Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus- Part 5

If you have not read the earlier segments of our story…here is part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4.

It was a new year….2011.  We were starting over in a lot of ways.  We were still healing from the previous year’s events, but ready for a fresh start. 

I was determined that year, that no matter what happened to us, I was going to be strong and not waiver in my relationship with the Lord. 

I felt like the previous year had been such a rollercoaster and I had struggled with asking God WHY so much.  I struggled with how to pray.  I struggled with the fear of not knowing God’s plan….and thoughts that maybe being a mom wasn’t God’s plan for me.  I had been in the Word so much, but was still struggling. 

2011 was a big turning point in our life. 

I was determined. 

My husband had some pretty amazing things happen (that I will tell you about it a little bit.) 

I stayed in God’s Word, I was diligent in my prayer life….not just for me, but praying for others.  I had been praying for other couples I knew that couldn’t get pregnant.  Even when God gave them babies (and not me)….I kept praying.  I started reading a book on infertility and miscarriage and it really helped with my healing process.  I began pouring more of myself into my ministries at church. 

Do you know the song “While I’m Waiting” by John Waller?  That was my mantra.  I would saaaang it from the top of my lungs. 

If this was where God had us…..it was according to His plan!  I was not about to waste one.more.second of my life wallowing in shame and pity.  I was not going to waste anymore time wishing I was at another point in life.  I was NOT going to tell God anymore that I KNEW BETTER.  He is perfect, holy, good, loving….our Lord……and trusting Him was all we could do. 

My heart my set to serve Him faithfully while we waited. 

In the back of my mind and heart I knew if He never filled my womb…..that is was going to be OK. 

God knew the desires of our heart to be parents, and we believed that somehow we WOULD BE PARENTS. 

Sidenote:  After we got the go-ahead from our Dr. we began trying for baby Shepard again.  But this time it was not with as much crazy planning as before.  I just didn’t have the strength for that anymore. 

We had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Uruguay with our church.  We had been once before and it changed our life!  I mean it!  It was so awesome.  I wanted to go again so bad.  I knew it was exactly what we needed to do.  I felt God telling me to GO!  Tim was in total agreement that we should go too.  (however, what I didn’t know at the time….was that he was realllllly struggling and didn’t want to go on the mission trip.  he just said yes cause I wanted to. remember this point for later!) 

God provided in amazing ways for us to go on that trip.  We DID NOT HAVE THE MONEY!   Remember all the medical stuff we had just been through?  It reconfirmed to me that we were exactly where God wanted us and He provided every dollar we needed…..from some really unexpected places too! 

To make a long story short (haha!) while on our mission trip Tim finally surrendered to God’s call on his life to go into full time ministry!!!!!!!!!  I say finally….because Tim had been struggling with this decision for years.  He had been running from it.  He allowed the world to dictate his decisions.  His job was luring money and promotions in front of him.  He felt he wasn’t smart enough or couldn’t make it through the school.  He was not where he should have been in his relationship with God.  And I think our miscarriage was the last straw.  God got a hold of Tim on that mission trip.  He got right with Him, was used by God in amazing ways on the trip and finally said YES to the call on his life.  It was the coolest thing EVER!  I was not shocked.  I knew God had been working on Tim for a long time. 

So, we get back home and EVERYTHING CHANGED!!!!!! 

We were scared, but we knew God had something very special in store for us! 

Tim started looking at where to go to school.  How were we going to pay for school? 

He started school that summer.  I was a proud wifey! 

We were hitting the gym like crazy people that summer too.  I’m not really sure if that is important in the story or not…..I just remember it was a big part of our life at that time.  I really enjoyed taking care of my body.  I had lost about 30 lbs since our miscarriage. 

Our marriage changed that summer too.  God had been growing us through this entire process.  And some pretty cool things happened.  It was strong and nothing was going to tear us apart.  Not infertility…not  ANYTHING! 

Oh another change…..(yes as you can tell, we were definitely in a season of change!):  We were asked at church to lead the college ministry at our church.  This was another whole can of worms of learning, growing and trusting God. 

We were so excited that God was allowing us to serve…..WHILE WE WAITED! 

We went back to our doctor over the summer.  Even through all this I just told you…..discouragement was still there. 

No baby.

Our doctor gave us a challenge.  She wanted us to wait through the summer and keep trying on our own for baby Shepard.  She said to come back in in the fall if were still not pregnant (that would be almost exactly a year since our miscarriage).  That fall we would begin looking at our options….really really expensive options. 

September rolled around.

Expensive fertility treatment or did God give us a baby?

Find out in the final segment coming soon!  :) 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Phone Fun

IMAG0103 IMAG0088





IMAG0112 IMAG0110


Where my phone has been the past 2 weeks:

1. Valentine’s Day…..my beautiful flowers on my desk at work! Enjoyable.

2. The most AMAZING sugar cookie in the world from my favorite bakery in the world.  I am drooling just thinking about them….

3.  Mr. Tim brings home surprises for Eleanor from time to time!  He saw this at the store and couldn’t leave without it.  He is going to be the sweetest daddy!

4.  Miss Maddie likes to sleep in my pregnancy snoogle!  Even if I am sleeping in it, she tries to work her way in too.  She is precious!

5.  We went for a late breakfast /lunch last Saturday!!!!!!  Soooooo good!

6.  We got tp’d by our lovely college students at church……again! :)  We feel the love….we really do. 

7.  Mr. Tim putting together Eleanor’s first piece of furniture! 

8.  Showing all the parts for her first piece of furniture!  He is a champ though…..I think he had it put together in well under an hour!

9.  The finished product!  Do you spy Maddie in the toy box area???  haha! 


Lots of love and hope you have a great weekend!!



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Becoming Parents 101

Hello there!  :) 

It’s time for another addition of Becoming Parents!!!!!

Can I just say…..I LOVE YOU GUYS! All your advice on strollers and bath time has been soooooo helpful!  I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on today’s topic. 

So today I am curious about….

What is your favorite parenting book? 

I did a little google search and found the most popular parenting books out right now.  




what to expect first year

They all seem like they have fabulous ideas to offer.  But I really don’t want to read that many books!

I would love to hear what book you refer back to over and over! 

Did you not read any books?  How is that going? 

I know not everyone does….

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!



Thursday, February 16, 2012

27 weeks!

How is it that I am now in my 3rd Trimester?????


This has gone by lightening fast.  I know I keep saying it….but geez! I LOVE being pregnant!  I LOVE IT!!!!!  I am going to miss it. 

However, I have been very textbook.  I have felt pretty good almost the whole way through.  Up until last week…..

My back has started hurting.  What’s with that? 

Oh yeah….I guess my back is tired of supporting my huge belly!  ha!

It was funny because as I was reading the 27 week section in my book it said….your back is going to start hurting! hahaha!  They are spot on!

And just this week I had my first bout of the “I FEEL FAT” syndrome.  LOL! 

Out of the blue it hit me…..I sent Tim a text that said “i feel fat”! (poor husband!)  He said, “you’re not fat, you’re pregnant!!!!!)  It didn’t make me feel better.  Only because I look down and my thighs have gotten HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously people!  What is with that?  I don’t feel like I have gone crazy at all.  I haven’t ordered Tim to get me a Blizzard at 3 am or anything.  But my face is getting chubby and my thighs are like holiday hams! 

Sorry….just had to vent there. 


So here I am at 27 weeks!!!!!!!  All dressed up for Valentine’s Day!  A friend of mine had this pretty sparkly maternity top that I borrowed!  I love it! 


up close belly picture!  Hi Eleanor! :)

401108_10150614350133606_501583605_8980451_1374332903_n Other fun moments I don’t want to forget:

*Mr. Tim sings to Eleanor CONSTANTLY!!!!!  It’s pretty hilarious.  Though I really hope she isn’t tone deaf because he is not the best singer! hehe! 

*I still could eat pizza for every meal if allowed! :)

*My glucose test is next week!!!!!!!! eeek.  Feel free to send encouraging words. I’m so nervous.

*I’m sleepy great.  Thanks to my friend who let me borrow her snoogle! And for the record Maddie LOVES the snoogle.

*I get up at least 2 times to go to the bathroom in the night.  Everyone is so right when they say God is preparing you for a newborn with the getting up thing.  

*For some reason….I’m not scared of labor.  Is this normal?  I’m guessing the fear will set in a few weeks before it all goes down.  We don’t have a big list of things we want.  We just know we are going to roll with the punches…..so if we have to do a C-section…ok….if I can’t get my epidural….ok. 

*Oh and how could I forget….Eleanor went to her very first Christian rap concert!!! haha!  I sat in the veryyyyy back because the bass was crazy loud! 


Regardless of whether I feel like a whale or not…..I LOVE BEING PREGNANT!!!!!!!! It is a miracle from God and I am enjoying every minute of it! 



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lovey Dovey


I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine’s Day! 

We had a very special day.  We knew it was our last Valentine’s before Miss Eleanor comes…..so husband kind of went all out! 


We were sure to give little Maddie some Valentine love too!


Some people at work got me these pretty roses!  I was shocked! So so sweet of them!


And husband got me these beauties!  Ahhhhh LOVE them!


At dinner he gave me a little box….oh yeah! First I had no idea I was getting a little box.  He is sneaky.  Inside the box was a ring with Eleanor’s birthstone!!!!  All the tables at the restaurant were really close together, so I tried to contain myself.  I didn’t want to cause a scene you know.  Though all I wanted to do was jump up and down and plant a big one on Mr. Tim!!!!!!  Okay….and there were tears.  ha!


My face says……I love it…..but I’m still mad at you for spending money on me! hahaha! 


We had such a special night!  I couldn’t have asked for anything else. 

Oh and if you’re wondering if I got Mr. Tim anything…….of course!  I got him an hour massage with hot stones!!!!!!  He is always complaining about needing a massage…..and I’m always giving him massages, but they aren't good enough!


Happy Valentine’s Day from the Shepard’s!!!!!!!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus. part 4

If you have not read the earlier segments of our story…..here is part 1, part 2 and part 3. 

We got to the ER and were filled with fear while we waited to been seen. 

They took us back to a room and the very long night began. 

The entire ER process was awful!  We had a new nurse who was unsure of herself and talked non-stop.  I had to get a catheter and I just about lost it when she was trying to get that situated.  Then she went on to tell us a very inappropriate and insensitive story about one of her friends who lost her baby.  Tim was fuming!!!!

We were there forever!  Frustrated, hungry, scared and needing answers!  Finally the ER doctor came in and gave us her opinion of our ultrasound.  The ER policy is that we are not allowed to see the ultrasound screen and the doctor is not an OB so she could not be certain.  She told us that she found the sac, but the baby was not there.  She told us we would have to go to our OB in the morning.

Words cannot begin to describe how we felt as we walked out of the ER that night.  I have never felt so physically ill and completely helpless in my life. 

Once again we drove home in silence.  I still was not able to cry for some reason.  When we got home, I got into bed.  Next to the bed was the stack of pregnancy books that we had just bought.  I lost it.  I began to sob uncontrollably.  I couldn’t breathe.  What had just happened to us? 


Why did God allow this to happen to us after everything we had been through? I cried myself to sleep eventually. 

I woke up the next morning and was going to try to go to work.  (I have no idea why I did that!)  Tim had to leave for work also.  As I was heading out the door I found a note in my purse.  Tim had been awake most of the night praying and reading the Word.  He wrote me this note that began with “God has a perfect plan for our life and marriage.  I don’t understand it, but I know He does.”  He said some other things and then wrote out this passage of verses in the note.  I have never forgotten them and I cherish them:

“1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”                    Romans 5:1-5

Wow!  I know God gave us those verses.  We clung to them.  The heading in our bible before that passage reads:  Faith Triumphs in Trouble

I ended up not being able to make it through the work day.  I tried really hard, but I couldn’t stop crying.  No one knew what had happened to us because only our immediate family knew I was pregnant.  I just told people I was sick and had to go home. 

That afternoon we went to our OB and she confirmed I did have a miscarriage. 

So, It was official. 

That night was the last night of our revival service at church.  I refused to go.  Absolutely not!  I wanted to sulk at home and cry.  Tim made me go.  I’m so glad he did.  We were supposed to be there.  The message that night was for us.  The songs that night were for us.  And to top it all off, we were able to council a young girl at the end of the service and she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior!  I knew I was supposed to be at church that night.  It was almost as if God was telling Tim and I….just wait…..I have a plan and I love you! 

I slept better that night. 

I wish I could tell you that I was all better after that.  But the healing took awhile. It is definitely a process.  I was not able to complete the miscarriage on my own, so my doctor had to schedule me for a D&C surgery.  My very first surgery. 

After the surgery, my blood work levels were not going down.  They were still reading that I was pregnant.  I had to go into the office every two weeks so they could draw my blood to make sure the levels were going back down.  We were praying so hard and eventually they went back to normal. 

We had crossed into the new year of 2011. 

We would not be welcoming our baby into the world that summer. 

We were starting all over. 

Little did we know some very life changing events were getting ready to take place in the coming months. 

To be continued……

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Eleanor’s nursery preview

3 months till Eleanor is here in my arms!

*insert mild freak out*

I won’t freak too much because we got her room painted!!!!!

Now to just get some furniture in there and we will be set. :) 

I wanted to share a little peak at what we are doing with E’s nursery…..


Husband painted the walls in our choice of blue and then we got the focal wall ready for stripes!  I even helped him!!!!

Can I just say….preparing a wall for stripes is no easy task!  I told Mr. Tim I would never want to stripe an entire room, unless it was a small bathroom or something.  You would have to have incredible patience.  Or maybe it’s just because I’m pregnant and slightly fussy at this time.  It didn’t seem to bother Mr. Tim.  So I guess it’s just me! ha! 


Annnnnnnd Voila!!!!

We are sooooo happy with how it turned out!  I wasn’t sure at first how I was going to like it.  Husband kept reassuring me that if I hated it….it was no big deal to paint over the stripes.  Bless his heart!

I’m glad I loved it, cause that would have been a lot of work down the drain! 

Also…..I need to make it known that my hubby is the bomb.com when it comes to painting!  Or just projects in general.


And for those interested…..

Here is a little sneaky peak at where we are going with our nursery theme.

I fell in love with this quilt from Pottery Barn and so did husband! 

We felt ok with splurging on one item that we LOVE LOVE!  And we are do-it yourself kind of people…so we plan on trying to recreate a Pottery Barn look on a Target budget! 

I’m so jazzed about it!  We just keep going in her room and sitting….even though there is nothing in it.  It just makes us happy. 


And just for fun….here is Eleanor at 25 weeks (last week)! 

Note:  picture taken in her room! yippee!

Also note:  I’m almost into the 3rd trimester!!!!!!!!  eeeek! 



Tuesday, February 7, 2012





Well, I don’t know about you….but I think my husband looks totally ready for Eleanor to come in a few months!!!! 

Who needs the Moby wrap!  Mr. Tim has natural skillz!

Happy Tuesday!



Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hello from Maddie


Hey guys!  It’s Maddie!!!!!

Mom let me get on the blog today!  I have been really good….

I have been eating lots of treats lately.  My mom and dad got me Beggin Strips for Christmas and my mamaw and papaw got me Pupperoni!!!!  Sometimes if I’m extra good, I get one of each of my treats.

Yesterday it was just me and mom….and Eleanor too.  We went on a walk just us girls.  Dad was shaggy, so we sent him off to the groomer…..uh I mean salon. heeeheeee!

Eleanor is my best friend!  I love playing in her room.  I can’t wait till she is here and I can help take care of her. 


I am going to teach her how to roll over….cause I’m super good at it!  I’m pretty sure people will want to rub her belly too.  Everyone always rubs mine. 


I’m also going to teach her how to take good naps!  Like me….I can take naps sitting up, laying down….you name it!

I love my parents!  And I love treats.  Oh and I really love my baby sister. I think that’s it.  Oh I forgot….I love Captain Crunch too.

Well, it’s about time for my afternoon nap.


Maddie Shepard