Saturday, July 30, 2011

One of My Favorite Things...

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up in strings
These are a few of my favorite things....

Who can name that song and the movie that it is from??  If you guessed My Favorite Things from 
The Sound of Music, you guessed right!!  Well, THIS is one of my favorite things!
I absolutely love to read and I bought my nook about a year ago.  It has definitely been one of the best 
things that I have ever bought!  I wasn't so sure how I'd like reading on a screen instead of on real paper
pages, but I have loved it!  It's so much more practical than having a thousand of books lying around.  

Tonight, I was looking for books to download in anticipation of being in a hotel for an extended period 
of time.  I ended up downloading 19 books for FREE!  Score!  I love a good deal, and free is even better!   

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Little Bit of Bragging...

I have to brag a little bit, just because I can.  My brother has opened a restaurant... in addition to practicing law!  What a combination, huh?  He lives in Cheyenne, WY and recently just opened up a restaurant called Morris House Bistro that features lowcountry cuisine.  Yeah, we all know what kind of food THAT is.  Lowcountry food is the good stuff... shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, grilled pork chops, and of course the staples of the south- Fried Okra and Macaroni and Cheese Pie!  It's the stuff we in SC grow up on and the stuff that gives South Carolinians lean, thin, model-type figures. Lol.  I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!


THIS menu item is listed as "MamaLee's Macaroni & Cheese".  For those of you who knew my MamaLee, and knew her cooking, you know that this is the BEST macaroni and cheese you will ever have.  She was definitely a great cook.  Somehow, I don't think this will be the last of her recipes to appear on the menu of Morris House Bistro!

Since most of the people who read this blog are here in SC, I know it's not just a quick trip down the road to try a new restaurant, but you can still check out their menu (www.morrishousebistro.com) and  you can "like" them on Facebook!  Just search for Morris House Bistro to see more pictures of the restaurant and the food!  

Monday, July 25, 2011

You Love Me Anyway

Here's a video of one of my favorite songs right now.  It's called You Love Me Anyway by Sidewalk Prophets.  This portion of the song is especially powerful.

I am the thorn in Your crown, but You love me anyway. 
I am the sweat in Your brow, but You love me anyway.
I am the nail in your wrist, but You love me anyway.
I am Judas' kiss, but You love me anyway. 

No matter how "good" we think we are, we're all still sinners.  We all played a part in Jesus' death, and He died BECAUSE of us, because He loves us anyway- in spite of all of our sins.  How great is His love that He loves us anyway?  

Ok- I tried to embed the video into the blog, but it is apparently disabled by Sidewalk Prophets. Click on the link below and it SHOULD take you to youtube.  Also- there's some random 10 second advertisement that you have to watch before the video loads.  It is NOT supported by Sidewalk Prophets.    




Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Roadtrip to NC- Part 2

So while we were in NC, we had to do something to break up the drive a little bit.  So, on our way home we decided to stop by NC State & UNC's football stadiums.  We got to NC State's first.  Their stadium is not on-campus and it is actually in a big complex where their basketball arena is also.  So, we pulled in and the first thing we saw was a man directing traffic and tons of big orange cones.  This did not look good.  Apparently they were having a concert or some kind of big event and this guy was trying to direct us to the pay-for-parking lot.  No thanks.  We told him we just wanted to turn around, and he was nice enough about it.  So, we were 0-1 in seeing the stadiums at this point.

We drove about 20 more minutes to UNC's campus and decided just to park and walk over to see the stadium.  They were doing work on the inside and somebody must have accidentally left a gate open, which was really lucky for us!   We just walked right on in!  We took a few pictures, and then went on up to the upper deck to check out the view from there.




After a taking a few pictures of Kevin, I told him that I wanted a picture.  So, I handed him the camera and gave him this pose to capture.  I definitely wanted some payback from the night before in Clemson.  Go Tigers! Click HERE to see the post from that night. 



And once we finished there, we headed over to Dean E Smith Center to see where the Tar Heels play basketball.  If you'd asked me the name of where they play BEFORE this day, I wouldn't have had a clue.  But of course, Kevin did.  His dream vacation would be traveling around to see stadiums and stuff like this.


We weren't as lucky here.  The doors were definitely locked, so we couldn't go inside.  So, we opted to take a few quick pictures outside to prove we Kevin had actually been here.



And after all of these stops, we decided it was time to come home... well back to SC anyway.  We were still "homeless" at this point, since our A/C and well pump were both crispy fried by lightening.  It had been a long, and exciting day.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Name!

She has a name!  You would think that when you're adopting, you'd have boy and girl names picked out well in advance of getting match.  That was not the case with us.  We definitely had a boy name picked out.  That came REALLY easily.  Girl names, not so easy.  We figured we'd have time to decide on a girl name before we got matched, and then it happened!  So we had to pick out a girl name a little bit faster than we expected, which was totally okay with us!  It wasn't easy.  On names I loved, Kevin didn't really care for them.  And the names he liked weren't really my favorite either.  BUT, we found one that we both REALLY like.  It will be nice to be able to refer to her by name! So, the name we have chosen is....



Sunday, July 17, 2011

Updates- Nursery & Puzzle

Wow. What a week, and what a weekend.  We have mostly recovered from our lightening strike and have gotten our house pretty much back in order.  Thank goodness!  The past week has been exciting with the news of the adoption and frustrating dealing with the house (insurance adjuster, making millions of phone calls, trying to replace all of the damaged items, etc).  And the most exciting part of this week is realizing that there are just three more weeks til our expectant mom's due date!  Can't believe it.  :) 

I haven't blogged in a while about the nursery or the puzzle and we've got a few updates on that.  On the nursery front, we now have curtains (made by one of my mom's friends), a hamper (liner also made by one of my mom's friends), new lamps, and we have ordered the bedding! YAY!  Here are a few pictures...

Curtains-  I LOVE them!  The fabric on this was picked out before we got matched.  We'll want to put some pink into the room at some point, but still keep it somewhat gender neutral.  
Close up!  The picture doesn't do it justice.  The curtains look blue here, but they're really more teal. 
Hamper
Close up of the fabric.
Before - Lamp bought from Target.  Even the shade came in a box and I had to put it together.  Weird.  It looked a little plain, so here is the after....
Much better.  Still maybe not FINISHED, but better.

This is a very small lamp bought from Target.  We're planning on using it as a nightlight.

If you don't care for decorating stuff, you probably didn't care for any of that.  So, sorry!  I also updated the the Adoption Puzzle page, so if you want to check on the status of that, click HERE .  

Oh and by the way, we think we decided on a name.  I'm sure we'll let you know at some point this week, so stay tuned... :) 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A God Thing

One more great story to share about our adoption.  Let's go all the way back to April 4th, the day that we were "officially" waiting.  Just for fun, Kevin and I decided to throw guesses out there as to when all of this was going to happen.  I can't even remember if we were guessing when we'd get matched, or when the placement would happen, or WHAT.  Kevin said he was going to be very optimistic, and chose some date in May.  Obviously, that one didn't work out.  I decided to still be optimistic and say August 8th.  Our anniversary is August 11th so I thought that would be a GREAT anniversary present, so that is sort of how I came to my date.  At that point, we'd only have been waiting about 4 months and the average wait for our agency is about a year. I knew it probably wasn't going to happen but hey, it was just a guess. 

Anyway, if you read the post on Saturday about how we got matched, you know that when our adoption worker (Jane) first called on Wednesdsay, June 29th, to tell us about these expectant parents, she told us that the due date was late August to early September.  Perfect, we thought.  Plenty of time to prepare, but not too far off.  Then on Friday, July 1st, I called the expectant parent's adoption worker (Erica) to set up a date and time to meet with them.  During the call, Erica gave us a little more background information on the expectant parents, told us the process of how things would happen since it is a NC adoption, and then said "Oh, by the way,  I think I told Jane the wrong due date.  I don't know what I was thinking.  I know when she is due, and it's not the end of August.  Her due date is actually August 8th."  I was shocked and speechless!  Yes, August 8th was my "guess" at the very beginning of this whole journey!  How AMAZING (Kevin's favorite word) is that?  I think my friend J* said it best in a post that she wrote just today....

Mark 11:24 "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."


and, I believe I've shared this one before but....


Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."


God is good!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Other Weekend Excitement

So, our meeting with the expectant couple was not the only exciting stuff happening to us this weekend.  In fact, our weekend started out with a road trip with Kristi to eat at Cook Out, a new-er restaurant in Clemson.  It's sort of like a Five Guys, except cheaper but just as good.  AND, when you order a burger combo, you get two sides.  Their sides are the normal stuff like french fries, slaw, etc, but in addition they have sides like corn dogs, quesadillas, and chicken nuggets. So, you can get a meal of a cheeseburger, quesadillas AND corn dogs.  Yeah, that's a weird combination but you get my drift.  They also have TONS of milkshakes.  It was pretty good.  Kristi and I were really just looking for an excuse to go back to Clemson, so of course after we finished dinner we had to drive back to campus and walk around for a bit.  Here are a few pictures from that night....




Kevin had a "theme" going with his pictures.  He wasn't feeling the Clemson love.  Anyway, back to the story.  We drove back home, got there around 10:30ish and went inside our house.  Everything seemed normal.  About 30 min later, Kevin went to turn on the TV to look for Braves highlights. He pushed the power button on the remote and nothing happened.  Then he went into our bedroom and tried to turn on that TV, and again nothing happened.  He tried every TV in the house and none of them would turn on.  We also figured out that none of the cable boxes would turn on, our sound system wouldn't turn on, and our router wasn't working.  We figured that lightening must have struck our house.  Then we realized that it was really starting to get hot inside.  It sounded like the A/C was running, but when you felt the air coming out it really wasn't that cold.  We went outside to check the unit, and it wasn't even running.  Great.  Now we have no air.  But it doesn't stop there.  We have a well.  Kevin turned on the water to see if the well pump was working.  And it wasn't.  Now, we have no water.  That STILL isn't everything.  Our dogs have an underground pet fence.  As we were checking on the A/C unit we checked the "brain" that sends the signal to the fence.  It looked like somebody had pounded on it with a hammer.  It literally looks like it exploded.  Kevin tried to repair the dog fence today, and 1/2 of the wire around our yard had basically disintegrated.
So, the total damage ended up being our A/C unit (a circuit board was blown up), our well pump (fried), every TV we own, 2 cable boxes/DVR, our wireless router, and our underground dog fence (exploded).  Not to mention that we were having to deal with this at 11:30 at night, knowing that we had to get up at 5 something the next morning to go meet with an expectant couple to discuss adopting their child!  We went to Kevin's dad's house to spend the night and ended up crawling in bed well after 1:30.  What a day!  I guess THIS is what you have homeowners insurance for.  We're both just thankful that we did not have a fire, and that we came home to a HOUSE instead of fire trucks.  We know that we were extremely lucky.  The cable man came to our house today and after looking at everything, he said he doesn't know how we didn't have a fire.  It had to have been a God thing, and both of us realize how lucky we are.
So, like I said, this has been one eventful weekend and one we will never forget.  Although it didn't START off very well, it definitely got better and better and ended up being a FANTASTIC weekend.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sugar & Spice & All That's Nice... We're Matched!

This has been an exciting week and a half in our household.  We've been so excited, but very cautious in wanting to share our good news.  But after today, we can say that we've been matched with an expectant mother and father!  They have chosen us to be adoptive parents of their baby girl, due August 8th! YAY!! Now here's the story about how all of this came about.  And, please bear with me if it's a little long!
Two Wednesdays ago, I came back from lunch and stepped away from my desk.  I came back to see that I had two missed calls from our adoption worker (let's just call her Jane).  I knew right away that something was up.  Since finishing up our homestudy we NEVER talk to our adoption worker on the phone.  She emails us regularly just to check on us, see how we're doing, and that type of thing, but we don't talk on the phone.  Anyway, Jane left a message saying something along the lines of "I'd really like to talk to you so give me a call back as soon as you can.  And, if there is any way you can get Kevin on the phone, I'd love to talk to both of you together."  Um, yeah.  I was freaking out.
So I immediately called Kevin.  We couldn't figure out 3 way calling on our cell phones so I just called her myself. Jane told me that a couple had selected our profile, gave me a little bit of background on the couple, told me the expectant mother was due September 1st (more on that later) and that they were in NC. She asked if we were interested in meeting with them.  No brainer.  Of course we were!  It seemed perfect.  I called Kevin, told him what I knew and then told him to call Jane himself so that he could hear it straight from her in case I'd left anything out.  He told her we were definitely interested.  So, Jane contacted the expectant couple's adoption worker and we started trying to set up a meeting.   I was so excited that I couldn't concentrate at work.  I ended up taking the rest of the day off! :)
Well, on Friday the expectant couple's adoption worker called me to give us an update on where everything was standing.  She also wanted to let me know the REAL due date.  Jane had been told that the due date was the end of August/first of September, but the actual due date is August 8th... just 5 weeks away!  Wow!
Anyway, we originally set up the meeting for July 16th but this past Wednesday (July 6th) we got another phone call asking if we could meet with the expectant mom and dad THIS Saturday.  So, today we made a road trip to NC.
It went GREAT!  I was so nervous, but it turns out that the expectant mom was very nervous also.  We spent 2 hours talking to them, getting to know them better, and telling them a little more about us.  It turns out that among other things, they liked that we were into sports/athletics, that family was very important to us, and they liked that we had two big dogs.  We had a lot in common.  At the end of the meeting, we hugged and the expectant mother said to me "So I'll see you in about 5 weeks!".
Since the baby will be born in NC, we have to follow NC laws relating to adoption.  In NC, the birth mother has 7 days to change her mind (this is the revocation period).  As in any adoption, she could still change her mind at any point and  because she is in NC she has the additional 7 days after the baby is born.  But for now, both she and the expectant dad have decided to trust us with their child.  We're so excited and blessed!  We have trusted God through this whole journey and we know that if she does change her mind, we'll be disappointed/hurt/broken, but we know that He has a plan for us. Most people have 9 months to know that they'll be a mom.  We have 5 weeks!  I'm sure they'll fly by but I'm sure they'll also be creeping slowly.  Wow!  I'm still in shock! :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy 4th of July... a day late!

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and had a Happy 4th of July!  I know I'm getting older (but not yet OLD) because I didn't see one single firework yesterday!  Kevin and I spent Sunday and Monday relaxing, running errands, grocery shopping, and cleaning the house. It's so enjoyable to come home to a house smelling citrus clean.  Monday evening we went to Kevin's Dad's house to grill out for dinner.  Delicious!  We got home about 8:30 and HEARD plenty of other peopld shooting off fireworks, but we didn't actually see or shoot off a single one- didn't even see any on TV.  I know I'm getting older not because I didn't see or shoot any fireworks, but that I don't even CARE that I didn't see or shoot any!  :)  Hey, we had to go to work Tuesday morning.  SLEEP was more important than fireworks!  Oh how priorities change when you grow up...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

3 Day Weekend- Yes!

We're back from the lake!  Kevin and I went to my parent's house Friday after work and spent the evening and basically all of Saturday at the lake.  The dogs LOVE it there, and we always have a great time too.  We have an extra "brain" for the underground fence, and the past few times we have been using that to contain our dogs when we stay with my parents.  We'll hook up the "brain" and just run the wire around the yard, throw up some white flags, and the dogs stay in the yard.  However, when I packed up all of the dogs stuff for the weekend (food, water bowl, leashes, etc) I forgot to pack their collars.  So, we got to the lake and had no way to contain them except for the huge crate that we put in the back of the truck for traveling on the interstate with dogs.  Oops!  They very much like to explore so it made for a tough day.

I'm from a very small town, and a few years ago the town started an annual 4th of July town wide festival.  The event is huge one for our small town, and includes all kinds of vendors, bands, and of course, fireworks.  We weren't able to make it to the festival last year, but we were excited that it worked out for us to go this year.  We had a great time seeing old friends and seeing the (almost) entire town come together for a really fun event.  We even got some of the famous Doright's Delight BBQ sauce! :)  



And now we're back at home and the first day of my 3 day weekend is complete. It was such a great day and I always enjoy getting to go back "home" for a visit.  Here's to hoping that the next two days are just as good!

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