Thursday, December 19, 2013

An easy read.

Tis the season and I would like to post some of my favorite Christmas quotes from both songs and movies to help us remember the TRUE meaning of Christmas. Yes, everyone goes on and on about the true meaning of Christmas, but clearly it needs to be restated because every year without fail, we get lost in all the hullabaloo of presents and Santa and reindeer. (and if you're like me Disney's Frozen is on that list too.)

I will try to share a favorite memory or story that goes along with each quote. The first on my list is a family favorite.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

 Each year my brother Rick and I would watch the Grinch. I specifically remember one year watching it almost EVERY day. We would turn on the Christmas tree, get bundled up in our favorite blankets and watch The Grinch. Soon our eyes became heavy and we would doze off until the finishing credits would blast so loud they'd wake us up. No matter how many times we would watch it, I can still remember the part where the Grinch finally realized what made Christmas so special.

"It came without ribbons, it came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags." (Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before) "Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas (he thought) means a little bit more"

My next favorite Christmas movie is...

Charlie Brown Christmas.

If you don't know my Dad, you should. That's all there is to it. He is without a doubt the funniest person I know. He is also the one person I know who can be so annoying yet hilarious at the same time. He is the person in our family that can bring everyone together no matter how angry, spiteful or stubborn we are. But through all of his ridiculous games and jokes he has a tender countenance that resembles the spirit of Christ. My Dad has an unshakable testimony and undoubtedly cries during every tender moment in every movie. During Charlie Brown Christmas he would always rewind the loud dancing scenes then make all of the kids get up and try to imitate the Charlie Brown Characters dance moves. We would do this for hours and laugh until our sides hurt, but during the final scene he would quiet us all down, grab some tissues and watch Linus perform his tender scene in the Christmas play.
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night, and lo the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid, and the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior, tis Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly hosts, praising God and saying "Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men." That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

Sheesh, this post is getting kind of lengthy, and here you are thinking "wow, she titled it an easy read, rookie mistake." But with that being said, I will post just one more quote, the lyrics to my all time favorite Christmas song. It is sung through the voice of the Innkeeper that turned Mary and Joseph away the night baby Jesus was born.

Let Him In (Forgotten Carols).

"I am a man forgotten, no one recalls my name, thousands of years will fail to fully erase my shame. But I turned a profit nicely the day that I turned the couple away, I turned them away. I didn't sleep that evening though I'd sold out my place somehow I felt uneasy something about her face. Why did I wish that I'd let them stay? I didn't think they could pay or could they have paid? Restless, I left my bedroom I walked the streets all night. Lost in the world I lived in, found by a heavenly light. Staring at one bright star in the sky I heard a baby cry and I knew where that cry had come from 'cause I'd told them where they could go. I didn't think I could face them so I walked slowly home. Missing my chance to share in their joy, I never saw the boy. He never would condemn me, I did that all on my own. He offered His forgiveness, and ever since then, I've known. That He lets us choose each hour of each day if we'll let Him in to stay, let Him in. And whether it be in your world today or a crowded Bethlehem Inn, find a way make Him room let Him in."

Find a way, we can make room for Him. Let Him in.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Little Piece of My Heart.

Your whole life you grow up thinking "Oh when I get married", and "when I go to college", or "when I have kids" but the thought never crosses your mind that you might not get those things. It started out as just a pregnancy scare, but that tiny pregnancy scare changed our marriage. October of 2012 Ryan and I stood over a pregnancy test waiting for the results. Negative, phew! A sigh of relief escaped his mouth and I couldn't help but smile, but a few seconds passed and we both frowned. A spark was lit inside and even though we weren't expecting a child or hoping for one, we soon realized we were disappointed to see that we weren't going to be parents just yet.

Two months later in December of 2012 we had officially decided to start trying. January came and went with no sign that we weren't pregnant, so we decided to take another test. Negative. February-Negative. It wasn't until March of 2013 that my belief of couples conceiving their first month of trying was shattered. Okay, so where do we go from here? Research, research and more research. We found out that it takes most couples 4-6 months to conceive. Phew, so we aren't the only ones trying like bunnies with no results! In April of 2013 I lost my period, as in it was no where to be found. I knew I had to be pregnant because I hadn't had my period for two months. I took another test-NEGATIVE! What the H! One thing you should know about me is that I self diagnose myself from the internet ALL THE TIME! So I got online, looked up missing periods with negative test results. After coming across several stories that say sometimes the HCG levels aren't high enough to be read from an "At Home PT" I scheduled an HCG Serum Test at the doctors because that had to be it.

I got my blood drawn on a Friday and it was the only Friday I ever dreaded the weekend. Come Monday I was greeted by the sweetest Medical Assistant who came to me with a straight face telling me that I was not in fact pregnant and that the Doctor had to go over the rest of my blood tests. Long story short I could not conceive in the condition my body was in, and changing my body was no guarantee that I could conceive at all. But I started the medication anyway with high hopes that it could change my future. After researching this medication I was terrified of the results. Nausea, diarrhea, fatigue and on top of all that, I was directed to limit sugar and greasy food because it only made the side effects worse. I decided to go gutsy and take the full dose even after my doctor told me I could ease into it. I told myself there was nothing stopping me from having a baby ASAP. I ralphed and pooped and puked and barfed and cried and pooped some more. It was like Hell on Earth guys! Needless to say, I cut the dose in half and dove in again the next night. The side effects gradually improved and now it is nothing but a little nausea EVERY night before bed and diarrhea anytime I eat the things I enjoy. No pain no gain right? I would do anything for a baby. More time passed and still no baby, but I was still receiving a monthly present which I was in fact grateful for.

 In August of 2013 I returned to the doctor to get a blood workup. The results: worse than before. I called Ryan in tears after receiving the news. Why was this happening to us? I couldn't believe that I had put myself to Hell and back for months with no progress. For several weeks I completely turned away from the idea of a baby. I didn't want to look at babies or talk about babies or think about them. I told Ryan I didn't want a baby for a long, long time. Deep down he knew that I was simply hurting. If wanting a baby so bad only brought pain then I didn't want one, I didn't want that pain. I sunk into a deep depression. All I ever wanted to do with my life was become a mother, and that is what my body was made for, yet I couldn't accomplish that. Fertility issues are hard on everyone, but there is something terrible in knowing you are the cause. You feel guilty and depressed and most of all you wallow in self pity every chance you get. It's repulsive really, but there it is.

 Everyone around me was either getting pregnant, having babies or planning them. I am so grateful for the new bundles of joy that have been added to my life, but I felt like slapping myself and yelling "Pull yourself together!" (Holla at your Incredibles quote)


I became envious of the people who got pregnant their first try, and I would get angry when people would say "Yeah, we didn't even try, it just happened" or "We were even on birth control and still got pregnant, I'm terrified, we don't even want kids yet!" and don't even get me started on abortion. Babies are a miracle and they should be treated as just that, a gift from God.

December 2, 2013 on Ryan's 26th birthday I decided to call the Fertility Center and make the plunge. We had been trying to conceive for over a year and doctors recommend seeking help after 12 months. Our appointment is in January and our entire outlook has changed. I cannot wait for the incredible journey ahead. Our goal for 2014 is to stay positive through the process of getting pregnant and to have faith in the Lord's plan. I know that this will be one of the hardest trials we will overcome, but I also know that we will appreciate the ability to conceive and carry a baby from our first baby until our last.

So here's to the future, wish us luck!