Friday, September 23, 2016

Wanting It Right Now

Yesterday morning, Noelle woke up and exclaimed "It's the first day of fall!"

Then she looked out the window, turned to me, and said "but where are the colors in the leaves?"

I chuckled to myself as I thought about her 4 year old perception of fall- she thought it was going to change overnight and the trees would be all decked out in their colorful glory when she woke up. She was disappointed that it didn't happen right away, and was not encouraged when I explained that the trees would change color over time.

And the more I think about it, the more I realize that her thoughts on Fall starting right now, are similar to how my desires for a baby have been all about having one right now! It's me saying, come on God, where is my next baby? How is it not time yet? What are we waiting for?

Oh boy, has it been a long season of learning and growing, and coming to realize that God is right here in my infertility teaching me SO much. Disappointment has crept into my heart over and over again in the last two plus years, sadness that makes me want to curl up in bed, to avoid going to church to see all my pregnant friends. When I feel like God is not answering me how I want Him to, I start to think that He is just cold and distant.

But He is so not- He is right here, holding me, calling me to Himself. He's teaching me that He alone should be the desire of my heart. He's humbling me as I realize that my body needs healing and to recover from the damage I've done to myself. He's putting friends in my life who ask the right questions and give me the words and encouragement that I need to hear.

And He's teaching me about life. He alone gives it. I struggle sometimes with our decision to pursue infertility treatment- are we doing the right thing? Spending all this money (our most recent meds involved a co-pay of $440!)? Rushing my kids around as I hurry off to early morning doctor's appointments? Should I just work on recovering and getting a cycle, and then try for a baby?

You know what, in the last few months I've been thankful for social media in a whole new way. After one too many pregnancy announcements on Facebook back in May, I swore off my personal Facebook and Instagram accounts. It just hurt too much to have it pop up when I scrolled through my feed. But I had started to find that there is a whole community of women who are in the trying to conceive world who have created accounts specifically for that- to share their journey, to encourage, to ask questions, and so many of them point people to Jesus.

So, I joined them. I don't share much on my account, but scrolling through and seeing people get their BFP (big fat positive) is so encouraging. And it reminds me over and over again, that God is the giver of life. Whether a pregnancy is through IUI, IVF, embryo adoption, or a surprise positive, it is God. There are too many little babies being born for it to not be God at work.

I read a blog post today about how infertility can and should be used for the glory of God- what a different perspective for me! But it's so true, and it's why I want to share our story. God is at work in my life, stretching and growing me, drawing me to Him in a way that would not be happening if I was not on this infertility journey. I have no idea what will happen, but He alone is God and deserves ALL the glory!

The struggle is still there to trust God, to believe that His timing is right. But today, today I'm trusting His timing and believing that He is enough.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Nashville Fun!

Our trip to Nashville was something we'd been talking about all summer long. Whenever people asked us about going on a vacation, we'd be like "oh yeah, sometime in August or September probably we're going to go down to Nashville." 

Well, it finally happened. Back at the end of July, when the doctor told us we could go ahead and start the cycle for an IUI, we figured by the end of August, the process would be done and we could make our plans to go to Tennessee. As the cycle kept going with no progress, we were less sure, but we finally decided to just make plans, and delay fertility things if we needed to.


And here we are, back from our six day trip, and all of us survived the 12 hour drive back in one piece! Thankfully with Nashville being only an hour time difference, it's been a pretty easy transition back. They've actually been sleeping in closer to 8 a.m., which makes for a quiet morning (until of course I'm rushing us out of the house to get Noelle to school.)

We left for our trip last Thursday and drove about 4 1/2 hours to Radford, VA where we stayed the night. Luke booked us a hotel with a pool so that the kids would have some play time to gear them up for the longer trip the next day. While the pool was gross (who knows when it last got cleaned!) the kids had a blast, and we just made sure to shower them off really well afterwards. They loved being in a hotel, and the excitement delayed bedtime a bit, but they slept in for a little while the next morning.

there's something extra fun about hotel beds and pillows

We had about 8 hours left to drive on Friday, and the kids did really well! We didn't make a single stop in the first 4 hours, and there was only minimal complaining. We were looking for a Chick Fil A for lunch so that the kids could play, and of course at that point in the drive, there were none! Finally at like 1:00 after staving them off with snacks, we found one. Which of course ended up being an outdoor one only (I've never seen one of those before!) and didn't have a play place. But it felt good for all of us to be out of the car, and Jonah kept walking back and forth to the trashcan just so he could move around.

at the Nashville Zoo

A little bit before dinner, we arrived at Luke's brother's house. Debbie and Alyssa were there, and we all hung out until Caleb got home from work. It was SO good to be with them, and to see how much Alyssa has changed in the last three months since Luke and I were last down there. And so much fun watching the cousins all play!

Over the next few days, we met up with our college friend, Gary, and his wife Kelly, got together with our friends Jack and Jess who just moved down there three weeks ago, and went to the Nashville zoo with Caleb and Debbie. We made sure to have plenty of downtime at the house so the kids could play, and also be out at different playgrounds so they could run around. The kids shared a bedroom with a pack'n'play and blow up mattress, and did really well (aside from the last night when Jonah ended up in our bed.)

We were so thankful to be able to see family and friends, and just take a break from our everyday normal in Maryland!

standing like a flamingo
Jonah missed his daily naps, but he was knocked out after the zoo
clearly enjoying the zoo

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Last Bits of Summer

Noelle's first day of pre-k was almost two weeks ago! We went for a short time on August 31st to meet her teacher, and we were both happy to find out that the assistant teacher in her class is the teacher she had for her 3's class last year. I think this year is going to be fun for her with some learning, but mostly building friendships from last year and making new ones. A bunch of the same little girls who were in her class last year are in her class again this year, which she is already loving!

first day!
Walking into the school the morning of her first full day made it feel almost like summer didn't happen- it felt like no time had passed and we were walking in to drop her off for school like we did two days a week all  last year. But my heart knows that this is her last year before kindergarten. Before she's gone from me for most of the day, when she'll be riding a bus, and navigating the world of 5 year olds. I keep looking at her wondering how on earth we've gotten to this age already!

standing in front of her cubby on meet the teacher day
Thankfully she's still only in school three days a week, and only for a short amount of time. I know she loves it, but I don't want this year to end!

Meanwhile, we've still been having some summer fun, and enjoyed a couple of mornings playing in the pool with some moms and kids in our small group.

A few weeks ago, we headed to Brookside Gardens, where my mom treated us to the butterfly exhibit. The kids loved seeing the different colored butterflies and using the magnifying glasses to make everything bigger. We finished with grilled cheese sandwiches at my mom's house, and then headed home for a quiet afternoon.

I love the crazy, toddler fun things that they do!

We also had a MOPS play date to the fire department, where we got a tour of the firehouse, and learned about the different vehicles that are used for various rescue encounters.

And of course, another trip to the mall to play and ride the carousel!