Monday, November 21, 2011


We have wonderful news!!!  We are pregnant and expecting a baby in July!  It is still early and we always said we would wait till we were out of that scary stage, but I really can't wait anymore.  Most of you know already anyways so here is the story :).

As you know we went through a failed IVF cycle in June/July of this year.  We originally were not planning to freeze any left over embryos because of the cost, and because we had decided that if the IVF didn't work we would know that we needed to move on and focus all of our efforts on adoption.  But when it came to the final decision while we were in the midst of the procedure, we felt that we should freeze them.  What if IVF worked and we wanted a baby brother or sister later on down the road?  It just felt right so we froze them.

When the cycle didn't work we felt like it would be impossible to ever use those little frozen embryos because of the financial side of things.  We needed to finish paying for the failed cycle before we ever decided to do anything else.  I couldn't even think about spending more.  Well our Heavenly Father is so very mindful of us and knows a better plan that we need to learn to trust in!

A wonderful couple had offered in the past to help us with adoption expenses should we need it.  One day after our failed IVF (a day when I was feeling especially blue) she called to make sure we knew they would still like to help us out.  She mentioned infertility treatments and wanting to even help us with that if we wanted to go that direction.  I informed her of our failed IVF and thats when the light popped on and inspiration hit.  It wasn't coincidence that she thought of me and knew she needed to call me.  It wasn't coincidence that she brought up infertility treatments.  I knew she was a tool in Heavenly Father's hand at that moment and a huge miracle was taking place in our lives.

They made it possible to try our frozen embryos at the right time!   We did the transfer on Oct 29th with these little guys.
I waited agonizingly trying to talk myself out of testing everyday.  Finally 6 days after the transfer I told Doug, "I need to test or I'll go insane!  If it's negative then it's just too early and if it's positive then we will know and I can stop freaking out every day."  I never expected to see a positive only 6 days after the transfer.  I will never forget the crazy emotions I felt as I waited for another negative pregnancy test and it was POSITIVE for the first time in my life!!  Not like - you have to wait a while to see the line show up and wonder if it is positive.  Positive as in the line showed up the moment it got wet and there was no doubt about it positive.  I went running down the stairs laughing, crying and whispering for Doug too look (I would've yelled but I couldn't find my voice)!
 As you can see I was a huge test junkie and couldn't help but test every day until my blood test.  I just wouldn't believe it until I saw that I was still pregnant and the test was still positive!

And now we have a little baby on the way!  We saw it for the first time today!!  It looked like a little blob with a flickering heartbeat and it was the most beautiful little blob that we've ever seen!
It was so amazing to watch it on the screen and it is starting to feel more real now.  We pray each and every day that this sweet baby will grow and be healthy. That no complications will arise and everything will continue to progress.

So for now we are so excited, scared, in shock and overwhelmed with gratitude for this beautiful blessing in our lives.  I am continually amazed by the evidence of our Heavenly Father's hand and plan for us, but I guess I should just get used to it!  I know I will see it many more times throughout my life and that the more I look for it, the more I will see it.  Thank you all for loving prayers and faith in our behalf!  And thank you especially to that special couple who have made this all possible.  There is no way we can ever repay you!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Halloween 2011

We really like to have fun with Halloween! We had another fun murder mystery dinner that was Halloween themed this year.  We enjoyed family, food, costumes, decorations, and quite the macbre story!  Here are a few pictures!

For FHE the week before Halloween we invited Logan over to carve pumpkins.  We have done a lot of patterns in the past.  You know where you trace the picture and then carve?  So we decided to be creative this year and design our own faces.  Logan and Doug were the artists while I helped clean the pumpkins and then roasted the seeds.  We tried regular salted seeds, lemon pepper seeds, and a good harvest spice mix which had cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger in it.  They were all fabulous but I still like the salted the best.  Here are the carving efforts!

Can we take a normal picture?  Yeah right! HA!

For Halloween night Doug and I decided to stay home for the first time and hand out candy to trick or treaters.  We had a yummy pizza and movie (Hocus Pocus - a must!!) party all the while seeing the cute neighborhood kids dressed up!  I even got to see a few of my piano students :)!  I love to see all the fun and creative costumes and find so much joy in just handing out a few pieces of candy haha!  I don't know why but it is my favorite thing about Halloween.  Here's a few pictures of our Halloween night.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thoughts on Temple Marriage

Last Thursday we were able to go to the Manti Temple to see my sister Brittany and her awesome husband, Austin, be sealed together for time and all eternity. It was a beautiful day, they were beautiful, the temple was beautiful, and the sealing was beautiful. I have to admit I got a little teary-eyed as they were promised blessings included in the sealing ordinance. It made me so grateful for my own marriage, but especially grateful to know that my sister has a wonderful man to share that covenant with. Someone that will love her and cherish her by taking her to the temple and honoring their covenants. Someone that will be a wonderful husband and father as they live their lives.

As I had these thoughts I felt the spirit so strongly, bearing witness of how important it is to keep our covenants and develop a celestial marriage. This world is so messed up these days, that it is so easy to let outside influences into your marriage. The little things that we think matter or time we spend being busy with extra things really can get in the way of helping to build our relationships. As the Sealer spoke to us I had a greater desire to make my marriage celestial and recieve the blessings promised us.

The Sealer shared some great insights to help live a life worthy of all of the covenants we make with our Heavenly Father. He spoke of the things we promise and the blessings we can receive in return. The first thing to help us along was returning to the temple often. We learn and grow each time we return and keep ourselves worthy to enter the doors of the temple. Another suggestion was to pray together always. We are not told to pray sometimes, or when we feel like it or when we feel that we need it. We are admonished to pray always. The Sealer invited Britt and Austin to kneel together each morning and night and to thank the Lord for each other and their love.

The biggest thing that stood out in my mind in way of advice was to be in Love. Tell each other how in love you are often. Of course these are things that I know we should do and I've always tried to do, but it struck me for some reason. Think how unselfish these acts require a couple to be. If every married couple talked daily of the things they love about each other, how many marriages could be saved? When thinking of the reasons you love someone it is almost impossible to focus on their faults. Isn't it easy to forget the little things that seemed to matter before when you focus on what really matters? Does the fact that you load the dishwasher differently or he doesn't get the socks into the hamper change the way that you feel? I just felt a rush of all of these thoughts as he stressed the importance of saying I Love You.

I watched them kneel across from each other and saw the love in their eyes. I'm so happy for them and know they will have a wonderful life together. We are so blessed to have Temples. I felt a lot of love and comfort from our Heavenly Father to be reminded of my own temple covenants. I was reminded to continue to have an eternal perspective in all things. I hope to be able to work on making my marriage celestial.

Through all of the trials and hardships we have we can't loose our eternal perspective. Some of the things that have been getting in our way lately are finances. How are we going to afford adoption? It's impossible to try IVF again when it failed the first time. Can we risk losing out the money again? Sometimes I feel like we have no choice but to give up and wait until we have this or that. It seems like too many dinner conversations revolve around our finances that I find myself forgetting why we are trying to start a family in the first place. Sometimes it feels like I am ignoring our relationship because I'm so focused on doctors and medication and dates or times. It is more important that my husband and I Love each other first! I know that we will be blessed with children, whether it is in this life or the next. If I remember this it would be so much easier to align our will with Heavenly Fathers will. Then our focus could be on patience, love, and our relationship. An eternal perspective gives us the assurance we need to move forward with faith rather than getting confused, obsessed, or neglecting important relationships. Of course we need to continue to try to build our family but not at the expense of so many other important things. It is possible to do all of the things we are trying without it taking over our lives. Hopefully I can do better at keeping this focus as we move forward with things. I was grateful first of all for the reminder of the eternal perspective, and secondly for the reminders of how to build celestial marriages and relationships.

So, congratulations to Britt and Austin for starting a wonderful journey! And thank you for your examples and reminding me of so many important things.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Thank You!

Thank you everyone for you comments, love and support.  I'm truly grateful for your kind words and encouragement.  It is very nice to know that while others may not understand WHAT I'm going through, we all understand how trials affect us and can relate to each other on a level that allows us to lend support.

Thank you Sarah for sharing your thoughts on how even as the Savior, who is perfect, suffered in the Garden, He asked that His burden might be lifted from him.  It is one more way for me to find comfort in the Savior and gives me strength.  Sometimes it is hard not to beat myself up because I feel that by asking for the burden to be lifted, I am asking if I can just give up.  I need to remember that what I'm asking for is comfort and the ability to bear my burdens.  And there is no reason to feel guilty about that!

It is interesting how 'weak' I have felt lately.  I have never thought about it in a way where I tell myself that I am not weak but that the trial may just be maxing out my strength.  When I look at it that way I have a greater desire to build up more strength to make it through.  And with that comes hope, which I have to cling to when things are hard.

I am so blessed to have you wonderful people to share in my trials.  I do feel strength from you.  I feel your prayers and I see God answer them in my life all the time.  I have had such sweet blessings this week that I can't ignore!  The little miracles were most definitely prayed here.  Even in the midst of what seems like the hardest time I've ever had, I have seen the little miracles.  I will have to share them sometime but for now just know that I am blessed by your prayers and faith.  Thank you for having some on my behalf, when I had none left.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Burned Out

I want to say in advanced that I know this post will sound like it is completely opposite from my last one.  That's because it is, and this is my life right now.  So just bare with a little complaining from me for once.  It will help for me to know that I told the world how I feel rather than wish that others could be a little more sensitive to me but not knowing how to tell them that.

I know that it is really very normal for couples to get burned out about adoption, IVF, treatments and the such... But I seem to be at an all time low!  I feel like it doesn't matter what we try, it doesn't work.  I'm almost ready to throw in the towel and say, "Ok Heavenly Father, I suppose we are just not supposed to have kids in this life.  Let me start working on being ok with that now."

Of course I know that I NEED to keep having faith.  I NEED to be patient.  I NEED to be positive.  It's hard!  I do have faith, I try to be patient, and I'm always looking for the positive in our situations.  I just need one moment of weakness to say that I'm starting to get tired of being and doing all of those things!  I NEED help! That's what I need.  I need to find hope in other peoples stories and experiences.  I need to feel like everything is not about 'baby this or baby that'.  I need my friends and family to realize that yes I am learning and growing from my experiences, yes I feel good about the things I have learned, but my arms still ache for a baby.  It is not easy for me to watch the thing I want most pass me by, while this very thing seems to bless the lives of everyone else.  I'd like for others to think about that when it looks like everything is just fine with me and I've got a brave face on!  I know this sounds awfully selfish, but it would help so very much.

Ok, with that off of my chest I feel better.  I do have faith that I will be a mother.  It is one of my greatest desires and I know it will be fulfilled one day.  I'm so grateful for all of you that are mindful of my situation and lend me support.  I'm especially grateful for all of my cute little students!! I feel immense love from them when I see them at church, around town or at the football game :).  So I'm glad that I can fill up the little space in my heart with them for now.  Some days it is hard to be reminded that my little girl or boy should be sitting in on my classes with me learning right along with everyone else!  Hopefully that will be the case someday.

For now I will do my best to be grateful for everything going on in my life!  For how busy it is, which helps me to focus my time on others rather than myself.  For Doug's love and support, even while he is going through the same experiences.  And especially for my Savior and the knowledge that He knows what I am going through.  So hopefully with that I can keep my flame going.  Help me add to the fuel so that I don't get burned out.  If nothing else I will scrape through this experience with the flame still going even if it is a little smaller and weaker.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Something I Need to Write Down

Disclaimer: This post is super long and gets kind of personal so....if you really aren't that interested, don't care or don't have time, don't worry about it.  It's more for me than anyone else anyways : )

This is hard for me to put down.  It makes it seem too real....or more than I should be able to handle.  I don't want to dwell on it, and I'm certainly not seeking pity, but I've seen huge blessings through it all and I need to write it down.  Since this is my journal of sorts, I know that I will want to go back and read it.  And yes I do need my friends and family to know me a little more, cause I do need their support, so here goes.

Doug and I have been on the adoption list for almost 10 months now.  It seems like forever, yet it has gone so fast.  In about March we kept feeling like our family needed to start now!  It was an urgent feeling.  A feeling that kept me thinking that there was something specific we were supposed to be doing.  I wondered if we needed to look at another adoption agency.  One that placed more babies, more quickly.  So I began looking around.

Every agency I looked at felt wrong.  I wanted them to be right because that meant that I didn't have to wait anymore.  That I could end up with a baby in a month to 6 months.  But those thoughts were purely selfish and full of impatience.  I knew in my heart that none of them felt right.  We finally found a christian based agency that was much more affordable and I loved it!  I felt so good about it!! The only catch was they only accepted 10 to 15 applicants a month.  Over 200 people applied every month!  So I just thought well if this is right, we have to apply and it will work out.

I applied and went crazy waiting for 2 weeks to hear if we had been accepted.  Finally I got an e-mail letting us know that they didn't have a spot for us at that time but we could wait 6 months and apply again.  It was hard to feel like we needed to be doing something but had no idea what on earth we needed to do!  Adoption was obviously not working out for us in the time frame I felt so strongly about.  We decided to pray about all of our options again, which made me feel like we were back at square one except for 3 1/2 years later!

Doug had talked about In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) a lot when we first started talking about our options.  I was always too scared to consider it.  Too scared of what would happen if it didn't work.  What would happen to me emotionally?  What about our finances? It would just seem too final if it didn't work!  I didn't think I could handle that!!  So when he brought it up again, I was surprised to feel more open to it, even hopeful by it.  We prayed and prayed about it.  And finally felt 100% that it was the right thing for us to try at that time in our lives!  I made an appointment with a clinic in Salt Lake and felt happier and more hopeful than I had in a long time!  My life felt at peace.  We had a plan and it felt so right!

They say that when you get comfortable Heavenly Father has to stir things up a little so you won't get too comfortable and stop learning things.  Well that is for sure!  2 days after I made an appointment my caseworker called.  Wouldn't you know it!  There was a birthmom interested in us with about 5 other couples.  She wasn't picking us for sure but she wanted to e-mail us.  I was so confused!  I look back now and know this was a trial of our faith.  A stumbling block to strengthen our faith in our confirmation of what was right.

For days I struggled wondering what this all was supposed to mean!  Were we really that bad at following the spirit?  Was Heavenly Father throwing adoption in our faces because that's what He told us to do in the first place?  What did this birthmom's interest mean????  I was a mess for a few days!  I couldn't sleep, I was horrible for conversation because I let this dilemma consume every second of every day!

I prayed for guidance and comfort.  For the littlest peace of mind so that I could see our situation clearly.  Heavenly Father is very good to us!  I instantly felt my mind clear so that I could have a real clear thought process.  We had received confirmation to go ahead with IVF.  It was strong and true a few days ago.  I still felt that confirmation towards IVF, while thinking about adoption and the birthmother filled me with confusion.  We didn't even know if this birthmother was really interested in us.  

And in the middle of thinking all of this the light bulb flickered on.  I am grateful for the inspiration of the Spirit while you are going through a trial.  I had a moment of pure understanding. As we go through making a decision, faith isn't only exercised in receiving the answer.  We had to exercise faith in following through with that answer.  Heavenly Father will continue to try our faith, even after we have acted upon the answer received.  I decided right then and there that we knew IVF was the right choice for us.  If it didn't work it was still the right choice for us.  I couldn't look back on it and say 'Oh we shouldn't have done that!  It was a waste of our time and money! or Maybe we just didn't really know and were hoping this was the right answer for us.'   I'm so grateful for this opportunity to learn this hard lesson!  It made it so easy to go forward with faith from that time on.  We were ok with our choice no matter what the outcome was.

So I was at peace.  We discussed the fact that the birthmom looking at us had so many wonderful choices in adoptive couples.  We needed to leave her out of our thoughts and go forward.  And we did!  Everything happened so quickly.  We had a phone consultation on a Tuesday and then started meds on the following Friday.  My wonderful bosses gave me the two weeks off I needed so I could stay in Salt Lake and be monitored.  My beautiful, amazing mother came and stayed with me in Salt Lake while Doug got things done at home.  And the whole time I was happy, at peace, and 100% positive!  This was our answer and everything had to work out.  I just knew it!

Things went so well during the whole procedure.  We were able to get 16 eggs (wow!), 9 fertilized and we had 5 or 6 that were very good to choose from.  We picked two 'beautiful' embryos and had the transfer done.  The only time I had an emotional crisis was when a teenager backed into our parked car the day before our embryo transfer!   We felt so excited and couldn't wait for our positive pregnancy test.  

After the transfer we headed home and I took it easy for the two week wait.  I let everyone lift everything for me.  I didn't exert myself and I just couldn't help sitting there planning and thinking what things would be like.  At that point we were expecting in my mind.  That baby was real to me!  

5 days before our blood test was scheduled I started to spot.  It was the first time I worried.  The first time I thought that it possibly didn't work.  The nurses reassured me that it was completely normal but, I think I knew deep down that it hadn't worked.  It was hard and a complete surprise!  We had felt so strongly that IVF was the right choice, and if it was the right choice, well then it was supposed to work.  Right?  I tried to stay positive and hopeful and wait until I had a blood test to confirm one way or another.  But at the same time I prepared myself for the thought that it hadn't worked.  I am so grateful for this time I had to process it before it was a for sure negative.  I felt comfort from the Lord and my husband that no matter what happened, it would be ok.  I knew that it was the right thing from the beginning and that I needed to continue to exercise my faith.

Finally 3 days later I got a full flow and had my answer.  I went in for the blood test as scheduled and received the negative result.  Honestly it was so hard but almost a relief to let go of the hope that it still worked, when I knew deep down it hadn't.  We don't know why it didn't work when it seemed like it couldn't have gone better.  But we don't question the fact that we tried it.  Maybe it was so we could learn how to have complete faith, even after things didn't work out the way we wanted them to.  We still have that faith and we aren't giving up hope.  We have some frozen embryos we might try in the future.  And as always we are so hopeful for adoption. Oh and the birthmom interested in us never e-mailed.  She ended up picking someone else before she contacted us. 

I look back and feel so blessed to have had complete faith in something that didn't turn out the way we had hoped!  I am grateful for the things I learned through this experience that apply to every aspect of my life!  And I'm extremely grateful for the people who were there to love and support us.  Honestly it is probably one of the hardest things we've gone through and yet we are so ok.  We are sad about it, it is hard, but at the same time we can only change how we react to it and deal with it.  I wake up and I think today is a good day!  I have a lot to look forward to and I really am happy right now! 

I am also grateful for the windows that open as doors are shut.  I have been able to get certified and start a piano program geared toward teaching 4 and 5 year olds called Let's Play Music.  It is just perfect for me and has given me something to focus a lot of time and energy on.  It is the biggest financial blessing as well!!  I have 5 classes filled!!! That means 35 little cuties that I get to interact with, love, and teach.  It also means we will have the financial means to continue doing what we need to to start our family.  This last week I realized I hadn't even thought about the 'dreaded failed IVF'.  
Not even once : ).  
So though it is hard and we still aren't expecting that baby we desire so much, I really am at peace.  It might be hard to understand how.  It really doesn't seem like I should be ok, but with the Lord's help and an eternal perspective everything is OK!  So don't call me super strong or so amazing or put me in an awesome light.  Because it's not me, it's my Heavenly Father and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. With them we can really do anything.  

Do we still really really want a baby?  You better believe it!  More than we've ever wanted anything in the world!  But we can wait a little longer.  So sorry this was longwinded and drawn out but I needed to write this down and let you all know that we are very much ok.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Its been one of those days.....weeks....months.....  I just can't seem to find the time for anything!  I have several posts that I have started and never finished.  Our poor house needs a good cleaning...I'm happy when I'm able to just do the dishes.  And all of a sudden school is almost over which means Summer is coming with all of its plans and craziness!  I'm hoping I'll survive it all!!  

We are doing well though, life is good, Burley makes me smile everyday, and Doug loves me.  So while it may seem to you all that I have dropped off the face of the earth....I'm still here.  I've just had to check out for a while and focus on the most simple and important things.  Sorry if it seems I avoid, ignore, or don't go out of my way to talk or see any of my family or friends!  I hope you will bare with me a little longer and I promise I will bounce back to my old normal self!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My New Job....Well, My OLD New Job

The Lord is very mindful of us!! I have been reminded of this over and over in the last couple of months.  As you all know we are planning to adopt and have been finding was to save and raise money for it.  Doug and I had been talking for a while about me finding another job that I could do along with teaching piano.   We bounced a few ideas around but nothing really ever seemed to fit or even work with my schedule.  And thats when the miracle happened.

We got home one night and had a message on our phone from someone in our ward.  He owns a donut shop that recently opened in town.  He was calling to ask Doug about any families in the ward who were out of work and might need a job.  Doug had just gotten released from Elders Quorum President a few weeks before.  We didn't know if this Brother knew he had been released.  So Doug called him back and talked to him about how he was no longer the President but could think of a few people in the ward he could contact.

As they were talking I heard Doug say, "Well my wife might actually be interested in that position.  I mean I don't want to speak for her but that is something that may actually fit with her schedule.  And I don't want to take the job from another family in need, but if you wouldn't mind keeping her in mind as a possibility..."  They talked for a while longer and as soon as he got off the phone I asked him what that was all about.  He told me that they had a baking position that was open and the hours would be from 2 am to 7 or 9ish for about 3 days a week.  That it wasn't a full time job but they definitely wanted to see my resume and interview me the next day at 8 am.

I went and talked with them and found out more about the job.  It was more than I could have ever hoped for!!  It wasn't a full time job because they don't have the ability to offer benefits yet so it is a max 35 hour/week job (pretty much full time).  It would be 3 days a week at 2 am and then 3 days a week at 6 am.  It worked perfectly with my schedule, and they are the most awesome people!!  I left the interview with it at, "Think about it, talk to your husband, and if it will work for you call me sometime tomorrow and we will get started."  Of course 2 am isn't the most lovely time to get up : ), but it is perfect with my schedule of teaching piano lessons in the afternoon.  Heavenly Father dropped the answer to our prayers in our laps!!

So Doug had talked to him on Tuesday, Wednesday I interviewed with them, Thursday we officially got the job, and Friday I went in to start being trained.  It was a miracle.  This all happened the week before our Christmas Benefit Concert.  It was an answer to our prayers!

I have been working for over a month now and it is really an awesome job.  The people I work with are amazing and the best bosses I could ask for.  I actually enjoy my 2 am shifts!  It's when I get to talk with them and learn more about them and the manager.  The manager and his wife just finalized their 2nd adoption, this one through the foster care system.  Our Heavenly Father blessed us again by putting someone in our life that has direct experience with what we are going through.  I have learned a lot from them and been blessed to learn more about different options in adoption.

I am just so grateful to my Heavenly Father for this immense blessing.  We are having so many of our needs met through the people I work with and the financial stability the job gives us.  I just kept wondering how can we ask our Father in Heaven to bless us with a child through adoption when we aren't financially ready to pay for the fees involved.  I knew adoption was the answer for us, but I couldn't help asking "How?" over and over.  I know when our Heavenly Father gives us an answer that doesn't seem possible, He will provide a way if we are willing. It would have been really easy to say, "2 am?!!? Are you crazy?  That is so not worth it."  But it is worth it and I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for this blessing.  I'm thankful to the owners for following the spirit and calling Doug even though they knew he had been released.  I'm thankful to the manager for sharing his thoughts and experiences with me so that I can be more prepared for our child to enter our lives.  And I'm grateful to my Husband for his love and support in this job.  For dealing with me being gone sometimes when he gets up, and going to bed at 8 (or earlier) so I can get up.  Well I had to write about this and my feelings, more for myself than anyone else.  So come try some donuts at Paradise Donuts in Rexburg.  They are the best donuts around!!