Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Amazing family. Amazing children.

I found the above video from this blog:

I can't remember how I stumbled upon this blog, but I am so impressed and so intrigued by this family. How do they do it? How do they afford it all? What enormous hearts they must have. I am so inspired not only by the parents but by the children as well. Amazing!  

Monday, May 14, 2012

mother's day

I don't know if you've noticed, but when it comes to blogging I usually focus on things we're doing instead of focusing on the personal aspects of our lives--not that I blog that often and therefore people have probably stopped checking in, but that's okay because I blog for myself just as much as I do for you (hi mom!). Last night I just couldn't sleep as I thought about Mother's Day and our journey with infertility, which I've never mentioned in a public setting. I just wanted to get out my thoughts and decided that instead of keeping my thoughts to myself that I would share. Apparently I had a lot on my mind because this post ended up being way longer than I anticipated, so sorry for the (really) lengthy post.

Mother’s Day can be a difficult holiday for those of us who wish for nothing more than to be mothers but for whatever reason are not. I admit that the first few years that we were struggling with infertility I struggled through Mother’s Day, feeling sorry for myself and wondering why we weren’t able to have children when it seemed like everyone around us was, when friends of ours were having one, two, even three kids in the time we were trying to have one without any success. It was difficult to get through talks at church that mentioned how God trusted or loved them enough to give them children. Did that mean that God didn’t love me or that God didn’t trust me? I knew that this definitely was not the case, but the words still stung. I’m sure that when people say things like that they don’t think about how someone unable to have children might take those words. I know probably every woman that battles with infertility keeps a mental list of insensitive things that are said to her about not being able to have children. I won’t tell you about the most insensitive thing someone said to me when the subject of children came up because it’s baffling.

Okay, okay, I’ll tell you because I know you’re curious now. When people ask me when we’re going to have children I’m never really sure what to say—should I be completely honest and just say we haven’t been able to have kids yet, or is it really none of their business and therefore should I just say something generic like “hopefully someday?” I usually tend to go with the latter but it depends on who I’m talking to. 
Anyway, I was asked the question about kids by someone and I just decided to say that we’d been trying for awhile and hadn’t been able to have kids yet. I can’t remember exactly what he said next but he told me some story and at the end he said this: “I would rather have my mom die than not be able to have kids.” Ummmm. What? Did you not just hear me tell you that we haven’t been able to have children? Do you realize what you just said to me—that basically the worst thing in the world for you would be to be in my situation, even worse than having your own MOTHER die? Way to verbally punch someone when they’re down. I don’t think he gave what he said a second thought. Anyway, my point is that people can be insensitive without even thinking about it. I’m sure we’ve all done it. It’s difficult to put yourself in someone else’s shoes when you’re completely unfamiliar with their situation.

That was a major aside from my original thought, so back to Mother’s Day. The past few years I've felt more comfortable with our situation, if that’s the right word to use. Of course it’s still difficult. Of course there are still times when I feel frustrated, alone, envious, angry, sad, etc., but I guess I don’t dwell on it like I used to. It’s still my greatest desire to have children, but life has to go on and we’re doing all that we can. There are lots of other wonderful things in my life that I can focus on. We still have a family; it's just a family of two (three if you count our crazy dog-child) for now. I know that God has a plan for me and is guiding my life in the right direction. So yesterday on Mother’s Day I was feeling pretty good. I chose to focus not on my own situation and the fact that I’m not a mother, but rather on my own wonderful mother who is an inspiration to me. I thought about how I lucked out on having a mom-in-law who thinks of me as her own daughter. I thought about my sister who is about to be a mom for a second time.

As we walked into the chapel yesterday the man handing out programs was greeting women by saying, “Happy Mother’s Day (makes sense, right?).” To the woman in front of us he asked, “Are you a mother?” She replied that she wasn’t. I can’t remember exactly what happened, I’m not sure if he got distracted, but there was an awkward moment where he kind of pulled the program away from her and she said something like, “Oh, I don’t get one then?” and walked away kind of unsure of what to do. It was awkward and possibly a hurtful moment for the woman. I was next in line and I was dreading the question I knew was coming. How was I going to avoid a similarly awkward situation? Sure enough he asked me if I was a mother. Without time to think, I responded by saying, “No, I’m not, but it’s okay.” I smiled, took my program, and went to sit down. I didn’t really think anything of it until last night. Was I really okay with not being a mother? I couldn’t stop thinking about my role as a 27-year-old, married, LDS woman without children, about our journey with infertility, and about how Mother’s Day was a good day for me this year. I know that we will be parents eventually and one day I will be able to celebrate Mother’s Day as a mother, and when someone asks me if I am a mother I will be able to say “YES!” But, for now, I can say, “No, I’m not, but it’s okay.”

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Culture shock

We made it to Las Vegas! We are still adjusting and trying to get everything put away but we're enjoying our new home. I'm ready to get out and explore! We live about 15-20 minutes south of the Strip. I ventured out today to go to Fashion Show mall which is on the Strip and man, oh man did I have a little culture shock. After living in small Johnson City where there's rarely any traffic Las Vegas is just a little bit of a change, especially around Las Vegas Blvd (aka the Strip). I was shocked to see so many people walking the Strip at 10 in the morning on a Thursday in March! Crazy!

Jeff is working hard at his new job (he's always working hard and we're proud of all he's accomplished!) and I'm applying for jobs. I passed my licensing exam in February and I am officially a registered nurse! Woohoo!

I had a request for pictures of our new home (ahem, Sam--sorry it took so long), so here are a few. Don't judge the quality of the pictures because I might have taken them while I was driving. The camera is called a point and shoot for a reason :) I was watching the road, don't worry.

Notice the trees! We have great sidewalks lined with trees in our neighborhood.

This is the casino down the road from our apartment. If you come visit us you won't have to go all the way to the Strip to gamble away all your money!

We are definitely in the desert now, but there are mountains in the distance. Apparently we are 30 minutes from skiing in the winter or a cool spot during the summer.

Gas is expensive.

Traffic on the Strip.

More of the Strip.

More traffic. It took me about 30 minutes to go about 7 miles. There was an accident, but I realized we're definitely not in Johnson City anymore! I also realized we weren't in Johnson City anymore when our car insurance rates more than doubled. Yikes.

We're ready for visitors!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

movin' right along

A lot has happened in the last few months:

I graduated from nursing school!! Woohoo! I'm so glad school is over and I can move on to bigger and better things. I still have one more hurdle to jump before I can say that I'm an RN. Wish me luck on cramming as much as I can into my brain before then!

We spent Christmas in the Florida Keys with my sister, brother-in-law, and oh-so-cute niece and had such a great time! I probably shouldn't mention our snorkel trip where most of the snorklers got seasick from the waves rockin' the boat. Leslie, Anika, and I managed to keep down our breakfasts. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the manly men. Christmas day was spent at the beach soaking in as much vitamin D as we could before we had to head back to Tennessee. I think we should spend Christmas at the beach every year!

Riley loves the beach, can't you tell?

We celebrated 6 years of marriage on January 7th. So glad I get to spend my life with such a loving and supportive husband. I'm very lucky.

And last but definitely not least:

We will be changing our address at the end of March. On our way down to Florida we stopped in Atlanta for a night so Jeff could interview for a great job opportunity and while we were driving through the Keys he was offered the job! What a great way to start a vacation! We've really enjoyed our time in Tennessee. We've learned a lot about ourselves, gained some extra education, gained some life and work experience, gained a couple pounds from eating really good barbecue, and gained a crazy coon hound during our time here. We are very excited to start this new chapter and we're looking forward to new experiences, new opportunities and getting to know a new city. And no, Atlanta will not be our new home. We are headed to Sin City (aka Las Vegas)! I know you want to come visit!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

it's been awhile

Hello? Anyone there?

*sigh* It's been awhile since I've posted anything on here. As usual, every time I think about blogging I tell myself I'll just do it another day. So here I am at 1:30 in the morning blogging because I've been doing clinicals from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. (yes, you read that right) and I just can't fall asleep right now. And I don't feel like doing anything school related because not only have I lost my blogging motivation, but I've also lost my schooling motivation. December can't get here soon enough because I'm tired of school. Just let me take the NCLEX and slap that RN after my name so it can all be over! I just read a post that I never posted about how going to nursing school and being a nurse scared the bejeebies out of me. Well, I've got news for you. It still does. I question my decision just about every day. Luckily, I've almost survived the school part. I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm very quiet and reserved and non-assertive, and none of those things seem to be synonymous with nursing. I don't feel prepared at all to go out into the nursing world, but I don't really think anyone is when they're done with school.

I've been doing my clinical this semester in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) and I've been learning a lot. I've really enjoyed my time there, even though my shift has been in the middle of the night (I almost fell asleep in one of the big, comfy chairs for the moms one night...shh, don't tell anyone). It's still very intimidating to me because some of the babies are so tiny (our smallest is about 1.5 pounds) and hooked up to so many things. There is so much to learn. It can also be very sad and very frustrating at times since many of the babies that are in our NICU are there due to bad decisions the mother made while pregnant. Perhaps if you are smoking crack you should be using birth control. Just a thought. It makes me so sad that some of these babies start out their lives addicted to drugs and have to leave the hospital to go live in crappy homes. Some don't even have family come to visit them. It kills me.

Anyway, I've been meaning to put some pictures on here from my short break in between semesters so here they are. My parents came to visit for a weekend and then Jeff's mom came to see us so we racked our brains to come up with some fun things to do in good ol' Northeastern Tennessee and various and sundry (sundry is a weird word) close-by states.

Music on the square in Jonesborough, TN. Yes, that is a washboard that she is playing.

Laurel Falls, TN (part of the Appalachian Trail overlaps the trail to the falls)

Roan Mountain, NC (part of the Appalachian Trail goes through this area also)

Farmers' Market--Asheville, NC

Monell's restaurant in Nashville. It is in a cute little house and they seat you at a big table with other people and just keep bringing out the southern cookin'. Yum.

Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. We saw Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Emmylou Harris, Amy Grant, and some others that I can't remember.

Gotta love southern humor.

Prince's Hot Chicken Shack in Nashville. If you ever want some spicy hot chicken, this is the place to go. Jeff ordered the extra hot and the lady at the counter flat out told him no, he didn't want the extra hot. We were sweating by the time we left.

Wild Horse Saloon in Nashville. Jeff doesn't look too happy, but that's probably because we made him line dance (hooray for trying new things!).

We love the mountains. We love the rolling hills.

Mennonite-made donuts at the Johnson City Farmers' Market. Worth every penny.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

more love

Love this one too:

One more week of school (is it December yet?) and then maybe we'll actually have time to do something fun. Actually I know we will because we have visitors coming to see us and a trip to Nashville planned!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Things that matter most

Love this:

"We would do well to slow down a little, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Definitely something I need to work on. Read the full talk here.