So I've been away from the blog for a little bit. Busy being a mom, I guess. And other stuff. Here's a list.
Had a parent night at school and had to help serve dinner to 300 people.
Had PTA night at school and the Specials department was in charge of the entertainment. I had to put up an art show and we had a one act play and some games that night.
I've been sick. Had a cold and cough and it wasn't getting better, so I finally went to the doctor today. Bronchitis. Yikes. I'm now on some antibiotics and hoping to get better.
We had Jackson dedicated last Sunday at church. I cried through most of it. It was so special.
We had professional family pictures taken this past Sunday. It was so much fun. I felt like I was on America's Next Top Model. Our photographer was great, as you can see from these sample pictures. We took some in Barnes and Nobles and at this really cool local park. I will show you more when we get them.
Jackson is starting to eat solid foods. We tried oatmeal for the first time this week and he did really well with it. He got the hang of the spoon really quickly and actually likes it thicker than the recommended runny way. I'm such a proud momma.
I mean, really, look at that picture again. Isn't he the cutest thing you've ever seen?
We moved around the furniture in the house so that we can actually use more space and enjoy it. The dogs had the run of our den and we never really went in there. Now, the dogs are in the old guest room which is now the office and we can use both the living room and the den. Yay.
We are trying our best to keep our house uncluttered. Trying.
I had a slumber party with my mom the other night and we watched Iron Man. So much fun.
I've been reading up on most of you and know there is a lot going on with everyone. The holidays are coming and we are very excited about sending out our first family Christmas card. Totally excited. We are going to use one of the pictures from our session, but since I haven't seen them all, I don't know how that will go.
Can I tell you again about how fun taking pictures was? So fun. I talked with Charlie about a week in advance about being cooperative and just going with what I wanted. So, he wore what I wanted and did what I wanted and was great that day. I know he was probably a little embarrassed in BN when we were kissing for the camera, but no one seemed to even care about our little photo shoot. Even when our photographer Amy was laying on the floor, no one really commented on it. Jackson tolerated it pretty well and we got some really awesome smiles out of him.
And I wore skinny jeans for the first time. Go me!
I'm sorry it has been awhile since I've posted. With school starting back and now being a mom, there is less time for the other stuff I used to do once the dinner dishes were done and I could collapse on the couch. Now, there is bathtime and storytime and bedtime and kisses and cuddles and then I get about an hour and a half to veg a little bit before I get into bed and sleep. I love to sleep. Yessiree!
I will admit that we are spoiled and Jackson started sleeping through the night about two weeks ago. He goes to bed between 8 and 8:30 and sleeps until 7 am. It was certainly a gift from God, because the loss of sleep was the most difficult part for me.
We've been having more fun with him, taking him on little trips and to the county fair the other day. And while he slept through most of the fair, except the really loud tractor pull, it was fun to have a family outing. We enjoyed walking around and the weather was great and I was so glad that we went. I know it will be so much more fun in two years when he can pet the animals and ride the pony.
I hope all is well with you guys and you don't feel like I've abandoned you. Life has taken on new meaning, I guess.
I go back to work tomorrow. I am excited and nervous and ready and not ready all at the same time. We have great childcare in place, so I'm not really worried about that, but I'm more worried about me. My bladder (I have Interstitial Cystitis) has been acting up lately and I'm more stressed about that, I think. The last couple of weeks haven't been that great, and I'm sure that the newness of having a baby hasn't made it better. I haven't had a totally hard time adjusting, but there have been days where I haven't known what to do with Jackson.
So, tomorrow will be quite the dose of reality as I get up and leave my house and get back to my classroom. Prayers, please.
While life may never be completely normal again, it is getting into more of a routine, which is good for me. Although, the routine will change once again when I go back to work Thursday of next week. School starts on the 27th and Jackson will be 7 weeks old by then. I didn't really want to miss the first day of school, even though I could have taken more time.
I'm still getting used to thinking of myself as a mom. It comes and goes. When I'm with him, I understand it and what I'm supposed to do, but when I'm alone, I'm not obsessed by it. I can enjoy being alone and not worry that he's okay. I think that's good. Yesterday I called the dentist because the filling I got two weeks ago was still sensitive and I thought it needed to be adjusted. They asked if I could come right then. Two months ago I would have gotten right in the car, but instead I blurted out, "We just got a baby, so I have to arrange childcare." So I went today and my mom came and stayed with Jackson. Would it have been appropriate for me to take him?
He's doing well and growing and starting to have more of a personality. He likes baths, which is good, cause I do too! He likes his swing and his Boppy and the pacifier from the hospital.
Last night was my night to get up with Jackson and it didn't go well. I fed him at 10:30 or so and crawled into bed a little after 11, but I had a headache and got up again at 11:30 to take something. I figured Jackson would sleep until 3 or so, because that has been his pattern the last couple of days, but he woke up at 12:45 and wanted a bottle. At that point I had slept maybe an hour.
So I'm sitting in the rocker, feeding him the bottle and bawling my eyes out. I was so tired. So tired.
I know this isn't anything new to anyone with a new baby. They get up in the middle of the night and that wasn't a surprise and it was the thing that concerned me most about adopting a newborn. I don't cope well on little sleep and it is making me cranky, weepy and otherwise irritable. I knew this would be a big problem when we finally got a baby, probably causing a little rift in our marriage as I get snappish with Charlie when sleep deprived.
This morning Charlie and I were laying in bed and talking and I started crying again about how getting sleep in two to three hour increments is wearing me down little by little. Charlie and I made a plan for me to get a little more rest and hopefully it will work.
In other news, I was thinking today about R (our birth mother) and how we can never fully express what Jackson means to us and how we can never express as much gratitude as we want to. We did get her a gift and sent it through the agency after gotcha day, but I would empty out my bank account again and again and still not feel like I've given her enough. Would any of you like to share what you did for your birth mothers? If you don't want to comment publicly, then send me an email and share. I know each situation is very personal and not all adoptions are completely open or amicable, but I'd love to know if you want to share.
Well, Jackson is getting bigger and more adorable by the minute, don't you think? He's starting to have more facial expressions and smile a little more, which is just too cute. We attended a bridal shower yesterday and he was a big hit, getting passed around and loved on.
There are still days when I can't quite believe this is all real and that I'm a mom. It's interesting. My husband and I talked about how blessed we are today, but then in the next moment it was just surreal. He is a pretty good baby, with minimal fussy times, but like any baby he has his moments. He is sleeping pretty good at night, usually just getting up once or twice.
We went to the lawyer on Friday and signed papers to begin the TPR for the birth father and talk through the process of the adoption finalization. We were hoping to have it finalized by the end of the year, but the lawyer said probably not. Our lawyer is about 90 minutes away, so we left Jackson at home with a sitter. The lawyer was surprised that we didn't have him with us, but the three hours in the car for an hour meeting just didn't seem like fun for him. He was better off at home.
Charlie and I did have a date night last night and we went out for dinner at Applebees and we ran a couple of errands. At the restaurant, a teenager at the table across from us knocked her steak sauce onto the floor and it flew all the way across the aisle and splattered the white sweater I had hanging off the back of my chair. The girl felt so bad and apologized many times, and the waitress brought me napkins and seltzer water and another patron handled me a Tide pen. Most of it came out in the wash, so I think it will be okay. As we left the restaurant, the girl's mother took a moment to thank me for handling it graciously. I told her I probably would have spilled something myself, no worries. I guess I could have been mad, but accidents happen.
There's the life update for now. Hope you enjoyed the pics!
So life is starting to settle down and become a little more normal. Well, I mean, it's a new normal. I'm still getting used to having Jackson in the house, and today I heard a noise and was surprised to see him there! LOL. I laughed at myself, thinking that he's been here almost two weeks and you'd think I'd know he was in the house. It cracked me up.
For the first week or so we entertained lots of visitors and our church arranged meals for us, and the last one is coming Tuesday night. Lots of family came to meet Jackson and he slept through most of it. Charlie went to put the balloons out on the mailbox and got half way down the driveway and then came back. He asked me to get my camera because he wanted me to capture the moment. I thought it was funny, but obliged him. He's been so cute to watch through this entire thing, and he's enjoying the celebrations.
Most of the people so that have met Jackson so far have known our story and have known he was adopted, but I finally went somewhere where there were lots of ladies who didn't know the story and all they saw was a woman with a three week old baby. A couple of them asked me how I was recovering and it took me a moment to understand they were asking about my labor. One asked me if I'd had a C-section and I finally confessed that he was adopted and that except for the sleep deprivation I was doing fine.
Although, I did learn how it feels when I don't feel good and I still have to be mom. I had a horrible headache Saturday night and Sunday morning and Jackson seemed to just want to be held. It was an interesting morning, but we made it through.
Anyway, that's the update for now. We are all sucked into the Olympics around here and it's nice that games are on all day while I'm cuddling and feeding Jackson and trying to get used to being a mom. It gets easier, right? :)
So, we've had the baby for almost a week now and he's doing pretty good. Charlie and I are getting used to having another person in the house and getting used to taking care of him. I think learning how to change his clothes was the most awkward part. He does not like to stretch out his arms, so getting him into the sleeves is the most challenging. We've done pretty well switching off nights to get up and feed him and so that part hasn't been too bad. That's the bonus of not breast feeding, I guess.
We had our first doctor's appointment this morning and it went well. We had no idea what to expect, but it was fine. He's 3oz over his birth weight and they were happy with that. Everything else went well and they gave us some cans of formula!! YAY! People are asking us what we need and we tell them to look at our registries or to get us Target cards for formula. Luckily, we live about three minutes from a Target so if we need anything, Charlie can just run out.
We've had a steady stream of visitors, but today we are getting a little alone time. I ran the dishwasher today and did a few normal housework things, like changing our sheets. I know it will take time to establish the routine that will work for us.
I think the thing that has been the most fun was watching Charlie put together the swing last night. It cracked me up, and not because of Charlie's assembly skills. I could not believe how many pieces were in the box!! I guess most people put the things together before the baby comes, but I had to laugh at how Charlie took over the living room to assemble it and I spent time in the nursery. The bonus is that Jackson loves it and it swings and vibrates.
Ok, some of you need to tell me how you chose baby things. When looking at all the baby pack and plays and swings and things at Babies R Us, I kept gravitating towards the items with muted colors. I finally realized it was because I wanted the stuff to match the rooms in our house. Not the nursery, mind you, but the living room and our living room is a beige/gold color with rust and pale green accents. The swing and pack and play we picked out are khaki and green and peach and does not stick out like a sore thumb. Anyone else like that or just me?
So, that's the update for today and we'll see how much time I get over the next couple of days to share. Again, too, I realize that some of you may stop reading now that this adoption blog will have baby pictures on it and that's alright. I understand. I don't think I'm going to be gushing all the time about Jackson, but we'll see.
So, to fill in a little more information, we found out about the baby about two months ago, but the mom didn't want to meet us and she didn't know the sex of the baby. We chose not to tell anyone and wait it out. Eventually, we were told it was a girl and then we patiently waited for her to be born.
Baby was due July 4th, but about a week before that, the birth mom, R, asked if we would come meet her at the hospital after the baby was born. Her parents wanted to meet us also. We were nervous, but said we would do that as long as the papers were signed.
She didn't have the baby until the 9th, and when they called us to tell us, they said "the baby is a BOY." I was so shocked. Totally.
She signed the papers the next day and we drove a couple hours to meet him and the family. It was really a great meeting and the family was so sweet. R had asked that we have a room where we could spend time with Jackson. And they all loved the name we chose for him.
We got to spend a little more time with him the next morning and with R before she was discharged. It was a special time and we were glad to have those moments with her. We then had a little more time with Jackson before we had to drive back home and wait out the revocation period. Jackson went to interim care and we went home and boxed up all the pink stuff and shopped for blue stuff.
Tuesday afternoon we spent the day registering for baby things and then we drove to the agency, signed all the papers and then the foster mom arrived and we cried and smiled and laughed and took pictures. Then we drove home, a family of three.
HI All! I hope you've missed me, and I've missed you all, but this last month has been busy and hard and full of tears and laughter and a ton. I promise that I'm alive, but I've been away from the blogs for awhile and have been living life and healing.
The last post I wrote was about the panic attacks I'd been having and how I'd been dealing with fear and those weeks were horrible. But I want to fill you in on the fact that I'm doing so much better. I haven't had a panic attack in five weeks or so and life is much more calm. The school year finally ended and I'm on vacation and making plans for some things to do this summer.
Here are some random thoughts for you:
Our school year was two weeks longer than the rest of the county, so that felt like an eternity. I was a little emotional when it finally finished, but then as soon as it was over, I got sick. I've got a sore throat and cold and it's been hanging on for over a week.
We're getting ready to paint our den. Our den is a weird set-up with two doors, it's open to the kitchen, and it serves as the office and the place where the dogs hang out all day.
Because we're going to paint the den, we got rid of the ripped up couch that we were keeping in there and now the dogs are weirded out because they slept on that couch.
I've been watching Gilmore Girls while I've been sick, and I totally wish there was a Luke's Diner around the corner. The food always looks so good.
We have two sets of dishes, one that I had from being single and one that Charlie had from being single and we've kept both for 8 years because I liked both, but now I'm going to donate them both somewhere and get something new. I want some plain white dishes, so that I can accent my table with any color I want. Charlie offered an opinion on the new ones, but said it was ultimately my choice, so that was nice.
We got a pool membership for the summer and have been enjoying going over to swim. The best thing about it is the baby pool, which I discovered when we invited friends that had babies. The kiddie pool is a zero entry pool, like a beachfront, so you can sit in three inches of water and let it lap at you. The best.
I've lost almost 16 pounds and am feeling great. We bought a treadmill and I've been getting on it several times a week and walking. I would like to lose another 20 pounds or so, so if you have any low fat recipes you'd like to share, I'd appreciate it.
I helped Charlie move our ripped couch out to the curb and it was a comedy of rolling it down our front yard and sliding it out of the house.
OK, just wanted to give you the updates. I should have more time in the summer to post and keep up with you all. The past month has just felt so emotional that getting out my computer has seemed like hard work.
The past two weeks have been among the most stressful of my life, and I can't really explain all that must be floating around in my psyche, but the anxiety washes over me, wave after wave. Most of you know that I have interstitial cystitis, which basically means I have an irritated bladder and have to run for the restroom a lot. My bladder often feels full, but isn't. It is horrible, I can admit, but over the several years since the diagnosis it has been pretty much under control with vitamins and a bland diet. I tend to struggle most on long trips in the car, when I feel like I have to go but don't really, but there isn't a bathroom nearby.
But, I had to change my diet a couple months ago in order to lose some weight and maybe this has brought it on, but my IC has been so bad. BAD. So bad, in fact, that I have had some panic attacks. I have had them in the car on the way to school (I work 30 minutes away) and even at school when I'm with the kids and can't leave the classroom. It has been very scary and very hard.
Last Sunday our pastor talked about dealing with fear and how hard it can be to be released from it. That sermon was for me! I get so scared about whether there will be a bathroom break or will I look like a moron having to get up to go every hour or when someone spontaneously wants to drive 90 minutes away to go to the mall. Ugh. I felt trapped in my classroom the other day, like I couldn't face the drive home and would just need to set up camp in my classroom. Live there.
I went down for prayer on Sunday and sobbed on the poor elders and cried and said that fear pretty much takes over. I'm scared all the time. About stupid things. About things I can't change, and that normal people would just deal with. I need to be released from this anxiety and fear.
You should hear me in the car sometimes, when it starts to get bad and I start to shout at the Lord to heal me and deliver me. I'm sure people driving down the interstate are getting a treat of this crazy woman pounding her fist on the dashboard! I am determined that this bond of fear will be broken, and the Lord is going to work through me and make me a better woman.
Please add your prayers to mine and if you think of me during the day, offer me up. And if anyone knows any good devotionals on fear, please let me know. I'm desperate for anything Biblical that deals with fear and how to get through it.
There are many kids over the years who have written me little love notes, given me presents and brought me some Starbucks during Teacher Appreciation Week. Now, the kids at my current school don't really know what it is and are probably too poor to buy presents anyway, but we've been making cards in Art this week for their classroom teachers.
Anyway, the point is, this little girl, Miss Morgan, was probably the sweetest kid I ever taught and one that maybe loved me the most. I know we aren't supposed to have favorites, but she stole my heart. Totally and completely took my heart every day with her smile. She would run down the hall and jump on me and tell me the best and dearest compliments.
Now that I don't teach her anymore, I don't get to see her anymore, but she is one kid that will always stay with me. No one has replaced her yet in my heart and I don't know that anyone except maybe my own kids someday will be able to fill me up the way she did!
So, to little Miss Morgan, I hope you're having a great week and loving on your current teacher. If I know you, I bet you are.
Doesn't Charlie look perfectly terrified to be on the back of this four-wheeler with me at the controls? LOL.
One of the other Easter weekend activities was four-wheeling. My brother-in-law Chad brought his four-wheeler to our family celebration and although I knew my in-laws had at least 10 acres, I had never ventured out on them. At first, when Chad took it down off the truck, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to get on it because I wasn't really dressed for it. But then I remembered that my dad and I used to go three wheeling and ride on his motorcycle and I really liked it, so I climbed on. At first I rode behind my sister-in-law Jessica, but then I took the handlebars and rode with Charlie. It was really fun, albeit a little muddy.
How often, in my strive to be proper and graceful, do I forget to have fun?
The big hit at the annual egg hunt was these bunny teeth themed pacifier lollipops that Charlie found at the dollar store. After a big afternoon, the kids were suddenly quiet with these in their mouths.
Hope you all had a Happy Easter. We had a great afternoon with lovely weather and four wheeler rides, which I was pretty sure I wasn't going to do, then I actually hopped on and four wheeled myself through some lovely mud puddles. Unexpected fun!
This week I'm back at work and tired already this evening, so I'm off to bed. I know this is short, but I thought you'd enjoy seeing the nephews and niece.
Our case worker Debra and the new agency director Patience are coming for a visit tomorrow to update our home study. This is the second time we've updated our home study and I'm anxious about it, although I don't really think anything is going to go wrong. It is merely just paperwork and a visit, but since our old case worker, Josi, left to go back to school, we have a new one and since Josi was also the agency director, we haven't met Patience yet. We really like our agency and have always loved the people they choose, so I'm sure Patience will be warm and wonderful. I like her name though...Patience certainly fits in the adoption world. LOL.
I discovered something on Sunday when our pastor was preaching. He was talking about doubt and how when we ask for something big, we need to believe that God will provide. Lately, I've been feeling like I should just give up hope on getting a baby and to just let God surprise me with good news, but that isn't really the correct mindset or belief. I need to trust that God will bring us a baby, and trust that his time is the right time. I can't doubt his plans when he has lead us this far. Yes, it is easier to put myself in a protective bubble and prepare myself for the bad news than to constantly live on the edge of hope. I had a breakdown during worship, just crying and calling out to God that he move in our lives and situation and bring us a child to love and raise. There was even the sweetest baby dedication on Sunday and I can't wait until Charlie and I can dedicate our own child. It will be such a happy day, someday.
The photo above is of baby bedding we got years ago. It was our "boy" bedding and we used the turquoise color as a jumping off point for the paint color. Of course, now we've rearranged our house after we thought we were getting the twins and the paint color is more coffee brown. If we get a girl, then we are using pink and turquoise, and if we get a boy, lime green and orange with the brown. That's the plan, anyway. The bedding has never been opened, so if you are interested in something like that, let me know. I'll give you a great deal (we have the bumpers, quilt, skirt and rug).
I spent today cleaning the house, which wasn't that dirty, but I vacuumed and dusted in our bedroom, which normally doesn't get that much attention when we clean. I also vacuumed the nursery which wasn't dirty at all, but Phoebe rolled around on the rug and there was husky fur all over. I put out a spring arrangement in the entryway and just straightened up. I walked on the treadmill and had lunch with my friend Mandy. It's been a good day.
So, prayers that all will go well tomorrow and that our agency might have any bit of good news to share with us. I like to hear that our book is being shown, which always makes me feel good. While I do want to get chosen, just being shown is really important. There is no telling what might make a birth mother choose us and I don't fault anyone for choosing someone else. The birth mothers should choose the couple that speaks to them and it is important decision. I just like to know we're in the mix.
Well, it is starting to thunder here and so that means my doggies are going to want their momma. They don't like thunder and lightning, which means I'll get lots of cuddles.
Right now I do not feel as if I am bursting forth in glorious song, ready for spring. I still feel a little winter in me, like I'm not ready for all the renewal that this time of year bring with it. I had a bad dream the other night and the memory of it has stayed with me for these past few days (Mom, you may not want to read on.)
I often dream of my day, and in some of those dreams he feels real. Like "right there beside" me real. As if we'd never parted and all the things I want to tell him or ask him haven't been saved up, but they flow naturally. In this dream I was coming home from a trip and he gave me a hug and was taking me to my room (now, in this dream, my parents owned a small hotel and I lived in one of the rooms.) He hugged me and said he'd missed me and was helped me get my luggage inside the hotel room and closed the door. We started to talk a little, and suddenly the door burst open and this thug in a black hoodie raises a gun and shoots my dad.
Now, right about then the alarm went off for Charlie and I woke him up. I continued to lay there, and all the memories of the dream flooded back to me and I started to bawl. Charlie groggily asked me what was wrong and all I could say was "my dad was in my dream and someone shot him" through all the tears. I got back in bed and cried some more.
It's important to add that sometimes I get sad after dreaming of my dad when I realize it is ONLY a dream, but this had such a horrible ending and I'm getting emotional just typing about it.
But there have been times lately when I just don't feel the hope of adopting. Doors close in our faces all the time and I keep praying the same prayer. I'm spiritually dry, I think. I need a new way to pray for this child that I know is out there, needing us and needing a family. Sometimes I feel like that dream is slipping away, the more things don't work out, the more we wait, the more times we renew our home study (which we are in the process of doing right now.) The well of hope needs to be refilled.
Thank the Lord that spring break is next week and hopefully I'll be out of this PMS induced funk. It will (cross your fingers) be nice enough to sit outside and read and relax.
Any prayers sent our way would be greatly appreciated....for a baby, for peaceful sleep, for hope springs eternal, for anything. I want to say goodbye to the winter of my heart and feel His glorious renewal.
So, I've had my iPhone for several months now, since September and my relationship with it is kind of bittersweet or love/hate. Don't get me wrong, I love Mac products and know it is a far superior product to any other phone out there, and I'm constantly discovering new uses for it beyond making calls, but I didn't start out wanting it because I needed a new phone.
Here is the truth: I bought the phone because we were matched with the twins.
Fact 1: I did need a new phone and was eligible for a new phone and Charlie has an iPhone so I knew they were great. But, I did NOT want a data package. I just didn't see the point of paying extra for features I wouldn't use. I have a computer on my desk all day long and can look up whatever I need to and use a normal sized screen.
Fact 2: I did not want a data package. That bears repeating since it adds $29.00 to your phone bill.
Fact 3: I was happy pressing the buttons on my slide phone with full keyboard and I liked the way the buttons felt when I pushed them down and touch screens take a little getting used to. Whenever I would text for Charlie in the car, it would take me forever.
So, how did I end up with one? Two reasons.
First, we were matched with the twins. I wanted to be able to access Facebook and take videos and do all sorts of things with the phone when we got them. I wanted to be able to look up things on the internet while we were sitting in the hospital or wherever (the twins were anticipated to be preemies, so we thought we might spend some time at the hospital).
Second, I got lost. My new teaching job takes me to the city next to where we live, and while I've pretty much mastered Greensboro, I'm not at all used to Winston. There's a mall over there that I've been to once or twice, but now I have to visit all these random schools for meetings and they are all over. I got lost one morning and all I had was my MapQuest printout which was not helping me. And the area of town I was in did not scream "Stop here and ask for help." It was saying "Get out fast." And while I finally found where I was going, it would have been great to look it up on my phone and get a little help.
Sometimes I forget how long I've had the phone because it seems like I've had it for years, but now and then someone will ask when I bought mine and if it has Siri (no, it does not) and I remember why I wanted it.
I have the phone, but not the twins. Sigh. At least I'm not getting lost anymore, and I know I'll get to use all the fun apps eventually when we do get a baby.
And by the way, I'm still amazed that everyone doesn't have an iPhone. Why would you buy another phone? LOL. Whenever I see people with scuffed up black plastic phones, especially the ones without a full keyboard, I wonder why they don't upgrade. Then, inevitably, I remember why I was holding out and want to smack myself.
Have you moved into the technology age with your phone yet? Just curious.
After my last post, my spirits have been better. There have been some dear friends making an effort to cheer me up and help me relate to what motherhood will be like. They are so sweet, just like this chocolate pie I am showing you all a HUGE picture of here on my blog.
Now, about this chocolate pie. It is so good. Someone made it for a pot-luck back at Christmas time and I fell in love with the flavor of it. I badgered the poor woman to give me the recipe for it for several weeks until she finally emailed it to me. I ran right out and bought the ingredients for it and made one. It is totally easy and in the two months that I've had the recipe, I've maybe made 8 pies for various different occasions, all very well received.
I just wanted to share my obsession of chocolate pie with you. Just so you know and understand that in my confession I will be planning on making more. This recipe will be a favorite in my family for years to come.
I was thinking today that I often plan ahead to what life will be like when we have kids. Charlie and I talk about what we will do in certain parenting situations, how we will make decisions and what we want life to be like once we are a family. We talk about dinnertime and how we want to raise our kids to be included in things, and how we want them to behave. We talk about baby names, and whether we want to use the names we've already chosen for the adoptions that did not go through. When we went to name the twins, we didn't use the name we chose for the original baby girl we were going to adopt. Now, we've used up three names that we had for girls and don't know if we need to choose more or try to think about using them. I mean, it wouldn't mean anything to the baby, but we've attached some emotions to those names in those situations.
But I wonder how soon it will happen, when we'll be parents, and to how many children. Will we be able to manage to go through this process more than once? We've had two false starts now, and can we abide going through another round of this even after we have one child? Don't know.
We imagine so much, but I can't think too far ahead. Sometimes it is hard to walk past the room that is all decorated, ready to go, full of clothes and diapers. We even inherited another carseat this week, once for a toddler and now we have one for every possible age. I like to plan, and we have the room to store things, so I don't mind hand-me-downs. And it will help us save money later, which is always a benefit.
So, I keep imagining things and not knowing if they will ever come true. The latest situation that was a long shot turned out to be just that: a long shot. It was over as quickly as it started and even though the situation was up in the air, we could not intervene. I wish we could have, but we were too far away and it was none of our business. I believe that the Lord will answer our prayers, but my heart is heavy while we continue to wait. This has been a long three years and while it has served us in a way to deepen our relationship as husband and wife. And while it was nice to enjoy Valentine's Day without needing to secure a babysitter, I would have loved to have that honor.
Some of you asked for a couple more photos of my trips, but here's the sad truth about it: I didn't have a digital camera back then! The few photos I have that are digital were sent from a student who had a digital camera. I think I should get more off the disk she gave me, but I can't find it. So, here are two more.
All that being said, I've been contacted a couple times last week about adoption situations and I'm hoping that something pans out. We don't know right now. But, definitely keep us in mind when you come across a situation that you think we might want to get ourselves involved in! My email address is on this page, so please feel free to use it!
On the streets of Florence with my student Katherine
One of the things that's a trend in education is bringing a global perspective to our students. When I taught high school art, that seemed really easy. I sponsored three trips abroad and took students to Europe, which benefited me because I hadn't ever been across the ocean and wanted to see all the things I'd been studying in college. I saw and learned so much.
I stood under the Eiffel tower.
I ate pizza in Covent Garden, London.
I cried in many, many cathedrals.
I took deep breaths in the coliseum in Rome, savoring the history.
I bought a cross charm in Notre Dame.
I slept on an overnight train, an overnight ferry and overnight flights.
I woke up with the sunrise over water on a beach in Greece.
I said hello to the Mona Lisa.
I rode a gondola in Venice.
I talked to the dead in Pompeii.
I drug my suitcase up many, many flights of stairs and through multiple airports.
I loved it all.
I've been to Spain, Italy, Greece, England and France with students. On my own I've also been to Mexico, Canada, Belize and another trip to England.
But trying to inspire a global view with kindergarteners is a little bit tougher. I mean, they really don't know much about the world to begin with (well, except I do teach at a school with a ton of kids that were born in Hispanic countries) to know that there are so many other countries. While many of the kids might know they moved here from another country, I don't know that they understand tourism and that travel can be a choice, not a necessity. It's a difficult concept to impart on little kids.
I'm so glad I had the opportunity to see so much of the world, and I would love to see some of Asia if I could stand to be in a plane that long. It's just been so great to experience other cultures and soak up the energy from the world.
Ok, so I've written about this before, and I'm sure I will write about it again at some point in my life, but let me say I am so indebted to Jane Austen for one of the best books ever written. Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite stories, whether in movie form or the original novel.
Recently, with a day off of school and Charlie at work, I had a Jane Austen day. I started with the BBC miniseries of P&P and then the 2005 Kiera Knightley version of P&P. I love both versions, and there are pros and cons to both.
Here is what I've learned, though, as I've watched these movies more than once, and after a recent re-read of the novel: Mr. Darcy loves her first. You're probably saying, "DUH." And yes, I knew that, because he proposes to her and she refuses, but it didn't really occur to me that it happened that way. I think I always just thought that they got together at the end, but I like that it isn't Elizabeth Bennet pining for Mr. Darcy the whole book through, but rather that man in the story is ensnared first. I like that, and I imagine that was pretty gutsy for the time being.
All this to say that I these Regency era stories are something I quite enjoy and I quite often run into women my age that feel the same way. Of course, there's always the argument about whether Colin Firth or Matthew MacFadyen is the better Mr. Darcy, but I like them both for different reasons.
So, here is a poll of sorts...do you like Jane Austen? Which one is your favorite? Feel free to comment and share as much as you wish! I can't wait to hear.
Lately I've been thinking a lot about the twins that we didn't get to adopt in October. I think about them and dream about them. Want to know a secret? When laying down to sleep at night, I used to allow myself to think about my fantasy adoption. Like, what would happen if we got a call to adopt twins? I would think about the names for them, about how we would tell our families and the world. I would let myself dream about it, and then it happened. We did get that call. We did live out those three weeks where I was flying high and walking it out. We did choose names, we did put together a nursery, we did plan the surprise for our parents.
Now I don't know what to dream about.
I mean, it is NOT really my fantasy to adopt triplets, which might seem like the only thing that could top twins. Triplets is one baby tooooo much (although, let me say, if the agency called and had triplets, I'm sure we'd take them. ) So I don't want to dream about triplets.
Dreaming about adopting one baby just doesn't seem like enough. In reality, it is what will happen. We will be matched with a mother having one baby and I know I'll be excited, thrilled, jubilant, amazed and grateful for the baby placed in my arms.
Today on the drive home it was raining and I felt like crying and
letting it out. Letting go of all my hopes and dreams for those girls
and trying to move forward in a positive way. Last year I wrote a
prayer journal, and while I haven't bought one for 2012 yet, I hope to
continue that practice. On New Year's Eve, Charlie and I attended an
hour long prayer service at our church, and I wanted to focus on
bringing in the new year the right way. I made a list of people and
topics I wanted to pray for and did so. There were times when it was
emotional, times when it seemed REALLY quiet in there, and times when I
just felt peaceful.
I continue to want to move
forward, but be thankful for what I have in front of me. There has been
family drama the last couple of weeks, and while it isn't between me
and Charlie, it has made us grateful for each other in many ways
Here's hoping that 2012 will bring us more togetherness, a baby, and an outlook that is filled with the love of Christ.
Well, here we are in another year and I don't know exactly what to say about it. In my mind, I think that 2011 was really horrible to me, but that's because all I can remember about it is that we didn't get the twins. I lost babies in 2011, just like in 2009. But, in 2011 I also got a new job and my husband took me on a cruise. We began renovations on the attic bedroom and bonus room, doing it on a slow pace that matches how we can afford it.
Yes, I know good things happened in 2011 and I have posted about this before. I need to look on the bright side.
The photo above shows us in progress on what would have been the nursery for the twins. We switched our larger guest room with our smaller nursery to accommodate two babies. We painted the nursery a coffee color, and kept the white furniture we already had, planning on adding an additional crib once we brought the babies home. We are pretty much prepared for a baby at this point, having been excited twice and done little bits of shopping both times. We're ready.
The nursery is more put together than this photo shows, but because I was putting up curtains when we were interrupted by the phone call from Jennifer saying she was going to parent the twins, I never took more photos. I promise I will, because we have a really great rug in there now, and some great turquoise curtains on curtain rods I installed myself (no husband necessary!)
I've also read two posts lately that I feel the need to comment on, one by All You Who Hope about feeling scared to try to get pregnant again and feeling guilty about wanting more children when there are some of us out here still waiting to add to our families. My opinion on this, and my comment to her, was that no one needs to worry about wanting more children in regards to this blogger. It isn't that I don't want others to have children, it's that I want them TOO. And I hope this opinion is shared by other "waiters" out there. Thankfully, there is a God in heaven who fills my heart up with joy for other women, taking away most of the sorrow of being childless. There are only small moments where I cry and whine and whimper, and most are in the privacy of my own home
The second post was at A Familiar Path, talking about friendship and the desire to say "no" most of the time to invitations from friends. She was talking about being a homebody, not minding having people over, but often shunning invitations to go other places. I get like this sometimes, just wanting to crawl into a cave and have alone time, but my thoughts about friendship were more on the "who" front. And how to choose good friends. And how to nurture "couple" friends. I have so many thoughts on this, it might branch out into a whole post. While it seems so easy to have friends, like marriage it takes work to be a good friend. More on that when I can organize my thoughts.
I wish you all a Happy New Year. For those who are waiting, like Charlie and I, I pray that 2012 will be the year of adoption miracles.
If you're reading this blog, you might already know that Charlie and I are going through the process to adopt a child. It has been a long road to this place, and infertility is not for the faint of heart. But we firmly believe that God's hand is upon us and that He preparing us for a child who needs a loving home, with people who want nothing more than to be a family. If our journey interests you, read on.