July 27, 2007

Cheap therapy???

When I was first encouraged to start this blog, my first thought was "no way!". I did not think I had it in me to bare my soul to friends and strangers on the Internet. Well, considering this is my 194th post in the 16 months I have had this blog, I guess I was wrong.

I feel this blog is a type of therapy for me as I started this adoption journey, but what started out as the story of our adoption has become a scrapbook of our lives. I look back at some of my earlier posts and relive memories and feelings.

I recently spent a little time reflecting on the things I have gained from not only writing this blog but following a ton of others:

*I have come to communicate with complete strangers all over the world.

*I have read viewpoints on a variety of "hot topics" and really thought about things I had never encountered before.

*I have learned that often when I am upset or frustrated a comment on a blog can really lift my spirits.

*I have used this blog to express a variety of emotions and events in our lives.

*We have celebrated, mourned, been happy, been frustrated, just "lived life" all through the computer but almost always there was someone going through the same thing.

*I have rejoiced as people I have never even met have received their referrals and then traveled to get their children.

*I have met an awesome group of friends, both in person and just through blogs and emails that I might not have ever crossed paths with otherwise.

So for all of you out there reading, THANK YOU!!!! Thank you for taking the time to see a little piece of our lives. Thank you for lifting us when we are down, praying for us, celebrating with us, and just being a part of this wonderful journey!!!

Have a great weekend!!!

July 23, 2007

M3 Birthday Party!!!





Paul and I returned home from Grammy's late Friday evening, unpacked, and went to bed, after, that is we slathered ourselves down with Aloe Vera Gel to treat the sunburns we received at the lake.

Saturday we did our normal household chores and then attended my cousin's wedding in the afternoon. We made a brief appearance at the reception because we had major plans that evening:

We met the M3 crew for dinner at Dave and Busters, has a great time playing games after dinner and then all returned to Kelley and Chuck's for a birthday celebration.

Dinner was fabulous and the company was even better. After stuffing ourselves we made our way down to the midway where we proceeded to play games and challenge each other. I learned a very important lesson: Valerie is not above banging her hips on the machines to make more coins drop out. She totally cracks me up and I was so afraid we were going to get kicked out. Paul and I wound up racking up 1200 tickets to spend in the "prize store" but after looking things over we decided to save them for a future playdate.

We all headed back to Kelley's where she had made us a fabulous birthday cake. Chuck, Valerie, Gary, and I all share July birthdays so it was a major celebration. We fired up the margarator and had a great time with each other. Anton decided to take on the daunting task of teaching the girls to play poker. Bless his heart, he was trying to be so serious and precise and we were just not having that at all. We wound up wrapping up the evening of fun around 1am!!

Sunday, Paul and I attended church and then came back home to rest from our full week/weekend.

So that was our week in a nutshell!!! Hope everyone else had a fun-filled weekend with family and friends.

Happy Birthday to me!!!! Hopefully this year I will receive the most precious gift ever, my daughter!! I can't wait until the day she is placed in my arms. With the current trend of referrals we seem so close yet so far. So my dear Avery, where ever you may be know that on mommy's birthday her greatest wish is to bring you home!!

July 22, 2007

Get-a-way at Grammy's




As I previously mentioned our plans to go camping last week were changed due to all the rain our area has received. Instead we went up to Paul's grandparents for a couple of nights and had a ton of fun with his grandparents, parents, and aunt&uncle. We arrived on Wednesday evening and grilled hamburgers and then had birthday cake in honor of me and Kay whose birthdays are just a week apart this month. While everyone was still coasting on a sugar high we hooked up the Wii game system. Needless to say a great time was had by all. We started out with bowling, where Aunt Kay (who had never played the Wii before) proceeded to kick the crap out of all of us and score 202!!! We then moved on to a little tennis, some great mini games on Mario Party 8, and then finished the night with the cow races on Wii Play. Grammy was laughing so hard while she was racing her cow that the pictures in the slide show looks like she is crying. We were all exhausted after exerting all that energy game playing so we went to bed soon after.

Thursday morning the Paul and his dad went to play golf, while Daddy Sonny and Uncle Larry went fishing. Sandra treated the girls to a Birthday Tea Party. She fixed up her dining area just like a tea room. We lunched on finger sandwiches, fruit salad, cookies, and of course there were a variety of hot and cold teas to choose from. She put alot of time and effort into this lunch for the ladies and it was fabulous!! Thank you so much Sandra!!

Thursday evening we has a good ole fish fry. I'll tell you there is nothing quite like fish fresh and hot out of the fryer. After dinner we all gathered around Grammy and Daddy Sonny's new poker table for a 2 hour marathon of Texas Hold 'Em. I have to admit that I could never be a real poker player because I bet big on every hand. Glad we were not playing for real money!!

Friday we spent the afternoon at the lake. Last month while Paul and I were in San Antonio we purchased a new tow toy. In the past I have always had an innertube to pull behind the jet skis because I love doing that. We finally wore out our tube and it was time to get something new. This time we purchased a "Superfly". It is just a flat solid area that you inflate and then you lay down on your stomach and hold on for dear life. This worked out alot better than the tube because you did not have to worry about falling in the hole of the innertube. I had an absolute blast riding on this and Paul pulled me all over the lake. We even managed to get Grammy, Daddy Sonny, and Kay in on the superfly action!! We all got a little too much sun but we had fun doing it. We were exhausted when we finally left the lake but it was totally worth it. Paul and I then packed up and headed home. We were sorry to see our family time end but we had even more plans for the weekend awaiting us........

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post and slide show of the M3 birthday party we had Saturday night and the rest of our weekend adventures!!!!!!

July 18, 2007

Thought for the day

Last night we had a local pastor come the hospital to visit a patient. He passed out mints to all the nurses and being the sugar-holics we are we gobbled them up. After eating my mint I noticed there were scriptures listed on each wrapper. This is the scripture that was on my mint:



Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5


This really reached out and grabbed me. I am having a hard time lately with the seemingly endless wait to bring Avery home, but seeing this and remembering that I do trust in the Lord and he WILL bring this to pass it what I really needed to be reminded of.....

So my prayer today is that the Lord will give me the strength to make it through this rough patch and the knowledge to know that he is in control and watching over my baby until she is ready to come home to us.

Hope everyone is having a great week!!

July 16, 2007

Change of plans........

Every summer Paul and I like to take a few days and go camping at the lake. Of course I use the term "camping" loosely because we don't actually sleep in a tent, we sleep in our travel trailer with all the comforts of home. We spend our days reading(me), playing video games or watching movies(him), and then several hours a day we spend playing on the lake riding the jet skis or riding the tube. This year however things are different..........

We made our reservations a couple of months ago and were all set to go EXCEPT the campground (and all the surrounding ones) is now under water!! If you watch any national weather at all you may have seen that Texas has received an unusually large amount of rain in the last month. We happen to live close to the largest lake in the state that also feeds into a river and because of all the rain things are flooded everywhere. Every boat ramp on the lake is closed and the lake patrols are not encouraging anyone to be on the lake because of high waters and debris.

We usually camp with Paul's parents, grandparents, aunt, and uncle. We decided that we still wanted to be together so instead we are all traveling to Grammy and Daddy Sonny's house for a few days. Hopefully we can partake of the same activities and still get some good relaxing and family time.

We are going to head out Wednesday so I am sure I will have some funny stories for you when we get back home.

Hope everyone is having a good week!!

July 13, 2007

Tag.......I'm it!!

About a month ago my dear friend Kelley tagged me for a meme on her blog. Today, another dear friend Erin graciously pointed out on her blog that I had never completed the tag challenge so to appease her I will do it now....

The first part of the challenge was to list 8 facts/habits about myself. This was the hardest thing for me because I think I already reveal so much about myself on this blog. I am going to try to come up with 8 things I haven't already revealed, so here goes:

1. I always sleep with a teddy bear and a box fan. I have done this for as long as I can remember. In the event of an emergency and I do not have my bear I will shove a pillow under my arm. I cannot sleep soundly without a box fan going. I even have a small travel fan that I put in the suitcase when we travel. Yes, both items will be going to China!

2. I am an adrenaline junkie. I love roller-coasters, thrill rides and all that kind of stuff. I have done the "sky coaster" (a safer type of bungee jump) 3 times and I loved it everytime.

3. I am not a big crier. I hold alot of my emotions in. In the rare occasions that I do cry it is very ugly: huge sobs, tears almost convulsion-looking.

4. I cannot stand to wear pantyhose, therefore every dress or skirt I purchase has to come half-way between my ankle and knee so that my knee highs don't show.

5. One of my greatest fears it to be blind. I don't know why, it is just always something that has always bothered me.

6. I love to listen to music and sing along. It is not unusual if I am in the car alone to be singing at the top of my lungs. My music genre is large, at any given time I will have country, christian, pop, and heavy metal all loaded in my cd player.

7. I love to take pictures. I rarely go to any social event without my camera and I always take a ton. I do have to admit that digital has really saved me money on film developing.

8. I am very close to my family. They mean the world to me and I can't fathom living away from them or not speaking frequently to them.

The next challenge was to list 4 things that you have experienced in the last 4 years and 4 things you hope to experience in the next 4. I will start with the past

In the last 4 years:

1. I lost my best friend. It was very hard for me to make myself vulnerable again after that but I have and in return I have gained 4 of the very best friends a girl could have!!!

2. Paul and I decided to adopt a child from China. We "thought" we had come to conclusion that we would never be parents but God opened up a door for us.

3. I have come to love a dog more than I ever thought possible. I never really understood how people became so attached to their pets, but now I know.

4. I have learned that I am resilient. When I fall (literally and figuratively) I can pick myself up, dust myself off, and start over and you know what?? It's not that hard!!

4 things I hope to experience in the next 4.

1. Go and get my daughter and finally become a mother.

2. Become debt free (Paul and I are really working on this and are making good headway).

3. Experience a Disneyworld land and sea vacation my posse and our daughters!!

4. Hopefully start the process for child #2, who knows when or from where, we are leaving our options open.

There you go. I completed my challenge. If you have not done this and would like to leave me a comment so I will know to come look at your answers.

Hope everyone is having a great day!!

July 8, 2007

Another successful Party.....




Paul and I hosted our annual "Around the 4th" swim party, cook out, and firework show yesterday. This about the 10th year we have done this and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. We always schedule it with slightly before or after the actual holiday so that is does not interfere with our guests other plans. This year we had an awesome turnout! We had over 40 people attend and I would venture to say that a great time was had by all. My parents are always so generous in opening up their home and their pool so that we can have this party. Thanks mom and dad!!

Weather is Texas this summer has been sporadic to say the least. We have had an unusually large amount of rain in the last month and were forcasted to have a 30% chance yesterday. The "man upstairs" was definitely looking out for us because we could not have asked for better weather. Not a rain drop fell and the temperature was not too terribly hot but definitely great swimming weather.

Of course we thought this would be Avery's debut at the party but that was not to be. Next year baby girl!!!!!!!

Hope everyone enjoys the slide show!!!

Stop the Madness!!!!!

Okay I think it is almost time for a 12 step program. How many clothes can one baby possibly need?

I mentioned earlier than while we were on vacation in San Antonio we went to a large outlet mall and picked up a few things for Avery:

Here it the loot from that particular shopping trip:
3 shirts, a pair of biker shorts, an adorable bikini, and a onesie that simply says "Little Princess"

This past Friday afternoon a friend of mine called and said that a local department store was having a MAJOR sale. Everything that was on clearance was an additional 50% off plus she told me where to get a coupon for an additional 15% off my entire purchase. Being the bargain shopper that I am I could not resist checking it out!!!!

I picked up a couple of things for Paul and I and of course I had to check out the children's department.

So here is the result of that little expedition:
Not too bad, huh????

But the "bargain of the day" was this outfit:
I scored this entire outfit for a whopping $2.54!!!!!!!!! Can't beat that!!

I try to justify it to Paul by pleading that I never pay full price and have really purchased a variety of size. I don't quite think he is buying it.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!

On a totally unrelated note: whatever happened to Susan Powter anyway???

July 6, 2007

It's official.....

The CCAA website was updated today and referrals are arriving. They got through 7 days this month. Not great but hey, its better than 2 or 5 or 6!! We are now a mere 36 days away. If they keep up this pace we should be seeing our sweet baby's face in Dec, of course we would love for it to be before then!!!!

Congrats to all those receiving referrals and bring on the pictures!!

July 4, 2007

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!!!




The referral "rumor train" is picking up speed, will post something as soon as it's official. Needless to say we will be celebrating another holiday without our daughter but SURELY she will be here next 4th of July and what a celebration that will be!!