Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Vacation: California to Oregon

Christmas is always such a crazy time for us: 1. Christmas is always crazy with presents, family, dinners, Christmas breakfast, 2. Scott's birthday is Christmas Eve, and 3. my birthday is Christmas day.

Scott and I started out our Christmas vacation by going down to Danville for a few days. There was constantly family over at my parent's house (cousins, siblings) - it was wonderful. The first night that we got there, my mom had sugar cookies lined up on the counter for us to decorate. Scott's were the most popular for reasons you will see (pictures hopefully coming soon - I forgot to take my camera, so I need to wait to get the pictures from my brother). He decorated three gingerbread boys wearing speedos/thongs - he also gave one lucky one a hairy chest - don't worry, the other ones got nipples.

The next morning, my grandmother, Sammie, put his masterpieces on a platter with a sign saying, "Chippendales." She then put a $1 bill on the platter, making it look like it was tucked into one of the cookies drawers.

My mom made an amazing carrot cake for Scott's 28th birthday - she put his sugar cookies on top of it as decoration. We used the same cake for my 24th birthday the following night, but removed the cookies.

After Danville, we drove up to Oregon to be with Scott's family. His sisters, Karen and Michelle, live up there with their families, so everyone congregated up there this year (It was the first time his family had all been together since our wedding three years ago). It usually takes five hours to get to their homes from ours, but because of the weather and traffic, it took us eight hours. It was a very long trip, but worth it once we got there.

At the race track.YannickJoy and Mark (his lips look pretty real, don't they? of course minus the fact that they're abnormally huge here!)Allyssa-Rae, Karen, Michelle, Nikki (sp?)Thalia-Rae is on a mission in New York right now, but we made sure to include her in as many things as possible.My husband - the model (I think I'm pretty lucky - plus our kids are going to be really attractive - how could they not be?)Barbie and AbbygailJoy's competitive nature coming out.Yannick and Josh: battling . . . Mark and KaylaJoy looks so innocent in this picture. She didn't know she'd been caught on film attacking her nephew (as previously shown).Nikki with Allyssa-Rae's J-Lo hat.Apparently, Dennis has had this hat since the creation of the world - maybe even before that.Karen, Gail, Dennis, Michelle, my hubby, and MarkTop Row: me, Scott, Michelle, Josh, Barbie, Thalia-Rae, Gail, Dennis, Abbygail, Yannick

Bottom Row: Ben, Allyssa-Rae, Karen, Kayla, Noelle, Jessie, Joy, Mark, Nikki, Kyle

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Morgan's Annual Christmas Party

On Friday, Scott and I went to Tiffani and Andrew's annual Christmas party. We talked, ate a lot of great food, and had a white elephant gift exchange.

All the girls: Hillary, Lindsey, Catherine, Tiffani, Leslie, Val, me, and Susan
Tiffani opening the gift that Scott and I brought (I love Lindsey's laugh after she sees it). As it turns out, this was the most sought after gift: a Nerf gun and a jockstrap.
Brandon ended up with our gift at the end and was pretty quick to try it on after the game was over. Ben and Leslie brought the waist band thing that Josh is wearing. You're supposed to wear it to help you slim down . . . I guess it's supposed to make you sweat, causing you to lose weight. Leslie's grandma swears by them.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas FHE

Last Monday, our friends, Tiffani and Andrew Morgan, invited us to their family's home for FHE. We had an amazing dinner, followed by singing and a reenactment of the Nativity story.
It was hilarious watching Grandpa and Rob try to fit into the children's costumes . . . it's a good thing the costumes were stretchy.

Cordon, the Wise Man

Andrew and Carson

Me chillin' with Carson (sorry Tiffani, I stole this from your site)
The whole family packed up and caravaned to a nearby neighborhood that's decked out in Christmas lights and decorations. We each had hot chocolate and a bag of cookies to snack on while strolling down the street. There were probably five or more kinds of hot chocolate to choose from back at the house (Scott had caramel, and I had peppermint), and three different kinds of homemade cookies! They were so good.




P.S. Just to keep everyone informed . . . Scott and I have decided to go ahead with Clomid. After much research and prayer, we feel this is the best way to go. If I take the antibiotic, the risk of harming my body is greater than my chances of getting TB in the first place. INH can cause liver damage and possibly hepatitis. I don't want to risk my health by taking the antibiotic if it ends up not being necessary. Thanks for all of your words of comfort and prayers, and I'm sorry I had such a major pity party on my blog (However, I must admit that as soon as I finished typing it, I felt a whole lot better. I really needed to vent).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ramblings of an Emotional Moron

Disclaimer: I just need to write this. It's not edited and might not make sense, but I don't care right now.

I am so hurt right now. I feel so sick and tired of all the hoops I have to jump through to even start fertility. I first had to do the horrible HSG test to make sure I'm "all clear" in the tubes, I then had to do tons of blood work, Scott had to do his test, and then I finally got to visit my fertility doctor. From there, she told me that my Rubella immunization wore off from when I was little, so I had to get a Rubella vaccine before I could start Clomid, meaning I couldn't try getting pregnant for at least 30 days after the vaccine. Now I just found out (when I'm so close to getting to start Clomid) that I tested positive in a PPD (TB skin test). I went and got a chest x-ray to make sure I don't have active TB. Thankfully, that came back negative (I don't have TB, I'm not contagious, but I've been exposed to it). My doctor, however, wants me to take an antibiotic (Isoniazid, or INH) as a preventative of my latent TB becoming active (I've read that about 5% of people with a positive PPD get active TB in 2 years). The problem is, I don't know when I was exposed to TB. I know I was for sure in contact with it about 2 or 3 years ago when a little girl at church had TB, but Scott hasn't tested positive in his PPD even though he was around her just as much as I was. So perhaps that's not when I was exposed. If I was exposed then, then I'm probably not going to get active TB, but if I was exposed more recently, it's possible that I may. There's no way of knowing when I was exposed. The problem with all of this is that INH is a Category C drug for pregnancy, meaning I shouldn't take it at the same time that I'm pregnant, or trying to conceive. Not only is it a Cat. C drug, but I have to take it for 9 months, so I have to put off having a baby that much longer. This just sucks so bad because we've been trying for over 2 years, and we were going to start Clomid in a few weeks. I had my hopes up so high, and now I have to deal with this. Do I put off the antibiotic until later, or do I postpone trying to get pregnant for another 9 months? This time in my life has been so wonderful, but at the same time, I don't think I've ever had to go through anything more difficult than these problems from the last 2 years - miscarriage, infertility since then, and in the last month - getting a Rubella vaccine, having to wait 30 more days to start Clomid, testing positive for PPD, maybe having to wait 9 months more to start Clomid. I don't know what to do. My primary care doctor wants me to start the antibiotic now, but my fertility doctor wants me to put off the antibiotic (since it's not active TB), so I can start Clomid. I don't know what to do. Help me! Help me get through this. I want to feel peace and comfort. I want to know what's best for my health, but I also want a child. I feel like I've been waiting for so long. Everyone keeps saying, you're still young. You can wait a little longer. Things will happen when they're supposed to. I know I can wait, and I know I'm still young, I know things work out for the best, but that doesn't make it easier, and sometimes I think sucky things just happen without Heavenly Father trying to test us. This is such an emotional roller coaster. It is so difficult wanting something that is so good and in line with the commandments of God, but not being able to have it yet. I feel I am patient, and I try to have faith, but sometimes it is so draining. I need to think of others at this time and forget about myself. That will take my focus off of the problem a little bit more, and then I will be able to be happy with my life as it is and have a hope for the future. Clomid or INH? Which one do I choose? It doesn't seem likely that I'll get TB, but if I do when I am pregnant, it can cause severe deformities in the baby and can be life threatening to me. But if I was exposed two or three years ago, then I'm already past the point of getting active TB, and I'll be putting off having a baby when there's really no need to. I'm getting such mixed messages from my doctors right now that I just don't know what to do.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Tacky Sweater Party

Last night, Scott and I were invited to a tacky sweater party and ornament exchange (yes, the ornaments were tacky too). There was an ugly sweater contest, and Scott came in second place - probably because he wasn't really wearing a sweater - just a sequins woman's shirt and a Christmas vest with a 3-D snowman on it (apparently this wasn't tacky enough).

Randy and Cherrie: She won the contest. She added the eyes and a red nose to her sweater to make it look like Rudolph - it was pretty horrible.

Troy and Janice: These two were hilarious. There was never a dull moment with them. Their ornaments were hilarious, but I probably shouldn't say what they were because it may not be appropriate. However, I can say they were homemade and very creative. Jillian was the host of the party. She just recently moved into our ward and is so much fun.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Makeover . . . Again

Summer '07
Later summer '07

Winter '07
My hair's brown for the second time in my life. I always thought I was a natural blonde, but once I went away to school and my highlights started growing out (I couldn't afford to pay for them anymore), I realized my hair was naturally brown and let it grow out. Who knows. I'll probably be blonde in the summer again . . . if not a redhead.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

3 Years

Last night, Scott and I celebrated our third year of marriage. For our anniversary, we decided to go get massages at Massage Envy (they have a first-time special of $40/person, so it was in our budget). You always see people getting massages together on Reality shows (The Bachelor, for example), and it always looks so romantic - so that's what we decided to do. However, when we got into the room, our tables were facing two opposite corners - already not as romantic as the TV shows portray. We couldn't hold hands or even talk unless we shouted to each other (I guess we could have played footsies if we really stretched our legs far). When we first got in the room, one of the massage therapists showed us to our tables and then said, "We're going to leave the room, and after we do, you can undress to whatever's comfortable for you, get on the table, and cover up with the sheet." Before the woman even finished saying this, Scott's shoes and shirt were thrown into his corner of the room, and he was laying in a ball on top of the table. Scott moved so fast (he'd been anticipating the massage all day and was really excited for it. He was like a kid going to Disneyland and seeing Mickey for the first time). The ladies just started laughing, and one of them went over and told Scott the correct way to lie down, and then covered him with the sheet - it looked like she was tucking a little kid into bed. Even after they left the room, I could still hear the ladies laughing in the hallway. Anyway . . . the rest of the massage was wonderful. When it ended, I could barely move, let alone walk straight down the hallway. We had such a great time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The end is in sight

Scott has been on a 1-year probation ever since he finished the Fire Academy last year. Every four months, he has had to take a test to make sure he knows the ins and outs of firefighting and EMS. Yesterday, he took his 12-month, and after 6 1/2 hours of testing, he found out he passed without any problems! He is basically a permanent firefighter for Sac Metro, (probation officially ends Dec. 7). Now, he'll only be let go if he does something completely horrible, which I don't see happening. It is such a load off his shoulders to know that he has a secure job now. He was so excited when he got home yesterday that he could hardly eat his dinner (the missionaries were over, and they were already on seconds while Scott wasn't even half-way through his first helping. He was smiling and talking so much that he couldn't get a bite in - he was completely wired).
SO everyone tell him congratulations! He's been dreaming about this job his whole life, and he finally has it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ancestor Wall

I have attempted many times now to create an ancestor wall in my home. However, every time I try to make copies of the pictures, they turn out green, and I am charged a ridiculous amount to print them up. My sister, Susan, always tells me just to scan them and have them printed at Costco for cheaper, but the times I have tried to scan them, either the scanner isn't working or they turn out really dusty looking. So, Scott and I decided to buy a scanner. Now I can actually scan the pictures, edit them, and print them at Costco. I am still in the process of scanning and editing some of the pictures, but the ones I finished turned out so well - they look like brand new photos (they look even better printed up).

My grandfather, Daddy Don (Donald Love), with his sister Dorothy Anne
My great-grandmother, Hazel Susan
My grandmother, Sammie Lou (Never call her grandma, or she'll hit you - no she's not abusive in any way, she just goes by Sammie.)My mother, Martha Susan
My Aunt Nancy, my mom, and my Aunt Betsy (I'm named after her - Elizabeth Jane)
My Grandpa Lloyd and Grandma Aileen (There used to be a big tear in this picture.)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The next step.

The fertility process is such a long and difficult one. I have already had one horrific test to see if I'm "all clear" in the tubal area (Did you know the tubes take up about two inches in your body, and they are about as thin as ribbon dental floss? I was shocked.), Scott's had to take his own test, and today I finished all the blood work I needed to do (they needed to test me for ten different things, so they took five tubes worth of blood, and three of them were the biggest tubes they have - my hand was tingling close to the end, and now, an hour later, my arm is bruised and weak). This process sucks! But at least I can finally make an appointment to see a doctor and move on to the next step - hopefully Clomid.
Scott and I have our ups and downs with this whole situation, but we are still hopeful that we will be able to start a family. We try not to let it overwhelm us and get us down, but rather focus on other aspects of our life to distract us from the stress of starting a family - or the inability to do so. We are so grateful for all of the prayers on our behalf, and we love you all.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Party

I'm not as crazy as this post makes me sound. P.S. There are lots of pictures, but hey, I like pictures.

My friend Tiffani and I thought it would be fun to throw a Halloween Party. Little did we realize what a big ordeal pulling off a party could be, especially when it's a costume party and there are lots of cute party ideas we want to copy from Southern Living and Martha Stewart (they're not as easy as the magazines make you think).

As you now know, Scott decided to epoxy and paint the garage last week . . . SO the day of the party, all of the clutter from the garage was still in the living room. Half of the food still needed to be prepared, the paper bats needed to be cut out and hung, the DJ lights needed to be set up, the house desperately needed to be cleaned, and I needed to make my costume. The night before, I made a list of everything that needed to get done before the party started. To make it more efficient, I prioritized the list and consolidated items into "what can I get done in an hour" groups. After doing this, I realized it would take me 11 hours to prepare for the party that started at 7:00 pm. (Of course because I knew I had so much to do the next day, I couldn't fall asleep until after 2:00 am.)

After waking up before 7:00 (this is a rarity for me, so 6:58 = before 7:00), I immediately started on my list. While preparing chocolate cookies in my 3rd hour, my sister Susan called because she needed me to check something really important on the computer (I assumed it must be the status of an order for her at-home-business). I was extremely stressed, knowing that if I didn't stick to my schedule, "crap" would hit the fan. When I exasperatingly asked her what she needed, she said that she needed me to check out two different blog templates to see which one I liked better. . . . Are you kidding me? That's the really important thing that I had to drop everything for? Blog templates? I told her I would check when I could and call her back with my opinion. A few hours later, she called again to see if I had had a chance to check the templates yet. . . . Again, are you kidding me? Templates? I was trying to organize my entire life (or so it seemed), and I only had five more hours left to do so.

Bless Scott. He had to put up with my psychotic mood when he got home from a long day (and night) at work. I let him sleep for a few hours, but as soon as he woke up, I put him to work. However, every time I saw him, he was always doing something that I hadn't asked him to do . . . mind you, he was still cleaning, but it wasn't in the order I had previously assigned, so it completely threw me off my schedule. I was losing my mind! and it finally hit me that I needed food! and a shower! So, I took a break, took a shower, and did my hair (one less thing to worry about for later), but after I did this, I became delirious. All of a sudden, I didn't have a care in the world, and tossed my schedule out the window. I was happy and dancing around the house with my hair so big and curly that if I sprayed it red, I could have been Raggedy Anne, or Annie. (There's a costume idea. We could have been Annie and Daddy Warbucks . . . perfect!)

The living room before (this doesn't really even show how bad it was).
The living room after - Scott is setting up the DJ lights.

About an hour before the party was scheduled to start, Andrew and Tiffani showed up to help with last-minute preparation. By then, I was much more normal. Andrew and Scott finished hanging up the bats while Tiffani and I set up the food. We were ready for the party to begin.
As couples arrived, we took their pictures (kind of like prom - minus the props - well, I guess we did have bats hanging behind them). We talked and got to know each other better, ate, and played games. We started by playing charades - we divided into two teams (boys - black balloons vs. girls - white balloons). We set the timer for five minutes, and whichever team popped the most balloons and acted out or sculpted (with clay) the most items on the pieces of paper, won. (The boys kicked the girls' butts - I think they cheated.) After that, we played "Signs," a game that's too complicated to explain. Overall, the party was a success.

The back of my scrubs said "Psych Ward," and one eye is dark while the other is bright (I wanted it to look like I had bi-polar disorder, but it just looked like I got punched by a patient).

Andrew, Tiffani, and their little boy Carson. It was Andrew's birthday, so it was especially nice of him to consent to wearing a dress on his special day.
The boys hanging out from left to right: Josh (who's hiding Ben), Scott, Andrew, & John Leslie, Catherine, & Tiffani
From left to right: Cherrie, Brandon, Lindsay, Baby Zoie, & Rob The Party Planners
Susan & John Ben, Baby Sara, & Leslie Robin & Eric Lindsay, Baby Zoie, & Rob Randy & Cherrie (Randy was a 3 Musketeer, but nicknamed himself the gay pirate.)
Tammy, Baby Dillon, Baby Maddie, & John
Crystal, Brandon, & Baby Hailee