Things in Life That Change You

    Jesse and I are SO excited about the birth of our first child. The way God creates life is amazing. The way God created the life inside of me is a miracle.

    We were infertile. I never blogged about it. I may never have talked to you about it, but Jesse and I heard a lot of bad news before we heard the incredible news that we were expecting. After a year of trying to have a baby, I visited my OB/GYN. We took tests and had procedures done only to find that I have a blocked fallopian tube on my right side. This was scary because it very rarely happens for no reason. My OB/GYN referred us to an infertility specialist. A few months later I began having constant pain in my stomach. It was diagnosed as an ovarian cyst on my left ovary (the side where the egg needed to come from!). Six weeks later I had laproscopic surgery to remove the cyst. During surgery they found Stage III endometriosis and cleaned up as much as they could. At this point, statistics were not in our favor. After surgery we began treatment with the infertility specialist only to find that the left ovary was unresponsive. At the recommendation of our doctor, we began investigating In-Vitro Fertilization (a very costly and invasive procedure). In the meantime, my left ovary produced ONE egg follicle. It was the ONE egg follicle that God used to create our baby.

    Infertility rocked our world. It was something we thought would never happen to us. We always wanted to have children and often argued about how many we wanted to have. Infertility changed us, yet in the midst of it we had to believe that God loved us if we never had our own children. We had to believe that if we never conceived it would be His perfect plan for us. Did we doubt? Yes! Did we pray? Yes! In the end, God provided a miracle baby, and we will be forever grateful.

    10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) by Matt Redman

    The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
    It’s time to sing Your song again
    Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
    Let me be singing when the evening comes

    Bless the Lord, O my soul
    O my soul
    Worship His holy name
    Sing like never before
    O my soul
    I’ll worship Your holy name

      I Love Birthdays

      Birthdays were always a big deal in my family. We have lots of pictures of birthdays I don’t even remember. My first birthday memory is mini-golfing on a freezing cold, rainy, windy day at the end of August (remember, we lived in Wisconsin). Another vivid memory is my thirteenth birthday when my mom created a scavenger hunt at the mall for me and two friends. My eighteenth birthday was a fun karaoke party with the whole swim team. After getting married, Jesse planned a surprise twenty-third birthday party at a park with lots of our college friends.

      This year I celebrated my last year of being in my twenties. We spent the weekend in Wisconsin with my whole family. My mom cooked my favorite meal. We made homemade ice cream, and I got great presents. On my actual birthday my co-workers celebrated me with Starbucks coffee, cupcakes, and fun gifts. Jesse brought home flowers, and we went out to dinner and a movie. I also got lots of fun phone calls, e-mails, and Facebook messages. As the month of August approaches, you will often hear me say…”I love birthdays!”

      My dad and I after eating my black raspberry cobbler “birthday cake”. Yummo!

        Where Have All The Bloggers Gone?

        Not only do I blog myself, but I keep up with a lot of other people’s blogs. Some of them are blogs about things I am interested in (gardening, marriage, reading). Others are blogs about people I like to keep in touch with (family, friends, strangers I like to stalk).

        This summer I have noticed a decrease in the blogging world. You probably have noticed a lack of posts on this blog. Part of the reason is summer and everyone’s busyness, but I think part of the reason is people are not communicating as often through blogs.

        Why do you think this is? For myself, I found that I had little to share with people in person because everyone was reading my blog. I also would often be surprised when people would mention something I wrote about because I didn’t realize they were even reading The Sutherland Road.

        The real reason I haven’t blogged since May is that I got behind. Things kept happening and adventures began, and I couldn’t keep up. I didn’t even know where to start. But when I did blog in May, I was encouraged to see all of the readers who were checking in on my site, and I have had some requests for more posts. So…here I am…this blogger has come back.

          Change…

          This has been a difficult school year for me. I have loved teaching second grade for the sixth time, but I was beginning to find myself more frustrated by the little things and complaining on a more regular basis. I know these things are heart attitudes and I needed some adjustment, but Jesse and I also started having conversations about doing something different.

          Right before spring break, I found out that the media specialist at my school was leaving our library. In December of 2010 I finished my master’s degree from Mankato in the middle of a blizzard. You can read about that adventure here. Spring break gave Jesse and I the perfect opportunity to talk about next year at Diamond Path.

          In the fall I will no longer be a second grade teacher at Diamond Path. Instead I will be taking over as the library media specialist at Diamond Path. I will teach first through fifth grade students library skills and a love of reading and books. I am very excited but also very nervous. Thankfully, when I told my class of second graders, they boosted my confidence…because they cheered!

           

            Two hours…

            My friend recently got a sign that says, “Snow Please…I’m A Teacher”. Last winter Minnesota had well over 80″ of snow. We had two storms classified as blizzards and LOTS of snow, but all of the snow happened on the weekends or days off from school, so we had no late starts or snow days.

            This week they were predicting a huge snow for the Twin Cities on Tuesday into Wednesday. All the teachers I know started crossing their fingers. As it rained all day onTuesday our hopes were dashed. I was out and about on Tuesday night as the rain began to shift to snow, and the puddles became ice. I slept with my phone by my bed.

            At 5:45 A.M. the phone to rang to announce a glorious late start. School was delayed for two precious hours. It truly is the simple things in life…two hours that make my day.

              The Gift I Always Wanted…

              I enjoy cooking and making yummy food. I have always wanted a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, but I worried about whether I would use it often enough or have space for it in my kitchen.

              For Christmas this year, my brother and Alaina bought me a beautiful chrome KitchenAid. I have already used it twice to make different recipes. I love that my arm doesn’t get tired when I mix anymore. I can’t wait to make Chewy Sugar Cookies. You can find the recipe here.

              Adding the Ingredients
              It's Mixing!

               

               

                Where To?

                After our Italy trip, lots of people have been asking where we are ┬áheaded next. Truthfully, Italy was our big dream, and we did it. We didn’t have a “next” trip on the list.

                There are lots of places we want to go…California, New York, Boston, Hawaii…but the best place to go for spring break has always been Florida. It is the warmest place to visit this early in the spring, and we haven’t been there since we visited friends in Tampa in 2009.

                This year we decided to tackle Orlando…and DISNEY! We have friends who honeymooned at Disney World, and I was inspired to do Disney as a couple. I am ready to enjoy the magic!

                  The Best Gift of All…

                  I love my job, but there are days when my job is really hard. This week especially I put in lots of above and beyond hours and still wasn’t able to finish everything on my to-do list.

                  With all of its challenges, Christmastime is a great time to teach second grade. Many families in my class write nice cards and send their students to school with great gifts! Plus, parents volunteer at our parties and comment over and over again that they have no idea how I do it day after day after day. In short, I feel very appreciated.

                  Today, though, I had one of those funny moments that made me laugh out loud. The students were all gathered around wanting me to open the various things they had brought for me, and they were teasing me about how great it is to be a teacher because you get so many presents.

                  In a serious way, this little girl looked at me and said, “Mrs. Sutherland, you’ve given me the best gift of all.”

                  I replied back (slightly sarcastically), “And what is that?”

                  She quickly replied, “Knowledge!”

                  Thinking about it still makes me smile!

                    Staying Home…

                    We have uncharacteristically been home most of the weekends of September, October, and November. We made two back-to-back road trips Up North and to Neenah. Usually, we are traveling here and there and everywhere.

                    We have enjoyed our time at home, but it has also been a bit boring. I really have very little to blog about when we just hang around home. Thankfully, we will soon enter the holiday season where we will travel to Neenah, Minnesota, and Indiana within 7 days. Let’s hit the road!

                      Pumpkins…

                      Jesse and I enjoy carving pumpkins. We carved pumpkins with our families growing up, we have carved pumpkins with our friends, and we have carved pumpkins with our small group.

                      Last year our small group began enjoying a fall evening together, and this year we continued the tradition. We began with a take-out potluck. Each couple brought their favorite take-out food to share. We had pad thai, stir fry, tacos, barbecue, and fried chicken. After dinner, we headed out to pick out our pumpkins from a local patch where the proceeds support a summer mission trip.

                      We then began carving. Recently, Jesse began using templates in his pumpkin carving. He prints out a design and carves from there. I used the Internet as a source for ideas, but then Jesse helped me freehand my pumpkin design. We were pleased with this year’s results!