Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bust a Myth

I’ve really liked reading what people have to say about infertility during National Infertility Awareness Week.  One of the things that has helped me the most during this journey is meeting people who share the same struggles I do.  I wanted to share a few of my favorite “Bust a Myth” posts that were written by my bloggy friends.   

I really like what my friend Julie had to say about “fault” and infertility.  Savannah wrote a beautiful post about not needing children to be a family.  Ashley chose to address the myth “as soon as you adopt you’ll get pregnant” (I think that’s the one we’ve gotten the most).  Kenna, who is hilarious by the way, discussed the myth that individuals who struggle with infertility “hate/despise/resent/won’t be friends with” individuals who don’t.  Lindsey busted a few myths;  I especially like what she had to say about “getting over” infertility.

In honor of NIAW, Lindsey is hosting a giveaway on her blog, the r house.  Hop on over for a chance to win a copy of Infertility: Help, Hope, and Healing by Kerstin Daynes.

Thanks for sharing guys!     

Wednesday, April 27, 2011



Since our anniversary was yesterday, I wanted to share my favorite talk on eternal marriage.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Three Years

I am so grateful that he’s mine to keep forever. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Pain of Silence

I stumbled upon “Bust an Infertility Myth Blog Challenge” (sponsored by RESOLVE) a few weeks ago and decided that I really wanted to participate.  You can learn more about national infertility awareness week here.    

I think in a lot of ways Spencer and I have been really lucky.  For the most part we haven’t gotten a lot of rude remarks regarding our situation.  I have never been told to “just relax.”  So far, we haven’t had anyone tell us we’re “doing it wrong” (knock on wood).  To tell you the truth, I have been more hurt by the things that HAVEN’T been said more than the things that have.

Therefore, the myth that I particularly wanted to challenge is this:
It is better to not say anything to couples struggling with infertility than to risk saying something wrong.   

I don’t want this to come across the wrong way.  I am not trying to make anyone feel guilty.  We have so many supportive friends and family members.  To all of you, I thank you.  Thank you for being there for us.  Thank you for offering your love.  Thank you for the letters, phone calls, comments, and hugs.  Thank you, thank you for letting us know that we are not alone.  

My heart aches for those who don’t have the support system we do.  Perhaps you know someone who struggles with infertility.  Chances are, you know multiple someone's.  I know it can be hard to know the proper way to respond.  I have been there myself!  Many people are afraid of saying the wrong thing.  They don’t want to make the situation worse.  Some individuals, with children, may feel like they don’t know what to say because they can’t relate to what it is like to struggle with infertility.  Because some people don’t know what to say, they don’t say anything. 

Silence can be devastating. 

I will tell you about the first time we shared our struggles with infertility with our family.  I was nervous.  No, I was beyond nervous I was terrified.  We had talked for months about whether or not we should share our burden with others.  Spencer wanted to tell our family our story.  He knew that our dear family would pray for us.  He knew that they would be there for us.  I was hesitant to share the deepest feelings of my heart.  I really don’t like asking for help.  I was of the opinion that we should deal with the situation on our own. 

We eventually decided that before we began aggressive fertility treatments, we would tell our family some of the details.  One Monday evening, we sat down at the computer and composed an e-mail.  It was a difficult e-mail to write, but even more difficult to send.  We actually said a prayer before we sent it off, because I was so scared of their reactions. 

After we hit “send” I thought, “Did I really just do that?  Did I really just share the most vulnerable part of my heart with all those people?”  I felt very exposed, to say the least. 

At first people didn’t know what to say.  It was a learning process for all of us.  Spencer and I had to learn how to humble ourselves and ask for support.  We then had to learn how to receive it.  Was it hard?  Yes.  Was it worth it?  Yes.

Even though it was the most embarrassing thing I have ever done, I am so grateful that we shared our struggles with infertility and our desire for parenthood.  The kindness and that has been shown us has literally carried us through some difficult times.  The kind letters of compassion have been lovingly read and re-read.  The sweet words of encouragement have been written in our journal to reflect upon during difficult times.

So to those of you who don’t know what to say to help your friend struggling with infertility, I offer this advice:  say something.  Even if your words aren’t perfect.  Even if you feel inadequate to offer your support.  Even if you feel like you can’t understand their pain.  Heart speaks to heart.  However imperfect you may feel your offering of comfort is, the sincerity of your feelings will come shining through. 

You don’t have to say a lot.  Sometimes all it takes is a hug.  Sometimes all it takes is a:

“I’m sorry you have to go through this.”

“We’re thinking about you!”

“We love you.”

“We’re praying for you.”

Just don’t leave them wondering whether or not you care.  It took so much courage for them to open up.  The fact that they told you they are struggling, is a huge sign of trust. 

Infertility is difficult enough as it is; no couple should have to struggle through it alone. 
To learn more about infertility, please visit here.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Silver Lining

silver lining
It maybe didn’t start out as the best day.  Spencer’s computer bit the dust.  Not so convenient.  We’ve been praying all week for a very important phone call.  Still haven’t heard.  Lots of nail biting and hair pulling going on around our house today.
I FINALLY finished my very second quilt.  I am so proud.  I spent lots of the day looking forward to this outdoor photo shoot I had planned to showcase my latest creation.  Spencer got home from work.  He grabbed the quilt and I grabbed my camera.  We stepped outside. 
But the rain made me so very very happy.     
I’m sure you’ve heard about all the fires going on in Texas.  1.5 million acres of charred land.  Homes lost.  Lives lost.  Our governor Rick Perry called on Texans to pray for rain.  So we’ve been asking Heavenly Father to bless our state with the moisture it so desperately needs. 
He listened.
We could certainly use more, but I have a feeling more is on the way.  We’ll take what we can get.
For now, I’m so grateful for what we have.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Picnic For Two

Here are a couple more little woodland fellows for your viewing pleasure.  As I was posting these pictures, I was thinking I should have made a picnic basket.  Another time maybe. 
The skunk does, in fact, have eyeballs.  They just didn’t photograph so well for some reason.  Little stinker. 
My woodland fellows sure do love their junk food.  No wonder the baby owls are so fat.  All they ever eat is doughnuts, hamburgers, ice cream… I did think about making healthy snacks like apples and carrots.  But pancakes and hot dogs were just more fun to make, and to look at.  I guess that is what my little critters will be eating.  So sue me PETA. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Playing With Color

I had this blank canvas that had been sitting on my shelf for a couple of months now.  So I decided to get it out and play.
I have this thing for color.  I really do.  I like to take pictures of spools of thread or paint chip samples or skeins of yearn all lined up neatly on the shelf according to color.  I love to organize my craft supplies in rainbow color order.  And there are few things more satisfying than mixing several different colors together to get just the shade you were looking for. 
It took me a while to create just the right shade of cheerful green.  I made several lovely shades of moldy green to puke green on my first attempts.
Truthfully, I have never really done much painting before.  My grandma is an amazing artist.  My mom had a few of her paintings on display in our home growing up.  I would love to take a lesson from her someday.  In the meantime, this is what I came up with.   
This was just one of those projects that you do for the process, not so much the end result.  It’s not the most display-worthy masterpiece I have ever created.  Let’s just say I’m obviously not the artist my Grandma is.  But, I was just happy getting paint all over my fingers and mixing colors to my hearts content.  I am convinced that even if you don’t think you are “good” at it, art in any form is good for the soul.  I am learning to find more joy in the process.  

Friday, April 15, 2011

What’s a Girl to do?

I love how this page turned out except with one little exception.  I HATE my handwriting.  So much so that I nearly ripped the journaling tab right off the page.  My handwriting is not messy by any means.  It just looks immature to me. Spencer told me that our kiddos will love to see my handwriting someday, even if I don’t think it’s particularly pretty myself.  I know he’s right.  Still, about 99.9% of the time I type the journaling on my pages.  It just looks so much better.  Any tips/ideas for improving your penmanship would be appreciated.  Can it be changed?  Should it be changed?  Anyone else out there dislike your handwriting?       

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Photo Shoot

It’s been a while since I shared any pictures from a photo shoot.  This family was so much fun! 
This little girl was especially cute.  She particularly requested a photo with her cowgirl princess hat. 
Now that it is finally beautiful outside, I plan on spending a lot more time out and about with my camera. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sing a Happy Song

Happy Friday friends! 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It Is Possible…

that I have gone a bit overboard making little woodland creatures to live with the fat owls in the stump.
It kind of took me forever to make a dear that looked like a dear.  All my first attempts looked like cows.
I love her little spotted bum!  You could just pinch it huh?  Stay tuned for more little woodland fellows. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pennant Wreath

I wanted something cheery to put on my door for spring.  This is what I came up with.  Wanna make one?
You will need:
  • foam wreath
  • burlap
  • fabric scraps
  • ric rac
  • ribbon
Take your boring ole’ foam wreath and cover it in strips of burlap (or whatever fabric you want really).  I wanted something that would add lots of texture but keep things simple enough that the pennants would still be the star of the show. 
I secured each strip of burlap with a pin.  You could glue it too, I suppose, but I pinned mine because it was fastest/easiest. 
Break out your scrap fabric stash. 
Cut your pennants.
Stitch your pennants together with ric rac. 
Pin them to the wreath.  Again, you could glue them, but this way you can change them out if you like. 
You’re done! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


This little project has been in the works for a few days now, and I am SOOO pleased with how it turned out!  I know it sounds really nerdy, but I was just in the mood to sculpt something. 
I have always loved sculpting things.  When I was little I was addicted to Play-Dough.  It’s true.  On my first day of kindergarten, I still remember that there was Play-Dough on each students desk right next to their name tag.  We got to spend the first few minutes of class playing quietly with it at our desk.  On the second day, I was distraught to discover that the Play-Dough wasn’t set out like it had been the day before, so I asked my teacher where it was.  I was devastated when she told me that we wouldn’t be playing with Play-Dough again anytime soon.  I had hoped that school was where you went to play with Play-Dough everyday! 
I got older and graduated to modeling clay.  My dad still has a few little doggy sculptures that I made for him when I was eight years old.  They sit proudly on his bookshelf at work. 
I took a sculpting class in college with my roommate.  I discovered that I really wasn’t as good at sculpting as I thought I was.  Especially when it comes to subtractive sculpting (objects created by removing excess material to reveal a form within, for example: ice sculpture).  Wow, I have SUCH an appreciation for artists who can do that.  But, I still like working with my hands, and playing with clay, just for fun. 
So, like I was saying, I was in the mood to sculpt something so I made a little family of fat owls. 
And then the fat owls needed a home, so I sculpted them a cute little stump to live in, and a few mushrooms to sit on.  Spencer reminded me that an owl’s natural habitat is in fact, high above in the trees, not low to the ground in stumps.  I reminded him that stumps are very cute and that this stump has central air and heating and hardwood floors, so of course my fat owls would rather live there than up in some boring ole’ tree.
Shoot, I would live in a stump as cute as this one.
Especially if I could have cute fat owls such as these for roommates.

Monday, April 4, 2011


I enjoyed spending much of the weekend, sitting on the couch with my husband and my puppy and watching General Conference.  If you are not a member of the LDS church, then I should pause and explain that General Conference is a semi-annual event, where Latter Day Saints gather to listen to instruction from inspired church leaders.  
I always take time before conference to create a list of questions that I am seeking answers to.  I have found that as I seek revelation, the answers often come through the voices of church leaders. 
Of course much has been on my mind as far as Heavenly Father’s plan for our family as it relates to someday having children.  Spencer and I have spent a great deal of time on our knees seeking help, comfort, inspiration, direction, and guidance in this matter.
I am grateful for the insights and answers that came to my mind as I listened to the words of our Prophet, President S. Monson, and other beloved leaders of the church.
One talk that touched me particularly was by Elder Paul V. Johnson.  He told a story about a little boy who had been diagnosed with cancer at just nine years of age.  The boy’s doctor told the boy and his family it was common for cancer patients to ask, “Will I be the same after this is all over?”  The doctors answer was powerful, “No, you won’t be the same, you will be so much stronger.  You will be awesome.” 
I thought of our situation.  Infertility has changed us forever.  We are not the people we would have been if we could have had children right away.  We are stronger.  We have learned so much.  And even though it has been painful, we wouldn’t trade our experiences for anything.  We aren’t the same people we were, but it’s a good thing.   
I write letters to our future baby.  I post them on our adoption blog, because I want to share them with our birthmom.  I want her to see how much I love our baby already.  It has been a very healing experience.  I wanted to share one of the letters I wrote last October with you.  (Oh, and I should probably explain that I write to Baby Lydia, not because we are sure we will have a girl, but because I wanted to write to a person by name… not just “baby.”  It makes my baby feel closer to me.  Anyways…)
Dear Lydia,
Yesterday we had an interesting experience. I had been asked to teach a lesson on floral arranging. I was ecstatic to do so, and looked up a few places online where I could purchase wholesale flowers. I didn’t have time to get to the store until after I had picked up your daddy from work. I asked him if he would like to go with me to pick out flowers. He agreed, so we typed the address of the store into GPS and were on our way.
Interestingly, the store was located on Lydia Street. It was a place we had never been to before. We didn’t know how to get there on our own. But we were confident that with GPS we could find our way. We navigated our way to Lydia Street without any problems, but we were astonished to find that there wasn’t anything at the address we had specified. No flower store. No store of any kind. Just an empty field and a vacant parking lot. We were baffled. I am certain we had the correct address. We had expected to find the store exactly where we were told it would be, but we didn’t.
On our way home, I reflected on how this situation so closely resembled our literal search for Lydia. Your daddy and I have always known what our ultimate destination would be… parenthood. We have the address. Though we weren’t entirely sure how to get there, we were certain we would and we thought that we would get there quickly. Imagine our surprise when a year and a half later we had arrived only at an empty field.
The analogy is not entirely negative, however. We decided on a new location and were delighted to discover hundreds and hundreds of beautiful flowers when we arrived. We didn’t expect to have to try a new location when we set out on our journey. We didn’t expect the trip to take quite so long or the flowers to be a bit more expensive. But the flowers were just as beautiful as any would find should we search the whole world over.
Our little journey to the flower shop is not just a parable for infertility, but for life in general. Rarely does everything go according to plan. We do our best, but I have found that life does not hold our expectations in high regard. Though it seems that our original plan would have been the preferable one, I am consistently amazed how Heavenly Father’s plan for me is far better than the plan I had for myself. Life’s little detours, though sometimes painful, have always led me to higher ground. It is so much easier to see the big picture from higher up. From up high, we can see how what seemed like winding trails lined with burrs and thistles, were really the most direct path to our ultimate destination. We realize that our muscles are toughened from the vigorous climb, and our hearts strengthened in endurance. Most of all, I do not believe we could appreciate the beauty of the view should we not have struggled to arrive there. I am certain that the things we prize most are the ones we worked hardest for.
So Lydia, I pray you will remember these things when life brings you trials. I pray that you will strive to keep an eternal perspective and continue to look for flowers, even if you have to look harder and longer than those around you. The flowers are there, and I know that you will one day find them. I love you.
And on that note, there is an awesome article in the Ensign on Infertility and faith.  You can read it here
Hang in there fellow infertiles!  Together, we’ll get through this!