Saturday, January 31, 2009

Oh Wonderful Saturday

Saturdays are my FAVORITE day of the week. It is the only day (well, usually) that we get to sleep in! Today we made it a point to get up early so that we could enjoy the entire beautiful day. We went to file our taxes this morning at 9:00. Then went to Mimi's Cafe to eat, which was SO good. We ran home after taking a nice long drive in the country to pick up Bentley to take him to the vet. He has been having some trouble with his right ear so we figured we might as well get it checked out. Nothing big, just gonna have to start using eardrops for about 10 days until the infection clears up. Then we decided to go to the Greenway in White House. It is about a 3 mile trail (I think), and it is very peaceful. Bentley LOVED it, and even met some friends while we were out there. Now I'm off to take a nice long bath. I am going to start putting pictures on the blog soon. My camera is broken so we are in the process of trying to find a new one. Hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday!

25 Random Facts Aboout Me!

I am a huge facebook fan, and there is a "tag" going around for the 25 Random Facts. I just decided to post it on here since it took me so long to think about the 25 facts. Here it is:

1. I own a deaf English Bulldog. Yep, Bentley is 100% deaf.
2. I began praying for my husband in 7th grade, and I already pray for my future kids' spouses.
3. I am obsessed with People magazine and refuse to read them out of sequence.
4. I will not watch a TV show out of sequence. If I want to start watching a show, I start with the Pilot episode. I'm the same with movies. I watched all 5 Rocky movies IN ORDER!
5. I'm on the "Wireless" staff at our church. It is the 18 to 20 something group, and we LOVE IT!
6. I STRONGLY DISLIKE birds and have a terrible fear of them. I won't get out of my car if one is close to it. One time, I sat in the McDonalds parking lot for an hour waiting on a flock to finish eating their fries before I went in to meet my friends.
7. I STRONGLY DISLIKE riding in cars over bridges (the one on 109 in Gallatin is the WORST). I take my seat belt off, and put my hand on the window button (just in case I need to swim out of the car).
8. I already have a "nursery fund," and $200/month gets directly deposited from my check into the savings account for our future nursery!
9. My dreams have always consisted of: being a woman of God, a wonderful wife, teacher, and mother. Big dreams huh? I guess I'm pretty simple.
10. I am a NERD! My lesson plans are ALWAYS turned in three days early, and in college I would stay up for 72 hours straight (sometimes) to study for my exams. I graduated with a 4.0 GPA, but my GPA from my freshman year at UT was not quite as impressive.
11. I worked at Subway in high school with a few of my friends, but then the smell made me gag so I had to quit. I have worked (with the exception of my student teaching which was worse than work) since the age of 12. Yep, I have ALWAYS had a job.
12. I am secretly SO shy. The idea of having to talk to a room full of people (unless it's friends or family) literally makes me have anxiety attacks. In fact, I used to act like I had to go to the bathroom during the "shaking hands/hug your neighbor" part of church so that I wouldn't have to talk to anyone.
13. I used to make my mom tell boys that called that I was "gone and wouldn't be back for a while." I would have a crush on a boy anywhere from a day to years, but as soon as they showed ANY interest I would RUN!! I had three boyfriends: one in 6th grade, one my senior year of high school, and my husband. I can't believe she would do it too. Oh and one time my brother told one of them that I was "eating grass." I knew Rich was "the one" because I NEVER have gotten tired of him. After our first date, I couldn't wait to see him (very unusual for me). I could be with him 24/7 and never get sick of his company.
14. My dad constantly traveled growing up, and one time I chased him down our driveway crying because he was going to California for two weeks. Funny thing is that I was a sophomore in high school.
15. I've been on TONS of mission trips: 7th grade-Phoenix, 8th grade-Chicago, 9th grade-London, 10th and 11th grade-El Salvador, and my senior year my mom and I went to Kenya Africa together on a missions trip. Oh and Rich and I went to New York on a missions trip 3 months after getting hitched!
16. I STRONGLY DISLIKE laundry, mopping, and cleaning the bathtubs, but I do it all the time because I dislike any room in my house being dirty more. If we ever make enough to afford someone to clean our house, we will!
17. Sometimes I play mean jokes on people. For example: I hide Rich's stuff and make him play hot/cold till he finds it. When I was growing up, I went #2, screamed, and told my dad there was a spider in the bathroom by the toilet. Then I locked him in there. AND I STILL ROLL PEOPLE. I know, I'm so mature!
18. I'm OBSESSED with staying up late. If I didn't work, I would stay up all night long and sleep all day everyday. My dad used to yell at me and say, "Young lady, you're not going to lay out all night and sleep all day!"
19. I love inspecting things, and I'm very nosy! Rich calls me Insector Gadget (which used to be one of my favorite shows). My roomates and I in college would literally drive around everynight and "stalk" any boy that had done any of us wrong or any boy that any of us had a crush on.
20. I'm OBSESSED with TV shows and movies. I honestly feel like I am a part of these people's lives. I cried during the last episode of Friends and the O.C. I also have too many shows to name that I refuse to miss even one episode of. I even rewind the shows when Rich talks so that I don't miss a word of them.
21. Every year, I promise myself that I will work out and loose 15 lbs. I have lost the weight before, but have not consistently worked out in SIX YEARS. This year is my year though, really!22. I'm VERY close to my family and don't want to live more than 30 minutes away from them... EVER!
23. I "binge decorate" our house. I won't do anything for 6 months, and then for two weeks I will paint and decorate like crazy. Our dining room is still empty though because "I haven't had the time to find a dining room suite that I like." Yea, so we HAVE been in this house for a year and a half.
24. One time, my friends and I went to visit Bethany at UT Martin. I fell asleep in the middle of the hallway and woke up to my friends laughing SO hard. Funny thing is, they were literally punching each other as hard as possible. We woke up to find HUGE bruises all over their bodies (we called them contusions).
25. My mom ran over me one time when my brother and I were playing hide and go seek. I got up and acted like she broke my leg. She had her head down on the steering wheel and was crying. I think I was 6. I enjoyed playing cruel jokes on people at an early age.

There it is. 25 things/stories that you probably didn't know about me.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

WARNING! This is going to be LONG!

Hello All! Sorry I have not updated in a while. I am new to the whole "blogging world," but I do enjoy having something that will forever capture what all is going on in our lives. I have always loved keeping a diary, but I have so many thoughts that sometimes my hand cramps when I keep a written diary. Writing has always come very easy to me, so I have enjoyed keeping the "diary," but being able to type it. I think I will really enjoy blogging when we get my new camera and I can post pictures of what all we are doing. My camera is broken so a new camera is at the top of our list right now of things we want.

I had my D&C done last Monday. It was rough. Well the days to follow were rough. That day was fine because they gave me some great pain medicine to keep me comfortable, and Rich spoiled me ROTTEN! All was well until Thursday. I went back for my first day of work, which meant my first full day without any pain medication. This was the first time that I had felt the affects of the surgery. Please let me tell you that what they described as "minor cramps" were not what I was feeling. I felt like someone was stabbing me in the stomach and felt like my uterous was going nuts contracting. I knew something was probably going on that shouldn't be. Well I of course stayed and tried so hard to finish the day because I honestly missed my students so much while I was way. It was so good to see all of the other teachers, and my principal and assistant principal came in all day long to make sure that I was ok. Everything hurt though and nothing helped. Sitting hurt, walking hurt, standing hurt, everything hurt and it just got worse throughout the day. Well at 1:00 my assistant came to my room and said Mrs. Brown wants you to go home, rest, and take some medicine. My principal is Mrs. Brown, and I'm sure she noticed that my face was pouring the sweat becuase I was hurting so bad. At this point, I was natious from the pain so I went home, took TWO pain pills and layed on the couch. Around 6:30 pm, I went to the bathroom. WARNING... the next few sentences will have TMI (too much information for some of you). Well, I had basically started to hemorage and started to pass clots (fist size). It was the most painful thing that I had experienced. So, what did I do. I told Rich because he usually has an answer for everything. He had NO IDEA what to do about this, but I noticed that he was starting to sweat a little bit. The doctors did NOT tell us that this would happen. Well I decided to lay down and thought maybe it was a one time thing. Around 7:00 our friends Pastor Bobby and Toyia stopped by. I told Toyia about it, and she said that it was NOT normal, and then I remembered my doctor telling me that if there were any clots to get to the ER immediately. So I went to the bathroom, and lets just say things had taken a turn for the worse. So Pastor Bobby prayed for us, and Rich ran, and I do mean RAN through the house. He put the dog up, got me a sweat shirt and my chapstick, and carried me to the car. When we got to the interstate, he turned his caution lights on and the only time I looked at how fast we were going, I saw 90. On a side note, Rich NEVER goes 5 mph over the speed limit and it drives me crazy because I am always at least 10 over. He called the doctor to make sure that we needed to go and the doctor tried to stay calm, but told us to get there ASAP. So we went to Centennial. They wheeled me in and tried to hook me up to IVs. The first nurse tried to put it in my hand and missed the vein and then decided to flush it anyways. It hurt SO bad. Then she missed the one in my other arm and flushed it too. Rich was so mad that we got another nurse that knew what she was doing. She hit the vein on my other arm the first time around and gave me pain medicine that is "stronger than morphene that they use on people with broken bones." The first dose didn't work AT ALL so I knew that the pain was pretty bad. The doctor gave me another dose that kinda worked, but made me itch like crazy, and by the time we left they had to give me another dose with a benedryll for the itching. They sent me up for a CT and the GOOD news is that my uterous looked great-no punctures or holes, but that clots had built up and had decided to pass. It was one night FULL of pain that I spent with Rich, mom, and Pastor Sarah. We didn't get home until about 2:00am so I didn't make it to work on Friday and Rich worked from home. Friday things continued to go down hill. I started throwing up after Rich took me out for dinner that night and did not stop until 8:00 am. I actually stayed in the bathroom from around 12:00 to 8:00 am. It was terrible. I felt better by Saturday night, but was weak and tired.

We are doing much better today though. I still feel a little tired and weak but I am doing better. It is almost like I woke up this morning not only feeling better physically, but just having a sense of peace that everything was going to be ok. I know this sounds crazy, but I can actually feel God all over me. I can remember always praying when I was lonely or whatever that I would be able to feel God, and never could, but I feel God stronger now than I ever have before. It is almost like I know that I know that I know that He is just sitting there across the dinner table (because that is where I would always talk to my family growing up when I had bad days) just listening to me with such compassion. I feel like He is holding me through all of this. The few people who knew we were having fertility issues would always tell us, just give it to God, and when you least expect it, it will happen. And I wanted to just say, "you are telling two people who are DESPERATELY trying to have a baby to not think about it. Two people who have spent the last 4 months being told that there chance of having a baby of their own to hold is impossible not by idiots, but by the best doctors in Nashville who have spent their LIFE studying this. Two people who have to plan financially to spend THOUSANDS of dollars on procedures that barely have a chance of working. How can we not "think about it?" I can remember praying, God you are going to have to MAKE me give this to you. Not because I want control of it, but because I don't know how to not think about it just for the simple fact that I have to plan financially for it. Well God being the great father that he is has given me an unexplainable peace. I really don't know how to put it into words, but I feel so peaceful about everything. I'm at peace with the fact that my babies are being taken care of by God and by Rich's dad. Not that I won't think about them everyday for the rest of my life. They were my babies, and I will never take their life lightly, but I am at peace with where they are. Your ultimate goal as a parent is to make sure that your children go to Heaven. At first I felt guilty that I had maybe eaten something that could have hurt them, or that my body wasn't healthy enough for them, etc. You have all of these waves of guilt as I'm sure every mom does when something happens to their baby, but then I got a sense of peace KNOWING that I did my job. My babies are in Heaven, which is our most important job as mothers. I have a peace also that I WILL BE a mother again. For the first time, I KNOW that I will be pregnant again. I just have a peace about it. I don't want to use doctors or technology or hormones to have another baby. The bottom line is that we did something that not only one doctor told us would never happen, but that FOUR doctors told us would never happen. And not only did we get pregnant, we got pregnant with twins. God became so real to me through all of this. This is embarrasing, but there have been so many times (mainly in college) that I wondered if what I believed was right. I just sometimes had questions about my faith and wondered if God really did hear my prayers. I could never doubt God again, or Heaven or Hell. It is SO real to me. There is a God, but now I know that there is this loving, compassionate God that wants so badly for me to have EVERYTHING that I want and desire. God did something that so many people told us would never happen. He performed a Miracle. Our two babies are miracles, but I truly believe that God healed our "issue." I believe with all of my heart that God heals people when they have Faith. We have been prayed for for our "issues" that were preventing us from becoming pregnant, and I know that God has performed not only a miracle, but that God has "healed" the issue. I know that my God will give me the desires of my heart. I know this because the Bible says that if I have faith as small as a mustard seed, that I could move a mountain. My faith is MUCH larger than a mustard seed, so I know that God can give us more babies. This is just something that happened. It is life. Sometimes life hands you terrible cards. Sometimes it knocks you down, but I am determined to get up, dust the dirt off, and fight. It is how you get up when life knocks you down that determines your character. I'm a fighter. I'm not going to stay down long. My parents didn't raise me to be a wimp. They raised me to be a strong woman of Faith and to believe that when two or three are gathered together and ask something in His name, that it will be done. I believe it will be done. Period. I'm sure that there will be days when I am upset or sad, but my goal is for those to be as short lived as possible. God came to give me life and life to the fullest. I am going to live me life to the fullest, and have joy that I have air in my lungs and to be thankful for my health. I have already learned so much through all of this, but I have learned most of all just how strong I am. I remember thinking the day after we got the knews as soon as I opened my eyes, "how can I get out of bed? I just lost my babies." I didn't allow myself to stay in bed long. Within a few days, I had a plan which was different than most of my plans. My plan is to have faith. Faith that God is going to comfort me when I'm sad, hold me when I need holding, and faith that when it is God's time (not mine) that he will give us a child. I honestly do not want to become pregant until it is God's perfect time. This is why we have decided to not use fertility drugs AT ALL. I know that when God is ready to give us a child, he will. I'm not going to rush it. I am going to be patient and allow God to work. I am at peace that God will give us a child when HE is ready, and I honestly feel more at peace now than I have since all of this fertility stuff started.

Our friends and family have been so great through all of this. I'm sure it is so tough for people around us because there are no words to make us feel better. It means so much to us that we have people praying for us. My school has been great. I have cried and cried just thanking God for friends. For SOOO long I prayed everyday, "Lord, please give me a group of great girl friends" and he has. I have been surrounded by so many wonderful, thoughtful people. My school and mom have done meals for us. Four of the women I work with brought food over on Saturday, and the school gave us a generous gift card from all of the teachers. My students wrote me cards, which I cried and cried when I read them because they were so precious. Everyone has just rallied around us, and we are so thankful for everything. Just to know that people have spent an ounce of the most precious thing on Earth (time) thinking about us has meant more than anything. I haven't talked about this to anyone face to face, and have barely even spoken about what all we have gone through on the phone. I have talked to my parents, brother, Rich, and my best friend since the age of two (Holly Helton, pretty much my sister) and that's it. I probably won't talk about it so please don't be affended. It is something so intimate to me, and I'm sure I will in time talk about it, but for now I'll just blog. If you want to know how I'm feeling all you have to do is read my blog anyways. My friends from high school have been precious to check on me. They have sent me texts, cards, facebook messages, etc. We have all gone through so much, and this is just another thing that we will all go through together. I have a group of friends that I've been friends with for over a decade. We don't get to see each other often, but we all get together every Christmas and at least one other point in the year. I can't describe our relationship really, but we are all so close. I talk to a few of them all the time, but it is about 8 of us and when we are together it is like we never missed a beat. We are all spread out now, but they have all made contact of some sort with me and each one of them have encouraged me in some way. My friends from church have been so great too. They have sent me texts, etc just to let me know that they are thinking about me. Everyone doesn't know what to do or say, but we are so thankful that you all are just thinking about us and praying for us. Our friends and family mean so much to us, and each one are such a big part of our lives. Please continue to pray for us, and please pray specifically for God to give us a child when the timing is perfect. We covet your prayers.

I'm so sorry this is sooooo long, but this is the first night that I have even been able to type about what all is going on. I'm usually great about getting my thank you cards out within a week of someone sending us something, but I haven't even been able to start on them. The biggest thank you of all has to go to my husband. Yep, I just started crying just thinking about how great he is. Gosh, I don't even know where to start. He has been PERFECT during all of this. His Faith the day after we found out was so strong. He looked at me when I woke up because I immediately started sobbing and said, "Jess, God will give us children. I know he will." He has not left my side, which is what I needed most. He immediately put himself on the backburner, even though I know his heart was broken too, and just held me through it all. He didn't do anything major, but he was just there. He just sat with me and watched LOST, and Entourage, and American Idol with me. We always watch TV together, but he never left my side. He ran to Kroger for me because I have NOT wanted to see a sole that I know. I like to hide when I'm upset about anything because I hold NOTHING in. I'm a ventor and if I'm sad I cry. Had I gone to Kroger or anywhere, I would have sobbed the whole time. He allowed me to hide, and took me to dinner late at night so that I wouldn't have to see anyone or answer any questions. He has been so compassionate with me and so gentle with me. He has never once asked me to do something that I didn't want to do, and he hasn't pressured me to go talk to anyone or answer my phone or anything. He has just allowed me to grieve, which was what I needed. He has held my hand, my hair when I'm sick, and has allowed me to sob on his shoulders. Our marriage has NEVER been work as everyone told us it would be. Our engagement was a little work, but that was just because of well it just was, but our marriage is SOOO strong and always has been. We have gotten in a FEW arguments, but now when we argue we usually end up laughing at each other about a minute into it. Our arguments (since we got married) have never been cruel or hateful though. I love him WAY too much to want him to hurt. We are both passionately in love with each other, and our love grows more and more for each other on a daily basis. When Rich goes out of town, which has only been for 3 days max so far, we talk on the phone all night long, and I literally get butterflies when I'm going to get to see him and usually run to the bathroom to put my makeup on and get dressed up. One time, he even rented a car and drove all the way home to me just to get to see me a few hours earlier versus waiting on a flight. I'm sure everyone loves thier spouse, but I love him so much that sometimes when I'm at work away from him I literally ache. I know that sounds crazy, but I do. It's always on the first day back after getting to spend time together. He is by far the best friend that I have ever had. He is the only person that I have truly just told every little secret to, poured out my heart about my feelings to, wanted to be around every second of my life, and that has ever made me laugh so hard that I literally had to run to the bathroom so I wouldn't pee in my pants. He is the coolest person I know, and is such a perfect match for me because he always talks to people so I don't have to. He is hand-down the "people person" out of the two of us. The thought of walking into a room full of strangers and having to talk to them MAKES ME WANT TO CRINGE!!! Most people do not know, but I am TERRIBLY shy. Until I am comfortable in an environment, I usually HATE to talk. Rich makes me though and pushes me to get out of the house. He has been perfect to me through all of this and has taken care of me like a champ! We have fallen in love even more through all of this, and I truly could not thank my husband enough for just being who he is. God sent him my way, and he is the PERFECT person for me just the way he is. Thank you for taking care of me Rich Hall!!! You are the world to me and I adore everything about you! Marrying you, to this day, is the best decision of my life! Thanks for letting me cry. I love you.

Well I will try to not be so long winded in all of my blogs. I guess I had a lot to say. Hope everyone is having a wonderful 2009 so far. Thank you all for being our friends and family and for being there for us!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

On Monday we found out that our two babies went to join the Lord in Heaven. I was so blessed to have been able to carry these babies for 8 and a 1/2 weeks. We have been overwhelmed with text messages, voice mails, cards, etc. Thank you all so much for your support during this time. We are very thankful for the friends and family that have surrounded us. I will be having surgery Monday. Please join us in prayer that everything will go smoothly. We are so thankful for you all!

Monday, January 5, 2009

I could be the luckiest girl on the planet!!

Today was my first day back at work after having a relaxing, but productive 2 weeks off. I watched lots of movies, caught up on my shows on dvr, had my kitchen repainted, cleaned our house, did all of our laundry, packed and unpacked us for two trips, put away all of our Christmas decorations, and spent lots of time with family. It was WONDERFUL! This morning my principal was waiting outside of my door when I got there anxiously awaiting my news. I had told her the day that I left for Christmas break to be praying for me because there was a possibility that I could be pregnant. She knew that we had been going through a lot and had been praying for us. She was so excited for me when I told her that I was indeed pregnant. She immediately said, "lets go down to my office and talk about all of your options. I know that you like things as planned out as possible." So she sat me down in the same chair that 3 months ago I was so discouraged in when I told her that I may have to take off some extra days to go through fertility treatments. She was so wondderful to me and prayed for me and even cried with me. It was very cool sitting in that same chair, but now with overwhelming joy. She asked me when I was due first. I dreaded this question because I am due August 27th which is NOT good time for a teacher to have a baby. August and May are the two most hectic months in a teacher's career. She didn't care at all though. She knew how much we have wanted a baby. I asked her for her advice on what she thought I should do. She suggested that I FOR SURE at least start out the year to get my classroom established. It is very difficult to have someone else establish your classroom for you so I can see why she wanted this. Then I asked her how long I could take. She said I could take as long as I wanted. I told her that I would want to come back in January. Then I got very brave and asked her about her thoughts on part-time teaching. She surprisingly responded with, "I think it's wonderful. I've only heard of it being successful, and I have been waiting for someone to start it up here. You would be perfect to start it up and I am even going to let you choose who you want to work with." I could have cried. What a dream come true. I would work either Mondays, Wednesdays, and every other Friday OR Tuesdays, Thursdays, and every other Friday. Plus, two weeks for Christmas, two weeks for Spring break (b/c we are going to a year round calendar next year), snow days, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Martin Luther King day, Presidents Day, a week for fall break, etc. I have already found the person that I am going to co-teach with. She is a wonderful girl, very laid back, and is having her baby in February. When I asked her about it, she literally cried. She had been praying for this for a while too. I am so excited that I can barely stand it. Please pray that the county will "ok it" even though next year will be my last year to become tenured. I am a little worried that they may not let me job share if I am not tenured. Like I said before, I could be the luckiest girl on the planet!!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Our baby is 6 weeks old!

I am officially 6 weeks today! I have felt great (no morning sickness), but at around 2:30 every afternoon I get a little sick to my stomach. I haven't thrown up yet, but I am sick from about 2:30-5:00pm. Strange, but I think I would rather be sick in the afternoon than in the morning. Here are the updates for what all is going on with Baby Hall this week.
The nose, mouth, and ears that you'll spend so much time kissing in eight months are beginning to take shape. If you could see into your uterus, you'd find an oversize head and dark spots where your baby's eyes and nostrils are starting to form. His emerging ears are marked by small depressions on the sides of the head, and his arms and legs by protruding buds. His heart is beating about 100 to 160 times a minute — almost twice as fast as yours — and blood is beginning to course through his body. His intestines are developing, and the bud of tissue that will give rise to his lungs has appeared. His pituitary gland is forming, as are the rest of his brain, muscles, and bones. Right now, your baby is a quarter of an inch long, about the size of a lentil bean.