Sunday, February 27, 2011
Unfortunately, this wasn't an "oh, it looks really warm outside. The sun is shining! I'll go outside. Holy moly! I need a jacket." sort of learning experience. There were harsh things said based on appearances; there were many relationships strained; feelings were hurt and bitterness fostered. It was a hard to swallow lesson. But more importantly, a totally avoidable lesson.
See, this was a 2-for-1 sort of lesson. I also learned that communication is key to maintaining healthy relationships. If communication is not present, it can cause the appearances of circumstances to trick you. You believe things you wouldn't otherwise believe. The appearances deceive you.
But the lesson I want to leave for my kids is that when you hurt someone, you ask for their forgiveness. Even if you feel justified in your actions and feelings. You shouldn't just say, "I'm sorry." I want you to also say, "Will you forgive me?"
Thank you Jill for this post. You made me realize then that there was a huge difference in saying "I'm sorry" and asking someone to forgive you.
I've accepted my share of the blame and gone to those people I have hurt and asked for their forgiveness. Now, I pray that they will extend to me the same love as God does when I have hurt or failed Him.
Kade and Kohen, you have an imperfect mom. But listen up, because I want you to carry this with you for your entire lives. "Appearances can be deceiving." When you do people wrong, you will say, "I'm sorry." But I want you to include, "will you forgive me?" Because, these two statements go hand in hand. And, forgiveness is liberating.
You have been a basket of sunshine. I seriously think you are the happiest baby I know. This has been such a hard, trying week. I've needed a "pick me up" more than once, and your sweet smile has always worked for me. I love you so much.
You had your first visit to the dentist this week after you fell down. It was so hard for me to watch you cry. Anytime you cry, my heart breaks in a million pieces. I want so much to protect you, but I know you must learn some things on your own[--cause/effect being one of them. (I cry when I see the dentist too.) I love you so much.
This week has been hard--really hard, but one thing about the worst of storms is that usually a rainbow will follow. I appreciate that you are always by my side being the stronger of us two. I appreciate you being the voice of reason when I am so passionate and upset about things beyond my control. I hope you know that I will always put you and our family first. My intentions are pure in that retrospect. I love you so much.
Friday, February 25, 2011
AND---I've been contacted for my first give-away/Review. Details to come soon! So if you aren't a follower--hello, all you lurkers---you need to be (because I am quite certain that will be a requirement to enter the great prize they are offering up to one of my US or Canada peeps).
More to come!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
The overview is what I've spent most of my time analyzing. It's a snap shot of webhits but detailed enough to included daily views, posts, and audience. It's super user friendly and customizable. You can view your stats on a daily, weekly, monthly, or all time history.
I guess I'm deeply sad that my most viewed post this week--or ever, for that matter--is "Who knew getting pregnant would be this difficult?" Many of you have read that post. It's how you became a follower of me, or it's how I became a follower of your blog. So, you are likely one of the people in this total. It was my very first post. I felt so defeated and alone in my infertility journey, yet this page has been viewed 1,599 times all together. Do you know what this tells me? I wasn't as alone as I thought I was. It also deeply saddens me that close to 1,600 people have felt that same desperation...that same agony...and that same heartache. And, I hate that I wasn't so alone. I hate that I feel relieved that I wasn't alone.
If I could change the world, this would be one of my priorities along with finding the cure for cancer. It sucks. Both suck.
What is your most viewed post for this week? Of all time? Why do you think it's been viewed so much? Link up directly to your most viewed post below if you like. Also, leave a comment telling us why you think this post is so significant. Include how many times its been viewed.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
This is "Wilma Washer"
This is "Dillion Dryer"
Aren't they beautiful?
We bought the Whirlpool 4.5 Cu. Ft. Front-Load Washer (White) ENERGY STAR and the Whirlpool 7.4 Cu. Ft. Electric Dryer (White) thanks to Uncle Sam and our tax refund. Also, since these appliances are Energy Efficient, we snagged an extra 15% off the washer and 10% off the dryer thanks to Lowes Hardware. S---Weet! Even Kyle wants to do laundry now, so it was a win-win for me.
Y'all, this is the quietest washing machine I have ever heard. Ever. We live in a townhouse that is 3 levels. Our main living area is on the 2nd level. I was upstairs folding laundry last night while Wilma Washer was on spin cycle doing her thing---SPIN cycle y'all--and I could hear Kohen begin to cry on the main level. That alone made this purchase worth it. We splurged and bought the stands to sit them on for extra storage space. That was so worth the extra expense. It was really nice to fold laundry without having to bend over to take the clothes out of the dryer. I'm pretty sure this is a tiny slice of heaven on earth.
If any of you are in the market for new appliances, I'll give you the specifics:
4.5 Cu. Ft. Front-Load Washer (White) ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR® qualified
CEE Tier III qualified: based on the Consortium for Energy Efficiency qualified product listings, with Tier III being the most efficient; this model features advanced water and energy savings and may qualify for rebates from local utility companies
Built-in water heater
14 automatic cycles
Quick Wash cycle: clean small, lightly soiled loads in less time
Whitest Whites cycle raises water temperatures and releases bleach or an oxygen-based cleaner at the optimal moment to enhance whitening performance
7.4 Cu. Ft. Electric Dryer (White)
Power cord and venting sold separately
Heavy Duty cycle
Quick Dry cycle
Quad baffle drying system
LED display provides easy selection for all options, displays time remaining and status for the cycle
Adjustable End-of-cycle signal
7.4 cu. ft. capacity
Quick Refresh Steam cycle tumbles 2-5 items in the dryer, letting steam technology relax wrinkles and remove odors; in just 15 minutes, clothes go from lying there to ready-to-wear
Resource Saver® dryer: combines the resource-efficient Eco Normal cycle with the AccelerCare® drying system to provide outstanding energy savings
Wrinkle Shield™ Plus option (up to 120 minutes) tumbles the dryer every 5 minutes after the cycle is complete to help prevent wrinkles from setting into clean, dry fabrics
Quiet Dry Plus noise reduction system
Direct water installation method: a "Y" connector delivers water from washer's existing water line directly to the dryer for easier installation and hassle-free steaming
8 automatic cycles
5 temperature settings
So, what do I think? I'm in love. I could do laundry every day. Hold up. I do. I already wash/dry/fold/put away/hang up clothes on a daily basis. So, why not enjoy it, yes? I have a huge instruction booklet to read, but I'm pretty sure that these machines will do almost everything laundry related short of folding, hanging up, and putting away. It has lots of buttons for the techy people, but it seems to be super user friendly for the not-so-techy people, like me. So far, I'm winging it--I just turned the knobs to "normal", added detergent, and pressed start. Wa-la! It was off and running. I feel like I have my very own laundry mat!
And it's an instant baby sitter. Who knew?
I will go ahead and go on record as saying that we were not compensated to write this review. We had to pay for these appliances out of our pockets. The opinions expressed here are mine alone. However, if Lowes or Whirlpool (or anyone else for that matter) would like to send me anything to review, I'll be more than thrilled to do so ;) I'm sure as I learn more about the ins/outs of these machines I'll be telling you more.
I'm trying to make my blog more interesting. Plus, have you heard of the Amazon Vine program? I so badly want to be a member of that. So, I'm practicing.
If you haven't noticed I added a cool widget way over here -----------------------> to report live feed to my blog. That should tell me if I should consider going private until all the family drama is resolved. We are currently getting the silent treatment, so I guess silence is better than saying something you regret. By the way, if you are a lurker, I'd love to have you step out of webland and leave me a comment or become a follower. I'll beg if I must ;)
I hope you are having a fantastic week! I got a raise at work today, so maybe this is God's timing too.
Monday, February 21, 2011
"When the storm is raging around you, be your own sunshine while searching for your rainbow." -Me
Wow, that's pretty good insight. I just made that up, or at least I think I did. We are dealing with some family drama. Kyle and I opened up a huge can of worms, and we are experiencing the fall out now. It sucks. But, we stand together. It's us against the world, or what feels like the world. I'm not certain who all reads this blog since it's public, so I'll just leave it at that. If family is reading this none of this is news to you. Kyle and I will continue to take the high road while we search for our rainbow. But we do appreciate that you care enough to make us the topic of your Facebook status'...cause that is mature on so many levels.
Things have been, well, as you can see. We know its only temporary, but we sure wish we could see the rainbow. Until then, we will make our own sunshine. We appreciate your prayers.
Question: can you password protect posts on blogger?
Have a great day!
Friday, February 18, 2011
I am shocked too.
Where has the time gone?
You wake up smiling; you go to sleep smiling.
It melts my heart every time I see it.
And, I may be a wee bit biased, but I think you are so handsome.
You definitely get your good looks from Daddy.
It seems like yesterday when you were placed in my arms for the very first time.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
I am participating in the "Things I Love Thursday" carnival over at Diaper Diaries. Go check her out and play along. She is also hosting a great giveaway from Daysprings. A $50 gift card to be used on anything in their store! So, go enter now for your chance to win something really great! They have so many great things! I could totally deck my entire house out if my pockets were deeper!
Anway, Things I love Thursday...
Recently, we celebrated Kade's 2nd birthday. Lately he has taken up an interest in trains (Thank You Mickey Mouse and your Choo Choo Express), so we decided to get him this:
We just purchased the Thomas the Train powerwheel! Kyle and I thought this would be the perfect gift! We were right!
The train is small, so Kade is able to get on/off of it easily. The product description said it only moves at a rate of 2 mph, which is the prefect pace for a smaller child. It was really easy (and quick!!) to assemble. In fact, applying the stickers took the most time. If this item interest you in your future gift giving, we recommend charging it before it's actually given as a gift. It will require 18 hrs to charge. With this said, Kade has had it for over 2 weeks and we haven't had to charge it again. It has been used every day as he rides it around our house for approximately 30 minutes every day. Did I mention its small enough to be used in doors? Awesome for the weather we've been having in NC!
Our only notable complaint is that the wheels are really slick. It has been difficult for the wheels to get traction on our wooden floors. At times, Kade will require a small push when moving from room to room to get over where the floors meet. It seems to work really well on our rugs, so we are excited to see how well it will work outside once the weather gets warmer--like today! We are going to be 70 degrees! I'm stoked! Contrary to one reviewer, our floors have not been damaged at all by the wheels, but its good to be wary if you have wood floors.
Overall impressions are that it was a great deal for the price. Extremely affordable compared to other powerwheels. Kade loves it, and he plays with it daily--and he isn't even a Thomas the Train fanatic. We think it’s a great first starter powerwheel for small children. It is extremely user friendly.
So, there you have it! Things we love...things to keep our kids entertained at an affordable price!
Go here to read more reviews or buy your own Thomas the Train powerwheel!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I have chosen my verse for Feb 15, 2011.
"Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." Colossians 4:23 (NIV)
There are so many days--okay, if I'm honest it's most days (especially Mondays)--that I wake up and the first words out of my mouth are, "I hate working first shift." Just this week Kyle asked me if working 2nd shift would make me happier. I told him, "No. I think it's just that I hate my job." I've been unhappy with my job for quite some time. I've worked for the same company for 13 years. I started working for my company right out of high school, and I have worked my way up to the position I have now. I am a retail accountant for 6 smaller accounts we have. I prepare financial statements, taxes, etc for each company. On most days, it's an okay job. I love my co-workers; I make a decent salary; but I am not fulfilled. Some days I go to work and I know that nothing I will do really matters.
Today God whispered sweetly in my ear that I needed a new attitude toward my job. Most economies have really suffered in the recession. NC is no exception. We have been hit really hard. Unemployment is still about 14%. So, in a market where there would be 50 people who would gladly take my place at my job, I should be thankful that I am employed. And I am. I need to work cheerfully as if I am working for the Lord in all that I do--even my job because it really does matter, and someone, somewhere is watching me.
"Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender." (Proverbs 22:7 NIV)
"Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything your land produces." (Proverbs 3:9 NIV)
"Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed." (Joshua 1:8 NIV)
Sunday, February 13, 2011
We've had a fun weekend. We celebrated Kade's 2nd birthday with a small party of family and friends. The picture you see here is him telling us all--through his crocodile tears--to stop singing Happy Birthday to him. If you attended, don't take it personally. I tried to sing him Jesus Loves Me the other day and he cried. So excuse me while I rejoice that it's not just MY singing he hates... Yippee! ;) Lucky for us, we had cake! Mickey Mouse cake! So all is well with the world again!
And if cake wouldn't dry up the tears, then all of the gifts he was showered with would!
This punch recipe was a huge hit! It's super easy to make and virtually impossible to screw up. You can use any kind of jello. We like the lime and is what we served. I have made it with the strawberry, and it is equally yummy!
2 1/2 cups white sugar
6 cups water
2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry
flavored gelatin mix
1 (46 fluid ounce) can pineapple juice
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 quart orange juice
2 (2 liter) bottles lemon-lime flavored
1. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, water, and strawberry flavored gelatin. Boil for 3 minutes. Stir in pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orange juice. Divide mixture in half, and freeze in 2 separate containers.
2. When ready to serve, place the frozen contents of one container in a punch bowl, and stir in 1 bottle of lemon-lime soda until slushy.
Today, we spent the day with Nanny and Pawpaw. And he got his last present from us. His Pawpaw, Uncle Shawn, and Daddy finished putting together his swing set. Well, to be fair, it's for all the grandkids, but he gets to enjoy it all by himself right now! So, today, it's his!
And, I think he approves!
And I will toss in this super cute photo for good measure!
We hope you have had an enjoyable weekend!
Saturday, February 12, 2011
First on stage was a newer band named The JaneDear Girls. Picture an 80's girl rocking hair band gone country. Got it? That's the best I can do to describe them. Their first single is called Wildflower and its pretty good. You can check it out here:
Next up was one of our favorites. Eric Church! He is actually from where we live, so it's really great to see someone who has finally "made it" from a little ol' NC town. He was awesome!
We finally got to see Jason Aldean. I'll be honest--next to Matchbox Twenty--he is my/our next favorite artist. We love his songs, and I had the best time watching my amazing husband sing along with him. I tried to upload some videos, but I couldn't for this blog. So, you'll have to settle for a picture. (This really stinks for you guys, because I nearly fainted when he preformed "Heaven" by Bryan Adams. A-MAZ-ING!
It was a great short weekend trip, and I'm really looking forward to the next one!
Kyle & Elaine
Thursday, February 10, 2011
He is one of the children that doctors--specialists--told me I would never have.
He is independent...
He is funny....
He is happy....
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
My name is Elaine. I am 27 years old, and I am married to a wonderful man, Kyle. We have been married for 4 years, and we have been trying to have a baby since our wedding night. Here we are years down the road and two miscarriages later still without a baby to hold.
So here I am. I decided to title my blog My prayers, His promises in hopes to reinforce my faith in God. He hears my prayers and will answer them in His time. I hold on to the promises He has made me in His Word.
A little bit about me:
I found out I was pregnant with our first child December 23, 2004. What perfect timing! At this point we had been trying to conceive for 14 months. With Christmas a few days later, we felt it to be a perfect time to tell all of our family and friends. December 30, exactly one week later, I started spotting and had my husband take me to the emergency room. My highest high in life became my lowest low. I was having a “probable” miscarriage the doctor had said. The only thing I could do was go home and wait it out. I was only 5.5 weeks.
Telling my family and friends was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Their words of comfort, for example, “There must have been something wrong with the baby,” or, “At least you know you can get pregnant, and you’ll have another chance,” or “It was God’s will,” did nothing but make me angry. ANGRY. No one, NO ONE understood the heartache that I was/still am feeling. I knew that they loved me, but nothing they could say would comfort me.
No matter how much I doubted it, to my surprise, the sun still rose each morning. It didn’t quite shine the same way to me, but never-the-less, life went on with or without my participation. I cut myself off from everyone: my husband, my family, friends, GOD. It’s almost like I was embarrassed. This wasn’t supposed to happen to me. No one in my entire family had ever had a miscarriage; I am healthy; I am young; I take care of myself; I am a good person. How could this happen? More importantly, where was God?? I don’t know how Jesus felt when he was on the cross dying for my sins, but I truly felt that God had forsaken me at this point.
Months past, I got out of church and out of God’s will. I partied with my friends. Eight months later, August 04, 2005 I found out I was pregnant again. Again, it couldn’t have occurred at a more perfect time. I was avoiding what was suppose to be my estimated due date with baby #1 (August 30, 2005) when I found out I was pregnant again. I was shocked!! Could this be the baby we would hold? My pregnancy seemed to progress normally, or so I thought. I had all the pregnancy symptoms. I felt good….different this time. This was it. I knew it… I felt confident that God would bless us with a child this time around.
At my first doctor’s appointment, I had my first sonogram. I was so excited to see the baby…I couldn’t wait. I’ll never forget what the technician said (you know they aren’t supposed to say anything), “It doesn’t look like an 8 week baby to me…” At first, I thought I had misunderstood her. As the silence progressed I knew I hadn’t. This time, I had a blighted ovum…a sac, but the baby never developed. I thought I was pregnant, my body thought I was pregnant…I had to have a d & c the same day. It was Sept. 6, 2005
I just couldn’t believe it had happened again. All of the comforting statistics…I’m sure you’ve heard them yourself…once you lose a baby to miscarriage the likelihood of it happening again is decreased… Although that is supposed to be a true statistic, it did not apply to me. I asked the doctor if we were now eligible for any sort of testing…and we are not until we have had three miscarriages. Why would I put myself, my family, or my husband back through this again, especially if something is truly wrong with me?
We have now gone through preliminary testing. My husband has had a semen analysis and I have had a HSG, which is an x-ray of your abdomen to make sure your tubes are open. Both checked out okay. Since we had now been trying for more than 6 months since my 2nd miscarriage, my doctor agreed to try clomid and IUI. I tried not to get my hopes up as its success rate is only 20%. Let’s face it, odds have never exactly gone in my favor. It failed.We repeated the IUI with clomid…then injectible drugs…and repeated it again. Five unsuccessful IUI’s, on we go in this quest of mother/father-hood.
I did handle my second miscarriage a little better emotionally. I guess it is because I knew what to expect this time around. There are days that I think I am strong. Don’t let that fool you…there were/still are days that I cry so much that I don’t know how I could not be dehydrated when I finally get myself together. The emptiness is still in the depth of my soul, and no matter what I do, I don’t know how to fill it.
I am back in church now. I have made some changes in my life which can only be to my benefit. I pray…I have tried and tried to give this problem to God. On days I think I have. Then there are days that I know I haven’t, but I am just not sure what to do differently. There are days that I just simply go through the motions of life…there are days that I catch myself smiling and laughing again though. (Thank you, God)
A few weeks ago, we found out some of our friends are expecting their 2nd. Basically, we were trying when they conceived their first, and now they are pregnant again. Life just seems so unfair at times. “Why, God? What have I done to make You so mad at me?” I have literally watched some people get pregnant, have babies, and now their children are turning THREE since Kyle and I have been trying to have our first child.It seems everywhere I look are pregnant women: on television, at shopping centers, work, church…and I am not one of them. It kills me.
My prayers, His promises...I just have to keep faith. Good days/Bad days. That’s just the way life is for me/us now. We just pray and pray and pray…I haven't been able to put it in God’s hands…not because of my lack of faith in Him, I just don't know how. I just pray. Every time I think about it now, I just pray! Even when I’m all prayed out—I just pray. I know that prayer is what has gotten me through the last few years spiritually and emotionally, not to mention has only helped our marriage become better and stronger.
Some people think I need to consider seeking professional help, because I am always so sad. How do you seek help for mourning a dream you have? Kyle and I have agreed it's time to do IVF...we at first didn't want to tell anyone, because to be honest, it's somewhat embarrassing to me as a woman. But I am seeking anyone's advice who has been down this road before and can offer any guidance. It's not a guarentee, but it's a new journey of itself and is completely new to us since we don't know anyone personally who has gone through this.
So that's why I'm here...My prayers, His promises. I am going to lean on other Christian women who can help pray me through this journey. I want to pray for you too, whatever your circumstances may be. I know now that I am not alone in this, nor am I the only person who has gone through something this "life-changing." It has changed my life--every single aspect.
Thanks for reading this, I know it has been lengthy. Thank you for giving me somewhere to express these feelings. Thank you for the new friends I will meet and the prayer partners I will gain. Thank you, Lord, in advance for how you will use this blog for Your glory.
Now it's your turn to share your success story here. Blog about it, or if you have in the past share your story here:
Friday, February 4, 2011
You can get a $20 gift certificate for Barnes & Noble for $10. (The only restriction I saw was that you have to redeem it by April.) I bought one...go grab the savings for yourself.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Have you read about or saw the news of the unrest in Egypt? Well, my bloggy friend lives in Cairo. She, too, fought the battle of infertility and won. After 10 years of trying, she welcomed Super Baby in Oct 2010. She has been updating on the chaos in Egypt as she has had time. Go here to read more...Please pray for her and others.
Need a neat idea to celebrate Love Month? My friend Deidre has a cool way to show Love as a verb for the entire month of Februrary. She has two beautiful, witty daughters who allow her blog to be both serious and comical. And, she has a love for the Lord that shines through at the heart of every post. If you need some encouragement, check her out. You can also visit Mindy who is playing along as well.
I'm also still following my fellow infertility sisters Allison, Amanda, Melissa, Courtney,Joannah, and Mandy who are all pregnant with #2 (except Joannah who is expecting her first, a baby girl, in a few short months!
And, Ms. Joy just found out she is expecting again!
Go over and give Glenna a big ol' hug too. She is pursuing adoption again, but has chosen to adopt internationally this time! I am so excited for her, and I can't wait to watch her family grow!
What blogs are you reading?
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I have chosen my next verse for SSMT 2011. Pretty soon you will begin to notice a theme emerging. So, without further ado, I give you verse 3:
"Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender." Proverbs 22:7 (NIV)
I chose this verse to be more money savvy in 2011. As I glance at my mountain of student loans, revolving debt, our mortgage, car payments, DAYCARE!!! I grow weary very quickly. It seems that each year we have to use our tax refund to pay off debts we've accumulated along the way. This year, I resolve to no longer be a servant to our lenders. I feel quite certain that I can knock a few of these debts out in full with our tax refund, but my student loan debt I may be carrying with me into retirement at this point! (Kyle says, "Well, if you would only stop going to school?!? Okay, so he may have a point, but don't tell him I said so. Is it possible to become addicted to becoming educated? If so, I'm guilty as charged.) Anyway, I hope by meditating on this verse that I will be more quick to pay with cash rather than postponing the inevitable.
(It's not too late to participate if you feel led to do so.Go here to get started.) ***********
In other news, I.Am.Exhausted. We've been fighting germs at our house that just won't go away. In the past 2 weeks, we've had 6 doctor appts (2-Kade, 2-Kohen, 1-Mommy, 1-Daddy). The boys have had RSV while Kyle and I have each had a sinus infection. Can you say "Sick and tired of being sick and tired." Because I am. We are. Sick of being sick. Finally, 3 antibiotics and a Z-pack later (between all of us), I think we are finally on the mend. I'm almost hesitant to say that out loud.
Here are some pics of our sweet boys:
Kohen will be 3 months old soon! I have no idea where the time has gone. It seems like yesterday when I was on my way to the hospital to deliver him.
Here is my sweet Kade helping my mom make me a birthday cake.
Have a blessed week!