Monday, October 26, 2009

Epic update post!

Hello, Jen here, breaking radio silence again!

So much has happened in the last few months...and yet, everything is the same!

First, to update the prayer request from my previous post. I'm sorry I never came back to update it. We do have insurance again, Praise God. It's considerably more expensive, so DH's boss is looking for another provider but at least this company picked us up and backdated everyone, so no one has a lapse. We're still not out of the woods with the FSA money. We've been able to drain it considerably since my last post, but there's still a lot in there. They did some fishy things this past week that lead me to believe that the money is precarious, so we're just praying that it holds out a little longer until we can drain the rest.

We had the opportunity to take a vacation in September to see our friends in Illinois and Michigan. It was a nice trip and we had a lot of good time with our friends. We learned one vital lesson: Our marriage and our stress level would both be better off with a GPS, especially when driving in Chicagoland. Construction everywhere, random detours, ridiculously inadequate public transportation, inexplicable traffic and the pervasive belief that traffic laws and signals are just suggestions led for many an adventure. We're now the proud owners of a little electronic friend known as the GPS.

We spent copious amounts of time chatting, playing silly games and hanging out. A few times, we went in to the city in Chicago. DH went up the Sears Tower (I, fearing heights, stayed safely on the ground). We went to the Museum of Science and Industry (cool enough, but overrated, in my opinion), the Field Museum, Millennium Park (I LOVE the Bean!), ate breakfast at Ann Sather (you MUST do this!), took the El and the Metra, took an architecture tour down the Chicago River (also a MUST do!) and generally enjoyed being in one of the most fascinating big cities in our great nation. In the 'burbs, we went Apple Picking (so much fun!), to Lake Geneva, and shopping (I even got to set foot in Packer Country!)-too fun.

I also got to take Todd to see the house my grandpa built, which is just a town over from where our friends live.

Up in Michigan, we went to a fantastic little Cider Mill (where the guys spent an almost inordinate amount of time being fascinated by the gigantic cider press, which I admit, WAS pretty cool). We played in the corn maze, launched rotten fruit from sling shots, and enjoyed yummy cider and apple donuts. We had hours of silly fun playing a goofy video game and we just generally relaxed. We were grateful for another wonderful vacation-one we'd not originally expected to be able to take. (Thank you God for free airline tickets and friends willing to put us up in their guest rooms).

We came home with the conclusion that 1) We really truly enjoy each others' company. We knew this already, of course, but it's always such a joy for me to be able to bask in Todd's company for extended periods of time; 2) we miss our friends and 3) I really love the Midwest. Someday, we think we'll repay the snowbirds the favor that they pay Arizona every year. They come here in the Winter to escape the Midwestern cold. I'd like to go there in the summers to escape the Phoenix sun.

Lest I bore you with any further details of our wonderful vacation, I'll move on.

One piece of news that overjoys me greatly, is that our dear friends, who we visited in Hawaii last summer, just recently left the Air Force and have accepted a job here in Phoenix. The wife and I were dear friends and roommates in college and we've been amused to find out that our husbands, 1) like each other and 2) are remarkably similar. Our friendship dates back 10 years--it's such a ministry to my soul to know that someone I have a history with will be living here soon! Sometimes I feel like my life is rather fragmented or compartmentalized: My gypsy childhood (we moved countless times and I attended 7 schools by third grade), junior high and high school (where were finally in one place for longer than 10 minutes), college, and married life. It's rather amazing to have two of those worlds (and moreover, the two best worlds) being bridged. I can't wait for them to live here. I'm so grateful that God is giving us this opportunity to have close fellowship with them again!

Our big conference at Right to Life (for which I was the coordinator) came and went. It was amazing. God really brought us some gifted minds to share some incredible things with us. Not the least of whom was a dear friend and mentor from college, and Dr. David Prentice from the Family Research Council, who gave us wonderful teaching on Stem Cell Research, and taught the RTL Audience about Snowflakes! 300 more people heard about the program because of him, and I'm so grateful.

I also started a second job. I'm now the Administrative Assistant for our church. It's been wonderful-and I love it! Our church is small so the only two people on staff are the Pastor and I. It gives me a great opportunity to learn closely from the life of someone I truly respect, and to be really involved in the little details of my church-which I love. It's been great blessing for our family to have the extra income, and my gifts lie in organization and administration, so it's a great opportunity for me to use them.

My weight journey has been a little frustrating. I lost about 23 pounds. Then I put on a few during vacation (to be expected) and between vacation and the conference and adding the second job, I fell out of the gym routine. I'm back to within 5 of where I was, and we still have some time and overall, I'm still much better off than I was 6 months ago. I'm not where I wanted to be in terms of the number on the scale, but I feel so much better and ultimately, that's what matters. My metabolic numbers have improved, my inches have changed, my muscle composition has changed, my activity level has increased, and my diet has changed drastically. I plan to start the gym routine again tomorrow after work. I'd appreciate your prayers for diligence in getting back into things. By God's grace, I'll get a few more pounds off, before...

OUR TRANSFER! Our transfer has been scheduled for December 2nd. We had hoped to schedule for October, but things with my cycle didn't cooperate. We know God's timing is perfect though, so we don't mind the extra couple months. We'd appreciate your prayers-there are a lot of changes this time, namely, we're with a new doctor, which is a good thing, but which also means we have to go through the Contract Stage again, which is very stressful. This doctor has a different medication regimen too, which has already begun and has impacted me more strongly than before. (DH is taking it like a trooper, but I'm an emotional wreck half the time!) This regimen also involves self injections, which totally freak me out, but God has given us a friend at church who is a nurse who said she will help us! (I'd still rather skip the needles though!)

The doctor's office is in Tucson (about 120 miles from here). Quite a few things need to happen medically between now and then. We humbly ask for your showering of prayers over and for us and for our babies. Please pray for the medical ducks to fall in a row, for the medications to go easily, for the travel on the multiple trips between here and Tucson. Please also pray for the contracts and doctors to be life-honoring. Please pray of course for the thawing and transfer, and for our peace to accept whatever God's already-known outcome is.

People keep asking me how I feel. Honestly, I don't know. I'm more overwhelmed by the process itself this time than last time, such that I've not thought a ton about the transfer itself. I don't know if that's God protecting my heart, or if it's fear, or patience, or peace or fatigue, or what. I'm of course fearful, but the fear doesn't really feel tangible, if that makes any sense. Nor however does any excitement. I'm just taking things one day at a time, asking God for the grace to deal with what comes. I am logically excited, but I think He is protecting my heart...for which I am grateful. I guess I could describe my feelings as cautious excitement, if there is such a thing. I don't want to lose again, but I also don't want a heart burdened with fear and grief, so I try to approach the issue lightly.

So that's the last couple of months in our household!

A couple of random, off topic things:

If you're a Parent and you like Parent's Magazine, you can get a 1 year subscription now through October 31st from Amazon for $5. We've purchased a couple other $5 subscriptions from them and it's always been legit :)

Second, if you're doing Christmas shopping and you use Amazon, would you consider coming to my blog and clicking the Amazon link on the right to get to the site? We get a tiny little percentage if you do (from Amazon, not your pocket). I do a lot of shopping on Amazon, so if you have an associates link, be sure to share it with me and I'll gladly click!

That's it! Until next time! I pray this finds you all well!