Saturday, November 23, 2013

I Think I Jinxed It

Since the day that I posted about being chosen to be the parents for a little girl due in March, we have not heard from Miss H. And that makes me sad. We care so much for her and her family. We talk about her all the time and about how things could be after the adoption, for her and for us. She didn't choose this pregnancy, but she chose LIFE. That decision in and of itself is a huge blessing/miracle.

She reached out to us back in July, when we were barely home from a devastating failed adoption. I had my guard up, because I didn't want my heart broken again. I didn't want my husband to go through that again. But after weeks of prayer and getting to know Miss H and her reasons for adoption, we felt we should proceed.

Now I'm confused.

Maybe everything's fine. Maybe her phone got turned off. Maybe she temporarily needed some space.

Maybe not. Maybe we'll never hear from her again. Maybe we'll have to learn what it feels like to lose a daughter as well.

This is why I say adoption is SO HARD. Because you pray over each situation presented to you and you decide to follow through on one and the expectant mother tells you she wants you to be the parents (over all her other options)... and then it doesn't happen. Something changes. Indecisiveness overcomes her. Cold feet. Fear of doing the wrong thing for her child, fear of being judged by her family/friends, fear of letting go. Panic. A change of heart. Any or all of the above.

Not taking it personally is a HARD lesson to learn. I don't think I'll ever be able to completely not take it personally, because it IS personal. The friendships we're forming and the trust we're building... it's all very, very personal and close to our hearts. It's emotional, and it's HARD.

All we want is to give Kal a sibling, to raise a child in the Gospel, to be parents (again). To teach them all that we know. TO LOVE THEM WITH ALL OUR HEARTS and keep them safe and give them opportunities to grow up happy and become respectable, successful adults. All while keeping them in touch with their roots and allowing ALL of their family to love them and be a part of their life (adoptive AND birth family).

Adoption is supposed to be mutually beneficial. If it's the right thing to do and it doesn't happen, then it's not just our loss. It's the child's loss. But whether it's the right thing to do or not is not our decision to make and is completely out of our control.

Kal & I are supposed to meet Miss H next month while we are traveling for other reasons. Zay planned to stay behind because the holidays are a busy time for him at work and he wants to save his vacation time for when baby girl is born.

Our life is completely on hold as we wait. Hopefully we get a response before the day we were supposed to meet. Hopefully everything works out how it needs to. And hopefully we can pick up the pieces if it all blows up in our face.

This is why we can't keep trying to adopt an infant. We are great parents and there are other avenues we can take to add to our family. We love Kal and his birthmom more than anything, and I am so grateful that they are part of our family now. But we deserve better than the emotional stress infant adoption brings.

We're only hanging in there because we know in the end it's worth it.

I was fine with waiting, but now... March 24th can't come soon enough. Only 121 days to go...





Thursday, November 21, 2013

All About My Cycles, Yall

Photo: www.iheartguts.com

I'm not used to having so many!!! I've had 6 this year and I just cannot fathom having any more than that. How do women do it?! I'm sure I've been more emotional than normal just due to adjusting to having a period twice as much as I used to.

If you have a 28 day cycle, that's only 4 weeks before the madness begins again! One week of omg-I-can-feel-it-coming, one week of bleeding to death, and one week of recuperating. That only leaves one week of sanity. That's only 25% of the time when thoughts and feelings are coherent!

Before our TTC journey began originally, I had 1-3 cycles per year. Then I started taking fertility meds and they forced periods to happen, so that was no fun. Since I stopped taking them, I've had more periods spontaneously on my own (without meds) than ever before, and they're increasing. They're still not regular (I'll skip 2 months and then have 3 cycles in 3 months, for example), but I'm definitely having a lot more. (I've been using the Fertility Friend app to document my cycles for like 4 years... I have all kinds of charts and data! ha ha ha...)

On those shows like "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant," I laugh when girls say they had no idea they were pregnant right up until they start going into labor... because it's kind of ridiculous to not know. But then I always thought that could be me. Seriously. Because "being late" or "missing a period" doesn't mean anything to my body. If I didn't have too many other symptoms, I might just think I was getting fat.

Anyway, I'm back to thinking about all this lately. Trying to prep my body for TTC again. Not yet, but maybe soon. I'm not sure. When I'm ready... and I'm getting there.

Only 4 months to go till Miss H has her baby. I'm still crossing my fingers that she wants to place with us, but honestly I don't know. I'll write about that soon. I'm very confused about it.




Monday, November 18, 2013

I'm Stressing... Again

After I started treating my hypothyroidism and Vitamin D deficiency, I felt GREAT for about a month. With a huge focus on my health, I could feel myself getting better. I mean... I felt fantastic. I had energy. I wasn't anxious. I started sleeping well. I started focusing on myself and what I need to be healthy (a bonus to all this will *hopefully* mean being able to get pregnant in the future, but that's not the current focus!)...

And then I started to figure out my biggest stressors and try to eliminate some of them from my life. So that I could keep up this healthy, happy feeling. I needed to simplify my life and only focus on what's most important to me rather than stretching myself to my limit. Which I tend to do. ALL the time.

This turned out to be MUCH harder than I thought it would be. Because some of these stressors are people. People who at one point in time I was close to or cared about having a relationship with... but now I realize how much better my life would be without them in it. People who leach off me. Who contribute nothing positive to my life, but always expect me to jump when they call. Who play dumb, or play the victim to get their way. And try to make me feel guilty if I'm not at their beck and call. Or who emotionally toy with me. Boss me around. Make fun of me. Any and all of the above.

Seriously. I bet you have people like that in your life too. But maybe you have the sense to recognize it sooner and drop those people from your life. Or maybe you feel like you can't sever the relationship completely for one reason or another and you HAVE to be nice.

I try to make everybody happy and do whatever I can for anybody who asks me. Even if they treat me like crap.

THAT'S GOTTA STOP.

So, right when I was feeling great and had a new perspective and was basically skipping around happy-as-can-be... a bunch of these stressors cropped up at once and they really... well, stressed me out. I couldn't handle it all. I felt a huge burden on me.

I had a long talk with a friend who told me something I will never forget. I was talking about a particular situation to which I feel abnormally obligated. And for what I thought were good, noble reasons. But she said, "How do you know this isn't the demon you're supposed to address and overcome?" We got into the nitty gritty of my intentions and how I respond to people and certain situations (I know I'm being really vague here, ha ha). And I realized that this is my demon. I'm a people-pleaser. And that's a sure way to stay unhappy if your entire life is devoted to the whims of others.

My anxiety was back full-force. And I knew it wasn't all my thyroid. It was dealing with OTHER PEOPLE AND THEIR NONSENSE. And trying to do everything for other people and solve their problems for them. And caring what they think.

I realized I didn't have to answer to anyone but God, myself, my husband, and my child. That's it. Anyone outside of that bubble should never move up to Priority #1. Ever. And I also don't need the company of others if I have to look past how much they suck as a friend. I've got too many good friends to try to include the sucky ones as well.

Now the problem is figuring out how to "break up" with these stressors. The people AND the bad habits, etc.

Photo: www.relationshipplaybook.com
 
Although all of the above has to do with a lot of things and isn't necessarily adoption-related, I'm stressing about adoption as well.

Things that DON'T stress me out: blogging, taking pictures, writing, my family

Things that DO stress me out: rude people, leech-y people, flaky people, lazy people, having too much on my to-do list.... and ADOPTION

Good thing we have a deadline for adopting, because it's one of the things I'm gonna have to break up with. It feeds right into me trying to fix other people's problems (I want to help every expectant mother who is in a difficult situation solve all her problems). It feeds into me caring what other people think (having to prove to everyone that I'm a good parent, having to convince a woman that we'd be a good family for her child, etc.)... These are things I need to get away from, and adoption is doing me no favors by forcing me to continue this vicious cycle of tearing down my self-confidence and trying to please others.

Kal's adoption was such a positive experience that I thought re-creating that would be SO SO amazing. But with a failed adoption behind us and sudden uncertainty in our current match, I'm struggling to have any hope left in this messed up adoption system. The happiness it has brought doesn't eliminate the devastating heartbreak of all the low points. And it's too much. Too stressful. But we're hanging on till March. And then we are DONE.




Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunshine in a Bottle: Open Adoption Interview

This year is my first time participating in the Open Adoption Interview Project! I've found so many of the adoption-related blogs that I consistently follow from reading these interviews, so I decided to sign up this year and participate.


Those who sign up are randomly matched together to interview each other. Fun! New friends! I was matched up with Sarah from Sunshine in a Bottle. She's a two-time birth mama. I was so honored to interview her and delve into her story and learn from her experience.

Since there are so many participants, they've broken all the interviews up into 3 different groups. Sarah's and my interviews will be listed in the second group, which will be posted HERE (<-- the link will be up 11:00 am Eastern time on November 19). The first group of interviews are already up! You can read those HERE. I'm about to head on over and start reading! I love all the different perspectives. I learn so much from these. :)

Sarah interviewed me and it will be up on her site by Tuesday (find it HERE).

Here is my interview with Sarah! I think her positivity is contagious. She's an abuse survivor, something I can relate to. So reading her words were really therapeutic for me. It is worth the read! Very inspiring. Love to have "met" her!

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Interview:
Can you talk about your experience with adoption in a nutshell?
Adoption has been a part of my life for awhile, my aunt, who is 5 years older than me, placed a son for adoption when I was younger. We had lots of family friends that adopted kids, whether domestically or internationally. I was familiar with adoption in positive ways, not the horror stories that are usually portrayed on TV or in movies or that you hear about in the news. I saw it positively.
When I was ultimately faced with my own choice to parent, abort or place, at 19 years old, my initial reaction was out of fear & guilt & the disappointment I thought I would be bringing on my family to be an unwed mother. Unfortunately, adoption wasn't my first thought even though I knew it to be a positive choice. I went so far to make an abortion appointment against everything I believed to be true about the value of life because I was terrified & blinded in to thinking I had no other option & had to hide it, fix it, make it go away. However, God had other plans for my daughter & the truth was brought to light in a miraculous way & I ended up choosing adoption.  
When I was faced again with the same decision 10 months after she was born, I couldn't help but want them to be together because 19 months wouldn't have made a difference in the maturity level I had (not) attained. Instead, I had been destructive to myself, not dealing with anything or trying to find healing or support that birthmama's need so desperately. I shut it all out & off & just plastered a fake smile on my face & kept destroying myself underneath it.  Had I kept either of them, brought them in to my pain....I would have tried to be the best mom I could, yes, but when you don't even love yourself it's super hard to truly & genuinely be able to care for & love someone else, especially a child, who deserves a true chance at life with all of the resources needed to provide for them adequately & abundantly. 
I couldn't do that to them. Not financially, not emotionally, not spiritually & not mentally. I was not intended to raise them. I would have caused far more bad than good in their lives in that time in my life & the last 12 & 10 years since. I'm so unbelievably, to the ends of the earth, eternally, forever & ever amen thankful for their parents. They have given me the gift of knowing they would be amazingly taken care of everyday. No one is perfect. No parent is perfect, ever. But they were the perfect fit for those two sweet souls & who they were supposed to spend their lives with as their mom & dad.  
Adoption, to me, equals circles of love around children. In my journey, it became more than just creating a family of the adoptive couple with the kids but of creating a family. Period. We all became family. They are my family through Jesus & us being brought together to travel this journey together. I love them with my whole heart. They love me & my family as their own. I feel so blessed that my experience with adoption has been so positive. Has it been easy, absolutely not, did I struggle, without a shadow of a doubt, but when I look back now on the last 13 years, I see so much beauty from what was & could have stayed ashes. I.Love.Adoption. 
You talk about adoption exposing a lot of your weaknesses and helping you learn to love yourself, grow as a person, and heal from abuse. What do you think you've learned the most during your pursuit of healing from past abuses and the grief of adoption? What would you go back and tell yourself (at any point) if you had the chance?  
What I have learned in my healing journey thus far, cause it's far from over, it's definitely a continual, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly activity, but up to this point one of the biggest things I've taken away is that no matter what has been done to me, what I've done to myself, what's been in or out of my control, I still had to make these choices to get here. I chose not to deal with my grief for a very long time, whether from my adoption or past abuses or damaging relationships or fill-in-the-blank really. I was a rug brusher. Problem is, when you start brushing enough things under a rug, you start tripping over them, big time!  
Life is about choices. Adoption is about choices. Do we do open, semi-open, closed? Do I choose a family from the state I live in or should I open my window further? Do I choose adoption in the first place? Etc. But all of it starts with the choices of how we treat ourselves. How we love ourselves. How we allow others to treat us. What we find our worth in. How we allow things that happen to us to effect us & catapult us in to other choices that we may not be prepared for but still have to make. My daddy always says, "Do the next right thing." We all have to choose to make the next right choice in our lives.  
I opted to take the hard route. The hardest possible route. Because I chose to believe lies that either I told myself or others told me & reinforced with actions & words or lack of either, I allowed it to happen because I didn't believe I deserved any better. It was a perpetual cycle of constant destruction of my self-control, my self-esteem & my overall view of myself. It was skewed beyond belief.  
If I could go back & tell myself anything it would probably be to have spoken up about being raped less than a month before my 18th birthday. I didn't tell my parents for 3 years & in that time I destructed so bad that I got pregnant twice with two different guys because I never dealt with the pain, shame,  suffering, self blaming & fault placing that came from being taken advantage of like that. Being confused about if I could even call it rape because it was someone I knew, a close friend, someone I trusted would never hurt me, someone I had willingly let in to my house, was an even harder struggle. I just stuffed it down & brushed it under my rug & it began a perpetuating cycle of continual abuse that I allowed because it's all I felt I was worth. After all, I thought, if one of my closest friends couldn't respect me, why should I bother respecting myself. & thus began my downward spiral.  
However, had all of this not happened the way that it did, I wouldn't have MR3 (that's my adoptive family, M name, 3 R names....I've called them that for years now :)) & I can honestly say that my life is so much more full knowing them & having them in it. 
What misconceptions about adoption and birth mothers would you like to squash? How do you deal with ignorance and/or negativity as you try to uplift others and share your story?  
There are so many pre-conceived notions about birthmoms. Sadly, there are many people who don't even know what a birthmom is & when it's explained that it's someone who chooses to place her baby through adoption, it's usually, "So you gave your baby away?" We are usually thought to be unfit, abandoners,  drug addicts, sluts, baby sellers, selfish, bad mothers, you name it, & while some times these things may be true about some birthmoms, the majority are not these things at all. Not even close.   
In the last year, I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the most real, loving, sacrificial, inspiring, genuine, motherly, & incredible women I have ever known. We all have such wildly different stories but that common thread of love woven throughout each one of us choosing adoption for a child or children, for a variety of reasons, shines brightly through. They want to change the face & stigmas of birthmama's just as much as I do. For people to see that most of us did it because we truly loved our children so much that we had to do everything in our power to provide the best life for them. & we had the strength, clarity of mind & heart wrenching ability to let go & allow them that better life.
I could go on about this for days about this but the short of the long of it is that we wanted better. Better than we knew we could offer at the time. Better than our best was able to reach. & that is humbling on all levels to admit but it's genuine & it's truth. My best was not good enough at that time. It was not the child's fault that it was conceived. Bringing a baby in to a bad situation hoping to make it better is not healthy in any way, shape, or form. Not for the parents but mostly not for the baby. But the child still deserves a chance at life. To grow up & make mistakes & learn & love & cry & laugh & LIVE. So, to have made a child suffer because of my own selfishness to feel like I needed to keep them for me would have been wrong on so many levels.  
The motherly thing is to protect. I had to protect them from the heartache I would have caused them because I was causing it to myself continuously & it would have been completely unfair to them to have to watch that growing up as an example of how to treat yourself. I wanted better for them. Yes, even better than the one who had carried them for 9 months & shared their DNA. They deserved more than just shared DNA. They deserved a chance at a genuine life full of opportunities. That's what I wish every child could have.  
As for ignorance & negativity, I can not determine people's opinions. I can educate in love & speak truth about what I know but ultimately, people accepting me or my story is not up to me, nor should it be something I worry about in using my voice, simply because the people who NEED to hear my story will only hear it properly if I share it. It's my story. Who else could share it more effectively than me. If naysayers or adoption haters or judgey judgmentalers want to rain on my parade, which they have & I know will continue to do, I just have to smile & think that the only opinion that matters to me is Jesus' & He thinks my story is beautiful. Plus, some people get super uncomfortable when people who have faced many things in their life, & still face life positively & with hope & care & compassion, are encountered. Mine is a story of redemption & grace & love & sacrifice & family & yes, heartache & pain, but you have to have the bad in order to appreciate the good. 
There will always be people in opposition of truth. This is my truth. I have to share it regardless because I know that even if it helps one person, even if it touches one heart, even it makes one person think differently in a positive way about adoption & birthmama's & birthfamilies, or helps someone seek help or choose the next right choice, or most importantly see the beauty of Jesus & the miracles He can do in people's lives, even through dark things that we deal with, get put through or put ourselves through, THAT is what matters to me. I choose to just smile & continue to spread my sunshine truth. Rainclouds, lightning, thunder, hurricanes...I choose to shine that light of Love.
What part(s) of your adoption experience are you most happy with?
Going in to the profile reading process I thought, who am I to have people's fate in my hands of who gets a baby & who doesn't after waiting for so long (or so short, in my couples case!) or struggling for so long, trying, desperately hoping for a baby? & here I was just knocked up at 19 & how unfair it seemed for these couples to be so ready & prepared & capable in so many ways of having a baby & yet unable to. There could not have been a more incredible couple in that stack though than my couple.  
I am so happy they chose to adopt. I am so happy I waited that extra week to look at more profiles after the new class of hopeful adoptive couples completed theirs. I am so happy they are Ry & Roo's parents. I am so happy that they became family & we are all so close. I am so happy that they love me unconditionally & support me. I am so happy that they are a part of my story. I wish I could bottle our connection & their appreciation & gratitude & our respect for each other & give it to all birthmamas & hopeful adoptive couples because our relationship has brought me so much comfort & they've been so open with me & with the kids & there hasn't been secrecy or shame or guilt or hiding, it's been honest, genuine & candid from day one, just like it should be. 
I'm also so happy that I'm finally finding healing. It's taken a long time to get to this place. I've been at peace with my decision for as long as it's been made but finding happiness within myself in regards to my journey has taken a lot longer. I'm so thankful that my adoption story has brought me to this place though. I've learned more about myself than I think I possibly ever could have without it.  
I love your positivity! How do you cultivate such a positive attitude, even when life happens and we make mistakes and other people's choices affect us as well? What would you say is your life's motto? 
There's an amazing quote by Robert Brault that I love so much, partially because I was a dancer for 12 years when I was younger, but more so because of the incredible relevancy it has in my life & in how I view things:  
"Optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backwards after taking a step forwards is not a disaster, it's a cha-cha." 
That is why I stay positive. Life is a dance. Sometimes we misstep, sometimes we fall, sometimes we get our toes stepped on or step on others, but sometimes we dance it as if our feet were made to do only that. It's those moments that keep me positive & looking forward. Those moments are the moments worth striving for. When that next right step turns in to a beautiful expression of who we are, whether the catalyst is something painful or something lovely, it's the ebbs & flows that bring together the harmony of the dance. But being negative all the times can only breed more negativity. & negativity is exhausting!  
People are often shocked when hearing my story after knowing me in life context outside of my story. Most people see me as sunshine in a bottle & when they hear of the things I've been through, that I've wallowed in, that I've experienced & had to endure, they are baffled by my optimism. Honestly, I'm a bit confused by it myself sometimes. But I know that it truly comes from a strength that is not within my own power. It is truly Jesus giving me the ability to wake up every morning thankful for this journey & wanting to allow Him to work through my story. Of course I have bad days, everyone does, but even in my darkest hours there has always been this still small light burning within me. Whether I truly believed it to be there or felt it or not. It's Love. Even in my most awful, horrible, direst of situations, no matter how I've tried to cover it, no matter who has snuffed it out or stifled it, He's always relit it, even when I didn't think I could keep going. 
I use to plaster a smile on my face as a mask I wore to ward off questions or people thinking I didn't have it together, because, well, I didn't, at all & I believed the lie that I had to deal with it alone & that no one would understand or I was shamed or shaming myself in to silence & hopelessness. Now I smile because I know that even in my imperfections & missteps & failings & advantages being taken of me & people abandoning me & the hurt & the pain & the heartache that I & others have caused me, that there has still been such positivity & good that has come from it in the end. Seriously, so much good. I am truly blessed, even in my struggles & through my continual healing, for it is TRUE beauty from ashes.  
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Friday, November 15, 2013

One Step at a Time

Photo: Hope Connections

I'm on quite a few journeys at this point in my life as I'm working towards some goals and trying to make some positive changes. And sometimes I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water. I'm still taking steps towards where I want to be, but those steps seem so small... and some of the struggling I'm doing appears to have no end in sight. I need a break... from something. But I'm not sure what. Everything seems extra difficult right now.

I take on a lot. I do too much for too many people. I care too much about other people's problems and it takes an emotional toll on me. For once I'm trying to take care of myself, but that's harder than it sounds when you've never put yourself first. It feels against my nature and I'm trying to force myself to remember that I'm important too, my needs matter, and it's okay to back out of things when my plate is too full and it's okay to say "no" when someone is wanting more from me. I can't do it all.




Sunday, November 10, 2013

When Adoption's Done Right

We were featured over at The R House blog today. CLICK HERE and go read it! And ignore my cheesy smile in the picture, ha ha.

When I first began blogging back in 2009, I followed only two blogs... and The R House was one of them. (The other was my friend's blog Baby Makin' Machine.) And I still read them both today, so that should say something about them. :)

Mrs. R highlighted this quote of mine:

"When adoption is done right (ethically, for the right reasons, and with the child in mind), it can be so beautiful - an answer to prayers on the side of the birth family AND on the side of the adoptive family."

And I still whole-heartedly believe that. Even when I'm submerged in the uncertainty that is trying-to-adopt.

Ugh.

Since we've set ourselves a DEADLINE for adopting... it's a little easier. We know all of it will be over soon - the uncertainty, the fear of rejection, the insecurity of are-we-good-enough?, the comparison to other happy adoption stories, the hoping but not being able to be too hopeful, the picking-ourselves-apart, the proving-that-we're-good-parents, etc. I can't imagine going this route for years and years on end. So it's nice to know there's an end in sight. March 2014 will be a really happy time... or another reality check, depending on whether our current match ends up working out or not. Either way, the domestic infant adoption madness will be over!

I'm just reaching the end of my ability to stay positive. I think any normal person will go insane trying to adopt an infant. It's only a matter of time. Good thing I submitted that post months ago when I was still thrilled about things! Ha ha. It was nice to hear my own words comforting me right now. Cuz I'm getting a tad bit loopy.

Pretending to be dinosaurs... or crazy people, either way.




Thursday, November 7, 2013

My Little Stud - #ToddlerModel

It's getting ready to snow around here. The mountains are covered already, so we're just waiting for it to really hit the valley. We've been trying to enjoy the Fall before Winter decides to take over. The leaves in our yard have been gorgeous! And falling heavily. So I made it my project to get some good Fall shots of Kal this week.

I brought out my good camera and everything. But he would NOT stand still for pictures. Of course he wouldn't! He just kept running away from me, ha ha. But I got some decent ones to send to family and that made me happy.

This boy is growing up so fast! And he's so doggone cute, I can't stand it! We have a model friend who's always telling us we need to get Kal into modeling. But really - how do they get any 2-year-old model to stand still??






Toddler Model

90% of the time he runs when I want to take a picture! Ha ha.





Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Opposite of Hypochondriac

If there's a word for "opposite of hypochondriac," then I'm that.

I remember being little and listening to some kid complain at school of being sick and I'm pretty sure I thought he was a whiny cry baby and I said, "Ain't nothing wrong with you!"

Somewhere along the line I developed into a "walk it off" type person. "It's just a cold, get over it." I never, ever think I'm sick. Or that something's wrong. Or that my body may not be functioning properly. Or that I need help. I just suck it up and deal with it, whatever it is.

Even with my infertility... I'm not infertile, I just haven't gotten pregnant in 9+ years. Lol. Nothing's wrong with me, though. That's just the way God made me. I'm perfectly fine. I don't want to hear your fertility fixes. I'M FINE.

Denial, denial, denial.

I didn't want to hear that something was wrong with me. I didn't want to put in the work to figure out my body. I didn't want a diagnosis, a label, something to actually be wrong. I'd rather be ignorant. Miserable and ignorant.

But when the symptoms add up and you ignore them long enough, there will eventually come a breaking point. I reached that right before I made a doctor's appointment to check my thyroid. And now I'm wondering how much better my life could've been up till this point had I paid attention to my health - my health specifically and what I need to feel well (not just "eat right and exercise"). It could've made a world of difference. I feel SO much better already.

There IS something wrong, I DO have a diagnosis (of both Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Hypothyroidism). I DO have insulin-resistance, which CAN lead to Type II diabetes. I DO have elevated androgen levels. I DON'T ovulate. Ignoring it DID cause severe anxiety, among other symptoms. And I'm not afraid of all that anymore. I'm not denying it anymore. I'm ready for a change.

Here's to a healthier, brighter future. :)

The best picture I could find of me right now.... ha ha ha ha. On a ride at a pumpkin patch with Kal. :)




Sunday, November 3, 2013

David Archuleta on an LDS Mission

Photo: www.sltrib.com

Saw an article on David Archuleta recently and it made me so happy! His team is still releasing videos while he's away on a mission for our Church to keep the fans happy while he's away. His welcome home party will be amazing, I'm sure. He's in the middle of spending 2 years in Chile, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people there.

I wasn't always a fan of David Archuleta. I wasn't all fan-girl about him like so many girls in Utah were when he was on American Idol. And when EVERYONE likes something/someone, it kind of makes me shy away from whatever/whoever it is. Ha ha. But when he said he was going on a mission, I FELL IN LOVE!!!

Anyone who knows anything about the LDS Church knows how important that decision to go on a mission is. I didn't go on one and I regret it. I missed that opportunity. So did my husband. He chose to marry me instead of going on a mission. And it doesn't hurt my feelings one bit that he wishes he had chosen differently. It would've been better for both of us if we had spent those years dedicated to serving God in the unique way that serving a mission allows. It changes your whole life.

A huge highlight in a young LDS member's life is opening their mission call letter. Surrounded by friends and family, reading aloud where you are called to serve. :) Ahhhh! It's so exciting. We went to a friend's mission call reading earlier this year and I was grinning the whole time, so so proud of him for making that choice and setting aside college basketball plans to do so. It's such a spiritual moment. I don't know of anything else I can compare it to.

I'm a dork and I even watch videos of mission calls from people I don't know, ha ha ha. I liked the "LDS Mission Calls" Facebook page where people share their videos. I cry every single time I watch one. I love the faith required to live worthy to serve a mission and then sacrifice time and money and other plans to do so. When I see young people today living up to such high standards, it is a HUGE inspiration to me. To be able to accomplish that in today's world with today's temptations and distractions, it's an amazing thing to see.

Zay cuts hair for a lot of guys who are approaching mission age and my heart goes out to him as he tries to encourage them to make good decisions and to prepare to go on a mission. Not all of them follow through. Some of them do. I know it breaks his heart when he sees them making similar mistakes in their youth that he did, but the happiest I've seen him is when he's watched a struggling youth turn their life around and serve a successful mission. It affects him. I know he wants to work with youth in general and make a difference somehow, even if it's just relating to them and encouraging them in what they're capable of. That's his passion in life and where he wants to go with his career.

Back to David Archuleta (I mean, Elder Archuleta), I remember him saying that he wasn't sure about serving a mission because he felt like singing was his mission, but when he finally announced that he was going (at a concert in Salt Lake City), the mostly LDS audience went nuts! Yeah, we're that serious about it. I was so super proud of him for sticking to his faith despite being such a big star at such a young age... I'm sure it's hard to stay strong being thrown into that kind of atmosphere (being famous) with all that attention. But he's such a genuine guy and I hope he's learning all God wants him to learn while he's away.

Video of David Archuleta's mission announcement:





Halloween 2013

I've been busy, busy, busy doing hair lately. Didn't have the energy to come up with Halloween costumes for Zay & me. But Kal's at the age where Halloween is super fun for him now! I got it in my head that I was going to make his costume, when I've never done anything like that before. I spent like an entire day working on it. Caught up on some shows and burned myself with hot glue a few times, but ta-da! I was pretty proud of making something that actually withstood all the trick-or-treating and Halloween parties!

DIY no-sew Pocoyo Halloween Costume

He went as Pocoyo, the main character in one of his favorite TV shows.
 
I carried around this book in case no one knew who he was supposed to be. :)

We had a church party (trunk-or-treat plus chilli cook-off), work party at Zay's job (wish I had pictures from that one!), and a good friend of mine threw a party to get together with her friends with kids - it was so fun to catch up and watch our kids play together.

The only picture I got with me in it. None with Zay. Kal's the center of attention, I guess!

Rick James look-alike. Actually, he was just playing with my synthetic hair extensions that I use for braids sometimes. Didn't think of using them for Halloween!

These made me gag just looking at them!




Halloween Bingo


I was  proud of my spiderweb decorations. Took me like 15 minutes, ha ha ha.

Halloween Paint Craft
This was such a fun craft! I painted the bottom of Kal's feet for the ghosts and his arm/hand for the tree. Then he painted grass and a moon and "helped" with the pumpkins (mostly messed them up, lol). He had so much fun. :)


Being weird... She's all, "Whaaaat?"











It has been SO fun to scroll through my Facebook/Instagram and see all my friends' kids' Halloween costumes! The cuteness overload, oh my goodness! I think Halloween may make a comeback as my favorite holiday. :)




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