Lots of random things to post about today. I'll TRY to make them short and sweet (stop laughing because you know me all-too-well... At least the intention was there!) ha! :)
~*Love, Support, and Gratitude*~
First off, thank you to everyone who read Scott's blog post and showed some love and support. It was a big step for him and I'm very proud of him for writing and getting that all out. We laughed because his post had more hits on our blog than any of mine! Go, Scoot!! haha... show off. The second cool thing is that his post happened to be the 27th post on here and that's one of our all-time favorite numbers (because our dating anniversary is 2/7.... and I'm all about hidden messages and meanings in numbers with us). Pretty cool coincidence I thought. So again, thank you all for the support.
*You can subscribe to our blog and receive email updates whenever we post something. As long as you're viewing this from a computer (or at least the web-version while on your phone/tablet), there's a button on the right-hand side somewhere (I'll try to make it more obvious and move it closer to the top) where you can simply enter your email address and you will automatically be linked to receive email notifications when new posts are up.
It essentially looks like this!!...
I'm starting to realize through different family members and friends that we have a lot of followers out there (I am EXTREMELY GRATEFUL to you ALL!! Thank you so so so SOOO much for taking the time to read anything on here, even if it's been one post and that's it. It truly means a lot to me/us.). It shocks me and fills my heart each time I realize someone has read this. I guess I assumed no one was interested in what we had to say, and I'd just be blabbing to the world wide web. That's fine and dandy too because I started this as an interactive journal anyway, with the thought that my mom would be the only one reading every word... Although she does do just that (thanks, Ma!), I really can't express how much it means when I hear that different cousins, family friends, or old college/childhood friends have been following, and I had no idea! Thank you so much, and love you all! More importantly, thank you for not judging. This journey has been (and still is) very difficult for us, and we may be approaching it differently than you would, but that's ok. That's what makes us all different and unique. I understand and respect that many people would not choose to share everything with the public, but for us this has worked so far and has helped me on so many emotional levels.
*You can leave comments on any post (I think!). When I re-designed the whole blog layout last week, I realized it was only previously open to those with Google/Blogger accounts to comment. Ooops! I changed it so now anyone can comment, no accounts or sign-ins required. If you have accounts with certain companies, it'll allow you to comment that way still... but for many of you that don't (a lot of my family), you can simply leave your comment at the end of any blog post. There's a link about comments that you can click on and leave a message. After typing said message, click on the drop-down box below the message box and choose "Name/URL". You only need to type in your name (first, full, nickname, whatever) and go from there. I tested it out once and had to enter one of those cryptic codes so they know it's a real person and not a robot or hacker, and it posted. My friend, Amy, tried it out last week as my guinea pig (Thanks, Am!), but it didn't work for her... We realized she tried from her phone/iPad, and I have had trouble commenting on other blogs from my phone, so thinking if you are on an actual computer, it should work out bc it did when I signed out and tried it... So hopefully that option is now working and someone will try and have luck. (Sorry, I have to spell this out for my dad, who is not typically the most technologically advanced person... although he is lightyears ahead of where he was, because he can now locate the blog without my help!! haha, <3)
*We love getting feedback on here, so please feel free to comment on things, email us, etc. ( I'm linking Scott in here without even asking... so maybe I am alone on this, who knows.) I'm not saying you have to comment on everything, or anything, it's fine not to. Just letting you all know about the options out there. Even if it's once in a while so I know I'm not just speaking to a black hole. It's nice to get feedback and reassurance. So thanks for supporting us.
One tricky part of infertility is the cost.... The ridiculous cost of everything. For most couples, insurance covers nothing. Only certain plans cover it all, but most people aren't lucky enough to be in that boat. But even if they were, it doesn't guarantee it'll take one cycle. Blood work, semen analyses, procedures, drugs, you name it- it's all really damn expensive. Some couples have started donation pages, done fundraiser events/web sites, etc to try and help cover the cost of what's to come. We've tossed around the idea but personally don't like asking for things like that. We currently have enough saved up to cover one round of IVF when the time comes (hopefully in a few months!... fingers crossed), and if it takes more than that maybe we will change our minds (or I may start something on the side to make a few extra bucks to save up), but that's not why I'm posting. I don't like asking people for money for us, but I do like supporting worthy causes for others....
That's what this section is all about. One of those wonderful women I met on Instagram has started a donation site to help out infertile couples. Because this is such a worthy cause in my eyes, I would love if I helped to spread awareness for others to help the Infertility Fairy grant the wish of deserving couples everywhere. I'm not asking it to go to us, I'm asking for it to go to them. We have the luxury of having saved for one round... but many are struggling to just get to that point. Especially with the holidays coming, this is a great way to donate to a charitable cause. The founder of Infertility Fairy is a fellow TTC sister, but she has such a huge heart that not a penny is going towards her own journey. Everything she collects is going towards the journeys of others. Amazing. I love the idea of this, just donated myself last night, and wanted to share. Even if just one of you donates, I've done my job in spreading the word and helping a bit more.
The Infertility Fairy (click here!!)
Click above to check it out and donate if you can. There's 2 ways to donate... Straight donations, or you can shop for Origami Owl jewelry (for yourself or as gifts!) and the proceeds from that go towards donations. The choice is yours.
~*Black Friday Chaos*~
The life of a retail wife.... mostly not fun, in my opinion. For the majority of the year, Scott and I work opposite schedules. Me being a teacher, I work M-F and I can be home by 4 if I needed to. Weekends and holidays off, as well as summers. His days off? Weekdays, when I'm back to work, of course... and not always predictable days off. Just when you think it'll be every Tues/Wed and try to make plans, the schedule has changed again, throwing it all off course again. All of those times off are ALL of Scott's busy times. How ironic. With the exception of summer, when I'm always home when he is, it sucks. It's tough. This has been our life for years, though. Scott started working for Best Buy in 2001, right out of HS, so you'd think I would be used to this by now. In a way I am, and sometimes it's nice that we each have our own down time so that time together is usually nicer and more appreciated, but yet somehow it doesn't get easier each year.
This year is no different... possibly worse, thanks to Black Friday and crazy customer demands. I've never understood the Black Friday hype. Just my opinion, don't jump me for it, but on the retail wife side, I just don't get it. I am all about saving a few bucks and finding amazing deals, that part I get. I am a big fan of online shopping, though, and would rather shop from my laptop, while on the couch in PJs with music playing and sipping hot chocolate. I know Black Friday is all about money and helping the economy, and helping pay our mortgage and bills, so I'm thankful for all of that, really. I'm just complaining about the fact that stores open earlier and earlier each year. Each hour that a store opens longer than it's "normal, non-holiday hours" is another hour my husband is away from me, during "the happiest time of the year". We both LOVE Christmas and the holidays... but each year with the chaos of the holidays, it's beginning to make us sadder and sadder because it only means more time apart from each other.
This year, Best Buy joined the hundreds of stores opening on Thanksgiving. We escaped it in the past, they held strong at sticking to regular Black Friday openings... but I knew that the inevitable was coming. Sure enough, they announced last week that they are opening at 6pm on Thanksgiving day. WTF. I get it from a business POV, I do. You have to beat your competitors and open sooner to get an edge on making more money. So in that sense, good for them and I hope it pays off. The company is finally in a turn-around stage and they're doing better than they were say a year ago I think... but I'm still grouchy. I know I shouldn't complain because I am thankful Scott has a job, thankful he's healthy, thankful he's not on a military leave in another country like so many out there, but I am complaining on the side of "What happened to Thanksgiving and family time?". Just because the store opens at 6pm, doesn't mean the workers can get there at 5:55.... oh no no no, they will be there around 3 or 4pm to help prep for that opening shift. They also will be there the night before until midnight or later, cleaning and prepping for the chaos that always comes with Black Friday (err...I guess it's Black Thursday now??) prep.
I haven't even gotten to the best part, Scott's shift. They got schedules figured out the other day, and originally he was told he would be working a 15-hour split shift, meaning 15 hours total, but probably split into a 7-hour and 8-hour shift, with a sleep break somewhere in the middle... I felt bad for him with that, but actually that would have been a better deal. I did the math and he'll be working 22 hours in a 29-hour period. That will be two 11-hour shifts. 4pm-3am on Thanksgiving, and then back to work 10am-9pm on Friday. That's assuming he'll actually leave at those hours, which doesn't typically happen. A 7-hour sleep break in between, which really means probably 5 hours. We live 30 mins from the store, and I don't want a zombie on the road at 3am, so Scott & Dave (his "work hubby" as I call him, or his work BFF), will probably split a hotel room down the road and sleep there instead, to maximize on the sleep time. He is going to be utterly exhausted, and that's with everything going smoothly and not counting in the factors of grouchy, rude, inconsiderate customers acting a fool just so they can save a few bucks on the latest electronics accessories. And those customers who come in all pissed off, demanding to speak to a manager or demanding a refund or an answer as to why the TV in the ad is no longer in stock.
The holiday hours start this week. The 6-day work weeks for Scott start this week. The added stress started last week. Time away from Scott, stress on us, grouchy/cranky/tired Scott has already appeared. It's not even Thanksgiving yet and I already miss my husband. I won't really get him back until January when the holidays are over and everyone is back to work/school after holiday breaks, and the stores have gone back to a quiet calm. See you in 2 months, hun. Bah-humbug.
I came across this blog this morning while Googling fellow rants from retail wives... I give her credit for not complaining, she's better than me, and I will try to start being more thankful than grouchy on this subject.
Retail Spouse's View
If you are one of those active deal-seekers for holiday shopping, more power to you. I cannot handle fighting over parking spaces, grouchy people, long lines, and the stress of holiday shopping... But if you are one of those people, please remember that those retail workers are missing time away from their families to help make your shopping experience a good one. Treat them with respect and kindness. A smile and an appreciative "Thank you" or "have a nice day" can go a long way sometimes. Just remember they are there countless hours, and all those hours are times away from their families. If your precious items are not in stock, don't throw a fit. Shop earlier next time, look online, or ask for help nicely. Have a backup plan. Don't cause a scene, curse out an employee, or be a jerk. It doesn't help anything, ever. A little kindness and patience goes a long way.
~*Possible Side Job?*~
As mentioned above, Origami Owl is a jewelry company. The Infertility Fairy has a link to her shop, but it's one of my favorite jewelry companies as well. It's pretty new still, and many people have never heard of it, but it's been around for a few years already, and I personally love the idea of it. You know how Pandora brought back the charm bracelet trend a few years back? In a sense, Origami Owl reminds me of that because it's customizable jewelry that you choose based off your interests and what you hold closest to your heart. Their most popular/signature items are their Living Lockets, and the charms you put inside tell your story. Some people tell story with words, Origami Owl is all about sharing your story with your charms and your jewelry choices. I was hooked from the moment I opened the catalog at a home party last year that Alli brought me to. I bought a silver locket and inside is a word plate that says "Believe", along with 2 charms~ a butterfly and a star. In a nutshell, that's me. I could have chosen 20 charms I loved (no surprise there, Little Miss Indecisive here!), but in the name of saving money, I chose my fav 2. Butterflies have always been a fav of mine, and I love their symbolism. I love stars as well, and everything they stand for. Shine on, shine bright from within, sparkle, and make wishes on. Believe is one of my favorite words and I always have things I keep believing in to keep me going.
I've worn my locket proudly for a year (alternating with a fav heart necklace from Scott, too), and it's a great accessory, a great reminder of holding onto hope, and it's a great conversation piece. It's unique and people often ask about it. I love the company and all their products. I ran into a local seller of OO at our town's Community Day, back in August, and booked a party with her recently. I figured it was a good excuse to have the girls from work, fam, and close friends over for some down time and shopping. It's such a fun company that I feel really sells itself, and I've been toying with the idea (for a few months now) of joining the team and selling. I'm so wishy-washy though and get super shy around people sometimes, that fear of not doing well and failing has stopped me from pursuing it. Ironically, an old childhood friend at the party expressed interest in selling, too, so we have been thinking of it and may start together. I won't dare compete with my friend on Infertility Fairy, I will let her take all the Instagram sisters because hers is totally non-profit and all proceeds she would have earned goes straight to helping others. I figured since I don't want to ask for people to donate directly to us, I could work at this as a side job and whatever I make will go towards the Team Ricci Baby fund, either saving for future fertility treatments or saving for when our child finally arrives. If I'm working for it, I won't feel badly about it. I can make my own hours, sell online, do parties for family, friends, moms at school (hint, hint to see if Kym is reading! lol), and just see where it goes... oh yea, and have a great excuse to wear and model adorable jewelry along the way. Did I mention that the OO signature color is Tiffany blue... that's one of my absolute fav colors, and was our wedding theme color. Added bonus! Don't ask me why it's called Origami Owl... I have no idea. No, the products are not made out of paper and do not resemble origami. I'll have to research it. There's a start-up fee involved with becoming a seller and getting product to display, but I think in the end it could be a fun distraction for me, give me time to bond/reconnect with my childhood friend, and give me an outlet for meeting new people, becoming more independent, and just doing something different with my time for now. I think I just may give it a go. So if you're interested in buying, don't do it off the main site yet, perhaps wait until I've started and have set up an account ....Or in the meantime, buy through Infertility Fairy so some money goes to a great cause!