Friday, April 30, 2010

Family Block Kits

My cousins and I got together this week to put our family block kits from the Idea Closet together.
The first kit you can modge podge a cardstock picture onto, but I decided to just tape a wallet sized picture on so I can change it each year. I LOVE the saying on this kit, it really helps me remember how much I love Josh and it will be okay if it is just the two of us forever.
The second kit came with papers that were cream and black, but I knew this paper would fit our family better. Its the Sarsaparilla kit from Close to My Heart.
I love getting together with these women. They married my cousins, but quickly became family. I remember growing up I didn't like to play with my cousins (cause they were boys), but I am so glad they married such wonderful women and that we have become such close friends. I love you guys so much.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Formspring question answered - Adoption isn't about giving up

Why do you think people believe it "helps" when they tell people like us about the people they know who adopted and then got pregnant? I've actually had people say "So, don't give up!" Um, I chose adoption, I didn't give up.

I think a lot of time people are uncomfortable and don't know what to say. Then they remember so-and-so and how they adopted and got pregnant and they think it is the perfect way to give you hope.

I think that unless your life has been touched by adoption, people don't fully understand it. I can admit that I didn't.

I think people mean well when they suggest adoption as a means to get pregnant, but when you suffer from infertility you don't hear it that way. You know all about giving up, because you have spent so long NOT giving up. One negative pregnancy test. Then another. Then another. Dr. visit after Dr. visit. Test after test. You give your all trying to become parents.

Choosing adoption is not about giving up. It is about accepting God's will that He wants you to build your family differently. Nothing about adoption is giving up. Now you go from multiple fertility drugs and Dr. visits to mounds of paperwork, having your home and lifestyle picked apart. You give up the negative pregnancy tests for the endless waiting to be chosen.

Adoption is never about giving up. It is about building your family in a different way. Being pregnant doesn't make you a mother. Reading bedtime stories, kissing banged up knees, loving a child more than you love yourself is what makes you a mother. Love does not require DNA.

Ask me a question on Formspring. Also be sure to view my page there, I'm not posting all the questions and answers on my blog.

Formspring question answered - Where would you live?

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Idaho! We have always wanted to live in Idaho, and some day we will. Josh would like to live in Salmon, Idaho, but I want to go further north. I have looked at Orofino and Bonner's Ferry. I've never been to either place, but I love where they are located and they look nice. Because I have a good job with benefits, we are stuck in Utah until Josh finishes school.
We've also talked about looking for jobs in Oregon, Washington, Montana and Colorado. But even then, we talk about those places being stopping points on the way to Idaho.

Ask me a question on Formspring. Also be sure to view my page there, I'm not posting all the questions and answers on my blog.

Formspring question answered - What's nice and not nice about living in Utah?

What are your favorite things about living in Utah? Also, how about your least favorite things?

I guess I've never really thought about it. I've always lived in Utah, and except for a few short months, I've always lived within half an hour of where I grew up. In the nine years we've been married, we have lived in 8 different homes. Insane, I know. When I talk about how much I hate moving, I know what I'm talking about.

We've been in our current home for almost four years now and it by far the best place we have ever lived. It is bigger and nicer than anywhere else we have ever lived. But the nicest thing is the country we live in. We have some amazing views. We live on a dead end road so there is never any traffic. Josh loves watching the deer and elk in the fields and I love that I can put the cats outside and not worry about them getting run over. I love how quite it is at night. I grew up right next to a major road in town and it was never quite.

The down side to where we live is the shopping. The nearest gas station and grocery store are 15 mins. away. The nearest Wal-mart is just over an hour away. If I want to buy nice clothes, I have to make a 2-1/2 drive to the city. Sometimes I wish we had more variety for shopping nearby, but then that would mean a more populated area to live in, and I don't want that.

The other part about living in Utah, that sometimes bothers me, is the culture (aka, Mormonism) of the state. Get married, have lots of kids. Its hard living in an area where everyone is having babies, but you. I think if we lived anywhere than Utah, the pressure wouldn't be so hard.

Ask me a question on Formspring. Also be sure to view my page there, I'm not posting all the questions and answers on my blog.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Formspring question answered - What would you say?

do you know/know of, the new parents? if you could what would you like to say to/ask them?

This question kept me up all night.

I had a few journal entries where I had copied things that C wrote on her myspace and in emails she wrote us about how much she loves her baby. I would want to them know those things just to make sure they know how much she loves the life she carries.

C is amazing, please love her for the wonderful person she is. Open adoption seemed very important to her, please make sure you keep contact after placement. Try to get in lots of visits so she can see her baby and be sure to send her lots of pictures. Please love her and watch out over her and pray for her. I still love her so much...

I'm not sure how I would end it though. Its been hard to accept why she chose someone else, but I try to remind myself that this couple also suffers from infertility and I feel compassionate towards them. Infertility is so hard, I wouldn't wish it on anyone, not even them. And really, how can I even think to blame them for my grief. I don't blame C either. Most days I blame God. Why did we meet someone so wonderful and get to have the hope of being parents only to have it taken away. I ask a lot of why's to God these days....

I also try to remember that God's hand is in the creation of all families and her choosing them has probably felt like a miracle in their lives.Now I'm just back to waiting for a miracle of our own.

Ask me a question on Formspring. Also be sure to view my page there, I'm not posting all the questions and answers on my blog.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Time to go fishing!

Once again, I caught the first fish of the year. Josh had just put out some line for crawdads and hadn't even casted his fishing pole out yet. He heard me giggle and asked me what was funny. "This is my I caught the first fish and I'm trying not to be smug about it giggle."

And of course I caught the biggest fish. And the most fish. *giggle* I always out fish Josh.
My second fish. Josh still hadn't caught any.
Josh holding the fish we kept. We threw a few back and one jumped off the bank and got away. Josh made fish tacos for his dinner (I don't like fish). You can see the picture and recipe on my cooking blog.
The loons are so fun to watch. I love to watch them dive in the water and try to guess where they will resurface. We thought they ate small fish like minnows, but one came up holding the tail of a good sized fish. He didn't stick around to get a picture though. It was so cool.
Here's one more picture of my fish. (Josh says I'm so *humble* about catching fish).

Baby Shower Gifts

I've been busy the last few nights working on some baby shower gifts. Quite a while back I found a tutorial for Baby Sock Rose Bouquet. It looked so cute. However, I did not enjoy making it.

The first problem was finding socks. Oh, you can buy baby socks just about anywhere. But try finding a solid color sock. The ones with stripes and designs don't look as good rolled up as a rose.

They suggest using floral wire for the stems. I never could get it to work. My first rose attempt took 8 tries before I liked it enough to not undo it. Then the rose was so heavy, the stem wouldn't hold it upright. I had some old fake flowers that I haven't used since we moved, so I took the heads off and used them as stems instead. That worked better.

The other problem was taping the rose onto the stem. A few weeks ago I made flower pens at work and they were so easy to make. But the tape I bought for personal use would not stick. Not to the sock. Not to the stem. Not to itself. I ended up with 20 roses, but I made each of them at least 3 (or 8) times before I could be happy with them. By the end I was so frustrated that I didn't do my best effort on a few. (The ugly ones are buried in the middle with the good ones on top.)

Here's a close up of the best rose. Of course I also made a diaper cake. I love making those. I did this one a little differently. Each layer is diapers. On the middle layer I outlined it with onesies. Simple, but still cute.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Formspring question answered - Adoption questions you don't like

What adoption question are you sick of people asking? by jilleb163

*Stepping on soapbox

Where do I start? I hate it when people imply that by adopting, you will automatically become pregnant. They may know someone who did adopt and become pregnant. I know those people too. But for every couple that has adopted and then gotten pregnant, I can name 10 that adopted and then didn't get pregnant.

Couples don't choose to adopt just because they can't get pregnant. A lot of couples can get pregnant, but for different infertility reasons, they can't carry their child full-term and their pregnancy ends in a miscarriage, still birth, or pre-mature birth and death.

But I also know the hundreds that adopt. And then they adopt again. And again. But they never do get pregnant (or they do, but they still continue to have the problems listed above). Here's the kicker. Apparently the only way to never, ever, ever get pregnant, is to never have sex.

For me personally, I couldn't explore adoption until I had come to terms with never being pregnant. It was a tough battle. But I can honestly say that I have NO desire to ever be pregnant. In fact, the thought of it scares me to death.

*Continuing on my soapbox

I don't like it when people try to make this big distinction between adopted children and biological children. They make it sound like biological children are real and adopted children aren't.

From my favorite adoption book, "The Adoption Decision" I like to quote:
Natural child: Any child who is not artificial.
Real parent: Any parent who is not imaginary.
Your own child: Any child who is yours to love.
Adopted child: A natural child, with a real parent, who is loved.

If I'm in sassy mood, I'll also ask you, "Was your child born vaginally or by c-section?"

An adopted child is no different than a biological child. You love them just as much. You are the mother to them in all the same ways you would be to a biological child. You give them a home, food, clothes, discipline, love. You give your entire heart to a child, no matter what way they join your family. To me, the only difference is, if I could get pregnant, my child would join my family in nine months. Because we are adopting, we have been paper pregnant for 2 years, 3 months, and 6 days (with still no end in sight).

*Yep, still on my soapbox
I don't like it when people question our chosen adoption path. Every family makes their own adoption choice. Some choose international. Some choose to foster-to-adopt. I may be okay with never getting pregnant, but I want the entire baby experience. Please don't question me on my own feelings. And don't try to change them.

*Still on my soapbox and now getting more personal
When we told people about meeting C, I hated the automatic judgments they passed. "How young is she?" "Is this her first time pregnant?" "Is the dad a steady boyfriend?" Some of their questions made me want to vomit. I HATE the assumptions people make about girls considering adoption. These women LOVE their unborn child, more then they love themselves. These women are upstanding women who made a mistake. Guess what, all people make mistakes. No one is immune from it.

*Another personal experience
The biggest irritation when we told people about C was their very first response, "What if she changes her mind." Yes, I realize that she did end up changing her mind. But I hated it because I felt like I wasn't even allowed to be happy about being chosen. I felt like they were already assuming the worse. We waited almost 2 years to get chosen, and THAT is what people had to say about it? My usual response was "We aren't going to think about that. We are going to enjoy every minute of this." I have no regrets there. We did enjoy every minute. If we get chosen again, I will do the same thing. I'm not going to think about the "what if's." Every one else shouldn't either.

*Getting off soapbox.

Ask me a question on Formspring. Also be sure to view my page there, I'm not posting all the questions and answers on my blog.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Challenge

I hate wearing glasses. I also hate wearing contacts. I can see okay without corrective eye care, but I know I see better with it.

I hate glasses because they make my face look crooked. Maybe on of my ears sits higher or maybe its my nose. I just know that when I wear glasses, they will not sit straight on my face. They pinch behind my ears and give me headaches. They don't stay up on my nose where I would like them too.

So for the last 18 months or so, I have been struggling to wear contacts. I have tried several brands now and I'm starting to think I might have to go back to wearing glasses. I am wasting money on contacts. I'll put in a new pair and wear for a week or so, then I won't wear them again for a few months. So I throw away an old pair of contacts that really only got a weeks worth of use.

My problem is that contacts make my eyes tired. I know the amount of sleep I get affects that to a degree, but even if I get a long nights sleep, I put my contacts in and within hours my eyes are sluggish and sleepy. That just affect my entire body and makes it think it too is sleepy. I also used to struggle with my eyes feeling dry, but this last brand has been better. Its not like having something on my eye bothers me. I don't think I would even notice them, if I felt fully awake. I can take my contacts out and within an hour I don't feel sleepy.

Last week I decided I have to commit to some form of eye correction. I still have a few sets of contacts left and I am going to give them one more chance. But this time I am in it for the long haul. I'm just starting into week 2. Sad to say, but that means I've probably broken a record of consecutive days overall of wearing contacts.

But this time I think I can do it. The first reason is I have a friend that is staying on me about it. I give her a daily update on how I'm doing and she cheers me on, or lectures me, which ever is needed. Yesterday I had a headache and took them out right after lunch, that is when she gets after me. I've never worn contacts on Friday's before because its my day off. But I did last Friday, and she cheered me on.

Every time I go to the eye doctor, I look at the pretty carrying cases they have for contacts and I think about buying one. But then I remember how well I don't wear contacts so I decide to not get one. My friend told me to set myself a reward.

So here's the challenge:

30 days (in a row) of contact wear and I am going to buy myself one of those pretty cases.I'm also going to start trying to challenge myself in all areas of life. I'm not sure how often I'll do this, but I'll try to keep you updated. My next challenge will be getting my bike fixed up so I can start riding it again. Oh, and find a new purse. I am desperate need of one of those.

What areas of life do you challenge yourself to be better in?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Formspring question answered - Open adoption

Are you still considering open adoption?

I love open adoption and hope that we will be able to have a great relationship with our birth mom and her family (and hopefully the birth father too). We have kept our searching within the state in hopes that our birth mom will live in Utah. Then we can have frequent visits with her.

To me adoption is about the child. But after that is about the birth mom. Then on the bottom of the scale is the adoptive couple. The child's needs should be met first. They need to know their birth mom. They need to know how much she loves them and why she made the decision she did. How better to let them know than through open adoption and a continued relationship with the birth mom.

Then there is the birth mom. She puts a lot on the line when she makes her adoption plan. So her needs should be met too. She needs pictures to see how happy the family is. She might want visits to reassure her of her decision. I bought an expensive camera so I could take better quality pictures because I hoped to share them with our birth family someday. Our goal with C was monthly visits. The times we went to see her we always treated her to dinner. If things had continued we would have have tried to keep up on the monthly visits, but since we would be buying diapers and formula, we probably would have just hung out at her house, which I know would have been fine. She would want to see her baby, not eat dinner.

I guess I can see why open adoption scares some people. But when something is unfamiliar to you, it can be scary. My favorite thing to say about open adoption is: There is nothing wrong with more people loving your child. That is what open adoption is about.

What terrifies me is a closed adoption. I hate to think of never knowing anything about our child's birthmom and not having at least continual contact through letters and pictures.

Ask me a question on Formspring. Also be sure to view my page there, I'm not posting all the questions and answers on my blog.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Formspring question answered - How are you really doing?

How are you really doing since your failed match?

Some days are good and some days are bad. I'm learning what triggers the bad days and trying to avoid those things.

Its tough thinking that after so many years of trying and so many years of waiting you are going to finally be a mom, only to learn that you have to go back to the waiting.

There is only a few people I will talk to with complete honesty about how I am doing. They are all part of the adoption world and I know they will understand my feelings and not judge me. The most honest answer I can give you is, life is pretty tough right now, but I'm doing my best to deal with my grief. If you think I'm completely happy, look deeper, there is still so much pain.

Ask me a question on Formspring. Also be sure to view my page there, I'm not posting all the questions and answers on my blog.

Formspring question answered - How did you and Josh meet?

How did you and your hubby meet and how long did you date before you got married? by jacobandsharon

Josh and I met the the beginning of my junior year/his senior year. One of my good friends had relatives and friends in Altamont and I actually dated Josh's best friend first. I met Josh the night after his friend and I had hooked up. I dated his friend for about a month and the entire time Josh didn't try to hide the fact that he had a crush on me. The one thing I remember most is one night a group of us were at Taco Time and I caught him staring at me. I asked what he was looking at and he said, "Just enjoying the view."

The night his friend and I broke up, Josh was right there to ask for my phone number. But it also happened to be hunting season and I got tired of waiting for him to call, so I called him first. Our first date was just a group of us going to the park to hang out. He kept trying to hold my hand and it scared me, so I kept taking my hand back and throwing grass at him. He kissed me on my second date (he'll try to tell you it was the 3rd), but then he didn't kiss me again for a few weeks. Within weeks he knew he loved me, but it took me quite a few months to decide I loved him. Poor guy, each time he told me he loved me, all I could say was "thank you." I finally told him I loved him on my birthday, he was shocked into silence.

There was no big surprise proposal, just a bunch of little ones where he would tell me he knew he wanted to marry me. The first time he said that was March 31, 2000. I had gone to his house to study for the ACT test. (Yes, we really did study. How could we do anything else with his mom sitting at the table with us?) When he walked me to my truck that night I asked him what he was thinking. He told me, "I want to marry you." The next day (April 1) he told his mom about the conversation. When she got mad he told her "April Fools."

We dated for 17 months and were married on February 9th, 2001 in the Jordan River Temple. I can't remember my life before him. He makes me laugh, he hold me when I cry. He makes me feel complete. I know it sounds cliche, but he is my other half, I would be lost without him. Next year we celebrate 10 years of marriage, I can't wait to see what the future holds for us.

*If you figure out the math, yes I was not even officially out of high school when we were married. ;) And given the chance to redo things, I would do it the exact same way.

Ask me a question on Formspring. Also be sure to view my page there, I'm not posting all the questions and answers on my blog.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Formspring question answered - Did you buy baby items?

Did you buy baby clothes and other baby stuff when C chose you? In light of everything, do you recommend waiting to do that and if so for how long? We haven't been matched yet and I don't know when to shop.

I think this is a choice each couple needs to make. If you were pregnant, would you start buying stuff? What if you miscarried after buying stuff?

When we were approved I choose to celebrate by buying John Deere blankets and pillows I found on eBay. One green and one pink. We also bought a swing, high chair, and play yard/bassinet. We were expecting our first nephew and hoped to get some babysitting hours with him so we figured we could put those to use. The high chair has come in handy a few times, like for my Halloween dinners.

When we were chosen I didn't start buying stuff right away. I wanted to know if it was a boy or girl first. I hate gender neutral stuff (like Winnie the Pooh). When we learned it was a girl I started a baby registry on Everything on my list was pink. I was just waiting for our next trip to go shopping, but that never happened.

If I had purchased stuff, I don't know if it would have been any harder. I think after waiting so long to become parents you have the right to celebrate. If you are willing to take that leap of faith after being chosen, then you should. Don't let the doubt of others hold you back. Every time someone asked us "What if she changes her mind?" we responded with "We have waited too long for this. We are not going to worry about it. We are going to enjoy every minute of it." I have no regrets there.

Ask me a question on Formspring. Also be sure to view my page there, I'm not posting all the questions and answers.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sending Smiles

Some friends of mine have started a blog, Sending Smiles. Here is description right off of their blog:

"It all started with a group of women who love to create. We swap our gifts seasonally and have enjoyed getting to know each other through the process. Recently, we gathered a few homemade gifts together to send a basket of goodies to NieNie, a fellow blogger who has inspired all of us and had been going through a rough time. An almost fatal plane crash, severely burned body and surgery after surgery to allow her to live the best life possible. She has lifted us with her amazing example of motherhood and hopefully we brightened her day with our gifts and love.

This was the beginning of a bright idea, to cheer up someone in need with little gifts, either handmade or store bought. We live in various parts of the U.S. sending smiles by mail. Every month, we will feature someone who is in need of some support. If you would like to nominate someone for us to feature, please see the Nominations page. I feel like this something small we can do to help lift someone's burdens. There is no profit or gain, just a sense of peace for giving and helping in someway with the talents we were blessed with. I hope to be able to touch many lives as we send our "smiles" to those in need of a little cheer and happiness!"

Right now they are sponsoring two people to send smiles to. One of them is my dear friend Meka. Meka recently adopted a little boy that had to spend 3 weeks in NICU before he could go home to join their family. Sending Smiles is sponsoring Onesies for Parker. Meka likes polka dots and I am not sending my package until I have at least one onesies with polka dots on it.

I should also mention that Sending Smiles is hosting a giveway if you follow their site.

What's for dinner?

Every two weeks Josh and I have the same conversation.

Me: I need to go grocery shopping and I need dinner ideas.

Josh: K

Me: What sounds good?

Josh: I don't know. What sounds good to you?

Me: I don't know. That's why I'm asking you.

Then we each take turns saying something that sounds good, which mostly likely will be shot down by the other.

Some of my favorites are:
Spaghetti, Cheesy Pasta, Navajo Tacos, Biscuits & Gravy

Some of Josh's favorites are:
Tacos, Hamburgers, Lasagna, Meatloaf, Steaks

I feel like we always eat the same thing. During the week I like easy, simple, quick dinner because I work so late. But on the weekends I want to cook fancier dishes then just tacos. Especially so I can have something to eat as leftovers in my lunch during the following week.

What are some of your favorite meals?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Formspring Question answered - What went wrong?

I am wondering, now that perhaps you have a bit of perspective (?)- what do you think went wrong with your match?

I don't know that anything went wrong. Sometimes things just don't work out. Both her and her mom sent a message afterwards that I'm sure was meant to offer comfort, but I guess when your heart is breaking, its hard to see the comfort.

When we decide to start looking again and if we ever get lucky enough to meet someone again, I really don't know what to do differently. We really had no idea she was having second thoughts.

Mostly I question God. Why did we meet her? Why did things feel so right only to end this way? Why wasn't it meant to be? What did we do wrong? Maybe this is a question I can't answer....

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

The Easter bunny was busy this year, so he had Zipper fill in.
We've never really gotten into the Easter spirit before, but this year we decided to exchange baskets. On Friday we went to Vernal to do our taxes (yay, we are getting an itsy bitsy return which is always better than having to pay more). Then we went to Walmart and tried to shop at the same time, while avoiding the other so they wouldn't see our own carts. It worked almost perfectly (I saw Josh right after he picked out a pillow for me).
Here is the basket I made for Josh. He's been begging for a Wii fishing game, which is actually what made me decide we should exchange gifts this year so I could buy it as a surprise. I bought him his two favorite drinks and then a basket full of candy.
This is the basket he made for me. He even put the pillow in my pillow case (that is why it doesn't show up very well). He also got me measuring spoons & cups that I was in desperate need of.
I LOVE the basket he picked out. I almost called him in the store to tell him to pick a basket I could use year round, but I didn't want to act like a controlling wife so I didn't. It was the most beautiful basket in the store, and he got it for me! My husband is the greatest.
When we pulled into the driveway Friday afternoon he told me he didn't want to wait until Sunday to exchange baskets, he bought me something he thought I would want to use this weekend. I had a small moment of panic because when I bought him the Wii games, I also bought Mario Party Wii for myself. I was worried he had bought it too.
We quickly put our baskets together and made the exchange. I'm glad we didn't wait. We have had fun this weekend eating candy, watching movies, and playing games.
We also had a moment of confusion. We each thought the other was going to buy the New Moon DVD so neither of us bought it. He thought I would buy it because I think its cute he is such a huge fan of Twilight and I thought he would buy it because I remember telling him I wanted three movies: The Blind Side, New Moon, and Bolt. So on Monday when he goes to class in Vernal he is going to swing in and buy those two movies to add to my basket.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Formspring - Ask me a question!

I seem to have lost my blogger mojo over the last few months so I thought I would sign up for Formspring and see if I can dig up something to blog about. The widget is in my left sidebar or you can click HERE to ask me a question. You can do it anonymously so feel free to ask anything.
Ask about adoption.
Ask my favorite _______.
Ask how I spend my time on the weekends.
Ask about my kitties.
Please ask me something so I'll have something to talk about. I really do miss blogging.

Spring Swaperoo

I love my Spring Swaperoo gift! On Monday I received the first part. My partner had a custom order charm made from the r house couture Esty Store. I LOVE IT!
Then on Friday I was finally able to get to the Post Office during their office hours and pick up the other package. So cute! I'm heating up the hot chocolate right now (because it SNOWED last night) and I can't wait to cook the pasta. I think I'll do some Fettuccine Alfredo. I also love the hot pad and kitchen towel. I have received kitchen towels in my last three packages and I love them! It might seem like a simple or boring gift to others, but I love my growing collection of kitchen towels.
When my office made our big move last month, someone put some speckled plastic eggs on the give away or throw away table. I loved them, but didn't have any where to put them. I love how they look in this basket.
I opened the box right in the Post Office (while they were looking for my other package). When I got to the car I told Josh, "How cute, she included little mice for the kitties." That has become my favorite part of the gift. My cats have gone NUTS over them (probably because they are laced with catnip). Even Pryo, who doesn't get very active anymore, can't stop playing with them. These mice have already provided hours of entertainment for the cats and for us.

Thanks Megan, I love the gift!