Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My Sister's Blog

Ok, so I can admit it...I am a blog snob. I barely have time to post on my own, much less read every other one that I love BUT I am trying to make that more of a priority! I didn't realize it until today that my sister has been updating her blog so in honor, I am adding her to the blogroll and putting a link to Alie's blog here. Check it out...lots of cute pics of Maggie and Dexter and a great picture that Josh just took! GOOD STUFF!

Monday, September 24, 2007


In the spirit of my friend Sarah, I figured it was time to do a little roll call. If you are reading this right now, you HAVE to post a comment (it's not hard, I promise!) Since I am keeping this as a record of our adoption, I want our future child to know who all was tracking with us so comment away!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Doors are closing

It's been a while since I poured my heart out on this blog about our adoption process which is kind of ironic since the whole reason I started this blog was to track our journey through adoption.

Today it seems is a day of doors closing. We actually closed the first one ourselves this morning. Evidently the agency that was working with the birthmom of twins is having a difficult time getting in touch with her so we decided to stop the process there. The communication between the agency and ourselves was less than ideal (this was not through our agency) and it was really starting to stress me out that I felt like I was bugging the caseworker to get more details. Today was day 10 since they got our profile and Jonathan and I both felt like it was time to make a decision as to whether or not to keep waiting or to consider this a "no" After we talked with the caseworker one last time, even she felt like we should pursue other opportunities. We called our caseworker and told her that we were back.

Soon after that, I found out that another situation we had been told about (a baby girl) about 10 days ago has also turned into a no (even though we weren't able to pursue it b/c of the twins). Evidently the birthfather is contesting the adoption.

So how do I feel? At peace. I KNOW who is in control and I honestly just don't have it in me to question that control. I am glad I have a father who is watching out for us and understands this process because it sometimes doesn't make sense to us. I remember before the consignment sale just praying for a baby in September...I even remember saying a September baby would be nice. All I wanted was to get past the craziness of the consignment sale and then focus on the baby and now I am realizing that September is already almost gone as well. It makes me sad that time is going by so quickly and I hope that I don't easily forget this process once we are on the other side of it.

THANKS for your continued prayers for our family. We feel them...we do. At times when we are sad, we feel the love from our heavenly father and from all of you that are continuing to join us in this journey.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sometimes you just gotta let 'em run!

As I type, my wild yahoos are all three upstairs making loops through the house. From the basement, it sounds like a heard of elephants are running through my house. But you know what? They aren't arguing or fighting nor or they all over me while I type this. Sometimes you just gotta let 'em run (and hope you don't have another visit to Vanderbilt ER as a result of the running)

Great things to come...

Here is what I am working on to upload in the next few days:

*A post on being refined...both inside and out (with pics) Should be interesting
*Anna and I's girl day yesterday (we went to see High School Musical on Ice) I have some adorable pics to load
*Our fun trip to the Vanderbilt ER last night with Anna (she's fine-just got her first migraine we think...looks like I've passed something on to my daughter!)
*New things changing with the consignment sale including a post to ask for your ideas on how we can make more of an impact on our community

No new updates on the twins yet...we heard from the agency today so I guess no news is still good news right? We'll keep you posted!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tuesday w/ My Grandma and Papa

Ever since my kids were little, I go and visit my Grandma Norma and Papa Charles (as my kids call them...why they use their first names I don't know) Since the boys started school, my grandparents are going through withdrawal so this past Tuesday, I stole my niece Maggie and we surprised Grandma Norma and Papa Charles. We had so much fun....grandma made breakfast, Maggie had her breakfast and then we just sat in the living room and adored Maggie. The best part?!?!? Once Ali (my sister) goes back to work in October, we get to have Tuesdays with grandparents again! They are really excited and I am too! Isn't she getting big? I took some pics for your viewing pleasure:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

And now about me...

I always love reading these things when people forward them, but yuck, I hate filling them out over and over again. To remedy that, I will blog it and then from now on, I will just cut and paste over and over again. It can't change that much right?

1. Time this survey started : 11:51 pm
2.. What's your full name: Jennifer Brea Holland Freeman
3.. What are you most afraid of : someone hurting one of my kids
4. What was the last movie that you saw in a theater: Wild Hogs (yes, I lead a sad, depressing life that it has been THAT long since I have been to a movie)
5.. Place of birth : Baptist Hospital, Nashville, TN
6.. Favorite food: wow, there are a bunch. I love chicken meximelts (Taco Bell), the Mikey hot dog (Itty Bitty), a good filet, crab, loaded baked potatoes but only when they are REALLY loaded, the spicy fries that Backyard Burger doesn't serve in TN anymore (yes, I wrote a letter), a Frisco burger and shake (Steak and Shake)...oh, there is just so many! (I wonder how many transfats are in this list!)
7.. What's your natural hair color : brown, I think....now it is gray with brown coloring
8.. Ever been to Alaska: no, not a big cold person but I would like to take a cruise there
9.. Ever been toilet paper rolling: Ok, first, who calls it "toilet paper rolling" Here in TN, we call it good ole fashion ROLLIN. Yes, I have been. A BUNCH. Kim and I have many fond memories from our rollin days in high school.
10.. Love someone so much it made you cry: yes
11.. Been in a car accident: yes
12.. Croutons or bacon bits : both
13.. Favorite day of the week: Saturday (good junking!)
14.. Favorite restaurant : I think we touched on this above...but I do love my PF Changs
15.. Favorite Flower: they are all pretty but I don't like Jonathan to waste money on them. Send me a nap or quiet kids, not flowers.
16.. Favorite sport to watch: now, you see....if it said "Favorite sport" I would have just put football, but to watch....whole new ballgame. I like watching all the weird crap on ESPN late at night. Men lifting trucks to prove how manly they are, etc. I really like to watch my husband watch sports because he gets so wrapped up in it that it totally cracks me up.
17.. Favorite drink: I can't even touch Angie's answer...it's priceless. I'll go with Venti Non Fat White Chocolate Mocha with whip but don't tell me your "accidentally" laying on the whip because that defeats the whole "non-fat" thing.
18.. Favorite ice cream : Chocolate covered banana from Ritter's HAND'S DOWN. Sorry, Cherry Garcia from Ben and Jerry's...there's a new sheriff in town.
19.. Disney or Warner Brothers: Disney
20.. Ever been on a ship: yes and can't wait to go again! LOVE CRUISING!
21.. What color is your bedroom carpet: beige
22.. How many times did you fail your driver's test: This is really sad, I don't remember. No, I didn't do any drugs in high school (or ever for that matter). I guess I passed it the first time because you would think I would remember that failure but alas, I can't.
23.. Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail: Candy
24.. What do you do when you are bored: I wish I could find the time to be bored.
25.. Bedtime: obviously not a normal time tonight....usually 11ish
26.. Who will respond to this e-mail the quickest: Everyone who reads this should love me b/c I didn't forward you something else you have to do!
28.. Who is the person that you are most curious to see their
responses : I think everyone that reads this should post about themselves on their blog
29.. Favorite TV show : anything on HGTV or TLC
30.. Last person you went out to dinner with: Angie, Pam and Chrystal
31.. Who do you think will be President: Fred Thompson
32.. What are your favorite colors : red
33.. How many tattoos do you have : one
34.. How many pets do you have: none
35.. Which came first, the chicken or the egg: Who seriously cares?
36.. What do you want to do before you die: see my kids grow up, be on a reality TV show (nothing sleezy), help make a positive impact on people around me and allow them to see Christ in my life
37. Have you ever been to Hawaii: yes, Maui in 6th grade
38. Have you been to countries outside Canada : yep, the US
40.. Time this survey ended : 12:11 am

I have the best friends

Seriously, I do....they make me laugh when I have had a rough day (more on that later). So, it's late (try 11:42 PM) and I can't freaking sleep because I had a rough day and I have a lot on my mind. Actually, my day was quite pleasant until a bad late afternoon to get more specific. So, I come down to the basement to check some emails and this is what pops in my email right as I sit down. I laughed out loud while reading it because I can just hear her talking while she is typing it...I put a few astericks in to "mask her identity" Why? I don't know...just seemed like the right thing to do. Have fun laughing:

1. Time this survey started : I'm at my mom's. Where's the clock? It's dark outside.
2.. What's your full name: Angela ***** *******
3.. What are you most afraid of :
I think we all know the answer to this. Remember Dec. 18, 2002? SNAKE on my deck. Dogs had him surrounded. I got the shotgun. I jammed the bullet too far into said shotgun. Shotgun would not close. Snake (and deck) was NOT blown to smithereens. I'm AFRAID of snakes, people.
4. What was the last movie that you saw in a theater
1408 or whatever that stupid Stephen King movie was. I know it was stupid.
5.. Place of birth : that thriving metropolis, Russellville, KY
6.. Favourite food: What is this, Great Britain? My FAVORITE food would be, umm, well, maybe brownies or cookies, or mac and cheese, or bread and butter, or all the other most wonderful, delicious, life-shortening carbs in the world. Oh, crab rangoon is good, too.
7.. What's your natural hair color : well, dark brown, with number 131 highlights, baby
8.. Ever been to Alaska: ooo, no, but I'm hoping for a cruise there next year for our 20th anniversary.
9.. Ever been toilet paper rolling: I think once with Danny and Johnny in high school. I think we rolled Danny's house. Who rolls their own house?
10.. Love someone so much it made you cry: Well, if you answer no to this question you are nothing but *ss matter...(I'm not *ss matter. Of course I love someone so much it makes me cry--several people, actually)
11.. Been in a car accident: nothing serious
12.. Croutons or bacon bits : oh, for goodness sakes. The carbs, of course!
13.. Favourite day of the week: again, the British spelling! I guess I'd have to say Friday like most everyone else.
14.. Favourite restaurant : oh, so many. Macaroni Grille, that place in Gatlinburg (Cherokee Grill?), PF Changs, and Itty Bitty Sandwich Shop for lunch
15.. Favourite Flower: Lilacs and Peonies (DO NOT ask me to choose 1 "favourite")
16.. Favourite sport to watch: oh, football of any sort, college and pro. Also, I really enjoy watching Lisa Mc. AVOID football-- a sport in itself.
17.. Favourite drink: anything fruity with rum (just like my men)
18.. Favourite ice cream : recently, Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla
19.. Disney or Warner Brothers: well, Disney, of course. The other is like Pepsi or Ford--ewwww.
20.. Ever been on a ship: not a big one
21.. What color is your bedroom carpet: beige with dog and kid stains--classy!
22.. How many times did you fail your driver's test: Fail a test? Heavens, you people know me better than this...
23.. Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail
Some chick wanting her $8 consignor fee refunded since she donated her leftover stuff.
24.. What do you do when you are bored: are you kidding me? I have a 4 year old.
25.. Bedtime: 2-3 of hours after Alexandra. When I'm finished with my "me time". (don't you hate that expression, "me time"?)
26.. Who will respond to this e-mail the quickest: I think Lisa Mc. and Margaret will race to see who can come up with the most humorous answers. That's good, 'cause they're funny.
27.. Who is the person you sent this to that is least likely
to respond:
I know you all will respond, my darlings.
28.. Who is the person that you are most curious to see their
responses :
I know all the "real" yous, so I'll be curious to see who is most creative.
29.. Favourite TV show : of all time-- "The Waltons". Currently, "The Office"
30.. Last person you went out to dinner with: Robert and Alexandra
31.. Who do you think will be President: Fred Thompson
32.. What are your favorite colors : lime green and bright pink
33.. How many tattoos do you have : Do stretchmarks count?
34.. How many pets do you have: 4 English Setters, 1 Westie, 1 cat, 1 hairy, belching, farting husband
35.. Which came first, the chicken or the egg: WHAT?!?
36.. What do you want to do before you die: see Alexandra grow up, marry, and have kids, and then take care of me when I poop on myself...
37. Have you ever been to Hawaii no, but I've been to Siberia. It's almost as nice!
38. Have you been to countries outside Canada : see #37 above. Oh, and, yes, I've been to countries outside CANADA--I've been to the U.S. for one!
39.. How many people are you sending this e-mail to: now , why does this matter, and what does it tell you about me?
40.. Time this survey ended : I found the clock! Come to find out, it's right there in the lower right corner of this here computing maching. It's 11:28pm.

Monday, September 10, 2007

We're taking a leap of faith...

I never thought we would do this, but I think we are going to pursue an available "situation" with another agency. REALLY long story, but we will know more in a few days. All I can tell you is that it is twin boys and they are due in November. More to come but please, start praying!

An Explosion of Prayer

A friend that I met through Bethany (our adoption agency) sent this to me today. It really hit home for me today and I wanted to share:

An Explosion of Prayer
September 2007

It was surreal. This was the kind of thing you hear about on the news and shake your head in disbelief from afar. But today, I sat in my car unable to believe that we were a part of this shocking tragedy.

The bright morning of July 25th began in its usual “Wednesday-morning” kind of way. I bathed and dressed my two boys to prepare for our bi-monthly trip to Dallas’ Galleria mall where we played while my husband had his regular meeting with a friend at Starbucks. We loaded ourselves into the Tahoe and took the route we always did--35 North toward downtown. As we neared the city, we saw thick clouds of black smoke in the distance. At first we thought it must be a small car fire. It wasn’t until we were atop a major bridge adjoining two main intersections in downtown that we realized we had driven directly in the path of a major disaster.

An industrial gas plant had exploded just moments before we arrived. The explosion had unleashed massive plumes of smoke and was now sending flaming debris flying in the direction of the bridge on which our car sat. We stared in disbelief at the enormous disaster before us. My thoughts went out to the employees at the company and those individuals directly involved in the disaster. It didn’t occur to me that we fit that description until I looked through my window into the faces of the people in the car next to us and saw the terror in their eyes. When safety workers started running away from the blaze, up the freeway in our direction, I nervously unbuckled my seatbelt thinking that we too might have to do the same. A hailstorm of blazing rubble was hoisted into the air. It flew like a misguided firework leaving a trail of smoke across the sky. Each piece came crashing down onto the road in a fiery fury and dashed across the street in a fuming huff.

The bridge jolted beneath our car. It felt like we’d been rear-ended. Jerry and I turned in our seats to see the culprit but found no one. Then we felt the jolt again. The plant, filled with tanks of oxygen, helium and acetylene, had a chain reaction of explosions as the heat from the fire intensified and met with the volatile chemicals housed in the warehouse. Each blast sent shockwaves throughout the neighboring streets. Jerry and I caught each other’s eye and realized that we were in danger. My heart stopped for a moment as I feared the worst. Would one of the flying pieces of debris hit our car? Would the bridge collapse from the jolt of the explosions? Should we stay put or get out of the car, as so many others had, unhook our children from the car seats and run? Neither of us had any answers.

Our panic settled some time later when a police officer was finally able to direct the traffic from the bridge onto a side road that would lead through downtown. Our nerves, shot and disheveled, began to settle as we drove away from imminent danger and watched the action, movie-like scene fade in the rear view mirror. Going back home was our desire but not an option. Now, all the roads were blocked going in that direction. We continued on to the mall. Once inside, I sat down in the seat I always use, in the area where my children always play and drew a deep breath. I’d never expected that this could have been a day when things we always did might not have been done. My cell phone beeped indicating that I had a message. It was a text from a friend I had somehow missed earlier. I’d been on her mind early that morning she said. For no apparent reason, she’d felt compelled to pray for me. She wrote her prayer: “Father, I lift to you Priscilla. I pray that you bless her right now with your strength and peace. May she see the new mercies you have provided for her today and may she feel your presence everywhere she goes. Overwhelm her with your provisions. Allow her to rest in your faithfulness and Lord, please cover her and her family with your protection in the name of Jesus, Amen!”

Right there in the zoo-themed play area right between the plastic hippo and massive coiled snake, I melted into a puddle of tears as I saw the time that she’d sent the email, exactly the time we’d been sitting on the bridge on the edge of disaster. Without knowing it, my sweet friend had been used as divine instrument to call down the fiery hedge of heaven to surround us here on earth. How grateful I was and am that she submitted to the inner prompting to pray to call out my name to the Father and ask Him to protect.

Who’s on your mind today? Whose name keeps ringing deep within? Coincidence? Not hardly! Don’t just think of them … pray for them. No telling what glorious miracles might be resting on the wings of your prayers.

Friday, September 7, 2007

We're going to Disney!!

We had always promised Anna we would take her to Disney before she was 9 years old, but it has just never worked out. Jonathan and I decided to plan a surprise birthday trip (arriving 2 days before her 9th birthday) and we really wanted to wait and tell the kids the morning we left. Yeah right.

On Sunday afternoon, Anna was trying on her princess dresses and I asked her if she was upset since I had broken a promise to her about Disney. She said "yeah, kind of" and I proceeded to tell her that we just couldn't afford it. Jonathan spoke up and said, "well, maybe we can" and then I said, "yes, I guess we can since we booked it for your birthday!" She burst into tears which made Jonathan and I both cry. The boys just sat there trying to figure out what in the world was going on. First, she called JuJu and Papa Eddie and was delighted to hear that they are going too! The next phone call was to Mrs. Vickie who knows everything about Disney and loves to help others plan their vacations (thanks Vickie!) I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped this pic of her telling Vickie that we were going.

I can't wait to see their faces when they see the castle at Magic Kingdom!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Doing Nothing Feels Good

Yes, the sales are over and I am done with checks. Life is good.

I quit my job at Gymboree, got "laid off" from the clinic, still no new baby....so I am left with a bunch of nothing to do and man, does that feel good!

So what do I plan to do?

Straighten up the house which involves unpacking boxes, hit the word (as in the BIBLE and learn a little more about the big JC), and spend some time junking. I am also looking forward to some cafeteria style lunches with my kiddos and taking a few naps.

Yes, life is good.

A little morbid

Yes, I know this is going to sound a little morbid, but after my friend Stephanie died this weekend it got me thinking about when I die. I thought it might be nice to leave some instructions for my loved ones just in case something happens to me unexpectedly. So here goes:

NO CRYING FUNERAL HOME SERVICE....I want a celebration of life service that is FUN BABY!! I'm talking DJ, some skee ball machines, Kat Von D doing a little tattooing in the corner, heck, you can even bring your used kids items and set up shop in the other corner. I want a rocking funeral. I can't stand going to funerals and it being all depressing. You people better have some fun....I mean, laugh til you pee fun ok?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

My 100th Post

When I got online to post to the blog, I knew I wanted to do some type of update on how things have been going (yadda, yadda, yadda) but I didn't realize it would be my 100th post until I signed in. I feel like I should have horns blowing or confetti showering me for actually keeping this thing going.

I started this blog as a way to track our adoption journey. The ups and downs of the process, what I learned through the journey, how I felt at each step, what was frustrating to me, how my patience would be tried.

Now at 100 posts, I realize that I have done exactly what I have wanted to with this blog and yet so much more. I have let a whole sea of people (some of whom I probably don't even know) catch a glimpse of my life. I hope that I have shown people that I am first and foremost a Christian woman who serves the one true GOD. That I am a wife that still adores her husband after being married over 10 years. That I am a mom that loves her children so much it hurts....that parenting is not only something God has blessed me with, but also something I enjoy. That I am a child of wonderful parents that gave me just enough freedom to let me go chase after wild dreams and bad boys and yet were always there for me with advice, love and encouragement. That I am a sister to a great woman who has a great family and especially a wonderful daughter, Maggie, whom I absolutely adore. That I am a daughter-in-law to a great couple who I respect greatly. That I am a friend to so many of you and that I love you all dearly and am thankful for all of your prayers, love and support through this adoption journey.

I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into my life. I have enjoyed sharing it with you. Can't wait to see what happens on our way to the 200th post!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

At 9:15 pm EST....

Stephanie McMinn went home to be with her FATHER! How amazing that HE loves us so much that HE would go before us and prepare a place where suffering will no longer shackle Stephanie's body. I can see her now praising HIM!

Stephanie McMinn's story

Just to remind you all...this is taken from Stephanie's caringbridge site and I wanted to share it with you as well. Stephanie wrote this to give visitors an overview of her life:

Having tried unsuccessfully for many years to start a family, on January 1, 1998, we had our miracle baby eight and half years into our marriage. Our dream had come true. One year later on January 8, 1999, at the age of 31, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was in my lymph nodes as well. After surgery, treatment and radiation, I went through about a year and half thinking everything was 'okay'. On September 11, 2001, we were told my cancer had spread to five places in my bone.......no cure. Our daughter was three. I started chemotherapy again. Since then it has spread throughout my skeleton from my skull to my ankles. Three years ago it showed up in my liver and about 19 months ago it appeared in the dura lining of my brain. I have pretty much been constantly on chemotherapy minus breaks for infections, low bloodwork, etc. There are hundreds of different chemotherapy medicines so I have been on numerous drugs at different stages. The cancer is smart enough to figure out the drugs and when the medicine is no longer effective I will change drugs, etc.

Medically, the goal is to keep my cancer 'at bay' for as long as possible and to keep me living as productive of a life for as long as possible. I've told my doctors from the beginning that God doesn't work on statistics and that I don't plan on being one. He is in control and I will leave this earth when He calls me home.

I have the most wonderful oncologist ever!! She is a Christian and she has let God use her in my medical care.

Do I understand why I have this disease? No! Do I suffer with thise disease? Yes! Does it break my heart to see my child and husband deal with this? Yes! I don't have answers. But, I know that I trust God and that He loves me so much. I'm still believing for a miracle and I know that HE can provide. NOTHING is impossible for him that believes. I'm choosing to walk every day in faith. (Some days it may not appear that way......I'm so very human.....but I'm making the effort.)

Many have followed my journey since the beginning. Thank you for praying and believing with me. To God be the glory!!!!!

I turn 40 this summer!!! Molly is 9!!! (Tom IS 40!)

Stephanie McMinn

Many of you may remember my July post on our friends Stephanie and Tom McMinn. We were just told that Tom is currently at Stephanie's side as she passes from this life to the next. There is not enough room on this page to tell you the impact this couple has made on this world....her faith through her illness (breast cancer that spread) has been amazing and truly made me want to follow our LORD AND SAVIOR closer. Please pray for Tom and their daughter Molly as we all know that their life will never be the same without this amazing woman. I am so thankful that God put them in our path years ago when Jonathan and I were just starting our life together as I can't think of a better example of a family of faith that we have been able to have as mentors. Thank you God for Stephanie and may someone that reads this blog be touched by her as well.