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Monday, December 21, 2009

Celebrating 4 Years!

On Thursday, Aaron and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary! (Though we had to wait until Sunday to make it to Outback to celebrate due to work on Thursday, and being snowed in on Friday and Saturday) I am married to the best husband ever...I LOVE BEING AARON'S WIFE! :)

AND - His little sister, Bethany, got ENGAGED on our anniversary! We are so excited for her and her new fiance, Matt! They will have a year and a half engagement so that they can finish up college and we're praying that by the time they get married in June 2011, I will be (Lord willing of course) pregnant from a sucessful embryo transfer! That would be so perfect. We'll see what God has in store, though!

Have a Merry Christmas - as we celebrate the joy of God becoming a man to save wretched sinners such as ourselves!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Home Study Approved!

We found out this week that Bethany Christian has officially approved our home study and sent it to the NEDC! Now, we wait to set up my trial transfer in Knoxville and I hear that there's a rather long waiting list at this point. I had originally thought that my real transfer would be around May, but now I'm thinking that May is probably when the trial transfer will be. We'll see! In the meantime, I'm glad that we're one step closer!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Christmas Thoughts about Embryo Adoption

Well now that Thanksgiving is over, we are officially into the Christmas season. Of course, working in retail I've been experiencing the Christmas season since September. I'm glad that everyone else is now catching up.

I don't make many blog posts, but I wanted to share something that occurred to me a few days ago as I was thinking about Christmas. I was making my hour commute to work and reflecting on all the activity that Christmas brings to retail and the real reason that we as Christians celebrate the holiday. My mind went to a picture of a Willow Tree nativity that we keep on top of our entertainment center year-round. As I'm passing it, I often like to look at the baby Jesus in Mary's arms and remember how God left many of the privileges of Godhood and humbled himself by entering into the form of a baby. I realize that I've always thought of the beginning of the incarnation in that way: that in a moment in time, God left his throne for a manger.

What occurred to me that morning is that the real beginning of the incarnation didn't happen on Christmas. God didn't enter into humanity on Christmas morning as a baby, he entered it nine months earlier as a human embryo. Matthew 1:18 says that before Mary and Joseph came together, she was "found to be with child through the Holy Spirit." Two verses later, God tells Joseph that "what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit." That's Biblical grounds for the existence of life at conception right there, that God equates "what is conceived" to being a child. Doesn't that make the incarnation all the more amazing? Jesus goes from ruling the world in Heaven with his Father and the Holy Spirit and enters into the smallest, most dependent, most microscopic form of human life. I've always known that Jesus has a heart for all unborn children, including those who are frozen as embryos. How much more do I know that now, realizing that the same Saviour who submitted himself to death on a cross for my sake, first submitted himself to a womb.

Even more special to embryo adoption is the fact that this could have been exactly what Mary and Joseph did. Not to get too technical, but we know that Jesus' conception was not of result of Joseph's or any man's sperm. We don't know if the Holy Spirit brought about Jesus' conception by using one of Mary's eggs or if Jesus was conceived as one cell without an egg at all. The latter however, is certainly a possibility and if it true, it means that Mary carried and adopted with Joseph a child who was not biologically related to them. If this happened, then the first embryo adoption happened over 2,000 years ago.

Again, we don't know the specifics of how the Holy Spirit brought about the incarnation, but even if Mary's egg had been used, Joseph adopted a child that his wife carried who was not biologically related to him. We can know for sure that the wonderful truth of the Christmas story includes a couple's commitment to adopt a baby before birth. I know all the more that it is God's desire that all embryo's get a chance at birth. I know this because Jesus was once one.

-Aaron

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Family Assessment Almost Official

We received an email from our Bethany caseworker this week letting us know that our family assessment (home study) would be sent to the state director for approval by the beginning of next week. Once the state director signs off, then it will be officially approved and sent to the NEDC in Knoxville! So exciting!

While Aaron and I pray regularly as a couple and individually for our sweet babies that are waiting for us, we decided last night that we would make it a daily priority to pray together for them - that God would lead us to the embryos He has sovereignly chosen for us, that He would be preparing them to successfully implant in my womb on the 1st transfer, be birthed, and to come to know Him as Savior.

I'll post whenever our home study is officially official. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ludy Adoption Video

Aaron and I have always respected the ministry of Eric and Leslie Ludy. They have 2 biological children and 2 adopted children. Below is their story of how they pursued their first adoption from Korea. God stories like this warm my heart so much!

Ludy Adoption Video from Lifesong on Vimeo.



And yes, we still strongly believe that God has called us to domestic embryo adoption, but our blog is not just about Aaron, Jennifer, and their embryo adoption. We hope that our blog is about God's kingdom and the small role that we hope to play. We get excited about ALL kinds of adoptions - domestic, embryo, international, fostercare - ALL!

And for all my infertile friends out there - I know your pain! While Aaron & I have NO doubts that God has called us to adoption rather than pursuing reproductive technologies, I know the pain continues to sting when another Facebook friend's status announces their pregnancy. But, let me encourage you with what the Lord has been revealing to me throughout our adoption journey... Everytime the pain of infertility stings, think about how much more pain an orphan is feeling that very moment...while you're thinking that you just want a child in your arms - they're scared, hungry, crying and thinking that they just want a mommy and daddy to hold and love them... Let's not let our infertility become self-centered, but may our pain be used to help us identify with orphans - motivating us to speak up and act on their behalf. And I 100% believe that their pain is FAR WORSE than our pain!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Why Adoption?

Why adoption? Because it's necessary...

One of the things that we regret most about our adoption journey thus far is making the mistake of telling people that we are infertile. Whenever someone hears "infertile," they tend to assume that we are only pursuing adoption because we can't have our "own" children. The mentality becomes sentimental and the focus shifts towards a story of us wanting to become parents instead of a story of a child's life being saved.

What people don't realize is that adoption has always been in our plans. At first we were deterred from having our first child through adoption because of the large financial cost involved. Instead, we decided to try and have children the natural way (which is free) and save up money over the years to finance an adoption (maybe adopting in our mid-30's). As we found out that we were infertile, doctors told us that if we wanted biological children we would have to pay thousands of dollars for reproductive technologies. Well, our decision to adopt was made that very minute. Having biological children would have been amazing, but since we were going to have to spend a considerable amount of money for any option, why not seek to fulfill the Great Commision with a child who's already in need of a family? We decided that adopting was God's plan for us now, rather than later. It just took the doctor's news that day to get us moving towards adoption a little faster! That day we could have scheduled a reproductive procedure for my next cycle, but we left knowing that we would probably wait longer because we were going to pursue adoption instead.

We wish that people understood that...I mean really understood that. We're infertile (conceiving would be difficult) - not sterile (conceiving would be impossible). There's a big difference. We're choosing to bypass reproductive treatments that could potentially give us biological children because there's a HUGE need for rescuing little ones who are already here! Adoption isn't just for the infertile or sterile - it's for many others too who may or may not yet be considering it.

There are millions of orphans across the world...MILLIONS! There are also over 500,000 unborn children living in frozen orphanages in the U.S. alone whose fate at life or death before birth is yet to be determined.

Christians, may I humbly suggest that we stop just saying we're pro-life and be pro-life! Let's stop merely holding signs pleading to "stop abortion" - And let's hold out our hands and say "I will be his/her/their parents!" or help others who are called by God to do so. Let's treat adopting couples as we would missionaries and remember that God's definition for true religion includes "caring for orphans in their affliction" (James 1:27)

"So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." - James 2:17




Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Word is Getting Out!

Our home visit was on Tuesday so we're done with our interviews! WooHoo!!! So, now we wait for Bethany Christian to write up our home assessment and have the proper chain of command to sign off on it - which should hopefully be by Christmas!

Okay, I'm copying someone else's blog, but I don't think she'd mind the information being spread even further! Focus on the Family had a radio broadcast about embryo adoption with Dr. James Dobson on Wednesday. So exciting! I can't tell you how exhausted Aaron and I are becoming of having to try and explain embryo adoption to everyone. After we give them the entire explanation, we are given the "deer with the headlight" look and we know that unfortunately, they didn't really understand what we said... People are usually left thinking that we're doing something unethical with an egg or sperm donor program and conceiving children outside of marriage which is absolutely NOT what we are doing! Granted some embryos have been conceived via egg or sperm donors, but we are NOT endorsing that! We are not endorsing conceiving life outside of marriage anymore than if we were adopting a child whose birthmother conceived him/her outside of marriage. As the saying goes, God uses sin sinlessly. After someone has already made the decision to create/conceive these embryos and don't use them all, then they are only left with two options - to kill the unborn child(ren) or give them to another couple. The latter is the only life affirming option. So needless to say, when embryo adoption is talked about on Christian radio, we are ecstatic that word is getting out!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Interview, Seminar, and Spiritual Warfare

Our 2nd interview also went well on Tuesday. We were each interviewed separately for an hour each. The seminar yesterday was wonderful! We were only 1 of 2 embryo adoption couples there out of 20+ couples in NC. We were able to learn more about other kinds of adoption - both domestic and international. We thoroughly enjoyed learning and meeting other couples and seeing their passion for the way God has called them to build their families. I cried during videos and was just overwhelmed with the thought that God would ask us to be a part of rescuing little ones who need a Christian family. Last October was our first month that we began to TTC - and God knew that exactly a year later, we'd be in the heart of our adoption process. We didn't know - But, He did. As we aggressively tried to build a family our way - He was smiling knowing that He had a better plan in store for our family! God also knew back in 2006, when I first read about embryo adoption on Baptist Press and thought it sounded wonderful that He would call us to pursue it in 2009. The amazing thing about it was that I told Aaron "Maybe we can pursue this after we have biological children." God chose to have us struggle with infertility though, knowing that the NEDC only accepts couples who have been declared infertile by a doctor. Oh how I love God's sweet sovereignty!!!

We also were blessed to listen to a panel of parents who had adopted and birthmothers who had chosen to give their baby a life they couldn't. These birthmothers are truly heroic! They are faced with a decision that I could not even imagine and yet they are unselfish enough to choose what is best for their children! My respect for Bethany Christian Services continues to grow - They really love Jesus and I'm so thankful that we chose them to conduct our home assessment for the NEDC. They love and counsel these birthmothers while pointing them to the Cross of Christ - such a ministry!

This journey also presents difficult aspects as well - spiritual warfare. Aaron and I definitely feel a very real fight against demonic oppression. Satan hates babies - He loves abortion, embryonic stem cell research, babies who grow up in orphanges overseas never hearing the Gospel, children who are abused...He loathes Christians who have a heart for adoption. I won't go into detail, but if you are a also a believer, please pray for spiritual protection during this adoption process for us.

For the sake of the Gospel,
Jennifer :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

1st Adoption Interview

Yay! Our first interview went great! Our caseworker was extremely kind and put us at ease as we talked with her. 1 down - 2 more to go! :)

Our caseworker has 30 days from our home visit on Oct. 27th to submit our home study to her supervisor, who then signs off, and it will lastly be sent to the state director to sign off. Once the state director has signed off on it, then it's officially approved and Bethany Christian will send it to the NEDC to move forward with the embryo matching process and transfer. Our caseworker told us that it should be completely signed, sealed, and approved by Christmas (but, you never know how long it could sit on someone's desk before they have time to look over it).

I also emailed the NEDC last week to let them know that our interviews were starting this month and after our home study was completed, approximately when would we be looking at our trial transfer in Knoxville and then the real transfer (also in Knoxville). The NEDC said that there's a waiting list and that we would probably have our trial transfer sometime between February and March. This would hopefully result in our first real transfer of embryos around May. They only do embryo transfers every other month. I'm okay with that - Of course, yes, I would love to have a trial transfer in January and have a real one in February or April, but May really isn't too far off. :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Aaron's 28th Birthday!


Aaron & his Granddad sharing a Birthday Cake since their birthdays are only 5 days apart...
The Wilson Men
(I wish the parking lot wasn't in the background, but oh well...)


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Interviews Scheduled!

Our caseworker from Bethany Christian contacted us this week to schedule our interviews. We have 3 interviews: 2 in Raleigh and 1 in our home. They will be for 3 consecutive Tuesdays in October (13th, 20th, & 27th). We will also be driving to Charlotte for a mandatory adoption seminar on October 23rd. So, it looks like our October will be rather busy, but we're so thrilled to continue moving forward! We also found out that after the last interview on Oct. 27th, that our caseworker has 30 days to close a case - to either approve or disapprove it (and Lord willing, we'll be approved of course)...which means that we should have our home study completed by Thanksgiving!!! I was hoping and praying that it would be done by Christmas, but Thanksgiving is even better!!! So, please keep us in your prayers as we continue down our path to embryo adoption - We would hope to have the actual transfer sometime at the first of the year...we'll see what God has in store for us!

I also want to give glory to God for the fact that we have enough money in our savings account to finish paying for our home study - Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our effort in saving a child's life thus far! We still haven't raised all that we need to include the cost of the transfer procedure itself, but we are quite confident that God will continue to provide in His time and way.

Jennifer :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Help the Ladd's Bring Their Baby Home!

This button will take you to the blog of another adopting couple whose blog we've been following. If you click on the "Bringing Our Baby Home" button (the second one down) you will see an opportunity to help them in a really creative way raise money to help bring their little girl home from Ethiopia.

-Aaron

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Grace for the Moment

Well, we had tons of fun on our road trip to Atlanta, Memphis, and back home! We didn't get any pictures, though - We couldn't really deem anything "picture worthy." Aaron was sick most of the trip and had to take a visit to the local urgent care in Memphis to get a Z-Pack. But, we did enjoy seeing our extended family. :)

We're still waiting to complete our paperwork for Bethany Christian before we can begin our interviews. However, not paperwork from our end. Our references were mailed last week, so Bethany should receive them soon. And, Aaron has to contact his HR department tomorrow to see if/when they have mailed his "employment verification." Once Bethany receives all of this, we should be moving again! :)

The past few weeks have been extremely hard for me...I want a child so badly - to have so much love to offer a child, yet not have one in our arms today is indeed painful. I've cried many tears at the strangest times - in the car, during sermons, applying make-up, sitting on my sofa...I even woke up Friday morning @ 2:30am sobbing because I longed for a child so much. I'm not grieving the hard truth that we can't naturally conceive biological children - I couldn't care less if our children looked like us and had our genes. I'm grieving that I don't have any child today-nor do I have 100% guarantee that I ever will (though I believe it likely that we will at some point). And it saddens me even more to know that there are millions of orphans and unborn children in frozen storage tanks that I can't love TODAY!!! With each tear that I've cried though, my precious Lord has been so close. I've had to preach the Gospel to myself over and over and over again (as we all should do constantly) - that God is good because He killed His Son in my place and that He has already forgiven me from what I do deserve which is to burn in Hell for all eternity. And that He has also blessed me with every spiritual blessing in Christ...And not having children today is a small issue in comparison to that Truth in light of eternity. I've also been comforted by these Scriptures: "You have kept count of my tossings, put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?" - Psalm 56:8 and "He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD." - Psalm 113:9

Nonetheless, it's still very difficult when I feel that all of my girlfriends have started playdates, and their conversations revolve around prenatal check-ups, feeding schedules, naptimes,etc... And I am very aware that I no longer fit in with the young marrieds anymore... But, God does give us grace in our time of need - Praise Him! :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

One More Form

Well after Bethany Christian received our paperwork, they called to let me know that we were still missing 1 form. So, we took care of that and mailed it off today. Once they receive this form, then our file should be completed to begin our interviews. :)

Aaron and I are going out of town this Friday through the middle of next week - to Atlanta to pick up my sister, Grace, and then we're headed to Memphis to visit family, and then back to Atlanta to drop off Grace, and then we'll head back to Greensboro on Wednesday! It's going to be a lot of driving but we're looking forward to it. I'll try to take some pictures to post on the blog when we return!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Paperwork Submitted!

By God's grace, on Friday, we submitted the final piece of paperwork from our packet! WooHoo! As overwhelming as it seemed at first, it's really not so difficult. I'm comparing this adoption process to a semester in college - when you first receive your syllabi and think that there's no way this will all get done in 4 months...That's how this feels. But, just like school work, God will equip us to get everything completed for this adoption process.

Now, it's more waiting... We have to wait for Bethany Christian to process the paperwork and get back with us on our next step. The waiting is hard, because as long as we're doing things on our end, I feel like we're moving forward, but when we are waiting for someone else on the other end and are at their mercy...it's more difficult to stay patient.

Other news is that my dad, step-mom, and little sisters came for a visit on Saturday - We enjoyed spending time with them! We love and miss you guys so much!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Well, not that overwhelmed

I wanted to piggyback off Jennifer's post to say that although there is a lot of work involved with the adoption process, it's not that overwhelming. It just takes a lot of time and organization (and of course money). God is providing us with just what we need for each step in the process. We are plowing through the paperwork each night and legwork each morning. Just wanted to encourage anyone who is considering adoption that its not that overwhelming. We know that the addition of a little child (or children) in our family will be we worth all that we're putting into it. After all, God went through a lot more to bring us into His family.

-Aaron

Monday, August 10, 2009

Overwhelmed

We received a packet from Bethany Christian today with a lot of paperwork and other medical tests ordered. I must admit, it was very overwhelming to me when I opened the packet and began looking through everything that we must complete before we can even get into the family assessment itself. While we have begun the process with Bethany Christian, we're still filling out preliminary paperwork before beginning interviews and the like. It's also harder "to run this document here and call so and so" when both of us are working full-time. I know that it will all get done, but I am fully aware that we need God's grace and favor to do so. Your prayers would, as always, be much appreciated! :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hilton Head Pictures



Bethany, Meredith, Chris, Aaron, Jennifer, & Denise (aka Mama Niecey)

Being silly...

Boat Shoes

Chris' amazing girlfriend, Meredith, emailed us the pictures that she took while we in Hilton Head, SC. So, thanks to her, I was able to post some of our fun times! We missed Bill, Victoria, Matt, and Toby, though! :(

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Moving Along in Faith...

Bethany Christian did call call us on Tuesday and said that they'd be emailing us our paperwork (aka first steps in the family assessment) by the end of this week! WooHoo! We did find out that the FA costs twice as much as we had anticipated...But, we're not too concerned...We're confident that God will provide in His way and His time. We've never had to raise money for anything before such as a mission trip (I'm probably the only CIU alumni who can say that! Haha) so this is a really cool experience to see how God will provide! If thousands of full-time missionaries rely on support for their salaries, it shouldn't be too hard for us to raise this money. We sent out letters to our family and extended family asking for their partnership in prayer and in any financial gift that they may feel led to give - but no one is to feel obligated by any means. Thank you to those of you who have already blessed us! :)

We did have a distraction this week that we feel was the enemy opposing us - please pray that God would provide peace and protection during this process...like Dr. Russell Moore's video below says...adoption really is spiritual warfare!
And yes, we did read his new book, Adopted for Life, which was such a GREAT book! Dr. Moore does an awesome job at tying adoption and the gospel together. Every Christian needs to read this book regardless of whether or not you're interested in adopting a child.



We were also super blessed to have been able to take a weekend trip with Aaron's family to Hilton Head this past weekend - And can you believe that our camera died on us there?! Of all places! Sadly, we didn't get any pictures of us at the beach. Thank you so much, Bill & Mama Niecey for this trip - We had so much fun!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Contact from Bethany Christian

A coordinator from Bethany Christian emailed us today confirming that she had received our referral from the NEDC! She was kind enough to let us know that she would be out of the office next week, but would be contacting us the week of July 20th to discuss beginning our family assessment (aka home study)! By God's grace, we're moving right along in the adoption process. The family assessment will indeed be the most difficult part of the process...It can take between 2-6 months, but the sooner we complete the FA, the sooner we can, Lord willing, save a precious baby who is waiting for a womb! Please continue to pray for us - We're so excited! :)

Here's another video:

Friday, July 3, 2009

EA Video #1

I'm going to be posting some videos about embryo adoption periodically to raise awareness and also to share our excitement about pursuing it! Here's the first one:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Grasshopper Game

We went to a Greensboro Grasshoppers game tonight with our church small group (our picture above) - However, it started raining/storming during the 4th inning and it was canceled.

We completed our paperwork for the NEDC and mailed it off on Tuesday, so hopefully, we can begin our home study with Bethany Christian soon - Yay! :)

Aaron leaves tomorrow to help a LW store in Virginia with inventory, so I'm driving to Columbia to have some girl time with Mama Niecey and Bethany.

Other than that, nothing else going on with us!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Trip to Atlanta and Bloodwork

We visited my mom and step-dad in Atlanta this past weekend/beginning of the week and had a relaxing time with them. We didn't get to see Grace though, seeing as she was at the beach with her friend. I wish we could've spent some time with her too. We left our camera at home, so we weren't able to take any pictures either. :(

Other news is that, we're trying to get our paperwork completed so that we can send it to the NEDC - Hopefully, by next week! We went together to have our bloodwork done last week, but received an urgent voice mail (after I left work and they had closed for the day) that something was wrong and we needed to call them. Well, I knew that we couldn't have HIV or other STD's, but considering that they didn't specifically say what was wrong, I began to worry (a sin that I battle everyday in many areas of my life). When I finally reached the lab the next morning, I found out that the Phlebotemist had written Aaron's name on both of our viles and they didn't know which belonged to whom. So, Aaron had his blood drawn again today and I'm going tomorrow to get pricked again - But, at least it was nothing more serious! This was our first "hiccup" in the embryo adoption process and from what I hear about any kind of adoption, there will probably be many more. :)


I have also added labels to our blog - I should have been doing this from the beginning, but just never got around to it until now! They're listed at the bottom of the blog...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New & Exciting Pursuit

Okay, so we have some exciting news to announce...We have begun the application process for embryo adoption!!! Let me first off explain what embryo adoption is and why we have chosen to pursue this:

When couples choose to go through In Vitro Fertilization, more eggs are fertilized than are often needed to achieve a pregnancy. More than one embryo (fertilized egg) are usually transferred with the hopes that one or more will successfully implant in the woman's uterus. If this happens on the first try, the remaining embryos are cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen (frozen) until a couple chooses to expand their family and implant more, or they are thawed out to die, or killed for stem cell research (yeah, you've heard of the "embryonic stem cell research" debate especially during the election...but now you know, if you didn't know already, where these embryos come from: "leftovers" from IVF). Some babies (embryos) are frozen for 10 years or more! This is so sad - a fertilized egg which contains the entire genetic blue print for a human being - who should be 10 years already hasn't even had a womb to grow in yet!

When couples feel that their family is complete but still have remaining frozen embryos, they are left with the decision - to leave them frozen indefinitely (which is cruel) or to kill them (also cruel) OR a new option that has come about in the last 10 years or so is embryo adoption (but still isn't widely known about because our media only chooses to talk about "embryonic stem cell research" and rarely mentions "embryo adoption."). I first read about embryo adoption in 2006 - I was at work and at the moment didn't have anything to do, so I read an online Baptist Press News article about some couples adopting embryos. It instantly caught my attention as to how wonderful this was - saving frozen babies and giving them a chance at life. I told Aaron about it and he thought it sounded really neat - We even said "maybe one day, we can pursue this after we have biological kids." Ironic now, because God knew then that we'd have fertility problems, even though we didn't yet know.

We have chosen to pursue this rather than traditional adoption for several reasons:
1) It just really excites us - We can't talk about it without smiling and getting very excited!
2) If successful, it would allow me to be able to experience pregnancy and birth. Aaron can't understand this one - he hates pain, but you girls will fully understand! :)
3) We would be saving the life of a baby whose life is now put on hold - it's not dying but it's not being given the chance to live either. (unless it's given to research, then yes, it would die.)
4) It's less expensive than traditional adoption (this was our least important reason but something to consider), because sadly, the government doesn't see these as children yet. They see it as a "transfer of property." You still have legalities, but not nearly as many as you have for a child who has already been born. Thus, you save a lot of legal fees and court sessions. We will still need to raise funds, though, because while it is less expensive than traditional adoption, it costs money nonetheless (only the natural way to grow your family is free-Haha)!

Please understand that we are NOT going outside of our marriage to create a baby - We are NOT using a donor sperm/egg program or anything unethical like that (we wouldn't need to do that anyway because my eggs are viable and the few sperm that Aaron does have are healthy and could fertilize my eggs if we chose to go through IVF - It's just that because he has so few, it's unlikely that we will ever conceive naturally... But why should we go through IVF and create more frozen babies when there are already over 500,000 in the US alone!?) As Christians, we are against creating a baby except with a husband's sperm and a wife's egg. These are already embryos - an egg and sperm have already united to create a person. This is really no different than traditional adoption, except that you are getting the child at an earlier stage in its life.

Some of you might be thinking "Wow - they didn't give this a lot of thought, prayer, or time." But, there's no time criteria given in the Bible to pray before pursuing something. We are in faith to go ahead and begin the process, knowing that God is sovereign over our lives and that He can close the door on us at any time.

We have decided to go through the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, TN. The Christian Medical and Dental Association endorses them - they view all of these frozen embryos as children that deserve to be given a chance at life. We submitted the initial application a couple of weeks ago, and then received a packet in the mail last week with lots of forms and medical tests ordered. Once all of those have also been submitted, we move into the homestudy phase of the program. There are open and anonymous adoptions - open is where we would have some contact with the biological parents and anonymous is where we wouldn't (though we would know about them on paper). While we could choose our preference, we are opening ourselves up to "whichever is in more need" - we aren't picky...all of them equally need a chance at life.

On average, from initial application to first embryo transfer, the process takes about a year. The NEDC gives a couple 3 attempts at a succesful transfer and pregnancy. They thaw out about 2-4 embryos and all that survive the thaw are transferred into a woman's uterus, hoping that one or more will implant. Each embryo only has about a 33% chance of implanting and making it to birth. (That percentage may sound small, but a fertile couple only has a 20%-25% chance of getting pregnant naturally in any given cycle... ) But, hopefully, given 3 tries with multiple embryos,
at least one baby would be born (that's our hope and prayer anyway). Even if there is a successful implantation, like with any pregnancy, there runs the risk of miscarriage. There are no guarantees...this is really a faith thing (but then again, all of life is a matter of trusting God).

So, please begin praying specifically for this pursuit - We are so excited! :)

P.S. Yes, please continue to pray for Aaron's healing too...We would love to have a biological child, but since we have no guarantees that God will heal him, we have faith to pursue this - This is all in God's hands and He is the One who ultimately leads our lives and decides what is best for us!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

WOW is me!!!

Yesterday was exactly a year ago when Aaron began his new career with LifeWay - So much has changed in the past year...things that I thought would happen haven't and vice versa...

A year ago, I thought I'd be pregnant and about to leave work and become a "stay at home mom" which has been my dream job since I was 13! I thought when I took my job in August 2008 - that I'd be leaving it in about a year, but I'm not...If we're blessed to be able to adopt in the future, we need God to provide LOTS of money! :)

I didn't dream a year ago that we would be declared infertile - I was so happy that Aaron finally had a CAREER and not just a "job" that would allow us to grow our family and for me to stay at home full-time.

Some days are very, very sad for us (especially me being the girl who has a God-given desire to carry and birth a child) but I have resolved (by God's grace of course) to not have a "woe is me" attitude! I am resolved to have a "WOW is me" attitude! Why? Because I am blessed beyond more than I could ever deserve or imagine - God spared my life from an eternal hell through his Son's atoning work on the Cross, he gave me a WONDERFUL and GODLY husband, a roof over our heads, food on our table, and oh yes...our sweet miniature dachshund! :)

In the midst of infertility (which is more painful than one would imagine until you've heard that word from a doctor - it about knocks the wind out of you!), by God's grace alone, I'm going to live life to His glory knowing that His story for our family is far better than we could imagine!

So for today, I will try to model biblical femininity - whether or not I am a "stay at home mom." I will wash our laundry, iron our clothes for work tomorrow, love and help my husband, and smother Toby with LOTS of kisses! :)

**The picture below was taken at small group last week - Our church has been discussing Biblical manhood and womanhood and so our small group leaders had all the married couples take these silly but fun pictures last week. I had to scan it so the quality isn't too great but it's still cute. :)






Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend '09

My sisters, Ashley and Lindsay, with us

This past weekend, we visited my dad in Mullins, SC which is only about an hour from the beach so we were able to at least see the ocean (we didn't stay too long though because it was biker weekend) and ride some roller coasters at a small amusement park in Myrtle Beach. We hadn't been on a roller coaster in about 3 years (or more) so that was a lot of fun for us! :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Prayer for Aaron

We have yet another new prayer request! Aaron's bloodwork results came back showing that his hormone levels aren't balanced. One is too low and the other is too high. Basically, if we understood everything correctly, his body is indeed producing sperm but is soon after destroying them. The doctor has scheduled another test in 3 months, though he's not expecting any improvement. While we are so open to pursuing adoption (at the proper time and we don't know when that will be as of right now), we are praying for God to heal Aaron and allow us to conceive at least 1 child naturally. Please pray that God would restore balance to Aaron's hormone levels and that we would be pleasantly surprised in 3 months to discover that his sperm count is normal! Even if that would not be the Lord's will, we're okay with that...He's sovereign and we're not, but this is a medical illness that God can heal if He so chooses. So, fellow Christians, would you join us in prayer over the next 3 months and pray for God's healing hand to be upon Aaron?

Thanks so much!
Jennifer :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

On Our Hearts...

As most of you who regularly read this blog know, I usually leave its upkeep to my wife. Today however is different, owing to a revelation that is going to bring important changes into our life. I wanted to take a leadership role in our marriage and be the one to communicate to all of you what is going on in our life, how we are responding to it and some family prayer requests that we now have.

Most of you probably already know that we have been working with doctors to establish a regular luteal phase in Jennifer's cycle to allow a fertilized egg to be able to attach to her uterus. Jenn has been taking Clomid for the past two months and is now in the third month. Her doctor asked for me to have a sperm test done before she prescribed any more dosages to rule out any fertility problems on my end. I had the test a couple weeks ago and today we met with a urologist and a fertility doctor to discuss the results. To our surprise it was revealed that I have such a low sperm count that is was coded, "TFTC - too few to count". The consensus between both doctors was that it is very improbable that we will ever be able to have biological children naturally.

Two options that were presented to us were IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) and adoption. We are strongly opposed to IVF because it usually results in more fertilized eggs (little people) being created than are desired to be birthed by their parents. These little babies usually stay frozen for an extended period of time and are then often killed when parents decide not to use them after having a sucessful implantion of a fertilized egg(s). We could choose to fertilize only a limited number of eggs and place them all inside of Jennifer, but that would greatly limit the chances of the procedure working. Seeing as it is an expensive procedure, and since we don't have the money to keep trying it over and over with just a few eggs each time, we are turning instead towards adoption.

I can't tell you how excited we are to be pursing adoption, but I have to announce this news alongside the truth that finding out that we probably won't ever have biological children has been very hard for us to grasp. This has been a day filled with incredible emotion. It is hard to erase, in just few hours, a quarter of a century's worth of thinking and imagining of what it would be like to birth your own kids. We have seen tears come and go today and I'm sure we will continue to for the coming weeks and months. The flow of tears have been met though with a steady flow of grace. Although we are saddened by the news that we received today, we are rejoicing in the fact that we now know clearly the path that we are to take in pursuing children. In fact, I have experienced today a sense of exhilaration towards being able to pursue adoption without any second thoughts of perhaps another pursuit being more practical.

Jennifer and I, even before we met, both carried in our hearts the desire to adopt children. The biggest deterrent towards pursuing our first child this way had been the financial cost. Although that cost is still a hurdle, we now know that it one that we must tackle. In that sense, it is rather freeing to know that we probably won't have kids naturally. Now, we are facing the decision of pursuing either traditional or embryonic adoption. (The latter involves adopting a fertilized egg, one that has been frozen, from parents who did not use it during the process of IVF. The fertilized egg would be placed inside of Jenn, who would carry and birth the baby, although it wouldn't carry any of our genes. Here is a link to a agency who specializes in embryonic adoption: http://www.nightlight.org/adoption-services/snowflakes-embryo/default.aspx )

One of the reasons that we are so excited to be able to pursue adoption is because it is such a beautiful picture of one of the greatest benefits of the gospel - the adoption of Christians into God's family. Jennifer expressed to me today in a moment of exasperation that adoption is so difficult to pursue. God kindly brought to my mind that it was difficult for Him also - difficult to the point of death. God the Father allowed his Son to suffer a tortuous death in order to bring his church, who the Bible describes as orphaned, into His family. What a gift that we can give to our future children, to our families and to our church when they see the lengths that we may go through to bring a orphaned child into a loving home.

So this is a little window into our hearts today. For those Christians who are reading this blog and who would like to pray for us, here are some requests that we have:

1) That we would glorify God in responding to today's news and showcase His grace as it is supplied to us on a daily basis.
2) That God would lead us in wisdom toward either traditional or embryonic adoption.
3) That we would be blessed with the resources needed to adopt.
4) That any roadblocks needed to adopt (ie. currently being renters) would be removed.
5) For our marriage to be strenghtened through these events and that we would love and support each other with gentle spirits.
6) That the gospel of God would be demonstrated through this pursuit, towards us, our future child(ren) and to the world.

Finally, as I have been writing this post, my heart has been moved towards my many friends who are not Christians. My fear is that the truth and beauty of the gospel could be diluted by the sentimentality of the situation. Not being able to have children is sad, having kids is amazing and wondrous, but the Gospel is necessary. "But we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons...For in this hope we were saved." Romans 8:23-24

Aaron

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Infertility Update

Well, we found out some news this week that is hard to swallow in our journey for hoping to grow our family...Aaron has a low sperm count. My ObGyn told me after 2 months of Clomid, if I wasn't pregnant, she'd test Aaron before she continued to "pump my body full with fertility drugs." So, for this cycle, she gave me a refill of Clomid (and increased the dosage) and had Aaron tested. His results came back yesterday and it's all really frustrating...My ObGyn was the one who ordered that a semen analysis be done at a local fertility clinic, so she was the one who got the test results - not us. She then had her nurse call and tell me this vague info "He has a low sperm count - He needs to see a Urologist." I then asked the nurse what this all meant? How low was his count? Would we be able to have children? She abrubtly said "I don't know - The urologist needs to analylze all of this...we only treat women here - not men." Aaron then calls the fertility clinic himself to find out his specific results and unfortunately, they "legally" could not give him the results, but could only give the results to the doctor who had referred him (my ObGyn).

This was a COMPLETE SURPRISE to us...We simply thought that he would have this test to satisfy my doctor so that she would proceed with giving me stronger fertility drugs. We never really seriously thought that he too may have a problem!!! My doctor had even told me that this test was just to rule it out, because it would be very rare for both people to have a fertility problem. (I guess we beat the odds-Haha)

We have decided to bypass the urologist, since we both have some fertility issues and see a fertility specialist together. However, the fertility specialist can't see us until June 10th, unless there becomes another time available. I sobbed hard yesterday - This news was painful for us. However, we are glad to know this info so that we can begin to move in the right direction.


All this to say, if the Lord brings it to your mind, please pray for the following:

1) That we would have peace, trust, and comfort in our Great God. We want to glorify Him no matter what His plan is for our life!

2) That the fertility specialist could see us sooner than next month and that he would have the wisdom to lead us into making the wisest decisions for our family.
3) That the Lord would bless us with a baby(ies)!

Clemson vs. Maryland Baseball Game

This past Saturday, Aaron & I met up with my mom, step-dad, sister, and sis' boyfriend in Clemson, SC for a baseball game - Clemson vs. Maryland. This is all so ironic considering that Aaron grew up in Columbia, graduated from USC, and is most definitely a Gamecock fan!!! My family are Tiger fans though, and so he mustered up some strength sit through the game (He enjoyed it too). :)



Grace, Garrett, and us :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Back to Columbia



We went back to Columbia last weekend. That was the original trip that we had planned on our calendar - Easter weekend was a last minute decision when Aaron realized that he had that Saturday off and we decided to spend Easter with family. This weekend we're back in Greensboro again and are looking forward to worshiping with our local church family tomorrow!
We really like the picture of Toby and his Aunt Bethany because she looks so happy and he looks so clueless as he always does. Haha :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Weekend '09


We took these pictures while in Columbia this past weekend. The top picture was taken at Aaron's grandparents' house after eating with them at Shealy's (a great bbq restaurant in Batesburg-Leesville, SC) and the bottom two were taken before church on Sunday morning.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Country Park




The weather was absolutely amazing this weekend so we went to a local park for our first time in Greensboro. Most of the dogs there were both excited and intrigued by the geese, but Toby was more interested in people watching - he's so domesticated that he probably doesn't realize he's an animal himself! Haha :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Though there's pain in the offering, blessed be the Name of the Lord"

Well, I was hoping that this would be the month that I would be able to announce that I was pregnant on the blog, but alas, it's not...

Most of you know that we've been trying to get pregnant since the fall and have been strategically charting my temperature and using ovulation tests, but no pregnancy... While charting, I discovered that my luteal phase (the day after ovulation to the day before your next period) was short - the medical term is Luteal Phase Defect or Deficiency. A healthy luteal phase consists of an average of 12-16 days and mine are always under 11 days. LPD doesn't give the proper amount of time for a fertilized egg to implant before the lining begins to shed itself, thus, even if you conceived you might not know it...Even if the fertilized egg does implant itself, LPD can often cause an early miscarriage. Thus, when I discovered this info, I went to see the ObGyn and she put me on a drug called Clomid for two months which is supposed to boost fertility and lengthen a luteal phase (only during the months that you use the drug - it doesn't have lasting effects on months that follow). March was my first month taking Clomid and I did have a longer LP but no pregnancy...It was very disappointing as we very much want to be parents.

By God's grace, I have not reached the point where I am like Rachel, who in Genesis, demands that she be given children or she'll die! Though, I have difficult moments when I look around and see everyone else having babies and I'm angry and jealous. While I know that God is good and sovereign, I still don't understand why He hasn't given us a child yet (granted, I know that we haven't been trying very long in comparison to many other couples!). While I don't understand, I do believe that He is walking me through this difficulty so that He can reveal the sin in my heart and conform me more into the image of His Son. If I really believe what I say I believe - then, now is my time to live it out! If when I sing "Blessed be Your Name though I'm found in the desert place, though I walk through the wilderness...Blessed be Your Name...And when the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say...Blessed be the Name of the Lord! Blessed be Your glorious Name!" by Matt Redman, now is the the time to experience what it means when I sing "Though, there's pain in the offering, blessed be Your Name!"

I must come to a place where I am content and joyful in the Lord (admittedly, I'm not there yet but I want to be) even if His answer is for us to never have children (I haven't given up hope yet either). If this is the same God (which of course He is) who gave His only Son for Aaron and me, to die on the cross and absorb all of His furious wrath for our sins... I most certainly can trust that He will never withhold anything good from us...His greatest good though may not always look "good" to us on this side of eternity. Jesus, when he was naked and bleeding on the cross didn't look good...How could a dismangled and dying man bring about the world's greatest good?! If you're a Christian, then it brought your salvation - You're not condemned to Hell! You're going to Heaven!

God has already been SO good to Aaron and me and I hope that for as many more months/years that go by where we struggle with this same disappointment, that we always remember the Gospel. And I'm thankful that the Truth in the Gospel isn't contingent on my feelings or circumstances - It will always remain true in spite of us!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Locks of Love

Some of you know that I have been growing out my hair out for locks of love since 2007. I hadn't had a haircut since July of '07 until last Friday! (Wow!!!) That's the longest I have ever gone without a hair cut. It was a fun challenge - I tried it in college but in the heat of the summer, I gave into myself and cut it... but not this time - I made it all the way to the end! I'm excited that now my hair will bless a child who has lost theirs to chemo therapy. And it has saved us LOTS of money on hair maintenance - My hair cut last Friday was $40 plus a $5 tip (maybe I'll do this again! haha)! I feel 5 lbs lighter. :)




Friday, March 13, 2009

Love for my wife and a talking fish

I have today off, while Jenn works a half day at Lawndale, so I thought I'd shake off my blogophobia and take a moment to tell my wife how much I love her:

You are my very best friend. I'm so glad that God gave you to me!

And just because I'm experimenting on how to post things on blogs, I'll try to post Jenn's new favorite commercial. This commercial has the same effect that Napoleon Dynamite has on her, which usually consists in us having to cut of the TV so that she can stop laughing long enough to catch her breath. I love you Jenn!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Our New Furniture & Toby's New Toy




The pictures of Toby are for my mom so she could see Toby cuddling with his new toy (a football player dachshund that she bought him)! Aww... :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Visit to Atlanta

Last Friday, Aaron, Toby, and I left Greensboro and headed to Atlanta to visit my family for several days. I hadn't seen them since early August which had been the longest time I had ever gone without seeing them! The trip was much needed because I miss them all VERY MUCH! We ate a lot of unhealthy foods, went to the mall, and ate more unhealthy foods - It was all so fun! Mom gave me my late Christmas and Birthday gift which was a LOT of make-up from Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals make-up) where she works part-time and I also stocked up on flavors of Diet Rite that I can't find anywhere around here. It has been so sad being back in Greensboro again and away from our loved ones, but I keep reminding myself that God sovereignly chooses where to place His children in different seasons of their lives and I'm so thankful that Aaron has a job (which is why we're here now) with the rough economy right now!



me, my sister, and mom at California Dreaming :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentine's Day/Birthday


Aaron and me playing Pictionary...



Opening my birthday gifts with my friend, Melissa...

Our couple picture...

We celebrated Valentine's Day/my birthday with some friends from our new church. It was us and two other couples...the guys cooked a delicious meal for us girls, we played Pictionary, and I received some birthday gifts from friends (one was the Laura Story "Great God Who Saves" album which is such a great cd!) and cupcakes.
Aaron has ordered me a "Snuggie" which is on its way. The biggest present though is our new living room furniture which is also on its way - I'll post pictures as soon as it has been delivered! We're really excited about the new furniture!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day, Aaron!

Warning - This will probably be the longest blog entry that I will ever type!

Aaron and I met almost exactly 5 years ago working at LifeWay. The first words we ever spoke to one another were when I asked him to help me find a cd for a customer and he pointed me in the right direction to find the cd (I hadn't even introduced myself to him at work yet...it was my first day at the Columbia LW and I had been told that his section was music and thought he could help me). Not a romantic thought went through my head - If I had realized that I had just laid eyes on my future husband, I probably would have found something sweeter or more sophisticated to say to him (maybe, I would have even been so polite as to say "Hi - I'm Jennifer" before asking him where the cd could be found)...

He apparently thought that I was really pretty the first time he saw me and over the next few weeks started liking me...I was both oblivious that he liked me and disinterested in him during those few weeks. He was even asking to work 12 hour shifts on Saturdays just so that we wouldn't miss each other working opposite shifts! Valentine's Day (which is also my birthday) was about 3 weeks after we had met and he wanted to buy me flowers but thought that would be a little too forward of himself and so he bought a single rose for every lady that worked in the store! He picked out the prettiest rose (I didn't know this at the time) and left it with a birthday card for me in the breakroom. Still, I had no clue and I don't like flowers (he now knows that he should just spend his money for me on something that doesn't die) so I put it in the cupholder of my car where it sat for a few days and then died (again if I had known this rose was from my future husband, I probably would have dried it and saved it in our memory box).

About a week or so after my birthday, he casually asked me at work if I would ever want to hang out. Not wanting to be rude, I said okay. Looking back, I'm not sure why I said "okay" because I didn't want to hang out with him and I usually would have politely said "no" as to not lead a guy on in the wrong direction. This time was different, however, as the providence of God was at work in my life. He asked for my phone number which I gave him but was secretly hoping that he wouldn't call...but 3 days later...he did call! And, since I had already agreed to hang out, I thought that I would hang out as friends 1 time and that would be it. We agreed to meet at Fazoli's on a Friday night and when Friday came, I was really nervous and dreading the whole ordeal but knew that I should follow through with my commitment. Ironically though, after my classes that day, I found myself in my college dorm changing clothes a dozen times. My roommate, Sarah, said, "But, this isn't a date?!" And I strongly replied "NO - it's not a date!" So strange that even though I didn't have any romantic feelings for him (or so I thought), I found myself wanting to look attractive to him. I had a back-up plan to speed the night along and leave as soon as possible - at a specific time, I had agreed to meet my roommate at the movie theater. Well, I immediately told him that I had to leave at a certain time to meet my roommate and he did the unthinkable....He invited himself to join us! I couldn't be rude, and so I again said "Okay." During dinner, we found out that we both had the same favorite band and were listening to the same cd in our cars.

After what I thought wasn't a great "love at first sight" kind of night, he got the nerve to ask me to hang out again - And again the quiet providence of God was at work because I don't know why I said "Okay" yet another time. The next time we did hang out,though, I was struck with how amazing this guy was and thought that the girl he would one day marry would be incredibly blessed...And wow - that girl is me! My assumptions were correct and I am indeed incredibly blessed to be Aaron's wife!

Happy Valentine's Day, Aaron! I'm so glad that you pursued my heart in the past and continue to pursue me each day! Your love for the Lord and leadership in our home make me so thankful that God chose me to be your wife! I love you!

This picture was taken at a cheap photo booth in the mall about a week or two after we started "hanging out." Such a great story with a very happy ending! :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Visit to SEBTS




Yesterday, Aaron and I took a trip to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC to visit one of my friends from CIU, Amelia McNeilly. Amelia lived on my hall for 2 years during college and we became great friends. I haven't seen her in over 3 years. Now that we only live an hour and 40 minutes away from her, I decided that a reunion visit would be fun (although we've kept up with each other via Facebook and blogs). We also got to visit the campus LifeWay store which was neat for us because LW campus stores stock a good bit differently than regular stores. Attached are some pictures of our trip...The top of Aaron's head is cut off in one of the pics, but overall, I still think that it turned out well.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Aaron's Oral Surgery

Nothing exciting has been happening in the Wilson home lately... Aaron had all 4 of his wisdom teeth removed on Monday so he's been keeping a low profile this week. His mom came to Greensboro for a few days to help care for him while I had to work during the day - Thank you so much, Mama Niecey - We appreciated your help and enjoyed your company! :)

Here's a random picture of Toby sporting his super cool jacket!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Our New Table!


God has blessed us with a new kitchen table! When we were married, my grandmother gave us a formal dining table which we used as an everyday table at our previous two locations in Columbia and Greenville. However, when we moved to Greensboro, our kitchen in this apartment didn't have enough space for our formal table. Thus, we put it in storage and have been eating on the couch -Haha. This has also made it difficult to show hospitality to others, so now that we have a table, hopefully we can become more intentional about having friends over for dinner. :)

Thanks to all of our family members who gave us money for Christmas...when we put all of the monies together, this is what we decided to buy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

She Must and Shall Go Free

I've been meditating on the doctrine of justification lately and continue to be amazed again and again that God declares Christians "not guilty." Our ransom has been paid through the blood of Christ - We're free to go.

May I suggest that you listen to a song by Derek Webb, "She Must and Shall Go Free." While Aaron and I are not sure about all of Derek Webb's albums (some of his songs sound a little emergent); this album/song gets the Gospel right on!

Aaron and I were discussing justification yesterday morning and we're so thankful that Jesus isn't having to decide if his blood can free us from any particular sin. His Cross says it all - She (the Church) must and shall go free!" To do otherwise would be to go against Himself. The verdict has been decided and is never up for debate - For those of us who are Christians, we must and shall go free. (See Romans 8:33-34)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Holiday Catch-Up


We greatly enjoyed our Christmas trip to SC last week...it was all too short (even though we were there 5 days!). Sadly, we didn't get any pictures of the festivities or with family...things were too busy to think about our camera, but we did manage to have one taken of the two of us in front of my mother-in-law's tree. Since we both had New Year's Day off, we used the day wisely and took down our Christmas tree, washed laundry, and got things back in order around our home from the holidays.

Toby had a blast seeing so many of his favorite people...he even got a Christmas sweater from his Uncle Chris and Aunt Bethany (which makes him look like such a preppy boy). :)

As you can see, he is not enthusiastic about his new sweater...don't worry though, we didn't make him wear it for too long!