Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kimberly + David

Back a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of doing the floral designs for an extra special wedding....the bride was one of my girls that I had in small group Bible study when she was in high school.  (For the record, this makes 3 girls' weddings that I have done that I also was their Bible study leader 'way back when' - I'm feeling super-ly OLD!!!)
Kimberly is SUPER funny and such a sweet girl - it was such a fun wedding to be a part of!!  Her bridesmaids' dresses were a pale turquoise, and we did all the flowers in white and hot pink - the colors popped against each other, and were beautiful for a spring wedding!   
Kimberly's bouquet was shades of hot pink and lime green - roses, ranunculas, hydrangeas, and berries.
The bridesmaids' bouquets were the same flowers, just all in ivory.  I loved Kimberly's being the only bouquet with color - the bright colors just popped against her dress!
A glimpse of the ceremony flowers...

 ...and, the reception flowers...

And, I didn't do a thing on this table, but I always love a groom's table with character - David's favorite treats are oatmeal cream pies and peanuts, so that's what they had on his table!  Such a cute set up and reflection of him!!
Congratulations Kimberly and David!!!  It was a beautiful day for you - thank you for letting me be a part of your day!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Eight Years and Counting

Brad and I are just a few weeks away from celebrating our 9th anniversary...WOW!  There are so many emotions that I feel when I think of the past 9 years - joy, happiness, love, gratefuleness.  We have been blessed, so very blessed.  Wonderful families, great jobs, a fabulous church, precious friendships.  


Within those 9 years, there has been "the other side" of our lives that have made up our marriage.  


Close to 8 years of it to be exact.  EIGHT years.  Wow, that is so overwhelming to say that, much less type it. A little over a year after we got married, we had hopeful dreams of becoming parents, and were excited to start trying to make that a reality.  I had always had irregular cycles, but just thought it would all work itself out.  One year went by in a blink, with no baby or pregnancy for us - but the arrival of 2 nieces.  I went to my regular GYN, and after some testing determined that I had PCOS (Polycycstic Ovarian Syndrome) and was put on Glucophage.  Year 2 crept by, each month just knowing it was "the month"...but, never was.  Year 3 came and went, along with another niece and nephew being born and a whole HOST of babies filling our church nursery and friends' arms - but not our own.  We were SO discouraged.  So frustrated.  So hurt.  

We decided it was time to look to a specialist for help.  Year 4 was filled with many months of progesterone checks, ovulation tests, HCG tests, Clomid, and negative pregnancy test results.  Year 5 came, and my doctor wanted to try 1 more month on Clomid in January.  So we did, and much to our surprise found out we were pregnant in February! I called Brad in disbelief at what the nurse had told me on the phone - "you're pregnant"!  It was finally OUR time!  We had no sooner told all of our family, and started thinking about what it would be like as a family of 3, that problems began and I miscarried.  The pain we had felt with infertility was now amplified with the loss of a pregnancy.  That was by far some of the darkest days of this journey, and rocked Brad and I to the core.  We took a few months off from any medications, and then we started our first round of FSH shots.  Nada.  My doctor felt it was time to try to do an IUI.  So, the day before Thanksgiving of 2008 we had our first IUI.  I started bleeding 2 weeks after, and after calling my doctor's nurse, she said I had started my period and was not pregnant.  However, 5 weeks later I started having excruciating pain and found out I was in fact pregnant, but was having an ectopic pregnancy.  I woke up the next day in a hospital bed, one fallopian tube less than I had the day before.  In physical pain yes, but the emotional trauma was much greater.  

My doctor said "you need a break".  A break?!!  A BREAK!??  Yes, my body had been pumped to the max with enough baby making meds in the past 2 years to make any sane woman lose her mind from the hormonal roller coaster, but I didn't want a break from trying to fulfill my deepest desire to become a mother.  He reassured me that I indeed did need a break to let me body heal physically as well as emotionally from the near fatal trauma of the ectopic pregnancy.  He also told me that because of the ectopic, our options in fertility treatments had been closed to only IVF (Invitro Fertilization).  I walked out of his office in January 2009, with begrudging plans to take a 6 month break from treatments.  

Well, now it's March 2012, and a little over 3 years since I last saw my fertility specialist.  I embraced the "taking a break", and realized I did need it - much more than I ever thought I would.  We have continued to just try on our own, praying for a miracle to come.  Many family and friends have announced, "guess what - we're pregnant...AGAIN!"  now with their 2nd and 3rd children, and Brad and I are still left with empty arms.  You would think after 8 years I would be a pro at this, but with each announcement and arrival of a new bundle of joy for someone else, comes the same sadness and overwhelming anxiety from the 1st year.  

Have we not learned anything on this journey?  Heavens, YES - we know more about reproduction and fertility than we ever imagined we would need or want to know, we've learned how to love each other much more, we've learned how much strength that we can muster up in trying times, and we've learned about God and His love for us.  The great, powerful love and comfort only He can give.  How thankful I am for that.    

The past few months, I have felt a renewed readiness to re-enter the world of fertility treatments.  I just feel ready.  We are praying through it, but are cautiously excited about hope of what the future may hold.  To prepare, we are getting physically ready - I want to be at the optimum of health because that's something that I can do to make treatments and (hopefully) a pregnancy as smooth as possible.  Brad and I have been off of sugar for 10 weeks, and I have lost OVER 40 pounds!!!!!  Every pound that's lost, I feel is one step closer to the possibility of a healthier me...which will hopefully mean a greater chance of a pregnancy and baby!           

We covet your prayers for us and with us as we trust God with our future, and pray with expectancy and faith.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Across the World!

...that's where Bradley is right now - or at least on his way!

Brad left our house at 5:40 this morning, and headed to the airport to catch a plane to Japan!  He left this morning, and is STILL in the air even as I type this - his flight is 16 hours!!  He will be gone for 10 days, and I'm already ready for him to be back on Alabama soil.  However, I am beyond grateful every single day for his job, and am so proud of how hard Brad works for our family...and, not just everyone gets to travel to super cool places and have the opportunities that Brad has - so, thank you Lord for blessings that have came with this job!!

The last time Brad was in Japan, I was on crutches...let's all say a BIG ol' prayer that that won't be a repeat!!  HAHA!!

I've got lots to keep me busy while my beloved is gone - I have a wedding this weekend!  WOOHOO!!  Let the first of the spring weddings begin...I have LOTS of weddings the next several months, and I'm ready to get my hands dirty :)  I'll post pics next week!

Hope everyone is having a great week!