Sunday, December 18, 2011

On Remembering

sunrise

Hi friends!  Can we talk?

I have been thinking a lot about how our little family will be changing soon.  And I have been thinking a lot about how the birth of our baby will not only change our lives, but the lives of those around us.  So many of you have been such a support to me, and I want you to know that I am still mindful of our friends who are still waiting.  Something that is very important to me is that I don’t forget. 

I don’t want to forget the things I have felt or the things I have learned.  I know it hurts.  Infertility sucks.  I’ve been there!  Heck, I AM there!  I am SO grateful for the little miracle that is coming into our lives.  I am in no means diminishing how grateful I am for our baby when I say that infertility is still hard.

That’s not to say that we aren’t over the moon excited.  We are.  That’s not to say that my infertility pain will still be as great as someone who still waits with empty arms.  It won’t.  In spite of infertility, I still get to be a mom.  Adoption doesn’t cure infertility, but knowing that I can be a mother takes away a lot of the sting.  

I guess my point is that even though we are expecting our little miracle in a few weeks, I haven’t magically forgotten all of the pain from the past several years.  Nor would I want to.  I don’t say that in a “wallowing in self pity” kind of way, rather a “I know it’s hard and I’m still there for you” kind of way.  One of the things I struggle to understand is how people who at one time struggled with childlessness/infertility can seem to lose the sensitivity towards others that they used to desire for themselves.  I really don’t want to be that kind of person. 

So I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to strike a balance between voicing our excitement and allowing others to share in our joy, while remaining sensitive that our good news can also be hard news for some.  And then I worry that by telling all of you this, you might think that I am being too egocentric by thinking what I write here on my little blog even matters that much one way or another.  I overthink things.  It’s a gift.  But I did want to tell you how I’m feeling because you DO matter to me and I DON’T want to be a stinker.  I want you to know I’m trying. 

I found some articles that really helped me to process all of this.  The first is from An Infertile Adoptive Mom.  This was one of my favorite parts:

The main thing I wanted to get across to the audience was that they did not have to "get over" their infertility in order to choose adoption. I felt like this was the best gift I could give them. It was permission for them to still be grieving their biological child while rejoicing their child who would be theirs through adoption. I told them it was OK if they still didn't want to attend baby showers, baptisms, certain family functions, or to be around pregnant women. That didn't mean that they shouldn't adopt. It means that they are infertile and always will be. That is what they have to accept.”   

Jill (from the Happiest Sad) also wrote an AMAZING blog post (it was actually a copy of her presentation from FSA) on grief.  You really should read what she had to say.  It was so insightful to learn more about grieving from a birthmother’s perspective.  And it reminded me again that even though our experiences are different, our emotions are universal.  One thing that Jill said that really stood out to me was this:

“I should also mention that you may experience several of these feelings at once. It is possible to feel more than one emotion at a time. It doesn't mean you're crazy. It means you're human. You are absolutely allowed to feel happy for someone and jealous of them at the same time. You can feel sad and happy at the same time (and I'm the "happiest sad" chick, so trust me on this one). You can feel grateful and impatient. You can feel depressed at the same time you feel a lot of love.”

Perhaps my take home message is that I know that we are all down here on earth together to help one another.  Even if my wait is winding down, I hope that I can use the things I have learned to help lift someone else.  I want to always remember. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Made My day

I am lucky because I get to work with the most adorable elementary school students each day.  I love my job as a tutor; it is so rewarding for me to watch my little students enthusiasm for the progress they are making.  They get so excited when they are finally able to grasp a concept or answer a problem correctly.  I love watching those “light bulb” moments. 

One of my student’s asked me out of the blue one day, “Mrs. Blake, what are your fop five favorite bugs?”  I had to think for a while before supplying her with an answer.  I admit I found her question a little unusual, but kids come up with some pretty funny questions sometimes, so I didn’t think much of it. 

The next week she excitedly told me to close my eyes while she pulled a surprise for me out of her backpack.  This was her surprise gift to me:

bugs

My heart just melted.  She worked so hard to make such a thoughtful present for me; I know she spent a lot of time on drawing, coloring, and cutting out my favorite bugs.  I should have taken a close up, the little butterflies and bumblebee have eyelashes.  SO cute! 

So today this same little girl told me that she had a Christmas present for me.  She gave me a very thoughtful gift, which her mom helped her pick out, along with a handmade card.  I didn’t take a picture of the front, but here’s a peek at the inside:

card

She told me she prepared two fun activities for me.  I get to draw a nose on Rudolph (he’s pulling Santa’s sleigh in case you can’t tell), and I get to draw hair on the snowman. 

Adorable right?

This may be my favorite Christmas card I have ever gotten.  It totally made my day. 

Well, I’m off to go draw hair on my snowman. 

Nighty night. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Extra Extra

Hello friends!  I don’t know if you heard our good news.  Hop on over here to read all about it.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Confidence

spotlight1

Even though it sounds horrible to admit, Sundays can be one of the hardest days of the week. 

Most of the time, I have a really positive attitude when it comes to adoption.  I am not at all shy when it comes to sharing my feelings about adoption with friends, family, or even the check out lady at the grocery store or person sitting next to me on the airplane.  I love it!  Adoption can be such a beautiful, wonderful thing!  I truly believe that.  I have seen miracles happen and I have seen so many lives blessed through adoption. 

Recently one of our friends commented to me, “You seem really open about discussing your experiences with adoption.”  It was one of the nicest compliments I had ever received.  I am so passionate about sharing adoption information because so much of the information out there is inaccurate or less-than positive.  I’m not generally a very, shall we say, talkative person by nature, so that our friend recognized how strongly I feel about adoption meant a lot.  Being open about most things does not come naturally to me, but I am willing to pour my heart into the things that matter most to me.  Adoption is one of those things. 

Occasionally, however, I’ll have days where I feel a little frightened. 

Adoption IS beautiful and IS wonderful, but like any potential parent (adoptive or biological) I sometimes have my worries.  “What if our child makes poor decisions?”  “What if we have lots of contention in our home and have trouble getting along?”  “What if he or she doesn’t like me?”  I know that parenting doesn’t always mean you are going to be “liked”, but I am so grateful for my parents and have a fabulous relationship with them.  They are truly some of my best friends.  I want that someday!  I want my child to have a good relationship with me.  I want them to know how much they were and are wanted.  I want them to know how much I love them. 

These worries are sometimes compounded by adoption fears.  “What if our child one day resents the fact that they were adopted?”  “What if our child is made to feel less than others because they don’t look like us?” “What if our child thinks that we don’t understand where they are coming from because we don’t share the same genes?”  Perhaps some of my concerns are silly.  What can I say, I’m kind of a worrier (Spencer or my Mom will vouch for this.  It’s very very true, bless my heart).  I do know that Satan does NOT want eternal families to be created.  I know that he will try his hardest to work on my fears.

My point is, I have had my days that are dark or discouraging.  I have had my times where I wonder if I can do it.  These days often happen to be on Sunday.  It’s hard to be surrounded by little families, when we want that so much for ourselves.  As a side note there were THREE baby blessings today (buckle up, right?).  They were beautiful blessings.  I was just feeling a little wistful waiting for our turn someday.  I feel like I don’t really fit in.  It is in those weaker moments that fear creeps in. 

It can be hard to live for what you know is right, even when the future can seem a little scary. 

Perhaps my favorite talk in the whole widest world is “Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence,” by Elder Holland.  If you haven’t heard it or read it, I urge you to do so now.  I promise it will be well worth your time.  I may or may hot have every BYU devotional given by Elder Holland memorized.  I’ve listened to them so often, I know them by heart.  But this one is my absolute FAVORITE.  In fact, this talk played a role in my relationship with Spencer (but that’s another story for another day).

Here is one of my favorite parts:

There are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been genuine illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don't give up when the pressure mounts… Don't give in. Certainly don't give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. He wants everyone to be miserable like unto himself. Face your doubts. Master your fears. "Cast not away therefore your confidence." Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you. 

I love to read this talk on the days I may be struggling.  It reminds me that I can do it.  Heavenly Father has confidence in me.  He will help me do hard things.  Our family will come together in the way it was meant to.  More importantly than having confidence in me, I have confidence in HIM.  I know that God keeps his promises.  I also know that there is power in the sealing covenant.  I will not be left alone as I am doing His work and striving to build our family. 

Maybe my child won’t always like me.  Maybe our child won’t always make perfect decisions GASP.  :).  The road to creating our family can be bumpy sometimes; I know that.  There are no guarantees. 

I love the story in Matthew of Christ walking on the water.

25 And ain the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.

26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of goodacheer; it is I; be not afraid.

28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was aafraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little afaith, wherefore didst thoubdoubt?

It’s interesting that while Peter kept his sight on the savior, he was fine.  It wasn’t until he focused on the storm that be became afraid and began to sink. 

The storms going to be there.  One way or another, it just will be.  I can’t do much to change that fact, but I can chose where to put my focus.  Right now I’m trying to focus on Him.

It will be okay.   

Monday, November 28, 2011

Infertility Sensitivity

dress

I made this outfit for my little niecelette due to make her appearance in just a few weeks!  EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!  Please note that the flower is on a headband and not just awkwardly connected to the front of the onesie.  This picture would be much cuter if there was a baby modeling it, but you will just have to wait a bit longer for that one :).

I had an awesome conversation with my sister (the one who was oh so kind to sponsor the media blitz for us, also known as the one who is having the baby that is going to look so fetching in that pink/grey/black/white little number above, okay that made it sound like lingerie, but you know what I mean right? right.) the other day.

She asked me “How do you wish people would have responded when you told them about your struggle with infertility?”

Spencer and I were so grateful that she asked us this for a few reasons.  First of all, it showed that she cares.  She cares about us and our feelings, and of course we reciprocate.  Second of all, no one has ever asked me that before.  It has given Spencer and me a lot to think about and talk about.  It was so refreshing to have someone ask what we needed.

I know everyone is different, so I can’t speak for all those who have struggled with infertility, but I tried to give her some insight into our experience.  After our conversation, I wanted to share some of our thoughts with you.  While by no means is this list comprehensive, hopefully it will still provide some ideas for approaching a friend/relative who struggles with infertility.  I should also mention that Vita Alligood wrote a SUPERB article on Infertility Etiquette.  I would highly recommend that you also use her article as a resource.  I won’t try to reconstruct her ideas, but do desire to add to them.  So, without further ado, I give you:

INFERTILITY SENSITIVITY:

1. At what point do you say something to the friend you suspect is struggling with infertility?

If your friend confided in you that she is struggling with infertility, then she is asking you to be there for her through her struggle.  It takes guts to say, “Hey I have this really personal problem and I don’t want to go through this alone.”  If they say they are having a hard time then, by golly, that is them asking for a hug or a “I’m sorry, I bet that’ hard,” or something like unto it. 

If you do not know for certain whether or not your friend is struggling with infertility, then you do not need to be the one to broach the subject, but that also doesn’t mean you can’t be sensitive.  For example, if your friend has been married for three years, likes kids, says she wants kids, but doesn’t have kids… it would probably not be sensitive to ask her when she’s “gonna buckle down and have one of her own already.”  Teasing/hinting/prying/inquiring are NOT sensitive.  She may not want to spill her guts to you.  She may not need you to listen to a play by play of all her problems.  But sensitivity is always appreciated, even if she doesn’t want to talk about it. 

2. How do you know if your friend wants to talk about it or not?

Ask her.  My sister did this when we first told our family about our struggles with infertility.  She called me and said, “I don’t know if you want to talk about it, but I wanted to see how you were doing.”  It was the perfect response.  She let us know that she cared while still giving us the opportunity to take the space we needed. 

In our conversation a few days ago, my sister told me that one of her fears in approaching someone struggling with infertility is that she might ruin what would have been a good day by reminding her friend of her struggles.  Believe me, your friend will at no point forget about her infertility.  Compassion will NEVER ruin a good day.  Does that mean you need to ask about her infertility EVERY time you see her?  Of course not.  However, if you ask how she is really doing occasionally she will be so grateful.  It is better to ask how she is doing than how things are going.  “Things” will likely be the same (i.e. lots of crappy treatments, still no baby).  But she will have ups and downs, good days and bad days.  Her circumstances may not change, but the way she experiences them will. 

3. How do I tell my infertile friend that I’m pregnant?

A simple e-mail or phone call is very thoughtful.  We have appreciated friends and family members who have let us know privately that they are expecting, and that meant a lot.  A little advance notice absolutely means the world.  Large surprise announcements with confetti and fireworks are really difficult for someone struggling with infertility. 

You must understand this: Your friend is NOT upset at you for having children.  She is mourning the loss of being left behind… again.  I know it is difficult to imagine, but try very hard to put yourself in her shoes.  Think of the thing you want more than anything else in the whole world.  Then, imagine most everyone you know and love receiving that one one thing that you desire so desperately, but your arms are left empty.  Imagine seeing this happen over and over again year after year.  It’s hard.  It just is.  Understand that she is happy for you, but that your announcement will be painful.  

4. Should I invite my infertile friend to my baby shower?

Certainly.  I would add a little note explaining that you understand if it is too difficult for her to attend, but that you wouldn’t want her to feel left out because you care about her.  Don’t exclude her.  Chances are that even though she’s struggling, she is really happy for you and wants to share in your joy, whether that be by participating in the festivities or just sending a gift. 

 

I know that infertility can be a difficult subject to address.  But I’ve said it before: heart speaks to heart.  If your friend is struggling with infertility she is experiencing the trial of her life.  Your kindness and sensitivity will mean the world. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Nature Walk

I went for a walk in the canyon today, and the view was too lovely not to share.

The colors are breathtaking this time of year.  No matter how many photos I snapped, I could just not quite do justice to the real thing…

sky

…Not that it stopped me from trying. 

And I got to thinking about my favorite talk from conference, by Elder Cook, “It Is Better To Look Up.”  I loved that talk.  So much.  I love the concept of up.  I love that things can look up, people can cheer up, and hopes can rise up. 

When I was walking through the canyon with my eyes downcast this was all I could see:

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Not much of a view is it?  When I was looking down all I could focus on was the shadows.  And look what I would have missed out on if I wouldn’t have looked up:

up1up2up3up4

My walk caused me to come to the following realization: when I’m feeling downcast and only focusing on putting one foot in front of the other, I totally miss out on the beauty of the world (and even more importantly, the people) around me.  Looking down leads to self absorption.  How many opportunities I miss to reach out to those around me when I’m too busy looking at my feet. 

It really is better to look up. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Uplifted

 

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I have been reflecting on how sometimes I feel so small.  My intent is good, but often I have felt like my efforts alone don’t make enough of a difference.  I do my best, but I haven’t done anything earth shattering or world changing.  I enjoy reaching out to others, but my reach doesn’t seem to extend as far as I would like. 

Have you ever felt that way? 

It is easy to think that our influence is small.  But I have been so grateful for each contribution made on our behalf, no matter how simple.  The little things our dear friends and family members have done for us have literally meant the world.

I was recently re-reading Elder Ballard’s talk “The Atonement and the Worth of One Soul.”  He said something that has really resonated with me:

“Sadly, in today’s world, a person’s importance is often judged by the size of the audience before which he or she performs. That is how media and sports programs are rated, how corporate prominence is sometimes determined, and often how governmental rank is obtained. That may be why roles such as father, mother, and missionary seldom receive standing ovations. Fathers, mothers, and missionaries “play” before very small audiences. Yet, in the eyes of the Lord, there may be only one size of audience that is of lasting importance—and that is just one, each one, you and me, and each one of the children of God. The irony of the Atonement is that it is infinite and eternal, yet it is applied individually, one person at a time.”

I know I have fell into the habit of measuring my worth.  The number of blog followers.  The dress size.  The amount of money you make.  The number of children you have.  It is tempting to try and quantify your worth.  Everything in this world is measured by numbers.  But not the worth of souls.  The worth of souls is GREAT.  So great that no number or measurement could begin to capture the value. 

Every time someone reaches out to me I am reminded that simple acts of service are often the most meaningful and powerful.  I begin to realize anew that our influence is greater than we give ourselves credit for.

Thank you dearest friends for your support yesterday! 

 

Don’t forget to hop on over to our adoption blog and enter our giveaway. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Don’t Be Shy

Spencer and I have chosen to be very open about our desire to adopt.  When people ask if we have children, I’m usually quick to respond, “Not yet, but we are approved to adopt our first child!”  Spencer is equally eager to share how excited we are to find our baby through adoption.

It wasn’t easy at first to readily share our hope for children.  After all, for most couples, growing their family is a very private matter.  They don’t have to tell all of their friends and family about their desire to conceive.  Sorry to put it bluntly, but it really only takes two of them to make it happen.  Of course there are individuals who struggle with infertility who need the help of doctors and support of friends and family to bring their baby home.  However, as a general rule, making a baby is a personal endeavor. 

The thing is, we know that it will be difficult to find our baby alone.

Only 1% of babies that could be placed for adoption, actually are. The vast majority of unwed mothers choose to abort or parent the child.  There are actually more couples hoping to adopt then there are babies to be adopted.       
 
That is why we ask for help. 

Our chances of finding our baby are so much greater with the assistance of friends and family.  The more adoption blog buttons that are out there, the more likely our birthmom will find our blog.  The more people who follow our blog, the more traffic that flows to our blog.  The more people who like our page on Facebook, the more likely that someone who can help us will see our adoption information.  The more people who have our pass along cards, the more people there are to share them. 

Your help is so greatly appreciated because you can help us reach so many more people than we ever could alone.


Believe me, tooting my own horn is not my cup of tea.  I have never been one to enjoy being the center of attention.  It is a little embarrassing to ask people to help spread the word.  When we sent our first e-mail sharing with family members our desire to grow our family, I was almost in shock afterwards.  I have never felt so vulnerable.  It is so hard to ask for help.  It is so hard to share the deepest desires of our hearts.

I do know that sometimes we have to ask for support to receive it.  I know that Heavenly Father is waiting to bless our family.  I also know that He desires to help those who are trying to help themselves. 

If you are a couple hoping to adopt, help Him help you.  Share your desires with others.  Ask for help.  I know it’s hard, but I do know that you will be so grateful for the support. 

My sweet sister, Shari, and her husband, Mike, are “sponsoring” a media blitz for us today.  If you would like to participate, we would be so grateful.  I know that Heavenly Father uses us to bless the lives of each other.  We are ever grateful for the support of our dear friends. 
Below are the details of the event:

Dear Friends and Family,

As most all of you know, my sister Whitney and her husband Spencer have been officially approved to adopt! I think we would all agree that they are absolutely amazing people and will be absolutely amazing parents.

Mike and I had the idea to "sponsor" a media blitz for them. Would you all be willing to help us? The idea is to use all the personal/craft/food/media blogs, facebook profiles, or any other form of social media you may have to get their names and faces out there. We will be blitzing on Monday September 26.

I know that many of you have already added Whitney and Spencer's buttons to your blogs or shared about them on FB, and we want to take that one step further - so we are asking you to please share again on one specific day. This Monday, Mike and I will be posting on our facebooks throughout the day links to Spencer and Whitney's adoption blog, profile, and FB page. We will also be writing on our blog about Whitney and Spencer. We will then in turn ask the people who see those posts to share them with people they know through facebook or blogs. We want to create a chain reaction to lead people all over the country to their adoption profile.
There's no specific time of day or number of posts that we're asking for and you can all do it in your own way. You are welcome to simply copy and paste our blog post (I will be posting Monday morning), or share our FB links. We would just love it if everyone did what they felt would be helpful.

Here is the link to Spencer and Whitney's adoption profile:
https://itsaboutlove.org/ial/profiles/26506714/ourMessage.jsf

And here is the link to their adoption blog:
http://spencerandwhitneyadoption.blogspot.com/

Please feel free to forward this email to any other people you think might be interested. Thank you for supporting them and we are excited to all work together this Monday!

Love,
Mike and Shari Satko

P.S. I am doing a giveaway to thank all of you lovely friends who have helped us spread the word.  Hop on over to our adoption blog to find out how to enter. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Breaking News

 

WE

ARE

APPROVED

 

 

 

(WE ARE APPROVED!)… to adopt of course.

Yes we are. Yes we are!

Hooray!

Feel free to visit our profile,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Black and White Photos

I had the COOLEST photo opportunity this weekend.  You can hop over here to see more cute pictures like this one:

zebra1

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Getting Our Hopes Up

hotairballoon1

My dear friend Katie sent me a link to this post.  And it has gotten me thinking. 

Our family is growing.  You can’t see it yet, but we are. 

So many times I have hoped for our baby, but not allowed myself to get too excited yet.  Adoption has quite a mysterious gestation period.  I haven’t wanted to get my hopes up too high when we very likely have a long wait ahead of us.  We could potentially be parents in a few months… or a few years.   

But what good is it to have your hopes down?

I don’t know how long we have to wait to find our baby. 

I do know that he or she is coming.  I have felt it. 

So I have let myself do a little planning.  We decided on a theme for the nursery, one that will work for a baby boy or baby girl.  And I made some vintage hot air balloon models to hang from the ceiling.  They make me so happy.  It was so much fun to make something for our baby. 

020

Sometimes people don’t know how to react when we tell them we are adopting.  They know, as we do, that sometimes failed placements happen and sometimes adoption can be hard.  Some well-meaning individuals have felt the need to warn us of possible worst-case scenarios.  But you don’t tell someone who announces their pregnancy, “You, know, you might have a miscarriage.”  You are happy for them and hopeful that all will go well.

There might be some bumps in the road.  However, I believe that things will work out.  I would rather live with positivity than with fear or skepticism.  We’re choosing to take problems as they come, rather than fretting about what might be.  We are not na├»ve, just optimistic. 

It’s a much happier way of being. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This Makes Four

This may not be the best picture of my latest quilt (my fourth one!  Boo-yeah!), but hopefully you get the general idea.  I made this for my sister, Chelsey, for her high school graduation/going to college gift.  I was literally packing it in my suitcase when I realized that I hadn’t even taken a picture of all of my hard work before it made its way to its new home.  *GASP* So I quickly snapped a few pictures before heading out the door. 
quilt
Chelsey is a music performance major, so I found this fabric to be very appropriate.  I took Spencer with me to pick it out.  He just LOVES helping me pick out fabric, let me tell you.  It’s his favorite thing EVER.  Nothing like strolling up and down aisles of craft supplies, rubbing elbows with a bunch of coupon clutching women, while your wife agonizes over which polka dot print is best.  He’s a good sport though, he really is.  And he did tell me that the fabrics I picked out were very “Chelseyish,” which is totally what I was going for.
quilt2
I was excited to realize that I’m getting a bit better with every quilt.  This was my best one yet. 
quilt2
I was especially pleased that it matched the theme of her room.  I spent a lot of time sneakily urging Chelsey to get a bedspread with pink or green in it so it would match.  The quilt was a surprise gift, so I didn’t want to give anything away as I offered my humble decorating advice and subtle hints like, “I really wish I would have decorated my dorm room in pink.  It’s my one college regret.”  I’m just kidding.  Pink is her favorite color so I knew that’s what she’d pick anyways.  I wouldn’t coerce my sister in to decorating her dorm room my way. 
Right Chelsey?
Right?   

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Book Launch Party and Movie Screening

So remember that AWESOME book I was talking about?  


Well, if you liked my book/movie recommendation, or even if you haven't gotten a chance to check it out yet, I have a super cool event to tell you about.  

To celebrate the book release of "My Girlfriend's Boyfriend," a launch party is being held at 5 pm on Saturday, September 10th at Jordan Commons, 9400 S. State Street, Sandy, Utah. The fete, which is open to the public, will feature a screening of the movie beginning at 6 pm to benefit Project Read, prizes provided by local companyand a featured plotline in the movie and novelXlear, the makers of Spry Gum, and a book signing with Barnes & Noble. 

Plus, Elodia Strain, the author of the book, is going to be there.  So is Daryn Tuffts, the writer and director of the movie.  

How cool is that?  I am jealous of all of you people who live in Utah who have the option of attending.  I wanna go so bad!  Alas the journey would take me many moons... or at least many hours.  Sigh...  

Some of you will just have to go for me and tell me all about it.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Angels

I am so overwhelmed that I hardly know where to begin. 

I think one of the most painful human emotions is loneliness.  Infertility can create some very lonely times.  The time when you are sitting in church listening to a lesson on parenthood.  The time when you are at lunch with your friends trying to smile while they swap pregnancy stories.  The time when you're at a baby shower wondering if your turn will ever come.  The time when you hide out in your home on Mother's Day trying to forget that you don't fit in.  The time when you fall in a heap on the bathroom floor because it didn't work...again.  It's lonely living in a world where many people simply can't understand your pain.  

Then, the reminders that I'm not alone come.  The hand-made card in the mail.  The sweet e-mail from a person I've never even met.  The cheerful phone call.  The thoughtful text.  The unexpected visit or plate of cookies.  The warm hug.  The peaceful feeling in my heart that my Savior knows my pain and has suffered it for me.  

This morning I logged on to my e-mail to find dozens upon dozens of messages, each one containing words of encouragement and hope.  Words simply cannot describe what this means to me.  

Kari, over at Ucreate wrote the sweetest post about Spencer and me.  I am still in awe that she took time out of her busy day to do something so kind for us.  

Thank you, thank you sweet friends.  Thank you for reminding me that I am never alone!  Thank you for caring!  Thank you for your support!  Words truly seem inadequate to describe how much this means to me.  You are amazing, and I am very humbled to be the recipient of your kindness.  You are my angels.   

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chelsetto

Take a look at this picture:


This is my little sister, Chelsey.  Did you think for a second that it was a picture of me?  I am sort of creeped out how eerily she looks like me in that photo.  If I wouldn't have taken it, I might have wondered if it actually WAS a picture of me.  We look a lot alike.  In a lot of ways, we act alike too.  Even though we're eight years apart in age, she's one of my best friends.  


This girl just started her first semester of college at BYU.  I went with my parents to drop her off, and was kind of having a heart attack the whole time because my baby sister is in college!  That makes me OLD!   


I sound like a geezer saying this, but I'm going to do it anyways.  It seriously doesn't seem all that long ago when Chelsey was just a little girl.  

Even in my youth, I loved to dabble in photography.  Chelsey was often my unwilling subject.  I would bribe her to let me fix her hair and put make-up on her and let me take her picture.  I would set up my own little photography studio using a sheet as a backdrop and have Chesley pose for me for as long as her patience could stand it.  I should seriously track down some of those photos to share with you guys.  They were awesome.  

When I was looking at these senior pictures I took of her, I kind of got choked up remembering the little girl whose picture I had taken so many times.  

She's all grown up.  She's all grown up and so beautiful and off on her own big adventure.  How did that happen so fast?


I am so grateful for her example.  She is so wonderful, talented, kind, and genuine.  I know she's going to do amazing things with her life.  I can't wait to see what's in store for her.  I'm so proud of my little sister.  

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Girlfriend's Boyfriend



Okay you guys.  I just read the BEST book.  It's by one of my favorite authors, Elodia Strain.  I've written about her books before.  Her newest book is called My Girlfriend's Boyfriend.

It. Is. So. Good.

I started reading it one evening and stayed up way too late to finish it that same night.  I truly couldn't put it down.  Elodia is masterful at creating characters that are quirky, endearing, and real.  I am always able to connect with what they are feeling and experiencing.  Her book is funny but also inspiring.  I laughed out loud while reading it in the bookstore; I'm sure I looked like a total weirdo.  I was in tears by the end of the book, it was really that good.

I don't want to give too much away, so I won't share any more.  Even though it is kind of killing me to not share my favorite parts and all of the things I learned.  I'm the kind of person that hates even reading the synopsis because I don't like knowing too much about a book before I read it.  Just know this: it is awesome and you will love it.    

Also, did you know that My Girlfriend's Boyfriend is a movie?  The movie actually came first.  I had to watch it the day after I finished the book.  It was also REALLY good.  You can watch it for free on hulu here.  Or I believe you can watch it on Netflix.  And you should because I think you will really enjoy it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hip Hip Hooray

See this cute couple?

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This is my very dear friend, Emily, her awesome husband Richard, and her cute puppy Carly!!! You remember Emily?  I wrote about her here.  And her and Richard’s adoption blog button is just over there on the sidebar. >>> 

Emily is the most sensitive, cheerful, sweet, thoughtful, adorable person you will ever meet.  We were roommates in college and had SO much fun together: 

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We even dressed up like old men together for Halloween (Richard included), and if THAT doesn’t solidify a friendship for life, I don’t know what does.

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She’s been there for me through some very hard times.  While I was still up at school, my dad had to have a very delicate brain surgery.  Emily and another sweet roommate, Rachel, fasted and prayed with me that day.  It was so hard to be away from my family at that time, but such a comfort to have good friends! 

And I’m really excited for my Emily because she found out yesterday that she and Richard are approved to adopt!

HOORAY!

They have been waiting SO long for their baby!  And they will make truly wonderful parents!  I can’t wait to watch their little family grow! 

I sure love you Em!  Thanks for being my friend! 

Please go visit her adoption blog, and be sure to tell her “hi!”

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Enjoy

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Hello?… Is anyone still there?

I realize it’s been far too long since I’ve updated ye ole’ blog.  We’ve been, you know, packing, packing, packing, moving, unpacking, unpacking, unpacking, visiting with family, starting a new job, getting settled, STARTING ADOPTION PAPERWORK (WOOT), and making friends.

But, I’ve truly missed my blog friends :) I used to think it was kind of corny when people said that.  I thought it was kind of strange to have a “friendship” with someone you had never even met in person.  I get it now.  Frankly, I don’t know tons and tons of people that are going through infertility.  I know even fewer that have adopted/are hoping to adopt.  It has been a comfort to me to “meet” women who are experiencing the same things I am.  It’s refreshing to connect with people who completely get it.  Your sweet comments always brighten up my day.  Truly, I love hearing what is going on in your lives.  I never expected to find such support, but I’m grateful. 

I have been evaluating my life lately.  Big changes always lead to deep introspection, and a twenty-four hour drive to our new home gave me lots of opportunity for thinking. 

All this thinking led to a sort of quarter-life crisis.  It sometimes scares me that I am twenty-five and still not entirely sure what I want to do with the rest of my life.  I keep plugging along, but sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever “get there.” 

One night in frustration, I pleaded with God to know what he wants me to be.  I told him I would do anything, however impossible it may seem.  The answer was clear.  “I don’t want you to do the impossible, I just want you to be Whitney.” 

Being a good wife, daughter, sister, aunt, young women’s leader, and friend is enough.  I may not do anything remarkable, but that's okay.  Most of us are just ordinary people trying to do our best, right?

Enjoy what you have.

I’ve been trying to do just that.  The time spent with family was so precious to me.  I am so blessed to have such a sweet husband.  I am so grateful for the miracles our family has experienced lately.  I’ve been trying to scale back on the superfluous things and really enjoy the special blessings in my life right now. 

I don’t expect I’ll be posting on this blog as often for the next little while.  We’re focusing on building our family right now, so we’re going to try and do a better job of keeping up our adoption blog.  You can find me over there :)

And if it isn’t too much to ask, could you do me a favor?  If you haven’t already done so, could you add our adoption button to your blog/become a follower of our adoption blog?  It’s a little embarrassing to ask, I’ve never been one to toot my own horn or put a plug in for myself, but we know that we need the help and support of our friends to find our baby. 

The more buttons that are out there, the more opportunities for potential birth parents to find us.  The more followers we have, the more traffic that flows to our blog.  It’s quite humbling for me to ask for help, but I can do it for our baby. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Joy

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Just a few days ago we got the blessed news that spencer was offered a job as a morning anchor for a TV station in Idaho! 

We’re so grateful, excited, overwhelmed… happy just doesn’t begin to cover it.  We’re kind of walking on air.  We have loved our time here in Texas and made some wonderful friends.  But the time has definitely come to move on, and we hope that we will FINALLY be able to make some progress on adoption now! 

I’ve spent much of the week in tears.  The good kind.  I’m just a tearful person I guess (I must take after my mom hee hee), as all of my emotions tend to leak out my eyes.  I cry when I’m sad.  I cry when I’m mad.  I cry when I’m glad.  Sheesh. 

So I’ve been busy packing, cleaning, packing, garage selling, packing, and getting ready to move in just a couple weeks.  I may not be around much for a little while.  But I was so excited to share our news!  Any of you who live in the Boise area will have to give me good ideas of fun things to do there! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Have a Lovely Day

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I hope you all have a lovely Friday!  May your weekend be sunny! 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

You + Me

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I’ve been making lots of stuff lately.

Mostly I’ve been making lots and lots of stumps. 

Yep, stumps. 

I love love love the little carving.  I see all sorts of possibilities here.  I made one with “S & W” in a heart.  And I love it too. 

I’ll show ya later. 

For now, I'm off to enjoy the most beautiful weather we’ve had all week. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Good Timber

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The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.



The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.



Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees,
The further sky, the greater length,
The more the storm the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.



Where thickest lies the forest growth
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.



-Douglas Malloch

Friday, May 13, 2011

The World Is Mine

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Today upon a bus, I saw a lovely maiden with golden hair.
I envied her, and I wished I were as fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one foot and wore a crutch.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two feet the world is mine.

And when I stopped to buy some sweets,
The lad who sold them had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
And as I left, he said to me,
"Thank you.  You've been so kind.
It's nice to talk with folks like you.
You see," he said,  "I'm blind."
Oh God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two eyes the world is mine.

Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play,
It seemed he knew not what to do.
I stopped a moment then I said,
"Why don't you join the others dear?"
He looked ahead without a word.

And then I knew he could not hear.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two ears the world is mine.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
With feet to take me where I'd go.
With eyes to see the sunset's glow.
With ears to hear what I'd know.

Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I'm blessed indeed, the world is mine.

-Red Foley

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Mother’s Heart

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I love my mother.  She is truly one of my best friends.  My mom (along with my dad) knows better than anyone how to mourn with those who mourn, and comfort those who stand in need of comfort.  I don’t know how she does it, but when my world comes crashing down, sometimes she’s the only one with the words to mend my broken heart.  I want to be just like that.  I want to be just like her.

While I delight to honor my mother on this special day, I am always mindful of those who feel left out.  Those who would love to have babies, but can’t.  Those who would love to be married, but aren’t.  Those who have lost mothers.  Those who have lost children.  Sometimes the reminders can be so very painful.

I know what it’s like to be left out.  To be skipped over.  To be told that my contributions don’t count.  I know what it feels like to feel alone and forgotten. 

So while I honor my wonderful mother, and mother in law, I also honor all of the other women who have reached out to me with a mothers heart.  Whether or not they have children of their own.  Your contributions DO count.  Your efforts matter!  Your kindness and goodness matter, especially to me!  I am so grateful for you and for the impact you have had on my life.  I’m grateful for the texts/phone calls/e-mails/letters that come right when I need it the most.  I wanted to celebrate you special ladies today too.  Sending a big hug to those who need it!

Love,

Me    

Monday, May 2, 2011

Quilt Numero Dos

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TA-DA!!! It’s finally finished!  This one was also almost entirely hand-stitched.  Hence the reason it took me several months to complete.  Though lots of people think I’m crazy, I am a big fan of sewing by hand.  I worked on this quilt at the airport, in the doctors office, in the car waiting to pick up Spencer…  I love being able to work on crafty projects when I have a bit of spare time.
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I LOVE how the final product turned out.  It’s random scrappy hodge-podge of colors brightens up pictures of picnics and outings.  It just makes me happy!  And I love that it contains a little piece of all of my sewing projects so far.  It's already filled with good memories.  I have definitely been bitten by the quilting bug.  I’m working on my third quilt and already have plans for my fourth.   

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I asked Spencer to hold the quilt up so I could get a couple of shots of it all spread out.  This wasn’t quite what I had in mind.  Silly boy. 

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Little lamb.  I already have plans for another photo shoot featuring this quilt (just can’t get enough).  Stay tuned.