Wednesday, December 7, 2011

So, here it is

Early last month, Nathan and I got an e-mail from our adoption agency saying there is a birthmother in another state that was due to give birth in mid-November and gave us a basic run down of her situation.  We considered it and talked to my mother and sent them an e-mail back saying we would like our profile presented to her.  Usually, they just show our profile, but this time her situation didn't match our parameters perfectly, so they wanted to make sure before they showed her our info.

Then, two Mondays ago (the 29th) I woke up at 12:30 to a phone call saying she chose us and she was basically due any second.  I was over the moon.  I called Nathan and he was over the moon.  Our parents and siblings all celebrated with us.  I had another 4 hours to sleep, but of course that wasn't about to happen now. So I decorated for Christmas and ran over lists in my head of everything we would need.

We both let our bosses know we would probably be gone for a while and, because you can't keep secrets where I work, everyone knew by the time I got there that night.  It was a fantastic day.

Mom and I went shopping and picked up some little things we didn't have that we would need.

I bought some Dreft and did my first ever load of baby laundry.

I washed my first ever group of bottles.

We packed the diaper bag.

Then, we waited for the call.  And we waited.  Days passed and we waited.  Finally, this past Monday, I called the adoption agency to see if there was any news.  They advised me that she most likely had the baby already and decided to keep it and not say anything to anyone.

We were heartbroken.  But at the same time, I knew that if it wasn't meant to be then it was better he stayed with his mother.  Even though it didn't work out, it still gave us reason to hope.  We've been contracted with our agency since June 2010 and this is the first time we know of that someone has been serious about us.  It is uplifting, even though it fell through.

And if you're one of the many people we didn't tell when we heard she picked us: this is why.  Our parents wanted very badly to tell everyone but we asked them to hold off, in case this happened.  I couldn't bear to think of having to tell everyone it didn't work out.

So, yeah, it sucks and yeah, yesterday when I was addressing Christmas cards and watching Santa Claus is Coming to town I started crying randomly.  But we keep praying and hopefully, we'll have a baby soon.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


This has been in my head for days.  If I loved it less, that might annoy me.
Ave Maria, gratia plena
Dominus tecum
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Et benedictus fructus
Ventris tui Iesus

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus
Nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae.


God is great.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

England 2014

On May 9, 2014, I will turn 30 years old.  As a reward to myself for making it that far (let's be honest, it was a close run thing for a while), I'm going to spend my 30th birthday in England.

I just spent about 30 minutes crunching numbers and I figured out that, based on today's prices, which I realize are going to change in the next three years, it would cost roughly $2,124.08 for me to spend a week traveling around the country.  I've worked out two nights in London, two nights in Yorkshire, two nights in the New Forest and a night in London before my flight back.  I haven't settled exactly on Yorkshire and the New Forest as places to go, I just used them as stand-ins, but I love them both.  I am open to suggested destinations.

Conversely, it would cost roughly $2,820.44 for me spend the whole week in London.  That seemed a little odd to me, but London is one of the world's most expensive cities.  I haven't decided which travel plan to go with yet.  I love England as a whole, but London is, and always will be, my first love.

These numbers include everything from air fare, hotel rental, Brit rail and London Passes, spending money for food and general spending money.  The only thing not included is getting my passport changed, it still says 'Margaret Eaton.'

My mother may have created a monster with this budgeting thing,  I took those numbers and divided them by 128, the number of weeks between now and my 30th birthday.  I discovered that to have enough money I would have to save $16.59 each week to travel around the country and $22.03 each week to stay in London.

This seems entirely doable.  Who's coming with me?  England 2014.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Musical Soul

I surprised myself the other day with asking Nathan if he wanted to buy a piano.  Wait, what?  See, it's still surprising.

I've been noticing lately that every time we go over to his parents' house, Nathan always settles down in front of the piano and plays "Rainbow Connection,"  one of his favorite songs.  The other day began a full-house search for the sheet music for "Ashokan Farewell" (that song that plays over and over during the Ken Burns Civil War series).  It's another one of his favorites.  We didn't end up finding it and I forget what he ended up playing instead.

He even tries to get me to play, but I can only handle either the top or bottom parts of Heart and Soul and when he tries to play the other part I get thrown off.

Nathan has always been musical: he played French horn in high school band and has been playing piano since grade school, not to mention singing in choir.

Lately he's even found a little protege.  Our niece, Sophie, loves the piano.  Every time he starts playing she has to be right there watching and banging away on the other end of the keyboard.  She even insisted once that her high chair be moved so she could watch him play.

I happened to glance at the newspaper the last time we were leaving his Mom and Dad's house and saw that someone is selling a Story and Clark upright piano for $100.  We're going to wait until it gets a little closer to Thanksgiving and call about coming to see it.

If we choose to buy it, hopefully we can get my brother-in-law's help moving it after the holiday.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Number crunching

Since we've been married, Nathan and I have been pretty careful with our money.  We both have cars we paid cash for, and we don't carry credit card balances month to month and we have paid off a couple of our student loans.

But we've been noticing lately that we could probably be saving more money each month.  Therefore, starting in November, we are going to be on a monthly budget.  I sat down and tried to work out budgeting for myself and didn't really do too well.

So, I turned to my mom, Queen of Budgets, and asked for help.  She taught me how to estimate what all our expenses will be, give myself a monthly allowance for groceries and try to guess how much each of us will spend on gas.  Hopefully the grocery budget will also lead to other things I've been meaning to do, like using coupons.  Beyond that, we are each going to have a monthly allowance for what Nathan calls "random fun money."  That will be for things like eating out, movies, yarn and books, or snacks.

It's going to take a while to get in the swing of it and figure out just how much we need to hang on to for each category, but hopefully it will help us put more money into savings each month.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Same old...

I know that every year it seems I do a post about Halloween decorations.  I'm sure this is getting boring for some people, but I keep getting new decorations that are so much fun I can't help but wanting to share them.  So here we go...again:

I found this at Crimson Ridge this fall and I love it.  I believe the design on the pumpkin is a witch flying against the moon over a cemetery and haunted house.

This was at Crimson Ridge last year and I practically had to be dragged out of the store without it.  Fortunately, my mother noticed how much I wanted it and made sure it appeared under her Christmas tree.  It's resin and the writing on it is from Macbeth:
"Eye of newt and toe of frog
Wool of bat and tongue of dog
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing
For a charm of powerful trouble
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble
Double, double toil and trouble
Fire burn and cauldron bubble"
The books underneath it were given to us by Nathan's dad and they are just about the same size and color as the decoration.

Most of this is new.  The wall applique says "Be Afraid of things that go bump in the night."  I found it at Michaels and love it.  That's also where the bats came from.  The spider web basket and pumpkin, which is black and has silver spiderwebs on it both came from my mom and dad for Christmas by way of Crimson Ridge.  (Seriously, I love that place.)

Here's a close up of the spider web basket and pumpkin.

...And that's just about all the new stuff.  Not a single black cat to be seen this year.

1,000 Little things

Lately, every time I think to myself, I should write a post about that, I realize it would only last a paragraph or two.  There just isn't that much going on around here:

I've been on vacation since the 18th and go back Saturday.  It has been very nice.  Mostly, I've stayed home and relaxed.

Nathan and I celebrated our 5th anniversary on the 21st with a dinner at JMK Nippon in Rockford, the restaurant we went to for our first "official" date and also where we went the night we got engaged.

On the 22nd, my cousin got married and we all got to spend time with the family, one of my favorite things.

Because of some strange symptoms and goings on with my health, I am now wearing a 4-week event monitor, which I began on Monday.  I have to say, I'm not a fan.  Hopefully, this will tell the doctors what they want to know.

For Christmas last year, Elizabeth gave me fall colored yarn and I just finished knitting it into a blanket.  The blanket itself isn't very big, but it's more decorative than anything.

Fall is a very busy time for Nathan.  He pitched in again this year at the apple orchard close to home.  He does this every year because the people who own it are friends of his parents.  Now that that's over it will be time to help out with harvest soon.

We just had one of our biannual visits with our social worker.  It seemed to go well and she was very encouraging.

That's about all we've got going on here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Now, to boost my spirits more than anything else...I love the movie Gnomeo and Juliet.  Seriously, I love it more than almost any other movie I have seen in the last year or two.  To make it even better, Elton John (whom I think is awesome) does the music for it.  This is my favorite song from the whole movie.


So, I have been doing my best lately to keep the adoption process out of the blog.  Partially because it was all I wrote about for a while and nothing new was happening, but also for myself.  I get tired of having nothing new to say.  But this month is our one year followup with our social worker, so I thought I'd do a quick update.

Nothing new is happening really, we haven't heard from anyone.  Our agency has decided they are going to start updating families monthly with how many people have looked at their profile.  I'm not sure I want that.  I don't know if I can handle knowing how many birthfamilies look at our profile every month and still don't choose us.  Nathan said he would like to know, though, so I assume we'll say we'd like to get the e-mail.

As you can probably tell, I'm starting to get a little down-hearted about it all.  In June, our two-year contract is up and we haven't really decided where we're going to go from there.  I've stopped buying new things because I didn't want to get too much accumulated.

We've been trying to think of new ways to make the profile more attractive to birthfamilies.  When we signed our contract with the agency they asked us if there was a specific dollar amount we would be willing to contribute monthly to a birthmother's living and medical expenses.  This is a common practice in adoption, but we didn't have a number picked out so we just left it blank.  We've been revisiting that idea and also wondering if there is something we can do to make the house look more appealing.  The picture of it in our profile is not so great.

Okay, I have to stop writing about this now and go dry my eyes.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Personality Television

I love YouTube.  I love the variety and the possibilities.  Lately I love watching clips from old game shows...most specifically What's My Line?.  I love how dressed up everyone used to get and how polite they are to each other.  I love the celebrity guest portions.  It's so funny to listen to the strange ways they come up with to disguise their voices (Elizabeth Taylor's voice change was hilarious.)  But I think this clip is probably my favorite, just because.

He was just great.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


To my dear friend, across the miles, this is for you: *hug.*  (And happy birthday...a few hours late!)

Night owl

I've been on third shift for about a month now and the answer for anyone who is curious is: yes, I do love it as much as I thought I would.

I don't mind going to bed first thing when I get home and sleeping until just before or just after Nathan gets home.  I like having the whole night to spend time with him.  The only problem with sleeping during the day has been the cats, they usually want attention when I'm trying to sleep.

The strangest thing about it all is my weekends.  I have tried to maintain mostly the same schedule every day, even my days off, going to bed between 4:30 and 6.  So, after Nathan goes to bed those days usually around 1 am, I have several hours to myself before I'm ready to turn in.

It's interesting to find things for myself to do that won't disturb him.  I've tried to fill that time with purpose, using it to write and that usually works pretty well (but not tonight).  I watch movies Nathan doesn't like to watch with me (think: the new Jane Eyre or any Jane Eyre.)  Sometimes I even play video games.

I don't know why it feels so odd to have time to myself in the middle of the night, especially since I've always been a night person, but I'm slowly getting used to it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


A while ago I said I had been knitting a lot lately, which is true.  For example, I made this:

It's my first attempt at a mitten-glove.  I have to say, it didn't turn out quite the way I wanted.  I was hoping to make it with individual spaces for fingers, but each time I tried that I ended up with holes all over the place.  Instead there is just a line under the mitten cap where the fingers peak out the top of the glove.  Oh, well, maybe I'll get it right next time.

I saw this hat pattern on a while ago and decided it was the most adorable thing ever:

It's a tiny aviator-style hat!  Later I sewed a lime green felt button on it, but those pictures didn't turn out as well.  Seriously, how cute is this!  And it only took a day!  Now I want to make like 12 of these. 

This really just looks like a fancy scarf, but on the lady who designed it made it as a turban.  As you can see, my turban-wrapping skills need work, but I think it's neat.  Plus there's a matching mitten pattern that I think is really pretty and I hope to make one day.

My creative juices haven't been dedicated entirely to knitting lately.  I also designed this:

Okay, just the flowers.  They are fake flowers I found at Michaels, and I know it's not the most elegant arrangement, but it actually turned out pretty close to what I was hoping for.  I love the leaves at the back. As a side note, I know the table looks really bare.  I need a cute fall table runner.  I think that'll be my next project.

So, yeah, this is what I've been up to with my free time lately.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Welcome, Friend.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to officially welcome you to, September.  (Cue the singing angels.) 

In just a few short weeks it will be autumn (more singing angels).  The temperature will, hopefully, drop.  The humidity will disperse and we'll be able to do things outside and be comfortable.  The air will come in soft breezes bearing a light crispness.  The sunlight will turn more golden.  Leaves will turn and fall and the whole world will be bright with colors.

Orchards will open and people will be able to pick apples and pumpkins.  Farmers will climb into their tractors and harvest the crops.  And at the end, just before the darkness and chill of winter, we will have a holiday to celebrate the great things about this glorious time of year.  We will give thanks.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I was shocked.  I slipped the sweater down of my head fit.  Not perfectly, not without pulling a bit at the bottom, but well enough that I won't feel silly if I wear it out in public.

There are some things I would change, but for the first time, I have actually knitted a sweater I can wear.  I made clothing.  The sleeves and the sweater body are both just about the right length.  How great is that?!

This was my first real work with button holes and I don't think the ones I made are entirely stable, but that's how we learn.  And yes, I realize red buttons on a light green sweater look a little silly, but I just wanted to get it finished.

It looks much better than I anticipated.  And I finished just in time for fall.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


It happens every year.  We reach July 31 and I turn around and suddenly it's the last week of August.  For reasons I don't understand, August always slips away from me.  Maybe it's because there are very few "special" days for my family in this month.  Growing up it was my Papa's birthday on the 17th.  But Mom always remembered that so I didn't even have to think about it.  My sister-in-law Alicia's birthday is the 16th and usually what happens is I get to about the 15th and realize it.  Sorry Alicia, it's not you, I promise!!

So that's why I haven't posted anything all month.  I only realized last week that we were coming to month's end.  However, very exciting side note, today is shift change!!!  When I go in to work tonight it will be 11 pm!  Very few people outside work understand why this is so great, but it really is.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The window

When you look at this picture, you will see a window with a strange fitting into the ceiling and a set of white-ish mini blinds.

And if I ask you to look closer you will still see an ordinary window.  That is not your fault, it's just because you don't know the journey this window has been on.  When we moved into this house, the window was one of a few that had suffered the strange habits of the occupants before us.  Their way of opening a window which stuck or would not otherwise open was to break it.  This particular window, on the south wall of what will hopefully soon be the nursery was a jagged piece of glass sitting in its frame when we moved in.  There was also a black curtain that looked more like a sheet hanging in frront of it, in place of blinds or a normal curtain.

When we knew we were going to be starting the adoption process, I asked Nathan if he could figure out some way of fixing the glass before the home study so that it didn't look so bad.  Nathan and his dad took the window out of the wall and sent it to a local construction business who refitted it with new glass and sent it back.  Then it sat in our basement for a while, so that Nathan could repaint the outside frame.  This past week, Nathan and his dad put it back in place in the wall and even fitted the blinds in there, which had been bought earlier by Nathan's mother.  It may just be me that is impressed by all this, but it makes me very, very happy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Today, I conquered the world.

Today, I conquered the world...or at least it felt like it.

Because, for the first time in my life, I drove myself into Downtown Chicago and back, alone, to a doctor's appointment.  And, I didn't freak out too much on the interstate, and I didn't get lost...not once.  Come on, that's awesome!  I didn't take any exists I shouldn't have, I didn't make any wrong turns.  Granted, I had a GPS to guide me and I called on God Almighty and half the Saints in Heaven for prayers, but it's still cool. This is something I've been putting off making myself do for 27 years and frankly, I'm surprised it worked out for that long.  The remarkableness  of that statistic is due to my mother's willingness to juggle her schedule and come with me.  It just didn't work this time.

Not only that, I handled an issue with my referral on my own.  Yes, I called my mother to complain about it and to be reassured I could, in fact, handle it.  Hey, I'm not a superhero.  But I got everything straightened out and under control.  I was early to my appointment, which was for a cardiac MRI, and everything worked out fine.

But then...I found out they wanted to use dye to get some of the images right and  that meant an IV.  This was also the very first time I have ever been anywhere and gotten an IV completely by myself.  And I did not cry.  My eyes welled up a little, but it's not the same thing.

If it had been up to me, most of what was cool about today probably would not have happened because I would have taken someone with me.  But it is nice to know that I can get through these things on my own.  It seems that Medical Me is growing up.  Who would have thought it? 

On a slightly different, but not unrelated topic, if you happen to go down I-290 into Chicago anytime soon you will pass Rush St. Luke's Medical Center.  The first building you will see in that complex is several stories of older-fashioned red brick design.  There is a ledge running around the middle of it.  Check out the window on the end just above the ledge as you drive by.  That window was my window.  I was born in Downer's Grove and they sent me almost immediately by ambulance to Rush and my mom once told me that she used to walk me down to that window and talk to me and watch the traffic go by outside.  (I tried to find a picture of that building, but they just built a new facility at Rush, so all the pictures I located were of the new building.)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

7 Quick Takes

 1--I stole the idea for this from my friend Bonnie at Learning to be a Newlywed.  I think she got it from a place called Conversion Diary, which I don't think I've ever been to before.  My only hope with using it here is that it makes me write about something other than the adoption.

2--This summer has been ridiculously humid so far.  I have had to come up with different ways of dealing with it.  Initially the only air conditioner was in our bedroom, so I was kind of stuck up there on the really bad days.  But then Nathan and his dad installed a large window unit in the sun room.  We have yet to need it, but I'm really excited for when we do.  My other way of dealing...Sundresses!  I've bought two so far this year and they are a lot cooler than shorts and T-shirts.

 3--I've been knitting quite a bit, I'll post pictures later. I've been practicing socks and mitten/gloves so I have one of each.  Maybe one day I'll make pairs.

4--I need to learn how to cook in the summer time.  My specialties are casseroles, lasagnas and other heavy "oven foods."  I really don't know what to make most nights when the temperature is over 60 degrees.

5--This picture was taken last month at my nephew's baptism on the 19th.  He was baptized in the same church as my dad, my brother and me.  The window we are standing under is an image of Christ revealing His Scared Heart to St. Margaret Mary and my mother tells me at my baptism we took pictures under this window too.  Also, Brian's baptismal gown was gorgeous and handmade by my sister-in-law's coworker.

6--Our dryer is on the fritz again.  We bought it last year from a garage sale and it didn't work right away because (we later discovered) the outlet was bad.  Now it is not putting out heat and the timer is not least it's nice out so I can hang clothes on the lines.

7--It is really hard to think of non-adoption things to write about.  The dryer comment was me scraping the bottom of the barrel.  I hope it gets easier.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wishful Shopping

It has been just over a year since we signed our contract with Angel Adoption.  Since it's a two year contract, I have always kind of dreaded getting to this place.  We are over halfway through now, and as far as I know, no closer to becoming parents.

I do my best to keep mine and Nathan's spirits up and remind myself that God's timing is not our timing, but it doesn't always help.  Why is it that when things are starting to look a little bleak or become a little overwhelming, is when everyone I know gets pregnant or has their baby?  I've noticed this phenomenon throughout the whole process.

My biggest problem is figuring out what to do with myself.  How do I spend my time?  What should I be buying or preparing?  Is buying or preparing anything a universal adoption jinx that I just don't know about?

And then there's Nathan...Nathan who won't talk about the baby much or even how he's feeling about the process unless I mention it's stressing me out.  He doesn't like to talk about names or painting the nusery (even though it needs to be done).  How am I supposed to support Nathan and his feelings when I don't even know what they are?  Why do men always think we are mindreaders? 

I've read all the adoption books I care to and they can't really say anything new about where we are in the process because really, there is no set way to handle it.

With that in mind, I actually have done a little shopping...We decided a long time ago, that we wanted the nursery theme to be farm animals; it's perfect, cute and reflects who we (or rather Nathan) are as people and its androgynous, which is probably the most important factor.

Not long after we signed the contract Fisher Price came out with a line of swings called "How Now Brown Cow" that was a farming theme.  Our local Target started carrying it and everytime I walked into the store I would go and stare wistfully at the swings.  Nathan got a $50 giftcard from work for administrative professionals day and I knew he would never use it, so early last month, I went to Target and bought the swing, which was normally $100 but was on sale the day I got there...

Not long after, I went to Lombard with my mom, who was shopping for a baby shower gift for my nephew Brian Patrick.  We went into Babies R Us and one of the first things I saw was a 6-piece crib set on sale for $90 from about $180.  Seriously, this was an amazing sale.  The theme was "Animal Acres" and since then I've found they actually discontinued the set.  So, I bought that too.  While we were there my mom picked up an extra crib sheet and the wall appliques of the same set for me.

There are a bunch of other things I want to do.  I want to find a smallish bookcase and paint it white and then add in pastel paints of all different colors, my favorite quotes from all the books I love beginning with "Once upon a time in Spain..." from Ferdinand, my very first favorite book.  I've picked out two possible colors for the nursery and I'd like to get it painted.  I want to spend half a paycheck on books and buy the cute "police uniform" onesie I saw in an ad the other day.

But maybe I'll wait...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Profile Pictures...again

At the beginning of the month I received an e-mail from our adoption agency asking for new pictures for our profile.  We have been with them for a year now and they wanted to freshen up our profile.  This is understandable, but it still made me cringe.  It was so hard to get enough good photos last time, I did not look forward to trying it again, especially because when I got the e-mail Nathan was still spending all his available time in the fields helping with planting.  But they finished last week and we've been able to slip in a few photo shoots and I mailed off the new pictures yesterday.

The setting in this picture is Nathan's parents' backyard by the creek and I think it's a lovely place for a photo.

This was taken at my parents' house after our nephew's baptism.  I believe the phrase I used for Nathan's hair is "a little overwhelming."  But it's a good picture.  By the way, you can't tell, but I'm wearing a really cute dress in this...just saying.

I love this one.  It's just really good.  I don't remember why I decided cartoon character T-shirts was a good idea, but I still think so.

We took these last ones yesterday at my Mom and Dad's.  I think they're supercute.

Yep, we even had a wardrobe change yesterday.  There are several of us in our blue and green and I love them all, but this might be the best one.

Nathan really wanted a picture of us in front of one of his Dad's tractors.  We took two and this is definitely the better picture.

I think I sent more than one picture of each set except the first one.  I hope these work for the agency and I also hope they retain some of the older ones.  There were one or two that we were really good.

Also, I will post soon about having one year in with the agency and how we are doing with that, I just haven't worked up the nerve yet.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shh...I'm Sporcle-ing...

Thanks to my brother-in-law, Eric, I have located what is officially the Internet's greatest source of time-wasting entertainment.  It's called Sporcle.  It is nothing but hours' worth of general knowledge and specialized tests and quizzes...I love it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Little Dark Knight

No, Nathan and I haven't heard anything about an adoption yet, but I've been wondering lately what kind of parent I want to be...or even will be.  I had a funny experience this weekend that kind of showed me what I would like to be as a parent.

Nathan and I stopped at Casey's yesterday on the way home from my mom and dad's house.  We ran in to get a few things and while we were standing in line, I noticed a father with a group of children, one of the little boys (he might have been 6 or 7) in the group stood out.  He was wearing a full Batman Dark Knight costume.  He had the little hood with the spikes and everything.  He was too cute.  It didn't look exactly like this, but close enough.

As we stood there, the Dad stepped out of line and went to get something from a shelf and the child followed him.  The Dad turned part way around and pointed back to the line and said "Go keep the peace over there, Dark Knight."  I had the prefect visual of this kid not wanting to leave the house in anything but his Dark Knight costume and it struck me as a very loving gesture of his father to let him and then to kind of play along.  Even though it may have actually come after hours of crying and temper tantrums.  I don't know why, but this really spoke to me.  In an "it's not a big deal so don't sweat it" sort of way.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Book of Love

I watched the last few epidodes of Scrubs on Netflix yesterday.  I love the last scene and the song they worked in, The Book of Love, by Peter Gabriel.  It is amazing.  I have been singing it all day.

Incidently, if you want to watch the actual clip from Scrubs, it's on YouTube.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What have I been up to?

I's been a while...again.

The only excuse I have is that my life really isn't all that exciting right now.  We are in the holding pattern of waiting for placement with the adoption and other than that, I mostly just work.

There are a few exceptions.  The week of my birthday in May I took one of my guaranteed weeks of vacation.  I used almost all of it to visit my little sister Anne in Maryland and New Jersey.

And look who showed up to hang out with us for the weekend...

We had a great time.  We went to New York City and saw Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty
I don't know if this is just me, but I had absolutely no desire to get off the boat and walk around on Liberty Island.  But it was very important to me to see the statue from the water, the way it was meant to be seen.

I went to a couple of Anne's classes in Delaware with her.  We went to Philadelphia so that I could see my very good friend, who has lived there for a little while now, and we wandered around the historical areas.

This is Anne, Elizabeth and Alexandra in Elfreth's Alley, the oldest residential street in the nation.  I love the carriage road running through it.

This is Benjamin Franklin's grave in a cemetery in Philadelphia.

We hung out in Maryland, which is one of my top 3 favorite states in the country, so it was very nice to be back there.

And, one of the best things about my trip, I met him...

my nephew Brian!  Anne and I drove from her school in Delaware to Virginia one day just so I could meet him.  He is super cute!  This also means we got to spend a few hours with Nate and Alicia.

Okay so this is a picture of Nate and Anne.  Sorry, Alicia, I don't think I got a picture of you while we were out there.

All in all it was a pretty great trip, and a very nice birthday present to myself.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Most of this is WAY over due...sorry about that.

The most important thing is that we now have a nephew.  On March 15, Alicia, my sister-in-law went into labor and, a few hours later, had a baby boy, Brian Patrick Eaton.  Their family lives in Virginia, so unfortunately I have not been able to see my nephew yet in person.  But Nate has posted several pictures on Facebook and, honestly, the little guy is adorable!  My parents (Brian's Grandpa and Nonna Eaton) are in Virginia right now enjoying their new role as grandparents.  Early next month I am going to New Jersey to stay with Anne and we will make the trip down to visit Nate and his family, very much looking forward to that!

In all honesty, my cardiologist appointment did not go as badly as I feared it would.  It turns out, in the last ten years, an entirely new specialty has developed called "Adults with Congenital Heart Defects."  There are doctors these days who make this a field of study and practice.  I find this hilarious since 10 years is almost exactly how long I have been in need of a doctor like this.  I guess I'm never going to stop being at the cutting edge of cardiac medicine.  So the doctor we went to see last month will be like my medical supervisor and she will send me to the specialists I need to go to.  I don't know how I feel about having more than one cardiologist, but I guess it's better than going to the wrong doctors!

Our social worker is coming for her biannual house visit.  This is more depressing than it should be, I think.  I would like to believe we are closer to having a child, but as far as I know nothing new has happened.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

While we wait...

Two months ago Nathan and I became officially certified foster parents.  Since then the wait has been a very big, but unspoken part of our lives.  I've been wondering, since then, what are acceptable baby-related activities for prospective adoptive parents.

We plan on painting the baby's room, but haven't done it yet.  I've been knitting baby hats and booties like crazy.  I bought a couple baby outfits, just one or two in case we get a call out of the blue and need to be ready right away.  And yes, we have picked out names, more or less, Nathan doesn't like to make "concrete" pronouncements until he absolutely has to.  But the girl's name we picked so far is Natalie Joyce and for a boy Elijah Tarbert (it's my paternal grandmother's maiden name).

But part of me is scared that having done even these few and necessary things, we might be "jinxing" oursevles in some way.  I don't know many other adoptive parents, so I don't know how far ahead or behind we actually are.  Part of me wants to buy all the nursery furniture we need right now, car seats, toys and everything and just have the room absolutely ready for the little one.  We told the agency we would happily accept twins if the chance arose.  Should we have secondary names picked out, just in case?

I don't know how much of  this is "in case" and how much is just masochistic.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Problem with Winter

I love colder temperatures, I love dark nights and using the fireplace.  Everything about winter appeals to me, except of course for snow.  My biggest problem with winter has only developed lately.

Winter seems to bring on the weight gain.  It's the perfect time for hot, fatty home-cooked foods and staying inside spending time reading or talking with Nathan.  There is no bike riding and very little walking outside. 

This year is the first time I've noticed this.  I just got back in from being on my bike for the first time this spring and I feel sufficiently wiped out.  I hope this doesn't last too long.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The approach of spring

Nathan and I were out at Buffalo Wild Wings tonight sitting underneath a giant television showing the Blackhawks/Sharks game, like about five of their other televisions.  I don't remember what was on any of the others.  But there was one TV at the back of the restaurant that I could see over Nathan's shoulder and what was playing on that particular set made me giddy.

It was an exhibition White Sox game.  The long dark winter is almost over.  Spring is almost here.  Thank God for baseball.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I didn't really notice when it happened.  Sometime in the last couple years my perspective on Lent changed.  Suddenly I wasn't thinking in terms of "What am I going to give up for Lent."  My new mantra was "What am I going to do for Lent."  It's probably because I got tired of nominally giving up pop and then not really having much success with it.

But I think this it also has something to do with growing up.  The thought of giving something up for Lent is just right for children, I think, because it gets the idea across that Lent is a time of self-denial.  I'm not sure the little ones understand that it's also a time of self-revision.

Lent is the perfect time to think about ourselves objectively and work on those imperfections we find.  The older I get the more I think about the Lenten season as a time for self-reflection and revision.  There is the thought of "What do I need to do to become more Christ-like in my life?"

Therefore, my Lenten resolutions this year are:
  • work on giving up the casual swearing, which has gotten much worse since I started working as a dispatcher. 
  • become less judgmental of people in general
  • try to eliminate some of the parts of my sense of humor which are particularly mean
  • stop gossiping

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Birthday extravaganza--Spring edition

Have you ever noticed how birthdays and other special days tend to group themselves together within families?  For example, in my own family there are five birthdays at the end of the year: Anne-October 8; Daddy-October 15; Eric-October 30; Elizabeth-November 24; and Nate-December 19.

That doesn't even include Mom and Dad's anniversary in September, our anniversary in late October, Nate's anniversary in early October, aunt and uncle's birthdays of which there are at least 3 in October alone, cousin's birthdays: I can count 2 in October off the top of my head, and Eric and Elizabeth's anniversary in mid-December.

According to Mom this means October is closed.  We are no longer allowed to add birthdays or other "special event days" in October.

I'm finding that this crosses family lines as well.  I think the last week of February to the second week of March are almost as action packed as any three-week period in October for Nathan and I.  Our niece Sophie just celebrated her first birthday February 25, Craig's birthday follows quickly on the 27th, then comes my mother's on March 1 and finally Nathan's on March 9.  (Side note: be gentle with Nathan on his birthday this year, he's turning 30.)

And those three weeks are about to get more involved: my brother's wife is due to have their baby any day now.  She's due March 16, but I don't think she's going to make it that far.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Medical Roulette

I love it when the insurance company feels like it needs to remind me how old I am. 

It's endearing when they decide because I have grown up, they get to play games with my medical care. 

The older I get the harder it is to believe the insurance company views my care as other than a way for them to try their luck.  There is a fairly well documented history of letters and recommendations that clearly state that I need to be seen by pediatric cardiologists.  This is what the whole problem stems from.  I have found that in lay terms "pediatric" really means "when you're 18 you're out." 

So I usually have to fight very hard to be seen by the right people.  And for the most part, a well-written letter from an adult cardiologist saying they cannot treat me has done the trick relatively well.

Until now...

I am attempting to see my doctor for a check up and I have been told that there is an adult cardiologist who "believes she can help me."  There are quite a few Ango-Saxon four letter words that I have already said about this which bear repeating, but not here.

I would really like to believe that this is the answer to my prayers.  After all, seeing a pediatric doctor at the age of 26 is slightly humiliating.  I have always wished there was some kind of "transitional" cardiology.  This particular doctor I have to go see has a couple patients who have congenital defects similar to mine, which is why she thinks she can treat me.   But for 26 years I have been told I need to stick with pediatrics and because I have been willing to fight for it, I have received excellent care.  It is kind of hard to suddenly turn my back on all that.

In other news, look what I did!

I messed up the bottom and it is too small to pull down over my shoulders, but I'm proud of it anyway.  It looks perfect, even if it isn't and that is really all I wanted for my first one.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Moving up

It was nice to have a two day weekend for the first time in a while, but I have to say, I kind of ruined it.  I have been so worked up about the fact that our license was completed and yet the agency we are working with didn't have our profile up on their web site yet.  I think I must have driven the poor ladies that work there crazy with my e-mails.

Tuesday night I e-mailed them apologizing and saying the only reason I was feeling that anxious was because Nathan and I have never been through this process before so we don't really know how it works.  They were nice enough to assure me I was not in fact driving them crazy and it was normal to feel jumpy.  I was also told they have already showed the paper copy of our profile to several birth mothers.  This made me feel much better.

Then I went to work and when I got home our profile was up on their web site. If you want to have a look, click here.  Now we begin the wait.

Friday, February 11, 2011


We are officially ready to be adoptive parents.  We have been vetted and licensed by the State of Illinois.  They have signed off on us as people and are prepared to let us raise whatever children God may choose to give us.  We are very blessed.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Stepping forward...a little

Finally, after many months of anxiety and checking the mailbox everyday for our license, all our paperwork for the adoption has gone through successfully.  We still haven't gotten our physical license yet, but our social worker assured Nathan by phone the other day that everything has been okayed and we should have the license within the week.

And hopefully, in the next few days, our information will appear on our agency's website.  This is the official last step before we are chosen.  And yet, I find myself feeling even more anxious and nervous now than I did when nothing was happening.  We have come almost eight months into our two year contact and have only gotten this far.  I am very afraid no one will have chosen us by the time our contract runs out. 

But I am excited.  I have started looking at cribs and infant necessities.  I hope we'll need them soon

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Bard

This is one of the many reasons I love YouTube.  This is the Bard of Cornwall (Jesse Ferguson).  Check out his videos on YouTube.  He's awesome...and yes, he is singing in his kitchen.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mission Knittin'

You should see the basket sitting on the end table next to our couch.  It is filled with half-used balls of yarn.  And then there is another basket in the cabinets in our bedroom that is also mostly full of half-used balls of yarn.  Seriously, they are everywhere.  I have usually have no idea what to do with them.

I eliminated quite a few when I made a scrap blanket, but it's not very big and we use it to line Hyperion's travel carrier.  I've started a second that I think we'll use in Hecate's carrier, but there has to be a better way to use fragment yarn.

And I think I've found it.  I love making things for my family and myself.  The look of appreciation on my sister's face at Christmas when she opened the hat and wristers I made for her was pretty great.  But there is a whole other group of people I think I should be making things for. 

All of these partial-skeins can be put to good use and I encourage anyone who feels the same to join me.  I am going to attempt to use my yarn fragments to make hats for newborn babies at hospitals.  Or for children and mothers and give them to domestic violence shelters.  Or mittens and gloves (as soon as I learn to make fingers) and hats for homeless shelters.  There are several large groups of people who could  do with good warm mittens or hats or whatever.  And now that I've started mastering using color, they can also be something nice to look at, something to be proud of. 

I'm thinking of starting a blog to chronicle the progress of this new mission....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Creative Successes...or not

I decided to skip the customary "Christmas post" this year.  However, I am going to say we had a lovely Christmas and we hope you did too.  One of the best Christmas gifts I got was a whole ton of yarn.  It's true.  My mom set a big red bag down in front of me and it was filled with all different kinds of yarn and the needles I had asked for.  Then Elizabeth got me two skeins each of two really pretty yarns that I had pointed out to her before.  Seriously, I got a ton of yarn.  Therefore, I have been knitting a lot lately.  I found the cutest pattern for a hat that's a daffodil.  Adorable.  And one of the yarns in the bag my mom gave me was a pretty bright yellow, so...

I know that's not the best background for this picture. This hat was also my very first experience with two-color knitting at the same time.  It was kind of intense, but I think it came out well and made me want to really understand colorwork knitting.  This yellow yarn was a very large skein, so I made a pair of my favorite booties to go along with it.

As you can see, I had a little trouble at the front of the one on the right, but apart from that, I think they look awesome.  I also practised a little bit with knitting stripes.

Much better than I anticipated for my first try.  And just for fun, I used some of Elizbeth's yarn to make mittens for myself.  I love them.
But not all my creative Christmas presents had to do with knitting.  My mother-in-law bought me an adorable sewing box and stocked it with many of the essentials, which I did not have.  It was an incredibly thoughtful gift.  For some reason, though.  I cannot make my sewing machine work for me.  I was attempting to make curtains for Nathan's office and I could not get the machine to make real stitches.  I tried everything I could think of and things that were suggested by others.  Then, somehow, the tip of the needle in the sewing machine broke off.  I don't understand how that happened.  I hope sometime in the near future to get the machine figured out.  I have high hopes of making myself some cute summer skirts and sundresses.