Saturday, August 28, 2010

Crossing Off The List

Photo: www.lifehack.org

We've got 3 down, 5 to go! Then we'll get the adoption process going again.
  1. Reach our goal weights for the year. I'm getting this.close to reaching my goal weight. Only a few more lbs to go. Zay's steadily working on his. We're still trying to find a routine that works for both of us. We have our individual things, but I really wish we could work together on this one.
  2. Find a good marriage counselor and start seeing them once a month or so. I haven't had the time to research this one yet.
  3. Establish a good pattern of Date Night. This is the one we're working on now. We've pretty much established a night and we alternate who gets to pick what we do. But we haven't been doing it (successfully) long enough for me to call it a "good pattern."
  4.  Me getting a job that will allow Zay to get back into school. Being self-employed has a lot of drawbacks... and we've been going back and forth about me being a stay-at-home mom and Zay being a stay-at-home dad... and I ended up deciding that I should use my education to start a career. Zay can go to school like he's wanted to do for years now and be the stay-at-home dad that he used to dream of being. It's in my personality to work and if I can find the right job that I'll enjoy, I wouldn't mind being the main provider
    •  I got a job, I'm still doing hair on the side, and Zay's figuring out his school situation. He'll be a stay-at-home dad when that time comes. That's the plan.
  5.  Get health insurance (hopefully this comes with a job w/benefits and the whole health insurance nightmare will end).
  6.  Start a retirement account (hopefully this comes with a job w/benefits)
    • I've got some catching up to do since I'm almost 25 and I'm just now getting with the program! But it's never too late.
  7. Finish saving for all likely adoption fees/expenses. We've got an account set up for this and we've been slowly but surely adding funds to it.
  8. Make a savings plan in order to pay off all student loan debt, have 6 month's worth of income in our savings account, buy a house, and get a second car. Haven't worked on this one yet!




Friday, August 13, 2010

Darkest Before The Dawn

After our Anniversary, I knew something had to give. Something needed to change and something needed to change quickly before I blew a fuse or popped a blood vessel or something. Lol. I kept thinking about all the stuff we've gone through the last couple years... and how struggles can either tear a couple apart or bring them closer together. I was doing everything that I knew how to do for it to be the latter.

I kept wondering what God wanted us to learn from all this...(infertility, adoption hindrances, etc.)? Because I've learned A LOT. I've grown so much... even more than what I thought I was capable of. I felt like I had done all that I could do and I was wondering when God was going to do His part. What else was there for me to learn? I was humble (ha ha), I was patient (HA)... I was going the extra mile in every spiritual aspect of my life I could think of... but there were no clear answers. I guess my choices at this point were to either lose faith, or endure to the end.

My prayers had all begun sounding the same around this time. They sounded something like this:

Okay God. This is all I can do without direction. This is my best. PLEASE just give me something. Whatever it is I need. Please just make something happen. Amen.

And I kept going. I trusted that God would come through for me when He was dang good and ready.

And then... suddenly everything started to fall into place. I got a job - a job that is perfect for me, a job that I found on accident really, a job that has benefits that begin immediately such as health insurance and 401(k) matching!

This was a job that I was positive I wasn't going to get. I had been actively trying hard to get a job for about 2 months before I interviewed for this one, doing interview after interview and being turned down left and right. I was so frustrated, that I knew I wasn't going to get this job as soon as I got the call for me to come in for an interview. Since I knew I wasn't going to get it, I was (almost) completely relaxed. I wasn't too nervous or anxious. I just answered the questions to the best of my ability without getting all hyper and talkative or blurting out stupid things. I took my time and actually thought about the questions before answering so that I could use good examples from my past work and school experience - examples that actually matched the job description. I joked a little bit and had the interviewers laughing. I wasn't too proud to beg for the job, either. Ha ha. "Please pick me cuz I'm awesome!" The interview went absolutely perfectly and I left feeling good that I actually made it through an interview so well. I would have been fine if I didn't get the job, because I knew I had done my best and there was nothing else I could have done.

But they actually called me back! And I couldn't believe it. I took the phone call in the bedroom and then I cracked open the bedroom door just barely to catch Zay's eye in the living room. He said, "What?!" And I whispered, "I got the job." Zay started yelling, "YES! YES!" and I giggled and shut the door. He said, "Get out here, woman!" and we did a little celebratory dancing in the living room. Ha ha ha. He said, "You have no idea what's going on inside my heart right now." Lol. I think that means he's happy. And I'm happy too. :)




Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our Sixth Anniversary

Last year, Zay and I spent our anniversary camping and fishing together. We're pretty simple, easy-going people like that.



We're not the type to go to some fancy restaurant or throw a huge celebration. This year we didn't even plan anything at all... And under normal circumstances that would have worked out just fine for us. We would've just chilled, watched some movies and spent the whole day with each other... probably would've thrown something on the grill. Our anniversary is the day before Independence Day, so we usually just mesh those two celebrations together with all the BBQ'ing, swimming, and fireworks going on.

But... things were off this year. We just weren't feeling it. The day started off well - Zay got me this awesome digital camera that I love, love, love! and we hung out all day. But as the day wore on, we could tell there was something that didn't feel right. We had been taking life so seriously up to that point that there was no room left for fun. Life was getting too confusing, too difficult, and too disappointing.

So there we were, angry for no good reason... feeling like nothing was going right. We tried to end the night on a good note. We went up to the base of the Y trail to watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks and look out over the city, but by then we were both in our own worlds trying to figure things out and we weren't connecting very well at all.

I really wish we had planned some sort of getaway or something. We really needed a break from everything. I regret that now.

This was before we made our Baby Bucket List and before good things started happening (I got a job!!!), when everything was still up in the air - my school plans, Zay's school plans, my possible career paths, Zay's possible career paths, whether I was going to try to get pregnant, whether this adoption thing would work out, if we were going to have to wait until 2014 to get health insurance under Obama's health care reform, whether we wanted to move to a bigger place or move back to GA or what. We didn't know what the heck was going on anymore and we hadn't sat down and talked about it all yet, so it was hanging over our heads and making the mood horrible.

I took one picture that entire day. I think you can gauge how happy I am by the number of pictures I take.


What a sad little picture that is! Ha ha.

Anyways, it was a bad day... and it sucks that it was on our anniversary. But now I can look back on it all and say we made it through it, so it doesn't suck as much as it did at the time. And the marriage isn't all about the anniversaries. It's about every single day. :)




Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Writing Notes In Church

This is from a little over a month ago, right in the middle of all the confusion... around the time we talked to our caseworker and put things on hold because we didn't know what the heck we were doing in life.

Zay:  Hey Baby. How u doin?
AA:   Tired & [sun]burnt. But I'm okay.

Zay:  Adult life sucks huh?
AA:   Sometimes. I'm glad I have you by my side helping me through it.

Zay:  Sweet. I'm always here.
AA:   Thank you. You've been very sweet & comforting lately.

Zay:  I'm tryin. I love u so much.
AA:   I love you too! Our anniversary is so close. 6 years! Yay!

Zay:  Wow, time flies huh?
AA:   Yep. They say the first 7 years of marriage are the hardest.

Zay:  I thought it was 5.
AA:   Whatever. We're gonna make it to 60 years!

Zay:  Hope so. Hope I'm alive to see it.
AA:   I want us to live a long time together.

Zay:  If something happens to me, will u stay sealed to me?
AA:   [*laughing*] Yeah, silly.

Zay:  Nice. I feel so bad sometimes, cuz I don't know what the future holds for us.
AA:   Nobody knows. We can't do much about that except trying for what we want out of life & seeing what happens & what doesn't.

Zay:  There are things we both want for life. Some things we control & some things we don't. But I feel like we have control over nothing.
AA:   We're just in a weird state right now. Nothing is certain, so it's confusing & makes us feel out of control. It sucks.

Zay:  Yup.
AA:   I know I wanna be w/you. That's certain. We can control our relationship if we work as a team.

Zay:  Thanks. I wanna be wit u too.




Monday, August 9, 2010

Baby Bucket List

Part Four

* * *

It took a couple weeks before we were ready to talk about things again, but we sat down and tried to make some goals. These are supposed to be things that we need/want to get done or have before we can move forward with starting a family. The first list started off like this:
  1. Pay off all student loan debt.
  2. Finish saving for all likely adoption fees/expenses.
  3. Set up a retirement account.
  4. Have 6 month's worth of income in our savings account.
  5. Take a vacation to a foreign country.
  6. Buy a house. 
  7. Get a second car.
  8. ......
Okay, so the Baby Bucket List started off with some pretty lofty goals, and they all had to do with money. I mean, the total amount Zay wanted us to come up with before we could move on was about $70,000. I could see where most of his concerns were centered! I was like, "Ummmm.... okay. That was a good start. Now, let's try this again with some realistic goals." Ha ha. And he says he's the realistic one! If we're gonna have to come up with $70,000 before we can even think of moving on, I should just throw in the towel right this second. It might as well be a gazillion dollars.

So we tried again, focusing more on being ready as a couple rather than having a buttload of money in the bank. I think we did better the second time around.
  1. Reach our goal weights for the year. We want to be around long enough (meaning *not dead*) to play with our kids and teach them sports when they're young. We don't want to be huffing and puffing trying to do that... or sitting on the sidelines because our backs and knees hurt. This is also teaching us some much needed self-discipline - a value that we want to pass down to our kids and to do that we need to learn it ourselves.
  2. Find a good marriage counselor and start seeing them once a month or so. I'm a big believer in taking preventative measures in relationships. I've seen lots of divorces where the marital problems had crept up almost unnoticed and then suddenly overwhelmed the marriage. I think identifying issues early on and working them out as we go along will benefit us in the long run. I wish we had done this years ago. I'm sure there would have been far less arguments and more constructive communication. It would also be nice to find a counselor who has dealt with adoptive families before. That would help with the disappointments that are very likely to rear their ugly heads while we're being matched to a birth family.
  3. Establish a good pattern of Date Night (there's an awesome blog HERE with a hilarious video about having date night...OMG, so funny!). Setting a night aside to do this actually reminds us that we need to take the time to have a special night together every once in awhile instead of always just "hanging out." It will help us make each other a priority - something we'll need to do even after we have kids (especially after we have kids).
  4. Me getting a job that will allow Zay to get back into school. Being self-employed has a lot of drawbacks... and we've been going back and forth about me being a stay-at-home mom and Zay being a stay-at-home dad... and I ended up deciding that I should use my education to start a career. Zay can go to school like he's wanted to do for years now and be the stay-at-home dad that he used to dream of being. It's in my personality to work and if I can find the right job that I'll enjoy, I wouldn't mind being the main provider.
  5. Get health insurance (hopefully this comes with a job w/benefits and the whole health insurance nightmare will end).
  6. Start a retirement account (hopefully this comes with a job w/benefits).
  7. Finish saving for all likely adoption fees/expenses.
  8. Make a savings plan in order to pay off all student loan debt, have 6 month's worth of income in our savings account, buy a house, and get a second car. We don't need to actually do any of these things. We just need to make a plan to.
After we settled on these goals, we set a deadline for ourselves. This is supposed to be the date on which we can say that it doesn't matter if we've crossed everything off the list yet, we're moving forward! At first Zay said December 21, 2012, because that's supposed to be the end of the world anyway. Ha ha. I told him there was no way I was waiting 2 1/2 years for him to get comfortable with anything. And if it's going to be the end of the world, I'm gonna be mighty pissed that he made me wait until it was too late! So, the official deadline is the end of this year.

** I got the idea for a "Baby Bucket List" from a friend's blog. Check her out at Baby Makin' Machine! **




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