Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmastime at our house!

Our first Christmas after Steve and I got married he placed my wrapped gift from him under the tree four weeks before Christmas and refused to let me open it until Christmas day at my parents' house. Knowing my impatient nature and my compulsive need to solve mysteries, this act on his part was specifically designed to torture me.

He would later tell me it was to ensure I called him more often while he was travelling for work because I hate talking on the phone unless I have a specific reason to call.

Since then it has become a bit of a tradition for us to give in to our impatience and open our gifts to each other as soon as they are wrapped each year. This year was no different.

Last night when Steve got home we had our Christmas between the two of us and I have to say, I was clearly a very good girl this year.

But before I tell you what Steve got me, I want to tell you what I got for Steve. I bought it back in September and I have been DYING to give it to him early.

one big gift:

A one hour intro to flight lesson at the local airport! He gets a full hour in the air with a pilot learning about how to fly the plane and, after learning the basics, he gets to take the controls for a while and land the plane! Steve has talked about getting his pilot's license ever since I've known him but has always said it was too much money. Well, now he gets to at least try it out and see if the reality meets his expectations. The hour will count toward his license if he decides to go through with getting it as well, so, you know, bonus! lol

Now for what Steve got me...

gift #1
A set of makeup brushes from Sephora I've had my eye on for a while. They are made to be antibacterial and will stay that way with regular cleaning, so it will prolong their lifespan and help my efforts to keep my face from breaking out.

Gift #2

Something I haven't told many people about is my desire to learn how to play guitar. I have a TON of songs I like to sing with my students and I have always thought it would be cool to be able to play along with my songs. I used to play the violin and the upright bass and I have found that I truly do miss playing an instrument.

This is actually a "beginner guitar" set from a local music shop. It came with everything in the picture: the guitar (a Mitchell dreadnought acoustic guitar), carrying case, strap, extra set of strings, digital tuner, picks, and an instructional DVD on how to get started playing. I'll be playing "Smelly Cat" in no time! :)

I'm so freaking excited! And here I thought nothing could top what I got for Steve...

Friday, December 18, 2015

When God Says "No"

Maybe it's because of the circumstances in which I've found myself over the last couple years, but I've developed a bit of a pet peeve related to God and prayer.

It seems to me that people only say "God answered my prayers" when they get positive results... or a "yes" from God. Unless they get what they asked for they assume God didn't answer them. There is even a hit song by Garth Brooks alluding to this:

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

I have several issues with this line of thinking. Not the least of which being that it reduces God's role in our lives to that of a wish granting genie we turn to when we need a miracle rather than a loving father with whom we desire to build a relationship.

Can you imagine if we operated under this assumption within other relationships?
me: Baby, can you pick up a quart of milk on your way home?
husband: No, I don't have cash or my debit card with me today.
me: You aren't listening! I need you to pick up a quart of milk!
husband: I have no money with which to purchase milk. I won't be bringing any home.
*husband arrives home without milk*
me: If you truly existed and loved me like you say you do you would listen when I ask you to bring home milk.

It sounds insane. And it is.

The basic truth here is that God listens to all of our prayers and he answers all of them, too. Not all of them receive a simple "yes". Sometimes it's "not yet".

And many times God says "no".

I can't tell you how many times I prayed for a pregnancy. How many times I prayed for a biological child. How many times I prayed for the ability to conceive. I prayed for these things for YEARS. Here I am.... no babies , not pregnant, not even the hope of conception. Does that mean God wasn't listening or that I was not given an answer?


God answered me quite clearly. The answer was "No". He didn't do it to be mean. He didn't do it out of spite. He didn't do it because he doesn't love me as much as people with "yes" answers.

He said no because he wants me to follow a different path. He said no because he can see what blessings lie in store for me if I trust him rather than insisting on my own way. He said no because he loves me.

Being a Christian means trusting God with our lives. It means holding onto the promise that he will never abandon us and that his love will never ask us to endure trials without purpose or benefit to us. It's not easy, I'm not saying it is, but it's exactly what we signed up for when we prayed our first "I believe" prayer.

So can we all agree to stop saying "unanswered prayers" when we really mean "God said no"?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Homestudy visit #1

The good news is our caseworker seems awesome and the first visit went really well.

The bad news is visit #2 will be much more in depth and I'm already nervous.

Overall though our visit was not what I expected. Our caseworker loved on our dogs for a minute and then we sat on the couch and went over some information. She talked about the timeline of events from this point, shared information about how each visit would unfold, and then asked just a few questions about big pictures things. 

For example, she asked how we would describe ourselves as a nuclear family unit and how we would create a positive environments for any children placed with us.

It was a bit weird inviting in a stranger and immediately talking nature vs. nurture with them... not gonna lie. But, she seemed genuinely invested in helping us grow our family.

We did go ahead and schedule our final two visits. Believe it or not we will finish everything before the new year! At that point it will be reviewed and sent off to the appropriate departments for approval.

I love paperwork and procedure as much as the next person. but I'm hoping our information defies tradition and flies through the approval process!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Emotions are hard.

No, really. I have some very strong emotions right now and I'm dealing with them in some new and interesting ways.

First, MAJOR EXCITEMENT over the fact that we have been assigned a caseworker! It took longer than I had hoped, but it happened. Not only were we assigned a caseworker, but we have already scheduled our first meeting with her!

It's on Tuesday morning....

Which brings us to the next emotion... PANIC! Is my house clean enough? Does our wall art make us look like self-involved jerks with no parenting skills? Should I give each room a fresh coat of paint? Should we have the kids' rooms all set up? How much clutter says "lived in but not a secret slob"? If I pull the fresh-baked cookies trick is she going to think I'm trying to manipulate her?

The questions are as numerous as they are ridiculous.

The excitement and panic like to team up and create this awesome sense of restlessness. You know how you feel when you've had three cups of coffee in an hour and if you sit still too long you literally shake? That's me right now - sans caffeine.

I spent the last two days scrubbing my house from top to bottom. As in, removing the screws on the bottom of my freezer to clean every inch of the appliance. As in making Steve go to the store for his weight in vinegar and baking soda to wash the patio stones. As in lint rolling every lampshade in the house.

You can say it... I've gone a touch insane. I'm aware of this.

Among the chaos in my head lately it's hard to believe there are non-crazy emotions happening too. I'm relieved that the ball is finally moving. I'm hopeful for 2016 and the possibility that I may finally become a mama next year. I'm grateful to God for bringing us this far. I'm shocked at how much love and support Steve and I have received over this adoption process.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Sound of Slience

Things have been quiet here lately for a few reasons.... mostly because anything I had to say was wrapped in negativity and frustration. That's not what I want to put out into the universe. Then I realized that it's part of this process we signed up for and owning my emotions IS something I want to put out there.

About 2 weeks ago Steve and I got word from our agency that we have officially completed our homestudy paperwork and can finally be assigned a caseworker to finalize our file and send it to the state for final approval. Except for the fact that there is now a waiting list for caseworkers.

So, the waiting game begins again. We are hoping to be assigned someone before Thanksgiving, but I think it will likely be longer than that. I'm emotionally preparing myself to wait until the new year.

In the meantime Steve and I are making plans for enjoying the time we have as just the two of us. We don't have control over the when and how of our approval from the state or our placements, but we do have control over how we handle the waiting periods.

I hope those of you who still read this blog will join me in praying for a sense of peace in this season of waiting and for the children God has planned for us wherever they may be.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

Dorri's advice seems quite appropriate for this particular point of my life.

Earlier this week Steve and I turned in the last of our homestudy paperwork to our agency. It's both a relief and a tiny burden because we know now that everything is out of our hands. Somewhere in our agency's offices there is a stack of papers with our name on it waiting for a caseworker to look through it and develop questions for an interview.

We are also furiously cleaning and organizing the house in preparation for this interview. It hasn't even been scheduled yet, but we are cleaning as if the Pope himself is coming over to give his blessing.

My classroom is also at a point where I'm having to simply trust in the plan each day as I go in to work. My kiddos are taking standardized tests right now which means very little time for instruction. It also means no ESOL services are happening. I'm having to trust my planning skills to make the most of the little time we do have to work.

Lastly, I am attempting to learn Spanish. I found a free app that is pretty awesome so far. I was able to have my first parent phone call completely in Spanish and the end result was successful... I count that as a win. Even if it was just me telling a mom that her daughter was sick and needed to go home. It counts.

Until next time...

Sunday, August 2, 2015

an unexpected 10 year reunion

This weekend something pretty huge happened.

For those who don't know, when I was in elementary, middle, and high school I had a group of friends... two girls who were my absolute best friends on the entire planet. We did everything together. We had a weekly small group bible study meeting at church together starting in 6th grade. I have very fond memories of going to football games, having sleepovers, countless church events.... even prom. My first job was with one of those girls and we all went on an incredible road trip the summer after senior year.

It was the kind of friendship teen sitcoms are made of.

Unfortunately, our friendship didn't survive the transition into college and adulthood. Even though one of those friends came to the same school with me, things happened and our friendship ended rather painfully.

This was back in 2006 and I hadn't spoken to either of those women since then. Until yesterday.

My high school reunion was held last weekend and, though I didn't go, the event seemed to have sparked nostalgia for more than just me. One of the women I had been friends with reached out to me via Facebook and asked if we could meet to catch up. Curiosity and the little pieces of my heart still missing that friendship wouldn't let me say no.

We met at a local coffee shop near my house yesterday and ended up talking for four hours. Not just surface things, but genuine discussion including an honest and frank conversation abotu the things that ended the friendship all those years ago.

Apologies were given, explanations were provided... I never realized how badly I needed those things until they were given.

There was no bitterness and no blame handed out... it was just two people who had grown up making amends for the stupid and hurtful things they did when they were younger. Although I am sad that I will likely never reconcile with the other friend in our former trio, I know now to never say never.

We have made plans to meet up again and both expressed a desire to get together regularly now that we have cleared the air.

Knowing that a friendship can come back even after almost 10 years of icy silence has given my heart an incredible lightness and filled me with a sense of overwhelming peace. It's almost like God is showing me his incredible ability to heal and to trust him. With all the things in my life lately, I definitely needed the reminder.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Back to school, Back to school....

I'm not even kidding. I've already raided the Target $1 section for classroom materials and begun planning what changes I want to make in my classroom routine for this year. I even bought a laminator.

A very sweet and dear friend of mine, Kate from Kate's Recipe Box, sent me a classroom care package earlier in the summer full of goodies she thought I would be able to use. I'm now the proud owner of a calendar set, weather bulletin board materials, an alphabet banner with picture and word cues, and a few other very helpful things I'm looking forward to using. Thanks, Kate!

I think I mentioned before that I am in a new classroom this year. It's still a trailer (we gained 15 new ones this year and an entire grade level moved outside; indoor space is at a premium), but this one is rather nice, as far as portable classrooms go. Unlike last year, this room has two windows that can be opened for fresh air, a storage closet, and well maintained stairs with no splintery or pointy parts. It's also much closer to the building entrance which means less time out in the elements for the kiddos and me and is the only other trailer classroom whose heating/cooling system didn't malfunction last year.

It also has a lovely patch of irises planted on the parking lot end that bloom after spring break. :)

My grade level team was proactive and created a curriculum map during post planning, so I have been able to begin lesson planning already. That's a HUGE improvement over last year when I had no idea what we were doing until halfway through pre-planning.

On Friday of this week I am actually meeting with another member of the first grade team to do some longitudinal planning and I am really excited. This teacher is moving up from Kindergarten and is one of four new faces on our grade level team. She has a lot of excitement over the grade level change and, of course, I'm always happy to work with anyone who has a good attitude.

We are launching the Daily 5 as a grade level initiative this year and I will be putting forward a structural plan for math as well (more on that in another post). I have a good feeling about this organizational structure for our students and I really think we are going to see them make incredible amounts of progress this year.

Last but certainly not least, I'M GETTING iPADS FOR MY CLASS!!! Yes, that needed to be in all caps. The district is providing 5 iPads for my classroom use this year and I'm so happy I danced a little happy dance when I got the email telling us about it. Some of my fantastic teacher friends provided me with a long list of apps to look into or my kiddos, so you can bet I will be doing some exploring once I'm in my classroom for pre-planning.

To my fellow teachers: I hope you are getting excited for the next school year as well!

To my fellow teachers who teach in the north where nobody starts school until Labor Day: Sorry for the heart attack. :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Send me someone to Lava

The last few days have been a bit rough around here. Not gonna lie.

We hadn't heard from our agency in a while after submitting some paperwork and this afternoon I found out why. The person they told us to email our paperwork to left the agency and never passed on our information. Our paperwork has been sitting in her inbox for a month. Nobody knew it was there.

So, thank God I'm obsessive and called about it. I spoke with a very helpful woman who helped right the wrong and get us on the right track. I'm still seriously annoyed that an entire month was essentially wasted though. This is a long process in general and the idea of adding more time unnecessarily makes me annoyed.

None of this really helped my emotional state. Yesterday a particularly nasty little thought hit me and I've been desperately trying to recover ever since... I got to thinking about all the things I'm missing out on in my kids' lives and started wondering how many more will pass before I get to bring them home.

See, I told you it was particularly nasty. Just the kind of thought to rip your heart to shreds.

Speaking of heartache and raging emotions.... if you haven't seen Inside Out, you need to go. Right now. I'll wait...

It's amazing, right!?!?!?

Honestly though, my favorite part was the animated short Lava they showed before the movie. That song has been with me in my head since I saw it on Saturday. It's almost haunting. And it completely fits how I feel in my heart about this adoption.

"I have a dream
I hope will com true
That you're here with me
and I'm here with you
I wish that the earth, sea, the sky up above
will send me someone to lava"

Lava, of course, meaning love rather than molten earth. :)

I plan to buy Inside Out when it arrives on Blue Ray simply so I can own this animated short. It's that moving to me. The feature movie is great too though, so.... bonus.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

OOOh, burn!

I guess it's officially summer vacation. Steve and I received our first sunburn of the year!

We spent the day at my parents' house yesterday with my mom, my younger brother and his wife, my older brother, and his girlfriend. It was such a relaxed day. We grilled some burgers, played with my mom's new puppy, and then made our way down to the pool.

Now, despite Steve donning SPF 50 waterproof/sweatproof sunscreen, he got the worse burn of the two of us. I put on my usual SPF 30 suntan lotion in an attempt to get some color. Yeah, I know. The joke is on me.

The funny part is, I'm only burned on my shoulders, chest, and a tiny bit on my cheeks... the places where I notoriously forget to apply sunscreen or don't apply enough. Poor Steve is practically a lobster from the waist up.

Last night was spent putting aloe and after sun moisturizer on our burns.

We are staying inside today in order to avoid making things worse. Make no mistake though, we will be back out and enjoying the pool in our neighborhood as soon as the redness fades to a tan!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

everyone loves a good analogy

Dear friends, it's been an interesting week (or two).

The school year ended (with many conflicting emotions on my part), my summer officially began (with many conflicting emotions on my part), Steve had a birthday, and we completed a step toward adoption. With those things has come a sense of restlessness... a desire to keep moving forward and another overwhelming desire to beg for answers from the almighty.

In all of this, I came across an analogy which has given me some much needed peace and perspective. Not just in my current circumstances, but in my relationship with God in general. (initially it was much shorter than this, but I expanded it) I'm sharing it with you guys because maybe it will help you like it has helped me. Or maybe you'll think I'm insane. Whatever... here we go:

Think of your life as a house you own. Then, think of God as someone you initially hired to do some small repair work in that house, handy-man stuff. Maybe a leaky faucet or a ceiling fan installation. Then, one day you call on him for another small repair and the next thing you know, he's torn down a wall and cut the power to the kitchen. You're pissed. He never cleared these plans with you. You never even saw a blueprint! You're convinced he is out to ruin your house and everything you've worked so hard for. When you call him on this, he just says "trust me, I'm giving you something better than you've ever dreamed of" and continues building seemingly random structures on your property and, in your opinion, making a huge mess of things. Sometimes so much has changed that you fear a full-out caving in of the whole thing.

What's worse, he keeps bringing people in and out of your house. Some of them are awesome and you hate to see them go, others stick around for a while and assist God in projects, while others seem to simply be there to cause destruction and make the mess infinitely worse. 

You consider kicking him out of your house so many times. You look at the wreckage and think "I can rebuild it from here" or "I can live with this level of destruction, but I can't risk any more". You yell at God and accuse him of being reckless with your house and being untrustworthy. You rage at him for seemingly ignoring your wishes. You keep telling him "I was happy the way it was" and complain to anyone who will listen about how he is bullying you. From time to time he tries to tell you about his plans, but you're so busy being angry you don't hear him speak.

Then, one day the dust of the demolition and construction starts to settle and you can begin to see the plan moving forward. You get little clues about the amazing things in store for you and you begin to see those random structures and ripped down walls as aspects of a new, amazing house full of features you never knew you wanted. The people he brought in and out start adding decorations to the inside and the gardens that you would have never thought to look for. 

You finally begin to understand that maybe God has a better handle on things than you thought, or that the destruction and mess might have been worthwhile after all. Although things aren't finished yet and it's still more messy than you would like, you stop yelling at God so much and even start asking him how you can help every now and then. You may not like the decisions he is making sometimes, but you've started to trust that there is a reason for each ripped out wall or ugly wallpaper print.

Like I said, that analogy brought me a lot of peace. I'm still currently in the middle of the destruction, but  think I'm beginning to see some parts of the design coming together. My conversations have started to become less accusatory and more of a give and take.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The End of the Beginning

The school year is officially over. Just two days of post planning left and we are free for summer break.

My first year of teaching is finished.

I am experiencing a huge amount of emotions over the completion of this year: excitement, relief, happiness, pride, but also sadness, and a bit of loss.

Excitement, happiness, and pride that my students all passed and are being promoted to second grade.

Relief from the stress of getting my teacher plans and organizational routines together.

Sadness and loss over the fact that it's well and truly over. It's been an amazing first year full of trials, triumphs, and trying new things. I worked so hard to get here and to give myself over to the experience that I find myself a bit unsure of myself now that I'm not pushing forward so intensely. I am also finding that my 26 students completely stole my heart this year and letting them go means sending pieces of my heart with them. It's a new and bittersweet feeling.

I'll admit, there are definitely things I would change about this past year and there are certainly things I wish I had done better. Now that there aren't new lessons to plan or kids and materials to organize for the immediate future, I find myself being quite reflective over the experience.

I also find myself unable to sleep for all the thoughts of next year and improvements to be made swirling around in my mind. Although I know I performed well and met or exceeded the expectations of others, I wouldn't be acting like myself if I wasn't looking for ways to do more or be better than I was.

And it isn't coming from a place of negativity. I think, more than anything, it comes from an inability to let go of this thing I care about so much. This is what happens, I guess, when you are lucky enough to live your passion. It completely consumes you every minute of every day whether you want it to or not.

To all the teachers partying over the end of the school year: Can one of you teach me to relax? My relaxation setting seems to be malfunctioning. :)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

I remember in the years before I met my husband and the years before having children was something we were focusing on how I loved Mother's Day. I was obviously thankful for my own mother and grandmothers, but there was a gentle hopefulness about the day. It was a day when I was encouraged to daydream about my future family. I would think about what it would be like to spend the day with the little family we had created and how it would feel to be living out the deepest desire of my heart.

Clearly those dreams from Mother's Day past are still just that, dreams.

That gentle hopefulness of Mother's Day in the past has now been replaced with a not-so-gentle ache. A churning in my gut caused by the uncertainty regarding my future motherhood. This year it was so bad that I skipped church. I simply could not handle the festivities this year.

I do have a good feeling about next year though. It's a bit painful to let that tiny bit of hope take root, but it is there.

Today Steve and I bought beds for our future foster-adopt children. It seemed fitting to buy that kind of furniture on Mother's Day. I may not have my children in my arms, but they have been living in my heart all my life. I'm finally able to buy simple things like a set of sheets for them. A pillow for them to sleep on when they finally arrive.

It was an unexpectedly soothing task.

Such a simple thing in the grand scheme of things, but it brought me peace to be able to buy something for my child on Mother's Day. It was a little reminder that, although I am walking a difficult road, one day this part of the journey will be only a memory and a new and joyful journey will have begun.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you women out there. Those with children in your home and arms, those of you with children in heaven, those of you with children too far away to hug, and those still waiting for motherhood to find you.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Where did the time go?

I couldn't help myself...

In all seriousness though, I don't understand how tomorrow is May 1st. I'm not doubting that May comes after April. My mind is simply blown that the end of the school year is so close. 

It seems like not that long ago I was cheerfully decorating my classroom and wondering what my first group of students would be like. With all of the shark pictures, nonsense songs, and lessons that turned into projects I simply lost track of time and now here we are at the end. Well, 16 days from the end to be specific.

All 26 of my kiddos are going to second grade. Every last shark lover is moving on to the next grade and a new teacher. I'm so crazy proud of those kids. They worked hard this year!

I have some really fun things planned for them in the next three weeks. Some are school-wide and some are just me.
- STEM day (all morning doing various STEM projects)
- Field Day (including a parade and MAYBE popsicles if the freezer is working)
- publishing party (we invite all the parents out to our trailer and each child presents the piece of writing they are most proud of this year)
- Awards and Honors day (all the traditional awards plus some silly ones I came up with)
- balloon pop countdown with special activities in each balloon (one for each day the last three weeks)
- the Spring Carnival
- Art day (spend the morning doing art projects of different kinds)

I may or may not have secured gummy sharks as a special treat on the last day of school too. I can't wait to see their faces!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

moving forward

As National Infertility Awareness Week comes to a close, I find that I'm feeling more supported than ever. I wasn't sure I wanted to "out" myself on facebook since my statuses on there get much more traffic than this blog, but I am so glad I did. Several friends reached out to me through private messages to share their stories with me and offer encouragement. It was more than I could have asked for when I first decided to open up about our struggle.

Earlier this week I spoke with our doctor and received our final diagnosis and an initial treatment plan. My CD3 blood work came back normal, but my HSG showed a blocked right Fallopian tube. This, in addition to the high prolactin, is what my doctor believes has led to our infertility.

So, the plan right now is to just continue my medication and charting until June and then recheck my levels. Fingers crossed for good things to happen in the next few months!

Completely unrelated, but also significant: We only have four weeks left in the school year. Holy crap! I'm just four short weeks away from finishing my first year of teaching and sending my little firsties on to second grade.

I had my end-of-year meeting with my principal and found out that I will be teaching first grade again next year. I will still be in a trailer classroom, but I'm moving into one on a hill with windows and some beautiful purple irises planted outside. I am definitely not complaining!

As you can tell from my pinterest feed, I am already looking into ways to improve things for next year and get more organized. This summer I will be hunting through Goodwill and Craigslist for free or super cheap items to help me organize my kids' work and my teaching materials. I may highlight some projects here on the blog.

I am also putting together my end of the year plans to make it extra special for my kiddos. These awesome little ones will always have a very special place in my heart for being my very first class and I want to send them off to summer vacation (and their future educational career) in a big way.

There will more than likely be gummy sharks.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

National Infertility Awareness Week - You are Not Alone!

This week, April 19-25, 2015, is National Infertility Awareness Week. It's a week to highlight a disease which effects over 7 million people in the United States alone. Yes, I said people. Infertility effects men and women equally.

Although infertility is a medical condition with various causes and treatments, arguably the worst part about it is the emotional impact. :
You feel guilty for not being able to give your spouse the family you both dreamed of.

You feel ashamed of your body for not working the way it should.

You feel helpless while you watch your spouse suffer through guilt and inadequacy over a condition over which they have no control.

You feel isolated because your friends are gleefully posting pictures of their children and pregnancy announcements on Facebook while you sit back wishing and praying for your turn.

You also feel embarrassed because talking about sex and reproduction is a bit of a taboo subject in our society. Nobody wants to hear about your reproductive parts unless you have tanned and waxed them for the purpose of selling things. But that's a discussion for another day....

My point here is that so many couples dealing with infertility suffer through their treatments silently with no support. They either don't know how to bring it up or are afraid of what others will say when presented with such sensitive information. I stayed quiet about our struggle for exactly those reasons. But, the truth is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

If you suffer from infertility, you are not alone. It is nothing to be ashamed of. There are people ready and willing to support you. Including me.

You are not alone.

Friday, April 17, 2015

testing, testing, 1..2..3..

The theme of this month seems to be testing. Not only am I going through additional aspects of fertility testing, but my school is preparing to conduct our Georgia Milestones exams for third, fourth, and fifth grades. It's the test that is replacing the CRCT for those of you familiar with Georgia's schools.

If the practice tests taken earlier this month are any indication, students all across the state are about to collectively lose their minds. This test is HARD.

Still, we are doing our best to build up the kid's self-esteem and confidence as they prepare for these tests. 

My kiddos will not be taking part in the GA Milestones, but they will be enduring another related test. The four hour bathroom-free test. Nobody is allowed in the halls during testing for any reason, so my kiddos will have to last the entire morning at school without any access to a bathroom. I'm already stockpiling paper towels and spare uniform bottoms as a precaution. It could get ugly in our trailer over the next two weeks.

Personally, I'm grateful that my fertility testing is beginning to wind down. I had cycle day 3 blood work done earlier this week and I had my HSG done earlier today. Necessary though it was, that was a seriously uncomfortable procedure! This coming from someone who has been told by multiple surgeons that I have a high tolerance for pain. OUCH! Even hours later, STILL ouch!

Part of that may have to do with the fact that my nurse informed me (as I was laying on the table in radiology in nothing but a hospital gown) that they were out of catheters sized for women who had never given birth. They had to use a larger than normal catheter to inject the dye as a result. 

The radiologist doing the procedure's exact words to me were "about 90% of the time catheters this size simply won't work on women who have never given birth, but we will give it the old Girl Scout try".

Umm... ok? 

I repeat... OUCH!

My doctor should have my results by Monday so we are all keeping our fingers crossed for happy news. This girl is not in the mood to hear that I need any kind of surgery. 

Steve says he kept smelling incense like they use at church while I was getting the procedure done and he is taking that as a positive sign. I'm clinging to his optimism and my prayer journal.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

budgeting and being a responsible adult

Yeah... it's still sunshine and rainbows over here.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled internet time for a PSA about being fiscally responsible.

You see, the husband and I sat down and took a long, hard look at our finances this past weekend and the results were sobering. We took some heavy financial hits last month between paying taxes (least favorite adult milestone ever) and coming out of pocket for our fertility testing. In fact, those things are what prompted the review in the first place.

I'm not ready to call them blessings yet (even ones in disguise), but they were the heads up we needed to realize we were about to jump off a financial cliff.

We went through our bank statement line-by-line to determine where our money was being spent and realized we spent an OBSCENE amount of money on food. The only category that surpassed our spending on food was the giant portion dedicated to paying on our debts. By the time we finished we were well into the red.

I was also seeing red.

I got so mad at myself for being so careless when it came to sticking to a budget. I was mad for overspending and for being wasteful when I was not raised to be that way. I'm a smart woman. I should be able to follow a budget.

So.... I have had a fire lit under my bum to be more frugal and more mindful of how we use our resources. Not just money either. Money is obviously a big one, but time is another resource I feel might not be spent as wisely as possible. I was raised by some truly amazing people, men and women alike, who knew a thing or two about being frugal and making the most off a limited amount of resources. There is very little I can't DIY.

That being said, I am putting my money where my mouth is and changing up the way we do things around here. "Here" as in my home and life as well as "here" meaning this blog. I'm going to be taking steps to reduce our spending, increase our resourcefulness, and aggressively chip away at this big debt monster we have created. Throughout the process I hope to share successes (and less-than-successful efforts) here on the blog. After all, who doesn't like saving money?

If you've got tips on being a responsible adult, please share. If you suck at adulting like me, then feel free to commiserate. No judgement here.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

a little something new

I added a page to the top of the blog. Where it says "the story of us" I have laid out a timeline covering our journey since Steve and I met until today. My plan is to update it when various things happen so that Steve and I have a record of our journey once we have finally come out on the other side of these crazy trials.

Also, if you read it you'll see that we began our IMPACT classes this weekend. So, yay for that!

Friday, March 27, 2015


I am officially five work days away from spring break and some quality time with my Batwin! Y'all, words cannot express how excited I am to finally have some down time to chill with friends and relax. I need it. No, seriously, it's not a want at this point. It's a need. My head may explode without this time off.

The new diet is going better. Turns out, cutting out sugar, dairy, and all gluten/wheat products comes with a special kind of hell called withdrawal. Yep. Nothing says "yay for my health" quite like four days of feeling like I'm going to die.

I passed out on Monday before getting in my car to go to work. I also could not consistently focus on any one thought or get rid of my massive headache all day Monday. Needless to say, I missed work. Can't risk passing out on the morning commute! 

Things did get better after that and I am feeling way better now though. We are adapting to our new way of eating. My body is still pretty pissed. I'm dropping weight like a bad habit. I'm down more than five pounds since Sunday. Nt the worst side effect I've ever experienced....

I also recently discovered that Revlon is no longer a drugstore disaster from the 80s. Either that or my taste in cosmetics has time-warped because I'm loving their stuff right now. My go-to lipstick is Revlon and I just finished painting my (short, bitten, neglected) nails in the cutest pink nail polish called optimism. 

It's the little things in life. Pink nail polish and withdrawal symptoms fading quickly. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Let's all try to stay positive

About two weeks ago a huge emotional bomb was dropped around here and since then we have been dealing with the fallout. Not going to lie, I've been doing a pretty awesome impersonation of an angsty teenager with my tear-filled journaling sessions lately. It's been an overwhelming couple of weeks.

First of all, we are no longer pursuing adoption. This was not my choice, but after months of planning and prayer, my husband is not ready to go down that road. It feels right for me in my heart as our next step, but he feels pretty much opposite about it. After some long and honest talks with each other, and a good bit of prayer, we decided to pursue fertility testing instead.

Yes, that's right. We are embarking again on the TTC rollercoaster. This time with the added bonus of being poked with needles and getting on a first name basis with our doctors. Again, not my first choice, but it feels like the right thing to do at this moment in time. The blessing and the curse of marriage is that you have to be willing to meet your spouse where they are and honor their feelings as much as your own. As much as I have emotionally invested in adoption as my hope for finally becoming parents, my husband has done the same for fertility testing. It makes sense to do one before the other, so here we go.

It's a lot to take in, but I am trying to stay positive and stay focused on the fact that Steve and I have the same goal: to become parents.

We actually had our first meeting with the fertility doctor on Friday. We both took the morning off of work for our initial consult, and it was a good thing we did because holy crap was there a lot to take in!

The doctor looked at my charts from the last two years (yay sympto-thermal method for keeping me organized!) as well as some other information we provided for her and it would seem that we have a lot of issues going on between the two of us. Over the next month we are being tested for a bunch of things before meeting with her again to receive an official diagnosis and treatment plan.

Ok, now for the childish complaining (what's that? You thought the whole post was already full of that? Just wait...)

One of the things the doctor wants me (and Steve by extension) to do is adopt a special diet to help manage the inflammation caused by my IBS and get my weight into "a more ideal range". Yes, that's what she said. Nice lady.

NBD, right? WRONG!

I love food. I love making it, eating it, giving it to other people, buying it, preserving it... the whole nine. On this diet I will be cutting out all dairy, all sugar except the kind naturally occurring in my food, and all grains.

Yup. No bread, no cheese, none of the good stuff. It's lean meats and veggies (and 1/2 cup of berries per day) for the next two cycles. Then, depending how I handle it, I can slowly introduce natural sugars (like honey) and small amounts of grains (like quinoa and brown rice).

As I write this I'm eating what passes for breakfast on this new adventure of mine: chocolate chia seed pudding. Doesn't sound too bad, right? It's not. Not too bad. That's the nicest thing I can say about chocolate pudding and it makes me sad. The way Steve reacted you would have thought I was poisoning him.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Unexpected encouragement - AKA: my students' parents rock

This week has been rough. In fact, rough does not even begin to cover it.

I've got weird sinus congestion going on, it has been rainy all week, the dog pooped all over the house Tuesday, my voice gave out mid-week, the custodians ruined the new rug I bought for my classroom less than 24 hours after I brought it to school, and all of my planning time this week was eaten up by meetings. Not even so much as a lunch break was had all week.

As I'm sure you can imagine, by Thursday afternoon I was 100% done with having to effectively function as an adult and less than enthusiastic about conferences.

Don't get me wrong, I love my students and their parents are (for the most part) as engaged and concerned for their kids' education as any teacher could hope for. I just was not in the mood to have those necessarily in-depth discussions this week. Especially not via a translator. Especially not after I had already worked a full day.

I did participate in conferences though and, believe it or not, I am grateful I had that time.

More than 30% of my parents showed up which is a bit of a record for me, and every single one of them told me thank you. Every. single. one. They thanked me for giving my time, for putting forth extra effort to help their child, for being encouraging, for making their child excited about school. They thanked me. One mother told me she thought I was amazing for being able to give each child so much care and attention when I had so many of them in class at one time.

It made my year.

No, seriously, I think those comments will be the thing that gets me through the rest of this year.

Also, I am looking for some way to learn Spanish. If anyone has any recommendations for how to go about doing that, please let me know. This round of conferences really drove home for me the fact that I need to be more accessible for these parents. They need to be able to call the school to talk to me and know I will be able to understand them.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Catching up

I apologize for my absence lately. It seems like February always gets away from me... not just because it's so short either.

Some interesting things are happening around here as of late. I applied for a super cool and exciting Summer Writing Institute and had my interview yesterday. I'll share more about it if/when I am accepted. For now, suffice it to say that it's a huge opportunity which would give me an entire month to give myself over to the creative process of writing. Not to mention I would be working with some incredible people within the literacy and language field.

Steve and I have also begun the process of modifying our home to accommodate the adoption process. What I mean by that for the most part is preparing our two spare bedrooms to actually serve as bedrooms. One of them is currently an office and the other serves as our version of a guest room. It has a dresser, an air mattress, and my super awesome 1970s paisley covered chaise. It also has all of our Christmas decorations in the closet. Clearly, some rearranging must be done before children can occupy that space.

Our first step in making this change has been to move the office downstairs. We have a space in our living room which has been kind of empty and unused since we moved in, so we decided to put a desk there and make it an office nook. After all, we don't really need a whole room for an office since neither of us work from home. I'll post pictures of the office nook once it's finished. Ok... I lied. I'll post a pic when stage 1 of the office nook is done. I imagine it will have a few different stages as we determine our true office needs. For now we plan to have a desk, computer, and our printer there. We will see what else we end up with.

My plan is to keep track of all the changes by posting about them here. We will see how successful I am with that.

That's it for the positive stuff keeping us busy. Unfortunately, there have been some not-so-positive issues happening too. Our pipes burst downstairs and completely destroyed the downstairs bathroom and entry hall. The bathroom needs to be gutted and the ceiling needs to be replaced in the entry hall. We are having a little communication issue with our homeowners insurance at the moment, but we hope they will get it together and get things done really soon.

We also did our taxes and found out that we owe Uncle Sam quite a bit of money. We have never owed before in either of our lives. It was quite a shock. Turns out, my new job as a teacher (and the sad little salary that comes with it) was enough to push us into a her tax bracket. And I can only claim a maximum of $250 in classroom expenses on my taxes. I literally laughed at our accountant when he said that. My mother has spent more than that on my classroom this year. We won't talk about how much I have spent. Let's just say it's a multiple of $250 and leave it at that.

Today is not the day for another teaching related rant. :)

Besides all of that, we are all healthy and in one piece, so we really can't complain. I'm looking forward to March and the fun times up ahead. Our parish is a very proudly Irish parish which means we are looking forward to an epic Saint Patrick's Day celebration as well as the Saint Joseph's feast. This month is also my last month before spring break and the last month before we begin our adoption classes! I don't have to tell you how excited I am for those things. :)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Lent 2015

Yes, Lent is upon us again.

Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday. I even bought a king cake to share with my first grade team for the occasion. I had originally planned in making one, but that kind of went out the door after I realized how much work I need to get done today to be ready for class this week. Honestly, I don't think anyone will be upset that the king cake isn't home made. Free cake/pastry is typically a crowd pleaser in any form. :)

I am actually really looking forward to Lent this year and the season of sacrifice and penance. This school year has been incredibly hard on me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. My hope is that I can use this season of Lent to refocus on what is important in my life and let go of those distractions which rob me of my happiness.

This brings me to what I plan to give up. I spent a good deal of time trying to think of something that would challenge me to really focus in a God over the next forty days and get me away from this "poor me" attitude I've been sporting. As a result, I've chosen two different "sacrifices" for myself.

1. I'm giving up take-out food/treats. - I chose this one in an effort to give me an opportunity to focus on my bad habit of laziness and apathy when it comes to food. My husband and I both work full time and have fallen into a bit of a rut where we order pizza or pick up fast food way too much - at least three times per week. Neither one of us have been making good, conscious choices about what we are choosing to fuel our bodies and, combined with stress from work, our health is suffering because of it. Hopefully, by the end of Lent this sacrifice will have helped me reconnect with my love of cooking and the heart of service inherent in cooking for those I love, as well as a more mindful approach to eating and my/our health.

2. I am giving up 40 minutes of my day for quiet time/daily devotion/prayer. - This Lenten sacrifice was actually a suggestion from one of my parish priests after a conversation about my struggles this year. It is a practice I have wanted to establish for myself for years, but for whatever reason it has fallen by the wayside. It's easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day demands on our time and forget to spend time just being still and quiet to listen to God. My plan is to begin by keeping a prayer journal (since writing is my thing) and reciting the Rosary each day. I might change it up and go to adoration or read a book about a specific saint or the Pope. No matter what, it will be time away from Facebook, TV, Pinterest, other people not focused on prayer and reflection, where I can spend time listening to and learning about God.

Of course we will also be abstaining from meat of Fridays and fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. I'm very much looking forward to the Friday Fish Fry hosted by the Men's Group each week and stations of the cross in the sanctuary afterward. The first will be a great way to fellowship with other parishioners (like the awesome new friends we made at the new parishioner dinner party our parish priests hosted last week) and the latter will help with keeping our focus where it needs to be during this Lenten season.

What are you doing during Lent this year? Are you making any Lenten sacrifices? Do you like king cake?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Magic pipes

There were bagpipes at Mass this morning. A legitimate bagpipe player in a full dress kilt played for the recessional and I couldn't help but tear up. It was the most amazing and beautiful end to an incredibly moving Mass.

I honestly have no idea whether the other parishioners were as impacted as me during the service today because I was in my own little world. I was having one of those experiences where you feel like God has come into the building specifically to talk to you.

You see, I've been hiding at home for a few weeks and avoiding Mass. I was ashamed to go there and interect with God because of the way I was feeling about work. I feel very strongly that I am teaching, and teaching where I am, because God purposefully lead me there. I see it as a calling and a type of mission work. All of these issues I have been having at work have left me feeling like I have let God down, like I'm not working hard enough to do what he has asked of me.

Today's Mass reminded me that God never asked me to do this work in my own power. He asked me there so he could use me, not so that I could do something spectacular on my own power. In staying away I was effectively cutting myself off from the very strength I needed in order to do what needs to be done.

I left church this afternoon feeling more free and light than I have in weeks. I feel ready to tackle this week ahead. I feel renewed in my dedication to serving these kids that have been placed in my care and ready to get back to the kind of teaching I'm proud of. Most of all, I am reminded that I am not alone and that this struggle has a specific purpose.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


I have come to realize that part of being an adult is understanding the shortcomings of others and dealing with the resulting frustration in healthy, reasonable ways.

In other words, grown ups don't throw hissy fits.

Some days it is more tempting than others. And I will admit that from time to time I have been known to forget myself and throw one with some foot stomping thrown in for good measure.

Today has been one of those days.

Being a teacher is hard. Being a teacher in a school where half of the kids don't understand you (they literally do not speak the same language) is hard. Being in any profession where there are no clear expectations set, yet reprimands for not meeting the unknown expectations are harsh and brought swiftly is hard. Being responsible for the safety and intellectual development of a child (much less 25 children) for eight hours a day is hard.

All of these hard things are usually held in check by passion for what I do, love of the kids themselves, and a sense of purpose from my work. On days like today, those things are no match for the challenges. On days like today I sit in my classroom and cry during my planning period because all of the hard stuff attacked me all at once.

So, here I sit this afternoon with a bottle of root beer and a slice of stuffed crust pizza. Tonight I will wallow and pout during my pity party. Tomorrow I will pick myself up, put myself back together, and dive head first into another day. This job, this life, is hard, but it's what I asked for.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Excuse me while I go hide

So far 2015 is really not my year.

No, seriously. In the last 22 days I have broken my toe, caught the flu, developed sinusitis, an ear infection, temporary hearing loss (two days of no sound at all and going on four days of sound in only one ear), and today I had a chunk of my pinky finger gouged out by a rusty screw sticking out of  the railing outside my classroom. That last one required a trip to urgent care for a tetanus shot since I couldn't remember the last time I had one.

You know you've had a rough turn lately when you are on a first name basis with the nursing and administrative staff at your local urgent care.

A friend of mine recently suggested that maybe 2015 is getting all of my bad luck out of the way so that the rest of the year can be super extra fabulous. I am choosing to believe her rather than resign myself to another 343 days of bad luck. I've got some things going on this year that could use a little good luck and positivity to back them up.

Anyone else not super thrilled with the new year so far?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lalala... I can't hear you!

Just in case you were wondering, temporary hearing loss sucks.

I've been getting over this bout of the flu and developed an ear infection over the weekend. As painful as that was, the pressure from the sinusitis brought on by the flu combined with pressure from the inflammation due to my ear infection caused me to go temporarily deaf. It freaked me out!

I went to the doctor and got some medication meant to knock out the infection, reduce the inflammation, and relieve the pressure in my sinuses. He said that once the medication starts working my hearing should return. Let's all cross our fingers for that.

As you can imagine, I can't teach if I can't hear. Not to mention all that pressure making me dizzy. I'm home for one more day to rest and give the medicine time to work it's magic. This makes a full week I have been out of work and I seriously miss my students. I shudder to think what they think might have happened to me. Last time I missed school for two days my kids thought I had been deported! 

Moral of the story: get your flu shot and wash your hands! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

For those too polite to ask... And those who have asked

People are naturally curious. They just are. This curiosity increases tenfold when the subject matter relates to friends having or not having babies. In recent weeks Steve and I have been in the receiving end of many many questions regarding our plans for growing our family. Some of the questions were insensitive and borderline rude, but I truly feel that none of the people asking those questions had malicious intentions.

I decided that it might be helpful for me to write about some of these questions and answers here on the blog. If anyone reading this humble post in my small, non-publicized corner of the internet would like to ask a question I haven't answered here, I would be happy to provide an answer.

1. Why aren't you doing IVF/IUI/ISCI/ other artificial reproductive methods to get pregnant?

Short answer: It doesn't feel right for us.
Long answer: Before we became Catholic, before we were actively trying to conceive, before we were married, even before we were engaged, Steve and I had serious discussions about having children. I've always wanted to be a mother... more than I've ever wanted to be anything else. During those discussions we both agreed that we were uncomfortable with artificial reproductive technologies (ART) in general. As we became aware of our infertility we put some time into researching ART in more detail. We even looked into NaPro Technology (assisted reproductive services approved by the Catholic Church) and came to the same conclusion... it just doesn't feel right. At the end of the day, we feel that if we were meant to have biological children we would be able to conceive them without artificial assistance.

2. Why aren't you adopting a baby?

Not to sound repetitive, but it just doesn't feel right. We initially looked into domestic infant adoption and actually contacted a few agencies for information. We met adoptive families and even birth mothers who had been helped by DIA, but we were still hesitant. When I realized that there were so many children waiting for families, kids old enough to realize what was going on and desire a family, I felt a sort of kinship with those kids. Here we were wishing for kids to grow our family, and there they were wanting a family to help them grow and heal. Something just clicked and suddenly our path seemed quite clear.

3. Why did you choose U.S. Foster care over international adoption?

To put it simply, international adoption scares the poop out of me. I know people who have spent years and tens of thousands of dollars on waiting lists to adopt from various countries only to be told they can't bring their child home for political reasons. I also know that the travel requirements for international adoptions aren't something Steve and I can realistically accommodate. Not to mention the huge financial costs upfront. Any child, no matter how they join your family, is expensive. International adoption is by far one of the most expensive though. It's a fit for some people, but not for us.

4. You're young, why not wait and see if you get lucky and conceive naturally anyway?

Because Steve and I feel like this is the right time to expand our family. We would always be open to a little miracle if one should come our way, but we feel that adoption is the right choice for us no matter what the future holds.

5. Whose fault is it? (Meaning which one of us is causing our infertility)

This is the one question that truly gets under my skin. Probably because the answer accomplishes nothing positive. I'm willing to believe that the people asking this are simply trying to help, but the only answer I will give here is this: Nobody is at fault. Since we have chosen not to pursue medical intervention for our infertility, it truly doesn't matter which of us would require treatment.

6. Don't you worry that those kids from foster care will hurt you/your pets/your home? Don't you worry that they are too damaged to love you back?

No. I don't worry about those things.
Yes, really.
I acknowledge that the harm to myself or our home is a minute possibility, but a risk I'm willing to take for a child who needs a safe, stable, loving home. We are taking all possible steps to protect our pets. We are not considering profiles of children with a history of violence toward animals.
Honestly, this adoption is not about finding a kid or group of kids who will love us. It's about finding a kid/kids we can love and care for. Of course we want their love in return, but that's not something that we get to decide about. It's not something even biological parents get to decide about their kids. All we can do is love these kids the best we can with what we have and hope for the best.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The flu and an update

I'm writing from my sick bed.... I've got the flu. Apparently I've had it for the last two days and did myself (and my students) no favors by pushing through the last two days of school thinking it was just a cold. I'm on strict orders from my doctor to rest in bed, take my medicine, and drink lots of fluids until Tuesday.

I'm not a bed rest kind of girl. I already feel like I should be up and about doing something productive.

I have to say though, I feel like I have passed some sort of new teacher initiation test by making it through yesterday at school. We had an assembly during which I had to make a presentation, we had breakfast and lunch in the classroom, my class was scheduled for "extra learning time" instead of specials, it was too cold to go out for recess, and four busses were late so I had to stay with my kids until the busses showed up. I was "on" from 7:30-3:10 with no bathroom break, no lunch break, and all while battling through the flu. My doctor said I was lucky I didn't pass out. I feel pretty proud of myself for making it through.

Despite being sick and the craziness of yesterday, I have some happy news to share! Our agency emailed me yesterday with the IMPACT class schedule and I was able to reserve a spot for Steve and I. Classes don't start until April, which is a bit disappointing. We had hoped the Saturday classes would be held starting in February, but it just didn't work that way.

Our last class is actually during my birthday weekend, so I'm taking that as a sign that everything is going to be just fine.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

First steps

Tonight Steve and I had our orientation meeting at our adoption agency. This is the first big step for us in the process of us becoming adoptive parents.

The meeting was a bit crazy because 1) it didn't start until 6:30 on a week night, and 2) it was a TON of information and rules. None of them were deal breakers and most of them were things I already was aware of as possibilities from my research, but it's one thing to read about it as a possibility and quite another to have a caseworker tell you this is an official policy. There were also a lot of people at the meeting. It was an orientation for people planning to foster-adopt as well as those wishing to only be foster parents.

We did fill out a letter of intent and signed a document saying (basically) that we have gone over the agency policies and agree to abide by them.

The caseworker in charge of the foster-adopt program told us to expect a follow up email in the next few days with information about signing up for IMPACT classes. The classes are either on Saturday mornings or Tuesday afternoons, so we won't know if we can attend the next 8 week session until we get the email with the schedule. Worst case scenario, we might have to wait 8 weeks to begin our training. However, we can go ahead and take our first aid/CPR certification and that sort of thing.

I'm trying to keep my excitement in check since we have a long way to go, but it seems as if we are on the right track and getting things moving.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Get out of my head, Meryll Streep

Yesterday Steve and I went to see Into the Woods at our local AMC Theaters. I specify the type of theatre because if you haven't seen the new AMC then you are missing out. Seriously, the chairs recline! You're basically sitting in a huge, plush recliner. And if you really like the person next to you, the arm rests lift up and you end up with this super comfy love seat recliner.

Cuddling like you're on your couch at home, but the sound quality and snack options of a theatre? Dreams do come true!!

The movie truly was fantastic though. I am apparently the only person who didn't know it was a musical or that they incorporated the original, gory versions of the fairytales. This was a welcome surprise for me. Also, the acting was awesome. Steve and I have already decided we will need to buy the blue ray when it comes out and I may jam out to the soundtrack sooner rather than later.

I was surprised how emotional the storyline made me. The Baker and his Wife's storyline hit a little too close to home and the "no one is alone" song made me cry. The final line spoken by the witch (Meryll Streep) in the voice over at the end is "wishes come true but they don't come free". Ever since the movie ended that line has almost haunted me. It just seems to fit how I feel about our attempts to grow our family.

No real updates about our adoption. We heard back from our agency. They received our preliminary application and reminded us of the meeting on the 8th. I also had an adoption dream... a good one. In the dream we were at a meet and greet party with several kids and (skipping lots of details that don't really mean anything) we ended up matching with a sibling group made up of a girl and her younger brother.

Say what you want, but I take a lot of hope from dreams. I know they are just pictures from my subconscious mind, but I consider good dreams as unintentional pep talks. This one is no exception.