Tuesday, August 31, 2010

family ties

being with family always reminds us how important it is to build a family of our own. 

this past week i traveled to va to visit my baby sister and her husband since they were in from chicago.  since my job affords me the luxury of working "from home" my new found freedom with my new laptop extends that luxury into working "remotely" anywhere that i can get the internet.  therefore i was able to go to va, work during the day, and then spend the nights with my sisters, my parents, and other extended family.

we always have a wonderful time when we're together.  the laughter that explodes from our collective presence is always something contagious.  the stories we all so vividly tell are so intricate with detail that they keep us hanging on each other's every word.  we're bonded, were strong, we're fun to be around!  i just love every single one of them to pieces. 

while i was in town my parents threw a cook out for baby sister's friends to come visit and hang out.  one of sister's friends had spoken to her a while back about their challenges in becoming pregnant.  when i found out about it, and we were full fledge into the land of "if", i felt an instant bond and longed to help.  i reached out to her and we chatted for a few months, and then before you knew it - she'd left the land of "if" and they're now expecting a little girl.  when i first found out, i have to admit i was a bit sad.  it's sad to see people come and go on this island, but once i saw her and her husband at the cook out i was over joyed by the happiness i felt for them.  it's so good to be in this place.  a place where we can feel genuine happiness for others who successfully become pregnant and carry healthy babies to term, a place where we can not think of ourselves and the sadness we've been through, but a place where we can focus on the celebration of new life.

baby sister got husband and i some anniversary presents for our sweet baby darling deer.  she scored a baby book for adoptive parents!  how amazingly wonderful!  it's so exciting to see things like this that make our process more real and so special.  we're so lucky to have these loving friends and family, and can't wait to have our little one growing up around such wonderful people.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

could be done

when i get into a project working on that is all i can think about.  starting yesterday it was this canvas.  i worked on it for hours without even stopping to go to the restroom, get a drink, or get any food.  then today, when rain cancelled our baseball game adventure the first thing i thought of was painting.  i worked on it until i got it to a place that i liked - and now it could be done.

could be done?  well, yes - this is how i work.  i will have to live with it for a week or so, and then in the middle of the night some time i might wake up from a dead sleep and think of something else i need to do to it before it's officially "done".  once this happens i will frame it and get it securely mounted to the wall.

now that i stand back and look at it, it reminds me of why i love it so much.

first off, it reminds me of how colorful husband and i are.  we love art, we love color.  we love adventure.  we love going where we've never been before and trying new things.  we're loud people.  if you invite us over - you know we're there.  we aren't afraid of anything when we're together.  it's that somewhere over the rainbow sort of mantra.

just look at a sampling of husband's closet:

and then my favorite necklace:

now you can see why i was so inspired by the painting at anthropologie and how it is so perfectly wonderful for our baby's room.

so we will see if it gets any further adaptations before going on the wall, and if it does i will be sure and let you know.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

ta da!

so we searched the internet and found the best deal on the jenny lind crib was at babies r us.  we headed into the store this afternoon - finally ready to buy something for "our" own baby!  what a novel idea!  you see - we've been in baby stores before - dozens of times - however, we've never been in one to purchase something for "our" baby before.  too exciting!

we made our way into the store and i avoided eye contact with all employees because i wanted no questions about "when is the baby due".  luckily we escaped without any of that and even had the associate load up the crib into our car.  the cashier asked us if we had a coupon - and i got a little defensive - like, where would one get such a coupon?  (i call myself a bargain hunter - so the fact there was a coupon out there that i did not know about was a little bit of a let down.)  she told us we needed to sign up for their rewards program so we would get coupons in the mail... good to know.  hopefully we will get one by the time we need to go back and get the mattress.

husband and i both decided that we're fine without the mattress until the bedding comes, and the minute that the bedding arrives we had better have made a decision about the mattress because we'd be buying one that instant!  (we have ants in our pants.)

husband had some work to do for his second job so i wanted to get to work painting the artwork for the nursery.  he'd be busy on his laptop and i'd be busy with my canvas.  (amelia decided it was like college again.)  however, it was not about 10 minutes that had passed when husband strolled into the nursery and said "when did you want me to put the crib together?"  i said "anytime is fine with me!" - and so it began.

i made sure he read the instructions first.  we've put together lots of furniture from ikea in our 14 years together, and it never fails that something is a little off.

but this time was different.  we were getting the things together the way they were supposed to go, and everything was looking good!

nice work husband!

until the last screw went in for the springs.  then i scratched my head and asked if the coils were supposed to point up like this?  i was thinking that could do a number on the bottom side of the mattress...husband said that it was how it was in the manual.  but then he looked at it again.  he confirmed - we'd put that part on upside down.

woopsie! - so we took the metal piece back off and flipped it over for a re-install.

amelia helped us get back on track.  she made sure to stand by for the entire procedure in case we needed an extra pair of paws.

then - ta da!  all finito!  husband had created an adorable crib for our nursery room!

now we just have to finish the artwork, wait for the carpet cleaner to come, unroll the rug from land of nod, put on the bedding, stain the new changing table (that our wonderful friends kathy and mark found for us!), and hang the curtains!  shew - hopefully we will be all done by october 2nd and we can just sit back and relax before the big photo shoot!

Friday, August 20, 2010

need advice...

we're off to babies r us tomorrow to pick up our crib.  i decided on the jenny lind style back in 2004, when we were pregnant the first time.  i've always loved it, so it just seemed like a no brainer when we got ready to prepare our nursery for "real" this time.  however - now that we are actually going to get the crib tomorrow it has dawned on us - what about the mattress?

i don't suppose you can test them out and lay on them like you would at a furniture store where they sell grown up people's mattresses?  so how do you know what kind to purchase?  i've seen some awful reviews, and other reviews that are pretty outstanding - sometimes these are for the same mattress.  so - how do you know which one to get?

any advice?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

sweet baby darling deer

this past weekend we visited my side of the family while in roanoke for a memorial service.  around my house i'm known as the "deer yeller".  it's sort of like the "horse whisperer", but not exactly.  anytime we see deer on the roads leading to our subdivision, or anywhere in the neighborhood we stop the car so i can "yell" at them to "stay away from the road!"  it's sort of a running joke around here, and everyone just knows i have this fascination with these animals, and their safety.  while traveling up the blue ridge parkway for the memorial service we ran across about a dozen deer just grazing on grass along the sides of the road.  mom was driving, and she stopped the best she could each time, so i could jump out and snap their photos. 

she told me when i got back in the car that we should refer to our anticipatory baby as "sweet baby deer". 

i thought it was pretty ironic since i had just recently submitted an online order for my inspiration for the artwork on the smaller side of the baby's room:

the name of this paper is "darling deer". 

so wherever you are tonight - in utero - or not even conceived - we pray for you - our sweet baby darling deer.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

preparing our home - preparing our hearts

this weekend has been one of great preparation. as we prepare to get things ready for our photography session on october 9th, we have begun setting up the nursery. to do this we needed to move my office (since i work from home) from the downstairs bedroom to one of the guest bedrooms upstairs. when we first moved into this home we still had hopes that shortly after our arrival (since we were finally settled for good) that we would soon have a baby occupying the main floor bedroom down the hall from our master.  it will be three years next month, that we've lived in this home.  this weekend was the weekend to finally begin to make this room into the nursery it was destined to be.

since husband had his surgery in april, he really was not given the green light to resume all normal activities until the visit to hopkins. with the good news last weekend, we knew he was okay to handle heavy lifting and we could go ahead and get things going.  i didn't think we could move the entire office in one weekend, but he amazed me and we got it done. we still have to hang the pictures on the walls of the new office and put some cord ties on the dangling mess of cord tangle that hangs behind the desks, but we're 97% there. 

the move leaves us with a blank canvas down stairs. this afternoon after church we decided on a paint color for the walls. we opted for a very pale grey (dolphin) to compliment the bedding and serve as a backdrop for the very colorful artwork and accessories that will soon fill the space. as i prepped to put the first coat of paint on the walls i just laid in the floor of the empty room and began to cry.   not tears of sadness, but tears of joy.  i feel so thankful - so grateful that GOD is giving us this experience. an experience to grow together, to walk a journey together, to build a family together, all with him in the center of it.  i have to think that if we were blessed with a full term baby the first time we became pregnant in 2004 that we would probably not be so connected, so joined, so patient, so thankful, so aware, so grateful for everything we are experiencing now.

(never fear - i'm calling the carpet cleaner tomorrow about this carpet.  it honestly never looked so dingy with a full room of furniture.)

(the rest of the blank slate -  these photos are prior to paint etc.)

husband told me over dinner tonight that he was so thankful that the path our life is on is so wonderfully positive.  he and i both feel that we are fulfilling our destiny to find the baby that GOD has planned for us to parent. every day i feel this more and more.

the pastor's sermon at church today was a lesson on your faith in GOD.  there are just some sermons that i feel are speaking directly to our souls - and this was one of them.  we turned our search for a family over to GOD when we began this process last december, but it's only through this year's trials and searching that we've come to see how our faith in GOD's ability to build our family is the essence of the journey.

the pastor left us with this:  "Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark." -- Rabindranath Tagore

i've always had a fascination with birds and as we're faithful in GOD's path for our adoption, this quote has really touched me.

after church aubrey gifted us an amazing book about adoption. (Sucessful Adoption - A Guide For Christian Families by Nataline Nichols Gillespie) we were so touched that she thought of us on this journey and purchased such a wonderfully helpful tool for us.

i read aloud the forward and the first ten pages as will drove us home.  i then continued to read during painting breaks, but felt i should stop since i was really "skipping ahead".   i'll wait to read more tonight until will and i can do it together.  it's just so amazing how as we continue to prepare the physical things for our baby's arrival, our spiritual path and our hearts continue to be prepared.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

green light - go!

will and i just got back from baltimore.  we'd planned a trip around his second opinion visit at johns hopkins.  by the time we had the appointment, we knew his spinal fluid leak was healed, but we kept the appointment since they are so hard to come by.  will felt a huge sense of relief when the doctor confirmed that the leak was gone and that he was 100% healed from his decompression surgery back in april. 

i know he was worried about our adoption paper work and the section that asks about your medical history when you have something looming over you like that.  now we can both peacefully rest assured, knowing that this part of our journey will not present any hurdles.  i asked will in the car on the way home if he thought we should set up an appointment with our primary doctor to get signed letters from her stating that we were both in good condition for adoption.  he proudly told me that he'd already talked to her about it.

love this man!