Friday, November 30, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday

Grace's first Christmas with us in 2003. She was 16 mos. old. Grace took to Nick right away and they have been best buddies since then. :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

This and That...what's going on here or going on in my head

~ Dan is a "hunted man" in the biotech world. Hunted in a good way that he is being recruited by several companies and considering a job change. No we would NOT move. No moves here.

~ I hate my hair. I've had this haircut for about year or so and I'm getting a little tired of it. I don't like the thought of growing it out, so it'll probably stay the same for now. I like change...haircut wise.

~ Nick is having a great semester at Wisconsin academically. He loves his classes and is making good grades. That of course makes me happy too. :)

~ We have a 7 month old kitty named Jack who is a wild man. Every morning when I come downstairs he has knocked 4-6 ornaments off the Christmas tree and they are scattered across the room. He loves to play with the tree. One year when Nick was young, a cat we had climbed up to the top of the Christmas tree and it fell on the floor. That was a huge mess.

~ Grace takes gymnastics and swimming. Last evening we were driving home at 4:30pm from swimming, and it was already dark outside. We were driving up the road through an area of open farmland with a few houses in the distance. Grace tells me from the backseat, "Look Mom, I see Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer out there in the sky pulling Santa and his sleigh! Do you think he's coming to our house right now?" I said, "Grace, Santa won't be here for a few weeks, maybe he's practicing for Christmas." That seemed okay with her. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

1 Year!

One year. When I say those 2 words out loud it doesn't seems so long. 365 days. So what has happened in the past year that our dossier has officially been logged in to adopt a second daughter? A lot in the China adoption world. Namely...a huge slowdown in referrals. It's truly God's time frame. And that is what we have come to accept. I could talk about how long it took for us to adopt Grace, but it doesn't really matter. Can't compare, it is a very different time now and situation. I think about this child of China, this little girl we call "Lily," every single day. I often think of what she might be like when I see Grace's smile, hear her laugh, and look into her eyes. I share so much of our joy with Grace on this blog for all waiting families to see their future children too. And so we wait. In the last month or so I'm in a new phase of this thing. I'm stronger, calmer, positive and I know we all will have our children in our arms someday. The wait will be a memory. My goal now is to support my fellow friends on this journey. And it's a reciprocal relationship because I couldn't do this without you supporting me. I thank you all so much for that. So here we are exactly 1 year after our LID of our dossier to China. It is a milestone! :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

One of our traditions

We go a little crazy here at's our favorite time of the year. Crazy by we have 2 trees because we have a LOT of ornaments. A long time ago Dan and I decided to collect glass ornaments, so after 18 years of marriage we have quite a few of them. Then we have the family ornaments. You know the handmade ones that your children make for you each year, so we have another tree for those that we go and cut down in December and put up in the family room. I think that ornaments kind of tell the history of your family and every year when I open up the boxes of them, I can remember a little bit about each one. Many of them remind me of people and times in our lives that have come and gone. 2 years ago when Gracie was 3 she and I put up and decorated the glass ornament tree or as Gracie says, "it's the fancy tree Mom." And that it is. So she and I have a tradition every year of decorating this tree ourselves and spending some fun time together talking about the ornaments and what Christmas really is. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Last week Grace brought home from school some things she was thankful for, and the list inspired Dan and I to think of some things WE are thankful for every day:

~every sunrise and sunset
~every hug and kiss
~each other
~ the gift of our children
~our parents who love and guide us
~our family and friends who have become our family
~our health
~that we have a home to live in and food on the table
~the many opportunities that we have been given--education, travel and to choose where we live and work
~the opportunity to give back to others
~the difficult experiences we have gone through because they have made us stronger and more empathetic people
~that we have been led to adoption again
~that we live in a country where we have the freedom to vote for who we want to, have as many children as we like, and to worship freely
~and every single day we thank God for more blessings than we can count :)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Some Favorite Photos...My little Helper

I'm one of those people that takes photos all the time. If you come over to my house you will see I have photos everywhere, photos of family, friends and even my friend's children too. I take pictures almost everyday. I took these of Miss Grace a couple of years ago, she had received a play vacuum cleaner for her birthday from my sister. Grace loved the vacuum (in fact she plays with it even at age 5) and went all over the house "vacuuming." And she still likes to clean and help me around the house. She is a great little helper. :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Friday, November 9, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday--Silly Girls

I am fortunate to be able to stay at home with Grace. She goes to preschool a few mornings a week, and in the afternoons she and I have a lot of fun together. About 6 months ago we got out some of her hair bows and put most of them in our hair. Then we took pics of each other. I love this photo of Grace, she is a silly girl I will say. :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

DTC anniversary--1 year!

Grace with the dossier right before it was sent to China.

Well I glanced at the date today and realized that exactly 1 year ago Nov. 8, 2006 our dossier was sent to China. And what a year it's been! In some ways fast, in some ways slow. Today is a day to celebrate a milestone though I think. I keep reading that our dossier is supposed to be through being reviewed with CCAA soon and that will be another big milestone too. :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

for RMJ

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Misc. Ramblings on a Tuesday

China referrals are coming in this week. Every month when referrals arrive, I look at those beautiful little faces with tears of joy in my eyes. I remember what it was like for us to see Grace's face for the first time. In fact yesterday Grace asked to look at her China photo albums of her adoption and our time there and we both looked at her original referral photos in the little card they came in. That card has been lovingly touched and looked at least a 100 times...more like 100's of times. Those are the things that keep me going through this wait. Those faces and the memory of what it was like to get Grace's referral.

I've been reading a lot about families pulling their dossiers from China because the wait is so long. That makes me sad. Everyone has their particular family and personal situation and they must do what is best for them. It still makes me sad. When we adopted Grace in 2003 I felt that China thought highly of us adoptive parents. I don't feel that way anymore. Dan and I both feel like China doesn't think about any of us waiting fact they probably would like us to go away. That's okay, I'm not giving up on China or their children. I love China and always will for the gift they gave us.

Dan and I are both in our late 40's and rapidly accelerating to age 50. Sometimes I read that "50 is the new 30!" That's a funny one. MAYBE 50 is the new 40 I suppose. We most likely will be in our early 50's when this adoption happens. That's okay with us, we are comfortable in our own skin. We have the advantage of experience, with some wrinkles thrown in there too. :)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

18 years!

"and in this crazy life and through these crazy times, it's's you..." I chose this song because these words sum up the last 18 years of our life. Together we have experienced tremendous highs and lows and a whole lot of stuff in between. I cannot imagine my life without this man. Dan is my rock, my voice of reason, rationality, and a calm oasis that is ever constant. He sees the good in everyone and every situation and manages to keep an amazing sense of humor. When I looked for photos for this post, it was difficult for me to find photos with just he and I together. There are plenty of ones with the 2 of us with 1 or 2 children, but not many of just us together. When we were married 18 years ago Dan got an "instant family" with me and 4 year old Nick. Nick and Grace have no better father and I could have no better person (my best friend) to share this journey with. Dan puts up with my shenanigans. He brings out the best in me and I hope I bring out the best in him. We have gone through so much on this roller coaster called life--highs and lows both personally, professionally and even medically. Almost exactly 1 short year after we married, Dan was in a near fatal car accident and he survived against overwhelming odds. I am blessed in so many, many ways and I thank God everyday for those blessings. We have managed to come through it all with much love, mutual respect and always a sense of humor. I love you Dan. :) Gail

Friday, November 2, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday--some more pics from this week

A very happy and excited Mulan.

Dan and Gracie right before we went trick or treating.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

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