Thursday, March 31, 2011

To Go, or Not to Go

Last night before home groups Colin got a call from one of his buddies at work. His buddy had two tickets to the NCAA Finals!!! He and his wife aren't able to go, so he wanted to give them to us, what??!!??!!?? We were on cloud nine until we started talking about how to bet to BLUE-ston. (Houston), thanks Em Ryan.

We were on the Internet for a while looking for the best deal. We looked out of Nashville, Cincy, Lousville, etc. We looked at driving the 16 hrs. We are fortunate to have one of Colin's aunts in Houston, so we scored a place to stay. This was coming together right?

Do you realize how expensive flights are? Oh my word, driving would mean taking more time off work for Colin, so that really wasn't an option. So thats where we are today, trying to find a good deal on a flight to the tournament. We feel confident we will be in that final game, BUT what if we pay for that flight to watch a non Kentucky team play. Gosh. What would you do??

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011


My bible study is currently reading Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts~A Dare to LIVE FULLY Right Where You Are. I highly reccomend the book....just push through the first chapter, it is tough. She is such an eloquent writer, sometimes very wordy....I am a simple girl, but I do appreciate her ability to paint a picture with each word. Maybe I am just jealous. The concept of the book is "wherever you are, be ALL there." Some of my favorite quotes from her book so far (Chapters 1-4) are:
"I only live the full life when I live FULLY in the moment"

"With each passing minute, each passing year, there's this deepening awareness that I am filling, gaining time. We stand on the brink of eternity."

"In naming that which is right before me, that which I'd otherwise miss, the invisitble becomes visible."

"God is in the details; God is in the moment. God is in all that blurs by in life--even hurts in a life."

So yesterday, I took time, I slowed down and I listened. I watched. I took time to see. I don't think that it was a mistake that the night before I felt sooooo rushed. When I looked up, and took time, I saw a little miracle eating dinner all by himself. My heart hurt, I felt like Martha rushing around and missing the most important person in the room at that moment. My son. So, I stopped, I took a seat and I ate. Even now, tears are burning in the back of my eyes, but I am thankful that I am aware of this need to slow down and see each moment as a gift. Today is all we have...this minute is it. Colin prays each night for our family and thanks God for this moment, this day, because it is all we have. He prays that we live fully in these beautiful moments. So back to yesterday, I sat at my table with my awesome new journal from Leigh...and I wrote out prayers of thanksgiving...72 of them, just like that. I am unlearning the business of life, and learning the minute to minute way to live life.
"Our very living is associate with our gratitude"

"To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it."

The very act of naming these things is worship.

"God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given; JOY."

1. Unexpected gifts 3. Sun rays peaking out first thing in the morning 5. Sweet tea 6. a positive pregnancy test 8. Laying on the beach and listening to the ocean and smelling the salt water 13. Camden's belly laugh (only daddy can get) 15. Handwritten notes 18. Rocking my sweet baby boy and smelling his baby shampoo 23. Pajama pants and a big ol KY sweatshirt 29. CS Lewis song 32. Learning that I am cherished, loved, and a child of God (daily) 35. driving with my windows down and my radio loud 42. fresh flowers 53. sitting by the fire pit outside and seeing all the stars on a clear night 56. thunderstorms on lazy days 61. Seeing birds and being reminded not to worry
These are just a few....what are you thankful for?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Little Elks

So I had my second experience with consignment shopping yesterday. I am all about Craigslist, garage sales and finding the best deal, but these church consignment sales are exhausting. I am in no way perfect, so please don't take these comments personally, these are my opinion only.

1. I think that the sale should be renamed Little Hoarders. Have you ever noticed that women and men go through the racks and racks of clothes grabbing almost everything they think they want. They take their three laundry baskets of clothes, find a corner and make piles of what they do and don't want. They don't want to leave what they think they want on the rack because by the time they decide they want it, it might be snatched. I'm not kidding every corner, stage, stairwell, and bathroom is taken over by the hoarders. Baskets and piles of they want me, they want me nots.

2. Please don't sit on the floor between the racks of clothes. You already have three laundry baskets I have to navigate over, adding a body is a tripping hazard. Plus with about two feet between each rack, we are already invading some serious personal space.

3. Do people seriously buy used kids underwear? You know drawers that small were used for potty training right?

4. I love to be around people, but for some reason Little Hoarders overwhelms me. I always walk out with one, maybe two things. I am well aware of the amazing deals offered on the gently used clothing and baby items. I just get so hot and sweaty feeling bad that I don't have the patience to invest any time in digging for deals. So yesterday as I waited in line to pay for $2 camo shoes and $10 for a swing, I felt embarrassed that I didn't have piles and piles of items. Lots of comments like "oh I feel bad, you have to wait for two items!"

5. I loved who I got to stand in line with for the hour. A sweet couple who knew my friend Dr Akin, and are expecting Twins! It was so cool to hear their story and talk about our experiences. So, I am thankful for Little Lambs/Elks/Hoarders and will most likely go back.

6. Pardon my rants and inability to write funnily.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Acorns Tutorial

I am posting this tutorial for my blogger friend Amber. I never thought to post a step by step on how I made my little sign. Next time I will take pictures, and after taking the pictures do my best to post those on my blog along with the steps. I am not good at doing both pictures and steps...I still need to do my post on the cute cupcake ice cream cones from St Patrick's Day. (sorry). sign. This was my inspiration....the one that says Jack
1. I bought a canvas from Hobby Lobby (I wish I could tell you the size, rectangle...I am in my room right now since we are hosting a high school ministry home was $8)
2. I painted my canvas with a light coat of white paint (left over from our trip work in the dining room)
3. I let the white dry for a few hours then took out my ruler. I measured two inches from the outside of the canvas and created the rectangle in the middle...where the acorns is written. I bought a dark brown paint at Walmart and used a thin paintbrush to outline the rectangle.
4. I drew my circles next and used a paint we have in our living room to fill those in. I then walked away from my are project for few hours. I didn't like how the circles were flat and didn't "pop" off the canvas. So I took a nap :)
5. After my beauty rest I decided to take the dark brown and white and mix them together to add the depth to the circles....and I also mixed up the plain white rectangle.
6. Now my piece of work was ready for the Cricut to work its magic. I decided to use the 3" lettering, on dark brown cardstock. I typed in acorns and hit cut. It is that easy....I had my letters...again, I needed more, more depth. So I found a dark green cardstock and "shadowed" my previous cut. You may not be able to see the shadow in the picture in my previous post.
7. Finally, while at Hobby Lobby I decided the edges of the canvas needed some love, so I found that oh so cute brown and white polka dot ribbon and glued it on. I also found the amazing little tree I glued onto the canvas. As they say out of the acorn grows the mighty oak...I am so happy that I get to be a tiny part of their life.

I hope that this makes sense without all the may be confusing. My next project is the family rules. I want to make this and put it on my mantel. I am thinking less pastel...but this is so cute. What would you put on your family rules canvas..... Here is what I am thinking.

Then if I am feeling really crazy, I may jump on the classroom rules canvas....I would hang this behind my desk.
Gosh, this is a really long post, I can't tell you how good it feels to work on these projects and to have down time to make these creations. I turn on my Tomlin Pandora and just go nuts.


So I got all sorts of crazy and bought a Cricut. I justified this purchase because I want to create adorable items for my new classroom. After my first creation, I realize I want to add some new decor to my house too. I have so many ideas floating around. So below is what will hang on the door to my new classroom. It will welcome all my sweet Acorns each morning.

My next project is for Camden's 2nd birthday party. I want to make something cute and simple to add to his Elmo themed party. I found these on a website featuring an Elmo party. Warning, do not become obsessed in researching other kids parties, people go crazy! I'm talking, CRAZY! They are very talented, but seem to have more time then me. So, I am going to make these cute Elmo Oreo snacks. Simple. Dip the oreo in white chocolate dyed red. Use sixlets for eyes, orange jelly bean for a nose, and milk chocolate melts cut in half for the mouth. They look cute, and I know an ore coated in more chocolate can't be terrible.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011


I should add, there will be one more baby here this summer....Sweet baby boy Head, we can't wait to meet you.

This is when we used to meet for lunch and we rotate houses and take care of our babies.

So this is what I got to share last Thursday at MUMs. So thankful for the invite to come back to that wonderful group of women. Tomorrow, I am planning on sharing a post about Cupcake Cones....complete with pix. They aren't the prettiest, and I won't know how yummy they are (no sweets until Easter), but Colin said they tasted great!

As Kylene said, my name is Emily Stout. I am the proud mom of Camden Stout, and no, my husband isn’t an international model, but he is pretty awesome.
I have known I was going to be here for about 6 weeks. I have prayed about what God wants me to speak on, and just really asked Him to use me and my story for His glory. I want to take you back five years ago when Colin and decided to start trying to have children. You need to know that my personality is wired so that I plan….I struggle with letting God lead. I like control, and I like to know what is next….pretty much the opposite of what faith is. So, after being married close to five years, my plan was to be a mom. Little did I know that this was something I had absolutely NO control over, and would be one of the most painful times in my life. I had to keep reminding myself of God’s truth.

Romans 8:28 (New Living Translation)
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[
a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Colin and I would go to appointment after appointment, ultrasound after ultrasound, procedure after procedure and come out broken hearted because we were not pregnant. We are blessed to have an amazing Christian doctor who would pray over us, speak scripture over us and remind us each time God was the opener and closer of the womb. After a year and half and three IUI’s coupled with clomid (which is from the Devil)…we were referred to specialist. At this point, I decided to start blogging about our story and I found two women who were also battling infertility. We started meeting in public places and I remember our first meeting at Panera, knowing we would have to meet somewhere less public because of the tears. It was so comforting to be with friends, women who knew how hard it was every month to start your period….and would help me see the hope in the situation. Our question before leaving would always be “what’s the hope, the next step?” They helped me see the hope… of my favorite quotes is below…

We absolutely need God, and we also need each other in order to live a free and productive life

We met with our specialist and he told us that we have a 1/500 chance in getting pregnant on our own, and that IVF would be our best chance of ever conceiving. We took a few weeks to pray, seek wise counsel, and talk through the expenses. (Share story of Nana in Hospice thinking I was preggers…and then she ultimately paid for Camden).
IVF is such a gift, and through the process we ended up with our precious son, Camden and three precious embryos to freeze (Chilly, Willy, & Lilly). Camden will be two in April, and we always knew we would want to have a sibling or three close in age. This past fall we decided to do our FET (frozen embryo transplant)….tell story about calling specialist for frozen babies…and instead of blogging through this adventure to only tell a few people and surprise our family and friends. I started patches and progesterone in late November and implanted two sweet embryos in mid-December, one little baby didn’t make it (Chilly). For the next ten days I struggled with the possible change of adding another baby to our family…again I like control, not a big fan of change, and couldn’t imagine how I could love another child as much as I loved Camden. On December 22nd I took a home test and saw two lines, at the moment I saw those two lines, I was in love. I knew I could love another child….and God showed me I really did want another child. On December 23rd, I went into the lab to have bloodwork done and to confirm my pregnancy with Stout #2. I was convinced it was a girl and had named her Evelyn Rose after my Grandmother (I told you I was a planner)….I called the specialist later that afternoon and the nurse told me to come in the Monday after Christmas to redo my bloodwork since my count was low. At this point, I wasn’t concerned at all. I just knew we had hit the ball out of the park when we did IVF with Camden and that there was no way this time wouldn’t work. So, for Christmas we made ornaments for our family that said “Big Brother.” We videotaped everyones reactions and celebrated this sweet new life. It was so fun surprising everybody this time around. On Monday, I went back to have blood drawn and then decided to grab breakfast with my mom, dad, SIL, and Camden at Cracker Barrel. Unfortunately before being seated I got a call from the nurse and she told me that we had lost the baby. I didn’t know what to think, I felt guilty for fearing change, and ultimately another child. I sat down in the middle of Cracker Barrel and just cried. I went to the car and called my husband, went back into the restaurant to tell my mom and dad and then drove to my friend Nakada’s house. My mom and dad were so sweet to keep Camden over the afternoon so that I could have some time. I wrote the following the week I lost the baby…

I don't know where to start with the post....I am so thankful for IVF, to me it gave me one of the best gifts I have ever had. So, I guess when we went in for round two, I got cocky, I knew it would work. It had to, we knocked it out of the park the first time with our little guy. We had three embryos, that I just knew would give us another child. Since yesterdays phone call I have gone through so many emotions....sadness, guilt, relief, confusion, and anger. I am so sad, because according to Dr's, Colin and can't get pregnant on our own. Now I believe in God and know He can work miracles...but for now I am sad because medically speaking, this just wont happen for us. I am guilty because I really didn't want to go back for those little embryos. I dreaded the thought of pregnancy and change. I feel terrible now knowing that I dreaded those three little guys, and now they won't be. I am a little bit relieved for the fact that I don't have to worry about another pregnancy with bedrest, I am content with my sweet boy. I am relieved that I won't have another 3-6 months of sleepless nights, or change. I am confused, because as I write why I am relieved, I still have a small desire for sleepless nights, and a sweet baby who lays on your chest with their legs wrapped up under their butt. How can I want both things in the same breath? I am finding myself with a twinge of anger....just mad. Don't know why, I just am mad. Then I cry, I hate crying. The gift of IVF has me forever grateful. I get to wake up with a spunky 20 month old and watch Elmo, play in the snow, eat frozen waffles, and dance. IVF is also tricky because you know SOOOO much sooner that you are pregnant. I knew within days of implanting the embryos that I was pregnant. If Colin and I had conceived on our own, we probably never would have known that I was pregnant for those two days, and I wouldn't be brokenhearted. I am thankful that God has those sweet little embryos and He sees the bigger picture. Although we were just a few weeks along, I still believe I will see those sweet babies one day. Thank you God for staying close.

Isaiah 41:5-10
You are my servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with MY righteous right hand.

Soon after losing our baby, I found myself in a staff meeting here at church. We were given the opportunity to pray and encourage one another. My friend Brandon came to me and gave me these words….

“There are future blessings in store” a word of encouragement and of expectation – that you can get excited and expectant for the future – God’s moving and planning to bless in the future!The Scripture I got was: 1 Corinthians 5:7b-8: Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us.8 So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth.

Between tears I felt like telling God really? Really? Blessings, what does that mean? Pregnancy, that’s it, it has to be I will get pregnant. Then I was reminded that God is in control and He probably had different plans then mine and I needed to let go…..I needed to heal, and no know matter where I am He loves me, and can carry me through. I left that meeting with HOPE, I left knowing that His ways are higher and better than anything I could ask or imagine.
A few weeks passed and I still found myself incomplete. I didn’t know how to act, I didn’t know what to say. I found myself extra anxious about myself and Camden. I wanted to create a hedge of protection around Camden, I couldn’t bare the thought of losing him. Then I was reminded of God’s word…and I still have to claim this daily.

Philippians 4:6-7 (New International Version, ©2011)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus

Well, I think I figured out my blessing…..God has called me back to the classroom. He has given me 10 two year olds next year (including my own Camden) to teach, love, and nurture. I have been blessed my friends…..I have been called to love and that is what I plan on doing. They may not be my own, but I will treat them as my own. God has given me responsibility to be Jesus in their little lives. I still worry, I still have questions, and I am still sad. However I know two things for sure….

God is the same today as He was yesterday….and He loves me as His precious child.

I can’t worry about things I can’t control, I need to embrace each day that He has given me. Take every opportunity to love others as He loves me.
I found this poem in a book I am reading and thought it would be a great way to conclude this part of my story.

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.
One of these days is Yesterday with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control.
All the money in the world cannot bring back Yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone.
The other day we should not worry about is Tomorrow with its possible adversaries, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.
Tomorrow’s sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds…but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in Tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.
This leaves only one day…Today. Any man can fight battles of just one day, it is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities…Yesterday and Tomorrow that we break down.
It is not the experience of Today that drives men mad…it is remorse or bitterness for something that happened Yesterday and the dread of what Tomorrow may bring.
-Author Unknown

Thanks for listening to me, and please know I would love to pray are chat with you all. I can give you my email if you have questions.

Habakkuk 1:5 (New Living Translation)
The Lord’s Reply
5 The Lord replied,“Look around at the nations;
look and be amazed![
For I am doing something in your own day,
something you wouldn’t believe
even if someone told you about it
When I look at the two pictures above, I see this scripture come to life.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Are you Listening?

Sometimes I feel like I am not being heard. I feel like I pour my heart out to God, and He just isn't there. I feel like I am screaming and screaming and the only thing I hear is my own echo. Today, I was reminded that maybe I need to be the one listening...maybe I need to stop screaming and sit and listen. I am not cool with that, that is really uncomfortable to me. However, I find if I take the time to STOP and LISTEN, He is there and He will speak to my spirit. I am gearing up to speak to MUMS this Thursday....and I can't wait. I have known about this for 6+ weeks and just feel like God has told me over and over, just share your story. Really? My story? The one where I have a hard time trusting you, and have been brokenhearted. I feel like God is saying....Yes, that one, the one where you leaned on me, your marriage grew stronger, and I held you in my arms while you healed. So, would you please pray that God use me to tell His story on Thursday. I am not a public speaker at all. I am excited to see what God has to share, and thrilled that He has given me songs, scripture, and passages from a few books already....although I know He is ultimately calling me to share my story. Yikes!
Got to go listen.....