Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Miles Away***BIG UPDATE***

Earlier this week it looked like I was going to get a free trip to London and Madrid next month. I was SO excited at the possibility, but as of an hour ago it isn't going to happen. My sweetie will be on tour for twenty days in several European countries starting Sunday, and he suggested that he use his miles to fly me over for for a few days. However, since it's summer and since we've waited until the last minute to come up with this brilliant idea, we are unable to make it happen due to black-out dates and airline policies that make it so you have to use twice the miles for late bookings. Oh, well. Maybe next time. :-(

I still have ten days in Kauai with my family to look forward to later this summer. :-)

*** UPDATE ***

We've found a way to make this happen. I will be leaving at the end of next week for three days in Madrid, and two days in London. WOOHOO!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Purse Meme

RMJ tagged me for this one. She wants to see the contents of my purse. Well, okay, but I don't think there's anything out of the ordinary inside.

My purse is a Vera Bradley. I have a small collection of these now. I love the fabrics they make their products with, and the designs are great. My favorites are the designs that have interior pockets for my cell phone and other goodies.

So what we have here are my keys, my wallet, my Maui Jim sunglasses (prescription lenses), a little makeup bag with a couple Lancome lipsticks (my favorite brand), some chewing gum (I don't even really like chewing gum), a compact with some loose powder (I wear BareMinerals), a ticket from my niece's dance recital last weekend, and some loose papers and boarding passes from our trip earlier this week.

So, there you have it!

June Secret Pal Gift

Hi there, Secret Pal!

Thank you so much for the Fisher-Price Snuggle-Kins panda. This toy is super cute, and it sure looks like a lot of fun for a little one to tote around and care for.

I so appreciate your thoughtfulness each month. Your packages always bring a smile to my face.

Love to you,

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Northern California is so beautiful! I just got back from a quick trip to the wine country with my sweetie, Michael. I wish I could have spent the whole week up there, but I had to report to summer school this morning. Sigh...

We stayed along the Russian River under the Redwood trees. There is nothing like a drive down a two-lane road, with the river running alongside the road, and the Redwoods forming a canopy above. Sure beats driving down the 405, let me tell you!

We did a little wine tasting - sparkling wine and pinot noir - our favorites. We visited Domaine Carneros, seen below. I particularly liked this winery because the building reminded me of some of the chateaus I saw in France. In fact, this is Tattinger's (a French champagne house) USA endeavor. We sat out on one of the balconies sipping our samples and gnoshing on cheese and crackers. Yum! The service here was top-notch, too.

The same day we visited Domaine Carneros, we also tried to visit Domaine Chandon, but when we arrived we were told they were closed due "technical difficulties". How technical is it to open a bottle of champagne - I mean sparkling wine? Nevertheless, we managed to return the following day and weren't turned away again. The grounds here were lush and beautiful. We enjoyed a sampling of three of their many sparkling wines and another cheese plate. I wish I could drink champange more often. It's fun! ;-)

We also enjoyed two gourmet dinners while we were away. The food and wines in this area are excellent. It's hard to have a bad meal! We even came across a Farmers Market on our first day, and we couldn't resist the beautiful produce. So, we stocked up on oranges, peaches, nectarines, plums, and cherries. We purchased much more than we could consume in such a short time, and so on the way back we donated what we had left to a sweet lady who was down on her luck near the airport. She was very appreciative, and we felt good knowing she'd be eating something healthy and fresh.

It was so good to be away - to see and taste nature's beauty, to rest and relax, to talk and plan, to laugh and be carefree. We spoke hypothetically about living up in the wine country. I'm afraid that will only happen if one of us wins the lottery, but it was fun to talk about. I do know that spending time up there is something I want to do more often, though. It's just a beautiful place to be.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

That's A Wrap

Yesterday was the last day of school! Yippee! As wonderful as that group of kids was, it's good to be done and head into a (hopefully) relaxing summer vacation. I'm teaching new fourth graders at summer school, which starts on Wednesday. But, with the school day there being a little more than four hours, my afternoons will be free and I'm looking forward to having more time to do the things I enjoy.

I have to confess that I skipped Boot Camp last night. I was so tired, and then friends invited us over for dinner... What can I say? I think I may have to do twenty push-ups for penance when I return. Thing is, I can't do twenty push-ups! Ack!

Tomorrow it's off to the wine country for a few days of R&R. Yes!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


It's the last week of school. I just finished my report cards and cumulative folders today. I still have some paperwork tasks to do, and I need to pack up and take down some things in the classroom. I have kept the kids busy the last two days with movies and board games. That allowed me to work on the report cards and cumulative folders. Even so, they are pretty wired. They can almost taste their impending freedom.

With all I have done and have yet to do at school, and with the rigors of boot camp each evening, I'm beat! I can hardly wait for an adjustment to my schedule and more time for myself starting next week. I think I have a summer school position, but with that I'll be done working at noon each day. Then I'll have more time in the afternoons for whatever I feel like doing. I love summertime!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Boot Camp - Week #1

Tonight I will complete my first week of bootcamp. It's been challenging, but it's also surprisingly fun! I have been befriended by another bootcamper who is also a teacher. She has the gift of gab, and talks to me almost non-stop the whole class. This is a wonderful distraction for me! I just listen and make a few comments whenever I can - between gasps for breath. Hanging with her really helps pass the time and keeps my mind off of my suffering. Ha!

I have already noticed an increase in my upper body strength. The first night of class I couldn't do the plank position (see below). But last night both my new friend and I realized that we were now able to hold the position much longer than before.

The only thing I really don't like is the running, and we start of every session with a run. As my sweetie reminds me every time I complain about it, I am not a runner... He's right. I have never liked running, and my knees don't like it either. However, I do try to push myself to run a little further every night. My plan is to run as far as the restrooms tonight. How's that for a goal? ;-)

Anyway, I'm enjoying myself so much and feeling so good that I'm even seriously considering signing up for their next session in July! Am I crazy, or what?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Oh, Bummer...

From my agency:

We are writing to let you know that unfortunately, America World did not receive referrals today for our next group of families logged in on 11/9/2005 (group 237). We did receive one referral for a family of Chinese Heritage. We know that your hearts were full of hope and expectation of a referral this time around, and our hearts break for you all, because we know that the wait has been so much longer than anyone ever anticipated. We say this often, but please know that we are praying that God would comfort you and give you strength as the wait continues. Please don't hesitate to contact your Family Coordinator with questions, concerns, or for support during this time.

This is the second time in three months that AWAA has not received referrals. Bummer! I have to hand it to my agency, because they are very compassionate and supportive. I know they mean it when they say they are praying for their waiting families and that they are available to talk.

Earlier this week I marked my eleventh month of waiting since LID. It doesn't seem like something worth getting excited about anymore, and so I don't. Even just as recently as six months ago, I fully expected that I would receive my referral in this calendar year. That isn't going to happen now though, and it may not even happen next year for mid-2006 LIDs based on the current rate of referrals. This is not the journey I thought it would be. My heart goes out to everyone waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Boot Camp

My first session of Boot Camp starts in just an hour and a half. I'm a little nervous to tell you the truth. I went over to the owners' home yesterday to be weighed and measured. While I was there, I spent a little while talking to another woman about my age who has been attending this boot camp since January. She goes to the 5:30 am session! Yikes! Anyway, she had nothing but good things to say about her experience. I'll let you know what I think later. So far, I think the trainers seem really down-to-earth and nurturing. I don't think they are the drill sergeant types at all.

Hey, I got the nicest email from the owner of Little Lantern this morning thanking me for posting about her shop in my last post. She said she received about 200 hits yesterday, and when she checked her site meter to see where they came from, many of them came from my link. She says she makes all her items by hand. I thought so because they are so cute!

Well, wish me luck. I hope I can move my extremities tomorrow!

************** UPDATE **************

I just got home from BC, and it was:

  • tough
  • challenging
  • kinda fun
  • sweaty
  • nice outside
  • non-stop
  • uplifting
  • a positive experience
I'm still concerned that I'm going to be very sore this week. In fact, they told us newcomers to expect to be sore. But, they also said that by week #3 we'd be checking ourselves out in the mirror and liking what we saw! I like that idea. Shannon and Caroline (the trainers) are really motivating and helpful.

I'm beat. Off for a quick shower and to bed with me...

Good night!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Shopping Anyone?

This site was recommended on my agency's Yahoo group recently. I just checked it out this morning, and I think their products are darling! They appear to be handmade, and the fabrics are so cute. Go see what I mean!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Q & A

Jen offered to send her readers five questions of her choice, and I signed up the other night. She kindly obliged and customized some questions just for me.

So here goes…

1) I know this question was probably addressed somewhere in your blog archives, but what made you decide to adopt? Why China?

I decided to adopt because I was longing to have a child and I was stuck. I was in love with a man who didn’t think he wanted to be married and have a family. (He has since experienced a change of heart). I knew I was meant to have a family. I’m not one to sit passively, so I began to think of ways to become a mother. On a bit of a whim, I punched in “adoption” on a Google search and up came a link to my adoption agency. I liked that Steven Curtis Chapman was associated with them, as I respect him, and I sent away for an information packet. Then I shared the idea with my mom and she was really supportive and excited about the idea. It just felt right and so I made plans to move forward. I chose to apply to the China program because they were accepting singles, and I would only need to travel once. The more I learned about the situation in China, the more sure I was that I'd made the right choice.

2) When did you decide that you wanted to teach? Are you happy with that decision? Is it as rewarding as you thought?

I decided to teach after spending a few years in the “business world” after college. I was disillusioned with the whole thing, and I wanted to do something that mattered. My sister had just started teaching, and I helped her out in the classroom one day and it just felt right. Hmm, see a trend here? So, I researched a few teaching credential programs in the area, and chose one that fit my schedule and my needs. A year and a half later I started teaching full-time. I am so happy with that decision. I enjoy almost every day in the classroom. I love my students – fourth graders are the best! I love instruction and curriculum planning. I work at a wonderful school where I am appreciated and allowed to have some autonomy. It’s highly rewarding for me. I can’t imagine doing anything else now.

3) Out of all the blogs/bloggers you read, what three resonate the most with you and why?

I don’t think I can stick to just three! I guess what really resonates with me the most is authenticity. I admire others’ abilities to put it all out there without being bitter or negative, and those that keep looking for the good in difficult situations. Some of you have been through such heartache, frustration, loss, and grief, and yet you reflect on those things with such dignity and graciousness. I am encouraged by that kind of strength and wisdom.

Conversely, my blog is pretty superficial. I know that. I just thought I’d be documenting my adoption journey and the milestones along the way, and that’s what I’ve done so far. I really don’t use my blog as a journal or diary. All I can tell you is still waters run deep. ;-)

4) What was the most difficult period of time in your life? Why?

My twenties were difficult for me. I had yet to discover my purpose in life, and I was realizing that life doesn’t always go according to plan. I was unhappy and frustrated. I was suffering from a chronic health condition that was disruptive to my everyday life. I just didn’t know what to do.

But once I discovered my purpose, I began to enjoy life more. For me, at that time, I needed to pursue my musical aspirations and have a job that was meaningful to me. Once I did so, I found a lot more satisfaction in my life, and my health improved dramatically. My condition has been in remission for several years now. Life is good. I’m so blessed. Really!

5) What are the five most important values you hope to instill in your daughter?

I want my children to value:
• Family
• A Relationship with God
• Their Life’s Purpose
• Generosity
• Compassion

And I know it’s up to me to model those values.

I’d offer to send you five questions, but I’m afraid I’m just too busy in these last two weeks of school to be thinking of questions right now. June 15th can’t get here soon enough!

May Secret Pal Gift

Secret Pal,

Never fear, your package arrived a few days ago. I'm the one who has been slow to get this thank you posted. You really chose some fun items this month. I love the little outfit, the books, the stuffed animals, the clips, and the AquaDoodle. I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Thanks again!