God writes our story.
I am still learning to surrender the pen.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Making a Home #2: Book Hoarders

This week I worked in our bedroom. A few weeks ago I was able to buy a new comforter I had been 'visiting' for awhile at Target. (On a side note: does anyone else do that? I see something I want and I make a plan to save and get it... but I visit it like a friend almost until I can bring it home! I'm so strange. Sometimes during a 'visit' I decide I don't really want it... or work harder to have it!) I've been really excited to get it washed and on our bed, but also wanted to wait until I could see a 'complete picture'. (Another side note: Does everyone wash their stuff when they bring it home? You totally should. Most bedding, clothing, is actually washed in a solution that contain formaldehyde! Yuck. I was extremely thrilled to find a gorgeous comforter I could wash at home!)

Our bedroom has vaulted ceilings that are very low. We love them, but does make it difficult to decorate. A few months ago, we ditched two tall bookcases downstairs for four short bookcases for our bedroom wall. I decided it was time to clean and organize the stacks of books tossed upon them. I posted a Facebook status about not being able to toss books. I keep them, and hold onto them. A friend of mine suggested a new TV show, 'Book Hoarders'... we'd both be on it. :)

After the books were organized into categories (Christian, Secular, Marriage, Fertility, Walter's Favorites, Jen's Favorites, Journals, Poetry, etc) I went through the clutter of the room. If you haven't noticed, if it weren't for my husband and OCD best friend I may just be on the regular 'Hoarders' show. I have a lot of... stuff.

Cleaned and dusted, and even made up the bed with freshly washed linens and my new comforter. I felt joy and bliss. The room isn't what I feel to call 'completed' just yet, (I'm currently visiting nightstands) and I've already picked out a very less-pink lavender to paint... but the room is coming along really well.

Even though I love my 'stuff', it's amazing how much better I feel with it being gone.
:) I must be a true clutter hoarder.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Don't Ignore Infertility

This week, April 22-28, is National Infertility Awareness Week.
I wanted to share some information on this blog and ask you to help get the word out. So many women feel uncomfortable about sharing their pain, or feel too embarrassed and keep it bottled inside. Please help make infertility no longer a taboo subject!

The following is from Resolve.org:

April 22-28, 2012 is National Infertility Awareness Week®, a nationwide campaign intended to educate the public about infertility and the concerns of the infertility community. Since 1989, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association has led efforts to celebrate this special week by hosting events and activities designed to encourage grassroots advocacy and motivate the infertility movement.

This year’s theme is “Don’t Ignore Infertility.” We chose this important message because every voice that speaks out about the realities of infertility, and every act that acknowledges infertility as a medical condition with far-reaching social and emotional implications, helps tear down the wall of ignorance and silence that surrounds this devastating disease.
During NIAW 2012, we are calling upon everyone in the infertility community to commit to some act – large or small – to show that we won’t ignore infertility. Together, we can educate millions of people about a disease that is often overlooked and misunderstood by healthcare professionals, the government, insurance companies, the media, and even friends and family members.

It’s time to make our voices heard!

What You Can Do
Join with RESOLVE in championing the “Don’t Ignore Infertility” theme during the last week of April. Here are several ways you can show your support:

Don’t ignore opportunities to talk about infertility. Do you blog? Tweet? Teach a health class? Have a book group? Take advantage of opportunities in your daily life to share information about or bring attention to the cause of infertility.
Don’t ignore legislation affecting infertility patients. Several pending and existing laws encroach upon the rights of the infertile to freely build their families. Help change policy and protect your rights by writing to your representative or attending RESOLVE's Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. on April 25.
Don’t ignore infertility support available. Infertility is a lonely road, but no one has to travel it alone. Join an online infertility forum or local support group to find a warm, welcoming environment.
Don’t ignore people struggling with infertility. Reach out to friends or family members struggling with infertility. Ask how you can best support them in their journey.
Don’t ignore the impact of making a donation. Every cent donated donated helps bring needed programs and services to women and men with infertility. Sign up for the Walk of Hope or create your own fundraising event in your location.
Don’t ignore family building alternatives. You can build your family through many paths. During this week, open your mind to options that you had not previously considered.
Don’t ignore your own strength. If you’re engaged in the fight against infertility, take a moment to recognize your courage and determination, as well as that of the sisters and brothers fighting alongside you.

The following is from theinfertilityvoice.com:
"We could be strangers.
We might pass each other on the street. We could be standing in line behind one another at the grocery store. We might even be sitting together in the same doctor’s office waiting room. We could be watching the same movie together at the movie theatre, or sitting at tables right next to each other at our regular pizza joint.
We could be office mates, roommates, classmates: sharing in conversation every day, talking about what we watched on TV last night, discussing homework or work projects, figuring out from which place we want to order in for lunch or dinner.
Or we could be family. We could be your sister, your son, your brother, your daughter. Your in-law. Your aunt. Your cousin. Your nephew twice-removed.
In a sea of hundreds of faces you might see in a day, we could be anyone you know and more likely than not, we are someone you know.
Infertility is an invisible disease, one that touches the lives of 7.3 million people in this country. Our invisibility makes it easy for others to dismiss our concerns, our emotions, our struggles – and a cultural silence is cast upon this patient population as a result.
But we’re here. We exist.
Our concerns, emotions and struggles are valid."

Please share the ways you are being a spokesperson for infertility in the comments!

Better late than never...

I posted a prayer request on a blog, 'Dwelling in the Land' from Kelly's Korner awhile ago, and I have gotten to meet a few new readers because of it. I had completely forgotten about posting, but I really appreciate those readers who have been a reminder of it. I went back and read all the prayer requests and have picked a couple to begin praying for. It is a very, very nice blog. If you have a few spare minutes please go to this blog and pray for all the amazing people asking for prayer and connect with a blog or two.

I am #64.
I have decided to pray for #37, #38, #48, and #60. There are so many sweet children needing prayer and healing as well.

I also linked up with Kelly's Korner again for another of her 'SUYL' (Show Us Your Life) segments for mothers who have lost children. I attached my story about loosing Grace, and pray that it can be a story from life from the beginning.

Adoption Jar Project: Update #2

If you read my last Adoption Jar Project: Update you read that we received our first jar filled by a friend, and also filled our first jar! We were able to open our Adoption Jar Project Fund, but were mistaken on how much we needed to keep in the account if we didn't want to accumulate fees. We were in need of $92.84 within 30 days. We felt lead to just go through with the opening of the account to 'sow'.

Well friends, God had shown His love to us through a friend. Yesterday it was late when I got the mail, but saw we had a letter from a couple we adore. I was wondering what the letter was about and tore into it quickly to see a check with the amount of $92.84!

My mind was blown away by their generosity. With all the plans they have in their own lives right now, it really brightened our (VERY rough) day to know that they believed in us enough to support us emotionally and financially. It was perfect timing, really.

The envelope had Matthew 6:1-6 written on it, but God knows who they are, would you be willing to pray for our two amazing friends? Please pray that God meets them where they are, comforts them, and blessed them tenfold?

I went and deposited that check into our account today, and you will now notice the fund amount has been updated on our blog to the right. Praise the Lord!

My wonderful friends, you have taught us so much in your walk with God and in your everyday living... but today you have reminded us to put our own worries aside and to help our brothers and sisters. You two are both amazing people who we both love dearly. Thank you.

Monday, April 23, 2012

"Keep Going"

Today at our new church (more to come on that later) I recieved such a sweet gift and card from a couple Walter and I are friends with encouraging us to "keep going" and to stay strong in our marriage and in our faith. We didn't know until after we decided to move, that they went to the same church!
We bumped into them after service, and she ran to their car and brought it to us. It was such an unexpected surprise, and so sweet. It will be near and dear to my heart.

It's these little reminders and encouragements that give us strength. Thanks Kira & James!

We were also able to do an impromptu bible study with them (and another couple) later Sunday on marriage. We shared our testimonies and our highs and lows of marriage and it was really nice. We're hoping to do this one Sunday a month, and that sounds really exciting!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Grace Letter: To My Six

There are days my darlings, that I cannot imagine living my entire life without meeting you. I imagine the milestones, the vacations, the moments we will miss as a complete family. My whole life will be incomplete without you here.

But there are also days, days like today, where I am glad you are not here.
Please do not think it's because I don't yearn to hold you! Because I do. I yearn to count your little toes and to sweep what little hair you may or may not have away from your forehead...
But I know you are in heaven- a place without pain- and you are sitting on the lap of God. It is better than life here, and what can of mother would I be if I wished to take that away from you? That is all I want for you lovelies- to have a better life than I, and to be happy- I know you are taken care of.

Sometimes I think of you, Gracie, leading your little brothers and sisters around a place full of sunshine. I may not know what heaven is like, but in my mind it's a beautiful field you're playing tag in, or it's under a shady tree for a picnic. Sometimes even it's a large enough bed to fit each of you in, where you snuggle together and dream about the day we will meet.

Your Daddy and I miss you all very much. We may not know your face, and we may not know your names... but we know who made you. You were made by our Lord for us and even though we got each of you for just a short time here, we know we get to spend an eternity with you.

We've been praying and waiting on names for you. Grace, you were named one month after you went to heaven. Mommy was going through a very hard time, and was mad at God. Then, on her way to lunch with a friend, she heard a song on the radio and for the first time felt peace. She felt like God was saying, "I'm protecting her with grace". I immediately knew that was your name. Even when Mommy was mad at God for taking you, He was protecting us both because of His overwhelming Grace.

I've been praying for names. God keeps giving me six names. What am I missing?

One month ago today I was told that I was no longer pregnant. I immediately knew you each were in heaven. I know the doctors don't believe the way we do, and we are lucky to be able to be a couple in their lives that can show them different. You each are a REAL person, waiting for us. You're EACH my one-in-a-million chance of having YOU. There will never, ever, ever be another you.

Update: Later during prayer I realized that one of the names were not being given as a name of our children, but as a reminder of hope for the future.

I love you, my children.

Grace Wallheimer 2010

Esther Delilah Wallheimer 2012 "Star, One Who Weakened"
Daniel Wallheimer 2012 "God is My Only Judge"

Isaiah Wallheimer 2012 "God is Salvation"
Ezekiel Wallheimer 2012 "God Will Strengthen"
Saul Wallheimer 2012 "Borrowed from Heaven"

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring Clean for Our Future

I've spent all day cleaning out a room in our home.
I've recently decided, for the thousandth time, that it's time to get our house into shape.
It's not that I don't stick to the promise... it's just that I'm one of those people who attach sentimental value to EVERYthing. Every year, I get more and more frustrated... and less and less clingy to a few objects.
So a few more objects leave the house, but most items sink their teeth into me for another year.

I know it's something I bring on myself, but it's really hard being this type of person. I can seriously break into tears throwing away a concert T-shirt from the 8th grade. I try and I try and I try to be better, but it seems hopeless most attempts.

Today I've been cleaning out our office, which is really just one of the many hodgepodge rooms in our house. It used to be a storage room, but then Walter wanted to get a second TV for the house (and after much resistance) I worked my butt off we turned the room into a second family room. Then, I had the great idea to move his office desk into the room too... and then I could get my desk next to his... and it can also be a scrapbook/gift wrap/ craft station... oy. You see how it gets crazy stupid. As I sit here thinking, we hardly use the room because it was SO cluttered. Too many purposes, and it made not doing one of them easy or fun.

This is what it looked like about two hours in:

Anyways... cleaned my butt off in it today.
This is where I'll tell you I'm also the type of person that if I do something, I DO IT. I mean, I went through every. single. paper. in our file cabinet (and threw out all the papers from 2009 when we got the desk). I folded sheets perfectly (who knows why they're in here!). I fixed a broken lamp and shined (the yard sale find) til it was like new. All or nothing.

I sit here taking a break, literally 6+ hours later almost done, but also wiped out. I know I must push through and finish or it will never get done. Sigh.

I usually get super-motivated around this time because my Sidewalk Sale for Adoption is coming up! This is the fourth year a friend and I have sold items and raised money to go into our adoption funds. I live right on Main Street so it's easy for everyone.

I thought that I might need to make a schedule on what I plan to get done before it gets here, because although every year it goes really year I always feel slightly unprepared. Walter and I are coming up on a really busy season personally as well, so prayers will be appreciated.

Here is what the room looked like by the end of the night:

Not too bad! The white bin Walter has to go through. It's all his bags and clothes he left in the closet when he moved. There's a few more items that need to be taken down to the 'sale spot' in the basement, and some smaller organizing here and there... but with two trash bags and four Rubbermaid containers full of stuff purged... I'm thinking it's progress to be appreciated. :)

While I was cleaning I did find another onesie I had bought and wasn't able to find for my "Baby Buys" post. I thought someday I'll have a child to put in it, so might as well share! Many will not approve... but it's so our style.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Night with the Boys

Walter and I watched my nephews this evening, and looking at the pictures makes my heart smile.
I am blessed to have such great kids in my family, and I am blessed God is preparing our hearts for what is to come...

...it's hard to wait though.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Adoption Jar Project: Update

We delivered a lot of our adoption jars over the Easter weekend!
It's very exciting to see some of our friends and family get excited with us!

I also collected a jar from my amazing friend Jamie. (I was supposed to bring her an empty jar and forgot, I will catch up with you Jamie!) but she brought her own mason jar already filled! She's such an amazing friend. Thank you, thank you, thank you Jamie!

Jars delivered to:
Walter's parents and grandmother (Walter, Denise, & Irene)
My parents (Ron & Robin)
My friend (Britney)
My friend (Sarah)
My aunt and cousins (Jackie, Emily, & Jackson)

I also have friends who have started their own jars:
My cousins (Marie, Tom, & Mikey)
My cousin (Marina)
My friend (Jamie)

I'm trying to think, and I think that's everyone so far. It's been happening so quickly! Thank you so much to everyone who has given support financially or through prayer! Please let me know if you're interested in an Adoption Jar (we have four left) or if you're interested in starting one for your family yourself!

Walter and I were able to open an Adoption Jar account yesterday thanks to our first filled jar combined with Jamie's! This is a very exciting milestone to us. Our banker also has our sworn promises to not withdraw no matter what. :) He's become a friend of ours, and has been such an awesome smiling face when we need it. (Thanks Josh!) However, if we don't get another $92.84 in our account within the next 29 days, he will be forced to charge us a fee. This is our goal and hope, and we know God knows our needs. Please be in prayer with us.

We also added a tally of our account on the right side of this blog, under the Adoption Jar picture. We want you to know the growth a few quarters can have. We hope you'll be able to be excited with us and be inspired by the change your change is making! (The 'change' puns will forever be there, be prepared for a long 5years if you hate it! Hah!)

Alright, alright... I know this is a shameless plug... but for those of you who don't have a heart for the Adoption Jars but are interested in helping...

*I'm an attentive and loving nanny! ;)

*I'm an awesome housekeeper! ;)

*I'm back to work at Collinsville Starbucks next Saturday, you may tip! ;)

*I'm having a 'Sidewalk Sale for Adoption' at my home May 4th-5th! This is my FOURTH year! ;)

*I sell the amazing products of Thirty-One! ...AND I got the NEW catalogs yesterday! ;)

Infertile Marriage #1: Date Your Husband

I cannot stress 'dating' in marriage enough!

Walter and I began our Date Nights during our engagement, and to be honest, they started as "Please Don't Talk About the Wedding" nights. Walter got sick of hearing about wedding plans, and I got tired of the stress that came with them. So we began going out one night a week and NOT talking about the wedding. We enjoyed them so much, soon it wasn't hard to not talk about the wedding. We bought books to help us during the dry seasons, and we decided to stick with 'em after the big day as our Date Nights.

Now, don't get me wrong, Walter and I haven't been perfect at these! Some weeks he was out of town, or we had other plans, or we've just plain skipped a week. Having a regular Date Night is a learning process that isn't easy overnight, and especially isn't easy the more responsibilities you have (aka: children, etc). BUT I do promise that it is WORTH IT.

Walter and I have chose Wednesday nights at our Date Nights. Why?
-Because it is something to look forward during 'those' Mondays because it is close enough
-Because restaurants, movie theaters, etc are hardly slammed on Wednesday nights
-Because it makes your weekend start sooner :)
-Because we have found Wednesdays seem to be the least popular day for other events

Now, that doesn't mean that our Date Nights aren't romantic or are important. It means that with this choice decided, Walter and I are both able to know that we try to plan nothing on those nights no matter what. I can look forward to Wednesday as a relaxing evening out with my man. It's a night that I know the business of both of our lives will be left at the door, and we are able to act like children again. Some Date Nights we go to a dinner and a movie, like we did last night. Some nights we have a pizza and pj evening at home. Some nights we act like it is our first date all over again.

TIP: If you're trying to cut costs, Walter and I like to go to a nice restaurant (Bella Milano here) and share plates. I ordered a FANTASTIC salad ($8) and he ordered a delicious pasta dish ($11). Instead of a dinner date that would usually cost us $50 or above... this dinner costed us $25! Also, if you're not OCD... I think it's really romantic to eat close and share plates. The waitress never thinks we're cheap (I was also a waitress for 7 years), she thinks we're just so in love... and we are. :) Many people assume we're not married, but on one of our first dates. Which is something we take as a compliment... but LOVE to tell them we've been married for years. ;)

YES, there have been times I help Walter put on a tie and he goes to the car to drive around the block to 'pick me up' for our date. :) Yes, there have been nights where we have spent the evening in our pajamas, eating a pizza, and giving each other foot and back rubs. Yes, there have been nights where we have spent it in the bedroom... either sleeping or having sex. Yes, I said it. ;)

Now, for all you other couples out there... I completely understand life is busy! I get it, you have a lot of children! Date Night cannot always happen once a week, and I want you to know I am fully aware of that. BUT then it should happen every other week, OR AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH. No exceptions. Find a great babysitter. Heck, hire me as a cheap babysitter (haha!) and get out there! I understand it just seems impossible right now, but I PROMISE you it's not.

Show your spouse that he/she is more important than everyday life.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Life. ONE in a MILLION

It was a bit of a emotional struggle, but also has definitely grown me. It's now official. Mosaic training is completed! I learned so much material, and am still learning as I read the manual over to refresh. Even more than knowledge, I know my heart is grown. There is far less judgement (I'd be lying if I said none!) to the woman who is thinking or has had an abortion. I can sympathize and begin to understand her pain. God gives us all trials, and because mine is a trial without does not mean that a trial with can be any less traumatic or teachable. I no longer want to scoff and glare... I want to help them.
Monday we sat and learned about the actual process of abortion. It was painful. Not only because it was hard to hear what was done to the babies, but what was done to these poor women! Most have no idea what they're getting into until it's too late.

We held these small babies and most women got to see what these babies look like at such an early stage. There were times I could do nothing but think of my Grace.

One thing Kathy (their instructor) taught us to share with these women were that their babies were literally "one in a million". Out of a million sperm, that could have made a million different babies... this one sperm and one egg came together to make this baby. This baby can never, EVER be recreated. Sure, these women may be able to get pregnant again (if their bodies are lucky to fight the scaring an abortion can create) but this baby will never be again. Such a beautiful thing. Mothers, think of that with your children. Could you imagine having different children? ONE in a MILLION.

Beautiful... and also sad. It made me realize that even if I am able to get pregnant again, that I have (at least) six beautiful babies that are gone and will never, ever be able to be recreated. Each one of them are so special.

Not a day goes by I don't think of them. I've wondered if I should name the other five. A lot of the women I've talked to with miscarriages choose to not name their miscarried children, but I've been thinking about it and really like the idea. If I'm going to tell everyone that I believe in life at conception and that they are children... why wouldn't I name them?

What do you think?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Testing, Testing, Testing...

Before any of you can say it, though I don't think you would, I'll say it: Having children for ONE day is a lot different than having children for a LIFETIME. However...

I watched my two nephews today. It was a last minute call and I was happy to help. However, I had errands I needed to do as well. So I thought, "Let's give this a shot!"

I went over around 7:30 and Emersn (4) was just waking up. We ate breakfast and played games and soon Pierce (14mo.) woke up and was rustling around. After playing for awhile I got them ready and loaded the car seats into the car. I loaded them up and off we went! We went to the bank, Wal-Mart, the gas station, lunch at Arby's, and then went to my house to take care of the dogs. We even took the puppy (Lucy) for a short walk... Emersn 'helped' while I carried Pierce for half of the walk. :) I cleaned up a bit and got ready myself and we loaded back up to go to my sister's. We played, jumped on the trampoline, and had a great time until my sister got home. Immediately after I picked up my friend Sarah for our Mosaic training.

I have to admit, when my sister showed up I was proud of myself. They were happy, I had gotten what I needed to done, and they weren't a mess. I thought, "Oh yeah, I'm ready!".
It was hard leaving, because I couldn't pretend like it was my life anymore. I went to training and came home to an empty, quiet home. Although I had a great day and was slightly anxious for it to be 'my turn' I sat in the silence and tried to appreciate it...

...and I was able to.

My time will come. I know it. For now I'll enjoy all those things I'll miss when I am a mom. I don't want to miss a minute of sleeping in, an uninterrupted movie night with my husband, spur-of-the-moment dinner plans with a friend, or even an empty home to read or blog in.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Making a Home #1: Vino & Cafe Bar

Here it is! My first 'Making a Home' project!

Project: Turning a cluttered corner of my dining room into a functional coffee and wine bar for serving. This will free up counter top space in our kitchen and make our coffee goodies more available for guests or after-dinner drinks.

This project was inspired by this Pinterest picture:



I know it doesn't look a lot different, but this project has made two spaces less cluttered!
Coffee cups are stacked in the bin to the right with dining table linens on top. Coffee thermoses are in the bin to the left with champagne glasses, and other bar tools.
Coffee and wine are stacked in the middle.
K-cups are in the drawer to the right, and serving utensils are in the drawer to the left.

What do you think? It's not 100% just yet. I would like a coffee cup stand holder for at least four cups. I'm also thinking of an Uppercase Living wall sticker saying "Cafe & Vino" about the wine photo.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New: 'Series' Posts

Reading other blogs I've grown a fondness for series posts. This way it's easier to follow specific stories in a blog you're interested in. I've been thinking of a few series posts I plan to begin and stay committed to.

1) Losing to Gain (Mondays)
Blogs specifically aimed towards loosing weight for our next IVF process. My goal is to lose 25+ pounds and to get into the habit of eating healthier for pregnancy.

2) The Grace Letters (Tuesdays)
Letters to my little ones in heaven

3) Making a Home (Wednesdays)
Blogs on what I am doing around the home!

4) Infertile Marriage (Thursdays)
Tips and tricks Walter and I have found at growing together through the struggles of infertility.

5) Adoption Jar Project
Updates on how the project if going and thanks to all you amazing people helping with funding!

I don't plan to post every day, but these are the themes I will try to stick to... as well as still post my other rants and raves like you've been reading. :)

Are there any other topics you would be interested in reading about?


This week a theme has made itself known in my life.

Last night was my first evening training for Mosaic Pregnancy Centers. Mosaic helps women who are experiencing an untimely pregnancy and encourages and aids in any way to help the mother choose life instead of abortion. The woman who started these centers has such an amazing testimony. As a college-aged woman she was not a Christian, and was in her second marriage. She and her husband had an infant girl, and she was working at what then called the "Hope Clinic" in Granite City where she aided in performing abortions. She says while working there, over 26 years ago, there were about 40 abortions being done on a weekday, 70 abortions on a Saturday. (I couldn't even type that without crying.) Long story short, her and her second husband were one day away from a divorce when she went and visited her mother-in-law and accepted Christ. Her husband, who was furious she no longer wanted a divorce, went to his mother and soon began reading the Bible. He accepted Christ three weeks later. The woman still worked at the abortion clinic for three months, until one day during a 26-week abortion she looked at the fully formed little boy who was now lifeless and immediately left the clinic. She never went back, and Mosaic was soon born.

This woman's daughter has came and spoke twice to our church. Both times I felt a pulling on my heart to reach out and learn more, but I was disobedient. It was always something on my list to "learn more about... later" or it was "something I could do when I'm less busy". However, when God has plans He won't let you say 'No' for long...

Soon, I saw on Facebook that my good friend Sarah had signed up for training. I talked with her during craft nights and felt that tugging again. I signed up as well and am thrilled to share this experience with her.

So anyways, last night... It was a emotional roller coaster. It reminded me a lot of our PRIDE training for foster care because of how I could almost literally feel God and Satan fighing it out in my heart.

"How DARE these women get pregnant, and I cannot. They don't even understand their gifts, yet God gives it to them!"
"He knows what He's doing."
"No, NO! What kind of God would IGNORE my prayers and IGNORE the prayers of these women and give them the EXACT OPPOSITE of their requests?!"
"He is bringing us all closer in His Own Way."

I wanted to cry, yet I wanted to cheer. Hearing stories of SO SO SO many women coming to Christ after first coming in for a meeting to talk about abortion stuns me. The woman kept saying each meeting is made my 'divine appointment' and I really liked that. Hearing of these women, who have made mistakes, deciding life for their babies and loving them makes me breathe a sigh of relief. Even when they carry to choose adoption, they are giving women like me hope.

It was semi-difficult to sit through the 3.5 hour meeting, but I'm looking forward to the second meeting tonight. I can feel my heart growing away from the selfishness that wants to say "poor me" to the heart that grows and understand these women so different than I. That's a God thing.

Also something I wanted to share from last night:
At introductions, we were supposed to share our names, the church we go to, and one prayer request so we can pray together during the two weeks we are all taking this class. Mine was, of course, my husband's and my infertility and our upcoming IVF. She prayed aloud for each and every one for us, and she prayed that God not be preparing us for 1, 2, or 3 children but for 5, 6, 7, or 8! She said, "Lord, let them have a quiver full of children...".
Sarah laughed, and later told me she was praying for the same thing. :)

If this doesn't sound amazing enough, I must share a story I've never shared on our blog. Before the days of this blog, when Walter and I had no idea the road we would travel on, Walter and I were newlyweds. I remember one day so very clearly, the we sat in our living room and prayed to be a 'quiverfull' family. Yes, I had been watching the Duggar's- but that's not the point! :) I remember sitting on the couch, trembling, because we were promising God to not use birth control and to have as many children as He wanted to give us. It was our first very hard decision we made as a married couple. Even though we were terrified, we smiled when we finished praying. We were going to be a quiver full family.

Little did we know our road. I still believe God took us down this road, and we have made each and every stop because it is in His plan. We promised Him to be quiver full because of He knew we would do IVF and He doesn't want any embryos left behind. We promised Him to be quiver full because He knew that no matter the outcome of our IVF journeys, we would have a heart for adoption. And foster care. It's not a surprise, but He knew what He was doing.

Quiver full. I love the sound of it. It may not be today, but someday our family will be quiver full just as He has planned.

But before that, I feel He has other things planned for our family...
This is very hard to admit, and I hope it lands on eyes who will not be judgmental or rude.
In high school I was a very different person. I didn't know a thing about salvation or that my life could be any better than the mess it was. I was rude and mean and manipulative to many degrees. I did whatever it took to get ahead in my own life. I was crazy. I was promiscuous. The only thing still consistent in high school was I had medical issues. Multiple times my OBGYN warned me about this and that... and I paid no attention. After a pap, my doctor called me during work at Pizza Hut (woot!) and told me there were abnormalities. I had the beginnings of cancer and I needed to have a procedure done that removed a few linings of my uterus using an electrically charged tool (LEEP). I had crazy heavy and painful periods and twice, in anger, told my boyfriends I was probably 'having a miscarriage' and 'damn [them]'! I never corrected them or lead them to believe different. I am embarrassed to say I never really knew if that was the case. Though it was quite possible, I never was honest with my parents about it, and will never know for sure.
However, the one thing I could fix was send a message to those two men I once screamed that to... Even though we've all moved on it our lives, and it was extremely hard to do, I believe God wanted it to be done. I apologized. I now know that it is something you do not just say flippantly. I now know I should have been up front and honest because I probably did need to see a doctor.

Many people have secrets hiding in the closet. Most of mine are in the past, and I hate when one of those 'who I was' moments sneak up to the 'who I am' present. However, I know that I am Christ's daughter and that is all He sees of me now. I just need to make things right. I have been very open and honest with all of you, my amazing blog readers, and I hope you do not look at me differently because I have done so.

I feel cruddy, but I feel good at the same time. I knew it wouldn't be easy writing those letters and confessing my sin in this blog, but I know it is a trial to sharpen my edges and make me stronger- maybe just like our road of infertility.

These verses has been on my heart today, Romans 5:1-8:
Therefore, since we are justified through faith, let us have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through Him also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.
Moreover let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
And endurance develops maturity of character of improved faith and tried integrity. And character produces joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.
Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.
While we were yet in weakness, at the fitting time Christ died for the ungodly.

I am no 'better' than those woman coming in, looking for information on abortion. My heart is learning this. Instead, I am able to help them by sharing the gospel and praying for them so that they may one day be cleansed like I have.

If you are reading this and you have some regrets and mistakes in your past and you have not allowed God to wipe that slate clean, please know that He can if you accept Him into your life. He can give your strength when you have none, and give you forgiveness when it seems like no one else will. We are all sinners, and we all need His forgiveness. It is a gift, we just need to reach out and take it. Please do so today if you have not.

(I must also say while publishing this post and ERROR came across my screen and I had to backtrack a lot to even find what I wrote. Luckily, it was still there and I found it after 10 minutes... but Satan will do whatever it takes to shut you up with you have something Good to share.)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Update Care Profiles!


I've recently taken a break from my main 'job' to pursue IVF and a few other things, but now I am back! I've whipped up my new profiles with updates pictures and all types of goodies, and I am actually really, really excited to meet some new kiddos and have a lot of fun.

I have profiles and both Care.com and- my favorite- SitterCity.com. Both of these websites I would highly recommend if you are looking for a babysitter, nanny, tuotor, pet care provider, housekeeper, or senior care provider. I am register to babysit, nanny, and provide pet and home care.

I've been a nanny for quite away now, and have babysat for even longer. I've had over 50 kids take a place in my heart, and I really do love each and every one of them still. Families move, kids grow, and sometimes it just isn't a good fit... but it's all worth it.

If you know of anyone looking for child/pet/home care, please feel free to send them my way. :)

Some pictures of past kiddos:

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Giuliana & Jen

Walter and I have spent the last two weeks looking at our expenses and cutting back things we could 'live without'. We have cute down the times we go out for dinner per week, halved our cell phone minutes, canceled our TV, etc. We cancelled our Netflix as well, but we still got to have it for a remaining month, since our bill was paid up. Netflix is cheap, but also hasn't been my favorite expense either. A lot of the time it is very hit or miss if there's anything worth watching. However, since it has been our only TV for the last few weeks we have been less picky.

I've heard about Giuliana & Bill before, you almost can NOT at least hear a bit about them while going through infertility and IVF. I had heard they had problems, and decided to go through IVF so I thought what the heck... The first two seasons were on Netflix. During the first season, to be honest, I had to have something else to do while it was on. It was boring. I thought about skipping to the IVF season, but thought that wouldn't be fair.

I stuck with it and soon was on the second season, really the beginning of their TTC. The second season they haven't been TTC for at least a year, so they aren't labeled as 'infertile' quite yet, but they did undergo their semen analysis, first ultrasound, HSG, and an IUI. I'm not going to lie, I've looked up a series overview.

I know after their failed IUI, they begin to look into IVF. Their first IVF cycle does get her pregnant, however she miscarriages at 9 weeks. They go again for their second IVF cycle, a FET (frozen embryo transfer), however that cycle does not result in a pregnancy. After two IVF cycles, they find out Giuliana has breat cancer, and must have a double mastectomy.

You know, we thought about IVF a lot before we followed through. We did a lot of thinking, praying, and researching, before we knew it was for us... But, while I sit here and hear Giuliana trying to decide to do IVF or not, tons of feelings run through me. The biggest feelings? Strength, and pride.

Yes Guiliana, it is a scary decision. Yes, there are a TON of risks that can cause permanent damage to your body. You're right, it is a lot for a busy schedule and relationship to take on. You hit the nail on the head when you said it was opening yourself up to a stigma and judgement.

But you do it anyway. You do it for the chance at something many women all over the world take for granted. You power through, and in my case, get strength from the Lord to carry on. You get hope that it's all worth it. Even when it doesn't work... you get hope for round 2... or 3.

I'm not saying I'm going to be an IVF addict. Walter and I have already decided our IVF Rules & Promises. Actually, I think they're important enough to share again:

IVF Rules & Promises
1) A fresh IVF cycle will be repeated for cycle #2 at the end of summer 2012.
2) All embryos resulted in this, and any, IVF cycle will be given a chance and will someday be implanted. No matter how many cycles it takes.
3) If there are no remaining embryos in the second fresh IVF cycle, and it is NOT successful, a donor egg will be searched out for on last go. (Walter at first was against adopting an embryo, but now we are really praying on it again. I feel a strong calling for that. It means a lot more travel, most likely to Florida, but possibly a lesser cost.)

Just finished the second season and I will definitely keep up with watching. It's nice that she's so out and open about it, she's able to help others. I hope to be the same way.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Amazing Bloggers & Blessings

Talk about selfishness!

Sometimes I don't have a lot of time to blog, and I just jot down my thoughts without proofreading and I'm lucky to finish... with that being said, I admit I get behind on reading other blogs. I read them- all- I promise! It just might be a week or two down the road.

I've been catching up today, and although belated, I had to mention some awesome posts.
(Talk about selfishness again, the first two are about my blog! lol) I'm sorry.

1) A woman whom I've never met posted about me after our IVF cycle failed. She is TTC as well, and I love her blogs because they are so honest and sweet. However, the main reason I love her blogs is she looks to God for everything! This is something I need to be reminded of. Sometimes I fill my prayers with 'pleases' and 'thank yous' from the "BIG things" that I forget He is in everything and deserving of such. As a newlywed, her blog is a great mix of TTC, married life, and great everyday living. Check out her blog, here.

2) Kelly's Korner also mentioned my blog in her 'Show us your life - Suffering with Infertility' post. She was searching for good blogs by women currently going through infertility struggles and I made the cut. Very exciting stuff. I'm #77!

3) Here is a new blog I stumbled upon, and my heart stopped within seconds of reading. It is written by TWO women named Jen :) and their goal is to raise awareness for embryo adoption. I could really feel God working on my heart here, and it is definitely something Walter and I have talked about. 500,000 frozen embryos are waiting for adoption!

4)A blog also on Kelly's Korner, On Loan From Heaven, posted about how a husband and wife stay together through years of infertility. Tears rolled as I read out loud to my husband and it is a stunning post. Most definitely worth the read!

This week I also got two random Facebook messages giving me fertility advice, one of them telling me that I should give God control. I hadn't talked to this person except once in about 4years, and it really hurt. I am doing my best at giving God the control, and I believe seeking medical attention does not contradict that. Her message reminded me of one of those silly Christian jokes that are super cheesy... but very appropriate...

There was an old man sitting on his porch watching the rain fall. Pretty soon the water was coming over the porch and into the house.
The old man was still sitting there when a rescue boat came and the people on board said, "You can't stay here you have to come with us."
The old man replied, "No, God will save me." So the boat left. A little while later the water was up to the second floor, and another rescue boat came, and again told the old man he had to come with them.
The old man again replied, "God will save me." So the boat left him again.
An hour later the water was up to the roof and a third rescue boat approached the old man, and tried to get him to come with them.
Again the old man refused to leave stating that, "God will save him." So the boat left him again.
Soon after, the man drowns and goes to heaven, and when he sees God he asks him, "Why didn't you save me?"
God replied, "You dummy! I tried. I sent three boats after you!!"

For my readers, I believe God made IVF for people like me. Much better than having my husband sleep with a servant like biblical times, thankyouverymuch.

Adoption Jars!

I thought of an idea, inspired by an amazing friend, and I thought I'd share with you. Please be praying that this idea goes over smoothly, for I am very excited in it.

Think of change -not a difference in your schedule or routine- but like coins. Think of what you do with those coins after buying a newspaper, coffee, or mid-day snack.
Most coins are discarded- either in the car door or in the abyss of the bottom of a purse- and most coins are left unused and unwanted...
It's hard to say, but that is the feeling of most of the children in orphanages. Discarded. Unwanted.

But we want them! We love them and don't even know who they are!

So I made Adoption Jars. They will be delivered to our family and a few close friends this weekend. We are praying our loved ones will want to fill these jars with change they find or find no use for again and again. We have 5 years, and 2 months to save and I am in love with the idea of paying for our adoption with something most find unimportant... but we see the importance in it. I can't help but pick up a found coin, plop it in the jar, and pray for our future little one...

Here's the letter we're sending with the jars:

Dear Family & Friends,
What do you do with your spare change? Do you use it at the laundromat, the parking garage, the vending machine… or are you interested in something more? How much change can a few spare coins really make in a life?
Walter and I would like to ask you for your support and giving. While discussing adoption, and how we could ever afford it, I had an idea. I thought this idea could greatly grow into something blessed and amazing if both families would join in our efforts. If each person gives a little, then not one will have to give a lot.
After years of infertility and multiple attempts to conceive via different methods, our hearts for adoption have grown bigger than ever. There are children in the world who long and ache to have parents, just the same as we long and ache for children. To bring one of these children home would be a dream come true for both.
If you would like to use your spare change to aid in our adventure of adoption we would be forever thankful. Please do not send a check, or even dollar bills. We are asking for the leftover change from your coffee in the morning, or the coins at the bottom of your purse you have forgotten about. Would you consider joining us by filling your jar with unwanted change? If we can join together, pennies and dimes will quickly add up and our family will grow by two feet. I know this sounds like pure cheese to many of you, but you are not here in the middle of the night when Walter and I cannot sleep. You cannot feel the pain and emptiness we feel, and you do not know how often we catch ourselves daydreaming about our future child.
Walter and I plan to do IVF again at the end of summer 2012. This IVF cycle can finally make me the pregnant momma I dream to be! If it does, my heart will be so full, but my body will be exhausted. IVF is a mentally and physically tiring process. If our second attempt is successful, we will not go through the process again unless we have remaining embryos. After speaking with my RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) she tells me this will be unlikely. If this second IVF cycle fails, our hope will be adoption. We will then be planning on adopting an egg for a third IVF cycle.
Walter and I also have the heart to adopt a ‘older’ daughter from China. A girl around 3 will be our goal- and the cost will be from $20,000-$40,000. However a requirement to adopt this girl is that Walter and I will have to wait until we are both at least 30 years of age- giving us at least 5 years and 2 months to save from the time you read this letter.
Whenever I see a penny on the ground I cannot help but pick it up, toss in the jar, and say a prayer. I think about the day my husband and I will be able to bring home a child- who has possibly been discarded, forgotten, and claimed unimportant. I dream to be able to do this with money that some have discarded, forgotten about, or claimed unimportant. This child, this daughter of ours, will be a member in our family for life. Please consider helping us bring your granddaughter, niece, cousin, or friend home.
Walter and I have already filled, and deposited, our first jarful of change in a special account of savings for this adoption. This untouched account will be where your change will be deposited. You may fill the jar once and return or you may fill the jar multiple times. You may also choose to not take part in this collection. If this is your choice, there will be absolutely no bad feelings. Please return the jar to our home and nothing more needs to be said or done.
You are each in our hearts and prayers, and we appreciate the support and love we have received from each of you.
Read about our journey at: theinconceivablehousewife.blogspot.com

Please be in prayer for the hearts of our family and friends. This will be an everyday, constant reminder that we have support and love from people who care about adoption, our infertility struggles, and fulfilling dreams.

*If you are interested in filling an adoption jar for us, please feel no pressure, but we do have a few leftover. Contact me.