Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lucy has hurt feelings

Ok, should I be offended that only one person commented about how cute my dog is?

I guess not, but COME ON...she's precious.

And remember, she is the only baby I have right now.

But, if you want to read about real things and get real info, you gotta click HERE and go to the adoption blog. The meaty stuff is over there.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

sleeping cutie

Lucy has found a new perch, the back of the couch. I spotted her up there sleeping the other day, and each time she woke up she would survey the back yard.

What a life, huh?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

our newest addition

A couple of weeks ago Charlie asked me if I was ready to buy a crib. I wasn't sure what I thought about it. I didn't want to get one to early and then stare at it for a year while we wait for a baby, but Charlie made a suggestion that we should have the nursery ready when the social worker comes for our homestudy. I could agree with that. Charlie gave me a budget and I got online. Of course, the one I wanted was from Pottery Barn Kids. It was $599. That wasn't the budget Charlie and I talked about though, so I had to look around a little.
Here is the "dana" crib from PB kids. Isn't it lovely?
I found a Legacy crib on Craig's list that looked a lot like the one from PB and it was waaaaayyy less. So much less. We bought it, and Charlie brought it home. Sadly, the antique white color of the crib did not match the antique white color of the dresser we planned to use in the room.
So, I took a knob from the dresser and went to my paint store. I made sure to tell them that it was for a crib so I could get the safest kind of paint, and matched it up.

It's hard to tell, but the piece on the right is the end of the crib and it is yellower than the dresser. You can tell, can't you? You all have that discerning eye, I know it.

So I sanded and painted and spent inauguration day painting the side rails. Those were quite tedious. Very tedious.

Here is the final result. I think it turned out pretty good, didn't it? AND, so similar to the one from PB for so much less.

And, my house has a crib. MY HOUSE HAS A CRIB. It is quite the step forward for us. And very "out on a limb." Hopefully within this year, this crib will have an occupant that will cuddle up in it and love how much work mommy put into it.

Me...a mommy! Wow. That's a heady thought.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

good news awaits you...

The post is on the other site... click here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

more memories of my dad (gilmore girl style)

With not much to do on a Sunday afternoon, I dug out my very favorite Gilmore Girls DVDs and curled up on the couch with the space heater kicking next to my feet. I have written before about how I loved the GG and how I mourned a little when they went off, and today I was feeling a little nostalgic for some fast-talking, girl-themed fun.

I started with the first DVD of season 4, when Rory goes to college. I love those episodes, when Rory goes off to Yale and misses her Mommy. Today while I was watching it I was thinking back to the day my parents dropped me off at college and what a strange thing it turned out to be.

I grew up in Florida, but I chose to go to college in North Carolina. All summer I was planning what to take, packing up some things, saving money to buy winter clothes for the frigid north, and figuring out how to get myself to orientation. My parents ended up renting a minivan for the trip and we took all the seats out of the back so I could fit everything inside. We left at four in the morning and arrived in Greensboro around two in the afternoon.

My room was on the third floor, but luckily there was an elevator, and because I was moving in early for a freshman leadership thing, there weren't many people in need of the elevator. It was about 100 degrees and we sweated and unloaded box after box. My mom helped me put sheets on my bed so I felt a little settled and then they had to go.

They had to leave.

They wanted to drive part of the way back so that they could return the van on time. The dorm was practically empty and my parents got all of 2 hours there with me that day. They left and I had no tv, no fridge and no roommate just yet. My mom cried when she hugged me, and my dad just told me to learn lots. Then they were gone.

And I was alone at college. In a different state.

That was the only time my dad got to see the college. He died in the middle of my junior year and it was a difficult time, of course. But I felt like he didn't really get to experience the place that was my world for four years. The place where I really grew up. The place where I met who I would ultimately end up being, the place that taught me about boys and friendship and what it means to be there for someone. I think college has the potential to be an amazing time for anyone who really lets themselves live it. And I did.

I talked to my mom about that first day years later. I told her how it felt so abrupt that they couldn't stay longer when they moved me in to my room, and how dad hadn't seemed that emotional. Which was strange, considering I was his little girl. She shared a secret. A good one. She told me that on the way out of Greensboro that day, my dad was driving, and he had to pull over because he was crying so hard he couldn't see.

How sweet is that?

It has been a big dad weekend around here. Sometimes he really stays with me and it is in those times that I miss him more. We have been working on our nursery, and it seems so wrong that he won't be around for that, just like he missed my college graduation and my wedding. Big moments that he would have recorded on film.

I guess I'm rambling on a little bit, and I already posted about my dad and the tire guage the other day, but Rory and Lorelai made me think about that day so long ago when his little girl went off to college. I was the first of us kids to graduate from college and the fact that I went so far away was a big step for our family.

I don't really know how to wrap this up, but I wanted to share a little more of my dad with you. Hopefully, the next post will be a little more upbeat.

Friday, January 16, 2009

can you change a tire?

I've written about my dad before, most notably here, but each year different milestones pass and he falls further away. Like today. Today is my dad's birthday, and I knew it was coming, but I almost missed it when it arrived.

I got caught up in the day-to-day grind that keeps pulling along. I got up, went to work, checked out some books, froze my butt off and came home. Lather, rinse, repeat.

And I want to honor who he was as I live my life. I want to make him proud I am his daughter. I want to take the things he has taught me and teach them to my own kids. I want too much.

At the conference where I almost choked, we had to bring in something sentimental to share. The activity was called Sentimental Circle and you certainly needed your tissues. I can't share what others talked about, cause it should also be called Confidential Sentimental Circle, but I can share what I talked about: my dad.

The object I chose to bring in was a tire gauge, to check the air pressure on the tires. That in itself was an odd choice to some people, but for me it made sense. See, my dad gave me that tire gauge, during a long summer before I finally took a car to college. With a 10 hour drive from Florida to North Carolina looming on the horizon, my dad wanted to make sure I could handle a few things. Car ownership was serious business to him and he wanted me to feel safe. We bought my first cellphone that summer.

Back to the tire gauge.

At random times my dad would say "go change the tire" or "check the oil" or "check the air in the tires." Which is why he gave me the tire gauge and showed me how to use it. He didn't believe that I should be out there all alone with no car skills. Yes, I had a cellphone, but it could take hours to get someone out there to change a tire, and that was silly when I could just learn to do it myself. My parents raised us to grow up and move out and move on with life, and we all have.

And let me brag, I'm proud that I can change a tire. One afternoon, Charlie stood on the roadside and I changed the tire when one of the back tires blew out. That was quite a moment and I knew my dad would have been so proud.

So I shared my story and cried some and passed around my tire gauge and gave a little piece of his wisdom with my friends.

My dad would have been 71 today.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

new moon a rising...

Look what I saw in the paper on announcement for New Moon movie! Ahem. Look closely.

It will open on November 20, 2009. Anyone know what that is?

My birthday.

What a present that the movie gods are giving to me! Not that I was so much in love with the Twilight movie, but I am curious to see what they will do with the next one. They did get a new director, so that will help, I think. They are keeping the same screenwriter, but that has time to change too.

I will say that New Moon was the book in the series that moved the slowest for me, so I imagine the movie will do the same thing. Hopefully, we will be able to get another group of girls together for this one...Caroline and Emily and I had such a fun time this year. Do you dare to plan ahead to join us?

Eleven whole months to think about it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

finding the good place

Over the past couple of days I have looked around at some infertility blogs, and there are many out there. Some are hopeful, some are mournful, some are downright depressing, and I don't blame these women at all. And these blogs are written by women; I haven't seen one written by a man. But in all the pages that I read, all the pleas that I absorbed, all the prayers that have been sent up, I realized several things about myself and this past year. I learned a lot about myself this year and about God's will for me. I learned so much about my husband and about how we both see the world. And I am in a good place.

I am now.

I was not always in this good place.

I would like to take some time to share what I learned. It might not all make sense, but if it can bring any comfort to anyone out there, I feel I should let it all out.

1. Infertility hurts. Well, I'm sure most of you are saying "duuh!" But you'd be surprised how much it hurts. It hurts your feelings, your body and your marriage. It's like a sneaky spy that infiltrates a succesful organization and takes over. You think about it all day. You take your temperature every morning and cross your fingers that today is THE day. And then you're depressed when it isn't. And your husband doesn't quite see it the same way. He moves on and you're stuck in the bathroom crying over the sink and wondering how the hell you got to be a woman that can't give her man a child.

2. People don't get it. Unless they've been there. Try as other people might, if you didn't have trouble getting pregnant, you can possibly get it. Men certainly have a hard time getting it, and I think it's because they don't share this intense drive to be a parent. And people that don't get it can be rude without knowing it, and you can be rude right back without meaning it either, except you do mean it.

3. If one more person tells you that you can always are gonna slap the nose off their face. And stomp away.

4. The drugs make you crazy. If you tried any kind of pharmecutical remedy for your infertility, then you know they make you tired, sick, emotional, stressed out, and on edge, which isn't the best thing for a person who's supposed to be relaxing and having sex.

5. Did we mention sex? Yeah, it ruins the sex.

Add that all up and it means one cranky, childless woman with a husband who is getting not-so-satisfying reproduction sex. It ain't fun. Here is the only bright spot, and it may take some doing to see it.

God can heal all that.

He can.

He can take that hurt, that rude person, that lackluster sex, that burning desire to be a mother and heal it. He can take it away if you ask Him to, and if you open your fists and give it up. The releasing it was the hard part for me, cause I was holding so tightly to getting pregnant, that I wasn't letting it go even as I was praying for His will. It turned out His will was different for me.

What is His will for you?

Are you reading this and still dealing with infertility? I am. But I know that He can do anything. He can get you pregnant. He can bring you a child through adoption. Or He can help you let it go. Only you know what His will for you is, and only you will have to come to terms with it. His will may not be exactly what you always pictured, but it will be His loving plan for you. A plan to bring you joy, not harm.

Everyone is in their own situation and knows their own life, but it often takes another person's perspective to jolt you out of the rut you might find yourself in. It took a good friend of mine asking why I was still trying something that wasn't working to get me to see that I wasn't seeing my own situation clearly. And that clarity has brought nothing but peace. His peace.

My prayer for you, all you childless women out there, is that you will find the path that brings you peace. If it is continuing to try various options to concieve, then take a breath, and know that one of these months it will happen. If it is adoption, then fill out those papers and wait for Him to bring you the child He always planned to place in your home. If it is not motherhood (and this one has to be hard to come to) then I pray you find peace in moving on.

In my own life, I have found peace in the paperwork. Adoption paperwork. That turned out to be our path. When I think back to the months I spent taking meds and charting my temperature, I wonder why it all felt so wrong. And for me it was. It may be the right path for you, I can't decide that. And whoever God choose to place in my arms, I will love.

Oh, and yeah, the sex is back. God can heal that too. Wink, wink.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

a recycled Christmas

This weekend my friend Kristen and I hosted a Re-Gift Christmas Party. We traditionally hold an All-Girls Christmas party, but this year we decided to wait and have the party after the holidays since everyone was so busy. And we decided on a twist: trading re-gifts.

The invitation said "Did you get something for Christmas that wasn't your style, was the wrong size, or was just plain ugly? Well, bring it to the party and your trash could become someone else's treasure!" So all through the holidays I had been collecting gifts to go into my gift bag. And as a teacher, I have lots of things that aren't quite me, given to me by kids with the best of intentions.

It was a hit. We have never laughed so hard!

Here is our entire group with all our lovely gifts. And they were lovely. To someone. At some point. Whoever picked them out must have thought they were right for someone.

Here is our friend Kristy with her first bag of gifts (it eventually got stolen from her.) The bag had a Holy Family Nativity Statue and one wall sconce. ONE. WALL. SCONCE. This re-gift came courtesy of one of the teachers in our group who received both of them from the same student. Odd combination.

Here is Jen pulling out a necklace from her bag. The bag also contained a sparkly green sweater, some gold nail stickers, and a Santa oven mitt. We cracked up over this one, and I was so proud, since that bag was from me. Charlie bought me a green turtleneck sweater with sparkly green threads running through it, and it was so sweet. He knows I like sparkly things, but this sweater was really itchy, and since it was a turtleneck I couldn't really wear anything underneath it. And I couldn't return it since the store went out of candidate for a re-gift.

Julie opened a bag with a lamp shade in it. The lamp shade was courtesy of Kristy, whose Mother-in-law gave her this lamp shade, NO LAMP, and told her it only goes on candle lamps. Which Kristy does not have. Thus, the re-gift.

Here I am with Meredith and her wreath. Meredith is a teacher at my school and is new to our madness this year. She is holding this lovely wreath that she won as a door prize. It came from my house and it isn't that I don't like it, but that we don't have a good place for it. And I don't want to keep storing it just to look at it every year and be frustrated that I can't hang it up. So I brought it as a prize and asked for everyone to count how much jewelry they had on. The person with the most jewelry won...poor Meredith was wearing bangle bracelets. Four of them along with a necklace, a watch and earrings. She was thrilled to win, needless to say.

I ended up with a pair of slippers that I stole from Kristy. I think she wins the award for the most gifts stolen from her and she ended up with the sparkly green sweater and oven mitt. Originally I opened up a little plaque from Julie that had a teddy bear on it and the saying "Southern Bears love Grits and Honey." It had been a gift from a student for Julie's baby, but didn't go with the nursery. It did get stolen from me, so sad, and I was able to take the slippers from Kristy.

We had such a fun time and ate really great food. We always eat great food. MMMM.

I'm already plotting my gift for next year. Look out!

Friday, January 9, 2009

my reputation precedes me

For the past two days I have been "the girl that choked." Ok, so maybe I'm not a girl anymore, but I can dream, right? Anyway, on our first day back to school, the teachers have all been asking me if I am all right, or how I am feeling, etc. It hasn't been too bad, and I certainly wanted to crawl under a rock there for a moment, but the minor celebrity has been kinda interesting. The flashing cameras are blinding me...NOT.

But it made me think about something else, something much more serious. What other reputation do I have? Am I known as a person who is kind and helpful, or am I known as a person that is gossipy and untrustworthy? Are the kids happy to come to my class, or finding any excuse to miss it?

Now, I say all this with a isn't so important what other people think of me. It isn't life or death. But I want my light to shine on other people. I want to be the light, not the shadow.

I want to be respected. And I think that I might not always be the best example of who I want to be. I know I snap at kids sometimes. I know I tend to be a drill sargent out a carpool. I know I am strict about late books. I grumble about teachers at my job.

Is that the best I can be?

Can I do better?

I think so.

Proverbs 31 talks about how my children should rise up and call me blessed. Am I that kind of woman? I don't think I'm there yet...there's much more work to be done here. I need to learn to guard my mouth and my thoughts and be kinder and gentler. I want to be someone that the other teachers look to when they need an ear or want to share. I want to be someone that my students will tell their kids about. I want to be the kind of wife that prophets write about.

Don't you? Am I alone in this?

I want to be the light in my students' day, in my husband's day, in my friend's day. I want to learn a little more compassion and a give up a little grumpiness. I think I can do it.

I want my reputation to precede me.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

why I will never eat Gobstoppers again...

Today was quite the day. As I sit here on the couch trying to figure out how to explain it, I can't quite find the right words to describe it. I'll try.

Today I choked.


Everyone at my school has been at a conference the past couple of days. It was a good one with lots of sharing and personal stories. Lots of tissues and deep, meaningful conversations as we learn how to build relationships with our students. It has been a cathartic experience.

It has been a lot of time sitting in a chair, though. So today I brought some Gobstoppers with me. I thought it would entertain me to have something to chew and suck on during the meetings.

Not too smart.

While our presenter is in the middle of a really personal story about her past, my GS broke apart in my mouth, just as I inhaled.

I'm sitting there and all of a sudden, I have this huge piece of jawbreaker in my windpipe. It hurt. But strangely enough I could breathe. So I'm sitting there with this thing in there and each time I swallowed it bobbled up or down, but it didn't go anywhere. But I could breathe. Strange. I thought to myself "if I get up and go to the bathroom, I can probably hack it up, but then I'll be alone. What if I can't get it up?"

The presenter is still walking around in front of me and I'm sitting close to the front. I figure I'll wait until she finishes her story and then I'll have another teacher go with me.

And then it happened.

I breathed wrong and coughed.

Then I couldn't breathe. I started hacking and gagging. Right in the middle of this intense moment with the trainer. Matt, our IT guy, is next to me and he turns and looks at me.

I managed to squeak out "help."

And he's up. And I'm gagging and choking and am only sucking in a little air and the jawbreaker is moving around in my windpipe, but not really coming up. It just keeps coming up far enough to make me gag and then moving down again.

Matt leans me over and I'm still gagging. He has his hands around me, ready if I completely stop coughing. But leaned over I somehow managed to cough hard enough and it popped up into my mouth. "It's out." I whispered.

Well, by now I'm crying and shaking and every eye in the room is on me. The presenter has stopped. The world has stopped.

People hand me tissues and water and Matt looks like he's gonna have a heart attack. I felt that way a little bit. The presenter asks me if I'm all right. Yes, I am. They clap for me and for Matt, the hero.

I kinda miss the next 15 minutes while in a daze. Every time I cough, eyes turn towards me. And my windpipe realllllllllly hurts. A couple times when I coughed, I tasted blood, so I know I scratched the lining with my gobstopper. And it's still really sore. Can't do anything about it really, cause it's only designed for air. It doesn't hurt to swallow or drink, so it's a strange feeling to have that pipe bother me. That isn't the only that normally bothers us.

Someone followed me home in case I flaked out while I drove. As soon as I saw my husband I started crying. He asked me what was wrong. I told him I did a bad thing. Which isn't really the case, but I was really mortified that it happened in front of all those people.

That was my day. Please tell me yours was better.

Monday, January 5, 2009

the year that was...

Last year wasn't really the best year for me, I guess. I want to look back with all these accomplishments now under my belt, but that wasn't what ended up happening to me. Not at all. Not even close.

Last year I struggled.

It really started at the end of 2007. We weren't getting pregnant and I was having a hard time coping with that reality. I started January with a sense of depression and lots of tears, and I wasn't sure what to do with all the pain building up inside me. It wasn't a fun time to be me.

I cried on my husband.

I cried on my friends.

I cried at work.

I cried at home.

And it got old. I felt like I had so much to say and nowhere for it to go. My husband was sweet and would listen to me hour after hour, but he couldn't solve it and it wasn't fair to keep dumping it all on him. I needed somewhere to lay it all out, get it out, and go on with my life.

I started a blog.

And thus began a year of letting it all hang out in cyberspace, and meeting you all in this supportive world in my computer. People who don't blog don't know what a family you can build in the women who read what you write. I was saying the other day that I don't have a niche, but I use my blog as a little bit of therapy. My own personal group of female Dr. Phils out there to offer a little advice, support, and encouragement when I need it. It's been a very eye-opening experience.

This isn't to say that my year got better. It didn't.

I almost lost my job and I never did get pregnant. After 7 rounds of Clomid and several with the yucky Metformin, we decided to adopt. That decision lifted some of the pressure off me and my uterus! Whew!

Looking back on it, the depression started to lift in September or so. About the time I started committing it to prayer. Well, whaddoyaknow? Peace.

I think the peace flooded in, not because I was praying to get pregnant, but because I was praying for His will to be done. I had to let go of what I thought the plan was and start looking around for what His plan was. And then the pieces began to fit and things started falling into place.

This is the part where I say "thank you." Thanks to those of you who prayed and commented, who gave me encouragement, and who continue to read my little corner of the world. Thank you to those of you who read, but don't comment, but you pray anyway. Thank you to those of you who comment and say such wonderful things.

I begin this year with an abundance of hope. That's the gift God gave me in 2008.

Who could ask for more?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

girls gone wild

Whew! Finally! The other day Sissy finally decided to take a peek in the trunk that her mom brought from Florida. And she pulled us out! We have been in that trunk for about 20 years or so and we were getting really tired of being all jammed together in this box.

We do like pink though.

Here I am. I think Sissy gave me a name back then, but the years locked up have not been kind to me, and I can't remember it. Do you like this dress I'm wearing? Sissy made it for me. Not the fluffy pink part, but the flowered part. It seems that she really liked taking the scraps from her mom's sewing projects and making us clothes.

Whooops. Lost my head.

You might take a moment though to look at my hair. Sissy loved us, and made clothes for us, but she also cut our hair. It's not the best look. I think she was going for something edgy, but the curl in my hair doesn't work with this style.

Here is one of my box-mates. She can't remember her name either, but she is wearing another one of Sissy's couture creations. Notice the purple trim on the dress. And she's showing off her flexibility.

Here is my posse. The one on the right is Crystal. She knows her name because she has the fanciest dress on with a sparkly pink belt. The one in the middle is Skipper and her hair never would lay flat. Ever.

Come on Crystal, look at the camera. Don't be ashamed of your thick makeup.

You would not believe how many different outfits Sissy made us! Although, I gotta tell you, she lost all our shoes and accessories. Sigh. And we never did have that Barbie dream house or Corvette like some of the other girls. We did have a Ken once, that Sissy re-named Bartholomew, but he also lost his head in an unfortunate older brother accident. Not pretty. He didn't make it. Sniff. Sniff.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

mostly martha

Today Martha Stewart is talking blogs, and it's a rerun. One that evidently aired back during the election and I missed cause I work while Martha is on. All the people in the audience are holding their laptops and she is talking to famous bloggers: Perez Hilton, Smitten Kitchen, MattBites, Eddie Ross, etc.

I wonder why I wasn't invited?

These people have millions of readers, and are making a living off their blogs. Perez Hilton is talking about how he spends sometimes 15 hours a day blogging. He doesn't leave his house during the week in case he misses something. He only parties on the weekends now.


I give total props to people who can make money from their blogs. And it's even more impressive if you can take that blog and quit your job. Nice.

I was reading A Year With My Crockpot today, because I wanted to see how her year ended up. Stephanie made something with her crockpot everyday this year. EVERY. DAY. EVERYDAY. She has maybe 5 crockpots and has made everything from soups to desserts to crayons in her crockpot. And then she emailed the Rachael Ray show and got on the show to talk about crockpots. Totally neat. (I know, "neat" is like a word from the 50s or something.)

I can pretty much say that I probably won't ever have millions of followers, or even thousands of followers. I have no niche, like they advise. I don't blog about something really specific. I'm not all food, or all gardening, or all photos, or all decorating. (They totally should have called the Nester for this Martha episode!) I write about what's going on in my life, and sometimes it's not that interesting.

Like last night for New Year's Eve we had some friends over, ate waffles, and watched the Matrix. This morning I put in a egg casserole that I prepped yesterday, and I am drooling while waiting for it to finish. Later we are rearranging some furniture and working on adoption forms before I make spaghetti and the husband stops to watch a football game.

My life is totally worthy of some sponsors, don't you think?