Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Adventures in Infertility #90

#90 Seeing the Silver Lining

For the last 10 weeks the hubster and I have been in a musical production.  It took up just about all of our "free time."  During the week we only have a few nights a week where we are both home at the same time.  This schedule has made me feel a little lonely.  As I have reached out to friends and found them, rightly, busy with their own activities, I grew even more lonely.  Then the opportunity to try out for this musical came along.  Miraculously I got a part!  We got parts together, imagine that?!

We played real-life pioneers George Washington Taggert and his wife Fanny Taggert in an original production of "A Stone Rolling Forward."  We (George and Fanny)even had a daughter in the musical! An adorable blonde girl with glasses who was happy and always smiling.  Such a joy to be around.

We were in a couple of different scenes and we had a duet to Savior Redeemer of My Soul.

What an amazing experience!  We met so many fun people and became fast friends with our fellow cast members.

Here are some rehearsal pics, backstage pics and some from the nights of the shows...










During the final dress rehearsal it occurred to me that this opportunity, for both of us to be in this musical at the same time, was partially possible because we did not have young children at home.  The chance to meet and make new friends, might not have come to pass.  Sometimes, although it isn't what we desire, we are blessed to see the silver lining in our adventure through infertility.  And for that I am grateful!



*Laughter is the best medicine right?  Why not laugh at my infertility?!  I do not mean to offend with any of these posts, it is just a way to let go a little and see the humor in our situation. Please laugh with me!

Adventures in Infertility #89

#89  Top 10 Reasons NOT to be Pregnant

You may think, by reading my posts, that I am a little baby-hungry and you would be right. However, I do sometimes think there might...just might be a down side to this whole pregnancy gig.  But what's a girl to do?  Make a list, that's what!  Boom.

10. Cankles, ankle/calf amalgam due to swelling - it ain't pretty and I think the name should be changed to "trotters" as in big pig feet.
9. Not having your period for 9 months but STILL having to wear a pad...IS THIS TRUE??  Say it ain't so!
8. Sausage fingers = no wedding ring
7. ES - EE- EX...do people do that with a baby in there?
6. Barfallo Bill, Calling Huey on the Big White Telephone, Disembarking Dinner...you get the picture.
5. Having to pee ALL THE TIME, especially on the trampoline (you know who you are).
4. 9 months of worrying about what to do if you have to go numero dos while you are delivering.
3.Not losing the 30 lbs of "baby weight" once you've delivered.  One. Too. Many. Pop Tarts.
2. Stretch marks.
1. People like to touch pregnant ladies.  A lot.  If I ever get pregnant I'm registering for a taser.  No touchy touchy.





*Laughter is the best medicine right?  Why not laugh at my infertility?!  I do not mean to offend with any of these posts, it is just a way to let go a little and see the humor in our situation. Please laugh with me!

Adventures in Infertility #88

#88 Top 10 Reasons to be Pregnant

No matter the imagined down side to being pregnant, I still can't help but be hopeful I will, one day, experience it all.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  In the meantime, here are what I imagine to be some of the best things about being pregnant!

10. People expect you to take naps! Lazy.  NO, pregnant!
9. Finally have something to say when out with all the other women (Hallelujah! It saps me to keep up with all the current sporting events going on).
8. It's a good excuse to be a little chunky, and have an extra slice of pizza, or pint of Ben and Jerry's.
7. Shopping for cute, soft baby clothes! And blankets. And booties!  And EVERYTHING!!
6. Two Words.  Maternity. Leave.
5. Being able to park in the "Expectant Mother" parking spot.  Oh yeah!
4. Not having a period for at least 9 months.  Holla!
3. People will bring us food.  For FREE.
2. I'm sure I can get someone to fold my laundry for me! Right?
1. To be a mom.  To make my husband a dad.  To have a baby.  A precious addition to our loving family, to share in and multiply our joys!



*Laughter is the best medicine right?  Why not laugh at my infertility?!  I do not mean to offend with any of these posts, it is just a way to let go a little and see the humor in our situation. Please laugh with me!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday's Matter: FHE Halloween Clue Hunt



At our home, and millions of other's around the globe, Monday nights are reserved for family.

While Family Home Evening (FHE) can be a lot of good things, word on the street is it can also be a little stressful and sometimes just not any fun at all.

Not to worry because today I'm your huckleberry!


This FHE lesson is full of family fun, sure to make even the grouchiest among us crack a smile and maybe even, dare I say, laugh?

“Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine.” 
― Gordon B. Hinckley


It is important to have fun as a family.  Whether your family is 1 or 20, it matters not!  So get out there and go get you some good times!

{Opening Song} 

1. The Twelve Days of Halloween

(Sung to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”)
On the first day of Halloween my true love gave to me… An owl in a old oak tree.
On the second day of Halloween my true love gave to me….2 black cats, and an owl in a old oak tree.
3 pumpkins glowing…
4 witches brewing…
5 candy corn…
6 scary costumes…
7 bats a flying…
8 spiders webbing…
9 ghost a’haunting…
10 scarecrows scaring…
11 werewolves howling…
12 banshees

{Opening Prayer}  Who wants blessings??  :)

{Activity}  Halloween Clue Hunt




{Directions}
Go to this website:  Scavenger Hunt Fun for Halloween

Print out the clues, paying  attention to the ANSWERS and the SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS.  Set it all up. There is minimal set up but it will take a little time.  I plan on printing out some of the images and attaching the clue to them to make it easier but you feel free to go all out!  Below are some of the images I plan on using:

{Skeleton Key}


{Bat}



{TREATS and TRICKS}

When everyone gets the last clue and comes inside for treats you can set up an awesome spread of Healthy Treats like these (and if you were really savvy you could throw in a little bit of "Our body is a temple" and talk about choosing good food) :


{Boo-nanas and Pumpkin Clementines with Celery Stems}


{Apples with Nutty Teeth}


{Veggie Skeleton}

 {Salami Fingers and Celery Olive Eyes}

 {String Cheese Brooms}

{Deviled Spider Eggs}

And TRICKS like these:




{Closing Song}

If You’re A Monster and You Know It

(To the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
If you’re a monster and you know it, wave your arms.
If you’re a monster and you know it, wave your arms.
If you’re a monster and you know it,
then your arms will surely show it.
If you’re a monster and you know it, wave your arms.
(You can pick other Halloween creatures and motions too. e.g. If you’re a dragon and you know it give a roar, etc.)


{FHE DOESN'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT, IT JUST HAS TO BE!}

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Adventures in Infertility #87

#87  Things Not to Say

If your kid is pregnant and looking at adoption as an option, please, for the love of all that is good and holy, do not do, well THIS...

We had heard of a girl who was pregnant at church because her mom was a friend of ours.  We thought nothing of it and never said anything to her or her daughter about the baby or adoption - it just wasn't our business.

One day we heard that she had delivered a healthy baby and it had been placed for adoption to a deserving couple.

Months later the mom came over and tearfully told me how they had fasted and prayed to know who to place the baby with.  She and her daughter "both knew that the baby was meant for (my husband and I)."  But they didn't want the child to be in the same city as they were so they placed it with so-and-so in another town.

I still wonder why she felt the need to tell me this.  We had never expressed any interest in adopting the baby, certainly had never talked to her her or anyone else about it.  It has been years and it still hurts me to think about it.  Someday it will be a funny story, right?


*Laughter is the best medicine right?  Why not laugh at my infertility?!  I do not mean to offend with any of these posts, it is just a way to let go a little and see the humor in our situation. Please laugh with me!

Adventures in Infertility #86

#86  Who Needs Friends When You Have Ovaries Like These?



Is it weird that sometimes I think one of the BEST parts of having a baby would be getting my friends back?  Gosh, I feel like that statement alone should get me struck by lightening.

I don't want to lie so I won't say that I didn't cry when I scrolled through my Facebook feed last night and saw all the fun things my friends have been doing with their kids and the mom's of their kid's friends, who are also my friends.

Pumpkin patches, fall baking nights, football games, corn mazes, haunted houses, birthday dinners, movie nights.

I don't want to lie and say that I didn't feel forgotten as nary and invitation has made it's way to my inbox for these awesome autumn activities being discussed in the feed.

Sometimes I see pictures of one group of friends out with another group of friends and I wonder "how do they know each other?" It is because their kids are friends of course.  They see each other at school drop off and pick up.  They participate in primary together.  In some cases I introduced them.

I shouldn't really complain {but you know I'm gonna} because how hard is it to try and entertain your child/children and your friends at the same time?

It looks difficult to me. You've got one kid hanging on your neck yelling for a cupcake INTO YOUR MOUTH AS YOU TRY AND TALK, another kid is  throwing Legos off the top of the stairs at the dog all while you are trying to have "grown up time" with your friends.

It's like me trying to keep our sheepdog puppy on my lap so he will quit licking you while trying to keep the cat from scooting his butt across the carpet in-front of you.  Just kidding he never does that ;) all the while keeping up a good conversation.

I get it.  If your friends bring their kids (aka your kid's friends) then they run off and play together leaving you ample time to discuss the latest movies, the funny thing your spouse did and how you ever lived through those "Terrible Twos" and hopefully no one will be licked and nothing too embarrassing will happen.



I wonder what are some of the most embarrassing things your kids have done or said in-front of company?

*Laughter is the best medicine right?  Why not laugh at my infertility?!  I do not mean to offend with any of these posts, it is just a way to let go a little and see the humor in our situation. Please laugh with me!



Adventures in Infertility #85

#85 Facebook:  Friend or Frenemy of the Infertile?

I have read SO MANY articles and blog posts and "your ecards" revolving around how hurtful Facebook can be for someone struggling to have a baby.  Cards and articles like the ones below...





"While the number of women struggling with infertility and turning to the web to read blogs on the topic grows steadily, those same women shudder each time they open up their Facebook to yet another "Peanut was kicking me all night! Can't wait for the due date!" status update."
"Infertile Women are Afraid of Facebook"


"I know (facebook pregnancy posts are) not meant to hurt, but you feel like you're getting kicked every time you see these," said Colling, 28, who lives in Baltimore County and has been trying to get pregnant since 2006. "I have to unfriend people for a while. If I was smart, I wouldn't go on Facebook anymore, but I'd completely lose connections with family and friends."
"For Infertile Couples Facebook is a Minefield"

Life is full of challenges for the fertile and infertile alike.  Yes it stings to read about a friend's happy pregnancy/baby/child experiences but SO WHAT?!

That's right.  SO WHAT?  If I was pregnant I would hope to make the same joyous announcements, post the same adorable pregnant belly photos and plaster the interweb with thousands of newborn pics.

"It hurts to see!"  you say?

"It isn't fair!"  I hear ya!

"I wish it was me!"  Right there with ya sister!

However true these feelings are, let us pay heed to Dieter F. Uchtdorf's council,

"There is enough heartache and sorrow in this life without our adding to it through our OWN stubbornness, bitterness and resentment."

Not working for ya?

How about, "...Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."  Matt 22:39?

{If that doesn't work for you, you can always turn the tables and post pictures of}


You sleeping in.

Your husband resting his head against your flat, non pregnant belly.

You not having to get up to go the bathroom in the middle of the night because the baby is kicking your bladder.

You eating anything you want and then NOT throwing it up from morning sickness.

You with your stacks of cash because you are not paying the hospital for delivering your baby.

GOTCHA! You don't have stacks of cash because you blew it all on fertility medicine and paying a fertility specialist to be all up in your bidness! (but the other stuff is totally legit!) ;)





*Laughter is the best medicine right?  Why not laugh at my infertility?!  I do not mean to offend with any of these posts, it is just a way to let go a little and see the humor in our situation. Please laugh with me!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday's Matter: FHE Repentance, Atonement, Pumpkins and YOU

At our house, and millions of others around the globe, Monday nights are reserved for time spent with family.  A Family Home Evening (FHE)!

Ah October!!  I can't get enough of fall's crisp, cool evenings.  Thoughts of sweaters and throw blankets, warm beverages with marshmallows in them and lounging by the fire swirl through my mind.  Never you mind that it is still regularly in the 90's right now.



What better month to have an awesome FHE all about repentance, doing good and the atonement all featuring the mighty PUMPKIN?!?

Oh sure, it may look like just another gourd but this baby is a star!



{LESSON PREP}  That's right, this lesson does have some prep but don't despair it is fun stuff!

You will need two pumpkins of identical size and shape (or as close as you can get them)

Cut the tops off of both pumpkins.

Scoop the seeds out of only one of the pumpkins. Replace the tops

Paint or draw faces on each pumpkin - one boy, one girl (eyelashes and lipstick?) OR you can use Mr and Mrs Potato Head parts to make faces!


{READ}


The Parable of the Pumpkins


Once in a pumpkin patch, not far from here,
There were two little pumpkins, both friends so dear.
They were so much alike, both orange and round,
They both had a stem, and they both grew on the ground.
But that is where the similarity ends,
You see, there is one big differene between these closest of friends.
Patty the pumkin is not always nice,
She often tells lies, hits, screams and fights.
She never says sorry, and she really is quite mean,
Though she looks fine on the outside, her insides are not clean!
Then you have Perry, our other pumpkin friend,
Perry is someone on whom you can always depend!
Perry can make mistakes like all of us do,
But Perry says he's sorry, and you know what he says is true.
He tries his very hardest to be the best he can,
It's not always easy, but he has a plan!
He knows how important it is to be truly clean,
Not just on outside, but also where it CAN'T be seen.
He knows of the importance to stay clean and pure,
By saying I'm sorry, repenting, telling the truth and more!
As we leave our two pumpkin friends, there are great lessons to learn,
Our actions WILL determine what kind of insides we earn.
We all make mistakes, that is for sure,
What makes our insides different is our DESIRE to be pure.
As we strive our hardest to be the best we can be,
There will be rough times, days we have to say "Sorry!"
But just like in the pumpkin patch not far from here,
The way I want my insides is SO very clear!
I'll choose Perry over Patty every day of the week,
Even though I may look okay on the outside, clean on the inside is what I truly seek!

{The Big Reveal}
Take the tops off of the pumpkins and let everyone peek inside.




{TALK about it}
Who do you want to be like?  Perry or Patty?
Discuss how you want YOUR insides to be.  What actions can we improve upon? Do we need to make any changes?  What are we doing right?

Make sure and note that  although Patty has some yucky insides right now, through a loving Heavenly Father and the atonement of our Savior she too (and all of us!) can be made clean once more. The fact is, we will all make mistakes. We HAVE to know there is a way back, that it is never too late.

{Activity}

Carve your pumpkins!!  Make sure you have enough for everyone who wants to carve and have fun scooping out all the seeds and roasting them!


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Toss seeds in a bowl with the melted butter and salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally.

Don't forget the hot cocoa!


{FHE Doesn't Have to Be Perfect, It Just Has to BE!}

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Adventures in Infertility #83

#83  October Infertile Joke




Why couldn't the witch have babies?

Because her husband had a HALLOWEENIE!





*Laughter is the best medicine right?  Why not laugh at my infertility?!  I do not mean to offend with any of these posts, it is just a way to let go a little and see the humor in our situation. Please laugh with me!

Adventures in Infertility #82

#82  Lofty Goals for Barren in General Conference

Often, during church talks or Conference addresses the issue of being unable to have children is spoken of. Usually lumped in with other downtrodden souls.

The Single
The Barren
The Ill

Sounds like a party right?

All are often counseled to remain faithful and hopeful.  The feeling I often get is of caring leaders feeling sorry for the situation and offering what help and guidance they can.  A good message, to be sure, but I always long for more and on Sunday October 5, 2014  I got just what I had been hoping for!!

It was just what I never knew I always wanted to hear.

During the Sunday Morning Session of the October 2014 General Conference, President Thomas S Monson was the concluding speaker and during the course of his talk he spoke about Gustav and Margarit Walker (bear with me on the names, they haven't published the written talk yet so I had to guess at the spelling).

They were German immigrants to Easter Canada.



They had limited means but "Shared all they had"
"Nurtured all who entered their home"

"Men and women of learning and sophistication sought out these humble, unlearned servants of God and counted themselves fortunate if they could spend and hour in their presence."

They did not "do any of the things with which the world pays attention"

The "Faithful beat a path to their door."
Their "home was a Heaven on earth and the spirit that radiated was of pure peace and goodness"

And, oh yeah, they "were not blessed with children" (Which was only mentioned in passing and NOT the point of story).

This message was music to my soul!  How wonderful to hear of a couple who, even without children of their own, were able to make a positive difference in this world.  Not to be pitied but to admired.  To be men and women that were not defined by their reproductive weaknesses but by the strength of their faith!

There are so many reasons I want to be like these two people, so many good goals to work on, so many, many things we can improve upon in our own lives.

What a wonderful example are the Walkers for us to follow!

{PONDER THE PATH OF THY FEET}

You can listen to the talk at THIS LINK




*Laughter is the best medicine right?  Why not laugh at my infertility?!  I do not mean to offend with any of these posts, it is just a way to let go a little and see the humor in our situation. Please laugh with me!

Adventures in Infertility #81

#81 The Moving Truck and the Choo-Choo Train

Many years ago, there was a couple us who at the end of a long, tiring day of moving were on their way to return the U-Haul.

They had worked hard all day long and were tired, cranky hungry, cranky and sore and cranky.



Because they were students and on a very tight budget they were ever mindful of of the time, as a late return of the U-Haul by even a minute would mean they would incur a late charge.

Almost to the return site they saw the flashing lights and heard the ringing bell indicative of lowering railroad crossing arms for an approaching train.  This intersection was on curve and the track was obstructed by large warehouse buildings.

Fearful that they would be late they bickered back and forth, frantically trying to decide if they should try and gun it through this crossing that was notorious for gratuitously long freight trains.  At the last minute they came to a screeching halt as the crossing arms lowered completely.

In the moments before the train appeared a raging argument ensued.  Loudly each proclaimed the other's fault in making them late to return the truck and the irrefutable financial doom that would follow.

Temper's flared and ugly faces glared.

There were only minutes to get to the return lot just on opposite side of the tracks.

As the couple flung hurtful words each certain this was going to be the longest, slowest train in history, the train engine appeared around the corner.

As it dinged through the intersection, rocking slowly, each of the couple's faces froze and faced the train in turn.

Suddenly one...

And then the other ...

Erupted in fits of laughter!!

The train, it turned out, was just a lone engine happily swaying through the crossing and rolling merrily along to it's destination.


It just goes to show that you there may only be seconds to get in a good insult so make sure you have a good one in your holster at all times just in case! ;)

JUST KIDDING! Ha :)

You Never Know What is Around the Corner so...
Until Then
Laugh at the confusion
Live for the moment
And KNOW that everything happens for a REASON

Oh, and pray for some patience while you are at it.



*Laughter is the best medicine right?  Why not laugh at my infertility?!  I do not mean to offend with any of these posts, it is just a way to let go a little and see the humor in our situation. Please laugh with me!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Cheesy Cauliflower Chowder

{Cheesy Cauliflower Chowder}


It's the first day of October, so of course, we are having soup for dinner.  That is if I can make it delicious enough for even the pickiest of eaters to enjoy...

*cough -husband- *cough

This is an amazing recipe full of robust flavor and creamy warmth.  Perfect for a long, cool night in-front of the TV, watching the Giants in post season baseball!

{Ingredients}

Olive Oil to coat bottom of pan
1 head cauliflower, chopped into smaller pieces
1 whole onion, minced
1 large carrot, minced
1 stalk celery, minced
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried basil

1 box chicken stock
1 cube chicken bullion

2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour (white or wheat)
2 C cheddar cheese, divided into 1 1/2 C and 1/2 C
2 C milk
1 head roasted garlic*

{Directions}

*Cut bottom off garlic head exposing the cloves, wrap in foil and bake at 350 for 40 min or so until garlic is fragrant and soft - you can do this while you are preparing the rest of the chowder.

In large stock pot drizzle enough olive oil to coat bottom of pan, heat on medium heat.  Add all veggies and spices and cook until veggies are get some color and soften a little.

Add chicken stock and bullion cube and bring to a boil.  Turn heat down to simmer, covered for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium stock pot over medium heat.  Melt butter, whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring.  Then whisk in milk a little at a time.  Heat until mixture starts to thicken.  Turn heat down to low and stir in cheese and roasted garlic cloves.

Remove large pan of veggies and stock from heat. Use a potato masher or immersion blender and mash/blend the veggies into smaller bits (the smoother the better).

Return pan to low heat, stir in milk/cheese/garlic mixture until it comes to a simmer and is fully incorporated.

Serve with extra cheese, green onions, croutons and/or crispy bacon bits.



{Quotes to Cook By}

“October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!” 
― Rainbow RowellAttachments

“There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir: We must rise and follow her, When from every hill of flame She calls, and calls each vagabond by name.” 
― William Bliss

“After the keen still days of September, the October sun filled the world with mellow warmth...The maple tree in front of the doorstep burned like a gigantic red torch. The oaks along the roadway glowed yellow and bronze. The fields stretched like a carpet of jewels, emerald and topaz and garnet. Everywhere she walked the color shouted and sang around her...In October any wonderful unexpected thing might be possible.” 
― Elizabeth George SpeareThe Witch of Blackbird Pond