Monday, October 14, 2013

Is anyone still out there?

Hello blog readers.  It's Courtney.  Take my lack of posting to mean all is well.  Macie is at the best age - 3 is so much fun.  Penny is 18 months and is one of my greatest treasures.  She is pushing boundaries but I love it.
I still follow your blogs.  Moving from Google reader to Feedly is still a little confusing at times (I've just decided that I am not technologically savvy and I don't care who knows it), so I still don't know if I've got everyone's blog listed, but I think like me, a lot of you are not posting as frequently because Hello, life is busy and wonderful.
This blog is mostly about our journey through infertility, with a dash of life on the side, and there just isn't too much to say on those fronts right now.  We still have two embryos left from 2010, and we'll plan to use them next spring/summer.  We're just saving our money and I need to get serious about losing 20 pounds before we do the transfer.  Plus, our girls are just SO MUCH FUN right now.  Yes, it's a ton of work, but isn't this what I prayed for?  Yes!  And I have a wonderful peace about these embryos.  If they work, great, if they don't, I feel like my quiver is full, and I'm not lacking in a family.
I'm back to work part time, and every single day is busy, so even when I have a chance to sit, I'll catch up on reading blogs, but typing on a computer tablet? ... Foggetaboutit.
So that's where we're at.  The husband is great, it's football season so we're busy with him coaching.  And Church will be ramping up as we're already planning for Christmas.

I hope you all are doing well, and If you're still reading feel free to leave a comment (even though I know it's annoying to do so from a table - again, is there an easier way to do that?).
Happy Monday,

Friday, May 10, 2013

Am I A Smug Fertile Now?

I am on the creative team at my church.  I love it.  We do some pretty fun, serious, wacky things during services, and generally it's just awesome.  We started our church just about 5 years ago, and last Sunday we had over 1100 people come.  It is so neat to see what God is doing with the small gifts He's given us.
I largely do the announcments each Sunday.  And when we're running through each service, we talk about the flow, transitions, and if there are any special elements.
Que Mothers Day discussions.
We've been trying to think if we want to add a "drama", a video, or do a give away for moms for the past couple weeks.  Coupled with having Louis Zamperini speak a few weeks ago, (if you haven't read 'Unbroken' by Laura Hillenbrand, you're missing out!), Mother's day kind of snuck up on us and we are going with a short video and giving away a candle to each mother.
But then we were discussing how to give the candles away.  Our first plan was to do the normal, "if you're a mom, stand up and the ushers will give you your candle (hopefully said with more pizzaz than that...ha!)."  And there is still part of me who remembers those days.  The days when everyone would look at you, either because they wondered if you were pregnant and would stand up, essentially letting that be the moment you told everyone you're pregnant.  Or when people would look at you and feel pity if they knew you'd been trying for 3 years to have a baby.  But I do remember. 
But you wouldn't know it based on the next discussion our creative team had.  The Worship director said he had a thought, what about those women who were trying to become moms?  What about the women who lost children.  What about, what about, what about.  All those women who for different reasons were hurting on mothers day. 
My first reaction was not to side with the childless.  And now, ever 3 days later, it still bothers me.  My first reaction was to say that if there are women who are hurting, and are sitting in church being bitter, that they need to deal with that on their own, and we can't expect the Church to cater to that. 
WHAT!??  Did I really say that? 
Here is why I said that, and this is the part I wished I would've elaborated on in that meeting.  My own personal journey (No one elses, even you lovely ladies who are still trying, or trying for a second or third...) was that I didn't understand why God wouldn't bless us with a child.  And I found myself battling jealousy.  I know jealousy to be a sin.  So I know if I had allowed myself to be bitter and jealous (which let's face it, sometimes I was) that this would have been my own sin to deal with.  Also, what I said in the meeting was that if there are women who are truely hurting over this (pain I know well) that they probably wouldn't even be coming to church that day as we have been advertising a child dedication on Mother's Day as well. So if a woman is going to be in the congregation and be jealous that she's not a mother, she needs to deal with that between her and God.
You guys, I said it wrong!  I didn't mean that!  I want so desperately to go back to that meeting and stick up for all of the people who aren't mothers and fathers who want to be!  I want to say that it's awful that you can be watiting and going through procedures and having blood drawn and your womanhood called into question because there is no baby in your arms.  I want to address that we've got a problem that a lot of women deal with and the church doesn't offer very many solutions and small groups for that.
But I didn't.  I said that I think the women should deal with it themselves. 
I think because I had to suffer through it, I thought others should too. And they should take the high road.
I think I was feeling smug. And it has bothered me ever since. 
I don't need to apologize to that group.  They don't care.  It's 3 men and a 58 year old lady who's about to be a Grandmother.  None of them are really going to emaphithize with this pain.  It's you and me I need to apologize too. 
It's the women who want a baby and just can't understand why this isn't what God has in store for them. 
It's the me from 5 years ago who was gaining weight left and right because she kept thinking 'Maybe I'm pregnant', and then when I found I wasn't, I would eat to console myself.
I should have been the first to speak up about making women stand because of the stigma it puts on those who are sitting.
But I was silent.
And I'm sorry.
And next time I have the chance to honor the infertile or the childless, I will.  And I will give my own girls extra squeezes tonight (and every night) because they are such a gift and I'm so blessed to be their momma (even when they are calling my name every 3 seconds...especially then).

Happy Mother's and Future Mother's Day.

P.S. If you're wondering, we decided to put the candles on a table outside and tell the moms that as they leave, be sure to stop by and pick up their gift.  So we're not making anyone stand up in service.

Friday, April 26, 2013

It's not that I don't have stuff to say...

It's just that holy cow, I've got no time to type it!
Things here are going well.  Penny just had her first birthday party, and in another week, little Miss Macie will be 3!  How did my girls get so big!

 These are both outfits that my mom saved from when I was little.  Macie calls it her 'Princess Dress'.  Never has a 1970s dress had so much respect.
 Penny's first party was "Milk and Cookies" and probably deserves it's own post, but I'll just say that it was a hit, and I worked really hard for about a month.  And I still haven't written thank you cards.  #oops.
 I think this is my most favorite picture ever.  I want my girls to grow up singing and laughing and you can see, that is what we try to do at bathtime.  I believe we were singing One...singular sensation, every little step she takes.... from A Chorus Line.  We're nothing if not classy.
We went to the Aquarium, and this girl had a blast. 
It's just been so much fun that I can hardly stand to take time to write everything down.  I love life, but boy, are we busy!  I think once summer comes and I can be a full time mommy...well, no.  I think then, I'll have even less time.  But I'm still here, reading your blogs and bummed that Google reader is retiring.  Any ideas on how to convert to something else simlar?
I'll update when I can, but I'm just over here living the dream and enjoying every moment.  (It's not the perfect dream, but it's totally worth it!)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Family Picture Time

 The past few years, nothing has made me feel more like a 'mom' than making my family dress up for pictures.  I think it's just something that only a mother would make you do, but I have loved it.  This year we had a tough time - it was super cold, we couldn't find the photographer at the right park, and the sunlight was fading quickly....AND, Macie saw the lollipop I was going to give her at the end of the photo shoot, and she   If you saw the Christmas card on a previous post, that should explain some of the tears.  I think we got some good photos inspite of the tears, but I learned some lessons for next year:  Take pictures before time changes so we've got more daylight to work with; Pick a place closer to our home where we are familiar so we don't have to rely on our phones to get us to the right place; let her have the lollipop sooner (or just skip the after photo treat).  That being said,  my girls are beautiful (brag much?) and I love being their mommy.   I only pray they know Jesus from a young age. 

 This is an actual dress from my childhood.  She calls it her 'Princess Dress'.  Does that make my dress vintage?!
Only one of a few where we're all *almost* looking at the camera.
 This is one happy girl.  What a delight and I can't believe she's already 10 months old.  I can't belive her eyes are so blue also.  She's not quite taking steps, but she's highly mobile.
I love this picture.  She was getting a gentle 'talking to' but the moment looks so serene, instead of the time-out I was likely threatening.  But I do love it.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Potty Training Question

Hey Y'all!  I'm checking in here to ask a question.  Background:  We started the actual, no holds barred potty training on Dec. 21st, 2012.  That day she went #1 11 times and 8 were on the toilet (success in my book!).  The following day she had no #1 accidents and a #2 accident (but daddy was watching her, so again, success!  Just kidding).  Since then, she has had only one potty accident (weird, it was just last weekend, and she was totally unfazed that she had wet herself).  But overall, things are going SWIMMINGLY! 
Here is the question.  For her naps, she is waking up dry, and has been for a few weeks.  So yesterday I bought a mattress pad (and then promptly got home and realized i already had one...blurg) and she took a nap with no diaper.  Success!  No accident.  So at night, she has been generally waking up with a dry diaper.  When do we move to night time no diaper?  Is this not for a couple years?  When did you start going all night with no diaper?
I'd love some input here.

And since we're way overdue for pictures, this is from a few months ago at Costco.  Did I already post this?  I'm at work on break and I'm limited to what pictures I have on hand.  But little cuties they are!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Where To Begin?!

Honestly, I've had one of the busiest holiday seasons of my life, and not all for the better.  I'll just start by sharing that my father passed away on New Years Day.  We've had a difficult relationship for many, many years now, and I'm still very sad to see him go.  I've got lots to write about that, but I'll have to save it for a complete post.  That isn't the main reason that I haven't been blogging, it's just because I've been SO, SO busy (not unlike most of you), and I haven't had time to put on makeup, let alone, blog.
Let me just give some highlights (from before my fathers death) and that will hopefully entice you to check back when I finally have a chance to write everything down. 
First, Macie is *almost* potty trained!  I say almost because we still do night time and nap time diapers.  It has been amazing not to clean up toddler poop!  Today marks 2 weeks and we haven't had any accidents since day 2!
Second, my church put on a huge Christmas Eve service (actually, we had 5 services) and I directed it.  It was hugely rewarding, and I wish I could do that for a living instead of teach history (although i certainly enjoy teaching history...and above all, I wish I could just stay at home full time with the girls...if I'm dreaming).
Third, Christmas!  With a 2 year old!  It was fantastic to see her excitement Christmas morning.  The only problem this year on Christmas was that we learned of my dad's deteriorating health condition that night and that sort of soiled the end of the celebration.
Fourth, Home Improvement!  We had our ceilings scraped of the lovely 80's popcorn ceilings while we were in northern California*.  But this meant taking down all Christmas decorations on Christmas night, and then putting away all knick knacks of any kind all day on the 26th before ...
Fifth*, driving 7 hours to Northern California with a 2 1/2 year old and 9 month old to see my grandparents.  We had fun..ish.  There were 12 people in a 3 bedroom house that is only 1400 square feet.  We aren't hugely demanding, but I felt bad for my Aunt, as we took over her room completely.
Sixth, Dh and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary.  While in Nor Cal, we left the girls with my mom for the night and drove to San Fransisco.  We had a nice dinner and saw a 49ers game.  It was very, very cold for this Southern California girl.
Seveneth, Penny started getting a cold the day we got back to my grandparents house.
Eight, Macie got sick the next day
Ninth, we were informed right before our long drive home that my dad was being transferred to hospice care and would probably die in the next week or so.
Tenth, we were told that he would probably die that very day or the next.  So on our way home, sick babies and all, we went to the hospice and were there right before he died.  It was on one hand nice, on the other hand, very uncomfortable**.
Eleventh, the girls continued to be sick and on Tuesday night, Macie's fever reached 104.3.  Penny's wasn't that high, but she had the bad cough.
Twelfth, Both girls to the doctor the next day (wednesday now).  Both girls Bronchiolitis.  (Penny just had this two weeks before Christmas, Macie's never had it).
Thirteenth, Dinner with the stepmom who was in the middle of divorcing my father, but as he was in the ICU, they "exchanged rings and said I love you".  So she's back in the picture even though he is gone.  Very unsure how I feel about that.
Fourteenth, Macie is better, Penny is on 4th day of fever.  Is throwing up almost everything she eats or drinks.  Little urine output.  Back to doctor.  Breathing treatment and chest xray.  Guess who has mild Pnemonia?  Peneleope Dorothy!
Fifthteenth, did I mention I'm throwing a bridal shower tomorrow?  So I've got no free time here and when I do, I'm searching how to do a trivia game for TV families instead of cuddling my little ones, because I still want to celebrate my friends' baby, but I'm just a little strapped.  At least it's tomorrow and it'll be fun.
Sixteenth, My husband was supposed to go out of town tomorrow night and with everything and without me asking, he decided to stay home and be a huge support to me, especially with Penny being sick.

This has been, the most non-vacation of my life.  I can't wait for life to go back to normal.  Whenever that will be.
AND, God is still good, all the time.  I still see His hand on my life in the middle of this earthly insantity.

This was supposed to be the short post.  Can you believe there are details here I didn't write?!  I may not write them down, I'll lose all my 'followers'.  Ha.

** my dad died of liver failure brought on my alcoholism.  It was a very sad way for someone who once had so many friends to die, but at least his family was surrounding him in the very plush hospice room.  It was uncomfortable because there was no privacy to say anything to him.  But then again, I'd already said what I needed to say in our conversations early in life, but still, you know...he was my dad and I really have great memories from my childhood.  just not my adulthood where he was mostly concerned.