Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Update on Life

Lots of things have happened in the last 3 months, but I am happy to report all is going well!  : )

Oh my, where to start...I guess I will start with what I remember...we went for our 8 week visit and got to see baby Evans and he/she was perfect!!  (from now on the baby will be referred to as Zeus...he/she needed a name and Lee kept giving Greek names for real names, so I decided this would be a great way for the baby to use a fun name!!) 

(Sorry, can't figure out how to make it smaller...)

For Lee's birthday we went and made pottery at Mud Puddle Pottery!!  It was lots of fun and he LOVED it!!  : )  I messed one of mine up bad enough, we were able to make it into a small coffee mug.  He uses it just about every morning!!  He really wants to go back or find somewhere close to take classes, so we will see. 

We went to Alabama for a friends Gender Revel party and had lots of fun!!  We were all surprised that is was a boy!!  : )  You can read more about it here.

For our 6 year anniversary we went rock climbing in Murfreesboro.  Richie and Brett came along with us.  The guys had so much fun and Alex loved every minute of it!!  He has several more passes to use, but I can't help him on the wall b/c of my belly, so he will have to go with Lee or his dad for now. 

We went for the "BIG" ultrasound at the end of June and we loved getting to see Zeus.  My first thought when I saw the face was "it's a girl" but the side profile pictures we have are not as girly.  We were just happy that everything was measuring and looked healthy!  Baby was measuring on schedule for our due date.  The head looked really big, so I am kinda nervous


Alex did lots and lots and lots of traveling this summer!  He started out by going to church camp with Hunter and Hayden in Clarksville.  This is the camp where Al and Debra met.  He loved every minute of it!!  Then he went to Texas with his dad at the end of June.  The first week of July he went to camp with our church and  had lots of fun!  The next trip was to Mexico Beach, FL with Al, Debra and Granny.  They had lots of fun catching crabs, fishing and relaxing.  Then the final week of his summer break he was able to go to Panama City with his dad and some friends.  They went deep sea fishing and Alex has soooo much fun!  He caught lots of fish and even had a dolphin come up and eat one of the fish he was reeling in, so he told us he caught a dolphin, lol.  : )

We were able to get the cabinets in the living finished and the fireplace area tiled and the TV mounted.  The only thing lacking is the floating mantle, but that is no rush.  : ) 

Before we (Lee) started taking things apart.  : )
The walls with new outlets.

The bottom cabinets before they are installed.

They are in, fire place area tiled, and TV mounted...now to decorate!!

Our only shade tree had to come down....luckily it is only for morning shade.  Lee was very sad to see it go.  Thanks to our wonderful family, we were able to cut it down and haul it off to my boss' house for him to use as mulch!  Here is a during and after picture. 




















I am excited b/c I can now have hanging flower plants on both sides of the porch!!!  Used to, the sun blocked enough of the left side the flowers would not grow.  So, when I put them out, I will have to remember to water them!!  : )

I have been crafting with my friends too!  : )  Kimberly and I made a Birthday Box for Addaline's baby shower and everyone loved it!!  : )

Then I helped Kimberly make a growth chart for one of her friends baby shower.  It turned out soooo cute, that I decided to make 3 more for gifts for friends and family...I sure hope they like them!!  : )



Alex had his first day of 5th grade today!!  I of course grabbed my regular camera to take his picture, so I can't post it, but he is still as cute as every!!  : )  He is excited about some changes we are making to his after school care.  Hopefully it will all go well!!  : )

I go next week for my 28 week visit and get to take the glucose test, yippee!  (Can you read the sarcasm??) : )  I am a bit nervous, so I am trying really hard to walk in the morning, but some mornings are harder than others!  After this week, I will start going every other week.  I am excited b/c I will get to hear the heartbeat so often!  : )

Carson's 1st birthday is a little over a week away.  Boy how time has flown!!!  He is getting so big!  He has 2 bottom teeth and this weekend started standing up and steadying himself on his own!  He is pushing a walk behind toy, so it will be no time before he is fully walking on his own!  He is already a super fast crawler, so he is going to be off running in no time!

Lori, my oldest sister, moved today to Memphis.  Brian starts Memphis School of Preaching next week.  Prayers for them are greatly appreciated!

That is all for now.  I hope all is well in your neck of the woods!!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Many Faces of My Family

    Alex's reactions...when he started reading and when he figured it out!!



Tears of pure joy and excitement!!

                                Nana's reaction comes in three parts....  : )

                


She realizes what it is saying!!


She is so excited!!

                                                I was able to get moms reaction on video....

video


                                Grandmother was excited for great grand #6  : )



Then there was Debra....she was not excited much, lol!!  Brett heard her all the way from the garage door!

So.....have you figured it out??  If not, this is what everyone got to read, except Debra, she had something else which I will explain later  : )

I do not have a face to see, or put inside a frame.
I do not have soft cheeks to kiss; I don't yet have a name.
You can't yet hold my tiny hands, nor whisper in my ear.
It's still too soon to sing a song, or cuddle me so near.¨
But all will change come November 2012, that's when they say I'm due.
I'm you new (great) grandchild, niece or nephew, (brother or sister),   I can't wait till I meet you.
All I ask between now and then, is your patience while I grow.
I promise I'll be worth the wait, because of all the love we'll know.
So what I have to give you now, is a wish to you from me.
I cannot wait to be a part of this wonderful family.


Well.....???  I guess I will just have to tell you...

WE ARE HAVING A BABY!!!!!

Yes, it is still early on, but we are excited!!  Here is how we told everyone...you can refer to the pictures above for every ones reactions  : )

Lee came in around 6:30 am and wanted to know if I was ready to get up.  Not really, but I did anyways thinking it was probably close to 7:30, but that's ok, the end result was worth it.  He said I could just pee on the stick, come back to bed, and he would wait to look.  Well...I just couldn't wait b/c for one I needed to make sure it was working and two the first line started to appear....I was in total shock.  He said, "come back to bed" and I said "I can't, I think it says we are!!"  I took the test to Lee so he could double check that yes, there were two lines!!!  He said "Why yes, I think there is!"  That's when it really set in for him, for me, I still feel like it is a dream!  I wanted to keep it a secret for a couple more weeks, b/c you just never know what can happen and again, it is still early.  But Lee, like his wonderful mother, cannot keep a secret.  So we had to tell our family.....

I wanted to tell Alex, so I printed off the poem I was going to give to mom and dad with some changes.  After we ate breakfast, he asked me what it was and I said it was something I wanted him to read.  So I had him read it out loud and when he got to the part about "brother or sister" he just looked up at me, I shook my head yes and he started to tear up.  He finished reading it and boy was he excited!!  He immediately asked if he could put me on the prayer list in his class at church, but I told him to wait a few more weeks.  He wants to tell everyone so badly!!

Alex and I were already planning on going to Nana's so it was the perfect time to tell her.  I printed a poem off for her with "great grandchild" and had her read it while we were getting ready for lunch.  Oh, boy is she excited!! 

Mom and dad were babysitting Carson, so I had the perfect opportunity to stop by and make sure she was taking good care of the little buddy!  : )  I knew Valerie was going to be there, so she would get to find out too.  I just hated that Lori was not going to be there, but when we turned down moms street, there Lori's car sat in the drive way, it was perfect!!  I had gotten mom and dad an anniversary card and put the poem in there.  She opened the card but was going to wait to read the poem later, so I had to ask her if she was going to read her note...and the rest you can see on the video!  Everyone was sooo excited!! 

I had to call Stephanie b/c they were out of town.  I asked her if I could borrow her dresses she wore last summer.  She had to repeat it back to me and I guess at the same time she was thinking back to last summer and realized she was pregnant then.  She was very excited and Richie was just in awe, lol.

Dad went to get dinner for everyone and I asked mom if she wanted to call grandmother.  Grandmother of course came right over when she found out her grand kids were wanting to see here.  : )

Again, we had already planned to go over to Al and Debra's for lunch after church on Sunday, so Lee said it was all meant to be.  : )  On the pantry door the boys have always kept up with their heights.  They will measure and put the name and date at the right spot.  Alex took Debra upstairs to ask her about something he saw Friday afternoon.  While they were up there, Lee wrote on the door about 20" from the bottom ...."Baby Evans coming fall 2012"  All she had to see was Baby and she just went crazy!!  Brett was walking into the garage from outside and heard her screaming and kinda figured it out.  They were all sooo very excited!!  Debra can't wait to tell everyone!  But we asked her to only tell family and "the Gatlinburg girls".

I was not able to get a picture of telling my best friend Kimberly, but her reaction was wonderful!!  I text her before church to see if they wanted to go to dinner afterwards and she said yes and another couple wanted to hang out as well.  So after dinner, I told her I had something for her in our car.  I had her open in at the car and told her it was some things I did not need anymore....It was a bottle of wine I had bought a couple weeks ago and just never opened and a book about fertility that I had read and referred back too about things.  It took her just about 5 seconds of reading the book title to figure it out and she was sooooo excited!!  She was jumping up and down, screaming, crying, hugging me, and more jumping up and down.  I wish I had Lee video her reaction!  I am sure we could do a re-enactment!

Al wanted to tell his father and mother Monday night when he went to Clarksville for a visit (Al's father was not doing well).  I am not sure yet of their reactions and I really hope grandpa heard Al tell him he was going to be a great-grandfather b/c he passed away Tuesday morning.  : (   Debra text Lee Tuesday morning saying the doctors did not expect him to make it through the night, he did, but they were not expecting him to make it through the day.  He passed on with his wife and 3 of his 4 children hold his hand.  It is a sad day, but he is in a much better place with no more pain.  (sorry to get all sad on this post, but I am glad we did not wait to tell our family).

The waiting game still continues though....I do not go to the doctor until March 26th!!  Boy, that is a long time, but at least February only has 29 days instead of 31 right??  LOL.  I am going to try my hardest to wait until I am at least 7+ weeks to tell my boss, but it is killing me!! My due date will be between October 24th and November 4th, I am shooting for the 6th.  All I really want is a healthy baby!!  God is a true miracle worker!!

Love to you all and many, many thanks for your prayers (in the past and coming months)!!!
Rachel and baby Evans  : )

Friday, January 20, 2012

It's been a while...update time



Lots of things have happened since I last updated...birthdays have been celebrated, holidays have come and gone, a new year has started and a dear friend welcomed her first born into the world. So where do I begin....I will start with what I remember (but it may not be much) :)

Alex and I visited the Walden Pumpkin farm with Kimberly, Stephanie, Richie and Carson. We got some nice pumpkins and took some cute pictures of Carson laying in/on the pumpkins. Alex and Richie played in the children’s area and climbed on the hay bales.

We were able to finally finish the floors in my bedroom!!  The sleeping arrangements were fun while the whole process was going on.  Alex and I slept on my mattress in the living room in front of the fire every night.  We had his room and the office covered in furniture from my room.  We also repainted my room!  I tried to de-clutter some of the items as I brought them back into the room (those items are still in the office on the floor).


Mine and Alex's bed for almost 2 weeks
(yes we were a little slow on our progress)



Alex's room during the remodel



Office during the remodel




The floors are FINISHED and the room is
almost put back together!!!!!!


We went through a scare with Lee's knee and thought he was going to need another surgery and it was going to be rough with a long recovery and lots and lots of pain. He has continued to heal and strengthen his knee (he is very very careful with it!). We found out earlier this week we should not need anything done until he is older. At that time we will do either a partial or full knee replacement, depending on his age when he is having lots of problems! This is a HUGE prayer answered and all the healing came from GOD!

We celebrated Alex's birthday in November with a trip to watch the TN Vols play against Vanderbilt. Lee was not able to go due to his knee and all the walking we would have to do, so Hunter went in his place. We had a wonderful time and they won!!! Alex was very excited and we were able to get a couple of autographs from some of the players. Some customers of ours were able to get us tickets and we sat right on the 50 yard line!!!! We sat under another section of seats so we were covered and the weather was PERFECT for the day!
 
Alex and I outside the stadium

Hunter and Alex waiting patiently for the players and Band to come down



The 3 of us from our seats


We had another set of birthday celebrations for the month of December. The birthday people were...Me, Alex, Nhan, and Amber (Valerie's foster daughter and exchange student). I just love getting together with my family.

Before the majority of the presents were wrapped



After the gifts were wrapped

Christmas was nice and relaxing (once all the details were ironed out). I was very late on getting my presents wrapped and ended up wrapping 95% of the gifts on Saturday December 24th!  It all got wrapped and only a couple of bags were used (I like paper more than bags)  : )  Everyone got what they wanted and some people got several of what they wanted.  Lee’s big gift was a new reading chair!  He was very surprised and we finally put it together last weekend.  It is smaller than I thought it would be and not as cushiony as was hoping for, but we are hoping we can work it in. 



Most of Alex's Christmas gifts
(Yes I do to much)

The New Year was brought in with friends and family!  We had a game night with Holly and Chad, Stephanie and Richie, Lee and I and the kids.  We had such a wonderful time and I miss terrible hanging out with everyone!  We started the year out by going to lunch with both of our parents and resting from staying up much later than we are used to! 

We took a few days off the following week to spend in Gatlinburg with some close friends and celebrated Kimberly’s birthday with a hearty breakfast/brunch.  We spent a lot of time relaxing with no worries in the world!  The girls got manicures one day and the guys went fishing the other.  We played games and ate delicious meals!!  I have a new love of whole wheat pancakes with fresh blueberries!!


That’s about all that has happened in our excited lives.  I am praying and hoping that this year improves from how the first couple of weeks have gone, especially at work.  God is in control!  Praying for a bright and prosperous New Year!

Hoping it will start getting colder so we actually need to have fires!!
Love from Above,
Rachel


Thursday, October 13, 2011

In the Middle

It is amazing how God helps you see between the lines!! Since my last post, I have been shown that there are others who have their desires come to light and others who have had their cloud nine turn into a tsunami. All this helps me see that I am somewhere in the middle, some with worse and some with better. I am thankful for what I do have and need to realize I deserve nothing more than what God has seen fit to provide me with thus far in life. So today I am going to list my thankfulness's (if that's a word) and a list of prayers that are weighing on my heart..

Things I am THANKFUL for/Gifts from GOD
A wonderful loving, caring, and giving and forgiving husband
A healthy son who knows how to make me smile
An amazing family, both blood and in-law
Friends who love me and listen to me rant and are always there for me
A job that helps pay the bills
The cutest nephew around and his smile that is so delightful, praise that he is growing like he should
A wonderful Lord who is there to carry me through my fears and doubts, never wavering in His promise from Isaiah 40:10
Good health of my family and myself

Prayers
Strength for my heart to be content until the time is right
Lee's knee to continue to heal without another surgery, and his pain to soon diminish
ATI's business to continue to grow and possibly have new opportunities opened
Comfort for Matt and Martha during this difficult time
Carson's continued good health, continuance to grow and it is a long time before we see the effect of his CF. Advancement in CF treatments and possible cure
Walker continues to stay healthy during the upcoming winter months
My friends who are trying to conceive and those who have, that they may have healthy pregnancies and babies. All the recent additions to the world will grown strong and healthy
Brett and Jessica to find strength to find a common ground on faith

Two verses that I remind myself of everyday!
Isaiah 41:10 "fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand"

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, delcares the LORD, plans for welfare (good) and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hard Day...

Wow...the last couple of days have been unusually hard and I don't know why? I want a baby, and I want one now. (I can hear a commercial in my head that says that phrase with a different want, lol). My heart has been torn with 2 emotions at the same time and it is hard to accept the one I know is right. I know God has a plan, and one day I will look back and understand why He had me wait. But I also look at others who have toddlers and a newborn (or are currently pregnant) and a part of me desires what they have. I know it is wrong and Wayne reminds me of that every Sunday morning. When I start to develop those thoughts, he has a point in his sermon that brings me back. I also know that they have their own daily struggles and don't have the perfect life I may think they do. I so very much want 2 children close to each other, but I feel that is not going to happen. I guess it is harder this month b/c I know there is no chance of getting pregnant and that has pushed my cycle to be longer than the last couple months. At least that is what I feel is happening. It will be a year this week that we first started trying. I never imagined it would take this long.
I have recently been overcome with feelings that we will never have a child together. That too makes my heart sad. Like I have probably said before, when I want something in life, I don't normally get it. Nothing in my life has gone anything like I wanted it to. Again I know God has a much larger plan for me, but today it is hard, almost to hard to accept.
Searching for a reason, answers, and hope!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Power of LOVE




There are many things I do for LOVE and many people I do these things for, family, friends, those in need, etc. This past weekend took my LOVE giving process to a whole new level. Most people know I am not a person to get fully, down in the dirt dirty. I will mulch flower beds, mow the grass, run many miles and sweat, etc, but be fully immersed in mud (or at least 90% covered in mud) is not something I am particularly too. Well, my best friend, Kimberly Washer asked, no begged me to do the Warrior Dash with her. I have a problem saying "NO" to family and friends so I said "Yes"! I sure am glad I did. We had an AMAZING time and we will definitely be doing it again next year at a place to be determined. I am thinking New York or Northern Florida!! : ) Here are a couple pictures taken by my super supportive and encouraging mother in law (who will also be doing it next year!!) : )

The after and before looks!!



Coming out of the mud...I am in the middle, Shelly is in front, and Kimberly is in the back corner.




Richie making his way through the mud





All the completed warriors!!


Richie and Brett right after they finished.


So, what's next on the power of love boat...taking care Lee after knee surgery. Boy is this one going to be a lot tougher. I am not very sympathetic when it comes to others over coming certain pain, so I hope I am able to be patient with him and he will be patient with me. He has surgery on the 29th at 9:30 am. We should be home by 1pm with the long weekend to recover. Part of this love giving involves me sacrificing our annual trip to Gatlinburg. We have been going to Gatlinburg for 9 years now. We are both bummed about not being able to go, so he said he would make it up to me. : ) He has promised to do all therapy and recovery just as the doctor orders. He really want to be able to go snowboarding in March next year, so that motivation will be what helps keep him on track. I am just praying he does not hurt it again then!


Alex is having an early birthday sleep over this weekend. We are only having 2 boys over this year. I am excited. I am going to set up a tent if it's not raining and we may roast marsh mellows if it is not rainy. I am trying hard to find fun, memorable things for us to do. Hopefully he will go to the Walden Pumpkin farm with me in October, even if it is just to pick our a pumpkin and some gourds.


On the baby front...we have had to put them on hold. Lee hurt his knee right before a "prime" time and his surgery will also fall right before a prime time. I know fully that this is God's plan and I am at peace with it. After finding out that Carson, my cutest nephew ever, has CF, I saw God's plan. I knew that it was better this way and He will provide for us what we need in the time we are most needing of it. I love this little guy like he is my own. Steph and Richie are wonderful parents and we are all going to help raise him in the best environment possible. So when God sees it is the right time for Carson to have a new cousin, we will give him one. : )

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Learning Patience



My dad always to me to pray for wisdom, not patience. The wisdom is to know how to deal/process the patience. So, lately I have been praying for God to show me or put something in my life to help me cope with my longing for another child and the continued wait. I know I should be content with the things God has so richly blessed me with already and not continue to long for more. It is so hard to put into words my feelings and emotions on days like these, maybe one day I can. Lee does not understand why I feel this way and it is hard for me to draw a comparison for him b/c I can only think of ones that are materialistic. Then I ask myself "Is wanting to have a baby, a child with my husband, a materialistic thing?" I have 100% faith in God to provide me/us with what we need, I have just not figured out how to process the emotions of the waiting game we are in.


So where do we sit on our baby journey....we are starting our 11th month of trying, Lee is going next week to check his swimmers, my doctor said there is a chance I am having anovulotarty cyclyes or I may have PCOS (due to low hormone levels and irregular periods) and is willing to start me on a low dose of Clomid when I am ready. I felt was better to start with a "swimmer test" and Lee has always been willing to do it. I would hate to start Clomid, pay for months of treatment and then later find out there was no point. I am not trying to be negative on the situation just realistic. Lee of course does not want me to take anything and I would rather it be a natural conception too, so we will wait to see. Since PCOS can be a symptom of being over weight and can lead to diabetes, I have really started to watch my weight. I did very well for about a month and a half before going on vacation and I lost 10 lbs!! I have kept them off, just not doing that great with losing the next 10 lbs....but it will happen. : ) Then I will move on to the next 5-10 lbs.


I have been doing the BBT thing for about 3-4 months and I have really started seeing a pattern. I can see more when I am ovulating (or supposedly ovulating) so we are really trying around those times. We are "active" every 2-4 days during this time. (I have been told swimmers can last anywhere from 2-5 days and it is hard to know about ours, so hopefully we will have more answers next week!) Lee keeps asking me how I will be if we are not able to have children and I can't really tell him. I know God will help me cope, but I also know it will take time. He is afraid our marriage will fall apart and I am afraid I will harbor some bad feelings, but I know it is not his fault. God knows what is best for us and I trust Him 100%. Time, love and all 5 love languages at the same time is all I know I will need if that is the case.

Now on to some happier news...

Vacation in Gulf Shores....we had an amazing and relaxing week at the beach! Brett and Jessica did lots of reading and studying. Alex had lots of time in the ocean, pool and looking for crabs. Al caught a baby shark, the next day we saw a bigger shark swimming along the seaweed (very close to shore!), and then the next day a fisherman about 4 beach houses down from our chairs caught a larger shark!!! We got to see that one up close and personal, pretty cool and scary! We ate lots of seafood, grilled out at the beachhouse, and played games. It was so nice to relax and put my feet in the sand. I am so ready to go back!

Baby Carson.....He is the custest little guy ever! Stephanie and Richie are wonderful parents!! Carson is so soft and cuddly, just perfect for both of them. I cannot get enough of him. My allergies are starting to act up and I don't want to possibly give him something and it is killing me to stay away from his cute kisses!!




Alex started 4th grade this year and his teacher is wonderful. Here is a picture of his first day of school.