December 19, 2013

You moved for Daddy

We're Pregnant!!!

…but that story is for another day and another post.  It's a long one.  Right now I have some thoughts for my sweet baby that I need to get down before I forget things.  In the meantime, thank you so much to everyone who has been there for us in any way at all.  Words cannot express how much we appreciate your prayers on our behalf during our struggle into parenthood. 

Dear Baby Boots,

We got to see you again a couple days ago.  The first time we got to see you we couldn't even tell where your head was going to be because it was so early.  You were only 7 weeks.  But we did get to see your heart beat.  Your beautiful little heartbeat beating away so strong.  But this time for your 9 week ultrasound, there you were!  You were so beautiful!  We got to see your head, and your arms, and your legs, and the umbilical cord, and of course your strong little heart beat.

This was you at 7 weeks, and again at 9 weeks.
When the picture first came up onto the monitor, I saw you move!!!  I couldn't believe it!  I looked over at your daddy and…nothing.  He didn't see it.  I was so sad that he missed it.  The whole time while the nurse was taking the pictures and measurements you were so still.  No movement at all.  I think you knew it wasn't time to move so that she could get all the pictures and measurements that she needed.  But still, daddy didn't get to see you move and I was so sad about that.  I wanted him to have seen what I saw.  But as soon as she was done taking the pictures of you, you gave us a show.  You started moving and wiggling your little arms and you just kept dancing for us.  I looked over and your daddy and he had the most happy, excited look on his face.  I was so happy!  So of course I started giggling and couldn't stop.  We were so excited to get to see you moving and happy like that.  And I was so excited that your daddy got so see you move.  You moved for Daddy!

Look how perfect you are!!!

We are so excited to meet you.  We've been looking at some ideas for your nursery this week.  We've got so much to do and I'm not sure how we're going to get it all done in the next 30 weeks.  But we'll manage and it will be the most perfect room for you.  I can't wait until it's done and I especially can't wait to show it to you!

We've waited so long for you my sweet Baby Boots.  You will be so loved in this life and forever.  We love you so much Baby!

November 2, 2013

"I will give you rest"

Isn't it funny how in this journey we call life, we struggle and struggle and struggle with trials, and we scratch and claw and fight to climb out way out of them, usually without much luck? That is if we're trying to do it ourselves anyway. Until we fully turn to the Lord for support and help, we will continue to struggle. That's just the way it is.

I thought I'd been depending on the Lord this whole time. I prayed. I attended church. I payed my tithing. Etc. But I think in the back of my mind I knew I wasn't solely depending on Him, and He knew it too. I was angry and I couldn't let go of that anger, no matter what lie I told myself. I had to hit rock bottom for me to get it through my thick skull. And I did. I hit rock bottom. I was so lost and discouraged and angry. (see post here ) I feel kind of embarrassed saying this, but I felt kind of like Joseph Smith did when he was in Liberty Jail. Not for the same reasons, but I found myself asking those same questions of the Lord...a lot. "O God, where art thou?" "O Lord, how long shall 'we' suffer these wrongs and...opressions, before thine heart shall be softened toward 'us', and thy bowels be moved with compassion toward 'us'?" "...stretch forth thy hand; let thine eye pierce; let thy pavilion be taken up; let thy hiding place no longer be covered; let thine ear be inclined; let thine heart be softened, and thy bowels moved with compassion toward us." Remember us!

But I think my Lord and Savior knew what He was doing. It's when we are at our lowest that we truly remember who our Savior is. He didn't just save us from our sins, he saved us from our sorrows. I needed to hit rock bottom in order to see how sweet the peace that only He can give is. "...Peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph…"

I feel such peace. I pray that I can endure it well. Do I feel like everything is magically going to fall into place? Not at all, but that's ok. Because I feel peace. Do I think that I will still have low days where I forget to turn to Him? Absolutley, but that's ok too. Because my Father in Heaven loves me, so much that He sent His Son to be my Savior. And right now, I feel so much peace.

We did our last and final IUI last Saturday. We won't be doing anymore after this. I'm not sure what I'm expecting to happen. I'm not sure if it will work or not, but I'm not worried. Oddly enough I keep forgetting that I've even done it and that I'm waiting again. Either way, no matter what happens, I'm good, I'm content, and I'm happy in the knowledge that this is all part of His plan and His timing.      

Matthew 11:28 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

October 11, 2013


I've been struggling a lot the last few days.  I feel so down but I couldn't really put my finger on what it was exactly.  Aaron keeps asking me what's wrong but I just can't put it into words.  Because I'm not even 100% sure what's wrong.

As I was driving home from work today I heard a song on a Christian station that I listen to.  This song put into words everything that I've been feeling.  As I listened I sobbed, and then sobbed and prayed.  My faith is shaken.  And though we still haven't gotten pregnant and that is heartbreaking in itself for both of us, I think that this is what has had me so down lately.  Because I feel like this is our test and I'm failing. Failing because I'm losing my faith.  I'm just so worn and wish I could just feel a little comfort and to know that there will be an end to all of our struggles.

I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I'm too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

My prayers are wearing thin
Yeah, I’m worn
Even before the day begins
Yeah, I’m worn
I’ve lost my will to fight
I’m worn
So, heaven come and flood my eyes

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause all that’s dead inside will be reborn

Though I’m worn
Yeah I’m worn

"Worn" by Tenth Avenue North

August 18, 2013

Boost to my ego...

I was walking home from church today, all by myself unfortunately.  Aaron had mandatory work today because of the football season coming up so he left right after the sacrament.  Anyway, that's beside the point.

I'm walking home when all of the sudden I hear yelling coming from behind me.  There were these two guys in their late teens to early twenties yelling out the window at who I'm assuming was one of their friends that I had just passed on my walk home.  When they passed me the passenger yelled out the window to me.

"You're beautiful!" he said.

They were driving pretty slow so a few seconds later he sticks his head out the window and yelled back at me.

"No seriously!  You should call me."

And a few seconds after that he yells one last time before their truck rounded the corner.

"9.7.4-!" (Or something close to that anyway.)

Haha, I couldn't help but laugh and feel flattered.  Sure, he was just some random young guy making noise as he drove by...but hey, I'll take it!

So thank you random guy.  Thank you for the quick boost to my ego and self esteem that totally made my day!

Me on my walk home!

I wonder if he would have still felt the same way if he knew that I was 27 and married???  Oh well, I guess some things are better left unsaid sometimes.  :)

July 24, 2013

Another Name for God...

I learned something yesterday.  I learned that another name for God is "Something".

Let me tell you how I learned this awesome information with a little story about this amazing moment with an amazing old man.

Yesterday I went to the mall during my lunch break to buy a black maxi skirt.  I was really hoping to just get in and get out.  (You need to know that the mall is probably my least favorite place to be...ever.)  As soon as I walked in the door I saw this adorable little old man leaning on his cane and walking towards me and the exit.  (You also need to know that old people kind of scare me.  I never know what to say to them!)  He was probably 20 yards away and already he was talking to me. 

He was so appalled that I wouldn't be wearing shorts and flip flops in this weather.  I explained to him that I agreed.  It's terrible that I have to be wearing office appropriate clothing in the middle of summer!  He then asked me where I worked and told me that I looked really familiar to him.  I thought he might have come into work and that's where he might have seen me, but no.  He walks in the mall 5 days a week and swore that he has seen me in the mall.  (Little did he know that I avoid the mall like the plague!)  At this point I was thinking about how much I wanted to get away and get on with my shopping.  But that wasn't in the plan. 

He continued to pepper me with questions like "Are you married or living with someone?  Any kids?"  and told me that I was a very beautiful young woman.  And then he shocked the heck out of me!

"Would it be alright if I prayed with and for you?" he asked.

"WHAT?!" was the initial reaction that bounced around in my head.  But instead I said, "Sure!".  And I'm so glad I did. 

He reached out and grabbed my hand and right there in the middle of the crowded mall with people passing all around us, we bowed our heads, closed our eyes, and he prayed for me. 

It was the sweetest prayer.  He prayed over me and my life, and that Heavenly Father would bless me with something special today.  Something that only God can give me.  Sure it was a little bit weird, but mostly it was one of the most touching things I've experienced in my life.  How much better would the world be if we all had the courage to lift up our voice and pray over complete strangers in the middle of a crowd!

When he was done he asked if I was a Christian to which I replied with a "yes".  And he asked me if I knew any other names for God. 

"Well sure, I call him Heavenly Father."  I said.

But that's not what he was looking for.  He told me that another name for God is "Something." 

"Because Something told me to stop and talk to you today."

I could have hugged that sweet old man right then!  As he was walking away he told me to keep my eyes out for something amazing to happen to me today.  To which I replied, "I think it was you!"

I feel so blessed to have walked into that mall entrance right when I did and blessed to have had that strange and amazing interaction with such a sweet old man!

July 19, 2013

A Broken Heart

I'm feeling very discouraged and broken today.  And honestly, even a little angry too.  My feelings are so overwhelming and I can't seem to get a grip on myself.  I wish I had a better way with words because I feel like I need to get my emotions out and put down in words so that I can understand and move past them.  Why is it that every time I get my hopes up I'm just left with a huge disappointment?  I try so hard to remember that we are sent to this earth to be tested.  To see if we can seek our Father and turn to him and praise him even in the hard times and our weakest moments.  Sometimes I succeed in that, and other times I just don't see how he could want this trial of mine to go on for this long.  I know my Heavenly Father and my Savior ache when I do.  And I know that my Savior has felt and suffered all that I am suffering so that I can turn to Him and he will gladly bear my burden.  I try to remember that.  I try to do that.  I've humbled myself, I've turned to Him, I've held onto my testimony through all these years of heartache.  I've sought answers to prayers and I've received them.  So why does He bless me with an answer if He's not ready to bless me with what I know is a righteous desire?  What more do I need to know?  How much longer do Aaron and I have to wait and wonder?  The tears are flowing and my heart is aching. 

We did another IUI.  I don't think I told you that.  In fact, I don't think I even told you how the first one turned out.  The fact that we did another IUI should tell you that the first one didn't work.  I was a little upset, how could I not be?  But I knew the chances were pretty small that it would work for us on the first try so I didn't let it get me down that much.  I had a couple hours after I found out that the test was negative that I just wanted to be left alone and gather my thoughts.  I had those hours, I gathered my thoughts, and I moved on excited about the next try.

I thought we were going to have to cancel our cycle because we were going to Reno right around the time that I was supposed to ovulate.  But everything aligned perfectly, which I took as a good sign, and we were able to do the IUI the morning of Friday the 5th and we were flying out to Reno that same afternoon.  It worked out perfectly.  And I had two mature eggs this time so my chances were twice as good as last month.  It's been two weeks, and today I took a pregnancy test.  In the back of my mind expected it to be negative, but I hoped and prayed that it would be positive.  It was negative...  Today I don't have the luxury of a few hours to myself.  Today I'm sitting here at work, trying to keep the tears from my eyes as I great clients and answer phone calls.  I'm not handling this nearly as well as the first time, and nearly as well as I know I should.  They say that most couples will get pregnant within 3 IUI's.  We've gone through two and only have sperm enough for one more try.  What is it about 3 times that is supposed to work?  What is so different about this next time that all of the sudden, what couldn't happen before will magically work?  I'm so discouraged that it won't work for us.  That we won't be in the group of "most couples".  Our luck in this department just hasn't ever been that good. 

I'm trying to remain hopeful.  I'm trying to remain grateful for all of our other blessings that are so abundant in our lives.  But please, please Heavenly Father let it work for us this next time.  Please don't let me feel like giving up just because it's easier to live that way.  Please give me strength and comfort in the hours, and weeks, and months to come.


June 11, 2013

IUI Update

We had our first IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination) on Sunday morning.  It was actually pretty crazy that I ovulated and that we were even able to do it.  You see, ever since they put me on birth control things have just been different and I had a feeling it wouldn't go as smooth as it should have.  This will probably be a little TMI, but, here it is. 

My periods have always been extremely predictable and like clockwork.  I usually bleed heavy and cramp heavy on days 1 & 2 of my cycle and then just regular flow for the next 5 days.  My period always lasts a week.  But this time, after the birth control, I wasn't even sure I had a period.  I got a little crampy and a tiny bit spotty.  Then after a couple days I had one quick gush, and then spotting, and then the next day another quick gush...and then a tiny bit of spotting over the next day.  It was weird.  Once I saw how messed up my period was, I just knew that my ovulation schedule would be screwed up as well.

I had called Idaho Center for Reproductive Medicine on my second "gush" day assuming that that was going to be the start of my full flow cycle.  But looking back, I think I probably should have called the day before.  They told me to start using the OPK on day 10 and then if nothing happened by day 14 then I needed to call in and get an ultrasound done to figure out why I wasn't ovulating.  Day 14 rolled around...nothing.  Day 15 rolled around...nothing.  But I still had this feeling that my ovulation was just late due to the birth control messing with things.  And I didn't want to pay another $200 for an ultrasound if it was just late.  Day 16 rolled around and it was still a negative.  So I finally called.ICRM and set up an ultrasound for the next Monday since day 16 fell on a Friday.  They were NOT happy with me for waiting to call but, it felt like the right thing to do for me.  On Saturday morning I peed on yet another OPK and stared at it praying to see two stupid pink lines...and I did!!!  Yay!  Seriously, it was such a relief.  I knew that waiting to call them was the right thing to do.  Ha!  Take that ICRM!!! 

Anyway, they told me to come in the next morning at 9 for the IUI.  The whole time that I was waiting for my ovulation I was just excited and impatient for it to come.  I thought I'd just continue that excitement right on through the procedure.  Turns out I'm still an emotional wreck...who knew?!  After she got done with the holy crap painful IUI she left to do some paperwork.  As soon as she walked out the door I lost it.  I was bawling!  Not because of the pain she just put me through, oh no, I'm just a wreck.  Shouldn't the normal reaction just be happy and excited?!?  Don't get me wrong, I was happy and excited but I was also so scared and nervous.  What if it doesn't work?  What if I get my hopes up just for a huge fall at the end?  And if it doesn't work then I have to deal with telling everyone who will want to ask us about it in a few weeks.  I struggle with the sympathy.  I don't really want it.  It just makes me feel sad all over again.

I have to tell you, Aaron was so sweet after the IUI.  They make you lay there for about 10-15 minutes after but say that that doesn't even really help, they just do it.  But Aaron wanted to give us as much of an advantage as he could.  So instead of the 10-15, I laid there for about 20 minutes.  Then in the car he wanted me to lay the seat back as far as it would go.  And when we got home, he wanted me to just lay and relax all day to give the swimmers as much of a fighting chance as they could get.  When we got home, he made me breakfast while I laid on the couch and read.  Then after breakfast, we went and watched movies for hours.  Any time I would try to get up to do something he'd yell, "What are you doing up, go lay down!"  It was so sweet.  He catered to me all day on the small chance that it would help get me pregnant.  I love that man so much!

So there it is.  Here we are, back to waiting.  And we are excited, very excited in fact.  We've just not been very lucky in this department so far so we're being cautiously optimistic.  Hopefully all works out and who knows, we could possibly be pregnant right now!  But until I see a positive on a pregnancy test...yep...I'll stay cautiously optimistic.  It's a roller coaster ride.  But as a good friend of mine told me, "Just relax, take a deep breath and try to keep calm.  It's much harder to do but at least the roller coaster ride is a bit more comfy that way."  :) 

Here are a few pictures we took outside ICRM on our way out.  Just in case this time did work for us we wanted to be able to document the day!

I was told that this one is gross.  Haha.  But this is what you get when you try to kiss your spouse in a picture and instead he sticks his tongue out.  I'll show him!  Haha.
I ended up getting what I wanted in the end.  I always do!  :)

May 31, 2013

Recent Cakes

I've had the opportunity to do some pretty fun cakes lately.  If I was on top of things I would be taking pictures during the process of making them and blog about each one individually.  However, I'm not.  So instead I'll do a catch up post about the last three that I made. 

The first is a farewell cake that I made for one of my co-workers.  It turned out pretty cute and I was really happy with the results.  As the baker, there are always things that you notice and wish you could do over, but I'm not going to tell you what those things are!  :)  Hopefully you won't notice them and you can just enjoy the cake as much as I do.  So here's number one in the line-up:

This next one was a lot of fun.  I call it my Stripes and Bow cake!  :)  This was also a work cake and I loved it.  It was very simple, clean, and just plain cute.  I hope you love it as much as I do.

And finally, this is the last cake I made.  I made it a couple days ago for a birthday.  I honestly didn't think it would turn out as cute as it did.  I was exhausted and short on time and cutting corners at every possible moment.  Maybe that's the trick because honestly, I love this cake! 

Hope you like my latest creations.  I have to say, I'm pretty proud of these ones!  :)

P.S.  With this last cake I discovered modeling chocolate.  I've been using fondant for all my decorations and it works great, but it also is a pain in the butt to make and super expensive to buy and just messy and sticky.  So I attempted to make this modeling chocolate out of the colored candy melts.  HO-LEY-COW!  It is amazing.  It's so easy to make, not messy at all, only two ingredients (candy melts and corn syrup), it tastes like white chocolate instead of powdered sugar, it doesn't stick to the counter, and it's pre-colored for you.  Have I convinced you yet?  I found my new love for making cake decorations!!!

May 22, 2013

25 things you should know about me in 2013

I've been wanting to do a post like this for a while now.  I saw a similar post on LMM a while back and knew I had to do my own version of it.  If for nothing else, so 20 years from now I can look back and remember what was important to me and what I am like.  Here goes.
  1. I'm 27 years old.  Married.  Two dogs.  No kids.  Currently working on changing that last part.
  2. We own a 1400 sq ft home that we are constantly updating.
  3. I love to bake and decorate cakes but don't care to actually eat them that often.
  4. I pee in front of my husband and feel weird when I actually have to close the bathroom door. 
  5. I still get tomatoes and potatoes confused.  I know the difference but if I'm in a hurry I almost always say the opposite of what I'm thinking.
  6. I have broken my arm...3 times.
  7. HATE doing laundry!!!  (Did I emphasize that enough?)  It's the folding and putting away that is the death of me.  I more often than not will leave the clothes in the dryer until I need them and then I'll just re-run it until they aren't wrinkled anymore.
  8. I also hate mowing the lawn if it's been more than a week since it's been cut.  I'd rather just ignore it until all of the sudden it's knee high and then finally I'll break down and do it.  And then it's a million times worse than if I'd just done it to begin with.  It's terrible!
  9. I'm the youngest of 5 kids.
  10. We want to move to Brazil once Aaron finishes his masters program in August.  (Probably won't happen though.)
  11. I recently started bouldering (rock climbing) and love it. 
  12. I teach the 6-7 year olds in Primary and I love it!
  13. I'm a little neurotic.  I count everything.  Everything has to be done in evens.  I'm also constantly typing sentences I hear with my hands where every they happen to be keyboard or computer to be found.  Judge me kindly on that one...
  14. I have started many crafts and I have yet to finish any.
  15. I love the smell of my spouses face.  Is that weird?
  16. I get lost in books, any books, even if they're not that good.  
  17. I only wash my hair once or twice a week.  Much more cooperative that way.
  18. I currently have braces.  (Getting these babies off in December and can't wait!!!)
  19. I have been the same weight for the last 7 years.  My pant size goes up and down but my weight stays the's weird...
  20. Being touched on my hips or my belly button makes me cringe and feel like I want to faint. 
  21. I refuse to pay for manicures and a pedicure is pushing it.
  22. I always have a fridge full of leftovers that eventually go bad because neither Aaron or I will eat them.
  23. I'm an adult, yet I still never step on cracks in the sidewalk.
  24. Going to the movies is my favorite way to spend a date night. 
  25. And finally...I Am Enough.  I have shortcomings and failures and sometimes I'm lazy and selfish.  It's so easy to get caught up in what holds me back.  But I also have achievements and gratitude for my blessings.  I'm motivated by what's right and by what's right for my family.  I genuinely want everyone to feel loved and included.  I believe wholeheartedly in forgiveness no matter the situation.  I believe in a merciful Heavenly Father who looks past my shortcomings and instead sees what I have to offer and what I can become.  And because of that...I Am Enough.

May 16, 2013

a setback

Well, we had our initial consultation!  We'd already been there a couple years before so it was a very short appointment where they just went over the details of going through the sperm donor program and the list of things I would need to get done before the IUI.  Everything was a piece of cake.  Going perfectly!

  • Start taking clomid...Check!
  • Take my prenatals...Check!
  • Find a sperm donor...Check!  (This part was so stressful for me.  How do you choose the donor who will be the right choice for your child and your family?  And when you think you've found one, is it the right one?  Is there a better one?  Should we just hold out in case a better one comes along?  A lot of people didn't understand the stress because any donor would get us a baby.  But whichever we chose we would have to live with for the rest of our lives.  But we did it!  I think we have the perfect donor!!!)
  • Order the other medication to be delivered to my house once the IUI is done...Check!
  • Start using the ovulation predictor kit...Check!
  • Then wait...

On day cycle day 11 I had an ultrasound to make sure that I had good eggs developing.  And I did!  Just too many.  Apparently my body really responds to clomid and where a typical person will develop 2-3 eggs on clomid, I developed 6 fully mature and 5 almost mature eggs.  The nurse who was doing the ultrasound said that that might be too many compared what they feel comfortable with but she would talk to the doctor to make sure.  When she was out of the room discussing the ultrasound with the doctor, I prayed so hard that they would still let me do the IUI.  I prayed and prayed and held on to the tiny shred of hope that was given to me by the nurse.  When she came back in and told me that they were cancelling my cycle...I held it together.  When she told me that I would have to go on birth control for the next three weeks...I lost it.  My heart was broken.  How is it possible that I should be on birth control when trying to get pregnant?  I was angry and hopeless all over again.  Maybe that's dramatic.  Maybe I failed in holding onto my faith in that moment.  Maybe that's why it happened.   

When I finally decided that this is the path that we were going to take, I felt such an overwhelming feeling of love and support from my Heavenly Father.  I felt like since I had finally taken that step, everything would fall perfectly into place because the Lord was behind us.  I guess there's still some tests and hurdles that I have to overcome in the process of becoming a parent.  But I know that with my sweet husband and the Lord both walking beside me, I'm strong enough to face these challenges head on.

I have been on birth control for almost three weeks now.  I have another ultrasound next monday to see if everthing is back to normal so that we can start a new cycle.  I'm hopeful...  However, if I'm able to start a new cycle, I won't be able to take clomid again.  That means that the chances of conceiving each try is significantly less.  I'm terrified...  But I'll take whatever comes. 

Please pray for me, pray for us.  I'm grateful and appreciative for all of the prayers and support that have been given on our behalf in our journey to parenthood.     

March 21, 2013

We're finally going to be parents!

This is going to be a LONG post so bear with me.  I'm going to wrap up the last 6 years of trying to have a baby into one post. 

Deep breath, here we go.

This still feels so surreal to me and almost like it's not actually happening.  But Aaron and I have made a decision.  We are finally moving forward and will hopefully be pregnant within the next couple of months!

This decision has been a long time coming.  And a lot of fights and tears in the making.  This journey to have a baby started six years ago.  When we got married we thought we would wait at least a year before trying to get pregnant.  But within a couple of months we knew we wanted to add a sweet little baby to our family.  We couldn't wait to be parents!  But the Lord had different plans for us.  We tried and tried to get pregnant over that first year but with no success.  I kept thinking that something was wrong.  I knew that you weren't supposed to go to the doctors to get things checked out until you'd been trying for at least a year so we waited.  About a year and a half after we got married we moved to Boise and decided it was time to have some tests done. 

Turns out I'm fine.  More than fine actually, I'm extremely fertile!  But Aaron on the other hand wasn't quite so lucky.  Fertile he is not.  After a few..umm, lets just say comical...sperm donations, it was determined that his sperm count was VERY low.  And his mobility was VERY low.  And his motility was VERY low.  Unfortunately with those three things working against us, the doctors told us that we had no chance of conceiving on our own.  About this time we had many people ask us if we wanted them to show us how it's done.  That maybe we were doing it wrong.  Let me just clear up any misunderstanding on the matter...our sex life is not lacking.  In fact it's quite satisfactory! ;)  Anyway, back to the story.  The doctor suggested that we do surgery to remove varicose veins that could be causing the problem with Aaron.  So we did the surgery. But the surgery didn't work.  Around $7000 and two big scars later, we were back to square one. 

At this point we considered our different options.  We could adopt.  We could use a sperm donor.  Or we could do in-vitro.  We didn't originally think that in-vitro was an option because it was so expensive.  We went to an initial adoption meeting and were strongly considering that option.  And then we looked at a sperm donor.  My initial thought was no but Aaron really wanted to go for it.  I prayed and prayed and didn't think we should do it...and then I had an overwhelming feeling come over me that if we wanted to use a sperm donor, we had that blessing from the Lord.  It was such a sweet spiritual moment for me! 

I'm not really sure what happened after that.  I think I must have let doubt creep in and I just...forgot.  We decided that in-vitro was now a logical option that would allow us to have a baby that was both Aaron's and my DNA.  At that point, all thoughts of a sperm donor went out the window. 

Now it's almost three years later and still no baby.  Over the last couple years we've still tried to get things moving through many means.  We applied for a loan to do in-vitro but were denied for that. :(  We've tried to save for it but we have so many bills going in so many directions that that hasn't really worked out either.  And we've constantly argued over the last year whether we should adopt or do a sperm donor.  Aaron was very pro donor and absolutely against adoption.  I was very pro adoption and absolutely against a donor.  Every time we brought this up it would end in a tear soaked fight and we would just give up and ignore it for the next couple months and then go the rounds again.  He couldn't understand my aversion to a donor and I couldn't understand his aversion to adoption. I thought he was so wrong!

As we were driving home the other day from work we got into that same argument with the same results.  When we got home he went in the house and I stayed in the car to calm down.  I had a strong feeling that I needed to call my Mom.  At the time, I thought it was so that she could back up my worries and fears and tell me that Aaron was wrong.  Tell me I was right!  Oh how I was wrong.  I was so worried that by using a sperm donor just because it was easier and cheaper and a semi-instant result that I would be selfish to consider it.  I couldn't picture having a child with a sperm donor and then down the road doing in-vitro so that I could have a child that looks like Aaron.  It felt like I would be saying that the first kid wasn't enough.  And what if the sperm donor kid feels somehow like he's not as good as any other kids or feels that he/she isn't as much a part of the family as the other kids.  What ifs, and worry, and fear, and doubt.  That is all that filled my mind when I thought about using a sperm donor.  When I called Mom I thought she was going to validate my thoughts.  Tell me I had a right to worry and doubt.  Tell me that it was Aaron who was being selfish.  But instead she told me that no matter how I bring a child into our family, it's not selfish.  That any child will be Aaron's child.  That there are always worries and doubts when it comes to being a parent.  And then Dad got on the phone and told me to "Go get your baby!"  It doesn't matter how, just go get it.  Aaron and I were both promised to be parents in our patriarchal blessings and we need to do all in our power to do that.  Our family isn't complete until we do.  It was not the phone call I was expecting but it was the phone call I needed.  I'm not sure where or when I strayed from my original answer about using a sperm donor, but I think the Lord has been sitting back quietly waiting for me to remember that he had already given me my answer almost 4 years ago.  He had been oddly quiet on the matter over the last few years and I had almost decided to give up.  That it would be easier to just accept that we wouldn't have babies and move on with our lives.  But that's not why he was quiet.  He had already answered us, and he was waiting for us to remember that. 

When I went inside to talk to Aaron and tell him that I was thinking we should use a sperm donor, his eyes welled up with the most beautiful tears I've ever seen.  He's so ready and so excited to be a daddy.  And I'm so ready and so excited to be a mommy.  We're ready to be parents!  It was an easy decision after that and we are moving forward. 

This has been the most painful, emotional, heartbreaking 6 years I could imagine, but it's almost over.  I know that those worries and fears will still creep in if I let them but I am holding on to the answer I've been given.  This is right and I'm so excited.  We've set up our initial appointment for April 2nd, 2013 and they say that we could be good to go by my next ovulation.  That's in less than a month and a half!  I could be pregnant in a month and a half!!!  Please keep us in your prayers that everything will go well and work out for us while we try to bring home our baby.

So thankful, so humbled, so excited...and so surreal!

PS. If we did get pregnant during next month's ovulation, my due date would be around January 23rd, 2014.  Yes, I already checked!    :)

February 4, 2013

I have a confession to make...

...I use box cake mixes! 


The horror! 

Liar!!! ...Liiaarrrrr!!!  "Get back witch." "I'm not a witch I'm your wife!"  (10 points for whoever can name that movie.)  I hear this in my head every time I think about telling someone that the cake they are eating came from a box!  Not all of that, just the liar liar part.  But who am I kidding, if you start it you have to finish it.  "But after what you just said I'm not even sure I want to be that anymore!"  (Seriously, 10 points...)

Anyway...back on topic.  Box mixes are where it's at for me.  I've tried the homemade from scratch recipes but they never come out right.  I follow the directions to a T, but they usually end up dry or really dense.  Don't get me wrong, I love a dense cake, but not when it won't even rise up to the edge of the cupcake liners.  So I've given up.  I'm done, finished, finito!  Maybe someday I'll be brave and try it again, but I just hate putting in all that time and work and ingredients into something just to have it fail.  Take for example my super dense non rising Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes.

Horrible I tell you!

So what I do instead is doctor up the box mix a little.  I mean if I'm going to make cakes and hope people might want to buy them I can't just use a box mix and call myself legit. Speaking of, I did sell my first cake ever to my co-worker Nicole.  See look!  I was soooo excited! 

It was a vanilla ombre cake with lemon curd and raspberry fillings (alternated).
It got a little lopsided when she was driving it home.  :(

Anyway, typically I'll add an extra egg, throw in some sour cream, change out the water (from the box instructions) for milk or buttermilk.  Sometimes I'll even add in additional flour and sugar.  It's different every time but it changes it to taste more homemade.  It's my cheat!  :)

To my credit though, I ALWAYS make my own frostings, fillings and fondants, without fail.  You will never see me use store bought, from a tub frosting.  Not. Gonna. Happen.

So there it is.  Laid out on the table for all to judge.  Judge away.  Gasp away.  Call me a liar.  But you're going to be smiling when you get to eat one of my delicious, beautiful cakes.  You know you will!

Maliah's Birthday Cake 2011 and my first ever fondant cake.

Maliah's Birthday Cake 2012

Diane Wikse's Birthday Cake

Work Birthday Cupcakes

Work Birthday Cupcakes
(These ones are my all time favorite flavor.  Vanilla cupcakes with Blueberry buttercream and Lemon Curd filling.  YUMMMY!)

Jenny's Birthday Cake 2013