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Archive for December, 2011

It was this time last year that Mike and I were going to adoption orientation after adoption orientation, gathering information and contemplating our options. After several updates, we kind of stopped talking about it, so those of you who were following along may have been left wondering what the heck happened.

Basically, we thought a lot about what kind of adoption experience we wanted to have. Being two people who have no previous parenting experience, we became less and less confident about our ability to parent, right out of the gate, an older child from the foster care system. We began to see a future for us where our first child is an infant or young child, and once we have some parenting chops under our belts, welcoming an older child or two into our family. But see, that first step, that infant or child, that’s not an easy thing to accomplish.

Immediately we began saving, in a separate account from the one that paid for our Europe trip. But with all the ups and downs of life, after a year, we have not made it very far at all. We’ve saved very little. Every time we get ahead, we fall behind again, and it has been very discouraging. Then when November rolled around and I realized it had been a year, I got even more discouraged and decided it was time to take some initial steps. I needed forward motion – just saving money wasn’t active enough to feel like we were making progress.

So first I got in touch with an organization called DA Blodgett. They specialize in foster care placement of older children, but they have a small foster to adopt program for younger children. Unfortunately you have to get on a waiting list to even join the program, to even get on the list of people they call when a child is available. So we’re on the waiting list to be on the other waiting list.

The next thing I did was contact Greater Hopes, the organization that we were incredibly eager to work with. I wanted a refresher on the process, to know what the first step was and how much it cost. We don’t need to save ALL the money we’ll need for an adoption before we start, we just need enough to get started. Unfortunately I chose to contact them right when the holidays hit, so I haven’t heard anything yet. Hopefully soon after everyone gets back into the swing of things we’ll hear back and maybe soon we’ll be able to apply to get started.

Forward momentum!

And then, who knows. We cross our fingers and hope we can become parents as quickly as possible.

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Happy holidays to you!

The last couple years, Mike and I did something silly for our holiday card. Two years ago we went all holiday explosion and sent out this beauty:

Then the next year we decided not to do the usual “we got married!” holiday card, and opted for something a little more fun.

This year, we had a few ideas for how to do something fun or funny again, but while sorting through Shutterfly‘s card templates, I saw one called “2011 Highlights” and I started thinking, ya know, we had a pretty awesome year. Let’s show off a little. And so instead of silly, we did this:

In case you can’t tell or can’t read it (it’s a screen shot, so real fancy), it’s 9 different pictures and the bottom describes each of them. The first six are from the six major cities we visited on our May European excursion: London, England. Paris, France. Lucern, Switzerland. Venice, Italy. Florence, Italy. Rome, Italy. The last three are other fun things we did: skydiving, whitewater rafting (in Montana), and Yellowstone National Park.

Seeing it all laid out like that, we really did have a freaking sweet year! We’re so grateful.

We only ordered 25 cards though, and I have a massive family, so those went quickly. We would have liked to send many more, but probably not enough to order 50, the next minimum. So if you didn’t get one, we apologize, but know you’re in our thoughts!

We hope you all have a very happy holiday season!

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So glad I married a chef

It’s been nearly three months since we did a Meals post, and you’d think that would mean we would have a lot more meals to share, but apparently with the move and all, we really haven’t cooked that much. Here’s some of what we’ve been eating:

MEXICAN MONDAYS

Taco/fajitas – these were kind of a hybrid.

Beef & bean burritos

SALAD TUESDAYS

Cucumber, red pepper, deli turkey, apple, feta, croutons and catalina.

Turkey, cranberries, soynuts, cheddar and french.

Romaine, carrot, green pepper, red pepper, cranberries, pinenuts and catalina.

Carrots, bleu cheese, soy nuts, cranberries, cucumbers, orange pepper and french.

Can you tell we like French and Catalina dressings? Mike mixes it up more often, but these two are pretty standard for me.

PASTA WEDNESDAYS

Spaghetti

Crockpot Italian chicken pasta (with a garden salad) from this recipe.

Hot Dog Squid!

(Can you believe we actually made these as a legitimate meal? We saw them on Pinterest and thought they were too hilarious to NOT try. Mike made a homemade cheese sauce to go over the squid (squids?), so it was kind of like grownup mac n’ cheese.)

PIZZA FRIDAYS

French bread pizzas

MEAT SATURDAYS

Turkey meatloaf, glazed carrots and mashed potatoes.

Turkey burgers and glazed carrots.

SOUP/STEW SUNDAY

Homemade broccoli cheese soup with french baguette.

MISC MEALS

BLATs: bacon, lettuce, avocado and turkey.

DESSERTS!

Homemade lemon cheesecake and homemade raspberry sauce for my Mom’s birthday. So Good!!

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To the orchard!

I’m months behind here, but I had this draft from back in October and decided to write out the memory even though it’s out dated. My family has an annual tradition of visiting an orchard when Fall hits. We’ve gone to the same place for years, but it has gotten really popular and crowded, so we decided to try somewhere new.

We traditionally take a photo in front of a giant apple at the usual orchard. Observe:

So this year, we didn’t have a giant apple, which is weird. I mean what orchard doesn’t offer a giant apple for family photo opps? But we improvised and took a picture in front of a giant tree instead.

We go around the same time every year, but notice how last year we’re all in coats and hats, and this year it was downright warm! I’m not sure we’ll be going back to this place again though. They were crazy and charged for EVERYTHING! Oh you want to sit on that side of the fence to eat your donuts? It’s the only place we put any picnic tables, but we’re going to charge you $5 just to cross the threshold. You need extra paper cups for your cider? There’s a charge for that.

We still had a good time though. Mike played a little gourd…

And the babes loved all the pumpkins.

All in all, good time. I’m still hanging on to Fall – I’m not really ready for winter yet. NOOO SNOOOW!

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I’ve been a shopper on Etsy for years, and I even had a shop a long time ago, but I never did much with it and soon it died. But it has come back to life!

I spent the last month or two creating some inventory, and last week I spent some time photographing and listing everything. I’ve been doing hand-stitched embroidery for a very long time, usually making personalized gifts for friends and family. Then I started to realize people were selling the simplest embroidery projects on Etsy for ridiculous amounts of money. I figured I should get in on that game, and maybe if I listed my stuff for less than what I was seeing, I might even sell a couple.

I’ve got listings for custom orders, like these baby bibs that can be personalized with any name, colors, designs, etc.

But I also pre-made some stuff. Some of it’s is schmoopy-ish:

And some of it is silly:

We’ll see how it goes. If you know anyone who needs a fun Christmas gift though, feel free to send them my way!

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