Saturday, May 30, 2009

Busy Saturday

It is such a beautiful summer day outside!  Yay for no rain!!!!  My neighbor Andrea and I each had a garage sale this morning and did really well.  I had a couple of friends from work stop by and I met a fellow blogger, Anna, that I've become friends with through blogging!  Anna brought her adorable Scottie, Sadie over to meet Spencer and I.  We loved them both and look forward to seeing them again soon!

After I cleaned up and loaded the few things I didn't sell in my mom's car, I headed over to Holcomb's to buy some impatiens to plant in my planters in the driveway.  While I was there I decided to attempt to grow tomatoes this year.  I have no idea how that will turn out!  I do NOT have a green thumb by any imagination!  Ha!  If they turn out well, I may just plant a garden next year!  Ha!

Tonight we are grilling out with our neighbors; Jonathan and Andrea, and Nate and Jamie.  It should be a lot of fun.  Now, I am headed to the store to get baked beans, lunch for tomorrow on the lake, and take a shower.  Have a great rest of the weekend!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Spencer!

Today is this adorable little guy's 4th birthday!!!!  

He came to live with us on Sunday, September 18, 2005.  We love him so much!  Honestly, probably too much!  Ha!   This is a picture of us the day after we adopted him.  He was almost 4 months old and so tiny!!!!

I also just HAD to show you this one, it is my very most favorite from that weekend!  He just looks so cute in his bed!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY!  Mommy and Daddy love you! 
(and yes, we know we have a problem! Ha!)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What a Difference A Year Makes

One year ago last Sunday, on May 24, 2008, this is what happened at our house!  It was the best day of our lives.  

I will never forget how happy and thankful I was that day that after *gasp* only 6 months we were pregnant.   Little did we know it would be the beginning of the most difficult year we've been through together, that this was just the beginning of our journey.  We have grown so much over the past year of heartache and despair.  There has also been times of joy, but it seems they have all been few and far between.  It seems like everytime we pick back up, something knocks us back down, but everytime we've become stronger than before.  I have a friend that has told me many, many, many times when I would get down that what doesn't kill us will make us stronger.  He was right, I am much stronger now than I was then.

I pray everyday that I can experience another day like that one soon (third times the charm, right?).  However, after all we've been through, I have a hard time believing that everything will be ok then.  I also get sad sometimes when others around me get to announce their pregnancy early or start planning everything in their first trimester.  I don't have the luxury of that innocence anymore and that makes me sad.  I miss the way I felt on May 24, 2008.  I had such hope and not a doubt in the world that I would have a baby around February 4, 2009.  

Well, much has changed over the last year, and most notably is the change in me.  I am no longer as positive and happy as I used to be (just ask my close friends and a few coworkers, they'll be the first to tell you), I live in a constant fear of storms and lightning, and most importantly and not as negative, I have become closer to God.  A lot of people have asked me how I can still have such a strong faith after all that Michael and I have been through over the past 12 months.  I honestly don't know, other than I know we have a lot of people praying for us and I think it is all part of God's plan that I have some suffering in order to strengthen my relationship with Him.  

With that said, most days I have a confidence that things will be ok, one day we will have a biological child of our own (not that there is ANYTHING wrong with adoption, it is just not for us at this time).  However, there are still days when out of nowhere I start to feel sad and wish for the way I was prior to last June when it all started to come crashing in around me.  On days like that I always remember the words to this song (and it took on a whole new meaning after our lightning strike and fire).

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that 
I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings 
You glory And I know there'll 
be days When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to 
praise You Jesus, bring the rain

I am yours regardless of the clouds that may 
loom above because you are much greater than 
my pain you who made a way for me suffering 
your destiny so tell me whats a little rain

Monday, May 25, 2009

Four Day Weekend Recap!

This has been a great weekend!  First, I want to thank all of you for your prayers for our pastor.  He is doing much better and will be returning home tonight!  You can get updates here.  Saturday, my mom and I did some shopping and I did the dreaded annual purchase of a bathing suit.  Then Michael and I made a homemade pizza and just hung out at home.  Yesterday, we went to the lake!  Yay for the sun that FINALLY came out around 3!!!!  This is a picture I got with my phone (hence the crappy quality!). 

Michael's family all came out and it was a great day!  After they left we stayed out until about 6:30 then headed back to the marina for dinner and drinks where we ran into two of Michael's best friends.  It was a great day and we even got a little sun!!!!

Today Michael had to work  :-(  but my mom, aunt, cousin, and I took my Nana to Cracker Barrel for lunch for her 79th Birthday (which is actually tomorrow).  Unfortunately, I forgot my camera.  :-(

Back to work tomorrow, booo!  It will be a busy couple of days, then I get a little break to get caught up on paperwork and prepare for next week.  I am also looking into buying a CHI flat iron.  Any suggestions where to get one CHEAP and is it REALLY worth the big money?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Quiz Time! Being A Nurse

I did this quiz on Facebook awhile back, but someone tagged me to do it again, so I thought I would do it on here this time.

1) Ever ran a code? 
sadly, I had to run a few when I worked in the hospital. Although, I have to say, quite a few of those turned out ok! :-)

2) Where did you go to nursing school?
UT- Chattanooga

3) Fight with a doctor? Over what? 
I work for two trauma surgeons, what do you think? :-)

4) Fight with a patient? Over what? 
it usually involves a patient wanting pain meds even though they 1. don't have a problem that requires main meds at that point, or 2. they are getting them for more than one source and we've found out about it.

5) Ever get attached to a patient? 
not to the point that I became friends or it was more than a professional relationship, but I have a patient right now that I have seen for almost 3 years that both myself and the dr are attached to.

6) What does code brown mean to you? 
poop! and lots of it!

7) Most memorable moment with a patient was when...
I've had a lot over the last 6 years

8) Favorite doctor?
the two I work for now, Dr. Barker and Dr. Smith. I love them both! They are great to work with and take good care of me, what more could I ask for?

9) Least favorite doctor? 
a cardiologist I used to work with in the unit.

10) How many places have you worked as a nurse? 
2 as a nurse and 1 place as a tech

11) Preferred area? L&D, Postpartum, Med Surg., Private practice..WHY? 
Where I am now. I LOVE my job! Really, I couldn't work for a better place!

12) You ideal job would be...
work at my job now just 2-3 days a week

13) Least favorite procedure to perform? 
incision and drainage of a nasty abscess, yes, it can be as disgusting as it sounds!

14) Anything turn your stomach? 
see #13, although there has only been one that did that and it bothered the surgeon too (that NEVER happens, so it was pretty funny)! :-)

15) Discuss nasty stuff at the table when eating? 
of course, I am a nurse, remember!

16) Ever gross out your friends, family or significant other with stories from work? 
yeah, same as #15

17) Should nurses be paid more? 

18) Funniest moment as a nurse? 
too many to remember 

19) Have you ever had a crush on a doctor? 

20) If you knew all of this before you became a nurse would you have still went to nursing school? 
Yes, i love being a nurse

Where I Live...Living Room, Better Late Than Never!

To continue on with my catch up game...the better late than never, living room!  When we were doing our renovation, this was Michael's baby.  He knew EXACTLY what color, theme, hardwood, EVERYTHING, that he wanted.  I pretty much let him have it.  It is the room we spend 90% of our time in.  As you will see it is almost one large room with the foyer and kitchen, so it is very open (which is what sold the house for us).  

As with every room, here is a before and day the fire pic...

December 10, 2008

After everything was moved out, but not yet torn out

And the AFTER...

Welcome to our home!  This is the view from the foyer

The view of the living room from the kitchen

Living Room from the garage entrance to the house

Our favorite feature of the house, the open floorplan.  Here you can see how the living room, foyer, kitchen, and dining room all flow in one room.  We LOVE it!

This is our rug that I found at Lowe's right after we moved in...the first time.  It made had a lot of smoke and water damage, but the insurance people got it clean and it looks great in the green room with the dark hardwoods.  I LOVE how it brought the colors together!

This is our new ceiling fan.  I just wanted to show it because it is a little different.

The centerpiece to our living room is definitely the corner fireplace.

The foyer

This is my curio cabinet FULL of Precious Moments.  The cabinet was my high school graduation gift from my parents.

I have our wedding invitation and our favorite portrait framed in the foyer.  This is the same picture I am having remade into a 16x20!

Hope you enjoyed the tour of our living room!  Please come back soon and spend a night in the guest room!  I am hoping to have it posted later today!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Four Day Weekend and URGENT PRAYER REQUEST!!!!

Have I mentioned how much I love my job?!  I was able to take today as a vacation day and have a FOUR day weekend!!!!  WOOHOO!  I had so much to do and I was able to get it all done in one day and then have a fun, relaxing weekend from here on out.

First, I had my hair CUT last night.  Here is a before pic from Easter with my cousin (I am thinking that shirt looks too cute against my bright green wall! Ha!)
And then last night (it had been a LONG day, excuse the no makeup look! Ha) after a 4 inch cut and a lot more blonde highlights for summer!

Then today, I got up early, started some laundry, did some dishes and then told Spencer it was time for a ride!  I just thought this was PRECIOUS, so I had to take a pic...

This is what he does when you put him on his leash and he knows he is going for ride.  Just sits there until you open the door!  PRECIOUS!  If it is just me and him, he can be 99% sure he is going to the groomers.  Maybe this is why he was so excited...
My little shaggy, dirty dog!  I'm sure he feels better now...
On my way back from taking him, my work called and a patient's family brought by box of pastries from the best bakery in downtown to thank me for helping them.  I am so touched when things like that happen!!!!  Most patients don't take the time to even say thank you, so it is extra special when one does something for you! Since I wasn't going to be back to work until Tuesday, I had to pick them up.  So, I took a little detour and ran by the office.  I finally made it back home and did some major cleaning.  My house was DESPERATE for a good, deep clean!

I feel so accomplished today.  House is clean, laundry is all washed and dry (although I guess I should hang it up!), and Spencer is ready for summer!

And now for an URGENT PRAYER REQUEST...Just found out that our pastor is at my hospital with major burns to his lower extremities.  I'm sure one of my surgeons are taking care of him.  I am trying to get details, but what I do know is that he was burning some brush and it got out of control and in the process of trying to control it, got 2nd degree burns.  Please pray for him and his family.  It will be a LONG, PAINFUL road back.

Where I Live Friday...Our Dining Room

Ok, so I've been a total slacker over the past three weeks and not posted a Where I Live post since the kitchens!  I finally had some time to get caught up and here is my dining room post.  I will work on my living room and guest room this weekend.  

I LOVE my dining room.  As you will see with the living room post, our floorplan is VERY open.  It is the reason we purchased the house, it was a great house to entertain in!  I was very hung up on having a formal dining room (which we don't), but now I love having just one big open room.  It is where we host many dinner parties, holidays, and special occasions. 

Keeping with the original theme of my blog, to update our renovation following our house fire, I am post a few BEFORE pics.

My dining room BEFORE December 10, 2008.

I chose to put this picture in so you can see my MIA bridal portrait.  Thanks for all of your help selecting the replacement.  I am going in the morning to order it!

This is my dining room on December 10, 2008.  The AWESOME Catoosa Co Fire Dept covered all of my furniture (I give them all the credit to the fact that my beloved dining room suite survived with just a couple scratches!  They were amazing!!!!!)  There was water, sheetrock, and insulation EVERYWHERE!  You might also notice that I was able to salvage my favorite light fixture!

And now...THE AFTER...

This is the NOW.  My dining room furniture is the only furniture we have purchased since we bought our house and it is EXACTLY what I had in mind.  Clean, crisp, and contemporary, but not too casual.

This is my dining room from the kitchen/living room bar area.  When I chose my milk chocolate paint it was with the thought of my red valences!  I LOVE red and brown together and I knew it would look awesome!  My next major purchase (when we actually have some extra money again!) will be a rug for under the table.

My china cabinet is my very most favorite piece of furniture that I own.  I LOVE the way my china and crystal look on display in it.

I have never been one to leave placemats on my table if I was not using them, but my aunt gave me these Vera Bradley for my birthday and I loved them too much to put them away!  I also LOVE my lemons that I have as my centerpiece.  Another holdover from before.

I found this canvas at Steinmart last year.  It also survived the water and ceilings crashing in around it.  I LOVE how it picks up the brown in the walls!

I thought it would be fun and different to show you some of my favorite pieces out of my china cabinet.  Since I've already confessed my love for glassware and shown you my formal china and crystal, here are my favorite glassware pieces...

My miracle china!  Funny story time!  When I set out my Christmas decorations (10 days before the fire) I decided that I would place my Christmas china on the table and thought, seriously, what was the worst that could happen, Spencer doesn't get near the table and we don't have kids!  Ha!  Well, a few weeks went by and I was looking at pics of my Christmas decorations and realized they were on my table...that the ceiling fell on!  Since the insurance company packed our house, I didn't know if they made it our not.  When I unpacked, I had all 12 in perfect condition!  So, they are my miracle china!  Ha!

My Favorite Glass Bow, I love it!  It is almost the same pattern as my crystal and It makes a beautiful centerpiece or even a punch bowl!

I received this vase as a shower gift and it looks awesome as 
the centerpiece of my china cabinet

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Here Comes The Sun

It has been so dreary and rainy for about a month here.  Apparently TN/NW GA didn't get the memo that it is supposed to be April showers, May flowers.  Instead it has been steady May Showers.  Well, since Monday we've had beautiful late spring weather!!!!!!!!  I am hoping for at least a pretty day Sunday so we can get the boat out and soak up some sun!  It always makes me happy to get some sun and I know I need it.  I am looking a little pasty!  Ha!

Today has been a good day.  Other than the fact I am STILL not sleeping well (if you have any suggestions, PLEASE help a sister out!) and decided to go ahead and get up at 5:45 this morning and get to work around 7:15, I've had a good day.  Today is one of my favorite days of the year at work.  All of the surgeons go to a meeting away from the office and we usually have a mandatory meeting in the morning then we are free to either work or leave for the day.  I chose to work so that I could take off on Friday and have a 4 day weekend!  I got my office and some of the patient rooms that I use cleaned and stocked, and my paperwork caught up, so I still left at 3:00.  

However, I found out around noon that Michael was at home not feeling so well.  Michael has a bad back and we think doing some yardwork Monday night might have caused him to have some back/neck pain today.  We got him some medicine and now he is sleeping and we are hoping he'll be able to get  back to work tomorrow.

I have my monthly hair appointment tomorrow!!!!  I am thinking about cutting about 2-3 inches off my hair for summer.  It grows VERY fast and it is getting a little out of control.  I am also going to go even lighter on my highlights!  I am feeling the need to be a little more blonde for summer!  Ha!  Friday I am planning on taking off from work to clean house, take Spencer to the groomer, and do laundry.  Michael's family is coming in for the weekend, so I'll have to work hard to get everything done on time.  

Hope everyone is having a good week and I'll be back tomorrow night or Friday to let you know what I did with my hair!  Ha!  

PS: I have not forgotten the Where You Live Friday posts.  I had a couple emails both weeks I did not participate asking to see more of my renovated house.  I just haven't had a chance to take any pictures, but I PROMISE, I will take some this weekend and post them soon!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Second Chance

Have you ever wanted to go back and have reprints of pictures that meant a lot to you, but maybe didn't get the first time?  Well, I have been given that opportunity and I am in need of some opinions, please.  When we got married I got a bridal portrait to hang in my house, which was hanging in my dining room at the time of our fire.  When we moved back in, it is no where to be found.  Not sure if it was damaged and trashed by the people that came in and cleaned or just lost, but now it is time to replace it.  In the four years, almost five, since I selected my portrait, I have changed my mind on exactly what I want hanging in my house.  I had the traditional stairway, turned around, bridal pose before, but now I am wanting something a little more artsy and less traditional.  I went to my parents today to look at my digital proofs with my mom and we have narrowed it down to a few.  So, now I need the help of my blog friends to help me chose the final one.  

These are the raw proofs that have not been edited, so please excuse the quality.  It will be a 16x20 canvas.  They are in order of my favorites.






I also found a few wedding pictures that would work for the same purpose on my computer.  I need to look at my proof book and make sure there aren't any others I might like better.




So, please leave me a comment and let me know which one you like best!  Remember, I am going for a less traditional, not so posed, artsy picture.

P.S.: I also wanted to show you the other picture I am having made into a 16x20.  We had another traditional, side by side, look at the camera, in the church picture of us both before and now I am ready for something more artsy with this one too.  So, I decided that while I was at it, might as well blow up my favorite to a 16x20...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wild and Crazy Wednesday

Just wanted to check in with some randomness today.

That is the best way to describe my week.  It has been WILD!  I thought it may be like that, but as of right now I have seen 27 patients already this week (that is a lot for my two doctors this early in the week) and we have a full office of 14 tomorrow!  Pray for me!  Ha!  

I am so tired.  The crazy afternoons of seeing anywhere from 8-12 patients, finishing around 5, getting back to my office and returning calls, leaving around 5:30-6 and then coming home and cooking dinner, etc are wearing me out!  I was so tired last night I couldn't even sleep.  I think I may have to have a date with my friend ambien tonight.  

Also, who is watching all the great TV this week?  Monday was DWTS (I am still pulling for Melissa, there is no stopping a scorned woman, you know!), last night was Real Housewives of New York Reunion (gotta go watch that now on the DVR!), tonight I don't really have anything, so I'll probably watch the rerun of Real Housewives of New Jersey, and tomorrow night is Grey's Anatomy season finale.  I am thinking that if they kill of Izzie I may be done with the show.  Then, I will turn my focus on the season finale of Desperate Housewives.  I am getting a little anxious about little MJ on that one! (yes, I know, I talk about these people like I know them!!!)  What are you watching this week?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Well, I made it.  After a HUGE breakdown late last night, I have done great today.  No tears, although there was a brief moment I thought there might be at Outback at lunch and later in the day while my family was here.  I hope everyone had a good day too!

We had lunch with Michael's Mamaw and then went to the cemetery where his Mother and Grandmother are buried.  It is always hard for Michael to go there and it puts my situation in perspective for me.  I know it is hard to not be a mother when you want to be, but at least I have my Mom and Nana.  I know they are watching us and are so proud of Michael.  

We had my parents and Nana over for dinner.  Michael grilled potatoes, chicken, and veggies.  I want to thank my mom and Nana for everything they have done for me and for being the very best there is.  I love you both more than anything and I am so blessed to have you both.  I hope you had a great day and enjoyed your dinner at our house.  Hopefully next year we'll have a cute little baby to love as well!

I hope all of you celebrating Mother's Day for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 10th, etc time had a FABULOUS day!  I love you all and you've all taught me so much about how to be a great mom one day!

I wanted to leave this week's Mother's Day for the Hopeful with this scripture that is my theme and a song that I feel goes with it.  

“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 a HOPE and a FUTURE.” Jeremiah 29:11 

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Wait

Today is one of the days I knew would come this week.  I am having a hard time knowing that so many of my friends are celebrating their first Mother's Day or 2nd, 3rd, etc and again, I am feeling alone.  I know that I am not really alone. I have a supportive husband, wonderful parents who try to understand, and friends that pray for me and are there when I need to talk.  Most days I feel consumed by thoughts of infertility.  Very rarely does an hour go by that there is not some kind of thought about it, rather sad or hopeful.  This afternoon has been one where rarely did I think of anything other than the fact I am not a mother on Mother's Day...again.

When I was going through my last miscarriage I bought a book called "Hannah's Hope".  It is a wonderful book that I want to encourage all of you that struggle with infertility or miscarriage or support someone with infertility or miscarriage, to read.  In that book I found a poem that I have come to rely on during days like today.  I posted it back in the winter, but I think it is needed today.


Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate...
and the Master so gently said,"Wait."

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!"
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

My future and all to which I relate
hangs in the balance and you tell me to Wait?
"I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign.
Or even a 'no,' to which I'll resign.

You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply.

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
as my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
and grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting...for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine...
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
you'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
when darkness and silence are all you can see.

You'd never experience the fullness of love
when the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,
the faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

You'd never know should your pain quickly flee,
what it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
but oh, the loss if I lost what I'm doing in you.

So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
that the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still "WAIT".

- Russell Kelfer

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

I wonder how many times my Nana told me when I was little, "good things come to those who wait?"  She loved to tell me that when she would lecture me on my patience (which by the way, isn't her best attribute either!).  That definitely can be said for infertility and TTC.  While it seems like we are waiting FOREVER, we are just waiting on God's perfect timing.  I found this scripture right after my first loss and it has gotten me through some rough days.

“But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." Habakkuk 2:3

Is that not the truth?!  That is what is so hard, but we have to keep in mind.  It may seem years late for us, but it is perfect in God's timing.  So, until then, try to remember this also:

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my HOPE. Psalms 130:5

The theme for today's post came to me on the way home from one of the craziest days I've had at work in a long time.  I prayed that God would give me the energy to write a post and tell me what to write about.  Then as I flipped through the channels on Sirius, I came to this song on The Message.  It is a song that makes me feel better every time I hear it and it just fit perfect with struggling to have hope, patience, and being prayerful.

I hate to interrupt this post with this, but I am so excited, after all the years I've been addicted to reality TV, I actually know someone that will be on a reality show tonight! Ha!  Haven Howell that I went to high school with will be on The Fashion Show tonight on Bravo!  I will be watching this weekend on the DVR!  Good luck Haven!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Song Says It All and Happy Nurses Day!

First, I want to thank all of you who have left comments or sent emails over the past couple of days since I started my Mother's Day for the Hopeful (I thought that was a cute thing to call my theme, don't you! Ha!) blogs.  I am going to try to write you back soon, but it may be this weekend before I find the time.  

Number 2.  I wanted to give you an update on my kidney stone.  Went to the new urologist today and it went ok.  Still no real answers, but it appears that I have had a stone over the past couple of weeks, whether it is still there or not, not sure.  I was sent for a lot of bloodwork and I go back in 3 weeks for a follow up.  I am feeling much better.  Please continue to pray for me that this thing either passes or stops hurting!  Oh, and I almost forgot, I have lost a total of 17 pounds since February 16!!!!!!!!!

Number 3.  I want to say HAPPY NURSES DAY to all of my nurse friends out there!  I got to have lunch at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club today for Nurses Day, which was very nice and I am so thankful to Dr. Rowe for taking us there!

Now, back to the theme of the week.  Mother's Day for the Hopeful!  Kelly posted this song a couple of weeks ago and back when she was TTC and I think it says it all.  I think I have watched it about a thousand times in the past 8 or 9 months!  Get your Kleenexes out girls, it is a tear jerker!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

We Are Hopeful, Patient, and Prayerful

There is one thing that I have found in my journey toward being a Mother, you've got to remember to praise God for the hard times as well as the happy times.  I have been so blessed to have seen the words "PREGNANT" on my pregnancy test twice.  I will never forget how thankful I was to see it the first time and I don't know that I've ever felt so thankful than I was the second.  Of course, neither of those turned out like I had hoped, but I know God has another plan for me.  

When my thankfulness and happiness changed to heartbreak and despair both times, I also praised God.  I actually think I had more of a peace and a feeling of praise the second time.  I am not sure if it was the difference that seven months of growing with God from the first miscarriage to the second or if it was the new sense of priority that I developed after the fire, or both, but I felt an overwhelming peace in the OB office that day.  I became so full of praise that I had accomplished the one hurdle many couples face, of not being able to get pregnant, not only once, but twice. (I know that there are many of you out there that have not been able to get pregnant and I pray that you will get to experience that joy SOON!)  My OB, whom I love so much, keeps reminding me of that fact and telling me not to lose HOPE.  How awesome is it that my OB tells me to have HOPE?! 

I have had to stop so many times and remember that I need to have HOPE and patience, and pray for help from God to have HOPE and patience.  This is hard for me more times than not, but when I start to get down and I start to lose my HOPE, I have to remember Romans 12:12, "Be joyful in hope, patient in trouble, and persistent in prayer."  I have had to lean on that one A LOT over the past few months!  What more do we need to remember about TTC other than to be joyful, hopeful, patient, and prayerful?  That pretty much sums it up for me.

I have always been someone that is very optimistic and hopeful (almost too much most of the time!).  However, patience is NOT my thing!  Ha!  The past eighteen months has taught me so much, and I feel that God is above all trying to teach my patience and to have more faith in Him.  He knows what he is doing and I think it is to teach me to lean on Him and have at least a little patience.  I have also been guilty of not being the most prayerful person.  I am not proud of that, but I am doing so much better.  I think this verse is almost speaking directly to me.  God wants to make sure that I am joyful in my hope, patient in my troubles, and persistent in prayer.  

Here is a song that speaks to me on some many levels.  It is not exactly on hope, patience, or prayer, but I heard it on the way home and just had to post it tonight!  I called it my theme song last fall and I guess it still is!  (you'll see this week that Natalie Grant's music gives me so much encouragement) 

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mother's Day Week

This week is going to have it's ups and downs for me.  I remember last year thinking that it would be the last time I would spend Mother's Day without being a mother.  It is hard to believe that so much has happened to us in our journey to be parents in just a year and I am hoping that it will be true this year.  I have been so blessed to have the best mother and Grandmother in the world and I want so much to share that with a child of my own.  Because I have both my Mom and Nana, I am looking forward to spending Mother's Day with them, but I know that at the same time my heart will hurt even more than normal.  It is the one day that recognizes the one thing I want to be most in the world and another day that it will feel like everyone ignores my pain and despair.

So, what am I going to do about it?  I am going to do my very best (which might not be much) to try to encourage those of us on this journey to being a Mother this week.  I am going to post each day how I am feeling (whether it be positive or negative) and also a poem, scripture or song that encourages me in hopes that it will help you to also have HOPE on Mother's Day! Remember, we MUST HAVE HOPE!  I hope this will help us all get through Mother's Day with HOPE that we will have our first one next year!

I read this poem a lot.  It gives me so much HOPE and says so much about how I feel sometimes.  There are so many nights that I wake up and the first thought I have is about infertility.  I also spend a lot of time crying and praying during my private time that no one knows about or sees.  The line that states "my dream will be crying for me" is my favorite line because I KNOW I will remember it and cry tears of happiness over it when I am feeding a baby at 3 am!  I plan to do a LOT of praising God and giving thanks at 3 am!!!!

I know a lot of you also feel the very same way I do.  I hope if you have not seen this poem that it will touch you as much as it has me since I found it on another blog last summer.  
(I also do not want to hurt the feelings of those who may read my blog that have children or those of you who may not have suffered from infertility.  You are all WONDERFUL mothers that love your children SO much!  I have learned so much by watching your example and I can only hope to be a mother like you one day!)

There are women who become mothers without effort, 
without thought, 
without patience or loss,
and though they are good mothers and love their children,
I know that I will be better.

I will be better not because of
 genetics or money or because I have read more books, 
but because I have struggled and toiled for this child.

I have longed and waited.
I have cried and prayed.
I have endured and planned over and over again.

Like most things in life, 
the people who truly have appreciation 
are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.

I will notice everything about my child.
I will take time to watch my child sleep,
explore, and discover.
I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold, and feed him
 and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream.  
My dream will be crying for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense; 
that God has given me this insight, 
this special vision with which I will look upon my child.

Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to 
or a child that God leads me to, 
I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. 
I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend, and sister because I have known pain.

I know disillusionment, as I have been betrayed by my own body. 
I have been tried by fire and hell that many never face, 
yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed.
I have succeeded.
I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, 
I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. 
I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.
I listen.  
And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely.

I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, 
of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth when life is beyond hard.

I have learned a compassion that only comes by walking in those shoes.
 I have learned to appreciate life.

Yes, I will be a wonderful mother.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Where I Live Friday...A Few Days Late

Thank you for stopping by to have a cup of coffee in my kitchen!  Our kitchen has always been Michael and I most favorite room in the house.  We spent the most time selecting our colors and countertops for our kitchen in the rebuild because it is definitely a room we love spending time in!

Since most of you know that our blog was started due to our fire, I thought that as we did the tour of homes, I would show a before picture of what each room looked like before the fire!  So, to start things off, this is our before photo...

After from the hallway...

From the Living Room...

The dining room from the kitchen...

My most favorite piece of furniture I own.  My china cabinet!

One of the qualities I inherited from my Nana is a love of glassware and china!  When we got married, I think I enjoyed choosing my china and everyday dishes more than anything!  I have Noritake Chandon Platinum for my fine china (which, yes, I actually use on holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries) with Noritake Rockford crystal.  For everyday, I have Pfaltzgraft Sphere dishes and two different sets of glasses.  One for everyday and one for guests!

Every good cook (which I do not claim to be, but I am working on  becoming one!) has to have a favorite appliance.  This is mine!  I LOVE my red mixer!  I use it for everything, from mashed potatoes to cakes.  Thanks mom and dad, I am getting plenty of use out of it!  :-)

Since so many of you were patient and gave me great advice when it came to the great canister debate 2009, here is the final selection in my kitchen!  They look fabulous!

We also have this cute little wine cabinet that took a little hit from the fire, but still looks cute.  It has a lot of scratches and leans to the back, but I still love it!  

This concludes the tour of our kitchen.  Please come back soon when the red valances are hung and all the pictures are placed!