Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My 300th Post / 1st Fundraiser

Does it seem a little ironic to you that my 300th post on this blog that I started to track our first adoption is going to tell you about the fundraiser we are doing for our second adoption?

Things sure can change in 300 posts huh?

Our first adoption fundraiser, the crap yard sale, is going to be Friday and Saturday, October 17 and 18. We are only going to advertise it outside this blog for Saturday so that way all of my friends, family, etc. can get the best deals on Friday.

Here's the details you need to know:
*Although we are starting fundraising for adoption #2 NOW, we will not be starting the actual process right away. There are several reasons for this. 1. I have got to get my migraines under control which we are in the process of doing with medication/possible future surgery. 2. We want to have the majority of the money in savings before we actually start. 3. In a perfect world, we want to have at least a few more months enjoying M.E. being our baby before we add another one to the chaotic Freeman house :)
*The yard sale on Friday will be 8am-4pm. On Saturday, we will advertise that it is from 7am-whenever.
*We need donations. BADLY. I do have a ton of crap I will be cleaning out on top of all the Gymboree and boutique clothing, but we have a ton of money to raise so we need any help we can get. We will be happy to pick up whatever you have you want to donate as long as it is in the Nashville area. Just shoot me an email at and I will email you back from my regular account.
*We will have at least 6 racks of NEW Gymboree and kids boutique clothing at $4 per piece. Most of the Gymboree is smaller sizes, but there is a little in each size up to size 8. There is both girls and boys. We will also have tons of Gymboree shoes (mainly girls) for $4 each. Keep in mind that ALL of this is NEW WITH TAGS so if you know someone that does ebay, consignment, etc. this stuff would be great for resale and a large majority of it never made it into the consignment sale because I just got too overwhelmed. I'll also have some of my kids outgrown clothing for sale as well (nothing over $3).

I'll update more as I get more information. I'll try to include some pictures. Any help in getting this out there would be greatly appreciated!

Family Pictures

It's almost time for our "annual" Freeman family photos. This is actually just the second time we are doing it, but I'm planning on making it an "annual" thing. Anyhoo.

It's not until November, but I got this handy dandy link today: click here

It said that anyone that pre-registers to view my photos by clicking that handy dandy link will actually get a $5 gift certificate. So, anyone that actually wants to see my family pictures in November, click that link above and pre-register.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Do

I'm going to Nichole to get a new hairdo tomorrow. Actually, I am getting a complete overhaul if the truth be told, but new hairdo sounds "cuter"

I think I mentioned that we (our entire crew) went and walked to cure Diabetes on Saturday morning in Nashville. After we walked, I spotted this cutie patootie girl with a cutie patootie haircut. So I stalked her and asked to take her picture. As I type this, I am realizing she said, "well, as long as I don't end up on the internet or anything" Yeah, well technically this isn't really the creepy internet right?

Anyway, this is the haircut I am shooting for. I'll let you know how it turns out. What do you think?


Not sure why God has laid this on my heart so much lately, but I can't begin to tell you how much time I have spent researching the number of children that are affected by HIV that are available for adoption. Some of these children have been orphaned because both of their parents died from AIDS and yet, God chose to spare these precious children from a disease that is still so misunderstood here in the states. Yet, many others, actually have tested positive and still need a family to love on them.

Here's what I have found to be true so far in MY research and I wanted to share it with you guys. First, I have to tell you that I lost a friend of mine, Kevin, to AIDS in the 90's. It sucked. He was a great guy and I still miss him.

Did you know that HIV is ONLY spread through blood, semen, and breastmilk? YOU CAN NOT GET IT THROUGH SHARING A DRINK, a hug, even a kiss.

Did you know that HIV is no longer a death sentence? Many children that are born with an HIV positive mother will falsely test positive at birth only to test negative a few months later. Those that really are positive have such low levels of the virus that they don't even require daily meds. Those that do require meds, such advances have been made that they TODAY can live long productive lives and not have to worry about that horrible word AIDS.

Will you join with me to pray for these children? Pray for families to step up to the plate and adopt these children with open arms! I am so burdened and I am just praying that God will show our family the way we can help these beautiful children.

I heart CVS

no, seriously...

Check it out. A great blog that not only has some great tips, but they also usually have ad scans a few weeks early so you can get your coupons organized early.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Juju has decided we will be doing our first official adoption fundraising yard sale on a Friday in October. Don't know what Friday yet. I'll post that soon.

That being said, if you have crap you want to donate, we will be happy to come and get it (if we can find gas to get there-just kidding!).

We will also be selling ALL the NEW WITH TAGS Gymboree clothing at said yard sale for $4 each. We will also have a crapload of boutique stuff at said yard sale. I probably won't do presales simply because if you could see the staging area for the said yard sale, I'm not sure an ant could shop comfortably in there.

Anyway, keep checking back for details and tell your friends it's coming!

Mary Elizabeth's Birthday Party

Even though Mary Elizabeth's first birthday was August 7th, that also just happened to be the day of the worker sale at Encores and More North so we decided to push her party back until we could really celebrate without all the stresses and chaos of the sale.

So, August 30th was the day of the shin-dig. We decided to go with a bumblebee theme and in true "Brea" fashion, I completely didn't send invites (hey, we were busy)and just let people know by this blog and by the old fashioned "word of mouth" invite. Basically, if you knew Mary Elizabeth and wanted to come celebrate with us, you were invited.

I should take this moment to side bar and say that since we started the adoption process in early 2007, we can't begin to put into words the love and support we have felt from all of you. The prayers. The hugs when times were tough. The crap you gave us for yard sales to help raise money. The love you had in your eyes for M.E. the minute you laid eyes on her. As Jonathan and I stood at our front door looking into our home during the party, we were once again reminded of that love and support. We are very blessed to have so many people love us so much and please know that we don't take that lightly. We love you too.

Back to the party.

We had a bumble bee cake. Actually, the beehive was M.E's cake and then all the little cupcakes were for everyone else to eat. The kids took yellow and black construction paper and made birthday signs and decor for the house. Anna did a fantastic job making labels for the "goody bags" that were complete with bumble bee stickers.

Our menu included mexican food and more mexican food. I made taco meat and had all the fixin's for tacos, Aunt Ali and Uncle Josh brought cheesy/meaty/yummy dip, Papa Eddie and Juju brought homemade salsa and then some other tacoey chicken appetizer thing that was super yum. Angie brought homemade banana pudding that we didn't tell anyone about but secretly ate after the festivities were dying down. Aunt Kim and Uncle Chris brought YUMMY homemade gaucomole (I probably just spelled that wrong). Gram and Papa Sam brought everything I forgot to get (taco sauce, etc.) Grandma Norma brought her own Diet Dr. Pepper, hot dogs and hot dog buns because she doesn't do tacos. Did I mention I love this woman and she completely cracks me up!

So, the 45-50 people descended upon our house (did I mention that not everyone got to come-Beckie and her fam were out of town, Sarah and her crew were MIA, Julie M. got food poisoning so her crew was absent and Bethany M. had a child come down with strep throat that morning) and we kicked the celebration into high gear. M.E was styling in her black/yellow dress complete with bumblebee clip. I also custom ordered a birthday hat which I totally forgot was sitting upstairs but Alison B. got this great pic:

Everyone dug into the food and then we decided it was time for gifts. She got some great stuff: money, a Gymboree gift card, some adorable clothes, a ride on inch worm, an adorable baby doll, the most adorable Maggie Moo original bumble bee outfit and a beautiful framed bumblebee pic, this adorable penquin toy, and so much more!

Then, it was time for cake. Before we could even finish singing, Mary Elizabeth already had a fist full of cake. She loved it! She ate and ate and ate and even wanted Daddy to have a bite:

She ate until she was exhausted. This was when she decided she should rub her eye. With the yellow icing hands:

Needless to say, the little girl that is always so happy soon turned a bit sour and it was time for the tub. As we cleaned her up (and I might add she was sobbing!), everyone else donned their swimsuits and headed out to the backyard. We had two slip and slides set up and everyone just enjoyed watching the kids be kids and talking. M.E. and I went out and enjoyed everyone for a while and then snuck inside and discovered the above mentioned banana pudding. M.E., Norah, Maggie and Jack had a great time playing together but soon it was time for everyone to head home. Everyone dunked their kids in our tub, put them in pj's and headed home.

As J and I sat here and reflected later that night, we decided it was the perfect party. Should I have sent out invites? Probably. Should we have spent more time on decor? Yeah. Did anyone notice? Nope.

I hope you will take a few minutes and check out both of these AMAZING photographers' blogs. Both of them were at the party and got some fabulous pics. Thanks to BOTH of you for allowing me to not have to worry about taking a single pic that day! You guys rock! Uncle Josh's post is here and Alison B's post is here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Trying to catch up...

Since the last consignment sale, I feel like I am constantly playing catch up. It's like running up a hill and just when you get to the top of the hill, you realize that there is another hill at the top of that one. Does that make sense?

Don't get me wrong. I've accomplished a lot. The house is in pretty good shape. I am slowly selling off the excess boutique inventory I have left. M.E.'s finalization, although pushed back to 9/29, is finally going to happen! I've been able to spend some time volunteering at our adoption agency. I've been able to reconnect with some friends that I haven't had the time to really catch up with over the summer. And yet...

Every time I think I just about have everything on my list checked off, I get 10 more emails of things TO DO or I realize that I completely forgot to do something that should have been done 3 weeks ago.

SO I decided to put my accountability list on here. Just a few short things I REALLY need to get done and putting it in print will hopefully motivate me to get it done:

1. Put new pics of the kids on here. They're so darn cute and I know you guys are dying to see them right?
2. Put my last two trips to CVS/grocery store on here as well as a basic beginners CVS post for all of you who are wanting to learn how.
3. Schedule and plan our first coupon circle and make sure I get everyone that wants to come involved (including those who don't read this blog!)
4. Sell off the rest of the Gymboree inventory that is laying in tubs in the basement.
5. Set a date and start planning for our first adoption fundraiser yard sale.

That should be enough for now. If you don't see a few new posts from me by tomorrow feel free to harass me!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

You're So Lucky

*please note that if this sounds snarky or ugly, I really don't mean for it to...just something that I was thinking about tonight (plus I wanted to use the word snarky today!)*

I've decided that one of my pet peeves is that when I find a great deal at a yard sale OR if I save $100 at CVS OR if I get $100 of clothing at Gymboree for $20 (I think you are getting the picture), it absolutely drives me nuts when I am telling someone about my great deal they respond with, "ugh, you are so lucky. Stuff like that NEVER happens to me."

Why can't they say, "That's AWESOME!" or even, "COOL! Tell me how you did it?" But the "Ugh, you're so lucky" makes me think that they absolutely hate that I got that great deal and they wish they could smack me. Never mind that I spent time looking in the paper, on craigslist, on websites, etc. researching where the neighborhood yard sales would be (and going), spending HOURS sorting coupons and then compiling lists of what stores have the best deals, etc.

The whole reason this came to mind is that tonight while checking out some of favorite CVS'ers post their loot on their blog, I noticed that many of the comments people had posted said "Gosh, Cindy, finding deals like that NEVER happen to me. You're so lucky!" When in fact, the person that posted that has probably never clipped a coupon or stepped foot in a CVS.

So my point in this post? I am going to start praying daily that God will keep the snarkiness away from me when I respond to people and that in return, people will hopefully do the same for me. Let's celebrate others good fortunes, not make people feel like crap!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Adoption Fundraising

So, I need some honest feedback and I figured the best place to get it was here.

First, we got a tentative court date for finalization today: September 22nd. JuJu's birthday is the 21st so I figure we will have two wonderful events to celebrate!

After finalization, we can start the paperwork for adoption #2.

Many people asked about costs of adoption so I will lay it out there for you. It cost us about $18K to adopt M.E. Yep, it ain't cheap. Yep, I said ain't. Nope, we aren't made of $.

So, as we look ahead to adoption #2 we are already trying to think of some creative ways to fundraise. Of course, I will do another yard sale pretty soon, but at most that will probably bring in about $1-$1,500.

Does anyone have suggestions? I am one of those that HATES to ask for money but we are definitely going to need to get creative for this one.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Today I came into Bethany Christian Services to volunteer again. Last week when I was here, I was honestly a little bored even though I brought several things to do while I was here. I didn't know what to expect today (being a Monday and all), but I certainly didn't expect to find out as soon as I walked in that we finally have the go ahead to get finalized with Mary Elizabeth's adoption. PRAISE JESUS!

Normally in the state of Tennessee, you have to wait 6 months post placement to finalize. Today is almost month 11 for us. It's a LONG story as to why we have had to wait so long, but hearing those words today brought forth so many emotions. I immediately called Jonathan, who then called our attorney. We are anxiously waiting to hear the magic date when we will go before the judge and Mary Elizabeth will officially become a Freeman and we will have a birth certificate proving it. Jonathan and I both were near tears when I told him the good news.

Today I am so excited and yet so sad...sad for my sweet baby that she doesn't know her birthmother, said for her birthmom T that she can't see what an absolute joy and blessing Mary Elizabeth is (not to mention how big she has gotten). I continue to pray for M.E.'s birthfamily daily.

So to answer Destry's question...when will we start the process for Freeman #5? Probably pretty soon, my friends.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

If you wear a size 14 & Up...

I have a FAB new store to tell you about!

My dear friend Beckie is opening a BRAND NEW store in the Streets of Indian Lake called CJ Banks Thursday, September 11 at 5pm. It is a BEAUTIFUL new store right next to Qdoba (did I spell that right?) and across from Barfield's. You must go Thursday night because EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING, will be an additional 40% for their special friends and family opening (just tell them you saw it on this blog to get in).

Can't go Thursday night? All weekend you will get 25% off your purchase, but if you are a deal seeker like me, you MUST go Thursday night.

Now for their customer service: I worked with Beckie for 5 years and I have to tell you that Beckie and her staff will do everything possible to make you happy. They will put your cute little tushie in some clothing and make sure you walk out happier than when you walked in.

So go visit CJ Banks Thursday night and say hello to Beckie, Chrystal, Shanna and Rachel for me! I wish them LOTS of success!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's Sarah Palin Day

At least, that's what I heard over and over and over again on my drive in this morning. "Drive in?" you ask? We'll get to that in a minute.

So Sarah is headlining at the RNC tonight and after hearing her name 8 billion times this morning on Supertalk 99.7 WTN, I decided that during my "downtime" today I would do a little research on Mrs. Palin as I promised I would do in an earlier post.

I can't deny that I really love this woman, I like what she stands for. I like the fact that she would be going straight from a governor role to a VP role vs. the senate. She has hands on experience and even though her experience in Washington is lacking, I honestly think that is what this country needs. Why not get a candidate that isn't completely sold out already to the Washington nitty gritty.

But I've got to tell you...I'm still a little hung up on the whole five kids and potentially running the country stuff. Would I feel this way if her 17 year old wasn't pregnant and her fifth child didn't have Downs? Yes. I guess I just speak as a child that missed her momma a whole lot while growing up. Was I proud of my mother and the important role she had in her company? YOU BET! But I missed her. I missed her when she traveled. I missed her when she had to stay late and go to dinners with clients. Did she still manage to cook 4-5 nights a week? YES! But I promise you if you asked JuJu now how difficult it was to juggle two kids, a booming career and other household duties she would tell you that it was no easy task. AND there were only two of us.

Does my mom regret working full time and raising us? I don't think so. She loved her job (most of the time) and it forced her to be organized, punctual, and it taught us a great deal of respect and structure in our lives. Ali and I to this day have a very special bond with our grandparents because they are the ones who kept us while mom and dad worked and for that, I wouldn't trade a thing.

I guess what I am trying to say is that even though I have a hard time with Governor Palin's decision, it's not my decision and I am having to remove that from my thinking. I can't judge her because it's a decision that I wouldn't make. She has to do what is best for her family and obviously she and her family feel A.O.K about this.

I can't wait to hear her talk tonight!

P.S. My "drive in" was to Bethany Christian Services. I have spent the day volunteering here at the agency today. It's been fun to see the back side of things.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

6 Silly Things About Me

I got tagged by Laura because I never return her phone calls. Actually, I do return her phone calls just not when she calls in the midst of consignmentmania. Love you girl!

Anywho, here are 6 more fun facts about me:

1. I dated a guy in college from Poland. My parents hated him. Did I mention the word HATE because they truly hated him. I didn't get why they hated him so much until I had kids of my own and then I got it. Yes, he is not the kind of guy you want your daughter to get near, much less date. I honestly don't know what I saw in him, but I think to this day my parents daily thank God that I quickly came to my senses and got rid of him.

2. The first Sunday I came back to our home church from that college where I had dated the Polish guy, I met Jonathan. He was engaged, I was interested in someone else and needless to say, sparks didn't immediately fly. 5 months later we went on our first date, 6 weeks later we were engaged, and 7 months later we were married. We just celebrated 11 years on June 7th.

3. I can pretty much instantly think of a song that goes with a word and I, in turn, usually start singing it. It drives Angie V. nuts. For instance, you could say, "I had the weirdest dream last night" and I'll immediately start humming "Dream Weaver" I'm not sure why I do this or why I remember lyrics to songs like Dream Weaver, but I do and I want to take this moment to apologize to Angie V. for putting up with that crap for so long.

4. I love green olives. LOVE them. Could eat a whole jar if I was tempted. Just thinking about them now makes me want to call and ask Jonathan to pick me up a jar on the way home from work.

5. I'm on facebook but I have absolutely no freaking idea what I am doing. Sarah A. instant messaged me (is that what it is called?) last night and asked me if I had been playing any games. I had no idea there were even games on there and to be honest, if she hadn't immediately sent me a link, I probably would have never found them. Because I am so clueless, I refuse to touch my space with a ten foot pole. Well, that, and the fact that I am scared that Polish guy might find me on there.

6. I have peed in my pants. Several times actually. It usually involves Kim T. (sorry Kim, I outed you) and rolling houses in high school. There was something about being really nervous and cracking up at the same time (and maybe laying in a field) that would get my bladder going and before you know it, I needed a Depends. I have wet myself as recently as the Spring 08 consignment sale. I think we were listening to that "gynecological" answering service email that went around for a while that gets my goat every time. If you don't know what I am talking about, email me and I will forward it to you. When she starts talking about S.U.I.T. I can't help but laugh so hard that I need some tinkle catching panties all over again.

So, now, as to who I should tag.
*Let's start with Beckie, who just started a blog and is quite a funny gal.
*And how about Destry, who is freaking hilarious! I can't wait to see what you have to say about yourself!
*Ok, Kim, got to hear what you have to say
*If my sister didn't have mono, I would tag her, but I will let her off the hook. So instead, I'll poke Angie V. Since she doesn't have a blog, this means she has to start one! HA you girl!
*I am totally tagging Uncle Josh...this should be good
*And Kelley, my friend who adopted adorable Little Man from the same agency we used.

I can't wait to read all about you guys!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Will I Vote?

The answer: I'm not sure.

Why? I'm just not sure I have enough trust in ANY of the candidates.

Yesterday while grocery shopping, Anna asked me if I was a republican or a democrat? The question surprised me simply because a) she is freakishly smart and b) I'm not sure I know anymore. So that's exactly what I told her. Do I support abortion? No. Do I support gay marriage? No. But I gotta tell you, I don't love John McCain. Not even sure I like him.

So then he goes and gets cutey patootie Sarah Palin, who SHOULD really appeal to me....but she doesn't. Not yet anyway. Why? Because she is a momma to 5 kids and I, myself, being a momma of 4 kiddos find it hard to imagine her being the 2nd in command to the entire United States of America while being an effective mom. I know I shouldn't judge her, but it honestly just bothers me. All I do is run a consignment sale and I feel like I can barely keep my head about water with my kids. Running the country? No way!

So I plan to spend some time this week reading up on Mrs. Palin because to be honest, if I do vote, it will probably be for the republicans, but if I can't shake this yucky feeling I am getting, I may just not vote.

BUT I PROMISE: If I don't vote, I won't complain. I can't stand people who complain about the state of the union but don't use their right to vote to change it.