June 28, 2010


1.  Baby bird hatched!  Oh my word, so cute!  She looks like a big fuzzy bumble bee with toothpicks.  About 1/4 the height of the curb and you can't even see their legs move when they run... they just look like hover and quickly glide up and down the parking lot.  There is still one more egg being nurtured by mama bird while she chases baby bird around.  :)

2.  We got home on Wednesday evening to discover that the HOA fixed the uneven shift in our sidewalk!  What a pleasant surprise.

3.  Seeing an old friend from High School that I haven't spent time with in, oh, 11 years?... and her sweet baby girl. 

4.  Crab-pickin with family and friends in Richmond... hands down one of my favorite things to do, ever, and I'm so excited that Matt just dove right in.  And bringing home a Hanover tomato and White House rolls!

5.  Our coreopsis moonbeam, after it's 3rd year in the garden, has bloomed!

June 22, 2010

Psalm 68:5 Father to the fatherless, defender of widows--this is God, whose dwelling is holy.

Matt and I are in the very early stages of this, but I already feel like it's time to start talking about how God is working in our lives in the area of adoption.  It's something that we both had a heart for, even before we started dating.  We both wanted a large family, we both wanted that to include adopted children, and we both felt like we wanted to more-or-less begin adopting early on, as opposed to waiting until we were done "birthing."  Haha.  As always - we make our plans, but God is the one who is ultimately in control.  Here we are, a year into our marriage with no baby on the way.  This is not how we saw our story being written I don't think, but I've never looked back on my life and felt like God's timing wasn't perfect.  It often takes being far past a situation to be able to see how God was working, and I feel blessed to be able to see it in this circumstance while still being right in the middle of it.

It started with Matt and I being on the same page and having the same heart for adoption, but in the last six months things have progressed without any effort on our part.  I was laid off and got pregnant.  I thought my path was set.  It would be hard to get a job pregnant, and I wasn't sure I wanted a job anyway.  I was burned out on property management and didn't know what else I would do.  Of all the resumes I sent out and of all the jobs I applied for, it amounted to one interview that just so took place the same week I miscarried our first pregnancy.  I've already blogged on this, so I won't go into detail, but it was one more step toward the place we have found ourselves right now.  Not only did I land a job I'm excited about, but I landed a job that offers to reimburse up to 10k of adoption costs per child.  And the severance package I got when I was laid off will provide the money we will need to pay for the costs upfront.  Amazing.  In addition to the financial support, I work with two Christians (from my same church, no less) who both have hearts for adoption.  One has adopted twice in the past and one is set to bring home two babies in about 15 months.  Talk about support and encouragement.  The earliest you can adopt as a married couple is after one year of marriage (for Ethiopain adoptions) although for many countries - including domestic adoptions, a longer marriage is required.  The Tuesday following our one-year anniversary our church kicked off a new Orphan Care ministry that includes support and information on international and domestic adoption as well as foster care.  250 people showed up to the information meeting last night.  Now we have a church family that may be going through the process we are, asking the same questions we are, facing the same anxiety and excitement along the way. 

You can't deny when you're completely surrounded by a topic that God has already put on your heart.  We feel like he's left no opportunity for us to ignore what is right in front of us - all doors are open, all we need to do is step through.  We picked up the book Adopted for Life and read the first chapter last night and we're going to begin requesting information from agencies in the area to find out what each one requires and what their fees are and such.  Realistically speaking, I do not see us sending in an application for another 12 months.  One of the girls speaking last night about babies that she'll be adopting in over a year said, "We're kind of in that place where it's so early that you haven't told everyone you're pregnant yet."  I feel like that.  I'm hesitant to post this blog, because, knowing life, something (probably our own lack of diligence) will put a halt on this process and before we know it we'll be a couple of years down the road with no clear future of adoption.  In general I'm hesitant to talk about things that are still "just ideas" and don't necessarily have a solid chance of coming to fruition.  For me though, blogging is about where I am right now and this is an exciting place.  Already in the last six months God has lead me away from where I thought I'd be and in a new direction, and I'm not naive enough to think that I fully know what he has in store for us.  We just want to be open to wherever it is that he leads us.  We want Him to continue to break our hearts for what breaks his and we know that He is Father to the fatherless.

June 21, 2010


A special-addition five happies tied to our anniversary and vacation to Chicgao

1.  My anniversary present from Matt.  The first stop on our honeymoon cruise was in Grand Cayman.  One of the first stores we went in was a jewelry store that had this beautiful caribbean ocean blue stone - similar to turquois but softer and less green.  I really loved this one pendant, but it was pricy and we had just gotten started on our vaca, so I figured it was best to wait.  Besides, we'd probably see it all over the place.  Our next stop was Cozumel.  At this point I had decided that I loved the necklace enough that I wanted to get it if we saw any more of them.  I had slept on it and knew I would not regret spending the money on it - it was beautiful and just perfect for me.  We looked in several jewelry stores in Cozumel and didn't find the stone at all, much less this particular pendant.  Belize and Roatan - no aqua blue stone.  Bummer.  Even just a few weekends ago at the market in Charleston, SC I looked at their turquoise display hoping to find something that I liked.

My beautiful husband did a little research and found a couple places online that cell the stone.  He even found the exact pendant I had fallen in love with on our 2nd day of marriage :)  I don't know how he remembered, but the stone is called larimar.  It's a tilted heart set in silver with a sweet little design engraved in the back.  I'm totally in love with it and him. 

2.  Sailing on Lake Michigan.  What a rush!  This is no easy task.  My short wing-span and tiny biceps are not cut out for such work.  There were a couple of times I was sure I was going over.  How amazing to be out on this lake that looks as far reaching as any ocean while looking back to see the sun reflecting off of the skycraper windows on the shore. 

3.  Public transportation.  I even enjoyed racing to the next bus stop just to see the daggon thing pull off without us.  Running down the street with my wheely bag o' luggage... flipping it over because I took too much of a lean on the ramp up onto the next sidewalk.... needing Josh's help to get it flipped back in place so that I could keep running and catch up.

4.  Animals at the Shedd Aquarium.  My favorites: penguins, sea lions, sea turtles.  Ah! So cute.

5.  Taking Matt's parents to Trader Joe's and picking up some of our favorite things for them to try.

Close runners-up: Eating watermelon on the Koh's roof top with the Chicago skyline in the background and live music on the Navy Pier.  What better first anniversary song to be playing when we walk up than, Love Stinks? haha.

June 14, 2010

Five Happies

1. Being called a regular by one of the guys that works at the gym

2. Guess who's back?!  Mama bird has laid another nest!!  In the parking lot again, ha.  In a worse place than last time, if that were possible.  She's is all the way on the edge of the island against the curb so that when cars park, the nose of their cars end up over top of her nest, which really irritates her.  These little birds are so cute running up and down the parking lot.  Their tiny little legs move so fast they just look like they are gliding up and down the parking lot without moving their little feet.  Anyway, I put my fence back around her so we'll see what happens this time - no scheduled landscaping in the near future so that's good.  I suppose there is no way for me to know if it's the same bird or not, but there was one nest in the parking lot last time and one nest this time so I'd say there's a pretty good chance it's the same bird.  Besides, I'm writing this story and I say it's her.

3. BLTs with L and T from the garden.  There are few things better than the juice that is made from the combination of mayo, tomatoes, and salt... yumm.  Does that make me crazy?  I asked Matt if he grew up eating tomato sandwiches or if that is just a southern thing.  (Sometimes when you are surrounded by something you don't always realize that it's just a regional thing).  He said he does not believe it is a southern thing, but that he was just never "in" to tomato sandwiches.  So I replied, "but people ate tomato sandwiches?" and he said "well, people drink tea with sugar, but they don't call it sweet tea, " meaning, people didn't have a name for it, but that doesn't mean they didn't put tomatoes on bread and eat it every now and then.  So of course I informed him that tea with sugar added is not sweet tea, and if they truly understood the goodness of a tomato on bread with mayo, salt, and pepper, they would have been sure to name it.  He didn't seem to understand.

4. Working hard around the house on Saturday... finally cleaning and organizing the outside storage closet, and being rewarded with my first Rita's mango gelato of the year.  Even better was sharing it with my sweet husband, sitting on the bench barely covered by the awning while the rain fell onto the hot parking lot pavement making a very familiar summer smell and steaming up the evening.

5. Friendships that can withstand distance.  Kara, Sandi, Carrie, Denise, Danny, David, Joe, Monica, Amanda.  Even when ridiculous amounts of time pass, the friendship is still there as much as it ever was and for that I am incredibly thankful.

June 7, 2010

Five Things to be Thankful for on a Monday Morning

A girl friend of mine emails a bunch of her friends every Monday with five things to be happy about. It's a nice change of pace for a day that has a reputation for being griped about. I thought, since I'm having a hard time keeping up with the blogging these days, this might be a nice way for me to chime in at least once a week and share some sweet things that are happening in my life. So:

Five Happies:

1. Slicing the first tomato from our "garden."
2. 90 minute car ride to a wedding in the middle of nowhere, NC with old co-workers - a great time to play catch up.
3. For the first time ever I think every room in the house (including the "spare" room which is usually the catch-all) is clutter free!
4. Walking up and down the middle of the street on a warm summer (er... it's still spring, isn't it?! well, it sure feels like summer!) evening... barefoot... for 45 minutes while chit-chatting with mom.
5. Feeling baby "tulip" wiggle around in my sweet Melissa's belly.