Thursday, April 29, 2010

Infertility sucks...sometimes

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week.   I knew it was coming up, I just didn't know how I wanted to mention it here...if I wanted to mention it at all.  Then I got to thinking.  I am infertile.  It sucks, but it is what it is...and it is very much a part of who I am and the woman I've become.  Over the last year I've done a lot of growing in the infertility department, but I have more growing yet to do.  When I hear someone is pregnant I no longer spontaneously burst into tears...but most of the time I still get sad, and some tears are usually shed.   I don't think the sting of being infertile will ever go away.  Even if we get children through the miracle of adoption.  Having sweet children call me mother will not completely take away the ache of a barren womb.  Mostly, my sadness is feeling like I'm missing out on something.  I wish I could feel a baby kick, I wish I could experience the pregnancy waddle, I wish I could proudly post pics of an ever-growing belly.   I have come to terms with the fact that those things will never be a part of my journey to motherhood...and I am ok with it.  Most of the time. 

Today I felt a little bad for myself so I decided to make a list of the things I am glad I'll miss out on because I'll never get pregnant.  Ready? (Some of them might be TMI.  Consider yourself warned)
  • My feet won't get swollen and change size.  Have you met me?  I love shoes.  I'm not talking 4th grade, oogly-googly, oh-those-are-cute, puppydog kind of love.  I'm talking about 86 pair-owning, leather-smelling, heel drooling, DSW stalking, eBay obsessive retired style searching kind of love.  The kind of love that would drive me to walk too many blocks in too high of heels, all because they make the outfit.  Sometimes when I'm sad I sit in my closet and try on my shoes...and it helps.  If I got pregnant and my feet grew and I could no longer wear all my would bring a whole 'nother level to postpartum depression.
  • I will be able to jump on a trampoline with my kids without wearing Depends.  
  • My boobs will stay perky longer.  I am quite fond of my girls and I like where they're at.  Because I will never nurse and the ladies will never get huge and engorged...they will stay where they're at longer than all you baby-making women.  (Nathan is happy about this too)
  • No baby weight to lose.  I struggle with my weight enough that I don't need baby weight added to the mix.  
  • Episiotomy.  I don't want anyone going anywhere near there with a blade...or a needle.  
  • Cantaloupe through a golf ball.  (If you're confused about this one...just think about it for a will come to you)
  • I am a bit of a klutz.  I have read that when you're pregnant your center of gravity gets all messed up.  Anyone who knows me knows this would be a recipe for disaster.  Need I remind you of my past, um...incidents??   (If you need a good on that link.  I brought myself to tears reminiscing over my poor accident prone-ness)
  • I won't have to put rubber sheets on our bed.  I always had this fear of my water breaking while I was sleeping and I wouldn't want our nice mattress to get ruined.  
Well, there you have it.

**I feel like I must leave a footnote.  If by an act of God...and that is what it would take...I was able to get pregnant.  I would welcome all the above...and everything else pregnancy could throw my way.  I was just trying to look on the sunny side of being infertile :)

Infertility Etiquette

{This blog post was originally posted Feb 9, 2009.  I felt like I'd post it again...what with it being National Infertility Awareness Week and all}

So the author of this blog that I stalk (is it still considered stalking of I occasionally make comments??) posts articles on infertility and adoption on Sundays. Today's article is about dealing with people who you love who are infertile. You can read her post here...she starts by saying that when they were struggling with getting pregnant that ever rule in the article was broken. I too can say that EVERY ONE of these things has happened to me at least coworkers, family, friends, strangers. I know they were never done intentionally...people just didn't know any better. I know I just posted something in infertility earlier in the week...but this is just too good not to share. So here it edited (well, enhanced...cause I love to bold and italicize things) copy of THIS GREAT ARTICLE which you all should read because you love us, or someone like us who is struggling or has struggled with infertility.

Infertility Etiquette

By Vita Alligood

Chances are, you know someone who is struggling with infertility. More than five million people of childbearing age in the United States experience infertility. Yet, as a society, we are woefully uninformed about how to best provide emotional support for our loved ones during this painful time.

Infertility is, indeed, a very painful struggle. The pain is similar to the grief over losing a loved one, but it is unique because it is a recurring grief. When a loved one dies, he isn't coming back. There is no hope that he will come back from the dead. You must work through the stages of grief, accept that you will never see this person again, and move on with your life.

The grief of infertility is not so cut and dry. Infertile people grieve the loss of the baby that they may never know. They grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes. But, each month, there is the hope that maybe that baby will be conceived after all. No matter how hard they try to prepare themselves for bad news, they still hope that this month will be different. Then, the bad news comes again, and the grief washes over the infertile couple anew. This process happens month after month, year after year. It is like having a deep cut that keeps getting opened right when it starts to heal.

As the couple moves into infertility treatments, the pain increases while the bank account depletes. Most infertility treatments involve using hormones, which alter the user's moods. (That statement is like calling a lion a cat-my husband would tell you that the side effect is insanity!) The tests are invasive and embarrassing to both parties, and you feel like the doctor has taken over your bedroom. And for all of this discomfort, you pay a lot of money. Infertility treatments are expensive, and most insurance companies do not cover the costs. So, in addition to the pain of not conceiving a baby each month, the couple pays out anywhere from $300 to five figures, depending upon the treatment used.

A couple will eventually resolve the infertility problem in one of three ways:

  1. They will eventually conceive a baby.
  2. They will stop the infertility treatments and choose to live without children.
  3. They will find an alternative way to parent, such as by adopting a child or becoming a foster parent.

Reaching a resolution can take years, so your infertile loved ones need your emotional support during this journey. Most people don't know what to say, so they wind up saying the wrong thing, which only makes the journey so much harder for their loved ones. Knowing what not to say is half of the battle to providing support.

Don't Tell Them to Relax

Everyone knows someone who had trouble conceiving but then finally became pregnant once she "relaxed." Couples who are able to conceive after a few months of "relaxing" are not infertile. By definition, a couple is not diagnosed as "infertile" until they have tried unsuccessfully to become pregnant for a full year. In fact, most infertility specialists will not treat a couple for infertility until they have tried to become pregnant for a year. This year weeds out the people who aren't infertile but just need to "relax." Those that remain are truly infertile.

Comments such as "just relax" or "try going on a cruise" create even more stress for the infertile couple, particularly the woman. The woman feels like she is doing something wrong when, in fact, there is a good chance that there is a physical problem preventing her from becoming pregnant.

These comments can also reach the point of absurdity. As a couple, my husband and I underwent two surgeries, numerous inseminations, hormone treatments, and four years of poking and prodding by doctors. Yet, people still continued to say things like, "If you just relaxed on a cruise . . ." Infertility is a diagnosable medical problem that must be treated by a doctor, and even with treatment, many couples will NEVER successfully conceive a child. Relaxation itself does not cure medical infertility.

Don't Minimize the Problem

Failure to conceive a baby is a very painful journey. Infertile couples are surrounded by families with children. These couples watch their friends give birth to two or three children, and they watch those children grow while the couple goes home to the silence of an empty house. These couples see all of the joy that a child brings into someone's life, and they feel the emptiness of not being able to experience the same joy.

Comments like, "Just enjoy being able to sleep late . . . .travel . . etc.," do not offer comfort. Instead, these comments make infertile people feel like you are minimizing their pain. You wouldn't tell somebody whose parent just died to be thankful that he no longer has to buy Father's Day or Mother's Day cards. Losing that one obligation doesn't even begin to compensate for the incredible loss of losing a parent. In the same vein, being able to sleep late or travel does not provide comfort to somebody who desperately wants a child.
{Holly here...DON'T tell us things like "I'll give you one of mine" or "Be glad you don't have kids - it changes your life"...we KNOW it does. We WANT that change}

Don't Say There Are Worse Things That Could Happen

Along the same lines, don't tell your friend that there are worse things that she could be going through. Who is the final authority on what is the "worst" thing that could happen to someone? Is it going through a divorce? Watching a loved one die? Getting raped? Losing a job?

Different people react to different life experiences in different ways. To someone who has trained his whole life for the Olympics, the "worst" thing might be experiencing an injury the week before the event. To someone who has walked away from her career to become a stay-at-home wife for 40 years, watching her husband leave her for a younger woman might be the "worst" thing. And, to a woman whose sole goal in life has been to love and nurture a child, infertility may indeed be the "worst" thing that could happen.

People wouldn't dream of telling someone whose parent just died, "It could be worse: both of your parents could be dead." Such a comment would be considered cruel rather than comforting. In the same vein, don't tell your friend that she could be going through worse things than infertility.

Don't Say They Aren't Meant to Be Parents

One of the cruelest things anyone ever said to me is, "Maybe God doesn't intend for you to be a mother." How incredibly insensitive to imply that I would be such a bad mother that God felt the need to divinely sterilize me. If God were in the business of divinely sterilizing women, don't you think he would prevent the pregnancies that end in abortions? Or wouldn't he sterilize the women who wind up neglecting and abusing their children? Even if you aren't religious, the "maybe it's not meant to be" comments are not comforting. Infertility is a medical condition, not a punishment from God or Mother Nature.
{along these same lines...DO NOT say "Everything happens for a reason"...even if we agree with you, that is NOT going to help. If you are religious don't tell us it will happen in God's time. We realize this...but it is like telling someone whose spouse gets tragically killed in an auto accident that it was God's plan.}

Don't Ask Why They Aren't Trying IVF

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a method in which the woman harvests multiple eggs, which are then combined with the man's sperm in a petri dish. This is the method that can produce multiple births. People frequently ask, "Why don't you just try IVF?" in the same casual tone they would use to ask, "Why don't you try shopping at another store?"

There are many reasons why a couple would choose not to pursue this option. Here are a few of them.

IVF is Expensive with Low Odds

One cycle of IVF is very expensive. With all of the hype in the news, many people assume that IVF is a sure thing when, in fact, the odds of success for each cycle are low. Most couples cannot afford to try for one month, much less for multiple times. Considering that it also costs a significant amount of money to adopt a baby, many couples opt for the "sure thing" rather then risking their money on much lower odds.

IVF is Physically Taxing

Undergoing IVF treatments is very rigorous. The woman must inject shots into her thigh daily to cause her ovaries to superovulate. The drugs used are very taxing on the woman, and they can cause her to be become extremely emotional.

IVF Raises Ethical Issues

Ironically, couples who undergo IVF to become parents may have to selectively abort one or more fetuses if multiple eggs are fertilized. Many couples cannot bring themselves to abort a baby when they have worked so hard to become parents. If the couple chooses not to selectively abort, they run the risk of multiple births.

Don't Offer Unsolicited Opinions If They Are Trying IVF

On the flip side of the coin, don't offer unsolicited advice to your friends who do choose to try IVF. For many couples, IVF is the only way they will ever give birth to a baby. This is a huge decision for them to make, for all of the reasons I outlined above.

If the couple has resolved any ethical issues, don't muddy the waters. IVF is a gray area in many ethical circles, and many of our moral leaders don't yet know how to answer the ethical questions that have arisen from this new technology. If the couple has resolved these issues already, you only make it harder by raising the ethical questions again. Respect their decision, and offer your support. If you can't offer your support due to ethical differences of opinion, then say nothing.

A couple who chooses the IVF route has a hard, expensive road ahead, and they need your support more than ever. The hormones are no cakewalk, and the financial cost is enormous. Your friend would not be going this route if there were an easier way, and the fact that she is willing to endure so much is further proof of how much she truly wants to parent a child. The hormones will make her more emotional, so offer her your support and keep your questions to yourself.

Don't Play Doctor

Once your infertile friends are under a doctor's care, the doctor will run them through numerous tests to determine why they aren't able to conceive. There a numerous reasons that a couple may not be able to conceive. Here are a few of them:

Blocked fallopian tubes
Low hormone levels
Low "normal form" sperm count
Low progesterone level
Low sperm count
Low sperm motility
Thin uterine walls

Infertility is a complicated problem to diagnose, and reading an article or book on infertility will not make you an "expert" on the subject. Let your friends work with their doctor to diagnose and treat the problem. Your friends probably already know more about the causes and solutions of infertility than you will ever know.

You may feel like you are being helpful by reading up on infertility, and there is nothing wrong with learning more about the subject. The problem comes when you try to "play doctor" with your friends. They already have a doctor with years of experience in diagnosing and treating the problem. They need to work with and trust their doctor to treat the problem. You only complicate the issue when you throw out other ideas that you have read about. The doctor knows more about the causes and solutions; let your friends work with their doctor to solve the problem.

Don't Be Crude

It is appalling that I even have to include this paragraph, but some of you need to hear this-Don't make crude jokes about your friend's vulnerable position. Crude comments like "I'll donate the sperm" or "Make sure the doctor uses your sperm for the insemination" are not funny, and they only irritate your friends.
{I have had people say "Spend a night with ___ and you'll get pregnant", ya...THAT'S what I want to do}

Don't Complain About Your Pregnancy

This message is for pregnant women-Just being around you is painful for your infertile friends. Seeing your belly grow is a constant reminder of what your infertile friend cannot have. Unless an infertile women plans to spend her life in a cave, she has to find a way to interact with pregnant women. However, there are things you can do as her friend to make it easier.

The number one rule is DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY. I understand from my friends that, when you are pregnant, your hormones are going crazy and you experience a lot of discomfort, such as queasiness, stretch marks, and fatigue. You have every right to vent about the discomforts to any one else in your life, but don't put your infertile friend in the position of comforting you.

Your infertile friend would give anything to experience the discomforts you are enduring because those discomforts come from a baby growing inside of you. When I heard a pregnant woman complain about morning sickness, I would think, "I'd gladly throw up for nine straight months if it meant I could have a baby." When a pregnant woman would complain about her weight gain, I would think, "I would cut off my arm if I could be in your shoes."

I managed to go to baby showers and hospitals to welcome my friends' new babies, but it was hard. Without exception, it was hard. Stay sensitive to your infertile friend's emotions, and give her the leeway that she needs to be happy for you while she cries for herself. If she can't bring herself to hold your new baby, give her time. She isn't rejecting you or your new baby; she is just trying to work her way through her pain to show sincere joy for you. The fact that she is willing to endure such pain in order to celebrate your new baby with you speaks volumes about how much your friendship means to her.
{Don't complain about your unplanned pregnancy in front of an infertile friend. If you feel that way, FINE, but don't spout off about it infront of someone you KNOW cannot get pregnant. Don't go on and on about how inconvenient the timing is...we would KILL to be that inconvenienced}

Don't Treat Them Like They Are Ignorant

For some reason, some people seem to think that infertility causes a person to become unrealistic about the responsibilities of parenthood. I don't follow the logic, but several people told me that I wouldn't ache for a baby so much if I appreciated how much responsibility was involved in parenting.

Let's face it-no one can fully appreciate the responsibilities involved in parenting until they are, themselves, parents. That is true whether you successfully conceived after one month or after 10 years. The length of time you spend waiting for that baby does not factor in to your appreciation of responsibility. If anything, people who have been trying to become pregnant longer have had more time to think about those responsibilities. They have also probably been around lots of babies as their friends started their families.

Perhaps part of what fuels this perception is that infertile couples have a longer time to "dream" about what being a parent will be like. Like every other couple, we have our fantasies-my child will sleep through the night, would never have a tantrum in public, and will always eat his vegetables. Let us have our fantasies. Those fantasies are some of the few parent-to-be perks that we have-let us have them. You can give us your knowing looks when we discover the truth later.
{Yes, we haven't had children yet...but as a whole, infertile women and men have read more information on parenting than non-infertile people...we read about it to help pass the time, give us hope and encourage us. We would take a night filled with diarrhea and vomit and snot and crying in a heartbeat..because it would mean we had a CHILD in our home}

Don't Gossip About Your Friend's Condition

Infertility treatments are very private and embarrassing, which is why many couples choose to undergo these treatments in secret. Men especially are very sensitive to letting people know about infertility testing, such as sperm counts. Gossiping about infertility is not usually done in a malicious manner. The gossipers are usually well-meaning people who are only trying to find out more about infertility so they can help their loved ones.

Regardless of why you are sharing this information with someone else, it hurts and embarrasses your friend to find out that Madge the bank teller knows what your husband's sperm count is and when your next period is expected. Infertility is something that should be kept as private as your friend wants to keep it. Respect your friend's privacy, and don't share any information that your friend hasn't authorized.
{It is embarrassing to run into someone and have them ask if your period came yet...enough said}

Don't Push Adoption (Yet)

Adoption is a wonderful way for infertile people to become parents. (As an adoptive parent, I can fully vouch for this!!) However, the couple needs to work through many issues before they will be ready to make an adoption decision. Before they can make the decision to love a "stranger's baby," they must first grieve the loss of that baby with Daddy's eyes and Mommy's nose. Adoption social workers recognize the importance of the grieving process. When my husband and I went for our initial adoption interview, we expected the first question to be, "Why do you want to adopt a baby?" Instead, the question was, "Have you grieved the loss of your biological child yet?" Our social worker emphasized how important it is to shut one door before you open another.

You do, indeed, need to grieve this loss before you are ready to start the adoption process. The adoption process is very long and expensive, and it is not an easy road. So, the couple needs to be very sure that they can let go of the hope of a biological child and that they can love an adopted baby. This takes time, and some couples are never able to reach this point. If your friend cannot love a baby that isn't her "own," then adoption isn't the right decision for her, and it is certainly not what is best for the baby.

Mentioning adoption in passing can be a comfort to some couples. (The only words that ever offered me comfort were from my sister, who said, "Whether through pregnancy or adoption, you will be a mother one day.") However, "pushing" the issue can frustrate your friend. So, mention the idea in passing if it seems appropriate, and then drop it. When your friend is ready to talk about adoption, she will raise the issue herself.
{NEVER NEVER NEVER tell someone to "Put in your adoption papers, then you'll be sure to get pregnant". This minimizes the importance of the decision to if 'adopting' is just another infertility treatment}

So, what can you say to your infertile friends? Unless you say "I am giving you this baby," there is nothing you can say that will erase their pain. So, take that pressure off of yourself. It isn't your job to erase their pain, but there is a lot you can do to lesson the load. Here are a few ideas.

Let Them Know That You Care

The best thing you can do is let your infertile friends know that you care. Send them cards. Let them cry on your shoulder. If they are religious, let them know you are praying for them. Offer the same support you would offer a friend who has lost a loved one. Just knowing they can count on you to be there for them lightens the load and lets them know that they aren't going through this alone.
{When we lost one of our babies a dear friend sent me some flowers. I can't even begin to tell you how much that meant to us}

Remember Them on Mother's Day

With all of the activity on Mother's Day, people tend to forget about women who cannot become mothers. Mother's Day is an incredibly painful time for infertile women. You cannot get away from it-There are ads on the TV, posters at the stores, church sermons devoted to celebrating motherhood, and all of the plans for celebrating with your own mother and mother-in-law.

Mother's Day is an important celebration and one that I relish now that I am a mother. However, it was very painful while I was waiting for my baby. Remember your infertile friends on Mother's Day, and send them a card to let them know you are thinking of them. They will appreciate knowing that you haven't "forgotten" them.
{We know that there are other women in our life and the day should be spent celebrating them and not wallowing in our sorrow...but the ENTIRE day is a reminder of what we CANNOT if we feel the need to skip out on church or cry a bit, put your arm around us and tell us you love us}

Support Their Decision to Stop Treatments

No couple can endure infertility treatments forever. At some point, they will stop. This is an agonizing decision to make, and it involves even more grief. Even if the couple chooses to adopt a baby, they must still first grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes.

Once the couple has made the decision to stop treatments, support their decision. Don't encourage them to try again, and don't discourage them from adopting, if that is their choice. Once the couple has reached resolution (whether to live without children, adopt a child, or become foster parents), they can finally put that chapter of their lives behind them. Don't try to open that chapter again.
{As someone who has decided to stop infertility treatments I can tell you it is a hard decision to make. Having people constantly ask if "We're sure" or telling us about something one of their friends tried does not make it easier.}

Saturday, April 24, 2010

One for the bookshelf

Last Sunday at church one of my friends stopped me.  "I have something for you" she said and then handed me a book.  I immediately recognized it from the cover and started tearing up.  This woman was one of the very first people to introduce herself to me at church.  To break the ice she had asked about adoption (we were featured in a get-to-know-you section of the weekly printed program, and had mentioned our hope to adopt) and since that day we've been friends.

Since Sunday I've read the book at least a half-dozen more times.  Still makes me cry.  I can't wait until we have little ones to read it to.

If you or someone in your life has adopted children...they should have this book.  You can find it here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hey...isn't that...??

Nathan is on tour right now in Des Moines, Iowa with the Navy Rock Band.  Tonight the guys were in the hotel's restaurant for happy hour and saw this guy walk in.  Nathan recognized him, and asked to have a picture taken with him.  (They knew Huey Lewis and The News was staying at the hotel...their tour bus and trucks were parked outside)

Pretty cool, eh?

Front row: Steve (Navy), Huey Lewis, Nathan
Back Row: Sean Hopper (HLN - Piano), Joel (Navy), Brian (Navy), Chris (Navy), Spencer (Navy) & Bill Gibson (HLN - Drums)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Different Trips to the Same Place
By Diane Armitage printed in the April 21, 1995 "Dear Abby" column.

Deciding to have a baby is like planning a trip to Australia. You've heard it's a wonderful place, you've read many guidebooks and feel certain you're ready to go. Everyone you know has traveled there by plane. They say it can be a turbulent flight with occasional rough landings, but you can look forward to being pampered on the trip.

So you go to the airport and ask the ticket agent for a ticket to Australia. All around you, excited people are boarding planes for Australia. It seems there is no seat for you; you'll have to wait for the next flight. Impatient, but anticipating a wonderful trip, you wait--and wait--and wait.

Flights to Australia continue to come and go. People say silly things like, "Relax. You'll get on a flight soon." Other people actually get on a plane and then cancel their trip, to which you cry, "It's not fair!"

After a long time the ticket agent tells you, "I'm sorry, we're not going to be able to get you on a plane to Australia. Perhaps you should think about going by boat."

"By BOAT!" you say. "Going by boat will take a very long time and it costs a great deal of money. I really had my heart set on going by plane." So you go home and think about not going to Australia at all. You wonder if Australia will be as beautiful if you approach it by sea rather than air. But you have long dreamed of this wonderful place, and finally you decide to travel by boat.

It is a long trip, many months over many rough seas. No one pampers you. You wonder if you will ever see Australia. Meanwhile, your friends have flown back and forth to Australia two or three more times, marveling about each trip.

Then one glorious day, the boat docks in Australia. It is more exquisite than you ever imagined, and the beauty is magnified by your long days at sea. You have made many wonderful friends during your voyage, and you find yourself comparing stories with other who also traveled by sea rather then by air.

People continue to fly to Australia as often as they like, but you are about to travel only once, perhaps twice. Some say things like, "Oh, be glad you didn't fly. My flight was horrible; traveling by sea is so easy."

You will always wonder what it would have been like to fly to Australia. Still, you know God blessed you with a special appreciation of Australia, and the beauty of Australia is not in the way you get there, but in the place itself.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Come...and gone

Yesterday came and went and we didn't get our grant application sent off.  We are still waiting for stuff to be finished.  Stuff other people have to do.  Stuff that SHOULD have been finished months ago.  I am beyond frustrated.  We mailed our adoption application on October week from today that will have been SIX MONTHS.   I never imagined that it would take us this long to get approved...especially given my Type-A git-'er-done personality.  We have hit snags that we shouldn't have.  When we initially turned in that batch of paperwork (in November), the fact that we had out of state licenses should have been noticed.  If there was ANY question, calls should have been made to find out THEN if we would need to change them.  We also waited two months for a second signature...and in the end Plan B was used anyway.
I can't sleep tonight.  (currently 2:14am)  I feel tremendous frustration at my lack of control of the situation.   Add that to an afternoon nap, a 2 Liter of Diet Coke and you have one girl to whom sleep lies just out of reach

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Sailor Boy

My awesome hubby was Bluejacket Sailor of the Quarter for the whole base!  There was a ceremony, he got gifts and this cool statue. 
Go Nathan!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Winner, winner chocolate dinner!!

(What??!? you don't eat chocolate for dinner??!?  Wierd-O)

I have awesome friends. :)  Not saying that you don't...but I'm pretty sure my friends are more awesome-er than yours.  Just sayin'. 

I loved reading through all your comments.  We had a great weekend, and to have it peppered with messages from you made it just that much better.  Thinking back on some of the stories made me laugh...and it also pretty much sealed my status as a band geek.  Ah well...can't fight what you were meant to be, right?

Because I'm feeling all sorts of crazy excited love I'm going to give both those sets away! :)  Now for winners...I used to pick the winners. 

The first winner is:
Sterling...whose comment was:
BloggerSterling Bo said...
I'm following your blog.. because you followed mine... oh, and because your owls are cute. Mostly because the owls are cute. LOL!

And the second winner is:
Becky...whose comment was:
BloggerBecky said...
Well to be honest (and this may seem a little indulgent, but oh well) My favorite post was on July 19, 2007 when you wished me happy birthday on your blog. I hadn't talked to you in forever and, okay I admit it, was blog stalking you. This took me by complete surprise and really made my day. Thanks for that :)
Also, I really liked your last blog about Nathan being locked out of your apartment and calling for help. That really made me laugh!

Favorite of all blog posts - check

I think it is fitting that one of the two winners one is an old friend and the other is a new friend...yet both friendships started at some sort of band function.  (Once fate is sealed)   I met Becky back in middle school at a summer band camp.  She wanted to be my friend and I thought I was too cool for band kids (oh the irony).  I met Sterling at the USU Marching Band the fall of 2007 when I was the photographer for the band...although just recently have we actually gotten to know each other.

I had so much fun, and my ego was bolstered to the point that I had to duck to come through doorways...I loved it so much that I might do another giveaway someday.  But feel free to comment about your love for me anytime you want.  (Can you tell I didn't get much sleep last night?)

Friday, April 09, 2010

500!! Time for a giveaway!!

This is post number 500.  Crazy huh?  It all started here, on November 28, 2005.  I've had quite a few highs and no shortage of lows over the years...and I'm sure there will be many more highs and lows to come.  I kept hoping that by the time number 500 rolled around I'd have some HUGE news to share, something worthy of a 500th post, but since I got nothin' you get somethin'(Because sometimes your kind words were what got me through the day)

Here's what you get:
You can choose either the Scentsy Set:

(click on the pic to see detail)
(Daises Full-Size Warmer, Toasted Apple Butter Room Spray, Black Raspberry Vanilla Travel Tin, Snowberry Car Candle, and four Scentsy for each season: Sweet Pea Vanilla, Havana Cabana, Falling Leaves and Christmas Tree)

Or the Making Memories Set:
(click on the pic to see detail)
(HOME Wall Word Kit, defined vellum stickers, 9x9 and 6x6Boho Chic paperstacks, heart, star and circle vellum tags, brass label holders, Heidi uppercase and lowercase rub-on alphabets, Family clear creations, 2 BoHo Chic trims and several small rub-on word packets)

I figure since blogging is sort of narcissistic (who am I kidding, it is the definition of narcissistic) I want you to feed my ego.   
Here's how to enter:
-Tell me your favorite of all my blog posts.  It can be one that made you laugh, or got you all teary...tell me why you liked it.  If you're a new reader, here are some places to start: adoption, struggles with infertility, kitties, on being accident prone, family

Extra entries (each entry must be left in a separate comment...I want my Blackberry to go crazy notifying me of all the comments I get...remember?  You're feeding my ego.)
-Tell the story of how we met
-Follow this blog
-Join our adoption group on Facebook

If you're already following the blog, just leave an extra comment that says "Already follow your blog", same thing with the facebook group.

I'll accept entries until Tuesday April 13th at NOON central time.

Make sure when you enter you tell me which set you want...
Making Memories or Scentsy.

Good luck!
(And if you could, keep us in your prayers this weekend.)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Pffeww! and a high five and a wahoo! and a huh? and a giggle

After 2 different trips, 7 hours waiting, 12 lines stood in, 5 forms filled out, 65.88 miles driven and $284.00 paid Nathan and I are now licensed, stickered and plated Chicago residents!  Hopefully the second background check won't take as long and we can still apply for that grant...the deadline is next Friday.

Insurance stuff is coming along...the rental place said they never got the payment, the insurance company swore they sent it...and we were caught in the middle.  I finally got mean and yesterday morning got a phone call from the manager at the rental place telling me the money would be refunded by the end of the day.

As a completely unrelated next post will be my 500th post!  I think I might just have to give something stay tuned. :)

Oh, yesterday evening I was mopping the floor in the kitchen (preparing for our big weekend!!) and the phone rang.  I saw it was the number for our condo which meant someone was trying to be buzzed into the building.  I knew we weren't accepting company, but sometimes a neighbor will get locked out.  I answered and it went like this:

Can you let me in?
Who is this?
Come on, I locked myself out.
What apartment do you live in?
### (which is our apartment number)
Uh huh...What's your name?
Right, {smug laugh} nice try buddy.

I hung up and turned to tell Nathan the funny story about how someone was trying to use his name to get into our building and saw he was no longer sitting on the couch...and that Besta wasn't on the rug.

Have I mentioned that the condo intercom distorts voices?

I am not a bad wife.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

{deep breath} {deep breath}

Today started out so nice and ended quite the opposite.

Nathan had the day off and the weather was absolutely perfect so we got up and made our first visit of 2010 to the dog beach.  Besta was beyond excited.

We came home, had lunch and were trying to decide what to do for the afternoon.  I jumped online to check our bank account and noticed a very strange charge.  It was a hefty sum charged by a rental car agency.  We haven't rented a car since my car accident back in November.  We had to pay a little amount (We opted to pay for the $5 extra per day so I could drive the Mercedes :) Can't blame me, right?) and the other insurance company was paying for the balance (their driver was at fault).  Well, after some digging, we found out that the other insurance agency didn't pay the bill (in fact, they haven't paid ANY of the bills...grrrrr) so Enterprise charged us... they had our card on file from the little payment we made.  Ya.  So I got on the phone to get a hold of the adjuster assigned to my claim to get to the bottom of it...we shouldn't have to foot the bill for that rental.

While I was on the phone for that, our adoption case worker called us.  Our background check came back - and it failedSeriously.  It will be an easy fix...well, relatively so.  Remember how I said that Illinois requires all hopeful adoptive couples to be licensed as foster parents with DCFS?  That's where we hit our snag.  In order for us to pass that step we must have IL driver's licenses and license plates.  When we moved last year we chose to keep our Utah plates and licenses for several reasons.  Cost was the big one.  It was cheaper for us to keep them in Utah.  In Chicago, if you have out of state plates you don't need city stickers...which can cost $120...ON TOP of your normal registration fees.   In order for us to move forward with the adoption we HAVE to get approved with DCFS, which means we would need to switch over our stuff.   So we hopped online, found the nearest DMV and got ready to go.  We quickly gathered all the stuff we thought we would need (social security card, military id, current Utah license, a piece of mail proving our Chicago residence, birth certificates, title for the car, registration and proof of insurance) and took off.  We walked in and got in our first line.  We handed over all the stuff for our driver's licenses, a lady checked it and handed it back, with a number....and then we waited.  While we were waiting we learned that they do not accept Visa as payment (seriously?  They take MasterCard, Amex, Discover, CHECK?? but not Visa??) and we would have to take a written test.  Nathan gets called up first, his lady seems to be pretty friendly.  I was not so lucky.  My guy refused to transfer my license without proof of my marriage.  Seriously?!?  My current Utah license has my married name on it, my social security card has my married name on it...I pleaded with him...told him I'd been married 8 years.  He wouldn't budge.  So I have to go back tomorrow.  In the mean time Nathan had finished his first stage of paperwork with the nice lady and had been cleared to go take the test BUT we had to pay our fees first and we don't have a MasterCard and didn't have enough cash on us.  So we left the building, walked a half a block down the street to an ATM,  pulled cash out and walked half a block back to the DMV.  (Again...seriously, NOT Visa?!?)  While Nathan took his exam I went to the other side of the building to get our plates.  I didn't have all I needed...I needed proof of purchase for the vehicle.  I asked if he was sure...all we were doing was transferring our plates to a new state.  Yep...proof of purchase (Seriously??!?)  I went back to wait for Nathan and we finally got out of there about 5:30. 

Waiting at the DMV.  We're smiling because we'd just sat down.  
If we had only known what lay ahead...

Now I'm sitting at home, listening to the thunder (that is scaring Besta) and taking long, deep breaths.  I am tired of jumping through all these hoops.  I had been feeling ok about adoption lately...even a tad bit excited...but today made me {hate} it a little.  Not the miracle of bringing a child into our home, but the crazy hoop jumping...made even crazier by our involvement in the military and our residence in Illinois.  

Ok, I feel better least until tomorrow when I return to the gates of hell...a.k.a. the DMV.  Hopefully our claims adjuster calls back tomorrow about my accident stuff...I don't want to have to get mean.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Visitors of the Minnesota kind

Last weekend Nathan's sister Janus and her hubby Grant and their daughter Alexis came for a quick visit.  We had a good time, but I didn't take many pictures.  So all these are borrowed from her.  You can see her post about the visit HERE.

We visited the Jelly Belly Factory.  Janus was brave enough to try the skunk spray jelly bean.  Poor Janus, she smelled like skunk spray for hours.

We got to be a part of the Three Wheeler's maiden voyage on the L.  Janus thought it smelled like pee.  I thought it smelled pretty good...well, for the L. 

 The second day they were here we got all the way to the Museum of Science and Industry and saw this line for tickets.  We didn't stick around to wait in it.

Nathan found this outside the museum.  He loves R2D2.  Janus thought it was a garbage and threw her gum inside.  We had a nice chuckle over that. 

We waited in line for popcorn at Garretts, we visited the American Girl store, we ate sushi (Alexis did too!! Go Alexis!!), walked a ton, had sundaes at Ghirradelli.  We also did all the tourist stuff in Millenium park.  The Bean, Crown Fountain, the funky Chinese art, etc, etc.  I thought I'd hop up on top of this ledge for a cool picture...turns out I lack the upper body strength.  Nathan tried to help me, much to the amusement of any passers by.

And although they were the visitors, I had a "First" on their trip.  My first authentic Chicago Dog.

Now I have had plenty of hotdogs in my day...I love a good BBQ'd dog with ketchup, relish and onions.  But I had never been brave enough to try an authentic Chicago dog.  What's on it?  An all beef frank, onion, neon green sweet relish, mustard, tomato slices, a pickle spear, a couple pickled peppers...all topped with celery salt and thrown in a poppy seed bun.  SO YUMMY.  I don't know why I was scared, hotdogs this way are incredible!  (Don't believe me?? Come visit and we'll take you to'll see)  Oh and this picture - the hotdog picture is the only one of these that is mine.  Yep.  Family came to visit and I snagged a picture of a HOT DOG.  What can I say, I think food is pretty. :)

Anyway, back to the visit.  The last night they were here we went to our storage unit and pulled out my barbies.  (Yes I still have all my barbies!)  Alexis, Janus and I then had fun dressing them up and brushing their hair.  I think Nathan and Grant were surprised at how fast their wives regressed to a pre-teen state.

 It was fun to have them here, we laughed a lot, ate even more.  Can't wait til next time!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Scentsy - April

Each month Scentsy rolls out a new warmer and scent, available at a discount for only that month.   I decided that I'm going to start posting here to show off the new warmers and scents. As always, you can go to my website anytime and purchase any Scentsy stuff you want.  It will get sent directly to you...and there is no minimum to do an order.  If you like one of the warmers of the month - act fast.  As of late they have been selling out pretty quick.

The Warmer for the month of April is called ABC's.  It would be a good gift for teachers (Teacher Appreciation Week is May 3 – 9, 2010), or if you are a teacher...get one to spoil yourself! :)

The scent of the month is Red Candy Apple.  The description of the scent: "Red Candy Apple is bursting with Macintosh apples, red raspberry jam, sweet red berries, and strawberry milk, with notes of brown sugar, taffy and cotton candy" 

All of the money I make through Scentsy helps fund our adoption.