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Monday, January 27, 2014

Re-Starting Over Again.

Remember last year at this time when I'd lost a bunch of weight and was feeling awesome about my weight loss accomplishments? Yeah, it's a vague memory for me too.

Sigh.

Over the summer I was so close to my end goal that I thought for sure I'd make it in no time. And then I couldn't work out for a couple months... and Fall baking season was upon us... and the holidays came... and the stress came... and half the weight I'd lost came.

So here I am again, re-starting over again for the eighteenth millionth time. Which sounds like I've failed. Again.

But I am determined to lose it all again and get to my goal this year.

Will it be easy? Definitely not. Will it happen quickly? Pfft, who are you kidding! But can I do it, with the Lord helping me to keep going? Absolutely.

So here we go again!

The happy part is when I'm running pretty consistently I truly, truly love it. I can't wait to get back to that point in this journey.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pediatrician? Check!

Last night we were supposed to check out a pediatric office for our upcoming child. Of course with the weather what it was supposed to be, we didn't know until the last minute if orientation would be cancelled or not.

We were supposed to get freezing rain in the afternoon, which would change over to snow around dinnertime. We both went home early from work and everything just to avoid the crazies during rush hour. Turns out NOTHING fell from the sky until around 6:30, when we were wrapping up our meeting at the doctors' office. Which was good and a bummer, since I'd rather be home in uncertain weather.

We also ended up getting in a mini-date to Starbucks since we were so early for the meeting.
Coffee and a fireplace
That was nice, especially when the doctor suggested we live it up now since a baby will change everything! A good reminder for us to be savoring our time together now, and not just wishing us into the next chapter of our lives.

Regarding the pediatrician, we'd collected several recommendations from various friends, checked out the websites, compared info and insurance stuff, looked at locations, and finally narrowed our options down to two different offices. Part of our issue is that we hope to buy a house in the next year or two which means our location will probably change- meaning we need a pediatrician more centrally located to where we think we might buy a home in the future.

One office is more of a collaborative effort and is in a fabulous location! They have several doctors and weekend sick child hours. The other office has only one doctor who really knows your child, which I like, but she's not very available, so that option didn't seem practical for our needs.

We decided to check out the first office and if we liked it and felt good about it, we'd just use them. If we were still unsure, we'd check out more places.

The office is bright and open and the staff is super friendly. I like that they have the well-child side and the sick-child side. The doctor who led our orientation was a perfect fit for us- we really liked her and she made us feel very comfortable with the practice in general. Overall, we left both on the same page (yay!) that we could happily check off that we'd found our pediatrician. Awesome!

Especially good because the closer we get to parenthood, the more undone we feel things are. Our to-do list seems never-ending and with CC travelling so much soon, it feels a little overwhelming, but in the best possible way.

I was talking to someone I highly respect last week about the change to parenthood we've got coming up. He described this change as exciting, terrifying, emotional, and traumatic. I think he'll absolutely be correct, but the word traumatic has stuck in my brain since he said it. Change of any kind is pretty hard for me, so I imagine going from just us two to adding a third human will be pretty traumatic- the best possible kind of trauma, but still a bit crazy until we get used to the 'new normal.'

In the meantime, it finally started snowing while we were at the doctors' office, and we got to drive home in the pretty snow. It was surreal- we must've been driving at the same speed the snow was coming down, because we saw this illusion that made us think we weren't moving- on the highway. Freaky!

This is what we woke up to this morning.
Not much left!
Not much snow left at all and ice turned out to be a non-issue. I'm still praying for our blizzard/freak snowstorm that'll give us a couple of snow days at home, but it was lovely.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?

I know most of the entire country is over snow, but we are due for our first true trace of snow today and

I. CANNOT. WAIT! 

Truly, I turn into a four-year-old when it comes to snow. Every year during winter, I pray daily for snow- a blizzard, if I pray harder. I've been singing that song from the Frozen movie for the last three weeks... "Do you wanna build a snowmannnnn?"

I'm so excited!!! We're hoping for an inch (yes, a single inch) of snow if we're lucky. The entire area will shut down if that happens (or maybe if it doesn't), due to the snow changing to black ice overnight.

Ice is the biggie here- that's what folks really freak out about. Ice is or at least can be so very dangerous. By that time though hopefully CC and I will both be snuggled up at home safe with Scoutaki eating soup from the freezer (prepared just for this situation) and watching Biggest Loser tonight on tv. Happy sigh! Bliss.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Amazed.

I have truly been amazed at the outpouring of support, especially financially, for our adoption. I knew we'd have support and encouragement from most folks, but we've had not one negative remark from anyone.

Yesterday someone gave us $100 towards our adoption completely unexpectedly. Another person stopped me in the hallway at work to ask what she needed to do to give. Today someone wrote a note that she'd rolled pennies and wanted to give us that $20. All unexpected blessings of financial support. Another friend swung by work and brought me dinner which I've been eating while CC's out of town for work (and she didn't even know he'd be gone!). Riley's God Pocket artwork continues to support our fund throughout this month. Amazing.

You people are blowing me away. I mean, I know how wonderful you are to begin with, but when it comes down to helping each other with big stuff like this, I sure do love our community and our support network!

And thank you. We mean it from the bottom of our hearts.

Thank YOU.

YOU are making this happen.

We couldn't do this without your support and we are eternally grateful.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Questions...

I've always been THAT kid in class who had a million questions for the teacher. Not my mother, but I, would warn the teacher at the beginning of each year that I would be THAT kid. That's how bad I was.

I'm still like that- full of questions, wanting to know the whys and the hows... I can only imagine that's what led me to being a Psych major in college. I love knowing the reasons behind everything (it's the main reason I hate magic- because no one will ever tell me HOW they do the tricks! Drives me crazy...).

I was walking Scoutaki Mushroom this afternoon and got to thinking about how often I have questions that go unanswered. Am I the only one like this? Do you get frustrated when a moment passes without the ability to get your questions answered, no matter how small and random they seem?

Some questions I've got on my mind...
  • (As I was walking Scout today) A lady drove by shielding her eyes from the sun blinding her. Why didn't she use her visor? Is it broken? Did she forget she has a visor for that exact purpose?
  • Open adoption vs semi-open adoption?
  • When will our placement happen? Will we know in advance or will it be sudden? Will it be within the revocation period or will our child be ours outright?
  • Why on earth did I wear flannel plaid today when it's so warm and gorgeous outside? Who knew it would be such a pretty day?
  • Does X person know their belt loop on their jeans has been broken and torn for about six months? It's driving me crazy!
  • Why do I have such dry hands that not even the prescription hand cream works?!
  • Starbucks Barista, do you know right away the answers to my survey giving me that coupon, or how long does it take you to get the results? Did I spell that barista's name right?
  • Why does this stupid CD/DVD burner only work most of the time and not all of the time? What is this stupid error message about capacity? Why isn't THAT error message in the four page list of possibilities in the manual?
  • When I ask you, Random Person, how you're doing, can you tell that I really want to know, and it's not just for manners' sake?
  • What does God want me to actually be learning during this time of my life when I can't plan or prepare for any of these big changes coming up?
  • Is anyone reading this bored by my list? Because I had other questions and of course can't remember them right now...
Maybe this is more my melancholy side coming out now that CC's gone for his work trip. He's traveling again these days and I am never thrilled. Fortunately he figured out how to gain back a day and keep these little trips shorter than they were.

And in the meantime, I have good ol' Colin to keep me company...


Hands down, the best version ever

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Only Our Dog...

I know my Christmas recap post was a bit long, but I thought it worth recapping this one part of our last couple weeks...

Poor baby girl
Did you catch these photos from before that show that Scout's nose actually CHANGED COLOR AND TURNED PINK OVERNIGHT?!

What the what?!?
So bizarre
Literally overnight. No exaggeration. Literally she had a black nose at bedtime, and the next morning when she got up it was pink.

At first we thought maybe since she was so sick she'd literally licked the black off her nose (if that's even possible), but apparently that wasn't the case. Even weirder was that there were no wounds, or cuts, or scabs, on her nose, so there was truly no clue why her nose had changed color.

I called the vet that day because that seemed kind of freaky to us, and the vet was all 'oh sounds like a severe allergic reaction; she'll be fine.' WHAT?! I asked if we should bring her in and they said 'only if you feel like you want to.' WHAT?!

(Note: We've been seriously considering switching vets for the last few months, but then we found their last chance to redeem themselves with a killer amazing vet we finally got to see, so for now we're staying put, reluctantly.)

So we went back last weekend for her follow-up visit to all the sickness plaguing our puppy and we asked the really good vet what she thought. She did bloodwork, took photos of Scout's nose, did all kinds of things to be sure Scout's really alright... she even emailed her doggy dermatologist buddy at the vet school to ask their input (see, she's really good!)... she even had me email her so she could email me what the dermatologist had to say...

Turns out for now we think it's just a flukey, benign situation Scout's dealing with, which just figures. Weird stuff happens to us all the time, so it makes perfect sense that this would also happen to Scout. God has the funniest sense of humor when it comes to these things!

Her nose slowly seems to be gaining back some of its natural black color, so we will see, but we all may have to get used to our dog having a half-pink, half-black nose. She sure has been through the ringer this past month!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Adoption Update!

I haven't updated about where we are in our adoption process in a while, so I thought I'd catch you up! Yay! (Also since this serves as my journal, I need to update myself!)

In early December our homestudy was officially approved! This provided a huge sigh of relief as this was the final signing of the dotted line, so to speak.

We didn't go on the waiting list because we didn't have all our money together at that time. I was kind of bummed to not be on the list for Christmas, but it worked out since Scout was so sick and I was stressed enough without wondering if we'd get THE call so quickly.

(To remind you/me: Being on the waiting list means all we are waiting for is THE call telling us a birthfamily has chosen us to be their child's parents and we get our placement- physical custody of our child.)
The Lord has still been providing the funds!
In the meantime, our dear friend Krista helped us get registered at Target and Babies R Us so we're good to go there.

I think CC wanted to register for this carseat- it had a cape and everything!
Krista was VERY helpful in helping us register for things we could use if we get a baby or a toddler. We didn't register for clothes or diapers since a) we don't know sizes, and b) she says once we have our person, folks will give us both regardless, which is great news to us!

Also in the meantime after Christmas, CC's parents surprised us with 'shower' cookies that were sooooo amazingly delicious and super cute- our first baby gifts, officially! (By the way, our fundraiser with Baked Happy was wonderfully successful! Thank you!!!!)

Cookies!
'Can't wait to meet our future buckaroo!'

They wanted to be here for at least one shower so they 'showered' us with cookies and it was a wonderful treat and a fun surprise!

At the end of December, we had saved enough money to go on the waiting list! Yay! Our agency was closed for the holidays until the 2nd, so we officially went on the waiting list about one month after our homestudy was approved (not too shabby!).

We're thrilled to finally be in the waiting stage of this process, but boy am I just now realizing all we still need to do to be as prepared as possible. I've borrowed a couple books from the Kids' Ministry folks here at church and am trying to read about the first year of life, since my main concern at this point is how to keep a new person alive.

Books!

We still have to find a pediatrician and all kinds of stuff like that. There's so much! But it's all interesting and fun at the same time.

I've been stocking our freezer either for our new kiddo's first days with us or for the snow blizzard that I'm praying for.
For those of you wondering, we ARE still fundraising for the final adoption fee. While we technically have the money, that final fee would kill our savings account if we got THE call anytime soon, which is why we're still fundraising to hopefully raise enough money that we don't have to drain our savings account.

There are currently two ways we are fundraising. The first is our puzzle piece fundraiser, which is going strong- we still have just about 200 pieces left to 'sell.' If you're interested in that, visit the 'adoption fundraising' tab at the top of this blog for the details and nitty-gritty.

The pieces left to be 'sold'

The second way we are raising funds at the moment is we are receiving a portion of the sales from here. My friend Joy's son, Riley, is a very cool and special kid. He wants to be a graphic artist when he's grown up (right now he's a teenager), but you see he's got some serious eye issues going on. (You can read more about that on Joy's blog if you're interested.)

I never had the serious issues Riley's dealt with, but some of you remember that I had eye surgery when I was 16 which left me with some not so fun life-long side effects. I am not at all trying to compare myself to this situation except to say that I can understand a little tiny bit of what Riley's feeling and going through, and it helps me know how to more specifically pray for him and their family.

The cool thing is that Riley and some friends are selling digital prints of their artwork for five bucks each (that's cheaper than a puzzle piece!). Riley gets to keep part of it, part of the sales go toward a 'cause of the month,' and the rest of the funds are used for Riley's medical expenses. I think it's a great idea! Guess what?! Our adoption fund is the 'cause of the month' for January, so we are getting a portion of the sale money! It's really cool and totally God-orchestrated, but I am most hopeful that lots of prints sell to encourage Riley and his family. Will you consider supporting Riley and his dream of being a graphic artist? You can check out their shop here.

I think that's everything for now. My cell phone is permanently attached to my side 24/7 just so we don't miss a call from our agency. Will you please continue to join us in praying for our birthfamily? It was heavy on our hearts this Christmas that they were probably dealing with some pretty heavy decisions to be made over Christmas. We are praying for wisdom, clarity in their decision-making, and support, comfort, and guidance for all involved. Obviously we are also praying that God would be revealed and the Lord would be glorified through this hard time for them.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

My Christmas 2013 Recap

Hello friends! It's been a while and I've missed you. I wanted to recap Christmas for you if you don't mind.

Basically after a successful but exhausting Christmas Unwrapped, we were on 'vacation.' I say it in quotes because Scout got SICK and we basically took care of her for the last month.

Vet visit after vet visit, sicko dog after sicko dog... as high maintenance as Scout can be, she's never in her almost five years of life ever truly been sick. Well, she's now made up for all of that. We now completely understand the whole 'sick as a dog' expression. What we thought was an upper respiratory something turned out (after two and a half weeks of drugs and vet visits) to be some serious allergies. Then the back end of her got sick and then we had to deal with that. Let's just say she FINALLY seems to be back to her old self, praise the Lord!

I added up how much we spent on her in December and it was almost $500. Unbudgeted, unplanned dollars. I am SO thankful for our emergency fund! (we've since had to spend another $250 or so on her as well). (Basically each visit she ended up getting a different treatment plan which negated the meds we'd already purchased for her, which is what ran up the costs.) But like I said, she's finally appearing to be back to normal. Yay!

It was interesting training for our future kid though. I won't give you the details but let's just say we were up every two hours throughout several nights at one point to take care of her. Well I should say I woke up enough to wake up CC who then took care of getting Scouty outside in time, so CC really did the bulk of the night duties. (duties? good grief.)

And oh yeah, our washer broke the day after Christmas and we had to get that repaired. Fortunately we didn't have to buy a new washer, but be warned: around year 12, the lid switch mechanism apparently is known to give out to the tune of $150. Consider this your PSA.

Moving on... the good parts of Christmas included almost all of Hubby's family being in town, which was WONDERFUL. We're all never together often enough to suit any of us, so we took serious advantage.

One of the highlights was that all of us kids went bowling and ate lunch one day. We had such a great time it might have to become tradition!

We saw movies, (I) suffered through many Dr. Who marathon episodes as well as the new ones, sang along to the Frozen soundtrack (which I STILL can't get out of my head), and generally lazed about and ate lots of cookies.

We were in the middle of Focus T25 Beta if you recall before Christmas Unwrapped... yeah, we took two weeks off that turned into three weeks that turned into a mutual, 'Hey, let's get back into running since that's what we actually enjoy and come back to T25 some other time' which turned into four weeks which is now attempting to get back to running (hey I ran once last week!) and better eating (which as we all know is the real problem here).

So that is the very short gist of what our Christmas looked like. Cue photo dump...

Our tree that may or may not have made Scout deathly ill
She was all about some Christmas spirit this year!
Meredith gifted us with mason jar tumblers full of cookies! SO yummy!
How we bond in this modern age
Cutest sicko I ever saw
Mama T and me at the Christmas Eve Service
This year's candlelight service became a glow-stick service that was awesome!
Our little family of stockings
Facetime rocks, just sayin'
The hairiest these men will ever be. Seriously, ever.
I mean, come on...
Our nontraditional selves had lasagna for Christmas dinner. I highly recommend it.
Obligatory but awesomely super red Christmas family photo
Bowling men
Bowling ladies
The front of our Christmas card
The back of our Christmas card
Even her nose changed color, bless her heart!
BEST baby gift yet!
My New Year's Eve dinner. Oh the irony!
We were in bed and out cold by 11 on New Year's. We're hardcore that way.
New heart rate monitors for each of us! I told you I've run once!
Rockin' her sweater hoodie in the cutest way possible.
Finally back to almost normal