Ethiopia is the country we have fallen love with, as it will be the birth country of our son or daughter.
Returned to Colorado to visit brother Todd last summer. So much fun with Kara, Ben, Todd, Mom and Dad. I will never forget white-water rafting with those people. So exciting to see my mom doing something daring after having to protect her shoulder pre and post surgery for so long.
Really big milestones were celebrated as K's g-parents and my g-parents each celebrated 60th Anniversaries. Wow... that is a number we just don't hear very often when it comes to marriage. My thanks and gratitude to all of them for the love, prayers and support they have provided and mostly for the wonderful example they have set forth in their union and vows to one another.
Yes, I am now going to mention our 'furbaby.' Diogee (D.O.G.) is quite the character at our house. It is true that he is so ugly he is cute. When I was in graduate school, and still didn't know too many people, it was Diogee who kept me company while studying (while K was at work), and got me out of the house for long W.A.L.K.S. (Oh, sorry, I guess I didn't need to spell it here...but if you accidentally say that word in our house, be prepared for a ball of fuzz to shoot into your lap, start licking your face, run to the door, jump, and run back to you, rinse, repeat). It is hard to imagine, Diogee taking a "backseat" to the little one coming. I'm sure it will happen, but I get a knot of guilt when I think about it. I owe that pup for keeping me so highly entertained over the last 4 years!
Colorado, Chicago and Las Vegas were the sights of this years "vacations". As usual, there were trips made to MN, ND and SD as well!
He saw to it that 2 of our family members came through surgery this Christmas season, and that makes 3 members total this month. There were some bumps and bruises on the crazy road to surgery, but everyone has come out of it, and we give THANKS. On to recovery!!!!!
Referral is the word we are waiting so
Iowa is the place we would like you to visit. on 12/19, 5 years ago we moved all of our stuff to a tiny little townhouse here in Eastern IA. We drove back "home" to graduate from college (2 different colleges in 1 day...I'm still sorry about that to my family, btw). We had Christmas, and were married that New Year's Eve. We left the next morning for our honeymoon, returned a week later and officially lived in our tiny townhouse immediately thereafter (with no furniture for 3 weeks). I look back at that time and wonder what I was thinking?! I guess I felt the need to cram lots of major life events into a 3 week period. It was hard, but we did a nice job of relying on each other as a couple. (Who else were we going to rely on?! We only had each other here!) Admittedly, I've been trying to move out of Iowa pretty consistently for the last 5 years. My rants about being far from family will never cease, but living here has brought us to where we are in our lives today, and I wouldn't change this adoption journey for anything in the world (um, I would speed it up a little...but, it's the Christmas season, so I'm sugar coating). Now, that we have purchased our new house, I'm grasping onto the reality that I'm here to stay (at least for a while). My brothers better make 2011 the year they both visit me, or they are both getting coal for Christmas next year. :)
Systems Engineering Manager is K's job title. Same company. Truthfully, while he has been at the same company since his 1st co-op in 2004, he has held many positions. He has worked in various departments for various people. He was promoted to manager almost 2 years ago, but 2 days after his new position was announced, his department was shut down due to the floundering economy. He stayed on with the company in a different capacity and moved back to manager almost a year ago. He enjoys his job, he is an extremely dedicated worker (which if someone asked me if this is one of his qualities when we started dating, I would have said, NO. He worked hard at his part-time job, but I never once saw him study for a calculus test, etc. His idea of studying for the ACT's was to come over to my house the night before and watch, "October Sky" because it was kind of 'science'y'. Something changed, and it probably has to do with the no books, no lectures, just the hands-on, talking to people, and getting stuff done.
Twin girls were welcomed into our extended family this September. Breley and Kailey were born at 24 weeks gestation, both weighing 1 lb 6 oz and 12 inches long. Breley fought for 2 extraordinary days, but she returned HOME to be with her Lord. We know that it was the end of her time with us, but just the beginning of eternal and beautiful life for her. Her "little" sister Kailey remains in the NICU. She has seen her fair share of struggles, and is enduring some at the time of this writing. We pray for her each day. She is a miracle in her own right. She has challenges ahead of her, but if there is one thing I am certain of, Kailey is a tenacious little bugger. She does things in her own time. We thank those of you who have continued to pray for her alongside of us.
My mom announced she is retiring at the end of this school year. WOW. I've been trying to gauge how she feels about that particular topic for a couple of months, and she never let on that she had made a decision. I'm not sure if I am more shocked she is retiring, or the fact that she kept a secret? (Hi, mom). Phase 1 of "Operation Move My Parents Closer to Me" is a success. Unfortunately, this process has many more phases... (like adoption, no?)
Adoption consumes our every thought. Even when we are consumed by something else, I find it popping up (especially at inopportune times...like when I am trying to focus on someone/something else).
School Counselor is still my job. Middle school counselor to be exact. I would really like to tell you that every day is joyful, wonderful, beautiful. That would be a lie. We have some really fantastic moments, some belly aching laughs, and some truly extraordinary educators. However, when people say, "adoption isn't for the faint of heart," they are telling the truth, it is a nuanced and complex emotional process, but I work in a middle school... I deal with the problems presented by middle schoolers Every. Day. Sometimes, I moan and whine...sometimes I roll my eyes...sometimes I can think of 1,000,000 places I'd rather be, or things I'd rather be doing. Then I stop. Take a breath, and remember that I was once a middle school student, and it was HARD. I make mistakes and have bad days, but I always try to bounce back and have a better attitude about my work.