Sunday, October 27, 2013

End of the Summer Update

This was supposed to be posted last month, but I guess for some reason that didn’t happen. Oh well though. Life just keeps moving for us. Husband is working full time and going to school. He enjoying his new job in marketing, and really, that's all that matters. He picks up things so easily sometimes it’s almost amazing. I don’t know how he does it. No matter what he ends up doing in the future, he has learned and gained so much experience from this job that actually applies to what he wants to do with his life. So now, instead of cleaning planes, working the radio on the planes, cleaning planes, changing circuits in planes, cleaning planes, hanging out of the back of planes for search and rescue missions, and cleaning he's marketing products doing road shows at Sam's Clubs and other stores. He loves doing the shows, the ones where he gets the big crowds and does live infomercials. And he's picked it up like he was born to do it. Which, still, is so odd to me because he's one of the softest spoken guys you will ever meet. 
We've stayed busy this summer. I can't say exactly what one thing it has been that's kept us so busy though. Just one of those summers. Friends and family and life. We made a quick trip to New Mexico to see Husbands baby sister graduate from High School. We hadn't planned to make the trip because we were trying to plan our finances so we could survive a few months if Husband didn't find a job before we completely parted ways from the CG. But then we got the call that he was hired. While we were trying to figure out how to celebrate, we looked at each other and realized if we left right away then we could make it in time for her graduation. We rented a small car, packed, and were on the road within 2 hours. We drove all night, and most of the day, and made it there in just enough time to change our clothes and find seats. It was a short trip because Husband had to get back for school on Monday, but it was absolutely worth it. Especially since we were the only ones missing out on the family reunion beach trip to Outer Banks NC this year. Which was sad.

As for me, I am keeping house, working on small projects, babysitting Buddy as well as another little girl once a week, my church calling with the Activity Day Girls, and just basically keeping busy
. I started watching Buddy a year ago. He was still only crawling then, but now he's running like he’s been doing it for a year and talking up a storm. It's amazing what comes out of his mouth. He is so funny too. And a bottomless pit when it comes to food. He eats at home before he comes over, and then when he gets here he runs straight to the booster seat to try to trick me into giving him my breakfast. The same with lunch, he eats and says he's full, and then stands by my chair while I finish eating in the hopes of getting to eat half of my lunch as well. Here he is with Husband trying his trickery on him, but Husband seems to be the winner, this time -- 

I seem to have been doing a lot of baking lately .  Luckily I've been able to pawn off share all my baked goods with friends, otherwise I would be stuck eating all of it myself. Husband only ever eats one or two of what I make, and I think he only does it out of husbandly duty so I don't get hurt feelings. Red Velvet cupcakes, which he claims is his favorite treat in the whole world -- he has only 2. Faux Peanut Butter w/ Chocolate bars that he said were delicious -- he ate one. The most amazing Vanilla cupcakes with Vanilla Bean frosting - he had 3. But then the Rice Crispy Treats -- I was the one that only got 2. He ate the whole pan. I don't understand it. So thank you friends, for taking all the treats I bring you/hand to you as you walk out the door. I love to be in the kitchen, I most definitely have a sweet tooth, but I can't keep all of it. My stomach wouldn't forgive me.

We had our 5 year anniversary at the beginning of August. We weren't able to do much to celebrate, but that didn't take away from the day. We're in love, we're happy together, we have our best friend in each other, and that feels like a blessing to me. It's amazing how fast these years have gone by
. I'm sure we still sound like newlyweds to some of you, but it's a milestone for us. I just know we're lucky to have found each other.  

My younger brother Marshal got married in August to his new wife Ashley. I couldn't be happier for them. He did a good thing when he found her, she really is a wonderful person, and I'm so excited that I can call her family. They already are doing a great job together as parents to her son. They are all going to do great things together as a family.

I had to make the trip for the wedding in northern Idaho all by myself. August was an extremely tight month for us, so Husband needed to stay home to work. All I can say is that I do not recommend anyone make a 15 hour drive all by themselves; always bring a friend. More than anything, the worst of it was the drive home. I thought I was going to die. The wedding was beautiful though, absolutely worth it, and Ashley's family was amazing. It turns out I went to High School with her older sister even, we just didn't hang out in the same circles. I had fun seeing my friends that I haven't seen in years though, Christy especially, and Nathan, and their sweet family. 

We've finished everything we've needed to do for our foster
license the other week. Paperwork, vet visits for the cats, Doctor and TB tests for us. And then the book...... I had to make a family book all about us, something that we give to the social workers to show them how fun and awesome we are, and how great we'll be for kids. I don't know why, but I had a hard time finding the focus to get it done. All I had to do was make a digital scrapbook which just takes being a little crafty and really should have been one of the first things I got done because I love that kind of thing, but I couldn't get my head into it for the longest time. It's done though. Now it's just a matter of time for us to be placed. We’re really excited to see what happens. It could be a month, or even up to a year before we are placed though. But we have options if it gets to taking that long thankfully. We could switch programs and go to the county that would focus more on fostering over foster to adopt. I don’t know that we want to do that, but it’s an option.

Other than that, there really isn’t that much to be excited about around here. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Goodbye Coast Guard

Husband is officially out of the Coast Guard as of yesterday! What?? I have to be honest, I have mixed feelings about this. If it wasn't for the Coast Guard I don't think we would be married. After him being abroad at sea for 6 months on a ship, he was desperate to get away from said ship and I happened to be his closest friend that was single and cute. We had Thanksgiving together and then we were engaged 2 months later. And after another one of his 6 month deployments abroad we were married. If he hadn't joined the Coast Guard then that Thanksgiving would not have happened for us, our only date would have been 1 semi date we had while I was visiting in Utah while we were in college. He says it was a date, I thought I was just meeting up with a friend as I was passing through. Plus, I've never started a date by meeting up with a guy at another girls apartment and waiting for them to finish watching a movie together....he actually just informed me that they possibly may have been holding hands. So, yeah, that proves my point that after a stellar semi first date like that, I doubt we would have gotten together without the Coast Guard.

By leaving the Coast Guard we're losing the job security in this economy and that guaranteed pay check. The basically useless health care. The camaraderie from living the military life with others that are living it too.
But without the Coast Guard we wouldn't have met the great friends that we have, or moved the places we did. We wouldn't be here in CA, owning the adorable home that we do, have the awesome cats that we love so much, and who's to say we would be in the middle of this process of trying to become foster parents. Our lives would have been different. But Husband is my absolute best friend, and I am grateful that we are where we are and for the things that have gotten us here. And I am happy for him that he is so happy to be out of the Coast Guard now. Life will go on, and stay good I hope. He also finished his first semester of school Tuesday. All good grades, 3 A's and a B. He's been working his new marketing job that he really enjoys for over a month now, and he's doing great, and loving every day of it.

So, good job Husband. And congratulations. You're amazing.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Nice Change

So here’s a little update in our life as Husband & Wife. It’s kind of big news for us.

We're in the process of becoming Foster Parents so that we can foster to adopt.

We have told a few people, I’m pretty sure most of our family knows, but this is our formal announcement.

This was a big decision for us to start this process, which obviously should be for anyone. One friend mentioned they were taking classes to be certified to take in assisted living adults, but that there were classes to do foster care. It set off a little spark in my head and we thought about it for a week, prayed about it for a day, and then we were watching LDS General Conference and suddenly we had our answer! And then our problem was working up the guts to do it. So it took a lot to get us to this point. When we first got married, Husband and I had a few conversations that I distinctly remember having still, about our plans as a family. We wanted to have a few children of our own, and then add to our family by adopting. Things have not worked out for us that way, which in all honesty has been discouraging, but Husband and I still have each other and we feel like this is the next best option for our family. We haven’t given up on having children of our own in the traditional way, that’s an experience I hope we don’t have to miss out on, but it doesn’t matter how we have children join our family because I know we will love any child we are given the opportunity to raise no matter what. Husband and I are meant to be parents.

As far as the process that goes into becoming certified Foster Parents; we took our classes last fall, we’ve done our paperwork and Live Scans, and now we’re getting into the home study portion. We’re moving through the process a little slowly, but that’s how it’s working out for us. Husband is coming to an end in his career in the Coast Guard, has already started college full time, and has just started his new job last week, so our home life is transitioning and we needed things to go this way.

Once the home study is complete, we will be looking for kids. Husband and I have decided we would like to take in siblings under the age of 5. We feel that keeping siblings together is more important than our own comforts over being thrown into the role of new “parents”.  With hope we’ll be prepared {as much as we can be}, so our goal is to give a safe and loving home to children that need it. If we keep siblings together, that’s one less scary part for them to deal with. They won’t be alone, or separated from everyone that they know. 

Part of the process of making home life with us easier for the children is by us not airing their dirty laundry. We will not be sharing the “stories” of the children and how they in particular came to be with us. It’s bad enough that any child needs to be in foster care, away from their families that couldn’t for whatever reasons take care of them safely, so we will be leaving it at that. It will always be up to them if, when, and with whom their story will be shared. They need to have control over something, and that is one thing we can do for them. Even though it is natural to be curious and wonder and gossip even, we will do our absolute best to give them this peace of mind. 

Another way that we will be trying to take the pressure and/or any potential  embarrassment of the situation is by how we introducing the children to other people. Instead of saying “These are our foster children”, we will take the focus onto ourselves by saying “We are their foster parents”. 

Ideally we hope to be able to adopt whatever children are placed in our care, that’s why we are going through an agency over going through the county
{because if a child has been placed into the agency’s care it’s because the children need long term care}, but that may not be the case. While we are trying to adopt the children, their parents will possibly be trying to take the steps to right their life to be suitable to take their children home. That can happen, but it doesn’t always. Either way, we will ALWAYS hope for what’s best for the children. If children can be with their families safely, then they should be without a doubt. I know I personally would have a heart breaking time with this if that does happen just because I love children with all my heart, so I would only imagine having the ones I’ve given my heart to to take care of and then to have them leave meit wouldnt kill me, but I’m sure it would feel like it. But even then, we would go to every effort so that we could still be part of the children and their families’ lives after they have left our home. We’re ready to give our hearts to them no matter what the outcome.

This is going to be a memorable experience no matter the outcome, and we hope to make it a positive one for everyone involved. We know we have wonderful families and friends that will always be supportive and loving, and for that we are grateful. We're really looking forward to this next step in our life. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I Sold My Soul Because I'm a Sucker for Flattery

*Ding Dong* *Knock*Knock*Knock*

Door opens – ''HI''

“Hi. My name is Nina. We’re in the neighborhood with Kirby Vacuums. Oh my GOODNESS, your home is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Did you make that??”

“Yeah I did! Come in, I made this rug over here too!”

Those weren't the exact words used in the conversation, but it went pretty much just like that. And it didn't end there. She walked through my house and was in love with everything.

 And that’s all it took. One woman stroking me ego, telling me how pretty my home is and suddenly my home is hosting the Kirby door-to-door sales people.

 I want to be humble. I know for a fact that there are more amazing people then I am. Smarter. More cute. Much funnier. Better at organizing, and decorating, and making things and cooking…and any amount of other things. In all honesty, I basically have no self-esteem, there is an entire world of people that are better than I am at anything you could think of…. but if someone tells me my house is cute, that’s the end of me. All modesty is out the window. You are my new best friend and I will believe anything you say, buy anything you are selling. 

Which I did. 

 My plan was to let the guy do the whole thing and then say the "thanks, but no thanks" and pawn off what was left of the Girl Scout cookies we had inherited from Husbands work. Husband sat through the whole demo with me though --- The white pads that show you all the dirt that gets pulled up after one running swipe, the cleaner attachments, the shampoo feature, the mattress cleaning, and the whole spiel. It’s all very impressive, as I knew it would be. And, it’s all very expensive….

 I knew I wanted it, and if we got it then we would be making payments on it, and since I still am the only one in my family that doesn’t have her own KitchenAid (though it’s the one thing I feel would basically complete my life and home….), I couldn’t imagine Husband saying yes to the most expensive vacuum you’ll ever see. And I was already OK with that because I know I can’t have everything I want no matter how wonderful it would be at making my life easier. 

 But he didn’t say no.

 He said yes.



 You could slap me in the face right now and I wouldn't be as surprised as I was when he said it. I love my Husband, but the man hates to spend money on anything he doesn't see as a necessity. He hates spending money on something he himself wouldn't be using, which explains why I still don’t have my ultimate dream machine KitchenAid. The only time I have seen him spend money like it was nothing was when his beloved Xbox flashed him the Red Ring of Death. As soon as it happened he started putting his shoes on to go to the store for a new one without a second thought.

 But, for some reason, he said yes. I personally think it was the fact that it pulls up all the pet dander from the carpets that he liked it so much. I almost didn't get my cat(s) because a few members of his family {that live in different states} are allergic, but with my new vacuum they can visit with a problem anymore.

Now I have a Kirby, along with the payments, and it’s all because someone told me my house is cute. I will say, if you have never seen a sales demo, do it. It’s amazing. You will feel like you’ve been living in filth your entire life. But don’t buy it. You can just call me and use mine. Just do me the favor and don’t tell me that my house is cute. Keep that to yourself so I don’t get a big head about it. 

*and P.S., I've put my magical vacuum to good use. The spilled punch after a baby shower i threw came out with no problem at all. It cleans everything. And I love it.