Friday, July 22, 2011

So excited!!

I'm sorry that all I ever write about is the baby, but you know, he's big news around here.

I am currently packing my bag for a week-long visit to see Katie.  Her parents are out-of-town, so we are going to have some fun.

There is a chance that Baby could make his appearance while I am there, so I am packing all the baby stuff.  I am getting totally carried away, but I can't help it.  PJs, onesies, bottles, hats, carseat, diapers...I am ready!  We will probably have to stay in Utah for a little while after the baby is born (before all of the adoption paperwork clears), so I am bringing everything.

The plan was for me to fly on Monday morning, but Ryan couldn't resist joining in on the fun, so he is coming with me for the weekend.  We will drive over--which is better anyway because that gives me lots of space for baby stuff--and we are leaving TONIGHT, as soon as he gets home from work!

I simply can't wait.  I love road trips with Ryan!  We are going to cruise through the mountains of Colorado with the windows rolled down, listening to music and holding hands and talking.  I think we might even stop for some Beau Jos pizza in the mountain town where we both used to work as camp counselors.

Doesn't that sound perfect??

I feel like my life is in disarray--the nursery still isn't ready, and our apartment is a mess--but we are leaving in an hour regardless.

Can't wait to spend time with Ryan.  Can't wait to see Katie.  Most of all, can't wait to see the Little Mister.

Who knows--when I blog again, I might be a mom! :)  I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Today, Ryan and I signed our finalized 20+ page adoption home study document.  With our signatures, all of the pre-birth paperwork is totally, completely, absolutely, 100% finished.

I feel like this is a monumental moment.  It took eight months to get through the adoption application process in New York.  After the approval process was completed, we started with the waiting.  We were contacted by eight birth moms in seven months, and we went through eight different heartbreaks (some more serious and devastating than others, but all disappointing).  It felt like I had a miscarriage every month--and all the while, I was doing fertility treatments that were, month after month, totally ineffective.  Talk about discouraging.

Then, we got the phone call from Katie, and we knew that there was something different about her.  We corresponded for several weeks, and we felt so good about everything that we took down our adoption profile and stopped doing fertility treatments.  I couldn't do it all anymore.  We decided we had to move forward in faith that this adoption would actually work out for us.

We knew the baby would be born after Ryan started his residency, which meant that we had to recertify to adopt in the state of Colorado--yes, that meant we needed to go through the entire adoption approval process again.

And so we started over.  This is the checklist that they sent me in the mail.  I had a little bit of a panic attack when I first saw it.  (Click on the photo if you want to read all of the steps that must be completed in order to adopt in the state of Colorado.)

But today, five months after we started the process for a second time, the process is complete.  We are done.

I've posted before about how adopting is like taking a trip to Australia by boat instead of by plane (if you haven't read this analogy, you should--it's very clever and insightful).  Sometimes I feel like Ryan and I have been in a canoe.  It has been a work out!

But the marathon is almost over.  Based on Katie's measurements the past few weeks, her doctor officially changed her due date today. Our Little Man (who still doesn't have a name) is about 6 lbs 11 ozs, and is now due on August 6th--which just happens to be Ryan's 29th birthday. :)

To be honest, I feel like the days are dragging by.  I hear that the last month of pregnancy is by far the longest.  That's how I am feeling right now.  I keep busy all day checking things off my to-do list, but it all feels meaningless--even depressing.  I am ready--soo ready--for the baby to be here.  People tell me to enjoy my last few weeks of freedom, but I've been enjoying freedom for a lot of years now, and it has started to feel a little bit...I don't know...empty.  I am so excited to start the next phase of our life as a family.

Bring on the sleepless nights, the screaming baby in the backseat on car trips, and the infrequent date nights!  Oh yeah--the Nielsons are ready.

Come soon, Little Man!!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Baby Shower and Bombshell Bling

My sisters threw a lovely baby shower for me last week.  Unfortunately, we only got a few photos (I can't believe we didn't get one of the three sisters together), but it was a great night!!  I got so many awesome gifts, and I loved being surrounded by all of the women who have watched me grow up.  I am such a spoiled and lucky girl.

Getting some practice
Thanks to my sisters for pulling together such a great night (Laura was just in town for a few days, but they wanted to make sure this shower happened).

Speaking of my sisters, my older sister, Sarah, loves to design jewelry.  A few months ago, she wanted to do something special for Katie, so she made her this necklace:

I thought it was so beautiful and asked her to make one for me too.  Little did I know, she had already made one for me with a special inscription:

When we were trying to get the word out about our adoption, Sarah was our #1 promoter.  She sent out emails to all of her family and friends and asked them to spread the word about our desire to adopt.  She posted our information all over her blog and on Facebook multiple times.  She is the best!

Now it's my turn to support her!  She is trying to get her jewelry business going, and she is really talented, so if you are looking to buy some funky jewelry for yourself or as a gift, check out her Etsy shop:  Bombshell Bling.  You can also click on her blog button on my sidebar, or you can "like" her Facebook page to follow her and get occasional deals/give-aways.

She makes awesome jewelry like this beauty that I've been admiring (don't know if I could pull it off, but it's stunning):

If you buy one of her sparkly necklaces, you might end up as sassy as her--though I doubt it!  I love this girl.

Sassy Sary, the Bombshell

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's raining, it's pouring...

It is raining like crazy here.  I love a good summer downpour.  It's been hot all day, and then all of the sudden--BOOM--clap of thunder and it starts to pour.  I love it.

I stood on our porch for a few minutes and watched the rain coming down in sheets, and then I came inside and discovered that our livingroom windows leak.  Lovely.  The arm of our new (to us) couch is now soaking.  I'm guessing it will leave a nice ring on the fabric when it dries.  This is why we shop Craigslist.

Speaking of, I've had a few requests for photos of our new apartment.  Our apartment is nothing fancy to blog about or photograph, but we did find a couple of pieces of furniture that I am pretty excited about.  I stumbled into an antique shop a few weeks ago, and I thought I had died and gone to Anthropologie Heaven (i.e. Anthro style but way cheaper).

I got a few cute things:

Tile Coffee Table

Look at the funky details!

Fun, bright kitchen chairs!
Unfortunately, there were only two of these, so I have to figure out how to get two more that somewhat match.
I love this hook for my aprons.
Also, please note the location of the electrical outlet.  That will become important later.
Isn't this jewelry thing cool?  It's just an old painted frame with chicken wire behind it.
I really like this banner.  Not sure where to hang it yet.

Old chest of drawers thing (I think there's a name for it)

 And here is the baby's $1 garage sale globe:

Lest you think our house is cuter than it actually is, allow me to show you our amazing kitchen cupboards:


Very posh.
Despite the crappy cupboards, we feel like we are really moving up in the apartment world.  Our first married apartment was an attic in Provo, Utah that we rented for $400 a month.  It was tiny, and the shower was under the slant of the roof, so we had to sit down or hunch over while we bathed.  I wish I had more photos of that place.  I think it was kind of charming.

Our next apartment was the upstairs of a little house in Buffalo, New York.  One bedroom; interesting neighborhood (i.e. robbed once and mugged once); the outlets were all in odd places, so it was a production to plug in any of our appliances; no AC for the humid summers and no insulation for the cold winters; living room painted "sunset pink" (no, we did not get to choose our paint colors).  We loved it.

We are now in a two bedroom apartment with leaky windows in Aurora, Colorado.  The kitchen is narrow and the cupboards are ugly, but at least the outlets are all in the right places, we have air conditioning, and we have our own washer and dryer right in our hallway closet.  The other day, Ryan was making himself a protein shake, and he said, "I love this place.  It is so easy to plug in the blender."  Life is good.

We haven't even attempted to decorate the baby's room yet--I think that is next week's project.  But adoption paperwork is coming along, and we are getting more and more excited.  We did receive fingerprint clearance (thanks for the prayers), so now we are just waiting for our new health insurance cards, Ryan's first paycheck, and a reference from our new Bishop.   I can't believe that this 1.5 year+ adoption journey is almost over.  I also can't believe that most married couples in the world just get to enjoy a romantic evening together in order to get a baby.  As Napoleon Dynamite would say, "Luuckyyy!"

Katie is doing well.  I believe she is 36 weeks along, and she looks great and is healthy.  The baby is due August 11, but I am going to visit her for five days at the end of July while her parents are out of town.  I can't wait to see her and to feel the baby kick.  We are going to have fun (I'm thinking shopping, movies, massages, restaurants), and we'll also meet with her caseworker to talk through adoption logistics and take a tour of the hospital where she will be delivering.  I'll also go with her to a doctor appointment. :)

I'll come back home to Colorado on July 29th, only to return to Utah a week later (August 5th) to await the baby's arrival.  Katie has invited us to be at the hospital when the baby is born, so we can be a part of his first few minutes of life.   I can't believe this is all really happening, and I am so grateful to Katie.  I love her.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers during these last few weeks of her pregnancy and in the weeks after the baby's placement with us.

The rain has let up, and I expect Ryan will be home from work any minute with lots of stories to tell me (he is really loving his job), so I better run.

Love you all.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Yes, I am a fun glutton.

On our way home from Hawaii, we stopped in San Diego to see my little sister, Laura, and her husband, Sam.  Ryan hadn't been to San Diego since my sister has lived there, so we had fun showing him the sights:

Balboa Park
La Jolla Cove
(Look closely at my feet...yes, those are seals.)

Authentic Mexican food.
Ryan enjoyed it.

The U.S.S. Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum
These bunks were tripled stacked!  Can you imagine sleeping in quarters like that?

My own little Top Gunner.
He's hot.
San Diego Bay
We went on a fancy dinner and dance cruise with Laura and Sam.

Historical Old Towne San Diego
Mormon Battalion Visitor Center
And the highlight of the trip...
Look at our happy Disney faces.
Yes, skinny Laura has a churro in each hand.
I love this girl.
The Little Mermaid was my favorite movie as a young girl.

Space Mountain
Ryan looks drunk, I look terrified, Laura looks like she's going to yark.

California Adventure
I love theme/amusement parks at night...even more magical.
This photo was taken with a phone (hence the poor quality).
They do the most AMAZING lights and fountain show every night at CA Adventure.
They project clips from Disney movies onto the water with a medley of Disney favorites.
It was honestly one of the most beautiful things I have EVER seen.
 This goes without saying, but it was a super fun trip.  We came home on Sunday night, and Ryan started his residency on Monday morning.  I'm really glad that he got a few weeks to relax and have fun before all the work began.

As for me, I'm starting to feel like a fun glutton.  I have had way more than my fair share of fun this summer.