our winter wonderland

Hold on tight because there are a lot of pictures with a few words smashed in between coming your way!

This has been the heaviest winter in the Flathead Valley (where we live is a valley tucked among the mountains) in the past 15 years. Leave it to us to not only move in the dead of winter but to choose this winter of all winters. No worries though as things went fairly smoothly. The semi did very well, thanks to its EXPERT driver of course. The Uhaul got stuck only once, nothing that couldn’t be handled by a tow truck! We essentially had our very own football team (okay, the defensive line) to unload us so things moved quickly which was good because it was VERY cold.

We are renting a small home in Kalispell. We call it our submarine as the hallways are narrow and we are always bumping into one another. It is (a lot) smaller than our home in Cozad. Many of our things are in storage. But, this home is clean, updated and in an awesome neighborhood that is quiet. The yard is huge and fenced in and the owners are fabulous. An added bonus….we can have our dog and cat AND it is a month-to-month lease. Why is this important? We are looking for a small piece of land or a new home in a very specific school district which is prooving to be much more difficult than we thought. There are a bunch of little lots you can buy to build on in this district but they are so teeny tiny that you can see what your neighbors are having for dinner! #notforus We don’t need ten acres but we do need some elbow room. So, we wait. And, wait. The real estate market here is wild. We will likely have to pay at least twice what we were in Nebraska for that size home. Needless to say, we will need to get creative financially to meet our needs. Living here is completely worth it, though.

Adam continues to work from home and is doing well. When we bought the sign business we were hoping it would last until Lainey goes to kindergarten. He is the go-to parent, for sure. If she is sick, he stays home with her. He drops her off and picks her up from daycare. He works from home so he can be available, which he is.

Parade watching!

My job is 100% different. My career has changed. I mean, I’m still in medicine. My mother would say that if it was 100% changed I would be something like a veterinarian so as I am still in medicine, I can’t say 100%. But it is different for sure. I am no longer in family practice and to say it has been easy would be dishonest. There have been some very difficult days. Some day when I feel up to it I will write about how I came to changing career paths. I believe I am where God put me.  I know that God led Adam and I through all of the ginormous decisions that led to this move to Montana. This is what I remind myself during the difficult times. I am a constant work in progress for Him. As I said, I’ll write more someday when I feel up to it about what I am doing and how we came to the decision to go down this road. The one thing that is definite is that I miss the girls that I worked with in Cozad immensely. I cannot put into words how much. When I left they gave me a gift and a card. I miss them so much that I have been unable to open the card. I go to open it and start crying, so leave it for another day. These were the women that were there for me during my darkest days and they were there on the best day of my life. They witnessed the miracle of Lainey Noelle Carter unfold. Cozad, Nebraska is a place of magic to us. We will forever treasure our time there and the gift of life we were given.

Her times of sleeping with her bottom in the air are sadly coming to an end!

Lainey is our life. She is beautiful. And busy. So busy. The move itself was very hard for her. I packed her room last….like not until two days before we loaded the semi. But, still just the house being in constant chaos and disarray had her upset I believe. She wasn’t napping and she was hitting Adam and I. Lainey and I flew to Montana and she did awesome. My little brother picked us up and she gave her Uncle Jesse a great big hug! Her favorite, however is Aunt Linden and she gets super excited to see her cousin Colt (like put your hands on your cheeks and scream with excitement excited!). She loves to give Baby Jase his sucky (even if he doesn’t want it) and loves to slide and swing, snow pants, boots and all. She has been quite sick since the move, having pneumonia and then bronchiolitis and then an ear infection. She saw an ENT who recommends we remove her tonsils. Her new pediatrician is great. Please pray for her health and for wisdom for Adam and I as we make the decision as to when to move forward with her tonsillectomy. We aren’t quite sure yet how we feel about her new daycare/preschool. Daycare here costs twice that in Nebraska. We were very spoiled in Nebraska where she went to an in-home daycare. She essentially had a second mama that we trusted with everything. Here she goes to an actual daycare center. For the most part they seem caring and she rarely cries when we drop her off now, thank goodness. It is hard because many days we feel a deep, deep guilt when pulling out of the parking lot. She is only this age once! We want her happy and thriving! We are on the waiting list for two other daycares that will likely have a spot open for her this summer. We pray for the wisdom to choose between those two or the one that she is in by then. 

The last thing I want to mention is something I am sure most of you are well aware of! I am now a distributor for Senegence. I am not a full-faced makeup girl. Never have been and likely never will be…..but, I am finding out that there is something about putting on some lipstick that seems to make me feel pretty! And, lets face it, an exhausted mama of a toddler needs all the help she can get! I really am in love with LipSense…like full on have a crush on it! That is all I’m going to go into but if you want to know more, please message me or check it out:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/MontanaLipsandMore/

Lastly, I leave you with Lainey doing “prayer hands” at the dinner table…

 

 

 

BIG news

Hang with me through this post…the BIG news is to come!

We grew up in Whitefish, Montana, a ski resort town about 60 miles south of the Canadian border. Back then it was mostly locals (Montanans) living there with a population shy of 5,000 but since then the area has grown exponentially. It started with movie stars moving to the area such as Kiefer Sutherland, Huey Lewis, Tom Brokaw, and more. It is certainly not unheard of for a celebrity to be vacationing here like Justin Bieber or Jamie Foxx most recently. The downtown is full of shops and restaurants, each unique. The atmosphere is incredible. There is nothing like it, all situated at the base of the ski hill. When we were in high school we would catch the ski bus when school got out and go night skiing until 10:30 and sleep in the bus on the way back down the hill. It was awesome! Whitefish is now home to well over 7,000 and is the ONLY town in the entire state of Montana with sales tax.

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30 miles to the east is one of the most beautiful places you will ever see….. And I’m not just saying this. Glacier National Park is crazy beautiful!

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I was baptized in a river that is a run off from Glacier. The water is amazing for whitewater rafting or fishing and it is a hiking and camping paradise. Definitely a great place for kids to grow up!

About 5-10 minutes south of Whitefish is the biggest community in the Flathead Valley called Kalispell. It is much more reasonable to build/buy homes here, this is where all of the big shopping is, there are multiple schools to choose from and their healthcare is booming right along side their growing population of about 25,000. Kalispell is where my little brother and his wife and two sons live. My older brother, his wife and daughter are a short 90 minutes away.

When we got married we agreed we would always live by family. We started out in Nebraska while I was in graduate school but when I was unable to find a job locally we ended up moving back to Great Falls, Montana. We stayed there two years and missed our family badly. My little brother was coming up on his senior year in high school and we were missing my sister’s 6 kids horribly. I was able to get a position in Tecumseh, getting us closer to them all. For seven years we commuted from Tecumseh to Kearney to see these little loves of ours do their activities. We’ve watched them grow up-from toddlers to beautiful adults!

In Tecumseh I was taking a lot of call covering the ER and we knew we were ready to start our family so decided it was time for me to slow down. In came Cozad. Not only do I not have to take call here but we are even closer to the kids-only 45 minutes! Fast forward over 6 years. We now have our own little love and all but one of my sister’s kids are grown. That little brother that I mentioned was a senior in high school 13 years ago? He is grown, too. And married with two beautiful boys under two, Lainey’s cousins! And, he found his way home to Montana.

Not only did Adam and I promise one another we’d always live by family but when we decided that we were going to have our family “later in life”, we always dreamed that our child(ren) would be able to grow up by their cousins. Knowing my older brother and sister’s kids were much older, we imagined raising our littles along side my little brother’s.

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I’m sure by now you can see where I am heading with all of this so I will leave you with this:

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We will be moving the second week of January. We are out of this world excited! I will share more in the coming weeks. For now, friends, please pray for us as it is not easy keeping a clean house and packing with a 22 month old! We are both running quite ragged but at the end of the day fall asleep with smiles on our faces knowing this is all in God’s plan as this decision was not made quickly or taken lightly. Doors have been opened, opportunities we normally would not have considered have been embraced. God is so good. Our next step is to sell our home so if you know of anyone looking, pretty please send them our way! Here is a flyer: House for sale

 

unanswered prayers

I referenced a couple of posts back about having surgery. Well, it didn’t happen due to unexpected insurance reasons. I could go on and on about my disappointment in our healthcare system and frustrations that I experience daily in my practice and obviously now personally, too but that is not what this post is about. This post is about unanswered prayers.

Sometimes God is right on and knows exactly what He is doing. #amen

I was supposed to have a hysterectomy for endometriosis. I am likely full of it. We did not realize how much so until we received the surgical report from 2014. From the surgery I had to remove the 8 fibroids right before we tried the last time to conceive. We were told after that surgery that the surgeon DID see “some” endometriosis and removed it. He only briefly mentioned it. Flash forward to now when we received the surgical report and it appears that I was basically riddled with endometriosis. One can only conclude that this is likely why we were losing our babies. With endometriosis you not only miscarry easily but the entire pregnancy is often not as high of quality from the very beginning. It is best to treat the endometriosis before conceiving. Ideally the treatment is with an injection called Lupron 6 months prior to trying to conceive.

My surgery was in June, 2014. Had I been told this we would have taken Lupron from July through February, 2015. We wouldn’t have tried to conceive and lost our fourth baby, leading us to proceed forward with our fingerprints, learning about surrogacy vs. adoption, etc.

Lainey Noelle was born January 21, 2015. I would still have been on Lupron. Adopting would not have even been on our radar yet. My stomach hurts thinking about not having this beautiful soul as my daughter…

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Thank you, GOD. THANK YOU, GOD! It is a weird feeling to (somewhat) feel thankful for losing my fourth baby so I could have my beautiful daughter.

I leave you with these journal pages that I found this morning. They are from my pregnancy with Noelle. I can feel our excitement while reading them and I remember hearing her heartbeat. I am so glad we have a recording of it. I am also sharing that post below!

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the most beautiful sound on earth

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. ” Mark 11:24