Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Perfect Day...

October 28th, 2009... It may go down as the perfect day. Julie, my caseworker, called me at 8:48am to share the news that I was so anxious for -- that Maeve and I belong to each other, officially. What a sweet start to the day... I jumped on the phone, emailed, blogged, FB'd and spread the news. Then, I had to jump in the car to meet the guys to start our road trip north to Vancouver for the U2 in concert. Super duper fun and a ton of laughs. I rolled up with Chris, Ed, Jeff, and Jeff.

Ann and I were the lucky recipients of my friend's good charity -- we had special access passes, which situated us in the inner circle. It was Auh-some!... by the end of the night we were just 4-5 heads back from center stage. We were in a little disbelief at our good fortune. The concert was amazing. The stage was unbelievable. and the catwalks kept stoppping right in front of us... so Bono and the Edge were walking above us. Ahhhh....

When U2 was singing, "Its a Beautiful Day" I just kept thinking, it really is. I was giddy all day thinking about Maeve...

So, check out the photos and the videos.... Epic.


No amateurs here... We had snacks, drinks, the U2 concert playlist burned onto a couple of CD's... we ordered pizza to the car before the concert.



Ann and I staking a claim on our spots pre-concert



The Black Eyed Peas opened, which was super fun too.


And... a little eye candy from here on out


"I'll go Crazy if I don't go Crazy Tonight" Remix




Can you even believe how close we were??





Check out snippets of a few songs...



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I PASSED!!!!

We are officially a family!!!!


Tentative travel -- end of November....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

One Thing is for Certain....

I still may not get a phone call from my caseworker tomorrow, but I will be living it up when Bono sings directly to me tomorrow night. I have a very unhealthy love for Bono... but, I'm sure he loves me back. Pretty sure anyway.

My new BFF's, Kim and Randy, have arranged special access passes for me and my friend, Ann, to enjoy the U2 concert... Suh-weet!

So, tomorrow morning, we'll head north to Vancouver and partake in the most anticipated concert of the year, for me... Let's hope good news accompanies the day as well.

I've got to go get on my boots now... my sexy boots, that is.

Not Today...

My caseworker still hasn't recieved word yet on the court outcome... so, no news is expected now today.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Spoiled Once Again...

I have to say... I have a new perspective of baby showers now that I've been the spoiled recipient of two. And, kudos to my friends on both of them -- no games. Thank goodness. I'm just not a shower-game kinda girl. I wandered up to Bellingham on Saturday and had a fantastic weekend. I had such a great time catching up with my friends and family, and received some amazing and unique gifts. I am always floored at the creative talents of my friends -- check out Maeve's personalized, homemade quilt Jaemi made for her.


And, I cannot wait for Misha to take photos of Maeve and I as her gift to us... she is an amazing photographer. Lucky us. I don't know how to thank everyone enough for all the generous and thoughtful gifts. And, a huge thank you to Ann and CJ for hosting this celebration for me.


Some shots from the shower. It was a good mix of friends and family. Sadly, my mom couldn't make it because she was out of town, but she was there in spirit.... and Maeve got another giraffe from her :-)




Crazy generous. Maeve is going to be the best dressed lil' girl ever. Is it wrong to be jealous of her wardrobe?


One of the most awesome parts of the shower was getting a surprise guest -- Stacy, my sister-in-law! The surprise totally worked. Had no idea. She flew in from Winnipeg for the weekend so that she could come to my shower. How sweet was that. Her sister and mom bought her a plane ticket for her birthday... awesome deal for me.

We celebrated Mike and Lance's birthday on Saturday night, so the party just carried on with everyone plus a team of kids. Fun times. On Sunday, instead of pointing my car south for Seattle, I headed north towards Ladner to have a visit with Stacy and her family for the day. Stacy is going to be joining me on my trip to pick up Maeve in Ethiopia. It was so fun to talk about it in person and let her know of my expectations of photography and videography of "the moment"... apparently I may have wanted to rethink who was going to be my A/V person!

Nothing Yet...

I have been patient through this whole process, so I felt that entitled me to a bit more freedom to pick up the phone and call Julie, my caseworker, this morning shortly after AGCI opened. I just needed to know if they received an email with the court outcome... nope. Sadly, I must wait... Maybe tomorrow morning?! I sure hope so, because this lack of sleep thing is getting old. Everyone tells me to take advantage of uninterrupted sleep now... but, I can't while I anxiously await!

This weekend was super fun. I'll post about it in a bit... but fun shower weekend with quality friends in Bellingham with an awesome surprise!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Only 4 More Sleeps...

Until court. This is it. This is the moment I've been waiting on for over a year now. Its the most bizarre mix of emotions. I feel excited, anxious, and nervous all at the same time. It has been helpful that I had such a full and fun past weekend followed up by a very busy week at work. I am also thankful that I am about to embark on an equally fun weekend up in the 'ham with a different group of amazing friends... But, there is no denying that all I can think about is Maeve.

I had a conversation today with a friend at work about me embarking on motherhood and I made a realization -- I no longer freak out about being a mother. I used to live in this world of excitement and contentment about my decision to become a mom about 95% of the time. About 5% of the time I used to freak out about my decision! I decided, this emotion was probably normal and probably experienced by pregnant women too. But, ever since I got a glimpse of my little girl's face, that freak out emotion has left me. I haven't freaked out in over two and a half months. But not to appear ignorant -- I'm sure those emotions will make a reappearance when I'm trying to reason with an unreasonable toddler... In the meantime, I'll relish in a perfect score of excitement and contentment.

Four more sleeps people... only four more sleeps.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pssst.....

Have you met my friend?

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Shower for Maeve



My first shower ever. And, I have to say, I'm a fan. Ha. Seriously, the generosity and love exploding towards Maeve and I is overwhelming. I use that word a lot, but I can't quite find a better one. I am awestruck by it.

Amy, Amber, Melanie, Leann, and Chelsea -- Thank you for the perfect evening. It was so tailored to my style, and for that I'm truly touched. I hope you know how much I love and appreciate you.

Here I am getting "Rockabye Baby" from U2... Who knew... But guess what Maeve's favorite lullaby CD will be, like it or not?!


Chelsea leaving for the airport... We miss you SO much and were thrilled to play with you all weekend. Thank you for flying up to help throw my baby shower... you are such a great friend.

These amazing friends rented out the loft at Tutta Bella's and hosted all my other great friends for an evening of conversation, dinner, and Maeve gawking. Thank you to all of my friends -- those that could make it and those that couldn't. I am so grateful for all the gifts I received and the donations to Hannah's Hope. Unfortunately I didn't get a great photo of all the peeps and venue, as I was busy chatting... but, know, it was just perfect.

That being said, I try and document by photos. I want Maeve to know how loved she is and see the generosity of her new friends when she's a little older.... Check out how spoiled Maeve and I were tonight.



Her own personalized big tote bag..


A perfect mix of gifts that I "need" for Maeve. Again, I am SO spoiled.


Maeve's new floor pillow!

"Shauna Weekend"

How can I even begin to tell you how great my friends are?? Words alone are not substantial enough... Today was my baby shower for Maeve. It was awesome, amazing, and perfect. But, that is the next post. This post is the prefunk to the shower.

My friends dubbed it "Shauna Weekend." First off, Chelsea flew into town on Friday so that she could help throw me my shower, and therefore we decided to celebrate all weekend -- we just needed an excuse! Ha. I celebrated in the fact that my friends are absolutely amazing and I'm so thrilled that my "village" is of such high quality. I cannot wait for Maeve to know and love these amazing women.

It was such a good time. Both Saturday and Sunday nights were, let's just say, super fun. We resorted to our teen years, perhaps, and had slumber parties both nights. We stayed in, we went out, we relaxed, we played, we laughed, we danced... I have to say, there is a little bit more freedom in how you celebrate when you're not biologically pregnant. Enough said.

I am so grateful for the love and kindness within our group. I love that we have meaningful conversations, and then sometimes, not so much. :-) There is plenty of laughter -- together and then at one another. I could not be a luckier person. (Except for when I'm being laughed at...) My network of friends is awesome and Maeve is going to benefit from the trickle down effect tenfold. Amber, Amy, Chelsea, Jen, Katie, Leann, and Mel -- thanks for loving me and my baby girl. (Notice how I put the names alphabetically to avoid bickering... we have some sibling rivalry tendencies at time... some of us more than others)




One Week...

Exactly one week from today an Ethiopian Judge will make a decision of "my" lifetime -- Will Maeve legally become my daughter? "My daughter"... its starting to feel more and more natural to form those words in my mouth. But, its almost like I want to walk around on tip toes and not breathe too loudly. I don't want to rock such an important boat. Everything that I have done this year has been geared towards bringing that little girl home to me. She is beyond wanted...

Because there have been lots of questions regarding the court process, this is a clarification of what goes down. The Judge will review the mountain of paperwork and homestudy that I've submitted, and Maeve's documentation determining her eligibility to be adopted, plus her birth mom has to come and sign documentation finalizing her relinquishment. If, for some reason, I don't pass, it just means another court date needs to be set and whatever wasn't quite right needs to be amended -- I still have Maeve, just not legally yet. But, that's not going to happen.... right?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Court Date!!!

October 26th!!! Whaooo Hoooo!!! Only a week and a half away. Crazy and super exciting.

I spoke with Julie, my caseworker, today and she was telling me that they like to prepare families to potentially not pass court the first time through... and I said, "How am I supposed to do that?" I told her that I heard what she was saying but didn't understand it. Ha.

So, when I pass court, travel to Ethiopia should take place 3-4 weeks after that.... Happy days.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ethiopian Courts are Open...

I cannot tell you how happy I am to know that the above statement is now officially a fact, and no longer just my hope. My heart skipped a beat today when I found out a family from my adoption agency actually passed court today -- its totally real. I have butterflies in my stomach and waves of anxiousness now... I just want to know when Maeve and I will officially become a family. I'm not a mess yet, but I'm tired of being patient. Its now been over two months since I saw her sweet little face, learned of who she was, and fell in love.... I'm sure she's just fine, and its me that has to hang in there...

Do you like my pity party? Whatev. I'm allowed every now and then.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

8th Annual Canadian Thanksgiving...

Yesterday, Amy and I hosted our 8th Annual Canadian Thanksgiving dinner for some work peeps and their families. We love it... and it is a well-oiled machine by now. We all know our roles -- Amy is in charge of pies. I am in charge of the turkey. Everyone else brings their special side dishes, and Brent and Chris are the official turkey carvers.

Everyone loves coming to Canadian Thanksgiving, because who doesn't like to partake in a full-on turkey feast? It really is the first test to holiday eating... you ask yourself questions like, "Am I ready for American Thanksgiving and Christmas?" and "Have I trained my stomach for such gluttony?" Apparently not enough...

I spent the whole day eating in preparation. Bad idea. By the time dinner rolled around I was full -- but, no way was I going to back away from this amazing spread. I was determined. I made it through the main course but then it was dessert -- the whole reason we have Canadian Thanksgiving to begin with -- pumpkin pie. I LOVE pumpkin pie. It hurt so badly every bite that I took... but, I pushed through the pain. I payed for those decisions. Hours later I was trying to determine if I had food poisoning or had just over-eaten. Umm yeah... I had just over-eaten. I was trying to decide if I was allowed to call in sick due to my own self-indulgence... what would that phone call sound like exactly?

I survived and worked today you'll be happy to know.... and am currently shoving some more pie in my mouth as I type this post... I am not a very quick learner.


The 20 pounder heading into the oven



Avery making sure the bar was adequately supplied for Dinner.. she's such a lush



Our official carvers -- Chris and Brent


The spread starting to take shape


The crew



And, the amazing pies that ultimately did me in...


PS -- no court date assigned to me yet... but, it would appear that Ethiopian courts did, in fact, open on Monday, I think. Yay, I hope!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Weekend Away...

This weekend was one of those that you are totally thrilled to be alive... it could not have been more gorgeous, really, it could not. The sun was shining, the mountains were out, and the air was crisp. I headed north to visit some friends, and they both are currently living on the waters of Boundary Bay.. sweet. So, Tilly and I hung out, caught up, drank coffee, and were entertained and simultaneously concerned for the lives of the kite surfers playing in the waters in front of us. The highlight, clearly, was meeting the newest member of Tilly and Gavin's family -- Sarah, who is only one week old. And of course, Charlotte and Kate are proud older sisters.





Then I was off to hang with Ann, Mike, Kaya, and Zane. We headed to Ann's parents for dinner and another catch up. Ann's parents -- Phil and Cecelia are second parents to me -- in fact, my Godparents. Ann's mom is currently going through treatment to fight a brain tumor and I am so impressed at her determination and how far she has come in her physical therapy. The acts of love within their family are so inspiring to me. I am sad that I haven't been up to visit more often.



And, this morning, I was greeted with this sunrise. Gorgeous.



The distraction was good. I was starting to feel antsy. I am settled again... friends are good for that.

Now I'm all geared for co-hosting our 8th Annual Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner Party tomorrow night with Amy and Brent. The turkey will be great.. but, more importantly, there will be pumpkin pie. :-)

And, maybe this week I'll hear about a court date.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Night Fever...

I think my girl may have some moves...

Friday, October 9, 2009

No Court Date...

Well... the first week of October has wrapped itself up, at least in the business world, and still no word on a court date. The most common question I'm getting these days, of course is, "When are you traveling to Ethiopia?' Its a good question. I just wish I knew the answer...

Courts are supposed to be reopening... but its like a secret society over there -- no one really knows when they're reopening and no one's telling until it happens. Maybe it happened today; maybe next week? There were actually court dates scheduled for this past week that were rescheduled, at the last minute, to the third week of October. My hope for obtaining a court date in October is starting to slip away from me if they are rescheduling families that already had a court appointment in their hot little hand... I feel so badly for those families though. This wait is definitely the hardest... now that we all know who we've been waiting and loving on this whole time... and to have the court date snatched away and moved 2-3 weeks. Ughh...

I find that I am coping by doing retail therapy. Seriously, Maeve doesn't really need anymore clothes because so many of my friends have had babies before me, and therefore I reap those benefits... but, I long for Maeve so badly, that all I can do is shop for her. But, really.... Its gotta stop.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Yay. We Did it!

Whaooo hoooo.... How fun. I mean, there were moments that weren't so fun... but, overall, totally fun! Walking down slopes or going downstairs, is more difficult right now than the average day, but its getting better!

The half marathon course was beyond gorgeous and we couldn't have asked for a better day -- it was totally clear, sunny, and the perfect temperature. Leavenworth is nestled in the Cascade Mountains with rivers and streams all around. The course was diverse and followed a lot of country roads -- at one point it took us on a trail run along the Wenatchee River's edge and people were out fly fishing -- it was just so peaceful and scenic... it just made me happy despite the pain I was experiencing! ha.

Before and After Shots.


Katie, Amy, and Amber were all rockstars coming in at 1:48, 1:55, and 1:56. I rolled in at 2:14... and I was perfectly fine with that. My goal was to complete it and not stop. Check and Check.



Beers and Brats. Celebrating being done. Yay.



Ummm... seriously? So cute. Little babies and their hats... Awesome.



Amy and Brent conveniently have a cabin in Leavenworth. These photos are the night before the big event.


Evidently, Amy goes "ganghsta" when she's at the cabin... and Amber's pretty tough too.



Katie helping with the cooking so we could "carb load"



And, here are our family photo shots... less Avery and Bennett who had to go to bed earlier.


So, the Leavenworth half marathon is going to be an annual event we decided...