August 31, 2006

Melancholy Loves Company?

I know what you're thinking...what's all this about? The usually upbeat and positive one - why so glum? Can't answer that today...maybe not tomorrow either. What I can tell you is that I'm melancholy. Almost ambivalent. Almost apathetic. Almost...

And tired...

Did you know, friend, that I have a closet full of clothes for her? Someone came over to my house today and wanted to look in that closet. And the door came open and there they all were in their beautiful colors hanging prettily in a row. Oohing and awwing ensued shortly after, but not by me. No, I've already done that. Ooh'd and aww'd. Sometimes when the house is quiet and I'm by myself I go in there, in that little pink and green striped room and I sit on the floor and look all around. And if I'm feeling particularly lonely, I might even take those dresses and sweaters and onesies out and look at them. And if I'm especially sad for her, I might even hold her little dolls or blankets...and think of her and wonder where she is or if she's born...and if her mother could only know that she has parents who love her already, and a beautiful room that's all her own, and beautiful dolls and dresses, and many books...

But not today. I just stood there and watched her ooh and aww and I felt like I was in someone else's house and someone else's nursery and that these clothes were for someone else's daughter. Not mine, surely. Where are the signs? Where are the symptoms? I'm not pregnant -there is no kicking, no braxton-hicks, no midnight cravings. The paperchase has been over for months and months - there is no more checking and re-checking document orders and fed-ex'ing. The only contact I get is an e-mail here and there to tell us that the wait is longer, less information will be available, or no news will be available.

And yet, I signed up for it. Yes, I did. Almost fifteen months ago.

Melancholy is rotten. It's quiet and slow and tiring. It makes me forget why I put myself through all this. And it loves company - the company of apathy, sadness, and ambivalence.

Don't worry will get better. It always does...I mean, it does usually...

Doesn't it?

So, like I said, I know what you're thinking... why so blue? Can't answer that today...maybe not tomorrow either. What I can tell you is that I'm melancholy.

August 30, 2006

Five Months LID

Today we are five - but our girl seems very far away...

If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream. - Martin Luther King, Jr.


Just wanted to share this picture of us from last weekend with Anton's side of the family. Here we are with his only sibling, his sister Lisa. Also pictured are Lisa's husband and two children (our neice and nephew) and also Anton's parents in the background. We had a really great day swimming and Anton grilled up some amazing fajitas. Since Lisa and her family live in another state, it was really good for us to see them and the kids. Anton's parents actually live only about 45 minutes south of our house, so we get to see them a little more often. One of the nice things about moving to Texas and having to leave so much of my own family behind, was having another family waiting here for us. Anyway, just wanted to share...

P.S. Notice the beautiful piano in the background?? That was a gift from Anton's mother to me this month. It is over 100 years old, and she lovingly restored it to perfect condition through some major TLC. She had it in her own living room for several years, but couldn't find the time to play it. When she learned that I had a love of playing the piano, she willed it to me in her Living Will. About a month ago she called and had decided to give it to me now, so I could enjoy it without having to wait until who knows when...and let me tell you, I do. I have played it several times and just the other day played so long that my fingers and wrists were hurting. Poor Anton had to listen to me banging out songs for well over an hour! I love that piano!!!

August 23, 2006

ScrapSwap - Bathtime

Just got this new swap from Elise and I love it. It's 12x12 and these pictures don't do it justice at all. I mean, these pictures are darling, and the actual layout is even cuter!! Elise outdid herself!

I can't wait to see Keira's little face on these pages! Thank you Elise...

To participate in the ScrapSwap see here.

August 21, 2006

For Kelley...the Cheerleader

I confess...(gulp) I was I said it! Happy? husband sees this and says "Yeah Baby!! - Nice...I married a cheerleader! I always wanted to go out with a cheerleader!"


Your turn Kelley...yeah, many Kelley's do you think I know that admit they were a cheerleader?

Batter up!

International Junior Thespian Troupe #88733

What I love about my husband is that he's always up for a challenge. Another thing, is that he's such a good teacher and such an interactive teacher, that he looks for ways to get his students involved at every opportunity.

Earlier in March of this year
, his drama students decided to do a community service project by helping out the SPCA of North Texas. Receiving permission from the SPCA to film on location, the Thespians filmed a video for the animal care group called "“Adopting from the SPCA". The purpose of the video was to make potential families aware of what they can expect when they adopt an animal from the shelter. Fifteen members of the acting troupe, with money granted from the Meadows Foundation, came to our home and our local SPCA to film the video. They were having fun and showing what a great organization the SPCA is. The completed video was formally presented to the SPCA at the Thespian Induction Ceremony at Anton's school in April - and I don't need to tell you how impressed the school administration, the SPCA, and the parents were. This project also had a special place in our hearts, because we are such animal lovers and have adopted all of our pets through shelters, including the SPCA.

Fast forward a few months and last night the SPCA held a Fund Raising event called "Pet Flix 2006". The event is an annual Film Festival of animal lovers from all over submitting short films for the competition. The Panther Players (Anton's kids) promotional video was submitted at the prompting of the SPCA into the Festival. Eleven films were submitted for consideration. Anton and I, and 4 student members of the video cast, and their families attended the Film Festival (as well as some 200 other people). After a short break” (in which the fire alarm was tripped due to someone smoking in the restrooms, clearing the entire theater complex), the judges retired to tabulate their votes.

As we waited for the judges to announce the winners, the SPCA, in need of an impromptu time-filler, asked that Anton and the boys perform a quick improv show. The audience had a great time while the boys “figured out how to get out of a stuck elevator. It was hilarious! I was so amazed how fast they could come up with such funny material - that's what I love about Anton's job. He gets to work with great kids, and you can tell that they totally trust him and had no problem getting up there on the spur of the moment to entertain. It was so great!

The votes came in and in a wonderful surprise that we hadn't anticipated, our own Thespians had won Third Place in the film festival! The film will be shown on the SPCA website ( for getting third place, and the full video will still be shown in its original capacity, as informational material in the lobbies of SPCA centers in Texas.

Above is the picture from last night, and I was so proud of Anton and his students. They were just thrilled to have won such an honor, and Anton was just beaming with pride.

Just had to share!

I ain't missing you at all...(well, only on days ending in "y")

Big hugs to all the ladies who took these pictures from my earlier post challenge. My goal was to show this to Keira in ten years...and of course by then this wait will seem a distant memory that I will have long forgotten the misery of. Here's to all the days ending in "y", before we're all united with our sweeties...

Here's my shot, of course...

Cindy - who saw my post and took the challenge - go girl!

My dear GWCA "mom", Erin

The always funny Miss Robyn

The Lovely Miss Shelli

And last but not least, the ever witty, Valerie

I'm so glad we have these pics now. Can't wait for the ten year reunion...hopefully we'll stay in touch for the interim!

August 17, 2006

Then & Now

Staying true to my recent trend of "time flies" I came across some pictures that compelled me to find their present-day mates. In other words, then and now. Here are some pictures of me and my younger siblings, Dustin and Ashley. It doesn't even seem that long ago that these were taken, but then again, if feels like ages. I look at these pictures and say to myself, "where did the babies go?" "how did they grow up so fast", "why can't they stay little forever". I know this sounds motherly of me, but you have to understand, these were my babies. My Mom had them later in life, but while I still lived at home. My brother was born when I was ten and my sister when I was fifteen. We're all from the same parents. I don’t think I even have to tell you that I loved (and still love) these kids so much. It was a wonderful time for our family, and a period we all look back on as the happiest of our family life. I do regret that there is one sibling missing from these photos, and it’s only because I couldn’t seem to find one. It’s our older brother, Brian, who was three years older than I was. He was 18 when Ashley was born!

Time just plays tricks on us. It convinces us that we have unlimited use of it, and then we blink and it’s long gone – carrying with it our good times, our bad times, and unfortunately the best of times. Looking at old pictures for some is a step into a past they want to forget. For me, and I know for my family, it is a journey back to a sweet time when all was good and right and we were all together under one roof. Joking and laughing at the dinner table, birthday parties, family get-togethers, listening to my Dad chuckle at Johnny Carson from the other room…

Sometimes I stop and think “man, I miss my life…where is it going in such a hurry?” I even look at pictures of my husband and I from when we were dating and love was young and new and exciting and I think, “where did the time go?”

The biggest problem with time, is that so often we want it to speed up to accommodate our needs or desires, and in doing so, I think we miss something vital. What’s happening now is passing quickly. With your family, your friends, your spouse, your children, even your pets. Time is passing and quickly and quietly, and like a thief in the night, will be gone with the memories of it before you can blink. Case in point: the pictures I have posted here.

Meanwhile, here they are now. All grown up, and beautiful and wonderful...and (sniffle) grown up. Oops, I already said that. I can't help it. They grew up so fast and now Dustin is 22 and lives on his own, has a wonderful woman in his life, and just got his own dog. (That's too grown up...I can hardly take it!) Ashley is now 17 and a Senior in High school and it makes me nauseous when I think of attending her graduation. I can't. That will mean that the last of my siblings have entered adulthood and we are no longer "kids". All on par with one another - all grownups facing the world in the same way. It's simply been a fact that I have been a sort of "mini-mother" to them, and now, after all these years, it's time to be a sister. (Oh boo hoo) It's so hard to wave goodbye to the past sometimes. It's sureal how fast time flies by, and we usually have little ability in the moment to realize or appreciate what is leaving with it. Little shoes, macaroni necklaces, finger paintings on the fridge, spontaneous talent shows in the living room, big-wheels, dolls, toy trucks, cute phrases that only they can get away with, and small hands holding on. Or even a kiss from your spouse, a hug in the morning before leaving for work, or a back rub. Small passages of exchange that on the whole we just let go by without notice, but collectively these little things become our life and our eventually our past.

I hope we can all learn to take a moment to savor the memories that we are making daily: to hug your babies a little tighter – and appreciate how small they are in this moment, to kiss your hubby or wife and tell them you’re so glad they’re in your life, and to call a sibling, a mother, a father, grandparent, and say that you love them yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Here’s to all the memories and the ones to be made and cherished starting now…

August 16, 2006

Double Whammy

So I'm totally irritated. First, the memory card on my camera just fried out of the blue and I have lost some really cute pics that I took. I have to get that replaced before this weekend! Also, I have so many pics to share all the time, and blogger...stupid blogger....will not let me post any of them. I've been trying for four days to update this blog (with pics of course) and do you think it will let me do anything but type? No. BORING! So I'm irritated...oh, I already said that...see!!! I repeat myself when pictures are not present. They tell the story better than I do, and now, here I am repeating myself. See, I just did it again...

Deep Breath...

I have a very full week - today I have lunch with a dear friend, and then have a meeting right after for my Church's adoption group and re-structuring it. Last night and tomorrow night Anton and I have play practice for a drama that we're in. Mommies Who Lunch is Friday morning, and we have company coming for dinner Friday night. Ok, it's my in-laws...see, that's much more stressful than just company, right?!?! We are also co-hosting a get together for our local Great Wall adoption group Saturday afternoon at our pool. Last but not least, Sunday is the play and Sunday night we have an award dinner to for a drama video AB and his kids made earlier in the year.

See, this is lame. I have nothing to say, but so much going on. I'm boring without pictures! What is wrong with Blogger, someone please tell me!!!

August 10, 2006

The "Big Wait" continued...

OK, I can see I am going to have to take a little bit more drastic measures:

I do hereby challenge the following people to do the photo task listed in the post prior to this one…
Erin, Robyn, Valerie , Donna , Jamie (Yes! You too!) You're all officially on task...

Shelli - Your post is beautiful and so is your picture! I love it...

Come on gals, if we can take pictures of our pantry and fridge, we can do this one! Don’t make me come over there and take the picture myself…

August 5, 2006

Time in a Bottle

I found this picture today of my mother and I. It's from August of 1992, which is the year I graduated from high school - and amazingly was taken fourteen years ago, give or take a day or more. This is the day my Mother and I said goodbye as she dropped me off at college in Oregon, which at the time was 8-hours away from home (California), but might as well have been 20 hours, because I was homesick for her from the moment she and my Dad drove away. Even though I was thrilled to be in College and living in a dorm with my best girlfriend as a roommate, I was so close to my family that I couldn't imagine that my mother and I would no longer be around each other daily. Fast forward those fourteen years and we've survived so many things they're hard to count, but here's a go: family death, marriage, divorce, separation, a move across country (me - boo hoo), infertility, grandkids, laughter, tears, and much much more. My mom is the kind of person who bears the brunt of the family drama - doesn't complain about it, but bears it. She has four children ages 17-35 (all from my father...just really spread out - oops!) She has three grand-daughters and another on the way. (Yaaa Keira Joy!) She has been fighting Multiple Sclerosis for 17 years and she's still sassy after all these years. Case in point: she has this scooter that she rides around on in public, because walking and MS just don't go together. So, apparently she has a "turbo" feature and when she wants to be really "cute" she'll hit the turbo and go flying down the store aisles - leaving me and shopping cart in the dust. Another example - she'll "honk" at you if you're in her way and she's stuck behind you on the scooter. It's the most annoying high pitched "beeping" noise and she'll hit it and hold....beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.....until you move out of her way so she can zoom past you, giggling as she goes. Gosh, I love her.
The real reason I wanted to share this picture is that I was thinking of my mom and how fast time flies. How it seems like only yesterday I was at college and she was waving from the car as they drove away. In retrospect, I can only see how the years have brought us closer and given me a better understanding of all she's done for me and my siblings, even though at times her ability has been and still is limited by her low-down, no-good "friend" MS. But she's a fighter my Ma. She's feisty...
Anyway, I digress again. The real point is: time flies. Did you catch that? I said, "Time Flies". It's not just a cliché, it's true. This picture is just a memory, but at that moment it was real and painful, and beautiful and hopeful and all the things that memories can be. The real challenge is reminding yourself daily that this too shall pass, and when it does it will be nothing more than a part of your memory. Do you follow me? The big "WAIT"...just a passing moment in time. Take a picture and put it somewhere where you and your daughter will find it ten years from now...and when you do you can say "Oh honey, that was just the time when Mommy thought you would never get here, and it was over before we knew it...and here you are...can you believe it? It seems like it was only yesterday I was taking that picture..."

I'll go's mine...

Your turn...

Big Hug LID friends -

August 4, 2006

I Love Scrap-Swapping with Donna!

I love Donna...let me tell you why I love Donna...
Not only do I love her blog, but I love that she and I scrapbook to the beat of the same drummer. And recently, through her blog, I found out about the Ladybug Scrapbook Hunters group and started swapping scrapbook pages with other expectant waiting families. My good fortune has allowed me to get Donna's name twice in the scrap exchange and for her to get my name once, so we have been going back and forth. When I returned from NY, I not only got my layout from her, I also got the above ladybug bear and card. It was such a treat, and as you will see, the pages she made me are FANTASTIC! So, needless to say, though I have never personally met Donna, and though I have never heard her voice...I feel a camaraderie with her and a friendship. And as I told her just today, can you imagine, we would have never crossed paths had it not been for this amazing journey we're on! Perish the thought...
Give your blogger pals a "hug" today and remind them how much you appreciate walking the road with them!

Ok, above is the layout I sent to Donna in June and the theme was "Summer Fun"

As I said, Donna got my name for July, and the theme was "Patriotic Pride". Above is the layout she sent to me. Isn't it wonderful?!?! I love her style. All those embellishments are three dimensional.

And here is the layout I just sent off to Donna for the same swap. You can click each picture to view a larger image.

So, anyhow, I just wanted to share. If you're a scrapbooker and would enjoy the swap, it's a monthly exchange and we get new participants monthly, so it's never too late to join.

Happy Scrapping, and thanks again Donna! You're the best!

August 3, 2006

New York News

OK, so I'm back from the Big Apple and it was a spectacular trip for me. I had such a great time and it was one good day after another with so much to see and do. Of course, I was there on business, so I also had all the required business meetings and dinners, but it was all so enjoyable and well planned. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I have posted a couple pictures here, but you will really need to look HERE at the first post under my Journal for all the good pictures and the whole story. It is worth clicking the link for! Isn't this picture just the perfect shot?!?!

This is my first New York was sooooo good!

and this was my trip to the American Girl Place -
wonderful store that it was...I wanted one of each!

Ok, so that's enough of a teaser...just go and read the full story over here! Don't worry - it's just my other cutsie website for all my family and friends...outside of blogger land.


August 1, 2006

Happy 4-Month LID!!!!!

July 29th we celebrated the FOUR month anniversary of our LID! We are ringing the bell, turning "cartwheels", and shouting "Hip-hip hooray!" Whew...four down... ___ to go....

I am also going to say this for the those that get discouraged each month when referrals come in and it's not as many as we'd like, or covering as many days as we'd like: we're all in this together. Those families that just got referrals in the last couple days are part of us...part of this big crazy thing we're going through and they were exactly where we are, a year or seven months, or four months, or whatever ago - they were there, and look what happened! REFERRAL DAY! Let's all hang in there and try to be strong. I know it's hard some days (trust me), but my honest reaction to seeing that the "Stork Landed" was one of total excitement and happiness for that part of our "family" that are finally there. After all that work and worry, and frustration...they're finally there! It's a celebration! Time to be happy! And the good news is, that even though we don't know the end date for each one of us, there will be families, are families, coming along behind us, holding on to our stories and our journeys as their hope and encouragement. We all lead each other. Picture holding on to the family in front of you and peeking around their shoulders each step to make sure you were going the right way and not stepping in a hole, or walking through picture the family hanging on to you and trusting you to lend support and lead the way. It's a big chain of families holding on to one another and walking along the road of adoption together. Try to lean on the ones around you and the ones ahead of you for strength. And more than anything, believe that the end will be so worth the weight of the load, that you will never in your life regret for a minute the journey to get there.

Happy LID's and Happy Referrals to all my adoption family!

Big Hug xoxo

P.S. More to come about my trip to NYC in the next post.