In 2011, I discovered pinterest and instantly became a fa-nat-ic by pinning everything. And I mean ev-errrrr-thing! It was my first year as a “stay at home wife” and I found myself spending hours upon ridiculous hours pinning recipes, workout techniques for those perfectly sculpted arms and abs of steel (pfffft), quotes, crafts, and home decor ideas that I knew I would never do. To date, I have 1,393 pins and 343 likes. The sad part is, I have only completed 29 of those pins. I have no shame and I don’t feel too terrible about my “pinned to completed” ratio because if you are like me, you probably have also spent countless hours pinning over 1,000 ideas, yet have only completed a handful of them as well.
Of the handful of pins that I have been able to move to the “Been there, done that” board, is the “Memory Jar”. Many of you might have heard of it. But if not, let me give you the skinny. First, you find a pretty jar and on January 1st, you begin collecting memories for that year and put them inside of the jar. They can be accomplished goals, “LOL” moments, daily blessings, surprise gifts, pictures, ticket stubs…the list is endless. The point is that at the end of the year on December 31st, you open up the “Memory Jar” and take a trip down good ol’ memory lane by reading and reminiscing all of the memories from that year. You might say, “Awe! That is so neat!” Or, “That sounds so cute!” Well, keep reading…
My original thought about the “Memory Jar” was that it seemed like a great idea for 2012, because starting in January, my husband and I were going to embark on a new path towards building our family. We were planning to see a fertility specialist and I just knew that I would have lots of wonderful memories to record. In fact, I was confident that I would be able to write the memory of announcing our pregnancy to our friends and family. I also knew there would be a memory of the first ultrasound date and a detailed description of our emotions when we heard the first heartbeat. I also envisioned inside of the memory jar the “little fights” between one another as we registered for our baby shower, and who would get up for the middle of the night feedings. It was going to be a wonderful year of first time memories and I never wanted to forget them. Thus, the “Memory Jar” of 2012 was created.
As it turns out, our memories from 2012 wasn’t as “neat” or “cute” as I wanted them to be. They included the good, the bad, and the ugly. Mostly, the ugly. It was a tough year full of many disappointments, sprinkled with some good moments along the way. I will never forget sitting down with my husband on December 31st, 2012 and reading them one by one. It was hard. I went from laughing, to crying, to being angry, to just sitting in silence, then back to laughing. I was a ball full of emotions as one could expect
Here are some of our most memorable moments of 2012:
January 16, 2012: I made my first fertility appointment today! 🙂
January 19th 2012: I did my first injection tonight and I was so nervous and scared. Not because I was afraid it would hurt, but because I was scared to stick myself. I was crying and telling Daniel I couldn’t do it ( I was a mess and questioning whether I wanted to continue with treatments). He was so encouraging and kept telling me how strong I was. I finally did it after 20 minutes of sheer panic. It wasn’t bad at all! Daniel was so proud of me.
April 13th 2012: After spending 25 plus hours studying for nearly two months, Daniel FINALLY took the Professional Engineers test today. YAY!
April 20th, 2012: My medicine for the IVF process came today. There were so many boxes, syringes, and instructions. EEK! One shot in the morning…three more at night. I can do this! 🙂
May 2nd, 2012: (From the Hubby) I just got home from work and finished packing my bags for a night in Indianapolis with Elisha. We are going to have her egg retrieval tomorrow. She’s tougher than I am. Although we are in the same boat, she’s doing all the rowing. I love her more than anything. She will be a great mother!
May 3rd, 2012: Today I had my egg retrieval. I was so nervous about being “knocked out” but it wasn’t bad! I don’t remember a thing! The Dr. told the Hubs I talked about exercising and even said, “Okay. Well, I’m going to fool around now” before finally going to sleep. I of course remember none of this. The nurses were amazing I was able to walk in to the office because of the amount of eggs I had on my ovaries. They were able to retrieve 27. The ride home was painful because I was very bloated. When we got home, I slept a lot but only on my left side. It hurt to lay in any other position. Daniel took very good care of me. He is the BEST!
May 6th, 2012: I am still very bloated (I have hyperstimulated) from egg retrieval (gained almost 9 lbs of fluid). The Dr. called and I have 8 embryos that look excellent, some looked “okay” and some were very, very bad. We go Tuesday at 8:30am for our transfer. 🙂
May 8th, 2012: (From the hubby) I woke up in a hotel in Indianapolis today and went to the Dr.’s office to transfer our embryos. We had two good ones out of 27 and possibly more but we won’t know until later. I’m already proud of them. They look like two dots (I saw them under a microscope). Hopefully they will both stick. It’s been a rough journey so far.
May 14th, 2012: Today I have been feeling sick, tired and I have a migraine. I figured it was the progesterone I was taking but I went ahead and took a pregnancy test. THERE WAS A FAINT LINE! 🙂 I’m so excited! I’m not telling the Hubs yet until I get the blood work completed in a few days.
May 15, 2012: I took more tests today. I am a “peeing on a stick fool”. I love seeing the double lines! I could stare at them all day long. I still haven’t told the hubs.
May 17th, 2012: (From the Hubby): Elisha surprised me today with two ducks and two honey “buns in the oven”. I didn’t know what was going on at first, but apparently she found out she was pregnant at her Dr. appointment today. This was a surprise to me because she told me earlier that she wouldn’t find out until later. I’m not completely shocked because I believed that she would get pregnant but a part of me hasn’t let it soak in that in 9 months, there will a baby that will someday call me “Daddy”. I can’t wait to see them. It’s a good day to be me!
May 19th, 2012: Today we went for my second blood test and my HCG levels dropped meaning I will miscarry my cute ducklings. We came home and slept most of the day. I woke up thinking it was all a nightmare. One of the worst parts was having to tell my Mom and Dad I was pregnant and will miscarry all in the same sentence. I had to tell them in a text…talking isn’t an option right now. It is a sad day but we will move on and be stronger.
May 20th 2012: Today after church I heard the Lord speak to me. He told me that I would have a boy and name him “Josiah”. Josiah?! Never thought of that name before! I Googled the meaning and it means “God healed” and “Supported by God” What a blessing! I’m praying for healing of my PCOS.
June 7th, 2012: I caught a HUGE crappie on our fishing date tonight. 11 lbs 8 oz.
July 3rd, 2012: (From the Hubby) I walked with Elisha today. I’m very hot and tired now. She’s a fast walker! We talked about everything under the sun. Nothing significant happened today but I wanted to remind myself of how wonderful she makes my days.
November 2, 2012: Our first Safe Families for Children child came to stay with us tonight. He is two years old and non verbal. This should be interesting.
As you can see, our year was full of highs and lows just as I am sure yours was too. Which is why on January 1st, 2013, I debated on whether I wanted to do another. But, after much deliberation, I decided I should…what if this was the year I could write about my pregnancy and all the “firsts”? Thus the“Memory Jar” for 2013 was created.
As I mentioned above, the point is to open it on December 31st and read them…it was February 4th before we finally sat down to open up the jar of 2013 and travel down good ol memory lane again. I realize we are over a month behind and I would like to say it’s because we have been too busy to make the time, but then I would be lying and making excuses. The honest reason is because I have been putting it off. I haven’t been ready to jump on the crazy train of emotions. Even though I know this jar contained more happy moments and less disappointing ones (injections, miscarriages, Hyperstimulation, and negative pregnancy tests), I still knew it wouldn’t contain the one’s I was hoping for.Ya know…all of the “firsts” that I was looking forward to writing down and placing inside. But alas, here are the memorable moments of 2013…
January 28th, 2013: Tonight as I get ready to put our Safe Families for Children child to bed for the final time, I think about the first night I brought him home (November 2, 2012). He has brought such joy to my life and I’m going to miss hearing the pitter patters of little feet each morning coming down the hallway. We celebrated his 2nd birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s with him. He will be missed.
January 29th 2013: Tonight we took the Safe Families for Children child back to his mom’s. He will be missed by so many people. We had him for three months and during that time–we were with him during his first stomach flu, constant ear infections, holidays, ear tube surgery, and his first words. He learned truck, pop, ball, bye and hot. Also, he learned to show affection. He loved to give hugs and kisses. My prayers every day will be to first thank God for the time we had with him and second for God to always protect him and keep him filled with love, joy, and happiness. He was such a sweet boy who loved trains, trucks, cars, bath time, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (old school), Cars, Finding Nemo, and the Grinch.
February 4th, 2013: Today my best friend announced on Facebook she was pregnant and due September 2nd, 2013. YAY! It only took her one month of “trying” and I can honestly say that I am happy for her! Being happy for someone who hasn’t tried very long is a huge step for me.
February 10, 2013: “Blessed is she who believes the Lord WILL fulfill what he has promised to her!” ~Luke 1:45 After prayer and doubting God’s Promises lately, the Lord spoke this verse to me. It was like a light switch was turned on in a dark room–He is faithful and WILL fulfill all of His promises to me. Guaranteed! It may be next month or it might not happen for another ten years, but He WILL! Praise the Lord!
February 17th, 2013: In the past week I have had many revelations–for months I have been waiting on God to either increase my faith, bless me with a child, or take away my sickness. My revelation was this: 1. I already have enough faith. I must start exercising it. 2. He has already promised me a child and my healing. I need to just believe and receive it.
February 22nd, 2013: Tonight is date night and we ordered cheeseburgers from Gottzee’s (my first time) and played Monopoly City I starting winning in the first 15 minutes and the Danimal was not happy. Below are some of the quotes from the evening due to me winning…
1. Stop that! You’re on my last nerve! (I was laughing hysterically because I was winning)
2. Figures! You’re negative like that! (I put a prison on his property)
3. You’re a sore winner!
March 10th, 2013: (From the Hubby) Today on the way home from church, Elisha saw a bird on it’s back getting pecked by another bird. She suddenly started yelling, “Stop…stop…STOP!” At this point I had come to a complete stop and realized she wasn’t talking to me but the birds outside. She then proceeded to drop her phone, throw her purse and open the door. Once she opened the door, the birds flew off and the moment was over. She felt a little silly afterwards but I thought it was adorable and very funny!
April 12, 2013: Tonight I went to CHIC night at church and many women (some I had never met before) began praying over me. A woman who I did not know began praying for God to open my womb. She then laid her hands on my belly and blurted out, “God said you will have a son!” I couldn’t believe it! This came from a woman I had never met before! God is so good! God wasn’t done talking though because also during this time, two other woman kept hearing the number 10 when they layed hands on me. I’m not sure what that means but after some research, the number 10 means “not wanting” and “completion of a cycle”. Praise God!
May 2nd, 2013: Tonight was my first H.O.P.E. meeting (support group for those struggling with infertility or other tough times). I was so nervous. Three ladies came and we all shared our journey and then talked about the power of our words.
June 3rd, 2013: (From Daniel) Elisha started her H.O.P.E. group (Holding On to the Promises and Expectations) a month ago. I’m very proud of her for doing this. It takes a lot of courage and letting go of pride to stand up for what God has called her to do. She’s a very strong woman.
July 8th, 2013: WHAT?! Today I started my cycle! You would think I wouldn’t be excited but I had a 29 day cycle! I have NEVER had a 29 day cycle! Praise God for this small miracle of improvement!
July 27th 2013: I was thinking about Josiah today and was overcome with hope. I can’t wait to hold him in my arms one day! God’s promise to me will be fulfilled!
July 27th, 2013: (From Daniel) Tonight we celebrated the victories we have through Jesus by eating at Chedder’s. Elisha and I vowed we would go there once Josiah was conceived as a celebration because we had never been and wanted to make it extra special. Although we haven’t confirmed his conception, we are joyful because we know God has promised him and He will not fail, so why not celebrate now? It was a great day of exercising our faith by looking at paint samples and furniture for the future nursery. A great day in our marriage. (You can read about this celebration by clicking here)
August 18th, 2013: Today I started my “cycle” and for the first time, I had total peace. My baby will come and I have COMPLETE peace it will be in God’s timing. He is never late. 🙂
August 17th, 2013: Today we celebrated our seventh anniversary! We went antique shopping and purchased three old picture frames to paint and use in Josiah’s room. I love shopping for my future baby bird. It builds my faith so much!
November 9th, 2013: Another cycle and not pregnant. My heart is broken today (you can read about it here)–I pray I am pregnant by Christmas, but if not, God is still good!
As I look at the memories from 2012 and then the ones in 2013, I see a HUGE difference in my attitude, words, and faith. 2012 was a tough year; it was a year in which I relied on my own abilities, knowledge and strength. 2013 was polar opposite. I surrendered my plans for His plans and no longer trusted in my understanding, but in God’s. I rested in His peace and trusted in His timing. As a result, my faith has increased and I am more content in my circumstances.
Sure I wish my “Memory Jar” contained more of the memories I daydream about, but no matter the contents, whether the good, the bad or the ugly, I wouldn’t change any of them. I wouldn’t add or take away because through it all, I am thankful for each one because they have shaped who I am today. The enemy might have thrown me a few lemons, but I didn’t allow them to make me bitter. Instead, I have allowed myself and God to use them to make me better.
The question is this…will I started a “Memory Jar” for 2014? Originally I wasn’t going to, but having this jar has allowed me to look back from 2012 to 2013 and see how much God has changed me and how He has been with me each and every step of the way. I am not sure what kind of memories will fill the 2014 jar, but I’m expecting great things! Who knows, it might be filled with all the “firsts” that I am hoping and believing God for or it might be filled with more evidence of how God is using this mess for His good. Either way, it looks like I’m winning 🙂
After we read them together, we put them in order by date. Then I punch a hole in the upper left hand corner and loop them on a book ring for safe keeping and easy flipping.
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