Wednesday, October 21, 2015

These Words Tho...

I'm writing this blog post because... well... that's what I do: I feel something, and then I write it down. Before I begin: a disclaimer of some things that I want to be known:

1) I am forever changed thanks to our journey to conceive. Jesus did some overtime on my heart and because of Him, everything is different. Before all of this, I lived a very selfish life and thought I deserved certain things (such as the "right" to bear a child), whereas now, my eyes have been made new and I realize that bearing a child is not a "right" by any stretch of the imagination. Having a child is a GIFT.
2) God's plan is MUCH better. I always pictured myself having multiple kids, but now-a-days, I am not so sure?! I think... well, God has something great planned out, and that's enough for me. I have a miracle that will always be a reminder of the greatness of our God. Of course, I would feel honored to be a mama to an entire basketball team... but Kensington made me a mama and I am a whole new person because of God's sweet mercy. That being said, my hubby and I already have in mind when we're doing IVF again. And of course, we'll pray that it works out the way we desire, but we're not promised that.
3) For the record, no, my hubby and I are not actively trying to get preggo again just yet. But we're also not preventing it either. My OBGYN (whom I can't say enough good things about) so graciously understood and agreed with me at my 6-week postpartum check up that I would never take contraceptive again.
4) To my TTC sisters, I hope you know that this post is written with you in mind. Although I have my miracle baby, I won't ever forget about your struggles or my own.

(P.S. every post I write these days has a disclaimer. What is up with me?)

Anyways, what drives me bonkers is that my brain and heart cannot get on the same page. What I mean is that my heart tells me that ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is possible with God. I was reminded of that yesterday at small group. We watched a Beth Moore video, and in it, she said that we indeed, can, ask God to fulfill any promises that are listed in His word (although He is not obligated to fulfill every promise to every believer that ever existed). My brain on the other hand thinks more analytically. My brain says, "wait, what??? a man and woman can create a baby without technology?? that makes zero sense."

I'll tell you why my brain thinks this way. TMI coming. You were warned. Also, you may need to refer to the TTC terminology found on this page if you're confused about my abbreviations.

I know gosh darn good and well when I'm ovulating. My body is very obvious about it. I'm just gonna put that out there. From November 2012-September 2014, we did the BD at the right time without fail. It just so happens that in the past 4 months, after AF returned, we did the BD while I was ovulating. Of course nothing came of it, which is to be expected. Yes, I've heard plenty of amazing stories about how women get pregnant naturally after IVF. But I'm not so sure my brain can understand that. I wanted to be the person who was told, "you're pregnant" right before my Laparoscopy and Hysteroscopy or right before the IVF transfer. But that didn't happen. 

Frustration still creeps (albeit, NOTHING even close to the frustration I felt before we got pregnant), even though we're not actively trying to conceive because of the fact that even if I wanted to (says my brain), I won't be able to get pregnant naturally. What I want to do is to tell AF to "F off" very kindly... but then I'm like, "but I kinda need you to cooperate when we're ready to do IVF again." I praise Jesus for giving doctors the knowledge and ability to perform IVF. It is truly AMAZING. Hubby and I always joke that when Kensie Girl (in the future) asks how babies are made, it will be SO easy for us: "they're made in a petri dish!" I laugh. But seriously, is it not incredible that we have IVF? If IVF was a person, I would hug them so tight and be like, "hey you... keep up the good work." Oh but seriously, I love that my daughter has a story to share. I love it. I love it. I hope Jesus shines through her story of conception. Also listen to this fun fact: my daughter was conceived at the same hospital that I was born at. Fun stuff right there. Anyways, I am getting way off topic here.

I guess what I'm getting at is that fertility struggles are not a one-time occurrence. DH and I didn't TTC for 2 years, get pregnant, and then magically get the "all clear" to get pregnant again without problems. I'm guessing that, unless I get pregnant consistently from now until menopause, I will always struggle with fertility. I will also reserve a very special corner of my heart for the countless other women who have gone through the heartache of waiting for years. 

To the mamas who have never gone through Clomid, IUI, IVF, donor egg transfer, embryo adoption or any other form of assisted reproductive technology... will you please be extra grateful that you are able to conceive a child by the VERY simple act of baby dancing? I am saying this, not for myself, but for my sisters whom so desperately want to get pregnant and deliver just ONE child for their whole entire life. That being said, every baby is conceived in the most perfect time and way!

These words tho...
I WILL TRUST IN YOU, Jesus.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Currently, I Am...

Enjoying: Poshmark! I sold three items the other day and am pretty excited about it. I am also hoping to add a few more things soon. I have a super cute, brand spanking new sparkly dress available in my online closet that needs a new home. And it's only $10 (but I paid much more). 

Feeling: Sleep deprived. Kensington used to sleep through the night, which was a huge parenting-win, but now-a-days, it's like she forgot how to sleep. Oh well. This is what I signed up for, and it's a blessing to be a mommy! Thank you Jesus!

Wishing: That I didn't have to work out and eat healthy to lose my baby weight. A girl can dream. Anyways, I am back at my pre-pregnancy weight, but still 10 lbs away from my pre-IVF weight. I made a terrible mistake of trying on pre-IVF clothes yesterday and my heart broke a little bit.
Loving: The slow-but-sure change in weather. Too bad it can't be 70 degrees year 'round in Tejas. That would be a little slice of happiness, if you ask me.

Hating: All the snakes at work. For those who don't know, I work part-time in the evenings and our campus was built on a snake-infested land. Every night, the snakes are out and about and I even stepped over one (TWICE, no less) inside the building. It was a rattlesnake, so praise Jesus that nothing happened. When I realized what just happened, yes I screamed, and yes it was as scary as it sounds!
Anticipating: The Women's Conference that I'm going to this weekend. A girl from work invited me to her church and I figured, "why not?" We love our church home, and I feel very loyal to it, but it's nice to change things up a bit! 

Watching: American Horror Story, Vampire Diaries, and to my dismay, The Walking Dead. I pretty much play on my phone the entire time TWD is on these days. So boring, but I am still hanging on (barely). However, Fear The Walking Dead is awesome. I have a feeling I'm gonna end up liking that show much more than TWD! Dear Walking Dead, you're basic. That's all.

Monday, October 12, 2015

I Have No Idea What I'm Talking About

Sometimes I worry that I may say the wrong thing as a Christian woman. I worry that I will be misunderstood, which keeps me from sayings anything at all at times. Two examples:

1) I find that I withhold how I feel about a certain topic because I don't have tons of bible verses memorized to back up how I'm feeling.

2) When I do, in fact, say something, I don't always express the exact right words I'm looking for and then people will critique what I have to say instead of listening to the message. This happened about a year and half ago when I wrote this blog post and said, "God only puts people through what he knows that they can handle. And good gracious, I am one strong woman." First off, I was not implying that I was stronger without God. Rather, my thought process was that I am strong because God chose me specifically (with a purpose in mind) to go through the trial because He knew I would lean on Him. He knew that my strength would be found in Him alone. Second, because God knew I would lean on Him, He "(in my original words) put [me] through what he knows [I] can handle." Again, because He knew I would lean on Him. He designed me, so He ultimately knows me more than anyone else does. At the end of the day, instead of being critiqued by another Christian because of the words I used or will use in the future, maybe others should just acknowledge what the message is, and not what the words are.

All of that being said, I am absolutely not perfect and I have no idea what I'm talking about. God created me in His image and all I'm trying to do is make sense of what He's telling/showing me. 

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I can make my point.

I have read various articles about what a "calling" is. Some articles, made me feel guilty that I claim motherhood as my individual calling (like this one; still a good article even though I disagree with parts), while other articles support individual callings (like this one; I love the quote, "It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for"). Speaking of that quote, I don't think it's a coincidence that right when my daughter was born, my husband got a promotion and I was offered a part-time evening job (to stay home with my daughter). It was all God!
So basically, what I'm saying is that I feel excited knowing that my purpose of existence is to:
1) Share the good news of Jesus Christ so that others may be saved and live eternally with Him in paradise (primary purpose),
2) Share the good news of Jesus' love for us through my story of becoming a mama (secondary purpose).

I don't want to feel bad about believing my calling is motherhood, and (I believe) that you shouldn't feel bad about it either if you believe that's what you were molded for by our Creator. After all, He has always, and will always, get the glory. I am doing what he has called me to do. (Philippians 2:13).

I believe there is something divinely special about everyone's story. This is my story, so that's why I share it so much. Side note, that reminds me: someone also recently told me that my daughter is no more of a miracle than theirs... and I would have to agree completely - every child is a miracle. A sweet sweet gift from God. But, I am not the voice of your (this person's) daughter. I am the voice of my daughter and my story. MY daughter is a miracle and I will believe that for the rest of my life. If you believe yours is also a miracle, then I encourage you to share your story any chance you get, like I do!

I am going to finish this post with what I stated earlier: I am not perfect. I mess up all the time, and will continue messing up. I will be misunderstood by my words. But all I am trying to do is make sense of my story... my experiences... and my life, which God reigns over.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Phenomenon + Some Internet Finds

It's just so weird. Sometimes I look through old photos (just because it's fun to me) and I discover that I have a major case of, "I don't remember that" going on in my head. It's a really strange feeling to think about my life now-a-days with Kensie and compare it to life before she was here. It's like... I remember things before she was born, but I also feel like that was centuries ago. My brain has altered. I just feel like Kensington has always been in my life. And who is that Allison chick who used to watch hours upon hours of television and do what she wanted whenever she wanted? I definitely don't miss that Allison. Not for a split second. But seriously... has anyone else experienced this phenomenon? I just simply cannot remember what I did day-to-day without Kensie Girl in my life. So blessed to have her. Jesus, you are just awesome.

Speaking of how awesome Jesus is, I have been OBfreakingSESSED with Lauren Daigle lately. Easily my favorite artist right now. And this song. It gets me!
In other news, I enjoy a little Google action every now and again. Here are some goodies that I recently came across.

* Reality Steve is starting to post the spoilers for Ben H's upcoming season of The Bachelor. WOO HOO! Gimme all the spoilers.
* Some peeps believe the world is gonna end today. Yea, I don't think that's gonna happen. Sorry boutcha.
* All "bad lip-reading" videos make me LOL... this one is of the Republican presidential debate. I would LOL regardless of which political party I affiliate with.
* Laziness is so annoying to me, but these people are hilarious at being lazy. My favorite is the kid who basically drew a ladder.

Oh and can I get some type of applause for being a decent blogger the past 2 days?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Giveaway: Lilla Rose Hair Jewelry

Oh my life. Showering and teeth-brushing has been slacking (if I'm being honest) since becoming a mommy. Of course I wouldn't trade it for the world! But "me-time" is far and few between. Even on the weekends. Kensie Girl consumes every bit of time that I have. That being said, my life just got a whole lot cuter and easier with my new hair jewelry. Insert Lilla Rose.
I like to pretend that I've got my life in order enough to fix my hair in the mornings, but the truth is, this little hairband gets the credit. I was able to fix my hair quicker with this hairband than it would take me to do a messy bun. So serious right now. One thing I also really like about it is that you can chose a different color elastic band, depending on your hair color. Since I have dark hair, mine is black. If you have blonde hair, for example, you can order the appropriate colored elastic to best match.

You can style it in many different ways, but I did this little number where I bobby-pinned hair along the back side of the band (pictured above). I like how it turned out! Even if I don't have clean hair, it helps me look more put together, don't you think?! Also, here's another way you can wear it; more as a headband.
Because I love you all so very much, I'm hosting a giveaway for a free hairclip! To enter, simply leave a comment and a winner will be randomly selected! I just saw the cutest pumpkin hairclip which is perfect for the fall months.

The good news is that even if you don't win, my Lilla Rose contact, Melody, is offering a buy 3, get 1 free deal for new customers (US only, 1 per household, up to $16 value). That's basically like winning, right?! The free item ships separately from your order, so no need to include it when checking out. Instead, simply purchase 3 or more items, then email Melody (lr.melodydetwiler@outlook.com) with the additional item that you'd like for FREE.

Also, don't forget to join Melody's Facebook page to keep up with all the deals and goodies! You'll need to login and then click on the "join" button! 

HAPPY SHOPPING :)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Kensington Grace: Four Months

Weight: 14lbs, 13oz on 10/9/15.

Height: 24-something inches on 10/9/15.

Hair: Brown, with hints of red in it. We don't have any full blown gingers in our family (LOLz), but red highlights do run in both sides of the fam, so she very well could have some tint to her brown hair in the long run. We'll see!

Eyes: Blue! Sometimes they look greenish though. Either way, they're gorg!

Clothes: Wearing 6 month clothing! I love every ounce of my big, chunky girl.

Diapers: Size 2. But not much longer. Can you believe how quickly she's growing?!

Sleeping: Sleeping is honestly hit or miss. I don't dwell on it anymore, nor do I check the clock when I get up these days. It's just a part of our lives. That should be encouraging for new parents, or soon-to-be parents. You definitely get used to it! Some nights Kensington will sleep from 9pm-6am and other nights, she'll wake up at midnight, then 3am. Apparently around 4 months old, there is a sleep regression that typically occurs. On top of that, we're starting to teethe a little bit. AND on top of those two things, we're transitioning out of the swaddle since homegirl rolls like crazy. We're currently using a half swaddle (so her arms are free) and the zipadeezip. Anyways, if you add all three of those things up, you'll find that it equals sleep deprivation for mama and daddy. Oh and I forgot to mention that we've also started having Kensie Girl nap in her bedroom so that she starts to get accustomed to her crib and smell/feel of the nursery. But... no plans to transition her anytime soon :) Hashtag overprotective mama.

Eating: K hates the bottle (but I stopped breastfeeding a while ago). Anyways, she does skip a meal or two, but you wouldn't know it because she's gaining the appropriate amount of weight, and growing steadily. She is a formula fed baby, eating around 6oz for every meal. Occasionally she'll just want to snack around 4oz.

Kensie's favorite things: My daughter loves: 1) her toes, 2) being held, 3) rolling over - but then she hates to be stuck on her tummy, 4) being talked to/singed to on our bed, 5) sitting up, 6) looking in the mirror.

Mommy's favorite things: Every moment with Kensie Grace is special. But lately I've been loving to hold her on my hip, look in the mirror and make her smile, then she shyishly turns around with a huge grin on her face. It is SO precious. 

Daddy's favorite things: Daddy likes to play video games with K napping on his chest. 

Mommy's nicknames for Kensie: Jitterbug, Doodlebug, Sister Bear, Kensie Girl, Sister.

Daddy's nicknames for Kensie: Princess.

New with Kensie: She started rolling over on September 24. Also, she had her first official laugh on October 1. What a ham!

Prayer: Jesus, please watch over and keep safe my baby girl. As she's learning to become more mobile, I know that accidents are prone to happen. But I ask that you'll cover Kensie Grace with your protective hand. I also pray that her daddy and I are able to hear your loving guidance and wisdom in raising this sweet little girl. Lord, we ask you to show us the way to raise her in a home that loves Christ. We are so thankful for this miracle baby. You get the glory, amen!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Four Years

It's crazy to think that it's already been 4 years since October 1, 2011 - the day that my hubby and I said, "I do." But, here we are. And I may go so far as to say this has been the best year yet. Yep. It most definitely has been. During our 4th year of marriage, here are a few things that have happened:

*We got pregnant (October 3 2014)
*Hubby got baptized (October 26, 2014)
*We celebrated Hubby's 29th birthday (November 22, 2014)
*I graduated with my Master's degree (December 13, 2014)
*We celebrated my 28th birthday (March 13, 2015)
*We gave birth (June 5, 2015)

... and many other things, but those above are the highlights! Being a wife and mama are the only things that matter to me. And I am completely indebted to God for blessing me in such a huge way. Praise Him! He gets all the glory and credit.

Now enjoy a short video of our annual anniversary photos turned family photos thanks to KGS.