Do what makes you happy.

Reading brings me clarity. I do not know exactly how to explain it, but when I am reading…I am happy. I’m content at where my life is in the moment. I love to read because it makes me feel like I’m a part of something great. I have NOT been reading much lately. The time just hasn’t been my own. And let me tell you what… I can tell a complete difference in how I feel when I’m not reading. I don’t like it. I don’t like ME when I’m not reading.

So let me tell you what I’ve read since my last post. And then I’ll tell you what my first 10 books to read in 2017 are going to be!

What I’ve read in the last part of 2016.

the-kill-order

The Kill Order by James Dashner

the-doll-maker

The Doll Maker by Richard Montanari

the-storyteller

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

some-girls

Some Girls by Jillian Lauren

 

The First 10 Books I’m planning to read in 2017.

  1. The Beauty of Broken by Elisa Morgan
  2. Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty
  3. Wild & Free by Jess Connolly
  4. Loving My Actual Life by Alexanra Kuykendall
  5. It’s Not Fair by Melanie Dale
  6. Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
  7. Anxious by Amy Simpson (restart)
  8. The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle
  9. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  10. Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist (read again)

 

Y’all, let me tell you something. In this life you have to do what makes YOU happy. Life is not about pleasing others. I have learned that and have taken it to heart over the last couple months. You can do whatever possible to please others, but if you’re not pleasing yourself in the process…..it just doesn’t work! You have to make yourself happy before you can make others happy!

Let your 2017 New Years Resolution to do what makes YOU the happiest!

gaby

Disappointment in the wait.

“I found that each time a test was negative, it stopped the dreaming and hoping for a while. Taking the test was a way of puncturing the balloons of hope, because if I didn’t, they would lift and lift without any evidence, and their falling back down every month was too painful. Essentially, I took all these tests to keep myself from hoping, because the hoping was breaking my heart.”
-Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine

We began our journey of adding to our family in September of 2014. We had been married for 2 year at the time and thought it would be a great time to have a baby. If we would have known what our future held I’m sure we would have been like a few others and started trying the night of the wedding.

No, not really…but maybe.

I have PCOS. I have known that since I was eighteen. I knew we were going to face some challenges but I never thought our journey would start like it has. We have been seeing a specialist in Dallas, Tx. I highly recommend Dr. Noorhasan. She’s really nice and informative, and most importantly she is pro-patient. I’m sure the other doctors at the facility are the same but we really like her.

Anyways, we started seeing her in January…and while I know it is only July it feels like it has been a lot longer. We have been through test after test, MRI, surgery, sono, another sono, injections, sono, injections, blood work, sono, injections, blood work, sono, more injections….and a failed IUI.

While it seems like a lot going on, I am happy for that. Because, you see, before January I was seeing a local doctor who was not on my side. Let me explain this…We tried for six months before seeing a doctor. I was hoping that we’d be lucky enough to not need help…and secretly I was hoping that I really didn’t have PCOS. So when I went to the local doctor it wasn’t at all what I expected. It was wait after wait with her….because I’m young and have plenty of time. I can only imagine if I would have stuck it out with her where we’d be at now. I’m positive that it would have been at least another year before finding that I had endometriosis polyps on my uterus.

Our IUI failed but at least we tried.

So why am I telling you all of this personal information about my life? Well, because why not. Maybe if people know what you’re going through then it can help explain why you haven’t been happy, or why you flipped out on them the other day, or why you haven’t been liking their cute new baby’s pictures on facebook, or why they cry when they’re typing “congratulations on being pregnant” to you.

Trust me when I say that recognizing that someone is going through infertility is not easily done if you’re not going through it yourself. I know this. Those insensitive comments can flow out of our mouths without really knowing that we are hurting someone. But imagine if everyone knew that you were dealing with infertility. It might be worth it to be vulnerable if it helps shield your heart.

Infertility steals your joy for others. I have tried to not let that happen to me but it does, every single day. Every time I see a pregnancy announcement on facebook I get crazy jealous to the point of where I dislike that person. It literally makes me sick to my stomach- every single time. You know, because not one person that isn’t going through infertility themselves deserves to be pregnant more than I do.

I’m serious y’all. This is my life now. Just the other day I wanted to call my husband crying because someone else was pregnant. I resorted to texting him because I felt that it made me seem like less of a bitch to be upset over it.

We are fastly approaching two years and we are still no where.

I know our story isn’t the worst one out there but it’s our worst story.

In a perfect world no one would have to experience infertility. There is nothing in my life to this day that has hurt me more than wanting a baby and it just not happening while all around me it happens for others so quickly.

There is just so much disappointment in the wait.

gaby

 

 

Gunnar’s First Sleepover

The cutest nephew in the whole wide world turned TWO in April.

(Just a second while I wipe the tears from my eyes.)

His mommy and daddy decided that he was old enough to start having sleepovers when he turned two! So this past weekend, Gunnar had his first sleepover at Uncle Kevin & Aunt Gaby’s (that’s me!!!) house! We had A LOT of fun and I thought I’d share! 🙂

Kevin got to pick Gunnar up Friday night and bring him home! I felt like I was dyin’ the 30 minutes I was at home alone trying to get dinner made while waiting patiently for the truck to pull in the driveway!

After dinner we went to the park! This little boy LOVES parks! He went down all the slides many times, did the monkey bars and played on the swings. This little boy also has no fear of the big slide! He went down it all by himself with no hesitation!

He also had fun helping Uncle Kevin walk Lacy Lou!

Tell me this isn’t the cutest thing you ever saw!

After bath time we watched a movie! I think the movie choice was a little more for Kevin than for Gunnar but he enjoyed watching the dinosaurs in “We’re Back” and was roaring at the TV!

Lacy being jealous ALL weekend!

The rule applies: what happens at our house stays at our house! So I’m just not going to reveal what’s in the cup!! 🙂

We told Gunnar Friday night that we were going to go see the Tigers in the morning and that was all he talked about Friday night and Saturday morning. We went to Tiger Creek Refuge. They’re located off of HWY 14 near Hawkins. They have a really nice facility with a lot of tigers that have been saved! We went Saturday morning and all the tigers still sleeping, but we still had a lot of fun! They even had a lion!

 

On our way to see the Tigers! 

Checking out the one tiger that was awake!

 

Blowing kisses to all the tigers!

Look Uncle Kevin!

We had a lot of fun at Tiger Creek!


The weather was perfect for walking around Tiger Creek. We made the rounds 3 times! Gunnar waved, blown kisses and told all the tigers goodbye!

Gunnar was our driver for the day!

I think we might have worn him out!

I have wanted to do build-a-bear for a very long time! So when I found out Raegan was pregnant I pretty much claimed build-a-bear right then! I love the idea of kids getting to chose their own animal, watch and help it be created and then get to dress it! It’s personalized to how they want it to be! So, of course, we went to build-a-bear!

Gunnar chose a  puppy! He was a little scared of the machine but with Uncle Kevin’s help he was able to step on the peddle to fill his puppy dog!


Watching his puppy being made!

After build-a-bear Gunnar wanted to check out all the rides that they had in the mall. He had to have his new puppy right by his side! It was the sweetest!

And the cookie store was right next door—so of course, we got a cookie!!!



He sure loved his puppy! We had a blast with our Gunnar love and can’t wait for him to come stay the night with us again! He’s going to be a big brother in September and we can’t wait to meet our baby Walker! Our nephew bring so much joy in our lives and we just are so excited that we will soon have TWO baby nephews!!! 🙂

My heart is overfilled! ♥

gaby

 

 

It’s just a date.

A date on the calendar is of no importance unless something important happens to us on that date. An event, decision, memory….tragedy. By having something happen to us the date begins to have meaning.

That date, well it’s not always beautiful or happy. It’s not always full of roses and sunshine! It’s not always something we WANT to remember. Sometimes, we just wish that date on the calendar would disappear.

In my world, February 28th is just a date. A very unhappy, sad, hate filled date.

6 years ago (wow, can’t believe that even as I type) my family and I lost someone who is VERY special. Loretta Jean Gaby. My Mema and my biggest prayer warrior.

To say that losing her was unexpected would be an understatement. It was something that was never on my mind. I know that people die but I never thought at 18 that I would have to experience her dying. I never thought on that date or even that year that I would watch my Mema’s heart stop. That I would have to drive home from the hospital knowing that things would never, ever be the same. And I was right, they haven’t been. That day changed everything about my life and in some ways I find that it is still changing me.  But things happen and I don’t think we are ever meant to understand why.

She was the BEST grandmother. I’m not being biased, it’s a fact. She was the best. She taught me how to make my first pie. She cooked for her family almost every single Sunday. She was at every event that I can remember having. She told me when I was being mean to my Momma. She took us to church when we stayed the night. She spoiled us. She taught us the meaning of family. She loved us.

I miss her so much. So, sooooo much. Every day. After six year it’s not easier and I still get angry about the entire situation and the fact that SHE is not here.

That’s why February 28th is just a date. Sure, it’s the date that I lost someone I love a lot but that feeling doesn’t just stick around for one date. So, it’s just a date.

 

March 6th. Well, that is not just any date. It’s a date I want to remember forever and a date that holds the birthday of my so-very-missed Mema. I’m beyond thankful for that date on the calendar. God allowed my Mema to be born. I am very blessed. I have truly come from the most beautiful, caring and loving line of women. To be like my Mema and my mom would be the biggest accomplishment of my life. It’s hard, I mean let’s be real. My mema was nice to everyone. Even if she really didn’t care much for them, that person would have never known it. My mom is the same way. I pray that one day I will be like that.

I miss my Mema. But I know she’s in Heaven living the best life and I will see her again!


Happy Birthday in Heaven, Mema!

Love,
        gaby 

(My Mema’s favorite song)

 

Latest reads…

Let’s just go ahead and clear the elephant out of the room. Books = reading. Audibles = reading. Even though it’s technically listening…in my world, it still counts! 🙂 

I want to share the books that I’ve read so far this year. I’m six books into meeting my goal for 2016. I originally had set my goal to read 24 books within the year but have since moved it up to 36. Remember, you can find me on GoodReads!

Big Little Lies & The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Both of these books were really great. The author has a very creative way of creating stories where each situation and each character all tie in together in some manner. They were a thrill to read and I’m not sure if they classify as a romance novel, but both really had a great love story within them, in their own dark and twisty way! 🙂
(I rate both books as 4 stars)

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

I have always had mixed feelings about Nicholas Sparks. I usually enjoy the books but dislike the movies. I decided to read this book because it just became a movie in 2016. Actually, I think it might be just released and in theaters now. I really enjoyed the book for what it is. Maybe the movie will not disappoint!
(I rate this book at 3 stars)

The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure by James Dashner

I really enjoyed The Maze Runner series. All three books were very well written and I never lost focus during any of them. (That’s a bigger task than you’d think.) This would actually be my top favorite series that I’ve ever read before. I 100% recommend all three of these books to everyone! I believe these are becoming movies as well.
(I rate all three books at 5 stars)

Happy reading,
gaby

Another beginning…

Happy New Years!

At the beginning of every new year I always make goals for myself. My goals aren’t always something to change but rather things that I would like to do better at or to begin. It’s cliché, sure, to make goals/resolutions but sometimes that’s what people need and I am one of those people. Starting a new year gives me a new perspective on the way I’m living my life. A time to reflect and set goals that I want to achieve during the upcoming year. It’s just that definite mark in life that takes place each year and starts a new beginning.

I set five particular goals for 2016.

  1. “Wake up” with Jesus (so to speak). Pray more. Learn to give my worries as well as my rejoices to Jesus! To understand that I’m not the one in control.  Each day I’m going to be using these tools to learn more each day and to give myself some “me” time. She Reads Truth app using the plan “The Bible in  a Year”,  Experiencing God Day-By-Day and In the Presence of God. I will also be making use of the First 5 app and Proverbs 31 daily devotionals occasionally. Of course, journaling my way through the year!
  2. Read 24 books in 2016.  I went on a bit of a shopping spree and now I have a lot of books to start the year with!! I’m currently reading Nobody’s Cuter Than You by Melanie Shankle, and loving it!
  3. Start a book club! This particular goal just stresses me out even thinking about! It’s probably going to be the hardest goal for me but I hope that I succeed at it at least by the end of the year. I have really enjoyed reading the past couple of months and I think it would be so much fun to have a book club! But I don’t know anyone that would be interested in a book club, or at least I don’t think I do so I have no clue as to where to start on this! So….maybe!
  4. Be a better me. Encourage a better him! We’re coming up close to four years of marriage and I know I could be a better wife! (That feeling will never change…yes, I know!) But I hope that I can improve on encouraging Kevin more to reach his own dreams and goals for himself.

    “I know what it is to love entirely for and with what I love best on Earth. I hold myself supremely blessed–blessed beyond what language can express; because I am my husband’s life as fully as he is mine.” -Jane Eyre

  5. Be proactive despite my biggest fears.  We are so mad, like crying mad, that we can’t make a baby on our own. It’s what women’s bodies are designed for after all and mine’s not. Talk about getting the short straw of LIFE! I have struggled for officially 1 year and 4 months of thinking that anything “scientific” was not for me. I have felt like we would be taking the whole process of creation out of God’s hands when really that’s not it at all. If God wants us to have a baby he will let us have a baby. Adding a doctor into the mix changes nothing from his plan for us.
    **I know this is like my little space on the internet, so I’m free to say what I want to say…but let me explain something. I get told so often that “we’re young…” or “we haven’t been trying for that long…some try for years and years” or “we have plenty of time”…but let me just say something. We’ve been married for almost four years. We’re ready. &If we would have known that it would be this hard we would have been trying a very long time ago…. so there’s that. &if you’re a person who typically encourages young unable-to-conceive-naturally couples by saying those things above…please rethink those words because there are better things you could say to encourage them.  🙂

 

I hope you had a great time welcoming 2016. I spent mine with family and it was the most fun I’ve had on New Years Eve/Day yet! I hope you have a blessed year and that you reach whatever goals you may have also set for yourself! Happy New Years!

-Gaby

 

  

Christmas Time

Christmas time is over! Whew! It has been a very busy couple of weeks for the VanHorn family.  Kevin had off all of last week and I had off all but Monday! Thank the Lord because I don’t know how we would have made it through the week without time off to do all the fun things that took place!

We got to experience a couple of “firsts” with our little love, Gunnar!

North Pole! This is a great thing these people are doing for their community! They have a wonderful set up right in their front yards and offer it to the public to come out for FREE entertainment during the holidays! They don’t charge for a single thing but do accept donations. It’s really wonderful and a great way to give to their community and also share their love for Jesus.

Kevin & I have a similar dream of creating a place of some sort where people can gather and enjoy some family time without it costing a lot of money that some people just don’t have to spare.

This year Gunnar does not enjoy Santa! But, he was perfectly fine with Mrs. Santa! 🙂 This might have something to do with the fact that he is just such a lady’s man! 🙂

We went to the zoo! This was Gunnar’s first trip to the zoo and I think he really enjoyed it! Everything was…”wasthat” and wide eyes… pure sweetness!

I got to spend an entire day with my Momma! We enjoyed our day together and we also got to see Gunnar’s awesome hair stylist cut his little baby hair! I don’t know HOW she does it!

Christmas Eve was just awesome. This is the first time since the year of my Mema’s passing that we had the whole family together under one roof for Christmas Eve. It was really nice to see all my cousins and sister with their babies but it was also very hard. I’m very blessed but I was feeling the worst feeling you can have during Christmas…jealousy.

Christmas day we got to spend a lot of time with Kevin’s grandmother and a few siblings. His grandparents and uncle are really big into dominos and that is just right up my alley! We played until the sun went down and our tummies were hungry again!

I’m so ready for things to slow down after the we bring in the New Year! I can’t believe how much we’ve grown this year as individuals and as a couple! I think we have this marriage thing in-the-bag and I can’t believe that in a couple of months we will be celebrating our fourth anniversary! Time has sure gone fast having so much fun with my best friend!

I’ll share some pictures of all the events that took place very soon!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

-Gaby