November 30, 2009
I don't know how people do it--consistently blogging every day. I just don't think there are enough exciting/interesting/fun things in my daily life to keep you all wanting to come back and read every day!
So I'm looking forward to blogging just kind of often again for awhile. December is always a very full month, and Justin and I have many fun parties and things on the calendar.
Hope you are having a great start to the week--and to the crazy busy Christmas countdown!!
November 29, 2009
You spend weeks looking forward to it--counting down the days until it is here...
And then like a flash, here I am, in the last hours of the vacation, and it is a little bit bittersweet. I wish I had more days, but it was such a great time off with family. Even being sick with a cold was worth it when because I got to lay around in bed reading when I wasn't feeling good! So much better than feeling icky at work!
So even though I wish I had more time off, I realize how lucky I am to even have a job that gives me time off at all! Not many people get a whole week at Thanksgiving and another 2 weeks at Christmas, less than a month later! Not to mention spring break and summer!! The perks of being a teacher!
So back to the grind tomorrow... but who am I kidding--it isn't a grind at all. I love my job, the kids, and my coworkers! So I guess, back to a great place tomorrow!! Hope you can have a good Monday and get back into the swing of things quickly!
15 days until Christmas break!!!
(Not that I'm counting or anything though!!)
November 28, 2009
I am now officially excited about Christmas... Love all the lights!! I can't believe how many houses are already decorated with their lights on! Ours are up, but they haven't been turned on yet since we have been staying at my parents' house with the fam.
Here is a picture of Betsy all dressed up in her winter coat, hanging out on the couch!
Hope you are having a great weekend!!
(My brother just told me about this new blogger app-- now I can post from my phone so much easier!!)
Posted by Alyson on my iPhone!!
November 27, 2009
We are so excited to have everyone together for at least a few days, and it really didn't make a difference when we ate the turkey!
So stay tuned for pictures from our family celebration! And I hope you and your family had a wonderful time yesterday and that your bellies are still full! Anyone get any good deals early this morning?? You black Friday shoppers sure are brave! :-)
November 26, 2009
November 25, 2009
November 24, 2009
Sunday's sermon at church was the final one of our church's series, "So You're Dead...Now What", and was all about having a Bucket List. If you haven't seen the movie The Bucket List, see it--it is really good! But this Bucket List sermon wasn't all about making a list of all the major things you want to do before you die, but instead the importance of having a daily bucket list, of recognizing that the little things in life are sometimes more important than only accomplishing those 'big things'.
I've been pondering what was talked about for the last couple of days. The point was that we should take each day and all of the little details that it includes and be thankful for it all. So much of my life, honestly for the last 5 1/2 years, has been focused on everything related to being a mom. At the end of the schoolyear in May, I was talking with students about their plans for the summer, and they asked me what my plans were. It actually kind of shocked me when I realized that I didn't have ANY plans that didn't some how come back to the one focus I have--becoming a mom. That ties into this Bucket List sermon from Sunday. It hit me that all I really have in my bucket was that one focus...pretty much meaning that my bucket was EMPTY!!
~What do you need to add to your bucket list??
November 23, 2009
I'm still determined to enjoy this week, cook and eat lots of yummy food, even if I'm not feeling great!
Hope you are having a great week, and that you are finding many things to be thankful for!!
November 22, 2009
And this is Bella--her humans are my Uncle Aaron and Aunt Kristen. I have only met her one time, when she was a small and crazy puppy. She was acting crazy in my house, and I tried to tell her how she should behave. My mommy and daddy thought I was just being mean, but I was just trying to teach her some manners! I bet she would be a lot more fun to be with now that she is grown up!
November 21, 2009
So all in all, we enjoyed this movie and would recommend it. You come away thinking it was a good movie, even if it didn't have the best plot and acting. Just perfect for a fun afternoon!!
...But I'm still looking forward to The Blind Side!!! And now some other great looking movies coming out next month! Overall, Justin and I just love watching movies!
November 20, 2009
Oh, how I love Fridays!
Knowing that I have a few days off is always such a nice first thought when I wake up on a regular Friday morning. But, knowing that I have NINE WHOLE DAYS off after I leave work today puts a huge smile on my face!!! Yes, I don't get paid when I don't work, but I'm really looking forward to this next week off. My brother and Kristen are coming into town, I have some projects that I'm looking forward to getting done around my house, and I'm going to be cooking and eating some yummy food (with some new recipes suggested by some of you!)!! I can hardly wait!!!
Happy Friday everyone...hope it is as exciting for you as it is for me today!! =)
November 19, 2009
My heart just hurts when I hear about others who are facing hard times in their lives.
I've been through hard times, yes, but seeing my friends hurt seems to be just as bad as if it is happening to me.
My heart breaks sometimes at the unfairness of it all...
I trust that God is in control, and that He knows the whole picture, but still...
Sometimes my heart just hurts.
"For our present troubles are quite small [even though they seem huge right now to us] and won't last very long [even though they seem to go on forever]. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever [thank the Lord!]! So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now [that seem to surround us on all sides]; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over [YEAH!], but the joys to come will last forever [and it will all be worth it!]."
~ 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 [plus a few thoughts of mine]
November 18, 2009
November 17, 2009
November 16, 2009
November 15, 2009
That is the title of the series our pastor is preaching right now at our church, Hope Fellowship. It is all about what the Bible says about what happens after you die. I know there are so many ideas people have about Heaven and hell, but I love how Pastor John gives us the straight truth, straight from the Bible.
The first week was an overview of what the Bible says about death, and the second week was what the Bible says about hell. One of the stats John gave was that 74% of people believe in Heaven, but only 40% in hell. That is a sad statistic to me, but it just shows me how focused on only the good things people are today. (How everyone should win, how there should be no losers in games, how there shouldn't be any negative comments given about anything, but only ones like "You're the best...You're awesome..." Ahh!! Okay, let me get off my frustrated teacher soapbox now!) This week's sermon is on what the Bible says about Heaven. I'm really looking forward to it and digging deeper into those scriptures that tell us all about it--not just our "stereotypical" ideas of Heaven.
It is really strange, and by reading blogs of other moms who have had babies die, I know others agree with me. I used to be hesitant about the whole rapture thing, about leaving the world here and moving on. As a Christian all my life, I knew I was supposed to be praying for Jesus to return...praying for the next step to come. But honestly...I would pray, "Lord, let me at least get to be a mom here on Earth first." I didn't want to go to Heaven, which I know in my heart will be better than anything I can EVER even imagine, until I had gotten what I wanted first here on Earth. Even if something was to happen to me tomorrow, I'm okay and excited to know that I will be in Heaven!
Boy things have changed. Since having babies that I never really got to meet, that I know are in Heaven waiting for me and being loved on by Jesus, I can hardly wait! And if Jesus wants to come and rapture His Church this afternoon, then I'm all for it. Bring it on, Jesus! I can't wait to meet you and hold all my babies!!
Strange how death really changes a person, their outlook on life. I have had loved ones die, my grandpa, other grandparents I didn't ever get to meet, that I do look forward to seeing again in Heaven. But I never desired it as much as I do now that my babies are there.
I'm looking forward to the sermon today on Heaven...
November 14, 2009
What a fun day so far!!! Justin's mom and one of her friends came in last night. We went to one of our favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants for breakfast, and today they are out enjoying the Dallas shopping experience!! They are just on their way back from Sam Moon...if you are a woman and don't know what this is, you will have to come to Dallas to find out what a wonderful place it is!! =)
Justin just got back from at 29 mile bike ride to our church and back (a 25-30 minute drive by car!!!). He is just amazing. I still am in awe of the awesome shape he is in, and how he is so consistent with his workouts!!! Maybe someday I'll join him... =) I just had to include this adorable picture of him with Betsy from this morning...she was totally relaxed on his lap!!! She loves her Daddy!
I spent most of the day at my parents' house planting flowers with my mom. We went and got a bunch of pansies, and really did some cute groupings in many of the pots she has in her backyard. My mom had planted some pansies in my year about a month ago when I was out of town, and so it was my turn to help her!! She is really doing well recovering from her surgery, but my dad and I were adamant that she didn't do any of the planting except directing me on what to do!!
Here are a few of the pots in the yard...We also planted those great decorative cabbage plants that will grow up really tall and pretty.
November 13, 2009
November 12, 2009
My chiropractor saw me reading it today, and we had a good discussion about it. He hadn't read it, and had heard all the controversy through the years, and wanted to know what I thought. I told him, from reading it the first time around, I remember thinking what an amazing way to think of how we as Christians can relate, interact, and should have a relationship with God. Now I know that this is a work of fiction (and I think that is part of the problem of why it is so controversial--people forget that). But, I think a lot of people would agree, that the Trinity is such a hard concept to grasp. I was impressed at the author's imagination and way of introducing us to the three parts of the Trinity.
I'm not done re-reading it yet, just getting to the Trinity part of the book again, but I'm curious... if you read it, what did you think about it?
November 11, 2009
On Monday, Justin and I met with Dr. Barnett, our fertility doctor, for almost an hour and came away feeling very encouraged! We talked about our many different options for our future, as well as what he thinks went wrong this past cycle. Really, he doesn't know what went wrong. He went over the fact that my lining was thick, my estrogen and progesterone numbers were good, my beta (pregnancy level) was normal and what he would expect from a successful IVF cycle. He was shocked and sad that it didn't work, and we were so appreciative of his genuine care and concern for us. It is frustrating to not have an answer to the whys, but he did suggest a few more things that we could do differently if we decide to proceed with the frozen embryo transfer (FET). He says that an FET is actually a lot easier than IVF because it doesn't involve the high amounts of stimulating hormones. All you have to do is take estrogen to thicken the lining, and then progesterone to hold the lining in and help it to accept the embryos.
We are praying about our next step. At the moment, we are feeling like this FET is the right move for us. We have 3 "precious embryos" (Dr. B's words!) left, and he thinks that, if we can emotionally handle it, an FET would be a good final try. I really feel that if we can go into this knowing it will be the last try for us to have our own baby (with me being pregnant) and it doesn't work, at least we will have fully exhausted all our possibilities. If it works, then praise Jesus, and if we don't get pregnant, then we can move on to our Plan B options.
We would love your continued prayers, and I will update more as we get there. For now, we are looking forward to enjoying the holidays with our families, and trusting God for our future.
I just had to include a few new pictures of Jonathan's fall decorations. I went by the cemetery after our appointment, and had fun putting a fall leaf arrangement in his headstone vase.
November 10, 2009
The must have fashion of mouse hunters... (Thanks Mom!)
So Sunday night we were over at my parents' house to eat dinner with them. My dad was telling us that he thought he had been hearing a mouse somewhere in the house during the week while my mom was at the hospital. We had even seen clues that there must be a mouse lurking, food bags chewed open, but didn't think to much more of about it. All of a sudden, we heard Betsy doing her low 'ruff' that she usually does when she has found where we have hidden her favorite ball. We realized she was in the bedroom behind the kitchen that is used as a storage room. Justin got up to look what she had found, and my dad teased him that was probably the big mouse that had been in there last week.
So surprise, surprise, as Justin looked behind a table leaf that was stored in there, there WAS a mouse! A quite large one at that! It was nesting back in there, and Betsy had indeed found its scent and tracked it in there! So we all came to take a look, and then we jumped into action, finding the appropriate mouse hunting tools--a coffee carafe for me, and a hammer and a tall glass cannister with a top for my dad. (PETA and extreme animal lovers: this hammer was not for killing purposes or even harming purposes, but for gentle shoving into container purposes...fyi) Justin moved the leaf, and the mouse scurried into the fairly small bathroom that is in that room.
Then the fun really began! My dad and I headed into the bathroom after it, and closed the door so it couldn't escape, and spent the next 10 minutes crashing into walls, jumping away from the scurrying mouse, hopping up on the bathtub, and laughing hysterically!!! I don't think I've ever seen my dad, bad knees and all, jump so high or spin around so quickly!!! My tough Daddy was on a mission, to get that mouse into the container. But, when that mouse ran towards his slippered feet, he was sure that that mouse was coming to chew on his toes! He would jump, the mouse would run, and I would die laughing!!! Finally, after much cajoling, teamwork, and angling our "weapons" just right, the mouse made it into the cannister, and we got the top on tight! Poor Justin was standing right outside the door with another mouse catching contraption ready, just in case the mouse ran out, but we finally succeded at our hunt and came out with our prize.
We came out laughing just as hard as we were inside, and, of course, I had to reenact my dad's "mouse jumping" for my mom and Justin! I don't think I've ever seen my dad move that quickly or jump that high! Oh if only I had the video camera!!!
As you can tell, we are definitely city-folk. All it takes is one little (well--it was actually pretty big) mouse to get us all excited! And of course, we had to take pictures for the blog! The mouse is going to go live outside, far far away, and hopefully, Betsy won't have to be a mouse tracker ever again! What a fun night!!!
November 9, 2009
So now it looks like a call to a plumber is in the works for today...along with dirty dishes in the diswasher waiting to be run, as well as some more on the counter waiting...bummer.
But the silver lining, and oh how I love silver linings, is that we renewed our home warranty, and will only have to pay $50 to get it fixed!!
~~Oh, and be sure to check tomorrow's blog. I have a hilarious story about my dad, me, and a mouse...stay tuned!
November 8, 2009
We have an appointment with our fertility doctor tomorrow. I am really looking forward to talking with him about what he feels like would be a good plan for us right now. We have 2-3 different options that we are looking at and have questions about. It will be interesting to hear his take on these different ideas, and then Justin and I will pray that God would lead us into his plan for our next step in becoming a family of more than two!
Even in our uncertainty, I know that God has it all under control...
November 7, 2009
Our Thanksgiving meal usually consists of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing (bread--my favorite, and cornbread), green bean casserole, sometimes spiral sliced ham, cranberry sauce, rolls, and then of course, pumpkin pie. Sometimes we there are a few different things (depending on which side of the family we are eating with) like a jello salad, sweet potatoes, or broccoli rice casserole, but we usually stick to the same ol' same ol'.
So here is my question...do you have any dishes that are a part of your traditions that I should add to ours? I'm always on the hunt for new, yummy recipes, and would love to hear any great ideas from you!
I can't believe it is already November 7th...this year really has just flown by, and I know we'll be celebrating new years in just moments. But I love fall (if you couldn't tell that already!) and especially Thanksgiving. So I'm taking it all in, striving to enjoy every minute, appreciating all the blessings I have in my life right now, and looking forward to some yummy food!!!
November 6, 2009
So tune in tomorrow for a post that will be much better than this one! I hope! =)
November 5, 2009
I laying here thinking just how much God has been there for us the last few days. You just never know what life is going to throw at you. Just watching the news tonight, I heard at least 3 stories of people dying or being in major accidents. Just yesterday I didn't know if we would be getting the dreaded news of a cancer diagnosis for my mom. Nothing is guaranteed. Nothing works out just the way we want it to be, the way we plan, every single time. It makes me think about a song that I was listening to a few days ago. One of my favorite songs that Ginny Owens sings is called "If You Want Me To." Wow is it powerful, and so applicable to life...to the hard times so many of us have to face in life. I just can't help but think about what Justin and I are going through on our journey. I find myself listening to it over and over and over. (It is in my playlist at the bottom if you want to listen to it...just click on it.)
If You Want Me To
The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to
Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to
It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone
So When the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley If You want me to
Wow. Even through those valleys, God has given all of us the strength to face anything! It might not be easy, but I'm choosing to trust Him... to follow Him...because I know I'm not alone!
November 4, 2009
My mom's surgery went so very well, without any complications, and with the wonderful news of NO CANCER!!!!! She is recovering now at the hospital, and will be recovering at home at least through Thanksgiving. We still would love your prayers for a quick and hassle-free recovery, but won't you join with me in saying...
Thank You Jesus!!!
November 3, 2009
Joy is truly an amazing person to me. She is an intelligent, talented, and very capable woman, and has the most sensitive and loving heart. She is a wonderful mommy to our sweet niece Ryley, and a best friend to her husband Ryan. We had so much fun living near them for a little bit right after we got married, and wish we lived much closer! Joy--have a wonderful birthday!! Even though you are sick, I hope your day turns out to be a great one! We are praying that this is going to be your best year yet!!!
Another reason why this is such a special day is that 8 years ago tonight, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Justin proposed to me!!! I still remember that day like it was yesterday, and I can't believe that 8 years have flown by so quickly!! We were just babies, in our junior year of college, but I knew since I met him that he was the one for me. I've never imagined that I would be so blessed to share my life with such an incredible man, and I'm so thankful that God had such a wonderful plan for us!!
This is a picture from the night we got engaged--do we look happy or what?! Well, maybe I was the ecstatic one, and he was the relieved one that it was over!! =)
Our engagement picture...please ignore the blurriness of these photos. These were pre-digital camera pics, and I had to take a picture of the actual picture on my iphone to get them on here!!
As I was looking for these pictures, I found a fortune cookie fortune that I had saved from that year. It said, "Stop searching forever, happiness is just next to you." There are no truer words! I love you Justin!!!
Just a reminder that my mom's surgery is today...thanks for praying for her!!