Friday, November 11, 2011

Shoe Box Update

At the begining of the year I told you that I was going to do some shoe boxes for Samaritains Purse Operation Christmas Child. And by some, I meant 50. Now I know some of you thought I was crazy.  I could see it in your eyes when I told you why I was doing 50. But that didn't stop me.  And this is what my nursery looks like today.

I have 60 boxes packed and labeled ready to be dropped off next week.  I can't believe I did it. And to be honest with you, I have no idea how I did it.  How did I get enough stuff to fill 60 boxes?!?!?!?! And you know the truely amazing part? I had stuff left over!!!! I went through all the boxes a second time stuffing in as much as I could.  How did I end up with extra things?!?!?!?!?!  Everytime I look at all those boxes, I wonder how it all came together.  I have been so blessed by doing this. I have learned a very valuable lesson.  If God tells you to do something, He will not let you fail. I wish I could be sitting across from you right now because I don't want you to miss the point I am trying to make.  I love my job but I will never be rich doing it.  And considering everything else that is going on in my life, I have no extra money.  I barely have the money I need to pay my bills.  So how did I pay for all the stuff that is in the shoe boxes?!?!?!?! God took care on me.  He told me to do something and I obeyed.  He took care of the rest. I pray that you are getting this.  God will take care of everything if you just trust Him and follow Him.  Looking at those shoe boxes is a daily reminder that miracles can happen because to me the fact that I did so many shoe boxes is a miracle.  There is no way that I can explain how it all came together.

(Mat 19:26 RSV) But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

(James 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

It will be a little sad to see the boxes go.  It's a daily reminder that God is with me and that through Him I can do anything.  Plus it turned my sad empty nursery into my work space. By not having a child in the nursery I was able to impact the lives of 60 children!  God's perfect plan! 

And there is another amazing thing that has come out of this.( I know, there's more!) By asking for shoe boxes, I was able to share what the shoe boxes were for and many people decided to do there own shoe boxes as well! So who knows just how many shoe boxes were packed because of all this!  It is just so awesome how everything fell into place. I am blown away by how this has all turned out and I pray that you understand what I am saying and that you get it.

I have a big "THANK YOU" to all who helped me. This couldn't have been done without your help.  Some gave me shoe boxes, while others gave me some things to put in them or donated money towards the shipping cost. Thank you so much.  You didn't just help me fill a shoe box with things, you helped me fill the shoe boxes with love and hope. Thank you!

Ever hear that song "Trust and Obey"?  I think it goes well with this post so here it is.

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.

But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Here we go again

So I have been trying to write this since Sat but with the storm that came through it has been hard.  The power keeps going off and on and I lose our Internet connection constantly. So hopefully I can get it done today.  Saturday I had my initial ultrasound and I am currently on my oral medications and my injectable medication.  I conveniently forgot how much the injections burned!  So here we go again!  This will be our third and last chance at IVF.  The first time we only had one egg to put back in and it didn't take hold.  The second time we ended up with 3 eggs going in, one taking hold but then it miscarried. Hopefully third time's a charm!

When we first started this journey, I had no idea what a roller coaster ride it would be. I knew it would be hard mentally and physically but I had no idea just how hard it would be. Plus I really thought that we would be successful on our first try.  I mean I have no trouble getting pregnant, it's just the eggs pick a very bad location to set up their home.  I can't believe that I thought it would be easy.  And now here we are on our last try.  I have mixed emotions knowing that this is it.  I won't have to take dozens of pills every day or give myself painful injections. But if this doesn't work, we don't have another try. That's it. No more.  That is not the end of the story if that is what happens.  We will go towards adoption. We already have an agency picked out and have started the paper work.  We just aren't allowed to hand it in until all fertillity treatments are done.

The hardest part for me is the guilt.  What's the point of being a woman if I can't have kids? Now I am not saying every woman needs to have kids to be fulfilled. This is just how I feel.  But what's the point of having the equipment if I can't use it???????  Sometimes I feel as if I have failed as a woman . But not only that, I have failed as a wife and a mother.  I want my daughter to know the joys of having a sibling(oh I know it would be all rainbows and sunshine!).  I want my husband to have a son to teach how to be a man. I want all these things for them but I cannot give them.  I have these thoughts on my low days.  I quickly tell myself to be quiet and think about all the things I DO have.  I have so much!  I think about all the other people in my life and their hardships.  I can't imagine what it's like to have a child with cancer.  My family has their health.  I can't imagine what it's like to be a single mom. My family is united.  I can't imagine what it's like to have the whole house unemployed.  My husband and I both have jobs.

We all have hardships.  They are just all different.  I often get told how surprised people are by how open I am about everything.  This is my life. This is my story.  If by sharing my story one person get encouraged, then it's all worth it. I know that no matter what, I will get through this.  If this doesn't work, will I fall to my knees and cry? Oh yes that will be me. But I as soon as I can see past my tears, I will get up and keep moving forward.  Nothing in life is easy and some things are worth fighting for.  Now, if these cycle works will I be singing and dancing? YES!

This is not the path that I wanted to take.  This is the path that God has put me on.  I know that where I am today is exactly where I am supossed to be.  And that is all that matters.  Saturday I go for my next ultrasound and that should tell us when they are going to harvest my eggs.  I don't know what the future holds but no matter what I will trust the only one who does know.

Monday, September 12, 2011


This is my breakfast. The breakfast of champions! Well, not really. It's the breakfast of a person on fertility meds. ( I also eat some food with this too! )

I'm not sure when our next and final cycle will be.  I stopped taking my pills after the miscarriage so I could give my body a break from everything.  So now it will take a little while to get my levels back up.

We have also started the process of finding an adoption agency.  There are so many out there!  It makes it hard to chose one but one agency has been recommended by almost everyone I have talked to.  And I'm amazed to find out how many people in my circle know someone who was adopted or was adopted.

I have to admit, I'm very excited. I have no idea how this is all gonna turn out or when or where. Ok, I know nothing. But I have learned to enjoy this journey even though at times it is extremely painful.  You can have joy and pain at the same time.  I take one day at a time and remind myself daily of all the things that I DO have instead of focusing on what I don't have.  A friend of mine recently completed a list of 1,000 things to be thankful for. I thought that was awesome but also thought that it would be hard. She said it wasn't and her list continues to grow.  So I'm gonna start my own list and I urge you to do the same.  We have so much to be thankful for and I think it is time for all us to say "Thank You" to the One who deserves it.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (Jn.3:16)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Infertility and the Bible

Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Hannah, Elizabeth
Just to name a few...

There are many stories of women in the Bible who struggle with infertility and the pain of not having children.

The Bible not only shares the stories of these "barren women" but also offers hope and comfort during these times.

God indeed is the creator of life and the God of comfort and peace!

Here are some of their stories from the Bible and some verses that offer hope to those who may also consider themselves "barren" today.

But more important than finding out about the stories of these women is the possibility of finding our own hope in this journey; to be encouraged in whatever stage of our journey we are at.

Sarah's Story   - The Wife of Abraham

Sarah was married to Abraham. She was unable to conceive,even though she was  married for many years. Eventually she was beyond childbearing years.
Ironically she is married to Abraham who has been promised descendants that will number like the stars in the sky and the sand on a beach. A great promise and yet for Abraham and Sarah, the fulfilment seems beyond all reach.

It is at this point that The Lord comes to Abraham.

"Then the LORD said, I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son. Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.

11 Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.

12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought,
After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?

13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?'

14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son."

Not long after this Sarah and Abraham's son Isaac is born, one of the great patriarchs of the Jewish people!
Luke 1:37
"For nothing is impossible with God"

What does the story of Sarah teach us?

God is faithful to his promises. He was faithful in fulfilling his promise to Abraham and Sarah. God does not make this exact same promise to each of us but we can learn something else from Sarah's story: God is the giver of life and He can bring about miracles. We do not know what God may be doing in our lives - even when it seems like he is not doing anything at all.
God can surprise us!
Hannah's Story
Hannah is perhaps best known for her struggle with infertility.
The book of 1 Samuel begins with the verses
"1 There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none." (1 Samuel 1:1-2)

I always reflect on what could be worse than feeling you have disappointed your husband by not being able to get pregnant? To be one of your husbands two wives, always being compared to her and her abundance of children. Not only was her husbands other wife extremely fertile; it was not a healthy relationship...

"6 And because the LORD had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 7 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. 8 Elkanah her husband would say to her, "Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?" (1 Samuel 1:6-8)

Yet one thing I love about the image we have of Hannah in the Bible is of her honesty and of her pouring out her pain and heartbreak to God. Rather than become bitter and turn from God she reaches out to him at her time of need and calls on him to answer her prayer.

"10 In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD. 11 And she made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head."
12 As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, "How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine."
15 "Not so, my lord," Hannah replied, "I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief."
(1 Samuel 1:10-16)

And God answers her prayer. And this answer is Samuel, who becomes a famous priest of God.

What does the story of Hannah teach us?     

God wants us to turn to him. We don't have to pretend that we are not in pain, but we can give this to God and know that he can answer our prayers.

"In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD."
In Hannah's words - "I am a woman who is deeply troubled... pouring out my soul to the LORD... out of my great anguish and grief." (1 Samuel 1:10-16)

She is not pretending that she is not hurting, not blindly trusting God but really wrestling with the pain of infertility.

I know that I too can take my pain to the creator of the universe and pour out my soul to him.

Psalm 27:14

Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.
We do not walk alone...
Most importantly the Bible tells us that Jesus calls us to himself. We do not walk alone but God himself walks with us in our pain.

Jesus says:
28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

One way of doing this is by praying and sharing our pain with Jesus.
Does the Bible have any words for us today?
Often we think that the Bible has nothing to say to us regarding issues such as infertility...

Even worse is the impression we do get: God opens the womb of the barren woman (and our question becomes, "then why not me too!") and the focus on the family that we often receive in Christian churches.

Often infertility can make us feel we just don't fit. Everyone else has kids and as much as we want to fit with these expectations it is beyond our control.

I was reminded recently that one of the prayers we can pray at these times is to call out to God with the frustration and pain that this is not how it was meant to be. This is not how God created the world to be. This is not how parenthood was to start.

And by asking God to change this reality and to heal us, to give us children, is not a selfish request but a calling for God to restore his creation, our world, and to bring all things under Christ and to bring peace to this place, beginning in our life.

God does not offer easy solutions and instant answers to prayer. What we do find in the Bible is words of encouragement. We are reminded of who God is, what he can do, that he does care and that we matter to him.

Below are some verses that I have found comfort in. I hope they are helpful for you too.

Some verses of hope from the Bible

Isaiah 30:18
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
He rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!

Deuteronomy 31:8
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

Isaiah 40:26-29,31
26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God"?

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

These verses remind me of who God is (creator of all things ) and his character (faithful, compassionate). They remind me I may not always understand why God does or does not do things, but I can know I am not alone; that the God of the universe walks with me, he has not forgotten nor forsaken me and my hope is in him.

New Testament verses

Matthew 6:27
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

1 John 3:1
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!

Romans 8:35 & 37
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Phillipians 3:7-11
7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

What is it that is important? - Knowing Christ. It can be all too easy to get so caught up with how I am feeling that I forget the joy of knowing Christ - it is easy to lose this focus!

Phillipians 4:4-7
4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

In a situation where we may feel completely powerless, God offers us an option - we can bring this anxiety, worry and heartache to him in prayer. We are told to present our requests to him.

Colossions 2:6-7
6So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
16May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

Ephesians 3:14-21
14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
What does God want you to hear today?
As I reflect on God and who he is, I have been pondering what he would want to say to me as I struggle with infertility and my unanswered prayers. What might God be saying to me or to you today???
  1. I love you. You are my beloved child. You are mine
  2. You do not walk alone - I am with you always.
  3. I hear your prayers and I cry with you.
  4. Trust in me, know that I too want what is best for you.

Friday, August 12, 2011

It's checkup time!

 I hate going to the doctors.  But I am due for a check up so I broke down and made an appointment. They always check my blood pressure. The last time I went, they told me, “You know, your blood pressure is a little high.” I told them it was high because I knew they were going to take it!
So I told my doctor, “It's your fault.  You walk into the room, and my blood pressure goes up.” We kind of joke back and forth a little. But we know it is a check up. He asks a lot of questions: Are there any lumps? Are there any growths? Are there any things out of the ordinary? It is an exam to determine my physical state.

There is a spiritual exam as well. The Bible says, “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

 In other words, are you really a Christian? Or are you just pretending? You are really a Christian when you have put your faith in Jesus Christ and Christ alone to save you, and you are trusting in Him and walking with Him. It will show itself in the way that you live. Just like you do spring cleaning to get rid of excesses and organize yourself and your life, we are encouraged in the scriptures to frequently examine ourselves, taking inventory of the motives and desires from which we take action, so that we may find ourselves glorifying God and not anything else. 

Sometimes when people go through hardship, they say that event or tragedy has shaken their life; it has shaken their faith. In fact, they say they have lost their faith. But the faith that can’t be shaken is the faith that has been shaken. If it is genuine faith, then it will stand up to the test.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Are you catnapping or are you alert?

Cats sleep more than any other pet on the planet.  The average cats sleeps away 2/3 to 3/4 of its life. Still, cats have been favorites throughout history even though all they do is asleep.  Four thousand years ago in Egypt, the penalty for killing a cat was death! Some cats were mummified after death, just like the pharaohs, and placed in tombs with saucers of milk.

Even though cats sleep a lot, they only fall into a deep sleep for 3 to 4 hours a day. The rest of the day, cats enjoy catnaps.

A catnap is a state of light sleep. While napping, a cat can still hear the slightest sound and be ready to pounce at a second's notice.  Cats have a third eyelid underneath the regular eyelid and keep it rolled up and out of the way while napping.  He is staying tuned in to the world around him even while sleeping.

Nobody can think about God every second of every day, right?  Ordinary things like work, school, dinner or talking with family- they all require our attention too.

But even when life gets busy, you can still stay tuned to God. You can keep your soul's "third eyelid" open and ready to respond.  Don't let yourself sink into spiritual deep sleep times, when you wouldn't hear God if the earth shook and your name flashed in neon lights.  Instead, be easy to wake up, prepared to give God your full attention.

Stay tuned to God, sensitive to his whispers.

I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise.  PSALM 119:148

Think about 3 things you will be doing today that will require a lot of thought ( taking a test, playing a sport, reading, cooking, grocery shopping, work). Make it a point to check in with God during those busy activities.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dansko Shoes Discount – Up to 70% Off

Dansko Shoes Discount – Up to 70% Off

Right now, has select Dansko Shoes up to 70% off!

Inventory is limited and prices are always subject to change. Check out the deals here.

Stride Rite Coupon Code: B1G1 50% Off Online & In Stores

Back to School is right around the corner, and I know that sneakers were on my list of items to purchase for my soon to be kindergartener. Now through September 6, 2011, Stride Rite is offering B1G1 50% Off All Footwear - both online and in stores. Use the Stride Rite Coupon Code BTSBOGO to take advantage of this offer.

I have been buying Stride Rite shoes for my kids since they were old enough to walk – and I love that Stride Rite makes durable footwear at all price points. In fact, my 15 month old is currently wearing a pair of Stride Rite sneakers that my 5.5 year old wore as a baby – and they are still stylish and functional. :-)

I was given the opportunity to review the Stride Rite Alicia Sneaker for my 5.5 year old and we love it! It is not only cute, but super easy to put on.

She’ll be tearing up the playground at her new school in a short time – WOW did 5 years go by fast!

Learn more about the Stride Rite B1G1 50% Off sale and browse their awesome selection for both boys and girls here. You can also find a Stride Rite store near you here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What if your blessings come through raindrops

Yesterday, a former employee of where I work came in to visit everyone and she brought her 8 month old son with her. Everyone started talking about babies ands asking questions about what he was doing. I'm not sure why this affected me so much but it did. I couldn't stay in ICU where they were because I could feel the tears coming.  I went back into the wards and cried out to God. "Why does this have to hurt so much?"  "Why do some get it so easily and I have to work so hard"? " If a bigger family is not in Your plan then please let this not hurt so much"! "Please take this pain away!" I wanted to fall on my knees and cry but couldn't.  I can't start crying at work. As I was praying this song popped in my head.

Perfect timing. It was what I needed to pick myself up and get my work done.  It didn't take the pain away but it made it possible for me to keep going.  I'm not sure what the future holds.  But I do know that HE is listening even if it feels like He is not.  I have to remind myself that His plan is better than anything I could ever dream up.  I just have to wait to see how it all unfolds. The problem is that I HATE waiting!  I feel like I have waited long enough!  But why do I question God? Why do I feel like I am entitled to some answers?  God is eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Why should I (someone who is not eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, or omnipotent) expect to be able to fully understand God’s ways? I can't.

All of this has been a lesson in trust. Oh its so easy to trust when things are going great. but to trust when things are falling apart is hard.  Everyone has those moments where it seems really hard to trust God. Where you feel completely alone and abandoned, where it feels almost impossible that anything good could come from what you’re going through. Where “God has a plan” just rings hollow.

But the bottom line is that trust isn’t about feelings. It’s a choice. An act of will. It’s a decision to hold onto faith, even when everything around you seems to be falling apart. I believe that’s the kind of faith that God finds most pleasing, and rewards accordingly.  And this is what I have been learning.

This is the first song that came on when I turned my car on to leave work.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Things I have learned during our fertility journey

Things that I have learned during my fertility journey. Some are funny and some are sad, but they are all true.

1.) Saliva kills sperm

2.) My follicles are lazy! I have 2 that are pulling their weight and the rest are lounging on the sofa!

3.) There are a lot of people in this world struggling with trying to build and expand their families.

4.)That deep down inside, I can be a very jealous person.  

5.) That simply relaxing will NOT get you pregnant. NEVER say this to someone!

6.) That a pregnancy doesn't always equal a baby.

7.) That it does not get easier, each cycle is just as hard as the last.

8.) That there is nothing to aid conception in the water at work, despite what some may say.

9.) That a simple blood test costs $648! 

10.) That some people around me would become more insensitive as time goes on. "It is so hard having a new baby." or "Be happy you only have one."

11.) I'm not alone

12.) That despite the losses that my family and I have experienced, that we are very blessed and lucky.

13.) I have learned that taking risks is important and worthwhile, even when we don't always reach the goals we have in mind or get the outcomes we are hoping for.

14.) During difficult and uncertain times in our lives we make the best decisions we can with the information we have at the time.

15.) We need to do our best to be kind to ourselves and not spend too much time reflecting on what we could have done differently.

16.) That infertility is not as rare as I was led to believe.

17.) Every day, a healthy adult male can produce around 70 to 150 million sperm, while an average teaspoon-sized 'serving' contains between 200 and 500 million of the lil' guys.

18.) Sperm are produced in the testes, where it takes about 10 weeks for a single soldier to reach maturity

19.) An egg lives for about 12-24 hours after you ovulate, and sperm can live for five to seven days.

20.) Fertilization process occurs near the middle of the fallopian tube, not in the uterus. And that is where my eggs like to stay. LOL

21.) Most of all, I have learned that joy really can be found in the journey.

My journey is not over, so I may add more over time.

The brook that flows over stones makes the sweetest music. If you remove the rocks, the brook will lose its song. ... You will never be the person God wants you to be, if afflictions, trials, and disciplines are taken out of your life. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

A week of Swag Buck Excitement!

First of all, Swag Bucks is rolling out an all-new series of collector's bills, which they are calling the "Score Four and Twenty Swag Bucks" challenge, because there are four Memorial Day-themed collectible Swag Bucks bills, and if you can collect them all before Thursday, you'll get a 20 Swag Buck bonus applied to your account (that bonus will be applied later that following week). Also, they are going to have a new area of the Swagbucks Ledger where you can track the Collector's Bills as you get them, share your wins on Facebook/Twitter, and keep them after the promotion is over as a kind of trophy case.
Also, they are going to have a BIG Swag Code Extravaganza Thursday, where they will give out over 40 Swag Bucks in codes through the day. 
Swagbucks, the best place to get free stuff from searching and more is celebrating Memorial Day next week  - they'll have 4 special Limited Edition collector's bills available!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Swag Bucks : Happy Mega Swag Bucks Day

If you haven't joined Swag Bucks yet, today is a good day to join.

Happy Mega Swag Bucks Day! Every Friday is Mega Swag Bucks Day, which means you can earn Swag Bucks in increments of 50, 100, 200 or even 1000 just by doing routine web searches.  I LOVE Swag Bucks!
If you’re new to Swag Bucks, it’s a free rewards program that lets you earn points for online shopping, web searches, taking polls and more. Just a few searches a day can help you earn points quickly. Then trade them in for prizes like Amazon gift cards, iPods, DVDs, video games and more. And who couldn’t use some Amazon gift cards!
You’ll earn 30 Swag Bucks just for signing up for the free rewards program. As a bonus, you’ll also earn an extra 50 Swag Bucks on your birthday!

If you’re new to Swag Bucks, or even if you signed up some time ago, here are five tips to help you earn Swag Bucks quickly.
  • Search Regularly at Most recently I’ve been able to win Swag Bucks when I search for items that are popular in the news, but not too popular. I haven’t had any luck searching for terms that everyone is gabbing about. It may take a few minutes, but it’s always a rush when you win Swag Bucks!
  • Once you Win, Come Back in a Few Hours. Once you winSwag Bucks doing web searches, come back again in a few hours. It does happen, but it’s rare to win back-to-back. I generally doing searches in the morning, at lunchtime and in the evening.
  • Download the Swag Bucks Toolbar. I love having the toolbar because not only does it update me on how many Swag Bucks I have, but when I have my web browser open, I always wake up to a fewSwag Bucks that are waiting for me when I first hop on my computer.
  • Check out Swag Bucks Outside of Visit Swag Bucks on TwitterFacebook and on the Swag Bucks Blog to get codes that you redeem for more Swag Bucks!
  • Tell Your Friends. Once you sign up for Swag Bucks you have the opportunity to grab a referral link that you can send to your friends to encourage them to sign up. You’ll earn a Swag Buck for every one each one of your friends earns (up to 1,000 Swag Bucks). So add your referral link to your email signature, your Facebook page, your Twitter page and more.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Moments That Really Matter

This past week has been crazy busy! Have you ever had a week where everyday you had multiple things planned? Well, that was this past week.  And with all that busyness, I had the most perfect quiet moment with my daughter.

One morning she woke up at around 5:30-6am crying. I went into her room to see what was wrong and all she wanted was "Ellie" which is her elephant lovey.  Once I found it, she was fine.  I was about to leave when I turned and asked her if she wanted to come into mommy's bed and cuddle. She said yes and soon after we were curled up next to each other in bed.  All I was hoping for was at least 20-30 minutes of quiet but before I knew it she was fast asleep.  About an hour or so later she started tossing and turning. Out of nowhere she asked, "Mommy?"  

me: Yes honey?

daughter: I love you

me: I love you too honey.

She then went back to sleep. This is when I started to tear up.  To say that my heart was overflowing with love is an understatement.  I tried to soak in that moment completely. I kissed her head and took a deep breath of her freshly shampooed hair.  I wanted to remember everything that this moment had to offer.  That moment was so perfect. It's these moments that make everything worth it.  I will always remember this moment and I pray that she will too.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Voice of Truth

I have been listening to this song a lot lately. I think it has such a great message. How often do we listen to the wrong voice? How many times as a child (or an an adult) did you hear that you weren't good enough, that you were a loser, or that you will never amount to anything, or you could never do anything right? We end up missing so many great things if we listen to that voice. And that voice is not the voice of truth. Any yet, people make these comments not realizing how deeply they can pierce others. Years can go by, but we remember those words. They can echo in your head filling your heart with lies. And if you are not careful, you then start to believe them. Our words can be so powerful. We have the power to bless or curse others. We all want love, affirmation and acceptance and when we fail to get it, there is such a emptiness that can quickly overwhelm.

I think back to the past couple of months and wonder about all the teen suicides that were on the news.  One of the leading causes of death amongst teenagers is suicide. The Centers for Disease control report that it is the third leading cause of death, behind accidents and homicide, of people aged 15 to 24. Even more disturbing is the fact that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10 and 14. How I wish they could've heard the voice of truth!  We are using our words to hurt instead of lifting others up.  It's a shame we don't listen to that old saying "If you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all".  I pray that we all pay attention to the words we use with others especially kids.  They soak up everything we say like a sponge.  Do you want that sponge to be clean and tidy or dirty and gross?  I pray that we use our words to bless others and to never use them to put others down.

As I am writing this, I am surprised by what I have written. This is not what I had planned on writing about. But I think this message is so much better than what I was going to write.  I pray that everyone of you is listening to the voice of truth!

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's Mega Swagbucks Friday!!!!

Fridays mean Mega Swag Bucks :) This basically means that instead of winning just 10-50 bucks on a search, you can win 30-1000!!
So be sure to use the search engine as much as you can today!
Did you know that you can now earn Swagbucks by watching SwagTV?  And by taking surveys and playing games?
It’s also a great time to join Swagbucks – they seem to really be pumping out the Swagcodes lately.
What are Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is a way to earn points (Swagbucks) by doing the things you normally do online – like perform a search. Just use their search engine and earn Swagbucks that you can redeem for prizes. They have a ton of prizes to choose from, but the most popular is a $5 gift card (only 450 Swagbucks).
You get a Swagbuck bonus just by signing up and can win more every time you use their search engine (which is just like Google, Yahoo, etc). Just go about your normal searching and wham! all of a sudden a screen will appear saying that you’ve won anywhere from 10 – 50 Swagbucks. I usually win once in the morning and again in the evening.
You can add even more to your account with Swagcodes (codes that you find in their newsletter, on the toolbar or in a fun Swagcode search they usually put on a few times a week). They just added surveys to their site too!
I think it’s a great way to earn a little extra at something that you do every time you’re online anyway. I still prefer Google as my main search engine, but I just try to remember to do a couple searches a day over there to earn the points.
Another site that I have really enjoyed lately, is Zoombucks. I introduced them as a site just like Swagbucks, however, there really is much more to this site. Besides getting paid to search, you can earn “zoombucks” for doing other simple tasks, offers and surveys, and several other things… including playing games!

I average about $20-30 in gift cards a month which really helps when birthday come around and especially Christmas!!! I highly recommend you check it out! :)   And use these links so I can get the referral. Hope you all have a great day!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Our Yearly Appointment

When my daughter was born, she was breach so she had to be born via c-section.  I still remember everyone telling me that she had plenty of time to turn but I knew in my heart that she wasn't going to turn.  I wish that I had not been right. I didn't want a c-section. I was afraid of getting the spinal, the surgery and the recovery.  But you do what you have to do.  And it really wasn't bad at all.  After she was born, I found out that her left hip was dislocated and the her right one popped in and out occasionally. I still remember that moment clearly.  The doctor came in and was talking about it like it was no big deal.  There was something wrong with my baby!!! I got no sympathy or compassion from her.  My world felt like it was falling apart and she just went to the other side of the curtain to talk to the other mother that was in the same room as me.  It took me a couple of hours before I could compose myself to call my husband with the news.  As a mother, I feared the worse.What if she couldn't run and play sports?  Would she have a limp? Would she have to wear a brace to walk?  Would kids make fun of her?  I had never heard of this happening before.  I have since learned that it is fairly common.  I wish I had know that then.  Later that day, the orthopedic doctor came in and explained what the plan was.  We were very lucky to have caught it so soon.  The longer it takes to diagnose, the longer the time in the harness.

She was born on 11/30 and on 12/5 we were at the orthopedic getting her fitted for a harness. She had to wear that wonderful torturous contraption for about 6 weeks. It was wonderful because it fixed my baby girl but torturous with every daily activity.  In a perfect world, the harness would never be taken off for those 6 weeks.  But we all know that this world is far from perfect.  We took it off about once a week to change her clothes but that was it.  It  wasn't too bad except for her spitting up.  That harness smelled so bad when those 6 weeks were finally over.  She couldn't have a normal bath and diaper changes required weaving the tabs through the harness.  Normal diaper changes are easy as pie compared to changing her diaper!  While she had the harness on, we had to visit the ortho doctor every ten days and get ultrasounds/x-rays every ten days as well. It was exhausting.  At the end of the 6 weeks, I was actually afraid to get the harness taken off.  What if the hips popped out after it was removed?  The harness was like a safety net. Nothing bad could happen to her hips while she was wearing it.  But I loved being able to give a bath. a real bath!!!!! I took joy in all the normal things that most parents do without thinking about it.  I changed her clothes often and diaper changes were a breeze.  I didn't have to worry about the harness rubbing on her skin and tummy time didn't look like torture time.  Even just watching her kick her legs was new to us! Ahhh the simple things in life! Now, we just have to go yearly to get x-rays done and see the doctor.

Last year when we got her x-rays done it went horribly!  Lots of screaming and kicking.  So this year I decided to get prepared. I got books that had x-ray machines in them and talked about doctors.  We practiced how she was gonna have to lay down on the x-ray table and all the different positions she would have to do.  I told her it she might be scared but I would be there with her the whole time and that the most important thing was to stay still.  But we didn't call them x-rays, we called them pictures. She seemed really excited to get pictured taken of her hips. We were ready. We were prepared. Yeah right! When are you ever prepared when you have a 3yr old?  It wasn't horrible though.  She cried and screamed but she stayed still so they got what they needed quickly.  I think having to take off her pants pushed her over the edge.  She was nervous and clingy but when they asked her to take off her pants, it all went down hill from there.  Afterwards she was fine and when we picked up the x-rays, she was very excited to see them.  Now, I just had to prepare for the ortho appointment.  *sigh*

Seeing the ortho doctor usually goes well so I didn't do any preparation. Plus since all my hard work and preparing for the x-rays turned out to be a bust, why even bother!  Of course we sat in the waiting room for 30 minutes before we got into a room. but luckily they had a toy duck that made noise and had a string so you could pull it around.  That made her day!  She loves rubber duckies. :)  When the doctor finally came in, she said the x-rays look great! I am always afraid that they will find something wrong and she'll have to have another harness or a cast.  She is sooooo active that anything that would slow her down would be devastating.   All we had to do before we left was take off my daughters pants so the doctor could take a feel.  Of course, just like last time, the brought out the tears.  But the doctor tickled her while she examined her so it went well!  The doctor did mention that she is very flexible and loose and that we may have a future gymnast or cheerleader.  Then she asked it she got that from me? Hahahahaha I never heard anything so funny before. If you know me, you are probably smiling right now cause that is just not me.  I think she will be into sports not cheer leading but you never know. And looking at her now, you would never have known that she had ever had a problem.

I often wonder about her birth. Nothing about it was "normal".  I wonder if that was to prepare me for now.  What we are doing to have another child is not considered "normal" either.  But I never considered myself normal anyway so that is alright by me.

Well, I got another two years to plan for our next visit to the ortho doctor and to get her x-rays done.So who wants to help me remember to do that in 2 years???????

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Is the food you are feeding your pets any good?????

I have been asked many times "What is a good dog food to feed my dog?".  I always tell people that they need to look at the bag.  The first 3 ingredients will tell you if you are using a good dog or cat food.  It can be hard to understand the list of ingredients and know what they mean.  That is why I am writing this.  I challenge you to go look at your pet food and see what the first 3 ingredients are.  The first 3 ingredients should be a protein. Don't worry I will wait until you get back.

I hope you actually took that time to look. If not, you better check later cause I will quiz you the next time I see you. So you better be prepared!  :)

High quality foods will contain superior sources of protein like whole, fresh fish or single source meat meal.  They will have a whole-meat source as one of the two first ingredients and will have whole, unprocessed grains and vegetables.

High quality foods will not contain food fragments, meat by-products, artificial preservatives or sweeteners, or artificial coloring or flavoring.  So, did your pet food pass? I doubt it.  I hate shopping for dog and cat food because most of the foods out there aren't very good.  I think we have gotten very good about reading the labels on the food we eat so know it's time to do the same with our pets.

I am also going to explain what some of the terms mean that you will see in the list of ingredients. It can be confusing and I think they do that on purpose. They want you to think you are buying good quality food when really you are feeding them corn and rice!

First I will list good ingredients that you want to look for. :)

Chicken meal - the dry product from a combination of skin and flesh, with or without bone derived from the whole carcasses of the chicken, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails

Lamb meal - the rendered product from the lamb tissues, exclusive of hair, blood, hide, hoof, trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents

Ground rice - The dehulled rice kernel, without the pericap, ground or chopped

Brown rice - the entire product obtained in grinding the rice kernels after removing the hulls.

Chicken or lamb  fat - Obtained from the tissue of chickens/ lambs in the commercial process of rendering/extracting

Flaxseed Meal - the ground product obtained from the see of the flax plant

Sunflower Oil - Obtained from extracting the oil from the sunflower seeds

Here are some things that you do NOT want in your pet food

Poultry by-product meal - Consists of the ground parts of slaughtered poultry such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines (gross!)

Meat meal/meat and bone meal - the rendered products from mammal tissues, excludes blood, hair, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in trace amounts. Here is the gross part!!!!  Most people associate this ingredient with beef. The truth is that it can be from ANY animal. i.e. pigs, goats, horses, rabbits or even roadkill. It can also come from dead, dying, diseased or disabled animals!  I warned you that is was gross.

Ground corn - This is just a filler

Wheat flour - Basically waste leftovers from the mill

Animal fat - The species is unknown and the quality is usually very poor

BHT/ BHA/ Ethoxyquin - These are artificial preservatives that enhance the shelf-life of dry foods.  There are debates as to how much of these products should be in pet foods. Vitamin E in fresh food is a great preservative!

Well, I hope this has helped you better understand what you are feeding to your dog or cat.  Now go check the label if you haven't already. Take the pet food challenge!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Your Hands- JJ heller

I feel like this song was written for me.


I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away
That You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crookedly lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

When You walked upon the Earth
You healed the broken, lost, and hurt
I know You hate to see me cry
One day You will set all things right
Yea, one day You will set all things right

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

Your hands
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave You when...

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave...
I never leave Your hands

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's all about perspective

If I said the number 50, would you think that number is small or large?  Perhaps a different perspective is needed. If I said 50 grains of sand in a sandbox, would that number be small or large?  What if it was 50 happy meals or 50 snow flakes?  Your answer is probably different for each question isn't it?  It's all about perspective.  Now you are probably wondering why I am asking a question like this and why the number 50.  Well, I'm gonna tell you because I need your help.

Saturday night I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't fall back asleep.  I have come to realize that when this happens it's because my mind is figuring something out or some truth needs to be discovered. And then  it came to me. I feel it is my mission to fill 50 boxes for Samaritan's Purse. I have included the link just in case you have no idea what I am talking about.  It's amazimng how quickly I fell asleep after I came to that realization. 

 So, what do you think of the number 50 now? Is it large or small?  To me it doesn't make a difference, I'm gonna do it.  This is where I need your help.  I don't think I could get 50 shoe boxes on my own.  I currently have 1 in my closet so really I only need 49 more.  It's all about perspective!  To me, getting the 50 boxes isn't the hard part, it's the fact that I need to fill them.  Doesn't anyone have any shoe boxes they don't need??????  Plus, Tupperware sells plastic containers that are the size of a shoe box. I think that would be nice idea since they could use the container too!  Collection week is in November. Please let me know if you would like to help in any way.                : D

Here is a video of a boy receiving his gift from Samaritan's Purse.

It's not just a box that they get. The boxes give us an opportunity to reach out to them and they are a great tool for explaining to them who Jesus is and to share the Gospel with them.