Camping on the Coast

Found this old video I made of a camping trip we did down the coast when we were living in Washington. We did a camping trip on a 3 day weekend. The highlights were hiking along the coast with the prettiest ocean views, seeing a mom & baby whale swimming in the ocean when we got to the hike view point, camping & s'mores, & having a picnic at the Tillamook Cheese Factory (we brought a baguette, fruit, & cream soda & got the BEST smoked cheddar at the factory followed by the most delicious ice cream- marionberry & salted caramel hazelnut are both sooo good)! It was such a fun weekend!!

Good Things to Come

One of my favorite Mormon Messages.

"Don't you quit; you keep walking, you keep trying. There is help & happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon, some come late, & some don't come till heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust God & believe in good things to come."

-Elder Jeffry R. Holland

I know that the times when I am going through trials,  I also grow the closest to my Heavenly Father  & can look back on that time & see the lessons I learned. I have faith that everything will be alright in the end.

On Comfort & Peace

Last Monday, I had my blood taken to see if I would qualify for an In Vitro study. If I qualified, it would mean that Nate & I would be able to do IVF for a cost of $1,600 instead of $16,000. We could have this procedure done now instead of needing to save up for a year just to see if it would work. We knew it was a small chance I would qualify, but we didn't give up hope. I had a small glimmer of hope in my heart that things would work out & that we would have a miracle.

I had gotten my AMH level tested a few weeks before & it was too low to qualify for the study, but I was told if I had the test done when I was dehydrated & at a certain time of the month, there was a small chance it would increase the level. The timing wasn't working out & there were only a few days left before I would need to qualify, so I called the office on Monday & ended up rushing over there right after work to get my blood taken. It was then sent to a lab on the East Coast, so we had several days to think, worry, & hope about the results.

I tried to keep busy & not think about it too much, but I just continued to have a hope & feeling that things would work out. I had Friday off of work & that was the day we were supposed to get the call. I went to a Pilates class & then Roll & Release (stretching) class at the gym with my sister, Brittany, trying to relax & get my mind off what the results would be. Afterwards, I showered & got ready & then headed over to Britt's house.We were going to be meeting our sister, Brooke, for lunch.

While at Britt's house, I got the call. I nervously, anxiously answered. It was not a lady from the doctor's office, but a lady from the research office calling. She told me the results, my levels did qualify for the study, but unfortunately, the study was now full. My eyes filled with tears & my heart just dropped as I tried to say something. I asked if we could be put on a waiting list in case someone dropped out, but was told that wasn't possible because everyone needed to start the study at the same time. I tried to say goodbye as I hung up the phone & began to sob. Even as I write this now, my eyes fill with tears.

I know that I should have not gotten my hopes up. Every time through this process, I let myself get my hopes up a little & then things never work out as we are told they should. First, I had hope I could get pregnant naturally, then I was told Clomid & Metformin would be an easy fix. Then I was told IUI would work, then I was told my fallopian tubes were both blocked but it was possible I would qualify for this IVF study.

Each time, Nate & I have prayed and hoped & had faith, but each time, we have gotten disappointing news. Though there have been so many sad & emotional days, I know that our Heavenly Father is there & knows our sorrows & hears our prayers & is right there with me when I am crying. I know that this is part of His plan for Nate & I. I even know in my heart that we weren't meant to do the study. I don't know why, but I know that the people that qualified needed it more than us at this time & that it will be our time when the timing is right. The most sad part to me is just the amount of time we will need to wait to try IVF, but maybe that is the amount of time that we are meant to wait, & maybe if we had done the study, it wouldn't have worked because the timing was wrong. For now, we will save & do everything we can & will not lose hope.

Even though I felt so overwhelmingly sad hearing the news & knowing that we had met the qualifications, but just not soon enough, I felt the Savior's love as I was able to not be alone when I heard the news. I was with Brittany, who is so sweet. I was able to talk to Nate & have his support. I was able to talk to my sister, Melissa, who has gone through many years of infertility, I had sweet texts from my family, & then I was able to go to lunch with my sisters & not be alone. I know that those were all tender mercies from Heavenly Father.

Then the next 2 days, Nate & I were able to spend a lot of time together & watch General Conference. There were so many amazing messages shared that gave me so much hope & reassured me over & over again that Heavenly Father loves me & is there for me & hears my prayers. I know that there are so many others with struggles so much harder than my own. I have so many things to be thankful for & am surrounded by such loving family & friends. After listening to conference this weekend, I feel happiness, love, & hope. I know that we will have our miracle when the time is right.

Favorite Quotes from Conference:

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:

-We cannot force God to comply with our desires—no matter how right we think we are or how sincerely we pray. Consider the experience of Paul, who pleaded with the Lord multiple times for relief from a personal trial—what he called “a thorn in the flesh.” But that was not God’s will. Eventually, Paul realized that his trial was a blessing, and he thanked God for not answering his prayers the way he had hoped.

-Faith is trust—trust that God sees what we cannot and that He knows what we do not.

-Faith means that we trust not only in God’s wisdom but that we trust also in His love. It means trusting that God loves us perfectly, that everything He does—every blessing He gives and every blessing He, for a time, withholds—is for our eternal happiness. With this kind of faith, though we may not understand why certain things happen or why certain prayers go unanswered, we can know that in the end everything will make sense. “All things [will] work together for good to them that love God.” All will be made right. All will be well. We can be certain that answers will come, and we may be confident that we will not only be content with the answers but we will also be overwhelmed by the grace, mercy, generosity, and love of our Heavenly Father for us, His children.

-My beloved sisters in Christ, God is real. He lives. He loves you. He knows you. He understands you. He knows the silent pleadings of your heart. He has not abandoned you. He will not forsake you. Live in faith, dear friends, dear sisters, and “the Lord [our] God [will] increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised!"

"When Breathe Become Air" & Doctor's Appointments


I just finished the book, "When Breath Become Air" by Paul Kalanithi. It was such a wonderful, beautiful, & touching book & was just what I needed to read right now. It is a book written by a neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer & wrote the book the last 2 years of his life. He had such a beautiful way with words & it was so touching seeing the things he experienced, felt, & thought about as he was experiences such a huge trial. He had a wife & they were almost going to get divorced when he found got his diagnosis. It brought them close, saved their marriage, & they had a little girl 8 months before he passed away.

Hearing about their love & how strong they were was so touching. It made me think of how incredibly grateful I am for the marriage Nate & I have. Even though these past few years & most especially these past few months have been stressful, discouraging, & sometimes heartbreaking, I am so thankful for the love that Nate & I have for each other. I know that this trial has brought us closer & that we will be stronger & better parents because it. I felt like we had a strong marriage before, but there is something about going through a trial together that really cements you together.

Reading this book, made me think of the many trials that others go through, people that go through divorce, a spouse or child passing away, disease, medical complications, poverty, a spouse having an affair or addiction, there are so many sad things that go on & it breaks my heart when I think of the trials others go through. But it does give me peace to know that Heavenly Father is always there for us. It is when we are going through trials, that our true personality comes out & we must strive our best to show faith, hope, kindness, & love to each other & to others.

There have been days when I feel hopeless, but they usually end in me crying my eyes out, being held by Nate, & saying a prayer for comfort. Then I usually wake up feeling better & feeling peace & hope. I know that I am so blessed with the gospel, a wonderful husband, family that loves me, & the ability to have hope.

Today I go in to get my blood taken to see if Nate & I can qualify for an IVF test study. A few weeks ago we were preparing to start the IUI process. I had to go in to get an HSG test & make sure my fallopian tubes were not blocked and then a few days after that, we were supposed to schedule the IUI. When I had the HSG done, it showed that both of my tubes were completely blocked. It was so disappointing knowing that IUI would not be an option. Our 2 options now are a surgery to try & unblock my tubes and then if that works, 3 rounds of IUI. Or only other option is IVF, which costs $16,000. It was pretty disappointing news to hear that & to think of waiting another year until we can save up that amount of money. There is a study being done on invitro that I didn't quite qualify for because my AMH level was a little too low. The doctor wanted me to have my blood taken when I was dehydrated to see if the level would increase so I could qualify for the study. Nate & I have both been fasting & praying & we know it would be such a miracle if I could qualify. We will see how it goes! I know that even if I don't qualify, we will have a miracle somehow & that the Lord's timing is best. Since needles & shots are my worst fear, whenever I get a shot or my blood taken, I picture myself in Bali, surfing or walking along the beach. I'm so thankful that Nate & I were able to go on that trip. It was the trip of a lifetime & is something I will always remember.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

"In the end, it cannot be doubted that each of us can only see part of the picture. The doctor sees one, the patient another, the engineer a third, the alcoholic a sixth, the cable guy a seventh, the sheepfarmer an eighth, the Indian a ninth, the pastor a tenth. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world & is still never complete. & Truth comes somewhere above all of them."-Paul Kalanithi

"We were as inseparable as we had been as medical students, when we would hold hands during lectures. Now we held hands in his coat pocket during walks outside chemotherapy, Paul in a winter coat and hat even when the weather turned warm. He knew he would never be alone, never suffer unnecessarily. At home in bed a few weeks before he died, I asked him, 'Can you breathe okay with my head on your chest like this?' His answer was, 'It's the only way I know how to breathe.' That Paul & I formed part of the deep meaning of each other's lives is one of the greatest blessings that has ever come to me."-Lucy Kalanithi

“There is a moment, a cusp, when the sum of gathered experience is worn down by the details of living. We are never so wise as when we live in this moment.”

-Paul Kalanithi

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