Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Talk to Me Tuesday 4


So - today - I'm going to give you a glimpse into the irrational side of myself... the side that is so nauseated - that all I want to do is sleep... and eat tacos?! Oh yes, my friends... today I swear that I would literally HURT someone for a taco!

I'm not even kidding... it's like something has taken over my mind, and these are the images floating around in there...








What is wrong with me, you might ask? Yeah... no clue... but I'm gonna have to make a run for the border as soon as I get my April "fun money"!!

Are you guys having any irrational thoughts today? Any weird food needs? Television? Anything?

Is it just me? Please say it aint so!!
Pin It Now!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chronologically Me

With all the lovely new followers around these parts... I thought that it might be fun to write a bit of an autobiography of sorts. I've seen this done once before - but haven't ever done it myself... so here goes. Grab a snack or a cup of coffee/tea and enjoy!

1978 - It was a wonderful Monday, morning when I was born on May 16th of this year. My parents and my two older sisters welcomed me into the family in Houston, TX. I know that it was the highlight of all of their lives... hahaha... it was apparently a very scary and grueling birth - because the story that has circulated all my life is that I became stuck in the birth canal, and at one point the doctors asked my Dad who he wanted the doctors to focus on saving.

The movie Grease came out this year... which funny enough was my favorite as a child... I watched our BETA (anyone remember that?!) tape of the movie until I wore it out.

1979 - I'd say that I began walking during this year... and generally getting into trouble. Sadly, I've googled both 1978 and 1979 and nothing notable has happened around my birthday... no major stars were born on my birthday either.

The highest grossing movie for this year was Kramer vs Kramer... which I don't think I've actually ever seen.

1980 - Ahhh, the terrible twos... since you know - I don't really have any recollection of these years - I can share with you some stories that I've heard about myself. Much later in life, a cousin of mine - Angi - told me that when I was really young... they would come visit, and I'd lock them in my room and force them to play with me! I would threaten to cry if they didn't, and since they didn't want to upset my mother... they'd do it! Priceless!

The Empire Strikes Back came out in 1980... funny that the movie doesn't seem that old!

1981 - Another story, I'm sure it happened somewhere around in here. I'm not sure of the context - but somehow I was left alone long enough... and with a blue marker... to color my entire bathroom in my house (I believe it was connected to my room at the time). I mean we're talking walls, soap, you name it... I worked magic on it!

Raiders of the Lost Arc came out this year... geez... lots of classics when I was too young to enjoy them! One of my all-time favorite television shows came to an end this year as well - Eight is Enough... I guess I never knew it other than in reruns.

1982 - Right around in here - I somehow got the Chicken Pox at a very early age. I'd guess that someone from my Mother's Day Out program or something had an older sibling that picked it up from school... but all I remember about it is that my Dad brought me a really cool stuffed clown that I loved. I don't know whatever happened to that thing, but I know that it was something I treasured for a long time.

Ahhhh... and E.T. became the highest grossing movie of all time and held the record until Jurrasic Park came out. Noteable shows such as: Cheers, Square Pegs, Family Ties, Knight Rider, and Silver Spoons all made their debut during this year.

1983 - Around this time, my parents and I moved to the country! We moved to Brenham, TX (home of Blue Bell ice cream... and if you don't know what that is - it's REALLY a shame!) We now have horses, ducks, cows, dogs, and cats all around... and I love it. I have my own horse named Libby that I took riding lessons on. My older sister, Cathi, comes to live with us on the farm... up to this point she and our sister, Cindy, lived in Dallas with their Mom. In the fall, I began Kindergarten... at a private school - thankfully - I only spent one year at that school.

Another of the original Star Wars triology debuted during this year... Return of the Jedi. NO WAY - on my birthday this year... Michael Jackson did the moonwalk on television for the first time... hysterical!

1984 - In the summer of this year, I suffer a broken ankle... I believe it happened while rough housing with my sisters... but I spend most of the summer in a cast. I thought this was a huge travesty - because I had to miss out on painting the fence around our house and swimming lessons... oh the terrors of childhood.

Punky Brewster, Kids Incorporated (anyone else love this one?), Who's the Boss, and The Cosby Show premiered during 1984. Beverly Hills Cop and Ghostbusters premiered during this year as well... I still love me some Ghostbusters... "I ain't afraid of no ghost!"

1985 - Second grade... I remember for some reason that this was my favorite teacher up to this point... her name was Mrs. Ham, but I can't remember anything else about her. During school that year - I swallowed a piece of plastic... it was attached to one of those deals you put at the end of your pencil with a spring on it and then something at the end of the spring decorating your pencil. It had a very dull point at the end for the spring to sit on... and I swallowed that part... I literally thought it was going to pierce my heart and I'd die from swallowing it. I waited - but it never happened. HA!

Back to the Future is the big movie of the year... and in television: MacGyver, Growing Pains, and Golden Girls make their entrance onto the scene.

1986 - January 1st of this year, my family lost a great man... my maternal grandfather, Tank, passed away after a massive heart attack. Later this year too, my parents began the process of getting a divorce. My Mom and I moved off the farm and out to West Texas... to be near her mother, sisters, and my cousins.

Top Gun was the big movie of this year... I still to this date haven't seen this one. How I missed it, I don't know. Designing Women hit the scene on television - with some of my favorite characters on television... they were such an awesome mix of whit and humor.

1987 - Not sure of much notable stuff happening this year... I believe that this was the year that for my birthday - my Dad took my sister, Cindy and I on a trip through Arizona and to Disney Land. The story that he most loves to tell about that trip is that we went to the Grand Canyon and I didn't get out of the car... but my favorite story is about the bird pooping on his "trip hat" while we were at the San Diego Zoo.

Movie: Three Men and a Baby
Television: Married...with Children, Full House, Different World, and Duck Tales (WOOO OOO!)

1988 - This year, my Mom and I move back to Houston in time for me to start the 5th grade. During that school year, a boy managed to plow into me while riding a skateboard... and cut open my chin - so I got to experience going to see a plastic surgeon to have it stiched back up.

Movies: Rain Man & Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Television: The Wonder Years, Murphy Brown, and Roseanne

1989 - We moved to the suburbs just before the beginning of summer this year, and my new best friend lived right across the street from us. She had a pool... and somehow managed to break her toe with the pool ladder that summer. She had to have it surgically reset with a pin...

Movies: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (we'll learn later that it wasn't the last crusade!) and Batman
Television: Baywatch, Doogie Howser, M.D., Saved by the Bell, and COPS (bad boy, bad boy...what ya gonna do... what ya gonna do when they come for you...)

1990 - Ahhh... 7th grade begins... and I feel like such a grown up... because I had a super cute male teacher for the first time. Then 6 weeks into the school year... we moved again. This time, we moved into the area that I'd live until I graduated... and met the kids that I'd spend the biggest portion of my development with. My Dad married my Stepmom - Lynne - during this year.

Movie: Home Alone... (AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!)
Television: Fresh Prince of Bellaire, Beverly Hills 90210, Law & Order

1991 - My sister, Cathi, got married in this year... to Kevin - my brother in law that I met when I was 5... I remember that because when they first started dating - he dropped her off one night, my cat jumped in his truck, and he had to return him the next day.

Movies: Terminator 2, Beauty and the Beast, and The Silence of the Lambs
Television: The final episode of Dallas aired... I had no idea it went on that long! Blossom made it's debut.

1992 - High school.... is there anything more bizarre? My first "best" friend during high school and I met the second day of classes - or well... we should have met the first day, but neither of us had the courage to say anything. We sat near each other - had a class together - and both just sat there smiling at each other like a couple of dorks! Sadly, though - my paternal grandfather passed away this year. During this time, people were doing a lot of protesting of wearing fur... and my cousin wanted to throw red paint on my sisters' grandmother at the funeral because she wore a fur coat. Thank goodness she didn't!!

Movie: Aladdin
Television: The Real World, Melrose Place, and Mad About You premiere.

1993 - This school year was so much fun... at least the school year was the anticipation of getting my drivers license soon... driver's education... come on... freedom is on the horizon! HA! 
Movie: Jurrasic Park
Television: The Nanny, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, and Beavis & Butthead premiere.

1994 - My drill team was offered the chance to perform at Epcot Center at Disney World... so the most amazing trip with all my girlfriends happened in the spring of this year. Shortly before the trip, my Dad's mother passed away - she helped pay for that trip - so it had special meaning to me. Upon my return from the trip - my Mom met me at the airport with the car that her mother had purchased for me!!

Movies: Forest Gump & The Lion King
Television: Party of Five, Friends, and ER

1995 - Junior year of high school... driving... drill team... and photography. This year, I joined the photography staff of the newspaper and yearbook... I LOVED it! I loved being in the dark room and printing my own pictures - I can't imagine anything more fun.

Movies: Toy Story & Batman Forever
Television: Literally, nothing note worthy premiered that year... but the O.J. Simpson trial was on television for NINE months!! UGH! I do remember however where I was when the verdict was read - should have been in class at school, I think... but I was at a Firestone getting my car fixed.

1996 - GRADUATION!! Does anyone look forward to anything more than graduating from high school? Going to college? Being 100% sure that the friends you had in high school will be the only ones in your life... forever... yeah - ummm... I can barely remember the names of people I went to high school with, and if it weren't for Facebook now - I certainly wouldn't be in contact with many of them. In February, my first niece, Megan, was born! In the fall of 1996, my two friends (Kimberly & Stephanie) and I moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama for our first semester at the University of Alabama.

Movies: Independence Day & Jerry Maguire
Television: Everybody Loves Raymond

1997 - After one semester away from home, I moved back to Texas... I moved to College Station to begin school at Blinn College in preparation for getting into Texas A&M. My high school sweetheart dumped me the day I moved home in December 1996... so I spent a good part of the year getting over that. We spent spring break back in Alabama visiting and getting the rest of our stuff. The first time that I "met" John on the internet happened during the spring semester of this year... In October, my second niece, Brittany was born!

Movies: Titanic & Men in Black
Television: Ally McBeal

1998 - The year started off great - during the first week of the year, Stephanie and her parents took me to New York City with them... her birthday is New Years Eve - so that was her gift. We got to go see Rent and Titanic on Broadway, and thus my love of theater was born!

Lets just call this one the lost year... I ended up in 1997 meeting a guy that I had ZERO business dating... he was abusive and an alcoholic... and it took a lot for me to get over him. John resurfaced during thsi year to try to talk me into dumping that guy - but I wasn't ready. He was attached to someone else anyway - so we just moved on our separate ways... I did however break it off with that guy in the early part of that summer... and started dating a fireman.

Movies: Saving Private Ryan & Armageddon
Television: Dawson's Creek, Sex and the City, Felicity, Will & Grace, and Charmed premiere.
1999 - On March 12, my life changed forever... John and I finally had our first date... and the rest is history! My little football fan, his parents, and I traveled to several away football games this year... including the Alamo Bowl game where I got food poisoning, and had to spend 8 hours in the ER on the way back home from the trip! Somewhere in the middle of it all - I went to Washington D.C. with my Dad and sisters. My sister, Cindy, also got married this year... which her engagement party was the first time that John met my Dad... and just shortly after that - he wrecked my car. HAHAHA!

Movies: Star Wars: Episode 1 & The Sixth Sense
Television: Law & Order: SVU and The West Wing

2000 - I graduated from Texas A&M in August of this year. Moved back to Houston, got my first job in fundraising at the YMCA... and thus... real life began. (Read: Bills and Responsibility) We enjoy a wonderful family trip to Michigan getting to see some amazing parts of the country in September...

Movie: Mission Impossible II
Television: Survivor & Gilmore Girls
2001 - John and I become engaged! I was supposed to go on a girls only trip to Chicago on September 12th of that year... but as you all know... we didn't get to take that trip. September 11th, was a sad day for our history... and my first day on my second job post college.

Movie: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Television: Scrubs, According to Jim, and 24

2002 - In January, just a few weeks before our wedding - I got laid off from my job because of funding issues. So I had to find a new job - which I did, and was able to start before the wedding. On February 23rd... we were married and went on a fabulous honeymoon to Beaver Creek, CO. In May, after experiencing symptoms that we thought were related to potentially being pregnant... I went to the doctor to only find out that I was suffering from Type II Diabetes. (To which my Dad promptly told John there were no refunds for "sick" daughters... nice...) My two honor attendants at our wedding were pregnant... so in August, John's sister had our first niece named Taylor... and two months later in October... my sister had our second niece named Taylor! (My little brother, Josh, was born during October of 2002 as well, but we wouldn't meet him until July 2004.)

Movie: Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Television: The Bachelor & Without a Trace

2003 - Continued with trying to treat and manage my diabetes, unsuccessfully. My Dad & Lynne announced that they wanted to adopt two kids from Guatemala... so I became the middle sister of sorts here in my mid-20's! (In October, my little sister, Gabby is born... but we don't meet her until 2004.)

Movie: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Television: Las Vegas & One Tree Hill

2004 - We go see our first infertility specialist this year... and after only a couple of visits - he manages to totally screw up my blood sugars... and FIRE me as a patient. Telling me that I can't come back until my blood sugar is under control. He also managed to scare us away from seeking a second opinion by telling us that it was medically unsafe for me to carry a child at that point. In July, I travel to Guatemala to help Lynne bring Joshy home to the US... I also get to meet Gabby shortly before she comes home later in the fall of that year.

Movie: Shrek 2
Television: Lost, Desperate Housewives, and House
2005 - I took the plunge and got a new job for a large pay raise... it was perfect for a little while, but ended up being a nightmare. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit... and the day after Katrina hit - we left for a road trip to Williamsburg, VA... driving through the devestated areas, and waiting in line for gas for over 2 hours in some places.

Movie: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Television: Grey's Anatomy, Bones, and My Name is Earl

2006 - John and I have some marital problems... thus leading me to accept Christ for the first time, and for us to join a church. John joined the Worship Team at our church as well... and we began to blossom as a couple. I start classes to become a certified teacher.

Movie: Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest
Television: Heroes, Ugly Betty, and 30 Rock

2007 - I land myself in the hospital for 5 days in January with an absess that had to be surgically removed... this is the turning point where I decide by April that I want to have weight loss surgery. I start this blog, and then I spent the next 6 months trying to get insurance approval paperwork together - only to find that there was never any possibility of them paying for surgery. In September, our youngest niece, Brooklyn is born. In November, I have a gastric bypass. In December, our first church merges with a mega-church in the area - and we lose our church home.

Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Television: Private Practice
2008 - In January, we find a new church home - our current church that we love dearly! In May, I was laid off from my job... to which I didn't find a new one until September. (just two days before Hurricane Ike hits!) Just before I go back to work - I go on a girls trip to Gatlinburg, TN with Lynne and my sisters... LOVE IT! I then came home and had my gallbladder removed... so that makes 3 surgeries within a year of each other.

Movie: The Dark Knight
Television: The new 90210...

2009 - We spend the majority of the year seeing our second infertility specialist going through various treatments and setbacks... to decide in September that there wasn't any point in continuing. Through all the treatments that we endured - they never could get my body to produce an egg... so we stopped. In October, we began our adoption process and turned in our initial paperwork with the agency. We had our first meeting in December with them...

Movie: Avatar
Television: The new Melrose Place...

2010 - Here we are... in January/Feb: we completed our home study for the adoption. On February 19th, the first baby that we thought would be placed with us (a girl) was born... while we were at the hospital - but that was not to be. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our second baby (a boy) to be born in April... and from there... who knows?!

Beyond... you'll have to keep reading to find out!
Pin It Now!

Your Choice - Winner

We have a winner folks... can I get a drumroll, please?




Congratulations, JLI - you are the big winner!!

Send me an email to confirm your address and prize choice. If I don't get a response within 24 hours - I'll pick a new winner.

Thanks to everyone for entering - I am so excited about all the new blogs that I found to read! I'll be doing another giveaway really soon... and big things are about to happen in our house - so stick around! I'll also be putting up another post today - that will be a fun read for everyone.
Pin It Now!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A's to the Q's


Once again - don't forget to enter the Your Choice Giveaway if you haven't already - you have until midnight to get your entries submitted.

Now to get to your questions:

Jillian asked:

What is your dream vacation spot? Not where you have been, but where you want to go:-)

Oh, goodness... I'm not even really sure... I'm such a homebody, but a couple of places that I'd like to go before I end my "bucket list" would be: Cape Cod, Boston, Chicago, and Seattle. If we were going 100% unrealistic... cause it'll never happen... I'd say Italy.

Jenn asked:

What is your feeling about the healthcare reform bill that is on the brink of being passed? Do you agree with the "Deem and Pass" tactic that's being employed to try and pass it?


Way to go for the juggular Jenn! Goodness... let me just give you a disclaimer - these are my views, and I respect that others won't agree... I don't judge anyone else for their views or attack them... so please give me the same courtesy.

Let me start with saying that I'm certainly not a fan of this new bill - for many reasons. Personally, for me - being someone that had to pay 100% out of pocket for weight loss surgery and infertility treatments... I find that medical insurance is a joke for the most part - BUT I do not think that the government can or will make it any better. It irks me that they even think that they CAN make it better... but for sure a solution isn't to burden the country's finances with additional costs and taxes. I don't agree with abortion costs being covered for personal reasons, and I honestly at the core of my beliefs feel like there is no one in the world more qualified to direct your medical care than YOU and your doctor. No one in Washington or anywhere else can know more about what is going on in your body than you.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Medicaid specifically designed to be healthcare coverage for the folks in need? I'm not sure I can understand or get behind what exactly these folks in goverment are trying to do beyond what is already being done.

Finally, I really hate the robinhood thought process that is going on out there right now. It gets me fired up to think that people who have worked for what they have - and worked hard to get to a place where they are comfortable - will be punished for having done what is right. It is not their responsibility to take care of anyone else... it is the responsibility of each individual person to get out there and make the best living possible... and take care of the things that they have in their life. I don't buy into the idea that people should be forced to pay for the lazy... and I'm certainly by no means saying that everyone that has fallen on hard times is lazy - absolutely contrary to what I'm saying... but there are folks out there that are a drain on our system because they choose to be. There are also people out there that are wealthy that are greedy and need to realize that they can loose it much more quickly than they earned it - but there is good and bad with everything.

The only thing that I have a hard time with is the children. I struggle with this because whatever circumstances children are in - it is through no fault of their own... they didn't ask to be born, and they didn't make any choices in whatever situation they find themselves in. However, this is exactly what Medicaid is for. A family member of mine has used that system - for a time while they were getting back on their feet - and honestly - they got much better healthcare during that time than I do for my insurance that I pay for directly.

So, hopefully if you've made it through this answer - you'll stick around with me...

There is no amount of money that could ever persuade you to eat this food item. What is it?

Well, there are probably many... but lets just start with any sort of reproductive organ... and then go on to include any digestive organs, tongues, livers, gizzards, or hearts. (And with that - I think that I'll go be sick... and probably skip lunch today!)

Guilty pleasures:

On TV?

Things I shouldn't watch... 90210, Gossip Girl, Private Practice, and Grey's Anatomy. Good thing that I can make good solid choices based completely on my own morals - instead of looking to television to guide my life choices.
Food?

Depends on the moment, but anything with Peanut Butter and Chocolate would be in the running. My favorite being the Peanut Butter Twix.
Shopping?

Hi, I'm a total dork... and my favorite place to go shopping is Target. Why, I don't know... but I can spend hours in there just browsing... I don't always buy anything either!

Internet?

Facebook... although right now - I'd say checking out new blogs. I used to get sucked into Facebook when I got home in the evenings and by the time I realized it - it was bed time. Now, I pretty much spend about 30 minutes to an hour on there when we first get home, and then I'm done with looking at the computer.

I like to joke that too often, I have the patience of a fruit fly. When I said that to Todd yesterday, his reply was "But fruit flies don't have patience." "Exactly", I said. When do you find that you are in short supply on patience in everyday situations?

I have zero patience with adults mainly... I can't handle it when adults are lazy, don't take responsiblity for their actions, or have to repeatedly be told the same thing over and over again. Mainly - it drives me nuts when people expect you to do everything for them because they are too lazy to learn how to do it themselves. I can have patience with kids - but much past high school... and we're done with that.

In what area of your life to you consider yourself to be the most practical?

This might sound weird, but I think in general with my personal care - mainly to say that I don't spend tons of money on things like: facial products, make up, hair products, etc. I get my hair cut and styled about once every six months... so other than my nails (which I'm getting rid of right now in preparation for the baby) I really don't have many routine personal care expenses beyond the normal things that I buy (shampoo, conditioner, deoderant, etc.) at Walmart.

What is your biggest pet peeve in the office? (Something tells me you could list several, but narrow it down to the biggest offender!)
 
Funny that we were just talking about this yesterday, but by FAR - it is with email. The two biggest offenses being: copying the whole world needlessly on every email you send AND sending 4 "rapid fire" emails within 5 minutes. I am a big believer in not cluttering the email inbox with things that don't effect you... I don't need to know about that project - so why copy me on the email?! Also, please finish your thought and send me ONE email to cover all your questions!
 
That does it for this week's answers. Submit your questions for next Wednesday's Question and Answer session in the comments section on this post.
Pin It Now!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Talk to Me Tuesday 3


Before we jump off into Talk to Me Tuesday - I want to remind everyone that you have until midnight tomorrow to get your entries in for the Your Choice Giveaway! Remember that you get an extra entry for posting about it on your own blog... so don't lose that one extra chance to win your fabulous prize!

Ok, so now we can get down to today's post. I struggled with deciding on if I wanted to post anything about this topic or not, but in the end - if I stay true to myself... then I have to be every bit as transparent as I always have been.

Of course, nothing goes without risks - but we've been notified of the possiblity of another baby. The situation is totally different, but has it's own unique challenges. The birth mom chose us because we have no other children, and is due in the later part of April. There are some legal issues and things that are being worked through with the birth father, but we are all praying that this works out for the best interests of everyone involved.

We would appreciate each of you joining us in praying that the final few weeks of the pregnancy will bring no surprises. That our birth mom will have a healthy delivery, and a peace about her decision. We want the baby to be safe and healthy through all of that as well. Additionally, we pray that the birth father will realize that he might not be acting in the best interests of himself or the baby at this time...and that he will have a peace about the situation as well.

In addition, we ask that you please keep John and I in your prayers. As with the last time, there are still hurdles that will have to be overcome. It is possible for this child to come into our home only to have him taken away if a judge choose to grant the birth father custody. We need each of you to pray feverishly that God will intervene in the life of this little boy and ensure that he is given the best chance at life possible. With the information that we know of the birth father, we have to believe his best chance would be with us. So that is what we are asking everyone to pray for.

So how does this fit into the Talk to Me Tuesday format? Well, I just thought that I'd give you guys the chance to sound off on what you would tell someone that might have their first baby boy come home in a few short weeks...

What things do you wish someone would have told you before hand?
What are some things that you couldn't have lived without during those first few weeks?
Pin It Now!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday Silliness 2



















Pin It Now!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Forward Friday - Fail


In light of this crazy YUCK that has taken over my body... I've spent the past 5 days feeling like my insides were going to projectile spew out in front of me... I know TMI (sorry Dad!). So lets just say that I haven't been feeling very "Forward" in terms of my coworkers. So I think that I'll just pick back up with that next week, so it gives you guys time to catch up... that is if you want to.

In the mean time - Summer - has the most amazing Pay it Forward story for this week, so I'll direct you over there to get some inspiration. Summer has such a sweet heart, and I'm so glad she shared that story with us this week.

So remember that the goal for next week is that we do something special for our coworkers - or one particular coworker... whatever you feel is best in your situation. If you are a stay at home Mom... be creative - I'm sure there is a coach, Sunday school teacher, or someone that you "work" with in your endeavor to raise your child... so pay it forward to them.

Also - don't forget to submit your entries for the YOUR CHOICE GIVEAWAY!! You have up to three entries to win one of 4 great prizes... so pop on over and get your entries submitted.
Pin It Now!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Your Choice - Giveaway

I know I owe you guys some answers to your questions from yesterday... but I had to hold that up for this exciting post! The folks over at CSN Stores has asked me to do a giveaway with their products. CSN Stores has over 200 websites featuring everything from cookware to clothes - including a website that exclusively sells bar stools!

I couldn't choose just one item for the giveaway - so they're allowing me to give you guys the choice on which prize you'd like to have. So the winner will get their choice from one of these 4 prizes:



Le Creuset's Square Dish is truly an all-in-one dish that you can use for baking, slicing, serving, and storage. Poterie Stoneware can be used in the oven, broiler, or microwave and will not absorb odors or flavors. The durable finish resists chipping, scratching and staining. This beautiful and colorful piece has sure grip handles to go straight from baking to tabletop, making an impressive presentation.


Features:
* Bonus 5" Baking Dish
* Bold Caribbean color
* Does not absorb odors and flavors
* Oven and microwave safe
* Durable, non-porous enamel resists chipping, scratching, staining
* Convenient grip handles
* Refrigerator and freezer safe
* Dishwasher safe


Excite your dinner guests by bringing these vibrant, fun, contemporary-shaped stoneware bakers to the table. Whether it be a roasted chicken or classic mac n' cheese, food has never looked and tasted so fabulous.

Includes:
* 1 x 1-Qt. Bubble & Brown Stoneware Baker
* 1 x 1.5-Qt. Bubble & Brown Stoneware Baker

Features:
* Dishwasher, microwave, freezer safe and oven safe to 500°F for convenience and versatility.
* The glazed interior is nonporous so foods won't interact.
* Contemporary, playful shape in a vibrant and fun color goes directly from oven to table.
* The shallow sides result in crunchy tops for each serving.
* All bakers conveniently nest together to save space in your cupboard.
* Extra wide handle holes allow you to remove the stoneware from the oven.




Finally a convenient way to make delicious homemade ice cream! The FT03G - Deluxe Double Tream Ice Cream Maker lets you make two different recipes at the same time. Just add your favorite ingredients and place into your freezer. A thermal sensor will activate the unit to mix the ingredients for you automatically and your ice cream will be ready to enjoy in 70-90 minutes.

Features:
* Ice cream maker mixes 2 different flavors simultaneously
* After you add your ingredients the mixing starts automatically when it reaches the right temperature
* Dishwasher safe
* Has a sliding window
* Requires 4-AA batteries (not included)
* Overall dimensions: 5" H x 9.5" W x 4" D



You can get these for your favorite team - your choice of:
* Alabama
* Arizona
* Arizona State
* Arkansas
* Auburn
* Boise State
* Clemson
* Duke
* Florida
* Florida State
* Georgia
* Georgia Tech
* Illinois
* Indiana
* Iowa
* Kansas
* Kansas State
* Kentucky
* Louisiana State
* Louisville
* Miami
* Michigan
* Michigan State
* Mississippi
* Mississippi State
* Missouri
* Nebraska
* North Carolina
* North Carolina State
* Ohio State
* Oklahoma
* Oklahoma State
* Penn State
* Purdue
* South Carolina
* Tennessee
* Texas
* Texas A&M
* Texas Christian
* Texas Tech
* Virginia
* Virginia Tech
* West Virginia
* Wisconsin

Here are the rules:
*** All entries must be recieved by midnight (CST) on March 24th.
* Winner will be posted on Thursday March 25th, and has 24 hours to contact me or a second winner will be drawn

Entries: (Each entry MUST be a separate comment)

1) Tell me which prize you would want and why
2) Become a follower - if you already are... leave me a comment stating that
3) Write Blog post about this contest and leave me a comment with the link

Thanks all folks...
Pin It Now!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Need Q's to A...


Happy Wednesday everyone...

Since I'm feeling pretty under the weather (TMI, but a sinus/allergy thing going on AND the feeling like I'm going to projectile vomit at any moment... ugh!) - I'm going to keep this pretty short. It's Wednesday - so you all know it's time to submit your questions for me to answer... it can be about anything...

silly or serious
opinion or fact
happy or sad
spiritual or political
adoption or infertility
childhood or adulthood
food or drink
work or play...

should I go on??

Probably not... so get your thinking cap on and send me some questions in the comments!!
Pin It Now!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Talk to Me Tuesday 2


I enjoyed this last week - it's really fun to get to know YOU better for a change. I hope that you liked it too, and will continue coming back to talk to me on Tuesdays.

This week, I've had work and jobs on my mind. I've been out of college now for 10 years officially - in August... HOW DID THAT HAPPEN!?! Anyway, since I graduated - I've been working in the world of fundraising for nonprofits. I've done many different things within this industry - from database management to grant writing to campaign mangagement to event planning and even prospect research.

What is prospect research you might ask... well lets just say that it's sort of like playing Big Brother so that the people asking you for money know as much about you as humanly possible. You'd be shocked at the amount of information out there on all of us that is part of the public record.

It's also no secret that the last two office environments that I've worked in have been extremely volitle, stressful, and generally bring a sense of dread on a Monday morning.

The thing however is that it just really at the core doesn't interest me anymore. Or maybe it never really has. I don't know.

So I find myself sometimes dreaming about the things that I'd love to be doing...

Teaching - I've attempted to go back and start this career up... actually got my certification in 2006 and another certification in 2007, but never was able to secure a job. With the current state that the school district around our house is in... it's not likely to happen anytime soon there either. I still believe that I would enjoy working in an elementary school, but am not sure that is within God's plan for me.

Adoption - The more we get into the process of adoption, the more I find myself thinking that I'd love to work within this industry someday. I don't know that I could handle having to break the news to a couple that a birth mother has changed her mind... but there are so many other aspects to it. I'd even think that raising money for an organization in this field might spark my interest in fundraising again... but beyond that I would love writing home studies... or leading some support groups for adoptive parents... or counseling adoptive parents... maybe with some distance - I'd even be fairly effective at counseling couples after they've gone through a failed placement... since I will have that experience in my own background. I just think that this field would provide a career for me with the challenge of a job, but also with the fullfillment of my heart and spirit too.

Writer/Editor - The third thing that I've kicked around would be to write books or even be an editor for a publishing firm. I love the written word so much that I could see this fullfilling me every bit as much as the world of adoption. If only I could come up with an idea for a book - I'd be working on it! If I could sit in a coffee shop, or a home office and help others realize their dream of becoming published - I just know that I would love it! The idea of working from home really makes me warm and fuzzy because it would allow for me to have the benefits of a salary that we need, but also the flexibility to be able to be at home with my children while they are young. I can't imagine a more perfect world.

Alright, now it's your turn:

1) Do you know anyone or have any connections to help me get started in one of these fields? (seriously...)
2) What would your dream job be and why?
3) What is keeping you from going out and realizing this dream?

As always - I'd love it if some of you took this idea and made it your own - just grab my image and let me know in a comment that you're playing along. You don't have to use the same topic as me... just use whatever is on your mind, but you really will love having your readers tell you more about themselves!
Pin It Now!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Scars

I'm still here - I know that I missed blogging over the weekend... but things got hectic. We went to a concert on Friday night, which went later than we anticipated. Saturday was full of shopping, baking, weed pulling and dinner with my sister's family. Sunday was church, more weed pulling, and small group.

So to say that my body aches from the weed pulling is an understatement, but even though I can barely stand up - for that reason and the head cold that is brewing in my brain - I did find the weed pulling a bit therapeutic to a certain extent.

I guess sort of the idea of getting rid of the toxic things so that the beautiful things can begin to grow back in our lives... I don't know, but it sort of made sense to me at the time.

It's no secret that this has been incredibly hard on me - and the one month anniversary of the baby's birth is on Friday... which has me thinking all the more about her and how she's doing. I don't really know what the future holds, but I know that this rocked me to my core.

I just sort of have felt dead inside lately - which is scary. I don't really feel much of anything at all... no big highs or lows... just a steady flow of nothing. We had a great message at church yesterday - and it seemed like everyone else was engaged - but to me it was like an out of body experience. I don't know how to let it go, to really feel in my heart that God has a bigger plan, and get back to living.

I don't know how to lay it at his feet this time - because in so many ways - I still feel like he could have easily fixed it and made it a beautiful moment in our lives... but for whatever reason he didn't, and in my humanity - I can't seem to just have faith without knowing the "why."

Somewhere in there - I guess that I know there is another baby out there for us - the one that we are meant to parent... but I'm so scared of opening myself up to that possibility. Opening yourself up for that is like ripping off the band-aid and knowing that an even deeper cut can immediately happen at that moment. Does that make any sense?

I guess it's like a bad breakup - the kind where it hurt so bad - you're scared to trust anyone again or open yourself up for that kind of pain. Even though you know in your heart and in your mind that without opening yourself up to that again - you can't ever experience the miracle... but still you are so scared of feeling the pain again - it almost paralyzes you.

That is pretty much where I am at the moment. Scared to move forward, but scared not to at the same time. Just scared to feel...
Pin It Now!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Forward Fridays - Love


Well, I hope that you all joined me this week by doing something special... either by sending notes in the mail to people that needed a little extra love this week which was last week's assignment for me... or by picking up right along with me, and doing something special for the love in your life.

I don't want to assume that we're all married here - so I say love in a general term... there are so many people in our lives that in the drama of the day to day can easily get forgotten or taken for granted. That was what this assignment was meant to be all about. Taking a moment to let someone special in your life - your spouse, parent, sibling, best friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, or child - know that you appreciate all that they bring to your life.

I've said it before, but I can't say it often enough - John is a wonderful husband... and a wonderful man in general. He truly is special... and ultimately perfect for me. He is my strength, my comfort, and my soul mate. I love him more and more each day - and can't wait until I can watch him be the amazing father that I know he will be.

This has been a hard week for me emotionally - I can't explain why, but I've been feeling a dark cloud hanging over me for the entire week - and during one of those moments, I learned that our failed placement was hard on John too. I knew that in the back of my mind, but men don't always show emotion the way that women do... and especially not the way THIS woman does. (Heart on my sleeve girl... HERE!!) So, while chatting about my emotions one day this week - John let me in on the secret that he has good and bad days with all of this too. It was good to know that I'm not crazy, and that he feels it too. Not that I want him to hurt or feel any pain, but just knowing that we are in the same place was comforting.

What did I do to show a little extra love and appreciation this week, you ask? Well, one unexpected thing and one planned thing...

I don't know how regional the restaurant, Olive Garden, is... but when you get your check at the end of the meal, they typically bring you this chocolate mint that is one of John's favorites. At the office on Monday - we got a delivery of some candy from one of our sponsors to thank us for the luncheon... and while it wasn't the same chocolate mints that the Olive Garden gives - it tasted exactly the same... so I grabbed a couple of them and brought them home to my Hubs - because I know how much he enjoys them.

Then today, I wrote John a special little note and slipped it in his lunch bag with this breakfast and lunch that I packed for him. The packing of his daily breakfast and lunch isn't any different from everyday, but the special note was! I got a text message while I was still driving to the office this morning telling me that he got it and that he appreciated it.

Tonight we're going on a date night - with dinner and a concert. We'll be seeing the Casting Crowns tonight and I hope that it is a very special night for him - he loves music and he deserves a night to get out and relax after taking such good care of me for the last month or so. (Ok, really 11 years as of today... this is our 11th anniversary of our first date!)

Sooo...

Tell me what you did this week as your pay it forward activity...
* Did you send someone a note in the mail?
* Did you make/buy a special little gift?
* What did you do?

Next week's assignment:

Lets do something special for someone at our office... school... or somewhere that you do work. If you're a stay at home Mom... I'd say this would be a time to do something special for your child or maybe a coach if the child is in little league... or a dance teacher? Be creative folks... and be ready to report back on how you made someone else's day brighter!!
Pin It Now!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A's for Your Q's


I had every intention of posting answers to your questions last night, but this week has been incredibly hard... I can't quite figure out why, but it really has been. I feel like a dark cloud is hanging over me physically and emotionally... and I really have the urge to runaway.

Bonnie asked:

What is your favorite TV show right now?

Favorite TV show... hmmm... I honestly don't know right now - there are shows that we watch every week, but I don't even know that I'd classify any of them as my favorite. I watch: One Tree Hill, 24, House, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice (although I haven't watched it since we lost the baby - they are sitting on the DVR until I can watch again), Diners Drive Ins & Dives... and lots of Lifetime!

Have you read the Twilight books? (YOU KNOW ME & BECKY ARE ADDICTED & WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET SUMMER TO READ THEM FOREVER!!!!)

I have not read any of the Twilight books - I just I just haven't been bitten by that trend yet.

What would your dream "fantasy" job be?

I'd be coping out if I said Stay at Home Mommy, right? So lets just say that honestly right now - it's a toss up between teacher, something in the world of adoption, and a writer/editor. I would dearly love to work out of my own home... and if that wasn't possible - like in the world of education... I'd love to be working with kids, and have the benefit of school breaks... I'm slightly bitter and sad this week that I won't be on spring break with my friends next week - BOO to the corporate world!!

What is your favorite toothpaste?

Well, we use Arm & Hammer... but I'm not sure what my favorite is...

If you had to eat & drink only ONE thing for the rest of your life...what would they be? You would have to drink/eat the same thing EVERY DAY!

Oh goodness, I am so grateful to be human - because we don't have to live like that... but gosh... I guess I'd say iced tea... I don't think I could live without it!

Danielle asked:

I want to know how you are holding up with your friend being occupied with the rodeo? (Just kidding).

Not very well actually... but I have spent a lot less time on the computer - although I can't tell if that is more a product of my mood or of no one being there to entertain me.

I want to know how you are seeing God move in your life daily!

I don't know that I am seeing him... I guess I could say that the fact that I'm getting out of bed and putting one foot in front of the other is because of him... but that's about all I've got.

Linda asked:

I want to know if you are planning on changing jobs any time soon, what with all the "turmoil" and stress that job has been causing you.

I would absolutely love to, but I just don't know right now. There certainly isn't anything in the pipeline... and no plans to put anything in the pipeline for a bit. Things here have settled down a bit lately - and until I figure out what "moves my cheese" I don't see much point in pursuing it. Not to mention the fact that you have to be at a job for a year or more in order to be protected under the Family Medical Leave Act which is the law governing maternity leave... so being that I hopefully will need that protection... I am here for a good while.

Debbie asked:

I want to know what your favorite childhood memory is and why.

I don't really have any memories of my childhood - honestly... I've somehow blocked most of them out. I think I've talked about that before, but that's it... I don't really start remembering things well until High School... and honestly - some of that is even sketchy.

I want to know who your favorite teacher was and why.

Hmmm... I'd say either my Home Economics teacher in junior high - Mrs. Brittian - because she took me under her wing and let me do all sorts of projects that went beyond just everyday class work. She had the great bulletin board outside her classroom that she let my friend and I constantly design and create.

OR

Mrs. Irwin my Accounting teacher in High School. She was another teacher that I knew really on both a level in the classroom, but also a little more personally. She took an interest in our lives... and was the teacher that we would go hang out with in the mornings before school...

I want to know what you think your life will be like in ten years.

Gosh, I have no idea... hopefully doing something I love and going home to my husband and three kids... but I don't really know how to describe it any further than that.

Should I go on?

Sure!! I need questions constantly!

Becca asked:

I want to know what you imagine a day with your baby will be like.

Oh man, another one that I don't really know... I expect that it will be the hardest physical and mental challenge I've ever experienced... but at the same time - I feel like it will come naturally to a certain extent. I can imagine us laughing a lot, going to the park, taking a bazillion pictures, and just generally enjoying the miracle of childhood through our child's eyes. I can't imagine anything more beautiful than rediscovering all the mysteries of the world through the eyes of a child.

That's it for this week... should I stop doing this feature each week? Is anyone interested in asking or reading the answers to my questions?
Pin It Now!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Got Q's? I got A's.

Don't forget to read my newest weekly feature post... Talk to Me Tuesdays... if you haven't already.

Today has been somewhat better - although, I still feel a cloud of sadness above my head - at least I'm a little more together today and slightly more productive at least. I certainly am starting to think that my bloggly mojo is coming back - at least I want to blog again... so hopefully you're enjoying that somewhat.

Tomorrow is Q&A Wednesday... so I thought that I'd go ahead and start asking you to submit your questions to be answered. I'll probably close the question collection around 2:30 tomorrow afternoon...so that I can get the answers put up for you guys to enjoy before leaving work! HAHA!

Sooooo... what do you have? What do you want to know?
Pin It Now!

Talk to Me Tuesday 1


And the last, but not least of the new features... Talk to Me Tuesdays!! This is the day when I will write about something on my mind... and then ask you some questions about your opinion or experiences...

So for my inaugural Talk to Me Tuesday post... I thought we'd talk about this wonderful world that connects most of you to me... blogging. It's so interesting to me how my plunge into the world of blogging took place... I remember starting a news blog at one of my old jobs to pass information around without clogging up everyone's inbox. Which made me start thinking about the "mass emails" that I sent to family and friends when big things happened in our little world.

So, I initially started a blog to keep my family and friends updated on our happenings - and it didn't really take off. At that point, I was paying for it - and it was before blogging became a big new thing... I got the bug again when I found out that you could do it for free... and I had more interesting things going on - like weight loss surgery.

I started writing about my experiences while trying to navigate the crazy maze of insurance hoops that were needed to get weight loss surgery covered - only to get to the end of the maze to find that our insurance policy never intended to cover it. I digress, as I moved through the process - people started following my blog that weren't family or friends... but they quickly became friends!

As I then took the plunge into the world of fertility treatments for the second time - which really could also be considered the first time...since our initial doctor fired us before ever even trying to treat us. I met some more wonderful women who I have grown to call friends.

Now, I'm finding some more new friends through the world of adoption...and the unique challenges that come with navigating the adoption process. The one common thread though is that the support of other women is incredible. I often in my youth had a hard time being really close friends with other girls - because we always seemed in competition with each other... but blogging has opened a world that allows us to become friends with the inner person - sometimes people that might not have given you the time of day in other circumstances you might not have been able to become friends. (Especially for shy folks, like me!)

I truly have met some kindred spirits through the world of blogging... very special women that I can only hope and pray that I will get to meet at some point in my life... I can imagine the laughing and late night chatting that would happen if we did get to meet. That is if I got up the courage to show up - but I know that some of you know me well enough to push me on that... and I know that I wouldn't regret it, and would probably count that experience as one of the best in my life.

Sooooo... here's the interactive part....

1) Tell me what brought you into the wonderful world of blogging...
2) Tell me about the blogs that you just can't live without reading everyday...

As always - feel free to grab the image and join in the party on your own blog... just leave me a comment and let me know you're doing it so I can pop over and see what you write!
Pin It Now!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sometimes...For No Reason


Sometimes...for no reason at all... sadness takes hold of my heart.

Sadness about wanting so desperately to give my husband the gift of fatherhood.

Sadness that there is a hole in my heart - that could be filled rocking a baby to sleep and comforting them with the love only a mother could give.

Sadness that my body won't produce the eggs that would allow us to have a child that is a little bit John and a little bit me.

Sadness that punches me in the gut whenever I see a baby, a stroller, or a pregnant woman. Sadness that I can't do anything to change this situation.

Sadness that sometimes even going to church is hard for me because I know that I will see all sorts of families (of people I love) and have guilt because of my jealousy.

Sadness that the above even applies to my own family & friends at times... which leads to even more guilt than when it applies to strangers.

Sadness that it didn't occur to me that John might be holding in his hurt just to protect me... which I found out today was actually the case. I love that he wants to be strong and take care of me... but I also find comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one hurting.

Sadness that for the last three weeks, I have felt spiritually dead in so many ways.

Sadness that right now the last thing I want to hear is another Bible verse that should give me comfort - but in reality just makes me more confused about why I have to endure so much.

Sadness that I just don't see a light at the end of the tunnel.

All of this leads into embarrassment - because I feel so weak to control my emotions at times... and often when they take over in the biggest ways - I'm completely incapable of articulating what is even going on.

Today hasn't been a good day... and I just needed to get my toughts down for some much needed potential therapy.
Pin It Now!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday Silliness 1


I thought that each week, I'd bring you a collection of photos and/or stories that have made me laugh during the week... for your enjoyment. Sometimes there might be a theme to the silliness, but other times it might just be a random collection of smiles... like this week...



This one just made me laugh out loud... it's too cute!


This just warms my heart because I have a Boston Terrier - and she is adorable too!


I love the socks!


This one is a little something for Summer... she loves bacon!


Oh, Amen kitty!!


I hope this kitty's name is Donald... because I can totally see season 1 of The Apprentice in this photo.


I just love the look on the kitten's face!


Arg, take that knife!


This is just wrong...but it made me laugh anyway.

 

I just think this is funny because my dogs do exactly these - and it does match their personality.

 

This one just cracked me up beyond belief! 

So tell me, what made you laugh this week?
Pin It Now!