Monday, January 30, 2012


I want to be the kind of person that always has hope, and that hope is a positive thing ... but lately I have been frustrated with hope.

Our call could be any day now, as I have mentioned before. It was relatively easy getting through the first six months of the wait after being warned by our coordinator that it would be at least 6 months before we could realistically expect a call. But now, it has been enough time, and we seem to be toward the top of the list. So with all that, we really have sane reasons to believe that one of these days, we come home, and there may be a special message for us.

Most days, I think about it once or twice during the day, "today we could have that message," and then get home, see no message, and move on with life.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a message, but checked the missed calls first and saw it was terminex, so didn't worry about it. Today, I came home, saw a message, and saw a missed call from an unknown number... and allowed myself to hope. It turned out to be just a dumb real estate thing. So part of me is frustrated by hope, because it seems like it would be easier to go back to when I didn't think it could happen.

At the same time... even if we are on the slow end of the average length... it is more likely than not to happen this year. Which means that at some point... we will get that phone call... which means I will keep getting my hopes up about messages.

p.s. if you want to call me... don't leave a message! :-D Shoot me an e-mail instead and keep me from getting my hopes up without a good reason.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


We spent the day today with Blake's brother and his girlfriend. We had lunch, went bowling (and I did NOT lose every game :-D ) and then we came back to our place and I made cupcake's with my brother in law's girlfriend. We had so much fun!

Here are our beautiful creations:
(cookies and cream cupcakes with devil's food cake frosting topped with more oreo crumbs and fun decorations that we made)
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Bibliophile's Book Acquisition Plan or How someone who loves books gets her hands on so many of them

The definition of a bibliophile is
"a person who loves or collects books, especially as examples of fine or unusual printing, binding, or the like."

While I don't particularly care about the printing or binding of books, I think it is safe to say that I collect books based off of my three bookcases in the house, books stored in the garage, under beds, in shelves etc. There are a lot of books in our house... and those are just a fraction of what I have read!

In 2009, I read 49 books, in 2010 I read 50, in 2011 I read 63, and at this point, less than a month into the new year, I have read 5. This works out to about a book a week (though in truth it is more like a couple weeks for some books and a day or two for others, and more in summer, less during the school year etc.) All this to say, many books pass through my hands every year, and I felt like talking about how that usually occurs.

Price- Free!
If at all possible, I prefer to get my books for free. This sounds strange if I was actually collecting books, but I still feel like I collect books in that I have read them and their stories are in my mind. I don't need to have the books always in my possession... I am happy to lend out those I own, and borrow books to read, even if I plan to re-read it later.

-The Library. This is generally my primary method of getting books to read. It is free, I read fast enough to return them, and the hold system even eliminates the concern of will my book be there or not. If I am looking for a book to read, I will typically check my main library's catalog first.

- Family/ friends. My mom is the primary person in this category, though I have some friends that fall into this group too. After they are finished reading a book, if they think I will like it, they will pass it on to me to read. Still great, still free, not typically my choice, but in general good reads as the people passing me books know my tastes.

-Free Kindle books. There are not many of these, but I have downloaded and read some of the Kindle books that are free. Truth is, most of my other categories end up topping these because the books I most want to read are never the free Kindle books.

-Goodreads win. I have only successfully won twice, and tried many times, but Goodreads has book give aways all the time. I try to go on there every so often and apply for the ones that I like. It is not random drawings, but winning is based on what other books you have, if you post reviews etc. I am currently working on trying to review more of my books so that I have a better chance of winning in the future. However, like the problems with the previous two categories in free, there is very limited choice in this area too, since there are only certain books on give-aways and only a chance of winning.

Gifts- This is obviously simple, I get books that I asked for, which is fabulous and great, and typically are books off my wishlist talked about below.

Price- pay

- Kindle- If there is a book I want to read, like a book from one of my favorite authors or a sequel in a series I am reading, I will first check the library. If they don't have it, or have a huge list of holds on it, my next stop is looking to see if it is available for the Kindle. I find that the Kindle book prices are usually less than the hardback copies.

- Gift cards- Although I wish it weren't so, there are books that the library doesn't have or has tons of holds on, AND are not available in the Kindle format. These tend to be the more obscure books, like my transracial adoption books or Ghana related books that I am reading lately. As I find out about these, they go on my amazon wish list (because amazon tends to have every book I ever think of wanting). Then, when I periodically get gift cards for a book store, or sometimes just stores that sell books (like Target) I buy up these books off my list, and slowly pick away at it, and keep my list updated as my interests change and there are books I no longer desire.

- Ebay- If there is a book that somehow doesn't apply to any of the following, and I want it before I get more giftcards, then my last resort is ebay. Even with shipping, I find that it is cheaper than paying full price anywhere.

So, I get books in a variety of ways, and am able to keep my desire for exciting books to read filled with limited cost to me.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Stories from my phone's pictures

I was so excited to find a photobucket app for the phone! I have a poor habit of bringing my camera with me, and I always have my phone with me, so many times I end up taking a picture with my phone as my main camera.

Getting it to the computer used to involved several steps, like hooking up the phone to my computer, getting the pictures off, saving them to my computer and then uploading them to photobucket so that I could post them on here. But now... I go to my photobucket app, tell it to upload pictures, and they are all there for me wherever I go!

This post is dedicated to the pictures I uploaded and the stories or parts of stories with it.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
We have had a few windy days lately, and on one of my runs I saw this in my path! Crazy!

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Over Christmas break, we decided to change our dining room from tan to red! It will become our Africa room, as we hope to acquire more African artwork, some while we are there, some here, but keep that culture in the house.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
These were our three top picks.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Here is our work in progress. Guess I haven't taken an after picture yet lol! Soon.

One of the things I asked for Christmas was a ravioli press, and my sweet mother in law got me one! We have made ravioli twice now- one with a spinach ricotta filling, and one with a butternut squash one. They were both so good! However, they are a lot of work, and Blake has decreed that I can only have us have ravioli once a month. (which is extra fair, since he does the majority...basically all... of the work to make them). Here are the steps of our spinach ravioli, our first attempt at ravioli ever!

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
We started with kneading it by hand after it was mixed, and Blake quickly realized how tiring that is, so switched to using our mixer for it.
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
We (and by we I mean Blake) rolled it very thin, into two different sections
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Then we put our spinach ricotta filling on it.
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Topped it with the second sheet and cut it out with my new ravioli press.
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Let them harden for about 10 minutes and then cooked them in boiling water (we did 5, but decided it needed 7 next time).
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Topped it with a butter sage sauce.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Also on my phone... my perfect egg cooker! If you ever make hard boiled eggs, this is the best invention ever! Put it in with the eggs, heat the water to boiling, and then watch this turn from red to a dark purple. When it is purple, the eggs are done, and ready to be in an ice bath. They have been great every time.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
I decided during Christmas break that I really wanted a picture frame filled with family and friends so it could hang somewhere in the house. I love the one that I found! It has a couple of panes of glass in it, so it provides depth. Only problem is, after I composed the lovely frame filled with pictures of people I care about... we haven't found the right place to hang it yet. So right now it is sitting in a chair downstairs, waiting for a spot.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
A couple of weeks ago, we went hiking at a nearby park where my 10k will be just to get the lay of the land. Blake was thrilled to get his picture taken, as you can see.

That is a fairly accurate update as far as we go for now. Otherwise, our status is unchanged.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Year Habits, Hopes and Goals

I don't like the term "resolutions," especially paired with New Years. I think there is just too much of a connotation of you plan to do better, but New Year's Resolutions so often fail, that telling someone that you have made one almost negates it as a legitimate goal.

So I have made some resolutions, because although I don't like the term, I do like the idea of using the New year as a fresh start on commitments that you have always intended to do anyways, but I am going to call them New Year habits that I want to establish.

Don't judge me too harshly for these habits I am trying to establish... because I know for most of you, they are already so second nature that it is almost sad they are the habits I want to establish.

One of them is simply to "try" every morning. In previous years there were days that I would put forth effort in my outfit and hair and makeup... but they were usually special days, like conferences or a date night etc. The rest of the days, I wasn't a slob... but I really wasn't trying- no makeup, hair in ponytail kind of days. Blake has mentioned to me on occasion, that he likes it when I try (not that he doesn't like me when I don't try) and I think that it was somewhat sad that I would try more on a regular basis for the parents of my students than I would for my husband who sees me every day. So... since the year started, I have taken the bit of extra time in the morning to make sure that my outfit, hair and makeup look good before I leave and I hope to establish and keep this practice as a habit.

The other habit that I have done well on off and on is picking up the house each night before bed and getting it back to a base level good. Our house is never really messy, but when there is a sweatshirt out here, shoes out there, it starts to pile up and look cluttered. But if I put all those little things away every night, then the house will stay clean. Also, my half of kitchen chores is the drying and putting away, but there would be some nights that I would leave some things in the dish drainer, and then those would pile up into a huge chore. So instead, I am making sure that all dishes are as put away as possible. My New Year habit is to make this a nightly thing, not just a sometimes thing.

My 2012 hope is that we have our child home sometime this year.

My 2012 goal is to continue training, and do my 10k, and half marathon this year, and prepare for next year's marathon.