December 22, 2009

Neither here Nor There

A lot of random stuff tonight...

Sam is going through some sort of growth spurt. Last night he at 1/2 lb of pasta (no joke), took a break for a while and snacked on 20 Sam-sized handfuls of Kix (that's my boy), and then returned to the pasta/2 cups of yogurt to finish it off. We sat at the table for 45 minutes. He quickly realized that his inefficient spooning was not doing the job, so I was delegated to shoveling duty. He would release intermittent man-farts (I'm assuming to make room for more food) and I would try not to laugh, but DUDE, some of those suckers were long and his facial expressions were priceless! (a friend of mine once shared a study that said people fart 50% more during the day than they laugh. He quickly said that couldn't be true because he laughs every time he farts.) And the thing is, he hasn't really poo'd since. I am in awe and quite afraid (as Luke is out of town tonight and tomorrow... wait a minute...I work tomorrow...sucks for the sitter! I'm sure I'll hear about that one).

Also, he slept in his crib during nap time today (for the past 2 months he's been sleeping in the bathroom in a pack n play for the dark factor). Good day overall!

Also, its snowing.

Oh, AND I went to my first Bronco's game. People watching was awesome. Saw our fare share of femullets, painted faces, and inappropriate "I have daddy issues" outfits. There was a fight right next to us. Keep it classy, Denver.

And finally, this will be my last post before leaving for my tender Tennessee Christmas/new years. So I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Peace Out,
Michele

December 10, 2009

Lets start at the very beginning...a very good place to start!

Do you ever just channel a little Fraulein Maria? I find myself singing "My Favorite Things" to Sam now that its Christmas time!

Ah, yes, the reason for this post...

The Very Beginning:

When Luke and I were dating/not engaged yet/but we both knew we would get married, we talked about the future, careers, goals, kids, etc. One night we were walking in Knoxville in Cherokee Village (or was it Hills? anyone?) (a trail next to a creek in a neighborhood where we used to jog a lot). This particular night we were talking about kids, etc. and I brought up adoption. A year or two before that Steven Curtis Chapman (who went to my church in Franklin) did a presentation of sorts about China. Giving various statistics about the plight of girls in that country.

I was shocked. These were perfectly wonderful, healthy, lovely little girls. The only reason they were given up was because of their sex or that China would not allow citizens to have more than one child.

At that point and ever since I have had a strong desire and leading to adopt a little girl from China.

So back to the trail...I brought up adoption and Luke said he felt a strong desire to adopt as well. Wow, I mean, adoption is not for everyone and its not something to be pressured into, so for both of us to be on board (regardless of if we married each other) was amazing.

Fast forward a couple of years. Luke and I start talking about starting a family and what we want our family to look like. We both wanted to have biological children which worked out nicely since you can't start the adoption process for China until we were both 29 1/2 years old.

Enter stage left: Sam! What an awesome little guy! We always joke that *God knows what you can handle and he knows we can't handle a lot!* Sweetest kid EVER. We also found out that we can parent. Who knew? Crazy, I know.

Well, recently I just turned the big 2-9-1/2! Because the amount of time it takes to adopt a child from China is approximately 3-4 years, we thought we'd get started sooner than later.

In November we went to an information session at Chinese Children Adoption International. If you are interested, here is the website: www.chinesechildren.org. Its here in suburban Denver, but it serves the entire country. Never before have Luke and I felt such a peace about moving forward with something. Its not even a struggle.

The next step was to submit an application. No big deal, right? I thought so at first, but once we had everything sent in, all I could think about is "what if they reject us? what will we do? does God have other plans?" I think too much sometimes!

Yesterday we got an email. I was afraid to open it, but the first line said: "Congratulations! You have been approved!" WOWWWWEEEE!!! How exciting to have the first big step of this process finished!

Our orientation is December 18th and we are so excited!

God has completely made this possible through Luke's new job financially, and we are relying on Him to take us through this journey. Please pray for us during this process that God would direct us and for our child (who hasn't even been born yet).

There will definitely be more to come on this exciting adventure, but I just wanted to update you all!

Peace Out,
Michele

November 29, 2009

MAC Daddy

I think the people who make viruses for PC's should be drug out into the street and flogged like the rest of the criminals.

About 4 weeks ago I found myself on the business of one of those beauties and it killed my sweet Sony VIAO. It crippled us beyond repair and so I found myself looking for a new window to the world.

I gave my criteria and they said: "mac".

Mac? really? ugh. I feel like I'm giving in because you know that the people who make computer viruses have MACs, those slimey, dirty little dungeons and dragons playing losers...harumph.

I digress...

So here I am. Surprisingly happy. On a MacBook.

More to come about thanksgiving soon.

Peace Out,
Michele

October 20, 2009

Denver or Bust

Luke and I were lucky enough to have my parents and my aunt and uncle visit us for a long weekend. The weather was perfect! We had a blast and Sam was spoiled by not one, but two experienced Nanas. Today I swear he looked at me as if to say, "so you're it then?" We had so much fun!

This is Uncle Rich at Deer Creek Canyon. A great hike in the foothills. He was so kind to volunteer to carry Sam. That is until he reached to top of the first big hill and guess who got him?That's right! ME!

The hike was actually quite eventful. Aunt Patty made Deer Creek Canyon her plaything! She hiked the entire thing at about 6000 feet above sea level!

We saw a baby rattlesnake! In all the times I've hiked here, I've never seen anything but Mule Deer. It wouldn't move from the path so Luke (my hero) got a branch and persuaded it into the bushes. phew!

Dad took a small tumble down a steep hill, and hurt his knee a bit. Lucky for him he knows a PT with a key to her office and some available crutches.

That night we went to the corn maze at Chatfield Botanical Gardens (sans Dad and Uncle Rich). So fun! Poor Sam's legs were starting to conform to the shape of his Kelty Kids Pack.

It was such a fun weekend with such great company! COME BACK SOON MOM, DAD, AUNT PATTY AND UNCLE RICH!!!


Peace Out,
Michele

October 7, 2009

Last Days of Summer

Fall is probably my favorite season. Summer a close second. So we had a warm weekend and we decided to celebrate with a quick trip to the park and some track ball (after 30 minutes on the slide of course).


We had fun!














Peace Out,
Michele

September 27, 2009

Beans, Beans, They're Good for Your Heart!

Luke has a very sad story about beans and why he hates them and why we can never have chili (red or white) or burritos or anything that contains lentils and so on. If you have ever heard this story you would promptly tell Luke to get over it and eat some chili already (I mean it is fall!).

Regardless, this scarring from such a lovely food group has not found its way across the gene pool to his son. No, Sam is a fan of all things lentil including, but not limited to kidney beans, black beans, green beans (ok, not the same), but you get my drift.

We had taken a bean hiatus as of late and just recently found some in the pantry during a desperate run at lunch the other day. The result was beantastic!



Sam could not get enough. His ferver was so great that he actually signed "please" and kept saying "mmmmmm" and wanting more. It was so funny!

Finally he signed that he was done with lunch and as I was putting the rest of the beans into the fridge he spotted them and pleaded to hold the tupperware. This resulted in him carrying them around and dropping half of them on the floor whilst he and Rufus raced to see who could shove them in their mouths the quickest.




The only person who was none too happy with the mass consumption of beans was Kelly. She runs the nursery at church and this morning informed us (with a little look of disgust) that Sam had two poo's during nursery today! Sorry Kelly!



Peace Out,
Michele

August 23, 2009

MAJIDE!!!!

Here are a few pics from our Sunday school class activity!













Luke and I help plan the activities for our Sunday school class. For this one we decided to get messy! Majide is a Japanese game show that means "you must be crazy!" Well, considering we live in the burbs with HOA's aplenty, we only got semi-crazy.
We played a variety of games including: orange ball, bucket head, peanut butter face, frozen face fruit grab and slicker than snot. Everyone had a great time and in the end, the blue team won. (Insert sad face for my red team.)
It was a great way to spend a really hot Saturday afternoon!
Peace Out,
Michele

August 3, 2009

Monday, Monday

First off, Luke is out of town so dinner is once again...breakfast! Tonight's menu includes Pillsbury Cinnamon rolls, and that's about it. Although the remainder of the rolls will be cooked, the appetizer roll was straight out of the can. Mmmmm...doughy! AND I licked the butter knife with nothing but icing on it!! Take that!

Between these two paragraphs my neighbor Rochelle came over and brought me Greek Orzo for dinner. This thwarted my plan a little and added some much needed nutrition to my meal, staving off the rickets for another day.

Also, I can not turn my head to the left. Somehow I jacked my neck up so bad that as my boss was working on me this morning he said "this is not going to feel good and I'm going to have to do it again tomorrow." He was right. It was awful, I nearly crawled off the table lest he see the tears forming in my eyes! All the while he had this sick sadistic grin on his face. I could imagine the ghosts of patients past laughing their butts off at my expense.

The worst part about this: 1. every time a buzzing insect gets around my head I shake my head and cuss out loud. 2. checking my blind spot 3. I'm in PAIN people. I was begging for an epidural hours AFTER I had Sam. Ask my parents, pain and I are not friends!

Oh, and now that Sam is walking, he's a disaster! I will never be able to get his one year pictures taken because he constantly has bruises! The latest edition was his face plant into the wall and subsequent swollen nose, poor little guy! I feel like I keep having to explain to the pediatrician after hours care that I do not, in fact, beat my child!

I took this one a few days ago...










Peace Out,
Michele

July 12, 2009

Oh no He Didn't!

Oh yes he did!

Tom Rand, formerly a bachelor til the rapture, tied the knot this past weekend. He married Ms. Andrea Thompson of Littleton, CO.


Luke was an usher and we were both ecstatic to be attending a wedding in the town in which we live. The last time that happened was 2002 at our wedding! Since then we've been in 15 weddings (combined) that have plastered themselves across many of these great united states!


The wedding was held at the chapel at Cherry Hills Community Church (picture Six Flags Over Jesus). Absolutely beautiful venue with stained glass and a big center aisle, stone and brick. Very nice.


The reception was at The Cielo at Castle Pines (very schmuckity-schmuck). Such a great place with a huge water fall in the background and great views of the Rockies.

Highlights of the blessed event: 1. seeing old college friends Grant Edwards and Craig DeBell (whom I joked I could never marry, because then I'd be Michele DeBell). I forgot how stinkin hilarious those guys are! I laughed almost the entire reception. 2. We roasted S'mores at the reception, S'MORES PEOPLE! Awesome. 3. Seeing Tommy Tye kiss and dance in public with unabashed abandonment. It was something to behold.


So as requested by my lovely college roommies, here are some pictures of the happy event. Enjoy!

Peace Out,
Michele

July 9, 2009

"OH-IO"

We spent the 4th of July in the great state of Ohio. It was so great to see all of my extended family, some of which hadn't met Sam yet.

I learned a few things whilst on our trip:

1. NEVER fly United. Unless you are desperate...NEVER.

2. A good idea for one-year-olds on the plane who won't watch videos STILL, and who will not sleep: a medium ziploc and random crap (ie- 1/2 plastic easter eggs, foam letters from the bath toys, tongue depressors, mini hairbrush, etc.) Sam LOVED putting stuff in/taking stuff out. 20 minutes, kid you not, on a 3 hour flight. It was worth it.

3. Creaking floorboards wake any child up. Fireworks being shot off a mile down the road-not so much.

All in all, it was such a great trip. Sam got to play with his cousins and so did I!

Here are a few pictures from the weekend.




Peace Out,
Michele

June 10, 2009

I Fought the Law and the Law Won

What are the odds? Seriously. For the first time in my 29 years I was summoned for jury duty. I'm sure I felt the same internal eye roll that everyone feels when they get that piece of mail. I think I literally said out loud "please be junk mail! An ad for a credit card! A bill!" No friends, it was Lady Justice and she came a-callin'.

Ok, FINE. After one postponement (for my college girls weekend) it was time to make good. After all, what are the odds that I actually get on a jury? really.

So let me first say that you should never, NEVER send a Starbucks tall Chai Latte through a security conveyor. Especially when it sits over half full with your only "investment" purse and your only book for the long wait you anticipate for the morning. This is not a good idea because the likelihood of it falling over and filling the area with the sweet smell of the Orient is just too good.

So my first stop was the ladies room to wipe down all of my belongings. Good start.

Finally we get to the name calling. Good, in and out because I've got a lot to do today. I'm placed in line position number six. We file in. They ask questions. Dismiss a few folks. Ok, then I realize that they are only talking to the people sitting in the first six seats. What luck. I should buy a lottery ticket. And with a sweep of her hand the judge thanks everyone for coming out and the first six seats get to stay.

Thus went the next day and a half.

As annoying as it was to be picked, the process was actually very interesting, and seeing as how I'm on the other side, I can say that it was a good experience. Except for after the trail was over and we found him guilty we had to pass him in the hallway cussing up a storm and kicking some pillars. Hope he doesn't have a good visual memory!

Peace Out,
Michele

June 7, 2009

A Sign of the Times

We got TiVo.

I almost feel like a sell out. Now, mind you, we have an HD TV with non-HD cable and now to round it off, non-HD TiVo. So I don't feel like we are pushing our techy limits.

We are also excited to have it just in time for all of the new episodes of things we don't watch this summer. We will now watch them.

With ferver.

AND we will fast forward through all of the commercials. Take that Madison Avenue! You won't be slipping any more of your subliminal messages into my head. Which reminds me, I need to buy coke. (haha)

I picked two fabulous movies for our trial run: Casino Royale (Bond: always a classic) and Roman Holiday (Hello, Audry Hepburn. Duh classic). So I'm excited! It should be fun for when Luke is out of town on business.

Peace Out,
Michele

May 27, 2009

Sam's First Birthday and Other Milestones

Oh my. I have a toddler.

May 24th marks the anniversary of the birth of the sweetest, most cutest kid in the free world AND certain parts of the not so free world. Its crazy, not so much that Sam turned one (which thank God we've made it this far without any major injuries or lawsuits) but that I have a one year old.

We marked the occasion with the traditional first birthday fare:

Shelter at the park-check

30 of our closest friends and family-check


Balloons-check


BBQ and fixins-check


Cake-check

Oh the cake...I made cupcakes for Sam's birthday. We got his portable highchair all set up. Party hat teetering just so. First birthday candle lit amid the swirling wind. SUCCESS! Alrighty buddy now dig in!

Um no.

No, Sam said "stop trying to poison me with this. I will NOT eat this cake. Take it away or I'll cry." And that's just what he did.
Yes, that is me, his mother, laughing at his misfortune. I come by it honestly, though, just ask my mom.

Not only was this the weekend of Sam's first birthday, it was also his first haircut.

The Lolly Locks went out of business so we walked over to Floyd's Barber Shop and they did the honors. He did so well! Sat by himself and didn't squirm at all.
To round out the weekend we had Sam dedicated at church.

It was nice, but much like other ceremonies (weddings, baptisms, etc), no light from heaven shown down. No angels singing. No immediate and infinite wisdom. It just makes me realize that God works over long periods of time for the most part and this is just the beginning of raising Sam and pointing him to the One who loves him most!

Peace Out,
Michele

May 18, 2009

Our Anniversary and Other Stuff

So today marks the anniversary of our wedding day! Seven years to be exact. Seven really good years (with bumps of course). That being said, if one more person asks/comments/suggests something about the "seven year itch" I'm going to scream! Would you ask a fat person if they were pregnant? NO! Asking about the "itch" as it will now be known is like saying, "how do you feel about the possibility of this year sucking?" or "congrats about getting to the really bad part, I hope you have a good lawyer!" The title sounds like a very unfortunate STD quite honestly. How jaded are we folks? Ugh. Well, FYI last year was the actual 7th year and now we are working on the 8th, so no more asking! We are happy, damn it, and if last year was an "itch" we'll survive! Ok, I feel better now!

In other news, summer is upon us! Long days, warm weather, evening walks and mojitos! I love summer in Colorado. I welcome the bipolar temperature swings and "ranch-a-cues", the attempt at a vegetable garden and pool hunnies (aka Sam and Luke).

My sister inspired me to remember little things about Sam, so I am going to try and write a little something on each post about what he's up to. Right now, he figured out how to make a choking noise by breathing in really fast, like a gasp. Scares me every time. Makes me think he's inhaled a piece of dog food or something!

Peace Out,
Michele

May 1, 2009

Girls Weekend


So every year my college roommates (Kate, Tracy and Holly) and I get together for a weekend of fun and relaxation. Recently our husbands have come with us (they all get along so well, its amazing!), but this year we left the men and children at home and set out for Tybee Island, Georgia! We could not have asked for a better long weekend. The little bungalow we stayed in was ADORABLE. Painted pink on the outside, it was called "the shrimp," and completely white inside. All the furniture was bright blue or orange or yellow. SO fun. It also had a screened in porch WITH hammock to lounge in. The beach was about 3 blocks away and the weather was AWESOME.

We ventured into Savannah to shop and meet Emily and Travis (friends from UT) for dinner. Speaking of food...the seafood was, of course, amazing. And since Luke wasn't there to split dinner with, there was no compromising on what to order. I know that sounds ridiculous, but we almost always split. It just seems silly not to, especially since we've been doing it so long. So I made sure that almost everything I ordered was something that I loved and he would hate! Which for Luke to hate a certain food is pretty easy. He actually hates most foods! Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but close. The cutest place we went was a little dessert restaurant called Lulu's Chocolate Bar. So girly and fun and of course lots of chocolate! mmmmm....chocolate...(*drooling noises*).


Since this was the first time for me to spend a night away from Sam, I was a little nervous that I would be homesick or miserable, but surprisingly I was fine. I feel I missed him the appropriate amount and was equally as excited to see him (and Luke) when I got home. He continues to be a little "cling-on" and use me as a teething ring, so it must not have scarred him that much!

And now I'm back home to my sweet little world. Back to my packets of brown sugar and cinnamon oatmeal. No more seafood, sadly. We live in Denver so...yeah, that's just not going to happen really. But its great to be back with my boys!

Peace Out,
Michele

April 9, 2009

As Training Draws to a Close...

I feel like I should have some resolution after 6 (not 5 and 1/2 as previously stated) weeks of being a single mom.

Like there should be a reality show: "Take one new mom, one 10 month old energized little boy, 2 high maintenance boxers and watch how they survive 6 weeks of single parenthood! Its not sexy, considering her husband is out of town. Its not adventurous, considering she works part time and takes care of Sam the other half. But boy is it a challenge! Watch, 8/9 central!"

And then I think that my reality TV show would not be successful without a kick butt supporting cast. My parents, for the "music city" episode. My ENTIRE bible study for periodic "michele needs protein and a break" episodes. My friends and family who have emailed and called just to make sure the dogs haven't staged a revolt and now I'm the one eating dog food. I would not be so sane without all of you. Thank you.

Not to sound like I'm accepting an Emmy, which lets face it, I would if I had my own reality show. But I would also like to thank God. He has grown me in ways I didn't think possible these past few weeks. Not easy, but worth it to watch Him work and experience His grace. And since "I shall not pass this way again" (for Luke's sake, I hope not because this was way too long for training!) it was worth it.

Just because training is over doesn't mean I'll be signing off for good. I kind of like blogging. It makes me feel funny, even if I'm the only one laughing. Which again, if I had my own show, people would be quoting me at the office all day long, but since that is not the case, I'll keep my gems for you all!

Peace Out,
Michele

March 27, 2009

Good Show Mother Nature, Good Show

Who doesn't want a blizzard at the end of March? Man, talk about a reminder of where you live when you get 20 inches well into spring. This was Sam's first big snow so we took some pictures to document the event for posterity. This is Sam standing on the deck. Not sitting...standing.


The return of winter also gave those of us who call The Ranch (Highlands Ranch, for you non-natives! aka "The Shire") home, an opportunity to have a blizzard party. The roads were deserted except for plows and with 4-wheel drive, it was a nice and easy drive. Thanks to the Witty's for providing pizza and cookie dough (which was sadly converted into baked cookies...sad).
Maybe it was the weird weather causing the bizarre behavior, but the women ended up in the basement watching March Madness and praying for our brackets while the guys talked in the kitchen and eventually made it out to the hot tub. I can't imagine why the girls didn't join them, it being the end of march and none of us darkening the halls of a gym or tanning bed with in the last few whatevers. But a good time was had by all!


Peace Out,
Michele

March 11, 2009

Limoncello

I'm in Nashville. Praise God. This is week two of Luke being out of town and my parents have graciously offered for me to spend a week in The Fork (Leiper's Fork, for all of you non-natives). The plane ride was exhausting even with a half-full plane. Sam does NOT sleep outside a crib/pack n play (thanks a lot Baby Wise), nor does he watch TV/DVDs (you too Baby Whisperer). But we are here and I am happy.

Part of that happiness has to do with what I found in the fridge upon my arrival...a bottle of my dad's homemade Limoncello. It was like a light shining down from heaven! Amazingly, after a shot or two (or whatever) the stress of the day's travels just melted away. The stuff is MAGIC, I tell you, MAGIC!

Because I am so generous I will now share how you, too, can make your own homemade Limoncello, and therefore a little homemade happiness. It takes a while, but it is so easy.

Doug Cavener's Limoncello:

5 lemons
Remove all of the zest from the lemons
Put lemon zest in big glass jar (a large mason jar if you wish!)
Add a bottle of Vodka (SKY is a good one)

(you will realize that you have 5 whole lemons, zestless, with which you can make lemonade, desserts, etc)

Cover the jar with plastic wrap and place in a sunny spot
Stir once a day until it gets a strong yellow color, no more than 8 days

Syrup
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
bring to boil until sugar completely dissolves. Let it cool completely.

Add syrup to vodka/lemon zest, stir

Strain liquid through coffee filter

Put it in the fridge for about 2 weeks in whatever bottles/jars you want.

Enjoy responsibly (unless you're at home, then just have at it!)


Peace Out,
Michele

March 5, 2009

Here we go...

First and foremost I have loved cereal for as long as I can remember. I can actually recall sneaking into our kitchen in Amlin, Ohio when I was like 5, and scarfing a handful of sugar smacks when no one was looking. As cereal is not the cheapest thing in the grocery store and we were, to my recollection, allowed the one box per week I was always chastized by my siblings for taking more than my share (We are a very fair bunch, us Caveners).

Imagine my suprise, my sheer glee, when upon moving out on my own I could have as much cereal as I wanted, whenever I wanted it. (there was no time for cereal in college and I was too poor to really indulge therefore Luke was the first to really encourage this nutritionless snack--thanks babe!). Incase you were wondering what my personal favorites were, here they are in no particular order: maple/brown sugar oatmeal, multigrain cheerios, Quaker Oatmeal Squares and Fruity Pebbles.

Speaking of Fruity Pebbles, I should give a shout out to my girl Tracy who at midnight every night of college would have a large bowl of them. Never gained a pound. Truly an inspiration. I can almost feel the sugar sweaters on my teeth.

But I digress...the reason I'm starting this blog is because Luke is out of town for training for 5 and a half weeks, and I have been eating cereal for dinner like a champ. Its been wonderful, although addicting, and I should probably seek treatment and some source of protien.