Thursday, September 17, 2015

And Now for the Sequel

It has been a while, my friends.  Life in the Dahlager house doesn’t ever seem to slow down, and just when I think we have time to breath…it doesn’t stop.  Life truly is AMAZING!  
On May 9th, my sister and I finished our first full marathon along with our big brother who has been our fitness inspiration for as long as I can remember.  We had perfect weather and the greatest cheering section we could have asked for.  I felt great up until mile 22.  It’s seems silly to say that the last four miles felt longer than the first 22, but WE RAN THE ENTIRE 26.2 MILES TOGETHER AND FINISHED BY LEAPING AND DOING CARTWHEELS (okay lets be real, I did the leaping and Megan did the cartwheels).  And again we jumped our way into the newspaper. 

The Second Time This Year I Jumped into the Newspaper
My highlighted conversation with my sister was around mile 24 when she told me she was feeling sad that it was almost over (Clearly she was feeling better than I was, because at mile 24 I wanted nothing more than my bed!).  We had trained so hard and had this huge goal that we worked so hard at accomplishing and we had just about reached it.  I can only liken that feeling to when I was nearing the end of my pregnancy with Spencer.  I totally understood what she was feeling, even though my hips and knees were in so much pain, I knew where her heart was.  This was a fun goal to accomplish with my BFF!
We finished our Marathon!

Sibling Marathon (3 of the 4 Boom Kids)

Cousin's Finishing Hand in Hand
4th Overall

In fact, that marathon goal was so fun to accomplish that we have set forth another goal, similar to The Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon, The Twin Cities Marathon on October 4th.  Truthfully, I didn’t think I ever needed to run another marathon again.  I love having races to train for so I always have a reason to keep running, but I wasn’t sure that I would have enough time to train for another race.  My sister bullied me into signing up!  She sent me these pictures of our kids at one of their races with the comment, “Just so we get the full effect [as to why we keep running these crazy distances]!” 

Look at George's Face!
So that very night I signed up for Twin Cities Marathon.  It has been hard to fit in the training this summer and I haven’t done every single workout I was supposed to, but we ran our 20 miler on Saturday and we’re just a few weeks out from the marathon.  We also have our Chocoholic Frolic 10K in November.  One of our chocolate-loving cousins, Kelly, joins us for that fun race!  It will be wonderful to check marathon #2 off my bucket list.
Andrew, Megan, Me, and Ben After the Graniteman 1/2 Marathon on Saturday.  Megan and I did 7 miles prior to the race.

Sometime in middle of May Ben got a job offer in the south metro.  My world turned upside-down.  We lived close to my parents, I had an amazing job, we loved our local theatre family, we loved our kids’ school, we had awesome new neighbors, and I finally made two very good friends.  We made the difficult decision to uproot our family and make the move, but our kids landed major roles in GREAT Theatre’s production of Ragtime the Musical in St. Cloud and rehearsals were Monday through Thursday for four hours a night.  We couldn’t pull the kids from this amazing opportunity, so I stayed the summer up in St. Cloud and Ben lived in the cities during the week, but frequently came home to help with housework and running the kids here, there, and everywhere.  We put our house on the market early July and we’ll close in just a couple weeks.  It was a whirlwind summer full of track, baseball, running, cleaning the house for showings, packing, and theatre.  Oh, and I somehow worked too.  

Lydia in the Journey On Scene

The kids and I will actually get to stay in the cities for five straight nights this week – the longest period of time we have spent down here.  Last week the kids had tech rehearsals for Ragtime, so I picked them up from school and brought them up to St. Cloud for their 5 hours of rehearsal each night.  We camped on air mattresses with sleeping bags at our house and drove down at 4:30am to get them to their first week at their new schools.  It was insane but we survived.  Check out if you’re interested in seeing the show.  Our kids are the main kids every other night- September 18, 20, and 26th are the remainder of the shows they’re the main kids in.  This show is incredible – one you don’t want to miss!  My sister called me the day after she saw the show and said how impressed she was.  She wants to see it again and bring her husband next time.  Even Jack’s new teacher is making the trek to come and support her new student.  I’m in awe! 

Jack in the Baseball Scene
First Twin Cities Run
I didn’t know there was a whole city where there were people who think a lot like me!  As reluctant as I was to the idea of moving, I’m surprisingly finding myself feeling very hopeful that this is exactly where we are supposed to be.  Maybe not this terrible apartment that reeks of smoke and new carpet, but this area is very neat (we actually checked out a house for the third time on Tuesday and put in an offer yesterday).  After a stressful summer dealing with trying to get into the right schools, we did end up landing at the Environmental STEM schools we desired.  These schools are AWESOME!  Bike pedals under the desks, balls for chairs, outdoor classrooms, classroom gardens, composting, treadmills in the classrooms, a nature preserve they visit weekly, and therapy dogs and chickens are just a few of the things our kids are exposed to at their new schools.  Lydia joined the Marine Team where she’ll get to learn about and take care of aquariums at school.  The Mall of America’s Underwater World even donated a couple sharks!  I’m excited about how forward thinking and hands-on these schools are.  I believe we will fit in really well. 

First 2 Miles for the 100 Mile Club
I must say, I might be the most excited about the 100 mile club.  Our whole family signed up to run 100 miles during the school year.  I even get to go to the school during recess and take groups of kids running!  This is going to be the BEST volunteering job I’ll ever have.  I got to run with the kids for the first time on Tuesday, and as the kids were leaving the playground a little girl, who is defiantly overweight, asked if I would come and run with her tomorrow.  UMmmm, do you have to ask that?!  Of course I went and ran with her the very next day.  I’ve never been so excited for a volunteering opportunity in my life!      

Our kids have already auditioned in the cities for upcoming shows.  Lydia and Jack auditioned at The Guthrie for A Christmas Carol.  Jack got a call-back and was selected as one of six boys to stay and read for Tiny Tim.  Neither of them were cast, but it was a really cool experience and we already have auditions on the books for a community theatre and The Children’s Theatre.  It will be fun to see what comes of the kids with these endless possibilities down here.  It is actually somewhat overwhelming.             

Whew, that was a lot of updates on our family.  Oh, you wanted a surrogacy update? 

On March 20th, IP-A, IP-B, Spencer, Ben and I had dinner to discuss our second journey. Exciting side note…we got to see Spencer walk for the first time!  We all decided that late summer/early fall we would be interested in pursuing our second journey.  My deal breaker was that I would only be willing to do a single embryo transfer this time.  I don’t want there to be any chances of carrying twins.  I guess everyone was fine with that decision because we all decided to move ahead and contacted IARC and did all of our paperwork again.  I had to start at square one by filling out an application.  Ben and I had to have a psychological evaluation again, and we also had to have medical testing done again.  On August 14th we all got together to have a signing ceremony.  I think it took about 45 minutes to sign the contracts and the Notary was a bit of a grump.  We missed you this time, Catherine!  With the change of job and our move, we pushed the transfer off until early October.  This allowed for us to get settled in and the endless paperwork completed as necessary.    

Needles and Drugs
MMR Booster
On September 1st I received a package full of oddly familiar needles and medications from Walgreens Specialty.  I would start my Lupron on my next Day 1 - such a nice way to say the first day of your period.  So, last Friday I contacted Kim from IARC to make sure I knew exactly what I needed to do over the weekend when I started my Lupron.  She called the fertility clinic in Canada again just to confirm everything was all set for my protocol, but after one final review of my labs she learned that I was no longer immune to rubella.  She apparently had to calm herself down for ten minutes before calling me with this news.  She said, “I have some bad news!”  I was thinking bad meant that I wasn’t going to be able to carry.  She went on to tell me about the rubella and how I needed to get a booster, then we would have to wait two cycles and start my protocol with my November cycle.  The transfer will be pushed off  until early December.  I responded, “Oh, that makes me feel so much less stressed!”  I asked to call my IPs and give them the news.  We all seemed to have the same response and peaceful feeling.  I haven’t had a chance to even feel excited about this second journey.  The changes in our life have been so huge that I honestly wasn’t even thinking about the second journey at all.  I feel grateful that I get two months to start feeling excited and using my power of positive thinking to make sure that the first little embryo will stick.  I was actually worried that it would take a couple transfers this second time because I haven’t been thinking about it at all.  I’m confident that all of this happened for a perfect reason, one of which is that this stinky apartment would have made me vomit more than I would like to think.  If all goes as planned, we should be in a new house before I get pregnant with Spencer’s little sibling. 

Spencer After the Contract Signing Ceremony

So, my day one has come but not yet gone, and will come and go two more times until…  

You Know You're Surrounded by AMAZING and SUPPORTIVE People When You Find This in Your Box of Feminine Hygiene Products.  I love my CO-Workers! 

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