Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Meal Planning

For a few months, Nathan and I had slipped into a very bad habit of eating out or buying food at the grocery store piecemeal for different meals we wanted to have.  This was expensive and of course, not good for us.  I decided to put a stop to it and began making menus and then creating shopping lists from the menus and using that when I bought food, adhering to the lists as strictly as possible.  Then we had meals for two weeks, or if something unforeseen came up and we ended up eating elsehwere, longer than two weeks.  Plus the left overs provided good options for lunches and dinners after the two weeks.  Flipping through cookbooks to find different foods also helped expand what we eat on a normal basis.

The system worked fairly well the first run through.  I only bought about two things that weren't on the list and we stuck to the planned meals mostly.  The second run through has been less successful.  First, I completely forgot to buy food for one meal, then we went through a week in which Nathan was sick, then I was sick, and no one wants to eat a full dinner when they are sick, no matter how great it is.  Then my sister got married last Saturday and we were eating out Friday and Saturday nights, of course.

I'm hoping to be back on track with it this week.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Me and the Meatloaf

When I was a child we ate meatloaf a total of 1 (one) time.  My mother made it one night and the only person who even remotely liked it, was Elizabeth.  Mom was never one of those mothers who made whatever she wanted and then forced everyone else to eat it.  So, by popluar concensus, the meatloaf never made a repeat appearance on the family dinner table.

And since then, I've only had it one time.  About a year and a half ago I was visiting my very good friend Bonnie and she prepared meatloaf for lunch.  I have to say, I enjoyed it quite a bit.  Much more than I remembered liking it as a child.

These days I'm trying to plan meals for us, cook different things and take shopping lists when I go buy groceries.  I got adventurous when I was planning our last week and set one night aside for meatloaf.  When the night arrived, I pulled out my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook flipped open to the meatloaf recipe and set to work.

It wasn't as bad as I was fearing, but then it wasn't nearly as good as Bonnie's.  I blame the brown sugar in the sauce.  I have a very strong feeling about the flavors of sauces.  If it is supposed to go on a meat, it should be salty, not sweet.  Sweet is reserved for deserts and drinks only.

Does anyone have a meatloaf recipe they would be willing to share that maybe has a sauce that is sans brown sugar?

Also, meatloaf proved much better as leftovers.

Monday, December 6, 2010

St. Nicholas Day

For as long as I can remember, my family has celebrated St. Nicholas Day.  For everyone who doesn't understand, let me give you a brief summary.  St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, is the patron saint of children and his feast day is December 6.  So on the night of December 5, St. Nicholas visits the homes of those who believe in him and leaves small presents in stockings, usually with a little candy, too.  What child doesn't love candy?  I think this is mostly a German Catholic tradition.

I knew when I was little that when I got married and established my own family that this was something I wanted to carry on.  So, these days, Nathan and I have our own St. Nicholas celebrations.  This year, the Bishop brought Nathan a cable to connect my computer to the TV so that we can watch Netflix on the TV screen.  He brought me a space heater.  :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My fears

Now that we are officially done getting things put together for the home study, and I have time to think about the adoption and how things are going, I'm experiencing more fear and anxiety than I thought I was going to.

The thing is, the agency we contracted with works off a 2 year time frame.  So, we have two years from this past June to find a birth mother.  We haven't had our home study approved yet, and we're already almost at 6 months.  This terrifies me.  Going in to this process we had no real idea what it was going to be like. 

We knew nothing about adoption except what we had gleaned from the little bit we read and the failed meetings we went to.  Then we found our agency and signed the contract and got started with our social worker. We didn't know that we could schedule our meetings with her a week apart if we wanted.  We didn't get right on top of the paperwork because we were expecting things to just naturally take forever.

Now here we sit, ready to start looking for a birth mother but held back by the stupidity of our own naivete.  And what happens if our 2 years runs out and no one has picked us yet?  No one has said, yes, I want them to take care of my child.  We could keep working with them on  a month-to-month basis or  we could go it alone.  That comes with its own set of fears. Gah!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wife Things

Nathan and I both kind of wish we could afford for me to stay home.  But we can't and we don't often dwell on it.  And really, I enjoy my job.  Of course there are days when things don't quite go my way and I get home and just feel exhausted.  And it's stressful, extremely stressful on occasion.

That's why when it comes to my weekends, I usually like to watch movies or work on knitting projects or read or just generally relax.  Needless to say, this doesn't do a whole lot to contribute to household duties, or "wife things."  Don't worry, that's my phrase for them, Nathan would never seriously call house chores "wife things." 

But yesterday, I took the menus and list I had created the night before and went grocery shopping.  And for me, never having approached shopping this way, I did pretty well.  I only bought 2 non-list items and only a couple name-brand things.  So, after groceries were bought, I came home and saw all the dishes waiting for Nathan's attention.  For about five weeks, Nathan was working 7 day weeks and then he was working hard on getting all the leaves raked up.  He's pretty great.  So, I rolled up my sleeves and did the dishes myself. 

While that was going on, I was also working on laundry.  I had a load of whites out on the line (in mid-November, I know, it's crazy.)  I also put a load of our work clothes in the washer and hung them up in the basement when they were done. 

And when all that was done, I made dinner. To be perfectly honest, all this happened because I wanted it to.  I really enjoyed everything I did as I was working on it.  It made me happy to relieve Nathan of the pressure of dirty dishes and having to go shopping. 

I guess I'm not so bad at these wife things.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Wait

Two days ago, I scanned and e-mailed some paperwork to our social worker.  And now it looks like we're done with the home study.

That's a very strange place to be.  We are finished pulling everything together for the home study and it just needs to get approved.  I don't know how long that is going to take.  That has been a frequent refrain during this process.  I call the social worker with questions, always prefacing everything with letting her know the reason I'm asking is because we've never done this before. 

But for the active part of the process, we are finished.  All we do now is wait.  We wait for the home study to be approved.  Then we wait for a birthmother to take a look at our profile and decide she would like to work with us.  By nature I'm an impatient person, so, this might turn out to be not my favorite part.

But at the same time, this is also the time we have to prepare.  I finally feel like we can start getting things together to prepare for having a baby.  We can paint the nursery, we can start gathering little gender neutral outfits and hats. 

People have told me that the active part of the adoption process is like the time in which a couple is trying to get pregnant. I think, then, the waiting period must be like the early days of the pregnancy, kind of like the first trimester.  We're excited and hopeful and just starting to make preparations.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Too Many Janes...too many Edwards...

My husband suffers, I think more than most people understand.  I, of course, realize it because I'm usually the one inflicting his sufferings upon him.  Seriously, who but me has the desire to watch every version of Jane Eyre ever made?

Jane Eyre is my favorite book, has been since 7th grade (I think.)  In fact, Edward Rochester, the book's main male role, was my very first love.  I fell for him for all the reasons a girl falls for someone at that age.  He was strong and rich, not exactly handsome.  Although Jane is a simple governess he can see that her spirit and heart are the equals of his own and treats her that way.

So, when I found out that someone had made a film version of Jane Eyre, I knew I had to see it.  More than anything else so that I could discover how someone would dare interpret the giant of my imagination.  Since then, it has been like a sickness.  Everytime I find out about a different version, I have to watch it.  Netflix and the library loan system have been my great aids in this endeavor.  I own two different versions and just this week two others arrived at the library for me.  My favorite version so far is probably the older BBC version with Timothy Dalton.

Poor Nathan, usually he just holes up in his office and passes through the room occasionally, shaking his head at me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

4th Anniversary Weekend

In celebration of our 4th anniversary, which conveniently fell on a Thursday, which is my Saturday, I took two extra days off.  And I have to say, my four day weekend was very worth it. 

We spent our actual anniversary day in an adoption seminar listening to birthmothers tell stories about their relationships with the children they placed for adoption and the families they were placed into.  Our anniversary dinner was at Taco Bell.  Oh well.

The next day was 4th anniversary observed and we went out to dinner at my favorite bar.  Sadly, the food was not of the best quality, definitley not what it has been in the past.  Then we went to the university where the theater and dance department was putting on a production of Twelfth Night my favorite of Shakespeare's comedies.  It was awesome. 

And really, the rest of the weekend was very low key.  Saturday, which might actually have been my favorite day of the whole weekend, we didn't do anything.  Literally.  We stayed at home, we read, we played video games.  We didn't actually leave the house until close to 11 pm when we decided we wanted a pizza.  Sunday must have been "family day" we had breakfast with my family and then spent most of the rest of the night with Nathan's family.  It was pretty great.

Thanks to my mom and dad for the lovely card and the cookies, they did not make it through the weekend.  Thanks to Pam and Craig for the new microwave.  I LOVE IT! 

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Our home visit with the social worker is over.  And, honestly, just like all the adoption books I've been reading have predicted, it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  That doesn't mean all the cleaning and preparations were unnecessary.  It was just a more relaxed process than I anticipated.  Our social worker arrived and came into the kitchen were we sat around the table filling out paperwork while we had muffins (that I decided to bake so that the house smelled warm and homey) and coffee. 

Then we just gave her a tour around the house.  It was really fairly simple.  And then she left.  We kind of stood there and looked at each other and said "well, what now?"  There is a three part seminar series our agency is hosting that we are going to.  We are 2/3 done with it and those hours count toward our 16 hours each of training.  So all we have to do is finish training.  Really....All we have to do is finish training.  That is so weird. 

It has been close to 3 years since we have started thinking seriously about adoption and now here we are.  Finish our training and our profile will start being given to birthmothers.  That is the strangest thought.  I thought there would be more to it than this...not that I want there to be.  I just thought it would be harder somehow.  Of course, our homestudy hasn't been approved yet, it could still be really hard.  I sincerely hope it's not. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

A look back...a look forward

Four years ago yesterday (I meant to have this up before midnight...oh well), Nathan and I got married and started our new life together.  When we were still in the preliminary phases of this new life, actually before the vows were even said, Nathan told me he wanted at least two years before we started trying to have children, so that we could get to know each other as spouses before we had to start figuring out who we were as parents.

I grumbled about this quite a bit and resisted for a little, but eventually I let it go.  I was ready to be a mom right away,but if he wanted some time I decided I should let him have it.  And I have to say, I'm really glad I did.  We have had a great four years of just spending time with each other learning about the ins and outs of early marriage.  We still surprise each other, we still amuse each other, we still generally enjoy being together.

And I don't know if we would have had all that we do now if we started having children right away.  But I consider it fitting that, yesterday, on our fourth anniversary, we were in Addison at an adoption seminar (part of our 16 hours of training).  We had our two years plus and they were great, wonderful and exciting.  Now, we're both ready to move onto the next phase of our life together.  We are ready to be parents.  It may not be happening quite like we had envisioned it, but everytime I read or hear about a successful adoption story, I get a little thrill of excitement thinking about how that is going to be us one day.

We are very blessed that we have family and friends who support us in each phase of our life together and will continue to do so, no matter where the process takes us. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The "Holy Crap" List

Our social worker is coming to inspect the house on October 15.  I have no idea how old this house is as a structure.  It has a history as a carriage house before it was turned into a home, so it is quite old.  It was also badly treated in the recent past.  So, we have quite a few things  to do around the house.

  1. Clean and organize our breezeway (the space is newly bereft of our old refrigerator and I hope it will make a good mudroom)
  2. Clean both bathrooms and wash/scrape the walls.  The paint needs a good touching up.
  3. Clean and organize every room
  4. Sweep and mop all floors
  5. Sweep garage and basement
  6. Adjust temperature on water heater
  7. Trim the lovely vine that grows up the trellis on one side of our house
  8. Reattach the downspouts to the garage
  9. Hang and put batteries in smoke detectors/CO detector
 There are also quite a few things we need to do outside the house
  • The cats need rabies shots and I was hoping we could get Hyperion professionally groomed (he needs it)
  • We need to have our fingerprints done
  • We have a few finance matters to get ironed out
  • We need to get our references back from friends 
  • We have to purchase a fire extinguisher
  • Some of the pictures we submitted for the parent profile were rejected because they were too blurry so we need to find a time and someone with a good camera and have a bunch of pictures of us retaken
We also have a series of 3 adoption classes on Thursday nights beginning October 14.  Our anniversary is the 21st (it's our fourth, we'll be in class).  But then on the 22nd we're going out for a nice dinner and to a play.

As you can see, the next few weeks are going to be quite hectic for us as we try to get our home ready for our home visit.  By the way, if you're in the area and bored one day, please feel free to stop by and help out!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Godmother in Training

My older brother's wife is going to have a baby. She's due in March and they have asked me to be the baby's Godmother. 

This is a very important role in the life of all Catholic families.  And, while my Godmother is my wonderful Aunt Clare, I have to say, I know very little about it.  What does a Godmother do?  I know that officially speaking their role is to assist in the spiritual upbrining of their Godchild(ren).  How does one go about this? 

I have to say, as touched and humbled as I am by this honor at this point, I feel little equiped for it.  I need guidence.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Please keep my good friends Bonnie and Travis Engstrom and their family, especially their new son James Fulton in your prayers.  James is in critical condition in the NICU.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Grocery Shopping

Usually, I shop at Aldi because they have cheap off-brand food.  But I'm beginning to wonder if this is the best way to do the shopping.  I tend to like to do my grocery shopping every 2 to 3 weeks.  And even with shopping at Aldi, I easily spend $100 for just Nathan and I for those 2 weeks. 

We have a Jewel card because we lived really close to one in Tinley Park and it was easy to run to Jewel for small things.  I only shopped there once or twice, because, while they are my favorite place to shop, they are much more expensive.  I have never been a coupon-shopper but I'm starting to think if I maintain a list and take coupons and use our prefered card Jewel might be cheaper.  Or even Wal-Mart.

Any thoughts?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Parent Profile

Yesterday I mailed to the adoption agency the disk with our parent profile materials on it.  Getting all the information together was harder than I had initially thought.  It was a lot of listing of favorites, and Nathan never claims to have a "favorite" anything.  Then we had to write short essays about our lives, our home and our families while attempting to make everything sound great and keep a certain humiliy.  But I think the hardest part was getting pictures.  I mentioned in a earlier post that we needed at least 15 pictures of just the two of us.  We have never had that many pictures of us.  Finally, we just took the camera and went first to my parents and then my in-laws and asked them to take our pictures a bunch of times.  It worked out okay.  These are a couple of the pictures.

We actually had this one in the house, it's from a recent Thanksgiving.  I don't know which year exactly.  I was surprised at how many pictures we were able to come up with in the house and through friends' and families' cameras.

So, Nathan got a rake for his last birthday.  I don't know whose idea it was for us to take an "American Gothic" picture, pretty sure it was Nathan's.  I don't imagine they'll use this one, but we sent everything we could find.
This is one my mom took, I think it's great.

My father-in-law took this picture on the old merry-go-round next to their house.  I wasn't dressed up the best, but it's such a nice picture.

So, initially we were going to send seperate pictures of the cats, because we didn't a have a picture of them together that was nice.  Then a few weeks ago the cats and I were all hanging out in the bedroom and I looked over and they were sitting like this.  It's perfect!  I took a couple, but this is definitely the best one.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Reading list

One day, while I was wandering around Barnes and Noble, I decided I needed to carry a little notebook with me when I went into bookstores so I could write down all the titles of the books I saw and wanted to read so I could order them from the library.  Not long after, I acquired the notebook and started scribbling down titles I wanted to look into.  This is what I have come up with so far.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Mistress of the Art of Death
Romancing Miss Bronte--Read it, loved it
Water for Elephants--Reading it now
Wide Sargasso Sea
The Secret Garden
Les Miserables
The Clowns of God
Chasing Shakespeares--Read it, found it aggravating...see previous post
The Forgotten Garden
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
How the West was Won
The Jewel of St. Petersburg
The Eyre Affair
Captive Queen

Lost in Austen
The Agony and the Ecstacy
Rooftops of Tehran
The Lacemakers of Glenmara
Within the Hollow Crown
Quo Vadis
Agnes Grey
The Insomniac
American Lion
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Silas Marner

 That's it for now, but the list is ever-growing, ever changing.  If you can think of something you think I should read, let me know.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm for the Glove-maker's Son...

I'm nearing the end (thank God) of a book called Chasing Shakespeares by Sarah Smith.  I was going to go off on a profanity-laced rant in this post, but I've had some time to think about it and had a drink and I'm a bit calmer now.  This book (ostensibly a novel) is used to push forward the theory that William Shakespeare, the glove maker's son from Startford-on-Avon, was not the man who wrote the world's greatest poetry and drama.  According to her book, the Earl of Oxford is the best bet to be the man who wrote Shakespeare's words.  I have two problems with this theory, first she goes through the whole book saying there was no way the Avon Shakespeare could have known what he did about gentry life.  It makes a case that it is nearly impossible for ordinary people to do extraordinary things.  My other problem is that it takes away a lot of the legend from storybook England.

I believe in storybook England.  It may not be right at  the surface all the time, but I'm sure that somewhere on a plane between sweet green earth and steely grey sky in England there exists this entire other world created by the country's artists and writers.  I believe in Manderley and Pemberley and Thornfield.  I believe in Haworth Parsonage and three sisters sitting together on dark Yorkshire nights writing stories that became masterpieces.  I'm for Christopher Robin and the Hundred Acre Wood.  I believe in Arthur and his Knights.  I'm for Chaucer, More and Keats.  I'm for the Glove-maker's son.

Monday, August 30, 2010


I don't often brag...but this is just too exciting to let slip by without saying something.  I have successfully (mostly) knitted a sock.

This is part of the reason I took up knitting in the first place.  My first attempt was a few months ago and I gave up in the middle of it, but this time I persevered and, after the heel turning, most of it was smooth sailing.  Yes, the toe is messed up and I had to consult my Knitting for Dummies to figure out how to correctly kitchener stitch.  But, I think I've got it now.

 By the way, yes, the sock is two different shades of blue.  I ran out of one color when I was mostly done and ran to the store and grabbed what they had just so I could finish.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Opportunity Lost

Do you ever have what seems like a really great idea?  You get excited about it, you plan for it and you even make two or three false starts because you're so eager you get started before the moment is right.  Then, when the right moment comes...nothing happens.  There is something standing between you and your great idea.

I had this happen recently and it totally sucks.  Three years ago, when Nathan and I decided we were going to pursue adoption, I went to my little bookcase where I keep my notebooks and pulled out a yellow one.  It has a padded cover with a really bright design of flowers and butterflies and is really pretty.  "I know what I'll do," I thought.  "I'll keep a log of everything we do as we begin the process of adoption.  Then when the baby is a little older, I'll give it to them.  It'll be a sort of, this is how much Mommy and Daddy love and planned for you."  I even wrote the two names we had picked out for the baby on the inside cover...and then crossed them out and wrote new names...Nathan and I go through names like paper towels.

Starting the process took longer than either one of us anticipated.  We checked out a couple of agencies we thought would work and they didn't and then we both lost our jobs so the moment was far from right to start planning a family.  When we signed the papers with Angel Adoption I came home and started digging around in my nightstand, where I thought I had left the notebook last.  It wasn't there.  So, I went through the little notebook bookcase.  It wasn't there either.  I have no idea where it is now and we've started the home study, so it seems like much too late to keep a notebook chronicle of everything we've done.  I hate it when stuff like that happens.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Trapped...and having a bit of a deja vu moment

It is now about 2000 degrees outside with the humidity.  That's a rough estimate of course...and Nathan and I are trapped in our bedroom.  Why?  Because earlier this summer our air conditioner went on the fritz.  Generously, my mom and dad loaned us the window unit they had in their own bedroom so that we might sleep a little more comfortably at nights and have some place to retreat to during the day when the heat was overbearing.

So, here we are.  And yet, it all seems a little too familiar...rather like this past winter when the gas company wouldn't turn on our heat and we were reduced to living in the bedroom with space heaters until they got everything sorted out on their end. Oh, the circle of life...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Not long after we signed the contract with the adoption agency we are going with, we received a couple of packets of information one from our agency and the other from the group the agency operates under, who are going to be doing the homestudy.  We had to fill out in all kinds of information about our personalities and why we want to be parents and then we had to ask friends and acquaintances if they would be comfortable answering questions about us as people and as parents as our references.  Thanks everyone, by the way!

But to me, right now, the hardest part is the information we have to give for the other packet we had to fill out, the parent profile.  It feels kind of like an essay test.  Tell us about your home, your lives, your family and your habits.  And then, write the "Dear Birthmother" letter.  I'm a writer by nature but this is unlike anything I've ever attempted before.  We are basically selling ourselves and our lives to women and families who are making the agonizing decision of who they want to raise their children.  I did my best. 

Also, we had to come up with pictures.  Pictures of the house, the cats, our families and us.  We have to have 15+ pictures of ourselves.  We personally have very few pictures of ourselves.  We had to go pillaging our friends and families' cameras.  Even then it wasn't enough so we asked a friend of ours to come take pictures of us at the house.  We have everything but the pictures nailed down enough to send in a preliminary draft.  Bring on the closeups!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The House

This summer has been an interesting one for the little house we live in.  I did not spend any time weeding our flower beds this year, so that the weeds run riot in them completely unchecked.  I hope to spend more time on the flowerbeds next spring.  Nathan has been very attentive to the lawn this year and seems to have given up on any thought of me mowing. Thank God!

We painted Nathan's office in the winter, but were unable to do anything with the ceiling that was damaged long ago by a leaking bathtub from above.  In April we got rid of the putrid purple-pink color on the walls of our bedroom and replaced it with a nice ice blue.  I had hoped to work on the breezway this month, but somehow the month has gotten away from us and the room is still in a little of sorry condition and the old refrigerator still sits there.  Oh well, maybe next month.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Up to Speed

So, what have I been doing since the last time I posted?  Well, working a lot, thankfully, is the short answer.  But I have also had time to do a few other things.

The day Nathan and I sent off the paperwork to start the adoption I got home from the post office and immediately began knitting baby booties.  After a few false starts in which my booties always came out looking like socks, I finally figured out where I was going wrong and have been thinking about booties and hats ever since.  Most of my scrap yarn that I'm using for practice booties is blue, brown, or a green.  I told Nathan I think this means our first child will be a boy.

I like the style to the right better, but the one to the left is the pattern that was part of my calendar.  I found the one with the button on, which I have become a devotee of.

I have also had the priviledge to spend a few of my Wednesdays (which are really Sundays to me) watching our niece, Sophie, who is almost five months old now.

And I have a new favorite picture!

Unfortunately I had to stop my babysitting gig because my gall bladder decided it wanted no more of me.  I have been sick several times since its revolution at the end of last month and have yet to see the surgeon about getting it out.  I was put on some fairly strong pain relievers and anti-spasmodics and am doing fairly well now, but I go to the surgeon (finally) on Wednesday.

I won the Netflix war.  That's right.  My very first Netflix movie was a foreign film called Rosenstrasse which I had seen part of on TV one day and wanted to watch again.  Since then I have enjoyed a getting many movies in the mail and watching more on line.  I still use the library ordering system as well.

And that is most of what I have been up to since the last time I wrote.  I have yet to go back to my beloved Alton, but Elizabeth has been enjoying her summer in Minnesota with Eric, her fiancee and hopefully, I'll get back there after she goes back down for the fall semester.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I realize I have not been to this site for quite a while.  My only excuse...okay, I have two, is that a) I have been busy with something Nathan and I are working on and b) while I love second shift tremendously for my own sake because it works better with the way my body functions, it has not done my blog any favors.

It is my proposition, then that this hiatus comes to an end.  I intend to make every effort to blog with greater frequency again to let everyone know what is going on in our lives and really just for my own mental sake.  I hate the thought of having another failed diary.  And that's kind of what this has always been, a less intimate, more public diary.

So...what is this big "project" Nathan and I are working on?  Since I precieve it is mostly family and friends who read this page, I know you already know, but I'm going to put it here anyway, just so that I get to say it again and maybe someone will be surprised and excited for us about it all over again.

Last month, Nathan and I signed paperwork to officially begin working with an adoption agency.  It's called Angel Adoptions and functions out of Cary,Illinois.  We looked at several different agencies and ultimately chose Angel because we liked their size and the way they interacted with us when we were going through the "looking" phase and also because they were the most reasonably priced.

I always hate saying that, but it is true.  The biggest reason we chose the company that was going to help us find our child was purely mercenary.  I have since been told by someone who I know is in the middle of the adoption process that Angel is a great agency and we should be very happy with them, and that made me pretty happy.

The day we settled on an agency, I was changing the page on my daily knitting pattern calendar and the pattern that turned up for that day was for baby booties.  I felt it was a good sign.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

26 and All Grown Up

I don't know why, but more than being married or living on my own or having a steady full time job, there has always been another factor that has seemed to me to be the indicator that someone has truly grown up.  It seems silly but I've always felt that without this, a household really isn't complete yet.  (This is not meant to be derogatory to anyone who doesn't have one, it's just the way I've always thought of it.)  But I got one for my birthday from my husband.

I don't understand it, but I've always thought a grown-up household needed a sewing machine.  This one is actually a million times nicer than the one I asked for.  Thanks, Nathan!

I also received the knitting needles I asked for from my mom and dad, plants from my sister-in-law, very nice gift cards from my own sibilings and this, from my in-laws:

No one else seems to understand it, but I have wanted a globe all my life.  I'm in love with it!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


It feels a bit more like summer today, but spring, one of my favorite seasons, is definitely here.  I got home from a dispatcher class today and noticed that the red-bud tree at the end of our driveway had blossomed.  It only blumes for about two weeks, but it is an absolutely beautiful tree.  I'll try to get a picture of it up later.

Nathan got out into the field with his dad for the first time today to help with planting, which he enjoys. While he was out doing that I put an edge of primer around the ceiling in our bedroom.  We finished painting Nathan's office in Feburary and this month are working in our room.  I've decided to go with a shade of light blue and can't wait to no longer see the disgusting shade of pink-purple the room is now.  I'll  try to post pictures of the finished room later, too.

I knowmy posting has slackened off lately, and I'll make a more concerted effort to update more frequently.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Aunt Margaret

First I had an Aunt I am one.

On Thursday night (which was Feb 25) Nathan answered a phone call from his mother saying that his sister was going to labor and my mother-in-law wanted one of us to drive her to the hospital because she didn't think she could focus enough to drive and my father-in-law was unavailable.

Neither of us were busy that night so we both went.  We arrived at the hospital at roughly 7:00 and Nathan was good enough to run out to Jimmy John's across the street and the three of us some dinner.  Janelle's mother-in-law had not yet arrived by the time Nathan got back and Pam, who is a friend of hers, knew she would want to be there.  Pam called Lynne and let her know what was going on and Lynne drove up to the hosptial, getting there at just about 8:00.

For the next couple of hours we all sat in the waiting room partially watching the Olympics on the TV and too excited to read the books we had brought.  We told stories, Pam and Lynne talked about when Nathan (Janelle's husband) and Janelle were young.  And Nathan (my husband) and I told our stories about childhood.

It seemed like every couple of minutes someone would come out of the maternity ward and we would all get excited but for hours none of them were Nathan.  Finally, at just before 10:30 he came into the room and told us he had a daughter.

She was born just after 9:00 and they named her Sophia Violet.  We stayed out in the waiting room a little longer, giving Janelle and Sophia time to nurse, then Nathan came back to get us.

She was still crying quite a bit, but I was the first one to hold her.  She is perfect and pink with a full head of dark hair.  We stayed there for about an hour, passing her around and asking Janelle how she felt.  We actually did get Nathan (my husband) to hold the baby.  He sat down in a chair and his mother set her in his arms and you know...he's the only person she did not cry for.

The next day I called Nathan after work and let him know I was going to be stopping back by the hospital and he said he'd meet me there.  When I arrived my in-laws were already there and Sophia was very quiet and calm.  I held her for quite some time as she slept.  Then Nathan arrived and she actually woke up and looked around when he held her.

Initially I called myself "Auntie Margaret" but I think I'm going to drop the "ie" and just go with aunt.  I can't wait to get to know my niece.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Every year I make Lenten resolutions and begin the season with the best of intentions.  And every year, not long into our 40 days, I start forgetting things.  It seems the first thing I always forget is that I'm not supposed to eat meat on Fridays and a slice of pepperoni pizza or a ham sandwich slips its way into my lunch or meal time out of habit. 

Then my resolutions start to fall by the wayside, not because I didn't mean them when I made them, just because I can be inattentive sometimes.

But this year, I'm trying harder, this year so far I remembered just in time that I couldn't bring a leftover ham sandwich to work today and I'm doing my best to keep my resolutions at the front of my mind.  I hope to do better.

Monday, January 11, 2010


I have started a new blog.  The problem is, I have absolutely no idea what to do with it.  It is part of my desire to do something to help promote the issue of congenital heart defects.  It's got a stupid title which I hate and I posted my story on it, but I truly have no clue where to go from there.

But it's a step in a direction.  And I needed that.  It's called Helping Hearts (I told you it was stupid).  It's at

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Am I being selfish?

I am pro-life. I have been pro-life since I knew there was such a thing. So the actual position is not new to me. But I have come upon a rather unsettling revelation lately.

I think since Nathan and I decided we were going to adopt, I have become even more strongly pro-life. The feeling is something like "if I'm not pro-life, I really don't have any business adopting." But I'm also concerned that this increase in feeling may be driven by an impulse of "if there are suddenly an abundance of abortions, there might not be children for Nathan and I."

Then I start feeling selfish. I'm just not sure.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Little Cups of Heaven

I come from a meat and potatoes family and I just generally love food. That being said, a few years ago, when I went to study in England for a semester, I felt like I was going to be right at home in a meat and potatoes culture.

But the highlight of my British culinary experience was by far Yorkshire Puddings. They are basically a little cup of batter for putting gravy into and are served traditionally with roast beef and vegetables. I developed a deep and abiding love of them. When I returned home I thought about them with a twinge of longing from time to time, but would then have a slice of pizza or some spaghetti and feel better.

Not so this year. I began an all-out quest to find them in the "international foods" sections of one of the many stories I shop at. They are harder to find than I would have thought. In England you can buy them frozen and just heat them up, I could not even find that anywhere. So I located a recipe and tried making them. The recipe I had advised using popover cups, which I do not have, so I thought a muffin tin would work just as well...turns out, not so much.

But as it happens, my family loves me and wants me to be happy. For Christmas I received not only the requisite popover cup pan, but also, direct from England and special ordered for me by my sister Anne, two little boxes of Yorkshire Pudding mix. The sound I made when I opened the package was something akin to a song bird being throttled.

This is what they look like in the pan...I was so happy when I pulled this out of the oven and they looked right.

And that golden brown cylinder of deliciousness is what it looks like on the plate. It was amazing.

Thanks, Anne!