March 29, 2007

We finally reach 12 months LID!

That there, folks, is the slow boat to China and we're on it!

It's been a long time coming, and a short walk around the block. It's been the best of times and the worst of times...(haha!) and I can't lie and say it was always easy, but I can't fib and say it was always hard...

Here's to us and our longevity in the pursuit of our daughter, Keira Joy!

And to the year of LID in pictures...(above)

Here's what we did with our year: (and this is only what I can remember, mind you!)

Took vacations to:
  • San Antonio
  • New York
  • California for summer
  • Disneyland
  • New York again

Went to See:
  • Mama Mia
  • The Lion King on Broadway
  • The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway
  • You're a Good Man Charlie Brown
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Who Am I this time?
  • Disney Princesses on Ice
  • The Dallas Cowboys at Cowboy Stadium

  • Ab turning 36 ( bad...35!)
  • CB turning 32
  • 12 LID's every 29th of the month
  • our 5th wedding Anniversary
  • Our 7th dating anniversary (don't laugh!)
  • Living in our home and in Texas for 3 years
  • Superbowl Sunday with 30 guests
  • Working from Home!!

Said goodbye to:
  • Bella
  • Grandpa N
  • Great Grandpa N
  • Meggie, our kitty

Spent our Summer:
  • Swimming all the time and reading by the pool
  • Barbecuing and having friends over
  • Football Camp in Arizona for a week
  • Visiting California

Regular FUN:
  • M3 Get-togethers
  • Our pets crazy antics
  • Getting a Secret Pal and spoiling mine
  • Shopping for Keira
  • Eating AB's yummy creations
  • Church Choir and Worship Team
  • Scrapbooking

Difficult Days:
  • Watching our wait get longer and longer
  • Having my father get so ill
  • Being away from AB for a month while I was with my Dad
  • Seeing Meggie for the last time and not knowing she wouldn't be back
  • Walking in Keira's room and having her not be in there

Things I loved about this year:
  • Meeting five of the greatest friends a girl could ask for and spending more and more time with them
  • Watching Keira's room and closet grow and become beautiful
  • Getting to go to New York, Disneyland, and San Antonio!!
  • All the shows we got to see
  • Hosting my cousin and her hubby while they came to adopt their son!
  • Learning to play Wii and my DS Lite
  • Sitting in bed and playing DS cards with my hubby
  • Snuggling with my dogs every night at bedtime
  • Having quiet morning coffee all to myself
  • Serving at my Church
  • Going in Keira's room and praying for her - just being in her room makes me feel closer to her
  • Ushering in the New Year with all my M3 Posse and their hubbies

To say it's been a full 12 months, is a bit of an understatement. The odd thing is, I really didn't recall doing so much! I challenge anyone who is up to it, to create a slide show and list of how you've spent your wait - whether that be 14 months, 12, or six. If you take the challenge, be sure to post a comment here letting me know. I would love to see your year in pictures! and repeat after me...

"I will not let this wait get me down!!!" (most of the time, any way)


March 26, 2007

A tribute to all of our wonderful pets...

When I sent out the invite for pet pictures, I had no idea so many wonderful pictures would come flowing my way. It was a very special creative project to be able to see all of your beautiful fur-babies come to life through photography. I would have liked to have posted the pictures much larger, but I think it would have taken all afternoon - so I made the images small, but hope you will click on each one to see the larger version and to really see the soul inside. These pets are amazing and isn't it even more amazing what they have brought and added to our families? I hope you will enjoy this tribute to some amazing "kids". Hugs and love - Christie

My babies - Chloe, Kaleigh and Anabelle

"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshiped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this." ~ Anonymous

"An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language." ~ Martin Buber

Mya's beauties - Leon & Nikko

"Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you later." ~ Mary Bly

Doris & Dan's little dog - Miss Daisy

Erin's babies - Raegan & Lucy

"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms." ~ George Elliot

big little man - Rowdy

"The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself, too." ~ Samuel Butler

Valerie's sweet new addition - Maggie

And her little angels - Corky & K.C.

"My little dog -- a heartbeat at my feet." ~ Edith Wharton

Melissa's Babies - Zeus & Jeter

“You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

My mom's dog - Miss Molly (sweetest dog ever!)

Erin's Mom's Dogs - Bonnibelle & Penny (Hi Gran!)

"The average dog is a nicer person than the average person." ~ Andrew A. Rooney

My Aunt Deany's darlings - Dexter, Mojo, Tica, and Tullulah the Bird

"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." ~ Roger Caras

"Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes!" ~ Theophile Gautier

Kelley's Puppy - Miss Hattie

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

March 23, 2007

Last call...

OK gals - last call for those wanting to get their fur-babies in on my pet tribute. I know some of you have e-mailed me to say you wanted to - so let's have them!

I'd like to go ahead and get the post up by tomorrow, so send em on ova, and check the previous post for my e-mail address and details.


March 20, 2007

On Second Thought...

I started thinking about how expensive professional photos are. Then I started thinking, "how hard can this be?" I grabbed up my little Canon Elph Powershot and went in search of the pets. What luck! They were all nestled on our bed, snoozing the afternoon away. They quickly woke up for their photo-op and here's what we came up with...not too shabby for a complete and utter photo amateur. If you have a favorite pet picture and would like me to re-create it the way I did here for free (just for you - all my bloggy pals!), e-mail your pic to me at I will fix it up and send it right back - then we can all have our babies looking top notch on our blogs! M3 Posse - you're up - send em' ova! (You too Colleen, Melissa, and Donna!) When we're done I will make a nice big post with all our babies with links back to your blogs - kind of a tribute, if you will, to our sweetie-pies...

I've got nothing.....

So how about some pics of my fur-babies? Aww, come on? One can never have too many pics of the babies - professional or otherwise...

The Pitiful "Punky Brewster" (she's in a time-out, can you tell?) Kaleigh

Quite possibly the sweetest dog ever - Anabelle. Or "Anabelly, kinda smelly"
Her Royal Highness, the Queen "Chloe" (don't even mess with my mama-cat!) sweet...and my hair...good night! Short and red...totally not me....(it was a phase) You too can have professional portraits with your animals at "The Picture People". They take pets first appointment of the day or last. We were in and out in an hour and had our pictures another hour later. Pretty cool!

March 17, 2007

On the Town...(great movie by the way!)

Ok, so - New York...

You can watch the slide-show above for all the pics. Meanwhile, here are the details...

Let me first explain how it came to be that the poor-house peeps even got to go on this trip. Last summer when I had to travel to New York on business, one of the raffles my employer had was for a three night stay at the Hilton Times Square and I won! Of course, it did have an expiration date of June '07. Meanwhile, we also took a trip to California last summer to see my family and on the return flight, we got bumped from our flight and then bumped again from the next flight. To say they had oversold was an understatement. Needless to say, we got $1200 in airline vouchers that expired in July '07. Low and behold, we now had free airfare and hotel to go to New York and my theater teacher hubby had never been to Broadway and seen an actual Broadway Show! The HORROR! So, we decided it was now or never - and since typically hotel and airfare of the most expensive parts of vacationing, we decided Spring Break was the perfect time to go and that we weren't going to miss this opportunity to have some fun!

We got in last Saturday and had a car pick us up at the airport. (fancy schmancy!) It took us to the Hilton Times Square, where we checked in and had a great room overlooking the Square and the city.

After unpacking and changing, we decided to head on out and see what we could find. Five seconds out the front door of our hotel, we realized that was going to be a lot harder than we thought. The streets were PACKED with people - literally inches apart from one another. Anton had to hang on to me and I to him, or we would have lost each other easily in the crowd. Turned out we had wandered out at the exact time that all the show has just let out on Broadway. So we were in a sea of people and I took one look at Anton and could tell that he was overwhelmed. Anyone would be...

After milling around for awhile, we finally settled on eating at "The Playwright Tavern". Later we went to see the amazing show "The Drowsy Chaperone". It's simply fantastic, and I highly recommend seeing it if you are in New York.

Day two we set off for The Museum of Natural History. What an amazing place! We spent hours there and had a marvelous time exploring this amazing four-story place. Everything from Space to Dinosaurs, and Cavemen to Birds and Reptiles. If you've seen "Night at the Museum" with Ben Stiller, it's based off of the Museum of Natural History. It's a must-see...the museum and the movie.

Sunday night we made our way over to see "The Lion King", which was a breathtaking show with amazing sets and wonderful costumes. Truly amazing...and the singing!

Monday we gave ourselves kind of a free day. We slept in, lounged around town, and eventually ended up at 5th Avenue, Rockefeller Center (where we saw the famous Ice-Skating rink!), The American Girl Store, and Grand Central Station. We also were able to visit a street vendor and snag a yummy hot-dog.

Monday evening we got dressed up and went to Gallaghers Steakhouse and had a wonderful meal. The ambiance was old-school New York - and it was a very old restaurant steep in tradition. We thoroughly enjoyed that meal and each other's company. Anton insisted we go from there to the obscenely romantic Central Park for a late-night buggy ride, which we did. It was cold and brisk out, and the weather was beautiful. The moon was out and the city lights were lit up all around us. Our buggy driver was such a great guy and our horse, Simba was gentle as a lamb. It was the perfect ending to a perfect night.

Tuesday we knew we had to leave, but we spent the morning busying ourselves with a yummy breakfast and packing. Afterward, we headed over to AB's publisher's office - where we got to meet all the staff and sit down and chat with the bosses. It was such a rush to see Anton's play on the shelf in their office. My baby is a playwright!

We decided to be spontaneous and jump on a GrayLine Bus Tour. It's a double-decker bus that takes you all over the city and shows you all of the landmarks. We got to see Ground Zero, The Empire State Building, China Town, and many more places. Places that now we feel might require a second trip to actually be able to see and enjoy them all.

We got an early start back to the hotel and had to miss the last half of our bus tour, which was a bummer - but you don't want to be missing your plane! The car picked us up (this time a black stretch limo...double fancy schmancy - it was all they had available, so we got it for no extra $$) We got to the airport and our gate with plenty of time to spare, only to find out that our flight had to be delayed and when all was said and done, our flight took off almost two hours late. We got home at 1am and were exhausted! And to think, we could have finished that bus tour and then some!

All in all, a great trip and even though we were glad to be home, we had a wonderful time exploring New York together. Next time, we're taking Keira and getting her one of those darned adorable American Girl dolls. AB promised!


March 14, 2007

Sigh...and double sigh...

More to come on the trip to NYC in the next day or so -

Meanwhile, while in New York I got a call from my family to let me know that my Dad has returned to the hospital, two weeks to the day of his release. He has been admitted to the ICU, once again. Sadder still is that his birthday was Tuesday the 13th and he spent it in ICU. His spirits and morale are understandably low.

Please pray for him! You can follow his journey here....

Love and hugs,

March 9, 2007

We're outtie...

AB & I are off to New York first thing in the morning ~ YIPPEE!

Happy blogging to all my blog-world buddies - I'm off to spend four days playing in the Big Apple!

Hugs - cb

March 8, 2007


I can't believe it...just two days after I thought we were stuck in "Review" for yet another month, we got an amended e-mail from our agency saying that we had, in fact, finished review and hopped over to the glorious "Pending Referral" side of the fence. Hallelujah! I thought we would never get here.

YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! and we're so freaking out excited about it, we can hardly stand it. We thought we had missed it again and were so disappointed.

I wondered why I was so excited and felt foolish, and then I realized - we are just waiting for someone to have the time to sit down and match us with our baby girl.

"ok, who is this family? (as she grabs a file from the stack) AB and CB....hmmmm...loud and vivacious Daddy quiet/loud passionate Mommy- .I think this baby is their daughter..." (picture goes on file)

That's it. That's all that's left, and I'm just crying over here trying to swallow that reality. I always felt something would stand in the way, but I should have remembered that we serve a bigger God than that! I know it's just a matter of time now to meet her and hold her and be able to show her how much her parents love her. To be able to put that gorgeous room to use, and to be able to sit with her on the floor of her room and read and play together. And to finally shush the hubby for all the darling clothes I've bought. Because once he sees her in them, it's all downhill Daddy love from there.

I was sitting praying this morning and thanking God for these little victories along the way, because they keep Anton and I grounded firmly in this process. Even knowing that we have several more months to go - it's still such a milestone for us. So many times we wanted to jump ship, and wondered why God would lead us down this painful road - but we never doubted that Keira was our daughter. And I think God has truly given us the strength by way of amazing friends (hint,hint M3) who have been an invaluable support system, peace and confirmation at every stage of this process, and a constant growing love for our little daughter who has never seen our faces, but yet who we have a God given amazing depth of love for - sight unseen. Only God can do that...

Anyway, I just wanted you all to know that I really appreciate sweet Erin giving us the "shout out" - it totally touched my heart. Within an hour of us finding out that we made it through Review, I got an e-mail from Erin to the M3 Posse saying "Christie and Anton are FINALLY out of the Review Room!!!!!! Congratulations!!!!!".

I love you're the best! And God girl...if it had not been for you...(sob)....

Love and hugs,

March 4, 2007

Party ova' here...

We interrupt our normally scheduled post to bring you...

If you're not aware of the biggest blog party on the women's-wide, wide world of blogging, then head on ova' to 5 Minutes for mom and get your blogger groove on ladies!

See, I'm under no false illusions that there are any men reading this blog besides my very own darling - who does it both out of curiosity for what I might post about him (see post directly below) or out of duty - to avoid the "did you read my blog this morning" question.

Meanwhile - I might have visitors, so I really should have tidied up the place - but I'm a wee bit of a sucker, aye I am, for St. Patty and his merry troupe of the little green folk. Did you never watch "Darby O'Gill and the Little People"?!? (don't say no, my heart can't take it!) Great flick, and you will love all things Irish post-viewing.

Here are my tiddlybits for any guests dropping in ~

About me ~ I'm a thirty-smhahdskelr(mufffle, cough sputter) year old gal from good ol' Texas country. Ok, not technically "from" Texas - immigrated to Texas from smoggy ol' California. Don't miss it a bit. I'm married, six years in April to a wonderful man who is both my best friend and my #1 fan. I say that because it takes a #1 fan to really appreciate/tolerate some of my horrors/behaviors. He is a middle school theater teacher, and I am his theater widow. I work from home with a wonderful job that provides flexibility and (gasp) occasional free-time. Who knew that women were supposed to have that! We have two childlike dogs and a chubby cat who is old and crotchety, but who we adore. (All of whom have more space on our king size bed than either of us do.)

Oh, and I just have to "holla" about my upcoming fun-trip - we're leaving this coming Saturday for New Yawk! Alright..New York. But you gotta say it like "Yawk" otherwise they know you're a tourist. Oh, let's face it - me and my baby scream "tourist". We're going to be looking up the entire time. What can you do?!? He's never been, and I've only been once - last summer - and it was an amazing trip. I LOVED it, and my only regret was that he was not with me - because I went for business. So now, we're making up for it by going for four days and seeing a couple Broadway shows - The Lion King and The Drowsy Chaperone. Since my baby is a theater geek, we are really looking forward to this trip and also to the fun and excitement of just getting away for awhile and not worrying about anything but being together and having an adventure!

Speaking of adventure though, we are in the process of adopting our first child from China - hurrah! We have decided to call her Keira Joy, and we have been in the process of adopting for 20 + months - boo! Our dossier (paperwork) has been logged into China's Center for Adoption Affairs for 11 months and counting, and we expect to see our daughter's face for the first time before the end of this year, the good Lord and American Airlines willing! That picture to the left and above is me holding the Dossier in it's UPS package the day it got sent! Her nursery is complete and you can see pictures of the charming cuteness that is her little bedroom HERE. It took a lot of love and effort and it was worth every single sweaty moment.

I love to read, I love to watch my "shows" like Lost, American Idol, and What About Brian. What? You don't watch "What About Brian"? You are sooooo missing out. Great show! I love scrapbooking! I've been doing it for 20 years - no lie. Since I was 12, I have created and kept scrapbooks, and I have every single one to show for it. Gotta love a hobby that sticks. I have baskets of yarn from the "must learn to crochet" phase. I have oodles of books from the "I will read a book a week" period of time. And I have racks of spices from 1993 forward from the "I WILL learn to cook" phase. Thank GOD in heaven that he sent me a man that not only has a passion for all things culinary, but that he can also create and produce AMAZING dishes of culinary delight. But I digress. I have an ungodly amount of scrapbooking supplies and when the mood hits me just right and I make my way up to that there "Hobby Lobby" store - it's fixin to be all over. Did I just use "fixin" in a complete sentence?!? Poor Keira already has three brag books - the layouts are all done and in the books - just no pictures on them yet. Oops...momma's got a brand new addiction!

I think that sums up the majority of the important stuff. All my family lives in California - and that's hard - but I'm working on getting them out here. Just takes time when your roots are firmly planted. Hubby's parents and family lives relatively nearby, so we see them quite a bit.

Oh! Cannot end this post without a big shout out to my M3 POSSE!!! You can't have girlfriends like these girlfriends and not post about them. One of the best things to come out of my adoption process, by far - are my M3 Posse. It's magic...strange but true, pure magic. They are da' bomb baby, yeah! (Watch out - now I'm channeling the Dog Pound and Randy Jackson up in heaya - shoot!) What can I tell you - we are all adopting or have adopted from China. We are all in the same age range, give or take a few. We are all going through or have been through the same things. It's just this strange and wonderful bond of women that is so rare in a group of six. It's just this awesome, inspiring, fun-loving, wonderful thing that I hope lasts for years and years to come. Can I get a witness?!?

That's the scoop dear guests...

Regular readers, don't miss the post below about some gifts I got last week from the hubs..

Now, after this post - if my visitor numbers don't shoot up just a little, I might be bummed! It ain't easy being this comical friend!

Seacrest - Out!


Thank you, you wonderful man...

I told you all that I would be posting about a wonderful and "drool worthy" surprise that my love got for me. When I had been home from Texas for about two days, a large package arrived on the front door step. It had AB's name on it, so I called him and he said "maybe it has my name on it, but I think it's still for you - maybe you should open it?". Excitedly, I opened the box, and saw two more beautifully wrapped boxes inside. I could tell right away that AB had shopped at one of my favorite online stores, the Red Envelope. If you haven't stopped by there, they have a lot of Asian themed items, as well as some beautiful other things. In addition, they have a signature way to present their items, which is a gorgeous red box with a thick ivory material bow. It's so pretty you don't want to open it.....well, almost.

First I opened the card which said:

"I love you so much. I am so glad you're back home. -me"

Then I moved on to the big red box. As I unwrapped the layers of aqua blue tissue, I quickly saw a luxury item - a beautiful white terrycloth robe. As I lifted it up and out, I saw that he had had it monogrammed with my nickname initials. A little background; since we started dating, AB had a little "pet-name" for me and it stuck - and for the most part, when he addresses cards to me, or writes little notes, he puts "HBOO". I will be vulnerable and tell you that it stands for "Honey Bunches of Oats". Please don't think that we're's just this sweet little thing that has stuck from our dating years. So, thank you babe! It's a wonderful and beautiful gift and I absolutely love it!

Meanwhile, there was still another gift to open. I grabbed up the second box and made my way through the ribbon and tissue to find the following for Keira Joy! A little background on this one - last year when our dossier finally went to China, AB got me this same thing for Keira, only it was "Year of the Dog", which is what we thought she would be, since we also thought we would be home from China already. Meanwhile, weeks turned into months and suddenly it was the "Year of the Pig". This is the most thoughtful little thing he could have gotten me. I LOVE it! (and I know Keira, our little "piggy", will love it too!)

Enjoy the pics - and Babe - KUDOS to you for being so romantic and wonderful. And for always finding ways to surprise and amaze me with your kindness and love. And last but not least, for remembering that "gifts" is one of my primary love languages. You're the best hubby ever!


March 1, 2007

Two Things...

You would think after Eleven Months of waiting, I would be somewhere hiding under a rock. But the truth of the matter is this - I have close, dear friends who have been waiting fourteen, sixteen months. How can I whine and complain? I mean, I can - but why should I? It won't change anything and it won't cause a sudden speed up in China. So, as my 12 month LID is next on the "order up" menu, I pause to reflect on the last year and all that has changed for me. The biggest of which is, my M3 Posse. (see slide-show above) I could not have gotten through this far without visiting said "rock" if it had not been for my amazing friends traveling the adoption road with me. Thanks gals for taking this journey with me, one painstaking day at a time. I have high hopes the wait will melt away the moment we're holding our children for the first time. Now, when that will be - who can say? But just the same...happy LID to me and the hubby for reaching 11 months LID.

Meanwhile, if you would like a pick me up, head on over to my dear friend Dena's website Room for Grace - and you can experience their adoption of Piper first hand. We have known this beautiful family since they were paperchasing in '05 and it's so amazing to have seen them walk this journey and finally go get their girl! They're in China as I type this and it's just a beautiful and wonderful story to follow. Love them! Can't wait until they come home and we get to hug all over that beautiful baby girl! Here's a stolen sneak peak - I'm so bad, but aren't they sweet!!!!???!!! Makes me want to jump on a plane tomorrow and go get my girl - also makes the wait bearable...

Don't forget to peak down below at the post underneath this one - it's a new one also, for the hubby!


A Teacher's Passion ~

One of the reasons that I, without a doubt, love my husband - this picture was taken last Friday at the school. It truly captures a teacher's heart in motion...

It also captures the student's admiration for that heart and for the passion he has for teaching them.

You have to click on this picture to really see it...

I love you, babe!