Friday, October 23, 2015

Baby Blankenship Update

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- WOW, what a long journey this has been!  So back in September we did another embryo transfer.  It was just like all the others, my sis got hopped up on Valium (they prescribe it! haha) we go to the fertility center and let them do their thing then we typically go enjoy a delicious breakfast.

Those are the two embryos we transferred, both grade1! That's the highest quality when it comes to cell count

Things in this round felt different, Dani wasn't feeling well and she mentioned multiple times that she had this feeling something was up, could she be pregnant?  Well with 3 days before our blood test to confirm she caved and took a pee test, then another, and another, and well... another.  Why so many?  Because they all were positive!  The idea was scary because they did tell us wait til you get a blood test for results but could 4 pregnancy tests be wrong?

Lucky for us there were NOT wrong! Her HCG levels came back soaring and things were looking fantastic.  That meant Jimmy and I had a baby on the way!  My sister had a niece or nephew on the way! This was so exciting!

Things took a turn a few Fridays later we were about 5 weeks along when Dani had to leave work early she called me crying saying she felt some pretty bad cramps and was bleeding.  She was pretty upset (as anyone would be) she had never experienced this with her first pregnancy and we all were concerned that maybe this was a miscarriage.

We called the Dr. and he didn't seem overly concerned but wanted Dani to come in for an early ultrasound to take a look.  We went in immediately the following morning.  I was a wreck inside, just super nervous and deflated.  As positive as I can be in life I had become someone I didn't recognize anymore, I was so negative everything I said about the situation had become sour and not happy.  I did my best though to be happy and try to keep a smile for my sister because she I know was scared and seeing her in pain isn't fun.

We started the ultra sound and Dr. Young told us almost immediately, "ahh, I see your problem here, you have a blood clot, not a big deal at all those happen you will be fine and look I can already see the baby's heart beat at only 5 weeks!"

Then he dropped this A-Bomb on us...

"Well I can see that babies heart beat, not seeing one on the second baby yet, but that's okay we are only 5 weeks, perfectly normal."

We all got quite and Dani said something like, are you telling me there are two babies in there?!

He confirmed that indeed their were!   We were having twins!  He even printed us a first look at the two little embryos growing in her belly.

You cant even really see them!  They are the size of an orange seed here.  An ORANGE SEED... that's tiny.  Dr Young told us to keep our 6 week appointment for the following week just to see if we can see little Baby B.'s heart beat.

A few days went by and we made the haul back up to the fertility center.  By haul I mean down the street from Jim and me, but an hour drive for Dani.  At this point Dani has had no pain at all since Friday when she had the spotting and cramps so she is feeling pretty good other than some morning sickness.

We did the ultra sound and immediately it was different than only a few days prior!  Now they are the size of a pea... much bigger than a damn orange seed!  And I could see two flashing lights, that was the heart beats.  Baby A. had a heart beat of 103 and Baby B. had a heart beat of 105.  Both perfect for only 6 weeks along.  They had already grown so much in just a matter of days... it was insane!

See em in there? they are the size of PEAS!
It's crazy how only a few days later you can see a visible difference in the size!  So that brings me to now, my sisters fabulous friend Amanda took some amazing photos of us in the park and even though we are only just about 7 weeks along I am too excited to hold it in anymore!


I need everyone's prayers being that it's early on, these two babies will be rock stars!

Photo by Amanda Campbell of Blissful Moments Photography

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

No guts no glory

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Running, I talk about it all the time, we all know at this point that I love to run, and more importantly race.  Since my years at Ferris State University I have found myself constantly looking for my next adventure that involves running.  I think I may have found it.

I got into coaching right after college, I started at the middle school level and now am the head track coach for a local high school.  I LOVE coaching, it brings back great memories as well as gives back to the sport that shaped who I am.  The problem I have with coaching is that not every kid is there to compete.

I know that sounds funny, but I care about it so much, some people just don't.  They do it because their friends are, they want to stay in shape for another sport, or they want to just try something new.  Which is fantastic, but my competitive nature tends to overwhelm the ones who aren't there to win a medal and aren't there to try and PR every meet.

I found myself upset a lot, it's not hard to tell when someone doesn't like you and that is particularly evident in kids.  My teacher friends tell me that you learn pretty quickly that you are the adult and some of them will like and appreciate you and some just won't.  I'm trying to relax a little, not care when a workout doesn't get done the way I have told them to do it. 

All this said I have decided to spread my coaching wings (while still coaching at the high school because I LOVE high school track and cross country) I want to try to coach adults, and teens that are interested who want to get better at their race (5k to marathons!)

What I have to offer

  • 17 years of experience with distance running (racing!) 
  • former varsity collegiate runner
  • 3 time Boston marathon qualifier
  • custom plans to help people achieve their best race
  • skype sessions, or chat sessions post work outs and races to talk about what went right, what went wrong and how we can fix it
I currently also use a system of pilates/yoga to strengthen my hips and core alongside my running training.  Basically what it comes down to is I can offer custom training plans that vary in price from 30 to 50 dollars.  With that price I throw in skype sessions or chat sessions online because I know when given a training plan that doesn't mean the hard part is over!  I WANT people to succeed and become better runners and athletes. 

For more information feel free to email me at with the subject line "LETS RUN"

Monday, October 12, 2015

Photo shoot with Georgina Vaughan

COLUMBUS, Ohio-- Once again I made the 5 plus hour trek out to Columbus, Ohio.  This time it wasn't for a pageant, it was for a bit of a girls weekend.

My friends, Katie, Sydney, Kim, Jessica and Teresa joined me for two days in Columbus to shoot with renound photographer Georgina Vaughan.  Georgina is a bit famous in the pageant world having won Miss Nevada Teen USA, then a few years later winning Miss Nevada USA.

Her father is also a photographer, having worked for Rolling Stone for years she told me he taught her tons of the skills she now uses.  So not only does she "get" pageants but she gets photography which usually leads to killer photos!

Georgina tours the country shooting in different regions giving girls all over a chance to work with her for honestly quite the affordable price.  She brings along a team of two very talented ladies who do hair and makeup included in the package.

These are our "before and after" selfies we took! INCREDIBLE hair and makeup team! 

It was fun helping each other pick out the clothes we wanted to wear for each photo, posing and all, we cheered each other on much like we do in pageants.  Did I mention all us ladies are over 28 years old!  We joked with Georgina that we were her old lady group all weekend considering we all compete in the Ms/Mrs circuit now being that we are all over 30 or married.

This was immediately following getting my makeup done, can these girls just come with me everywhere I go?!?

When it came to picking outfits as usual I wanted the rockstar in me to show, I like edgy stuff, I listen to rock, I like to keep things less "pageanty" and more fun!  So Georgina chose out of my trove of clothes a dress I had picked up from H&M years ago for like 7 dollars.  The black dress is long sleeve with fringe hanging off the sleeves from arm pit to wrist.

Georgina also brings along all the accessories so you don't even need jewelry!  It was like glamour shots for 2015
I haven't 100% committed to my next pageant but I have one in mind... now I have some killer photos to compete with!  Here are the final edits she sent me below, PS the dress I am wearing in these first ones is from sears and it was only like 10 dollars!

At the very end we even took a bit of a group shot!  All us girls met through Galaxy pageants, 4 of them are former Mrs Midwest Galaxy queens, Sydney and I are former Miss Michigan Galaxy queens.  Our paths all crossed through the pageant and we have all maintained a close friendship even being miles apart!