Monday, July 29, 2013


The weekend was good... I got my computer back and spent pretty much every waking hour working on all the wedding pics that needed caught up on editing - Im about halfway done now, and if I keep working every free minute this week, then hopefully I will be done by this weekend and that will be one less thing for me to worry about.... but man, it was so good to have my normal computer back!

Wallace had a dr appointment for his kidneys today and everything looked good... nothing has gotten worse, so thats great news!

I cant believe Daniel and the kids go back to school next week... I cant believe August starts this week.... its all so crazy!

I am mailing in our VISA application today - they will take our passports and put a China stamp in them and send them back and they will be ready to go when we are.

Also, I probably wont be blogging while we are in China - they have a strict internet policy over there, and it just seems easier not to worry about it since we will be so stressed anyway... but I will be blogging when we get back home!

In other news.... Im a blog-aholic... I love blogs and follow over 200, so the death of google reader just about killed me.... for real.... so I found another feed reader and migrated all my links over (which took forever) and was all happy - well, today, my new reader has announced that its calling it quits.... and I cannot find anothe reader that I like (dont say feedly, its blocked here at work) - so Im open to any and all suggestions... I dont know what Im going to do - blogs are the way I stay up with people b/c facebook is the devil for me.... ugh

well, hope everyone is having a good Monday... :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

NVC notice

Yesterday was a pretty good day, all in all... :)

We got a letter saying that our NVC letter was being forwarded to China... and I got my laptop back... and Emma did amazing in cheer practice... and my mom bought new backpacks and shoes for the kids.

Good day.... and I sure needed one...

And now that I have my laptop back, I am looking forward to editing all weekend - I knew its work, but I still love it and not being able to do it for a whole week has left me wondering what to do with myself.... but I know the break was good for my soul too

Daniel and I have recently found Downton Abbey at the library so we have been watching that and I have to admit, its way better than I thought it was going to be.... but if you are watching it, dont spoil anything... we just stared season 2.

So glad its Friday.... happy weekend!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


There is nothing like getting a few hours work into a wedding to have your computer crash on you... and then crash again and again.


The last few days have been super stressful with my computer crashing... I have all my programs and work on there, so it has been crazy.  I know everyone thinks being a photographer is all fun and no work and no overhead costs - you just get a nice enough camera, start shooting, and burn a cd - but thats mostly just a pipe dream.  Being a real photographer costs way more money than you could ever make from it.

And its one thing to have a computer crash on your own personal photos... its another thing entirely to have them crash on someone's wedding photos.

Ive been so stressed out for the last 2 days, its made me physically ill.

So Daniel is taking it into a shop today - hoping its only there a day or two and doesnt cost an arm and a leg.

Its funny though b/c I was actually thinking of quitting this whole business - its become too much, and like I said, its expensive to keep up.... but I had the wedding from this past weekend and then a wedding in August and I was going to be done for awhile so I could concentrate on Willow and our family..... and it happens now - right before I wanted to be done, at the worst possible time.




In other news..... I learned that family from my other side also see Wallace as less

Remember, my VBS post a few posts back.... my aunt put a pic of her grandson/my cousin on facebook, and I mentioned that I wished our kids could go, but that they didnt have a place for Wallace.... her daughter/my cousin then commented that we should just bring Gabe and Emma

I just wish our family loved Wallace for real, instead of just being nice about it.

(yes, I know Im touchy)


In other news.... :)     Daniel and the kids start back to school in 2 weeks... this summer has flown by... I cant believe the school year is about to start.... crazy!

Well, I hope yall had a much more relaxing weekend than I did.... and lets hope my computer is just a minor fix and can be back in my hands soon!!!!

Friday, July 19, 2013


Im so glad its Friday.... :)

Our information is going to China today and should be there on Monday - Im super excited b/c we are getting closer every day.... our NVC letter will hopefully be here soon and that will be another step down.

I really do see us traveling in September, which excites me to no end.... no end!

Anyway... :)

Yesterday, Emma had an afternoon cheer camp with her team in another town an hour away, so we all loaded up and went, dropped her off at the gym and then mama (thats me) got to go to the big thrift store.... where I found quite a few awesome deals and maybe a Christmas/birthday present or two.... and nothing was over $5... yes!

And as a treat, after we picked up Emma, we stopped by Mcdonalds - where kids meals were only $1.99 on Thursdays.... awesome..... so we got some minions.

And someone had left another different one on a neighboring table, so we snagged that one too.... and then the kids found a different one on the playground enclosure floor - so I snagged an umbrella that was laying against the wall and finagled around and finally got that one... then another kid on the playground alerted us to a different one on the other side (actually 3 of the same ones), so I tried with the umbrella but dropped it in the enclosure, so I borrowed a broom and got the umbrella and all 3 toys (we gave one to the boy who told us about them).... so yes, we came in and got one, but left with 4 different ones.... so now Im on the hunt to get the other 4.

Because, yall, I am crazy.... :)

And its like our favorite movie ever.... :)

And I hope my kids forever have the memory of their grown mother (with bright red hair), laying on the Mcdonalds floor with a broom trying to fish out cheap happy meal toys.

Seriously... I did that.

My mom would probably be so embarrased... :)

So I hope yall have a happy Friday and a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Got everything together and fed-exed our DS230 packet back to our agency yesterday... just got word that it was delivered this morning!

Im so excited at how things are speeding along now....

ok, so whats left
- Article 5
- travel dates given
- consulate date given

Thats all thats left.... woo hoo!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Good Weekend

This past weekend was good.... so good.

I discovered at 9 AM on Friday morning that it was Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-a, so we scrambled to get stuff together and we all dressed up as cows - yes, Daniel and I too - and went to eat at a busy lunchtime at a popular restaurant at lunchtime..... and we all got free food... :)

So we decided why not get a free dinner too... so we drove to a neighboring town and dressed up there and got a free dinner... yay.... while we were there, we visited the flea market and got some exercise walking around.

Saturday, they were having a kids film festival at the local movie theater and someone gave us tickets, so my sister and I took the kids and got to see Escape from Planet Earth and Rise of the Guardians.... I enjoyed both and it was definitely a treat for all of us. 

And in the mail that day - we got our I800 approval.... I really thought it was going to take a bit longer, but it came, so we were excited!  Daniel had also gone to the library earlier that week and rented (for free!) the first season of Downton Abby, so him and I watched a bit of that on Saturday night.

Sunday morning, I had an amazing, amazing shoot - so fun.... then we came home, I got a nap, we did some grocery shopping and then headed out to my grandparents - where they fed us... :)

So yes, an awesome weekend to be sure... :)

I am gathering everything up today and mail out some more of our documents and money to our agency - it will be fed-exed overnight, so another step out of the way.... I still see us traveling in September and that makes me so excited - I cant believe its almost August!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, July 12, 2013


So Im about to become one of those mamas for a minute... one of those who has a kid with special needs who is offended... maybe im just overly sensitive, I dont know.... but this is where Im at today, so if you dont feel like reading, then dont worry about todays post... :)

So we heard a local church was doing VBS soon... they are a big church with a good reputation for being involved in the community, plus this VBS had a morning session and an afternoon session, so we thought it would be fun for the kids.... so Daniel called them to see if they had a class for Wallace as well as Gabe and Emma.  The person in charge wasnt there so they told him they would call back.

Well, when they called back, I was the one to answer the phone because Daniel wasnt there, so the lady talked to me.

She told me that since Wallace has down syndrome and they didnt know how he would behave, he could come on the first day and then they could decide if he would be allowed to come back the rest of the week... they could just take it day by day.  And also, they didnt have anyone who could spend one on one time with him during the afternoon or remind him to go to the bathroom, so he couldnt come in the afternoons at all.

Ok, I get that I am probably oversensitive, but really?  Just because he has down syndrome, you dont think you could handle that - they didnt even ask about his personality or what he can do - they just stuck a down syndrome label on him and automatically deemed him to hard to handle.  But what really got to me was the afternoon issue - Wallace does not need a one on one aid to stand beside him constantly, and he is potty trained mostly, he just needs reminders (about every 2 hours, not every 5 minutes) to go - Im sorry, but they arent going to have kindergarteners at their VBS - same thing.

I just think its weird that a church that big who has their reputation for being out in the community cant handle one kid.... last time I checked, if you have "church" in your name, it means you are supposed to be reaching out to the ones that need love/support the most... but then again, "church" is not a good word in my mind anymore - due in part, to incidences like this.

I dont know... it just seems weird that a church this size doesnt have any youth volunteers that could be a one on one aid for Wallace since that is what the church thinks he needs.

Like I said, Im probably being oversensitive, but if you have ever met Wallace, then you know we arent asking that much from the church.... he is super capable, he can physically do everything that Gabe and Emma can, he can sit still and listen for longer periods of time, he is mostly potty trained, he eats nicely, he isnt overly aggressive.... he can get a bit testy, but its nothing that a normal 5 year old wouldnt do.... I just dont see the big issue, but then again, Im his mom, so....

I just cant believe that a church this big doesnt have any people with special needs going there.... oh wait, yes, I can...

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Is it really Tuesday already... I feel like I havent blogged in forever... :)

Last week was pretty fun with the 4th thrown in there... we went and saw Despicable Me 2, which is the one movie weve been waiting and planning all year to go see since we love the first one so much and have probably seen it at least 100 times.... so that was fun, even if it was raining when we got out of the theater.  Later that evening, friends came over, Daniel grilled burgers and we got to watch a free fireworks show from our driveway.... yes!

The weekend was pretty awesome too.... Friday night for another treat, we hit the RedBox and rented Oz, which the kids enjoyed.... good movie but for me, it lacks the magic of the original.... and personally, I love the hard to find Return to Oz as well....

Saturday, we hit the Farmers Market, where Gabe won second place in the watermelon seed spitting contest - that was fun.... then b/c I was having withdrawals, we hit the thrift store - and I found a full tuxedo - with a tails jacket - for $17.... unreal!!!!  I was super excited.... and since we needed groceries, we drove to the big town a little bit away for a change of pace and loaded up on some essentials, and while we were there, we visted their Dirt Cheap and got a covered clothing rack for less than $6 - original price of about $60.... yes!  Super score on that one... :)

Sunday, we just kind of hung around the house.... nice... :)

So we have been busy having a good time, although probably not what the average person's idea of fun is.... but we were together as a family and just enjoyed each other...

I have also been majorly nesting lately... I cant believe we will probably travel in about 2 months... Im super excited.

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Book Review

So I read Marla Taviano's blog, she loves cambodia, missions, has 3 adorable girls, her husband is a photographer and she is a writer... and she introduced me to the writings of Rachel Held Evans, so yeah, sounds good, and no wonder I read her blog..... well, a while ago, she made an offer - if you will give an honest review of her book "Is That All He Thinks About?", then she would give you a copy for free..... which in all honesty, sounded like a good deal - Im all about some free books yall - and seriously, its a Christian book so it couldnt go that deep into the sex thing, so I wouldnt be too embarrassed to write a review for yall....

Well, I was kind wrong... it does go into the sex thing (in a married sense), but since this is a family friendly blog, Im not going to get into the nitty gritty of it... :) 

And since Im being totally honest here.... the book did not start out on a good note for me.  I felt it toe-ing the line dangerously close to "the submissive wife" role - and you guys know I dont play that game.... and she quoted from The Message - ugh, Ill admit Im a complete Bible snob and the message, well, I honestly want to throw it across the room.... :), hey just being honest here, thats why you love me, right?

Anyway... it did do a good job of showing how much sex is a need for a man, not just a want like it is for most women, and how easy it is to get lazy with things that arent a need for us....

As a bonus, my husband picked it up and read it and he also said he would give his thoughts about the book as well, so now Ill have to get on to him to do that... :)   But he did make a really good point that this book would be even better if it had a companion book speaking to men about what women want and need....

Overall, I think this book would be a good fit for someone who has been married for about 4-7 years - past that newlywed stage, but still feeling each other out and learning how to work on a marriage together.... :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Well, not too much going on in our lives right now... just more waiting.... we sent off our I800 last week, and that usually takes about 2 weeks or so.

Daniel and the kids are enjoying the summer and have found a good groove, I think... they are getting used to the slower pace.

Oh, I did go and have a blue streak put in Emma's hair - Ill have to post a pic for yall to see... it looks so good and she loves it.... of course it will come out when school starts, but I figure its summer and theres no harm in that.

Blah.... we are boring.... but boring is good right now.... :)