Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Gentle Reminders

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. Have it as an adult.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets ... Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple. .
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48. If you don't ask, you don't get.
49. Yield.
50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift

A few announcements

Last night I got an email from my dear friends Kelly and her Mom, Nancy. The G. family has been close to me since I was born, and Kelly and I went to school together for 13 years. She has been an incredible comfort during my infertility journey as she struggled with secondary infertility with their second child.

Unfortunately, Nancy's father passed away in his home yesterday morning. This was especially difficult since 2006 brought the passing of two other grandparents. Please be praying for their family right now. I know they can use it. I can't imagine the difficulty dealing with the loss of three parents/grandparents in the course of a year.

In other, more happy news, I wanted to give a congratulations to my cousin Jason and Kathleen who had their second child yesterday, a girl. I don't have all the details yet, but I'll post them when I have them. All I know currently is that it was a daughter. In the Huisman family, a daughter is big news!

In other more happy news, I wanted to say Happy Birthday to my Tante Jan. I won't tell you her age but it ends in a zero so you can figure it out. It's a big one! Happy day Jan!

Then, onto sad news. It is currently feels like -17 degrees. Also they are currently calling for a high of an actual zero on Sunday. I'll have to talk about this more. Talk about it more when I am not so depressed by it.

We are also hoping to hear back from the adoption agency this week with news of how our application looks so please keep that in your prayers as well.

Okay, enough announcements. Off to work.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Dessert, toe socks, and trains

We had a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful weekend with my Oom Ed and Tante Jan. We did lots of talking, played lots of Mexican Train Dominoes, and ate some amazing food. JB made a Mediterranean meal of some sort on Saturday night (Bara it was similar to the meal he made when you were visiting.) Then on Sunday night, Dave, Lesley, and Tara joined us for JB's version of "Cyclone Chicken", which I think his little brother Matt helped inspire. Very good. He followed it up with a wonderful and healthy dessert (pictured below.) Unfortunately, Lesley also brought dessert so this healthy dessert was followed up by delicious cupcakes and mint chocolate chip ice cream! Two desserts didn't seem to phase anyone.

Here are some more pictures of the evening.

Lesley also came to our house in her toe socks. I had to take a picture of this!
I must close the blog with Dave's hand. Going into the last round, Dave was in first place. However, with the plethora of dots on this last hand he went straight from first to LAST PLACE. We weren't sure this was even possible, but Dave proved us all wrong. Also, a big congrats to Tante Jan who won both hands of dominoes.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Attention -- Attention

Need to let everyone know, because my Tante Jan wanted to make sure I did, that she just won Mexican Trains. I, actually, finished second, and Jan wants to make sure that everyone knows she helped me finish second. And being as the women finished first and second and Ed and JB finished third and fourth, that the women actually beat the men. Two men, that are rather intelligent mind you.

Sigh, that was a mouthful. I have a feeling there will be a lot more Mexican Trains this evening. We've had a WONDERFUL visit, and I am so blessed they came to spend the weekend with us.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Leave Room for God

Today my Tante (Aunt) Jan and Oom (Uncle) Ed are coming to visit us for the weekend! They are driving from Geneva, Illinois -- about five and a half hours. I can't wait to see them and am so excited they are going to be able to visit us here in Rochester before we move. I'll try to post a few pictures from our visit.

Right now, I just got back from working out and thought I would share some weekend encouragement.

I've been reading Oswald Chamber's classic devotional My Utmost for His Highest. Yesterday's entry was really fantastic and I wanted to share:

As servants of God, we must learn to make room for Him -- to give God "elbow room." We plan and figure and predict that this or that will happen, but we forget to make room for God to come in as He chooses. Would we be surprised if God came into our meeting or into our preaching in a way we had never expected Him to come? Do not look for God to come in a particular way but do look for Him. The way to make room for Him is to expect Him to come, but not in a certain way. No matter how well we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that He may break in at any minute. We tend to overlook this element of surprise, yet God never works in any other way. Suddenly -- "God meets our life --" ... "when it pleased God." Keep your life so constantly in touch with God that His surprising power can break through at any point. Live in a constant state of expectancy, and leave room for God to come in as He decides.

I also keep reflecting back on something I wrote down while at Calvary Chapel in Fort Lauderdale over Christmas.

What is PEACE?

Preoccupation with God not circumstances
Entering into His presence
Abiding in the Lord and by the spirit
Christ centered
Eternal perspective

Here is another great devotional my mom sent me yesterday:

January 25
Do not fear, for I am with you.
Genesis 26:24

Lord God, You are infinite, eternal, unchangeable and the source of wisdom, holiness, goodness, and truth. Today I come to You with two biblical admonitions. I am told that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10), but also that I am not to fear (Genesis 26:24). Help me to distinguish between the humble awe and wonder that opens me to the gift of Your guidance, and the negative panic that so often grips my soul when problems arise.

Give me a profound reverence for You that keeps me on the knees of my heart. May I never presume that I am adequate for a day's challenges until I have received Your strength and vision. Give me the confidence that comes from trusting in Your reliability and resourcefulness. I know You will never let me down because You always endeavor to lift me up.

Lord, liberate me from all the fears that haunt me: the fear of the past, the fear of failure, and the fear of what is ahead. I may not know what the future holds, but I do know that You hold the future. And that's why I can replace my every fear with total confidence in You who never leaves nor forsakes.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

More adoption info

So after my post from a few days ago, I know a lot of you have questions. I thought I would try to answer a few of them right now. However, quite honestly, it is very early on and many of you know as much as we do. This is uncharted waters for us. All we know to do is take one day at a time and take things as they come.

The main thing I want to make sure everyone understands is that we plan to continue with infertility treatments, primarily our scheduled transfer in May. If at any point I get pregnant, the adoption process would be halted until our child is a certain age (12 months for China and 6 months for other countries). At that point, we would pick back up where we started. We do not know if we will end up halting infertility treatments or end up halting adoption. We plan to just wait and see what the Lord does. We plan to pursue both avenues to completion -- using all 10 of our sticky babies and adoption.

On Monday, we submitted our application with America World. On our application, we choose the country we would like to adopt through. In the ten business days that follow, they look at our application and decide whether we qualify to adopt through China. If we don't qualify for China, they will tell us if we can instead apply for a different country. America World does adoptions in China, Russia, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. Our first choice is China. However, if we do not qualify in China, we will then look to a secondary country through America World. We are open to wherever God leads.

Some of you have asked why we know the child would be a girl. If we do China, the child will almost definitely, be a girl. The reason is complex, however, to sum it all up, boys are much more "important" in Chinese culture for a variety of reasons. It is the male child who takes care of his family as they age, and in many areas of China, there is a one child limit. Therefore, girls are often abandoned. If you would like to read more on this, click HERE.

However, as I mentioned in my previous post, China has recently enacted a whole slew of new requirements. The reason, as I understand it, is because Chinese adoptions are very popular, and the country wants to "slim" their applicant pool. These requirements include such things as weight, health, marriage status, age, and financial status. One of the new requirements states that you have to have a certain net worth -- something that is up in the air for us as we prepare to move to Florida and JB will start his residency. I say all that to say we have to wait and see what the agency says. We have to wait and see if we qualify for China. If not, we will re-evaluate and move from there. While China is our current thought, we are trusting the Lord's leading. If he shuts the door on China, we will trust Him to lead us in a different direction.

Other people have been curious as to why we chose international over domestic adoption. Probably the main reason is just what our heart was telling us. We just, personally, felt most comfortable with this direction. That isn't to say domestic adoption isn't good or that we won't try domestic adoption in the future. It's just to say that for now, this is what we have on our heart.When we hear back from the AMERICA WORLD, I'll have more information for you. This is a long process and there will be lots of learning as we go. All said and done, the general "rule" is that once you submit your application, as we did earlier this week, the wait time is about two years. So while we are excited, we are quite aware that we are in for a long road.

I'll keep you all posted. For now, just pray for us. Pray that the Lord guides us. If we aren't supposed to adopt through China, that he makes that perfectly clear, and that JB and I stay on the same page every step of the way. Also, please pray that I, especially, have peace. As my friend from Hannah's Prayer wrote: "Adoption is a whole new roller coaster but at least this is a roller coaster that we know we eventually get off." While infertility can feel unending, we know, eventually, even if takes years, we will someday parent through international adoption. However, that doesn't mean I am instantly surrounded my peace. I need the Lord to give me that. I spoke on the phone with my amazing friend Joan today. She reminded me that the Lord has a perfect child picked out for me. And I must wait on Him to introduce me to that child.

The waiting game has begun.

Fun Dinner at Prescott's

What a great evening last night having dinner with the Jones. It was wonderful, food. I had a stuffed chicken with crab and JB had an amazing venison. It was wonderful. Thanks Jones' for a great evening.

Here are some pictures, courtesy of Lesley!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Happy Birthday JB

Today my husband turns 31. I surprised him with an "Amazon.com" shopping spree this morning which seemed to make his day (thanks to both moms for helping make this "spree" possible.)

I'm not sure what is most amazing about turning 31. That he is truly in his thirties? Or that we have been together for 14 years? Are you kidding me? How is that possible? I don't feel any older than 21. When did 10 years go by? When did we celebrate our 8th, and soon 9th wedding anniversary? My time flies.

Tonight we are going to go to dinner with the Jones -- at a new restaurant here that we have never tried. Happy birthday JB. This should be the last time going to dinner on your birthday involves a scarf and gloves!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Big Announcement

I'm sorry my blogs have been a little on the "thin" side the last few days. There's been some major "rumblings" at our house, but we didn't feel comfortable posting until we were ready.

We are ready.

We have decided to adopt a daughter from China!

Last night we signed the paperwork and paid our application fee to AMERICA WORLD. I'm sure you all have a ton of questions. We are intent on making this experience a learning experience not only for us but for all of you out there who follow our lives in person or only via this blog.

We want you to feel that you can ask questions and share in this experience with us so feel free, at any point in this journey, to ask questions, not only to educate yourself, but to help educate others as well. I plan, sometime in the next few days or weeks, to post a blog answering some of the questions that have already been asked and any new ones you may post in the comments. However, I did want to make sure that I told you all that we are continuing with infertility treatments. We are 100% committed to going back for each of our sticky babies.

Also, please feel free to leave comments at any point. This blog will be an "online journal" of our adoption process ... something our daughter will read someday in the future. So any comments you share now, even before her birth, will be comments she can read herself someday.

Please pray that we meet all requirements for the program as we have just "applied" to get in. China has changed a lot of their regulations recently and we need to wait to hear back from the agency to determine if we qualify. We are very excited and can't wait to share in this experience with you.

John and Wendi

Monday, January 22, 2007

Florida Funny

Did you hear the new motto for the state of Florida?

Come here for the sunshine, stay here because you died.

How bad is that?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Many many dots


This is the number that JB scored in Mexican Train Dominoes last night. It was a full 13 round game. Has anyone ever seen someone score so high in this game? He got most of these points on one turn -- I think about 230 of them! On one round.

Oh, and if you haven't played before, this score is NOT a good thing. Mexican Train is like golf. Points are bad.

Needless to say, JB finished in last place.

However, the Bears finished in first. Erin, Tara, JB, and I had a great time watching the game and hanging out! Ebby also joined us later in the evening.

Blog stealer

Since Kristen stole a pic from me this past week, I stole this one from her. I thought this picture was hilarious. This was a dinner night at one of Brandon's professor's houses. However, besides the abundance of shoes, the real reason I posted this picture is because I thought our friends and family in Florida and Kentucky would get a kick out of this. This never happened in Florida or Kentucky. I never immediately took my shoes off when I got to people's house before I moved here. But up here, it is basically, a given. You just don't wear shoes in the house. I think the original reason is because of the mud and snow, but JB and I are now addicted to it. It is gross to walk around your house in shoes that you wore all over creation. It's a big no-no in our house. I am worried that people in Florida, when we move there, will think we are weird. At least here, you usually don't have to ask people to remove their shoes.

A Million Parachutes

Well how long has it been since I did of a "Song of the Week"? Might as well be a "Song of the month" or even "Song of the quarter" at this rate. Any-who, this song really has no sort of spiritual or emotional strength to offer you. Honestly, it just reminds me that I miss the beach and the warmth a lot!

When I first moved to Minnesota, I heard this song and thought it so accurately portrayed my Polar Life. I am sorry (Rachel) that I am posting so late. I have been attempting to increase my Metformin medication. I dropped it during our last IVF cycle. I cannot break the 1500mg mark. Every time I take that 4th pill to get to 2000, I get pretty sick. Last night, I tried again, and this morning -- not so nice. So I'm finally feeling well enough to try to blog a bit. I'm sorry to let you down!

I also thought today was an especially appropriate day to post this song since it is snowing like crazy! It is so beautiful and not too cold. So click on the link to "A Million Parachutes" by "Sixpence None the Richer" on the right. If you haven't heard of this group, I strongly suggest you look them up. They are a Christian group that crosses over into secular as well. (They sing "Kiss Me".)

Grab a cub of hot cocoa, sit down in front of a big window, and listen away.

I am going to watch the Bears game, personally.

Like a million parachutes
Like a million parachutes
The snow's coming down
I'll lock up the front door
And turn the lights down
In the glow of the street lights
I see them descend
Like a million parachutes
Small men on a mission

I miss the warmth
And I miss the sun
I miss the ocean
I miss everyone
And I miss the bridges
That span across the bay
Tonight, it seems like ages ago

Like a million parachutes
the snow still falls
The dogs are asleep now
There's no one to call
I'll put on some records
And wait for the light
Under those million parachutes
Now a blanket of white.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Good morning!

It is 7 am Saturday morning. I thought it was time for a "newsy" post to fill you in on some of the things going on in our life.

It was a busy week. Here's a quick week recap:
  • Sunday night went to Tara's house for great enchiladas and Mexican Train with Hans, Rachel, and EVB
  • Monday night went to Austin (about 30 minutes away) for Thai food with Christo and Melissa
  • Tuesday night went to the gym for a run and then lounged at home and watched American Idol
  • Wednesday night stayed home and watched American Idol with Tara
  • Thursday night was Bible Study and then I subbed for my friend's volleyball team again
  • Last night Tara and EVB came over for some Thai take-out and Mexican Train.
Speaking of last night, besides the fact that I got my butt completely demolished in Mexican Train, EVB told me something quite amazing. Last week she was getting out of her car and a bunch of snow fell into the car. She shut the door and when she returned a few days later, the same snow was in the car ... unmelted. It was so cold out, even the protection of a car was not enough to melt the mighty snow. This was quite amazing to me. I just add to this note of how cold it is in the Polar North. I know I have some Canadians reading my blog, and I know you think I am wimp, but trust me, it's all relative. I am a Floridian by heart, blood, and body. I do not belong here.

The last week was quite a long week. JB did his first of a three week rotation on outpatient pediatrics at Olmsted Clinic -- a local clinic not associated with Mayo. He had trouble getting going but is now seeing patients himself and really learning a lot and enjoying the rotation. John, honestly, was very wise when he made his fourth year schedule. Realizing that "senioritis" would be setting in, he saved all his easy rotations for last. He has no more overnight call and no more rotations requiring anything more than a basic 8-5 day. John was also blessed because he didn't have to do any interviews. Getting into Eglin meant the time they allot for interview time is forfeited for vacation time. After this rotation, he has two weeks off again.

In other news, we don't have any updates about our condo. We are thinking that if we can get a certain amount for it, we will sell, but if we don't, we will just rent it out. We have people interested in both and can also list it with a realtor if we want as well.

As much as we would like to rent another place off-base in Eglin, we are probably going to live on-base. We have definitely decided not to buy there. We are only going to be there for three years and with the hurricanes, we just don't think we are in the mood to gamble. Living off-base would also mean we would probably need another car. In addition, living on-base is completely free. To live off base, you get a monthly stipend, but we think we would spend more than that if we lived off base. This is not for-sure yet, but we are pretty sure this is how we are leaning. The down side is that on-base, they tell you where to live. The houses are decent but nothing great. If we lived off-base, we could choose a place to rent. Take a look at this one place I found on Craig's List: WATERFRONT TOWNHOME. Our monthly stipend would just about cover this. But with utilities we would be spending money that we wouldn't be spending on-base.

The RLS Foundation is moving this week to a new location in Rochester. That has made work itself slow down a bit and moving pick up a lot. The move is good timing for me. It forced me to clean out my office and decide what went to the new place and what will go with me to Florida. They are giving me an office at the new place that I will use until I leave when I want to go in to work and also when I come up to Rochester. I will probably make 2-4 trips to Rochester a year for job activities and infertility treatments. Hopefully I can time them together. I plan to work for RLS about 20-30 hours a week when we move.

As for my job at Mayo, things are still up in the air there. I will probably work between 10-20 hours, however, my boss has to decide if he wants to split the job between me and someone in office, give the job completely to someone else, or give the job completely to me. The benefit to me is that if I can work 20 hours a week, I can keep my Mayo insurance. We will also qualify for Mayo's $10,000 adoption reimbursement. Add this to the $2,000 military reimbursement, the discount most agencies provide to military families, and the $10,000 tax deduction Bush instated for adoption, and we could save quite a bit if we adopt and as we keep doing infertility treatments.

However, on the flip side, working 0-10 hours would give me more freedom in Florida to work around JB's schedule, meet him for lunch, take breaks to exercise and sit by the pool, etc. It would also allow us to possibly do foster parenting and me to travel more. So, I have truly turned this over to the Lord. I will gladly take the 20 hour week in order to get benefits, but if my boss chooses to split the job or give it completely to someone else, I will know it is for the best and be completely okay with this.

I am also VERY VERY VERY excited because my Tante (Aunt) Jan and my Oom (Uncle) Ed are coming to visit us next weekend. I am thrilled to show them our place in Rochester and just spend some time with them. I really can't wait! I will be sure to take pictures while they are here to show them off to you.

Also, I wanted to make sure everyone knew that JB's graduation from medical school is on May 19th. Anyone is welcome to attend. I plan to go out to a nice restaurant on Saturday after graduation and then on Sunday have an informal cook-out at Ron & Ebby's. Originally, I wanted to do something very big, but as we are coming back from Africa just two weeks before that, I think this is best. ANYONE is welcome to join us. I am pretty sure most of both of our families are coming (at least the parents), hopefully the Wilsons, and hopefully Bara. The more the merrier. I will do my best to put anyone who comes in "up" although it may be a little difficult since most of our friends will have out-of-town company. Maybe I can talk our non-graduating friends into hosting some visitors? :) Anyways, we'd love to have you here and for all of our loved ones to get to meet each other. I am really excited about our families getting to meet Bara!

Okay, I'm sure you are all overwhelmed with my novella. Have a great and warm Saturday everyone! As soon as JB gets up we plan to go to the gym and then enjoy a low-key day at home.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Soda, Coke, or Pop?

In order to determine whether you use the word SODA, POP, or COKE, fill in the blank. ____ machine. Do you say COKE machine, POP machine, or SODA machine. In Florida I used SODA (shown in yellow). In Kentucky we said coke (shown in red). In Minnesota we said POP (shown in blue.) I don't know who put together this map but how amazing is this? (You can click on the map to see it in a larger view.)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Adoption Option

I have been very clear on this blog in the past that I preferred people not discuss adoption with me unless I bring it up.

This is not because JB and I do not plan to adopt. Even before we were married, we often discussed adoption and had plans to add to our family through adoption. Even before we knew conceiving on our own would be difficult, we planned to participate in adoption.

However, discussing adoption before someone is ready is a very sticky situation. It is especially sticky when the person who brings it up has children. We want to have a biological child. We still want that very much. Discussing adoption before someone is ready can be very painful. It can feel like people are giving up on your "pursuit" of a biological child.

I still cling to that advice. Do NOT under any circumstances discuss adoption with an infertile friend until they bring it up.

That being said, I am bringing it up.

JB and I have always moved forward on this infertility journey only when we were at the same point. Recently, we have seemed to come to the same point at the same time. We feel that we are ready to begin exploring the possibility of adoption. This does not mean we are going to stop infertility treatments. We plan, without question, to give all ten of our remaining "sticky babies" a chance at life. And it is our prayer that we do not lose even one more child. It also doesn't mean that we are adopting next week. Far from it. We are simply exploring.

Now before you say, "I have a friend who adopted and after she adopted she got pregnant ..." please refrain. That is one of the statements that infertile women hate to hear. Statistics in fact indicate that less than 1% of women get pregnant after they adopt. It seems like more because those are the stories you remember. While it does happen, it is the exception and not the rule. And if it happens to us, we are the exception. That statement seems to relate to the idea that if you are relaxed and not trying to get pregnant, you will. For someone like me, all the relaxing in the world doesn't change the fact that my body doesn't release an egg. While stress can affect pregnancy chances, it plays a very minor role.

That being said, please know that we are still believing and asking God EVERY DAY to have a biological child. We will not stop asking for that, and we believe in our hearts, that one day we will have a biological child. However, we have also come to a point that we believe adoption will enrich our family and that we can provide a good home for a child. We did not want to adopt to "fill a hole". We wanted to adopt when we felt that hole was filled, and we were adopting for the right reasons. I believe that I am at a point that we would be doing it for the right reasons.

Okay, so back to adoption. I am writing this post simply to inform my friends and family and other visitors that we are now discussing adoption. There are a lot of things to consider. On February 17th, we are going to attend a seminar in the Cities with ADOPTION WORLD. This is the group that Steven Curtis Chapman adopted through, and I just have such peace when I go to their website and read through their information packet. If we decide to adopt internationally, I think it is very probable we will use this group.

Actually, one of the the first steps in adoption is deciding whether or not you want to do domestic vs. international adoption. The women at Hannah's Prayer really helped me sort out where to begin. One of the women provided the list below to ascertain whether domestic or international adoption is for you. I thought it was really helpful.

1) Risk of birth-parent changing their mind (domestic) vs. virtually no risk (international)
2) Birth-mother choosing you (domestic) or choosing your child (international)
3) Some relationship with birth-family (domestic) or no relationship (international)
4) Length of wait - unknown (domestic) or 'some-what' of a set time-frame (international)
5) Becoming an international family (international)
6) Medical history (domestic) or little/no medical history (international)
7) Age at adoption - newborn (domestic) or between 9 and 12 months old (international)

So, anyways, I write this blog to tell you that we are definitely planning to proceed with our May 31st transfer. That is a for-sure. However, we are also exploring the possibility of moving forward with adoption while continuing to do infertility treatments. If we get pregnant at any point along the way, the adoption process would just be "halted". Most agencies and countries require your youngest child to be at least 6 months old before an adopted child enters your home. We may also decide to "halt" additional transfers while we pursue adoption. We are simply going to let the Lord lead. We know we are going to adopt. We just don't know what His timing is yet. We also may decide to do an additional "harvest" for IVF somewhere down the road. However, we think we will adopt prior to that. And of course, we continue to believe that the Lord will allow me to get pregnant without infertility treatments -- something that only He can do.

I just thought it important to tell people that I am okay with discussing adoption now. JB and I are on the same page, and we are excited about adding to our family through adoption. We don't know if it will be after, during, or before we have our own biological child. However, in speaking with my Dad while in Florida he reminded me that having an adopted child doesn't change God's mind about giving us a biological child. It doesn't say, "Lord I'm giving up on praying for a biological child." We will continue to pray for that forever.

Other than that, I can provide you with no answers. We are not sure if we will do international or domestic or if we do international what country we will do. Each country has its own rules. Fortunately JB and I fit into most every country's rules (number of divorces, number of years married, over 30 years of age, health, weight, financial status etc.) The countries also vary in how much they cost as well. The only "decision" we have sort of made is that we would like to adopt a younger child (probably under a year). In the future, we may adopt older children, but we want experience at parenting "from the ground up" first. We would also want to be a bit older before we adopt older children.

Lots to think about and plenty of time to think. However, you will probably be seeing some of my "thinking" on the blog so I thought it fair to let you know the thinking is going on.

Life is quite an adventure, huh?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Minnesotan Humor

Thanks to Cassie O. who sent these to me! While these are obviously sarcastic, there is a LOT of truth in the statements. Minnesotans are crazy. No matter how cold it actually is, this was not as bad as 20 years ago. No matter how much snow falls, there was more snow 20 years ago. No matter how much your nose feels like it might fall off, you are a whimp and they are tough. Enjoy!

  • 60 above zero: Floridians turn on the heat. People in Minnesota plant gardens.
  • 50 above zero: Californians shiver uncontrollably. People in Duluth sunbathe.
  • 40 above zero: Italian & English cars won't start. People in Minnesota drive with the windows down.
  • 32 above zero: Distilled water freezes. The water in Bemidji gets thicker.
  • 20 above zero: Floridians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, wool hats. People in Minnesota throw on a flannel shirt.
  • 15 above zero: New York landlords finally turn up the heat. People in Minnesota have the last cookout before it gets cold.
  • Zero: People in Miami all die. Minnesotans close the windows.
  • 10 below zero: Californians fly away to Mexico. People in Minnesota get out their winter coats.
  • 25 below zero: Hollywood disintegrates. The Girl Scouts in Minnesota are selling cookies door to door. (True!)
  • 40 below zero: Washington DC runs out of hot air. People in Minnesota let the dogs sleep indoors.
  • 100 below zero: Santa Claus abandons the North Pole. Minnesotans get upset because they can't start the Mini-Van.
  • 460 below zero: ALL atomic motion stops (absolute zero on the Kelvin scale.) People in Minnesota star t saying..."Cold 'nuff fer ya?"
  • 500 below zero: Hell freezes over. Minnesota public schools will open 2 hours late.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


It is 5:02 pm. I have successfully survived a really, really cold day. I attempted, as best I could, to avoid being outside for more than the walk from our condo to the underground subway entrance (about a 2 minute walk.) This walk, however, was still nearly unbearable despite the fact that I had on:

1. Boots
2. Socks
3. Leggings
4. Undershirt
5. Turtlekneck
6. Pants
7. Coat
8. Scarf
9. Gloves

Pretty pifiul, huh?

Actually, as I sit here now I can hear the "winter music" (someone in the back parking lot scraping their windshields.) Thank the Lord for underground parking!

JB managed to drive me to RLSF after lunch, and my co-worker took me to appointment at the Travel Clinic so I was outside very little. However, that little was quite enough for me.

Oh and yes, I went to the Travel Clinic today. There was some confusion as to why I was there as I wasn't supposed to come in until after my January transfer, which no longer exists. Then there was some confusion as to whether or not there was even a remote possibility that I might be pregnant. Hearing that a patient doesn't ovulate means that there is no "marker" that screams NOT PREGNANT.

They wanted to make sure before giving me the yellow fever shot that I couldn't be pregnant. I informed them that, painful as it was, I had taken a pregnancy test the night before. I really, really, really hate taking negative pregnancy tests, but I am glad JB made me scuffle in and out of WalMart last night after our dinner in Austin with Christo and Melissa (they took us to a great Thai restaurant to celebrate JB's appointment at Eglin).

Anyways ... back to the topic at hand. I don't know if they would have given me the shot today without telling them I took a negative pregnancy test the night before. Then they told me that I had to make sure to use TWO forms of birth control for at least a month. I almost laughed out loud but refrained. Even the nurse rolled her eyes when she said it. You've GOT to be kidding. Anyways, I left with five shots. I'd tell you what they were for but I, honestly, can't remember. I will also have to take oral typhoid medication beginning next month and start my Malaria medications three days before we go.

Speaking of the trip, I must share another wonderful bit of news. KELSEY IS GOING TO NIGERIA WITH US! I am so thrilled about this. I have been talking to her about the trip, and she just decided that she wanted to go. This means most likely turning down a very good offer in Washington DC before she starts law school in the fall but hey, how often can you go to Nigeria? So it will be JB, Tara, Ajit, Kelsey, and myself. We will be spending 4 weeks in Nigeria and 2 weeks vacationing in South Africa. What a great time. I am so blessed I can go!

Many of you have asked me what our schedule is over the next few months. I thought I would provide it here, as best we know it, currently.

March 25 Leave for Nigeria
April 21 Leave Nigeria for South Africa
May 4 Return to Minnesota
May 19 JB graduates
May 25 Move to Eglin
May 29 Fly back to Minnesota
May 31 Transfer #4
June 1 Fly back to Eglin
June 4 JB starts residency

This is as good as we know it currently. I will, of course, keep you posted. The blog will probably be running slowly while I am in Nigeria. There are Internet cafe's but not sure how often I can post. If anyone would like to guest post while I am gone, please let me know. I'd love to have some entertainment for readers while I am gone.


This is, unfortunately, not a joke. This is the truth.

Two days ago, we had a great snow. I actually heard myself say out loud, "I'm going to miss the snow." I think that is true. But I am NOT going to miss this!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Broken lamp and a good ol' shock

Last night, or, well, actually around 2:30 this morning, I reached over to grab my mask from my end table.

Somehow, I knocked over my lamp. I broke my lamp. I woke JB up. I then reached over to figure out what had happened to the lamp and realized that the wires in the lamp were now exposed. I realized this by shocking myself. I shocked myself pretty good.

By this time, JB had gotten up and was over by my side of the bed. He tried to reach behind the bed and unplug the lamp, but he couldn't fit his arm behind the bed to unplug it. So, he asked me to do it. I reached behind the bed and unplugged the first thing I found.

I unplugged the alarm clock.

Now, mind you, both of us are very tired and barely awake so a small argument ensues over the fact that he didn't tell me there were multiple choices behind the bed. I thought whatever I found was the alarm clock.

So, I had to re-find the alarm clock plug, plug it in, and then find the lamp plug and unplug it.

By this time we are both wide awake. JB has to reset the clock and reset the alarm.

He was a little peeved with me to say the least.

Sigh ....

In other news, I wanted to apologize for the story I put on the blog a few days back. I should have told you all, before I put it on the blog, that it was a short story. There is no second chapter. There is no ending. This is how it ended. It would have been more fair had I let you all know that ahead of time. However, the fact that you all want to know what happens means that I accomplished my task. So thanks for this feedback.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Redoing the TB test

Am I not a grown woman?

Last Monday my boss tells me that I have to get my yearly TB test done that week or Mayo is threatening to suspend me without pay! Are you kidding me? What kind of warning is that?

I ask to see the letter. He shows it to me. I call up the Employee Service people pretty ticked off (but of course, not letting them know it.) I tell them that I got this notice that I am going to be suspended without pay but that this is the first time they have told me about this.

They said that they don't tell the employee. They tell their SUPERVISOR. They said that they sent my boss three notices over the last three months and that this is the last notice before suspension. Are you kidding me? No offense to Mayo Clinic, but I think this is rather dumb. Do they now know how busy our bosses are? Why don't they just tell the employee to go get a TB test? They could send the boss the notice if the employee fails to get it done. I'm 29 years old. I can go get my own TB test!

So anyways, as I said, I am 29 years old. I can handle this.

Or ... maybe not.

Monday I go to get my TB test done. I am supposed to return 48 hours later. Only, I don't work at Mayo on Wednesday, and I forget. I go in on Thursday and am told I am a measly TWO HOURS to late to get to my TB test read. TWO HOURS?! Are you kidding me?!

I ask them if they can readminister the test. They cannot. I must instead call Employee Services and have them reissue an order for me to have another test administered.

Only it's 5:00 now. I have to wait until Friday to call Employee Services. All the while I am running out of time before they suspend me without pay!

Friday morning I call Employee Services. I tell them that I was two hours late to get my TB test read. The woman on the other end says that this is ridiculous. She says the lab should have just read my test anyways. What's two hours? She reorders a test.

I then go to tell my boss that I am returning to the lab to get my TB test done again. He asks why. I explain to him that I was two hours late. He says this is ridiculous and that they could have read my test. I agree but what else am I going to do at this point? I don't have TB, but they need me to prove it.

I go in and get the shot again.

So, I write all that to say that today, I successfully had my TB test read. I am done for at least a year.
And even though I am a grown up, maybe I do need some help.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Pink and Purple Pumpkin Eaters

As promised, here is a piece of my writing. I don't normally like to share what I write for fun, but I wrote this in college, and thought this would be a good first piece to share "with the world". Enjoy!



It was such a soft voice during the day. But at night, somehow, it managed to sound so much louder. It screamed again. This time in a much higher pitch.

Tina rolled over and pulled the pillow around her head tightly, somehow hoping it would drown out the voice of the little girl down the hall. Another scream pierced the air. No such luck.

"Michael?" Tina moaned, turning to more desperate measures. She rolled onto one elbow and leaned over her husband.

He did not hesitate in forming his response. "No way."

"Come on, Babe. Please. Just this once."

"I did just this once last night. I'm not doing it twice."

Tina rolled back over, opening her eyes and staring up at the black ceiling. "Come on. Help me out here."

"No. She's calling your name."

"But I have to get up an hour earlier than you do."


"So go see what she wants for me."

"But she's calling your name. She doesn't want me."

"She doesn't know what she wants."

Another scream of her mother's name pierced the air. Michael sleepishly shrugged. "Sure sounds like she does."

Tina sat up despite the fact that it was the last thing she felt like doing. She flipped on the wrought iron lamp on the nightstand next to the latest issue of Reader's Digest. Michael moaned and rolled over, telling her to turn it off and pulling a pillow atop his own head. Tina stood up and left it on. "Serves him right," she mumbled to herself as she headed down the hall.


"Mommy's coming, Melanie."

"Please hurry."

"I'm going as fast I can," Tina called out, her socks sliding along the wooden floor and her hands feeling across the white paneled walls in the darkness. She should have turned on the hall light, but she always managed to remember that after passing the switch. She was too tired to backtrack and was almost there now anyway.

"There's a man under my bed. He's big and ugly and has a beard," Melanie whispered as her mother pushed the half-open door fully ajar and flipped on the light. Tina shook her head and gave her daughter a frustrated look. "I mean it Mommy. I saw him. I saw him crawl under there." She was pointing at the floor.

"Melanie, there is no one under your bed."

"There is too."

"Daddy just checked last night."

"But he didn't check tonight."

So why didn't you call Daddy's name? Tina thought to herself. She sleepily made her way through the maze of little girls' toys -- a Barbie city complete with mall, house, and park; three stuffed animals; two baby dolls; and sixteen books. She reached the twin bed in the corner after nearly tripping over a swimming pool in which Ken was relaxing on a raft and sat down atop the pink comforter, silently praying she could make this as quick as possible.

Melanie had the blanket pulled up under her chin, and her big blue eyes were filled with tears. Sweat droplets lined her forehead, and Tina instinctively wiped them away with the tips of her fingers. Her daughter's thick brown hair was flipped over the pillow, and her little hands clung to an enormous Winnie the Pool stuffed animal -- a present from her Daddy on her first birthday. The doll was nearly bigger than she was, but Melanie still managed to lug it everywhere.

"Need to get the Pooh a car seat," Michael would mumble nearly every time they loaded up the car.

"He's under there," Melanie whimpered, pointing to the space between her bed and the floor. Tina had hidden under there once during a game of "Hide and Seek," and she remembered that it had been an extremely tight squeeze. Even if Melanie really had seen a man, the chances of him fitting under the bed were not good. Her daughter blinked, fighting back more tears -- the fear sounding so real in her voice. "I know he's under there. I know it."

"There's no one under the bed, Mel." Tina rubbed the side of her daughter's arm as she spoke.

"Yes, there is."

"I promise there isn't."

"Could you check?"

"Come on, honey. Not again."


A slight pause followed. "This is the last time."

Melanie nodded, and Tina slide down off the side of the bed and onto the soft off-white carpet. She caught sight of a few stains -- coke, fruit punch, and what looked like mud, on her way to the floor. Maybe some popcorn too. She asked herself once again why she had not listened to Michael and gotten the tan instead. Off-white in a seven-year-old's bedroom? He had told her that children will ruin off-white carpet, and it had come true in the case of their child. Three months later and it looked like it was a dozen years old.

She sank to her knees and flipped up the pink ruffle. Two cookies, a few mismatched shoes, a Tupperware box filled with leggos, and the rest of Barbie's extended family were all there to greet her, but definitely no ugly man with a beard. Not that Tina was surprised. She checked for the same man a few times each week and had yet to find him.

"Well?" Melanie asked, as if she actually thought her mother would return with the man in tow.

"Not a thing." Tina sat back down next to her daughter. "But I found your missing Sunday shoe." She held up a shiny white sandal and flashed a smile at Melanie.

Melanie smiled sightly and loosened her grip on Pooh's neck. "He was there."

"He wasn't there."

"He was. I saw him."

"Saw him? Under the bed? Did you get out of bed and look?" Tina pushed her own brown hair back behind one of her ears.


"Then how did you know?"

"He came in through my door."

"And slid under your bed?"


Tina shook her head. "Then, where'd he go?"

Melanie paused as if not wanting to answer but then mumbled, "I don't know."

"Think maybe you had another bad dream?"


"Are you sure?"

Melanie bit the bottom of her lip and shrugged. "It seemed real."

"Dreams usually do."

The petite first grader scratched her cute little pudgy nose, letting go of her stuffed animal for only a second before returning her death squeeze upon the bear's neck. She paused and gave her Mom a coy grin. "Could I come sleep with you?"

Tina had known since she crawled out of bed nearly five minutes prior that the question was coming, and she had been ready with her reply. She shook her head and mouthed the word, "No."


"No. We said you weren't going to do that anymore."

"Just once more."

Tina shook her head and leaned down, planting a kiss on Melanie's forehead. Not only did she not want her daughter to get into the habit of sleeping in their bedroom, but her back was still paying the price from her previous night's visit. One too many kicks had solidified her decision. Besides, she needed a good night's rest, and with Melanie in the bed, the chances were next to none.

"If you hear or see anything, just think about the pink and purple pumpkin eaters guarding your room."

Melanie rolled her eyes. "I don't believe in them anymore."

"You did last week."

"I was six last week. I'm seven now. I don't believe in pink and purple pumpkin eaters anymore."

"But they're cute and furry and funny, and they are so fat that no one can get through your door without bouncing off of them."

"Really funny, Mommy. Like I believe that anymore."

Tina shrugged and stood up, silently wishing her only child would stop growing up so fast. She blew her a kiss, made her way back through Barbie's Kitchen, bedroom, and backyard, and then turned off the light. She cracked the door just like Melanie liked it before stumbling back down the hall to her own bed.

The light was still on, but it did not seem to be bothering Michael much. He was on his left side, pillow covering his head, and snoring as usual. Tina slide underneath the sheet and blanket and immediately pushed her husband lightly onto his stomach in order to stop the snoring before it got any worse. This woke him up. He lifted the pillow off his head and squinted in the light.

"She okay?" He asked, even though he knew the answer.


"What was it this time?"

"Same as last night. Man under the bed."

"There's no man." He grinned slightly, his eyes full of sleep. "I checked last night."

"I checked too."

"Did you see the cookies?"

"Saw the cookies. Remind me to clean them up tomorrow sometime." She reached over and turned off the lamp, sliding farther down underneath the cool sheets. She rolled over and placed her head on her husband's chest. "I thought they were supposed to start sleeping through the night more as they got older," she whispered, already starting to feel sleepy again. Michael lifted his hand and slightly squeezed the back of his wife's neck.

"We thought a lot of things about kids before we had one."

"True." Tina glanced at the clock. It was 2:08 a.m.



Tina opened her eyes. She hadn't remembered closing them. She lifted her head from Michael's chest and looked at the clock. 3:45. She waited to hear the voice again before waking her snoring husband.

"Michael." She shook him gently.


"It's Melanie."


"Yeah. But this time, her voice is beautiful."


"Yeah. She's calling your name."

"Are you sure?

"Oh yeah. I'm sure."

He moaned slightly as Tina rolled back over onto her side of the bed. He waited for a moment to actually hear what his wife was claiming before pulling back his half of the comforter. He stood up and then turned on his own lamp and winked at his wife when she started to protest. "You started it." She sighed slightly as headed down the hallway in his boxer shorts and white t-shirt.

Tina lay in their queen bed, staring at the ceiling, not having the energy to move to Michael's side and turn off the light and not seeing the purpose either. It was no use going back to sleep anyway. He would most likely wake her when he returned in a few minutes. After nine years of marriage, he still had not come close to mastering the art of climbing into bed quietly when she went to sleep first. Tina had long given up on explaining to him how it was done.

Tina thought about the fact that she only had three more hours of sleep before she had to get Melanie up and to school. She thought of work that day. She had six meetings and two interviews and lunch with her boss. She thought about Michael and what a good father he was. She could picture him talking to Melanie as they sat together on her pink bed. He was telling her about the pink and purple pumpkin eaters. She should have warned him that the story would no longer work. Melanie was seven now.

Tina rolled onto her side, facing the door that led down the hallway to her daughter's room. She could picture the whole conversation even though she couldn't hear a word. Melanie was asking if she could come sleep with them tonight. Tina rolled her eyes, not even thinking about whether or not her husband would oblige. Melanie was a Daddy's girl all the way. He tried to be firm, but that little girl made up his whole world. She could picture Melanie ask if she could bring Pool and heard Michael tell her no because Pool took up too much room. Then Michael would ask her if she wanted a piggy-back ride.

A few seconds later, in they came, and Tina could not help but crack a smile as she noted that Melanie was on her father's back. They scooted into the room and into bed beside her.

"Sucker," she whispered and felt Melanie's foot connect with her back.

"What?" Michael asked.

"We said she was going to have start sleeping in her own bed from now on."

"Michael ran his fingers through his thick hair and turned off his light. "She said just this once."

"And you believed her?"

Melanie giggled, and Tina could her lean up and plant a kiss on her Daddy's cheek. "Now, how am I going to resist that?" Michael mumbled.

"Did Dad tell you about the pink and purple pumpkin eaters?" Tina asked. She was now laying on her back, talking to the ceiling.

"Tried to," Melanie laughed.

"She told me that's she seven now," Michael replied.

"I forgot to mention that she outgrew that one. She informed me of that fact earlier this morning."

Tina looked at the clock again. 4:04 a.m.


At 5:37 Tina was awoke again by her daughter's screaming voice. This time Melanie was sitting straight up in the bed. Tina reached underneath the sheet, grabbed Melanie's bare foot and pulled her back down to a reclining position.

"For crying out loud, Melanie. You have school tomorrow. Go to sleep already. I am not playing around anymore."

"The man, Mommy. He's in your room!"

"He's not in the room. There is not a man. I want you to go to sleep and not wake me up again!" She heard Michael stirring on the other side, rolling over, and beginning to wake up.

Tina's voice was not loud, but she knew Melanie could tell by the firmness that she meant business. She remained confident that her statement would end the episode and so she closed her eyes yet again. Melanie was mischievous and curious and that often got her into trouble, but she was very rarely blatantly disobedient. She had humored her daughter enough for one night. She needed some sleep if she was going to be able to face her busy day, and Melanie needed some as well if she was not going to fall asleep in the middle of reading groups again.

"But Mommy --"

Tina raised her voice. "Melanie! What did I say?"

"Daddy!" The little girl yelled, giving up on her mother's sympathy. She was sitting up again, clinging to the sheets that canopied over her between her mother and her father. "Daddy! Wake up!"

"I'm awake," he mumbled. He reached for his daughter and drew her close to his side. She remained in the an upright position although she did move a little closer to the comfort his arms offered her.

"Melanie, I told you to be quiet!" Tina said even louder.

"It's okay Tina."

"No. It's not. She needs to go to sleep. That's three times in one night we had to listen to her talk about some imaginary man in her dreams. I'm tired."

"Go back to sleep, Hon. I'll deal with it."

Tina knew she would not fall asleep, but rolled over onto her side and closed her eyes anyway, allowing Michael to handle their hysterical child.

"Daddy," she cried. "Daddy." Her tears were making her voice sound week and exhausted.

"What is it now, Mel?"

"Daddy, the man! He's back."

"Go to sleep. I'll watch out for him. There is no man. I promise." He tried to get her to lie back down, but she refused.

"I saw him."

"It's pitch black."

"He had a flashlight."

"A flashlight?" Tina asked. So much for letting Michael handle it. She could not possibly go to sleep until her daughter did anyway. "Why would he turn a flashlight on in the middle of the bedroom so that everyone could see him?"

"I don't know, Mommy, but it was a flashlight. He had it on. That's how I could see him and his beard!"

"Mel, please go to sleep," her father coaxed.

"It was the same man. Ugly and the beard. Same man as all the other times, "Melanie said even though neither of them had asked.

Tina could tell that Michael was getting frustrated as well. It had been a long night, and neither of them were in the mood to deal with this anymore. It used to be that if they wanted to comfort their daughter, all they had to do was tell her about the pink and purple pumpkin eaters, and she would giggle and feel better and go back to sleep. Used to be that she believed in Santa Claus too. But that was not going to work anymore. Tina tried to think of something else, but if sleeping between her parents did not help, what would?"

"Don't you hear him?" Their daughter asked.

"Hear what?"

"His breathing?"

The room grew quiet. There was an unusual sound coming from the side of the room. "Listen," Melanie whispered.

Michael got quiet. So did Tina. Michael reached over and flipped on the light. It took a second for their eyes to adjust, but when they did, Melanie began to scream again. Tina started screaming too. Even louder than her daughter. Michael sat frozen, knowing he should do something but unsure as to what that would be.

At the foot of the bed stood an extremely ugly man with a beard. And he was holding Melanie's Pooh Bear.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Cold stethoscopes

People. People. (Picture me standing there, shaking my head in utter dismay.) It is FREEZING outside today. It is feels like -6. I was standing inside of Guggenheim waiting for JB to pick me up for lunch, and I watched as people ran and, literally, screamed, as they ran from Mitchell or Harwick to Guggenheim. This is a very short walk outside and a very long walk underground so most people attempt to brave the weather even without coats. People screaming is ridiculous. Especially when they are not being chased! Today's weather is ridiculous.

Something else I thought about. Why is that surgeons wear their stethoscopes in their pocket but "regular" doctors where them around their neck? JB said that wearing it around your neck is a cardinal sin when on a surgery rotation, and he also said it is a major "flaw" on the show Grey's Anatomy. (Which we do NOT watch. This show has absolutely nothing to do with medicine!) Anyone know why this is? (Not why it has nothing to do with medicine but why this stethoscope rule exists.)

Last night I played volleyball for my co-worker Jenny's team. I had a GREAT time. This was not an available activity in Kentucky as volleyball was just coming into its own when I was there, but these leagues are HUGE in Rochester. There is a National Volleyball Center at John Marshall High School with a dozen or so courts.

I had played a little sand co-ed volleyball during the last year, but this wasn't as good for two reasons. One of the reasons is that playing on sand is completely different from playing on a hard surface. It takes some major getting used to. Secondly, playing on a co-ed team means the net is quite a bit higher. This would be okay (but still not good) if I were a setter or defensive specialist (passer), but as someone who's game is best played at the net (hitting and blocking), the higher net and men who can jump a lot higher than me, take away some of the fun. Anyways, last night was a women's league. It was great to be on a "regular sized" net. I have decided that I need to stay involved in this "intramural" volleyball. I really love it. Jenny is going to let me do some more subbing which is great. I don't know if I will be able to find "indoor" leagues on the beach in Destin, but I'll have to try. Or I'll have to get used to playing on sand.

Speaking of co-ed, however, JB and I are going to play in an indoor co-ed tournament in February with our friends Kristen and Brandon. Back to co-ed, but at least it is indoors.

Last night we had a friend come and look at renting our condo, and tomorrow we have another couple coming by as well. We have quite a few people interested and renting and/or buying. We are leaning toward renting our place for a time if we can find someone we know or at least know of to rent it. We will just have to wait and see.

We are also going to be watching Hunter and Cole Ray some this weekend. They are coming over tonight, leaving late tomorrow, and coming back on Sunday morning. Ronnie has to work, and Ebby had to unexpectedly go out of town, chaperoning a church function. Watching them is no big deal as they are older and very able to practically watch themselves. We just have to be there to say "Don't kill your brother." That's about it.

I hope to post some/all of my writing tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Nothing much to report

Life is fairly slow and currently very normal. There isn't too much to report. Some small things that are currently exciting me (or just interesting me) include:
  • Tara comes home on Sunday!
  • Dave and Lesley come home on the 22nd.
  • We officially bought our tickets to Africa yesterday. We know that we will spend 4 weeks in Nigeria and 2 weeks in South Africa. We just aren't sure about getting from Nigeria to South Africa yet. I am really going!!!!
  • We found someone (Lois!) to house sit for us while we are in Africa.
  • I am subbing on my co-workers girls volleyball team this evening.
  • JB's rotation requires him to "experience" the free Salvation Army Clinic this evening (which he has already volunteered at quite a bit.)
  • We have someone coming by this evening to take a look at renting our condo. He is a friend of our's from Bible Study and a great guy. We also have someone coming by on Saturday. We still aren't sure what we should do -- rent or sell? HELP!
  • Josh (Heisman) has a cool new song on his myspace site. (Check it out at the link at right.)
  • They moved the mailboxes in our condo and replaced them with mirrors. (It looks nice!)
  • The RLS Foundation is moving across town. This is good timing as I can clean out all my stuff and bring it here to my house to take with me to Florida.
  • I think there are a few people who are never going to update their blog again (cough cough -- Ebby.) Should I just take your link off?
  • Remember awhile ago when I posted about a story I wrote that I couldn't find! I found it! I have decided (drum roll please) to share it on my blog. So pay attention this weekend. If all goes well, I'm going to let you read a piece of my fiction. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Our lil' condo

After work last night JB and I had a wonderful evening. We hung out for a bit and then went and worked out at the gym. It was packed! We couldn't figure out why. Usually 6:00 is not too crowded. Then one of the people reminded us that it was January. The New Year's Resolution-ers were filling up the place! They told us not to worry. They'd be gone by February. That's sort of sad.

Oh well. We managed to get treadmills next to each other and played Wheel of Fortune while we ran. (I kicked JB's butt but don't tell him I told you so.)

Then we went and had a casual Thai dinner at a place a few miles from our house. We love this Thai resaturant as it is under new ownership now. Traditionally, Thai restaurants don't have the greatest service. Most of the people don't speak English and it's hard to communicate. At the other Thai restaurant we go to, JB can order the same thing three times in a row and get something different everytime. But this restaurant (Soriya) is really one of our favorites now as the people are very grounded in the community and really seem like they want you there. We love it!

We sat and talked and talked. It's amazing to me that even though I see JB everyday, we had so much to talk about! I really love my husband!

One of our conversation pieces was our condo.

Lately JB and I have been going back and forth about renting vs. selling our condo. We will not have a mortgage in Florida. Maybe we should just rent this out and make some money on it.

Renting is a lot of work. We could get bad renters. The market could drop. Selling would let us pay off the loan we took out to do the work around the place. Selling would release us from worries about this place.

But if we rented it, we could make some good money by doing next-to-nothing if all goes well. But would all go well?


We have no idea what to do.

JB sent an email to first and second year medical students to see if any of them were interested in buying or renting. He's already gotten some replies. People are interested in both. We live in a prime location -- very popular amongst medical students and residents.

We know, in the end, we'll figure out what to do, but you can pray for wisdom as we try to make the decision.

In the meantime, I am working from home today. I did full days at Mayo Monday and Tuesday as my boss was going out of town today and tomorrow. This is a good taste of how things will be in Florida. Although in Florida, I doubt I would be in sweats with a heated rice bag under my feet. It is cold out there today!!!

Okay, back to the grind. It's tough having to work in your pajamas and have lunch with your husband. Oh well, someone's got to do it!

Monday, January 08, 2007

These are really, really tid bits

Talk about some tid bits. You can't get much more tiddier than these bits.

  • Need to make a book recommendation: Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. Can't say it was his best book. My sort of sister-in-law Danielle (John's brother Matt's longtime girlfriend) recommended it and said it's her numero uno Sparks book. I really like it, but not as much as The Notebook and definitely not as much The Wedding.
  • Need to make a movie recommendation: Last Holiday with Queen Latifah (is that how you spell her name?) Folks, this was really, really good! Relatively clean and just a very nice feel good family movie. Totally worth the $3 rental fee. (We use Netflix.)
  • We also watched Chariots of Fire the other night -- well, actually, we watched over the course of about 5 nights spanning from before we left Florida until after we got back. Therefore, I don't feel I can really give a good pro or con for this movie. Overall, good movie. Accents were a little difficult to understand in spots, but entertaining nonetheless.
  • Yesterday I went to a doctor's appointment that didn't exist. It actually exists today. The poor nurse kept walking up to me asking me for more information before finally ascertaining that I had shown up a day early. I am actually pretty impressed that with all the appointments I have had over the last four years, this is the first time I have "forgotten" an appointment in any way. Pretty impressive, huh?
  • Okay, strange offer. Are any of you in need of mesh basketball shorts or tank tops? Here's the thing. JB and I have been cleaning out our house. Yes, even though other military wives recommend that you do this after your DITY (do-it-yourself) move. (The military pays based on weight so we have been encouraged to save the junk for now but can't bring ourselves to do it.) I have put aside over 40 t-shirts for a t-shirt quilt JB is going to have made for me for my birthday but still have approximately 5 pairs of my mesh basketball shorts and practice jerseys (all, surprisingly, in good shape). I don't really want to just give them to goodwill as these things have stood the test of time, but I have kept a few and just don't know what I can do with all these. If any one would like an "outfit" either for posterity sake or just to play ball in, let me know. JB will not wear them as they have some use of the word "Lady" on all of them. The uniforms also have my number on them, but I kept the ones (or saved them for my kids) that had my name on it. Sorry. If you are interested, post a comment or shoot me an email. Gabbi -- does Princess Grace want to play in these?
  • I also came across a card from Rick Monroe while cleaning my room. He sent this sometime while I was in college. I got rid of a lot of old mail but had to keep this card.
  • Last night, while cleaning the house, I held up a magazine and actually asked JB, "Can I delete this?" This is not a joke. I really did this. Do you think I work on the computer all day or what? How bad is that?
  • Talked to AD last night. They are home from their honeymoon to Jamaica. AD warned me as she got off the phone, "Don't worry about not staying in touch with me -- I'm a stalker." I think that this girl will force me to not have a phone phobia of her. And that's good. I'm so excited to have a new sister. (AD says she just wants to drop the "in-law" part as she has no other sisters!) I'm cool with that.
  • I think we are booking our tickets to Nigeria today. We will leave Minneapolis on March 25, and after a stop in Amsterdam, arrive in Nigeria on March 26. We then plan to return to the U.S. via South Africa (back through Amsterdam.) Originally, we were hoping to go to Morocco. However, after working with a travel agent, it become obvious that this was just not going to work due to the fact that there really weren't any flights from Nigeria to Morocco unless we drove into a not-to-safe part of Nigeria. So instead, we are planning to vacation in South Africa. I will write more about this ina future post but just wanted to give you a little "head's up".
  • Yesterday right before work, our two birds got into a fight. When I picked up the girl, I noticed her foot was bleeding badly. She is okay now, but I got so concerned, I forgot to eat breakfast trying to take care of her. How can you love someone one second and then bite their nail off?
  • I spoke with Kristi on the phone. Raylee is doing great. Has her days and nights mixed up but overall, is doing great. I hope to go visit sometime after we move to Florida.

Hope you enjoyed these bits!