Pages

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Younts!





And the Bakers...


Thankful for our wonderful families and to be able to see them all during Christmas! Hope it's been Merry and Bright for you all!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Cards

I have thoroughly enjoyed receiving Christmas cards this year. They are just always so fun, cute and creative. Each year they get better and better. I however did not feel the need to send any out this year. A lot of it has to do with our situation and being overly sensitive. I felt like sending out another picture of just the 2 of us gets a little old after 7 years of receiving them. Even though I love sending them, I had no desire to have one this year. Maybe its the fact I would prefer not to remember this extremely difficult year and reflect back on how yucky I looked and felt. My face is about 3 times the size it should be and who would want to see that? I sure don't. So I just chose not to send any.
After I made that decision I received an email from someone who had the same exact feelings and has been in my shoes before. She said that cards were her most favorite part of Christmas and that she knew how I was feeling. She also said that she didn't want people to feel sorry for them or get tired of it.  She said her husband, her and dogs are the family that God had blessed them with and that she was thankful for that, but most of all that it does still count!
That email spoke volumes to me. Marc and I are a family, we do matter, even our dog matters. God blessed me with him and sometimes I do forget that.

I still didn't make a card this year, but next year I will regardless.
But here are some from the past...

2008



I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

JOYN

I think I have mentioned JOYN on here before, but this year we got some new stockings that I just absolutely love. If you live in Fayetteville and have been to the Mama Carmans coffee shop or to the Mustache store in the square you have seen some of these products! They truly are awesome. Marc used to work with the people that started this company in India. They have gotten to employ several people that may not have ever had jobs which I think is so cool and makes me want to buy lots and lots of their products!
Plus my new favorite pattern is chevron and lots of their items have that pattern on them... so whats not to love?
here are our new stockings!


 Cute clutch to take with me to all the Razorback games!

You can check out their website or just buy something from them!
http://joynindia.com/ or find them on facebook.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Best Gift Ever

We had to do Christmas a little early with Marc's mom since we travel quite a bit throughout the Holidays. We also have just about had something every single night for the past month.
They cooked us a delicious meal, including a big, fat, juicy steak paired with a sweet potato. Marc's step-dad may be the best cook I know and it is always a treat when he cooks for us.

So for Christmas, his mother (whom I'm a huge fan of and love her sense of humor) gave me this!

Yep you read that right. A Happy Light and a nice bottle of wine. 
Who needs therapy after that combo :) I mean it has to be cheaper...right?

I loved it. The happy light is supposed to help with your vitamin D level along with seasonal depression. Don't think I haven't been using it... I love it. It is a very natural way to help promote endorphins verses drugs.
I don't really know if it works, but I did see it in the Brookstone store his past weekend, so I  know other people must be buying it!

The other day I felt like I was about to have a panic attack. It was cold, dark and rainy outside and I was home alone and Marc was out of town and Louie was on vacation with his grandparents. I don't do so well by myself these days, so I went home and immediately turned the happy light on and turned he tv on to get my mind off things. When I turned the light on, I prayed God's light would fill me instead of satans darkness. Writing that out sounds way cheesy, but I didn't want the light to become my go to "fix." So maybe the Happy Light paired with prayer really works! I felt much better after that and was able to calm down.

Anyways, I thought it was too hilarious and interesting not to share. Hey you've got to do whatever it takes to stay sane, so whether it is all mental or not, I'm still a big fan!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Family getaway

For the past several years, my fam and I have gone to Branson for as long as I can remember.
This time we stayed at big cedar which was absolutely wonderful and such a treat! Marc was gone off hunting with his dad and brother so we just went and had fun without him.
We went to a delicious restaurant called "Level 2" steakhouse. I had the best filet and greatest dessert ever.
We were actually all done shopping so we thankfully didn't have a ton of that to do! All in all we had a great, relaxing weekend. So thankful for them!





cuties!





ooh I think he found a letter from Santa!





this was an amazing gingerbrad house that took over 250hrs to bake and make!


Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I'm so grateful to be completely finished with shopping and wrapping gifts. Such a relief. I'm usually just starting.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Much Better

So I wanted to give you all a quick update. I know my last few posts that were on infertility weren't too uplifting or exciting, but they were honest. I also did not want y'all to worry about me since they were so down.  Emotions were crazier than I had ever felt  in my whole life.
All in all I'm doing much better. Sometime in the past 2 weeks I just woke up one day and felt way better! It was crazy. It was like I woke up and the dark, grey cloud had finally left me. I felt my first glimpse of happiness that I had felt in months. It was so odd and really surprising and I really was unsure if it would stay. Now that I'm 2 weeks in, I still feel great. I think those silly, evil meds took awhile to get out of my system and I didn't even realize what was going on. I had no idea how much they were truly affecting my mind, attitude, and relational skills.
This still doesn't change my situation or change me still being sad about the failed ivf, I just feel like a normal, functioning human being again and that feels awesome! I thankfully don't feel mad at the world, mad at Christmas commercials. Now the elf on the shelf thing is wearing me out and most Christmas songs, but other than that the season hasn't bothered me near as much as I thought it would have.
I'm very thankful God has given some peace to get through Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I definitely still have my moments of jealousy, bitterness, and hopelessness, but thankfully they aren't as intense.

 We still are unsure of when the FET {frozen embryo cycle} will be and it has been great not thinking about it or trying to plan it all out. That definitely has taken pressure off and is giving me a nice break.

Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

I have to remind myself that He is with me and hears me even though sometimes I doubt Him.
Thank you all again for your prayers and encouragement. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oh how I love engagements

So one of my longest, closest, dearest friends got engaged this past Friday night. I could not be more thrilled. She means so much to me and is/has always been there for me. She often knows what I need more than I do ;). We like to call ourselves "SM's" which means soulmates. We have somehow developed our own language over the years. And when I say over the years, I mean we went to pre-K together all the way through college... that my friends is a long time to know someone. We were close in high school, but in college we became super close.
Rachael is one of the most thoughtful and most caring person I have ever known. She would literally do anything for you. Because she is such a good friend to so many, she has been a bridesmaid about 15 times..no exaggeration on  that number. So needless to say, it is most definitely her turn! I think I felt maybe just as giddy if not more as she did! I also had the privilege of going with her fiance to help pick out the ring. That was a first for me and it was so exciting. It was also very difficult to have to consistently lie to her about not knowing anything!



I can't wait to help start planning a wedding. I told her I've needed a project and to watch out...:) I may become a bridesmaidzilla. We had a fun engagement party for them on Sunday night. It was so last minute I was shocked how many people were able to come out for it. I know it meant a lot for them.

 As soon as he bought the ring I ordered this awesome platter so that I could have it ready to go for an engagement present! It may have been the first time I've ever been prepared with something personalized!
 the platter came from Amy Hannon over at Sincerely Yours. Her etsy shop is amazing and she does awesome note cards and wedding invites as well!



Happy Engagement weekend Ra!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Special Tree

I did a post on this last year, but I still love it so much and since it's my only tree this year, I decided to post about it again!
This special tree is one of my most prized possessions that I have in my house. It is definitely my favorite Christmas decoration that I have. My grandfather hand made this many, many years ago. It is made from my grandmothers jewelry. Lots of her jewelry came from overseas. He was in the navy for years and when he would return home he would bring my grandmother lots of jewelry back. Each piece is so unique and vintage made from bracelets, broaches, and necklaces. This is one of the only things I have left from them. My grandfather passed away when I was 3 and my grandmother passed away when I was in 3rd grade. I was very close to them as was my father. The awesome thing is he made 2, so my parents have one as well. I'm so thankful to have this special heirloom so we can think about them during the Holiday season.




Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Decor...Kind of.

So I caved and decided to just put up a few decorations. Although, I still said NO to a tree. There were several reasons for that. The main one being that we were going to be gone so much before, during and after Christmas. Really not worth it for just me and Marc. The weird thing is that I really haven't missed it and I know I won't miss putting it away...Ha!

So here is what I put out. This doesn't even scratch the surface of my Christmas decor.


























Yes you are seeing this correctly... Marc wraps all of our presents. I am by far the worst gift wrapper ever created. He prefers me not to, its really that bad.Sorry Ladies, he's taken.




I have basically finished all of our Christmas shopping and by tonight all of our wrapping will be done. This may be a first for us. We usually don't start until the week of Christmas. I now feel broke as a joke with all the people we had to buy for. Since everyone's family expanded this year that means more gifts and spending way more $$! It has been super fun shopping for everyone though. I obviously had lots of time on my hands and needed a "project." Plus my love language is gifts. I love giving and receiving! ;)

Since I didn't put a tree up this year I will leave with my tree from last year.

and this is what my mantle usually looks like
Tis the Season.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

White Trash

No not that kind... A recipe kind!
I'm sure that other people call this something else, but since I can remember my mom has called it 'white trash." She makes it every year for Christmas. I had to make a big batch of something for work and for a neighborhood party so I chose to make this. Mainly because its easy.




















It may be one of the easiest things ever to make!

Here is the recipe:
1 box of rice chex cereal
1 box of corn chex cereal
1 box of plain cheerios
1 jar of honey roasted peanuts
1 bag of pretzel sticks
1 bag of Christmas m&m's
1 24oz pkg of white almond bark
parchment paper

Place 3 cups of each of the cereals, 1/3 jar of peanuts (or more if you like it more nutty), 1 pkg of m&m's 1/2 pkg of pretzels (broken in 1/2), 1 1/2lbs of almond bark (melted slowly with lots of stirring) in a huge mixing bowl or large pot and mix together. When almond bark is melted, pour over mixture and stir quickly. After its all mixed, spread out on parchment paper and let dry completely. After its dry you can break it up and place in tins or baggies!

That makes 1 huge batch. I buy extra m&m's and almond bark to make extra batches. Everything else will make 3 batches total. To keep costs down, I bought the "off brand" of what I could.

If you have questions just let me know! Hope this gives you another option to take to some of your next holiday parties.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To Decorate or Not decorate...

I've been struggling with this question. Should I or should I not decorate for Christmas. It is this constant battle right now I have going on in my head. My mind says no but my heart says yes. The reason my mind says no is mainly because I don't want to have Christmas. I rather pretend that its not really coming in a few short weeks. If I put a tree up, then that will be a constant reminder to me that I have to do Christmas yet once again without a baby and without being pregnant. I thought the first year was hard, but oh boy was I wrong. The second is killer.
I know that Christmas is not about d├ęcor, nor is it about me.  What I would really love is that we could just go far away for Christmas. Obviously running away solves all your problems…right?! Kidding, kind of. I think its me trying to protect myself from a lot of pain and sadness. That doesn’t mean I can justify it by boycotting Christmas, I think what it means for me is that I need to focus only on what the real meaning of Christmas truly is...

Luke 1:30-33
 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

In all seriousness, I haven’t decided about what to do. I kind of think without a tree it would make Christmas simple. Simplicity is a great reminder for me and helps me to remember the real reason for the season. What about you? What are some things that help you remember the reason for the season?


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Wordless style...


















Tuesday, November 22, 2011

unThankful

As I was sitting in church this past Sunday, the service was all about gratitude. I was thinking "seriously God, you have got to be kidding me." We had a time of sharing of what God was doing in others lives and how grateful everyone was. Then we sang "thankful" songs while I kept sitting there with a very un-Thankful heart. I did not want to be there. I felt like I was getting madder by the moment. Mad at God, mad at my situation, mad at the people sitting next to me, mad that the ivf didn't work, practically mad at the world. I was ashamed that I was feeling this way. I knew it was wrong and I knew my heart was not in a good place.
I sat there trying to think of 1 thing I was grateful for to try and snap myself out of it. I instead came up with 3. I was grateful for Marc, my family and my 3 frozen babies.
Then a girl whom i know began to sing this song. Talk about snap you out of it...

Blessings by Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our sufferingAll the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate pleaAnd long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

Courtesy of lyricshall.com

Talk about powerful. I think I may read those lyrics everyday I wake up. Knowing His mercies are in disguise changes my train of thought a little lot.
For that, I am no longer un-Thankful but very Thankful that he still loves and is still near to me for when I stray.



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Processing...

As you know I went away on a fun trip soon after finding out our unfortunate BFN news {BFN: means "big fat negative", for those that aren't up w/ the infertile terms}
I feel like in a lot of ways it saved me from a lot of pain and emotions that I wasn't quite ready to deal with. To be honest, I was actually really quite impressed with myself about how well I was handling everything.
So as I returned I still felt like I was doing good, I actually had not allowed myself to cry since finding out the news. Well that was until I had just one bad day. It brought everything I had been holding back full circle for me again. Lots of different things brought it on, such as finding out a few people I know are pregnant. Not even close friends, just people I know. Then I felt like all day whether it was through phone calls, emails, general conversations I had people telling me about other people they knew how it didn't work for them but now they have beautiful children and it will just for sure work that way for us, but if it didn't we could just adopt. I'm sorry, but right now that is just not helpful. I definitely prefer not to hear those things. Everyone's story is very different and rarely the same.   
I do understand that people don't really know what to say and if you haven' been there, really there isn't a lot you can say that will help. Speaking for myself and probably others that have gone through this, letting that person know you care is one of the best things you can do. Avoiding and ignoring them isn't helpful. Just being there for them is great.
Something that I didn't realize would be so difficult for me was being around people again. Being around a large group of people gave/gives me quite a bit of anxiety. Lots of fear plays into that. I fear that they will only talk about babies and then I will lose it, I fear that I will be the only one around without a child, I also fear that someone will say the wrong thing to me and I will not be a nice person back even though they all mean well.
I'm sure you are thinking at this point, "wow she has really lost it." Believe me I have wondered the same thing, but honesty I'm still just processing. I know that many of these thoughts are ridiculous and I also know I can't continue living in stupid fear. I'm very aware of my crazy emotions and thoughts and I'm also aware of the only one that can help me through it, and that would be Jesus. I'm praying away the bitterness that is in my heart and praying for Hope and peace again.

Thanks for bearing with me as I process honestly. It is hard sorting out all these emotions and feelings.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A get-away

Now for some happy... Obviously it was a rough week last week, but thankfully I had already planned a trip with my mom back in the summer to Austin, TX to see my good friend! It just so happened to be the best timing ever for me. I would still be way down in the dumps if I had not gone.
I went to visit my friend from middle school-high school. I would say I have kept up with her the most since we got out of high school and we unfortunately did not attend the same college.
Even though she lives in Austin, I have been able to see her at least a couple of times a year.
We had so much fun. Did lots of shopping, eating, and chatting! It was the perfect girls trip.








my favorite dessert place of all time.... gordoughs. Yep its darn good and darn unhealthy, but who is counting calories on vacay anyways ;) 



my mom even liked it and she doesn't even like sweets.



the shopping damage... sorry dad and Marc. We got lots of Christmas shopping done though




and last but not least, her precious daughter Willow. She was our entertainment for the weekend!



We did so many more things that I did not take pictures of. All I know is I'm in love with Austin and could move there at any time! I even told Marc I found us a house ;). It reminds me of Fayetteville, AR on crack! Ha.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. Thanks for your sweet comments and emails. They meant a lot to me. I'm really doing much better.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Part Three

I don't really know what to say. I'm at a loss for words, and I'm still a little in shock.
We found out from the blood test that it was a BIG FAT negative. We are absolutely heartbroken right now.

On Friday I just knew it didn't work. I literally just knew. I told Marc and he said, "you are just being negative." I had been so positive the whole time and just knew that it would/could work. But Friday I knew. I'm not sure if it was intuition or God easing me into the idea but something literally came over me to where I knew.. On Monday morning I took a test and it was negative, so then I really knew. Marc was still holding out hope that it was wrong and the blood test would show something different, but I just knew deep down what that really meant. I took the test before work which was so dumb, but I knew it was better to test in the morning. Unfortunately, I was in so much shock I couldn't even cry... that was until I got to work and in our meeting they started praying for us, and then I lost it. Like I could not shut down the waterworks. It was the ugly, horrible cry that no one wants anyone to see. I left and drove around, went to Starbucks parking lot to try and calm down, and still couldn't stop. It was AWFUL. I hate crying, and really don't do it very often. I ended up having to go home for a couple of hours to compose myself.

The next morning I had the blood test and then they made me wait ALL day long. I did not get my results till 5:45pm which was so ridiculous. The nurse then confirmed what I already knew was coming. Marc got home from work and then we both just sat there and cried some more. I just keep asking why, why, why. I don't and will never understand why not.

We are still grieving our loss and I'm sure will continue to do so for awhile. The only positive right now is that we do have 3 more frozen and can go back for them anytime. Since the Holidays are quickly approaching us, we are going to take a breather until afterwards and the try again. I just don't think I could handle that news again next month.

We are so thankful to each and every one of you have been on this journey with us and prayed for us along the way. We have truly felt so much support through our friends family and especially here on this blog. I seriously don't know how people do this without faith or a strong support system.
I really was wanting to have good, positive news for everyone but it just wasn't our time. We know it will happen in God's perfect timing for us, we just don't know when that will be or if it will ever be. If you would please continue to lift us up as the Holidays are upon us. They will be very hard for me to handle yet once again.

Thanks again for following our journey and caring about us.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Part Deux

That next morning after the retrieval they called us with an update of how many babies we had made!
To our surprise, we got 5 out of our 8! We were very surprised and super thankful because half or less usually take when fertilized.
Also to our surprise, they did 2 different methods of ivf. They used 4 eggs with ICSI and 4 with conventional ivf. ICSI is where they directly inject the egg with the sperm and the conventional is where they place an egg in a dish and then put millions of sperm in there and let them do their thing. All 4 ICSI eggs were fertilized and only 1 egg was fertilized the conventional way. They didn't even tell us they were doing this but I'm oh so grateful they chose that way.
I know if you have never heard about ivf it can be very confusing and overwhelming so I'm trying to do my best to explain things thoroughly :). Ivf is very complex and difficult for some to comprehend. All I know is that God made someone very smart to invent this medical procedure.
So each day they would give us a report on how our embryos were doing. Each day they are looking for them to split and divide. Each morning felt like an eternity. They eventually get to a stage called the "Blast" stage. They must get to a blast stage before transferring. We had 1 that was dividing quickly and the others were being a tad bit slower. When it came time for transfer day we only had 1 that was transferable. They also informed us that the other 4 may not make it to the stage of where they could be frozen. This was SHOCKING to us. I don't know if it was lack of knowledge and research or what, but we thought we would for sure at least get to have 1-2 frozen. They informed us that 30% was average for each cycle, so for us that would be around 1-2. We were very sad about this news. So we began to beg God to save them. We sent out an email to our prayer support and they began to pray as well. To our surprise, the next day the nurse emailed me and was in complete SHOCK! She said you got 3 frozen!!! She also proceeded to tell me that this never happens for someone to get 4 out of their 5! It was a true miracle! We were in awe of Gods graciousness. This was my very first miracle to experience, or at least one I can remember.

This is huge for several reasons. This means that if the one they put in me doesn't take, we can go back in for a frozen cycle which costs way less and it is not near as long and painful as a "fresh" cycle. And no shots will be involved either. For that, we are so thankful to God.

We did our transfer on day 5 which was a Sunday. I took it easy for 48 hours and then that begins the 2 week dreadful wait.

Stay tuned for Part 3...

Monday, November 7, 2011

An Overdue Update

First of all I would just like to apologize for my lack of posting about our current status. The past few weeks have been very busy for us and we have be traveling quite a bit.
Since this post would be forever long and make your retinas bleed, I will do 3 part post on our IVF experience.

So here is Part 1...
The month of October started off with all of those fun shots I posted about here. While I was very overwhelmed with them all, they actually ended up going by very quickly and weren't too painful. I would never say that it was a blast, but that just comes with the lovely ivf package.
I'm not great at remembering dates, so they will all just be general. After a couple of weeks of shots I started going in every other day for doctor appointments. I would get blood drawn and then scanned to check to see how many eggs I had and what size they were. When they got to a certain size they sent me home and I gave myself a shot that night, then left to head to Little Rock where my ivf doctor is. It will be 2 weeks tomorrow since our retrieval.
For the retrieval I went in and they gave me some good drugs, one being propofol (that is what Michael Jackson died from) and it was good stuff (Ha). I was pretty out of it for most of the day but not really in too much pain.  They retrieved 8 eggs, which is a little better than we expected! We had to wait till the next day to find out how many fertilized. This was a loong wait. Everything with ivf is a LOOONG wait if you were wondering. We were absolutely thrilled with the outcome of how many fertilized!
Check back soon for the number we got! That will be in my part 2 post.

God was so faithful through out our whole process. He gave us peace, support, and comfort throughout all of it. We had an army of people praying for us and still do which we feel so blessed by. I can't wait to share part 2 because God did something really awesome for us. Part 3 will be the outcome in which we do not know yet, but still praying for the best.

For now I will leave you with a picture of us right before they wheeled me back for the retrieval surgery.