Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another Long Day

This morning we made eggs, bacon, and toast for breakfast and it was deeelicious! I had a nail appointment at 11:00am, so while I went for that, Steve and his dad stayed here with Gus. Steve tried to put him down for a nap, but he wasn't having it.

When I got home, we had lunch and then it was time for Gus's nap. I was able to make a new sign for the door... I like it. I just need Steve to put up a hook outside so I can hang it.
Since I STILL cannot find my laminator, I had to use tape on it to give it some protection from the elements.

After Gus woke up, we headed out for dinner. Here are some pictures taken before we left the house:
Checking out the scene outside

Enjoying some applesauce

In the bathroom with me

Such a sweet little face. This was mere seconds before he decided to hit me. Yeah... so not cool. He went into a minute time-out for that choice  :-(

Dinner was good. Don't think I'll go back anytime soon, but it wasn't horrible.
My Chicken Marsala

Gus enjoying his bread and cheese ravioli (that was $12... yeah... we thought we were getting the child's menu "any pasta" item, and apparently cheese ravioli isn't included in the "any pasta" list)
We headed home and had a package waiting for us. Gus's Mr. Potato Head arrived and so did his travel magnet doodle board.

Gus's scribbles

See you soon!!

A Year of Gratitude #49

A Year of Gratitude #49: Elphie

I'm sorta sad writing this one because our time with Elphie is very short-lived. Next weekend, when Steve's dad and Sue Ann leave to head back to Indiana, they'll be taking Elphie with her.

We are at our wit's end with her. Between the constant escaping, to her new trick of digging up the backyard to try and get into the neighbor's yard, it's too much stress. Each time she escapes, I have to go out calling for her and that with Gus at the same time is NOT easy or enjoyable.

Then on Thursday she decided to start digging to China and I brought her in covered from head to tail, in mud. Today, Steve let her out for a minute while he put Gus down for a nap, and when he came down to let her back in (it was less than five minutes), not only could he not find her, but when he did, she was digging again and shoulder-deep in the hole, and covered in mud.

She's causing too much stress and wrecking our yard. There are holes everywhere. She's been pooping downstairs (just outside the door to the litterbox room) because she's not going to the bathroom when she's outside... she's too busy digging.

So... Steve's dad said he'd take her back to Indiana with him. He's going to put her on a collar and have an invisible fence... and she'll be able to run free. I think she'll love it. She'll have Dog and Georgie to play with (their other dogs) and I think it'll make her happy to be free to roam and play all day (within the perimeter of the farm-- which is a nice amount of land for a pooch).

I'm sad to see her go... since I've grown attached to her. I'm sadder for Gus. He absolutely loves her (his love for her has saved her butt so many times). We're just at the point that we can't do it anymore.

So... while it's sad for him to say goodbye to her (they've been together since he was two months old), maybe when we don't have a dog anymore (Ned's got about five years left in him-- if that), and he's a bit older, we can get another dog and it can be Gus's dog. 

It most definitely will NOT be a Jack Russell or any other type of terrier. Not sure what we'd get, but no breed that's known for being too smart for their own good, and not one that digs for EVERYTHING.

So we'll say goodbye to Elphie, but we'll get to see her when we visit the farm, and Dad said he'll maybe bring her with them when they come here for visits. Gus would at least get to see her more often that way.

I'll miss the sweet way he calls for her, "IIIIIII----Sheeeeee"

A Year of Gratitude #48

A Year of Gratitude #48: Healthy Michelle and June

So as you all know, I was supposed to take labor and delivery pictures for Michelle yesterday. Things did not go according to plan, and after trying to get the baby out, Michelle's pelvis was too small. The stress caused her blood-pressure to rise, and a C-Section was required to get June out safely. 

Thankfully, both Michelle and June came through the delivery process unharmed and alive. Michelle had to have three (yes, THREE) epidurals because the first wasn't placed right, the second wore off, and the third was to completely numb her for the surgery. Talk about painful!

I stayed up until eleven last night hoping to hear something from her husband Josh, but never did. I checked Facebook thinking that her mom would have posted the "I'm a grandma" post, but she didn't. So I started to think the worst happened.

I checked my phone first thing this morning to see if I had a text... but there was nothing. I checked FB and Josh's sister Sandi had posted a picture of June (I didn't know if she had a boy or girl) and the stats. I finally relaxed a little knowing that both mama and baby were okay.

Around ten tonight, Michelle texted me and asked if she could call me. We talked for about a half-hour and I'm so glad to hear she's okay. What an ordeal. :-/   She was disappointed to not have me there to take pictures, but had I been there, I couldn't have taken pictures anyway. She asked if I'd come to the hospital tomorrow to see her and meet June and Josh. I said I would be delighted and she asked if I would bring my camera to take some pictures of June and them as a family. :-)

She'll be in the hospital until Monday or Tuesday... so I'm glad I'll get to see her while she's close (lol). I'm hoping to go visit her weekly (if I can) because she can't drive for four weeks!!

Anyway, I'm so thankful that she's okay, June is okay, and she's now a mama!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Wasted Away By Waiting...

Yep... I've been waiting for the call to go to the hospital... ALL. DAY.

I've had numerous texts with updates, but without any progress, there's no need for me to head to the hospital. 

It's 8:15pm and the plan is to wait until 9ish and see if she's progressed any more... (she's currently at a 4) and if she's not, they're going to do a c-section. 

I asked if they wanted pictures of the labor... and I was told, "No thank you." So now I'm waiting to hear if I'll be needed at all. I feel like my entire day was wasted and I hurried up to do nothing more than wait. I got squat sleep because I kept checking my phone... I could not be someone who's job is to be on call. That's for sure.

So we'll see if I get called. If she has the c-section, I don't think they'll have me drive 35 minutes just to take pictures of her after. She had already said she didn't need/want pictures after since everyone will have cameras.

The only way I'll be going is if she has the baby vaginally. We'll see. At this point, I'm not holding my breath.

Steve's dad got here around 4:30ish and Steve had told him that Gus was sleeping, so he just came in... and when he did, the dogs freaked out and that scared Gus (who was sitting on Steve's lap) and then Gus looked up and saw Grandpa and he FLIPPED OUT. So he's been crying off and on all night whenever Grandpa has looked at him. I'm hoping tomorrow will be better.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Horrible Afternoon

This morning started off great... Gus slept until 7:30ish and started stirring. I hopped in the shower and when I got out, he had decided to go back to sleep. He didn't get back up until 9:30!

We watched a little tv, had breakfast and Gus was warm to the touch, and VERY snuggly. He was a little "off" but was talking with me and wasn't withdrawn or anything. 

He perked up at lunch and was very happy to see Daddy. He had a GREAT lunch... ate almost an entire piece of pizza (they were HUGE slices), had apple sauce and some cheese. On the way home, he was sleepy, but otherwise seemed okay.

When I walked in the door I smelled something really odd... but I wasn't sure what it was. I took Gus straight up for his nap, and he crashed instantly. 

When I came back down to let the dogs out... A sight beheld my eyes that filled me with shock and horror. Ned had vomited all over his crate AND the floor... and then had a blow out of poo out the back side of the crate. There was poop all over the walls (his crate was in the corner)... all over the floor... and between the carpet and baseboards. And the smell... don't even get me started.

So I immediately let him and Elphie outside... and went to work to try and clean it up. It was so gross... I began dry heaving at the smell. I got as much done as I possibly could and then I went to let the dogs in...

When I opened the door, Ned came right in, and then Elphie came and she was covered, from head to toe... in MUD (it was sprinkling outside). I was so irrate... words cannot convey how absolutely pissed off I was.

I grabbed her before she could go past the kitchen, and carried her to our bathroom... and threw her in the tub. I then gave her a bath... while covered in remnants of Ned's poo and vomit. It was too much.

So after her bath, I put her back in her crate to dry off and to stay out of my way. I had just sat down at my computer to cool off and text Steve about the progress of things when all of a sudden, Ned projectile vomited all over the hardwoods and rug in front of our front door.

I jumped up, let him out and proceeded to cry. 

Ned stayed outside for quite a while from that point on. I cleaned up the vomit and threw the rug outside.

Steve came home early to help me with cleaning the mess in our bedroom... which now has a spot that just won't come out. :-(

Gus didn't get up from his nap until 5, but when he woke, he was HOT. We checked his temp and he was at 103.7!! We put him in a lukewarm bath and then gave him some meds to try and bring down his temp. He was shivering... poor baby. Steve and Gus snuggled for a bit before we came back down for dinner.

His temperature dropped to 100.3 and we were so happy that it went down. He's been sticking his entire hand in his mouth these last couple days, so I presume he's teething and that's the cause for the spiked fever. It wasn't a long-lasting temp and we were able to bring it down. 

We researched what to do and as long as we were able to get the fever down and he is acting like himself, everything we read said not to rush him to the ER. If he stayed elevated and wasn't being himself then it was our call to take him or not.

Thankfully, the fever stayed down and we were able to put him to bed without worrying too much. Hopefully it'll stay down overnight.

I'm ready to go to bed. I'm not sure when I'll get the call to head to the hospital... so I want to be as rested as possible.

Thankfully, Ned hasn't had any more puking/pooping problems, but he is limping a little on his one leg. Not sure what's going on with him, but we'll keep our eyes on him and hope he's okay tomorrow.

See you tomorrow!

A Year of Gratitude #47

A Year of Gratitude #47: Lunch with Steve

Today Gus and I drove to Buckhead to have lunch with Steve. It was rainy and yucky outside, but the commute wasn't bad at all. 

I took Gus inside, where we met Steve right inside the World 50 lobby. Steve showed me his new desk, complete with his incredible view of Sandy Springs. I got to meet Bill and Rebecca (Bill is the Supply Chain 50 Director and Rebecca is his assistant). We said our hellos to many of the other World 50 peeps and then we headed back to the car to head to lunch.

We ended up going to a pizza place and shared a salad and a few slices of pizza. It was a great lunch and I'm so thankful that Gus and I were able to drive to Buckhead and have a great lunch with Steve.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


So Michelle goes to the hospital tomorrow at 6pm to start her induction... she said her doctor told her to plan on a Friday baby. She's supposed to have her mom or husband call me sometime on Friday to let me know it's time to head to the hospital.

I am so nervous about this!! It's like the nerves you get on Christmas Eve... I feel like I have NO IDEA what to expect since I've NEVER been in a delivery room!! I've never seen a baby born and I hope I don't get too focused on that and not focus on the job at hand.

I pray that I take amazing pictures that she treasures and that I do a good job for them. They're not having anyone else in the room with them, so it's an honor to be there. 

I'm going to remain professional and be there to be silent and just take as many incredible pictures as I can... but I'm still really nervous about it!! I've got my battery on the charger, and a back-up memory card just in case. 

I'm just really torn on which lens to use. My 50mm is so great and takes amazing portrait-type pictures, but I can't zoom with it. I love how it focuses on a central object and everything else is somewhat blurry... it's awesome.

But then my 58mm is good and lets me zoom in a bit to make sure I'm capturing an entire picture. So I don't know... I'm not going to have a lot of time to switch out my lens and I don't want to miss anything!! I guess I'll play it by ear and see what happens.

I do know that for the pictures of when Josh tells everyone what they had (they're going to be surprised), I am going to use my 58mm lens because it'll let me get him and the fam in the same shot (the 50mm is more up close).

Wish me luck!!!!

Dear Sweetheart: Hopeful Adoptive Family Profiles

We were selected to be the spotlighted family over at Dear Sweetheart!!

Hopeful Adoptive Family: Walker Family Spotlight

**How did you meet your spouse?  How long did you both date before you decided to get married?  How long have you been married?**

Steve and I met online actually! I was on (now and he was one of my "pics" of the week. My first thought when I saw his face was, "He has cheeks like mine!" I "winked" at him to let him know I thought he was cute. His profile headline was, "Are you looking for your prince?" He had me as his "pic of the week" too and had saved me under his "hot" list (lol). We emailed for about three weeks and then he called me (I was about to get my car washed and had like five minutes to talk). We had our first date on March 6, 2004 and it was an instant connection.

We wanted to start off as church buddies, since he wasn't sure if he was ready for a relationship. Our friendship progressed to a deeper connection and we felt like we had known each other for years, when it was only a month!
Our first date started with going to mass, then we went back to his apartment and made dinner together and then we looked through pictures and videos of his friends and family. It was the greatest date of my life.
We have been inseparable since March of 2004 until present. Steve asked me to marry him on September 17, 2005 while we were camping with some friends. We got married in the Bahamas (barefoot on the beach) on July 8, 2006. This past July we celebrated five amazing years together.

**What was the first thing you really came to appreciate about your spouse and why was that quality/characteristic important to you [if the ladies of the couple are answering this, then grab your husband's and have them answer it for you as well ;)  ]?**
I appreciate so much about Steve, it's hard to pick just one. If I did have to pick one quality/characteristic that I value most, it'd be his ability and willingness to communicate. I feel very strongly about communication being the key to all successful relationships. Steve is open, honest, and values our relationship. We don't fight. We might have a disagreement, but we always talk it out and in the end, we can agree to disagree, but we never fight. We both feel that what we have is too important and we don't sweat the small stuff.
Steve says that he appreciates my humor and ability to laugh at things. He likes that I don't take things too seriously, I'm low-maintenance, and I'm fun to be around. 

**Do you have any current family traditions that you celebrate as a family?  If so, how did these traditions begin?**
We celebrate Gus's Adoption Day (April 15) every year, as it's a very special day for us as a family. Last year we celebrated by going to a pottery place and we painted a platter and put our handprints on it. It's beautiful. Not sure what we'll do this year, but it'll be special and something we do together as a family (and just us).
We also go up to Michigan twice a year (the months always change). We go up to see my side of our family, and Gus's side of our family. We're hoping to start a tradition this year, of going up and doing a camping trip with all of my side of our family (my brothers and their families, and my parents). It should be really fun for Gus to spend great time with his cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

**If you currently have children, how many children do you have right?  Are they biological?  Are they adopted?**
We have one son, Gus. He was born on May 11, 2010 and he's adopted. He's the love of my life and the answer to so many prayers. He's special for so many reasons and is loved by all who meet him. He's got a dazzling personality and is just completely delightful to be around. He brightens each day and brings a smile to my face just thinking about him.

**If not already explained, how did you come to the decision to adopt?**
I always wanted to adopt. My mom was in an orphanage for a brief time as a child and it always perplexed me as to how she (being as amazing and wonderful as she is) could be looked over by anyone. So, it was always something I wanted to do when I was older.
When Steve and I got married and started trying to start a family, we were faced with four years of agony. I never stressed too much about it because I knew adoption was something I wanted to do anyway, but I had wanted to have biological children first and adopt second. God had a different plan.
One day after school, my room mom came to see how I was. She and I got to talking and she asked about my family and if I had any kids. I shared with her our struggle with infertility and she shared that she and her husband had adopted their youngest daughter. She gave me the name of her agency and I shared her info with Steve while we were celebrating our 3rd anniversary at the beach.
Steve wasn't ready to start the process until that October. It took him three months of praying and thinking about it before he was ready. When he was ready we started the paperwork.

**How has your experience in the world of adoption mirrored or changed your expectation of adoption?**
I didn't really know what to expect. We were told that we wouldn't be able to adopt a healthy child and to expect a child born addicted to something. We were told that we'd probably not be adopting a Caucasian child and to be prepared and ready for an interracial adoption. We were told that birth fathers are not in the picture ever... So be prepared to only deal with the birth mother.
Everything that we were told was the opposite. Our son is Caucasian (blonde hair and blue eyed), he was born to a mother who never used any drugs and didn't drink while pregnant. Our son has a birth mother and father (who are still together) and they BOTH love him and are active in his life.
I don't know if we're living the exception to the rule, but we have an incredible open adoption and hope to have something as great for the second time around.

**If you currently have children who are adopted, what is your current relationship with the birth-mothers/birth-families of your children?**
Because we live in another state from them, we don't see them as much as we'd like. That being said, we don't see our own families as much as we'd like, and we try to keep ALL sides of our family as connected to us as possible.
I think we're pretty lucky to have them as part of our family. Both sides of Gus's side of our family have welcomed us into their family, and genuinely care about us. We genuinely care about them as well.
When we head to MI, we see my side of our family, and Gus's side of our family. We include them in all aspects of our life.
Gus has a Facebook page and it's for all sides of his family. My side, Steve's side, and his biological side. They get to see pictures at the same time as everyone else.
I send weekly texts with pictures to everyone, we send presents and pictures, and they're no less important to us than our own parents. They send us gifts too and it's very sweet.
We feel so fortunate to have so many people love our son. He will never have to wonder where he comes from, what roots he has, or doubt if anyone loves him.

**If you currently have children who are adopted, do you have any traditions that their birth-mother's share in on?  If so, what are they?  (eg., my adoptive couple gives me an ornament every year with a picture of Baby Boy in it, and I love it and appreciate it so much).**
We try to make it to MI each year around his birthday so that we can celebrate his birth together (all of us) as a complete family. He got to sit on his birth mom's lap and blow out his candle last year and open presents while sitting on her lap. It was the most amazing day.
I send her something each year for Birth Mother's Day (the Saturday before Mother's Day Sunday).
Each year, just after his birthday, I make a video of pictures of Gus throughout the year. I always send her (and his birth father) a copy so they can see him change before their eyes (since they're not here to see it in person).
We send Christmas gifts. Each year I do something with his hand/foot prints and send it to them.

**How do you define open adoption?  What is open adoption to you?**
Open adoption is when everything is out in the open. There's nothing hidden and everyone is fully aware of the intentions, expectations, and realities of adoption. It's face-to-face visits, pictures, cards, letters, text messages, and correspondence that's not done through a facilitator.
To me, open adoption is everything. It's giving my child their future and their past all in one. It's making sure that when questions arise, we have a way to get answers. It's for the child COMPLETELY. It might be hard, and often it is, but ultimately, it's for the benefit of the child involved-- because THEY didn't ask to be born, and THEY didn't ask to be adopted. They deserve to have the best of all worlds... One where they know their story, they understand it, and they appreciate the choice their birth parents made for them to have the life that they have.
Anything but open adoption is cruel (in my opinion). I think there are circumstances where it's in the best interest of the child to not have a connection to their birth family, but it's still cruel to deny them the ability to know where they come from. It's cruel to deny the extended family the right to know the child that their family member decided to place for adoption.
With open adoption, everyone wins. Everyone.

**What would your ideal relationship with "your" birth-mother be, pre-placement?  (Would you like to attend Dr. appointments with her, have her to Sunday dinners, get together on a monthly basis for a movie, &etc?  How involved would you, ideally, like to be involved, &etc.)**

We're talking ideal... So in my ideal world, I'd love to attend appointments, be there when the baby is born, and have this great relationship. However, it's not ever going to happen. I'd be so afraid to get "sucked in" and committed and excited to be a mom again, and I'd worry that it'd all be gone with a change of mind. I'd be afraid that the birth mother would decide to parent and I'd be devastated that I invested so much hope in the relationship.
I almost feel like birth mothers should not "match" with a family until after the baby is born, and she's 100000% certain that placement is what she wants to do.
But in an ideal world, I'd love a birth mom to trust us, open her life to us, and connect with us. I'd love to have a birth mom share her story with us and continue with it after the baby is born. I'd love to have her be the intricate part of our family that she should be.

**If you already have adopted children, in your experience, what part of the adoption process (pre-placement, placement, post-placement) have you found to be the most important to the building of the relationship between you and the birth-mother?**

We didn't find out about Gus until May 3, 2010. We had exactly one week from the time that we were "matched" with his birth family, to when he was born. In that time, we never talked to his birth mom or dad. We only talked to her aunt (she worked with my cousin and the two of them brought us together). It was so scary to not have any details worked out, to not know what she was thinking/feeling. I was so worried that she was going to change her mind, I didn't allow myself to get attached.

I think post-placement has been where the most growth has taken place with us and his birth mother and father (more so with his birth mom). We are Facebook friends with her and share pictures and she comments on them. She's opened up more and more as more time has gone by and it's been such a blessing.

She just sent us a package with a Valentine's Day card for our family, two stuffed frogs for Gus, and then she had one of her friends (he's in art school) hand draw a picture of our family. She had it framed and sent it to us. It was so unexpected and thoughtful. Our relationship has come a long way and it's only getting better and better.

**For any young woman considering placing her child for adoption, and who is reading this right now, what do you want to say to her?**

It's so important that you follow your instincts and your heart. Don't do anything that you're not 100% comfortable doing. Deciding to place your child for adoption is the most agonizing decision you'll ever have to make, don't go into it lightly. Take the time to really determine what's most important to you and find what you think is the best possible connection with a family.
Don't let anyone pressure you into adoption. It's something that you'll always regret if you're not 100% certain. If you have doubts or hesitations, don't enter into something that will affect everyone involved. Adoption isn't for everyone, but neither is parenting.
You really need to make a list of pros and cons and trust yourself. If you decide that adoption is the right choice for your baby, go into it with an open heart, and really allow yourself to find the right people to raise your baby. Find people who will include you in your child's life. Be up front and honest, and speak your wishes.
Make sure that the family that you choose, values YOU, and isn't just saying what they think you want to hear. When you find the right family, you'll know it.

No matter what decision you make, you have to think about what's the best thing for your baby. I think OPEN adoption is the best of both worlds, but it's not for everyone. Good luck with your decision and keep an open mind. There are thousands of people looking to adopt an infant... Only one of them will be the right match for you. Decide what you'd ideally want your baby to have, and if you can't give them what they deserve, find a family who can.

Lastly, if you decide to place your baby for adoption, be PROUD of yourself. Don't beat yourself up, or think anything negative about yourself. You are ALWAYS going to be that baby's mom and whether or not your raise them, you will always be a significant part of the person that they become. The decision to place them into the arms of another person, is the most selfless thing that you can do. To decide that you cannot give your baby what you think they deserve, is the ultimate sacrifice. You should hold your head high and know that you're special, you're important, and you matter to that baby.

**Do you have a blog that you would like to share with those reading this today?  If so, what is the address of your blog?**

We do! We have an adoption blog and we're on and have a profile on there as well.
Here We Go Again (Our adoption blog):
Hoping to Adopt (Our profile page):

Thank you!!!

A Year of Gratitude #46

A Year of Gratitude #46: The Kindness of Strangers at the Post Office

Last night we were able to get our tax returns in order and ready to be mailed. Steve asked if I would take them (there are three... Federal, NC state and GA state) to the post office today.

My initial reaction when he asked me to take them to the post office was not the best. I flipped out... he responded with the fact that he doesn't ask me to do much, and it's something that must be done.

FINE! I was pissed, but I said I'd go.

I KNEW it'd go exactly like it went today. You see, our local post office has ONE person that works and he's slow as molasses. When I got there, there was one person in line in front of me. But then I had to fill out the forms for certified mail, and two people got in front of where I'd be, so I had three in front of me.

Gus was good for the first FIFTEEN minutes... he helped hold my purse, he helped hold the tax returns, he helped hold the certified mail forms... and then he was done. I was stressed...

The entire trip took more than 30 minutes and it was ridiculous. However, I didn't have a choice... the tax returns needed to be sent TODAY... so I sucked it up and dealt with the issue at hand (a squirmy toddler who wanted to run and explore, and me having to stand in line waiting while said child was bored and restless).

Looking back, I SHOULD have just put him in the stroller before coming inside, but I didn't think it'd be that long, and I thought he could handle it. He was all over the place... he was willing to hold my hand for a bit, but then he wanted to explore. Unfortunately, I couldn't explore with him... so it became a battle.

THANKFULLY... the strangers in line in front of me, let me pass them and go up when the guy at the counter was FINALLY able to take the next customer.

I'm thankful for the kindness of strangers and for the understanding they showed me. They were kind, helped me keep my eye on Gus (while filling out ANOTHER certified mail form because he decided to rip up the one that I had let him hold)...

Thankfully people are still willing to help each other and are considerate of others. Even if it was a mom overwhelmed by her crazy toddler.

A Year of Gratitude #45

A Year of Gratitude #45: Open Communication

I'm thankful that when I'm feeling frustrated, angry, sad, or upset, I can always talk to Steve about my feelings. He usually is compassionate, understanding, and caring, and ALWAYS wants to help solve the problem.

When we first started dating, we both openly said that we don't feel that fighting is worth the effort. We had both been through hell with our divorces, and both valued the small things. We mutually decided that we would always be open and honest with each other, and having open communication is what leads to successful relationships (of any kind).

I'm so thankful to have a partner who listens to me, hears me out, doesn't judge me, and is always willing to work on whatever we both need to work on. He's open to anything, and as long as we stay true to each other, nothing is impossible.

Having been with someone (a few someones actually) in the past who didn't communicate... I feel so fortunate. Steve and I don't fight. We have disagreements, discussions, and misunderstandings, but we don't fight. We always make sure to share what's bothering us, and area always willing to talk it out.

I'm very lucky to have someone in my life like Steve. Not just as a husband, but as a friend as well. He's my very best friend, and I love him more than anything in this world.

Monday, February 13, 2012

"A Case of the Mondays..."

This morning Gus and I went to our playgroup and had a great time. There were only four of us today, since everyone else had something else going on. It was fun though, and the conversation was interesting. I like these women. I find them easy to talk with, and I'm so thankful that they're so open and willing to share their friendship with me.

While at the playgroup, I decided that we're going to go to Catch Air tomorrow at 10am. I invited everyone at the playgroup, and I think one of the moms might come (her name is Kathryn). I also invited Dina, and hopefully she can come with Becca, and at least meet Kathryn.

We got home, had lunch, and it was nap time. Gus slept until 3:00 and then when he got up we headed downstairs to play.

While he was napping, his puzzles from Amazon arrived! I was so eager to have him play with them. Our BOB Books also came and so did his new book "Gus Gets Scared."

We went down and he had no interest in the books (SHOCKER) but was very interested in the shapes puzzle. So we played with that for a while, then his cars, his trains, and then the ball popper.

Steve came home while we were downstairs, and so we were pleasantly surprised when we came upstairs and he was here. He had brought in the mail, and there was a package from Wendy. Inside was some candy, a cute framed piece, a frog magnet, some punch-balloons, and a duck calling sound thingy.

We decided to head to Long John Silvers for some dinner... it's a RARE event that we eat there... but it sounded really good to both of us. So we took the HOUR to get there.

However... before we left, Steve asked if I wanted to exchange Valentine's tonight or tomorrow. I said whatever he wanted to do, and he said tonight.  :-)

He gave me a cute (very dirty) card, some Sour Patch Kids, some Lindt chocolates, some sea salt soiree chocolates (my favorite), and this:
Apparently my heart is in Mt. Pleasant... (LOL). I love it. Michigan is where my heart is... (not Mt. Pleasant) and it meant a lot that he would get me something to remind me of home. My husband is so thoughtful. <3

Speaking of home... today I got a LivingSocial deal for a place called Motor City Coney Island... in Stone Mountain (about 40 minutes away). They sell coney dogs, Faygo and get this... Better Made chips!!! I was SHOCKED and so excited!!! I got two vouchers and can't wait for us to go and use them!!! I am so seriously excited about this!!

Anyway-- see you tomorrow!! Happy early Valentine's Day!

A Year of Gratitude #44

A Year of Gratitude #44: Wendy

I met Wendy on Halloween of 2009. Steve and I were outside our house in Holly Springs, NC, putting together our evening decorations, when Wendy came over and introduced herself. She had just moved in across the street the month before.

My first impression of her was that she talked a lot, she was feisty, and she was funny. While Steve and I were passing out candy, she came over and decided she'd just pass out candy with us, rather than sit alone on her porch.

Our friendship began that night and we always call Halloween our "Friendiversary."

Wendy invited me to come to her monthly "Girls Night Out" events in November of 2009. I decided to go and had a great time meeting her mom, sisters, and some of her friends. It was very easy to talk to her and I never felt uncomfortable around her. I went to every GNO that she had from that day on.

I was still teaching during that time (this was before Gus) and she and I didn't really see a lot of each other. I considered her a friend, but we weren't super close at all. She helped occasionally with taking care of the cats for us when we headed north, and was a great neighbor.

When Gus happened (suddenly) in May of 2010, Steve called Wendy to ask if she'd take the dogs to the vet for boarding and she did that AND MORE! She asked all her friends for clothes and toys and when we returned in July with Gus, he had so many toys and clothes!!! It was amazing. She also helped clean out our fridge so that food wouldn't spoil while we were gone (we had no idea we'd be gone for two months)!

I started staying home with Gus as soon as we returned to NC and Wendy and I started spending a lot of our days together. She was staying home with her girls, and we found that we had so much in common. 

It wasn't long before Wendy was my best friend. I could tell her anything, she never judged me, and she was my number one fan. Everyone deserves a friend like her in their life.

It was hard to move away, but I'm thankful that I had the time I had to spend with her in person. We text and call each other and it's like no time passed at all. I guess that's the sign of a solid friendship.

Today, a package came for me (and Gus) and it was filled with some candy, toys for Gus, and a framed picture of the above quote. It's so Wendy.  :-)

I'm thankful that God brought us together and let me share my life with her for the time that I did. She loves Gus as if he were her own child, she loves me like a sister, and loves Steve. She's got a heart of gold and not a vindictive bone in her body. She's one in a million, and she's my best friend. I'm thankful for having her in my life.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Peaceful Sunday

This morning we headed to Costco to cash our rebate check. We have two American Express cards and one is also our Costco membership card. We use it for dining out and we get back a decent amount each year. We get a check from AMX and have to go to Costco to redeem it.

This year, not only did we cash our check, but we decided to do some shopping as well. We ended up getting lots of great deals and should be set on things for a while and it should save us $$ at the grocery store.

I had hoped to find the BOB Books on sale, but our Costco didn't have them. I'll check again this spring and maybe they'll have them. Scholastic should be sending me the first set to review... and then we just bought Gus the pre-readers (two different sets). 

We ended up getting him this awesome Thomas and Friends book that makes all sorts of train sounds. He was in love. Between the book and my new favorite busy snack (I have pretzel rods... and I store them in a hard wipes container so they don't get crushed), he was perfectly happy to shop.

We left Costco and headed home. I needed a few odds and ends that we couldn't get at Costco, so Steve ran into Kroger and grabbed a few things for us before we headed home.

Gus's new favorite thing to do while riding in the car... removing his shoes and socks!

We got home, had lunch and then Gus went down for his three hour nap. I was able to watch The River from Tuesday... what a weird show. Verdict is still out on if I liked it or not... I need time to think about it. LOL

We caught up on the rest of our DVRd shows and I even had a chance to start reading my newest read, "Queen Bees and Wanna Bees." While I'm not the mom of a girl (yet maybe)... I still think it's interested to know about the world of girls. And if I ever return from retirement and go back to the classroom, the info will be helpful. So far the book is excellent and one that all parents of girls should read.

We had steak, roasted potatoes and parmesean crusted asparagus (thanks Pinterest) for dinner. While I was pulling the asparagus out of the over, I burned my arm and now have a second-degree burn. It hurts so badly... I did put some soy sauce on it, as I read it's a great pain reliever and helps with blistering. We'll see-- it still hurts.

Tomorrow we have our playgroup in the morning and then that's it for the day. We don't have any plans for the rest of the week... maybe we'll try to go to Catch Air on Wednesday. Michelle is being induced Thursday night and so I have my day cleared on Friday so I can go and take pictures when it's time. I'm nervous and excited at the same time. I've never seen a baby born... I hope it's not too overwhelming for me!!!

Here are some pictures of the many faces of Gus during dinner tonight:

See ya later!!