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

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer 2012 Bucket List

Things I want to do with my husband this summer:
  • Hand wash the cars, taking plenty of time to splash and play
  • Visit a bed & breakfast
  • Have a picnic
  • Watch fireworks on Independence Day
  • Add some 'curb appeal' with a few days of hard work
  • Visit the local Farmer's Market
  • Go Geocaching
  • Go 'camping' in our car
  • Go to the Botanical Gardens
  • Eat lots of sno cones
  • Watch a sunset
  • Renew our vows on our anniversary
  • Have a 'slumber party' and stay up watching movies all night
  • Carve our names into a tree
  • Make a stone out of cement with our hand prints
  • Have a photo shoot
  • Have a paint fight
  • Ride bikes together
  • Raise money for our Adoption Account
  • Get tattoos for our children
  • Write to Mickey & Minnie Mouse
  • Go to Skyview and watch my first drive-in movie
  • Have our caricature drawn at Six Flags again
  • Grill shish-ka-bobs
  • Have a no-spend week
  • Go to The Muny
  • Go to Pi
  • Explore Collinsville
  • Stage a 'power outage' for a weekend

Things I want to do with friends this summer:
  • Go on a road trip
  • Paint the spare room, and turn it into a craft room
  • Make wind chimes
  • Go to a Christian concert
  • Swim at my parents' pool
  • Raise money for the Adoption Account
  • Get a PCOS tattoo
  • Make 'Drunken Gummy Bears'
  • Shop for antiques 
  • Make/eat s'mores

Things to do by myself this summer:
  • Take violin lessons
  • Spend an entire day reading
  • Catch up on making yearly Shutterfly photo books
  • Write a encouraging note to leave somewhere to 'pass on'
  • Raise money for our Adoption Account
  • SMASHbook
  • Create a 'Date Night' jar
  • Finish crocheting the blanket for our bedroom
  • Dye some of my hair a fun color
  • Work out and lose weight
  • Walk the dogs a lot
  • Ding Dong Ditch the neighbors, but leave a treat 
  • Create a Before/After photobook of our home
  • Check into learning Sign Language
  • Update our profile for foster care
Any other ideas? This list will be a work in progress, so be sure to check back for updates! :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Party for 11? and then some...

A friend of mine has asked me to watch her two biological children and three foster children for a week while she heads out-of-state. I was then asked to pick up a child from the airport and watch the infant and 1-year-old she watches as well... along with the two grade school children I watch during the summer. I'm also working at Starbucks this week, and having a Thirty-One party to host, put in, etc. Nevermind the work that involves switching our foster care licensing, calling insurance and being put on hold 100 to dispute IVF charges, promising my husband to still do Date Night, etc etc etc.

At the end of the week I plan to book vacation. I'm hoping I don't get carried away and wind up booking the B&B for the rest of the summer! :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Good. Mail. Day.

Today when my husband got the mail, he brought in a box.

It's amazing what a small, unexpected box in the mailbox can do for your day!

Suddenly, we were 'bickering' (totally teasing!) on who got to open it! "Who is it from?!" I ask all too excited.

"Nathan & Laura" he reads...
"My friends! I get to open!" I say, matter-of-fact like a brat :)
"Mine too!" he pouts
"But... but... but!"
"Fine..." he gives

I tear into the box and find an awesome letter explaining the gift I'm about to see. I read the letter and am thrilled to see that my our friend Laura has given us a beautiful butterfly. It is teal and reads, "baby girl" on it. She has plans to send more and I cannot wait! I'm definitely thinking they will soon become a mobile!

Along with these awesome butterflies, we recieved Nightmare Before Christmas figurines from her! Walter and I had such a fun time putting them together, we plan to watch the movie again really soon! One of our favorites! 

Thank you so much Laura and Nathan, for being such awesome friends to us both :) and for these wonderful gifts. I cannot wait to collect all the little upcoming butterflies and see them grow into something really fantastic that we, and our future children, can really enjoy!

Laura, to answer your questions btw:
I love all your ideas! I think they are so heartfelt and thoughtful! Can we add "Our Angels"?
A verse I would love is Psalm 113:9! Definitely plan to get that verse with a memorial tattoo for them all. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend: The Hope for Future

Okay... whew... glad to get all that crud off my heart.
God knows.

The good of Mother's Day!

Right away in the morning I got beautiful text messages from three good friends; Thank you Leah, Mallory, and Jamie! My husband woke me up with a letter he had written and three handmade coupons for 1) 13 foot massages 2) Five favors of my choosing around the home and 3) our vacation next month! He also is paying for a friend and I to do dinner tomorrow night, and bought me a journal, toaster oven, and a new coffee mug.

We did a little running for flowers for my family, and came home to a beautiful card my best friend Sarah wrote for me. Her words will be forever cherished and a reminder of the reward to the end of this struggle. It's worth it!

I later sent out text messages to the mother's in my phone and got a few really sweet messages back. Thank you Valerie, Connie, and Denise! Words of encouragement can really go far and with every one of these 6 messages my day perked right up. I am so thankful God has placed people in my life who do His work and listen to His words. A text is such a small thing to send, but sometimes such a huge blessing of relief on the receiving end.

The end of the night I finally got the Sidewalk Sale for Adoption divided up and ready to deposit. The Sidewalk Sale had went really well. Sarah is amazing, and I love her heart for doing this with my for four years now. Her friendship and support truly is a gift. Speaking of gifts and blessings, another good friend of mine stopped by the Sidewalk Sale on the way to run errands and dropped off a donation. Leah, you are an amazing friend, and through any seasons God may place us in I believe our friendship is stronger. Thank you. 

My mother had given me another filled jar as well! The jar was $69.98 (dang, two pennies shy! lol) and I raised $165.00 with the Sidewalk Sale! The remaining items have been boxed up and are split between Goodwill and [Re]Fresh

 I tossed in a couple of dollars and some change in my purse (all the money I had on me, lol- does anyone else never carry cash? I really need to get better at that...) and was able to deposit $237.98 into the Adoption Account!

Thank you so much to everyone who has been helping us through this time by encouraging, praying, financially supporting, or by spreading the word to friends. Each area is so important to us, and we pray that you are open to aid us in as many ways possible. 

I even got the Thank You cards I've been meaning to send out! Everyone who has gave a donation or filled a jar now has a card on the way! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your patience! I'll get better at that!

Thank you so so much who made my 2nd Mother's Day a day of reelection upon all the blessings I've been given, and a heart full of hope for all that is to come. 

Mother's Day Weekend: The Color of My Heart

Mother's Day weekend was a roller coaster of the good and the bad. The highs were uplifting and most definitely heaven-sent. The lows were definitely front he depths of hell that sent me so low I could curl in a ball and hide forever. Thus, I just had to put them in different posts even.
First, I thought we'd get the bad over with so I can let. it. go...

Mother's Day was a beautiful day. The weather was beautiful, and we went to my mom's house for a BBQ and to swim and be with the family. It started great, family was having a good time, and we were sharing stories. I don't know how it got to this point, but my dad said something to make me follow it with the question, "How would you feel if we adopted a child of another race?"

"You mean, like Spanish?"

"Any of the races, dad."

"Well... I guess I would be fine with it as long as it's not black."

I'm sure you can see where this is going. Things were said by him that I don't even feel comfortable typing out. Of course, all of it followed by, "Now I'm not a racist, I have black friends..." I then told him if any of his black friends were sitting here they would be quick to punch him in the face. A few things he said literally made my stomach flip flop and get sick. My grandfather's 'girlfriend' began to chime in, and it took everything in me to remind her that she wasn't even family. The whole family began talking, and debating. As it finally died down, we quickly left and I cried the entire way home.

It made me realize how far out there his beliefs are. It made me realize I desperately want to break the belief that the child will 'force him to make chitlins' and 'marry one of his own kind and force me to be the minority'.I came home to stumble across a blog a friend posted on Facebook: What I Leaned About Motherhood be Being an Adoptive Parent. Her blog was beautiful. I love how she says,
"When you adopt transracially, you do not become the parents of a minority child. You become an interracial family. Adopting transracially effects the entire family unit, and this means that the whole family must adjust to make sure that a child of another race grows up with a sense of belonging.  Adoptive parents must open their eyes to racism, instead of burying their head in the convenient sand of a mythical post-racial world."

It made me really sit and think for quite some time on the biblical belief of 'family'. Is it biblical to do what I feel called to do (adopt children of other races) and put my future family about the family I was born into? I know our 'family' is our spouses and our children... but does that include the children to come?

I believe so. I believe that God has placed this burden on my heart, and given me all the family I could even need in my husband to fulfill his calling of having an interracial family. The older generations can choose when that time comes on which will win between their love for my husband and I (and their grandchild) or their hatred of a skin color. My family really is split right now on their beliefs.

In the debate my sister acted like she was shocked it was even an issue, she and her husband (and their three children) would have no problem with it. My mother even said, "If having a black child is my only chance at having a grandchild then I will love him." Even though I appreciate my mother for saying that, I don't like that she thinks adopting (especially adopting an African child) is a last resort. My grandpa ans his girlfriend literally stuck out their tongues in disgust at adopting- I may as well have been eating raw meat off the dirty soil.

I can only hope God will bless us with children of our own, and children who are Asian or African American. I think interracial families are the most beautiful I've ever seen, and I would love to someday be a family that fights against the negative stereotypes that somewhere along the road I 'settled'.

I was also told not once Happy Mother's Day by my family.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Many people take a vacation right before they give birth, and call it a 'babymoon'- sort of a last chance at sleeping in, taking quiet time to yourself, and just being a couple.

Walter and I are taking a different kind of babymoon, but it's also a lot the same. After we found out our IVF had failed, as we were healing Walter and I talked a lot, and we began talking about round two. In passing Walter told me that he kind of felt we have been 'trying' our whole marriage (we have) and that it's because almost a little obsession with us both (it has). "Wouldn't it be nice, to just go away for a couple of days and completely not care or not talk about babies?" he said (it would). It was then I realized I had put having a baby before having a marriage so many times. I stopped what I was doing and looked him right in the eye and promised we would have a vacation to ourselves before I would even consider another round of IVF.

The date has been moved around a bit, but we've finally settled on one. Walter is taking off work June 13th-June 18th. That is Wednesday to a Monday. The 13th is also our 3rd wedding anniversary.

But how do you save for vacation when you're saving for a baby fund, an adoption fund, and trying to keep up with bills?! By the grace of God. We've thought of vacations from Disneyworld (me) to just sitting at home and telling everyone we're on vacation (him), but we finally sat down and talked about what was important for us for a vacation. He said he wanted quiet, to chill, and read, and nothing ridiculously fancy. He didn't necessarily want a 'road trip' or a place with a lot of children. I wanted Disneyworld! Mine included LOTS of things to do, and the road trip experience, and the hotel, and the fancy dinners... but then he told me to think about what I really needed in a vacation, and I thought. What I need right now is to be away in a quiet place with my husband. To sit and talk and have not a lot of distractions. I wouldn't be broken-hearted if we didn't see one pregnant lady... and so the idea of little company was nice. Most of all, I wanted to go into a room and be with him, and be able to make a mess and not have to clean it up! Ahhhhh vacation.

A friend suggested Pier Marquette, and we looked there, and it began some really great conversation for Walter and I. He wanted this, and I wanted this, and so we finally stumbled on the Illinois Bed & Breakfast Association website. There is a place to check amenities you want and it finds you on in the state. We narrowed it down to four out of hundreds, and then found one that blew it all away.

We decided on Oakridge Manor in Creal Springs southern Illinois:

Isn't it absolutely beautiful?! It looks like a little piece of couples-getaway-heaven and I seriously cannot wait. It's a bed & breakfast, so of course the rooms have cute little themes. There's 'Grandma's Room', and 'The Kokopelli Room', and 'The Dragonfly Room'... but the remaining two rooms have been re-done and modernized beyond belief. They are totally mine and Walter's style, and we're deciding between the two.

'The Loft'

and 'The Nine Dragons':

Walter and I also have a vow renewal every year on our anniversary. We take turns planning them. I planned the first with friends in front of our first home with candles and music at midnight, before I had to leave for Bigstuf camp to teach in the morning. He planned the second, a gothic renewal in a quiet park section of a cemetery. The third will be here, but I've got more planned. ;) Each year we write vows and talk about our next year of marriage, what we hope to accomplish, and what we vow to work on. Each year we like to have a moment thanking God for this wonderful blessing called love and marriage. Come What May we know we have each other. 

Please be in prayer for us financially, that we can make this happen and that we are wise with the money God gives to us. We want to learn to be good stewards of all His Blessings, and that includes finances and our marriage. Thank you so much.

Also, which room would you choose? :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thank you

Thank you to the couple who sent us a check for $54.00 for the Adoption Fund. You know who you are, and how much we love and appreciate you both. I admire your humility, your grace, your giving, and your heart for the Lord. We will cherish you both forever.

The Little Superhero

A couple of you have been asking, and so I wanted to start off right away with an update and some bad news. A couple of posts ago I posted about a friend and her two nephews that were found in the water. Unfortunately, the doctors could never get Luke to breathe on his own and he passed away May 5th.
My friend invited me to his visitation, funeral, and graveside burial. As a nanny and a desperate-for-children woman, I can still honestly say he was one of the most beautiful children I have ever seen. Light olive skin and the biggest brown eyes I have ever seen. In his tiny casket he laid with his Spiderman suit on surround by favorite toys. If I did not know any better I would have sworn he was just a little boy, who had fallen asleep after a long day of playing. I spoke with his parents, and met the entire family and we talked about who he was as a child, and who he still is in heaven. I told them how I liked to think of my children having a picnic under a tree in heaven, and how I'm sure they're welcoming Luke to that picnic as we spoke. I praise the Lord that we all are able to find hope in tragic times like these. His parents decided to donate his organs as well. Both kidneys went to children here in St. Louis, his liver matched to an infant here as well. His heart went to a child in Wisconsin. We must: Trust in the Lord with all [our] heart[s] and lean not on [our] own understanding. In all [our] ways submit to Him, and He will make [our] paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Admit It

Okay everyone... it's time to admit it.

I'm getting antsy. 

When did I know I was really ready again?
I was talking with Walter the other day, and we were discussing the future and the things we wanted to accomplish before we jumped into IVF again. They were the same things we've been talking about: a large yard sale, getting some money into savings, working on our home, taking a nice vacation for just the two of us...
All these things make me smile when I think of them. It's nice talking about them, because it makes me remember I'm excited for other things in my life besides just babies.
I made a joke about how great it is that we're working on these things before "I gotta start jamming needles in me again" and we both laughed... oh the crazy things you think are funny when you're struggling not to cry.
But something whispered... "Needles. Hormones. IVF. The dreaded two week wait... Baby".

And right then I wanted to stick a needle in my tummy more than anything in the world.

Are the needles painful? Yes.
Do the hormones suck? Absolutely.
Is IVF fun? Anything but!

Maybe it will lead to a baby.

Are the needles painful? They're not bad. :)
Do the hormones suck? We're dealing with them. :)
Is IVF fun? We're so very excited! :)

She's worth it. He's worth it.

It's hard to be asked about IVF. Most days people look at my sympathetically and expect me to complain about the needles and the hormones and the fights and the stress and the blah blah blah...

But honestly, I'm antsy to begin round #2.

I'm ready for another chance.

Please by praying for us. We have out IVF #2 date in mind, and we're not rushing it. We're going slow and steady- with our ears pointed to the heavens and waiting for His Word.

To get my 'antsyness' off of baby, I thought I'd begin getting antsy for something else.
I spent the day looking up a bed & breakfast in the area for our trip, and it's looking heavenly.

Friday, May 4, 2012

"the birthday nights"

I know it's not terribly late, but for a woman who was up until 1AM this morning getting ready for a yard sale and to be up at 5:30AM getting for said yard sale... it's late enough.

But I can't sleep.

Our 'sidewalk sale' was rained out after just finishing setting up, and rescheduled for next weekend. It really bummed me out, not going to lie, to bring all that hard work back into my home (and porch...please don't rob me!) with only having made one sale. A sweet lady, who Walter said was his mother's friend, bought a file organizer from me for $2. I know there's next week, and I know we have plenty of time to raise the money...

Yet- if you've ever seriously had adoption on your heart, you know the nights of racing thoughts, sleeplessness, and unprompted hope. The nights I call 'the birthday nights'.

'The birthday nights' begin normal. You crawl into bed, snuggle your beloved, you pray... but when you roll over you soon realize your spouse has been snoring for quite some time. You try to shake the thoughts, but they just cling to you like wet clothing. Unable to pluck them out of your mind, you're forced to just cave in and let your thoughts play out in your head.

Why 'the birthday nights'? These nights got this name because I feel like that is the thought out of the millions that repeats over and over... "What if my son, my daughter, is being born right now?"

Your heart has never lived in such a purgatory if you've never thought this. You emotions play with you, bouncing back and forth from "I bet she's beautiful. He'll play ball in the yard with Walter- we'll have to get a basketball hoop. Will the mother want pictures? I can do that. Will the mother want to visit? Can I do that?! Will the child love me? Will we bond correctly? What if he's sick? Abandoned?! What if there's no one there to tuck her in tonight? I want to hold him/her/them all so badly... I bet they're beautiful."
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I usually lie there recounting these moments over and over, and thinking of our future as a family, and praying... I do lots of praying. However, tonight I decided to get out of bed and get my thoughts 'onto paper'. First, I skimmed my blogroll and noticed a blog I'm new to following with a new post. I've never met this woman, but I sat at cried at her words. She spoke of how her future second adoptive child already existed in their hearts, bodies, and minds. The words were so beautiful and so close to my heart, it was nice to know I'm not crazy- - or at least in good company. :)

I know that feeling she is talking about. I may not know who my child is, or where they'll be born... but I know I love them. I know I've longed to hold them and teach them and watch them grow with awe. It doesn't matter to me what blood type, skin color, or DNA they have. I just want to be a family.

I know God is working on us, and preparing us for the right timing- His timing- and for the first time I can honestly say I'm at peace with the wait. Our child/children will come at the. most. perfect. timing. All the sleepless nights will be a distant memory... well, the sleepless silent nights... :)

I'll leave you with a thought that puts a smile on my face (followed by a yawn signaling to me it is finally bed time)... maybe my child is up for a night feeding right now and neither of us could do it without the other being awake.

I'm praying for you, little ones, until we're together as a family.

No matter how many re-planned sidewalk sales it takes... how many quiet nights... how many lonely days...

It all doesn't matter.

Maybe because, we're already a family.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chewing Gum

After reading a fellow blogger's new post about her anger with people being insensitive about her infertility I left her a comment. It was a piece of advice a friend gave me long ago, and I think God just brought it right back to me for an affirmation.

I told her that no one would truly be able to understand her journey except God. Her husband and other women who have walked the infertile road may try and so will her mother (who the blog was about), but only God will understand every moment and feel every bit of pain and sadness.

I suggested she treat all the "relax" etc advice like chewing gum. When chewing bubble gum you take it in and chew until all the flavor runs out (these are the things that build your up, that you take as truth, that are said in love) and then, with whatever is left, you spit it out.

No one gets mad at chewing gum when the flavor runs out though right? :) It's cute and that obnoxious pink color that reminds you of simplistic times. It's not the chewing gum's fault that it ran out of flavor, it can't help it! It did all it could by holding in as much as it could, and it's just up to you to dispose of whatever is left after the flavor.

I just took the chewing gum analogy to a whole new level. :)

Anyways... this is how I've aimed to be with advice. When you're infertile, it comes in by the truckload... because honestly, how easy is it to get knocked up?! People do it ALL the time, and some people even do it by mistake! So anyone who has been pregnant, or has a friend/sister/mother (lol) that has been pregnant feels like they're an expert. In the beginning I tried all the advice... standing on your head, eating a teaspoon of cinnamon, 'not trying', going on a vacation, blah blah blah... and the advice keeps coming. It's impossible to do or try it all. Instead of getting frustrated, I just take advice like chewing gum.

So please, feel free to tell me your distant cousin got pregnant by using a special kind of lotion or by adapting to a special diet. I may try it out! However, please don't feel dissed if I spit the advice out...

Memoirs of A Crazy (Blessed) Person

Today and yesterday have been really crazy days... at the end of a what-I-thought-was-crazy-but-after-these-past-48hours-maybe-not-so-much week. Try to hold on tight, because...

 here are my random thoughts that are leftover from the last two weeks...

*I got into a really bad fight with my sister-in-law. We have never been each other's favorite person, but we tolerated one another... until finally it bubbled over the edge. It all began when she de-friended me on facebook (doesn't it always?), and I got ballsy enough to ask her why (for the fourth time) did she defriend me. I never thought she'd be so candid. :S Of course, it couldn't stop there. I yelled at Walter, and he called his sister... Her aunt caught wind of it on facebook and then her aunt called my mother-in-law... you know where this is going. But honestly, I'm thankful for it. It may have taken almost two hours on the phone with one another, but I think after yelling, and being honest about our assumptions, and extinguishing false assumptions... we may like each other a tiny bit more.

*Lucy gave us one of the biggest scares of my life last week. Walter had the day off (PRAISE THE LORD FOR THIS) and we tied Lucy and Belle up outside (like we've done a hundred times) so they can eat and play outside while we get a few things done inside. It got quiet- too quiet- and Walter went down to check on them. He later told me what he saw when he looked out the window, and I must tell you it is graphic. Belle was lying on the ground trying not to move and Lucy was lying next to her, mouth and eyes open and not moving. Belle's lead had wrapped around Lucy's neck. We ran outside and were frantically trying to save her. Belle was panicked as well. We couldn't get the lead free or get their collars off- it was just too tangled. It was some of the longest minutes of my life. We were losing Lucy, we both knew it. Finally, Walter ripped the lead from the pole and got enough slack I was able to free Belle and get her inside. I came out just as Walter untangled Lucy. She would not stand or move. Finally, a few hours and a vet ER visit later, she was completely and totally fine. She still acts like it never happened, and all her vitals check out just fine. It gives me chills to touch on the thought of checking on them even one minute later or if Walter would have worked that day.

*This medicine my RE has me on, Metformin, is killing me. I'm supposed to be taking this while eating healthier and going to the gym, however when I take it I just cant eat... and when I do feel like eating, I eat whatever I'm able to get an appetite for (junk). Forget working out! Oh Lord, please be with my stomach and just let me take this medicine so it can help me. Please let me be able to get my butt to the gym soon.

*Speaking of getting my butt up and out the door, I begin Starbucks again on Saturday. I'm terrified. They've been so kind to let me take medical leave and come back, and my manager has worked with me so well. I am terrified I'm not going to be able to do it. I'm worried my medicine will make me sick and the new espresso machines will be complicated and the stress will get to me and I'll just lose it. I feel like I'm loosing it already sometimes.

*I really should check into a Christian counselor, says the same woman who has been saying that for over a year...

*Our 'Sidewalk Sale for Adoption' is this weekend. Donations and boxes have been pouring in. A friend of mine put what I've been feeling beautifully in her blog. She did her first yard sale for her daughter Esther this past weekend, and I loved when she said, "Throughout the fundraising weekend, when I would get tired, or hot, I would think of my sweet Esther sitting in an orphanage. Whatever I was doing, wasn't half as hard as what she was doing." It is so true to my own heart. It really bothers me when I get catch myself thinking, "urgh... what a large pile of stuff to tag, set out, sell... it's going to be a hot, hard day..." because that is NOT my heart. I can't even begin to imagine what orphans go through- even at a very young age. To be lonely, and possibly not have anyone to comfort them. To be sad and crying, and to not have someone care- really care- about their pain. To grow up knowing that the one person who was supposed to protect and love them, could not be there with them today. Instead, I think of a daughter or son sitting up in bed and dreaming of a family- much like I do. I dream of a child who hears the word 'family' and thinks 'love'- not a color of skin, not a certain blood type, and definitely not wealth and vacations. :) Our wealth will be our family.

*Walter and I have been checking out a new church. We are really interested in moving sometime soon when we find out about his work contract, and at one time we would have jumped on the chance to move to Edwardsville. We are not so eager anymore. We feel like it has just gotten packed. Our hearts now live in Shiloh. I'm loving the area right off Green Mount Road and we've been looking around there for a couple of months now. No agent or anything serious just yet, but we can't wait. Yet, we are trying to stay unattached to a 'when' because we have no idea. However, we found a church in the area that we adore. We had been church-shopping a bit here and there for the past year and when a friend invited me to go with her here I knew Walter needed to come look. With ever visit, we were more sure this was our new church. We became members there last weekend, and are looking forward to helping out and becoming 'youth coaches' there. We've decided to stay with Metro until this June, when the kids we teach go on to the next grade. It is a sad chapter in our life to close.

*Walter's vacation time is coming up. June 13-18th we're thinking for our 3rd wedding anniversary. I'm really hoping we can go on a vacation. I promised him a nice, relaxing vacation just being a married couple- no TTC/IVF talk allowed. We just re-financed our home, and will be expecting a check soon... That check will tell us if we're going to Disney (!) or a B&B down the street...

here are my random thoughts that are leftover from the last two days...

*Our AC is on it's way out. After going a few days without it at all, my in-laws had a guy they've used before come over and look at it. What we though would be $60 wound up being $610! I'm thankful my in-laws decided it would be a gift from them, but there's a burden that comes with never being able to repay someone... :( We were also told that if, I mean IF, the AC lasts throughout the season: 1) consider ourselves blessed 2) it will definitely be time to buy a new AC next season- with a $6,000 price tag! :( Along those lines, my clothes dryer has shut-off twice now (in the past 24hrs) in the middle of drying a load... I fear it's next. :( We also got the estimate for the fence we wanted to put in for the dogs and it was $1,000 OVER what I had anticipated. :( Also, our insurance called and they hope to be out soon for to access all the damage the HUGE hail brought in our area this week (my Aveo is beat down bad, the Nitro has a few window chips, and our gutters are beaten, but told us it may be awhile. That's okay, because even the deductible is going to give us a hard month. :( All the while I'm desperately wanting to put 'just a little' out of each paycheck into our adoption fund. Walter and I don't really fight much, but you can believe we fought about money hardcore last night. I have a feeling this is all coming from the fact that this is our first month tithing in over a year. We're pushing through! ...I hope. You better believe we're going to sit down with a pen and pad and try to work it out- again. Adoption, our marriage, God's Will (NOT in that order!)... it's all too important to us not to.

*Walter and I cannot wait until his work gets a little more stable. Right now his contract with the company has expired, and he is working without one. His union and the company are meeting everyday to talk about the future contract (IF there is one!) and it can mean everything from being let go, to getting a $10 hour raise (no joke!), to forced overtime... It's a scary and stressful place for us both to be in and everyday during his work day he has to deal with silly antics the union wants him to do to 'stick it to the man'. He, of course, refuses to do them... but he has to deal with the backlash the company doles out nonetheless. We really hope to move, and begin IVF again, and begin to accept foster children... but everything is on hold until the day we know what has been settled. I feel like I'm in the 2WW again, but this time there is no end in sight... just a lot of waiting... waiting... waiting...

*A friend of mine called, and asked if I would run over to help her get her twin toddler boys in the car so she can take them to the ER. One of them had been vomiting all morning, and was running a 103 fever. I held Nehemiah, the sick one, and tried to calm him and she gathered her things and things for the boys for the hospital. I sat there, and rubbed his back and felt his hot skin, and got him into the car when it came time to leave. After she left I couldn't help but think, "Wow. Am I ready for this?" I have to admit. I am a panic-er. I worry when there is the smaller tinge of uneasiness int he air and I go into full "ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh" mode when there should be worry. God has molded me and worked with me through a lot of my impatience during this infertile journey... maybe my worry will be next.

*Another of my closest friends contacted me. Two of her nephews (twins) wandered from home and found a lake. It is not clear how long they were underwater before they were found. One of the twins is in a nearby hospital and has been recovering well. The other twin was airlifted and is on a breathing machine. His heart rate is strong and stable, but he is not awake. Doctors are concerned he may stay in a vegetative state. Please pray for these boys and their family. Please pray for my good friend.

*A new friend of mine asked me to pray for two pregnant women she knows. One woman pregnant with twin boys and one pregnant with a boy singleton, both were at risk for extremely pre-term delivery. Just a few short hours after I began praying my friend sent me another message telling me the mother of twins did give birth at 19 weeks. Both boys went to live in heaven this morning. It's really heartbreaking stuff. Please pray for both of these women and the baby boy still on this side of heaven.

*Mother's Day is coming up. I struggle with this day. Not only is there no handmade cards for me by any children, all the children I have been blessed with are in heaven. I want to celebrate it so badly, and part of me thinks I should because I am a mother, but a larger part of me thinks I am just celebrating a holiday not made for women like me. It reminds me of the single Valentine's Day before I met Walter- an attempted celebration, but just sad. How will I spend the day?

*I really need to think of something I can do to honor all the amazing mothers in my life as well. 

So there you have it. This may be my final blog before I lose it.
It just all makes you think. How beautiful the Lord can be with the intertwining miracle-making and the fear you have of Him. I just laid in bed last night thinking of how we each are so loved by Him, yet our outcomes and our lives are all so different. He touches each of our lives so differently, so expertly, in the way we need it. We pray for miracles, and sometimes the gift of heaven is the miracle. We pray for patience, and sometimes we get the longest wait of our lives. We pray for financial relief, and we get a burden to stretch further and tithe. It is sad. It is hopeful. It is hauntingly beautiful. Our lives play out so close to one another, and yet we are so enveloped in our own. We never know the battles in one another's hearts.
The quote, "If everyone threw their problems into a pile, upon seeing the rest, they would gladly grab their own back." keeps coming to my mind. It doesn't specify what struggles would be included, but it makes you thankful for your own darkest days. A man who loses her husband is thankful for her children, while I wouldn't exchange my husband for the children of my dreams. It makes me think of my have's not my have not's. I have been blessed to hear, see, and walk. I have been blessed with a home, a husband, pets. I have been blessed with enough money to live and want as well. I have been blessed with friends and church family I would die for.
 Another version I loved: "If every man were to bring his troubles to the marketplace and assemble them all in a great pile, each man, upon seeing the rest, would be content to take his own and return home."
 I have been blessed by so much, I appreciate the 'silly little' have not's. I'll take my broken down AC, large bills, stomachaches, overweight body, fights with family, and yes even my infertility, and I will be grateful for it all.