Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tommy took off today and he's with some of the guys from church on a disaster recovery trip. They're helping build a deck and ramp for our Pastor's wife's dad, he had a stroke a couple of months ago. I'm trying to absorb in as much as I can in these last few days off! I can't believe tomorrow is the last day of the year.
On the adoption front, just in case any of you haven't heard. I did some researching yesterday and found out that the adoption tax credit has been extended until December 2012. It had currently been extended until December 2011 and had been increased by $1000 and is fully refundable. The article from adoption council said they aren't sure if the amount will change but they felt like it would stay the same. I'm so thankful it's been extended. Not only will it help us but will also help others who want to adopt.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Our niece and nephew came over Monday night and spent the night with us. They are staying all week with Tommy's mom and dad. They are pretty funny and have grown up a lot. My niece informed us that her favorite food was ribs so along with spaghetti we also had ribs for dinner. I was surprised she actually ate them. We watched one of the Home Alone movies and it was great to listen to them laugh. It makes me remember all of those care free days of being a kid. Bailey loved having them over and having someone to play with.
I have been really praying hard this week for all of us waiting. I pray that this is the year that God does awesome things for our families. This was in my devotional this morning and I thought it was really appropriate for everything we do.
"The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but rather the one who moves on in spite of failure." "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
We ended up going over to Tommy's mom's for a bit on Christmas Eve. It was nice and we had a great time. I'm glad all of our families live so close. We then headed out to our church's Christmas Eve service which was in a hotel on the river. The room is an older one and it was a really neat place to have a service. I'll have to post some pictures later of the service. One of my "little friends" sat with me. She is so cute and for whatever reason always runs to me when they come to church.
Tommy is like a kid when it comes to Christmas. I waited until he got into bed and then put a few things in his stocking. We weren't supposed to do a lot for each other because we bought the bedroom furniture but he never follows through with his word. I bought him some new hunting gear and a new brush for the grill. He bought me a gift certificate to get a new coat with and a necklace to match the earrings I bought in Savannah (silver, shaped like the old ornate iron). We then headed over to his mom's house to give our nephew and niece their gifts. Mind you, my nephew (he's 10) was so excited about getting up on Christmas day that he called us at 6:30 to see if we were up :) My 6 year old niece told us this was the best Christmas ever :) They were pretty funny. After spending a little bit of time there we headed over to my parents. Tommy was dying to go over there. Santa still visits us at my parents (there are no grandchildren yet) :)
This was the best surprise ever! I didn't write anything about it before because I didn't know if Tommy would get a wild hair and decide to read the blog. He really wanted this new camo shotgun. We decided it was best to wait and he could get it later. He's been duck hunting with one of his friends from work (I know, poor duckies). Well he's been so excited about going, he would come over and tell my dad all about it. My dad is an avid outdoorsman. Always has been. It was just my sister and I growing up so he never had "the boy" to take with him. So after one of these talks, my dad told my mom to go buy the gun for him. I told them I would give them half but my dad wouldn't hear of it. They decided to "trick" him and wait until after we all had opened presents and then give it to him. My mom made him close his eyes and then she brought it out. When he opened his eyes, he couldn't believe it. He starts crying, I'm crying, my mom and dad are crying, it was pretty funny. But he was so excited and humbled that they bought this for him. My mom was like, I never expected that reaction. It was great! Here are some pictures from Christmas day.
Tommy said they needed some "old school" games to playTommy with his stocking at my parents
Friday, December 24, 2010
From our family to yours I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and that you are able to take in and be thankful for all that we do have. My prayer for all of us that are waiting (no matter what we're waiting for), is that we would feel God's presence in an awesome way this upcoming year.
"When the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons." Galatians 4:4
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Besides the fun this morning, we've had a great day. He's off today, tomorrow and Monday. I have really enjoyed my time off. Everything is clean, the laundry's finished and now I can just relax. I even baked sugar cookies, crescent layer bars, and chocolate oatmeal cookie drops for our friends and neighbors.
We still don't know what are plans are going to be for Christmas Eve. We've always gone to Tommy's Grandma's so it's weird to not have her here. His mom really hasn't wanted to talk about it so we've just left it alone. If she doesn't do anything, then I think we're going to make homemade lasagna and go to our church's Christmas Eve service. We've been enjoying our time together and wonder if this will be our last Christmas without a child.
Tonight's the big weigh in night so hopefully the scales will be kind :)
Here's some pictures from our trip to Mike's farm last weekend.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
(January 31, 2003) We hope all is well and you all are in great health and happiness. Sorry for the mass mailing here, but we wanted to take a few moments of your time and let you know what has been going on in our lives. Many of you already know “the story”, but for those of you that don’t, we’re sorry you had to find out this way! We would call everyone if we could, but time just doesn’t permit that. After you have read this story, please feel free to share it with others.
On December 21, 2002, Tommy went to Greenville, SC for a professional bowling tournament. He was really excited about it because this was the first one he has bowled in quite some time. Trisha was on her way to Wilmington, where we were supposed to meet up for Christmas. However, our plans changed. Just a bit of history, again for those that don’t know, Tommy has had a pacemaker since the age of 5. He was born with a congenital heart defect. Over the past three years, he has had surgery for a new pacemaker as well as several surgeries to correct irregular rhythms. However, for the past year he has had no problems.
Back to the story…He traveled to Greenville with a friend that he bowls with here in Charlotte. Tommy had completely bowled through one game and had begun the second. After his turn, he went back, had a seat and fell from the chair to the floor. By the Grace of God, there were two EMS first responders (one was bowling), another medically inclined person, and a man who has had numerous trainings in CPR. They all had no clue that he had a pacemaker or what was occurring at that time. They couldn’t get his heart to start again because he needed a shock from a defibrillator, so they continued with the CPR. At this point, they are thinking that he has had a seizure.
Tommy’s mom receives the first phone call and then calls Trisha to find out what medications he is currently taking. After we got this through to them, Trisha, Tommy’s mom, and Tommy’s brother started the drive from Wilmington to Greenville. During this time we had our dearest friends, Kara and our “Preacher” (our former pastor from Wilmington who lives in Charlotte) and his wife drive from Charlotte to Greenville because we knew that they could make it there faster. The doctors from the hospital constantly called during our drive to let us know what was going on with Tommy. He arrived there by helicopter and they had put him on a respirator.
After a few hours we finally arrived in Greenville. Tommy was irritated (partly because of the medicine) and he didn’t have a clue as to what had happened to him. In the meantime, many prayers are going out, all down the eastern seaboard. Trisha talked with the doctor and he explained that Tommy had gone into cardiac arrest, not a heart attack. His heart stopped beating and it took three shocks from the defibrillator to get his heart started up again. He also said we were very blessed that there were people around him that could carry out CPR, without them being there, Tommy would have either not made it or had serious brain injury. He also told us that because of the lack of blood flow and oxygen, there may be some permanent brain injury, but it was just too early to tell at this point.
On Sunday, Tommy was taken by helicopter to the hospital in Charlotte. This is where all of his doctors are at and we knew this would be the best place for him. He was very emotional and all of his short term memory was obsolete. He couldn’t remember bowling at all or to that matter anything dealing with the “event.” Once he arrived in Charlotte, they took him off the respirator. The doctors came in and told us that they would need to put in a new device, an ICD or internal cardioverter defibrillator. This would automatically shock his heart if this were to happen again. It also has a pacemaker function.
On Monday, he had numerous visitors and he started remembering little by little who had been by to visit. He was still having trouble remembering what day it was and he still really didn’t know what exactly had happened to him.
On Christmas Eve, they performed the surgery, implanting the new device. It went well. They put the heart back into that really irregular rhythm twice and it shocked it back to normal within two seconds. As to why this happened, we still really do not know except that it was part of God’s Perfect Plan.
Tommy was able to come home Christmas Day, although he doesn’t remember much about it, except that Trisha’s family was there and he ate lots. On Friday, the 27th of December, his memory began to come back. Although he still doesn’t remember the “event” or many of the days after it, he can remember everything from that Friday on. He also can’t bowl or golf for two months and he is not allowed to drive for six months. We see the doctor for the first time on January 31st.
We are writing this letter to thank each of you for all you have done, most importantly all the prayers. If you’re just finding out now, it’s still OK to pray! As our former pastor would say, “We need the prayers, you need the practice.” We also want each of you to know how much we love you. You all mean so much to us. We believe that God allowed this to happen for a reason. Although we don’t quite know what it is yet, we feel like writing this letter could be part of it. We want you to experience the same joy we have everyday, knowing that our Savior loves and protects us. We have been told that only 5% of people that experience what Tommy did, live to tell about it. Therefore, we want you to know. We’re also praying that if you don’t know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior like we do, that you will find Him and accept Him as your own. We also feel it’s very important to be in church, around Christian friends, who can help guide and support you through all things, including one such as this. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So we know from the beginning, God was in this! We wouldn’t want it any other way! We hope to see you when our Lord calls us home.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
I had to get myself together though and get my focus back. I know God is protecting us and He'll bring the perfect situation to us. Tommy and I were talking and we both said it's better to be "just waiting" than to have to go through a failed match or placement. We emailed our social worker this week too and she said they have been busy but that a lot of expectant mothers have changed their minds at the last minute. She said the birthparent counselor in Raleigh was pretty discouraged. We're just continuing to pray that God will bring these women to our agency and will work in them-no matter what they decide; we want them to know and have a relationship with Him above all else. So after I spent some time in prayer and had some nice chats with my wonderful husband, I'm back on track. I can't wait to see how God is going to use us this upcoming year.
We've had a pretty busy weekend but we've also had lots of fun. We went with some friends to a place about an hour away from here called Mike's farm. It started out as a Christmas tree farm but now they have a restaurant, bakery, and hayrides. There's always a really long wait to eat so we went up early and got our names on the list. While we waited, we decided to go for the hayride. They go through the tree farm and it's all decorated with lights. They play music as you go through and in one part it snows on you (probably the closest thing we'll see to snow) :) We had a great time and have decided that will be our yearly tradition. We also had a Christmas party last night with Tommy's family and some close friends. We had a great time and laughed so much that our stomachs hurt!
We finished up our shopping yesterday and we're ready! I love giving gifts to others and I'm excited about giving our parents their gifts. I'm also very excited that I don't have to wake up early this week or next!
I almost forgot to add....I lost 1.2 pounds this week (WOOHOO!) and (are you ready for this)..met my 10% goal! I'm ready to tackle this holiday eating season :)
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I also forgot to post about my weight loss last week. Weight watchers kicked off a new plan so last week was my first week giving it a try. It's really different from the old one but I think I like it. Anyways, I was down 2.4 pounds!! I really needed that little boost. After Christmas, my best friend and I are going to tackle a Zumba class.
On the adoption front....My best friend called this afternoon and told me that one of her clients came in today and began talking about her daughter. To make a long story short, basically, the woman's daughter is pregnant. The Grandma (my friend's client), is already raising one of her children and she said she can't afford to raise this one. They both feel that adoption is the best plan for her daughter's baby (she's due in January). She then goes on to say, wouldn't it be great if we knew of a couple who wanted a baby. So of course, my friend passed along our information. Now I have learned not to get too excited about these situations but you just don't know. She told me that the woman was really excited to get our information. She said I don't know if she'll call but I wanted you to know. I told her that in these situations you just don't know what may happen. We'll just continue to pray that God will send us the child that is supposed to come home to us. I guess at least that was a little news though :)
Sunday, December 12, 2010
We've had a pretty relaxing weekend, thank goodness. We had a Christmas party last night with our church and it was a lot of fun. We went caroling through one of the neighborhoods and I told them all that we were like the group of "misfit carolers." It was pretty funny and the kids that went with us thought it was great.
We've almost finished all of our Christmas shopping. I have two more things to pick up and then we're done! I also got everything wrapped yesterday so that was a good feeling. Thursday is my last day at school with the students and then Friday is a teacher workday; I'll be off until the 3rd and I'm so excited for a little break!
It seems a lot of us have talked lately about some of the "stupid" things people say. Well it's been a while since I've encountered one of these conversations, until today :) And of course it was at church. We were cleaning up after service; the kids were running around, just being kids and one of the women I go to church with says, aren't you guys ready for some of these? Ok, really? And yes she does know we're adopting. I had to bite my tongue to withhold the sarcasm that was going to say, nah we just thought we'd enter the program for fun. Ah, the joys of people not knowing what to say to you. And just for the record, yes we are ready, we have been for 4 years now :)
Speaking of which, I can't believe we started this process to have children 4 years ago. I remember the last day I took the pill and we *thought* we'd be welcoming home our child that year. 2006 seems like it was so far away and we had these huge hopes of becoming parents. Over the last 4 years, we've been through it all. Waking up bright and early to take my temperature, Tommy getting tested, more poking, more testing, IVF, the miscarriage, a FET, and then the process of adoption. Now we wait once more but this time for the phone call that will change our lives forever. We pray it comes soon but we know and are assured that God is holding us and is guiding us through this process as we wait. If it weren't for Him, we know, we'd have never made it this far!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Hope you all are having a great day!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Our bedroom furniture gets delivered tomorrow and I'm excited about that. I can get all of my clothes off of the spare bed :)
It has turned soooooooo cold here. You know me, I am all about warm weather so I am not liking this too much. It was in the 20s here this morning and only made it to about 40 for a high. I know some of you are laughing at that but for this beach going girl, that's COLD! It has also been really windy so that doesn't help matters.
Our Christmas parties over the weekend were really fun. We had a great time and I got to catch up with my "country friends." What I was most impressed with though was Friday night. We went out to dinner with Tommy's co-workers and their wives. One couple lives near us and they rode with us. She is about 2 months pregnant. They had been trying for about 6 months. She talked about the pregnancy and I was truly happy for her. I *think* I am almost to the point where it doesn't bother me anymore. Don't get me wrong, I still have my days but this was a great feeling. At dinner, towards the end they all started talking about it and different things about what they are and are not going to be able to do anymore. At first it was a bit awkward but I really didn't have any of those angry, sad, or why can't this be me thoughts.
I really thought about it on the way home and I have realized that God has really changed my heart. I remember feeling sad around this time of year because we don't have children, because my parents aren't Grandparents, because there aren't children running all over the place at the different houses that we visit. This year it feels different. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait until that happens but right now, I feel very blessed to be where we are. To know that God is working and that His plans are always better than what our feeble minds can come up with. I feel renewed and full of hope and I thank God for changing my heart into what and who He wants me to become.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Last night I went to a dinner with Tommy's mom. They honored Tommy's Grandma by starting a silver platter which will be awarded to someone who shows excellence in service. They spoke so highly of her and the woman (one of our state representatives) who was given the award last night also said really remarkable things about her. I know she would have been humbled at this. It was a special night.
Tonight we are going down to Myrtle Beach for Tommy's work party. I have no idea why they decided to go there but we will do some shopping before we meet them all to eat. Tomorrow we are going to our friends little boy's 3rd birthday party and then we have another Christmas party at Tommy's Great Uncle and Aunt's in the country. "Up there" I'm known as "city girl." (ha ha) Every summer Tommy's uncle grows corn and has us all come up to help with the shucking and then we freeze it to use during the winter. One of his friends used to make fun of me because we live in "the city" and he was surprised that I knew how to do it. So from that point forward, I became "city girl."
At some point during this busy weekend we have to clean out our drawers, night stands etc so we can donate those pieces to Goodwill. Our furniture comes on Wednesday :)
My mom called this week to let me know that we are "celebrities;" we were pictured with some friends from a benefit dinner/auction we went to for cystic fibrosis. You can see it here (we're on the bottom of page 62).
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
They provided me with coupons for Pillsbury crescent rolls, a baking pan, apron, recipe cards and many other goodies. My friends and family were anxious to grab up the extra coupons that were sent along as well as a recipe card highlighting the following recipes. The following are the recipes we tried out and they were great (these are my own opinions). Here's a picture of some of our goodies:Crescent-Wrapped Brie*
|Prep Time: 20 Min|
|Total Time: 1 Hr|
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate crosswise into 2 sections. Pat dough and firmly press perforations to seal, forming 2 squares. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut crosswise into 2 rectangles. Pat dough to form 2 squares.
- Place 1 square on ungreased cookie sheet. Place cheese on center of dough. With small cookie or canapé cutter, cut 1 shape from each corner of remaining square; set cutouts aside.
- Place remaining square on top of cheese round. Press dough evenly around cheese; fold bottom edges over top edges. Gently stretch dough evenly around cheese; press to seal completely. Brush with beaten egg. Top with cutouts; brush with additional beaten egg.
- Bake 20 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Serve warm
|Prep Time: 15 Min|
|Total Time: 30 Min|
- Heat oven to 375°F. Unroll both cans of the dough; separate into 16 triangles. Cut each triangle lengthwise into 3 narrow triangles.
- Place sausage on shortest side of each triangle. Roll up each, starting at shortest side of triangle and rolling to opposite point; place point side down on 2 ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown, switching position of cookie sheets halfway through baking. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.
|Prep Time: 25 Min|
|Total Time: 2 Hr 20 Min|
- Heat oven to 375°F (350°F for dark pans). Grease bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan.
- If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough into 2 long rectangles. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough. Place in pan; press over bottom and 1/2 inch up sides to form crust. Bake 5 minutes.
- Remove partially baked crust from oven. Sprinkle vanilla chips, chocolate chips, almonds and cashews evenly over crust. Pour condensed milk evenly over top.
- Return to oven; bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pan. Cool 1 hour. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until chocolate is set. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows.
|Prep Time: 15 Min|
|Total Time: 35 Min|
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate into 2 long rectangles. Press each into 12x4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut lengthwise into 2 long rectangles. Press each into 12x4-inch rectangle.
- Spread dressing over each rectangle to edges. Sprinkle each with bacon, Cheddar cheese and onions.
- Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle; press edge to seal. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 8 slices; place cut side down on ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.