Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Happiness is...a Good Cause

Our family got in on the alsicebucketchallenge and were happy to participate -- although I don't know how much awareness we provided. Oh well, it was fun!

James was by far the most traumatized, even though it was quite cold! Don't forget to donate!

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Little Project: The Letter "N"

Last year with my birthday money I bought a Silhouette Portrait on a screaming deal. I had ideas of what to do with it, but mostly I've used it to cut out paper to frame.

I've done a couple small vinyl projects, but when a friend found a letter "N" at Hobby Lobby in the clearance section for 90% off making it only $3, I could see exactly what I wanted it to be:

And now, working backwards...

This was just before the Krylon Short Cuts Gold Leaf Spray Paint was applied. Putting on the vinyl and figuring out what I wanted and how to do it took about 7 hours. Had I known, I may not have done a design that was so complicated.

This was just after the Krylon Dover White Spray Paint was applied.

 And this is what it looked like when I bought it (for $3). Gross.

 And this is what it looks like on my wall. I know the wall needs work, but I like the "N."

And here is a detail of the pattern...imperfections and all!

And here is how my visiting sister kept James out of the vinyl and spray paint. And being his photographer is how I kept her busy.

I love how it turned out and how it adds some sparkle into my decor!

A couple quick tricks:
• Your X-acto knife is your best friend! By the end of the "N" you really can't tell I pieced strips together because it took me so long figure out that an X-Acto knife was exactly the right tool for the job.
• I tried to use a cardstock stencil, but the lines were just not as clean as with vinyl that stuck all over and not just on the edges where I would have taped it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I Have Nothing New to Add

(Warning: Abundant parentheses in the following post. Take extreme caution.)

At one point I had hopes of becoming one of those really awesome bloggers that everyone reads and talks about at bookclubs or in the blogosphere. Since starting this blog in 2008 I have pretty much given up on that specific dream for two reasons:

1. That takes a lot of time and money and, at least for now, I want to spend my time and money elsewhere.

2. I have nothing new to add.

The latter point is the topic of my post today (hence the title). Please don't get me wrong, I am not saying I don't have a unique perspective or a unique way of expressing it (how many people do you know that have adopted two kids and then began IVF cycles...my guess is less than five.) What I am saying is that as far as revolutionary ideas or insights go, I've got a whole lotta nada.

Did you know (according to Wikipedia) that "it is estimated that there are more than 158 million identified blogs, with more than 1 million new posts being produced by the blogosphere each day" (emphasis added). I mean, come on! How is a girl supposed to compete with that?!

Originally this blog was just that -- a blog. An online space to record our adoption journey. If that was the only purpose, shut this puppy down! We've adopted, we've blogged about it. Done. But just as I, my family, my home, and my life have evolved, so has this blog. And so today, I have a new purpose!

I have no such hopes of becoming a rich, famous, sought-after, respected, trendy, stylish, unique, or any other such word type of blogger. I am sure that I will fail miserably at all of those things without dedicating more of my time and/or money to the cause (see point number one above). Maybe those will be my goals someday, but on this Tuesday morning sitting on my squeaky mattress next to a pile of unfolded laundry, that is not nor can it be the case.

And I am okay with that. 

I'm pretty sure I am okay with sponging-in (that's totally a real thing) all of the cute ideas, life-hacks, party plans, lists of to-dos, lists of not-to-dos, and whatever else that inspires me from other blogs and my genius friends who don't blog (tough loss for those of you who don't have my friends). And while I have nothing new to add to the blogosphering world, I do have something new to add to my own world.

In my world, I am the only mom of two beautiful children who are straight-up crazy! I am the only wife to the best husband I have ever had or hope to have that is (as of yesterday) an actual professor (adjunct, but professor is in his title so who cares)! In my world, I am super unique and have a lot to add!

And so, I am going to begin thinking of this blog space as an extension of my home instead of an extension of the blogging world. Because amid 158 million I do not stand out at all...but I am absolutely in my own little time and space for a specific reason, and I enjoy unfolding that reason a little bit each and every day.

(Here's the kicker...) And by recording those revelations and experiences and reflecting on them later, I feel as though I come a little closer to the little miracle that God needs me to be. (Of course, that takes a little time.)

(I absolutely did not disappoint on the parentheses promise, did I?)

Monday, June 30, 2014

Even "Medical Miracles" Take a Little Time

On Saturday I got a HUGE and EXPENSIVE package in the mail.

And I kinda hate it.

I know I am supposed to be in awe of the marvels of medical technology and the wonderful, miraculous opportunity we have to possibly get pregnant through IVF...but right now it just looks like a lot of needles.

Needles I have to inject into myself or Nick has to inject into me.

Neither of us are qualified medical professionals, so what the heck?!

Of course I knew this was part of the process, but that big box made it all very real. During our first go around at fertility treatments, before we decided to go the adoption route, included my fair share of needles -- both injecting and withdrawing. There were a lot of pills, a lot of mood swings, and a lot of disappointments.

Maybe that's my real problem. I have no faith in this method of getting kids. I have faith in God and His plan for our family and that this is the route we should be taking. He has proved Himself time and time again and I absolutely trust God to take care of my family and to get my kids here.

However, I have no faith in injectable fertility medications. I have buckets of faith in adoption! The child-acquiring score as it stands now:

Adoption: 2                              Fertility Treatments: 0

That's a blow out in a World Cup match!

Pulling out each individual medication box and each large bag of needles and alcohol swabs (so many swabs!) was like a little punch in my gut reminding me that my body doesn't work the way I want it to and so I have to use all of these "medical miracles" to get our next little miracle.

I thought I had accepted my infertility, but it's always there, and this month it's going to be yelling at me everyday in the form of a needle or Metformin pills every morning and night.

Sidenote: I've decided that "inject" is such an angry and gross word. Ugh!

I almost hate that I know this is the right thing for our family, because outherwise it would be so easy to throw in the towel and quit.

Honestly I wish I could say that my pity party is all done and it's going to be all smiles from now on, but I can't. Sometimes you just kind of have to stand with your toes together and lean on a counter so your husband inject some hormones at the base of your back. And there's no way I'm smiling through that!

But here's the silver-lining:
1. This is right, and we know it.
2. Nick will let me eat all the ice cream I want through this process -- and he'll hold my hand through every gut-wrenching moment! I can do this with him.
3. God has plenty of miracles waiting for our family because we want to do what is right.
4. One of my medications is used to treat the advanced stages of prostate cancer, so that's fun!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Our Third Little Miracle

When Alexa turned 1 we were already in possession of our adoption paperwork for round 2 and had been working on it for a month. We barely had a conversation about how to acquire our next child because adoption was just right.

13 months later James was born. The whole thing happened really fast! Approved in August 2012, contacted by Shilo in December, and a family of 4 in March 2013. Bing-Bang-Bam!

A couple months before James was sealed to our family last October, our lives had significantly changed. We had graduated, moved states, changed jobs, and how to acquire child numero tres was not as clear. In fact, Nick wasn't even sure there was a third child to be acquired. There was a lot of praying, fasting, and discussing to do.

Let me go back in the timeline a bit. In New Mexico where we live, adopting through LDS Family Services is just not an option. They cannot legally do basically anything in this state, which brought us back to the baby acquiring drawing board. We looked into adoption through the state, but when we went to the orientation they needed a longer time commitment than we knew we would even be here since Nick's Post-Doc is a temporary position. We called adoption agencies across the state and some of them seemed like viable options, but we felt no inclination to move forward with any of them. We also looked into fertility treatments again and met with one of the two doctors in Albuquerque about what he would recommend to move our family forward.

And it was a really good meeting.

I want to make this perfectly clear: it is not a life-goal of mine to get pregnant. I have no interest in experiencing the miracle of growing life inside of me or breast-feeding or anything that goes along with biological children. However, I absolutely have a life-goal of getting my children to our family no matter what that path entails.

Frankly I don't want to go into every detail of our decision making process at this time because this blog post would get way too long. That being said, I have had three rounds of bloodwork and taken a total of one pill, all of which to begin fertility treatments again.

Our doctor has recommended we do In-Vitro Fertilization, and so that is what we have decided to do.

I absolutely want to adopt again someday in the future, but our journey to bambino number 3 has begun, and we are so excited to be moving our family forward in this incredible new way!

As I write this news out, I feel like I have so much more to share, but all in good time I suppose. We have seen the Lord's hand evident in the decision-making process and in the providing of means to do this very intense and expensive fertility treatment. Just like adoption was right for us in acquiring our first two children, IVF is right for us right now. This may not result in a child (reasonable risk), but it is how our family is to move forward.

We share this with you, our readers, because this blog was a healing place for me throughout the adoption process, and I will definitely need healing moving forward. Hopefully the little bit of time for our next little miracle will be as transformative as our first two little miracles...and perhaps less paperwork!

 There is a lot I want to share with you, and as always, please ask questions of any kind -- sincere questions are never offensive!