Atticus Ellis Ross

This past weekend Nick and I were showered with love and gifts for our precious baby boy. We cannot believe how many people came to show support and who are already praying and love our baby. It is amazing to see what God does in your life through others.

Once the shower was over we packed the car and headed to our maternity photos. I do not think it fully registered exactly how blessed we were or all the wonderful things we had received. From baby clothes to sentimental cards, we did not completely understand the extent of what we had received. Later that night we returned to my mom’s house to find all these baby gifts covering her living room floor. As we began to go through each and every gift again, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and emotions for how much love we have already received.

Baby Atticus is such a blessing in our lives and we were shown how much of a blessing he will be in so many others lives as well. The entire weekend I kept being reminded to be grateful for everything. God put me in certain situations to remind me to always be thankful for everything He provides. Gifts for our precious blessing are very much appreciated, but the love and relationships mean so much more and I am more grateful for these than any materialistic item we could ever receive.

At the end of the day we should all be thankful for the life we have been given, the relationships we have built, the hard times we fall upon, but most of all for the love God gives to each and every one of us. No matter how hard life can be at times we must be grateful for everything.

Our lives can improve just by becoming more grateful. It can strengthen relationships and increase overall happiness. Everyday wake up with a positive mindset and look for things you can be thankful for.

“Start each day with a grateful heart.“- Unknown

Every Next Level Of Your Life Will Demand A Different Version Of You.

Everyday we get so caught up in the “What ifs?” We are always wondering where life is going to take us, who we will marry, what job we will have in a few years; you name it we are always wondering about something that is completely out of our control. Instead we should stop and be thankful for today and live in the moment.

The past few years have been nothing but constant change for me. I moved 15 hours from home, got married, left a job industry I was extremely passionate about, became pregnant and took a position leading a team in an industry way out of my comfort zone. Through all this I have come to realize there is one thing in life that is always constant… change. Everyday, all day long, there is change happening in all aspects of our lives. Whether it is relationships, jobs, our pants do not fit anymore (my current daily change), or simply paint in our house; something is always changing. That is the beauty of life. We have the opportunity to experience change. No matter if it is good or bad, we have the chance to learn something from every change.

Growing up I was fearful of change. I did not want to be an adult or move away from home because it was something I simply could not control. Now that I am older, I realize how grateful I am for all the changes that have come with my life because it has molded me in to the woman I am today.

We are all so worried about changing the world that we forget to think about changing ourselves. Being a leader for a multimillion-dollar team, I had to change my outlook on the way I viewed successes and failures. I simply could not lead a team to want to make changes and better themselves without first practicing what I preached. I have learned that leading by example has much more impact on a person’s willingness to change as opposed to saying one thing and acting another.

No one will ever be able to control change. The outcome of every situation is already determined. The book for each of our lives has already been written and there is a higher power that already knows the plans for tomorrow. So live in the moment, take a deep breath, and thank God for every thing you have experienced in life thus far.

“Sometimes our lives have to be completely shaken up, changed, and rearranged to relocate us o the place we’re meant to be.” – Unknown

Merry Christmas!

Baby Ross Is Proof That God Answers Prayers

Many of you have followed my infertility journey. So you have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. A year and a half ago Nick and I started the dreaded journey of infertility in hopes to have a baby. There were many tears, heartache, prayer, and questioning along the way. But today I sit here and praise God for taking Nick and I on this path for more reasons than one.

In January of this year I had extensive surgery in hopes of being able to have a baby. Four weeks of recovery and five months of trying……… nothing. In July we had a major appointment with our specialist to see what our options were. We were told that day it was not going to happen naturally for us. We were told we would have to have some sort of help. I was crushed. Dying inside at the fact I could not physically give my husband the child he has always prayed for. So we sat in that room lost at what decision we should make. Should we adopt? Should we do IVF? Should we accept and be ok with just the two of us? Nick and I prayed for God to show us the right decision. We decided that day to do Natural IVF in October after our trip to Australia. We were going to use Australia to clear our minds and really seek God’s will for our life and what path we were supposed to take.

Two weeks later ……I was pregnant. God had answered our prayers, without hesitation, three weeks before we ever knew. Three weeks later sitting in my bathroom floor, I was looking at two pink lines I was told would never be possible without help. I was in disbelief. I knew it was a mistake. The test was faulty. I needed new glasses. All the excuses I could find for the truth to be false at this moment of such disbelief. But 17 pregnancy tests later (literally), two pink lines were possible with God.

Nick was out of town and I did not want to stress my mom just yet, so I called my Aunt and questioned her 10000 times about what to do. Should I tell my mom? Should I take another pregnancy test? Should I freak out? Should I eat McDonald’s? Should I put myself on bed rest? Should I run? Should I drink a gallon of water? What should I do? She was my calm in the storm that day. She was the positive voice I needed to hear and the reassurance that God had in fact answered all of our prayers. After the blood test was confirmed two days later, I was five weeks pregnant with a miracle I was told I would never have.

That night I prayed more than I have ever prayed and thanked God for this miracle and blessing. I thanked Him for the journey, drawing Nick and I closer to Him, making my marriage stronger than it has ever been, and for reminding me that there is ALWAYS a higher power. Science can only do so much and then comes God. Three months later I am pregnant with a happy, healthy baby and a support group bigger than I could have ever imagined. We are overwhelmed with the prayers and love we have received since sharing our joy.

I am here to tell you, God is still in the answering prayer business. There is no mountain He cannot move. Just because He does not answer in our timing does not mean He will not answer in His timing. Nick and I are living proof God shows up at just the right time and we will forever be grateful.

“Every good and perfect gift comes from above.”- James 1:17

Trust In The Timing

“Trust in God’s timing. It is better to wait awhile and have everything fall into place than rush and have things fall apart.” Wow. How true is this statement? How many of us question God’s timing on a daily basis? I know I am guilty. Naturally, we all want things to happen right now. Regardless of the outcome, if we set our mind on something we want we don’t want to wait on the perfect time.

Relationships are prime example. We rush into things before the timing is right to find out we are in a much deeper situation than we planned. If we were to slow down and listen to what God’s plans are for our life, many of us wouldn’t end up heartbroken. When I met Nick, I was not in a place to move forward in a relationship. I was in a bad place in my life and did not think that was the best time to move into something new. God laughed and three years later, I live in Michigan married to my best friends. Little did I know, that plane ride, was God’s perfect timing for me to meet my husband. In this case I was questioning the perfect time. Even though it hit me right in the feels… I did not think it was the right timing.

Fast-forward two years to the day Nick and I started facing infertility. Such an emotional roller coaster that you want immediate answers and results. You question God daily as to “why you are the couple having to face this?” Why do people who do not even need children, are able to have them with no trouble?” Why are we so faithful to God, but still do not have this particular prayer answered?” I am here to tell you, that God’s perfect timing has never rang so true during this difficult time in our lives. We have grown not only closer to each other…but to God. We know without a doubt God has a plan for our life and He knows what the future holds. When the time is right, God’s timing will be perfect.

We all face trying times in our life where we want instant answer. We question God, throw fits, turn the other cheek, or simply make our own decisions only to find out the time is not right. God’s perfect timing never fails. If we would all be more willing to wait on His timing instead of our own, think of the peace we would have.

“When the time is right, I, the Lord, will make it happen.”- Isaiah 60:22

 

Sister From Another Mister

Growing up as an only child there were days I longed for a sibling. I know that is crazy to think that I actually wanted someone to pick on and vice versa. Being an only child can be lonely but it can also have its perks. Luckily I was blessed with two very important people in my life that filled that void. An uncle who was more like a brother and my mom’s best friend’s daughter who is well known as my “little sister.”

During the first few years of my life we lived with my grandparents and Elan (my uncle). Being able to harass him and look up to him quickly changed my view of who he was and what he meant in my life. To this day he has always been more of a brother than my uncle. I aggravated him like a little sister, embarrassed him on his first dates and would hide in his room just to make him mad. Little did I know one day I would cherish that relationship more than I could have ever imagined. He has always been and always will be my “big brother” and I am thankful for the way my life turned out in order for this to happen.

Jacey…My sister from another mister. Better known as Janice, Jasmine, Hans Solo James Henry IV, Jessi, well you name it all names that start with “J”. From the day she was born I knew she would play an important role in my life. She truly fills that role of a little sister. She harasses me, calls me out when I am wrong but would bend over backwards to be there for me. I could not imagine my life without her. I value her opinions and respect that she can call me out. We can be mad at each other one second and laughing so hard we are crying the next. No matter what happens in life I know and she knows we will always be there for each other.

This is the beauty of life. You can make anything and any relationship become what you want it to be. I value each relationship I have because every one of them is unique in its own way. No two relationships are the same. In life we all have a choice. A choice to make each relationship great, to get the most out of every situation, and to give just as much as we receive. My challenge to you is to grow every relationship you have because one day they will all be taken away and only memories will remain.

“Even though we change and we’re all finding our own place in the world, we all know that when the tears fall or the smile spreads across our face, we’ll come to each other because no matter where this crazy world takes us, nothing will ever change so much to the point where we’re not still friends.”- Unknown

Old Ways Won’t Open New Doors

Everyone is given the same 24 hours. We all have the ability to become anything we want. Career, daily life, relationships, you name it we can become and do anything we set our minds to. In order to be the best you… you must be willing to put in the work and take chances. We will never reach our full potential being mediocre or putting in minimal effort.

During my professional career I have had many opportunities come my way: some good and some bad. Regardless, they have all taught me a lesson. One thing the professional world has taught me is; excuses will always be there…Opportunities won’t. Nothing is worse than missing out on an opportunity that could potentially change your life. Daily we have the chance to change our path and grow ourselves. We have to be willing to take that chance and let the rest fall into place.

Why do we let fear get in the way? Why do we allow fear to keep us from the opportunities we are presented? We miss out on so much because of fear. Recently I have had several people tell me they missed out on so many chances due to fear and reservations. I always ask them what they have to lose when taking a chance? What is the worst that can happen? We are all fearful of failure, but if we go into every situation with a purpose and positive mindset, we would all be surprised at how much better the outcomes will be. People who walk and live with a purpose do not have to chase people or opportunities… Opportunities and people chase them.

Yesterday I was offered the chance at an amazing opportunity. I set up the appointment to review the details and expectations within 30 minutes of hearing about it. Immediately after I hit submit I was anxious, nervous and fearful. These feelings and emotions were all connected to my fear of failure. Fear that I would not represent myself to the best of my ability because there are hundreds of other candidates I am up against. We all view each opportunity thrown our way as a competition. We have to be better than the next person or the last person instead of focusing on being our true self.

Today was the day to discuss this chance I am referencing above. Before the appointment I had knots in my stomach and was questioning if I would be good enough. Richard Branson’s quote “If somebody offers you an opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes- then learn how to do it later” came to mind. We automatically rule out anything that scares us or requires a little extra work in order to be successful. After the 30 minute meeting I was humbled and at peace with the conversation. Regardless if I am offered the opportunity it was worth the time. I was myself and learned something new about myself just in those 30 minutes. It was a great lesson if nothing else comes of it. Hopefully soon I can reveal good news about this amazing opportunity. Fingers crossed!

“Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.” – Unknown

Don’t be ashamed of your story. It can inspire someone.

Over the last year Nick and I have battled infertility. Many people who know us have no idea we have been going thru this. We have cried many times, been upset, angry, but thru it all we have learned how strong we are as a couple. This chapter of our life has taught us just how strong we can be.

After Nick and I got engaged I heard many times, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby.” For us it was first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes infertility…unfortunately. For many months I questioned God; “why do we have to experience this?” Why teenage girls can have children who don’t want them but Nick and I want them and have to experience such heartache and disappointment? I questioned was I strong enough to make it on this journey, would my husband love me even if I can’t give him a baby, would I become depressed, have anxiety or give up hope? Yes I have had many days where the emotions are too hard to handle or I have become so discouraged I want to give up.

During one of my {MANY} appointments, I saw this couple walk in with tears flowing down their faces, holding hands and consoling each other. Little did I know they had battled the same issues we are experiencing. But their journey had a much more heartbreaking turn…. Miscarriage. As I sat there I suddenly realized that no matter what we are going thru it could always be worse. Life could also be more heartbreaking but we have to remember to praise God even in the storm. His plans for our life are much better than any plan we have.

I decided to have surgery in hopes of helping with the infertility issues. Two months later I am thanking God for all the wonder things He has taught me along this journey. The surgery was perfect. I am healing perfectly and all of our prayers to this point are being answered. Do we have a baby to announce? No. But we are forever grateful for God answering our prayers for a successful surgery.

Nick and I learned that every situation has a purpose. It has a lesson to be learned. Do we know the plans for our life? Absolutely not, but we are willing to trust God and thank Him regardless of the outcome. We have focused on the path more than the outcome. We are taking every step with grateful hearts and open minds. Our journey has taught us so much and it has done many things we could have never dreamed. Out of all the negative things we have been told or experienced on this journey, we have to stop and remember the positives and that this isn’t the end for us.

“But  even her infertility served a purpose. God saw the bigger picture, because he is the one who wrote and illustrated the whole story.” -Unknown 

It doesn’t matter what others are doing.

Growing up we were all taught to mind our own business. Putting our nose in someone else’s business usually ends up with trouble or rumors being started for no reason. How many times have you heard something about yourself that made you laugh because it was so far from the truth? How many times have your feelings gotten hurt because someone said something about you or was completely hateful?

All of us are guilty of listening to others talk about people. We are also guilty of spreading things that could potentially not be true. In life we are so caught up with other people’s lives. Who so and so is dating? Who got this job? Who bought this house? Who is doing things they aren’t supposed to be doing? Why? Why do we care so much about what other people are doing and why do we talk about people?

Jealously can be an awful big part of the reaction we have to what we hear and or say about others. Many times we get so caught up with wanting what others have that we will do just about anything to make that person look bad. Unfortunately, we all are guilty of wanting other people to look bad do to our own jealously or insecurities.

Everything that happens in life leads to an outcome. Whether it is a happy outcome or a sad outcome, everything leads somewhere. Divorce happens, children rebel, spouses cheat, and breakups… you name it they all lead to some sort of outcome. However, these outcomes {in other people’s lives} are not ours to judge. We do not have the right to judge anyone based on his or her circumstances. Not everyone is given the same path. This is done for a reason. Not all of us could handle the same life paths. Many of us judge others so quickly but we have yet to walk a mile in their shoes.

I am guilty of judging other people based on decisions they make. But I am quickly reminded not all of our closets are clear of skeletons. We love to point out other people’s flaws and bad judgments but we forget to sweep our own doorstep clean first. Why do we do this? Why do we like other people to fail or face trial? Jealously. If someone is doing something that gives us a reason to gossip, it is so easy to judge or talk bad about him or her.

We all need to remember our hands aren’t always clean. We all make mistakes. Life happens and there is nothing we can do about. However, we can chose to lift each other up instead of bashing or putting each other down. There are so many negatives in life that we could use a little more positivity. Chose to empower each other. It will make the world a better place.

“It’s always the ones with the dirty hands pointing the fingers.”- Sonya Teclai

Best Friends For Life…Husband & Wife

Be His Lover… Not His Mother

Our husbands are grown men. His mother raised him. We should not try to tell them what to do or how to live their life, instead we should support them and help them want to be a better person. Love your husband unconditionally… don’t turn into a mother figure.

Be Willing To Lose Some Battles

There are days we all argue. Sometimes for a reason and sometimes there is not a reason. Some battles are not worth the argument. Being a supportive wife also means we have to be willing to lose some battles we face. Being a wife does not mean we always have to be right…. Even if the saying goes “Mrs. Always Right.”

Communication Is Key

Our sweet husband’s cannot read our minds. If you want chocolate… tell him. We cannot get mad at them for something they did not do if we do not properly communicate what we need or want. Communication is always very important to make a marriage stronger. The more you are open and willing to talk the less you will have misunderstandings.

Never Stop Being Your Husband’s Girlfriend

DATE NIGHT!! There is nothing better than dressing up and going on a date with the man you love. My husband and I got married but we still date. We flirt and do silly things to show each other how much we care. Just because we are married doesn’t mean the dating ends.

Protect What You Love

He is your husband. Protect him. Do not give him reasons to doubt how you feel. I try every day to go out of my way to make sure Nick knows how much he means to me. If today were my last day I want him to know I loved him unconditionally and protected our relationship with everything I have.

Put God First

God is necessity. No marriage can reach its full potential until we are willing to “submit to the Lord with all out hearts.” I pray for Nick everyday, sometimes multiple times. God is an essential need for marriages. I think more marriages would last and become stronger if we were all willing to put God first.

Two Is Better Than One

You’re a team. The day you say “I DO” there is no more “I”. We have to be willing to be on the same side, not against each other. The stronger you are as a team the stronger the marriage. My husband and I like to compete at times, but we always make better decisions when we think together.

“There is no challenge strong enough to destroy your marriage as long as you are both willing to stop fighting against each other and start fighting for each other.” –Dave Willis

We don’t need to rush.

We were all once little tots who could not wait to grow up. We wanted to be just like our parents, wanted no rules, to be able to own our own house, have children of our own, and the list goes on. Why are we always trying to rush thru life? There is only one life we are granted to live yet we rush thru it. I know personally my life is chaotic. I am always rushing here or there, trying to meet deadlines ,  my entire life is planned but I quickly forget how important it is to slow down and be thankful for the moment.

When I was in high school I could not wait to go to college, have my own house, get married, have children, become a successful woman and so I planned my entire path when I was eighteen. I had deadlines and goals set for my life. I wanted to be graduated at 22, married by 23, and children by 25. I was in a serious relationship when I had everything mapped out and just knew what my future had in store.

…. But… God had different plans for my life.

I was rushing thru the best years of my life only to find out God smiles when we have everything planned and forget to ask His will for our lives. After learning the hard way, I earned two college degrees and was in school until I was 25, ended a six-year relationship at 25 and started everything over. Not what I had planned.

As I look back over the last few years I realize I did not stop long enough to be thankful for the moments and memories. I did not take them for granted but I truly did not soak in the moments given. I was so worried about meeting a deadline that in reality society has set.

Today I can honestly say I am so thankful the plan I had did not work out. If it would have I would not have the amazing man I get to call my husband, my beautiful home, all the wonder opportunities I have had over the past two years, but most of all I would have never found who I truly am to realize how thankful I am for my life and the need to cherish these moments.

People have asked me for years “Aren’t you married yet?” or “When are you going to have children?” however most do not know the circumstances that may have kept me from these two cases. They were trying to rush my life to meet the standard of society. I will be forever grateful for getting married at 26. My life view is completely different now as opposed 24. I was grateful for my life then, but I am extremely blessed to have the life I live now.

Over the last 6 months Nick and I have battled infertility. Going thru this process everything is rushed. Hurry and have surgery, hurry to get on fertility meds, hurry to have IVF, hurry to have a baby within a year, hurry to lose the baby weight. It is so overwhelming because we are almost forced to not stop and be thankful for our life regardless of the situation at hand. Despite the situation we are going thru, we have tried to stop and understand why God has lead us down this path. No matter the outcome we do not want to hurry into a decision due to pressure.

No matter the circumstance in your life, take a moment to slow down and cherish the moment. Once the moment is gone you cannot get it back, once someone passes away they are gone, once you plan your entire life you lose sight of the blessings that could be in front of you. Life is such a precious blessing , do not take it for granted.

“There is no need to rush. What’s meant for you always arrives right on time.”- Unknown