Thursday, December 30

White Christmas 2010

Jeremy and I had a blessed Christmas this year. It was probably one of my favorites. We left our home in Florida on Wednesday and traveled to Callaway Gardens to see the Fantasy in Lights. 

It's something I've always heard about and wanted to see. Sharing it with Jeremy made it even more special. After we rode through the lights we went to the Lodge and at dinner by a fireplace. The next morning we exchanged gifts! We had our own special Christmas, just the two of us. From there we headed on into Atlanta and did the rounds of family functions.

 On Christmas day, around 10am, Jeremy and I headed to Chattanooga to visit his family. About 30 minutes south of Chattanooga, the weather became so bad that we were crawling along at 35 mph on the four lane. However, we still slid on ice and hit a guard rail, totaling our car. Both air bags deployed, but praise God, we were ok!  

Obviously, I was very emotional the next few days. Every time I hugged Jeremy I would cry. I can't imagine life without him, and the wreck made me realize how easily that could have happened. 

Thursday, December 16


I love to plan-- just in case you hadn't figured that out by now. One of the things about this adoption that I was most excited about was decorating the nursery. I occasionally would search online and post ideas on Facebook. However, I kept holding back, thinking that I needed to wait until I had a little one promised to me. Not knowing how long that would take made me feel discouraged. However, I've talked to several other moms who adopted, and they feel the same way I do. Most new parents get 10 full months to plan for their child's arrival- so what's wrong with me starting to plan for mine. 
Now that Jeremy and I have turned in the home study paperwork, that we are in a better position financially, and  that we are 150% sure this is God's chosen plan for us, I decided to get serious about at least the furniture for the nursery. I mentioned to one of my friends about wanting white furniture, and she said I could borrow her changing table, which is white. So, changing table- CHECK. Next, I started looking on Craig's List (which is my fav) for white cribs. Little did I know that I would come across.... the nursery theme! This is what I was most excited about picking out (kind of like your dress for your wedding) and hadn't really gotten serious about it yet, but when I saw it yesterday- I knew it was 'the one'! 

This is called My Baby Sam. The colors are brown and green and the pattern is paisley. Three of the things I wanted- all in one. It's also not completely muted/pastel colors, which is something else I wanted. Now I can tie in some bolder colors, which babies love! And even better- I may be able to get it off Craig's List for $35!! I'm SUPER excited! I really hope when I share it with people, they will be too instead of, oh isn't it too early??? Also, I'm going to have to ignore Jeremy's reaction. He is NOT a planner/decison maker until WAYYYYY late. It's been hard to learn over the years that he just doesn't get as into details as early as I do. 

I also read a great blog on Crib bumpers vs. breathable baby bumpers. I figure I will leave the pretty colorful bumper up until my little one needs to sleep in the crib. I've posted a picture of a breathable  bumper below. I couldn't find the blog I read about it in.

Wednesday, December 15

Adoption Update

So much has happened, that I don't know where to start! God has been so amazing that I must give Him the glory. Here's an email that I sent out November 11th to several of our friends.

So, Jeremy and I applied for a $17K adoption loan a few weeks ago. That is a ton of money and there’s no way any bank in their right mind would give us that. However, we went with a Christian Credit Union in Calif that specializes in adoption loans, so they understand that once the adoption is finalized, the next tax year we will get $13K back in a tax refund.
Our loan officer has been so nice, telling me how she’s adopted her two children, and how she’s been praying for Jeremy and I.

Soon after we applied for the loan, Jeremy began hearing about BP claims. Well, since he works for a boat manufacturer, and b/c of the oil spill, sales are down, he decided to file for one. He told me the only reason he filed was so that it would help us with the adoption. It’s so sweet that he’s so excited about this adoption. We haven’t heard anything yet, and I’m trying not to pin all my hopes on this. I know God has a plan for us. We know that He wants us to adopt and its not our responsibility to figure out all the details (if that makes sense).

Our loan officer called yesterday with a tentative denial of the loan. She’s still trying a few things to get it to go through. At first I was disappointed, but then I reminded myself that God is in control. Maybe this denial is just God’s way of saying we don’t need the loan b/c He has other plans for paying for the adoption. Don’t get me wrong, my Type A personality really wanted the security of that loan.

SO I say all that to ask you to please pray. Pray that Jeremy and I will have wisdom. Pray that if it be God’s will, the BP claim will go through. Also, of course, please pray for the future birth mother and child that God has for Jeremy and I.

On December 1st, Jeremy and I came home from work to a Fed Ex door hanger. I didn't think anything about it, but Jeremy got online and checked his BP claim status, and it said completed. So, even thought Jeremy was supposed to drive to Atlanta that night for a 4 day conference, we drove over to the Fed Ex office. The truck carrying our envelope wasn't back yet, but the lady did say it was from BP. Jeremy went on to Atlanta, and I went on my lunch break the next day to pick it up. As soon as I opened it, I couldn't breathe. We had received all that we had asked for, which is something neither one of us ever expected. I called Jeremy and then everyone I knew to sing God's praises. This would put us in a much better financial situation for the adoption! We spent days, weeks, heck we're still doing it, praying for wisdom. 

We realize that this money was sent from God to give us something Jeremy and I both desire- a child. I have never felt God's presence in a situation as much as I have on this adoption. 

We mailed in our home study packet last week, and hope to start on the profile after Christmas. This is what is shown to birth parents to help them choose us. One night as I was sitting on the couch looking online at other adoption family profiles, I became discouraged. I thought, "How in the world is one birth family going to choose Jeremy and I out of all of these other wonderful families?" Luckily, I have many great friends. The next day when I posed that question on my facebook page, I received so many encouraging comments. I was reminded that God has led us each and EVERY step thus far. This IS His plan for our lives right now, and He has a child for us. 

I find myself getting so excited about picking out stuff for the nursery, thinking about having a baby next Christmas, even maybe for Mother's Day. I can't wait to see how my parents and sisters react to our new member of the family. Tears are in my eyes right now as I type this. I can't wait to meet the person God has chosen for us. 

What Christmas Is All About!!

Monday, December 13

Christmas Cooking!

Ham and Dijon Pastry Cups
1 (17.3 oz) package puff pastry, 2 Sheets, thawed (not filo)
1 chive and onion or plain cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
5 slices ham chopped
1/3 cup chopped red pepper
1 egg lightly beaten
2 table spoon Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 425. Roll out each pastry sheet to 12x9 in on a lightly floured surface. Cut each into twelve 3 in squares. Lightly brush with egg wash. Place one pastry square with corners in each 24 medium muffin cups. Mix remaining ingredients until blended. Spoon 1 tblspoon mixture into each pastry cup. Bake 15-18 minutes or until middle is heated through and pastry is golden brown.

Caramelized Apple Pecan Coffee Cake
3/4 c chopped pecans
Cinnamon Streusel
1/4 c packed light brown sugar
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Apple Filling and topping
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 large Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored and cut into pieces
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out (I just used vanilla extract)
Coffee Cake Batter
1 c self rising flour
1/4 t ground cinnamon
pinch ground ginger
pinch ground cloves
1/3 plain whole yogurt
1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
1/3 c granulated sugar
1 large egg
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x 1 1/2 in round baking pan and set aside. (I just used a loaf pan.)
Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Make the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, combine the light brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir in the butter until well combined and mix in half the pecans. Set aside.
Make the Apple Filling and topping: In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook sugar over moderately low heat. Without stirring, shake the pan to melt sugar evenly, until melted and dark golden. Remove saucepan from heat and carefully add apples and vanilla (mixture will vigorously steam and caramel will harden). Cook mixture over moderate heat, shaking pan and stirring occasionally, until caramel is dissolved, liquid has evaporated and apples are tender but still hold their shape, about 10-15 minutes. Discard vanilla bean pod. Spread the apples on a sheet pan to cool.
Make the Coffee Cake Batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, finger and cloves. In another medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, applesauce, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg and butter until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and with a large spatula, mix until well combined. Fold in the cooled apple filling and the remaining pecans and pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the streusel. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes (Longer if you're using the loaf pan). Let cool 20 minutes then cut and serve.

Bacon Roll ups
1/4 c butter
1/2 c water
1 1/2 c packaged herb stuffing
1 egg slightly beaten
1/4 lb pork sausage
1/2 to 1 lb sliced bacon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in water in saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir into stuffing, and then add egg and sausage. Blend thoroughly. Chill for about 1 hour for easier handling, then shape into small oblongs about the size of pecans. Cut bacon into thirds. Wrap one piece around dressing oblongs and fasten with wooden toothpick. Place on rack in shallow pan and bake 35 minutes or until brown and crisp, turning at halfway point in cooking. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

Artichoke Dip
1 (8.5oz) can artichoke hearts (not marinated)
1 c mayonnaise
1 c parmesan cheese
1 tsp minced garlic

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash artichokes then add remaining ingredients and stir. Bake in greased dish for 25-30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.

Cappuccino Muffins
Espresso Spread
4 oz cream cheese, cubed
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 c miniature semisweet choc chips
2 c all purpose flour
3/4 c sugar
2 1/2 t baking powder 
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1 c milk
2 tbsp instant coffee granules
1/2 c butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 t vanilla extract
3/4 c miniature semisweet choc chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor or blender, combine the spread ingredients; cover and process until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until serving. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir milk and coffee granules until coffee is dissolved. Add butter, egg and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in Choc chips. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 17-20 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Serve with espresso spread. 


Tuesday, December 7

Bumber's Bumblings: Never Forget...sensitivity towards infertility and...

Bumber's Bumblings: Never Forget...sensitivity towards infertility and...: "We had a wonderful relaxing Thankful Thanksgiving! I actually didn't even black friday shop. I slept in until 8:30 that day(Brayden did to..."

Saturday, December 4

Clothing trends and my body image

All my life I have had about the same style in clothing- classy. If I could choose between a plain white or a trendy shirt, I always chose the white one. My sister has always been better at trendy clothes than me. Last winter she wore skinny jeans in boots. It was so cute and I really wanted to try it. However, my own hang ups got in the way.

I didn't really get into that look b/c I've always hated how skinny my legs are though I've gotten better over the years. I used to go all summer wearing turned down socks to hide how skinny my ankles were, but I no longer do that. I still get self conscious occasionally, especially if someone who has mostly seen me in pants sees me in a bathing suit and says, "Man, you're really skinny". This isn't in a hot-skinny way but in a starvation- skinny way. (yes that happened) The same old pain jabs at my heart, but then I get over it. God has really helped me accept myself for the way I am and I am very thankful for that. My husband also helps tremendously by always making me feel like a model. Everyone deserves someone like him!
So, back to skinny jeans and boots. Jeremy and I went on our fall trip to Chattanooga and everywhere I looked girls were wearing cute dresses with cow girl boots. IT WAS SO CUTE!! I knew I'd never pull it off. One b/c I don't wear short dresses except in the hottest part of the summer when my tan helps me get over my legs. and Two b/c my skinny chicken legs in cow girl boots would be so comical it would almost be sad. SO, I knew I couldn't pull off this really cute outfit, but I began to contemplate ways that I could adapt it for me. I've gotten really good at this- taking a look and adapting it to my skinny self. I began searching through consignment shops. (When I'm working on something like this, I don't go directly to the department stores first b/c I have to try a few things before I find something that works.) I found a really great pair of cowgirl boots that were high enough to make me feel comfortable. Of course they weren't my size, but I used them to try on a few things. I realized that skinny jeans in boots were a look I could actually pull off. (yes, I had to go through all of that in order to get over my hang up.) So the next day Jeremy and I went shopping! I found a cheap pair of skinny jeans (so I could try it and not feel guilty if I hated it) and some great boots! I really wouldn't have went through with it if Jeremy hadn't liked it as much as he did. Like I said earlier, he helps me have confidence in myself. I have worn this look out several times since then, and once even without the boots to cover my skinny ankles, and it's a success! I LOVE IT!! I feel so cute!