A STORY OF LOVE AND LOSS: I NEED YOU TO VOTE TODAY: Here’s Why…

You probably don’t know my dear friends, Jake and Kari Dunham, but I’m asking you to help them today.

For anyone who has experienced Infertility or Miscarriage, you understand the longing, heartache, and pain. Jake and Kari understand these two things all too well.

JAKE AND KARI HAVE A BEAUTIFUL STORY. They have been married for 11 years, but they knew each since the fourth grade.

They became best friends and that friendship never stopped. Only grew stronger.

 

They married on May 4, 2007. They’ve wanted a baby since. They tried many procedures that have not worked. On April 15, 2017, Kari finally received a positive test, Jake and her thought their dream was finally coming true. But on April 29, the doctor called saying the pregnancy was ectopic and would require immediate surgical attention. After 10 years of hoping for a baby, their hearts felt shattered.

But the desire to grow their family has never left. Only grown stronger.

And now, they have a big chance. The Fertility Center is offering to pay a full procedure of IVF to a couple in the Flip the Script contest. There are 8 finalists. Whoever receives the most votes will win.

Jake and Kari NEED this. They need to win because IVF is very expensive. Please, help make their dream of a baby into a reality.
WE NEED YOUR VOTE. Voting is open until Thursday, May 3rd.

HOW: click this link: https://www.facebook.com/tfcmi/ (This is the homepage of the Fertility Center. Then scroll down to Our Story: Jake and Kari Dunham. LIKE their actual post, not the video.) LIKING THEM IS YOUR VOTE.

Thank you for taking time out today to help them.

Monday Memories: A Journey of Pictures

The mission trip in 2003 where I met, my would-become-husband, Jonathan for the first time.
Visiting a reservation in Escanaba to work with the children. They blessed me more than I ever could have blessed them.
The day I married my best friend.
Our first real Christmas tree.
Hosting our First Halloween Party
Touring England for the second time with my British sister, Joanna.
My first baby, Isabella Joy.
Experiencing Seattle, Washington with family, Connie and Christian.
Attending my first Murder Mystery Party in character.
Our first two chickens we adopted, Tiffany and Lily. The coop wasn’t finished so they lived in our downstairs bathroom for two days.
Yearly camping trips with the family in a tent!
Dressing up and trick-or-treating with my sister, Carmen, and our kiddos.
Remembering my two babies in Heaven, Shiloh and Selah, born after Isabella.
A healthy boy, Gabriel Jonathan born in 2010.
First time to Pentwater and touring Storybook Village.
My first interactive story lesson where I taught children how to use their imaginations and write a story with me.
The first performance I have done with my husband. We were Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.
The release party for my first published book, The Magic Snow Globe.

So many fond memories and many more pictures I couldn’t show today. These are simply highlights of the many blessed years God has given me so far.

Blast From the Past: My First Christmas as a Mrs.

I have always loved Christmas! Luckily, I married a man who loves it just as much as me. On our first Christmas, we hunted for the perfect tree at Doumel Tree Farms. Then we cut it down and brought it back to our tiny home in Bay City, MI. Check out these photos from eleven years ago! We looked so young.

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Opening gifts at my parents’ house. My Dad always give his own”special” presents. Usually a lot of white elephant trinkets from the dollar store. It’s a blast!

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Monday Morning Joke: Put the Pizazz back into the Marriage

I only know a few jokes by memory that I retell…this is one of them.

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A couple were now in their eighties and about to celebrate their 65th anniversary.

At breakfast that morning the wife said to the husband, “We’ve been married a long time and I love you very much, but I feel like we don’t have the same pizazz we once had in our marriage. Do you remember when we used to eat breakfast in the nude?”

The husband smiled. “Yes, I remember.”

“What if we did that again?” said the wife. “How about tomorrow morning?”

The husband agreed.

The following morning, the husband and wife settled down at the table for breakfast wearing nothing but smiles.

The wife gazed at her husband and said, “I think its working. I have a warm sensation in my breasts.”

The husband’s forehead creased. “Actually honey, I think that’s because one of them is hanging in your coffee and the other is sitting in the eggs.”

 

Picture Reference: http://atimetolivelaughandlove.blogspot.com/2013/04/dont-mess-with-senior-citizens.html

#mondaymorningjoke #marriagehumor

Nine Years Married

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June 18, 2005

Today marks the 9th anniversary, since my husband and I said “I do.”

And since then, we’ve continued to say I do. I do take you as my best friend to explore and adventure life together, no matter what we face, let’s do it together! In nine years, we have already shared many adventures. Today, I’ll highlight a few.

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Our first quest took us to Kauai in 2005 where we kayaked rivers, tubed down irrigation ditches, went off-roading in mud buggies, discovered some native hotspots for eating, and conquered Hanakapiai Falls. The hike to the falls was crazy. The sun was going down, we didn’t catch the group with a tour guide, but we managed to follow the overgrown trails to the waterfall and back out before it was completely dark.

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We bought our first house on Mix Street in Bay City, Michigan in 2005 where we both worked on staff at a church. The house was built in 1952 and needed work. We loved it. Even though the basement flooded in 2007 from the sewer drain. We were ankle deep in brown water, toilet paper, and poo.

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MIX STREET HOUSE

We journeyed through California in 2008 doing ministry work, but also having a lot of fun!

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Newport Beach, CA

We toured through England with my dear friend, Joanna and her husband, who are residents of Ipswich. Joanna and I first met during a school exchange program to England in 2002 where her family hosted me. They will forever be my English family!

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London’s Tower Bridge, 2008
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Posing with the Police in London

 

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Sir and Madam of Warwick Castle

 

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Stonehenge

In 2009, we started a very new journey, adding to our family! I became pregnant with my daughter in June 2009. And three months into the pregnancy, we traveled to Costa Rica for a missionary trip and to see Jonathan’s family.

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Jonathan and I with his Auntie
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Posing with Jonathan’s cousin and his wife
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Church Valentine’s Banquet, two days before I delivered!

My baby girl was born on February 14, 2010. Our adventures continued with our trio. We went to Seattle, Washington!

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Since then, we added three more beautiful children to our Cordero clan. Two are being cared for in Heaven and our son, Gabriel is here, making sure Bella knows what its like to have a brother pull her hair.

Now our family is pursuing a life-dream adventure. The country life. We built a home on land and are moving toward a self-sustaining lifestyle with hobby farming.

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The best part of this story is simple: I did it with my true love, Jonathan Cordero. I can’t wait to see what the future holds; I know it will be great as long as I’m with him.

 

 

Release the Cat…my new motto

Sometimes, claws are a good thing.

Recently, I dressed like Catwoman for a costume party. And I quite enjoyed being a cat for the night. It was empowering. I felt like Anne Hathaway all in black ready for the attack. Yes, I was all fired up.

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But the next day arrived, my costume was put away, and I went back to my daily apparel: t-shirt and yoga pants. Wasn’t quite as empowering. But a thought occurred to me…just because I don’t have on the costume doesn’t mean the cat is gone. She just needs to rise up to the occasion.

Life can get tough, or boring, or frustrating, or many things. It can disappoint and bring self-doubt. The mind can race with anxiety or critical, self-deprecating words.

And it in those moments, the claws need to come out and fight against the doldrums. Fight against the depression. Fight against lies Satan is whispering in your ear. It’s then that you need to: RELEASE THE CAT.

Get a little mad. Release the cat!

HA! I love this new motto. It’s completely silly and kind of stupid, but let me tell you, it does work. It helps put you in a mental place to fight.

Today, I had some internal battles and just thinking to myself: “Catie, it’s time to release the cat,” made me feel better.

Try it out. RELEASE THE CAT.

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Picture References:

http://www.hollywood.com/news/movies/34622682/the-dark-knight-rises-why-anne-hathaway-s-catwoman-is-the-best-one-yet

http://www.bubblews.com/news/1219997

http://stuffpoint.com/home-pets/image/75449/angry-cat-ready-for-fight-wallpaper

http://www.2funnycats.com/super-cats/silly-cats

http://www.hahastop.com/pictures/An_Attack_Cat

Simple Shack Serenity

Throw your cares to the wind and journey to…The Shack.

No… not the song. It’s a little ol’ place up in Jugville, Michigan.

The Shack is a great place for a couple’s getaway or a family retreat. My immediate family spent a weekend at the resort to celebrate my parents’ 31st wedding anniversary. It was a splendid choice for the occasion.

Here are some highlights from our trip…

FISHING AND PADDLE BOATING:

Husband, Jonathan, Made Quite the Catch
Paddled Until our Hearts Content

WALKING THE BEAUTIFUL PROPERTY AND TRAILS:

Along Robinson Lake
Through the Woods and Cottages

THE MUSEUM:

Please, let me introduce you to Chief Blue Cloud and my sister, Carmen
Isabella, honing her skills for the farm
“Howdy. This is my fine collection of rakes.”
“Along with my rakes, I have a mighty fine supply of apple juice.”
Fantastic Country Kitchen
Go Bella, Go!
Bella Gave Up

WEEKEND BREAKFAST, DINNER, AND SUNDAE BUFFETS!

Dining Hall
The Banana Split Sundae Bar! Treats All Around!

EXOTIC ANIMALS:

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The Boar and His Friend

REST, RELAXATION, AND A ROYAL GOOD TIME!

Aunt Carmen and Isabella Swinging
Peek-A-Boo

The Shack was a wonderful, tranquil, and beautiful place.

Check it out sometime. You’ll be glad you did!

The Shack:

2263 W 14th Street
White Cloud, MI 49349
(231) 924-6683

http://www.theshackbandb.com

Vacation Station

View of Silver Lake from our balcony

Two weeks ago, Jonathan and I celebrated our seven-year anniversary by taking a two-day trip to Silver Lake and Pentwater, Michigan. If you haven’t ever visited these beautiful cities, it’s time to schedule a trip!

Morning cup of joe on the beach outside our hotel

Our third floor room at the Waterfront Dunes Resort overlooked the view of Silver Lake and the sands dunes. We rented a wave runner and cruised the lake. We enjoyed the scenery, but more importantly, we created major waves! (Sorry little kayaks…you should have rented a wave runner.) After nearly tipping twice, we docked by the dunes, climbed the tallest one, and ran down like a couple of kids. It was awesome!

That evening, we drove fifteen minutes north to Pentwater, jamming to the tunes of my beloved 80’s music.

Pentwater is a small village with a gorgeous marina and quaint shops. Our favorite stores were Gustafson’s Antiques, Storybook Village, and the Nautical Shop.

Pentwater Marina
The Nautical Shop
Gull Landing:
Jonathan’s Salmon
Gull Landing:
My Pasta Dish. Yum!

One of the hottest spots was Gull Landing. We loved this restaurant so much that we ate there twice (dinner and lunch). Yes…it was that good. At dinner, they had a live band covering classic jazz hits. Jonathan ordered salmon, and I ordered pasta. It was incredible.

But the best part of all was…the coffee!

Douwe Egberts Coffee
Life Just Got Better!

It was a Dutch coffee called Douwe Egberts. It was rich and smooth. Upon further investigation, I located Douwe Egberts not only online, but locally in the International Foods aisle at Meijer! Now I can enjoy a cup or more of this delicious coffee every day! Hooray!

Marriage is More than the Current Moment

This picture made me laugh. It’s such a great depiction of certain seasons in marriage. Some seasons are fun and bliss. Others prove tiring and frustrating.

Norman Rockwell: Gaiety Dance Team
wikipaintings.org

Jonathan and I just celebrated our seven year anniversary on Monday. We’re coming off of a very busy season, and it has felt kind of like this photo.  Worn out. Not much gaiety.

Marriage is made up of moments. Lulls, laughs, letdowns, and love that trumps them all.

My advice to Dolores and Eddie is to take a sleeping pill and lay down on a memory foam pillow. Get some rest. Tomorrow is a new day.

Marriage is more than the current moment. It is a commitment to the moments that make up many, many more. It’s a commitment to forever.