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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday on Maunday Thursday...

My life is filled with blessings to be thankful for,
but this week I choose to focus on Resurrection Week.

Starting with Palm Sunday, when Jesus entered Jerusalem triumphantly on a donkey while people cheered and waved palm branches.

Followed by Jesus rousting the heathens from the temples, ticking off the rabbis, and praying and preaching to the masses.

To Maunday Thursday, when Jesus knew he would be betrayed and yet he ate supper with his disciples, washed their feet, and reminded them to remember him when they broke bread and drank wine.

Good Friday, which wasn't good at all.

And Easter Sunday, when the tomb was found open and Jesus had risen.

All for my sin.

For this I am thankful.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Infertility, adoption, and kiddos (part 9)

If you'd like a refresher or just need to catch up, go HERE, HERE, HERE , HERE ,HERE , HERE , HERE and HERE. (Now THAT is getting to be a long list. I'll try and finish this up in just one or two more parts so you won't get tired of catching up!)

I had just found out I wasn't pregnant after our second IVF cycle following JMonster. I cried for a few days, wiped my tears, and moved on.

On July 14th we went to dinner with some friends at a restaurant in Phipps Plaza in Atlanta. This is THE know, where you go to see celebrities and other rich and famous people?

I started feeling bad toward the end of dinner. Just a minor stomach ache, nothing too bad. JMonster was getting antsy so our friend Stacey and I took him to walk around the mall.

The longer we walked, the worse the pain got. In fact, I told her to take JMonster back to the restaurant and get The Rev. Something was wrong...

I sat down on a bench to wait. The pain hit me in waves.

I laid down on the bench.

People started staring as I moaned and held my stomach.

The Rev came and our friends went and got the car. They pulled up outside a nearby exit and I climbed in. The pain had subsided somewhat so I decided to call The Doc rather than just head straight to the ER.

He said I probably had a cyst on my ovary and it ruptured. Take some pain meds and I should be need for the ER.

We headed home and I went to the restroom. And that's when I noticed the blood.

I called The Doc. I called my ob/gyn office.

The ob/gyn office said pretty much the same thing The Doc had back at the mall.

The Doc said I'd be fine.

Then he called back...

"Take a pregnancy test."

"I'm NOT pregnant!"

"Just humor me..."

So The Rev and our friend Phil ran to the store and bought a pregnancy test.


I have to say that the last thing you want to see when you're feeling THIS bad is PREGNANT on a digital pregnancy test. Especially when The Doc is concerned about an ectopic...

He told me not to panic, but to get to an emergency room.

So I did.

Thank goodness for Phil and Stacey! They stayed with JMonster throughout the night.

Miscarriage. Again.

The doc on call for my ob/gyn office didn't even bother to come in to the ER! Told me over the phone and said for me to come in on Monday and follow up. (tongue stuck out for a raspberry)

It's a funny feeling to have a miscarriage when you don't even think you're pregnant.

I went in Monday and had more blood work...just to be sure my numbers were going down.

They weren't. They didn't quite double, but almost. That's what they expect when you're pregnant, not having a miscarriage! Was it possible? Could I really be pregnant? I had a hard time letting myself get my hope up...

So I ended up at the ob/gyn's office several days that week for bloodwork and ultrasounds. In the end they realized I WAS pregnant, but it was on my ovary. Or so they think. There was something on there, but it was hard to see and my numbers were going up but not fast enough for them to indicate a healthy, viable pregnancy.

We decided that a methotrexate shot was the best course for ending the pregnancy. Here I was, wanting to be pregnant, and we were doing something to stop a pregnancy. Felt surreal.

The numbers finally went down and they declared me healthy.

STILL down to just two frozen embryos, but a lot more to think about...

What happens when my head is buried in the sand...

Never saw this when it originally happened...

And now I wish I had never seen it! A civilian national security force? Really!?!

This is how it happens. One small step and then we slip down that slippery slope...

Thanks to American Daughter for the heads up.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Missional Monday

Breakaway is a non-denominational, weekly Bible study on the campus of Texas A&M University. We exist to introduce college students to Jesus Christ and call them to walk with Him for a lifetime. We accomplish this through worship, Bible teaching and resources. While not affiliated with any one church, we work hard to connect students to local, Bible-believing churches. By God's power and for His glory, we live to proclaim the gospel of Christ to college students and connect them to Christ's community and His mission.

Breakaway was a HUGE part of my college experience. Many of the people involved in its beginnings were and are good friends of mine. This is an organization which has been blessed...and I pray it continues to bless as well.

Please take some time and check out this wonderful organization on their website! See if their mission can help you match your passion with your purpose.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Perfect Pairings

1 John 4:8
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Things I find funny...

...politics..."poli-" comes from the latin for many and tics are blood sucking creatures. Think about it.

..."Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." ~Ronald Reagan

'Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it wrongly, and applying unsuitable remedies'. ~Sir Ernest Benn

"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators." ~PJ O'Rourke

Seen on an Obama supporter bumper sticker: "If at first you don't succeed, change the rules."

..."UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? It's the Post Office that's always having problems." –Obama attempting to make the case for government-run healthcare, Portsmouth, N.H., August 11, 2009

..."I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." -- Obama defending his tax plan to Joe the Plumber, Toledo, Ohio, October 12, 2008

..."We've got a philosophical difference, which we've debated repeatedly, and that is that Senator Clinton believes the only way to achieve universal health care is to force everybody to purchase it. And my belief is, the reason that people don't have it is not because they don't want it but because they can't afford it." Barack Obama, speaking at a Democratic presidential debate February 21, 2008

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Let's all stop, take a collective breath, and remember some of the blessings we've been given. The reasons we are thankful...

I am thankful for:
1. My country. A place where I may not agree with the government, but voicing my disagreement does not end in my being imprisoned or killed. A place where Google doesn't have to censor!
2. My family's health. I can honestly say that despite a cold, virus, or flu here and there...we are healthy.
3. The Rev's business. He is working hard growing it and nurturing the relationships he's created. I'm very proud of him.
4. My computer. I think I said this one recently. But it really does connect me outside of this house...
5. My mom. She is letting us live in her new house BEFORE she does. Very giving! (Hi Mom! You reading my blog?)
6. JMonster, of course. ;o)
7. Wildflowers!
8. Chocolate brownies...ooey, gooey ones warm out of the oven. Mmmmm...I can smell them now.
9. Pajamas. I love comfy pj's.
10. Prayer.

What are YOU thankful for? Please share!

How a bill REALLY becomes a law...

This is hilarious!
My brother, Patterico, had this on his site and I just had to share.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My thoughts...

Obamacare passed. It went into effect at noon yesterday amidst cheering on one side and weeping and gnashing of teeth on the other.

What do I think?

I have to admit it feels a bit surreal. How could this happen? How can our representatives not truly represent their constituencies?

It's not that I'm against people having healthcare. I'm not.

It's not that I'm against healthcare reform. I'm not.

It's that our government is getting too big. Taking on roles it's not supposed to take. Ruling our lives in ways our founding fathers never meant for us to be ruled.

Congress needs to be cleaned out. We need term limits. We need people who value the wishes of the people they represent.

And we need to get back to the limited government our Constitution was written for.

And THEN let's talk about healthcare reform.

And I have plenty of ideas for a better plan than they came up with.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Infertility, adoption, and kiddos (part 8)

If you'd like a refresher or just need to catch up, go HERE, HERE, HERE , HERE ,HERE , HERE , and HERE.

Last time we chatted, I told you about the birth of our son JMonster. Boy was he cute!

JMonster yawning (just a few hours old)...
JMonster doing? He did this all the time!

We had such a wonderful time with him that we decided he needed siblings. The Rev and I have ALWAYS wanted a big family. We've just always wanted a house full!

So sometime around April of 2007, just after JMonster turned 1, we headed back to Texas to try for a second monster. At this point we had eight frozen embryos...frozen in pairs. We transferred two and crossed our fingers!

We got pregnant! But around week 4 I miscarried. No one knows why. My numbers had been very low, but they were very low with JMonster.

I didn't weep and moan like some people thought I would. I merely strengthened my resolve and decided we would try again in early summer.

In June we once again headed back to Texas. Back to our doc. Back to uncertainty.

We missed my cycle.

It was early by about 4 or 5 days...I'm fairly regular, so who woulda thunk?

I spend 4-6 weeks in Texas at the beginning of every summer, so we made the decision for JMonster and me to stick around M's house and try again. Boy, can you say PATIENCE?

I started early once again. This time 3 days.

I called the nurse and told her we were ready. She hemmed and hawed and told me she would have to call me back.


To make a long complicated story short (or at least shorter)...the embryologist at the clinic who thaws the embroys was going out of town to speak at a National Institute of Health conference. He wouldn't be there to thaw our embryos.


We had waited in town almost FOUR WEEKS and they couldn't do it?
I was angry.
Frustrated, sad, and angry.
And ready.

I got on the phone and called around to find a clinic that COULD do it.

My younger sister HA got on the phone with her clinic.

Come to find out later my doctor at our clinic also got on the phone to find someone who could do it.

We finally found an infertility clinic in Los Colinas, just outside of Dallas, who was willing to transfer the embryos to their clinic, thaw them, and transfer them into me, during a natural cycle.


We made all of the arrangements (it takes quite a bit of planning to ship frozen embryos!) and I headed to Dallas.

We had the pre-meeting with the doctor, me and my mother in law! He was a very nice man and was glad he could help out in such short notice.

He did an ultrasound and determined that all looked good for a transfer the next day.

My mother in law drove me to the clinic the next morning. She had to drive because I had taken the Valium you're required to have before a transfer. It was POURING, the traffic was horrible, and I was getting motion sick. NOT a good way to start what was supposed to be a wonderful day.

When we got to the clinic (LATE!) I realized that it was the exact day, 2 years later, that we had transferred 2 embryos that had resulted in JMonster! MUST be a good sign, right?

The doc did the transfer, with my mother in law watching on, and he said all went well. It was not an ultrasound guided transfer like I'd had in the past, but he said it wasn't necessary.


I did the put my hips in the air thing.

I didn't pick up JMonster for 2 weeks.

July 4th came and I just knew I wasn't pregnant. I stood in the driveway of my in laws and cried to The Rev over the phone as I watched the fire works.

The clinic called a few days later and confirmed what I knew. Not pregnant.

And only 2 frozen embryos left...


Missional Monday

In response to the passing of the ObombaObamacare health care plan (which has me wrapped in a blanket and huddled on my couch. Okay, that's the fever, but still...) Today's Missional Monday is a tribute to an organization that truly does free health care. And keeps the uninsured out of the emergency rooms so that ER docs can treat people who are really sick.

Health For All is a nonprofit, volunteer-based, community supported primary health care clinic that was founded in 1987. Through generous community support, we provide free doctor visits, pharmaceuticals, eye exams, foot exams, lab tests, X-rays, smoking cessation, diabetes management, coumadin education and counseling services care to low income adults in the Brazos Valley who do not have health insurance or qualify for government programs such as Medicaid, Medicare or County Indigent funds.

Health for All treats about 4000 patients each year utilizing a team of volunteer medical professionals. By providing an alternative to expensive emergency room visits by the uninsured, Health for All saves area hospitals and taxpayers millions of dollars each year.

The Doc has done work for them over the years...especially when he was an undergrad at TAMU. His opinion of them has always been high.

They feel similar to me about this health care bill! See what they say on their Facebook page:

Our clinic has been serving the basic medical needs of the uninsured for over 20 years with minimal government support. If the goal of Healthcare Reform is to serve the uninsured, why not support free clinics? A network of 3000 clinics could be funded at $2,000,000 each per year and would still only cost a total of $60... Billion over 10 years, which is 0.6%of the cost being mentioned for National Healthcare Reform...

Please take some time and check out this wonderful organization on their website! See if their mission can help you match your passion with your purpose.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Party Pics!

Jedi JMonster (Anakin)...
and yes, I made his costume!

Jedi Training Academy

Jedi's getting their first mission...

Searching for clues...R2D2 has been stolen!

A JAWA took him!

We found him! We saved R2D2!

Luke and Darth Vader face off!


Waiting to eat the cake...this cake is Mustafar, the volcanic island.

Aunt HA, Swizz, Cousin Tiff, and Aunt M

End of the party...whew!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Today is JMonster's 4th Birthday...

We LOVE You!
May the Force be with you...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Perfect Pairings

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. ~Hebrews 12:1

(Those aren't horns on JMonster's head...that's bed-head. This was his first race and it started at 7:05am. EARLY!)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Random Questions

This one comes from Baloney...the only "winner" who chose the correct version of our ski trip.


I can't wait to read your answers!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


You know they're out there. Watching. Taking in everything they see. Never saying a word.


Are you one of them? Someone who drops by every now and then just to see what's going on?

I don't mind. Seriously!

But...wouldn't it be that much MORE fun to get in on the conversation? You can even do it anonymously.

Even if you don't have a lot to say, we love having you here.

Just keep coming back! You never know what you might find...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thankful Thursday

This week is a wonderful reminder of God's blessings and grace in my life. As we move ever so quickly toward JMonster's 4th birthday, I am grateful for:

JMonster and his sweet, tender heart.

The Rev and his steadiness. And his strong work ethic.

A warm, safe place to live...with family who love me.

The promise of renewal that Heaven brings.

Spring! Warmth is in the air...let the blooming begin!

All of you. This outlet helps keep me grounded and sane. Thank you.

What are YOU thankful for today?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Playing with the angels...

JMonster and I have been praying for this precious child, Layla Grace, who has been battling the fierce adversary of cancer. She had neuroblastoma. She fought valiantly. She was tougher than most adults would be, it seemed.

Today she gave up the fight and went to play with the angels.

JMonster wants to invite her family to his birthday party this weekend. In his sweet voice he asked me during prayers last night if he could send them an they could have some fun and not be sad. He then said we needed to send a second invitation to Heaven, so Layla could be there. I broke down and cried.

He was happy to hear today she is with Jesus now. Happy she isn't hurting. And very, very curious about death.

My heart breaks for Layla's family. For their friends.

Two is much too young.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fun Nerd Quiz

Are YOU a nerd?


From this time forward, you'll hold the title:
Uber Cool High Nerd

Carry it proudly!

Quick Fun Facts:

471403 unique people have taken this test.

Based on these unique user's answers...

29.8% of test takers are gals,
68.4% are guys.

15.5% of test takers get aroused by "iPhone," while
36.9% get utterly ill.

32.2% of all test takers would choose the Internet over sex, and
26.6% of married test takers prefer the Internet over sex.

Only 4.5% of test takers own a Jar Jar Binks t-shirt, though
49.7% of them don't own a lightsaber (priorities == messed up). says I'm an Uber Cool High Nerd.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and write on the nerd forum!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Missional Monday

I read a blog recently of a woman who had lost a child when she was 27 weeks pregnant. She is currently pregnant and knows that this child will be born with spina bifida. It is to honor her that this week's Missional Monday is EASTER SEALS.

Easter Seals has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives for nearly 90 years. From child development centers to physical rehabilitation and job training for people with disabilities, Easter Seals offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life's challenges and achieve personal goals.

Tragedy Leads to Inspiration
In 1907, Ohio-businessman Edgar Allen lost his son in a streetcar accident. The lack of adequate medical services available to save his son prompted Allen to sell his business and begin a fund-raising campaign to build a hospital in his hometown of Elyria, Ohio. Through this new hospital, Allen was surprised to learn that children with disabilities were often hidden from public view. Inspired by this discovery, in 1919 Allen founded what became known as the National Society for Crippled Children, the first organization of its kind.

The Birth of the Seal
In the spring of 1934, the organization launched its first Easter "seals" campaign to raise money for its services. To show their support, donors placed the seals on envelopes and letters. Cleveland Plain Dealer cartoonist J.H. Donahey designed the first seal. Donahey based the design on a concept of simplicity because those served by the charity asked "simply for the right to live a normal life."

The lily -- a symbol of spring -- was officially incorporated as Easter Seals' logo in 1952 for its association with resurrection and new life and has appeared on each seal since.

Easter Seals Emerges
The overwhelming public support for the Easter "seals" campaign triggered a nationwide expansion of the organization and a swell of grassroots efforts on behalf of people with disabilities. By 1967, the Easter "seal" was so well recognized, the organization formally adopted the name "Easter Seals."

Easter Seals Today
Easter Seals offers help, hope and answers to more than a million children and adults living with autism and other disabilities or special needs and their families each year. Services and support are provided through a network of more than 550 sites in the U.S. and through Ability First Australia. Each center provides exceptional services that are individualized, innovative, family-focused and tailored to meet specific needs of the particular community served.

Primary Easter Seals services include:

Medical Rehabilitation
Employment & Training
Children's Services
Adult & Senior Services
Camping & Recreation

Americans With Disabilities Act

Easter Seals also advocates for the passage of legislation to help people with disabilities achieve independence, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Passed in 1990, the ADA prohibits discrimination against anyone who has a mental or physical disability, guaranteeing the civil rights of people with disabilities.

At the core of the Easter Seals organization is a common passion for caring, shared by its 23,000 staff members and thousands of volunteers, and by those who support its mission. This heart-felt commitment to helping people with disabilities and their families is what Easter Seals is all about.

Please take some time and check out this wonderful organization on their website! See if their mission can help you match your passion with your purpose.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Perfect Pairings

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
Do everything in love."
~1 Corinthians 16:13

Friday, March 5, 2010

Random Questions

Okay, this is a VERY random question. It comes from a call I got Thursday morning from my nephew Ryan. "Aunt Swizz, when I come to town for JMonster's birthday will you pull my loose tooth?" "Of Course I will!"

I've been praying ever since that the darn thing will fall out before then.

When it comes to loose teeth in elementary kiddos, are you a puller, a wiggler but not a puller, can watch but no touchie, or just plain squeamish about the whole darn topic?

I REALLY can't wait to read your answers!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm Happy to Be Me!

A dear friend, Ross King, is a wonderful musician...he's recently released a new kids album which we find to be one of the best kids albums on the market. I listen even when the kids aren't! This is one of my favorite songs on the makes me happy and reminds me that God did a good job making me. ENJOY!!!

Besides Happy To Be Me, there are a few others on the album which rock:
~JUICEBOX! A whole song about juice boxes. Makes me giggle.
~Don't Do It...a song about boogers.
~No One Likes to Hear the Sound of Whining...the kids love this one and I sing it to them when they whine!

Many more I can't recall off the top of my head. You'll just have to buy it to find out!

Interested in possibly buying his album? I would if I were you! Go HERE!

Thankful Thursday

I'm going to try something new. If you don't like it...let me know! Cuz ya know it's all about YOU!

Things I am thankful for today:
1. The Rev is coming home after a 9 day business trip. Wahoo!

2. JMonster is a good kid. No, a great kid. And he's so easy (most of the time).

3. I finally have a plan for schooling next year. It's in the early stages, but it's there. And I'm working on it.

4. We're starting to plan the house we will build. Talking to architects and builders. Looking at different materials. Kinda scary, but EXCITING!

5. I have a family that loves matter. what. And I love them.

What are YOU thankful for today?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

We should all be so loved...

This evening was gymnastics for Flower and E. They wanted me to take sister wanted me to take them.

JMonster did not.

"Please stay here, Mommy."

Big sad eyes looking up at me.

I tried to "persuade" him to let me go. If I stay HERE, then you have to give up...

In the end I ended up staying.

He gave up: snuggling with me for a week (he LOVES to do I), dessert and candy for a week, and he has to wear overalls every day for a week (he HATES overalls).

I was hoping we could nudge him over the edge into "okay, you can go and I'll stay and play soccer with A".

He ended up in overalls playing soccer in the backyard with A...while I fixed dinner in the kitchen.

How guilty do I feel?

And how loved...

For those of you out there wondering...OF COURSE I'm going to change the deal with him. I'll just offer him a new deal in exchange. Make this one not so harsh, but keep parental dignity at the same time. I just CAN'T hold him to all of those! He's only 3! I will say, he knows what he wants and he sticks to his gun!

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.”
~Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss was born on March 2, 1904. He would have been 106 years old today! Right before he died he was asked if there was anything he left unsaid. His response: "The best slogan I can think of to leave with the USA would be 'We can...and we've got better than this.'"

I wish I could have met such a great thinker.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Deep contemplations...

The things I sit around thinking about when I can't think of what to write.
Makes you want to be me, doesn't it?

P.S. I promise to get back to Missional Mondays soon. I'm having a bit of a brain freeze when it comes to organizations I TRUST. Do any of you have any ideas? Or do you think I should step away from organizations and try listing WAYS you can be missional...hmmm...that's one to ponder!