July 28, 2006

Nothing raises a girl's spirits better than.....

a little retail therapy, an hour long deep tissue massage (with hot stones), and a great gift from her secret pal.

So after yesterday's near breakdown (just kidding) Paul and I are both at a much better place today. I recieved an awesome gift from my secret pal and it was wonderful timing.

Here's a picture of my loot:

She sent a ladybug wind sock type thing, a children's book, colorful plates and napkins, a ceramic mug, magnet, and notepad set, and Little People. Have I mentioned that I am obsessed with little people? I hope Avery enjoys playing with them as much as I enjoy collecting them.

Today I did a little shopping and running errands and then Paul and I both treated ourselves to massages. It was funny that the massage therapist made a comment that my muscles were tight. Wonder why that could be? Don't worry she worked them all out.

This evening I have continued on my scrapbook quest, and who knows what tomorrow holds?

My thought for the day: "Don't count the days, make the days count!"

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

July 27, 2006

Beat Down....

WARNING: This post is likely to contain negative thoughts, whining, and other general non-fun stuff. If you only want to read happy, go lucky, "all is right with the world" posts stop reading now.

When I first started this blog, I stated that I would use it as an honest outlet for the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is a journal of our life, our quest to become parents, and eventually our journey with Avery. I am at a place right now that is definitely "the ugly".

A stork alert came today for families registered June 29 through July 13. While I am happy for those families, I am just beat down with the whole adoption process. I have held out hope that after things started slowing down that "the wait" would not extend past 12 months. When the CCAA finished matching through June 28 in June I thought this is it now we will start having full months again and that will put us right on the 12 month wait point. Then came July and only half the month was matched. That blows my theory right out of the water. Who knows how long this wait will extend, who knows when we will finally be able to see our daughter’s face. Who knows anything at this point????

Paul and I are both just plain po'd (sorry for cussing, Grammy and Daddy Sonny). Upset that we finally thought we would become parents and now the due date keeps extending and extending. Upset that we hear all these stories of orphanages being at capacity yet referrals coming slower and slower. Upset that we think we are good people and would make awesome parents yet we can not make that dream come true. Upset that…..well, you get my point. We are just plain po'd in general!!

What makes this wait even harder are the endless questions of "Have you heard anything yet?" "What is taking so long?" "When are you going to China?". I know people mean well and we are lucky that we have so much support with family, friends, and co-workers but it gets frustrating. I do not mean to hurt anyone’s feelings by saying this I am glad that people see genuinely interested but I am just tired. Tired of explaining, tired of trying to justify, tired of waiting and searching for every little piece of information, tired period. I can assure you that when we do finally hear something you will not have to ask. We will be shouting it from the rooftops!!

So….that’s where we are right now. We still have a great life, we still have more blessings than we deserve, we still have awesome family and friends, we just still want our daughter.

I am sure when the raw emotion of this months referral batch wears off we will be back in that jovial, happy, crazy atmosphere.

Until then…………

July 24, 2006

I forgot to share one of the funniest pictures from this weekend. Saturday, while my mom and I were floating in the pool, Paul and my dad decided to move a storage shed. We had just purchased a new one so dad wanted to move the old one to his place. Mom and I heard the 4-wheeler coming up the road and this is what we looked up to see.....................................I'm sure this is not the safest way to do it, but I guess it got the job done. Needless to say they we're not impressed when I jumped out of the pool and yelled "Don't move, let me get the camera!" They moved the floor next and it was not nearly as exciting. They just drug it.

Anyway, just could not resist letting all you readers out there know the crazy way my family does things!!!!

July 23, 2006

Another Action-Packed Weekend!!!

Grab a chair and settle in, it's going to be a long one.........

Let me tell you about my action-packed birthday weekend. We have been going non-stop until today so I will just break it down by day for you. It started with our first day off which was Thursday and continued until today!!!

THURSDAY-We had dinner with my cousin and her family at Carraba's Italian Grill. I had never been there before so they thought it would be something fun and different to do to celebrate. Paul had a monstorous bowl of spaghetti and meatballs and I had chicken, spinach, and cheese ravioli. Both were delicious!!!!

Paul with his enormous bowl of spaghetti. The picture does not do it justice.

Prior to meeting Terria and her family, Paul and I went to a scrapbook store that I had heard about from co-workers. It was the most fabulous scrapbooking store I have ever been to. They have so much to choose from and so many great ideas. I will definitely be shopping there more in the future!!

FRIDAY-We had our monthly Mommies Who Lunch. I just love this group of women and always have so much fun with them. We had two new inductees this month, Christie and Vickie. I hope they were not overwhelmed with all the craziness that goes on, but I think they fit right in with the rest of us!! Valerie and Shelli both gave me birthday presents that were outfits for Avery. They are adorable. She is going to be the best dressed girl around!!

Here's the crew!!! (minus Jamie who had leave early to go pick up her son)

I just had to post this picture because I thought it was so cute. While the adults were dining on spinach quiche, salad, and other goodies. L had her own special lunch: Sushi and Diet Coke. How cute is that????

Every time I got my camera out today, Mia would come up to me and say CHEESE!!

FYI to my Mommies who Lunch: no freebies were given!

After lunch and visiting with all the gals I came home to get ready for the Faith Hill and Tim McGraw concert I had posted about earlier. Paul and I met up with my parents and then we all went to dinner and then rode a train-type thing to the concert arena. The concert was AWESOME we had such a good time. There were no opening acts, just Faith and Tim the whole time. They put on a very good show and we had GREAT seats!!!

My mom and dad riding the DART rail to the concert venue.

Both of these pictures were taken from our AWESOME seats (with just a little zoom)!!

Thank you soooo much mom and dad for a wonderful evening and an awesome birthday present.

SATURDAY-After a late night Friday we slept in on Saturday and then I spent the morning running errands and catching up on household chores. My mom and I spent the afternoon floating in the pool and then I spent the evening scrapbooking. Overall it was a relaxing day!!

Avery now has her own grow-stick at my mom's house. For each of her grandchildren mom has painted a stick and nailed it to the wall and every birthday they come and get measured. Kelby and Kolin just love comparing how much they have grown over the years. A couple of weeks ago mom added another stick to the wall for Avery. When we (finally) get her referral mom will add all the vital stats.

The sticks go from floor to ceiling.

Avery is on the "wall of honor".

SUNDAY-Today is my actual birthday but it seems as if I have been celebrating all week long. Today was another relaxing day with scrapbooking (I am really trying to get them all caught up), floating in the pool and then a birthday dinner at my mom and dad's.

I had told Paul not to get me anything for my birthday but (as usual) he did not listen. In addition to getting me a great pair of shoes that I have been eyeing for months he was able to find my favorite pool float. I am addicted to a particular kind of float. I don't know why but I just love these: they are thin (so you can feel the water), wide (so you can turn without falling off), and easy to carry. I had a couple left over from last summer so when all the pool stuff came out this year I did not buy any more. Needless to say my leftovers have already become "casualties" of summer and I have been looking everywhere to replace them. For the last 3 weeks every store I have gone in I have scoured the aisles looking for my float to no avail. Well, my wonderful husband was able to locate them and he purchased 3!! As he put it "one in every color". I couldn't wait to blow it up, grab my book and spend a couple of hours in total bliss. It's the little things in life!!

My favorite float!!!

That's all I got.......tomorrow it's back to work.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!!

July 20, 2006

7 Months Down!!!

7 months ago today our dossier was registered at the CCAA. The time hasn't flown by but it also hasn't crept by either. We have kept ourselves busy (as evidenced by this blog) and plan to continue to do so.

We can't wait to see our sweet Avery's face and spoil her rotten. The wait time has fluctuated since we began and we have done pretty good at just going with the flow. I read an interesting quote today and have decided it will become my mantra:

"If you want to make God laugh, tell him YOUR plans." Mother Teresa

We don't know what God still has in store for us, when we will get our referral, or what other twists and turns the roller-coaster of life will bring but we are resilant and we will tackle each task as it comes.

So here's to 7 months down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 19, 2006

My wonderful yet horrible dad.....

I had an awesome surprise from my dad today. It’s a great story but I have to give you some background first:

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are having a concert near us this coming Friday night. I love both these singers as do my mom and Paul. The three of us had talked about going to the concert several months ago but the tickets were already sold out. We have been watching ebay and other ticket brokers but have not seen any good seats that were within our price range. It complicated the matter even more because most seats we found were either in groups of 2 or 4 and we only needed 3. We asked my dad if he would be interested in going and he said "oh, it doesn’t matter". Well, my mom did not want to pay that kind of money for a response of "it doesn’t matter". This past Sunday night my mom and I made one last attempt at looking for tickets but with the concert less than a week away the prices were outrageous unless you wanted to be in the nose-bleed section. We finally decided that Tim and Faith would just have to perform without us.

Now on to the story:

Tonight as I was leaving for work my dad called and asked me to stop by his house on my way out. When I arrived he asked me to hand him an envelope that was lying on the counter. When I gave it to him to said to me "Since your birthday is coming up I wanted to get you a special present but there’s a catch." He then handed me an envelope with 2 tickets for the concert in it. He went on to explain that he was only able to obtain 2 tickets and it was my decision who to take. I went from elated to nauseous in 1 second. Who do I take? My mom, who is my best friend, and the ultimate country music fan or my husband who had voiced the desire to go from the beginning? I knew whichever one did not get to go would be disappointed. My dad told me that he knew it put me in a tough spot but it was ultimately my decision. I went back and forth in turmoil. My dad finally told me to go ahead and take Paul and that he would break the news to my mom. I told him I could not do that and I would have to tell her myself. About that time she arrived home from work. She came in to the living room and sat down. My stomach was in knots and I was so worried about disappointing her. I simply told her "Dad has put me in an awkward position" I then explained that he had given me 2 tickets for the concert and that I had to decide who to take. She immediately told me "I would never ask you to choose me over Paul". I repeatedly asked her if she was sure and she assured me that it was okay. My dad finally spoke up and said "she won’t be too disappointed because she can go with me"

WHAT?????? Are you freakin’ kidding me??? You have 4 tickets????

All along my dad had 2 other tickets that he neglected to tell me about. He decided to pull the ultimate prank. After I recovered from the shock and my nerves calmed down I was estatic but I still could have rung his neck!!!

So this Friday (my birthday weekend) Paul, my mom, my dad, and I will be enjoying the Tim McGraw/Faith Hill concert. Love ya dad (even if I could kill you sometimes)!!!!

July 17, 2006

Big Bertha pics!!

As I stated in my previous post we had alot of fun last week tubing on Big Bertha. I could not believe that the tube actually had that kind of name (ironic, huh?).

When we were in the water we were using one of those disposable water cameras and alot of our pictures came out too distant. We were able to get several good ones so here goes:

Grammy and Daddy Sonny (Paul's grandparents) getting ready for a ride. Who else do you know that has 70ish year old grandparents that would go tubin'?

Grammy decides to go for a ride by herself. She loved every minute of it!!

The take off!!! Hang on!!!

When all was said and done, Grammy, Daddy Sonny, my mom, Paul, Kelby and I all took our turns riding the tube. It was a BLAST!!

While we were out exploring on the lake we came across this makeshift swing. Under a bridge that connects Texas and Oklahoma someone had tied multiple ski ropes together to make a swing. Well Paul decided he just had to try it out.

Paul and his dad getting ready to go out for a morning ride.

Big Bertha photos will have to wait...

Just wanted ya'll to know that I attempted to post the pictures of all of us riding Big Bertha but blogger was not cooperating. I guess I will have to leave you in suspense until I can upload them.

Until then......

July 16, 2006

Lovin' Lake Life....

Yesterday we came home after spending 4 days of relaxation at the lake. We had a wonderful time and got some rest. No, it wasn't an action-packed, every scheduled minute vacation like we are used to but it was a WONDERFUL change of pace and we can't wait to go again. We camped along side Paul's parents and grandparents and spent a great deal of time playing on the lake, eating good food, and enjoying each other. My parents came out with my nephews and spent an afternoon, so we were immersed in family all week. Here are some of the pictures we took. Some of the water ones did not turn out great because I was using one of those disposable water-proof cameras, but I think you can get the idea.

This is my view for the week. I would get up and go outside and sit in a chair under the shade and read a good book. I was a great and relaxing way to start each day and a couple of days I spent over 4 hours in this same spot.

Paul's mom, Sandra, giving me a pedicure lake-side.

This is our home-away-from-home. We have a queen size bed on one end (that completely shuts off as a bedroom), living area, dining, and kitchen in the middle, and bathroom and bunk beds on the other end. Yes, we have lights hung up outside and the whole nine yards. I think the only "roughing it" we did was that we did not have internet access and we did not put out the sattelite so we only picked up CBS and NBC. Oh the hardships!!

Paul's dad, Cliff, manning the ice cream maker. My mom gave us a fabulous recipe for orange sherbert that we made one night. It was wonderful!

Make yourself at home Rowdy!!!! Rowdy enjoyed being spoiled all week long. He loves camping. Don't worry all you germaphobes we sanitized the table before we ate on it.

My mom riding the jet skis. This was her first time on one and she really enjoyed it!!

Paul, Kelby, and Kolin (our nephews) went for a couple of wild rides.

Paul, Sandra, and Cliff "babysitting" in the water. Who else do you know that brings a boogie board for their dog????

This is BIG BERTHA!! That's the name of the tube, not the riders. She was the source of several laughs, wild rides, and lots of fun. Me, Paul, my nephews, my mom, and even Paul's grandparents took her for a spin.

Stay tuned for those pictures.....

July 11, 2006

And we're off.............

This afternoon Paul and I will be leaving for 4 days of rest and relaxation at the lake. We will be camping along side his parents and grandparents. I will probably be absent from the blogworld for the rest of the week, unless I can tap into another camper's WIFI satellite signal:)

Rest assured I will be back this weekend with what I am sure will be humorous stories of "roughing it" and pictures of this month's mini-vacation.

Hope everyone has a fabulous week!!!

July 10, 2006

7 Things Tag!!

My wonderful friend Erin has felt the need to tag me with a new trivia that is circulating blog world. 7 lists of 7 things about me!! Being the person that I am I tried to come up with interesting and entertaining answers.

Here goes nothing:

7 Things I can do:
spot a bargain
burp obnoxiously loud
sing the books of the New Testament of the Bible
be a loyal friend
start an IV on someone with crappy veins
plan a trip to Walt Disney World down to the smallest detail
be counted on in a crisis

7 Things I cannot do:
water ski
drink beer
drive below the speed limit
go on long road trips without stopping to pee
eat a meal without something to drink
say the "F" word or the "GD" word
eat a steak that is pink in the middle

7 Things that attracted me to my husband:
he's easy going
he's handsome
he loves his family
he's not afraid to cry
he loves me unconditionally
he lets me win most arguments
he will make an awesome father

7 Things I say most often:
Love ya!
You see what I'm saying?
Hey babe! (to Paul when I need something)
Whatcha doin? (my standard question whenever I call someone)

7 Movies I Love
An Officer and a Gentleman
Father of the Bride
Gone with the Wind
Sixteen Candles
Steel Magnolias
The Little Mermaid

7 Books I Love
(I have changed this to authors)
Sandra Brown
James Patterson
Karin Slaughter
Tess Gerritsen
Ann Rule
Fern Michaels
Julie Garwood

7 Things I would like to do before I die
sky dive
visit all 50 states
become a mother and grandmother (hopefully at least 20 years apart)
convey to my loved ones how much they mean to me
grow old and gray with Paul
visit Walt Disney World on New Year's Eve

So there you have it "7 Things Tag". Whew, I think that was harder than "50 things about me" we did several months ago.

Hope you enjoy!!

July 9, 2006

I succumbed to peer pressure......

For some unknown reason there is a new trend on my friend's blogs to post pictures of your refrigerator and pantry. I'm not really sure what the purpose is but because I have been challenged to do the same here goes:

Here is our refrigerator, you can probably tell that we are way more concerned with having beverages than food. We eat out ALOT but we should own stock in gatorade, bottled water, green tea, etc.

Since I don't really have a pantry (those that don't cook much don't need to waste space with that) here is picture of the cabinet that houses our dry goods. At least the cans aren't alphabetized.

After a great party on Friday, my exciting Saturday night consisted of working on some scrapbooks. I have mentioned before that one of my goals is to get all my scrapbooks up-to-date before Avery arrives. I am making progress.

Here are all my supplies layed out on the coffee table so that I could watch a Law and Order marathon while working.

And last but not least, here is my sweet Rowdy snoozing away while I worked diligently on my albums.

FYI: I have also been challenged to come up with a "7" list and I am working on that now. Stay tuned......

July 8, 2006

A Great Party!!!

What do you get when you add 42 people, 30 lbs of ribs, 16 hot dogs, 40 hamburgers, 10 lbs of potatoe salad, 96 sodas, 2 cases of bottled water, enough sweets to make a dentist cringe, 144 sparklers, and 25 minutes worth of amazing fireworks????? A GREAT PARTY!!!!!!!

Paul and I hosted our annual "Around the 4th" cook out, swim party, and firework show yesterday and it was amazing. People started showing up at 1:30 in the afternoon and the last party patron left at 10pm. The kids were exhausted from all the time in the pool, the food was wonderful, the adults rotated from cooling off in the pool to sitting on the deck visiting. The weather was fantastic. I think it only reached the 90's here in the Lone Star state, hot enough for good swimming but cool enough not to be miserable in the heat.

The most famous question of the day: "Now what is the date for next year?". We are really not sure about that yet, but considering it should be Avery's debut at the cook-out I am sure it will be a blast!

Now on to the pictures:

The hostess with mostest x2. Paul and I enjoying all our guests. (Yes, this is the closest you will ever get a picture of me in a swimsuit.)

Paul chillin' in the pool. Those noodles really come in handy.

The kids enjoying the deep end. At any given time there were at least 12 kids in the pool. I think there was a line at the diving board the majority of the day. Some of the adults even took the plunge but no pictures were allowed.

Bailey strikes a pose while jumping.

Wave to the camera Courtney.

Paul and Trinity enjoying the water.

Montana with his massive water gun.

Andrew was scared to jump off the diving board so Paul took him for a jump.

Bailey, you are supposed to get out of the pool to do your sparkler....

Some of the adults had a front row seat for the firework show.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and hopefully by these pictures you can tell a fun time was had by all!!

Special thanks to my mom and dad for opening their home and their pool to all our friends. You guys are the best!!!!

July 2, 2006

Quilts Galore and We Have Bugs!!!

There were several things I forgot to mention in my post yesterday. So here I am again:

When Paul's grandparents came over on Friday his grandmother brought the finished quilts for Avery. They are all beautiful and the pictures don't do them justice. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed!!

Avery's 100 Good Wishes Quilt. Grammy quilted a heart pattern on it and I found some fabric that had little Chinese girls holding parisols that we used for the backing.

This is an animal quilt piece that Aunt Kay and Uncle Larry bought and then Grammy took and quilted. I am not sure if you can see the detail but Grammy quilted elephants all over this one.

This is the quilt we made with the leftover material from the Good Wishes quilt. It is a perfect size for a security blanket.

In yesterdays post I mentioned that Paul and I visited Firework World in anticipation of our cook out this weekend. Here is the bounty we purchased:

We were like a couple of kids in a candy store. Which one goes high? Which one is bright? What does that one do? Hopefully we picked some good ones.

Saturday evening my mom came over to work a little on Avery's room. For each of her grandchildren she has made a customized crosstich print. Here is Avery's:

It has her name and then "Our Gift from God". When we recieve our referral my mom will put her birthday on it.

When we were planning the decor of the room we had purchased some wood cut-outs to paint and hang on the walls. We put those up Saturday night.

A co-worker of mine is going to come over and paint a willow tree on the wall beside the dresser.

We still have a little work to do but I think it is coming along nicely.

Thanks for checking in!!

July 1, 2006

An old-fashioned barn raising.....

Okay, so it isn't really a barn, it's a storage shed.....Remember back in the olden days whenever someone needed a new barn the family came over to help? Well, that's what we had yesterday. Our storage shed was severely damaged by the hail storm last Spring and we have just now got around to replacing it. Paul's parents and grandparents came over yesterday to help us build a new shed. We worked from early morning until dusk in the Texas heat. Are we crazy or what??? Surely I sweated off a couple of pounds. :)

Here's Paul posing next to our new storage shed. The very first thing to go in it was his 4-wheeler!!! Gotta love how a man's mind works.

At work this week one of my co-workers asked me if we had plans for the weekend. I told her we were building a shed and she replied "That sounds so country!" Well Connie, we are what we are. Thank you Cliff, Sandra, Grammy and Daddy Sonny for sweating and working your little tushes off to help us. We really appreciate it.

On Thurday (before the big building day on Friday) Paul and I treated ourselves to massages. There is a new massage therapist at my hair salon and she has awesome prices so we decided to give her a try. We each had an hour long deep tissue massage. It was HEAVEN!!!! Afterwards when we were relaxed and feeling good she explained she had a frequent customer card, every 6 massage is free. Believe me, we will be taking advantage of that!!!!

Today we finished up the last few things on the shed and then visited Firework World. Big Mistake!!! Firework World is this big warehouse with every type of firework you can imagine. We should have know we were in trouble when we were greeted at the door with a shopping cart!!! We did a little damage with the ole checkbook but we will have an awesome show!!! Paul and I are hosting our annual "Around the 4th" cook-out, swim party, and firework show next Friday. Most of our friends are either in retail or healthcare so getting off on the actual holiday is a rarity. We have done this the last several years and it is always alot of fun. Since we live outside of town we can set off our own fireworks and the kids always enjoy doing their own sparklers.

Later this afternoon my mom and I floated around the pool (it's getting to be a Saturday ritual). Laundry and housework await me tonight and then tomorrow it's back to work.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Independence Day!!!!