Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Amen Family - How It All Started (Part IV)

Now you know we started dating in the autumn of 1999.  Here’s a very brief recap of the next 7 years:

November 1999 - Mr. Amen travels to MI to meet my family at Thanksgiving.
December 2000 – I travel to Mr. Amen’s home country at Christmas to meet his family.
March 2001 – I buy a house in a northern suburb of Tulsa.
May 2001 – We complete our MBAs and graduate from O.RU together.  I start my new job.
August 2001 – Mr. Amen starts his new job (work visa snafu delayed his start date).
February 2002 – Mr. Amen moves out of his grandma’s house and into his own apartment.
July 2003 – I move to MI to be closer to family.  We continue dating long-distance.
September 2006 – Mr. Amen decides that he is going to move back to his home country in March of 2007, about six months before his work visa was set to expire.

Phew!  That was a fast 7 years.

I had planned a trip to Tulsa for Thanksgiving weekend 2006.  A couple days before leaving, Mr. Amen called me and said that we were invited to attend an engagement party on the Friday of that weekend.

Maybe I should back up for a moment.  Over the years, Mr. Amen and I had talked about getting married.  I had known from very early in our relationship that I wanted to marry him.  He, however, was much slower in reaching the conclusion that he wanted to marry me.  He knew he wanted to get married, he just wasn’t sure about timing, me, etc.  Right when I was beginning to think he never was going to want to marry me, he dropped a bomb on me - in September 2006 he told me he was planning on moving back to his home country.  If he moved back, there was virtually no chance we would ever marry.  It was virtually certain we wouldn’t continue our relationship if that happened.  (I could swing a $275 flight to Tulsa every few months …an $800 flight to Latin America every few months, was not financially feasible.)

Understandably, I was upset at his decision.  I had known for quite some time that I was supposed to marry this man.  If things didn’t work out, I was not willing to start over again in a new relationship.  It was Mr. Amen or the religious life for me.  (I had secretly always wanted to be a nun – those habits, the prayer life, helping people, being married to Christ!)  My decision was to enjoy the time we had left together and leave it in God’s hands.  If God really wanted us together, He would have to speak to Mr. Amen, I wasn’t going to mention my disappointment or frustration and I would not try to change his mind.

In the meantime, his younger cousin was still with her high school boyfriend and in the first semester of her senior year of college.  Her boyfriend was a junior in college.  They were the newly engaged couple.

Back to where I left off…I was so upset I could barely speak.  I told him that I didn’t want to go to the engagement party.  He was free to go, I would stay behind and maybe go out with some other friends that night.  I was thrilled for the happy couple, but I just couldn’t bring myself to go out in public and celebrate with them. 

(It’s very similar to the feeling us IFs have when we hear a pregnancy announcement – complete joy for the new parents, but a sinking, “Why not me?” feeling for ourselves.  We need some time to process our feelings and pain and then we put on our happy face and congratulate them.  But we need that private time to get to the happy place.  It may take minutes to get there, it may take much, much longer to compose ourselves enough that our congratulations are sincere, but for most of us, we do get there eventually.)

Mr. Amen decided he’d rather spend the evening with me.  We planned to go to a movie.  There was a new Br.ad P.itt movie out, Ba.bel, that we wanted to see.  If you haven’t seen that movie, it is worth seeing, but, I warn you, it is very emotionally intense (and not at all suitable for children).  So intense, in fact, that Mr. Amen had to step out of the theatre several times and wanted to leave entirely.  I was really into the movie and refused to leave.

(If you’ve never seen the movie, it’s all about the miscommunications and turmoil that happen around the world because we don’t speak the same language and not just verbally.  In one of the several intertwined storyline, the character played by Br.ad P.itt is a husband whose wife has been accidentally shot in rural Morocco.  He is desperately trying to get proper medical attention for his wife, who is fading fast.  “Desperately” is a total and complete understatement.)

After the movie ended and as we approached the car, Mr. Amen came around the passenger side with me to open my door, like he always did.  I was completely caught off-guard when he enveloped me in a big bear hug and said, “Don’t ever leave me!”

I replied, “I’m not leaving you.  You’re leaving me, remember?”

He said, “No, I’m not.  I can’t be without you.  We have to be together.”

And with that, we were effectively engaged.  Next steps was for Mr. Amen to tell his mother that he was not moving back home and that he was marrying me.  He went on a trip to Vegas at Christmas with his mom and broke the news there. 

The official engagement happened a couple months later.  He planned a trip to Michigan to speak with my parents and ask their permission.  I picked him up at the airport and we went back to my parents’ house.  He asked them out to brunch and I stayed behind.  He very politely told my parents that he loved me and that I loved him and he wanted their permission to marry me.  (Gotta love how he doesn’t beat around the bush!)  My parents approved.  That night we went out to my favorite Italian restaurant.  A few minutes after we sat down, he dropped to one knee and proposed to me with my grandmother’s ring* and a beautiful diamond necklace.  I said yes, the other people at the restaurant cheered, and I cried throughout the rest of the meal.  Mr. Amen said he was surprisingly nervous, even though he knew I’d say yes.

*I had wanted to use my paternal grandmother’s wedding set when I got married.  As her eldest granddaughter, I was to inherit her wedding set and a pearl ring my grandfather had given her.  Unfortunately, my uncle “lost” the wedding set.  My mother offered me my maternal grandmother’s wedding set, and since I am a lover of all the old family heirlooms, I was thrilled to have it and had told Mr. Amen that it was available.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Try It This Weekend Thursday: Curry Chicken Salad

Looks like summer is finally here, or as I like to call it Chicken Salad Season!  Chicken salad is such a go-to meal for me in the summer - easy to throw together and very portable.  It last several days in the refrigerator and you can customize the ingredients based on what you have on hand or what's in season. 

This is one of my favorite chicken salad recipes because it’s a little unexpected, but nonetheless delicious.  Without celery in the recipe, the pecans provide a nice crunch and the grapes add pops of sweetness to each bite.

As your garden starts to really produce cucumbers and you’re struggling to use them up (how many jars of pickles do you really need?!?), try this:  slice the cucumber in half lengthwise, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds, and use the cucumber in place of bread, pita or lawash wrap.  When I was pregnant with Junior, I developed gestational diabetes and I couldn’t eat 2 slices of bread together without having a bad effect on my blood sugar numbers.  I started replacing bread with cucumbers in all my sandwiches. Yummmm…

½ cup mayonnaise
1 T. honey
1 t. curry powder
2 cups cooked chicken (shredded or cubed)
1 cup halved green grapes
½ cup chopped pecans
4 green onions, chopped
4 pita breads, halved
Lettuce (optional)

In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, honey and curry powder.  Stir in the chicken, grapes, pecans and green onions.  Line the pita halves with lettuce (if desired), scoop ½ cup chicken mixture into each pitta half.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Amen Family - How It All Started (Part III)

The following Monday evening, I was sitting with Grace again in the front row of the lecture hall for our Graduate Managerial Accounting class, when Mr. Amen walked in and sat directly across the semi-circle from me.  “Ugh, how am I supposed to concentrate in this class with that cute guy sitting right in front of me?”  I whined to Grace.  She just laughed.

The next night, I was sitting in the 4th row of our Graduate Marketing class when he walked in and sat right in front of me.  Then, our professor asked us to form groups of 4 for that semester’s team project.  I paired up with the girl next to me; Mr. Amen paired up with the guy next to him; they turned around and we formed a group of four.  Finally, a perfect excuse to talk to him!

Our first conversation was a little tense.  We started talking and I asked him where he was from.  He told me his country’s name and asked me if I knew where it was.  I said I did.  He didn’t believe me.  He pulled out his daily planner that had a world map on the inside cover and asked me to point out his country on the map.  I quickly snatched the planner from his hands and pointed to his country.  He seemed surprised I had gotten it right.  Years later, Mr. Amen divulged that he too had noticed me right away, but refused to like me until he knew I was smart.  When I pointed his country out on that map, he allowed himself to like me.

Soon, we began hanging out outside of class with other friends.  One evening in late October, a group of friends had made plans to go to a haunted house for fun ahead of Halloween (what were we thinking?!).  At the last minute everyone backed out of the outing except Mr. Amen and me.  We ended up going together anyhow and had a fun time together.  We picked up dinner on our way back and watched a movie at my apartment.  It was our first unofficial “date”.

He asked me out for the following weekend on a real date.  We were going to the movies.  We planned on seeing a Br.ad Pi.tt movie, Se.ven Yea,rs in Tib.et, but when we got to the theatre it wasn’t showing there.  We had gone to the wrong theatre.  So we decided to see Br.ad Pi.tt in Fig.ht Cl.ub instead.  Not exactly a first date movie, but that’s what we saw.  After the movie we stopped at So.nic for a bite to eat.  Mr. Amen’s car wouldn’t start when we tried to leave.  We had to get some guys to help him push it so I could pop the clutch to start the engine.  After a quick detour to his uncle’s house to pick up a different vehicle, he took me home.  As he dropped me off he asked me out again.  He was surprised I was willing to take the chance on seeing him again after the car trouble.  Really?!?!  I would have gladly jumped in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego for the chance to go out with him again. J

That’s how we began our dating relationship…next I’ll tell you about the proposal.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Amen Family - How It All Started (Part II)

Around the same time I was getting ready to move to OK, Mr. Amen was finishing up his undergraduate college experience as well.  He is from Latin America originally and had never thought of moving to the US.  His future plans included graduate school at a university in Chile.  His uncle lived in Tulsa and had invited him to come up for a semester to study at the En.glish Lan.guage Ins.titute (ELI) at O.RU.  He could stay with his uncle, use his uncle’s car and improve his English language skills.  Mr. Amen’s mother encouraged him to come to Tulsa, so he did.

He arrived in Tulsa in January 1999 and started attending O.RU’s E.LI.  His English was already light-years ahead of his classmates.  The professors encouraged him to apply to the graduate school of business at O.RU for his MBA.  He thought, why not?  Mr. Amen took the GMAT, applied and was accepted.  He was set to begin classes in the fall semester 1999. 

Good thing he had no intention of staying in the US!

During the spring and summer semesters, I had some catching up to do in business courses.  I took more than a full load to complete the equivalent of an undergraduate major in business.  On the first day of classes in January 1999 I met a wonderful friend, “Grace”. Grace, her husband and her parents would become my surrogate family during my time in Tulsa. 

It was a Thursday, the evening of my first class in August 1999, and I was sitting in the front row of the lecture hall with Grace.  I was watching for another friend to arrive when I turned around and looked over my left shoulder toward the rear of the room.  That’s when I saw Mr. Amen.  He was leaning back in his chair, trying to look nonchalant.  He was wearing dress pants, a button down dress shirt with a sweater vest and a big, ugly grandpa tie.

“Who’s that cute guy over there?” I asked Grace quietly, nodding my head in his direction.

“I don’t know, must be new,” Grace answered.  “Go talk to him.”

“No way!  He’s way too cute to talk to,” my face must’ve turned 50 shades of red as I responded.

Yup, I was smitten.  From the very first moment I saw him.  Love at first sight.  Well, if not love, at least intense like!

Friday, May 20, 2011

7 Quick Takes (1)

I actually had to wear my sunglasses when I went out for lunch today.  It’s nice to see our old friend, the sun.  It’s been awhile around these parts.

Junior, who has always been a great sleeper, has been getting up during the night for the past month and this momma is tired.  We’ve pretty much eliminated the middle of the night wakings, now we need to work on the early morning wakings.  What do I mean by early morning wakings?  Consistenly at 4:30am Junior gets out of bed, turns on his light and runs into our bedroom whilst shouting, “Whatcha doin’ mamma?”  Ummm…sleeping baby, notice the quiet and darkness.

The youth at our parish are holding a bake sale to raise funds for their Wor.ld You.th Day pilgrimage to Spain.  I think my son and I are going to do some baking Saturday morning and then take the treats up to the church to drop off.  I’m thinking S’mores Cookies, 7-Layer Cookies and Strawberry Shortcake Cookies.  We want Junior to be involved in church activities and this is a great way to get a 2-year old involved.

I am taking a break from charting.  About 5 weeks ago I met with the NFP teacher that taught Mr. Amen and I to talk about our struggle with secondary infertility.  One of the things she suggested was taking a break from charting to help us re-focus our attention back on each other and our marriage.  Great advice!  It’s been so nice not charting for the past 2 cycles.  That’s right…I said 5 weeks, 2 cycles.  You can begin to see where our difficulties lie.  More on that another day.

On our way to daycare this morning, Junior said he wanted to hug “Ms. Taffy and Rosie”.  That would be his teacher and my parents’ dog.  How cute is that?

Does anyone pray the Divine Mercy novena frequently?  Mr. Amen and I prayed it together leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday, but I LOVE praying it and am thinking of doing it perpetually all year round.  I’m finding myself drawn more and more to Jesus’ Divine Mercy and I feel like this would be a great way to remind myself to practice mercy in my everyday life.

Last Sunday, I took Communion on the tongue for the first time because my hands were occupied holding my very squirmy toddler.  I really liked taking it that way and have no idea why I’ve never done it before.

Check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Try It This Weekend Thursday: Waffles

Last summer when my mother-in-law was visiting I made these waffles for breakfast one Saturday morning.  Mr. Amen had asked me to make them for her because he didn't realize that waffle batter was different from pancake batter.  He had gone his entire childhood and adult life believing that to make waffles, one simply made pancake batter and cooked it in a waffle iron.

Well, I'm here to tell the world waffle batter is VERY different from pancake batter.  While one certainly doesn't want heavy pancakes, by their very nature pancake batter is much heavier.  Waffle batter is savory instead of sweet, like pancake batter.  If you've never taken the few extra minutes to make a real waffle batter - try it!  It's delicious, light and totally worth the effort.

1 ¾ c. flour
3 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
2 beaten egg yolks
1 ¾ c. milk
½ c. vegetable oil
2 stiffly beaten egg whites

Sift together dry ingredients. 
Combine yolks, milk and oil; stir into dry ingredients. 
Fold in whites, leaving a few fluffs.
Bake in waffle iron.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Amen Famiy - How It All Started (Part I)

When I was maybe 6 years old, my family went on a vacation to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma where Rh.ema Bi.ble Col.lege is located.  We were visiting some family friends who had moved down there to pursue a theology degree.  While we were there we drove over to Tulsa to see the campus of Or.al Ro.berts Uni.versity.  As we drove around the campus, we went across the street to the Ci.ty of Fai.th towers, the medical facility associated with the university.  The buildings shimmered from the gold reflective windows (very 70s chic); the water fountains danced in the hot Oklahoma sun; and there was a statue.  An enormous bronze statue of Praying Hands.

At over 60 feet tall, weighing over 30 tons, it was the largest bronze statue in the world.  A magnificent symbol of faith.  At that moment, I said to my parents, “one day I’m going to come here and go to college.”

I had graduated from college in May 1997 with a dual degree in French (language & literature) and was working at a smallish sized company doing a little of everything.  My social life was going well.  I had my family, many friends and many acquaintances.  There was always some fun to be had on the weekends and even during the week if I felt so inclined.  I was involved at my church playing keyboard during Sunday services and was active with the young adult ministry.  I wasn’t a partier (never have been), but I did have plenty of g and pg-rated experiences to keep life interesting.

By the summer of 1998, as a young adult navigating life beyond the safety of college, I was growing and changing in my worldview and my ideas about what I wanted out of life.  As I changed, my friends had difficulty embracing the new me.  They had trouble accepting that I was different even if it was for the better.  They couldn’t let me grow up and move on from the foolish things I had done as a younger version of myself.  They expected and wanted the same girl they always knew.

I couldn’t be her any longer.

I was restless.  I knew God was calling me out of my childhood home, away from my childhood friends, away from my family.  But where?

I was talking with a dear friend about his plans to go back to college.  He told me he was going to Or.al Ro.berts Uni.versity in the fall.  As soon as the words were out of his mouth, something clicked within me.  I knew that’s where I was supposed to go.  I had been taking some additional college courses during the spring and was thinking about studying to become a teacher.  My spring classes had been focused on a graduate degree in English Literature.  But something didn’t feel right during those studies.  I was feeling called to study business.

So I went online, found out what I would need to do to get into the MBA program at O.RU and started doing it.  A couple weeks later I took the G.MA.T exam.  My score on the G.MA.T combined with my undergraduate GPA would allow me to get into any, but the most elite, school.  I knew it had to be O.RU.  Within two months I had been accepted into the graduate business program at O.RU and left on an apartment hunting trip.

Everything was falling into place for my big move.  It was certainly scary to think about leaving everything I knew and moving a thousand miles across the country, away from my family, with no job, to a city where I knew exactly one person.  Despite all this, I had a total peace about what I was doing.

What was I doing? 

I thought I was going to graduate business school, thouht I was going to get my MBA with a concentration in Accounting.  I thought I was going to meet a wonderful Christian cowboy, marry him and live happily ever after on his ranch raising lots of cattle and children.

On December 26th, 1998 I packed up most of my belongings and my parents and brother drove me to Tulsa.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Catholic Radio

Does anyone listen to Catholic Radio at your desk?

Our local EW.TN station, Av.e Mari.a Ra.dio, is wonderful.  I love listenting to their programming all day long!  There are several shows I especially want to listen to during the workday...but, of course, I'm at work.  So I've taken to listening at my desk.

I learn so much by listening.  There's a segment about Bible foods and the other day the guest was talking about walnuts.  I don't think I ever realized that walnuts are Biblical...good thing I already love them, huh?  One less thing to adjust my thinking on :-)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just Another Saturday

Today my husband and I set out to prove that we have lost our minds. 

Just kidding.  Well, not entirely.  You see, today we took our 2 year old son to a professional juried art show.

We are members of the De.troit Insti.tute of Art.s because we have always enjoyed visiting the museum to view the exhibits, attend the lectures, listen to the live music, watch the independent films at their film institute and just generally soak up inspiration.  We took our son there with us once when he was about 3 or 4 months old.  That visit went just fine, but since he’s gotten around to walking and talking, we haven’t dared to attempt such a trip again.

Our parish is hosting a professional juried art show this weekend.  We’ve been looking forward to the event for months now.  Saturday, during the day, was “family day.”  Since we really would like to instill in Junior a love of the arts, especially sacred art, we took our 2 year old to an art show.

He was so excited to go as we were leaving this morning.  The entire drive there he kept repeating over and over “I going to a art show?”  And when I say the entire drive there, I mean every moment of the entire 20 minute drive he was saying some variation of just that.  He was especially excited to see his MaMaMa and PaPaPa there as well.  (MaMaMa and PaPaPa are my parents.)

We had planned ahead that maybe being there with fewer people would help keep him from becoming too overwhelmed.  So we got there at the moment the doors opened for early admission.  Junior did pretty well for a 2 year old.  In fact, I would say he did pretty well for a 4 year old too.  He was interested in the art; looking at the paintings and talking about what he saw, asking questions about why it was raining on Jesus in one picture, or why Jesus wasn’t wearing his shirt in another.  “Why is that mama crying?”  “Look at the family!”  “Why is he in a tree?”  “A birdie flying.” “I wanna hold the baby.”  “Why he sad?  I give a hug.”

There was a high school art competition where the attendees could vote for their favorite piece.  We voted by placing little pink tickets into the envelope hanging nearby the artwork.  There were paintings, sculptures, photographs and mosaics.  Junior looked at all the pieces and decided on his own for which one he wanted to “boat”.  He kept saying he wanted to vote for the “orange” one, but we couldn’t figure out which one that was.  We pointed out 2 different paintings we thought he might have been referring to, but neither was the one he wanted.  Eventually, he settled on a beautiful mosaic of Our Lady.  He was so proud of his “vote” as he placed the ticket in the envelope.  Both Mr. Amen and I also chose the pieces that most spoke to us and we let Junior put our tickets in their respective envelopes.  Mr. Amen chose a gorgeous black and white photograph of a piano’s keyboard.  I selected a lovely, earthy, soft peach colored sculpted jar.

The show itself was inspiring.  I have never seen such a collection of spectacular sacred art.  The styles of the artists were as varied as their mediums.  There was truly something for everyone.  Many of the items on display were for sale, and I had hoped we might be able to find a beautiful piece for our home.  Unfortunately, the prices were beyond what we can afford at this time, so we’ll have to keep saving up.

There were moments it was a challenge to have a 2 year old at the art show.  He doesn’t quite have the hang of his “inside voice” yet.  Toddlers love to experience the world around them and that includes touching everything they can reach.  It was tough for Junior to keep his hands to himself, but we made it through.  How else is he going to learn how to behave in such an environment?  I figure it’s similar to why we take him to mass every week and why we sit up front instead of in the crying room.  How is he going to learn to love, appreciate and participate in the mass if we don’t take him and help him understand what’s going on?

There were two moments that had nothing to do with the art though that stood out to me today. 

The first occurred as we were sitting in the concession area eating lunch.  My parents were sitting with us talking with one of my husband’s friends.  The friend is an older gentleman that belongs to the Kn.ights of C.olum.bus with Mr. Amen.  He asked my parents how many grandchildren they have.  My mother responded that they have four grandchildren so far.  She went on that my brother and SIL have three children and want to have a large family, so she knows she’ll have several more from him.  I did manage to speak up and say, “we do too.”

The second occurred a few moments after that when Junior spotted a family sitting nearby with a baby in a stroller.  He ran right over and started talking to the sweet little guy.  He appeared to be about 8-9 months old with sandy blond hair and big blue eyes.  He smiled adoringly at Junior and Junior, in turn, stepped up the charm.  The baby he was busy adoring was #7 in the family and his 5 older brothers and 1 older sister sat at the table eating.  Junior was enthralled with the sweet baby boy and wanted to hold him.  The parents of the baby noticed how interested Junior was in their son and commented on it.  Then came the “looks like it’s time for a sibling” comment.

Ah, the famous 1-2 punch.  When you’re dealing with infertility, you never know when a stray comment will pierce your heart.  My parents know about our struggles, they know about our miscarriage and they know about the treatments we’ve been attempting.  I know she didn’t mean it that way, but it felt like she was rubbing it in that he is well on his way to having the large family I’ve always dreamed of and we aren’t and don’t know if we ever will be.  Of course, the other family had no idea that we are the NFP teaching couple at our parish, that we are so open to life it hurts.  They had no idea how it breaks my heart each time I see Junior loving on a baby knowing what a great big brother he’d be.  Not many 2 year old boys ask for a baby and my heart and uterus ache when he does.

St. Anne pray for us.  St. Philomena pray for us.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Recipe: Spinach Stuffed Biscuits

I think I'm going to share recipes on Thursdays.  I'll call it "Try It This Weekend Thursdays".  And I would have posted this on Thursday if Blog.ger hadn't been down :-(

This is an easy go-to recipe when your pantry gets low.  My mom has made a fancier and more complicated version of this for years.  Her recipe involved making dough (or thawing frozen dough), letting it rise, stuffing a large loaf and making her own fresh spaghetti sauce.  I don't have that kind of time on my hands.  I usually have about a half hour to get dinner on the table each night, so whatever we're having has to be fast! 

I usually make my own spaghetti sauce from scratch, but I make a HUGE batch and freeze lots of it so I can just grab one out of the freezer in the morning before we leave for the day and let it thaw.  If you have the time or inclination to make your own sauce or dough - go for it! 

Even my 2 year old will eat this, and not many two year olds eat spinach willingly!

Spinach Stuffed Biscuits

1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach
1 tube refrigerated butter biscuits
1 cup mozzarella cheese
Any other filings desired (ham, broccoli, sausage)
1 jar Spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven according to biscuit package directions.

Cook frozen spinach according to package directions.  Drain very well.

Place biscuits on baking sheet, cut open to create pockets for filling (slice open as if you were going to butter the biscuits).

Divide spinach between the biscuits, divide cheese between the biscuits add any other toppings you'd like.

Close the biscuits to seal in the filling (it helps to press the edges with the tines of a fork).

Bake according to biscuit package directions.

Serve hot with spaghetti sauce.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Doctors Don't Know

I have a sinus infection that has become so painful my teeth are hurting.  So I made an appointment with my family doctor.  After seeing the doctor, he prescribed a z-pa.ck, pred.niso.ne and some other medicine.  As I always do, I asked if these medicines were safe to take while pregnant or attempting to become pregnant.

This is where it gets fun.

He said, "Are you pregnant?"

I answered, "No, but we're trying to conceive."

He said, "Well, I'd be more comfortable if you don't try for the next 7 to 10 days."

Disappointed in his non-sensical answer, I just said, "OK".  Luckily for us and any child we might conceive, I know at any moment where I am in my cycle.  What if I was in my fertile phase and we had already attempted to conceive this cycle?  It probably wouldn't be safe to take the medicines until I determine if we were successful.  What if I was in my two-week wait?  It wouldn't matter if we don't "try" for the next 7-10 days, I might have already conceived and it would be unsafe to take these medicines.

I was frustrated with his nonchalant attitude about where I was in my cycle.  He didn't even bother to ask when my last cycle started so he can apply the CD14 ovulation theory to me (the medical community's normal assumption is that eveyone ovulates on CD14).  I know for a fact that this doctor has some knowledge of NFP - he was required to take it as part of his marriage prep at his parish.  I know he knows about NFP, but it seems like he didn't pay any attention in his class.  He knows that I know about this stuff because when he found out that Mr. Amen and I teach NFP, he asked me about a million questions about his wife's cycle.

Usually I'm not shy in talking to doctors about NFP, but today, I was in so much pain from my sinuses, I just didn't have the energy to educate him. 

Was I a bad NFP witness today for not taking the opportunity to expand his knowledge?  Should I have explained to him that his answer wasn't very helpful?  Should I have helped him figure out what probing questions to ask me to determine if my taking these medicines is safe right now?  What have you done when you encountered an uneducated doctor or medical professional like this?

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Me, Mrs. Amen.  I’ve been so inspired reading the blogs of some wonderful women over the past year (check them out along the side bar), that I decided to start my own to join in the conversation.

A little about myself, I’m Mrs. Amen.  Amen means "so be it".  I'm learning to say "so be it" to God and let His will be done in my life rather than struggling against His will.  My DH is Mr. Amen…he's doing the same.  In fact, it would be more accurate to say we are doing it together.  He's a wonderful man who is surrendering himself to God more and more.  He's striving to be the leader in our house that God has asked him to be.  Our son, Junior, is two years old and he talks almost non-stop.

Some of the things I want to talk about are NFP (Natural Family Planning), learning to be the best Catholic Christian I can be, our struggles with secondary infertility, and juggling our hectic lives among other things.  Oh, and I’ll probably share a few recipes along the way.  I’ll solicit your advice from time to time, because, I’m pleased to admit that there’s holes a-plenty in my knowledge.