daver set me up with Blog #2. Mommy Wants Vodka. I became Aunt Becky, wrote daily, filling page after page with the drivel that my readers now know well. I wrote far more than I'd thought I had in me and realized that after all of my science training I am a writer at heart. This was a shocking realization as the time that after years of dying it shades of brown I realized that my hair is indeed black. At first, of course, no one came. It's not like The Internet sends out an email to prospective readers and tells them all about this new-fangled blog and boy, oh boy, should you take a look-see or what? I did what every blogger (and reader) that wants to connect with another blogger does: I commented until my fingers bled.

After a couple of months, I began to see a stray new reader here and there—I'd kept the readers I'd gotten at my first blog, some might say it was because I paid them, a charge I would heartily deny—and I made sure that no matter who it was, once they became a reader of mine, I was a faithful reader of theirs. I'll never forget the first time someone who hadn't ever laid eyes on my cat-hair covered sweatpants linked to me (Niobe from dead baby jokes). I may have shed a tear or two. Someone noticed me (after months of virtually stalking them) and deemed me worth linking to! It sounds so stupid, but I finally felt like I was no longer on the outside looking in.


I met JJ, well, I don't really remember when I met her: I feel like I've always known her, which is entirely possible. We've been blogging about the same amount of time. I was touched when she chose to keep up with me, and sooner than I could have imagined it, I got pregnant again. Knowing how hard it is for my infertile friends to read about pregnancy, I assumed that I'd lose a significant chunk of readers. Somehow, I didn't. JJ got pregnant with her son a couple of weeks after I got pregnant with my daughter and an instant Love Match was made.

My daughter Amelia (O-man's girlfriend, natch) was born first on January 28, and although we hadn't known that she had any problems, we found out while I was delivering her that she had what appeared to be a boggy rotten spot on the back of her head. The adjectives “boggy,” “rotten,” or “spot” aren't really the ones you want to use when referring to your daughter, similar to how you don't want to use the phrase “most recent colonscopy” in reference to yourself. A Cat Scan the following morning showed the worst: some bright spots (apparently not diamonds OR platinum, either of which would have been okay with me) and she was whisked down to the NICU for observation until a pediatric neurosurgeon could assess her.

After much teeth gnashing (me), about 4 trillion doctors appointments (her), and a couple of nervous breakdowns (me), a month almost to the day after she was born, my daughter went in for brain surgery. The pathology confirmed what the neurosurgeon suspected: Amelia had been born with a parietal encephalocele. I'll save you from googling that: when she was an embryo, something happened and the bones to her skull didn't fuse properly and some brain tissue began to grow outside of her skull (again: “brain tissue outside of her skull” is another one of those terms you never want to use). It's a big effing deal, and although she appears to be just fine we're being closely monitored by a number of teams of specialists.

But I'm sitting here, writing this to you and not laying somewhere, melted into a big pile of goo. I've made it through some of my own personal darkest days and nights and although I've noticed an increase in my White Hair Count (could that be from the lack of hair dye? I just don't know), I'm not hugely worse for the wear. Different person, yes I am, but not a worse person.

I've made it through and out the other side with the help and support from my friends in the computer. It sounds trite, I know, especially to someone who isn't part of this community, but each time I'd update my blog, the support pouring in was overwhelming. I'd get emails, phone calls, comments and the prayers of people I didn't even know. The morning of February 26, we had to leave our daughter with the anesthetist—easily the most gut-wrenching thing I've been through—to undergo brain surgery The Internet propped me up. They propped me up, dusted me off, gave me a big hug and told me that they cared.

I can't explain how much that helped without using phrases like “power of prayer” and “on the wings of love” or even maybe “livin' on a prayer” (okay, so not that one). It was often intangible, sometimes very tangible (especially Stef, who sent me vodka and chocolate. Which, awesome), but never failed to remind me that I was not alone. I honestly, in my heart of hearts, don't know how I could have done any of it without my Internet Friends. I really don't.

And to each and every one of you, some of whom I know, some of whom I don't, if I haven't said it before or often enough, let me say it again. Thank you. Just, thank you.


JJ is, of course, one of my favorite Internet Friends and I'm more than honored to be here, guest posting on her blog for her. She's been a friend through my whole journey and I like to think (wishfully? fishfully?) that I've been as good a friend to her too. The one thing that I'm annoyed about and hoping that you over here, JJ's Internet, can help me rectify is this: I didn't think to nominate her for the Best Health Blog in the bloggers choice awards, a title she completely deserves. Thankfully, her husband Mook did. But she's losing to some less-than-worthy blogs.

This, JJ's Internet, is where you come in. She's your friend and she deserves this award. Go vote for her. While I've heard some people whine about it, the registration process is pretty simple.

My site was nominated for Best Health Blog!

I live in Chicago where the motto is “vote early, vote often” (also a motto: We Arrest Our Governors), so go make JJ and her Aunt Becky proud.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday: Go Juice

No need for a big explanation here: I enjoy starting my day with some
"Go Juice" and my mug, that I slaved over in pottery class.
It makes the coffee taste better, I swear.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Show and Tell: Band-Aid

My first Show and Tell...and what an appropriate Sunday to show, and tell...

Earlier this week I had 2 moles removed, and will have to have more skin biopsied this coming week, due to the cells coming back showing basal cell and some squamous cell carcinoma. I was given strict instructions to change the band aid every 4 I had to dig deep into the depths of my medicine cabinet to find this:

It's amazing what can trigger memories. This large box of Band Aids sat on my bedroom dresser for IVF #1, our FET, and then for IVF #2. After each shot, out came a band aid--and Im guessing I took over 200 shots over the course of all those treatments. Can you see the wear-and-tear on the corner? That's from when I threw the box across the room afer IVF #1 failed...

Wow, I just had to take a moment and re-group.....because I am looking at the box sitting on my table, right next to where O-man is sitting in his bouncy seat.

I remember MANY times wishing that those band aids could cover my heart; stop all the aching and pain I was feeling. Some days were just too much. One of those days was Mother's Day 2 years ago...right before we started IVF #1. It's ironic to me now--I had a Harry Potter reference even back then--and how O-man came to be known as Ron!

Today is a Hallmark-Day...just another day on the calendar. Women: mothers, aunts, daughters, sisters, wives, should be celebrated every day. And of course I have a special place in my heart for the women on the path to expand their families-- THESE women are the strongest, most admirable women on the planet! That's why I loved Liv's idea of OMG You Rock Day! My rockin' OMGYRD partner, IF Optimist, sent me these lovely items:

A rockin' CD of tunes that make her happy, a fantastic home made card, and a beautiful dragonfly necklace.

So as I celebrate my first "Mother's Day" I am certainly grateful for my sweet, precious O-man. He is a long awaited member of the Jeans household--and I will never take today for granted. To all those that are celebrating today, squeeze your little ones extra tight. To all those waiting...I wish I could give you a band aid to ease the pain-but know that you are very much in my heart today...

Brought to you by Mel's Show and Tell. Click to see today's other participants.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Jeans Tweet Roundup

  • Haha, I knew I would jinx it! We were up at 3am this morning. Coffee, anyone? #
  • Fun people for #followfriday! @ljauss, @Delenn25, @thehappyhours #
  • I really love 80's movies. #
  • Mook said: "I saw your tweet about no tequila, so I got some more." I love that man. #
  • Ugg, will I EVER be able to hear a pregnancy announcement and not feel a twinge? #
  • Sorry that was bratty. Blame PMS. #
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Thursday, May 7, 2009

2 & 3 Months

Sweet boy,

As you can tell, your mom isn't always on time. I wouldn't call it procrastinating...especially when it comes to you-I definitely enjoy nuzzling your sweet neck more than sitting at the computer. But I promised you I would write these--and since Im still way behind on your baby book, I need to keep something updated!

To realize that you are already 3 months old, is very hard for your dad and I to believe. The time seemed to crawl as we waited for you to come into this world, and now 24 hours goes by in the blink of an eye. Time needs to slow down...

But we also love each new day with you-it's almost as if you grow in the crib overnight! I can come in to get you some mornings, and swear you have grown 2 inches--and your face seems more defined.

And speaking of overnight: you have been sleeping through the night for 6 weeks now--you just started it one night, and have kept it up ever since. Your dad and I have one thing to say: THANK YOU! We definitely don't take this for granted, and know it could change at any moment--but the sleep all 3 of us have been able to get, have made us all a bit more cheery!

Your personality is really starting to shine through! The first smiles melted my heart-and now that you have started to giggle, I could just cry with delight every time. You really study us--your eyes scan over our faces and it makes me feel so warm when you hear my voice and turn to see me.

Here are some notable events for month 2 & 3:
  • We had a big snowstorm--I tried to have you hold a mini-snow ball, but you weren't a fan
  • Attended your first ACC Tourney Party-of course you had to wear items from your mom and dad's favorite teams. Sadly, neither of them won. We think you'll end up liking an entirely different team all together!
  • You look very serious a lot of the time-like you are already trying to solve the economic crisis. I think you have figured it out, but unfortunately you have no way to communicate this.
  • We went and visited with the RE who helped make you a reality, and the nurse that was so good to me during my hospital stay
  • You got to celebrate your first Easter-the Bunny was good to you!
  • You REALLY like waving your right hand. Conductor, maybe? President, maybe?

We are approaching some special anniversaries/milestones. This time last year, your dad and I were getting ready to start the IVF process again--the one that gave us you--I look forward to explaining the whole process to you one day.

Each day is a gift with you. I hope that if you ever have a bad day, or feel down, that you can look back on these posts and know how much you are loved.

Jeans Tweet Roundup

  • I heart the Cinemagic channel on XM #
  • Here's my PSA for the day: go get a full body scan at your dermatologist!! My mole biopsy was abnormal. #
  • kirtsy / Upcoming - #
  • Dinner with the fam. In need of family time tonight... #
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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jeans Tweet Roundup

  • Im having a twitter-brain-block. Nothing exciting to twitter-unless you want to know Im about to do laundry. #
  • Happy National Beverage Day! #
  • Watching #Far and Away makes me want Tom and Nicole back together again! #
  • Pen to paper for #Wordless Wednesday. Is writing words on WW considered taboo? #
  • #Tornado warnings again all night. @KeAnne-lets hope the weather calms down ASAP! #
  • Do you ever notice that you understand cartoons more now as an adult, than you ever did as a kid? Especially the MGM ones... #
  • Nooooooooo....I love Allison! #
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Wordless Wednesday: A Note

A true passion: snail mail!

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jeans Tweet Roundup

  • I managed to squeak in at the last minute! My #Perfect Moment Monday- #
  • It's going to be a long Tuesday: work, errands, more errands. All in the rain. At least I have a snazzy umbrella! #
  • Had to have 2 moles removed-one that has TRIPLED, yes tripled, in size. Lovely hormones played a role. Recent #Greys Anatomy has me spooked. #
  • Not feelin' you, Tuesday. Ready for Wednesday... #
  • Can't let the day end without saying Happy Cinco de Mayo! Would have a homemade margarita, but realized Im out of tequila. Problem. #
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Monday, May 4, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday: Cheers!

Nothing like squeakin' in at the last minute...but I have wanted to do one of these FO-EVAH.

We decided to play it "smart" and celebrate Cinco de Cuatro instead of fighting the crowds tomorrow. 'Cause we have some gooood tacos and 'ritas 'round these parts. And it truly was a Perfect Moment when I set down my favorite drink, and glanced over at my favorite person...

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Jeans Tweet Roundup

  • The O-man is *3* months old today! #
  • Jonathan Rhys Meyers sure is nice to look at, but his personality could use a bit of tweaking, #Regis and Kelly #
  • Craving a pretzel I can only get in my hometown. Debating if it's worth the 2 1/2 hour drive :0) #
  • Apparently it's Star Wars Day. In that case, may the force be with you. #
  • Cinco de Mayo is worth celebrating on Cuatro de Mayo, too. Off to do just that with a pitcher-o-margaritas with Mook. Cheers! #
  • RT @ljauss: watching @stirrupqueen on the news: How awesome is she? [So poised on TV-awesome job Mel!] #
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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Jeans Tweet Roundup

  • I've been talked into weeding the garden. But, its worth it...this garden means a lot to me #
  • Ok, adding wine to the mix. I forgot how hard weeding is. #
  • Would LOVE the Bluebird print for O-man's room... #
  • Do you ever wonder if someone you know has a secret posted? It's my Sunday guilty pleasure. #
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Friday, May 1, 2009

More Than Words

Things look a little different ‘round these parts (be sure to click on over if you are reading from a feed!) I figured it was time to give the ole blog a face lift--and since plastic surgery in the world wide web is relatively cheap and easy, it was worth bribing someone to help me do it-not saying she’s cheap or easy! It's still a work in progress, so with a few more shots of Botox, it will be looking brand spakin' spiffy!

And yes, those are little O-man’s precious feet…and don’t worry, no babies were harmed in the making of the blog header. I’ve waited so long to put those pair of jeans on him-they were one of the first things I bought for him. I just loved thinking about the symbolism of having our genes in the jeans I had been wishing for and blogging about for so long…I get weepy just typing it. The suitcase and passport are of course representative of the journey we have been on, and the one we will continue to take.


In honor of NIAW, I’m going to get all sappy on ‘ya. Don’t worry—there won’t be any major boo-hooing, I just really want to reiterate how important this community is in getting the word out about infertility and making those experiencing it, feel supported.

I was never in a sorority in college-I was never a big “girly-girl” and couldn’t see myself being chummy with a bunch of girls 24/7. I’d roll my eyes every Tuesday when it was “Letters Day” and all the girls would parade around campus in their short-shorts, Alpha-Something shirt, and flip flops—even when it was 40 degrees out. (And this is in no way a slight on anyone in a sorority—my college unfortunately fit the stereotype) I just grew up with more guy friends than close girl friends—I just didn’t like the drama that came with the territory. So I was a bit hesitant to even start blogging and become a part of a gaggle of girls—I felt I’d immediately feel suffocated with drama.

Well, ladies (and gents) I’d be honored to walk around in our sorority letters with any of you, anytime, anywhere. If I had the time and money, I’d go on an IF-Blog-Tour to spend time with each one of you--what a documentary that would make!

Actually….I have started my IF-Blog-Tour! Although it’s on a small scale, I feel so lucky to have met and spent time with some of the wonderful women that have lived inside my computer for the past 2 ½ years….and the great thing is: they really do exist, and are just as lovely in real life!

Those I have met on tour: LJ, Mel, DMarie, Leah, Sunny, Kristen, Shelby, Meghan, Doc Grumbles, Somewhat Ordinary, Rachie Pachie, Mya, Samantha, Kate, Elizabeth, Sue (NC Gal, no blog-but love her to pieces!), In Search of Morning Sickness, and this summer I'll add Bee Cee (and hopefully Sully!) to the list! Would love to visit with more of you...

I must give lots of bloggy love to My Braces Bunch Gals. As I mentioned two years ago, I never had braces growing up-and although no one wishes to have braces, you sort of feel left out when everyone around you has them on! When we got our Male Factor Infertility diagnosis, I felt like I was without braces all over again. Not that the IF community didn’t have the support I needed, but the male factor issue was still so taboo-and it was hard for me to find information and those who had been given that diagnosis and made it “to the other side”. So I shared that story, and reached out for support among those in this community-so these ladies in the Bunch wanted to do a little bit more than just blog-we became snail mail buddies. Sending letters, postcards, gifts and notes of encouragement when the hard days were really tough, and the celebrations were worth shouting from the roof tops. Just this past month, the Braces Bunch turned 2 years old!

And as my title says, this community means more to me than words will ever be able to express. To honor NIAW, take the time to thank someone in this community who has helped you feel welcome and supported!