Browsing Tag

little happies

Adoption, Marriage

Little Happies: Announcing Our Adoption

June 30, 2014

It’s been a big week around TGB. Many Little Happies to recap this week! 🙂

–one–

adoptionphotoshoot.jpg

Adoption Photos!

All props to Alzbeta over at Voboril Photography for being AWESOME! We literally did this photo shoot on Wednesday night and within two hours we had these photos since she knew we needed them to launch our Adoption Page on the True Good and Beautiful blog. We had a lot of fun taking this shoot, especially wondering where those giant balloons ended up when they floated off mid-shoot. LOL! Good thing we snapped a few photos with them first.

Oh and can you tell that Jonathan used blue crayon to color wear marks on his jeans or that he used brown crayon to darken the worn tips of his shoes? Didn’t think so. Pretty clever Lifehack.

–two–

sharing

When we launched our Adoption Page here on TGB, generous people began sharing our information on Facebook. This spiked our blog traffic and we had nearly 7,000 views that day alone. We are so grateful to see others rooting for us!

Infertility has been a long and lonely road…and I understand that it’s hard to concretely support a couple going through it. However, with adoption, we really feel a community rallying behind us. They’ve likely all been praying for us all along but now have a tangible way to help. I couldn’t be more grateful. It’s made me realize how we’ve never been alone in this like I was tempted to believe on the dark days.

–three–

FinancialFreedom6Last Wednesday night we took those Adoption photos…then proceeded to stay up all night building the Adoption Page on the blog. We would’ve went to sleep but we had to catch a flight at 5:50 AM to skip down to FOCUS New Staff Training in Florida to teach a class on Finance & Budgeting!

We landed in Florida, drove to Ave Maria and were teaching within 15 minutes of arrival! A few hours later we taught the class again. We slept like the dead that night, especially because we had separate twin beds and no one could steal the  covers. The next day we met with several staff in 15 minute increments for over 3 hours before hopping back on an airplane.

Might sound exhausting to some (and it was) but we absolutely LOVED every second of it. I only wish we took a photo while teaching, as the staff were great students! 🙂

I also realized we are officially “old” in the FOCUS world. One lovely first-year staff member even asked for our autographs! Yep, we’re getting legendary AKA old.

–four–

adoption page

Last but not least, the launching of the Adoption Page!

Not only have we had people reaching out with ideas on how to connect with potential birth moms, we’ve also had generous people participating in our Puzzle Fundraiser! So far We’ve raised over $1,300 and need to put an update photo up but the puzzle is harder to assemble than anticipated! LOL. An update will come soon.

I’m also excited to see such a positive response from others in the adoption world about our page, photos, and ideas. Honestly, I credit Jonathan’s creativity for 100% of how cool it all looks. I credit myself 100% for making sure it got done. 🙂 We’re opposites but a very complimentary team indeed!

Uncategorized

Little Happies: Wedding Festivities

June 23, 2014

We are back from our trip to Omaha and it was one heck of a jammed packed and fun week.

The primary reason we were in town was for my cousin’s wedding. Leading up to the big day we had several shindigs with out of town relatives. We also were given the task of providing a few deserts for a mini-desert bar at the wedding.

The easiest way to throw these Little Happies together is just to do a photo collage from the week. Here you go:

–one–

lighteningA Severe Thunderstorm rolled through Omaha this past week while we were at a family barbecue.

Naturally many of us gathered in the open garage to be spectators of the hail, wind, rain, and lightening. The bolts were getting closer and closer to our location…so close that one intense and blinding bolt struck a nearby house!!! It was a serious rush of adrenaline for all and the house was fine with minimal exterior damage.

About that time Jonathan ran inside to get the camera and snapped the above photo. BEAUTIFUL and TERRIFYING right? Truly a wonder of nature!

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Directly after the rain storm was a nearby Fireworks show.

Since Jonathan already had the camera out…he snagged this photo.

Getting excited for the Fourth of July! 🙂

–two–

desertbar.jpg

The mini desert bar! 🙂

This was a lot of fun and a good portion of our time this week. My mother, grandmother, Jonathan, the Bride’s Mother and I were the busy bees working on various deserts while my Aunt Denise was the creative genius behind the decor.

There were various flavored mini cupcakes, white-chocolate covered oreos and pretzels, lemon bars, carmel apple bars, and brownies. Not to mention there was a three-tiered gorgeous cake these all were complementing.

As you can see in the photos – Jonathan more or less took charge of the desert bar both in making the items and in setting them out and frosting. His love of creating and making things really kicked in and the rest of us were shooed away while he entered his zone.

–three–

familyfaces.jpg

A pre-wedding photo shoot with my parents. We don’t get many family photos together so we took advantage of everyone being dressed up.

Of course, Jonathan and I had to slip some goofy faces in.

–four–

theceremony.jpg

Jeff & Caitlin’s Wedding!!

We snapped some pics from the ceremony. It really was beautiful outside – one day after that severe thunderstorm!

My brother was the best man, so of course, we had to get a shot of him all snazzed up.

–five–

reception.jpg

The reception was right indoors from the wedding, which was really convenient! We snapped some pics from a few of the special moments from the night as well as some silly ones.

I grabbed a photo of Jonathan playing with the kids…since he is really just a big kid himself and I love him for it. I also snagged a pic of my younger cousin who found an afro and proceeded to run around in it for a while.

–six–

photobooth.jpg

Photo Booth!

At our wedding we had one of these photo booths but I never made it in there the whole night. It was a serious regret on my behalf.

I guess to make up for it, we took lots of photo booth pics for the Bride and Groom that hopefully leave a smile on their faces for years to come.

Uncategorized

Little Happies: Our Pup and Some Gambling

June 16, 2014

We’ve been in Omaha, NE for the better part of the week and it’s been non-stop since we arrived.

Many things that make us happy have happened over the week but I forgot to take many photos of most of it…and part of my thinks that is how life should be. Lived. Not constantly photographed and “shared.” That is an different blog post though. Of the moments I did manage to capture, they are below:

–one–

paperworkfinal.jpg

It’s The Final Paperwork….duhn duhn duhn duhn…duhn duhn duhn duhn duhn. (The tune of The Final Countdown anybody?)

This leg of the adoption process is DONE!!!

Everything was gathered, triple checked, packaged, and finally mailed off to our agency and the States we’ve lived in. Next on the list, we need to schedule our home visits with a social worker in the upcoming weeks. After that? Hopefully approved to adopt! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Please keep your eyes and ears peeled for ANYONE who may be considering adoption for their child and let us know! Thanks!

–two–

mug caminoThis mug.

I leave it at my parent’s house so I can come back and find this gem in the cupboard when I pour my morning cup of joe.

If you haven’t heard about El Camino de Santiago, you need to. During the summer of 2009, I walked The Camino with other FOCUS staff and students and it has and will continue to change my life until the day I die. I am still drawing lessons from that trip. Especially on the road of infertility. I should write a blog post comparing the two journeys and how similar they can be.

Despite the real sufferings experienced on the trip – I overwhelmingly remember all the good things and want to go back and walk The Camino again someday.

–three–

AmeristarAtNight

Wild Pixies at Ameristar Casino.

Friday night we went to the Casinos with my Mother and Grandmother, primarily to watch the fireworks at the College World Series Opening Ceremony….OK and to gamble responsibly.

My mom won some cash off the bat so she gave us a lucky $20 so we didn’t have to cough up our own dough. Thanks mom! From that we ended up nearly tripling her winnings playing Wild Pixies. It was a lot of fun!

By the time we met up with Grandma and Mom later on, everyone had won! A great night overall!

–four–

jonathan bloggingThe World Cup!!!

We’ve been watching the games and will DEFINITELY be watching the USA play Ghana tonight!!

What’s making me happy is seeing Jonathan’s awesome graphics going up on the FOCUS blog breaking down each country complete with stats on what the Church looks like there.

–five–

pupThat guy.

Another FOCUS missionary’s family breeds Labrador Retrievers and we’ve been wanting one FOR-EV-ER but had to wait till we were no longer renters. The pups were born a few weeks ago and our little guy will be set to come home with us later this summer! Can’t wait!!!

–six–

facebook_logoI’m leaving Facebook for a while and feeling HAPPY about it.

Call it cruel fate but Facebook pretty much only shows me pregnancy photos, babies being born, or family photos these days. Seeing these posts one after another sends me into a depressing place I refuse to keep going to. I’m sure one day I will be stronger and better able to handle the bombardment…but that isn’t today and I am happy to finally admit that.

Catch me here on the blog or by phone/email if you want to get a hold of me!

Infertility

Little Happies: Great Television and New Friends

June 9, 2014

Howdy folks! This week it’s back to me for the Little Happies of the week.

Thinking about little happies this week is vital since I had a emotional breakdown about infertility a few days ago. This is nothing new but it had been a while. For the first time possibly EVER in our marriage, I ovulated last cycle. Finally!!!! But of course, no baby. For the 32nd cycle in a row. I didn’t really have hope…until I saw about 100 Facebook pregnancy announcements and decided maybe I could let myself hope.

Wrong again.

OK, done being negative. It’s too exhausting.

Even though we aren’t experiencing the blessing of parenthood, God is still faithful and good to us. That will never change, despite our circumstances. He truly does send little blessings our way each day for which I am truly grateful.

–one–

dr quinn

Yes, that is Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.

Don’t judge me.

This past year I have been watching Dr. Quinn season by season on YouTube. I love this series, as cheesy as it may be. I find myself relating to Doctor Michaela Quinn quite often. Maybe it’s her love of medicine. Or her inability to keep her opinions to herself. Perhaps it’s her tendency for drama and her stubborn nature. All I know is that we would have been friends…had she been a real person and/or we lived in the same time period.

Do  yourself a favor and watch an episode soon.

–two–

We are in the adoption paperwork home stretch!!! Above is a photo of us sitting down to write up our Autobiographies!!!! WHAT?!!??! I never thought I would be writing one of those.

As we wrote it out, I sort of thought it would probably be great if ALL parents had to do what we’ve had to do for adoption. It can be tedious but it’s really forced us to think things through, analyze our motivations, reflect on our past, and anticipate changes in our life. Good stuff for parenthood prep!

Now we need to print a few documents, gather a couple more signatures, and we will be done! We will be waiting on the FBI background check to clear which could take 4-6 more weeks but at least we’ll be ready when they’re done.

Also, we are also SUPER excited about a fundraiser we will be launching soon. Stay tuned! 🙂

–three–

I am privileged to work for FOCUS Greek, a ministry to Fraternity and Sorority students within the apostolate of FOCUS – Fellowship of Catholic University Students.

Currently many of our FOCUS staff members are in Ave Maria, FL at our New Staff Training – NST. Above is a photo of staff receiving training on working with students in Greek life on campus. I myself wasn’t present, as there were many qualified and stellar staff already in attendance at NST in Florida who offered to train others on behalf of the FOCUS Greek department. They did a super great job and seeing this photo made me happy! 🙂

They also threw a ‘Murica themed FOCUS Greek All Staff Party. Of course the first theme party at New Staff Training would be sponsored by FOCUS Greek. We do parties with Jesus better than anyone else.

–four–

band of bros

We started watching Band of Brothers.

Really intense but well done.

It’s a little happy but at the same time enraging. Anytime I think about WWII I get infuriated over the loss of life. That’s an entirely different blog post though.

–five–

We have a closing date for our town house! We close on June 30th and take possession on July 3rd. Anyone in Denver with a servant’s heart who wants to help us move that weekend, let me know! 🙂

–six–

google_plus_2This week I made some new friends on Google Hangouts.

I am part of a Catholic infertility support group on Facebook and one gal had a brilliant idea to form small groups for us to “meet” online with gals in similar situations as ourselves. I was actually having a rough day, as mentioned earlier, until I “hung out” with these ladies on Friday evening. They really made my day and I am so grateful for their new friendships in my life.

Thank you technology!

–seven–

Stack Of Cash

Last but not least.

Since we are moving and need a few items for the town house (while in the midst of saving for adoption)  we have been selling a LOT of stuff to offset house expenses.

Call me the queen of eBay and Craigslist because this past week we sold about 15-20 items for roughly $900!!! Woohoo! With those proceeds we have bought a few items already and gotten some really great deals. As Jonathan talked about last week, we will devote an entire post as to how we did it! 🙂

Have a great week!

Uncategorized

Little Happies: BY JONATHAN

June 2, 2014

Time for this week’s Little Happies, and I thought I’d take a turn recalling some the things that made me smile this week.

-one-

Memorial Day. We office was closed and we spent the day with another missionary couple.

We spend the day by:
Playing Bocce (lost and then found 2 balls in the last round!)
Grilling burgers and dogs
Playing Dominion.

A good day.

 

-two-

What’s better than a 3-Day Weekend? (thanks Memorial Day!)

A 5-Day Weekend.

Not sure what this smells like, but it smells good.

Not sure what this smells like, but I’m guessing top notes of fresh laundered pillows and maple-topped pancakes, followed by a base of playing cards, with slight under notes of sweaty runs. Mmmmm!

Working at the FOCUS office has some cool advantages. Among those are a chapel, daily Mass, fun coworkers, and days off. We get a certain number of days we can use when we’re sick, vacationing, or just need a day to chill. The policy governing these days states we must use 10 days per year. The FOCUS fiscal year runs June-May (aligned with the academic year), so the year ended this week. Turns out I had only used 7 days so far this year. If I didn’t use 3 more, I’d lose ’em. So, after being at work one day (Tuesday) I took the rest of the week off.

And I’m glad I did, because we have a MOUNTAIN of paperwork to do as part of our adoption process. Thanks to the time off, we have most of it done. I also had a great time hanging out with Amanda a ton. A lot of our adventures lately have been related to Happy #4.

 

-three-

Running again.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKRHW-6M3zQ

I love running. I was a sprinter in High School, but got lured onto the cross country team with the offer of delicious brownies after practice every Friday. To this day, Coach Berkowitz’ wife’s brownies are the best I’ve ever tasted. By a long shot. Anyway, that turned me into a runner. The weather started getting nice around my birthday at the beginning of May, but then I got sick for 2 weeks, then it snowed, but now it’s sunny and I feel great, so I laced up my shoes (a great pair courtesy of our mission partners at Greg Baum’s Flying Feet) and hit the road. I downloaded a new running app, Zombies, Run! which is an audio story that unfolds between songs. I am “Runner 5” and I go get supplies for our base. Of course, throughout the missions, I encounter “Zombs” and have to increase my pace 20% for a minute or so to outrun them. It’s really fun, AND it can run at the same time as Nike+ (which I’ve been using for years to track my runs) and Stitcher, which I use to stream podcasts.

 

-four-

SWIMMING!

The complex in which we currently live HAS A POOL. We finally took the plunge and visited the pool. You might think we were hesitant, but regarding this decision, we jumped in with both feet. Aaaaaaaand that’s all the pool puns I have.

Anyway, it’s been really hot this week in Denver, and it was quite refreshing to take a dip in the pool. Our friend Lindsay came over so Amanda, Lindsay and I hit the pool. We hung out at poolside, swam around a bit, and then when the girls went back to lay poolside, I grabbed my kindle in it’s waterproof case (A.K.A. a ziplock bag) and read IN THE POOL. I started reading Zero to Maker, a book that chronicles a man’s journey from passive consumer of technology to active maker and co-creator of openROV, an open-source underwater robot project. After that, I paged through an Arduino project book, Make: Simple Arduino Projects to get some ideas for my next project.

Pool Books:

-five-

DEAL CITY.

As you may have seen in some of our other posts, we bought a townhouse and will be moving in about a month. As of late, we’ve been doing our best to sniff out deals for furnishing the new house. Hunting for these deals has been a lot of fun and the bulk of our fun adventures lately. I’ll hold off on most of the details because we’ve got a full post coming up explaining “How We Furnished Our New Home for Only 1/X the Cost!” It’s felt like a game trying to get that fraction as small as possible. Each little success there has certainly been a happy, but I won’t share them all and ruin the upcoming post.

But, since you asked nicely, here’s one (very) small preview:

We wanted a sectional for the basement. We found one on Craigslist that would perfectly fit our smaller space down there, so we jumped at it. Here’s what it looked like on Craigslist:

couchclist

And here’s what it looked like when we finally got it in the small SUV we borrowed from friends to haul it home:

couchcar

It fit! Kind of…

We made it safely home and the couch is chilling in our garage (along with a number of other sweet deals waiting until they move into their (and our) new home.

 

Thanks for checking out my week! How was yours? Leave it in the comments below.

Adoption, Uncategorized

Little Happies: Adoption Meeting and Tornadoes!

May 26, 2014

If you’ve kept up with the home-buying posts, you know what’s consumed our week!

I have two happies I want to share here though.

–one–

adoption happy pic

That’s us at our Adoption Agency! 🙂

We had our first Q&A Session followed by receiving a big fat binder with LOTS of paperwork and forms.

The step that will take the longest will be getting fingerprints ordered from the Feds. Could take 4-6 weeks. We plan to blaze through all the other forms, autobiographies, and documents in the meantime.

We walked outside with the binder and…

DSC03059

As I was trying to hold the binder in front of the sign, all the papers fell out. This was just the beginning. Jonathan happened to take this photo at the right second. I was in too good a mood to even get upset though. Thanks Jesus!

–two–

twister

We had three Tornado warnings in Denver this week, which has to be a record high. I never associate  Colorado and Tornadoes.

While hunkered down on our bathroom (no windows) floor while sirens wailed in the distance, Jonathan and I rented Twister on Amazon Instant Video.

Great flick! Reminds me of growing up in Nebraska, which always makes me happy!

Have a blessed week yall!