Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Baby Booties

I made the cutest little baby booties today! I got off work early this afternoon since there were an abundance of people working today. I left work around 1, picked up around the house, and sat down to check my facebook and email. I came across this pattern I had saved some time last year on crocheted baby booties. Supposedly it only takes 30 minutes to make both, so I decided to give it a try.

I've never really crocheted before, except one time. I tried to crochet the most complicated hat on earth with absolutely no knowledge on how to crochet at all. I figured since I knew how to knit, crocheting would be super easy to pick up. Well, the hat ended up being 10 sizes wider than my head. This was after I took it out and re-crocheted it about, no exaggeration, 20 times. Needless to say, I came to the conclusion that I was much better at knitting.

However, these little booties were SO cute that I had to give them a try. They ended up being so easy I cannot believe I actually did it! It definitely did not take me 30 minutes, since I'm not experienced at all in crocheting and did not remember how to double crochet and slip stitch. After about an hour, which isn't too bad, I completed these little darling shoes!!

Aren't they so cute?! I won't be able to use these particular ones because the yarn is not very soft. I'm going to get some soft baby yarn and start making these for all the new moms I know. They are quick, easy, and make perfect gifts for new moms! I just love 'em!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

HSG Results

Lately I have been crazy busy between work, things going on at church, having people over at our house, and working out. I'm sure most of you know by now from my facebook status or just by talking to me that I had my HSG last Tuesday. It went amazingly well. The dye went through my uterus and tubes in about 15 seconds. They said it was the easiest and quickest HSG they have ever done. It seems that so far everything is going so well and there is nothing wrong. Now we wait for the next three months to see if we get pregnant. Even though there is nothing wrong, the HSG increases our chances of getting pregnant because the dye cleans outs any mucus that might be in my tubes. There are a lot of cases where women have gotten pregnant after the HSG just because of that reason. So that gives us some hope.

Brice left for St. Louis today and he will be gone until Saturday. :( There is a conference going on up there for New Frontiers from Wed- Friday. He also has his interview on Thursday with two of the New Frontiers guys that are part of the church up there. This will be the determining factor of whether or not we officially move up there. It will also decide, if we do end up going up there, how long it will be from now that we go. It definitely will have to be a year at least because Brice signed his contract for this school year. We are thinking it might even have to be two years because of the $8000 stipend we received for buying our house. The stipulations are you have own the house for 3 years and it has to be your primary residence. If we leave in a year and rent it out it won't be considered our primary residence, so we're not even sure if that's an option. I guess we'll have to wait and see what God does!

God has definitely changed my heart about St. Louis. Before I was very against it and did not want to leave Statesboro, my friends, and our church family. Now my feelings about it are completely opposite. I'm excited to leave Statesboro and move to a bigger city and just enter into a new stage of our lives that God has planned for us. This may not be what He has planned for us. But if it is, He has really changed my heart about being very open to it and even excited about what He'll do in our lives if He does take us to St. Louis.

In light of Brice leaving today, we decided to have date night last night instead of the usual Wednesday night date night. We were really excited about it!!!!

We went to Olive Garden and had some yummy white wine, which is odd because we are really red wine fans and not too big on the white wines. We split a meal and then went for a walk on Georgia Southern's Campus. We walked through each building reminiscing about all the classes we had there and the experiences we went through. We talked about how crazy it is that Georgia Southern used to be our lives and all we knew about Statesboro. We never thought we would actually stay here, buy a house, and begin building our lives here.

I'm really going to miss him while he is gone though. I'm glad I got to spend the whole night with him before he left.

I love my husband so much!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Emotional Struggles of a Barren Woman

I'm feeling a little down today and struggling a lot with not getting pregnant. It's so easy when you are a barren woman deeply longing for children of her own to think everything in terms of the struggle you're going through. I'm sure it's like this with any struggle. Any prophecy, scripture, or word that is preached is quickly applied to my life in the context of my struggle with getting pregnant.

Today Rob preached his 11th sermon on God's Scandalous Grace. In small summary, it was about how God's grace abounds in our trials and struggles through life. He talked about how each of our trials look different and God takes us each through unique experiences and struggles. God uses these trails to sanctify us and mold to be like Christ. God puts each and every single one of us on a different path, therefore His sanctification process looks different for each of us.

I feel a lot of times like there is something I'm doing or have done in the past that is keeping me from getting pregnant. Like there is a sin I have committed and I'm being punished for that sin. I know this is very wrong and not at all how God views me. I know He loves me and has forgiven my sins from the past, present, and future. It's just this huge emotional cycle I been going through since we began struggling to get pregnant. Especially since, for some reason only know by Him, God has put us in a place to be surrounded by women who are constantly getting pregnant. Literally almost every woman I meet, and especially those I become friends with, ends up pregnant a few months later. Coralie said something so amazingly encouraging to me when I asked her for her advice and insight before we started our testing process:

"I just spent an hour typing out technical stuff and getting you some links that I hope are helpful, but I want to start with this: Remember John 1:3 - this is happening so that the works of God may be displayed in your life. That might mean a miraculous event, like in the first chapter of John, or it could mean that others will see the two of you grow daily in sanctification because of this. You're not being punished. Christ has born ALL the earned suffering for us. You're not broken. God is sovereign and he sovereignly wrote this path as a part of the days of your life. You are as He intends you to be. Finally, He has written an end to this suffering. We don't know when that end is, but the Lord does. This is but a season and it will pass."

It is SO easy to believe Satan's lies when I am so emotional all the time. Believing that there is something wrong with me, I've done something wrong, or that I must be being punished for something. But I must fight all of those lies with God's truth and the promises that He has given me in His word. Brice encourages me with this often as well, that God is sanctifying me through this process in amazing ways that I can't even imagine. He's sanctifying me in ways that he's not sanctifying others, and He has a purpose for all of this. He has a purpose and plan for our lives, and as Coralie said, this is but a season and it will pass.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Food Fix Friday: The Best Chocolate Fix Ever!

I have made this dessert for a lot of my friends and everyone loves it. When I first had it I just had to have the recipe! A lot of you have asked me how to make it so I thought I'd share the recipe with you. It's very simple to make, and amazingly good... especially if you are craving chocolate! I call it Chocolate Stuff.

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, sugar, 2 tablespoons of the cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir in milk, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Spread in an ungreased 9in pan. Combine brown sugar and the remaining 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Sprinkle over batter. Pour the hot water all over. DO NOT STIR! It will look weird when you are about to put it in the oven, like a big brown pan of soup. This is what it should look like at this point:

When it is finished, it will be runny on the bottom so be careful when you take it out. Rest assured it is completely cooked. Serve it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Sunday Sewing

This past Sunday I was finally able to sew a little bit! Brice bought an Ipod touch a few weeks ago, and when he puts it in his pocket his phone and Ipod scratch each other. He can't put it in his other pocket because there he carries his keys. That would make the scratching even worse!

So we went in search of a cover for the front his new Ipod touch. Surprisingly, they have nothing on the market for that! The only thing we could find was one or two leather ones that had the flap open cover. It would be perfect if it didn't make the Ipod 5 times bigger in your pocket and cost $30. It was at this point that Brice turned to me and said, you can make one of these! I agreed, and Sunday afternoon I whipped one up for him really quick. Well, not really quick, it took longer than it would have had I not stopped sewing 9 months ago. My sewing machine kept jamming and giving me problems. I also had a very hard time getting the velcro straight across from each other. You can tell I did not succeed very well in the end. The right side is higher up than the left. It took about 45 minutes, and it's probably the simplest thing I've ever made. However, I think it still turned out quite cute!

Open with the Ipod Touch Inside (You can see the all the scratches on it)
Open without the Ipod Touch
The Front
The Back
I used some leftover fleece I had sitting around. He wanted something thicker than cotton so nothing in his pocket would poke through. It's also very soft. I thought about making some and selling them. I would definitely use something stronger on the outside, such as vinyl, and then sew a cotton, fleece, or flannel layer on the inside for a soft layer to protect it. This would also hide the velcro seams on the outside of the case. I also thought about using snaps, but pushing it closed all the time might ruin the Ipod screen from the pressure. Just an idea, I don't know how well they would actually sell. But there is nothing on the market like it.

So that's it! Not too exciting, but it was fun to sew a little something after not doing anything in a long time. It's really exciting to turn a flat square piece of fabric into something useful!

I scheduled my HSG yesterday for next Tuesday morning. I have to be at the hospital at 7:50am. Brice is going to have a sub for the morning so he can come with me. I looking forward to seeing what this test will tell us.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Good News

Well, I received some good news yesterday. My blood work came back fine, which means no clomid! My progesterone levels were normal and I'm ovulating on my own so I don't need to take any fertility assistance. All this makes me wonder if I ever even needed to take it in the first place. The other doctor we were seeing never even drew my blood to check my progesterone to see if I was ovulating. He just ASSUMED I wasn't. How frustrating.

They also tested my thyroid and prolactin and said everything was fine. I called the nurse back this morning to get the exact numbers, and she told me my progesterone was at 17. She said anything over 12 is good, and anything over 15 is excellent since it will lead to high rates of pregnancy achievement and success. This is all very good news! It seems that everything is coming back normal so far. This is a good thing, yes, but they also do all the easy tests first. Then comes the more complicated ones that check for the more complicated problems. So I could be dealing with something bigger than just not ovulating each month. However, we could also find out that everything is fine, and it's just not God's timing for us to have children yet. I praise God for our modern technology though, that it can help me find out if there is something going wrong and fix the problem. He's such a gracious and loving God!

Next up is the internal x-ray test of my uterus and tubes, called the hysterosalpingogram (HSG). I have not scheduled that one yet, but it will probably be sometime next week.

Thank you all for your prayers and support in this journey we're going through. It's easy to start feeling lonely and forgotten through all of this. It's very encouraging to know that my friends and family are praying for us. We love all of you!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Four Years of Marriage!

Yesterday Brice and I went to Savannah to celebrate our 4 year anniversary. It was supposed to rain all day, but it turned out to be a beautiful day. We went to The Pirates House and had lunch together. We've heard so many people talk about it so we wanted to check it out. History fascinates me, so it was the perfect place to go.

The Front Sign
The sign on the Pirate House
The Pirates House
The Herb House
The Herb House.
It is attached to the Pirate House.
Sitting at our table

This was the sign above a hole in the house. It was the rum cellar and supposedly there are tunnels running underneath the house that go all the way to the river.
This is the hole. You can see an opening to a tunnel on the right.
I'm glad we live so close to such a historical city. There's so much to see in Savannah. I hope one day that we are able to go somewhere out of the country to see even bigger historical sites. Anywhere in Europe would be amazing, and Israel would be even better! All the Biblical history that exists there... it's just absolutely fascinating to me!

We were also able to spend the day just walking around and shopping together. We walked down Broughton St. in Savannah and went into all the fun shops. It was a great relaxing day spent with my love! I'm so thankful that God has given me such an amazing man to love me and take care of me. He is everything I could ever ask for in a husband and much more! He strives to love me and lead me as Christ loves the church, he is amazing with children, he is very hardworking, gentle, caring, and extremely patient, he's a strong leader, he's an incredible handyman, he listens and hears everything I say, he blesses me with random gifts all the time, even when I don't deserve them, he truly loves and cares for others, he loves God more than anything, he's my best friend and knows exactly how to encourage me no matter what I'm going through... I could go on and on. God is continually doing amazing things in my husband's life and I love everything about him! And as much as I want children, I am VERY thankful to God for all the time he has given us to spend together. I wouldn't want to change it for anything. I love you Brice and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you, however it looks and wherever God takes us!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Week in Review

So today is Friday, yay! I love Fridays because I either have off of work or I only work for about 2-3 hours. It's wonderful because I get to have some time to myself to read, clean, nap, sew... even though I have not sewn in probably over 6 months. Lately I've really been wanting to start again, so hopefully I'll be able to find some time to do that. Anyways, Fridays are just great days!

Yesterday marked our 4th year of marriage! I can't believe we have been married for 4 years already! We didn't really get to celebrate since it was on a weekday and we had a lot going on. I came home from work at 2 and cleaned the house, cooked dinner, and then went to work out at 5:30. Then we had our life mission group at 7. So not much time to really celebrate or do anything fun. However, Jordan and I made a confetti cake with confetti icing and we ate that with everyone after life mission group. That's my most favorite cake ever! Brice also got me a new faucet for our kitchen sink! It's one of those really nice ones that can detach and convert into a sprayer! It's so much easier to clean after I cook now because the faucet is higher up and I can detach it! It's so funny the things you get excited about when you own a home. Brice and I are going to actually celebrate our anniversary on Saturday in Savannah. We're going to check out the Pirate House that we've heard so many good things about. I'm looking forward to having a whole day to spend with my husband alone, just the two of us!

So this is the second week I've been consistently working out. There is a class from 5:30-6:30 every Mon, Tues, and Thurs at a church in our town. The instructor does weight training on Monday, and either step aerobics, kick boxing, or pilates the other two days. I LOVE it so far! It's only $2 a class, which is completely doable, and it's so laid back. If you can't come a certain day it's no big deal. I'm sore after each class which is a wonderful feeling. I've really needed to consistently work out for a long time. I have never been consistent or motivated with it and so everything else I've ever tried has failed. I really need to include working out as a major part of my diet, especially since I'm having trouble getting pregnant. Now I need to work on other parts of my diet, such as eating (and drinking) less sugar. We usually eat very healthy lunches and dinners, but lately I've been craving cake ( like confetti cake :) ) and sweet tea. So I'll drink sweet tea with lunch, and sometimes dinner, and that's a lot of sugar. That's not counting what other sugar I may have consumed that day through the things I've eaten. I just get so sick of water sometimes. I drink tons of water each day, and sometimes I just want some flavor!

I have not heard any news yet on my blood work. I'm hoping I'll hear something on Monday. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad sign, since I was told they would let me know something on Wednesday. They were really good about calling us with Brice's results within about two or three days. It's just really hard to be patient with this process because it seems like the answers to our issues are so close. I just wish that they could do everything at once to see what's going on. However, it makes complete sense that they have to do certain things during certain times of the month, because my body goes through a cycle of different hormones. I'll probably be getting my HSG test sometime late next week or early the following week. I'm just praying that they find something small and easily fixable. I'm nervous to get a result back that says I'm not ovulating, and then he'll have to put us on clomid again. It's hard not to think about our previous experience with it and how difficult it was with the doctor we were seeing. I just need to trust God and have faith in Him through this process. Who knows what He has in store for us, but I'm excited to find out!

Tonight we are having dinner with the Curley's! I'm very excited to spend time with them and see their new house! I had so much fun catching up and hanging out with Christy on the 4th of July. It's already been a month since we've hung out! I wish we could hang out and do more things together. We have so much fun when we're together... I'm really looking forward to relaxing and having some fun tonight!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Our Infertility Journey, So Far

Recently Brice and I have decided to start testing to find out why we are not having children. We have been trying for 3 years with no success.

Our journey started about 3 1/2 years ago, soon after we got married. I was taking birth control our first few months of marriage, and I believe that the hormones severely messed with my body. I felt that my body was all messed up while I was on it, so I decided to stop taking it about 6 months after we were married. At that point we weren't really "trying" to have children, we just weren't preventing.

The summer of 2007 my cycle was becoming more normal again, after a year of being off birth control. We decided we wanted to start trying to get pregnant that summer. During the summer of 2008 I was introduced to the Fertility Awareness Method, where you chart your body's natural signals and temperature to find out exactly when you are ovulating. I tried it for three months that summer, and got pretty frustrated with it. My body didn't do exactly what the book was telling me it was supposed to, so I stopped charting.

In March of 2009 I went to get my yearly exam and found out I had high prolactin. It wasn't too high, only about 18 above normal, so the cause was unexplainable. I had to get an MRI to be sure I didn't have a tumor on my pituitary gland which is what produces prolactin, which makes a woman's body produce milk to feed a baby. The MRI came back completely fine, so I was referred to an infertility specialist. At this point my cycle was going about 40-42 days, which was abnormally long for me. He told me that my body thought I was pregnant because of my raised prolactin level, so I was not ovulating and that's why my cycles were going so long. He prescribed clomid and sent us on our way.

We started out on 50mg the first month, which did nothing. He then put me on 100mg, and that worked for a few months. Then I stopped having ovulatory pain in the middle of the month, and I tried to call the doctor to let him know I did not think the clomid was working anymore. I could not get a hold of him for 2 months. So in December of 2009 I stopped taking clomid and no longer went to that doctor.

Then there was a possible adoption opportunity in December, but unfortunately that did not work out. After the clomid my cycles went back to normal and we decided, for the time being, to stop pursuing medical assistance to help us get pregnant.

A few months later a friend of ours introduced me to the Lady Comp, which is a computer that helps keep you from getting pregnant by telling you the exact day you are ovulating. She told us that we could use it the opposite way since it pinpointed the day of ovulation. It works by taking my temperature and using my previous cycle information to let me know when I ovulate. It is basically a computer version of doing Fertility Awareness, just a lot less hassle.

We have now been using that for about 4 months. Through all of this almost every couple in our church has gotten pregnant and had children. Sometimes I feel really alone in the journey God has put us on. Thankfully God has blessed me with an amazing husband who is always there to encourage me and be there for me through all the ups and downs. God has also blessed me with a woman in our church body that struggled with infertility before she had her two children, and a family our pastor introduced us to who tried for 12 years before they recently had their two children. I've learned over the past 3 years that there are surprisingly a lot of women who struggle with infertility. It's been especially encouraging to me to read the numerous stories in the Bible of barren women who prayed for countless years asking God to give them children. God eventually gave each of them children in His timing and many of them turned out to be great men of God.

So, after all of that, we have decided to start testing. I went to my first appointment July 19th where we consulted with the doctor about our experiences so far. Brice was tested the week after and the results came back great.

Today I went to get some blood drawn to check my prolactin again and my thyroid and progesterone levels to see if I'm ovulating. I get the results back on Wednesday. I go back in two weeks to get a hysterosalpingogram to make sure my uterus and tubes are ok. I've heard it is painful so I'm not looking forward to that part. Our new doctor said that since he's been doing the tests instead of the radiologists people have not been complaining about pain, so that's very encouraging. We really like our new doctor. He was shocked that our other doctor just put us on clomid and sent us home. Usually the doctor is supposed to monitor if ovulation is happening each month on the clomid. I'm just more than ready to find out what's going on with my body and why we're not getting pregnant.

So this begins our journey through infertility testing after 3 years of trying. We are continuing to pray and seek God for the precious gift of children and patiently waiting for His response.