July 24, 2006

New York New York -

Ok all - for the first time in my life - I'm off to New York to visit Manhattan and see a broadway show and I can hardly stand it!! I can't believe it's finally here and I'm actually going to the Big Apple...

I won't be able to post, because I'm not so high tech that I actually have a laptop. (Gasp!) But while this is a business trip, there will be plenty of fun to be had!

Wish this country mouse luck...

xoxo - be back Sunday

Mommies Who Lunch

I am a new inductee into the "Mommies Who Lunch" group that meets in my hometown. We are all expectant adoptive mothers, or already adoptive mothers - all adopting/ed from China, all from the same agency.

Needless to say, we spent the afternoon laughing, talking about our adoptions, oohhing and awwwing over Erin, Kelley, and Shelley's beautiful kids, and eating some really good food.

Like the true "non-chef" that I am, I asked my husband to make up a nice "appetizer thingy" for the girls and I, and he really out-did himself. I've included a picture so you can appreciate the master at work. It's beefsteak tomato with a fresh slice of mozzarella cheese, a basil leaf - sprinkled with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and a splash of balsamic vinaigrette. Now you know why I call him Chef Boyardee.

Meanwhile, back to the luncheon - we just had a great time. And wonderful Robyn gifted all of us with wonderful bathtime yummies from Old Navy, while Erin surprised everyone with beautiful charms of a little angel that has the word "faith" inscribed on its wings- so sweet!! It's always good to be surrounded by those who "get" this crazy process, and by those who understand everything you're going through and have yet to face. We're all at different stages, which I think is the beauty of it. Some have been to China and back, some have been LID for seven or eight months, and some have yet to finish their paperchase. Still, we all share a common bond - our daughters. And who among us could ever grow tired of that wonderful topic?

The Famous "Appetizer Thingy"

Kelley and her sweetie, Mia

July 20, 2006

A Friend Like You...

If you've ever had a friend who you could be yourself completely with and know for certain that they would not judge you or love you any less...

If you've ever known someone with whom you had no reservations about letting your inner child out for a visit...

If you've let that person pick you up when you were face down in the muck and care for you or if you've done the same for them...

Renee has been a best friend of mine for years and years. It all started when we were having lunch with a mutual acquaintance and I made a crass joke. She proceeded to spit her lunch all over me as she collapsed in a fit of laughter. With the lettuce dangling from the tip of my nose and a startled mutual friend looking on...we became the nearest and dearest of friends. I can't explain it, really. We just got each other and thus began a friendship that has spanned many years, several love interests, heartache and heartbreak, loss of friends, loss of pets, changes in jobs, changes in style, a move across country, and a marriage and impending adoption. But you can't keep a good dog down...and neither then can you keep apart friends who are attached at the hip and divided over nothing.

If you don't have a friend like this, I suggest you keep your eyes peeled for one. Not only are they good for the spirit, but they are great for laughs, hugs, encouragement, and as you can see above - total and utter abandon of your adult self.

Love you Renee! Thank you for being the kind of friend that can always seem to bring out the best in me. Always and always...miles or mayhem...

July 19, 2006

Working 9-5...what a way to make a living!

Sing it! You know you want to...

Well, needless to say, my transition to working at home has been interesting. You know how when you've never really had the chance to do something that you've always wanted to do, or when you might have done it a long time ago and can't quite put your finger on the sensation that doing said "thing" gave you? Well, this is the case for my leaving the corporate world and transitioning to my new job - where I work from the comfort of my home office.

Don't get me wrong - love it. Totally 100x's better so far than commuting to an office everyday so that someone else can hover nearby and make sure I'm dotting my I's and crossing my T's. I can't stand to be micro-managed. (not you in a million years Des) At any rate, it's been interesting, because I've been sitting in that chair at that computer for roughly 10-12 hours a day. I'm not exaggerating, there is that much work to do. SO - for those that thought I was getting on the escalator of life - you were right. What can I say? But, I do find that it's harder to walk away. In my corporate job at 5:00 - I was out the door and did not usually give another thought to my e-mail, workload, or deadlines. At home though, I find myself still sitting here at 8:00pm fiddling with this or that project. I'm gonna have to get some boundaries in place for myself or I'm gonna burn out!

Here's my first one: leave the computer...just walk away...you can do it. E-mail can survive and so can the phones for the evening. It's ok. Just walk away...


Secret Pal Serenity

I received this beautiful lady bug windchime from my Feb/March LID Secret Pal the other day! Aren't they lovely??!! I have been wanting windchimes for awhile now, especially after visiting my mom in California, who has several. They make the most wonderful tinkering sound. My husband hung them up outside on my back patio right away and there they are, lovely and blowing in the evening wind each night as we have dinner.

Thank you Secret Pal! They're wonderful!

July 14, 2006

The Long Goodbye

Four weeks ago, I submitted my resignation as the executive admin at a very good company. Great benefits, great people, great atmosphere. Why would I do that? Only for one reason: to be a stay-at-home mom for Keira. Out the of the blue a wonderful opportunity came knocking at my door - and it was just too good to pass on. So, even though all was well with my current job and I was happy, I still felt like if I passed this chance by, I would regret it forever.

Still, this was a hard goodbye. I made very good friends and two, in particular, really made my life so much easier - so much better at work. I've pictured them below along with all my goodies. It was a bittersweet departure, and I cried like a baby at home, while Anton comforted me and reminded me that this choice was for Keira. Having said that, don't get me wrong. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity. Overjoyed, in fact. I can't believe my good fortune - and I'm so excited to start my new job and have the flexibility that will come with it. I just know that I will really miss seeing my girls everyday.

*Desi-Lou...my girl...you know I will be heartbroken for awhile - I'm gonna miss you so much - especially all our talks, lunches, laughing and cutting up. That's what our new lunches and scrapbooking together will have to heal. You are a beautiful, wonderful, and SMART woman. Now tell those bosses what's up and how it's gonna be! I know it will be hard Monday but you keep your chin up. You can do it chica! I'm only an IM away...(sniffle)

*Andrea...you're a wonderful person and a beautiful girl. I am so glad we got the chance to work together and get to know each other through IR. Mi casa es su casa. When's our first lunch date? Remember: muckity muck leaves a trail...time to bust out the lysol and clean up the tracks so you can never find your way back. You're worth it x's 1000!

Flowers from my bosses - so sweet!

Desi and me - ain't she purty? (sniffle)

Andrea and me...girl...see what I mean? You thought you looked horrible that day! I'm saying it again...you are one LOVELY gal.

Boo hoo...

The Little Old Lady Who Lived in the Shoe..

My baby got a stern prognosis from the vet today...Apparently, all things being what they are, well....turns out...she's....(whisper) old.

Yes, that's right...she's old and arthritic. Her knees aren't what they used to be and she has developed a pretty good case arthritis and bone mice (fragments of bone that break off and float - ouch!) and is in pain as a result. Apparently, this morning's crisis was due to her physical distress at not being able to walk.

Oh my poor, poor girl! It has been twelve years since I grabbed up a tiny little kitten from the local pet supply store, and she screamed all the way home - because she hated the car ride then, and she hates it still today. Twelve years of brushing, feeding, cleaning out the liter box...but also twelve years of her little monkey chatter, oh-so-soft fur rubbing up against me for attention, and loud purring when I'm within five feet of her. We just have this complete affection for one another. She's totally a mama's girl. She sleeps between my husband and I every night. People who meet her fall in love with her. She's larger than life...literally...she's a whopping 18lbs. She has a way about her that just makes you like her, even though she's stubborn, loud, and snooty.

So this is how funny she is: today at the vet they wanted to get her to walk, so they enticed her with food. Now people, mind you...she was not doing well. Her pain was presumably at around a 10 and she was wailing. But the vet busted out her Kryptonite - FOOD. Needless to say, wobbling like a pirate with a peg leg - she painstakingly made her way to the treat. Now, that's MY GIRL. She straight up stuck her leg out and drug her sorry butt across the room, in pain, for that food. I tell you...this is a "child" of mine. Learned that from her mother. We don't toy with food. Shoot!

So, she's home and feeling much better - who wouldn't on pain meds? We have to wait for her blood tests to come back, but she is much happier than when I found her this morning writhing in pain on the floor of my bathroom.

Whew....crisis averted. Let's just hope the blood work looks ok...

Bittersweet Day

Well, this is just a bittersweet kind of day...I woke up ready to face my last day in the corporate world (for a while at least...hopefully a long time). I resigned from my corporate job to take a position that will enable me to work from home - and ultimately be home with Keira. (Yippee!!!) So today is a great day for our family. On the other hand...

I also woke up to find my darling kitty, Chloe, laying on the bathroom floor howling in misery. I tried to sooth her, but she would not have it. She would try and switch positions, and she would cry out again. It was the most heartbreaking sound! Desperate to help her, I decided to take her to the vet right away (since I witnessed the crying for over an hour). I knew we had a problem when she made no struggle or even bothered to hide when I brought out the cat carrier. (An event that usually invoves fur flying, claws extended into the carpet, and profuse pulling and sweating on our part) So, it was clear to me I had made the right choice to take her in, when she refused to fight me. I am terrified that something is really wrong. She never gets sick or acts funny. She's such a funny and expressive kitty. She has so much personality. Now I am waiting to hear from the vet to see what's wrong with my girl....booooo hooooo......petlovers pray!

July 11, 2006

Here's to New Friends!

Here is my new friend, Vickie - who is in the process of adopting her baby girl, Nicole, from China. I met her at my local GWCA adoption dinner a few months ago. While we chatted over chips and salsa and were getting to know one another, we realized that we attend the same church and then, that we had seen each other before. This past Sunday we spotted each other and made a plan for our families to have lunch together after church. We had a great time with Vickie, and also her husband Kent and son Kyle. What a lovely family they are! After making plans to meet again soon, we gave each other a big hug and parted, but not before my hubby snapped this darling picture, which I think really does show how great it is to be part of the adoption family. I’ve read it on all of your blogs, and I’ve heard it said – it’s just so true: You meet the most amazing people on this journey. You might have never, probably wouldn’t have ever, come into contact with them otherwise. The people we have met on this journey have been the most kind, gentle, warm, and caring people. They’ve been helpful, charming, and giving. Some have really taken us under their wing and made us feel accepted and encouraged. It’s a family and community of such lovely people. And maybe because you have all done that for us, we are able to do it for others, and so the cycle of goodness and friendship continues on and on down the line for new families that join the journey of adoption.

Vickie – I’m so glad to know you and your family and to be a part of your journey to Nicole. Here’s to a wonderful adventure and lifelong friendships with all these amazing people we meet on the way to our girls!

Mamma Mia

Well, I'm married to a theatre teacher folks, so it's always fun for us to get to be in the audience as opposed to behind the scenes - which we are so much of the school year. Saturday night we had the opportunity to go see Mamma Mia - a fun musical about a daughter who has grown up and is getting married and her mother, who is very reluctant to see her go - but is battling with her own love life and the return of three men from her past. Lots of laughs later, and of course - rocking to the hits of Abba (which the musical is based off of) - we are still talking about what a great time we had. The four tickets we received were a gift from a family of one of Anton's students and the seats were great! We were able to take some of our very favorite people, Eric and Laura. Love you guys!!! What a great show, huh?!? I definitely recommend it to any of you who can still get tickets. It's playing through this weekend at the Dallas Music Hall. Well worth it...

Mamma Mia! Whoo hoo...

Laura and Eric - our dear friends

My honey and his honey...

July 9, 2006

Oops...I did it again

It's like a disease that I'm at a loss to explain. Please don't ask me to. I can't. I just can't. Here are the updated pictures from Keira's closet. I cleaned out and packed up two tubs worth of "gently used" clothes that were a gift from a dear friend - but only to make room for the sea of clothes you see here (not used...it's a sickness, ok?!!!?). The sad, pathetic part of course is (yes, you're seeing that correctly) that the clothes are all color coordinated. I said it was a disease, and I meant it. Poor child...won't even know what has hit her as she is paraded before her public in all her glitter and baby glam. Mommy's sorry, honey! Really, honest I am! What's a girl to do who has never had a child to dress and pamper? And let's face it, shopping for myself is no longer fun when what stands between me and a semi-plausible wardrobe is a store that some idiot aptly named "The Dress Barn". Let's just think on that...hmmm...yeah...well, baby clothes it is!

I'm taking small consolation in those few of you out there that are looking at these closet pictures and saying "well, how bad off can she really be...the hangers don't even match the colors she coordinated." You sickos! I know you're out there - stop the insanity...where will it end?!? I didn't realize that nesting would require such a big nest!

Well, TTFN - I'm off to Target...I hear they're having a great sale on summer toddler clothes!

Oh my man, I love him so...

If you've never read the book "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman, then might I suggest it to you as required reading for any marriage? At its core, the emphasis of the book is on being able to express your love and commitment to your spouse through the following love languages: Quality Time - Words of Affirmation - Gifts - Acts of Service - Physical Touch. I'm sure you're already thinking, if you haven't already read the book, of what you think yours is. Great book Ă‚– read it! Meanwhile, AntonĂ‚’s love languages are Acts of Service and Physical Touch (he loves back scratches and clean sheets to snuggle into - totally speaks love to him!) and mine are Quality Time and Gifts - I love a great card and cuddle time on the couch with a great movie. We are both working at being better at this for each other and I can highly recommend this concept to anyone.
On Friday my husband not only spoke my love language, he practically wrote the book! A week ago I lamented about not having a Costco membership card when I saw how many cool things they had, that we can never find at Sam's Club. Boo hoo...I cried! Think of all the good deals we're missing! Think of the good stuff we'll never even see! Well, leave it to my baby to show up at my office on Friday and...well, see for yourself...

The first thing I saw as he walked through my office door were these amazingly gorgeous pink roses. And the mere sight of them was enough to thrill me, but the luscious scent they put out...oh! So very beautiful!

Next it was on to the "I know you so well" gift. My husband knows that I am a gift bag junkie! He presented me next with this handy tote filled with 25 of the most adorable and embellished gift bags. The problem is, I can't stand to see them go! I'm a hoarder, ok?

Here's a closer look at some of them. They are just too cute!

My personal favorite! The Asian themed bag with wooden handles - can you stand it?!?

And last but not least - the place he purchased all my goodies and the inspiration for his gifts - my very own Costco Club Card.

If that wasn't enough, I was then treated to my favorite dinner (he is an amazing chef) of steak, Caesar salad and yummy potatoes. Later as I put my feet up on the couch to relax while eating my dish of Chocolate Mint Icecream, my hubby snuggled in next to me and we watched a movie. Ok, now I'm just bragging. The reason for the royal treatment? "I love my wife".

Please excuse me while I go cry...

Retail Therapy Journal # 1,574

Got some goodies for the baby from my Mom and sister, Ashley - so I just couldn't resist posting pics! Here you go my fellow retail therapy junkies!!!
Above is a pajama set, and other little "jibby's" from my mom - Grandma Nila. Those jammies are the cat's meow!

Who wouldn't love this swimming suit? Do all you gals catch the lady bugs on the flower??

The rest of the swimsuit collection. What can I say? It's hot in Texas...what's a girl to do? We can't wear the same suit everytime we go to the pool!

This is a gift from my little sister - Aunt Ashley - and that little jumpsuit is darling! It's a capri suit. The blankie is snuggly soft and so is the "Classic Pooh" Tigger. He's so sweet and cuddle-able! (not a real word, I think)

Last but not least - another pair of soft and feminine jammies from Grandma Nila

Ahh, and so the shopping bug continues to bite. Not just me, mind you, but even family and friends for me. I mean, for Keira...yeah...that's what I meant...ahem...

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today. One year ago today...

Say it with me...

One year ago today...

We walked into a library...sat down...and listened as
Kelley Prahl, the local rep for Great Wall China Adoption began to explain to us about the process of adopting a child from China. She detailed the journey, answered our questions, and then for the final hurrah brought in two other GWCA families and their adopted daughters. It was like a door clicked, a siren went off, a bell rang, a whistle blew. We were caught - hook, line, and sinker.

After taking a couple days to think it through (though we had already thought on adoption for months) we made the decision to use Great Wall as our agency and proceed with the adoption process. It was like a huge weight lifted off our chests. We finally had a plan, had proof that it worked, and felt such a huge peace that we were headed off in the right direction.

Now, here we are a year later, dossier to China, Keira's nursery almost completed, and waiting our turn in line for the daughter who will change our hearts and our lives forever. Truth be told - she already has - and it all started with a meeting in a library one year ago today.

Thanks to you Kelley - and to you Erin (our new Great Wall "mommie")...for guiding us down the road to making our dream to be parents a reality. Your adoption stories have been our inspiration and have kept us going on the toughest of days and the best of days.


July 4, 2006

Happy 4th of July

Just wanted to say Happy 4th to all my blogger peeps and a big warm "HELLO" from California. Anton and I are spending the day eating and gaining weight (it's the American way). Then it's off to an early start on the 5th to sqeeze into a tiny plane seat and fly home. We're really looking forward to sleeping in our own bed once again, and of course, to seeing our beloved pets. There's just no place like home, although we have enjoyed our time with family and friends immensly.

Hope everyone is having a great day celebrating our hard earned freedom! If you reading this blog, you have way too much time on your hands and not enough fireworks in your stockpile. Then again, I guess that says a lot about me, if I'm writing the blog...

Oh well, enough about me...let's talk about you! What do you think about me? Hahahaha....old joke my Dad used to tell...

See you next time from the great big wide and wonderful state of Texas!