I’m Back!!

 

The worst blogger award definitely goes to me! I would like to apologize first and foremost for taking such a long break but I do have many good reasons for not blogging lately, most due to being uninspired and overloaded with life. (It happens!) Before you make your verdict of whether I am guilty or not for receiving forgiveness of my absence let me present my case of why I have been sucking at keeping up with my blog.

School

School: If you ever want to challenge yourself try having a family, working and going to school all at the same time. To add some spice do all that while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. This alone was enough to send me into a corner and cry because of all the stress that comes with this. I’m in a Bachelor’s degree program for Criminal Justice and every 5 weeks I finish a class and start a new one. It’s an awesome program, but I just found out that I have a lot of units to still complete on top of the program to fulfill the state’s requirements for graduation. Being that I am a transfer student from another state 6 classes aren’t being counted towards requirements and I have to complete a certain amount of units within this state to graduate. This was a major bummer and I have been dealing with this lately as to how to quickly complete these units and the cheapest way possible. I definitely found the cheapest way: completing them at a community college and the quickest way is to overload my schedule with classes so I can graduate by summer of 2017. For all of this to happen I am starting this summer by taking 4 classes on top of the program so this summer I will be taking 5 classes. Even though this completely sucks by this summer I won’t be working at my current job anymore so I can stay up late to get all these classes done. It’s not too bad, I was able to do the 5 classes a semester and working a 45+ hour third shift job before so this shouldn’t be too difficult.

Work

Work: I got a part time job at a retail store and the shifts are early morning, VERY early morning.ย  We share a room with my toddler and he doesn’t fall asleep until late at night so I’m only getting about 5 hours of sleep the days I have to work and then the days that I don’t work I still have to go to bed early for the next day. Two days have to be taken off to be able to do anything because you are either tired from that day of work or you have to go to bed early for the next day of work. I definitely do recommend this schedule but again I see it as a blessing that I was able to find a job that fit around the Hubs’ schedule so we won’t need someone to take care of our little man.

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Surrogacy: This happened just recently, but I was released from contract from my last intended parents at the very end of January and was immediately matched with new parents. I have a transfer date of March 18th so a lot had to happen before that date but thankfully everything that needed to be done has almost been completed. I will be posting an update on that as well ๐Ÿ™‚

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Vlogging: We just started vlogging at the end of December and we love it! It’s a lot of fun to keep track of what is going on with our lives through video and being able to share it with the world. As much fun as this is it requires so much time with planning out the videos, gathering what we need for the videos, filming, editing, uploading, and sharing the video. I want to be able to keep up with both our vlog and my blog but bare with me I won’t be perfect at this! Here’s our latest video! Don’t forget to subscribe!

 

 

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Money:ย With doing all of these fun blog posts of crafts, recipes and other creative visual content I had to purchase all of the supplies of course and this can get rather expensive. We’re trying to pay off debt and buy a house next year so blogging comes last on the list of expenses. BUT we are in a much better financial state now so we can afford doing some fun upcoming blogs!

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Gym: On the days I’m not working my husband and I are working up a sweat and this takes up our whole morning until the Hubs has to go to work.

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Wife/Mommy Duties: With being the one who mostly stays home I am in charge of our little man with all of his needs, as well as all meals, the cleaning, the bills and anything else that comes with running a household, but I love it! I wouldn’t want it any other way!

If I’m not pumping iron I’m stocking shelves, if I’m not editing videos I’m making dinner, if I’m not studying I’m changing a diaper, and if I’m not cleaning I’m catching up on what needs to be done that is surrogate related. A lot of good is happening in our lives but it has been kicking our butts and after I have gone to the gym, studied for a test, made breakfast, lunch, and dinner, cleaned our home, paid the bills, edited a video; the last thing I want to do is write. It’s not that I don’t love to write it just is not my favorite thing to do when I am so exhausted. I’ll try to type and I will have 5689 typos because I fell asleep at the keyboard ๐Ÿ™‚ Creativity goes out the window when you can barely keep your eyes open.

Things are changing though! I am quitting my job in two weeks because we are doing so well financially so I will be able to focus on the things that I love to do!

Hang in there with me and keep reading in the future for: surrogate updates, craft ideas, healthy recipes, life updates, mom tips, pregnancy tips, breastfeeding tips and whatever else I can think of! Thank you for reading!

 

 

Super Mario Felt Christmas Tree

I have been working on this for over a month now. I am so excited to share the end result! I got the idea of a felt tree from Pinterest but came up with the theme of Super Mario ornaments and how to make them on my own. Since we don’t have much room in our apartment we couldn’t get a Christmas tree, so I turned it into something fun for my toddler to play with. Here is the end result:

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Here’s what you need: (1 yard of dark green felt for the tree $5.99, and then one small square each of the following colors: yellow, brown, orange, red, white, tan and green 4 for $1.00. Felt glue $5.99, permanent marker $0.99, fabric scissors $2.99 and printouts of whichever character you choose).

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First I drew an outline of a Christmas tree on the yard of green felt, and then my husband (whose the better artist) drew over my Christmas tree:

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Then cut it out and place on the wall (I mounted mine to the wall with a staple gun).

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Next print out the characters that you want and cut those out and then place the cutouts on the color of felt that is dominant in the character:

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Trace the characters and cut them out: (For the precise lines do your best to draw them on with a permanent marker).

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For the smaller felt parts cut out the traceable part from the character you printed out like this: (Then trace on the right color of felt and glue on to the previous felt part that was cut out)

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I referred to online pictures from my phone to make sure that I got the right colors and the right parts where they were supposed to go:

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Let the glue dry for about an hour and then let your lovable ones play!

Just be careful to monitor them, my little guy already ripped the question mark block apart…Have fun!!

 

 

My Love, My Life

Today it has been 6 years that my husband and I have been together (Yup, he asked me out on Black Friday). This whole week I have been reflecting upon all that we have experienced together and I wanted to share our story with all of you. I also wanted this to be written down somewhere so that my children can read it one day.

The Hubs and I met at work, which was Target. I had just moved to New Hampshire from California to live with family and for a fresh start. I applied to several jobs and took the first two that called me, which were Charlotte Russe and Target. I met the Hubs on my first day and I remember the exact moment that I saw him, he was standing by the time clock in a white beater (Target’s apparel code is red shirt and khaki pants). After I clocked in I walked by him, and his first words to me were: “Whassup?” Not even “What’s up”, nope, not him, his first words to me were the slang gangster talk of: How are you doing? With this, I can’t say that I was swooned right away, also being that my last job just the past week was volunteering at a church and taking care of kids, the “bad boy type” wasn’t quite doing it for me…yet.ย  I remember for the first couple of days of working, whenever I saw him from a distance he would be staring at me, not looking, or even turning away when I would catch his gaze, nope, he was 100% on the hunt. We also worked with the Hubs’ brother at the time and he was the one who trained me. I remember my brother-in-law asking me about my parents and I told him that my dad was very well off. At the exact moment that I said that, the Hubs came over to where we were working and my brother-in-law told the Hubs, “Hey, her dad is rich.” At that point the Hubs looked over at me and said, “So we’re getting married right?” Only the second time encountering each other and I received a semi-proposal from him.

After that, it still took the Hubs a couple of days to finally talk to me, I guess he was so intimidated by my intelligence and beauty (haha). He was actually pushed to start a conversation with me, that my brother-in-law initiated, my brother-in-law was giving me rides to and from Target (I was without a car, being that I just moved there). One day he asked the Hubs to give me a ride home because he had something to do. I remember that ride home ever so clearly. It was only a 10 minute drive, but oh man, he really tried to be the slickest guy ever, but he succeeded, he got my phone number when he was dropping me off. From that point on we have been joint at the hip, we would text each other all day, hang out on our breaks at work and find any reason to be together. I remember specifically we would go to the aisle that had bean bags at work and would lay them all out and take a nap on them (working overnights was rough).ย  I was hesitant at first about the Hubs because he had a half sleeve of tattoos, (at the time I wasn’t a fan of them), he smoked, he drank, and he had a sailor mouth. All of the things that at the time I was completely against; but, I saw his heart. I saw how sweet he was to everyone around him, how he would drive the half hour to pick me up from my house drive me 5 minutes to my second job, to then go back to his house to study for his classes, to then do it all over when my shift was done. I loved how hard of a worker he was, how he was an awesome listener, and how he would walk to the moon for the people he cared about.

Only 3 weeks after getting to know each other we had our first kiss and this is how he asked me out, (he’s going to kill me haha) “Soooo, are we going out?” To this day I tease him about it, but hey it worked. We dated for about 3 months and then I moved in with him and his family. I do not recommend this, I did not want to go this route especially after knowing each other for such a short period of time, but my family that I was living with went crazy on me, and I truly had no where else to go. After about 10 months of living with his family we got our first apartment together, we were so scared being only 20 & 21. It turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made. Shortly after we got our own apartment we got our first kitten together, (Moose), we got better jobs, (again working together at the same company), and we were hacking away at college classes while figuring out what we wanted to do career wise. 2.5 years after dating we decided we wanted to get married but we couldn’t afford a big fancy wedding, so we eloped at the local town hall. We did this in secrecy because we didn’t want our family & friends to be mad that we only wanted it to be the 2 of us there. We kept our marriage a secret for about 10 months. One year after being married we decided we wanted to be parents and became pregnant on our first try with our beautiful son. After he was born we wanted to see what was in store for us in California, and moved out here the summer of 2014.

There is a lot more to that story that I will address in following blog posts; there’s just too much to write aboutย  in one posting, and I don’t like when posts are really long, who has time for that?!

Through all of what we have experienced we have been there for each other 100%. I am writing this with tears in my eyes because I love this man so much. I don’t love him in the same amount when we first started dating, I love him more. When people “fall out of love,” it is such crap, that love for that person should grow and especially in a marriage. We both know that marriage is for life, and it breaks my heart when people give up on something that can be so beautiful (that is in the issues that can be worked out, I understand there are circumstances that it really cannot be worked out). We always tell each other that we would kill one another before we ever were to agree to divorce. To us, marriage is stronger than death. I have recently been talking to people who have been married for 20+ years and I know that the good Lord has placed them in my life for a purpose, we speak about marriage and I ask them their story, and each time they were married very young, right out of high school. I will say something like you guys are very lucky that it worked, and they turn to me and say oh no, you MAKE it work. I just love hearing that, and I have noticed that the ones who have stayed married for so long, get that marriage takes a lot of work. It doesn’t just happen, feelings don’t come falling from the sky. About two years after dating is when those butterflies aren’t there anymore (studies have shown). What makes couples stay together after they don’t FEEL like being together? LOVE, they CHOOSE to be together and work hard on their relationship. LOVE is NOT a feeling, it’s a CHOICE. You need to choose to love that person and the feelings will come after. If you are reading this and are shaky on your marriage and where it’s going, hang tight! Pray over your marriage, and ask God to reveal to you how to work on it and how to repair it, He will LOVE to answer that prayer. He wants you to be with your spouse, divorce breaks His heart. You have to be completely willing though.

Our marriage has never been perfect, and honestly it breaks my heart to say; but, we almost were headed towards divorce, that’s going to be another post though. We fought for us though, and we prayed, and now here we are, celebrating 6 years together. Not everyday is going to be good, there will be days that it are flat out ugly, but hang tight, God can make any mess into something beautiful.

I hope all of you had the most wonderful Thanksgiving, God bless you all, and thank you for reading ๐Ÿ™‚ Here are some pictures from our Marriage Timeline, I hope you enjoy!

Our first picture ever taken together, also our first Valentine’s Day:

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First Halloween together:

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First Christmas in our own apartment:

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2nd Summer:

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Married!

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3rd Anniversary:

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4th Christmas:

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First car together:

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Hub’s 24th birthday:

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We’re going to be parents!

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It’s a boy!

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Halloween while pregnant:

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We’re parents!

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Moving to Cali (Yup, we drove across…)

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6th Valentine’s Day together, in Hollywood!

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Hub’s Birthday:

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Thanksgiving of 2015:

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What I am Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving!! Today we reflect upon what we are thankful for and I have been doing this for the past two weeks because God has released the flood gates of blessings on our lives, He has always blessed us but just recently we have just been overwhelmed and I want to share what’s been going on in our lives! And an explanation of why I haven’t posted anything in 3 months…

First off the last time I posted was about my surrogate embryo transfer, unfortunately the transfer was not successful. That’s all I am going to say about that in this post because I will be writing about it in depth in another post that I will be publishing probably this weekend. Even though it’s sad news there has been events that happened, as of just last night, that I am thankful for in that category.

To set a picture of our lives when we first moved to California last summer (2014) I would like to write about what happened when we first moved here. The plan was to move in with my mother and for her to help us get on our feet by helping out financially so we can pay off debt and helping with our newborn son and in turn we were going to help in other ways for a trade off. Things fell through and we had to get a place of our own which we were not expecting. Money was so tight being that I went part time after our son was born and moving expenses were huge also; we were living by the dollar after I was hired at a local warehouse and cleaning a house on Saturdays.We were barely approved for the apartment because of our income, you have to gross 2.7 times the amount of rent and we were approved by that requirement by just $20.

Being hired at that warehouse was the start of the blessings when we moved here, it’s the best paying warehouse job that I have heard of, and it’s also very difficult to be hired there; I was ecstatic when I received a job offer. When we moved to California we sold all of our stuff and packed it all into our SUV and drove across. When we got our own place in Cali we had barely anything and on top of that no money to buy the things you need like pots and pans, a bed, etc. Thankfully our son was all taken care of, we brought his crib with us and he always comes first, he was never without anything. We were so broke that we were sleeping on an air mattress, our TV was on the floor, I ate a sandwich and fruit bar for work and we couldn’t do anything on my days off to save money for gas. Our diet was also terrible with eating ramen noodles, mostly pasta dinners with canned pasta sauce, etc. It sucked, but honestly it wasn’t that bad, at the time we were quite pissed about our situationย  but I look back and think even in our “bad situation,” it’s better than most people living in this world. But coming from what we had before we moved out here, we didn’t realize how good we had it. This whole experience of moving out here has been such a humbling and rebuilding experience for us as people, as parents, and for our marriage.

We didn’t want to put our son in daycare because we have a very hard time trusting people, especially listening to horror stories from the news about what goes on in day cares, that and day care is really expensive, at the time the price of daycare would have taken up most of one of our incomes anyways, so we decided it was better that one of us stay home with the little guy. The Hubs started school immediately last fall and is still working on his degree today, and I was working 6 days a week. We were so stressed during this time that we started verbally attacking each other. Our marriage was suffering, the Hubs felt terrible for not working and I missed my son so much, to make things even more difficult for me, I was still breastfeeding, my pump became my best friend, but carrying that thing around 6 days a week was very annoying; but, I was thankful for technology that there was a way that I could still feed my baby in the best way while working so much.

The December after we moved here I was finally able to quit my cleaning job because the warehouse I was working for gives out this very generous bonus at the end of the year. We decided to use that money to supplement income so I can spend more time with my precious son. That’s when things started to get better. Now I’m working a normal 5 day a week schedule but I still am really missing my boy and the Hubs is still feeling extremely guilty for not being the sole provider for the family. So we switched! I got him into the job I was at and he has been doing so much better, he loves coming home to his family…and my cooking ๐Ÿ˜‰ That was spring of this last year (2015) Shortly after he started working, my surrogacy journey started and I also started working at a part time job that had an off schedule from the Hub’s schedule, so one of us is always with our son. Again, HUGE blessing to find a job that works with my current limited schedule. Over the summer I was accepted into a local universities’ online program to continue my education to receive a Bachelor’s Degree, which is one of my dreams. School started about two months ago, and I absolutely love it.

Another blessing just happened when a previous co-worker asked me to babysit their child during the week in the comfort of my own home. That has been working out great, now my son has a playmate and I can generate even more revenue to really help us get out of debt, all without leaving my own home. Also, having two toddlers to look after has given me a very accurate idea of how life will be when we have baby #2.

With the Hubs going to school, he received a grant at an amount that they have mailed him the excess balance after the tuition was paid. Then in December he is getting the same bonus that I received from that company last year.

Now we are both going to school, we are both working, we were able to buy a bed, a couch, a TV stand, a desk for our computers, pots & pans to cook with and all the other essentials that you need to run a house hold. We also have a much better diet that is filled with meats, mostly organic foods, home cooked meals and all the goods. All while our son never having to go to daycare which was the most important to us. We have never been stronger in our marriage, we have never been closer to our families, even though most of them live on the other coast. I wake up at 3am to go to work 5 days out of the week and my day isn’t over until 9pm, I have long but fulfilling days. I love both of my jobs, I love the people I am around, I love my husband and I definitely love the little boy I have been blessed with. We are all so healthy, on such a good path, and everyday is such a blessing, and I thank God for providing for us when things were tough and in our prosperous days; for helping us withstand the storms and giving us the strength to do so. I hope my story inspires you to hang on, a year ago today, I felt like I was going to be swallowed up by the waves with how much stress I was under, but here I am now doing so well and I am so entirely thankful for that. I hope that you too can be thankful for what you have no matter how little or how much.

Tv on the ground:

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My adorable son and our lovely air mattress in the back:

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We also bought these college dorm chairs because we couldn’t afford a couch and were sitting on the floor to watch TV:

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Embryo Transfer

I’m writing this as I am sitting in bed at the hotel I will be staying at for the next 3 days. I have to be on bed rest for the next 72 hours. I’m already going stir crazy as I see my toddler running around, I just want to play with him! And then I look outside and I see this gorgeousness:

Let’s rewind though and back up to what led up to this day all of the preparing both mentally and physically. This post is to share my experience on my surrogacy journey but also to educate the women who are thinking about doing miracle making themselves. I’m only going to write in this post about the embryo transfer and a little bit before this day but I’m going to post another one in detail of all that it takes to become a surrogate, what is expected of you and what you can expect yourself from the process.

The injections started 5 weeks prior to the transfer day. When I picked up the huge bag from the pharmacy I was VERY intimidated. The office did well though with not overwhelming me with info and telling me what to do week by week. What you see here is a box of Lupron, which are stomach injections, I hardly felt those, and those were daily for about 2.5 weeks. Then there is the prenatal, baby aspirin that you take daily. Then two weeks prior to the transfer I was started on the inter muscular injections every Monday and Thursday. Once the eggs were retrieved from the donor I started the daily injections, so every Monday and Thursday I have to take two butt shots(that’s what I call them). They don’t hurt too bad if the person knows what they are doing, I have my husband do them and he could have a promising career being a phlebotomist. Also the week leading up to the transfer I had to take three other tablets. It’s a lot to take in but the office gave me typed out instructions of exactly what to take and when. Two days prior to the transfer I had my blood withdrawn to check my hormone levels to make sure they were just right, which thank fully they were!

injectionsI received a phone call two days prior to the transfer to tell me exactly what time it was going to be at. Also they asked for me to wear comfortable clothing, no perfume or strong smelling lotions, eat a light meal prior to the transfer, wear slip on shoes, and make sure to bring a support person to drive me to the hotel or home.

My transfer was scheduled at 10am and the IVF office asked for me to arrive a half hour before to prep me for the transfer. With the doctor insisting on us taking a hotel room for the 3 day bed rest, we packed up our SUV:

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The funny thing about this is that MOST of it is my son’s stuff, my husband has one small bag, I have that big suitcase and the rest is our little man’s toys, diapers, stroller, snacks, you name it. He is quite the spoiled little boy, he has no idea. We wanted to make this stay as easy as possible for all of us so bringing everything wasn’t an option. I felt like we were moving out of our home honestly. My prep time was at 9:30am and they asked that I start drinking half a water bottle at 9:15am because they want your bladder to be a little full but not feel like you have to use the restroom.

On our way out of the parking garage heading to the office, since it was Sunday the hospital was deserted:

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Going up the elevator, my nerves were really starting to kick in now:

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I went to the bathroom so my bladder wouldn’t be too full, this was definitely courtesy to the transfer doctor ๐Ÿ™‚ and I had to take one last bathroom selfie:

281After signing in I was called back to the prep room while my husband and toddler waited in the waiting area for me. They had me put on a hospital gown, undress from the waist down, gave me new socks to wear, a cap for my hair and draped me with heated blankets because I was shaking from being cold and from my built up nerves. Then they had me sign consent forms, went over my do’s and dont’s after the procedure which are pretty standard: take it easy, bed rest for 72 hours, no immersion into water that can raise my body temperature and other precautions that are routine for a normal pregnancy. Then the doctor came in to greet me and let me know that they are transferring one embryo. They then gave me a Valium to calm my uterus down and myself down. They then let me relax alone for about 10 minutes to really let the Valium settle in and settle in it did ๐Ÿ™‚

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After that they walked me into the OR room, was laying all the way down with my feet in stir ups, it was just like a pap smear, and it felt just like a pap smear. The transfer took not even five minutes. After the doctor was done he asked to pray over me and with tears in my eyes I excitingly said yes! He said the most beautiful prayer and recited a verse from the Bible, as he left tears were heavy in my eyes. He then gave me a picture of the embryo, at this stage the baby is one week old.

And this is me after the procedure was done, relaxing for the protocol of 30 minutes, during this time I was updating social media of how I was doing and how the procedure went: (Of course! What else is there to do?!)

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After the 30 minutes the nurse came in and helped me back to the prep room where I got to get dressed and let me go to the bathroom, this is the view from the bathroom! Such a nice baseball field and this is the office hallway, I loved the lighting and over all atmosphere of the office, very warm and inviting and the staff is amazing.

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My nurse then wheeled me out to the front where my husband was waiting with the SUV and that was it! I have a blood test to test my hormone levels this Wednesday and then the hcg blood test is next Thursday to see if the embryo stuck. Then 4 weeks from today is the first fetal heartbeat ultrasound.

We then drove to the hotel and it was really unfortunate because we had to wait in the lobby for 3 hours waiting for a room to become available, being that it was Sunday no one from the agency was picking up their phone, though even if they did there wasn’t really anything they could do. So we waited in the beautiful lobby and ordered take out:

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We were able to get the room an hour before usual check in time and the wait was worth it because we got a beautiful hotel room:

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And now I am vegging out for the next 3 days while my hubby and best friend take care of my little guy and I watch Netflix ๐Ÿ™‚ Already this sitting around is driving me crazy, trying to enjoy it as much as I can. Prayers for this embryo to stick are much appreciated!

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Life Lessons

I recently turned 25 this summer and I know that is technically young but boy do I feel old. It might be because I have a child and now my life is measured on how old he is. I already calculated it out that I will be 40 when he graduates from high school. I could also be feeling old because I now am making 5 year goals when before matching my socks was the most responsibility I was going to have for that day; but now, I have a tiny person’s life in the palm of my hands and their future is deeply impacted by my daily decisions.

I love my life and where I am at but I wish that I could write a letter to myself that I could have read when I turned 18 so I could have avoided many potholes in the road. Instead of a letter, though, I’m going to make it easier to read by listing 25 things that I wish that I knew before, that I well know or I am trying to master as of right now.

It’s okay to change your career choice….as many times as it takes: I think decades ago this wasn’t so much a problem for everyone being that there was only limited careers to choose from, but today, come on, there are jobs of jobs. With so many choices it is so hard to pick one, go to school to learn, find the job, and then stay with it for the rest of your life. This is just like throwing a kid inside of an ice cream shop and telling them they can only pick ONE topping and for their ice cream and they have to stick with that topping for the rest of their life…and have you seen the choices at Yogurtland??

Brush off harsh and mean criticism: Most people are jerks, they will criticize you in whatever you do. If the criticism comes from a trusted and beloved friend and is spoken out of love, listen to every word. As for the people who say things just to hear themselves speak, give them a good show ๐Ÿ™‚

Eat the cookies: Your body is going to go through so many changes like it already has been. Especially if you become a mother or even a father, your metabolism isn’t what it used to be but as long as you are balancing out the good and bad food and really trying to exercise you can go ahead and eat that cookie, and don’t feel bad about it!

You don’t have to earn everything: America has deeply rooted in us that we have to do something to get something. This isn’t always true, if you are walking with the Lord, He will bless you just like when your significant other shows up with a gift “just because.” Since you didn’t do anything special to deserve it just accept it and be grateful.

Be grateful…for EVERYTHING: As your years alive increases so will the chances of heartbreak, loss, suffering and mourning. Not only to be grateful for the people in your life(though that is most important) but for the little things too. Each time your car starts, Starbucks :-), having clean clothes, a phone, and all the small things that help us with our daily chores.

Learn how to cook: it is so essential for the rest of your life to know how to make a damn good dish. Holidays, family get together’s,ย  BBQs, your kids’ lunches, bake sales, and meals just for everyday. You will be eating at least 3 meals a day for the rest of your life you mind as well invest time to enjoy that time. Not only to make it taste good but for it to be good for you. Invest in knowing what works well for your body, it’s going to be with you for a while.

401K: Not to get all financial on you guys but this really is important. The earlier you start the better. If your company does a match TAKE ADVANTAGE! This is absolutely free money, and you need to take care of the future you. Not only is it going to help you it will help those around you so they don’t have to worry about who is going to take care of you when you age and can’t wipe by yourself anymore.

Be healthy minded: Same concept as the lesson above, take care of yourself. Not only for you but for those that love you. I think it hurts the person more to watch someone go through pain than to actually go through the pain yourself. For your kids’ sake, lovers’ sake and anyone else close to you: go to your yearly checkups, get your teeth clean, get routine eye checkups, blood work and whatever else. The best way to catch a disease is before the symptoms start to show.

Be an encourager: I have been working on this as of late. The people who I remember the most clearly in my life are the ones who were encouraging in every stage that I went through. It’s thoughtless to pass on criticism, anyone can do it, it can be a career. The challenge is to encourage people when there isn’t much you can work with to encourage. It’s easy to praise and glorify people who are on a winning streak with, “Keep it up!” “You’re doing great!” But what about the ones who just lost their spouse and are in a deep depression? This is the lesson that I am learning right now, I want to have such smooth and soothing words that no matter what.

Quality over quantity: I specifically am talking about friends. In high school I had more friends than I could count but now it’s less than what I can count on one hand. I have learned that friends can be so fickle and what my leaders told me about how your friends determine who you are as a person is true. You can easily be influenced by a friends’ bad habits so if you are vulnerable it’s best to stay away from that friend. You need friends who are going to stick with you through thick and thin. Also, your friends may change from year to year, not because you don’t like each other but because you went onto different paths, you moved, you don’t work together anymore or countless other reasons.

Age doesn’t matter: There is such a tight timeline on everything that each human being has to accomplish. If you aren’t married by a certain time or haven’t yet achieved an admirable job, people are asking well what have you been doing? Truth is that there are a million roads to success, and whichever one you are on is the one that you are on no matter how long or how not so long it takes for you to get where you are going.

Play the video game: Meaning to enjoy your down time. I used to feel so guilty when I would relax, when my to do list was long and I had due dates. Of course get your crap done but if you can afford some down time, take it! And enjoy it!

Take time to breath: Make a list of what is important to you to do everyday, if one day you can’t fulfill everything that is on that list, you’re too busy. Keep the main things the main things, all the other miscellaneous stuff that comes can wait.

Volunteer: There is nothing else that will keep you more humble than to give your time to help. During this time you will probably see people who are less fortunate than you are and that automatically will cause an overwhelming feeling of gratitude.

Listen more than you speak: What can you learn from what you already know? Nothing. Why not listen to someone else and their experiences? I grew up not talking much because I was rather shy, but during this time I listened a whole lot and I think that I learned more than the next person who just wants to be heard. Especially when you are speaking to someone who is older, more educated or has a life that you want to mimic. Shut your trap and listen up more! We have two ears and one mouth for a reason ๐Ÿ™‚

Leave room for change: We have this grand plan of how our lives should go, but most of the time how we end up is not what we pictured. Throughout your life you will change your mind about different topics, lean more one way than the other and then sway back to where you were or more so. I envisioned my life to be full of music, I wanted to be a famous singer, I’m not saying that that couldn’t still happen but I imagined by the time I was 25 that I would have had at least 3 albums out and be married to Orlando Bloom ๐Ÿ™‚ I definitely had to leave room for change in this ๐Ÿ™‚

Give blindly & anonymously: If you see a guy begging for change on the side of the road, give him the change if you have it, or more. I hear this all the time about why people don’t give to those people and it’s because those people will use it for drugs or alcohol. That’s not up to you, whatever they do with the money is their choice, if you give your money, you did your part. If it concerns you so much then go buy them a happy meal. Give blindly so that you don’t see what they spend the money on. Also, I have found that giving anonymously is very humbling and it comes straight from a pure heart. Not taking credit for something is very hard to do; but, I don’t want that person acting different around me because they now know that I helped them. Whenever someone has helped me out, I felt like I had to tip toe around that person to not make them upset about anything because I was so grateful for their help.

Put your phone down: I don’t think this needs much explanation, but seriously put the freaking phone down at least for an hour a day.

Over love everyone: We watch these movies about revenge and who can do more wrong to the other person. Why not flip it? Why not over love/bless the other person? Make it a competition of who can bless who more, and this doesn’t have to all be about money but of anything that could bless someone. Help to watch a mom’s kids for free while she catches up on errands, walk dogs, mow lawns, anything really counts as a blessing when it’s from the heart.

Don’t talk crap: This will only rot your soul. It’s so hard to do, especially when feelings are on fire and someone really wronged you. If you have a problem with the person and/or what they have done, tell them, if they get mad and unfriend you on Facebook, good. At least you did your part in not rotting your soul.

Keep clean and organized: For the sake of everyone around you take care of your hygiene. Keep clutter to a minimal in your car, purse, house, etc. A less cluttered life leaves room for growth. It’s hard to move forward and get things done when your life is disorganized.

Have a good reputation:ย It is crucial for companies to have good reviews on their products or services. Once word goes around that a product has a defect in it, it would be a tough survival for the company to savior that product and keep their buyers. Same thing with people, if you hear word about someone having whatever character flaw your going to think twice about everything with that person. Even if what you heard is false, those words are going to be in the back of your head. Keep such a good reputation that if someone were to spread rumors around about you that another friend shoots them down immediately because they know the truth about you.

Let your no’s be no’s: Be a person that you don’t have to add: I promise, I swear, you can trust me. Be a person that is firm on your word and when you say something that everyone knows that you mean it and that there is no room for doubt.

Keep your commitments: A fickle friend/family member just really sucks. If you say you are going to be somewhere, help someone or do something then do it. Don’t be a flake, because when the time comes that you need help and you flaked on you previous engagements, there will be no one to help you out…unless you pay them…

Knowledge is key: Read, read, read! I think knowledge is the most powerful thing you can have. You take it with you wherever you go. It can be used in every situation and can save your life.

***BONUS*** Your attitude: This can make or break your life. I think this is the most important lesson that I have learned so far. Your situation may not change and it may be out of your control, but you know what you can control? How you react to that situation, at times it might feel that we don’t have control over how we react towards a situation but that’s completely false. The emotions might be really strong and that we can’t bare to make another move without screaming or crying; but, we still have that choice. A stinkin’ attitude can be smelt across the room, seen on someone’s face or heard in their voice. It is so obvious when someone needs an attitude change. There are always two choices given to us when an unfortunate circumstance arises, we can use it to be bitter or to be better.

 

Back to the Cross

I haven’t been posting lately because I have been doing a lot of I guess what people call, “soul searching.” Even though I know exactly where my soul is and where it’s going to after this life-HEAVEN. It’s the easiest way I can explain what has been going on with me as of late.

I started this blog wanting to have a lot of people to click and read what I post. I thought a lot about what would bring in readers and what would turn them away. I wanted to make this blog attractive with creative posts, easy reads, advice and stories about my life that people would enjoy. I didn’t want anyone to feel offended about what I posted but when you have human readers you are going to offend someone, it’s just like the law of gravity. In thinking of this, to not offend people, I didn’t want to come off as another Christian mother writing about her love for the LORD. I thought that in writing blog posts about Christ it would turn people off, but honestly it is the most attractive thing about me. Without Him there is nothing to write about, He is everything to me, and for now on I am not going to be hiding Him from my writing.

That is why I am changing the course of this blog to go back on track of where my life should have always been. I have been going to church for the last two months and I can’t help but cry during every service, especially during worship when I get to sing again to him. I used to be on the worship team and I loved it, I appreciate it even more because I understand worship now on a deeper level. Before I thought the music was supposed to sound good to bring the people in, but it’s not for us! It’s for Him! To tell the one who created us how much we love and appreciate Him through a creative way with song.

I got so distracted with all of what life can offer:goals, family, education, career, friends, fun and whatever else that draws you slowly away from Him. One Sunday can change your life when you accidentally sleep in and the following Sunday do it again because of how good it felt to get some extra sleep rather than sacrifice that sleep to go and thank the LORD for all that He has done in His house. Very easy to get off course, but He keeps drawing you back in, whispering in your ear to come back to Him. He has been doing the very same for the last five years in my life. I still remained faithful in all that I believed but my actions were just so wrong.

For now on I will still be posting as usual but I will be adding in some messages that I write about what I discover in my time with God; and words that I know that He will want to share with my audience through me. I hope you will continue to read and will get something even more out of my message posts than my recipe, opinion or whatever else that comes into my head type of posts. Have a blessed day!