Monday, March 19, 2012

Manly Man

thank you so much for all the encouraging texts, facebook notes, calls, and prayers. i felt every one of them today! i am so thankful that we chose the office that we did when we first moved here. outside of the appointment screw up last week, everyone has been so awesome and today was no different!

this morning i got up early to take peter to work so that we would only have to drive one car back after the appointment, knowing it would be rush hour when we would be leaving. when i got back, i was too mentally and emotionally all over the place to do a whole lot of anything. i had some awesome time in prayer and in the Word, just taking comfort in verses about God being our Rescuer and Helper and most of all our Healer. i also spent time in prayer for people in our church and sent a few emails out after. just before i got ready to leave, i made one of peter's favorite cakes to take with us tonight to some friends house. this afternoon, i wasnt sure whether i should cancel those plans or not, but having JUST got back, i am glad we went! it was so good to spend time with people that love us and care and we always have some serious laughs with the gray's. thanks, guys!!

so, here's how it all went down. we got there a few minutes early and they took us back pretty quickly for an ultrasound. i had been under the impression that this was going to be one of those dye test ultrasounds, but it ended up being just a vaginal ultrasound to check my uterus and ovaries. they did find one small fibroid cyst that they will keep an eye on, but it doesnt seem to be much yet. after the ultrasound, we met with trudy, our practice's hormones specialist. she was awesome! she has been a part of the practice for over 40 years and has been doing the hormone side of things for over 20 years...she knows her stuff. she was so sweet to both of us as soon as we met her. she is a tiny lady and thought the height difference between her and peter was funny. one of the things that was so great is that trudy was ready for us. she didnt need to ask us a ton of questions to jog her memory, she had our file all put together, etc. we felt like by taking the time to prep meant that she was serious and caring enough to get this done for us. we jumped right in and were told that i am all out of whack hormonally. get man hormones are way to high...i am part manly man!! :) no no no. ok, so there is a hormone called DHEA (aka progesterone) that is controlled by the adrenal gland. at a normal level it should be 150 or less, mine came back at 258 (WOW!!!). this causes all kinds of symptoms/side effects when it is too high, all of which i had. my testosterone should be between 10-30 and i am right at 30. my female hormone, called prolactin, should be less than 6 and mine was at 4.2 (a normal level, woohoo!)

some of the side effects of having a high level of progesterone include: acne/skin problems, irritability, anxiousness, anger, aggressiveness, increased or unwanted hair growth, depression, cyst(s) on ovaries, increased weight, inability to lose weight, craving salt, menses problems, muscle mass, sleep disturbances. when we were going over the list, i had to check next to all of these, at varying degrees, but they were all checked off. crazy! so, the plan is for me to start taking a few medications to help even out my hormones and to help me not have huge surges in one hormone or another, which is also a part of my issue. i will take the meds for a few weeks, have my levels checked again and meet with ms. trudy on april 18th for a follow up and a plan of action. part of my goal right now is to also continue loosing weight. the high hormone levels and my weight are making my cycles shorter which makes my eggs not "stick" according to trudy and dr. holt (the head of the practice, he came in to meet us too, so sweet!) dr. holt is one of those say it like it is doctors. he told me that i needed to loose some weight and get into a church to build community. when i told him i had already done both, he told me to keep at it. lol, thanks! so, tomorrow i will start 3 meds/hormones to help: parlodel, prednisone (yes, the steroid, it will do the opposite for me of what you probably think), and metformin. i did call my bestie, pooter, for some nursing advice and she was happy that they took the time to research all of my levels and start me on a low dose of all three meds. not that i needed it, but i was happy to have to her stamp of approval!

today went much better than i thought. it was so nice to have peter there! it was nice to get a few answers. it was nice to be in an office where they seem to care about us, even in this HUGE city!! it was awesome to know and feel so many prayers for us today! thanks!!!

praying these work quickly so that a baby loeser will be here soon!

blessings, ALo

Sunday, March 18, 2012


remember how last weekend i was supposed that have a doctors appointment on monday and it didnt happen? i was kinda fine with it all by the end of the day because i knew i was leaving for florida super early the following day! i had decided somewhat last minute to go see my grandparents in florida during our students' spring break. my grandparents (my mom's side, we call them mimi and boppa) have lived in florida full time for the last several years. i have grown up spending a lot of my vacations (especially winter and spring time) in marco island with them. my grandparents are so awesome!!! there are no words for how blessed i am. because they are both getting up in age, it is important that i spend as much quality time with them as possible. it is always hard leaving the beautiful sunny weather, and this week was no exception. if you follow me at all on instagram, twitter, or facebook then you saw the pics. it was perfect there! of course the trip did not start without a set back. that was a given with the kind of monday i had. 

on tuesday i got up plenty early (with only 2 hours of sleep, remember nash was here!) to make my early flight. i was checked in and in line for security with a TON of time to spare! of course when i realized the line was wrapped all the way around the waiting area, i was worried. then i noticed that there were dozens of people going around us and getting through security without being in line. by the time i got up to a place where i could ask a "guard" i was told that he was sure i could still make my flight (even though they were boarding). the people skipping the line had been cancelled the day before from flights and they were needing to get to the customer service center to get on a new flight. yeah, so people that didnt have flights yet were going through and cutting off people who already had flights. needless to say, i did not make my flight. in fact, i watched them close the doors as i was sprinting with my bags (quite a sight i am sure!). i was so upset. this 7:10am direct flight was going to get me to ft. myers at 10:37am...perfect to spend an entire day on tuesday with my grandparents...the whole reason for the trip. i was told (after much pleading and begging for them to open the doors) that they could not do that for us ...yes, there were 4 of us that got stuck in the line!! anyway, i was put on stand by for the 1:30pm flight and given a seat on the 8:30pm flight. i started praying and hoping that i would somehow get on that 1:30pm! praise the Lord...i did. i was the only one of the group that did. i felt a little bit bad at first, but quickly got over it. :) dog eat dog, right??!!?? anyway, once i was there, my trip was serious smooth sailing. of course i got burnt, i got to watch march madness with my mimi (hysterical and ver serious!), i went on a long boat ride with my boppa and my aunt and uncle, i went shopping with my cousin, and just rested. rested, rested, rested. i also read two books in 3 days, with is restful to me. i felt pretty emotional when i left, but that is not unusual for me. not knowing when i will see someone again, especially mimi and boppa, is hard. i am just so thankful that i know, if God took them home tonight, that they would both be spending eternity with Him. 

i came back really late friday night, so glad to see peter and spend time with him on saturday before work. tonight we are hanging low. i am feeling emotional and just needed to come home and do a few "no brainer" tasks before the week starts. of course, tomorrow will be plenty emotional too. i took a pregnancy test was negative. so, we will keep our appointment tomorrow afternoon. we have an ultrasound at 4:15 then a sit down with the hormone specialist. 

tonight, i am praying for my mimi and boppa. i am praying for great physical health and mental clarity. i am thanking God for all that He has blessed me with because of them! i am praying for emotional stability for me and for rest tonight...hoping that i can shut off my brain! :) 

please be praying for baby thatcher and his parents!! they just updated their blog! also, please be praying for my sweet friend susie and their baby GIRL! (yes, two of my friends were just told they were having boys which have now turned into finding out they are actually girls!) they have also given a few updates. please watch the video on their is so awesome to hear susie and ben's heart!! 

blessings, ALo

Monday, March 12, 2012

Its a Bust

i know that some many of you have been praying for me today. thank you!!!! this morning was super frustrating because i didnt have any of the appointments that i was supposed to.

i had to leave the house almost 2 hours before my appointment to ensure i would not get stuck in traffic and miss the appoinment. i asked my sweet friend jess to come with me since peter could not take off work. so jess and i showed up at 8:40ish to be told that i was not supposed to be there today. WHAT???? poor jess, i just about lost it! (i did tell her how nervous i was on the way there...i told her if i didnt throw up that i would probably cry :) ) anyway, to make a long story much shorter, there was a HUGE scheduling mix up and i have to wait until monday for another appointment (i have to wait because i leave for florida in the morning).

on the plus side, i made the appointment next monday for when peter can come with me. i am so glad that we will be able to sit together and figure it out.

so, thank you for the about you say them again next week? :)

the rest of the day was BUSY!!! i did a few home hair appointments, made a few meals for peter for when i am gone, cleaned the house, and did 4 loads of laundry. this evening, baby nash (10 months old this week) came to play while his mom and dad (our friends robin and blake) went to see sweet baby thatcher. thatcher is nash's cousin, robin's nephew (whitney is robin's sister). i am so glad that we could help out in this small way so that robin and blake can go support and encourage whitney and eric. thatcher has had his ups and downs today, but it is easier for everyone if nash hangs with me since he cant go in to see thatcher. i really dont have too many updates on thatcher, and i dont want to share if i do not have the ok from the family. please do not stop praying for thatcher's progress and clarity for whitney and eric!

what is so crazy about nash is that he was born the day after Charlotte's due day. nash was born may 15, 2011. he and Charlotte would be the same age!! tonight as he was giggling and trying to walk, and "helping" me fold laundry i couldnt help but think about Charlotte. nash is pretty advanced for his little self...i think he has 9 teeth! he pulls himself up on everything and then just stands there not holding on to anything. he has the biggest toothy grin and the most infectious smile. how would Charlotte be? would she be super outgoing like nash or super chill and want to sit on the couch. p.s. nash did not stop moving until i rocked him to sleep in my arms, which was of course the sweetest thing. would Charlotte love bananas too? anyway. nash is one of the sweetest baby boys ever...i will volunteer to play with him anytime!!

off to pack for my mini spring break!! :) CANT WAIT!!! my 7:00am flight is going to come very early!

blessings, ALo

Sunday, March 11, 2012

2 New Babies!

there is so much that has happened in the last day and it mostly has to do with babies.

first, if you have been following baby thatcher's story, please keep praying! baby thatcher caleb was born last night at 11:09pm. he beat so many odds/predictions/etc. just by being born! then he weighed in at 6lbs 1.5oz...way more than the 5lbs 3oz. the doctors originally thought! that is awesome!!! right now, thatcher is  in the NICU and he is on a ventilator (meaning he is not breathing on his own). we are praying that changes. the doctors think that he may be having a few other complications, so they were hoping to do several tests today. please be praying for thatcher. please pray for whitney and eric...for peace and clarity and for quality time with thatcher.

as peter and i sat at the table today, we just cried for this sweet family. we cried tears of joy that thatcher has done and continues to do more than doctors gave whitney and eric hope for. we cried tears of heartache that whitney and eric have to watch their precious son go through so many tests and procedures and are still unsure of what to do or what is going to come next. we cried because we understand fighting and praying for your child.  please continue to pray for them. go to their blog and post some encouragement...and check out the sweet picture of this family of three!! the picture does not show it, but thatcher has lots of dark brown cute!!

second, i have a new baby brother!!! dad and jess had a baby boy last night! Jude Edward Southwick was born just before 8:30 pm (michigan time) weighing in at 9lbs and 21" long. jessica is doing great (she is a pro now, this is #6 in just over 6 years!!!) but is tired. jude is doing awesome too. jess said that jude is super laid back and quiet. good thing because he is the youngest of 6! sounds like the older siblings (mamie, matilda, mila, maggie, and james (we call him edy)) are all so excited and loving having another baby in the house. dad and jess have had the last 4 (i think) kids at home with a midwife, so jess is able to rest and be at home. please be praying that jess gets the rest that she needs and that jude will quickly get on a schedule.
doesnt he look super chill? this was taken today. 
wow...lots of emotions over the last 24 hours!

tomorrow is my appointment with the specialist, which gives me a whole other set of emotions that i do not understand yet. i am a little nervous. i am a little anxious. i am a little excited. i am a little hopeful. so many things. i am thinking or maybe i am hoping that the doctors will not find anything tomorrow. i hope that things are fine and then i find out next week that i am pregnant. anyway...i dont really know what to hope for or pray for, but God knows exactly what i need and i am resting in that comfort tonight. i will let you know tomorrow what we find out.

"Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me." Psalm 50:15

"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’" Isaiah 41:10

"Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work."  2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

thanks for being prayer warriors with me!!

blessings, ALo

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New Master

my hubby has given up...he let me re-decorate our bedroom and a few other spaces in the house. the biggest project so far has been our room. i am one of those people that loves to look through magazines and blogs, but i have no idea how to make it happen! now, we are still not completely finished, but i am busting to share what we have so far! some of you have seen little pics here and there on the web, so i am going to share the secrets too...especially about the awesome canvases.

so to start...this is all about my new friend, Holly Mathis. she is native houstonian and an amazing decorator. i was introduced to her through my sweet college friend, tara. tara lives in michigan, but found holly's blog and contracted her to help her via internet with some things in her house. you should see tara's new eat in kitchen, especially the awesome!! so, i started following holly's blog this summer and couldnt wait to have her help me once we settled into a place. holly has been AMAZING!!!! no matter where you live, if you have a few problem areas or even a big project, contact her! she is super on top of things, even with having two small boys and a busy husband at home. she has told me when to splurge and when to save (yes, curtains from ikea!). she is fun and southern and has amazing personal style which all translate into my ideal spaces! so...THANK YOU HOLLY!!! contact her, follow her blog, stalk her, will not be sorry! ps. i should tell you about her cute little henry, who is my new best friend and home hair client...he is hysterical!

ok, so i dont have the before pics, holly does, sorry. but there was nothing "wrong" with what we had, it just wasnt us and it wasnt perfect for our room here. everything but the bed frame is new. i have yet to hang the curtains, because target was short one curtain rod when i went, but that will happen soon. we have decided not to paint our room for now, but we will probably paint the bathroom in the future when we do an overhaul there...i need my new cousin joe lanser to come visit me for that project :)

so here is the bed:

all bedding is from the quilt is the kalamkari (no longer available) quilt with matching standard shams (2) and euro shams (2). i scooped them up at an awesome price when they went on clearance. there are also 2 ruffled linen euro shams and 2 monogram throw pillows. peter is not a huge fan of all the pillows, but they look awesome! thanks, holly!

i took this in the natural light (tons of it in our room...there are 4 HUGE windows all along one wall). i really like this sunburst mirror from it came super fast after i ordered it too. i bought most of the things for the room just before or during big president's day sales...huge advantage. i also used an online coupon i found for this and they offered free shipping. great savings...thanks holly! this is just under 30", perfect for our big room!

i struggled to get a good picture of these new lamps. originally, we were looking at some really awesome (and HUGE) lamps from pottery barn, but these steal of a deal we found at home goods (home goods is owned by marshalls, and i love it! really close to our house too!). peter hated the idea of spending $100+ per lamps when we found these crackled mirror lamps for $45 each. i am not in love with the shades, but they work for now! they have a simple silver base then the crackled mirror glass which you can sometimes see through. they are really pretty when turned on!

these new end tables are from restoration hardware...the camden 3 drawer closed. the picture on the website is much better, i didnt feel like closing the blinds to get a good shot. this is one of those things we splurged on, but they will last forever. holy smokes are they heavy!! and they are cedar drawers...i love opening them to smell them. we did get a deal during presidents day weekend, but not a ton. :) we had to find tall end tables since the bed is so high. i have to literally jump up on to our bed, but it is perfect for my 6'9" hubby! anyway, these are an awesome addition to the room! thanks, holly!!! ps. like my canes cup on the coaster? my throat has been dry at night lately...dont judge!

cute, huh? i love having a seating area in our room! see...lots of windows! so, there are two chairs, but i am only showing one because the other has a bunch of stuff on it, of course! these pretty linen chairs are from they came as a set of two for a great price, but i cant seem to find the link for them. maybe they sold out, sorry! the cute side table is from it has the cutest claw feet...perfect for this space. i probably would have not thought to look there for a side table. thanks, holly!!! yes, she is helping me right now with accessories, including something for this table. the pillow is one from the bed, i just put them there when i havent made the bed yet.

oh my! this is the other wall . you can see that i was sitting on the bed when i took this photo. there are so many awesome pieces!

i am calling this huge basket from home goods, my returns basket. right now it is full of things that i need to return. i am not good at that, but maybe having them there where i see them everyday will force me to do it! this basket is huge and awesome and i love the colors. it matches the bedding perfectly! eventually it will hold extra throw blankets, i hope! thanks for the idea, holly!!

isnt this beautiful? all the other pics that i have taken make it look small for some reason, but its not. it is shallow, but perfect for the room. i just love the color. holly found it on home decorators is an online store owned by home depot. this key console had a small chip under a hinge (no one will ever notice) and when i called the company they were so awesome to work with. rather than replacing the whole piece they gave me a very generous coupon to use. they offered a lower cash option, but i like a few other things, so it was fine for me. since peter and i each have our own walk in closet, we dont really need dressers in our room. this is a perfect statement piece that i can also put extra linens in. i am so glad that holly introduced me to home decorators...thanks!!

oh my lanta!! these are my favorite things about the room right now. i love the monogram pillows too, but these...gash! they just came yesterday! when holly first told me  (and showed me the idea board) i was unsure. they are huge! 30"x40" each. and they were going to be SUPER expensive. i thought i would have to wait a long time and do 100 home hair clients before i could get them, but of course holly came through again. holly told me about it is a website that offers daily emails with super sweet deals (think groupon) for home decorations and accessories. the day she told me about it the website we had wanted to order the canvases from was offering a deal. i quickly signed up, added holly as my referral and bought the deal. i got $15 off my first purchase because holly referred me (if you like the site, put me or holly as your referral. you and i (or holly) will get $15 credit when you make your first purchase. my email address is holly's is so these canvases came from they should be $216 each plus $15 for shipping. i paid $83 each plus the $15 for shipping. wow! THANK YOU HOLLY!!! they are perfect. peter thinks its weird to wake up to such a huge picture of himself, but that side of the room needed the drama. they came ready to hang and dont weigh very much, so they went up immediately! thanks, handy hubby!!

so, can you tell that i love my room? i cant wait to finish up a few other projects with holly's help. we have done new pillows in the living room, new lighting in the eat in kitchen, new lamps for the guest rooms and we have so many other projects on the list. i just need to work a little. does anyone need a haircut? maybe a new color for spring?? :) i am more than excited thinking about holly helping me with a nursery...

go to now! book her! tell her i sent you! :)

blessings, ALo

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

This Week

if you dont want too much info, stop reading. 

mom, stop reading! :) just kidding. 

if you are still reading my blog after the last 18 months, you know there are few things that i dont share. so here it is...

pray that we get pregnant this week! i am ovulating and we are consistently trying this week. (too much info?? i warned you!!) i am not trying to be creepy, i just know that many of you are praying for me and peter. i would love to go into the doctor next week and they be able to tell me that everything looks fine and then the following week i end up taking a test that shows 2 lines. that would be awesome! i know that God can do that. i am believing that He will!! 

i am actually going to go to florida next week after my doctors appointment. our students have spring break and it will be somewhat of a down week. blake, my co-worker, and i planned what we needed to, so i am getting out of town for a few days! i have not seen my grandparents since august and with them getting a little older, i just want to spend a few days with them in the sun...relaxing and making memories. hopefully, when i come back i will find out some awesome news!! :)

thanks for the prayers and support and encouragement!

blessings, ALo

ps. new blog background for spring!!! woohoo!! still working on the banner, hope to have that soon!! :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Day of Firsts

a post of firsts:

1. today my sweet friend, lisa, announced that she is having her first girl. yep, same lisa that thought she was going to be having another boy in june. turns out that when they say they are 95% sure there is still that 5% of uncertainty! :) so happy for her!! i already bought baby girl two cute outfits and some headbands (of course!).

2. today i helped put slats in a fence to make a privacy fence. i helped transform a regular chain link fence into a cool, school colored, privacy fence. our church is helping to transform a local elementary school. over two days and with about 2000 other COF members, we have put in a baseball field, a track, a garden, a covered sandbox, new fencing, painted the interior (including the gym), held a carnival, all new landscaping, and tons more! we were hoping to do 2 soccer fields, but last i heard they probably were not going to get done today because of the wet mud. it was our own extreme makeover for a school that was more than deserving. over 86% of the students at this school are on free/reduced lunch and many go home on the weekends to no food. this project needs it own post with looking for that soon.

3. i also got my first sunburn of the year today. yeah, see #2...we were there for almost 4 hours. i am really pale. i didnt wear suncreen. sadly, i am not the only one! oops! it was a gorgeous day here...sunny and just under 70 with a breeze. perfect for manual, outdoor labor!

4. peter cut my hair. actually, this is not a first. it is a just a first in that it is the first time i have allowed him to touch my hair since i have been professionally trained. we were both scared. he tried very hard to refuse! i wish i had a picture of this event but i am really glad that i do not have a picture of the very first time! so, not long after we got married, i asked peter to cut my hair for me. we were trying to save money, and i thought that because he was so meticulous about everything else, and because he was studying to be an engineer that it wouldnt be a big deal. knowing what i know now, what i was asking him to do is by far one of the more difficult haircuts...a "simple" bob, same length all the way around with no layers (to hide imperfections). he didnt know that wet hair "shrinks" up. he didnt know that you had to have good, even tension...he didnt know anything about cutting hair. and these are the scissors i asked him to use:
yikes!!! those are medium sized Fiskers craft scissors. not hair cutting scissors, craft scissors!! i should have known it was going to end badly. but, we were young. i thought my hubby could do anything (i still do, honestly). its a bad sign when about 3/4 of the way through he says, "you kinda look like darth vader with this helmet on." excuse me, what??!!!?? i am not the biggest star wars fan, but i do know that darth's helmet is "shorter in the front and longer in the back" type of style. NOT what i was going for...not at all!!! it was terrible. it was worse than terrible! i had to pay a lot of money to have it fixed! (i blamed the bad haircut on my brother's friend...said i was her model while she was in hair school...i could not tell the stylist i was just being cheap...) tonight i begged peter to cut my hair again. after his last experience he was more than reluctant. he didnt really end up doing much other than holding the mirror for me and making sure i didnt cut my finger off. he did a great job! thanks, hubby! we did get a few good laughs.

it has been a great day! i hope that you all feel the same way!! enjoy your sunday!

blessings, ALo