Tuesday, December 29, 2009


This year was not at all what I had imagined and truthfully probably not at all what I had been hoping it would be when it started. But in this last year I have learned how very blessed I really am, not measured in the amount of money or things I have but in the things that truly matter. So even in this stressful and trying year I couldn't be happier to be me.
At the beginning of the year I was excited to move to Parker, even though we were sad to leave our wonderful friends and beautiful Spearfish. Excited to meet our new doctor and start trying for a baby, and Super excited to start building our new house. It was sure to be the best year EVER!
Fast forward to today. Since the beginning of the year we did move to Parker which we love, but do of course miss our friends. We did meet our new doctor who is wonderful and did a surgery and some procedures, but unfortunately after the fiasco with our shady contractor who are stuck waiting until we can financially move forward with IVF or adoption. We did build a beautiful new house which we now live in and love, but did get taken advantage of by a bad contractor who we are still dealing with today.
Thankfully I know that God has not been surprised by any that has happened in the last year and that he has a plan for us that is greater than anything I could ever imagine. We have always said that patience is our life lesson and I think that this last year has really been a test for us. There are two ways to look at things. I can look at how everything has gone wrong and set us back or I can look forward with faith and see how God is going to use all these circumstances to do great things in our lives. So instead of being mad we will concentrate on being thankful, instead of being frustrated we will focus on where God wants us to go, and all of that is pretty easy to do when we count our blessings and realize how lucky we are!
As long as I have my amazing husband to love me and God's grace I will have all I could ever need. I will be praying for a blessed 2010 for us and for all my amazing family and friends.
Happy New Year!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Favorite Time of Year

It's my favorite time of year...

Putting up the tree, my grammie's old nativity set, and all of our other favorite decorations! And remembering all the blessings in our lives. We hope you are all enjoying all the magic, peace, and love during this Christmas season!

Friday, October 23, 2009

#1 Husband

I have the most amazing husband EVER! I realize lots of women think the same thing but my husband truly is INCREDIBLE!

  • He makes me feel like the only girl in the world.

  • He goes above and beyond to make sure our family is well cared for.

  • He is an AMAZING cook!

  • He is literally the funniest person I have ever known.

  • He loves God!

  • He will tickle my back for hours and never complain.

  • He is going to make the most amazing Dad someday and I can not wait to see him holding our babies!

  • He is my best friend.

These are just a few of the reasons he is the most amazing man and husband. I love you Max Robert Masters and everyday nothing makes me happier and prouder than being your wife!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Curve Balls

Lately life has taken us in directions we never wanted or dreamed of going. Thanks to a careless banker and a shady contractor we had our budget for the house totally blown. This definitely took away from some of the excitement of getting to this point. When we end up closing next week we will still have a giant pile of dirt sitting in our yard that we have now decided to take on ourselves rather than let the shady contractor anywhere near it. We will owe our parents money which is the worst feeling in the world. But we will be working our butts off to get past all of this and trusting God to help us get through it.
This also means all plans for dealing with the infertility have been put on hold as well as we pay for all of this mess. I know in my heart that our family will grow when the time is right so I try not to get discouraged by all of this.
You never know what curves life is going to throw at you. You can plan and save and think you are in control and have it all blow up right in your face. And for someone who likes to plan and be prepared for any and everything this is SUPER frustrating. But God also knows the plan for my life and will get me through this if I trust and follow him. This is a real comfort to a planner/control freak like myself. So instead I am off to pray, plan, and trust that everything is going to work out.
Everyone keeps telling me that someday I will look back at all of this and realize it wasn't as big of a deal as it seems like. I look forward to seeing that day and knowing we made it there!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Proverbs 3:5

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

I have been spending a lot of time thinking about this verse lately. It is my hearts desire to trust God in all things and follow the plan that he has for my life. So why is it so hard to completely give up control and let God lead my life? What if I REALLY trusted God with all of my heart and didn't question things that my human mind could never comprehend. I can't imagine the amazing things that could happen if I truly let God lead my heart.
I pray that I would trust God with all of my heart. That when I am scared or confused that I would give my fears and doubts to God and trust him to take my life where he would have it go.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Avery Grace

On October 3rd our best friends from Spearfish had a beautiful baby girl and we are so in love with Avery Grace Rauterkus! We were so lucky to get to be there for her arrival into the world. She is the sweetest and most laid back baby I have ever seen. We are SO happy for you Brett and Janelle. We love you guys!! Here are some pictures from our first day with Avery!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Front Steps

Who knew that being able to walk through your front door was such a big deal?!?! After living in our house for over a month without being able to use the front door we are SOO happy to have a front deck!! So welcome to our front door!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I am always excited for October to roll around. I am a fool for fall! I love everything about it and all the fun things that come along with it. I love the cooler weather, the leaves changing, hot apple cider, my dad's birthday, carving pumpkins, watching Hocus Pocus, eating pumpkin pie, football, using the fireplace, and knowing that all of my favorite holidays are on their way! My list could go on and on!
October also brings with it a reminder of how long we have been hoping to get pregnant. It is hard to believe that 4 years ago in October Max agreed that we should start trying. I remember that both of us were so excited that we went out and bought a pregnancy book that night! Max thought it would happen right away and I kept thinking it would take awhile. Definitely not 4 years but I thought it would take some time. It wasn't until a year later that I really new something was wrong as I kept feeling more and more pain and we had still had no luck getting pregnant. From there we had a horrible doctor experience where I was told that the pain was normal, I needed to relax, and that we should come back again in another year. I was confused and sad after that appointment and made it about 6 months before deciding to call Doctor Church who was wonderful and figured out what was going on with me in the first appointment. I was so happy to understand where the pain was coming from (cysts & endometriosis) and to be able to work towards getting pregnant. After she moved away from Spearfish we took a break from medicine to give my body a break until we moved to Parker and met our new Doctor in Souix Falls. Which brings us to today, with 2 surgeries, tons of tests and procedures, and way to many other stories to mention under our belts. I can honestly look back on the last 4 years and feel so blessed for the time Max and I have had just the 2 of us. We have made SO many memories I will have to be thankful for forever. I know that God has great plans for us and that in the end it will all be worth it. I have no idea how this story will play out and how many more Octobers I will see before being a Mom. But I know that by being patient and trusting God I will be blessed by plans that are bigger and more amazing than anything I could ever imagine!
Happy Fall Everyone!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Trying to Slow Down!

Life has been so crazy for the last month that I have barely had time to remember the blog. Between the running the business, dealing with contractors, and moving I barely remember the last month. We finally got to sleep in our house on the 5th of September. We had already had all of our stuff moved in but were waiting for electricity. When we moved in on the 5th we had electricity but no water or air conditioning. We got water shortly after that but no hot water until last Friday. We also found out that our brand new refrigerator didn't work when we moved in. We will never purchase another Samsung product in our lives since it has been over 3 weeks and they have yet to replace our fridge. So we have been living out of a dorm fridge which is VERY inconvenient.
We are still waiting for front steps, the dirt work to be finished, and the dishwasher to be wired. More than anything I want a working refrigerator. I have decided that patience is most definitely my life lesson.
Here are some pictures of the house being set. I haven't taken any of the inside but will try to do it soon! Our garage will be built next spring and will come straight off the front of the house ( the second door on the front will be in the garage). We have been enjoying our huge new bathtub in our master bathroom and the wood burning fireplace!! For now I am trying to slow things down and enjoy our new home!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The House has Arrived!!!

The house is here!!! YAY! It is sitting in two pieces on our yard and cul de sac. Everything looks great and we are SO excited. Unfortunately we are having a very UN-South Dakota like summer. It feels more like the Pacific Northwest here...cold with LOTS of rain. So the crane has not been able to set houses and is behind. So instead of setting the house this Tuesday as planned it will probably be next Monday or Tuesday.
There is a new tenant ready to move into our current rental on the 1st of September so thankfully the Masters fam was crazy enough to agree to let us move in for a couple days or a week until we can get into the house. It should be interesting with 5 people, 2 dogs, and 3 cats in their house. I really hope we don't drive them crazy. :) We have stayed with them longer than that when we were visitng from Spearfish before tho so hopefully we won't make them to insane!
We are just being patient but are SO excited to get into the new house. Here are some pictures of the house now.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


We went into the doctor yesterday to check how my ovaries were looking and decide if it was time for the IUI. I had been having some pain this week so I had a feeling that there might be a cyst or two. They found 1 cyst on each ovary but thought that there were still follicles that we couldn't see behind the cysts so they wanted to do a blood test to check. The blood test ended up showing that I had already ovulated and we missed it. OOPS! So this month we will just hope for a miracle and wait to see what we will try next month!
As for our house the only step left with the basement is to pour the floor. We are hoping that will happen on Monday. We are waiting to see when the house can get here. We are VERY anxious to get moved in. We are just cruising down this crazy road called life and loving every happy, crazy, scary, stressful, moment of it! We really are SO blessed!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Third Times a Charm...

Tomorrow morning we will go back into the doctor for an ultra-sound and if everything looks ok (no cysts) we will try the Artificial Insemination for the 3rd time. We plan on talking to the doctor more tomorrow but this will probably be our last try with AI. We are so thankful for our supportive friends and family. We are especially thankful for Karla & Brian who have been amazing! Thanks for always being there for us...it is SO wonderful to have someone who truly understands exactly what you are going through! :)

We also found out that our house is done!!! YAY! We are now just waiting on the completion of our basement so that the house can be delivered! Hopefully within the next couple of weeks. We are SO ready to move in. The pictures below are of the basement as it progresses...
More updates as things continue to happen in this crazy life of ours!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Plan

After some disappointment yesterday it was back to the doctor today for another ultra-sound and more medicine. We are going to try another IUI this month. We are staying positive and remembering that things ALWAYS happen according to God's plan and not always according to Max & Leslie's plan. We are excited to try again and feel more prepared knowing what to expect this time. For now we are still enjoying our time together with just the two of us and remembering how blessed our lives already are. And we will keep praying for our miracle!

Last week we went to Wisconsin to see our house being built in the factory. It was amazing to watch and the house looks great. We are ready for it to be finished and move in! Now we just need to get the basement finished so we have somewhere to put the house when it comes. We are going out to the lot today to stake out the basement location and then hopefully they will get moving on digging and pouring the basement! Finger Crossed!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

1,2,3 Here We Go!!

We went into the doctor today and did another ultra-sound. I have not one, not two, but THREE good follicles!! YAY!!! The doctor said that three is the perfect number of follicles to be working with. We are super excited and hopeful!
The next step is the HCG shot tonight which Max has to give me. We have always had the shots done at the doctor so we are a little nervous to do it ourselves. Max is really nervous but I know he will do great and then we will be one step closer to our goal!
Then back to the doctor on Thursday morning for the IUI which I have heard is very easy and painless. We are just feeling very peaceful and excited to try this procedure. We know that we are in God's hands and are excited to see his plans for our future. Thanks to all of you for praying for us. We are truly blessed to have so many amazing friends and family who support us and keep us in their prayers! We love you all!
For now we are praying that we will have good news to share with everyone very soon!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Our Busy Life!!

In May we took a trip out to Washington and Oregon with my brother Randy and his girlfriend Brittany . We got to see most of the Krug Family in Seattle before heading down to Oregon. We totally fell in love with the three newest additions to the family!! We can't wait to see everyone again soon! And of course we had an amazing time in Oregon...one of our favorite places in the whole world!! I am already missing it and ready to go back and sit on the beach!!
The time has finally come for us to try IUI (intrauterine insemination). We are so excited to finally be to the point where we can try something again. We went in Friday, did an ultra-sound and got the medicine (just pills) that I am taking for 5 days. Then next Friday we will go in and do another ultra-sound to make sure that the pills worked and I have good follicles. Then I will do the HCG shot that day to stimulate ovulation. We will then go back in (I am guessing Saturday) and do the IUI!I am excited and nervous. So hopeful that this could be what will end up working for us. We will keep everyone updated on how the rest of the process goes next week.
As for the house stuff they are starting the building of the house on June 15th at the factory. They will start the basement sometime after that since it will go faster. It should take 4-6 weeks for the house to be built. Hopefully we will be moving in August. Right now we are working on getting the curb and gutter done. One step at a time...we are definitely learning patience through this whole process!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Meet Our Furry Family Members!

Meet the furry members of our family!
I tell Leslie all the time that if we don't have kids soon we'll be able to open a petting zoo! The furry family adventure started 2 weeks after we bought our first house. Leslie wanted to get a cat and a dog on the first day we moved in but I made her put it off. We went to the Spearfish Humane Society to get a cat, not realizing that it was like adopting a kid! We had to fill out a form asking what the square footage of our house and yard were, if we planned on having any other animals, why we wanted a cat, etc. They had over a hundred cats available for adoption so we weren't sure how we would choose. We decided to look for the smallest least adoptable one we could find. We settled on a cat named "Tank". When we asked the lady about Tank she said "that's the only cat in her that is spoken for". So as we were staring at the 200+ eyes looking back at us Randy was wearing a hooded sweatshirt that had hanging strings. This little black cat launched at him from 5 feet away and clung to his shirt. We took the cling-on home and decided to change his name from the human society name "Sinatra" to Pumba. He has spent too much time with the dogs and thinks he is one of them. When I go to take the dogs out he runs to the door too. Good times with our extra lazy Pumba, Pum-bot, Pum-babies, Pum-bonium, Pumbee, and Puma.
The next addition to the family was the Border Collie Gus. We got him on New Year's Eve the same year we got Pumba. We got him from a lady I worked with in Wyoming. He was a working Border Collie until he was in a car accident and became afraid of everything. We had no idea he was scared of the world, when we went to see if we wanted him he jumped right up on the couch between us. He has never done this to anyone ever since. I guess it was meant to be. We love Gus but he is definitely our test from God. We decided that he will help us with our patience. He has an unbelievable energy level and an amazing fascination with pumba. He loves to take us on walks and bark at any thing not human. He is Leslie's shadow, whenever she moves Gus moves too. If she is in bed Gus is by her side. One of his favorite things is to guard Leslie when she takes a bath. Always protecting his Leslie. Gus also goes by Gus-turd, Gusser, Gus Gus, Gussy, Gus Bus, tank (due to the Vet telling us about his weight issues) Gusser-Doodle, and spaz.
Our final furry addition, Mollie, came four months after Gus and Pumba. She is a Golden Doodle (Standard Poodle and Golden Retriever Cross) which is pretty much the coolest dog I have ever seen. Leslie got her for me for my birthday from our Pastor and his family in Spearfish. She LOVES everyone and everything including kids, cats, rabbits, dogs, old people, birds, water, sun, running laps, and begging for food. She is a lazy dog that we usually have to remind to keep walking when we are out with her and Gus. It makes for an interesting combination with Gus pulling and Mollie standing around. She doesn't understand that she weighs 85 pounds and she is not a lap dog. Mollie is Leslie's nemesis. She knows how to drive her nuts, it's amazing really. She waits until Leslie leaves the room and gets up on the couch, she jumps on her chest when Mollie thinks she has slept enough. She and Pumba are pretty much inseparable they both would rather nap together than do anything. Mollie is known as Mollie Pop, Mollie Mop Top, Mol-Mol, Mollie-Ollie-Una, Mega-Mits (have her slap you with those paws and you will understand), Mollikins, and Miss Mollie (because Leslie loves Mollie Weasley from harry potter).
Meet the Fam!

Friday, May 1, 2009

A little from the doctor & a tribute to my sweet Callie~

We went into the doctor today. Everything is healing like it should and looked great. We will spend this next month just healing too. Then in June we will be trying a new pill along with IUI (Intrauterine Insemination). We are SUPER excited to finally get to try something new and see how it goes. We are super hopeful that after the surgery things will go much more smoothly. So this month we will relax and enjoy our vacation on the West Coast.

I also wanted to say a little something about my sweet little kitten Callie who is very sick and isn't going to make it much longer. I got Callie in the 3rd grade from my parents. I was so excited when I got her. Right after we brought her home we realized she had a tumor and didn't think she would make it. But being the sassy, sweet cat she is she made it over 17 more years. She has been in my life for so long that I honestly can not imagine her not being here. Anyone who knows Max and I knows that we are pet people. All of our sweet animals add so much happiness to our lives and we are so thankful for them. I am so thankful to have had Callie in my life for over 17 years, thankful for those nites that she slept on my algebra book and gave me an excuse to not do my math homework, thankful for all the times she just sat with me when I was feeling down. I love you sweet Callie and I will never ever forget you! I know that I will see you again in Heaven because I know that God knows that heaven for me could not be perfect without you there to greet me!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sleepy & Happy!

Surgery went really well today. I was home around 4:00 and have been feeling really good for the most part. Max has been taking excellent care of me and Mom Masters brought us dinner tonight which was great. My parents sent me the most beautiful flowers that totally brightened my day.
We got a lot of good news today. There was very little endometriosis so it has NOT been coming back aggresively like we had been worried about. However I did have tons of scar tissue and a cyst on each ovary which were probably causing a lot of trouble for us. We also found out that my ovaries were pinned which would have been causing trouble too. The doctor got everything cleaned up and freed up and got the cysts removed. He also used something (i am drawing a blank on the name) to put everywhere that he removed scar tissue to stop it from coming back. He is VERY optimistic that taking care of these problems will really increase our chances of getting pregnant!! YAY!! We are so blessed.
We go in for a follow-up appointment on May 1st and will learn what we will be doing next when we go in then. For now I am resting and healing and feeling VERY blessed that everything went so smoothly and that I am feeling so good.
Thanks again for all of your prayers. God is so good to us!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Surgery Again

We found out today that I have to have surgery next Wednesday the 15th. We will be doing a laproscopy just like we did last February. The surgery will remove all the endometriosis that has come back and repair anything that the endo has caused damage to. And the doctor needs to see exactly what is going on in there so that he can better decide what needs to happen for us to get pregnant.
I hate IV's and the feeling of trying to wake up after being drugged. YUCK!! But I know that it is worth it and I know that I can do it. Max and I are much less worried since we know what to expect this time. I am just ready to do it and have it over with so that we can move on with this process.
So please pray for calmness and safety for me and knowledge for my doctor next Wednesday. We know you have all been praying for us and it really means so much to us. We hope everyone has a great Easter weekend. How lucky are we that Jesus died on the cross for our sins because he LOVES us soo much!?

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Good News & The Bad News

We had our doctor appointment this morning. This appointment was to go over all of the test results. We found out that both of Max's test turned out extra good. And that my clomid challenge was excellent...my ovaries both function normally. And as we had learned the week before both of my tubes are now open. It was AMAZING news...and we were super excited to talk about what to try next.
Then came the bad news...we noticed on the ultra-sound that there was a spot on each of my ovaries. This means that the endometriosis has already come back since the laproscopy we did last February. Hopefully it has only came back a little but since it came back so quickly it could mean there is lots of it again already. So although even with all the good news the endo is once again a problem and I need another laproscopy. The only other choice would be to skip right to Invitro which is not recommended at this stage.
Those of you who know me the best know that I hate surgery...it absolutely terrifies me. My surgery last year went well and I am sure this once will go just as well. I had a rough morning...but I have gotten over my pity-party and am ready to move forward with this process. I am just so ready to be done with tests and surgeries and start trying things. But I know that this needs to happen first.
Of course if I am already pregnant this month then I wouldn't have to worry about any of this. So say a few extra prayers for us! We are hoping that with the dye test opening my tubes I will be pregnant and not need to try anything else. But if that is not the case we are ready to move forward with the surgery just trusting that God take care of us.
This has been a trying day so far...I am praying for calmness and strength as we move along with this process! As much as I just want to be upset and hate the endometriosis I know that things could be so much worse and we have so much to be thankful for. Instead I am going to see what God will teach me through this situation. Thanks again for all of your prayers. The mean more than we could ever say.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Our Future Home

This is the land where we will be building our new home...hopefully very soon. The second picture is looking down the road where the end of the cul de sac will be. The others are looking at the lot from up the road.
We had a BIG set-back right after we moved to Parker. We were told by Wells Fargo long before we sold our home in Spearfish that once our home sold we should put a down payment on our new house from Design Homes. At that point we would give them the blue prints and they would start the process with us putting 5% down. We had planned on putting 10% down.
A couple weeks ago I called to tell them that we had the blue prints and were ready to move forward with bids. At this point I was told I now needed 30% to put down on the loan or we couldn't continue!!! YIKES! That would be literally impossible for us! And we had already put 5% down on our new house with Design Homes!
So we have now restarted the entire loan process with a local bank here in Parker. We have been very lucky to work with Max's cousin Lisa who has been wonderful to us. So everyone say a prayer that this time goes A LOT smoother and that we can get this process moving again. My faith has kept me calm and I know that God is in control so I haven't freaked out yet!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Dye Test

We went in today to finish my blood work for the chlomid challenge test and to do the dye test. The only painful part of the dye test was the shot before it...YIKES! But I know the shot was also the reason I felt so good after it was over so I guess I am thankful! :)
Last year during my surgery we had found out that my left tube was blocked but my right was working. So I was really hoping to hear that the right tube was still okay. Instead I was VERY surprised to hear the doctor and Max so excited that the dye was in both tubes!! So we found out my uterus and tubes are now both very normal! God is so good to us!! It was a small miracle that I was not expecting AT ALL!
We are very excited that things turned out so good this morning. We are going in on Monday the 30th to go over all of the tests we have done and discuss where to go next. Thanks for all of your prayers and encouragement!!
We are also SO excited that little Lucca Elizabeth Chao has arrived! Congrats Kelsey and Rustin! She is so beautiful and we are so happy for you guys! You are going to be amazing parents!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Testing 1,2,3...

Today we went in to start the clomid challenge test. This starts with a blood test to check the levels of two different hormones and then we did an ultra-sound. I ended up having 1 small cyst on each of my ovaries. Usually these go away so they are nothing to worry about for now. If they decide to stay permanently they would have to be removed by surgery. So everyone say a prayer that they will disappear on their own and make things A LOT less stressful. Next I will take clomid for 5 days and go back in next Wednesday for the last blood draw and another ultra-sound. So that is the clomid challenge test. I look forward to the crazy hot flashes and pointless worrying that I usually experience when taking clomid!
Also next Wednesday I will do the HSG which is the dye test. This will show how my uterus and tubes are working. It only takes about 15 minutes and we know the results immediately which is really great. Hopefully once all that is done we will go over the results of all of the tests we have done so far and make a decision on where to go from here. I am so happy to have begun this journey even though I feel like I have been poked enough for one lifetime already!
We really like everyone at our clinic and feel very comfortable there. The building we enter each time we go to the clinic is ALWAYS packed full of new babies leaving to go home or coming in for check-ups. We love seeing all of the babies...especially on the way in! It is such a great reminder of why we are there...especially on those days where I am less than excited to be poked again!
More doctor updates next week after all the tests. Hopefully when the weather gets a little better here I will take some pictures of our lot where we are going to be building and post them. I am definitely thinking spring and ready for warmer weather!!
We are still anxiously awaitng the arrival of little Lucca Chao and hoping to hear good news from San Francisco any day now! I know her cousins and Aunt and Unlce Swisher in Seattle can't wait for her to join the family! We are all so excited for the 3rd little "L" to come into this world!

Friday, March 6, 2009

A New Direction

We made the move to Parker on February 7th and are still trying to get settled into our rental house while we are patiently getting things moving on the building of our new home! We had our first appointment with Dr. Hansen at Sanford Women's Health on Tuesday morning. We really liked our doctor and feel like things are finally moving in the right direction for us.
After being diagnosed with Endometriosis our attempts to get pregnant have been non-existent. We have been trying for about 3 and a half years and finally feel like we are getting to a point where we might figure something out that could make a difference. We did a bunch of blood work and a few other tests at our first appointment and another test on Thursday this week. Next week I will go in for a clomid challenge test and a dye test. Hopefully all this will give us a much better idea of what is and isn't working and where we need to go from here!
We are excited and nervous to see where the future will take us. We have been praying and have a real peace about the new doctor and the direction we are headed. We hope to use this blog to keep everyone updated on our journey to expand our family and anything else that is going on in our lives!