Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Florida, Here I Come!

We closed on our house this morning (Woohoo!), and now I am off to Florida for TGCW'14 (The Gospel Coalition Women's Conference). As a result, posting may be a little sporadic here for the next several days. My only gadget will be a smartphone, and I'm not sure it will be good for blogging. Plus, I am hoping to soak up quality time with my sister while gleaning wisdom from the speakers.

I expect the whole conference to be great and hope to share a few tidbits here on the blog. The session I am most excited about is with Noël and Talitha Piper. They will be talking about adoption from both the adoptive mom and adoptive daughter perspective.

If you want to follow my trip, please make sure you are following me on Instagram and Twitter. My phone is much better at social media than blogging.

Have a great week and weekend!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Six Years: Newlyweds No Longer

Saturday is our sixth anniversary. What years they have been! Those two young'uns who got married had no idea of the joys and sorrows ahead of them. But, that's a post for another day. Today, I want to look back at our wedding: June 28, 2008.

As recent college graduates with law school looming, we had to have a low-budget wedding. We cut costs wherever possible. Our wedding and reception were at my parents' church in the middle of the afternoon. We did photos before the ceremony, so the guests wouldn't have to wait. Also, so we could get away with just dessert (sorry, guests). Between friends and the church, most of the decor was provided. The rest came from Hobby Lobby and the $1 Store.

Our wedding was not the event of the summer for most people, but it was lovely. And successful. We got married with the people we love surrounding us.

Here are a few of our favorite photos from that day:

*All photo credit goes to Amy Majors Photography.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Liebster Award

I was nominated for a Liebster Award by a fellow infertility blogger at The Quest for a Tiny Human. The nomination comes with rules. As a result, this post is going to be different than my others.

The Rules
  1. Post 11 random facts about myself.
  2. Answer 11 questions the awarding blogger has asked.
  3. Nominate 11 blogs with less than 200 followers, add their links to this post and let them know they have been nominated.
  4. Create 11 questions the nominated bloggers have to answer.
  5. Post The Rules!
11 Random Facts About Myself
  1. I am an editing nerd. My dream job would be finding typos and comma errors in text. That does not mean my writing is perfect.
  2. My love of editing led me to major in English, but I only lasted one semester. I did not enjoy writing a paper for every class session. The final straw came in Intro to Poetry. We were told to write a free verse poem. Free verse apparently had no rules, and yet I somehow did it wrong. The professor could not tell me exactly how my poem was wrong, but the grade said it was. In the end, I graduated with a Communication - Public Relations degree and an English minor.
  3. I am horrible at making decisions.
  4. I have a hate/hate relationship with mice. They seem to be everywhere I want to be. I blame my irrational paralyzing fear on overexposure as a child. We lived in an old farm house on a farm. Mice just came with the territory. They taunt me. When normal mice would run away, a mouse in my apartment ran straight toward me, a screaming human. Four mice tried to join us on our honeymoon, so we left. Thankfully, we have been mouse-free for several years. I am REALLY hoping they stay away from our new house.
  5. I am the middle of three sisters.
  6. Don't tell anyone, but I was homeschooled through tenth grade. Homeschooling is not for everyone, but I think it's a great option.
  7. I am a serious people-person, an extrovert. I would love to be with people at all times, but am perfectly happy to just hang out at home with my husband. If he's not there, I would rather be out and about.
  8. I am 15/16ths German and 1/16th Swedish (I think). Some of my ancestors were Mennonite, and at least one was Hutterite.
  9. Growing up, I was the odd one in family pictures. My parents and sisters have dark hair and dark eyes. I have blonde hair and blue eyes. I was also the only one with glasses. My family is great.
  10. I am a big fan of my husband (see this post).
  11. Last but most importantly, I would not have made it through this infertility journey without the Lord. I believe that suffering such as infertility is not an accident. God is not frantically scrambling around trying to make good out of bad. Instead, He carefully ordains suffering for our good and His glory. Without suffering, we would not learn to rely on Him. If things were hunky-dory all the time, I think we would be totally selfish, totally independent people. Suffering stinks, but it serves a purpose.
Questions and Answers
  1. What is your favorite movie?
    • I can't pick just one. Pride and Prejudice, You've Got Mail, and The Blindside are three that come to mind.
  2. What is your best memory?
    • My husband's law school graduation. Our first three years of marriage were his law school years. Graduation marked the end of an intense era. Surrounded by family and friends, I got quite emotional as he marched into the room in that funny legal graduation garb. It was a good day.
  3. What is your greatest accomplishment?
    • I am not sure. Maybe moving seven times in six years of marriage and not losing my sanity?
  4. Who do you admire?
    • My parents and my husband's parents. They set great examples for their kids.
  5. What is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you?
    • Wow. That's a tough question. I think of a pattern of events more than one particular incident. Sometimes, I get overwhelmed and frantically think myself in circles. In infertility, that happened several times as a result of too much online "research." My husband kindly gets my attention, calms me down, and points me in the right direction. 
    • When we were dating, we floated the Yellowstone River in Montana with family and friends. None of us had checked the weather, and we ended up in a lightning storm. The temperature dropped dramatically, and hypothermia was becoming a concern. After waiting the storm out on the river bank, we jumped back in (the only way to get to our cars). Unfortunately, the river was low, so the remaining trip was miserable. I could either stay on top of the tube and freeze or hold on and be dragged on the rocky river bottom. In desperation and in tears, I chose option three and took off walking on sharp, slippery rocks in a strong current up to my knees. I may have been losing my mind a little. As I slipped, my then-boyfriend/now-husband told me to get on the tube. So I did. And I survived. His direction was a kindness.
  6. What is the first thing you notice about someone when you first meet them?
    • Their genuineness or lack thereof, at least my take on it.
  7. Would you rather watch sports or play sports?
    • My husband will probably laugh when he reads this, but I would rather play sports. I have a VERY short attention span when it comes to watching sports (except during the Olympics). I'm not actually good at any sports, so I don't really play.
  8. If money was no object, what would you do all day?
    • Volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center, spend time with people, and give a lot of gifts.
  9. What is your greatest strength?
    • My husband says loyalty and organization.
  10. Do you prefer summer or winter?
    • Summer. A thousand times over. I love my family in the North, but hope to stay down here where it's warm. Winter is not my thing.
  11. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
    • This answer is totally cliche, but true. I would want to meet Jesus. I think he was dramatically different than portrayed today. The Jesus I see in the New Testament wasn't gentle, timid, or tolerant. He called people on their sins and demanded righteousness. He challenged the status quo. If I could meet him on Earth today, I would probably cringe at his lack of political correctness. But I would love to meet him.
My Nominees

I am breaking the rules here and only nominating a few. If you want to be added to the list, please comment below. I have no idea how to tell how many followers you have total, so please don't be offended if you have more than 200. :) 
Questions for the Nominees
  1. Why do you blog?
  2. What is your favorite book?
  3. If you could live in any other country, which one would you choose?
  4. Do you know any foreign languages? If so, which one(s)?
  5. How many states have you visited?
  6. What was the best class you ever took?
  7. What is your favorite gadget and why?
  8. Who is your biggest hero?
  9. What was your favorite vacation?
  10. Do you prefer shopping in person or online? Why?
  11. What is your favorite family tradition?
If you are still reading, I am very impressed. This post might be my longest ever. Did I miss anything? If have any questions or post ideas, please comment below. Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Happy Birthday to My Best Friend

Sorry, Ladies. I took the best husband. At least, the best husband for me. Here are a few of the reasons:
  1. He loves the Lord. No matter how difficult our journey has gotten, he has kept fighting to seek and honor Christ in it.
  2. He loves me. Even when I'm grumpy or a demanding control freak. 
  3. He is a gentle comforter. This last year has involved more "ugly cry" moments than any year before. He has been there to hold me every time, even when he is hurting, too.
  4. He is wise. When I take on too much, he tells me. When I reason myself in circles, he points me straight again. 
  5. He is brilliant. Seriously, start talking law, theology, or sports with him. And good luck to you. His head is crammed full of information; however, unlike many brilliant people, he is still able to hold a normal conversation.
  6. He is truly my partner. Whatever we do, we prefer to do together. We are cooking partners, cleaning partners, reading partners, lazing partners, walking partners. If criminal activity was our thing [FYI, it's not], we would be partners in crime, I'm sure.
  7. He is my protector. I am a very big wimp. If something rustles in the bushes as we walk past, he is ready as I hide behind him. Armed man, mouse, or spider, he would take anything on to protect me.
  8. He manages our finances meticulously. If I buy two items at the dollar store without telling him, I can expect a phone call. Not because I need permission, but just to make sure it was me. He knows where every dollar fits in our budget. Any flexibility in our finances is due to his careful management. I am thankful.
  9. He is ticklish. There is something wonderful about being able to reduce a big, very strong man to convulsions. Someone once said it's God's gift to small wives, or something like that. 
  10. He is good looking. And big. And VERY strong. And tall. :) Some guys have a 5 o'clock shadow. I'm pretty sure he has a 10 a.m. shadow. He could grow a beard with the best of them, but he doesn't because his wife is not a fan of facial hair. 
Happy Birthday, Best Friend. You are my favorite.  I love you!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

Today, I am linking up with the ladies at Like Mother, Like Daughter again for {pretty, happy, funny, real}.


One of the best parts of our apartment location is the walking path. From a crowded neighborhood, it drops into this beautiful nature area. We cannot get over the lush green trees and plants. Isn't it lovely?

Tomorrow is the birthday of my favorite person in the world. This guy:
I will be writing much more about him tomorrow, but you can just know now that he is great.


On Tuesday, I tried to put myself on a schedule. Are you laughing yet? I am, in a "wow, that was a failure" sort of way. By the second item, I was off track. As a perfectionist, partial failure feels like complete failure. Once failure is felt, I tend to stop trying. Hence, I stopped really trying to follow the schedule by about 8:30 a.m. Funny, right? Not really.

I chopped my hair off again. Sometimes, it's just got to go.

What is pretty, happy, funny, or real in your life?

This post has also been linked up on the Little Friday Linkup.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

From Isolation To Community

Lisa at Amateur Nester recently did a poll about openness during infertility. Some people are very open, but on an anonymous blog. Others tell just the people closest to them. As you can see from my blog, I am very open. I am the same way in person.

Obviously, different levels of openness are appropriate for different people. I just wanted to share today about the community that came from sharing my story.

Isolation is one of the most painful feelings involved in infertility. Sharing my story allowed me to connect with others who have gone through similar isolation. These connections took away the feeling of isolation. And good riddance!

When I first went public with the blog, I had at least seven ladies contact me within a few days. They included people I knew in college, friends of friends, and former coworkers. No matter our relationship before, we instantly had a camaraderie. And each of us suddenly felt less isolated.

I have gotten hugs from infertility sisters at church, chatted with them randomly in airports, and had countless conversations with people who get it. Yesterday, I was blessed by meeting someone in my area who has walked through infertility and is now in the adoption process.

Navigating infertility and adoption is so complicated and overwhelming. I cannot even describe the relief from learning that I am not alone. Others have walked this journey before (and ended up with children). Many are walking it now. Sharing my story has connected us. What a blessing!

How has sharing your story (infertility or otherwise) encouraged you?

This post was linked up with Amateur Nester Infertility LinkupWholeHearted Wednesday, Share With Me, Lovely ThursdaysEssential Fridays, and Saturday Sharefest.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

5+ Thoughts on Infertility and Adoption

We are in a strange place between infertility and adoption. Infertility has not left us, but we are not doing anything about it right now. Adoption has been decided upon, but we are not doing anything about it right now. In this in-between phase, several thoughts have been tumbling around in my head.

[I recently read a caution for bloggers to avoid publishing incomplete thoughts. I am warning you in advance: these thoughts are half-baked.]
  • I think that God is wise to point us toward "paper pregnancy" rather than normal pregnancy. I am a nerd and actually enjoy paperwork. On the other hand, I do not enjoy medical procedures of any kind. Physical pain is not a particular favorite, either. So, paper pregnancy just might be the way to go. 
  • The costs involved in adoption are staggering. A home study will be one of our first major expenses, costing around $4,000. I understand that labor and delivery costs just slightly more than that, but that's beside the point. The home study is only the beginning.
  • We eagerly anticipate the day our child is placed in our arms. However, on or near that day, the placement fee will be due. Depending on the circumstances, the placement fee could be around $18,000. That is a lot of money. So, on one hand, we want the adoption process to go as quickly as possible. On the other hand, we need time to save and raise money. A lot of money. 
  • I have been told to expect the final total to be around $30,000. Thirty thousand dollars. When I hear a number like that, I start to think, "Maybe we could have tried just a few more infertility treatments." Then I remember what infertility land was like. I hated it. I hated the procedures, the paralyzing thoughts, the illusions of control and lack thereof, the waiting. No part of me wants to go back to that.
  • In some ways, the costs of infertility treatment and adoption may be comparable. For example, one round of IVF might cost $25,000, slightly less than adoption (I realize that treatments and various types of adoption have drastically different costs, so this is just an example). In another way, the costs are very different. With adoption, the majority of the expense is paid only when a child is placed in our arms. With infertility treatment, the costs may be small or they may stack up to $90,000 or more. We would have to pay for the treatment regardless of the outcome. So, we could have paid many thousands of dollars and still not end up with a child. To me, it felt like trying to fill a bucket that may or may not have a bottom. 
I know it's cliche, but I wouldn't wish infertility on anyone. My heart is heavy for the people I know still struggling through infertility treatments. This post is not meant to pressure anyone to stop treatments and pursue adoption. I think that adoption should not be pursued unless your heart is in it. If your heart is still in treatments, it's not time to adopt. My heart was not in treatments anymore. God seems to have pointed our hearts toward adoption at this time, but the agony of infertility does not quickly disappear. I believe that God used pain and struggle to change us. Eventually, we realized that adoption didn't feel like a back-up plan, but was instead an exciting option. I do not understand the methods, but I trust His plan.

This post is linked up with Amateur Nester's Infertility Linkup.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

Today, I am linking up with the ladies at Like Mother, Like Daughter again for {pretty, happy, funny, real}. After being involved for just one week, I find myself looking for beauty, humor, and joy. If you could use a pick-me-up, try it.

Yesterday was a strange weather day. Stepping out of my office into the hot and muggy sunshine, I was surprised to hear thunder. A glance to the skies behind me revealed the stormy source. The line between clear, blue skies and dark storm clouds was stark. My fifteen-minute commute home started and ended in sunshine and blue skies. In between, buckets of water poured from the sky, limiting visibility and flooding the streets. Lightning flashed and thunder rattled my car. Then, it was sunny again. And beautiful. Storms like this remind me of the power, beauty, and mercy of God.


The heat of summer makes me crave something cold and refreshing. Ice cream is usually on the top of the list, but fruit works, too. Last night, we did a late-night grocery run and stocked up on fruit and a few vegetables. My taste buds danced with anticipation.

Check out this sign. Not the one in front; the one off to the side. It says, "LIVE MERMAID FOR PARTY." Pardon my ignorance, but what on earth does that mean? Who calls the number on a sign like that? I have driven by this sign for weeks and am still befuddled. A mermaid? For party? A bachelor party? Gross. A kid's birthday party? Creepy. I have so many questions.

We close on our house in twelve days. Bare shelves are becoming a common look for our apartment. Homeownership, here we come! [Yes, "homeownership" is a word; I looked it up.]

What is pretty, happy, funny, or real in your life?

This post was also linked with Essential Fridays Linkup and Little Friday Linkup.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Silence, Puppies, and Contentment

We almost bought a puppy this weekend. If not for the upcoming move, I think we would have. He was a playful little Morkie (Maltese/Yorkshire Terrier) at the pet store we shouldn't have visited. We have talked ourselves out of getting a dog for years. They are expensive. They are restrictive. They are dirty. They are a lot of work.

And yet, I think we will get a dog soon. Why? To take away the silence. To bring life into our home. To distract us and get us outside.

Sometimes silence is sweet. Other times, it reminds you of what is missing. My mom friends may wish for some of that silence. Don't. You wouldn't enjoy it for long. No noise unless you make it. No entertainment unless you find it. No living person or thing that needs you to get up in the morning. No giggles. No pitter patter. Just you. Trust me, you wouldn't enjoy it for long.

Silence belongs in certain phases of life. This is not one of them. Empty nesters have years of noise and activity to remember. After the chaos of wedding preparation, newlyweds enjoy the silence of just being alone together. Don't get me wrong, we still enjoy being together. We are best friends. But sometimes, the silence is deafening.

We can and do distract ourselves. I think some of our bad habits may be efforts to distract ourselves. At the end of the day, our home is silent. So, we should get a dog, right? I used to laugh at people who had dogs instead of children. Dogs are obviously NOT children. But, they are alive, they depend on you, they entertain you, and they make noise.

This post is not intended to make you feel sorry for me. Maybe it can remind us all to be content whatever the circumstances, whether noisy or silent. Maybe it can remind us that God is enough. We don't need God and kids or God and a puppy; we need the peace and satisfaction that only He can provide.

For my friends dealing with infertility, how have you coped with the silence? Have your furry friends been therapeutic? What verses have encouraged you?

This post was linked up with Amateur NesterWFMW (Works For Me Wednesday), Winsome Wednesday, and Rich Faith Rising.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Adoption Is Not The Easy Way Out

I recently encountered the concept of "resolving" infertility. In my understanding, this resolution can be through eventually bearing children, through adoption, or through deciding to live a childless life. Basically, resolving infertility is moving on.

To some people, adoption seems like the easy way out. Let me assure you: adoption is many things, but easy is not one of them. The costs seem insurmountable, the paperwork endless, and the emotional risks just scary. Adoption means putting your heart on the line.

As we prepare to begin the process, new fears are surfacing. This weekend, we learned that our friends are going through a failed adoption. Is that in our future? We know that adoption is complicated and risky, but seeing one fall through made the risk more real. We have said that we don't feel strong enough for foster care. After so many years of longing for a child, we cannot imagine having one only to have him or her returned to a bad situation. A failed adoption must feel the same way.

Life involves risk. Period. Infertility treatments have risks. Adoption has risks. So, we press on. After hearing the sad news this weekend, I was encouraged by Psalm 94:18-19.

Yes, adoption is risky; however, many adoptions are successful. When I see families like the one in this video, I get so excited to see what God has for us. Our family is a blank slate right now. We are confident that it will not stay that way, and we pray that God gives us strength and wisdom on the journey. 


Thursday, June 5, 2014

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

I recently came across a great idea in the blogosphere. On Thursdays, the ladies at Like Mother, Like Daughter share something from each of four categories: Pretty, Funny, Happy, and Real. Then, they give others the opportunity to share as well. Great idea, right? I'm going to try it.


My new shoes. I have a very hard time spending money. Not to mention, I have very little idea of what is in style these days. As a result, my closet is hurting. With the help of a friend, I found these cute flats at my typical store (Ross) and actually bought them. They will be perfect for an upcoming trip.


We close on our first house in three weeks. Isn't it lovely?


This conversation happened in our house recently. Yes, we were two childless adults eating hotdogs, macaroni and cheese, and jello for dinner. Feel free to judge us. 
Me [after retrieving a bouncy piece of hotdog from the carpet]: "Here, this furry one is for you."
Husband: "What do I look like, a gerbil?"
Me: "Why would a gerbil want a furry hot dog?"
Husband: "A gerbil is a furry hot dog."
Laughter ensued. 


Due to the house closing, moving is in our near future. This move will be our seventh in six years of marriage. Although I should be an expert, the thought of packing and unpacking is still less than lovely. The excitement definitely outweighs the dread, though. 

What is pretty, happy, funny, and real in your life?

This post is linked-up on Lovely Thursday and {pretty, happy, funny, real}

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Gotcha Day Will Come

When we first started TTC, I would often calculate nine months from the date: "If we got pregnant this month, we could bring home a baby around ___." For a while now, I have felt that conceiving and bringing home a baby was unlikely and even impossible.

Adoption has changed my mindset. Bringing home a baby no longer seems unlikely. I am now confident that we will some day bring home our baby. We still don't know who or how, but I feel certain that the day will come.

Today, I have been imagining our "Gotcha Day," the day we bring home our child. I shared this video once before, when adoption seemed far in the future. We were still focused on infertility. Now, I watch it with eagerness for our own day.

*Thanks to Lisa from Amateur Nester for hosting the Infertility Link Up.