Friday, June 29, 2012

Sharing a giggle

L, (6 yrs. old)

Came to lessons with hill billy teeth.
I laugh out loud (literally)
every time I look at this picture.
I love my piano kids.

Your welcome. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Some Nieces

These are 4 of our 5 nieces, the ones we got to see this week, here are recent pictures (and no names for privacy)  We hope to make a trip to meet our other niece S. Toy! 

A few snapshots of Alisha & Marc's girls:
S glaring at the flash, my favorite picture!

T running away with our soap

S&T "helping" us pack.

And some of Jake and Bethany's girls:
C, "cheese"

P grinning

Sisters! C & P

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Our Animals

The old gal.

look at those "elf" ears (I call them Dobby ears)
soooo cute! 

"Big Chicken" 

Speckles, giving me the evil eye

What she does all day, or at least while I play with my camera

I am sure this is what he was going to say

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Story in Pictures

Best Buddies Ready to "roll"

"Hey, wait for me!"

 "Wait! I'm coming."

 I'll run circles around you, because  I am so excited!

 Joseph working his way uphill back home.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Vote for Eric

A friend from high school entered her husband in a contest, I would like to help them win. So I stole this off her blog. Please vote!
"He has a chance to win one of three prize packs from our local Ace Hardware for Father's Day.
The contest is open to Maricopa dad's only but there are 60 dads nominated and only three winners! The winners are chosen by voting only. All you have to do is go to this link: HERE and then click on the "vote" link and select "Eric Hoffman". Voting is open until 3 p.m. on June 15. Please go vote today!"

"Eric is probably not the average nominee most people would picture for a “Father of the Year” contest. He’s just 29, has two kids, and has only been a father for about 5 years. That might seem a little young and “unseasoned” for such a prestigious title. But I contend that in the 4 2/3 years that Eric has been a father, he has earned the “Father of the Year” title 100 times over. He has faced enormous challenges in every area of life. He has come up against odds that most people would shrink back and just give up under. But his dedication, work ethic, compassion, strength, sense of humor, love, and the enormous duty he feels to provide and protect his family have carried him through.
Eric works harder than almost anyone I know to provide for our family – without complaint or fail. He just silently and dutifully does what needs to be done. When we faced a lay-off while he was going to school full-time to complete his degree, he worked two jobs at a time on top of his school work to try and provide for us. I remember nights where he didn’t arrive home and collapse into bed next to me until 2 or 3am because he went on campus after work to finish up assignments and projects. And then he was up by 7am to do it all over again.
A little over two years ago, our oldest daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia. We were a “struggling student” family, with two small kids, a business to run, and Eric’s degree to finish. It was the most difficult thing we have ever faced. But Eric shone through it. He showed us all what really mattered – our daughter; our family. He was so tender and sweet with our daughter. He spent many nights in the hospital crammed into a little hospital bed with our daughter, so that I could have the one fold out bed in the room and so he could be near our sweet girl. When our daughter felt well enough to get out of bed, he carried her to the window to look outside and sat on the couch playing “My Little Ponies” with her. On top of his already heavy load, we added cancer. And he carried it with such strength and grace and love."
"Our girls love their daddy so much! There is no one who can make them laugh like he does. He is such a strength to our family and we all love him so dearly. I would love to be able to give such a wonderful prize to a truly deserving man as a small thank you for being one of the most incredible fathers anyone could imagine."

"Right now it's a close race between him and two other dads, with another couple not too far behind. Eric was in the lead, but last night another dad jumped up from behind and is starting to pull away. Let's get him back in front if we can! :) Thanks for your support!! I think this would just be the neatest Father's Day surprise for him."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cool or Creepy?

I like checking the stats on our blog occasionally.
Apparently, our blog getting popular in some foreign countries that Joseph and I have never been to. (Brasil isn't included, Joseph served his mission there, we know who could be reading from Brasil)
 Here are a couple screen shots, while this slightly creeps me out, it's also kind of cool. But I do have absolute control over what is posted here, so it's alright.

(Click to view larger)

Monday, June 4, 2012

I am an infertility survivor

And as such I have some issues dealing with other people's  pregnancies. So here are some ground rules to follow, taken from Ashley at feigning fertility. HERE is the original post, on Ashley's blog.

What we infertility survivors need our pregnant friends and family to understand is the following:

1. Your news, while brilliant and amazing, is going to hurt. You are not hurting us. You did not hurt us and we know you love us. What hurts is that every time we see some one else pregnant, we're slapped with the fact that we are not. Every announcement is another moment where we have to face our defective bodies and empty arms. It's not you, it really isn't.

2. We will need our space. The only thing that will get us through our own struggles with our infertility is patience. I've heard  people express that infertile women need to get over it, because pregnant people are everywhere and we can't avoid it , so why let it bother us? Because we are painfully aware that pregnancy is everywhere. We face it every single day, not just during pregnancy announcements or baby showers... When one of our friends is pregnant, we have to look at it and frankly, it's an overload. Let us come to you ( pretend we are a cat) and mostly, [...] know that we love you, but we need our space.

3. Do not. Do NOT appear ungrateful for your pregnancy [...] we're aware that if we ask how you're feeling, you're probably not feeling like sunshine and roses.  A good response would be "tired, a little queasy. How are you?". We're trying to be polite, we really are concerned about you, but a long drawn out whine about your vomiting isn't needed. It's hard to listen to someone moan and groan about something you would be really grateful for. We get that it's not a walk in the park, but if we were in your shoes, our response would be " tired, a little queasy, but thrilled!". We need to know that you know how blessed you are. That we'd do anything to be as uncomfortable as you are.

4. We need you to know that our pain is not about you. We know that you're going to be a great parent. We know you are grateful. We wouldn't take it from you so we could have it. But we wonder what we did wrong that we can't have it too. Not "instead" but "also". I love my friends and wouldn't have taken their pregnancies away from them so I could do it instead, but I would have given anything to be pregnant also.

5. You need to know that we feel like jerks for being upset. Seriously, if you are a good friend, we feel horrible we aren't skipping with you. We want to. Believe me, we want to. But our hearts are too heavy to fly with you  and that makes us feel like horrible people and friends. We're sorry we're being bad friends in this time in your life.

6. We will come around. We may not be into going and doing your baby registry with you, we will probably cop out of your baby shower, but we will still send you a gift. Again,  treat us like we're cats. We just need to come when we can do it. And refer to numbers 4&5. At some point we will [...]be back to normal, but not now, okay?

7. We want you to know that the most important thing we need from you is patience. We're going to be weird. We don't know what to do and you don't know what to do. You can't fix it and we can't fix it. This is something we'll just have to ride out. It will be okay and we just need you to keep loving us, because we will keep loving you.

My thoughts: I love these! They are so true! Awkwardly and embarrassingly true. I do wish that I knew these or at least a couple of these in the middle of our miscarriages.  It's  hard to know how to deal with what you need to, let alone know how to associate with other people while trying to cope.

I know that I made mistakes dealing with my infertility, I know some people were hurt. But what I need those people to understand is that we had no idea how to handle infertility and we knew even less about how to handle our friends and family's concerns or their pregnancies.  We are still learning, infertility will always be part of our story now, even after we finally become parents. Infertility is part of our story, but it does not define who we are.