8,500-9,999 SparkPoints
DOROELLIS's Recent Blog Entries

To my baby,

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Well, it's official. We are perfect candidates for IVF, but we will need TESE and ICSI. And the grand total is roughly $17,000.

There are options for financing, and getting "two-for-one," but there are also one or two grants out there to help people who cannot conceive the normal way. For two of them that we've decided to apply for, we need to write a letter to our future baby.

This is what we came up with:

Dear Baby Ellis,

Your mommy and daddy have gone through much before they could meet you. When she was only 23, your mommy was diagnosed with melanoma, a cancer that could potentially kill her. Your daddy was in several car accidents, breaking his back several times over the years.

The result was that mommy and daddy couldn’t get you like most parents do. They needed help if they ever wanted to see you. Many babies come without planning. But mommy and daddy planned and saved just so they could have you. And that makes you a precious miracle.

Your mommy and daddy knew that they wanted a family. When some methods they tried failed, they set up a plan. Mommy and daddy both wanted to lose weight. Mommy lost 40 pounds in the year up to trying for you again. They did research to see the best place for help in their area. The looked at ways to get this help in an affordable fashion as well. They were prepared.

When their first appointment came, their doctor said they were perfect candidates for a specific kind of help. And that made them very happy.

Baby Ellis, we do not yet know if you are a girl or boy, but we do know that we will love you with all our hearts. We are prepared to care for all your needs, for the ups and the downs. We will support you when you need it.

We hope that we can show you to be a good person, with strong morals but also independent. Do not follow the crowd simply because that’s what everyone else is doing; do it because it’s what you want to do, and it’s the right thing to do. Remember that someone can only get you down if you let them. And that you can do anything you set mind your to. Dream big and play fair. Try to stay healthy. Exercise can be fun, and it’s good for you too. Learn to laugh at yourself and your mistakes. You will make mistakes, and that’s okay.

And remember “Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much.”

With all our love,

Mommy and Daddy

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NBLONDHEIM 5/20/2013 9:20PM

    What a wonderful letter! My husband and I will NEVER be able to have biological children. We are starting our adventure of using a donor and doing insemination in a few short weeks. It truly is a unique journey and a costly one at that. I wish you the best of luck and am sending baby dust your way!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSANNA37 5/20/2013 9:23AM

    That is lovely. Best of luck!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MNABOY 5/19/2013 6:47PM

    Pray for

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANYVAR54 5/19/2013 5:30PM

    Beautiful. May God bless you with a healthy, alert, baby. With a care free pregnancy, and a safe delivery.

Fly high!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

    So sweet. I wish you all the best!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
3G1RLS4ME 5/19/2013 5:11PM

    Aww so sweet good luck

Report Inappropriate Comment
TWNOMWE 5/19/2013 4:43PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
CRUISEBOUND2014 5/19/2013 4:30PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
DOROELLIS 5/19/2013 4:15PM

    Thank you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MYBULLDOGS 5/19/2013 3:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon hpoe you are successful.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Falling into place

Thursday, May 09, 2013

I decided to take May off of work and school so that I could really get down to planning my wedding. I wanted to have a venue by the end of this week. And I have one! Wedding and reception venue in one for convenience.

They didn't have an opening in October, but they had one in September, so we will be married September 21st. This is actually kinda great, because that will be our 11 year anniversary. We were originally aiming to have the wedding around his fall break, but I guess that won't happen.

The venue is about as "medieval" as we're going to get in south Georgia. The chapel has an old feeling, as well as it should since it was built in the early 1800s. It has medieval-esque lamps hanging from the ceiling and stained glass windows. While we originally wanted an outdoor venue, the chapel is fully accessible for my groom, while the outdoors is kind of rolling.

The entire wedding party will be in medieval costume. I'm making mine and my future husband's. My mother and father have theirs. I have my matron of honor, and at least two brides matrons (I may have one more, I need to confirm). I also have one flower girl/junior bridesmaid and a ring bearer. My father has agreed to be our officiant, we have gotten him a friar's robe.

We are encouraging our guests to dress in full costume as well. My mother has bought an outfit, and my future mother in law is sewing hers and her husbands.

My mother in law's friend is doing our flowers (carnations and ivy).

Things are definitely falling into place.

Pictures to come soon.



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MNABOY 5/9/2013 9:36PM

    looking forward to pctures!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CRUISEBOUND2014 5/9/2013 9:25PM

    How wonderful! Congratulations!


Report Inappropriate Comment

Who knows Advocare?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I'm one of several children, and we were all very close while growing up. As we've become adults, we've separated a little. Yesterday, I heard from my older sister for the first time in about a month. She's lost 15 pounds (Go Sis!), and 24 inches overall (WOW!) in the past couple of months.
When she first told me this, I cleaned out my ears, and asked her to repeat herself. She has often had as much problems with losing weight as I do. She has to work really hard, and track every bite. Pretty much like me.
So I wondered, naturally, what she was doing differently. She started taking Advocare products and following their diet plan. They have a 29 day challenge, where the average weight loss is 10 pounds in those 29 days. It consists of an herbal cleanse for 10 days, and clearing your diet completely of junk. No refined sugars, no wheat, no dairy and all organic.
Recently, I watched a documentary called "Hungry for Change". It's a very similar "diet" rule. But those are changes that I cannot commit to. I can understand that cutting out of sugars, dairy and wheat will help someone lose weight.
I hope she can stick to that diet, because I couldn't. I happen to like cheese. And bread. And Pasta. Occasionally a slice of cake with frosting. I wish her all the luck in the world with that food plan.
What really interested me, however, wasn't the food plan, since that is relatively free. But why it cost so much. To start the "program" cost her, with a small discount, over $200. Okay, so you're paying for herbal pills? For a "special" formula? I don't get it. Has anyone else tried these pills? Just the pills and not the diet that goes along with it? As far as I can tell, they are way overcharging for a "special" blend of herbs to take for this or that. She now spends almost $250 because she takes a "feel good" herbal supplement as well.
It feels, to me, like a scam. Has anyone else heard of these people? Have they tried these pills? Are the benefits, if any, worth that much?
I -might- have tried it if it was like...$50. But since it isn't, there is no way I'm going to go with these products. I only make $800/month before taxes, while trying to save for a IVF and a wedding. So I don't have that kind of money to spend. I'll just grow my own herbs, cook with them, and take them as I feel like. And if it works, great, if it doesn't I'm doing what I love anyway, gardening and cooking.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GREEN_JEANS 4/17/2013 6:50PM

    I'd never heard of it, but I Googled it. And I agree with you. It seems like a scam!

Herbal doesn't mean safe. As far as I know, herbal products are not regulated by the FDA so there's no way to know what you're actually getting.

Just my opinion, but your way seems much better!


Report Inappropriate Comment

    You're on the right track..growing things..learning from Spark..Doing it Naturally!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Prepping for Vendors

Monday, April 15, 2013

I am beginning to look at places to have the wedding. And I realized I know nothing about what to ask. So I went around, looking at "Must Ask" questions. Many of these are good. Some have overlap. But I still ended up with several categories: General, Pricing, Accommodation/Accessibility, Food and Beverage, and Entertainment. I'm posting them here.
Maybe I went a little overboard?

Important Venue Questions:

General questions
1. Are our preferred dates available?
2. Will we have exclusive use of the venue? If so, how long? If not, what/when will be shared?
3. What is the maximum capacity for a sit down dinner or cocktail party?
4. Do you allow throwing of rice/ confetti/birdseed/bubbles after the ceremony?
5. Do you have a designated room for the ceremony or can we have it outside?
6. Are there any restrictions on photographing the ceremony?
7. Is there a room where the bride and bridesmaids can get ready before the ceremony?
8. Can we store wedding presents in a secure room to be collected next day?
9. Do I have to be a member of the country club? (optional question)
10. Who is responsible for setting up and tearing down the decor, and when will it be completed?How early can I get into the site to set up?
11. What's the backup/rain plan? What’s your weather contingency plan for outdoor spaces?
12. Is there a space for me to get ready?
13. Are there any areas we won’t have access to?
14. How long will I have use of the event space(s) I reserve? Is there an overtime fee if I stay longer? Is there a minimum or maximum rental time?What time can my vendors start setting up on the day of the wedding? Is it possible to start the setup the day before? How early can deliveries be made? How much time will I have for décor setup? Does the venue provide assistance getting gifts or décor back to a designated car, hotel room, etc. after the event has concluded?
15. Do you offer on-site coordination? If so, what services are included and is there an additional charge for them? Will the coordinator supervise day-of? How much assistance can I get with the setup/décor?
16. What security services do you offer? Do I need to hire my own security guards, or does the site hire them or have them on staff? TIP: In general, you should have 2 security guards for the first 100 guests and 1 more for every additional 100 guests.
17. Does the venue have liability insurance? NOTE: If someone gets injured during the party, you don’t want to be held responsible—if the site doesn’t have insurance, you’ll need to get your own. For info on insurance go to
18. Can I move things around and decorate to suit my purposes, or do I have to leave everything as is? Are there decoration guidelines/restrictions? TIP: Keep the existing décor in mind when planning your own decorations so that they won’t clash. If your event is in December, ask what the venue’s holiday décor will be.Are we allowed to bring in decorations? How ’bout candles?
19. Can I hold my ceremony here, too? Is there an additional charge? Is the ceremony site close to the reception site?
20. How much time is allocated for the rehearsal?
21. What’s the cancellation policy?
22. Is there an outdoor space where my guests can mingle, and can it be heated and/or protected from the elements if necessary? Is there a separate indoor “socializing” space?
23. What type of tables do you have (shape, size, top table)?
24. Is any decor/stationery provided (menus, centrepieces, red carpet, flowers, cake stand)? Are there alternatives available?
25. Can we see the room(s) set up for a wedding?
26. When would we need to give final numbers? What costs are incurred if the numbers on the day differ to the final numbers?
27. Are there any changes planned to the building before the wedding (renovations, painting etc)?
28. Where is the best place to take photos in/near the venue?

Pricing Questions
1. Do you have standard wedding packages and what is included?What’s the site fee? And what does that include?
2. Does anything we’ve seen today cost extra?
3. Is there a discount for booking an off-season date or Sunday through Friday?
4. How much is the deposit, when is it due, and is it refundable?
5. What’s the payment plan for the entire bill?
6. Are there any additional costs-cleaning fees, insurance-fee waivers, etc.? If so, how much?
7. Are tables, linens, chairs, plates, silverware and glassware provided, or will I have to rent them myself or get them through my caterer?
8. What percentage is paid before the wedding/after the wedding?

Food and Drink Questions
1. Can I use outside vendors, or must I you and/or your “pre-approved” vendors? Can we tailor the menu to suit our own needs? How do you deal with dietary requirements?
2. Do you charge per head for children/babies? What is the cut off? Is there a discount for children vs. adults?
3. If I hire my own caterer, are kitchen facilities available for them? NOTE: Caterers charge extra if they have to haul in refrigerators and stoves.
4. Are there any consequences for not fulfilling the food and beverage minimum?
5. Can we use the wedding cake as dessert?
6. Is there a cake-cutting fee? If I use a cake made on site is the fee waived? Do you provide special cake-cutting utensils?
7. Can we provide our own drinks and will you charge corkage?
8. Do you offer drinks packages and what is included? Will there be a hosted bar, a cash bar, or a combination of the two?
9.Are you licensed to provide alcohol service? If so, is alcohol priced per person? By consumption? Are there additional charges for bar staff? Is there a bar minimum that must be met before the conclusion of the event? What is the average bar tab for the number of people attending my event? NOTE: Some facilities (private estates and wineries in particular) aren’t licensed to serve hard alcohol. You may need to get permission from the location to bring in an outside beverage catering company.
Entertainment Questions
1. Can you recommend bands or DJs or other entertainers that have worked here before?
2. Do you have a stage, sound system and dance floor?
3. Where is the dancefloor/how big is it/does anything have to be moved for the dancefloor?
4. Where does the band set up?
5. What time can the band play until? Will we need to bring in sound equipment?
6. Can we bring in our own music (CD, ipod, internet radio, etc)? Can a member of staff take care of this?
7. Is there a noise ordinance we should be aware of?
8. Are there restrictions on what kind of music I can play, or a time by which the music must end? Can the venue accommodate a DJ or live band? TIP: Check where the outlets are located in your event space, because that will help you figure out where the band can set up and where other vendors can hook up their equipment. You don’t want the head table to block the only outlet in the room.

Accommodating Guests Questions
1. Do you have accommodation at the venue? Is there a discount for accommodation for the bride and groom and wedding guests?
2. Do you have deals with local hotels for wedding guests? Is it possible to arrange transport for the guests to local accommodation?
3. How are guests received? Where do guests meet before going into the main room?
4. Is there parking on site? If so, is it complimentary and is there enough room for all my guests parking?
5. Do you offer valet parking, and what is the charge?
6. If there is no parking on site, where will my guests park? Are cabs easily accessible from the venue? If a shuttle service is needed, can you assist with setting it up? TIP: You should have the venue keep track of the number of cars parked for your event and add the total valet gratuity to your final bill so that your guests won’t have to tip.
7. Are the facility and bathrooms handicapped accessible?
8. How many restrooms are there? TIP: You should have at least 4 restrooms per 100 people. For more detailed recommendations based on guest count, duration of the event and other factors, please visit
9. Do you have signage or other aids to direct guests to my event?
10. Do you have a recycling policy?
11. Ask to see the smoking area, should any of your guests be smokers.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIRMIUM 4/15/2013 9:16PM

    Holy moly that's a lot of questions! I was just married in October and my advice to you is to absolutely ask them everything but maybe stick to the critical bits that would determine whether you would go there first. We must've seen a million places and we ended up with a place because we had liked it previously and the price was very right (we got a sell-off date). Ask about seasonal rates...don't think I saw that on their! Every venue has different dates where they give seasonal pricing.

Best of luck to you

Report Inappropriate Comment

P90X Legs and Back

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Balance Lunges 9 left/ 10 right (kept losing balance)
Calf Raise Squats 15 no weight
Reverse grip chin ups 7 chair
Super skaters 25, not deep
Wall sits Legs not quite straight
Wide front pull ups 5 with chair
Step backs 20 each side, no weight
Alternating side lunges 20 total, no weight
Closed grip overhand pull ups Skipped, jogged
Single leg wall sits Legs not quite straight, foot on floor
Dead Lift Squats 20 each side, reach to knees
Switch Grip Pull Ups 4
3-Way Lunges with Two-Kick Option kick 1 ft high, not deep lunge
Sneaky Lunges 16 reps (total), not deep, did not lean over leg
Reverse Grip Chin Ups Skipped, jogged in place
Chair Salutations not deep, hands holding together to keep up at should height
Toe-Roll Iso Lunges 16
Wide Front Pull Upsskipped, jogged in place
Groucho Walk 35 seconds
Calf Raises no weight, full, half, third
Closed Grip Overhand Pull Ups skipped, jogged
80/20 Siebers-Speed Squats (right leg and left leg) 21 left 20 right, no jumping
Switch Grip Pull Ups 4, jog


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Last Page