Trials

In my 31 years of life, I’ve had my fair share of trials.  However, I know God isn’t done with me yet.  So, I know there will be more trials to come.  Some of these trials have been big and others have been very small in comparison.  Then there are those middle of the road trials that I’ve endured as well.  Looking back, no matter how big or small the trials have been I have taken away very valuable lessons from them, I have learned from mistakes made, and overall, I am very grateful for the trials I’ve had as they have shaped me into who I am today.

At the time of a trial, I often question why it is happening to me and often wonder what is it trying to teach me and I don’t often see the bigger picture.  The trial will test my faith in God.  However, one must always remember, God does not seek joy in the midst of any of our trials. James 1:2-4 states:  Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  

Now, as one can imagine.  One of the bigger trials of my life thus far has been our struggle with infertility.  Looking back on our struggles with infertility, at the very beginning stages of our struggle came some very heavy emotions.  I was angry, I was mad, I was jealous of others, I blamed myself.  I questioned, “why us?”.  I struggled with keeping my faith in the journey.  I felt alone and very misunderstood. However, when the burden got to be too much, I remembered that God loves me. I tried to keep in mind a bible verse that has been embedded in my brain since I was a young girl, 1 Corinthians 10:13 which states, “No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.”  With these things in mind, I also started to see the love God was showing me even through my trial.  Through every bad part there was something good that got me from point A to point B and for that I was and still am very thankful for.  It helped me to keep my head above the water so to speak.

Although, even with these great reminders in the back of my brain, no day has been perfect in my struggle. There have been many days where I struggle and drag my feet and feel that awful feeling of depression creep in. However, I am so incredibly thankful for the hope that God instilled in my heart.  Without it, I would never have proceeded on in this burden that weighed so heavily on my heart day in and day out.  Hope became the anchor to my soul and yet another bible verse that I’ve held near and dear to my heart through this struggle has been Hebrews 6:19 “19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”  At times it would be so much easier to be negative then to be positive.  However, I feel like when I started to be positive about aspects and think about what could go right instead of what could go wrong things started to change drastically for me.  Once I started to believe that the outcome we so badly desired could be possible, instead of thinking it could never be possible that just gave me great hope and an enormous amount of strength to keep going.

If it’s one thing I’ve learned through all my trials in life it is that things in life that take the most work and are hard to overcome are usually most worth it in the end.  I really started to believe this and it gave me so much hope.  Being positive and staying positive are not easy, but I have so many people in my life that continue to tell me to stay positive or to think positive.  Honestly, this used to annoy the crap out of me and now I realize it was a very solid piece of advice and such an important piece to my trial with infertility.

There is both a purpose to life’s trials and a reward.  The struggle of infertility is preparing us for something bigger and better then we can even imagine for ourselves.  Although we can’t see the bigger picture right now, God can.  We may not be completely happy in this trial but I continue to have faith that God is preparing me to be the best person I can be in this struggle.  This trial is helping me to have great perseverance, in spite of this difficulty and the obstacles that have been in my way.  It’s also teaching me that although, I may not know where the road is taking me, it’s helping me to trust that God knows where He is taking me.  Often times in this journey I’ve followed the wrong voice, and although it’s given us many setbacks it’s also been a blessing in disguise because it’s made me much, much stronger which I believe has been a part of God’s plan all along.  Another purpose to this trial I believe is to teach me humility.  The things I have learned along way in this journey have given me such a humble heart and have truly changed me and opened my eyes to things I never realized before.  I am grateful for that.  I also believe that by being in this trial, I am truly help another who is also struggling and I will be able to comfort them in the way another may not be able to.  I’m also a person who likes to be in control and one big lesson in this is no matter how much control I think I have, God ultimately is the one who has all of the control.  This trial has also given me a thankful heart.  No matter what happens in my life, I realize the importance of prayer.  Maybe some of these things I have learned along the way can be viewed as the purpose for this trial, but I also see them as the reward.

I don’t wish the heartache of infertility on anyone, but it’s my trial and I have learned to be grateful for it. My trial has been full of blessings and full of grace.  One of the biggest realizations through it was opening my eyes to see them.  To be able to find the beauty in all things, the good-the bad-the ugly, it truly is a gift.  To realize there is a purpose behind all the pain and to have hope and think of the good instead of the bad is not easy, but it’s worth it.  This trial has truly been a blessing in disguise.  It has not been easy, but every single twist and turn has been worth it.  I hope that in whatever trial you are facing today, that you open your heart and mind to what is possible and open your eyes to what God is trying to teach  you.  You will come out of it and you will be a happier, and better person because of it and you will be thankful for all that you’ve endured.

Have a great rest of the week and remember God loves you forever and always!

 

 

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A Gentle Reminder…

With April 1st quickly approaching, I wanted to remind everyone that making a joke about being pregnant, when in reality you are not just to play what might feel like an innocent April fools joke on someone, can be extremely hurtful to certain people and can be a huge trigger to them emotionally.  A joke like this has the potential of taking them to a very painful place.  You just never know who in your life may be experiencing pregnancy loss or struggling with infertility or those who are enduring painful treatments just to try and achieve a pregnancy or even those who can’t get pregnant at all. Pregnancy is not a joke. A fake announcement that you think is a brilliant and funny April Fools joke, just to be funny can be an extreme trigger for someone on the journey of a loss or infertility.  This joke is not a funny one.  Please think before you choose to go this route.

Rather, here are a few other April Fools joke ideas that deem more appropriate and truly are innocent fun:

-Cover the toilet seat with plastic wrap.

-Glue all your eggs to the egg carton.

-Put a rubber band over a hose on the sink and wait for someone to turn the water on.

-Fill a room up with balloons.

-Make an ice cream sundae for someone with mashed potatoes and gravy and a cherry on top.

-Scrape all of the cream filling out of oreo cookies and replace with toothpaste.

-Wrap up your co-workers desk chair in wrapping paper.

-Add to someone’s t0-do list with your to-do’s.

-Make caramel apples that are really caramel covered onions.

-Tape a small piece of paper under someone’s mouse pad so it appears broken.

-Fill your husbands underwear and sock drawer with packing peanuts (watch out Zach)!

See, there are definite ways to have innocent fun on April Fools Day without truly hurting someone (either physically and/or emotionally).  Just use your heads and keep my gentle reminder in the back of your brain!  Those of us who know this pain, truly appreciate you keeping a fake pregnancy announcement out of April Fools Day!

 

 

Cindy is here…

Yesterday, the grass was out and proud and I spotted Robins galore outside.  Today, the grass is nowhere to be seen and white snow is instead covering all of the grass. I have yet to spot one Robin either.  Those poor Spring birds must be so confused this morning! Heck, I think people are confused too-it’s not winter anymore but it surely feels like it is. Regardless, I’m still trying to think Spring!!!

However, Eastern WI was hit yet again with another Spring-time snowstorm.  This time her name is Cindy and I’m really not impressed with her visit.  In fact, she’s really not welcome but she decided to visit us anyways-apparently she didn’t get the memo that Winter is over and it is supposed to be Spring. Actually, most of the school districts near us are closed down for the day, which is good for safety reasons.  However, if you are like my mother-in-law (who works for a school district) or the students you may not be too happy about the snow-day make up days, which one may be around Memorial Day vacation this year.  Such a  bummer!  However, as a kid I always enjoyed those days off-it’s just really too bad those days have to be made up!

As for me, I don’t really plan on leaving my house today.  E and I will kind of have a snow day ourselves at home.  There is no point in getting all bundled up to run errands (especially because I packed away a lot of our winter gear and don’t feel like digging it out) or endanger our safety by driving on the poor road conditions.  It would be so easy to snuggle up and cuddle under a blanket and watch a movie together and sip hot cocoa BUT I have to remind myself that it’s Spring, not Winter.  Spring has always motivated me in that the world begins to come to life again after a long winter.  The birds sing, flowers start to bloom, trees begin to bud and our neighborhood comes to life with playing children!  There is so much to love and enjoy about Spring!  So, in your face Cindy-I’m not going to let you take away my Spring-time motivation!

One thing that comes to mind that I am motivated to do this time of year is Spring cleaning.  Although I don’t enjoy the task itself, the reward can be great.  I am a person who likes cleanliness, organization and little to no clutter.  Over the winter, my household (even vehicles) become the complete opposite of those things-to the point where I just can’t take it anymore.  At the end of winter, E may as well take her sand shovels and beach pails to my cars sandbox!  Well, needless to say I’m to that point where everything (and I mean everything) needs to be Spring-cleaned!  It all of course can’t be done in one day-it’s quite the process BUT once it’s accomplished you can sit back and finally relax and enjoy the newness again!

With that, Spring also always makes me realize how much stuff we’ve accumulated and how little space we have to store everything.  This is why I am having a rummage sale this year.  Anything that doesn’t sell, I plan on donating to a second hand store! Clutter and junk is especially true with having a 3 almost 4 year old!  E has become quite the little pack rat.  My best time to de-clutter, clean, and organize is when my little is at 3K.  I typically raid her room, do my thing, and try to make it the least bit suspicious that I was in there at all!

Yesterday, while doing a room raid I found a pile of papers in E’s room that she had water color painted at one time.  So, I folded them up and placed them in the garbage in the kitchen.  However, E got home from school and of course threw something in the garbage and noticed her prized art work in the trash and got very upset with me.  Lets just say, I felt like the worst mom in the world because E laid it into me and expressed how she worked very hard on making those pretty pictures and they do not belong in the garbage.  She even went on to say that she even made one of those especially for me and questioned if I loved her and that I shouldn’t throw away “love-work”.  So, feeling guilty I dug the papers out where they are now sitting in a pile (untouched since yesterday) on my kitchen counter. To me this spells out clutter and it’s already driving me bonkers that I didn’t get away with my mission to throw these out.

A well seasoned mom would have thrown those papers out in the garbage in the garage-never to be seen or thought of again!  Although, I felt guilty for hurting E’s feelings I know if I give it couple days she will forget (and lets face it, as moms we can’t keep every single piece of paper and artwork our child has ever made us-I already have a large bin of stuff I’ve chosen to keep and she hasn’t even entered into kindergarten yet)! Lesson learned quickly on my part as well!  By the end of the week I know I can dispose of those papers as they will make it out to the garage garbage & tear free!  I don’t know what I’m going to do about all the other junk she’s collected.  In her mind, I know they are treasures and each come with a memory of how or where she got them and she deems them special to her, but like I said we can’t keep everything.  If we did, we’d be seen on your next episode of hoarders buried alive!  It’s amazing how much she remembers and how much she doesn’t forget!

As a mom (and/or even a pet owner), you quickly come to the conclusion that your house will never look or feel like that of a home in a Better Homes and Garden Magazine, rather its quite the opposite in comparison!  I’ve also learned very quickly the difference between dirty and messy. No matter how much I clean, my house will always be messy BUT it is rarely dirty!  That’s something I can live with.  I love the quote, “Please excuse our messy house, the kids are making memories”.  It’s just so true!  I’d rather have a messy house and a child that is making memories then a clean house where a child isn’t allowed to have fun or be a kid!  With that, I take pride in my home and while the mess may bother some (and if i’m honest at times it bothers me) I know the reason for the mess and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  That is why I also like the quote, “Our house is lived in, it’s not for show.  If you don’t like the mess, you know where to go!”.

So, although it’s Spring and I should be starting my Spring cleaning today, I’m going to take advantage of Cindy’s visit and help my kid be a kid.  I’m going to enjoy the memories and messes we make together.  Messes can always wait-but time with your children can’t! Enjoy them, the time you have with them in insanely precious!

Little Ears & Little Eyes

It’s amazing how different trying for #2 has been, compared to how it was trying for #1.  Not only have we had to have medical intervention and an extreme amount of stress, but we also have had E to think about and try and work around. It has been so much harder this time around in more ways then one.  It’s crazy how my husband and I can be having a conversation about our infertility issues and then we forget about how E’s little ears can pick up on pretty much everything we are talking about.  Even when we think she isn’t listening, she really is.  Some days that little girl amazes me at how smart she is.

Throughout this entire process, no matter how much we try to distract E or give her an activity to keep her preoccupied while we are trying to have these important conversations, she still seems to pick up on things that are said.  For example, one day she saw me taking my medication and she said, “Mommy, are you taking that medication so you can help grow a baby in your belly?”  Sometimes, I just stand there in shock and think you are only 3.5, and I question how she can comprehend such a complex issue as infertility?  Many important conversations have been had with E during this difficult time, and even though the conversations we have with her are on her level, sometimes she can just seem so grown up with her questions, comments, concerns and support she gives us (without even knowing it).

Dealing with infertility is hard enough when you and your partner want a baby, but when you have a little one that wants a baby sister/brother just as badly it really does grab at your heartstrings that much more.  E often asks us when will she get a baby brother or sister and we are upfront and tell her that we love her so much and we would love to give her a sibling, but sometimes things don’t always work.  We explain that although our heart wants a baby so badly, we may not be able to have a baby like we want, but we will continue to try our hardest to make it happen and we are so incredibly happy that we have her.  Once after explaining this to E, she looked at me, grabbed my face and said, “Mama, I want a baby really bad but I will still love you anyways if you and Daddy can’t give me one.”  It’s things like this that make me feel like E is wise beyond her years and hearing her say that fill my heart with so much love.

Another thing about E is that she is so incredibly observant.  When I had to do injections, sometimes E would watch.  Now, some parents may think it’s poor parenting to let your child watch this part of it-however, it’s the real world and sometimes it was just unavoidable.  So, E found this to be fascinating.  On a couple of the times we did injections she would go downstairs and retrieve her doctor kit, put on her doctor outfit and retrieve her shot from her doctor’s kit and also give me a shot with her pretend shot.  You can tell she watched how gentle her daddy was when he gave me shots because E would say, “Now hold still, this won’t hurt at all and I will take care of you Mama.”  She loved to be involved and hands on in the process, so we let her.  Parts have definitely been a family affair and in my opinion there is nothing wrong with that.  It always amazes me how caring and loving E is!

Now some may wonder if we are afraid of E talking to the general public about some of the aspects of what she’s seen or heard.  We’ve honestly gotten very lucky, and E has not randomly talked about this (that we know of) in the general public.  However, if she did I guess I wouldn’t be shocked and as much as nothing prepares you for a conversation about infertility I am always ready to share our story and struggles.  I say nothing prepares you, not because I am not prepared for the conversation but a lot of times you run into the other person not being prepared for what is being talked about.  I think what we have been through has truly been something that has been life changing and because it’s not a topic that is talked about openly, of course I’m all for talking about it.  It may just be odd if E is the one who brings it up, so I’m truly glad we haven’t had to cross that bridge yet.

Our circumstances may not be ideal, but I am thankful for our struggles.  I am also thankful that we’ve had E through this hardship.  She’s what keeps me going.  She is what keeps me laughing.  She is what keeps me smiling.  She gives the best hugs and the best kisses.  It’s been a learning process for all of us.  Although it can be tough being a parent through infertility and having to answer those hard questions that your little has, it by no means steals their innocence.  I think it opens them up to how special they are and what a miracle babies truly are.  I may have some explaining to do when she’s older in regards to how most babies are made though because as of right now I think she thinks they are put in your belly by medications and shots.  However, lets keep her innocents a little longer!   There are just some things you can’t be completely honest about yet and there are many things her little ears do not need to see and her little eyes do not need to see.  Trust me when we say we know our limits!

 

 

 

Fear Helps You Grow

You may have thought that it’s Wednesday, and  you were going to get yet another opinionated post on the TLC series, “Rattled”.  I hate to disappoint, but I’ve decided to hang up my towel and be done with my posts about the show.  I am still very much watching it and I am still very much full of opinions about the couples on there, I just wasn’t getting a lot of feedback on what you all thought about it and really, what fun is a one sided conversation?!  With that, I am changing gears and today I am going to reflect on a quote that I read this morning that came from Mark and Angel Hack Life.  They said, “When you have two good choices, always go with the one that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to help you grow.”  I truly love this quote and will also give this advice to others in the future.  It really is sound advice.

If you’ve ever heard the quote by Robert Frost, “Two Roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by.  And that has made all the difference.”  you can see where this one, and the other one go hand in hand.  It’s amazing how much fear can take the wheel and steer your decisions and mold your choices.  Most of the time, because we are human, we take the easy way because we are too scared to do something different.  No one likes the unknown, but unfortunately the unknown is a part of every single life that exists.

Take a moment and think back to a major time in your life where you were stuck between 2 choices, either in your past and/or currently.  Which way did you go with your 2 choices and what was the main factor in the final outcome of your decision? I can think of a major decision I was faced with recently and although both the choices I was given were not per say good, I knew I needed to pick one. However, one was definitely more scary then the other with a lot more risks involved.  For that reason, it was easy to not pick the scary choice for quite some time.  However, when my heart was still heavy with the same burden a year later, I knew I needed to go the route that scared me most.  Although, there is no guarantee’s to this choice I made, I certainly without a doubt, know it will help me to grow and will give me the clarity to move forward.

With that, one of the biggest lessons I learned when being faced with a tough decisions is that if you choose one way, but you are still constantly thinking about the other option that was presented to you, it’s never too late to change your mind and start walking on that path that is less traveled.  At first I felt so mad at myself for not making this choice to begin with, but then I also realized that we all get from point A to point B differently and although I may feel time was wasted before getting there, there were many little lessons along the way that are making me who I am today and have gotten me to option B.  Never regret what you’ve done or where you are currently at.  Ultimately, you WILL get to where you need to be!

You just never know when that once choice you make can lead to the best decision for you. Be scared.  Have fear. Take the road less traveled.  It’s only then, that we do those things, that we can grow as individuals. It may not be easy, but trust me when I say it will be worth it!

 

 

Rattled-Ep. 5

I apologize that my blog posts have been only about my opinions on Rattled lately.  I promise there will be future blog posts about other topics coming up in the near future! However, today I bring you more of my opinions and observations about the show!

Mars & Doug:

-Surprise, surprise they are fighting again.

-Did Doug really just leave when things got heated again?!  Gosh, I really do feel for Mars.

-Doug left Ohio and when to Florida, wth?!  Why does this man feel like he can just come and go whenever he pleases.  I feel like he never puts Sophia first or has her best interest at hand.  I shouldn’t say this, but I am going to say it, I will never understand why God blesses couples like this with beautiful babies.  It’s just not fair.

-Although it wasn’t mature of Mars to hang up on Doug when he checked in with Mars finally, I am glad she did.  He truly deserved it.

-I was also thankful to see that Mars called her grandmother to lean on for support and her grandmother seemed like she really cares for Mars and her happiness.  She also offered Mars advice, although I truly don’t think Mars and Doug should try to make things work simply for Sophia’s case.  Sometimes that can be the worst case scenario for a child when they are forced to be around two parents who just don’t mesh.  However, being co-parents isn’t easy either.  Gosh, they truly are in a tough position.

-Mars and Doug clearly have to work on themselves and their own personal issues before they can make it work together as a couple.  It’s clear they both have some major issues.

-I just feel so incredibly bad for Sophia.

-I feel like Doug was starting to panic when he was looking for Mars and Sophia when she wasn’t home when he returned from his little trip away and although two wrongs don’t make a right, maybe this turned a light bulb on in Doug’s brain that there can be serious consequences for his actions.

-Part of me wish Mars would grow some balls and just get rid of his ass!

-I hate to be so judgmental of this couple, I truly have never been in a situation like theirs and on a more empathetic note know from being in my situation with secondary infertility that no one truly knows what it’s like unless you’ve been there yourself.  I can imagine it’s not an easy situation and very complicated.

Kristina & Jason:

-All I could think of when I saw Kristina trying to juggle work and Lincoln was “Hire a sitter already”.  So, I was so happy to see that she finally came to her senses that although she was really hoping for the best of both worlds, it just wasn’t a reality anymore.

-You can tell Kristina is really stressed out without Jason and trying so hard to get used to all of the changes that have just rocked her world, but given that she’s a bit of a control freak I find that she’s struggling a bit.

-It was so incredibly hard watching her drop Lincoln off at the daycare and seeing him crying and seeing how hard it was for Kristina to leave him.  You know she loves that boy and as a mother, you can just relate to how hard it can be leaving your child for the first time.  Some women (ahem, like myself) could never quite get to that point and decide to become SAHM’s.  I just think Kristina is wired to be a working gal and she wanted what was best for Lincoln and knew she couldn’t give him what he needed while still working.  It’s never an easy choice but ultimately you have to do what is best for you and your family and really there is no right or wrong answer.  To each her own, everyone is so different when it comes to what choice to make.

-I am curious to see how Jason’s new job is going.  They didn’t have him on this episode much so I’m wondering if we’ll be seeing him more next episode or not.  It seemed as though they were both in different locations as they were skyping at one point.  This surely will add another glitch in their relationship-long distance.  This is something I know first hand is not easy.  It will be interesting to see how long they have to be this way and how they make it work.

-Both are so independent, but you can see Kristina really does miss Jason and this is affecting her in more ways then I think she even realizes and she needs him a lot more emotionally then she thinks.

-I wonder how much they are paying for their daycare?  It looked like it was in an apartment and there were lots of age ranges.  Was it an in-home or is that how daycare’s look where they are at?

Ashley & Tyson:

-I bet they were so relieved to get the girls outside and go to the park for the first time, but what a challenge it was to just get them there.  Then, once they were there they were faced with even more challenges.  It isn’t just an enjoyable stroll in the park for them anymore where they can just stop and smell the roses that’s for sure.  Life just must be so incredibly different for them.  These girls definitely rocked their world!

-I thought it was humerous that they were arguing over which stroller to take.  It seems you rarely ever see the two bickering so it was kind of glad to see some imperfection with them.  I also thought it was funny that Tyson just kinda gave up after a few seconds and let Ashley win the argument.  It really wasn’t a major argument but it was still funny nonetheless.  I almost had to agree more with Tyson that the clip in car seat would have been a little easier only for the fact that you could have just kept all the girls right in the car seats!  Seems like less work!

-It’s always amazing seeing these two in action and seeing how their day begins and ends.  It’s nice that they both take part in getting the girls ready in the morning and seem to keep things even in that sense.  They just display so much love, affection, and patience it’s unreal!

-I can’t imagine how high Ashley’s stress level goes up once Tyson leaves for work, but she really does a great job managing it all on her own.  Although, I was surprised to see how they were both picking up and handling the girls at times-picking them up by one arm made me a bit nervous only because that’s how arms can easily come out of sockets! Haha.  I know they were not doing it in a rough manner and would never but it was just kind of cringe worthy when I saw it.

-Did you see Ashley trucking all the girls up those stairs one by one for their photo shoots?!  It’s any wonder the girl looks like she did before having quads!  WOWZA!  Hauling one car seat can be a lot of work at times, I couldn’t imagine 4!  She’s a rockstar!

-Kudos to that photographer for getting such amazing shots of the girls, I can’t imagine that was an easy task.  It’s awesome that they are able to take so many professional photo’s of the girls, this is something I regret not doing with E.  However, it was so expensive I could never really afford it.  I wonder how they are?

-It must be a hard realization for Ashley to think that each milestone is more then likely the last time they will ever experience.

Sal & Destiny:

-I was so glad that Sal and Destiny sat their mothers down and kind of told them how it is and that they want them to go and that they are going to hire a nanny.

-I seriously want to punch these women and can not stand how overbearing they are.

-I was disappointed in Destiny for asking the moms to be a part of the interviews while she interviewed nanny’s.  Seriously, the questions Destiny’s mother were asking were so rude and unnecessary.   There was no point for them to be a part of this process and made it really hard for Destiny to form her own opinions on the girls who interviewed.

-You didn’t see much of the grandfathers in this episode so it almost made me feel like the mothers are being filmed for the drama appeal of the show-then it makes me wonder how much is staged?  or is this real?  God, I could not imagine if this was real life.

-You don’t see Sal or Destiny taking care of Capri too much on their own and I really think they need space and time alone to be parents and a family of 3.

-Honestly, this households annoy me.  I just feel like Destiny and Sal continue to let this behavior from their Mom’s continue even after talking with them, it’s rather annoying.

 

End opinions!  What are your opinions on the show?