Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Name is Christina and I'm a Horrible Blogger...

It is a good thing I don't get paid to do this whole blogging thing.  I'd be fired by now.

It's 2013 and this is my first post of the year.  Thanksgiving we went to Arizona to spend the holiday with Memaw and Papaw.  They were busy getting packed up to move to Lamoni, Iowa.  It's a small town - my FIL accepted a job as the head chef at a University there.

Christmas we took the kids on a surprise trip to Disneyland.  We left Christmas Eve and they woke up in Disney.  It was a great trip and we had an absolute blast.

We celebrated the New Year here, our little family. Jordan celebrated her Golden Birthday (12 on teh 12th).

Joj has joined a travel ball team.  We've had two tournaments so far, with the latest being in St. George Utah this last weekend.  They did great, placing 4th overall.  They're a new team, relatively young, and the parents couldn't be more proud of the hard work and dedication they've put in over such a short period of time.

Wyatt has started football.  He is slowly but surely picking up on the rules of the game.  Daddy couldn't be more proud of his little beast, #58 (for Von Miller).

I can't believe that March is right around the corner. As I sit here and contemplate how the first two months of 2013 have just sped by, I realize I am very thankful for this life.  My life.  I'm blessed to be surrounded by great friends, wonderful family, and good kids.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Emotional yet Thankful

I'm not a crier.  I don't cry over the small things.  I'm mostly stoic and keep my emotions in check when it comes to things some people would fall to pieces over.  It's not something I'm bragging about, it's just how I am.

Last week, I watched in horror as Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore.  Decimated the town I grew up in, and loved being at every summer.  Destroyed homes, and lives, and caused havoc among the people that live along those shorelines.  I found myself desperately texting my sister and my mother, silently willing them to answer me back that yes, they were alright.

I sat in front of the television all day, weepy.  I talked with my mother on the phone, and it was hard for me to maintain my composure.  I found myself aching to be there, to help, even though there was really nothing I could do.  And this surprised me for many reasons.

It would sneak up on me, the hot fresh tears that would suddenly appear in the corners of my eyes.  The times I had to retreat to another room, because I didn't want my children to see their mother in such a state.  I didn't want them to worry.  I needed to be strong, for them.

I am thankful for the fact that my family is alright.  I'm proud of the way my family and friends have banded together to assist in the recovery efforts.  People can say what they want about New Jersey, but the humanity and compassion and outright generosity of those who have also lost so much moves me every time.

As a Jersey exile, I pray for my hometown, and those who have lost so much.  I pray that they find comfort, peace and love in this tough time.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Peek into our Weekend!

Daddy took Wyatt on his first scout camping trip this weekend.  The theme was Knights of the Roundtable, and they also did a 'Tent or Treat'.  Chris and Wy headed out Friday night to assist in setting up, but the majority of the families showed up on Saturday.

Jordan had a softball double-header, so we stayed in town so she could attend that.

As soon as Chris and Wy left the driveway, Jo and I headed to Blockbuster to rent the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Twilight movies.  We had burgers on the grill, candy and soda, and watched the Twilight marathon.  We're stoked about the last movie.

Saturday while I was at the softball fields, I got a text from Chris telling me that one of the dads had dressed up with a chainsaw (sans chain) and was chasing the kids around the campground scaring the crap out of them.  At one point, Wy came over and asked Chris to take off his night lights so the chainsaw guy couldn't see him.  For the grand finale, the boys were all sitting around the bonfire, eating their candy, and the guy jumped out at them.  Chris said one of the kids threw his candy at him, screaming the entire time, and ran.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.  And for the record, my kid is fine.  He laughed right along with us retelling the story.

Jordan's team won their first game, and they tied the second.  Jojo is struggling a bit with her hitting, and so we're trying to figure out how to get her past that.

The boys came home this morning, tired, dirty, and more tightly bonded.

Wyatt proudly showed me his mosaic, his catapult that he built, and his shield.  He won the jousting competition, and earned three beltloops and a patch.  He was a proud boy.

And I'm a proud mama.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wyatt turns 9.

Wyatt turned nine on Monday.  It's amazing to me the young man he's becoming.  Memaw flew out on Thursday night.  We celebrated with a small party on Saturday with some of his friends from school, and ordering his favorite dinner (Chinese) on Monday.  The highlights of his day were getting a call from his favorite older cousin, the real-life-army-guy Mike, and skyping with his favorite cousin, Skylar.

Wyatt is now the same age that Jordan was when we brought them home.  I can't quite express why that is so significant to me, but it is.  I've also come to terms with the fact that I will never have an 8 year old again.  He is exactly half the age of my eldest son this year.  He is my baby, becoming a good young man.

He's come to love school again, thanks to a wonderful teacher.  He's blowing through his multiplication facts, and division is starting to really click with him.  He loves playing outside, hanging out with daddy, camping, the Broncos, watching Saturday morning cartoons, drawing, playing basketball, fighting with his Nerf swords, building Lego's, fighting with his sister, eating spicy wings, and making us laugh.  Hard.

He's stubborn, snarky, loving, happy, and empathetic.  He's handsome, quirky, smart, and funny.

I'm a blessed mama, getting the opportunity to parent this wonderful child.  I am thankful for his little presence in my life.

Monday, September 24, 2012

10 Years, Fall, and Other Random Thoughts...

Friday we celebrated our tenth anniversary!  My husband took the day off, we did some shopping, had lunch, and in the evening went to a fabulous meal at Gordon Ramsay Steak in the Paris Hotel here, and then headed over to the Wynn for Le Reve - a Cirque du Soleil-esque show done entirely on/in/around a pool.

It's hard to believe that we've made it to ten years already - and I don't say that because it's been SO difficult.  That's not to say we haven't had our difficulties, because we have.  But it seems like it was just yesterday that we were planning our wedding.  Crazy how time just slips away.

Saturday was the first day of Fall and in true Las Vegas fashion, it was hot.  Jordan had softball practice and we decided to stay to do some shopping in the area afterwards.  By the end of the practice, I was pretty warm.  It was humid, so that didn't help.

I'm currently studying to take my test for my Nevada RE license.  So far so good.  I've got a lot of this knowledge locked up in the back of my head, and it's been making its way slowly forward and reminding me that I could probably just skim through it and take the test and be done with it.

Chris and I are headed to Rock Vegas at Mandalay Bay this weekend.  It's a two-day festival with various rock bands headlining.  I'm most excited to see POD, Staind, Godsmack, Adelita's Way, and Buckcherry.  Chris is super excited!  Friday we're heading over around 4, POD goes on at 5.  The concert actually starts at 1 with some lesser-known local bands.  Saturday will be busy with a cub scout event for Wyatt from 9-11, then Jordan's softball practice from 12:15-2, and then the concert which starts at 1:30 with some lesser-known bands, but we're heading over around 4.

Sunday we're going to try out a new church near us, so wish us luck on that one!!!

And now I think I'm going to go take a nap.  My right eye has been twitching all day and I'm ready to tear it off my face and throw it in the pool!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

What's going on around here?

I'm grabbing a few minutes to myself to blog and write down what's going on around here.

I re-read my last entry and found myself shaking my head.  I feel like I am a pretty good judge of character, but sometimes even *I* find myself shaking my head at my complete lack of judgment.  That 'job' down there? Yeah, it didn't quite work out.  Seems I was mislead - A LOT - about the position, the state of the company, the opportunity, and the staff.  Sometimes a hot mess is just that, and you need to walk away from the smoldering ashes.

My kids came back from Arizona where they had a blast with their grandparents.  Our good friends Scott and Jason came to visit us and we enjoyed spending the weekend with them.  After that, Chris's brother Eric and his wife Misty came to visit for a few days.  And Monday, my kids went back to school.  Which means mommy has been waking up, making lunches, and getting them out the door.

I've actually been very busy, taking care of errands and small little projects that need to be done but could be put off while the kids were home.

Jordan is getting quite the reality check with her new junior high schedule.  She changes classes, has an elective, and a locker.  Wyatt loves his new teacher.  So much so, that his math has VASTLY improved, over the less than stellar teacher he had last year.  He WANTS to go to school, and she's amazing with him.  It's wonderful what happens when you have a teacher that cares, and doesn't just constantly complain about having 27 students in her class.

And I'm back in the hunt for gainful, SANE employment.  We'll see what happens.

This weekend is the last long weekend we get until October.  So we decided to take the kids to California and head to Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor!  We surprised them with it last night and they're very excited.  Chris and I want our children to have the best possible childhood we can give them.  Memories are way more important to us than things.  We don't buy our children a lot of things, but we do a lot to make memories.  We started behind the eight-ball with a very skeptical and cautious 9 (now 11) year old girl, and a shy and reserved 7 (almost 9) year old boy.  They've since come to understand that this is their family, and we are it, like it or not.  So while we missed some of their very formative years, we've been blessed in that we can do these things where we take trips and make memories.  Our most recent proof of the love our children have for our travel bug was when Jordan told us, in no uncertain terms, that she wanted to go to the family reunion in October.  We're most certainly going to try and make that happen.

So that's what's happening here in the Den.  It's a lot, and keeping up with it has been daunting.  So if you've called me, or emailed me, and I haven't responded, I apologize.  It's been a bit crazy.

Friday, August 03, 2012

It's WAY too quiet around here...

I've been throwing out my resume here and there and not really expecting any rapid responses, considering the state of the unemployment rate.  However, Wednesday I received a phone call and two hours after speaking with the recruiter, I was sitting in a conference room with the CEO of the company.  The company is a large-format printer manufacturing company based in Shanghai, and the CEO is a woman.  Which in and of itself is amazing, but when you consider that she is a woman in Shanghai, with a successful company that is about to go IPO in China, that's incredible, and admirable.

During the interview, we hit it off quite well.  It was a little challenging with the language (although her English is great, there's still that accent and the differentiation in inflection that can sometimes throw you off), but I think I did well.  And then it hit me.  She just offered me the job.  Right here, at the interview.  Holy crap!  I let her know I had to talk with my husband.  She asked me to call her that night.  I explained that I had a lot of upcoming commitments and she had no problem with that, or with the fact that I have two children I need to take care of.

Wednesday night we flew the kids to Arizona to drop them off with Memaw and Papaw, and turned around and flew back home in the space of about 4 hours.  We fly for free, and it was cheaper than paying the UM fee.

Yesterday morning, while sitting and drinking my coffee and doing various things around the house, it almost caught me off guard as I thought, 'Gee, my kids are sleeping in really....oh.  Whoops!'  Yep, it had momentarily slipped my mind that they are in Arizona.  We've had them home since December of 2010 and in that time, we haven't had any extended time together alone, without them, since then.  Let me rephrase - Chris and I haven't had any alone adult time outside of a dinner date or two since December of 2010, or roughly 20 months. That's not to say we are resentful, or angry about our choice.  This was our choice, and we embrace it gladly.  It's just that the reality of not having to make lunches, or fix snacks, or approve television shows, or do laundry, or clean up messes, or referee fights, or listen to tweenage drama, or talk about disgusting boy things really hit me yesterday.

My Wyatt is a talker.  He will talk from the time he wakes up until that noggin of his hits the pillow at night.  He will talk about anything.  He will give you a play-by-play of what just happened 2.7 seconds ago, even if it was YOU who was doing it.  He will be in the middle of a conversation with you and then suddenly switch lanes and be off on another tangent.  I've gotten used to it, staying home with them over the past ten months, but my poor husband has not.  And Wyatt LOVES his daddy.  So when he has daddy's undivided (or even sometimes divided) attention, he's off!!  Chris will sometimes look at me and I just laugh.  Welcome to my world, buddy!!

So to sit in an empty house, with just the sounds of the pool filter and the air conditioners running, is weird.  I'm grateful that my kids have this opportunity to spend some time with Memaw and Papaw.  I'm grateful that they are active and willing participants in my children's lives.  I'm grateful that they love them, and always have, without hesitation, since the day we learned we were bringing them home.  Adoption is not only tough on parents, who most certainly struggle with 'what if I don't love them like I would my own biological children', but it can be equally hard on grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even existing siblings.  I have to say that our families have shown nothing but love for my kids, and for that I'm thankful.

Oh, and that job offer up there? I accepted and signed the official offer yesterday.  My carefree days as an unemployed SAHM are over.  Another thing I am grateful for is children who are old enough to come home after school and hang out for an hour and a half.  And that we live in a neighborhood full of children that my kids have already met and started playing with.  And the bus system.  That's a plus as well!

Staying home with them over the last ten months was great, but it's time for this mama to go back to work.  I'm not going to get into the debate of the SAHM vs. the WOHM, because quite honestly, it's not worth it.  Everyone does what is best for their families.  I did what was best for my family in California, and now I'm doing what is best for our family in Nevada.

Now if I could just convince my in-laws to move up here...