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 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 was tough.  Especially watching friends from high school each turning 30 and being surrounded by children or working at fabulous 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 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 all their geeky glory. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Buongiorno! Aloha! Guten Tag!

I am a curious person by 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


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 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:



I get the whole "wanna be unique" 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:

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