Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Outfit Finds!

Ok so I had been looking for some outfits to wear for Christmas time and Christmas parties. I had gone to target, looked online at old navy and some other places. A lot of what I saw looked like summer time wear with the dresses and skirts being so short! Even in summer I would never wear them that short but I think it absolutely preposterous for winter time! I am not that big a fan of pants, they are not as comfortable for me because my lower half is well um...shapely. I do wear jeans but I didn't want to wear jeans to Christmas Mass or wear them to any Mass ever again if I can help it. I was almost going to resolve to wear a shorter skirt/dress with leggings and boots but it is suppose to be like 80degrees on Christmas Day here and I don't think it's cold enough to do that. 

So off on the hunt I went determined to find something but knowing I probably wouldn't. Oh yeah we are on a tight budget so looking for things at macys or other department stores like that was out of the question. My mom and I went shopping on Saturday after we had an awesome breakfast at a place that serves gfree waffles and pancakes. We decided to go to sears first because there were a few things we knew we could find there for Christmas gifts. Let me tell you, it was the only store we went to because we found all that we needed there! I am really not trying to make this a sears advertisement but I was pleasantly surprised. Everything we got from Lands End was 50% off! 

So here is what I found for JJ's work Christmas party...

Skirt: Lands End $25
Top: target merona $10
Shoes: not sure where I got them but they are black suede wedges

I probably could have worn a dressier top now that I think about it but I am glad I didn't because most people were not that dressed up. The company owner was in jeans, a buttoned down company shirt and a Steelers Santa hat. I like the skirt length, not too long not short. 

My head is cut off in the pictures because my hair was still wet and crazy. Here is my Christmas Day dress...

Dress: Lands End $40 (really $30 with a coupon we used)

Shoes: navy blue suede wedges same place I got the other ones. 

Earrings: black onyx dangly earrings from 1928 jewelry company.

Can I tell you how in love I am with this dress! We were just about to leave the store and saw it on our way out. Well I actually saw a red dress with polka dots and liked it but knew the shade of red would not go with my skin tone, then my mom pointed out this dress. My mom was so excited about this dress she got it for me as one of my Christmas gifts with the earrings! I can't wait to wear it to midnight Mass and when the family comes over Christmas Day. 

 I will be making Christmas cookies all day today and tomorrow to give out as gifts. I went with this recipe from Paula Deen

I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Merry Christmas with your family and friends! Praise God for the gift of Jesus our Savior! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Quick Takes (14) It's been so long!

Remember to go to Jen's for more Quick Takes :) 


We have been incredibly busy this last couple months! I have had clients most days of the week and Saturdays. JJ went back to work and there has been so much work for him :) I am on Creighton vacation until Jan. 3rd. I am still here for my clients if they have questions but I am not doing follow ups or intro. sessions. Well I am having one Skype follow up with a newer client who is almost 3 months postpartum, breast feeding, returned to cycles and is having continuous mucus; this is definitely an emergency follow up situation so we can manage her chart.

We went to a young adult talk a couple of weeks ago as we happened to have a Sat. evening free and this young gentleman we know of shared his story about being gay and Catholic. We originally were not sure if we wanted to go because of our busy schedule but I am glad we went. His perspective was so interesting! Just in case you are wondering he is chaste/celibate. I found myself identifying with him so much, not on the being gay part, but on carrying a cross that not very many people understand and everyone thinks they can "fix" by just doing x, y and z. We invited him over for dinner some time to dialogue more about this subject and how we as Catholics can do a better job at building community with our gay/homosexual brothers and sisters in Christ. 


 I am very much looking forward to making Christmas cookies to give away as gifts to family and friends starting Monday. We are only buying gifts for our parents, each other, the white elephant gift exchange that we do with our family on Christmas Day and my goddaughter. A lot of our savings was wiped out due to JJ being off of work for so long so we can't afford to buy for all those we would like to. Since JJ and I exchange gifts with each other on Jan 6th I am looking forward to those after Christmas sales to get him and my goddaughter some things. I haven't decided what kind of cookies to make everyone. I am willing to try just about any recipe and make it work with the ingredients we can use. Any suggestions??? 


We have been teaching RCIA since September on Sunday mornings which has added to our busy schedule. It has made us grow in so many ways to teach the faith! We have two students that wanted to come to RCIA but couldn't make it on the usual Thursday evenings so we volunteered to teach them. One is a man the other is a woman, we are going to be sponsors/godparents to the woman and our friends will be the sponsor of the man. They are both awesome people and we are so excited for their faith journey. One of our first discussions in class was about the difference in culpability between Dr. Kevorkian and a fast food worker who serves obese patrons. Needless to say it has been interesting and a good challenge to teach the class. Please keep our students in your prayers! The woman, J's story of how she came to the faith is so amazing because her religious background in non practicing Buddhist. I love when God just grabs people like that! 


JJ and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary on Sunday! I was so sick that we didn't get to do what we had planned :( So we altered our plans and just went to Mass and then ate at P.F. Chang's since it is more local than the BBQ place we wanted to go and ended the day by watching Sunday night football then Once Upon A Time. We still plan on going to the BBQ place but we will probably go for our 8 year anniversary of being together on Jan. 6th. So we have been celebrating our anniversary a little each day this week, which has been nice. JJ got me flannel pajamas that I get to pick out myself which we haven't done because of our crazy schedule. We also haven't seen the new Hobbit movie yet which we want to do some time this weekend, not sure when hopefully tonight or Sat. night. The best part is that the movie will be free because we got movie tickets as a gift from our RCIA student J :) 


Two of my friends gave birth this week. One of them I took two meals to this week the other I was going to call and see if I can take a meal next week but then I realized its CHRISTMAS next week so I am not sure if that will work. There is still a lit bit of that sting of "wow how is this so easy for some people and so hard for us?!" For the most part this Advent and holiday time hasn't been that bad regarding infertility. I really think it is God's grace that is allowing me not to stop and wallow in it too much plus focusing on our anniversary has helped.

 Sometimes I think about how Cecilia would be 15 months and probably a handful around the Christmas tree. During those times I ask God to help me not take this life for granted and to love my husband even more. My goddaughter helped me to decorate the tree a little bit yesterday which was such a blessing, what a gift that 2.5yr old is. She is getting into the defiant stage and asking "why" about almost everything but she teaches me patience and love. She said "Merry Christmas" and "I love you nina" before she left and 


I started with spiritual direction this week! It almost didn't happen because Fr. was at the school and I waited in th office for over 1/2 hour. He texted me later that if I had time he was back at the office. I almost didn't go because I was just about to give up on spiritual direction all together because of all the times I have been turned down by priests to give me spiritual direction. In case you didn't know this is my 7th attempt in the last 10yrs. to get spiritual direction, that is just with priests I have tried with nuns and trained lay people too before. I have figured I need a priest or a nun, it's just too difficult for me with a lay person from the diocese. 

After my brief wallow in self pity that Fr. forgot about our appt. and that I can't find a spiritual director I decided to meet with Fr. when he text me he was back in the office. I am so glad I decided to go because it was so good albeit challenging to open myself up for spiritual counsel. Fr. warned me not to have too much of an agenda or ask God too many questions when I pray. He said that "the right questions will usually spring forth from prayer and they may be very different than what you were thinking of."  So the plan is to pray about adoption and foster care but to open it up to whatever God wants to do with it. My first plan from him is to finish my Christmas novena, then we will all pray a novena to the Holy Spirit (me, JJ and Padre). After that Fr. is going to give me some scriptures to focus on and pray Lectio Divina with and then we will go from there. I love the way Padre put his role, as a prayer companion with me and a springboard to bounce off some things that come up in prayer. We met for about an hour and JJ was so happy that I finally go to go. I will be saying some extra prayers for Padre as I know he is a busy priest and I am so thankful he is going to help me sort through the spiritual aspect of IF and adoption/foster care. 


Well I ran out of stuff to talk about so I will leave you with some pictures of our tree and decorations that we have put up so far. Not much I know, but we still have until the whole Christmas season to put more stuff up! I am also looking for a Christmas outfit and will probably post my top pics Sunday or Monday. If you have any great leads let me know I am going shopping tomorrow. I was hoping to find something for JJ's work Christmas party on Sunday. Now I am going to relax, drink something warm and watch It's A Wonderful Life on tv after my 3 hour follow up!  Enjoy your weekend everyone! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Letting Go and A Close Call...

I remember when I was a kid and we had to give our dog up because where we were moving did not allow dogs. I was about 10 or 11 yrs. old and we had the dog ever since I was 3 or 4 so to me I had known the dog my whole life. I was sad but I knew we couldn't take her, I was actually angry at first because my mom was choosing for us to move even though we didn't have to. I can recall crying the day we had to take her to the humane society and my brother and I consoling each other over losing "Baby". Yes our dog's name was "Baby", how ironic huh?!   It was actually a good thing that we moved because my brother and I got to go to a better high school than we would have gone to and we were moving to a safer neighborhood. Though all this good came from an unfortunate circumstance I had a hard time letting go of our dog. I thought I saw her on the street a couple of times and I missed having to feed her as she was jumping all over me. I even missed when she snapped at me because she was PMSing, yup our dog had PMS and was a feisty one! I remember feeling really alone because I would talk to "Baby" and cuddle her when I was scared. My brother and I took on an us against mom stance that helped me to feel not so alone like we were in this together. Sorry mom! That was short lived as I could imagine myself being rebellious and hurting my mom, I cried anytime I broke a dish as a kid because I didn't want to disappoint her. We eventually moved on and understood why we could not have Baby in our lives anymore. It took awhile to let go of that old life and embrace a different life. 

Lately I have had a hard time letting go with regards to our decision to stop pursuing biological parenthoodthrough medical treatment. It's not that I don't feel our decision was right because I still have peace about it. There are times when I think "well maybe one cycle of" or "maybe another cycle of fem.ara" but then I remember all the crazy it brings for me and know that God is guiding us a different way right now. I want to know what God is going to do just like I wanted to know what the future held for me as a child when we moved and had to give up our dog. I am a melancholic it is hard for me to adapt to change most of the time so adapting to not having cycle reviews and taking so much supplements and meds is difficult because it switches up the routine. Don't get me wrong it is awesome to not have to be so scheduled with regards to my cycles days! Hopefully there will be a day when I don't have to chart at all and not have to take progesterone, hopefully. There is a supplement my NaPro Dr. started me on to see if it helps me with PCOS in general and if my body responds to it I may not need to take post peak progesterone anymore which would eliminate the need for charting! That is the main thing we are working with from our NaPro Dr., overall long term management for PCOS. 

 The difficulty has been in the letting go of a dream that you held so dear to your heart for so long in exchange for another but you have no idea what that other dream is yet. It is the saying goodbye to one way of becoming a parent and not knowing if God is calling you to become a parent through adoption or foster care. Yup, the difficulty is in the unknowing. I wish I could fast forward 10yrs. from now and see where we are at with all of this, have we gotten past this child business or are we at the same place. Realistically I know we will not be at the same place exactly but will we still be childless? No one can answer that but only time will tell...oh time, that wretched beautiful thing. 

I have been hiding in the cloister of my heart lately and not really blogging or reading blogs too much as I am processing our decision. I am hopefully going to see a priest for some spiritual direction in the coming weeks because I need it. I have been so lost in my prayer time and my discernment feels stuck and stagnant with regards to the pursuit of adoption or foster care. I have been working on living in and enjoying the present moment with JJ (Side note: He went back to work for the same company he left in the summer to try and find work but it just so happens that when his number was called at the union hall it was for that company because they are now having some steady work. I pray it stays steady!) I want to be an amazing wife, daughter, godmother, sister, friend, practitioner and woman! If physical motherhood happens to be a part of that then so be it if not I resign myself to the will of God.

 I emailed a friend, well more like a sister, that I feel that the world needs love and not just any love but the love that only God can give through us. In order to give this love we must allow the transformative love of God to work in us which is not always easy, it hurts and it's humbling but it has this mysterious beauty that literally warms our heart. There are times where I really feel like my heart is overflowing with this powerful and overwhelming Love and all I can do is allow this Love to change me. I fail miserably at this on a daily basis but the awesome thing about this Love is that it pushes you to do better and you realize that this Love can only come from God because of our fallen humanity. 

There are so many people and children who do not experience this Love and those of us who have must share it. This is why I thought we would be called to adoption or foster care. Then I found us further away from adoption because of costs and we are still hesitant toward foster care but open to looking into it. So I started to resolve myself to our life as just the two of us, then some exciting events happened last week! Ok y'all, we could've brought home a baby girl last week! What you say, how'd this happen?! Well let me explain...

A woman who I met at our support group awhile back shared her story with us of IF and adoption, she has four beautiful adopted children. She sent me a message on the book of faces last week saying her agency had called her to see if she knew of a couple willing to adopt a baby girl who was born that morning. I learned that if we were interested we could be doing our home study while having custody of the baby as the birth parents wanted to sign over their custody as soon as possible. JJ and I decided to go for it, so I called the mediators/agency founders. Well it turns out I called the wrong number on accident which is why I didn't hear back from anyone, so I called later that day and found out it was the wrong number. The baby was matched with a couple from Georgia who took a red eye flight that very evening, praise God. They said if anything falls through with them we would be next in line. It was such a crazy day and half! Clearly this child was not meant for us but it got us thinking that may be we are not as through with considering adoption as we thought we were. I was not to disappointed because I was happy this sweet baby girl had a place to go. 

This situation excited something in us that we haven't felt in a long time! I have no idea what this all means but I want to find out, hence the need for spiritual direction. Our lives could've changed in an instant, I kept thinking "we don't have a crib, diapers or any baby essentials! Are we ready for this? Am I ready to be a mother?" With biological parenthood you have that time of pregnancy to prepare, with adoption you don't know how long you have. Are we ready for the ride that adoption can take us on? I don't know. I got to talk to the friend who sent us the message about the baby and I got more excited about the prospect of adoption. She said the founders of the agency want to talk to us because now we are "on their radar" and they may have another birth mother situation we may be interested in. I have not called them yet because I am approaching with caution. I think I may call them today or tomorrow just to get to know them and their agency. 

Please pray for us in this discernment! I know parenthood is not easy whether biological or adoptive and I am not walking into this blindly. A reason why I feel like we are called to adoption is because I feel that I could love and nurture a child whether they are biological or not. I get an excitement in my heart about adoption that I just don't get when I talk to my NaPro Dr. about treatments we could try for biological parenthood. I am not closing the door on biological parenthood because God can always perform miracles I am just trying to move on from the fact that it may be highly unlikely for us. Some people think this is a giving up of hope but it's not, because in reality not everyone gets to be parents biologically. I have even questioned whether or not I really want to pursue parenthood at all and just give of myself to being a practitioner and maybe midwifery, again hence the need for spiritual direction. 

So that's all that's going on around here just a lot of discernment, unknowing and little bit of excitement, ok a lot of excitement :) 

*When I speak of being a parent or a mother, I know I already am because of Cecilia. I am speaking more of the practical day in and day outs of parenthood/motherhood. Don't worry, I remember the dignity of the life of our sweet little one we lost.