Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Best Thing in my Life

When I woke up this morning I was day dreaming about beaches..... the hot sun shining on my skin, the smell of salt water, a cool breeze, and the waves crashing down.

It happens every time this year.  The time when I wish to be anywhere warm (although I really can't complain about this mild winter)  And to top it all off Lars texted me a picture yesterday.... Lars, Caitlin, and their baby just escaped to Hawaii for the next 10 days.  (Although I don't know if escape is the right word when they already live in LA and it's been 75-80 degrees and perfectly sunny there for weeks)  But it got me dreaming....

So I started scrolling through the pictures of my past.  Smiled at all the wonderful memories of lots and lots of beaches and of course a lot of Disneyland.  Trying to give me comfort through those awful years of being single my dad would always say, "Someday you'll love back at this time as the best years of your life."  And you know, for minute there as I looked at picture after picture of beaches in Hawaii, Florida, Italy, and of course California.... I almost started to miss it.  

But then I found pictures of Jason and I remembered why I am perfectly fine not spending my life beach hoping.

I probably haven't expressed enough on this blog or anywhere (he hates being in the spot light, he hates compliments) how absolutely wonderful Jason has been and is.

There is no question that he is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

And the best part is?  I think he would say the same about me.  

And I guess that is why I have so much faith in God right now.  I can see how necessary God's timing was in getting Jason and I together.  If something as wonderful as being with Jason is in store for our lives, I am okay with being patient because life is wonderful.  Every single day I am so insanely grateful that I get to be with him.  

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Wonderful Weekend

Last minute we decided to go to Cedar for the weekend.  It was an absolutely delightful weekend in every direction!  We left for Cedar Friday night after we watched our favorite guy we loved to hate lose in Jeopardy.  Brad and I slept most of the drive as Jason enjoyed catching up on Dave Ramsey and Ben Shaprio's podcasts.

Saturday Morning I woke up early and read through my Grandma's autobiography.  I think about my grandparents often and I am so grateful for their influence in my life.  

I helped my dad get started on a new painting, my mom and I went grocery shopping, I got a haircut chopping off a lot of hair, Jason got to study, but of course most important Brad just had the time of his life exploring the house and playing with new toys.  Brad was just cute as could be!

For lunch we met Nick, Jeanine, Sadie, and Drew at Pizza Factory and we had an absolutely wonderful lunch. Why was it so wonderful?  Because usually when we try and go out to eat Brad is a terror. Brad is just so so different when there are other kids around.  He was so easy and content!  He played with Sadie and Drew while he ate his food so Jason and I got to sit and relax and enjoy it.  

After lunch the kids played until it was time for Brad to take a nap.  During Brad's nap Jason and I made a quick trip to the mouth of Cedar canyon to do some rock climbing.  Although it was in the 50's the southern Utah sun felt so good!  I forget how winters are so much better without the pollution and inversion of northern Utah. The deep blue of the sky in contrast to the red rocks will always be one of my favorite color schemes.

Jason and I hadn't been rock climbing in a long time.... like possibly over a year long time.... and we realized that has got to change!  It had been so long that when Jason went to put on his rock climbing shoe there was a huge cobweb in the shoe!  It was short and sweet but a fun little trip outside for us.

When we got home Nick's family came over again and we had a lot of fun visiting with them and Brad loved playing with Sadie and Drew.

The main reason for the trip was Jason and I seriously needed to visit the temple!  I am embarrassed to say how rare it is for us to go so we made the whole purpose for this trip to attend the temple.  Going to the Cedar City temple is an absolutely wonderful experience!  It is less than a mile away from my parent's house, it wasn't crowded, and because everyone inside is still learning their jobs it was more casual, just the way I like it.  

Jason and I had a very enjoyable time in the temple.  It is such a beautiful place and it felt like home.
We came back to my parents to have Brad happy as could be playing with cousins.  After everyone left and we put Brad to bed, Jason and I decided to take advantage of the free babysitting even more!!!  (Sleeping Brad is pretty easy to babysit ;)  So we went out on the town and hit up a super cheap yet delicious Mexican restaurant.  Yes, I went in my pjs! :)
 We knew it was going to be great Mexican because of what was hanging in the kitchen. :)

Sunday was a classic.  Started with my dad and I having wonderful discussions about life, miracles, and just how grateful we are for everything.  Church with my mom (my dad has a calling down at a student ward).  The highlight of church was during sacrament meeting.  Brad asked to sit next to my mom.  While he was sitting next to her he grabbed her hand lifted his shirt and showed her he wanted her to tickle his stomach.  It was the cutest thing ever.   Brad went to nursery so we got to enjoy the rest of church even!

After church we ate my dad's classic grilled salmon and then we made guacamole, shrimp dip, buffalo wings, jalapeno poppers, and apple crisp to watch the super bowl.  Broc and Jack came over and watched the super bowel with us.  My dad loves the Patriots... has for years, so of course he was cheering for them.  The big joke of the day was we were all worried about my dad getting too worked up during the game.  You see, my dad had a heart procedure a few weeks ago to better regulate his heartbeat.  When he would get too excited or worked up over things he would go into Afib.  He hasn't gone into Afib since having the procedure.  We joked (kinda joked, kinda serious) that he probably shouldn't watch the game because of what it could do to his heart!  He kept checking his pulse throughout the game to make sure it was good.  

Although we left for home at half time I checked in later to make sure, although my dad's team lost, his heart is holding strong! 

It's weekends like this that I want to cement into my memory.  Weekends of wonderful visits with family.  Watching my dad be so excited about the football game that he started singing and grabbed Brad and threw him in the air.  Watching my mom uncontrollably laughing as she tickled Brad's belly during church.  Watching Brad jump up and run to Grandma when she came in the room Saturday morning because he was so excited to see her.  Watching Jason get a smile from ear to ear as he finished a climb up the rock wall.  And feeling the peace that comes from being in the temple.  It was a great weekend.  

And we needed it.  Because soon I am going to be starting more crappy hormone drugs and from what I hear.... they are a doozy.  

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Faith in His plan.

Well I woke up at 11:30 last night, yes you would think that would mean that I just went to bed but of course I had been asleep for 4 hours, just sad.  We got the blood work results back and just like I suspected, I am not pregnant. 

I didn't even want to tell anyone.  I didn't want to cry.  But most of all, I hate telling people because I feel like I end up trying to comfort them.  Isn't that a weird thing?  When we tell people bad news and they react sad about it so we feel like we have to turn it around and make it an okay or a happy thing.  Unless they downplay it.  Make it seem like not that big of deal.  Then it just hurts all the more.

Weird.  Life is weird. 

But I just woke up so sad.  So I did what any sane normal person would do.  I poured myself a bowl of Cheerios and watched The British Baking Show Maters Class. 

I fell back to sleep and just like mornings always do for me, I woke up so much happier.  (Yes I also recognize that waking up at 3:30 shouldn't make any normal sane person feel so happy.)  But it did. 

Sure there is still a lot of stress and worst of all, guilt.  Guilt that I am not doing something right.  Maybe I should be eating differently.  Maybe I shouldn't be working out.  Maybe I shouldn't be drinking caffeine.  Maybe I shouldn't hold my cellphone in my sports bra while running, heaven knows that probably causes cancer. 

But this morning I am going to listen to President Uchtdorf's talk once again on my commute and find comfort in the fact that I don't have to know God's plan.  I just need to look at life as an adventure.  And my goal for today, and every day is try and find beauty in it all.

Also I am going to try and find joy, not guilt, in the fact that Erica and I are going to be walking around Bath, England in exactly 2 months from today!  Sure that money should have been going to IVF now...but it's too late, the tickets are purchase with no refunds.  So by golly I'm going to enjoy it!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

I have the best students.

With bad news and gloom swirling around me these days I must say, I have the best student.  Yesterday, Friday, was such a delightful day of teaching.  It was super hard and exhausting but man was it good.  I feel I need to document it because of course bad days of teaching are always on the horizon and it's good to remember why I love this job so much.  And someday I will be done teaching these junior high kids and I want to have documentation of the good.

Because despite the crap I do love my job.  I absolutely love it.  I love when I get to inspire and enlighten.  I love that I get to interact with such good kids and hopefully I get to help their teenage years be a little bit better.

But back to yesterday.  I am teaching about World Religions in my World Civilizations classes right now.  I decided to teach my World Civ classes different this year (so much work) but hopefully its for the better.  Rather than go through events of history I am teaching People Who Changed the World.  So each day of class is dedicate to either what life was like before that person, the biography of that person, or the legacy of that person.  So with world religions we are learning about the 4 founders of the major world religions.  I only go through that description to make sense of why yesterday we were learning about the life of Jesus.  Such a cool and different thing to teach about the life of Jesus so condensed and from a secular perspective rather than a religious.  We ended class by watching the last scene from the old classic Ben Hur.  It was just a good day.

My students have also started doing class presentations on issues from around the world.  It is fun watching the presenters shine.  But even more I loved watching my students get so interested in the topic at hand.  Some topics of yesterday were Somalian Pirates, the rise of nationalism in Europe, and opioid epidemic of the United States.  Their presentations are supposed to got 6-10 minutes but because the students were so engaged with so many questions each presentation went much longer than anticipated.  How cool is that?

THAT REMINDS ME.  You won't believe me.  Well maybe you will because you don't know 15 year old kids.  But if you've ever worked with a group of 40 year old kids you will not believe me what happened this week.  It was a 4th period class.  Which means last period of the day.  Kids are usually so wound up and exhausted from sitting all day they usually can't listen for 10 minutes let alone a whole class period.  Anyway, I was teaching about Abraham and the contradictions about his story in the Bible vs the Quran.  My students were so into the lesson.  SO engaged.  So curious about the story that when I suggested we take a break (classes are 85 minutes long so I usually give them a 'half time')  So when I looked at the time during the discussion and said, "Wait guys we missed half time!  Go take a break"  They yelled, "NO!!!!!  Keep going!"  Not kidding.  They asked to not have a break that day so we could keep going with the lesson. 

But the biggest win of the day.... happened after school.  Long, vague story short (so I don't get fired) I got arguably one of the meanest emails from a parent I have ever received.  (Text me if you want to hear because it is laughably horrible)  Of course the parent thinks their student is perfect and that I am terrible.  (What else is new)  But here is the reason I consider this a huge win.  I was so mad about the email.  I stewed over the email.  I thought of all the actual documentation I could use in my argument with the parent to prove my point and discredit everything in the email.  But of course after stewing over it I remembered How to Win Friends and Influence People.... confrontation is never a win.

So I emailed back a delightful little email.

But yesterday after school that student came in to talk to me.  We had a great conversation.  The best part, I was able to say to that student, "You know I got a pretty nasty email from your parent."  And the student nodded that they knew.  And I said, "And we both know everything in that email was not true.  We both know how things have really happen in this class."  And the student said, "I know."  And I said, "But I didn't email your parent back and tell them the truth.  You want to know why?  Because I want to work with you.  I want you to be successful.  And I think this is between you and me.  So will you work with me?"  The student's eyes got big with tears and a big smile and said, "Thank you Mrs. B."

And that my friends is why I am a teacher.

Friday, January 19, 2018

President Uchtdorf to the rescue.

While most teachers were off enjoying a delightful extra day to the a weekend for MLK Brad and I got up early to spend most of the day at the Fertility Clinic.

I prepped my bag with lots of toys, snacks, and an ipad full of Disney classics to keep Brad entertained.  What I didn't prep for was the emotional toll it would put me through.

It was little bit little.  First talking with my doctor about our options.

My age.  Oh my age.

I feel like I am Horace Vandergelder from Hello Dolly (probably my favorite musical of all time) when Dolly says, "At your age you ought to enjoy the truth." And Horace in disgust yells out, "My age, my age, you are always talking about my age!"

Even though I can run circles around girls half my age... I guess my ovaries can't.

Then the doctor started stating statistics.  I don't even think he realized it.  I think he was just thinking out loud.  Throwing out numbers like 2-3% chance of pregnancy with my history of infertility and endometriosis.  And then of course with my age.

The weight just started piling on.

The good news was we did an ultrasound and sure enough my ovaries had pulled through like they always do.  Even though I didn't use any fertility medicine this month I had a perfectly developed follicle just waiting to become a baby.  So we decided to do an IUI.

After the nurse telling me all the details of shots I needed to give myself at 3:30 am. WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND CAN ACTUALLY GIVE THEM SELF A SHOT?????  And samples that needed to be collected between certain times while of course Brad was running amuck.  We finally made it out of the fertility clinic feeling okay.  Sure I have about as good of chance as getting pregnant as I do of winning the lottery but at least my ovaries were on my side.

But the dr wanted me to meet with the financial secretary to go over the cost of IVF.... which is the next step if this doesn't work out.  She couldn't meet with me for 45 minutes so Brad and I went and ran around my school's gym while we waited.

I didn't understand then and honestly I don't understand now why the dr couldn't just hand me the piece of paper.  The paper was that was the final straw that broke the camel's back. The cost of IVF.

I knew it was expensive but I had heard from friends promising numbers like $13,000.... I could handle $13,000.  Try more than doubling that number and that's the kind of money we are talking about.  Then she tried to talk to me about other plans.  Like "Insurance plans" because of course there is a huge chance that the IVF won't work with "my age".  And of course those insurance type plans are more expensive.

All the while of course Brad is being "busy".  I like when people say, "Oh wow he sure is busy isn't he?"  (As he climbs on everything in sight, opens and explores every cupboard, or opens every drawer.)  (No I don't let Brad run wild. I did my best to keep him isolated to my bag of tricks)

Anyway, I left the Fertility Clinic just absolutely deflated.

Do we do IVF?  Where are we going to come up with that kind of money?  Do we just take out more loans?  Do we just keep trying IUIs (cheaper although still over $1,000 a try)  In 20 years of course $25,000 is pocket change compared to the joy and fulfillment of another child.  What in the world do we do?

So I did what I always do when I am completely deflated.

I took a bath.

Luckily Brad fell asleep on the drive home so I was able to spend some quiet time trying to recuperate from the 4 hour ordeal.

As I soaked in the bath I listened to President Uchtdorf's talk he gave the night before.  The speech was titled, "The Adventure of Mortality." 

Of course like all good doctrine President Uchtdorf didn't say anything I hadn't heard a million times before.  But it was exactly what I needed to hear.

He talked about patience, about dealing with the uncertain, and one of my favorite topics, God's hand in our lives.  He used a quote from Steve Jobs of all people....

"“You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. " 

I am so so so grateful for the dots in my life but even more grateful that I know where to put my trust. 

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

I don't know why it's been such a challenge for Jason and I to have children.  But as President Uchtdorf reminded me.... when I look back at my entire life I can clearly see the Lord's hand in guiding me and preparing me for things to come.  And there is no doubt in my mind that this challenge is the same. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Brad's Very Merry Unbirthday (Real birthday)

Since we decided to start celebrating Brad's birthday on his half birthday it's kinda tricky what to do on his real birthday.  We did a little celebration but are excited to celebrate more on July 7th!

On Saturday we went to South Jordan Rec Center.  Brad was a little nervous at first but had an awesome time.  Yes his lips were almost blue most of the time.... it was probably too cold.  

Then Sunday (Brad's birthday) we opened a few presents before church.  Brad loves unwrapping presents right now so we even wrapped up a few Christmas presents that he hadn't used yet.  It was perfect!

Last minute I decided I wanted to make Brad a fun cake.  Of course I didn't want to have to buy anything for the cake so I had limited resources.  I ended up making him a beach cake!  I made a carrot cake and used walnuts for the sand!

We invited Jason's little brother and his wife over for dinner and they had cake with us.  When we first put the cake on Brad's high chair he wanted to lick it!!!  But then it was hard to even crack a smile!

When we lit the candles he was pretty scared of it and kept saying, "HOT!!!"
So we had to help him out.
Happy Birthday to the Boy we love more than anything. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Brad at 2

As always life is Brad is a constant adventure.  He is a 10 or a 1 and rarely anything in between.  Christmas break was a wonderful time for the 3 of us.  I have definitely started to notice him learning, changing and growing.  Some things that are different:
- He has started taking my hand and leading me places when he wants something.
- He says a lot more words.  He can say almost anything that we ask him to say.  Except his name???
- He understands what time out is and will stop doing something if I tell him he'll go in time out.
- Shockingly he will sit in his chair during time out.
- He LOVES chapstick and lotion...
- He will open a book and look through it by himself.
- He is still a pretty picky eater and our new favorite line for Brad is, "If I don't love it, I don't swallow."  Probably half of what Brad puts in his mouth he doesn't swallow.... especially if there is something different he sees and wants to eat it.  His favorite food is any type of cereal and spicy sausage.
- His favorite show right now is Peter Pan.
- He loves to point out all the motorcycles and truck on any drive or while sitting in our window waiting for Daddy to come home.
- He loves to give hugs and say buh bye to everyone.
- He LOVES to color.
- He loves to jump on the bed or couch.
- His favorite toy is probably the little Yamaha dirt bike that matches Jason's real dirt bike.  Only probably is he threw it down Grandma's stairs and it broke so it is currently being held together by hot glue, toothpicks, and medical tape.