Saturday, June 30, 2007


We've been approved to adopt through China! Our adoption agency called and emailed us yesterday with the news that we are in! We were pretty confident that we would be approved, but until you get the final nod of approval, you can't help but worry that there is something they won't like.

So what's next? In about a week, we will get the final paperwork from our agency. We'll give our final signatures and make our first payment toward the adoption. I'm not exactly sure how much that is yet. I'll have to wait until we receive the paperwork. At that point, we can move forward with compiling our dossier and also getting our home study completed. To be honest, I'm not very sure what's involved with either of those items. When I can sound like I know what I am talking about, I'll explain it to all of you!

All in all, it should take between 4-6 months to complete the dossier and home study. Once that is finished, it is simply a waiting game until we get "given" our child by China. They will send us a photo, information, and a name. Once they "refer" us to our child, we'll have about 6-8 weeks before we leave for China to pick up our daughter. We hope both of us can go, but if for any reason JB cannot get off during that window, I can go solo. However, it's the wait for the referral that is extremely long. That stage is the long one: up to two years.

When I told JB that we were approved when he got home from work, he immediately said, "You're going to be a mom!" It sounded very strange, and for some reason, I keep thinking someone is going to call me and say, "We're sorry. Your test results were negative. Please try again later." It's incredibly difficult to fathom that adoption doesn't work that way.

In fact, it's one of the reasons we decided to do international adoption and international adoption through China. Neither John nor myself could handle one more negative result.

In infertility circles, a negative is referred to as BFN "big fat negative." I started thinking about what these four years have entailed and the best I could come up with was:

  1. 8 months trying before seeing doctors due to no ovulation -- BFN x 8

  2. 3 failed attempts to ovulate on clomid -- BFN x 3

  3. 2 negative IUIs (artificial inseminations) -- BFN x 2

  4. 2 cancelled IUI's -- BFN x 2

  5. 1 year on metformin but no other treatments (ovulated twice) -- BFN x 2

  6. 1 cancelled IUI/permitted to try on our own -- BFN x 1

  7. 4 IVF transfers -- BFN x 4

So that equals 22 times that we had to have someone call us and tell us (or we found out ourselves) that things did not work. I also thought I would try to estimate how many pills, shots, and doctors appointments this was but quite honestly, I do not even know how to begin to calculate those numbers. I'll just say that from the best I can estimate, I have probably had upwards of FIFTY internal ultrasounds.

Unfortunately, adoption domestically, while fantastic, can result in some disappointments: birth mother changes her mind, birth mother chooses someone else, etc. While I think domestic adoption is wonderful, we, personally, were just not able to deal with that at this point in our lives. We just, emotionally, needed something concrete.

The last two weeks have been a time for great healing and great conversation for the two of us. We have spent four years of our lives dealing with doctors appointments, medications, shots, hormones, emotions, and physicians intruding on one of the most personal areas of our lives. We are so relieved to not be doing that anymore. I am relieved that, aside from some residual headaches, I am sleeping consistently. I am not crying uncontrollably. I can exercise whenever I want. I am not yelling at JB for no reason. We aren't answering to alarms telling me it's time to have another shot or another pill or another appointment. We are relieved to be done with all of that and relieved to finally be doing something where at the end, we know the phone call will be a positive one.

I am still not ready to venture into a baby store or to buy anything for a nursery. I know I'll be ready at some point, but for right now, I just can't go there. It's also a long way away, and I'd rather focus on something else until then.

One thing you can add to your prayer list is prayer for our daughter. She is currently, not born yet. But at some point, in the next year to year and a half, a mother or couple are going to have a little girl that they are going to decide they do not want to keep. This could be because of poverty or, more likely, because they wanted a son and are only allowed to have one child. Please pray for those parents. Please pray for that little girl. And please pray that the Lord brings us together in his perfect timing (but quickly if he can!)

Friday, June 29, 2007

It's official!!!

I am officially a Florida resident!!! And what's better, the DMV didn't cause me to hyperventilate.

I have had the opportunity to experience the DMV in a few different cities. Here is a quick summary:

Fort Lauderdale: The worst of them yet. There's a room for English speakers and a room for Spanish speakers. People are yelling and screaming. It can take all day just to get a license. The thought of having to go to the DMV causes me to get an upset stomach. Am I right Fort Lauderdalians?

Frankin, Kentucky: There isn't actually a DMV here. You walk into the courthouse and get your license. It will take only a matter of minutes as long as no one has to register a tractor or a missing cow for the day. Every thing is done at one window!

Rochester: Not my idea of a good time. Long lines and too few people working. Was cut in line by a 70-year-old woman after waiting for over an hour and almost lost my cool. I also failed the written driving test the first time because I didn't know how much alcohol was in vodka, because I gave a bike too much room on the road, and because I wasn't sure what to do when I was behind a snow plow.

Eglin AFB: An awesome experience. Every Friday, the DMV sets up shop on base. We walked in, took our photos, and were on our way. There was no line. There was no written test. There was no yelling. There was no line cutting. He also took my picture a second time when the first one didn't come out so well.

So it's official, I can now vote in the state of Florida, drive legally in the state of Florida, donate my organs in the state of Florida, and not pay income tax in the state of Florida. Go Wendi (and JB -- he got his too!)

Congrats Plan B Tara!

Charlie is here folks! Check it out:

After years of infertility and now a baby through surrogacy, I am unable to muster the words to explain how I know Tara and Dan are feeling.

If you haven't checked out the video I posted yesterday afternoon (below), I encourage you to. It will definitely tell you how Tara and Dan are feeling right now.

JB has the morning off so I'll hopefully post a "real" blog later. Sorry Tara (Bannana still good Tara). You won't have much "breakfast" material this morning.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Song on Infertility

Kellie Coffey video. Someone shared this with me on my infertility support group board online. Quite powerful. I have never seen one item so perfectly capture my heart as this video did. If you have any trouble viewing this, try this link to UTUBE. JB and I just watched this, and if you are anything like us, you'll prefer to watch it in a private place. It's pretty emotional.

A Shopping Guide for the not-so-vertically-challenged

I am desperately looking for some more shorts and capris. I currently own: three pairs of dress shorts and one pair of capris. In addition, two of these really do not fit after my African weight loss and really need to be taken in. This means that I actually have one pair of shorts and one pair of capris. This is not good when this is really all people around here wear! I desperately need a closet-expansion.

I was hoping Old Navy, which I stopped at yesterday, would hold the key, but alas, it did not. Part of my "problem" with clothes is that while shorts and capris are something I can buy in regular stores, I still have to be very selective. Often times the capris don't hit me in the right "capri-hitting-spot" since they obviously weren't designed for 6'3" women. This makes it look like I was trying to find pants and they were just a bit too short.

With shorts, they often are too short making it look like I am wearing shorts not designed for 6'3" women. (Which is true, but I'd like to fool people). So ... since my blog readers offered advice on where to look the last time I needed a closet expansion (Old Navy was the winning entry which, obviously, failed miserably last night) ... any other advice out there?

The problem is, right now, you are probably racking your brain and also thinking: Well I know where I would go for clothes. But Wendi is a wee bit taller than me. This is true.

So, I thought I would take a minute to tell you the advice I give every tall woman on the street who asks me where I find pants. I kid you not. I have had no less than a dozen women over six feet tall ask me this, and I am quick to give them an answer.

I often get asked where I find clothes. I truly don't mind when people I know ask me this. I did, however, get a little bit twerked when a stranger stopped me in the frozen food aisle to ask me, with the most Kentucky-southern-drawl I ever did hear (and yes, I meant for that to sound redneck), "Where in the werrrrld do you find clothes?" I am not sure this is actually a polite question, but I, of course, managed some semblance of an answer. I don't know that we would ask this of people of other body shapes, so I am not sure why it is okay to ask an extra-tall person that you don't know.

All right, so I will save my "tall" soap box for another day.

While rude when asked by a stranger in the frozen food section, the question is a good one and obviously important if I want to blend accurately into society. (I'm not sure, however, that I actually blend. The closest I have ever come is when I spent a few days in Switzerland. I stepped off the train and immediately told John, "Honey, I am home!")

All right back on track, sorry.

I am able to find shirts, shorts, capris, skirts, and dresses, at the same stores as everyone else. I just have to be picky about what I buy and where I buy them. I just try to stay with stores that favor people with my body shape. These stores, while not designed for tall people include:

  • Target: Great for shirts!
  • New York Lerner/New York & Company: Great for long sleeved items and skirts. Pants are a bit too short for me but run on the longer side for my other vertically-challenged-but-not-as-challenged-as-me friends.
  • Old Navy: Seems to have longer length. Possibly because people who shop here where their clothes baggy.
  • Gap: A little hit and miss for me, but their pants do come fairly long.
  • Tall Girl Shop: If you live near the Mall of America. (More on this in a moment.)
As far as pants, I shop at a few different stores:
  • Long Elegant Legs ONLINE STORE. Everything here is good but often expensive. I look for deals. Pants are mostly 36" inseam -- I'm a 36.5-37. But they have some in 37 or even 39 which requires me to get them hemmed.
  • Tall and All ONLINE STORE. I only buy their pants. This is a place in Europe. Their shipping is $25 but it is for everything you buy so if you buy a lot, it is a deal. Their dresses and tops are very strange and not what we Americans would wear. Only buy pants here!!!! I repeat: only buy pants here.
  • Buckle Is in many malls around the U.S. I buy their blue jeans: Lucky (goes up to 37" inseam) or the store brand (37" as well.) Strangely, the Lucky store itself doesn't have jeans my size, but Buckle carries them in their store. It's funny, nearly every time I have gone in here, I have run into some women's volleyball or basketball team trying to find jeans. Their jeans are VERY expensive but amazing!
  • Alloy ONLINE STORE. This is sort of a teeny-bopper online store. However, their pants are great, and I strongly recommend them both for fit, size, and price.

I also shopped at a store in the Mall of America (can't go there anymore!) called "Tall Girl". This store had some hit and miss good stuff, including my winter coat (can't where that anymore!) However, I hated the name of that store. After I bought something, I'd have to walk around with a description of my body shape written on the bag. At least "Petite Sophisticate" sounds sort of regal. "Tall Girl" sounds quite lame. I thought it was just me until a few friends commented in the same regards. "Big and Tall" for men follows suit. What is it with calling tall people out but labeling the petites "sophisticated"?

As far as shoes, I wear a size 12 and probably, actually a 12.5 although I have never actually seen this size. I think they stop making half sizes after 10. The ONLY real store I have ever seen that carries a 12 is Payless and they usually only have about 5 pairs in the store. Oh, and there is a store in the Mall of America (Nordstram Rack) that carried up to size 14!!! This always shocked me. Unfortunately, we don't live in Minnesota anymore and a "Rack" is a place where all there unsellable shoes went so they had some weird stuff. If I look online, Nordstram does carry my size but they are very expensive. So with shoes, I usually order Payless online. They have free delivery to their stores. You go in and pick them up, and if you don't like them, they keep them there and give you your money back. It works pretty well!

All right, so there it is ... everything you wanted to know about how to shop if you are a tall woman or love someone who is. I plan to put this post on the right side of my blog so tall friends, if you have any other suggestions, let me know, and I will add this to my blog.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Check it out!

My "Plan B" friend Tara is going to be a mom very soon! Keep your eye on her blog:

Her surrogate, Dana, has been induced. Now the waiting begins!! So excited for you Tara. So blessed to watch you finally become a mom.

Trying to find a groove

I still don't really feel like I am living at my house. It just doesn't quite feel like home. JB says I have to be fair. It has only been three weeks! He said it took months at our condo. But I don't remember it taking that long to get that "I live here" now feeling. Does anyone know what I am talking about? I know I have a ton of friends that have just moved? Do you feel this way too or am I the only one still feeling like this?

I think part of this is because the house is quite a bit bigger than any house we have previously lived in. We have a couch, an entertainment center, and a bookshelf in a huge living room/dining room area as big as our whole living room/kitchen in Minnesota. It looks quite empty.

We are also, patiently waiting to hear that we have been approved for China from our adoption agency . Once we hear this, we will consider purchasing the couch we have picked out. Until then, however, we are in a sort of holding pattern. While we are in a holding pattern, I'm hesitant to hang any pictures or make any significant purchases. So as a result, our living area looks pretty sparse.

I was watching Oprah the other day. She had on that cool designer "Nate". He said that you should never make a purchase just to fill a space. He said you should wait until you find just what you want. (He also said if you like something, buy it, and you'll find a space. I'm not so sure about that. I'm not so sure he understands my skill level.) But I did agree that you shouldn't but something you aren't in love with just to quench the emptiness. So we are going to wait until the perfect time.

The kitchen is a little more homey, but it sure isn't the kitchen JB designed himself in our condo. As a result, things aren't exactly where we want them yet, and some things, won't ever be exactly where we want them. The dishwasher is quite tiny and hard to put things in. The sink's cold water, is actually, quite warm. I thought this was just me until Tiffany, around the block, asked me about it. Apparently we aren't the only ones with quite warm cold water. The stove is gas. JB says this is good (cooks more evenly), but I need to get the hang of it still. We have some food items sitting on the counter because we aren't exactly sure where they go.

Please don't misinterpret this post as complaining. I like our house. It is large, spacious, open, convenient, and full of storage and closets. I'm just still sort of trying to find my groove.

The "groove" goes farther than just our home itself. It goes into finding a routine for myself with work, exercise, hobbies, and devotional time. My goal is to do small "bursts" of exercise throughout the day so as to break up my day a bit and get me off the computer for a bit of time. I think this can work, and I'm going to try it today. My ideal schedule would be:

  • 5:30 wake up (this is what time JB gets up)
  • 5:30-6:00 run with JB (t least 5 times a week)
  • 6:00-6:30 devotional time
  • 6:30-7:00 "fun" stuff on my computer (email/blogging etc.)
  • 7:00 start work
  • Inbetween 7-5 break for additional exercise times
  • 5:00 end work

I think this schedule can work. I also want to be able to take time off to do things with the "wives" or with JB if he gets some time off during the day. In order to do that, I'm going to need to bank some extra hours on the weekend or evenings when John is still working.

Anyways, I guess the "theme" of this post is that it takes some time when you get to a new place to get used to a new routine and living in the new place altogether. JB's mentor in Minnesota told him that you should give yourselves 4-6 months when moving to a new place to see if things are working and to feel comfortable with how things are going. So I'm not even into the one month mark yet. I have time.

I'll keep trying to find "comfortable".

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

It is possible ...

Believe it or not, it is possible to somehow get into bed with the portable phone on the outside of the bed, fall asleep, and only at 4 in the morning wake up and discover that you are sleeping on a telephone. I have no idea how I managed this.

However, I do think this is proof that Florida must be good luck for me as far as sleeping goes. Or maybe it is the fact that my body, for the first time in three years, is free of fertility medications. Either way, I am sleeping unbelievably well every night. I do wake up to use the restroom periodically (which my roommate from college, Kristi, can vouch for, has always been my style), but I am falling asleep quickly and even when I get up, falling asleep again quickly. Sleeping soundly is such a wonderful feeling. I love going to bed and not waking up in tears, frustrated from tossing and turning all night. JB also loves this as he isn't woken up from my tossing and turning either.

Yesterday I successfully navigated my way to Pensacola to pick Brianna V. up from the airport. "Bri" is seventeen. Her parents, Roy and Joan, have been friends with my parents since before I was born, and I grew up hanging out with Joan all the time and babysitting Bri from the time she was five months old as well as their son Brant who passed away when he was seven and I was thirteen. Anyways, her parents went on vacation to Vermont for two weeks and Bri decided to come hang out with me for a week of that. JB was glad to have someone with his humor to watch Office Space with. I just don't laugh at that movie. All I do is feel bad for the guy who keeps losing his stapler and Jennifer Aniston for her problem with the "flare". These things really bothered me, and I find myself feeling bad for the characters instead of laughing at their plights.

But I did make it to Pensacola without one wrong turn there or back. It's about an hour and fifteen minute drive. Apparently, the Pensacola airport isn't that much bigger than the Fort Walton airport. This is obviously the reason that the tickets into this area are expensive -- period. I've looked at flights to Fort Lauderdale, and they cost more than a flight to Rochester, Minnesota! Are you kidding me?!

I also saw the hospital that JB will be working at the entire month of August as it is across from the airport. This drive back and forth everyday will be a tad bit painful -- not only because it's nearly 3 hours in the car but also because gas is nearly $3 a gallon.

I've also been running again. Another benefit of quitting infertility treatments is that I don't have to be on that stupid "yes you can run month. No you can't run month." Instead, I can run whenever the heck I want to. And I plan to! I am thinking about looking for a 10K and possible a half marathon that I can start training for to give myself a goal of some sort. I feel so good after a good run in the morning both emotionally and physically and am excited to be able to do this for the next few years without huge gaps which require me to return to running out of breath after one block.

The only "fertility" question JB and I currently bouncing around is whether or not I should stay on Metformin. I've now been on this drug for well over two years. Some of you may remember how green I was for six weeks when I first started taking this medication. I was horribly sick for quite some time. However, I'm accustomed to it now and would hate to go off of it and then be told to restart it later. This drug is usually used for diabetics (and I have to remember to tell every nurse that I am not a diabetic as I have had my fingers poked before I realize it a few times). It has some research behind it that indicates it helps non-ovulatory women (me!) ovulate. However, more recent research is indicating this may not be as accurate as originally thought. So, we are still trying to decide whether or not I should continue it or not. If it gives us even a remote chance of conceiving on our own, we'd like me to stay on it. But if, weighed against the possible liver damage side effects and occasional bouts of upset stomach, doesn't measure up, I may go off of it. We are still discussing and will probably talk to my doctor back in Minnesota to see what he thinks.

Actually, on a doctor-related side note, I have a goal I have set for myself. I want to go AT LEAST a year without one single doctor's appointment. I think this is quite possible. I figure I spent enough time in doctor's offices these last three years to last a lifetime. I estimated that I was probably in getting something done at Mayo at least 100 days a year over the last 3 years. That's 300 days!!! I think I deserve 365 off. So, since I have a handy dandy doctor living in my house, I'm going to do my darndest to avoid any appointments for as long as possible. We'll see how well I do! :)

All right, it's nearing 8:00. I'll end with a trivia my mom sent me last week:

Dogs destroy 58000 of these a year.

Anyone? Give it a try in the comments section.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Things I didn't know yesterday but know today

Last night was the "Real Truth" party. This is where all the second year residents have the first year residents over for dinner and answer any questions they have about anything. By the time the evening was over, both JB and I were very educated. Here are some things I personally learned:
  • No one knows a good mechanic. We got a name of someone else who may know a good mechanic. This is a problem since currently, we can't get the key to turn in our ignition on a reliable basis. I won't even tell you how we are getting the car to start day in and day out (ask me in person). We definitely need to get someone to look at this.
  • The best place for a women to get your hair cut at is New Image with Kristi. I also received two recommendations of places not to go.
  • Don't get your hair cut at the barbers on base. (Okay, I already knew that but someone still recommended it.)
  • Matt and Tiffany bought a couch from Ashley furniture that we really liked. It was our favorite at Ashley's. Their favorite couch at Haverty's is the one we plan to buy. That was a bit strange. (I didn't learn this during the "Real Truth" part of the party, but we rode with them to the party and received this information on the way.)
  • JB cannot be more than a six hour drive from the base without taking leave! If he is, and anything "bad" happens, the military won't pay for a thing.
  • JB gets a total of 10 working days leave. If he works it right, the resident who does the scheduling will try to get him the weekends on each side of the five days. However, these are not guaranteed.
  • He is promised a total of 24 hours off each week in a row. So that means he will get at least one day he doesn't have to work. This could be a day he has to sleep from being on call the night before.
  • He is promised to not work than more that 80 hours each week (on average) during a month. This means he could work two 100 weeks and then two 60 hour weeks.
  • He does not have any time off during Thanksgiving.
  • He will have some time off during Christmas.
  • We will need a real vacation during the year at some point. I mean a vacation where we go to a resort somewhere and JB can just sleep the time away. I'm going to start researching right away! He's going to be working a lot.
  • There is a place for JB to shower at the hospital. This means that if he wants to run or bike into work, he can. Good information if we are going to try to get through three years of residency with one car.
  • We live in the house of one of the upper classman who decided to move off base. That same guy invited JB over for dinner when he was here last August. That means that John ate dinner in the house we live in now before it was our house.
  • Nearly everyone in the residency program is married with children. In fact, there was only one person there without a significant other. Her name is Casey, and she is really sweet. She also loves to cook so I think we will have to share some dinners. She is dating a dentist who is working in Tampa. I think there were only two other couples without children and one of those couples is newly married. There were also quite a few people who were pregnant. Being as I am trying to block out the fact that we are still just a family of two, this is difficult when surrounded by that many children. In Minnesota, I had my group of women that were single, without children, or dealing with infertility like me. I truly feel like the only one here. I know there are other women who like me, are still waiting for the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom. I just have to find them. But don't get me wrong, the wives I have met are wonderful women. Super sweet and very welcoming. I just feel a bit different.
  • I did meet another couple in the second year who after complications during his wife's first pregnancy, adopted their child. They adopted domestically when the little girl was six months old. It was a great story, and she is a precious little girl.
  • John is going to have a busy year.

Today will be my first trip to Pensacola. I'm picking up Brianna from the airport at 11!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Life is just different here ...

When I moved to Minnesota and started teaching at St. Charles High School, I was asked to be in a research study. The researcher was studying the fact that 50% of teachers left the career by their fifth year of teaching. (Ironically, I left after this year -- my fifth year of teaching.) He said to me once that culture differences are often more difficult to manage moving from region to region in the U.S. then they are when moving from country to country in the world. I don't know what this research is based upon, but his explanation was that when you are switching countries, you are prepared for the cultural differences. When you are switching regions, you don't think much will change and yet, a lot does.

We've now been living in Northern Florida for about three weeks. Here are some factual statements about our cultural changes:
  1. Northern Florida is nothing like south Florida despite the fact they are still in the same state.
  2. Northern Florida is not really anything like Kentucky despite the fact that people in both locations would consider themselves southerners.
  3. People wear a lot less clothes here. I keep doing a double take, trying to be sure that I am seeing things correctly.
  4. People in Minnesota wore a lot of clothes all the time. Even in the summer, the percentage of clothes was considerably higher.
  5. I absolutely do not have the right clothes to fit in amidst this new culture.
  6. I have way too many: hats, gloves, boots, scarves, sweaters, long underwear, and pants.
  7. I do not have nearly enough: shorts, flip-flops, short-sleeved shirts, and capris.
  8. Shopping is a mandatory event in my near future.
  9. The food here is, obviously very different. I've eaten more fish in three weeks than I did in all of 2006.
  10. I really like grouper.
  11. Churches are different wherever you go.
  12. In Kentucky, everyone is a Baptist or Presbyterian. Everyone believes in God but not everyone acts like it.
  13. In Minnesota, everyone is a Catholic or Lutheran. Only people who truly have a relationship with God will tell you they believe in Him. They will not hesitate to tell you that you are unusual if you believe in God or go to church.
  14. People in south Florida are just very mixed up. There's a little bit of everything, and since everyone is so different, no one fails to fit in somewhere.
  15. That leaves northern Florida. I don't know how to put my finger on people here when it comes to church and relationships with God. We tried another church today that we liked okay. It just didn't feel like home. We'll keep trying.

What does all this mean. I'm not sure I can really say. I just know that moving is not easy. You are excited for the change and exited for something different, but suddenly you miss the familiarity and routine of what you knew. Believe it or not, I am missing things from Minnesota. I miss how quickly we could zip around from place to place in Rochester. I miss living in a downtown area where all we did was walk. I miss our friends. I know I will get used to things, and in three years I will miss our life here. We have met some wonderful people in just three weeks. I just still feel like I am living in a home that is not mine. I know I'll get used to all of it. I know I just need to be patient.

Speaking of culture differences, an ice cream truck just rolled by my house. I kid you not. It was playing the music and everything. That is something that definitely doesn't happen in Minnesota.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Halfway through the weekend = busy, busy, busy

It's Saturday. Close to 5pm, and this is one of the first times today I've even had a chance to write a blog. Most of the 10 residents in JB's class are now fully settled in and so, I guess this was the weekend to dive into activities. We have been quite busy despite the fact that the weekend is only half done. It is great to meet people but man are we beat!

Friday evening we went over to the home of Eric and Andrea. Eric is an intern with JB, and they have a toddler son: Johnathon. They are just entering their 30's as well and live right outside the base in a very nice town home. (They also have a dining room table that I LOVE! Trying to find one like it!) They are very strong Christians who have basically been doing mission work for a good portion of their married life. They have lived in France and also did a mission trip in Nigeria.

In addition, another one of JB's classmates, Philip and his wife Joia came over. They have a three month old soon Keenan (I hope I am spelling that right.) They met on a mission trip and just like Eric and Andrea were basically engaged shortly after they met. They are also very medical missions focused. Quite awesome in a class of ten to already meet two other couples that are so interested in missions. Apparently there is another girl in their class, Shannon, who is also very interested in mission work. I have only met her briefly once.

Andrea made a wonderful dinner: chicken cordon bleu (which I love), new potatoes, green beans, bread, and brownies. Awesome!!! We also shared pictures from our different mission trips with the group. It was a wonderful evening, and we got to bed pretty late.

This morning, I woke up early. My headaches are getting better but was still bad enough to wake me up. Thinking it may be a result of Tylenol dependency, my doctor/husband has CUT ME OFF!!! So I am allowed to take two Aleve in the morning and two at night. The headaches are getting better so maybe he knows what he is talking about.

JB woke up shortly after I did, and we decided to go for a run. We also decided to check out a few places on base (the "cheap" ticket center and workout facilities.) I was disappointed to see that they don't have any volleyball leagues starting until 2008 but excited to see we can go to a lot of places for a lot cheaper.

There was an Eglin Family Medicine Residency Program beach party from 11-2 on base that we spent the afternoon at. The three couples we have already hung out with were there: Eric and Andrea, Philip and Joia, and Matt and Tiffany who live around the block from us along with each of their sons. (Don't worry if all these names are flying by you. I'm having difficulty keeping track of everyone too.) In addition, I met some other couples from John's class and one of the two female interns are her boyfriend. It was a wonderful afternoon.

Following the cookout, we headed out to look at furniture. Man, this is an exhausting activity. There is so much, so much is expensive, and so little is what we would like or would want to pay. We have, basically, settled on a living room set that we want. We have a couple of dining room tables we are tossing around, and we know we want a Tempurpedic.

Part of our issue with buying these things is the adoption. We need to make sure we keep our net worth at an appropriate spot. Another issue with buying these things is that so far, John hasn't actually gotten a paycheck. Apparently, this is very usual with the military when you enter a new position -- it can take a bit of time for everything to get set up properly. However, we don't really want to buy something before we see a paycheck. So we know what we want -- we just are going to wait for the perfect time to buy the different items.

All right so it's Saturday, nearing 5:00. Our weekend is halfway done, however, we still have a ton of activities lined up. Did I briefly say I was a little lonely this week? Scratch that. This evening we are going to the Officer's Club on base with Matt and Tiffany and maybe a few other couples. Apparently this is a nice restaurant just for officers. Tomorrow, we are going to try another new church: Covenant Community with Eric and Andrea. Then tomorrow evening, we are going to something called a "Real Truth" party at one of the 2nd year resident's house: Rick. Apparently, this is a time for all the second years to tell the interns what they should expect during their internship year.

Monday, Brianna V. comes into town for a week so I'll be heading west to Pensacola to pick her up. I have yet, since 1995, lived in a city that has a regular sized airport in it. In Bowling Green, we drove an hour to Nashville. In Rochester, we drove over an hour to Minneapolis. And here, we will drive an hour or so to Pensacola. There is a cheaper airport right around the corner: Fort Walton. But you guys know how expensive little airports are. Bummer!

So that's a newsy post for all you detail-oriented people out there. I'll finish up the weekend report tomorrow evening.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Adoption hopes ...

Last night I dreamed that we adopted a little girl. She wasn't Chinese. I think she was Hispanic. And for some reason we were debating between her and Caucasian twins who seemed more than we could handle. She was seven and a half months old. I think her name was "Kylee" and I remember that we weren't crazy about the name, but she seemed to like it so were going to leave it. That was my dream.

What's odd is that the first time I have ever dreamed about having a child. Ever. I've often wondered why I never dream about children, but I just haven't. So last night was a bit strange to me.

Maybe it was because yesterday, we submitted our two required pieces of paperwork to America World. This included our financial statement and JB's employment letter. I totally gave the financial letter requirements over to JB. Figuring out your net worth is NOT easy. How do you estimate how much your TV is worth? Your dining room table? Pots and pans? Pillows? In the end, we went by what our renter's insurance is worth. As we figured it out, we had the net worth required to adopt through China. However, you never feel totally confident until you get the nod.

As I have explained before, China has really tightened their requirements for adoptive parents. They are a very popular country to adopt through, and they wanted to narrow their applicant pool and make sure their kids would go to the best families. I'm not sure that requiring a certain net worth , no facial deformities, a certain body fat percentage, (and the list goes on and on) does that, but nonetheless, those are the new rules.

JB and I would really like to be accepted into the Chinese program, and this paperwork we submitted will help determine that. Our reasons for going through China include the fact that it is a very proven country as far as adoptions are concerned. I like to say "it is a well oiled machine." Unfortunately, due to their one child rule, Chinese daughters are frequently abandoned. As a result, they have nearly all girls available for adoption. We are excited about this. For some reason, we both felt that having a female for our first adoption would be easier. We have no real reason that we feel this way we just think it would be.

We also think that there are a lot more "stories" about people adopting through Asian countries than through other countries. We feel that the first time we do this, we'd like to do through a country that is a little more proven in assimilation success. John and I are not giving up our dream of biological children, however, we also have plans to adopt many children! We'd like to adopt from different countries, however, we wanted to start with one that we could get support from other parents who had done it.

Some of you have asked me about the cost of adoption. If you ask me in person, I'll gladly discuss it with you. I think that people should be educated regarding adoption, especially because I want to encourage others to adopt as well. However, I feel I should refrain from discussing finances on our blog. So, if you really want to check into prices through America World, you can check them out on their website: PROGRAMS. You can find all the details on cost for various countries at this link. I will say that if I am still employed at Mayo when our child comes home we will receive a check for $10,000! In addition, the military provides $2,000 toward costs. And, currently, there is a $10,000 tax write-off in place for adoptive families. We will see if that is still in place at the next election. Either way, with all this, our adoption costs will be greatly diluted.

What is very strange to me right now is that, for the first time, we are actually starting to say, "When we have a child." We have spent so long completely protecting our hearts. We don't go into baby stores; we don't discuss names; we don't say: "When we have children..." But lately, we have been. In the car the other day, John asked me if I had thought about names. I looked up and just started at him. Names? Of course I hadn't. We never discussed names. In the beginning, we used to. But then, with every negative, and every friend taking the name you liked, you just stop doing it. It hurts even more. Now, possibly, I can think of a name?! I truly don't know where to begin.

So I guess I write all this to say that we are excited. I have gotten an abundance of mail and email during the last few weeks. (What a blessing!) Many of you have admitted to me that you are glad we are taking a little break from the infertility treatments. You are glad that we are moving forward with something that will, eventually, have a positive outcome. Please don't stop praying for our adopted and biological children. We are praying for both. However, for now, we are very excited, to have the opportunity to be parents. We know it's the right time.

I'm finally allowed to get my hopes up!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Story People

So some of you remember that JB and I took a weekend trip to Decorah, Iowa about a year ago. There was this fantastic store there that sold these amazing prints. We LOVED them! However, I knew we were moving soon and didn't want to buy anything new. I figured I could find them online. I never could!

The other day I am browsing on the website of my online friend Tara ("Plan B" Tara). Tara is getting ready to have their first son via a surrogate. She took pictures of their nursery, and I see this picture hanging on the wall, and I know that picture! It's my artist-guy that I love: Brian Andreas.

So anyways, I've already decided that someday, I'm going to have some of these prints hanging in my own home. Can you imagine a print more perfect than the one shown above ("borrowed" from Tara's blog) for those of us couples waiting (not so patiently) for children to enter our lives? You can click on the picture to get a better view.

Just had to share! He has tons of other prints. If you come visit my house in a few years, I'm sure you'll see some!

If you are unable to click on the picture and see what it says, it says:

For a long time there were only your footprints and laughter in our dreams and even from such small things, we knew we could not wait to love you forever.

Thanks for sharing Tara!

The grant is done Dude!

As I sit here in my shorts and t-shirt (believe it or not, these items can be worn around a home without being a first layer), our little bird Twain(ette) is sitting on the chair behind me squawking away! (We try to take her out more and give her company since her mate is now deceased.) John, on the other hand is nowhere to be seen. He went to the first CMDA (Christian Medical and Dental Association) meeting this morning which started at 6am. I planned on getting up at the same time as him. The alarm went off at 5, and I rolled over, and that's all I remember before looking at the clock again and seeing 6:42. I slept right through our morning time together. I've made it my goal to try to keep a similar schedule to him. I failed miserably today.

Okay, so now Twain(ette) is on my arm while I type. She is always on the lookout for paper (and there is some on my desk). She likes to shred it up and stick it in her tail feathers for the nest she dreams of but never really successfully makes. Actually, she's on the lookout for anything that she can possibly shred. This included two books (one a paperback version of the Bible.) I blame JB for this as he was watching her that day!

She is also chirping very loudly. This is all the worse for me considering the fact that I have been dealing with some pretty strong headaches for the last five days. Actually, I am pretty sure they are migraines that I am managing to keep at bay by medication. I haven't had a headache in months and so we are pretty positive that these are hormonal headaches, a result of our failed IVF which ultimately puts an end to the hormones I am taking and sort of puts my body in withdrawl mode. Either way, we are pretty sure the headaches will end in a few days.

As you can see from the title of this blog, we finished the grant yesterday around 4:30! For those of you who hear the word "grant" and don't have an idea what it is, a grant is basically a large application written to request funds to accomplish some task. In my Mayo boss' case, his grants are submitted to the NIH (National Institutes of Health), the largest funder and most stringent in requirements. He would like to do some certain research and is requesting them to fund his research. He currently has a few grants already funded through the NIH, but you are constantly looking for more if you are going to stay a researcher. These grants are ultimately, vital to me working for him, as I am funded by a grant.

The NIH has recently shifted from paper-submissions to electronic-submissions. This was the first time I had done an electronic submission. These are definitely easier, but it also doesn't give me the totally "finished" feeling that mailing the grant off to Fed-Ex does. The grant is still hovering in computer-land, the final "submit" button still about 10 days away from being hit. So while my part is basically done, there is no doubt in my mind that a few more things will probably emerge for me to do. Oh well. The grant is still, for the most part, done.

We also got it finished in enough time for JB and I to go out to dinner. On the recommendation of my friend Jenny, we tried "Bonefish Grill" and got the recommend "Bang Bang Shrimp" Appetizer. Yum!!!!! This restaurant was fantastic and one we will definitely go back to. I got the Atlantic King Salmon, and JB got some Mahi Mahi and lobster tail, and then we split the whole thing. Really, really good.

Afterwards we went to ... Home Depot! :) I know, exciting isn't it? No, truly, JB is very excited about having a yard for the first time in our married life and wanted to look at some flowers and bushes and other such things that I can look at for about 30 minutes before feeling like I am John waiting not-so-patiently while I try on clothes in the dressing room. We did leave with quite a few really beautiful plants. It will be neat to see where our yard is in three years or even three months.

After that, we planned on getting some dessert, but despite JB allowing me to take a Tylenol with Codeine (I know! I can hear the gasps from loyal blog readers who can remember my previous "dependency" issues with Codeine!) but I was desperate to feel good on our anniversary. But despite this, I just didn't feel good, and we decided to save dessert for a night we could both really enjoy it.

We were also hoping to sit on the beach for a little bit, however, here, we also messed up. We decided to dress up a bit for dinner. This included black pants for me and jeans for JB. Too hot then to sit on the beach in 85 degree weather. Now, please note that I am not saying it was too hot out. I will NEVER EVER EVER say that. I was just saying, in what we were wearing, it was too hot to sit on the beach. (Speaking of this, some of you have commented on the new banner on the top of my blog -- gift from JB. Cool, huh?)

Speaking of clothes, my wardrobe is in real trouble. I now have a wardrobe (and shoes) for any place who's temperature stays in the negative. But a place who's temperature stays one hundred degrees warmer than that? Not quite sure what to do. Close-toed shoes just aren't right for most occasions and either are pants. I need more capris, shorts, skirts, and flip-flops! Yikes! I forgot how differently people dress here. I also forgot the fact that I now know what my toes and legs look like. No hiding under eight layers!

I also liked my friend Tara's post a few days back on the fact that you must bring: a bottle of water and sunglasses every time you leave the house now. (She's in California.) So, very true. Instead of needing to bring hot water everywhere you go (yes, folks, Tara drinks water, hot water, just plain, hot water -- or at least she did in Minnesota). All right, enough picking on Tara, but you get the idea. Life is just different in these tropical climates. And it will take some adjustment.

Well, it's now nearing 8am, and I want to get started on work. So far, my phone connection problems with Mayo seems to have rectified itself. Pray that stays the case!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Happy Anniversary JB & Wendi

One thing our journey with infertility has taught me is that you have to be understanding of other people's feelings. Today is our ninth wedding anniversary, and I recognize that for some of my single and divorced friends out there, that can be a bitter-sweet thought. Just as I am so happy for all of my friends having their first, second, and even now third children, I am also sad for myself that we are still waiting. I know that while they are happy for me, they are, still waiting as well.

So, I begin this post telling those people (you know who you are!) that I am praying for you just as you are praying for me. That I am praying that some day you will be blessed as you hope each day you are. Just as you pray for JB and I to someday be blessed ourselves. My heart has become ultra sensitive to singles among us. Don't forget them folks!

I also put this here so that if my single friends don't want to read on, I won't be offended. I never want anyone to be hurt.

With that said, today is our ninth wedding anniversary! I thought it would be fun to go skipping down memory lane for a moment with some old photos. These are photos I scanned at some point. (Back then, you didn't get electronic copies of your photos like you do today.) I recognize that JB is not actually in quite a few of the pictures. Sorry about being a little heavy on "the bride".

For those of you who don't know the story of how we met, I wrote about it on a previous blog HERE. We have gone to school together since elementary school, but only after working at our school's summer camp one summer (with our friend Leina), did we become very good friends. We spent the next year or two hanging out all the time, and eventually, I talked JB into falling in love with me!

I truly believe that I am married to the best man ever! After nine years of marriage (and thirteen years "together"), I am so much more in love with him today than I have ever been. And that's despite the fact that the last four years have involved some pretty cruddy circumstances as we have battled infertility. I am so blessed that when I left for college in 1995, JB was determined that he was going to marry me. I wasn't so sure and was often a little difficult to be in love with, but the guy didn't give up! He moved to Kentucky to be with me with only his little car filled with stuff and one month's rent. What a guy.

Those of you who know JB personally know that he is one of the most even-keeled, intelligent, patient, and calm people you will ever meet. As Dr. Fischer described him at the Christian Medical Ceremony before this year's graduation, JB is a leader. People naturally follow him. I never thought about that before because, he's my JB, and following him just seems natural. But I really saw this in Africa. He's just the type of guy you want on your team and you want to be in charge. He is very predictable and very consistent.

And he loves me so much. He has always made me a priority despite the incredible demands on his time (and the incredible number of hobbies he has). He is funny, smart, charming, and just comfortable for me. I can't imagine spending my days with anyone else.

So today, I say HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my best friend. I also say YAY RACHEL FOR STARTING A BLOG and YAY LESLEY TO SWITCHING TO BLOG SPOT! Okay, so those things had nothing to do with our anniversary, but I had to squeeze them in somehow.

Also, by the end of today I hope it will be YAY WENDI FOR FINISHING THE MAYO GRANT. It is due today at 5:00. I cannot WAIT for this thing to be done. Hopefully it will be done on time so we can go out for our anniversary tonight. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What the heck do I do all day?

Well, I can honestly say that I am now 100% employed from home. Two weeks of working, and I think it is now official. I work in my pajamas.

I thought it might be nice if I did a post explaining what it is exactly that I do everyday since I do it, well, everyday.

I am currently working about 20 hours a week for a cardiovascular researcher at Mayo. I have worked for him since 2003 -- the year I quit teaching. I am then working another 20-30 hours a week for the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation (RLSF). I have been working for them since 2003 as well. You can find links for both of these organizations on the right side of the page.

Currently, I do not have set hours for either company. Instead, I have a pad of paper next to my desk, and I log my hours. I check my email for each place often to scan for emergencies and when I need to, I turn my hours off at one place and switch to the other. So, the question remains: what the heck do I do all day?!

Here is a brief summary of each job:

  • Create any PowerPoint presentations needed for the Foundation.
  • Write/edit articles for quarterly newsletter.
  • Write text for brochures.
  • Write letters to editor in response to media coverage.
  • Interview people for stories for Annual Report or quarterly newsletter.
  • Design items in Publisher.
  • Write/edit press releases as needed.
  • Edit any and all text that comes out of the Foundation.
  • Editor for The RLS Scientific Bulletin, a bi-annual publication produced for healthcare providers.
  • Produce quarterly newsletter for healthcare providers.
  • Run Endnote (reference manager -- this helps "make" a works cited instead of doing it by hand).
  • Facilitate editing and writing for website. (We are about to "unveil" a new website. It has been designed by a designer, but I have to transfer all the text from our old site to our new site.)
  • Anything else that I currently can't think of involving editing and writing.


  • Help edit manuscripts that my boss is submitting to journals.
  • Manage Endnote (reference manager).
  • Help post-doctoral fellows with any of their manuscript submission or Endnote needs.
  • Help submit grants that my boss is submitting to get funding.
  • Letter writing.
  • Manage his CV and biosketch.
  • Organize and submit progress reports.
  • Dictation.
  • Help with secretarial related activities. (My boss has currently hired an in-office assistant. However, she will soon go on maternity leave. When she does, I will repick up her duties until she returns 10 weeks later.)
  • Any other editing/writing needs

So that is what I do each day. I now have a fax machine, a scanner, and a printer here in my little office. I also have a portable phone with a headpiece so I can be on the phone and working at the same time. Although, currently, we are having trouble with the connection and trying to work on that. I attend meetings via conference call at RLSF which works very well. RLSF also mainly contacts me via instant messenger.

Right now, I think that working from home will work well for the type of schedule JB will have. (He officially starts this schedule on July 2nd). It is our hope that I will be able to "work only when he is working". That means that if he has a Thursday off, I can take a Thursday off and instead work on Saturday while he is working. I am getting up in the morning at whatever time he gets up and starting to work as soon as I can. Only time will tell how well this whole arrangement will work out.

I think the hardest thing is how quiet it is all day. My Aunt Janet noticed what I meant about a "quiet house" while she was here. Other than the jets and my chirping bird, we live on a street that is currently pretty vacated. We have no neighbors on any side right now. In addition, the house itself is very solid. I can't even hear JB when he calls me from the other room. I go the whole day without really any external noise. I put on the TV and ITUNES periodically to help change the environment, but it is still very strange how quiet it is all the time.

I'm also nervous about JB's schedule. He is going to have a very busy intern year. Not only does he only get two weeks off total for the year, but he doesn't necessarily have weekends off at all. Actually, he is only required to have one, 24-hour-period off each week. He also, on the average, cannot work more than 80 hours a week. I have heard that the military program is less busy that the civilian program. We will see if that is true or not. Either way, the next year will be very different for both of us, and all of our friends starting their own programs up around the country.

All righty folks, JB just drove off. Off to work for me.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Two weeks in Florida and two years to adopt

Today marks two weeks since I spent my first night at our new home in Florida. So much has happened in two weeks that in some ways it feels like we have been here for years. However, in the same breath, we still have so much to do ... moving is a lot of work ... that it feels like we have not been here very long at all. It's not just the moving part but all the paperwork and requirements that go along with it. We need to become Florida residents as soon as possible (No income tax!). We need to let everyone and their mother know our new address before our mail stops forwarding. We need to contact t-mobile and change our cell phone plan. Our digital phone line isn't getting a good connection. The list goes on and on.

I am back at work this morning after taking most of the weekend off for a visit from my Aunt and Uncle. Actually I've been back at work since Ed and Janet left this morning at about 6am. We have a grant due at Mayo on Wednesday so I have a ton to do. More to do than should probably allow for this "blog break" but hey, I'm taking it anyway. We had a wonderful weekend with our company. I was excited to get to show someone else our new home, the base, and the fact that I finally have a real, certified guest room and guest bathroom!

In other news, I wanted to take the chance to answer a few questions regarding the adoption process we have entered into. I am, basically, as clueless as most of you are. This is all new for me. That being the case, I'll provide as much information as I can. The main question I have had is regarding how long all of this will take.

The answer: quite awhile.

Currently, we are attempting to get some basic paperwork together to submit to "America World", our adoption agency. This paperwork includes a letter from JB's employer and a financial statement indicating our networth. As I have mentioned before, China has some requirements that other countries do not have including networth. We are not forseeing any problems with any of this paperwork, however, until we get all this in, we have not been officially approved to adopt through America World or through China. If for any reason they didn't approve us, it may mean that we are still eligible for adoption, just possibly not through that country. It could also possibly mean we are not eligible through their agency. As I said earlier, we think everything should go through fine, but we have to wait and see.

Once everything is approved, we would move forward with our "Home Study". This is where a social worker comes to your home for a series of meetings to "prove" you are qualified to adopt. Following this approval is a wide assortment of paperwork we have to compile for our "dossier". All in all, it will probably take 4-6 months before all of this is completed.

Once this is completed, we begin our wait for a "referral". We are waiting for the Chinese government to tell us which child is ours. This wait is approximately 18-20 months.

Once we get our referral, we then have an approximately 6-8 week wait before we would fly to China to pick up our daughter.

So, all in all, the wait from the day we decided (last week) until the day we bring the child home is about two or two and a half years. Sigh .... I guess we will all learn patience together won't we? :)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tara's Trivia

Tara posted this trivia in a comment 2 blogs ago -- but I don't think some people saw it.

Q1. 6 in 10 women would do this for a perfect body. What is it?

Q2. 48 percent of Americans say they would change this if they could.


A Day at the Beach

My Oom Ed and Tante Jan came into town on Friday evening. JB made fajitas for dinner, and we just had a great night talking and hanging out.

On Saturday, JB had to go into work. When he surprisingly got off early (around 1:30pm), we decided to head to the beach! This is the first time I had been in my bathing suit since I got here. What a travesty! The beach was just as I remembered it. Amazingly beautiful.

After our time at the beach, we decided to head to "Destin Commons", a very nice shopping/eating/hanging out place. We had dinner at a casual seafood restaurant, Bluepoint Fishclub, watched the movie Ocean's 12, and then had some ice cream at Cold Stone. It was a wonderful evening. Here's a picture of my Aunt and me before dinner.

Today has been a very relaxing Sunday. It was wonderful to go through our photos from Nigeria with my Aunt and Uncle who could so relate to our stories from their experiences living in Indonesia. I am so blessed they chose this weekend to drive to visit us. I was so in need of some family and distraction -- just what the doctor ordered. My Uncle Ed also helped fix my computer (it was taking forever to start up) and helped me figure out that I can plug my camera card into my new printer without a new cord! No more photos with my camera folks!!! Okay, off to eat some Thai food for dinner.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Follow-up to "What's it like living on base"

Yesterday, my Uncle (Oom) Ed and Aunt (Tante) Janet arrived at Eglin Air Force Base. Our first real guests. Of course our mothers and brother Rob came, but they didn't actually get treated like guests since we were so busy unpacking. (You need a towel? Here's one. It was wrapping the corningwear but it is relatively clean.) It is wonderful to have them here until Monday especially as JB has to work again today.

I also realized that I never answered some of the questions re: living on a military base from a few days back. Unfortunately, our test results came back and for some dumb reason, that shifted my focus and stuff.

So let's shift back. I also thought this might be a good time to introduce some of my blog visitors to other blog visitors.

So here we go.

The first responder was Tara. Now, this gets confusing because this is not Tara from "Team Nigeria" Tara and the blog: This is "Plan B" Tara. I actually have never met plan B Tara which is sort of weird since I feel like I know her. I am also not sure if she pronounces her name like "Team Nigeria" Tara (which is Tar-uh) or if she pronounces it like (Tear-a). That would help distinguish as well. So Tara who will soon be a mom via surrogate. If you haven't checked out her blog, you really need to at: She's going to be a mom anytime now. Okay, so anyways, this is Plan "B" Tara.

Tara said... That master line ROCKS!!!! And the public library is awesome :)

Tara is referring to the "master line" at the grocery store. Folks this truly is one of the coolest things. Everyone gets in one line and then the next person goes to the next available cashier. There's even a little electronic board that flashes the number and says "Next" to tell you where to go. I agree. It's really cool. I actually have not been to the public library yet, but my husband, has, of course.

Sonia was next. Sonia is a friend from Hannah's Prayer, my online infertility support group. She had twins awhile back. Rachel, is now in heaven but Isaac Samuel is doing amazingly well despite coming into the world SEVENTEEN weeks early!!! (23 weeks along!) You can click on her blog HERE.

Sonia said... Hi Wendi,This is Sonia from HP. I dropped in to see how you are doing. You made me want to visit you in Fla! :) Anyway, just wanted to tell you I am praying for you! Sonia

Sonia's awesome!

All right. The next comment is from Lesley. I don't think Lesley needs much of an introduction. Lesley and Dave were JB's classmates at Mayo. (Were? That's weird to say.) They met at Mayo and were married a year later. Here is Lesley's blog if you want to visit her click HERE. I'm trying to get Lesley to convert to Blogger since Xanga is old and I can't figure out how to leave comments.

Lesley said... You have a movie theater? And a gas station? Man! It's like a little town. Or a big town. The size of Rhode Island, huh? Oh, here's a question - what's the population of the base? I'm bad with big numbers, but I'll compare to Rochester (90,000) and Chittagong (3 million) for rough estimates. :)

So, in response, yes, it is definitely like a town. You could truly stay on base for an entire year and not really need to go off. I can't think of anything you would need outside of base that you couldn't get on base. Now, I don't know who would want to live on base and never leave it, but it is possible.

As for our population, we are slightly less than Chittagong. Actually, slightly less than Rochester too. We aren't sure exactly, but we've been told the population living on base is somewhere around 10,000.

Okay, so let's move on. The next comment was from FunkyMonkeyJunk. Her name is actually Andi, and I repeatedly have people ask me how I know her. I actually only know her from online. I believe, actually, she found me. I posted a comment on another blog and she linked from that comment to my blog, and we've been fast friends ever since. You can call her Andi I guess, but I like to call her FunkyMonkey. I am interested to learn where the name: FunkyMonkeyJunk came from? Anyways, she echoed Tara (The Plan B Tara's) comments:

FunkyMonkeyJunk said... Wendi, thanks for the cool to hear about your surroundings! And that one line at the grocery store...super cool. When are regular grocers going to learn how awesome that is?

All right, so then came Rachel. Rachel is Hans' fiancee. Hans is/was one of JB's classmates. Rachel is awesome, however, despite her awesomeness, she has one fault. She does NOT have a blog. Rachel, any thoughts on that? I still can show you a picture of Rachel though from an old post. Click HERE to see who she is. Okay, so here was Rachel's question.

Rachel said...
I think it sounds like a resort! And if John is one of the highest ranks, who does he have to salute? What if you forget to salute? Are you in big trouble?

So Ebby will come on in a bit and answer this as well, but I actually asked JB about this. There is about 10% of the base population that outranks him, and he does have to salute them. I'd have to have him give you the list, but I think it's general, colonels, lieutenant colonels, and majors that outrank him. As far as forgetting a salute, truthfully, people don't really handout push-ups. John said that if he wanted to, he could talk to the person and find out why they didn't salute. If they just forgot or weren't paying attention, no big deal, but if it was disrespect, they'd seek out that person's "boss" to deal with it. I don't think John would ever do anything if someone didn't salute quite honestly.

All right, so then, there is Nicole. For a reminder of who Nicole is, click HERE to read a recent post discussing Tara's (Bannana is still good Tar-uh) visit with Nicole.Nicole said...
Hey Wen,I'm kinda, sorta reconnected to the rest of the world now. My apartment complex has computers we can use during business hours. Sound like you are in a very cool place! Hopefully the Johnocracy is prohibited within the boundaries of the base...If you could, send me an email from your email address. I'd like to have it to type you longer notes.

So I'm thinking Nicole didn't have any questions or comments re: the military. I've emailed her and haven't heard back so ... Nicole ... still waiting. Nicole is a classmate of JB's as well. Or was a classmate. She's at Johns Hopkins now! When she refers to the Johnocracy, she is referring to something John started on our six week Africa tour. Basically, he decided that we were operating in a Johnacracy. This meant that JB held ultimate rule-making capabilities for, well, everything. The funny thing is, we all sort of let him, and willingly fell into the dictatorship without question. He made certain rules that held firm like: "No lamenting over past relationships on this trip" and "Ajit may not sing when he is listening to his IPOD" and other such things.

What makes it even funnier is when we got back, we met Nicole's new leading man (who will, most likely, become her final leading man). His name is Bay. He's one AWESOME guy! JB, in passing, told Bay about the Johnacracy. Bay, in turn, adopted the Bayocracy. Nicole was not too pleased with this. We thought it was hillarious.And then, there is Ebby. If you don't know who Ebby is, well, I'm not sure how you can know me and not know Ebby. I am also not sure how to explain her. Ebby and her husband Ronnie (along with their four kids: English, Veronica, Hunter, and Cole), lived by us in Kentucky. We met at church there. Well, when JB found out he was going to Mayo, Ronnie was graduating from college at the same time. To make a long story short, they decided to move to Minnesota too! (But don't call them stalkers.) It was awesome. They are so awesome to us, and we are just waiting for them to decide to move to Florida!

Ebby Ray said... If they don't salute he could make them drop and give him push ups. My daughter is a lower rank than him in the Air Force and I am hoping that there comes a day when they are both in uniform and she forgets to salute him. It would crack me up if he made her give him 20. The best part is that she would roll her eyes at him and say, "Jooooohhhhnnnnn", which then could result in more push ups. I have to get her out to Eglin sometime soon! :)

So, I'm sure JB could give English push-ups just for the sake of it. But it is true that if they both ran into each other, outside, in uniform, she'd have to salute John. Ha ha for that!

All right, moving on to our last comment from my not-so-twin-looking-sister-Gabbi. Gabbi is my computer wiz sister-in-law. Actually it's more that she can find anything online that I need whenever. She also spots every single mistake I make on my blog without fail. You can check out Gabbi's blog HERE.

Gabbs said... LOL Ebby!!

So, I don't really have a comment about what Gabs said, but I wanted to include her even though her comment was only two lines long.

If you have read this far in this post, congrats, because I'm not sure I followed things myself.

And speaking of base, I wanted to add one more thing. Apparently, at 4:30 every day, they play the National Anthem. At this time, you are supposed to pull your car over, roll down your window, and get out of your car if you are in uniform while the Anthem plays. This was very confusing to me. All of a sudden I am pulling over (since everyone else is) and sitting on the side of the road watching people stand outside their cars. I had NO idea what was going on. I didn't roll down my window (because I didn't know I was supposed to) and so I didn't hear the song. I had no idea what we were doing. I asked JB later, and he explained it. So now I know. Just another lesson re: living on base that I had to learn.