Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The New Year Resolution Review...

It's finally here....

The New Year Resolution Review!!!

I really debated on what my New Year's Resolutions should be this year and I didn't want to have the same old lame resolutions that are impossible to keep...like losing weight, eating better, or excercising more (although I REALLY need to do those too).

So without further ado, here are my 2010 New Year's Resolutions...

Attend church every single Sunday. I truly believe I have found the perfect church, pastor, and church family at Southpoint Community Church. I love everything about the church, what it teaches, and how personable and friendly the entire congregation is. Although I think I am pretty good about attending church, I think I can make better choices and attend EVERY single Sunday.

Put my marriage BEFORE infertility. This past year (well actually the past four years) has been spent on calculating my ovulation, raising money for infertility procedures, stressing over and over each and every month, getting tests run, and filling out adoption home study papers. INSTEAD, I plan to spend 2010 enjoying time with my husband, laughing at his corny jokes, hanging outside with him in the backyard, going out on the pontoon boat with him, and taking bike rides with him at the beach.

Stay in touch with my friends. After the loss of one of my friends almost a month ago, I remembered how important friendships are. I connected with some girls that I haven't spoken to in years and I realized just how much I enjoyed all the fun times we had together. So this year, I will stay in touch with all my friends, whether by phone calls or emails, but nonetheless, I plan to stay in touch and stay connected with what is going on in their lives and families.

So what are your resolutions for the new year? Please post about your resolutions and link up to the MckLinky below.

I hope you have a blessed 2010!!!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Friday, December 25, 2009

I am thankful for Lianna because...

This year for Christmas my family wrote sweet messages to each other stating why we are thankful for each member of our family. We placed the messages in small Christmas decorated boxes and each of us opened them on Christmas morning.

I loved reading the words from each of my family members and I will cherish these sentiments forever.

My husband and I decided not to exchange Christmas gifts this year because we have spent so much money on trying to have a baby. So this exchange of "thankfulness" was our only gift to one another.

He wrote the sweetest message to me...

I am thankful for Lianna because "she is my beautiful wife. She makes all the hard times worth it. She understands me and we make a great team. I can't wait to have babies with you and grow old with you. I love you."

I couldn't have asked for a BETTER Christmas present.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday...

We boarded Kodi for the week while we are in Houston with my family. Since my mom just delivered some brand new puppies, and they haven't had their shots yet, we thought it would be best if we didn't bring Kodi on this trip.
I really miss him and couldn't help but share some pics of him before we left.

I laughed so hard when I saw him in this chair and I couldn't resist taking his pic. I think he must wait for us to come every day in this position.

I really love my baby :)

By the way...if you are interested in seeing the sweet puppies that my mom is selling, check out her site here, Jilly Bean's Shih Tzu Shoppe , and click on the nursery. They are adorable!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The New Year Resolution Review...

I am planning to host the New Year Resolution Review again this year!!!

Please join me on December 30th and share your New Year Resolution(s) for 2010.

Snag my button if you plan to attend the party!!!

I'm looking forward to seeing what great things await us in 2010.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Declaring by Faith...

I am declaring by faith that next year you'll see THREE stockings hung by the chimney with care...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Land of Hope...

In 2007 we attempted our first round of IVF. We had good results from the medication, were able to retrieve 8 eggs, and had five fertilized embryos. We went back to the doctor and were overjoyed to transfer three great embryos.

We were over the moon and thrilled beyond belief about the miracle we would celebrate that Christmas. Little did we know that the Christmas of 2007 would be one of our worst holidays ever. On Christmas morning I took a pregnancy test and received a negative result. It took everything we had to put smiles on our faces and join our family in opening gifts that morning. But...we did have a glimmer of hope because I was scheduled to have my blood test the day after Christmas...and we knew that although the home pregnancy test came back negative, we could still be pregnant. Unfortunately, our blood test result was a negative and we were devastated.

Now fastforward two years...

We have spent the past two years seeing more doctors, taking new medications, trying different procedures....and why? Because we have hope. Hope that our suffering will result in the biggest reward we could ever imagine. And although it's Christmas 2009 and we will be celebrating the birth of Christ without our own miracle baby, we've pitched our tent in the Land of Hope (Acts 2:26).

Monday, December 14, 2009

In Weakness...

The closer we get to Christmas, the harder it is for me to come to the realization that we still do not have a baby to celebrate with this year. There is no doubt in my mind that our time will come...but it doesn't seem to stop the anxiety I am feeling. I am in a state of weakness...as hard as I try to stay strong, stay in hope, and cling to my faith...the weaker I feel.

I have shared, several times, the daily devotionals that I receive. Sometimes I feel like the devotionals were meant especially for me...and I know that's not a coincidence.
Here is one I received last week...

"We all go through seasons of difficulty that can sometimes feel overwhelming. But during these times, we have to remember that Almighty God is greater than the struggle we face! He'll take those challenges and use them to strengthen us, but we have to do our part and get into agreement with Him.

Think about the caterpillar before it becomes a butterfly. When it's wrapped in its cocoon in the dark on the backside of some tree, it doesn't look like it has many options. But after it becomes a butterfly, it doesn't just sit waiting for someone to come and drill a hole and let it out. No! That butterfly knows that it has to make a move if it's going to be set free to fly. In the same way, we have to do something to get out of the confining places we are in. We have to pray, we have to believe, and keep pressing through to victory.

Today, no matter what you may be facing, remember His grace is sufficient for you. His strength is made perfect in you. Keep believing, keep praying, keep hoping, and keep pressing through. Before long, you'll break free and rise to the new levels of victory God has prepared for you."

And I agree.... He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."~II Corinthians 12:9

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Door Tour

Welcome to the Growing Our Own Garden's 2nd Annual Christmas Door Tour!!

I am so excited to finally share our Christmas decorated door this year. I try to have some type of theme each year...and this year, my theme is GOLD!

Our wreath...I look forward to visiting Kuhn's Florist each year to pick up one of their fresh wreaths. It's so simple and smells GREAT! This GOLD wreath holder came from Pier 1 a few years ago and I believe my wreath doesn't need any other accessory.

This bucket was silver, until I bought a can of metalic GOLD spray paint :)
See the before and after pictures HERE.

I won this stocking last year from Southern Living and it has a hint of GOLD on the toe, heel and at the top. I think it looks great stuffed full of fresh garland.

I LOVE poinsettias! There is just something about their pretty red or white leaves that seems to put me in the Christmas spirit! If you look close enough, you can see a little frost on these poinsettias. And of course, my handy dandy metallic GOLD spray paint helped turn these wicker baskets into perfect GOLDen homes for these poinsettias.

And if you put all these pieces together...you'll get our entire Christmas (GOLD inspired) decorated front door!

Now it's YOUR turn to share your door! Post about your Christmas decorated door and enter your link in the MckLinky below!

Merry Christmas!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Closer Than You Think...

I have started reading Joel Osteen's Book It's Your Time and I canNOT express how much it has helped me.

The very first chapter is about believing, not giving up on your dream, and reminding you that you are closer than you think.

The closer you are to God, the more you pray, the harder the devil tries to attack you. We have definitely experienced this lately...with our finances, with our countless negative pregnancy tests, with our jobs, with our marriage...the devil is trying his best to bring us down.

But Joel's book reminded me to, "Have faith in God. I tell you the truth. You can say to this mountain, 'Go, mountain, fall into the sea.' And if you have no doubts in your mind and believe that the thing you say will happen, then God will do it for you."~Mark 11:22-23

And I do believe.

I believe that we are closer than we think.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Past...

We had a GREAT message today at church...Our past is OVER!

Pastor Russ shared that the past can not be reversed, revised, or revisted. So start moving forward.

He also gave us five steps on how to move forward...
  1. Confess and repent.
  2. Forgive those that have hurt you.
  3. Don't glory in your shame but don't be ashamed by your glory.
  4. Set boundaries around those that continue to hurt you.
  5. Rejoice every day in the glory of God.

I jotted down a few verses that spoke straight to me...

  1. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."~1 John 1:9
  2. "See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many."~ Hebrews 12:15
  3. "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
    You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor
    ."~ Psalm 8:4-5

So I'm taking the Word and moving forward and looking forward to all the wonderful moments I have yet to experience!

If you want to see a podcast of the sermon, visit this link HERE.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Snow is Fascinating...

I love the warm weather...I do live in the Sunshine State. But there is just something about the beauty of snow that fascinates me.

The way that it covers everything, giving it a blanket of protection. The purity of its color gives me a peace and a quiet calmness. Snow is like God...He gives us protection, peace, and stillness.

Did you know that each and ever snowflake is unique? Snowflakes turn into complex shapes as they fall through different temperatures and humidities on their way to the ground. Snowflakes are a lot like people. We are all unique and we change too---as we grow older and experience life, our views change, our bodies change, and our lives change.

As the Christmas holidays approach, I am reminded of the sacrifice He made for us.

"Come now, let us reason together, says The Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool." ~Isaiah 1:18

He is our snow and we are his snowflakes. Do you understand why I think snow is so fascinating?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Old and New...

As I gear up for the Growing Our Own Garden's 2nd Annual Christmas Door Tour, I thought it would be neat to share a little project for our front door decorations.

Here is the OLD bucket...

It was silver, rusted, and hardly ever used.

But after a little metallic gold spray paint and poinsettias, this is the NEW bucket...

Stay tuned for more of my Christmas decorated door!! Snag the button below if you'd like to join in the fun!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Steps...

A friend of mine shared this verse with me...

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."~ Proverbs 16:9

And it speaks directly to me about our journey.

I never EVER dreamed that I would be taking this journey to parenthood.

I imagined the beautiful white wedding, the exotic honeymoon, the family of TWO vacations, puchasing a nice home, and then starting a family. I never thought that four years later, we would STILL be stuck on the very last step of that plan.

But you know what...God knows what He's doing. Although I may not like it and I might not agree with it, He knows what is best for me.

So until he determines my steps, I'll continue to follow His path.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cause and Effect

Just a little lesson on Cause and Effect...

Infertility...financial burdens.
Infertility...marriage stress.
Infertility...lonely holidays.

Lesson learned.