Long Time with No Posts…

I realized this morning, as I was washing my hair (seriously, some of my best laid plans are hatched while I’m washing my hair…there’s something so soothing about the hot water, the smell of the shampoo, the peaceful quiet of the morning where anything is possible…but I digress) that it had been quite some time since I had posted on my blog.  I had told myself at the beginning of the year, that I would try harder to not neglect my blog…that I’d post at least once a week, even if it was just a mindless dump of the random happenstances in life.  Sure enough…didn’t happen…obviously.  Which is why I’m now apologizing (somewhat verbosely) to all you readers for my slacking.

Let’s see…what’s been going on?  Not a whole lot, to be honest.  We’ve been keeping ourselves busy throughout the adoption wait, even though it feels like it’s been forever.  It’s been nearly 3 months since we went “live” with our agency, and nothing so far.  I thought I’d be ok with the wait once the home study was signed off on, because everything would be out of my hands.  Wow…was I wrong.  This wait is HARD.  Some days I don’t think about it a lot, other days it’s all that is on my mind.  But, overall, it’s moving along!

The house is coming together, somewhat slowly, but surely.  We’re working on the basement…the pool table room is finally painted (first time it’s been all one color in over 2 years), and we’re ordering the ceiling shortly.  Thankfully, not a TON needs done in that room after the ceiling…a few tiles need replaced, then do all the trim work, but that’s about it!  Then we can mount the TV, pull back in the exercise equipment, and call it a day!  Then, we can focus more on the nursery stuff, which has taken a backseat to other home remodels.

Otherwise, work is going well.  Same stuff, different day.  J and I have been trying to make more of an effort to exercise and get outside while the weather is nice, so that’s been really good.  We both bought kayaks, so we try to get out on the lake or the river at least once or twice a week…it’s something we can do together that we really enjoy, plus it’s super relaxing!  We don’t really have any major trips lined up, at least not this summer.  We’ll be doing a roadtrip in the fall to visit a friend in Connecticut, so that’ll be really fun!  All things to look forward to, which is nice.

And that’s about it!  Life has been moving on, steadily, this past month.  I haven’t been crocheting much (too hot outside and I haven’t really felt the impulse to create anything), so that’s been put on hold.  I’m sure once the weather cools off, I’ll start in again, probably another baby blanket for the adoption.  We keep hanging on and hanging out, and hopefully soon you’ll be seeing an update that we’ve been matched!

Much love,
K.

Whirlwind

journey

It’s been a month, but what a month it has been.  J and I have been planning out our cruise, and getting stuff done with work.  I’ve been traveling for work a bit, and right now I’m sitting at our offices in Wisconsin.  It’s been insanely busy, but not too stressful (which is good…normally busy = stressed in my life), and overall I’m just plugging along.

However, there have been some major changes going on!  After our failed IVF last year, we had intended on doing another cycle in February.  Then, we booked a cruise, that had us going to the Caribbean, and with the Zika virus outbreak and scare going on, we weren’t comfortable trying to get pregnant prior to going into a potential hot bed for the virus.  So, we decided to push off IVF until after we returned from the cruise, since my meds weren’t going to expire any time soon.

And that was all good and well.  I mean, it wasn’t ideal or anything, but we would have handled it.  But honestly, ever since our failed IVF, I haven’t really felt very confident in this next round working.  And, while my IVF cycle was VERY easy (I didn’t have a lot of problems with the meds or the procedure), I wasn’t really keen on putting my body through all that again for little to no payout.  J and I started talking about options, and he opened up that he wasn’t overly confident in the next IVF round working as well, so we decided to just not go forward with it.  With both of us feeling defeated before we even began, it didn’t make much sense to throw so much time and money at the issue, not to mention medical procedures that have a level of risk involved.

Which left us with a few different options.  We considered embryo adoption for a short while, but decided that we weren’t really interested in going down that path.  I am not really tied to the idea of being pregnant, only in being a mother, so at the end of the day I’d be fine skipping pregnancy altogether.  Once we discussed that, the decision was pretty clear…we were moving on to adoption!

And, with that…here we are.  We’ve started the home study process with our chosen adoption agency, and are in the midst of gathering mountains of paperwork.  Luckily, it’s all pretty easy to compile, except for our background checks from when we lived in the Netherlands.  That’s requiring a bit more finagling than I initially realized, but thankfully we have good friends who are Dutch and have been helping us out.  We’re very excited to be moving forward down this path, and can’t wait to bring home a baby!!  It feels right, which only adds to the excitement of it all.  Hopefully, the process will move smoothly and we’ll be growing our family shortly!

Much love,
K.

The Lone Star State

I haven’t really been talking much about work lately.  Last year, I moved out of a role in Program Management, and into a role in Sales and Marketing, as an Account Executive working with our Off-Highway customers.  While living in Europe, I worked as an Account Manager in On-Highway, so I was familiar with the work and was really excited to advance my customer interactions and commercial knowledge.

However, in mid-November, my company announced that we’d be doing workforce reductions (a.k.a. “layoffs”).  This was the third layoff that I’d experienced with this company, so I knew that things were going to be in flux for awhile.  I wasn’t too worried about my position (though, anything can happen), but I knew that my group would probably take a hit.

So…imagine my surprise (and actually, I was shocked as hell), when I got pulled into a meeting with my boss and the General Manager to be told that, due to the layoffs, I was being moved into a new position, BACK into Program Management.  So…here I am, 1 week before Christmas, and I’m being told that I’m leaving the role that I just moved into a few months prior, to go back to a role that I’d left.

I won’t lie…it took a day or so for me to wrap my mind around it and to get into a positive mindset.  I was worried that I’d be overloaded like I was in my previous role, and the customer that I was going to be working with was notorious for being highly demanding.  Frankly, I was terrified my life was going to suck.

I’m happy to say, after a full month, things are going fairly decently!  I’m currently in Texas at a face-to-face meeting with the customer, and I’m feeling fairly settled.  It’s a lot more firefighting than I did in Account work, but it’s exciting.  The program launches in 2017, so I will be on this team for a year or so…and after that, I’m not quite sure.

That’s a little bit about what’s going on in my life currently!  I’m super excited because, on Friday, I get to spend the weekend with my BFF, L!  We’re going to drive to Waco and go to Magnolia Market (from the HGTV show “Fixer Upper”) and I can’t wait!  Plus, I will say, Texas has some AMAZING food!  Plenty to enjoy in this great state, for sure

Much love,
K.

Easter Vigil, One Year Later

While I don’t talk much about my faith journey on my blog, I was reminiscing the other day about how it has been a year since my baptism and conversion to Catholicism.  The year has been full of learning and growth, and I’m forever thankful for the change that has come to my life since joining my Parish.  The people there are amazing: loving and kind, supportive and helpful, and full of a heaping dose of reality if you get to be too big for your pants.  I adore them all, and love to help out wherever I can.

Which brings me to this post.  A few weeks back, right before we left for Alaska (which is a blog post all unto itself), the Adult Faith Formation leader, Kathy, shot out an email to the RCIA class from last year.  Apparently, each year, the RCIA class from the year prior helps stock the food for the following class’s Easter Vigil.  Always up for an excuse to cook, I quickly volunteered to help set up for the vigil, as well as provide a few dozen deviled eggs for the party.

Now, there’s a story to deviled eggs.  Growing up, it was the ONLY dish I was allowed to help with on the major holidays.  My mother ran her kitchen like a General runs his military unit.  Everything had a place and a place for everything, and God help you if it wandered under your watch.  Needless to say, deviled eggs became my speciality, and I was pleased to be able to share the with everyone this Easter!  However, I needed something with a bit more “oomph” than just regular old deviled eggs.  So, after a little bit of thought, a quick bit of research, and a short trip to the store, I had everything I needed.

DYED DEVILED EGGS.  That’s right…why serve any boring old, white deviled eggs?  This is the 21st century, folks…the land of Pinterest!  Why be inspired when you can be PINspired?!  (Lame, I know…feel free to express your groans)  I quickly set to work, hard boiling my eggs and peeling them to get started.  As a fair note, I have tried every trick under the sun to get my eggs to peel easily.  So far, hasn’t happened.  I’ve damn near given up and just accepted the fact that my eggs look like they escaped from a leper colony (no offense to any lepers reading).  But, nothing a little dye wouldn’t fix, right?

picstitch 2I peeled and cut up my eggs, disposing the yolk in a bowl, and set to dying.  I wanted the colors to be super vibrant, so I bought two dye packs and used 2 tablets per one dye cup, just so the colors would be ultra saturated.  I also used vinegar, though not as much as the packet said, because I didn’t want my deviled eggs to taste pickled.  Because that’s just gross, I don’t care who you are.

The eggs dyed up really well, and I let them dry over night in the fridge.  This morning, I whipped up the filling, and grabbed my icing piping bags to fill them.  I thought that I had some icing tips around here somewhere, but apparently they’ve disappeared (or I never bought them, either is entirely possible), but none the less I made do.  I left out the pickle relish in the filling, as I’ve recently been told that some people don’t like pickle in their deviled eggs (THE TRAVESTY!), and instead opted to cut a sliver of pickle and stuff it in the middle of the filling as a garnish on half the eggs.  Problem solved!

Here are my Easter Dyed Deviled Eggs!  Hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them…it was a ton of fun!

Much love,
K.

Week Five: Crochet Challenge

FullSizeRenderThis post is coming slightly later than I had anticipated.  Unfortunately, I had worked ahead in week 4, and then life exploded (primarily work related) in week 5, so I finished up the week 5 challenge a few days late.  No worries, though, because week 6 will be on time!  Plus…I’m still ahead of the game, and I’m loving how this blanket is turning out!  As always, I’m open to suggestions!

Much love,
K.

Future Career as a Snow Bunny? Perhaps…

10959677_10104673927523708_2692771553725504519_nAfter weeks of needling, harassing, asking, pleading, and sometimes even downright begging (some people have no shame, I tell you), J finally convinced me to go skiing with him.  To be fair, this wasn’t my first trip down the slopes.  Oh no, I’ve tried skiing before, and I say “tried” with as much love as I can muster.  I have been skiing on three separate occasions (other than today) and each of them ended in less than stellar conditions.

Ski Trip #1:  I was in high school, and went on a ski trip with other students in the Science Club.  Don’t ask me what skiing has to do with science, because I’m pretty sure it had more to do with anatomy this trip.  I ended up falling off the ski lift chair while trying to get on it (only to be smacked in the back of the head with it…adding insult to injury, to be sure) and then another friend/classmate ended up breaking his collarbone during a ski run.  It ended with a trip to the local ER to get him sorted, and we all learned a valuable lesson that day…that Mrs. C could drive like a bat out of hell when required.  Seriously…don’t cross that woman.

Ski Trip #2:  After the disastrous ski trip #1, I waited a few years before being cajoled into going again.  This time, I was in college, and a group of people in my dorm decided that they wanted to go skiing for the weekend.  Sure!  I mean…I’m in college, I can do anything, right?  HA!  This time was even worse than the first.  We arrived at the slopes in the evening, after dropping our luggage at the cabin we rented for the weekend.  I was clearly the novice skier in the group, so I wanted to stick to the bunny slopes.  Somehow, I wound up on a much more difficult run (unbeknownst to me at the time), and in an effort to stop myself from careening off the mountain (seriously, this was like an Olympic run here, folks…and I was the epitome of “in over my head!”) I threw myself on the ground and prayed for saving.  Which, eventually happened, in the form of a snowmobile, after I was incapable of getting up due to a concussion.  Yep, it was a “Yardsale” (a word I learned today, which pretty much means “lose your shit”), and I was definitely in the dollar bin.  I was out the rest of the weekend, which was fine by me, because I spent the rest of it worshipping the porcelain God with concussion induced vomit.  I rapidly learned that the snow was a harsh Mistress, and we’re not talking about “50 Shades of Grey” love here.

Ski Trip #3:  Fast forward a few years.  Ok, SEVERAL years.  I’m now married, living in Europe, and J gets this awesome idea of how FABULOUS it’ll be to go skiing in the Swiss Alps!  Am “opportunity of a lifetime” he says.  “It’ll be amazing!” he says.  Lies…all lies.  But, this time, I’m going to do it right.  I was going to get lessons, stick diligently to the bunny slopes, and watch my ass for every other skier out there.  Talk about a lesson in humility.  Two-year-olds were skiing faster (and better) than I, and the lessons were less than helpful.  I managed to, not only once, but TWICE, run into the ONLY tree on the bunny slopes, and was laughed out by every Swiss/German/Spanish/French/Portuguese/America/insert nationality here on the slopes.  Humiliating, I tell you.  That was it, I was finished, as far as I was concerned skiing could go the way of the dinosaurs.

Until today.  J talked me into it, and I have to say, it was a COMPLETELY different experience!  I didn’t fall once, no one was injured (ok, that’s not true, after lunch I did notice that a girl was being prepped for an ambulance ride with a broken leg), and I managed to ski all of the blue runs at the slopes!  I mean, I’m not ready for the Olympics or anything, but at least I walked away from it!  After all my previous experiences, I had expected to absolutely hate it, but wound up having a fantastic time!  I told J that I would definitely be willing to go again, so who knows where this will lead!  I will say, I’m just really glad I’m no longer terrified of skiing!  Who knows, maybe I’ll turn into a Snow Bunny yet!

Much love,
K

Week Three: Crochet Challenge

Week Three CrochetIt’s hard to believe that the third week of January has come and gone!  Before we know it, we’ll be into February, and that’s already a short month, so soon it will be March.  I remember, as a child, thinking that time moved so slowly, and I couldn’t wait to grow up.  As I’ve grown older, I find myself wishing that I was a child again!  I guess the lesson in all of that (sorry for the tangent!) is to take each day as it comes and live in the moment.

Ok, enough of that…now for why you’re really here!  I’ve finished up six squares so far, and the blanket (first row) is now three feet long.  It will end up being nine squares across, and thirteen squares long, so I’m nearly finished with the first row!  I’m definitely liking the connect-as-you-go strategy to granny squares, and since each square is only one color, there’s only two ends to weave in for each square!  This is turning out to be my easiest project yet!

I want to add a few more colors to the blanket, but I’d like some suggestions.  What am I missing…any thoughts??  I’d love to hear your opinions, so please let me know!

Much love,
K.