Friday, June 10, 2016

Five on Friday

Well it's been a bit of an emotional day around here.

Infertility blows!

I thought it might be fun and maybe even cheer me up to do a little Five on Friday post.

Let's talk about some happy stuff.  

ONE

I fully intend to live in dresses this summer.  They are so cool and comfy.  I scored this one at Old Navy today.  I loved it so much I bought it in this fun pink and in black.

(I call this picture The Flamingo)

TWO

This book came out Tuesday.  I finished it on Wednesday.  I would have finished it Tuesday but there is this little thing called sleep.

This is the best book I've read in a long time.  I lost count of how many times I literally laughed out loud...and I'm not talking a little giggle...I'm talking full on bust out laughing out loud.



THREE


I posted this picture on Instagram earlier this week.  I don't wear my hair down very often.  I didn't have time to put it up on this particular morning so down it was.  I was seriously in awe of how long it has gotten.  I kind of like it.


FOUR

I have already bought several little things for my new classroom theme.  It's all travel and adventure.  I'm loving this theme and cannot wait to see it all come together.  Pictures coming soon.

FIVE

After an emotionally hard day there is nothing better than an hour on our boat just relaxing with my sweetheart eating good food.  It was exactly what I needed.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Why I Don't Bash My Husband


This is my husband.

Y'all he is absolutely my best friend.

He is the first one I run to when I want to share about the best day ever.

And he is the first one I run to when I want to cry about the worst day ever.

He is smart and funny and has the biggest heart.

He is all kinds of wonderful and he makes me have all the heart eyes.

But he isn't perfect.

He is human.

If you follow me on any form of social media (which now includes snapchat because I'm cool like that) then you've been exposed to a few lovey dovey look at us having the time of our  lives status updates.

We like to have fun.

We like to laugh.

And I share those moments because it is in those moments when my husband is loving me well that I see Jesus in him.  It's in those moments that I see him unselfishly loving me - even though sometimes in those moments I am definitely not unselfishly loving him - that I am reminded of how big and how great the love of Christ is.

I share those moments because I want young women to see a positive example of how a husband should cherish his wife.

But I also don't won't to give young women the impression that marriage is all fun and games.

Because as with all stories there is another side.

Wow.  That makes my husband sound a little like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

It's not that bad.

But marriage does require hard work.

Because even with all the heart eyes I have for him, my husband isn't perfect.

And don't tell him this, but neither am I.

However, you will never see me update my status with the story of our latest breakdown in communication.

(Isn't that a much nicer way of saying FIGHT?)

And oh how there can be breakdowns.

Just give us a construction project.

It's like we suddenly start speaking two very different languages.

There is a tool out there that is commonly referred to as the divorce box in our house.  I have no idea what the tool is really called, nor do I remember it's purpose.  What I do know is that it caused an argument or two or three.  It caused all patience with one another to completely disappear.

I'm talking a Houdini-esque vanish.

Don't worry...we can laugh about it now.

But we still haven't used that tool since then.

But in all seriousness...

We get tired.

We get hangry.

We get selfish.

We're human.

But I made the choice a long time ago not to bash my husband in public.

What purpose does it serve?

Sure I might have a girlfriend or two who would take my side and tell me I deserve to be upset.

But more than likely what I really need is a girlfriend or two who will listen and sincerely pray with me and for me.  Someone who won't judge me or my husband, but will give Godly counsel.

Have you ever been around a dripping faucet or a leaky roof?

Annoying as heck right?

I don't know about you but I don't want to be described as a dripping anything.

Proverbs 27:15 says a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day.

Umm....no thank you!

I'd much rather be more precious than jewels (Proverbs 31:10) or I wouldn't mind being a crown either (Proverbs 12:4).

Here is what I know...when Andrew and I quarrel (that word is underused these days.  It's so much nicer sounding than fight.) and we do quarrel because again...we are human, and then I continue to let those quarrelsome thoughts infect my heart by bashing him to anyone who will listen...

That's not the fast track to peace in our relationship.  That tends to make the fight last longer.

And fighting with my husband is pretty much my least favorite thing in the world.

Even more so than broccoli.

And I eat broccoli like Kevin on The Office eats broccoli.

(If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you are seriously missing out)

Back to the seriousness...

God commands us to love on another, to be tender hearted toward one another, and to forgive one another (Eph 4:32).

He commands wives to respect their husbands...and not just in the moments where they are making it easy, but in every moment.

For me, not bashing my husband in public is one way in which I respect him.

And I'm not saying I'm prefect at this.

Remember I'm human.

Sometimes those quarrelsome thoughts infest my heart and I allow Satan to convince me that my anger is justified and it is okay to bash my husband.

And then I'm left feeling worse than I did before.

I end up on my knees seeking forgiveness from both my Heavenly Father and my husband.

Forgiveness not only for my part in the fight in the first place but now for the bashing as well.

So I just want to encourage you, the next time your husband upsets you because he is a guy and they are just wired different than you or maybe loses his temper because its been a long day at work, instead of bashing him to the first girlfriend who answers her phone, take it to the Lord.  Ask him to soften both of your hearts.  Ask him to help you communicate better with one another.

I promise it's easier and better than the bashing you want to do in that moment.



With love my sweet friends,

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

My Faith Closet

Children's books.

Those were easy for me to buy.

As a book worm and a teacher, buying books was well within my comfort zone.

Books were easy for me to justify in my head.

Believe me when I say our someday baby has more books than the children's section at the public library.

If my child doesn't love reading, you may very well find me in the corner, balled up in the fetal position, crying.

But clothes...

for a baby who wasn't even born...

who wasn't even conceived...

that was out of my comfort zone.

I was a bit embarrassed to be buying clothes for a child I didn't even have.

It took me a long while before I even let Andrew know what I had been doing.

I call it my faith closet.

And over the past five years it has grown.

It's not big.

But it a visual reminder of moments where I bought something believing with everything in me that some day there would be a baby to fill those clothes.



There have been times over the past few years when I've considered giving the clothes away or selling them.

But I haven't.

I've mustard up just enough faith to hang on to them.

Occasionally I pull them out, cry, and thank God for the baby that I know will someday wear them.

This razorback dress was the very first thing I added to my faith closet.






Our sweet baby also has a few HG shirts because at the time I never dreamed I would be teaching somewhere else.  I actually have this shirt as well.  Maybe we'll put on our matching HG gear and go to a football game sometime.


My high school mascot was a kangaroo so when I saw this sweet little outfit I had to have it.  The ruffles on the booty didn't hurt my decision.




This little onesie made me giggle.  If you know my husband you know the truth of this one.



I'm a sucker for baby gowns.  I'm pretty sure my child may wear nothing else until he or she can walk


I think, like most women, I've always dreamed of having a little girl.  Though I will say my nephews make me love the idea of being a boy mom.

But there is something about the idea of having a mini-me.

I've had my daughter's first name picked out for a long time.

And one day, I not only stepped out in faith of having a child, but in faith of having a daughter.

And I ordered her this little outfit for Christmas.



Those are a few of my favorite pieces from my faith closet

As Andrew and I move toward doing IUI, I can't help but think maybe next year there will be a sweet little babe in those clothes.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend

This past weekend was such a fun one.

Andrew and I have spent the past four days with family and friends.

It could not have been more perfect.

Saturday afternoon we loaded up and headed out on The Liberty Belle.



We met up with some friends, Thomas and Jennifer and their eight kids.

I loved having kids on the boat.

One of their boys, G, ran a continuous loop all afternoon.  He would climb up on top of the boat, jump off, and then do it again.


A few weeks ago Andrew bought a new grill for the boat and we were excited to try it out.


Boat food is always the most delicious food you'll ever have.


Sunday afternoon brought family for some lake time.  





We were on the water until 10 PM.

It's just so beautiful and peaceful out there.

We were back on the water Monday with even more family.









When we closed the boat up Monday afternoon, it was a little sad knowing we wouldn't be back out there the next day.

I'm not sure any of us were ready to leave the water, but we had to get home for our Third Annual Americana Porch Party.

I have to admit I was little discouraged about this party a week ago.  It seemed as if no one was coming and things just weren't coming together.

So silly to stress.

Everything came together and we ended up having our largest group yet.


Andrew and I love hosting this party.  We pretty much start planning the next one as soon as one ends.  One of our favorite parts to plan is our outfits.  

I actually bought a dress last summer that I planned to wear this year.

And then I bought a romper a few months ago that I planned to wear.

And then a few weeks ago I found some presidential shirts which led to me wearing a Reagan/Bush shirt.  

Andrew of course had to have an losing candidate.  

He stands out in the group picture.  He's been looking for a way to bring in yellow since the first year.

This is the one time of year he doesn't mind us purposely coordinating our outfits.

I love it.

2016


2015                                                      2014



It's all fun, but it's all possible because of the real reason we celebrate Memorial Day.  Thank you to the men and women who have served and are serving our country.  There is no greater sacrifice than to lay down one's life.  Only two have done this.  Jesus Christ laid down his life so that I can have the promise of eternal life.  The American soldier laid down his life so that I can live in a free country.  

Thank you to the families of those who have served and who are serving our country.  Your sacrifice doesn't go unnoticed. 



And just when I thought all the family fun was over, we got to have dinner with family Tuesday night, including Cary.  We missed getting to see our other Carolina Weavers.



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.