Beginning To Prepare

August 31, 2009

Sarah,  Up Close 2Border
You know, after almost 3 and a half years of waiting. You would think we would be more than ready or prepared to bring a new little one home. When we started this process back in Dec 2005, it was all I could think about. It was on my mind 24/7, I was consumed with figuring out when it was going to happen.

As we were paperchasing, things started to really slow down in China and I was clinging to every bit of information that I could get my hands on. I was addicted to yahoo groups and RQ(a site where the latest China Adoption rumors are posted almost daily).

A couple months after we were logged in, around summer of 2006, I realized that things were not going to get better. Pat and I both decided it was time to stop letting the adoption run our lives and begin living for the here and now, which is exactly what we did. We let ourselves plan vacations, we even decided that summer that we were going to move and began plans to build the house we now live in.

Even though I knew it was something that was going to take a lot longer than we anticipated, I often picked up little "baby items" while shopping and would stash them in our spare closet for the day our dream came true.

With every passing month, things got worse and worse on the adoption front......things were moving so slowly in China, it felt like time was standing still.

During fall of 2006, I was really starting to doubt the program and really wondered if we would ever make it to China. Our Log In Date seemed so far away. I have to admit, I looked at a couple other programs that had popped up with our agency, and wondered if maybe we had made a mistake in choosing China. Each time I did this and presented Pat with the info, he would say, "No, I think we are just where we need to be. It might take longer than we anticipated, but it will happen. Our daughter is in China. We were drawn to that country for a reason, let's not second guess ourselves" So that is exactly what we did, we stayed put!!

My sister gave birth to a beautiful baby boy that fall, he was and is, a gorgeous little boy. I was so excited for her, but at the same time a little piece of my heart was crushed because I thought we would have had some news from China by then, and how much fun would it have been to have the cousins growing up together!!

A couple weeks went by, and then we got a very SHOCKING phone call, that turned our lives literally upside down. It was only about three weeks after we got that call, that Sarah was placed in our arms for the first time. She was a day old and we were head over heals in love with her. There was no looking back.......we knew we had made the right choice and that someday we would go to China to bring home our China baby, but for now, it was time to focus on Nicolas, and this new little bundle of joy who needed our love and support.

Sitting against the wall2Border
Well, here we are approaching Sarah's 3rd Birthday and we are still waiting on our China Dream. I think that subconciously, I have kind of been in denial that it was even going to happen for us and these last few months, I am realizing that we are really starting to get close. At the current rate of the program, I am thinking we will see her face in spring of 2010, maybe summer at latest.

So, with all this being said, I think it is time we really start preparing for this baby. I have not let myself do the things that waiting parents usually do, like decide on a name, decorate a nursery, etc, etc. But the first thing on my list, is to really start to prepare a certain little girl that she is no longer going to be the baby of this family.......

Bubblicious (29 of 37)-Editwm
Call me crazy, and maybe a tad skeptical, but we have never really talked to Sarah about becoming a "BIG SISTER" for fear that we would be lying to her.

We broke the news to her about two weeks ago and it went fairly well, although I am not too sure what is really going through that little head of hers. She has come out with some really funny stuff......and it comes out at the most bizarre times!! I will share some of what she has been saying another day, I have already "talked too much" for one post!!

More on this later.......In addition to preparing Sarah, we have also started to play the name game!! It has been a long time since we have done this......almost three years to be exact!!

They Do Have Their Moments

August 26, 2009

Summer is just about over for us. We have exactly two weeks until school is back in session and if you would have asked me three weeks ago if I was ready for the school year to begin, I would have said "YES" in a New York minute.

For the most part, Nick and Sarah get along very well, but boy can they can bicker.....and a couple of weeks ago, the bickering was at an all time high!! I was more than ready to hang up my referee uniform and was kind of excited to think that new school year was just a few short weeks away. It would give the kids the space that they obviously needed from one another......

But all that changed the minute we hit the beach!!

They played so well bickering, no referee needed. It was so nice to sit back in my beach chair and watch them dig in the sand, collect shells at the waters edge, and jump through the waves together. Even though they have their moments......there was no denying how much they love and even enjoy each other.

Our little trip could not have come at a more perfect time. Pat and I really needed a break from work and everyday life and it seems as though the kids really needed a change of scenery too!! I guess we all really needed some R&R.....or at the very least, some ocean air!

Here are just a few more pics I took of the kids on the beach.....

Throwing Rockswm
Throwing rocks into the water.

On the hillwm
Cuddling up to his this one:)

Nick on the steps2wm
Nick looks so mature in this photo.......gosh, he is growing up so fast.

Checking out the her sandy feet:)

Deep In Thoughtwm

Nickand Eddiewm
Best Buddies....and COUSINS!!! Eddie came along with us, so I had to get one of the two of them together. He is just the sweetest little guy.......we were so glad that he could make the trip. Going to the beach just wouldn't be the same without him:)

Now that I am back to work and realize we had our last hoorah, I am a little sad to see the summer come to an end. Before we know it, Christmas will be here....I don't even want to think about it....

Breaking Some Bread With Friends and A Recipe{3 Word Sunday}

August 23, 2009

Saw Her Face- BLOG
I am a little behind here on my posts, but couldn't let anymore time pass before I posted about a lunch I had with some special bloggy friends. YES.....I got to see the face behind that icon!!!

Pictured above is Ivy, Me, and Tonggu Momma:) If any of you visit Tonggu Momma's blog, you have already read most of the details of our get together and understand why her face is covered in all pictures.

I have to admit, it was kind of funny to have been blogging/emailing with her for the past year and not know her real name, or what she looked like, but when I pulled up to the restaurant it was not hard to spot her as she was running to the front door with her beauty of a daughter and they were both waiving at me.

We all had a great time breaking some bread at B@rtucci's. Tonggu Momma and family were everything I thought they would be and more.

Tonggu Momma is just as funny in person as she appears to be on her blog. She might try to tell you she is not, but she is:) Not only is she funny, but oh so smart....if you have hung out at her blog for any length of time, I think you have probably figured that out already. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with her.

The Tongginator is a gorgeous little girl. She showered us all with sweetness that afternoon. Did I mention how smart she is.....She even spelled "Tongginator" for us. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I have a hard time spelling "Tongginator". I really wished Sarah would have been there to meet her, but I was working and met them on my lunch hour, so maybe next time!!!

Tonggu Daddy.....Well, what can I say. There are not too many men I know that would sit through a lunch with bloggy ladies.....but TD hung in there like a champ and was happy to listen to us chatter away. He even played photographer....and might I add a very good one. He was so gracious to take pictures with all of our cameras. If that wasn't enough, this mamarazzi(me) had to ask him for retakes. He didn't even flinch when I asked.

What more can I was a real treat to meet this family. They are beautiful inside and out!!! I can't wait to see them again. It looks as though I am heading their direction in a couple weeks, so our next get together could be sooner rather than later.
I hope you are all up for a visit, because it will take more than a little girl that looks through the bathroom stall to scare me away!!(If you don't get that, go read her POST on our get together)

Ivy and Kira almost didn't make it to lunch that day, but I am so glad they would not have been the same without them. They are such special friends and I feel so fortunate to have them in such close proximity. Sarah and Kira get along so well...and Ivy, well, she is just about as sweet as they come. I really value our friendship and look forward to all of our get togethers.

The tongginator and Kira
Not only was I happy that Ivy and Kira made it.....I think the Tongginator was too. She had a great time playing big sister to fact, she was the one who got her to eat. Take a look......The Tongginator wanted a big hug, but Kira had her eyes on the bread:) Oh so cute!!

Salad Blog
Sorry for the marathon post, but my posts in draft are getting backed up and I decided to include this recipe that I have been promising. It is my Cape Cod inspired salad. I say inspired by, because of the cranberries in it.

If you have ever visited cape cod, I am sure you have seen the beautiful cranberry bogs. While visiting local restaurants, I noticed that they use cranberries in a lot of the dishes. I am in love with a turkey wrap that has cranberry sauce in it.....almost like thanksgiving to go:) They also use cranberries in salads, which is where I got the idea for this one!!

Here is what I use:

Romaine Lettuce and Sping Mix
Shredded Carrots
Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
Red Onion Sliced
Shredded Cheddar and Monteray Jack Cheese
Grilled Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Shredded or cubed
Mandarin Oranges
Dried Cranberries
Sliced Almonds
Crunchy Chow Mein Noodles

This is the dressing I use on almost everything, I even use it to marinate chicken

1-2 Cloves of Fresh Minced Garlic
1 tsp of Dijon Mustard
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of black pepper
3 shakes of Italian Seasoning
6 TBSP of White Wine Vinegar
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Whisk all the ingredients together. It will keep for a day or two on your counter, do not refrigerate.

My friends and family love this salad. I have served it as a meal and taken it to a picnic as a side dish. My favorite way to eat it is with a big piece of crusty bread and nice glass of wine:)

Tomorrow it is back to work for me....Hope you have a great week!!

Greetings From Cape Cod

August 20, 2009


Nick UpWM

Looking into the sunsetwm

I had planned to post a couple times from up here, but ran into some technical difficulties. So for now, I thought I would give you a sneak peek at some of our beach photos until I am back in business.

There are a lot more pictures headed your way along with a Cape Cod inspired recipe and some pictures from a special lunch with bloggy friends:)

Hope you all are having a great week. Try to stay cool.....Can you believe this heatwave?

Be back real soon!!

We Love Chucks:)

August 14, 2009

Thinking about itwmblog
A couple of weeks ago, I ordered these Chuck T's for Sarah!! I LOVE them....actually, I wore these when I was growing up and they bring back many memories!!

We decided to break them in last weekend and dust off the camera too!! I had a new location in mind, but we had a little snafu, so we went back to the train station!!

Here are a few of my favorite shots of the day.......

Watching with cloudswmblog

Off in the distancewmblog

A flower for youwmblog

I'm Donewmblog
Look at this sad and pouty face!! She was DONE, so we wrapped it up and called it a day!!

We love our Chucks, but we will be kicking them off this weekend and going barefoot. We are heading to Cape Cod tomorrow and cannot wait:) I plan to post while on vaca, so I will still be around:)

Happy Weekend Everyone!!

I hope I am not dreaming!!!

August 12, 2009

I couldn't decide what I wanted to post about, photography, or the new perk I mentioned yesterday. Even though Food and Photography are two of my most favorite subjects, I am going to start with the new PERK.......because I am just WAY EXCITED over this.

Before I go on, let me preface this by saying......things like this just don't happen to me. I was really taken by surprise by all of it. I still feel the need to pinch myself daily, to make sure that I am not just dreaming......

I have worked at the same place for almost 7 years and was definitely starting to feel like it was about time to take things to the next level, but never thought that I would be walking into what I did a couple of Monday's ago.

The day started like any other Monday usually does, but when I saw my boss this particular day, he said "We need to talk about something before our meeting, can you come in for a chat" He seemed all serious and I thought it was going to be bad.....and then he said the dreaded words...."We need to discuss money" I felt like I was going to throw up.....I just could not handle a pay cut, but with all that is going on in today's job market, I guess I should have been thankful that he was not going to cut my job.

He must have seen the look of PANIC on my face and quickly assured me that what he was about to tell me was going to make me happy.....very HAPPY!!! He proceeded to layout my new job role, title, and compensation package. The frown was instantly turned upside down. I was thrilled with the news.....and at the same time a little intimidated by some of the extra time and responsibility this new role would take.......but then I kept thinking about the perks....a raise and A COMPANY CAR.....both of these items, so worth a little fear and intimidation:)

If all of this wasn't exciting enough, he let me choose the car I wanted as a company vehicle. So at the very moment he is giving me the big news he asked me what type of car I would want to drive.

Now how would you answer that? In my mind I am thinking...What is a reasonable response? So I started by mentioning a couple of the cars that he has already purchased for other executives. I figured I was safe in assuming that he would buy the same type of vehicle for me.

He said they were all fine choices, but also had some other recommendations because he wanted to make sure that whatever I drive will accomodate our growing family. His recommendations blew me off my chair....and by the time I walked {more like floated} out of his office, he had me set up at a couple car dealerships to go test drive.

Usually I DREAD car shopping with a capital D, but OH was so much fun when you don't have to be the one to do the negotiating....or make the monthly payments:) I just showed up and the sales reps already knew what to show me.

It didn't take me long to figure it out.....there was one that really stood out to me. It took about a week to locate exactly what I wanted......


Is he not the BEST BOSS EVER?????

I am having lots of fun driving this little baby....the kids like it too. They have been popping movies in the entertainment center every chance they get, even if we are just running to the corner store. Everytime I put Sarah in her carseat, she immediately says "Can I have my earmuffs" That is what she calls the headphones....LOL!!

My boss's delivery of this news could not have happened at a more perfect time. The car I was driving is at the end of it's lease, so in a few months, it will be BYE BYE car payment.....not to mention that if we were to buy a new vehicle, it would have been something much more modest{less expensive}than this luxury vehicle. All in all, the loss of a car payment and the expenses that go with a car each month will be a HUGE savings for us!!

Both Pat and I feel truly blessed by all of this and can't help but feel that everything is starting to line up for the addition of our China Baby!! The days, weeks, and months are passing by so quickly......and even though we have, at the very least, 7 or 8 more months of waiting, our time will be here before we know it and every extra penny saved is only going to help!

Jumping Back In..........

August 11, 2009

Jumping Back in
Hi!! Do you remember me?

I was afraid after being gone so long, you would all forget me! I know it was only two weeks, but it sure felt like it was a lot longer.

There is so much going on around here, I almost don't know where to begin. I guess I should start where I left off in my last post. As some of you probably guessed, I did get a promotion at work, which means more responsiblity.....a lot more responsibility and a lot more of my time! So much so, that I have seriously considered shutting down "The Long Road To China"

When I started the blog last year, I never realized how much I would enjoy it and how much time I would spend here. I have gone back and forth in my mind and after much thought, I decided to keep going......It would be too hard to close up shop and walk away. Besides.....we are only about 3/4 of the way down "the long road".....the best part is yet to come and I want you all with me....every step of the way:)

All that being said, the blog has been suffering this summer....I have not done a great job about keeping up with everything going on in our lives and I have been really bad about making my away around to visit my fellow bloggy friends. In all honesty, I have been very sidetracked with other avenues like Photography, F!ickr, and once in a great while....F@cebook. So, in effort to keep "The Long Road to China" going......I am giving up everything except for blogging.

I have always had that "all or nothing" type of I am jumping back into the bloggy world with both feet.

Check back soon!

I have a couple posts already set up for this week...a recipe, a post about one of the biggest perks of my new promotion, and of course.....some major cuteness:) And while I was busy pumping out all these posts, I figured I mine as well spruce up the blog with a new makeover too!! Nothing like a fresh new start!!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!!