Mother’s Day

I received this card the other day, just in time for Mother’s Day. For most people Mother’s Day means brunch and flowers and merriment. And that plays into my day too as I celebrate my mom and my sister (who’s a mom). But Mother’s Day is also bittersweet for me. Because I’ve always, always, as long as I can remember, wanted to be a mom. Every year since I turned 30 and the Clomid didn’t work for us I’ve sort of dreaded this day. But there was always a glimmer of hope for us to become parents so each Mother’s Day I get up and get dressed up and join my mom and my sisters and we spend the day together.

But today is different. Today my mom is out of town helping my youngest sister move. So Mother’s Day has a different sort of feel. But mostly today is different because my glimmer of hope is almost faded out. I’m 45 now and still childless. But not because we didn’t try, that’s for sure. We tried international adoption (2 different countries) and that didn’t work out for various reasons. Then we were matched up by a friend with a birthmother who, after a few months, changed her mind. We took a year off after that, to heal. Then we joined a domestic foster to adopt program. Our social worker told us “Give me a year and I’ll have you matched with a child.” EIGHT years later we still didn’t have a match. We came close a few times. Last year we even drove 8 hours to Northern Virginia to be interviewed for a child who ultimately went to another family. Then in December of last year our home study expired again and would require more money, more time, more paperwork, more effort. And by then CSP was worn out. He was over it. I was tired too, but I always finish what I start so I was willing to go through it all again. But I can’t be a married single parent. I can’t do it alone. So we let our home study expire. And my heart broke into a thousand little pieces.

I was watching a tv show the other day where a lady (we’ll call Susie) was having twins via surrogate after 8 miscarriages and 13 failed IVF trials. She was talking with another lady (we’ll call Karen) who was 35 and unmarried with no prospects and was considering freezing her eggs. Susie told Karen “If you want to be a mom, you’ll be a mom, whether it’s through biology or adoption, you’ll find a way.” That really hit home because I thought when my body failed me and I had to have a hysterectomy, that I’d found my way- through adoption. But now I don’t know anymore. I don’t know if I’ll ever be a mom. I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know what God’s plan is for me. I do know that my heart hurts. That some days I feel useless, like my life doesn’t have much purpose or direction if I can’t be a mom. That I’ll end up all alone, forgotten in some nursing home somewhere when I’m old. So when my dear friend sent that thoughtful and sweet card that reminds me that I AM strong, brave, beautiful, cared about, and loved, it was just what I needed! I have faith and friends and family who love me and my story isn’t over.

Day 22 of 30 Days of Thanks- Today

I am thankful for today.  I’m thankful for a chance to get together with family and friends for the sole purpose of recognizing our blessings and just enjoying each other’s company.  I’m thankful there will be a wonderful meal prepared and even more wonderful people with which to share that meal!   Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

How to play Dirty Santa- the Gigi way

We have a relatively new tradition in our family.  The grown ups don’t buy gifts for each other, we just buy for the kids.  But Gigi still wanted the grown ups to be able to unwrap some presents so she decided we’d start playing Dirty Santa.  She collects all the gifts for us and draws up the numbered slips.  Here are her rules (they vary slightly from traditional Dirty Santa/White Elephant rules).

Everyone who plays draws a number.  If there are 10 people you have numbers 1-10 on slips.

Player 1 chooses a gift.

Player 2 can choose to steal Player 1’s gift or choose a gift from the pile.

Player 3 can choose to steal Player 1 or Player 2’s gift or choose a gift from the pile (and so on down the line).

If you draw a present that has a name on it you have to give that gift to the named person and choose another gift.

If you draw a child’s gift you have to gift that gift to a child then draw another gift.

There are 2 rounds.

If you drew #1  you get to choose 3 times.

If there are leftover presents in the dining room that Gigi didn’t see during the Dirty Santa game then there will be a competitive round of Dominos or Cranium, etc to determine the winner of the leftover gift.

Once the game is over you may trade your present with other players if they are willing to trade.

Everyone goes home with fun stocking stuffer type presents!

Tisket, tasket

I get a few emails each day from various web sites and one really caught my eye today.  They showed a deal on a Wii game saying something like “This would make a great addition to your child’s Easter basket”.  I was floored!  Really?  We’re giving Wii games in Easter baskets now?  Isn’t that a bit much?  What happened to candy and maybe a stuffed animal?  I mean, it’s your money and all, but it just seems that we’re really throwing gifts at our kids more and more these days.  When you give a gift at Easter that is as extravagant as a Wii game then don’t you end up feeling like you have to top that at their birthday and then Christmas and the next thing you know it looks like you robbed a Toys R Us on any given holiday.  Do kids really need that much?  With this adoption we’re at the paperwork/ introspection stage where we’re really analyzing our feelings on parenting.  I don’t know how it will actually be once our kidlet comes home but we are all for a more simple approach.  No over the top birthday parties every year- some of those cost hundreds of dollars just to have the party at those kid party places.  Nothing wrong with cake and pizza at home with the family and a few friends.  I just hope when our kids go back to school after Easter that they don’t catch slack about the lack of electronics and expensive toys in their baskets.  Hopefully the candy and family time will make up for that.  We can’t be the only ones who feel this way, right?

Pugs & Kisses!

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Tell everyone you love that you love them!  These are the Valentines I made on See Here for 18 cents each that came with 2 day shipping!  I used our red hearts blanket from IKEA as a backdrop on the sofa.  CSP gave treats while I snapped a bunch of pics.  I’m really pleased with how they turned out!  Happy hearts day to you all! xoxo

I heart a good deal- Valentines for 10 cents!

Saw this deal on my Couponing to Disney email.  Went to the original blog and checked it out.  SUPER CUTE.  Then had a Valentine photo session of my own with the pugs.  They don’t have fists and we don’t send candy out with our Valentines but I think ours turned out just as cute.  And since they are FREE they are even cuter!  Sorry, but I can’t show our cards until Valentine’s Day.  I don’t think CSP’s Gramy in Minnesota has the internet, but just in case, I don’t want to ruin the surprise.

The details:

  • Click Here & Login or Sign-up for See Here
  • Click on “Photo Cards” then on “Photo Card, 4×8″
  • Pick Your Design (I found one under “Wedding” to customize)
  • Create your card & order 25 cards
  • Use promo code 25cards to get your order FREE
  • Just pay $2.49 in shipping!

See Here participates with Ebates so if you buy anything else, be sure to start your shopping at Ebates to get 12% back!  You can’t beat this deal! If you create some, lemme see them!

Spring birthdays and holidays

Gorgeous flowers at Easter dinner. Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend! We sure did! Friday was Momo’s 20th birthday so on Saturday we went out to a late lunch/early dinner then to a movie. Then Sunday we went to our aunt & uncle’s house for Easter lunch with them and CSP’s parents. We didn’t end up leaving until 9pm! Long, busy weekend, but lots of laughs and it’s always great to spend time with the fam! Aunt Marsha made the best cupcakes EVER. Coconut milk in the cake batter AND in the icing. Then coconut on top. Yuuuummmm. Best coconut cupcakes EVAH! Made by our Aunt Marsha. Enjoyed by me & CSP. This is the really busy time for birthdays in our family. Within a 2 week period we have like 5 birthdays. Last weekend we had Jacob’s 7th birthday party. CSP was in charge of the sack race and I did face painting. Of course that means I totally forgot to take pictures. Sigh. I need to just install a camera on my forehead!