Saturday, September 29, 2018

Tomorrow Is Never Promised

A lot has been going through my mind lately as a lot of my family members are suffering through a tragedy. One of my distant cousins, Zack, was accidentally shot and killed by target shooters while they were in the mountains taking pictures to send to his brother on a mission. They were just riding along in their jeep when a bullet came through the window and killed this innocent young man. I will spare you the gory details, but needless to say it was a traumatic event for all involved. When I heard the story in detail I was traumatized and basically had a panic attack. I could not get the image out of my head and it was horrifying. No one should have to experience that. I can't even imagine how much his parents, siblings, and grandparents are hurting. I wasn't close to him and somehow his passing has had a great effect on even me. I look up to his immediate family for being so strong because I honestly don't know how you come back from something like this. How do you go on living when someone that close to you is so suddenly gone?

The very next day at the clinic I work at we were working hard and running tests of every kind on a very sick 3 year old. When the doctor I was working for realized that what this girl has may be out of his scope of practice, and more that what could be handled in a clinic setting, he immediately sent them to the Emergency Room at a children's hospital. Sure enough, that little girl was diagnosed with Leukemia. Those parent's didn't realize the extent of their little girls illness. I'm sure they just came to the clinic to get some help. I doubt they thought they would be sent to the ER or have to stay in a hospital that night. They didn't realize how fast and drastically their life can change and the extent of treatment their baby would need. My heart breaks for that little family as they face a whole new set of challenges.

Why does it take some big drastic even for us to take a minute and appreciate life? Life flies by and no one realizes that in an instant life can change. Life is a fragile thing and it can be taken in the blink of an eye. You're whole world can change in a matter of seconds. Isn't that a scary thought? Today at the funeral of a fun loving 14 year old boy I changed the way I look at things. I learned how important it is to hold your family tight. To always say "I love you." To take an abundance of pictures, you will never get to relive the little moments in your life and you need to document them. You never know when those pictures will be the best reminder of the memories you had with someone. Prepare yourself. Live every day as if it is your last because it very well could be. Tomorrow is never promised. If you feel like you need to do something do it. Act on those little promptings. Call up your friend, write that letter, spend time with your grandparents. Time is so precious. Love your family. Go to family reunions and other family functions without complaining. Just go, it's not that hard. Don't take people for granted because you never know when they could be taken from you.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Dream

I had a dream last night that felt so real and has had me thinking all day. 

The dream started in a brand new house in Layton. It was huge. And beautiful. I was trying to get my 4 year old twin girls to help me clean their bedrooms. After fighting them for awhile the bedrooms were clean. They asked daddy if he would do their hair. To make them look pretty, and he did. Then it was time to go. The girls begged me to let them take their bikes, so I did. They didn't have to beg for long. We loaded up in a nice Subaru Forester and headed to the mountains where we had a little cabin all to ourselves for the weekend. There was a little creek running through the property and a lake a quarter mile away. I went inside to start unpacking and making dinner while my husband pushed Evelynn and Isabelle on their bikes around the driveway. I put corn dogs and tater tots in the oven and went outside to join our little family. By now they were playing jump rope. I took the two girls and helped them start a fire in the fire pit in the back yard so we could roast marshmallows after dinner. Then they sat at the picnic table and I brought out little sectioned out trays for them with corn dogs, tater tots, and "pink sauce" (because it wasnt just for fries). Dalton and I ate too. Then after dinner Dalton played camp fire songs on his guitar while I helped the girls make s'mores. Dalton continued to play the guitar while the girls fell asleep in my lap. Then Dalton and I watched the stars for a little while. After we saw a shooting star we took the girls up to the bathroom and washed their sticky fingers and faces and helped them get into clean pajamas and climb into bed. Dalton and I went to bed shortly after. I woke up scared for no reason and realized I was at the cabin still, not at home. I went to go check on the girls, and they were gone. I frantically searched the little bedroom but they were no where to be seen. In fact, there was not a single trace that my little angels were even there. They were gone.

I grew up playing with dolls and pretending they were my children. I played house and couldn't wait to be the mom I always pretended to be. You grow up, you imagine the family you'll have. You try to do everything right. You try for years and can't get pregnant. Your doctor tells you that naturally, it probably won't happen for you, and suggests procedures that cost more than financially possible for you at this point, just to maybe get pregnant. Maybe. You try anyway, and your dreams of having kids one day seams like just that, a dream. 
This is infertility. 

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Dear Future Child-Adventure Awaits!

I wrote this back in April. I'm not sure why it didn't get published until now.
April 12th, 2018
Dear Future Child,
I've been thinking about you a lot over the last couple days as your dad and I celebrate our anniversary in Disneyland and Universal Studios. Everywhere we looked we saw young families with children filled with excitement. I know you'll come to us in due time, yet I couldn't help but look forward to the day when we can take you with us. I'm looking forward to seeing your beautiful smile and the sparkle in your eyes as you enter the theme park filled with all the excitement your little body could contain. I imagine hearing your little laugh as we ride the rides and experience the thrills in the park.
In fact, I look forward to all the adventures we will have with our little family. I am a firm believer that road trips bring people so much closer together. I want to take you to Oregon to play in the ocean and search for sand dollars. We will take you to Washington so you can go up in the Space Needle and look down on the city and walk through Pikes Place. We will go to San Francisco and you can go see Alcatraz and the twisty road that your grandpa loved showing me when I was a kid. We will stay an night in Las Vegas where you can go to M&M World and watch The Tournament of the Kings.
Of course we will also do little trips a little closer to home. I plan to take you to Bear Lake, a place I remember as my second home during the summers of my childhood. We'll have to go to Mirror Lake too, we used to celebrate my birthday there every summer. It will be so exciting to watch you catch your first fish and cook it in the fire. I'll want to take you to Arches National Park, maybe Delicate Arch will still be standing and you can hike up to that Utah trademark. As you get older we'll get to take you backpacking, maybe we can even convince your grandpa to come with us to Kings Peak, the tallest point in Utah! We'll have to teach you to snowboard because how can you live in Utah and not go skiing or snowboarding at least once?
There's such a big world out there with so much to see. Don't ever lose your sense of adventure.
I still can't wait to meet you.
Love,
Mom

Friday, April 27, 2018

Thanks to my Husband

I have been a little overwhelmed lately with the amount of love and support I have received from my husband as I finished my Medical Assisting courses. It is safe to assume I couldn't have done it without my husband. To some, getting a certificate may not be such a big deal, but to me it was a big accomplishment. I finished something. I always struggled with college before I got married. Good grades were hard to get and I wasn't as motivated as I should have been.
My husband has been my biggest support through the whole thing. He encouraged me to go back to school in the first place. He always got excited for me when I was making exceptional progress. He was always there to reassure me that this wouldn't last forever when I was working 46 hour work week in addition to my schooling. He put some things on hold so that I could go to school. He was always willing to buy me fun, new scrub tops. During the last part of my clinical's and throughout my practicum he worked so hard to financially supported me so that I could significantly reduce my hours and work and push through the last few months of school so that I could finish quicker. He was thrilled when I passed my certification exam.
Today I accepted my first Medical Assisting job in an Insta Care facility, and I am thrilled to get started on this part of my career, raising our income, and bettering the life for my family. I owe my success to my husband. 
Words can not describe how thankful I am for my husband. I know it hasn't been easy on him, but we made it. Soon we can get back on track, rebuild our savings, and work on remodeling our house some more. I know he is excited for that. I won't be working as hard and we won't be as stressed about money. I love you Dalton. I am so excited to see where life is going to take us from here. 


Sunday, February 4, 2018

A Stream of Busy Days

I've been a little missing in action lately. I got a second job and was literally working myself to death for a few months. With my new job I was pretty much going non stop from about five in the morning to about 8 at night nearly every day. My mindset was, keep myself busy doing something productive and forget about your struggles. And that worked, for a little while. Still, little things would constantly remind me of what I couldn't have. One teacher had a baby and another had twins. Three other students in my class got pregnant, one with twins. And yet, as hard as we tried we were never successful.
From these never ending busy days I learned some things:
1. "Fatigue is the common enemy of us all- so slow down, rest up, replenish, and refill. Physicians promise us that if we do not take the time to be well, we most assuredly will take time later on to be ill." (Jeffery R. Holland)
 I got sick. A lot. It seamed like I was constantly fighting a cold or headaches or an upset stomach. I didn't take the time to take care of myself because I had no spare time to take. I wasn't eating right, I wasn't sleeping enough, and I wasn't taking any time to myself to just relax because there just wasn't any.
2. "This journey isn't just about focusing on your own life. No, this path inevitable leads you to become a blessing in the lives of God's other children-you're brothers and sisters. And the interesting thing about the journey is that as you serve God, and as you care for and help your fellowmen, you will see great progress in your own life, in ways you could never imagine." (Dieter F. Uchtdorf)
With my schooling and my two jobs, I've met a lot of different people in the last couple years. I've made it a point to try to find someone who could use some help in their lives and do what I can to help them. I've noticed that by focusing on the needs of others, and using my resources to help them, I think of myself and my own struggles a little less and I am happy a little more.
3. "We can't direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails." (Thomas S. Monson)
I can't change the fact that we are struggling to get pregnant. But I can change my focus. I can adjust my attitude about it. I'm focusing on our family, but in a different way. Right now my family consists of me and my husband. So I've been trying to focus on that. Focus on our marriage and our already great relationship. And it just keeps getting better. We've gotten close than ever and our love for each other just continues to grow.

I've since stopped working so much. I've been taking time to myself and taking time to catch up on some much needed housework. I've started meal prepping and cooking more. I've had a lot more time to focus on school and move through my program faster! I've been a lot happier and a lot less stressed and it's been beautiful! I just can't stress enough how important it is to take some time for yourself, to remember to serve, and to focus on family. These are the things I've learned in the last few months.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I've Been Watching You

There's an older country song my dad used to play for my little brother when he was growing up. It's called "Watching You" by Rodney Atkins. It basically talks about his experience in noticing how much his little boy was influenced by his actions. His little boy repeatedly says:
"I've been watching you, dad ain't that cool?
I'm your buckaroo, I wanna be like you
And eat all my food, and grow as tall as you are
We got cowboy boots and camo pants
Yeah we're just alike, hey, ain't we dad?
I wanna do everything you do
So I've been watching you."
I hadn't heard that song in years when it came on the radio on my way to school yesterday. I thought it was cool and sang along as I remembered when my now 15 year old brother was little and trying to copy my dad with everything he did. Then I thought nothing more of it until it came on again on my way home from school. So I treated it the same as I had that morning, singing along and reminiscing till the song ended. Then it came on again during my short drive to work. And AGAIN on my way home.
When the song came on once again while I was driving to school again today I looked at it differently. Could God be using this repetition to talk to me? I thought about it long and hard while the song played, trying to understand what I was supposed to learn from this. When all of a sudden it hit me. "I'm watching you Mom." I realized I was receiving a message of comfort through this song.
"I'm watching you Momma. I see your efforts. I see how much you're already sacrificing for me. I see you struggle, I see you plead with God. I hear you asking "Why?" I know how much your hurting, but I see your strong face. I see how hard you're working, and I see you needing peace.
Please know how much I love you momma. I know that you love me. Nothing goes unnoticed, your sacrifices, your efforts, your prayers. My love for you grows every day. All this heartache and pain will all pay off someday. Someday you'll meet me, someday you'll hold me close. Until then I'm watching over you. I'm helping you. I'm comforting you. I'm watching you Momma."

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tender Mercies

The last couple days have been rough for me as I try to figure out what the next steps of my infertility journey are going to be, and how we are going to get the funds to go about actually getting a child. But on the flip side, so many people have reached out to me and little things have been both said and that have made things so much easier and have shown me that God really does know what you're going through. He is aware of your journey and how you feel. I am just so grateful for those people who act on promptings and make an effort to show me how much I really am loved and cared for.
So many people have been there for me to talk to.  One friend, Erin, sent me this sweet message through Snap Chat after I apologized for being so down and complaining so much over something I can't really control. She has been so understanding and so willing to just let me vent as much as I need to and I don't think she'll ever understand how much that means to me.
People have made comments on my blog, and a lady I don't even know briefly shared her infertility story and sympathized with my situation. Then  invited me to reach out to her if I ever had questions or needed someone to talk to.
Another friend offered to come to my house and help me clean up, as I was frustrated with how far behind on all the house work I had gotten in the last couple days. When she showed up to clean my kitchen, she brought me strawberries and fruit dip to snack on, and food helps everything. Am I right?
My sister sent out her weekly email and had words in there that she probably didn't even realize would touch me like they did. The story she told had nothing to do with my situation at all, but the lesson she learned applied so well to me in that moment. And she helped me realize that Satan is working on me right now. He wants to try and break me. To pull me away from the church and blame God for my problems. He wants me to feel alone and abandoned.
"Satan will never stop tempting us, giving us trials, trying to make us fall away. God also gives us trials, so we can prove our faithfulness to Him. Let's use our trials in our lives to show God we are faithful, and that we love Him, and that we are strong and will not fall away, and that we have total trust in Him and His will for us." (Hermana Phipps)
My sister-in-law who lives in my basement has been great too. She is always there to keep me happy when I'm home alone and she does so much for me to help around the house and help take care of my dog. Tonight when I was getting ready for bed I noticed the spare bedroom light was on and so I got up to turn in off before I crawled into bed myself and there on the floor were little poop sticky notes to just remind me how much I mean to her and how much she loves me! (And when I thanked her she told me she pooped on my floor,  so that made me laugh 😂)
There are a few coworkers that have gone and done things with me after work, such as getting milkshakes or going to Denny's. They try and keep me busy so I don't have time to be down and upset. I am amazed at how much they all care about me and try to make me happy. Little things matter so much to me.
"As Christ followed the Father under any circumstance, we should follow His Son. If we do so, it matters not what kind of persecution, suffering, grief or "thorn in the flesh" we face. We are not alone. Christ will assist us. His tender mercies will make us mighty under any circumstance." (Walter F. Gonzalez Of the Presidency of the Seventy, April General Conference 2011)
 My personal testimony has been strengthened so much in the last couple of days. I know that my Father in Heaven loves me. I know He has a plan and He knows what I need. I know that He has been working through other people to make sure I feel comforted and loved. I am still in awe at the amount of tender mercies I have experienced and I can never emphasize enough how grateful I am for friends who listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and act on them. I have felt my Heavenly Fathers love for me through all these people who have touched my life, and I know that He loves me more than I can comprehend. I can't wait to see what He has in store for me and the plan he has for the life that lies ahead.

Monday, August 14, 2017

A Feeling of Defeat

Recently I was filled with hope for our fertility journey when my doctor prescribed me something new. Instead of increasing my Clomid dose she was adding Femara. I had never heard of them doing that before so I educated myself via google and found success stories and feelings of comfort. I was relieved to be trying something new and was eager for day 5 of my cycle to start the medications, and eager for day 12 so I could go in and get a follicle check ultrasound to see if anything had happened. Hope. That's what I help on to...

Sometimes I wake up and question whether my dream was a nightmare, or if it was foretelling an event to come. The night before my follicle check appointment for this cycle I had a dream that the doctor told me that my ovaries were basically inactive and if I really wanted a child I would have to look into IVF and/or adoption. I woke up with a sick feeling in my stomach and still prayed for the best as I got ready for the day. Deep down, I prepared myself for the worst. 
At the doctor appointment I was telling my mom about a recent discovery that my health insurance would help pay for an adoption and she asked if I had given up already. I didn't tell her about my dream, I just told her I wanted to keep my options open and, even if I did get pregnant, would consider adoption in the future. 
When the assistant called us back and the doctor did the ultrasound and discovered that there were no new follicles. That I wasn't ovulating, I wasn't surprised. As much as I had hoped and prayed for good news, I had mentally prepared myself for the worst. As in my dream she recommended that we start looking into IVF and recommended two different places for us to go. She said she would continue to increase my dosage of the two medications, but as it hasn't had any effect on me so far she wasn't sure it would do anything more for me. 
I kept myself from crying in the clinic, but when I got out to the car with my husband I cried. I felt as if PCOS had won. Why can't my body just do what it's supposed to do? Why can't I be normal? How are we ever going to be able to afford IVF or adoption? It would take years for us to save that kind of money! Money we could be putting towards our house or new cars. I have never felt so betrayed by my body. I have never felt so defeated. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Our Infertility Back Story

Some might say having periods like mine would be a blessing. I grew up rarely having any periods, Maybe one every 6 months or so in a bad year. I loved it. During my yearly physical I would always ask my Doctor what he thought about it. Why wasn't I on a regular cycle like most of my friends and now my younger sister? Every year he had excuses: I was too active, I was slightly over weight, I wasn't eating right. So I brushed it off and figured it would resolve itself with time though, as I got older I started to worry about the future. How was I supposed to have kids if I didn't have a period? If I wasn't bleeding did that mean I wasn't ovulating? I was full of questions and the things my Doctor told me just weren't adding up. My mom assumed it was PCOS but we didn't worry about it too much at the time. I didn't know that it would have such a big effect on my adult life.
I went in to an OBGYN for a premarital exam in March of 2016 and put me on birth control to regulate my cycles for the time being. She didn't want to do an ultra sound, assuming it would be a little too traumatic since I was a virgin and likely still had a hymen in tact. She gave me prescriptions for Provera to jump start my period and instructed me to start it after my honeymoon so we didn't ruin my honeymoon with a period. After not having a period in over 8 months, it came back with a vengeance on the second day of my honeymoon, even without taking the Provera. I was bleeding heavier than I ever had! (Which was probably pay back for never really having periods in Jr. High and High School) I felt gross my whole honeymoon, and we even missed our scuba trip, which I still feel guilty for.
When we got home I started the birth control, but my period never went away. I bled for almost 3 months straight. Aside from the bleeding, I felt depressed and tired all the time. We didn't like how it was effecting me. we prayed about what to do and attended the temple hoping for some kind of guidance. That June We both had a feeling we should go off the birth control and try to start our family. The answer took me by surprise for a little bit. My original plan was to wait a few years before we tried to have kids, maybe finish collage and buy a house first. But as always, God had other plans. I threw away the rest of my birth control and stopped it that day. Before to long the bleeding went away and I was back to my happy old self. We were both filled with a new excitement that we were going to start a family earlier than originally planned. I used an app to track my period. Once I told it I stopped bleeding it gave me an estimate of my fertile days. We used those days to our advantage and waited. Finally the app told me my period was due and if it hadn't arrived to take a pregnancy test. Negative. We didn't lose hope and kept trying. We told each other that if nothing happened within a few months we'd go back to the Doctor. I didn't realize that we were starting an infertility journey that would last longer than I had ever imagined. In November my period hadn't returned and we figured we would need help to conceive so I called my Doctor and made an appointment for January. In the meantime we bought a house and moved to Ogden, continually making preparations for the family we still hope to someday have.
January I had my first infertility appointment. Where I was officially diagnosed with PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) Our Doctor did some ultra sounds and showed me all the cysts on my ovaries and how swollen they were. We counted 26 on my right ovary and about 20 on my left. No wonder nothing was happening. She gave me prescriptions for Provera, Clomid, and Metformin. Once again I had hope. We were excited to start trying again and eager to get a positive pregnancy test. Still nothing happened. My period didn't come back and I had a negative test. This process repeated 4 times with no success. Each cycle began with a higher dose of Clomid and new hope, and ended with disappointment. The last round of Clomid came with more side effects than the rest. I had hot flashes all the time and just felt sick. So we gave it a rest for a month or so.
Through everything we've tried to stay family focused, always trying to improve our lives for the benefit of our future children. Though we've tried to keep a positive attitude, we don't always succeed. I've had my share of breakdowns in the last year. We've bought baby clothes and other things that we've seen on clearance. We have a bedroom set aside for our first child. We try to keep hope alive even when it seams pointless. We've shared some excitement, as well as some tears. We've learned so much and we've grown together. We try to have hope for what our future has in store. Our infertility journey is only beginning. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

He'll Carry Me!

This week I've been trying to keep the spirit in my life a little more by listening to church music and ponderizing the lyrics while I clean my house. A song I haven't heard since my young woman day came on and I started to tear up. The lyrics touched me in a way they never have before.

"He knows your heart
He knows your pain
He knows the strength it took just to simply breathe today
He sees the tears that you cry
He knows your soul is aching to know why
He hears your prayers; each humble word
When you said you couldn't face another day he understood
He knows the path that you will find
Though you felt alone He's never left your side

He knew there'd be moments when no earthly words could take away your sorrow
And no human eyes could see what you're going through
When you've taken your last step and done all that you can do
He will lift your heavy load and carry you"

So much POWER in this verse. I think the line that touched me the most was "He knew there'd be moments when no earthly words could take away your sorrow" because I know that. I hate it when people tell me "It will happen when it happens" or "just enjoy your time without kids" or "Don't you know God has a plan?" Because even though their statements and advise may be valid, it doesn't help. It doesn't change the fact that I want a baby now, that I wanted one over a year ago when we went off birth control. It doesn't change the fact that it's hard to feel like I'm doing my part as a woman or a wife when I can't get pregnant. It doesn't change how difficult this trial is for me. Nothing anyone can say will make it better. 
I can't even express enough how much I've learned to rely on my Father in Heaven. Not because others have told me to trust in His timing, but because I have felt it. I have felt the love He has for me. I have felt Him hold me when I cry. He understands. Somehow He knows exactly what I'm going through and how I'm feeling. He knows how infertility had affected me. He has never left my side through all of this. Even when I felt so alone. Deep down, I know He has a plan for me and I know it will all work out. But until then, He'll carry me.

"He'll bring you peace and leave your hope
And in the darkest night He'll comfort you until you know the sun will rise
And each new day you will have the strength to live again

And in the moments when no earthly words can take away your sorrow
And no human eyes can see what you're going through
When you've taken your last step and done all that you can do
He will lift your heavy load and carry you

He hears you when you're crying in the night
He hears you when your soul longs to find
Till the morning will come
And the light of the dawn reassures

That in the moment when no earthly words can take away your sorrow
And no human eyes could see what you're going through
When you've taken your last step and done all that you can do
He will lift your heavy load and carry you."
(Hilary Weeks- He'll Carry You)

HE HEARS ME! Even when I feel like our Father in Heaven isn't listening to my pleadings. He hears me. Deep down I know that He is listening to my prayers, He knows the desires of my heart and His timing is perfect. I get frustrated sometimes when His plan for me isn't aligning with my own, but that doesn't mean He isn't listening. Looking back I just know that He has been listening to me my whole life. He has helped me through every trial. When my two best friends moved away during 5th grade, when I struggled to make friends in Jr High, when I lost friends over stupid high school drama, when Dalton left on His mission, when I moved out and started college, when I was uncomfortable on dates, when I didn't know if my relationship was ever going to work out-- He was there! I know He has been there through everything, so why not now? As I have been trying to live my life closer to the spirit, I have noticed His Hand a little more. I have been more receptive to personal revelation and I have felt his comfort in my hour of need. I know He's going to be there with me every step of the way on this path of life. And I know without a doubt that when I breakdown, HE'LL CARRY ME!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Gladly, Gladly We'll Walk In The Light

This week, my Sunday included sitting in a room full of eight 1 1/2 to 2 year olds, trying to calm down half of them and get them to stop crying while trying to keep the other half entertained. While there were 4 adults in the room, it was still a challenging task. Especially where some of the children cry for the full two hours, and others cry for almost the whole first hour. As you may already know by reading some of my previous posts, nursery has been more of a challenging calling for me. Just recently I think I started to realize how much I can learn from the two hours I get with these little kiddos.

"Teach me to walk in the light of His love;
Teach me to pray to my Father above
Teach me to know of the things that are right;
Teach me, teach me to walk in the light."

 I hear this song and I think of two things. First of all, I am still learning. I am still learning and practicing all the basics of the gospel every day. Every week when I go to church. Second, I have a responsibility to teach my nursery kids and to help them understand why we're here, where we came from, and where we're going. I helped a little girl in my nursery class pray today and I was reminded of how much prayer means to them, even if they are so young. I notice how excited they get when we ask "Who wants to say the closing prayer?" I am beginning to notice the good examples these little kids are to me.

"Come, little child, and together we'll learn
Of his commandments, that we may return
Home to His presence, to live in his sight
Always, always to walk in the light."

I always thought maybe Heavenly Father gave me this calling to teach me how to be a mother and how to interact with children. Like maybe that's why I needed this calling before I could have a child of my own, but I am realizing that there is so much more to it than that. I am learning how much I can learn from watching these children and it makes sense to me why Christ would want us to "becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love..." (Mosiah 3:19) Not only are they learning from me, but I am learning so much from them. I looked at my own husband who held a little girl for almost an hour straight because she wanted her dad and thought about how great of a father he is going to be someday. How gentle and loving he already is and, how in someways, my husband is like a child. He is so patient and full of love. He is already showing me how great of a father he is going to be.

Father in Heaven, we thank thee this day
For loving guidance to show us the way.
Grateful, we praise thee with songs of delight!
Gladly, gladly we'll walk in the light."

As  I listened to these little ones sing "I Am A Child Of God" and "Jesus Wants Me For A Sun Beam" and "Book Of Mormon Stories" I realized that these children are so close to their Father in Heaven and that they love Him more than I can even comprehend. Instead of resenting this calling and dreading going to church every week because I have to act as a babysitter while all the parents get to enjoy Sunday School and Relief Society, I love it. I couldn't be more grateful for my calling and these small children I get to work with the light and love they bring to me. It makes me so excited for when I get to finally have children of my own. I know someday it will happen, but for now I need to work on being like a child, "patient," Even though it's hard some times. I am so grateful now for the opportunity I have to work with my nursery kids. I am so glad I get to work with them every week as I prepare myself for motherhood. While I go through this trial,  I'll learn more to let these little kids be a light in my life.

"Gladly,  gladly we'll walk in the light."
(Hymn 304- Teach Me To Walk In The Light)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

How It All Began

High school is hard.  My senior year I was pretty fed up with it.  I had lost a handful of friends due to some pretty stupid drama and I often felt pretty alone. I felt abandoned. Useless. Its safe to say I was depressed. I didn't think I was good at anything or that I was pretty enough for anyone. I was just stuck. I never felt like doing anything or going anywhere. I just went to school, work, and home. Where I spent most of my time locked in my room alone.
That December one of my friends told me that for new year's eve we were going to go on a girls choice date.  I told her I didn't wanna go and I didn't know who I would ask.  She pretty much told me that she would find a date for me, one of her cousins friends,  if I didn't find one myself.  After I asked 3 different guys, being rejected by each one I told her I didn't want to go.  She told me to ask one more person. "How about Dalton?" This took me by surprise because just a year ago she had told me not to ask Dalton on a date because he was too much like a brother to her and it would be weird.
So I got his phone number from the ward directory and called.  He didn't answer. In fact,  it said the phone number was disconnected. I went back to my friend telling her I gave up, but she was persistent. She messaged him on Facebook and told him to call me. When he did I sheepishly asked him to go on this date with me. I had already been rejected three times, why should I expect this time to be any different? To my surprise, he said yes. And not only did he say yes, he seamed eager to go on this date.
The next day I woke up with more optimism and excitement than I had felt in a long time. Never for a second did I think that this date would change my life forever, I was just looking forward to a night spent out with a few friends and one of the cutest boys from high school.
The date turned into the BEST DATE EVER up to that point. From the minute he got in the car with us I could just tell he was special. The way he looked at me made my heart melt. He actually treated me like I was worth something. More so than any other guy had. Dinner didn't go quite as planned because we didn't take into consideration that some places might close early on New Years, so instead of eating at the food court in City Creek, we ate from the deli at Harmon's. He offered to pay, and I let him. I got chicken tender, he got salmon. We snuck away from the group for a minute to get hot chocolate from the little cafe in Harmon's. Everybody else in our group seamed awkward, but I felt like Dalton and I just clicked. We raced to get to the front of the line while we walked around Temple Square. We talked about zombies and The Walking Dead. I couldn't believe how easy it was to have fun and be myself around him.
After getting lost in Ogden and finally making it back to our little hometown we all went to the multi-stake dance. And our date kind of unofficially ended. Dalton found a group of friends he had when he was in high school and I jumped between groups of friends avoiding the friend who had caused so much drama in my life at that time. We all just kind of did our own thing. Around the end, just before midnight Dalton came back and danced with me, giving me the last dance of the night.
At midnight I stood with one of my best friends in the middle of the gym while balloons fell and everyone was blowing horns and welcoming in the new year. And for a minute, in the midst of my hardest year of high school, everything was okay. I felt pretty for once. I had just gone on the best date of my life with great guy! And at that point in time, I knew that 2013 was going to be a year. Things were going to be different. Things were going to get better!

Monday, July 10, 2017

All Is Well

I'm not even gonna lie, there are times recently where I have been mad at God.  Mad that I haven't had a child yet.  Mad that I have to watch a good portion of my friends have babies. Mad that I've been given this desire to be a mom,  when physically it is so hard for me to become one.  Mad that the fertility treatments have had no effect on me so far.  Mad that I have to go through this. Mad that His timing isn't aligning with mine.  Does He not trust me with a child? Am I doing something wrong,  even though I feel like I am doing everything right? There are so many things that have crossed my mind lately.  So many emotions. I felt abandoned. I felt tortured to have a calling in the nursery,  where I had to care for other people's children rather than my own. Why did He give me this calling if He knows my struggles? I felt like my prayers weren't being answered.  That maybe God didn't care about me as much as I thought He did. I wasn't sure what to do or how to interpret my feelings.
Then I was reading my patriarchal blessing one day.  I had this overwhelming feeling that my Father in Heaven really does love me, He cares. He hears my prayers. All of a sudden I knew that I would be a mother figure in some children's life. Maybe not my own, but somehow I would be a mother. This was a turning point in my spirituality regarding infertility.  I started reading general conference talks and my scriptures more often. I'm not saying I don't still have that strong desire to be a mother, but I have learned a lot.  I'm not saying its easy now,  because this is still the hardest thing I've ever had to go through. What I am saying is that leaning toward The Lord and focusing on improving my spirituality has helped.  I still feel abandoned sometimes,  but reading the words of our prophets makes me feel better.  I know our Heavenly Father knows us.  I know He speaks to us through words of the prophets.  I know I am not alone in this journey. 
"Trials come to each of us. Living righteously does not mean that our lives will be free of problems or sorrow, but no matter what hardships we face, we can always rely on Heavenly Father and His Son. They will not forsake us, and They will give each of us the strength to face whatever may come, so that in the end we can truly say, “All is well!”" (Our God Will Never Us Forsake,  Ensign June 2013) Infertility is my trial in this life, but does having a trial mean I can't be happy? No.  Why am I focusing so much on this trial rather than everything going well in my life? Because in reality my life is great.  I have a decent job, an amazing husband,  and a great support system of friends and family.  We have a puppy for me to care for and look after and we are always trying to do fun things and go on adventures. I have an abundance of blessings in my life but sometimes I fail to recognize them.  "It makes no sense to let gratitude for the blessings we do have be crowded out by sorrow over the one thing we lack...We each have joys in life despite our trials; what a waste to fail to notice or cherish or celebrate all the reasons we do have to rejoice." (Learning to Cope With Infertility, Ensign June 2012)
Now I'm trying harder to focus on the good things happening in my life every day. I've been trying to count my blessings and give thanks for my Father in Heaven for all that I have because I have been very blessed in my life, even if it's not always easy to recognize. As I've been working on these goals I've kept this hymn in my head: "Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard? 'Tis not so; all is right. Why should we think to earn a great reward if we now shun the fight? Gird up your loins; fresh courage take. Our God will never us forsake; and soon we'll have this tale to tell- All is well! All is well!" (LDS Hymn 30; Come, Come, Ye Saints). I know I'm not alone. I know I am blessed. And I know my Heavenly Father loves me very much! I know He hears my prayers and I know His timing is perfect. Best of all, I KNOW He has a plan for me.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

My Husband Deserves to be Celebrated Too

      Earlier this month while talking about fathers day somebody asked me why I would get my husband anything for fathers day this year when he clearly isn't a father. While he may not be a father yet,  he is preparing and has been preparing for fatherhood for a long time.  And he will be the father of our future children. In my eyes,  he still deserves to be celebrated.
      Parenthood is kind of a touchy subject for me sometimes. This month marks one year since we stopped using birth control and started trying to have a baby. Had we been successful in our efforts,  my husband would be a daddy. Mothers day was hard for me for this reason,  and though he doesn't show it like I do,  I'm sure my husband is struggling in a way too.
      He wants to be a dad, I know he does.  He was so excited when we stopped the birth control and started trying to have a baby.  Immediately he became a dad in my eyes as he started to prepare us for parenthood. As he started sacrificing what he may want now, for the sake of our future family. We bought a house, he traded in his dream car for a truck. We started watching closer where we spent our money and made room for a baby in our budget. He changed his priorities to better fit a family and I will forever be grateful for that.
      He has stood by my side through this whole journey as we try to have a baby. He is so understanding when I get emotional or angry or just crazy because of the hormone supplements I am on. And when it  gets hard and I break down, he is there for me. He holds me when I cry. He encourages me to talk about it when I start to feel down. This infertility journey has been hard on both of us, but he has been supportive and helpful the whole time.
      Sometimes I feel bad that he has to go through this too. In my eyes, no one deserves to be a father more than him. But yet, somehow he got stuck with a wife who has PCOS and a hard time conceiving. And he still loves me. Never once has he blamed any of this on me or even gotten frustrated with me about it. He makes the best of the situation that we're in. And I appreciate him so much for it because I need that optimism in our life. And I know it will benefit our children in the future to have a dad who is so patient, understanding, and loving as my husband is.
      THIS is why I'm choosing to celebrate my husband on fathers day this year. Regardless of whether or not we have kids.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

     To have a mother as great as mine is probably one of the greatest gifts I've been given in this life.  And today being Mothers Day I felt like I should make a little shout out to her and all she does and has done for me.
     Mom, thanks for teaching me how to clean.  And how to be a hard worker.  And how to be detailed.  I've come pretty far in life using the little things you probably didn't even realize you were teaching me.
    Thanks for coming to my doctors appointments,  even now that I'm married.  There's just something comforting about having you there sometimes.
    Thanks for being so supportive in everything we do.  From buying a house to deciding to try and have kids.  You're always standing behind asking what you can do to help and it's really appreciated.  Thanks for believing in me and never giving up on me.
    Thanks for planning my wedding.  You and Morgan did mostly everything. You made it so I didn't have much to worry about and it was great.  Thanks for cooking all the food and for all the time and money you put into every detail of the wedding and reception, making that day so perfect for me.
    Thanks for raising me in the church and teaching me to accept callings,  even when their hard. As hard as it is to admit,  I know that my current calling in the nursery will help me learn and grow in ways that I may need to before becoming a mother.
    Thanks for showing me how much you love dad.  And how much he knows you.  You have both helped me prepare for this point in my life for being a great example of what I wanted in my marriage, and of a happy couple.
    Thanks for always loving me unconditionally.  And for being a great example of what a mom should be like.  I sincerely hope I can be just as good of a mother some day.
    I love you mom! You are so strong.  You've dealt with so much in the last year or so.  So much has changed.  But it'll get better.  Morgan will be home soon and everything else will start to hurt less a little at a time.  Things will look up.
    Thanks for being my role model and my best friend.  I love you mom!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

To Those Who Long To Be A Mother

    Mother's day is right around the corner. And there are constant reminders everywhere of what I want so bad to be but can't. A mother. Now I don't mean to sound ungrateful or anything. I'm not saying I don't have an amazing mother to celebrate this coming Sunday, because I do. I'm just pointing out that for a fraction of the world, Mother's Day is sometimes a hard holiday.
    If you're like me, 1 in 8 women struggle with infertility. And, to put it bluntly, it's hard. Just recently I have had a handful of friends on facebook announce their pregnancies, and another handful have their first babies. My news feed is filled with baby pictures and ultrasounds. And while I'm so happy for all of my friends, I'm sad for me. We've been trying for a baby more or less for almost a year now.  And more often than not I feel that it's very unfair that all my other friends have been blessed with a baby.
    So to all of you who are struggling this mothers day like me,  to all those who long to be a mother, YOU ARE WONDERFUL. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  And YOU MATTER TOO. You also deserve to be celebrated this week.  If nothing else,  celebrate yourself. You are so amazing for doing everything physically possible to have a child for the benefit of your family.  You go through so much and sacrifice so much in hopes of someday being a mother.
     And you know what? It's ok to get jealous sometimes.  And it's ok that you hurt over this.  And it's ok if you break down every once in awhile because this is hard.  This easily one of the hardest things I've ever been through. It's ok to ask God "why me?" every once in awhile.  It's ok to walk through the baby isles when you go shopping,  just to look.  It's ok to get angry and upset when you see another negative pregnancy test. Because that hurts.

     You are amazing for forcing that smile and congratulating your friend on her pregnancy.  You are amazing for taking a calling in the church working with other people's children.  You are awesome taking the time to listen to other people's struggles because, in a way,  you know what it's like. You know pain and heartache more than a lot of women your age. You know sacrifice, you are currently sacrificing so much for your family.
     So Happy Mother's Day. Because you are definitely a mother in my eyes.  Celebrate yourself a little this week and keep up this hope that someday you will hold your baby in our arms and we will know that all this heartache and struggle was worth it. Happy Mother's Day.  You still deserve the world!

Friday, May 5, 2017

You've Changed

    "You've Changed"... Its a phrase I've heard over and over in the last couple months. Especially since returning to the job I had prior to getting married. Several of my coworkers, friends, and a few family members have recently pointed out that I've changed a lot since I've gotten married and that I'm not as fun anymore. Well, I don't know about not being as much fun as I used to be, maybe I just express my fun in ways they aren't used to recognizing. But I know I've changed. News Flash: Marriage changes you!
   It's not just about me anymore. Now everything is about us. And about doing what is best for our little family. There's no room to be selfish anymore because I need to put my husband before myself, and anyone else. And he does the same for me. Before I was married I useds to pick up any and every shift possible at work. Now, I ask for his permision before taking an extra day or working a double. He has needs too, and sometimes we just need time to be together. Especially if we both get a day off together, because that definetly doesn't happen as often as we would like. I respect when he would rather me stay home with him. If I have housework piling up, I going to work hard to get some of that done so my husband doesn't have to work quite so hard when he comes home from a long night at work.
    My priorities have shifted. Instead of just trying to make as much money as I possibly can and worrying about what I am going to do with my friends this weekend, I am now focused on starting a family, doing everything I can to make my husband happy and his life easier, and strengthening our relationship. Believe it or not, money is nowhere near as important as continually improving our relationship and spending quality time together. While I used to be open to a girls night just about any night, I now try to save them for nights my husband is at work. Because when he is home I'd rather be with him. As a result, we spend more time with married friends rather than single friends because we can both be there and both have fun. No offense to our single friends, this is just how things have happened.
    I am more focused on building our life. We want to continually progress in every way we can.We're working on remodeling the house we just bought, we still have a lot of unpacking to do, and just working on shaping the future we want for us and our children. My commitment to my little family will always be infinitly more important than whatever else may be going on. We support eachother through job changes, schooling opportunities, and any trials we may be experiencing at the time. And we will continue to do so.
    I see myself differently. Yes, I've gained a little weight, like most people do when they settle down, get comfortable with someone, and get married. But my husband is constantly reassuring me everyday that I'm cute and perfect. He calls me his pretty girl and always asks me how I got to be so beautiful. He tells me daily how much he loves looking into my eyes. He makes a special effort to make sure I feel loved and appreciated. It has definitely changed the way I view myself for the better. It makes me want to lose a little weight, go to the gym, and be happy and healthy. Not just for myself, but also because I want to be the best me possible for him.
    So you see, I have changed. I am very much aware of this. But I don't see it all as being bad. In fact, I think a lot of good has come from marrying my best friend. I am more mature, I've had to grow up a lot, and I've gained a lot of confidence in myself. I love myself more now than I have in a long time. My husband is helping to shape me into the woman God wants me to be, and I'm loving this ride we're on. Yes I've changed, but does change always have to be seen as a bad thing?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Lessons From Our First Year

So much happens in that first year! You have to get over that awkward stage of finally calling your significant other your husband or wife.  You ease in to living together. And you start to notice some of the quirks your husband has. In my first year of marriage I've learned a few things!

1. Establish a budget
I learned that instead of having my money and his money we now have our money.  We combine our pay checks to pay our bills and we've been using the envelope system for budgeting everything else.  We have an envelope for groceries,  one for entertainment,  another for eating out. If we decide we need to start saving for something we make an envelope for it.  We've found that not having the money in our bank accounts so readily available makes it a lot harder to spend it and a lot easier to save. This system may not work for everyone,  but it works well for us.

2. Make Date Night a Priority 
I cannot emphasize  enough the importance of still making time to be together. With our work schedules sometimes we have to be kind of creative.  He works graveyards and I work days and swing. But we try to make at least one night a week a time when we can be together just the two of us doing something we love. Sometimes we go out to dinner,  other times we go to the park and play tennis, and when we're feeling crazy we go to an arcade.  We aren't perfect,  we have weeks where we don't get to have a date night,  but we always look forward to when we do.

3. Everyone Makes Mistakes
I'm not perfect.  Neither is my husband.  Sometimes I don't do the laundry and he doesn't have clean socks to wear to work.  Sometimes he forgets to clean the litter box.  It's okay, we learn to look past the imperfections we have and focus on what the other is doing.  My husband is really good at understanding sometimes when I get home from work I just don't want to do the dishes,  and that's ok. Sometimes sleeping a little extra is better for my husband than getting things done before he goes to work, and that's ok. We learned to understand eachother and not have a fit when things don't get done.  It's ok, the housework will still be there tomorrow.

4. Intimacy is More Than Just Sex
Finding time to talk and be close to your spouse is also important. Being vulnerable with eachother and doing little things to show each other how much you care can be very intimate. Kissing,  hugging,  holding hands in the car,  or snuggling during movies are all things that can be done to stay intimate between sexual interactions.

5. Babies are Talked About.  A Lot. 
I came into this marriage thinking I would wait 4 or 5 years before I started having kids.  Two months later we started talking about having kids a little sooner than that.  And the next month I stopped taking birth control. Now we're constantly talking about things we're going to do with our kids, and baby names,  and what our kids might want to be involved in.  And we're both getting really excited for when I actually get pregnant and we can have kids of our own.

6. It's ok to Take a Compliment 
My husband compliments me.  A lot.  I used to think he was just being silly or saying things because he felt like he had to,  since he did marry me after all.  But now I've learned to recognize the sincerity in his eyes and I am realizing that while I don't see it in my self,  my husband truly believes that I am beautiful.

7. Have Eachothers Best Interest at Heart
I want the best for my husband and he wants the best for me. And sometimes your spouse may see things that you can't see.  Being willing to listen to eachother and to try things that we think would be good for the other has proven beneficial.

8. Stay Close to Our Father In Heaven
We have made prayer a very important part of our marriage and our decision making process.  We literally pray about everything.  Because of prayer and the feelings we have received afterward we have been lead to buy a house, started trying to have children,  and have been able to help people we have come across. Whenever we are questioning something or have a disagreement,  we try and pray and try to recognize what our Heavenly Father wants us to do. We pray for eachother when we're going through tough times or when we have job interviews or tests coming up.  Have you ever gone wrong by saying a simple prayer? Probably not.

9. Be Adventurous
Go on little trips together.  As often as you can.  In our first year together we took little road trips to Ephraim and Duchesne to visit his grandparents. We've been to Bear Lake a couple times.  And most recently we went on a roadtrip through Washington and Oregon.  And with each little trip we go on, when we're away from the distractions of everyday life, we get so much closer together.

10. Be Supportive
Especially in eachother hobbies.  My husband has put up with my sewing and scrapbooking hobbies and has encouraged me to develop more.  Together we play tennis,  we bought long boards and learned how to ride those,  and for awhile our hobby was Pokemon Go.  And in return I try and support his hobbies.  He likes to fix up and make additions to his truck.  He also wants to have a YouTube channel and he is very good with music.  Supporting eachother is so important to happiness in your marriage.

11. We Can Make Our Own Decisions
As much as we love hearing advice from friends and family members we have discovered that it is crucial that we make our own decisions.  We sometimes need to push aside the advice and opinions of others in order to ask ourselves what would be best for our little family at this point in time.  And sometimes that decision contradicts what others may think,  and that's ok.

12. We Can Accomplish so Much
This team you've newly developed is capable of so much more than you sometimes think.  In our first year we've accomplished a lot.  We bought a new car for me,  and traded in my husband's sports car for a truck.  We've bought a house and moved to Ogden.  We remodeled parts of our new house. When we look back to where we were at the start of our marriage as opposed to where we are now,  it's so amazing to see how far we've come in life!

So there's a handful of things I've learned in my first year of mmarriage. It's been hectic and rough at times,  but I wouldn't trade it for anything.  My husband is still my best friend and still the best thing that has ever happened to me. And everyday I'm so grateful we have eachother.

What have you learned in your crazy first year?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Dear Future Child

Dear Future Child
     I don't know much about you yet.  I don't know what you'll look like,  what kind of things you'll be interested in,  or even if you're a boy or a girl. But I know I love you.  And I know your daddy loves you.
     I've been thinking about you a lot today as I start another round of infertility pills.  Another one of my friends also announced on facebook today that they were having a baby and as it made me rejoice for her,  my heart ached a little for me.  Out of jealousy that she'll get to meet her little one before I'll get to meet mine.
  As it was pay day today your daddy and I put another $40 into an envelope for you. You won't be old enough to appreciate it,  but we're saving up to ensure you have the best of everything.  Everytime I put more money into that envelope I think of you.
  I know you won't understand for a long time,  but I really hope you come soon.  Your dad and I have been praying to meet you.  I hope someday you can appreciate what we do for you.  We put my body through seemingly endless amounts of hormone supplements that really mess with my emotional and physical well being,  and your daddy's sanity. He's so good at taking care of me though and making sure I take my pills on time and making sure I take it easy when I need to. It gets really tiring some days and it's really hard on me. But I know it'll be worth it when I finally get to hold you in my arms.
  I hope and pray that you never have to go through this. It's one thing to go through this myself,  but having to watch my child not receive a righteous desire of their heart due to physical infirmities would be even worse.
  I hope I can be a good mother and raise you right. I hope you're father and I can teach you everything you'll need to know to take on this cruel world we live in.  I already know you'll make a difference in the world simply because having you here will make a difference to us. Watching you learn and grow is something your dad and I look forward to a lot.
  I hope you know we love you,  and we are doing everything in our power to get you here with us. We love you unconditionally and cant wait to see all that you'll do with this life! I can't wait to get that pink line on a test that tells us we're finally going to get to meet you. I can't wait to hold you in my arms little one.
  Love,
  Your Future Mother

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Picture of a Memory

     Pictures are worth a thousand words right? You know how you can just look at certain pictures and remember exactly how you were feeling and the thoughts going through your head as you posed for this picture. You can remember the sounds and the smells and the knot in your stomach? So many emotions can be held in a single snapshot.
     Well just yesterday facebook reminded me that 2 years ago my best friend stepped off the plane.  Home from his mission. I greeted him at the busy airport and stood next to him while my dad took the most awkward picture I have ever been involved in. And I am an awkward person,  so that's saying something. I remember the butterflies in my stomach.  I remember how excited I was to have him home.  And I remember having to fight back the urge to just give him a great big hug.  I didn't know it at the time,  but life had a lot in store for us in just a short amount of time.

     Looking back now,  I had no idea what I was getting myself into. No idea where life would take us or the adventures we'd go on together or the struggles we would face. But I knew I had waited 2 long years to see if this relationship would work out. I knew I loved him, though I wouldn't admit it to anyone at the time. And I knew I would do anything for him and that I wanted to keep him around.
     This man who stood before taught me so much and had helped me through some of the toughest patches of my life.  He helped me to see my worth,  and my potential.  And always encouraged me to do great things and never give up.  He was happy with my success. He actually cared about me. And I was excited to see where this would go and how our story would unfold.
     Just recently we celebrated our first wedding anniversary,  so naturally a lot has changed since this picture was taken. Life has been quite the roller coaster these last two years with all its ups and downs, and a few loop-da-loops. But there is no one I'd rather be on this ride with than him.  

Tomorrow Is Never Promised

A lot has been going through my mind lately as a lot of my family members are suffering through a tragedy. One of my distant cousins, Zack, ...