Because the Kiddo wants to share his videos

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

De-clutter Time

So, I am a person who makes New Years resolutions every year. Do they stick? Some years are better than others. I have started to think about what some of my New Years resolutions should be, and I have come up with one I want to try this year. It is my year to de-clutter! I go through these phases of wanting to save everything to wanting to throw everything out. This year I want to find a happy medium. That is when I found www.mysimplerlife.com, and her great 2012 Declutter calendar!

You can sign up here for her news letter with tips and hints to declutter your life and you also get a downloadable calendar with a decluttering task for every day during 2012. They are usually simple things, like clean out your spice rack or throw out any old or expired medications. Some are more difficult, like let go of a hobby you haven't done in a while and get rid of it. Sundays are reserved for making your life simpler mentally speaking.

I am really excited to try this out in 2012. We have always lived in very small apartments and clutter and "stuff" is probably the thing I complain to my hubby about the most.

So, here's to New Years resolutions and making them stick!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gingerbread Houses....Done!

I always want to make gingerbread houses with D at Christmas time, but it never happens. As you probably gathered from reading my advent calendar  dilemma, I am not much of a planner and not as on top of things as I should be. That is why the only year we did gingerbread houses was when I bought a pre-made kit. Then, last year, I found this little baby for $2 at the Walmart Christmas clearance section:

I had to have it! I pulled it out last week, read the recipe for gingerbread cookies that it came with, and thought, "This ain't going to happen." Then I read the suggestions at the bottom. It was suggestions on how else to use the pan. Rice crispy treat! Wilton came through for me! I pulled out the half eaten box of fruity pebbles and a half used bag of colored marshmallows. With a little butter and the microwave, we were in business. 

 The next day we used the pan to make "gingerbread" house pizza. It was a blast!

And it tasted good!

Next, I am thinking either cinnamon rolls or maybe a sugar cookie. My gingerbread problems are now solved.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


The other day my husband pointed out that D will probably only believe in Santa for another 4 years or so. That made me very sad. I remember the year that I stopped believing in Santa, and it did change some of the magic of the holidays for me.  Believing in Santa is part of childhood, something you can never reclaim. I don't look forward to the day when D no longer believes, but I know it will come. Since D is our only child, when he no longer believes we will be done with Santa. I do pray that the spirit of Santa, the spirit of giving and generosity, still continues after complete belief is gone.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Easy Advent

Every year I have big plans to make a fun advent calendar for D, but every year Thanksgiving ends and, next thing I know, December has come. This year I made something! I know, I didn't get it together till Dec 1st, but hey, it got done!

So it all started with an idea I found that I loved. It was a guest post on I Am Momma Hear Me Roar. Huge Fan Here!!!  It was a post done by Kojo Designs. She did an advent with 25 different names for Jesus.  on ordainments.

Of course, it is Nov 29 when I finally decided to make an advent, so that wasn't going to happen this year. (I am definitely planning on making them next year!)  I continued my search for an easier and faster idea.  I found something simple on Pinterest. Paper Christmas trees.

That was it! I could totally do that. So we did. I only used the smallest template. I placed a candy kiss and a small paper in each one. Each paper had a name of Christ on it.  I half glued, half shoved tissue paper in the bottom because I knew D wouldn't leave them alone and I didn't want everything to fall out every time he picked them up.  In true Nicole fashion, I ended up with an extra paper, so one is missing a name. It's on the fridge for when we find that one.

Mine aren't as pretty as the ones from Family Fun, but D likes them. He decorated them with stickers, markers, and crayons. "Mom, they look like a forest."  I am glad he knew they were suppose to be trees. Now, what to do with all those extra candy kiss??? :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Threat To Parental Rights

Government involvement in how I choose to raise my son has been a discussion my husband and I have had many times since D was born. I do not have a personal experience with government interference, but I am sure we have all heard stories of parental rights being trampled on by court decisions and government.  It is a scary thought. Please take the time to watch this video. I know it is long, but it is very eye opening. It puts all the thoughts and feelings I have had about this issue into words. I would love to hear anyones thoughts about this topic.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Birthday Survey

D turned 4 this month. A new tradition we have started in the "Birthday Survey."  I have seen this idea is a few different spots around the internet. I was excited to finally try it out on our own.  I started out by having his write his own name and his age. It is so cute to see his backwards 4.

I then wrote the answers to the rest of the questions.

Favorite color: pink and blue
Best friend: Adam, Katie, Mom, and all my stuffed animals
Favorite animal: tiger and beetles
What you want to be when you grow up: a firefighter
Favorite movie: Bug's Life
Favorite book: my magical Disney story books
Favorite food: fruit salad popcorn
Favorite toy: the boat my friend game me
Favorite thing to do with Dad: wrestle with him
Favorite thing to do with Mom: tell jokes with her
Favorite song: Book of Mormon Stories
Favorite holiday: birthdays

My plan is to do it every year for his birthday. It will be fun to see how the answers change or if any of them stay the same. One day I plan on compiling it all into a book with a picture and the answers. It will be one of those keepsakes that only a mom can truly see the value in.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


  1. My husband
  2. My son
  3. My warm and comfy bed
  4. That D is a great sleeper
  5. Modern medicine, especially when I needed a c-section
  6. Great doctors who answer emails 
  7. A wonderful hairstylist who I love to visit with and makes me look good
  8. Freakishly warm fall days
  9. Freakishly non-windy winter days
  10. PBSKids.org
  11. Good books read to me by the hubby
  12. A car that runs well most of the time
  13. Family within a days drive
  14. Great friends
  15. Play dates for D
  16. That throwing up makes my migraines feel tons better (Gross, I know)
  17. That D doesn't throw up often
  18. Skype
  19. Chapstick
  20. Hot showers
  21. Board games 
  22. Awesome friends (because I have the best)
  23. Pinterest
  24. My Kindle
  25. Girls Night Out
  26. Getting to serve in the Primary Presidency in my ward to church
  27. Family Home Evening and D's enthusiasm for it
  28. The 3 people who actually read his blog. (Thanks, Hubby!)
  29. My ability to use a budget every month
  30. Mint Oreos
  31. Popcorn
  32. Microwaves
  33. Diet Dr Pepper
  34. Vacations
  35. Movie Days
     The list could go on, but I need to pack for my Thanksgiving trip. Most I want to say I am thankful for my Savior and His gospel. Without Him I would be lost.
      Happy Thanksgiving!

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    A Gift From God

    One thing I have noticed when talking with different friends who are suffering with infertility is their sensitivity about it. I don't mean this as a jab or to judge them. It is a very sensitive topic. I can completely understand how they would feel upset or disappointed when someone asks if they are going to have children (or more children in some cases) or when someone announces a pregnancy.  I use to feel that way a little when trying to get pregnant with D. You get defensive, wondering why it is any of their business if I have more children. Or you wonder why them and not me. Why can they have so many children so easily? Why do they finally get to end their battle with infertility when I can't?  It can be heart wrenching.

    Today I realized that my Heavenly Father has recently given me a great gift. I didn't realize it before, but after talking with some friends I could see it. After dealing with so much pain over not being able to have another child, the Lord has instead blessed me with understanding and love.  I don't feel upset when others ask me about the size of my family. I know they are usually just concerned for us or curious, and I can understand both emotions.  I no longer feel upset when other people are pregnant. I can honestly say I am genuinely happy for them, probably a little overly excited. :) I have found myself no longer praying that we might have another child, but rather praying for friends of mine who have been trying to conceive.

    I hope this doesn't offend anyone who might read it.  I don't mean any offense.  I just wanted to express how grateful I am for a loving Heavenly Father who has allowed me to find peace with such a painful issue.  I still long to hold a little baby of my own when I hold a friend's baby, but that is OK. I can share in their joy completely now.  It is such a wonderful thing.

    Now if I could just be blessed with the gift of enjoying hard work. Maybe then my house would be clean more often. :) I guess we all have room for improvement.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    The 17 Days of Christmas

    So, are you guys on Pinterest? If not, you should be. It is awesome, but that is not exactly what this blog post is about. What it is about is this great idea I found on there for Christmas. It is from Sew Dang Cute and it is called The Christ Book.

    It is 17 different days of scriptures, songs, and pictures about the Savior's life, starting with Christ's birth fortold and ending with Christ in out lives everyday. The other night I had some insomnia, so I spent that time putting a book together for us. I am just waiting for my pictures I ordered from LDS.org. I am so excited to start this new family tradition.

    I will admit that I did add some song and remove other songs or picture. The reason being that I really wanted the picture and the scripture/story to be across from each other so that D can see the picture while we are reading, and that didn't always happen when I followed her outline. This idea would be a really easy one to change up if you wanted, but it is a great starting point. You could even make it go longer that 17 days if you added more songs or told more storied about the life of Jesus. I think 17 days will work well for us because we won't do it on Monday night because of Family Home Evening and there are always a couple of nights that D falls asleep before we get to scripture study. Plus, I don't want to do it on Christmas Eve. We already have family traditions for Christmas Eve.

    I am so excited to add more Christmas traditions to our family that focus on Christ. Please share if you have any in your family. I am always looking for more.

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Bucket List

    This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening and is encouraging people to share 15 things that I want to enjoy in my lifetime as a reminder to be aware of my health. Want to enter? Head over to TodaysMama.com to get the details.

     1. Write a book. It sounds silly, but I have wanted to since I was about 15. One of these days I am really going to do it, even if no one but D reads it.

    2. Ride on a train. Once again, that is something I have wanted to do since I was young. I think it started from watching White Christmas. I am sure experience will be just the same, singing and all.

    3. Hike the Grand Canyon. I grew up with my dad hiking the Grand Canyon every year. My brothers joined him this last year. Maybe next year will be my chance.

    4. Learn Spanish. My husband can speak Spanish fluently. I recently ordered Little Pim Spanish DVDs for D to learn. I even have a book laying around for me to get started. I just need to get started. That is the hard part.

    5. Learn to sew. This is a hard one because I don't know when to consider this one completed. I have done some sewing, but I am not very good at it.

    6. Visit Hawaii.  Who wouldn't want to visit Hawaii?

    7. Own a home.  This goes beyond just purchasing a home (We have lived in apartments since we were married almost 8 years ago). I mean having it all paid off. I want it to be mine.

    8. Take a karate class. I know I could do this now, but I just feel so intimidated. Maybe I will get up the nerve soon.

    9. Wear a bikini with confidence. OK, so I don't ever plan on wearing a bikini, but I would like to know I could and look good. Halloween candy around my house today isn't helping towards that goal.

    10. Plan the perfect vacation for my husband.  Anyone who knows my husband knows what a difficult one this is. He is a homebody and would rather spend money on something he can own than a vacation. I would rather have a vacation. One day I will plan a vacation he will absolutely love. I just need to figure out what exactly that would entail. 

    11. Leave an endowment to a university/college.  We have been so blessed that my husband has been able to get a PhD without any debt. I hope when we both pass away that we will be able to leave an endowment to a school to allow others to have help with schooling costs. I suppose this one really should be at the end of my list, my final 'kicked the bucket" item.

    12. Grow a garden. My mom can attest to the fact that I have been trying to do this since I was about thirteen. Carrots do not grow well in a rocky flower bed in Arizona. Maybe one day I can get it right.

    13. Have a year supply of food and toiletries.  As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are encouraged to be prepared for times of need. This includes a year supply. I usually have enough food storage for about 2-3 months, but with a tiny apartment I do not have the room to be as prepared as I would like. I am currently working on 72 hour packs.

    14. Take D to Disney again before the magic fades and not tell him we are going beforehand.  I think Disney holds magic for people of all ages, but especially for young children before they stop believing in magic. We took D to Disneyland when he was 2 1/2. I thought it was the best watching him take it all in. I can't wait to take him again.

    15. Get my bachelors degree. I quit school with my associates when my husband got into grad school so I could work full-time. I would like to finish one day. I don't know how soon I will be able to get to that one, especially if we do decide to homeschool

    This list is in no particular order. It is not inclusive. These are just some of these things I have talked about wanting to do, but never have. This was a good excuse to take the time to write them down. What is on your bucket list?

    Saturday, October 29, 2011


    The idea of homeschool was not something I ever even thought about until I quit work last year to move across the country for my husbands work and chose to stay home with my then 2 year old son.  Looking back it is so strange I even started toying with the idea considering what a hard time I had adjusting to being a stay at home mom after working full time for the last 6 years. Nonetheless, I was very intrigued by the idea. I still am, but I waiver back and forth even more know that I know I have an only child.

    Having an only child often makes me reject the idea all together. What if he doesn't get enough time with other people? How will he do without built in friends/classmate from siblings? Will he be missing out on something by not having constant and strong relationships with other kids? Play dates are never a problem when kids are young, but know that friends of his are in preschool and kindergarten, it gets harder and harder to plan them. What about being home with just me all day long? What about my schooling? I always thought I would go back once my husband get a permanent job.

    Having an only child also often makes to think I couldn't do anything but homeschooling. How could I ever send my only baby away for 7-8 hours a day, just to come home at 3:00 to do homework, help prepare dinner, then start bedtime routine? When will we get to spend time together? Maybe it is selfish, but why should a complete stranger get to spend all day with him and watch him learn and grow? Why can't I be there to experience that?

    I still waiver back and forth. Because of where we live and the strange school cut off dates, D will be able to start kindergarten next year. That is only 10 month away! How will I ever decide? I had a hard enough time deciding whether to send him to preschool or not. We didn't. It just wasn't right for us, but sometimes I still worry I made the wrong choice.

    So what am I going to do? I have no idea yet. For now I am starting homeschool. D was so ready to learn to read, so that is what we are doing. He loves being able to sound out words. He loves to get to read his stories to his dad. I love getting to see him get so excited about his accomplishments. I have to admit that I feel more confident in my ability to homeschool as I see him learn and grow.

    I am sure whatever I decide to do, there will be people who disagree with my choice. I am sure I might even question my decision from time to time. I just plan on taking it day by day and pray that the Lord helps me make this decision when I absolutely must. I would love input from any of you who may be reading this. Thoughts? Feelings? Criticism? :)

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Tradition of Love

    I have a memory from when I was younger. My family went to a park. It was a favorite one of mine that we didn't go to often. I remember it because the playground was like a old western with a jail and a stagecoach to play on. I don't remember why, but I was sad about something. My mom, being the great mom she is, pulled me aside and talked to me. She taught me a secret that she and my dad shared.  It was a secret sign for 'I love you'. She told me that whenever my dad and her were in public or far away from one another and couldn't talk, they would tug on their ear.  This is how they shared they loved one another without words.

    She shared this secret with me to make me feel loved. We practiced the rest of the day at the park, each of us trying to get the others attention and tugging our ear. I remember being on a train ride and her watching me and tugging her ear as the train went by. Although I have no idea why I was sad that day, I remember her love for me.

    I was able to share this secret with my son recently. It is sweet to see him share the same tradition my mom and I did. Often, when we are at the grocery  or in the waiting room at the doctors, D will climb onto my lap or grab my leg and get my attention. When I look at him, he will tug his ear with a big smile on his face. I happily tug on my ear also.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    A Clean House Is The Sign Of A Boring Person.

    If that is true, I must be one of the most exciting people you could know.  I hate cleaning. I know most of you are thinking that everyone hates cleaning, but I do everything I can to avoid it. I have friends who "hate" cleaning, but love having a clean house more. I haven't quite gotten to that point. I usually let things go until I am going crazy and just have to get it all clean (or my husband will step in. I have the best husband.) I will clean till I drop. I want to scrub every nook and cranny of the house.  I will then keep up on keeping things clean for a while, but I eventually get lazy and the cycle begins again. I tend to be an all or nothing person when it comes to cleaning. I either try and do it all at once or do nothing.

    This cycle of lazy to clean to lazy in my natural state, but I am tired of it. I want a change.  I know if I can just keep up on things I won't end up spending 45 minutes with a tooth brush trying to clean shower grout. I have found a new plan! I read it on a blog somewhere. I call it the 30 minute clean.

    Monday through Friday is each assigned an area. Here is the break down for me:

    Tuesday-Living Room
    Friday-Dinning Room

    The idea is that every day I spend 30 minutes cleaning the room assigned, and only 30 minutes.  This 30 minutes does not include cleaning up toys, doing dishes, and other daily stuff. I am talking the more deep cleaning. For example, yesterday I worked in the kitchen. After doing my daily stuff of doing dishes and wiping off the counter, I then set the timer for 30 minutes and went to work. I scrubbed my sink, degreased my stove top are and outside the microwave, scrubbed the dish drainer, and cleaned off 7 years worth of buildup off my teapot. It might have been a little longer than 30 minutes, but after that I just stopped. It was actually hard for me to stop. I noticed I needed to degrease my oven door and probably clean the inside of my oven. So why did I stop? Because I don't want to fall back into the cycle of cleaning burnout. The idea is that next Monday it will be fast to clean the sink and I can spend time on degreasing the over door.

    My list of daily chores is not that long either. Here is a general list, but some days if might vary:
    • Dishes (My husband does the evening dishes. Told you he was awesome!)
    • Wipe down counters and stove top (Stove top is also done by my husband.)
    • Pick up and put away 'stuff'
    • Make bed
    • Laundry (Only Mon-Thurs for me)
    • Vacuum as needed
    You'll notice I didn't assign anything to the weekend. I plan on enjoying them. Saturday night I try and get the house looking nice for Sunday, but the idea is if I keep up on things during the week then it should be a fast job.

    On a funny note, I saw this floating around Pintrest. Hope it makes you smile.
    How do you keep up on household chores?

    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    My New Answer

    I am sure all women at some time or another have been asked the "Are you having more?" question, regardless of how many kids they have. I know I have been asked some form of this question a lot. I have recently headed off the question by mentioning that Dallin will be an only child most likely. This usually end the conversation about more children unless the person feels comfortable enough to ask why. If they do ask, I don't have any problem explaining why. It is not something that upsets me or hurts me to talk about. But I think I now have a new answer.

    After listening to General Conference today, my answer for "probably not" has changed. When I am asked "When you going to have more children?", I hope to reply, "We are ready to have more children when the Lord is ready to bless us with a baby." I know, if we live righteously, we will be able to have this blessing. I know it may not be in this life, but I can have the faith and patience to wait until the next.

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    My Small One

    “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
    ―                                         -A.A. Milne

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Sons and Daughters of a King

    We took D to see Lion King in 3D last week. My son loved it, my husband slept through it, and I found inspiration from it.

    During the scene where Simba sees Mufasa in the cloud, Mufasa says to his son, "You have forgotten who you are, and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become."

    At that moment I thought of my Father in Heaven. How often does he say the same thing to us? Through the scriptures? Through a living prophet and apostles? I could imaging the Lord saying to me, "You have forgotten who you are, and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Nicole. You are more than what you have become."

    Satan and the world would have us think we are not pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough, funny enough, friendly enough...  You can fill in the blank in a thousand different ways. But they are wrong.

    We are children of God, sons and daughters of a King. We are of divine worth. We only need to see it and then teach it to our children. We have great potential to become like our Father in Heaven one day.

    Mudasa left Simba with these words, "Remember who you are. Remember..."

    I pray that we also might remember.

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    "The Mantra"

    Last night I laid in bed wanting another baby so badly. I knew I had another month of medication, and I was sure I could convince my husband to give it one more shot. I mean, what if next month was "the month?"

    That is the mantra of all women who suffer from infertility; maybe next month. Maybe next month the prescription will work. Maybe next month the procedure will work. Maybe next month my body will work properly. Maybe next month I will be pregnant. I fell into this trap. It was the next procedure, or surgery, or medication, it was the next try that could be "the one." But it wasn't for me, and next thing I realized is I had two years of "maybe the next month" and nothing to show for it. I was so focused on trying to conceive I missed out of seeing what blessings were right in from of me. My life revolved around my cycle. It is all I ever thought about. It was two weeks of hoping we got the timing right and that the medications/procedures worked, just to discover one morning they didn't. Then a week of being depressed, followed by a week of getting ready to "get it right," followed by two weeks of hoping....I think you get the idea. This was how month after month it was for me. The mantra can get into my head and make me feel crazy. I think you can see now why we are done for a while.

    While writing this, an old cut started to bleed. I asked D if we could grab me a band-aid. He came over to see why, and, after seeing the blood, he said, "I'll get you one of mine with the super-heros on it. You need a really strong super-hero." He then come in with the box and started to search through them. "How about the Hulk? No, I think you need this special strong Iron Man. Here, Mom." After, he put the package of band-aids away and throw away all the garbage (after putting one on himself of course.).  How can I feel I am missing out when I have such a great kids as D? I must be going now. It is time to read Highlights magazines together. Maybe next month we will talk about wanting a baby again, or maybe not. ;)

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    My Baby Isn't A Baby Anymore

    D is turning four in a couple of months. I am having a hard time with it, even more so now we know he will likely be our only child. The funny thing is I'll be turning 30 around the same time, but I am not having a hard time with that one at all. Maybe I will once I get closer to the big day. For now, I just keep thinking about D turning 4.

    I know 3 is a long way from being a baby, but he still had some toddler traits I could see once in a while. I think of 4 as a kid, not a toddler, and that makes me sad. I will admit that I even cried this morning when I was talking to my husband about it. I had the same problem when he turned 3, but it seems to be worse this time. I hope this isn't a trend. I can only imagine how I will be when he turns 10,15,19....  They don't warn you about this when you decide to have kids. :)

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Lioness at the Gate

    Photo by Mary Robbins
    A week ago we had a Relief Society meeting about organizing and prioritizing.  Although I learned some helpful ideas to get my paper under control, What I enjoyed most was when the talk given by Sister Julie B Beck at the BYU Women's conference in 2010 was discussed. (You can find the talk here) I found it inspiring. I won't discuss the whole talk, but rather just the parts we discussed  in our RS meeting.

    Sister Beck talks about how as women we are like the lioness at the gate of our homes.
    She guards that gate, and things matter to that family if they matter to her. For example, if the lioness at the gate believes in the law of tithing, tithing will be paid in that family. If that family has a humble little portion of ten pesos coming in, that lioness will safeguard the one peso if tithing is important to her. If that lioness at the gate knows about renewing her baptismal covenants with God, she will be in sacrament meeting on Sunday, and she will prepare her children to be there. They will be washed, cleaned, combed, and taught about that meeting and what happens there. It isn’t a casual event, but it is serious to her, and it will be serious to them. The lioness at the gate ensures that temple worship is taken care of in the family. She encourages that participation. She cares about seeking after her ancestors. If the lioness at the gate knows about and understands missions, missionaries, and the mission of the house of Israel, she will prepare future missionaries to go out from that home. It is very difficult to get a lion cub away from a lioness who doesn’t believe in missions, but if the lioness believes in a mission, she will devote her life to preparing the cub to go out and serve the Lord. That’s how important she is. Service happens if she cares about it. 

    What matters to us as mothers, wives, daughters, and teachers is what we will make sure happens. It becomes our mission in life. So then, what is your mission in life? This is a deep and important question. I don't think it is something that can be answered quickly. I have this feeling I sort of understand my mission because of what I know to be true because of the gospel, but I also feel I still have more to understand that has not yet been reveled to me. This is where the importance of personal revelation plays a role. Sister Beck touches on this:
     The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important ability that can be acquired in this life. Qualifying for the Lord’s Spirit begins with a desire for that Spirit and implies a certain degree of worthiness. Keeping the commandments, repenting, and renewing covenants made at baptism lead to the blessing of always having the Lord’s Spirit with us. When we have that spirit, we can walk with God. We can know His Son and make proper choices. 
    As we gain more and more personal revelation regarding what our own missions are, we are better able to prioritize our time in order to accomplish our mission. (Now you can see how the talk tied into a meeting about organization.)

    Let's use a visual aid I am sure many of you have seen before. Imagine you have a jar. In that jar you need to place some large rocks, some smaller stones, and some sand. If you place the sand in first, followed by the stones, and finally the rocks, it won't all fit in the jar. But, if you first place the large rocks in, then the stones, and finally fill in the spaces with the sand you can manage to make it all fit in the jar. Just like with the jar, if we fill our time with not as important things we can never seem to fit in the important stuff. We need to first get the important stuff done and then we can easily fit in the not so important.

    Sister Beck talks about how she actually took the time to write a list of the Essentials (rocks), the Necessary (small stones), and the Nice-to-Do's (sand). We did the same thing during our meeting. I will share with you what I wrote.

    Essentials -The things that must be taken care of to ensure the blessings of eternal life for me and my family. 
    1. Scripture study with my gospel journal
    2. Prayer
    3. Church and temple attendance
    4. Family scripture study and prayer
    5. FHE
    Necessary- Things we have to do as a part if this mortal life in order to be self-reliant and be of service to our families and the Lord.
    1.  Service in the Church (callings and visiting teaching)
    2. Homemaking (pattern my home after the temple and create a place where the Spirit can dwell)
    3. Thrift
    4. Increase strength of family relationships
    5. Education
    6. Seek spiritual activities (Relief Society meetings, fireside, etc.)
    Nice-to-Do's- These add variety to our lives, but won't save us.
    1. Reading
    2. Blogging
    3. Travel
    4. Girls Night Out
    5. Outside activities (meaning outside the home. The busy fillers many of us have, be it sports, movies, book club, etc.)
    This list is not a complete list. Your list might be different from mine. I am sure I will add things later as I feel inspired. It does give me a  starting point. It helps me remember to make sure I get to my rocks and then stones before filling my jar with the sand. Ever notice if you sit down to watch TV or play on the computer and time just slips away from you? I think that is what we need to be afraid of. We lose so much time on the sand we never get to the rocks. The Lord's way of doing things is always best.
    to be spiritually-minded is life eternal. 2 Nephi 9:39
    As I continue my happiness project, I plan on keeping this list in my gospel journal so I can be reminded of the goals in my life that will bring me the greatest joy of all.

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    The Golden Ratio

    My husband is a mathematician. We actually met when I needed help passing Calculus II.  I can distinctly remember talking to him about the Fibonacci series. He saw it so simply and I just thought it was ridiculous (mostly because it wasn't making sense at all).

    My husband can see math all around him. He sees how it is involved in nature, manufacturing, economics and much of politics, other sciences, and even in the gospel. Understanding math strengthens his testimony of the creation and of the gospel. He sees beauty and order in it.

    I recently found this post on a favorite homeschooling blog of mine. I watched it with my husband and son. As a matter of fact, D asked to watch it over and over again. It is beautiful. After the video was over, my husband said, "And some people would try and make you believe that is was all by some chance," and shook his head. He was referring to order and logic that is involved in such beauty. It isn't all by chance, but rather there is a Divine Creator. I hope to be able to teach my son to not only see the beauty in mathematics, but also see how it can lead us to look towards our Savior and Father on Heaven.

    As a little background, the golden ratio is a number, approximately 1.61803398874989, that shows up as you study math, biology, architecture, music, etc.  Understanding of the golden ratio seems to have started around 440 BC with the building of the Parthenon, and continued to grow as other scientists, such as Plato and Fibonacci, discovered other occurrences in math and geometry. The mathematician and philosopher Zeising wrote in 1854 of a universal law "in which is contained the ground-principle of all formative striving for beauty and completeness in the realms of both nature and art, and which permeates, as a paramount spiritual ideal, all structures, forms and proportions, whether cosmic or individual, organic or inorganic, acoustic or optical; which finds its fullest realization, however, in the human form." You can read more about the Golden Ratio here.


    (While writing this post, D heard the music from the video and came running in saying, "Mom, I love that video!" I guess we will be watching it again and again.)

    Saturday, September 3, 2011

    Siblings, For Better Or Worse

    I have been thinking a lot about siblings. Knowing D will probably not have any, I was thinking about if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I have decided it is really neither. It is just a different thing, both with pros and cons. I can only speak from my experience of being the oldest with 5 siblings younger than me, but I think there are also pros and cons to having siblings.

    Having two sisters just younger than me and three brothers younger than them, there was usually always someone to play with. We did crazy things. We put on plays, made movies, has photo shoots that often required us to dress up the younger boys, we played house and school and even library, and may more creative, over the top ideas. I remember my sister and I making a "secret" hideout in the attic. We even bought each other little Christmas gifts that we wrapped and placed in the hideout. After all the other gifts were open, we went up there to exchange gifts. I remember writing notes to my sister in the evenings when we should have been in bed and sneaking into the hallway and leaving them in a special place where they would go and find them. They would write back. I remember waking up at 3 AM on Christmas morning and playing games with my two sisters until it was finally time we could go and wake up our parents. Of course there was some present peeking. One time we even made made a paper mache cast for one of my sister when playing doctor.

    I could go on and on with silly memories, but there were more than just fun times. There were times you knew we loved one another. I remember my sister passing up on a chance to go somewhere fun with a friend of ours because the friend said I couldn't come too. I can picture my sister standing in the dining room, a little teary, explaining that she told her friend if she wouldn't let me come, she wasn't going either. I remember my youngest brother sleeping in my room many nights. He always would say, "Let's talk." Then he would pick a topic and tell me to go first. And he always wanted to make up jokes. I remember telling him when it was finally time to stop talking. Recently my brother willingly drove across the country to help us move.

    I am sad these are things D will never get to share with any siblings. But of course any of you who have siblings or who have raised siblings know, it usually isn't all sunshine and rainbows. There are a lot of rainstorms. I won't go into specifics, but there is childhood fighting, sibling rivalry, comparing one another to each other, being defensive, disagreements, misunderstands, sometimes lack of compassion or understand. In case any of my siblings actually read this, I am not implying I am guilt free of these activities. :) We are all guilty of getting caught up in ourselves and end up being unkind to our siblings. This kind of unkindness can hurt the worst because your siblings are suppose to love you and accept you and be considerate of you.

    Also, I am told that only children grow up more confident because they get all their parents attention and love. I am sure this is true in some ways, but I don't think families with siblings are destined to feel less loved. Growing up, I don't ever remember thinking my parents had a favorite or loved me less because I had siblings. I might have thought it at times, but it was probably because I was just throwing myself a teenage pity party.

    D will never have this same kind of hurt and competition. He has his parents full attention. There will be no perceived comparison or competition.  He is not fighting for input in family matters. There are definitely pros to being an only child. The question is whether or not the pros out weight the cons. Coming from a family with 6 kids, I would have to say no, but I know there are those who would disagree.

    The fact of the matter is D will have a different childhood experience from either my husband or me. For better or worse.

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011

    Temple Trip

    Last night my husband and I made it to the temple. It is the first time we have gone in a year. We have our excuses. The temple is an hour and a half away. We were new to the area and didn't know anyone well enough to ask them to babysit D for the 5 and 1/2 hours the trip would take. But I am thankful for a good friend who volunteered to watch D so we could finally make it out. I am so glad we went.

    Waiting for the temple session to start, I felt an overwhelming love for my husband. I always love him, but it was a strong confirmation that I made the right decision in marrying him. Also, I had an overwhelming thankfulness for my family of three. I am greatly blessed.

    I have been looking at my infertility all wrong. I have been looking at it as our choice to keep trying or to stop trying. It has been my choice on how much money and emotions and time to pour into conceiving. I worried I made the wrong choice to not keep trying to have a baby. I thought my choices would affect whether we would have another baby or not. I realized that this way of thinking is not exactly accurate. It is not a choice of mine. The choice as been made. The Lord has given me a trial. I can only choose how I react to this trial. I was thinking that if I searched out more and more medical help, I could change that. And that may be the case for some people, but I knew deep down it wasn't what was in store for us, at least not at this time.
    Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.
    Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God? (D&C 6:22-23)
     I had been looking at it like I was missing out on blessings by not being able to bear more children. I realize now that I have it all wrong.  I have been greatly blessed to have a son. Knowing how hard it has been this time around and how much is working against us, I am in awe that we easily conceived the first time after only 6 months of only medication. I feel the Lord granted me this blessing. D was our own small miracle.
    "Be still, and know that I am God."
    Ps. 46:10

    Thursday, August 25, 2011

    Our Preschool "Curriculum"

    I use the word curriculum lightly. Most it is books/info we are going to start using for preschool time in the mornings.  First up:
    We bought this book a while a go. We have started it, but never stuck with it. I think we is one of the more traditional/scheduled parts of what I am planning. I have heard great things about the book, and my son D is ready to read. Along with learning to read using this book, we will continue to read books during the day. We read a lot of library books and books we own. Also, at night we read chapter books. Recently we read "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." It was fun that he was able to understand well enough to notice the differences in the book and the movie. 

    Next, some books for science:

    I don't plan on starting at the front and just following the books through, but they are a great resource. D has especially loved the human body encyclopedia. He likes to look through it and ask about the different pictures. Today we talked about what parts of his body comes in pairs. We also read a lot of children's books from the library and also buy some of the good ones. I have recently discovered The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library. D loves those. We don't own any yet, but I think they might be purchase worthy.

    For math we have been using easy workbooks made for pre-k/k. Plus activities like playing with money, using a geoboard to play with shapes, etc.

    For writing we will soon be doing the assignments in "Teach Your Child To Read." We also use a workbook that has a lot of tracing. He enjoys it, and it helps a lot with his fine motor skills. He is going though it so fast, I think it might only last a month. I might have to take him to the the local teacher store and get some new ones.

    I also have some great things from Confessions of a Homeschooler, such as days of the week, weather, practice writing sheets, etc.

    Everything else we find from great blogs I follow. I'll have to share some of my favorites in the future. Although we have been "doing school," as D calls it, off and on for a while, Monday we are scheduled to start a more consistent schedule. Wish me luck!

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    My Happiness Project

    So it has been 3 weeks since starting my happiness project.  I thought I would update anyone who may be reading this. It is going pretty well. I have been working hard to take time to not only read my scriptures, but to really study them and mark them up. I have been using "Preach My Gospel" to decide on different topics and use the scriptures they suggest. I have really enjoyed it and have learned a lot. I will admit I have missed a few nights. There are no excuses, but I am going to try and be more diligent.

    I read a blog post about scripture study that I loved. It was written by The Red Headed Hostess. If you get a chance, you should really read over it. I don't think it is the type of scripture study I can just jump into, so I am slowly wading in. My husband recently showed me how to use the scriptures app on my iPad to its full potential. It allows me to make note, easily cross reference, etc. I am excited to try out Shannon's type of study a little more with it. I hope to be able to record more thoughts and feels about what I am reading.

    Also, talking about recording thoughts and feelings, I have had what I call a "gospel journal" for about a year now. It is just a composition book that I write in from time to time. I write thoughts or experiences that strengthen my testimony of our Savior. There are times I will write it is a few times a month, then I won't write in it for months.  I think for the next few weeks of my Happiness Project I am going to use my gospel journal more. I know the Lord is involved with our daily life. I want to be more aware of this.

    My Happiness Project Goal: My goal is two fold. First is a continuation from my last goal. I am going to keep up my scripture study, hopefully not missing any days, but I want to step it up a notch.  I am going to use my nifty scriptures app to record my thoughts and feelings about what I am reading.  My second goal is to be more aware of the hand of the Lord in my life. I plan on taking time each Sunday to write in my gospel journal.

    President Henry B. Eyring talked about his experience writing in such a journal:

    Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.      (Oct. General Conference, 2007, O Remember, Remember)

    I'll update on my progress in a few weeks.

    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    Mental Shift

    When we had our son, I bought certain items planning on using them again. I spent a lot of money on a good jogging stroller, an expensive umbrella stroller, a nice crib, and I won't tell you how much I spent on a breast pump. The reason for all this spending of money was I viewed it as an investment. I wanted to be able to use all these items through multiple kids. It was going to help me save money in the long run. Well, that is not the case.

    This is a way of thinking that I am trying to work out in my mind. I don't want to buy my son junk, but, at the same time, how much should I really be spending on a tricycle he will use for a year and then we will be getting rid of? I need to find a good balance. Somethings are easy to save money on by getting them off craigslist or at the thrift store. I only spent about $15 on all his summer clothes this year. It was 50% off say at the Volunteers of America thrift store. Yea! Other items I have a harder time deciding how to approach it.

    Even though he is almost 4, he is still in his toddler bed. Part of that is because I want to make sure I get my moneys worth out of that crib/toddler bed before we get rid of it. Part of it is because I am not sure what bed to get him. Do I get a twin? Or do I get something larger knowing that he wouldn't be sharing a room with any siblings and that he will hopefully have this bed for a while? I am not sure yet. We will be moving in about a year so maybe he will stay in the toddler bed till then. Is almost 5 too old for a toddler bed? :)

    I know this is an odd topic. It isn't something that has made me sad about having an only child. It is just something I realized I needed to rethink. I needed a mental shift from my large family in my head to my family of three.  I will stop thinking about the family I planned and enjoy the family I have.

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Preschool At Home

    We are going to start doing preschool at home. Other people talked to me about signing my son up for one of the many local preschools, but we didn't. Part of it is because I am selfish and don't want him to be gone from home for long periods of time. Part of it is because I don't think he is ready for that either. We did soccer this summer, and most of it was him sitting on my lap on the sideline. When I talked to him about preschool recently, he asked if I meant at home. I explained I was thinking of one at the local school and he cried that he was too little to go to a school and he wanted to be home. I easily obliged.

    One thing I noticed is I think people are very surprised we don't have him in a preschool.  As an only child I think some people think he is missing out on an important part of childhood development by not having him in a preschool. That part is socializing. I think I disagree. We do story time. We do play groups. We go to the park. Yes, I am also close by, but he has plenty of time to socialize. Just today he sat under the picnic table with two girls from out church and played silly games and laughed together for about a half and hour. What they could find so funny under the picnic table is beyond me.

    No only do these activities give him plenty of time with kids his own age, I think he is much better able to socialize with all age groups than most 3 year old. Maybe that is because the only people he socializes with at home are adults. At the library party the other day, he had no problem walking up to the ice cream lady and asking for a treat. The lady was the one who seemed more confused that he was there all on his own asking politely for his treat. I finally have to come and help out because the lady looked unsure if she should give him any ice cream. I am impressed that he is willing to do that kind of stuff on his own.

    He may not be ready to be in school without me close by, be he sure knows how to interact with people and is still very socialized. He just likes to be able to make sure Mom is still close by if needed. Sorry that this is a little scatterbrained. Just thinking my thoughts out loud, or rather typing them.

    Sunday, August 7, 2011

    God's Timing

     I knew it would be difficult for us to have a second baby, but I was convinced it would happen. I had the righteous desire to have more children, and God is capable of making that happen, So it was going to happen. One part of the equation I forgot to factor in was timing. The timing must be right, or even our righteous desires will not be fulfilled. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said:

         “The issue for us is trusting God enough to trust also His timing. If we can truly believe He has our welfare at heart, may we not let His plans unfold as He thinks best? The same is true with the second coming and with all those matters wherein our faith needs to include faith in the Lord’s timing for us personally, not just in His overall plans and purposes.” 

    But I was still thinking that I would get pregnant eventually. I was waiting for my miracle. I could be patient until it happened. I could spend more and more money till the Lord was ready to bless me. Then I realized, I had my miracle. I had a son that came into our family. I have been having the attitude that I was entitled to having another child. Entitled  is an ugly word. It makes us think we deserve something and that the Lord has nothing to do with it. This is not the case, nor would I want it to be the case. I need a loving Heavenly Father who knows what is best. 

    In a talk given by Elder Dallin H Oaks given at BYU in 2002, he stated,

         "Because of things over which we have no control, we cannot plan and bring to pass everything we desire in our lives. Many important things will occur in our lives that we have not planned, and not all of them will be welcome. Even our most righteous desires may elude us or come in different ways or at different times than we have sought to plan...
         If we have faith in God and if we are committed to the fundamentals of keeping His commandments and putting Him first in our lives, we do not need to plan every single event—even every important event—and we should not feel rejected or depressed if some things—even some very important things—do not happen at the time we had planned or hoped or prayed."

    There is a purpose behind our trials. Whether we are blessed with another child in this life or not, the Lord is behind this. He sees what I can not see. He sees a greater purpose in this life. He knows me and what blessings I stand in need of. 

    Although I some times secretly hope for a miracle, I know that I can be grateful for the blessings I have and find contentment and joy in my life. 

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Mother's Guilt

    Mother's guilt is something I think all mothers deal with at some time. If you don't, please share your secret. I know it is something I have struggled with. I didn't stay home with my son the first 2 years of his life. Breastfeeding didn't work out for us. We watch too much TV as a family. He gets sweets more than he should. He doesn't have any siblings to play with. The list goes on and on. It is also different for different moms.

    I also believe mothers guilt is something we can all overcome. The question is "how?" I am not quite sure, but here is what I have decided to do. Maybe it will at least alleviate some of that guilt.

    First, I plan on setting some daily goals. Sometimes the day gets away from me and I feel like I have accomplished nothing. It's not that I have been sitting on the couch, eating ice cream and watching TV, but still, I never seem to get ahead. I figure this way at least I can cross something off a list. Then I can feel some sense of accomplishment.

    Second, I am going to start being completely honest with others. Let me explain. It's not that I lie about how I am as a parent, but sometimes if I do something I worry others won't approve of, I just don't ever bring it up, even if we are talking about the topic. I decided to stop doing that. Some people might still judge me, but I think more likely is they do similar things. An example. A friend of mine on Facebook confessed she lets her daughter watch TV while she gets ready in the morning. Mother's guilt would have you think that a young child should never watch TV, but rather be engaged in creative, education play at all times. Guess what the respond to her comment was? Everyone did similar things! We are all hiding our mothering "faults," when in reality we are all in the same boat.

    Third, and probably the hardest, I want to stop comparing my parenting and my son to others. Along with this is to try and not judge others for how they choose to parent. This is a hard one because I think as women we have a nasty habit of making comparisons in all aspects in life. I hope as I catch myself doing either of these, that I can stand back and make a conscious effort to stop myself. With time I think it will become easier.

    Lastly, I want to try and enjoy all the time my son and I spend together. Let's face it, in the long run all he is going to remember is not how often I brought him to fun extracurricular activities, or how many veggies I made him eat (However he will still be easting them often.). Rather he will remember if he enjoyed being with his mom and if his mom loved being with him.

    As a final note, my husband often points out that he watched a LOT of TV as a kids, and he ended up getting a PhD, so I doubt a little Phineas and Ferb is going to ruin my kid.

    I would appreciate any, more practical ideas on how to alleviate mother's guilt. I doubt I will stop comparing myself overnight.

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    It's Done

    All the baby stuff gone. On Sunday we took whatever was left and gave it to a friend of mine who's getting a new grandbaby. This is pathetic, I know, but I was choked up on the way to church. I even tried to convince my husband that we needed to keep bottle for my three year old son to play with.  Lame excuse, I know, and my husband knew it as well. He didn't even dignify my inquiry with an answer, just a look.

    The actually act of handing off the box was handle by my husband. After church he went out to get the box and bring it to our friend's car while I got our son and waited for him to come back in. I am grateful he did it. I know anyone who may be reading this is rolling their eyes right about now, but it was really hard on me. I feel better now it is done.

    On another note, I started My Happiness Project yesterday. This probably sounds crazy, but I really feel like this is going to work. I know it has only been one day and that I will still have bad days, but I think I am really going to eventually embrace this new road map I have been handed. I am even a little excited.

    Sunday, July 31, 2011

    My Happiness Project

    "...Men are, that they might have joy." -2 Nephi 2:25

    I wouldn't say I am an unhappy person. It has just felt like something has been missing. I have thought it was a baby. That is why we have been working so hard to try an get pregnant. For whatever reasons, that is not what the Lord had in store for us. This brought up some questions for me. Was the Lord denying me happiness? Had I done something wrong that was preventing me from having this happiness? Or, rather, was there great happiness to be had in what I have already been blessed with?

    Don't misunderstand me. I know I have been greatly blessed, and I am very grateful for what I have been given. I have a wonderful husband and a sweet little boy.  I just felt an empty spot inside that I was trying to fill.

    Once I knew were probably weren't going to have another child, something I was pretty sure of long before we decided to stop trying, I tried to fill up that spot with other things. I started running to try and get the body I have always wanted. I started to read like crazy, both to increase my knowledge and for enjoyment. I started planning craft projects and homeschooling plans for my son. I even tried and talk my husband into a big family vacation. I felt I needed a change, like something had to give. I was trying to find true happiness through happy moments.

    A happy moment, or fun, is play, pleasure, gaiety, merriment, source of enjoyment, amusement, to behave playfully, playful, often a noisy activity, and teasing. Happiness is contentedness, joy, delight, and satisfaction. Elder Costa of the Seventy said, "Many people in this world do not understand the difference between fun and happiness. Many try to find happiness having fun, but the two words have different meanings."

    So if what I have been trying was the pursuit of fun, what should I do to gain happiness?

    "As we seek to be happy, we should remember that the only way to real 
    happiness is to live the gospel. We will find peaceful, eternal happiness 
    as we strive to keep the commandments, pray for strength, repent of our sins,
    participate in wholesome activities, and give meaningful service."
    - True to the Faith (2004), 79-80

    Elder Richard G Scott, in his talk Finding Joy in Life, recommended that we each make a list of things that we can do for happiness. This made me decide to start my own happiness project.

    My Happiness Project: I am going to pick something that I know can bring me true happiness. I am going to work at incorporating it into my daily life. As each thing becomes a habit, as I hope it will, I will choose something else to work on. I think I am going to try and break it up into 2 weeks periods. After 2 weeks I can evaluate how things are going and if I am ready to add more "improvements" to myself, or rather a new goal.

    Scripture study is my first goal. I used to be pretty regular with my scripture reading. I have struggled more lately. But notice I am going to work on my scripture study, not scripture reading. I am not going to worry so much about getting a chapter read. I am going to worry about taking the time to study and understand what I reading, seeking for inspiration about it. As I type this post, I am actually excited to get started.

    Friday, July 29, 2011

    What's With The Blog Title?

    I decided to start blogging my feeling about infertility and having an only child in order for me to sort out my thoughts. When blogger asked me what my blog title and URL would be, I sat there and stared. The first task was finding one that no one else has already come up with. I tried a bunch, but none of them were available.

    What to do? Then I remembered reading a blog post about not so lonely onlies. That was it! The title focuses on what I do have, the positive side of what I do have.

    Only children often get a bad rep, and I will admit I believed most of them. I felt I was doing my son a disservice by not having more children.  I was the oldest of six kids and my husband was the oldest of four. Neither of have any idea about raising an only child.

    Time Magazine did an article about debunking the myths about only children. Only children aren't always spoiled, over achievers, socially awkward, self-centered.  They don't have to be lonely onlies either. Only children are often similar to oldest children, something both my husband and I can relate to. By not giving my son a sibling, we have done nothing that will hinder him in life.

    Although the road map we were following has changed, the destination hasn't. We are still striving to be a happy forever family, regardless of the size of that family.

    Thursday, July 28, 2011


    I have been purging my house of baby stuff. You know, that stuff that you keep around for your next child? It is going. I have mixed feelings, like I do about this whole process. I am glad to be getting rid of boxes of stuff that is not used. I have a very small apartment and don't need extra clutter sitting around. I am also sad. I will admit, I teared up going through the boxes. Most of the big stuff is gone. All that is left is a box of blankets, burp rags, etc. I am keeping 4 small receiving blankets. I have grand plans of making them into a small quilt or something, but, in reality, I just couldn't let it all go. Maybe one day. One thing that helps is it has all gone to friends who have or are having babies. I am glad I was able to help them.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Our Story

    Our story isn't anything extraordinary. It isn't that different than may people's stories. It just isn't what we had planned.

    My husband and I met at college and were married in 2004. We always knew we wanted children. The discussion was how many. Somewhere between 3 and 5, but we weren't sure. We had time to worry about that later.

    In 2005 we decided it was time to stay trying for children. No luck the first year. My cycle was all over the place, so I figured there was something wrong. I went to my doctor and discovered I had PCOS. He put me on some medication and six months later we were pregnant. In 2007 my son was born.

    In 2009 we were ready for another child. Knowing I had some problems, we involved my OB/GYN from the beginning. We tried medication again. Nothing happened. After months of medication, my doctor started to suspect we had some other problems. We scheduled a laparoscopy. A large growth was removed, which was benign. Other than that, he couldn't see any problems. Then my blood work came back. I had sperm antibodies.

    What followed was more medication, HCG shots, and IUIs (artificial insemination). None of it worked. Finally, IVF (in vitro fertilisation) was brought up. In the mist of all this, my husband took a job across the country. We moved and picked up were we left off with a fertility specialist.

    The fertility specialist assured us that there were more steps we could try before jumping all the way to IVF, but he also let us know there was more testing he wanted to do. Now we were back on more medication. All of this started to translate to more money, time, and emotional roller coasters.

    We had enough. Many people will understand how tired I was of thinking "this will be the month," only to start spotting. I was devastating, and it was happening month after month for 2 years. It was financially draining every time you got a new doctor bill. My husband finally asked the question of when do we draw the line in the sand? When do we finally accept it won't happen for us? For a while my answer was not any time soon. I always thought maybe the next medication or procedure would be the "the one". Finally, after a very discouraging week, we called it quits. No rhyme or reason to when we decided to stop. We had both just had enough.

    It was recently this decision was made. Some days I feel so relieved to not be scheduling my life and occupying my thoughts with my cycle calender, like a burden has been lifted. Other days I think we were too rash in making this choice. Either way, we are done for now. What the future will hold, I don't know. What I do know is I have one amazing little boy. He will be 4 soon, and I am amazed the Lord blessed me with him. The more problems I have had trying for another child, the more I know my son is indeed a blessing beyond measure.

    I know others who have spend more money or time than we did, and still didn't have a child. Some people will not even be able to have one. Like I mentioned before, our story isn't extraordinary, but it is my life. For better or worse.