Sunday, May 25, 2008

The New Garage? A Success!

I just realized that I mentioned in my Mother's Day post that our new garage installation was not working, but I never posted to say that we finally got it to work. I was a little frustrated not to have access to the garage at all, but I was patient. Luckily we didn't have to scrape any windshields for the week we were parked in the driveway. With Justin's chaotic schedule, not much gets done from Monday through Friday, so we had to wait for another weekend to work on the garage. When Saturday rolled around and Justin informed me he had to see several clients for a good chunk of the day, I was fairly upset--that meant another week without a garage.

I was pretty much resigned to calling an installation expert during the week when Justin was gone. But I decided to take matters into my own hands. I reviewed the instructions and climed the teetering ladder into the beams of the garage while I was home alone, trying to figure out what we did wrong. Finally, I called customer service, though I doubted that some young woman in a call center would really know how to help me with the installation problems. But I stand corrected. In trying to make sure we had the motor installed properly, Justin hooked up the wall button to the motor before installing and positioning the safety lasers that make the garage door stop if something runs under it while it's closing. We didn't have these safety lasers before, so I guess we thought it wasn't a big deal. Not that we didn't want to install them, we just wanted to make sure that the motor itself was installed properly before moving on to peripheral things. Well, that doesn't cut it. Those lasers are regulation now, so the door won't lower at all without them functioning. Customer service was able to tell me this, so I am glad I called them before hiring an expensive professional.

Justin's last session of the day cancelled, he came home early, installed the lasers in a few minutes and voila! He was excited to know that the problems had nothing to do with the way he installed the motor initially. So I've had a new garage door for a week now and I am so happy to have a smooth, functioning door. No more putting the car in park and running up to assist the garage door as it chugs open. Thank you, Justin!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Baptisms

We had a couple baptisms in our family in the last two months. Brad's son Mont was baptized early in April in Salt Lake and Stephanie's sons Jonah and Mason were baptized in May in Salt Lake. They were both really special events and great times for everyone to get together and celebrate our family and our progression toward eternity.


Brad with Mont

Jeff with Mason and Jonah

Maybe Menopause

I had an appointment with a new infertility specialist last Friday. I had some personality issues with my last doctor, so I decided to have a consult with a different one. I really like Dr. Isbell and I think our personalities will mesh better. He also gave me some new insight and alternative info on my infertility problems, which was really refreshing. The bad new is that he thinks the best course of action to treat my endometriosis and fibroid tumors would be to force my body into menopause with a drug called Lupron. This would shrink the tumors and endometriosis, hopefully clearing everything up. After six months of this, we would try two to three more IUI's. If that didn't work, it would be time to look at in vitro fertilization. I am glad to have a second opinion and a course of action that is more aggressive than my last doctor, but it saddens me to think that I may have to take a six month break for this treatment. Also, I will experience all the super fun side effects of menopause like bone loss, hot flashes, and crazy mood swings. We have one more IUI this weekend, then we'd start Lupron the next month. Please join us in praying for this IUI to work.

Graduation

I've been meaning to write about my official commencement ceremony for sometime but I keep putting it off. I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in December, 2007, but the commencement ceremony was May 1, 2008. Most of my family came up to celebrate with me, and it was so fantastic to have their support.


It was a really crazy week. My graduation was Thursday. Justin left town on business on Sunday and was gone until Wednesday. For some reason or another, the house was just a mess. We tried really hard to get our downstairs bathroom makeover completed on Saturday, but failed. Luckily it was mostly done and useable. But the rest of the house had been neglected and I was left to deal with it alone. I got all ready for company, but I was just stressing by the time they started rolling in on Wednesday. I don't sleep well when Justin is gone, so I was getting cranky. I took off work a bit early on Wednesday and bailed on my extra shift I was supposed to work that night. My parents took Jordan, Afton, Julie, Camden, and me to dinner at Johnny Carino's. Our food came out cold and we had to send it back. They treated the incident well and comped the meals. It was good food and the company was even better.

I took off a couple hours early the next day to get things under control before my I had to be to my graduation at 6:30. I think going home early actually stressed me out more. My sister arrived with her four children, we were trying to figure out when and how to get everyone fed, and there was just a lot of chaos. I finally retreated to my bedroom where my sweet husband laid beside me on the bed and comforted me.

I kept thinking how much I hate graduations and how miserable they are and how I wished I had decided not to walk. Since I did all my classes online through the Moscow Campus, I didn't know anyone graduating with me or any of the faculty at the Idaho Falls Campus. I was stressed about my family and all the chaos. And I was stressed about my mixed feelings about my education. I've always kinda wondered if my education was worth it because I have a fabulous job that I totally love now and I make good money. Incurring all the debt for my degree didn't really improve my work situation. I could get a different job with my degree, but the pay would be the same. Plus I dream of being a stay at home mom someday, so I often wonder if the debt from my student loans was worth it. With everyone congratulating me on this huge achievement, my doubts about the whole process resurfaced.

Justin drove me to the ceremony early. I hadn't ironed my robe and pretended I didn't care that looked sloppy. Luckily there was an iron in the waiting room and I was able to iron my robe and look better put together. There were about 40 graduates (doctorates, masters, and bachelors combined) and I didn't know anyone. I waited alone until the ceremony began. Once Pomp and Circumstance was playing and we walked into the auditorium, I was suddenly overcome by my emotions and a sense of pride and accomplishment.

It was a really good ceremony. It was quite brief--maybe an hour and twenty minutes. The speaker was great. I got a ton of cheers from my family as I shook the President of the University's hand. We had a cookie and punch reception in the lobby afterwards then went back to my house for ice cream and pie.



My family gave me a dozen beautiful yellow roses and Jordan made a plaque for me with my graduation picture and a place to engrave a meaningingful quote. (Side story: Jordan wanted to have the engraving complete when he presented the plaque to me and he called me to ask what my favorite saying was. I heard the word "thing" instead of "saying." So I told him my favorite thing was singing puppies, like that cute flea and tick commercial with the little puppies at camp singing "there ain't to bugs on me." I just love talking/singing puppies. Jordan asked me a couple times and I kept telling him my answer was singing puppies. After a few baffled minutes, we finally figured out the confusion. Thankfully he didn't engrave "Singing Puppies" on the plaque.)


We had a fun night of celebration. Then it was off to work for Justin and me the next morning while everyone else drove to Salt Lake. After work, we headed south too, with Cindy and Afton in our back seat. Saturday, Stephanie's twin sons were baptized, so it was a quick turnaround for all of us.

I am thankful for all my family who came to support me and all the phone calls and cards and well-wishes for those who could not attend. Though it started out really crazy, it has become a meaningful day and a special memory for me. Even though I still debate my education's financial implications, I am proud of my accomplishment and happy that I marched. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Monday, May 12, 2008

10,000 B.C. and Mother's Day

We had a fun weekend. Saturday Justin and I saw 10,000 B.C. We both really enjoyed it. The previews didn't actually show a lot of the plot concept so we weren't really sure what we were in for, but I really liked it. To me, it had an Apacolypto flavor withouth the violence and gore and ancient language. When we got home from the movie, our garage door motor stopped working. It has been running very ragged for the past six months or so, and it finally gave out. So we turned right back around and purchased a new motor. Justin and I spent several hours putting it together and installing it in the garage...and alas, our worries are not over yet. It goes up, but doesn't go down. So we will call customer service today and see if we can figure something out. If that doesn't work, we'll have to call someone in.

We had a quiet Mother's Day. Church was really beautiful, but I made sure to linger in the chapel long enough to avoid the Mother's Day flowers they were handing out. As I say every year, I am not a mother. They argue that the gifts are for all the women, but it's Mother's Day, not Women's Day. We tried some more on the garage to no avail. I came down with a stomach bug and Justin took care of me, making dinner and cleaning the house while I relaxed. We were able to talk to our mothers and just had a nice quiet weekend.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Infertility

Today I went online for awhile and looked at adoption stuff and adoptive parents' profiles. This is not the first time I've done nor will it be the last. Justin and I have been struggling with infertility for a long time. Years. But we've been seeing a fertility specialist since November, 2007. I had surgery for endometriosis, progesterone tests, and I've been on ovulation drugs ever since. Justin has a problem with low motility. We've had two IUI (intrauterine insemination) procedures, both unsuccessful. The doctor recommends going through six before we discuss other options.

This is obviously something that has brought us a lot of heartache and tears. We've had many prayers on this subject about what to do and how to have a family with children. There are three ways this could turn out: 1) One of the future IUI's is successful 2) We will need to progress to in vitro fertilization and hope that is successful or 3) adopt. Finances are another tricky matter since my insurance coverage doesn't pay for one penny of any of this. So part of me just wants to do the most aggressive (and more expensive) things that will insure that we can have a child. By the time we do six IUI's, that's several thousand dollars. Then if we do in vitro, that usually ranged from $12,000 to $20,000, and it's not guaranteed. We may need to do it more than once. Adoption, though still expensive, is somewhat more affordable through LDS family services. Another concern is that I have a sister who has had multiple miscarriages. She's had four miscarrages and doctors haven't been able to figure it out yet. I am concerned that Justin and I may go to all these lengths and expenses to get pregnant, and then I can't keep a pregnancy.

So, one of the main aspects of my prayers of late is to know what to do that will be the most cost effective and successful. I keep leaning towards adoption. I've always wanted to adopt, even before we struggled with infertility. I would be very excited for that. I think, though, we will give the IUI's a couple more chances.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Family

Here are a ton of random pictures mostly involving family.

Our Christmas photo shoot. Dec. 2007





Justin's family. We were in Cody, WY, for Justin's 27th birthday. May 2007. From left: Jon, Jennifer, Justin, Miles Mathews, Roberta, and Connie






Justin opening Superman






Justin's 27th birthday. May 2007






Justin planting strawberries




Afton waves a flag at the 4th of July parade. 2 years old. July 2007


Justin pretends he's a miner at the Belcher mine in Nevada. March 2007


The Belcher Mine in Virginia City, Nevada. This mine used to be in our family a few generations ago. March 2007






Julie with Camden and Justin at Virginia City. March 2007






Lara in Virginia City, Nevada. March 2007




Justin holding two month old Camden. March 2007




Marley was wearing a diaper because she was in heat. She sure got a lot of stares. March 2007




Julie and Lara at Lake Tahoe. This is kind of a no makeup kind of day. We're still sexy though. March 2007



Justin and Lara at Lake Tahoe, March 2007






The Groffs at Lake Tahoe, March 2007




Lara and Justin shopping at a leather store in Virginia City, NV March 2007


Lara and Justin at Thanksgiving Point, April 2008



Mont with his Dad, Brad, on his baptism. April 2008





Justin charmed a screaming and fussy Camden (14 months) at Mont's baptism. April 2008






Our newly decorated bedroom with new furniture and freshly painted walls. I wish it were always this clean. (side note: I made the bedspread myself) January 2007






Little Camden Groff. 2 months old. March 2007


Our Christmas Tree 2007





Our 2007 Christmas Card Picture






The lunar eclipse from about March 2008






Aunt Lorrie and Uncle Brett at Sizzler in Utah. April 2008




Mason, Ellie, Dad, and Jonah (all Frederick kids) at Sizzler. April 2008



Brad and his oldest daughter Madison after her lacrosse game.



My brothers David, Craig, and sister-in-law Belinda at Mom and Dad's birthday party.


We hosted a surprise party for my parents' birthdays November 2007. Dad turned 75 and Mom turned 65.






At Stephanie's house, we broke out the kids' Christmas present (a Wii) once the kids went to bed. Here Mom is playing Guitar Hero.




Lara playing Guitar Hero. November 2007




My Halloween Costume--old lady. October 2007





One of my best friends from high school, Vanessa Skidmore Gardner was in Idaho Falls in October. Her family (husband Jason and 14 month old son Matthew) came over for breakfast on my birthday.


Self-portrait near Palisades Reservoir. Autumn 2007






Kind of a cute picture.











The entire Hays Clan (pre-Camden)







Jonah Frederick swimming at Lava Hot Springs. 2007






Stephanie and Jessica Frederick (3 years) swimming at Lava Hot Springs. August 2007








Afton at the top of a slide at Lava Hot Springs. August 2007

Travels So Far

Justin and I both love to travel. I come from an "airline" family. My dad was a regional manager for Delta Airlines, my mom used to be a flight attendant, my oldest brother Brad currently works as a dispatcher for SkyWest Airlines. My other brother Jordan used to be a ground agent for Horizons. So...I've been brought up on travelling. I introduced Justin to the wonderful world of flying standby (his initiation included getting stranded in Mexico City the first night of our honeymoon) and we've been trying to see as much of the world as we can possibly afford.











Here are some pictures from our trip to Oahu and the Big Island in 2007. This was our second trip together and my fifth trip. My parents were serving as volunteers at BYU-Hawaii and at the Polynesian Cultural Center and we took advantage of their hospitality and location by visiting them twice - once in 2005 and again in 2007. With Mom and Dad there, they were very affordable trips. This time Julie and Aaron Groff and their 6 month old son Camden came with us. We rented a one bedroom apartment just down the street from my parents' apartment and had a blast. Justin and I decided to island hop and headed over to the Big Island to see Volcanoes National Park. We spent the night and flew back to Oahu the next day. Though we didn't see any red lava, we had a blast.

We took a cruise in December 2006 to Mexico and Belize. It was the best vacation ever! We stopped at Progresso, Mexico; Cozumel, Mexico; and Belize City, Belize. At our first stop we took a tour to see the Mayan city Chichen Itza - something we missed on our honeymoon due to a series of unfortunate events. It was incredible. In Cozumel we went on a submarine 100 feet under water to see the coral reefs. In Belize we went deep into the jungle and tubed down a river that went through incredible limestone caverns (we saw bats!) and then zip-lined through the jungle canopy. What an adventure!

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