Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

I got this from my Mom a week or so ago, and thought it was fitting today... please take a moment between the pool and the barbque to quietly thank those that have lost family members so that we can be who we are today.  From the Revolution to today, the balance of our freedom, has been paid for with the blood of amazing United States military members.


He writes: My lead flight attendant came to me and said, "We have an H.R. on this flight." (H.R. stands for human remains.) "Are they military?" I asked.

'Yes', she said.

'Is there an escort?' I asked.

'Yes, I already assigned him a seat'.

'Would you please tell him to come to the flight deck. You can board him early," I said..

A short while later, a young army sergeant entered the flight deck. He was the image of the perfectly dressed soldier. He introduced himself and I asked him about his soldier. The escorts of these fallen soldiers talk about them as if they are still alive and still with us.

'My soldier is on his way back to Virginia,' he said. He proceeded to answer my questions, but offered no words.

I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said no. I told him that he had the toughest job in the military and that I appreciated the work that he does for the families of our fallen soldiers. The first officer and I got up out of our seats to shake his hand. He left the flight deck to find his seat.

We completed our preflight checks, pushed back and performed an uneventful departure. About 30 minutes into our flight I received a call from the lead flight attendant in the cabin. 'I just found out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is on board', she said. She then proceeded to tell me that the father, mother, wife and 2-year old daughter were escorting their son, husband, and father home. The family was upset because they were unable to see the container that the soldier was in before we left. We were on our way to a major hub at which the family was going to wait four hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia .

The father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his son was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see him was too much for him and the family to bear. He had asked the flight attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow them to see him upon our arrival. The family wanted to be outside by the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken off the airplane.. I could hear the desperation in the flight attendants voice when she asked me if there was anything I could do.. 'I'm on it', I said. I told her that I would get back to her.

Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form of e-mail like messages. I decided to bypass this system and contact my flight dispatcher directly on a secondary radio. There is a radio operator in the operations control center who connects you to the telephone of the dispatcher. I was in direct contact with the dispatcher.. I explained the situation I had on board with the family and what it was the family wanted. He said he understood and that he would get back to me.

Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher. We were going to get busy soon and I needed to know what to tell the family. I sent a text message asking for an update. I saved the return message from the dispatcher and the following is the text:

'Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. There is policy on this now and I had to check on a few things. Upon your arrival a dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft. The team will escort the family to the ramp and plane side. A van will be used to load the remains with a secondary van for the family. The family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into the terminal where the remains can be seen on the ramp. It is a private area for the family only. When the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will be escorted onto the ramp and plane side to watch the remains being loaded for the final leg home. Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans. Please pass our condolences on to the family. Thanks.'

I sent a message back telling flight control thanks for a good job. I printed out the message and gave it to the lead flight attendant to pass on to the father. The lead flight attendant was very thankful and told me, 'You have no idea how much this will mean to them.'

Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and landing. After landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to the ramp area. The ramp is huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway. It is always a busy area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to enter and exit. When we entered the ramp and checked in with the ramp controller, we were told that all traffic was being held for us.

'There is a team in place to meet the aircraft', we were told. It looked like it was all coming together, then I realized that once we turned the seat belt sign off, everyone would stand up at once and delay the family from getting off the airplane. As we approached our gate, I asked the copilot to tell the ramp controller we were going to stop short of the gate to make an announcement to the passengers. He did that and the ramp controller said, 'Take your time.'

I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake. I pushed the public address button and said, 'Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain speaking I have stopped short of our gate to make a special announcement. We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect. His Name is Private XXXXXX, a soldier who recently lost his life. Private XXXXXX is under your feet in the cargo hold. Escorting him today is Army Sergeant XXXXXXX. Also, on board are his father, mother, wife, and daughter. Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first. Thank you.'

We continued the turn to the gate, came to a stop and started our shutdown procedures. A couple of minutes later I opened the cockpit door. I found the two forward flight attendants crying, something you just do not see. I was told that after we came to a stop, every passenger on the aircraft stayed in their seats, waiting for the family to exit the aircraft.

When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly started to clap his hands. Moments later more passengers joined in and soon the entire aircraft was clapping. Words of 'God Bless You', I'm sorry, thank you, be proud, and other kind words were uttered to the family as they made their way down the aisle and out of the airplane. They were escorted down to the ramp to finally be with their loved one.

Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I had made. They were just words, I told them, I could say them over and over again, but nothing I say will bring back that brave soldier.

I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this event and the sacrifices that millions of our men and women have made to ensure our freedom and safety in these United States of AMERICA .

Foot note:

As a Viet Nam Veteran I can only think of all the veterans including the ones that rode below the deck on their way home and how they were treated. When I read things like this I am proud that our country has not turned their backs on our soldiers returning from the various war zones today and give them the respect they so deserve.

I know every one who has served their country who reads this will have tears in their eyes, including me.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I feel accomplished

Yesterday I think I successfully knocked out a good portion of 'other people/agency' requirements.

I dropped off a copy of the physical form to our doctors office so he knows what he needs to do for our appointments next week.

I went to the courthouse to get copies saying that we have no convictions ($12.10 per, but they were awesome and only charged me for one!)

I sent off all the 'letter of reference requirements' to our friends so they could get started on them.

I sent off the request for the child abuse and neglect screening for our state.

I also found out that my employer doesn't do 'letters' to verify employment (we have to have it on company letterhead that is notarized).  They give out a 1-800 number that they can call... still waiting to found out from our agency how to get around that...

I go get my fingerprints done this afternoon ($52.50).  I'm also going to run by our health insurance office to get a statement of when coverage starts for our adopted child (on letter head, notarized... it's turning into quite a pattern!)

I have my doctors appointment next Wednesday, Trav's is a couple days after that.

There are a few books we need to read (I've requested them from the library), and we need to go to an infant CPR/care class.  I also think that we need to go to an adoption support group, but that might be later on. 

We have to do our personal and family autobiography (six different areas: Individual, Family Background, Marital Relationship, Reasons for Wanting to Adopt, Parenting and Experience with Children, and Attitudes of Family and Friends Toward Adoption), and our family Pictorial Essay that only the review board will see (not our profile book).

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Did you notice...

Look up top... see it, there is a new tab!

So.... we have had things fly by, and now we are way further then we thought we would be on the adoption front, at least as far as paperwork.

We submitted everything last Wednesday (or that's when I mailed it off...) and we got an e-mail Friday that our first application packet was accepted, and that they were sending out the second application packet.  We were told that this step of the process was 2-4 WEEKS... it happened in 2 days!

We received it yesterday, and so far, (or at least by today after I leave school) we will have
Both our doctor appointments set up
I have my finger printing set up
Forms mailed off for our criminal history report
All the letters of references requirements to our friends (with a SASE to send it back to our agency)
90% of the paperwork filled out... I think I wrote our names and address about 50 times!  I filled out that type of information, but none of the real questions yet.

They said if your diligent, that it will take a month to get it done.

I find that my personal challenge!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Loud Mouth

Apparently I'm a big loud mouth... so to say, I guess I'm a blogging loud mouth.

I didn't even realize that I passed my blogiversary on May 7th, but even more surprising (or maybe not) that in a little over a year I thought I had enough crap to say to fill TWO HUNDRED blog posts...

Yep, this is my 200th. 

Wow, a year ago, I was pissed off, alone, and needed to vent.  It was my first medicated cycle, and I messed it up... my post was short and sweet....

"So.... went to the doctor and figured out that I took the wrong pill, on the wrong day... this cycle is shot. I'm pissed. I guess better luck next time right? Ha!"

Who would have thought that a year (almost) later, I'd be done and over with trying, and our lives would be focused on adoption.
My husband commented a while ago, how we never thought we'd be in the '7 loss' club.  When I started reading blogs, I would see women who had lost 5, or 6, or even 7, and I told him "I would never let it get that far..." 
Does that mean the joke is on me.  I hate that I joined that club, I hate that I was willing to keep trying, but deep down I know we made the right decision.  For my body, for my health (mental and physical), and for our marriage.
So cheers to 200 ladies!

Friday, May 21, 2010

holy chit!

This post will totally be in "Dwight Schrute (from The Office) fashion... because since my little brother has been visiting, we have watched all the seasons.... and every conversation sounds like this.

Fact:  Two weeks ago we decided we were financially ready to start the adoption process.

Fact:  Last Thursday we met with the person who would be doing our home study to ask some more question

Fact:  Last Friday we began filling out our adoption paperwork

Fact: Wednesday (like two days ago Wednesday) I mailed said paperwork off

Fact: Today I got an email saying that the first round application was APPROVED....

Question:  Holy shit, is this really happening?

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Help friends!

Have any of you used any digital scrapbooking products?  Any ones you love (or know someone that loves them?) or hate?

We are just beginning to start getting ideas on paper for our match book, and initially I was going to scrapbook it, and make 7 photocopies for the agency (that's how many they need).  That would allow me to keep the original for memories sake, and make more copies if necessary.

However, I've been looking online, and I think that if I digitally scrapbook it, the whole thing will turn out much better. 

Soooo.... HELP!
I'm pretty good at computer stuff, did PrintShop Pro for a lot of things (till I lost the clip art disk in a move), and use Microsoft Publisher quite often to make newsletters and such (I'm the PR person for our Relay For Life and did the monthly newsletter for several years). 

So taking all that into consideration- thoughts, suggestions, comments, advice....


Thanks Friends....

Side note- I was talking to a friend of mine (who is also a co-worker), and yesterday we were talking about how quick this came upon us.  A month ago, though I was ready, I figured we were at least a year from beginning the adoption process.  Now, here we are, the first application has been mailed off, and I'm thinking about our profile book!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

6 years

Six years ago, I walked into my public speaking class. 
It was the summer between my junior and senior year.
It was my first summer school class- ever.
It was my first class at the community college (my scholarship didn't cover summer school)

I was not looking forward to it.

At. All.

So I sat down, and started small talk with the people around me.  I had been in college long enough to know you needed to make friends in class so they could help you catch up when you missed a week.

There was a funny girl in front of me, a really dorky-computer guy next to me (like junior Bill Gates), and then there was this ass hole that sat next to me.  He was a total jerk... a TOTAL jerk. 

So, I ignored mr. jerk and enjoyed sitting next to mr. dork, and funny gal.  It was a Tuesday class, so we saw each other again Thursday, and got paired up with partners.  I was pared with mr. dork.  And then I learned what a huge dork he really was...

Next week:
Apparently all it takes is a little make up to turn mr. jerk into mr. nice guy... or so that's his story.  All the sudden, mr. jerk became a 'chatty cathy'...

I needed to yellow card into a class (professor signed I could get in, even though it was full), but didn't know where to go.  Mr. jerk showed me where to turn it in.  And then we talked--- through lunch, through my afternoon classes, my entire day...

Mr. jerk asked me if he could take me out that weekend.  I told him I was going to a girlfriends party, but he could come with me there....

He picked me up on his motorcycle.

He held my hair back when I was puking in her toilet (one of about 7 times in my WHOLE life...)

He was so hot.

And he had a motorcycle.


I fell in love.

And seven months after we met, I married mr. jerk.

And six years from that fateful day..... we sent off our adoption paperwork!

I was excited that on the date we met, we made such a huge step in building our family.

He somehow didn't quite go back to mr. jerk, he also wasn't mr. excited.

Oh well, you can't win them all!

And since I'm such a big dork... I made my little brother take a picture of me sending it off!

So, if once you hit the match book, that makes you 'pregnant on paper'.... does that mean now that we have turned in our application we're 'TCC on paper'?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Time waster= Daily laugh

So my favorite new website to waist away my day.... is this web family of websites!

So, now that you have looked at those (and bookmarked them)... here is the daily laugh!

Even though the Ambien bottle says not to drive or operate heavy machinery, assume "heavy machinery" also means "online shopping" and "give your dog a new haircut" #LFMF


I feel like I've been absent for a while... but I'm back!

Between trying to help my senior boys finish up their projects (which I now get to grade), my semester end wrap up (read: massive projects/assignments due), birthday parties, Relay for Life, a "House Party", and being honored guests at an ROTC's award ceremony, things have been busy.

It also didn't help that I was moved out of my normal 'classroom' (the computer lab), and into the conference room (ie- no Internet) so the other classes could do the end of year testing.... 

So, here are a few pictures to catch you all up....

But, before we get to that, some of the most exciting news......

As the previous posts talk about, we met with an adoption case worker last week.  The meeting was over an hour, and my husband was able to ask her a lot of questions he had, and she got to know a little bit more about us.  She will be the one doing our home study, so Travis wanted to make sure he felt comfortable with her.  We talked about it a little bit that evening, but on Friday he said that we should spend the weekend filling out the first application packet!! Whohoo!!!

So, beside doing Relay for Life this weekend, and finishing an assignment and final that was due by noon on Saturday, and having a "House Party" Saturday night, we did that....

We found it funny that the only contact info we had for one of our references was face book because they had moved.... is that a bad sign?  We spent a few hours on the phone catching up (we last talked right after Christmas), after she got the message I sent her on face book....

So, the packet is done, we just need to get it notarized, probably tomorrow, write the application fee check, and send it off!

I don't know if I've mentioned lately, but my husband is pretty much the most hansome man I've ever seen.... add his 'blues' to the equation, and it's even better.... (we didn't used to call it "Blues Sex Monday" for nothing- he has to wear this blues every Monday at his old job.)

We were invited to a JROTC end of year award ceremony at one of the local (ok an hour away) high schools.  It was fun to get dressed up, and the food wasn't bad either (unlike most military functions)

So besides being ridiculously handsome, he's also pretty much a rock star....
This is the award he got for being a 'High Roller".  He put in six people (notice the dice) in the month of February, which was pretty awesome.  This is the cool award he got from it (along with someones fingerprints, on the INSIDE).

His daughters 11th birthday party

I somehow don't have all my Relay for Life pictures, but these are a few of the ones I have....
We have been having rain ALL week.  For those of you that don't know about Relay, its an event to raise money for the American Cancer Society.  Its often held at a track (usually a high school field), where the teams 'camp out' all night.  Our event goes from 7pm-7am.  Well, that's no fun in the rain, so at 9:30am Friday morning the chairs decided to move it indoors.  It was a lot of work, but so worth it.  The event turned out great!

It was our 20th anniversary, so they hung the t-shirts from all the past years.

The color of Relay is purple, so all the survivors wear purple shirts
It's not a Relay without the Super Colon!
Basket auction- each team can make a basket (or several) to help raise additional funds.  There were some AMAZING baskets!

So after everyone staying up all night at Relay (not me- I felt like crap, cough is still hanging around, plus I had an assignment and final due by noon on Saturday, so I went home to do that....)
We had a House Party!  It's actually really cool.  You go to the website and 'apply' to throw a party.  If you are picked (I was picked to host the Kraft Summer Taste of Summer party).  They sent me a box of stuff: beach balls and Frisbee, an apron, 2 reusable bags, and then all the samples of the food.  There were 3 bags of the new Kraft Home-style mac and cheese, 2 boxes of the Ritz Crackerfulls, 2 packages of the new Kool-Aid 'fizzys' that you drop into a bottle of water and then coupons for everything else (to get for free).  I went to the store and got the new DiGIorno pizza and bread sticks (by far my favorite thing of the party, with the home-style mac and cheese a close second), the new Oscar Meyer shaved deli meats (ham, turkey, and roast beef).  I was supposed to get something else (100 calorie snack packs) but our local Wal Mart didn't carry them.... 
We had some cheese and queso left over from the catering for Relay, and what's a party without cupcakes, but other then that, everything was free, and yummy!

So... now that ALL that is behind me (and I'm back in a room with internet...) I hope to update/read/comment more!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Anyone going through the adoption process...

Can you think of any key questions that you asked when interviewing agency's?

I'm nervous.

I hope my husband likes her, so we don't have to start all over finding another agency.

I like her, but I've spent a lot more time with her, so that helps, I think. 

These are some that my husband had come up with.... any others to add to the list?

*Who pays the medical bills for the birth mother and baby?

*After the baby is born, can the birth parents change their mind? For how long?

*What does the birth mother do after the baby is born? Are we there for the birth?

*Do we get a medical history of the birth parents/family?

*Is the agency nation wide? How do you determine which birth parents sees our profile?

*What does the agency consider 'semi-open'?

*Do we meet the birth mom? When? How often?

*Are legal services covered?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

B doesn't stand for Bad

That was the awesome advice my little brother gave me while I was stressing out over one of my finals.  I was telling him that I was a low A, and that if I don't do well, I'll get a B....

He just looked at me and couldn't quite understand what the big deal was... and that B didn't stand for bad... :)

I love him.

In other news, again my husband brought up paying off the truck, and then three sentences later, said he wanted to meet with the adoption case worker to get to know her and begin to understand the process....

Except, I think it's funny, if we pay off the truck... we no longer have a pile (albeit a small pile) of money to begin the adoption....

I guess I'm just grateful that he's at this point, and wanting to move forward, even if it is slowly.

Slowly forward is better then standing still. 


We meet with her at Panera by his office tomorrow.   Hmmm....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Good Husband

Yes, I have a good husband.  No, an amazing husband. 

A husband who deals with my emotions.

A husband who lets me cry.

A husband who helps me keep my sanity.

A husband who respects my wishes.

A husband who understands my strained relationship with his daughter, and realizes her 'Happy Mothers Day' wishes fell flat....

A husband who does what he can to save me from the hurt.

A husband who intercepts well meaning text messages from people wishing me a Happy Mothers Day.

A husband who deletes those messages.

A husband who feels bad when he misses a message because I had my phone on me, and he couldn't get it from me before I read it.

A husband who understands why I don't want cards, or flowers, or anything.

A husband who has an amazing sister that sent me a message "Even though I know you don't have a 'real' baby, I think you are still a mommy.  They are just waiting for you.  So Happy Mothers Day."

A husband who didn't expect me to put on a happy face and enjoy today.

A good, amazing, wonderful, special husband.  I am blessed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Crazy Ass Idea

It's taken me almost 4 days to truly process what my husband decided. 

I guess at some point over the past few weeks he has decided that our prior goal of paying off the truck before we adopt is no longer necessary, he just really needs to wait until he wraps his head around the idea.  I'm happy about that, but still cautious.  I guess we'll see when we see.

However, that didn't stop him from suggesting one of the MOST crazy ass idea's I've heard in quite a while.  First- let me set the scene... it had been a long, hard week at work (actually this one has been worse, and we are only Tuesday, but more on that later), and we both needed some 'honey' time.   We decided that we were going to make dinner and watch a movie, turn our phones off and shut down the computer.  It was agreed.  I was so looking forward to it. 

I don't know what I was doing that he got home before me, but holy cow, as soon as I walked in I wasn't prepared for this...

Him- "So, I was umm, looking at the bank account..."

*me thinking- shit what did I buy that he's going to question... how much was that last trip to walmart, I didn't go to Hobby Lobby did I? Oh I did... did I remember to pay with cash, ya, hmm, what's he talking abou then?*

Me- "Yes love..."

Him- "Well, I was looking at our account, and I think we should pay off the truck."




Me- "You what? You wan't to DRAIN our account to pay off the truck?"

Him- "Well, we wouldn't be draining it... I did the math, we would have XX.xx left."

Me- "OK, and what about our cable bill, mortgage, and utility bill I just sent out on Wednesday, how much would we have left then?"

Him- "Oh, I forgot about that..."

Me- *doing some quick math in my head* "Are you fucking kidding me... we would have $135.00 left.  ONE HUNDRED THRITY FIVE DOLLARS!!!  Until I got paid next week, which would be a whopping $375.00 (subs get paid awesome!) and then you don't get paid until May 15!"

Him- "We could do it"

Me-  "Um, no my heart can't...."

The discussion continued, and then got tabled... at least until we can decide if we can live on $135.00....

Oh the joys of marriage.  So much for our date night!

And the really weird part of it, I'm usually the impulsive, crazy one with money, hes the saver...