Friday, March 15, 2013

Expectations and Miracles

Do you remember in Elementary School when they asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up?  Well, I always answered “A Mom” because that is all I ever wanted to be.  I saw family, friends, and neighbors get married, and then have kids.  I thought that is just what happened: you get married, and then you have kids.  So, this was my expectation.   When Clint and I got married almost 6 years ago, I never imagined it would take us this long to have children. 

When we first got married we were always asked the question, “So, when are going to have kids?”  I would answer back with, “not sure” or “soon, hopefully”, or “I already have one” and point to Clint ;)  Many of our friends started to have children.  Then they started to have their second and even third child, and we still didn't have our first. 

At first I was embarrassed by the fact that we didn't have kids.  I didn't want to tell anyone that we were struggling with infertility.  I thought we were the only ones!  I was a little naive back then.  I would quickly change the subject if it ever came up.  I know, very mature, but that is how I dealt with it at the time. I’m sure I offended more than one person, and I feel so bad about that now.  I was just immature about the whole situation and too stubborn to talk about it.

 We learned in January 2011 that I have endometriosis.  I had surgery to remove it and thought that this was it!  But, nothing happened.  Later that year, we went through 4 cycles of clomid (hate that drug!) and then did 2 cycles of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI, aka: artificial insemination).  By this point it had been a long year of medical stuff.  I was emotionally exhausted and drained.  I felt broken and unsure about my purpose in this life.  Each day was a struggle to get up and going.  I needed a break.  So, we took a much needed “break” for about 5 months.  It was so nice!   No doctors, no medicine, no crazy hormones (well, I should say no extra crazy hormones!), and not as much stress. 

A friend of mine told me about a specialist that she and her husband were going to go see (they were having infertility problems also).  When she told me about him, something sparked inside of me.  I know that sounds weird, but I can’t explain it any other way.  She gave me his number and I held onto it for about 5 months.  Clint and I had just decided to take a break from it all and I wasn't ready to meet with a specialist quite yet.  To be honest, I was so sure and stubborn that it would just happen and we wouldn't need a specialist’s help.  After about 5 months I finally got up the nerve to call for an appointment, and I am so glad I did.  The appointment was one of the best ones we have ever had.  Everything just seemed to click and make sense. 

We decided to try another IUI.  This round was so much better.  I was taking a different medication than the one I had taken before and my body handled it much better.  This whole process just felt better.  It felt right. 

On December 14, 2012 we found out that I am pregnant; a pure miracle.  I think back on the past 4.5 years, and I wouldn’t change a thing.  I am who I am because of the struggles I had to go through.  My marriage is stronger than I ever imagined it could be.  I love my husband more than I thought possible.  My testimony of the Gospel has never been challenged like it has been the past 4 years.  Everything that I believed, everything that I learned growing up, came into question.  There were nights that I cried for hours and days that I wanted to just give up and quit.  But, God wouldn’t let me.  Looking back, I can see that He put some people in my life to strengthen and uplift me; and others he put in my life for me to help so I would forget about myself.  There is something so valuable about service.  I could go off for hours on it, but I will spare you!

I never thought I would say this, but I am grateful for this trial.  There are people that have impacted my life forever that I never would have met or gotten to know if it wasn’t because of this.  I have learned so much about myself, about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and about the scriptures that I never thought was possible.  I know that God hears and answers our prayers.  Sometimes the answer is no (which is so frustrating!), but He never leaves us comfortless.  He knows each of us and what is best.  His timing is always the right timing.

Infertility is something that not very many people speak up about, and while I can understand why, I often wonder why there isn’t more that is said.  Does that make sense?  I had no clue how many people struggle with this!  I often think that maybe if I had, things would have gone a lot better in the beginning.  I am now more open about this whole experience and will gladly answer any questions.  It’s interesting that things don’t always happen the way we expect them to, but they always seem to happen the way they are supposed to.

If you have ever struggled with, or are struggling with, having children, I am truly sorry.  It doesn't matter if you've been dealing with it for 1 year or 15, it’s still hard.  I don’t think anyone deserves to go through something like that.  It is absolutely heart breaking, especially when you have a not-so-friendly reminder each month!  Just know that you are not alone.  You are never alone.  I have learned that it is ok to cry.  It is ok to be sad.  It is ok to feel emotions.  But, don’t dwell on them.  Find something that will help you keep going.  For me, it was my job.  I love teaching.  That is what honestly kept me going most days.  I know, a whole lot easier said than done!

For those who have never had an infertility problem, be grateful and don’t ever be sorry about it!  If you have kids, go hug and kiss them right now.  They are each little miracles from our Heavenly Father. You may wonder what to say to someone who is going through something like this.  A simple “I’m sorry.  That must be hard” can go a long way.  And sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all.  If you feel like you do need to say something, remember that less is more.

"Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple does applied simultaneously.  When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more.  He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit.  To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain."                                                                             --Richard G Scott

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Are you surprised that I'm posting?  I know I sure am!  I guess this is what happens when you have two weeks off of work (!!!!) and you just don't want to clean the house, again.
Clint and I have been having so much fun going to work, sleeping and the occasional trip to see family.  For Halloween we stayed home and handed out candy to our cute neighbors.  There were some pretty cute costumes!  I think my all time favorite was a family dressed up like the Incredibles (yes, I'm talking about you Patrice!).  Amazing...or should I say incredible? :)  Clint and I carved pumpkins, which I haven't done in ages!  Sure was fun, but oh so messy!

(Mine is the ghost...Clint found an Angry Bird pattern online that he just had to do!)

For the holidays we switch off whose family we go to each year.  However, our families live about 5 minutes away from each other, so really we are just switching off who we spend more time with (so far, it has worked very well!).  Well, this year was my family's turn to endure us for Thanksgiving!  My Grandma was able to be there, which was so nice.  It had been awhile since I had seen her.  We had turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, jello (can't live in Utah and not have Jello!), rolls, corn, green beans, and red cabbage (it's a German thing?  Tastes a lot like pickles...).  Oh, and don't forget the pies...I think we had a pie for each person!  On Friday, Jessica and I braved the crowds and went shopping.  It actually wasn't that bad.  I think a lot of people had already gone the night before, so it was just like a busy Saturday.  That night we went up to Temple Square to see the lights.  Gorgeous as always.

(Clint really needed a hair cut in this picture!  Don't worry, he got one last week...)

On Saturday my Grandma taught us how to make Liebkuchen, which is a German honey cake.  I have been wanting to learn for years how to make this!  I'm glad my Dad was so persistent on us making it.  For those of you who haven't heard of it, it's very similar to gingerbread, but better.  I wish I would have taken pictures, but I was too busy helping Grandma!  I have already eaten all of ours.  Don't worry, I gave a few pieces to Clint.

Work is going great.  I love my schedule this year.  Because I'm only part time I only work in the mornings.  I have two classes each day, and I wouldn't have it any other way!  I am slowly getting the hang of my Chemistry class.  It's one thing to know the information and another to actually teach it.  The nice thing about it is I only have 17 kids in that class!  They are an awesome class.  I still love what I do, but I don't always like doing it.  Does that make sense? 

We will be with Clint's family for Christmas this year.  Christmas is one of my favorite holidays.  This year it has been harder to get into the Christmas spirit.  I don't know what it is, but it has just been harder.  I find that I have to remind myself that Christmas isn't about the presents or the house being decorated or treats being made (although, I made some pretty yummy ones this year!), it's really about remembering the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  I have always loved the story of Christ's birth.  So simple, yet so profound.  Before we could open presents on Christmas morning, my Dad would read the story to us from the Bible and remind us that even though we receive presents, to never forget the True Meaning of Christmas.  This is something that I have carried onto my own little family.  At first Clint thought it was weird, but now I think he secretly likes it.  I know our Savior lives and that He loves each one of us.

 I hope each one of you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Know, I Know...

I'm a slacker!  I haven't blogged in, oh, about a year :)  Wow, that was awhile ago, huh?  Well, let me update you on what has been going on in the past year....are you ready?  This might be a very l o n g post...

I started teaching high school science last August.  I have to be honest, I didn't love it at first; I didn't even like it.  I had a very challenging class full of freshmen.  All they wanted to do was talk, complain, and talk some more.  It was a hard first few months.  Thankfully, I got a Christmas Break :)  That energized me and the second half of the year was a LOT better!  My challenging class and I got to know each other better and we came to an agreement.  They would let me teach, and I would let them talk the last 10 minutes of class.  It worked about 85% of the time, which I was so grateful for!  At least they were progressing!  By the fourth quarter I loved teaching.  I felt like it was where I belonged and needed to be (which I had my doubts at the first).  I will be teaching again this next year and I will teach Chemistry and Earth Systems.  I will miss teaching Biology.  I don't feel as confident teaching Chemistry or Earth Systems, but Biology is where I know the most and feel the most comfortable.  I will for sure be stepping out of my comfort zone this next school year!  I'm very grateful that I work with some amazing teachers that help me so much.  I don't think I would have survived this past year without them.

Clint still works at the bank, and is loving it!  At least, that is what he tells me :)  I think it's kind of weird that we both have 'grown-up' jobs.  I still feel like I should be in college going to school!  I don't feel 'grown-up' at all!

I have been really bad about taking pictures this past year.  I don't even have any from Christmas or Thanksgiving!  I sure hope someone has a picture of us somewhere during those times :)
My family always goes up to Temple Square in SLC around Thanksgiving time.  This year, we did it the day after Thanksgiving.  There were a LOT of people there, but it was so pretty!  It had been a long time since I've been there to see the lights.  There's just something about seeing Christmas lights on trees that makes me smile :)  I did get pictures of this event, so not all is lost! 

As you can see from the picture, my brothers are crazy!  They like to wear shorts in the winter...  We were only missing two people: Chloe (Jer and McCall's daughter) and Jared.

In March we went with some of my family to St. George and visited some historical sites (my Dad is big on historical sites and has always wanted to see the ones in St. George).  We went to the Temple where we saw many couples that had just gotten married (so cute!).  Then we went to the Tabernacle and listened to an Organ Concert.  It was so cool!  It's amazing what you can do with an Organ.  Then we went to Brigham Young's house and took a tour.  It's a small, but quite cute house! 

In April we decided to be adventurous and hike Angel's Landing in Zions National Park.  Our friends had done it earlier that month and Jenny and Josh (Clint's sister and her husband) had done it the month before so we were feeling a little left out :)  They kept telling us how pretty it was and I think we just wanted to see it for ourselves.  That is one HARD hike!  The sign right before the trail head says something like if you are scared of heights and are out of shape to not do this hike; we didn't listen to this advice.  We didn't think we were THAT out of shape.  Boy, were we wrong!  I could barely make it through one switchback without having to stop and catch my breath.  But, as soon as you reach the top, it's so worth it. 

The view is spectacular.  This picture doesn't do it justice.

We made the mistake of going on a free pass day, so there were a lot of people there.  Note to self: always know when free pass days are and don't go on that day!  I'm not sure if I would ever do that hike again.  Maybe in a few years when I have forgotten how much pain my knees were in the next day.
We made it to the top!

In June Clint and I went to Disneyland!  I hadn't been since I was 6 and Clint hadn't been since he was about 12.  I have always wanted to go again (I don't remember a thing from when I was 6) and we had been talking about going since we got married.  This year, everything just fell into place so we went!  I love Disneyland!  It's amazing what they have done with the place.  My favorite ride was Space Mountain and I loved the 3D show It's tough to be a bug.  But, I think my most favorite part was the Jedi Training show that they do.  It is awesome!  I loved it and I wasn't even apart of it!  They pick kids from the crowd and they get to 'train' to be a Jedi.  Once they have 'trained' Darth Vader, Darth Maul and Storm Troopers come from out of the ground.  Each kid gets to 'fight' Darth Vader.  There was this little girl about 4 and she went right up to him and wasn't scared one bit.  I would have been scared!  It was so neat!  Ok, so maybe I'm a little bit of a nerd, but they did awesome on the costumes and voices.

We spent three days there going between Disneyland and California Adventure.  It was the perfect amount of time.  We did EVERYTHING that we wanted to do, and then some more.  It was so nice to get away from everything and just have some time to ourselves.  It was nice that we didn't have to worry about anyone else, and we could just do what we wanted to do.  Clint was so good at going on rides that were more for little kids than for us.  But, you are in Disneyland, you have to go on them!  (Like It's a Small World, etc.)

Classic picture front of the Castle.  It was cloudy and kind of cold in the mornings.

My favorite Disney movie is Peter Pan, so of course we had to go on the ride!  Don't I look so excited!  I think this was the best one in Fantasy Land

This summer we have had something going on each weekend whether it is hiking, camping, or family stuff.  It sure has been fun, but it makes the summer go by a lot faster!  And it makes it a little harder to put in our front yard.

We hiked Kanaraville Falls with our ward.  You walk up a river through a slot canyon.  The water was FREEZING but it was fun to get out and do something!  Plus, it was absolutely beautiful which makes it worth it.

And, of course, summer isn't summer without a trip to Bryce Canyon :)  I still love it and marvel at how beautiful it is.  We didn't get there until about 7pm and went on a short hike.  It was the perfect temperature and not a lot of people were there.  We camped at 'our spot', which is still gorgeous as ever.  Good times!

Well, we planted a garden again this year, and it is doing a lot better than it was last year!  Our corn is actually growing and doesn't look sickly.  It's still not perfect, but we are learning something new each time so hopefully each year will get better than the previous ones :)  Clint and his Dad are going to put in our sprinkler system this weekend so that we can finally start on our front yard :)  I am so excited to have grass instead of dirt and weeds!  Other than that, our life is pretty dull!
I promise I won't wait another year to update what has been going on with us, but I can't promise when it will be!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Just the Two of Us

Not including our Honeymoon, Clint and I have never taken a vacation all by ourselves. We have always been with either friends or family. Don't get me wrong, I love our family and friends and love to go on vacation with them. But, this year I wanted to do something with just Clint; no one else. Clint has to take 5 days off in a row, so we decided to go to Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon and Zions National Parks. Mostly because Clint has never been to any of them, or if he has he doesn't remember them, and also because I had to write a report on a national park for the class I took this summer (all done!). Just a disclaimer: Because it was just the two of us on this trip, most, if not all, of the pictures on this post will be of Clint and me. :)

First stop: Bryce Canyon National Park! This is my favorite National Park in Utah (I haven't been to any outside of Utah, so I can't say). It wasn't too hot, which was oh so nice! In fact, it didn't get over 85 degrees while we were there. I think that's almost perfect! If you ever want to go somewhere out of the country, but don’t want to spend a lot of money, go to Bryce Canyon. There were so many people from out of the country that at times I felt like I was in Europe or Asia! Everyone was speaking anything but English.

Clint and Me
(It was a little bit of a challenge at times to get a good picture of us with no one else to take it.)
The one thing I really wanted to do was to go down into Bryce Canyon and hike among the red, orange, and white rock. I LOVED it! I wished we could have done it all day, but my feet hurt after awhile. Wow it's been a long time since I've actually hike!

(A very nice man, who barely spoke English, took our picture after seeing us struggle to take it ourselves!)
Clint gathering firewood like a real man!
We didn't want to camp in the campgrounds and we happened to see a friend of ours who is a Park Ranger, so she told us of a nice road to go on to find a spot to camp. It was PERFECT!! I think this was my favorite part of the entire trip! Although there wasn't a bathroom, the view and secludedness made up for it. We would just sit on our camping chairs and look around listening to the crickets in the trees (not sure what they were, but we called them 'our bugs'. They sounded a lot like crickets, but faster). We stayed here two nights because it was so nice. We were kind of sad to leave (kind of because I wanted a real bathroom!)

The view from our camping spot.  Georgeous!

Next stop, the Grand Canyon! So, I've been to the Grand Canyon on the North side, and I wasn't all that impressed. This is how it went my first time there: 'Oh cool! That is really far down. WOW! Ok, let's go.'  I told Clint this, but he still wanted to see it. I don't think he really believed me. He sure did when we got there! He said: 'This is it? I mean it's cool and all, but I thought it would be better.'
We did a short little hike, sat in the shade and watched people marvel at the Grand Canyon, took some pictures, and then we left. It sure is amazing! (but Bryce Canyon is better).

Yep!  Sure is Grand!

We were going to camp in a campground near Grand Canyon, but as we drove around it, we still couldn't get over how secluded it was at our last spot and how close together everyone was at this campground (no privacy at all!), so we didn't. We drove back to Kanab and stayed in a small campground just outside of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. There were people there, but they were on the other side of the campground and there were lots of trees, so it was nice. I think I only saw one person the whole time we were there. Plus, it was only $5!

And last, but not least, Zion National Park. It was so HOT!! But, I thought it was beautiful! One hike (it was really a walk) went right next to the river and ended at the river so you could get in and play. At first I didn't know this and I saw people with their swim suits on and I thought to myself: That is not good hiking attire! I was so confused, until we reached the end. The river was nice and refreshing! We took our socks and shoes off and waded in the freezing cold water. I sat down in it and I was dry by the time we got back to the shuttle bus; that is how hot it was! I would love to go back when it's not so hot and when I'm not so ready to take a shower!  Four days is a little too long for me to not take a shower.

(It took us awhile to get this picture!  Fourth time's the charm!)

The water was so cold and so nice!

I have to be honest; I was a little worried to go on a trip all by ourselves for this long. What if I didn’t like being with him for so long? Or what if we got sick of each other? But, I am happy to say, we didn’t. It was so nice to get away from TV, work, the internet, cell phones and especially the Xbox. I had Clint all to myself for 4 whole days, and it was so nice! Sometimes I wish we could do this every day. I guess if we did, it wouldn’t be called a vacation.


We have bugs in our garden.  Our zucchini and squash plants have those zucchini bugs (I think that's what they are called) so I have been spraying the plant with a mixture of water and dish soap because we heard that it would kill the bugs when they ate the plant.  Plus it is easy and cheap.  I don't think it's been working.  They seem to multiply by 20 each time I go out there!  I try and kill the ones that I can see when I'm out there, but there are eggs all over the leaves.  It's really disgusting!
And then, while we were watering the other day, we found this big caterpillar/warm thing inching around our tomatoe plants.  Clint wanted me to kill it.  I think he was a little scared to kill it, but so was I!  That thing was HUGE! 
So, we finally gave in and bought some bug-killer stuff (don't remember what it's called) to get rid of them.  We put it on Friday, so we will see if it works.  Sure hope so!  At least they aren't in our house!  I don't think I could handle that.  Oh the things you learn when you plant a garden :)  Bytheway, we now know to plant marigolds near our tomato plants.  If you know of any other trick, let me know.

The tomato worm. 
I don't know why they are called worms when they are so big!  This one was as fat at my thumb.