Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011.....

What a year of huge life changes 2011 has been! Some of them have been wonderful changes and others have been devestating, but together they've made 2011 a hugely eventful year for us. A brief month-by-month rundown of our 2011....

January

My brother came home for the first time in 5 years! We were super-excited to see him!

February

I won a giveaway over at Dragondreamer's Lair through which I got my awesome Paula Dean Cookware from CSN Stores. The Hubs and I took a Valentine's trip to Savannah. I suffered my first back spasm.

March

Vegas Baby!! The Hubs' boss took us to Sin City and we had a fabulous time. My RE nixed any further treatment until I lost at least 30 lbs. I started a new eating/exercising regime.

April

Night out in Savannah with The Hubs and a good friend (now former). I participated in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

May

I lost a little bit of weight and changed my regime slightly.

June

My dad had a stroke and was admitted to the hospital. We were very worried.

July

My dad eventually is released home from the hospital. I participated in a local musical. I revealed that we had been potentially matched with an expectant mother for adoption!

August

My dad passes away after having a massive heart attack. I'm devestated.

September

I'm still shell-shocked from my dad's death and feel devestated. The Hubs and I move into a new house closer to work. Two of our dogs (one of ours and one of my mom's) died. One was hit by a car, the other was bitten by a snake. Seems like we can't catch a break from the heart-wrenching bits of life.

October

We finally make the call to start the adoption process through the State of Georgia foster care. A random ovarian cyst has me awaiting a referral to a cancer specialist. My dad's headstone is finally erected.

November

My best friend (apart from The Hubs) abandons me to go galivanting off to Afghanistan (okay, so he actually left to take a job, but I miss him!!). I participate in NaBloPoMo. The cancer specialist gives me the all clear. We attend adoption orientation. I turn 33. The Hubs and I celebrate 9 years of wedded bliss. We celebrate Birthdayversary in Savannah.

December

We celebrate our first Christmas without my dad. I spend New Year's Eve cleaning my house and taking down my Christmas decorations in order to start the year out fresh before heading to a New Year's party. We leave the party early and come home to ring in the New Year with Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest and the city of New York on Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve while devouring a bottle of the most delicious champagne I've ever had and wearing funny glasses.

New Year 2012
Happy New Year! Wishing you a stupendous 2012!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Day After The Day After Christmas

I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas! Ours was as good as it could be, all things considering. I really, really missed my Dad, but we had a good day on Christmas Eve with my family.

My mom, sister, niece, brother, The Hubs and I had a traditional Christmas dinner and opened gifts. Then, in the evening, my other niece came over to open her gifts. For the first time as far back as I can remember, there was no arguing on a holiday! It was impressive. Sad that I can say that, I know, but impressive all the same.

On Christmas Day, The Hubs and I spent the first half of the day at our house. We opened gifts from one another and had a great morning with our dog. The Hubs got me a telescope and I'm super-excited about that! And The Hubs loved his Kindle, which I think was an inspired gift from me, if I do say so myself. We each had several other gifts, as well, but those were the biggies.

After spending the morning at home together, we went and met up with my mom and went to the cemetary to spend a little time with my Dad. My mom and I cried and The Hubs was awesome for both of us. I really miss him and his absence was very prominent on Christmas Day.

Once we'd finished visiting with my Dad, The Hubs and I returned to our house and had our Christmas dinner. Having had the traditional Christmas dinner of turkey, ham, dressing, etc the previous day, we decided we didn't want that for Christmas Day. Instead, we had Christmas curry! I made chicken korma, rajma masala and rice. It was delicious!

All in all, our celebrations were very enjoyable. I'm glad we had an easier time than we could have. Made the holiday a lot less difficult to get through.

On a positive note, after another call requesting confirmation our background checks were back, I finally got a call back today from our caseworker. Our background checks are back and everything is clear! We are now in the wait to receive our invite to IMPACT training classes in the New Year! Soooooo excited!!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fruit Basket Volume Two

Looking back at yesterday's post, I realized how boring I made myself sound. The post lacked the wit and charisma I like to imagine myself having, so.....here's another post! The second in two days! I'm impressed with myself, lol!

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Today starts my Christmas break. Four whole, beautiful days away from work. Total bliss. The only bad part is that I have to go back in 4 days. See, I don't really hate my job (at least, not that much). But the work environment has been very stressful lately. There are money worries at my job and there have been layoffs because of this. In fact, two weeks ago (yes, two weeks before Christmas), there were 35 people let go. Our PTO time has been temporarily stopped - both use of and accrual of PTO time - so the time we're taking off for Christmas we will not be paid for. We don't get paid holidays or sick leave or vacation time, only our PTO time, so that's been worrying people. My department's workload has slowed down tremendously over the last few weeks. Basically, everyone is walking on pins and needles and we never know from one day to the next if our job will still be there.

So, yeah, not the greatest. And, to be honest, if we could afford it I would much rather be a housewife/stay-at-home-mom (eventually). But, right now, with plans to adopt and eventually do more treatment - not to mention paying off some bills - that can only be a pipedream. Therefore, it's very important I keep my job. Also, my insurance is with my job. Lots of important reasons to need to stay employed there despite the misery it puts me in.

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Since today is the official start of our Christmas vacation and we are headed out of town tomorrow to complete our Christmas shopping (yes, we are those people, the ones who wait until the very last minute to finish Christmas shopping and then realize one second past too late that we've forgotten something), The Hubs and I are starting our vacation by heading to the movies to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo! We both read the book earlier this year and are looking forward to seeing the film and discussing how it holds up against the book.

The Hubs is also taking me out for one of my rare guilty pleasures: fast food in the form of Zaxbys. Yum, yum. yum! Should be a good evening out!

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As I said, The Hubs and I are headed out shopping tomorrow. I still need gifts for my brother, brother-in-law and niece, as well as finishing up on The Hubs' gifts. We're also going out to eat at The Olive Garden. And that, coupled with Zaxbys and all the Christmas goodies, will mean I really have to get back to watching my food intake after the New Year. I'll admit, since my dad died, I've really fallen out of eating properly. I think I've probably gained back a lot of the weight I lost, so I'll virtually be starting back from scratch. Great. It will be okay, though. I've done it before, so I know I can do it again!

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I need to get some photos of our decorations and get them posted for you. I'm really proud of them, so I will enjoy sharing them with you. Another project for the weekend!

And, with that, I should really get going so we can make our movie! Toodles, my loves!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas ICLW Wishes!

Merry ICLW!

To those who've been with me, I wish you the very merriest of holiday seasons. To those new to my blog, welcome! And may your holiday season also be of the holly, jolly kind!

I'm Lynn or Wistfulgirl, whichever you prefer. I live in South Georgia and I'm married to The Hubs. We recently celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary (coincidentally, the day after I celebrated my 33rd birthday). We've been attempting to start our family for the last 8 years but have so far been unsuccessful. We're currently on a weight-loss sabbatical from TTC - until I lose at least 30 lbs, we won't be doing anymore treatment. After much discussion, we have decided to pursue adoption through foster care. We have had a failed adoption in our past and another, more recent close possibility. However, it has so far not worked out for us.

We have high hopes for the new year, though! We turned in our consents for background checks 5 weeks ago and, so far, have heard nothing back. I called our social worker last week (twice) but have not yet had a call back. It is Christmas-time, though, so I'm guessing it's very busy for the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS), so I'll wait until next week and try again.

I'm excited about where I hope our future is carrying us, but still feeling down this holiday season because I lost my Dad 4 months ago and this will be my first Christmas without him. I have a wonderful husband, an awesome dog and a fantastic mother to help me through this though and I know we'll all help one another. I'm looking forward to visiting you all over the next few days! Have a great ICLW!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Recap of Adoption Orientation

It seems I’ve already broken my promise to post more frequently and I’m back to my old ways. Sigh. I guess I just have to try harder.

Anyway. Moving on. I have not yet given you the low-down on our progress through foster-adoption yet. We’re (obviously) very early on in our journey. As I stated before, we originally filled out a request online to be added to the list for orientation on October 17, 2011. We were told we would hear from someone within 2 weeks with an invitation to orientation. Two weeks passed and we heard nothing.

On November 1, 2011, I made a call to the local DFCS to find out what the holdup was. I was given the contact number to speak with the adoption coordinator who manages three counties – ours and two neighboring counties. I called to speak to her and was told she wasn’t in, but was instead in another county. I was, however, put through to her voicemail, so I left her a message. I half expected I wouldn’t get a call back, but about 4 hours after leaving the message, she returned my call. I explained why I was calling. She consulted her list of names of people who were waiting to be invited to foster/adoption orientation and we were not on the list! She asked when we had called and I explained that we had actually completed the request online. She explained this was the reason why our names were not on her list. Despite being given the option of completing information online, our names would not be added to the list unless we called the State hotline for information.

So, with a sigh of resignation, I completed that call and placed a call to the State hotline to add our names to the waiting list. After that, things moved a bit quicker! We received an email that evening with foster/adoption information and a week later (on November 8) we received our invite to foster/adoption orientation!
We attended orientation on November 15 and that very evening completed our initial information including our household information, Letter of Intent and consents for background checks. We are now waiting to hear back from our background checks. I expect no problems with this but, since we haven’t heard back from the caseworker yet, I called today to inquire on the status. I got no answer, but left a voicemail so will hopefully have an answer tomorrow.

We were told there would be no more IMPACT training classes in 2011 but once our background checks come back, we’ll be invited to the IMPACT training classes that will be held in the New Year. We are super excited! Hopefully, 2012 will be a fantastic year that holds lots of amazing things for us!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thoughts On What Is Cruelty and What Is Naivety

Something that I've noticed since becoming a foster-adotive mommy-to-be is that I am hyper-aware whenever I hear news stories regarding children being abused, neglected, placed in foster care, etc.

Last night, The Hubs and I had just finished watching The X-Factor and the local news came on (well, as local as it can be for us). One of the leading stories was about a mother and her twin babies found living in a shack with no electricity and no running water. The story went on to say that the 21-year-old mother had the babies lying on a bed with several blankets over them. There was a kerosene heater in the shack, but no kerosene and an electrical cord running to a nearby house.

The mother was taken into custody, arrested on two counts of cruelty to children which are first degree felonies.

Now, I don't have all the details of this case. I don't know the ins and outs, I don't know what else was going on with this family. But I do have some reservations about the way this has been handled.

First of all, the article stated the mother had not contacted anyone for help. I have to ask was she aware she could contact someone? Was she scared that, by contacting DFCS or a shelter, the police would be called and she would lose her children? We have to remember that this mother is only 21-years-old with 5-month-old twin babies. I'm sure she was feeling overwhelmed and out of control. I know what it was like when The Hubs was out of work and there were only the two of us - both in our 30's - to worry about taking care of and it was a serious stress on us. Do we know if she had any family to turn to? Also, do we know for sure she didn't attempt to contact someone with DFCS? Our state-employed social workers are extremely busy these days and things do have the possibility of falling through the cracks. Is it possible that she called but, for whatever reason, her call was not returned?

There may be other factors in play here. As I stated, I do not have all the details. The article stated that the shack was in a known drug area. I can understand the arrest if the mother has spent her money on drugs rather than on taking care of her children. So far, this has not been indicated, but it is possible. However, if the mother has not been involved in criminal activity and has, instead, simply run into extremely hard times with no idea where to turn to, I think the correct path would be to help this family rather than causing more strife for them.

Again, this is not really me making a judgement on what has been done, but more simply me questioning the information that is given out and how it may affect public opinion. I want to know that this family is being treated fairly and that they are not simply being targeted for being poor. It's something I'll be following and I'll try to update you when/if more information is released.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 30 - Who Are You?

This month of blogging has been really great for me. I've enjoyed composing my posts and I think I will be able to continue blogging more frequently in the coming months.

As for who I am, well, I'm a wife, a daughter, a mother (although I have no children), a sister, an aunt, a friend, a writer, a reader, a student, a teacher, a worker, a creative soul, a mentor, a chef, a decorator, a sensitive person. This list could go on and on, but I think I'll leave it there for now. I feel you all know me pretty well....and I hope that you'll actually learn more about me in the next few months.

Now, to share my latest project with you. I've been making some hairbows today. I'm thinking about finally opening my Etsy shop and putting these (or similar) up for sale. What do you think?

Christmas Bow 1
The first bow I made. I like the Santa.

Christmas Bow 2
And the second. I love this one!


Which is your favourite? Do you like them at all? Do you think I could sell them?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 30 - In The Past Month, What Have You Learned?

Wow! What a big question! Well, let's see....I've learned that I really miss my dad, even more than I thought I did. I've also learned that I think I'm actually handling his death better than my family expected I would. I do miss him...a lot, but I have a sort-of acceptance of him being gone. I know he was very tired and in a lot of pain. I'm just glad that he's no longer suffering.

Other things I've learned....I'm super-excited about the journey we've began towards adopting. I can hardly wait to get started with everything! I'm really looking forward to the IMPACT training classes and even the homestudy. I'm nervous but I have faith that it will all work out.

I've learned that, although I get frustrated with her often, I'm so grateful I still have my mom and that I can be there for her. I wish I could do more to ease the hurt she's going through and to make the financial burdens easier, but I know that I'm doing what I can. I also know she knows this and is extremely grateful that we have one another.

Finally, I've learned how much I enjoy blogging and how my blog is here to be a place for me to release my emotions and let it all out with freedom. I'm so glad I haven't completely given up on my blog and I hope, in future, I will frequent it more and continue blogging steadily.

In closing, I'll leave you with a picture my mom found on her phone today and forwarded to me. It's a picture of my Dad. My mom can't remember where or when it was taken, but it's a great photo of him! It really made my day and I'm extremely happy to have it!

Daddy


Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 28 - A Picture Of You Last Year and Now - How Have You Changed Since Then?

Me in Helen, GA - November 2010
Last Year - November 2010

Windswept on River Street - 2/366
This Year - November 2011


Physically, I've not changed a great deal. I have lost some weight - which I love because it is so obvious! My hair is virtually the same. My eyes are the same. What's different? The inside. I now know what it's like to lose someone so close to you that you thought would be around for a long time. I know what it's like to have dreams and know that any chance a specific dream had of coming true was completely gone. I've matured over the last year. I've come into my own of protecting my mom. I'm really proud of the person this year has turned me into, even if I hate the circumstances that have brought the change about.

Don't forget, there are only 2 days left to sign up for the Christmas Ornament Exchange 2011!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 28 - Why Are You Doing This 30-Day Challenge?

I've had difficulty blogging recently, particularly since my dad's death. I just haven't felt like I had much of interest to say. How many different ways can you say "I'm grieving" without making your readers run for cover? Or at least for a more positive blog?

I needed something to kick start my blogging again. This was a perfect outlet for me because it was - for the most part - pretty light-hearted so it's helped me to refocus my writing. During this month, we've made some movement forward with our adoption, which I haven't yet written about. I'm saving this for December. I'm hoping to make my blogging more frequent in December. I'd like to say it would be everyday, but I don't want to make promises I'll simply wind up breaking. So, I will instead say I will blog as often as I possibly can. This means I'll blog when I have inspiration, which I think will be more often than previously.

I hope I can continue to keep you interested and entertained! Don't forget to sign up for the Christmas Ornament Exchange 2011! Sign-up closes Wednesday, November 30.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 26 - What You Think About Your Friends

This question really depends on which friend one happens to be talking about! For the most part, I think my friends are loyal and dependable. However, there are the friends who I find myself unable to trust, either because of something they did or because of something that's happened. I want to always be able to depend on my friends. I feel if I can't trust my friends, who can I trust? Therefore, if I find myself unable to trust a person, I quietly withdraw myself from that friendship. It's worked for me so far!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 25 - What Would One Find In My Bag

Wow! What a question! Okay, well, first off, my bag has a lot of clutter. I try to keep it cleaned out, but within a day of emptying it, it's all cluttered again. So, there is lotion, my glasses, a hairbrush, sunglasses, my wallet, my glucose meter, my keys, a notepad, my MP3 player, about a dozen pens, several pay periods' worth of check stubs, a bill or two, a couple of recipes (I have no idea, but they're there), passports belonging to both The Hubs and I and Lord only knows what else! It really can be a huge mess if I don't keep it cleaned up! And, no, my purse isn't huge. I learned my lesson about carrying a really big bag.....it just gets full of junk much quicker!

What's in your bag?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 24 - A Letter To Your Parents

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is an emotional post for me. Since my dad's death, I've been much closer with my mom, but I also keep finding things I wish I'd said or done for my dad. I know regret is silly and pointless in this situation, but that doesn't stop me from feeling it. So, here goes.....

Dear Mama,

I'm so sorry the last few months have been so difficult for you. I wish I could take away all the stress, pain and upset. I know that things will get easier with time (at least, I hope they will), but I'm sorry that, in the meantime, you have to endure this. I know we've talked some since Daddy died, but I wanted to make sure you knew how much I love and appreciate you. You've done so much for us! You've been there when we needed you and you've never hesitated to offer help when we needed it. I know that sometimes I get frustrated with you because you want to help when I don't necessarily need it, but I do appreciate that you're always there for me. I know that I only need ask and you'll be right there with everything you have. I'm sorry that we sometimes disagree. I do know, though, that this is simply part of the both of us being human. I love you very, very much and I thank God everyday that you and Daddy were my parents. I could have wound up with parents who didn't love me or care for me and that would have been such a terrible situation that I can't even begin to think about it.

Love you so very much,

Lynn

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Dear Daddy,

I miss you so much! I never knew how hard life would be without you. I wish I hadn't had to discover this information so soon. Everyday I wake up and wish I could talk to you. I'd love to be able to hug you, to talk to you, to share the moments of the day. There have been so many occassions since you died when I've found myself laughing about something or being outraged about something and thinking how I couldn't wait to share it with you, only to remember you weren't here any longer. It breaks my heart everytime I have the realisation again. Today was Thanksgiving and all day I've thought of you. I remember last Thanksgiving and how you had just started feeling bad again around that time. I thought how you would have liked the meal I was cooking and what comments you would have made about it. I know you're still watching after me - I feel it everyday - but I wish you were here so I could hear you talking to me and see your smiling face. I'm so afraid I'll forget your Daddy scent. It makes me cry when I think that one day you'll be just a distant memory. I hope I can always remember the small things about you. I love you, Daddy, and I'll never forget you!

Love you so much,

Lynn

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 23 - Something You Crave For A Lot

Today is my anniversary. You may think this was done by design, considering my birthday was yesterday, but truly it was not. It so happened that, when The Hubs and I came to marry, my visa-waiver to the UK was expiring, so we came back to the US for our wedding and getting my spousal visa approved. In so doing, it worked out that the only day we could get married was the day after my birthday. So, today is our special day. We've been married 9 years. And I still think it's the best decision I ever made!

Before I met The Hubs, the thing I craved for the most was finding love. I think this is probably something that is common for most single people. As a species, humans tend to seek out and crave the thing they don't have. At that time, it was love.

These days, it tends to be children that I crave. When you've tried for as long as we have and have had as much disappointment as we've had, the thing that we lack is children, therefore, that's what it tends to be that I crave. I will say that this year the craving seems to be a little more in check because we've taken actually proper steps towards becoming parents. Assuming everything goes to plan, I have real hopes that by this time next year we'll be parents. That's my goal anyway.

What do you crave for? What have you craved in the past?

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A glimpse from my new project Project 33 in 366.

Birthdayversary Dinner - 1/366


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 22 - What Makes You Different From Everyone Else

Today is my birthday. I guess that makes me a little different from most people today, lol! I am 33 today.

But what makes me truly different from everyone else? That's a difficult question. I can tell you things about me. I could tell you all sorts of traits I have. But I'm not really sure what makes me different. I don't think I'm a cookie cutter copy of other people. I am unique, but I'm not sure I can pinpoint what makes me that way.

So, I'll tell you how I see myself - the good and the bad - and let you decide how I'm different from everyone else.

I think I'm a caring person. I try to always be considerate of other people's feelings. I cry easily. I strive to give people my best. I go above and beyond most of the time. I love easily. I have a big heart. If I become your friend, you have a friend for life unless you betray me. I'm very loyal. I'm sensitive. I'm often sad, despite not wanting to be. I have a terrible temper. I can be lazy. I love holidays. I get distracted easily. I get frustrated frequently. I love my family. I love my friends. I get hurt (emotionally) easily. I get hurt (physically) easily. I get sick often. I feel life is often unfair. I love music. I enjoy movies. I like to read. I wish I was closer with my sister. I want very much to be a mom. I hope I can live up to the expectations people have for me. I like to think my birthday is special. I love being born on 11/22 because it seems very symmetrical to me. I like for things to be in their place. I get easily flustered by things not being where they should be. When I have lots of things to do, I get frustrated because I try to do them all at once. I hate having my will overruled by others. I like having things done my way. I'm very rigid with my beliefs but I try desperately not to thrust my beliefs on others. When I make my mind up about something, it's a near impossibility for someone else to change it. I'm very opinionated. I feel constantly stressed. I'm a worry-wart and very high-strung. Basically, I'm just very......me.

Day 21 - A Picture of Something That Makes You Happy / ICLW

There are several things that make me happy....

Bug & Boop
My nieces, Bug and Boop

Bug & Boop with their silly selves
Being silly

Bug & Boop
I mean, seriously? Who could resist those faces?

Pog's Christmas Photo 2006
And, of course, Pog! Have you ever seen a cuter doggie face?!?!

Santa Rich
Finally, my lovely, wonderful husband.


The things that make me happiest? My nieces, our puppy and The Hubs. Life is a great thing when their in mine!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 20 - What Does Your Future Hold/Where Would You Like To Be?

Obviously, I hope my future holds children. But more than that, I hope my future holds happiness. I hope that I can finish my degree and get my teacher certification done. I hope I can find a job teaching history. I hope The Hubs and I can be parents to children that need us. I hope that we can one day be somewhere we're happy. We'd love to move to Savannah someday. I hope we won't have to worry financially. I hope we can find ourselves satisfied with our life. I hope I can find whatever it is I've been seeking for years that will make me feel complete.

Not a lot to ask for, eh? Someday....maybe.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 19 - Nicknames You Have & Why You Have Them

I have lots of nicknames. I got my first nickname the day I was born. I'll go at this one-by-one and list them, who calls me that and why.

Doodle/Turkey/Doodle-Turkey - This was my dad's nickname for me. I was born the day before Thanksgiving, so that's where Turkey comes from. Not sure exactly where he got Doodle from, but he called me variations of it my whole life. Sometimes I was Doodle, sometimes I was Turkey and sometimes I was Doodle-Turkey. I answered to all of them.

Dooby - My mom's nickname for me. A variation of Doodle, but slightly different in order to differentiate from my dad's name for me. Not really sure why I get called this, but there you go.

Punkin' - This is what my siblings all called me growing up. I was so much younger than all of them (the next youngest is 11 1/2 years older than I am), I was like the smallest pumpkin in the patch. Or the Punkin'. At least that what they always told me.

Wife/Spouse/Lovely Wife/Moocher - All names my darling husband calls me. Most of these are self-explanatory. Moocher is a variation of moochie, which is something we call kisses. This came from way back when we were still conversing online. It's just something we started doing one day. No real reason behind it, but it stuck (I could write an entire post on the "language" we've developed. Seriously, we're like a science experiment.)

Cinderella - My best friend since 4th grade, Snow White, calls me this. As you can see, we both have fairytale nicknames. This started when, in our teens, we were both simply looking for Prince Charming or our knight on a white horse. What can I say? It stuck.

These are just a few of the most prominent nicknames I have. I could go on for days with this post, but I'll spare you, lol! As you can see, I really don't mind what people call me. I'll answer to most anything as long as I don't find it offensive!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 18 - Dreams/Plans/Goals You Have

Another really easy post!

It's no secret that one of my dreams/goals that I have is to become a mom. I've wanted it for so long and we've worked so hard trying to move closer to our goal. I hope 2012 will be our year to finally become parents!

Another plan I have is to complete my degree in April, graduate and begin working on my teacher certification. The quicker I can complete my schooling, the quicker I can begin to look for a new job that I love!

I hope The Hubs and I can one day purchase the house of our dreams! We love the house we live in now (even though we don't own it) but we'd really love to have a beautiful home just the way we like it one day.

I'd like to successfully run a small side business, either crocheting or baking. I know I'm good at both these things, I just never seem to have the time to do either of them! Something to work towards though.

This relates to the first thing I said, but I want to complete the adoption process and walk away with our child soon. Then, when the first adoption has finalized, I hope we can adopt another child.

Those are my dreams/plans/goals!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 17 - Someone You Would Want to Switch Lives With For One Day and Why

This is such a difficult question! While there are things I would like to change in my life, in general I wouldn't want to be anyone other than myself. I love the important things in my life.

But....if it was only for a day.....hmmm......maybe Adele? When I was growing up I wanted to be a singer and I think Adele has a gorgeous voice! She also seems to live an extraordinary life that I wouldn't mind living for a day.

I'm sure there are lots of other people I could handle being for a day, but at the end of the day, I just want to come home to The Hubs and our puppy, our home and, someday, our child. Life's not great, but it's pretty good!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 16 - Another Picture of Yourself (baby pic!)

Well here, my dear friends, is where I fall down slightly. All the photos of me as a baby are in storage, so I don't actually have one to show you. The best I can actually do is to show you a very blurry picture of myself and my mom when I was about 10 years old.

Mama & I - Easter 1989


As you can see, I haven't actually changed that much. Just gotten a bit taller, as I now stand about 6 inches taller than my mom!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day Fifteen - Put Your iPod On Shuffle: First 10 Songs That Play

So, the first 10 songs that play on my iPod.....but first....an adoption update! We had our adoption orientation meeting this evening! It all seemed to go very well. We got information regarding what the process is, we were given the starting paperwork and we were told that it would be after the holidays before IMPACT training classes would be held again in our region, but that if something came up in one of the surrounding regions, we could be given a call to attend that.

While there, we filled out our Letter of Intent and our family information. We also signed the release to do background checks on the both of us. We're very excited!! Can't wait to get started on the next step =D

*********


Now onto my first 10 songs.....

  1. Supermassive Black Hole - Muse

  2. Graduate - Third Eye Blind

  3. Starry Eyed Surprise - Paul Oakenfold

  4. Just The Way You Are - Bruno Mars

  5. I Gotta Feeling - Black-Eyed Peas

  6. I Love It When We Do - Ronan Keating

  7. Hey, Soul Sister - Train

  8. D.I.N.O.S.A.U.R. - Ke$ha

  9. Bring Me To Life - Evanescence

  10. You're a Superstar - Love, Inc.


Quite an eclectic collection, I think you'll agree!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day Fourteen - A Picture of You and Your Family

Once again, I do not have a single picture of me with my whole family. In fact, I don't have a picture of myself with my sister and the younger of my two brothers (who is still older than me) at all! However, here are three photos that contain most of the members of my family.

Lynn's (Partial) Family
My Dad, my Mom, my eldest brother Goose and me

Rich's Family
The Hubs, his Gran, his brother, me, his sister, his Mum and his sister-in-law


And, last but not least.....

The Family Hall
The Hubs, Pog and I at Christmas 2006


I hope you've enjoyed!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day Thirteen - A Letter to Someone Who Has Hurt You Recently

Dear V,

You've really upset me with what you did. I don't feel I can trust you right now and I'm not really keen to continue our friendship. You said it wasn't your fault, that it was someone else's, but I have eyes. I saw what you were doing and I know what you claimed you said. It was your fault. I'm not saying the other person wasn't involved, but you knew how I felt and yet you still felt it okay to do what you did. Not cool. Not what friends do to one another. And what you said has caused a riff between me and another friend. Now that friend is avoiding me and it feels really unfair.

Not only did that incident happen, but now I have someone telling me that you're involved in things you should not be, things that are illegal! I don't want my name associated with that. How can I trust you when you do these things?!?! And, yet, you still refuse to accept any responsibility for your actions!

I think we should cool our friendship for a while. I don't think I can stomach being around you right now.

L

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 12 - Your Blog Story

The story of this blog (I've had a couple of previous blogs with their own stories) started long before the blog itself was even conceived.

Nearly 8 years ago, on November 22, 2003, The Hubs and I went on a trip to Newcastle, England to see Fleetwood Mac in concert. It was a special concert because it was my 25th birthday and our 1st anniversary (on November 23rd). The concert was my gift. The Hubs had gotten us front row, center stage tickets! Have I mentioned recently that Fleetwood Mac are my all-time favourite band?

Anyway, on our 1st anniversary, November 23, 2003, The Hubs and I discussed things and decided we wanted to start trying for a family. Or, at least, that we would quit preventing. Secretly, I thought we'd be parents by our 2nd wedding anniversary.

But, our second wedding anniversary came around - no babies. We didn't worry too much. After all, we'd only stopped preventing a year before and we were still young. We had plenty of time.

Then our third anniversary rolled around and we still had no babies. But, still, we didn't panic. This was in November 2005 and we were gearing up to move to the USA from England in January 2006. We were engrossed with our immigration plans and felt that it was really no big deal. Surely it was just that we had been under a lot of stress over the last year due to planning our life-changing move. We'd really try once we had moved to the US and, by our fourth anniversary, we'd be parents.

Anniversary number four came around in November 2006 and there were still no additions to our family. We were beginning to get a little concerned, but knew that it had been a long, stressful year. We had immigrated to the US, my dad had been very sick for several months (in ICU for 10 weeks), we had both looked for jobs for months before being successful. Basically, nothing had been easy and it would not have been a good year for us to have a baby. 2007 would definitely be our year.

In March 2007, I finally had to take action regarding having my gallbladder removed. It had been giving me really severe problems for 3 years at that point and I finally gave in and saw my doctor about it. I was sent to a surgeon for consult and a surgery date was scheduled to have it removed. During the surgery, it was discovered that I had a large cyst (greater than 2 litres of fluid removed from it) on my right ovary. Following this procedure, we just knew it would be no time at all before we were pregnant! I mean, surely the cyst had been the only problem preventing us conceiving, right? However, in the months following my surgery, I had continuous bleeding. Not just every now and then, but continuous, period-like bleeding for about 6 months. I consulted with the surgeon who had performed my surgery and was assured there were no complications from the surgery. I consulted my OB/GYN and was told this was normal following a surgery such as the one I had had and there was no need to worry. So I didn't. Anniversary number five arrived but babies were absent from the affair.

In 2008, my bleeding still had not stopped. This had gone on for more than a year and The Hubs and I were really getting concerned, so I made an appointment with a new OB/GYN. During my visit with her, she diagnosed me with PCOS and insulin resistance. She started me on 1500mg Metformin and, believe it or not, the constant bleeding stopped! We were optimistic. We had told her about the problems we'd been having trying to conceive and she explained that the Metformin should be all that was needed to make me ovulate. So we set about doing everything correctly. I took my temperature every morning. I took Metformin everyday. We babydanced like fiends! But I noticed that, not only was I no longer continuously bleeding, but I had not had a period at all since starting Metformin. As our sixth anniversary arrived, we also decided we wanted to start fertility treatment sooner rather than later, so I contacted my OB/GYN. She stated that she wanted me to keep taking the Metformin for another month and see if this brought on my period. Around this time, Wistfulgirl was born. She'd always been around in the shadows offstage, but in October 2008, she meekly peeked around the curtains. But she was shy, so, while she did make a few tentative posts in 2008 and early 2009, she decided to hide her head for a little while longer.

When another month had passed and I had still had no period, I called my OB/GYN again and begged for Provera and Clomid. So, in April 2009, she prescribed Provera and Clomid. We began the first of four Clomid cycles that month. I continued temping and what I discovered was that I did ovulate on Clomid, but we still didn't manage to get pregnant. So, we did another round of Clomid in May 2009. And another in June 2009. And another in July 2009. All BFN's. Nada. Nothing. No pregnancies. Not even a hint of a sniff of a positive on any of the 48 HPT's I took during those four months. At this point, The Hubs - who had been out of work since the previous November - still had had no luck finding a job, so we decided to take a break on fertility treatment. We were still trying some natural approaches, but we put seeing our doctor on hold. It was in August of that year that Wistfulgirl burst full-force onto the scene and this blog began it's journey to where it is today. Wistfulgirl was pointed in the direction of the ALI community and a much-needed source of support was discovered. In early November of that year, we were approached by a mother known to us who was expecting a baby (she already had two children) and was asked to adopt the child. However, after getting our hopes up, that adoption fell through. Anniversary number seven was celebrated with heavy hearts and our dreams of becoming parents seemed farther away than ever.

In February 2010, The Hubs found a new job! We immediately called my OB/GYN to get a referral to an RE. Our referral was made and we had our first appointment with Dr. O on April 5, 2010. Those first few appointments with Dr. O were a plethora of discovery. The first bit of news we received was that, in reviewing my medical history, we discovered some interesting information that arose during my gallbladder and right ovarian cyst removals but had never been brought to our attention. In removing the ovarian cyst, it had been necessary for the surgeon to also remove my right fallopian tube including the bit with the fimbria (which sweeps the sperm into the tube) and part of my right ovary. While we understood that it would have been impossible to save these as they were partially embedded in the cyst, we felt that we really should have been given the information and we felt betrayed by my surgeon (who had also taken care of my dad during his illness in 2006). The next bad news we received was that Dr. O suspected I had Type II Diabetes (not just insulin resistance) and hypothyroidism. He also had me tested for sleep apnea and the sleep study was positive for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Finally, an endometrial biopsy revealed that I had complex endometrial hyperplasia without atypical cells. A D&C was performed and I was prescribed Megace to be taken for six months. We celebrated eight years of marriage with me in the midst of this treatment and no babies in sight.

January 2011 brought another endometrial biopsy with an all-clear on the hyperplasia! We thought we would definitely get to move to the next round of treatment, but, alas, it was not to be. Dr. O wanted me to work on losing at least 30lbs before we could consider any further treatment. I was then put on Provera beginning in February to bring about a period every month. After three months of Provera, it had been decidedly proven to us that Provera was not a good choice for my mental health on an ongoing basis, so I contacted Dr. O to ask for a different prescription. Dr. O wanted me to give Provera one more month. After that month passed with no improvement on my depression and anxiety brought on by the medication, I once again called Dr. O and my medication was changed to Aygestin. Two months passed with me taking Aygestin with only a very, very light period and bleeding in-between. I put this down to stress - my dad had a stroke in late June and I was very worried about him. He was in the hospital through to mid-July. I took Aygestin again in August, but, to the best of my recollection, had no period at all. This was not the highest thing on my priority list that month, though, because my dad passed away on August 16. I'm honestly surprised my body remembered to do the basic functions like breathing during that time. I was devestated (I still am). I think there was no way August was going to produce anything like a normal cycle for me. And why should it? Nothing else about the month was normal and my dad was gone.

In September I realized that I had not had a proper cycle since changing to Aygestin. I called Dr. O and he asked me to come in for a visit. An ultrasound was performed at this visit and, while my endometrial lining looked okay from the u/s, there was a suspicious looking cyst on my right ovary. Dr. O asked me to come back in two weeks for another ultrasound and another endometrial biopsy. For that u/s, the cyst had grown by 2cm in 2 weeks! Dr. O ordered bloodwork, a CA-125, a test to check for high levels of cancer antigens. The results came back from the endometrial biopsy - all clear! The results from the bloodwork seemed to indicate no cancer, however, Dr. O (being the highly cautious individual he is) scheduled me for a visit with a cancer specialist. That visit went well and it was determined that, while we needed to monitor the ovarian cyst for growth, it was unlikely to cause me problems and did not appear cancerous. The monitoring is to ensure that, should it get larger and begin to cause me problems, we can arrange to have it removed. Dr. O seemed satisfied with this, but ordered a contiuation of Aygestin and a further visit in October to monitor my weight, blood pressure and other vitals.

In the midst of all the other things happening during this year, The Hubs and I talked things over and, following my dad's death, decided we were ready to pursue adoption through foster care. While we are not stopping treatment (or preparation for treatment), we've decided we really want to move forward with a more feasible plan to parenthood. As we approach our ninth wedding anniversary, we are preparing to attend adoption orientation next Tuesday (one week, one day before our ninth anniversary). This year, I pray we're filled with more hope than the previous years have brought us and that, by our tenth anniversary, we will have finally attained the elusive....I pray we'll be parents!

And there, my humble readers, you have it! My blog story to the present. Stay tuned to this space for more conceptual adventures in the life of a Wistfulgirl!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 11 - A Person You Would Love to Meet

This is possibly the easiest post I've made so far. The person I would most love to meet is our future child!

We have spent 8 long years awaiting the arrival of the much longed-for addition to our family. The thought that, just possibly, in less than a year, we may have that addition with us makes my heart flutter and I get all excited. I have to admit, it also makes my palms sweat just a little! Will I be a good mother? Will our child feel the love we have for her? Will we make the right decisions? Will our child grow to love us? Knowing this young life is in our hands, will we guide her on the path that's right for her?

So many scary thoughts, but so much hope and love! I can hardly wait to meet her and start building our life together. I can't wait to spend the rest of my days showering her with love and showing her exactly what it's like to always have a place to belong and a place you can always come back to and know you're wanted and loved no matter where life leads you.

*********


For those of you who are signing up for the Christmas Ornament Exchange 2011, I've created you a link button if you'd like to use it!



The code you should use is < (delete spaces between the < and the a) a href="http://wistfulgirl.blogspot.com/2011/11/sign-up-now-open-christmas-ornament.html" alt="Sign up for the Christmas Ornament Exchange 2011" target="_blank">< (delete spaces between the < and the img) img src="http://wistfulgirl.com/images/ornamentexchange.gif" border=0>< (delete spaces between the < and the /) /a>

If you have any problems with the coding, please leave me a comment and I will do my best to fix it for you!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 10 - Songs you listen to when you are Happy, Sad, Bored, Hyped, Mad

Oooh! Fun post! Going to be a short one though because it's been a long week at work and I still have a half day tomorrow before I can make it to that much-longed-for weekend!

A song I listen to when I am:

Happy - It Girl by Jason Derulo - I don't know why exactly, but this song really increases my happiness! It makes my blood sing =D I just feel like dancing when I hear this song.



Sad - Hometown Glory by Adele - I'm one of those rare people who actually looks for ways to feel more unhappy when I'm down. While I absolutely love this song by Adele, it usually makes me cry because it makes me miss England more and, now, it makes me miss my Daddy.



Bored - Party Rock Anthem by LMAFO - Another song that makes me want to dance! It also alleviates boredom =D



Hyped - Evacuate the Dancefloor by Cascada - This song gets me totally pumped! I love it and it, above all other songs, makes me wanna move my feet! Love!!!

(Sadly, embedding has been disabled on this song, but if you want to see the video, you can click here to play it!)

Mad - You and I by Lady Gaga - Believe it or not, being mad is not like being sad. When I'm mad, I want to get out of the mood, so I listen to a song that makes me feel better. This is the song I'm planning to sing next April for the annual competition I compete in.



Now you know my secret musical mood enhancers!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 9 - Something You're Proud Of

I thought about this post long and hard because, honestly, there are several things I could write about. I'm proud of the 4.0 GPA I'm keeping in school. I'm proud of being able to sing pretty well. I'm proud of being a good daughter to my mom and my dad before he passed away. But none of those are the thing I'm most proud about.

The thing I'm most proud of is the wonderful, amazing marriage I have! I love the fact that I can tell The Hubs anything - and I do mean anything - and he doesn't get upset or expect me to be someone I'm not. He loves me unconditionally and that's exactly the way I feel about him. We've been through so much! If we've managed to weather the storms that have faced us so far, I have no doubt we'll survive any that come our way in the future.

Don't forget to sign up for the Christmas Ornament Exchange 2011!

Sign Up Now Open - Christmas Ornament Exchange 2011

Believe it or not, it's that time of year again - Time for the Christmas Ornament Exchange 2011! A whole year has passed and it's nearly Christmastime again! Where does the time go? Anyway....here's the information you need to sign up!

Guidelines for Participation

  1. There is a 15 USD limit on the amount spent on your ornament. I want everyone who would like to participate be able to do so please do not feel you have to spend an enormous amount!

  2. The deadline to sign up is November 30, 2011.

  3. On December 1, 2011, I will randomly draw names to give each person their exchange partner and send an email out to each participant, providing the details of their exchange partner. Your name will be kept secret from your exchange partner until the ornament arrives at each participants' home.

  4. All ornaments should be in the post by December 10, 2011. This way, the ornaments should be to everyone in time to be displayed on Christmas trees for everyone's enjoyment.

  5. Each package should include an ornament and a card.


Sound okay? Alright. Now that all that's settled, what are you waiting for?!?! Head on over here and get signed up! If you have any trouble with the form, please let me know in the comments and I will get it sorted as quickly as possible. I have, in the past, been thwarted by Google Documents because, as smart as I am (well, smart-assed anyway), I can apparently be outwitted by Google Documents. So, if that has happened again this year (damn you Google!), please let me know and I will slave away until the problem is corrected!

And, um...Happy Holidays, I guess =D

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 8 - Short-Term Goals For the Month and Why

This is a good month to list my short-term goals. It's a very full month! I love November for a lot of different reasons and my goals outline most of those reasons.

  1. Attend Orientation to start the certification process for Adoption/Foster Care - I am so incredibly excited as we got our official invite to orientation today! We will attend the orientation class next Tuesday evening. Hopefully, we'll know more after that meeting about the process and how long it will take. The Hubs and I are both ready for next Tuesday to get here!

  2. Celebrate my 33rd birthday on 11/22 - That's right - it's nearly that time of year again. The time of year when I get another year older! The Hubs and I have some awesome plans, but since normally when I talk about our plans something screws them up, I'll save that until things are more firmed up.

  3. Celebrate my 9th Wedding Anniversary with The Hubs - Yup, the day after my birthday, The Hubs and I celebrate our wedding anniversary! It is that great holiday officially known as "birthdayversary". As I stated in the previous point, we do have plans and I will share those with you soon, but not right this second ;)

  4. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family - It will be the first Thanksgiving without my dad, so I just want to try to get through it without breaking down. Because of my birthday, this has always kind of been our holiday. My dad's nickname for me was "Doodle-Turkey". I really miss him. It's going to be a hard holiday, but I know he'll be here with us in spirit.

  5. Get my Christmas decorations up the weekend after Thanksgiving - My eldest niece, Boop, will be coming to stay with us on Thanksgiving afternoon and will stay through the weekend. She's great at helping me get my decorations up! And, the day before Thanksgiving - my wedding anniversary - is her 18th birthday! I can't believe she's already that old! Seems so hard to believe. She and I always have a great time, though, getting my house ready for Christmas.

  6. Survive the rest of the month at work until I get my semi-vacation on November 22 through November 27. I am so looking forward to that! I need a break.


That's pretty much the summary of my monthly goals! Lots to get done, but I think I'll enjoy it all =D

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 7 - A Picture of Someone/Something That Has the Biggest Impact On You

Rich and Isabel


The Hubs and our puppy (Pog) are truly the biggest impacts on my life. They are a part of every single second of my life. Everything I do is with them in mind and is considerate of how my actions would impact them.

What can I say? My biggest impact is my family =D