Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My Friend Jeanie

I'd like to single out a friend of mine for her selfless and incredibly sensitive heart. A friend who deserves so much more than a blog entry.

My friend
Jeanie sent out an email to me on Mother's Day, early Sunday morning. For those of you who missed the fact, Jonathan and I have been fervently trying to conceive for 22 months. Jeanie's email was titled simply "Praying for you." It wasn't pages long, but in her paragraphs she communicated compassion for me. She conveyed her understanding that perhaps I may be sad on mother's day through her own trials the day has brought. And she reminded me God is "near to the brokenhearted." She told me I'm an example and she loves me, and she prays for me.

Simple words, when one considers them. And yet they so filled my heart with joy and appreciation for this precious girl's friendship. For who she is.

Why I openly weep upon reading the email was something different though. This gentle, caring girl is spending her very first mother's day without her dear, faithful, Godly mother. The Lord took her mother away from her 9 months ago yesterday, after a long battle with cancer where her example was clearly one of Hebrews 11 in action... dieing in faith, having not received healing, but with absoute trust in God's Holy and Good character.

On what must be one of the three hardest days in the year for Jeanie, she looked at the Body of Christ and thought of anyone but herself. She looked at other's pain or heartache, rather than even consider her own (which is far greater than mine, I KNOW). How selfish I am not to be more like her! How her example inspires me to be other-focused, to think of serving others and not myself! To not nurse the own pains of my heart.

I know why Jeanie did this, how she has that maturity - she has learned at her mother's feet, in her life and by her death Kathy Bowers exemplified caring for others, living as Christ did. On the cross Christ prayed for those killing him, that they'd be forgiven. Isn't that the height of not thinking of yourself? I only pray that I can learn from these women and my life would be ever more made like Christ's.


Last Mother's Day, Jeanie made this tribute on Mother's Day. I'd encourage you to read it if you haven't, because this kind of life changes hundreds of those is touched, by inspiring deeper faith, perserverance, love and Christ-like character:
http://girltalk.blogs.com/girltalk/2006/05/a_tribute_to_ka_1.html

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What are Your Odds?

Perhaps if I could detail the percentage game as well as this doctor, and the numbers would roll off my tongue as easily as the Starbucks drink menu does, I wouldn't be frustrated as often once a conversation on the subject ended? For all your sports fans keeping count, this is month 22. FWIW

by Dr. Licciardi, NYU Fertility Center
I bet that most of you don’t know. You were never told, but you should have been. I’ll go through it now. Please understand that many of the numbers are estimates.
Let’s start with trying on your own. In the first try, if you are under about 35, it is about 30%. In the second month it goes down a little, and if you are not getting pregnant, it goes lower and lower each month. In your 13th month (after about a year of trying), it’s 3%. The reason it gets lower is that if you are not getting pregnant, there is probably a reason, and your odds were really 3% in your first month. The numbers are a little higher if you’ve had a baby. They are lower if you are older. Many people are surprised by this number, but it’s been studied again and again. The goal of fertility treatment is to increase the 3%.
Clomid with insemination is 8%, lower if you are older. FSH IUI is 20%, but only 5% in women over 40. Future writings will discuss these drugs separately. Subtract a few points without the IUI. Subtract points for low sperm counts.
To help answer the question about when to go to IVF, just look at the numbers and decide. Cost is another factor to consider. On one hand, Clomid IUI is a lot cheaper than IVF, but on the other, the cost of 3 cycles of monitored Clomid IUI can add up. Many women with a normal HSG and good sperm do a few cycles of Clomid IUI, then a few cycles of FSH IUI, then IVF. However, there are no rules about this. After hearing the odds, especially when accounting for age, some quickly go to IVF. I'll discuss IVF pregnancy rates later.

Monday, May 14, 2007

My Strong Baby...

My sweet husband was working on this... (the shed he's been building himself!)



and he fell off. Actually, his ladder slipped. Suzanne is visiting us and we were out (at Starbucks no less). 15 minutes away. He called & immediately I heard it in his voice. I came home to a pretty pain-wracked husband and took him to the ER. Thank the Lord, it's a sprain and not a break, although the pain level could have fooled us! It was his right ankle, his left was broken with many torn ligaments back in October 2003 and took months to heal. I was praying this would not be the case. The Lord was gracious to us. We spent 3-4 hours in the ER and then I got to take J home to rest while I got his pain medication perscription. Suzanne & I picked it up with some pizza and we let him rest. He takes pain very well, although it's hard to hide it from me. I hated watching him writhe and try to control his breathing as the pain worsened and then lessened. Thank God it wasn't anything more serious and he actually could call me. I am so glad he's ok.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Called 911 Again....

Yep, I got to make another call to 911 (the last time was in October to get an ambulance). This time I made it while I was in Wal-Mart. Because....

My wallet was stolen. Right behind my back. I didn't actually see it happen, but I was about 5 seconds too late. Here's my story:

Jonathan had a night-flight. He had one Monday and I stayed home to get some post-trip good laundry, cleaning, etc done. I usually go to the grocery during the day, while he's at work. This of course cuts into my work hours turned in, but I either just work more those evenings, or take the loss. Not a big deal. However, since he had a night flight again, and our fridge was bare, I decided to do my grocery shopping Wednesday night. I was going to get it done at the Commissary on base, then drop by Target for something, and then get a Starbucks on the way home. Because Warner Robins just got their very own Starbucks. No more 30 minute drives into Macon to get one.

J & I both left the house about 7:30 and I arrived at the Commissary only to learn they close at 8. I got a few things and checked out. Decided Wal-Mart was my next best option (it's straight across from Sbux). Went in and proceeded to get about 10 items. I was in the snack aisle (Aisle 10) and had my purse (closed or semi open? not sure, it's a foldover) in the top of the basket. I was faced away from it scrutinizing the Rice Cakes. I'm alone in the aisle, when two guys passed behind me a little too close to my cart for comfort. I looked into my now fully-open purse to see NO WALLET. I see one of them stick something in his pockets. I grabbed my purse up and went after them. "Did you take my wallet?" I question. The hurry away and I tell them, "Please, if you took my wallet just give it to me and I won't report you." At this point, they split up and hurry away, telling me I'm imagining things. I cry out (loud but not screaming), "Help me! These guys took my wallet." A young man that appaered to have military bearings to me looked at me & asked if they took my wallet. He helped me follow them and confronted them. He is the true Good Samaritan. He didn't have to. He had a pretty little wife with him and could have been concerned for his & her safety. But he was righteous. Other men heard me and saw what was happening, and just watched or turned away. So many people just letting evil happen, standing by doing nothing to soil their hands. Thanks God for One. Meanwhile, I'm following Guy #1 and I call 911. I quickly got through & explained the situation. Security wasn't around, but I got to the front of the store and told a cashier. Workers (ladies, really) immediately got around me and confronted the guy. Guy #2 was missing. Guy #1 was cursing and slapping his pants saying "Look in my pockets! This lady says I took her wallet. *#&*$#*" But innocent people don't run. They don't split up. They avoid the appearance of evil. They're not uber-defensive.

The police eventually got there, met up with both guys, got their stories, searched them & their car (more guys appeared now, not sure from where), & got my story. They said they'd look at the security camera, especially since I knew the location and time (2037, according to my 911 call, which was seconds after) The Wal-Mart employees and manager were SO VERY nice. They kept someone with me, talked to me, gave me a hug, and apologized a lot that this happened in their store. I can't commend them enough. Without a wallet, the police can't make an arrest. I told the officer I understood and I'd rather a guilty man go free than an innocent man be punished. I mean that. I was a little shaken up and J completely unreachable, so I called Daddy. He was so kind and sweet and reassuring. He told me what to expect. And the Good Samaritan? He came up & told what he knew to the police, and then came to check on me before he left the store! God bless that man, for doing right. Really.

The funny part about it? I don't think I even had 50 cents in the wallet! No cash, zippo! I canceled all the credit cards and the two gift cards I had in there I got canceled too - with no fraudulent charges on them! My biggest worry was the Military ID card since it contained both J & my SSN's on it. I will not be keeping that in my wallet anymore. I got it replaced, and a Fraud Alert set for our SSN's. Hopefully that will help.

I was scared I was being followed when I drove home (not because it actually looked like it, it was an unfounded fear because I was alone). I was not mad I was stolen from (especially since I didn't "lose" much of value, especially to them). We've had our ipod, Starbucks coupons, game cam, J's hunting blind, etc stolen from us (by movers & construction workers). People steal, the world is fallen. We weren't a specific target, it just happened. I was mad my husband was gone yet again for a tramautic event for me. Of course, had he been there, I doubt I'd have been the victim. Dealing with my feelings hasn't been easy - but I do have to recognize didn't God orchestrate it all? This didn't happen apart from His Sovereignty. Maybe he has all these things happen so I can learn, but also so J and I can work on our communication and relating to one another. I know I can grow.

Anyway, by this morning all's well and my Driver's Licence is all I have to get taken care of. I may be stolen from in the future, but it won't be the same way as this. I hope I've learned something.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

House Pics!

So I've been promising pictures of our new home for a long time. :) I will get around to posting all of them, but for now I'll just do it in pieces. I'll start with the room I think is the 3rd nicest in the whole house. Believe it or not, I think my kitchen is the best. *grins* Then our wonderful bedroom. And the main guest room is the next one. I can't tell you how many hours Jonathan has put into assembling all the furniture, hanging lights, pictures, curtains, blinds, and shelves. He did it all excellently and joyfully. I am so thankful for a husband that gives his time and efforts so happily for me. Thank you Baby!!! (He reads my blog, so I know he'll see this.)

Look at these pictures carefully because if you come, you'll get this special room. It's in a corner of the house all to itself, too! (We've never painted this room, btw, in case you thought I'd pick those colors - I wouldn't but they're still nice/fine!) I don't think the pictures even do it justice, because I think it's even prettier when you actually walk into the room. I love my asian theme!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Trip Pics!

Well, we got home late last night! It was 1:30 by the time we were in bed, that drive home was looooooong. Especially since we stopped at a Starbucks in Talahassee at 10:00 and it was bolted up tight! We survived by taking turns getting a few winks and then switching drivers. Next time we'll plan a bit better maybe. :) It's nice to know the beach is so close, Jonathan said we'll definitely be visiting more this summer. Yeah!

We had such a great time and really enjoyed ourselves! David & Rebecca are the best people to vacation with - it was so sad leaving them. I really praise the Lord for their realtionship with us. Their little girl was sooooo cute! We played with her a lot on the beach, in the cabin, wherever. She loved the water, waves, sand. When waves would hit her in the face (& get salt water in her mouth) she would laugh and clap for it to do it again! Is she a sport or what?!?!

I got a total of TWO pictures of Jonathan & me together. Pathetic. I'm not happy about that. I guess I was too busy, we really did spend a bunch of time on the beach and who wants to get their cam sandy? I took tons of pics of Elizabeth, though. :)

And here's a lovely picture of Glenn & Anna. They are such a perfect couple! I didn't know what to expect, but Glenn is a barrell of fun! He's such a great compliment to Anna. It was thrilling to see her healthy, vibrant, and energetic! What a blessing her healing from cancer is to her, and everyone around her. She has such a strong spirit and grounding in Christ. We will definitely be seeing them again!


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Vacation!

Guess where we're headed for the weekend??? Sunny, beautiful, warm, tropical Florida!!! White sandy beaches, clear blue water! I cannot wait for tomorrow morning!!!!

We get to spend our time with David & Rebecca & little Elizabeth! If I could pick anyone to hang out with right now, it would be Rebecca. She's so understanding and sympathetic, yet so genuine and will confront in love. She's wise and funny, generous and sensitive. I'm blessed to have her as a friend. Not to mention, her tastes suit mine to a T (except in coffee, but that's ok!)!

Tonight, my dear friend for 8 years - Anna - (and her husband Glenn) will be visiting us for a quick stay! We've never met each other's husbands so this will be great! She was diagnosed with cancer twice by the time she was 21 and the Lord has healed her both times. She walked through it with faith and hope, trusting what the Lord would do. People from all over were always offering advise about what she was doing wrong, or new "cures" (medical & spiritual), yet she held a gracious spirit. She produced an evangelical tract "Answer for Cancer" that's been distributed by the 1000's and translated into Spanish and Romanian. She turned her cancer into a witnessing opportunity! I'm so glad to have her, even for a few hours! (BTW, the pic's when we were 18 & yes we bought matching dresses!)