Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Merry Christmas!

So much for being an active blogger and posting my daughters' milestones so I could remember them. Lame.

There has been so much crazy going on - and not the average every day crazy - but mental crazy (not mine, someone else's) that has been heaped onto our lovely little family that it has made ME want to be committed along with the real crazy in the family. Oh how I wish I could go into detail, it would be so cathartic, but can't happen.

Before Emily came along we knew I would take at least 6 weeks off, preferably eight. So when I lost my job in April and found my new job in May I was very up front about my needs and what would be happening. Luckily, my new job was very much ok with it. So when Emily came it was never a question of me being able to take time off.

Eight weeks to the day after Emily was born I got up, got dressed and headed into work leaving my little girl in her daddy's very capable arms for six hours. My schedule was Monday-Friday 11-5. Pretty easy if I do say so myself. And we had a great friend lined up to watch Emily three days a week. Things were going well.

Two hours into my day my boss calls me in to her office to tell me that things are too slow right now and they can only have me work Monday-Wednesday-Friday. I was totally ok with that as I knew it was inevitable and I would at least be bringing in some money and would get to be with Em two days a week. No biggy. That night even Mr. Sparky was doing well with it, which is surprising since he is the one to freak out about money woes.

Wednesday morning I got dressed and headed into work. An hour after I got there my boss said someone had to go home for the day and by the way - we are cutting you back to Mondays and Fridays. Hmm. Not ideal, but still making some money. (60% less than I was making only two days earlier!)

Friday I got dressed and ready to go to work and Emily decided to have a really bad cold and stop eating altogether. I called work to tell them I would be late and we headed off to the dr's. After two hours and learning that my child had to eat by EYE DROPPER I called work to tell them I wouldn't be coming in just as my boss was leaving me a message to say don't bother coming in it's too slow.

The weekend went well - heaped with a little more crazy from the crazy person - and Monday as I was getting ready to go to work the phone rings. Can anyone guess who it was? That's right! My boss - " I am sorry to do this over the phone, but I didn't want you to come all the way in. We don't have enough work for you. We will call after the first of the year to re-evaluate. Have a great Christmas!"

I am now a full time stay at home mom. It is exactly what I wanted my whole life. Just really crappy timing. And let me tell you why. Earlier this month we decided to walk away from our house. Our lovely bank Wells has done nothing for us. I would go into detail, but it makes my blood pressure soar. We had a plan - we were going to use my income to pay off our car and one of our credit cards. We would be 3/4 out of debt by this time next year. We would also have enough saved up for first and last months rent (we can rent a house 70 billion times nicer than ours for less than half of our current mortgage payment - suck it real estate). Now we don't know what is going to happen.

I am not going to look for a job until after the holidays, if I look for one at all. We live in a very small town with a very crappy economy and NO ONE IS HIRING. We are making decisions that to the outside world look foolish, but for our family make sense. Our plan is out the window and we have just enough money to pay for the remaining bills without my income or our mortgage. We found out last night that my husband will more than likely get a 10% pay cut soon, and the good news? That puts us at the right income level for food stamps. Not the proudest moment in my life, but if we qualify, why not.

Bankruptcy has crossed our minds as an option. Although it makes us sick to go that route, with everything that has happened, it may be our only option. It would give us the freedom to start over and become good stewards of the money God has given us. It would give us the opportunity to be the parents we want to be, not the stressed out balls of mess we are on the way to becoming.

The good in all of this? We have an amazing daughter who is growing and learning and smiling and makes the world bright even at 3 am when she is up for no reason. We have amazing friends - most of whom are in a similar boat as us and have been for awhile - that we can lean on for support. For the most part we have family that love us no matter what, and while dealing with the crazy is difficult and there have been shouting matches over the phone and people telling whoppers of lies, it isn't life ending. We have friends who have a very sick daughter and the dad just lost his job. Again. But they are the most positive people I have ever met. And we have a God who is breaking us, and hard. He is doing this so we will trust him more, trust that he will provide because he promises us he will provide for our NEEDS.

We are learning, again, how to live off of cash and be frugal and responsible. This is not where I saw myself at almost 30 (only a few more weeks!), but I am happy and my marriage is no longer on the road to destruction and we are happier than we have ever been. It's a good thing.

So Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year because I can't guarantee that I will post again any time soon. Jesus is the reason for Christmas and without the birth of that little baby and the death and resurrection we will celebrate in just a few short months, none of this would have any meaning at all.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

One Month

**Disclaimer - this is exactly a week late. It is hard to do ANYTHING with a baby. Who knew?**

My beautiful Emily, you are already a month old! How the time flies. You have been such an amazing joy to us my dear. these are just a few of the things you have accomplished this month:
-You are so alert! You hold our gaze so attentively that I fear my heart will break when our eyes do.


- You very rarely cry(unless it is the middle of the night and daddy is at work leaving mommy to want to claw out her eyes)
- You won't ever let daddy out of your sight when he is home. It is the sweetest thing in the world to watch you two. You are the best thing that ever happened to that man.


- You went trick-or-treating and stole the show. You were 19 days old and already your newborn pumpkin costume was a little snug. Everyone thought you were the cutest thing ever.


- You attended your Uncle Erik and Aunt Becki's wedding at three weeks and were the main attraction! You did give mommy a scare though - while changing a wickedly disgusting diaper in our very pretty attire, you decided to choke and stop breathing on the bathroom floor before I had a chance to wipe your dirty little butt! I have never been so scared and so unconcerned about poop on a very expensive dress. Luckily Nana was walking by and was able to help calm me down after. You of course were fine.


- You rolled over on G-ma's floor from your tummy to back and I MISSED IT! I was putting my shirt on and the next thing I knew you were on your back and totally surprised too. It was a fluke as I had you on a slight incline on the rug, but still, very proud moment nonetheless.


- As of 11/06 we now have legal custody of you and only have six more months until you are legally our daughter - you have been our daughter in our hearts since the moment you were born - it will only be a formality in our eyes.

I wish there were more time to write about everything that you are - the amazing baby who no longer looks like a newborn, the personality that is slowly starting to emerge - I love you Emily, more than you will ever know!'


Love,


Mama


Daddy's little doll

First Halloween - Cutest pumpkin ever!


Pumpkin & Penguin

(otherwise known as the future Mr. & Mrs Penguin!)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Family Pictures

When Emily was a week old we had a friend take some pictures for us. Instead of words, because that is too much effort at this point, you get to view our little family.
And thank you all for the kind words and comments. I'm sorry I don't respond, I've always been terrible about that. But know that everything is being stored in my heart and it keeps growing with each and every comment.
Thanks!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How Emily came to be ours

I've been trying to sit down for almost a week now and write out how all of this happened. But having a newborn makes almost everything impossible. It's a good day when I get my teeth brushed before 3! Not to mention sorting out all of the emotions.

But I do want to share this. If not for someone else going through the same situation who may need a little encouragement, then for my own recollection when Emily is older and my brain is a little more addled. I want to be able to look back on her accomplishments and he milestones. Thus far everything of importance she has done is written down on an itty-bitty pink notebook that travels in her diaper bag.

There is so much to say, so many emotions to put down and wrestle with and figure out. So much GOOD and a little bad.

So here goes ...

Monday Oct. 5th I was at work and was helping a customer. I had heard my phone vibrating in my purse but promptly forgot. A little while later I checked the messages as we had literally just mailed off our paperwork to adopt through the state (oh ye of little faith!) and was thinking it could be them. I listened to my message at my desk and it was some woman I had never heard of calling from our agency. This is exactly how everything in the next ten minutes happened. I don't' think I will ever forget.

"Vanessa, this is Ruth from blah blah agency, and I wanted to let you know you and Mr. Sparky have been chosen by a birth mother. She would like to meet with you as soon as possible since she is due on Thursday and is having contractions. Please call me as soon as you can."

"EEEEKKKKKK!!!!! splurbgasppantslurbglaksedjroaiehnjkfnaklsedjf;alkejf!!!!!!!!!!! Sob sob sob sob sob"

I believe at some point in time I actually threw my pen across the room and made a very sharp inhale/exhale pitched scream that only dogs could hear. I could hear my coworkers in the background. Actually, they sounded as if they were in a fog and surrounded by bubble wrap. My boss asked what was wrong and my other coworker said, I bet she got a baby!!!

I ran back into the break room to call Mr. Sparky. Except I dialed the agency number first and spoke with Ruth. She explained a little about the birthmom and her situation (of which I will not be sharing as it is extremely painful for her and it really is Emily's to tell). Immediately I felt a connection with this girl and could not WAIT to meet her. This conversation took place while I was half kneeling on the floor, half leaning on the table, tears streaming down my face. If you had walked in on me, you probably would have thought someone close to me had died!

I got off the phone with Ruth and quickly called Mr. Sparky. Now get this. SHE HAD CALLED HIM FIRST. AND HE DIDN"T CALL ME. He wanted me to hear it from her (I really think he was in shock and that's why he didn't call). So I quickly filled by boss in as I was running out the door. All I remember saying is that I'd call in a few to fill her in since it was only 11:00 am.

I got home and all we could do was look at each other and laugh. LAUGH! Who laughs when they've just found out they are going to be parents after so many long and tearful years. We do, apparently.

We talked about it for maybe .02 seconds and called Ruth and said let's meet as soon as possible. We scheduled a meeting for the next day at 1:00 in Phoenix. I decided to go back to work as we really needed the money and had no idea what the next few days entailed since this was her third pregnancy and she was already having contractions!

That will be all for today. I'm allowing myself only 15 minutes to write since I want to spend as much time with Emily before I go back to work (Dec. 7th!) and someone has to do the laundry because it is not getting itself done. At least my mom is coming to stay for a few days tomorrow and that should be a huge help!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Emily Elizabeth

I am sitting here with my daughter snuggled in my lap.

It still feels so surreal that I have a daughter.

I would have written sooner, as I have SO MUCH TO SAY. About everything. But it is amazing how much you cannot get done with a newborn. Even one as, dare I say it, "easy" as Emily. I know you came back for pictures and not to listen to a new mommy wax rapsodic about her precious weshious, so I'll get to the posting of pics now.

Thanks for all your good wishes, we love every one of you inside this wonderful computer!

Nessa
Too tired to figure out the stupid layout for the pics.








Monday, October 12, 2009

What a Week!

Just thought you'd all like to know that our daughter, Emily Elizabeth, was born today at 11:36 am. She weighs 7 lbs 3 oz and is 20 inches of pure beauty. Mr. Sparky and I are at my parents house because she was born in the ghetto and they won't let us stay the night, so we are taking advantage of the brief respite and getting a FULL nights sleep now while we can.

I will post pictures as soon as we get home and am on a "safe" computer.

Thanks all for your thoughts and prayers, it's been a rocky weekend.

She was well worth the four year wait!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Still Here...

Still no baby.

The meeting yesterday went great! B was so scared and nervous, but she brought a really good friend with her and she did great. She was having very bad contractions during our meeting, so she was going to the hospital straight from there. Obviously it was nothing because we are still at home and we have no baby.

I have to go to work today. Can I tell you how much that sucks?

Hopefully next time I get a chance to post it will be pictures of our son or daughter.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's TIME!

We got The Call yesterday.

Birth mom is due on Thursday and as of yesterday she was having contractions. This is her third baby so who knows how quickly things will go. It's a mad dash right now trying to get things together and prepared. She is in Phoenix, so at least we'll have family close by.

We'll be leaving in a few hours to go meet her at the agency, unless of course we go directly to the hospital. The car seat is in and the bags are packed.

I wish this were more eloquent or witty or whatever, but my brain is mush and I'm already running on little to no sleep.

We don't know anything about the baby yet, so as soon as I know, I'll let the world know.

I'm finally going to be a mom.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dear Wells F@rgo

I just wanted to take the time to thank you for screwing us over. You have done your job very efficiently.

The hoops you made us jump through for the last four months have been educational and full of growth. I had looked forward to the next few months of your cleverly titled "Trial Period", but am sad that it looks as if we will not get to finish our journey together.

I thought it was so smart to call our home with a recorded voice saying, "Please hold for the next available operator, this call is important." That was sly, acting like a telemarketer. It's a good thing that after the tenth call I got so fed up that I actually waited for the representative to come on the line. And it was a good thing that I did. I would have never had the opportunity to speak with Dumb in the Idiot Department.

It was great that she was calling to tell me our next payment was due on the first and that you didn't require any more documentation from us, seeing as how the two vials of blood and my left kidney we sent you seemed to suffice. It was also a pleasure listening to her go down the list of requirements and then realizing that we were no longer in your "Trial Period". This is were I thought the conversation got really interesting.

I also want to thank you for hiring Dumb's counterpart, Dumber, in the Amazingly Incompetent Department. I keep chuckling to myself every time I think about that duo. You truly have outdone yourself in the training of your employees, what with the "I don't knows" and my all time favorite, "Maybe we'll be able to get you back on the program, but I can't make any guarantees".

And your speedy service is unmatchable! Really, 48 hours to even view an e-mail sent from inside your own company! I am speechless. I am really quite pleased that you will not be able to tell us whether or not we will re-qualified (that is just PRICELESS, re qualified!) for the program by Friday, since I love working under pressure and our supposed next payment would be due just 5 short days after that. And two of those would be the weekend! Oh, how I hold my jolly belly and chuckle at that.

I would like to suggest a few improvements though. If the due date is, let's say, the 5th of the month and you receive the payment on the 4th, it might not be in your customers best interest to hold onto that payment until the 7th. But that's just a suggestion, who am I to tell your wonderfully efficient company how to handle payments. You may want to tell people the date is a few days BEFORE it is actually due if you are going to screw everyone.

I will sleep so well this week knowing that all the hard work we did these past few months seems to have been in vain and that the fate of our home sways in the balance while you decide to get a mani/pedi or a latte in the next 48 hours. I couldn't dare ask you to read an e-mail about our situation without those comforts.

Hugs and Smooches,

Mr. Sparky & Nessa

P.S. I almost forgot! The cherry on top was receiving our mortgage statement today stating you hadn't received ANY payments at all from us and that we are delinquent and to kindly fork over more money than a five week cruise to the Mediterranean. *&^% YOU and Thanks.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

So many things, so much rambling

So much has happened since my post fourth of July post. People have gotten married, people have found out they are having twins (not me people, I wouldn't be able to keep my big fat mouth shut if that were the case!) and it has been ridiculously hot here in AZ.

I decided a while ago that I wasn't going to post anything unless it was HAPPY and SPARKLY and UNICORNS and RAINBOWS. That lasted for a few posts and then I realized that life in general is not always all of those wonderful things. Especially the sparkly, which is sad because I really like sparkly.

I have so many pictures to upload, but I find that I am in the midst of a VERY LARGE ipod project for the MIL and it is monopolizing the one.and.only usb port we have on our computer. I am using old hardware people.

There still is no news on the adoption front, except they ran out of our match letters, which I guess could be construed as a good thing. We have officially been in the pool fourteen months and bypassed the "average waiting time" our agency gave us back in the day. And I have decided I don't like the word pool to define the waiting area of adoption. I happen to like pools, in fact I spent most of my formative years trying to grow fins. However, when I think of pools I think of splashing and fun and summery drinks with little umbrellas. I do not like the pool we are currently drowning in. It makes me never want to get into the fun, summery pools ever again. this makes me sad.

I was in a wedding last month. My very first bridesmaids gig. And the dress was ridiculously beautiful It should have been, in fact, it should have made a 5,000 pound elephant look like a beautiful fairy for it cost well over $200 not including alterations and shoes and appropriate undergarments. But it was for the best woman in the whole world. And it was the most fantastic wedding I have ever been to. I guess it doesn't hurt to have a dad who is a doctor. And a sister who is a florist and can do $10,000 worth of flowers for under cost. I can't wait to post pics.

Oooohhhh!!! And the best man toast!! The Wind Beneath my Wings song is especially hysterical because these two served in Ir*q together. In fact the groom is getting ready to ship out yet again in October. I still pee my pants a little every time I see it. Once I can download some pics I will do so, because it was a beautiful wedding.*

There is so much to tell - especially the twin thing - but it is late and I am old (alas! 30 is just.five.months.away. and I am still at my starting weight. how sad) and discussing the twin thing is still really difficult, but I will get there. And you will have pictures. And I have missed writing!



*If you thing 117 degrees and an outside wedding is beautiful. If not? I cannot help you.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Post 4th of July Post and Some Random Negativity

While I am a very patriotic person and I love my country dearly, the 4th of July just doesn't hold the same spark it used to. I was reading Maggie's quick takes today and she and I are in a similar boat.

Mr Sparky had to work and we had friends who were having everyone over for ice cream and fireworks, but the dog is terrified of the noise and we live so close to the park where they set them off that our whole house shakes and he ends up cowering under the table. Last night he hid in the bathroom and wouldn't come out until I went in there and sat with him. Poor thing.

While I have been trying to keep the positive going on over here (two whole posts! look at me!) yesterday was a difficult day. I don't' know if anyone else dealing with infertility and whatnot ever feels this way, but it is so difficult putting on a freaking happy face when people ask how things are going. And you know why we do this? Because they really don't care about the emotional side, they just want to know when the BABY will be here because it feels like forever and they just want to see us with a baby.

Two weeks ago, Mr. Sparky got baptized and the pastor who did it is the same pastor we went to to see if the church had any additional funding or a program for adoption assistance. So he knows the whole shebang. Well. He got himself a little confused while we were up at the baptism spa (yes, our church baptizes in a spa) and announced before the whole church that we had an amazing story and that God has built our family in an amazing way. Implying that we had already gotten a child. And I wasn't about to correct him in front of 1000 people. So I smiled and Mr. Sparky smiled.

Yesterday (we go to church on Saturday nights) at church this same pastor walked up to us and didn't quite apologize for the gaffe, but told us many people came up to him that night and asked if we were pregnant(and by the pics I did look a little second trimesterish, thank you horizontal stripes and sodium!) and said no, we were in the adoption process and a bunch of people asked for our names so they could pray for us. Which is good. And cool, because we need all the prayer we can get.

But last night, it was the most gut wrenching experience having to keep a freaking positive attitude and say, "Yes, all in Gods timing, blah blah blah, just waiting for the right baby, already been waiting this long a few more waits won't matter as long as it's Gods plan".

I had to leave church early yesterday. I couldn't even sing, and that is MY worship time. That is when I feel the closest to God and I couldn't open my mouth. Of course the sermon was on Isaiah 40:30-31 - Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

The whole chapter of 40 is amazing, it describes God in ways that make you realize just how big he is and that he is in control and that he knows the names of EVERY.SINGLE.STAR. in the universe and if he knows their names he truly knows the desires of my heart, of his child. And yet, while I could understand the words and grasps that truth intellectually, my heart was totally on the opposite side of that realm. And I got angry at God. Again.

We ended up sitting with some friends who sit in the "Baby Section" (closest to the exit in case of a crying child) and right behind us where a couple (our chiropractor actually) who had a baby 7 months ago. I can remember him telling us they were pregnant, it was quite a surprise as their two boys where 7 and 9, and he said we must hate people like them because they get pregnant on accident and we can't. And it didn't sound so crappy when he said it, truly, but when I saw them last night the baby looked so big and I asked how old he was and I could see on her face the pity when she told me how old he was. That look of, wow, he's seven months already and you still don't have a baby.

And that is what I thought about all through church. I'm tired of judging time by other peoples children and pregnancies. I'm tired of putting on a happy face when people ask how it's going, because that is what they expect. They don't want to hear about the pain and the emotion. They only want to hear that we're just waiting on God and his timing is best.

I wish we had never told anyone about any of this. It would have been much easier to field the "Why aren't you having children" comments than the "When will you get a baby" ones.

This process sucks and God's timing, while it is the best thing, sucks even more.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More Good News!!

In keeping with the POSITIVE ONLY theme here at Hopefully Hoping, I'm more than happy to join in praise with Rebekah and Ben as they finally welcome Baby Boy into their lives!

416 days after they started their journey to parenthood, their prayers have been answered!

Congrats you two!

I started WW on Monday and have already lost over two pounds and have worked out both Monday and today. I am in a wedding in exactly one month from today and hope to be down at least 6 pounds by then.

This isnt' exactly positive but it is funny, after the fact. We took our dog Austin to the lake on Saturday and walked all the way around, it took about an hour and a half. By the last 10 minutes Austin was exhausted and wasn't paying any attention to the geese that were milling about on the shore. I have a serious phobia of geese as I was chased by a pack of them when I was five. It was very traumatic. In light of the phobia I thought we were far enough away from them that they wouldn't notice us, or at least Austin. He certainly didn't care about them. Next thing I know, two geese are in attack mode and squawking and attacking Austin! The poor thing got bit in the butt! All these people came running over and shouting at the geese and they finally went away. Austin was fine, but it took me quite some time to recover.

Then Sunday after we got home from bible study, Mr. sparky took Austin out back to play with a lazer light. The dog LOVES this. His favorite activity. I was in the kitchen putting things away when I hear this loud crash and the dog barking. I thought for a second something had happened to Mr. Sparky, so I ran outside. Once I got out there I saw our two HUGE WROUGHT IRON CHAIRS knocked over and the dog standing still barking and blood all over his face. He had gotten so excited he forgot the chairs were there and went head first right into them at break neck speed.

Poor baby, I'd never seen him like that. He was barking because he was in pain. It took me five minutes of just holding him before he would even move. Luckily he didn't need stitches, but he has a pretty good scar on his forehead and one on his nose. He was very lucky, it could have ben so much worse!

My poor dog had quite the weekend. Now he's afraid of the chairs and won't go anywhere near them.

And thanks for everyone's suggestions about the agency thing. Honey does work better than vinegar. Once my emotions calm down a little, I'll be able to address everything in a good light.
Thanks!

Friday, June 12, 2009

A whole month!

Well hello stranger.

I haven't posted because I haven't wanted to read how crappy things have been lately. There's been no desire to write. I get ready to and then realize that even I am tired of listening to myself whine.

So I'm going to write only about the positive things.

- I got that job, and I really like it. I've been there since May 27th.

- We have been assigned a loan processor for our modification after they said they couldn't process it because I didn't send them any pay recent pay stubs - HELLO! OUT OF WORK!

- We have a new case worker and we met her on Wednesday. She seems nice, but she's new to the agency and we'll see if she's competent. So far no one else has been.

- We let her know exactly how we feel about the agency and EVERYTHING that has gone wrong from the beginning until now****

- My dog no longer smells like a sewer rat. Thank you dog groomers for fixing the noxious beast.

- I get to make these and these for my best friends bridal shower next weekend. I am scared but also very, very excited to eat them. I am also making a GIANT cupcake too. The shower is on her birthday and cupcakes are her most very favorite food.

And that is all for now, since I have to get ready for work.

****I know this goes outside the positive realm, but I had to tell you this. In February when our match fell through we changed our profile to bi-racial and latino. In March I checked with the pregnancy worker in our area and she said it was done and not to worry. I spoke with our new case worker two weeks ago and she told me IT NEVER GOT CHANGED! For four freaking months we weren't showed to the majority of the birth mothers because they dropped the ball. We are thinking if we don't get matched before our homestudy expires (Jan) then we will demand they pay for 3/4 of the renewal price because it was their fault we lost four months. What do you think?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jobs and Houses

I turned in my 27th application today. I also got an interview for Friday. One interview for 27 applications.

Crazy.

We started the loan modification process last week (4-5 months it will take if they can even help us) and Friday we are meeting with our Realtors to put our home on the market. I doubt it will sell, even as a short sale, but we need to do something to protect ourselves from a foreclosure.

So far everyone in our close circle of friends and family has been really supportive. Except for my MIL. We talked to her on Mother's Day and updated her on what is going on (except for putting the house on the market, we just decided that Monday and aren't going to tell you quite yet) and she totally flipped her lid.

We explained that we only have enough money to pay for one more month of bills and after that we will stop paying the mortgage and pay our other bills. We also told her we were OK with where this is all going, and by OK I mean not ready to throw ourselves off of a bridge OK, she is not. She told me I need to look harder for a job and that even a job making $5/hr is better than nothing and that would at least help. We told her I was looking and haven't heard from anyone and even if I were to get a job making what I was before (NOT LIKELY) we still would not be able to pay the mortgage.

She hasn't returned any of our phone calls this week. It's really quite sad that she is so upset by this. I understand her being concerned because we are her children. I think she is taking it a bit too far though. The main issue is that we are Christians and she is not - therefore we make our decisions based on the bible and prayer and she doesn't. She doesn't understand anything that we are doing. We both feel, as do my parents and friends, that we are being pro-active and trying everything we can not to go into foreclosure. She sees this as being irresponsible.

Even if we were able to keep the house, we would more than likely not be able to sell within the next 10-15 years. The market here has crashed so badly and is still bounding lower that it wouldn't make much sense. We are already $75,000 upside down in our house and things aren't looking better right now.

We know that God has a plan for this and we feel like we are doing everything we can (I am looking for a job daily, we are making good faith efforts to pay our bills and have gotten several processes started to save the house) and whatever happens will happen. It's just sad that she is taking this so personally that she can't even talk to us right now.

We are both doing ok with all of this, not great, but ok. It's never a fun prospect to lose your home. But in reality it is just stuff and we cannot take stuff with us when we die. Nor were we put here on earth just to accumulate stuff. I keep repeating to mr. sparky that it doesn't matter where we live or how many cars we have or how much xtra stuff we can afford. As long as we are together and we are doing well, that is all that matters.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mish Mash

All you get today is a bunch of jumble.

I still have not found a job. I have applied to over 20 positions and not heard one thing. And you know what? I'm ok with this. And Mr. Sparky is 75% ok with this (which is an improvement from 25%, so I will take it!).

Last week was one of the best weeks we've had since we were married. There was no stress, we didn't argue once!, we spent all our time together laughing and cuddling and just BEING together. It was wonderful. Mr. Sparky even said he liked me being home.

I think the best part is that I am at peace with not having a job. Oh, don't get me wrong. I have been working for fifteen years and part of my mind is screaming at me to be DOING SOMETHING FOR MONEY. ANYTHING**. But that part is minuscule compared to the part of me that is loving this.

Domesticity. It is a good fit for me. Last night at bible study the men were asked what made their wives good wives and Mr. Sparky said that I am a great housewife. That I take good care of him and that the past week has made him realize how much I really do around the house. there is nothing I would have asked to hear in place of that. Knowing that he loves having me home, even with a major financial crisis about the strike our household. I feel that this is where I should have been a long time ago.

Now I don't know what God has in store. I am dutifully applying for jobs left and right and if he wants me to have a job he will provide one. If not, I am fully OK with that.

School is out of the question - we were denied on the loan. Which is good, since God has a plan and all.

Now for M. M was our birth mom. We were matched and then exactly one month later she changed her mind (well, the ex-boyfriend changed her mind, but that's neither here nor there). It was devastating but after a week it was ok. I have been praying for the three of them sporadically ever since. But thankfully they haven't been weighing on my mind, not the ever present ghosts I thought they would be.

Until last week. I cannot get her out of my head. Not the baby, not the ex, but her. For some reason God has planted her firmly on my heart to be praying for her, and hard. So I have been. Of course I've been throwing in prayers for the ex and the baby, they are a package deal and I truly want the best for them, but it has been her specifically that I feel so strongly to pray for.

Now don't think that I still have a hope that this baby is ours. We signed off the love connection long ago. But I still care about them. Because that's what we are supposed to do as Christians, care about others. Especially since their circumstances are so very difficult. I can't help but wonder why all of a sudden I am to be praying for her and why she won't leave my mind. I'm sure some of it has to do with the fact that two babies were born within 15 hours of each other last week or that her due date is quickly approaching(June 25 - same as Rebekah's!). It's an odd situation. One I never thought I'd be in. Praying for a woman who has no relation to me who is carrying a child that might have once been ours but isn't.

I cleaned out the nursery over the weekend. I took the bedding off (I'm selling it so I can make my own) and put everything that was out away. It's just too hard to look at sometimes. I would have taken the crib apart but Mr. Sparky stopped me. There are certain things that make him feel better along this journey. For instance, the crib. And the high chair that has been in our dining room for almost a year. We brought it out for friends and he wouldn't let me put it away. It's his security blanket, or reminder that we ARE supposed to be parents and that one day it will happen. I love him for that.

I hate my hair. It needs to be cut and I can't afford it. I want to go shorter, but am afraid to. My hair requires a lot of work with short hair and I am afraid that we will get a baby and then I will always look a disaster because I won't have time nor care to fix my hair.

That was a very shallow paragraph. I told you this would be jumble.


**I won't do ANYTHING for money. My husband actually suggested that I could be his personal hooker and I could make money that way. He failed to truly think that through. He would be paying me with OUR money. Men, not so bright when they think with the wrong organ!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stress is the Enemy

Last Monday I woke up to an extremely angry case of eczema on my hands. That only happens when I'm stressed. Sunday night I got my period.

There was a mixture of sadness and relief, but mostly relief. I know that if God wants us to have a baby right now it would be ok. But I am still without a job and there will be no school this May so basically I have nothing - no income no future career.

And I am ok with this. I have started an Et.sy shop and once I get pictures taken of my items I will link to it here. Hopefully this will bring in some extra cash. If not, it will still be fun for me.

Yesterday I went into work and thought on my way up the elevator, "Wouldn't it be nice if they let me go today instead of finishing out the next two weeks?" An hour and 15 minutes later I was out the door. They decided last week that it was too hard and knew that I was stressed about not finding a job so they let me go but are still paying me for those next two weeks.

It will be interesting to see what happens. I don't want another office job, I've been doing that for 15 years and I'm ready for a change. We'll see, God has his own plans. In the mean time I am going to work on my stress levels.

Friday, April 24, 2009

What are friends for?

I'm going to ask you a question. Because I value your input and because I have spent the last half hour searching the internet for the answer and have been more than saddened for our species as I read the message boards at some very popular website. The spelling! Oh the spelling!!

Now this is where I feel like a newby, someone who hasn't been on this roller coaster for a really long time. So bear with me as I feel some shame in asking such a silly question.

I am late. Really, really late. Five days late and that has never before happened in my 18 years of having my period. I am also having cramps like you wouldn't believe. Regular, wonderful PMS. That started on Wednesday.

I told Mr. Sparky I wasn't going to take a test until Wednesday(next Wednesday, such restraint!) but he left me alone this morning with the one remaining pregnancy test I found buried in the back of my bathroom cabinet. And it was CALLING MY NAME. Nessa - Pee on me, ppeeeeeeooooonnnnmeeeeeee Nessa. Crappy little test.

So I peed on it. Of course. What self respecting woman wouldn't? Plus it had been a really long time since I peed on anything in stick form. Or anything for that matter.

Then, with my self respect fully in tact, I hid it. It was also negative. No big shocker there, I'm used to that.

I did however come clean when he got home. It was too hard not to.

So here is what I am asking of you - can you please come over and play with my hair while I curl up in a puddling ball of mush? And whisper sweet nothings into my ear, telling me that this is normal and not at all weird and that the pain I feel is just regular cramping and that my period will start any day now?

Thanks, I knew I could count on you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Vacation

Sorry about the run on paragraph toward the bottom, I can't seem to figure out why Blogger wont work! Oh. I weight myself this morning and am 1 pound shy of my starting weight. Stupid food.

I ran away, literally. And it was nice.

Mr. Sparky's 32nd birthday was the 14th and I surprised him with a grand vacation. Well...maybe not grand, but it was amazing and it was just us.

We went to White.Sands National Monument and Carlsbad.Caverns in New Mexico. We logged almost 1300 miles in four days but it was so worth it.


This was my answer to Mr. Sparky's - he wrote "I love you Nessa" in the sand, but the wind was so bad by the time he finished the I love you had already been covered with sand.



The sand dunes went on forever, I can't remember the exact amount of mileage it covered, but you could not see the end. And it sits smack dab in the middle of a 4000 acres of military base. It was a beautiful site.






This picture makes me thing of Alaska. The buses precariously parked on thick ice and the shacks are the only warmth. It was windy, but the sun was out so it was bearable. We only stayed for a short while, maybe an hour and a half including the visitors center, I wish we had been able to stay longer.
There are too many pictures of the caverns to decide which would be best to show you, but it was beautiful. It was a hike down, 1.5 miles straight down into the cave and then another 1.5 miles around the inside. It's cool though, they have a snack bar and restrooms on the bottom and an elevator to take your weary behind 750 feet back to the surface.

The weather there is a constant 56 degrees and 90% humidity. By the time we got to the top, mu perfectly straightened hair looked like a poodle gone haywire. But it was worth it. We took our time and for a while it was just the two of us climbing down the steep path, holding hands and quietly laughing at the crazy formations. There was one that looked like a boob, nipple and all. Of course Mr. Sparky wanted me to take a picture of it, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. By that time too many people had gathered and I wasn't going to be the only one taking a picture of the "boob".
I wish I could say that the job search was going as well as the vacation had. I have applied to six positions. I haven't heard from 4, one is no longer being filled and the sixth? Apparently I am not qualified or fit the requirements to work at Jo-Anns. That was a real ego squasher. I would have applied for more, but the sickness that visited me on April 3rd is still lingering, plus being on vacation, plus being terrified of my unfinished resume had led to a block. A block that has required me to rely on God because I certainly am not going to be able to do this on my own. I also need to rely on him because there are NO jobs where I live. None. And I'm pretty sure I won't qualify for unemployment due to the circumstances of my leaving the company. I'll explain later, right now thinking about it makes me nauseous.
We will more than likely lose the house as we are $400.00 in the hole WITH my job and our meager savings has dwindled down from two months of living expenses to a whopping $1200 which won't even cover one months mortgage payment. We have started the hardship process with our lenders, but we are trying to get a student loan to go through so we are holding off on sending in the paper work lest the student loan people and the mortgage people talk too soon.
I don't know where this puts us on the adoption front. We will not take our profile off the list, but we dont' know what will happen either. Obviously my loss of income puts us in a different financial situation and our more than likely change of venue may necessitate an update on the home study, but since our caseworker is still MIA, I have no idea what will happen. And it is hard to explain to people why we have over $8,000 in the bank but can't touch it. It's technically not ours.
Plus I'm late. I'm assuming it's stress related and not pregnancy related but it's hard not to go there. Mr. Sparky and I were joking the other night that I wouldn't be able to find a job and we would lose the house only to find myself pregnant. Stupid joke. I find myself tottering between fear and total reliance on God. Totally human of course, but scary nonetheless. I keep thinking we ill need to move in with family, or move to a totally different state (probably TX, since we've done some research and they will take MR. Sparky's certification and most agencies starting pay is $5000 more than he makes now and the housing market is ridiculously cheap). That scares me.

Except I'm not scared. I know that probably doesn't make sense, especially to those who think reliance on God is a waste of energy, but I don't. I know he will provide, that this fire we are going through burns badly now but will be only a distant flame hopefully in the not so distant future. I can't wait to see what we will look like after we've made it through the refining fire.
We've been struggling these last few days and yesterday we read Job. A man, the most righteous and faithful man, who lost everything including his family yet he continued to praise God. It was just what we needed to hear and that comforts me to know that if God can provide the right reading material at the right time then he can certainly provide the right answers to our most precarious positions we've gotten ourselves into.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

When the clouds parted there was sun ... and bird poop on my car

THE CLOUDS PARTED AND THERE WAS SUN...

The plague that has been cast upon me is finally leaving. I haven't been this sick in a very long time. Today is the first day since Saturday that I have even ventured off the couch. And I didn't die. Although not for lack of my body trying.

There was a lot of gnashing of teeth on Thursday, Mr. Sparky's in particular.

He was not pleased with my news, in fact, he thought I was joking. A late April Fool's if you will. The tears eventually proved that I wasn't. He is still a little on the cool side, but he is thawing quite nicely.

My last day will be May 7th. I am looking forward to that day.

I've also made a momentous decision. A decision that requires putting our adoption plans on hold. And I've never been so ok with that in the whole 3.5 years we've been trying. Having a child right now would mean putting this off even longer, and I've waited ten years for this opportunity.

I have always had a love for helping people. And music. Until I was 19 I had no problems running after my dreams. I was fearless, never letting anyone or anything get in my way. Until I made one decision that seemed to altar my life forever. I stayed at home my first semester of college instead of going away with all my friends. For a boy. A boy that may I add I am no longer with.

It was a horrible decision and one that ruined a 13 year friendship. Since then, I have been terrified to take a chance, to grasp onto my passions and run with them.

I was supposed to go to here. I had everything set, including a chance at a full ride. I was going to go there and perfect my craft of piano and then run West as fast as I could and do movie scores. It was going to be a grand life. I was going to live on the beach and play piano all day and get PAID FOR IT. Then I chickened out, decided I wasn't good enough. I still regret that to this day.
My other passion has always been massage. And not the dirty kind you animals! It started when I finally ended up going to that school (not the pretty music school, but the pretty state school that I turned my nose up at for a boy), I fell madly in love with eastern medicine and the practice of massage therapy. Not to mention it feels really good. Since I couldn't decide what I wanted to really do with my life now that J.uliard was out of the question, I investigated the BEST massage schools in the country. And clearly they were spectacular since I cannot remember a single one, except that one was in S.F. and I LOVE S.F.

But there was that fear that I wouldn't be good enough. That stupid fear that crept up on me one day in late 1998 and robbed me of so many opportunities. How could I succeed? I couldn't possibly do well at this. If I could turn my back on J.uliard how could I even imagine flourishing at thing like that?

Oh if I could only go back and shake my stupid, much younger, self.

For ten years I have had friends and family alike tell me I NEED TO GO TO MASSAGE THERAPY SCHOOL. Mostly for selfish reasons I think, I was always giving free massages to them. It's been something I've batted around for seriously for the last few years. Wanting to be more than just a secretary. First and foremost my ultimate career would be mother. But God has proved that at the moment that is not to be.

I have put my life on hold more times than I care to admit due to infertility. It's time to move on. I believe that God moves things in such a way that he can turn what ever mess we've made out of his plans to something amazing. If we let him. Thursday after my initial meeting with my boss, I checked my in-box. In it was a brochure for a local massage therapy school.

I took it as a sign. If it's a sign from God or my own little mind playing tricks, I don't care. I'm going. I have a meeting with the school on Friday and all we need to do is figure out tuition. $7200.00 to be exact. Since we are not rolling in money and what money we do have is allocated for PROJECT BABY, we will be relying on financial aid. I don't know if you've noticed but they aren't exactly handing money out like candy anymore. Damn recession.

If God wants me there he will make a way. But I am excited, nay, thrilled for the first time in my short life I feel like I have an actual purpose. To help heal people, to teach them about their bodies and how intricate they are. To help people relax and ease their stress. To help mothers bond with their babies and people who can barely walk feel a little less pain.

I still need a job, but Mr. Sparky is behind me 100%. And I knew at that moment, when I didn't have to explain or cajole, when he just said yes, that it was going to be alright. That WE were going to be alright.

AND NOW FOR THE BIRD POOP...

It seems age is creeping up more quickly than I would like. In August I found my first gray hair. Last week, my second. This afternoon it appears that I will need to start dying my hair on a regular basis. I found a whole handful of full length gray hairs. Aging sucks.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Shortest Probation in History

My probation period lasted exactly 7 hours. We came to a mutual agreement that I should look for a new job. At least they are giving me 30 days to find a new job.

I've been on hold with our mortgage company for 20 minutes. Let's see how this works out. We don't qualify for any government assistance. THANK YOU MR. OBAMA!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Dream

I had a dream the other night that I came to work and got fired. In this economy it was horrible. I looked for work for almost a month.

Then one day the phone rang. We had a baby girl waiting for us at the hospital in Tucson.

We fretted about not having a second income anymore(considering we're in the hole $400 a month NOW while I work) but decided not to fret too much and enjoy the baby for a while.

Two weeks after we got the baby my husbands 92 year old grandmother passed away. She left us $750,000 dollars (she has a lot of money, but we AREN'T expecting anything from her. It would be nice, but we are not banking on it).

I woke up yesterday and told Mr. Sparky about it when I got home from work. Of course the dream was laden with tragedy - Losing a job - SUCK, grandmother dying - HORRIBLE to even think about.

This morning I pulled into the parking lot and immediately had a bad feeling. As of today I am on probation. I was given several options:
1. Have 30 days to find new job
2. Quit right away
3. CHANGE what is going on with me
4. Quite, but can clean the office three times a week at my regular hourly wage (we are having issues with the cleaning people and this looks mighty tempting)

I was fine the whole time I was getting this handed to me. No tears. Until he said, "I don't know what you want, I can't make that decision for you. I don't know if you want to stay, leave or just be a mom." That was when I couldn't take it any more and my eyes started to water.

I was very honest with them and told them I haven't been happy for a while. I don't like the law we practice and I am bored. Not that that is an excuse for what's been going on - I don't want to get into the reasons for "probation" because there should be no excuse, no matter how much I don't like my job. But I was honest with them and felt that was what I had to do.

I dont' know what will happen, I haven't even told Mr. Sparky yet. Not something you do over the phone, no? But I am at peace. I have options, even though at the moment things are looking a little bleak.

In no way do I expect a phone call from the agency any moment. I think the dream was just that. A dream. But it is a little weird.

God is in control and he has a master plan that I dont' know about nor do I need to. I can only surmise that what He has in store is better than what I can plan for. Considering NONE of my plans have actually worked.

Oh yeah and the diet. I fell off the wagon last week. Ate everything carb and lots of it. I got on the scale this morning for the first time since LAST THURSDAY and I only gained a few ounces. Which was amazing since I ate us out of house and home. I blame the hormones. Looks like I'll be able to get off to a good start this week.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Week 1

Let's pretend today is Thursday.

Last Weeks #'s This Weeks #'s Total Loss
Weight - 187.2 Weight - 183.4 3.8
Left Arm - 13.5" Left Arm - 13" 0.5
Right Arm - 14" Right Arm - 13.5" 0.5
Chest - 37" Chest - 36" 1.0
Waist - 40" Waist - 39" 1.0
Hips - 46" Hips - 45" 1.0
Left Thigh - 27" Left Thigh - 26.25" 0.75
Right Thigh - 27" Right Thigh - 25.75" 1.25
Left Calf - 17" Left Calf - 16" 1.0
Right Calf - 16.5" Right Calf - 15.5" 1.0

3.8 pounds and 8 inches lost! I am very excited about this progress. I know it will slow down once the initial Phase 1 is over, but this is very motivating. And I haven't started exercising yet either, so hopefully that will help rev up my metabolism too.

There will be no picture this week. I know you are saddened by this, but we have been super busy the past two nights.

I am particulalry proud of Mr. Sparky's birthday present which I will post about at a later date when my brain isn't mush. We didn't get home until 12:30 this morning from friends house. Have you ever played App,les to App,les? So very fun.

* I can't get the numbers to line up right and I"ve tried three times. I give up.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Agency Frustrations

It's been seven weeks since our match fell through. And truly I haven't thought about it. Much. Every now and then I drive past their house and hope to catch a glimpse of her and her belly. Just to make sure she's doing ok, we still care for her. Especially since things are very tough financially for them and we want to make sure this baby and her are healthy.** Then there are other times where we're out and about and I'm terrified we'll run into her. Yesterday Mr. Sparky and I were running errands and this car past us. "I wonder if that's ..." he said. And I immediately replied that no, it wasn't. But my heart was in my throat just the same.

We still aren't mad at the parents, how could we be. At first we thought they were doing what was best for both of them, and we were ok with that. I've since learned that the ex-boyfriend is playing puppeteer and that makes me angry. Not because this baby isn't going to be our baby, but because he is making decisions for M's life that might not be best for her, or the baby. All because of what he wants.

I came upon this information because I talked to the local pregnancy worker on Tuesday. I ended up speaking with her because I was trying to get in touch with our case worker. The one who promised us seven weeks ago that she handles her clients differently, that she is in contact frequently with them and that she would call us in a few weeks. Seven weeks ago.

As it turns out, the only number I have for our case worker is the pregnancy workers number. It also turns out that our caseworker had MAJOR surgery three weeks ago and our agency decided it wasn't a big enough deal to contact her clients and let them know who their interim contact would be while she was out. It also wasn't a big enough deal for our case worker to call us herself. And they don't know when she will be back to work.

To say I am upset would be an understatement. I spoke with the pregnancy worker (whom we have a good relationship with) and told her my frustrations. She then went on to make excuses saying there hadn't been many birth mothers coming into the agency. She also told us not to get our hearts set on M's baby, which, hello! We've been through that already and moved on. I told her we weren't mad we don't have a child yet, that's out of their control. What we are angry about is the lack of communication, in any form. I told her we are paying them a ton of money for services we feel they are not providing. I also told her we received better service from the pound when we adopted our dog, and he only cost us $90.00. This kid is costing us $15-20,000.00.

I don't think she appreciated that last comment.

We have done a lot of praying and talking and have made a decision. We are going to stay with this agency (and let our grievances be known, again.) because we have already given them $2500.00 which is not refundable. We are also looking into a different agency. We figure it can't hurt to have our feet in two pools, twice the coverage, right (and twice the headache)? So on April 14 I will drive to Phoenix (because they do NOT give information out over the phone or in the mail) to attend a two hour orientation meeting for the new agency. Did I mention it's on a Tuesday at 6:00p.m., in downtown Phoenix, and Mr. Sparky has to work? I will leave work early (3:30) and drive straight down(I don't want to chance getting stuck in rush hour traffic and the ONLY way down is under major construction, why couldn't A.DOT widen the 17 before now?) go to a meeting in scary Phx alone, attend the meeting which lasts until 8:00p.m. and then drive the 2 hours back, by myself.

I hate driving at night. Especially up "the hill". I have horrible night vision.

I've been a little on edge lately. Feeling like our agency is too busy for us, what with the downsizing and whatnot. I get that money is tight in this economy. I also get that people have health issues that need attention. What I don't get is how an agency, who is dependant on their clients (that's US) for the majority of their income, can't find an hour or two in a day to call all of our caseworkers clients and inform them she would be out. She doesn't have more than ten. I'm pretty sure I could have done that in less than two hours. We would have understood that, what with a phone call and all. But no, they don't have the courtesy to call us. SHE doesn't have the courtesy to call us.

Most days I spend the 25 minute drive home on the verge of tears. So frustrated at the situation, thinking are we really meant to be parents? God has led us here on this path and right now I feel abandoned. Which I know isn't true because he promises us in Deuteronomy 31:8 - "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." He tells me this right here. Yet my human self cannot seem to grasp that at the moment.

I will continue praying about this, because it is all I can do anymore, and hopefully when His timing is right He will show us His plan. Until then, the waiting sucks.

I also cheated yesterday. I was picking up my friends kids and the four year old runs up to me, "Nessa!! I brought this cookie JUST.FOR.YOU." How do you say no to a four year old? I ate the cookie. I also weighted myself, which I wasn't going to do until Thursday, but I was too curious. I've lost three pounds! I just hope the cookie didn't de-rail all the hard work!

** After I wrote this, it sounds like we are still holding out hope for this child. Which we are not. We got to know M a little bit, and how could you not care about someone in a position which you would never envy? Knowing it is a battle to put food on the table makes our hearts bleed for her and her baby.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hot by When??

I got all excited when Maggie unveiled her Hot By Thirty. I was so getting on that band wagon, especially since she ditched me a WEEK into our Weight Loss extravaganza because she got pregnant. Whatever.

Three days later I fell off, and hard.

I am a great starter of all things weight loss. I have every possible work out video, tried every possible diet (except Atk.ins, I just cannot eat all that meat) and yet I am still over weight. And I always have been, except for the day I was born. A beautiful 6 lbs 7 ounces. The last time I ever weighed what the doctors said I should.**

I have been successful several times at losing large amounts of weight, between 35 and 40 pounds. The problem? I wasn't trying. My freshman year of college I weighed 170 and by spring break I had lost 30 pounds. Home sickness, horrible campus food (the only thing I could eat for months without getting sick was red.vines), and the actual SICKNESS that lasted for six weeks and landed me in the hospital.

Of course, I went through a very traumatic period in life shortly after my freshman year and the binge eating ramped up again in force ( I had pretty much dealt with that issue before leaving for school). Then I decided that drinking my feelings away was a much easier solution and put on 60 pounds in two years. And I lost that again after leaving the restaurant world for retail. Much less food around and always moving. Plus the sticks I worked with was a little bit of motivation too.

Plus the stress of planning a wedding, remodeling our home(which was TWO HOURS away from where I was living at the time) and again, SICK! So it melted right off without me having to really work at it.
Guess what happened after I got married. That's right! I gained 40 pounds in three months. I went from a very healthy (and only 12 pounds from my goal weight) 157 to a VERY unhealthy ...ahem...200. Wow. That's a lot of weight on a 5'6 frame, big boned or not.

In the last few years I've managed to lose and keep off about 15 pounds, give or take a few. And while every time I get on a weight loss kick, with good intentions of course, I don't know how to go about it. Since I've never taken the time to plan things out and just jump right in I always fail. But I'm tired of failing and I'm tired of having so much junk in my trunk.

I had been seriously looking into S. Beach, which of course I have done many times, never getting past the first week (FAIL!) and really making plans (hello Couch to 5K) and revving up my engines to get motivated. Then the phone call came (No, not THAT phone call, I wish).

My best friend is getting married in June or July (of this YEAR!) and I am in the wedding. In Phx, in the summer, in more than likely a strapless dress (bat wings anyone?). So the plan got into full gear and yesterday I started S. Beach.

Since I'm not very good at this weight loss thing and I either have to tell NO ONE or be as open as possible, I am choosing the latter. I am going to be open and honest and YOU PEOPLE are the lucky recipients of my openness. I apologize. Wednesday night I did my measurements and had Mr. Sparky take pictures, which I'm going to do EVERY Thursday, whether I want to or not.

Here you go:
Weight - 187.2
Left Arm - 13.5"
Right Arm - 14"
Chest - 38" (without the boobs of course, I don't think my tapemeasure is that big)
Waist - 40" (at the smallest part! where my actual waist is,. The rest? not so pretty)
Hips - 46"
Left Thigh - 27" (do you know that some people have waists this small???)
Right Thigh - 27"
Left Calf - 17"
Right Calf - 16.5"

Now for the picture. I was going to go all Bi.ggest L.oser but then I looked in the mirror and thought people might read this and then vomit. I wouldn't want to be responsible for vomit, I am NOT that kind of girl. DISCLAIMER - This was NOT how I envisioned my internet debut. I am saddened by this.
















My head looks extremely small, I think it is the angle, Mr. Sparky was sitting on the couch looking up.

** as an aside, I think all those doctor charts for weight are a bunch of crap and they can kiss by overweight behind. I'm 5'6 , big boned(for real, not just because I"m fat) and they want me to weigh 125. Yeah right.






Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Prayer

Friends of ours need some collective prayer, so I am calling on all the praying people who read this.

I don't know if I've mentioned these friends of ours here before or not, but they have a beautiful little girl (16 months) who has a terrible disease (it begins with Eos and I cannot remember after that) where her body thinks all food(except water) is attacking her, so it attacks the food. This makes her completely unable to eat anything. She is on special formula that smells like gasoline and is fed through an NG tube. Luckily she is covered by the state medical care so they do not have to worry about her medical expenses. Which are astronomical.

She has five doctors appointments each month, two of them are in Phx at the children's hospital where she undergoes a biopsy of her intestine to determine how things are going, imagine a pint sized colonoscopy. Very disturbing.

And her parents are amazing. They are strong (not yet believers but working that way every day) people who are amazing and put their lives to the side so they can completely focus on their little girl. I know you do what you have to when your child is sick, but these people have an attitude that I have never seen. Nothing gets them down.

Yesterday we found out the dad lost his job. And the mom has to stay at home with the daughter because she can't be left at a day care, it's too dangerous. They just moved into a new home, one that is clean and safe since their last one wasn't. We live in a VERY small town and jobs are very difficult to come by.

Please, please pray for this family. It breaks my heart that they are having to go through all of this.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Interview Questions 1.0

Awhile ago Maggie was interviewed for her blog and she decided to do some interviewing herself. Here are her questions.


1. How did you meet your husband? (I am asking everyone this question. I am nosy.) I used to work at Needless Markup. I worked with a woman who thought I should meet her son. He lived in Podunk and I lived in Phoenix so I thought if it went bad I would never have to see him again, so why not. Plus it had been a REALLY long time since I had been on a date and thought it couldn't hurt. Our first date wasn't really a date, it was more of a group thing - the woman I worked with, her boyfriend, another co-worker, myself and the mystery date.

The second I rang the doorbell the door opened and there was Mr. Sparky, tall, blond, blue eyed. Totally NOT my type. He tried to say something, but my co-worker whisked me away before I could even tell him my name!** We were holed up in his mother's bedroom so she could finish getting ready. Now mind you, this is the first time I had ever been to this woman's house, let alone done anything with her outside of work. It was a bit...awkward. Especially since there was a man in the living room with whom I was supposed to be having a date with, and I hadn't even been able to say hello!

Finally we were ready to leave for our destination. BOWLING. Now, I normally would have thought a first date of bowling weird, but since this was a "group" date and not a "normal" date, I thought it would be fun. And it was. Except I had more of a date with my co-worker than with Mr. Sparky. He was very shy, and maybe only said five words the first hour or so. So we ate, bowled and had a few beers. Everything was going fine until Mr. Sparky went to bowl. He got everything all lined up and went to throw the ball and something happened. To tell you the truth, I'm not really sure what happened. All I know is that one minute he was walking toward the lane and the next he was completely in the air, bowling ball flying across someone elses lane!

Mr. Sparky was mortified! And all I could do was laugh. Some first date huh? We ended the night and I gave him my number because I felt he really hadn't had a fair shot at a good first impression. I thought the worst that could happen was that I made a new friend and that another date couldn't be as bad as the first.

And I was right. Six weeks after our second date we were engaged and 10 months and two weeks after we met, we were married. That was four and half years ago. I would say it turned out to be a very successful date!

** He had tried to say something but nothing really came out. A few months later he finally admitted to me he was so struck by my beauty he couldn't get his mouth to work right! I was a total puddle of goo after he told me that!


2. What are you worries or, maybe, what do you think the challenges will be about parenting a biracial child? We are in kind of sort of similar boats and I'm always wondering what other people are thinking in this regard. I will answer this question another time as it will require an entire post all on it's own.

3. Does Mr. Sparky drive a Cop Car? Have you ridden in it? Did you get to turn on the sirens? DO TELL. Yes, Mr. Sparky does drive a cop car. He has a 2008 Tahoe that he gets to park in our driveway. It's quite the deterrent to people who want to break into the house. I have gone on a ride-a-long with him and yes, I have gotten to turn the lights and sirens on. I have also gone 110 down a busy highway during rush hour while people refuse to get out of the way. VERY SCARY.

Also? PULL OVER FOR THE COPS MORONS.


He also let me use his radar gun and I got to witness him give a ticket to the person that I caught going 50 in a 25. It was awesome.

4. I'm always curious about everyone's introduction to the internet. How did you get started? What blogs did you read first? I randomly came across Julie in 2005, a few months before we started trying to get pregnant. I don't know how I got there but I read her entire blog in about a week. From there I found Arwen and Maggie, and tons of other amazingly funny and talented women. I got to know their stories and I cried with them and agonized with them and rejoiced with them. Then I decided to start my own. I can't believe it will be two years this summer.

5. You turned 29 not too long ago. When you hit 30 will you say your 20s were well spent? I would like to say that yes, they were, but I don't know if that will be the case. My 20s have been rife with horrible struggles, most I've written about, a few of the more personal ones I haven't. I feel a mixture of emotions when I think about my 20s. I found my husband and I've made some of the best friends I will ever have, most I will keep for life. But it seems the bad outweigh the good and I don't know how to come to grips with that.

I know that is how my life is and there is nothing I can do to change the past. I have a lot of pent up anger about our infertility and our adoption journey. I have a lot of anger that I have a disease that has no cure and that the "treatments" don't seem to work for me. But through all those bad things, there has come an immeasurable strength that I would have never achieved without all the heartache and frustrations. Maybe I will be able to answer this question better in a few years, when I can look back at my 20s and some of the wounds aren't so fresh. Good question Maggie. I hadn't really thought about how to answer until I started writing. It's a good introspective question.

So that's it for now. I'll tackle question 2 sometime soon. But for now I have a dirty kitchen and a husband who needs to wake up. I think I'll take my time enjoying the husband, the kitchen can wait.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Precious

There are days where I really want to write and I have all these ideas in my head. Today is not one of these days. I have spent the last three hours glued to the computer working on my project. Yeah, that was a long time ago. After some hemming and hawing and some annoyance by the government, I decided to suck it up and start.

So I have nothing. My brain is mush and I also downloaded all 472 pictures from my camera to my computer. I also sorted and renamed all 472 pictures. I am wasted. So here is a lovely photo essay of The Precious.

This is how we normally find him after we've been gone. He's NOT allowed up there, but don't tell him that!


Then one day I found him like this. He absolutely hates anything covering his head, so I can't imagine how this happened. So I crept closer...***

and closer ...

Until I got to here. He heard me and made it known he was not pleased with the circumstances.

But!! How do you not take advantage of this opportunity? It will never happen again and it is so cute!

Now enjoy a video from a few weeks ago after an interesting winter storm. I have no idea what we are saying in the end except for his ball is lost somewhere under the snow. Almost six inches after it finally stopped snowing!

*** Why yes, my husband does have a blacked out face all the time, thank you for asking. He normally is not so camera shy, just when his mug is on the web. Something about being a cop and bad guys and safety and yeah. So I take his protection seriously. I like my hubby alive and well. Plus I got yelled at for having my Facebook page public. Ooops!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Crazies

I never write about work here and technically what I'm about to write isn't really work. Sort of.

I got a phone call today from a woman who NEEDED our help. She began to ramble on and here is the conversation:

Lady - I wanted to do a reverse mortgage but wasn't old enough so I deeded my house over to an elderly friend and then the friend died and how do I get my house back?

Me - Mwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha . Except I really only did that in my head, because laughing out loud at her would have been rude. All I could say was, ummmm, hold on a minute. Then my boss got on the phone and we all gathered around for a good long listen to the craziest conversation we've heard in a while.

Needless to say, this woman, while trying to fraudulently gain money she wasn't able to access, screwed herself. Big time. She deeded her house to her friend and then the friend died without a will. Her friend's heirs will now get the house (after it goes through probate - hello, 6 months to 3 years!) and only if they are nice or even know anything about the situation could this woman even think about getting her house back.

She is now living in a house that doesn't belong to her which she will have to vacate. All because she was GREEDY. People? Don't be stupid. You get what you deserve in the end.




On a side note - I thought I have been handling this whole failed match thing quite well, but apparently I have not. I have vamped up an eating disorder I thought I had well under control. I have also been a puddle of mush the last few days and have no real reason, no triggers to identify. I have never told anyone about this eating disorder, so it's weird that I would feel comfortable telling the whole wide world. I guess I just love you all too much.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Thank You

I want to thank all of you for your kind words. It's so nice to have so much support from so many!

We are doing fine, in fact by Monday we had processed everything and new that we would be ok. Our new caseworker called Tuesday night and I spent 45 minutes telling her all our grievances of the past year and she was wonderful. She apologized for not telling us, she didn't know that was her job (she is new and wasn't sure when she would be taking over our case so there was a TON of miscommunication throughout the agency) and I told her we weren't upset with her, just with how everything in general has been handled.

I explained our frustrations with our previous caseworker and L (new caseworker) explained she does things differently than E (old caseworker). L has been in the business for a very.long.time. I feel very comfortable with her and so far she seems to be very accessible.

We have made the decision to go ahead and change our profile to be shown to mothers with bi-racial babies. Although we were told this would insure we were shown more frequently (they seem to be having an influx of bi-racial babies at the moment) this wasn't the reason we decided to go that way.

After much consideration and prayer, we decided that God is definitely moving us into that direction, and who are we to say no to God. I've done that too many times in the past to know not to do that anymore, no matter how unsure of His road we are.

We've had several people (outside of the adoption/infertility world, aka real life people) ask us why we aren't mad at the parents. I actually had to stop one friend from becoming belligerent in her anger towards the parents. There is NO WAY we could ever be mad at them and I don't think the outside people in our lives get that. And that to me is sad. These two are just kids! There is no way they could be expected to make adult decisions at a time like this. Adults really couldn't even be expected to make adult decisions in this situation.

During my conversation to L she told me she was meeting with the mother the next day and I asked if she would tell her that we weren't mad at them and that we still care for them and that we are praying for them. I know that our words will not change their outlook and that we are not responsible for their reactions or choices, but we wanted them to know that we still care a great deal for them, even if this child was not meant to be ours.

Everyone said from day one that this match was from God. And I don't doubt that He had a hand in this. The way I see it now is that we were used by Him to get these two into counseling, into support. There is still a possibility that this could be our child. There is still 18 weeks until this baby is born, more than enough time for them to change their minds back and forth a million times. We don't want to force the issue, in fact we will no longer have contact with them. But we are not closing the door to this baby, we are praying for his/her safety and health as well as the mom's.

We have been taken off of the hold list and put back in the pool. If we aren't matched before this baby is born and the parents decided at the end that they still want us to be the parents, we will gladly welcome this baby into our home. But we will not be waiting by the phone. L has already promised us that she will not call us every time they change their mind. Which is good. We had already decided that if they do still want us to be the parents, we don't want to know until after the baby is born. To give them time to meet the baby and truly make the decision without us being there as a distraction, or make them feel threatened in any way.

We know that someday we will be parents, God has made that very clear to us. We just need to trust in Him and rely upon Him and know that in His time, not ours. But isn't that what faith is all about? Relying and trusting even the things seem to be falling apart? It's been hard, but we know that is what He wants.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

They decided to keep the baby.

Our agency has known for several days and no one bothered to tell us.

I've never felt so sick before.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I can see 30 from here

My birthday was on Tuesday.

I turned 29.

Besides Christmas (the whole season), my birthday is my favorite holiday.

It was one of the worst birthdays on record.

I woke in a foul mood, as I am wont to do after days without decent sleep, to a husband who was being a total jackass. And I let him know it too. Work proceeded to be just as crappy as the morning had started and by the time I got home I was in a pretty terrible mood.

There was one thing that could still redeem the day and I had been looking forward to it all.day.long.

On my birthday I don't cook or do the dishes, that is the rule. I don't care if we go out or we eat mac n cheese, as long as I don't have to make it or clean up after it, it is the best meal ever. I walked into the kitchen from the garage and immediately my blood boiled and I was so ticked. The kitchen was trashed (from the previous TWO nights dishes as I cook and the Mr. cleans, supposedly) and he asked ME what was for dinner. AND he was still in his pajamas (he works nights and sleeps days so really, not as lazy as that made him sound)!

So while I cooked and started cleaning the kitchen he sat there and stared at me. Never once did he offer to help clean or cook dinner, or take me out so I wouldn't have to. I cannot even begin to describe how livid I was.

Then came the card. I'm not sure if I've shared this story before but two years ago on my birthday he gave me a card. And on the cover of this card was a couple holding hands and walking along the beach. How romantic, no? But my reaction was not what he had intended, nor hoped for I'm sure. I threw the card down and looked absolutely irate. He was totally perplexed until I held the card up and read it to him.

To my big, strong, black, beautiful woman.

Now, does anyone else see why I would be a tad bit upset by this? And really, it's not the fact of the wording, it's not even the fact that the couple on the cover were black. HE NEVER LOOKED AT THE CARD IN THE STORE. HE GRABBED IT AND LEFT***. He did admit he never looked at it after I confronted him and my 27th birthday was miserable. And we were on a trip, with friends. Very AWKWARD.

Back to the card. After that I told him he better be sure to at least read the cards he bought. S this year it never crossed my mind. I read this beautiful card about how this man loved his woman so much and how her soft, brown toned voice made him feel secure. I had to read that last sentence a few times to figure out what was wrong with it. Brown tones. Brown tones? So I turn the card over and ... you guessed it! It was a Mahogany card, Hall **marks African-American line of greeting cards.

I lost it. I threw the card at him and probably louder than I intended said some very un-Christianly four letter words and suggested he never buy me a card again. The rest of the night was spent in total silence.

He apologized. And I don't know if I'm ready to accept it yet. He still has not asked if there is anything he can do to make up for my horrendous birthday. I even told him I wanted a do-over and he laughed at me.

I know this must make me sound like a total spoiled brat, but I don't ask for much from my husband. I don't ask for gifts for my birthday (I can't remember the last time we did birthday presents) and I never ask him to cook. It's my one day a year that is just about me, not about anyone else and he just doesn't get it. And it doesn't help that I'm low on sleep and short on nerves and very much frayed.

Re-reading all of this still makes me want to cry two days later. I'm still angry and he is still being a jerk. I hate this. Someday it will get better, I know that. But someday seems really, really far away.


***lest anyone think I am racist, I am not. anyone would be upset because their husband was so inconsiderate as to even READ THE DAMN card before buying it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ambivalence

So.

Since I hadn't heard from our agency as of 1:30 yesterday (I left a message on Friday people! How hard is it to pick up the phone?) I decided to call the local pregnancy worker and she what she had to say.

She was very excited and had actually heard about M(birthmom) several weeks ago through the grapevine and had been praying for her. I gave her M's number and an hour later she called me back saying they had an appointment today at 1:00. She talked to N (birthdad) and he told her M wasn't doing so well, emotionally. She was very scared and had a ton of questions. So I was glad to hear that they would be meeting so soon, as we are very concerned about her and N's emotional wellbeing, not just us getting a baby.

Last night Mr. Sparky and I talked a lot about the situation and how we were very concerned for M and N and that we didn't want to be part of all this stress. This morning I called the pregnancy worker and asked her to relay a few things to M and N. We will be more than willing to not go to the ultrasound if that would make it less stressful. We also, even though we want a relationship with them, want it to be on their terms and for them not to feel scared to tell us to back off if they feel we are getting to be a little... much.

The pregnancy worker was very pleased by this ( I guess some prospective parents can be very demanding - which I totally don't get!) and promised she would relay our message and call us back after their meeting. I have 62 minutes until their meeting starts.

As it turns out, we needn't (is that a word? I don't think so but it works) have worried about the ultrasound issue. I got a message from M saying this appointment would only be a regular check up and that the first ultrasound wouldn't be until 20 weeks and she would call me to let me know when that would be. Even if she is lying it doesn't matter. I can't imagine how I would feel in this situation and if that is how she needs to handle it, then so be it. She is only 18 and I would probably do the same thing at - gasp! - almost 29.

And now to the ambivalence. I know you were wondering where that was. Besides the very brief and explosive emotions of Friday, and to be honest that only really lasted about the first five phone calls, I have no emotions. I have no overwhelming desire to start really getting the baby's room organized, I have no excitment about having a June baby (which by the way at 1:00 this morning I realized that the M's birthday is in June too. I don't know what to think about that except be sad for M right now).

I do know that the rest of the world is way more excited than either me or Mr. Sparky at the moment. I am having issues with this. Why am I not more excited? Why can't I get all giggly and sappy when I think about the fact that in 6 very short months we will be parents? A co-worker tells me I am protecting myself. And I pray that is true, because if this lack of feeling persists, I'm not sure what I will do.

Logically I know once we see the baby on the screen and find out the gender and really bond and once M and N are able to share their feelings with someone other than us, it will begin to seem real. I still am having a hard time believing she is actually pregnant (still. get over it already! she's pregnant!). Any other adoptive moms out there feel like this, or is it just me?