Thursday, December 22, 2011

Really? A text?

One text saying she was on a plane back to FL and that she couldn't go through with it. Our hearts weigh heavy with sadness about what was to be for our family in just 1.5 weeks. A package arrived this morning with tiny leather cherry shoes we just bought two days ago. I hate timely delivery. We are trying to process it all with a mass purge of emotion so we can enjoy Christmas and the many blessings we do have and the amazing boys we have been given. Thanks for peaceful thoughts and loving prayers sent our way. Please be respectful of our sadness and don't talk about our loss with our boys or with us while they are around. We will resurface stronger, eventually.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's more real when I see it in black and white!

The following table represents matches between birthmothers (initials) and adoptive families (first names).

(LS) AA Gender Unknown - To be born in MO - December 16Robert and Andrea
(CB) CC Boy - To be born in Utah - December 30Annette
(LS) 3/4 CC 1/4 AA Girl- To be born in Utah - January 7Jack and Jaime
(CW) AA Girl - To be born in Utah - January 9Lance and Bethany
(YG) AA Gender Unknown - To be born in Utah - January 11Josh and Melissa
(SL) 1/2 CC 1/2 Hisp Girl - To be born in Utah - January 12Mike and Nora
(TH) AA Boy - To be born in Utah - January 16Michael and Clara
(KH) CC Girl - To be born in Utah - January 17Justin and Natalie
(JS) CC Girl - To be born in Tennessee - January 30Jeremy and Lisa

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas is coming 2 weeks late

On November 8th, we got the final call from our birthmother

telling us she had chosen our family for Baby Girl.

There are lots of details and a beautiful story to tell to the world, some day. For now, we know that Baby Girl is due January 7th. We are flying out to meet our amazing birthmother face to face in Utah on December 9th. We have a lot of unchartered territory to cover, hugs to give and I am sure, tears to share. Until then, we anxiously await and study up on what to do with a girl...

And please, any ultrasound techs out there, feel free to stop in and give me a tutoring session on the actual parts of a baby seen here. At this point, I take it on trust that this is indeed an actual baby.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Deny it, I dare you!

With my tiny little pink camera I took these pictures. I say that not because they are professional-ish photographs but because even with my rinky-dink camera, it still looks amazing.

We live in a beautiful part of the world. It's beauty is one of the main reasons we have chosen to stay throughout the years. After having our Brazilian guests (that is a whole other blog, not just another post even) here, I was reminded of the beauty again as I was able to witness it through there eyes. I feel so blessed to call this home.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Something is off

Last night, as I was scrolling through things in my mind, I learned that I have never in my professional career, worked for...a MAN. Never. How weird is that?

(insert comment about Jack here)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Maturity is for the birds

and me apparently.

So it's the birthday of:
1- Having to go get a new picture for the driver's license bc even the state knows I just can't pull off 25 anymore.
2- Having to take the vision test for said license bc even the state knows that @ 35, I can't still have good vision.
3- Being closer to 40 than 30.
4- Knowing there is band practice, soccer, and open house tonight and not even minding that they want to share my birthday.
5- Asking for the gift of yardwork and closet cleaning over jewelry and new bags--and not because of money, but because I actually want those things more.

35, welcome.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

New Meaning to the Phrase "Release Party!"

Four and a half years ago Jack was called to be the Bishop of our church. We believe in a living prophet who leads and guides the Lord's church through modern day revelation, including who should lead the church. The time has come for Jack to do something else and time for someone else to assume the responsibilities as Bishop of the Radford Ward as of Sept 4th.

One of the modern day 12 Apostles, Elder Hales, said, "My experience has given me an understanding that our personal relationship with our Bishop is often a good indication of our personal relationship with the Lord."

It has been an amazing 4 years. People keep asking me if I am thrilled. My response is, "It's like an equally weighted two sided coin." (Which is kind of a lame semi-old lady sort of response, I know)

While yes, it will be amazing to have more time with and a less burdened spouse (major over-simplification, but go with it), I have seen the blessings poured out to our family and feel so blessed our family was able to serve and sacrifice in this way. The things we lost, it turns out, were not things worth investing in anymore and the things we gained will yield eternal results. And to whomever follows Jack, I have a new respect and admiration for you. When Jack was first called, we said that when he got released, we would leave church directly for a vacation. Little did we know it would be the first couple weeks of school. We still don't know where yet, but for a day and a half, Jack and I are taking off. We will savor the amazing moments (many of which I will never know about) and cherish those who made this experience a blessing. We will leave behind the complainers, the naysayers, the gossips, the trails, the burdens, the criticizers, the questioners, the stress, the sadness, and the general weight of it all. Later, y'all!

This picture was taken the morning Jack was called to be Bishop. I wish I could say we don't look any worse for the wear, but then we know what happens to liars, right? :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's Official! We're Still Waiting...

Came across an article this morning and this passage struck a chord,

"Sometimes that which we are doing is correct enough but simply needs to be persisted in-patiently-not for a minute or a moment but sometimes for years...Patience is a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of the God with a sense of wonder and awe-rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance."

We are officially working with another adoption agency. We are still on file with It's About Love, but we are now working with Heart to Heart Adoptions as well. We figure for the next 6 months we will do one final push, one last assertion, one more chance before we walk away and "take the next step." We have a couple of hoops to jump through, but thanks to much of the paperwork already completed by LDSFS, we hope to be "listed" with them by the end of September.

We feel confident in the path our family is headed down, whether or not that path ends in adoption. Of course that is our hope, but we are really in a great place right now, living well, and feeling very blessed and that in and of itself is a pretty rockin' path to be headed down.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Betsy Ross Would Have Never Picked Me

I have claimed to be many things in my life, but "Hannah Homemaker or Molly Mormon," was never one of them. Crafty, maybe. Seamstress, neevvahh! However, I am thrilled with my recent project. I have been bored to tears lately with the dresses I own. Since I wear one every Sunday, it feels like I wear every dress every week (which I know is impossible, but alas, my conundrum). I been looking for something different and finally found it. (Yes, it was at Target, but nevermind, I take it where it comes!)

I tried it on and loved it, the bold color, the "Asian inspired" neckline, everything...everything that is, except the length. I really felt like it was too short. But I bought it anyway. Then I just looked at it everyday in my closet. Running out the door on the way to the pool, tired of reading, I brought the dress and a seam ripper. I watched dive after dive while I pulled the 3-inch seam out. Once out I had all these plans for covering up the stictching holes and fixing the hem with binding but after a starch and press and adding in a double hem about 1/4 inch, there was no need. VIOLA!! My dress. I recognize many would save this enthusiasm for a dress they actually made. Not me!Wore it today with my turquoise wedges and loved it. Yay, I have cured my Sunday dress doldrums--for this week anyway.

Friday, August 05, 2011

"The true smokers will come through'"

I laughed. Then I stole it from

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Swimming with The Stars

At least that's what it felt like... Who knew Pulaski had it in 'em? New friends meant an evening swimming at their pool. Although once again, I think we are in the wrong field of employment. Public education did NOT build this estate.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Shameless Shutterfly Plug

Alphabet Blocks Father's Day 5x7 folded card
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View the entire collection of cards.
Thanks to shutterfly for making my father's day card so easy and perfect and for giving me $10 to tell you about it. Yay for promos!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Rockin' the hawk!

Last year on the last day of school, he shaved his head because the school met their goals on their end of year tests (appropriately named the "SOL test"). So again, students lined up to take a swipe with the clippers...Except this year, they did not meet their goal of a 90% pass rate--they missed it by 1%. Jack told them they could not shave him bald because they only scored 89%, they would have to leave 1% of his hair. In case you have not had this experience yourself, let me share with you: it is VERY difficult to take an adult with a mohawk seriously. He wanted to keep it for the party we went to that night. I can't tell you how many people asked me how long he was going to keep the mohawk. My standard answer was "9am-when the barber opens." Also strange, the amount of people who said they like the mohawk better than the bald. Several people suggested he sport it to church but thankfully he does have limits. (Although I have to say, I am sad I did not get a picture of it styled...)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Things I am loving these days

I love it when:

1. I am listening to good music in the car and can zone out.
2. All three bathrooms are clean at the same time.
3. I check the clock and realize the boys have been playing together for hours and there have been no arguments or trouble.4. I get a pay check from subbing and it is more than I expected.
5. I get snail mail.
6. Jack has late meetings, the boys are in bed, and I actually find shows I want to watch on the DVR.
7. I eat cereal with luke-cold (can I use that bc it really describes it well) milk
8. I make dinner and it is as good or better than something we could get at a restaurant.
9. We are invited to friends homes for dinner, games, or just to hang out.
10. I read a blog and it makes me laugh because it represents that person so well, or just because it is really funny.
11. Jack blows off his homework for chill out time (equal only to him having no homework at all)
12. My new (to me) van!! (and all the accessories it has...vain, yes. Comfy ride, yeesss!)
13. Nestle Tollhouse Choc chip cookies with caramel filling.14. The anticipation of summer break which means days at the pool, no schedule to follow, late nights, and no homework to check.
15. The ease with which our family comes and goes. Everyone can dress themselves, wipe themselves, put their own shoes on, buckle their own seat belt, feed themselves, entertain themselves (even entertain us). I'm sure it's my defenses talking, but our family the way it is right now is pretty darn awesome!
16. My new sandals from Target. I love them.17. Having 3 boys. I can skip the girl drama for now. Being in the schools makes me appreciate this more. Yes, I missed the bows and dresses, but I'd say we're even.
18. F packing his own lunch. I should have started this years ago.
19. Jack will be finished with his EdS in June, then just 2 more years and the EDD will be behind we can then send F to college.
20. Feeling genuinely happy and peaceful. Yes, there are things I am unsettled about, but overall I just feel like things are so great for us right now. We are busy, we are manic, we are stressed, but mostly we are really good.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It won't sound like it, but I had a great day.

I have been processing an idea. I want to squelch all the hatred in my heart. Not that I harbor hatred, but there are things I don't like. Things that bother me. Things that I strongly dislike. Things that make me sad. Things that offend me. Things that I let get to me. I thought maybe if I put some pen to paper (fingers to keys) I could do some purging. There is a thin line between things I hate and general pet peeves so I have thrown them all into the mix. Here goes, wish me luck.

I hate it when:
1. Someone chews ice (or crunches anything loudly).
2. I am running late (or when others do and don't give notice).
3. You see someone you know knows you and they don't even nod.
4. I forget things (which is happening more and more lately).
5. Someone lies to me.
6. I burn something (because I was too stubborn to start a timer).
7. Someone acts like a friend to my face but treats me like an enemy behind my back.
8. Toothpaste gets left on the sink basin.
9. I think I look one way and then see myself in a different mirror and then see myself in a totally different way.
10. People (including myself) fall short of my expectations.
11. I think something is clean but then the only way you find it is by scouring the bottom of the dirty hamper.
12. I think I have time to finish/start a task and then suddenly my time is up.
13. People who have to "TOP" you. I say I'm busy, they say they're busier. I am tired, they are more tired. I am happy, they are happier. You know the type.
14. Someone is a know-it-all. But I need a better word. More like a "seen/heard/done-it-all." Every time I say I just heard of a new thing, they knew about it already. I read a new book, they read it 3 years ago. I just got a new recipe-they invented it. This happens everytime you mention something (because obviously it will happen). You know this type too.
15. People think it is ok for them to break the rules, but not for anyone else.
16. I am left with only conditioner in every bathroom.
17. The only time people call you or come over is when they need something.
18. I always ask, but rarely get asked.
19. People cannot accept a difference of opinion-because you share views they think we must agree on everything.
20. Someone thinks that because you have things you don't like you must be sad or lonely or depressed.

Look for my corollary post, "I love it when:..."

Saturday, May 21, 2011


It's no Suburban (which we decided we could never do because of the gas and carbon footprint) but...

Thank you Honda for making an 8th seat. It's the only upgrade feature we decided we had to have and since Kia 8th seaters are only available in Australia and Canada and Toyota 8th seaters are only by special facory orders, Honda won.

And a call to all of you buying a car soon-if you buy it from Shelor and you take a Radford City school coupon (which you can get from me or Jack or any school) they give the school anywhere from $200-$500).

Monday, May 02, 2011

Now I am THAT mom everyone is judging

So I forgot it was picture day the other week. I often do in the Spring because I usually buy the Fall pictures and do not need another round of school pictures. However, I usually at least pretend I am going to buy them by sending the children in something "picture-worthy."

Not this time. Note, however unplanned, they still both ended up in matching t-shirts. T-shirts and athletic pants, mind you, but matching. Then to boot they sent a note home saying they were going to take "graduation" pictures of the departing 2nd graders. Also not wanting those pictures, I put another mind-block up because I was asked to send him in a white shirt for those pictures. Turns out we forgot on that day too and the teacher had him borrow one from a classmate. Oops.

Great. I'm THAT mom now. And who needs to buy pictures when I can scan them for free instead of paying $13 a picture? (oh, guess I'm also THAT mom too!)

Monday, April 18, 2011

How do I love thee? Let me count the bites...

No, I am not getting paid for this endorsement, but I have to tell everyone about this website. It's my civic duty. You'd think for the amount of recruiting I do for them on the East coast, I'd get something out it...but I guess I do get something: killer recipes.

I absolutely love all of their recipes. I have not made one thing from their site that the fam doesn't love and that is not, for the most part, pretty darn easy to put together. Some of our all-time faves:
Mango Pico
Chunky Monkey Pancakes
Creamy Cilantro dressing
Thai Noodles (we like using shrimp the best)

I think their recently released cookbook is going to be everyone's Christmas gift this year.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Go figure-old country store has old country ways (no more)

I was out shopping with a friend today and she told me that Cracker Barrel had a hiring policy that allowed black and homosexual employees to only work in the kitchen...
WHA? I hate hearing things like that. I feel like the list of places I boycott gets longer and longer, to the point I forget what and where I am boycotting.
SO I had to look it up. Turns out, in 2002, at the annual stockholders meeting, they rescinded the policy. Ok-how is that policy just get rescinded in 2002?

No matter what your personal beliefs, how is that not totally illegal, and just plain wrong? Nevertheless, while I know many still boycott because it ever had the policy, I am glad to know they have "changed their ways" so I can order a chicken tenderloin dinner platter while we are just passing through Oklahoma and it is the only restaurant in town.
(and no, we are not headed to OK any time soon-it's just a notion)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

THE question, as of late.

People seem to always be asking me THE question. At different times in my life, THE question has varied. "Are you going to marry him?" "When are you going to have children?" "When are you going to have more children?" (especially w 5 years in between the first two, this was popular for awhile) Not all the time, but often, people ask some version of the question, "So, any new on the adoption front?" No. But we did have to recently renew all our paperwork, medical forms, tax information, and pay our renewal fee. But that is not shiny and glossy and fun, nor is it "news," so I just say "No." But since I have been busy with adoption stuff lately, the answer to me is "sort of." So I thought I would at least put our updated collage on here (since you don't want to see the rest of our paperwork) just to prove we are still moving forward, even though everytime you ask me if we "Have heard anything...," the answer will be "No." Of course, it will be "No," until the ONE day when it will be "Yes." But I imagine you won't have to ask because the couple of you who still read blogs will already know :)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

So when did 34 become old?

I feel like I am this person... But lately I feel like the world sees me as this person... It started at kindergarten registration. I was there to get S all signed up and an acquaintance (you know, one of those moms who you know, but you don't really "know" or hang with, but always say hello to in passing) said something that threw me. She said, "Oh, you have a kindergartner? I didn't know you had one that YOUNG." That young? Wha? Now the, "I didn't know you had one that old..." statement I used to get a lot when parents did not know about F because he was so much older than the little boys. The worst part? I'd bet money the woman is 2-4 years older than I am. Then to boot, at my routine physical yesterday the doctor said that due to my family history of heart disease, I needed to get a full cholesterol work up. Blah. For the record, my numbers are excellent and I was given an excellent bill of health, all things considered. Well, as healthy as you can be for being (gasp!) 34!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I wish I was at that dinner party

I'm usually not one for encouraging youtube videos on anything more than rainbows or unicorns, but I thought this was pretty good.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Erin go Bragh!

Growing up my mother decorated for every holiday. And I mean every holiday! St. Patrick's Day got as much attention as all the others and we loved it! We loved waking up not knowing what would be written on the mirror in lipstick, what balloons and streamers we might find, and what out of the ordinary chocolate trail we would find honoring this saint or that fictional character. Holidays were celebrated in full force as a child. I try to do some of that at our house, but I know it is not to the magnitude it was done for me.

Specifically, I remember some garland that would appear every March 17th hung across the fireplace mantle. It said, "Erin Go Bragh." My sister and I, every time, would say "Erin, go get your bra!" We thought we were hilarious, year after year. Clearly, the "Ireland Forever" sentiment was lost on the two of us, but I still laugh when I see that somewhere for St. Patty's Day.

I'd put a picture up by my computer is angry and redirecting and I think it has a virus.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cut the strings, even if it's a super cute apron

I do not understand parents inability to start cutting the apron string's.
What I also do not understand is that parents who cannot cut the strings think that parents who can do not love their children as much.

Just sayin.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

I'm Ready, Let's Start Charging!

When we were in Iceland we learned quickly, that like IKEA, all stores throughout the country charge for each plastic bag. If you don't want to pay, bring your own bags. The woman at Kroger today would not have used 8 bags for her 20 items if she'd been paying for them, of that I have no doubt.In D.C, the 5 cent plastic bag tax has resulted in a drop from 22 million bags to 3 million bags in one month! I mean this is common sense people-just carry your bags in already.

You don't have to be a hippie, or a democrat, or any other stereotypical "environmentalist" to realize this is just stupid. I have a great tip Laurie B told me. She said if you are in the store and have forgotten your bags, and you are waiting in line or ready to check out, leave your cart. Go. Return to the car, get the bags, make the trip and you will be so hassled/embarrassed/annoyed you will not forget to bring them in again. It totally worked for me.Now, bringing them back out to the car after unloading them in your kitchen, even though they have been hanging on the doorknob for days, OR getting them equally distributed amongst both cars? You're on your own.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Crazy Hair Day

The posing was ALL him. G got in on the action too with some dyed blue hair but I couldn't find the camera by the time he'd left for school. Shows you what an extra 30 minutes can do.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Skiing-Baptist Style

For President's Day, we headed up to Lynchburg to Liberty University to hang with Jerry Falwell Jr. and see if he'd be interested in converting to Mormonism. Turns out, he wasn't. But he does have one heck of a synthetic ski slope and lodge up there.
We took the boys and spent the afternoon getting ski lessons on the Snoflex slope, "the most innovative technology in the snow sports industry." Who knew? Apparently, the Baptists.
It was AWESOME! We had such a great time. The boys caught on so quickly.The biggest struggle was navigating the "lift" which was a rope instead of a chair and you had to hold on for dear life. Even S eventually mustered the strength and coordination to get up by himself. He was even doing jumps on the way down. We have so many great pics but I will only put a few here. Note the dude in the background mowing the lawn. (btw that is NOT me camped on the side there. a poor snowboarding teen could not get up the rope lift) I am dedicating another special post to my favorite moment of the day. For now, enjoy these. Everyone should go and at least give it a shot for the day. It was a random, fun way to spend the day. And the prices were insanely cheap! Plus, it's a great excuse to stop at Red Palace in Roanoke on the way home and gorge yourself with yummy General Tso's.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Yep-Me and June Cleaver, BFF

I try to leave the soap box rants off the blog (sort of, at least not about real issues). But I have to say something and since there are like 3 of you listening (reading) I figure this is a safe space. Please tune in for my diatribe about being a stay at home mom (SAHM in blogger world).
Dear Lady Who Sat Next to Me at Swim Lessons,
1) I actually LIKED my job before becoming a SAHM
2) I was pretty darn GOOD at my job before becoming a SAHM

3) I didn't chose to be a SAHM because I had no career, no skills, and no other options

4) Being a SAHM was a willing sacrifice, not a plan B

5) Of course becoming a FT SAHM at 23 involved some paradigm shifting, rethinking, and redirecting of my goals.
6) That shift, however, was not because of oppression, but because of the exact opposite...the opportunity to choose to stay home.
Additionally, I don't want you to say how being a SAHM is "great, but it's so not for me. I could never do that. You are so wonderful that you can do that. I love my career too much. I love my job so much. I could never quit my job. We need the money. We couldn't live without my paycheck. " All of that may be true-but lay off the condescension. Are you trying to make me feel OK about staying at home or are you trying to make yourself feel better about working FT?
Guess what? I thought I would have a couple more years in my career, but when I found out I was pregnant and would have a child, I knew for me and what I believe, I knew that staying home with him, no matter the cost to my career/lifestyle was top priority. Living on a dime, not spending money on frivolous things, learning to live on one income, putting off career goals until another phase of life, it was all a choice. Lots of women wish they could stay home but have to work. I believe being a SAHM is a privilege.
And guess what else? I have lots of friends (actual people) who work FT and raise their children. I do not just hang with a bunch of "mommies" who have nothing to do except talk about how many diapers they have changed that day. Really.
I was talking to a teacher the other day who had a baby in the Fall. All she could talk about was how she wished she was at home, playing with her new baby. She couldn't wait until the bell rang to let her go home. She dreamed about being able to make it work so she be home with her baby all the time. I was. I am. And I feel blessed to have been around for all the bumps, bruises, crazy, manic, sad, lonely, exhilarating, hysterical, bonding, loving, playful, fun, hair-pulling, joyful days. You don't have to try and make me feel good about my decision to stay home. I am pro-choice and this is what I chose.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

We never claimed to be picture perfect

Which is a good thing-because if we had, I'm pretty sure we'd be called liars! This is what perfection looks like at the McKinley house...
You can thank G for farting which got us this one. This was F's response to the question about a girlfriend.
G thought when she said make a crazy face she meant look possessed.

The adults playing normal.

Heaven help this crazy mess of a crew.