Welcome to our corner of the web! Here you will learn about our family and our journey of a family member adoption. In July of 2010, after 9 years of trying to add to our family and 5 years after we started our adoption journey, we welcomed baby Emily Rose. Emily's birth mom is Sharon's adopted sister. We look forward to someday adopting more children but for now, we are enjoying our time together as a family of 4!

Monday, July 27, 2009

New Button!

I want to thank my awesome friend Jill! She and I have been friends since high school. I posted on FB asking if anyone knew how to make blog buttons. Not only did Jill come through for me, but she came through in a fabulous way! Our new button is on the right. Isn't it fabulous! She asked what it was I was wanting I told her something blue and brown like our pass along cards. Using that as a referrence she came up with our awesome button. She also did a seperate one for us to put on our other blogs. *big grin* Now, why am I telling you this? Because you can help us with our hope to adopt! That's right! All you need to do is right click on our button and save it to your computer. (I'm posting it in this post too just to help you out) Then go to your blog dashboard, click on layout, click on add gadget, click on add picture. A box will come up with a place to link and also a browse box. In the link area put in our blog address (this one) and then where it says browse, add the picture you just saved to your computer of our button. Then click save. It's that simple. Then everytime someone clicks on the button from your blog they will be sent to our blog and will be able to learn all about us. With your help to get the word out, we know our birthmom will find us!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Spaces for faces and a new hair color, well the old one actually

Last post I showed you the pass along cards that Sara designed for us. Well I tried to find a printer and couldn't find one that was user friendly on their website. (.k.a. I'm not that tech savvy. I'm really good at programs like Excel and Word, but I couldn't figure out these websites and sizing issues and such, each time I tried to upload the design it cut part of the card off. No matter what I did to it. Frustrating as heck I tell ya! So, I contacted Jill from Spaces For Faces. I asked her if she could recommend a printer for me, or if she could help me out at all. She said she would be happy to print them for me at the reorder price (since there would be no designing needed because I already had my gorgeous designs from Sara). She explained the easy process for ordering. The whole process including a couple of back and forth emails took just minutes. This was last Thursday. Jill explained that it would probably take 9-10 business days to receive my order which is a fantastic turn around time.

So imagine my surprise today when I hear the doorbell and go to answer the door and it is the UPS guy with our order. Seriously, it took just 1 week! And I have to tell you, they are gorgeous! Even better then I thought they would be! Sara, and Jill, you ladies rock! Thank you sooo much! I highly recommend them both for your pass along card needs. In fact, Jill also has avaliable from her website other fun photo products such as Silly Kid (just like Old Maid, only with the faces of your family), Family Match, a Match game with Family pictures and oh so much more. I'm thinking Christmas Gifts!!! Boy I hope none of our moms are reading this. ;)

And just so this isn't a word only post, I leave you with these. Tammy has been needing to touch up her hair color. She wanted to go a little darker. Also, I have been wanting to dye my hair back to it's original color for a while now. I dyed it about 10 years ago and it has never gone back to the original color. So, the other night, with Jacob gone for the week in a field exercise Tammy and I colored our hair. Or should I say, Tammy colored her hair and my hair. I think she did a fabulous job. What do you think?
Tammy's picture was taken by me, my picture was taken by Tammy, and the picture of the two of us is the product of the timer on my camera, sorry the lighting is bad on that one.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Our Pass Along Cards

Remember the Pass Along card contest that I won a few weeks ago on the r house blog? Well the contest was to have the cards custom designed for you. Sara of trulygreat (who is an adoptive mom herself, and has just adopted the most beautiful baby girl) did a fabulous job on our cards! We got so many options to choose from and quite honestly it was so difficult to pick one to have printed. We opted for a photo and our first names on the front with our website (this blog), and our email address on the back. Here are a sample of some of the ones she designed for us. Seriously, we had so many more to choose from, these are just some of them. Sara, you rock!

This next one was a runner up for the printing. It was actually Tammy's favorite and both Jacob and I loved it too. We couldn't decide between this one and the one we got printed. In the end, we left it up to our printer. (I got them printed by spacesforfaces, I'll blog about that later, got an awesome deal I want to tell you about)

How cute was that right? If we need to get more printed at some point, we are going to get that last one. Don't you just love all these choices! Now see why it was so hard for us to choose?
The one we ended up getting printed was this one.
Thank you so much Sara for your awesome skills and for putting these together for us!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Our friends Tammy & Mike

Earlier I posted about how some friends of ours from church Tammy and Mike are adopting as well and they asked me if I could take some photos for their adoption profile. Their website: www.oureternalcircle.blogspot.com
We have only known them a short while, but let me tell you, they are the funnest, quirkiest couple. So cute and sweet and perfect for eachother. They compliment eachother so well. I'm so excited for them to start this wonderful journey. Their homestudy is coming up really soon and then they will be approved for adoption through the same agency we are using.

Now, Meet Mike:
And Meet Tammy:
Now, meet Tammy and Mike:
It was so hard to narrow these down to just a few. It was such a fun session and I was tickled to get some decent shots. Tammy and Mike, thank you for letting me come and do this for you, and I hope you enjoy your preview. :D

Duck Pond

Several weeks ago we had some friends from church over for dinner. Tammy and Mike are adopting too and they wanted to talk to us about our experience so far. We were happy to have them here and had a great time getting to know them. Tammy found out that I like photography and asked me if I could do some photos for their profile. I was glad to and told her to just let me know when and where.

Yesterday we were finally able to get together to get photos. My Tammy didn't want to go (it would mean getting out of bed before 1p.m. and what teenager wants to do that during the summer right?) So Jacob came with me off we went. I'm gonna post pictures later of Tammy and Mike. But wanted to share these with you.

We went to the Duck Pond at the UNM Campus and let me tell you, that place is so pretty! I think when I do the photo session for Sister B. from church I am going to suggest the Duck Pond for a location. Seriously gorgeous! A very pretty pond, and lots of grass, trees, and of course, Ducks:

What was Jacob doing while I was taking pictures of Tammy and Mike?
I handed Tammy (The friend, not the daughter, cause remember, the daughter was at home sleeping) my camera and she took a few shots of Jacob and I.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

August 17th is the day!!! Closing Day!!

I just talked to our loan officer and the exception has been made for us! We get to close on our house on August 17th like we had planned and don't have to wait until October!! This is fantastic because we move back to Utah on September 4th so we will have a front door to be able to back the truck up to and unload our belongings!! YAY!!!!

Here are some current pictures of the house. All the belongings currently there are the current owners (not our style at all, but that's o.k. because we're buying the house, not the stuff, so look past all that when you look at the pictures.). It will take some updating and some work, but we're so excited!! Some of the rooms will just take paint, some we are going to completely gut and redo. It's going to look completely different when we live there and really be our home. :D Here are some of my favorite spots in the home.
This is the backyard. It is small, (13 feet from the house to the back fence) but the side yards and front yard are big so we aren't worried about that. We are taking the deck out just because it takes up so much space. And we are going to do a nice patio and a lot of grass. The building you see back there is a workshop. Perfect for Jacob.
This is the front door. Why is this a favorite feature? The image in the center there is a hummingbird. My grandmother loved hummingbirds. She passed away in 1997 and hummingbirds have always been special to my family and reminded us of her. So it's fitting that Jacob and I are buying a house with such a special front door.
This is the kitchen. We are going to do a redo of the kitchen but this the first one that we have seen that will allow us to do our dream kitchen. Complete with double wall oven, countertop gas range, etc. So we're excited!
This will be Tammy's room. It is bigger then it looks. Has a nice closet complete with shelves and organizers already built in. Hardwood floors underneath the pink carpet (so ya, that'll come out). This is actually the room she picked when she saw the house with my mom right before she came back to NM.
This room will be the baby's room. It is a lot bigger then the picture shows too. It has an awesome wall cubby storage thing and a great closet as well. We are taking out the carpet in here too, we will either do the hardwood underneath (with a nice plush area rug of course) or replace it with different carpet, haven't decided yet.

That's all the pictures for now. It's lunch time and I'm hungry! I haven't been able to eat yet today because I've been so nervous. I can't wait to move in and make this house OUR NEW HOME!!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

House Hunting Victory?

Yesterday I mentioned that I had news on our house hunt. Well, I don't remember if I have already said anything or not. We found a home about a month ago on the internet. Not being in Utah right now we have been relying on my wonderful Mom and our real estate agent to go look at homes for us. They take tons of pictures and serious amounts of notes to give us the most information they can, since we are buying the home before we get to Utah so we are basically buying it sight unseen which is scary. So my mom -we trust her.. alot. A whole LOT! has been looking at these homes for us. Such is the reason for all the pictures and notes.

Anyhow, after finding out all the info we could on this certain home we asked our realtor Ann to make an appt. for her and my mom to go see the house. Tammy happened to still be in Utah at the time (it was the day before she came back to NM) so she went with them. They took about 40 pictures or so and then went home and uploaded the photos and notes to Facebook (our system for sharing house pictures because you can upload a lot all at once, and yes, my mom has a FB page, so does just about everyone else on all sides of our families, such a great way to stay in touch!). After looking at the photos and talking it over, and talking to Tammy to get her input, we decided we were interested. So the next day Tammy boarded a plane to come here and my mom and Ann went to go see the house again. This time they spent an hour or so there and took almost 80 additional photos as well as talked to the owner (which she had done the day before as well, she also met one of the neighbors who is really nice and happens to be the Mia Maid advisor at church and would be Tammy's teacher) and asked the owner more questions. She came home and uploaded the pictures and notes. After a couple of days or thinking about it, praying about it and talking it over we decided to put in an offer. That was on a Thursday. We gave them until Monday to accept, counter, or reject. Frankly we thought they were going to reject or counter. (home buying can be so frustrating!) On Sunday we got a call from Ann saying that the sellers had another offer as well and were asking each bidder to submit their best offer and then they would choose from there. We discussed it and decided that we didn't want to offer anymore. Our offer was a good, fair offer. So we resubmitted our original offer.

We gave the sellers until Monday at 8p.m. to respond. To our utter amazement we got a call at 7p.m. Monday to tell us our offer had been accepted. A week later we received the seller's disclousers telling us what they knew of about the house. They listed so much information. Pleased with the disclousers we moved on to the inspection. We were nervous about that. The home was built in the 1960's so it isn't a newer home (but not terribly old either) and you never know what could be wrong with a house even if it is a brand new house. The inspection came back with better results then we thought. There are a few things the inspector saw including that the basement stairs has no hand rail (the sellers will have to fix that before VA will approve the house for us to buy). Basically very little, simple fixes. So we were thrilled! After all, there is no such thing as a perfect house. I have seen brand new homes that don't fair well on an inspection, so we were thrilled that it didn't show anything major.

Our file is now at the underwritters. We have been approved for the loan with one exception. Jacob is officially done with Active Duty in November but is taking leave in September so we can move back home. He is starting his new job on September 15th. The underwritters don't want us to close until he has been in his new job for 30 days. Our loan officer has taken it to managment (leadership he calls them) to get an exception. 1. Jacob had worked for the company he will be working for before joining the Army and they held his position for him with all seniority and pay as if he had physically been there the entire 6 years. So it isn't a new job that he has never worked before and would possibly end up quitting or being fired from within a couple of months. Basically, it's a secure job that he has done before and so the mortgage guys will get their money. 2. Yes, he is going back to work on Sept. 15th, but he isn't technically out of the Army until Nov. He is taking paid leave from the Army for the 2 months before Nov. so we will have 2 months of overlapping pay. (the leave is the leave he accrued over the last little while that he never took because we wanted to be able to move home early, so we are taking it in Sept.) 3. With Jacob being military we are doing a VA loan, so they will get their money either way, because the VA secures the loan.
Our loan officer is sure we have a good case to get the exception. We hope so. If not and they won't let us close until October, hopefully the sellers will be o.k. with that, otherwise we have find a new house and we don't want to do that, did I mention house hunting is stressful! Our realtor seems to think the sellers would be fine with it. She talked to their agent and explained what was going on and he said they could give us extra time if we needed it because they know our situtation with the Army and the new job and all.

Wish us luck!

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's been a Long time....

Sorry it's been so long since I posted last. Not much has been going on. Well, not true. Jacob applied for the U of U starting in Jan. Which I find hilarious! While I'm a Utes fan (GO UTES!) Jacob on the other hand is a die hard BYU Cougars fan. But, the U is closer to where we will be living so he is going to get his degree from there. Other then that, they have been trying to find a replacement for him so that we can take leave in Sept. and move back home to Utah (he is the retention NCO for the Unit so they need someone else to do the job before they can let him go). They held interviews last week but haven't chosen anyone yet. Hopefully soon then we can submit his paperwork and get it all in the works so we can get packing. Only 60 days left!! (Can you tell we're excited about going home again!!)

Tammy is doing well. She's bored. Of course what teenager living in the middle of nowhere wouldn't be. I feel bad because we haven't done really any fun things this summer. This is partly because there really isn't anything around here other then the Sand Dunes and we've been there a few times already. It's also because all of our money is being saved for the house and for our adoption. But we are planning a trip next summer to Yellowstone. I haven't been since I was Tammy's age, Jacob hasn't been for a while, and Tammy has never been. So we thought it would be fun. Tammy is excited! Tammy is excited for our move back to Utah too. She will go back a couple of weeks before we do so she can start school (she'll be a Freshman, holy cow!) and then we will join her at the beginning of September. YAY!!

As for me, I'm doing well. I haven't really been up to much. I will be working this week on the recipe tin for Sister M. who won the custom tin in the service auction last month. She said her kitchen is Red (primary color red) so I'll see what I can come up with. I also am getting ready to do photos for my friend Tammy and her husband Mike who are also adopting. YAY!! (Link to their blog is on the right, it's the Ponderosa Jr. one). Oh, and I'm getting nervous about the photo shoot I get to do for Sister B. from church who won that in the service auction (she is a professional, but she saw some of my photos and loved them so she is really excited.) She is trying to get her family to come in to town so I can do all of them together. That's why I'm nervous, bunch of people, and she is a professional. But she likes my photos so I guess that is a confidence booster. :)

Anyhow, Jacob is calling me that dinner is ready. (We take turns cooking, it's his night tonight. Fajitas!! Yummy! *drool*)
I'll post more tomorrow. I have a house hunt update! *grin* Till then!