Mother’s Day 2016

Mother’s day is always hard for me. It is a distinct reminder that my mom is no longer with us, and this past one was especially hard because Annie had died the week before. And of course, the infertility cloud was hanging over me. As always.

Michael, being sweet as always, got me two white roses for Mother’s Day on the Friday before saying that he wanted to get me something from Annie. On Sunday, we lounged around after I got home from church and before he went on to work. We sat, carrying on a somewhat meaningful conversation. We discussed that I would call Dr. Putman when my cycle started so that we could start doing the follicle tracking that we had done back in February and then put on hold because with a sick dog and my school schedule, it was just too much. Back in February we decided that we would start again with my May cycle because it was after STAAR and if I needed to head to Dallas for appointments it wouldn’t be as stressful.

Curiosity got the best of us–when was the next cycle supposed to begin? I checked the app that I use on my phone, which told me I was two days late. Which never meant anything, because I was always late. Nonetheless I jaunted off to take a pregnancy test. I am, and always will be, a chronic POAS (pee’er on a stick) and any excuse (like being late) sends me to the bathroom. Back in February, we had purchased 100 pregnancy tests off of amazon for five dollars. A bargain for someone like me.

I set the timer and walked away, knowing that when I’d look at the test again it would be a sad one liner, another kick in the mother’s day bruise.

This time was different. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were two lines on the strip, something I never thought would happen. I flew through the house, looking for Michael, trying to contain the tears. I found him in the garage, and frantically called him inside. And there in the laundry room, he confirmed what I had to saw. There were definitely two lines. I burst into tears. He disappeared and came back with a box. Inside it was a book: Good Night Red Raider.

Months before, I had torn out a page from The Texas Techsan (Tech’s alumni magazine) and I gave it to Michael telling him that I wanted this for our child. Unknowingly, he order the book from amazon and squirreled it away for the day we found out. Enter more tears.

I headed to HEB afterwards, deciding that I needed to purchase every pregnancy test and take it. What if, after all, the one that I had was lying??? I picked up 7 different tests and a pacifier (to share the news with my dad via one of those corny pinteresty things). I came home, promptly took each test and they all came back as positive.


On Mother’s day 2016 I officially found out that I had become a mother.

Best Mother’s Day Ever.


The Last Annie Diary

Masacara Alert. I cried while writing this… you might cry while reading this.

Annie passed away on April 30th from brain cancer. She was sick for a very long time–we began to notice her symptoms in November, right before Thanksgiving which including circling to the left, throwing up, having accidents, getting stuck in furniture, etc. Fact of the matter is she was sick for a lot longer, but we just attributed the starring at the walls and the playing (she didn’t actually play with us with toys until she was sick) to old age and weirdness. Up to the end, she circled and had accidents–it was heartbreaking. She was ashamed of the accidents–she would lick at them to clean them up.

In the end, she was covered in sores from the prednisone used to treat the symptoms and smelled funny. She spent her last day, making sure to love on me–she came to me several times on the 30th to love on me, give me kisses, and let me know it would be okay. She succumbed to a seizure on our back patio–I had let her outside before I was getting ready to go to Wal-Mart. She wasn’t at the back door waiting for me; instead, she had collapsed and was seizing. She was unable to move and very uncomfortable. Michael and I made the life ending decision, knowing it was better for her to go than for her to continue to suffer. Luckily, we were able to find a vet who was able to help us on this Saturday evening.

We took her on one last car ride, back to my dad’s house. She rode on my lap, stroking her the entire way. She’s buried in my dad’s backyard, where you can see her every time you come into his back door. We will miss her forever.


One last picture of Annie.


Michael and I haven’t moved on yet, although getting a new furry family member is something we plan on doing regardless of our other big news. We just haven’t found the right one yet.



Life’s Mixed Tape-My First Show and Tell Tuesday

Today I am linking up with Andrea and particpating in Show and Tell Tuesdays. I know it says momfessionals and that probably means I am supposed to be a mom to participate. BUT I DON’T CARE. If I could be a mom, I’d be a mom. So there.

Today’s show and tell posting was to create a mix-tape detailing the different stages in your life. So here we go!

High School

This was my jam in high school. I can remember playing this on a mix cd in my 4runner after school. I’d crank it up and drive. Nothing much has changed except for the car and the fact I use my phone instead of a cd player. I still love this song. (Watch for language…) It’s a guilty pleasure.

Eve 6’s song- Here’s To The Night was my senior class song. The perfect line: Here’s a toast to all those who hear me all too well. I take this to mean that we all have struggles in our lives, and for those 13 years of school my struggles were played out in front of basically the same 50 people. It’s symbolic of the times we spent together, and when I am feeling particularly sentimental, I’ll bust out this song.


You are probably thinking that I am certifiable listing a drum cadence on my mix tape. BUT this cadence brings back the thrills and chills of college, especially football season in Lubbock. I was part of the Goin’ Band my freshman year and every time we marched anywhere it was to this cadence. Later, watching the Goin’ Band march to the stadium and hearing this cadence gave me goosebumps. It still does!

I had the time of my life in college, including lots of late nights at The Library (love you Dad!). I listened to several of Miley’s songs during her Hannah Montana days (I’m a freak.) and if memory serves me correctly, I think my college roommate and our friends at the time threw me (and a friend of mine who had the same birthday) a Hannah Montana birthday party for my 21st. I particularly like this song because it is post-Disney Miley and pre-cut off all my hair and go blonde Miley.


Post Graduation/Austin

Michael and I got engaged right before we left Lubbock and moved to Austin. This song sums it up. I have watched this song time after time. I just love it. It makes me smile.

And of course…our song.

The Last 4 years

I love me some Anna Kendrick. I love me some Pitch Perfect. Boom. This combines them both ūüôā

Over the last 4 years (since moving to North Texas) I’ve really come into my faith and my religious beliefs. This song. This song speaks to me. Plus its got a great beat.


These next four songs are songs constantly on repeat right now. I love them. They speak to me. They inspire me to be more, to have more, to live more.

The End ūüôā

Cross Country Fish


Abigail and I experienced the ultimate Seattle shopping experience known as Pike Place Market.

Pike Place Market


Pike Place Market is 9 acres (or so a vendor told us) of shops and stands and yummy delicious goodness. We wondered down there on Tuesday (3/15) afternoon after catching the monorail to Westlake Center from Seattle Center. We actually had plans to get up super early on Wednesday and go before we went to the airport. I’m so glad we didn’t because we were exhausted on Wednesday and the sleep was worth it. 

We walked around the market browsing the jewelry vendors and local crafters. Some of the most gorgeous Native American art can be found at Pike Place Market. Abigail and I finally found a souvenir shop that was cool enough and affordable so we stocked up on shirts fo people. My favorite is the cozy, purple hooded long sleeve shirt I found for myself. I want to wear it all the time.

I was also obsessed with the food and flowers at Pike Place Market. I picked up a couple of tulip stems and pressed them in a book when we got to the hotel. They were amazingly beautiful flowers– if I lived in Seattle I would have to have fresh flowers from the market weekly! I was also pretty insistent on getting fish from the fish market. Salmon is my favorite type of fish, and I eat it all the time. After seeing someone with a box of fish at the airport when we landed, I knew I had to bring some back. So I did.

We walked through the market until we found the right stand. I wanted the fish throwers, the one that everyone knows. Coincidentally, they also happened to the have the cheapest salmon prices. When Abigail and I got tired of walking around, we stopped to get fish.

World Famous Pike Place Fish Market’

We stopped and talked to one of the fish mongers and debated our options. I decided to go with Wild Coho Salmon, simply because it was approximately 1/3 the price of the Wild King Salmon. As much as I wanted to bring home the good stuff, well, the good stuff was a bit out of my price range. Perhaps if I hadn’t bought t-shirts for different people.

Which Fish Shall I Get?

Once you determine what fish you want, the monger, mine was Scott Smith, tosses your fish to the guy behind the counter.

There goes my fish!

The monger behind the counter then fillets your fish, packs it for your journey (mine was packed with TSA approval for 48 hours), and rings you up. Super simple… Except that we had to carry the fish from Pike Place Market all the way back to the hotel via the monorail. Ten pounds of Wild Coho Salmon is heavy! 

How they pack the fish.

 My fish was cut into two pieces and packed with TSA approved gel packs. When I got it home, I was able to cut it into 15 pieces roughly about the size of 4oz (or whatever it is that fits in my 21 day fix red container (yes! I’m still doing the 21 day fix!). Once they were cut, I vacuum sealed them and froze them. All in all, it came out to be about the same price for the same amount of portions of fresh Wild Coho Salmon that I would pay for salmon from HEB. And it has a much better story! 


After cutting… READY TO FREEZE!


Have you ever been to Pike Place Market or found some place as equally as awesome to buy fresh seafood?

Returning to 40,000 Feet

Leaving Washington

It’s official. We’ve left The Evergreen State and The Emerald City. We left on an outbound flight flying direct to Dallas. This was not our original plan–originally we were going to fly Seattle to Oakland and then Oakland to Dallas. Which would put us into Dallas after 11:00 tonight. However, the both flights were delayed, so the super awesome gate agents at Southwest got us onto the direct flight that was not delayed. So that means we are getting into Dallas at 9:00pm. Soo much better! 


When we were at the airport we found out that we weren’t the only person we knew on. The flight. Turns out the husband of a person we work with was on the flight too. How cool!


Abigail and I’ve had a great time in Washington. I’m ready to see Michael and Annbone, she’s ready to get home to her kiddo. Washington has satisfied my wanderlust temporarily, although I’m already trying to figure out where I can go next… Chicago maybe?


We had such a great time. Watch the blog, Facebook, or Twitter over the next few days. Hopefully I can get a recap of our vacation up while I am enjoying what’s left of my Spring Break. Until then, I’ll leave you with this view of the sun setting somewhere over Oklahoma/Texas.

Sunset over Texas or Oklahoma


40,000 Feet

Above the Rocky Mountains

Right now Abigail and I are cruising at 40,000 feet high about Colorado and the Rocky Mountains headed towards Washington State.


We are on a grand adventure.


We are headed to my mother’s hometown, to see my cousin, to meet her childhood friends, to take her back home. This is an amazing opportunity, one that my mother always wanted but in the end could not take. So we are going to take her back home. And I know she’d be proud of us for taking this trip, and thankful for my dad for giving us the opportunity.


I’m taking tons of picture of our trip. You can follow along on Instagram @thenerdyginger or you can use the hashtag #abijesspnw16 to find them on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter. 


More Mountains


In the midst of a storm

We are in the midst of a storm. A swirly, thundery storm that is relentless.

I’m not talking weather. I’m talking life.

If you’ve sat at all with me and talked to me at any point this last week, then you understand. You understand that Michael and I have been dog-paddling to stay up on the surface that you call life. And while I’ve lamented about it, I’m not mad. I’ve accepted it. The last nine days haven’t been easy, but we’ve pulled through. Here are some highlights:

Friday the 12th-I was in the ER with a hand and wrist swollen to four times the size of the other hand. Thankfully, it was just tendonitis (because having a story of a broken hand in my sleep would’ve been mortifying) and a brace was given to help. As a bonus, I got to spend several hours with my dad.

Monday the 15th- My day started out with spilling my shakeology all across the kitchen cabinets as I was late for work. That evening, Michael and I were in a car accident. We are fine and the driver that hit us is fine too, which is a blessing. Of course, it’s frustrating to be in an accident when you are on your way somewhere to celebrate Valentine’s Day. A baby driver (she was 16 or 17) turned left on an unprotected left as we were heading straight and hit us. She didn’t stop at the scene, but thankfully her parents called the police and we were able to get everything sorted out. Michael’s car is still drivable, but needs to be repaired. ¬†We will take care of that when I go on Spring Break, but until then it is a constant barrage of phone calls.

Wednesday the 17th- Annie, who has been suffering from vestibular disease since November, had a relapse and started to show symptoms again. At first they were mild. Then the sunken eyes, drunken walking, and the circling began. This was also the day that I wore my dress backwards for 3 hours until I realized that the reason the neckline was so high was because the tag was in the front. And I split my shakeology again.

Friday the 18th- At 3:30 on this particular morning, Michael was running laundry because Annie has been peeing on all of the dirty clothes and towels. And then the washing machine leaked EVERYWHERE. And I mean everywhere. The laundry room, garage, and dining room was flooded. Which resulted in me getting 4 hours of sleep after dealing with trying to clean up the flood, stomach pains from the medicine I had taken for my hand and not eaten with, and a dog circling around us in puddles.

I finally raised a white flag and asked some friends for help. I got help with laundry and had some teenagers come mow our yard which hadn’t been done since November.

Saturday the 19th- I suffered from a debilitating headache.

Sunday the 20th- My headache continued and the garage door broke cracked and can not be opened automatically.

See? It’s been a rough 9 days, but I’m keeping my head up.


Burning Rubber

Michael and I are trying to have a baby. Back when I had surgery in August and after I healed, Dr. Putman told us to try until the new year and if nothing happened to come and see him. So because nothing happened on our own, Michael and I went and saw Putman on MLK Day.

He decided to do what is called a Follicle Growth Series, starting on day 5 of my cycle. So on January 29th I began burning rubber, driving my car up and down I-45 to get to Dallas.

On January 29th it was decided that I was going to ovulate from my right ovary. I had two (count them two!) ovarian cysts in my left ovary on January 18th and Dr. Putman determined that I had ovulated from that side so from the right it would be. Dr. Tarnawa (Putman’s teenage associate) asked me to come back on Monday, February 1st.

On February 1st I went back and saw Dr. Putman to confirm which side I would ovulate from. He confirmed that it would be the right side. He informed me that we would track the follicle growth and when it reached a certain size he would administer a shot of HcG to ensure that the egg released from the follicle. Everything looked beautiful and I left feeling very optimistic.  He asked me to come back on Wednesday.

I went back on the following Wednesday and saw Dr. Tarnawa again because Dr. Putman had been in surgery all day and wasn’t in the office. That is when things got tricky. The follicle that was in the right ovary that had been growing up to this point had shrunk. And the one that was in the left ovary, that had shrunk since January 18th had doubled in size and was 18.7mm. It looked to be that this would be the ovary I would actually ovulate from, if I actually ovulated. He let me go, both of us feeling confused. As I was leaving, he stopped me again. He had talked to Dr. Putman who wanted me to come in on Thursday. I just couldn’t do it. The stress of driving back and forth to Dallas was starting to wear on me. Hours with my thoughts was starting to be detrimental. Instead, we agreed that I could come back on Friday.

I drove back yesterday afternoon and saw Dr. Tarnawa to hopefully get the HcG shot. Turns out… it wasn’t necessary. I had already ovulated by myself, most likely earlier that day. Instead of a shot, he assigned me and Michael homework.

Only time will tell if anything comes from this. I’ve decided that Michael and I will continue to try without doctor help until this summer. Its too much stress on me to leave early from work 3 days a week to furiously drive to Dallas to get scans. If nothing happens between now and June, we will pick it back up.

Say a prayer for us, that we will be able to naturally conceive. I’m going to continue on my weight loss crusade and who knows? Maybe I’ll be announcing a pregnancy sooner or later.


-Jessica G.

21 Day Fix: Day 3 Recap

Day Three– 1/13/2016

Happy 29th Birthday to me!

Food/Meal Plan

  • breakfast: shakeology (red) and mixed frozen fruit blended (purple). Here’s a tip for these shakes that I have found incredibly useful: If you are like me and blend in frozen fruit, portion out the frozen fruit into baggies and add a scoop of shakeology. It’s a timesaver in the mornings.¬†
  • midmorning snack: blackberries (purple) and sunflower seeds (Oange)
  • lunch: cottage cheese (red), fajita chicken (red), roasted broccoli and mushrooms (green)¬†and a cupcake (yellow replaced)
  • Mid afternoon snack: 12 almonds (blue), 10 baby carrots (green), cherry tomatoes and snow peas (green)
  • late afternoon snack:¬†noohing–I wasn’t really hungry. I made it through Dollar Tree and HEB without buying snack foods. I also didn’t order anything at Sonic besides my ice water and lemon #thatscontrol
  • dinner: salmon (it was a big piece so two reds-my first overage..whoops)¬†and romaine lettuce (2 greens). And a piece of cornbread (yellow…maybe even two).¬†I treated myself to a Cotton Patch Salmon Cesear Salad with the dressing on the side. It was delicious. And I totally had to-go cornbread..sans butter.
  • after dinner snack to satisfy sweet tooth:¬†more cake
    Today's plan. I planned on CAKE!

    Today’s plan. I planned on CAKE!

    Reflection: I noticed that I had way fewer temptations today. I partially give credit to the fact that I knew what I was going to order from Cotton Patch and that I was going to eat a cupcake and a slice of cake today. I don’t see this as falling off the wagon. I see this as life…and my birthday. After all, I won’t have another one for 365 days.

Water Consumption

I must get better at this! I am¬†struggling so hard… Suggestions?






Leg Day. And then I died

Leg Day. And then I died

Today‚Äôs workout was Lower Fix. When I saw that this was the workout I cringed. My legs have been so sore since Day One’s Total Body Fix. I almost didn’t want to continue with the workout, but I knew if I pushed through it’d get better. And it didn’t. But I will say there was improvement this time because I didn’t cry and my legs didn’t shake like Monday. I did holler at Autumn a couple of times but I made it. I’m also proud that I made the time to do this workout after being at work and church literally all day. And it was my birthday. Three down‚Ķ Eighteen ¬†to go.

After lower fix. I was dead. :)

After lower fix. I was dead. ūüôā

I’m 1/7 or 3/21 of the way done. (How’d you like those fractions?)

Check back tomorrow for day 4 recap!

Jessica G.

21 Day Fix: Day 2 Recap

Day Two- 1/12/2016

Food/Meal Plan

  • breakfast: cottage cheese (red) and one mandarin orange (1/2 purple)
  • midmorning snack:¬†one mandarin orange (1/2 purple) and sunflower seeds (Orange)
Breakfast and mid morning snack.

Breakfast and mid morning snack.

  • lunch:¬†turkey cutlet (red), roasted sweet potato (yellow), green beans (green)— so glad I ate the last of this today!
  • Mid afternoon snack:¬†nothing. I had to adjust my meals because I left my shakeology at home this morning. I died.
  • late afternoon snack:¬†6 slices turkey (red), cherry tomatoes (green), mozzarella cheese (blue), 8 ritz crackers (yellow)
  • dinner:¬†chicken fajita meat (red), seven corn tortilla chips (yellow), brown jasmine rice (yellow), bell peppers and onion (green), salsa
  • after dinner snack to satisfy sweet tooth:¬†two apple slices (purple) and natural peanut butter (tsp)

    Sweet tooth satisfied.

    Sweet tooth satisfied.

Reflection:¬†I noticed that while I felt full longer and didn’t necessarily need a lot of snacks at school, I struggled when I got home. Home=downtime=snacking. And I have bluebell in my freezer. But I didn’t give in. After all, I want birthday cake tomorrow!!!!








Water Consumption

I must get better at this! I struggle because I can’t go to the bathroom all day. Goal is to increase water when I am at school.



Upper Fix aka I have abs.

Upper Fix aka I have abs.

Today’s workout was Upper Body Fix. This one was physically easier than yesterday. I was at least able to do all the modified activities and even some of the regular activities. I definitely felt some of those ab muscles I supposedly have. I struggled to do this workout. I wanted to lay on the couch and watch Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix and nap. But I didn’t. I rolled off the couch and completed it. Two down… Nineteen to go.

Post Upper Fix Selfie. My hair tho.

Post Upper Fix Selfie. My hair tho.






Check back tomorrow for day 3 recap!



Jessica G.