Why Me?

During the time leading up to our IVF and during the process, there were so many emotions swirling around me bouncing back and forth between excitement, frustration and fear of the unknown.  I had a continuous stream of disappointment for the 2.5 years before and I was convinced that it (IVF) was not going to work and we were going to end up being that couple with no kids, forever.  Which meant we would need to find a new group of friends, you know, the kind of people you can call up at a moments notice to get together without having to think about childcare.  I felt myself starting to dread the family events, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE both sides of our family and enjoy spending time with them, but…it was hard fielding the “so what have you been up too” kind of questions and I got so tired of talking about work because if I didn’t talk about work then I would be forced to talk about our all consuming fertility struggles which resulted in a huge headache because it took everything in me to keep myself from completely losing it and crying from frustration. So it was just easier not to talk about it at all.  When other family members bring their babies to family events it becomes the focus point, which is great, that’s how it should be.  Families grow by making more babies and it is a wonderful thing…except when you can’t have a baby and so desperately want to and it kills you to see the joy in your grandparents or parents eyes when they light up at the sight of a baby and you can’t give that to them.

I spent so much time trying to figure out what my purpose was, I was trying to figure out how I was going to make some kind of change in my life if we didn’t have kids since I was not happy just going to work every day, coming home walking the dog, making dinner, going to bed and then waking up and doing it all over again for the rest.of.my.life.  I guess you could call it an identity crisis, I was depressed at times and clueless to who I was.  It was hard…really hard.  And during that time we did not tell anyone what we were going through, I did not want anyone feeling bad about talking to us about their kids or making their pregnancy announcements or feeling awkward about inviting me to their baby shower or kids birthday parties, we really truly were happy for those people and wanted to celebrate these special times with them.

Other than talking to my (wonderful, loving, supporting) husband as a release, I also turned to a journal.  It was not a consistent thing, but when I felt like I needed to get things off my chest and sort my emotions I would write them down.  They ranged from pure venting, to prayers, to listing the things I had to be grateful for and anything in between.  It really helped me.  Once I found out we were pregnant I stopped.  I think since I started this blog I figured it would replace that.  And I do plan to be honest and truthful about things here and will eventually post more about our journey to get to this point.  But sometimes my thoughts can be pretty random and if I posted them here them you all would think I was crazy!  🙂  Lately I’ve been feeling that urge to start writing in my journal again (don’t worry I won’t give up the blog).  So I got it out and started reading through the pages.  One of my entries had an email print out attached to it that was sent to me by Justin’s Aunt last December.  It was a daily devotional from Truth for Life and it was called ‘Why Do My Prayers Go Unanswered?‘  During any busy time (it was almost Christmas!) any emails I receive that require any lengthy reading, extra work or any kind of deep thought just sit in my inbox until I have time to do it, so I didn’t read it right away…But I didn’t delete it, because the subject Why Do My Prayers Go Unanswered? was right up my alley and I desperately wanted the answer to that question. God knows I prayed many desperate prayers to him over the years and the big question I had was ‘Why Me?‘ I know God has his reasons for the way things happen, but I so so fixated on why, what was his reason, and if not kids then what, what do I do with myself?? When I had time to sit down and read the email and think about what it was saying, I loved it, it gave me a sense of peace which was what I needed at that time, I printed it up and wrote about it in my journal that night. I love how God is always there even when you feel like he’s not.  Here’s the devotional:

Why Do My Prayers Go Unanswered?

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
~Isaiah 30:18

God often delays in answering prayer. We have several instances of this in the Bible. Jacob did not get the blessing from the angel until near the dawn of day-he had to wrestle all night for it. The poor woman of Syrophoenicia received no answer for a long while. Paul asked the Lord three times for “a thorn . . . in the flesh” * to be taken from him, and he received no assurance that it would be removed, but instead a promise that God’s grace would be sufficient for him.

If you have been knocking at the gate of mercy and have received no answer, shall I tell you why the mighty Maker has not opened the door and let you in?

Our Father has personal reasons for keeping us waiting. Sometimes it is to show His power and His sovereignty, so that we may learn that God has a right to give or to withhold.

More often the delay is for our benefit. You are perhaps kept waiting in order that your desires may be more fervent. God knows that delay will quicken and increase desire, and that if He keeps you waiting, you will see your need more clearly and will seek more diligently, and that you will treasure the mercy all the more on account of the wait.

There may also be something wrong in you that needs to be removed before the joy of the Lord is given. Perhaps your views of the gospel plan are confused, or you may be relying upon yourself instead of trusting simply and entirely in the Lord Jesus. Or God makes you wait for a while so that He may display the riches of His grace more abundantly in the end.

Your prayers are all filed in heaven, and if not immediately answered they are certainly not forgotten, but in a little while they will be fulfilled to your delight and satisfaction. Do not allow despair to make you silent, but continue to present your requests to God.

*…because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me ~2 Corinthians 12:7

Who knows why we had to go this route to start a family…but I do know that I wanted it more now then when we first started. I even had the thought that I have had such a great life growing up and to this point never really had to deal with any major pain or suffering so this was a lesson to me so I can mature and grow in other ways.  Whatever the reason this process has strengthened my relationship with Christ and maybe that was the reason itself.

One day while shopping this sign caught my eye and it made me think about this, so I bought it and it is hanging in my house as a reminder.

God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, nor sun without rain. 
But he did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears and light for the way.

No matter what you are going through in life God’s grace can carry you through.

Aunt Lee if you are reading this, thank you for sending me that email!  You sent it for a different purpose, little did you know that God was using it in other ways 🙂

XO

6 Years

6 years ago today I married my best friend!
It was a magical day in San Diego
We were surrounded by our family
and our friends.
There were a lot of laughs
some tears of joy
and lots of dancing!
It seems like 6 years has flown by,
our lives are about to change pretty drastically, and I can’t wait!
There’s no one else I would want to be on this journey with.

We celebrated our anniversary this weekend by laying tile in our bathroom.  My how times have changed!  Love you babe!

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. ~ John 15:12

Chili Cook-Off

Last Sunday was the 1 year anniversary since our church “launched” to the public!  To celebrate the occasion we had a good old fashioned Chili Cook-Off.  Justin was able to let his creative juices flow and make the 1st and 2nd place trophies.
We had a great turnout, Pastor Jason did a fantastic job with his message, and we had 20 crock pots filled with different “top secret” types of chili.  After the service was over we all went out to the park to start tasting and the kids tackled the bounce house.
We asked the local fire department to be the judges, however, they got a call and were not able to come at that time.  That’s okay, we appreciate all the hard work they do (especially in this awful heat wave we’ve been having!) So new judges were appointed and they went right to work, tasting and taking notes on each one.
After the judges had their samples of each, we let the masses loose
Halfway through the fire department showed up!
They were happy to be a part of the cook off and dove right in tasting the chili.
After everyone had their taste of the goods the winner was announced!
Then the firemen invited all the kids to come tour their firetruck.  We technically do not have kids yet, but didn’t want to miss out on the fun, so here’s the babies to be on the truckNot to be outdone by the preggo’s the boys had their fun too 🙂
We are truly blessed to be a part of such an incredible church and love all the special friendships we’ve acquired there.  I can’t wait for our little boy to join in on the fun!

Praise the Lord.  Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of his faithful people. ~ Psalm 149:1

On the move

Whew!! What a day…lately I feel like our schedules are completely out of control! Work has been really busy for both of us, and everything else has gone into overdrive. Sometimes it is a fun kind of busy like our trip to Vegas, and the 4 fun events we crammed into 2 days this weekend and I wouldn’t change a thing.  But this is also a time when all I want to do is relax, read books and enjoy some peace and quiet before the baby comes and that is just not happening, so we’re hanging on and taking it one day (sometimes one hour) at a time.

Today’s perk was my doctors appointment.  All is well, my blood pressure and weight gain are right on track.  We heard his strong and healthy heartbeat again.  In fact, I think he has taken a clue from our crazy schedules since he is on the move himself.  My OB had to keep moving the doppler around to keep up with him.  It is amazing the peace it gives me just hearing his heartbeat and knowing that all is well.

During my walks with Apollo I try to use that time to “relax” mentally and not think about everything that needs to be done at work, home or in a certain timeframe. Most of the time it doesn’t work, sometimes it does and at least the exercise and fresh air gives me a clear head, energy boost or a second wind to keep going.

Here’s a picture I snapped with my iPhone of a pretty sky on one of our walks. Doesn’t looking at that give you a sense of calm! Work with me here…I’m trying!

 

Baby Bump Goes to Vegas!

Justin had a conference to go to in Las Vegas last week so we decided to make a trip out of it. We have some good friends who have a house out there and they let us “move in” for a few days. It was nice because we were able to enjoy the comforts of home that you can’t get in a hotel room, we were able to bring our dog with us and it was free! We broke up the drive by stopping to visit with my grandma and grandpa in Redlands. Grandpa and Justin picked up a pizza for lunch and we spent a few hours talking and telling stories. It is always so nice to see them! The rest of our drive went smoothly, we drove through a little rainstorm about 2 hours from Vegas.
When we adopted Apollo, I swear the paperwork that came with him got mixed up with another dogs paperwork because it said that he did not like riding in the car…I can assure you that is NOT true. There are times when we can’t get him out of the car when we get to our destination and end up leaving the door open so he can come inside when he realizes that the car ride is over.
When we arrived, we were greeted by our friends Davy & Deanna and we BBQed some steaks for dinner. The next morning after breakfast Davy & Deanna had to head back to San Diego and we spent the rest of the morning reading and relaxing. That afternoon we headed to the strip where we took baby’s first Vegas picture 🙂
Then we went to the Hofbrau House for a late lunch.
It brought back memories of our vacation to Germany for Oktoberfest.

With full stomachs, we walked around the strip and looked around the new casinos that we had not been to yet. It sure is fun to people watch in Vegas, there’s always something to see.

Early the next morning I dropped Justin off at Caesar’s Palace for the conference and I spent the day reading and working on the computer. Apollo was in full vacation mode sunbathing on the patio. The 100+ degree weather did not bother him one bit.
That evening Justin and I had reservations at the restaurant in the Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel. Since it was Sunday evening and the Steelers were playing I met Justin at the sports bar in the Paris hotel to watch the game before we went to dinner.
The dinner was an early 6 year anniversary celebration. We had a table at a window overlooking the Bellagio and watched the water fountain show every 15 minutes.
The food was fantastic and dessert was even better! In fact we ended up with two desserts since one was on the house for our celebration. They know their way to a pregnant woman’s heart! Yum!
After dinner we walked to Caesar’s Palace where the some of the Young Advisors who were in town for the conference had a party at a suite. It was a pretty cool two story suite and turns out it is where they filmed part of the movie Rainman.

The next morning bright and early I dropped Justin off again at Caesar’s Palace for the conference and I set off to do a little bit of shopping. That evening we went to Justin’s company dinner at Caesar’s Palace (sorry I don’t have any pictures of that night). It was a really nice dinner and 4 of the men there were past presidents of the association and they each said a few words. It really showed that these people are passionate about what they do and truly care about the association. After the dinner the Young Advisors were having another event at the Shadow Bar so we stopped by there for a while before heading home.

On our last full day there Justin didn’t have to be at the conference until 3:15 pm so we finally had a chance to sleep in! We kept hearing on the news and our iPhone weather app that there was a storm coming…all day the clouds were building and building. We left the house to grab a late lunch before Justin had to be at the conference. When we left the wind was howling and as we drove away big fat rain drops slowly started coming down. We stopped at a sandwich place and I sat out on the patio with the dog while Justin went inside to order food. In a matter of two minutes the sky opened and the rain came pouring down like I’ve never seen it before. There was lightning and really really loud thunder, Apollo did not like it one bit, he was in my lap whimpering and shivering. So we ran back to the car in the flooded parking lot and ate lunch in the car. It then took us an hour to get to Caesar’s Palace and an hour and a half for me to get back to the house. There was so much flooding, accidents and debris on the freeways. And it all happened so fast, it gave me a new appreciation for the term “flash flood.” We both grew up in the desert and remember all the desert thunderstorms we loved growing up. I still do love them, but not when I have to drive in them! By the time I had to go back and pick up Justin the storm had passed but there was still flooding and debris on the roads. We picked up Italian food for dinner and layed low at the house watching movies. The following day we packed up and drove back to San Diego. It was a fun, relaxing, exhausting and exciting trip all in one.

To end this post here’s my 22 week belly 🙂

Oregon

As promised, here are the highlights of our trip to Oregon.

We wanted to explore other areas of Oregon outside of my parents ranch, so we all piled in the truck and drove west to the coast.  Our first stop was Newport, OR.  It is a small fishing town with a ‘Main Street’ filled with shops, restaurants, art galleries and other small businesses.

After parking we found a brewery and had lunch.  Then we walked up and down main street peeking in the shops and art galleries.  We heard a commotion out on one of the docks so we went to see what was going on.

Seals.

We got an ice cream cone and made our way back to the truck and we found this in one of the shop doorways.

I have a love affair with labs, one day we will have one (or two).

We took a different way home and drove south a bit along the coast to Waldport and stopped at the beach.

Southern CA (namely San Diego!) has some of the most beautiful beaches, but Oregon’s coastline is not too shabby either.

Then heading east back to the ranch we really went on an adventure.  We ended up on a 1.5 lane, windy road through the country.  There was NOTHING around except lots and lots of trees and a river, it was a beautiful drive and a bit longer than we expected.

The next day, we did a round up!  The cows needed to be moved to a different field and doctored up as well.  So my parents, Justin and their neighbor Bob got on the 4 horses and I was on the mini cart/mule thingy…and got all the cattle into a corral from the field.

Then a few at a time went through the shoot where they were treated with a dewormer then out into another corral.

When they were all done, we all got back on the horses, mini cart/mule thingy and paraded the cows down the driveway to the field in front of the house.

Once the cows were safely in the field, we rode around on the horses for a bit.

View of the ranch.

There was a bit of a heat wave while we were up there. It got up to 90 degrees and it was too hot to spend much time outside so we spent the next day being lazy.  We read books, played games, napped, baked cookies and just hung out around the ranch.

The following day my dad and Justin went target shooting and my mom and I picked up her friend Vickie and we went to the U of O campus.

They have some beautiful buildings on campus that are filled with museums, the particular one we were going to was about the women of the west.

We wandered around for a while and then drove to a baby store that my mom had been wanting to go to.  I found a cute knit cap for baby boy 🙂  After some lunch we headed to the mall and went shopping for maternity clothes!  We all met up back at the ranch and went to dinner at the Dexter Lake Club.

If you’ve seen the movie Animal House, this is where they filmed the bar scene…

We had some of the best burgers (aside from In N Out) for dinner.  It was open mic night and their regular band started things off, then there were a variety of performers on the stage.  The last band we heard was a bit of a surprise since it was not what we were expecting at a redneck hole in the wall.  It was a pastor, his wife and their two daughters.  They sang worship songs (with a bit of a spin on some) and were quite a hit.

On our last full day there we had some fun doing a little photo shoot.  My parents got a new big tractor for them and a little tractor bike for baby boy.  So we rounded up all three tractors and had some fun.

Even Missy & Cody got in on the fun

All in all it was a fun trip.  It was nice to spend time with my parents and be out in the country with the animals.  We ate lots of good food and played rematch after rematch of the marble game. The future summers will be even more fun with baby boy to play around the ranch with!