Monthly Archives: May 2014

wanna snoop in my life?

Two weeks from today is opening night! I’m going to be in Quad City Music Guild’s production of Les Miserables, which is totally a bucket list show for theater people. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m a factory girl, a “lovely lady,” a beggar, a grieving sister, and a person excited about the revolution. And the leads in this show are ridic so you should prob get your tickets now. Details here.

Anyway, there’s a line in the show sung by the beautiful Cosette:

“In my life…there are so many things unclear, so many things unknown”
So many things

That’s sorta how I feel right now. The future seems like it could go in so many wild, amazing directions and I’m just along for the ride. Some of the uncertainty, though, totally freaks me out. Here are the 4 areas of life about which I’m feeling nervous and excited for the future:

1) Our house. This one is at the forefront of my mind because we have been cleaning like mad people up in this crib. Crazily enough– the house that me and Kev moved into 1.5 years ago, thinking we would live here forever and raise tons of babies in, has been feeling TOO BIG. Like, we have two kids..(both still practically babies) and 1,300 square feet per person is just a LOT! We had a totally groundbreaking, God-moving conversation a few weeks ago where we both shared that we were feeling led to downsize!!

It was a scary conversation…I might have cried about having to let go of some of the hopes and dreams I initially had for this house, but mostly I was crying thankful tears. I’m so grateful that God moved in BOTH of our hearts. Now future-wise…just feeling a little uncertain! What will showing our house be like while we still live here? Will God bring a buyer? What will actual moving with two toddlers look like? What will our new house be like? Where will it be? Will our new neighbors be as awesome as our current ones? If no one comes to buy it, we’re cool with that too. But we feel like we’re stepping out in faith by putting this house on the market. We’ve done a ton of updates, and feel like selling it would put us in a great financial position to become debt-free, save aggressively, and give generously. These are a few pics of the house if you want to come through it and maybe buy it ๐Ÿ˜‰

House collage

2) #1 leads me to #2. Babies. We always thought we wanted babies…boom boom boom…one right after another. As many as God wanted to give us!! (or 5…probably the lesser of the two). (Hence, moving into a 5 bedroom house.) Now, I keep going back and forth on this one. Part of me thinks there’s something Biblical about the Duggar philosophy…and part of me says (holy mama. I can’t believe I’m typing this) “I think I could be completely content with our two miracle babes.”

I’m not saying I don’t want more babies. BUT, as much as I thought I would be ready to try again by this point (Annabelle being over 1 and pretty darn amiable), I’m just not. And I don’t know when I will feel ready…waiting for God to prepare my heart for that. Obviously, I wouldn’t be upset if I got pregnant…but for right now, I don’t want to hop back on roller-coaster-let’s-try-for-another-baby. #ohmiscarraiagehowifearthee ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I love that our family in heaven is big, but I so fear pregnancy. It’s the most intense Love/Hate relationship I have evaaaaa felt. SO, no babies for team Ryan as of right now. As far as we can control it.

3) My writing career. My query letters are at the Ready…Set…when-I-click-send-it’s-GO point. My proposal is being tightened up and edited on a few levels. The first book in my series, “Bearing Hope: Your Inspirational Companion Through the Darkness of Infertility” is in the starting blocks as far as getting an agent/editor goes. On June 7th I will be attending the Write-To-Publish Conference in Wheaton, Illinois and I’m hoping to make some professional contacts and generate some interest in my series. This is a terrifying AND exciting place to be. I know the rejection letters are inevitable, and I’ve actually already gotten one! (Hooray! AND oh crap!) The fears are setting in big time.

The voices in my head chitter chatter back and forth:

“Am I cut out for this?”

“I AM GOING TO BE PUBLISHED”

“I need a more professional website.”

“I CAN DO THIS!”

“My resume is too short.” Etc. etc.

I want to believe in myself with my whole being, but it’s a VERY competitive industry and it’s easy to cop-out and simply give up before I even put myself out there. Why? Because rejection is terrifying. The thing is, I feel called to this. I feel equipped. I feel like I have something amazing to offer, and I am willing to fight an uphill battle to make this happen!!

My book is written in a similar, creatively handwritten style like SARK, and she is a National Best Seller who has been published by RANDOM HOUSE!! If she can do it, I can do it. Plus, I have a gorgeous amazing illustrator named Hannah Slay who has drawn some amazing pics and fonts for me. I KNOW KNOW KNOW my books will change the world for God’s glory! They will change the lives of people walking through infertility, miscarraiges, eating distorders, etc…so it’s WILL happen. It’s just a matter of when…and finding a visionary editor. Will you pray with me for that?!

I am fighting to believe what SARK says: “Have the mentality of ‘they will be lucky to find me.'”

4. My financial representative career. Yesterday I passed my Life Insurance and Disability Insurance exams to become a licensed part of my husband’s financial planning practice! woot woot! My sexy husband, Kevin, has had the honor of growing a thriving practice with Northwestern Mutual since day one of his college intern career 7 years ago. Our dinner conversations haveย  pretty much been about financial planning for forever, so this is a pretty natural move. It’s also natural because I have already been a part of his team in the marketing aspect for a few months. However, my role is changing for the better. I know I have what it takes to help people in the same way Kevin does, and working in this regard will help expand the reach of his practice and make it more efficient. I am excited tohelp people I care about make wiser and more secure financial decisions!

Kevin’s passion for helping people is contagious, and after a couple years of struggling to find the right person for his team, we made the decision that I will work as an Associate Financial Rep with him for a year or two and see how things progress from there (personally and professionally). The best part is, I’ll still be working part-time hours so I don’t miss a full day with the kids (I’ll miss a few morning hours and then be home when they wake up from their afternoon naps). And bonus: Kev is super fun and easy to work with.

 

SOOOO yeah, Big changes ahead around here.

You guys, life is crazy. We just never know what twists and turns this journey called life is holding. I’m so glad I am surrounded by people who love me, love our kids, and love Jesus. Even with “so many things unclear, so many things unknown” I can hold fast to this passage from Isaiah 46:9-10:

“Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, โ€˜My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.”

God is in control. It’s all going to be okay. (But I’m definitely wearing a seatbelt because whoa…)

Does anyone else ever experience twists and turns, or is it just me?

It’s a good thing I love change.

Are you still living in winter? Spring is coming…

“As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” -Genesis 8:22


Red, yellow, purple, white, orange…flowers of every color! Walks around the block. Neon clothes. Hilighted hair. Shorts. Playing outside. Green grass. SWEAT!


SPRING (well, more like summer now) FINALLY CAME!! And a glorious, long awaited one it is after one of the longest, coldest winters on record.


{Insert, deep cleansing breath of fresh air!}


We all (at least here in Iowa) whined and moaned to one another, โ€œIt’s never going to end. Wah Wah Wah.โ€


The winter truly felt like it would never end, did it not?! And then one day day, I realized that the wind had blown in a little warmer air, and rain was falling instead of snow. Before I knew it, the grass I thought forever dead burst forth into the truest, most vibrant green I’ve seen in months. Wait…is that snow on the tree? No, it’s buds! Oh, look, there’s a tulip!

Hooray!


Through all of our moaning and groaning, we knew deep down that Spring was eventually coming. Because it always comes. But in the midst of winter, we forget what Spring feels like and it’s so easy to believe the lie that maybe it isn’t coming after all.


I remember one of my winter seasons well. It lasted much longer than four months…it was more like four years. My first three recurrent miscarriages…interspersed with months of struggling to get pregnant. I felt like I was broken. Like I wasn’t a true woman. Would this season of death ever end?


Characteristic of winter, I struggled with depression. God in His mercy gave me enough strength to put one foot in front of the other; He gave me the strength to trust that Spring would eventually come.


We pursued adoption and were chosen by a birth mommy! But then, it fell through. Imagine a blizzard in the dead of winter. We questioned whether there would ever be joy or sunshine again.


The dark and lonely days crept by…but we waited and trusted.


Then came the email..the one God knew was coming…the one he knew about from the very beginning. It was from a beautiful young lady who would become one of the most special people God has ever brought into our lives. She would ask us to adopt the baby boy in her belly; she had been wanting to ask but knew we were set to adopt the other baby.


Through our miscarriages and our failed adoption, God’s plan was being brought to fruition. The season was about to change.


That conversation with our birth momma was the first ray of sunshine peeking through the massive cloud cover. Through those last four months of โ€œwinter,โ€ we were sustained.


The most long awaited Spring finally burst forth February 14th, 2012 as I held the hand of our birth-mommy and she delivered Coleton Samuel Ryan into the world. He was a tiny little guy at 6lbs, but you’d never know it by the weight of joy birthed in that hospital room.


Spring. But winter rallied. Three more miscarriages, and with them more deep pain that only God could meet us in. We had always wanted a big family, but this was not what we had in mind.


As we sought hard after the Lord and His plan, we felt just enough courage to try again…not to give up yet in our quest to have a biological child.


The seventh time, God sustained miss Annabelle Hope until her due date. On April 4th, 2013 Spring made another brilliant appearance in our lives.


Image

Spring always comes, but it doesn’t make the winter feel shorter or easier.


Hear me though: The longest, hardest winters make for the most beautiful Springs.

(Are we not all freaking out about how amazing this weather is after the most snowblower worthy winter ever?!)


Maybe Spring is bursting out like crazy in your life right now. Maybe it’s riiiiight around the corner…just a few more days or weeks. Maybe it’s still a long way away. But it will come.


As long as the Earth endures, the seasons will continue to turn. So hang in there.

(For now, join me in giddyness for heaven, when winter will be only a thing of the past)


โ€œHe will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.โ€ -Revelation 21:4


When your spring comes, it will be so worth the wait.



*This post was originally written for Mommies with Hope

Invention Series Part 3: the secret delivery box

It’s built into the wall. Invisible to baby and onlookers, but opens when you need it and works similarly to a bank tubey-shooty-thing…

I would send passies. I would send blankies. I would send a bottle. And maybe the occasional snack.

I’m all for baby snuggles, but you know how sometimes your baby is almost asleep and then she loses her favorite little passie device? But you going in there results in her jumping up and down cribside, excited that you might be getting her out? (even when she is super tired and needs the nap…)

This. happens. all. the. time.

I call this invention the passie/blankie delivery service, aka

secret delivery box

It’s also fun to send books and toys to surprise baby with fun activities if he or she is up way earlier than you would like to get him or her out of the crib. You can also use it for when your kid grows up, like when they’re hardcore grounded. You can send them bread and water, and they can send you their completed essay on why they shouldn’t drink or do whatever they were grounded for.

Yeah. Someone needs to start building this into walls. โค

Thanks in advance.

Random Friday Thoughts with Liv

1. How much is Sam’s Club’s electric bill each month?

2. How much $moolah would Stay At Home Moms actually make if it were calculated? The cooking+ the cleaning+ the BABYSITTING. Glory. We would be rich ๐Ÿ˜‰ I guess our richness comes from things like snuggles. (I think it’s more than this lady thinks. She says $115,000. I say there should be a 20K bonus for each kid under 5 and 50K for each under 1).

IMG_3881

3. How the heck do weeds grow so fast?

4. Why do coffee, tea and wine stain your teeth, but chocolate and grapes and other dark colored foods don’t?

5. How is music so powerful? It’s so one of God’s coolest inventions.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 6.39.01 AM

6. Why does there have to be winter? How sweet would it be to just have Spring, Summer, and Fall on repeat?

7. Why are teenagers so crazy?!

8. How did someone think to invent the internet? Ahh, life pre-internet…what the what would we do all day?! lol. Don’t answer that. Real interactions…blah blah blah. ;o) Are there other equally revolutionary things yet to be invented?! It’s kinda exciting. And terrifying.

9. Why are some people so malicious and mean? It makes me sad.

10. Why are infertility and miscarriage so rampant?

11. What is heaven actually going to look like? Feel like? Smell like? Will we eat? What will He look like…in all of his splendor and majesty?! What will my babies look like? I know it will be better than I can imagine and I can’t wait.

๐Ÿ˜€ I am an odd one. But most artists are kinda strange…so I’ll take it ๐Ÿ˜‰ This article on weird writers made me smile.

Happy Friday!

Wakey, Wakey

Hear me out: You can become a morning person.

Wah wah wah wah wah. I know you think you can’t, but I promise you can!

A few weeks ago, I reviewed the book “Early to Rise Experience.” It was a great read, and it reinforced lots of things I already knew and believed about waking up early. It also gave me a few good tricks and tips to continue with my early-rising-habit.

After going public with my early morning habits, I’ve gotten lots of feedback from you saying, “I’m just not a morning person.”ย or “I shouldย read that book and try it.” Followed by confessions a few weeks later that you didn’t follow through. Yes, you, wrinkling your nose and scrunching your lips together…I’m talking to you. You can still do it. Even if you tried and failed.

Here’s a quick break down of why you should do it.

 

how

 

 

 

Disclaimer** Early rising is not advised if you are pregnant or grieving. Both are legitimate physical conditions that really take a toll on your mental and physical need for sleep. No need to feel guilty…just Zzzz. Your days to rise before the sun will come again.