Friday, May 20, 2016

Same Journey, Different Path

I find it strange that there are parts of this journey that I have no problems sharing yet  it terrifies me to openly share other parts.

I really believe it is Satan trying to keep me from sharing.  

Sharing your story may not be for everyone.  It's a very personal thing.

But it helps me.  It helps me to know others are praying for us and with us.

It helps me to read the stories of others, to know that I'm not alone.

One of the biggest lies Satan tells me is that I'm alone in this journey.

I refuse to believe that and blogging about this journey is one of the many ways I fight off this lie.

All that to say that Andrew and I have made a decision as to our next step in this journey and I'm struggling to share it.

I guess I worry about criticism from others.

Thankfully there hasn't been any of that yet.

It was a hard decision for me.  It feels like a selfish decision.  I have felt like it was not acceptable for me to make this decision.

But after many prayers, lots of conversations, tears (on my part), and several double stuffed oreos (again on my part - they make me feel better), we have reached a decision.

A decision that we feel good about.

In my last post, I shared that we had been matched with a sibling group of three.

We have decided not to pursue adoption of them.

They need more than Andrew and I feel like we can give them.

It's a hard decision.  They are cute as can be and need a safe, loving home.

It's hard to say no to that.  

But we feel it would not be fair to these kids for us to bring them into our home, knowing we cannot provide for them all that they need.

With that decision, we have also decided to take a new path in this journey.

We have an appointment next month at Arkansas Fertility.  

We hope to begin IUI (intra-uterine insemination).

If you've been around for awhile, you may remember that we had lots of testing done two years ago and were diagnosed with unexplained infertility.

The process of IUI is fairly simple compared to other treatments.

Basically I will go on medication to make sure that I ovulate and I will also give myself a shot (it's just one, it's just one little shot) to time ovulation.

They will take a sample from Andrew, wash it (so weird) and insert it into me, bypassing my cervix.

It's all very strange and scientific.

Not at all how I thought this whole baby making thing would go.  

I am both very excited and very scared about this whole process.

I'm trying to find faith and believe this will work, yet feeling very pessimistic.

When you go five years without seeing a positive its hard to think  you will ever see one.

I've heard success stories - people getting pregnant with their first round of IUI.

I've heard stories of people who have done four or five rounds of IUI and still haven't gotten pregnant.

I don't know which category we will fall in, but I do know God is with us and he will walk us through this next part of our journey.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Caught in the Middle of Fear and Hope

Tomorrow Andrew and I have a meeting with three DHS employees.

We have been matched with a sibling group of three.

The phone call came last Monday morning.

I was in my coworker's classroom visiting during our planning period.  The woman on the phone introduced herself - we shall call her Peggy.  Peggy began to tell me her supervisor, Wendy (not her real name) had matched us with a sibling group of three.  

My mind began to wonder why I was receiving a phone call about a match that happened almost a year ago, a match that we chose not to pursue.

I thought she was talking about a previous match because I could not believe that Wendy had recently matched us with a sibling group.  After all we have not had the best working relationship with Wendy.  We had some rough encounters with her early in our journey and up until this phone call I really believed Wendy was preventing us from adopting from foster care.

I was in awe that Wendy had actually matched us with a sibling group.

I guess that look was written all over my face because my coworker followed me out of her room to ask if I was okay.  

Still on the phone, I mouthed it's about babies.

As soon as I hung up with Peggy I sent Andrew a text.  

I just knew he would say no way are we doing this.

Instead he told me to set up a meeting with them.

More shock.

I spent the next few days trying to figure out my feelings.

I shared with our family and a few close friends about the match.  I needed prayers for wisdom and clarity and peace, but I also didn't want to be flooded with opinions.

I needed to figure out where I stood.

And where I stood was smack dab in the middle of fear.

Fear of talking to Andrew about it.  Fear of him saying yes to these children and at the same time fear of him saying no.

Fear of really exploring my feelings.

Fear of falling in love with these children only to have my heart broken again.

Fear of putting up a wall and never falling in love with these children.

Fear of the possibility of having hope.

Fear of parenthood.  

Somewhere amidst prayers I began to feel hope.

I find myself planning for these babies to join our family.

 I'm caught in the middle of fear and hope.  

Though the fear is still much larger than the hope.

I don't know what will come of tomorrow's meeting or even if anything will come of it.  

I don't even know what I want to come from this meeting.

What I do know is that the prayers of our family and friends have carried us through every step of this journey and I trust they will carry us through tomorrow and any upcoming decisions.

What I do know is the truth of Joshua 1:9, the Lord my God will be with me wherever I go.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Memphis in May

Awhile back I woke up to a text message from my husband.

That actually happens more often than you would think.

He is a night owl and is often up much later than me.

So sometimes after I'm long asleep he will send me a text.  Most of the time they are links to something he has found that he wants to buy or do.

Anyway, a couple of months ago I woke up to a text message saying I need to plan to take a personal day because we were going to Memphis in May.

After looking at the line up, I had mixed emotions.

I was super pumped to see a few certain performers, but I do not do well with crowds.

As we got closer to this past weekend it began to look like we were going to have to cancel our plans.

Andrew had to go out of town for work.

He ended up coming home early and we were able to go to Memphis for the weekend.

We left right after work Friday and headed to the Beale Street Musical Festival.

We made it just in time to grab some yummy food truck food and watch the first show of the weekend.

Friday night we saw Gin Blossoms, Grace Potter, and Weezer.

Saturday morning we slept in and were pretty lazy all day.

We were preparing for another late night of concerts..

John Mayall, Better Than Ezra, Barenaked Ladies, and my personal favorite of the weekend...Meghan Trainor.

In between shows we left the park to grab some dinner.

Gus's Fried Chicken....This is a MUST if you are in Memphis!!

Sunday we saw Blackberry Smoke (I was not a fan), Paul Simon, and Beck. 

There was also more good food on Sunday.

Central BBQ...

Andrew was excited to share a slab of ribs with me.  

It was a first for our relationship. :)

When in Memphis...

It was such a fun weekend.  Lots of good music and delicious food.

But the best part of the weekend, the part that I want to always remember...

was the way Andrew loved me and served me.

I want to remember how he thought to bring my duck boots that I didn't pack for myself because he knew we would be walking in a pool of mud all weekend.

I want to remember how he would check to make the sure the porta-potty was clean (or at least as clean as one can be) before I went in.  

I want to remember the way he helped me take my boots off so I could put rain pants on without getting all muddy.

I want to remember the tickle fight that made me laugh until I cried.

I want to remember how he searched for the perfect spot to stand in the crowd - a spot where I would be able to see but wouldn't feel claustrophobic.  

He loves me well.

He is my best friend and I'm loving this season of life where we can just pick up and get away for the weekend.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Life Lately

The blogging rut lives on.

We are just living life lately and it doesn't seem like any of it is blog worthy.

But like I said before I like being able to look back and see what we were doing.

We did have some fun this past weekend.

Seth, Melissa, Mikey, and Ellie spent the night with us Friday.

I love nothing more than seeing these babies first thing in the morning with their sleepy eyes.

We made breakfast and just kind of lazed around the house.

Well the adults lazed around the house.

The babes were all over the place.

They are both walking more and more and it makes this Aunt E so happy and sad all at the same time.

I told Seth and Melissa that I cannot imagine how it feels to be their parents.  I'm just the aunt and it breaks my heart at how quickly they are growing.  It is so fun to watch them learn new things but at the same time I miss these teeny tiny babies.

We spent a little time at Spring Fest checking out the vendors, eating carnival food, and visiting the petting zoo.

It was time for them to go home all too soon.

Andrew left yesterday for two weeks in Florida.

Cue the tears.

I'm not one of those wives who rejoices when the husband is gone.

It's only day two and I already miss him and am ready for him to be home.

He is working just outside of Orlando.

Oh how I wish I could have gone and spent a week in Orlando.

But school is still in session.

So until next time, Mickey Mouse, until next time.

Speaking of school....Only 21 one more days.

I shared on facebook this week that this school year has flown by.

I am so thankful for my coworkers. 

They have helped me get through what has been both the best and worst year of my life.

God knew I needed to be at RB during this season of my life.

I sometimes forget this is only my first year there.

It has felt like home from day one.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Little Q&A

I've been in a little blogging rut lately.  Sometimes I think it would be easier to just give up blogging.  But I love it too much.  

I love being able to go back and relive the fun memories.  

I love being able to go back and see how God has worked in our lives.  

And I love being able to go back and prove my husband wrong about certain memories...not that I have ever done that.  Hehe!

Any way I thought it might fun to break up the rut with a little Q&A so I asked my facebook friends for some questions.  

And I didn't plan this but I ended up with 13 questions and today is the 13th so there's that fun little tidbit.

And now...well now I shall answer them.

1. Favorite restaurant?
Hmm...I love me some Chick-Fil-A.  I'm also a fan of any place where I can get some good pasta.  Chicken alfredo is my favorite and there isn't anywhere where we live that serves great pasta.  If we are somewhere else I want pasta.

2. Do you still scrapbook? 
I really don't.  In fact I just cleaned out all of my supplies and gave a huge box of stuff to my sister-in-law.  I still love to craft and do different projects, but I don't really scrapbook anymore. My blog has become my scrapbook.

3. What is your next porch party?
I think hosting our porch parties might just be my favorite thing about our house.  Andrew and I love entertaining and we love the process of planning a porch party.  The Masters Watch party was a lot of fun...I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that it was different from our Americana parties.

  Of course my favorite porch event was the wedding of two of our favorite people.

So our next porch party will most likely be our third annual Americana party.  We've been discussing ways to change it up this year.  Andrew has some pretty good ideas based on the fact that the summer Olympics occur this year.

4. Boxers or Briefs? there really any other choice?

5. To be or not to be?

Not to be.

6. Beatles or Elvis?

Beatles...though I love me some Elvis.

7. If you could go back and change careers what would you do knowing what you know now?

Ugh!  Asking me this question with 30 days left of school...Let's just say I'm ready for May.
Teaching definitely has its frustrations and sometimes I do beg Andrew to let me be a stay at home wife.  With that being said, I believe God created me to teach.  It's what I've always wanted to do.  There has really never been another option for me.  So knowing what I know now I would still choose to be a teacher.  The rewards far outweigh the frustrations.

8. How was it kissing without braces for the first time?

Oh my goodness!  Let me just tell you. It is such a relief not to have worry about getting stuck every time we kiss.

9. If you could spend one hour with anyone (passed or alive) who would you choose?

My Granddad.  He went home to be with Jesus when I was just a baby so I never really got to know him.  I know that my Mommom talks about him like he was perfect.  I so admire her love for him.

10. What is your favorite, go-to Bible verse?

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord.  "They are plans for good and nor for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

11. How do you find time/ or when do you spend time in God's word?

I'll admit I struggle with this.  I've tried various times of my day.  For awhile I was doing it when I got to school.  My planning period is the first period of the day and I would take a few minutes then, but I found that some days I would be behind or busy and it wouldn't happen.  For the past couple of weeks I've been reading on my phone with the YouVersion app.  This allows me to do it while I'm still in bed before I get up.  Everything is still quiet and still.

12. Do you make all the the cute things you use in your classroom?

Decorating my classroom is probably one of my favorite parts of my job.  I love choosing a theme, looking for ideas, and then putting it all together.  I spend a lot of time in that room so I want it to be a happy place just as much for me as for my students.  I also love crafting.  So yes I do make the majority of the things for my classroom.  It combines two of my favorite things.  Each summer I have to make myself stop with the decorating and crafting and focus on lesson plans.  Right now I'm leaning towards a travel theme for next year and I could not be more excited about it.

13. Favorite childhood memory?

This is a tough one.  I had a great childhood.  I loved playing JC Penney with my cousins at Mommom's.  I loved playing hide and seek with cousins at Granny and PaPa's house.  Nathan would hide me in the best places - putting me in the tops of closets and all kinds of crazy spots.  Summer days outside with my brother were the best.  We would use the water hose to turn our front yard into our own personal water park.  Family vacations were the best rather it was camping or spending a week in Branson.

Well that was fun.  Thank you for the questions.  Maybe we will do this again soon.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Masters Porch Party 2016

Family is good.

Friends are good. 

But when your family are your best friends and your friends are like family...well that's the best.

My heart is full.

Last night our home was filled with 14 guests.

We ate.  We played. We talked.  And we laughed.

We stayed up way past my bedtime just enjoying the fellowship with one another.

Today 14 more people joined us for our first Masters Porch Party.

Our house was filled with people and noise, but more than that it was filled with love.

This morning the guys played a round of golf.

The trash talking was intense.

They came back thinking one team had won by three strokes.

A quick recount revealed the other team had actually won by six strokes.

(The one in green is my favorite)

While the guys played golf, the ladies stayed behind to cook and set everything up.  I so enjoyed this time with my sister-in-laws and friends.

This was a simple party but I love the way it turned out.

I didn't take many pictures during the party. I was simply enjoying visiting with everyone.  But I could not resist snapping a few pictures of the three youngest of my nieces and nephews playing together.

I also had to get a picture of me and Miss Julia Kate.  She is our friends Kyle and Robyn's little girl and she is absolutely precious.

And of course a quick selfie with these two guys.  Such a fund time celebrating their birthdays today.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Five on Friday - All Things Girl

For some crazy reason I have decided to wait until my thirties to become a girly girl.  When I told my husband I wasn't sure why I waited this long he came back with "Because you couldn't afford it before now."


Being a girl is expensive!

Here are some girly things that I'm currently LOVING.


Last weekend I wore false lashes for the first time.  Now I'm OBSESSED!  The first day I did my makeup after wearing them, my eyes felt totally naked.  Of course someone else put them on that day and I haven't actually put them on myself yet.  I'm thinking Sunday will be a good time to try.


I bought my first pair of heels this week.  And of course I bought cute girly pink ones.  Who buys sensible black for their first pair of heels?  Not this girl!


I may have a lip gloss/lip stick addiction.  Lately it seems like I buy a new one every time I go to Wal-Mart or Ulta.  Most of them are pretty tame but I have a few bright ones.  I get a little braver every time I buy one.  


I've been watching hair and makeup tutorials on YouTube.  I could sit and watch forever.  This partial french braid and sock bun are simple, sure, but they are new to me.  I can actually do something with my hair other than a plain pony tail.


Okay....this last one isn't about being girly, but I got to see my babies this week and couldn't resist posting cute pics of them.