Happy Leap Day!

Did this feel like an extra day to anyone?

Not me, I had a busy, but overall fun week. I got to spend a lot of time outside this week walking dogs (if you don’t know I do this part-time), my boss was out of town so I picked up some extra work. The weather was great this week, I had to get out my tank tops, shorts, and sunblock (realized that after Monday and I was a little red). I really enjoyed all the extra time outside even if it kept me from doing other stuff that needed done.

We had a slight glitch in our adoption paperwork, but that was quickly fixed and sent to our agency. It hopefully went to Washington, D.C. yesterday. We don’t know for sure yet, but I will let you know when we find out.

In other news my dad made the paper. He said I was younger than I am, thanks dad!

I have decided to particpate in a tech free challenge. I am going to give up technology (e.g. television, computer, wii games) on Sundays for the month of March. Matt still hasn’t decided if he is going to participate yet, he is so addicted to email. I am looking forward to a day without technology right now even though I do love reading blogs and emails.

Anyone else want to participate in the challenge?

By the way this is post 200 on our blog. We have been talkative!

matts notes on georgia

So here are my general observations on our trip

  • downtown atlanta seems pretty cool
  • people drive the speed limit on the high ways. odd
  • every road seems to be a highway, at 65 mph. with stop signs and stop lights
  • the road names on the maps dont match the signs. makes directions hard to follow
  • people seem to operate and a relaxed pace. Kind of cool. Unless you are in a hurry
  • the highways are lined with trees. not houses and businesses like here in AZ
  • the toll road was fun. I’ve never had to toss the change in the bucket like that
  • My Weedwacker has more horsepower than our rental dodge caliber had
  • There seemed to be these really cool looking turbines in the ceilings of tunnels. Maybe for generating electricity off the wind caused by cars? I need to do more homework on them

Over all I liked atlanta. If it wasn’t so far away from our families, I could see us living there.

It's Springtime!

I absolutely love spring! It is by far my favorite time of the year. I love watching everything come to life again after the winter. I am so lucky to live in a state where spring comes so early and winter is so short. I cannot wait to start gardening and hopefully will get my garden redone this weekend so I can get my seeds sown.

My peach tree is already starting to get leaves and blossoms. I am so excited to see if I can get peaches this year. A little history on my peach tree and why I am so excited it is getting leaves. I planted one peach tree last spring and it promptly died, so the nursery gave me a replacement but said I had to wait to fall to pick it up and plant it because it was already too hot here to plant any more fruit trees. We planted this tree in early fall and it lost all of its leaves immediately and it wasn’t even cold yet. So, I was worried it was dead but decided to wait until spring to see if it came back. It did!

For those of you who are now insanely jealous because it is so sunny here and you are buried in snow, just remember you have the right to brag in July and August when we are suffering from heat stroke.

In the hands of Fedex

Our dossier is officially in the hands of Fedex now and on its way to St. Louis, Missouri. I went by the Secretary of State today to get everything authenticated and they attached a sheet of paper and seal to each one.

Isn’t it pretty?

Today I also have to give thanks for woman’s intuition. As I drove away from the SOS I had a voice in my head that said to pull over and check the documents. Of course, I didn’t want to pull over, but I did give a quick look while sitting at a red light and the first sheet I looked at was missing the gold seal. I turned around, parked, re-checked absolutely everything, and went in and got the one gold seal I was missing.

I am so happy that our dossier is in the mail and out of our hands. It was a lot of work, but so worth it!

News that ya'll have been waiting for…

our CIS approval came today! We are super excited and ready to move on to the next step. I will hopefully be going to the Secretary of State tomorrow to get all our notarized documents certified, and then I will send our dossier (our blood sweat and tears of the last few months, also known as a giant collection of papers) via Fedex to Children’s Hope’s office in Missouri. It will be proofed by our agency then sent of to Washington, D.C. It will then be authenticated by the U.S. Department of State and then by the Ethiopian Embassy. Once it is done being authenticated it will go back to our agency who will then forward it to Ethiopia. This whole process will take three to four weeks.

We're Home!

We arrived safely back in Arizona yesterday. The flight was so much calmer than the last. We had a great time in Georgia. I wish we could have seen more of the state, we were inside most of the daylight hours and didn’t get to see much. Of course, we saw enough to know that there are trees everywhere. Very different compared to southern Arizona. It was cool but not cold, we left the day a cold snap was coming into town, so we lucked out. Matt got to meet a lot of clients face to face for the first time and has lots of potential new clients. The churches in Georgia sure do love him! He is pretty awesome at what he does, so I can see why.

Here is Matt sitting at the booth, doing some last minute work:

Here is the view from our booth, food everywhere:

The church that put on the conference was great about having lots of healthy food to eat at all times. There was a ton of fresh fruit and granola bars, Kashi my favorite.

We had a lot of fun and met a lot of great people, but I am so glad to be home. We both finally had a good night’s sleep last night and are feeling much better today.

Yes we are alive here in the ATL!!!

I must say the flight from Phoenix to Atlanta was by far the roughest, scariest flight either Stephanie or I have ever been on. All was well for the first 2.5 hours. But there was bad weather in Atlanta, so we were forced to go to a “holding pattern” over Alabama for an hour. Holding pattern basically means flying in a circle. It wasn’t fun but nothing compared to what happened next.

Atlanta was currently shut down for the heavy rains, and the tornado warning. We were the first flight they let back in. It was by far the worst turbulence we have ever been through. There were moments were stephanie and I were holding on for dear life. I’m talking free falling, drop 2500 feet in 2 seconds (we had flight stats on the monitor in front of us) scary moments.

After we touched down, i realized i could barely feel my hands, and my arms and upper body were tingly. Not sure what that means, but probably not good for my body.

I cant imagine doing this with kids on a 14 hour flight.

Well we made it to Atlanta safely.

For those that dont know, We are here for a Church Planting conference as a vendor. We really hope and pray for some new clients here at this show. Over 500 people, and we get to meet some of our current clients.

Hurt Pride

My pride took a hit this afternoon. I had an errand that absolutely had to be run today (no I didn’t put it off to the last minute), and Matt had the car and it is kinda rainy out. It is not really raining all that bad, you could almost say it was misting. Anyway I was a little ticked that I had to ride my bike in the rain, I will say it, I had a bad attitude over nothing. So, I was riding my bike stewing when my phone starts to ring and I can hear Matt’s ringer (who I am currently peeved at because he didn’t do said errand even though he was way busy) and let’s just say I was a little distracted. There was also a tricky part in the side walk that I was riding at the same time my phone was ringing, basically the side walk ends unless you take a sharp 90 degree turn, not overly hard, but it was slick and I was definitely distracted. Well I caught just the edge of the side walk. Now if you have every just caught the edge of the side walk with a bike tire, you can probably guess what happened, I ate it big time. Oh and did I mention this was right at a stop light where quite a few cars were stopped. Oh the embarrassment of a grown woman wrecking her bike going less than 10 miles an hour (I was also wearing a bright red jacket not necessarily inconspicuous). Some nice man did ask if I was alright as I was trying to act like nothing happened. I limped off feeling like a total loser and called my husband back, who by the way was calling me to offer to come home and run the errand. Isn’t he a sweetheart? I now also felt like a fool for being ticked at him. The lesson learned here, don’t be ticked at your husband over nothing and it is not going to kill me if I get a little wet.

I also apparently did not learn the lesson of not letting go of my handle bars when falling yet because my left wrist is sore, but don’t worry mom it wasn’t as bad as the time that landed me in urgent care. Lesson to those who ride bikes: Learn to fall without letting go of your handle bars. You could avoid wrist injuries.

Anyone else want to share an embarrassing story?

Silly Me

So, I recently heard that I should be doing three 20 minute sessions of cardio exercise a week and that you should exercise at 80% of your maximum heart rate. I thought to myself that is not too bad I can totally devote one little hour a week to cardio. I calculated the heart rate I should exercise at, 152.8 (220-my age * .8), and proceeded to start exercising again. I refused to wear my heart rate monitor because I knew it would tell me I wasn’t working out hard enough. I figured I would just put it back on after I got back into a little better shape. I did four butt kicking sessions of cardio and had a near melt down on Tuesday because I couldn’t believe how out of shape I was. Well today I finally decided to wear my heart rate monitor. The verdict, I was exercising too hard! I was getting my heart rate well into the 160s, oops. It could have been going higher, so I nipped that in the bud today. So, I did my workout today watching my heart rate and keeping it between 152 and 156. My workout went much better and I realized I don’t have to kill myself to get in shape.

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Birthday Arizona!

A Conversation with My Dad

Here is a quick conversation that took place yesterday with my dad.

My Dad “I can’t believe how much less stuff is going to the landfill now that we have a recycling bin.”

Me “Yep a lot of stuff can be recycled.”

My Dad “I was shocked. I didn’t think we would even half fill the bin the first week, but it was all the way full and there was less than a foot of stuff in the garbage bin.”

Proof of what one simple change can do.

Absolutely Fabulous

The weather that is! We have had a gorgeous couple of days here in Arizona. Highs in the 70s, lows in the 40s. It has been sunny and no wind! I do not like windy (i.e. dusty) days, so I have been loving the weather. This time of year makes it worth living through July and August. (Feel free to remind me of that when I am complaining about how hot it is.)

I am just glad I don’t live here. Burrrr!

Green Peace Ad

This is just funny. And perfect. And brilliant. And you should watch it right now.

Clearly a European ad. As many would be up in arms about this on TV here in the US. I would love to see ads like this on US tv, The buzz alone would create great awareness on the topic. And as any good marketer knows, buzz is better than paid advertising.


Way to go Mom and Dad!

I thought I should give a little shout-out to my parents. They have been making lots of small changes to their daily lives in an effort to live greener. My parents have started recycling, using reusable bags, changed to CFLs, and started using more environmentally friendly cleaners. The real kicker for me this week was when I went to their house and realized they had stopped feeding their dogs on styrofoam plates and started using reusable bowls. I told you it was the little things that make me proud. This wasn’t even a necessary change I had brought up to them (even though it was secretly driving me nuts), they thought of it all on their own. They have made great strides in looking at the way they live and how it impacts the environment and I am proud of them! Thanks mom and dad, love you guys!