Sunday, December 13, 2009

Starting over...AGAIN

For the third year in a row, I have managed to do something I have said each year I wouldn't never do again. I swore this year, I would not do it. But I have.

I have officially not worked out since summer and now I am starting over....AGAIN. UGHHHH! Once classes start back, it's like I am running in circles (well, I need to be running in circles) and I can't seem to stay on my workout routine what-so-ever. This is how the last three years have played out...

End of summer: Clothes are starting to fit, sort of, and I am feeling in pretty good shape. I even did a triathlon just 3 short months ago and now I couldn't even finish.

Fall: Classes start, I hit the couch permanently and grade papers each night. If I am not grading I am to exhausted to do anything but sit, like a big couch potato.

Winter: Clothes tight, or don't fit. Feeling like a big, huge slug. Tired, BLAH!

Spring: Start to work out here and there...feeling the pressure of swim suit season upon me.

Summer: Crank the workouts into full force, and workout every day. I even joined the masters swim team, which I have not attended since August.

Fall: Classes start...the laziness begins again.

So, why I am writing about this?! Well, maybe if I put this out there on my blog, I'll stick to some sort of workout routine. Can someone out there in blog world hold me accountable? PLEASE??? I have a wardrobe of clothes that have been hanging in my closet that want to be worn!

So, instead of starting at the New Year, I am going to start today. I am going to workout everyday if it kills me. I feel sooooo much better after I exercise, so why is it so darn hard to find the time? No more excuses...and as Tiger says "Just do it"
Well...he did...but let's not go there.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Video from Kathy's Trip to Haiti

Our little Avery isn't so little anymore. She is now running across the room! Last time I saw her (one year ago) she could barely sit up on her own! You can see her run into the video with pink pants and a white t-shirt (that is hanging off her shoulder.) Can't wait to see those little feet in action next month when we make our trip to visit her!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Handsome Fellas

Aren't they a good lookin' crew? Last night we headed out to the Snowland Holiday Party at the Great Wolf Lodge. What an AMAZING place. It felt a lot like Disney, which is strange given the fact its only 20 minutes from our house. The water park is like no other indoor water park we have every seen. There are plenty of water slides, a huge wave pool and little jet skis kids can ride on. We didn't get to use the water park last night, but we will be in a couple weeks when we go on a "mini vacation" to the lodge for Preston's 5th Birthday. We'll be staying 2 nights, and the kids will be sleeping in camping bunks/tents with their own TV! They are super excited! They can wear pajamas or their swim suit for 2 days straight, so they'll be in their glory. The best part is to use most the water slides kids have to be 48" tall and FINALLY Caden meets the requirement! He was thrilled to learn he won't have to sit out for height reasons for once! :)
Hopefully our next stay will go a little better than last night did. We sat down for the buffet and Caden's blood sugar was 554 (shouldn't be over 150.) Then we noticed insulin was leaking out of his pump and there was a hole in his tubing. But we had already sat to down to eat, and poor kid only got to eat protein. No pasta, no bread, no dessert. Talk about a tricky situation with a huge buffet of food staring him right in the face. He handled it well and we stayed just long enough for the boys to sit on Santa's lap and experience the fake snow (soap bubbles) that fell from the ceiling. After that, we had to high-tail it out of there before Caden got sick. By the time we got home, he was not feeling too well, so I am glad we left when we did. When we go back next time, we'll be sure to bring all his supplies with us!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Look how sweet these little ones are all reaching out just for a lollipop. Thanks to Kathy (who is in Haiti right now with her family signing the "notebook") we spotted our little Avery in the bottom photo (second row center ) of this photo reaching out for her share of the sweets. She sure will fit well in our family! And, we so appreciate a glimpse of our little one! Thanks, Kathy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Haiti Bound

Well, it's official. BOTH Mike and I are off to Haiti in January. There is no way Mike can stay home with Caden and not travel to Haiti. We have tried and tried to fight and reason our way out of both of us traveling but the judge will not agree. So, we will put everything in God's hands and hope Caden (and Preston) will be just fine while we are gone. This means coming up with plans and back up plans for Caden as only Mike and I know how to change out his site for his insulin pump. So, it's time to get creative and figure out who and how we can get everyone comfortable with his care. First attempt will be Grandma/Papa, and Aunt Robyn or Meredith as backups. Hopefully, between the four of them, they can get the site changed without too much trouble. It is very complicated and if they do it wrong, very painful for Caden, so we'll start practicing soon.

It is exciting that Mike will get to meet Avery but I am sure we won't totally relax while we are there because we'll be worried about the boys at home. But, it's something we have to do at this point or drop out of adopting Avery altogether which I can't imagine doing at this point.

Does anyone else fee like their head is spinning?! Between planning this trip, booking flights (haven't done that yet!), making sure we get shots/meds we need to travel, Preston's birthday, Christmas shopping, completing a huge portfolio for work (that I haven't started yet....and it's due in a week), my head is spinning out of control! I don't know where to begin!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Out of the darkness

Our file has officially found its way out of the deep, dark hole called IBESR. We are elated to FINALLY be out, but it's mixed feelings because there are so many more moutains to climb. However, trying to be optimistic and hoping that we will not spend 14 months any where else like we did IBESR. My friends have asked, what is IBESR? I honestly don't really know. I think someone reads through our file and approves our family to adopt? But, I can't figure out how that would take soooo long since we had a homestudy done that cost close to $2000 (and has now expired..uggh.) So, in IBESR is someone basically studying the homestudy? For 14 months? It's a still a mystery to me!

I know there are still a few families that have been stuck in IBESR longer than us, and I have a really good feeling they will be released very soon as well. It seems like the gates are finally opening and IBESR has momentum right now. I am hoping this is true for all the families and kids waiting.

Next up? I think it's Parquet. I say "I think" because I haven't looked at the steps since way back when we decided to adopt. We have been taking it just one step at a time. We are still trying to figure out how we can satisify the judge and sign that infamous notebook in Haiti, while somehow feeling at ease about leaving our boys at home. Caden is our diabetic and although he is now 8 and not a toddler anymore, his care can be very routine or very choatic depending on the moment/day. This makes not only us, but our family members who would be caring for him very nervous. One of the many reasons we chose Haiti was the comfort and satisfaction of not having both parents out of the country at the same time. So much for that!

Anyway, all in all it was a great email to wake up to this morning!! Never thought I would see the day as it was starting to feel so hopeless! We are so thankful!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Please let me come home...

My family is missing me!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Avery at the O

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Friday, October 30, 2009

A few more of O life!

Looks like Avery (bright pink dress) might be a shoe girl...takes after her Aunt Robyn!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pure Sweetness

Suzanne, a fellow adoptive mom, just got back from Haiti to visit her girls and sign before the judge (oops, I mean sign the random notebook.) Anyway, she took this photo of our little one smiling!! We just love it!

She also emailed this update:

"What a sweet little girl Avery is. She gave me the biggest smile when I called her name Monday. We were only at the O a few min, but I did get her smiling. After my meeting with C's bio mom Tuesday I hung out in the toddler room for a while. Avery was sleeping as the nannies prepared lunch. I woke her up as the nannies started to serve children. She gave me the biggest smile and hug. then she went patiently to wait for her meal. Avery does have the mollescum virus (sp?) most of the toddlers have. It is not painful but can be irritating as the sores heal causing sctatching adn scabs. It will heal itself in about 1 years time without meds. Other than that she seemed very healthy and content."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Avery must have known...

Well, if that smile didn't brighten our day! So excited to finally get a glimpse of Avery when she doesn't look sad or sleepy! She must have known that her daddy got offered a new job yesterday! We are so proud of him and relieved! Looks like Avery is too!
I thought once the job was secured, we would venture into an adoption from Rwanda. And, although that likely may take place in the future, we have agreed to wait for Avery to get home first. My patience on the Haitian process has all but disappeared, so adopting another little girl now (sister for Avery) sound great since honestly, it may be years before Avery gets here. But, the longer Avery stays in Haiti and lives at the orphanage, the more issues/obstacles there may be once she finally arrives home. We want her to adapt in our home and bond with us and then we'll re-evaluate Rwanda. Honestly, flying from here to Rwanda, to Kenya, back home does make me a little nervous. But, I am still following other families in process to get a feel for their trip and experience.

Heard today from some of the families who are in Haiti right now taking care of the "extra step" that has been thrown into our Haiti process. Standing before the judge....or as what it has been more accurately described as standing outside a gate and signing your name on a blank piece of paper in a notebook.
Can't believe we'll have to spend money for 2 tickets to Haiti and leave a diabetic child at home, to go sign a random notebook. Funny enough, it's not surprising at this point! Nothing is.
Anyway, before we qualify for this interesting adventure, we have to....GET OUT OF IBESR. So, at the rate things are going, mabye the judge will have changed his mind by then. I guess that's one way of looking at being stuck in a positive light. More time for changes...hopefully for the better that is! Please, NO MORE STEPS already added to a VERY LONG process.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Finally! Some updated photos. We received about 20 photos and they all look about the same, but it is still great to see Avery's face since it's been so long. Receiving photos is always a mix of emotions. First, excitment, but that quickly fades when you realize how fast she is growing up and how much we are missing out on. This time she has a skin infection, poor little thing. I hope it's not painful!

Our agency director and new coordinator went to Haiti this past week so it would be wonderful (and LONG OVERDUE) if they had news for those of us who are stuck (what file isn't stuck at this point?) But, so far I haven't heard any rumors of any file updates as of yet.

So we just keep holding on to hope that tomorrow is the Tuesday we'll FINALLY get out of the black hole (IBESR.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Brrrrr...fall has arrived!

It has been chilly here in sunny NC!! I think it's been years since we had to wear some winter clothing this early in the season. We spent 4 hours freezing outside Saturday for a few soccer games, and then Sunday froze again to go Pumpkin Picking!

No matter what the temperature was (50's and windy) the boys LOVE to go to Patterson Farms and pick out pumpkins. Patterson has so many fun activities the boys have been asking about going for weeks now. They painted pumpkins, got their faces painted, fed the animals, rode on tractor tricycles, used the tomato sling shot and got buried in corn kernals. What a fun place! They also thoroughly enjoyed pumpkin butter, pumpkin fudge and pumpkin ice cream and Caden got to taste cotton candy for the first time. Figured....he loved it. Probably not the best option for a diabetic but it was just a taste!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Soon" is so annoying.

I am going to vent just a little...last night was Haiti Chat for my adoption agency. We were already told for the most part, no news is expected today. Today, being Tuesday, is the day of the week we would get an update, that is if there was one to give.

So, this Tuesday is not "THE" day either.

Also, it's just so frustrating, all the questions we have the answers are so vague. This is not the fault of our coordinator, but just the way Haiti adoptions work (or at least that's what I understand to be true.) It's so disheartening after starting this process almost 2 years ago, we still get no specific information on how much longer we'll have to wait, etc. We get no specific reasons as to why the hold up, when will there be a speed up, and what can we do to help our file move? We are only told, hopefully it will be soon.'s probably my least favorite word in the English language right now. If I read or here that word one more time regarding our adoption, I am going to lose it! :) I honestly feel my blood pressure rise and heart rate speed up every time I here that same, vague update. I think I must be losing years of life from this stress I am afraid.

So, here's to ANOTHER unexciting Tuesday of nothingness. Let's hope a real update will be coming very SOON...ughhhhh.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. S

Here's a great photo of my sister and her new hubby on their honeymoon! We had a whirlwind of bad luck the week or so leading up to the wedding, including Mere losing her passport. So they had to cancel their honeymoon to Sandals St. Lucia the day before. Luckily, they were able to re-book to a US Virgin island that doesn't require a passport! Looks like they had a great time after all!

A couple other random wedding photos...


There is none...duh! Bet you could have guessed that one! Tuesdays are the day we would hear news if we were going to get any. Considering it is now 11:45 pm, it's not looking to promising for any news to come in before the day is over. So, here's to next Tuesday! Enjoy the rest of the week!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

18 years ago...

I was asked on a date to a high school football game! We wore our frosted jeans, folded over and rolled, our varisty letter jackets, and the rest is history!
Eighteen years later:

-We have two beautiful boys
-One precious daughter...who is stuck in Haiti. Yes, I used the word "stuck" because that is exactly what it feels like right now.
-One yellow lab
-One ragdoll cat
-Two frogs
-One hermit crab
-One fish

We are in a time of change right now. Mike is job hunting, thanks to this wonderful economy. So that is a bit nerve wracking but we know we'll get through it. We are starting the leg work for one more adoption but obviously can't proceed until we get things settled with Mike's job first. We had a very diffcult month of September, for numerous reasons, other than the job loss but we are moving on and looking forward to hopefully an exciting 2010.

Where we will adopt from is still up in the air, but we are leaning towards a country I didn't even realize had an international adoption program. There is a HUGE need and it is EXTREMELY affordable....and a LONG 26 hour flight!

All I know is with all these ups and downs there is NO ONE else is this world I would rather experience all these adventures with!

Can't wait to see what the next 18 years holds for us!

Monday, September 28, 2009


So the journey to bring our little girl home from Haiti continues to get more confusing by the day. Appparently, there has been a new law (not sure if it's a "law" or just the judges new "rule") that all adoptive parents have to go stand before him in court in order for the adoption to be completed. Even if one parent has already visited their child in Haiti, BOTH parents have to come visit the judge. This is stressing to a lot of families for a few reasons. For one, the cost. Travelling to Haiti can be a little pricey given the airfare, etc., and for both parents that cost is double. Put that on top of the fees we are already paying and monthly child sp0nsorship fees, and well, it is overwhelming. For us, this new law also makes things complicated given our son's Type I diabetes. We can't go really anywhere overnight and leave him behind b/c his pump is too difficult for family members or a babysitter. And I would never bring him to Haiti due to the risk of getting sick and the complications that could arise while being in the country.

On top of all this lovely news....I have heard two rumors. One, that while the parents are in country they can not take their child out of the orphange to their hotel. And two, the judge doesn't really even meet the parents in person but has the parents stand outside a gate. A guard then brings some kind of paperwork for the parents to sign their names and address to, and then he brings the paperwork to the judge. From what I understand, the judge never really lays eyes on the parents.

After hearing all this Saturday night, I had fleeting moments in my mind that we are truly being scammed. We are getting ready to send in more money for our child sponsorship fees and part of me was thinking not to send another dollar because this adoption is turning into one big fiasco. But, then my heart says, it's not Avery's fault and to keep plugging along so she gets a chance to have a family. I just don't understand why this has to be so difficult. I think if adoptive parents could get a few answers it would make the waiting a little easier. But to be left in the dark for what ends up being years of waiting is really just mean. We are trying to help a child and I feel like we are being punished for wanting to do that.

So all it all, it's been just a crappy week for adoption news or lack there of. We are still in IBESR. Once we get out (will we??) eventually we'll get into court/Parquet, which is when this extra trip comes into play.

On a lighter note, yesterday was my little sister's wedding and it was the most beautiful wedding I have ever seen! I'll be sure to post photos once I get them down loaded. After a Saturday of 60 degrees and pouring rain, Sunday was 78 degrees and sunny skies! Just perfect!

Here's one photo of our little guys right before the wedding.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday, Avery!

Avery turned two on September 13th and today marks the day we have officially been in IBESR for a full year. I was away in Colorado, so we weren't able to do anything special on her birthday. It seems a little confusing for my kids to celebrate their sister's birthday whom they have never met and don't know when they'll meet.

Since we are still stuck in IBESR, I have tried to block out the whole process for now and try to concentrate on our family, work and every day life. Of course, we still think about her each and everyday, but to dwell on her file, the process, etc., it has become way too exhausting and frustrating. I would have NEVER dreamed in a million years she would spend her 2nd birthday with her file still in the same spot it was when she turned one. I would have bet large amounts of money that she would be home or almost home on her 2nd bday. Boy, was I wrong. But, we are going to wait and wait for little Avery. And, at this point we are hoping she won't get here just in time for her to start college :) We haven't gotten an update photo from our orphange since it's just been one frustration after another!

I spent last weekend with my best college girlfriends from Cornell (minus a couple that couldn't make it) in New Mexico and Colorado. We had a great time and we were able to fit in a bunch of stuff in 2-3 days time! We explored Durango, CO, went horseback riding for a couple hours in the mountains (I was sooooooooooooooo ready to get off my horse), and visited
Mesa Verde National Park. Of course, we chose to visit the most challenging Cliff Dwelling Tour, and climbed a 32 ft ladder and sqeezed through an 18 inch wide tunnel! These girls never take the easy way out and we never sit for a second on these trips! I usually need a vacation to recuperate from these weekends! Not sure yet we we're off to next year....any recommendations? We are thinking Florida, Montana, California or Bald Head Island!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Off to a rocky start...

This week is off to a not so great start. Mike's grandma is in the hospital with a blocked intestine and needs surgery. She just turned 97 years old. My grandma is in the hospital with a possible bleeding ulcer and my grandpa is undergoing radiation therapy for throat cancer. They are all going through a very hard time right now.

Preston is in the ER as I type this (Mike brought him in while I am at home with Caden since it's so late) with a concussion. He was climbing a fence at soccer practice and I told him to get down...which he did. But, he then climbed up again and I didn't see him. He fell and hit his head on the concrete sidewalk. There was no blood or huge bump so I figured he was fine. However, on the way home he get very sleepy, irritable and got sick to his stomach when he got to ER. Right now they are awaiting the results of his CT scan. I am praying it's normal and he'll be home very soon. Poor little guy.

Anyway, I am hoping tomorrow is a better day!
Update: Preston got home with daddy about midnight....scan was fine! Just have to keep a close eye on him for 24 hours. So happy it turned out okay. With two boys we have managed to stay out of ER's for injuries, never had a broken limb or a single stitch. So this caught me off guard! Hope that's it for a while!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Birthday Boy over the years...

Caden turned 8 this week, started the third grade and academy soccer. It was a VERY busy week! Here is a glimpse into the past 8 years (well, really last 5 or so years...I didn't download photos on my computer until about his 3rd bday!)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Never say never

Caden got a hermit crab a few years ago and within 24 hours, the smell that came from it's cage made your eyes burn. It was honestly the most horrid smell we had ever experienced. That crab lasted less than a day in our home and I said I would NEVER get another....

Fast forward to the beach trip....

Yes, we now have two hermit which is called "Batcrab." We are on the third week of having these little guys and so far, they don't stink at all! We had one pinching mishap when Preston picked up "Batcrab" and it clug to his finger with a death grip. Other than that, these things have been the easiest pets we've ever had!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Beach Photos 2009