We ❤️ Houston

Houston. It's where I call home.  It's where I was born (literally, downtown at St. Joseph's hospital). As a homegrown Texan and Houstonian, I'm still at a loss of words of what has transpired in the past couple of weeks.   When I started this post last month, I was going to share about an adventure that we had; but then Hurricane Harvey happened.  So, I scratched that post and here we are.  

My family was very fortunate not to be flooded by the hurricane, but it's still hard.  Everyone was affected by the hurricane, whether directly or indirectly.  It's heartbreaking to see the debris and displacement that has happened to our community; but it is welcoming to see what is happening to our relationships.  Through this storm, it seems like we have come together as a community.  Complete strangers asking, "Are you alright? Where you affected?  How is your family? Is there anything I can help with?" Distant friends and family you have not talked to in months, checking in on you.  Signs around town that say, "Katy Strong. Houston Strong. Pray for Texas."

My posts are usually about our infertility journey, past or present; and I feel like this post is also.  In the journey of trying to conceive, we need community.  I feel like we need each other, whether it's due to infertility or through a storm.  Embrace your community.  Uniting, supporting, and standing together is what it means to live in community.

So before I sign off, I wanted to lend the opportunity to help those in my community.  There are still many who need help in recovering from the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Please consider supporting the charities and recovery efforts below, especially since ALL funds raised will be used locally.  If you prefer supporting someone directly, I also listed the support page for my friend, Becky.

Bless Becky Devastated by Harvey                                                                                                Greater Houston Community Foundation                                                                                     Houston Food Bank                                                                                                                       Houston Public Library Foundation

There are also some "fun" ways to support hurricane relief efforts.  My husband and I went on a belated birthday dinner for me at a local restaurant that is participating in the extended Houston Restaurant Week (HRW).  HRW is a dining extravaganza that benefits the Houston Food Bank, which is in greater need more than ever right now.  The original dates for HRW 2017 were August 1-Sept. 4; but due to Hurricane Harvey, it was extended for the rest of September. 

Lastly, if you're in Houston area, I invite you to come and namaste for Hurricane Harvey Relief with me on Saturday, October 28th! All proceeds are benefiting a local Katy family that was flooded during the storm.

~Brandi

Fireworks

There was a fireworks show on July 1st in our town.  I have no clue why there was one on Saturday, but it was totally unexpected, and such a nice surprise and treat.  While I was sitting on the back porch watching them, I started to reflect on a time in our marriage that lacked surprises.  There was a lack of "fireworks" during the course of the fertility treatments. I had become so laser-focused on conceiving

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National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW)

When we were growing our family from my husband and I, it was a five-year journey before our first little one arrived.   We did not share that we were struggling to build our family.  We did not speak up.  But this time around, it's different.  As we are walking through the fertility journey again, we are speaking up, and I challenge you to "Listen Up!"  

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Happy New Year

In our home, we don't set New Year's resolutions, but we do set goals.  We got our fancy 2017 Passion Planners over a month ago, and have already started transferring important dates into them.  I have a tendency to over schedule and over plan, which is a behavior that my accountability partner is helping me walk through (thank you, Karna!).   The over planning and extreme goal setting was pretty extreme, especially when we were trying to have our first child.  We had been married for four years at the time, and we were all about S.M.A.R.T. goals, and put a timeline with every goal we set.  So along with our other goals for that year,

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I can't believe this is happening

While we were trying to get pregnant, I couldn't believe infertility was happening to us. When we got pregnant with our daughter Julia, I couldn't believe it was happening.  And now, I can't believe God is using me to share hope through a devotional for women going through infertility.  My sorrowful "I can't believe this is happening," has changed into a joyful "I can't believe this is happening." 

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What's in the package?

I have a package.  I've had it since Wednesday, but I think it arrived on Tuesday. And I still haven't opened it.  I know.  The suspense is really pulling one me, but I am going to wait.  I want to share what's inside with friends and family....even if it's virtually.  

Join me live on Facebook or Periscope on Sunday, November 20th at 9am EST.  

~Brandi

PS.  I'll only be live for about 5 minutes.  Bedhead, PJ's, and coffee are welcome!