Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fruit Basket Volume Three

Sorry for my absence over the last few days. I have not been a well person.

I started feeling ill on Saturday - my stomach was hurting. On Sunday, I developed a slight upset stomach. On Monday, it was bad. It was very bad. So bad, in fact, that I called into work. Tuesday it was a little better and I went into work on Tuesday morning. But, by lunch, I was not feeling at all well again, so I came home. Today has been a little better again, but still not 100% as I should feel. I'm hoping I continue feeling better very soon. I do not like being sick, particularly with a stomach virus.

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I have a special request for your thoughts and/or prayers for the family of a real-life friend of mine. I went to school with this friend and she and I were very good friends during school. She and her older sister both rode my mom's schoolbus all through school (have I ever mentioned that my mom drove a schoolbus for 25 years?) and they've always been really close to our family. Well, her sister had been told for the last 15 years that she would never be able to have a child. She had come to terms with this and was actually okay with it - or at least as okay as you can be with this. Fast forward 15 years and, lo and behold, she found out she was pregnant!

Her pregnancy was proceeding just fine and she was 8 months along without any complications. Yesterday (Tuesday) morning, something just didn't feel right for her and she started having some pain. She went to ER around 3:30am and they did an ultrasound. They determined the baby was no longer living and they had to perform an emergency c-section. She had suffered a placental abruption.

As if this was not a horrible enough situation, losing their longed-for little one (a boy), at 10am yesterday morning, their dad suffered a massive heart attack and passed away as well. So, in the space of a morning, they lost a baby and their dad.

I'm asking that all of you please take a moment and say a prayer or send out a thought for them. Although I know what it's like to be unable to have a child, I've never lost one. I do, however, know how gut-wrenching it is to lose your dad. I can't imagine having to go through both of these things at one time. My heart breaks for them.

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The Hubs and I are going to start our yearly movie viewing this weekend. So far we've not been to the cinema this year, but we're going on Saturday night with my mom to see Extremely Bright and Incredibly Loud. I'm excited! I've been really looking forward to seeing the film. My mom starts her vacation on Saturday, so we all thought it would be nice for her to go with us since the last time she went to the cinema was when she went with us in 2005 to see Wedding Crashers. We're going out to eat beforehand and then heading off to the movie. Can't wait!

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I know I've missed Wordless Wednesday for the past couple of weeks. I forgot it last week and this week I just haven't felt well enough for photo taking. Hopefully, I'll be back to it next week and have a great photo for you!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Displacement - The Best Form of Time-Wasting

Another day has passed with nothing interesting (or, at least, adoption related) in our mailbox. Since it seems nothing is happening quickly, I've found a new obsession to occupy part of my time. I'm really trying to take my Thirty-One business very seriously this year. I have a private group on Facebook for those who have bought/expressed an interest in buying/I feel may have an interest in buying/are my friends and, thus, get drug into my insanity to follow what I'm up to or ask questions/submit orders to me (so, if you haven't added me on Facebook and would like an invite to this group, go add me and let me know you want to be added to the group). I posted this to the group earlier this evening:

"‎2011 was a year of ups and downs for us. I began my Thirty-One business in late July with great aspirations of making new friends, growing in faith and trust in the Lord and earning a little extra income to help pay for our adoption and possible future adoptions. With my dad's passing in August, my motivation slipped away from me and I allowed the rest of the year to go by without making much headway in my goals. With the start of 2012, my determination is renewed and I'm praying this year will see me reach my goals and allow me to turn my Thirty-One business into something that not only allows me the extra income to add to our adoption fund, but also allows me an opportunity to minister about how great the Lord is, about how He is working in my life and about how He can work in the lives... of others if only we'll remove ourselves as obstacles.

With this thought in mind, help me make 2012 a fantastic year! I received my new Spring catalogs today and they will be premiering on February 1. There are some gorgeous new prints and some fabulous new products that I am excited to show you in just a few short weeks. I'm currently taking bookings for parties for February and March, so if you're interested in hosting a party, please message me and let's see if we can get you booked and earn you some wonderful FREE products! I'm not afraid to travel, either, so for those of you who do not live in Baxley or Hazlehurst, don't be afraid to ask! I will come to you and we will have a fantastic time partying with your friends, shopping for beautiful handbags and organizational products and celebrating God's love together through fellowship!"


There are so many reasons I'd like to make my business work, not the least of which is that I would love to be able to stay home with our children (when we finally get the adoption underway) but still contribute to our family income. Also, I honestly do feel it is a great company to work for with an awesome message! For anyone who doesn't know and is interested, the company is named for and based on Proverbs 31.

I love the company; I adore the products; and I enjoy the feeling it gives me to succeed in this. I'm currently working on getting my business ready for the new catalogs that will be premiering on February 1. If anyone would be interested in hosting a party with me, even though you're probably very far away from me, we can arrange this! You could host an online party or a catalog party. Just contact me and I'll give you more details. Also, if you're interested in becoming a Thirty-One consultant yourself, email me or leave a comment in the comments section and I'll get back with you on the details.

Please forgive me for allowing Thirty-One to hijack my blog, but I must put this energy somewhere and I really believe in the products and the purpose. I hope 2012 is a year full of great things for all of us and I hope Thirty-One will be one of mine!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mailbox Stalking

I confess. I have become a mailbox stalker.

Why has my mailbox garnered such lavish attention this week? You would think I was waiting on a greeting card or a gift, a parcel or maybe a check. Pehaps you might even think it's a bill I'm waiting on. But no.

No, the correspondence that I happen to be looking for is our invite to IMPACT training. We haven't been told to expect the invite this week. We were just told that the classes would be in the New Year. Soooooo.....I'm thinking we might be able to expect an invite anytime now.

Maybe I'm just wishful thinking.

The Hubs seems to think we'll receive a phone call for our invite. I explained to him that, since our invite to orientation came via mail, I expect our invite to IMPACT training to come via mail, as well.

Who knows which one of us will be right. But, for the time being, I will continue to stalk our mailbox in the hopes of finding that much-anticipated invite waiting for us.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Good, The Bad and The Incredibly Frustrating

Today has been a day full or ups and downs.

Work is always a down these days, so I won't actually go into that.

Huge thanks to both Mrs. Gamgee and Chrissie for sending me invites to Pinterest. This would have made me immensely happy if my computer/modem/Pinterest/something hadn't been acting up. I was completely unable to do anything with Pinterest from my home internet. Since The Hubs had to go for his play practice, I decided to go to my mom's and took my laptop with me. Surprise, surprise, but Pinterest worked at her house! I was excited and I set up my account and pinned a few things. When The Hubs' practice ended, we came home and I tried to go on Pinterest again, only to find the same problem as before. It is so incredibly frustrating!!! And I don't know what's causing the problem.

So, that's the bad and the incredibly frustrating. What's the good, you may be asking? Well, two bits of good news. First, I got an email from Thirty-One today informing me that registration for National Conference will be opening later this week! Since the conference is going to be in Atlanta, I'm really hoping I get to go. That is the plan, as long as I can scrounge enough moula away from the other things it needs to go to in order to afford the registration, etc. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

The second bit of good news? I received an email from my university today telling me it was time to complete my Petition for Graduation!!! I am super excited that, barring anything happening, I will be graduating in April! I'll complete my degree, no matter, but I'd love to attend the graduation ceremony. Since my school is in Iowa, we'd have to travel to attend. We're trying to decide whether to drive 4 hours to the airport, fly 2 hours and then rent a car and drive another 3 hours to get to my school or whether we just want to take an extra few days from work and drive the 17 hours to get there. The Hubs is constantly going on about wanting to make a road trip across the States, and I know this isn't across all the states, but I think that may be the route we go. Now....anyone live in Southwestern Kentucky willing to put us up for the night in late April? Just teasing!

Anyway, it's been an extremely long day, so I think I'll head to bed now. Hope you all have a fantastic evening (well, what's left of it)!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Ramblings

Today has been exhausting. Due to our trip yesterday, I've had to cram 2 days of housework into one. And, due to my laziness, that one day actually turned into one afternoon. What this has actually meant is that I've had to recruit The Hubs' help. He has, not completely unwillingly, been my cohort in clean today! We managed to get everything we wanted to do done.

In addition to our cleaning, I made an awesome meal this evening (even if I do say so myself) and my mom came and had dinner with us. I made baby green lima beans, rice and tomatoes, roasted sirloin steak, deviled eggs and cornbread. A very Southern meal, but incredibly tasty. Both The Hubs and my mom loved it. The Pog even appreciated it because there was enough left over that she could get a little (not enough to bother saving the leftovers, but enough to give the pup a treat).

The only downside is that I had intended to make a Mars Bar (Milky Way) Cheesecake for dessert and also one for The Hubs to take to his play practice tomorrow but time got away from me and the cheesecake was not meant to be today. It'll have to wait until either later in the week or next weekend. As a treat to you readers, though, I'll share the recipe with you at the end of this post.

During my internet travels this last week, I have encountered two posts I wanted to share with you. In their own ways, they are awesome and definitely worthy of your time to read.

The first one is part of a new feature from Jjiraffe called Faces of ALI. Her inaugural post for the feature is an extremely moving, detailed profile of Courtney Cheng who blogs at Bodega Bliss. I'd be lying if I didn't tell you there were tears streaming down my face while I read this. Jjiraffe manages to capture the very essence of the ALI community in the words she uses to describe Courtney's journey. A fabulous new feature I look forward to reading more of.

The second post I read that had me returning for second and third looks was actually from April of last year. Its a post of slow cooker recipes that can be made ahead of time and put in the freezer! These recipes look awesome and I'm really looking forward to trying some of them! In fact, her whole site had me completely enthralled and I'm sure I'll be spending a little time investigating everything there is to see over the next few days.

I found the last article via Pinterest. I'd never taken a look at it before, but I think I'll really like it. That is always assuming I'm ever able to create an account. I requested an invite and got a response telling me I was on their waiting list. That was about 4 days ago. Anyone have any idea how long you generally have to wait to get your invite to join? I hope it's soon. There were a load of recipes and craft ideas on there I'd love to try out!

Anyway, I promised you a recipe, so here goes:

Mars Bar (Milky Way) Cheesecake

1 package Graham Crackers (3 packages per box)
1 stick butter – melted
¼ oz gelatin
¼ cup boiling water
½ cup super-fine sugar (not powdered)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream
9 oz cream cheese
2 Milky Way bars or 6 minis

Crush Graham crackers and mix into melted butter. Press into a pie dish (can use disposable). Refrigerate.
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water.
Beat cream into soft peaks
Beat cream cheese, vanilla, super-fine sugar and gelatin together.
Fold chopped Milky Way bars into cream and fold both into cream cheese mixture.
Pour over base and refrigerate.

Serves 8

Hope you enjoy it! And, have a great start to your week tomorrow!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Hubs and I made a daytrip today so that I could attend the Spring Product Premiere for Thirty-One. Considering the day started with me spilling coke on the white shirt I was wearing after we had started off, I had a feeling the day wouldn't go as planned.

When I got there, The Hubs let me out (only registered Consultants were allowed to attend) and I looked around for anyone I might know. Fortunately, I did eventually find a couple of people I knew so I had someone to sit with. We had over an hour to wait before the show started and, when it finally did, we had sound, but no video (we were in a movie theatre to see the premiere). Eventually, the problem was fixed and they restarted the video. It seems the problem had been all across the country since the feed was coming in via satellite.

Sadly, the reprieve did not last long and we once again lost video. After waiting about half an hour to see if the problem was, once again, going to be fixed, it was determined that we were going to run out of time in the cinema, so we were given our gift and allowed to go. We did get a small peak at the new products and the video will be available for us to view online tomorrow, but I do wish we had been able to see the whole thing in the cinema. We also got an advance copy of the new catalog and, I have to say, there are some awesome new items!! Keep an eye out for February 1 when I'll be revealing more details about the new products and prints!

After we were released, The Hubs picked me up and we headed to find some lunch. After walking around for the longest time, we finally found the absolute best pizza I've had in a long time! (I know, I know. I've eaten a lot of pizza here lately....it'll be okay.) It was so good! It was cooked in a stone oven and my mouth still waters thinking about it. We'll definitely have to go there again.

So, that's been my day. Not a lot to report, but a taste of the day for you =D

Friday, January 6, 2012

Think Before You Press Send

Why is it that there are some things that are acceptable if done to an IFer, but, if a similar sort of thing was done to someone suffering from a more well-known disease, the person committing the offense would be condemned?

This morning I got to work and opened my email to find a "funny" email from one of my work colleagues.

I will pause here to state that our problems conceiving and the health issues I've gone through over the past couple of years have been no secret to this person. She shares an office with me and knows very well what struggles and disappointments the last two years have held. That's why I was so surprised this email came from her.

The email was - supposedly - a "Thesis on Women" and included several bits of "Medical Information Women Should Know". What is this information, you ask? Well, it consisted of several jokes about pregnancy. One of my favourites (and, yes, that word should be read loaded with sarcasm)? Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth? A: Yes, pregnancy

Now, I understand this is supposed to be funny. But when you're sending this to someone who can't get pregnant or someone who has struggled to get pregnant or someone who has experienced loss or, heaven forbid, recurrent loss, it's just not funny.

The next bit of the email was titled "10 Ways to Know If You Have Estrogen Issues". A couple of the witticism included in this lot? Everyone around you has an attitude problem and You're sure that everyone around you is scheming to drive you crazy. Now, while this may be true and actually describe the feelings of a woman with estrogen problems, I feel it's highly inappropriate to send this to a woman who is actually suffering from severe estrogen problems.

They want to know the real ways to tell you have estrogen problems? You have to have bloodwork every month to determine what your estrogen level is. You have to take medication that plays with your emotions and makes your monthly period incredibly painful and removes any desire you have for a sexual relationship with your partner. You have to have an endometrial biopsy every 6 months to confirm you don't have hyperplasia. You have to have a D&C when you do have hyperplasia.

Yeah. Not so funny when you know the true side of it. I honestly can't imagine anyone sending out an email with jokes about cancer in it and particularly not to a cancer patient. It would just be inhumanly cruel. So, why is it okay to send this to infertiles or to PCOSers? Why is it okay to poke fun at the real, devestating diseases that afflict us? Why are we accused of over-reacting when we mention that an email like this is not appreciated and that it actually hurts to read?

Will people ever treat those suffering from reproductive conditions as they would someone suffering another, more recognized disease? With the more time that passes, the more I become convinced this will never happen.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

One of Those Days

You know those days where nothing goes right and you spend most of the day wishing you'd stayed home in bed? Yeah. I've had one of those days today.

The day started off pretty promising. I got up and had my shower without a lot of trouble, but that was the extent of my good fortune for today. When I started getting dressed, I discovered that the scrub pants I intended to wear to work today had the drawstring in them torn out in the washing machine. They're too big without the drawstring, so I had to find another pair of pants. This had me running late.

The Hubs was off work today and I really wanted to stay home with him, so this contributed more time to my running late. I headed outside and discovered there was ice on my windshield. I had to scrap that off (yup, in Georgia) before I could head into work. By the time I got there, it was 7:22. I'm supposed to be at work at 7am.

The next hour seemed okay. Nothing too crazy or irksome happened. But then the calm passed. Without going into confidential details, I spent the next 2 hours trying to sort something out for a very rude patient who didn't want to do what she needed to do. She came very close to cursing me out and had me really upset. I actually had to wind up turning this over to someone else to take care of because I didn't have the authority to do what the patient wanted done.

Next, I was called into my boss' office. This was not a bad visit, but I always feel stressed around my boss. Basically, the trajectory of the day had been set already and I felt it wouldn't be turning around.

Lunchtime next, so I came home and had lunch with The Hubs. I was late leaving for lunch and had an afternoon meeting, so my lunch was cut short. And I still couldn't come home and spend the afternoon with The Hubs. Back to work I went, in time to have about 15 minutes before my meeting.

The meeting itself was only supposed to last about half an hour. Two hours after it began, we were finally getting out. I usually get off work at 3:30, but the meeting didn't end until 4pm. Then I had to discuss something with another colleague, so I didn't leave work until nearly 5pm.

I came home, did some cleaning around the house, found myself too tired to cook and sweettalked The Hubs into having a pizza for dinner. It had been such a bad day, that I even got myself a blizzard to go with my pizza.

I'm now preparing to put this long, dreadful day to rest and head myself to bed. Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday!I need this weekend.!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Meme That Aunt Becky Made

So, I was browsing through some blog posts this morning when I happened onto this hilarious meme over at Kristin's blog. I followed the link on over to Aunt Becky's page and.....here you go! My take on the meme.

1) What does Meme mean?

Its the more common name for that black hole of nothingness that sucks you into it and you find yourself compelled to participate in despite knowing no one really wants to read it but that entertains you to complete.

2) 2011 – Was it all you’d hoped it would be?

2011 was a complex year. There were parts of it that were just freakin' awesome (going to Vegas, starting the adoption process, moving into a new house) and there were other parts that sucked big-time (my dad dying, my best friend moving away). I can't really say it was all I hoped for, but I can say it was a year that helped me to grow.

3) Did you watch the Royal Wedding?

Sadly, no. I was at work. I watched bits of it on the Internet and on the news, but did not get to watch the whole thing. This was sad for me, being married to a Brit and all, but....I got over it.

4) Where are your pants?

Um...they're on my bottom. Unless, of course, you're referring to the ones at home. They're in a drawer. Or hanging in my closet. Or, just possibly, in the dirty clothes hamper. What a peculiar question.

5) Is Justin Bieber human or some sort of robot?

Justin Bieber is a blight on mankind. End of story.

6) If you had only one thing to wish for this coming year, what would it be?

That our adoption proceeds quickly and smoothly and that our child is with us very soon.

7) Would you call yourself a “social media maven?”

Nada. I use social media, but I'm not consistent with it and I don't really like them. Apart from blogging (which I don't really consider social media, despite it obviously being that), they kind of make me feel like I'm lacking something.

8 ) If you had to take three things to a desert island (let’s assume you have ample food and water), what would they be?

I'm going to assume (for my own purposes) that The Hubs and The Pog are allowed to come and bring their own three things (which, for The Pog, I'm assuming would be her blanket, her favourite chew toy and her leash - these seem to be her favourite things), so that means I don't have to use them as part of my allotted items. Hmmm...I guess my Kindle, my laptop (with built-in Internet that does not require a signal to be near-by...I'm talking state-of-the-art military stuff here) and my craft box.

9) If you had the ability to banish certain offenses to an island where they would be rehabilitated into being okay again, what would those offenses be?

Wow....um...I don't think Blogger will allow me enough publishing room to list all of them, so I'll have to narrow it down. Okay...

Disagreeing with me (I know, I know. I'll be the first to admit I'm not reasonable)
Talking to me like I'm an idiot
Mispronouncing words
Speaking in textspeak (borrowing this from Kristin because it's so true!)
Playing favourites
And (rant to follow) it aggravates the absolute HELL out of me for my employees to ignore and fail to do something I have specifically told them to do!!!!!

10) How do YOU think the air conditioner works?

Well...I flip the button to turn it on and tiny little elves rush over to feed the system, kind of like on a steamship. That's how I like to think of it anyway.

11) Do you ACTUALLY think you can make money blogging?

ROFLMAO! Sure! If your name is Midas! But then, anything you touched would turn to gold, no?

12) There’s a lot of talk in the blog world about microblogging (The Tumblr, The Twitter, The Facebook) taking over traditional blogs. Do you think that’s the case?

Nope. As long as there are those of us willing to pour our heart and souls (or wit and sarcasm) into blogs, they'll be around.

13) If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Don't bother with contraceptives! They aren't necessary!

14) If you could’ve told yourself this time last year one thing, what would it be?

Enjoy every second you have with the ones you love because you never know when the next second won't come.

15) If you could have one Super Power, what would it be?

Oh, definitely mind-reading. I can't stand not knowing exactly what people are thinking. It drives me crazy!

16) If you could do one thing you can’t currently do, and do it well, what would it be?

Make babies. I mean, is there really any question here?

17) What surprises you about yourself?

That I get so easily irritated with people. That there are so few people in my daily life that I can actually tolerate being around. Other people, I love them! I generally count myself a people person! But, the people I work with drive me crazy!

18) What was your favorite blog post/tweet of the past year?

This is my favourite blog post, not because of the subject of it (which was absolutely the most heart-breaking thing I've ever gone through), but because I poured my heart into it: Time is Fleeting. Carpe Diem.

19) Do you REALLY think “Purple Should Be A Flavor?”

Definitely! I love the color purple (it's my favourite!) and I'm sure if it were a flavour it would be awesome!

20) If you could make one outlandish wish for 2012, what would it be?

Hahaha...I have to condense it to one?!?! Okay. I wish for a major lotter win! That way, I can get all the small things I wish for. Like a big new house. And a new car. And a worry-free adoption. And all our bills paid.

Monday, January 2, 2012

...Hello 2012!

You might notice a few changes around here. I'm updating, or trying to. Hopefully, it won't be long before all my housekeeping is done and my blog actually looks tidy again.

So, I should probably tell you my New Year's resolutions, right? Well, I've decided I'm not making any. There are things I plan to work on, but I'm not going to resolve to do them because I feel like that is setting myself up for failure. Therefore, I'll post about them as I make progress with them. That way, I'll not have to cram them all into one post, but can have something to blog about when I'm feeling boring.

It was back to work today for me. The Hubs goes back tomorrow. I wish I could take more time off, but such is life. At least today was only a half-day. Tomorrow will go back to regular hours. I'm still not feeling very happy about work but I'm getting on with it anyway.

I'm considering getting a Wii dance game (possibly Just Dance 3) to help me work on my weight. I need something fun to help me get into the swing of things again. However, the game will have to wait a couple of paychecks. Got to catch up from all my Christmas spending! Anyone have any experience using one of these games to lose weight? Would you recommend it?

I know this is a short post, but I think I'm going to end on that note for now. There's a lot more I could say, but I'm feeling really tired and The Hubs and I are watching a movie I'm very interested in (I Know Who Killed Me if you're interested), so I think I'll focus on that for now. More later!