Thursday, December 2, 2010

the cutest advent calendar ever...

...was recently created by my mother!  She made this for Gavin and now we're all coveting it.  :)

It was hanging up at my mom's house when we were there for Thanksgiving.  I think my dad was hoping it would stay at their house (my dad is the biggest fan of Christmas...EVER).  However, I believe it is now out in Maple Valley hanging with the it should be.

How sweet are all of the little mittens?  We used the Cricut to cut out the tiny numbers.  Then, my mom glued them on to these tags she had covered in festive papers. 

Since last year, my mom's had a plan.  She knew she wanted to do something like this for her grandchild.  (Gavin was a little too young to appreciate it last year.)  So, grandma was on the lookout for mittens.  She made some, bought some and found some in her own decorative stash. 

There's plenty of room inside these little mittens to leave behind an advent treat.

Jamie was insisting that she should get the advent calendar since my mom has known her much longer than she has Gavin.  I'm not sure that's fair play, but she's got a point.  :)

Can't wait to see what grandma has in store for Gavin's little sister.  :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

hope you had...

...a Happy Thanksgiving!  Below, you'll find my virtual gift to the world. 

This is my third attempt at making some delicious and beautiful Jenny Cookies.  If you have the time and money, I would highly recommend taking one of Jenny's classes.  She's amazing (not to mention super nice, sweet, kind, beautiful, creative, and down-to-earth)! 

My cookies are nothing compared to hers (but they have improved slightly), so don't judge her abilities by mine.  Check out Jenny's website and you'll see what I mean.  Incredible...and oh, so yummy!

Gobble, gobble...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

thriller...teacher version

We surprised our kids again...this time around it was in honor of the fact that we reached our school goal and raised more than $47,222.31 during our magazine drive.  It's far from professional, but that's what makes it SO.MUCH.FUN!

Check it out! 

(I can't put it in the post right won't let me.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

please help...

Update: Riley was found late last night.  Thank you for your prayers!

One of my students has gone missing.  She left home Monday morning, around 7, and hasn't been seen since. They (the police and her family) believe that Riley ran away from home, but this is totally unlike her.  So, I ask you all to pray!  You've graciously lifted me up in prayer and now I'm asking you to rally around this family.  Pray that sweet Riley is quickly and sound!  Pray that the Lord would equip our staff to handle the other students and all of their questions/concerns.  Pray that through this difficult time, the Lord's power and presence would be felt by ALL!

Here's a link to the Facebook page her family has set-up.  They have promised to keep it updated.  I'll keep you posted as well...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

no pictures, lots of words, but from the heart...

Things are about to get real personal (and a little lengthy too).

What I’m about to discuss is something that it typically not talked about. It is kept hidden until change occurs…then, it’s not as likely to upset or offend. I don’t think that should be the case. Instead, I think it should be something that is openly spoken of and prayed for. You may choose to disagree, and that’s okay…perhaps a bit sad, but acceptable none-the-less.

Some may already know this; others, might not have a clue. Regardless, it’s a huge part of my life and that’s why I think it’s worth sharing. I can post a million crafts, a ton of family pictures, stories about my role as a teacher, what it means to have a relationship with Jesus, and gush over my husband. However, if I fail to mention this, I’m leaving out a huge piece of my story…the one that God is knitting together.

It is my hope and prayer that this post would allow others to see that they’re not alone in their struggles. This isn’t something you have to be afraid to share. I also want those in my life to know that they should not feel as though they have to hold back and avoid the topic altogether. The Lord has designed my life and this is obviously part of His plan. I trust Him fully, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t experience some pain and frustration along the way.

Here it goes…

In May of 2008, Ben and I decided that it was time to open up our lives to the possibility of having children. We knew it was something we wanted, but we also had a strong desire to wait until we had an opportunity to experience some time alone in our marriage. We felt it was important to wait a bit before having children. During those 21 months, we grew in our relationship and felt more prepared to welcome a child into the world. We also felt the Lord prompting us to pursue this avenue.

Now, if you’re any good with numbers, you can see that it’s been almost two and a half years and we still don’t have any kids.

For the first year or so, we didn’t really think too much about trying to get pregnant. We felt like the Lord would bless us with a child in His timing. However, once May of 2009 rolled around, we started to wonder. I found a specialist and decided to ask her about our struggle. She ran a bunch of tests and it looked as though everything was “normal.” She didn’t see the need to test Ben. Instead, she suggested we try for a few more months.

It’s important to note that I’ve never been regular…never. So, the fact that I was only having my period once every few months left us with a smaller window of opportunity. In the hopes of getting my cycle on track, the doctor had me try one month of birth control followed by one month off. Did you know that you’re most fertile when coming off birth control? Unfortunately, that didn’t work for us.

Flash forward a few more months and I’m back at the doctor’s office. This time around, she wants me to use some ovulation kits to see if I’m even ovulating. Really? Obviously, I wasn’t paying close attention in my high school health class. I didn’t know you could have your period and still not ovulate. Shows how much I know.

Since those sticks can get rather pricey, I found a place online and ordered in bulk. I just had a feeling (call it a prompting from the Lord) that we would need a large supply. So, my batch of 50 ovulation sticks arrived and we set off on the next leg of our journey.

During this time, I can honestly say that although I was discouraged and upset on occasion, I could also see the Lord’s hand in it all. Ben and I would talk about how difficult it would have been to have gotten pregnant right away. Since he was in school and gearing up to go back for another round, it was a blessing to see that the Lord kept us from conceiving. We were also able to take a few trips, get more involved at our church, cabin lead at Lakeside, love on our nieces and nephew, and take on more at work. With a child in the picture, those things might not have been possible.

Two years into it all, and I find myself back at the doctor’s office. That’s when things got a bit more serious. I wasn’t ovulating. As a result, the doctor prescribed some Clomid. I waited for a few months (since I didn’t get my period regularly) and then finally had a chance to take the medication in July of 2010. Nothing. The following month, nothing.

Since the first few cycles of Clomid didn’t work, the doctor increased my dosage. Instead of taking 50 milligrams, I was now taking 100 milligrams. Thankfully, I haven’t turned into a monster or anything. I know several women who openly admit to having been rude, mean, and cranky…all thanks to the Clomid. I’ve been able to avoid that side effect.

This pretty much brings us to today. We’re gearing up to try the third round of Clomid at 100 milligrams. I called my doctor (it was after hours, so I left a message) this week to see where we go from here – assuming that I don’t ovulate this next month. I’m supposed to call back today, after work. (By the way, I absolutely love this woman…she is so calm, and reassuring. If anyone out there needs a doctor, let me know. I will give you her info. At this point, she only accepts referrals – that’s how good she is.)

What am I supposed to say when people ask when we’re planning to have kids? Up until now, I’ve just kind of laughed it off and made comments like, “Any day now.” Otherwise, it makes for an awkward conversation. What am I allowed to share and what’s considered too much? How do I let people know that the Lord has blessed me with the ability to see children as a gift and a true miracle? I know many women who have struggled with infertility and as a result, they can’t go to baby showers, they get upset when people announce they’re pregnant and they find it difficult to rejoice in the addition of a new life. Not me! If anything, I feel as though I am able to see just how much of a miracle a baby can be…not all of us are guaranteed this gift. This is something that obviously comes from God!

On the flip side, I can tell you that I struggle when folks complain about how long it took them to conceive – four months, six months, etc. Inside, I’m screaming out, “Talk to me when you’ve been trying for two and a half years.” I know this isn’t a Godly response, but I’m being honest. I’m sure there are others out there who have been battling this for much longer. To them, I am certain that my voice is rather annoying.

I also find myself getting upset when people speak of their accidental pregnancy. That’s hard to hear. Again, I know this isn’t the right response, but I’m laying it all out on the table right now. Those who have struggled with infertility probably have their “hot buttons” as well…maybe they’re the same, maybe they’re different.

We might not know exactly what the future holds for our family. However, we are trusting in the Lord and His perfect plans. We know there are options out there, but we don’t yet feel called to pursue any of those (other than what we’re currently doing). There are many people surrounding us who have adopted – and rather recently. So, perhaps we will be contacting them in the near future for advice and feedback. Maybe this journey will come to an end next month?

Now you know what’s going on in our lives…the good, the bad, and the ugly. We have hope in Christ Jesus and without Him I can’t imagine traveling this road. We have learned so much about who God is and what He wants for us. We have been able to see blessings where it is often difficult to see at all. We will continue to praise Him and seek out His plan for our family…whatever that may look like. Please, feel free to join us in prayer!

If this is something you’re struggling with, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment – I would love to be able to lift you up in prayer! There’s something so freeing when you realize you’re not alone.

I’m tired of tip-toeing around infertility. Sure, I could have waited to mention this until we found out we were pregnant, but that doesn’t help to paint an accurate picture of our lives. Instead, the Lord calls us to share our story so that in turn, He may be glorified! We continue to praise Him in this “storm.”


Friday, September 17, 2010

too bad...

...I don't know any educators who get overly organized for substitute teachers.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

my bucket list...

Now, this is supposed to be top-secret.  So, I hope I'm not ruining anything for the six of you who still read my blog.  A few months back, I was part of Seattle's Glee Flash Mob (that's not the secret).  It was so much fun!  Fast forward a few months and there was another opportunity to be a part of this same group.  We were going to learn a new dance and then perform it for an even bigger crowd.  Turns out, we're the halftime show for an upcoming Seattle sporting event.  It takes place on Sunday and that's all I'm saying.  :)

Last night we had a dress rehearsal at the venue (providing you with more clues as to our event time, location, etc.).  It was absolutely insane.  There were nearly 2,000 people in attendance and we were running around the field, through the tunnels and dancing our hearts out.  The teacher in me (and Kristina & Katie) became a bit annoyed with the lack of organization and planning.  As a result, we turned into three of the most obnoxious students, I'm sure.

Here we are (me, Katie, and Kristina) showing off the yellow whistles we were given.  Somehow they'll be incorporated into the routine.  We've also got some yellow flags to include.  (I might have been using my district-issued camera to catch these moments...hence the less-than-stellar quality.)

This is my favorite picture.  No, it's not going to win any awards, but it simply shows you what the view from the tunnel was like last night.  Keep in mind, all of the soccer stuff was set up for tonight's game.  So, it will look very different come Sunday!  :)

This picture best captures how I felt last night, as we were leaving.  A little bit of excitement, a touch of nervousness, a ton of frustration, and TOTALLY tired.

I've don't know that this is something I would have initially written down as a life goal.  However, performing at halftime for a crowd of 70,000 is pretty cool.  So, I'll be adding it to my list and then promptly crossing it off said list.  I'm not saying it's going to be a perfect routine or anything...far from it.  But, you'll see a field full of smiling folks who have enjoyed practicing and working together (and how cool that I've been able to share this experience with two of my co-workers?!?!).

I'm still not sure how this is considered a "flash mob."  In my opinion, it's more like cheap (a.k.a. free) entertainment.  We're like a miss-matched drill team...although that might be giving us too much credit.  Regardless, I'm going to have a BLAST!  :)