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twenty-eight years

Last weekend I celebrated 28 years of life.

The husband worked so hard all week to put together the best birthday party ever.  It was themed. And there were drinks.  And an incredible spread of food.

And of course….the best cupcakes in town.

There was homemade lemonade and non-alcoholic sangria.

And best of all?  All the people I love most in the world.


And when everyone was full of tacos and salsa, we played games.

Of course there were gifts (which were perfect), despite the “don’t bring gifts, just a good time” printed at the bottom of the invitation.

One of my favorite students, Blue, and favorite co-workers, Shelly, stopped by to visit.

Earlier in the day, Blue cooked an amazing spread of Arabic food for my family to enjoy.  He made everything from some potato pastries (that’s what I call them anyway:) to kabobs, to fruit salad, pudding and cake.  It really was incredible.  International students are awesome.

Falling three days after my actual birthday, it was such a perfect way to celebrate a whole new year of life.

Last year at this time, I made a list of 27 things that I wanted to accomplish in my 27th year.  Some of them I did succeed at, and some of them I didn’t.  This year of life showed me that sometimes our best thought out plans are not quite as great as we imagine them to be.

So, it turns out that I didn’t quite get 20 books read, didn’t get our car paid off, have yet to open up a CSM t-shirt shop and definitely wrote a lot less.

But, here are the unexpected things I did do: started trying to have a baby and instead began my battle with infertility, had surgery for said infertility, became a certified yoga instructor, tutored the sweetest students in the world, said goodbye to our sweet little house and our college town, lived with my mom and step-dad for four months, moved to Oklahoma City, supported the husband in accepting a new job, built a house, started a new job, became an aunt for the first time, quit the new job and then started another new job (more on this to come!).

Needless to say, aside from our year spent living in Thailand, this has definitely been our craziest year yet.  And even though we’ve faced some of the most trying challenges of our lives, we have grown so much.  Number one on my list was “fall more in love with my Savior.”  I have to be honest and say that for while the opposite was happening.  At times my anger and confusion over infertility gave way to questioning and stepping away from God like a small, defiant child.

And while I still have many questions, and I still don’t understand everything I want to understand about God, I’ve come to one conclusion.  And that is despite whatever happens in life – whether good or bad – He is there.

For the entire first 26 years of my life, I took what I’d been told about God and I counted it as absolute truth.  I never questioned it.  I never really thought much about it on my own.  And for the first time this year, I’ve questioned God.  I’ve doubted Him.  And while I wish I could say that my faith has been perfect, I have deepened my relationship with Him far beyond what I imagined before.  I’ve come to the realization that I would much rather question Him, than never be challenged enough or think deeply about Him at all.

I can not even begin to imagine what this next year will hold for me.  My prayer is that our family of two will become a family of three.  We will be able to continue pursuing our dream of launching our own business. I’ll be able to love my job.  And we’ll continue building and deepening relationships.  But I’m holding onto those things very loosely, with an open fist, keeping in mind that He is in control.  And remembering to not count too much on the plans that I lay out for myself.

Here’s to another year.

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a lovely breakfast

Thank you all so much for the sweet responses to my post from Monday.  I couldn’t have asked for more encouragement and understanding than what you all showed me.  It was a difficult post to write, but once I put it out there I felt immense relief.  It felt really good to be open about everything, and your words brightened my spirit.

On Monday afternoon I had another doctor’s appointment, and the news was not what I wanted to hear.  For certain reasons, my doctor feels it’s best to hold off from doing another treatment this month and instead give my body a month to rest.  It’s hard to feel like I’m just sitting back, making no progress.  But I trust my doctor one hundred percent, so I’m trying to just distract myself and not dwell on it.  One thing I’ve learned more times than I would have liked is that it is not a good idea to put timelines on this process.  I get ideas in my head about when I want things to happen by, and so far I’ve been let down every time.  I’m working on letting go of any plan I have and just focusing on other things in life instead.  Easier said than done, right?

In other news, I’ve been trying out some awesome vegan recipes as of late.  My new kitchen was calling my name from the second we moved in, and I have seriously been in heaven since I started cooking again!

One of my favorites from the last couple of weeks is one I snagged from Vegan with a Vengeance.  I’m telling you – if you don’t have this cookbook yet, you must pick up a copy.  Everything single recipe I have made from it has been awesome (see here, here and here)…and this was no different.

The husband and I woke up late last Saturday morning…okay, he woke up late, and I woke up even later.  And when I dragged myself into the kitchen, he had all the ingredients laid out for a lovely little breakfast of pumpkin waffles.  After some intense discussion, we decided to nix the waffles and try out this scone recipe from VwaV.

He made chocolate chip.

And I went with blueberry (his were better).

But they were both delicious.  I think I ate about 4 scones in the following 12 hours.

A lovely Saturday indeed:)

I hope you all have had a great week, and are looking forward to an even better weekend.

What is your favorite cookbook – vegan or non-vegan?

Mine is a tie between VwaV and Eat Drink and Be Vegan.  Couldn’t live without those two!

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here i am

This weekend, for the fourteenth time, my heart felt as if it was broken into a million tiny pieces.

For the fourteenth time, I found out that once again, I will not become a mom this month.

Over the past several months, things have been pretty quiet around here.  I found out the hard way that when something difficult is going on in your life that you’re not quite ready to tell the world about, putting your everyday life out there becomes pretty tough.

Infertility.

A word that used to seem distantly scary…something that only happened to other people…has somehow become a constant in my life.   I wake up to it at 5:30am every morning, thermometer in hand, and every night when I go to sleep it’s by my side.  It tortures me in the most random moments of my day, reminding me that there’s something not quite right with me and leaving me in it’s dust wondering – am I worthy?

Every month is another identical path:  I attempt to walk the fine line between protecting myself from disappointment and staying positive and hopeful until the truth arrives.  Then, like the opening of a dam, all the positivity I had built up gives way as sadness, hurt and disappointment wash over me.  Back to square one.  Let’s do it all over again.

For many months I was so angry.  Angry at myself.  At God.  At the world.  But God is changing me.  In this fallen world, there is so much sadness, hurt and disappointment, but He walks with us through it all.  He calls us to praise him.  Whether in the happiest times of our lives or the darkest days, He is there.  And He deserves our praise.  And I am finally beginning to see His work in my life through this situation.  It has taken a long time, and my faith has at times been hanging on by a thread.  But He never leaves me.

I’ve come to a place where I can feel the tears soaking the sheets and grieve over what could have been – what I prayed would have been – but in the same breath thank Him that He loves me.  And thank Him that He has saved me.  Among so many other things.

For a long time I didn’t want to tell anyone about this.  I’m not sure why I wanted to keep it private….truly, I don’t have a reason.  Maybe I was afraid of what people would think.  Maybe it just seemed too personal.  But over the last several weeks, I’ve found so many reasons why I want to talk about it here.

First, I need to.  I need an outlet for the anxiety, doubt, guilt, fear…all the emotions that I filter through each month.  And as always, like a knight on a white horse, writing comes to my rescue.  Somehow writing and then stashing it on my hard drive just doesn’t feel the same as putting it out there to be read by real people.  Which brings me to reason number two.

Community.  I’ve said a million times that this community has been such a blessing to me.  When I read a blog post from someone who is dealing with the same things I am, there is a connection that somehow helps ease the pain.  It reminds me that I’m not alone.  It helps me feel a little less crazy.  If I can connect with other people though this and offer to someone else even a small escape from the loneliness, then it’s worth it.

Third…I want people to know my heart.  I want to have a child so badly.  I feel it as a deep ache all the way into the depths of my heart.  Every. Single. Day.  But on the outside no one would ever know.   I want to be a transparent person.  Someone who is open, who people feel as if they really know.

So, here I am.

I’m scared in so many ways.  I’m scared of who all is going to read this and what they will think.  But I’ve come to the point where this infertility is too much a part of my life, and I find too much joy in sharing my life through this blog to let it keep me away.

ChiaSeedMe is not going to become an infertility blog.  While my journey to having a baby is a part of who I am, so are all the things I’ve always loved – healthy living, food, fitness, photography and all the little things in life.  I will always write about those things.  But I need to write about this too.  I understand if some of you are completely uninterested – please feel free to just skip the posts about this topic if you’d like.  But I’m ready to include all aspects of my life in this little blog now.  And I hope you’ll all stick around.

So here’s to being real.  And here’s to fighting every battle in life with an open heart and trust in Him.  Seeking out the good in everything that life brings and letting the hurts soak through us, feeling them, and keeping on going.

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