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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year...

2011 has been such a challenging year for me.  It brought me much love, happiness and grew my heart strings to include two sweet baby boys... along for the ride also came so much heartache, sadness and many many tears.  The loss of little J has forever changed me in so many ways...and on the flip side of that token, baby N is growing bigger and stronger and is such a beautiful little boy which brings me in-measurable joy.  

2011 brought a visit from my mom along with her new significant other and my nephew.  How wonderful it is to see my mom smiling and being truly happy.  I love seeing like that!

2011 moved us from Oregon back to Illinois and this has not been without its challenges.  The children had a tough transition in school but they are getting over the hurdle and are settling in.  We are close to family and friends again and we all love being able to spend time with them again.  That being said, we all miss the beach and friends back in Oregon very much.  I miss hearing the lull of the ocean as I let out the dogs in the morning .... and I totally miss my hardwood floors where dirty paw prints can be erased in no time at all! 

2011 brought lots of growth in my three children ... they are getting so big and each day I marvel at how magnificent and a privilege it is to be a parent....ok ok I can't lie there were the occasional daily moment where I wanted to pull my hair out as the pre-teen / teenage stage is creeping up on the older two but overall it is so enchanting to watch them grow and develop.

2011 is almost gone and 2012 is right on our doorstep ... bringing with it brand new opportunities and hopefully much fun, laughter and joy.

2012 I am ready for you to arrive ... I am ready for the new year to blossom, to open up and reveal its beauty.

2012 here is to you .. and to lots of happiness, excitement and much love...

        ~~~ Wishing you all a Happy New Year ... may it be a wonderful one for all ~~~
   

Friday, December 30, 2011

Hurry up and wait...

Short sales are a lot like surrogacy .... hurry up and wait!

Depending on when this occurs in surrogacy, it is not necessarily a bad thing.  In the beginning of a journey, it gives time to develop a great relationship with the intended parents you are trying to help; whereas, in the two week wait .... it is torture :-)

In a short sale situation it is a bear!!!  We just want to get through this and be done with double housing costs.  We are currently going on 9 months since our home was put on the market and almost a full year of double housing expense.  Our first short sale offer was rescinded due to the "wait" and we are now in the second short sale process.  This time we have gotten further than with short sale offer #1 but we are still stuck in the waiting game .... waiting waiting waiting for approval. 

As much as I hate to sell our home .. one of my new years wishes is for an approval for this sale ~ and soon please!  It will still take a couple of months to finalize the sale after approval ... I am just hopeful that approval will come soon

Friday, December 23, 2011

Resolutions...

New Year's resolutions are always made with great intention and seldomly upheld by the end of January ... this year I have a few that I really think will stick...I want them to stick and that determination must count for something!

Exercise ... yep that is always on the list!  For Christmas we are getting an elliptical machine as our present for one another.  I really need more cardio in my daily workout in order to loose the few pounds hanging out in undesirable locations ;-)  I was doing really well with running but by mid-November it just got too cold for me to run outside and for many reasons we have decided not to get a gym membership right now (time, money...need I go on?).  Instead we looked at some home workout equipment and settled on an elliptical - it will be delivered just after Christmas and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

Write ... I write a lot at least on the computer ... between blogging, email, message boards I frequent and with the addition of homework very soon...I write a lot.  But I also love personal notes and who does not love getting a handwritten note in the mail.  By far I lag behind in my penmanship and good manners when it comes to writing personal notes, birthday cards and thank you notes.  I truly have so much to be thankful for and have many wonderful people in my life that deserves a little special attention.  My mission for this year is to write one handwritten note/letter/card a day ... and actually send it out!

Study ... school starts on January 17th.  I am very excited to be going back.  Nervous too.  It will be my first time back on the school bench in over 10 years.  My study skills will likely need a little dusting but hopefully I will be back in full swing in no time.

Live ... and be present ~ really be present and enjoy the little moments in life.  Enjoy the daily things that happens all the time even when we are just rushing through the day.  These last many months, I have craved a lot of solitude and often found my self in deep thought.   I always love spending time with my children, but I am also aware that my grief and sadness impacted my being completely there mentally with them all the time especially over last summer.  While the sadness still lingers and I am often quick to tears ... life around me brings much beauty and joy to my heart ... being truly present to enjoy all this is a very important goal for me.

I am so excited for 2012 to get here and while these last days of 2011 settles upon us, I will take the time to count all my blessings and let the joy and beauty of the Christmas season overflow my heart.  I truly have so many things to be grateful for...

                    ~  Merry Christmas ...  Glaedelig Jul ~

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fun morning...

I spent the morning in Olivia's class room today .. sharing about our Danish Christmas traditions and our love for putting candles on the tree... well really all over!  I also showed them some of my "nisser" (Christmas elves), taught them how to say Merry Christmas in Danish ~ Glaedelig Jul ~ and talked about how little Denmark is compared to the United States.  It was just so much fun sharing with the kids and answering questions for them.

It was also a joy to watch Olivia in her daily environment.  My girl is so funny!  She got her braces on Tuesday and she has not smiled with an open mouth since then in school.   Actually the week before she got her braces on, I got the top 4 list of reasons why she should NOT get braces:

1. I will never open my mouth
2. I will never talk even at school
3. I will never eat anything
4. I will be ALWAYS be hungry

I am happy to say that 1 ~ she is opening her mouth; 2 ~ she is talking (even at school); 3 ~ she is eating but 4 ~ she is STILL always hungry :-)

Anyway she is getting quite advanced at keeping her lips wrapped around her teeth and has been keeping the color of her brace bands a secret at school.  So as soon as I come into the class room, I get a string of kids wanting to know the color of Olivia's rubber bands on her braces.  Sorry kids... I cannot divulge that information (..they are smoke and sapphire!!!) you just gotta get my girl to laugh out loud!

As mad as she has been at me over the last few weeks leading up to getting braces put on, she has actually done really well.  I think the excitement from the other kids of wanting her so show them off has been good .. she is feeling a bit special and getting lots of attention in class.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas to my surro babes...

Hugs and kisses to a sweet little girl and a handsome little baby boy!  I hope you will have a beautiful holiday season with lots and lots of fun.

little J ~ where ever you are sweet boy ... I will listen for the flutter of your angel wings.

Much love to all of you and your wonderful families too...

Where is my Christmas spirit...

It is missing and I am frantically searching for it by cleaning my house and wrapping the presents..maybe it got lost in the dust bunnies or in a shopping bag!

Christmas is just few days away and I just can't seem to get into it this year.  I love Christmas but so much stuff has happened in this last year and it is just all weighing heavy on my heart.  On top of that I am really getting stressed out about our house in Oregon.

Our home sale does seem to be coming along ... just not quickly enough for my liking.  I was really really hoping to be done with a double housing costs by 2012 but alas this is not to be.  I am hopeful that our short sale will have approval soon but still it will likely take another couple of months before a closing can happen .. this means a minimum of another two months of double housing payments and it just sucks!  My fingers crossed right now that this will go through and life will start looking up a bit on the other side.  I keep reminding myself that at least we are all together in the same place and that is a good thing.

On top of the housing stress...another bit of financial stress has now been added with Olivia's braces.  We had to get them on her here in 2011 in order to maximize the benefits for insurance purposes and it sucks.  Olivia is so very mad at me for making her go through this.  I just hope that eventually she will see the benefit of her beautiful smile.  For now she is miserable but hopefully the pain of the initial bonding will start to disappear soon.  I can help but think how lucky they are back home in Denmark with the school dentist and no concern of having to pay for braces for a child....this crap is so expensive!  Magnus will need braces too but not for as long as Olivia will ... poor girl will be in them for at least the next 22 months where Magnus will be done in about 10 months.  Hopefully timing will work out well and Magnus can have his put on next September and will be done before starting high school. 

...ok off to clean and chase my Christmas spirit out from the corners .. if I can just get a little Christmas snow it might help lighten the mood as well.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cautiously optimistic...

We have a new offer on our house.  I am trying to keep my emotions in check ... want to be excited because we have an offer ~ but is afraid to be because it has to go through the bank and round 1 for that was not great!

Anyways the good news is that the offer is for the full BPO value, so hopefully the bank should approve the short sale without further ado.  The maddening news is that I still feel like we are giving the house away.  We obviously need to sell it as Rio could not secure employment where it is located but ... man I love my house :-(  ...and it sucks to have to sell it so far below what we paid for it.  I just keep reminding myself that it is after all just a house and the important thing is that we are together as a family ... still I miss my house and the beach.

On a positive note, I think the buyers will be a great fit for our neighborhood.  I know from our agent that it is a young family with a stay-at-home mom ... they will love it there.  I will miss it very much and I feel very happy that a new family hopefully soon will be able to enjoy our wonderful home and neighbors.

Looking forward, I try to keep a positive outlook ... good things are yet to come!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tiny angel...

I am getting ready for bed and my heart feels ever so heavy.  I wonder if I will always feel this way every time the 13th rolls around.  It is just hard ...  this is the month of Christmas after all and one tiny angel should be here ~ celebrating his very first Christmas at home with a family who loved him so very much.

I found this poem and it just resonates in my heart:

Tiny Angel

Author Unkown
Tiny Angel rest your wings
Sit with me awhile.
How I long to hold your hand,
And see your tender smile.

Tiny Angel, look at me,
I want this image clear....
That I will forget your precious face
Is my biggest fear.

Tiny Angel can you tell me,
Why you have gone away?
You weren't here for very long...
Why is it you couldn't stay?

Tiny Angel shook his head,
"These things I do not know...
But I do know you loved me,
And that I loved you so."


Little J ~ I am thinking about you .. you have had a significant impact on my life in so many ways.  I so wish that we could have held your hand for so much longer than we did.  Instead you soar far above us all and I must believe that somewhere in heaven you are enjoying a marvelous Christmas with angels, big and small, when you see my dad, give him hugs from me .. I miss you both very much.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gingerbread house...

I spent this weekend with friends making and decorating gingerbread houses.  It was just so much fun to catch up with my old co-workers .. chit chatting and decorating away.  The rules are for the house and decor to be 100% edible .. and although I would not eat it, the kids though can barely keep their little fingers away!   Below is my house - it made it safely all the way back home to Peoria - check out the goldfish in my water fountain:-)






Below is a photo of everyone's houses (...actually two are missing) ~ they really turned out pretty cool:


Thanks ladies for a totally fun day!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December is here...

And Christmas is just around the corner ... well actually it is already here!  Most of my Christmas decor is still in boxes but hey the boxes are open and a few items have made their way around the
house.  I was going to decorate this past weekend .. we were off to a good start on Saturday but got side tracked with taking pictures of the kids for the Christmas cards...some turned out really cute









Then I spent Sunday fuming instead of decorating!  Saturday night we went out to get a few items and before we left, my dear hubby took Olivia's instrument out of the car and placed on top of his car.  Surely with the intention of bringing it in when we got home .. well that did NOT happen!  Bright and early Sunday morning, Rio heads off to work ~ with an instrument on top of the car ~ la di da!  GRRRRR.... I found her music book laying in the street in front of our house but not the instrument.  Who knows where it ended up :-( .... I was not a happy camper.  I know Rio was really upset about it too.  I am sure I made him feel even worse with my mood ~ ~ he pretty much stayed away from me the rest of the day.  What a way to spend a Sunday!

Sebastian had his school Christmas performance last night - he did a fine job my little man.  The kids were so cute and the concert was really a lot of fun to watch.  Magnus and Olivia both have their concerts next Tuesday ... and here is to hoping that Olivia's newly ordered instrument will make it here in time!  I begrudingly paid extra for 3 day shipping so she will have it in time for the weekend to get some practice in before the concert, especially since she had to take this whole week off from practicing.

This coming weekend I am in for a treat.  Some fun time all on my own ... can't remember when that happened last.  I am going to the annual gingerbread house decorating get to together with some former co-workers.  It was a tradition started while I still worked at PwC and I have not been able to be part of the fun while we have lived in Oregon.  So this weekend will be such a treat and I am really excited to see everyone again.

Now off to clean the house and decorate...