Thursday, July 31, 2008

Who Am I?...

Most of this post is me thinking out-loud.

Who am I....

This is something I've been processing lately. I have taken many personality tests over the years and they have all varied greatly in their results. I've never said "yes! that's EXACTLY me!" I recently took a Strength Finder 2.0 test before our Apartment Life retreat. It was unlike any other test I've taken. The end result was 5 of my top strengths which co-insides with a book that explains in more detail what all of these strengths mean. I read them all and but again felt like nothing pin-pointed me...

There was one sentence in one of the strengths (I don't remember which one) that stood out to me. It said something like "this person is great at finding a need a filling it, regardless of what it is." Ah ha! I think we have something here. I've said several times to Chase that sometimes I don't feel like I can define myself or what I'm good at because it's forever changing. If I see a need for a leader of a group, I'll lead. If I'm in a room full of talkers, I listen. If someone needs ideas, I give them. If an implementer is needed, I implement. Am I passionate about any one of those things? Not really. Do I mind doing them? Not at all!

I kind of feel like an ever-evolving person...maybe like a cameleon, except I take on the color that is needed instead of the color that blends-in. I don't think that analogy made any sense to anyone but me... Oh well.

The only thing that I know I LOVE doing, is serving in a very tangible way. This looks different depending on the situation. I love being available to anticipate someones needs and being able to serve them before they even know they need it.

So, I think I'm learning more of who I am...which is a lot of things. For a long time I felt like I just didn't know myself well enough because I could never pin-point my strengths. I'm still processing all of this but now I'm more secure in constantly changing to meet needs and serve.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Green Light!

-Warning: this post goes into detail about our doc. appt. today. It's not gross or anything, but it may be TMI for some.

I had my doctors appt. today. I thought maybe this would be the last one with Dr. R...but alas, I was wrong, again. Don't get me wrong, I like the guy. He's a little quirky but he is really good at what he does. Part of me feels like when I can go to Dr. H again, I'll know that everything is "normal". There is something about going to a specialist that makes me want to be normal more then ever before.

We talked for about an hour about what we've done up to this point and where we are going from here. He wanted to make sure we were on board for TTC (trying to conceive) immediately, which we are. He said that if we weren't, he would highly advise otherwise. He is giving us 3 months to TTC 'naturally.' If we haven't gotten prego by then, we need to start some meds that encourage my body to work (aka, clomid). He'll give that 3 months and if it doesn't work then he said we will need to take more drastic measures and try IVF or IUI....which we won't do. Heh, even if we wanted do it, there is NO WAY we could afford it! They gave us the prices before we left and our jaws dropped.

My first thought to all of this is The Lord is in Control! He is worried about my endo since it was/is so extreme. The chances of conceiving after 6 months drastically diminishes. I am grateful he is concerned but I also know that if the Lord is bigger then any doctor or any treatment.

I told him I was charting and he was all about that. He wants me to send him the charts every month to make sure I'm including enough details. When we are prego, he'll get me through the first trimester and then send me back to Dr. H (I can't wait!). I feel like the clouds are finally beginning to lift and I will soon see the sun again. The journey is not over yet, but we're getting close.

I have learned a TON through this experience. I would like to pass on some practical lessons-learned that I think everyone should know.

1. If you have a friend who has miscarried please visit my church's website, This link is to the Shiloh ministry for miscarriage and infertility. At the bottom of the page are very practical ways you can help a friend who is suffering through a miscarriage.

One thing I would add to the list is if it's a close friend who you really want to support, try and remember her due date for the miscarried baby. This can be an extremely hard time and just having someone remember can be a huge blessing.

2. As a dear friend says, "Don't ask." This is a great rule of thumb. Unless it's your best friend, don't ask "when are you going to have a child" or worse yet, "when are you due". If someone is pregnant, normally that is one of the first things out of their mouth, or shortly-there-after. If a woman doesn't have kids yet, they either don't want them, don't want them yet, or are struggling.

I know I have been guilty of this in the past. I now know from experience how hard it is when those questions are asked. It can be emotionally traumatizing depending on where the woman is at in the process.

3. The Lord truly is in control. He will give us His strength when we really need it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Home, Sweet Home

We had our interview today at the apartment complex in Addison. We felt like it went pretty well. The manager has never had a Cares Team before so most of the interview was explaining what we will do and what it will look like. Troy came with us to guide our time and make sure some of the logistic questions were covered. After we were finished, Troy stayed to "seal" the deal and work out more of the details. He called us this afternoon to confirm that we were in!

The property is still under construction. Only one of the buildings is even functional. The next available 2 bedroom apartment is August 11. We'll do a piece-move all that week in the evenings. They are expecting us to do one event before the end of the month which will be no problem. We will probably take a lot of time to introduce ourselves to the current residents...all 29 of them...and prepare for a full month in September.

We will soon call 15777 Quorum home for at least 18 months...but hopefully longer. We would apreciate your prayers as we prepare our hearts for what the Lord will do during this time. Pray for our relationship with the manager and staff as we begin this process. Since the manager has never had a team before and we've never been a team before, there are a lot of unknowns. Pray that communication will be clear.

We are SO excited to develop relationships with the residents and be able to impact their lives on an eternal level.

Monday, July 28, 2008

random pics

The below picture is my first attempt at 2 things: making my own fondant, and covering a cake in fondant. For those of you who don't know what fondant is, don't worry, I didn't either until I started watching Ace of Cakes on the Food Network Channel. Fondant is used in a variety of ways, covering petits-fours, filling chocolate balls, and covering cakes. My homemade fondant is mostly marshmallow. The ingredients are simple and few but putting it together is extremely high-maintenance. You can purchase fondant from a cake supply store from $5-$12 per pound OR you can make it for about $1.50 per pound. For the cake below I probably used 2 lbs.

My sister, Dayle, sent me these pictures a couple days ago. They are in the middle of moving to a new apartment and decided to pack up Martin as well. She is visiting us August 12-19! I'm SOOOO excited to see my nephew again. It will be 3 1/2 months since I last saw him!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Due date

This past weekend I was on an Apartment Life retreat with all the teams that serve in our church. I'll do another post soon just about the retreat...I want to wait until I can show you the pictures. It was amazing to say the least.

Saturday, July 19, was the due date of our unborn child. It is still crazy to me that had everything gone "well" we would be parents and our lives would be totally different. I was only pregnant for 10 weeks before we miscarried. During our pregnancy, I went to the doctor 2 times a week since it was high-risk. I was nauseous, exhausted, and nervous...I was pregnant. We knew something was potentially wrong when I started spotting at 9 weeks. I called the doctor on Friday at lunch time and immediately headed down for a sono. We could see the baby but no heart beat. We were crushed, but still trying to remain hopeful.

I remember waking up the next morning craving eggs....eggs were the first thing to make me nauseous, even the thought of eggs. I told Chase and we both thought it was odd. It was then that I didn't feel pregnant anymore, not a good sign. We were still optimistic through the weekend because I didn't bleed anymore which is a really good sign.

Tuesday I went back in for another sono. This confirmed the worst. As soon as the picture was on the screen I said, "this isn't good, is it." There was no baby on the screen, just black. I wanted to give my body a little time to discard everything naturally but it looked like that wasn't going to happen. I had heard of people going longer then a month before their body did it naturally. The longer your body takes, the more risk you have for having an incomplete 'abortion' (that's the technical term and I HATE it!) and then they would have to do a D&C anyway. With all that said, we scheduled the D&C for that Friday.

The D&C was very emotional and took a lot of time to process. I walked in pregnant, and walked out not pregnant? I knew there was nothing living inside of me anymore but that didn't matter, my baby was still mine to protect. The surgery went well, no complications. However, I did end up with an infection a couple days afterward which was EXTREMELY painful.

So, here we are now, 7 months after the miscarriage. I have had 3 surgeries and 4 months of horrible treatments in the last 9 months. We meet with the infertility doctor hopefully for the last time next week. I think at that point he will give us the green light for trying again. If we wait too long, the endo will start to come back. Never in my life did I ever expect to go to an infertility specialist at the age of 24! I have learned so much about my body through all of this. I have also learned how to have true compassion. I get teary eyed when I hear of someone going through a miscarriage or a loss of any kind. I never did that before. I am grateful the Lord used this time to teach my heart and mold me just a little more into the likeness of Christ.

Apartment Life Interview

Chase and I officially have an interview set up with a property called 15777 Quorum...yes, its the address AND the name! Check out their website, its pretty nice. Our interview is Tuesday at noon. We would LOVE to get this property because of it's location (Addison circle) and it's so new they haven't finished construction yet. I think they have started moving residents in but not very many. It would be amazing to be at a property from the beginning. We would be able to meet everyone as they arrive and introduce them to our events. Please pray that the Lord will direct our steps during this time.

If you're clueless about what I just wrote, check out It's an amazing ministry that places teams in apartment complexes to ultimately build relationships and bring people to Christ. We go in as event coordinators to build community within the apt. complex. The property takes care of our rent and we in turn put in 70 hours per team per month and create community. The property gains an average of $139,000 PROFIT each year from this service due to resident and employee retention.

We started the interview process in March and that took about 8 weeks to get the 'approval'. Since then, we have been in the 'placement process' (about 10 weeks). We have been waiting for something to open up within a reasonable distance from our work. I didn't think it would take this much time to find something but the Lord had us exactly where He wanted us. I'll update you after Tuesday's interview.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Paid in Full

This week has flown by SO fast and I've been so grateful since Chase is gone playing soldier in Oklahoma. This blog post actually begins last Thursday morning. Chase was leaving that morning so we got up extremely early so we could have breakfast together before he left. We ended up going to Denny's at 5AM! Yawn. We said a prayer before our meal and tried to have a decent conversation in between our yawns. When Chase got up to pay, the middle aged, southern waitress said, "well darlin' your meal has been paid for!" Are you serious? Who? Chase was in his uniform so we thought that a patriotic kind soul wanted to thank Chase for his service. We were both a little shocked and very grateful.

Fast forward exactly one week to yesterday. My mom and I were picking up a Burmese pastor and his wife from the airport and took them out to dinner at a Chinese Buffet. They are speaking at our ministry today and in meetings with our leadership. Anyway, before dinner, the pastor said a prayer before we all perused the buffet tables. It had been a LONG time since I've been to a Chinese Buffet, and I really enjoyed it. They had a great fruit selection which I totally took advantage of. We had a great meal and time of fellowship. When it was time to pay, the waitress came over and handed me a note that read, "Thank you. God bless you." and the check that had a 'paid in full' stamp on it. She said that someone who left before us paid for our meal... Wow.

Ok Lord, what do you want me to take away from this? It's been my question since last night. On my way to work this morning I was reflecting on the words 'paid in full.' The Lord reminded me this morning that I've been paid in full! Jesus paid for my sins before I had a chance to. The Lord truly knows how to give good gifts that come will great lessons. This was such a sweet reminder of the grace I've received for reasons that are so unfathomable to our human limitations. Thank you Lord.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blueberries and the Blues

The Blueberries: This last weekend I visited my very good friend, Jill, in Tyler, Texas. East Texas has unique soil that allows blueberries to grow. I left Dallas bright and early sat. morning so I could meet her at the blueberry farm before it got too hot. I had never picked before so I relied on her expertise to get me through :) We had a blast! We picked for about 2 hours which provided a great time for us to catch-up on life. I picked 5 lbs of blueberries and then I bought 2lbs of pre-picked berries because it was getting very hot.

When I got home on Sunday, mom and I went to Wal-Mart to get canning supplies...I've never canned anything before! I found a recipe on the food network channel that I've been dying to marmalade. The recipe was a competition recipe that Bobby Flay used in one of his Throw-Down episodes. He ended up winning and the judges went crazy over his marmalade. The recipe was very high-maintenance and not very specific. Long story short, I decided to change the name to orange-blueberry SYRUP! We now have 6 jars of syrup.....It calls for a lot of pancakes!

And now for the 'Blues': This week has been harder then I thought. I find myself crying periodically. This week would have been my due date had we not miscarried. Of course I cried for a couple weeks after the miscarriage but then I was doing pretty good. It's like all of a suden a brick of emotions hit me this week. We have spent the last 9 months trying to 'fix' my body so that this doesn't happen again. I've had 3 surgeries and been on some horrible treatments. For some reason I almost feel guilty for trying to get pregnant again. I'm scared that we'll miscarry again and have to go through another 9 months of trying to 'fix' my body. Most of my emotions are based on untruths but they're real none-the-less.

I have been grateful that the Lord is in the mist of breaking me. That has been my prayer for a while now because I have felt like walls are high and thick and I have not allowed the Lord work. It hurts when I realized just how undeserving I am of God's grace and mercy. When I begin to see myself for who I really am and not try to deceive myself or others. "For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it" Romans 7:18 The last 9 months have broken me in a new way as I realized that I have NO control over my life. Just when I think I do, the Lord finds a way to humble me. I'm sure this week will continue to be full of some tears, but the outcome will be sweet.

I know I just rambled and I don't know if any of it made sense. I've realized that I try to controll my life by forcing things to make sense...but in reality sometimes it just doesn't...and that's ok. It's freeing to experience my emotions instead of stuff them or build the wall of China around them.

I'll post some pics of my weekend soon.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Baby Martin

The last post had pictures of Martin at 6 weeks old. The pictures below Dayle sent to me when he was 13 weeks. Dayle posted some even more resent pics on this website. He is now 19 lbs and only 18 weeks old!!! What a cute chunk!

0 to 3 in 30 seconds

I got a call yesterday morning from the family who I nannied for in AR. They have 3 kids, 3, 5, and 8. They were in town and needed a last minute babysitter. I hadn't seen the kids in 10 months so I was thrilled to keep them. We met the parents at a Subway to make the 'exchange'. When I got in the car I looked at the back seat to find 3 little faces starring at me. It was a little overwhelming to think that this could be reality soon...but hopefully they will come 1 at a time and not 3 at once. :) Chase and I decided to make the entire evening about spoiling them. We felt like was awesome!

We took them to McDonald's so they could play on the playground while Chase and I ate some o' so healthy dinner. Then we took the kids to the toy aisle of Wal-Mart! We told them they could pick ANY toy they wanted under $10. Their little eyes got HUGE when we said this! Their parents allow them to earn money so they knowthe value of $10...especially in the toy aisle. Granted, I haven't been down the toy aisle in quite some time but I was amazed at how much great stuff you can get for under $10. The boys got Indiana Jones and Star Wars figurines and the girl got a rather cute puppy who came in a purse. The dog looked remarkably like my mom's 4lb dog, Lucy.

After the Wal-Mart run, we took the kids to see Walle. It was unlike any other Pixar movie. It was not quite as humorous and very slow at the beginning. All in all we really enjoyed it. I won't say much because I don't want to spoil it for you if you haven't seen it. I would definitely recommend you see it in the theater because the animation was awesome!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

arizona visit

I visited Phoenix AZ in April to see my first nephew! My sister, Dayle, became the proud mom of Martin in early March. By the time I was able visit, Martin was almost 6 weeks old. I had a great visit, I only wish I could have stayed longer. Below are some of my fav. pictures.