Wednesday, November 25, 2015

fall family photo session

At the end of September, Scotty and I had photos taken by the creative, hilarious and down to earth Carla of carla marie photography whom I discovered through Facebook. The session was super fun! We wandered through Whitemud Park with Lucy at dusk, laughing, goofing around and kissing. Things even got a little steamy (sorry if we creeped you out, Carla).

We're absolutely thrilled with the photos; I've probably looked through them a hundred times. Thank you so much Carla and a big thank you to makeup/hair artist Amber Ali who made me feel so dang beautiful! We're grateful to have pictures of us as a family of three before the boys arrive (I was four months pregnant at the time these were taken). Plus, it's been 4 years since we've had a professional photo session so it was high time, I say.

It was difficult to pick which ones to share, I loved them all. Here are some of our faves...


Makeup and hair: Amber Ali
Location: Whitemud Park

Monday, November 2, 2015

the ultrasound results are in! we're having...

Yesterday we met our family at Jumbo for dim sum and over shrimp rice rolls and ginger beef dumplings, Scotty opened the envelope from our ultrasound technician (which had been sitting on our fridge taunting us for well over a week) to reveal we're having boys! BOYS. <3

There were joyful tears from our mamas and the biggest smile on my dad's face. He wanted to rush home to call his family in Croatia to tell them the news. Scott was beaming while my brothers were probably thinking, "Oh lordy, our sister's going to have two more guys to boss around for life." Haha. Jokes aside, the excitement was palpable! Side note: dim sum is a fantastic place to share fun news like this. No one noticed our raucous laughter and we could be our wacky selves without getting the evil side eye. 

In addition to being excited, I also spent most of yesterday feeling a bit overwhelmed and in shock. I needed time to sit with the news. Had I harboured a secret longing for one of the twins to be a girl? Yes, I had. And I felt incredibly guilty for feeling that way. It would've been nice to have one of each, but I also know that when these two babies are placed in my arms I won't care about anything other than loving them and being the best mama.

For the past five months, we've been referring to these two as the babies and now that I know they're boys, it makes this pregnancy feel even more real. There's no way around it, I'm going to be the mama of two boys early next year. Eeek! In fact, I've already named them because I had an inkling they'd be boys, now I just need Scott's final approval (we have, um, quite differing tastes when it comes to names).

Are you the mama of boys? Or even twin boys? I'd love to hear your thoughts on parenting boys.

P.S. Loved this post from blogger Joanna Goddard on having a boy. It's as if she plucked the thoughts directly from my head. Judging by the near 600 comments, many expecting women have felt the exact same way I have. Here's to being honest about our feelings!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

the happiest news part 2: a look back, plus baby & belly pictures!

// 13 weeks //

Thank you all so much for your sweet comments on my last post announcing our twin pregnancy! It feels good to finally let everyone know we are expecting and that our IVF journey was successful. I'm devoting the rest of this week to answering all of your texts, comments and emails (we've received an overwhelming response from the blog post and CTV story detailing our journey and are feeling the love!).

Here's a look back at some important dates following our egg retrieval:

June 16, 2015: We had our frozen embryo transfer today (FET). Compared to the retrieval and post retrieval recovery, this was easy peasy. I slow walked into the procedure room humming the Rocky theme song and I skipped out PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise) with my bright fuschia lipstick still intact. The entire procedure took about 20 minutes in total. Those are our 5 day old baby blastocysts in the picture below.

June 16 to June 25, 2015: The oftentimes dreaded 2WW, two week waiting period, before my beta (blood test). I relaxed and didn't stress, still drank my one cup of tea per day, meditated and used the 4-7-8 breathing method, walked Lucy two to three times a day, ate healthy 80% of the time with 20% allotted to gelato, had fun with family and friends, took my supplements, vitamins and watched bad reality television. In other words, I lived my life and kept busy. I am proud of myself for not testing early (some women take a pregnancy test every day following transfer but I do not recommend it because you'll drive yourself mad). Plus, the HCG in your body could give you a false positive or negative. I kept my sanity by waiting patiently to hear the results of the blood test from a professional. Patience is key. So try your best not to obsess. This article may help with that.

First beta: 9dp5ft: 399 (I'm pregnant! Elation sets in.)
Second beta: 11dp5dt 1146
Third beta: 17dp5dt 13, 340
dp = days past transfer // ft = frozen transfer // 5 = five day old blastocysts were implanted

When I saw these numbers multiplying exponentially, a part of me secretly hoped it was twins.

July 20, 2015: Our first ultrasound at 7 weeks! As soon as the ultrasound technician said the words, "This is Twin A and this is Twin B," we were both in awe. I burst out crying while Scott just kept looking incredulously from me to the screen and back again to me. Huge moment. So much to be thankful for.

After we left the clinic, I couldn't get myself to go home. Instead, I wandered through the J.Crew outlet store (meh!), checked out patio umbrellas at Rona and then went to IKEA for a solo swedish meatball dinner (my guilty pleasure!). I was in a state of happy shock and thought I could process the news with some retail therapy. But I didn't buy a thing, go figure.

August 6, 2015: First ob/gyn appointment. Dr. Chris Hoskins was referred to me by my friend Rosa. Unbeknownst to me, he is also one of the top ten ob/gyns in Edmonton. I quite liked the dude. Best part about him, aside from the fact the man is brilliant? He got my sense of humour, he had a sense of humour and a lovely New Zealand accent, too. Plus, he introduced himself and shook my hand. That makes him an instant winner in my books.

August 12, 2015: Second ultrasound. I was having some localized abdominal pain and wanted to allay my fears. You should have seen Scott's face while watching the ultrasound technician showing him both heartbeats and wee little moving arms and legs. He was like a kid on Christmas morning. My heart almost burst from happiness. He's going to be such a great dad!

August 29, 2015: Nuchal translucency ultrasound. This is a screening for chromosomal abnormalities. The results came back showing numbers equivalent to those of a pregnant 35 year old. So happy!

September 21, 2015: First appointment with Monica Patt, an acupuncturist who works closely with infertility and IVF patients and also provides pregnancy care. I'm hoping she can help me with my anxiety, heartburn and migraine issues. My first session went well (I had fun and laughed a lot!) and I can totally see us becoming fast pals. Hope she's reading this (;

September 23, 2015: Received a phone call from a geneticist at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women with the news my Harmony prenatal test results had come back with a low risk for Trisomy 21 (Down's syndrome), 18 (Edwards syndrome) and 13 (Patau syndrome). Sweet relief.

// 16 weeks //

September 25, 2015: 16 weeks of pregnancy! The realization this is really happening is slowly setting in, and the fears have left both my heart and mind. We are pregnant. IVF worked for us and I can't even begin to explain the joy, relief and gratefulness I feel.

I am going to be a mama! It feels amazing to finally say those words after so long.

If you're eager for little pregnancy updates and periodic twin news, be sure to follow me on Instagram or Facebook. I regularly post personal tidbits over there. And one more big thank you for your well wishes, love, encouragement and for following along. It feels so good to have you sharing in our excitement. xoxo


If you're reading this and going through infertility, I get it. Infertility sucks. It's toxic. It cripples you. It hurts when your friends lap you. It's devastating to hear about babies and pregnancy and family. It makes you doubt your body, your sanity, your faith, your everything. If you ever need to talk, I'm here. You can email me at and we can meet at The Tea Girl and sit and chat. Cry too, if needed. In the past three weeks, I've met with three different women to talk about all things infertility and IVF. It helps to speak with someone who has gone through it.

Resources I found helpful:

Facebook groups (these are private closed groups, no one will see that you've joined):

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

the happiest news: we're all kinds of pregnant!

Well, hi. Wondering what I've been up to since my Mexico post? I took the entire summer off from blogging to start growing a couple of babies.

Yes, it's true!

After struggling with infertility for several years, I couldn't be more thrilled to announce that Scott and I are expecting twins in the new year (insert heart and confetti emojis here)!

It's been difficult to keep this news a secret and I've had to bite my tongue many times over the past few months. We're beyond elated and I'm not sure there are words sufficient enough to describe how we feel and how grateful we are (which is ironic coming from a lady who usually has so many words). Our hearts are bursting with love, happiness, excitement and joy and yeah, we're scared and nervous too but we'll figure things out, we always do.

We're finally growing our family! And yet even as I type those words, it still feels surreal. Not a day goes by that I don't turn to Scott and say, "Can you believe we're pregnant, dude? With twins? I'm so excited for us." And then I usually start to cry, overwhelmed by all of the emotions that come with yearning for something for so long and then finally having it become a reality. 

I’m almost 16 weeks along and my energy and appetite are s l o w l y coming back. The first trimester was something else (I had some pretty intense morning all-day sickness)! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you may have noticed that my food photos have faded to near oblivion over the past few months. That's because the majority of foods, with the exception of anything my mom made, A&W chicken strips, mangos and Bon Ton Bakery croissants, looked, smelled and tasted like roadkill. As someone who lives, breathes and sleeps food, it was rough going. That said, with every wave of queasiness and bout of exhaustion, I knew something amazing was happening in my body and that the IVF had worked. 

We're incredibly thankful for the army of friends and family who stood behind us during this oftentimes excruciatingly emotional and unpredictable journey. You guys are the best cheerleaders a couple could ever have and we love you. 

Thank you as well to everyone who left encouraging words of love and support on my previous blog posts describing our infertility challenges and our egg retrieval procedure. Your positive thoughts helped carry us through an emotionally, physically and mentally draining time. As I've said before, IVF is not for the faint hearted. But we did it. We totally did it. And did I mention I'm knocked up with two babies?! So crazy good.

And of course a million thank yous to our fertility specialist Dr. Motan, nurse Heather, embryologist Ryan and the countless other staff members we came into contact with at the Regional Fertility Clinic. What a gift it is to help couples like us start a family. You are the loveliest people, you made us feel comfortable throughout the process, allayed our fears time and time again and even put up with my wacky sense of humour. 

At the beginning of this journey, Dr. Motan had promised me twins and a 60 pound weight gain and he delivered. I'm hopeful the 60 pound weight gain is still negotiable. (; 

I'm in Vancouver for the next five days for BlogPodium but more details are to come next Wednesday for those of you interested in the IVF timeline and seeing pictures of our babes and my baby belly (fully clothed, I promise). I started writing that post back in June when we had our frozen embryo transfer. Since then, I've been keeping all kinds of wonderful secrets that I'm now ready to share. Hope to see you back here in a week!

Custom illustration by Mabel Garcia.

P.S. Scott and I were on CTV Edmonton today discussing our infertility journey as well as revealing our pregnancy. You can watch the video here.

Friday, May 15, 2015

vacation photos: mexico



My mom and I recently took a week-long trip to the Riviera Maya in Mexico, which Scott planned as a surprise for me. I had no idea until we arrived at the airport where we were going, which was both thrilling and terrifying. I'd love to share some photos, if you'd like to take a look...



It was a relaxing week filled with 30+ degree days, ocean breezes, non-stop reading and even a couple of wild animals, more on those later. Our resort, El Dorado Royale, was beautiful and set right along the ocean. We enjoyed strolling through the expansive grounds in the evening before dinner (we ate our weight in fresh fish and platanos, sweet fried plantain). Twelve weddings took place during the week we visited, including the one above. The fairy lights and paper lanterns that decorated the dance floor were so pretty. What a picturesque setting for a wedding!

I always looked forward to seeing the resort's resident iguana, who I named Hector. Mom not so much, always making her way around him slowly as if he was about to rip her to shreds.




My mom and I had never traveled alone together prior to this trip. I wasn't sure what to expect and was a wee bit nervous but mostly excited. There was no need for concern because, as I quickly found out, we're fantastic travel buddies. Although I'm pretty certain I drove her batty wanting to take pictures of our outfits every night.


We fell into a comfortable routine of daily rituals: long lingering breakfasts, reading marathons on the beach, afternoon siestas on our balcony which was equipped with a hammock to take in the view, an occasional cocktail (we were neither teetotallers nor lushes), dolling ourselves up for dinner and entertainment "nights out." It was a lovely trip from start to finish.


Some funny moments:
  • Although the El Dorado was an all inclusive resort, we still wanted to tip the hardworking staff to help supplement their meagre wages. Unfortunately, because this was a surprise trip I didn't get the chance to pick up some American dollar bills beforehand. At the end of our first dinner, we were so embarrassed we didn't have any tip money we ran for the door as soon as our waiter went into the kitchen. Dine and dash Rado & Dajo style! The next day we promptly visited the ATM. 
  • Most of the resort staff spoke excellent English but some things were still lost in translation. One morning my mom was asked by one of the restaurant hostess' what our last name was. My mom replied Fabjanovich and started to spell it, F as in Frank, she began saying. The hostess wrote down Frank as our last name and that's what we called ourselves for the remainder of the trip, the Frankies.
  • Walking back to our room after taking in Wednesday night's entertainment (Dorado Idol), I spotted an animal approaching us and pointed it out to my mom. She responded with, "Oh, that's just a cat. Don't worry, honey." Then it got closer and I realized it wasn't a cat but instead a coati. At that same moment, my mom realized what it was and did a sprint to our room! I've never seen her move that fast. Ha!
  • We didn't do any excursions. When I broached the subject of an afternoon jaunt to Cancun or a catamaran trip to Isla Mujeres, my mom deadpanned, "If we go to Cancun there is a possibility we'll be kidnapped for ransom and if we take the boat to Isla Mujeres there is a possibility we'll be kidnapped by pirates. And if not pirates, the boat could capsize and we'll be eaten by sharks." I realized pretty quickly, during this getaway, where my active imagination comes from (;
  • Check out this tweet. If you didn't know I was a nerd before, you do now. Yep, I brought an NDP sign to Mexico with me just in case they won the provincial election in Alberta. And they did! We celebrated that historical win on Cinco de Mayo which was perfectly fitting.   

I have to say, I enjoyed spending this kind of quality uninterrupted time with my OBF (original best friend). My mom is such a sweet, thoughtful, funny and gentle soul. It was a joy to have a week of connecting with her. And during this trip, it also hit me (hard) that this lovely lady of mine, who I have always seen as a pillar of strength, is aging. And because of this I need to be more patient with her. Whether it's not charging ahead of her on walks and instead slowing my pace to echo hers or giving her some time to mull things over, I need to be more cognizant of the fact she's slowing down a bit. She is 66 after all, which I often forget because I only see her as my mom and nothing else.


Overall Mexico was the vacation we both needed - to just laze around, soak in the sunshine, hang out and read. We both felt refreshed and recharged. I didn't realize how much I needed a change of scenery until I got there. My mom feels the exact same way. We both have extra pep in our step since coming home.

Have you ever been to Mexico? Where's your favourite place to stay? And have you ever traveled with one of your parents? I'd love to know.

Anyway, hope you've had a good few weeks. It's back to reality for me! On Monday I start the next step in the FET (frozen embryo transfer) process. It involves taking a medication that will shut down my hormonal system and put me in a menopausal state (hot flashes, night sweats & headaches). Yikes. Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

thoughts & photos from my 40th

On March 28, I turned 40. And, I have to say, it was one of my favourite birthdays.

The day before, my friend Cathy treated me to an amazing lunch at one of my fave local spots, Canteen. It was my first real ladydate after the egg retrieval so I was beyond excited to see Cathy (and to get out of the house & out of my sweatpants)! If you go, order the fry bread. It's delectable!

Cathy and my friend Ayesha also had Frickin' Delights Donuts delivered to my house that day. Could there be a better surprise than a donut surprise from kick arse friends? I think not.

The next day, Scotty, with the help of my talented friend Christine, threw me a surprise brunch cooking class at The Vitality Kitchen with some of my closest friends (my fave Crave cupcakes were there too). I burst into tears when I walked in and saw all of their faces! Not because I was sad, but because I had never felt so loved as I did in that moment. Best. feeling. ever.

Photo by my pal Christine Shankowsky of Just Bella Blog

The brunch was fun, educational and delicious (plus pretty! C did a lovely job as you can see above). I tried Cordyceps tea (a medicinal mushroom) and cashew cream for the first time and dug them both, while the others gave bulletproof coffee a try (a cup of joe avec coconut oil). We also learned heaps of interesting facts about food and nutrition from proprietress and chef Bianca, who, unbeknownst to Christine, I had already been following on Instagram for quite some time. Serendipity in action!

L to R: Christine, Bianca, me, Kat, Nathalie, Ayesha & Liz. Sadly missed: Rosa, Cathy, Caroline, Misty, Jessica & Malti.

That evening Scott and I had reservations at North 53 because their Rosy Cheeks cocktail, a libation inspired by Persian ice cream, is the most unctuous drink in the entire city. As we were walking towards the restaurant, I caught a glimpse of a man who looked like my brother sitting at one of the tables. Well, it was my brother! Scott had planned for my mom, dad, brothers and niece to join us at the restaurant as a surprise. Boy, do I love that guy! He made 40 very special for me.

My family. I love these people so dang much.

After dinner and dessert (a giant warm maple & chocolate skillet cookie with vanilla ice cream) we all traipsed over to our house to open presents and enjoy more dessert, a delicious white chocolate hazelnut torte made by my mom. We enjoyed the leftover torte the next day at a birthday dinner at my parent's house. Yup, more food! For our birthdays, my mom always cooks our favourite meals. She's the best.

One of the most special gifts I received, apart from Josephine, came from my 11 year old niece Raissa who wrote the loveliest poem about my blog. It was unexpected and so sweet.

The following weekend, my friend Ayesha planned another surprise birthday dinner at The Common with a few of my good pals. I ordered a Lavender Rocks, of course, another top notch beverage. But more important than any libation, I couldn't have asked for a lovelier birthday season or lovelier friends. Only time allows you to collect a quality crew of amazing people like I have in my life. The many texts, phone calls, cards and messages -- my heart was, and still is, so full. Thank you all!

People have asked me how I feel about turning 40 or if I feel differently. The truth is I don't get nervous or scared about birthdays and this one was no different, although it does feel so adult, so official. Most days I don't feel like a grown up at all and I keep waiting for someone to knock on the door and demand I return my adult card. And while 40 feels so big, I'm embracing this decade with an open heart and mind. I have no idea what the future holds but I grew so much in the past decade (mostly in my backside, har har) I'm excited to see what this next decade holds for me.

Here's what I know for certain:
  • Family is everything.
  • I have the best friends I've ever had. 
  • It's okay not to fit in. I don't at times and quite often I get along better with kids. Go figure.
  • Age is relative and totally dependent on your attitude.
  • Confidence comes from being yourself.
  • I'm much stronger than I ever knew. 
  • It's liberating not caring what people think of you. Which goes along with this practical wisdom from a speech John Gardner gave at Stanford University, 61 years after he graduated: "You come to understand that most people are neither for you nor against you; they are thinking about themselves. You learn that no matter how hard you try to please, some people in this world are not going to love you, a lesson that is at first troubling and then really quite relaxing."
  • Just because I'm 40 doesn't mean I should have everything together and that's okay. I'm still learning, growing and figuring things out, like how to stop worrying so much
  • I'm at peace with my body, jiggly bits and all. I talked about that in depth here. That doesn't mean I don't want things to jiggle. It just means I'd rather eat or read than exercise. 
  • Further to that, a good night's sleep, laughter and plenty of water are better than botox. 
  • Life is too short (and precious) to allow drama or toxic people in your life. 
  • There's nothing wrong with setting boundaries, for family and friends.
  • It's perfectly fine to ask for help and support. I did in this post!
  • Pursuing your passion is good for the soul.
  • It's a waste of time to compare yourself to others.
  • And I'll leave you with this, my mom was right about almost everything. She's going to love reading that! And I'm going to love travelling with her this Saturday! Eeek, I'm still vibrating from Tuesday's surprise!

Thank you for being part of my journey, too.

Here's to living our lives to the fullest no matter how old, or young, we are! Cheers to 40!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

scott surprised me with a trip to...

I don't know where! Yes, you read that correctly. Tonight Scott surprised me with the news that on Saturday morning, this Saturday, my mom and I are heading somewhere warm for a week of rest and relaxation! AHHH. This guy of mine! My heart has been beating out of my chest with excitement since he told me. 

I have to be honest, as a major trip planner, this is all a bit surreal to me. That being said, I'm glad he gave me a few days to pack, shop (whenever a trip is imminent I freak out and feel like I need to buy ALL the things) and get back down to earth. Hours later and my head is still in the clouds. 

Has someone ever surprised you like this? How did you handle the news? After he told me, I burst into tears of joy and then kept on repeating, "Is this for real?" "This isn't a joke?" "Is this really happening?" Which is exactly what I said when he proposed to me thirteen years ago. Go figure.

Follow along on Instagram and Facebook to find out where the heck we're going. You'll get to find out when I do. I still can't believe it -- what an incredibly unexpected and beautiful surprise! Thank you so much, Scotty!

P.S. The craziest coincidence? I purchased this gorgeous Topshop bathing suit a couple of weeks ago for a song and was bemoaning the fact I had nowhere to wear it. Isn't life funny!?


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

a new bike!

Friends, meet Josephine.

Josephine is a Linus Dutchi 3. And I love her!

I've wanted a Dutch-inspired city bike with a basket for years. A friend had posted about her recent Linus purchase on Facebook. Turns out she had bought her bike on sale at Cranky's, a family owned St. Albert bike shop. That same week Scott and I hightailed it to Cranky's. We both test rode the Dutchi and the Mixte. I preferred the 'big bum' seat and the pretty coral colour of the Dutchi so they suited her up with a basket and bell and now she's mine! I'm thrilled with the Dutchi, which is cute, comfy and smooth to ride. She's going to be ideal for farmer's market runs, neighbourhood jaunts and hauling coke slurps from 7-11. I've already taken her out a few times and on each ride, I felt like an eight year old again, hair flying in the wind and not a worry in the world. That's the beauty of being on a bike. John F. Kennedy was on point when he said, "Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride."

I also can't say enough about the service and people at Cranky's. On each of our visits, we were super impressed with their welcoming and helpful staff, especially Brad. Highly recommend! As with all my posts, I wasn't paid to write a glowing review nor was my bike comped. This post was sponsored entirely by my favourite dude, Scotty.  

Do you have a bike? Which kind? I'd recommend a Linus if you're in the market!

P.S. With this present, my 40th birthday season is officially over (a post on all things birthday is coming up next Thursday).
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