Thursday, September 20, 2012

Look who was up late last night...

Sam, Daddy, and Aunt Jenn at the county fair!  Hee Haw!

The only thing I'm a real stickler about as far as Sam's schedule is his bedtime.  But, sometimes rules are worth breaking.  He may end up being a little cranky today, but seeing his face light up and jaw drop in utter amazement last night?  Totally. Worth. It.

Mom and Dad had some fun, too!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Made. Shade. Lemonade.

Our little dude is 8 months old today.  Eight months!  As in 2/3 of a year!  What?!  So very grateful for this healthy little boy.  That was born in a fabulous hospital surrounded by some of the best doctors and nurses on the planet providing 24/7 care.  And if something had gone wrong, they would've fought for his life with everything they had - in a separate area designed for infants in need of extra special care.  And if we want to come back and do it 15 more times, we can.

A few days after his birth, we brought our baby home.  We drove in our very own car on smoothly paved roads to our ridiculously large home.  The hub got to spend a lot of time with us at home in the first few weeks because he started his very own business earlier this year.  In the spring I returned to my full-time job where I provide a valuable service to people all over and I get paid to do it.  Years ago, I learned my trade at an amazing school, right in my own backyard.  This spring, Sam also started at his own school, where he is surrounded by teachers who love on him every single day.  The weather also got warmer in the spring... so we used some extra water to make the grass and trees around our house pretty.

The weather is cooling off now, and we will soon take our little man to a nearby pumpkin patch.  To pick out a pumpkin not for food, but just for fun... to cut up and decorate and sit on the porch of our own home.  We will dress him in these clothes that his Nana bought for him at a store, not because he needs them, but just because they're cute...

Soon I'm ordering a onesie for him to wear in his Christmas pictures.  You know, the time of year when those of us who choose to follow Jesus get to celebrate his birth.  We will give and receive lots of gifts from friends and family.   And eat ridiculous amounts of food and probably a lot will be left over and thrown away.  Then we'll snuggle up by the fire in our toasty ridiculously large home and sigh...

I'm so very humbled and thankful to live in this great country.  Look at the freedoms we have and the silly things we get to do - because we can.  We are rich beyond measure compared to the rest of the world.  But anytime there is something great, there is someone not far away trying to unravel it.  Because we are such a great nation, we will always be threatened.  Today I am remembering all of those who lost their lives 11 years ago, as well as their loved ones left behind.  And I'm more than grateful for the men and women who have served and are serving our country today to preserve our freedoms.  As sweet Tim Russert said many times, "What a country!"

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Casting Call: MTV's True Life on Infertility

So yesterday was a pretty typical Friday... other than I had the rare pleasure of chatting with an MTV producer about an upcoming episode of True Life!  Random, huh?  She found me through my blog so before I knew what the scoop was, I was pretty certain it had something to do with our infertility journey.  Sure enough, MTV is casting for a future episode of their documentary series, True Life, focusing on young adults struggling with infertility.  AWESOME!

Obviously, I'm too much of an old fart to be on the show, and well... I've got my prize (Sam!).  They are currently looking for people in the midst of their battle who are willing to share their journey.  This entails having cameras capture doctor visits and all that jazz... there is no hiding.  Because you know, it's on TV.  As in the whole world can see it.  And your spouse/partner needs to be a willing participant too - they are very interested in documenting how infertility affects relationships. 

Before I give the specifics of what MTV is after in terms of casting, I first want to say this has the potential to create amazing strides toward infertility awareness.  I am super excited about this and so honored that the producers genuinely wanted to hear my thoughts and opinions on the subject.  I was asked what I struggled with most.  Obviously everyone's journey is different.  I told her for me, it was an emotional battle more than anything.  A battle over my heart.  I struggled to find my place in the world... watching all our friends start and grow their own families while we were sitting in a perpetual state of childlessness.  To protect my heart, I armed myself with God's word and prayer.  And leaned heavily on my husband and held hands with dear sisters who were walking the same path.  Some days were peaceful.  Others weren't.

I told the producer my advice to those going through this mess... reach out and find those few friends who have been down this road.  Infertility is one of those struggles that can't be fully understood unless you've "been there."  Love and support from family and friends is invaluable, but you NEED those sisters to walk along side you.  Even if you're keeping your journey private, find a friend or two with whom you can be real.

And for those outside of this, for those looking to support friends and family who are battling this... educate yourself.  Find out what all that silly infertility lingo means and show a genuine interest in what your friends are facing.  Instead of saying, "Have you tried...?", simply say, "Keep trying."  In the six years it took us to bring Sam home, those are the two best words I heard anyone on the outside say... keep trying.

Now!  On to the specifics.  If you're not familiar with MTV's True Life series, I encourage you to hop on their site and peruse through some past episodes.  It is a true documentary with each episode focusing on a different struggle and highlighting two to three young people facing those struggles.  Given MTV's demographics, they are obviously looking for participants of a younger age.  So that's really the only "gotcha" here... cast members have to be 29 or younger.  Which for infertility is a bit harder given that the majority of adults going in and out of fertility clinics are in their 30's and 40's.  But there are certainly many out there getting an early start!  I definitely know friends who got aggressive with treatments in their mid-20's.  So here is the skinny...



Have you always wanted to have a baby and are finding out that getting pregnant isn't as easy as it seems? Have you been trying for months -- or even years -- to get pregnant without success? Have you or your partner been diagnosed with a condition that makes it difficult to conceive naturally and plan to seek help from a fertility clinic? Are you so consumed with having a baby that you'll stop at nothing to have your own? If so, is your partner right there with you? Or is he or she reluctant to spend the money and energy it would take to conceive through high tech means? Are your fertility issues causing problems with your relationship? Has trying to have a baby left you emotionally, physically, and financially drained? Do you have a pre-existing health condition where being pregnant could be dangerous for you and your baby, but you're determined to beat the odds?

If you appear to be the ages of 18-29 and you're CURRENTLY struggling with fertility issues, please email us:

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Please include your name, story, location, PHONE NUMBER, and photograph if possible. Please remember to include your PHONE NUMBER.

Since its first episode in 1998, True Life has provided a window into the struggles, hopes, and dreams of young people. Narrated solely by its characters, each episode documents the unusual--and often remarkable--circumstances of real individuals, whether it's about soldiers returning from Iraq, deaf teenagers, or people living with autism. We've given all of them--and hundreds of others--the opportunity to tell their own stories directly to their peers in this powerful series that uniquely reflects the experiences and cultures of this generation.

Also please note that you have to be in the US to qualify.  And certainly, there is NO pressure for a cast member to get pregnant through this process.  This is meant to be a REAL look at this struggle.  And as we all know, there are not always happy endings.  They simply want to document the journey.  I would love it if you would repost or tweet this post... MTV is looking to wrap up casting in the next two weeks, so this is an immediate need.  As I said, this has the potential to be really great.  The producers already have great orgs like Resolve in the loop, so they are now depending heavily on social media to get the word out and find a great cast.  After speaking with the producer, it was clear that they really want to get this right.  Thanks, all!  Can't wait to see this play out.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Guess who's in the finals?!

Remember when I mentioned my love for this guy at the Atlanta auditions back in June?  Well apparently America loves him too!  I grin from ear to ear whenever Cyrus gets on the stage.  He just oozes pure joy when he dances.  And whether you like his style or not, you've got to give it to him - he's NEVER done choreography before this show.  He was solely a freestyler.  What amazing talent.  I think what's also so darn appealing about him is his humility.  He knows he friggin' rocks his own signature style, but has been so eager to learn more.  LOVE this kid.  Here's one of his performances from last night...