Saturday, December 31, 2011

Twelve words for 2011

january: settling
february: snowy
march: hopeful
april: heartbroken
may: miracle
june: blissful
july: unexpected
august: family
september: official
october: eternal
november: thankful
december: farewell-ing

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On the move...again

One thing I've come to know pretty well in our almost ten years of marriage...is moving. We are currently in the middle of our sixth move. We've had a few bumps in the road already...I'm hoping the remainder goes well. I haven't handled the stress so well...neither has Winston. But Miles and Nathan keep us held together.

Miles and Winston checking out our mountains of boxes.
Poor Winnie knows EXACTLY what's going on (this is his fourth move)
So here's to a smooth move! Two weeks from today we'll be in Italy, hopefully enjoying some gelato!!
Bye bye stuff - see you in six months!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

30 sure was a good one

On the eve of my birthday last year I got quite emotional.  I was no where near where I thought I would be when I hit my landmark birthday.  I felt like a failure.  I had no degree, no children, no career...it was tough.  Especially watching friends from high school each turning 30 and being surrounded by children or working at fabulous jobs...it seemed to make me all the more melancholy.   I lamented on Facebook and my friend Jamie told me that turning 30 was awesome for her.  Turns out, turning 30 was pretty awesome for me too.  This year was amazing.  No, more than amazing...perfect.  Sure I got sick, and we had that whole Georgia mess...but we also got Miles, were able to spend almost TWO MONTHS with family, found out we're moving to Italy, Nathan got promoted...and that's just the big stuff. 

Now I sit here on the eve of my 31st birthday and I am so grateful for the year I've had.  I've also learned a few things...can I share them with you? 

Never try and plan your life out -
you'll just stress yourself out and
miss the little things along the way. 
 
Even in the depths of sorrow
there are still beautiful things in life
...they are just harder to find.  
Keep looking. 
 
Hold on to hope.
When things get tough just remember
it is always darkest before the dawn.

A random act of kindness is the 
best mood booster out there.
I guarantee it.   
 
The size of your jeans should not
determine how you feel about yourself.
You are beautiful.

Thank you to all my family, friends, blog buddies and online adoption peeps who have helped make this year so perfect for us.  Here's hoping this year is just as great!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bye bye Bean

I love the Bean.  Ok, technically it's called Cloud Gate...but everyone calls it the Bean.  It's always on the to-do list when someone visits.   
Last night we headed downtown to see Nathan's brother who was in town for a band convention (we're a whole family of band geeks).  The restaurant we went to (Giordano's...mmmm) had a 45 minute wait...so during the wait we decided to show Jonathan the Bean.  I had bubby strapped in the Baby Bjorn, in his lion hat, wrapped in a blanket and we trekked all over Millenium Park.  I snapped a couple quick pics...and said goodbye to the Bean.  



I am {really} going to miss this city.  

And this pic has nothing to do with the Bean...but it was taken at dinner last night.  Behold, I give you Nathan and his brother Jonathan...in all their geeky glory. 


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Buongiorno! Aloha! Guten Tag!

I am a curious person by nature...so it should come as no surprise that I wanna know who is out there reading my crazy rants.  So...time for all you quiet followers, blog stalkers, shadow dwellers...and heck, even all my long-time friends to come out and say hello!   Leave a comment...tell me your name, how you found my blog, and what your favorite Christmas treat is.  

And to bribe you I'll share one of my favorite hilarious photos with you:

 Help! Help! My mommy won't stop taking pictures of me!!

Seriously...makes my laugh out loud EVERY time I see it...oh man.  Tears are accompanying this laughter tonight...TEARS I tell you! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

All systems go

Well, we have a passport for Miles.  His passport picture is seriously hilarious...I had forgotten how funny it was until we went to go sign his passport for him.  It looks like a baby mug shot.  I will post a pic of it when I think of it.  We mailed off our Visa applications (turns out mine was never mailed...the Navy travel office kept mine so mine and Miles' could be mailed together) and those should hopefully be back the 30th.  Which would be nice since we're leaving town the 30th to spend some time with family.  We also have our plane tickets to Naples...we leave on the 10th of January. 
The reality of all this hit me yesterday and I had a bit of a meltdown.  Ok...more than a bit.  But things are a little better today. I just got overwhelmed with everything that has to happen before we get on the Italy bound plane...sorting, packing, painting, cleaning, Christmas, my birthday and a 1500 mile drive on I-80 in the winter...I get heartburn just thinking about it.
I'm nervous but excited for the adventure that lies ahead of us.  I am heartbroken to leave our home here...I really do love it; which is so funny considering I didn't want to move here.  I am just hoping I'll fall in love with Italy just like I fell in love with Chicago. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Photogenic

Our little guy is fantastically adorable...and quite photogenic as it turns out.   The morning of our Temple Sealing we had a friend take some family photos.  I got the disk in the mail last week...and they are awesome.  Seriously awesome.  It could be that there is {finally} an adorable mini person in our pics...you don't have to just stare at Nathan and I or our kitties (who have all been adorable as well...but you know what I mean) 

Here are a few so you can gaze at our adorable little guy.






all photos by Bryn Stucki Photography...isn't she good??

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Dear parents of the world:

I feel like I have a little more clout now that I can be counted among you.  And that I have not committed the following offense.  I have one SIMPLE request:

STOP GIVING
YOUR KIDS
STUPID NAMES!

Seriously.  

I get the whole "wanna be unique" thing...you don't want your little darling to be one of six John's in his kindergarten class.  But you don't want him to be scarred for life with a name that is just plain cruel.   You don't want him to go to Disney World and have them not be able to put his name on a set of ears because NO ONE ELSE BUT YOU can spell, let alone pronounce it. 

My most recent head-scratchers:

Breauxdee  
(pronounced Brody...oh, and the kid was a boy.  He's gonna be a stripper)
Harvmit  
(totally no clue on this one...)
Mere 
(pronounced Mary)

If you want to hear more about bad baby names (and to check if your kid's name makes the list) go check out Bad Baby Names.  To see their Guide to Bad Baby Names you can go HERE

Do you have any bad baby names you want to add?  Please do... I love a good chuckle.  


I feel I must make a disclaimer that if you choose to name your poor child something wacko, it doesn't mean your kid isn't cute.  And let's hope they are...because a horrible name is gonna make their life hard enough as it is.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Moving along

Preparations for the move are coming along...we are still waiting for a passport & visa for Miles.  This was causing me terrible amounts of stress.  You see, to move to Italy we have to have a Visa...in order to get a Visa you have to send in your passport with the Visa application.  The Italian consulate here in Chicago takes 20 days to return a Visa (um...yeah "20 days" it's been almost 25 and we're still waiting for mine...) I was worried that the packout days & the travel day would come and go and we'd have no documentation for Miles so Nathan would have to go ahead to Italy by himself and then I'd follow once we got the paperwork.  Yeah, uh huh...I'd have to do a trans-Atlantic flight...with a 7.5 month old...and a cat...and a litterbox...and a stroller & carseat...and 2 carryons & 4 checked bags...BY MYSELF.  Yep....now you are understanding my stress.  So to help we set a deadline: if his passport isn't back by this Friday we're pushing the move back.  We talked to Nathan's bosses and explained the situation and they were totally awesome (whoah...80's flashbacks) about the whole thing.  They said they'd just modify his orders and send us a couple/few weeks later.  (insert HUGE sigh of relief on my part)

Part of me hopes it comes in time...and another part doesn't.  I {really} love it here and I would not cry at all if we had to stay another couple weeks.  The other part of me just wants to get it done and over with.  Get packed, moved and settled in our new home.  So I guess we'll just make the best of whatever happens. 

You wanna see something funny?  I was curious how many miles it was from Chicago to Naples so I typed it into MapQuest...this is what I got: (click on it to make it bigger)


Here is the funny part...a wee bit bigger:
HA HA!  Should I tell the Navy this?  And on another note...that is super far away (4,943 miles to be exact...5.884 miles from Salt Lake) 

Thursday, December 01, 2011

A single, courageous act

Today, I am grateful for the courageous act of a woman that took place fifty six years ago.  I'm grateful that she stood up (out of defiance or fatigue or whatever) and said no, I won't move from this seat.  I am grateful that because of her act, a major civil rights campaign kicked off to give equal rights to everyone regardless of skin color.  I am grateful that because of that my son has every right to expect equal treatment under the law.  I am grateful that he can go to any school he wants, study whatever he wants and sit in whatever seat on the bus he wants.  

God bless Rosa Parks.

Brought to you by adoption

As this National Adoption Month draws to a close, here is a reminder of just why adoption is awesome. 



Remember that adoption is
always and forever
about {LOVE}

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days of Thankful: 2011 Edition






Nov 1 - My parents.  Today is their wedding anniversary.  If they hadn't met, fell in love, gotten married and decided to start a family - I wouldn't be here!  (and what a sad world that would be!)

Nov 2 -I'm so glad when daddy comes home.  No...seriously.  Cute, adorable little Miles has been a stinker today.  As soon as daddy walked through the door??  Not so much.  He sure loves his daddy and for that I am grateful!

Nov 3 - Stay at home mom - I am happy to have the opportunity to stay home with our sweet Miles.  Today is rainy and dreary and I've always loved to stay home those days...in jammies, snuggle my babies...I love that I can stay home with them.

Nov 4 - Adoption Friends - We had a Girl's Night Out tonight with my adoption peeps...it's so nice to hang out with ladies that just get it. 

Nov 5 - Beautiful Fall Days - We took a nice, long walk outside today...and we didn't even need coats!!  In Chicago!!  In NOVEMBER!!!  Wahoo!!

Nov 6 - Patience - Enough said. 

Nov 7 - Healthy Marriage - I am thankful for a healthy marriage.  It's not always sunshine and roses...and we've had our rough patches.  But overall our marriage is healthy.  After hearing and seeing some friends who are struggling horribly in not healthy marriages...it makes me VERY grateful for ours. 

Nov 8 - Considerate Doctors & Nurses - I had a doctor's appointment this morning.  My doctor called in sick and her nurse was nice enough to call and let me know so I didn't drive all the way in (40 mins) to the base.  Nice people make the world so much better!

Nov 9 - Heat - All of a sudden it got cold here in Chicago...and knowing I could simply flip a switch to make our house warm (instead of having to build a fire like in Pioneer times) was awesome.

Nov 10 - Supportive People - I am the Enrichment Leader for our Ward and we have our Super Saturday coming up...it is ONE HUGE project...I am so grateful to have awesome assistants to help make the load easier to carry. 

Nov 11 - Veterans in my life - My grandfather who served in WWII in the Army's 13th Armored Division, my old neighbor George Sant who also served in WWII.  And most of all my sweet hubby who currently serves in the US Navy. 

Nov 12 - Friends - I am so blessed to have so many people, near and far that I am lucky enough to be able to call my friends. 

Nov 13 - Church Family - We really lucked out when we moved into this Ward.  We've had our share of bad, mediocre and good Wards...this one is awesome.  I think it is NO accident that we are here now...and that we were here when we went though what we went through the first part of this year.  Today while I was sitting in church I got teary thinking we only have a few short weeks left with these wonderful people. 

Nov 14 - Schedule - I'm grateful for Miles and his sleeping/eating schedule.  It makes him happy...and a happy baby means a happy mommy. 

Nov 15 - Washer & Dryer - I am so glad to have a washer and dryer in our home.  I love the smell of clothes right out of the dryer...something I will no doubt miss when in Italy (no dryer...we will line dry everything)

Nov 16 - Adoption - Today I am grateful for the MIRACLE of adoption. Six months ago today our sweet Miles was born and his wonderful birthmother mad the choice to place him in our arms.  Adoption rocks. 

Nov 17 - Kind Comments - I'm always thankful for kind comments from strangers/lurkers on my blog...they are definitely better than mean comments.

Nov 18 - My Family - I was overwhelmed today with love for my boys...Nathan, Miles & Winston.  I am so blessed to have the sweet little family that I do. 

Nov 26 - Little Things - Today I am thankful for the fun things we get to do now that we finally have a child.  We took Miles to see Santa at the mall today...standing in line I got all teary.  It was one of the things I had looked forward to doing for SO LONG.  Yay for kids and Santa!!
(I missed a few days near the end...we were preparing for our international move)

Diverticu-what-is?

I have this problem...not sure why...but my body seems to target holidays to get sick.  Remember Halloween 2010?  I also remember once or twice being so sick on Christmas growing up that I didn't care about opening presents.  So it should not surprise me when I got sick over Thanksgiving.  

Sunday the 20th I started getting a stomach ache...I chalked it up to stress and went to bed.  I woke up Monday feeling like I had a ball of nails sitting in my stomach.  I immediately thought I had another ovarian cyst and figured I could tough it out...afterall there is NOTHING they can do for them except drug you.  So you end up spending hours in the ER, getting poked, prodded and gawked at...all for naught.  We had to run up to the base to drop off Miles' passport application (we FINALLY got his birth certificate...2 months after we finalized...and that was the "expedited" {read: expensive} timeframe) and while we were there I knew I wasn't going to be able to tough this one out...something was wrong.  I could feel a large, hard something if I pressed on my lower left stomach...and it felt like a million tiny knives were stabbing me on the inside.  I was pissed...I didn't want another solid cyst that would require surgery...but I was in SEVERE pain so we headed to the Navy Hospital.   The doc I saw was really good...and after exams, blood work and tests I was expecting to hear "ovarian cyst" but instead he said Diverticulitis.  Um...come again?  (The lining of your colon gets inflamed and infected) He said it was unusual - it's usually a disease people over 60 get - but all the tests pointed to Diverticulitis.   He got me an Rx for two antibiotics (one was the antibiotic they give to people who have been exposed to Anthrax...) and an opiate pain killer.  He wanted me back the next morning...and he wanted me to go home and REST (Diverticulitis can be dangerous if your colon ruptures and all that gross stuff leaks into your abdominal cavity) so Nathan took the day off to spend with Miles so I could rest.  I loaded up on the drugs and tried to sleep.  Tried.  Let me tell you - that antibiotic mixed with the pain killer was HORRIBLE.  I was dizzy and nauseous and I couldn't fall asleep for the life of me.  Not to mention the pain never went away so I could never get comfortable.  Every time I moved or breathed I felt lots of little stabbies.  

I went back the next morning still in tremendous amounts of pain...and the diagnosis was still the same.  Come to find out my parents both have diverticuli (pouches in the colon walls) so it isn't a total surprise that I got sick.  But after discussing my diet with the doctor (which has recently been modified because of my pre-diabetes diagnosis...I never mentioned that?  Ya...sucks.  I found out the week before Halloween after a routine blood test) we discovered that my Diverticulitis was caused by the 3 tomatoes and 1.5 pints of raspberries I ate on Saturday.  I was being punished for eating healthy.   (ok...I know that's not actually true, but it's funny to say)

We skipped the traditional Thanksgiving activities (poor Nathan)...I spent the week in a drug-induced semi-conscious pain filled ball on the couch.  For Thanksgiving dinner I had a glass of juice and a couple saltines.  Yummy.  So we had a make-up Turkey dinner on Sunday...and the turkey I cooked - HOLY MOSES was it awesome.  (Stuffed the body cavity with lemons, clementines, garlic and onions...basted the turkey every 20 mins...covered skin with butter)  My tummy still isn't 100%...but at least I can eat solid food again! 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I believe in Santa

Today I got to do something I've looked forward to FOR YEARS.  

When you go through infertility you constantly think about what you would do with a child in your life.  The longer you wait the more you think of your "Baby Bucket List."   I wanted to go to a parade (check!), see fireworks (check!), color eggs, run through sprinklers, dress in coordinating Halloween costumes (check!) and see Santa.  

Today we got up, dressed Miles in his adorable denim overalls, did his hair, put on his cute little tennis shoes and went in search of a good Santa.  Luckily the Santa at the mall near our house was awesome.  (I didn't want some crackpot in a fake beard...I wanted a REAL SANTA)  This guy was good...we also got a tip about a Santa with a curly mustache at another mall.  We may have multiple Santa visits before this season is up.  

Miles was FASCINATED by Santa.  We finally got some smiles out of him...but he mostly just wanted to yank on the beard.    


Poor Santa...all those smiles and that beard tugging tuckered him out!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Day

Happy Turkey Day from our turkeys:


To you!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cold Risotto

I want to share this post again...it is from last year's National Adoption Month postings.  This is the post on which I got my first negative adoption comment...it made me feel sort of official.  It is also an important read.   



I starting stalking Jill over at The Happiest Sad about nine/ten months ago.  I don't think I was ever gutsy enough to leave a comment (I stalk a LOT of blogs and I don't want people I don't know to think I'm a creeper) but I enjoyed reading her posts.  When I was deciding what I wanted to post during National Adoption Month a specific post of hers came to mind.  Before I post her work of genious (and that is what it is)...let me give you a little background.  In the adoption world, there are people who love it and people who hate it.  I remember being surprised the first time I googled "adoption" and found page after page of people berating the women who had "abandoned" their babies and calling the adoptive parents "baby stealers" and my heart sunk when I read of adult adoptees who said they wish they had been aborted instead of placed for adoption (SERIOUSLY!).   I remember wishing I could go back to my blissfully ignorant state where I thought everyone loved adoption and it was all sunshine and rainbows.  But now, I'm glad I've read the other side.  It makes me more aware and more prepared...knowing that there are still those people out there.  But it does make me sad that someone had such a horrible experience with something that can be SO wonderful. 

Ok, so here is Jill's post.  It is called Cold Risotto.  It is long, but oh, so worth it.  If after you read it you are left hungry for more you can read more on her blog, The Happiest Sad.

Cold Risotto
Today, I have a story for you. It's made-up but I think it's a good story. I promise there's a point to it. Here it goes. (My sincerest apologies if your name happens to be Susan. It's a lovely name.)

Once upon a time, a woman - let's call her Susan - went to a restaurant. Susan was very, very hungry. Some people might have thought she was stupid to go to a restaurant when most people cook for themselves, but that was Susan's business, not theirs, and for one reason or other, Susan was going to a restaurant for dinner.

Susan's waitress was very friendly right off the bat. She made Susan feel welcome and kept her water glass full and took her order and promised it would be out shortly. Excited and, as I said, very hungry, Susan eagerly awaited her risotto. She was so hungry, she thought this risotto was going to be the best thing in the world. As she waited, she had visions of risotto dancing in her head and all she could think of was how happy she'd be once the waitress brought out her dish.

Some time passed, and suddenly the waitress was getting as crabby as Susan was. Finally, after half an hour or more, the waitress slammed down a dish of cold risotto and the bill and stalked away. Susan was stunned. And the risotto, in addition to being rather cold, was quite possibly the most disgusting dish of risotto ever served in the history of food.

Susan was, understandably, appalled. She complained to management. The manager was appalled as well, and tried to explain things. Shortly after Susan's order had been placed, the chef quit. The waitress received a phone call from her boyfriend, who dumped her - on the phone, and while she was at work! The manager assured Susan that her dinner was an exception, not the norm. This was a top-notch restaurant with a good reputation. He offered to comp the dinner and pushed a gift card at Susan in the hopes that she would give them another try and see that their restaurant was not as bad as all that.

But Susan was unable to get past her cold risotto experience. She told every person she knew about it. She blogged about what a horrible restaurant it was, and how no one should ever eat there. When people mentioned to her that they'd eaten there and had a lovely time, she railed at them that they must be stupid not to see what a terrible restaurant it was, and she harassed those people repeatedly and with great force about what a bad decision they'd made. She ridiculed them for their naiveté. She found their personal blogs and left numerous comments about what idiots they were to even consider eating at that restaurant again. In Susan's opinion, this restaurant should be closed down immediately and not allowed to open again until changes were made to ensure that no one would ever be served cold risotto again - in fact, they shouldn't even serve risotto. Susan decided to make it her life's work to speak out against the restaurant, and she couldn't understand why the whole world didn't join in her crusade.

Now, you're probably wondering why on earth I am blathering on about snippy Susan and her cold risotto. Susan sounds like a real piece of work, doesn't she? Because really, who could have such an ego as to assume that if they had a bad experience somewhere, no one else should even consider that place?

Let's change the subject for a second, and then I'll get back to Susan.

Sorry, that's a terrible segue. Here's a better one.



That is an awesome Segway.


Anyway.


I have a great experience with adoption. I think it's wonderful. I might not tell the entire world to eat at this restaurant called adoption, but if I knew someone was hungry and didn't know where to eat, I would certainly tell them to consider eating there. I would tell them about my experience so they would know that, even though it serves up the occasional dish of cold risotto, eating out isn't a hazardous thing. It can be, but it doesn't have to be.

But I have noticed that there are a number of Susans in the adoption world - on-line, in any case, and they are just as snippy and unyielding and very much against the institution that they feel wronged them so much. They got cold risotto. And that's not fair, and I won't argue that point. What I take exception to is these Susans (allow me to apologize if your name happens to be Susan) who go on-line and tell hungry people that they need to learn how to cook because restaurants are inherently wrong. I don't like hungry people being told they're going to get food poisoning if they eat out.

You know what? I can't stop these people. I know there are people out there for whom adoption has not been a good thing. I feel sorry for them. The things that have happened to some people are unfair, wrong, and shouldn't happen to anyone. But I get tired of them insisting that adoption is a bad thing, refusing to believe that it can be an amazing and wonderful thing, simply because it wasn't for them.

Adoption was the best thing in the world for my little Roo. It was the best thing in the world for my mother. And it was the best thing in the world for probably close to 100 little children I can think of just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are countless others for whom it was also the best. We're all happy with our risotto. We are proof that the restaurant isn't a bad place, that the risotto isn't always cold and that, just the opposite, it's frequently the best dish on the menu.

Susan's risotto was bad, but that doesn't mean I'm going to let her tell me that my risotto was a mistake and that I'm going to regret it for the rest of my life and that I "lost" my appetite to risotto.

For every horrible, traumatic, food-poisoning story you hear about adoption, there are probably ten thousand stories or the best dinner ever that no one ever tells. Cold risotto makes for good news. A cozy family meal interests no one.

Is adoption always the right, best, most wonderful thing in the world? Nope. Because it involves people, and people are imperfect. But I think each hungry person should be able to decide for him- or herself how best to have dinner.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hoping to Adopt: Que, Brittany & Liam

Wanna hear something funny about this one?  I had never met Brittany in person until just a few months ago...at the National FSA Conference.  I had been staking her blog for a while..then it went private and I was too chicken to ask for an invite.  Then it was public again, I friended her on Facebook and we became adoption peeps.  She posts a lot about adoption - and I always appreciate her insights.  But I'd read her blog anyway...just for pics of their adorable little Liam...he is a stud.  



We are Que and Brittany and we met as teenagers in 1995.  In 1998, Que left to be an LDS missionary in Bolivia and we wrote each other for two years.  When he returned, we married in the spring of 2001.  In 2009, our son Liam came into our family through the miracle of adoption!  He will always know how much his birth family loves him.  Right now, we are hoping to adopt, again!  We have an open adoption with several members of Liam's birth family and hope to have another open adoption.  (Although we are willing to be matched with a birth family who wants little or no contact with us.)  Check out our blog to learn more about us as a family, Liam's adoption or just to find out what-in-the-world is up with Que's name.  :)  We'd love to have you stop by!

Que & Brittany 

Adoption is about love!
Check out our blog and spread the word to help our family grow!
queandbrittany.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Imagine

As with a lot of my National Adoption Month posts...I've put this up before.  But I just LOVE it so much.  So many people think adopted kids are screwed up...that their lives will always be horrible, suffering, miserable existences.  Seriously...just google adoption and you'll find (too) MANY blogs dedicated to negative adoption experiences.  They call us baby stealers...adoptees say they would have rather been aborted than adopted...and much worse.  It makes my heart hurt.  But I know that isn't the case.  Adoption can be sad...and hard, but it can also be WONDERFUL and AWESOME.  We fall in the second group.  Adoption has blessed our lives in so many ways.

So here it is...I could watch this 100 times in a row.  Gives me goosebumps everytime.




Saturday, November 12, 2011

If you can hold on...

10 years ago tonight Nathan took me to Ruby Tuesday for dinner (don't judge...in the bursting metropolis of Logan Ruby Tuesday was hoity toity...and I actually still really like it).  He acted distracted the whole meal...mostly watching the Utah Jazz game on the TV mounted on the wall behind my head.  It kinda pissed me off.  Ok, not kinda...it did.  After dinner he said he wanted to drive up on the foothills to "look at the lights of the city"...did I wanna come?  We found a good spot, got out to admire the pretty view (of course we got out of the car...what did you THINK we were going to do??!?  Sickos  teehee)  and I asked him if he would be asking me something big anytime soon (you have to understand...I had already purchased my dress...we knew it was going to happen...and I am impatient...and I pretty much asked him every day).  He told me "Well if you can hold on for just one sec I've got a question I wanna ask you."

I said yes.  :)

Then I told him to turn on the headlights...I couldn't see my ring!  I hadn't seen my ring yet because {{I}} didn't pick my ring out.  I have always thought that if a guy doesn't know what kind of ring you would like to wear for the rest of your life...he doesn't know you well enough to be asking you to marry him. 

As for the proposal, I was totally surprised...I honestly thought it was going to happen the following night when he was taking me to Seven Brides for Seven Brothers...I mean, come on...BRIDES??  He had asked me to that play WEEKS before...and had made a big deal out of it.  Our dinner to Ruby Tuesday had been last minute...I didn't even really do my hair.  And I was wearing fleece.  Ah well...I guess we just do things differently...we always have and probably always will.   

Love you sweetie.  I'd say yes again today.  


Friday, November 11, 2011

Hoping to Adopt: Dustinn, Valery, Bradshaw & Olivia

I met Dustinn and Valery last September at an FSA Activity.  They had recently moved to the area and wanted to find some adoption friends.  We had just experienced the loss of the twins and Valery was SO supportive and kind.  Over the last year we've spent more time together, and the more we get to know them, the more we love them!  They are fantastic parents to their two children: Bradshaw & Olivia and I know additional children will be given the same love and attention.  



Hellooooo,

We are Dustinn-Val-Bradshaw-Olivia, a family hoping to grow through the miracle of adoption!  As a family we have a lot of fun playing at the beach, riding bikes, and wrestling. Dustinn and Val met in college and have been married 7 years. Bradshaw is 4, Olivia is 2, and they do everything together--including get in to mischief together. Bradshaw remembers when we were blessed to adopt Olivia, so he prays at night that we'll adopt a little brother/sister to play with.

We live in the suburbs of Chicago in what we consider the best of all worlds.  :)  We have the urban experience of being able to walk to anything your heart desires (craft store, Parisienne bakery, theater, sushi, libraries) while only living two blocks from the beach!  

We love life and cherish every day with Bradshaw and Olivia.    

If you know an expectant parent considering adoption and think that our family may be a good match, please welcome them to contact us or find out more: 

Check out our profile on LDS Family Services here.
Check out our adoption blog (work in progress) here.
Or email: dustinnandvalery@gmail.com

with love,
Dustinn, Valery, Bradshaw & Olivia

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Australia

I have posted this before...but I LOVE it so much.  I think it gives someone not directly involved with adoption an idea of what it's like in our world.  
 
& again on November 9, 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, November 05, 2011

Famous...again!

Guess whose picture is the Adoptive Families Magazine's Daily Photo for today??  



MILES!!

And guess whose picture they used when they put the reminder on their Facebook page about the Halloween Photo Contest...


MILES!!

Our little dude is famous!


Friday, November 04, 2011

Hoping to Adopt: Michael & Michelle

I met this couple one year ago when they attended our Walk for Adoption.  Michelle expressed an interest in helping with this year's Walk and we took her up on her offer.  We became friends and have enjoyed having them as a part of our adoption circle of friends.  They are both very kind, fun people and they will make fantastic parents.  I have also had the pleasure of meeting some of their extended family and they are wonderful!  They are all VERY supportive of Michael & Michelle's hope to adopt.  



We are Michael and Michelle and we are a fun, family-oriented couple hoping to build our family through adoption!  We have so much love to offer and cannot wait to raise a family. 

We have been together since 1999 and have been married since 2002. Our personalities complement each other.  We are different in many ways, but that seems to bring out the best in each of us. Michael is friendly and outgoing, Michelle is reserved and nurturing.  Michael is analytical and Michelle is creative.  Michael likes to tear things down and Michelle likes to create things and make them pretty.  We are constantly learning new things from each other.

We like going to Chicago White Sox games.  We bowl in a mixed league on Wednesday nights, but aren’t on the same team (Michael tells everyone it’s because he wants to win).  We go to the movies and love going to concerts with our friends.  We like to take road trips and have also traveled to Hawaii, New Orleans and the Dominican Republic.  We also enjoy going to plays at the local theater.  We can't wait to share our interests with our children!

We are really looking forward to adopting a baby!  We hope to be able to share with them their adoption story and make it part of our family's story.  We cannot wait to share our faith, our interests, our values and our love with a child.

http://michaelandmichelleadopt.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Positive Adoption Language

I've posted this list before...but now that adoption is a reality in our lives I think it is even more important for this list to reach all those we know and love.  We haven't been on the receiving end of too many hurtful comments...but when we first got Miles I can't tell you how many times close friends and family said things like "Did you meet his real mother?" or "He is so cute, how could she have given him away?" or "I love my babies too much...I could never give them away like that."  Right now it's just ME that gets my feelers prickled...but in a few years when Miles starts hearing this kind of talk...that will make me one pissed off momma bear.  He was NOT given away...his birthmom DOES love him...and {{I}} am his REAL mother (seriously...I have a court document that says I'm a mother...do you??  he he...I jest.  Kinda)

So here is a list Adoptive Families Magazine put out a few years ago.  It's simple...and has most of the offensive phrases.  You love us?  Ok..maybe, but I KNOW you love Miles.  :)  Read it.  Pass it along.  


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

National Adoption Month & 30 Days of Thankful

It's that time of year again...30 Days of Thankful AND National Adoption Month.  

Last year I think I overdid it a bit...posting every day.   It made me tired...and I'm pretty sure it made some of you tired!   I'm still going to post about adoption...but it will be less.  On Wednesdays it will be a post about something adoption related and on Fridays I'll spotlight some of our friends who are hoping to adopt.  I might throw in another adoption post here and there...should I feel so inclined.  If you wanna get in on the National Adoption Month goodness...you can!  Here are some EASY ideas of how you can spread the positive message of adoption:
  • Write a blog post featuring someone's adoption story or a couple hoping to adopt
  • Tweet about adoption
  • Do a Facebook Status raising awareness about adoption
  • Read an adoption themed book in your child's class at school
  • Ask your local library to create an adoption related book display
  • Make a donation to Blessings in a Basket or Birthmother Baskets
  • Attend a local adoption event (find them here)



And as far as the 30 Days of Thankful...I'll be putting those up...they'll be in the '30 Days of Thankful' tab up near the top.  At the end of the month, I'll post them all (in case you missed them...I know you'll want to read them...cause you love me)  You wanna join in on the Thankful good time?  I'd love to have you!

If you're going to participate in either National Adoption Month or 30 Days of Thankful...leave a comment with your blog address or Twitter feed and I'll link you to my side bar!


Monday, October 31, 2011

{eternal}

(this post will be heavy on LDS jargon...if you're confused go HERE for some explanations...or email me!)

The day we mailed our adoption application I could never have hoped that exactly two years later I'd be dressed in white, surrounded by loved ones, kneeling across the altar from my sweetheart, having our sweet baby sealed to us for all eternity. 


Saturday October 22nd, our family was made eternal.  It was such a {sweet} experience.  When you discover you will not be able to give birth (don't ever say 'have your own children' it's mean...Miles IS my own) you have to mourn several things.   There are wonderful events we will never get to experience because of our infertility.  BUT there is one thing that we get to experience that others don't...a Temple Sealing.  We get to dress in white as a family, be surrounded by those who love us, and kneel across the alter from each other while we are sealed together FOREVER.   The Temple President was the one who sealed us...which is super cool.  He and his wife adopted children so they understood what it was like to be in our shoes.  Plus we had developed a pretty good relationship with them when we worked in the Temple.  Miles was an angel during the sealing.  He was so alert and attentive, it was as if he knew EXACTLY what was happening.  It's easy to understand when you think that he was just recently in God's presence...he's much closer to the Spirit than us adults. 

Photo by me.  :)

The weather was BEAUTIFUL that day.  Clear, blue sky and it wasn't freezing!  We had many people travel from near and far to be with us on that special day, and it meant the world to us. Here is a photo of most of them...a few snuck away before we could take the picture. 

Photo by Bryn Stucki

The following day Nathan got to realize a dream when he took Miles in his arms and gave him a blessing.  That was something he had longed to do for many, many years.  In fact I think there were moments he wondered if he'd ever get to give a child a blessing.  The blessing was tender...he blessed Miles to be kind, which is something both of us feel strongly is important.  His voice trembled and tears were shed - by more than one eye.  And once again, Miles was an angel.  One of the men at church who stood in the circle told me that when the blessing was finished, Miles looked up and around the circle of men who held him...taking time to look at each face.  Again, I think he recognized the importance of what was happening.  He's a special little guy. 

Photo by me.  :)

Happy Halloween!!


How to train your...wait...or has he trained us??

We have been getting our Halloween on all weekend...here we are at our Ward's Trunk or Treat. 



And yes...we took Miles around and collected candy.  Isn't that why parents let their kids GO trick or treating??  To plunder the spoils??  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Family Photos

While we were in Utah in August we had photos taken of my family...we figured it may be 3-4 years before we get the opportunity to do it again so we jumped on it. 

Here are a few of my favorites. 










Sunday, October 16, 2011

12 Days of Halloween

Have I mentioned before that I {love} Halloween??  Well, I do.  And I love singing to Miles while he eats his nighttime bottle.  I sing Primary songs, classic lullabyes...as well as Beatles, Maroon 5, Dave Matthews Band...and others.  But for some reason the other night the 12 Days of Christmas was stuck in my head so I sung it to him.  Then I thought...are you PSYCHO?!??  It's OCTOBER!  So I decided to make up a Halloween version.  Here are the lyrics I used:

12 trick-or-treaters
11 bloody vampires
10 bats a-flapping
9 werewolves howling
8 mummies groaning
7 ghosts a-haunting
6 witches cack'ling
5 jack-o-lanterns
4 dismembered heads
3 skeletons
2 scaredy cats
and a raven in a dead tree


So now if you get the urge to sing a Halloween lullaby to your little one...you have some words. 

Buahaha!!