Sunday, February 27, 2011

Random Photo, Take 49

Yep, Kristen was right about Pic 48. February 7, 2009 trip to the Crocodile Farm with the Seaman family. That day was soooo much fun! This was Dan, Megan, and Matt 'fishing' for crocodiles, with little Kylie in the background. Love that family!

Here's 49:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Random Photo, Take 48

Pic 47 was Dec. 11, 2004 (just after Kurt & Morgan's wedding). This was Dan S., Amber, Amy, Ginger and myself spelling out O-H-I-O with our bodies. Because we had driven across the bridge from Huntington, WV to Ohio and felt the need to document it.

Here's 48

Monday, February 21, 2011

Random Photo, Take 47

Pic 46 was April 2007. Emily, Julie and Ginger were having a birthday party with a friend in Osh.

Here's #47!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thankful Thursday (Condo Theme)

Thankful for the year, 7 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days we will have lived in this condo. (Longest of anywhere our married lives. By far.)

Thankful for the friends and family who have spent time with us here.

Thankful for memories like breakfasts with friends, dinner parties, games that have been played here.
Thankful that we got to 'personalize' this place with our own colors (and for everyone who helped with the painting).Thankful to have experienced 2 snows while living in this condo.

Thankful to have had Nala + 4 other dogs that I can think of (from different times) here with us.Thankful for the real fireplace that we have used probably 10 times or less.

Thankful for our HUGE master bedroom that had a special tv stand from the ceiling for my husband to enjoy.

Thankful for our screened-in back porch which provided a nice 'outside space'.

Thankful we are moving away from here tomorrow!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Busy, Busy

Just a quick update of what's been going on these last couple of weeks.-We've been celebrating lots of birthdays. So far this month already: Gail, Matt, & Grandma. Not to mention several other friends.
- Thank you all so much for your encouragement and joy over our adoption news. Of course, we are so excited and love being able to share this journey with so many of you. :)
- As soon as I shared about the adoption, plans changed. The meeting that we were planning on for February 25th has actually been changed to February 18th, which meant we needed to have everything done by last week. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, so we will be going to the next meeting, which is April 29th.
-Our Community Group did a weekend away in the Saluda house this past weekend. We had so much fun, and I'll hopefully write more about it later. (Random fact: exactly 6 years ago that weekend, I was there for the Gburg SP '02 reunion.)
-We are moving THIS week to Bolton's Landing for Cares to start. So excited. And so very thankful that my Mom has been helping me pack.-Nala stayed with Mom and Laura this past weekend while we were in Saluda. When my Mom tried to bring her back to our place Monday morning, Nala absolutely refused to get in the car. My Mom had to literally drag her from the front door to the car, and she just stayed on her back the entire time. I miss my puppy, but we decided it's probably better for her to stay at Mom's until we move.
-My beautiful sister, Valerie turned 25 yesterday. We were able to be at a surprise party for her in Columbia on Sunday night. It was so much fun, and it was very cool to see so many people come out to celebrate my sister. She's amazing.-Nala's birthday is this week too. She's 4 now.

That's what we've been up to lately. Hope to get things caught up here soon.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Random Photo, Take 46

Pic 45 was from August 2009 after James & Bailey's wedding reception. This was Brittany, Laura, Valerie, Mom, and Jeannene. Definitely a candid.

Here's 46:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Random Photo, Take 45

Pic 44 was from August 2008. Steph and out out on the boat. Fun times! :)

Here's 45:(Finally another one that's not so pose-y.) :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Random Photo, Take 44

Picture 43 was from Christmas 2006. This was all of the cousins on my Mom's side with MaMa. Sadly, this was the last time I remember us all being together. But it makes me extra thankful for this picture, and to have found it recently. :) Love you all!

Here's 44:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Adopted for Life and Other Friends Adopting

This book has been highly recommended to us! I received it as a gift for Christmas and have just started into it. It's already blowing me away! It's a free audio book download this month from here. Check it out.

As copied from the Hyatts' blog, this book is for:
  • families who want to adopt and wonder whether they should
  • parents of children who've been adopted and wonder how to raise them from here
  • middle-aged fathers and mothers whose children have just told them they are thinking about adoption
  • the man who flinches when his wife raises the issue of adoption because he wants his "own kids" -- and who hates himself a little for thinking like that
  • the wife who keeps the adoption application papers in a pile on the exercise bicycle upstairs -- as a "last resort" -- but who is praying fervently right now for two lines of purple to show up on her home pregnancy test
  • the single twenty-something who assumes that he will marry after a couple of years in the post-college job forces, find a nice girl, have a honeymoon for three or four years, and then they'll start thinking about getting pregnant
  • the pastor who preaches about adoption as an alternative to abortion ... but who has never considered how to envision for his congregation what it would mean to see family after family after family in the church directory in which the children bear little resemblance to, and maybe even don't share the skin color of, their parents
  • the elderly couple who tithe their Social Security check, dote on their grandchildren, and wonder how they can tangibly help the young couple who ask for prayer every month that they might be parents -- and who never seem to show up for Mother's Day services (Moore, 2009, p. 19).
The Hyatts are some friends from our church, and we were in the same community group for a few months. Tanya talking about this book was part of God confirming adoption in my heart. They are in process of adopting a girl from Ch!na and are seeing God provide in some amazing ways. Check out their site and pray about whether God would lead you to help bring their little girl home.

Monday, February 7, 2011

2011: We're Adopting!

Our second batch of life-changing news for 2011: Matt and I decided to pursue adoption last September! Several people know and have been so encouraging these last few months, but since it's becoming more and more real, we have decided to make it truly public knowledge.

Adopting has been something I've wanted to do ever since I attended Focus on the Family Institute in 2003. I talked about it with Matt before we were married. He didn't seem to be into the idea, but it wasn't a deal-breaker for me. In Thailand, the idea kept coming up for me again, so we talked about it a little. Matt was still not interested.

As God would have it, he placed us in a Community Group last May with a couple who adopted a beautiful baby girl last January. And I've been having some (female) health issues. Though we still don't know for sure that we'll never be able to have biological children, it seems like a possibility to consider.

We've both longed to be parents ever since we were kids. I think Matthew will make an excellent Daddy. And I'm soooo looking forward to being a Mommy. I asked Matt about a year ago to start praying about adoption. He was still not thrilled with the idea. But as we got to become closer with Mark and Lauren (who just adopted baby Allie), he got to see more how adoption worked. He got to have real conversations with Mark about some of his fears. And God started changing his heart (and mine) in preparation for this journey. :)

On September 5th, Matt said that he was ready to start pursuing adoption. I don't remember the exact words, but it went something like, 'well, we want to have a big family anyway, so we may as well start with adoption.' And, we had just found out that we were going to be an uncle & an aunt. And the thought of giving Baby Peterson a cousin was so very exciting.

We've been having conversations with family & friends ever since then. And we've received mostly positive feedback which is always encouraging considering that Matt and I have been a little gun-shy about big decisions-- based on some of our past experiences.

We're in no rush, which is a good thing with the adoption process. However, even in the last 5 months, God has placed a seed of anticipation in our hearts that grows bigger each week. Daily I find myself praying to be an excellent Mom. I pray for our marriage as it is going to be evolving into a family. No longer will we be husband and wife, but we'll be becoming Daddy and Mommy.

Even when we went to the marriage conference in December, it was great reminders for us about the priority of our marriage currently and also great preparation for some of the challenges we will face when we become parents. It was perfect timing to make sure we were serious about the adoption thing.

We did our initial application in September and went to an informational meeting in November. Currently, we're finalizing the formal application (which is intense!). As long as we have it completed by February 18th (also moving day!), we can move to the next step in the process which is another meeting on February 25th. We will definitely keep this updated and would appreciate your prayers along the way!

We're going to be parents... someday! :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Matt's 26 Today!

Well, some things have changed since last year's birthday post, but not as much as the year before.

Today is your 26th birthday!!!

These are things about you that are true today:Jobs: Client Service Coordinator at Banfield Pet Hospital & Front Desk Associate at Doubletree (sometimes) & Grad School Student. (You're a busy man!)
Things I love about you: You are seriously my favorite person in the world. My days are SO much better when I get to see you and spend time with you. You are working so hard to get us out of debt. You are able to remember the big picture when I get caught up on little things. You are so funny and make me laugh! You are also so laid-back. You snuggle me. You play with my hair and like me to play with yours.You're my best friend, and we still love hanging out. That you kill spiders and bugs for me even though you don't like it either. You love Nala so much, and I can't wait to see how much you'll love our kids. You remind me to turn to Jesus instead of you sometimes. You really love your family. You aren't perfect, and you know it. You're real! You help me to be real. I love your eyes. Your kisses. Your hugs. I love how you get excited about things I think are silly. You do the dishes and laundry. You drive an old hoopty car and never complain. You pack my lunches. You read out loud to me.
Activities/Interests: Hanging out with me, Nala, Community Group & Church stuff, Reading, TV (specifically court shows and reality shows), Aquariums, Wii-ing, Playing the Nintendo DS, watching scary movies, watching movies in general, photography, animals, playing games, playing computer games, watching Spongebob, traveling.

Favorite foods: Japanese, Italian food, Sushi, Salads. Ginger's frosting. Desserts! Sugar, Brown Sugar, Powdered Sugar. Raw hamburger meat. Stove Top. Rice.

Least Favorite foods: Anything Breakfast. Meatloaf.

Things you did while you were 25:
Started grad school. Found a great church and community group. Had oral surgery. Got a 2nd dog and took it back a few months later. Took a big family trip to California. Lots of laundry and dishes. Got a King Bed.Favorite Shows: The People's Court. Judge Judy. Top Chef. Friends. Spongebob. 24. Glee. Life (narrated by David Attenborough, not Oprah).Favorite Movies: too many to name: Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Christopher Guest movies...What you want to be when you grow up: Elementary School teacher and stay-at-home DadHonestly, this has probably been the most challenging year of our lives so far. It has been amazing to watch you grow during this time. I have seen you grow into a stronger man as you share your life with others. I love seeing you turn to God and lead me to Him. I respect you so much for working so hard for our family and our future goals. I pray your next year will be one full of more joy and fun! Everyday, I will continue to be so thankful that God gave me you as my husband. And everyday, I will be so thankful to live this life with you.
I love you, Matthew! Happy 26th Birthday!

Cleaning out STUFF

I'm a packrat. On the verge of being a hoarder. I came by it honestly, but I don't want to be this way forever. Moving is a good reason to go through things, and we've been cleaning out a lot of this stuff. I've even been throwing things away and taking lots to Goodwill. This is a big deal.

Some things I laugh that I kept, but some things I would still like to keep around. But for the sake of not ending up on one of those hoarding tv shows, I've come up with an alternate solution: I take pictures of all the 'mementos' that are not worth keeping around but are worth remembering.

I think I'll make myself a memory book.

Some things, I still haven't fully decided about. Can you give me your opinions? Keep or Toss?
Brochures from every trip I've been on. Places we may or may not have visited.
(Leading towards Toss.)
"Field Guide" from my semester at FFI.
(Leaning towards Keep)
Align CenterApparently in Elementary and Middle School, I liked making my own Telephone & Address books.
We found no less than 5 of these.
(Probably tossing most of them).
Trophies from various sports.
(Thinking: Toss?)
Art projects. This was a 'basket' I made with pieces of braided clay at art camp one summer.
(Leaning towards Toss)
Miss New Mexico addressed it to me. But I don't remember meeting her.
And she spelled my name wrong.
(Leaning towards Toss)
Notes. I've kept just about every note that's ever been written to me.
(Need time to go through all of these. I'm sure I could toss some and would want to keep others.)
Wedding response cards.
Matt sent me this card my freshman year of college. It's at least 2 feet tall, and the other side is filled with his ramblings.
(Can't decide).

I'll stop here. There are TONS more. But you get the idea...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Debbie!

Just a quick shout-out to a very special lady who has a birthday today!Debbie, I'm so thankful we were roommates in Uz. Man, we had some rough times, but I'm so thankful God redeemed our relationship and drew us close eventually. I'm so thankful we were able to stand with each other when we married our best friends. I wish we lived closer so we could keep growing our friendship!

Love you, Debbie!
Hope you have a wonderful birthday!

...And, Happy Birthday to you too, Becky! The 48 hours or so we've been together in real life was a lot of fun, and I'm glad we still keep in touch. I think you're pretty cool too! :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, Gail!

Today is Gail's birthday, so a perfect day to make sure she knows how much she means to us.Gail has been around for several years, but she and Dad started hanging out a lot early 2006. They went on walks a lot (completely for exercise, I'm sure). :)I honestly don't remember when they started officially dating since they were pretty sneaky. But I remember we were pretty happy. Very happy for Dad!The more we've gotten to know her, the happier we've become. She's a very special lady who cares about people deeply. Happy Birthday, Gail!
We love you and are so thankful you're part of our family!