life as we know it

Friday, November 30, 2012

We're off!

Nick and I are sitting on the plane from DC ready to depart for Addis. Although we have been so excited for our trip for quite some time, we are leaving with heavy hearts as just about 24 hours ago my grandfather passed away. We are leaving as planned at our family's encouragement. We appreciate prayers as this will be a difficult time to be away. We know God will carry us through, however, and we are so excited to be seeing our Ethiopian friends soon.

We already have a good story about our trip and we haven't even left US soil. No time now, though. Will update soon we hope!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thankful November : Day 26

Today I'm thankful for your grace. Grace that I missed a thankful post yesterday, and that I'm likely to miss the rest of them. Because well, I'm leaving for Ethiopia on Thursday. And I'm working up until the minute I leave. Hopefully I'll have a chance to post before we leave. If not, we'll be doing some blogging from Ethiopia. See you then! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thankful November : Day 24

I am thankful today for having a strong husband! We went to cut our Christmas tree down in our typical family tradition fashion. We drive about two hours up into the woods and buy a permit to cut a tree down. This is the third time in 36 years there has not been snow at this time up there. We had a really mild winter last year so everyone had been anticipating a snowier winter this year, but so far, no dice. Anyways, back to my strong husband...

There were a lot more people around than in year's past and it was a bit of a bummer. No worries, Nick and I trekked farther into the woods, up a huge hill, down a huge hill, along a dirt road, and there was nobody in sight. For good reason. Except this is where we found our perfect Christmas tree! It was on the side of a really steep mountain, all by itself. Nick was a trooper and didn't give it a second thought. Well, he might have, but he didn't say anything to me about it. He drug the tree up the entire mountain and then loaded it on his shoulders to carry it the rest of the way.

It's now up in our living room. Tomorrow is decorating day, but it's probably the most full tree from the forest we've ever had. It's a good one. Strong work, Nick.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Thankful November : Day 23

Can you believe I've made it 23 days? Me neither. It is beginning to feel a little like the time I did a Fantasy Football league. It all sounded so exciting in the beginning, and then it just kept going. And going. But hey, I'm almost there considering we leave for Ethiopia in six. days. Yes, less than one week.

Today, I've had the blessing of shop and wrap gifts for our very precious Ethiopian friends. Christmas is coming to Ethiopia early this year!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful November : Day 22

I am so grateful for the ability to cook and enjoy lots of great food in a warm house. I know too many who don't have this blessing and I hope I never take it for granted.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful November : Day 21

I'm so excited for Thanksgiving! I really love celebrating holidays at home and Nick and I are excited for a day devoted to relaxing, being thankful for all our blessings and enjoying some of our favorite yummy foods.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankful November : Day 19

I did a little babysitting (if you could call it that...I went over after the kids were in bed and watched t.v.) next door tonight while our neighbor helped Nick work on a project we've been trying to finish up for a number of months now. I've been saying I wanted to have it finished by the holidays and well, they are upon us. I'm hoping I'll be able to "reveal" the big project soon! Thankful for having neighbors who are not only helpful, but also good friends.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thankful November : Day 18

After work today, Nick and I went to see the movie Lincoln. It's actually a surprise I didn't see it on opening day, but I'm only a few days late to the party. And what a party it was. If you know me, you know I love me some Lincoln. I seriously respect what he did as a president and I have a hard time wrapping my head around the place our country was in at that time. I am grateful for how far we've come, but I do believe there is so much farther to go to be in a place where all people are respected, appreciated and valued for who they are, not just in our country, but in the world. Daniel Day-Lewis does an amazing job playing Lincoln. I'd highly recommend checking it out.

Thankful November : Day 17

Today (which is really yesterday), I had so much fun celebrating Friendsgiving. While Nick and I appreciate our really quiet holidays together with no agenda for the most part, it was fun to get together with 13 other people to eat way too much turkey with all the fixins' this weekend. My corn pudding was a hit, too.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thankful November : Day 16

Nick and I are watching Star Wars tonight. I've never seen it, and I was told while in Disneyland in line to ride Star Tours that apparently that's just not acceptable. Although I'm not sure it's quite my cup of tea, relaxing on the couch has been a nice break from the busy evenings we've had this week!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thankful November : Day 14

Ready for some appreciation for the little things in life? Nick accompanied me to the grocery store tonight for a few staples and a few things getting ready for Thanksgiving. What is usually a mundane task that I rush through ended up being much more enjoyable. Oh, and one of Nick's favorite things about Christmas is apparently now out. He calls it "Christmas spirit:"


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thankful November : Day 13

I am so thankful it's BASKETBALL SEASON! Tonight marks the first meeting in 11 years of Duke and UK in basketball and although we only got to catch the last 15 minutes of the game, it was exciting! Nick and I are by no means sore losers and we know UK is a great basketball team, but we're pretty pumped Duke came out with the win. GO DUKE!

36 hour campout to be entered into the lottery for a season basketball ticket. i'm under the blue blanket :)

coach k for life

cameron crazies!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thankful November : Day 12

Nick and I are starting to wrap our heads around the idea that we're leaving for Ethiopia in three short weeks. Love, love, love this. What I do not love so much is trying to make arrangements for while we're gone. I am so thankful that my work is supportive of my taking two weeks off and for PTs who are willing to cover my caseload.

One of the many, many things I am looking forward to, however, is recording my voicemail message telling people to not leave a message because I'm out of the country for two weeks. YAY. Peace out, cell phone.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thankful November : Day 11

This is an easy one. Being Veterans Day, many people have been reflecting on the freedoms we enjoy in our nation. We are all aware we have our veterans to thank for that. I am appreciative of past and present servicemen and women and their families, who also sacrifice so much. Of course, I'm giving an extra thanks to my grandfather, father and husband who all served our country.

Nick and my dad


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thankful November : Day 10

It's snowing here in Colorado! The pow, as we snowboarders call it, came down pretty hard most of the day. It made me very thankful that I have a pretty short commute to two of my three jobs, so I didn't have to be on the roads more than 10-15 minutes on my way home tonight. We have had the chance to sit in the living room drinking coffee watching the snow fall tonight, although it has mostly stopped by now. Our street has some pretty big trees which always look stunning covered in snow with the street lights and our downtown area (just down the street) already has their Christmas lights up. It's beginning to look like the holidays! :)

View from our front porch this afternoon

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thankful November : Day 9

I am thankful for having a day off from work! I only got three things checked off my to-do list, but that means I've also had a little bit of down time which was really nice. I'm back at the grind tomorrow, but I still have a few hours to avoid thinking about it :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful November : Day 8

Brought to you by the hubs...

What's up people?! I get to be the thankful one tonight and I'm finding it sort of difficult to just pick one thing. What comes to mind honestly is that I'm thankful I can give thanks.... Sounds weird I know, but stick with me for a second. When I go through my day I feel like I have a running list of things I thank God for. It goes a little something like this: drive to work and see an amazing sunrise on the mountains, Thanks God! Work with amazing people all day, Thanks God! Drive home to an amazing Wife, Thanks God! So today I'm thankful for all the little awesome things I get to experience throughout my daily routine. Hey, the daily grind isn't so bad right?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankful November : Day 7

Today I was incredibly grateful for the very rare opportunity I had today to have lunch with my husband. Obviously during the work week quality time is fairly scarce, so I was loving every minute of it. He even came to pick me up!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thankful November : Day 6

I am thankful for others that blog. In the struggles, triumphs and journeys of others, we can find encouragement and wisdom.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thankful November : Day 5

I am thankful to live in a country where I am free to vote in a democratic process. It took me about three hours last night to complete my ballot after having researched all the candidates and issues, but I feel good about the choices I made. I remember one time talking to a friend in Ethiopia about how they "vote" in elections. He laughed so hard he almost cried, and said "Democracy?! KELLY, this is AFRICA!" He meant it, too. I believe the candidate that election in Ethiopia won with over 99% of the votes.

Although I'm thankful to have the opportunity for my voice to be heard, I'd also be lying if I didn't also mention that I'm pretty excited for the election to be over, so the political ads and arguments can be finished for another four years.
"I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them:
1. to vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy;
2. to speak no evil of the person they voted against; and
3. to take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side."
John Wesley, October 6, 1774

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thankful November : Day 4

I am so thankful today for the churches and people who have recognized Orphan Sunday. My world was rocked in 2009 when I traveled to Ethiopia for the first time and eyes were opened to the orphan crisis. Here are just a few of the precious faces that have changed my perspective.

Countdown is on. We're heading to Ethiopia in T-25 days.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thankful November : Day 3

I have had some very sweet, encouraging e-mails since you all heard I was sick. I think I may be feeling a bit better, but it might also just be because I ODed on cough drops. Thanks for all the well wishes!

I had the opportunity to spend the day at the Something of Value conference at the college campus where I am an adviser for my sorority. I was so thankful to see relationships being built, women supporting other women and coming together for a common good. I really, really loved my college years and have benefited so much from my membership in my national sorority both then and now. Six of my eight bridesmaids were sorority sisters and most of my best friends are still from that time. I have amazing friends, and am so thankful for them all.

Just for fun, we'll do a throw back to some college days.

grandbaby, grandma, little

we almost physically ran into my sorority granddaughter in venice. what are the odds.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thankful November : Day 2

Not quite feeling better, but the Fresca still seems to be hitting the spot.

Today, I'm thankful for work. I have a full time job I really love, and two other jobs that have made working towards funding our adoption possible. I have great work "families" with coworkers who are friends and who genuinely care about each other. We have made some really great Colorado friends through our jobs. We're lucky.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thankful November : Day 1

So apparently this month in the blogging world means you blog every day about something you are thankful for. I've been meaning to get back to the blog lately but haven't had the inspiration, or energy, for that matter. This seems like a good 'excuse' to rejoin you!

Today, I'm incredibly thankful for my husband who is currently out at Walgreen's (or the like) picking me up cough drops and a Fresca. Me and my stiff neck, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, cold hands and feet self are keeping an eye out for a rash before rushing off to the ED to be tested for meningitis. Despite the fact that I've had the meningitis vaccine. And the flu shot. And the fact that I'm probably just nursing some terrible cold with crazy sudden onset.

I'll keep y'all updated tomorrow with my thankful day two post.

Monday, September 24, 2012


I have a hard time stepping away for work, even for a day. I know how much money we need for the adoption and every day is a little step closer to meeting that goal. I also think that in the working world these days, there is some guilt associated with taking some time off, especially taking an unexpected sick day.

This morning, Nick woke me up at about 3:30 this morning. He was standing at the foot of the bed doubled over in pain, trying to walk. It's amazing how quickly you can become alert and jump out of bed when you need to. I asked him if he thought we needed to go to the ED. When he answered maybe, I knew it was serious because Nick would definitely not make that decision lightly. Within a minute or two we were in the car heading to the hospital.

His symptoms all pointed to appendicitis this morning and I was pretty sure we'd be going in for surgery pretty quickly. Although his clinical presentation looked like appendicitis, some of the tests havente necessarily supported that. Although it hasn't been completely ruled out yet, the doctors are exploring some other options, as well. All in all, I expected to be able to make it into work without too much of a problem, thinking he would just be in for a quick surgery and then to recovery. Needless to say, this hospital visit hasn't been so straight forward and here I am at 1:30 pm having not been able to go into work.

I'm trying to not feel guilty about that. I shouldn't feel guilty. Nick is my number one priority and I need to be here while we figure out what is going on. And probably for the first time (even more so than when I had my own gall bladder removed earlier this year - I took two days off work and felt terrible for doing so...) I am able top feel good about my decision to call in. That sounds ridiculous, right? Well, it probably is. Either way, I'm right where I should be. And let me tell you, Medical Center of the Rockies is where it's at. Nick is no longer NPO (nothing by mouth) and because his clear liquid lunch went okay, the nurse gave him a room service menu. With things on it like grilled salmon, French dip sandwiches, lemon pepper chicken and Asian stir fry. He also has this crazy big flat screen tv with normal television options, an entire movie selection and wireless keyboard that connects with the Internet up onto the tv. Not to mention this view people. I tried sharing a picture with you all, but it isn't uploading from my iPad properly, so you'll have to wait until we're home. Just picture the trees changing colors and a fantastic mountain view.

Nick's on his third movie while we wait for the doctor to get out of surgery and see what we're thinking about plan of care from this point. We'll keep you updated!

Monday, September 3, 2012


This weekend has gone by quickly in our house! Nick is back to work as a normal Monday since patients don't take a holiday, either, but the Just Love team (me! ha) were out at the Kids for Kyla 5K/10K. I really love running into some familiar faces at events like these and meeting new people who share our hearts for adoption.

If you remember, Kids for Kyla was the first grant we received for our adoption. They are a local Northern Colorado organization - I'm not sure how many people appreciate how cool it is to have a local group like Kids for Kyla around. Nick and I are lucky to be able to attend their events.

We have a bunch of new scarves in from Ethiopia (thanks Amy!) so we have re-stocked our fundraising items. As always, we have our Ethiopian scarves, a set of Ethiopia pillow covers, Ugandan paper beads and our t-shirts. Let me know if you'd like pictures of the scarves we have if you're interested in ordering! We're selling them for $20 plus a few bucks for shipping.

Our Just Love booth this morning

Hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day, too!

Monday, August 20, 2012


the tears burn and leave my eyes stinging. i feel sick. when the tears do finally dry, i'm left feeling bewildered and lost. i eventually pick myself up and move forward. i'm grieving a deep loss. the loss of time with a child i love so dearly. maybe the loss of a lifetime.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My husband hates the alphabet

Well, he hates the first few letters, at least.

We frequently hear about plan A, plan B, plan C....and the list goes on (especially if embarking on an international adoption). What we have learned is that nothing is our plan. Not our plan A, or B or C. We are also frequently asked about biological children. Most people who read our blog are involved in the adoption community and understand this, but others we know assume we are unable to have biological children since we have chosen to adopt. Is adoption our plan B? N.O. We are simply following what we feel God has laid out for our lives; His plan. And through all of this, all the tears - and there have been many - and all the hopes, we must believe His plan is greater than ours (first or second...or third and fourth).

While we don't understand everything that happens, and we may never get the answer to the whys while we're here on earth, we have nothing left but to believe His ultimate plan. It's such a disconnect from our wordly views of planning and preparing for the future. Let's be honest here, none of us know where we'll be in ten years, five years, or even five days from now. As difficult as it has been for me to let go of those ambitions and plans (we seriously thought we'd be legal and offical parents by now), it's also liberating. You're right, God, I cannot handle this on my own. I cannot do this without Your strength. While this doesn't make my heart break any less for the hundreds of orphans I've met and loved and experienced life with, it comforts me that while I cannot do it alone, I don't have to. I have the strength of God to carry me through the easy and the hard days.

Adoption is a last resort. Family preservation is ideal and what we focus many of our efforts on, but we know there are millions of orphans in this world without a family any longer for one reason or another, and God's plan is for us to care for them now. For us, we feel like God's plan (the only plan A) includes adoption. We also believe it doesn't end there. We are lucky enough to travel to a place that feels more like home than anywhere I've ever lived and offer some of the gifts we've been given. God has also called us to child sponsorship. Remember that thing I was talking about? That family preservation thing? All some of these parents need is a little help to be able to raise their child in their culture.

While I believe it's important to research where the resources God has entrusted us with go, we've been so fortuante to have the opportunity to invest in some reputable organizations, including Compassion International and Children's HopeChest. We have seen our dear friend Yemamu and Sisay work tirelessly to help the children who live in Korah to give them life; good life, with access to food and clean water and clothes and education and a shower; the things they deserve despite the circumstances in which they were born. Children's HopeChest has come alongside Yemamu and Sisay's vision, Hands for the Needy, and has set up a child sponsorship program for all the kiddos currently enrolled. There's good news, then there's good news. Most of the 210 children in the program are sponsored! The other good news is that there are nine children left waiting that you could step up and help. Go check out all the adorable faces here.

Adoption, as well as child sponsorship, are ways we have been called to act. We pray that you can also find the way in which God has called you to care for the orphan, and that we can all be accepting of plan A: God's plan.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


This adoption thing really can create a sense of community between those who can relate to all we're experiencing.  In fact, some of these people become friends. Those whose phone numbers are now saved in your contacts, not just in your blog reader. Well, I have been fortunate enough to rub elbows with the sweetest lady ever, Beth Cupitt.

Beth is the founder of Give1Save1. I know you all know what that is (is that all I ever talk about these days?!), so you'll appreciate how she has such a special heart for families who are fundraising. In fact, Give1Save1 is opening it's doors for families adopting domesticallly, in the Caribbean islands and in Asia. That should be coming live any day now.

Anyway, I'm getting off topic, which is dear Beth Cupitt. She is offically accepting the referral of an adorable little boy from Ethiopia. I'm telling you, he is precious. He has some special medical needs, though, and needs to get home to his family as soon as possible. What's this mean in the adoption world? A big fat check. And travel expenses. So not only does Beth have a huge heart, but she is crazy creative. I mean, seriously crazy creative. Here are a few ways we can help her out and bless her family:

Donate. She's created a Charity Project page where you can read more about her and her family and see that donate ticker go up and up!

Buy a painting. We cannot wait to have her do a special order painting of our sweet girl. You send the picture, can pick the color scheme and verse and she does the rest. You can also buy a painting she already has in her shop if that suits your fancy.

Have her take some pictures of your family. So you have to be local for this one, but she lives in Nassau Bay, Texas. You can contact her at b.cupitt@yahoo(dot)com.

Beth and her family. Precious, right?
Seriously, if anyone deserved to have us stand behind her and her family, it's Beth's right now. And her little baby boy who needs to come home. I think we can make this happen.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Everyone loves a giveaway!

There's a giveaway going on over at Give1Save1 this week! I've been thinking I need some items to adorn my wrists and this bracelet may just fit the bill! First read through the amazing family updates, then check out the giveaway at the bottom of the post. What would you pick?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Do me a favor?

I feel like I actually have some interesting life things to share, like the fact that we were in a Texas for a few days for training at our adoption agency, or that my mom and brother are here visiting or that I thought I made myself blind by getting paint stripper in my eye. Instead, I'll leave you in suspense to await the exciting details of all that (sarcasm noted, right? nothing too crazy going on here) to give you a post from a virtual friend/fellow Give1Save1 blogger on something that is clearly near to my heart.

The following was written by Lindsay Hirth and is re-posted with permission from the author herself. You can go check out the original over here.


Over the last nine months, I have been involved in one of the greatest blessings of my life. I have worked behind the scenes and as a blogger for Give1Save1, helping dozens of families offset the immense costs of providing homes and new futures to orphans around the world.
But I’ve decided to take a leave of absence from my post here on Give1 to tackle some other projects. And in leaving, I have a shameless request. I want a going away present. And not just any going away present…I want you to give me about $13,000 in support of my adoption…in fact, I want you to give every American adopting that much, too. 
“What did she just say?” Yep. I’m serious.

Adoption Tax Credit

I want you to help pass the Adoption Tax Credit. When my husband and I first considered adoption, the Adoption Tax Credit was a giant piece of the financial puzzle for us. At the time, we figured our adoption would easily be finalized in time to take advantage of the credit. Then the “slowdown” came in Ethiopian adoptions. Then we heard that that tax credit was due to be “sunset” at the end of 2012. Wow…not good news. This meant that the $13,000 we were counting on to reimburse some of the debt we were taking on for this process was probably not an option anymore. A very big deal for us…and thousands more families. 
For many years, the Adoption Tax Credit has helped 100,000 families annually to offset the costs of adoption, both domestically and internationally. It has made the difference for countless families to provide homes to foster children and the world’s many, many orphans.

Source: Hope for Orphans
On the fence for political reasons? I hear you. I am proud to be this group’s “token liberal” (a term I’ve given to myself), and I’m not a big fan of tax breaks when our country is at war or is facing such an immense deficit. But without this tax credit, fewer (probably dramatically fewer) families will be able to afford adoption. Fewer adoptions mean more children in “the system” (a vast majority of the people adopting in the US adopt domestically). More kids in foster care means more tax dollars needed to support that system of care. Whether we devote tax dollars directly to foster care or through the adoption tax credit, orphans need resources. They need us.

What You Can Do for Orphans

As it currently stands, the Adoption Tax Credit has a 1 percent chance of passing as legislation. So what can you do about it? Give us 5 minutes and call your Representative today and urge that he or she co-sponsor the bipartisan bill H.R. 4373, the Making Adoption Affordable Act.
You can reach your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives by calling the U.S. Capitol Operator at 202-225-3121 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 202-225-3121 end_of_the_skype_highlighting and asking for your Representative's office. If you don't know your Representative's name, click here and enter your zip code in the box provided.
Here is the message we would ask that you give to your Representative:
I am a constituent in your district and the adoption tax credit is important to me. (It matters to me because...)
I urge the Representative to become a co-sponsor of The Making Adoption Affordable Act, H.R. 4373.
If Congress does not act, the credit as we now know it will expire in December, 2012.
H.R. 4373 is bipartisan and it supports all types of adoptions (domestic private, foster care, and international adoptions).
This tax credit has made adoption a more viable option for many parents who might not otherwise have been able to afford adoption, allowing them to provide children with loving, permanent families.
Thank you for your support of H.R. 4373.
Finally, help us spread the word about this important issue. If you want to learn more about the adoption tax credit, click here.  Also, "like" the Save the Adoption Tax Credit on Facebook.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Nick has been working on losing a little bit of weight. He's been pretty successful, too. He's down to one of the lowest weights he has been in awhile. I know it's been tough for him, though. He's been missing all things sweet lately and could hardly stand the urge at work the other day when there was a delicious chocolate cake sitting around. What do you do in that situation? Well, if you're Nick, you take a quick glance and make sure no one is around and put the cake in your mouth. Then. You spit it right back out. Only after your taste buds enjoyed the very delectable confection while your body rejected all the calories it had to offer. Yes, that happened.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

May Recap

May was a hard and a great month. Lots of working for the first half of the month. Then Nick and I had a friend of mine from elementary school come out to Colorado to visit. This also happened to be my birthday weekend! We had a lot of fun although the weather wasn't as cooperative as it usually is here in Colorado. We did a couple hikes, took a nice bike ride, attempted a brewery tour and had the opportunity to really catch up. We went to a BBQ at a friend's house for my birthday, too! It was so fun. AND there was a pinata. That was almost the best part. The real best part was that Nick made me a cake. Not just any cake, though. A cake that I had pinned on Pinterest. A RAINBOW CAKE. It turned out perfect and amazing. When you cut into it, the layers were completely separate. I know you've seen the picture already, but it was just that good that I'll share again:

I think he was pretty proud of his masterpiece. The week after my birthday, Nick and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. It was such a fun, relaxing weekend. We've come a long way in five years! I know, too, because I've been putting together a photobook for Nick of our first five years of marriage. I had high hopes that it would be finished in time. Amazingly, I still haven't been able to finish going through all our pictures and copying the ones I want into a separate folder. I have always been the picture taker but man, we have a lot of pictures.

In honor of our wedding five years ago and courtesy of the wonderful photographer Steph Carson, here are a few shots from the wedding.

We're looking forward to June, too. We've already had a great weekend this weekend (full of NOT working for me, YAHOO!), although it was still a busy weekend. We had the chance to participate in Sierra's Race Against Meningitis, both went to the dentist (oh the joys) and took care of some things around the house. 

No adoption news for us. Although I do my best to control my hopes, and I know better than to get too excited, I had thought things were moving faster. Unfortunately, they're not.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

No Answer to the Why

Hi all! I made it! Thirty three straight days of working and today I finally had the opportunity to take a deep breath. We celebrated my birthday on Friday evening with a BBQ at a friend's house. Nick made the best rainbow cake ever (and his layers stayed separate!) and a friend I've known since third grade is here visiting.

As far as the adoption front, I don't want to jinx us, but we may just be moving in the right direction. Don't get too excited yet, there are still a lot of unknowns. For one of the first times, though, we feel like there is someone working on moving our case forward. This weekend is a big one for us; perhaps a pivotal one. 

We get asked all the time, when is she coming home? We don't know. We still don't know. Someone linked to this article on Facebook and I really appreciate the diplomatic aspects of adoption it touches on. Perhaps reading it will give you an idea of just why we don't know.

Nick and I both appreciate your continued prayers through this journey! Hope you all had as wonderful a weekend as we did here!

Friday, May 11, 2012

End it.

Today I guest posted over at Give1Save1 today. I talked about an organization, 58:, who is on a mission to end poverty.
Here's what I said:
When you’ve seen severe poverty and the toll it takes on the people living among it, it’s beyond heartbreaking. Poverty breaks you and changes you; it’s overwhelming. I had learned that instead of allowing myself to feel so overwhelmed, if I felt I could affect just one person, it was worth it. Impacting even more people was great, too, but even one was worth the effort. I still believe that, but taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, I realize that one really does make a difference. Each one of us, impacting another, creates this momentum of fighting, and beating, poverty.
Hop on over to The End? Period. over at Give1 to check out the entire post.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

happy fifth of may!

Whew, I'm in the middle of a one month long string of working every day, so you may not hear much from me for a little bit.

However, Nick and I are getting ready to sit down to a home cooked steak fajita dinner (along with Mexican Cokes!) to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! This celebration is partially thanks to Nick's mom who sent us wonderful birthday presents of Omaha steaks. It's funny how things work...the day before, Nick and I decided we were going to eat PB&J for the month for lunches to help bring the grocery bill down. The next day, a case full of steaks, chicken and seafood show up on our doorstep! God is funny.

nick's version of our cinco de mayo grub
Hope you all had a nice little celebration, too!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dream a little dream

Hahaha. {via}
I haven't been sleeping very well this past week. Last night as I was tossing and turning, apparently I drifted off into a deep enough sleep to dream. A dream that I remember vividly, that has made Nick laugh and has left me perplexed and confused.

Right now in our adoption, we are waiting. Waiting for the official referral of our precious little one, although we technically know her already. So last night, I had a dream that although our adoption agency hadn't given us the referral, we got a call from another agency that said our daughter was in the US and ready for adoption! I was confused because not only had we not received the referral, we still had a balance for the cost of our adoption and for some reason she was here, meaning we didn't need to travel to Ethiopia for the adoption once, let alone twice like we will actually have to (once for Ethiopian court, the second time for US Embassy and to bring her home!). Because of the surprise, I hadn't prepared anything. Her room wasn't ready, I hadn't coordinated my time off work yet, but what do you do? You roll with it! And apparently, one of the first things we did with her was go to Home Depot. What was I thinking in this dream? Maybe I was letting her pick the paint color for her room?

In my dream, she was a teenager, practically an adult. She was taller than me and spoke perfect English. I was so confused, had it really taken this long to complete the adoption? Well the answer is yes and no. We know our daughter is probably about five years old and that, at least a year ago, she is shorter than me :) But it sure does feel like it takes that long.

Whew, adoption timeline on the brain lately. Can't wait for this phase of constantly obsessing over how much longer to be over, but I'm actually wondering if it just gets worse from here on out. (If you know that it does for sure, please don't actually confirm this for me. Leave me delusional for a little while longer)

Monday, April 16, 2012

It comes to an end...

I've been feeling under the weather so I've been off work for...get this...four days. FOUR.DAYS. I cannot remember the last time I had two days off, let alone four. While I've been on-the-mend, meaning my activity level has been significantly impacted (think move from bed to couch back to bed, with a few forced walks in the backyard because Nick thinks it's important I get up and walk), I've still enjoyed spending more than normal time with husface. He surprised me with a stem of white lilies that smell amazing and a card that says I should have some "kitten noodle soup."

What I have decided, however, is that things come to an end. I'm scheduled to return to work tomorrow, and it reminds me that each season, each scheduled thing, comes to an end. This strikes me today as I read about a family's homecoming of their child from Ethiopia. I got goosebumps knowing this will someday be us. Certainly not today, and not tomorrow, but someday. And that is enough to make the wait worth it. 

Here's the other good news: only a three day work week for me because Nick and I are attending Show Hope's Empowered to Connect Conference with Karyn Purvis. You maybe remember that we've attended before, last year, but that's the fun thing about this international adoption thing: we have the opportunity to attend annual events multiple times, because it takes just that long :) We're looking forward to soaking up everything we missed last time!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Tradition

I am full of hope, for today we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. It's become an Easter tradition here to scream sing Matt Maher's Christ is Risen at the top of our lungs. I'll avoid making your ears bleed requiring you to humor my singing ability and you can listen to the real thing.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Grocery Shopping

Some of you may know I'm on a really restricted diet for some health reasons right now, so it's safe to say our pantry and refrigerator have seen better days :) Poor Nick today apparently had nothing to eat for breakfast and wasn't happy with the cheese sandwich he microwaved for lunch (although he called it a grilled cheese because it made him feel better, but it was certainly not grilled). Needless to say, he texted me after work to let me know he was heading to Walmart to pick up a few things for work and would do a little grocery shopping while he was there.

An hour later when I arrived home from work, he still wasn't back. I knew that was a bad sign considering I've always known my husband to hate grocery shopping. I saw him pull up in the driveway and went outside to see if he needed some help carrying the groceries in. He told me now, saying he didn't want me to ruin a few surprises. Yikes, surprises from the grocery store.

He was right, though; I was surprised. His shopping also reinforced to me why my husband shouldn't go grocery shopping unsupervised :) Although the bill was significantly less than I expected, it's pretty clear he was hungry when he went to the store (and forgot he was no longer, nor has he been for five years, a bachelor!). I do believe our pantry and fridge are smiling right now, since they are stocked with items like these, although I unfortunately am unable to partake in the fun:

Don't worry, he also got bananas, oats and yogurt, too! Looks like I'm eating oats for another two weeks :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

Although I'm Irish, I've never been really into celebrating St. Patrick's Day. I am always the one who forgets to wear green and who ends up getting pinched, which I just think is really annoying (sorry if you're one of those people that finds delight in pinching those of us who did not don something green as we dressed in the morning). 

Here's the luck of this Irish girl - I had to work today. But what's new; I work pretty much every day. That was my excuse for not wearing's definitely our dress code's fault for being khaki pants and blue shirts. I did, however, put on a green tank under the t-shirt I changed into once I got home. I also celebrated by having a green beer. That may have been my first green beer ever, and it was pretty nice because the weather has been so absolutely gorgeous it's nice to sit back and relax and enjoy.


How do all of you celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Any inspiration for me? As I asked someone at work today if she was Irish, she responded with, "everyone is Irish today!" Doesn't that seem to be the truth?

P.S. Can someone please explain to me how they turn the river in Chicago green? That is absolutely amazing to me!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ah, the weekend comes to a close

This weekend has been a change of pace. We thought a dear friend from Ethiopia was going to be here in the US this weekend, so I didn't schedule myself to work. Unfortunately, things didn't come together the way it was hoped and he won't be here for a little while. Nick and I decided to celebrate some of his birthday this weekend. We've still been busy, though, but it's a little less structured and therefore feels a little less stressful.

The semi-annual Forever Trendy Kids Sale is going on this weekend. In August, Nick and I had a booth so we were there all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This time around, we have spent periods of time volunteering and helping out. It has been exciting to see how successful the sale has been. The founder, Lori, and her husband are really great people. They are about serving their customers and serving their volunteers. Unlike any other kids consignment sales in the area, they provide meals to their volunteers. Even something as simple as water is so important to them. Lori also chooses an organization to donate part of her proceeds to. This sale is Kids for Kyla. You know how much we appreciate them, right? So it was pretty fun working the checkout yesterday hearing people over and over again willing to donate $1. From my involvement with Give1Save1, I know how much $1 can make a difference.

Toys at the Forever Trendy Kids Spring/Summer Sale
Lots of baby equipment and clothes!
Pack 'n Plays - literally the first things gone
Nick has utilized his birthday coupon to Noodles 'n Company. We've slept in some, took a nap! and just enjoyed hanging out. These weekends, though too few and far between at the moment, are precious and give us a chance to re-energize and renew. The 70 degree sunny weather in Colorado hasn't been too bad, either :)