Friday, September 21, 2012

September ICLW

Happy IComLeavWe and welcome to my home on the web! This month's ICLW marks the start of my 4th year participating in ICLW (albeit, I haven't participated every month), so I've done a fair number of the usual intros. This time, I thought I'd do something a little different, so I found a list of 50 get-to-konw-you questions. Now, without further ado:

  1. What was your favorite food when you were a child? Hmmm...I would probably have to say Macaroni and cheese. I used to love that stuff! Not so much these days.
  2. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod? At this moment it would probably be "Call Me Maybe" by Carley Rae Jepson, as cliche as that is. Can't help it, just love that song!
  3. What is one of your favorite quotes? "When I'm good, I'm very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better." - Mae West
  4. What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? That would have to be reading. I love to read and am happy doing it pretty much anywhere.
  5. What chore do you absolutely hate doing? I detest washing dishes. We don't have a dishwasher, so this task usually falls to me. I can occassionally get The Hubs to do them for me, but I usually just go ahead and do them.
  6. What is your favorite form of exercise? I love going for walks with The Hubs. It's so relaxing to go for a long, scenic walk when the weather is nice. Other than that, I love the eliptical trainer!
  7. What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year? My favourite time of day is the evening (after 6pm), my favourite day of the week is Saturday and my favourite month of the year is November (Thanksgiving, my birthday, our anniversary, cooler weather....I just love it!)
  8. What’s your least favorite mode of transportation? This is an odd question to me and a difficult one to answer. I don't really mind most modes of transportation, but I guess my least favourite would have to be boat because of my absolute terror of water.
  9. What is your favorite body part? Another odd question. It would have to be either noses or hands. I just think noses tend to be very cute. And I love hands. I think it's the strength in them that shows the character of the person. Definitely an interesting body part.
  10. What sound do you love? I love the sound of The Hubs and Pog (our dog). I love the sound of rain on a tin roof. I love the sound of ocean waves crashing. Not the normal favourite sound of someone who has a paralyzing fear of water, eh?
  11. If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for? I would dearly love to have a masquerade ball for our 10th wedding anniversary in November. That would be my ideal, but it definitely won't happen. Oh, well, lol! I'll get over it.
  12. If you could paint a picture of any scenery you’ve seen before, what would you paint? The mountains in Chattanooga, TN. Hands down the most gorgeous view I've ever seen.
  13. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be? Hmmm...I think it would probably be 24. I was very happy at that time in my life. The Hubs and I were finally together after 2 years of long-distance, were newly married and we were just truly enjoying the novelty of being together. I was still young enough to think life would be wonderful in the future. We had no knowledge of our infertility at that time. My dad was still alive. I had virtually no health problems. Life was just rosey then. Not that I would trade my life now, but if I had to choose to stay one age forever, that would be it.
  14. If you knew the world was ending in 2012, what would you do differently? Nothing. I'm very happy with the decisions I've made, what I've accomplished and where I am.
  15. If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? This depends what capacity of mentor is meant. If it was musically, I would choose Stevie Nicks. I think she's simply a fabulous musician and I have so much respect for her. If I chose a musician to look up to, it would be her. A mentor in life? I really have no idea.
  16. If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be? For a history buff, this should be an easy question, but it really isn't! Okay, I'm going to be a little selfish here and say my child's first day of kindergarten. I really hope we get that opportunity one day, while mourning the fact that we won't have had that opportunity for the child we're going to adopt.
  17. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? This is an easy answer. Swim. I think it would make me less afraid of water and it's great exercise!
  18. If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be? Another difficult question! Um...I guess it would be crocheting the afghan I've been working on forever that's owed to a certain person. I will eventually finish it, I promise!
  19. If you were immortal for a day, what would you do? I really don't know. Immortality doesn't really seem that important. Now, if I had superpowers, that would be a different story, lol!
  20. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? Well, the name I go by is not my first name, so....I might change it to the name I go by. Other than that, I might choose the name Charlotte. I like that name.
  21. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet? I'd like to see my dad again. He's been gone a little over a year and I really miss him.
  22. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Honestly, I would buy our dream home. After that, I would pay off the rest of our bills, then give a substantial donation to charities, but first I would buy our home.
  23. If you were reincarnated as an animal/drink/ice cream flavor, what would it be? I think I would probably be orange juice. Tart and tangy, but overall very sweet.
  24. If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be? At the end of our lives, will we overall count ourselves as having been happy?
  25. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? Wow! Possibly the most difficult question yet! There are so many characters I could choose and for so many different reasons. I guess, though, I would have to say (and I thought it would be a book character here, but turns out it's not)......Rachel Berry. I know. That's pretty sad for a 33-year-old to want to be a teenager, but she has such a bright and full future ahead of her. And on Broadway!! I'd love to be doing it.
  26. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for? I can honestly say I have never been mistaken for a celebrity, lol.
  27. What do you want to be when you grow up? Hehe! I thought I was grown up! Well, realistically, I'd like to be a teacher. If I were doing my dream job, either a singer or an actress. But I have to be realistic. If I'm lucky, one day I'll get to complete my student teaching and become a teacher.
  28. When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time? I usually read. There are other things I should be doing with this time, but reading usually gets the extra time.
  29. What would you name the autobiography of your life? Creating My Life The Hard Way. I've gotten many of the things I want in life, but I've always done it the hard way!
  30. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life? "Tub-Thumping" by Chumbawumba, "Daydreamer" by Adele, "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac, "Home" by Philip Phillips
  31. Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best? When I broke up with my ex before I met The Hubs. It was a terrible end to a terrible relationship and I thought I was devestated. Turned out to be the best thing, though, and I wound up meeting the love of my life soon after.
  32. What was one of the best parties you’ve ever been to? The Hubs' company Christmas Party for 2010. It was epic!
  33. What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up? Katie (Katie Couric's new talk show) today. She had the mother and sister of Yeardley Love on, talking about her murder and the verdict/sentencing of her murderer. Their pain was evident and it had me choking up.
  34. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Saying goodbye to my dad. Prior to his death, it would have been saying goodbye to my family when I moved to England or saying goodby to The Hubs (then The Boyfriend) when he returned to England before I moved there. I don't do well with goodbyes.
  35. What was the last experience that made you a stronger person? Again, this would be my dad's death. I've had to become my mom's pillar. It's been hard, but I've done it. We're both still going and we're going to be okay. Scarred, but okay.
  36. What did you do growing up that got you into trouble? Lol, I'm not proud of this, but I once made $250 worth of long-distance prank calls. Needless to say, I was grounded for a long time for that one!
  37. When was the last time you had an amazing meal? The last amazing meal I had was probably at The Melting Pot for our anniversary last November. That was an awesome experience!
  38. What’s the best/worst gift you’ve ever given/received? Best Received - A lovely garnet bracelet The Hubs gave me when we were dating. I loved it! Unfortunately, it broke a few years ago, so it's in my jewelry box now. Best Given - I gave The Hubs a 5 CD stereo system about 6 years ago. He LOVED it! Worst Received - Almost anytime I'm given clothing, it's a bad idea. My family don't have the same taste in clothing that I do, so I don't tend to like clothing I'm given. I appreciate the effort, just don't generally like the style. Worst Given - Gift cards. I always feel so lame when I give those as gifts.
  39. What do you miss most about being a kid? Having so few responsibilities!
  40. What is your first memory of being really excited? Going to my oldest brother's graduation from Marine boot camp at Paris Island, SC when I was 4. I was so excited to see him because he'd been gone for several months and I love my brother!
  41. What was the first thing you bought with your own money? I really can't remember. Probably candy or a comic book, lol! Possibly school supplies - I still have something of an addiction to those!
  42. When was the last time you were nervous? I'm nervous at work everyday. That kind of comes with being miserable in your job.
  43. What is something you learned in the last week? That the workday is easier to get through if you just get on with it and stop thinking about it so much.
  44. What story does your family always tell about you? The Christmas I was 4, my parents gave me a kitchen playset (you know, with the stove and refrigerator). Well, shortly after receiving this, my mom baked some potatoes and put them in the toy stove. Then she told me the stove had actually cooked the potatoes. I'm ashamed to say that I actually believed this for many years after. My mom takes great joy in telling this story!
  45. At what age did you become an adult? 24, when I got married. Had to. I was living in a different country to my family and I had to grow up. I had no choice.
  46. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate. I certainly think so. I mean, look at this face:

    Need I say more?
  47. Where’s Waldo? Here he is!
  48. The best part of waking up is? Is Folgers in your cup!
  49. How now brown cow? I honestly can't remember the flippant response to this, so .....yeah. Lol!
  50. Whasssssuuuupppppp? Well, since I wrote this and set it to post the night before, I'm headed to be now! TTFN!

Have a great ICLW and be sure to stop back by!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shadows of Fear, Shouts of Freedom

Eleven years.

Every new year that passes since September 11, 2001 has brought the same amazement with it of the time that has passed. I still remember the horror of that day just as if I were experiencing it again. I've recounted the story previously about my recollections of that day, so I won't repeat it now. Instead, I want to take this time to throw off the shroud of fear that I still feel when I think of that day; I want to take this moment to honor one of the heroes of that day.

Every year in the days leading up to the anniversary, it's been my habit to read stories of the victims. I'm always overcome with emotion when I read the amazing things the people caught in that nightmare managed to accomplish. And every year I discover someone's story I hadn't been familiar with before. This year, I found myself enthralled by the heroic story of Welles Crowther.

I think what first captured my interest in this story was that the person involved was so close in age to me. He was 24 years old at the time of the attacks, only a year and a half older than me. Dubbed the "Man in the Red Bandana", Welles is the super hero I hope my children and grandchildren, nieces and nephew hold up as their role model. On that horrible day, when no one would have thought any less of him - and, in fact would have joyfully embraced him and praised God for the miracle - had he simply made it out alive, Welles instead worked with the New York Fire Department to help evacuate and save no less than 12 people. After the chaos died down, those who were saved reported being directed to the only staircase still available for escape by a man wearing a red bandana over his mouth and nose to block out the dust and debris. Eyewitnesses described the man and Welles' mother felt the description - including his calm demeanor and seemingly professional training (Welles was a volunteer firefighter in his hometown) - fit her son and she knew he always carried a red bandana in his pocket that had been given to him by his father. She forwarded his photo to the eyewitnesses and they confirmed the "Man in the Red Bandana" was indeed her son.

Welles Crowther did not make it out of the World Trade Center alive that day. His body was recovered on March 19, 2002. He was posthumously named an honorary New York City Firefighter. His legacy is 12 people who owe their lives to him and a story of courage beyond the likes of which have rarely been seen in this generation by a civilian outside of that day.

On a day when fear often overshadows hope, I choose instead to hear Welles Crowther's shout of freedom! Those who sought to bring America to her knees that day will never have accomplished what they hoped. Welles Crowther and the other heroes like him on September 11, 2001 made sure that in that black, black day pure light still shone through.

Source: Crowther Trust Website - Seriously, go read his story here. They tell it so much better than I ever could.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Waiting, Waiting

If there is anyone in the ALI world who is considering adoption but has little to no patience, then foster/adoption is NOT the path to take!

This could probably be said about any adoption path, but I only have experience with this one. It definitely could be said about fertility treatment, but then there often seemed to be something happening when we were actually doing treatment. There was always something to track or a fairly concrete this-is-what-we're-doing-next-and-when-we're-doing-it plan. Or, at least that's what I thought it was. Looking back, it wasn't actually like that, which kind of invalidates my point now, but I'm gonna pretend I didn't come to that realization, lol!

Anyway, back to the foster/adoption wait. Needless to say, I am not the most patient person. We are 4 days away from the first anniversary of the beginning of our adoption journey. While we have progressed significantly by completing our homestudy, I still have no idea when we'll have a child placed with us.

It's a little disheartening.

I'll be so glad when we get the call that we are officially approved and can start visiting with our child. So ready to get this show on the road!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Anonymous Comments

This post is in response to a comment I received (but will not be approving) on my previous post. If you missed the first post, be sure to read it so you know what's going on.

I had a comment posted earlier today from someone posting as Anonymous. I'll first say that I feel nothing but contempt for someone who has a smart alec remark to make but is too scared to use their real name. Secondly, in response to their comment "Well this day and time if we need and want a job bad enough we have to do what we have to do and be happy we have a job. Look at all of the people that don't have job just be happy you have one.", while I am aware that a lot of people are out of work at this time, no I absolutely should not be grateful to be asked to do something illegal that takes advantage of me, nor should I be asked to put my job before my family. This is unacceptable to ask of anyone.

This is like saying "Oh, there are lots of people who would love to be in a relationship, so you should just take your husband/partner beating you and be grateful you have a husband/partner to beat you" or "Well, there are lots of people who's children grow up to be murderers, so you should be glad you're infertile." Neither of these statements are acceptable and neither is the statement that I should be grateful for a job that abuses me.

I am grateful that in a time where our economy is as poor as it is, I do have a job. Having said that, I have a job where I was literally laughed at when I asked for a raise following the completion of my Bacherlors degree. I have a job that took away my PTO (paid time off) leave last year and didn't replace it or give anything in return. I have a job that laid 50 people off 2 weeks before Christmas (no, I wasn't one of them, but I had several friends who were). I have a job that has not given me (or anyone else for that matter) a raise in the 4 years I've worked there. I have a job that has told me my adoption is of no importance and should be put second to the job. And, now, I have a job that has asked me to work 6 hours of my own time, without pay, when it was not necessary and threatened to take my job away if I failed to do so.

No, it isn't acceptable and, no, I shouldn't just be grateful I have this job. If "Anonymous" actually thinks this is true, then "Anonymous" is someone I hope no one ever has to work for or with.