Monday, November 13, 2006

Almost done...

with our new family room! Tomorrow the plumber will be here, and Wednesday the carpet is being put down!! I can't wait! We are now staining and finishing some new furniture for the room, and I hope the carpet layers will move the sofa down from upstairs (I plan to throw $40 at them to entice them into doing it- Derek said he'd pay more not to have to do it!)I hope to have the room semi-put together by Thanksgiving. I love decorating and arranging furniture, so I am sure this weekend I will be in HOG HEAVEN!! I will most certainly take pictures for all of you out there in cyber land! The pool table should be moved from my mom's house on Black Friday and we are getting Clemson ORANGE felt on it. Should be gawdy, but what can I say? We love our TIGERS!

Referrals for October were late getting here- they came the first week of November. The CCAA referred babies to families whose dossiers were logged in 8-10-05 through 8-25-05. We've still got a way to go before they will even get close to us! (3-27-06)

BTW, I completed my duathlon in 3 hours, 19 minutes, and 41 seconds. That was Running 8K (4.99 miles), biking 26 miles, and running 5K (3.1 miles). My next even is a half marathon in February. I plan to do either the Tybee Island Half or the Hilton Head Half. Tybee is 2-3 and HH is 2-10. It will just depend on which weekend is better for us. My goal there is to complete it in less than 2:45.

I have now lost about 51-52 lbs. Still have about 15-18 to go. Hope to be there by next spring sometime!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Something Fun!

Saw this on and thought it was pretty cool. Who do I look like? I'm ok with all these choices!!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Referrals were received yesterday for families logged in 7/23/05 through 8/9/05. That means this month there were 18 days included in the referrals. That is an improvement, but not where we'd like it to be. So, you are asking, what does that mean for us?

Well, in a nutshell, it means this:
Best Case Scenario: If they refer the balance of August 2005 in October and then start referring FULL MONTHS (something they haven't done in a year) then we would receive our referral in MAY 2007 and would likely travel in late June or July 2007.
Worst Case Scenario: If they continue referring 1/2 of a month at a time, we would receive our referral in December 2007 and would likely travel in February or March 2008.
Most Likely: Since I do not believe that we are looking at either one of these predictions, I'll give my prediction as most likely. Based on what I've seen so far, I think we will get our referral around August or September 2007 and will travel Late October - December 2007.

When we started this process in October of 2005, we were told that the wait was about 6 months. We had visions of having our daughter home for Christmas this year. Now, I will be thrilled if she's home for Christmas 2007. Why so long? Everyone asks me this, and really, I don't have a good answer. I've heard about everything under the sun, but I believe the slowdown is because of several factors.
1. Not as many babies are being abandoned (this is a good thing!)
2. A lot of families in the Russia program switched to China when the Russian Gov. put a halt on their adoptions. Also, many new families have been drawn to China because of it's stability. Consequently, there was a huge increase in the number of families logged in over the past year as compared to other years.
3. The baby scandal in the Hunan Province basically shut down non-special needs adoptions from that province for 4.5 months. Since roughly 25% of the babies adopted internationally have historically come from Hunan, this made a huge impact. More families, less babies = longer wait
4. China is doing what it can to encourage domestic adoption in China. Once again, this is a good thing...

I know it will all be worth the wait when we have our daughter in our arms. And I've been doing good with the wait so far. We have 6 months of waiting under our belts so far, and they've gone by relatively fast. My biggest problem right now is that it is hard for me to see the end to this wait because it is unknown. If I knew for sure our wait would be over in exactly one year, I could deal with that. It's the not knowing that's driving me crazy. I feel foolish buying baby clothes and setting up a nursery not knowing when we'll have a baby girl to put in it, yet I long to do it because it makes me still feel like an expectant mom. Does that make any sense whatsoever?

I'll most likely be 35 when we get our daughter. That's the same age my mom was when she had me. Of course, she got pregnant after one month of trying and after being married less than 2 years. We've been married over 11 years and have been trying for over 4. My patience is running out and I'm sprouting gray hairs left and right.

To all my sisters in waiting, be strong. It will happen. Eventually. Right?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I'm such a slacker

I haven't written, I haven't posted pictures, I haven't done squat.

I'm sorry- this is about to be fixed. I got a new camera and I'm itchin to use it. Hopefully this weekend I'll get all caught up.

Let's see, what's new with us?
1. Finished our screened in porch. Started on the addition.
2. I completed my first triathlon on 8-20. Now training for a duathlon on 10-28.
3. I've now lost right at about 50 lbs total. Size 10s are starting to be loose on me!
4. I'm planning a surprise bday party for my mom. Shhhhh it's a surprise- don't tell her if you see her.
5. Work is busy for both of us.
6. Clemson Football, baby! Woo Hoo!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ta Da!!!!!!!!!!

Here is the pool! It officially was finished on Saturday. We have lots of landscaping to do, as it is just a big mud hole right now, but we are so in love!!! YAAAA!!! We are pool owners!!!

I also want to send a big thank you to my CCAI Feb/Mar DTC Secret Pal for the awesome July gift. We so love the beach and it was a box of beach goodies! A pail and shovel, baby sunscreen, a pink and white beach hat, a beach ball, a flip flop note pad and a couple of sand toys. I know we will get a lot of use out of those goodies!!! What could be better than the 4th of July at the beach with our little Tiger?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

7 Things....

Looks like I've been tagged by Jackie Rochester of the CCAI yahoo group.... Here are my 7 things...

7 Things I would like to do before I die
1. Retire
2. See the USA in an RV on a summer long trip!
3. See my Tigers play in another National Championship Football Game!
4. See my child (ren) achieve their dreams
5. Complete a half iron man triathlon
6. Be a size 6 (frivalous I know)
7. Watch my husband win a professional bass tournament :)

7 Things I can do
1. Run a marathon (woohoo!)
2. Sew
3. Most any home improvment project
4. Read Fast
5. Cook
6. Water ski and snow ski
7. Know exactly what Derek is thinking on most things...

7 Things I can't do
1. SING (Derek is probably nodding his head yes to this- I'm awful, but I love to do it!)
2. Turn down M&Ms (my favority candy!)
3. Get up early on my own
4. Dance (ummm, not well anyway)
5. Wait patiently
6. Leave a zit alone
7. Eat seafood (ok, theoretically I can do this, I just won't)

7 Things that attracted me to Derek
1. His open friendliness to everyone (he makes everyone feel like a friend fast!)
2. His smile
3. His confidence
4. His muscles (ha ha, this was probably actually #1)
5. His baby blue eyes!
6. His thoughtfulness
7. His intelligence!

7 Things I say most often
2. Whatever
3. Anyway
4. Good morning (afternoon), this is Suzanne (on my work phone)
5. I love you (to my sweet baboo, Derek)
6. DUH!
7. Cool!

7 Books I love
1. Little Women
2. All of Catherine Anderson's books (yes I love Romance novels!)
3. The Velveteen Rabbit
4. All of Diana Palmer's books (more in the romance field)
5. To Kill a Mockingbird
6. There's a Monster at the End of this Book (by Grover)
7. 2006 Clemson Football Media Guide (ha ha, had to stick something else about Clemson in here)

7 Movies I love
1. The American President
2. Sabrina (the remake, not the original)
3. A Christmas Story (You'll shoot your eye out kid!)
4. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
5. Old School
6. Sweet Home Alabama
7. Pretty Woman

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

News on the pool front and more...

Concrete is being poured for our pool today! I hope this means we will be swimming this weekend! I will post pics as soon as the worker bees are done.

No new news on the adoption front. Rumor is that the July referrals will be for June 30th - July 13th 2005 Log in dates. Our adoption agency is still predicting a 12-14 month wait, others are going out to 18 months.

It will happen when it is supposed to. But all this waiting makes me wonder if our little tiger will be an only child....

More time before the referral gives me more time to work out and become a red hot mama. This is how I would love to look.... although I don't think it's in my gene pool... and I don't have blond hair... and I'm not this tall...and I don't have a red bike...and I don't have this tan... it IS something to work towards...

Thursday, July 06, 2006


What is motivation? Is it desire? Is it will? Is it something that someone gives you, or is it deep down inside of you?

For me, my motivation is deep down inside of me. Ever since I was a child, I have never been content to sit back and watch. If it's something that interests me, I want to DO it. Sure, I have my lazy streaks, but my parents instilled in me at a very young age that life is full of nothing but possibilities. Anything I want is within my grasp if I want it bad enough and if I am willing to work for it.

I want a family. All the wanting in the world isn't going to make me magically get pregnant, but we're making it happen through adoption.

I want to be healthy and fit, so I am making it happen through diet and exercise. (Actually I want to be a red hot mama, but this is a PG rated site)

I want to be a happy person, so everyday I choose to be happy and not let the little things in life get me down. After all, is it really important in the grand scheme of things? Most of the time that answer is "no."

Everyone has the ability to achieve their dreams, you just have to decide "How bad do you want it?" Are you willing to put it ahead of other things? Most people are not willing to do this. They may dream of one day doing something really special, but yet in their day to day life they don't do anything to MAKE it happen. Well folks, it isn't going to happen on its own. And no one will hand it to you on a silver platter (and if they did it wouldn't mean anything to you).

I challenge everyone to start making their dreams come true. This doesn't have to be your millionaire dreams. If you want to own your own business, start making it happen. If you want to go back to school for a different career, go back to school. If you want to get in shape, start working out. If you want a better relationship with someone, make the first move. If you don't try you'll never get what you truly want.

Ok, I've been philosophical enough for now.

It is now officially 57 days until CLEMSON FOOTBALL starts!

Thursday, June 29, 2006


I want all my friends to know I've had an epiphany. One of Oprah's "AHA" moments.

I have figured out that to lose weight, I have to pretty much dedicate my life to it. That means eating right 6 days out of 7, working out like a freak, and constantly thinking about it. I can't let up, not at all, because letting up leads me down a slippery slope.

I'm not kidding. Once I get to my desired weight, I can relax and just let the routine of it all take over, but for now I have to be a diligent, dedicated, crazy person. An example of this is that my husband is at the Kenny Chesney concert right now. Friends of ours had an extra ticket, and even though I am the big country music lover, I let Derek take it. Why? Well, the primary reason was I didn't want to miss a workout. Isn't that anal and crazy? Well it is. But I know that for me, staying dedicated means I can't stop. Stopping once makes it ok to stop the next time, and then before you know it, I'll only be working out once per week.

I am still in training. This time it is a triathlon. The Greenville Tri is on August 20th (my 34th birthday) and it is a 400 m swim, a 15 mile bike ride, and a 5K run.

Here is my weekly training schedule.... assume AM means before work at about 6-7AM. PM means evening, or after work.
Monday AM- 25 minutes of Swimming (typically do about 1150 meters, or 46 laps in a 25 meter pool)
Monday PM- Biking (typically do about 9 miles)
Tuesday AM- Running (3 miles)
Tuesday PM- weight training (starting next week)
Wednesday AM- swimming again same as Monday
Wednesday PM- biking again same as Monday
Thursday AM- Running (3 miles)
Thursday PM- Weight training
Friday- off, rest day
Saturday- AM, LONG BIKE (15-20 miles) and LONG RUN (5 miles +)
Sunday- off, rest day.

Whew. I'm tired now. That's about 6.5 hours of training per week. But I can see all these changes in how my body looks and performs and I love it. I can't wait until I am more muscle than fat! I am going to be one of those women. You know, the ones that make you want to say "Grrrrr"

You know what, I am ok with that....


I have no idea where my pictures are and why they didn't upload. Hmmm. I think I am going to have to start using an image hosting service.

I'll just have to try this again later this weekend. Sorry for the promise of pictures only to fail to show them....

I'm just baiting you for later! I've got 5 or 6 I wanted to load... You'll see them soon enough....

OH!! BY THE WAY, Derek found a new job! YAY! He starts on Monday, so we won't miss a single paycheck. This job is with WABCO (westinghouse air brake company) and he will be a buyer for one of their teams- I think the mass transit pneumatic brake team. He's making more money, but will have about half the vacation he had before. I think he is really disappointed about that because it will impact his fishing tournaments, but he's being a good sport about it.

I hate to say it, but it's almost a good thing we've got this long wait for a referral. Maybe he will qualify for Family medical leave when we go to China. He will qualify for that next July. That way he won't have to use vacation to travel.... good thing too since he won't have that much!

The Marathon

Ok ok ok, I've heard enough crap about not writing about the marathon, so I will. Mom, Judy, and I all had a great time visiting San Diego. It truly is a beautiful city, and I would love to go back sometime and really get the full experience. 4 days including travel and the marathon is just not enough.

Lynn (my running friend) and I were in corral 21. Your corral number was how you got lined up for the start. There were 1000 people per corral and there were 22 corrals. You are assigned your corral based on your expected finish time. As you can see, we were back with the walkers. The indignity of it!! It took us about 15 minutes to cross the starting line. Keep in mind your official "chip time" is based on when YOU cross the start and the finish and all the clocks in the pictures I will post show the gun time. You have to subtract those 15 minutes from the gun time to get my approximate chip time. I say this because I finished in 6 hours, 30 minutes, and 30 seconds. My goal, which I thought I would never meet, was to finish in 6.5 hours. I was THRILLED beyond belief to meet that goal (I'm going to forgive the extra 30 seconds, I had to stop and pee at mile 5, so I think that's reasonable.) What I especially loved was crossing the finish line after passing a dude from corral 15. HA!! GIRLS RULE!!

Did I hit the wall? Yes. Did I hit it at mile 20? No. I actually hit it at mile 23. See, in all of our training runs, we would go 2 miles further than the time before. My longest was 20. I was ok for 20, I was ok for 22. 23, however, about did me in. I stopped and walked from mile 23.5 to mile 25. Once I saw the mile marker for 25, I decided to have a strong finish so I kicked it in gear and actually had a pretty decent last mile. The joy of finishing and the adrenalin helped me to eek out what was probably about a 12 minute mile. As I crossed the finish, I held my Tiger Rag up. ORANGE NATION, baby!!!

Everyone keeps asking me if I will ever do another. Right now, the answer is I don't think so. I do think I will do half marathons- I felt great at mile 13!! I think half marys give you all the satisfaction (ok half the satisfaction) and none of the pain!

I've tried adding pictures, but this is all that took. BAH HUMBUG!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

So much has happened

So much has happened. I've tried to update my blog about 3 times but each time blogger went down. So, this is a quickie- I'll update more thoroughly later.

First let me say thank you to my secret pals. The gifts have been awesome and I feel so guilty that I haven't been able to acknowledge them yet. But I do have a good excuse.

1. First of all, the legal action with my father's brother is now over and done. We settled after almost 4 years of "legal disagreements" and he has bought my mom and I out of the farm. I cannot begin to tell you how we thought we'd never see the day we'd be free of him. But it's finally happened.
2. My grandmother's house sold. I spent the week of memorial day helping my mom and my aunt pack it all up. We were very happy that it sold to a nice family, but sad to leave it. The packing up wasn't a problem but everyone in our small family has established homes, so we have lots of things and no one to use them. Fortunately we left a good bit for the family who bought the house as they didn't have a house before and could use a lot of the things!
3. I had my marathon. Finished in 6 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds. Will post more about that in a bit...
4. Derek found out he's lost his job effective June 30th. Apparently when the textile mills that buy spare parts shut down, that affected his job(textile spare parts business). Go figure. So now we are searching for the "right" position for him.
5. Derek's mom fell on Tuesday after Memorial Day. Scraped up her arms pretty bad. Didn't break anything, thank goodness. But, that evening was spent cleaning her up and getting her wounds addressed. Anytime a diabetic has a wound you really have to be careful. I won't get into the specifics of what happened, but it was in the bathroom and I had to help her, not Derek. I totally feel prepared for motherhood now. I am so glad she's ok. The fall ended up being a good thing in disguise, because now she will let me help her bathe, and I know that will help her feel better on a daily basis.

Whew. Crazy couple of weeks. Will post more on the secret pal presents and on the marathon later. I've got pictures to post, folks, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Moving forward...

I think we've made the decision to move forward with the addition. But we will also be adding a pool. I love to swim and a pool is something Derek and I have always wanted. I taught swimming lessons when I was in college, so I will begin teaching our daughter as soon as we're home!

I am pretty excited about this. We are going pool shopping(looking) this weekend since that will have to happen before the addition because of the configuration of our backyard and proposed new room. We hope we will be able to enjoy our pool to be before the end of summer. It will just be a small pool, we don't have enough room for something big, but I am still pretty excited about it all.

It's also interesting to note that Derek and I agreed about all this pretty quickly. That just reinforces to me that we should do it. Obviously it's something we both value and would both enjoy.

Mom and Aunt Judy are coming home to SC tomorrow. We'll have a week before we leave for San Diego. They are also trying to finalize the sale of my Grandmother's house. So much going on right now! When it rains, it pours!

That's about it for today. Isn't that enough?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Object of my Affection

Ta Da!! Here it is, the new bike! It's a 2005 Trek 1000c, which basically means it's a "comfort" road bike. What makes it a "Comfort" bike is that it's very similar to the women's design, but also has brakes on top of the handlebar. I do like that. I thought I wanted the women's specific design, but this was so similar and it had the added appeal of the extra brakes, a slightly more upright riding position, and a slightly smaller price tag, since this was left over from 2005. I figure I need all the comfort I can get since I am doing the triathlons to get fit and have a workout goal, not to actually win! (But I will be pushing myself to get faster and set personal records, I just live in the real world and know that I'm not going to be competing to actually win.)

I got it on Saturday after my 12 mile run, which I did for the most part in the rain, starting at 6:30 AM. Does that make me hard core? LOL!

I rode for about 5 miles on Saturday but had to stop. My nether region needs to toughen up a bit. Even with padded shorts and an extra cushy seat, my butt hurt! Oh well, I suppose in time I'll get used to it.

I bought this from the Great Escape here in Greenville. The assistant manger personally fit me and set up this bad boy to my exact specifications and needs. I was very happy with the service... the assistant manager is actually someone I dated right before I met Derek! Obviously there were no hard feelings, and I am happy to know that he's doing well and getting married to a cutie pie in about a month. I wish them both well.

Derek had a tournament on Saturday. Caught 2 fish, but didn't hit the mother load. Derek wishes he had had more time to scout the lake before the tournament. His next tournament is June 21st. He'll be on that lake scouting it out before that tournament I'm sure!

The marathon is 2 weeks from today. I'm a bit nervous but just because I don't want to be last! I am sure that's normal. All this extra exercising I am doing (swimming, biking, running) is paying off. I lost 3 lbs this week according to my weigh in at weight watchers today. Woo hoo! That makes a girl very happy.

Spent the afternoon working in the yard. Derek and I are considering an addition to our home. We have always wanted a rec room/den that we can move the computer to and put Dad's pool table in- but the thought of moving any time soon is something we both don't want to ponder. Maybe we'll just add on the room we need and want. I know one thing. I don't want to not do it because we think we'll be moving into a bigger house in a few years. Time has a way of sneaking up on you and I don't want 10 years from now to look back on everything and think "I wish we had done that..."

Know what I mean? Heck, it's only money. LOL!!!!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Just a quickie!

Nothing to post in the way of the adoption (except I've got the crib now and just need to paint it!- that really hit home when I saw it in the garage- Kev and Jennifer dropped it off while we were in VA)........

I have lost now a total of 30.8 lbs!! Woo hoo! Only 30-35 more to go, I'm almost half way there....

Got my 20 miler under my belt on Saturday. The weather was perfect and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Didn't really get fatigued bad until mile 16 or 17, but it wasn't too much. Went to Wally World after and walked around hanging on the buggy. By the time I was done shopping, my legs felt great! I even went to the nursery and bought flowers to plant afterwards. Don't know where THAT energy came from. Nevertheless, by 9:30 PM I was out like a light!

Our finish time for 20 miles was like 5 hours, 22 minutes. That included our walk breaks and water stops. We'll be doing good to finish under the 7 hour recommended max. But hey, I'd rather be slow to finish than quick to quit. That's my moto!

I think I've picked out my bike, will be going to the bike store this weekend. I wanted to get it before the marathon so that I could start up training on it when I get home. I plan to compete in my first sprint triathlon on my birthday (Aug. 20th). It will be a 400 m swim, 12 mile bike ride, and 3.1 mile run. I'm excited to be doing something other than running so that I will get a better full body workout. Who knew I would like doing this stuff? It actually is pretty fun, once you feel empowered to do it!

That's all for now! Thanks for reading....

Monday, May 08, 2006

Uncle Jim

Last Tuesday my Uncle Jim passed away. He had been sick with Esophogeal (sp?) cancer and had been bravely fighting it for about 5 years. My aunt and uncle live in Gainesville, VA, and my mom had traveled up the previous Thursday for a "roast" their church was having in Jim's honor. They called it Jimboree and Judy 2. Jim was loved by everyone who knew him and this roast was their opportunity to share their love. Jim put on a brave face and did his best to enjoy the event, but he was very sick and suffering greatly. Monday brought a trip to the doctor, who told him that everything that could be done had been done. My uncle accepted the news well, and passed on early the next morning. I think he chose that time because he knew my aunt was not alone, my mother was still there. He had just spent a lovely weekend with the family, and had an opportunity to see everyone. He was suffering, and God decided it was time to bring him home.

While we all grieve, we do not do so without hope, because as Believers we know we will see Jim again. He will meet us at the Gates of Heaven and will try to sell us aluminum siding for our home (a running joke with him).

Jim was a very loving and generous man. When I write generous, that word seems inadequate to describe how he was. Jim gave without hesitation, and he did so all the time. Jim was a true servant of God. If there ever was a person who embodied the servant spirit, it was Jim. That saying, to whom much is given, much is expected, is exactly how Jim lived his life. He gave to his family, his church, his community, and even strangers, although, they weren't strangers for long.

My family is very small. My mom has one sister and my father has one brother. My father's brother never married and we really don't have a relationship with him. My mother's sister's family was the extent of our family when I was growing up. I remember thinking that I hoped my parents made provisions for me to be raised by my aunt and uncle if anything happened to them. Jim was such a good daddy, and my aunt a mother; if I couldn't have my parents, they were the next best ones.

I love them dearly, and will miss Jim tremendously. I doubt he's missing us, though. His rewards in Heaven were immediate and plentiful, and I know my father and grandfather were waiting on him to arrive. I am sure there was an issue that still needed to be argued. They all loved that.

At the end of Jim's memorial service, the organist played "Take Me Out To The Ball Game." That was a perfect ending. I am sure Jim had a big ole smile on his face.

Jim was a retired FBI agent. I think it's fitting to say, "Mission accomplished, Settle. It's time to go Home now."

Sunday, April 30, 2006

What a week!!

Today is Sunday, and I must say I am glad this week is about over! I was sick with a stomach bug Monday, Tuesday, and recovering Wed and Thursday. I really have not had any interest in food until Friday. That is sooo not like me. And on top of that, I only lost .2 LB. Where is the justice????

I did manage to hydrate myself enough to get my 18 miler in on Saturday. Let me tell you this, it was a breeze compared to the 14 I had to do LAST Sunday. I never quite realized how much the heat can take it out of you, but last Sunday it was in the mid 80s. My running friend and I struggled to get our 14 in. Actually we started struggling at mile #6 and through sheer will and determination we made it through 14. This week was much different. The temp was in the 60s and we rocked!!! We were both dead tired (no pun intended) when we got done, but there was never a question of "Can we do it" like there was last week. I am beginning to think we just might make it through the marathon, which is 5 weeks from today. That's only 35 days away. YIKES!

The only highlight to my week were the quilt squares I received, the bib and book gift I received from Jan on the CCAI Feb/Mar DTC group, and the MAR2006 DTC Secret Pal gift I received. I loved all my gifts. The bib and book gift came first. Here's a picture:

Don't you just love the Tiger!!! I know our Little Tiger will love it. And she will love the Born to Shop bib. Like mother, like daughter. She will get that honestly!

The books are all super cute, especially the language book. I hope our daughter will be fluent in a foreign language. I only know a little french. Je parle francais un peu.

I hope I said that right!

And when I was feeling like Ralph Rotten, the postman brought me another present!! This really made me feel better- especially since my secret pal sent a pink bunny hoodie towel that I had been looking at myself. How's that for great minds??

Here is a picture:

Isn't this the sweetest thing? I can't wait until I have a little some-bunny to wrap up in this! Hopefully we won't have to go through another mother's day without our daughter or our referral at least!

Thank you secret pal, you ROCK! (that's suzanne speak for you are awesome!)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Karen Tagged me

6 Weird things about myself? I am pretty weird, so it will be hard to limit it to just 6, but I'll try to pick the weirdest of the weird traits.

1. I have freakishly short arms. Stand me next to someone my height, shoulder to shoulder, and my arms will be at least 4- 6" shorter than hers...
2. I am 5'4" and wear a size 10 tennis shoes. (dress shoes are 9 to 9.5) You would think with feet that big, I'd be a little taller. I inherited my mom's short stature and my dad's big feet. Gee thanks.
3. I love to pop zits and pick scabs. It doesn't matter if they are mine or Derek's. I'll chase him around if he's got a big 'un on his back!
4. I can't say the word ominous without first saying "omnious" Don't know why. You'd think someone with a master's degree could say ominous easily but I can't. Say it 6 times fast and you'll know what I mean.
5. I can't watch the Wizard of Oz because the witches and the flying monkeys are too scary to me. In fact, when I was a little girl, I made my mom cut all the pictures of witches out of my books because they were scary.
6. I love to sing, but I am sooooo bad. But that doesn't stop me. I'll sing and talk to myself in the car all the time, especially if someone in the car next to me gives me a "what in the world" look. I just don't car. To me, I sound like Faith Hill. To others, I sound like a shreiking cat (no insult to cats).

Ok, is that weird enough? I better tag 6 more people. Hmmmm. I guess I will tag
Lisa, Donna, Lindsey, Carmi and Doug, Kim, and Chrissie.

BTW, these are not in any kind of order....

Tag on, friends!!

Sunday, April 09, 2006


I had the best weekend and the worst weekend. Best for shopping, worst for marathon training (knee and hip problems- I'll be calling the dr tomorrow)

BUT about the shopping! Mom and I had so much fun! I bought the fabric to make the crib linens. I am sooooo excited about these. Remember that my room is a light mint green. The plaid is going to be the cribskirt, the pink, and the print (asian looking) will be the quilt and the bumper pads!!!
Don't cha just love it!!!

Ok, I've decided against using Ralph Lauren Allison for the twin bed. Instead I will use the pink check sheets that I bought to go with the Allison and a green matelasse. I have the pillow sham to the matelasse, I just need to find the coverlet...

This isn't all I've bought. I got books, secret pal stuff, 2 cute dresses etc. I am attaching pics of them all as well as some of the books I've already bought, etc. I can't stop myself!! It makes me happy to by our daughter things!

I had one more pic to post of a cute pink ladybug photo album that says love bug on it, but for some reason it wouldn't upload. Go figure. Must be a bug in it somewhere. LOL just kidding, sorry for the pun.

It's a work night, so it's off to bed I go now!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

LID and a Shout Out!

We have officially received our LID (Log in Date) and it is 3-27-06. This means so much to me as I really wanted to be logged in by the end of March. March is such a good month for us, and receiving our LID just reinforced that! Typically, it had been taking about 8 weeks to learn of your LID after DTC, and most LIDs were 2-4 weeks after the DTC date, so receiving our LID 1.5 weeks after DTC was a big surprise! We have learned from our agency that the CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) had gotten behind in logging in dossiers, so they brought in some temps to get caught up. YAAAAY For US!

(I hope all that writing about DTC and LID and CCAA doesn't have anyone too confused. Lots of letters, but they are all important ones to us!)

I'd like to give a shout out to The Cantrells and to The Cetons! The Cantrells are dear friends of mine from my growing up years. Christy and Amy (twins) and I were in Sunday School together, played basketball together, and were just always really good friends. I received a note from their mom and know they check out my blog to see what's going on. I have such fond memories of all the time we spent together at church and on the court! Christy and Amy were the core of our team!

The Cetons are a dear family from Pennsylvania that we met at the beach one year (Surfside Beach, SC). Their daughter Merrie and I are close in age and neither of us had a playmate, so Merrie's mom, Judy, introduced us out in the surf and we began a wonderful summer friendship that extended way beyond that first summer. In fact, for years our families would try to schedule vacations at the same time so that Merrie and I could visit. Merrie has 2 younger sisters, Gwen and Allison, and I adored having them tag along with us. After being an only child, it was so cool to have 2 younger ones around that were so much fun. They are all grown up now, of course, and have exciting lives, and I enjoy getting caught up with them through Christmas cards and the like. Judy, thank you so much for your card, it was totally unexpected and so nice to hear from you! Mama and I think of you guys so often as those summers with your family are such good memories for us. Mama and Daddy really enjoyed getting to know you, too- happy happy times!

The marathon training is going well. I still am having IT band issues, but am trying to rest up more this week and have ordered a book on stretching to help with this. I did 14 miles (through guts, sheer will, and determination) last Sunday, but I have to say I wasn't good for much the rest of the day. I went to weight watchers (down another lb), to the grocery store, and that was about it. The rest of the day I spent on our porch swing reading!

The fund raising is also going good, but slowing down. I still need to raise about $1200. I have literally one more month (deadline May 1st) to do this. So please, if you have a couple of bucks you can spare (even if it is just $5), click on my donation link and help support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This is such an important cause! Many thanks to those who have already contributed, I really do appreciate it!

I guess that's all that's going on. I plan to jazz up my blog this weekend. If anyone knows of links and stuff that will help me do this (for free, LOL) how about leaving me a comment with a link!

Suzanne *who is patiently beginning her wait for a referral*

Monday, March 27, 2006

Our Map!

I've added a Frappr Map, and so far only one couple has added themselves. So, come on all you lurkers, let me know where you are from!!!


WooHOO! We were notified that our dossier was received in China on 3-20, so I guess we are officially waiting! It feels good to be at this point now, but frustrating too since we don't know how long of a wait we will have. I suppose it is an exercise in patience.

Derek and I celebrated our 11th anniversary on Saturday. Wow. 11 years. The time has certainly flown by. Derek fished and I ran and had a 2 hour massage (HEAVEN!) and then we went to dinner at one of our favorites, a Japanese Steakhouse (Mimi's) and it was delicious. I am afraid the salty food however, hindered my weight watchers weigh in, I was only down .4, but it was so worth it!

I need help. Really. I can't stop shopping for our daughter, and I don't know how to stop! I haven't bought clothes, but books are fair game! Books are safe, books are one size fits all! Our daughter will have enough books to check them out to her friends. But that's ok, I figure, if you are going to spoil a child, it might as well be with books. So far my favorite is a Buoyton Board book, it is says " A cow says Moo. A sheep says Baa. Three dancing pigs say La La La. No no you say, that isn't right, the pigs all say oink oink all day and night....." Isn't that hysterical???

I have signed up for 2 different secret pal lists so I can feed my need to shop.

I've also made one blanket for our daughter, but it was a practice one. Those blanket bindings are tough to sew and get even!

The training for the marathon is going well. My long run to date is 12 miles, and this weekend I will tackle 14. I never thought I would be able to do this, but it is amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it! For a while there, I was having trouble with my legs, but I went to a store called Run In, and Jeff Milliman there hooked me up with some awesome Mizuno Wave Elixirs. Trust me, as soon as I put these puppies on, a lot of my pain went away. I am still having some residual issues, but I can tell it is getting better everyday. I ran pain free on Saturday, so I know that I am on the right track. Here is their website, check them out.

The fundraising is going well too. I am over half way there, but still need to raise about $1500. So keep those donations coming!

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Just a quick note to let everyone know that Derek and I will be on vacation the 12th-18th, so there won't be any posts from me! We are going to Lake Eufala for Derek's Stren Series Bass Fishing Tournament. Hopefully we'll be bringing home a pot full of money!

Today we fished in a couples tournament, and came in 5th out of 27 boats. We weighed in a limit of 5 bass that weighed a total of 14.94 lbs. I caught 3 of them for 8.88 lbs and Derek caught 2 for 6.06 lbs. We won our entry fee back plus $5 so overall it was a good day. We were really on some fish. Between the two of us, we caught a total of 16 fish (6 for me, 10 for Derek) which was great considering the fact that only 16 boats weighed in a limit, and 2 caught ZERO....

Tomorrow is my 10 mile run, I am sure it will be ok. I took Thursday and Friday off from running to give my poor knees a break, and my legs are feeling much better today because of it! They are saying "Thank you!"

I'll post again when we return from our trip. This is EXACTLY why I want a laptop. I can't keep up with all my blogging friends without it!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

So how long IS it going to take?

One of the things that has supremely frustrated me about the adoption process is the ever-changing timelines. I am a Monica Bing personality and when I want something, I want it now, or I at least want to know the specifics of EXACTLY when I will have it.

With a pregnancy, you pretty much know that give or take 36 weeks after you find out you are pregnant that your child will be born. And, to top it off, you have ultrasounds, baby kicks, doctor's appointments, maternity clothes shopping, and an expanding waistline to take your mind off the wait. Each day presents something exciting, and the wait goes by quickly!

With an adoption, you don't have any of that. There is a lot of activity getting your paperwork together, and then pretty much nothing until the referral. Oh you can work on the nursery, and what not, but you really can't shop as you have no idea what size or age you will be referred. Now, if I knew that I was going to have to wait 6 months for a referral that would be ok. But the timeline keeps changing. At first, when we sent our application in, we were told that referrals were 5-6 months after LID (log in date) in China. Then the wait stretched to 7 months, then to 8, then to 9, and now they are projecting 10-12. Of course, that's not to say that over the course of the next year that the timelines won't drop back down just as quickly, but I can't hope for that or expect that, because all that leads to is disappointment.

Derek and I will definitely make use of the time together- we are going to Alabama for his fishing tournament next week, I've got the marathon thing, and we'll cheer for our Tigers this fall like the crazy fanatics we are, but to have this mysterious wait time hanging out there is enough to drive me batty! I can't plan, I can't shop, and there's nothing to do right now but wait.

I ordered a pattern to make the crib bedding, that will take up a couple of weekends, and I plan to paint the guest bathroom. That will take up all of one weekend. I've painted everything else, the new carpet is in, scrapbooks are in process, books are being read, movies are being watched. What else is there?

Well, I can go to everyone else's blogs and see how they are. The ones with babies home are the best, as it gives me a glimpse of what we have to look forward to. The ones in the same stage of the process as us are comforting- it helps to know I am not the only one suffering from the "I can't wait any longers..."

On that note, I will end this post. If anyone is starting up a secret pal thing for adoption couples in the same time frame as us, I am up for it! Just let me know... will give me an excuse to go shopping.....

Sunday, February 26, 2006


To steal a term coined by my blogging friend Karen, as of Friday, 2-24, we are DTA (dossier to agency)!! I am extremely relieved to be done with this part of the process. Now we just wait for agency (CCAI) to review, translate, bind, send to China and give us our DTC (Dossier to China) date, which really means nothing, and then we wait for our dossier to be logged in (our LID date). The LID is the official start of the waiting period. I really hope our dossier is logged in by the end of March. Our anniversary is on the 25th and this would be a wonderful present!

We got new carpet this past week. It is wonderful! It feels so soft to my feet (and I know little knees will appreciate it). I will probably be spending the next 2 weeks trying to get my house back in order, but it is a small price to pay for new carpet!! :)

Training for the marathon is still going great. This Saturday I did 6 miles, my longest to date. I will never win any speed contests, but it is so gratifying to be able to complete these distances that I've set my mind to!

Well, I've been saying that I would post pics of the nursery to be. I still have a lot to do. Officially I plan to put a twin bed, the crib, a chest of drawers (that was mine when I was a baby) and a glider in the room. I haven't started on the furniture, because I have PLENTY of waiting time to do that, but I have painted, hung curtains, and bought some accessories.

Here is a glimpse of the room....

I love Classic Pooh and friends. I just love that Pooh has many friends but only one Piglet. That's how I feel about our daughter. Yes, there are thousands of abandoned babies, but only one will be OUR daughter.

The fabric shown is the Ralph Lauren pattern "Allison"- This is what I will be using on the twin bed. The sheets will be a pink check and this is the comforter. I will probably use coordinating material for the crib bedding, which I will probably end up making.

The picture below is of my mom's rescued beagle surprise named Tabitha. I imagine she is thinking, "How dare they dress me up like a doll. The indignity of it!!"

Friday, February 17, 2006

Almost on our way...

This week was a pretty good one, inspite of the fact that Derek was gone to West Point Lake for a fishing tourney (Stren Series). Our documents came back from the Sec of State with their certification, so as soon as they did, I sent them to the courier in DC to be certified and authenticated by the US Dept of State and the Chinese Embassy. We should have them back by the end of next week, and then our dossier will be ready to go to our agency! WOO HOO. At that point, all the paperwork is out of our hands and we just wait. And wait. And wait. But at least now, we are closer to the waiting!!

Training for the marathon is going well. I am almost through week 2 and have upped my mileage considerably. Before I started this training I was logging 9-10 miles per week. Week #1 I logged in 16 miles and this week I will have 19 miles. Tomorrow is a five mile easy run in the cold rain at 6:30 AM. Last week was also in the rain. What do I have to do to not run in the rain? Oh well, at least this proves to myself how dedicated I am. Before signing up for this, I would have said anyone who got up that early to run in the cold rain was smoking something funny! I did buy a couple of books written by Jeff Galloway. He is a marathon runner who advocates and running/walking approach for long runs. This is what Sunny Lea does (my cousin who will be doing the marathon with me) so I will probably give it a try. So far I can do 5 milers, but the thought of 10, 14, or more is a little daunting.

I need to get to work on my donation letters. One of my adoption blog friends, Karen, gave me my first donation. Thank you Karen! This means so much and it was such a surprise to find out about!

Well, that's about all I know to report right now. Hopefully the CCAA will be sending out referrals soon. Here's to hoping it is for a full month this time!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Just Added...

I just added a link to my Team in Training Donation Web Page. This is for the money I committed to raise to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for the Rock n Roll Marathon in June. I need to raise my funds by late April, so if you want to donate, please click on the web page on the right and it will take you to my web page which will accept donations. *Please Note* that if your company participates in matching gifts, please fill out the matching gift form that your company uses and send it to me. LLS will follow up with your company to get the donation, and I will get credit for the amount that you and your company donates.

My address for the matching gift form is Suzanne Schlotterback, 8 Winslow Way, Simpsonville, SC 29681.

This is such a great cause, and all donations are tax deductable. I will automatically send you a receipt if your gift is larger than $50, but I will send a receipt for a gift of any size if you let me know you need one.

Thanks in advance to all my family and friends that will be supporting me. And if you are unable to donate any money, your moral support will be needed just as badly!

Rock On!

And the next hurdle is.....

We received our 171H on 2/2/05. WOOO HOOO!!! This is exciting news, as this was the last bit of paperwork we were waiting on.... well, sort of. We also didn't have our homestudy, but our social worker assured us that as soon as we received our 171H, he would give us our homestudy so it would have the latest date possible on it. Monday morning Derek and I went by and picked it up, and to say I was disappointed is an understatement. There were so many mistakes in it, it was pathetic. I faxed it to our agency and they agree that some changes are necessary. I have emailed the social worker and asked for the changes to be done, but I can tell you he doesn't get in a hurry for anything. This is now all I need to start the certification process, so it is really really really driving me crazy that I am waiting on this. I asked for a rough draft from the social worker but never got one, probably because it was not ready yet. UGHHHHH.

We spent the weekend in Savannah so that Edra and I could attend Frances' 80th birthday party. The party was so nice, and it was good for Edra to reconnect with some of her friends from her life in Savannah. It was also good to visit with the Kesslers. Krissy is pregnant with a little girl and due May 16th. She is showing now and milking it for all that it is worth!

Because I needed to get a workout in anyway, I participated in a 5K on Tybee Island Saturday morning. I surprised myself and posted my best time yet all because of a gamecock! I set out at my normal 13.5 minute mile pace, but quickly realized that there was a man wearing a gamecock t-shirt right in front of me. His t-shirt had a gamecock "the good", a Florida Gator "The bad" and a Tiger Paw "the ugly." I looked at this shirt most of the race as he was in front of me the majority of the time. When we started into mile #3, I decided there was no way I was letting this gamecock beat me, so I kicked it into high gear, passed him like he was walking and finished in 37m29s. The Tigers win again! I wanted so badly to shout "Touchdown Jasmine" as I ran by but decided to keep it to myself. LOL!! Now, I know that I'll never be a speed queen, but at least that is somewhat respectable!!! (I didn't finish last! Actually, I finished like 630 something out of almost 1000, so that wasn't too bad!)

We had our first Team in Training fundraising meeting last night. I am pretty anxious to get started. My first team workout is Saturday morning, and I am actually looking forward to it. Can you imagine that?

Monday, January 30, 2006

It's official, I've lost my mind....

This weekend I signed up with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training for the Rock-n-Roll Marathon in San Diego on June 4th.

I am very nervous about this. Our coach said that it was entirely doable for me to be able to train for this, given the fact that I am already running 3 miles (which is a far cry from 26.2). This has always been one of my dreams, so I am going to go for it. Derek's cousin Sunny has expressed interest in running with me, so that will be a huge help- having a friend right by my side who has done a marathon before! I have decided to give it my all, and will most likely use a combination of running and walking to complete the marathon. (many runners whose goal is just to finish do this- we are not at all concerned about our times!)

What I am most nervous about is the fact that I have committed to raise $4000 (this race's minimum) for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. $4000 is a lot of money, and whatever I don't raise I am responsible for donating myself. YIKES!! So, I am compiling a list of friends to send letters to asking for money. I hope that raising this money won't be a problem. From what the Team in Training folks say, most people are willing to help, even if it is just a small amount. I hope so, because with this adoption, I don't have a lot of extra $$ I can throw in! I do want to say that this organization is very worthwhile. Our honorary team member is a young grandmother who was diagnosed with leukemia last year. She is taking a drug that was FDA approved in 2001 and has increased her life span from 3 years from diagnosis to 20-25. That is HUGE!! The researcher who developed this drug received half of his funding from LLS. So the money is making a difference. That means a lot to me. I go on Feb. 6th for a fundraising kickoff meeting, so as soon as I have more info on it, I will post it here. I should have my own web page where folks can donate online. I hope that some of my new adoption friends will help me with this endeavor. But if you are unable to donate, that's fine, I just ask for your prayers and encouragement as I meet this challenge.

Our 171H is still missing in action. I run to the mailbox everyday hoping I will find this treasure!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Come on 171H, where are you?

We received a notice in the mail that DSS approved our homestudy (YAAA!) and forwarded it to the USCIS on January 18th. According to their website, they are processing I600As dated 11-15-05 and ours was 11-10-05, so I am thinking that we should be getting that precious little piece of paper any day now. That's all we are waiting on to begin the authentication process...

Just an update on my New Year's resolutions: As of 1-22, I have lost about 16 lbs since starting Weight Watchers (slow and steady wins the race!), but I still have about 50 to go. I am running 3 miles at a time with no problems, and I'm working on my speed (you can still call me a penguin!). I will start adding mileage in February. Still no work on the quilt or scrapbooking, but that's coming! Hey, I've got to pace myself.

We still like the name Lauren, and have even discussed calling her by a shortened form of Lauren..."Ren." Ren Schlotterback... I kinda like the sound of that.

That's about it for now. Thanks again for all the comments. Please post your blog if you have one, I love learning about new friends!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name...

Cheers was always one of my favorite shows. I loved how Coach, Dianne, Woody, and Sam would all yell "Norm" when he walked in. Although it isn't quite the same for us, we seem to have developed a bit of an Outback habit. For the past few years, almost every Friday night at about 6:30, we can be found at the bar at the Greenville Outback. Sometimes we eat at the bar, sometimes we get a table, but it is starting to be a bit of a reunion every week when we see all those we know. Our friends the Marcous are the true regulars. They have made friends with most of the staff, and while they all know the Marcous' names, we are pretty much just "the couple who are always with the Marcous." That's ok with me. It's nice to know the manager, the bartenders, the good servers, and the freaky servers. Let's just say we've never had a bad meal! LOL!

This past Friday we were in our usual spot at the bar when our friends the Rankins showed up. We had a rip roaring good time, and we even got Scott the bartender (and fellow Tiger!) to take a picture of the 4 of us for one of our "family and friends" dossier pictures. (It seems only fitting that we include an Outback pic!) Then, before we know it, a few hours have passed and our friends the Marcous surprise us. They were supposed to be in Atlanta, but due to some late Friday evening work for Joanne, they decided to hit the Outback and travel on Saturday. The six of us all had a really fun time. This is truly the highlight of my week. I hope that the others look forward to the routine as much as I do. I know Derek does, because this Friday we thought we were going to be alone and we still wanted to do OB.

I know to some, it might seem a little boring to head to the same place for dinner every Friday night, but we love it. Our friends are there, the food is good, and it is just a comfortable place to hang out. You know, sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Moral Victories

If you are from the state of SC, or if you follow Clemson and USC, you have heard about moral victories. Steve Spurrier used the term when USC went toe to toe with a good team and almost won. I had a moral victory over the holidays. Having been going to Weight Watchers for a couple of months, I just wanted to get through the holidays at a lower weight than at the beginning of them, and I succeeded, albeit by .2 lb. Yes, I said, .2lb. Not 2, but .2. That is a moral victory! LOL!

We are getting new carpet. The good folks from Home Depot are coming out tomorrow to measure our house so that a quote can be prepared. I am pretty excited about this. New carpet was one of the goals I had before we have children. The carpet in our house now is builder-grade carpet that is just over 10 years old. We've managed to keep it halfway clean through diligence and steam cleaning, but it overall looks grimy with bad spots in it, and has lost its softness. So, I am very happy to be getting new carpet. I really want berber, but I agree with my husband that plush would be easier on a baby's knees. It is really neat to be basing decisions on our daugher to be!

We also have a mouse in the house. We had seen evidence of a mouse, so Derek and I plugged up what we thought was their point of entry. Point of consideration: make sure the mouse or mice is out of the house when you do this. We have had 3 that have been trapped in the house now for a few weeks. We've caught 2 of them (no-kill traps of course) and rereleased them to the yard, but one little bugger is almost laughing at us. We've seen him scurry across the room several times. It is almost as if he's saying "na na na na na na, you can't catch me!" We've been baiting the trap with peanut butter, and this little fatso has figured out how to get the peanut butter without getting caught in the trap. I guess we are going to have to build a better trap! Maybe tonight will be the night... (this is what Derek and I keep telling ourselves, anyway!)

The running is going good so far. I ran 3 miles on Saturday, and then about 2.8 on Monday. Saturday was outside and Monday was on a treadmill. It has actually been easier than I thought it would be, it is not like starting from scratch. I think on Saturday I ran about 80-85% of the time, and on Monday I ran for 35 minutes and walked only 5 minutes. All in all, not too shabby. I do have a way to go, but I am at least headed in the right direction.

I sent off pictures of Katie to have a formal portrait painted of her. I plan to frame it with her paw print. Looking at her brings comfort to me, even though it does bring tears to my eyes. But that is only because I miss her so much.

Thanks to everyone for their comments- keep 'em coming!!!

To those who share weight loss as a resolution, here is a recipe I found on
Brownie in a cup

Mix 1/4 cup of fat free brownie mix and 2 tablespoons of water in a coffee cup. Nuke in the microwave for 1.5 minutes. Top with 1 tbsp of Lite or Fat Free Cool Whip. Makes 1 serving. 117 calories, 0 fat (if fat free cool whip) and 1 gram of fiber. YUMMY!!!!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year! 2006 Here I come!

First of all, I just have to say that I am soooooo glad 2005 is over. It just wasn't a good year for our family. 2006, however, is bound to be better with the prospect of a little one a world away.
I do, however, have the obligatory resolutions that I feel the need to post. Here they are, for all the world to see and hold me accountable to...

1. Lose 50 lbs. Already in process with this one. I've been going to weight watchers since October...
2. Sign up and run a half marathon. I am looking into signing up with the Leukemia and lymphoma society's team in training and doing a half marathon in San Diego in June. I used to be a runner and this is an awesome way to loose weight and exercise. There is an info meeting on 1/26 here in my hometown, so I think I am going to go to it. I know I can run the 13 miles, the question is can I raise the required money to participate?
3. Finish the quilt I started.
4. Catch up all my scrapbooking.
5. Get tickets to Oprah for my mom and I and to go! I tried to get this for Christmas to no avail, so now it is for mother's day!
6. Read all the parenting and child development books I can get my hands on! I think I better get a library card. LOL.
7. Finish cleaning out the attic. This is a big undertaking. Our attic is stuffed with things- when Edra moved in with us, so did all her household items. I've been paring it down since 1998, but I still have a way to go. Right now I've got about 8-10 boxes of older hardback books that I need to find something to do with. Perhaps I can sell them on
8. Spend more time fishing with Derek. It is good quality time for us.
9. Save some money for our trip to China!
10. Have a big garage sale with my mom. Really, I've got some good stuff I can sell!

Happy New Year to everyone. 2006 is the Year of the Dog. I think Katie would have liked that!