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.

The most wonderful time of the year

It’s Fall y’all!  Well, not officially, but Starbucks is selling Pumpkin Lattes so that’s good enough for me!  Another sign it is Fall is that all the holiday stuff is coming out!  For instance….Scentsy‘s Holiday Collection is available now!  Scentsy has you covered for Halloween, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!  Check out some of these adorable warmers!  

 And there are lots of new Fall/Winter scents available too.  Like Autumn Sunset, Christmas Cottage, Pumpkin Marshmallow, Festival of Trees, Pumpkin Roll and more!  With less than 100 days left til Christmas you better get to shopping!  Click here to see the entire Holiday collection!

Everything’s better with bacon

Even chocolate.  CSP’s mom gave us a Mo’s Bacon Bar as a Valentine’s Day treat.  I’ve been wanting to try one forever.  CSP was skeered but I tried it and it was so yummy!  And I’m not a major chocolate person so that ought to tell you something.  It is a great combo of sweet and savory.  A very fun treat!

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

Smash your desktop

I love to change out my desktop wallpaper each month so I was really psyched when Jenny (of LJC fame) first linked to Smashing Magazine.  Every month they publish a ton of fabulous free desktop wallpapers with and without calendars.  Lots of different artists submit designs so there’s a style for everyone.  Click here to see this month’s offerings.   For February I chose  February Fever.   I like having a calendar on the desktop that I can glance at without having to pull up iCal all the time.  I think it’s smashing!  herrr!

Fuel for my addiction

Angry Birds Seasons released their Valentine’s Day update today. SUCH cute graphics! I shouldn’t be working on the Valentine levels though when I still have some Christmas levels to beat.  I STILL can’t beat Christmas level 20!  And I can’t get 3 stars on 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, and 23.  Must be due to my old eyes and slowing reflexes!

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!

Christmas 2010

I confess I was a terrible photographer this year.  For one my ISO sensitivity was set too high on my camera and I forgot to change it so all my pics are WAY noisy.  Sigh. Also, I was having too much fun to take pictures!  This was the first year we split Christmas day.  CSP had to work late on Christmas Eve and didn’t get home til past 8 pm.  Normally this would be the year his parents would be with us on Christmas Eve but with CSP’s schedule and the fact that they live an hour away we just pushed the visit to Christmas day.  Early Christmas day CSP had to get up at the crack of dawn and go BACK into work 😦 for a couple hours.  He is a grocery store manager and on days the store is closed they still have to check the freezers to make sure they don’t lose product.  Sure enough he lost a case and had to spend way more time there than we’d thought cause he had to pull all the product and get it into another freezer so they wouldn’t lose it.  I’m so thankful CSP has a good job but it sure can make the holidays a bit of a mess!  He didn’t get home til well past when I thought we’d be at my sister’s house.  So we quickly loaded the car and hit the road.

We missed breakfast but were in time for lunch, presents and Dirty Santa. We brought Jake and Joey a soccer goal that had to be opened in the garage. Papa & Sara help Jake open the soccer goal CSP & I gave him & Joey for Christmas But we did end up inside too. Jake, Joey & Papa around the Christmas tree at Marc & Sara's Momo is such a trooper.  She’s still in pain from her hernia surgery last week and has a swollen spot the size of a large lemon (looks like she’s smuggling fruit in her pants!) but she hung in there! Momo I made yummy Spiced Cream Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin Muffins. It was my first attempt at stuffing a muffin and they turned out great! I made yummy Spiced Cream Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin Muffins I’ll post the recipe soon.

I can’t believe it but I’d never played Dirty Santa before!  At least that I can remember.  It was so fun!  Gigi provided all the gifts since it was a surprise to the rest of us that we’d be playing.  Most of the presents were for the boys and that was just fine- it was more fun stealing presents than actually getting a present!  There were 9 of us and most of us are super competitive, watch out on game night!   Papa opened his first and it was a Jacob’s ladder.  He instantly wanted to trade that bad boy in and when everyone else would be deciding he would chant behind us “Jacob ladder.  Jacob ladder.”  He kept forgetting the ‘s.  Marc chose to open a present and wound up with a box of candles.  He was trying to read the box to find out what scent but some of it was in French.  He said “Ooh citronella!  Citronella is French for creamy!”  Bahahaha!!

We left Sara’s at about 4 and swung back by our house before heading out to CSP’s parents’ house.  We ran in, grabbed presents and Zoe and hit the road.  Zoe is still in a crate when we’re gone and we didn’t want her spending all day and night in there!  We made good time and beat the snow.  Whew!  CSP was seriously sweating the weather on the way there. In-laws' tree CSP was worried about the snow that had been predicted so our time at his parents’ was shorter than planned.  We opened presents first then had a wonderful dinner.  WHO KNEW that the hit gift of the night would be the one I spent the least amount of money on?   You can go online and spend about $10 each on one of these.  OR you can do like I did and buy a full dozen at the Dollar Tree!  Everyone on my list (who drives) received one of these and they are raving!  I know I LOVE mine.  I have short arms, yo!  I keep one in each car and one in the house for cleaning tall mirrors, windows, the tv, etc.  LOVE.   Everyone also like their Scentsy plug ins.  I just love when people love the gifts I give them!  Instead of wrapping paper or gift bags this year I used reusable grocery/tote bags to package up my presents.  Going green at Christmas!

Dinner was fabulous as usual.  My in-laws and my aunt and uncle are all serious foodies.  You’re not gonna get tv dinners over there!  They made Beef Wellington.  I’ve always heard Gordon Ramsay yell about it on Hell’s Kitchen but I’d never tried it.  It was so neat!  Looked like a little meat present on my plate. Beef Wellington for Christmas dinner.  Side dishes not pictured but nommed. CSP loved it so much he ate the leftovers for breakfast this morning! Dessert was creme puffs. Mom of CSP made cream puffs for Christmas dinner dessert One had egg nog whipped cream inside and the other had peppermint ice cream with hot fudge. We went home with full bellies to say the least!  Zoe was on her best behavior all night and slept like a log when we got home.  She just has the best time when she can go visit people and get some loving.  6 humans to love on one little pug= heaven for her!

I can’t believe it’s the most wonderful time of the year already!

While I am anti Christmas songs pre-Thanksgiving, it is Christmas card list making time again!  Now, I can’t promise that I’ll actually be able to find my Christmas cards in the sea of boxes in the garage, take a cute Christmas themed pic of the pugs &/or us, and get my long list of Christmas cards filled out and mailed in time for them to arrive before 2011.  But I sure will try.  If you’d like to be on the receiving end of some of my paper based holiday cheer then be sure to email me with your address if I don’t have it.  hey shanny at gmail dot com.  No spaces.  If you aren’t sure if I have your current address then go ahead for safety’s sake and send it to me.  If I have not sent you my new address and you’d like it, please let me know.  I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week already!  Then Christmas season will be here!  Help me prepare!  Don’t dilly or dally!