7 Challenge: Day 1 – Be Thankful


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I started reading Jen Hatmaker’s book, 7, about a month ago. I only made it through the first couple of chapters before school started and all pleasure reading went out the drain. But those first 3-4 chapters were enough to convince me I needed to complete my own 7 challenge. So this month the challenge is food. I can only eat seven different items of food for the entire month. Adam is doing it with me because it would be way too hard to do it alone.

Our seven foods are: bison, eggs, kale, sweet potatoes, cauliflower (yucky), brussels sprouts, and apples.

I have also allowed 7 spices/condiments: cinnamon, garlic, salt, pepper, vinegar, parsley, and coconut oil (and/or butter, depending on the dish and because I don’t want it to go to waste). Do you know how HARD it would be to not have any spices?! So call me a cheater but I don’t care.

I choose the produce based on what is in season (fresher and cheaper) and the bison because of the many different cuts of meat you can get from a big ol’ buffalo. Eggs are purely for another source of protein.

Yesterday was our first day of the 7 challenge. I ate 3 boiled eggs over the course of the entire day as snacks. Lunch was a brussels sprouts and kale omelet. Dinner was a 3oz mini meatloaf muffin with a side of mashed cauliflower and sautéed kale.

Adam and I are so sick of those 7 foods already. Our bodies are in massive detox. And I am craving chocolate and coffee. But I am determined. I decided yesterday that this is a lesson in thankfulness. We have SO much food available to us at any given moment of any day and we aren’t nearly as grateful as we should be. So I am thankful God has allowed us to begin a crazy challenge about removing excess with 7 healthy foods. How awesome is He?


Part 2: What the Future Holds

The relief I felt after posting Part 1 on Facebook is indescribable. It just feels good to have it out in the open. And Adam and I both truly appreciate the outpouring of love, support, and prayers. Thank you all so much.

So if it’s unlikely we can have babies naturally, what next? Well, that’s a good question. We’ve discussed IVF, IUI, adoption, medication (fyi, clomid isn’t an option because it can increase your risk for ovarian cancer, and since my Mom had ovarian cancer I already have a 50% chance of getting it, so Adam and I decided it wasn’t worth the risk).

We talked about adoption before we were even married. It is something we definitely want to do…. one day. We feel strongly about adopting a child who is from a country that has a high sex trafficking risk.  But to be honest we aren’t ready for adoption…. not yet.

And…. it’s all expensive. Adoption, IUI, IVF, medication. And we don’t have that much money right now.

So we are praying and waiting. We’d love for you to pray with us.

Support Pop!

This last August, my dad watched my brother David and a host of others complete a triathlon. He then decided that he wanted to complete a triathlon in 2014. He started training on August 12th. He found a 13 week training plan that he plans to do 4 times, each time increasing intensity.
CNN picks 6 people a year and trains them to do a triathlon in September. He has submitted this video in hopes of being selected. Please look at this video and then share it. Comments left on the CNN site would also help his cause.
Some of you have already seen this and have shared. Thank you for your support.


Part 1: Tired of Hiding


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I’m tired of “hiding” it. At this point I’d rather have it out in the open for everyone to know. So here it is:

The likelihood of Adam and I having children is slim to none.

We’ve both been tested. There are issues with us both. Are we sad? Yes. Does it hurt? Yes. Are we okay with it? No….and yes.

It has been a huge struggle for me to come to grips with this knowledge. To know I may not ever be able to bear Adam’s children is gut-wrenching.

But I feel as though I’ve come full circle. I didn’t marry Adam to have babies. If I had only married for babies I would have married the first guy who asked. I married this amazing man because I love him.

Adam studying at Starbucks

Adam studying at Starbucks

I married him because I knew after three to four weeks of talking on the phone with him for hours (and I hate talking on the phone!) he was my “one”. I married him because I’ve never felt safer. I married him because he challenges me to love the Lord more fully.

I didn’t marry him for children. Children were supposed to be an added joy to our already happy and full life. The thought of children wasn’t supposed to add stress and heartache to our marriage. But that isn’t the way life has worked out for us. The thought of not being able to have “blood” children does occasionally add stress and it is a constant dull ache in our hearts.

But I am, we are, comforted by the great Comforter. Adam and I have prayed and talked about all this over and over and over. And we are comforted because we know there is always hope.

Another Week Gone By


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Last Monday seems so far away. I had never choked on any thing before and it’s not something I want to repeat ever. To say it was terrifying is an understatement. But this week hasn’t been terribly fast and it hasn’t been terribly slow either.

Tuesday was just kind of chill day. Adam didn’t feel well and took that day and  Wednesday off. I assisted with newborn photos both Wednesday and Thursday. But Thursday evening my throat started hurting. I causally mentioned to Adam that my throat felt the same as it did when I had strep in the fall. I didn’t have time to look at my throat because as soon as Adam got off work we jumped in the car and drove to pick up the new electronic drums for the church (so technically, he was still working!). It was a fast trip because Bro Jones was coming into town for the weekend. But we did manage to stop by Target!! My favorite store ever. I scored this gorgeous teal serving tray and bowl for less than $8!


And this super cute picture frame for less than $2.50! It’s perfect for adding a first year anniversary picture to our living room wall (the picture in the frame was also taken by Kat’s Eye Photography!).


After getting Bro J and Adam settled in (food, guy movie, etc) I took a flashlight and looked in the back of my throat and, lo and behold, white spots and swollen tonsils. At that point I had to wait til Friday to call my doctor because it was too late. But first thing Friday morning you can believe I was on the phone!

Only to find out that I don’t have strep. My doctor said I had some kind of infection but the test for strep came back negative. She also said it could just be that it wasn’t reading positive yet. After routine questions of are you allergic to any meds she gave me a prescription for ceftin. I was in and out in less than 15 minutes! I love that office!

Oh! Interesting side note, Bro J and my doctor graduated from the same medical school! How cool is that?! I think they both enjoyed meeting and chatting for a bit.

So I got my script filled and took it right before going to bed. I woke up early Saturday morning almost gagging. My throat felt WORSE than it did the night before. I quickly got out of bed, grabbed my cell (for the flashlight app) and looked at my throat. The entire back of my throat was inflamed, red, and swollen. My uvula was three times its normal size. It was quite painful to even talk. I instantly assumed it was the medication. I hadn’t had anything out of the ordinary to eat or drink. And since it was too early to call my doctor and the pharmacy I went to my first doctor of choice: Dr. Google. While he’s not always the best choice he can tell me that a swollen uvula is a side effect of ceftin (my pharmacist later confirmed this). After a couple of phone calls and two trips to the pharmacy (ALWAYS return any medication you don’t finish, use, etc. to your pharmacy so they can properly dispose of it. NEVER flush it down the toilet!) I am now on a different antibiotic that seems to be helping. And I also know that I am allergic to at least one medication!

I am staying home from church. Not knowing what I have or if it’s contagious (guess we’ll find out from Bro J) and also knowing how frustrating it is when people come to church sick it just seemed best to stay home. But I will be watching the service via u-stream! You can watch with me here. And you can pray for Adam too. His sinuses are bothering him this morning!

Also, some info on what to do with leftover/unused medication:

Can You Flush Your Old Drugs Down The Toilet?   (in case you were wondering, I am not related to Mother Jones…..)

FDA: Safe Disposal of Unused Medicines

Jan. 16, 2013: Dual Survival


I’m watching one of my favorite television shows: Dual Survival. If you don’t know what it is, it’s a show where two survivalist guys go out into different environments and “survive” for a couple of days. It’s pretty neat. They encounter all different kinds of things along the way.

Cody Lundin is this hippie dude who has been living off the land for over 20 years and teaches others how to do it. He is very knowledgeable about all different types of trees and vegetation. It’s always amazing to see the kinds of things he comes up with just using plants and leaves and tree branches and stuff. I love it when he starts fires and builds shelters. He always seems to come up with some different way to do it and it’s always quite amazing.

His partner for the first two seasons was Dave Canterbury. He was supposedly a highly trained military veteran with years of survival experience as well. Apparently he lied about some of his background and is no longer on the show. Go figure. It seems kind of impressive that he lied about this stuff and no one could tell for the first two seasons. (not that lies are impressive but to pull off a stunt like that seems tough to do, and he succeeded for two seasons)

Cody’s new partner, now that Dave is off the show, is Joseph Teti. Apparently he actually IS some highly trained ex-special forces guy. It’s interesting to watch him because he appears to not know as much about survival as Cody or even Dave did. But he’s more of a warrior so he’s on top of killing something to eat as soon as he spots it. He’s a bit more hyper.

I really liked watching Cody and Dave interact. They were both fairly laid back and it was just interesting to watch how they related to each other. I feel bad for Cody because he really appeared to trust Dave and now he has to get used to a whole new partner. But it’s still a really interesting and great show to watch.

The episode I’m watching now is actually set in Southeastern Kentucky. So they were relatively close to here. Good information to know if you live here I guess. I just like watching survival shows where you have to be crafty and use the elements and natural resources around you. It’s ingenuitive and interesting to watch.

So now I’m going to stop blogging and watch the show.


P.S. They make a duct tape boat and actually use it on the show. It’s quite impressive.

Jan. 15, 2013: Sick Day


I started feeling sick last night. Fever. Headache. Sore throat. “The whole nine yards” as they say. So I was out of commission all day today. The fever has been coming and going. I will feel really warm on the outside but have cold chills on the inside. It’s terribly frustrating!

Lydia is always a tremendous nurse when I am sick. She’s not only very helpful to me but super comforting. I greatly appreciate her gentleness with me. Although I’ll admit, I do turn into a big baby when I’m sick. I hear that’s a universal “guy thing.” 🙂

When I get sick I throw on some old sweat pants, a sweat shirt, wool socks, and wrap up in a blanket. I usually look ultra tacky. And being sick, I’m TOTALLY ok with that. I always feel kind of funny if I’m not feeling well but we need to go out for something. Then I wrap up yet another layer to go out. I’m never wearing colors that match and I’m kind of on the verge of looking like a vagabond. But I’m sick enough that I don’t care.

I typically only eat bland foods. But that’s actually a normal day for me. When I’m sick I want even blander foods. Man, writing this and then reading it back to myself I sound so pitiful when I’m sick. LOL

Well I’m just thankful to have such a great wife who is so loving and kind to me. And I love bragging on her!


P.S. Thanks for reading my blog post/daily journal entry.

Jan. 14, 2013: A Scary Day

I’m writing this on the 15th because, to be honest, yesterday was tough and I needed some time to process what happened. So after work I came home and Lydia and I decided to go to Lexington. We needed some things and kind of just wanted to get out-of-town for a while.

We decided to go eat at Chick-Fil-A while we were up there. We love eating there and it’s the closest Chick-Fil-A to us. So we sat down to eat and enjoy our chicken nuggets. A few minutes in to us eating dinner Lydia stops talking. She kind of coughs and tries to take a drink to swallow some of her food. She couldn’t get the drink down and she quickly stood up. That’s when I knew this was not just a usual little cough or swallowing something that goes “down the wrong tube.”

Here’s what scared me. As I was watching her to make sure she was alright she stood up quickly and began pointing at her throat. I could tell she wasn’t breathing. In her eyes I saw desperation and fear. She wasn’t just slightly choking. She couldn’t breathe. She was panicking. Barely even knowing what I was doing I grabbed her and spun her around and gave her the Heimlich Maneuver. (This is the first and only time I’ve ever had to actually do that.) It dislodged whatever was choking her. It made her throw up so she went to the bathroom. I got one of the employees to help me clean stuff up and went to check on her. After a little while she was feeling good enough to be able to sit and finish eating her dinner.

It really shook both of us up. From her perspective she realized how quickly you can suddenly stop breathing and be in serious danger. It made her really consider how close to not being here she could have been.

For me, I was freaked out by how serious the situation was and the measures I suddenly had to take to save Lydia’s life. Seeing that kind of terror in her eyes was crushing. I hope I never have to see that in her eyes again. She was absolutely helpless and desperate. It was a look I will never forget.

We were not the only people in the restaurant, but for an average evening/dinner time at Chick-Fil-A there was unusually not a lot of people there. We sat at a table that was in a corner, but was the closest table to the front counter where all the employees take orders. Apart from being in that corner we were in plain sight of quite a few people. And yet not a single person was looking at us or knew what had happened. Within less than a minute Lydia’s life was threatened, I jumped up and helped her to dislodge the food, and she was headed to the bathroom and I was getting an employee to help me clean up. And no one seemed to have even seen it. This is God’s providence. If it had become a big scene and a bunch of people had been around it may have been a larger panic and a more dangerous situation. And knowing how inadequate I am with medical stuff God cleared the way of any type of interference and gave me the peace of mind, virtually outside myself, to do the exact right thing at the right time to save my wife’s life.

At the moment it felt surreal. Then as a little time passed we began to talk about it as if maybe it wasn’t actually that big of a deal, I think because we were both so scared we didn’t know how else to feel. And then later on in the evening (and today) it began to sink in; the magnitude of what had just happened, and what God had done to protect us.

I’m thankful I was able to do the right thing to help my wife. I can’t imagine a moment in this world without her. And as God always uses bad situations for good, I’m even more aware of how blessed I am to have her as my own love of a lifetime.

God is so good. God is SO good! God is SO GOOD! He’s so good to me!


2012: Newly Married Advice


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In our Christmas letter for 2012 we included a P.S. with some marital advice. We said, “Our first year, newly married advice: read a book together, take turns reading aloud, and be sure to discuss any points that are thought provoking and intriguing together.”

This has been so good for us. Reading a book on marriage (for example) aloud to each other has provided us with opportunities to discuss things that we might not have thought about or things that might only come up in arguments. It’s been a wonderful way for us to have open lines of communications; to be able to talk about things with a heart and mind open to repentance and service. It allows us to get to know each other better. I love doing this with Adam. It’s definitely one of my favorite things. We crawl in bed and usually read and discuss a chapter or two before saying goodnight.

We have several books we are reading together right now. We pick and choose which one to read depending on who wants to read and what they feel like reading that night.

So what are we reading?

big-truths-for-young-hearts21. Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God by Bruce Ware

Lydia’s Opinion: This book is actually for kids but it is amazing; full of simple yet deep theological truths on the greatness of God. I LOVE this book. I have learned so much by simply reading it. At the end of each section Dr Ware has questions for thought and answering those questions is so good for making sure the information you are taking in is actually hitting home. I highly recommend this book! And when we have kids we will re-read this book with them.

Adam’s Opinion: I actually had Dr. Ware for a class in Seminary and was able to be around him and hear a number of his sermons. He truly has a heart for God and obtaining a greater understanding of the God we serve. This book does a phenomenal job of explaining very large concepts about God in a way that is bite-sized and understandable but still complex for any maturity level. I love reading this book with Lydia and discussing the different points on theology. I can’t wait to have kids that we can read this book to and discuss it!

97814002038332. Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together by Mark and Grace Driscoll

Adam’s Opinion: This is a pretty great book so far. I’m sure it will not disappoint. It has brought out some thoughts on different aspects of marriage that maybe we haven’t discussed very much. The Driscolls discuss love and respect for each other and how to try to better understand your partner. It’s a good way to talk about hard issues and possible touchy subjects within the context of working through it together for greater communication and a happier marriage. It’s been a very helpful book!

Lydia’s Opinion: We are on like chapter 5 but this book has been enlightening. Grace has already challenged me to be not just a better wife but truly a God-seeking servant who serves, respects, and encourages my husband through God’s strength, mercy, grace, and love. This is a must-read for all married couples! I’d even go so far as to say that engaged couples could read it together but most of the issues they have talked about you’ll only experience within marriage. Either way, it is an excellent read!

The_Revolution_—_A_Manifesto3. The Revolution: A Manifesto by Ron Paul

Lydia’s Opinion: Ummmm…. I am thoroughly ashamed to say that even though I’ve owned this book for YEARS! I’ve never sat down and read it. Those of you who know how much I freakin’ LOVE Dr Paul will (should) be shocked by that fact. Let’s be honest: this book is kind of hard to read. Dr Paul is intelligent. Half of the words I have no idea what they mean (usually because I’ve never seen them before!). But I love Ron. So I love this book. I will look up every word I don’t understand and I will finish this book and I will love it when I’m done with it.

Adam’s Opinion: This has been a very interesting book. It’s one that I know what he’s going to say, I know exactly what he means, but I feel like no one ever actually says the things he is saying. They’re all common sense ideas, yet somehow we’ve lost our grasp on them as a society. Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican or just somewhere in the middle you have to agree that we should all be headed in the direction of common sense. And that’s what this book is about. It’s cool to read a perspective from at least one person who has been in the government for a long time who is familiar with the Constitution and wants us to continue to abide by it. It’s refreshing!

Jan. 13, 2013: A Really Good Day

Here’s why today was a really good day. The Atlanta Falcons won! I’ve been an Atlanta Falcons fan for years and years: ever since I first saw Deion Sanders return a kickoff and high-step it into the endzone. So that’s when it all began.

Then there was 1998. Atlanta was suddenly really good. The Dirty Birds! They had their own touchdown dance and everything! They were great! They were steamrolling teams. They had some outspoken Christians on the team and as a Christian it was so neat to see fellow brothers in Christ on your favorite team going to the Super Bowl for the first time! But then it all came crashing down. The night before the Super Bowl one of the most outspoken Christians, a team leader, got busted with a prostitute and suddenly it was all over. Atlanta gets whooped by the Denver Broncos the next day. It was not fun!

So here we are in 2013. Fifteen years later and the Falcons are one game away from the big game again. But this year is a little different. Today they beat the Seattle Seahawks. They BARELY beat the Seattle Seahawks. Now the Seahawks are a great team this year, so it is still a win and an accomplishment. But it’s a scary thing because now Atlanta plays the San Francisco 49ers. And they’re way better than Seattle. Or at least they looked like it last week. So we’ll see what happens. My brother says a win is a win, so for this week I’ll just be happy that they got the W today.

By the way, while I grew up a Buffalo Bills fan like everyone from that area, 4 really rough Super Bowl losses can change that. But I’ll still root for them when they’re not playing Atlanta.

So we’ll enjoy this win and see what next week brings.