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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blessings in Disguise

 Today was supposed to be our baby's due date.  Once we were pregnant, I was anticipating the fall season because it was to bring our little miracle into the world, but since our miscarriage I have dreaded this day.  Bryan hugged me this morning, once he realized what the day was, and asked me if I was okay. I told him that it hadn't felt much different yet. I have to admit too, that I was a bit distracted because we had Bryan's sister staying with us this weekend, but I didn't mind the distraction.  Even though I wanted to acknowledge this day, I didn't want to make a big deal about it by announcing it to everyone. But then we went to church, and God did something very special for us that I felt I just had to share.
So, just a little background information first.  One of the best ways, for me personally, to get through trials is worshiping God through music. Christian music always changes my perspective and I find much needed comfort through it. Whenever I had anxiety about something, Bryan would put Christian music on because he knew the Lord would speak to me and change my heart. God had done this so many times through my trials, and my miscarriage was no different.  Around the time we lost our baby, a song called "Blessings," by Laura Story came out. I cannot say enough how much comfort I found in this song! I felt it was written just for me! And because it was new, it got played a lot on the Christian radio station. Every time I would hear it, it would make me cry, but it also brought me the right perspective on our situation. And because I heard it so much while I was healing, I always associate it with our angel baby in heaven. Time went by, and through the summer I would hear the song less and less. And recently had actually forgotten about it because I hadn't heard it in so long.
Then we went to church this morning.  And just as worship was winding down and we took our seats, the singers came out and in a few notes, I knew what song it would be. It was the song that always reminded me of my baby. They were singing Laura Story's "Blessings," and they were singing it on my baby's estimated due date! While I listened, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. We have never heard them sing it before. Bryan grabbed my hand as we fought back tears.  We thought we were the only ones who knew of this significant date, but God quickly reminded us that He too remembered! I know that this may not seem like a big deal to some, but for us, it was so special. A special little moment between us and God just letting us know once again that He cares! And once again, that these trials in this life, can be blessings in disguise.

If you have never heard this song, please take a few moments to listen. I pray it may encourage you through your trials as well...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Number 1 Celebration!

I noticed on my ticker today it was a very special day! :) We have been waiting 1 year, 1 month, 1 week, and 1 day for our referral! What better way to celebrate than with some Korean food! :)

Bryan waiting for our food at the new Rice B's Korean Restaurant!
Checking out some Korean snacks!

Beautiful artwork with verse Mark 9:23, "Jesus said to him, "All things are possible to him who believes."

 Beef Bulgogi with veggies, Kimchi and Mandu! Yum!

Really need to get better at these chopsticks! :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Good Deals and God's Provision

It's no secret I like good deals! It's not easy living off one income around here and save for our adoption. When I was working full time as a nanny, not only did God place a huge desire in my heart to be a mom, but a stay at home mom at that. Bryan felt the same way too, but we knew it would be a huge challenge to afford (especially on his salary). But just like when we decided to trust God with our adoption, we also wanted trust Him with this too.  So, at the time the family that I was a nanny for moved away, and we decided to pursue our adoption, we also decided to try and see if we could make living off one income work. I have had to learn to be very thrifty. We weren't big spenders anyway, so this was going to be some task.  Well, it didn't take long, and I discovered couponing. I'm sure everyone knows now about couponing because of the TLC show, but 2 years ago, couponing was actually not as known as it is now. I really felt that it was a miracle that I stumbled across a website one night and listened to a online seminar about it.  So, once I started couponing, and got good at it, I was actually able to cut our grocery budget by 60% and often times even more!  As much as it saved us though, it didn't save quite enough. We had to reevaluate our budget. We cut our cable, we didn't eat out, we didn't buy clothes, and we continue to drive our paid for, 14 year old cars, all to make this dream of mine of being home with our children come true.  And let me just say, this has NOT been easy. It's so hard to say no sometimes to friends or family when they want to go out to eat and do something fun. It's hard to have to figure out another outfit to wear to church when you have so few options. It's hard to drive around a beat up car with no air conditioning.  But when I think about why I'm doing this, I know I wouldn't trade it for the world.  We have been able to pay all our bills, tithe, and even give occasionally. Sometimes it doesn't make sense to us where money comes from, but we know that God has been providing for us.  Not only has He provided for me to be at home, but also for our $30,000+ adoption along the way! Even when it looked like there was no way we could do it,  God managed to make it work and continues to make it work! So, this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for good deals, yes, but more importantly I am thankful for the One who provides them!

And just for fun, here are some of the good deals God has provided via craigslist for our soon to come little one. ;)

Our 360 Degree Clip On High Chair- $30!

Our Dutailier Glider- $15!

Our Radio Flyer Wagon- $10!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Surprises!

This Thankful Thursday I would like to honor my sweet hubby for his incredible effort in making my 30th Birthday such a wonderful one!  Bryan has known for years that I was NOT looking forward to my 30th! I had always had a goal that I would have all my children by the time I was 30! As it got closer, my goal changed to that I just wanted to at least be a momma by 30.  It was obvious that that goal would not be met in time, and my wonderful husband wanted to somehow make my birthday special anyway. So he surprised me! Not just once, but THREE times! Let me also say, Bryan is not a big fan of surprises.  He doesn't like the risk in it. Too many things have to go right so everything will fall into place, and he doesn't like to chance things. So, the fact that he did this, caught me way off guard!
Surprise One
Bry had been planning this for months! In September he told me he was going to take me to Myrtle Beach for a weekend getaway for my early birthday present! I was so excited, because we never got a chance to have a vacation because our miscarriage happened right before we were going to leave. He knew how much I wished we could have got away and just relax with my family, so he went ahead and planned this for me early, so that we would have nice weather. And it was a perfect weekend! It was only a few days, but it was way more than I ever expected. He got a great Groupon deal for the resort we stayed at and we used restaurants.com coupons to eat out, so we didn't really have to spend too much money!  My hunny knows how much I appreciate a bargain! ;) It was by far the most perfect birthday present I have ever gotten. It was much needed and much appreciated!
Surprise Two
So, now we have reached the end of September, and I had made plans with my parents to come up to Georgia and stay with them for a few weeks. We were going to meet them in Columbia since we were already there visiting Bryan's family, but when I called my dad, he said he wouldn't be able to do it because of work and he would try to meet us another time. But little did I know Bryan had be scheming for months for another surprise. After visiting with Bryan's family in Columbia, we made our way back home to Charleston instead of me going to Georgia like I had originally planned. It was late and I walked in the house first. When I opened the door I noticed immediately that it was cold. I thought it was weird that Bry left the air conditioning running. And then just as I was about to come in and turn on the lights, I heard a baby laughing. Terrified,  I immediately turned around and ran back outside and told Bry that there was someone in the house. My heart was racing and was so scared. Bryan took my hand and walked me back in. I was so confused, but trusted Bryan knew what he was doing to take me back in that house! We came around the corner and then all of the sudden, I saw Cooper, my nephew holding a happy birthday balloon! The source of those baby noises! Then I heard people shout "Surprise!" and out came the rest of my family! I was so shocked and wanted to cry, but I was still so confused! At first I didn't even think Bryan knew about it, but later I found out he was the mastermind of this plan to get my family down to Charleston. It had been a long time before I had my whole family visit us, and he knew that it would make me so happy to have them here to visit for a long weekend and celebrate my birthday! Later that night, I found out all the planning that he had to do to keep this all a secret for so long. He created a secret email account called surprisingmonica@g mail.com, so I would not be able to read the exchanges he had back and forth with my family. Things would change, complications would arise, but he ended up pulling off a great surprise. One that I will never forget!
Surprise Three
Once the weekend was over, the plan was for me to go back up to GA with my family and spend two weeks with them. I knew that I was going to miss Bryan! After all, that was a long time to be a part from your spouse! I always love going "home" to the Georgia mountains. It was such a beautiful place to grow up. The sites and smells all bring back fond memories for me, so I definitely was looking forward to my visit. But after about a week, I trully missed my husband and was counting down the days I would be able to see him again. So, finally, my actual birthday comes on October 5th, and I'm sitting at the bar of the kitchen working on one of my paintings and getting ready to have dinner with my family, when the door opened and in comes a sight for sore eyes...my Bryan!! Three days earlier than expected!! I immediately exclaimed "Bryan!" followed by lots of clapping! (I know, I'm a dork!) ;) Again I wanted to cry, but was still so confused! He got me again!  He told me he wanted to be with my on my actual birthday! Man, what a guy! What a joy to be married to such a selfless and thoughtful soul mate!
So after all that, Bryan actually was able to get me to forget how much I was dreading turning 30, and instead remember how much I am blessed to get to spend the rest of my birthdays with him!

Thank you hunny for my much needed surprises!! I love you!!