A Weekend from Our Weekend

Ever have such a busy but productive weekend that when you wake up Monday morning to get ready for work, you feel exhausted and wish you could have another weekend?  That’s basically the type of weekend we had.

Friday was the first night of our co-ed volleyball.  Jason and I have been playing co-ed sand volleyball with our friends since the summer of 2007.  It’s a great opportunity for us to hangout with our friends at least once a week and catch up with life.  I will admit, though, that I do not look forward to the first couple weeks of volleyball due to the fact it’s usually cold and the sand is freezing.  We definitely don’t play our best, not only because of the cold, but also because it’s been several months since the last season ended so we’re a bit rusty.  For being the first week of the season, we did end up winning 1 of our 3 games! So that’s not too bad!

Saturday was our busy and exhausting day.  I was able to have a girls breakfast with a close friend and then another friend joined us to hangout and watch a documentary with us.  It was so nice to be able to reconnect and talk about the topic of the documentary (the connection of abortion and breast cancer at http://hushfilm.com/).  After this get together, Jason and I picked up the Uhaul we rented and headed on over to a local church that was generous enough to donate a ton of items to our fundraiser/rummage sale.  This church hosted a rummage sale of their own and decided to donate anything that did not sell to our rummage sale.  We were able to fill up a 10-foot Uhaul, a trailer, and a truck.  We thank this church very much and also thank my coworker and her husband for donating their time to help us move all these items!  We were able to do all this moving in 2-1/2 hours, literally right before we got hammered with a ton of rain.  Jason’s legs throbbed and my arms killed.  We worked muscles we didn’t know we had! haha  We were a bit too tired and lazy to make dinner, so we stopped over to my best friends parents restaurant for some delicious Chinese food.  It was great being able to start the day with friends and end the day with more friends.

We’ve been down to one vehicle since our second vehicle’s battery died.  A few weeks ago we stopped by a neighbor’s house up the street since we noticed he and his dad are always working on cars, and we asked if he would be willing to check out our car to see what needed fixing.  He was nice enough to stop by this past Sunday to check things out.  He changed the battery and a couple other things and now we have a running vehicle!  Jason’s been smiling ever since. haha He’s been missing his “baby” and cannot wait to drive the car around.  But first, we have to fix a flat tire, fill up the other tires, take the car in for admissions test, get an oil change, and eventually fix a couple other issues on the car.  Our neighbor did an incredible job and said he’d come back to fix the other issues that need to be fixed.

After the car was up and running, we had to run over to a friend’s place to pick up a few more donations.  Again, working muscles we didn’t know we had. haha

We are so beyond thankful for everyone’s generosity.  I have been so anxious about this long to-do list, but it’s so great that everything is kind of falling into place and slowly getting checked off our list.

Speaking of generosity.  Those that follow us on Facebook, already know this story, but I wanted to share with everyone else.  Friday after work we pulled into our driveway and we noticed this very large box sitting on our friend patio.  Jason and I looked at each other saying, “I didn’t order anything. Did you?”.  I ran out of the car and checked the box.  Sure enough, it had my name on the box.  Still having no clue what it was and who it was from, I dragged the box inside.  Again, checking the label for a name, still my name but no other name on the box.  Opened the box to find another box.  Nope, no other name beside mine still.  Open the next box and I see a box for Instant Pot!  I have been wanting an Instant Pot for the longest time.  I am one of those weirdos that actually sits through the whole infomercial for this product with my mouth wide open in “wow” mode. haha  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out this link (http://instantpot.com/). Seriously, it’s amazing! Well, after sitting there checking out the box and trying to figure out who sent this to us, a light went off in my head.  I had an idea of who our mystery gift giver was.  I quickly messaged her on Facebook explaining how I figured out it was her.  Waiting patiently for her response, going through previous conversations.  Finally my phone notification goes off with a response of “Yes”.  A perfect stranger who I met while searching for vendors for our Fundraising event and recently became friends with over Facebook, decided to surprise us with this gift.  She said she was debating about giving a money donation on our fundraising page or giving us this gift.  She decided with this gift and said we can use it to make our future family some yummy and quick meals.  We thank this new friend so much for this very generous gift!  It was a huge surprise, and I cannot wait to start using this Instant Pot!

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All in all, I would say it was a very successful and productive weekend.  Now we look forward to the week to come. 🙂

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Love New Gadgets

We signed up for a squareup.com account.  For those that don’t know what this is, it’s a small gadget you can plug into your smart phone so you can receive payments by credit/debit card (see image below).  I figured this would make it easier for folks to purchase items from our rummage sale and bake sale during our fundraiser event.  I may be having a little too much fun setting up our account. I love that you can set items with set price amounts to make it easy to add up items.  For example, I can create an Item called Cookies $0.25.  If someone buys 5 cookies, I can click on cookies 5 times and it adds it up for us.  I’m very easily amused, as you can see. haha  When I downloaded the app on my phone, it walked me through steps on how to use the app, so I made a $1 donation to our checking account that is set up for our adoption. We’ll be reaching our goal in no time. 😉

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Not a new gadget, but an update on our progress to-date.  We are receiving a huge donation from a local church this weekend.  They are hosting a rummage sale and we are to receive anything that does not sell.  According to the people from the church, there is usually a lot left over.  We stopped by on Monday to check what they had so far, and oh my word, there is a lot there.  Plus they are still accepting donations this week.  We decided to rent a storage unit, because there is no way our small house will have room for everything.  We are so thankful for all the generous people in our lives. Just can’t believe this!  Also, we rented our first ever uhaul so it will make it easier to transport the items from the church to our house and storage unit.  We’ll be getting a nice workout this weekend from moving all these items around.  How fun! 🙂

That’s about it for now. Stay tuned!

Asking for Help

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As most of our friends and family know, we aren’t good at asking for help.

In fall 2012, after the miscarriages, I got very sick. I ended up getting shingles in my inner ear which triggered a vestibular disorder called labyrinthitis.  It happened completely out of nowhere; loud ringing in my ears, loss of balance to the point I couldn’t walk, dizziness, excessive vomiting, lost hearing in one ear, loss of head control (basically a bobble-head effect), etc.  It was one of the scariest moments I have ever experienced.  How you can be perfectly fine one moment, and then bam, this hits.  Through the tears and throwing up, I was questioning Jason as to what we should do. Something was obviously not right.  We decided on calling 911 to have an ambulance come and get me.  Once we got to the hospital, they ran a bunch of tests on me and couldn’t quite figure out what was wrong.  An Ears, Nose, Throat (ENT) doctor was called, and he kind of took thinks lightly, almost as if I was faking this.  I was sent home with a bunch of medications, a walker, and scripts for in-home occupational therapist and physical therapist.  Mind you, I was only newly 27 years old at the time.  After about a week, there was still no change.  I then had to see my primary doctor and was sent back to the ENT.  Once the ENT doctor saw me, his tone changed and he even said “Wow, this is much more serious than I thought.”  I did some research before I saw this doctor and saw that shingles could bring on labyrinthitis, so I mentioned that I had a rash on my hand after the miscarriage and that I have had shingles in the past.  He realized I was not given the right medicine and gave me a new one.  Some things started to slowly clear up, but still ringing of one ear, hearing loss in that ear, loss of balance and dizziness, which meant I was still stuck using that walker.  I did more extensive physical therapy and eventually saw a speech therapist because I was experiencing cognitive delay.  As you can imagine, this was a horribly difficult time.  Not only did I miscarry our twins, but my whole body was basically falling apart. I was beyond depressed, and was at a loss of what to do. I called our pastor and basically sobbed on the phone to him.  He was incredible.  He listened and he gave me wonderful words of comfort.  I decided, it’s not about “me” fixing things, it’s about me handing everything over to God.  I couldn’t do things on my own anymore; I needed God to “take the wheel”. I stopped saying, “I can’t do this”, and focused on “I can”.  After 8 months of using the walker and teaching myself how to walk again, I finally walked without the walker. Such an amazingly, proud moment.  Unfortunately, the tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and loss of hearing in that ear is permanent, but I am so thankful that I can walk and function again.  My labyrinthitis is considered “cleared”, but since it was so severe, it basically changed to a new vestibular disorder called Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD).  What I experience is far from severe; sometimes I will have random moments where I feel dizzy for a few minutes and my anxiety picks up.  I just need to sit back, breathe slowly, and relax and then everything kind of goes back to normal.  This disorder is very much treatable with medicine and would cause no issues with being a mother and raising a family.  I am not on medicine for this right now; mainly because my situation isn’t bad enough.  I have come to know what triggers my dizziness and try to avoid these triggers.

Now, as you can imagine, everything I went through was far from easy.  I had to get out of my comfort zone and accept the help from the occupational therapist, the physical therapists, speech therapist, doctors, and family.  My parents were awesome during all of this;  my parents made us meals and my mom came over to do our cleaning.  My mom drove me to all my appointments and hung out with me during the day before she went to work (2nd shift).  I had to get out of my comfort zone and Type A personality, and accept this help.  My husband…I cannot thank him enough for everything he did for me. He was my rock and strength. These eight, hard months, brought us much closer together. I learned, more than ever, that I can depend on him during hard times.  His encouragement and love was everything I could ask for, and more.  Not only was this scary for me, but I’m sure it was very scary for him, too, to watch his wife basically fall apart and knowing he couldn’t fix me.  He sat there, day after day, listening to my cry and yell and scream about how life wasn’t fair.  When I began to question God, he was there to help me through that, too.  I seriously could not thank Jason enough.

So what does this have to do with our adopting?  Well, we had to step out of my comfort zone of asking for help, and actually ask for help. We asked for help with donations for our rummage/fundraising event we’re planning. We asked for help with financial donations.  Asking for help from vendors/home sales businesses for our silent auction.  Talk about sounding like an annoying, pest.  This is not like us at all. We usually try to take care of our own business and do things on our own.  But, we had to realize that adoption isn’t about “just us”, anymore.  We do have to depend on family and friends to help us through this.  Adopting is a huge decision, and we definitely need the help and support of our family, friends, and heck, even strangers.  We apologize if we come off sounding annoying.  With that said, thank you to everyone that has been helping us!! We cannot thank you enough!

We Finally Have Our Kitchen Back

From:  Monday, March 27, 2017

What a busy weekend!  As you may remember from a previous post, our kitchen became a huge mess and basically not usable due to all the donations we have been receiving.  We finally finished taking everything into the basement, just in time to receive even more donations. We decided to do a deep clean of the main floor of our home and it looks awesome. I sat up a play room for our cats (more so for our kitten), and had Jason spend time in there entertaining the cats so they wouldn’t be in the way while I was cleaning.  Cleaning with cats (especially the kitten) can get frustrating.  I’m sure it can be compared to trying to clean with children around.  I clean up all the cat toys/items, the kitten comes and spreads everything out again.  I try to sweep the floors, the kitten decides to lay in my dirt pile. I try to clean the bathroom, the kitten walks around on my freshly cleaned surfaces. There’s a lot of, “no don’t touch that, no don’t eat that, go play with your toys, you’re driving me crazy, etc.” In the end the house did get clean, so that’s a plus.  Maybe it’s just me, but having a clean and organized home is very refreshing.  I like knowing where everything is and having empty surfaces throughout our home.  I absolutely hate clutter, and yes, I know I have to get over this especially when we have children in our home.  Something for me to work on, I guess.  As it turns out, we did not get to finish going through our items to sell and we did not begin pricing any of the donated items yet.

Besides cleaning most of the weekend, we had our friends and their two children come over for dinner and hangout for a little while.  It was entertaining to see how much energy the children have and watching how our friends parent their children.   We have a challenging road ahead of us as far as parenting goes, but I’m honestly very excited for this challenge.

Sunday morning we had a great church service.  We enjoy listening to our pastor preach.  He’s really good at using the Bible and showing how the Bible relates to us in today’s world.  Yesterdays sermon was about “Doubting Thomas”, and about learning to trust in God and stop doubting and fearing things.  We could definitely relate to the fearing things.  Adopting is a huge step for us and we are scared of what lies ahead for us on this journey.  Will we be able to raise enough funds to adopt? Will we be good parents? Is this truly God’s plan for us? Will having children ruin our relationship/friendship with each other? Will we be able to give our children a good life? The list goes on and on.  After church we met with our pastor to kind of talk things over about the rummage/fundraiser and about our fears.  Talking and praying helped ease our minds a little bit and we know we need to focus on praying more about this new adventure.

This week we will continue with sorting/gathering items for the rummage.  This coming weekend we get to have a little get away for Jason’s last dartball tournament for the season.  It should be a fun time hanging out with the rest of the team and also just having some fun time away from home for a couple days.

God’s blessings to you all. Have a great week!

One Week Down, Many Weeks to Go

From: Friday, March 24, 2017

Last week was a big week for us. We decided to officially announce to our friends and family our plans to adopt and start a family of our own. We were surprised by all the positive feedback, prayers and offers to help us in any way we may need.

Jason and I have decided to host a fundraising/rummage sale event this summer to hopefully help raise some funds for our adoption.  It is so crazy how expensive adoption is, but we are very determined to follow through with this new adventure.  I have been busy spending my time looking up individuals that run their own small businesses (i.e. Scentsy, Tupperware, Norwex, etc.), asking for either a raffle donation basket and/or for them to set up a table and fundraise that way.  Also, we plan to have a 50-50 raffle and a bake sale.  We even asked our nieces if they would like to set up a lemonade stand and offered for them to keep half the profit. Figured this could be a good learning experience for them, too. Needless to say, but this should hopefully be a big event.  We are so lucky that a friend of ours has offered to help us with the planning process.

We have already been blessed with donations from Christi’s boss and a few of our friends.  This is a small example of the donations we have received, and actually a lot has been donated even after this picture was taken.  I had the fun job last night of carrying all these bags and boxes down the stairs into our basement so it will be easier for us to start pricing the items. I had to have gone up and down the stairs at least 25 times, if not more.  After so many trips, my legs were throbbing so I called it a day and stuffed the remaining items into our kitchen.  Haha Guess what I get to continue doing this weekend. You guessed it; continue moving the rest of the bags down into the basement.

Another thing we asked our friends/family was to have folks write letter of recommendations for us so we are ready for when we meet with an agency.  It has been wonderful reading the kind words everyone has to say.  We are overwhelmed with all the love and support we have been receiving, and we’re only a week in on this journey!

I talked to our pastor last week about the possibility of us using our churches gymnasium for our fundraiser/rummage sale.  He said he would bring it up in the next meeting and let me know.  We received great news that we have received the approval!  What a relief. Our pastor said that he has to talk to a couple more people and then get back to us about available dates.  Now we just need to set a date and continue with the planning.

Our weekend will be filled with lots of pricing of the items we have received already.  Plus, continuing to go through our own personal items to create piles of things we can sell.  Honestly it is so freeing going through our entire home decluttering and re-organizing. I highly recommend everyone to do this throughout the year.

I guess that’s all the updates I have for today. Have a great weekend everyone!