Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A non-update

I got an e-mail from our agency a little while ago, from the woman who sends out the Friday updates. She apologized for the missing Friday update last week, but apparently she had some sort of medical issue and has been out of the office for several days. Her email didn't mention referrals, she just said that she's behind and is working to catch up.

I suppose it's too much to hope that there is a referral for us sitting on her desk that she just hasn't gotten to. :)

Anyway, there's the non-update from the agency. Hopefully there will be more news on Friday.

In duck news, I think the mama duck may be incubating her eggs now! I'm not positive though. She's been sitting on them a lot for the past couple of days and I thought for sure that she was sitting on them full time now, but then she's been gone a lot today, so maybe she's still not done laying them yet. She's got a good pile of them now though, I think I counted nine yesterday. Once she starts incubating them it takes around 28 days for them to hatch. So I'm expecting to see ducks around the end of April or the first few days of May!

I wonder which will come first, the baby ducks or our referral???


Another week is upon us and that means that we're one week closer to our referral. We've almost make it through another month as well! April just might be our referral month. Realizing that we may really be within weeks of getting our referral gives me butterflies in my stomach. I'm so excited and SO ready. As far as I'm aware we're still #3, but as we saw last month, that can change quickly, so you never know what's going to happen.

This week the kids are finally back in school after a month of being on track break. I've enjoyed having them home, but it's nice to be back on a schedule and I think the kids were ready to get back to school. Thankfully I have kids who love school. Hopefully that continues as they get older!

I have several things going on this week, one of them being my birthday! I turn 34 this Saturday. It's kind of been a tradition for us to rent a cabin in the mountains for my birthday, which is one of my very favorite things to do, but we've decided not to do that this year. I don't want to spend that much money on a trip when I know that we're so close to our referral. Our referral will bring many exciting things and one crappy one. It comes with a gigantic bill, which is the final payment for the adoption. I would much rather have my birthday money go towards making sure we can pay that bill rather than take a vacation, since we already took a really fun vacation recently.

So we're planning to stay home, but I'm hoping to find a fun adventure for us to go on this weekend. Maybe we can go to the zoo or a movie, or go geocaching or spend some time at the park or something. Those are all things I love. The kids don't have school on Friday and I'm looking forward to a long family weekend. Who knows, maybe I'll get a referral for my birthday! :)

This week we're also in the middle of getting our homestudy updated. We were recently informed by our agency that we've now been waiting for so long that some of our homestudy info has expired. So this week we're running around getting new physicals, new background checks, we have to fill out paperwork again about our family finances and next week our social worker is coming over to do another home visit. Getting our paperwork updated won't hold up our referral, but it will be nice to get it out of our hair.

A homestudy is a surprisingly invasive procedure!! It's a hoop you have to jump that we were happy to do if it gets us to Clarissa, but it's a weird experience to go through. Our social worker (and whoever reads our file in Korea) knows absolutely every single last thing about our family. I don't think there's a single detail they didn't ask us about. When we first applied to adopt we had to fill out mountains of paperwork. It was an entire binder full of stuff. We had to fill out very detailed information about our finances, how much money we make, how much we have in savings and retirement and we had to fill out a paper on what our monthly budget looks like (they really need to know how much I spend on clothes every month?). We also had to state who would raise our kids if we should happen to die and we had to make a statement about that family members finances as well.

We each had to write a detailed life history detailing where we were born, what our family was like, how our relationship is with each family member, where and how Shawn and I met, how we handle marriage conflicts, how we parent our kids, etc. We had to fill out medical paperwork about every medication we're on, every surgery we've ever had, we had to have blood work done, including HIV tests, and our doctor had to fill out a very detailed form about our medical histories and have it notarized. We've been fingerprinted and background checked, both by the state and by the Department of Homeland Security.

Then the social worker had to come to our house and go through every room. She had to make sure that every bedroom has smoke detectors, we had to have a carbon monoxide detector by the kids rooms, she had to check out the bedroom we planned to put Clarissa in, she interviewed the kids about how they feel about us adopting and then she sat down and asked us a million more questions.

There were also a ton of other papers that had to be filled out. All sorts of questions about how we feel about raising a child of another race and how we intend to incorporate her culture into our family, etc. Seriously, I can't think of one single thing about our lives that isn't somewhere in our adoption paperwork!

It was an exhausting process and it felt very invasive at times. Having to revisit some of that this week has brought back a lot of memories of going through the process the first time. It's funny to look back and think about how naive we were about international adoption when we started the process. We felt so strongly that this was the right choice for our family, but we honestly didn't really know what we were doing when we got started! I didn't know a single thing about Korea and I had never met a single person who had adopted internationally. We had no idea what we were doing. So it's kind of been funny to revisit the homestudy process this week and reflect on how far we've come over the past year and a half.

I could practically write a novel on international adoption now. I've researched it backwards and forwards over the past year and a half. I know a ton of people who have adopted internationally now and I've soaked up every last detail of their experiences. I know so much about Korea now and I'm absolutely in love with the country and its culture. I love Korean movies, I love Korean music, I love Korean food and I love the Korean language. I feel such a connection to that country.

As hard as the wait has been, I'm really grateful for it. I know that there are still going to be surprises and unknowns ahead of us, but I feel like I'm going into this with my eyes open now. I think I've learned and grown over the past year and a half and I'm a lot more prepared for this than I would have been if the referral wait had been short. I've taken the time to really prepare myself and to educate myself and I think that's going to help with the transition when Clarissa does finally get here.

I'm not naive enough to think that I've got it all figured out though. I remember when I was pregnant with Josh. When I was growing up I was the neighborhood babysitter. I have been babysitting since I was 12. Then when I was out of high school I worked at two different daycares, I worked at a school and then I was a live in nanny for a year. I've always been really comfortable with kids. I enjoy being around children and I think I'm good with them. I totally thought I had the child raising thing all figured out. Then Josh came along and it took me about five seconds to realize that babysitting and being a mother are two completely different things! You can read about it, you can practice on other peoples kids and you can plan it out in your head all you want, but every situation is a unique experience that you can't really completely prepare for until it's your turn to experience it.

So I kind of view this adoption the same way. I've researched it, I've followed the stories of people who have been through it, I've read the experiences of Korean adoptees. I'm familiar with the ups and downs, I know what issues we're likely to face when she gets here and I know how I THINK I will handle them. But hearing about it, reading about it and planning it in your head is never the same as actually experiencing it. I think we're in for an adventure that we can't fully comprehend or completely plan for. I know what it's like to raise Josh and Matthew but I don't know what it's like to raise Clarissa. I know what other people went through when they brought their Korean babies home, but I don't know what it's going to be like to bring Clarissa home. Each experience has similarities, but is still unique.

I know that there will be sleepless nights, lots of tears (hers and mine!) and a lot of difficult adjustments that we'll all have to make. But it's a part of our life story that I can't wait to write. I know that this was the road our family was meant to take and that we're about to embark an amazing adventure. No matter where it leads us, it's a journey I'm ready to take.

Friday, March 27, 2009

No Friday update today

Bleh. I assume that means no referrals this week. Join me here again next week when I obsess all over again. :)

It's Friday again...

No news yet.

I did just read an entire book on my Ipod this morning while I'm waiting though! (My ipod touch has an Amazon Kindle application now! Woohoo!) It's called Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. It's a teenage book, really, but I enjoyed it and it gave me something to do while I wait. If you like young adult books, it's a good one.

Yesterday I told Shawn that I was craving bread from Great Harvest Bread so this morning he went out and bought some. I love my husband. He brought home some regular bread and also some banana bread, which is so ridiculously good. So I've pretty much done nothing today except read a book and eat banana bread.

Now it's almost noon and I really need to get myself moving. The kids have been happily entertaining each other all morning, but that's bound to change any moment now and I really need to get my house straightened up and do something productive this afternoon. Hopefully that will take my mind off the impending email from the agency. It seems to be coming between about 2-4 o'clock, so I still have a couple of hours before I can realistically expect it to show up.

I'll keep you posted!

Update: it's 4:25 and I still haven't gotten the e-mail. It's only 3:25 at our agency, so there's still time, but they usually don't come this late so I'm losing hope a little that there's going to be one today. Normally she sends the update even if there's nothing to report, but this same thing happened three weeks ago. I waited all day and got nothing. I don't know if it means she's out of the office or what, but I hate it when there's no Friday update. All that obsessing for nothing.

Let's cross our fingers that she's just busy and I'll hear something soon!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

DUCK EGGS! (aka return of the crazy duck lady)

There is big news at our house today! The duck eggs have returned!

If you remember from previous posts, we had a mama duck lay eggs in our yard last spring and then we had four baby ducklings for a while. There is almost nothing I love more in the world than animals, especially baby animals. I sat out with that mama duck every day for a month while she sat on those eggs last year. She got to the point where she was very comfortable with me and would let me feed her and occasionally even pet her. I bought her duck food, I put out great big Tupperware containers of water for her to splash in and I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of those ducks last spring.

Eventually the babies got old enough and the mama decided that it was time to take them somewhere else and one day they disappeared. Ducks tend to return to the same place each year, so I have been waiting all year to see if any of them would come back.

I posted a few weeks ago that a pair of ducks showed up in our yard, which happens every spring, but I never know if they're the same two ducks. We've been getting a pair of ducks in our yard every single spring since we moved here. But surely they're not the same two ducks, right? I didn't think so.

Today at least, I'm positive that the two ducks in our yard now are the same two from last year because our duck eggs are back!

The spot where the duck laid her eggs last year is in the landscaping on the side of our house in the backyard and it has fall chrysanthemums planted there. So when she was there in the spring last year it was a pretty bare area because the mums had already been removed from the previous fall and they don't grow again until September.

But this year I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't removed the dead mums yet. I didn't get to it in the fall, so I thought I'd do it in the spring, but it's been rainy lately and I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Last year the duck eggs didn't show up until April, so I thought I still had a little time.

So today it's nice and sunny and I decided that it was time to go out there and prepare the area just in case the ducks want to come back.

I moved aside a few of the dead mums and buried right in the middle of them, in the exact spot they were at last year, are duck eggs!! They're literally in the very exact spot where she put them last year. She was so determined to put them there that she pushed the dead flowers out of the way.

I know they're just duck eggs and I get way too excited about it, but I was so excited I practically jumped up and down like a little kid. :) My ducks are back!!!

Here's what I know about duck eggs from last year. What I learned is that she'll lay one egg every day until it "feels" right to her. Usually it's between 8-12 eggs by the time she's done. (Last year we had 12 but only four hatched.) She instinctively knows when she's laid enough. And then they don't start incubating until she had laid them all and starts sitting on them full time. After that it takes about 28 days for them to hatch.

Right now it looks like there are only maybe 3-4 out there and she's not sitting on them yet. At the moment she's sitting in the shade under our swing set with the male duck. Those two ducks are so cute. They go everywhere together. I love to watch them waddling around the backyard together. They usually show up in the morning for a few hours and then they leave and come back in the afternoon. They're not particularly scared of us as long as we don't bug them too much. If we get too close they'll get up and start walking away, but the kids can play in the back yard and they'll just sit on the grass and watch them as long as they don't get too close.

Once the mama duck decides that she's ready to incubate the eggs full time the daddy duck will take off. Last year he showed up occasionally to check on her, but not very often. It was actually interesting because I almost never saw him while she was incubating the eggs, but he did come back once the babies were born. He would show up in the evenings sometimes and the whole duck family would take a walk around the yard. I was really fascinated by their behavior last year. Nature is so perfect and beautiful. I love that the little duck couple stays together. I don't know how they remember where our house is or how the mama knows exactly where she laid her eggs the year before, but she does and it's amazing to me. I think today is the beginning of another fantastic adventure with our duck family!

Here are a few photos I took today. I'm going to go out and carefully remove the dead flowers, but I wanted to take a few photos before I did it. You can't really see the eggs in the photos because she has dug a hole in the ground and covered it with leaves to hide them. But they're there, they're beautiful and I couldn't possibly be more excited about it. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Korean adoption reading list

I've had requests for the reading list that was given to me by my new internet friend, and I don't think he would mind me sharing it. This is a cut and paste from the e-mail I got from him yesterday, so the comments are his, not mine. I really appreciate him passing this on to me. I hope that some of you can benefit from it too!

-After The Morning Calm: Reflections of Korean Adoptees (Dr. Sook Wilkinson and Nancy Fox, Editors) This is a collection of short essays written by adoptees at various points in their lives, but generally at stages where they are comfortable with who they are and are willing to share their stories

-Once They Hear My Name: Korean Adoptees and their Journeys Toward Identity (Ellen Lee, Marilyn Lammert, and Mary Anne Hess, Editors) Much longer stories of the lives of a handful of adoptees. They share their hearts and their struggles with the readers here. A very moving collection.

-The Language of Blood: A Memoir (by Jane Jeong Trenka) This was a very important book for me. It was the first memoir of an adoptee that I had read, and it was excellently written. I think that many adoptees have read this book and certainly connected with it in some way. I greatly appreciate her sharing her life with the world. (Side note: she is the founder of TRACK and is currently living in Korea... I had the pleasure of having lunch with her while I was living in Seoul).

-Beyond Good Intentions: A Mother Reflects on Raising Internationally Adopted Children (by Cheri Register) I have not read through this entire book, but I certainly think that some of the points that she touches on are important.

-Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption (Jane Jeong Trenka, Julia Chinyere Oparah, and Sun Yung Shin, Editors) This is a collection of essays written by transracial adoptees, some Korean, some Vietnamese, Chinese, and African-American. Many great stories in this collection.

-I Wish for You a Beautiful Life (Sara Dorow, Editor) If you are interested in hearing the voices of the mothers in Korea who are giving their childeren up, this collection of letters will give you a small picture of their thoughts. It's a collection of letters (written for their children as a sort of coping method) that a specific "safe house" for pregnant women has saved and shared with us. The views expressed in this book are dominantly Christian.

-First Person Plural (Deann Borshay) This is not a book, this is a documentary. I highly suggest watching this. It was a very important video at the time of its release, but I think that a lot of the sentiments expressed in this still ring true. Being an educational video, it is very expensive to purchase, but your local library should have a copy, and if not, I'm sure they could order it.

The study of Life

I've said it before, but I'm a huge fan of documentaries. I've probably seen hundreds of them. I'm generally just fascinated by people and by their stories. I think everyone, no matter who you are or what has happened in your life, has some sort of interesting story to tell, and whatever it is, I probably want to hear about it! I've seen documentaries about all sorts of different things. I like to know about people. I like to know what makes people tick and I like to see life from different points of view.

So anyway, being the documentary lover that I am, I'm a big fan of Netflix and their Watch it Now option. There are hundreds of documentaries on Netflix that you can watch online if you're a subscriber and I've worked my way through a good number of them in the past year or two. There are also thousands more that you can rent through Netflix in the mail. Netflix is my friend. :)

Today it's rainy outside and the kids decided that they wanted to watch a movie (they're still on track break), so I got them set up and then I decided to sit down and watch a documentary. I discovered a new documentary on Netflix called "Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father". I knew nothing about it but I'm always happy when Netflix gets something new, so I watched it.

WOW. It was an absolutely heartbreaking story that I'm not even going to go into here because it's disturbing, but it was also extremely eye opening about the legal system in Canada. If you live in Canada and aren't familiar with the story, I encourage you to at least get the basic details and consider writing to your member of Parliament about bail reform because something screwy is going on in that country and it needs to be fixed.

The extremely short version is that someone who was accused of murder and should have been in jail pending trial was let out on bail when they quite obviously shouldn't have been, and the consequences were horrific. It was an extremely well done documentary that I was really impressed with, but I also wasn't prepared for it because I wasn't aware of the story before I started watching it. I highly reccomend the documentary because of the lesson that can be learned from it and the good that can come from people being aware of a problem like that and doing something to fix it, but don't watch it unless you're prepared to handle an extremely disturbing story.

I have a hard time hearing about things like that, but on the other hand I think it's important to be aware of what's going on in the world because nothing will change if people don't do something to change it. The living victims of that case are now doing so much good in the world, trying to prevent what happened to them from happening again. I admire people like that and I think it's those kinds of stories that are the reason I like documentaries so much.

I'm interested in what happens to people in their lives and what they do with the circumstances they've been given. There's a quote in the documentary that says "I think that God puts some people on the Earth to be an example to others" and I think maybe that's true. I think of people like John Walsh and Marc Klaas are perfect of examples of people who have managed to turn something horrific into something that has helped so many people. I'm not sure how they do it, but I'm glad they do.

Two of my very favorite books of all time are Man's Search For Meaning, by Viktor Frankl and The Hiding Place by Corie Ten Boom. Both are stories of people who survived Nazi concentration camps during WWII. Again, disturbing details, but worth hearing about for the lessons that can be learned from it. It's strange to say that two books about Nazi concentration camps are the two books I read when I need to be uplifted, but it's true. Both stories are about people who refused to let their circumstances dictate their happiness in life. I read those books when I'm feeling sorry for myself about something stupid. It reminds me that I have nothing in life to complain about and it those people can find happiness in Nazi concentration camps, I need to slap a smile on my face and stop whining about petty things.

Anyway, I'm still completely disturbed by the documentary I saw today, but I took important lessons from it and that's always good.

So that's story number one. Story number two is sort of along those same lines, only not so disturbing! Yesterday I got the amazing opportunity to "meet" (online) a man who was adopted from Korea as a baby and hear some of his experiences being a Korean adoptee. I hear about parents who have adopted children from Korea all the time, but until yesterday I've never gotten to have a discussion with someone who knows what it's like to be on the other side of it, so it was a really wonderful learning experience for me. His point of view is fascinating to me. I just want to crawl into his head for a while and see all his life experiences. The information he gave me was really valuable and did a lot to help me see things from the other side. I needed to hear from him. I think a lot of times people don't realize how much their life stories can benefit others. I think we all have something to learn from each other and I think that's why I'm so constantly fascinated by people. He listed several books for me to read about Korean adoptees and I'm dying to jump into them.

I appreciate people who are willing to put their lives out there for the benefit of others. I appreciate people who agree to be the subject of a documentary, I appreciate people who share their lives in blogs and I appreciate people who let me pick their brains about what it's like to live their life.

So the moral of my story today is that we all have a valuable life experience to share. We all have a unique point of view that can probably benefit someone else. So find a way to share it! :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Adoption hormones

I don't really feel well today, so I've been lounging around the house all day watching too much TV.

This morning I was flipping channels and came across an episode of True Life on MTV about two pregnant teens who were preparing to place their babies for adoption. It was a really sad episode and it's been on my mind all day.

Then tonight we were watching Secret Life Of An American Teenager, which is the cheesiest show in the universe, but also about a teenage mother trying to decide what to do with her baby. I'm several episodes behind, so no one tell me if she decides on adoption or not until I catch up, but I was watching the episode where she finds out the sex of her baby and starts making it a video for it to watch some day.

I think it's partly because I don't feel well today and partly because I watched way too many sad birth mother stories today, but I finished watching that episode and bawled for half an hour. My sweet husband, who already knows that I'm far too emotional and has learned that it's no reason to panic if I suddenly burst into tears for no appparent reason, sat with me while I cried for Clarissa's birth mother and for all the women who make the extremely difficult decision not to parent their child.

I think about Clarissa's birth mother a lot, but for some reason the reality of it hit me extra hard tonight. I hurt for her so much. She has no idea where her baby is going. She doesn't know if she's going to be loved and cared for. While I'm jumping for joy that it's almost our turn for a referral there is a mother out there who is grieving for her baby, and I tonight I hurt for her.

I practically live and breathe adoption these days. I could spend forever listening to stories of families bringing home their new babies. I'm absolutely thrilled every time someone on the Korean adoption message board I visit announces their referral. I hear about adoption daily, but I mostly hear about the happy side. It's not as often that I hear the other side of it. I love Clarissa's mother so much for the sacrifice that she has made for Clarissa. I know she must be hurting. She doesn't know that there are two big brothers and two extremely excited parents waiting to love and care for her baby. I hope that someday she will know. There will always be a file at the adoption agency in Korea that she can check if she wants to and I'll make sure that there are photos and letters in there for her when she's ready for them. I hope she knows that her daughter will be loved and cherished.

Ugh, it's ridiculous how emotional I am tonight, lol. You know when you're pregnant and a long distance telephone commercial comes on and the kid gets to talk to his dad who is on a business trip or whatever and it makes you bawl your eyes out for a half an hour even though you know that you're crazy for bawling over it? That's totally me tonight, bawling over too much birth mother TV today, only I can't even blame it on being pregnant, lol.

I'll say an extra prayer tonight for Clarissa's birth mother and for all the mothers out there who had to make that difficult decision. I hope that they find peace.


Here's what an extremely expensive camera looks like after it's been knocked off a counter by an 8 year old.

I think I'm going to cry now. :(

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Sunday of coincidences

This morning I was looking up something on youtube and I came across a video of David Archuletta singing "Be Still My Soul" and it was the absolute most beautiful version of that song I've ever heard. I'm not really an American Idol fan and I don't know all that much about David Archuletta, but I spent all morning listening to that song and I mentioned to my husband that I wished he went to our church, because I would love to hear more musical numbers from him. I had David Archuletta on my brain all morning.

Then this afternoon I went to church. I teach a class of 9 year olds at my church and when I sat down with them today they were all freaking out because David Archuletta was just standing in the foyer of our building! We live in Boise, I have absolutely no idea why he was at our church today. I thought my kids must have been making it up or something, but after church my husband said that everyone in Sunday School was talking about it. No one seemed to know what he was doing there and I don't know anyone that spoke to him, but a whole bunch of people saw him. How weird!

Then we got in the car to go home and Matthew mentioned that he got a cool pencil from his teacher for being good today, but he was bummed because it wasn't sharpened. Guess what Josh got from his teacher today? A pencil sharpener. :)

We giggled about it all the way home. :)

Friday, March 20, 2009


WOOHOO!!! I just got off the phone with the agency and we're officially #3! I can't believe how fast we've jumped from #7 to #3!!!

She did have to talk me down a little though. She said that it's really unusual for them to get this many referrals all in a row like this and it may not last. If you remember, the people that were number one when December started didn't get their referral until the end of February! So it is still possible that things could slow down again and we might still have to wait another month or two for a referral (the agency average is two a month), but we're still SO much closer than we were two weeks ago!!!

I'm practically jumping out of my skin right now I'm so excited! We're almost there!!!

It's Friday afternoon...

and we all know what that means. I'm sitting here staring at my computer and carrying my Blackberry with me everywhere I go, waiting for the Friday update e-mail from the agency. It's 1:52 here right now. Come oooooon already! We're in Idaho and our agency is in Washington though, so it's only 12:52 where they are. I just looked at last weeks e-mail and it came at 1:59. I assume that's 1:59 my time.

So this is what I do on Friday afternoons. I become the crazy person who counts minutes and stays glued to her Blackberry. Good news or bad, I'll be in a much better mood once that e-mail gets here and at least I can put it out of my mind (sort of) until next Friday.

I'll keep you posted!

Update: It's now 2:30 and there's still no e-mail. However I did just discover that I've been carrying my Blackberry around for at least an hour with the wireless connection turned off, so no mail could get through. Ooops. It's fixed now, but still no e-mail. :(

UPDATE!! It's 3:08 and I just got the e-mail. It looks like there was a referral this week!!!! Her wording confused me a little though, so I'm not positive that it makes us #3 now. I just called her and left a message and I hope she calls me back in a few minutes. We might be #3!! I'm going to make a seperate post once I know for sure. Hopefully I'll be back with more info soon!

Travel bug

I just found this one someone elses blog and thought it was cool so I decided to do it here.

There's a website you can go to where you can select the states that you've visited and it will create a map for you of the places you've been. I've never actually counted all the states I've visited, so I was surprised to find out that I've been in 25 states in my life!

A couple of them are technicalities though. I spent several hours in the Chicago airport once, so I've been to Illinois, although all I saw was the airport. I was in Minnesota last week, but all I saw there was the airport as well. I went to Texas when I was a baby, but I have no memory of it. But pretty much the rest of the states on my list are places that I've been to, explored and have memories of!

It's kind of fun to look at. I was born and raised in Idaho, so I've been to all the states surrounding Idaho a million times. I lived in New Jersey for a year as a nanny and I took every single opportunity I could to travel, so I've been to several Eastern states. Thanks to our trip last week the newest states I've visited are Arkansas and Mississippi! You can see that there's a big section of the midwest where I've never been though. One thing I would love to do someday when our kids are older is to take a long car trip across the US. I love to travel and explore and see new things and I would love for my kids to explore the US as well.

So here's my map, now go make your own! :)

visited 25 states (50%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Homestudy revisited

I got a call from our adoption agency today. I saw the number on my caller ID and had a momentary freakout since they rarely call unless it's important. For a brief second I thought it might be the referral call!

Unfortunately it wasn't. She was calling to tell me that we've now been waiting so long that we have to do a homestudy update. We have to have another physical, we have to be refingerprinted and all that fun stuff. Blah!! It's pretty depressing to think that our file has been sitting in Korea for so long that the information in it is too outdated to use, isn't it?

We'll do what we have to do though, I guess. I'll do anything to get Clarissa here at this point. This kind of stuff always makes me nervous though. I have a fear that something will come up in the physical or something that will make us no longer eligible to adopt. Wouldn't that SUCK?! It's highly unlikely, everything will probably be fine, but I'll still worry about it until the update is done and we're back on track again. We'll hurry as fast as we can to get everything done and it shouldn't be a big deal. I hope.

I went through this when we first applied to adopt. I worried with every step we took in the process that something would disqualify us. I remember even worrying when we went in for our background checks that they would find something, lol. There's absolutely nothing to find so I knew that there was no possible way that there was anything there that could disqualify us, but still, I worried.

It's just a formality. They just want to make sure that nothing has changed and nothing has. Our health is the same, we live in the same house with the same number of family members, Shawn still has the same job. The only thing that has changed in the past year and a half is that there is now a sweet little girls room with lavender and green walls and a closet full of clothes waiting for the little girl who will hopefully join us soon.

I'm ready. I'm MORE than ready. I know that Clarissa is out there somewhere and I want her home with us. Every day it gets a little bit harder to wait, but at least I know that every day is one day closer to having her in my arms.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So much to talk about!!

We're home!! This is going to be a looong post, so make yourself comfortable! :)

So of COURSE I have to start off with the great adoption update that we're finally #4!!!! Number FOUR!! How awesome is that?! I really didn't see that one coming. It's been so slow at our agency lately and then when we never even got an update the week before I thought nothing was happening. I was standing in the isle of the airplane in Memphis waiting to get off the plane when I checked my e-mail and found out. I wanted to jump up and down right there!!

So here's what number four means. Whenever a baby is available, the agency in Korea pulls the files of the first several families on the list and looks at them and decides which family is the best fit for the baby. Sometimes the first family is looking for a specific gender or isn't open to a certain medical condition or whatever, so they move on to the next family. Or sometimes there will be a specific reason why they like a certain baby for a certain family. Our file in Korea lists pretty much every possible thing that anyone could ever want to know about our family. Anyone who reads that file has a pretty complete picture of who we are. So sometimes something will catch their eye that makes them feel like the baby they're trying to place would be a good fit and it's not necessarily the family at number one. I would guess that usually they try to go with the first family on the list, but you never know their reasons for placing each baby with each family.

So what I'm TRYING to say, is that we've pretty much hit a place where a referral could come at any time. Most likely we still have a month or so, or if things slow down it could still be longer than that, but we I think we're at a spot where they're probably at least pulling our file now and it is possible to get a referral even if you're not number one. In fact, the update from the agency said that they got three referrals and two of them were out of order, meaning that the referrals didn't go to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd on the list.

So anyway, it may mean that we're close and we may still have a while to wait, but it feels SOOO good to be number four!!!!!! Four is NOT seven and at this point that's enough to make me extremely happy!! :)

OK, so on to our Memphis trip. We had a ball! I probably already explained what we were doing there, but just in case I didn't, Shawn is a pharmacist and he's the manager so he orders all the medication for the pharmacy. There is a generic drug supplier in Memphis that he orders from and every year they invite their top buyers to Memphis for the weekend and they put us up at a really nice hotel and send us to an NBA game in their sky box. The trip that they pay for is really only for the weekend, but we like to make a longer trip out of it so we stay for a few extra days. We went last year for the first time and really had a great time so we were looking forward to going again!

The kids stayed at Grandmas house. My mom lives four hours away from us, so last Thursday we drove four hours to her house, dropped off the kids and flew out from her town on Friday morning. Thanks to modern medicine I was properly drugged out to make the flight and everything was fine. :) We had a layover in Minneapolis and then we flew into Memphis Friday afternoon.

Going to Memphis is really fun for us because it's a part of the country that we rarely get the opportunity to visit. The western part of the US where we were both born and raised is very different than the South! So it's fun to visit and experience new things. I know I'm in Memphis when I step off the airplane and smell barbecue sauce! In case you've never been to Memphis, they take their barbecue very seriously. :) The whole city smells like barbecue sauce to me!

We stayed at the Peabody, which is one of the best hotels we've ever stayed in. I LOVE it there! I already mentioned the Peabody ducks in another post, so I won't post about them again, but I just can't get enough of those little guys.

Since we already went to Memphis last year, we've done a lot of the big tourist attractions already. Last year we went to Graceland, the Rock and Soul Museum, the National Civil Rights museum and some of the other big Memphis attractions. So we decided this year that we would venture out a little farther and explore the area. We rented a car for the day on Saturday and had a ball driving around all day! Memphis is right on the boarder of Tennessee, so you just have to cross a bridge to get to Arkansas and Mississippi is also just a very short drive away. Since we had never been to either of those states, we decided that it would be fun to cross the boarders, just to say we'd been there.

In Arkansas we didn't really get any farther than West Memphis, which is literally just on the other side of the bridge. Remember once I mentioned that I like to research things and once I spent a few months researching people who have been wrongly convicted of crimes? (I know that's weird. I just like to research things. It keeps my brain working.) I spent a lot of time researching the case of the West Memphis three, who are three men who (I believe) were wrongly convicted of the murders of three children. It's an interesting case and those three men are still in prison 15 years later even though they have DNA evidence that someone else actually committed the murders. Anyway, I've read two books and watched two documentaries on the subject, so it was interesting to actually go there. It's not exactly a tourist town, but I found it interesting. And in case you like to research random things the way I do, the case of the West Memphis Three is quite an eye opener.

Wow, I just totally veered off the road, didn't I? Sorry, back to the story. Anyway, after having lunch in West Memphis, we went back across the boarder and headed over to Mississippi. We vaguely knew that there was an outlet mall somewhere and for some reason we thought we were clever enough to find it.

Fast forward several hours and a scenic tour of rural Mississippi and we DID actually find the outlet mall. If you ever go to Mississippi and want to go to the outlet mall and someone tells you that it's in Tunica, they're a big fat liar. :) NEAR Tunica and IN Tunica are two different things. :) Anyway, there's nothing that a trip to a Gap outlet can't fix, so all in all it was a sucessful trip.

Sunday was the big day I had been looking forward to all year. Last year when we were in Memphis we went to the Gibson Guitar factory on a Sunday and they gave us a tour of the factory when no one was actually working in the factory. That sounds boring, but it was GREAT for me, because there were a whole bunch of unfinished guitars all over the place in the shop that were just sitting there and they were just screaming to have their picture taken. Anyway, I took a photo last year of some guitars and it was my biggest seller last year. It's a HUGE hit at the Saturday Market I do in Boise in the summer. So I had big plans to go back there this year on a Sunday when no one was working back there so that I could take some more pictures.

There is now a big sign there that states that photography of any kind is strictly prohibited inside the factory. :(

HUUUUGE bummer. Really gigantic bummer.

So instead we went to the Hard Rock cafe and had a really good time while I accepted the fact that there will be no more amazing photos from the Gibson Guitar factory. *sigh* DARN!!

Monday we went to the Memphis Zoo and it was beyond awesome!!!! I love the zoo anyway, and the Memphis zoo ROCKS! I could go on for a really long time about all the amazing exibits they have there, but you're probably already bored of my story, so I won't. It's awesome though and if you ever get the chance to visit Memphis, go to the zoo!! I could have watched the monkey's all day long, the Giant Panda was the cutest thing I've ever seen in my entire life we spend forever watching the polar bears swimming. Freakin' awesome zoo.

Monday night we went to the NBA game that was the origional reason for our trip. The drug company has a skybox and they have a chef come in and cater dinner for us while we watch the game! YUM. Memphis was playing Portland, and Portland is pretty much as local as an NBA team gets for us, so we kind of rooted for both teams. Portand kicked Memphis's behind.

Then yesterday was the travel day from HELL!!! We got to the Memphis airport at 7am for a flight that was supposed to leave at 9:15. We had a (not) enjoyable time sitting there for hours looking at the dense fog out the window of the airport. :( They thought we could take off at 9:40, and then 10:00 and eventually it was going to be at noon. I think it was about 12:30 before we finally got on the plane, which meant that we missed our connection in Salt Lake. CRAAAP. I really hate to fly anyway, but if I do have to fly I just want to get in there and get it over with. Sitting in the airport all day with my stomach in knots about the upcoming flight is just not my favorite way to spend the day. I would choose a root canal any day.

To make an extremely long story short, we did finally arrive at our destination, but it was many hours later than we had planned and then we still had to get the kids and make a four hour drive back home. An hour into our drive home we declared ourselves unable to travel for one more mile and we checked into a hotel for the night. We finally arrived home today at about noon. We're all incredibly exhausted and glad to be home.

Anyway, it was an awesome trip full of lots of great adventures and we're glad we went, but it feels good to be home.

Of course I took a zillion pictures, and I'm still going though them, but I do have some to share. They're not in any particular order and most of them are from the zoo. I may have more to share later.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

What a day!

Breakfast in Tennessee, lunch in Arkansas, shopping in Mississippi and back to Tennesse for dinner. I'm exhausted!

The world is a beautiful place and I'm so happy to be able to explore it. But for now I'm going to crawl into bed rent a movie and cuddle with my husband. A perfect end to a perfect day!

Thank you!

I only have a minute because I'm using the Kinko's computer again, but I just wanted to say thanks for all the comments yesterday. When I got off the plane yesterday and got the news, I was literally jumping out of my skin wanting to tell someone and it's so fun to be able to come to my blog to share it and have everyone be so excited with me. It's so fun to have friends to share this experience with, it really means a lot to me that you show up here to check up on us.

So now we're off to explore Memphis! I'll try to come back and update about our trip soon if I get a chance! :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Good news Friday!!

I have two very exiting pieces of information to share today.

First of all, I spent all day on an airplane and I didn't die. YAY! :) We have made it safely to Memphis and the half hour that we've been here has been all sorts of fun so far. :)

The second bit of news is super exciting! When I got off the plane in Memphis I checked my e-mail on my Blackberry and I got the much awaited Friday update from the adoption agency. Are you ready?!??

THREE REFERRALS THIS WEEK!!!!!! THREE!! We never had to have our six party, we skipped all the way to four!

So this is very exciting information for me because it means that we might be really close to getting our referral now. We don't necesarily have to make it to #1 before we get matched. They try to look at all the families who are at the top of the waiting list and then they try to match the baby with the family they feel that is the best match. So while it may not be likely, it IS possible to get a referral when you're in fourth place, and it's even more likely to get one in second or third place. I don't know when it's going to happen, but suddenly I don't feel like we have months left to wait. If we get really lucky we could have one next month some time!!

Anyway, that was such exciting news that I rented a computer at Kinkos just to share it. Let's hope that the things continue to move along quickly!

Now I'm off to crash in the hotel room and be really glad that I'm no longer on an airplane. Ahhh....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why I love my husband, reason #72

So we're getting ready to go on our trip soon and I'm freaking out about flying. Freaking. Out.

So my husband gave me a big pep talk about how I should pretend like we're on a bus instead of a plane. Buses aren't scary, right?!

So now whenever he refers to anything airplane related, he refers to it as the big bus, which makes me laugh instead of freak out. Whenever I start freaking out about the plane he says "plane? What plane? We're not going on a plane, we're taking the big bus!"

It's nice living with someone who gets me. When he realizes that he can't reason with me, he's happy just to humor me. :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Busy week!

The kids have started their track break again, so we've got a busy month coming up. We're getting ready to go on our Memphis trip, which I'm getting excited about.

It means I have to fly though. :( I'm already having a little panic about having to get on an airplane soon. I absolutely hate to fly! Every time I know I have to get on an airplane I start to get sick to my stomach days in advance. I wish I wasn't this way. I envy people who don't freak out about flying. But then I wonder why they don't worry about dying in a fiery plane crash. Why doesn't that freak everyone out?! I just don't like being in the air. If a car breaks down you can pull over. If a plane breaks down you crash into a firey ball.

That's a pleasant thought for a Monday morning, isn't it? My blog has become a dumping ground for whatever nutty thing is going on in my brain lately. Aren't you all glad that you're along for the ride? :)

I try to calm myself down by remembering that when we get to Memphis we get to go to the zoo. Yay! Memphis is supposed to have one of the best zoo's in the country, and we all know how much I love the zoo! I'm looking forward to spending a day outside enjoying the animals. We're going to be doing several things on this trip, but the zoo is the thing I'm looking most forward to. I just hope the weather cooperates with us!

I'm also looking forward to the duck march at the Peabody hotel again! If you've never heard of the Peabody ducks before, you should really check them out online. Memphis has an absolutely gorgeous historic hotel called the Peabody and there is a gigantic fountain in the middle of the lobby. Since the early 1900's the fountain has been home to five mallard ducks. (Not the SAME five mallard ducks, obviously!) The ducks have a home on the roof of the hotel where the sleep at night and then every morning they roll out a red carpet and the ducks come down the elevator and they walk down the red carpet and hop into the fountain. It's a big event every day and people come from all over the place to watch the duck march every morning. There is an official Duck Master who comes and announces the ducks and then tells the story of why the ducks live in the fountain. Then every night at five they do the whole thing in reverse and the ducks march back across the red carpet and into the elevator and they send them back up to the roof for the night.

It is seriously the cutest thing EVER!! Last year we practically planned our whole trip around the ducks. I didn't want to miss the duck march everyday! The hotel has all sorts of duck themed things in the gift shops and the hotel rooms even have ducked shaped soap. So cute! I brought the kids duck souvineers last year.

We're also looking forward to taking a riverboat tour this year. Last year we went in February and the boats weren't running yet, so we're looking forward to going on one this year.

It's mostly just going to be nice to get out of the house and go somewhere with Shawn for a few days. We've had a lot going on lately and with the adoption stress it will just be nice to get out and forget about life for a little bit. Now if I can just talk myself in to getting on an airlplane, I think we're going to have a great time once we get there! :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Josh the chef

Tonight Josh decided that he wanted to help with dinner, so I decided that it was good opportunity to give him a cooking lesson. He was really proud of himself, so he found a chefs hat that we got from somewhere and took a picture of himself with the self timer on his camera. The photo made me laugh, so I thought I'd share it.

Josh makes me smile every day, I love his enthusiasm for life. I don't know what we'd do without Josh in our family!

Friday, March 6, 2009


It's now 5pm and there was no update e-mail today. That hardly ever happens. We always get a Friday update, even if there's nothing new. *sigh* That stinks.

Only seven more days until the next update.


Fridays have become the day when I obsessively check my e-mail every five minutes. That's the day that I get the weekly update e-mail from our agency which tells us if there have been any referrals that week.

It's the first thought in my head when I open my eyes every Friday morning. What's the e-mail going to say? Were there any referrals? Have we moved up on the list? What if there were none? What if there were THREE?! What time am I going to get the e-mail? Is it here yet? Is it here yet? Why isn't it here yet?!

It's not here yet. It's only noon, so there is still plenty of day left for it to show up, and most likely it's going to say that there were no referrals. But until I read that e-mail it's an obsessive thought in my head. I have e-mail on my Blackberry now, so I carry my Blackberry around like a crazy person on Fridays. I take it outside with me when I get Matthew on the school bus. What if the e-mail comes in the three minutes I'm outside?!

Everytime my Blackberry chimes to let me know I have e-mail I grab it like I'm drowning and it's the life saver. Has my life really come to this?! I know that we've probably still got at least two months before we can expect a referral. That's at least 8 more Fridays. Probably more. That's a lot more Fridays to obsess over.

I try to keep busy on Fridays, but it's hard. Before I made this blog post I was sitting here trying to read a book, but it's hard to concentrate when I keep glancing at my Blackberry every 30 seconds. What if I have e-mail and my Blackberry doesn't chime?! A little light flashes on my Blackberry when I have new e-mail. It's good to have a backup. :)

I've been staring at my computer and typing this post for about 9 minutes now. No e-mail yet.

I can't wait to reread this blog someday while I'm holding Clarissa in my arms. I hope that when I read this in the future it makes me laugh to remember how crazy I got while I was waiting. I hope that someday when my kids are older and they're putting me through teenage craziness and I start to wonder what in the world posessed me to have three kids, I hope that I look back on this blog and remember what it was. I hope I remember that no only did I want it, I made myself crazy waiting for it. I hope that I remember how much I agonized over every second until each of my kids arrived. Between two 9 month pregnancies and an adoption wait that will be about two years long by the time it's over, I've spent a lot of time waiting anxiously to meet my kids. I will never forget the first time I looked into the eyes of both of my boys. It was an amazing experience and I can't wait to experience the same moment with my daughter. Some things in life are totally worth the wait.

It's been 5 more minutes. No e-mail yet.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It SNOWED last night!

What's up with that?! My poor backyard ducks were sitting out in the snow this morning. I''m sure it will be rained away by this afternoon, but still. No more snow!! The Memphis trip is sounding better and better every day. It's been in the 70's there this week!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

75 things about me

I'm having serious cabin fever today! It's starting to feel springy outside and I really want to go out and do something, but it's colder than it looks, so being outside isn't really that fun. I think our upcoming vacation is going to be just what I need. I think it's warmer in Memphis than it is in Idaho right now!

So since I'm bored this afternoon, I've decided to make a 75 things about me blog post. I always love reading "about me" lists on Facebook. I've learned lots of things about my friends that way!

I was going to do 30 things, but I've got a bunch of time to kill this afternoon so I'm going to go for 75. I'm not even sure that there are 75 interesting things about me, so we'll see how it goes. :)

1. I'm the middle child of three kids. I have a sister who is five years older than me and a brother who is five years younger.

2. I'm left handed

3. I was born and raised in Idaho

4. I'm LDS (Mormon)

5. My favorite color is red

6. I hate tomatoes. HATE them.

7. But I love tomato soup. Go figure.

8. I'm TERRIFED of spiders. I often have dreams that I have spiders on me.

9. My first memory was from when I was two. My family moved to a new town and while we were looking for a house we lived in a little apartment for a few months. I have a five second sliver of memory of the first time we went into that apartment. I remember being carried by one of my parents and I remember an orange chair. I have no other memories of that apartment at all and my next memories are from when I was about four.

10. I have about 50 cousins and I absolutely love family reunions.

11. I named Josh after Rachel's boyfriend on Friends. I rarely admit that. :) There were a few episodes where she was dating a guy named Joshua and she kept saying his name over and over and it stuck in my head.

12. My dad died 3 weeks before my 21st birthday.

13. I'm 5 foot 10 and growing up I was always the tallest kid in my class. I had a complex about my height for years.

14. My husband is three inches shorter than me. Apparently I've outgrown my height complex. :)

15. My first date was with my best friends brother.

16. I fought like cats and dogs with my sister when I was young. Once when I was maybe 8 or so she wanted to borrow a pair of my shoes to wear to school the next day and I didn't want her to, so I wore my shoes to bed so she couldn't take them in the morning. My kids LOVE that story. :)

17. When I was young I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. So does Josh, and I love that we share that.

18. The closest I've ever come to having my writing published was being on the school newspaper staff in high school.

19. I was a tomboy when I was a kid. I grew up sort of in the country (sort of, because we were right on the edge of the city) and there were fields and horses and farmland around me. I live in the suburbs now and sometimes I just crave open spaces and farmland. It's my dream to live on a farm.

20. My grandparents are my heros.

21. I used to be a really good swimmer. There was a public pool near by my house and I practically grew up in that pool. I rarely swim anymore.

22. I've been in love twice and have had my heart broken once.

23. I love country music.

24. When I was young I used to be obsessed with living in New York City for some reason. I wanted to live in New York City and be a writer.

25. When I was 19 I got a job as a nanny in New Jersey, less than 20 miles from NYC to fufill my dream of going there. I LOVED New York City. I miss it.

26. I love to travel but I hate to fly.

27. I love rain and thunderstorms.

28. My favorite place in the world is the Oregon Coast.

29. I love animals. LOVE. THEM. I want to work at the zoo.

30. I had my first kiss when I was 16.

31. My dream vacation would not be to a tropical beach. Tropical beaches don't really interest me that much. I like mountains, I like forests, I like rain, and I like really remote places that no one else would be interested in. I would much rather go to somewhere like Scotland, Ireland or Germany than to Cancun. I want to go on a cruise to Alaska.

32. I want to be a foster parent someday.

33. I went to college to be a social worker, but after a year of social work and sociology classes I decided that I could never do it. I'm too soft hearted for that kind of job.

34. I love to read. When I was young I could would read 4-5 books a week. I had a library in my bedroom, complete with a card catalog. :) The library is one one my favorite places.

35. I'm not girly. I love computers, I love electronic equipment and other totally nerdy things. In my life I've had a lot more male friends than female friends.

36. I miss my hometown a LOT. I'm incredibly nostalgic about the town I grew up in. I desperately want to raise my kids there, but everytime I go back I just get sad that life isn't the same there as it was when I was a kid and then I remember why I don't live there anymore.

37. I turn 34 next month. I still feel 16.

38. My biggest pet peeve is when people shorten words. It's pregnant, not preggo. Just say the whole word PLEASE!

39. I have two big regrets in life. I regret that I didn't invite my dad to visit me in New Jersey and go to a Yankees game with me. He would have loved that. I also regret that I didn't finish college. I WILL finish, one of these days.

40. I'm addicted to Diet Pepsi.

41. My favorite movie is a Korean movie called The Classic and I'm secretly mad at all my friends and family because not one single one of them will watch it with me because it has subtitles. Come on, people. Just humor me.

42. My favorite book is The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.

43. I love documentaries.

44. I'm very introverted. There's always a lot going on in my head, but I'm not likely to share most of it with people in person.

45. I'm extremely squeemish. I can't handle blood or anything medically related. I'm scared of hospitals. I have to turn my head when they take my blood.

46. My first job was at Burger King. I worked there for two days.

47. I'm happiest when I'm outside, and even happier if there are animals involved.

48. I'm scared of airplanes crashing into my house. Military planes fly over our house sometimes and they scare me every time. It's a totally stupid fear, I realize, but it still scares me!

49. I cry easily. Too easily.

50. I'm sittng here listening to my Pandora radio station as I type this list and Vanessa Williams "Save The Best For Last" just started playing. That was my prom theme. That song conjurs up high school memories.

51. I think I'm one of the only people I know who would redo high school. I loved it and I miss that time in my life.

52. I never thought I could love someone as much as I love my kids. I absolutely adore them. My biggest fear in life is something happening to them.

53. My favorite memory of my dad is going camping when we were little and he used to tell us really ridiculous made up stories to get us to go to sleep. My dad was really funny. I miss him.

54. One of favorite childhood memories is playing board games with my family on Christmas afternoons. I wish I could rewind life and redo just one of those days over again.

55. I met Shawn at work. I didn't want to go out with him the first time he asked me out. I only went out with him because I was too polite say no. After that first date I wanted to spend all my time with him. I regret my first impressions of him because I was so wrong!

56. I got engaged on Christmas Eve 1996. That seems like a million years ago! The story of our engagement is hillarious, but that story would require its own blog post on another day.

57. I don't carry a purse. I've tried, but I hate them. I carry a debit card and a cellphone in my pocket and that's it.

58. I don't wear my wedding ring. I'm too afraid of losing it.

59. I love my husband. That's not any big revelation or anything, but I love him. A lot.

60. I envy people who can speak two languages. I wish I could take a magic pill and be fluent in Korean. I love the language but it's really hard to learn.

61. I like to research random things. Google is my friend.

62. I've had the same e-mail address for 14 years and I don't have plans of ever changing it.

63. I love to hear from old friends. I hate losing touch with people. If we were friends growing up I've probably thought about you and wondered what you're up to a million times.

64. There are a few relationships in my life that never got proper closure and it still bothers me.

65. I wish I could sing. I can't. If you know me in real life, chances are you've never heard me sing. That's because I don't sing when there are people around. My mom and my brother are both really musical. I didn't inherit that gene.

66. My elbows are double jointed or something and they can bend at a really weird angle. It freaks people out.

67. I love the smell of lilacs. We had lilacs in my backyard growing up and every time I smell them it reminds me of home.

68. I have really vivid dreams. I woke up really mad at Shawn this morning because in my dream last night he bought a $400,000 cabin, and we totally can't afford that.

69. It's my dream to someday own a cabin in real life. But one we can AFFORD!

70. If I could do anything right this minute it would be to pack the kids in the car and go out to the lake for a BBQ. I'm craving that right now. But the lake is probably freezing right now, Josh has to go to Scouts in an hour and Shawn has to work late tonight, so I'm thinking that probably isn't going to happen today.

71. If a genie gave me three wishes I would wish for Clarissa to be here right now, I would wish for my dad to here to meet my kids and I would wish for our house to be paid off.

72. My first car was a Volkswagon Atlantic. That's the Mexican version of a Jetta, and I've never seen another one since. It was old, the paint wasn't great, the spedometer was in kilometers and it shut off if I drove through a big puddle, but I loved that car. I bought it for $900. Many great high school memories were made in that car.

73. If I could redo my life, knowing what I know now, I don't think I'd change anything drastic. I would have made a few different decisions along the way, but I think in the end they would have all led me right here. I love my kids, I love my husband and I think things turned out just the way they were supposed to.

74. It's starting to rain again now and I'm loving it. Somehow I've gone from being in a want to go out in the sunshine mood to a want to sit and watch it rain mood.

75. I was origionally planning to do a list of 100 things, but I think anyone reading this has got to be bored out of their skull by now, so I'm cutting it short. You'll just have to wonder what the other 25 amazing things about me might have been. :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Perfect Storm

There's nothing I love better than a good thunderstorm and we're having a great one right now! The kids are both at school so the house is quiet, it is pouring rain (actually it just turned into hail just as I wrote that) and we're having awesome thunder happening!

I love days like this. We don't have them very often, so I always enjoy them when I get them. I love to sit and watch it rain, I love how the world looks when it's wet and I love how it smells outside when the storm is over. I love spring and all the crazy weather that goes with it!:)

The return of Fred and Ginger

It's official, spring has arrived in Boise. The ducks are here!

Every year at about this time, mallard ducks show up in our neighborhood. I don't know why, but we have them every year and they always show up two by two, a male and a female together. I love to watch little mallard duck couples wandering through the neighborhood! There are usually several pairs that show up and they all seem to adopt homes in the neighborhood to hang out in for a while. Every year that we've lived here we've had a duck couple move into our backyard for a while. Usually they stick around for a couple of months in the spring and then they find another place to spend their summers.

The arrival of the ducks is always the first real sign of spring to me. I look forward to it every year. The first year that we had a duck couple in our yard the kids decided we needed to name them. We named them Fred and Ginger. So now every year when they ducks return, even if they're not the same two ducks, they become Fred and Ginger. I have no idea if we're getting the same ducks every year or not. I think probably not, I think this years Ginger is a lighter color than last years Ginger, but it is pretty strange every year without fail since we've lived here a pair of ducks has moved into our backyard in March.

In case you weren't around last year for the duck story, last years Ginger actually laid eggs in our landscaping last spring and we had four baby ducks for a while until Ginger decided it was time to take them to a better source of water. It was a huge event in our family last year. You know me and animals, I was pretty glued to those ducks while they were here!

So this morning Shawn was getting ready for work and he came into our room and announced that the ducks have returned! YAY! There's no way to know if these are the same ducks from last year, although its not uncommon for ducks to return to the place they were born and it's also not uncommon for mama ducks to lay eggs in the same place each year. But at the moment there are two ducks hanging out in our backyard.

So in honor of the arrival of the ducks, here is the video I made last year of the duck babies being born. I haven't watched this for a while and I just watched it a few minutes ago and it brought back all the memories of how much fun that was last year. I hope that Ginger decides to start a new family in our yard this year!

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's March!

It seemed like January lasted for 46 years and then February just flew right by! I can't believe we're in March already. YAY!

I've been looking forward to March for a while. For one reason because for a while we thought March might be our referral month, although that is now looking pretty impossible unless some sort of amazing miracle occurs. But March is also going to be good month for other reasons. It's my kids track break month from school, which means that maybe we'll be doing something fun while they're home and it's also the month that Shawn and I go on our Memphis trip! YAY!

Every year the generic drug supplier that Shawn buys some of his inventory from invites their top buyers to spend the weekend in Memphis, which is where their company is located. We went last February for the first time and had a blast, so we've really been looking forward to going back this year.

There's really no purpose for the trip at all except for the company to spoil the crap out of us as a thank you to Shawn for his business. Last year they picked us up from the airport in a limo, put us up in a an awesome hotel, sent us to an NBA game where we ate a catered dinner in their skybox...the whole trip was amazing!

This year it's going to be a lot of the same thing. We're going to another NBA game, which will be really fun, we're staying in the same hotel that we absolutely loved and we're going to do some more sight seeing while we're there.

The drug company's portion of the trip is just for a couple of days, but Memphis is so far away from us that if we're going to fly all the way across the country we want to stay and see the sights, so we're staying a few extra days. Last year we didn't rent a car so we mostly just stayed closed to the hotel, but this year we're going to rent a car and do a little more exploring. We're going to drive into Arkansas and Mississippi (I don't know what we plan to see there exactly, we just want to say that we've been there!), and we're going to see a little more of Memphis. I want to go to the Memphis zoo, I hear it's a great one!

Anyway, it's a trip that we're really looking forward to. I need to go on a little vacation and get my mind of the adoption for a few days.

I don't know why, but I just woke up yesterday with a smile on my face when I realized that it was March. I feel like we just have all sorts of exciting things coming up in the next few months. I think I was really mentally just trying to get past January and February, which are always cold boring months anyway and also the two months that I knew were going to be slow for adoption referrals, and now that we're past that I feel like there are a lot of things to look forward to.

March will be good because of our Memphis trip, April is my birthday and we always rent a cabin in the mountains for my birthday weekend, which is my favorite thing to do, and then in May I'm hoping that we can start expecting our referral any time.

If things go well for the next few months, I think it's possible that we could get a referral in May. It's normal for our agency to get two or three referrals a month. We're #7, so two in March, two in April and three in May would do it. At least I feel like we're finally getting close!

(by the way, while I'm sitting here typing my blog, Matthew is sitting next to me making up a song about the Spiderman action figure he's holding. "Spiderman, Spiderman, we all love Spiderman. Spiderman is climbing Mount Mom and sitting on her head. Spiderman, Spiderman..." Good song, Matthew.:))