Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sometimes we don't understand...

Sometimes you just feel the need to write...may not even know what I want to write about, just feel like writing will in someway make me feel better...

As we prepare ourselves for Christmas, I can't help but think about my father-in-law even more daily.  I think about it often but it seems he's been on my mind even more so lately.  I miss him dearly everyday and just wish I could pick up the phone and hear his laugh.  It's so hard for me to believe that he hasn't been with us for nearly 7 months...just doesn't seem possible. 

In June of 2011 Nate, Landon and I had the opportunity to take a family vacation with my mother and father-in-law to Gatlinburg, TN.  I should start by saying I don't have the typical daughter-in-law relationship with my inlaws.  Nate and I have been together since shortly after my 17th birthday therefore they've been in my life for several years.  A little background, my biological father was never really a father so when I met Nate's dad as a teenager, he soon became my father figure.  He and I had a special bond that I just can't explain...our personalities were very similar and we were usually on the same page with most things! 

This family vacation was a much needed break for my family as well as my inlaws.  It was a very nice getaway and we all had fun and enjoyed the company of one another.  Towards the end of our vacation, we realized my father-in-law Larry wasn't acting quite right.  He was sleeping more than normal and didn't have the energy he typically did.  Nate and I attributed it us being on vacation and allowing him time to relax and didn't think too much more of it.  After coming home and getting busy with life, a couple weeks had passed and things seemed to be going well.  One evening a couple weeks after coming home, my mother-in-law Joyce called and told us that she thought Larry might be having a stroke and that she was taking him to the hospital in Elwood. 

Several tests and scan were ran and they confirmed if wasn't a stroke but did inform us that they had found lesions on his brain and weren't sure exactly what they were.  A biopsy was scheduled for July 11, 2011 in which was confirmed that he had Glioblastoma, terminal brain cancer.  We were initially given a time frame of 4 months to 4 years depending on how long his body could withstand treatment.  I, as the rest of the family, was completely shocked.  This man that had devoted his life to serving God and bringing those to the lord had terminal brain cancer.  This man that meant so much to me, the only father that I'd ever really known or been able to depend on had terminal brain cancer.

The following months where some of the best and worst we'd had together.  There were times when Larry had really good days and you wouldn't even know he had cancer and then there were days/weeks that he was very ill.  10 months after being diagnosed and after a very courageous battle, my father-in-law met his lord and savior, the man he'd devoted his life to.  May 22, 2012 was one of the most difficult days of my life.  I had lost the only father figure I'd ever really had but heaven had just gained a precious angel.  I miss my father-in-law more than words can ever express but I hold strong to the fact that I will see him again one day.  Selfishly, I miss him for myself and for Nate but even more so, I miss him for my 3 year old son.  Landon too had a special relationship with his grandpa and talks about him daily. 

I am so blessed to have had 8 wonderful years with Larry in my life.  There isn't a day, probably not a few hours that pass that I don't think about him.  I know he's in such a better place, no longer suffering but still it's hard being here without him.  A fellow pastor who was also a very close friend of my father-in-laws spoke at his funeral and said that in one of the last conversations he had had with Larry, Larry told him his passion was just to "give them Jesus".  I'm sure my father-in-law didn't realize it at the time but in my opinion this statement alone summarizes his life.  He lived daily with the opportunity to "give them Jesus". 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It always rains before the rainbow appears...

I knew I always knew wanted to be a mother...I knew I was made to be a Mommy!  After our July 2006 wedding, Nate and I had agreed that we would wait and spend time together as a new married couple before trying to become parents.  By the end of 2006, my need to be a mommy kicked in full force!!

I was diagnosed with Edometriosis at the age of 15 and had been on birth control to combat the pain and symptoms since then.  In March 2007, Nate and I decided that would would stop taking birth control and see what happens!  I was beyond excited!!  With each month, my excited was draining and I started becoming concerned that there might be an issue that was causing me to not be able to get pregnant. 

In December 2007 I went 48 days between periods and thought for sure that I could be pregnant.  My excited was short lived when I discovered that I wasn't pregnant and that his was signaling a health concern.  My first visit with my OBGYN was in January 2008.  After multiple test and procedures, I was given news that I wasn't expecting.  Nate had asked me if I wanted him to go to my appt with me and I told him that I was sure it would be fine (he worked 3rd shift at the time).  Boy was I wrong...

My doctor told me that though it wasn't completely impossible to have a child, our chances where some of the lowest she had seen.  I was diagnosed with Endometriosis (ask I'd already known) as well as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS and Nate was diagnosed with an issue of his own (I don't feel that it would be right of me to discuss his health concerns on an open forum such as this without his knowing. Plus guys are much more private than us girls :) ).  I wasn't ovulating and hadn't been since starting treatment, in fact our doctor wasn't even sure if I'd ever ovulated on my own since I'd been on birth control since such a young age. 

I'm not going to lie, I was completely devastated.  I questioned everything...why me, why us, what had I done to cause this, why were we being punished...I had just known since a young child that I wanted to be a mother and now that seemed impossible.  The next year of my life was a complete blurr.  We continued with monthly tests, procedures, medications and doctor visits.  Nothing was working.  Each month I became more an more depressed that something I want so badly I had no control over.  I've always been a religious person but I know for sure that I prayed harder during that year than I ever had up to that point. 

In November 2008 after taking more medication than I could remember (at one point I was taking 10-11 pills a day), I decided that mentally and physically I needed a break.  I still wanted to have a child so badly, but I wasn't the person I was when I had began this journey.  I didn't even recognizer myself but I couldn't control it.  I found myself getting upset with other person that were pregnant, not understand how some people could think about making a baby and get pregnant that day and feeling as though I would never have a dream of holding our child.  In that year, 2 of my very close friends who I'd been friends with for several years, became pregnant and our friendships dissolved because they couldn't understand my depression over not being able to become pregnant. 

In March 2009 Nate and I took a long weekend trip to San Antonio, Texas.  I was horrible vacation and we we're more than ready to come home!  Little did I know that vacation would change our lives forever.  In April 2009, while preparing to have an MRI done (later post), I found out my dreams were going to come true, we were pregnant!!!  I can't even explain that feeling I had!!  We finally had our prayers answered and God had blessed us with a miracle!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Nothings perfect but I'll love you forever...

Our love story (corny huh!)

Nate and I actually met when I was 14 but we didn't start dating until right after my 17th birthday.  Upon first meeting Nate, my friend asked me what I thought about him and I told her he had big ears, big lips and talked too much...Now nearly 12 years later, my son as the most adorable big ears!!  It's funny, you never know the impact someone will have on your life when first meeting.  I would have NEVER imagined that I met my best friend, future husband and father to my child at 14 years old sitting around a bon fire.  Never say never!!

Some say high school love doesn't exist and that it never lasts...well almost 9 years years later, we're living proof that it's possible and that age is not a factor whether love is real or not.  No one ever said it was going to be easy, marriage takes work from both parts on a daily basis. 

Nate and I started dating on Valentine's Day in 2004.  I was a high school Junior and Nate worked full time 3rd shift, therefore we didn't get to spend too much time together.  I graduated high school in 2005 and moved away to attend college while Nate moved out of his parent's home to be closer to his job.  For 4 months Nate and I lived 2 1/2 hours from each other...probably the 4 longest months of my life up to that point.  Needless to say I moved home after one semester away at college. 

Nate proposed on New Year's Eve 2005 in Indy down on the canal while telling me just how much he loved me!  We both agreed that we wanted a short engagement and married on July 22, 2006 with those that mean that most surrounding us.  In my opinion, it's the most beautiful wedding I've ever seen!! :)

Our love story has continued and though we have been through we've found ourselves in some very difficult situations, I wouldn't want anyone other than my best friend standing beside me!  Life can get very busy and we can find ourselves not making as much time for each other as we had before (which is something I really want to work on in the near future). 

Although life isn't perfect and our marriage is by no means perfect.  We have our "disagreements" just as any other couple does. Even when I get so frustrated with something that has been said or done by my best friend, I can honestly say that I couldn't imagine my life with anyone else!  I love this man more than anything and I plan to spend the rest of my life showing him just that!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Everything has a purpose

Before going any further, I want to explain the purpose for my decision to start blogging:

1. Share experiences
     My family and I have gone through some fairly unique situations/experiences. I hope to use our experiences/situations as a tool to help others.  Many times in the last several years I've found myself on Google trying to find answers/information certain situations we've been faced with.  Googling one topic will lead you to page upon page of information but I quickly realized finding personal experiences was a challenge in itself.  I'm a firm believer in everything happens for a reason, and I strongly believe that the "reason" to many of our experiences is nothing more than to help others who find themselves in similar situations. 

2. Journaling
     It seems as though there is never enough time in a day.  I love it when someone tells me that they journal, I wish I knew how they found the time in day to get out an actual piece of paper and a pen and just write down their feelings.  Though the ever changing era of mobile technology can be a pain (constant phone calls, emails, texts, notifications), it will be beneficial for me as I can blog through my phone whenever I get a couple of minutes free!
     I want to be able to convey my feelings and emotions that I can look back on one day.  Even though my son is only 2 years old, I love looking at his "baby" pictures and remembering how things were back then...what better than to be able to look back on things I've written!!
3. Stepping out of my comfort zone
     I'm more than willing to help anyone in long as it's in my comfort zone!  I'm very comfortable where I am and I have a hard time changing that.  I plan to use this blog to work myself gradually out of my comfort zone by challenging myself to be a more open person when needed.

4. A way of letting it all out
     I'm a female living in a house with 2 males, 3 if you count our dog Tyger!  Therefore, I learned early on that guys aren't as concerned with hearing about our "feelings" as we hoped they would be.  In saying that, I don't mean that my husband doesn't listen to me, I just mean he doesn't listen as intently as a girlfriend would! I've learned to keep a lot of things to myself...which can be a recipe for disaster!  I hope to use this blog to express some of my feelings/options/experiences that I would typically keep to myself. 

This blog is in no way meant to show that I'm any better than anyone else or that my family is any better than anyone elses.  Please don't criticize things that I the end I'm expressing them from mine and my immediate families perspective. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Giving it a try!

I've never really seen the need for a blog before...and to be completely honest, I thought that they were kind of silly!  So why would I even consider this...I'm in a journey of better my (our) life.  This journey includes lifestyle changes, getting "real" with God and our religion, making decisions to better our family, financial changes and trying to help others through the experiences our family has had.  I want to use this blog as a tool for myself and for others.  I want to be able to write down my feelings and emotions about certain subjects/situations as well as being able to read through "life's happening" in other families.  If I could help one other family through this blog, the entire thing would be worth it!  In saying all of that, here we go!!

Disclaimer: Sometimes when people say things, I think they say them because they know that's what they're supposed to say.  You will not find that here.  I'm a completely honest person and I will use to blog to be completely 100% honest.  If I say something, I honestly feel that way.  Is my life perfect? No. Is any one's life perfect? No. I'm just saying that what I say is what I mean, no sugar coating!  I will do my best to post my feelings and beliefs on subjects, though I will say up front: I strongly believe that somethings are private and those things won't be discussed.  There is a time and place for everything, somethings just shouldn't be talked about openly for the entire world to see!

A little about me and those that mean the most to me!

  I'm lucky to be married to my best friend Nate of almost 9 years (married 6 years).  Our relationship isn't perfect (wouldn't that be boring) but in the end, I can say that I wouldn't want to ride this roller coaster with anyone else!  Life can give us so many unpredictable (which I'll go into later), it's so nice to have someone that you know will always be there no matter what.  He's been with me through my best and my worst and has loved me through it all. - More about our relationship later-

 Three years into our marriage, we were blessed with the most precious miracle we could ever ask for, our son Landon.  Landon has brought our family more joy and happiness than I could have ever imagined.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank God for this wonderful gift who is now an energetic almost 3 year old! Though all children are miracles, our son truly is a miracle.  There was a time in which we weren't sure if we'd ever be parents...

And I can't forget about our little doggie Tyger...shh...he doesn't realize he's a dog and not a human!!

Well this seems like enough for now.  I'm more than excited to begin sharing our "story" however I won't take time away from my family to do so! More to come later!!