Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Gift to the World


I loved the new Christmas Nativity "A Gift to the World" video from the Christmas devotional. It is so beautiful!! This video really put me in the Christmas spirit.  I was so touched by the many events depicted in the video that lead up to the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  I hope this video helps you get in the mood for Christmas and reminds you of the true meaning of the season. 

You can also check out the complete 2011 First Presidency Christmas Devotion at this link:
http://lds.org/broadcasts/archive/christmas-devotional/2011/12?lang=eng

Ensign Article

"The Christmas I Remember Best" bySherilyn Clarke Stinson

http://lds.org/ensign/2011/12/the-christmas-i-remember-best?lang=eng


This morning I was reading the Ensign and I ran across this beautiful article about adoption and Christmas.  I was so touched by the article that I thought I would share it. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Family Photos





I finally gave in and we took new family pictures. This was a big step for me. I have had this reservation about taking family pictures. I sometimes wonder if it’s just me but I feel silly taking family pictures when it’s just the two of us. I feel like they just end up looking like engagement or wedding pictures. (This is exactly what they look like to me even as I post them.) Maybe it’s just me who feels this way?
I’m glad we did it and it was time to update the old pictures on our walls. We may not have children but we are still a family. We can still do all the things a big family does even though we are a little family. So, here is to our big step for our little family and to new family photos.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cookies!!



Here is my take on an oldie but goodie recipe for Oatmeal cookies.  My family loves these cookies!! I am sharing the recipe because when they taste this good it needs to be shared.  So enjoy.  

Oatmeal Cranberry Coconut White Chocolate
Ingredients

3/4  cup sugar

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats

1/2 cup dried cranberries/craisins

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup White Chocolate Chips


Step 1

Heat oven to 375°F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar and margarine; beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg;   blend well. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Stir in oats, cranberries, coconut and white chocolate chips.
Step 2

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto sprayed cookie sheets.
Step 3

Bake at 375°F. for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting Crafty





I decided to try my hand at another craft. I’m not usually very crafty but I figured this one was easy. So far it is going well. I am almost finished with my ribbon board. I love how it is turning out!! I can’t wait to post the finished project. Looks like I may have inherited my Grandmother and Mother’s crafty skills after all.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A song to lift my mood




My sister-in-law told me about this song.  It is amazing and so inspirational.  I just loved it and it made my whole day.  So I wanted to share it.  It’s amazing how some of life’s greatest challenges can turn into some of our greatest growing experience and can end up being for our good.  I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do.

I'm a Mormon

Hi, I'm Kirsten
A daughter, sister, friend, wife and I hope to one day be a Mother and I'm a Mormon.
I have a profile on Mormon.org.  I was so excited to create my profile and to share my beliefs.  Check out my profile and learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint.

Monday, October 31, 2011

2011 Ward Primary Program


Our sweet little Primary did an amazing job for the Primary Program!  I was so proud of our whole Primary. I just have to brag a little bit. They did a great job!! The Primary Program has always been my favorite Sunday.  I love how sweet and simple gospel message that these little ones share.  It is so adorable to watch them wave at their parents and look for their family in the audience.  This year I was so touched by the spirit when the children started singing “I love to see the Temple”.  I was on the stand with all the Primary children and right before this song started all the kids around me were whispering to me how this was their favorite song.  As the children were singing my heart was so full and my eyes started filling with tears.  What a powerful spirit these children posses and what great missionaries they are.  I am so very grateful to be blessed to work with such an amazing bunch of kids and leaders.  I think the Lord knew that I needed them more then they needed me. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fun Fall Pumpkin Stew




We have started this new Halloween/Fall Tradition of making pumpkin stew.  It was so much fun to see all the ingredients come together and to see everyone enjoy the stew. This stew served in a pumpkin really makes a great presentation and kids love that it comes in a real pumpkin. The other cool thing is you can draw a Jack-o-Lantern face on the pumpkin before you cover it in oil and bake it. The Face will still be on it when it comes out of the oven finished. Kids really love that!! I have included my recipe (I got a lot of request for it). Enjoy!!

Pumpkin Stew
Cook time:
4 Hr
Serves:
8-10 servings
Ingredients
- 2 lb beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 1 c water
- 3 lg potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 md carrots, sliced
- 1 lg green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
-1 bouquet garni (bundle of herbs: Thyme, Sage, Oregano, Chives, Bay, Basil, etc)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 md onion, chopped
- 1 container mushrooms (optional)
-1 can corn or fresh corn (optional)
-1 can green chilies (optional)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp beef bouillon granules
- 1 can(s) (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 pumpkin (10-12 pounds)
Directions
1. In a Dutch oven, brown meat in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
2. Add water, potatoes, carrots, green pepper, garlic, onion, corn, mushrooms, green chili, salt, pepper and bouquet garni. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
3. Stir in bouillon and tomatoes and take out bouquet garni.
4. Wash pumpkin; cut a 6- to 8-inch circle around top stem. Remove top and set aside; discard seeds and loose fibers from inside.
5. Place pumpkin in a shallow sturdy baking pan. Brush outside of pumpkin with remaining vegetable oil and butter inside of pumpkin.
6. Spoon stew into pumpkin and replace the top.
7. Bake at 325* for 2 hours or just until pumpkin is tender (Do not overbake)
8. Serve stew from pumpkin, scooping out a little pumpkin with each serving.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Redbook’s No-Shame Campaign




Redbook is doing an amazing infertility campaign with Resolve. I was very excited to see that more and more people want to discuss and be educated about infertility.  I loved the videos and articles that can be found on Redbooks website.  So, check it out and share it with friends and family.

 http://www.redbookmag.com/archive/health-wellness/advice/inspiration-wellness/0/15

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Baby Blessings


I guess it’s the time of year but with the arrival of so many bundles of joy. It’s also that time of year to attend baby blessings.  Typically, I love supporting family and friends on their new endeavors in life.  I love going to wedding receptions, birthday parties and baptisms.  I even attend baby blessings.  I guess I am that lady who puts on a brave face and attends.  In the past I haven’t had any problems going.  I am truly happy for my friends and family on their new stage in life.  Lately, though I have been struggling to have the brave face for baby blessings.  The last one I attended I started crying during and had a rough time pulling myself together afterwards.  I attended the little luncheon after for a few seconds but felt like I was having a melt down from all the baby talk.  I ended up leaving early for my sake and theirs, but mostly mine.  The funny thing about this is event was I didn’t even feel bad.  That is a first for me.  Usually I feel guilty about leaving or for feeling the way I feel.  Not this time.  I must say I was pretty proud of myself.  I think I am growing and understanding myself better.  Also, it shows that I am acknowledging the way I feel and taking time for myself.  I also decided not to attend another baby blessing so soon after the last one.  I knew I wasn’t ready to attend another one so I didn’t and my husband fully supported my decision.  I guess these little experiences have shown me that it’s okay to feel the way I feel and its okay to say no to baby blessings and not attend.   

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mormon.org


The missionaries were at our house for Family Home Evening and shared a wonderful video with us.  I was so touched by this video that I just had to share it on my blog. My heart was so full after this video it’s an amazing story of perseverance in the face of loss and infertility. 
 I love that the Church has started the Mormon.org page.  i am currently working on my page and can't wait to share my faith with everyone in my community.  What a great way to dispel myths about members of the church.  It’s a great way to remind and show people that we are followers of Jesus Christ and Christians. 

Relief Society General Conference



The General Relief Society meeting was amazing.  What a wonderful boost for the women in the church.  It’s great to see how loved, cared about and respected we are by our leaders.  I do have to admit that my favorite talk was Brother Uchtdorf’s talk.  (He has always been one of my personal favorite speakers).  I walked away from that conference with a renewed sense of worth and a great desire to share that worth with others. 

My Favorite Conference Talk




It’s not often that I feel like a conference talk is written just for me.  This talk seemed to not only be written for me but also written to help those around me.  Brother Andersen’s talk was so powerful.  It was very difficult for me to see the speaker through my tears.  I had a hard time keep myself composed. I loved this talk and the message he shared!!  We are truly blessed to have such wonderful church leaders who understand our stages and trails in this life.   

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Help




I just finished reading the most amazing book.  I read “the Help” and I loved it.  What an amazing book that touches upon all of life’s emotions.   I felt like I went through every emotion in this book.  I was angry and sad.  I wanted to kick some characters and hug others.  It really is very good.  I felt like I was on the same journey towards self discovery that all the characters in the book were on.
 I loved the character of Skeeter.  I was reminded of what it’s like to be single when all my girlfriends were married and how dating can be such a crazy mess.  I also had a special place in my heart for Celia Foote.  I felt such a kinship with her struggle to have a family.  I cried at a truly touching emotional scene between her and her husband.   I also loved the characters of Aibileen and Minny. I loved that they were two strong, loving and hard working women. They were women who did the right thing regardless of the consequences.  I also liked the sense of hope in these stories regardless of the challenges.  The messages in this book are so strong and though provoking.
I recommend reading this book.  I can’t wait to see the movie.  If it’s half as good as the book then I am sure I will love it. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Organic


We have decided to try something new.  I am changing our eating habits.  We are going to look into eating more organically.  I must admit that I am the one with the bad diet.  My family teases me that I have the taste buds of a 14 year old boy.  I love snack foods.   I have decided that I want to be and eat healthier.   My husband, Steve, however is really good about what he eats and is encouraging me in this new endeavor.  I just feel better when I eat better and exercise.  I think that when I feel good then so does everyone else around me.  It’s a whole “if Momma ain’t happy, then ain’t nobody’s happy!” thing.  I have been doing a lot of research on how to eat organically.  I am looking into doing it on a budget because eating organically can be very expensive.   I had sticker shock when I say some of the prices at the local grocery store.
Luckily, we have started a little bit of the process.    I was really excited to discover that there are coupons for health food stores.  I love coupons. We have been doing a garden which is a great way to eat organically without breaking the bank.  We are also going to work on cutting back on processed foods.  (So, goodbye Hostess and Little Debbie snack cakes.  These are my weakness). We aren’t going to drastically change our eating and living situation.  We are just going to start making better and more informed choices.  I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of results that this change with bring.  I would be excited just to have lots of energy.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I have been a slacker

I haven’t much felt like writing lately.  It isn’t that I don’t have reason to.  I just haven’t had the heart for three reasons.

1.       My sweet little 18 month old niece Paige passed away.  My niece was born with a heart defect.  Paige was a miracle that lived 18 months longer than the doctors expected.  We knew right from the start that Paige was a special little spirit.  Paige brought such joy and love into everyone’s life.  Heaven’s gain is our loss.  What a blessing it is to have such an amazing niece.  



2.       I started a new job.  Which is great news but there is the eventually questions of “So, Do you have any children?”  I know that they are trying to be nice and trying to get to know but it still aches to be asked this question.  I want to cry whenever this question comes up but instead I just smile and say no not yet. 





3.       The last reason is because the summer baby season is rough.  I can pretty much tell you that everyone around me is either pregnant or having a baby (at least that’s what it feels like).  I am happy for them but so sad for myself.  I know it seems like a pity party and sometimes it is but those are the facts.


So forgive me for not writing sooner.  Hopefully this little note will jump start me back down a positive path on my infertility journey. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Infertility Community


I feel so blessed to be the member of such a great community of infertility women bloggers (both inside and outside the LDS community).  I can’t express how the sharing of thoughts and ideas has blessed my life.  I read another blog and instantly I have a friend who understands and is going through the same thing.  I sometimes feel like some of these blogs are written just for me.  Whenever I’m  feel like I’m all alone on this journey I just read all the other blogs and I realize that I’m not really alone.  I just wanted to say “Thank You” to those women who share their stories and emotions on blogs.  You may sometimes think it just for you. You may not know of all the good that comes out of your blog, but your readers do. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Clarksons - Parents in a Day



What a wonderful message the Clarksons share.  I loved this video! It's about Infertility and Adoption.  I started to cry when Sarah talks about seeing her daughter's picture for the first time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost (My favorite poem)


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,


And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'm no Suzy Homemaker


I am by no means a Betty Crocker or Suzy Homemaker. I did happen to learn a cool new skill this week. I learned how to bottle beans. Now, before you get impressed on the size and amount of bottled beans in these pictures let me inform you that I did not do these. I only helped a little. I cleaned a few jars, watched the process and helped with the kids. My amazing sister in law taught me all about bottling. My husband's Aunt and cousin were also there to help with this bottling business. All these wonderful women had this down like an assembly line. They were the ones who did most of the work. I was there more as a spectator. Can I just say “Wow”! Who knew that there was so much involved with bottling? I am super impressed by this new skill and education. I can’t wait to try it out for myself.

Blogging is cheaper then therapy!


I have been a little bit of a Debbie Downer lately.  I really hate it when I get in this mood but sometimes it just can’t be helped.  This week has been especially hard.  All I have to say is thank goodness for blogging.  This is a great place to express all my ups and downs with infertility and life. Not only can I express myself but I also get the opportunity to read other peoples blogs as well.  It’s nice knowing that there are other bloggers out there who are going through the same thing. That I'm not alone in my feelings.  On the positive side the good thing about being down is that you can only go up from here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I may have to hide all post by.....well you.

Dear Facebook -

I both love and hate you. Why? You might be asking yourself do I hate you and love you at the same time. I will illustrate for you my reason for both loving and hating you.  I will start with the love side:  
  • I love you because you keep me up to date with my family and friends.
  • You help me feel like I have a connection to those around me without actually having to talk to them, visit or see them.
  • You let me share my life and adventures with those around me.
  • Pictures (I love sharing and having pictures)
Now, on to the other side of the debate the reasons why I hate Facebook.  I fear that this side maybe growing more than the love. My reason for hating Facebook are:
  • You make it easy for people I don't want to be friends with to ask me to be friends or to find me.
  • I sometimes feel obligated to be friends with people I don't want to be friends with for example family members
  • There is a lot of drama on you
  • It makes me feel depressed to see some many "friends" are pregnant or having babies. I swear it takes days to recover from the "happy" news. Trust me it's not happy news on this end. This news often makes me feel like my heart was crushed in a glass recycling center machine.
  • The complainers - Those "friends" who complain about being pregnant or having kids. (Granted as I'm complaining I find the humor in this one)
So, dear Facebook I will keep you. I may be a little bit addicted to anyways. Plus, how else can I waste several hours of mindless fun on the computer. I also do love being able to keep in touch with my family all over the World. Though dear Facebook friends I may just have to hide all your post. Don't worry though friends because I’m not unfriending you or blocking you.  I’m just hiding you’re posts and I will be quick about it.  There won’t be any pain and you even won't know it has happened, but I will.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Justice

            

When I turn on the news and see stories such as these involving children my heart breaks. It just amazes me that someone could take something so precious (such as having a child and raising them) and take it for granted or in these cases destroy it.  It makes me want to scream, yell and rip my hair out.  It’s so frustrating to me. 

I sometimes feel like the justice system is letting down the smallest and helpless members of society.  I know that we have a good justice system. (better then you will find in other places) I also know that no justice system is perfect or 100% just.  I also understand that these cases depended on the burden of proof. You have to prove that the person committed the crime.  I guess I just wish there was a punishment for being a crappy parent or a crappy human being.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Infertility Films


I’m a cinephile!  I love cinema.  I love to watch, critique and study movies.  I love foreign film, comedy, Drama, B-movies.  I just enjoy movies.  I figured that since I love movies I should make a list of my favorite movies dealing with infertility and adoption.    They are in no particular order.  They are just movies that I enjoy.  This is just the start of my list. I may come up with more and add to this list.  I hope you enjoy these if you haven’t seen them already.      

       1.       Baby Mama (2008)

2.       Baby Boom (1987)
3.       Raising Arizona (1987)
4.       Julie/Julia (2009)
5.       Up (2009)
6.       Juno (2007)
7.       Did you hear about the Morgans? (2009)
8.       Someone like you (2001)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Father's Day


I find that Father’s Day is often as hard as Mother’s Day.  I have the same feelings and struggles on Father’s Day as I do on Mother’s Day.  I love celebrating all the amazing men and Father’s in my life.  I have been very blessed with amazing male role models and the best Father in the World. 
 This year we celebrated quietly at home.  The only thing I did was get my husband a card.  I guess this surprised him.  I figured with the way I feel about these holidays and our lack of children that I wouldn’t do anything.   My hubby was very excited at my sweet little show of affection.  He wasn’t expecting a card.  I guess in my own little way I acknowledged the holiday and him as a potential Father.  Who knew that such a little act could make all the difference on an otherwise hard day.

Armchair Doctors

I have noticed that in sharing our infertility journey and story with those around us we have run into a curious phenomenon. It’s called the armchair doctor. It seems like everyone has a solution or diagnosis for our infertility. It seems like everyone is now a doctor! I love that all our family and friends want to help us and love us a lot. (This is evident by the show of support and encouragement we receive.) What we hate is the diagnosis. The fact that the diagnosis and the solutions to our infertility range from the crazy to the semi sane. We (particularly me) sometime just want to scream. “Why don’t you leave this stuff to the professionals?” We think that people tend to think they are helping when they try to find a solution to the problem but the truth of the matter is that most people dealing with infertility are already searching for the solution. We are usually exhausting every option. We are trying everything even sometimes when we know it won't work. We are usually seeking professional help and sometimes more than one or two opinions at a time with doctors.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Infertility Etiquette


Did you know that there is etiquette involved in dealing with family or friends that have infertility issues? I don’t think most people know this (At least not in some of our experiences). So, I decided to share a few links on how to support family and friends in dealing with Infertility. This is an education on "how to" and a little bit of "what not to do" in dealing with infertility. There are those who are aware or instinctively get that there is etiquette. For those of you who get it consider this a refresher course. I know that I love the advice and information that is offered in these links and wanted to share it so that it might benefit others dealing with infertility.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I don't know?



I had a friend ask me today when I was going to start having babies.  When I am asked these questions or ones similar I feel this overwhelming need to just bawl my eyes out like a baby.  I feel like this question triggers all the heartbreak and sorrow within me.  I mean how am I supposed to answer this question?  I hate to try to explain (mostly because I can’t get through it without crying.)  I can’t seem to explain to anyone all the chaotic feelings that are inside of me.  I know that most people don’t want to know my whole infertility and life story.  These people who ask this question and others really aren’t trying to hurt me on purpose.  I have to remind myself that they just don’t understand.  So I usually just go with:  1) “Whenever they decide they want to come.” Or 2) “I don’t know, maybe one of these days.” Not always the best answer but hey it will do for now.