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family

Marriage, Parenting

4 Lessons From My First Year as a Dad

November 13, 2015
One year ago, our lives changed when Josie was born and joined our family. Josie may have tripled her weight in the last year, but I’ve grown a lot too. Here are a few things I learned this year:

1. Love’s New Dimension

It’s a simple idea, but one that I’ve really come to understand: we love different people differently. The love I have for my Mom is different from that for my wife which again is different from that for my brother.
I don’t love any of those people more than another, I love them each differently.
The love a father has for his daughter is a whole different type of love. It’s deep, rich, and like nothing else. It’s like a new color was added to the crayon box of my life.

2. Sleep is Overrated

Some babies sleep really well at night from early on. Others get there a little later. And then there’s Josie, who only recently started sleeping until 5:30am. Before that she was up (read we were all up) 2-4 times every night.
My sleep hasn’t been this poor (in amount and/or quality) in years, and it takes a greater toll than it used to. But it’s okay.
I’ve been functioning just fine, and even if I’m upset/angry/super tired when that kid starts screaming 20 minutes after I fall asleep (and again a few hours later), it all melts away when I go in there to try and calm her down. I love that booger so dang much.

3. My Life is Not My Own. And I Love It.

We used be more spontaneous. Going to the movies on a whim. Taking weekend day trips without much advanced planning. Running errands when they needed to be done. Taking free time to pursue new hobbies.
All that’s gone.
Babysitters, nap times, and spending time with Josie have taken over all that. And forget about flying somewhere with just a carry-on.
I don’t have as much free time. And things that used to be quick and easy take time and planning now. I haven’t touched my hobby electronics in months. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My days are made up less of chasing my own wants and needs and more of doing my best to provide for Josie’s wants and needs. I am living less for myself and more for my family. And that’s making me a better man.

4. A Better Understanding of God the FATHER

Because I now understand the love a father has for their child (see above), I have been able to gain a better understanding on how God sees me.
One of my greatest joys is watching Josie interact with her world: exploring a room, playing with her toys, ransacking a bookshelf or the diaper bag. I love interacting with her: picking her up, listening to her babble at me, playing peek-a-boo.
I translate the joy I find in my daughter to what God must feel for me, his son. He loves watching me interact with my world: exploring new places, enjoying his creation. He loves interacting with me: when I come to him in prayer.
His heart overflows with love for me as mine does for Josie. Except even more, because I’m a broken man, and when it comes down to it, I stink at loving. He’s God. His love is perfect. He loves me so much more than I can ever love Josie, and that blows me away.
I’ve learned many things, but those are the big ones I want to share with you today.
And to the mom’s out there, check out Amanda’s post on what she’s learned as a mom.
Adoption

Building Our Family Piece by Piece: Day Seven

August 20, 2014

Seven days down.

Two more to go until the day we hope to meet our phase one funding goal of nearly $13,000 for the home study completion and out-of-state agency fee.

There must be something about number seven since it was our best fundraising day thus far!!! 🙂

ANNNND we are ssssssooooo close to our goal! We’re truly in the home stretch.

Thanks to you all we went from the smallest day to the largest day…all on day seven.

Not surprising when I actually sat to think about it. It was like God (since in the bible the number seven means perfection or completion) saying, “In the fullness of time I bring you what you need.” Duh. I always seem to forget that one.

Since it was the biggest day yet, here are the stats we saw on Tuesday:

On day seven we sold a total of 95 puzzle pieces, totaling $2,375!! Praise the Lord! 🙂

Total overall stats thus far are now as follows:

  • 489 pieces sold

  • $12,225 raised

  • 94% of current goal of $13,000 (soooo close!)

  • 49% of original goal of $25,000

Here’s a picture of the puzzle progress:

DSC04134

EEEEP!

It’s really coming together! CHILD is more or less spelled out! Woohoo!

We are also excited because we now know the adoption cost will NOT be $25,000. Whew! We don’t have the final numbers but it will end up somewhere around $15,000-$17,000. Great news!

Thanks again for all who have donated! May God bless everyone who’s walking alongside us in this journey.

Thank you again for all who are joining Team Baby Teixeira! :)

Keep coming back each day for new progress updates!

Click here to learn more about the puzzle fundraiser!

Marriage

Why NFP Awareness Week Gets Under My Skin

July 24, 2014

You may be thinking, “How can anyone get annoyed by NFP Awareness Week? It’s like the most harmless topic ever, right?” (NFP= Natural Family Planning)

Well I am here to tell you why.

You might be tempted to think I am just a crazy infertile lady getting on a soap box…which may partially be true. And I am taking progesterone currently, which could be making me ranty.

BUT I honestly think that even if I was a little fertile-myrtle, I would still be annoyed by some attitudes surround NFP today. No, not ALL NFP Awareness posts are annoying. There are definitely good ones. Just some attitudes that come through a few posts out there are what grate my nerves.

Sit back, relax, and let’s take a stroll into my thoughts…in numerical order.

{one}

Sts. Joachim and Anne’s Feast Day

It’s been said that this particular week was chosen for NFP Awareness Week since it ends on the Feast Day of Sts. Joachim and Anne, parents of Mary. I guess they could be chosen as patrons for the week since there definitely wasn’t any other method of family planning besides natural methods, if any, back in their day.

An attitude I’ve noticed around NFP, even in faithful Catholc circles (gasp!), is that it allows women to get pregnant when they want to and to avoid a pregnancy when they want to…which is more or less opposite of Sts. Joachim and Anne’s story.

Sts. Joachim and Anne battled bareness. “Tradition holds that these saints struggled with infertility and were childless for decades. Like other barren couples in Scripture (eg. Abraham and Sarah, Elkanah and Hannah), sterility was a great burden to Joachim and Anne and even a hindrance to their participation in community life. A story told of St. Joachim relates that he wanted to offer sacrifice in the temple but was turned away because of his childlessness. He retreated into the mountains to air his grievance with God, and during this time both he and his wife received an angelic prophecy of Anne’s pregnancy.”

They are now patrons for couples longing to have the blessing of children in their marriage which means a great deal to me. Not only since we have infertility, but because I was born on their Feast Day – July 26th. They are my personal patron saints and have been all my lifelong since birth…so in many ways I feel like they have my back in this whole infertility thing and they are powerful intercessors for Jonathan and I.

I just can’t help but feel like they would sort of cringe at the general NFP attitudes of today…that using NFP to conceive always works out and that using NFP to avoid pregnancy always works out. They know to their core that it simply doesn’t always work out and would want more couples to simply surrender their fertility to the Lord no matter the outcome which is at the heart of NFP anyway.

They are happy to intercede for anything so I am sure they aren’t mad about being NFP Awareness Week patrons. I just want to steal them for Infertility Awareness instead. 🙂

{two}

“Because my body is a gift and that gift includes Motherhood” emphasis added

Oh really?

I don’t want to be too hard on the girl who said this, since MOST women’s vocation to marriage will include motherhood. But this phrase oozes with entitlement and the attitude that children are a right and not a gift. They are assumed to be had…and I guess most women can assume motherhood but even if those desires come to fruition this attitude is still dangerous since it lacks abandonment to God or an openness to a different plan.

{three}

“Because the ability to create life is a superpower that I’m proud to have.”

Spiderman represents all women who want to act like no one has any reproductive issues and that we are all just fertile superheros. I am The Hulk.

 

This phrase makes me, an infertile woman, feel like a nobody. I am a loser. I didn’t get the superpower. God forgot to give that one to me…or at least he allowed the brokeness in our world to shut my superpowers off and NFP doesn’t work for me like it does for you. Ouch.

The ability to create life lies in GOD’S hands alone, lady. We can be co-creators, yes, but its still 100% dependent on His will for our fertility. It’s not 50/50. If anyone is the superhero in reproduction, it’s God, the author of life.

Sure, it’s OK to be proud to have conceived. I think the better response would be humility…to be so humbled that God would bestow this gift within you that you simply overflow with gratitude like Our Lady.

Lastly, yes, the ability to co-create life is AMAZING and its part of our “feminine genius.” But not all women will bear children either by nature or vocation…so I think our REAL superpowers should be drawn from the fact that we are daughters of the Almighty King of Heaven and Earth. That Jesus Christ came and died for our sins and we are redeemed by His sacrifice…and we can GIVE LIFE to others by sharing that truth with them. That’s the only “superpower” that will last our whole lifelong and for eternity…and it’s not even our doing, it’s God’s!

{four}

 “I use NFP because I’m proud to be a fertile healthy woman!”

This statement, although I get where she’s coming from, make those women who are NOT fertile and healthy feel like they don’t deserve to use NFP. It’s as if it was only  created for these fertile healthy gals and not the broken ones, which just isn’t true.

Insert Hulk punch one more time.

{five}

Because we can’t PLAN our life and I dislike false claims that NFP (Natural Family Planning) provides this type of control.

I’m not the only one who’s thought about this.

This is what my life looks like when I try to control it.

 

There probably are women out there who end up planning every pregnancy and perfectly space their kiddos just right. I honestly don’t know many of them though. Verrrry little women have the luxury of planning all their kiddos precisely, fertile or infertile. I read this article recently and found it refreshing. Here’s a couple of her points:

“But here’s the thing. It’s actually pretty unlikely that you were ever going to have as many kids as I do. What I observe is that it’s MUCH more likely that you won’t have as many children as you’d like to have.”

“When I was a newlywed, it never would have occurred to me that I wouldn’t have just as many kids as I could possibly want. And I have. But I know enough now to not take it for granted. I’ve brought hundreds of prayer requests from readers along with us on our pilgrimages, and almost HALF of them have been prayers for a child, or another child.”

“But just know, from me, that if you turn up pregnant despite your best efforts, it’s likely to be the best thing that ever happens to you. Every single time. And if you don’t turn up pregnant, despite your best efforts, it’s likely to be the biggest cross of your life. “They” won’t tell you that. But you should know. So you won’t be worried about the wrong things.”

I know a LOT of women who have children. A few here and there are those “lucky ones” who have picturesque fertility and get to plan out every child and experience healthy pregnancy. A majority of the others either have experienced infertility (primary or secondary), miscarriage, high risk pregnancies, pre-term labor, unplanned pregnancies, extended delay of fertility returning while breastfeeding, and even continual pregnancy one after another despite adhering to NFP rules. Every one of those is a challenge that nobody plans.

My Senior year of High School yearbook quote has come back to haunt me time and again. “We plan, God laughs.” I have NO CLUE why I chose it then. What plans had I really seen altered at age seventeen? That superficial relationship with some boy that didn’t pan out and was unhealthy anyway? The point of that quote though is that being “in control” is typically an illusion and we can’t plan our lives…or our fertility a vast majority of the time. We can make informed choices about our sexuality and the rest is up to the guy upstairs.

I’m gonna stop there even thought I could keep on going. Five points are enough and I have likely scandalized a majority of you anyhow…because how could I not *LOOOVE* NFP like a good Catholic wife?

Moral of The Story

NFP in and of itself does not make me angry. Neither does the fact that it has an Awareness Week.

Jonathan and I use the Creighton Model of NFP to try to achieve pregnancy (for nearly three years) and will continue to do so. It also happens to be a form of NFP that allows doctors to see what is wrong with my cycle so we can get closer to possibly achieving a pregnancy. Very cool indeed.

What I dislike are potential attitudes I’ve absolutely seen in some articles during NFP Awareness Week and even in conversations about NFP in gerenal. Attitudes of entitlement, power, control, and manipulation.

At the end of the day, NFP is healthier for women than artificial contraception. Duh. It’s a really cool way to understand a woman’s biological makeup and cycle. It’s a method that allows women to get a peak into their reproductive health and identify problems that may exist. It’s in line with Church teaching at it’s core since it doesn’t disrupt the sexual act or manipulate fertility in any way. It’s truly unique and hands down the safest, healthiest, and best method of making informed reproductive decisions out there.

BUT…

Motives matter. Using NFP like contraception can be dangerous. What I would like to see during NFP Awareness Week is not secular reasons why women should replace contraception with NFP. Or articles that attempt to defy similar pro contraception posts. That misses the point entirely.

I want to see the heart of the matter explored – That God is ultimately in control…of our lives and that includes our fertility. That human life is not something to fear but to embrace. That the sexual act is sacred and is filled with potential to co-create with God when He chooses.

I want more articles about THAT. Less articles that try to sell the Church’s teachings as a replacement for contraception and more about WHY the Church elevates sexuality to such heights so as to protect it with something as simple and natural like NFP.

Uncategorized

Little Happies: A Visit, Haircut, and Puppy

July 15, 2014

Hi.

Sorry about going MIA on the interwebs! We launched our Adoption page, left town, came back and moved…which halted everything web related. We are just now getting back on the grid.

Quite a bit has been going on in the past two weeks and we have a lot of updating to do here on True Good and Beautiful! In the next couple of weeks we promise to get updates on the house, adoption, and fundraising front! For now, here are a few Little Happies that snuck in along the way.

–one–

photo 1

 

In the move, I rediscovered this little gem.

My morning coffee and bowl of cereal just got a whole lot more enjoyable with Belle’s presence!

–two–

haircut.jpg

On the left is Cristiano Ranaldo. On the right is his stunt double look-alike.

Actually it’s just Jonathan…who recently joined a men’s soccer league and wanted to look like a World Cup soccer player. I gave him this cut a hour prior to the game. Complete with hot pink cleats, I would say he’s ready for the season.

–three–

photo 1

I am in love.

This pic was sent to us by the family who’s raising the pups currently. I am not sure if that is our little guy or not but I don’t care. We pick up our pupper THIS upcoming Saturday!! 🙂

–four–


visit.jpg

It wouldn’t be a complete move without Mom and Dad Nissen coming for a visit.

My dad is a handyman, so he helped Jonathan get various projects done around the house  that I would have been no help with. My mom is a shopper, so she helped me run around town buying things we still needed for the house and various projects.

A lot of our visit was spent knee deep in project work but we did manage to get away for some fun. On the left – celebrating Mom’s birthday at Hibachi Grill. On the right – selfie while hiking Aderlfer Three Sisters Park.

–five–

nail.jpg

Apparently our attic is full of exposed nails.

Friday night Jonathan and I were attempting to put some items into the attic for storage. Up the ladder went Jonathan. Next thing I know, he’s turned around and blood is literally gushing down his head all over his face (photo would have been too gross for the blog…and actually I didn’t snap a photo because you don’t do things like that when someone is bleeding, so good job to me).

Thankfully, I kept my cool and took him into the bathroom to rinse his head to assess the wound. Turns out it really wasn’t a very big gash at all…but boy did it bleed!!! The photo above is after it was rinsed and we held pressure for at least 2 minutes to stop the bleeding.

Items still needed to go to the attic, so next time around, Jonathan was prepared! 🙂

–six–

photo 2

Cow Appreciation Day at Chik Fil A!

If you fully dressed up as a cow, they gave out FREE meals! Not just a sandwich but an entire meal! WHOA!! Thankfully they have a nice gluten free menu so both Jonathan and I were very happy. And that lemonade…mmm.

That’s a Little Happy wrap!

Uncategorized

Little Happies: Our Pup and Some Gambling

June 16, 2014

We’ve been in Omaha, NE for the better part of the week and it’s been non-stop since we arrived.

Many things that make us happy have happened over the week but I forgot to take many photos of most of it…and part of my thinks that is how life should be. Lived. Not constantly photographed and “shared.” That is an different blog post though. Of the moments I did manage to capture, they are below:

–one–

paperworkfinal.jpg

It’s The Final Paperwork….duhn duhn duhn duhn…duhn duhn duhn duhn duhn. (The tune of The Final Countdown anybody?)

This leg of the adoption process is DONE!!!

Everything was gathered, triple checked, packaged, and finally mailed off to our agency and the States we’ve lived in. Next on the list, we need to schedule our home visits with a social worker in the upcoming weeks. After that? Hopefully approved to adopt! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Please keep your eyes and ears peeled for ANYONE who may be considering adoption for their child and let us know! Thanks!

–two–

mug caminoThis mug.

I leave it at my parent’s house so I can come back and find this gem in the cupboard when I pour my morning cup of joe.

If you haven’t heard about El Camino de Santiago, you need to. During the summer of 2009, I walked The Camino with other FOCUS staff and students and it has and will continue to change my life until the day I die. I am still drawing lessons from that trip. Especially on the road of infertility. I should write a blog post comparing the two journeys and how similar they can be.

Despite the real sufferings experienced on the trip – I overwhelmingly remember all the good things and want to go back and walk The Camino again someday.

–three–

AmeristarAtNight

Wild Pixies at Ameristar Casino.

Friday night we went to the Casinos with my Mother and Grandmother, primarily to watch the fireworks at the College World Series Opening Ceremony….OK and to gamble responsibly.

My mom won some cash off the bat so she gave us a lucky $20 so we didn’t have to cough up our own dough. Thanks mom! From that we ended up nearly tripling her winnings playing Wild Pixies. It was a lot of fun!

By the time we met up with Grandma and Mom later on, everyone had won! A great night overall!

–four–

jonathan bloggingThe World Cup!!!

We’ve been watching the games and will DEFINITELY be watching the USA play Ghana tonight!!

What’s making me happy is seeing Jonathan’s awesome graphics going up on the FOCUS blog breaking down each country complete with stats on what the Church looks like there.

–five–

pupThat guy.

Another FOCUS missionary’s family breeds Labrador Retrievers and we’ve been wanting one FOR-EV-ER but had to wait till we were no longer renters. The pups were born a few weeks ago and our little guy will be set to come home with us later this summer! Can’t wait!!!

–six–

facebook_logoI’m leaving Facebook for a while and feeling HAPPY about it.

Call it cruel fate but Facebook pretty much only shows me pregnancy photos, babies being born, or family photos these days. Seeing these posts one after another sends me into a depressing place I refuse to keep going to. I’m sure one day I will be stronger and better able to handle the bombardment…but that isn’t today and I am happy to finally admit that.

Catch me here on the blog or by phone/email if you want to get a hold of me!

Marriage

Congratulations Collin!

December 21, 2013

Today my “little” brother graduated from University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. The day before graduating he also landed his very first job as an Accountant for National Research in Lincoln, Nebraska. We are all very proud of him!

collin collage1collin collage2