Throwback Thursday

 

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Today, I’d like to reflect back to almost two years ago (February 2016) to a very profound time in my life.  Never will I ever forget this time because my husband & I were starting our very first IVF cycle.  It was such a whirlwhind!  The array of emotions that we felt during this time are ones I will never forget.   How could I ever forget these feelings when this was such a significant part of our lives?  There are days now, that time just feels so surreal.

Even so, those emotions are also ones that are also hard to portray fully to you.  It is especially hard for me to make you fathom even the slightest amount of the depth of what was going on in my mind, body & heart then.  It was such an overwhelming, scary, stressful, no chance to catch our breaths, nerve-wracking, risky, faith-testing, confusing, anxious, hopeful, exciting time in our struggle with infertility.

If it’s something you never went through first hand yourself, can you really even try to truly imagine or begin to know what we went through?  I certainly do not expect you to.  However, those that have, I really don’t even need to explain with words because you would know exactly what I am talking about with just a single look.  For me,  I have those moments where I, even though I will never forget those feelings, look back now and it feels so ironic how that time in our life can sometimes feel so blurred.  I often think to myself that sometimes God doesn’t want us to remember every thing and blurs parts out as a way to help hold you up and giving energy to help sustain you to keep going.

One of the things I am thankful for is that during my time of struggle, I kept a handwritten journal during.  Although, I didn’t write in it everyday, I captured some pretty raw moments in writing that I didn’t always post in my blog.  When I decided to go back and open my journal today, to this time two years ago, I can feel just how nervous and scared and excited I was then.  The ball of emotions was big and it was deep.

The thing I love most about my journal is some of the things I wrote to encourage myself then to keep me going, or things I would write to help me keep my faith.  Reading those words now still brings me comfort and makes me smile.  Alot of those comforting words are things I hope that my daughters will one day stumble across when they read my journal someday and are in a place in their lives where they need to hear these words too to feel comforted.

So today, wherever you are in your struggle with infertility or even any struggle or roadblock in your life in general, I want to share and throw-back these comforting words that I shared with myself in my journal a couple years ago as I embarked the beginning of my IVF journey.  These words bring me peace and comfort today even and serve as a reminder that everything is going to be ok.  I hope you find comfort in them too.

“You are right where you are meant to be.  Everything is unfolding exactly as it should.  Your job is to BREATHE, be kind to YOURSELF and quietly do what needs to be done.” -Author Unknown

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Wondering On Wednesdays

Happy Valentine’s Day!  If you celebrate the day of love, I’m wondering who you celebrate with, or who your sweetest Valentine(‘s) in your life are?!

My sweetest Valentine’s are, of course, my daughters.  This picture was from my youngest daughter’s first Valentine’s Day (2017) & these pictures are just to sweet to not share again this year.  Also, I have to admit, it gets harder and harder to take pictures of them both seperate and together because they don’t like to sit still for more then 2 seconds!  One thing that I am always amazed to see when I look back at pictures of them is how much growth takes place with them in a years time.  Looking at these pictures feels surreal, like truly where did the time go?  Neither of my girls are babies anymore in theory.  Time is truly so precious and I simply cherish these moments while they are little.  My love for these two goes to infinity and beyond.  A forever kind of love, is the best kind of love.  If you are lucky enough in life, you will get to experience this kind of love.  I feel so blessed that I do every single day with these two sweethearts. No matter their size, they will always, always be my babies.

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Aimless 20 Talk Tuesday

Random things I love

  1.  …to start my day by reading a daily devotional. They are usually a very quick read but always seem to help motivate me or just start my day and my mood off right.  I think reflection is so important in our everyday, and by doing a daily devotionaly daily, it holds me accountable to reflect.
  2. …receiving snail mail.  There is nothing more heart-warming then an actual hand written letter, note, or card sent to me in the mail.  The last note I received that was hand written in the mail was from my mom.  I really appreciated it.  I have always liked my mom’s handwriting so there is a simple comfort in seeing it and knowing she took some time out of her day to actually write me, makes me feel loved, cared for and special.
  3. …the time between Spring & Summer.  It’s a no brainer that if you asked me to put in order which Season I like most to least it would go as follows:  Summer, Spring, Fall, Winter.  Don’t get me wrong, there is something to take away and enjoy in each season, but this is just how I’d order them.  However, my most favorite time is the anticipation between Spring and Summer.  There is just a very distinct feel and smell in the air and it makes me happy.
  4. …when you take extended time away from home, and then first step foot back in your home after being away.  We always get to that point in our life where we just need and want to get away.  However, then when we are away from home for an extended amount of time it is ironic how great it feels to be back home.
  5. …feeling sore after a workout.  Everyone knows this kind of sore, it’s a hurts so good kind of feel.
  6. …getting tickled.  Now, I’m not talking about the pee your pants kind of tickle.  Nobody enjoys that.  However, one of my favorite things in this world is being gently tickled.  My mom used to tickle me when I was little, and now I ask (mostly beg) my husband to tickle me.  It is just so comforting and relaxing.  I could fall asleep just thinking about it.
  7. …when you smell a smell that instantly takes you somewhere you’ve been before or remindes you of a place in time.  There are just certain smells that trigger me and make me smile.  When these smells hit me, I can automatically think about a specific event, place, or time in my life and it’s so neat when that happens.
  8. …the first tastes of a new recipe or food you’ve never experienced before.  It’s either going to be a party in your mouth or not so much.  Life is so short, so it’s fun to experience and try new food and combinations of flavors.
  9. …getting dressed up and feeling like a 10 (my version of a 10 anyways).  There are not many days I get to feel like a 10.  Being a stay at home mom is not a glamours job.  Most days you’ll likely see me wearing leggings and a tunic/sweatshirt or active wear.  I do wear make up, but don’t make it “special” and my hair isn’t done or just up in a pony.  Getting dressed up makes me feel human and special for my husband.  It also makes me feel good about myself as if it’s just a simple reminder to myself that ‘that girl still does exist in there’.
  10. …hearing my girls giggle together.  Truly, their giggles are such a blessing.
  11. …turning something old, into something new.  I love to be thrifty and there are so many things that we throw away or get rid of thinking they are ‘old’ or think we can’t use anymore.  It is amazing to think outside the box and so much fun to repourpose.
  12. …being entertained by pets.  They can just be so funny and silly and give us laughs when we need them the most.  It’s like they just know when our spirits need to be lifted.  Some of the laughs I get on a daily basis are due to my fur-pals.  They are such an important part of our family and play an important role in our overall happiness and well-being.
  13. …when someone new enters your life when you least expect them too, but they come right at the exact moment your heart needed them too.  When I was in the midst of my struggle with infertiliy I met a few of these people.  It was like God knew I needed these people in my life to help me in that exact moment.  It’s always a great feeling knowing I am never alone in any circumstance or situation.
  14. …the two seconds before my car doesn’t look like a sandbox and garbage can for my kids.
  15. …memes and gifs.  Seriously, some of them I see and they make me pee my pants in laughter.
  16. …when someone else makes me a sandwich and cuts it in half, to make two triangles.  It always tates better!
  17. …snuggling under a quilt my mom made when I’m cold, sick, or just need comfort.
  18. …teaching a child  a concept and the moment when they finally grasp it and have the look on their face that they are even proud of themselves.
  19. …hand and footprint art.  Whenever I go back in my girl’s scrapbooks or baby book and see their tinest of hand/foot print to their biggest it just puts how precious life is into perspective.  It goes fast, and it is a forever reminder to stop and enjoy the little priceless moments with them.
  20. …the convienience of online grocery shopping.  This is new to me this year and all I can say is, where have you been all my life?!

 

Motivational Monday for Mombies

 

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We’ve all been in that place where someone offends us.   As quickly as you got offended, the bitterness begins to harbor inside your heart and anchor deep inside your core.  Your heart begins to grow cold and hardens.  It is especially difficult for you when you are around the person who offended you, or even if their name is just brought up in conversation.  Even when not around this person, you are so offended that your thoughts on the matter begin to affect your overall being in your daily life and you become depressed or even obsess over the offense so much so that you become consumed by it.

This is no place to stay in.  No one wants to live their lives this way.  At some point, or another we get to a place where we know in our hearts that the only way to get better and move on and to live life is by choosing forgiveness.   However, even though when we get to this place and forgiveness is the next step to take, why is it then that it is so difficult?  When we rehash things over and over again in our mind, forgiveness does not come so easily.  Resentment is also difficult to let go of, especially if it’s been a lingering feeling for quite some time.

What we often forget, is that by forgiving another person it also means freeing yourself from these restraining feelings too.  The feelings that have been burdening you and weighing so heavily on your shoulders will be relieved.  Who doesn’t want to be free of feeling like this?  It certainly isn’t easy, but you will not regret choosing forgiveness.  By choosing forgivness you are also placing the sins of another and your own in God’s hands.  Isn’t it always a wonderful feeling when you ask God for forgivness and He forgives you?  Imagine what it feels like to forgive another person, and how they must feel when you ask for their forgiveness?

This week, I challenge you to take all those offenses, unresolved feelings, family arguments, feelings of resentment, and/or often petty disagreements and give a little grace instead.  Forgive another and finally experiences the freeing feelings you deserve.  Life is too short to have all these pent up feelings that affect your every day and ruin relationships that have the potential to thrive and be of great relevance to your life here on earth.  Sometimes, we need to tell ourselves to simply just get over it & tell ourselves it’s time to move on.  There are far more important choices in life to be making.

Choose to let go.

Choose to forgive another.

Choose to be kind always.

Choose to show compassion.

Choose to stay tenderhearted.

 

 

 

 

Free Fridays

Yesterday, I got a card in the mail from the Alumni Association at UW-Stout, the college my husband and I graduated from.  They are celebrating the month of love by encouraging alumni to share our story with them on facebook.  February 5-11th is sharing “We Fell in Love at UW-Stout”.  February 12-18th is “Why I love UW-Stout” and February 19-25th is “Friendships Made at UW-Stout”.  I think this is such a wonderful idea and of course I am all over participating.

#MonthofLove2018 #StoutProud

Not only am I all over participating, but it was really neat to read some of the other stories shared on the page.  One of the stories I read was about a couple who met in 1947 and will be celebrating 70 years of marriage.  This is incredible!  My husband and I are coming up on our 8th wedding anniversary on April 10th.  All I could think about after reading this story was, if only my husband and I can be so lucky someday!  Wow!

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In a nutshell, in case any of you are wondering.  My husband and I met on January 20th, 2006.  It was my friend’s birthday (and unbeknownst to me, his friends birthday).  We went out to The Market, which was a bar downtown Menomonie, WI.  My friend and I were sitting at a table having a drink talking, when I almost immediately spotted Zach playing darts with a group of other guys.  I pointed him out to my friend and she about spit her drink when I pointed him out.  She surprisingly knew who he was and said she had been friends with him since Freshman year.  Later on in the night, she informally introduced the two of us.  I invited Zach to my dorm room later on in the week and we went on our first impromtu dinner date.

There was just something about Zach that grabbed my heart strings and I know it’s cliche but I knew that night at the bar he was my person in life.  With a lot of ups and downs and life in between, we eventually got married in Menomonie at an old historic Theatre called Mable Tainter Theater and had our reception at The Stout Ale house where we had that very first dinner date. We couldn’t have asked for a better wedding day surrounded with our family and friends.

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Zach doesn’t know this but whenever I hear the song Bless the Broken Road, by Rascall Flatts I think back to when he entered my life.  I couldn’t have met him at a better time and just thank God every day how the broken road in my life has blessed me.  I am so grateful that our paths crossed and we met that night.  That night I gained a best friend, a partner in life, a husband, a wonderful father to our girls, and a man that has made my world entirely better.

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Thank you UW-Stout for helping my heart reflect back on our love story and life together, thus far.  Menomonie and UW-Stout will always be a part of our story and the memories we had there will be forever cherished.

 

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Throwback Thursday…

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Who are these kids?

Nearly 12 years ago, this was two college kids who had an attraction to one another and were just having some fun and seeing where things would go…

Little did we know that the friendship we were developing then would lead to being best friends and that we would fall in love.

This picture was taken in April of 2006.  Looking at it today, it feels like lifetimes ago.  I barely recognize those two young people anymore because we’ve aged…urm umm…I mean changed so much.  Haha, not only physically but we’ve also grown together and molded our lives together.

Isn’t it fun to look back at throw back pictures of you and your spouse and think about where you were at then and where you are at now?

Then, we were just two young and single college kids getting to know one another.  Who would have thought in that moment we’d be in it together for the long haul.

Since then, we have experienced a life together.  Some of our life together so far has included in a nutshell:

-A long distance relationship when we began dating and were living in our college town. Zach left for an entire summer to go to CA for an internship and I still lived in WI.

-Our first move.  When he got back from CA, we moved to Appleton together where we rented an apartment together and experienced what it was like to live with one another for the first time.

-We got engaged & then experienced yet again long distance in our relationship when Zach had to travel frequently for work.  This caused many ups and downs but we somehow managed to work through it all.

-Job changes, which were all me.

-Getting Engaged.

-Buying our first house together.

-Experienced our first pet in our new house (our cat, Osama).

-Eventually, we got a second pet and we raised our first puppy together (Wynnsor).

-We got pregnant for the first time.

-Became parents for the first time to our daughter.

-I quit my job to be a stay at home mom.

– Sadly, we experienced our first pet loss together (Wynnsor).

-However, we eventually got a 2nd puppy (Haddie) and are currently enjoying her.  She just turned 4.

-We then went through a major hardship, secondary infertility and eventually had our 2nd daughter…and here we are.

Of course there were lots of little experiences and ups and downs inbetween all those major life events, but it sure is neat to look at where it all started and reflect on where we are now.  There are things that are the same but so many things have changed.  One thing that is for certain is that I wouldn’t change meeting my husband for the world! I sure love him and this life we have built together.  I am so excited for what’s to come.

It’s the month of love you guys…it’s ok to get a little cheesy every now and then.

Wondering On Wednesdays

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In case you are wondering how I am feeling on this Wednesday…I am dragging my butt to the doctor. I am 100% sick and completely burnt out so I will make this blog post brief. I know I’m sick because I called my own mom today crying simply because I just don’t feel good. She is four hours away and I know can’t give me the TLC I desperately want and need her to give me but it still gives me comfort knowing she picked up the phone and I could cry a little to her and she was able to give me a little of her sympathy. Isn’t it funny that no matter how old we get we still want to be in the care of our own Moms when we are sick? They are simply the best. They know just the right things to say and do to make us feel cared for, loved, and better. If you are reading this mom, thank you for all the years you’ve given me TLC when I’ve been sick and I really miss you when I am sick as an adult…it hands down sucks.

I really hope there is an end in sight to this back to back sickness everyone just can’t seem to shake this year. It’s been down right awful.

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