Family Cookout

I normally keep things light hearted around here-photos of Carson, workouts, things I’ve baked or eaten. I know yesterday’s post wasn’t the “pretty” part of life we normally talk about on blogs, but so many people reached out with sweet comments, prayers, and shared their stories, and it made it completely worth putting something so personal out there. So to everyone that took the time to comment or reach out to me-THANK YOU! It means more than you will ever know.

Now, on to something lighter-a family cookout!

As soon as spring made its grand appearance, we took full advantage and got outside. First on the list was a family cookout!

thumb_IMG_9501_1024 2

thumb_IMG_9508_1024 2
Carson clearly dressed for company-I pick my battles and wearing pajamas at home is one I’ve learned to let go!

thumb_IMG_9509_1024 2
This little monkey was showing off what she’s been learning in gymnastics! She’s taking classes where I coached for four years!
thumb_IMG_9515_1024

thumb_IMG_9516_1024
I asked Uncle Ferland if he didn’t think we would let him sit at the adult table!
thumb_IMG_9518_1024 2Callen would have eaten

thumb_IMG_9520_1024 2thumb_IMG_9521_1024 2thumb_IMG_9523_1024 2thumb_IMG_9524_1024 2thumb_IMG_9526_1024

#1in8

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. After having a child, I never dreamed that we would have problems having baby #2, but the past 18 months have been the most emotionally draining of my life.

Here’s a little recap. When Carson turned 1, we decided we would go off birth control at the end of the summer and start trying for baby #2. We wanted them to be close in age….I constantly told Nick I wanted them to be about two and a half to three years apart, but no older. Funny how things work when we have a grand plan, right?

I didn’t get my depo shot in August and when I finally started my period in November, I had migraines that lasted for two solid weeks. This went on through January and I seriously thought I wouldn’t survive if the pattern continued. Luckily, the migraines stopped, but then we learned we were pregnant and having a miscarriage in the same day. That was in March and when I still had not started my period again over the summer, my doctor induced one to try and get my body back on track. I had to do several rounds of that and in November, I started my first round of Clomid. This started to work because I finally started my period on my own (right before boarding a 16 hour flight home from Dubai. Amazing timing). After 3 rounds, Dr. B bumped my dosage up to 100 mg, which I’ve done for 3 cycles. This seemed like we were on the right track as I was finally ovulating. Must be time to get pregnant-wrong!

We were getting Carson ready for bed in March and I went to the bathroom and realized I had started and just broke down crying. The hysterical, sobbing, couldn’t speak type of crying. I think all the emotion of the past year just finally hit me at once. I did feel much better after getting that out.

Two weeks ago, I was in the shower getting ready for work and had a doctor’s appointment scheduled that afternoon for an ultrasound to check for eggs. I was worn down, exhausted mentally, tired of being poked, and didn’t want to face another month of hope, only to be let down. I just prayed that if we weren’t supposed to continue on this path, that God would show me a sign. Be careful what you wish for, right?

I saw a different doctor that day as mine was on her honeymoon. She recommended giving my body a break for 2-3 months and then starting back if nothing happened. Well, if that isn’t a sign, I don’t know what else he was trying to tell me.

I’ll be honest. Although I felt like it was clearly the right thing to do, a part of me resisted stopping everything. There is always that voice in the back of my mind that says, “maybe this month.” On day 21 of the cycle, I get blood work to test my progesterone levels, which were in the 20’s and 30’s the past two cycle. This month, it was eight. EIGHT. We talked and agreed that we wouldn’t do anything this month. We are both just mentally exhausted..doctor’s appointments, counting days, and the heartbreak that comes when you aren’t pregnant is just overwhelming.

I’m incredibly lucky to have a healthy child and I understand completely when people remind me of that. However, it doesn’t stop the heartache from wanting another child. I know people offer those words to try and offer some comfort, but it makes me feel like I don’t have a right to be sad. I literally ache at the sight of a newborn or when I see a pregnancy announcement. It’s like a constant grief following me around that I don’t know how to escape. Believe me, I try to not let myself think about it, but those thoughts constantly creep into my head. It’s been a constant ferris wheel of emotions.

I’ll be honest, it’s made me struggle spiritually. I’ve been mad at God. Mad that it comes so easily for others or that so many that don’t want children seem to mass produce them. This morning, I realized that I’ve been pushing off my Bible study because I haven’t wanted to face my anger, so I picked up a devotional that Kayla gave me recently. I’m not saying that I instantly turned it around, but I’m hoping it’s a step in the right direction.

I’ve tried to “dig deep” and see what I’ve learned from this and honestly, I think it’s taught me more compassion. If facing someone in a similar situation, I probably would have offered “comfort” in the form of “God has a plan” or something similar and cliche. Now, I hope I would say that I’m sorry for their grief and offer more sincere, personal words. This struck me as I was reading Job recently and my Bible notes talked about listening when others are suffering and not offering meaningless words.

We don’t know where we go from here. I’m hoping to pray, pray, pray over the next two months and see where we are. We’ve began to research adoption and get a grasp on what that entails, which is another overwhelming adventure.

If you’re still reading, congratulations for hanging in there! My husband probably didn’t make it past the second paragraph, but hey, he’s lived it and gets a pass. When I read about National Infertility Awareness Week, I wanted to put a little more of our story out there. 1 in 8 couples suffer from infertility, but when you are going through it, it feels like you are alone in a crowd of millions (all pregnant of course, lol). As I know the loneliness and pain that infertility causes, I hope that by speaking up, another woman might not feel so alone. Trust me, this isn’t something that is easy to talk about and I can count the number of people on one hand that I go into detail with.

My prayer is that we will be able to have another baby. At the moment, I’m praying for peace about going off the medicine and a clear answer to what our next steps should be.

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14 

 

Saturday in Gatlinburg

I had a cheerleading competition in Gatlinburg on Saturday and we decided to take Carson to the Aquarium after it was over. While we were warming up, Nick and Carson hit up the arcade. Boys can only handle so much glitter and bows! And is it any surprise that Carson spotted a fire truck outside?!

ResizedImage_1459610718505.png

Or a surprise that he fell asleep in spite of the loud music and screaming cheerleaders? This child needs his sleep.

IMG_3490

Our girls did great and came home with 2nd place! I also had a slightly mortifying moment where they made coaches come on stage and lip sync in groups. I seriously considered sprinting to the bathroom, but just decided to embrace it and channel my inner rock star. Unfortunately, there is video evidence on social media. Heavens.

IMG_3488

We went to the Aquarium for the afternoon and Carson was so excited to see the fish. He had a lot of fun, but WOW, it’s pricey. I almost had a stroke when I bought our tickets. I told Nick we were one and done with Aquarium trips. I know, I’m cheap.

IMG_3494IMG_3498IMG_3522IMG_3525

Carson wanted to go in the tubes to see the penguins, but there were so many kids he kept hanging back. He would start to go and back off when another kid ran up. He finally stole his moment and got to look around. He’s definitely on the shy side, just like Nick and I were as kids.

We ate at Johnny Rocket’s before we drove home. The minute Nick’s milkshake came out, Carson stole it. He definitely learned that from his mama.

It was such a fun family day. It reminded us that we need to sneak away from the house and chores more often and just hang out.

I’m Still Here

Well, I took a little an unplanned break from the blog, but I couldn’t stay away forever! We’ve been busy, so here’s a little peek at what we’ve been up to.

1. I’ve added group fitness instructor to my resume! I’ve been interested in this for years, but was afraid to take the plunge. I finally contacted the local gym in town and I just started teaching a class called Max Muscle.

On the first day I taught, I saw a post about it on Facebook and got SO NERVOUS. I think I was jittery the entire hour! The second week felt much better and after the first month, I’m finally starting to get more comfortable. I did read an article recently that said most instructors suck for the first year, so I hope that isn’t the case!

2016-03-21 18.36.09-1.jpg

2. I managed to curl my hair with a wand. I burned myself at least 3 times.

2016-03-26 17.04.47.jpg

3. On the baby front, well, we don’t have one.🙂 When I started my period last month, I just broke down and lost it. I felt much better after that-sometimes you need to cry it out! I think the stress of the last year had just built up and I needed to get some of the emotion out. I can be on Clomid for 3 or 4 more cycles and then we are going to see what we want to do. We did look up some general information recently on fertility and surrogacy and we both about had a stroke.

4. Nick bought a bike and a trailer so they can ride while I run with Tenley. It makes for a nice little family date and it’s nice to not run alone all the time. Carson is like his parents and can fall asleep anywhere.

2016-03-19 13.14.49.jpg

5. We’ve had lots of time with family!

2016-02-28 12.15.57

6. Tenley is HUGE, but thinks her 75 pounds fits nicely in my lap. Now that she isn’t chasing cars in every direction, she’s the best little running partner.

2016-02-05 19.45.45-1

Life Lately

I’ve been trying to stay warm and focus on the fact that spring is coming very soon! I’m done with cold temperatures, ice and snow. Take note, mr. weatherman.

Even though we’ve mostly been inside, 2016 is off to a great start and has already surpassed 2015 on these terms. More to follow on this thought.

IMG_2712

I’m so proud of this girl!! She started working out a few months ago and loves it! I love having a workout partner!

IMG_2740

I can’t believe that I just got this girl ready for a cheerleading competition. She was only 18 months old in our wedding!

IMG_2748

Cheer coaches!

IMG_2750

Anytime I see a DQ on the interstate, it’s mandatory to stop and get a blizzard.

IMG_2762

Carson is obsessed with flashlights, so the lights are always being turned off in our house.

IMG_2835

Each time we are in the shoe aisle in Target, he checks out these fireman boots. I bought them a few weeks ago and they have been heavily used.

IMG_2849

Roxie and I have the same opinion on winter.

IMG_2984

Off to school, this time in cowboy boots that are 5 sizes too big. I pick my battles.

IMG_2988

A snow day isn’t complete without hot chocolate with marshmallows!

IMG_2992

Tenley has been inside lately with the cold weather and it’s always funny to watch Carson with her. He bugs Roxie, but plays with Tenley.

IMG_2998

After children’s church last week, Lily tried to carry Carson off the stage. We also forgot to put a belt on him and his pants started falling down while up front. It was hilarious.

IMG_2999

Valentine’s lunch with my love.

IMG_3005 2

Some days, I feel like I’ve ran a marathon before I arrive at work.

IMG_3006 2

It’s never too cold for ice cream.

Celebrating 90 Years

When you turn 90, you deserve a party to celebrate! We had a birthday party planned for Grandmom last weekend, but the snow quickly changed those plans. Luckily, most of the family could still come this Saturday, so we put our party pants on. No surprise party though…..that’s a little risky for a 90 year old.

thumb_IMG_9395_1024

This photo took a few attempts with the timer, but ALL of us are looking, even the kids. Amazing!

thumb_IMG_9417_1024

Grandmom and Aunt Hattie, her younger sister. Colby had fun giving her a hard time about being an Auburn fan. Between Tennessee, Alabama and Auburn, football is always a fun subject in our family.

thumb_IMG_9243_1024

This boy loves his Nana!

thumb_IMG_9249_1024

Twinning with Aunt Steph.

It was a beautiful day, so the kids spent most of it outside. A shovel, stick, dirt and water and they were entertained. And messy. Carson had to change pants twice from falling in the mud before he could come back inside.

thumb_IMG_9420_1024

thumb_IMG_9268_1024thumb_IMG_9252_1024

thumb_IMG_9282_1024thumb_IMG_9291_1024thumb_IMG_9302_1024

thumb_IMG_9403_1024.jpg

It gets confusing figuring out how this next generation is related, so everyone is just a cousin.

thumb_IMG_9412_1024thumb_IMG_9428_1024

Weston was just passed from lap to lap, so he was a happy camper the entire day.

Callen ended up in his Spiderman costume and showed us his superhero tricks. I said, “Carson, look, Spiderman is at the house.” Callen looked at me and said, “I’m not really Spiderman, it’s just a costume I got for Christmas.” One of my favorite quotes from a child.

thumb_IMG_9422_1024

We had such a fun day celebrating Grandmom! We didn’t put 90 candles on her cake because it seemed like a bad idea for someone with heart problems and that many candles!!

thumb_IMG_9258_1024