Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I’m Learning

Every time I find out I am not pregnant, I plunge through a depth of emotions. The process, though familiar, is still difficult each time.
At first I felt responsible. If I could just learn what Heavenly Father wants me to learn, then I could “pass the test” so to speak and finally be able to have a baby. I felt like if I could obtain all the understanding I was meant to gain from this trial, then it should be lifted, right?
I would hear women with children use a certain word that was guaranteed to break my heart anew. “Trust.” They would say, “I am so grateful that Heavenly Father TRUSTED me enough to give me one of His own children.” They would say, “I don’t know what I did to deserve my children, but I am grateful that Heavenly Father TRUSTED me with them.”
I would think, “Am I not trustworthy? Why doesn’t Heavenly Father trust me?” In my heart I knew that I had not done anything wrong. I knew that I was not being punished, but Satan will do anything to convince you that you are not enough.
In a way, infertility feels more like “divine punishment” than other trials because we know that children are a gift from God. Children being born into families is all part of the plan. We know that our power to procreate is God-given. It is easy to conclude, therefore, that those who are not able to procreate are having these blessings suspended. Is the same God who gives children to some, withholding children from others? We sometimes forget to think of fertility/infertility as a biological process. Not every child conceived is a reward for righteous living. Conversely, those who aren’t able to have children are not being punished for their imperfections.
For some reason we don’t look at other physical trials (such as handicaps, cancer, etc…) in this way. I would never think that a person who struggled with a life-threatening illness was having their health withheld from a loving Heavenly Father. So why am I tempted to think that I am having children WITHELD from me?
Yes, infertility is a spiritual, physical, and mental trial. Yes, God is over all. Yes, He has a plan for me, and that obviously included the current trials I am passing through. But I know that even good people are given trials, not because of things they did or didn’t do, but because trials are just a part of life.
I have found that when I approach my Father in Heaven, and bear my soul to him that He is always listening. When I beg for my desires for motherhood to be realized, I have learned that He is not saying “no,” He is saying “wait.” So it is with most trials we are asked to pass through. He has never left me alone. I know He loves me. I know that it will all be all right in the end. All I have to do is wait, and I never have to wait alone.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bow Chica Wow Wow

It’s about time huh?  Sheesh, I’ve only been talking about this blessed quilt for MONTHS now.  But, FINALLY it is finished.  Q2 
I am so proud!  This project was a lot of work, because this thing was HAND quilted baby.  (I started it before I owned a sewing machine).  Q1
Lizzy is pretty sure that I made it for her, bless her heart.  Every time I would spread out my quilting stuff, she would come hunker down right in the middle.  Q3

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Partially Cloudy

Boo on failed fertility treatments.  Boo on cramps.  Boo on mood swings. 
But, looking on the bright side:
Christmas is in less than a month!  And we’re going to Califo!  We have the tree set up, our stockings are hung, we’ve even begun wrapping presents!  (And by we, I mean Spencer).
We had an awesome Thanksgiving which we spent with awesome friends!  So much fun!  So much good food!  The sweet potatoes… ahhhhhhhh…the sweet potatoes.  Don’t even get me started on the pie. 
Lizzy is sleeping in my lap.  Little lamb.
I have awesome friends.  Some near, and some far away, but I am so grateful to have so many wonderful people in my life. 
My husband is THE BEST! 
Exhibit A:  Even though I ALWAYS pick “As Sisters in Zion” as the opening hymn for family home evening, he is happy to oblige.  He even knows all the words. 
Exhibit B: He watches “Confessions of a Shopaholic” with me when I get to select the movie.  Even if that is the same movie I picked last time and the time before that and possibly the time before that. 
Exhibit C: He sends me funny text messages during the day that say things like “You are the nectarine of my eye.”  (Boo on apples, ew.)
Exhibit D: He is very forgiving.  Even though I told Spencer, this morning while we were eating waffles, that I hoped his fork handle would slide into a puddle of syrup on his plate (which everyone knows you shouldn’t wish on your worst enemy), he didn’t get mad.  I took it back by the way.  I was just joking, but I know I crossed a line that should never be crossed.  It will never happen again. 
Exhibit E: He insists that I take a nap while he makes dinner on Sundays.  I feel so spoiled when he does that, but I really do appreciate the break!
It’s going to be a good week.  I have big plans to make some Christmas ornaments and do some baking. 
We’ll talk soon!  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Name Them One By One

What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 22, 2010


I wanted to share some pictures from this last weekends photo shoot.  I did a photo swap with my friend.  I got to take her little family’s pictures, and she took ours.  I’ll have to share the photos she took once we get them.  
I LOVED the location.  I was frolicking all over the field, as I tend to do when I find a lovely open space to romp around in. 
We all got burrs in our socks.  It was worth it though, very worth it.
Isn’t she cute?  I always love tweaking photos to give the same shot a different feel.  I never can decide which one I like the most.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Small Discovery

Have you ever heard of this blog?:
I love hearing people’s stories.  I love recording/collecting/sharing stories.  I find inspiration in the world around me, but most especially in people.  Doesn’t it inspire you to be a witness to someone's kindness?  Doesn’t it inspire you to see people connecting with other people?  Sharing.  Teaching.  Loving.  Doesn’t it inspire you to see someone who is living life with hope, despite obvious challenges? 
When I hear stories about people who can see the good in the world, and have a desire to contribute to it, I feel more motivated to be a better person myself.  So, I add Kelle Hampton to my ever-growing list of such people. 
I am always interested to hear a good story, so feel free to share any inspiring finds you have had lately!
P.S. I LOVE that quilt.  I am making a scrappy quilt myself right now.  Never mind that I haven’t QUITE finished my last quilt.  I am mostly obsessed with making quilt tops, that’s the fun part.  I really need to buckle down and finish them though because it’s getting out of hand I tell you. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Spy

I Spy
Recently I babysat a little boy who LOVES “I Spy” books.  We would look at one every night before I tucked him in.  It got me thinking that it would be so fun to make my own!  So, I am currently making a few of my own I Spy books to give as Christmas gifts. 
The photos are so fun to compose.  This one is a hodge podge of tickets, postcards, and other tidbits from my trip to Europe.  It has actually been a good exercise for me to post this one on my blog, because I am realizing that I should have probably even put more stuff in my next picture so it will be a little more difficult.  Not too difficult, because I’m making these for children, but perhaps a tad more challenging.  The subject matter is probably a bit complex for children anyhow, so perhaps I’ll just consider this a practice round.  Anywho…
Can you spy:
  • two red ribbons
  • the same masterpiece twice
  • a green button
  • two Eiffel towers
  • cupid
  • a yellow rose
  • the world
  • 6 diamonds
  • a teacup
  • Mona Lisa

Monday, November 15, 2010

Boom Shakalaka

(title compliments of Spencer)
Yellow.  How I love thee.  You go so well with grey and black.  You brighten dreary days.  You are unfailingly cheerful and bright.  You look excellent on purses and shoes.  Don’t tell the other colors, but lately, you have been my favorite. 
I had been planning to do a little photo shoot wearing the skirt I made over the weekend.  Spencer was kind enough to offer his services as a photographer.  I saw this ADORABLE yellow truck and knew that it would be perfect for the pictures.  I timidly asked the friendly owner of the truck if we could snap a few photos.  He was perfectly happy to oblige, much to my delight, though I think he thought I was a tad bit strange for calling his truck adorable. 
Lizzy patiently sat in the car and watched us take pictures.  I don’t know why, but this photo of her looking out the window makes me giggle.  She is so cute!  Little Stinker. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This Is My Shari:

Today, I wanted to share a little bit about one of my favorite people ever… my sister, Shari.  We have definitely had our share of sibling rivalry (when we were little we once concocted a plan to smear peanut butter all over the counter to see who mom would blame, so we could subsequently discover which daughter she loved most, the idea being that she wouldn’t blame her favorite daughter, I realize this is a run-on sentence but just go with it), but we are now the best of friends and wish that we didn’t live several states apart from each other.
Aside from being cute and funny and really fun to shop with, Shari is a very kind and giving person.  I hope she won’t mind if I share a story about her. 
Shari and her husband, Mike went out to eat for Shari’s birthday.  They noticed a couple with a baby sitting a few tables over.  The baby had obvious health problems, and it looked as though the family probably spent a lot of time in the hospital.  Shari asked Mike if they could pay for this couple’s meal, as her birthday present.  They asked the waitress if they could cover the couple’s meal anonymously and left before the little family was notified that their meal had been paid for. 
Wow.  I find her sweet act of generosity so inspiring.  That is just how she is. 
When Shari was in elementary school, she was good friends with a little girl with some obvious mental handicaps.  She would play with her on the playground, and help her make sand cakes in the sandbox.  I’m not sure how many other friends this little girl had.  But I do know that Shari reached out to her when may others didn’t.  Shari didn’t care if others viewed her as different, she just wanted to be a friend to someone in need. 
I could go on and on sharing story after story of the times that Shari has been an example to me.  I am so grateful that she is my sister.  I’m pretty lucky to have her in my life, I tell you what.  

Friday, November 12, 2010

Creating While Waiting

I recently made a big decision.  I have decided to share my feelings about infertility on this blog.  Why? 
One thing I really hope to gain from this trial, is an ability to comfort those who share my same struggles.  I feel so deeply for those who would like to start a family, but can’t.  I wish all the time there was something I could do to reach out, to lift and inspire.  I can’t do this if I am not willing to be open about my experiences.  In the past I have been very private about our situation.  I did not want to appear to be a whiner by talking about the things that are so difficult for me.  I did not want to feel vulnerable.  I did not want everyone to know that I was broken.  I was scared how I would feel if people didn’t reach back, after it had taken so much courage for me to share a painful part of myself.  I am trying to let those fears go.
I will still share crafts and pictures and things that inspire me.  This is my blog, so I thought I would share more of me than rather than compartmentalize my life.  Creativity. Infertility.  Spirituality. These are all a part of who I am. I think there is reason to share each of these in the same space because they are all what make me, me.  

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Orange Roses Are My Favorite

I was asked to teach a floral arranging class for enrichment.  Needless to say I was ECSTATIC to get to play with lots of pretty flowers.  I took Spencer with me to pick them out.  Poor guy, I don’t think he knew what he was in for.  We were shopping for flowers for quite a while.  I'll have to post some pictures of the actual arrangement...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Better Plan

I’m the kind of girl that likes to have a plan.  I carry my planner with me ALWAYS.  I like to plan each day.  I make copious to-do lists and find satisfaction in checking each item off.  I like to organize my week and month.  I like knowing what is going to happen when.  Even if there aren’t any monumental tasks for the day, I like to schedule the small things like doing laundry, painting my toenails, or even taking a nap.  Some might call it obsession; I call it organization. 
I am consistently amazed, however, at how many things in life don’t go according to plan, even when I have a meticulous schedule in place.  It can be frustrating sometimes.  But what I am grateful for today is that I have a Heavenly Father whose plan for me is better than the plan I have for myself.  I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Lesson From Heather

I taught Young Women's yesterday, and shared the following story.  It is quite long, but it is one of my absolute favorites, and has weighed heavily on my mind lately. 
“It has been several years and I am still deeply touched how in one fleeting moment, with great power, the Spirit was manifest to me through two bright blue eyes. The eyes belong to Heather; a nine year old girl with a keen mind, infectious giggle, and a determined spirit housed in a very physically restricted frame. Due to the nature of her handicaps, the simplest of life’s activities, if at all possible, are a major task. Unable to verbalize, Heather sends messages, quite efficiently, with her eyes; a direct gaze indicating “yes” and a blink meaning “no”. So through a series of questions, gazes, blinks, giggles, facial expressions, more questions and more gazes and blinks, Heather has shared her vibrant spirit and brought incredible amounts of joy into the lives of those who know her and take the time to interact with her.
As Heather’s therapist and teacher, I have sensed on many occasions that for Heather, as with other handicapped children, the veil seems to be very thin. How often I have wondered what she could teach me about the things of the Spirit if only the expression were granted.
Heather is proud of her membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is a great little missionary in her own right as she struggles to share with others that which is of most value to her.
Summer school is a fun time for special students and teachers alike. The atmosphere is relaxed and the days are short. Its purpose is to maintain basic living skills during the long break between school years.
Monday morning, as usual, Heather arrived at school with a countenance as bright as the sun in the sky. As she was wheeled off the bus, we visited about the previous weekend. When we arrived at the classroom, Heather indicated to me that she had attended Primary so I began singing some of the Primary songs, looking for an indication of familiarity on Heather’s face. A smile broke across her face in immediate recognition. Between songs I talked to Heather briefly and she responded in her usual manner. I asked Heather if I could sing my favorite Primary song “I Wonder When He Comes Again”. She responded positively and so I proceeded. At the conclusion of that song I asked Heather if she had a favorite song. Immediately her eyes focused on mine but then I faced the challenge of determining which song she loved above all others and to satisfy my own curiosity - why? Through a series of questions I discovered that it was a song she had heard in Primary. She wasn’t sure which song book it was in and most importantly, it was a song about Jesus. As I went through every possible song I could think of, to my dismay and Heather’s disappointment, none of them was the right one. I didn’t understand and concluded that Heather was confused. I had spent eight years collectively as Junior Primary Chorister and felt certain that I had not forgotten any of the songs about Jesus. But Heather refused to let the issue die. It was as if she needed for some reason for the two of us to share her favorite song. Finally I agreed that I would bring my Primary song books to school the following day and promised her that we would go through them together.
Tuesday morning Heather arrived and was wheeled into the classroom. Visually she was on the prowl for the song books. As her eyes fixed on the books across the room, she gave me a squeal and a look to let me know in no uncertain terms that she wanted to find the song—now! So we took a minute and went through the books but to no avail. She liked all of the songs but none of them were THE song.
Wednesday dawned a beautiful day. It was as if the day were created to reflect the beauty of what lay in store. Heather came to school more determined than ever that we find her song. Tucked in Heather’s wheelchair was the new hymn book. I took Heather out of her wheelchair and situated her comfortably on her stomach in a beanbag. I positioned myself on the floor at her side. Page by page we made our way through the hymn book. With each page I sang the first phrase of the song and with each page Heather’s eyes closed in a definite no. We were more than halfway through the book and I’m afraid I began to doubt the possibility of any success in the adventure but I continued. As a matter of routine I turned to the next page and began:
“There is sunshine in my soul today...”
It was as if someone had stuck her with a pin. Heather jumped and smiled; her bright eyes looking directly my way. Together we laughed and reveled in the moment of completing a three-day search. With the search ended it was time to get back to business…. Once she was situated in her chair with her head resting comfortably on my arm I said, “OK, now we can finally sing your favorite song.” With a smile on her face she listened as I began:
“There is sunshine in my soul today
More glorious and bright
Than glows in any earthly sky
For Jesus is my light...”
As I began the chorus Heather mustered all the effort she could and joined in with occasional sounds only slightly more audible than a sigh but booming with spirit to sing with me...
“Oh there’s sunshine,
Blessed sunshine
Where the peaceful, happy moments roll.
When Jesus shows His smiling face
There is sunshine in my soul.”
As I sang the words to the last line she looked at me steadily, as if to say, “I like that part.” I felt so grateful that we had found the song. Heather was so happy that it was worth the effort and then some. Little did I realize that the real message was yet to be discovered. I asked if she wanted the rest of the verses. She, of course, responded with a firm, “Yes”. I expressed my insecurity about remembering all the words since we had left the hymn book in the classroom, but decided to give it a shot anyway, so I continued:
“There is music in my soul today;
A carol to my king
And Jesus, listening can hear
The songs I cannot sing...”
“And Jesus, listening can hear the songs I cannot sing.” Heather seemed to really come to life at that line in the song. Her reaction was so strong that I stopped. I looked at her as the reality and significance of the moment pressed on my mind. I queried, “Heather, is that it? Is that what you like about the song? Is it what you want me to know? That Jesus is listening and He can near the songs you cannot sing:” She lifted her head and looked me straight in the eyes with excitement and yet almost relief evident on her face. The testimony had been borne.
I felt a great reverence at what was taking place. Feeling guided by the Spirit myself I ventured on to ask, “Heather, does Jesus talk to you in your mind and in your heart?” Immediately her little head again came up and her look was penetrating.
Knowing her close relationship with the Savior and feeling surely an answer awaited, there was one more thing I wanted to know. So with reverent anticipation I whispered, “Heather, what does He say?” My heart pounded as I viewed the clear look in her eyes as she awaited my questions so she could in fact share with me her insight. I feel that the Lord gave me the right questions to ask as I took a deep breath and proceeded. “Does He say, ‘Heather, I love you?” Her eyes were simply radiant as she confirmed that statement. I paused, swallowed and continued, “Does He say, ‘Heather, you’re special’?” With a new found energy source her arms began to wave with excitement and her eyes were as big as quarters as she looked into my face. I paused again with a lump in my throat and then followed with, “Does He say, ‘Heather, be patient, I have great things in store for you’?”
What I next witnessed, I will never forget. Heather’s head became erect, every fiber of her being seemed to be electrified as her eyes penetrated my own soul. She knew she was loved. She knew she was special. She knew she needed only be patient for great things are in store.
The moment was too sacred for further words. I leaned forward and pressed her cheek against my own. Without any words, but with bright blue eyes as windows to a valiant soul, the truth was made known.
Yes, Heather, Jesus, listening, can hear.”
(from When Life Doesn’t Seem Fair by Bruce and Joyce Erickson)
What more could you possibly add to a testimony like that?  What a sweet reminder that our Savior knows our hearts.  He loves us and I am so grateful that I never have to face hard times alone.