Sunday, January 16, 2011

nEw YeAr LeTtEr

Nic and Allison were planning on sending out a Christmas card and letter to their family, but the holidays always bring the hustle and bustle. Instead, they decided to do a review of this past year. 2010 has been an eventful year for the Phair family. It has brought new adventures and challenges. They look forward to 2011 for what it might bring to their family and their marriage.

Nic is continuing his work as an insurance agent for Klamath Insurance Center. He stays busy with his calling as Elders Quorum President in their ward. Allison is the primary chorister and has been for 2 years. They both are enjoying their callings. Most recently Allison was called to be the ward choir director and succeeded in her first Christmas sacrament meeting program. Nic and Allison also celebrated their 2 year anniversary on December 27. They can’t believe how the time has passed.

Time to rewind and take a step back into 2010. In March, Allison finished up her college degree in Applied Psychology with an emphasis in Human Services at Oregon Institute of Technology and in June, received her diploma. June also marked the one year mark of Nic and Allison trying to conceive. This is where the real story begins.

Nic and Allison’s doctors decided to run tests to see why they were having issues conceiving. Routine male tests were done on Nic and doctors found a low sperm count. Nic and Allison were disappointed and saddened by this news, but life must go on. They wondered: why the low numbers? A tiny varicocele vein was found, but wasn’t big enough to cause the low numbers. They debated whether surgery was a good idea or not, but decided for Nic not to have the surgery.

The Phairs decided to visit a fertility specialist to see what their options were. The specialist stated that intrauterine insemination wasn’t an option because of the low numbers. Nic and Allison truly were devastated about this – it doesn’t mean they still couldn’t have spent the money on it, but decided against it because of their low chances. They walked away knowing that adoption and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) were their only options. Nic and Allison decided to look into IVF.

Research was done and they picked a hospital in Portland: Oregon Reproductive Medicine (ORM). More information about ORM and the process of IVF can be found here. ORM has really great test results for IVF. Although IVF was the most expensive option, Nic and Allison knew it would be worth it in the end. They knew their families would be behind them the whole way. Nic and Allison were set up with a very good doctor at ORM. Paperwork was filled out, appointments were made, trips back and forth to Portland were made, IVF teaching was done, and routine tests were done. Nic and Allison had hope and there was finally a light shining ahead.

Through routine female testing, their doctor found that Allison’s hormone levels and egg quality weren’t where they were supposed to be for her age of 23. The doctor said that her eggs were the quality of a 40 year old. All of their options were exhausted to try and make IVF work. However after more testing, their doctor said that the likelihood of conceiving with IVF was very slim. Their doctor was more then happy to proceed with IVF, but knew this was disappointing news to this couple wanting to start their family.

Despite the bad news, there was good news given to this little family. Allison got a job at Sky Lakes Medical Center as a discharge planner in October. This was great news for Nic and Allison and a definite blessing for their family.

Nic and Allison knew they had a big decision to make. Tears were shed as they knew it was becoming more difficult to start their family. Prayers were offered up; priesthood blessings were given; fasting was done. Nic and Allison received their answer: not to proceed with IVF. They decided to take a breather after many months of this emotionally and physically draining journey. They knew adoption was the next road to travel.

Allison realized she was having a hard time dealing with the news of not being able to bear children of her own; she decided to see a counselor. As hard as it was for Allison to admit, she knew this would benefit her greatly. She was right. She has been very grateful to her counselor for giving her different perspectives on what it means to be a woman and have a family. Allison has learned that she already has a family with Nic – Nic is her family. Despite her expectations of starting a family the “normal way,” she learned that it doesn’t make her any less of a woman.

December brought hope and enlightenment to the Phair family. A case manager from LDS Family Services visited with the Klamath Falls Stake President. Luckily for Nic and Allison, they have a close connection with the Stake President, and were able to meet with this case manager. They were extremely grateful to the Stake President for allowing them the opportunity to sit and discuss adoption with this case manager.

It was an hour and a half meeting, and so the adoption journey began for them. This is now where their story ends. Nic and Allison have started the adoption process and look forward to their journey in 2011. They are also creating an adoption blog. One of their friends is generously creating it and once it is done, you will be the first to know.

As they reflect on 2010, they are grateful for the trials they have been faced with. They would never wish these experiences on any family, but they wouldn’t trade their experiences for anything. Their experiences have brought them closer together as a couple and have strengthened their relationship with their Heavenly Father. There is a greater plan for this family. That’s what faith is all about – moving forward not knowing where this journey might lead you, but knowing that you’ll be a better person because of it. Nic and Allison have received so much strength and support from their families as they have traveled through this past year. They are grateful for the prayers that have been offered on their behalf. They hope you will take this journey with them wherever it may lead them. Nic and Allison pray and hope that 2011 will bring their family a blessing from heaven.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

ChRiStMaS & tHeN sOmE

It's about time I finally post the end of 2010 (aka Christmas) and the beginning of 2011 (aka New Years). Christmas was spent with my family - my WHOLE ENTIRE family was in town. 21 people. Crazy. Fun. We started off the festivities with my mom's concert at RRT - such a talented woman, but I knew that.
Brother Ben, SIL Sharon, Hudson (all of the kids stayed home - he was the lucky one)
Sister Summer, BIL Josh
Brother Sam, SIL Nikki
Sister Dani and my dad
Me and Neeko
Nic's birthday falls around Christmas (December 22). I did the 12 days of Neeko. For 12 days, he had the privilege of listening to me sing "The 12 Days of Neeko" (same tune as "The 12 Days of Christmas) and opening a gift everyday. He got a bunch of different things, including breakfast in bed and a few gift certificates. For his actual b-day, we had dinner at my parents house, then me and all of the sibs went bowling. We had a blast!
The birthday boy and my crazy brother Sam
Look at that form! He should quit his day job. haha
The ladies: me, Nikki, Summer, Dani, Sharon
The men: Sam, Nic, Josh, Ben (my BIL Jefferson missed out)
Sweet pants
Christmas Eve day we saw Tangled. GREAT MOVIE. I highly recommend it. Nic and I then went to our own home and celebrated our own little Christmas.
There is quite the story behind these boots. I will save it for a different post.
Yay! A boring white dress shirt. He obviously was really excited.
So happy!
Ooo. Love the boots.
Lookin' good.
Nic even surprised me by taking me to Solar Nails to get my nails done. I had been asking for weeks to get them done, but was not expecting it at all. They can be pricey, but non the less. Such a sweet man. We spent the night at my parent's on Christmas Eve and hung out the rest of the day. I didn't take any other pics except for this one:
Good morning!
Santa Claus visited us and brought us everything we asked for. We had a very merry Christmas indeed. :)
In between Christmas and New Years, we celebrated our 2 year anniversary. It was spent at work. haha We to dinner and a movie. I didn't even take a picture. :( I can't believe it's already been 2 years. I love being married to my best friend.
New Years eve.
We are hott and we know it. :)
We went to Bull Mania. Love it every time. Another recommendation. Who wouldn't love bucking horses and bulls?
Me and Summer
My amazing rentals. Love them.
Summer and Josh
3 pretty ladies (well at least 2 haha)
Woo! Terrifying.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

3 MoNtH eVaL

I had my 3 month evaluation on January 3. I can't believe it's already been 3 months since I started working at Sky Lakes Medical Center! I was so nervous for this evaluation - I'm not sure why but I was. I sat down with my manager and the first thing she asks me is, "How do you think it's going"? I told her I think it's going well. (Does she agree? Disagree?) She agreed. :) She then showed me this list of responsibilities that pertain specifically to the "Discharge Planner" position - AKA me. We went through each responsibility (i.e. visiting the patient in a timely manner, charting in a timely manner, charting appropriately, etc). There were two columns: pass or follow-up. She had to put a check mark where she thought I was...I passed every item. No check marks for follow-up. :) She told me that she thinks I'm a good fit and glad that they hired me. :) I told her that I love this job and love the atmosphere and people I work with. She asked me if there was anything she could do better. Of course not. I really do like my manager. She's a great woman. The people I work with - social workers, RN, case managers, LPN - are great people. I learn something new everyday, if not multiple things. This job has taught me a lot about myself. It has taught me that I am a confident person and I shouldn't doubt my abilities. I do make a difference in lots of people's lives and I should give myself more credit. No day is ever the same working in the hospital. Some patients are a challenge, but it always turns out in the end. I love working with people. Today I even had a sweet old man kiss my hand and tell me I was a "good lookin' lady." This job truly is a blessing everyday.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

ThAt'S a WrAp

I can't believe another year has come and gone. Wow. It's 2011! Craziness in a box. Nic and I have been so busy - Christmas, 2 year anniversary, work, more work, family time, and ringing in the new year. This year has definitely had its ups and downs like any year, but this past year has brought its challenges. Of course, the challenges have helped us grow individually and together. Our marriage is stronger and we are more grounded in each other. I'm grateful for the challenges that have been thrown our way. Some days I just want to give up and throw in the towel, but I'm grateful for family, home teachers and Nic. There are always people around us that are willing to love us and support us. Stay tuned for what the Phair family has been up to...