Friday, April 27, 2012

Almost a year has gone by!

My last blog was last July. I can't believe how quickly this year has flown by! So yeah, I graduated and started my new job. I love the people I work with and continue to learn every day. But SO MUCH has happened since last summer. Where to start....

 Let's start with the great. Jeremy and I moved into our new home. We built a house in Glenpool, Oklahoma. We both love it so much. It's amazing what a little closet space will do for the spirit! Chloe the Bulldog seems to love the crap out of it too. Our friends and Jeremy's family helped us move in. In my OCD nature, I had the place decorated within the first week or so. We have a nice yard and plenty of room. Best part of the new house is the ability to use the grill that Jeremy's parents bought us as a wedding gift 4+ years ago. It's been in the box until recently. Jeremy grills out far more often that I cook, in. It's one of the best things that ever happened to this girl!  Hah!

 Work- Jeremy completed his alternative teaching certification and began coaching baseball at Jenks High School. He comes skipping in the front door like a giddy school girl. It warms my heart to see him so excited about work. He's hoping to land a full time teaching job for next year- please pray for that! I am still working at St Francis Heart Hospital. I am starting to cross train into pediatric echocardiography and that makes me happy! I love the babies!

I had some health issues earlier this year which led to one of the toughest decisions of my life. In February I had a hysterectomy to end the many year struggle I had with endometriosis. It had gotten out of control and made my life miserable. It was a very hard decsion and I'm still up in the air as to whether or not it was the right one. I feel 100% better physically, but emotionally I'm struggling with it. Those of you who know me, know just how much I wanted to carry Jeremy's little guy or girl. We are exploring options on how to get our hands on to a little one. Kidnapping seems unethical, but I haven't ruled it out. Moms, keep your eye on your kids - especially if he or she is FAT. I LOVE FAT BABIES.

The most impacting experience this year has been the loss of Mr Tanner M'kane Evers. My cousin was 8 years old. He battled the evil Neuroblastoma for years and years. He was a hero. He fought the good fight with courage and dignity. We lost him on the 14th of this month. I was honored to be in the room when he turned into his mama and left his little body to go be with Jesus. Tanner was ridiculously handsome, with blue eyes and long, dark eyelashes. He was funny. He loved his mom and sissy more than anything on earth. He loved and trusted Jesus in a way that many adults could learn from. He lived with strength and dignity. We miss him more than you could ever know. But the thought of him eating ice cream with grandpa and playing UNO with Sicily and Izzy makes my heart sing. I just love and miss him so much. Moms, hug your babies and count your blessings. You guys, please pray for Rebecca (Tanner's mama) and Maddie (Tanner's sissy). I can't even wrap my mind around how they're feeling. My heart hurts so bad and I'm 100% positive it's not even a drop in the bucket compared to the heaviness in their hearts. Tanner impacted lives in a way I could only dream of. I have heard countless stories of people that were changed by meeting this little man. His memorial was last weekend. There was a sea of burnt orange in the crowd to honor Tanner's beloved Texas Longhorns. It was the first and last time I stood hand in hand with my husband, both wearing burnt orange. Pastor Trey Kent and his beautiful wife, Mary Anne, told wonderful stories of Tannner and made everyone falter between laughts and tears. It was perfect. Tanner was honored in so many ways and God was given the glory. Can you image it? Rebecca lost her 8 year old boy and it was still a priority to worship and lead friends and family to Jesus at his memorial. There were 500+ people there. Many, many people accepted Jesus and confirmed one more time that Tanner M'kane made an everlasting impact on this earth. What a guy.

Things are good, otherwise. We still attend LifeChurch and love it more than you might know. Pastor Craig Groeschel delivers messages week in and week out that make me feel as if I'm the only person in the auditorium. I leave feeling like the message was delivered just for me. I am so thankful for that. God is good.

We hope to deliver exciting news about getting our paws on a baby very soon. We'll see! You'll either read it in this blog or see me on 20/20 for some kidnapping scandal. Hopefully the latter never comes to fruition.

Love you guys more than you might know. Please pray for my family that is learning how to live without Tanner.

Love, the Griffin crew - Kelli, Jeremy and Chloe the Bulldog

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Asking the sun to stand still for Tanner

 Sun Stand Still. The miracle comes from a story in the book of Joshua in which Joshua is facing an entire army from Gilgal. The army is much stronger and larger than his own army. The Lord said to Joshua "Do not be afraid, I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you." Joshua fought the army throughout the day, but as the day was coming to a close he saw that there was a large battle still left ahead of him and if the night fell, he knew would not be able to complete the battle. With complete faith and abandon, this was Joshua's prayer,

"O sun, stand still over Gibeon, o moon, over the valley of Aijalon."

So the sun stood still and the moon stopped. THE SUN STOOD STILL, AND THE MOON STOPPED! The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. Joshua and his army finished and won the battle. God answers bold prayers, we just have to have enough faith to ask them.

Can we please send a united Sun Stand Still prayer up right now? My cousin,Tanner McCain Evers, is fighting a battle just as difficult as the battle Joshua faced in Gibeon. Tanner was first diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in 2006 when he was only 2 years old. NB is an aggressive, persistent cancer that has come back over and over again. Tanner fights like a champion and punches it into submission with the help of chemo, radiation, and even a stem cell harvest and transplant. He has relief for brief stents of only months. It has turned his world upside down. Tanner complains FAR less than myself, or any adult that I know would complain. He's a very tough little man.

Tanner and family went to Cooks Childrens Hospital in Ft Worth on Thursday for a round of scans. He had been having some arm and leg pain so everyone was a little on edge for this round. Before the scans even got started he got back scary test results from his urinalysis. The proteins that are tumor markers for NB had doubled since his last visit. Fears were confirmed after his MIBG results came back yesterday afternoon. Tanner has cancer along his entire spine and covering both arms and both legs. Dr Granger - his wonderful pediatric oncologist- says she doesn't know exactly how he is dealing with the pain. The cancer he has is enough to render a normal person helpless with pain. Like I said, Tanner is tough. Think about this, Tanner is so used to this that the pain in his arms and legs has become normal. That's one of the saddest realizations I've had in the past couple of days. If you read other stories, they will show history of NB returning over and over in kids. So lets pray a sun stand still prayer.

I pray that:
1.This cycle of chemo will kill every single cancer cell in Tanner's body.
2. Tanner will cease feeling pain caused by neuroblastoma.
3. Once the cancer is gone, it will never EVER return again.
4. Tanner will be completely healed and he and his family will become amazing witnesses for the power of God in our lives.

Tanner and his big sister, Maddie

Serious about some basketball!

best picture ever taken.

Rebecca (Tanner's mama), him and maddie

This is a bold Sun Stand Still prayer. But I know that God made the sun stand still for Joshua. I believe with everything inside of me that God can make the sun stand still for Tanner too. Please pray bold prayers along with me.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pastor Craig, have you been reading my diary??

  This has been such a fun birthday weekend. Friday was my 29th birthday. So next year I'll be 28. I'm going to count backwards from here on out - I'm clinging to my 20's for dear life! I'm not buying into the "30 is the new 20" thing. At work on Friday my coworkers brought food and decorated the department with HAPPY BIRTHDAY KELLI signs. Have I mentioned that I really do love the people I work with? I laugh a lot and learn a lot everyday. Well, Friday I cried during the first exam of the day out of pure frustration. I love my job, but I have a LONG way to go before I'm really good at it! I just want to snap my fingers and be a pro. This has definitely been one of the most difficult things I've ever taken on. I'm trying to be patient. Everyone at work is very encouraging so I know I'll get there eventually.  After work I met Jeremy back at home and we headed to Compadres for dinner. When we got there I was surprised to find a lot of my great friends there to celebrate my birthday with me. Jeremy is a sneaky guy. Jeremy got me a new charm for my pandora bracelet, a new bible cover, two shirts and a book that I've been wanting to read - all great gifts. On day two of birthday weekend we went to dinner and a movie with Jeremy's parents. Today I went to church and went shopping with Payton. It has just been a great weekend.

  I started this whole blog to talk about our journey to parenthood. I got the idea from my dear friend Lindsi (who by the way is moving right along in her journey, she has a bun in the oven -I couldn't be more excited for her!!) It's been a rollercoaster. I go through days/weeks of confidence and calm with the process. Then I go through days/weeks of doubt and desperation. Lately, I've been on the 100 mph downhill ride of doubt. The people I confide in are very encouraging and often say "What's supposed to happen will happen."  I genuinely appreciate the votes of confidence and sincere faith. But I can't quite wrap my head around it. I'm trying (really hard) to be confident. I pray every-single-day for the faith to accept this journey. Before, I prayed for the strength to accept His will, whatever it may be. Ever since I first watched the Sun Stand Still sermon, I have started to pray a much bolder prayer. I pray that God will give Jeremy and I the baby babies we both want so badly. Every time I dig into the Bible or listen to a sermon I pray that God will somehow help me relate this to our situation. Sometimes I feel like I'm obsessing about it. Don't get me wrong, I don't sit around all day-every day obsessing about having a baby. I'm a happy, blessed girl. I am so incredibly excited about where our life is going right now. I couldn't ask for a better husband, I love my job. We have awesome family and friends. This is just a big void in our lives.
  Today on the way to church I really prayed that God would speak to me about this. And he did, OH HE DID. The sermon was the last in the RE- series. This one was REmain. The whole basis of the sermon was about remaining connected to Christ.

     -Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.
      Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains
      in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." -John 15:4-5.

 I should be pretty evident why this struck a chord with me. I do understand that the scripture is referring to spiritual fruit. But it still began to feel like the sermon was written for me. Maybe God intended this to be a literal message for me, though. He's pretty crafty! Pastor Craig then proceeded to tell a story about a couple that was pretty much in the same place as Jeremy and me. He told us about their desperation and described his encounter with them. (**insert here - immediate tears**)  They came to him in the lobby at church and poured out their story and asked him to pray with them. Long story short, they had a baby boy less than a year later. The words in the sermon, combined with the message of hope was just the pick-me-up I needed today. I feel like if we crave God instead of other things, the other things (or lack thereof) start to hurt less and less. He promises us blessings beyond our wildest dreams. I choose to believe that a baby will be part of our many blessings. In the mean time, I'm going to try to follow instruction:
   1. Remain in God's word.
   2. Remain in Christian fellowship.
   3. Remain consistent in prayer.
   4. Remain amazed by God's creation.
   5. Remain faithful in service.

Sounds simple enough, right? I will continue to pray for the little guy(s) or gal(s) that we want in our lives.

   -If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.
     -John 15:7

We appreciate the prayers from friends and family for us. I also pray that I will continue to be a branch that is firmly connected to the vine.

Love you guys, enjoy your week.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm a proud member of the OU Alumni! Boomer Sooner!!

 I graduated! I'm so happy and relieved! It was such a great weekend.
We went to Norman friday night with the puppy in tow. A bunch of family came up to Norman to watch the big event. My groupies included my mom, stepdad, Dad, Edie (pronounced Eeeeedie) and Christopher (dad's gal and her son), Val (my sister), Zach and Elijah (my nephews), Bill and Amanda (brother and his wife), Don and Debs (parent-in-laws), Aunt Debbie (self explanitory), My Love, and my puppy. It was such a fun weekend. We got there Friday evening and met Dad, Edie and Christopher at their hotel and went out to dinner. We were so lucky to find a pet-friendly hotel so we could leave Chloe to relax in front of the TV while we ran errands. Anyway, we went out to eat at Texas Roadhouse. Our waitress was adorable but she made me ride the saddle while the restraunt congratulated me on my graduation. We retired back to the hotel in time to watch the Thunder drop a heart breaker. (In better news, they came back to win game seven on Sunday night when we got back to Tulsa - THUNDER UP!!!!!!)

Saturday afternoon the rest of the gang got to Norman. The gals went shopping, the guys talked sports. We all went to eat a Johnny Carrinos and then headed to graduation. It was a huge mess! There we more people there than seats to put them in. I mean A LOT more people than seats. Hundreds of people were sitting outside of Catlett music hall, some in tears. They ended up seating family in the place where we were supposed to sit. They kicked faculty off the stage and some how my entire family ended up sitting there. Yes, on the stage. My family will forever be in everyone's graduation pics. Random. We were really lucky, some family members didn't get to see their graduates walk the stage - SAD!! None of the graduates got to see any of the ceremony. We basically waited in a hall and walked through single file just long enough to shake hands and get our degree (holders...not the real thing yet). My wonderful friend Jackie came too! I hadn't seen her in over a year and it meant the world to me to see her when I walked in! Overall, the ceremony was a pooh-storm. But I honestly don't care!! I graduated! I had so many people there to support me. It was a wonderful weekend. I start my new job at St Francis Heart Hospital any day now. Still waiting on HR crap to work itself out. Until them, I'm cleaning like crazy. I'm cleaning out cabinets, getting rid of clothes, CLEANING!! It feels so good! Hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather!! Love you all!

                                                                 Me and My Love
                                                             Me and Mom
                                                                My class minus 4
                                                         Dad, Edie, and Chris
                        Me with Val, Zach and was Eli's 13th bday!
                                       Me with Bill and Amanda
                                                        me and Aunt Debbie
                                                 Me and Dr Boyce
                                  Chloe living it up at the hotel
                               Hanna, Me, Mai and Debs...the Tulsa ladies
Me and My Love

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Weird day...

The countdown has finally reached single digits! My Tulsa graduation is Tuesday night (at TU) and my Norman graduation is Saturday night. (at 8:00 at Callett Music Hall in Norman). It's kind of a weird mix of emotions. I feel like it wasn't that long ago that I got my acceptance letter to the sonography program in the mail. At random times I get a spontaneous whiff of formaldehyde left over from cadaver anatomy. (I'm afraid that one won't ever go away....) At the same time, I feel like I've been in this program FOREVER!! It seems like I've been counting down to graduation for like ten years!

When I was accepted into the program, I was originally placed in OKC. I ended up switching with a friend and moved to the Tulsa campus. Like a week after I committed to switch, I had a mini-nervous breakdown. I remember laying in bed crying for like an hour. Jeremy just kept saying, "I JUST WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY!! If you want us to stay, we can stay. If you want to go to Tulsa, we can go!!" He probably though I was out of my mind. I can't say I blame him! Obviously, we moved. I was nervous about leaving my friends, moving to a new city, and joining a class in Tulsa that already knew one another. Turns out, it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I have met some wonderful people here. I've made friends that I could count on for anything. We found a church that we both love. I got a great job working in cardiac. Things really fell into place for us. There is one downside. I absolutely hate, hate, hate living so far away from my family. I feel guilty about it all of the time. It's been especially hard because I had school all week and then had some paper to write or test to study for every single weekend. I'm hoping now that graduation is finally here, I'll be able to plan trips home on a more regular basis. It's really weird, because I love living in Tulsa- but I feel guilty that I love it so much because my family isn't here. It's hard to explain. In my perfect world my family would all live here too.

For the past year or so, my biggest goal was to finish school and find a job. That made it a bit easier to push starting a family onto the back burner. Don't get me wrong, I thought about it all of the time. So now, I am done with school (with the exception of two finals on Wednesday). I have a job and we're about to start house shopping. Having a baby is back on my mind full time these days. It could have a little something to do with the fact that almost EVERY couple we know is pregnant or pushing a stroller. Haha. And I'm truly, sincerely happy for those people. (especially the one having Bentley's brother). But I really want need to be one of those people. I had a little moment in church this morning. At the 10:00 service they had a big baby dedication ceremony. There were 8 happy couples at the front of the church holding babies and beaming. The thought crossed my mind...."What if Jeremy and I never get to stand up there and show off our own little girl or boy?" I got choked up, then full blown tears. Again, Jeremy is left wondering if I lost my mind. Lol. Poor guy. In past years, I always gave the cards and gifts and acknowledged Mother's Day. Today was the first time that my heart really hurt on Mother's Day. It was the first time I felt (as dumb as this sounds) left out, I guess. Now I'm sitting here feeling dumb for feeling sad.

I'm in such a weird place. I'm excited beyond belief about graduating and starting a new job. But my heart is feeling a little bit broken at the same time. I'm struggling with just letting go of the anxiety and doubt about ever getting pregnant. I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens next!

Friday, April 22, 2011

My sun stood still...

School is winding down. I graduate in three weeks-ish. About a month ago the thought of graduation totally stressed me out. I was so afraid that graduation would come and go and I'd be jobless! I stressed and cried and whined to Jeremy day in and day out! (Side note: I have the most supportive husband alive. No matter how stressed and doubtful I felt, he had no doubts and believed in me. Thank you love!! I'm so lucky!) My Sun Stand Still prayer was that I would get a the job at St Francis Cardiac. I had prayed about it before, but I finally just asked God - with abandon. Like Joshua asked the sun to stand still. I asked him to allow me to work there, and to use me in a way that glorified Him. And we all know that GOD IS GOOD. I got the job!! I couldn't be more excited!! Now it's my turn to hold up my end of the deal. I want people - patients, coworkers, strangers, everyone - to see Him in me. I'm so excited to see where this goes.

I rotated through St Francis cardiac about a year ago and I loved the people that worked there. I asked to go back for a second rotation this spring and Professor Bagley let me go. I'm so thankful for that! The people there are so fun. There is little-to-no drama and everyone gets along. I'm happy that I found a job where people are as goofy as me. It is going to be hard work, but I know there will be lots of laughs! I'm pretty much beside myself about it. I feel so lucky!

Thanks to everyone who sent positive vibes and prayers my way. I feel like we're entering a brand new chapter in our lives and I'm so excited to get started! Step one is tomorrow - go buy a graduation dress and some St-Francis-blue scrubs!! Yayyy! Love you all!

Enjoy your Easter weekend and focus on the miracle that it really is. Jesus died for us. He gave us the ability to live and be forgiven. The best part, he ROSE AGAIN! Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Audacious Faith

Last Sunday I ordered Sun Stand Still. It's a book written by the pastor who was guest speaker at our church last weekend. The sermon was awesome and I couldn't wait to read the book. I checked the mail last night and it was heeeeere!! I read for a little bit last night and some today. I'm about 115 pages in and it is so amazing. I recommend it to anyone EVERYONE!! The message is so inspirational and it really helps you examine who you are and exactly what your purpose is for your life. I know this sounds a little dramatic but it's so true!! The book was under ten bucks. I ordered it from Amazon. The author's name is Steven Furtick. Every time I reach a new topic I can find a crystal clear way to apply the concept to where I am in my life right now. I just came to a chapter where he talks about the slippery slope of losing faith. When you're on a spiritual high, it's easy to keep floating. But when something goes wrong and faith falters, it's easy to keep stumbling. Like I said, slippery slope. I am in the midst of recognizing my Sun Stand Still prayer. It has a lot to do with the whole job adventure I am about to dive head first into.

Pastor Steven shared affirmations, or confessions that have helped to strengthen his faith daily. I'm totally going to do this. It goes along the same lines as looking in the mirror first thing in the morning at my mascara smeared eyes, afro-esque hair, unwanted little pooch on my lower stomach - and saying "You're nice, you're beautiful, and people like you!" Okay, so I don't do that. It's not very convincing. Hahah. Buuuut, the confessions I vow to focus on are VERY convincing. Here they are.....

Twelve Audacious Faith Confessions

1. I am fully forgiven and free from all shame and condemnation.
   Romans 8:1-2; Ephesians 1:7-8; Joohn 1:9

2. I act in audacious faith to change the world in my generation.
   Joshua 10:12-14; John 14:12

3. I have no fear or anxiety; I trust in the Lord with all my heart.
   Proverbs 3:5-6; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:7

4. I am able to fulfill the calling God has placed on my life.
   Exodus 3:9-12; Psalm 57:2; Colossians 1:24-29

5. I am fully resourced to do everything God has called me to do.
   Deuteronomy 8:18; Luke 6:38; Philippians 4:13

6. I have to no insecurity, because I see myself the way God sees me.
   Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 139:13-16; Ephesians 5:25-27

7. I am a faithful spouse (if you're single, you can slip future in there) and a godly parent-our family is blessed.
   Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Ephesians 5:22-25; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Peter 3:1-7

8. I am completely whole - physically, mentally, and emotionally.
   Psalm 103:1-5; Matthew 8:16-17; Corinthians 5:17; 1 Peter 2:24

9. I am increasing in influence and favor for the kingdom of God.
   Genesis 45:4-8; 1 Samuel 2:26; Acts 2:37-47.

10.  I am enabled to walk in the sacrificial love of Christ.
   2 Thessalonians 2:16-17; 1 John 3:16; 4:9-12

11. I have the wisdom of the Lord concerning every decision I make.
   2 Chronicles 1:7-12; Proverbs 2:6; Ecclesiastes 2:26; James 1:5

12. I am protected from all harm and evil in Jesus' name.
   Genesis 50:20; Psalm 3:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 3:2-3.

I love everything about this. The scrapbook nerd is gonna come out in me and make a pretty little version of this to hang in my home. I hope you like!

Side note: this book would be an awesome bible study tool! Anyone interested??

Love you all!