. . . for Lauren and Lauren

April 26, 2015

New hair, a $20 outfit and other recent deals

top: loft    jeans: gap   flats: kohls

During our girls day last weekend I found this top on final clearance at the Loft for only $4.88.  I love it!  And I got these pants at the Gap for $15.  They feel just like leggings, are super stretchy and comfy, but look just like jeans.  Hence the name jeggings, right?

I got my hair done last week and I was a little nervous because I was going to go darker, and last time when I was pregnant and had darker hair I didn't love it.  I'd love to always have blonde hair but despite expensive shampoo, a shower filter and water softener by hair keeps turning orangy/coopery in the back and I am giving up for now!  But I ended up loving this new color.

Also this top is a recent purchase from Jane.com and I love it.  It's really soft and with shipping was under $15.  I wish I could remember what boutique this necklace was from but it was on clearance for $7 and had free shipping which is always appealing to me! 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  We're still fighting some sickness over here and are ready to be healthy.  Especially because our friends Liz and Emma will be here tomorrow!!

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April 23, 2015

National Infertility Week

This week is National Infertility week.  I've written plenty of posts about our journey with infertility, but have never officially brought attention to this week in particular.  I've seen many bloggers share their stories this week and I feel proud of each one of them for sharing something so intimate.  I think it allows others to not feel so alone, and lets those feelings feel a little more "normal" when the whole process feels so not normal. There are so many emotions when it comes to such a personal thing.  

Last week I shared about our thoughts on trying for baby number two, and I think I've gotten over the fear of sharing those personal details, and have felt freedom and healing by having an outlet to process my thoughts.  And a huge blessing that I've received prayers and encouragement.  I don't think I've ever felt more loved and prayed for then when we were going through all of our treatments and waiting.  

In honor of National Infertility week I figured I'd share one of my older posts.  I can't read this or look at these pictures without getting teary.  Part of me feels so far removed from this experience and part of me still feels how hard and painful it was.  I think God allows that so we can heal from it, but also so we can remember what He's brought us through.  I know there are so many women who have been or are in this place.  And so many who have it been battling it far longer than Chris and I did.  So to those woman I think you're amazing.  I think you're strong and doing such a hard thing.  Fighting for your baby and daily longing to hold him or her in your arms.  And to know that you are not alone.  

Here's some words I wrote awhile ago about our story . . . 

The fact that I am writing this story, reflecting on our journey through infertility, seems surreal to me.  There are many days that I still can't believe that I have a baby growing inside of me, which is something that I truly feared would never happen.

There is a part of me that wants to count the amount of doctor's appointments, shots, patches, medicine, tears, phone calls, ultrasounds, and tests I've had to get me to this point.

There is another part of me that wants to forget that all happened, as it was so hard and painful. 

But I don't think that it is one or the other. 

The journey we went on to get to this point has shaped me into a different person.  A person with more sympathy and wisdom, a person with a closer relationship with God and a better understanding of giving up our own plans.  But it has also made me more broken, cautious and guarded than I was before. 

All these things though, I know will make me a better mother, wife, and friend and I am thankful for that. 

Sometimes it's hard for me to think about what we had to go through to get pregnant.  There were so many times where it felt so scientific and medical.  Going to a hospital, being surrounded by doctors, monitored as if I was undergoing some abnormal procedure, when so many get to just "make a baby."  For me it involved weeks and weeks of preparation and monitoring, then laying on a hospital bed, surrounded by five men.  Far from anything romantic or personal. 

Sometimes it's hard to not feel like so much of a normal pregnancy was taken from me.  A normal way to get pregnant, to find out your pregnant, to tell your family and friends.  The journey it took to get here seemed long, hard, draining and painful.  Two years of waiting, months of hormone pills, two failed IUI's, and three rounds of IVF.  It took a huge toll on my body psychically and emotionally.

I recently found a blogger who shares about her infertility struggles and recently wrote about going into the journey of IVF with a mindset to enjoy the process.  As well as how thankful she was for medicine and doctors that would allow her to get pregnant.  I can honestly say that I am thankful for medicine and IVF and doctors, but truthfully the only thing I enjoyed about the actual process was that it eventually worked.  While thankful, there isn't anything I enjoyed about the shots, appointments, emotions and process. I am however thankful for the lessons that God taught me and the ways it strengthened my relationship with God and with my husband. 

I imagine it being compared to the training and running I did for the marathon.  As I was running it, I'd say over and over how hard it was, time consuming and draining.  And how I can't imagine doing it again.  The second I crossed the finish line, just about everything hard and painful left my mind, and I was left with this amazing feeling of accomplishment and signed up to do it again.  It all was worth it.

I certainly know that a baby is far more of an accomplishment, as well as the journey far more painful and draining to get there.  But I imagine that when I hold my baby in July, or even the times now when I hear the heartbeat or see his/her precious self on an ultrasound, the pain and hardships immediately seem every minute worth it

I think that our journey through infertility will always be a part of me, a part of our story and a part of our baby's story.  I can imagine how much each mother loves their child when they're pregnant, and I can't even image the love that will come when I met my baby.  But I feel as though I have loved this baby for two years before I knew it was here.  I prayed daily for this baby, sacrificed for this baby and thought about this baby for such a long time.

The bottom line is that God was going to give us a baby in His perfect timing.  Past our own doings, or what our doctor, medicine and science could control.

I think about my baby by the minute and couldn't be more thankful that my time is here.  However it may be that brought us to this point.

“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” -1 Samuel 1:27

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April 22, 2015

I couldn't live without . . . . online shopping

I never used to be an online shopper, and there are still things that I wouldn't buy online like jeans, unless I had the exact pair already and knew how they'd fit.  But in the last two years I find myself often buying things online, whether through deal a day sites or cheaper clothing sites, like Sheinside.  I've been given a good amount of clothes from them and I have loved each one.  Here are some of my favorites: 

These two pieces are on their way to me and I can't wait to wear them.  I've wanted an embroidered dress for awhile and think this tunic will be cute with jeans or leggings (and it's under $20).  I think this floral kimono will be super cute with the striped dress above or a striped tank top.

What are your favorite online sites? Please share! And link up what you can't live without this week! 

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April 20, 2015

Girls' Day

This last Saturday my sister, my friend Meredith and I spent the day together.  We went to a town about an hour away, left in the morning and came home after dinner (and bedtime).  It was absolutely wonderful.  We drank coffee, went shopping, walked around cute shops, drank wine, sat around, ate Mexican food, and had lots of uninterrupted conversations.  

(I found this $5 sweatshirt from the Loft and I love it!)

I'm so thankful that my sister lives here so we can do things like this, and am lucky to have these two girls as my close friends.  And am thankful for a sweet husband that's happy to spend all day with Addilyn.  What a refreshing day! 

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April 19, 2015

Looking forward to . . .

tee: kohls    pants: gap   shoes: target

Wearing these shoes often this Spring and Summer.  I realize it's probably ridiculously impractical to wear white shoes while playing outside with a toddler, so maybe I'll have to find some way to clean them well! 

My friend Liz coming a week from today!  I can't believe she's really coming to visit and can't wait to spent four days with her and Emma.  

Sharing all about this book.  I think I mentioned before that I get to be on a launch team for Jen Hatmaker's new book, For the Love.  I just finished reading it and it is so good.  I can't wait to share more about it and what I've taken away from it. 

Making this salad over and over this Summer.  I made it a week or so ago and ate it almost everyday for lunch.  I've never cooked with quinoa before but need to find more recipes for it because I loved it. 

A new week.  The last two weeks have been a little rough, with a sick or super crabby toddler, really early mornings and not the best attitude from us both.  I'm determined to make this week a better one!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and a great start to the week!

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