It has been a while since I have been able to post regularly so I definitely have some catching up to do. I am also behind on emails so if you haven't heard back from me, I am so sorry. I am hopefully going to get caught up today on emails and all the blogs I read.
John and I are pretty much settled into our new house. I have had several requests for pictures and so I will post some as soon as I can. I wish I had taken some pictures of the house when it was empty. Now that our furniture is here, I, in my perfectionism, want to wait until everything is fully ready and decorated before I post pictures. And now for a recap. We signed our lease on the 16th of May and moved in on the 18th. We only had to wait a few days for our furniture to arrive. Overall, the move went very well. Nothing was lost by the moving company and there was only minor damage to few pieces of furniture. John was able to fix all of it without too much trouble. My crock pot was broken, but that is the only thing that didn't make it through the move. For a military move, I would say we made out very well (I have heard horror stories of couches broken in half - who knew that was even possible). The next week and a half was spent unpacking, setting up, and getting the house decorated. I am pretty much finished except for hanging curtains and a few pieces of artwork that I haven't decided where to put. I also have some shopping to do for new lampshades, a shower curtain, bathroom rugs, curtains, and that sort of thing. I also had some very successful yard sale trips with my cousin. I got 2 matching wooden nightstands for $10 each and a small wooden bookcase for $15. My cousin found a wooden coffee table for our living room for $25 at a thrift store. this enabled me to move our other coffee table to the family room where it looks much better. These finds really filled in the gaps. We did end up buying a cheap TV stand, a bookcase, and a table set for the sun room at Ikea. Our next purchase is a new mattress for our bedroom and then we will move the one we are using now to the guest bedroom. Decorating and setting up a new house is my favorite part of moving so I have been having fun getting set up and seeing things come together. For the most part our house is made up of hand me down furniture, thrift store finds, and stuff from Ikea (their more traditional stuff). I like the challenge of putting it all together so that it hopefully doesn't look like a thrift store.
John started school the day the furniture arrived. Thankfully, it was just an in-processing day that didn't last long so he was able to be here with me when the furniture arrived. The next weekend was a 4-day weekend for the Memorial Day holiday so he had some time off for which I was very thankful. The last week in May they had orientation and classes started the first week in June. John describes it as a fire hose. He and his classmates are incredibly stressed out. They say that the first year is incredibly difficult, with this initial summer term being the most difficult of all. He basically has to learn the entire human anatomy in 10 weeks, plus classes where they discuss the role of the Family Nurse Practitioner, cell biology, and health assessment (giving a physical). When he is not in class, he spends almost all of his time in the lab learning anatomy or studying. I think he is feeling pretty overwhelmed. We actually went to the ER on Thursday night because John woke up in incredible pain from esophageal spasms. He has been having some problems with GERD for a while now. Under stress, the symptoms have really intensified. He was put on some medication so hopefully he will start feeling better very soon. They pretty much tell the spouses not to expect much from their spouse during this time. Thankfully, we have managed to carve out a little time together each week for dinner out, a bike ride, and church. His first test is on Tuesday so say a prayer for John if you would.
As I mentioned previously, we had decided that the best thing for me to do right now was go back to work. I had been working on my Master of Public Health, a program I began in Jan 2007, shortly after getting out of the army. We decided to put my degree on hold while we went through IVF because it was just too much to handle together. If I had gotten pregnant, I would have put my degree on hold even longer to allow me to be a stay-at-home mom. Obviously, that is not happening so I was left with the choice of going back to work or finishing my degree. I absolutely adore the field of public health and I know it is ultimately the area I want to work in. However, I was not thrilled with the program at the school I was attending. It is a new program and I think they are still working out some of the kinks. Also, they are still in the accrediting process. Transferring to a school here in MD is really not an option because the cost of graduate school here is horrendous. Also, we have not giving up our hope of becoming parents and so I didn't want to start something I couldn't finish if we were to become parents. This left me with going back to work. But truly I was dreading the job hunt and my heart really wasn't in it. I asked God for His mercy and He truly provided more than I could have asked or imagined. You can read more about it here. I can't believe the Lord provided a job before I even started looking. I feel truly blessed to have a job in this economy and especially one that matches up so perfectly with my skills and interests. Also, it is only a 15 minute commute! In DC, that is an absolute dream. Many people spend an hour, or even more, each way commuting here in the DC area. For both John and I to have such short commutes is such a blessing. My job is in the Graduate School of Nursing working for one of John's professors. She is doing research on stress, coping, and health promoting behaviors in military spouses. She initially focused on looking at these issues during deployment, but she is interested in looking at how military life in general affects spouses. So I will actually be using much of the skills and knowledge I gained in graduate school. After the interview, which was more like an informational interview than a typical job interview, it was decided that I would start this past Monday. My first week of work went very well and it seems like a pretty good work environment. It was tough getting use to working again and I was pretty tired each day after work (and very sore feet).
In other news, we are still church hunting. We visited the church we use to attend when we lived here before, but we are just not sure that it is where the Lord is leading us. We decided to try the church where my cousin goes because they launched a new campus here in Silver Spring. It is geared towards people in their 20s and 30s, a lot of whom are single. They have a Sunday evening service so we are going there for the second time tonight. Please pray that the Lord leads us to the place He has for us.
I was asked by Alicia if I liked the east coast. I really like the DC area a lot. I was stationed here when I was in the army. This is where John and I met and got married. Also, I was born in West Virginia, and as a child lived in both Maryland and Virginia. I still have several very close friends in the area that were part of my small group (Bible study/fellowship group for those who might not be familiar with the term). I was part of this group when John and I were apart for his first year plus a few months of his time in the Air Force. I was still in the army so I had to finish my time here before I could join him in Florida. These ladies became a very special part of my life. It was my first experience with Christian fellowship and I will never forget it. That being said, I still miss our friends and church in Florida a great deal.
The move and the new job has definitely been a distraction from the news of receiving a BFN from our last IVF cycle. It basically delayed the grieving process. The last week in May, when John was at orientation, I was able to have some time of grieving. In many ways, I am still grieving. I am not grieving the negative so much as the the end of IF treatment and the likelihood that we will never have a biological child. With the news we received last cycle and the fact that it didn't go so well, the negative was expected. We both feel that we have given things our best shot and that we are done with treatment. Even though it was only 2 cycles, I feel like it was the equivalent of 4. Basically, 2 of our cycles ended before they could even start because of the inability of our embryos to make it to be frozen. I see people all over the blogosphere that have 5 day transfers and 5 day freezes with beautiful blasts. The fact that ours can't make it to blast is indicative of a problem that IVF simply cannot overcome. The next step is to cancel out of the shared risk program and give away my leftover drugs. This is a hard step for me because it signifies an acknowledgment that we are at the end of the road. I will post an offer for the drugs very soon. I know that I need to fully grieve the loss of pregnancy and biological parenthood before moving on. However, we feel clear about the direction we are going to be heading in. John and I sense that God is leading us to pursue adoption. In no way do I consider adoption to be second best or plan B. So please don't mistake my grief as saying I have such feelings. I believe adoption is always plan A for those whom God leads to pursue it. I believe that it's just that sometimes you have to go down different paths in order for God to prepare your heart for what He has for you. I believe this is what God has done in our hearts. I will post more about this very soon, but I didn't want to delay posting about being led towards adoption any longer because I know I hinted in an early post about being led in a different direction.
Sorry for such a long post. I will try to be much better about blogging from now on. I need to figure out a new routine now that I am working.