Monday, December 22, 2008


We got a call today that our background checks have cleared! Our homestudy is set for January 7th. They'll take a look at our house and interview us together and seperately. About two weeks later, we should be fully licensed. Then we just meet with a placement specialist and the adoption committee, and we'll finally get our placements. Yeeeeeee!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Project Update

As promised, a whole lotta pictures and project updates.

The story about the changing table:
I bought a used changing table online for $5. It didn't have the original screws and was a bit beat up, but I figured all of that could be easily fixed. I spent one evening fixing up the paint.

The next day, Fritz ran to Lowes for screws while I made lunch. Unfortunately, they were the wrong size. We went back to exchange them. Came home, and they were still the wrong size. I was too embarrassed to go back to Lowes again, so we ran to Home Depot.

Yes, you see where this is going, they still didn't fit. We decided to drill out the holes bigger. They were lined with metal screw holders (that's as technical as I can get - I have no clue what they're called), but Fritz said he could drill through them. He started drilling, and the wood started splitting. Even worse, when he pulled the drill out, the metal screw holder came too.

"Fine," we said, "We'll pull them all out and use dowel pins to hold the thing together." Pulling out the other screw holders split the wood all over the place. We figured we could fix it with wood glue and clamps, though. The next day, we bought dowel pins (this time in two sizes). Fritz had to go in to work early, but I was eager to start.

I grabbed the smaller of the dowel pins, and they were too big. Too. Big. So I ran over to Lowes to get the only size smaller. Of course, they were too small to fit snugly. I decided to drill the holes out again to fit the larger dowel pins. The wood split a bit more, but it eventually worked... kind of. See, the dowel pins still weren't holding the table together securely. I decided to shelve it for the night and wait for Fritz. I may have thrown something.

The next day, Fritz tried to nail the outside edges together for a bit more stability. Of course, the nails we had were too weak to go all the way through. They split the wood some more, too. My patient saint of a husband ran back over to Lowes for better nails.

He finally got the darned thing together. (After we wrestled with the shelves for a few hours.) I gave it another coat of paint and gloss.

And we were finished! I was so excited, I insisted we bring it in right away. There was a moment of panic as we wondered whether it'd fit through the door. Thankfully, it did. So we were able to sleep with paint fumes that night.

The changing pad was pretty gross, so I sewed a cover for it with some beautiful fabric I found on the dollar table at Wal-Mart. (Actually, I sewed one with fabric I already had, but the color clashed horribly, so I had to sew a second one... because nothing about this project could be easy.)

Anyway, here it is. Our wretched changing table that ended up looking pretty great for $8.50 and some serious elbow grease:


The story about the rocker:
We bought a glider and ottoman from Craigslist for just $15. It was in good shape, but the upholstery was gag-worthily ugly. We found some awesome fabric on sale at JoAnn's for $7/yd. My grandma recovered it for us and did an absolutely beautiful job. Basically brand new custom glider and ottoman for $30 all said. Bam! It's right across from Fritz's computer desk, so it's already getting some use as I keep him company while he plays Texas Hold 'em.


I had a few of the picture frames my mom gave me left over, so I painted them with an old can of orange spray paint I had laying around, then created simple collages out of scrap fabric. I hung them in the window seat in the nursery. Free wall-art. Fun!


Finally, some photos of my little sister and her pup, Tippi. This is how the silly dog sleeps all the time.

Bums is the comfiest pillows.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Long-Overdue (Long) Update

Just a quick note to mention that if you're looking only for faults or offenses here, you'll be sure to find them. I'm just human.

I know it's been a while between updates. We've had a crazy month. Or couple of months. You'll forgive me if this entry's all over the place. So is my mind.

We had another loss at the end of October. My doctor thinks he's found the problem, though, and has put me on some hormone therapy. The pills are pretty yuck. I take one round for a week, then a week later switch to another round for a month.

The first set puts me under a bone-wearying exhaustion. I just want to sleep and sleep.

The second set continues with the exhaustion kick, but adds a whole slew of unpleasant symptoms to the mix.

Needless to say, not much has gotten done lately. I've realized, though, that I'm so blessed to be in the place I am while I'm going through this therapy.

This summer, Fritz and I prayed a lot regarding my work situation. We just kept coming back to the feeling that I shouldn't be working right then. I like to work just fine. I like being busy, I like the company of the children, and I like the money. I kind of resisted it a few times. But everything just kept leading us back to a no. So we followed that prompting.

Then we found out to foster in Utah, you need to have one non-working parent. At first, foster care was just sort of a lark for us. However, as we learned more about the truly horrific situations these dear children are in, and just how much intensive therapy and constant attention they need from their foster parents, we realized that this was a very serious decision we needed to make. Again, we prayed hard - for weeks.

In the end we decided that this was a cause we were both willing to sacrifice anything for and dedicate all of our attention to. We began to have a bit of realization why I might need to be home.

Then the licensing took so long. It was really discouraging. But it turned out, again, to be a blessing. Because we decided that we'd foster any child that it would be safe for us to care for, we needed to have our home ready to receive a 10 year old boy, a 4 year old girl, 2 infants... whatever. We're very frugal people, so we got right to work preparing. Being able to spread the cost out over many months was great, and being able to wait around for killer deals was even greater. We literally saved hundreds of dollars because of this hold-up.

And then there's these darned pills. As hard as it's been for me to be so sick, to watch the household chores that I take such pride in slip, to rely on my husband so heavily for food and moral support, it's been a thousand times easier than it would have been had our foster placements already been with us, or had we the burden of relying on my income.

Those little nagging feelings way back this summer that we chose to listen to have already returned blessings to us in spades.

We've received a lot of support in these decisions we've made. Lots of emails from you, my friends, offering encouragement and love, and lots of kind words from other friends and family and Fritz's co-workers.

The negative responses we've had have been few, though they stung. It sickened us to hear people say that these decisions we've prayed so fervently over, that we've stayed up long nights talking through, that we felt so spiritually enriched by, were selfish or inopportune. How could our sacrificing so much to obey what we believe to be our Father's will be construed as selfish? Because it's not the decision others would have made for us? But that's the thing about life. We're all individuals just trying our best to make the right choices for ourselves. When we start trying to take charge over lives not in our jurisdiction, nobody is benefited.

We try to explain why we choose to do the things we do, but when occasionally people are determined to believe the worst, you just have to move on.

So yeah, in a few ways it's been a rough month, but it's also been one full of insight regarding how much we've been blessed. It's brought Fritz and myself to a higher level of trust and admiration, to rely on each other so heavily for both practical and emotional needs. My mom comments each time she calls and hears what we're up to - Scrabble tournaments and Psych marathons and kitchen experiments and window-shopping at Wal-Mart - how happy we seem to be to spend time together. And we are. We're really very fortunate to have grown ever closer during the hard times, to find so much good in them.

Anyway, I had a week's gap between pills just now, so I've been trying to prepare for this next round. It bugged me so bad when I was sick to keep seeing these things that needed to be done and not have the strength to do them. I'm trying to get everything back in order and get a few meals frozen so that when these next pills kick in in a few days, I can just rest and not keep worrying that our house is going to fall apart.

This was a boring entry, but I got so many worried emails and comments (honestly, you embarrass me, I had no clue so many people read this silly thing) that I wanted to get everyone up to speed.

I promise the next one will be more fun. I'll show you the changing table we bought and refinished all for $8, and if you're lucky, I'll get off my bum and take some pictures of our Christmas decorations. Oh, and the potato chips Fritz made in our deep fryer. Good times.