Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Penny for your thoughts

I was finally able to connect with our caseworker today...I wanted to get an update on our quest for the second signature.  The other guy (sure wish I knew his name so I could stop referring to him as 'the other guy') signed our stuff and our caseworker sent it off to the state last week.  They will run our background checks and then send it back.  So it is moving...slower than I'd like...but moving nonetheless.  We would really like to apply for this adoption grant, and the application deadline is April 16th.  If you want to pray for speediness on the part of the state, that would be awesome.

Oh, and if you have a few extra prayers, some of my friends could really use some right now.

Lori's hubby is having complications from his cancer-eradicating surgery...and Sara has one sick little girl.   Both are in the hospital...send them some love. 


Nathan and I spoke in church on Sunday.  It has been a WAY long time since we had to do that.  I was nervous as all get out.  We've had a bumpy road over the last few years as far as church is concerned, but things are starting to smooth out.  We both spoke on the Atonement...we've known we were going to be speaking for about a month.  It was nice to have thoughts of Easter/Christ/Atonement in the back of my mind for that time.  I was amazed after we gave our talks how many people came up to introduce themselves to us.  I'm hoping this will be a good segway into meeting and becoming friends with more people at church.  It can make all the difference...that is one of the reasons Newport was so great for us - we had an AWESOME church family.


I was blog-hopping the other day and I came across a blog with a woman in a similar position as myself.  She is a hopeful mother (doing infertility treatments and pursuing adoption), pet-mommy, and stay at home...er, well...nothing.  That's what she called herself.  A stay at home nothing.  I immediately sympathized.  I stay at home...because of lack of employment...and although I am a mommy to Winston and Besta, they could really care less if I'm here or not.  I would like to be working, but I have not been successful in finding employment.  I have found myself getting bummed and depressed...until I read her post.  She listed off things she is thankful for that are a direct result of her being a stay at home nothing.  So I looked around today and noticed some things I am thankful for too.  Like having dishes always done, and laundry always washed and pets fed and cuddled and time to finish craft projects and read and blog and daydream about the future.  I am going to try and keep a more positive attitude about my current stay at home situation.  Some day I won't be so lucky to have as much free time.  (Although if the reason was because I had babies around, I'd gladly change my free time for poopy diapers and spit-up)


We have some pigeons who have decided that the space under our BBQ grill is perfect for a nest.  We've dissembled it once, but they keep coming back.  Winston and Besta aren't complaining...they love all the bird watching they get to do.  

I love my fur kids and I'm happy they get to bird watch...but pigeons are super unsanitary.  Not sure I want them nesting under my BBQ.  Anyone know of ways to encourage them to find another place to nest?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Happy Anniversary to the Windy City!

A year ago today we pulled into town. In celebration of our one year anniversary I want to share my top ten favorite things about this city.

#10 - Three amazingly beautiful seasons...the winter? I could do with a little less of it.

#9 - The garage in our condo building.  A rarity in the city...and SOOO needed for my OCD. (Did I mention Nathan's truck was broken into? Ya. While parked on the street right outside our building. So happy Helga {our new car} is safe and sound in our garage)

#8 - All the touristy stuff we get to see.  This touristy stuff is also a guarantee that we get visitors.  You hear that??  We got great stuff - come visit us!

#7 - My love of sushi started here.  I never thought I'd see the day...but some friends insisted and held our hands through our first sushi experience.  Now I crave it at least once a week...we recently even made our own.  Guarantee that will be happening again.

#6 - The pizza...there is nothing quite like cheese stuffed deep dish.  Don't believe me?  Visit and we'll show you the error of your ways. 

#5 - The church around the corner that plays its bells at noon and 6pm.  Even in the {DEAD} cold of winter, I'll open the window just to hear the bells. 

#4 - Living within walking distance to the lake. 

#3 - The two European bakeries I've found. Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake...need I say more?

#2 - The friends we've met.  Being in the military has taught me to cherish the friendships I make.  Yes, we move often, but now we have friends all over the world!

#1 - It was in Chicago that our adoption journey began and for that it will always hold a special place in my heart. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Happy 31st Birthday to my sweetie.
I am one lucky girl to be attached to this hunk of beef for the rest of eternity.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fabric Remnant Buyers Anonymous

Hi my name is Holly and I am addicted to buying fabric remnants.  (In Utah I worked mere minutes from a Joann's Fabric...I would spend my breaks picking through their remnant bins)

Good thing I'm unemployed right now...I can use my free time to finally use all this fabric.  I've already made quite a few receiving blankets and many burp cloths...whenever we are blessed with children they'll have enough blankets to use a different one every day for a month!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Baby Bottle Campaign

I am looking for a few volunteers.   I have been scouring the internet for some adoption fundraiser ideas...and I found what I think is a really good one!     ~More on that in a minute~       We're not all the way approved yet, but we need to raise some funds.  You may remember that I did a fundraiser back in November with some Scentsy stuff...and we raised a little bit. (You can always order Scentsy from my website...and all the money I make through Scentsy goes towards our adoption expenses)   And EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS.  The average total ticket for an adoption might be $20K-$25K, but that is made up of a few big expenses and lots of little expenses...like plane tickets, hotel rooms (traveling to the state where the babies are born) and attorney fees and court costs and FedEx-ing documents, etc.

(Click on the picture to read the poem...wrote it myself...words and all)

The idea I found is a Baby Bottle Campaign.  It is simple really...we get family and friends to take an empty baby bottle with them to work and get the people you work with to fill it...you figure almost everyone ends up with a little change in their pockets...and a bottle full of change can really add up!  And like I said before...EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS.  So, back to the looking for volunteer thing.   I'll send you the bottle, you fill it and send it back.  I'll also include some of our pass-along cards that you can give to people who donate.   Our goal is to send out 10 bottles...but if we can send out more that would be even better!

If you would be willing to take a bottle to work or school with you...or send one with your hubby...let me know.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

::slaps palm to forehead::

I called our caseworker again today.  I sent him an email a week ago Friday and I still hadn't heard so I decided to try the phone.  I had a nice pep talk with myself before so that  if  when I heard bad news I wouldn't be sent in a downward spiral...I was not prepared for a downward spiral...there was no Diet Coke or Diet Dr Pepper in the house (I'm not keeping it in the house anymore...part of my new 'be healthy' plan...no soda in the house).

Ok, back to the story.  I got him on the phone and asked how that second signature was coming along.  It isn't, he says (surprise, surprise...we've been waiting for this sucker since January).  They STILL haven't heard back from the state on the training for the new person.  "But," he says, "I'm just going to send the paperwork to the person who left the office and have him sign it."


I hung up the phone and told Nathan.  We giggled, then got mad, then giggled some more.  Now why he just didn't do that from the beginning is beyond us.

So hopefully if all goes well we'll have the coveted second signature in a week or so...then our paperwork goes to the state for the background check.    Not too worried about passing that..we buried those bodies pretty good.  (kidding, kidding)  Then home visit and then {{FINALLY}} approval.  Keep those prayers coming, they're working!

New Look

Got antsy for a wee bit of change today and I can't redesign our apartment so I changed my blog.  I love the little upside down owl.  I just want to tickle his cute little owl armpits. 

I am not a freak.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The power of networking

In some aspects of life, it is not what you know but who you know.  Nothing could be more true about the world of adoption.  The previous little statistic about our agency frightens me...and makes me feel empowered at the same time.  It is a little overwhelming because I feel like we need to cast our net as wide as we can...so that we can find our birthmother.  I worry that we don't know enough people or that the people we do know won't speak up for us.  On the other hand knowing that 70% of adoptions happen basically because the adoptive family looks hard enough gives me hope.

With that said...have you joined to the newest cult obsession? It is called Facebook. a.k.a. the biggest time vacuum known to man.   It is also a POWERFUL networking tool. We created a group on facebook to help get the word out. Have you joined it yet?  I know that you all get updates here and some of you may not have joined it because you are family, or close friends and you think it would be redundant.   I can see your point, but I can also tell you that YOU joining our facebook group isn't about YOU joining it, but your friends and friends of friends seeing the group.   See where I'm going with this?   For every one of you that join, it casts our net a little wider.

Since I started our group a little over a month ago, we've already made two contacts.  Neither have resulted in a child in our home, but Nathan and I are excited that the word is being spread.

So, won't you be my neighbor?  er...Facebook group friend? 

Pretty please?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Button help

I've had a few people have trouble with the button...I'm sorry I didn't give more detailed instructions on how to post it.  I have that tricky copyright thing on here and I forgot that would keep you from being able to just right click.  I guess I had a little bit of a brain fart.

Ok, so here's how you add the button to your blog.

First, scroll down to the bottom of my blog.  Find this:

 Click anywhere in the little white box.  Press the Control Key and the A key to highlight everything.  It should look like this:
Then press the Control Key and the C key to copy everything that is highlighted.  Go to your Layout tab on your blog screen.

Click on Add a Gadget

In the pop box that comes up, select HTML/JavaScript.

Then in the large open box, paste the stuff you copied.  You can do this by right-clicking and selecting Paste or by pressing the Control Key and the V key.  Fill in a title if you want. It should look like this:

Click Save and you're done.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

If you build it, they will come

Back when we first started trying for a baby I began looking online for nursery stuff.  (I blame my OCD)  I got lost in seas of pastel bears and butterflies.  I didn't know what I wanted...until I saw it.  We love animals at our house, and music plays a pretty big role in our lives...so when I saw the John Lennon Musical Parade collection I knew it had to be ours.  Whimsical, almost Suess-like animals mixed with music notes...all scattered over bright, cheery colors.  I'm not sure I would have started buying pieces except in my search I found out the design had been retired and was already getting harder to find.  I scoured ebay over the next two years and found just about every piece of the collection...I even ordered a few pieces from the UK.  When the cute packages would come in the mail I would carefully open them and dream of the day I'd get to wrap a baby in the adorable blankets or use the finger puppets to extract giggles from our sweet little one.  All of my John Lennon treasures made the move with us from Rhode Island to Utah where I got a job at a baby boutique and I took advantage of my heavy employee discount to get a beautiful crib.

I had hoped we'd get to take advantage of our nice 5 bedroom house and make one of the rooms into a beautiful nursery...but we never got that chance.  Forces beyond our control were pulling us to Chicago, so our every growing collection made yet another move.  Last October we officially began our adoption journey (although we've been hoping to adopt for almost two years now) and we started discussing if we should put up the nursery or wait.  One day I was talking to my oh so wise friend Cas and she said something...she said:
If you build it, they will come. 

So, as a present to ourselves for our eighth wedding anniversary we built it.

It is pretty adorable if I do say so myself.  So it is built...we just need the baby (or babies!) to come. 

Test Day

Nathan is taking the Navy Advancement Exam in the morning.  If you wouldn't mind saying a quick prayer for him, that would be awesome.

Here comes the sun!

Would you believe me if I told you it was almost 60 degrees in our fair city today?  Besta, Nathan and I took advantage of the sun and went on a nice, long afternoon walk to return our redbox movie.  Soaking up that vitamin D felt so good.  I remember when we moved here that people said the winters suck, but it just makes you appreciate the other three seasons that much more...and now I can understand the truth behind that statement.  (can you believe we've almost been here a year??!?)  Over the last few days I've found myself examining the trees a little more closely hoping to see a little smidgen of a sign that spring is coming...and guess what I saw today:

It won't be long folks...and I for one cannot wait!!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Seuss Dinner

Remember last week when I posted about Dr Seuss' Birthday? That night I made green eggs and ham for dinner and made a Seuss inspired cake.

The eggs are green...I couldn't figure out how to make the ham green so it is just plain ham.

My Seuss cake. It was just as yummy as it looks.

Sushi Night

We got together with some friends Saturday night, made our own Sushi and played games. It is so nice to have friends...life is so much better when you can share it with people you care about and who care about you.

Alison...she was a master roller...she whipped those suckers out really quick.

A close-up of the spread. Makes me drool just looking at it.

Christina is all business.

All the sushi goodness. Even with eight of us working on this spread we couldn't finish it off.

Christina made us each our own chocolate lava cake. It was heavenly. She and I share a passion for baked goods.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Gettin' me down

I mentioned before that I have been blue. That is the reason behind my lack of posts; and there are a few reasons for my aforementioned mood.

First - It is winter. I am not a fan of winter. I hate being cooped up inside. I hate not being able to wear 90% of my shoes. Yesterday was a beautiful day so I took Besta on a walk...which brings me to the second reason.
Second - I saw a dog get hit by an SUV yesterday. Besta and I were on the last leg of our long walk and I heard a dog barking and growling. The dog was across the street and I assumed on a leash. (Because come on people...we live IN A CITY on a busy street...leash your dog!) I turned just in time to see the dog start to run across the street. I watched as the dog was hit, then drug by the car. He screeched and howled in pain as he was run over by both tires. The dog got up and ran back to its side of the street...pretty sure it did not live. Besta was a bit shaken up. I thought he would come in after our walk and take a nap...but he acted weird all afternoon. I pet and cuddled him more than normal to try to help him. I have always had a soft spot for animals, and seeing one get hurt makes me sad.
Third - This job search is getting me down. It was hard the first time around...and this time is proving to be no different. I have had one interview...obviously didn't get the job. Sigh.
Fourth - We had a potential adoption situation fall through yesterday. It was a long way from being a sure thing, but it still got both of us a little excited. (We tried not to get our hopes up...but even a slight glimmer of a speck of a hope is enough to get us excited...those of you in the infertility/adoption world know how that is) A guy who went to high school with my mom served a mission for our church in Chicago. He had a connection to someone here who is pregnant and seriously considering adoption. Our information was passed along...but in the end she decided to keep the baby. It felt like reading yet another negative pregnancy test.

So there you have it.

To help lift my mood, I went grocery shopping earlier in the day (I'm a freak, I know) and then tonight me and the hubs went to see the new Alice in Wonderland movie in 3D. It was fantastic! (although truth be told, any flick with Johnny Depp in it can't do much but lift your spirits...am I right ladies??) Verdict?: Mood lifted.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Sweet surprise

So I have been feeling a bit sad. More on that later...maybe. I can't sleep so I am up watching TV and catching up on blogs. I went to one that I read purely for entertainment. Imagine my surprise when I saw OUR ADOPTION BUTTON on her side menu! I sent her the code for the button about four months ago...it never got put up so I figured it wasn't going to be. When I saw it tonight it totally lifted my mood. I even got a bit teary. (I told you...I've been blue.)

You wanna see our button in action? Go HERE. It is a little ways down on the left hand side.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


Happy Birthday Dr Seuss!

I have always loved Dr Seuss. In high school I could recite How The Grinch Stole Christmas in its entirety...I can still make my way through most of it with only a few helps. Whenever I see Dr Seuss books I can't resist picking one up to read...we already have quite a few collected for when we have kids. About a month ago I actually read a couple to Winston. Ya, I'm a crazy cat lady...so sue me.

One of my favorites that I like to pull out every now and then is Oh! The Places You'll Go! My mom gave me a copy for my High School graduation. I love its honesty. (Along with that always charming Seuss writing!) I was going to post my favorite little section...but I couldn't narrow it down. So here it is. If you haven't read it, I would heartily recommend at least borrowing this one from the library...the illustrations are excellent.

Without further ado...

Oh! The Places You'll Go!
by Dr Seuss

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town.
It’s opener there in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen and frequently do
to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true
that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.

You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And if you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,

for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,

headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come,
or a plane to go
or the mail to come,
or the rain to go
or the phone to ring,
or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil,
or a Better Break
or a string of pearls,
or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls,
or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone,
there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul.
On you will go though your enemies prowl.
On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak.
On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!

So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

You can bet we're having Green Eggs & Ham for dinner!