Friday, January 24, 2014

Random Acts of Kindness

I love random acts of kindness...paying for the person behind me in the drive-thru, sending snail mail to friends just because, giving to someone less fortunate, donating money and time to worthy causes, making goodies for the neighbors, and so much more. 

Udi's Gluten-Free mailed me a big box of goodies to share with others. Udi's Gluten Free has so many options that are gluten free and delicious. Unfortunately, I have not been 100% gluten free since we moved back to Kansas, but that will be changing very soon! Prior to moving back to KS I strived to eat gluten free all the time and the one thing I miss when eating gluten free is the yummy baked goods. Udi's has some great treats that help when you just need some baked goodies to satisfy that craving!

I decided to share some of the treats with my cousin and her family. They also try to eat gluten free. Her two boys look like they were enjoying those cookies! 

I love taking treats to work, so I decided I should take some of the products to work so others can try some good gluten-free food. Everyone was very impressed with how good everything tasted. I took the blueberry muffins, snicker doodles, chocolate chip cookies, and brownie bites to work. All of it was a hit, but everyone really enjoyed the brownie bites. I highly recommend these if you need some chocolate brownies but need to avoid the good!!!

Some may think I'm weird, but I drive about 1.5 hours to get my haircut every 4 weeks. Casey has cut my hair for years and I always look forward to our great chats during my haircut. So, I just had to take her some cookies to enjoy last weekend. Casey, I hope you and your kids enjoyed them!

When I received the big box of goodies B was quick to point out what he wanted to try....Jalapeno Cheddar Grain Chips. He loved them and actually wants to try some of the other flavors.  These will definitely become a regular item in our house.

I really had fun passing all these treats out to friends and family.  If you have not tried Udi's Gluten Free products, pick some up the next time you are at the store.  You can find Udi's on Facebook and Twitter.  Check out their website for all the products they offer.  

What random acts of kindness have you done recently?  If you have not done a random act recently, I challenge you to do something for someone this month and then let me know what you did.  I could always use some great ideas!

Small Print: I received product samples from Udi's to share with others. Everything shared in this post is my own thoughts and opinions. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fundraising Friday 10.25.13

I am back after two amazing, crazy busy, stressful, and inspiring weeks.  I have wanted to blog many times over the past two weeks but have not had a second to sit down and type anything!  A couple weeks ago we announced about our plans to do IVF and our fundraising efforts we are calling Make A Baby Fund. If you missed the posts, go check them out so you get caught up on our news.

I have been brought to tears and just amazed at what has happened over the last few weeks with our fundraising. Things have happened that we would have NEVER dreamed! 

We set up a Go Fund Me site because we had a few people ask how to donate money without having to buy any of our fundraising items.  So we set up the site thinking we would not have much activity with donations.  We were SO WRONG and have increased our goal 3 times in a little over 2 weeks. For everyone that has so graciously donated via our Go Fund Me site, we can not say enough about how thankful we are for your donation. 

The past few weeks I have been busy getting ready for the craft shows I am doing as another fundraiser.  I will be selling my homemade laundry soap, chili seasoning, taco seasoning, ranch dip/dressing mix, and pumpkin pie spice, t-shirt scarves, wreaths, and more.  I'm excited to get everything finished up for my first show on November 2nd!  

I have been incredibly amazed and thankful for some of the things that have happened over the past few weeks as I have prepared for the craft shows.  There have been numerous friends + family volunteer to donate items for the craft shows, help out with making displays, and so much more. Even more amazing to me are the strangers that I meet that offer their help and services.  

My "Bun In the Oven" bake sale is going great, but I have time to make more goodies so if you are local please share about our "Bun In the Oven" fundraiser. If you need things for any of the holiday festivities I can help you out! 

Besides selling items at the craft shows, I am also selling those items outside the craft shows. I hope to get an online shop set up, but not sure if I can get that accomplished! If you need great little gifts for teachers, family, friends, or even yourself check out what I have available.

Pictures of my baked goods and other items will be up on the Make A Baby Fund FB page within the next week!  Please go "like" our Make A Baby FB page and share it. There will be a giveaway of some of my spices as soon as we hit 100 "likes"! 

I am offering sponsorships on my blog now with 100% going to our Make A Baby Fund.  I have two wonderful women on my sidebar right now. Go click on their ads + check out their blogs.  Click on my Sponsor page and buy an ad to help us out so you can be on my sidebar!  

I want to thank everyone that has donated, volunteered to make items for us, shared things the Lord has placed on their hearts for us, shared our fundraiser with others, & prayed for us.  No one will ever really know how blessed + thankful we have felt the past few weeks as so many amazing things have been happening.

THANK YOU + HUGS to everyone who has stepped up to help, donate (money + items), pray, and so much more!  All of you will always hold a dear spot in our hearts, as you are helping us get our baby (maybe babies!) we have dreamed about for years.  

Delight yourself in the Lord and 
he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fundraising Friday 10.11.13

Welcome to my new weekly post!  If you have not read my post from last weekend, check it out to get caught up.  

Since we are proceeding with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and insurance does not cover it, we are needing to come up with around $10,000-$12,000 by January.  We have some of it saved but there is no way we can get the remainder of it saved by January. You may wonder, why January?  January is the next IVF cycle they are doing and due to my age we do not want to wait any longer.  So we are hoping + praying that we can sell lots of goodies between now and then to begin the January cycle.  

I decided to start a weekly fundraiser post to keep y'all up to date. A lot has happened in the past week and I can officially say that the fundraising has begun!!!!  

We decided to come up with a logo for our fundraising efforts, so we are now referring to our little project as the Make A Baby Fund.  Andrea, the wonderful designer who re-designed my blog this past summer graciously designed our logo for us and we LOVE IT!  Go visit her blog, her photography is wonderful. 

I also rolled out our "Bun in the Oven" fundraiser this week, no pun intended!  I already have 5 orders, so thank you to those who have already placed orders.  This fundraiser is mainly going to be for locals in Kansas, but I am willing to ship everything but the pies and sugar cookie dough. So if you are craving for some wonderful cookies or breads let me know and I will send them your way!  

We also finally got our crowd funding site set up though GoFundMe. There is a link to it in my sidebar or click here and it will take you to the site. Please go check it out and share it with your friends and family! The more people we can share all of this with the greater chance we have at starting IVF in January.  

Now for even more exciting news, well for me!  I have been wanting to get sponsorships set up on my blog for awhile and just have not got around to it, so I finally got it set up! 100% of the income from sponsors will go to the Make A Baby Fund. 

I have set up my sponsorships through Passionfruit, so it is very easy for you to get on my sidebar.  I am offering three options for sidebar ads and would love to have you there!  So if you are interested in getting a little advertising for your blog, have social media shout outs throughout the month, be included in a monthly giveaway, and even take over my blog for a day with a guest post...then you better go check out my sponsor page!  I'm also offering a discount on ALL ads for the next week, so make sure to use code "first time" to get 15% off.  If you have any issues please let me know. For full details click on my Sponsor page at the top of the blog and it will give you all the details.  

The one final thing I did this week was set up a Facebook page for Make A Baby Fund. Check it out here and "like" the page to make sure you stay up to date! Again, please share this page with your FB friends. 

In the coming weeks I will be having other non-perishable items for sale, so check back next Friday or on Facebook during the next few weeks for more goodies.  

THANK YOU for all the support we have already received! Can not wait to see what happens in the next 4 months.  

If you have any questions about what we are doing, why we are fundraising, or any other random questions....please email me, send me a Facebook message, or leave me a comment. 

Now go spread the word about Make A Baby Fund and then have a fabulous weekend!  

Sunday, October 06, 2013

4 Years and 2 Surgeries Later.....

If you have followed my blog for long you know that the past 4 years have been full of loss, grieving, love, and big decisions in our family.  

When most people think of starting their family, they are naive and think that everything will work out just like they dream and within the time frame they hope. For lots of families, it does go as they imagine with excitement, joy, happiness, and so many more wonderful emotions. Unfortunately, for many other families, even the thought of pregnancy is scary and a place that leaves them on edge and living minute by minute.   

Over the past 4 years we have suffered 6 pregnancy losses, 4 miscarriages + 2 ectopic pregnancies both ending with surgery.  Last January was my 2nd surgery, removing my only remaining fallopian tube.

It was a tough reality to face, knowing that we could never conceive naturally again.  We both desire to have a child that is biologically ours.  As we were making the decision for my final surgery, both of my doctors (OB and fertility specialist) indicated that we were excellent candidates for InVetro Fertilization (IVF).  This is basically our only option to have a baby that is truly “ours."

Since January I have battled with going down the IVF route for a number of reasons. I actually wrote a post about this, so check it out here for some of the reasons that we have struggled in deciding what our future holds for a family.  

We have met with several doctors, asked many questions, prayed about it, and feel that we are ready to try IVF in order to finally have a baby in our arms.  We know it will not be an easy journey, but we are ready to face it so we can finally have a child of our own.
Unfortunately, insurance does not cover IVF. In order to even begin IVF we have to pay $9,000 cash up-front.  The $9K does not cover any of the hormones or other prescriptions that are required for IVF.  It will be at minimum another $1,500-$2,500 for meds, also not covered by insurance. 

So we are needing at least $10,500 to make our dream of a child a reality.  We have a little less than half of it saved.  We are tentatively scheduled for the January cycle, which means we only have a couple months to get the remaining amount raised. 

In order to come up with the remaining money, we have decided to do some fundraisers.  I will be doing several craft fairs in the coming months as well as selling baked goods, laundry soap, spices, and more. I am also going to be offering sponsorship ads here with 100% going to our "Make A Baby Fund."  More information on sponsorship ads and our other fundraisers are coming soon! 

We understand that not every one can support us financially. So if you are not able to help us out financially, we ask that you help spread the word about our fundraising efforts. Please share our fundraisers with friends and family!

Thank you to our friends & family for supporting us the past 4 years by giving me a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen to me vent, sending special cards & gifts, praying for us, understanding when we just can not handle some situations, and so much more!  It has not been an easy journey for us, but all of you have made it a little easier. 

I look forward to where the next 4 months takes us and we are praying for a happy ending with a healthy baby!  I'm trying to keep Psalm 37:4 running through my head, even though I am still struggling with why everything the past four years has happened.  I believe, somewhere deep within me, that the Lord still wants to give us the desires of our hearts. 

Delight yourself in the Lord and 
he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Life Lately 9.29.13

I am back after a long blogging vacation. I guess I basically took the summer off!  We are finally settled into our place in Salina and it is starting to feel like home.

Our things arrived, after being in storage for over 2 months!  I was ready to get my things unpacked. A BIG thank you to my parents who were there to help us that weekend! 
This is our living room, filled with lots of boxes.  
The house has great living space but not great storage space so that is our only complaint.  Oh yeah, and the little yippee dog next door that barks right outside our bedroom window.  Not sure what the little thing barks at, as I have looked out our bedroom window several times while he is barking and he is literally staring at our house barking his brains out.  Maybe the siding on our house is scary??? Would it be to over the top to take the neighbors cookies and bury a note inside that says "Please enjoy these cookies and keep your little yippee dog quiet!"?!

Welcome home lunch with the woman in the family...and little Truman. 
Since we have been back in KS we have really enjoyed being closer to my family.  We have had numerous get togethers, and have enjoyed spoiling our niece & nephews.

Sorry for the blurry picture, but I LOVE this picture of B reading to our niece & nephew
B with our newest nephew, he certainly loves this little guy! 
My family threw us a surprise welcome home party when we first got back. We enjoyed wonderful homemade burrito bowls and ice cream cake. All the cousins were there, which doesn't happen very often, and it was wonderful to see everyone.  B had not been back to KS at all during our 2 years at Rucker, so he had a lot of catching up to do! Thank you everyone for showing us your love and excitement for us being back in KS. We are so blessed to call all of you family.

Love this little grill my uncle has. It is great to grill meat and veggies for fajitas and veggie bowls. I want to make one of these! 
My cousin got creative and made us this great welcome home banner! 
B has started his final year at KSU and I am getting settled into my new job at an insurance company.  It is funny how God works things out, because I said from the time I left my prior job (with an insurance agency) that I would never work in insurance again.  Wouldn't you know that the I applied, interviewed, and accepted an insurance job!  It is much better then I dreamed it would be going back to the insurance field, I'm blessed to have a wonderful job to help support us while B finishes his degree. 

This past Monday we went back to 100% gluten, dairy, and sugar free (except for the little amount of honey in my coffee).  I am needing to get back in shape and lose some weight, so Monday began the tough detox phase of getting past the cravings for all things bad. It actually was not as bad as I expected, I did have some cravings but for the most part fought through them. We did splurge and eat out 1 time this week and I had a bun that was not gluten free.  If you have any great dinner ideas that does not include gluten or dairy please let me know. Unfortunately, we do not like fish so we are stuck with pork, beef, poultry. 
Our view on the path I walk on.  
I have been walking in the evenings and will begin the Jillian workouts this next week.  I am hoping by Christmas to be down to my goal weight & size.  

We have some big news to announce this week, so stay tuned so you do not miss out!