Wednesday, July 2

"Would You Like to Build a Family?!"

If you've been watching Frozen, or maybe even if you haven't, I'm sure the title for the post now has a little song playing in your head.  And if you weren't thinking of that when you were reading the title, I bet you are now.  No need to thank me for that little ditty playing in your head on an eternal loop.  (Or the song that "a little ditty" might have evoked.)

Seriously though, the title, it refers to a new Pinterest/Blogging friend.  I "met" Dani while pinning things from each other's "Adoption" boards on Pinterest.  Honestly, the adoption peeps are so cool!  I have other moms that are adopting sending me pins, commenting on pins, it's just an awesome community and I'm just on the tip of the iceberg.  

Back on topic though.  I found through one of boards that she has a blog and read the whole thing.  It's quite a journey and now she and her husband are about 4-6 months away from traveling to Taiwan to become little L's (their son) parents.  They have (had) some pretty cool fundraisers. 

 One of the fundraisers still on-going and is on their blog.  You can buy a puzzle piece (or more) and your name/bible verse will go on the back.  Then once every piece is sponsored it will be put together and hang over L's bed.  How cool right?!

They had a couple Facebook auctions, though I only got in on the last one.  I got a sweet little lady bug/red dot minkee blankie that I think will be perfect to take to Grace when we meet.  (And yes, I picked that one pattern because of the ladybugs and it's connection to China adoptions.)  I also scored an ADORABLE headband--with a sunshine on it, and matching necklace.  

Ok, so maybe you're not "building" the family on your own, but here's a way to help build a family.  If you've been looking for a way to care for an orphan, here's an awesome opportunity.  This is their current fundraiser to bring home L, and it runs until August 1.  Not only does it help fund the last leg of L's adoption, but you get a super soft t-shirt out of the deal as well.  I'll be using some money from my "Clothes" envelope next check to get one myself.  I LOVE soft shirts to wear around the house and be all comfy, cozy.  Just look at it:

The verse is Psalm 127:3-5. "Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior's hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates."

If you would like to be part of someone's adoption story right now (I know, I know, mine still seems forever out), I would urge you to head over to Dani's blog and check out the information.  Then if you so feel led, order one for yourself or someone else.  Not only do you get a snuggly new shirt, but you get to help bring a little boy home, and in turn leave one less orphan in the world.  And that, my friends, feels even better than a buttery soft shirt :)

Monday, June 9

What is "Gotcha Day?"

Gotcha Day.  While I'm not sure that's the name I'll refer to it as, it is a very common phrase for the day that the parents meet their child.  I use the term to search out blogs, as well as YouTube videos.  Like I did when I came across this video that an adoption agency (CCAI) put out to show what "Gotcha Day" is.  I'll let the video do more explaining, while showing you what it looks like as well.

(Well, see the post below, since I messed up on inserting it here :))

(I'll probably call it "Family Day", and then let Grace decide what she wants to refer to it as when she gets older.)

Gotcha Day with CCAI

Saturday, June 7

What is Adoption?

This is a video that Love Without Boundaries did.  They asked children in SWI/orphanages in China questions about adoption.  It is heart breaking, eye opening, and worth the six minutes to watch!

Friday, June 6

End of the Month-May 2014

Holy Buckets--where has this year gone?!  Well here we are in June already.  Which means time to read May's wrap-up.

Reading the Old Testament:  Well I was a big ol' slacker and read not a verse more (well in the actual Bible).

For  June: To finish the book of Exodus.

Getting back to Church:   KK and I went :)  It was wonderfully comforting.

For  June:  To make it at least twice this month.

Read a book a month: I did not finish reading Kisses from Katie.  I did read some more, but did not finish.

For  June:  I Will finish reading it!

Journaling at least once a week:  I wrote 16 days.  Which the goal was to have more, but the days I did journal, I journaled.  There were a couple days where I even wrote a few pages worth.

For  June:  To write in at least 17 days worth :)

Finish my quilt (work on other sewing projects): Whew, good thing I didn't commit to doing any, because I didn't.

For  June:  I'm going to delve into the scrapbooking/crafts closet, so I'm not going to focus here.

Hall Closet (scrapbooking/crafts):  It wasn't a priority, but I pulled a few things out.  Though they are just hanging out on my bedroom floor.  So, uh, not much movement there ;)

For  June:  I am making this my goal for the month.  I think I have gone through all my drawers, closet, etc in my bedroom and have that pretty much all nice and organized.  Last weekend I dug in a little more, by pulling out everything in storage under the basement stairs.  I bought some new tubs and rearranged clothing Mimi gave of the girls that they have outgrown.  I went through what was under the stairs, reorganized if necessary and put back everything.  Now I'm going to work on going through what is in the nursery/my craft room.  Get that all organized and in tubs and stored in that room's closet.  Then go through the Hall Closet and get that all organized.  Hopefully some of that can fit into the nursery/craft room's closet and then put the rest back into the Hall Closet.  That way I can start utilizing that room to scrapbook with all the supplies I already have and then also finish my quilt/sew.

Try a new recipe and food item a pay period:  I made this barbeque chicken in the crockpot.  OH my stars!  I was in love with eating the leftovers in a toritlla with some cheese and sour cream.  Like I looked forward to eating it at night. . .for three nights in a row ;)  I also made Crockpot Chicken Soup, and that was truly devine.  I plan to make posts for these as well as one for the Banana Pancakes I had as welll, so that's all I'll leave here.

For  June:  Again try one more new recipe and food item for the month.

Being active daily: Nopers.

For  June:  I HAVE to get with it.

Eating less processed foods/Eating more organic, whole foods:  Ummmmm. . .yeah, no.

For  June:  I'm focusing on trying to get at least five fruits/veggies a day.  That and actually making my meals, or lunches to take to work.  I mean I already do this, but doing more prep than already prepared.  Since those usually cost more ;)

Lose 10% of weight:  I managed to keep off the five, but lost no more.

For  June:  Lose another 5 pounds.

Yep, I took some out.

Monthly Challenge:  There wasn't one for May.

For  June:  See "Hall Closet".

Woot woot!  Got May's review up in the first week of June :)  Here's to working on goals and commitments!

Wednesday, June 4

Stalling (or is it sinking)

Or maybe it's procrastinating.  But at least it's not backpedaling.

Refering to my arch nemisises (cause you know that's a word!), finances and weight.  By not backpedaling I simply mean that I have not accumlated more debt or pounds.  I also have not yet paid off another debt or lost any more poundage.

This past month I have had this niggling feeling, this thought.  No idea what the thought is truly meant for or why I'm having it, but I am.  I like to think I know what it's refering to.  I just have this gut feeling, this thought that runs a track around my brain.  "It's going to happen sooner than you think."  Of course the groove that this thought has carved into my brain intersects with the other track that plays in my head on a constant loop.  I think you all know what that is, but just in case you don't ;) of course it's "Adoption" and all it entails.  Which means those two have linked themselves in my mind into, "Adpotion.  It's going to happen sooner than you think."

Now I have crunched those numbers and worked the budget and really see, unless by some miracle, me being able to start the process any sooner than two years out from now.  I even have a post-it note staring at me right now that shows if I do the snowball only (once a card/loan is paid off  you add what you were paying for it monthly to the next debt you are attacking's minimum payment--snowball the payments) and incur no more debt, then I would be out of debt in January 2018.  If I snowball with extra payments (based on my current income--so realistically) I'll be out June 2016.  Then there's the dream get out debt date set for December 2015, but that's what it is, a dream.

However, I also know that things don't always go along according to my calculations and time lines.  Honestly, I'd be thrilled to no end if my dream of G is closer than I have planned out.  Then again, there's the part of me that starts to not "feel in control" of what's going on, and knowing myself it's what caused the stall.  Putting me "back in control."

I didn't really realize that I was jeopardizing myself though until I saw old signs of procrastination.  The same ones I exhibited in college when finals came around.  Though I really do enjoy doing research (especially when I initate it) and planning, when it comes to the end of a project or nearing a deadline I can procrastinate with the best of them.  Like I have these great books for adopting and attaching in adoption, but I'd get online to find what other people read/have read.  (Duh, how do you think I picked and bought these books out that I already have.)  Or I stopped (during May) making sure to squeeze the budget and apply the extra "found" monies to the current loan I'm taclking.  I haven't followed through with actually going forward with how I want to start tackling weight loss.

The little "habit" that really brought this all to the forefront of my mind was when I started plucking the hair at the "peak".  I really haven't done that since college.  When I did it was because finals were coming up and I started freaking out if I would actually pass the classes.  Which were totally unfounded.  I never failed a class in my life.  I knew what my grades were going into the finals, and I don't ever remember a professor ever saying in my classes that if you failed the final (test or project) that I would fail the class.  I just say that to show I wasn't going to fail the classes, but I still fretted big time over it.  A procrastinated worrywort.  Hmmm. . . wonder if I ever put that on my resume ;)

If I stay stalled then I don't have to particularly worry about getting across the finish line (or even the starting line.)  What if that thought is from you-know-who, and this is my warning to kick it into gear.  Honestly, it's a little paralyzing (to me).  Mostly though, it's just the fear of being denied.  If you don't move forward then you don't have to worry about rejection.  There will be no one to say that you don't qualify to adopt.  Or a homestudy that won't get approved.  Or a government to say they find you unfit to parent a child.

I'd like to think that these fears too are unfounded.  Still it's scary.  I mean it's my biggest dream in life, to become a mom.  It can become easy to be lulled in "safety".  The human kind.  The one where it's obviously safer to stay where you are and not leap into the unknown.  Even if that's what it is needed to get you to your dream.  I'm human and I've gone for some dreams in my life and not all of them landed where I wanted.  It can be a crushing blow.  It can make a timid person hold back on the reins the next time they go for something.  To jump a safe distance, one they know they can make instead of going all out for the fear they may fall flat on their face or break a bone or be disqualified.

There are other times though where I have put my little heart into something and it has gotten me right where I wanted.  I have been able to achieve goals set for myself.  Which can be conflicting when going for the next hurdle, knowing that it can in fact go either way.  I have to say though I really have a great group of cheerleaders.  Whether they are there to help talk through a decision with me, pray for me as I make decisions, cheer for me as I make my attempts and congratulate or comfort me depending on the outcome.  This decision/journey/path is no different, and for that I am thankful.

So really it all comes down to trusting Him.  That He will not lead me to something without leading me through it.  That He has got my back.  That I need to leap without a safety net.  Or perhaps it's more like following Jesus onto the water.  I want to walk out on the water to Jesus.  (See Matthew 14:22-33)  After all He said to go for it and that He's there for me. But much like Peter I start to doubt and start sinking, or in my case stalling.  I just need to ask Him for help and He'll help me get through it all.  Which means praying and getting back to walking.

Just be patient with me as I start taking my deep breaths and moving forward.  I will keep you apprised of the progress :)  I'm going to take this just as a stepping stone that was necessary for me in order to move forward.  And moving forward is my direction!


Amazing grace how sweet the sound

I hear You singing over me
I once was lost but now I'm found
And it's beautiful
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
It covers every part of me
How Sweet the Sound by Citizen Way

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing… Remains [repeat]

Your love never fails, never gives up
Never runs out on me [3x]

On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never, ever, have to be afraid
One thing remains

In death, In life, I’m confident and
covered by the power of Your great love
My debt is paid, there’s nothing that can
separate my heart from Your great love...

One Thing Remains by Jesus Culture

Wednesday, May 28

Where Feet May Fail

I am LOVING this song.  It's so pretty.  Easy to sing with.  I connect with it, especially now.  LOVE it!

Hillsong United, Oceans

                                                    "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)"
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours
 You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
(repeats six times)

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Thursday, May 22

Happy 6th Birthday Sue!

Gulp!  Six. . .I remember turning six.  I remember getting a Cabbage Patch brush, comb mirror set on my actual Birthday.  I remember getting a smaller CP mirror from Mimi.  I remember my birthday party, where all the girls in my kindergarten class could make it to the party.  I remember the hand drawn and colored posters/pictures my daddy made to decorate.  I remember my mommy running the games.  I remember not making to the end in musical chairs, and may or may have not cried on the stairs over it.

I wonder how much of what happens now you'll remember when you're my age (let's not even discuss what my age will be.)  How much of what has already happened in your life you'll laugh over later with your sisters, or tell your niece about.  I hope that I never forget how sweet, silly, fun and innocent you are right now at this age.

Christmas 2013*Decorating Aunt RH's Tree

Let's start with just how loving you are!  Oh sure, like the rest of us you have your moments when that's not exactly a top priority.  You are always more than willing to give a hug, a kiss, an "I love you!" to family who asks for or looks like they need it.  I've got to witness, let alone hear about, you saying good-bye and an eager wave to your friends and classmates as you leave school for the day.

School, what's up with that?!  Your last day of Kindergarten is also your Birthday!  You'll get to experience your first summer through the eyes of a school kid.  Right now you can't even fathom the amount of days you're about to have off.  It will be a great blessing to you to get to spend some quality time reconnecting to your sisters, mommy and papa.  Even aunties may have some time off during the week to hang out with you.

You have also become more of your own person this year.  Needing some time to yourself.  Between school all day and sisters pouncing on you when you get home because they miss their big sister big time, it can be a lot for a little girl.  But trust me, you will not regret spending as much time as you can playing with your sisters.

You are still fond of kittens and names like--glitter silvery sparkles, but have also really loved the name "Pearl" this year too.  Much like Moo, you are also a Princess lover.  Well it's actually probably the other way around--because you are the lover of princesses, Moo is too.  Whether it's Ariel, Sleeping Beauty or Elsa (well, I guess technically she's a queen . . .) you love watching their movies and dressing up like them.

You sang Let It Go on Meika's Birthday with just the instrumental back ground, and little girlie you can sing.  And that's not me being a biased aunt.  I was really impressed with your skills :)  Grandma's mom and dad would have loved to have put you on stage with them while they played guitars :)

We had so much fun together on your Birthday.  I took half a day vacation for you too.  After Grandma and Grandpa picked you up for school, we headed to Super Target.  Well after having to gas up the car and making silly faces at each other while I did so.  After making the hard decision of what to get, you decided on a Cinderella dress.  You can't fit into the only other Cinderella dress at your house, so you chose that one to get.  It matched the fingernail polish I had just bought on Moo's b-day to a "t".  I was just glad to get out of the toy aisle without a bouncing ball mishap by one of the crazy high schoolers that were chucking them over aisles and climbing into where the balls are kept.

All you wanted for your lunch out was a Lunchable.   You choose the one with the chocolate pudding.  KK was sick that day and not at Starbucks, so we skipped that.  Not like you knew that was even an option though :)

I grabbed some Arby's and got you an orange shake.  You asked where mine was, and when I said I only got you one, I could tell you were excited but perhaps a little sad that I wouldn't have one for myself?  Then we headed to find a park, because that's where you really wanted to eat.  I'll be honest, and say that I was worried they were going to be overrun with kiddos since school had just let out.  The one I took us too though--not one kid!  There were some guys playing frisbee, but no where near the playground equipment.  You decided that we would eat a little then play, then eat and play, then eat and play.  We were there for like two hours and it was so much fun.

At one point I told you that I couldn't believe you were six already.  To which you replied, "And I can't believe you are. . .(whispers) how old are you?"  35.  "And I can't believe you are 35 already Aunt Red Head!"  LOL little girl, you are too much, but very sincere.  I know I was having a great time because I remember thinking that I hope I can spend a birthday with Grace just like this one day.  Or know an aunt of her's is having this same fun with their niece.  It was such a special day.

Mommy even got to stop by after school for a few minutes before running off to the store for some last minute things for your party.  We left shortly after.  You mentioned how you hoped that some people were hiding and would jump out and shout "Happy Birthday!", because that's what happens on your Birthday when you've left the house for awhile.  So I had to call Grandma real quick and she got Grandpa and Moo to do just that for you.

We then showed Moo your dress and painted your nails.  Your's dried while I touched up Moo's.  Mommy was by soon after to whisk you home.

Your family party was at night and was "Frozen" themed.  You had some yummy Nothing Bundt Cakes.  You ate yours soooo fast so you could play with your new Disney Princess Barbie Dolls Grandma and Grandpa got you.  Running around outside playing and putting on a unicorn tattoo was your night.

Happy Birthday to the newest First Grader :)

Tuesday, May 20

Happy 4th Birthday Moo!

It's that time again.  The special time of year when I get to celebrate the arrival of my Goddaughter #2, my second precious niece.  Another year blessed of her life and presence in mine.  What a wonderful little girl she is.

Halloween 2013--Princess Snow White

You are looking more and more like your mommy.  About a month ago I had Sue look at a family picture, back from when it was just me, mommy, grandpa and grandma.  Back before KK.  Sue wasn't sure who each person was.  I was pegged as grandma (another look-a-like ;) ), and she could't quite place the other three.  However she did say she didn't know what that girl (mommy) was, but she sure looked a lot like Moo.

You still will tell me that you are not "tiny" when I use it as a nickname for you.  That you are growing big and strong.  You know, so you can ride more rides at WDW with Sue :)  I'm often reminded that, "Though she may be small, she is fierce." (Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.)  You still love with quite an intensity.  You will put your all into giving kisses and hugs.  You will give up a toy to keep a sister (older or younger) from sprouting tears.  You get upset (and understandably so) when a sister (again, younger or older) isn't quite into playing with you at the moment.

You have one of those hollow legs that KK, your mom and I had once-upon-a-time.  Your tummy is always wanting something to eat.  Though sometimes it seems to only want something sweet ;)  Good thing there's always some piece of fruit to snack on ;)  For whatever reason, you're not a big "dinner" kind of girl.

You, like most little girls around here, this country, maybe the world?, are in love with Frozen.  Well, being a princess period.  You adore wearing dresses (hmmm. . .my middle sister was all about the dresses too. . .), making "princess" faces, and dancing.  It's a hoot to get to watch you sing along with Elsa and act out the scene while singing Let It Go.

Recently whenever I'm with you, you like to remind me that I'm your Godmother.  :)  Whenever I try to call you my Goddaughter you just laugh at me.  Silly aunt.

For your Birthday I took half a day off and took you out to lunch and shopping.  You enjoyed eating, and being silly, at Culver's.  I think the lady at the counter taking the order thought I had made you rehearse saying that you wanted applesauce instead of french fries.  That choice was totally yours though.  You slurped (literally) that down and then asked me for more.  You also had a grilled cheese and some chocolate milk.  You didn't know any better, so we skipped the scoop of custard.  I had another treat in store and didn't want to sugar you up too much before your Birthday cake.

Then we hit Super Target.  You made out with a Sleeping Beauty/Aurora/Briar Rose dress (so Bella can wear hers and you can be twins).  KK was being a barista over at the Starbucks inside the store so she made you a Cotton Candy drink.  You loved that pink drink.  Though it was a small it looked so big next to you.  We grabbed some dark blue with sparkles fingernail polish on our way out.

We had to run to Hobby Lobby real quick so Auntie could choose some stickers/embellishments to finish her gift to you.  A photo album/scrapbook of you from birth to right before you turned one.  Then we came back and you "rested" in my bed while I finished the book and wrapped it up.  We soon headed off to your house since Mommy and Sue would be home from school and you wanted to show your freshly painted nails and new dress.

Mommy and Papa had a fun "Frozen" Birthday Party for you, complete with the two sisters on a cake just for you.  Well, okay, you had to share the eating part ;)

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!!  But remember our deal--no turning 5!!!

Monday, May 12

End of the Month-April 2014

Oops!  A little late, but I wanted to make sure I got this up.  If just for me :)  Let's see how the month of April went, goal wise.

Reading the Old Testament:  As you may remember, it was my goal in April to read the Bible at last 10 minutes a day.  I will be honest with you.  There were a few days intspersed throughout the month in which I didn't crack open the Good Book.  However, I did make up the time I missed out on during the next reading.  So while I did not read every day, I did ensure I read at least (I didn't keep track past the ten minute mark) 300 minutes of the Bible in April.  Which is a nice 5 hour chunk.  Sounds like a lot if I were to do it at once, but really wasn't hard/bad at all when I was doing the smaller bites.

Now I'll tell you I really enjoyed reading from the Bible those lessons I learned (and eventually taught) in Sunday School, Midweek, and VBS.  Though I don't enjoy when there's like a page that lists this person was this other person's father, and then they had these two kids with this woman, and the other woman had this son.  That part I just let Him know I'm not going to read it, skim it, but not read it.

I made it to Exodus 19:11.  I'm not sure that I will be able to make it through the Old Testament before the year ends, but I am glad that I'm doing it the way I am for myself and enjoying it :)

For  May: To finish the book of Exodus.

Getting back to Church:   Nope.

For  May:  Come on woman!

Read a book a month: I bought the book from her website.  The night I got it, I read it. It was a pretty quick read.  Probably helps if you're hungry for the information as well :)  What is it? Why it's Julie Gumm's Adopt Without Debt .  Holy Buckets!  I just checked her site, and the book is out of print.  There are no more books to be sold.  The link I have is for Amazon, where you can get it used for like 100+ dollars.  (Well there's one way to help fund your adoption that wasn't in her book ;) )I guess I got one of the last ones from her inventory.  She even signed mine :)

Julie talks about how her family had gotten out of debt.  Then they were called to adopt.  She was willing to go into debt for adoption.  After all, is there a better reason?  Then they were reminded that God doesn't like debt, so why would He put you in it for something that He called you to?  She gives examples of things either her family or other families had done in order to complete an (international) adoption (or two) without also adding (more) debt to the family.

There are things that you could do in your own life to tighten the purse strings even more and add that saved money to pay for fees associated with adopting.  There are grants out there that can be applied for, some even matching grants.  And of course the fundraisers, from a paypal button on your blog to a Karaoke night, and so many more ideas in between.

*On a side-note.  I've been reading blogs and adoption sites for long enough now to know that there are varied responses to a family fundraising to pay the fees for adoption.  For some people, it's a way to help an orphan.  Not everyone is called to adopt, but everyone is called to care for them (James 1:27.)  From a simple prayer, to financial support-either of an adopting family or a non-profit that aides in the care of oprhans, to foster care/adoption.  Other people view it as if you want to raise this child and bring them into your family than you should be able to afford the costs.  Otherwise you shouldn't parent.  I can get this.  However, some families are able to take care of their children on daily basis, they just don't have 35,000 dollars hanging out to afford the costs of adoption that come due in a relatively short time.

I did read a blog recently (I've really been binge-reading china adoption blogs, so I can't recall which one) where the mom talked about how she felt about fundraising.  What the whole thing boiled down to (since I've gone on waaaaaaaaaaay long here) was that you don't have to shove it down people's throats, but you should allow people the chance to donate to you/your child/the adoption, especially if it is the way that they want to help the orphan, and/or show you and your future child their support and love.
Side-note over*

For  May:  I will (finish) reading Kisses from Katie.

Journaling at least once a week:  Not every day, but most days.

For  May:  To write one sentence a day. If I don't blog that day, then I want to have something journaled.  Just think one day I'll find out some important dates for my precious little girl.  I would like to be able to go back and see what I was doing/thinking that very day in my life. (I've seen some bloggers be able to do this very thing, and think it's so cool.)

Finish my quilt (work on other sewing projects): I did not get any done.  And I'm fine with that.

For  May:  Since I'm working on a birthday project for my youngest Goddaughter, I'm not committing to doing anything for the quilt/sewing projects.

Hall Closet (scrapbooking/crafts):  Not a priority.

For  May:  Not a priority.

Try a new recipe and food item a pay period: When I'm making them/eating them/buying them this month, I thought about it, but never wrote it down.  While I know I did complete this goal, since I can't remember what they were. . .oh wait.  I remember one recipe I tried.  It was Crockpot Asian Sesame Chicken.  It was pretty good.  Though I think I would put the chicken in frozen for the three hours, since they seemed to be pretty dry when I had got to them before putting on the "sauce" component.  I also made some jasmine wild rice in my rice cooker to go along with it.  I had never (to my knowledge) tried that before.

For  May:  Again try one more new recipe and food item for the month.

Being active daily: Nopers.

For  May:  Need to start with just stretching--think I can handle that?  Wait, don't answer that ;)

Eating less processed foods/Eating more organic, whole foods:  Ummmmm. . .yeah, no.

For  May:  I'm really just trying to figure out how to make a $50/paycheck food budget work.  Any ideas?

Lose 10% of weight:  I managed to keep off the five, but lost no more.

For  May:  Maintain the 5 pounds.

Grow a veggie/fruit plant: Yeah, I'm really sure that should be now.  I need to get on it!

For  May:  Now I need to choose the type of plant and get it.

Circle + Bloom's mind-body program:  Wasn't a priority, and I didn't do it.

For  May:  Not a priority, unless I'm feeling it.

Come up with a nightly ritual:  It's not written down and it's not in practice, but I've got one floating around in that space between my ears.

For  May:  I'll be happy if I've got it all implemented (not even like it's some complex routine, but little bits at a time of goals at a time) by July.

Monthly Challenge:  Done!  You can read about it up in the "Reading the Bible" portion of this post.

For  May:  I'm taking a break this month from a challenge.  I know I'll be ready for one again come June.  (I cannot even believe it is so close!)

Staying open on how becoming a mommy:  Staying open really helped me to get where I'm at with my decision.  And it feels so good and right.  I'm going to go ahead and delete this "goal" now.  It did it's job well :)

Here's to having May's review up before almost half-way through June ;)  Here's to working on goals and commitments!

Sunday, May 11

Happy Mother's Day

(Image from: SocialCafeMag)

Happy Mother's Day 2014

With Love as big as the sea
Thanks for all that you have done/do/have yet to do, numbered as many as the stars in the night's sky
Prayers for blessings to cover you like your favorite comfy, cozy blanket
I am and will forever be grateful to call you my Mommy!

Happy Mother's Day <3

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful women in my life.  As well as all of those in your lives my dear sweet readers :)

Tuesday, April 29

Clarity to Complexity

I enjoy the excitement and peace over knowing what I'm working towards in life right now.  The chance to become a mommy, to a little girl named Grace.

Though I do have to say that it's also made some things less clear.  Not that I control how long things take anways, but there's the not knowing of how long it may take to get to her.  Meaning outside of the time that it takes to get through a homestudy, be approved by the agency, approved by our government, approved by China, approved to travel to go do the actual adoption portion.  How long will it be to get to that point of actually getting to hold her?

Plus there's the whole how will I "find" her?  Will I see her face on an advocate's blog?  Will she be with a particular agency and that's the one I will choose (agency)?  Will I find an agency and then find she is listed with a partnership orphanage/SWI (social welfare institute)?  Will I choose an agency and then they will find her once the shared lists come out?

I could sort of picture what a biological child would look like, granted there are many wild cards there as well.  The only thing I know is that she will be a girl.  Will she have dark black hair, or will her "special need" be albinism and her hair without any pigmentation?  Will she have two eyes?  Will they be able to see me visually or will she "see" through touch?  Will her need be something obvious to the world, or will it be internal?  Will she be a year old, four or somewhere between, or none of the above?  What province will she be in?

Will she be in a SWI, with a foster family, or a care center (like Maria's Big House of Hope)?  What will her given name be, what will her middle name be?  What will her sweet face look like?

There's also the unknowns that we will most likely never know, she and I.  Was she truly unwanted?  Or was she loved, but her parents/mother could not take care of her/afford the care she needed?  Was it like this for her birth family to leave her?  Did they travel far to get her somewhere "safe" enough that someone would find her relatively quickly?  Does she have any biological siblings?  Did her China family name her?  How long did they keep her with them?  What is her birthday (other than the one that is estimated for her at intake/dr review)?  What does her biological family do to make a living and where do they live?

What I do know is that there is a lot more for me to learn, books to read, and classes to eventually take.  Keeping faith in Him and asking Him to break my heart for what breaks His.

One step at a time.  Keeping on with getting debt paid off!

Saturday, April 26

God Moment

This one was with mom on Thursday night.  We were talking in her bedroom as she was folding laundry, and Elementary was on TV as background noise.

We talked about the "timeline" again, about how long it would be before I could begin the adoption process. Two years.  Mom asked, "Not to say this will happen or that I would ever want it to happen, but what if China decides to shut down adoptions to the US in that time?"

I responded saying that, "God has put this on my heart.  I have to trust Him.  I have had the same thought too.  I have to. . ."

And at that very moment the Sherlock character on Elementary finishes my sentence with, ". . .trust in God."
I had stopped talking.  Looked at mom and asked if she had heard the same thing.

She did.  "Well that was weird," she says.  I tell her that now we know we just have to trust Him.  I mean who else could have orchestrated that perfect timing?

Cool, huh?!

Tuesday, April 22

What I've Been Wearing

It's been a bit of time since I've really wore jewelry.  Since my fingers have gone from slender to sausage-ish, my nice rings I've gotten through the years no longer fit.  I  haven't really wore earrings in, oh probably a decade.  To be honest I'm not sure I could poke through the holes anymore.  Necklaces I wear on a rare occasion.  Once again my neck grew along with the fingers and those delicate shorter chains look more like a choker than a dainty piece to be displayed on my decolletage.  I do have some bracelets that I purchased when Friend first started as a stylist with Stella and Dot.  I figured bracelets were a "wear at any size" kind of jewelry.  On me though I find if I go chunky the little indention of a wrist I have that shows separation between my hands and arm, disappears.  Thinner bracelets almost look sad on that larger wrist.  Of course I say these things because it's my body, and how I perceive things.
I know that when I'm finally ready, whether it be when I start the adoption process or not until I'm actually matched, I want to be sporting a cute necklace.  Most likely purchased from Etsy, and similar to these styles:

These are only a few in a sea of gorgeous necklaces to choose from.  I know it will be hard to decide on once the time finally arrives :)

I wanted something for now though.  Something to get me through until I'm at the "necklace stage."  Something that would probably look like just another piece of pretty jewelry, but has meaning to me.  I looked back at my jewelry I have.  I found the two found bracelets I had purchased from Friend at another time, and knew there was another bracelet I would need to get but these would satisfy that need I had.

The one I'm wearing right now (though, not wearing jewelry in a long time I actually forgot to slip on Easter--urgh!) is the "Light Bracelet."

It's tagline is, "Sparkle from the light within."  I love it because it's pretty little stones, almost like dirty diamonds, do sparkle.  It (and all the "friendship ties" bracelets) adjust in the back, so it can fit any size wrist with room to spare.  I will need to look to the Light of the World, as I make my way through this wait time filled with paying off my debt.

Once debt is done and I move onto the adoption world, I will need courage.  Here is where the other bracelet I have will come into play.  I will either add or switch to this one once I start the adoption process.

This one reads, "From caring comes strength."  And I will be looking for Him to give me the strength and courage at this time in my journey to G.

Once G and I are matched, I will add in the Love Bracelet.  This one I need to buy still.  With the "red thread" I'm sure you can see why I would choose it for this special time.

I went to the website to see if this one was still available, and found one more sweet "Friendship Ties" bracelet as well.  I thought it would work perfectly once I'm in China and with Her.  It has little pearls on it, which China is known for, as well as rest of the bracelet looking much the same as my Light one.  It would be a nice bookend, especially if I wore all four bracelets together.  The best part, it's called the Wisdom Bracelet.  I know I will be needing all the wisdom I can get once I'm actually parenting my little girl, and just trying to help her transition at first.

It's fun to have something pretty on, that also serves a special purpose of being a reminder of what is happening in my life right now. 

Do you wear any "ordinary" jewelry that you have assigned an extraordinary meaning to?  

Tuesday, April 15

Him and I

Though trusting is hard, being at peace is nice.  Trusting Him shouldn't be so hard, but I let it be.  I'd like to say "I" made this decision, but I actually arrived at it by finally listening and not just to the part I wanted to hear.  While I could be thinking how I've lost years, I know I'm right on track.  He knew it woud take me this long, and He patiently waited for me.  Not a virtue that I come by easily, but am trying to learn.  What greater teacher than God to help me with this lesson.  I'm ready to share here.  I actually worked through it on the ride home, that tonight I would type it up and press "Publish."  I feel it's my final step in this part to the journey, and soon after I got home I feel I have the confirmation* that this is right.

***Fair warning as I think this post may run long (so if I'm saying it's going to be long. . .) and will also contain some TMI.  No more than I've shared before, and probably the last one for a long while (of TMI, not blogging.)***

I'm going to adopt.  Yes, I know I've said that before.  Yes, I know that was the reason for the start of this blog.  Yes, I know that was darn near three years ago.  But remember, I'm not as worried about time as I have been.  I just wanted to put that out there, just in case you may have been worried where this post was going.  I didn't want you to start skimming ahead to find out what the heck I was trying to say.  After all I did start out saying this could run a bit long.  No, I'm not in the process as we speak.  I can give you my timeline of how I think things may work out, but we all know how my timelines can go, and that He is ultimately in charge of the timeline.  And as of right now, I'm good with letting Him be.

  So as you know I've been waffling back and forth.  I was going down the pathway of my life when after my conversation with Friend led me to the "Mother" fork in the road.  Since there was no fella in my life, of whom I was a blushing bride to, I headed down the "Choice Mom/Single Mother by Choice" pathway.  Now the next (simplified for this story) fork in the road was how this child of mine would come into my life, how would I obtain that "mommy" status, "Adoption" or "Biological."  As you all know I started skipping on down the "Biological" path.  Then about two years later God told me, "Adopt" and that "your daughter is in China."  I ran back to the fork in the road and this time started dancing down the "Adoption" path.  After some decisions were made and I sold my house I backed myself to the fork and headed back down "Biological."

Last year I got further than ever, as close as I could without actually getting there (again simplified version) and had my first and only IUI.  Then it didn't happen, as it doesn't most first times, and I wasn't pregnant.  I got a little sad there about it not happening and then worried about monies and how I would be able to actually make it happen, and a little scared that I wasn't listening to Him and that whole adoption thing.  Before I pulled out the Christmas decorations I put most of the newborn things. . .clothes, onsies, swaddlers, cloth diapers into plastic storage containers and under the stairs.  I brought up G's things and put them in the nursery.  Once New Year's came around I couldn't get the thought of those adorable newborn cloth diapers and all the teeny tiny things I had just waiting for a little bundle of my own.  But I wanted to stay true to my goal, and be open to adoption or biological.

Soon before this cycle started, I started really looking into bio baby again.  I pulled out all my prescription receipts and billing statements from the clinic.  I looked up the current prices for the genetic material that would be required--the cryobanks' prices usually go up every year.  I crunched numbers, I even posted them here, and I reworked my budget sheets for each check.  I then made a decision.  I would go forward with trying IUIs again this summer.  I came up with the number of times I would try (3 if you were wondering) and if it didn't work then I would move on to adoption.  I figured I could sock enough away to get the process started, and then depending on how long it took/if I could acheive pregnancy I would then continue to taking that money (which I tried to figure would work out to be insurance costs, child care and daily needs monies that I would need monthly and start using that as the "baby fund") to pay for the prenatal and birth.

I read that book, Making Babies A Proven 3-Month Program, and using that and the fertility smoothie to get ideas for how to make eggs good canidates.  I started buying some supplements and the ingredients for that darned smoothie.  I started eating organic and even not worrying as much about the grocery budget if I could buy "healthy" enough foods to create the best environment for baby to start off in.  Plus, I would be needing those three months to lose weight, because I just knew they'd weigh me when I did come back to the clinic.

There's the set up to the beginnning of this cycle.  Now I can walk you through how I got back to adoption.
*This marks the end of this side of the cassette.  Please turn over to continue with side B.*  (That's right.  Tapes!)

This cycle began February 27th.  I began forcing down those fertility smoothies and temping first thing in the morning.  I got back into my Fertility Friend account that I had put on hold.  I started popping prenatal pills and slowing working maca back into my life to see if I could handle it in a powder form vs. the capsule form I had last year.  I was glad I had checked and saw I had plenty of internet cheapie and smiley face ovulation predictor strips before making that purchase.  When I knew it should be about that time I started testing.  Then I got that dang horrid cold followed by back to back break outs/flare ups of my skin issue/hive deals/bubblies.  Still no double solid lines or smiley face.  Though I'm pretty sure I got pretty close to the double solid lines, but no smiley to back it up with.  Pretty soon I had gone through the whole stash of sticks I had.  Which easily should have taken me to the summer.  No spike in temperature.  When Aunt Flo should be paying her visit, she didn't.  I had no symptoms and no clue as to what was going on.  It's almost as if my body said, "Well, she's 35 now.  She obviously not using this baby making factory.  Let's shut her down!"  Seriously, I wonder.

Then April came.  March and April seem to be my months to when I make/arrive at these decisions, don't they?  As I had said in my update I was being open in my way to becming a mom, and I was.  While I was making plans for the summer, I still found myself watching "gotcha day" youtube videos and pinning.  That niggling in the back of my head about adoting my daughter from China was there every step of the way too.  I didn't want to come forward with my plans, in case I changed my mind again.  Who want's to hear about that ;)  LOL!

In my monthly update I also made it my mission in April to read the Bible for ten minutes a day.  And so I did.  I'm reading the Joyce Meyer's version that has some places where she writes about what's going on and applying it to our lives today.  I was reading about Abram and Sarai and how God promised them a son together.  Then, as Joyce helps to explain, Sarai probably starts thinking she needs to help God along with his promise (you know since it's taking quite awhile to get to) and has her husband lie with her handmaiden, Hagar.  He did and had a son with her, Ishmael.  But that was not God's promise.  He had promised a son between husband and wife.  He fulfilled that promise to (now) Abraham and Sarah, with a son called Isaac.  Joyce tells about how when God promises us something in our lives it's easy to be excited, and then when it doesn't happen on our timeline we sometimes want to help Him out to deliver that promise.  That it's easier to do what we want and then have God bless it, when He doesn't have to bless anything.  That an Ishmael can make things a bit harder, but if we wait for our Isaac it will be easier, because it's God's plan, His promise to us.

Of course I applied it to my own life.  Well He told me to adopt, and promised me that my daughter was in China.  But actually that was two years in to my wanting to become a Choice Mom.  I mean it was originally going to be me becoming a mom to a biological child.  Then I thought some more.  Wait. . . Wasn't the catalyst into this whole single motherhood by choice thing a question from Friend.  "Would you adopt even if you were still single?"  Oh, yeah.  Details people, and God is in them.

So there I  have my solid base for my decision.  Number one, my period is no where on the horizon.  I'm usually, and had been for at least a year and half, like clock work.  And never have I had a cycle this long.  The very cycle that I was starting my planning for this summer, no less.  To me, that's Him talking to me.  Sending me the signs I so very much want and need.  Then there's the Bible, that's always a good place for him to talk to you, and that Ishmael story really hit home.  At this point I've told mom and dad that I've made my new decision.  Of course after telling them the weekend before that I was planning on doing three IUI's this summer.  Then I swore them to secrecy, lest anyone think I'm a loon.  Well, if they don't already.

Then I got a God Wink when talking to KK about it.  I was trying to spit out this story--just as long, if not longer in person ;)--and at the same time we were talking about what she would like for her Birthday dinner. I was still at the beginning of the story so when she said, "You know, I've really been liking Chinese a lot lately," I started to giggle.  I had got no where near China and adopting in my story yet, and just the way her sentence was phrased I took that as a little gift to me from God.

While I'm not quite ready to give away/up my newborn sized cloth diapers or the special onesie I bought at the beginning of this whole process for a coming home outfit (part of it is the hoarder in me), I am ok with perhaps not being a birth mom in my lifetime.  I am ready to become a mommy though, and I'd love to do it His way.

I did go through and put in some numbers into my debt snowball, and figure it will be two years until I'm debt free.  Of course anything can happen and He's in charge so it could take less or more.  Needless to say there will be less Whole Foods Hauls and more Budget Friendly Meal Ideas around here :)  One thing I've found that I'm strangely not worried about anymore is the cost of adoption.  That's not to say I'm not thinking about it, but I'm not worried about it.  I did read my book for the month in one night, Adopt Without Debt.  There were some neat ways to raise money to pay the ransom for your child in it.

Another thing I'm finding that I'm not freaking out over is how old I'll be.  How old will I be when I adopt?  How old will I be when my daughter learns to drive?  How old will I be when she graduates?  How old will I be if I become a grandma?  Perhaps it's the Promise sinking in, that I don't have to worry about that it will happen when it's supposed to.

OH, and to bring this story full circle.  *=My confirmation that today was the right day to tell of my news, I started a new cycle.  Finally.  Meaning that my now last cycle, the one that changed it all, was 47 days.  When I had been looking to see what cycle day I was on when I was like 43 days, I said to Him "It would be right if this cycle lasted 47 days."  It would be one more confirmation to me.  As the adoption community will tell you, there are 147 million orphans in the world.  47.  I'm pretty sure He could not make it more clearer if He hit me over the head.  Whew! Thanks for waiting for me :)

Well I need to be getting to bed now.  This took like two hours to type up, so I'll try to come back within the next few days and add some links and pictures if I can.  I'll write another post if I come with things I forgot to mention.  If you read this far, thanks!!!  And thanks for following along with me!

Friday, April 11

"Not in my wildest dreams. . ."

Okay, so maybe my dream this morning wasn't exactly "wild", I think it was more confusing.  I had woke up again, twenty minutes after my tv was programmed to come on.  I have done the same thing this whole week.  Tonight I'm starting the whole going to bed process an hour earlier!  (I actually did my bible reading time as soon as I came home from work today, instead of making sure I get it in right before bed.)  I'm not even sure how long this dream lasted in real time, it could have been during the time the tv came on to when I woke up.  And the TV was on an infomercial (before 6 am), so it had no influence on the dream.

The dream starts (or at least where I remember it starting) was me sitting on this small plane, getting ready to leave from China.  No way in real life would this "plane" (actually it was probably more like a bus on the inside--like yellow school bus!) be going across an ocean.  Anyways, that's when I was given my child.  I must not have ever seen her picture or recieved any information about her prior to meeting her.  The nanny (ayi) told me this was my daughter and she was five years old.  I don't remember details about her, but trust me-she was no five year old.  This daughter of mine was like 10-12 years old.  I don't even know what her special need was, why she was in the special focus program (which is the program single women can adopt from for China).  I just remember looking at her and thinking, "What?  She's five, no way.  I have niece that's five almost six and she looks so much younger and smaller.  I thought 'orphanage life and chinese she would maybe be smaller than Sue', but not the case here.

Then I started going through my backpack (my carry-on), perhaps looking for snacks for my new child, and inside was a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.  No clue why I'd bring that on.  I started panicking thinking, "why did they let me bring this on, it's definitely more than 3 oz."  I couldn't remember even going through security--no wonder it was a dinky plane.  Then I unzipped another pocket and there was some cleaning stuff in a spray bottle.  What?!!!  I don't even use those types of products/buy them.  I looked in the seat across from me at mom, and was freaking out saying how I was going to get in such trouble for having this in my carry on.  I think it was then that my daughter started talking to me.  I don't remember what she said, if anything, but that she spoke plain old English, with no accent (just like her midwestern mama), and fluently.  She wasn't having any issues, it was as if I was always in her life.

Next we were in Grandma and Grandpa S's garage.  Aunt S and her girls (my cousins) had shown up.  My cousin G gave her (my daughter, I have no idea what her name was, if she had one--I never thought, oh "Grace" or any other name during the dream) a hug and then went into the house.  I introduced my daughter to G's older sister V, and said jokingly (though even in the dream I thought it was a bad joke), "Here's my 3 month old daughter."  Obviously still thinking that there was no way she was the age they told me she was.  V oohed and ahhhed over her and then said she was going to do the same thing in two years (adopt from China.)  She think skipped off into the house, with me calling after her, "You can't adopt from China yet, you'd only be 23, you have to be 30."

Then we were in "our house."  Actually there was some bit in between here, but it's very garbled and I can't remember enough to make sense of it.  Anyways, "our house" cause it's one of those times where it's not a house from real life.  I think it was supposed to be mom and dad's house and we  had two rooms that connected.  My bedroom seemed to be like an add-on to the original house (?) since you had to pass through daughter's room to get to mine, and there was a window in the wall between the two bedrooms that had blinds on them so you couldn't see into the next room.

Daughter was tired and was lying in her bed.  People (my sisters?) were coming in and out of the room.  There was a TV in daughter's room and she had it on a show, I don't remember what it was, but I remember thinking it may have been a little "old" for her.  Old for her as a twelve year old, way too old for a five year old.  I awkwardly told her that we had some rules we'd need to go over and that she wasn't to go to sleep watching tv (says her mother who has to have tv on in the background to sleep.)  And that we would have to discuss what shows she could watch.  I just remember that people were in her room and I was trying to tell her goodnight, and I just felt sooooo utterly confused as to who this child was.  That no way was she five, our weird introduction, how well she spoke english and understood me, and how I'm way more prepared for a toddler/preschooler than to jump into pre-teens.   Then I noticed that the TV was back on, my mom had turned it on. "Oh, I didn't know you wanted it off."  First of all she just magically appeared in the room, and all I could think is why everyone was in the bedroom.  Mom knows better in real life ;)

She had turned it on to Mary Poppins, and Mimi asked daughter if she had seen it before.  Apparently "Mary Pop Pop" as daughter called it was a favorite in the orphanage.  Um, not sure I've heard of many orphanages playing Mary Poppins, but then again I wasn't there ;)  As she was asking if I could leave it on for her to watch, I actually started to wake up.  All I could think was how crazy this dream was, and how utterly unreal any of it was.  Not sure what, if there was any, the meaning of it was, but it sure was a cray cray one :)

Off to bed earlier tonight and we'll see if I have any wonderful dreams that I can still remember in the morning :)

*Day 24/30 No buying fast food/drinking pop or coffee.  Still on target.  Doing well :)  Tried hot chocolate with creamer--um, freakin delicious!!!!*

*Day 11 of April Reading Bible for 10 mins/day.  Yeppers :)  I even feel I'm being spoke to through some parts.  Still in Genesis, but further than I've ever been just reading.  Passing a LOT of lessons I've taught numerous times in Sunday School though!*

Thursday, April 3

End of the Month-March 2014

Another page has flown off the calendar.  Alright, more like another page of the calendar has been flipped up to reveal April.  (Well, guess not.  Looking at my wall calendar now shows March still.  Ok, there we go, it's officially April in the Redhead's room.)  Let's see how the month of March went, goal wise.

Reading the Old Testament:  Uhhhhhhhhh.  Nopers.

For  April:  Actually I am making it my month of April goal.  To read my bible for at least 10 minutes a day :)

Getting back to Church: I could give you excuses, but I wouldn't do that in front of Him, so I won't with you.  I did not go once in March.

For  April:  To get thineself to one service this month!

Read a book a month: I did.  I read Making Babies, by Sami S. David MD and Jill Blakeway LAc.  I learned that my feritlity type is Stuck and Tired.  That sounds right ;)  It was an interesting read, and I actually learned new info from it.  I even learned that if I take Vitex I can lower my Prolactin level naturally!

For  April:  I think this next book is going to be one of the books I received for Christmas :)

Journaling at least once a week:  Not once did I.

For  April:  To write one sentence a day.  (hopefully I don't have to go to "write one word a day" for may!)

Finish my quilt (work on other sewing projects): It wasn't a priority so I did not.

For  April:  Sew at least ten squares.

Hall Closet (scrapbooking/crafts):  Not a priority.

For  April:  Not a priority.

Try a new recipe and food item a pay period: Let's see I tried Kombucha, and liked some didn't like others.  Will continue drinking them for now.  I made and really liked the QUINOA WITH CARAMELZIED RED ONION, BELL PEPPERS AND GARLIC.  I would make it again.  Just not serve with tons of veggies on the side ;)
Well, I've never had protein powder before, and I used that for that yucky lovely smoothie.  I just couldn't do it anymore.  I'm trying to continue using that powder, cause it was so dang expensive, as well as the other superfoods, in my normal green smoothies.

For  April:  Again try one more new recipe and food item for the month.

Being active daily: Nopers.

For  April:  I think I may need to do a daily challenge that starts when the current "no buy fast food/no drink coffee and pop" challenge ends.  And ease into it with yoga and/or walking on the treadmill.  We'll see.

Eating less processed foods/Eating more organic, whole foods:  I would say, oh yes!  All my fruits and veggies I bought in March we're organic (as far as I can remember).  Still need to move more to the whole foods, and less processed.  But I'm working on it :)

For  April:  I want to work towards more recipes/made from scratch/home made/whole foods than pre packaged and processed foods.  We shall see!

Lose 10% of weight:  Yes, I obtained those 5 pounds :)

For  April:  Maintain the 5 pounds and work on 5 more!

Grow a veggie/fruit plant: Too cold!

For  April:  Not quite yet.

Circle + Bloom's mind-body program:  Another fail!

For  April:  Not a priority, unless I'm feeling it.

Come up with a nightly ritual:  It's not written down and it's not in practice, but I've got one floating around in that space between my ears.

For  April:  I'll be happy if I've got it all implemented (not even like it's some complex routine, but little bits at a time of goals at a time) by July.

Monthly Challenge:  I didn't have one for the month of March, but the middle of the month one I started has gone well so far.  I have bought no fast food, and I have drank neither pop nor coffee.  I have to say the easiest (execpt for today for some reason) has been pop.  It probably helps that half the people that live here can't have pop and the other one really doesn't drink pop.  I do miss the sound of the tab breaking into the can, and the bubbles from the first sip.  Otherwise, honestly for the most part the Kombucha has helped.  Fast food is nice to be able to pick up for days I want something my tastebuds think will taste good and I don't want to do anything, but it hasn't been too horrid, and probably much healthier.  Coffee, oh how I miss you most of all.  Just like a dessert.  The smell when dad makes his, or a co-worker walks past my cube and into hers next me.  The smell is maddening sometimes.  Then I think I could have made the challenge--no coffee creamer, and the results would have been the same ;)

For  April:  Read my bible at least ten minutes a day.

Staying open on how becoming a mommy:  Yes I am.  Whether I'm pinning things for a bio baby, or finding new china adoption blogs to devour :)

For  April:  Keep on, keepin' on!

I'll try to have April's at the end of the month, or May Day.  Here's to working on goals and commitments!

Friday, March 28

Grocery Haul Deuce

On March 22 I ran to Target with Mimi, and made sure that I grabbed some Larabars.  Their boxes were on sale, and if you bought 4 boxes you got another box for free.  Now I had grabbed some single bars on clearance a month or so ago from Target, and they were .88.  The boxes were on sale for $5 each, and contain 5 bars each.  So in total I got 25 bars for $20.  Which equals .80 a bar--even better than the bars on clearance :)  Great buy for some pretty great bars--nuts and fruit!

Then on Monday, 3/24, I went to Whole Foods with mom, Moo and Boo Boo.  Here's what I got:

 In this picture we have:
GT's Kombucha Trilogy 16 oz...$3.69
GT's Kombucha Guava 16 oz. . $3.69
GT's Kombucha Gingerberry 16 oz. . .$3.69
GT's Kombucha Passionberry Bliss 16 oz. . .$3.69
(now for these, I'm drinking half a bottle a day.  i realllllly like the guava!  and i'm drinking the passionberry right now, so delicious.  i'll try to get in a post about kombucha here soon :))
Greek Tortellini 6 oz.. . .$3.00  (Moo, Boo Boo and I enjoyed this as part of lunch)
Chicken Burrito. . .$7.00  (Boo Boo enjoyed sharing a few bites of Auntie's half for this lunch.  I had the other half the next day :))
Sesame Noodles 6 oz. . . .$3.00  (That was delicious and had that for dinner that night.)
Turkey Snackables 6 oz.. . . $4.99  (The girls shared this for lunch, as well as what they shared with me ;) )
365 Frozen Organic Wild Blueberries. . .$3.99 (for the Blueberry Chia Pudding, I haven't made yet. . .but pinned :))

Here's the rest, but I'll go ahead and break it down into smaller chunks ;)

360 Organic Dark Chocolate Almonds. . .$2.69 (yep, impulse buy at the checkout. . .shhhhh!)
Raspberry Smoothie 10 oz. . . .$1.99  (Moo really wanted this, so the girls split it for lunch)
Bulk Organic Shredded Coconut  .22 lb@7.99/lb. . .$1.76 (for that Chia pudding.)
Carlson Fish Oil. . .$24.99
Organic Lemons 2 lbs. . .$4.99 (for my lemon water in morning/coffee replacement/hoping for a post for that too)
Vital Farms Pasture-Raised Organic 12 Large Eggs. . .$7.99 (yes, that price is right)  (i have two hard boiled eggs for breakfast. after my lemon water.)

Bulk Organic Cashews .75lb @ 10.99/lb. . .$8.24 (again for that chia pudding.  phew good things these things last longer than one week ;))
Frontier Natural Products Organic Garlic Flakes. . .$8.99 (Quinoa Recipe.  did make this one, and pinned!)
Navitas Acai Powder 4 oz. . . .$22.99 (super food for smoothies) (and now i know to get at amazon)

Organic Red Bell Pepper 1.53 lb@ 4.99/lb. . . .$7.63 (this was for 5 peppers, for that quinoa recipe.  and crazy me thought it was originally 4.99 a pepper!!!)
Organic Red Onion .53 lb @ 4.99/lb. . . .$1.05 (for that quinoa recipe)
365 Frozen Organic Wild Blueberries. . .$3.99 (second bag)
2 Peanut Butter and Jelly Lara Bars. . .$2.58 (for Moo and Boo Boo's snack)
Pumpkin Pie Lara Bar. . .$1.29  (for Sue's snack)

I also donated $1.00 at check out.  My total came to *cough, cough* $143.98.

I made a huge batch of the Quinoa with Caramelized Red Onions, Bell Pepper and Garlic.  Though I made it with some Kerrygold Irish butter, instead of the olive oil.  Then I served up this on Wednesday night, along with some frozen asparagus I had gotten from Trader Joe's previously.
I'm still working on the Ranch Dressing addiction ;)  Ok, so this was yummers for dinner.  HOWEVER, I fear it was far too much fiber/veggies in one meal when one hasn't ate like this in awhile.  It was NOT a good night.  My intestines were a hurtin', and we'll just say I lost a few pounds that night. 

And on that night. . .have a wonderful weekend :)