September 30, 2010

Day 7 Blog Challenge a Photo that makes me happy

This picture makes me happy for so many reasons. 
  1. I love, I mean LOVE sea turtles (they remind me of my internship at The Coral Reef Resturarant at The EPOT Center in Walt Disney World). 
  2. It reminds me of the vacation I earned at my old job (remember: South Padre Island Trip). 
  3. And lastly, this guy and several (I forget the actual #) other turtles we saw on this day were injured beyond survival in the wild, they now live at this santuary in TX, that makes me happy. (Those who could be cared for to the point of surviving in the wild are released at some point.)

September 29, 2010

Two things I must share!

Hi my blog peeps, I have two stories I have to tell you.

First I feel like a small miracle has happened!! As most of you know I left my really stressful job almost two months ago, I took a pay cut but it's been so worth it.  Thankfully I learned my new job has amazing benefits that have already kicked in (they will cover our infertility treatment!).  Something I haven't told you is that I feared we'd only have these benefits for as little as one month because my company had been purchased (I was aware of this when I interviewed for the position), the FCC has finished the final paperwork and changes to anything could start as early as November of this year (meaning we could loose our amazing insurance shortly after getting it).  I was terrified of our insurance changing because it would limit our ability to get infertility treatment.  I've been praying and asking God for simple/small miracles, "please let us keep this insurance."  Today I got to work and learned we would keep all the same benefits through 2011. THANK GOD!!!

On to this evening, I was out to dinner with my childhood friend (you remember her sister Jamie passed away suddenly last summer) and another friend K & her girlfriend.  Long story short I was asked how the whole baby journey was going and started crying.  I  shared with them about my dr appt next week and infertility testing/potential treatments.  Little did I know K and her girlfriend want to have children and have been looking for information on how to go about fertility treatments in our area!  It ended up being a really great conversation and now we can support each other on our journeys to being mommies!  I feel so blessed.  I feel like this really is why God has us on this journey so we can open up to people and make them not feel so alone on this journey. 

Forget overflowing my cup is drowning.

I hope you are having a great night peeps!

Day 6 Blog Challenge 20 of my favorite things

A list of my 20 favorite things, in no specific order:

  1. My husband V
  2. Jesus
  3. Hiking in the summer time
  4. Clouds (yes seriously I LOVE them)
  5. Dark Chocolate
  6. Working Out
  7. Cooking
  8. Burt's Bees chap stick
  9. Daydreaming about being pregnant
  10. Blogging
  11. Shrimp and rice
  12. Unsweetened Iced Tea
  13. The smell of fresh cut grass and/or rain
  14. Gerber Daisies
  15. Pedicures
  16. Watching movies with my man
  17. Road Trips to National Parks
  18. Volunteering with the infants at Church
  19. Camping
  20. Long walks with my hubby & dogger

September 28, 2010

Day 5 Blog Challenge Favorite Quote

This may be the hardest one yet because I have so many quotes I love, here is sample of my favorites:

"Do not compare your life to others, you have no idea what thier journey is all about."
-Author Unknown

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not [yet] seen."
Hebrews 11:1

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

"Faith makes things possible, not easy."
-Aurthor Unknown

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have."
-Aurthor Unknown

 "Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same."
-The Frey

"What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books."
-Thomas Caryle

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Your turn!

September 27, 2010

Day 4 Blog Challenge Favorite Book

Ok, for real, this is my favorite book.  I don't always read it, don't always make or find time but when I do make the time and read it I always get so much from it:
Just for fun here are two others I've really liked:

A Million Little Pieces, James Frey
My Friend Leonard, James Frey

The only issue (as you know if you heard all the hype about these books about 5 years ago) is that they are supposed to be memoirs.... but the world found out many of the details were fabricated.  But honestly, I found the books fascinating, and really this guy is a ex-drug addict, did you really expect 100% honesty? 

(disclaimer: not all will love these books, I happen to be fascinated with addiction for some odd reason)

September 26, 2010

Day 3 Blog Challenge Favorite Show

My all time favorite show is:

What's yours?

September 25, 2010

Day 2 Blog Challenge Favortie Movie

As with everything it depends on the day but ONE of my favorite movies is:

September 24, 2010

Friday Photo Challenge! (Age)

So I follow this blog called RAZMATAZ and every Friday she has a fun photo challenge!  This week's topic is AGE!  I knew almost immediately what my subject would be! 

This is our dogger, how old would you say she is?

 Tust me she is plenty HYPER
But super sweet (after she gets to know you)

 V and I get asked daily how big we think she will get.  My answer (below)

"About that big."  Yep she is at least 7 years old which makes her in her 40's! 
My pics don't do her justice, she is only about 19lbs, but see those gray hairs...
...they are starting to show our girl's age! 
 Now, let's see your pics!

Day 1 Blog Challenge-Favorite Song

I must admit I have a ton of favorite songs, they vary by day and my mood but this is one I always turn up when it's on.  Enjoy!

Francesca Battistelli-Beautiful Beautiful

click here to watch it on youtube

September 23, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge

I read about the 30 day blog challenge over at Hope is a Four Letter Word and thought it would be a fun new thing to do, and let's face it this will also provide more variety in my blog posts.  Some days I will have two posts so I can continue blogging about the usual.

Here’s the rundown:
Day 1 - your favorite song
Day 2 - your favorite movie
Day 3 - your favorite television program
Day 4 - your favorite book
Day 5 - your favorite quote
Day 6 - 20 of my favorite things
Day 7 - a photo that makes you happy
Day 8 - a photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 9 - a photo you took
Day 10 - a photo taken over 10 years ago of you
Day 11 - a photo of you recently
Day 12 - something you are OCD about
Day 13 - a fictional book
Day 14 - a non-fictional book
Day 15 - your dream house
Day 16 - a song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 - an art piece (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc)
Day 18 - my wedding/future wedding/past wedding
Day 19 - a talent of yours
Day 20 - a hobby of yours
Day 21 - a recipe
Day 22 - a website
Day 23 - a youtube video
Day 24 - where I live
Day 25 - your day, in great detail
Day 26 - your week, in great detail
Day 27 - my worst habit
Day 28 - what's in my handbag/purse
Day 29 - hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 - a dream for the future

Looking forward to starting tomorrow!

September 21, 2010

Dear God...

Dear God,

I'd really like to be pregnant now or at least soon, to be carrying V's child and preparing for a life of parenting said child.


Sorry, just had to get that out.

Some days I'm great at waiting for my dr apptointment, some I'm is a not day. I'm to the point where I am down right anxious to have a plan and attack it. Yes attack it. I'm done with our break, I'm done not knowing what is going on, I'm done wondering what tests we will have to do (and done trying to keep myself from over thinking about said tests and outcomes) I'm done here at this emotional fork in the road. I've accepted I need treatment to become a mother and make V a father. I'm more than ready to move on and take that first step on this journey.

Like I said in an earlier post, V and I have started to open up about our journey to a few select people, and recently had V's dad ask the elder board of our church to pray for us. I must admit it was odd going to church last weekend, just knowing that people know. I didn't catch anyone looking at us differently or anything so that is good. I confided in a good friend (who also happens to be our associate pastor and my dear friends husband) about this whole journey, he urged me to also share with our small group....however I'm just not ready for that step. I don't want to just open the flood gates, this is still a very private journey and while I'm positive we will open up totally at some point, that point or step is just not this moment.

I've always said this whole thing is one step at a time, one day at a time. It feels that way more than ever right now. One day, one step at a time on this journey. I'm done on this step. I feel like I'm at a fork in the road, just about to take the first step on this, our new journey. Please Lord, bless my footsteps and guide me.

September 20, 2010

Fall's Rapid Approach

I don't know about you but where V and I live, fall is rapidly approaching. Our temps didn't get too high this summer (never over 100 which is unusual) and now they seem to have rested in the mid 60s for a while. The sky is overcast and we've had several rain showers. Yep fall is coming, quickly.
I would be lying if i said I was 100% ok with it, I love summer and never feel like I get enough hiking or time at the cabin in during our few hot summer months. Perhaps it's because our winters are so long here (I honestly think we get at least 6 months of fairly predictable snow fall) and our spring is usually long and wet. But it I could be the only one that feels this way, who knows. LOL!

The fall season is gorgeous here though. I was running an errand the other day and had the chance to drive in a part of town I don't frequent much since finishing my degree 3 years ago, I forgot how much I love this particular area. The mature trees are super tall and have been groomed in such a way it's almost like a tunnel of trees for a block or so, and when the leaves change it's breathtaking. I must remember to stroll over that way again in the next few weeks (I'll try to remember the camera to show you as well.)

I've don't struggle with the change of seasons, as sad as I am to see summer go I'm looking forward to fall and winter for so many reasons. And I know that spring and summer will come again. I guess that is where I am at right now, just looking forward to the good that is to come while trying to enjoy the change going on around me at the same time. My dr appt is 2 weeks away and I am more ready than ever, I am so ready to have some answers and a plan of action. Last weekend I had the chance to chat with a good friend who has dealt with and overcome the same fertility issues I am, it was so great to speak with someone who fully understands and is on the other side with her beautiful almost one year old baby girl. Perhaps I'm more ready for the coming season than even I realize.

What about you? Are you excited for Fall?

September 17, 2010

Friday Photo Challenge

Alright, I started following this blog RAZMATAZ (click my title to see her blog!), she does a weekly photo challenge and I thought I would take part for once. Make sure you click the link back to her blog to see what others did! I hope you enjoy these "CLOSE" photos from around my home!

September 12, 2010

Opening Up

If there is one thing you should know about me, it's that once I start thinking and talking about doing something I am pretty close to acting on it.

So on Sunday morning I decided to ask V's dad about how to have the elders of our church pray for us without giving them all the details of our trying-to-make-a-baby-journey, since he is one of the elders I figured this was the most logical route. Before the sermon started he offered me a few options that were fine but intimidating, then after the sermon he said "if it would be easier you can tell me what to say and I'll talk to them for you, that way you don't have to field questions." This was great, I was holding it together pretty well emotionally, then I said "this sucks" and started to cry, I looked over and V's dad was crying too. It broke my heart to see how sad this whole thing makes him and V's mom. We hugged but I needed out of there before we had a million questions. V and I escaped to the car where I promptly lost it. My heart broke. Soon we arrived home and just hugged it out. Poor V didn't know what to do, he's a man's man and wants to fix things so this whole thing is hard on him. I was instructed to change into jammies while he made me lunch.

A few hours later I got a call from a high school friend I'm still in touch with, she recently "accidentally" got pregnant after admitting to me she was "baby-crazy", the cherry on top? She doesn't know who the dad is, only has "a fairly good idea". Great. I decided to answer her call anyway. Apparently her supposed baby-daddy is being a jerk. She knows a tiny bit about what we are going though, we both cried at our situations. Turns out we could both use each others support.

That evening I was scheduled to be the lead infant teacher, I was both excited and nervous but felt obligated to go so I went. I arrived a little extra early so I could listen to worship for a little bit. Before I had left for church I did a facebook status about being sad and making cake to remedy my sadness. Well I start walking back to the kids area and my friend/pastor stops me to ask about my cake....ut oh....this was code for "whats going on?" I tried to shrug it off so he directly asked me how I was and how he could pray for me. This is not a friend I am capable of telling a white lie too, I respect him too much. So I let the cat out of the bag, he gave me a big hug, I wiped away my tears and confessed I was about to be late to spend time with the babies. It means so much to me to know he'll be praying for us. I got to the children's ministry area and we only had two babies (less than 13 mos) for the night! Perfect! One little one was sleepy and grumpy and just wanted me to hold him, I gladly obliged. He was so sweet, I loved every moment of holding him, I'm shocked it didn't sting a little after the fact, but it ended up being a wonderful and lifted my spirit so!

V and I have talked and decided to slowly let the cat out of the bag with other close friends. We won't always tell everyone and will only tell them simple truths (not so much details). We just feel we need the support and others will benefit from it too. This won't be a easy journey but there's no changing it so we choose to embrace it.

September 11, 2010

An Emotional Jounrey on an Elliptical

This Saturday morning I decided it was time again to make use of my gym membership, the one that has collected dust most of the summer. I slept in, ate, watched some tv and then headed off.

Luckily it was a quiet day which allowed me my choice of equipment, since it had been a few weeks I decided cardio would be best. I warmed up on the treadmill but quickly grew bored so I moved to the elliptical trainer. Boy was I in for a journey.

I was listening to a song by John Waller called "While I'm waiting" and it hit me hard. I put it on repeat and allowed myself to journey in deep emotionally. Soon I was having a silent conversation with myself concerning all this baby makin' stuff. It went a little like this:
(question/statement, reply)

I think V and I need to ask our pastors and elders for prayer about all this stuff.
EK! How would we do that? It seems scary!
After church maybe?
NO everyone will see you crying and ask questions!
ok, In an email? But which pastor do you ask first? How do we ask the elder board to pray for us? Can we email them?
Ek! What if we have to tell them I'm not having a period which equals not ovulating etc?!?! I really don't want to explain that to a bunch of men!
I don't think they will make us explain it
*tears start to well up*

Ok, ok we are in public lets try to be rational, k?
Seriously though, should we ask now or wait?
Well if it's on our minds now....I dunno...I'm scared
Do you think they will talk about it, like have conversations about it?
That makes me nervous.
What if the treatments never work?
Do not think like that!

I feel sick!
Are you breathing?
Then breathe!

(Song: I will move ahead bold and confident, taking every step with obedience)
What does that mean?

(song: I will worship while I'm waiting, I will service you while I'm waiting)
check, I'm totally serving like I know I should

(song starts over; I am waiting, I'm waiting on you Lord, and I am hopeful. I am waiting on you Lord though it is painful. I will wait. But patiently I will wait. I will move a head bold and confident, taking every step with obedience. While I'm waiting I will service you, while I'm waiting I will worship, while I am waiting, I will not fade, I'll be running the race, even while I wait.)

I'm confused, are you confused?
This sucks

I wanted to share this with you because I know I have readers going though the same things I am. I'm sure you are asking yourself the same questions (maybe with friends instead of pastors). My point is this is a lonely journey and no answer is right. We need to support each other. I am here for you and I hope you will be here for me.
On a side note I find interesting. I realized as I am falling asleep last night that our testing appointment is exactly 11 months to the day that we start trying. Pretty interesting.

September 9, 2010

Confessions Challenge!

I've seen all kinds of challenges on blogs, photo challenges etc but I thought it would be super fun to do a Confessions Challenge! Here's how it works, write ten (or however many you would like) confessions, it can be silly things, rants/vents, whatever you want! Then post on your blog and challenge your readers to do it!

Here is mine:

  1. I have not shaved my legs in a good 5 days, probably won't tonight either.
  2. Since starting yoga this summer my gym membership has done little more than collect dust.
  3. I thought of this blog idea at work.
  4. I am utterly addicted to chap stick!
  5. I brought lunch to work today but choose to go out to eat with co-workers.
  6. I have no intention of making dinner tonight.
  7. I'm super nervous to change my first diaper while volunteering with the babies at church (yeah, I'm the lead teacher so I sorta have to).
  8. I think about "accidentally" breaking my husbands Xbox at least once a week
  9. I lied to V about ordering him a shirt (it's going to be part of his Christmas gift but I had to ask him about it to make sure he'd like it. I told him they were out of stock)
  10. V and I bought our dog a Halloween costume, I already took pics of her in it!

Looks like this kitty has something to confess! Your turn!

September 8, 2010

Know what I love?

I am loving this break from trying to conceive stuff! I don't temp anymore so I don't fret over what tomorrow's temp means. Since I don't have access to my Fertility Friend Account (it's on hold) I can't obsess over my "symptoms" all day wondering if they will increase this or that. And I love the random intimate time with my dear husband. No more "we should probably, ya know, tonight" and trying to convince him with or without telling him I think maybe it will help us get pregnant, when the poor man just wants to watch tv or snuggle.
This break has been really good. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for my dr appt and to get things really going, I'm just choosing to enjoy the here and now. :)

What you you loving right now?

September 6, 2010

Sometimes the Truth hurts.

Yesterday V and I went to church, like we do most Sundays. We've been going to the same church since before we started dating (that was early 2005). It's a good place that has become home and family for both of us. All churches experience growth, good times and bad and change and through it all we've always felt like it was the place for us. Even when the senior pastor changed and a good portion of the staff was laid off due to the recession. We can trust the staff and believe whole hearted in what is taught there. I guess what I'm trying to say is I always hear something, every weekend that makes me grow a little and we think that is super important in any church or place of worship.

This weekend was no exception. Our pastor spoke on James 5:7-11 and the message was about struggling and how sometimes you have to struggle to learn what God whats you to and to achieve his plan for you. I won't lie, part of me was like "??" But as our pastor went on to explain; struggling can be about active patience like a farmer with grain (not picking it too early so that you will benefit most from the fully rip grain stock), it's about nurturing and waiting and growing and then when the time is right you are harvested and fulfill what is planned for you. But another part of that is not grumbling and how grumbling (or complaining) is considered sinful. Again I was like "??" but when you grumble and complain you are really questioning God's will, plan and ultimately God himself. Also you are grumbling against those who have NOTHING to do with your suffering. (flash to me remembering grumbling about "she's pregnant now, how unfair!" and the message hits home). Instead of grumbling you need to humble yourself and wait on God's will and perfect timing.

Just another time where God is reinforcing that this TTC road V and I are on is his will. It's hard but we must remember not to grumble but to humbly turn to God and pray and wait for him to reveal his perfect timing when he will make us parents. (please note we believe God can and does act through modern medicine so we will still be going for testing in Oct and if treatment is recommended we will pray about it and do it if we feel it is right.)

I won't lie that message stung a little but I think sometimes the truth has to hurt to make us grow, ya know. I hope this touches you like it did me, and if you want a link to the actual message I would be glad to send that to you so you can get the full effect and not just my brief overview.

September 2, 2010

A year ago this weekend...

I apologize in advance if this is poorly written, it comes straight from my heart and I have choose not to edit it. Warning, this is a very sad story. love, Jen

As I drove home tonight from yoga it occurred to me, how could I forget, it's a year ago this weekend that this whole journey V and I are on started.

One year ago this weekend I walked into the ICU with V to see his coworker who had a very serious accident at work and (long story short) I ran into a very old friend whom I'd long lost touch with. From out of no where she called out to me, I turned around (not yet knowing it was her) and saw her crying so hard. She barely whispered "Jen, it's Jamie.....she's dying, all the family are on the way, we need you."
Here's the thing, I'd long lost touch with all these people years ago, they were my childhood friends and we'd simply lost touch. Within hours Jamie's mom, aunt and sister where in from around the state and the country. Soon all of her family would assemble. I was unsure if anyone would recognize me, I'd try to meet their gaze as they walked up to me, each of them knew immediately who I was and would literally cry out "Jen" and fall into my arms. These are people who saw me through my worst times of childhood. Jamie's sister had gone into the army and served two tours in Iraq, the rest of her siblings had moved across the country, we all simply grew apart. Now, sadly, we were being slammed back together. I know with out a ounce of doubt that God himself put me in that hospital that night.
I don't actually recall how V got home that night, what he ate or did for days, from the moment I heard my friend say "we need you" I did not leave the hospital but for a moment to run home, shower and nap for a few hours during the night when we weren't allowed at Jamie's bedside.
Eventually the long weekend would end, I attempted to go to work on on what I can only assume was Tuesday. My boss, being the amazing man he was understood I needed a moment's distraction but would leave at a moments notice. And I did, after 3 or 4 days (what seemed like months) on life support, Jamie had failed the final test, she was legally, officially dead. Her soul no longer inhibited her body and they were going to take the machines off of her and allow her to go. My dear childhood friend called me pleading for me to return to the hospital (only that morning she pleaded with me to go to work it would be ok). Thank you Jesus the hospital was only minutes away.
I don't actually recall falling to the floor at work in tears (a coworker was so concerned she didn't want me to drive) or calling my mother-in-law to my side for support. I remember speeding to the hospital, parking and running as fast a my legs could carry me to the ICU where Jamie would pass.
The waiting room had been full, literally full of her friends and coworkers (Jamie was in the Army National Guard and had a VERY bright future ahead of her). It was only a matter of minutes after my return that it was official by the hospital's standards. Just when you don't think you can cry anymore it hurts like it's brand new.
I don't know how many days went by before I had to drive to my hometown (just a few hours away yet a lifetime since I have not returned there in almost a decade) for her funeral. The funeral home overflowed with people, Jamie was only 21 but it felt like the town had to shut down in order for everyone to observe her fair well. Hundreds of people gathered.

In the days, weeks and months that passed I began to asses my life more closely. V and I had wanted children but more on a "in a few years" timeline, maybe after we had a house etc. Until Jamie died. You see up until then I had only lost my grandfather, he was old and sick and it was his time, sure it hurt but not like this. No one expected Jamie to die. Suddenly my eyes were open to how brief our existence is, how little control we really have. Suddenly I wanted children now. I let my new feelings linger for a while, V and I had many talks to make sure I wasn't acting out of fear but true desire. V had always wanted children, since he's almost 10 years older than me it was always up to me and on my timeline when we had them. We agreed to wait until Christmas to start trying and we weren't going to tell anyone.

You changed my life forever Jamie, you are still so missed.

September 1, 2010

Making the most of my time!

This morning, for the first time in a really long time, my alarm didn't go off ( I forgot to set it last night) so when V's went off 1/2 hr later than I usually temp I took my temp and thought "does this really matter?" I thought about it on and off for most of the day, this cycle is shot... so what's the point of continuing to temp every morning? I came home after work and put my VIP Fertility Friend membership on hold and talked to V. We decided to just enjoy the next four weeks until my appointment in October. After that we'll have a game plan of what tests we need to do and that will tell us what treatments my dr will recommend and together we'll establish a plan. Then we can focus on our plan but right now those efforts are wasted and I can feel us both needing a break to just enjoy each other without the pressure of everything. I am so excited, I already feel even more relaxed. It feels like a breath of fresh air and weight off both V and I. No more waking up early, even on the weekends, to temp, no more scheduling intimate time, no more looking at my chart eleventy million times a day.

I'm also tossing around the idea of being more open about what V and I are facing with our friends/family. As of right now a very select few friends and family know about what we are going through (and my peeps on here). Perhaps after we know more, maybe after the testing when we have a plan. I know it will help others, but I also know that many won't be supportive and some will judge. Some will embrace our choice to get treatment others will probably go as far as to stop talking to us and start talking beyond our backs. Lots to pray about.

Right now I'm just excited to go back to my old workout routine, relaxing about our baby-making journey and enjoying this time with V.

I hope things are going good with you peeps!