Monday, July 21, 2014

Trek

 For most people, Trek in Wyoming at Martins Cove is a once in a lifetime opportunity if it even presents itself.  I am SO THANKFUL that I was able to go on trek, and consider it a complete privilege to have been on such hallowed ground.  Our first day of trek, June 30th, we left Fairview in the morning and arrived in Wyoming around 6 pm.  We set up camp(at 6th crossing, sweetwater campground) and had a wonderful dinner and devotional. 
 July 1st.  We did a day trip to Martins Cove.  That day we walked 7 miles.  Martins Cove was AWESOME!  We got to do a river crossing and go up into the Cove.  The missionaries were great, they brought the spirit with them.  I loved the statues representing the men who carried the pioneer women and children across the sweetwater river.  Martins Cove is definitely a sacred place. 
 July 2nd We walked 10 miles that day.  We were able to go to the Willie meadow, where the willie rescue happened.  We were able to pull our handcarts on the actual trail that the pioneers were on.  As we were on the trail, Kade leaned over to pick something up. It was a handmade nail.  We think it was one that came from a handcart or something from back in the day. We also got to do 3 river crossings where we got to play and swim in the 3rd river.  (pictured above are my beautiful young women!  I love them so much!  I'm so lucky to get to spend so much time with them!  They make my testimony grow because of their goodness.  This picture was after we completed the womens pull.  I love how the pioneer stories compare directly to our everyday lives.  The womens pull taught me that we can do hard things!  And we will be required to do many hard things throughout our lives. Ours are just different from the pioneers but we can draw strength from them.)
 My nephew Trevon was able to come on the trek with us.  I'm SO glad he made that choice to come.  He is a tough kid!  He pulled the handcart almost the entire 32 miles of the trek! We grew so close to him as we were on trek.  
 July 3rd was our last day in Wyoming.  We walked 15 miles that day. We got up at 4:30 in the morning to clean up camp to be ready to leave by 6.  It was a long long day.  The last mile and a half, the wind was blowing so hard, directly in our faces, the dust was so thick that you couldn't see 50 feet in front of you.  we tried not to talk to each other because our mouths would fill with dirt.  It was interesting how that happened the last mile and a half of our trek.  Again, it compares directly to our lives.  When we are almost there, but we feel like its just getting too hard, often the Lord wants us to just endure a little longer, and he will reward us. There is something he wants us to learn. And maybe we endure to the end of our mortal lives before we get what we seek, but always for a greater purpose.  So often we just need to keep pushing through the hard times and we'll make it....and it will be more than worth it!
I have so many pictures and so many experiences that I could share, but there are just too many, so I'll keep it short and sweet.  When we reach Rock Creek Hollow, which was the end of our 15 miles, the end of our 32 mile trek, I could definitely feel the spirit.  We had some dinner, sat down for  a bit to get refreshed from our long walk, and then we headed over to where we would have our testimony meeting.  We were tired, we were dirty, we were humble, ready to be taught.  Rock Creek Hollow was where I really felt the spirit.  So many people died in that very place.  People who wanted so badly to make it to the Salt Lake Valley but just could go no more.  Little Bodel was a little girl whos family sent her to come to the Salt Lake Valley alone because they didn't have enough money to all go together. Going to Salt Lake was a privledge to them even if you had to go alone.  They sent her first, with plans to come later on.  She never made it to Salt Lake.  She is burried there in Rock Creek Hollow. She was the little girl who was frozen, sitting by a wagon wheel with an armful of sagebrush ready to make a fire.  If you have ever seen the movie 17 Miracles, she is in it.  The testimony meeting was indescribable.  I have never felt the spirit like that in any other testimony in my life.  It was powerful.  I have reflected on that so many times since the trek happened, and have decided upon a few things.  When we go on trek(in our modern day) we often go with sort of an attitude of "this is going to be so hard, I wish I could shower, I can't wait to get home, why am I here, I'm so tired".  Its because we have it so good, we've never had to face hard times like these.  When the pioneers came across the plains, all they cared about was getting to the Salt Lake Valley so they could go to the temple to receive their covenants.  That's all they thought about.  They knew it would be hard, but that was not their focus, they just had to reach the valley so they could enjoy those blessings of the temple.  I also feel when we go on trek today, and make our modern day sacrifices to be there, sacrifices of driving 7 hrs, not being able to shower or have our nice conviences, turning off all of our technology, I feel like the pioneers recognize our efforts and appreciate that we have come and taken time to learn more about them and what they did for us.  THAT IS WHY THE TESIMONY MEETING WAS SO STRONG.  The pioneers visited us in spirit because we gave of our time to honor them.  I will never forget that experience, I will treasure it forever.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Boulder Mountain and Girls Camp

 The past 3 weeks have been BUSY!  Busy in a good way.  I like to keep my mind busy and going these days.  Back in June we were able to go to the much anticipated Boulder mountain get together with Kade's family.  We were so excited because it  has been 5 years since we have been there with everyone.  It was a lot of fun and it was just as we remembered it being.  We got to take our new old camper down and use it too.  It worked great! 
 Daisy and Elsa loved their lives for that week!  They got to eat everyone's scraps and do whatever they wanted!  We often found them sitting outside our camper door begging with their big brown eyes to come in :)
 We fished upper bowns reservoir and Daisy had to keep checking on me when I got too far away from the others! 
 There was a bit of a contest going on at upper bowns between Kade and his dad to see who could catch the most fish, and this contest started as we were packing up to leave!...... that's what happens when the fishing gets good right when its time to go!
 Kade did end up winning the contest with the most fish :) 

 I even caught 3 with my new pole!
 Took a little drive with Dennis and Rhonda and liked this spot to take their pic. One thing I loved this year about the boulder was the testimonies that were shared on Sunday as we all presented our scriptures that we came up with to combat Satan. I love that the family does a theme each year.  I feel like when we all share our feelings of the gospel together that we grow close. I loved everyone's scriptures and presentations!
 Elsa loves Kade.  She sat by him most of the time while he fished!  What a sweet dog!......it may have been because she was about to have puppies and didn't want to move! ;)
 Dennis, Dallas and Kade fishing lower bowns
 Kade was teaching Dallas and Lacey how to fly fish. 
 One of my most favorite things to do at lower bowns is walk around the lake and try to capture scenic shots, which is not hard to do.  This lake is so pretty, and very diverse.  There are red rocks on one side, a sandy beach on another and a meadow on another along with cedar trees on the hillside. 

 I really enjoyed girls camp this year.  To be honest, I've never been a fan of girls camp....but this year, I feel like that all changed! I loved the theme (Boot Camp) and I loved that it was very patriotic!  I learned some new fun things about our country that I didn't know before.  I learned that the 21 gun salute came from the sum of the numbers of 1776.  I thought that was so cool!  It was so awesome to see the girls folding the flag and learning things that they don't teach in schools anymore.  It was fun singing patriotic songs and saying the pledge of allegiance. And it was fun having DOWN TIME! We got to just hang out at our camp a lot more this year which was so nice!.....Victoria taught Alexis how to play nertz.
 The girls were constantly doing each others hair and my hair, which just puts me right to sleep! I love it.  One of the nights we got toilet papered by another ward, which was kinda funny.  One of the girls from the ward that did it to us, dropped a flashlight, so we made a plan to find our who it was!  We decided to gather up all the toilet paper and put it in a big garbabe bag(because it filled one up-there was a ton) and take it to our next devotional at the amphitheater along with the flashlight.  We made up a cheer where the girls echoed what the leaders yelled out, it went like this:
"We got TP'd in the night, It was quite a frightful sight! We're too nice to get you back, but we'll give you back your stack!"  And we went and dumped the toilet paper in the middle of the cement:)  We also set the flashlight by it, pretty soon they came to clean it up, which told us who did it! What a perfect way to get them back :)  fun times!
 We painted nails forever! It was relaxing.
 These pictures are kinda random, but I had to throw this one in here.  Brynlee has this frog that they caught up at the cabin, and she named it Freckles.  She LOVES it so much! 
 We went fishing up at the Cleavland Res and the Schlappis came up separate but brought their dogs too.  So there is Daisy on the left and her dad Bronco in the middle and her half brother Jimmer on the right.  Pretty dogs!
 Elsa had her puppies while we were on trek! 9 of them!  They are so cute.  We did lose one last night which was sad.  I actually had revived it with some goat milk and it was doing awesome so I thought it would make it, but then it just kept getting weak after that :(  But the others are SO fat and keep eating like crazy! They are going to be so chubby!  We have 6 females and 2 males.  I love their color! I wanted that pretty creamy color with the dark faces.  We do have one pure white one too. 
 About a month ago, me, my bro, and my dad went on a long horse ride up the mountain from milburn.  We went up the Dry Creek trail where my dad used to heard sheep on.  It was so fun seeing my dad ride again, since he doesn't very often. He carved our names in a tree, and left our mark! 

 A little 4th of July fishing!  We decided to get out of the heat after the parade and head up on the mountain, which was a perfect idea.
 We took Trent and Cass with us and made them :) use our float tubes since they hadn't ever done it before.  They loved it.
Horrible picture of me, beautiful picture of Daisy!  This was the day after trek and I was TIRED!  I will have to do a post all about the trek since there will be a ton of pics.  But I love this dog.  She is such a nut!  She makes me so happy and the best is, she just loves to hang out with me, which makes life so much better.  So thankful for her!

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Turn of Events

Well, the past few days have been a little rough to say the least, we've had a turn of events.  My life feels like a roller coaster and I'm on one of the uphill battles that doesn't feel so easy, as when gravity is on your side and you get the thrill of going downhill.  Life has lots of twists and turns in it, and you never know from one day to the next what is going to happen.  The great thing is, we have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives and the knowledge of eternal families.  That is priceless and so comforting to me right now. 

The past week, I've had somewhat of an uneasy feeling, very unlike the rest of my pregnancy where I felt calm and peaceful and excited.  I was having a few nightmares, and just some feelings that something may be not right.  I ignored them and moved on, and told myself it was just the changes going on right now in my body.  To condense the story and exclude some details, I had reason to call my sister-in-law who is a nurse to get some advice.  She told me to come in to the office and we could use the Doppler to find the heartbeat just to make sure everything was ok.  Meanwhile I called the fertility center, they didn't answer so I left a message.  I went to my sister-in-laws work where she tried to find the heartbeat.  We tried for about a half hour with no luck.  She told me that a lot of times the Doppler isn't strong enough and that we should order an ultrasound.  So she did that and I was able to get in about an hour later to do an ultrasound.  As I was sitting in the waiting room, the fertility center called back.  I told them what was going on with me.  The lady told me that it was completely normal to not worry that she wasn't worried and to just get into an OB within a week, that I should be fine.  So I felt a little at ease, BUT I still had a feeling that I wanted to get this ultrasound just for my own piece of mind.  This is where it gets hard to type.  With all the small talk aside the Dr. told me that I was measuring 9 weeks.  I knew instantly that something wasn't right because I was 12 weeks 1 day at that point.  He then seemed to take forever looking and looking without saying a word.  My heart was going crazy as I was watching the screen.  I could see the baby's  body outline and the arms, legs and head just fine.   He then said, "I cannot see a heartbeat.  I've tried 3 different ways to be able to see it and I'm just not seeing it.  I know that's not what you want to hear.  I'm so sorry".  I've never felt anything like this. My heart just aches.  Its amazing how that little life in you makes such a difference, you can just feel that there is something special that is there.  I will miss that.

I was so grateful that my mom offered to take me up north for my appointments that day.  There is no way I could have drove myself home that afternoon.  She is an angel in my life.  She seems to be inspired at the right moments.  We cried all the way home together. I will never forget that time with her.  I instantly felt the need to go to the temple for peace and maybe a little understanding.  When I got home, Kade was about another hour getting home, so it was too late but the next morning we went and did sealings in the temple.  It was such a peaceful time.  I'm so grateful for that Heavenly place here on earth that we can escape the world.  It offers the peace that we truly seek in those difficult times.  The spirit is so strong and I feel the veil is so thin that we can feel things that we just can't anywhere else.  I'm so grateful for Kade in all of this.  It is hard for him too.  So much focus is on me, but I know he hurts silently, and I'm so grateful for his support to me in his hard time too.   After the temple we hung out all weekend by ourselves, just doing whatever we felt like.  We went to church at my moms ward on Sunday just for sacrament, sat in the back and then headed out quickly to avoid talking to people.   We have had quite a few visitors over the weekend come to our house, which have actually been really nice and comforting.  Its always great to share a hug with someone and feel of their love and concern for you.  I really do appreciate that. 

So much of me doesn't want to share any of this with anyone, but I know that everyone knew our exciting news and now, its all changed.  But I think the biggest thing that I've realized through all this, is that, it was so worth it.  All the ups and downs with IVF and all the proceedures, I'd do it all again in a heartbeat just for the chance!  It has made me realize how much love people have for you and how they share the burden with you.  Its truly amazing.  I've also realized that God has a plan for us, we just have to be patient and abide by His time table.  That is one thing I've never been good at is having patience and maybe that is something I need to learn better.   I also still very much believe in miracles!  They do exist! It was a miracle we even got pregnant and that I was able to feel of this sweet little baby's spirit! We've never been pregnant before in the 9 years that we've been married, so just having this experience together has been amazing.  I know I will always have this baby throughout the eternities and it will always be with me, my little angel watching over me! 
 We had a really good time on Sunday just enjoying the mountain and getting away from everything. It was great! The dogs made me laugh, because Daisy is a complete nut!  It was her turn to fetch and she is still learning how to swim so her front feet are still very clumsy as she swims, and she just mowed over the stick that she was suppose to find and bring back.  She kept swimming past it.  We laughed and laughed at her :)  I love this little white ball of fur! Her constant happiness makes me happy!
 We caught one fish!  Which was our dinner Sunday night! It was yummy.
 
 
Through this whole ordeal, everyone has really blown me away at their kindness.  It has truly comforted my soul.  People have texted, visited, called, brought flowers, cried with us and prayed for us.  There is so much love that we have felt and we truly appreciate it!  My brother, that lived with me for a couple years is such a rock in my life.  We grew so close while he lived with me.  He is such a special person to me. When he found out the news, he searched and searched through about 50 poems and this is the one that he loved, and thought would be the best to send to me.  He was SO right!  It is PERFECT and states EXACTLY HOW I FEEL about this precious little soul. 
 


 I truly want to thank everyone for being so kind through all of this.  It has meant the world to us.  We have so much hope in the future!  We know things will work out for us!  We have faith and know that all is well.  We love you all!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Our Little Miracle

Well our journey starts here.....actually I should say this journey started long before we came to this earth.  We had no idea that we would be beset with the trial of infertility.  No one has ever been able to find out "why" we haven't been able to have children, we have just been one of those "unknown infertility cases".  We have had lots and lots and lots of testing over the years.  It has been a long road but well worth the wait.  We have enjoyed our time together, just the two of us.  I feel we have become so close through all of this.  This trial has helped us learn a lot and has turned into a blessing in our lives as all trials can if we let them. 
It was really crazy, right before Christmas sometime last year (2013), I just looked at Kade in one of those quite moments and said out of the blue, "We are going to have a baby next year."  I don't know where this came from, I don't know why I said it, there was just something deep in my soul that decided that we would have a baby the following year.  I didn't know how, I didn't know why, this year.  He looked at me and said, "Really? you think so?" Kinda sarcastically, and I said, "YEP!" in a very sure, positive way.  It was a shot in the dark, and I'm sure Kade was thinking, "ok, sure, uh hu".  Because after 9 years of marriage, 8 years of trying for a baby, it becomes something that "will never happen for you" in your mind. But then he said, "Well, you do always get what you want so I'm sure it will happen" again very sarcastically :)
On Christmas Day night, a very special thing happened to us, we were presented with the opportunity to do IVF!   I was baffled, and bewildered.....and filled with so much love......love that was overwhelming. I was also filled with the question, "How can we accept this?  This is too much and theres no possible way that we can accept it".   How could this be possible??? We went to the temple and we both felt a feeling that this was what we needed to do.  Its hard to be on the receiving end of such a gift.  I think we all have in us the want to give, but receiving is a different story. There's no words that can express our gratitude for this sweet angel who provided this for us!  Miracles miracles miracles!  They are real, they exist!  And so often they happen through other people.  People are so good.  There is so much love in this corrupted world.  There is so much good that comes from people and miracles happen everyday!  Angels are around us helping us and guiding our lives where they should go.  And just because this is an extremely happy moment in our lives, its the times when we are downtrodden and beat up that are the hardest to have faith and believe that miracles really happen.......I know that feeling....but I promise they do, they do for whatever circumstance you may be in.  I am proof.
 
 I decided to document our journey because it has been a really neat experience!

We had our first meeting with the infertility Dr. (Dr. Faulk) in February and after talking to him, it was even more sure that this is what we needed to do!  So we got started right away.  I was on hormone shots for about a month and a half.  In the beginning, it was just one shot a day and towards the middle/end it was three shots a day.  I DON'T miss the shots one bit, but I did realize that they weren't quite as bad as I thought they'd be. 

I did give them all to myself because the nurse, while explaining to me how to give myself a shot, said, "to go in with confidence" and I decided that I wanted my own confidence....and not Kade's ;) But doing it myself was definitely a mind game everyday!
We tried to figure out how many shots I gave myself and it was about 50 we think.  To many people this is probably no big thing!  But to me......someone who never goes to the Dr.......EVER, it was a little different!
After all the shots were over, I got to go in for my egg retrieval.  They were able to harvest 9 eggs.  And then they fertilized them.  Of the 9 eggs, 7 of them successfully fertilized, which was really good.  Of the 7 that fertilized, 5 of them developed good enough to keep and use!  We were so happy with that!  So we were implanted on March 23rd.  They implanted 2 embryos(pictured above) They are the 2 tiny white dots with the arrows pointing to them.  It was such a cool thing to watch on the monitor!  It was so exciting because that was the potential of our babies lives starting!
I wasn't suppose to take a pregnancy test, and I actually debated and debated weather to or not.  And at times I was NOT going to and at times I WAS going to! And then I decided NO....and then I just did it! haha! I took the test 3 days before I was suppose to go in for my blood draw to find out the results.  I went in the bathroom, took the test, ran out of the bathroom (because you have to wait to see).  So I didn't know what it said, and I told Kade to go look at it that I didn't want to see it first!  So he got up and went in and looked at it, and I can always read Kade's face, so I ran in there to see his face and I knew it was positive! We hugged each other forever! He said, "We've never gotten a positive on one of these before hu!" It was pretty exciting! I also told myself in the back of my mind to not get to excited to try to keep a neutral mindset because it was still early on....but it was definitely a very happy moment!
So here's the first baby bump picture taken before we had gone in to hear the heartbeat.  I feel like when you are on the hormones in the beginning you swell up quite a bit, so that's why I put this pic in here.  I will probably be a bit bigger than I normally would due to the IVF circumstances, but maybe not too.   We went in a couple weeks after implantation to confirm that we were pregnant and to see what the levels were.  They looked good.  My first level was 216 at a day 10 blood draw.  Then we had to go in a week later to see if my levels were doubling.  They were!  My 2nd level was 1642!  So we were happy about that!  Then we awaited the appointment to go in for the ultra sound to hear the heartbeat and to find out if both embryos had implanted! Talk about a nail biter! 

This was one of the coolest days of our lives!  We went in for our appointment, and I had so much anxiety....just not knowing if there was one or two.  When the nurse started doing the ultrasound, she said, "There is one baby in there, can you hear the heartbeat?"  Then she turned up the monitor so we could hear it.  It was the neatest thing!  It was REAL! It is there, growing!  I was overwhelmed!  What a miracle!  Everything turned out the way it was suppose to.  I was excited for the thought of twins but I also did not want the complications during pregnancy that can come with twins.  But I know that the Lord knows me better than I know myself and he knows what is best in my life, and one baby is best, and we couldn't be happier!

The nurse said the heartbeat looked great!  117 bpm at 7 weeks!  
So now......... we await the arrival of our sweet little miracle, estimated to join us on December 11th, 2014!  We couldn't be more blessed!  We can't wait to spoil the heck out of this kid! :)

Friday, February 28, 2014

A little of everything :)

It's been SO long since I've posted and I realize how much happens everyday by looking through my camera roll and seeing so many pics. The bottom line is...I'm a slacker...or I'm busy....or both! So here is a bit of an update of what's going on in life with us:) I recently started painting my banister which I've been wanting to start for quite sometime but keep putting it off because I know it will take me a good 3 solid days to finish it....so here is the work in progress. 
Most of you that know me very well know that I love to find bargains and fix them into something awesome. I found these babies at an indoor yard sale for $1.00 a piece! Spray painted them black and hung them on my wall:)
Kade really surprised me this year for Valentines. He never gets me flowers on Valentines because that's what "everyone else in the world is doing" and he likes to do it when it's spontaneous.....so I had no clue that I would get flowers on Valentines Day, but It was an awesome surprise! I loved them!!
New Beginnings for young women's was fun. We had it around Valentines so we kind of incorporated that a bit with roses for the girls. 
A few months back, I stumbled across a free horse! (It's a long story) but I was elated to get this little horse! He had kinda been neglected so we took him in and feed him well and now he is thriving! I knew when we got him that he would be the BEST kids horse ever because of his temperament. He is only 2 or 3, never been ridden and I went down there one day, put the saddle on him and started to ride! He's a gem!!!
This picture is one of my new favorites! I love my dad so much! And I live this new little dog:) 
A little runner sledding :) ways one of my favorites! 
Daisy.....such a sweet dog. I seriously have not gotten mad at her yet because she is so well behaved....and for a puppy, I'm beginning to wonder if something is wrong with her:) she's just got the sweetest temperament and wants to do everything right! I love her to death! 
Snow College with the young women:)
Fashion show with the young women! I love Abby:) she's a riot! 
Ice skating with the young women.....my life kinda revolves around them right now and I love it!! 
Finally got my door bed finished! But now that it's done....I think I want different colors! �� I always do this!!!! :( 
Christmas this year was amazing in so many different ways, it was kind of overwhelming (in a good way). It just makes me think of , "My cup runneth over". We are truly blessed and have so many angels around us who care and it's wonderful! I hope we can be those angels for others someday!