Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Yes, that's right! I'm starting to freak out! Gideon is due in just 23 days! We don't have a pediatrician yet, don't even know how to go about finding one. I have about 400 projects around the house that need to get done before he gets here, and to top it off between the books, internet and friends I'm really stressing about all the baby stuff. How long do I have to be a Nazi about people washing their hands before they hold him? What if we wash our hands too much and he doesn't get enough good bacteria to build his immune system? How am I going to keep the cat away from him? How am I going to keep the cat from turning into a holy terror when I have to keep him away from the baby? How am I supposed to take a shower and get myself ready when Travis is at work and I'm alone with the baby? I washed all the baby stuff in that 'mild' detergent, but our sheets are washed it regular detergent, is he going to have a reaction if I put him in bed with us to feed him during the night? Will the dishwasher sterilize the bottles enough or do I need to boil them with the nipples and rings? If I sterilize all the nipples and rings together, how do I keep them sterile until feeding time? How long do I need to continue to sterilize everything? Will he miss out on too much by not being able to be breastfed? I have no idea how to work the car seat, am afraid I'll force him to eat too much, and worried that I'll compulsively check diapers every 20 minutes because I'm so afraid of letting him sit too long in a wet diaper. Don't even get me started on thinks like colic, cradle cap and dozens of other little baby ailments that terrify me.

I know all of you with children are probably laughing at the triviality of my paranoia, but please tell me that some level of a meltdown is normal. Perhaps mine is worse than most because we've waited so long for children and are older than most first time parents. But still, is this normal. or am I just losing my mind?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tribute to a Champion

I don't know how many people can claim their youngest sibling as one of their heroes, but I can and do. Cody has been one of my heroes for a while now. (In many ways I've felt that he's Nephi to my Laman or Lemuel.) Over the last several years I've learned a lot from my baby brother. But this weekend, he taught me once again what being a champion is all about.

You all know of course that Cody placed 2nd at Districts and went to State Championships this weekend as the 6th seed in his weight class. He's a great wrestler and even though he was seeded 6th, the truth is, he's as good as any kid in the state. So hopes and expectations were extremely high.

On Thursday he got sick. Not from nerves, but the flu. Still, shaking with a fever and chills and a queasy stomach, he went out and scored a victory in his first match. (Then he went back to the hotel and crashed for a couple of hours.) Since he won, he didn't have to wrestle again until Friday morning which gave him time to rest up and feel better.

We knew his first match Friday would be a tough match for him. It was against the only kid in the district he'd never beat. But Cody went out and wrestled a spectacular match. In the waning seconds of the last period, the other kid had a one point lead, and then Cody got a take down. But the referree didn't award the points before the time expired, so Cody lost. Coach argued it and half the fans were booing but it didn't matter. The Referree's call (or lack of in this case) stood. Cody amazed us all by coming off the mat with a grin, "It's okay, I'll still take 3rd place" were the first words out of his mouth. Still it was difficult for the rest of us to know that he went out and got the job done, but had it taken away from him. It made it worse that for the rest of the weekend we were approached by fans, coaches and wrestlers from other teams who all said basically the same thing "You were robbed." (In all fairness, most of the refereeing was great this weekend, but there were a few terrible calls, and Cody was not the only one who got ripped off in a match.)

His next match he won. Which meant that he had to win only one more on Friday night to be locked into the top six. (In wrestling, the top six places medal and stand on the podium.) That match was against Josh Jeffries of Highland. A good wrestler and a good kid. We've gotten to know the Jeffries family somewhat through the season and we really like them and their son. In both head to head meetings this season Cody won by very slim margins. And he was the first to say they were the toughest matches he's wrestled this year. In fact, after his over time victory over Josh at Districts Cody came off the mat exhausted and said, "That's the hardest match I've ever wrestled." Josh is a senior, Cody is a junior.

And on Friday night, Josh just wanted it more. Late in the final period, Josh was up five points and the coaches and ref's were in conference at the table about the score or something. Cody and Josh were kneeling on the mat, both exhausted and taking advantage of the unexpected breather. From my perch way up in the stands I could see they were talking. And then they reached across the mat and shook hands. The match wasn't over yet. No one had won or lost. But here were these two kids demonstrating what sportsmanship really is. Moments later when the match officially ended, they shook hands again and embraced for just a second and spoke. Cody's season had ended, while Josh moved on to the rounds Saturday which would determine where on the podium he would stand. I don't know the exact conversation that took place at the time, but I know now that the match was bittersweet for both of them. On Cody's part he was sad to have lost, but I know that he was truly happy that Josh would end up with a state medal from his final season. And Josh was thrilled to have won, but sad that he had to put Cody out of the tournament in order to advance. Because Josh reiterated the sentiment we hadn't stopped hearing all day, "You weren't supposed to have been in this match."

I found myself moved to tears by Cody's maturity and grace. He walked off the mat accepting the defeat like a man. He didn't get mad and stomp off, refusing to shake hands. He didn't throw his head gear or curse out loud or sit down and cry. He simply walked off. (And then he smiled a big smile at Josh and said, "Hey you may have won, but I think I get the prize. I don't have to make weight again. I'm going to get an ice cream." And within minutes he'd downed an ice cream cone and two chocolate milks.)

I don't know how he did it with a smile on his face Saturday. Cheering on Josh and the others as they climbed on the podium. All the while knowing he was supposed to have been down there. Knowing that he deserved to be down there and did his part to get there. I know that he's sad. It hurts to have everything you've dreamed about and worked so hard for taken away from you. And yet he's not bitter or angry at the ref, or the other wrestler. (He even chastised my parents and I for shouting at a ref during a bad call in another match on Saturday.) He laughed and joked an cheered for everyone else on Saturday. He never made a negative comment about the referee or the wrestler who stole his dream. Only when we were in the car on the long drive back did any of the weariness begin to show. And even then he only sighed and said, "It's time to go home. I'm tired."

Last minute strategizing

Cody & I checking out the competition

Hillary, Dad & Cody, Saturday morning watching the finals

Oh yeah I almost forgot! Cody's ear got tweaked really bad on Friday and filled up with blood (commonly known as "Cauliflower Ear.") So a doctor had to drain the blood and fluid out of it twice on Saturday then wrapped him up like a war veteran. And he has to wear the wrap for a week. (The doctor told him, "It's sympathy points with the ladies.") I'm just wondering how that's going to look with his suit at church in the morning.

I got cold so I borrowed Cody's jacket. I can still pass for a high school kid, right? (Just Kidding! Please don't answer that question it was rhetorical!)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Born to be a Tarheel!

As a college basketball fanatic, everyone knows that I always look forward to March. I happily & proudly don my Carolina blue, print out my brackets and obsess over every injury report, coaching scandal and any and all marginally good "mid-major" teams. Gideon will likely have the privilege of being born right in the middle of the tournament. And since we want there to be no questions about where his loyalties will lie, Cami was kind enough to send some baby 'Heels gear so that he'll be ready to watch the tournament in style. We love you Aunt Cami!

Speaking of my son (wow, that sounds weird, I'm still not used to it), I got to see B last night. Most of you know I volunteer at LDSFS. Anyway, we had a training meeting for all birth parent volunteers yesterday. At the end of it, the caseworker who is over the birth parent volunteers (who also happens to be B's caseworker) popped her head in and said, "Hey Cali, B is here for group. Do you want to say Hi?" So I got to sneak into group and give her a big hug. And then B introduced me as her adoptive mom to the whole group. So that was kind of a neat experience. She's such a doll! I feel so blessed to know her. Indeed I feel blessed beyond what I deserve.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Stuffed Dog Conundrum

Okay so now that you all know the outcome, I figure I'll take the time to relate the story. Because it's me, so you know there's a story.

I woke up yesterday morning and the first thing I noticed was that the sun was shining more brightly than it had in months. In fact, yesterday turned out to be one of the brightest most beautiful days in a long time. A cloudless, stunning blue sky didn't warm it up very much, but it made me smile. My daddy called at 7:00am and the first words out his mouth were, "Are you excited?" I could tell he was excited. I have to admit that although I was still quite nervous, I felt good. Not because I knew what would happen, but because I finally had reached peace somewhere in the sleepless night when I truly felt for the first time that we'd be able to handle the answer whatever it was.

Somehow I stumbled through work, although in retrospect everything yesterday morning seems like a blur. I called our caseworker, Dan (unlike Leisha we have been blessed with a caseworker who is an absolute saint) just to make sure that he had the letter. His conversation made me more nervous than I already was. He said, "Yes, it's here. And when you read it will you please call me. I'm interested to see where she's coming from and I want to know what she's feeling." Instantly my mind went to the negative. "Oh no!" I thought all the way to the agency. "She's not choosing us!"

When I got there, the lady at the desk called Dan to tell her I was there. Her one comment on the phone was, "Oh. That one." She got up and returned accompied by Dan and carrying the largest stuffed dog I've ever seen.

I should back up here and tell you that last Wednesday night when we met this lovely birth mom (who will be referred to hereafter as B) she asked us about pets. We talked about our cat and Travis told her that we've been wanting a puppy and have been keeping our eyes open for the right one. So when I saw this giant dog with a letter tied around it's neck I almost panicked. My first thought was "YAY! A Valentine!" But then I went straight to "Oh no! She's not choosing us and she's trying to soften the blow with this giant dog!" Dan was smiling, but somehow that didn't comfort me. I still had a two hour drive ahead of me to obsess about it. He asked if I was nervous, I responded by telling him that I hadn't eaten or slept in the last 10 days. He laughed a little and said that was normal. He once again asked me to call him once we'd read the letter.

So then I was on my way. I honestly don't remember the drive to Soda Springs. I only know that I got there faster than I'd ever made that drive before. The entire drive my conundrum over the dog and what it could mean occupied my thoughts. I flucuated between elation and devastation more times than I can count. And when I'd peek in the mirror and see it taking up the whole back seat, my heart would stop as I'd remember that my future was tied so innocently around it's neck. In an envelope covered in stickers of cats, dogs and little hearts.

Once I arrived at the home of Trav's aunt and uncle, the wait for him to get home was agonizing. Miraculously, he got out of work early and was home by 4:15. (Good thing too, I don't think I could have taken it much longer.) Travis handed me the envelope to open, but then I started to cry and my fingers were shaking too much, so he took it from me. His face was straight as he read it silently to himself first (despite my loud protestations that he needed to read it outloud.) I only knew the answer when he said, "So I guess this means I don't get my new truck." I think I screamed and practially tore the note from his fingers.

I won't relate the whole letter, because it's personal. But basically she said that she felt we were an amazing couple and that she got a very special feeling about us in the face-to-face meeting. She told us that this was an extremely difficult decision, but she finally feels like she's found the right family for her baby boy.

I've carried that note around with me everywhere since. I slept with it on the nightstand next to me, it's been in my purse or pocket ever since. I think I've got it memorized now, but I still can't seem to stop myself from opening it back up every few minutes and just staring at it. And yes, I cry every time.

Thank you all so much for everything this last week and a half. You probably don't care, but I don't mind telling you that I actually really slept last night. I also realized for the first time in a long time that I was starving, so Trav and I went out to eat and we both ate like we hadn't seen food in a month.

One note of caution, with adoption there's still a long road ahead. So please don't stop praying for B that she'll have the strength to continue to make the best decision for both she and the baby. This is far from a sure thing. So don't give up on us yet.

So now, because you've all been so good, and I know that most of you are dying to know what his name will be, perhaps I'll reward you by telling you. Well, the dog I'm calling Val. Short of course for Valentine because this was the greatest Valentine's Day gift ever. But the baby will be Gideon Daniel. (There's a story behind his middle name too, but I'll save that for another day.) Much Love to all!

Eight Months Pregnant

Okay so even though I don't look it, we're going to be parents in five short weeks!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Beautiful Distraction

Okay, well maybe he's more banged up than beautiful, but God Bless my baby brother! On a day when emotion threated to completely overwhelm me, I was able to find distraction in wrestling. Today was the District tournament to determine who gets to go to State and Cody took second! So yes, we'll be making the trip to Boise next weekend for State Championships. Cody didn't actually wrestle the championship match because after a black eye, broken nose, and dislocated shoulder from previous matches, his coach wisely decided it would be a better idea to withdraw and just take 2nd place, than run the risk of futher injury. So stay tuned for exciting highlights from next weekend. And Matt & Jama, let me know when y'all want to get together.

Hillary modeling Cody's headgear. (I hope it wasn't sweaty!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Insomnia, Matthew 11 & a Name

I don't like to get preachy and I hate that my blog seems like a diary these days. But it's very late, and I can't sleep. And I seem to have no other outlet for my emotions right now. I find myself sharing things lately that I'd never intended to share with so many people. And yet I know somehow that sharing is probably the only thing that will free my mind and finally allow me to get some rest.

I learned something today that I'm sure most of you have known for years. Apparently I'm just a little slow. Matthew 11:28-30 is a passage of scripture that I'm sure most of us are very familiar with. And today I have a much greater appreciation for it than I ever thought I would. It reads:

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Have you ever noticed (and I'm sure you all have, I'm just a little slow) that when we pray to the Lord for His help to ease our burden that He doesn't actually change our situation. In my experience He's never changed my circumstances. What He has done instead is to bless me with the strength to bear my burdens. Thus, I feel them less which makes my load seem lighter.
That realization has changed how I read this scripture. Now as I read this passage I see that what the Lord is offering to us here is an opportunity to share His strength. He's willing to help us carry our burdens and to bless us with the power that we need so that our load seems easier to bear.
I don't know if that makes any sense at all and I don't feel like I explained it very well, but it's something that is making my heart very full tonight. I'll explain why in a minute, but first for those who are interested there's an excellent Devotional from January of 2002 by David A. Bednar entitled "In the strength of the Lord." He discusses this very principal which he calls the "Enabling Powers of the Atonement." I recommend it to anyone because it's not very long (like six pages I think) but he brings up some good points including the one that went off like a light bulb for me today. That the Lord won't necessarily remove our burdens, but instead offers us the strength to bear them.
So I'm sure you're not asking yourselves what got me started on this today, but since it's me, you should know I'm going to tell you anyway. A few of you have already heard this. Or parts of it. I'm sorry for the repeat but please bear with me. Since our meeting last week with the birth mom I feel that I've been handling the feeling of being in "limbo" fairly well. I attribute that at least partly to the fact that we've had family in town and thus have been blessed with distractions. But Monday as the last of my distractions returned to the warmer climate of the south east, I found myself realizing a few things.
Chief among these realizations was that I had started internally to refer to this unborn baby boy by a specific name. That for most of the weekend in fact, I hadn't thought of him as "baby boy" but by his name. What was surprising to me was that it wasn't the name Travis and I had been discussing. (Although it was on our list of "possible" names.) And yet I felt that this was the name this little boy should have were he to be placed in our home. When we had met with the birth mother last Wednesday she had asked us if we'd thought of any names. We told her that we had a few names we really liked, but had always thought we would wait until the child was born to see what name would best suit him. So I was quite surprised to find that I was suddenly very sure that he was to have this particular name. (Just to kill the suspense, I'm not going to give away the name in this post. Not because I'm keeping it secret, some of you already know it and you're welcome to share it if you feel so inclined. But because the particular name is not important to the overall story that I'm trying to communicate here.) Monday night as I spoke to Travis on the phone I also realized that being in "limbo" was starting to wear on me a little bit. The distractions of the weekend had allowed me to focus on other things, but now that they were gone, I had little else to dwell on and I realized that I was exhausted from spending each day waiting and wondering.
After I cried my eyes out to my dear husband (who did his best to console me, but his own feelings are as tender as mine about this) I turned to the only other option I could think of. I asked the Lord in my prayer that night if He would bless me with peace. The answer I recieved surprised me. I didn't sleep that night. I spent most of it lying awake thinking about the name of this little boy and feeling absolutely certain that this is what he should be called. As I turned this over in my head, I realized that this was the Lord's way of answering my prayer. He was letting me know that this little boy belonged in our home. I honestly don't think He'd have blessed me to know this child's name if he weren't meant to come to our family.
Despite the lack of sleep, I woke on Tuesday feeling calm and comforted. I knew that the Lord wanted us to have this child. He hadn't changed my situation. He'd simply blessed me with the ability to bear it. Even though the dear birth mother still has the choice of what to do in this situation, it helped me to know that Heavenly Father was cognizant of my feelings and our situation.
My human nature, being just what it is, I called my mother to tell her about my recent discovery of the child's name and the realization of the Lord's blessing that it had brought with it. She surprised me by knowing the name before I even told her. (Probably a bad thing that I was driving at the time. I think I stopped breathing and almost wrecked the car on Skyline and Pancheri.) Anyway, I went to work feeling lighter than I had in days.
And then at lunch time, came the call. Why am I always in public places when big news comes? I was at Wal-Mart grabbing a few things when our caseworker called. He informed me that the birth mother would give us her answer on Thursday. He said that she felt the need to communicate her choice and reasons directly to us and not through a caseworker, so she was writing it all in a letter which we could pick up on Thursday.
Suddenly I found myself plunged into a heart wrenching reality. My stomach hit the floor and I couldn't stop the tears from starting to flow as I remembered something very key. Even though the Lord wants us to have this child, the birth mother still has agency to choose what happens with this child. I don't remember driving home from the store. But I do remember that by the time I got here I was hyperventilating and shaking. I knew I couldn't return to work in that condition, but I was on the verge of a panic attack and didn't know how to stop it.
There are days when I'm grateful that I can see the temple as it usually helps to ground me and remind me of things I hadn't previously considered. Today as I turned out of our street and caught sight of it, I was blessed to think of my dad. Instantly I turned my car and headed toward his work. I called my mom to tell her where I was headed and she apparently gave daddy the heads up that I was coming, because he was waiting for me and came out to meet me when I pulled into the parking lot. We sat in his office and talked for a long time about things. I won't go into the details, but those who are blessed to claim an acquantaince with my father know that he has a gift for being able to always give very timely counsel, even in emotional and tense situations. In addition he seems to have the ability to exercise a calming influence on nearly any situation. And that is what he did for me today. (He's actually the one who suggested the Bednar Devotional. It's one of his favorites and after reading it tonight, I can see why.) Before I left to return to work, I asked him to give me a blessing, which of course he did. Again, nothing in my situation or circumstances changed but I felt immediately calm and able to handle whatever the outcome of situation might be.
There is only one point from our discussion that I'll highlight, and it's the main point of this entirely too long story. I still have no doubt that the Lord let me know that He wants this little boy to be in our home. I have faith that He knows what choice this birth mother will make. So His blessing to me of letting me have the discovery of earlier, is to serve one of two purposes. If her choice is to let us raise the child, then He was preparing us. Confirming to us in His own way that this was and is His will. On the other hand, should she choose not to place the child with us, then I think maybe that was His way of comforting us. Like His vote of confidence that He believes in us and would trust us with a precious child. And perhaps that will help to make the burden lighter as we move on with our lives.
Thursday will be an interesting day. I'll be leaving work early, stopping at the agency to pick up the letter and then driving to Soda Springs to be with Travis as we open it together. It's odd to think that my entire future hangs right now on a letter being composed by a very young girl. But it does. Either way our lives will be drastically altered. We'll either move foward childless, hoping and praying as always, but perhaps if we're lucky with more patience, knowledge and faith than before. Or we'll be preparing for our lives to be turned upside down so that we can welcome this sweet little boy into our home.
And until Thursday, my only hope is that the Lord will continue to bless me with the strength necessary to bear my burdens with ease.
Now that I've bored you all to pieces and gotten this off my chest, perhaps I shall return to my bed. It is Feburary 13th at 1:20am. I started writing nearly two hours ago. My alarm will be going off in less than four hours, and it would be nice if I could get at least a little bit of sleep between now and then.
Thank you for listening. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for your prayers.

Monday, February 11, 2008


As you might guess, there is a story behind these photos. In 1979 my parents took their then two children to Houston, to visit a family that my mom had been close to growing up in Indiana. (Actually it's the family that introduced her to the church.) Anyway Leisha, (AKA "Baby Whit") posted these pictures from that trip and they were way too funny not to copy and post. So enjoy. Thanks so much Leisha!

Mom holding me & Daddy holding the stroller with Shiloh. If my parents look young it's because they were. Mom was 22 & Daddy would have been 24.

Me drinking from Leisha's crazy straw. (Thanks for sharing.) I only recently found out that she wanted to adopt me during that trip. (How prophetic that impuluse turned out to be.)

This is by far my favorite! Mom with Shiloh who can'tbe more than five or six months old here. But it's mom's glasses that I totally dig. Those are sexy!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Baby Shower & Back Waxing

We took advantage of the fact that Cami was in town and threw her a surprise baby shower today. And yes, she was very surprised. Even as she and Jesse pulled into the driveway full of strange cars she still didn't figure out what was going on. It was great, many of her friends showed up and we had a lot of fun.

The cake was darling, the little sweet pea in the flower was made from gum paste and even had tiny fingers and toes!

Grandma Peggy is AMAZING! At 82 she still cross stitches. She's made a cross-stitched quilts for all of her great grandkids so far and one surrogate great grandchild. (You know who you are Charlotte Kay.)

Did I mention how amazing Grandma Peggy is? At the end of the shower she presented me with a cross stitched quilt for my baby. What's cool is that at the time she flew out here on Wednesday she had no idea we might even be close to getting a baby.

So after the shower guests had gone home and the family had spent some quality time visiting, my uncle David decided he wanted to get his back waxed. And with two licensed beauticians in the house, it seemed a good opportunity. So the kitchen became a make shift salon. Yes, I know it's a gross picture, but come on, back waxing in the kitchen? That's funny stuff.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Long Lost Relatives

I know that some of you will find it hard to believe that I only have 15 first cousins. That's total on both sides of my family. On the Cunningham side of the family I have only seven first cousins. Seven first cousins who are scattered literally from coast to coast (Carolina to California.) And it will be even harder for you to believe that there are some of them I haven't seen in nearly 15 years (not exaggerating that either.) So when my cousin, Scott (who I have seen more recently due to the fact that following his mission he decided to attend school in Utah) got engaged to a girl from Rigby, the entire family was laughing at the irony. A Texas cousin we've seen maybe a half dozen times in the last decade is marrying a girl from five miles away.

At any rate it was a fabulous wedding and he and Kristen are very happy and so cute together. We're extremely happy for them. And we had the added bonus of getting to have some other family members in town for the occasion. (Including Julie and Amy, Scott's sisters I haven't seen since 4th of July weekend 1994.) Enjoy the photos.

With my sister Cami. I turned her sideways so that you could see "Little Mac" (what we're affectionately calling the bump since the child was conceived in Hawaii. It's short for Little Macadamia Nut.) Sadly though, even at 22 weeks, she still doesn't look very pregnant.

Mr. & Mrs. Scott Cunningham

Okay this is Grandma Peggy with all of the grandkids that were in attendance. The only spouse included in this photo was Kristen because, well, she's the bride and the bride gets to be in any and all photos that she wants. From left that's Jesse, Amy, Hillary, Scott, Kristen, me, Julie, Cami & Cody. And I hope I don't need to tell you that's Grandma Peggy in the front. (Yes, for those who are wondering, this is the grandma of "the dog's in the freezer" fame.)

Grandma Peggy with all three of her sons. From left Bill (Scott, Julie & Amy's dad), Darryl, (my dad) and David (who's kids couldn't come.) My aunt Cindy was the only one of her kids not able to make it to the wedding.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pins and Needles

Okay because I know some of you might come after me if I don't get the update out here soon, here goes.

First of all let me just say, she is just the cutest thing! In order to respect her privacy, I'm not going to use her name. It was quite nervewracking at first, but the longer we sat and visited with her, the more comfortable the atmosphere became. She was very reserved and would really only speak when we asked her direct questions. But she willingly answered. And she had quite a few questions for us. The caseworkers really directed the conversation at first, but the longer it went on, the less they had to guide us and all of us were able to speak more easily and freely.

I could gush about her for a long while, but again, at this point I think it's more important to respect her privacy. So I'll just give you the outcome. She hasn't officially chosen us yet. But by the end of the conversation we were discussing what type of adoption we'd all be comfortable with and what level of contact we'd like to maintain. (It was actually awesome because her ideas of what she wanted and our ideas of what we'd be willing to agree to were exactly in sync.) She reiterated several times that she appreciated us being willing to meet with her. And she asked if we'd be willing to do another meeting with her parents if she were to choose us. (Naturally we're okay with that.) She said she would have an answer for us very soon because she didn't us to feel like she was stringing us along. So we're hoping to know something within the next week. Either way, she is definitely planning on making a decision soon, because let's face it, pregnancy has a time limit. And this time limit will expire quite soon because she's due March 21st. (YIKES That's sooooo soon!)

So anyway, I'll pass along more information as soon as I get it. Until then, the title of this blog says it all.

PS - She's having a boy!

The most nervous I've ever been.....

Well here's a sentence I never imagined myself saying. Tonight I could potentially meet the mother of my child.

I wasn't going to share this information because there are still a lot of unknowns, but word has already seemed to spread, so I'd better make an announcement and set the record straight. We recieved a phone call from our caseworker on Monday that there was a birth mom who is "very seriously" considering us and wanted to meet with us on Wednesday evening. He explained that she hasn't officially chosen us yet, but that she's not considering any other couples at this point and would like to meet with us to help her make her final decision.

As you can imagine, this has thrown my world into a tailspin. I'm so grateful that we're getting close. So excited that this might be the one. And sooooooooooooo nervous that she might change her mind, or we might scare her off.

I know many of you have been praying for us, and I just want to say thank you. I don't think you can realize how much that truly means to us. In the meantime, please don't stop praying. Even if this girl does choose us as the adoptive couple for the child, there's still a lot that can happen. Adoption isn't final until you go before the judge and that won't take place until at least 6 months after the child is born. In the meantime there are still many things that could change or different choices that could be made. I try not to ask for too much, but if it's not too much of an imposition, please remember this young birth mom in your prayers as well. I just want her to make the best decision regarding her unborn child. Whether that means choosing us as the parents, or not.

I'll update after the visit because I know you'll all be waiting with baited breath.

In the meantime, thank you. Much Love.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy 21st Birthday, Skye Lynn!

My sister Skye turns 21 today! It's a little weird for me because, well, I remember when she was born. Still, she's all grown up now and newly married so not a baby anymore. I hope you have a great birthday! Love you, Skyebaby!

The Devil Walks Away

Okay so most of you know I'm an absolute NUT about college basketball. Yesterday was a banner day as Coach Bobby Knight retired in the middle of his 7th season at Texas Tech. I have nothing against the players or the teams who Knight led to winning records and championships. I do however have a big problem with his methods. Throwing chairs, screaming profanity, hitting players. I happen to think there's a better way to teach kids about basketball and life. I have a great respect for many coaches in the sport. But even though Bob Knight retires as the winningest coach in men's college basketball history, I can't say that I have any respect for him. So after 42 years of terrorizing players, officials, the press, the fans and everyone else, I'm breathing a little sigh of relief. Some may lament the fact that Knight is leaving because at least he was entertaining during his little tantrums. But I for one, am not sorry to see him go. Let's get back to playing basketball instead of focusing on the latest Bobby Knight controversy.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Tag I'm IT!

Yes, I've been tagged (thanks Julie.) This one is fun though, because it's about "us" not just me.

What is his name? Travis W. (No middle name, just an initial.)
How long have you been together? Married for nearly 6 years
How long did you date? Pre-mission, 3 months, post-mission 17 months.
How old is he? 36
Who eats more? Sadly, me.
Who said I love you first? He did, actually
Who is taller? Trav, by far
Who can sing better? Please, do you people know nothing about my family? Me.
Who is smarter? Depends on the subject·
Who does the laundry? That would be me·
Who pays the bills? Again, me, although we both make the money.
Who sleeps on the right side? The cat.
Who mows the lawn? Travis·
Who cooks dinner? Pope, when she's in town. Otherwise, the chinese take-out place, the pizza guy or Trav's mom·
Who drives? When we go places together? Travis
Who is more stubborn? That's a toss up, though he would probably say me.
Who kissed who first? Travis actually kissed me first, but only after I got tired of waiting and asked him if he was ever going to kiss me.
Who asked who out first? We were set up on a date by mutual friends.
Who proposed? Officially? Travis, but we'd been talking marriage for months, so it was kind of a mutual decision.
Who has more friends? Probably Travis. All of my friends live far away.
Who is more sensitive? He'll kill me for saying this, but it depends on the situation.
Who has more siblings? Again, please. Trav has one brother. I have six siblings. (I even beat him when you count his half brother and two half sisters.)
Who wears the pants? According to us, Travis does. But interestingly the rest of the world mistakenly tends to think that I do.

Okay I'm tagging Curly, Shiloh, John, Will, BJ and anyone else who wants to share.

Pope's Gourmet Grilled Cheese

I had a fun visitor this week in the form of Melissa Popiel (one of my mission companions for those who are wondering.) She braved the Idaho winter to come spend a few days with me. For me one of the big perks of having her around, is that (just as she did on the mission) Pope cooks for me. And for those who don't know, she's quite the chef. She's pictured below eating blueberry pancakes with a homemade caramel sauce, topped with bananas and cream. (It was heavenly.) But the highlight of our culinary adventures, was the homemade creme brulee (yum!) She even taught me how to make gourmet grilled cheese (which I'm proudly displaying in the photo below.) For those dissenters who don't believe there's such a thing as a "gourmet" grilled cheese, I have only this to say, "Yeah right!" This was no Kraft American single flanked by two slices of Wonder bread. This involved a ciabatta loaf, buffalo mozzerella, roma tomatoes, fresh basil and something called an egg wash. It made my taste buds and my tummy very happy.

Amazingly, I didn't gain any weight during her stay (although that could be because I actually lost weight the previous week from being so sick.) And we did manage to find a few things to keep us occupied, even though I was still recovering from the flu. Pope's desire to do something "touristy" led us to embark on a somewhat hazardous road trip to Soda Springs yesterday. It's not really a tourist town, but it does have an old hotel, a museum and a geyser. We even managed to find the "Brigham Young Lodge Memorial" although we drove past it at least twice because the site sits on what is now occupied by a trailer park. (I'm not kidding.)