So, we have been doing house projects since we moved in almost 3 years ago now.  We’ve loved our new home and adding some wonderful upgrades to it.  Our latest and probably last project before Avery arrives was the kitchen backsplash.  We had talked about doing this for quite some time but it kept getting pushed behind other projects.  Well, this wknd we finally decided to move forward with it and get it done before our little girl arrives.  Dave did a great job and we are happy with the results. It definitely adds some style to our kitchen.  It’s fun to be getting stuff done before she comes as we know we will want to spend most of our time with her once she arrives.  
Dave working on the kitchen backsplash
The finished product. Yeah!
October 10 Dave and I drove to Indiana.  It’s always fun going home, but this trip there were several good things to head home for. My mom and sister Christine threw us a fabulous baby shower.  We were surrounded by family, friends, old neighbors, mom’s co-workers, and even a few of my college friends drove hours to be there.  It was wonderful!  We also got to celebrate my mom’s birthday while we were home.  And, we got to meet the newest addition to our family and first niece – Isabelle.   

MIt was an amazing weekend.  We are so blessed to have such a supportive family.  They have done so much for us already throughout this journey and the baby shower was such a great time to celebrate with everyone who has been praying for us.  My mom and sister put a lot of work into the day as all the dishes and desserts were homemade.  Everything was delicious.  My mom also had some super fun games for us to play.   Avery was spoiled with tons of clothes and other baby items!!!  It’s so much fun to celebrate her life and the miracle she truly is.

This song (youtube) at the bottom can't describe better how I feel now looking back on God's mighty presence of our journey to where we are. Praise the Lord for his constant presence, goodness, and sovereignty. Don't ever doubt Him even when you can't feel Him or see Him when you're walking through a tough time, He's always there. Always. Praise Him for our little miracle and praise Him simply for who He is. 

My niece Isabelle
Having fun at the shower.
Avery at 23 weeks.

September 13 has always been a very special day for Dave and I as this is the day 7 years ago now, that Dave asked me to court him and see if God would lead us towards marriage.  For us, this day stands out as many things happened leading up to that day but both of us still vividly remember the conversation of Dave officially asking me if he could pursue me and where God may lead us.  It was a special day then but even more so now looking back as we know God definitely had plans for us ahead and a journey of a lifetime to share together that was only just beginning that day.   

Recently, people keep asking me if I have felt Avery move as I am now 24 weeks today!   My OB had told me my placenta is in front of her so it may be a little harder to feel her and may not occur for a few more weeks due to the placenta blocking some of those ever so slight movements.  Over the past week or so I thought I was feeling her but I wasn’t confident and started to feel scared that I hadn’t yet felt her.   I was randomly feeling a slight flicker but I wasn’t convinced it wasn’t just my crazy stomach doing something weird.  Well today was my regularly scheduled Thursday off, Dave had to work so I just did some stuff around the house, trying to get things done as I do on my day off.  Early afternoon I got tired so I went to lie down on the bed and rest- watch some TV and relax.  Avery always tends to get more active when I lie down as I know most babies do, so as I’m lying there, I begin to feel those slight flickers in my stomach only this time I looked down and began to watch.  To my amazement I saw my stomach move again and again.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  My little girl is definitely moving around in there and I saw her!   It was the most amazing thing to see.  I called Dave from his office to share in the excitement and we watched for a bit longer in awe of the miracle this whole process is to us.  Wow!   Words can’t express how very special it was to see that especially on our special day- September 13.  Thank you Lord!

Recently in Sunday School we discussed how easily we forget God’s goodness to us.  Often times we take for granted all that we have and all that he has done for us.  When tough times come, we fall back to what we think is best, rather than what we know God can do. Over and over in the bible I have been reminded of story after story where the people then did the same thing.   One of the best examples that has stood out to me is in Exodus-God allows Moses and the Israelites to escape from bondage in Egypt by parting the Red Sea and bringing them to safety.  It’s not long before the people grow weary and begin to doubt God’s faithfulness.  They quickly lose trust and forget where God has already brought them and the place he brought them from, and so they build a golden calf that they can rely upon, just in case God needed a little help. 

I look at the story and think how can anyone forget so easily.  This is the same God who parted the Red Sea for these people and brought them out of slavery- He spared their lives and YET, they still forgot.    I know as Dave and I get closer to Avery’s due date and further away from the place we were- the infertility journey we were on, we can also forget where we were, we can forget where God brought us, we can forget how God worked and moved and how he answered our prayers.  Over time, if we let it, we will forget the power of God in our story and the miracle our little girl truly is

Avery will always be a daily reminder to us and I pray we never forget God’s faithfulness to us and always give him the glory, honor, and praise.  And, when we come to a point in our lives when we are faced again with a tough time, a mountain to climb, I pray we REMEMBER- He overcame!!!

Dave and I flew to Dallas on August 31 for our first baby shower for Avery.  Dave’s parents were so kind to have been praying for us and having their entire church group and friends join them in praying for a miracle.  It was fun to go to celebrate with them and share with others our joy and excitement of our little girl’s arrival.  More than anything, we hope and pray that Avery’s life is already a testimony to the power of God and the miracle she is to us as we know He is the reason she is now growing in me.  It’s our testimony now and will always be one we share with those around us. Every time we talk about our little girl and every time we think back to how she came to be, we will share God’s goodness and the miracle He brought into our lives.   She will always be a testimony in our lives, a reminder to us of God’s faithfulness.  She will know at a young age the miracle she is and the powerful God that brought her into our lives.  

Dave’s parents threw us a baby shower and an open house while we were in town for friends to gather and celebrate God’s goodness and faithfulness to us.  It was so good to be surrounded by those who have been praying for us and following our story.  So many of these wonderful people who gathered don’t know us well, but our dear friends to the Stanley family and were so thoughtful to keep us in their prayers during our infertility journey.  We know in an even more real way the power of prayer and the impact that has also had on our journey.    

Dave also got to see many of his high school friends and their families while we were home.  He enjoyed seeing all of them and the families they have all started.    It was a good visit and a wonderful time with family and friends.  Avery was spoiled with love, gifts, and more prayers while we were there.  She is so loved already, but I know when she arrives and we see her precious face, we will fall even more in love with her.  


July 26 Dave and I made a trip to Focused Imaging in Nashville; a place that provides gender ultrasounds as early as 15 weeks.  Dave and I waited until 17 weeks just to make sure they would be able to see everything appropriately.  My Ob told us at 15 weeks he was 85% sure it was a girl but didn’t want to say for sure at that time.  So, the day finally arrived for us to go find out for sure.  We were extremely excited to not only find out the gender, but to name our baby and begin to picture him/her and plan the nursery and all the fun things that come along with knowing the gender.  I was told to drink orange juice before the appointment because the sugar would probably make the baby more energetic due to the sugar content in orange juice. 

 So, I did as I was told and we showed up ready to see our baby.  Dave and I joked prior the appointment that if the baby was cooperative they were going to be more like me, but if they were stubborn and uncooperative then they were probably going to be more like Dave.  Well, after 15 minutes of trying to get our baby to let us see the private area, we decided this little baby might be more like DaveJ  The baby was quite content sleeping and turning away from us making it very hard for us to see anything in that region.  Finally, the ultrasound tech advised me to stand up and shake my hips.  I proceeded to do so and then laid back down on the table to see if that helped.  Sure enough, our little one was lying with legs spread open for all the world to see.  Apparently now felt ready to let us know that indeed she was a GIRL!!!!   It had to be on her time – and she wasn’t going to reveal any sooner.  Sounds like someone else I knowJ

God has chosen to bless us with a precious little girl.  From the beginning Dave and I felt that this baby growing inside of me would be a little girl.  I don’t think we could tell you why, but we both had a strong feeling.   I know we are thrilled to be celebrating the joys that come along with a baby girl but mostly praising God for a healthy baby.  We didn’t care either way what the sex of the baby was, but prayed heavily for our child to be healthy and growing and developing appropriately.   Just thinking about the processes going on inside of me and all the changes that take place with our baby girl daily, it’s amazing how it all comes together, and for me only confirms the power and sovereignty of our God.  Only He could create a life and bring it to completion in his timing.  It’s amazing to be a part of this.  

In choosing a name Dave and I had a much easier time with girl names than boy names.  We’ve had years to discuss this topic and try to figure out what we would name our little one when they came, but it was only until recently we got more serious about what we want to call our child.  Naming this baby girl makes it even more real to us and we are now planning the nursery and enjoying buying things for our little princess.  Dave and I had two girl names we really liked.  It was difficult to decide which to use, so I told Dave that we’re just going to have to have another 1 or 2 more girls because we just have too many girl names we really like.  I can actually see Dave with a couple daughters.  He’s the kind of guy who would deal wonderfully with them.  I know he would love a son one day, but I think God wired him to raise daughters in some special way.   I have to say that was one of the reasons I actually thought it was a girl, because it’s so easy to picture him with a daughter.  He’s just going to be so good with herJ I can already see them going on Daddy/Daughter dates and I have no doubts she’ll be a daddy’s girl and share many special times with him.   

We are going to name our baby girl:  AVERY HARPER:
We wanted the name to sound pretty, but thought it would be nice for the name to have meaning as well.  The simple definition of Avery means nobility.  In the dictionary it goes into further detail……………the quality of elevation of mind and exaltation of character or ideals or conduct, the quality of deserving honor or respect; characterized by honor, high-mindedness, noble-mindedness, idealism - elevated ideals or conduct; the quality of believing that ideals should be pursued.

We can’t think of a better name for our little girl esp. after exploring more into the meaning.  We want our little girl to know that she should conduct herself in a way that is pleasing to the Lord- one with high morals and high conduct.  We also want her to know she is a child of the King and deserves honor and respect from those around her, but that she also needs to treat others with that same respect.  We want our little girl to respect herself and pursue what God wants for her in life, which is a life that glorifies Him in all things.  We want our little girl to uphold her high moral standards even when it may not be easy.  There are so many things we want for our little girl and we pray that she will know these things, but mostly that we love her!

We are enjoying decorating Avery’s nursery and picking out her furniture and all the things she will need when she arrives.  We continue to pray for a healthy baby girl and wait in expectation as God continues to grow and develop her over the next 20 weeks.  

Dave and I are enjoying every second of the pregnancy and part of doing that was celebrating with friends through a gender reveal party as we revealed our baby's gender by releasing pink balloons into the sky.  It was a lot of fun and definitely a sweet memory we will cherish forever!

We're so excited: It's a Girl!
Gender Reveal Party: We got to share this with over 30 wonderful friends! What a wonderful day!
He overcame!!!

You know me and my love for worship music.  Recently my favorite song is by Jeremy Camp-“Overcome”.   The words summarize our journey and as we look back on where we were and where we are now, it’s amazing to look back and see how God truly did overcome! 

When I hear the words to this song I am brought to tears as I remember where we were and where God has allowed us to be now.  I am amazed at the power of our Lord.  Most of you who read this know that our faith carried us through our journey and we will tell anyone who ask, our little baby growing in my tummy is a miracle from God.   I just keep thinking back to the obstacles that stood before us, the doctors who told us it wasn’t worth trying again, the best clinic in the world who told us our best chance was 10%.  As a Christian, it’s so evident to us to see how God overcame all those obstacles.  I know others may say it was the doctors, some may say it was coincidence; some may say it was eventually bound to happen. But Dave and I will always know there was no other way except through our Lord.  For us, it’s impossible to look back and not see God working through each and every step of the way to bring this beautiful little miracle into our lives. 

As I now journey through pregnancy, I am trying to enjoy every minute, even the nights I don’t feel so hot:)  I am reminded daily not to take this for granted and to thank God daily for the blessing growing inside of me.  Instead of thinking about how God will grow the rest of our family one day, or how that even looks, all we can do now is enjoy where He has us and remember the journey he walked us through to get here. 

Because of Jesus’ atoning death and victorious resurrection, we are all equipped to overcome the difficulties and hardships in life!  “For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37)

There’s no better ending to this blog than to share the chorus to the song which sums up the joy in my heart and the authority and power of our Lord! 


Savior, worthy of honor and glory, worthy of all our praise, You overcame

Jesus, awesome in power forever, awesome and great is Your name, You overcame


1st Ultrasound

The first ultrasound should confirm an embryo with a viable heartbeat.  It’s not really audible at this time, but it flutters.    This ultrasound is a big deal after IVF in that it pretty much confirms a true pregnancy verses a false positive or a sac with no embryo in it.  The sac can cause that false HCG in your blood.  Although mine did double like my doctor wanted to see- our first HCG level was 59 and 48 hr later it rose to 113.   Exactly where they had hoped it would be.  The doubling is a good sign that there is a viable embryo growing inside of me.  Even after the blood test confirmed, I think Dave and I have been on edge- excited of course but nervous as we awaited the first ultrasound to confirm what we’ve been waiting for.  It has been incredibly nerve-racking for me in the early stages of pregnancy because I haven’t felt any different other than being tired.  Other than that I have not had any other true signs of pregnancy.   My mind wants proof that it’s real and being tired just doesn’t really calm the anxious heart while we waited.  

Anyways, the day finally came.  2.5 weeks after our first blood test we went in for our first ultrasound.  My OB-GYN is a great doctor and well, I wouldn’t have gone to anyone else because He works with our clinic in sending us new babies once they’re born and I see his 4 kids in our clinic.  I also have gotten to know his wife and love their family.   I feel comfortable going there and feel very at ease with him as my doctor.  I’ve been monitored so closely up to this point and it’s so nice having a doctor who understands that.  He has offered weekly ultrasounds if that will help me feel better about things.  He’s just that great!

1st Ultrasound:   Dave met me at work and then we drove over to the hospital where my doctor’s office is.  We didn’t wait long but it seemed like an eternity as I was very nervous about what we would see on the screen.   It finally came time to see our little baby on the screen and right away when he went in- I saw the sac.  I couldn’t see anything in the sac right away and panicked for a quick second but as soon as he zoomed in, we could clearly see our embryo inside and the flickering of the heart.  We were speechless with big smiles on our faces.  All Dave and I could say was awesome, cool.   Once we confirmed, Dave asked him if there were any more in there and he looked around but didn’t see anything.  As of now, it looks like one baby, but he did say sometimes it’s hard to see a second sac as it can sometimes hide behind the other one etc.  We are extremely happy with one, but if another should happen to show up in the coming weeks- I think we’ll be overjoyed!!!   Taking it in was indescribable.  We have waited for this moment for so long and finally seeing that little life growing inside my uterus is fascinating.  Afterwards I felt so drained, I think the weeks and moments leading up to this moment had mentally and physically drained me.  I felt like my body had been run over and driving home I let it all sink in…………………..we are really having a baby.    

Dave and I wanted to capture the 1st ultrasound and share with you the amazement of seeing that tiny little life growing inside of me.   It's a miracle from God- no doubt!

God is faithful!

Well, April 26 was the officially pregnancy blood test.  It was scheduled for that day as soon as we had left Colorado and I apologize for telling many of you it was the first week of May, but Dave and I knew we would need a few days to process this news either way on our own before sharing it with the world.  April 25 I went to dinner with my wonderful girlfriends who were so positive and encouraging about me being pregnant.  I just kept thinking through dinner I could be- my period hasn’t started, I’ve been extremely tired, I’ve been awfully ditzy, and I’ve had these weird stomach cramps.   This year I behaved and did not test early like I did our last IVF cycle.  I told myself it would only upset me and I wanted to enjoy the thought of being pregnant as long as possible before we officially knew for sure because as soon as we got the results of the blood test- there was no more thinking positive- it was either yes or no.   After dinner with the girls when I got home I convinced Dave that I would take one test and we would look at the results together.  I told him surely by now it will show up if we’re pregnant, the blood test was only 12 hr away.  So, we went ahead and took the test and our youtube video below captures the moment we will cherish the rest of our lives.  Our 3.5 year journey of trying to have a baby is well- see for yourselves, the youtube video is included in the blog below.

Our God is faithful and we can’t thank our friends and family enough for all the love, support, and prayers you have shown us through this journey.  We give God all the glory and praise for this little miracle in my tummy.  Without Him, we know this would not have happened and we will forever praise Him for this special little miracle He has given us.  Dave and I were told prior to going to Colorado that we had a 15% chance of success- and this is coming from the doctors at the nation’s best IVF clinic.  The odds were definitely stacked against us, but our God doesn’t go by the world’s odds or success rates, our God can overcome all of that and that He did!   We will also never forget your prayers and faithfulness and how they helped us get our little miracle as well!!!!

Dave and I are definitely relishing in the joy of these past few days in getting to tell our family and friends and rejoicing with them in God’s goodness and faithfulness.  Every time we share with someone else it reminds me that our God is an awesome God!!!  My parents came in town and we were able to tell them in person-and we got to tell our sisters and Dave’s parents via Skype – I think they all shed some tears in hearing the news and our overjoyed with us!!!   The reality of being pregnant is still sinking in for sure- throughout my day I just keep thinking to myself- I’m pregnant-I’m really and truly pregnant!!!!   It truly is such a miracle I am still grasping the reality of it.  Sunday at church we sang a new song during worship called “You are Faithful”.  A song I have never heard before but a song that seemed to sum up our entire journey we had just walked through- it was exactly what we needed to hear.    As the tears poured from my eyes, Dave and I and my mom and dad all sang the words, “YOU ARE FAITHFUL”.     And that's the best way to sum it all up. 

Today was our big day., the day we've been waiting for.   Dave and I arrived at the clinic at 9am for my blood work (estradiol level).   Then we headed upstairs for me to receive acupuncture prior to transfer.   Once my acupuncture was over, I remained in the same room for transfer.  The doctor came in and went over our embryos and Dave and I got to look at them on the screen.  It’s so amazing to see the lives we created- those little embryos are a part of each of us and to me htat is .     We had 2 embryos to transfer today.  One embryo was 4 cells and one embryo was 5 cells.  Although they really like for them to be between 6-10 cells on a day 3 transfer, the doctor said they looked to be good quality and with little fragmentation.

 So, now the real wait begins.  We have a few weeks before we’ll know If our little ones have implanted.   There’s no way to predict the outcome based on the embryos because they’ll tell you, they’ve seen 4 and 5 cells implant and 6-10 cells not, so even though the higher number of cells is usually favorable, no one really knows.  It’s up to God, as we know.  We’re rooting for our little ones to pull through and hope that now they’re inside me they’ll take off in growth and divide rapidly.  

For now the process is over until our confirmed pregnancy blood test in a few weeks.   Thanks for your support, encouragement, prayers, and love.  This is a long, hard journey but you have helped us reach the end and now we wait in expectation of God to grow these little ones up.

Baby Stanley 1 & 2
Today was our last day to enjoy Denver so Dave and I planned a fun day!   We started the day going to Denver Zoo.  It was a beautiful day to be outside and we enjoyed walking around seeing all the animals.   After the zoo, we went to Brothers Barbecue for lunch.  It was a really good Barbecue place.   Then we headed over to Colorado Mills to do some shopping and see a movie.  We saw the movie “Octoberbaby”.  It was very good and as usual I cried.   We highly recommend seeing the movie though- very good story line!  Tonight we met up with Dave’s cousin at the Elephant Bar for dinner.  My parents and sister go there frequently in Florida and we’re always hearing about it so when we found out there was one near here we wanted to go.  Dinner was very good!  I ate way too much! We joked before going out tonight that this could be my last night of not being pregnant.   I smile ear to ear just thinking about being pregnant!   I can’t wait!!!

Tomorrow is the big day.  Transfer will take place at 1045am.  We will arrive at 9am for some blood work  as well as acupuncture prior to transfer.  The IVF process seems to take so long but our day has finally arrived!!!  We are very excited to transfer our 2 little embryos tomorrow to their new home for the next 9months –me!!   My 3rd egg they had mentioned that wasn’t quite mature did finally mature, but when they ICSI’d it, it did not fertilize.  I was hoping the 3rd one will pull through but we are very, very happy with our 2!!!!   The hardest part of the IVF process is over- no more shots- which I cannot say enough how happy that makes me;  Only oral medications from here on out.  Like a normal pregnancy, we will have to wait a couple of weeks before we find out if we are pregnant and the embryos have implanted.  I know the wait will seem like an eternity but it’s in God’s hands and there is nothing else we can do now except pray.   We have 2 little babies in a petri dish right now and tomorrow they will be implanted into my uterus.  It overjoys me to know that even though we won’t officially know for a couple weeks, I know in my heart I am a mommy to these two beautiful lives God created and I pray they make it to 9 months for us to see them face to face!

The Elephant Bar.
Dinner with Cousin Bryce.