Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Visit From Friends

One of the most exciting things that happened this weekend was a little visit we received from the Martin family, who also adopted from Kyrgyzstan and who happened to travel with us when we went to pick our babies up! They actually live in South Carolina, but have family living in Indiana and Pennsylvania. They were on their way to Indiana and called us to come meet them off of the Ohio turnpike. It was so wonderful to see them again. They have 5 kids!!! Oh, the energy! I talk to Esther Martin on the phone every few weeks and it was so nice to get to sit and chat face-to-face. Their daughter, Aliya, is growing just as fast as JJ and is gorgeous. Their older children were so excited to see snow, but were definitely not used to the cold!
Here are a few pics from our visit...

JJ saying goodbye to the kids before they hit the road

JJ being a little too aggressive with that sweet Aliya.
You can't see her face, but he did make her cry :(

Another Jockey in the Making...

My great-grandfather, Joseph Marsh Sr., was a jockey. Actually he was a harness racer (are they still called jockeys?) and his son, Joe Marsh Jr. still is. I have many photos, trophies, and news articles written about their spectacular careers and wish I been around to actually see Grandpa win one of his races. Below is one of JJ's favorite gifts he received this Christmas...

According to JJ's adoption papers, his bio mother was 5'1" and his bio father was only 5'4"...looks like he'll be carrying on the family tradition....

The Perfect Gift

We had such an awesome Christmas with JJ. We are so fortunate to have family we are so connected to and who live so close to us. We actually had 4 get-togethers this Christmas! Yes, 4! Five if you count the Christmas party we went to Friday night at our friend Tim's house.

Saturday night we hosted a party here for the Schimmel family (mom's side). There were about 25 people over, so we decided to move the party downstairs and get some use out of the basement that Jerret worked so hard on finishing. Here is a pic of the boys beginning to hand out presents at that party...

Above is JJ playing with his gorgeous cousin, Kayla.

Sunday morning we went to the 9:00 service at church, which is our usual time to go, but because of the holiday falling when it did, they decided to make the Sunday services their special Christmas service. It was SO awesome! The music team there is phenomenal and reminded me of something you would typically hear from Transiberrian Orchestra or Mannheim Steamroller. Just spectacular. At one point they even busted out about 7 metal trash cans and did a little "Stomp" action!!!! AND I am proud to say that we even brought along Jerret's sister and father, who aren't quite sure what to make of our contemporary church, but they did give it a try and for that we are grateful. Unfortunately, we have been having attachment issues with dropping JJ off at the child care during church so Jerret's mom stayed behind and watched him so that we could enjoy the service uninterrupted.

Pastor Lee talked about getting the "perfect gift" this Christmas. He was referring to a gift that would last a lifetime, and suggested that an invitation to church may just be the "perfect gift." I so wish that I could get my brothers interested in seeing what good things are waiting for them if they would open the door to Christ, but I have asked many times and they are not ready....So to anyone in the area, I would like you to consider this open invitation to come to our awesome church. We will even go to a later service if you would like...just say the word and we will be so thrilled to have you with us.

What a Lucky Girl....

I have wanted one of these since I first discovered their glory during Home Economics, freshman year of high school.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tag - I'm It!

Fellow blogger-momma Andrea at Holding on for the Ride tagged me, which means I am supposed to list 8 interesting/unknown to others/special things about myself. Apparently when I get to 100 posts on my blog, I will need to list 100 other facts about myself so I guess this is good practice...
  1. The first job I was offered after college was as a newspaper reporter. Writing is one of the few things I do well enough at to actually make money at - but then I found out how much newspaper reporters are paid. I couldn't afford to take the job and pay back my student loan!
  2. I was once (actually twice) on the Ricki Lake show. This factoid actually doubles as my "most embarrassing moment." Hey - I was 18, what can I say?
  3. I have always wanted to be famous.
  4. I need to learn to think more before I speak. Sometimes, I can say the nicest thing in the world with no ill-intent at all, and my words are taken completely the wrong way. Maybe that's why I like to write - I have more time to read and re-read my thoughts before they are viewed by others.
  5. My husband and I actually first met in Jr. High (even though we didn't attend the same schools) and I was in LOVE with that boy.
  6. If I could have any job in the world it would be to sit at home and write for a parenting blog or to write books. I actually feel pretty lucky that I get paid to write now, even though it is something as dry as a federal proposal.
  7. I worked two jobs and completed my internship my senior year of college, and still managed to find time for fun!
  8. As a freshman in high school, I tried to break my arm on purpose in order to avoid going out with a boy. (How crazy is that??)
Ok, that's it. And I have thought of a few more that I can use on my list of 100, but we have a while for that one. I am only up to post 60 or something.

I tag: Esther, Amanda, and Mala.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Kyrgyz Memories

I was wrapping presents last night when I remembered a box of treasures we had hidden away in JJ's closet. They are gifts we brought back from Kyrgyzstan to give to our families and friends. I don't want to spoil the surprise, so I am not going to say what they are until after Christmas, but I am so glad we thought ahead to buy these gifts for JJ to give everyone. It will be so fun.

While I was going through the box of Kyrgyz goodies, I found this...

This was actually his "baby" hat from when we picked him up, but we just had to see if it still fit. Using minor force, it did. Jerret was determined to get that thing on. We also purchased some larger hats for JJ to wear in the future. I wish I had a cute coat to match. I would totally dress him in this gear and take him to the grocery store, mall, Target, etc. with me. He's too cute not to share with the world. (I'm not biased at all).


...the Buckeyes rule! That's why.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I'm Good!

Thank you to all who prayed for me during surgery on Tuesday. Things went well - probably as best as we could have hoped for. I am still very sore, but happy that the surgery is over and I am home, in one piece, able to play with my JJ. Now we are just waiting for good news from the biopsy and we can all breathe easier.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


I consider myself a fairly private person. Not private in the sense that I am shy - because I am not- and anyone who knows me knows how much I love to talk (especially about JJ), but private in the sense that I don't like to share my "problems." I try my best to be tough. I hate to admit defeat, and sometimes that means putting on a pretty face even when things are bad.

My doctor has told me on a few occasions that I have a "high pain tolerance," but I consider myself more high maintenance than anything and her assessment came only after my refusal to admit I was having any pain during my ectopic pregnancies. I thought that if I could fight through the pain that somehow I could stay pregnant and everything would be OK in the end...we all know it doesn't happen that way. I think twice about even posting about my infertility issues or failed pregnancies because it is further proof that I am being defeated. Being a Christian in has helped me to acknowledge this fault of mine. I know that God is the only perfect one and everyone else is just like me...faults, disappointment, and all.

I bring these things up because I have once again found myself in a predicament, and once again it is medical in nature. And I need help. So I am going to ask....I will be having surgery on Tuesday at noon and need all of your prayers for the very best possible outcome. I am very nervous and hate the thought of going "under the knife" (although I know Michelle will tell me there is nothing to worry about ;) . I just feel so vulnerable being on that table - totally out of it. The only other times I have had surgery were in emergency situations and I had no choice but to have the surgery right at that time. Since I have opened myself up, I will share with you some minor details (it's all I can allow myself - sorry)... The doctors have found something growing inside of me...we really don't know what until it can be biopsied. It is dangerously close to my reproductive organs and who knows, could be the root of why I haven't been able to get pregnant. It is pretty large. We need to pray that it is benign and that it can be removed without damage to any of my organs. So if you think of it, please add me to your list.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

'Tis The Season...for Shopping!

Holiday shopping didn't go as well as planned this year. Jerret recently mentioned that he wanted a Zune for Christmas. It's like an I-Pod, but only with a bigger screen and you can transfer music person-to-person much easier. Anyway - our local Meijer store was selling the 30-gb version for only $89 - a steal compared to the regular price of $199!

My family and I woke at 3:00 in order to arrive at 4:00 so that we might, just might have a chance at being in the right place when the store employees brought the sale merchandise out for the 6 a.m. rush when the prices were actually valid. I waited...and waited...and watched the crowd grow...and waited. I asked people around the store what "hot" items they were there to purchase. I only found one other person who said he was there for the Zune. 'Sweet!' I thought...I've got this one in the bag...I am totally getting one of these Zunes!

I paced around the back of the store, eagerly looking for my treasure. Store employees had already brought out most of the special-priced items and were standing guard until 6:00 a.m. to make it fair for everyone (?). This meant no one was allowed to even touch the products until the clock struck 6. As I was pacing around the Dora tents and circling the talking kitchen set, I heard a voice over the loudspeaker announce "If you are here to buy the Zune, please line up at the pharmacy." I was so far from the pharmacy. I knew I had to hurry. I pushed my cart and began running through the store. And I mean RUNNING. I almost crashed into two innocent bystanders - yelling out my apologies after I was far enough away that I couldn't hear them scoffing at my ridiculousness or the fact that I almost killed them. As I turned the corner to the main aisle, one of the boxes on the bottom of my cart went flying off and landed near the checkout lanes. I ran back, picked up my box, threw it back in the cart, and finished my trek to the pharmacy counter. By the time I arrived I was too late. I was about 10 people from the desk and heard another announcement over the loudspeaker: "If you are in line for the Zune, we are now sold out."

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. This was not happening. I waited two hours to find out where this thing was going to be sold and I needed it for my husband. Unfortunately, I never got my prize. It seems that Meijer only received 8 Zunes in the entire store. I am convinced that someone in the front of the line bought all 8 but I'll never know. All I know is that I didn't get my husband the gift he really wanted for Christmas :(

In good news...JJ is great. He went shopping with mommy for a good portion of the day. He also said "water" today. I so wish we could adopt another. I am praying for a girl!!