Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sleigh Bells Ring...

I am the sunshine in Ryan's day:

I am the queen of his heart:

On my throne

And so, for our anniversary, he took me on a romantic snowy sleigh ride in Sun Valley, Idaho.  I was picturing this:

Instead, we got this:

Not quite so private and picturesque--but still incredibly fun:

The sleigh took us to a rustic cabin for dinner:

Ryan really enjoyed the bread:

A funny old man wearing a Santa hat played "Just the Way You Are" for us on his accordion:

Then we rode home and snuggled to keep warm:

Excuse the blurriness...the sleigh was moving.  Excuse my closed eyes...the flash was blinding.
And on a completely unrelated note, but speaking of snow, Ryan and his brothers had fun playing Kan Jam outside their family's cabin in Sun Valley:

We've had a great week with the Nielsons, and I'm sad we haven't gotten more photos.  We head back to the Buff tomorrow night.  We are taking the red eye flight and will be bringing in the New Year on a plane.  Hope we don't get hit by any fireworks!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Strive for Five (and many more)

Yesterday, Ryan and I celebrated five years of marriage.  It has been wonderful.  Really.  I love this man so much, and I could go on and on about how cute and delightful he is, but I've already done that in many a blog post, and I'm a little tired, so I'll let these photos do the talking for me.  This is why I love Ryan so much:

Always willing to flash a funny face for the camera...

Always willing to be a guinea pig for his wife...

A new hairstyle?
The trial run for a mask project at the orphanage
Always willing to wear a dress for the ninos' amusement....

Paula (this is actually at an Easter Seals camp in Colorado)

The Babushka telling a Russian story to the kids in El Salvador
Friendly to all living creatures...

Kids love him...

"Can Mr. Ryan play?"
They couldn't understand his Spanish as he tried to read this story; but they loved it anyway.
Mattias and his buddy "Bryan."  
I love him too...

Happy Anniversary, Ry Guy!  

Friday, December 24, 2010

New York City Christmas

Ryan and I were able to take an unexpected trip to New York City last weekend, and I'm so glad we did.  We had never been to NYC together, and there is no one I like to travel with more than Ryan.  It was relaxing and quite romantic.  NYC is beautiful at Christmas time.

Central Park ice skating rink...pretty, huh?

I met my favorite Monster.

I got Ryan this Holden Caulfield hat.  (Catcher in the Rye, anyone?)  I figured he needed it while wandering around Central Park.
Holden at the carousel.  I kept looking for Phoebe, reaching for the gold ring.
Rockefeller Tree
The stores were decorated on the outside...
and the inside!

We stayed at my cousin's boyfriend's apartment in Brooklyn, and I was even impressed by their decorations in that neighborhood:

With cute decorations like that...I was almost tempted to patronize the liquor store!
It was a very brief trip (and we had to drive home through the night), but it was great fun and got me in the Christmas spirit!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Christmas Letter from Grandpa Jack

We got my grandparents' Christmas card tonight.

My Gramps is a jokester, and he started off his annual letter to friends and family with a few wisecracks, including one in which he referred to himself in the third person: "Our year has been pretty uneventful...stagnant...boring...mundane...kind of like Jack."

But then, part-way through the letter, he suddenly got more serious.  He wrote, "We have a favor to ask you.  Mike's daughter Rachel and her husband Ryan are trying to adopt a child.  Ryan is just finishing dental school, and Rachel will make a great mother.  If you hear of something that might work for them, we would appreciate knowing about it."

This unexpected passage brought tears to my eyes--not because I am sad--because I am so grateful to have the support of so many wonderful family and friends.

Thank you to all of you who have prayed for us, put our adoption button on your blogs, spread the word about our desire to adopt, and spoken such kind words of encouragement.

I had a rough week last week...sometimes that happens with no real explanation as to why.  I contemplated switching to an adoption agency with a shorter wait list or trying an even more aggressive fertility treatment.  I prayed and asked God what I should do.

My answer came in the Palmyra Temple.  I was reading the Bible, and I came across this passage in Philippians.  As I read it, I was amazed how each verse built on the next and spoke to me clearly.

6 Be careful for nothing*; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
     *The footnote here said, "Don't be unduly concerned about anything."  The verse seemed to be saying to me, "Don't stress too much about not having a baby yet.  Just pray and thank God for your blessings and tell Him what you want, and then trust Him."

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
     *This is one of my all-time favorite verses of scripture.  After my mom died, I somehow felt such peace--it didn't make any sense.  How could I be feeling peace during the worst days of my life?  This verse explains that God's peace "passeth understanding"--it doesn't always seem possible or reasonable.  Yet, this peace guards or "keeps" our hearts and enables us to bear even the most difficult challenges in life.  Through Him, I can feel peace, even with infertility.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there by any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
     *I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about my desperate desire for a child.  It can become consuming.  I sometimes compare myself to other people and think, "We are the only married couple in Ryan's dental class that still doesn't have children" or "I can't believe that she got pregnant her first month of trying," etc.  This kind of thinking is not helpful.  It only leads to unfounded bitterness and discouragement.  This verse reminded me that, instead, I need to "think on things" that are uplifting and lovely.  I need to have hope.

9  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and hear, and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you.
     *This scripture seemed like a simple instruction: Keep doing what you know is right.  Don't become paralyzed by discouragement or self-pity.  Push along.  Be obedient. Keep trying, keep serving, keep praying.  God will be with you.

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, there with to be content.
     *"Rachel, be content.  Be happy.  You have a wonderful life.  Enjoy it.  Sleep in on a Saturday morning (you won't be doing that once you have kids!); go for a late-night run with Ryan (again, not really possible with a newborn); go on a romantic dinner date or a spur-of-the-moment road trip (hard to pull off with kids).  This is a good stage of life--so savor it."

13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
The final line of this passage is obviously the most important: I can do and bear anything through Christ.  He has been strengthening me through this difficult year.  One of the greatest blessings that He has provided is family and friends who are totally supportive and loving.

Spencer W. Kimball said, "God does notice us, and He watches over us.  But is usually through another person that He meets our needs."  I have found this to be very true.

When I finally admitted my fertility struggles on my blog, a friend brought over a gift that afternoon--a favorite children's book entitled Guess How Much I Love You to read to my future children.  When I was going through my ectopic pregnancy and Ryan was out of town, a friend sat with me in the Emergency Room until 3 a.m.  When we were first approved for adoption, my sister's mother-in-law sent me a handmade baby blanket with a note: "This is for your baby 'trousseau.'  We're praying for you."

Such incredible gestures of love.

And then there are all of the "little" things that people do for me every day--the many times that people have cared enough to just ask, "How are you doing with everything, Rachel?" or "How is adoption stuff going?"  It means the world to me when someone says in all sincerity, "I pray for you guys every night."

Tonight,  I am feeling peace beyond understanding.  I am feeling content.  I am feeling grateful and lucky and blessed.

Thank you, Grandpa, and everyone else who cares about us.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Christmas Compliment from Grandpa Nip

Today, we received a Christmas card from Ryan's grandpa.

The opening line made me laugh out loud.

"It was good to see Ryan recently.  He looks better than he has for some time.  He must be eating well."

Victory!!!  Chalk one up for O.F.U.R!

I wanted to take the credit because we all know what a fabulous cook and homemaker I am, but Ryan said, "It's probably the interview dinners."  Thanks, Babe!

Whatever the reason, I must agree with Grandpa Nip: Ryan is looking pretty good lately.  Especially wearing reindeer antlers:

I am determined to enjoy the Christmas season this year.  Ever since I started teaching, I've been so busy during December (end of the semester), that I haven't thought about Christmas at all.  I haven't even decorated our apartment or put up a tree.  How lame am I??

Well, not this year.  We set aside Sunday as our "planning for Christmas" day.  We decorated, put up the tree, watched the annual Christmas Devotional put on by the presidency of our church, ate "Christmas Soup," and made a plan for how we are going to celebrate this month.

We decided that Christmas is really about two things: 1) drawing closer to Jesus Christ, and 2) serving and loving our fellowmen.

So we are going to try to do both of those things every day this month in some small way.

I really want this month to be special and not too crazy busy or stressful.

Typing a lesson plan by the light of our impressive tree
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Have I mentioned that I am really excited to adopt?

I am really really excited to adopt.

People sometimes say weird things to me about adoption.  I think they consider adoption to be a disappointing fallback plan for us.

It's not.

Ryan and I started our adoption paperwork almost as soon as we started our fertility treatments.  It doesn't matter to us how we get a baby...biological, doesn't make a difference.  We just want a baby to love.

Honestly, I hope someone chooses us for adoption tomorrow.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Snow Daze

I woke up Wednesday morning to see beautiful white snow fluttering down outside my window.  I found that quite appropriate, considering it was December 1st, and I hummed "Jingle Bells" as I made myself a warm bowl of oatmeal for breakfast.

Snow in December makes me incredibly happy.

Once I got to school, I opened the shades in my classroom, so the students and I could marvel at the flurries all day long.  It feels magical and warm and cozy in my classroom on snowy days.  I told all of my students to imagine that I had given them a mug of hot coca to sip as we talked about To Kill a Mockingbird.  

I teach in a suburb south of the city in an area known as the "snow belt," and it lives up to its reputation; by the end of the school day, I probably had six inches of heavy snow on my car, while back in Buffalo, there was hardly any accumulation.

Well, lucky me, it kept snowing all evening and all night...and in the morning on Thursday, I got the blessed text alert from my school...



But then it dawned on me: The highway south of Buffalo is right where Ryan was supposed to be driving later that day in order to get to Pittsburgh for a residency interview.

So I started doing a little research, and as I watched the storm patterns, I knew there was no way in heck I was going to let Ryan drive directly into that madness.  He had been planning to leave in the late afternoon to make the three-hour drive to Pittsburgh before his interview dinner; but all of the sudden, he needed to leave almost immediately because the alternate route was going to take seven hours.

We scrambled.  He canceled his morning patient.  I decided I would go with him to keep him company.  I made Muddy Buddies for the road trip and threw some Christmas CDs in the car.  It was chaotic...and fun.  Our life is a crazy crazy adventure right now!

I actually enjoyed the long car trip through the snowy farmland of western New York.  This is a beautiful part of the country.

Once we got to Pittsburgh, the traffic was insane.  This seems like a really busy city; I don't know if we are digging it.  But it is also a city with lots of character--old houses, funky districts, steep hills, and winding rivers.

It will be really interesting to see where we end up next year. There's a part of me that's leaning toward this:
A photo from Ryan's recent trip to Hawaii for an interview.
I wish I could've jumped in the car and gone with him for this one!
Yet, what would December be without snow?

Oh, and guess what, I got another text alert this morning: Still snowing south of Buffalo!  Which means another day off of students must be rejoicing...I'm just glad that I didn't have to use one of my sick days today.

For now, I will sit here in a coffee shop in Pittsburgh and grade essays.  In a few hours, after Ry's interview is over, we'll check the weather and head back to Buffalo.  It looks like we might be able to go the direct (and shorter) route.

Wish us luck!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pedo, Thanksgiving, SD, Mom, and Other Rambling Thoughts...

I'm tired of being alone.

Ryan left last Saturday, November 13th, to fly across the country and the ocean for a series of pedo interviews.

On Sunday and Monday, he interviewed in Denver, Colorado.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, he interviewed in Honolulu, Hawaii.

On Thursday and Friday, he interviewed in Salt Lake City, Utah.

And now he is a Pocatello, Idaho, enjoying a few days with his family...until tomorrow night, when we will meet up in Denver, I will give him a big smooch, and we will spend the Thanksgiving weekend with my Pops and my Sisters.

I can't wait.

I get lonesome without Ryan around.  And I'm cold at night.

Eventually, Ryan is going to have to "rank" all of these pedo options.  He will put together a list of his top choice programs, and the programs will put together a list of their top choice applicants, and then a computer will "match" us (hopefully) to a wonderful place where we will spend the next two years of our lives.  I say "hopefully" because there's no guarantee he will get accepted anywhere, let alone at one of his top choice programs.  But I think he's quite darling and very and fun hopefully those interviewers will agree with me.

On a completely unrelated note, I got an email from my dad this morning outlining his plans for the holiday weekend.  The subject line was "Funnest."  (This is a frequent one-word declaration made by the Westover girls when we are excited about something.)  I decided that I will paste the email here, and I will include some translations at the end to explain my father's lingo:

"As you know, Little Pal is here now, so SD is happy.  He will get even happier over the next couple of days.  

A few things I'd like to do while we're all together.  I'm sure you'll have some to add:

1.  Set up Christmas tree and maybe a few other decorations - Thursday morning.

2.  Thanksgiving dinner is at 2 or 3 on Thursday.  It will probably be just our family and the Oldsters.  I'd like to have a little Thanksgiving devotional-like thing with them.  Nothing elaborate.  I have a scripture I like (Psalm 100 a/k/a The Thanksgiving Psalm) that we could read and discuss, and then everyone could just mention something or a few things they are thankful for.  I'm open to any other ideas about this.

3.  Harry Potter movie.  Perhaps Thursday evening, leaving Buddy Man asleep with the Oldsters?

4.  "Christmas morning" on Friday morning, since we won't be together in December

5.  Temple session on Saturday morning.  I'll have to round up a sitter for Buddy Man.

6.  Cafe Rio, of course. 

Can't wait to see everyone!

P.S. Yes, of course there is a Slave Girl list, but it's very short.  There may also be a Slave Boy list, including helping me get a new TV.  Old Faithful is acting up again."


     Little Pal= My sister Laura who is 23
     SD= My dad's nickname for himself. It stands for "Super Dad."
     Oldsters= My wrinkly, wonderful grandparents
     Buddy Man= My nephew, Callum
     Slave Girls= His daughters
     Slave Boys= His sons-in-law
     Old Faithful= His ghetto TV he's had for 25 years

His email made me smile.  It also made me remember a similar email, sent eight years ago.  During my first semester of college, I was feeling pretty stressed and homesick right before the Thanksgiving break, and my mom sent me an encouraging email explaining all of the fun things she had planned for my long weekend:

I am sorry that you are having such a hard time. Hang in there!  We are so excited for you to come home! The number one thing you need to do is SLEEP, and the number two thing is RELAX!!!!!! I want to think of some fun things to do while you're here, since Dad will be around and so we don't end up wasting the weekend. Here are some ideas I thought of:

-Melting Pot? -Make some kind of treats or Christmas items for your Relief Society sisters? -Movie?.....I have no idea what's out there, since I only go to movies with my daughters -Skiing? -Sleeping -Relaxing -Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma's -More sleeping -More relaxing

I'll keep trying to think of ideas. Do you have any ideas? We are wide open for suggestions!

WE LOVE YOU! TRY NOT TO STRESS OUT TOO MUCH! Don't forget to sleep, take your vitamins, exercise, pray, and breathe deeply! :)

Love, Big Mama"

You may be wondering how I am quoting from an eight-year-old email.  Well, this morning, I went into my old email account, went back into the history, and found the email.

As I read her words, my heart ached a little.  I miss her more than I even know.

But then I remembered that I still have someone who sends me encouraging emails: my dad.  And the more I thought about that, the more grateful I became.

I've written and talked about my mom a lot...most people know all about my mom...but I haven't shared enough about my amazing father.

This is the man who I called earlier this week on the way to school, and when he asked how I was doing, I broke down sobbing.   "Why can't I have a baby?"  I blubbered into the phone, and he just listened and told me he loves me and told me he's sorry that everything is difficult right now.

My dad knows the update on every fertility treatment and every doctor's consultation.  Not many dads would know that stuff...and actually, I doubt he would know that stuff if my mom were still alive.  But since she's not, he has stepped in and been there for his girls in every way.

He sends us care packages for holidays.  He sends us flowers on the first day of our new school years (we're all teachers).  He spoils us and even takes us shopping when he comes for a visit.  (He dozes on the couch outside the dressing room while we pick something out.)  He really is "Super Dad."

And I get to see him tomorrow night.

I have a lot to be grateful for.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I love them. I really do.

Meet the Daytons:

In this photo (taken at a recent Halloween party), they are dressed up as Ammon and one of King Lamoni's sheep.  The Book of Mormon includes the story of Ammon, a Nephite missionary and shepherd to the Lamanite king.  When robbers come and try to steal the king's sheep, Ammon cuts off all of their arms.  (Hence the arm that Adrian is holding in the photo.)

Obviously, this gruesome tale is one of the Dayton's three-year-old son's favorites.

Meet Taylor:

I recently babysat this cute little blondie, and he told me that he wanted to play "Hamon."  I wasn't sure what he meant, until he came at me with a styrofoam sword and pretended to visciously chop off my arms. 

When we reversed roles--he was the robber; I was Ammon--he somehow got all of the sheep (which were actually pillows) out of the pasture despite my best efforts to chop off his arms.  Why is it that the styrofoam blade is effective on my arms but not his?

I absolutely adore little Taylor.  He is hilarious and so smart.  Apparently, the other day, after Natalie got off the phone with me, Taylor asked, "Mom, who were you talking to?" 


He paused for a moment and then said, "I love her.  I really do."

Ha!  That absolutely made my day.

We have so many wonderful friends in Buffalo who let me play with their children, invite me to dinner when Ryan is out of town, and listen to me vent about life when it's stressful.  How did I get so lucky to have such great friends?

I love them.  I really do.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I am a he-she.

Little known fact about me:  I have one less rib than most human beings.

This anomaly is due to a serious spine surgery I had when I was eleven years old.  My rib was used to replace the cartilage between my vertebrae, and then my spine was fused with a rod and several large screws.

But I digress.

As a teenager, I always thought that because I have 23 ribs instead of 24, I was practically a man.  After all, God took one of Adam's ribs in order to make Eve, right?  I had heard that, as a result of that divine act, all men have one fewer rib than women do.  Which would explain a lot about me: low voice, flat chest, total inability to craft.

Years later, I was quite disappointed to discover that men and women do in fact have the same number of ribs.

I guess I'm a woman after all.

Or so I thought.

One of the lovely revelations of my fertility tests is that I have an excessive amount of testosterone coursing through my body.


When I told my little sister the good news, she burst into raucous laughter and asked, "Why did they tell you that?  Did they just want to give you a complex for the rest of your life, or is there something they can do to fix it?"

I assured her that there is something they can do to fix it: prescribe me a steroid to take twenty days out of the month.  Now, not only am I a manly woman, I am a chubby manly woman.  Most women gain twenty pounds when they are pregnant; I've gained twenty pounds trying to get pregnant.

Double awesome!

Anyway, the other day I had to meet with my fertility doc to discuss different options for treatment.  My body is no longer responding to the medicines I've been taking, so we're changing to a different drug.

"Does this mean I get to stop taking the steriod?"  I asked hopefully.

He looked at my chart.  "No," he answered simply.  "With testosterone levels this high, you definitely need to keep taking it with the new drug."

With testosterone levels this high??!!  What is that supposed to mean?

I left the office with his disturbing words ringing in my ears and contacted my friend, Rachel Shaw, who is a whiz with hair.

I needed to feel like a woman.

Rachel curled every strand and poofed and bobbypinned and hairsprayed.  Then I went to the mall and entered Sephora for the first time ever (are you proud of me, Laura?) and bought some eyeshadow and blush.

Then Ryan and I went to a formal dinner/dance put on by the Alumni of the Dental School.  I got to hang out with a few of my fun girlfriends, Candice and Rozannah, while Ryan got to hang out with their husbands, Ezra and Chris.

Ryan and I got Shirley Temples, and the bartenders laughed at us.

It was a fun night, and wearing patterned nylons, heels, and a fancy hairdo, I almost forgot that I am a he-she.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Do you want to eat more veggies?

I'm not a fan of vegetables.  Never have been.  We didn't eat a lot of vegetables in my house growing up; we ate baby carrots, frozen corn (which I hear is a grain, not a vegetable), frozen peas, canned green beans, and an occasional salad...but that's about it.

It's one of my life goals to learn how to prepare delicious vegetables--to teach myself (and my future kids) to like veggies.

Luckily for me, another English teacher at my school, Kristen, is incredibly devoted to health and fitness.  She is amazing!  She is a teeny tiny little thing, but she is also super buff and can lift some serious weights.  

I often ask her questions about nutrition, and I recently asked her to start a weekly post on her health/fitness blog of easy, "non-scary" vegetable recipes.  She agreed!

I think she will be posting an easy veggie recipe every week in my honor (she actually titled the series "Rachel's Recipes"), and I've promised her that I will try them all.  If you'd like to join me in the quest to eat more veggies, check out Kristen's blog here.

In the mean time, do you have any easy, delicious, nutritious vegetable recipes that you are willing to share with me?  If so, post the recipe in the comments or email me.  I promise I'll give each recipe a try.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Quest for the Caramel Apple

I used to be way into Halloween.  I mean way.

In middle and high school, my best friend Lizzy and I always came up with elaborate costumes and wore them to school.  One year, we were Patsy and the King from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Another year, she made me a fabulous Marge Simpson outfit complete with yellow skin and a huge blue wig.  (She is an artist/seamstress.)  We planned the costumes for weeks and always did something crazy on Halloween night.

In college, I decked out my apartment in decorations and demanded that my roommates plan an annual "Halloween date" with me, even if none of us had boyfriends.  My junior year, I actually did have a boyfriend:

The evening included carving pumpkins, a mummy wrap race, bubbling potion to drink, etc.  Very dorky and fun.  And of course, I wore a Halloween costume all day, even in college.

Well I'm sad to admit it, but for the past few years, I have been a total Halloween fud.  I haven't decorated the house, carved pumpkins, or even thought about Halloween until basically the day of.

I blame teaching.  Honestly, when I expend so much energy trying to be creative for my students (yes, I do decorate my classroom for holidays and wear random costumes for lessons), I don't have any energy left to be fun for myself.

Thank goodness some of our friends in Buffalo, the Evans, force us to have a little Halloween spirit each year.  They host an annual costume party with spooky food, great company, and perhaps best of all...homemade caramel apples as prizes for the costume contest!

These caramel apples are like nothing you have ever seen before: Huge, crisp, green apples enrobed in rich caramel and chocolate, rolled in a variety of candies.  Some applies are rolled in crushed Oreos; others are rolled in crushed Reeses Pieces; some are rolled in crushed Snickers.  Are you salivating yet??

The first year, we arrived at the party as Harry Potter and Hermione.  Though people liked our costume, we didn't win a prize, and I watched in dismay as other colorful characters walked away with the coveted caramel apples.

The second year, I was determined not to miss out.  Ryan threw together this Alice in Wonderland ensemble, and, due to his creativity, I was the happy recipient of an Evans Decadent Apple.

This year, we waited until the very last minute, and, with only two hours until the party, we still had not come up with costumes.  Dreams of a divine apple fading away, I desperately searched through our drawers and found my Chinese silk pajamas. With the addition of a red robe for a kimono, a black knee-high nylon for a hair knot, poster board for a rice picker hat, several black pipe cleaner for mustaches, and black eyeliner for temporary "soul patches," we were back in business.

The competition was stiff, but we ended up with an award: Coolest Costumes.  A Twix caramel apple was ours to be devoured.  [Insert "The Hallelujah Chorus."]  Pure bliss.

Thanks, Evans, not just for the apple--mostly for the amazingly fun Halloween tradition!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Travel on the Cheap

Ryan went to Memphis, Tennessee this past weekend for a pedo interview.

Upon arrival, Ry was greeted by a big lady at the rental car desk: "And what can I do for you today, Sweetness?"

Welcome to the South!

As you can imagine, flying all over the country to residency interviews is pricey, so Ry has committed to do it on the budget plan.

We couldn't find anyone for him to stay with in Memphis, so we decided that his first night, he would stay at the cheapest hotel in town, and the second night, he would sleep in the airport.  His flight was scheduled to leave at 6:00 a.m., so it didn't seem worth paying for a hotel just to get up at 3:00 a.m.  Do you agree?

On the day of his big interview, after a lovely night's sleep at the Airport Plaza Motel, Ryan discovered at 5:30 a.m. that the shower wasn't working.  Because his interview breakfast started in less than an hour, he didn't have time to change rooms, so he just washed his hair in the sink and put on a little extra deodorant.  Classy!  He tried to demand a refund when he checked out, but they gave him some nonsense about how the manager wasn't on duty.  Don't worry...his wife will be calling.

After a long day of interviews (he had eight individual interviews in addition to a breakfast and lunch and a facilities tour), I told him that he deserved a good's night sleep.

"Just get a hotel,"  I texted.  "You've had an exhausting day."

"Too late," he responded.  "I got ice cream instead.  I ordered a large instead of a small."

I had to laugh when I read that.  Talk about easy to please.  I hope the ice cream was abnormally delicious.

Luckily for Ry, I think we've found people for him to stay with during all of the rest of his interview visits.

I hope their showers work!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nice Husband

I have a nice husband.  He spoils me.  This past weekend, he really went overboard, and I loved it.

He and a few of his buddies decided to treat their wives to a "girls night on the town" full of surprises.  I came home from work and found an envelope full of clues.

The first clue led me to dinner with friends at one of those crazy Japanese restaurants:

We all decided to order fancy drinks, since our husbands said to order whatever we wanted.  Tiffany, who is nine months pregnant, announced to the waitress, "I'm going to stick with water, since I now weigh ______ pounds."  I will not publish her weight on a public blog, but I will say that I love that girl's honesty.  She is hilarious.

The next clue led me to a chubby, hairy masseur at the New York Massage School.  (No photo, thank goodness.)  It was a little awkward to be rubbed down by Vince, but who doesn't like a good massage?

Finally, it was off to the movies--and then to a hotel for a night of girl talk.

I know, my husband is way too nice to me.  But I really can't give Ryan all the credit...he is not a planner, and he freely admits that this entire event was planned by his friends.  I am grateful, however, that he is always willing to jump on board with other people's good ideas, and he is generous when it comes to pampering his wife.   

Life has been a little stressful lately with teaching and grading, responsibilities at church, fertility treatments, adoption drama, pedo residency applications...I was grateful for the fun diversion.  And I am forever and always grateful for the ultimate fun diversion: Mr. Ry Guy.

I came home from the outing with friends exhausted (as you can imagine, we stayed up talking until the wee hours of the morning) and fell asleep on his shoulder.  He studied while I snoozed. 

I love that skinny guy.