Saturday, August 30, 2008

Reducing Stress

Sorry - I've been a lazy blogger the past couple of times, just doing a cut & paste, but I got this email forward from my mom & I thought it was a good reminder to all of us...especially the teachers just starting out their school years!

Christian Ways to Reduce Stress...

1. Pray

2. Go to bed on time.

3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.

4. Say No to projects that won't fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.

5. Delegate tasks to capable others.

6. Simplify and unclutter your life.

7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)

8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.

9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together.

10. Take one day at a time.

11. Separate worries from concerns . If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety . If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.

12. Live within your budget; don't use credit cards for ordinary purchases.

13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.

14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.

15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.

16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.

17. Get enough rest.

18. Eat right.

19 Get organized so everything has its place.

20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.

21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.

22. Every day, find time to be alone.

23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait until it's time to go to bed to try and pray.

24. Make friends with Godly people.

25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.

26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good "Thank you Jesus ."

27. Laugh.

28. Laugh some more!

29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.

30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).

31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).

32. Sit on your ego.

33 . Talk less; listen more.

34. Slow down.

35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.

36 . Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before. GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Perhaps it could be that maybe, just maybe God is trying to tell me something. This came in my email today via Joel & Victoria Osteen's daily devotional...

Without Wavering

Today's Scripture

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23 NKJ).

Today's Word from Joel and Victoria

God knew there would be times when we would be tempted to waver in our confession of hope. Maybe you are believing for something and you’re starting to think, “Is this really for me? Will this really ever happen?” If that’s you today, remember, He who promised is faithful! And His faithfulness doesn’t depend on your ability to figure it all out. His faithfulness doesn’t depend on the plans we can make or the scenarios we can come up with; He’s faithfulness depends on His Word which never changes! Declare His Word and hold on to your confession of hope today. Be confident that God can make a way when there seems to be no way. Even when your mind may waver, don’t allow your confession to waver. Declare that God is working behind the scenes on your behalf. Declare that He Who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it. Remember, there is power in your words and power when your words are in agreement with His Word. As you hold on to your confession of hope, you’ll see His faithfulness, and you’ll move forward into victory in every area of your life.

A Prayer for Today

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness. I choose to guard my confession, and I will declare hope in Your Word. I trust that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf and thank You for victory in every area of my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The peaks and the valleys

As I'm sure I've said a million times on here before, this infertility walk, like all things in life, definitely comes with its share of highs and lows. Obviously, the lows are both more frequent and more prominent, and today seems like one of those days.

I'd been doing so well, what with all the distractions of the house and the impending start of school - I didn't really have much time to think about infertility, babies, barrenness, etc. Even the passing of our miscarriage anniversary wasn't as hugely monumental and emotional as I had thought it would be (speaking in relative terms, anyway). But then, for some reason, life just starts punching you and reminding you of those old, unhealed bruises...and you're once again made aware of how brutal this reality is. This weekend, reality hit me again...hard.

First, on Friday, I get an email from a longtime (since elementary school) friend whom I haven't heard from since Christmas or so. I had been trying to send her emails for a while now, but she had gotten her address changed. Finally, I received something from her in the mail this week, which had been sent to our old address & forwarded to where we are now. It had her new email address on it, so I wrote to see how she was. She had told me last time I had talked to her that they were trying for #2...and now apparently they're still trying and have found out just how much of a miracle baby #1 was. Apparently, her DH has a prostate infection (which is now being treated) and she isn't ovulating, so they're off to the clomid route very shortly.

And this is where the old (back in the day) Teri meets the new (bitter, cynical, infertile) Teri. Part of me wants to hug and kiss this dear, sweet girl because I, too, know the heartache that she's feeling. To try and try and try to do what is supposedly so natural, but to no avail. And she is, after all, a dear friend. But then, there's the other part of me. The part of me that just thinks about me...about how she's got a beautiful almost 3-year-old to love, cuddle, nurture and mother...and distract her from what would otherwise be a horribly painful reality. And I hear her say things to me like, "It is so hard to accept, but I am seeing more and more that there really is a reason for everything and that it will all happen in HIS time! He continues to try and teach me patience... maybe someday I will learn!" and "I think X delayed telling me that she was pregnant for fear of hurting my feelings. Nonsense... I am happy for them and have FINALLY accepted that I will feel that joy someday... it just isn't our turn right now." and I realize that even secondary infertility can't make her understand my pain, my hurt, my reality of knowing that I may never, ever, have my own flesh and blood; our flesh and blood. Because she HAS already experienced that joy that she's talking about feeling "someday". Yes, I'm envious, selfish and broken. So sue me.

Then, today, I get a voice mail on my cell from my best friend whom I haven't talked to in months. I haven't called back yet, but after using my best CSI skills, I have put two and two together: "We have lots of new, exciting news to share with you!" + about a million "congrats" on her facebook + her telling me last year that they would probably start TTC around this time a year from now = they're pregnant. I haven't gotten up the nerve to call her back yet. How do I get her to understand that even though I'll sound devastated, and I'll have to bite my lip and swallow back the tears, but still I'll truly be happy for her. I mean, I don't expect her to continue being married to her wonderful husband and not want the same things that most other human beings be able to nurture and see a reflection of your love staring you back in the face...but at the same time, it hurts. It sucks. It's not fair. And I covet what she has...what seems to come so easily to everyone but me.

Yes, my friends...this is definitely one of those valleys...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Two posts in one day...I can hardly contain myself

I don't really have anything new to write, but I haven't posted a house update in a little while, so I wanted to show you the amazing progression...
*We've heard great things about the builders, so we're not worried about the speed at which the house is going up. Apparently, things have been pretty slow w/ the housing market right now, so they've got a lot of workers working on our house!

August 6th...

August 8th...

August 15th...

August 19th...

August 21st...

Let the craziness begin

Last night marked the unofficial beginning of my school year...Meet-the-Teacher night. Overall, it went pretty well & definitely much better than last year* (see below). I'm pretty nervous about teaching the 3 year olds, since it is a new age group for me, but the kids I met were very outgoing and friendly, so at least I won't have to worry about wrestling them out of their cars on the first day.

Two of the little boys (twins) actually gave me hugs as soon as they met me...they're sweet little buggers & full of energy, and for that reason, I think they'll be my biggest challenges, as well. Despite the fact that the handbook clearly states that children must be 3 years old and potty trained before coming to preschool, the twins' mom told me that one of them really just starting to get the hang of using the potty and wondered if I would be able to give him M&Ms after each time he successfully uses the bathroom, because he really responds well to that. In my most tactful and professional teacher-talk, I tried to nip that one in the bud before it began. First of all, I am not a babysitter or a toddler-room daycare worker. My job is solely to mold and shape these kids and give them the academic and social experiences that I think they need to be successful. Secondly, I have a child with a severe peanut allergy in the class, so M&Ms are not allowed, as we have a peanut-free classroom (and M&Ms contain traces of nuts due to the machinery they're processed on). And thirdly, what would the other kids think? They'll all do a great job at "going potty" but M's the only one that gets rewarded? Noooooo....I basically told the mom that I definitely understand her predicament and support her in what she's trying to accomplish, but there is just no way that I can carry out that type of reward system in my room. I also added that we're often so busy in the classroom that by the time we get around to going to the bathroom, the kids just go without thinking about biggest worry there is that since he's obviously just barely potty trained, he'll need to go at the most inopportune times. I don't have a bathroom in my classroom, so group potty breaks are a must, at least until I can get a good bathroom buddy system worked out, since it isn't just right outside our classroom either.

In the end, I told the mom that I would keep an eye on the situation and I would stay in contact with her if I thought that some kind of plan was in order. If he's easily motivated by things other than food, then there will be no issue, since I often rewarded my 4-year-olds with stickers after bathroom breaks for "making good choices" in the bathroom. Stickers I can do, candy I cannot.

In other exciting news, two of the parents of my students also approached me throughout the night to tell me that they knew where Clearfield (my alma mater) was. I was extremely surprised (and curious), since next-to-noone from this part of the state has even heard of it, despite the fact that there's an entire county named after it. One of the dads went to the Lock Haven branch campus located there and another dad goes hunting and fishing in Clearfield County, right at the sportsmen's club near my parents' house! It's a small, small world....

*For those of you that don't know, last year's Meet-the-Teacher was the day after my miscarriage (so I was already an emotional mess) and then I had crazy parents (ok really just one) complaining to me about my snack policy, which is that the kids each bring in their own snack daily, even though her child has severe food allergies. She was upset because the kids really looked forward to the surprise of what their friends would bring in for snack each know, because snack is such a HUGE part of our day...a whopping 10-15 minutes... So, instead of going along with what I wanted to do, she proceeded to take charge of my meeting to open the floor for a vote as to what the other parents wanted to do...nevermind the fact that I had already made that decision and had it approved by my director. So then, she proceeded to report back to my director saying something about me being too rigid to teach preschool...and I cried like a baby all night....

And finally, some pictures of my room...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Today is Angel-Day

Today is the day when I sadly look back to one year ago; both the happiest and saddest day of our life as husband and wife. We had just gone through the emotional roller-coaster of having our first attempt at IVF canceled and converted into an IUI. Imagine our complete and utter surprise when two weeks later, we got a call from the doctor's office telling us that we were pregnant! G wasn't home at the time (he was at his school working in his classroom), so I called him immediately to tell him the news. I was ecstatic!

The day was a whirlwind of emotions. First, elation, joy and relief. Yes, we were finally going to be parents.

Then, worry, panic and devastation came several hours later when I started bleeding. I knew it was over. Even though I had to go through bloodwork every three days for the next week and a half until my beta level went down below two before they would officially confirm that I had miscarried, I knew it was too good to be true from the start.

So for a few short hours, one year ago, I lived the dream of being a Mommy. Right now, I should be holding my four-month-old little-one in my arms. Instead, my angel is in heaven with God. Please take care of our angel, Lord. Let him/her know how much we loved them - even if only for the blink of an eye. You are missed, Angel are missed.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why I am officially not a "dog person"

I've never really been a fan of dogs. Ever since I was young (and tiny), there was always something about dogs (especially the jumpy ones) that made me uneasy. Seriously. As a kid, just the sight of a large-ish sized dog would send sheer terror through my body. And when you're terrified, what do you naturally do? You run away from said source of terror. Unfortunately, dogs don't get the whole terrified-I'm-scared-of-you-leave-me-alone they chase after you thinking it's a fun game when, in reality, I feel like I'm being chased by a pack of rabid wolves. Dog lovers...I mean no disrespect., the (IL's) dogs woke me up with five minutes of uncontrollable barking this morning over NOTHING...seriously...nothing. I think there were two leaves blowing around in the driveway so it was decided that Teri needed to know about it, just in case they were harboring some deadly spores that were going to break the door in and kill me...thanks. Or maybe it was just that they wanted me to know they were mad at me because I was still sleeping at (gasp!) 7:30 in the morning, so they chewed up tampons (clean, thank goodness) and shredded them all over the hallway. And this, my friends, is why we don't have dogs of our own.

So, after TRYING to go back to sleep and finding no success, I got up and made myself some tea. I watched a little TV & talked to Mom, then I worked out (3x this week - go me!), & had some lunch. Then, I had the *bright* idea of taking the crazy dogs for a walk down to the end of the driveway to get the mail. I figured with two leashes, we should be in the clear...let me explain why this was a bad idea and why I need to start thinking things through a little more:
1. Taylor weighs about 100-some pounds and is as strong as an ox (cross between a Golden & a Poodle)
2. Both dogs are obsessed with chasing groundhogs which are, coincidentally, always hanging out somewhere in the vicinity of the driveway...keep in mind that I'm only 100 pounds, so picture me fighting with these leashes every time we heard the slightest movement in the bushes, which incidentally, was about every 2.97 seconds.
3. Obviously my short-term memory is not the best...if it were, I would have remembered that G's parents get unusually large amounts of mail. Besides the standard bills and junk envelopes, they average about 7 catalogs per day. Add onto that two magazines, two weekly newspapers (ours is being delivered here now, as well), plus the daily newspaper and two boxes of freebies that I received and you've got some pretty full arms...and let's not forget those two dog leashes I'm holding onto!

Note to self: no more hair-brained dog-walking schemes for me!

And this, my friends, is why we own a cat.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bloggy Carnival bracelet

As promised, I have to post and RAVE about the awesome prize/gift I won in the most recent Bloggy Carnival Giveaway from MJennings Designs via JoJo's Place. When I originally found out that I had won, I assumed that this would be a random (but of course, still beautiful) bracelet from Melissa's collection...boy was I wrong! WAY WRONG!

Initially, Joanna (of JoJo's Place) emailed me, asking what word/name I would like to be written on the bracelet. Not really thinking too hard (I mean, I am a teacher and it is summer, after all - who wants to think in the summer?? *smile*), I simply replied back asking that my name be put on the bracelet. After the message was forwarded to Melissa, I got a super-quick reply back...and this is where things get exciting (and almost somewhat divine)...Melissa just happens to be a fellow-infertile like me, who has now gone on to become the mommy of Peyton, a sweet, little boy from Guatemala. She did her research on my blog and suggested that we take a bit different approach to the bracelet and use the theme of hope instead! She sure hit that nail on the head, because I can definitely use a little of that these days!

So after numerous emails back and forth, I suggested using a reddish colored bead for the accent since pomegranates (maroon-colored) are an ancient symbol of fertility and therefore the unofficial color of infertility. You will see a button to the right on my blog page showing "infertility's common thread" - many infertile women can be seen sporting oh-so-lovely strands of pomegranate-colored embroidery floss around their wrists, sort of as the tie that binds all of us together. This is not to be confused with a red kabbalah string, which I suppose looks similar.

Now, instead of a thread, I wear this beauty around my wrist:

Isn't it amazing and gorgeous? I hope that you'll take a few minutes to browse through Melissa's collection and support her wonderful artistry! She's been a pleasure to work with and you will not be disappointed in the end result!

PS - you can read Melissa's blog about my bracelet here!

Monday, August 11, 2008

I've been tagged!

I've recently been tagged by two of my blogging buddies, so now I'm passing the tags onto you!

I've been tagged by the beautiful Kristen, a fellow infertile, and her blog is I Would Diet for That.

Here are the tag rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you (i.e. me)
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write 6 random things about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger (me) know when your entry is posted.

So, my challenge is to share six random things about myself. I am kind of an open book, so we'll see...

1) I have strange when people leave their cars parked at the pump while they go inside to buy something at the gas station, or when people leave their grocery carts in the middle of the parking lot (or right BESIDE the cart-corral). These drive me CRAZY!

2) I love food and hate to work's a horrible combination which I am sure will be the death of me in another 2 years when I hit 30 and my metabolism slows down...the good news is that I do choose to eat healthfully most of the time, so my occasional downfalls don't majorly do me in.

3) My porn star name is Frisky 879 - yeah baby! In case you don't know how to figure out your porn star name, you take the name of your first pet and then the name of your street growing up. Nothing beats my hubby's, though... Muffy Mack!

4) I was a cheerleader in high school - this may seem like a shock to those of you who knew me later in life, since I'm extremely shy and not a socialite at all, but I absolutely LOVED my years as a cheerleader (minus the drama, cattiness, and tears, but that's a different post for a different time). I loved being in the spot light and trying to get the crowd energized! It was so invigorating!

5) I am a major home-body and would stay home all day if I could. I love to scrapbook, cook and play around on my computer, so sometimes it's tough to get me out of the house!

6) I will steal this one from Kristen and talk about what my life would be like if I had stuck with my first major. When I started college, I majored in physical therapy. I always thought it seemed really neat and that is what I wanted to be ever since I was in the 4th grade. I had my mind made up that I was going to be a play therapist for kids. But then, my first semester of college, I had a class in the education building and I was sucked in by the finger-paintings on the wall and the smell of play-doh in the air...and I know now that I made the right choice, even if I don't want to teach for the rest of my life...and if I hadn't switched to teaching, I wouldn't have transferred schools and met my hubby, so it all worked out for the best!

I'm not going to tag anyone because I know you're busy, so do this if you have time & comment to let me know so I can read yours, too!

Also, Ter, from With an Angel on my Shoulder, has given me this award! I am honored!

Thank you so much! :)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

So much to talk about...

Ok everyone, let's welcome in the month of August! Yay! Everyone's favorite super-hot month where all the kiddos (and teachers, ugh) go back to school and life returns to (somewhat) normal! I've been busy getting my classroom ready and I think it looks pretty good. Maybe I'll post some pics soon.

The month has started out pretty well. We got an email from the building coordinator at our new community last week with a picture of our "home."I know, I know - it could use a little work, but don't you think the dirt floors give it that rustic charm? Yep, I thought so, too.

But seriously, that's our hole in the ground and we're really excited! When we drove through last week, I practically squealed with excitement as we drove through the development and everyone waved and said hello to us...we've never had that before and since we're both kind of hermit-like, we need socialites around us to keep us from only keeping to ourselves and shutting out the world. We drove by yesterday and they were putting the footers in (whatever that means), so it's progress, progress!

In other exciting news, I won three prizes in the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival and I couldn't be happier. The first is a book from Tara at Tara's View on Books, a coupon for a free box of cereal from Michelle at Big Blueberry Eyes, and a bracelet from Melissa at MJennings Designs through Joanna at JoJo's World. I am very excited about all of these wins, but most especially the bracelet. Expect a blog post on the wonderful bracelet once I receive it - it's VERY exciting and Melissa has been so great to work with!

And finally, I'm not sure where my mind is going with all of this baby stuff right now, but I really just feel like something has changed in my heart over the past week. I finally realized that I'm just sick of waiting for a baby and not being able to do something about it. So, come January, we're talking about starting the adoption process. I know that things can take a very long time, but I'm hopeful that maybe in 2009, I will be a mommy...please keep us in your prayers. I know there's still that huge part inside of me that feels like I'm giving up on my dream to hold my baby in my belly and actually bear a child, and I don't really think that that dream can ever really go away, but the hopeful side of me keeps saying that maybe being able to nurture will somehow dull the pain and sting that infertility has given us and help us to move on...I'm crying as I'm typing this because I know that it's going to take a long time to convince my heart and my head that I'll never be a mommy the way that I want to be...and that my feelings of injustice will never go away...but being a mommy to someone is more important to me than my own pride, so we'll see where this journey leads us. Undoubtedly, no matter how you look at it, more pain and hurt are on the way, but hopefully this road leads us to the end of the tunnel and not another dead-end.