29 June 2012

Perhaps My Last Chance at Getting Pregnant - Naturally

For now, the moment has come.

All we can do is wait two weeks.

And if I don't conceive, then we will move forward with IVF.  At least that's what my fingers just typed.  I'm not excited about it.  But it's probably time.  We'll see how I feel in two weeks.

This has been an extraordinary 8-year journey.

I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I've learned the greatest lessons of my life because of it. 

Many have asked what I've tried.  Here ya'll go - - the good, bad, and the stuff I can't believe I'm including on this list.  :)

-Charting.  Thermometers in my mouth.  (Was my mouth too dry/too cold?)  And in other places.  (Too warm now?  haha.)  Sheesh.  I don't know if that ever worked out quite right.  I always had a shift, but overall my temps were always lower than low.  I have yet to find a doctor who seemed to care.

-Books, books, books.

-Chinese teas - from a Chinese pharmacy in Chinatown (hand delivered in vacuum pacs to my office in midtown :)

-Bye-Bye to Gluten and Dairy.  (Hello to flat stomach, clear skin and more energy.)

-Acupuncture - by a lovely woman in Brooklyn...with the tiniest hands and the coziest office in a garden apartment of a brownstone.  At 911 Union St.  Around the corner from the studio I lived in on 9-11.   I will never forget that address.  Nor the healing experience it was to experience acupuncture.  (Even as my first marriage seemed quite uncertain at the time.)  I went forward with a wing and prayer that things would work out.  (They did :)

-Spiritual Healing - best thing I've ever done in my life.  I met one of the wisest women I've known, my second acupuncturist and more importantly, a spiritual healer who changed my life.  The momentum from that experience has not stopped.

-Organic vegetables - by the box - delivered to my door.  (Though I'm liking the idea of local CSAs more.  I need to get on that.)

-Meditation.  You guys, this CD for fertility is AMAZING.  I love it so much and still listen to it often.  Many friends say they love it, too.  I think it was sooo healing.

-8 years of prenatal vitamins and loads of fish oil.

-Fancy lubes.  :)  Expensive ones.  Sheesh.

-BodyTalk.  I can't recommend this woman enough.  She's in Manhattan and one of the most lovely people you'd ever meet.  I loooved my appointments with her.

-OV sticks galore.  And pregnancy sticks - until I gave up on both of them completely.  Even the 24 cent ones you can get from Amazon.  Cause I just stopped needing to know.  (Though I still wish I had known about those cheap ones back when anxiety was high and I was shelling out good money for those things.)

-Homeopathic drops from an infertility homeopathic guru in Orem, UT.  And those cute little pellets in blue vials from my wonderful PCP in Park Slope who also practices homeopathy.

-Clomid + rounds of IUIs.  

-And, a psychic.  Yes, a psychic.  Someone highly recommended it and knew a good one.  Well, I did it.  Why not.  :)  [can you tell there are few things I wouldn't try?]  I'll let you know if what she told me happens.  :)

Happy Friday!


P.S.  You guys, the comments from yesterday just touched me so much.  They were the sweetest ever.  Something about what you all shared just hit me so hard - - all of those little things - - they're all just LOVE.  Oh man, to think of a husband doing something sweet for his wife while he's getting treated for cancer, or a wife who irons all her husbands shirt so he doesn't have to worry about it, or a husband who keeps a list of things his wife wants and then over time gets all those things for her.  Gah.  I'm just dying over all that you said.  Thanks so much for sharing.  I'm adding to my list:  tickling Danny's back before bed (he's such a sucker for this.)

*ALSO -  Is our site having trouble uploading for anyone?  If so, we're so sorry!  Someone mentioned it and we're trying to get to the heart of the matter, but it would be helpful to know how many might be having an issue.  Thanks for your patience!

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28 June 2012

Generosity in Marriage

I recently referenced an article from NY Times Magazine that said researchers found that generosity towards your spouse - as in little acts of kindness - is found in the happiest of marriages.

This has really got me thinking.  I just wrote a post about it here on the Equals Record.

[And here's Danny doing something very, very generous for me.  He made 26 (!) lemon souffles for a dinner party.]

Care to share any little acts of kindness going on at your household?  (Hopefully I'm not the only one who needs ideas :)  I say we all exchange ideas and choose one new thing from the list that we're going to do.  Let's make this happen! 



P.S.  Thanks to some helpful readers, we had a great suggestion to check out The Hat Shop on Thompson Street.  It's sounds like one of New York's gems.  We have an appointment with the proprietress for tomorrow and I'm so excited!  (Danny and I are crazy about hats.)

P.P.S.  Thanks, Verily Mag, for sharing the NY Times article.  I'm loving your blog!  (You readers might like it, too.)

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27 June 2012


I have another little trip in the works...I'm heading to my home state of Arizona.  My siblings and I are going to spend a few days together.  I'm so excited.  That will be 4 sisters and one brother + my sis. and bro. in-laws (and sadly one sister can't come as she lives in London.)
We're going to relax by the pool...

 And go to the Grand Canyon!  I'm especially excited for this part.

And, a big shout out to any readers from Arizona.  I grew up in Mesa (& Snowflake).  My favorite Mexican food is still Rancho de Tia Rosa's.  My favorite subs are Krazy Sub.  My favorite thing to do is climb Camelback Mountain.  And my favorite smell is orange blossoms.  But I moved to New York at the very beginning of 2000, so it's been awhile since I've lived there.  Do you have any recommendations for me in Mesa?

Also - Danny and I are teaching an awesome online class tonight about How to Choose Happiness.  If you're interested in making any changes in your life or trying to be happier as a person, I can't recommend it enough.  You can register here.  It's from 8:30-9:30 pm (Eastern time).


(Photos by Emma Cooper, Tablet Hotels, Caroline De Maigret)

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26 June 2012

A Marriage Behind Closed Doors

                                                           (Photo from Jenny Komenda - - couldn't be happier she is moving to Brooklyn!  Yay!)

As a spouse, it's kind of cool because you get to see the side of a person that no one else gets to see. You get to see this person's life from the very front row (it's really quite amazing).

The problem is, often times our guard goes down with our spouse.  We might find it easy to say negative things about other people or gossip with our spouses...simply because it can be done behind closed doors.  We might find it easier to vent often to our spouses and become a fire hose of negativity with them, but not others.  Or perhaps we behave badly or speak sharply with our spouses, just because we think we can - even though we don't normally speak this way.  I think these patterns and habits in marriage are very real and common.  And actually, I'm guessing that some couples might feel comfortable with this pattern - perhaps they consider their marriage a safe place for speaking their mind.  Perhaps changing some of the foundational norms of a marriage or relationship seems scary.

Well - Danny and I, from day one, have tried to maintain our desired character not just outside the marriage, but within it, as well.  And so, that means speaking positively about other people, giving other people the benefit of the doubt, having compassion for those around us, using what Danny calls "The Language of Love", not gossiping, speaking kindly to one another, treating each other like lovers, forgiving those that have harmed or annoyed us.  Our union and our home is never the breeding ground for negativity.  Instead, it's a place where we both work to keep that at bay.  This tradition in our marriage has served us well.  And a nice little side effect:  It builds up a store of good energy which comes in handy when the car breaks down or the roof starts leaking or we're having technical difficulties (pretty much a daily occurrence) or harm of any kind comes our way. 

What about you guys?  Do you think it's important to pay attention to the character you are developing  within your marriage?  Or do you like having a place to just let loose - where it's just the two of you?  I'd love to hear!   

Sending lots of love to all you readers!
(You guys seriously are the best ever.  I don't say that enough.  We're so, so grateful for all of you!!)


P.S.  Our next 'Class About Love' is this Wednesday at 8:30 pm.  It's about Choosing Happiness.  And it's so good.  We can't wait to share it with you.  Register here.

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25 June 2012

10 Things You Should Borrow From Your Husband

Do you guys want to instantly have some new things to wear?  Sorry, husbands.....I'm encouraging your wives to raid your closets.  :)  [But at least it won't cost anything!]

Here are 10 things I borrow from Danny.

(And if you have any other ideas, please do share!  New clothes & accessories for everyone :)

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22 June 2012


Well guys, I'm trying to get my feet wet over at Babble.

Kind of cool that they reached out to me, a new little blogger - and said, "Hey lovely lady, I want to talk to you about blogging for Babble."  Really?  So awesome.  (I can thank Alt Summit and the Alt co-founder for introducing me to THE Catherine Connors, the director of blogs at Babble, not to mention one very chic woman who was also easy to talk to, even though we had just met.)  Well, I said yes (more like hell, yes!)  Because really, if I can try and spread the love in more places, then I will.  Cause that's why I'm doing this, anyway.  And besides, Yahoo liked my first post.  They put it on their home page (ya-hoo, indeed!).  Let's see if I can keep up with that. (yiiiikes.  I'll admit, it's a lot of pressure.  And I'll be babbling my brains out trying to come up with worthy posts.)

So hop on over, help me spread the love, etc.  I have my very own column over there that I'll be managing.  Sometimes I feel badly about putting great posts there, cause I want them all right here for you guys.  But, know that they are posted there for you, too.  They're the same kind of posts.  And I hope they're helpful to someone.

Happy Weekend Everyone!



P.S. I'm in the market for new hats.  I just have this one, above, which doesn't offer much coverage.  I wanted to make it a Panama hat, but by the time I find one that fits, they'll be out of style.  I'm thinking of a vintage boy scout hat.  Can you see this being cool?  Any other suggestions?

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How to Have a Happy Marriage While Traveling

What happens if you're traveling with your spouse and...

-the hotel is crap
-you don't feel confident in your swimsuit
-your bags got lost
-you have no power steering on muddy roads
-the plane is having mechanical trouble and delays take-off for 3 hours
-you feel like a sweaty, yucky homeless person while backpacking abroad
-the map and signs are not helping
-your spouse can't eat dairy or gluten and there is no food to be found  
-you take the wrong train and end up in the wrong country
-you packed the wrong kind of clothes
-your wallet got stolen
-your hotel shower drain is not draining
-you don't feel cute.........................

Well, this is what.  :)

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21 June 2012

The Happiest Moment of the Day

My happiest moment is when Danny gets home from work.
I'm like a puppy waiting.  I hear the keys outside our door.  I get all excited.
I smile big and just feel so happy to see Danny.
He's usually all dressed up and looking hot.
And I look like a very unkept housewife/blogger!  eeks!
I don't have dinner ready.  The house is a mess.
But I would have written lots of posts and done as much as I could to "work" in the ways I call work these days (Blogger, Gmail, Pinterest, Twitter, Repeat).
And he loves me for it.  He's so very supportive of what I'm doing, even if I don't look like this everyday.  :)  He just comes in and says, "Hi dearie!  So happy to see you!"  And I melt.  I will never get used to that. 

What is the happiest moment of your day?  (Please include all stories involving dogs and kids.  I am considering both :)


P.S.  A couple more things:

-You know how I offered to meet up with readers and go for a walk in the park?  Well, it's been a really cool experience and we've so loved meeting our readers.  We came across this sweet post from one of those women we met up with - she wrote about the experience.  Thanks, Aubry!  xo

-Here's my latest post on The Equals Record - - One of the Worst Parts of Getting a Divorce...Telling Children  (boo!)

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20 June 2012

Family Home Evening

So Mormons do this thing called "Family Home Evening."  Monday nights are family nights.  It's a little tradition we like to carry on.  Cause who doesn't want an excuse to do something fun?

At our house, we don't have kids.  So we just have another date night (as if we need more!  I'll admit, every night feels like a date night for us. :) 

Last Monday night, we went to Danny's favorite driving range in Brooklyn.  It's a shabby place with shabby prices...so he loves it.  And then we went to Fairway to get our favorite peanut butter, the kind they grind fresh.  (Yep. We love this stuff.  It may have something to do with the fact that it's made from honey roasted peanuts.) 

But on most Monday nights, though, we read together or go for a bike ride in Prospect Park or watch a movie together.  I guess when we have kids, we'll need to get a little more organized (how do you moms do it?  Honestly.  I bow down.)

Do you guys have family nights?  What does it look like at your house?

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19 June 2012

Want to Take Our Classes?

Hey Everyone!

So - the response to our first round of (6) classes was sooo good.  Not only did people love the classes (which made us so relieved we couldn't stop smiling), but you may have noticed that we are still alive.  Yes, somehow we survived the mountain of work and moments of terror that went into the classes.  Haha.  (Though I did still have a class hangover the first couple of day of Brazil. :)  But we're back and rested and gearing up to do it all again.  Because.....it felt worth it in every way.  We got so many emails from people saying that it really, really is improving their marriages or that they really, really are living happier lives  - and so, we can't stop!  We're offering the (6) classes again for another round.  There's nothing we're more passionate about than trying to help you all live the best lives you can.  We chose these topics as they are the ones that we feel are the most important & universal to everyone whether you are married or single or divorced, a mother/father or struggling to get pregnant, in the dumps or just needing a little boost.  They are the greatest messages we could share with you.

In case you're new to our classes, here's how it works: 

1.  Register HERE.
-Before the class begins, you'll receive an email with a link which will give you access to the live class.

2.  Classes are on-line and LIVE 
-You will get to see Danny & I teaching (which means I have to do my hair that day :) but we won't be able to see you (so show up in your pajamas).
-You will have the opportunity to write in questions to ask us during the class, as there is a live chat box.

3.  We have (6) classes and we recommend taking all of them if you can!
-The classes work together so nicely and build on each other.  But they can stand alone, too, if you can't take all of them.  We share our guts out about our lives, our experiences and we've distilled it down to the best things we could teach you about the things that have made the biggest difference in our own transformations.

4.  Classes are $25 each.  
-We wish we could offer them for free!  Maybe someday we can.  But for now, we wanted to keep the price as affordable as possible while still covering the expenses we have in running the classes on-line.

5.  Classes are only available at the times and days listed
-At this time, we don't have the option to share a recorded class (so sorry).
-Classes are 1-hour long and this round will start at 8:30 pm eastern time.

6.  We will provide you with a written pack of class notes after the class.
-This way you can have everything to review later or share with your spouse. 

Mark your calendars, here's the full schedule for this next round (REGISTER HERE):

Wed., 6/27/12, 8:30 pm ET -  How to Choose Happiness.  The Basics.  101.
Mon., 7/2/12, 8:30 pm ET - Trials & Tribulations.  They happen.  How can we face them??
Wed., 7/18/12, 8:30 pm ET - How to Build and Enhance Self-Worth
Tue., 7/24/12, 8:30 pm ET - How to Develop the Language of Love
Tue., 7/31/12, 8:30 pm ET - How to Create a Better/Happier Marriage or Relationship
Wed., 8/8/12, 8:30 pm ET - How to Forgive, Truly

We hope so much to have you all join us!

And have a wonderful evening - hopefully with your loved ones.


Danny & Mara

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The People of Manaus, Brazil

Being in Manaus with Danny was extraordinary.  It was my favorite part of the trip.  We were able to meet up with many of the people that he taught and served for two years while living there as a missionary.  
All of these dear, wonderful people just couldn't believe it when we came clapping at their homes (you clap here outside someone's gate to alert them, instead of ringing a doorbell.)   

These dear people smiled, squealed, jumped up and down and even cried when they saw Danny's face.  It really could be one of the sweetest things I've ever seen in my life.  They haven't seen Danny in 12 years, but they still have so much love for him and remember him so fondly.  He loves these people with all his heart.
Even though I didn't speak Portuguese, it was remarkable to meet these families.  They proudly showed us their homes, served us meals and just welcomed us with so much warmth and generosity.  I was just so touched by their fearless outreach and kindness. 

These boys are as smart as can be and so kind and respectful.  They were filling up bottles of water from their well as we sat and talked with their parents.

We were visiting a family right before heading to the temple dedication and one of the women wanted to help me freshen up as it had been raining all morning.  I told her I was ok.  But she insisted on taking me back to her room.  She sat me on her bed and then touched up my make-up with blush and powder like I was her best girlfriend, showed me how to apply lotion to my arms and hands, and then offered me a shine product for my hair.  Even though we couldn't communicate with words, it was such a sweet moment of friendship.  

This woman's father laid in the bedroom after a stroke.  She and her sisters and mother are doing their best to care for him.  Danny had the most wonderful conversations with them about trials and life and how to face all that comes our way.

Danny lived in neighborhoods in Manaus with living conditions that are very different than what we are used to in the States.  Some of them had very little, but it didn't matter.  These people were just thriving spiritually and they were so happy.
These wonderful people are all working towards the same great things that we work towards - just having more happiness in our lives, facing our trials with strength and character, and developing more love for those around us.  Even though we live so far away and speak a different language, I feel so connected to them because of these efforts, and feel so much love for them.

Do you find yourself bonding with people because of a common purpose?  What is that for you?  

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18 June 2012

Love Announcements: Brazil

-Men who wear white pants in the summer?  Yes, please. :)

-For Brazil, I decided to switch over to a natural, mineral sunscreen, and this one did the trick. 

-Guarana soda is so good.  (Danny especially loves Bare.  Can you tell?)

-If Iguacu Falls is not on your life list of places to visit, I highly (highly!) recommend adding it.  That place was so magnificent, you wouldn't believe it.  (It's one of the 7 natural wonders of the world - and for good reason.)  Major bonus....it's romantic.  :)

This hotel, across from Iguacu Falls, was spectacular.  (Honeymooners, babymooners and anniversary lovers, take note!)  We can't recommend it enough. 

-I thought I never needed these, but the hotel provided a complimentary pair, since they're all over Brazil.  They were actually extremely comfortable and handy to have around.  (I see you can also customize your own colors.  mmm....there's some potential there with some great color combinations.)

-Loved my new shorts (my very first pair of shorts, if you can believe it.  Weird, I know.  I guess you don't wear shorts to work in New York, sooo....never had a reason to buy them.)

-I only saw 5 people in Brazil wearing a Panama hat.  (They were all non-stylish 65+ year old men.)  I saw more people than that wearing Panama hats in the first 5 minutes of walking through JFK.  (They were all women.)

-I loooove my new peachy lipstick.  I mixed Bolero with Barbarella, from Nars (Thanks, Jill, for the Barbarella suggestion.)  And Gotta Dash from Mac is really great, too.  [Sorry the photo doesn't show the lipstick too well.  I'm sure it will show up in photos eventually.  And really, I just love the buttons on the shorts.  haha.  These were some of our Harvey Faircloth samples.]

-Also, since red lipstick can feel a bit heavy for summer, I am loving Rouge in Love (shade 340) from LancĂ´me.  It reminds me of watermelon.

-Being dairy-free in Brazil was a bit tricky (avocado shakes!)  Danny enjoyed them.... :)

 -I live on nuts, it seems....so.....I was excited that Brazil is the land of cashews.  But don't be fooled.  Every cashew I tried was not as good as Costco's (they seriously have the best quality nuts).  Sorry, Brazil!  (But your Brazil nuts were still tasty :)

-Fruit in the U.S. will never be the same for me.

-I've decided I need to learn Portuguese (I'm going to try this!)

-I want move to Brazil.

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14 June 2012

Iguacu Falls

We're snuggled in our hotel room near Iguacu Falls.  Danny just went for a little walk to take more photos, he's just been so excited about where we are. 

Even though we had a 13 hour journey to get here (which included a red-eye and no sleep) we both just ran and squealed and oohed and ahhed like kids as soon as we saw the falls. 
   We ran around on the pathways, trying to see every glimpse we could before the sun went down.   We really are in heaven in this beautiful setting.

 The falls just go on and on in every direction.  It is truly one of the most spectacular things we've ever seen.

I've just appreciated traveling with Danny every single second of this trip (it's so cute to see him in his husband mode while we're traveling.  He carries our bags, gets us to where we need to be, handles so many arrangements, navigates like you wouldn't believe, and can totally rock a piece of crap baby Fiat with no power steering on dirt, pot-hole ridden roads in Manaus. :)
Everywhere we went in Manaus, all the people that Danny knew there as a missionary asked us if we have kids.  Danny told them in Portuguese our story about infertility and the blessing it has been in our lives.  They just smiled and said, "At least you have each other."  And I feel the same way.  I couldn't be happier to be a little family with Danny and to be companions with him.  We have so much to be grateful for.



P.S.  I want to write up a little post about traveling with your spouse.  How is it for you guys?  Is it smooth sailing or is travel a source of challenging moments as husband and wife?  I'll have some tips coming soon!

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