Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pregnancy and Infertility.

Before I begin, let me assure you that if you are pregnant or would like to be and can conceive easily, I am THRILLED for you. Pregnancy is exciting and such a blessing.

So, we are now at the point of our life where people have started asking in numbers..."are you thinking of another", "when are you having another", "do you guys want more". We are also at the point where people who had babies around the same time we had Logan are now working on #2.

I love talking about our plans to be parents. But if I talk about it, I really want to talk about it. Unfortunately, usually people don't have (or don't take) the time to have the conversation necesary to understand our situation before making judgements. And maybe they don't make judgements. Maybe I just make assumptions that they are making judgements because I'm so sensitive to it. I feel like people judge us for not having another baby or trying to become pregnant already. I feel like people think we only want one baby. Or, then there is the other side that starts out the conversation: So, planning a few years between kiddos? That's smart.

Now, how am I supposed to correct their thinking? This is a very sensitive subject to me. We are not blessed with bountiful fertility. Not yet anyway (things can always change). So its sad for me when I see someone who gets pregnant easily and "when they want it". Its like they can decide one day to get pregnant and bam...they are. As a control freak who likes to plan things, the fact that I too can't do that is sad. (a reminder: happy for others, sad for me). At the same time, there are people out there who have infertility struggles that are much worse than ours. Although technically we count as "infertile", I would say we just have fertility challenges. It is possible for us. So I feel bad about complaining and feeling bad.

Of course, this is my flesh. I know that God's plan is better than my own and that is what I desire. I am also grateful for the blessing he has given me in Logan.

Anyway, I thought I'd clear a few things up, just for the sake of doing it.

Yes, we want to have more children. No, we aren't waiting a few years. Yes, we would like to be pregnant already. No, we are not yet pregnant.

I would like to have 5 kiddos. Jason would like to have 3. We both say we'll take it one at a time and see having children as a blessing from God, and something we both desire.

We want our kids to be 15-18 months apart (me) or 18-24 months apart (J).


I am not on birth control. We do not use any form of birth control. We have not used any form of bc for over two years. I do nurse, though, and have not yet had my cycle return. We plan on nursing for a while. At least for now, that means as long as I want to and Logan wants to. I don't see us nursing much past 18 months, but I am not putting a time frame on it. And, to clear even more things up, yes, there is a chance of us becoming pregnant *wink*.

So, although we have wanted to be pregnant already for several months, it hasn't happened. We also fully realize (at least now we do) that it will probably be at least several more months before we get pregnant. Just, please know, that we are leaving it open to God at this point...its not on our schedule. So, try to avoid the "why aren't you pg yet" or "don't you want more babies?" questions. I love to talk about it, but there are positive ways to phrase things so that it doesn't stick a knife in the wound. Also, I love to share in the excitement when I hear of (insert name of friend)'s pregnancy. And I try very much not to let my pain show. But if I do (and I think I've gotten much better), please forgive me! I am extremely happy for you and DO want to hear about it.

And I leave with a positive thing about fertility least ours...I can feel free not to be on bc or have to worry about bc (at least for now), because God is naturally spacing out kiddos out within a happy range and we don't have to worry about it. There is something freeing in our marriage and family because of that. Praise God for the opportunity to learn to rely on him more.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I've been tagged...

The Rules:
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules. (**if you’re a non-blogger, you can email them!)
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I hate chocolate. Really. I do. Unless, of course, I can be a discriminating chocolate fan and only enjoy the white variety. Which, of course, sounds bad. and was probably a bad joke. So bad that I'm going to erase it... or not, because I promised I wouldn't do that. But, any kind of brown chocolate is nasty to me. Occasionally I'll tolerate it because I want whats inside (like a twix, but only in the bite size variety). Occasionally I'll take off the chocolate covering to eat what's inside (like with a reese's), and, the rest of the time, I'll avoid it like the plague.

2. I don't have very many green clothes. It's not that I don't like the color, but I tend to buy a lot of red and pink. I do have a green shirt with a bleach stain, a green t-shirt that has bert and ernie with "what's cookin" on it, and a pair of green cargo pants. I used to have another green shirt, but my sister stole it from me.

3. I am the worlds biggest clutz. I was extremely excited when I found out that there is a gene that some people are missing that makes them stop and think a millisecond before doing something. This typically prevents people from doing things like falling down the shuttle bus stairs and breaking a toe, breaking a pinky while swimming, getting hit by a boat, and ending up with over 50 stitches in their face before they are 3 years old (all of these things, by the way, are separate events that have happened to me...and I could as you can imagine, go on and on). I don't know if I'm missing that gene or not, but I'm going to pretend like I'm not. For some reason its easier to accept that I'm missing some elusive gene than to accept that I am just clumsy.

4. I LOVED giving birth and can't wait to do it again.

5. My affectionate nickname from my siblings and other close relatives was "murphbutt". Despite the obvious denotation of the nickname, it actually somehow derived from a conversation about Eddie Murphy, and I don't remember all how exactly, just that it shouldn't be taken as a literal translation.

6. I crochet but do not knit. Actually, I do try to knit but haven't been successful so far. And of course, I do not give up, so one day I will master this elusive art. But, for now, baby blankets will be of the crochet variety.

7. I am very insecure about myself. I am also very secure about myself. All at the same time. Its funny how that works. I know who I am in Christ and fear only Him. Then again, I get afraid to make a phone call to someone because I'm afraid they won't know who I am and that would embarrass me. Go figure.

8. Although we aren't there yet, the J-ster and I intend to live debt free. This will take (and has taken) some work on our part, but we are plugging away. This includes all debt, including mortgage free...if you are interested in something like this check out Dave Ramsey. He's got a lot of good info and makes it simple enough to figure out.

Ok! Your turn:

1. Amelia
2. Kathy
3. Kattie
4. Tricia
5. Stephanie
6. Mandi
7. Amanda
8. Kristen

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The results are in...

And they have been for a while, I just haven't had a chance to post.

So, for the short version. Nevermind. If I tell you the short version I think it would ruin the long version :)

So, on August 6th we had the city council meeting to discuss the issue of replacing the stop signs.

a little background...
Our city (and really, the city council) decided they were going to take down 3 stop signs on the major road through our community. They want our road to go faster so that more people will take that road rather than another, nearby neighborhood road. They claim this is safer for the community at large, since cars won't go too fast down smaller roads. As with all political issues, this one is spurred by several people, all with more or less hidden agendas. We heard about the agendas and realized we actually have an opportunity to get involved and do something about it, rather than sit back and watch as a decision is made that would cause harm to the kids that live in our neighborhood (which, by the way, is the largest development in the city).

No one I have mentioned this to seems to think this is a good idea, with the exception of the city council and two neighborhood residents. From what we could tell and from previous discussions at city council meetings, all city council members were in favor of removing the stop signs and to this point would not listen to our concerns about removing them. In this argument, we really were the underdog with no power against the big bad city council.

We needed to get the issue on the agenda by 6pm, Friday the 4th. If not, we wouldn't have the opportunity to present our position (state law), and the stop signs would be taken out on the 7th. If they were taken out, they would be much more difficult to be replaced later, at least until a kid was killed. So, we got together and slammed the city council with emails and phone calls demanding to be on the agenda on Monday.

It worked. On Friday at about 4:30pm the agenda was posted with our issue.

So, I spent the weekend agonizing over what would happen on Monday the 6th. I had a hard time sleeping (which, as you know, is highly unusual). I spent my time organizing information to present before the council. I talked a lot with neighbors and family ensuring I had their support. We walked the neighborhood getting signatures on the petition we had.

On the 6th there was first a workshop, where the city council intends to work with each other to brainstorm and gather information. then, there was the city council meeting. We were scheduled last on the agenda, which meant we would probably not get the floor until about 10pm. We urged the residents to attend both meetings and prepare for a long night.

During the workshop the city council discussed with the attorney and the city engineer about technical terms regarding who has the right to make the stop signs legal, are they currently legal, what should be done about their legality, and how safe was the road. We ran out of time before all of the questions were answered, so the rest were tabled until the city council meeting agenda.

The city council started at 7:30pm. Several agenda items were addressed before one councilman moved to move our agenda item earlier in the meeting. Thankfully, we had a good show of support in the room, standing room only, and the council voted to move the agenda item up in the agenda. Everyone had 3 minutes to speak, if they wished.

The discussion began with the HOA president presenting 386 petitions from residents to the city council. Then, if I remember correctly, one other person got up to speak. Then it was my turn. I asked the audience not to cheer or boo until I was done. I had five pages of information to get through in my 3 minutes, then I would have to give my presentation to others. So, I spoke as fast as I could while still being clear (I tend to stutter some) and passionate. When I had 1 minute left the mayor gave me a warning. I still had 3 1/2 pages left. So I tried to quickly run through the rest of my argument before my time was up. Everyone cheered for me and thanked me as I finished.

My sister came up next and I pointed to where I left off on my notes so she could hopefully continue. As I walked to sit down, I heard her ask the city council if she could donate her time to me. To my surprise, they asked for any objections (there were none) and then voted for me to continue. 3 MORE MINUTES!!!

As I walked back up to the podium (where, by the way, you have to follow formal rules and such, its so strange), the audience behind me were cheering and telling me "continue! we'll give you all the time you need". I suddenly knew I had the support of the audience. I felt like the football pplayer who just caught the football and was running full speed toward the end zone with no one else in sight. I continued with my arguments until, once again, I got the 1 minute warning from the mayor.

Another neighbor stood up and offered to give me their time, and again, we went through the approval process and I was allowed to continue. Picking up more speed, like a snowball rolling down a hill.

This happened a total of 4 times so that I could get done with all of my notes. The last time I turned around and asked the audience "is anyone else willing to give me their time? I only have 1/2 page left". Sure enough, people were willing.

As I walked away from the podium for the last time the room was so apreciative. I was humbled in how I could be used to present information as a representative of my neighbors. I was grateful that they trusted me enough to donate their own speaking time and were willing to do so. Wow. Thinking back I'm still in awe.

I walked away near tears. Not because of the issue, although no one can argue that it is an emotionless issue, but because of the affect my words obviously had on the crowd and that I was chosen to be able to do this. I was overwhelmed with the responsibility I was granted and the favor I was shown.

On a side note...I truly believe that God creates us with purpose. I believe He uses everything for good for those that love him. I believe that extends to every person, situation, and circumstance in our life so that we are perfectly prepared to be what God wants us to be when he needs us. We have the choice to recognize God's will and follow it, but he gives us what we need. In this case, I truly believe that God gave me the ability to research and prepare a presentation (in about an hour) that would fall on ears that were previously "closed" and that he granted me favor so that I could have the opportunity to do what I did. It has nothing to me and everything to do with Him. To God be the glory!

There were several others who spoke. All were passionate and expressed some valid points. No one got up to support removing the stop signs. No one.

I was feeling pretty good. Until the city council started speaking and sharing. 3 council members spoke before taking a vote. The first said (essentially) that although he supported postponing the signs now, ultimately, he feels we all need to accept change as our city grows and this is one way the city needs to grow. He supports the good for the city as a whole and can't give us special treatment. The second spoke up and said that he was portrayed in a bad light, and that he does really care about our kids. However, months ago he stood up and fought for the safety of our kids and heard from "us" that we wanted the city to have business. If we want business, that street needs to be a faster moving street. And he listened to us and supported us. Now that he has taken action to remove the signs we are fighting to keep the signs and attacking him. So, he says we need to figure out what we want. The third said this is not just a speed issue...its a people issue.

Then they spent 30 minutes (no joke) following the rules to make a motion, ammend it, get a second, ammend it again, make a motion, talk to the lawyer, then make a motion. Literally, I was hunched over biting my nails. Then they decided it was time to take a vote.

The motion was made to make the stop signs legal, keep them up pending a study, and to seek a study that would look at the safety and traffic in our area and one other in the city. (btw, they're spending 30 million on roads and hadn't done ONE safety study and had only done one limited traffic study in the last 5 years)

We all stared at the electronic board on the wall, waiting for them to flip the switch so we could all see the councils vote.

The room was silent.

Personally, I felt it was close. I was hoping for 4 out of 7, but didn't think it was likely. I knew for sure at least one would vote against us.

We waited.

Suddenly the lights on the board were turned on. ALL GREEN! the motion carried with a UNANIMOUS vote! We were shocked. We all stood up, cheering and applauding. It was a great moment in my life.

I felt like the person who just threw the last pitch of a no hitter game that ended the world series, and my team, the underdog, just won. I felt like everyone put me on their shoulder and was carrying me around as their hero. Everyone came up to me to tell me how well I did and thanked me. Half of the city council members came up to me and told me how well I did. They thought I was a lawyer. They asked me to run for city council. The mayor gave me his phone number.

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this life. If I didn't work, I think I might just run for city council. I was energized by the ability to use my gifts and talents for something great. I'm completely humbled and in awe of our God.

The fight isn't over. We still have to make sure they do what they said they would and fight to keep our stop signs long-term. But we are on a roll now.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Save our kids!!!

I am currently on a mission to save the stop sign that is on the main road that crosses our street. The kids use the crosswalk there to get to school.

Anywho, the Sachse city council has decided that the stop signs encourage people to drive on other roadways and doing so places people in those areas in danger. To encourage people to stay off the other roads they have decided to take down 3 sets of stop signs (one being ours) on Tuesday, August 7th.

Please pray that we can convince them NOT to do this. It puts all of our kids in danger and us as well.