Friday, October 31, 2008

50 Promises for Marriage...

I had the pleasure of eating at Hyman's Seafood Restaurant last night while in Charleston. The food and atmosphere were great! As we were leaving I thought it might be a good idea to pick up a few of their business cards in the event we decide to come back to Charleston. I was looking at the cards and realized that each card was shared the Restaurant's motto, "Attitude is EVERYTHING!", Words Women Use (when their words really mean something else), Persistance, and the one that really caught my eye was 50 Promises for Marriage.

Listed below are just some of the 50 promises...

  • start each day with a kiss

  • date once a week

  • smile often

  • do what the other person wants before he or she asks

  • do it his or her way

  • compliment twice a day

  • call during the day

  • apologize

  • forgive

  • set up a romantic getaway

  • talk about your love

  • reminisce about your favorite times together

  • admit when wrong

  • pray for each other daily

  • watch sunsets together

  • say "I love you" frequently

  • end the day with a hug

Aren't these just AWESOME!!! Just think at how strong marriages would be if we all followed these promises! I am definitely going to walk the walk and do these myself.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thankful Thursday (Times Three)...

Thursdays are when I post about three things that I am most thankful for. Here is my Thankful Thursday (times three)...

1. My mom...

I can honestly say that I have the BEST mom in the WORLD!! She is my best friend, she loves me unconditionally, she is my biggest fan, she gives me a shoulder to cry on, and laughs at all my jokes---even when they aren't funny :) What more could a girl ask for???? For my mom to move to Florida!!! I'm working on her...Love you mom and I hope you have the best birthday EVER!

2. A lot of supportive bloggers....

Have you guys checked out my other blog, Be Thou a Knight? I can NOT believe how many people have commented on my giveaway and donated to our IVF Chip-in. All I can say is WOW! I have really been blessed!

3. The time to socialize and travel to Charleston...

My principal invited me to attend the International Art Network in Charleston. It is a great time to meet administrators, teachers, and prominent art educators from around the United States. I went last year for the first time and had a great time. It's real nice when your principal is a past president and you get introduced, have dinner, and spend a ton of time with ALL the movers and shakers of arts education in the USA! Great networking!!!

What three things are you most thankful for this Thursday?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sharing Engagement Memories...

Thanks to all of you for the encouraging words and comments from my last post. I felt obligated to make a post soon so many of you would not be worried about my DH and I. We did have a GREAT talk last night and agreed that we were letting life's many day-to-day routines get in the way of our, family, infertility stresses, the economy, etc. So we made an agreement to put our marriage first and let everything else come second.

On the same topic...I read Rebecca Jo's blog today, Knit By God's Hands, and thought it was such a great post. She shared how her husband proposed to her. Her post really brought me back to that special time in my life when the DH proposed to me and what a special and happy time this was for both of us. I thought it would be a great idea if we ALL shared how our engagement memories. AND Kelly is also hosting proposal memories on her blog today too!!!

Here is our story...

The DH and I were 30 years old when we first met one another...he hates for me to say this, but we met on Yes, it does actually work :) Anyway, a year and half later we had planned a trip to Lake Tahoe to go skiing. I had so many friends tell me that they "thought" this was going to be when he would propose to me...but to be honest, it was just bad timing. We had just moved into a house and had spent a lot of money on putting in new wooden floors. We hadn't even TALKED about getting engaged. Little did I know that the weekend BEFORE we were to leave for Tahoe, my mom and dad had come over to help us finish laying the floors in our house. Mom and I had gone to Subway to pick up lunch and while we were gone, David had asked my dad for permission to propose. The following weekend the DH and I had landed in Lake Tahoe and were just getting settled into our hotel room...complete with a gorgeous view and a HUGE jacuzzi in our room. We changed clothes and made our way to a local pub to unwind from the long day of traveling. On our way back home, we stopped by the store and picked up a bottle of champagne to take back to the room to celebrate our first ski-trip with one another...yes, it all seems so obvious now, but I was so clueless! We got back to the hotel and got ready to take a dip in the jacuzzi and the DH told me he had surprise for me....he asked me to close my eyes and made me promise not to peak. When I opened my eyes, he was on his knees (in the jacuzzi) and asked me to marry him?!?!? I was so shocked and remembered saying..."are you serious?" Of course I said yes and remember crying tears of joy as we called all of our family to share our news! He had originally planned to propose the next day, either on top of a mountain or at a nice dinner, but the ring was burning a HOLE in his pocket :) Here are some pics of my engagement ring and that special trip....

The DH had my ring made and I can honestly say that it is oh so beautiful! Didn't he do a great job??

This is us on top of Mount Heavenly the day after we got engaged. I was so paranoid because I didn't want to wear my ring on the slopes so we left it in the safe in our hotel room. I could NOT wait to get back to make sure that it was safe and sound.

I can't tell you what an awesome trip this was the beginning of a wonderful marriage and many years of happiness!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Not Seeing Eye to Eye...

I just can't seem to get out of a know what I mean? When it just seems like NOTHING is going your way, no matter how hard you try?

I've had a headache all weekend and I have NO idea where it came from. I thought maybe I needed a little caffeine to kick start my head into normalcy, but that didn't help. I took some tylenol pm Friday and Saturday night and that didn't seem to help. AND I had three extra strength tylenols this afternoon....what is the deal?

The DH and I are on different pages today...actually we've been on different BOOKS for some time now. I am leaving for four days to go to Charleston for the International Arts Network Conference and I sure hope we can get things settled before I leave...I hate arguing. To be honest, this is probably the root of my funk.

I found two verses to help me get through the day....

"Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee." ~ Job 22:21

I am in need of peace in my life right now. Not only peace from this headache that is driving me nuts, but peace knowing that my funk will soon be over, and the DH and I will make up.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" ~Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

This verse reminds me that even though the DH and I might not see eye to eye right now, we work better as a team. I am so thankful that we found one another and were married...with Him, we can work anything out.

Say a prayer for me (and us) today...I (we) could use it :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thankful Thursday (Times Three)...

Thursday is the day when I post about three things that I am MOST thankful for this week. Here is my Thankful Thursday (Times Three)...
1. New job opportunities for the DH...
My DH has come across a new job opportunity. He has been so thrilled these past few days and has done everything in his power to learn more about the business by studying the product and training with the owner. Hopefully this will be the break he's been waiting for :)
2. Days off...
I took a few days off this week. Unfortunately, I had a strained muscle on my right shoulder and getting a massage this weekend just aggravated it. But I thoroughly enjoyed my days off to relax, catch up on blogs, and hang out with the DH.
3. Friends on Facebook...
My #1 VBF, Tedra, has been encouraging me (and so has Amy from Chapters) to get on Facebook. I finally explored it last night and went ahead and joined. And to my surprise, I woke up this morning with a TON of emails notifying me that I have FRIENDS :) I can't wait to see what Facebook entails....not that I need another addiction, blogging keeps me pretty busy already!
What are you most thankful for this Thursday? Whether it's one thing or three things, I'd love to hear about it :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

All Good Things Come to Those Who Wait...

***Mom...this is one of those posts that you might not want to read. Love you!

I have been reading on a lot of my fellow Gardeners' blogs about National Infertility Awareness Week. This topic is near and dear to my heart as the DH and I have been dealing with fertility issues since TTC in April 2006. I really pride myself in being a strong woman...not just physically but emotionally too. But I must admit, going through infertility really does give you a reality check.

The DH and I attended an Infertility Seminar this past weekend and we were both really surprised at what one of the speakers discussed. The speaker was a doctor with a Mind and Body Wellness Clinic in Jacksonville. She equated infertility issues and the stress of trying to concieve month after month to that of those experiencing Cancer. Yes, Cancer. I hope this doesn't sound insensitve, because yes, I have had a very close family member die from Cancer. But as the doctor compared the did make sense. You feel as if you have NO control over something that is literally taking over your entire being. Infertility affects your mind, your spirit, your marriage, and your relationships. I feel sometimes as if my life is on this never ending roller coaster that I just can't quite get I know many of you feel the same way.

I am generally a private person and like for everyone to believe that I am the strongest person alive. I attend the baby showers, I celebrate pregnancies with family and friends, and I put on the biggest smile you've ever seen. Please understand that I am SO happy for everyone that I know that has children, is pregnant, or is enjoying their babies...but those of us going through infertility want that for ourselves too.

I feel as if I was led to start this blog to help others, as well as to help myself, with this long and trying time in my life. "He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." ~2nd Corinthians 1:4 Since starting this blog about our infertility, I have come to know and feel close to so many women struggling with the same pain that I feel month after month. I have also come to terms with the reality that my PLAN for having children is out of my control. I read this verse today..."For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."~Jeremiah 29:11. The key that I have to constantly remind myself, is that at the center of every problem there is a purpose. Our strength grows as we lean on Him during our struggles and He hears us. He hears each and every prayer, each and every word, each and every cry. I also read "Base your happiness on your hope in Christ. When trials come, endure them patiently." Romans 12:12. This says to me that He is giving me these trials to help be stronger and to help me be patient. Which leads me to the old adage, All good things come to those who wait.

Friends...our time is coming, just be patient and wait.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Did you say COACH???

I sure did!!! My wonderful friend Heather at Mamma's Little Sugar Booger sent me a VERY special package today. The package contained my next GIVEAWAY!! She was so generous and by the goodness of her heart, donated the gift to me to help with our Chip-In to raise money for our next IVF.

I won't give the prize away just yet. But let's just say the tag on the prize says...

So stay tuned for the next giveaway coming soon!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Giveaway CENTRAL...

I know I have been posting a lot lately about my here if you are interested. But I also wanted to post about Meaghan's giveaway. If you LOVE coffee and would like to get a free 16 oz. bag of YOUR choice of coffee, visit this site, Get the Bean, and leave her a comment.


Good luck!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Giveaway and Other Things...

I have started a Chip-In and giveaway on my Be Thou a Knight blog. So please stop by and check it out. The first giveaway will be on Friday, October 24th, and you won't want to miss out on the prize :) Please do not feel obligated to "chip-in" just at least leave me a comment so I can add you to the giveaway list. I promise to have some other cool gifts coming up soon!!

We got home about two hours ago from the Fertility Seminar and although we were not one of the free IVF winners, we did walk away with a lot more information on infertility. We are pretty upset, but we are NOT giving up. I've never been known to quit at anything and I'm NOT starting now. I've been working on Christmas Cards, gift tags, and custom photo cards since we've gotten home. If I can't WIN an IVF, I'll just have to raise the money to buy one :)

Happy Saturday and enjoy the cooling weather!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thankful Thursday (Times Three)...

I am telling you....this past week has just FLOWN by. I can't believe it is already Thursday again!!!

Here are the three things I'm most thankful for this Thursday:

1. The opportunities God keeps putting in front of me...

God keeps directing my path in so many ways to become a mother. From the wonderful friends that have given me advice, doctor's numbers, websites, etc., to my Etsy Store, the Chip-In giveaway and SO much more. I honestly feel like I am getting closer and closer to what I desire most...a baby!

2. All the new Fall Premieres have started...

I SO look forward to coming home each afternoon and catching up on my favorite television shows. I am enjoying ALL the CSI's, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Dancing with the Stars, and Survivor. I just can't get enough of these shows :)

3. My #1VBF...

My #1VBF is having a birthday week this week. Her "real" birthday is Friday, tomorrow, but we like to celebrate the entire week. I am SO SO sad that I will not be able to participate in her birthday celebration---she lives in Texas and I live in Florida---but she knows that my heart will be with her tomorrow. I miss her so so much and wish that we could live in the same town never know, stranger things have happened :)

FYI...she hates this pic of us, so I'll have to find a better one and replae it tonight when I get home :)

What are you most thankful for this Thursday?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Conversation and Prayer...

I had an awesome phone coversation today with a Feritility Specialist in St. Louis. He gave me some great ideas on tests that I should pursue and information on how I can be more knowledgeable with our infertility. He also sent me a HUGE email full of documents, websites, and his input on everything we discussed today. I plan to get with my fertility specialist here in Florida to follow up on the tests that were recommended. YEAH!!!

On another note...please remember to keep us on your prayer lists. The DH and I are attending the Fertility Seminar on Saturday (9:00 a.m. Eastern Time--for those of you that like to pray at the exact time something is happening) and we will be entering the drawing for a FREE IVF with our doctor. I minored in Math in college and know that the odds are not in our favor to win the FREE IVF, but we do have the Lord's favor and through Him all things are possible! I am sure any couple attending the seminar would be glad to win a FREE IVF cycle, but so would WE :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Falling into the Idea...

As I am sure you all know by now, I have started my own Etsy Store, Greeting Cards for Our Garden, to help me raise enough money to pay for our third IVF procedure. You can check it out on my sidebar to the right. I have truly enjoyed making all the cards so far...such a great way to destress after a long day at work :) Tonight I came home and started working on Fall/Thanksgiving cards...I love fall and the weather right now is just perfect!

I just can't help but believe that God is really speaking to me right now...about the cards, about the generous friends that have been so willing to help me with this journey, as well as the outpouring of support. I know that I was meant to be a mother, maybe not in the way I had planned, but a mother nonetheless.

I am certain that this is part of His plan and I am definitely falling for the idea...

These are just a few samples of the fall cards I have made so far...they are really putting me into the Thanksgiving season :)

I forgot to mention that my friend Angela at Three at Four is doing a giveaway and one of my card sets is the PRIZE! Please comment on her blog to enter the giveaway!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thankful Thursday (Times Three)...

I can't believe it's already Thursday the weeks are flying by! Thursday is when I list three things that I am most thankful for.

Here is my Thankful Thursday (Times Three):

1. All of my blogging friends...

I can't say enough about how wonderful all of you are for giving me encouragment, hope, guidance, and prayer. It has only been four short months since I have started blogging and I have met some of the most thoughtful people in this world. When I'm feeling down or when I'm excited about something coming up, I can always count on my blogging friends to leave me just the right comment. You all are the best!

2. My health...

We have two students at our school that are victims of Muscular Dystrophy. It is so amazing to watch how these two young ladies live their lives with the best attitude and spirit. I also marvel at how patient their parents are and how meticulously they care for these beautiful children. I was lucky to meet one of the students two years ago because her aide needed help taking her to the restroom. I was unsure as to how she would feel having a stranger help her with something so private, but that simple act has resulted in a great relationship between us. It really does my heart good to see her each day, give her a hug, and hear her tell me she misses me when she doesn't see me. It is also a constant reminder of how thankful I should be for my healthy body.

3. My God...

I know that I do not praise Him enough, but I was reminded yesterday at just how often He opens one door when I feel as if one has closed on me. I was very devastated last week when I found out that our upgraded insurance was not approved and we would not be able to have any of our fertility treatments covered. I reached out to Him because I really didn't know what else to do. The next thing I know, I find out that my doctor is having a seminar next weekend and giving away a FREE IVF. He never lets me down and I am so thankful for that.

Please share with me what three things you are thankful for this Thursday!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Cross Your Fingers...

I sent an email to several of my blogger friends asking if they had every heard of doctors conducting IVF research studies. To my amazement, I had an email when I got home from one of my friends asking for me to call her ASAP. After speaking with Jennifer, she gave me the name and number of her fertility specialists and insisted that I email him. I talked to Jennifer for at least 30 minutes and she had NOTHING but positive and great things to say about her doctor, not to mention that he is 3rd in the NATION. So of course I HAD to email him...what do we have to lose? He did email me back today and I plan to give him a call tomorrow. I am hoping that he has a research study that I can participate in, but I did find out that he has great discounts for teachers and military families too.

But EVEN more exciting was the call I received from Laura!! She informed me that my very OWN doctor in Jacksonville is having a seminar in a few days and they are giving away three FREE IVF's...yes you read that correctly...FREE!!! So cross your fingers and please keep us in your prayers....we could surely use a FREE chance to try again for a baby :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Letting Go...

I am learning daily how to release my anxiety and just be patient. Those of you that REALLY know me, know that the word patience doesn't even EXIST in my vocabulary. But, as I posted earlier, I have been reading Kerry and Chris Shook's book One Month to Love: Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life. I read the chapter Monkey Bars on our flight to New Orleans and had to read it a second time because it was a chapter that really needed to sink in. Here is a recap below:

A father has taken his son to the park to play. The son says that he wants to hang from the monkey bars. The father lifts him up and allows his son to get a good grip on the monkey bars. The son had held on for as long as he possibly could and said "okay dad, get me down." The father tells his son to just "let go, I'll catch you." The son refused crying, "no, get me down." After going back and forth for a little while...the son refusing again, the father telling him over and over to just let go, the father finally saying "son, I love you, I promise to catch you", then with white knuckles, the son lets go and the father catches him.

The moral of the story???? God is there ALL the time for us...ready and waiting to catch us when we fall. I must realize that I can't control everything in my life and I must be patient, surrender to God and just LET GO!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Dent in Our Plans--REVISED--Crown of Favor...

I sat down last night and wrote this post:

I have been extremely pumped to find out exactly what our new insurance will cover as far as fertility treatments are concerned. The last time I spoke with my Fertility Specialists, his office recommended that we change our insurance plan to the Premium package because it will cover more...more medications, IUI's, etc. So this summer I changed our policy to the Premium Plan and it only cost us bout $20 more each paycheck. The new plan was to go into effect yesterday, October 1. So being the anxious person that I am, I called my Fertility Specialists and asked that they call my insurance company and find out exactly what all my insurance will cover now. I was hoping to do a few IUI's in the meantime (might as well if they're free) until we save up enough money to try IVF again. So I get a call back from the benefits department at the doctor's office and she tells me that my plan has NOT changed?!?!? I was sharing this information with my secretary as I was walking out of school today and she informed me that our Teachers' Union and School Board decided not to offer this plan to educators in our district this year. And they decided to just stick with the plan that I already had!!! Boy did this put a dent in our plans.

I'm pretty bummed to hear this news. I just hope and pray God has plans of His own :)

As you can tell, I was in a very low and negative place last night. So what did I do? I sat down and watched another episode of Joel Osteen. His message this week was "Detoxing Your Mind." Joel spoke about making a decision to stop dwelling on negative thoughts. The enemy tries to plant negative thoughts and images into our minds. But instead we should fight back and medidate on what God says. Proverbs 4:23 reads "Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do." We should choose to have positive thoughts, positive attitudes, and be full of faith. God created us into talented, creative, blessed, beautiful, strong, and courageous human beings. He gave us a crown of favor and we should rejoice in it. No more worrying, bitterness, or negativity for me...I will wear my crown proudly and know the best has yet to come!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thankful Thursday (Times Three)...

It's that time again!!!

Thursday is the day I post about three things that I am most thankful for in my life. So here we go for this week...

1. Judy Edwards....

We met at school three years ago and I convinced her to leave the guidance department and be my secretary. Not only is she the BEST secretary in the entire world, but has become a VERY good friend and the BEST prayer partner anyone could ever ask for. We have gotten to be so close and can share anything with one another. I can't thank GOD enough for sending me this guardian angel.

2. Time to get away...

The DH and I are traveling to New Orleans on Friday to witness the marriage of two of our closest friends. We are looking forward to the festivities, but also the time to get away, stay at a nice hotel, and relax for a couple of days. Boy do we NEED this :)

This is the DH and I with Blaise and Julie at their couple shower.

3. A beautiful home...

I REALLY love the house that we live in. This might sound funny...but I thought my ideal home was in Texas and I was really devastated when we moved to Florida because we had to rent a home. Not that there is anything wrong with renting, but I like to decorate, paint, plant flowers, etc. and nothing ever felt like OURS while we lived in that home for 2 years. I'll never forget the day we found our new home...David had set up an appointment with our realtor to visit some homes on a Thursday. The night before was Valentine's Day and the DH was taking me to Daruma...a japanese hibachi restaurant. Unfortunately (or furtunately) our local Daruma was booked for the night. So the DH made reservations at the Daruma about 20 minutes away. Little did we know that the VERY next day, the DH would find the house we had been waiting for a mere MILE from this Daruma!! Coincidence? I don't think so. For the past year, we have painted the outside of our home, painted the inside of our home, landscaped, decorated, and spent a lot of time swimming in our POOL!! I am so thankful for this beautiful home and the wonderful neighborhood we live in.

FYI...this is an OLD picture of our house....actually it's the first picture we took of the house after moving in.

What three things are you most thankful for this Thursday???