Two Day Vacation… Not!

That’s right. I had a two day vacation, relaxing at home with a stomach bug Tuesday and Wednesday. After eating crackers and drinking Sprite for two days, I was so glad to finally be able to eat real food last night for dinner. And today, it was back to school for me. Did my class take it easy on me… thinking it might be nice to ease the teacher back into the craziness? In a word- nope. And somehow I actually woke up this morning, excited to see my kids again. That lasted until about 9:15 when I was shooing them out the door for their morning recess (which my aid so graciously did my duty for me). The day was awful and I’m exhausted.

But let’s not dwell on that. Thankfully, tomorrow’s Friday (jean day!) and I always treat myself to Chick fil-a for lunch. Those two things already make the day 100x better!

While I was at home sick on Wednesday, our AFS called and told me she should have good news for us “very, very soon.” I’m so anxious just to know if we’re licensed. In other good news, they also asked us if we would be willing to baby-sit a one year-old this Saturday while the foster parents attend an adoption conference. We happily agreed, but found out today they will actually be able to access childcare through the conference. The good part about the whole situation is that, as D put it, “Les, they wouldn’t ask us to take care of a foster child if they were going to reject us and not license us.” Which is true. So that has calmed my fears of not getting licensed.

Plans for this weekend include watching the Red River Rivalry game with friends on Saturday (not looking forward to the outcome of that one), possibly going to see Social Network (it just seems right to do since I was a freshman in college when facebook opened to other colleges), and getting my house all Fall-ified! From pumpkins, to garland on the mantel, to a new fall wreath to grace my door, my house should definitely put me in the mood for a new season! Happy Fall!

Master Bedroom

Today at Kelly’s Korner, Kelly is hosting a home tour featuring master bedrooms. I normally don’t participate in these tours, but I actually have pictures of our master bedroom makeover that I did last summer on the computer, so I figured it would be easy to post.

Here are some pictures before the change:

Very Texas. Very rustic. So not me anymore.

The furniture is pine, which equals cheap, which is all a newly married college couple can afford.

But we eventually graduated. Then we got jobs, like real jobs. And bought a house. It was time for a change. Out with the Texas star, in with a more modern look.

I made the pillow covers.
And the black metal art hanging over the bed- yeah, those were white chargers from Target that I found on clearance and spray-painted them black.

Oops- the lamps in these pictures are no longer. I found cute lamp shades from Target (also on clearance) that are green and yellow floral print that work much better than the suede look.

The dresser with some fun green accents (there are green apples in the basket).

And my “Go Green” wall art (two canvases covered in this cool fabric I got at a local fabric store).

That’s it! Happy Friday!

Tag! You’re It!

Thanks Julie for the tag! This is my first tag! 🙂 I answer her 8 questions, then come up with my own 8 questions and tag 8 more people. Here goes…

1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Telluride, CO- It’s this quaint little town at the base of the mountains in Colorado that we visited this summer. It was so beautiful in the summer so I can only imagine what it looks like in the winter. And riding the gondola into town would be an awesome commute!

2. If you could have one magical item granted to you, what would the item be and what would it do? (I ask this to my students. I love the answers!)
I would have magical transport machine that would take me to the destination of my choice any given weekend and have me back to teach kindergarten on Monday. I can imagine it now… weekend trips to all my dream destinations! Oh yeah, and it would need to also do laundry. I’m not doing that after a long weekend trip to Australia!

3. If you could have dinner with one person from history, who would it be? (And where would you take them?)
I’ve had a really hard time with this question. I’m going to say President JFK. I’ve always been fascinated with him, his life, his death, and the potential he had to be one of the greatest presidents. Plus (this might sound really morbid) but he died on my birthday… about 20 something years before, of course. But still, I feel this connection. So I’d really like to meet him. I have no idea where I would take him… I’m thinking anywhere in Texas might not be agreeable to him, though.

4. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Bluebell Birthday Cake!

5. If you were only allowed to watch 3 movies for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Let’s see. I’m going to pick from three different movie genres, so I’ll take Crash for the drama, The Other Guys for comedy, and Annie the Musical just because it takes me back to my childhood.

6. Would you rather be a wizard or a vampire?
Hmm… while I’m a Twilight fan, I think I’d be a wizard to avoid the diet of vampires. But I’d have to ditch the outfit of the wizard… cone hats don’t look good on me. 😉

7. What is your favorite quote, and who said it?
From Helen Keller: “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” A very fitting quote for this blog.

8. If you were offered a job you knew you would hate every second of, but they offered you a million dollars, would you take it?
I’d love to think I could handle a job I hated for the money, but I’d much rather like what I do. I mean, I am a teacher… not the highest paid profession, but I love doing what I do!

Now here are my eight questions:

  1. Favorite snack at the movies- candy or popcorn?
  2. Who is someone you look up to and why?
  3. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
  4. Glass half-full or glass half-empty?
  5. What’s your favorite season of the year and why?
  6. Describe your perfect date night.
  7. When was the last time you were out of your comfort zone?
  8. Wal-Mart or Target?

I’m tagging:
Penny
Mandy
Denver Laura
LJ
Kellie

I know that’s only 5, but the other ones I would tag would be Rach and Foxy (who have both already been tagged) and then I’d re-tag Julie. *evil laugh* 😉

A post in which I make no sense

Even though I feel like we’re so close to finally being parents, there are still so many things I struggle with because of infertility. Insecurities, mostly.

After we visited more day care centers a few weeks ago, I told D that while we were meeting with each director and were treated so nicely by them, I was struggling inside with this battle going on. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to describe it in a way that really makes sense, but I’ll try. Here goes…

For the past two years (and honestly, probably even before that) I have made myself feel very uncomfortable around most pregnant women, small children (I know what you’re thinking- aren’t you a kindergarten teacher? For some reason, that’s different.), situations where parenting would come up and I might have to engage in conversation, etc. Even cute kids in restaurants made me feel uncomfortable. It’s like, I lost the ability to treat these situations as normal. They were no longer that. Instead, they were anxiety-inducing. They were things that I went out of my way to avoid. Like a few weeks ago when we went out to eat with D’s family for his mom’s birthday and his cousin was there with his new baby. Instead of feeling excited for them and being thrilled to see the newest addition for the first time, the only thing I could think about was, “What am I supposed to do? Is everyone looking at me? Do they notice how awkward I feel?” So needless to say, the whole time we were in the day cares, I still felt uncomfortable. Like I wasn’t supposed to be there. Like someone was about to tell me, “You’re not a parent. You’re not even pregnant. Why are you looking at day cares?” And it wasn’t just an uncomfortable feeling. It was a feeling of dread. A feeling like this whole dream would come crashing down at our feet.

When we were driving home, I told D about this. And he understood. (Isn’t it funny how sometimes we think-or at least I do- that our spouse is somehow immune to the feelings/anxieties that we experience?) We talked about how hard some of the things we’ve been through have been. The months of not knowing what was wrong. The months of trying to find out what’s wrong. The figuring out what to do about what’s wrong. But through it all, we never want to forget. We don’t want to be that couple that- God-willing- starts building their family and loses sight of the pain and struggle we’ve endured. And while there are daily reminders now that we may not experience all we want to experience as far as our family goes, these will start to fade as well. Things like we may not ever have a regular baby shower. We may never pick out names for our children. We may never know what a child with our genetic makeup would look like. Act like. Be like. Become.

But at the same time, (you might think I’m sick to say this) I’m thankful for this journey. I’m thankful for the opportunity to grow in our marriage, in my faith, in my witness. Don’t get me wrong- there are still times of bitterness. Of heartache. Deep, painful heartache. And as you know, those aren’t just words. The pain that I feel just writing those lives up to the magnitude of the word. But I’m thankful to be feeling those feelings after such a long period of numbing myself. I’m thankful to be dealing with those emotions. And I’m thankful for the opportunity to be used because of what I’ve come through and am still wading through. I don’t want my pain, our pain, to go to waste.

But what I do want… is to remember also what normal is like. I want to feel comfortable in parenting circles. I want to attend a baby shower without a second thought. I want to walk past maternity clothes without getting a knot in my stomach. To sum this whole confusing post up, I want to remember all I’ve gone through while also being able to function normally when it comes to babies. Does that make sense? Does anyone else have these conflicting feelings of who they want to become?

Still here. Still waiting.

Life has been busy. My kindergarten class is definitely one of a kind. They are energetic and spirited. Talkative and funny. Moments of sweetness and moments of “oh my goodness, how do I get them to stop?!” At the end of the day, my only thoughts are of getting home. My place of quiet. My escape from countless callings of “Mrs. B”. And for the hour or two that I have before D gets home, it’s pretty quiet. Sometimes I’ll have the tv turned on, but the volume is turned way down. Right now, I’m listening to my iTunes and it’s really helping me to de-stress. I smile thinking that *hopefully* this quiet won’t last much longer and the sounds of a little one will fill my afternoon and evening. Even though I’m exhausted right now, I can’t wait to be spending this time with our child.

We still haven’t heard anything from our agency. I emailed today just to see if our AFS could give us an update, but haven’t heard back yet. I’m not sure she could tell us anything anyway, but it made me feel better to have contacted her.

The room is finished! But my camera has been acting up, so I haven’t gotten any good pictures of it. Once I do, I can’t wait to share them! I’ve had so much fun putting this room together and it’s really brought out a desire to do more crafty things.

Wednesday is the first day of Fall. I love fall. The pumpkins on porches, the cool mornings and evenings, anything with Pumpkin Spice. I love the way fall smells, tastes, and feels. I’m ready for a change of weather!

Diamonds and Diapers and Daycares!

Did I get your attention? Ok, so not really about the diamond part. Or the diaper part. But the daycare search has started!

Our AFS (the girl who did our home study) told us to use the weeks while we wait for approval to visit day cares so we have something lined up when the call comes. Last week, I started calling several places that accept CCMS (which basically means that they take… actually, I don’t know what it means except that the state pays for the day care of the child). Of the five (that passed the research test that I put them through) that I called, four of them had no open CCMS slots. We still have set up tours with them because we feel like we would rather put the child in a place we really like and wait for a CCMS slot to open up rather than put them in an “okay” place.

Today was our first tour with a day care that is literally 2-3 blocks away from our house and the school where I work. We were both really nervous that once the place found out we were hopeful foster parents who asked about CCMS, we wouldn’t be treated very nicely and kinda brushed aside. But this place didn’t do that! They were super-friendly, have great security and even have the cameras where you can log on from your computer and watch what’s going on. A water park, baby sign language, and great facilities…needless to say, I’m pretty sold on this place. But (there’s always a but, isn’t there?) it’s on the pricey side, so we’ll just have to wait and see what the other two are like. We have those tours set up for tomorrow.

At one point during the meeting with the director of the day care today, she suggested coming to curriculum nights the following week where we could visit with the teachers and learn about what the day looks like, as well as meet other parents. When she said that last line, believe me, I took notice. Whoa! Other parents? Like, myself included? We’re considered parents?! It gave me this warm, fuzzy feeling at once, which then turned into a bundle of nerves. Aaaah! We’re (hopefully) going to be responsible for another human being!