Friday, August 27, 2010

Home Visit COMPLETE!

I am so incredibly happy to announce that the home visit is DONE! In fact, the homestudy altogether is DONE. At least our part. What a relief! Now, we just have to wait for the call from our social worker stating that we are approved and on the list! YAY!!!

The meeting was pleasant. Carolyn is very sweet and laid back. She walked around and looked at the house, checked for fire extinguishers and smoke alarms, and then asked a ton of questions about the house, our community, and we went over our service plan (which we created at the beginning of the process) to make sure nothing had changed. She was there only an hour and a half, so less time than I thought! After she left, we celebrated with lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Brandon's Nana and Pop met us there since they were coming down to see his Dad in the hospital. After lunch, we all went to visit Jeff. I'm glad to say he's doing MUCH better. They finally figured everything out, and hopefully he'll get to come home today.

Downside of the home visit: we had to pay $3,000 which we had to put on a credit card. So, we still need lots of help! We still have t-shirts on sale! Just click on the adoption bug widget on the right side of the screen! You can also make a donation to our Paypal account!

Thank you!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wild Weekend

I had planned to spend the entire weekend cleaning and preparing for our home visit on Thursday. But, as we all know, plans rarely go as planned. I got up bright and early Saturday morning and started ripping the house apart. I'm talking scrubbing floors, dusting ceiling fans and vents, and wiping baseboards...and much, much more. Then I got a call from Brandon. His dad had gone to the hospital on Friday (which we already knew), but it was worse than they thought. They originally thought it was just a kidney infection. But after some tests, they found out he was septic, which means he has a massive infection that has gotten into the bloodstream and has moved throughout the body. He had some injections in his back a month ago, and they think it's from that. So, I decided to go up to the hospital yesterday so Brandon's mom wouldn't have to sit there alone, and to give her a break. I ended up staying all day. Brandon came up there after work, and we went to Logan's for dinner before we came home and crashed. Needless to say, I didn't finish everything. I did get the most important things done, though. And today I haven't felt too great so I've been working on laundry and laying on the couch most of the day. I'm hoping it's just stress and nerves about the home visit. I know there's nothing to worry about, but I guess it's just hard not to stress about it. It kind of makes it all official. And, once we complete the home visit, we officially start the waiting game, which is not going to be easy for me. But, I am sure it will all work out. Please say a prayer for my father-in-law if you think about it.

Oh yeah, and I'm blogging on Brandon's Grandmother's laptop that she let him borrow (well, rather, she needed him to fix some things on it), and let me just say....I need one of these! There's nothing like blogging while laying on the couch with my blankie! :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Husband ROCKS!

My husband rocks because he respects me. Lately, I've come to see just how truly blessed I am with Brandon. I've been having to watch some of my best friends go through some things a woman should never have to go through, including divorce, abuse, and just plain misery.

I am so incredibly thankful that God gave me a husband that truly loves and respects me. He has never once said a harsh word to me (that doesn't mean he's never hurt my feelings, but he has never raised his voice AT me), he has never put me down and made me feel less than beautiful, and he most certainly has never laid an unloving hand on me. Don't get me wrong, our actions toward each other aren't always loving, but I am one lucky girl to not have to worry about being abused or mistreated. Talk about something I take for granted!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Love Dare Day 3

Love is Not Selfish
"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor." -Romans 12:10
You cannot love someone if you have selfish motives. We are born selfish. It's a natural sin, because we are human. It doesn't make us bad people, but it takes a lot of effort to not be selfish in our thinking. I know it does for me. We should always put the needs and desires of the other person before our own. Ideally, if both parties are putting the other first, think about the blessings that would come!
Today's Dare:
Purchase something for your spouse out of kindness; something to let them know you were thinking of them.

Love Dare Day 2

Love is Kind
"Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." -Ephesians 4:32
Love is an action, not a feeling. There are 4 parts to kindness.
1.Gentleness. Speak the truth in love. Be sensitive and forgiving.
2. Helpfulness. Always put the other first, making sure their needs are met before your own. Always.
3. Willingness. Always listen. Be agreeable. "A kind husband ends thousands of prospective arguments by his willingness to listen first rather than demand his way."
4. Initiative. Always take the first step...whether it's apologizing, or doing something without being asked. Never wait on the other person to get things done or say, "I'm sorry."
Always be kind, even when there seems to be no reward. Don't do something kind in hopes of getting something in return. Do it because it's right.
Today's Dare:
Do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.

Love Dare Day 1

I've decided to do "The Love Dare." I started it once before, right after Fireproof came out, but didn't finish (typical of me). It's no secret that this infertility journey has not been easy on our marriage. In fact, it has put a strain on it. I hear that that is completely normal. Nonetheless, Brandon and I want our adoption/infertility/parenting/life journey to bring us closer together, not force us farther apart. That, I believe, is a choice. Marriage takes a lot of hard work and effort, and I am so incredibly blessed to have a husband that cares enough about our marriage to acknowledge the hard times, and to take the steps necessary to make a negative situation into a positive testimony. So, I'll be journaling my "Love Dare" journey on here. I'm on day 3, so I've got to catch up! Here we go.....

Day 1
Love is Patient
"Be completely humble and gentle' be patient, bearing with one another in love." -Ephesians 4:2
The title for day 1 is pretty self-explanatory. Yet so complex. And definitely something I need to work on. I have a tendency to nag. I nag if I come home and the house is a mess. I nag if Brandon waits until the last second to get ready and we're late. I nag if he takes too long to do something. Nag nag nag. Yikes! I never thought I would be the nagging type! But as they say...never say never!
"Patience helps you give your spouse permission to be human."
My husband is far from perfect. Then again, so am I. So, I am honestly working on my reactions. When I feel that aggravation welling up, and I want to nag, I'll stop, take a breath, and ask myself, "is it really that big of a deal?"
Today's Dare:
"Resolve to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose to say nothing at all."
That's harder than it sounds folks!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Becoming Frugal!

Brandon and I have never been that great with money. Neither of us. That's a BAD combination! Neither of us are savers. We're both spenders. But, with a baby on the way (even if it will be 2-3 years), it's time to change all of that! There are so many things that need to be done around the house, and I'm tired of wasting all of our money on eating out and random expenses. I'm tired of asking," Where did the money go?" So, here are few goals I've got for us to work toward. These are in no particular order.

1. Paying off debt, including a set of mattresses and the $3,000 we're about to rack up during our home visit.

2. Cutting out the eating out. We eat out 2+ times a week, and it's eating us alive! No pun intended.

3. Take Dave Ramsey's FPU classes online when we get the money. (Am I the only one that finds it ironic that it costs over $100 to take classes online that are supposed to help you STOP spending money?)

4. Get back into couponing! I keep getting off track because of the time it takes to do it.

5. Brandon's looking for a part time job.

6. Babysitting on evenings and weekends. Need a babysitter?

7. Create a complete budget and STICK TO IT!

8. No more buying crafting supplies unless it's budgeted :( That's a hard one.

9. Cook more. I've been making a long list of quick and easy meals that I can cook during the week. I'm also looking for recipes that I can make 2-3x of and freeze for later, or use leftovers for lunches. That's hard for me. By the time I get home, I rarely feel like cooking. So, I'm hoping that a long list of ideas that I can rotate will be helpful.

10. Emergency fund. We had one. We spent it. (Stupid, stupid, stupid.) That happened last winter when our electric bill shot up to over $300 for 3 months straight, and then I had a wreck and had to buy a new car. Bye-bye savings. It's time to meet again.

Tips? Advice? Donations? (Kidding! About the donations, anyway!)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wedding Daze

Yesterday we spent the afternoon at my sister-in-law's (Brandi) wedding. It was such an incredibly long day, and everyone was exhausted, but it was a beautiful wedding. I didn't get many pictures because the lighting wasn't very good. The bride got a case of cold feet right before the ceremony, and for about 20 minutes we weren't sure if there would be a wedding or not, and we all started thinking we were going to see one of "those" weddings! It was almost like a real sitcom! Luckily, her feet warmed back up and she was fine. Then, just before the grand exit, it started storming like crazy! We didn't get to blow bubbles, but that's ok. Oh, and we musn't forget about the fact that for about 15 minutes while the bride was dressing, they thought they forgot her veil! Minor meltdown, but they found it. What's a wedding without a few mishaps anyway, huh? We wish Brandi and Josh all the happiness in the world!

We thought Brandon was adorable holding Brandi's bouquet ;)

Speaking of wedding mishaps, that reminds me of our wedding. When I got my dress on, I must have bumped up against the furniture, and they use Old English on their furniture. I didn't know it, but FYI Old English will put a huge black stain on a wedding dress! We didn't get a pic of the huge black mark because we were in freakout mode, but this is a picture of Aunt Judy saving the day with the Tide pen! We were all singing the song from the commercials, "Na na na na na na...hey hey hey, goodbye!" It was quite comical. Good times!

Friday, August 13, 2010

"My Husband ROCKS" Friday!

So, I've not been very faithful with the "My Husband Rocks" posts, but I need to pick them back up. If for no other reason than to remind myself how blessed I really am. :)

It's hard to pick just 1 thing today. This week...and the past 6 months in general...have been full of ups, downs, twists, and turns. Not only with the adoption, but in married life as well. No one can prepare you for the strain that infertility can place on your marriage. But in the midst of the hard times, I am still very much aware of how wonderful he is. So, I suppose today's bragging will be focused on last night.

It rained yesterday. Now, that may not mean anything to most of you, but if you're working in Downtown Nashville, and have to take I-24 (the busiest interstate known to man I think) all the way to Smyrna, it means everything. It means it takes 3x as long to get home. And it means I arrive irritable, hungry, and tired. So as I sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic for 1.5 hours yesterday, I was dreading having to go home, cook, and clean up the kitchen. Oh, the burden! Much to my surprise, when I got home, Brandon had dinner ready to go! And I'm not talking about take-out or a frozen pizza, either. He cooked pork chops, macaroni and cheese (he knows its my favorite) and HOMEMADE mashed potatoes!! Ok, I'm aware that that is a carb-loaded meal without veggies, but he worked hard and I appreciated it. He even made pound cake, but it didn't come out right and we had to throw it out. Nonetheless, he worked very hard, and it made my mood so much better to walk in the door and realize I didn't have to cook!! Woohoo!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Third Time's A Charm

We have FINALLY rescheduled our home visit (for the third time)! I promise, this is the LAST time! In case you forgot, we had to put the adoption on hold for a while since we had to get the A/C inspected, the roof repaired, and a few other things as well. Ahhh the responsibilities of life! But, we were able to lift the hold more quickly than we planned, so I am ecstatic about that! The home visit is scheduled for August 26 at 9:00 am! A few months ago, I cleaned the house from top to bottom, hoping we would have the home visit the end of June, so now that it's the middle of August, all my organizing is out of sorts again, so I must start all over! Ay-ay-ay!

Don't forget! We have T-shirts for sale! We have to pay $3,000 when she comes to the house, which we have to use a loan for! I'm not happy about that, but we are hoping that t-shirt sales will help pay it off quickly! I still have teddies if you want one!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Pink Loser!!

I am super excited about this site! Probably more excited than I should be, but that's ok. :)

Robyn from My Pink Stamper has re-started another blog, called The Pink Loser. I wasn't a follower the first time, but I am now! It's dedicated to her weight loss, and she is great motivation! She lost 50 lbs last year! Go, Robyn! Anyway, I really enjoy her blogs, and I'm hoping for some good inspiration from this one, too, so I figured I would share!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Comment Moderation

So, I've gotten some pretty ugly comments lately, so I felt the need to say that rude and hateful comments will NOT be approved for any reason. I realize that not everyone views adoption as a good thing, and that's ok...that's why we have the freedom to believe what we want to. While some may say that "God has nothing to do with adoption," or that, "the right thing for a child is to always leave them with their natural mother" and some may even say that I am "being selfish by ripping an innocent baby out of the arms of a poor, young, helpless girl who is being coerced in to selling her baby," that is not how I view adoption. I do not think that I am saving a child, and I do not think that I am doing something heroic, either. We desire to have a child, and have chosen adoption as our route to do so.

So, the opinions that I express here are just opinions. Comments are welcome, but please be grown up and respectful about it. If you're not going to be respectful, then don't bother because I won't even think about approving it.

Please and Thank You :)

(Is it just me, or is it extremely sad that I have to ask this of grown ups?)