Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Goals for 2011... 25 for my 25th year.

January 1, 2011

For the first time in my life I have really started to feel my own mortality and my age. I will be 25 on February 6th. I used to think 25 was so old. Now that I work in a group home with 85 year olds it makes me feel like 60 years is NOT all that long. I will be 85 before I know it. And I better do something with my time on earth!

All we get is that little dash in between our years of birth and death. What are you doing with your dash?

1986 - ?? Well I plan to start filling my dash up with as much as I can!


# 1 : My #1 most important goal for 2011 is to finish reading the Bible cover to cover. I am about 50 % through. I tried to read it in 90 days and then got way off track and never picked back up or read very slowly. The last few nights I have taken the time to read at least a days' worth of reading and I can really feel my spirits being uplifted. I don't know how I ever get out of reading the Word when I can feel how powerfully it changes my life almost immediately!

# 2 : Spend more time with my husband and getting to know how better and growing closer to him. I love Jack & I want the next 60 or so years of our lives to be very happily married years! Plus our marriage is the most important covenant that Jack and I have with God and the greatest way we can honor Him in our lives until we meet Him!


# 3 : Get to my goal weight!! I have done pretty good at the end of this year with my dieting and I plan to continue. I am going to finally get to my goal weight! I wanted to do it by my 25th birthday but now I can just do it before the end of my 25th year. Hopefully much sooner than the end ;)


# 4 : Quit biting my nails. I'm going to be 25 for pity's sake! I can clearly remember the first time I bit my nails... I saw my dear older sister biting her nails. I remember where I was too, we were in the den at the house we grew up in. I loved my sister dearly and wanted to do anything and everything that she did. So I copied her. And here I am over 20 years later still wanting to quit biting my nails! What a stupid gross habit that is too!

#5 : Get pregnant. Can that be a goal? Can something we have no control over be something I can work towards? Well we'll see... Jack and I will give it our best shot.

# 6 : Personally lead at least 1 person to know Christ as their personal savior.

# 7 : Spend more time growing my friendships.

# 8 : Join some kind of a small group.

# 9 : Get more involved with our church.

# 10 : Become members at our church.

# 11 : Finish at least 10 quilts. (For me!)

# 12 : Read at least 75 books.

# 13 : Keep my house cleaner!

# 14 : Get to know my neighbors better.

# 15 : Sing in front of my church congregation.

# 16 : Save $20,000.

# 17: Pray for my family and friends daily.

# 18: Finish reading the Bible through the first time (I'm about 55% done) and read it a second time all the way through.

# 19: Rely on God for the big things and the little things.

# 20: Share my faith with at least 1 new person a week.

# 21: Find a person to bless each week.

# 22: No Fast Food and No Pop.

# 23: Paint my 2nd Bedroom. When we moved in, that room was determined for the "nursery." We may or may not ever have a nursery and I have not been able to bring myself to paint it since my plans were to paint it blue or pink, and obviously we woudn't know if it should be blue or pink until I was pregnant. We've lived here 8 months and I still haven't painted it and I'm still not pregnant. I am going to paint the room and finish it as a guest bedroom. I am letting go of that room as a possibility and if God allows us to get pregnant and gives us a body to put in our nursery, I can re=paint. If not, I will be content with off-white walls.

# 24: Learn something new.

# 25: Take a vacation. Go up to Trout Lake and relax and bring our dirtbikes and let the dogs swim and go off roading in the jeep. And bring as many of our loved ones up there as possible. And go camping!


I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. - Philippians 4:13

and


Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37 3:5

will be my mantra this year.

Making my blog invitation only and deleting my Facebook.

I have been really struggling with a lot of things that I have been doing in my life and I am feeling very confident that the New Year is going to be the time to commit myself to some changes.

#1 change - I am deleting the forum that I have been the administrator to for over 2 years now. It has been dying off quite a bit in the last 6 months to possibly a year. It really used to be this great place where a lot of women came for support and encouragement and it has become none of that any more. It's just become a burden on me and I need to unload it. I am so thankful for the friends that I made and I will never forget them, but I need to free up some of my time and my life and get rid of some stress.

#2 change - I am deleting my facebook account. I have really felt convicted about what Facebook has become and what I use it for. I in no way serve God or serve others by using facebook. I might post the occasional scripture or inspirational status or comment on people's things but I don't feel like I am witnessing for God through Facebook. Instead I feel like it is a tool that Satan uses to destroy my life. Every day I see new and shiny things that people post what they have or what they're getting and I struggle with jealousy or coveting things. I am constantly bombarded with pregnancy announcements and belly pictures. I really don't need to see that. I don't need to keep track of what my ex-co-worker from 5 years ago's sister's pregnancy. I really really don't. But now with FB you also can't delete people like that without it being a big faux pas. If you delete someone as a friend and you run into them at the grocery store, they feel jilted, so they don't want to be friends any more. It's a really bizarre situation, but I am guilty of it too... I want to be facebook friends with everybody I know! There are a lot more reasons that I want to get rid of my FB, privacy and spending more time in God's word and working on bettering my marriage with Jack are a few more.

#3 change - and most significant to my readers of this blog... I am going to invite only. So all of you silent readers out there, you are going to have to let me know that you are reading if you want to have an invite to read this blog. All I need to do is add your email address to the list of approved readers. I just really need to make my life a lot more private. I want to be a witness, but at a certain point, I want to know if I am actually sowing any seeds at all or if I'm just wasting time.


What does this mean for the future?

Well, I still have the same phone number. I would like to have more meaningful friendships with my friends, so if you just kept in touch with me on facebook and you really like me... hey, give me a call or text me and we can get together and have coffee some time. I love going out and doing things too, I'd love to meet you at the dog park or something! I really want my life to be more full and meaningful instead of just quick few sentence messages here and there through a social networking site.

I will also still check my email. (Irons.Allison@Gmail.com) So feel free to add it to your address book. Write me a note if you want to, if not that's cool too.

I am really looking to weed out the acquaintances from my personal circle so that I can really focus on growing myself and growing in my relationships with those people who choose to be that important in my life. I am more than open to adding more people into my close circle of friends and loved ones, so if you'd like to be in that, by all means, let's get to know each other better.

It's just a super lonely world to have 500+ "friends" on Facebook and wonder why not one has commented to see how you're doing in a long time.

So that's where I am.

On (or around, depending on how busy I am) January 1, 2011 my blog will become invite only, I will delete my facebook account and my forum.

To my readers: Be on the lookout for my 2011 resolution and goal list!

To all of my Facebook "friends" : I hope that I get to stay in touch with each and every one of you... and while I know that's just not a reality... I look forward to running in to you in random places and we will catch up like normal people instead of each of us knowing all the intimate details of each other's private lives without having spoken any words to each other in years ;)

Happy New Year!! And God Bless you all until we meet again!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party and Home Decor

Jack and I had an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party on Saturday night. It was a blast. Lots of laughs and ugly ugly sweaters.

Punch. (Pineapple Juice, club soda, orange sherbet, raspberry sherbet and a little bit of grenadine)

Me!

Cheese Dip

Dippers

the spread







we had a blizzard last Sunday



Today I re-painted my kitchen:
BEFORE:
Photobucket
I basically hated this green since the day I finished painting... but we had an entire house to paint yet so I didn't have the luxury of repainting it... and today Jack and I were just tired of it. 7 months is too long to have ugly paint in your kitchen!



Kitchen view.
Photobucket

And AFTER:


MUCH better.

LOVE IT!

Tomorrow morning I am getting my hair done and I work at my Job #1 for the rest of the day. And then on Tuesday I will work for about 9 hours at job #2 and then I am off for the rest of the week :)

Looking forward to some cozy stay at home time with my wonderful husband and some Christmas festivities.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas is my favorite Holiday

Well maybe not... but it is my 2nd to least favorite holiday as far as IF goes. It's heartbreaking to see everybody dressing up their little ones in all the adorable Christmas clothes and to have everyone fawning all over the little ones, because really, isn't that who all the gifts are for? Which is fine, but it just sucks that another year goes by and Jack and I don't have any little ones to add to the mix.

I'm still sort of cracking up at the (rude) people who all spread rumors saying that I was pregnant and that's why Jack and I pushed our wedding up so much. Well... Do you believe me yet? Three years and I'm STILL not pregnant. Ahh it's the little things like this that make me smile at how rude people can be and it helps me get through the days!

To make up for the fact that we don't have anyone to lavish all of our Christmas love on this year... we are hosting party after party after party!

I just grocery shopped after I got out of job #1 today and I bought $50 worth of chocolate, chocolates, candies, cookies and chips. Haha... sounds like the makings of a good party right?

I can't wait to get pictures of my chocolate fountain all set up. And I can't wait of course to get a picture of everyone together in their Ugly Christmas Sweaters. As far as I can tell, my Dad, his wife, my older sister and older brother will be here. I don't know if my little brother will be here.

Speaking of my little brother, I just wanted to ask for some prayers for him. On Tuesday morning, he hit a patch of black ice and rolled his truck. (He is physically okay! Thank God!!) This truck is his livelihood. It carries all his tools, heck, it is a tool in itself, carries his ladders and he can't do his job without his truck. (He works in cable.) He was headed to orientation for a new job that he was SUPER fortunate to get and he has been a while out of work. So he is really hurting from losing his truck and possibly losing his job. So please pray that he gets back on his feet soon and the insurance company does their job swiftly and he can get a new truck in no time and be back to work and that this job will still be waiting for him when he gets his new truck all set up. And pray for his spirits as he goes through this and pray for encouragement and motivation to get all set back up again. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Working at the group home.

I just got home from my second day at the group home. I had a few firsts!

1. I did my first shot!! One of the ladies is diabetic and needs insulin shots. On my first day, I did the finger prick, which duh is no big deal. This time I did her insulin shot. I figured hey I have to learn some time. So I just bit the bullet and did it. I only had to re-stick her once. Haha.

2. I flew solo today. I think I did a pretty good job.

Overall, I feel like the job is very rewarding. I would love to have someone treat my grandparents with as much love and respect as I treat these women. And the job is also exhausting! Maybe it's from being up since 6:15 and working from 8-8 today... but I'm tired. I got home around 8:30 because I stayed and chatted with Joz for a while.


Giving that woman her shot makes me really feel like I have no doubt in my mind about being able to give myself shots.... Things that make you scratch your head and think, wow, I really could do that!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow day!

I was about to head out the door this morning when Jack called me. He had made it less than 10 miles away from home and he has about 40 miles to drive to work, It took him about an hour and a half to drive 10 miles away and drive 10 miles back. So we have a snow day today! I was already up and dressed so I started making some english muffins from scratch! The dough had to rise an hour and then I had to roll them out and cut them into biscuit sizes and now i'm just waiting for the muffins to rise again before I grill them.

(Recipe taken from Happy Housewife, link here.)

I think I'm going to catch up on some sewing today and laundry. It will be a fun snow day :)

It's okay a half a snow day for me though because I work at the group home tonight, but still... half a day off is better than no days off right?


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Panic attacks = shopping sprees?

In the recent months I have really struggled with Sunday mornings. I love our church, I love our pastor, I love going to church with my husband, but there is just something about Sunday morning that really gets me in a positively foul mood...

I finally figured it out this morning... None of my clothes fit. I have 1 or 2 pairs of jeans that fit me well and maybe 1 or 2 shirts and nothing else. The other day I was having a hard time because I have no nice clothing at all, and all of my coats are very utility and sometimes, just sometimes, I would like to look nice. I am doing weight watchers and have recently lost about 20 pounds, so that is all well and good, but it is making it very difficult for me to get dressed in the morning!

So my wonderful husby took me on a shopping spree this afternoon. We hit some MAJOR sales and I was able to almost fully overhaul my wardrobe for less than $250! And, I got an awesome new coat from Eddie Bauer. Now I have my utility Carhartts and also a nice winter jacket that I won't be loading the wood burning stove in and I won't be getting all dirty.

I am super happy and excited to wear my new clothes and I am especially excited that we bought such great quality clothes on super sale and now I have things that last, and we spent less than if we would have bought the same amount of things from Target! :)


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why share our suffering?

I have been talking to Jack about this a lot lately and this is a conversation that was sparked by something my Dad said to me after we unveiled (so to speak) our blog and what our plans were by sharing our struggle openly and with the world.

Why share our suffering? The answer is simple. To give Glory to God.

Let me try to explain this as simply and as directly as I can.

If you see this super happy family, always have money, never in need or even in want of anything, always smiling, always have money in their bank account to pay all their bills and then some, always have food in their fridge, constantly going on extravagant family vacations, all of the children are happy and have every toy they could have ever wanted... And these people praise God and say how much they love God... wouldn't you sort of expect that? I mean yeah, wow, how inspiring, these people who have it all are giving credit to God. Easy for them to do right?

But what about the homeless man on the street who hasn't eaten in days and hasn't showered in months. What about him? If he gives Glory to God and Praises God and LOVES God with all of his heart, that sure moves us doesn't it?

Satan believed that also, just read the book of Job. Job had it all. Loving wife, all the money he could ever imagine, all of the things he could ever want and all of those blessings showered down onto all of his kids. Satan challenged God and said, hey God... I bet if you take all that away, he won't be so inclined to be worshiping you anymore. (Job 1:9-11) So God is all, "yeah right Satan... I know Job. He would never do what you think he would... go ahead... take everything he's got." And so Satan does.

And what does Job do? Job 1:20-21 says, then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

When you're going through trials and you can still lift up your hands and praise God and worship God for all of the amazing things that He has done and the amazing works He has performed in your life, that is how someone can successfully witness to others. Watching someone who has it all, (especially because most of us feel like we don't, right?) enjoying everything they have sure doesn't make us feel good. Sure doesn't make us sit up and take notice.

But when someone is scraping by and barely hanging on and they fall down and worship, well now, that turns heads.

I feel like this philosophy is highlighted throughout all of scripture. That all of these people going through the valleys of their lives worshipping and loving God with all their heart, all their mind and all their strength, that's how they lead new believers to Christ.


Back to the point of this post... Why do we share what we are going through and experiencing?

If we didn't share it, there would be no way to truly show the magnitude of God's love for us. If we didn't share how much sorrow comes with infertility, how can anyone really and fully understand how powerful God has been in our lives?

If I say, wow, infertility sucks. God is great! God is our strength. God makes me so happy.
No one really gets to know God. No one can see how He moves mountains in our lives. No one can see how he works miracles and weaves this amazing story through our lives and through us and through others that we meet.

Now if I tell you how many nights we fall asleep holding each other and crying, how sometimes we have called in sick to work because we were literally up crying the entire night just trying to make it through. If I explain to you what a horrible heartache it is to go through this and then because our friends don't understand our struggle that we lose our closest friends, when all we need more than anything right now is those friends. What about if I explain how infertility can rip apart a marriage. If I explain to you all the nitty gritty, things no one wants to hear because they never even could imagine how bad, let alone ever want to think about type of things... THEN and only THEN can you begin to understand what it means when we say that we LOVE God with all of our hearts. And only then does it matter when we praise Him for what He has done for us and how He has blessed our lives.

Starting my second job today!

Of course, I would go out and get a second job a few weeks before Christmas and during my busiest time of this year!

This year we are super excited to be having a lot of parties to get together with friends and family at our house.

We hosted Thanksgiving here for my mom's side of the family last month.

Next Saturday, we are having an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party! It should be super fun! It looks like it's going to be relatively small, but we are all going to be wearing the ugliest Christmas Sweaters we can find and eating Christmas cookies and drinking egg nog and listening to Christmas music!

I should probably hang up some mistletoe too just for fun!

After that, on Christmas Eve, I am having my Dad and his wife over for dinner with my 3 siblings. And then on Christmas morning, my mom and my 3 siblings will celebrate together. Christmas afternoon around 2pm, all of Jack's extended family is going to start piling in to our house. There should be over 30 people at my house when all that is said and done! It should make for an exciting day :)

I sure do need to get cleaning the house, which is always fun! And then I also have a few sewing projects that I need to get finished before Christmas. One small, one medium and one large sized quilt! I can't wait until after Christmas when I can show pictures of those and show pictures of the recipients opening them!

It's time to head out the door to go to my first job and then later this afternoon it's first day at job #2! I am pretty excited and I can't wait to see how it goes.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

In all things, give thanks!

To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. Psalm 30:12

This is one of the verses that our Pastor shared in church this morning. I heard it and even though I had just read the 30th Psalm the other day, it didn't really strike me. Until he read it again.

I felt incredibly convicted! To God's Glory that I will sing His praises and not be silent... Well I'd like to think that this blog is my little soap box where I sing His praises, but I'm afraid that I'm not doing this to my full potential every day!

I have been given so many opportunities and for all of that I'm very thankful.

I was recently given a new opportunity for another job. I have accepted and I will begin to work 2 jobs each week, one at my office/administrative assistant position and the 2nd as a caretaker at a group home for elderly women. God has just blessed us so much financially in this unstable economy and every time something ends job wise, another job just shoots up out of nowhere!

So in all things, I give God praise and Glory!

Glory to God for my newest job!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

God opens doors.

Jack and I have committed to not making any big decisions one way or another and have promised to each other to spend the entire month of December in prayer and digging as deep into the bible we can about our situation and what should be our next step.

Along with that, we have both felt like it's time (regardless of what our next step is) to start saving money for that next step. I work part time right now and I have been wanting to get another job but I'm always really torn about what kind of job to get. Working in restaurants is something that is easy for me to do, but hard emotionally. It's hard for me to see families all day long and things like that...

And today I was texting an old friend that I recently got back in touch with again. She runs a home where she has elderly women live in it and she takes care of them and she recently found out she's needing to replace her employee of 2 years ! So I offered to let her see what it would be like with me helping her out and see if she'd like me to do that. I go in on Friday morning to run through a typical day for her and see how it works out!

I am pretty excited about this. And, it's literally 7 minutes down the road from my house. It is halfway to where my current job is now!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Planning for the future.

There is one thing that Jack and I have been really good at though all of this... it's planning. Ha! What a joke right?

Let me give you an example of what it's like to plan things around infertility:

- You ask your girlfriend who just got engaged and asked you to be the Matron of Honor in her wedding if it will be alright if you're pregnant and standing up next to her because you know, that could happen... 13 months away. (By the way, they got married 6 months ago. I'm still not pregnant.)
- You pull out your calendar months in advance and figure out what cycle day you are likely to be on while you're on a vacation just to see if you can take that vacation or not.
- You spend $100's extra a month on rent for years because you "need a second bedroom for the nursery".
- You sell off your favorite toy vehicles because you need to plan for a family friendly vehicle.
- You buy a bench seat for your big truck instead of the 2 bucket seats so that you will be able to put a car seat in between and safely have your car seat ride in the truck.
- You plan every single time that would be the "perfect time" to announce to your whole family that you're expecting.
- You constantly hold of purchasing those big items, because you might need that money to buy things for a nursery.
- You are always non-comital when it comes to making plans of any kind for any future event.
- You don't paint your other bedroom because you were "supposed" to be painting it for the nursery... so you just leave it unpainted.

Oh wait, all of those things are things that we have done.

And now here we are, planning again. God sure must think we are hilarious with all the plans that we try to make. Everything is His plan, so what on earth are we doing? What on earth have we been doing?

But none-the-less, we try to take some semblance of control over our situation and we plan. Right now I want to get a second job of some sort to make extra money to save for whatever we plan for the future. Whether it will be IVF or adoption, both will cost at least $10,000 and we plan to pay cash. So it's to the drawing board we go, what kinds of job will I look for.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

More thoughts on IVF w/ICSI

Jack and I were talking about affording this sort of medical procedure this morning. Our insurance covers absolutely nothing having even a hint to do with infertility, so we will be all out of pocket for whatever infertility procedure we decide to do. We don't want to finance this, so we will be paying cash for everything that we do. Every visit with a specialist, every prescription, every single thing.

This might be a few years out yet, we just need to start saving and working towards that.

Jack was telling one of his friends last night about what we were planning on doing and his friend said, well, what else would you spend your money on? How true. Would I rather go on a couple super exquisite vacations... or have a baby? No contest... Baby. Would we rather re-do the basement or have a baby... Baby. Would we rather buy a brand new car or have a baby.... Baby. So, when thought it terms like that... It makes sense and makes it much easier to justify the expense that we are going to be facing to try to conceive.

Only God knows what is in store for us, and we have faith that his plan is great. And if this is His will for our lives, then we will not struggle financially.


Friday, November 26, 2010

In vitro fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection

What a powerful, interesting set of words.

In vitro fertilization is the process by which a woman's eggs are taken from her ovaries and fertilized by a man's sperm outside of the body. The fertilized eggs, or zygotes, are then transferred back into the woman's uterus with the hopes of establishing a successful pregnancy. In vitro fertilization or IVF is commonly used to combat female factor infertility.

In vitro fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or IVF w/ICSI is a method more commonly used to combat male factor infertility. This is the process by which, in the same way as in IVF, a woman's eggs are taken from her ovaries and fertilized by a man's sperm outside the body. The way IVF w/ICSI differs is the method by which the sperm fertilize the eggs outside of the body. Generally, in cases where this is necessary, the male sperm has morphology problems. (The shape of the sperm.)

IVF w/ICSI is the road that we would have to be taking if we were to go the medical route instead of pursuing adoption. At this point, we are very prayerfully considering this option. We aren't 100% sure of anything, yet, except that we want to become parents.

Step one.... pray.

Step two... save money.

Step three... find a doctor that we can actually trust.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thankful

Thanksgiving is this week and I just wanted to share what I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving.

I'm thankful for a lot of things, but most of all, I'm thankful for my God. My God who loves unconditionally, no matter how many times I manage to mess things up. I'm thankful for my God who sent His son to die for my sins!

I'm thankful for my husband, Jack. He is a great listener and a wonderful partner. I could not imagine my life without him!

I'm thankful for God's plan for our life. I don't know what it is, and even though it's been difficult at times, I know that He promises Joy unspeakable. I'm waiting for that joy! And I will remain faithful until that day comes.

I'm thankful for our home. I love our home and everything in it, we have been so incredibly blessed.

I'm thankful for our jobs. I have a great boss and co-workers and Jack loves his job. Especially living in Michigan, at at time like this where unemployment looms so unbelievably high!

I'm thankful for my family and friends.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Aniversary!

Just wanted to tell my beautiful wife happy aniversary. I can't believe it has already been three years! I know a lot of peoples' marriages suffer from infertility, I just want my wife to know I love her more today than I ever have.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thanksgiving is coming

So many different things happen this time of year for Jack and I.

On November 11, 2009 Jack and I moved back home to Michigan from Wisconsin. I can not even wrap my brain around how fast the last year of my life went by.


This time of year is really my favorite time of year.

November 17th - Our Wedding anniversary
Week after that - Thanksgiving
Then Of course Christmas
January 19 - Jack's birthday (The big 3-0 this year!!)
February 6 - My birthday! (The big 2-5 this year :) )
and of course Feb 14 - Valentine's Day.

This is my favorite time of year! All of the things we celebrate really make this winter go by fast for me. AND of course, I LOVE snow.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sing for my church and quilting

I went to my first practice for singing with my church on Thursday. I was SUPER nervous but it ended up being really fun. I think I did well, especially for not having sang like that for almost 7 years!! I'm pretty stinking excited to see how this turns out :)

And I've been quilting up a storm. In the last few weeks I've basted, quilted and bound 2 quilts. Today I'm going to try to baste and quilt one more Christmas Quilt to get it up on my Etsy before Christmas.


Sing for my church and quilting

I went to my first practice for singing with my church on Thursday. I was SUPER nervous but it ended up being really fun. I think I did well, especially for not having sang like that for almost 7 years!! I'm pretty stinking excited to see how this turns out :)

And I've been quilting up a storm. In the last few weeks I've basted, quilted and bound 2 quilts. Today I'm going to try to baste and quilt one more Christmas Quilt to get it up on my Etsy before Christmas.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Third anniversary

Our third wedding anniversary is in just a few short weeks. While I am happy that Jack and I are still married, and still working on having a good marriage and working on trying to have the kind of marriage that God wants us to have, I'm sad.

Our third wedding anniversary coming up means that another 3rd anniversary is coming up very close behind it. Our 3rd anniversary of trying to conceive. That sucks. A lot.

I remember very clearly how I felt on our first anniversary.


And from our second anniversary:
Silly me, I thought I may have ovulated. I hate infertility with a passion.

I hate people who tell me stupid stories about people adopting then getting pregnant. Guess what?? That's 1 in a million chances there buddy. Thanks for the ridiculous tid bit that will do me no help and is actually a random happening, not like hey if you adopt you'll get pregnant. *rolls eyes*


Now we are moving on to year three. What will it bring? I have no idea.

I don't know really where we are now. Both Jack and I have felt very convicted about comparing our lives to others. Like wow, that girl is 15 years old... why can SHE have a baby and we can't. Or neither of them have jobs... why can THEY have a baby and we can't? You name it, we're guilty of it. And it's horrible. How pride can destroy us! How dare we be so boastful that we believe we are better or more capable or more deserving. Only God can choose these things. Only God knows who should or shouldn't have babies.

I mean obviously we still wonder why crack addicts have babies. And teenagers, and people in abusive relationships. Anything really, I still wonder.

Infertility makes you think all the time.

Sometimes we live a life of what if's. Sometimes we have to shut ourselves off from the rest of the world.

This time of year really is the hardest for us. Family holidays are rough. The longer we go through this the more things that get difficult. Now I cringe when my friends get married, because it will only be a matter of time before they start trying to conceive. It's a horrible feeling. I don't want my friends to struggle.

2 years ago, I wrote that I didn't want to imagine what our life would be like as just a family of two.

I know that marriage in general is a LOT of hard work. But add infertility in to the mix... Three years together and through infertility should be celebrated like a 25th anniversary. 25 % of couples facing infertility end up getting a divorce. Infertility can rip apart a husband and wife. Infertility can tear you apart.

So yeah. 3rd Anniversary.

Our marriage is what we make of it. What are we going to do with the next 50+ years?


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Feel like I'm spinning my wheels.

I feel like I'm spinning my wheels. I know one shouldn't compare their lives to others, but I'm struggling to find the purpose in my life.

When Jack and I knew we were going to get married, we decided and agreed that I was going to be a stay at home mom. We would have lots of children relatively quickly in our marriage and I would stay home with them and then home school them once they became of school age. We agreed at the time, when I was 21 years old, that there was no need for me to finish school. It would be of no use to me and it was a waste of time and money and didn't fit into our plan.

I'm going to be 25 in February. We have zero kids. I am still only working part time and here and there, depending on what jobs I can find and hold on to. I think we are still kind of holding out hope that somehow this is going to still happen for us. Somehow, some way, I am going to be leaving my part time, going no where job so that I can follow the original plan.... Go back to being a full time wife and mom.

Not being able to conceive has left me feeling like my life has no purpose. Since I was probably 13 or 14, all I aspired to be in my life was a Mom. I wanted to have lots of kids and love them and be all about them and give them a happy life. I dreamed for that and yearned for that. All of my friends planned careers and while I did attend University, I majored in a field that I was interested in and found incredibly easy just to pass the time. All of my friends went to school and had plans and stuck to them and now they are starting their careers.

I'm still here... spinning my wheels... waiting for the light to turn to green so I can take off from the start on my life.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Still putting in the boiler

We are still working on installing our Central Boiler wood burning stove. Jack has made the form (with my help, of course) for the concrete. Today looks like the perfect day to make the concrete and pour it in the form so that we can move the boiler out of the driveway.

We are still working on our wood supply, though not as quickly as we were before. Jack works an hour away and doesn't get home until 5. By 7:30 it is no longer safe to be cutting wood because it is so dark outside, and of course it's only going to get dark earlier and earlier! So we don't have enough time to drive somewhere to cut down some trees and then cut up the wood and load it before we run out of light.

As soon as the boiler is finished being installed, we can move forward with the plan of gathering wood on the weekends.

Today I woke up at about 7:30 and checked on Dixie. Cleaned up the kitchen and did the dishes and watched some Mythbusters. Jack woke up around 8:30 and has been outside working ever since. It is October 9 and it is supposed to be nearly 80 today! It's already starting to be a gorgeous day! Too bad Dixie is out of commission otherwise I would want to take the dogs for a nice long walk.

Dixie got spayed yesterday so she'll be recovering all week. My monster of a puppy is 6 months and 6 days old today and weighs 86 pounds!!! Yep, that's my little beast.

How's my uterus you might wonder? Well, I'm on cycle day 43. My normal cycles are usually around 40-45 days... with a max at 60 days. Anything over 60 days supposedly you're supposed to call your doctor to take some progesterone to bring on your period so you can cycle again. Well... No thanks is what I say. Aside from the fact that after 2 1/2 years, I STILL haven't found a doctor I trust and that doesn't rip us off; what is the point? At this point me without a period is just a convenience instead of a problem.


We are still thinking about adoption, but we really aren't there yet. Especially financially. Maybe in the next year or so we can get back on our feet from the initial shock of buying a house and fixing it up and maintaining it. I am still reeling in all that we have done with the house in 5 short months!

May 5 - Closed on the house.
Painted the ENTIRE 2200 sq ft of ceiling and alllll the walls in the whole house (MYSELF.) ($600)
Put new kitchen cupboards in ($1400)
ALL brand new appliances (fridge, microwave, stove, dishwasher, washer, dryer) ($2200ish)
New carpet everywhere ($4300)
New water softener ($1000)
New water heater (yeah that was a lovely surprise.) ($1200)
Central boiler! (Looks like it's shaping up to be about $8500)

UNBELIEVABLE.

Can't wait until next year when all of this initial cost wears off!!

$19,200. We could have bought a brand new car and paid cash!!!!!!! O.O

We did, however, go from a house that was foreclosed and looked like death at $129,000 to a house that is easily comparable to the $200,000-$250,000 houses. $20,000 worth of improvements DEFINITELY upped the value of our house tremendously.

That is the first time I've added all that up in a while... WOW that was a lot of money!! In 5 MONTHS!




Friday, October 1, 2010

The calendar months just keep flipping by.

It was 2 years ago this month that I first started having bleeding problems... 2 years ago that we first discovered that we weren't just taking a "little while" to get pregnant, that we were actually dealing with infertility.

How has 24 months gone by since the first time a doctor said to me, "Don't worry, you're young." And blew me off? Dear Dr. A... a few more months ... a few 24 more months has gone by. When do YOU think, in your "professional" opinion, that we should start to "worry".

I can't believe how many awful doctors I've met in the last 24 months. I can't believe how many doctors have taken advantage of our situation and our desire to have a child by costing us an arm and a leg and getting us absolutely no where.

We have spent over $10,000 so far just trying to diagnose what is wrong.

I know many have spent much more than that... but we have never done IUI or IVF. So, knowing that, just to DIAGNOSE is a bit ridiculous.

2 years later though, I feel more in love with my husband than ever. We are trying to get our new house ready for Winter. We are putting in a central boiler (a wood burning stove that is outside) and trying to get all that done in the next couple weeks. Last night we dug the trench for the pipes from the boiler to the house. That was a big adventure!

Our 3rd wedding anniversary is next month! We went and had some pictures done last weekend so that we could have some current pictures to frame in our house.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Central Boiler

Things around our neck of the woods have been pretty quiet. I started a new job where I work 4 days a week in an office. I'm trying to work out a schedule with everything I have going on with that. I am hoping to get the guts up to join a small group or a bible study with the church so that we can get more involved and possibly make some friends. Jack is still working, not as much overtime as he was before, but his work got a new contract so it's looking like he might have another 18 months to 2 years depending on future contracts... which is great news since we didn't think the job would last longer than to about March... and it's almost October!!

We bought a Central Boiler wood burning stove. It sits outside, and it will sit about 25 feet away from the edge of our garage. It heats water up to 185 degrees farenheit and that water goes through super well insulated tubes that are buried about 2 feet underground into the house and then into our water heater and heats the water and then goes to our furnace and a coil runs through the furnace and the forced air heat that we have pushes the air through the coil of hot water and our existing duct work and fan will heat the house. It was a pretty big investment but with the cost of propane, it will pay for itself after next winter. And after that we will essentially have free heat! (Of course as long as we are able to find free wood.)

We have been learning how to fell trees and Jack bought a Stihl chainsaw. We have cut quite a few down and right now his long time friend Mike is over here teaching him how to properly and safely fell trees. Mike is an arborist and cuts down trees for a living. He cut down the biggest dead tree that we have at the back of the lot in a matter of minutes when it would have taken us about 45 minutes to hit the ground. He is so precise. It's amazing to watch someone do what they're really good at. Especially when it takes a lot of skill and knowledge.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Housewarming party

Our housewarming party turned out great :) We had a lot of people not come so we ended up with a lot of extra food but the weather was super crappy, so that's probably a big reason why a lot of people didn't come. We got so many generous presents!! What a great surprise!

While I was giving Jack's Grandma a tour of our house she pulled me aside and said, "This house is much too big for just two people.... but I know you're working on that." Yes, Grandma, we are working on it. It is completely and 100% out of our hands. We can only do our part.

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. - 1 Corinthians 7:5 KJV

Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 1 Corinthians 7:5 NLT

So we will do our part. We will let God move these mountains in our life.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Worked on the house all day long

Cleaning the house is EXHAUSTING!!

Especially deep cleaning every single room! I wish I could keep my house company ready all the time. I have found lots of different types of cleaning tips all over the place to try to make that happen... but mostly, I fail miserably! My house isn't messy, but more often than not, it's just plain cluttered.

I dusted and vacuumed and scrubbed. Then I baked tonight and made 2 huge batches of m&m cookies so now when I wake up in the morning, I'm going to have some dishes and cleaning the kitchen to do.

I'm really excited about our housewarming party! I have so much food prep to do tomorrow. Today I did a lot of the cleaning, but I still have cleaning to do tomorrow too. I need to clean off all the couches, give both the dogs a bath. Clip Bessie's nails... i did Dixie's this evening. I need to vacuum upstairs, wash the sheets on our bed, make the beds upstairs. Oh I have so much left to do!!!

I should go to bed!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Housewarming party menu

I'm waiting for my clothes to dry in the dryer so I thought I'd put together my menu plan for our Housewarming Party that is on Saturday.

We are expecting anywhere from 30-60 people. Probably will be in the middle, and over the course of the day. I'm so excited!! Especially because I have finally figured out what all I am going to be making!

Hamburgers and Hot Dogs on the Grill with all the fixin's


Better made potato chips




Veggie Tray with Ranch



Fresh Fruit


Corn on the Cob



Cheesy Potato Leek Soup



Taco Salad




I'm making this cake only in cupcakes! (recipe and picture from here)

and the piece de resistance ....


Apple Cider and Donuts from a local Cider Mill!!

Trust me, I couldn't be MORE excited about the cider and donuts :D

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First day working in the nursery was this past Sunday

I got to the nursery at about 8:45 for the 9am service. There were already 2 parents there with their little ones. I was the only one there!! I had no idea how to check in the kids, or where they went... or anything really. Aside from being no where close to as organized and as smoothly ran as the last church nursery I worked in, it went really well. The only down side was the huge blow out that this cute little girl who was about 10 months old had. Her Grandma had brought her in and had her dressed in this fancy little dress with bloomers and white tights... and let's just say she destroyed the ENTIRE outfit. The dress was literally thrown in the trash!

It's amazing how when you're doing something that God has called you to do, He makes it so much easier. My heart was light the whole time I was in there, and all of the clingy, crying kids ALL wanted me. We had 9 babies, all under 18 months old. It went really well, I had a good time. I was in the nursery with Pastor Cliff's wife, I forget her name... but we had a good time laughing at the kids and playing with them. I am not on the schedule again until next month.

On Wednesday night River University starts... it's a bunch of bible studies and classes offered at the church. I want to go to either the Hebrews Bible study taught by Pastor Cliff or the Couples' Bible Study... Jack is leaning more towards the Hebrew's Bible Study... so that's what we will probably do. Hopefully we will start to meet some people!

This Saturday is our housewarming party... FINALLY! We have only been in the house for 4 months now! I only have a few small projects that I would like to get done, besides cleaning the whole house top to bottom, before Saturday.
  • put all the plates back on the outlets and the light switches... hey what can I say? I got burned out lol
  • clean all the windows and windowsills
  • dust EVERYTHING
  • clean all the floors
  • organize the pantry in the kitchen
  • clean out the laundry room.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Divine intervention

My friend was minding her own business at work yesterday and she started to hear knocking in the supposedly empty building next door to hers. She works alone at her office so she walked 2 doors down to get the owner of the building to come and explore the empty building to see if anything was amiss. Thankfully, nothing was wrong and they couldn't find the source for the sounds that she heard. While they were searching, he mentioned that he had lost one of his girls on his team and would my friend know anyone who was looking for part time work.

Well as a matter of fact, she said, I sure do.

And we met for lunch that day, my friend told me all about the job, after lunch we went up there, I had an interview, and I start on September 13th when the receptionist gets back from vacation! It's Monday through Thursday 8am to 2pm. I couldn't be more excited! I don't have to deal with planning things around work. I don't have to worry that my schedule is going to change from one week to the next. I can go to work and get home before Jack gets home from work. I will be able to go back to having a normal life with Jack again!! I'm so excited!!

So Glory be to God and hey God, thanks for knocking and hey Ashley, thanks for answering for me :)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What's going on lately...

I'm looking for a second job. My hours are really hit and miss with my current job and I am bored out of my mind all week long, so I would like something that I could work hourly all during the week and then on the weekends work at my current job. Obviously a third income wouldn't hurt anything.

We are saving to buy a wood burning stove to heat our house. We have propane heat which is very expensive and we are planning to buy a wood burning stove that heats water and the pipes with water will run into our house and have a coil type thing that goes through the furnace and our existing duct work and furnace will just blow the air through the hot water coil. (From what I understand.) It's August 31... and Michigan... so it will not be along at all until we are going to be needing heat.

Fortunately for us, we spent last winter in a basement with no heat. Most of the time it was in the high 40's where we were living. Yes... it was FREEZING. We had space heaters in our bedroom but at the highest I'm sure it was in the high 50's. We invested in a heating blanket lol. Best $30 we ever spent :)

So I think we are conditioned to not needing the heat very high, and that will save us money too!

I have a few quilts that I'm working on that potentially I might like to sell. I really like them though, so I might end up giving them as gifts, I have no idea.

Today and yesterday, like most Mondays and Tuesdays since I haven't been working during the week... I am pretty unproductive. Yesterday I basically did nothing. I cleaned the kitchen and made dinner and dessert, but that was about the most of what I did.

Today I have done nothing until about an hour ago. I went and cleaned out and organized and rearranged my sewing room. I'm super happy with it, and I really like it. I think the next thing I'm going to do is move the dog cages out of our bedroom. As classy and fancy dog cage night stands look... I think I'm done with the cages in the bedroom. We have a landing at the top of the stairs that is not really used for anything that I think would be a good spot to put the dog cages. VERY soon I'm going to need to buy a new cage for Dixie. She's growing out of her 48" tall cage very fast! We borrowed a cage from Jack's parents and we can return it any time now and replace it with her grown up sized cage. Unfortunately, one can't purchase that size cage at your average pet store.

Our housewarming party is coming up. We have a list of things that we wanted to complete before our party. One of the things that hasn't been finished yet is a little bit of power washing on the house. I did most of the power washing on Sunday after church. I still have to get up on the top of the garage and power wash the siding up there. I painted the second bathroom last week (I think it was only last week...) and the only room besides the basement that isn't finished yet is the 2nd bedroom upstairs. There is a bed in there and a nightstand with a tv sitting on the floor, but the walls and ceiling haven't been painted.

Of course I don't want to paint that room because eventually that was supposed to be our child's room. And I wanted to have a reason to paint it and a color to paint it instead of just some neutral color and put a big bed in it. I wanted to put a crib in it. Ugh. But I digress.... I can't decide what to do with that room, so I think it will be left as it is. For now. I don't think I'm ready to emotionally tackle that room.

I am starting to think of a menu and write down recipe ideas. I am so looking forward to our friends and family finally coming over and enjoying a big party at our house. We worked so hard to buy this house and make it what it is so far, and I'm so pumped about it.

Maybe we will be able to have a holiday party or two here this year!

I guess I could get back to crafting and getting up and doing things for the day. I don't think it would be too wise to get up on the roof of the garage without Jack home, just in case.

I'll leave you with a picture of my favorite room in the house... my sewing room:



Monday, August 23, 2010

Praise you in this storm!

I have been writing in a journal since I was 10. I have been writing in an online journal for 8 years. I have always felt like I express myself better through the written word.

Writing is my most successful coping mechanism. I have been through a lot on my short 24 years on this Earth, and I feel like I have come through my life with God shaping and molding me into a better version of myself every step of the way.

Infertility is the hardest thing I have ever gone through, but it's not the only hard thing. I have had a lot of hard times. I know by being able to look back and hindsight is 20/20.

It's amazing to watch God's plan unfold in front of me. It's amazing to see how God used such small and seemingly insignificant situations to change our lives and mold us.

At this point I'm hoping for a lot of good to come our way. In our almost 3 years of marriage we have gone to Hell and back and somehow managed to stay together. We have learned how to protect our marriage from every angle. Satan has tried to rip us apart using our friends and our families as tools. Satan has tried every single thing he can think of so far and tried to take away every thing he thought was holding us together.

And we are still here.

Still clinging to each other and clinging to God.

I feel like Job. Obviously, not to the extreme that Job suffered, but I feel like Satan was behind Jack's pay cut in Wisconsin and then Jack's contract ending and not being renewed and us having to move home quickly so we weren't stuck 500 miles away with no way out. I feel like Satan has everything to do with our infertility. We have suffered a lot of losses. Loss of jobs, loss of families, loss of support systems, loss of friends and loss of dreams.




"Once again, I'll say Amen and it's still raining..."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Things are quiet around here

Although, what can we really expect. We have no plan and no plans for moving in any direction on this. I feel like this feeling of quiet and waiting is going to last a long time.

Last night we had Jack's brother and his fiance over for dinner. Kelly and I visited and the boys did... who knows what. Probably played with Jack's toys.

For someone who always likes to have a plan, it's an interesting feeling to not. It's a surprisingly powerful feeling too... to completely give up control of this situation to God makes me feel like something is finally going to change. It's out of my hands and into the most capable hands there are.

The night before last we walked the Woodward Dream Cruise. I walked a little over 5 miles in flip flops... that was the stupidest thing I've done in a long time. My poor feet are still recovering!

And I'm painting the second bathroom upstairs. I think I might paint the guest bedroom next. I just need to pick a paint color. But that room is a little trickier too because I need to paint the ceiling too.

Second bathroom upstairs looks great... better get to that second coat!

Monday, August 16, 2010

MFIF - Male Factor Infertility

What the world is telling us today: (We got Jack's test results back.)
Jack is infertile (t00) and the ONLY way you will ever have a CHANCE at getting pregnant is through invitro fertilization (IVF) with ICSI. (ICSI - intracytoplasmic sperm injection - which is a fancy way of saying "inject sperm in the middle of the egg". ICSI is a very effective method to fertilize eggs in the IVF lab after they have been retrieved from the female.)


What I am hearing God speak into my heart loud and clear:

There are many things that could be wrong reproductively speaking with a man, and the thing that I made Jack with, is the ONE thing that has no earthy cure. The one thing that no doctor or treatment or medicine can fix. Lean on me, let me work MY miracles in your life. Let me show you and the world that through God, all things are possible.


We will NOT be weighed down by these results. We will not be defined by this diagnosis. We will trust that God has a reason for this and that part of that reason is that we can show the world that if we lean on God that HE has the cure and He will right whatever wrong there is. It's amazing to me that He would choose the one problem that has no earthly cure. No pill or medical treatment, nothing Jack can do or change can change the shape of his sperm.



What can we do from here? Continue to be a witness. I feel like we have just been given the stone like David and told to throw it at Goliath. So God please take aim with our throw, and guide it. Guide our testimony to show everyone that You are God and Lord of our lives. Let our journey to be parents be an example to others of your greatness and how amazing and awesome you are. We will not put too much weight on the things of the world. We will not put all of our hope in doctors and drugs and treatments. The ONLY thing we have hope in now is 100% God. God will guide us and lead us through this.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

One picture for today.




That is my Dixie. She's a 4 1/2 month old English Mastiff puppy. Yes, that's right, I said puppy. Bessie, my 60lb yellow lab is on the right.

Friday, August 13, 2010

We've been married for 1,000 days today!

1,000 days sometimes feels like an eternity, but wow has it flown.

Since we've been married we've done and gone through so much together.

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We were married November 17, 2007 at a little church in front of family and friends.

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On February 1, 2008 we moved to Wisconsin from Michigan. We went from cold to COLDER.

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On February 12, 2008 we brought home our first furry canine bundle of joy... Bessie May!

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My cat took to her right away... as you can see.
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She's been a daddy's girl ever since.

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we spent most of our weekends driving back to Michigan, a 1,000 mile round trip, to visit family.
This was taken in March, I believe. Our first Easter.

Bessie got bigger and bigger and her and the kitty played all the time.
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We hung out with friends and visited family every chance we could. We found our favorite places to eat and favorite things to do in Wisconsin. Around the time we got Bessie we decided that we were ready to add some human babies to the mix.

We spent as much time as enjoying Bessie and enjoying each other as we could.
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In May of 2008 we got up at 3:30 one morning and drove to Fort Wayne, IN for my friend's wedding!
Bessie came with us, man what a LONG day! We got to the wedding around 1pm I believe and then we left to go back home to Wisconsin at about 4pm. But getting to be there with my oldest friend on her big day was priceless :)
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Another friend that we went to school with since middle school came too! Hi Jenna!

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Didn't Ashley look stunning?? :) Never have I seen a more happy bride !

July 4, 2008 we drove to Michigan to celebrate Jack's Grandma's birthday!
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Jack Sr just adored Bessie!


July of 2008 we went to the EAA air show in Oshkosh, Wi, spent a lot of time hanging out with my family who is from the area!

I took this picture of the bomber that flew right over our heads, no zoom at all.
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My uncle has a hangar at the airport and we had the best seats in the house... for FREE!
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We went with my cousin and his girlfriend (now wife) to the drag strip not too far from our apartment.
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This guy loves all things cars... :) Check out the turbos on that bad boy!

Also we met Bessie's brother!! Her brother from her same litter lived in our apartment complex! It was pretty amazing because we got her about an hour and a half away from where our apartment was. Bessie's brother's name is Brewer and we met his parents along with him, of course, and they quickly became the best friends we ever could have made in Wisconsin!
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Jack and I began to get involved at our church, volunteering for as much as we could. We were a part of the OAKS ministry, Organized Acts of Kindness and Service. We helped whenever there was a need and we could fill it. We met one friend there by helping her move out of her apartment into a Habitat Home that she recieved! I worked in the church nursery, running the 0-11 month old room. And Jack and I together volunteered to mow the lawn at the church.
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Brewer's parents, Lindsey and Craig got married in August! I planned and practiced for weeks to sing in their wedding!
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And then unfortunately Jack's Grandpa went home to Glory, so we went back to Michigan that weekend for the funeral, so we missed the wedding!

but we got to see family, and we stayed with my mom.
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Of course while we were in town, my mom put Jack and my little brother to work!
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Shortly after, Jack's Grandmother passed away as well, and then right after that my Aunt Brenda and then my Grandpa passed away. I believe the weekend of Jack's Grandma's funeral was the same day as my Aunt Brenda's funeral. We were getting pulled in all different directions, Brenda's funeral was in Minnesota and Jack's Grandma's was in Michigan.

In September, 2008, my best friend from as far back as I can remember came to visit with her husband!
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(Same couple, Matt and Ashley, who got married this May!)

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Jack and I after driving down to visit his Grandma in the hospital and visiting my Grandpa who was sick.



October 2008 came and it was a time of visiting with friends and family!
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Lindsey with Brewer and Bessie

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Craig and Jack doin what boys do... playing with Jack's slot car track.


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Jack's parents came to visit us for the first time since we moved out to Wisconsin, so we took him to where all of the trucks that Jack worked on were stored.

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We took Jack's parents to my uncle's hangar, and here is my uncle Pete showing them what we can see from the air show at his hangar.

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We went to the pumpkin patch and petting zoo with my cousin Mike and his girlfriend (now wife)

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Jen and I holding chickens!

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Mike and Jen like to make children cry ;) Just kidding love you guys!

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Jack and I on the hay ride!

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My pumpkin

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Jack's pumpkin... he's always gotta show me up!


Lindsey & Craig came over to decorate cookies and hang out!
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Bessie begging

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Chatting with the newlyweds

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Craig loving on my kitty!

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And of course the kids playing on the floor!

Over Halloween my best friend Ashley came with her boyfriend (now husband!)
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November 2008 brought our first anniversary!!
We went to the Upper Penninsula to my Aunt and Uncle's amazing house that they have built in Trout Lake. We spent the weekend up there, and they had left us some steak and potatoes to cook for our anniversary meal! :)
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When we came home, we went out to eat at The Melting Pot for some delicious anniversary fondue !
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We broke our cardinal rule of not traveling through snow and went home and surprised Jack's family by showing up for Thanksgiving at his grandparents house.
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December brought lots of snow and we enjoyed it as much as anyone can enjoy 50 below before the windchill.
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We bought our dining room table for our Christmas present to each other!
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I went and decorated Christmas cookies with friends

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and it was UNBELIEVABLE how many presents people sent us from back home!!

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Our apartment was all decked out and ready for Christmas

A few days before Christmas my dad and Kelly came to visit!
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Kelly with Bessie

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Dad taking a picture of me taking a picture of him!

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We took Dad and Kelly out to our favorite restaurant there, Nakashima... a Japanese Steakhouse!

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While Dad and Kelly were in town we had all of Dad's family over that lived in the area!

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We played bananagrams ;)

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Then Christmas Day came!!

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Everyone was having a good time

We set the table for the special guest to arrive ON christmas day!
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My mom!!!

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Mom admiring the quilt I made her!

January 2009 brought more cold weather... so our animals cuddled.
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Daren and Kelly came to visit us for New Year's Eve... But for some reason I have no pictures of that. We took them to Nakashima too :)


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Jack's 28th birthday!

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Cake and ice cream I made him

February 2009 brought my 23rd birthday!
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Dad and Kelly sent me quilting books!

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Jack set up a pinata in the garage for me :)

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Jack's Truck all covered in snow in the parking lot.



Spring of 2009:
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Jack and Bessie sleeping in one Saturday morning.

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I went with my Aunt Dottie and Jen to a Red Had event called Ladies Must Swing!

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Jen, Dottie and I

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Lindsey brought over her new baby Kyli (Honeymoon baby!)

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Jack and Craig with our puppies

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Craig messing with my kitty

Summer of 2009... We moved into a new apartment.... went camping and hung out.
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Camping at High Cliff State Park

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me having fun

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We took the Harley to our favorite drive in!

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Ardy & Ed's! In Oshkosh, Wi


Fall of 2009:
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We went to a sled pull in Oshkosh!

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Jack's garage at our 2nd apartment before he had to pack it all up to move home.


Jack's Aunt and Uncle rented us their basement until Jack got a job again and we bought our house!
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This is me cooking with Bessie at my Mom's house right after we moved back to Michigan.

We closed on May 5, 2010!
house

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I painted the whole house!!


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Got a new puppy!! Dixie... English Mastiff, born April 3, 2010.


My Best friend got married, May 2010
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I stood up as her matron of honor! Just like she did in my wedding!


My cousin Mike from Wisconsin got married and we drove back to Wisconsin with the family for the wedding!


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Siblings with Jack

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Hanging out with Kelly @ Holly Hotel for afternoon tea!

So far this summer we've spent our time working on the house, since we bought it we have:
  • painted the entire house ceilings and all
  • new carpet in the whole house except basement
  • bought new cabinets for the kitchen
  • new water softener
  • new water heater
We are just trying to hang up pictures now and make it feel more like home.

I got a dirt bike...
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Dixie is Bessie sized now and she's only 4 months old!
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And This is Jack and I last weekend... I love you babe more than I did 1,000 days ago when I promised that I would love you for the rest of my life. There is NO one that I would have wanted to have this adventure with than with you :) You're my entire world babe!

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