Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Holiday Blues

I love the Christmas season.  I really do.  And usually by now I have the tree up, the porch decorated and a smattering of d├ęcor throughout the house.  This morning I sit with fall decorations just taken down last night, storage tubs still sitting behind the couch and two more floral arrangements and wreath to dismantle and find a home for.  No Christmas in sight.

I have actually bought a few presents already, and the Christmas music has been playing in the car and around the house.  But for some reason, I am just not in the Christmas mood yet.  I am pretty sure it has to do with how overwhelmed I feel at the moment with everything in my life that "needs" to be done with the limited amount of hours I have between now and the end of the year to do them.

I miss my daycare kids and the holiday traditions we had, decorating the tree, making silly crafts for them to give to their parents...I recently saw a reindeer hand we made one year on a Christmas tree picture posted on Instagram and it made me smile, but also a little sad too.  Sad because I want that for our family...a child to have traditions with, to share our story with, pass our history on to. 

Maybe that isn't God's plan for me, or His timing isn't exactly what I had hoped.  This is yet to be seen.  I am just not in the let's decorate it with glitter and bows and pretend it's all okay place today.  Or yesterday. Or last week.  Well, you get the point.

I have been mulling over this passage of scripture from Hebrew 19:13 and following.  Trying to focus on the promises of God to never leave me nor forsake me and work things for His good in my life.  So that's where I leave it for today.  Praying that God's direction and plan for my life will be the forefront this Christmas season.  And everyday beyond that.

The Certainty of God's Promise

13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham,[b] having patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Some days...

Some days...

  • I want to be a kid again, where someone else is responsible for the bills and grocery shopping and laundry
  • I want to be 25 again and trust my gut (and my friends) when they question whether or not I should get married to husband #1 - turns out I knew I knew better and I paid the price many times over for my stubbornness
  • I wish I knew that having a baby was going to be this hard and waiting until 40 to start fertility treatments would be awful, frustrating and heartbreaking
  • I wish I had learned to budget and not spending money on random crap that I am now either donating or selling for a fraction of what I spent - it would be money I could use for fertility treatments
  • I wish I would have been able to start a relationship with my precious RC earlier in my life.  My marriage to him is such a blessing and it would have been awesome to be his wife a few years earlier.
  • I want magical cleaning powers to organize, clean out and throw away the items that still need to be gone through in my childhood home to get it ready to sell.  It's just overwhelming
  • I wish there was indeed a way to lose weight and get in shape and still enjoy cooking and eating and not have to sweat like a crazy person.
  • I wish I had the Better Homes and Gardens yard that I would love to sit in and enjoy the nature around me.  A yard without weeds, bugs and no green pool full of frogs...ahhh...it would be so nice.
  • I dream of a world where there is no sorrow, no grief and no heartache. I would love to protect the ones I love from ever experiencing loss and pain.
  • I long to be more disciplined in most areas of my life.  Journaling, prayer time, exercise, house cleaning...to name a few.
  • I wish I could pack in our travel trailer and see the country.  Just set out and go for the fun of it.  Who needs a job, right? Oh wait. Yeah - I guess we'd have to fund it somehow.
  • I would love to have the knack for extreme couponing, or at least extreme enough to get laundry detergent, razors, shampoo and conditioner...things that are ridiculously overpriced to begin with.
  • I wish I had paid more attention to my mom and her sewing skills.  I would love to be able to take a pattern and craft an outfit of my own.  Clothes are expensive! And plus size clothes are even MORE expensive!
I won't wish my life away, and I am grateful for what God has chosen to bless my life with.  I know that some days are better than others.  So let's make today a good one!

Hugs and Love from SC,
Stephanie

Friday, May 9, 2014

Happy Non Mother's Day

I confess that I wrote this post  in part with Confessional Friday in mind on The Blonde Ambition Blog.  I want this part of my story to be shared...but I am not brave enough to share it on my facebook or instagram pages just yet...not really sure why.  But I confess that today is not the day I'll share it there, but I also confess it was good to get it on paper, cry about it and commit to posting today.  So here goes....

I have questioned writing this post.  And questioned posting it.  And questioned pulling it back down.  But since it IS my blog, and this IS my story...well, let's just let it ride, shall we?

I don't have an earthly mother.  She passed away on October 8, 1996.  I really don't have the words to tell you how I would have done things differently with her.  Appreciated her more.  Treated her better.  Not been a teenage brat.  Especially after my dad died earlier in the year before her.  We had some awful yelling matches that summer.  She was grieving, I was grieving, it was ugly.  I was in a relationship, engaged to a man I would end up marrying 3 years later, knowing that I shouldn't, and end up divorcing as unhappy as I was when I got married.  Mother's Day is hard.  I don't get to celebrate all the things my mom was to me but I was too bratty to tell her, too self centered to acknowledge how she had gone to school to be a nurse, gave up her career to be a mom and then provide loving childcare for many children who are still near and dear to me.  I didn't appreciate her then like I should have.  And now I can't because she's gone and that sucks.  Like, seriously sucks.

I am not a mom.  Despite two awful rounds of IVF and over 100 shots and countless internal ultrasounds, I am still not able to be a mom.  I have two frozen embryos in cryostorage that are not deemed viable due to chromosome issues.  But my heart hurts because they are mine.  A boy and a girl.  And there is nothing I can do about it.  But sit and cry and grieve the children I won't ever meet.  Struggle with the fact that according to the fertility clinic they are biological waste caught in limbo while we wait for my doctor to do as he promised and give a picture of the tube that they are in so that I have something to hold on to.  1000s of dollars, many more tears than I can count and an empty womb are what I have left.  And that sucks too.

I have a wonderful husband.  A truly blessed marriage.  And sometimes I feel guilty for not being appreciative enough of that, not being content with the blessing of my marriage.  Maybe it is enough.  Maybe I don't need to be a mom to feel complete.  Maybe I should be thankful that God has given me RC and just move on with our lives as non-parents.  The things I have saved over the years, baby clothes, favorite toys, things I would like to pass on to my child...they taunt me at my house...and some days I feel like I should get rid of all of it.  Accept the fact that I'm not going to be a mom and let it go.  We need to get my house cleaned out and on the market, and yet it sits with remnants of my daycare...things I wanted to hold onto for my child and use when they were this age or that, because I had used them for 17 years with the babies I loved on for my job.  There are boxes of photos and memorabilia from my childhood, from my parents lives...if I have no children to pass them onto...what happens to them?  Garbage?  Good will?  I just can't fathom it.  I guess I won't have to when my time comes...but the thought of not having a child to pass on the memories of my parents or the crazy things I did as a teenager (or maybe not too many details of that, right?) oh...it just makes me sad.  I never imagined I would not be a mom.  Not be able to celebrate Mother's Day as a mom.  And while the door is not shut completely, it is a big mountain to climb financially, emotionally and regarding time as I am not getting any younger. 

I trust God to give me what He has planned for my life.  I really do deep down in my heart.  I know that He will never leave me nor forsake me.  That selfish side of me want to hold onto the dream of being a mom, having that homemade card from my preschooler with their handprint for mother's day hanging on the fridge.  Maybe that isn't God's plan for me.  I still don't know.  Until then, my husband and I will continue to pray for God's will in our lives, for guidance on how to proceed this fall, on how to prepare in the meantime. 

Happy Mother's Day to all those who have children.  And to all those who read this and are not mothers...I know you understand my heart and I know the empty ache in yours all too well.  I am praying for you too this Mother's Day. 

Blessings,
Stephanie

Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Musing

Today has been a bit of a blur, but I wanted to sit and write out a few thoughts while they were rolling around in my head.  We met with our doctor for a little over an hour on Friday and were so thankful for the time to ask questions and get some well needed answers.  We found out that we CAN take some time off to regroup financially, emotionally and physically since my ovarian reserve number was normal.  We found out that my doctor would request a picture of the storage vials our embryos are in so that we can have that prior to their disposal and he will refund us the money we paid for the new month of storage due to the delay in getting back with us.  I am so relieved at both of these.  One, we need some down time to get back to life as we knew it for a bit, lose some weight (feritlity drugs have my already "fluffy" body in extreme fluff mode and to take some time to pray about our options moving forward.  I am so thankful that we will have a picture of the embryos to hold onto and remember those two IVF cycles, even though they didn't go on to become viable options for transfer.  Anyone who has been through assisted reproduction will probably understand the need for closure after a failed cycle.  So for now, I am breathing a sigh of relief.  Now we pray.  And get back on a healthy eating plan and walking again.  And pray some more.
 
Yesterday one of our worship leaders sang the song "Changed" by Rascal Flatts...what a cool thing to be a part of a church that can do stuff like that...and what a great song.  You can watch the video here and the words are below.  We all fall short of perfection, right?  I thank God for His grace and mercy and willingness to meet us where we are.  Some days we just need a reminder. So here's one for you!
 
Blessings,
Stephanie :-)
 
I came up out of the water
Raised my hands up to the Father
Gave it all to him that day
Felt a new wind kiss my face
Walked away, Eyes wide open
Could finally see where I was going
It didn't matter where I'd been
I'm not the same man I was then

I got off track, I made mistakes
Back slid my way into that place where souls get lost
Lines get crossed
and the pain won’t go away
I hit my knees, Now here I stand
There I was, now here I am
Here I am
Changed

I got a lot of “Hey, I’m sorry”s
The things I’ve done
Man, that was not me
I wish that I could take it all back
I just want to tell em’ that
Tell 'em that

I got off track, I made mistakes
Back slid my way into that place where souls get lost
Lines get crossed
and the pain won’t go away
I hit my knees, Now here I stand
There I was, now here I am
Here I am

I'm changed for the better
More smiles, less bitter
I'm even starting to forgive myself

I hit my knee, I’m here I stand
There I was, now here I am
Here I am, Here I am, Here I am
Changed
Yes I am
I’m changed for the better.
Thank God I'm changed.
 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Confessional Friday

Good Morning Blogging Land,

This has been a quick week for me, it hardly feels like it should be Friday again already. It is indeed almost the weekend and thus time to link up again with Leslie at www.blondeambitionblog.com for a Confessional Friday.

  • I confess that I haven't blogged this week because I've just been a slacker.  I have had a semi busy week, but still could have made time to blog and just didn't.  I have no excuses. Moving on.
  • I confess that this article that was circulated via Facebook this week resonated so much with me and where I am right now with the two embryos we have in cryostorage that are unusable.  I am so torn...they are mine...even though they are not deemed viable.  I struggle so much with them being medical waste and with moving on to whatever lies next for us in our path to become parents.  This process is hard.  I had no idea. 
  • I confess that I have an appointment with my fertility doctor today and I am nervous, excited and a little scared.  More hesitant than scared probably, but still.  I stumbled upon this picture of my maternal grandmother, my mom, my sister and myself yesterday and it makes me sad to think we may have to use a donor egg to be able to have a child and I won't be able to pass along the genes pictured here.  No, it's not the worst thing ever, and yes, I "should" be able to get pregnant with a non 40 year old egg.  But it still makes me sad.  We will see what the doctor has to say today regarding where we go from here.
  •  I confess that I miss my job.  Not really the "job" part of it, but the interacting with my kids and parents (some of them) and just getting to love on them every day.  I do think that I was meant to be a caregiver, a momma even...it just feels right to me, like it's a part of me that is who I am.  This picture is from a field trip with part of my herd way back when and it just makes me smile.  I loved seeing their faces when they did things for the first time, like riding a horse...they are moments I'll treasure forever.
  •  I confess that my husband is super excited about the new building we are undertaking with our church and I am somewhat more reserved because I know with a new building it equals more people and there are a lot of folks at NRCC now.  I love that our pastor says we aren't building a monument, a shrine or some fancy palace, and that the new building is a tool for reaching the unchurched in the Lake Wylie area and I think that's perfect.  I do sometimes miss the small church feel I had at my home church which usually had 100 or less folks a week.  Our God is big and He will show me how to continue to nurture the relationships I have and use them for His glory...I just need to get out of the way I suppose.  It's something I'm praying about!  Here's a pic of my hubby videotaping the curing concrete pad on the new church building...you can't see his face, but he was pretty pumped...and that makes me smile.
  •  I confess that this Nannie is getting old.  In the next month I'll go to the wedding of one of "my" kids and help another with her house warming party for her first home.  It's amazing that God has allowed me to be a part of these two girls' lives for this long...they came to our house way back in 1990 and 1991 and they are grown women now, both having graduated college and I couldn't be more proud of them.  Here they are back in 2001...and I still remember these goofy smiles...ohhhh, it makes my heart happy to see them so happy now.
  •  I confess I am marinating in this verse today...Someone on my friends list on facebook posted it...so I sharing in the hopes of encouraging one of you too! Have a wonderful day fellow bloggers...hugs and love from SC!

    Isaiah 40:31

    The Message (MSG)
    27-31 Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,
    or, whine, Israel, saying,
    God has lost track of me.
    He doesn’t care what happens to me”?
    Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
    God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
    He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
    He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
    And he knows everything, inside and out.
    He energizes those who get tired,
    gives fresh strength to dropouts.
    For even young people tire and drop out,
    young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
    But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
    They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
    They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind.
  •  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Confessional Friday

All righty, this week I'll actually be linking up to the blog I mentioned last week at www.blondeambitionblog.com with some others confessing our little hearts out. My sister has done one as well at www.muchadoaboutjenny.blogspot.com so check it out! Welcome to any newbies who have wandered by my blog :-)

Here's my top five for this week.

1) I confess that I procrastinated us into another month of cryostorage for my two little embryos deemed not transferable due to abnormalities because I am trying to see if they can give me a picture of them or of their storage container...something I can have as a reminder that they did exist before moving to the next IVF cycle. *Sigh* Makes me sad and costs us $50.

2) I confess that I took a whole day this week and worked on seat favors for the weekend crop I am hosting in two weeks and they turned out super cute, don't you think? I also confess that I can't move the picture up here on my phone for some reason...so see the cute picture at the bottom, please!

3)I confess that I did some old releationship purging therapy yesterday and threw away many cards, pictures and just stuff from waaaay back with husband number one. And then I dreamed last night that I was his housekeeper and nanny and that my sister and I completely rearranged his kitchen for some reason. What in the world? (Note: we actually get along and I am not angry or anything with him anymore, but I am surely not gonna be his housekeeper)

4) I confess that I am overwhelmed with 17 years of pictures from being a Nannie and family pictures, memorabilia, etc that I have been pouring through this week. I want to document those years of my life, but the sheer volume is crazy and then I think if my husband and I are are unable to have a child when it is all said and done ~ what will happen to those scrapbooks? Yup. Trash. Soooo the dilemma continues. For now, I am STILL sorting.

5) I confess that I am super excited about getting in some Nannie time today with my favorite Peyton and Haila. I definitely miss those two! I got to spend a little time with their baby sister earlier this week...she's a mess!  Here she is cheesing it up with me!


Here is the aforementioned photo of the cute seat favors I made this week!

Confessional Friday

My sister has been linking her blog www.muchadoaboutjenny.blogspot.com up for a Confessional Friday post link up at www.blondeambitionblog.com and I thought I'd tag along this time...however she couldn't get her link up site to work today, so I will just throw this one up randomly and try again next week.  I linked up many moons ago with another blogger and haven't done it in years, mainly since said blogger has gone a little off the deep end, her blog got removed and it was a hot mess.  At any rate, I never got back into searching for link ups, so now's as good a time as any, right?

I've got 5 confessions for this Friday...so here goes.

1) I confess that I should be dressed, out the door and headed north right now to go work on cleaning out the other house we own in NC so that it can be put on the market.  Can you say class A number 1 procrastinator.  Well that's me.  I excel at procrastination.  Seriously.

2) I confess that I am struggling with filling out the paperwork to dispose of (what an awful, awful phrase) the embryos we have in cryostorage that were tested and came back abnormal and unusable for IVF transfer.  I know we have to do it, lest we pay another $50 to store them another month.  But knowing that I have these two embryos, a piece of myself and my husband, a boy and a girl, and I am signing a legal document to throw them away...it just unglues me.  They both have incompatible with life genetic abnormalities and would likely (like 90%) end in first trimester miscarriage.  And I don't want that.  But I think of the 100+ shots and the $1000s of dollars spent over the last 7 months and it just makes me sick to my stomach to think about it.  So I am procrastinating.

3) I confess that I ate 4, yes FOUR, Reese's egg yesterday.  I knew I shouldn't have opened the %&*# bag.  But I did it anyway...and I have no willpower...especially when dealing with things like #2 and my impending period and just feeling overwhelmed.  Those little gems, as yummy as they are packing 90 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat) 65mg sodium and 8g of sugar EACH.  Yeah, I'm not even gonna do the collective math.  It's bad, let's just leave it at that.

4) I confess that I had lunch with a fellow leader at my church and learned about some new health options to look at in my quest to try and turn around this being fat and filling my body full of crap thing.  She talked about dry skin brushing, detox baths, oil pulling, natural detox, apple cider vinegar shots and MORE.  I spent a chunk of the afternoon googling and looking up things on Pinterest.  I'll report those finding in another blog post in the near future.

5)I confess that I am in love with my new spring banner that I crafted on Wednesday and the random spring decor that is popping up around my house this week.  Here's a collage what's up at my house this week.

Have a wonderful afternoon,
Stephanie