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!