I’m still using the same angel I purchased many years ago. I grew up with angels on tops our tree, Joe grew up with a star. We’ve never purchased anything different that what I had, but this star from Crate and Barrel makes me want to switch to stars
Apparently I forgot to actually post my thankful list on Thanksgiving day. So, fashionably late, here are a few things I’ve been thankful for lately…
~Thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who lived a sinless life and died a painful death for all of us.
~I’m thankful for my incredible husband. The Lord has truly blessed me over the past few years. It was last week in 2006 that Joe and I first were introduced through eHarmony and started talking. Now, five years later we’re happily married and being blessed by the Lord in incredible ways!
~I’m thankful for the blessing the Lord has given us through pregnancy. We’re prayerfully looking forward to the next few months as we draw closer to May
~I’m thankful for family, because without them, I’d probably go crazy.
~Definitely thankful for a great church family. Its amazing how God showed us right where He wanted us to serve Him.
~Thankful for friends, especially those who have been rocks during our IF journey throughout this past year
~Thankful for our health, our home, and having jobs where we can help others.
Now that we’re in full force holiday mode, we’re going nonstop. Well, the cold I seem to have picked up is slowing me down a little. I set our tree up yesterday and last night we put our newest ornaments on. Everytime we go on vacation or a trip, we try to pick up an ornament from that place to remember our travels! Hopefully today I’ll find a little extra energy (since I didn’t exactly sleep last night!) to finish decorating, and then I’ll post pictures! First, I need to figure out why lights on one area of our tree keeps blinking or completely going out. I’ve replaced the dead bulbs and the fuses for that strand. Any ideas are welcome!
I never thought the day would come when I would have absolutely NOTHING that I wanted on my Christmas and Birthday wish lists. Sure there are plenty of cookbooks I could find to fill up all of that extra shelving space I do not have. Or sewing books that I currently don’t have time to get to. But this year, I seriously don’t have a single thing I want for myself.
Don’t get me wrong, there are things I want, like new windows upstairs or someone to come finish painting my stairwell and foyer, but Joe says those don’t count. I really want the baby to be healthy and strong, especially when we go for our ultrasound in three weeks. I want people to know the true meaning of Christmas is not about presents or santa, but about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
I’ve come to the conclusion that there are simply too many baby items to choose from. Seriously, how can one or two people decide what items are sufficient for a baby? Everyone you know or meet has opinions, everyone online has opinions. And they all are different, because quite honestly what works best for family A doesn’t always work for family B, nor C, D, E, or F. I’m very excited to be able to even be talking about this, but goodness, it is also overwhelming!
Last weekend I convinced Joe to go to the baby store to look around. We didn’t spend hours there like most people say you will. In fact, I don’t even know that we spent a full hour there. I had done my work beforehand, and wanted to show him a few things that I had narrowed it down to. My parents have asked to buy the crib and dresser early next year so I went, looked around, and narrowed it down. I came home, did my research on the furniture, and then took Joe. We also picked out a glider while there (and then came home and researched it), and walked around narrowing down things we did and didn’t need.
There are just so many elements to having a baby. Which car seat do you choose? Do you choose an infant carrier and a convertible seat? Or can you get by with just a convertible? Strollers are another crazy topic. I will not spend $1000.00 on a stroller, but I have become smitten with one that isn’t cheap. It has high reviews everywhere I look. But will I like it or would I get my moneys worth? I can’t know that until I use it on a regular basis. Safety gear is another big perplexing topic. I won’t begin to delve into that arena right now. Then there is the fact that the planner in me can’t wait until next spring to start a registry. I have to do my research beforehand (and I will be otherwise occupied for the next month during holiday season). While I’m not the crazy woman with spreadsheets for her spreadsheets, I do want to be a smart shopper/mama.
We have decided on breastfeeding and using cloth diapers. Score two more points for decisions made! I’m glad to know a few people who cloth diaper, so their knowledge is and will be invaluable. As for everything else, I guess we’ll make decisions when we make them.
Technically speaking, the end of the first tri should be 13 weeks, 2 days…right? Everyone has different markers, but either which way, today is the start of week 14.
We were able to have our intake appointment with our OB at 9 weeks. That visit, though incredibly long, was one of the most incredible visits ever. While I had seen the babies heartbeat a number of times, that was the first time I had ever heard it. And Joe was there, so we heard it together. Upon exiting, we had a bag full of books, magazines, and handouts. I’ve scanned through most of them, but most are things I already knew (baby on back).
My last appointment was the day before 13 weeks. Satan definitely wanted to take control of my mind starting the night before. Joe had a meeting that Monday night, so I was here to keep busy. But satan got in my head and I started freaking out, worrying that the baby wasn’t going to be ok. I have learned in moments like that, focusing on Christ is one of the best things I can do. In the end, the baby was ok. (S)he had a great heartbeat of 153 bpm.
The thing about battling infertility is that you never forget. The fears never leave you. Working in a path lab, they are constantly brought to the forefront of mind. I see loss practically every day I’m at work. It can be anything from a very early loss to loss at birth. Its mentally and emotionally tough. I find that I have to stop for a few moments, and even though I don’t know the woman, I pray for her. I pray for her heart that probably feels as though it is in a million pieces. Infertility and loss is incredibly painful. But the Lord can use it for His good, and I’m learning that every single day.
Our next appointment isn’t scheduled until mid December (four weeks from now), at which we’re hoping we’ll be able to see if the baby is a he or she.
How far along? 14 weeks
How big is baby? Apparently the size of a lemon
Sleep? I’m sleeping well until I have to get up to go to the bathroom. After that, sleep is restless and very uncomfortable.
Cravings? Early on it was potatoes in any form- tots, mashed, fried. Now I’m craving Chick-fil-a, but have been fighting the urge. Sweet tea from Bojangles, which I can’t have for quite a long while.
Best moment so far? Hearing the Baby L’s heartbeat last week
Gender? No idea
Names? We have a girls named picked out, but not a boys. Which probably means we will end up having a boy. We will not be sharing the name until the baby is born!
What I miss most: Sleeping comfortably on my stomach. That ended around week 10.
Feeling? Pretty good. Exhausted a lot of days, but there isn’t anything I can find to complain about. I will take the exhaustion, the uncomfortable sleep, the need to pee every 15 minutes to half hour, and any other symptom that wants to come along. I’ve been working out a few days a week, but have had to decrease the intensity to keep my heartrate at or below the suggested 140bpm.
The past three or four months have been a whirlwind. Lots of testing, procedures, our trip to Moldova, ultrasounds sometimes every few days, crazy crazy things.
In case you aren’t aware, there are MANY different steps and many different options that go along with (in)fertility testing. I (Emily) obviously had to do the majority of the work. One of the tests was an HSG, which I would never wish on the enemy of my worst enemy. Some women apparently don’t mind them-I am not one of them. When we decided to go against the suggestions of our doctor, we knew it was all in God’s hands. We chose to begin with a less invasive option. We didn’t feel the Lord leading us to IUI at that point, and we had drawn our line at IVF (everyone has to make a decision, this was ours). The route we chose included medication, lots of injections in my stomach, and daily uses of progesterone (not exactly exciting). Along with all of that came ultrasounds every few days. While we trusted God’s hand in the situation, our RE didn’t didn’t give us much hope that this would work. But God proved He was bigger than our doctor. Much bigger.
The morning I went in for my blood test, I was a nervous wreck. I stayed that way the majority of the day. Finally in the afternoon, the nurse called. Joe was upstairs playing the paino, I was downstairs trying to pass the time. She asked if I had gotten a call already (NO!). Apparently they had called the wrong number, leaving a message on the wrong person’s answering machine letting her in on the news. Thankfully that person called them back to let them know they called the wrong number. Someone named Diane knew I was pregnant before I did! But I didn’t care. I couldn’t make it upstairs without the tears streaming. Joe turned around to see me bawling. He didn’t know how to respond. I shook my head “yes” to let him know I wasn’t sobbing out of sadness.
The next few weeks were nerve wracking. I work in pathology, I know and see the risks daily. At my six week ultrasound, I was able to see the baby, though tiny. I was also able to make out a teeny tiny heartbeat. At our seven week ultrasound, the doctor suspected a twin, but it turned out to be a shadow. Again, I got to see the heartbeat. Thankfully during that visit, the doctor gave me a script for Zofran because my nausea ramped up like crazy that day. Concluding that visit and reassuring me that my side effects/symptoms weren’t abnormal, we were released into the care of my regular OB/Gyn.
We managed to make it to and from Moldova without many problems. The horribly bumpy roads caused me to worry quite a bit, as did the strong paint/varnish smell of the apartment we stayed in. But other than those two things, we were able to focus on ministry.
We definitely feel blessed that the Lord has given us this child. We pray that every day we will not forget this blessing. Again, from the bottom of our hearts, we genuinely appreciate the kind words of support, the encouragement, and every single congratulations we have received!
We want to thank each of you who have commented on our website, on our Facebook pages, and sent us private messages and emails. For those who have sent us private messages or asked us questions, we’ll try to get back with you over the next few days. We feel very blessed that God has given us this gift. If you were able to watch our video from our previous post, you saw that this is such a true blessing, but it came after years of struggling, years of heartache. If you have some time and haven’t checked out our tab above entitled “Infertility”, please take a few minutes and read through it. While it isn’t details of our struggle in particular, it does describe many things that people who struggle with infertility and/or loss often encounter. If you, or someone you know battles fertility difficulties, Hannah’s Hope by Jennifer Saake would be such a blessing for them!
Stay tuned, more to come!!!
Over two years ago we embarked on a journey that has taken us down a path we didn’t really expect. We’ve created a short video to share part of that journey with the rest of the world. The music (What Faith Can Do) is by Kutless, from their album It is Well. The album is amazing (which translates to you should buy it), but the song What Faith Can Do really speaks to our story. The video is short, 4 minutes. It is our hope that the video will speak volumes about how amazing our Lord and Savior is, and how through heartache and pain, He sees us through.
By now everyone has to know how much I love cooking and how much I love Savory Spice Shop. Bob, Cindy, and Lindsay are great, and the spices are just as phenomenal! The fresher the spices added to a meal, the more flavorful, more robust it will taste.
Take last nights dinner for example… meatloaf. Most people are on one side of the fence or the other when it comes to meatloaf. In fact, I was never a huge fan of it, but wouldn’t complain if served. Years ago I was given one of my first cookbooks - Better Homes and Garden. BHG has a pretty good meatloaf recipe. When I made it for Joe, he enjoyed it so I wasn’t too concerned about playing with it. Until last year. That was when Mary Beth Albright, along with Savory spices, changed my meatloaf forever. First, I no longer use just milk or fine bread crumbs. Now its whole wheat panko bread crumbs soaked in buttermilk. If Mary Beth could WOW! Paula Deen with her meatloaf and change the way Paula Deen makes meatloaf, something had to be great about it. And believe me, it is! As for my spices, Savory has such fresh dried spices, I don’t need fresh snipped parsley. I also add more flavor to the loaf by adding sage, basil AND (not or) oregano. Another helpful tip for you is to use a meatloaf mix (includes beef, pork, and lamb).
Even though it isn’t Easter, I had all the ingredient to make resurrection rolls. With Savory’s Ceylon (True) cinnamon, they were delicious! I also use Ceylon cinnamon on our apple pie. Imagine the cinnamon flavor you get from red hots (the candy), and thats the great cinnamon flavor you will get!
I *LOVE* Pinterest just as much as I love FoodGawker. I can waste tons of time that I should be using for other, more productive things. But the good thing is, even with all the time wasting, I come away with great ideas and tips.
The most recent tip was growing your own scallions from the white ends you usually throw away. I was a little leary at first, but decided to give it a try. Currently I have my own green onions growing away in my kitchen window! Amazing!
I have a few more Pinterest projects I want to work on in the near future, including a sign for our foyer, a recipe, and some things for Christmas decorating! Click my link on the side to follow me, or if you’d like an invite, let me know!