Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Infertility. Part 1.

Infertility: Not getting pregnant despite having carefully timed, unprotected sex for one year.
(Yes, I said the S word)
I can’t begin to explain to you how hard it is for me type that word. Infertility. I never thought that a healthy 28 and 30 year old, would be having conversations with our doctors about next steps we need to be taking to grow our family. But here we are.
After making my Mother’s Day post this past May, I got such an outpouring from women who were going through similar struggles, or went through similar struggles as infertility brings. Women who maybe have never shared their stories before, shared them with me, and I cherish the vulnerability that we shared together in telling pieces of our stories. Maybe this post will allow others to feel as not alone as the last one did.
This year and a half has been the most emotionally draining, never-ending rollercoaster I have ever been on. Some days you have hope, faith, and happiness. And then comes the guilt, the doubt, and the anger. Being constantly let down. You don’t understand why. You don’t understand why other people have no problem (in your mind) having kids, and you’re having such a hard time. And your favorite: the accident. Oh, we got pregnant on accident! We weren’t even trying! Please. Just. Be. Quiet. 
I’ve really struggled with true joy in my life during this time. The numbness you feel never seems to go away. One minute you’re laughing, and then the sadness comes out of nowhere. The corners of your smile disappear, and the thoughts in your head, you’d never share with anyone. You’re not quite sure who you are anymore because you’ve made all these plans for a baby that hasn’t come yet. You try to make “future” plans to go places, attend weddings, girl trips...etc, but deep down you hope and pray you can’t go because you have a brand new baby. How do you plan for the future, when you have no idea what the future looks like?
I never thought God’s timing would take so long, but I also know the work that He has been doing in our lives during this time. Jus and I can’t wait to be parents. However long, or how it might be, we know that God is preparing our hearts for the someday we get to hold a sweet little one with the last name Ahrens.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Egypt (2010)

Justin and I went to Egypt in December of 2010. He had just proposed, and his Christmas present to me (besides a ring, hello) was a trip to Egypt. Oh, life abroad. 

This was our first international travel together, besides me visiting him in Abu Dhabi, and we could not have been more excited to go on this adventure! They always say if you can travel with your significant other, you can get through anything, and we were about to find out if we could make it out alive (from killing each other, of course). 

We arrived in Alexandria, Egypt on Christmas Day, and had to take a 3 hour train ride to Cairo. Once we got to our hostel, after riding in the sketchiest cab I have ever seen, it was time to get some rest for the long day ahead the following day. We woke up early and had a sweet little breakfast waiting for us of croissants with jam and some hard boiled eggs. I remember our hosts being so sweet to us and always checking to make sure our stay was comfortable. Justin had a tour guide scheduled for us for the day, and he came to pick us up from our hostel. 

When I thought about going to the pyramids, I thought there would be a grand entrance made of gold with gates that opened and it would be this magnificent site. I mean, it is one of the most well-known wonders of the world. We drove for about 30 minutes through the craziest traffic I have ever been apart of. There were no road lines, order, or thought process when it came to driving. You just honked your horn and went where you needed to. I'm pretty sure I closed my eyes a few times in fear of my life. All of a sudden there was this big tan wall in front of us. Our guide says,  "Look, there are the pyramids!". I could literally see it from the road we were on! We were surrounded by garbage and everything was very dirty. I was really surprised that such a beautiful, historic monument did not seem to be very well taken care of. 

Once we got out of the car we came upon some guys with camels. Our tour guide told us that we would need to ride a camel through the desert because it was quite a long tour and walking would not suffice. I mean how could we argue riding camels up to the pyramids!? We hopped on our camels, mine was named banana and she was evil. She kept trying to turn around and bite me the whole trip! She did not like me at all, even though I talked very nicely to her and pet her. How rude.

Once we got into the desert, it was just as I had imagined it, just without the gold gates.  It was seriously one of the coolest experiences I have ever got to be apart of. We got to see The Pyramids of Giza, The Sphinx, and see a couple of tombs as well. Our day was jam packed. I can't wait for you to see the pictures. Just know, they don't even do it justice.

This was our sketchy cab. Looking back on it now, I can't believe Justin left me alone for a picture. Ha!

Banana looking very suspicious as I try to figure out how not to fall.

So happy.

This is just an example of the garbage we saw all throughout the city.

The Pyramids of Giza.

Camel riding expert. Not.

Sportin' my Brandon Roy jersey staring at the Sphinx and Pyramids.

Hubby giving the Sphinx a smooch!

Hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane, and I hope you are blessed this week!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Back where I belong.

We moved back home to Oregon on July 4th, 2016. That was the day my heart became complete.
All that I was missing, I had found. All I was hoping for, had now come true. I can feel it when the cool Northern air hits my cheeks. I can feel it when the crisp leaves crunch under my feet. I can feel it in the warm embrace of my family and friends. And that feeling means nothing less, then I'm back where I belong.
This morning, I woke up early and went on a run around our apartment in the cool morning air. Then, I came back and took our pup, Griffey on a walk. Then I drank a delicious chai tea while driving to go watch my best friend's Volleyball team play at a tournament just 30 minutes away from me. Then I came home, to watch football for the rest of the evening with my HHH, cheering on our Ducks. Why am I giving you a play by play of some of my day? Because a year ago, none of those things could've happened. And I have been waiting 6 years to have days like today.
I know with every fiber in my being, I'm back where I belong.

Monday, June 13, 2016

What I really think about leaving Dubai...

 I am doing this post mostly for myself, but also for those of you, who have made up your own notion as to how I am feeling about leaving Dubai.
(that sounded really mean, but it's not!!)

 I think now is a good time to write this post as Justin and I have finalized our tickets home and July 5th is the magic date. The great thing about being so far ahead in time is even though we leave Dubai on the 5th, and have a 16 hour flight, we still arrive home on the 5th :) Let the party begin.
Over these past couple weeks, and actually months, I can't tell you how many times someone has come up to me and said, "I bet you CAN'T WAIT to get back home!" or "I know you are just itching to get out of this place" or "Aren't you just so excited to leave Dubai and go home!?". I have actually gotten a lot of those comments. Guys, I know, people mean well. They are just asking me a question about the future and how I am feeling. But in fact, it is quite hard to put into words what I am feeling, hence the blog. I do best when writing my feelings out.
 I am sad about leaving Dubai. Period. I will miss our life we have built here. I will miss the priceless friendships we have made. I will miss the simplicity, yet craziness of our schedules. I will miss choosing what part of the world we want to see on our next teaching break. I will miss a lot. We have made so many memories that will really last a lifetime. I am so blessed and excited to share our stories with our future children and future grandchildren about our times in the UAE. How cool is it  going to be to look at pictures of Dubai in 5 years when all the construction that's been going on for forever (maybe) will be done and say, "I lived there!"? I really lived there. 
 I am sad about leaving our friends. My daily routine is built around my friendships with the people I have met here in Dubai. These people have been some of the most genuine, fun, crazy, and wholesome people I have ever met. We all came to Dubai looking for different things, running from different things, or chasing different things. But we all came here, met, and have never looked back. We all came from different walks of life, and meshed so well together, I never would have guessed it could have gone so well. I have been inspired by some and definitely have been challenged by some. But mostly I have been blessed by all. These people have really become like a second family to me whom I know I can count on for anything. This will be such a rough part of leaving Dubai.
 I am also scared. The UAE has been home for me for 4 years, and 5 (plus some change) for Justin. We have grown our marriage here. We have grown ourselves here. We have traveled pretty much wherever we've wanted, whenever we wanted (well maybe not, WHENever). We have only had to really think about ourselves and our future. Life has been (for the most part) easy here. When we move home, life is not whatsoever going to be easy. We will be opening a business.#holymoly. I will be teaching in a school I have never heard of, in a town I have never heard of, to students I know nothing about. We will be trying to start a family. We will be living in a part of Oregon that we really know nothing about besides what people have told us, and what we have researched. A lot of change will be happening. 
 Now. I don't want everyone to start thinking I am not excited about moving home, I am. I am 100% confident in the decision my husband and I have made. I know God will bless us if we continue to seek Him, I know I am going to love being surrounded by trees and nature, I know I am going to love being close to family and friends, and I know I am going to love being in my home state of Oregon. As I am writing this post, I start to think about the reasons I listed above about being scared. And for those same exact reasons, I am pumped. I am pumped to start our new life together. I am pumped for all the hardships, new memories, tearful nights, belly laughs, campfires, hikes, new adventures, and LIFE we are about to embark on. I am embracing the change. 
 Dubai will always be my second home. I know that Justin and I will come back someday and be in awe of what it has become. We will drive down new streets, see brand new buildings, and most likely still be in awe of the fountain show. But the thing I know about the most is the friendships we have made are really going to last a lifetime. A piece of my heart will be spread all over the world in the different countries and cities where they reside. 
 Dubai, I love you. I will never forget you. But, it is time for the Ahrens to start a new life together. I thank you for all you've given me. Peace!