Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fashion Help

Chad and I are getting our annual Christmas photo taken next Saturday with Bella and I am trying to find the perfect outfit. I would like to wear a sweater dress with tights and boots or jeans, a sweater, and boots. We went out yesterday afternoon to find something, but I didn't have much luck. So I thought that I would reach out to my readers for help and inspiration. You see I love going shopping, but I don't like searching for clothes. I would rather have a personal shopper that buys me everything from head to toe. So if you have a store in mind that I should go check out for a sweater dress, boots, or a sweater please leave me a comment. Thanks for your help and I hope that you all had a great Black Friday!

I am just so excited that we still have two days off before going back to work! YEAH!

Here are a few photos from our last year's Christmas Photo Shoot:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Day Of Thanks!


Happy Thanksgiving To All My Family and Friends, that includes all of you! I feel blessed to be in my home celebrating with some wonderful friends. I am still fighting a cold and not 100% so I am glad to be home taking it easy. I am hoping that in a few days I will be back to normal!
This year I have so much to be thankful for:
I am THANKFUL for my relationship with God and all that he has taught me and has shown me this year!
I am THANKFUL for my wonderful husband Chad!
I am THANKFUL for my dog Bella who at the moment is sleeping and dreaming of her own turkey dinner!
I am THANKFUL for my amazing family and their babies!
I am THANKFUL for my Friends and their families!
I am VERY THANKFUL for the little one growing in my belly I do not take it for granted at all!
What are you THANKFUL for today?
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Verdict is In...

I am back from my doctor's appointment and I am glad I went.  I have a sinus infection and a cold.  So I am taking Sudafed and a Prescription Cough Syrup so hopefully in a few days I can feel 100%.  I have already taken a small nap this afternoon and I plan on resting and napping on and off throughout the day.  I was happy to hear the baby's heartbeat and to know that all is fine with the baby.  Thanks for your sweet comments.  Have a great Monday afternoon!

Being Pregnant and Sick

I wanted to let all my blog readers, especially the ones that recently sent me an email over the past 5 days that I am sick and not feeling well at all.  Being pregnant and sick is not fun, as I can't take a whole lot of medicine.  In fact I have tired everything that the doctor has recommend over the past week and it is not working.  So today at 10:45 AM I am off to the doctor's office in hopes to get relief from this deep cough I have, the sore throat I have, and aching ears.  I am also hoping that they will also check our baby.  Do colds impact your baby or are they safe?  I am dying to know.  So once I get to feeling better I will answer all emails, but for now I am resting.  Have a great Monday! 

Friday, November 20, 2009

1st Baby Appointment

We had our first baby appointment on November 3rd, 2009.  I was a bundle of nervous because I just wanted everything to go well.  Our appointment was about 2 hours long as we had to answer a complete medical history for both myself and Chad.  After all questions were answered it was finally the time to hear the babies heartbeat.  I had no idea what to expect I just enjoyed the moment hearing our baby's heartbeat for the 1st time.  It was amazing how fast it was, I was in shock and felt like I shouldn't breathe during the entire time we listened to it.  Our baby's heartbeat was 168.  After hearing the heartbeat I relaxed a bit more for the remainder of the appointment.  I got to meet my new doctor (Dr. M) and I think she is going to be great and I look forward to getting to know her over the course of the next 6 months.  Our next appointment is December 4th, 2009.  The only thing I forget to do was take a picture of Chad and I at our first appointment.  Oh well I will have to try at our next appointment.  I look forward to that day!

I received a few questions since annoucing our pregnancy and so I thought that I would answer a few of them.  
Are we going to find out the sex?  Yes we will we are both planners and must know so we can get everything prepared for the day he or she arrives.  
Are you going to stay at home after the baby is here?  Actually since I work at home most of the time I plan on staying home and working too.  Eventually we will have our son or daugther attend daycare. 
How have I been feeling?  I was sick almost all day for about 5 weeks and than during week 11 and 12 I started having great days with a few bad days during the week.  This week (week 13) I have felt okay, I just have had a sore throat all week, but I am hoping that during week 14, which is next week, I will feel great.  But if not I will take it, I have waited two years for these moments.  I am living in the moment each day and loving it!

A few Pregnancy Notes
1.  I love Rice Krispes - I have them every morning for breakfast and if nothing sounds good for dinner that is what I have! 
2.  I don't like chocolate at the moment - I really wonder if that will change... I loved chocolate prior to getting pregnant I would choose chocolate over a meal any day. 
3.  I like bland food options such as toast, cereal, crackers, pretzels, and grilled cheese.  
4.  The only drink that sounds good right now is water, I don't even drink my daily glass of chocolate milk.  
It will be very interesting to see what changes over the next several months. 

Everything is starting to feel real with this pregnancy as the secret is out and everyone now knows!  I am excited for the months ahead and I had a great week sharing the news with all of you.  Thanks for stopping by all week and leaving me sweet comments or sending me emails.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

SHARING THE NEWS

Sharing the news with our family and friends was very special to me and I wanted each event to be memorable.  The first person I shared the news with after telling my husband was Kelly @ Kelly's Korner.  We had lunch plans the day after I found out I was pregnant and I just could not keep it to myself.  Kelly asked how I was doing and it just came out.  We both cried and I think that she was amazed with my news.  I know I was still in shock on that day.  I just wish we would have gotten a picture together during our lunch date.  Oh well we have many more lunch dates/play dates in the future.  We than planned a trip to Sioux Falls, SD to visit my sister Amie.  It was great timing because my mom and my sister Jessyca also planned to go to Amie's House that same weekend.  We went to Amie's house on October 9th, 2009 and when we arrived on Friday it snowed on Friday night and with the snow my mom and sister Jessyca were at risk of not making it to Amie's house.  They were driving from Montana and all the way from Montana to South Dakota it was snowing and the road conditions were not great.  They however did make it and I was so happy that they were able to make it.  Since they didn't arrive until the day after we arrived we had to wait a day to share the news.  So about an hour or so after they arrived Chad gave each of the girls a wrapped present.  He told them they had to open it together and when they opened it they were completely amazed and shocked.  Amie said, "I can't believe you were able to keep this from me!"  The gift from Amie and Jessyca was a shirt that said Aunt to Be and my Mom's Shirt said Grandma to Be.  We all cried and hugged.  We did take pictures of all of us together on that special day. 
Next stop sharing the news with all our friends.  It was important to me that we share the news with our friends in a special way that they will not forget.  I invited all of our friends to our house for a dinner party on November 7rh, 2009.  Little did they know that the dinner party was really a coming out party.  We had wonderful food and conversation before the big announcement.  Chad invited all of the adults to come into our living room as we were going to play a game.  Chad handed each couple a envelope and told them not to open it until he counted to three.  One..two...three and everyone opened it.
 This is what they opened
I remember looking at our friends faces and the excitement they had for us.  I know that many of them had been waiting for this day just as much as we have.  The pictures below will tell the story, but after the big announcement it was filled with lots of hugs and many tears. 

Before the big announcement!
After the big announcement!
I wrote our story which I shared in this post and Chad gave each one of our friends a copy!
Thanks Kim for taking all the wonderful photos!  They are a perfect!

We had one couple that had a prior engagement and could not make it to the party so I had to figure out how to get them over to our house before the party so we called them and asked them if we can borrow a ladle for the soup I was serving and I remember them telling Chad, "don't you have neighbors?"  They however did bring the ladle and Chad and I went out to their car and shared the news with them.  I remember Alex saying Praise the Lord and Anthony was amazed and shocked that we were able to keep it to ourselves for 12 weeks.  They did come by later in the night to celebrate!
 
I feel so blessed that all of our friends in NWA were able to join us for this special night.  It will be one I won't forget.  I get asked this all the time, how did you manage to keep it a secret for 12 weeks?  Well it was not easy, but it was important to me that I hear the babies heartbeat and make it to the safe point in my pregnancy before sharing the news. 
My amazing friend Ashley did a post about that night a few days ago and if you have time stop by her blog and read it.  It is great to hear the story from her point of view. 

After sharing the news with our friends we had one very special couple to share the news with and that was with our Arkansas parents Mary and Greg.  So this past weekend we went to Bee Branch, Arkansas to share the news.  Chad and I purchased a gift for Mary and we put the same card in her gift bag.  She opened the card first and she was completely in shock she had no idea.  My hubby is one to always call Mary and share all news with her ASAP, but this time he was very good about keeping it a secret and it was the best seeing their faces when they read the card.  Lots of tears and hugs followed.  It was a great weekend of discussing all things baby and Mary was a great mom taking care of me and making great food.  I love being at her house because she always has fruit and great food that we eat all weekend long.  I didn't get any pictures...sorry!

So that is it!  I hope that it was not too boring.  Sharing the news was a big milestone for us.  We won't forget the special moments we had with our family and friends.  Now that the news is out this is all beginning to feel real!
Tomorrow I will share the news about my first baby appointment and how I am feeling.  I hope that all this baby news is exciting for you as it is for me.  Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our Story

First I would like to say thank you to all that left me a comment from my last post.  If you haven't seen the last post go here!  Each one of them was special to read and I look forward to sharing them with Chad when he returns from NYC.  We are loved in so many ways and feel very blessed to have all this love and support around us!  As I stated in my last post I am now going to share our story with you.  I hope that our story gives those that are seeking to become pregnant HOPE.  I just hope you don't get too bored! 
Us girls all have fairy tales, dreams, desires, wants, and plans for our future. We feel that if we make these plans that they will come true. My dreams have come true, but the timing of the dreams aren't always when I thought it would be. Let me start at the beginning.
Our story began when Chad and I got married in September 26th, 2006.  We spent our first year of marriage truly enjoying our marriage as a couple.  It was a great first year!  Towards the end of the first year Chad and I went on a 1st Year Anniversary Trip to Mexico and a month before leaving we decided to go off the pill and start trying to have a baby.  We spent the next 10 months trying on our own with no success at all.  I was scheduled for my yearly OBGYN appointment and we decided that we would seek additional help.  I still remember that day as if it was yesterday sitting in the doctor's office telling my OBGYN that we were having problems and than our world was turned upside down.  We both spent the next four months doing every test possible to determine a cause.  Chad was sent to a male specialist (sorry I don't know what they are called) and they did additional testing and it was determined that we would go on Clomid for the next 6 months to see if we could conceive on our own.  However it did not work and than they suggested that we try an IUI.  I just knew an IUI would work and we would be pregnant.  Well I was wrong we did a total of three IUI's from November 2007-January 2009.  It was disappointing to hear that our next steps were to seek help at the Tulsa Fertility Center.  We had our first appointment in February 2009 to review our history with the doctors at the clinic and determine what was the best option for us.  Based on our male factor issues our doctor decided that we should go straight to IVF with ICSI as based on our records we had less than a 5% chance of conceiving on our own.  This was dramatic for me to hear, but I knew at the time that I had to have trust in the doctor's that they knew best.  So we proceeded and began the journey of IVF.  After our first appointment it felt as if I would finally get pregnant and all my dreams would come true.  I had NO doubt at all that it won't work I just knew that once the doctor's put the egg and sperm together that it would create a embryo and it would implant in me and all would be great.  That is what I thought, but boy was I wrong.  I began fertility shots in April and we had our Egg Retrieval on April 16th 2009 and my Embryo Transfer on April 19th 2009.  During the month of April and a few weeks in May I ended up taking around 60 shots...YIKES!  On May 1st 2009 we did our first Beta test and we received news that it was a low positive and so for the next several days I did two more Beta tests and it was determined on May 11th, 2009 that I was not pregnant.  It was a very SAD day!  I just did not understand why this was happening to me.  During the peak of our fertility treatments I was surrounded by some many people that I love that were having babies or pregnant.  My twin sister Amie welcomed Drew in May 2009, my friend Ashley welcomed her little girl in June 2009, my friend Kendall welcomed her little girl in June 2009, and my sister Jessyca welcomed her little girl in July 2009.  I was around so many blessings, but I was dying inside.  I wanted what they had and I just didn't understand why it was so hard for us.  I don't want my friends or family reading this to think I was hurt or upset about their pregnancies I was more jealous than anything.  Only a few people know this, but since I am telling you our story I am going to be real with you, when Chad and I went to our failed cycle consult in Tulsa in May 2009 we were told that our best option to conceive was donor sperm.  Hearing those words and the lost hope our doctor had in us was heartbreaking.  I felt completely lost!  It was also hard because I felt as if I couldn't talk to anyone about what was going on because I thought that they would not understand and just tell me to be patient and I would get pregnant.  And that was the last thing I wanted to hear!  After the failed IVF I couldn't do it again as my heart was not 100% into trying again.  In June 2009 Kelly and I were walking in the neighborhood and we were discussing the options that we were given and based on our discussion and her faith I just felt a strong feeling that I needed to SIT and BE PATIENT!  Thanks Kelly! 
So from June 2009-August 2009 Chad and I decided that we would give our worries to GOD and let him lead us.  I am not saying that we didn't stop counting days and determining peak ovaluation days because we did do this each month, but we did focus more on our relationship with GOD than on getting pregnant.  It was difficult for me to give it all to GOD as I have the personality that wants to control all details and make it happen.  But as I continued to grow my faith in GOD I changed.  I felt called to the Alter one Sunday in early September 2009 and I talked to GOD and told him that I could not feel this way anymore, I could not continue feeling sad each month that I did't get pregnant and on that day I laid it all down to him so now it was his turn to take care of it.  About a week later I was walking with Bella and I just spoke to GOD and asked him to give me some sign that he was with me and taking care of me and I looked up and the sun rays were shining down on me.  I felt comfort and strength after that walk that GOD was with me.  On September 22nd 2009 I woke up and had a strong feeling that I needed to take a pregnancy test, I was 10 days late.  I already knew what it would say NOT PREGNANT!  HOWEVER TO MY SURPRISE IT CLEARLY SHOWED PREGNANT.  I was completely amazed I didn't know what to do.   I have never received a positive test since we started our journey.  I didn't want to tell Chad over the phone so I went to his office and he met me outside and I said, "Look at the photo I took this morning." 

He looked at my iPhone and there was a picture of the test.  He was completely in shock and he told me that I made his entire year!  I was still in shock and couldn't believe that this was happening that I went to Walmart and bought three more tests and over the course of the next three days I took five tests to confirm I was in fact pregnant.  On September 25th, 2009 I went to my OBGYN's office to confirm I was in fact pregnant and on that day all our dreams came true.  It was the best third year anniversary present we could give each other as the next day was our anniversary and WE WERE PREGNANT!  It is surreal to think that on our 1st anniversary we began the journey to become parents and on our third anniversary we were blessed with the miracle that is growing inside of me. Dreams do come true and I know this because of the miracle that God has given me.
I hope that our story gives each infertility couple faith and hope that you can get pregnant on your own.  We bet the odds and with MANY prayers from MANY people around the world we are expecting our MIRACLE in May 2010.  If anyone has any further questions or comments that they would like to share with me personally you can email me 
at mlstafford26@yahoo.com  
Sorry for the LONG post!  I hope you enjoyed!  Tomorrow I will share our story of us telling our family and friends!  Each day sharing the news with our family and friends will be a memory I won't forget and I can't wait to share it with all of you.  
God is Good! 

With Faith, Hope, and a Miracle I feel Blessed!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Do you want to see a Miracle?

(above card created by Piece of Pope)
Yes you are reading the card above correctly.  Chad and I are expecting our miracle baby in May 24th, 2010.  We are both beyond excited and thrilled to make this announcement!  I have waited for this day for two years and I am extremely happy to share the news with all my blogging friends. 

I am currently 13 weeks pregnant!

We have shared the news with our friends and family over the past few weeks and I have some great stories and moments to share with you over the course of the week. 
So if you have been wondering why I have been so quite and have not written a whole lot this is why... I have had this exciting news and I have had to keep it a secret and it was extremely hard, but I managed.  But now the news is out and I am excited for all of you to know!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your prayers and support.  I truly could not have gotten through the difficult days without your words of comfort and support! 

With that said, I still have a heavy heart for those many couples that are still waiting for their miracle pregnancy or fertility treatment to give them a true blessing to become pregnant.  I plan on sharing my amazing story with all of you this week in hopes that it will give you all hope, but I will continue to keep each of you in my prayers. 

For Now...
I will celebrate this great news with all of you!
Yeah for the Stafford's!

Plus check out my new picture header... isn't it great?  Thank you Traci @ Sweet Cheeky Designs for the mini makeover!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart... he will direct your paths"  
Proverbs 3:5-6

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Daily Favorite Moments

Do you have moments each day that you love?  Given that it is the month to be thankful I thought that I would share a few moments that I have each day that I just love!

1.  My three morning kisses from my husband!  Chad goes to work before I am out of bed and he always gives me three kisses on my cheek before he leaves and a I love you!  It just melts my heart!

2.  Bella Moments!  If you can't tell by now I love my dog Bella she is my girl.  I enjoy the moment when I ask her if she wants to go for a walk and she gets excited and smiles.  It makes me excited inside that she is happy. 

3.  "My Time" During the Day!  Since I work at home I am able to enjoy my time each day.  My time usually consists of a daily walk or a warm bath or reading or just sitting in silence reflecting on my life.  I think it is good to stop and slow down and embrace each day.  I may not be good at doing it each day, but I do try. 

So what are your daily favorite moments? 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Free In Suffering

This past Sunday at church our pastor spoke on We Are Free - "Free in Suffering" and it was amazing!  So I thought that I would share the keypoints that I took away with all of you. 

First ask yourself this question, is it possible to be free in suffering?  What must I see and understand in times of suffering?  The below insights might assist you as they did for me in feeling free from suffering. 
While listening to our Pastor preach on this subject there was one family that I kept thinking about and the suffering they faced in 2008 when they lost their daughter Audrey Caroline.  Yes I am referring to Angie Smith's blog and if you have followed her blog for some time you know her story and I truly admire the Smith family for there strength they continue to show during the struggles they faced and continue to face with the loss of their beautiful daughter Audrey.  They are a true example of feeling free from suffering. 

Here are the five insights that were discussed in regards to suffering:
1.  Everyone and Everything experiences suffering - in my days of struggling with infertility I felt as if God was picking on me and allowing me to go through this while others don't have too.  I felt as if it was unfair!  Why would God want me to struggle with infertility?  What is his greater purpose for me?  But after our pastor spoke on this subject it made me realize that we all experience suffering just in different forms.  What a relief!  Suffering is not fun, but I have learned so much from my suffering that it will be with me for the rest of my life. 
2.  All suffering is temporary - Praise the Lord that suffering is only Temporary!  The tough part about suffering is realizing that it is only temporary and it will pass.  All of us that face infertility will soon realize that it is only temporary when we are holding our little one in our arms.  Suffering allows us to grow as individuals and appreciate the world around us.  If everything was easy we would all take the life that God has given us for granted!  Suffering is a great gift and even though it is painful it is only temporary. 
3.  Eagerly expect Redemption of my body - this will happen when Jesus comes again and He raises all from the dead, my body will be raised from the dead and glorified before Him. 
4.  Greatest suffering is incomparable to the coming Glory of God - even the greatest of suffering that I will face is no where comparable to the Glory I will face when I am face to face with God.
5.  The Holy Spirit is with Me - even during the days of struggles and sadness that I have faced I need to remember that the Holy Spirit is with me praying for me, and showing me how to be a stronger person. 

I share this post to all that are suffering today and I hope it gives you hope to feel free in suffering.  All the best to you!
In addition the following song from Kari Jobe - "You Are For Me" was worshiped during this service as well and it is an amazing song!  So I hope you will take sometime and listen!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Love Music and Misc!

Don't you just love listening to music?  I enjoy listening to music when I workout, when I take Bella for a walk, when I am working at the office, when I am cleaning the house, and when I am driving.  When do you listen to music?  What type of music do you enjoy listening too?  I would love to add some new songs to my iPhone.  So if you have some favorite artists or songs leave me a comment and I will go and check them out.  

I also want to say GET BETTER to all my friends that are not feeling well!  It seems as if everyone around me is getting sick and by the end of the flu season I have a feeling that everyone will end of getting sick.  It is a tough season and I just pray that Chad and I can stay healthy.  So if you are feeling not yourself or have the flu/swine flu I hope you feel better soon! 

Amie took some great photos of her boys over the past few days and I just love them.  Go Check It Out Here!  Aidan her oldest boy is so funny and tells the best stories.  In fact a few nights ago he called me and said HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  It is not even close to my birthday, but I will take it just to hear his voice.  I just love those boys!  

Finally if you live in NWA and have no plans tomorrow night Bentonville is having their First Friday Event and it is centered around Walmart's Holiday Toyland.  It all begins at 3PM-8PM.  The weather is going to be great and so I look forward to spending a few hours out in the sun enjoying the fall day!  

Happy Friday! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

No Words

Do you ever have days when you have no words to say?  This is one of those days for me.  This week has been one and will continue to be one busy week.  I enjoy being busy as it makes the week go by fast, but at the same time I would like to press pause and enjoy the wonderful weather we are having in NWA.  With no words to say or peace that I would like to have I could take Bella for a walk and feel the warm sun on my skin and watch Bella's ears flap in the wind.  With no words to be said at all.  But it will have to wait until another week because with Walmart Meetings this week and the Holiday Toyland on Friday there is A LOT to DO!  I also have AWANA'S tonight and Zumba on Thursday night.  Did I also mention that Chad and I are also having our amazing friends over for a dinner/card party on Saturday.  It will be a busy, but I will embrace the days ahead and enjoy each moment. 
Does anyone else have great weekend plans? 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Fun with Friends

Chad and I spent our Saturday with friends at the 4th Annual Halloween Party at the Fisher's.  It was AMAZING!  All the activities for the kids were great!  It is tough to go to this event when you don't have any kids, but I did enjoy taking pictures of all the little ones.  Chad and I are the only couple in our group of friends that don't have kids.  So it makes it difficult to relate to what is taking place in their lives as I hope it would be difficult for them to relate how it feels to not have kids at an event like the Halloween Party.  I look forward to the year when we can attend this event with a little one of our own.  I know that it will feel amazing to be able to dress up our little one some day and enjoy this event with our friends.  My heart has been heavy the past few days for all the infertility couples out there that are wanting a child so bad and are struggling with infertility.  I wish that I had the answers for all of us that are struggling.  I simply continue to keep all of you in my prayers that I will some day hear that you are pregnant.  So with a heavy heart this past weekend I hope that this holiday event was not too tough for all of you as it was for me, but if it was I am sending you a GREAT BIG HUG! 
Have a great week!
All the kids!
Potato Sack Races

Guess Who this little girl is?  Kelsey Fisher

Great Friends
Adult Fun - Annual Pumpkin Craving Contest

The Winning Pumpkin

I just love this boy!  Look at that PUMPKIN!

Gavin's New Pose!

Look at that Smile! 

My favorite photo of the day!

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