The journey may not always be smooth, the path may not always be clear, but in every moment there is a memory waiting to be made. What we make of these moments is up to us.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Carnival of Madness

This weekend Drew and I headed up to Charlotte with Tim, Justin, Abi, Matt, and Kara to see the Carnival of Madness. Ian spent all afternoon Saturday with my parents and then Jon kept him at our house overnight. (We got home around 2am Sunday).

What is the Carnival of Madness? It was a concert at the Verizon Amphitheatre. It's in its first year and, if this year is an indication of what the future holds, it will be around for a while. The line up this year was 10 Years, Sevendust (!!), Puddle of Mudd, Chevelle, and Shinedown. Drew and I were especially excited to get to see Sevendust and Puddle of Mudd. We have seen Chevelle before and they were great. Neither of us were really big Shinedown fans (b/c we didn't know a lot of their stuff), but we like some of their stuff we heard on the radio. 10 Years has 2 songs that I know, but I wasn't worried about catching their show.

We left Columbia around 2pm with Justin and Abi in our car and Matt/Kara/Tim in Matt's car. We through in a CD that Justin had made and given to me a long time ago and rocked out to Big Wreck, Sevendust, Cake, Incubus, and more on the way up. We got parked and settled into camping chairs around 4pm to enjoy some adult beverages. These were required due to the heat. It was 98 degrees with a heat index of 112. 10 Years took the stage at 5pm and we headed in to find our seats around 530pm. Sevendust rocked my face off shortly after. They are AMAZING live. They are so humble and seem to genuinely perform because they want their fans to enjoy their music, not because they want the fans to worship them.

After a break to change the stage, Puddle of Mudd was up. Now out of our whole group, Tim, Drew, and I were the only Puddle of Mudd fans. They opened with Control (one of my favorites) and I knew right away we were in trouble. They just sounded off. They played Psycho and Blurry and a few others, but it was really pretty lame. The highlight of their set was their closing number: 1) It was AC/DC's TNT and 2) It was the end of their set. I left hoping they were having an off night, but after reading reviews of other stops on this tour, it seems they may just not be so good live.

Chevelle was up next. They did not fail to impress. They weren't big on interacting with the crowd, but their music was awesome! Three talented musicians that sound like 5. Just a great time.

Finally, it was time for the tour headliners: Shinedown. I don't know a whole lot of Shinedown. I know 45, their cover of Simple Man, Save Me, and a few more. I didn't really know what to expect. I was totally impressed. The lead singer has an amazing voice and range. His stage presence is insane. He just commands attention. Plus, they are (like Sevendust) hugely appreciative of their fans. They came out rocking with Sound of Madness and carried strong through 45, Crow and the Butterfly, and many many more. We slipped out early to beat the crowds, but I did get to hear Simple Man as we walked through the parking lot to the cars.

I got us lost on the way home (Imagine that). Missed the exit to 277 to get back to Matt and Kara's. Drew was napping, but Justin and Abi were awesome and helped get us back with directions their phone. I now know that Farrow Rd runs right into Bull St.

The whole day was a great time. Sure it was hot and I probably sweat more than I had in years, but it was worth every minute. Great friends, great music, and just fun times. Plus, concerts are great for people watching. Those of you that are friends with Justin- watch his FB page for future pictures. There was a guy in front of us who enjoyed one to many adult beverages (and probably a lot of drugs) and was just rocking out the whole first half. However, he passed out and was out cold through Chevelle and Shinedown. Justin got a good pic of himself with the guy passed out in front of him. Add to that the fights in the lawn mosh pit, the fight between drunks in the parking lot, and the questionable fashion choices of many- we were truly entertained even when the music wasn't going.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Selfish in my own way

I had a great day yesterday. After work, I went to see Eclipse and have sushi with my friend Jaimie. She is only in town for the summer and even though we work together, we haven't seen eachother much this summer. It was so nice to go have a girls' night out and catch up. My awesome hubby held things down at home. By the time I got home Ian was fed, bathed, and asleep in bed.

I checked my email, took care of some laundry, and started to wind down for the night. I realized that I hadn't seen Ian much that day. We spend a few hours together every morning before I take him to Beth's, but usually the bulk of our time togethers is in the afternoons during playtime, dinner, bath, quiet time, and then a lullabye for bedtime. I always go in to check on him when I am going to bed, so last night I was selfish....I went in to sing to him. Now, he didn't need that. He was already asleep. In fact, I was risking doing more harm then good. If he had woken up, he would have probably been hard to get back down since he is teething and cranky. Yet it was something that I had missed that day. I love that time when he either sits in my lap in the glider rocker or lays in his crib while I rub his back and sing to him.

It occured to me that many of the things we do for our children are because we enjoy them as much or maybe even more than they do.
  • I buy Ian toys because I love to watch him figure things out. Sure he loves his toys, but usually he would be just as happy with the box the toy came in.
  • We dress our kids in super cute (sometimes embarassing) outfits.
  • We plan big 1st birthday parties to celelbrate the first year of life of these wonderful miracles God gives us.
  • And in my case, we go through routines to savor every minute we can with them.

  • Ian got really restless when I went in his room, so I didn't get to sing to him. I just peeked in, told him I loved him, and left the room. Gives me something to look forward to tonight though.

    Think I will sing him "Godspeed" by the Dixie Chicks. If you haven't heard it, check it out.

    Here are the words:

    Dragon tales and the "water is wide"
    Pirates sail and lost boys fly
    Fish bite moonbeams every night
    And I love you
    Godspeed, little man
    Sweet dreams, little man
    Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings

    Sweet dreams
    The rocket racer's all tuckered out
    Superman's in pajamas on the couch
    Goodnight moon, we'll find the mouse
    And I love you
    God bless mommy and match box cars
    God bless dad and thanks for the stars
    God hears "amen" wherever we are
    And I love you
    Godspeed, little man
    Sweet dreams, little man
    Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
    Sweet dreams

    My Little Man

    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    Maybe it isn't what you meant, but....

    Lately I have been coming into contact with a lot of people who are working towards an adoption or have recently adopted. It is amazing how this one thing in common so quickly bonds people together. I think it is because we have all been in similar situations and can all clearly relate to what the other is going or has gone through.

    Before I go any further in this post, I want to say that Drew and I are SO blessed with amazing family and friends. Without their unwaivering support, we never would have been able to make it through our first adoption journey with any sanity left. They were there for all the Ups (the call saying we were matched, the baby shower, Ian's birth, and bringing Ian home), all the Downs (the weekend we thought that Ian's birthmother changed her mind, the delays in getting us home after Ian was discharged from the hospital, the hold ups in our initial paperwork), and all the waiting. They listened to us cry, yell, laugh, and probably sound out of our minds. Even though they couldn't 100% relate to what we were going through, they could see it was hard on us and they did everything in their power to make the journey as easy as possible. They welcomed our son into their lives with open arms, tears of joy, and accepted him for exactly what he is: our son, regardless of what DNA says.

    When you are adopting, it is amazing the amount of input you get from everyone who finds out. Most of the time it is extremely supportive. In fact, we often ended up embarassed because people would tell us how amazingly unselfish they thought we were for adopting. The truth is that we never went into this for praise. We went down this path to find the child God intended for us. Yet all too often, we found people making statements with either the best laid intentions or with sheer curiousity that would hurt us. I never for one second believe that any of these people intended their statements the way they were taken. Our nerves were already raw, our hearts were on our sleeves, and our stress level awas through the roof. We took everything personally. I am not saying that that was ok on our part or saying that people should have walked on eggshells around us. Now that the stressful part of the situation is behind us, I can look back and see what people meant at the time. So, I thought it would be interesting for other adoptive families and people who are interacting with them to see what these statements where and what we hard vs. what was meant.

    What was said: You're adopting? You decided you don't want to have any on your own?
    What I heard: So, you want to be totally selfish and have a cute baby without having to go through any of the hassle of labor?
    What I think of it now: I am sure it is an innocent question. However as someone who has battled and continues to battle fertility issues, it is like a dagger in the heart. I want nothing more to be pregnant. We tried (and continue to try) to have children biologically. This may not be the plan God had for us at that time or ever. He directed us to OUR son through adoption. If in the future we have children biologically, we will be equally as thrilled to hold them as the first time we held Ian. You can never know what is going on in someone's life. To assume that they don't WANT to have children biologically can be very hurtful to people who CAN'T.

    What was said: Are you sure you want to raise a child someone else had? What if something is wrong?
    What I heard: How can you love a child you don't know is perfect?
    What I think of it now: First of all, every child is perfect to their parents. Ian could have been purple with lime green spots and I would have loved him just the same. He is my child. To me procreation is Russian Roulette. You can have two completely healthy parents and have a disabled child. And I have an issue with that being considered a bad thing. We told Katie (Ian's Birthmother) from day one that we were adopting him no matter what. If he had a birth defect or other issue, we would still be in 100%.

    If someone came and told me they were pregnant, I would never say, "Are you sure that's a good idea? I mean, what if he is born with a problem? Your family has a history of " No way would you ever hear that! So, why would that be ok to say to an adoptive couple.

    What was said: Now that you have Ian the pressure is off. I am sure you will be able to have your own kids now?
    What I heard was: Now that you got Ian as a bandaid to the problem, I am sure that you can get right on having kids that share your DNA.
    What I think of it now: This one is two fold. Sure, there is less pressure. We wanted a child so badly that it was something always lingering in our minds. Now that we have Ian our lives are so much fuller. However we want more kids down the line, so there is still a lingering thought in our heads. But that thought isn't what caused the issue in the first place. Having Ian didn't magically fix the fertility issues that we struggle with. This is going to be a battle we fight everytime we decide to have another child.
    The 2nd part of that is that saying we could have kids of our own implies that Ian isn't really our child. Ian is 100% our child. He is our first born and the love of my life. I would move heaven and earth to protect him. I can't imaging having a better son or a stronger connection to him. No matter how many children we have (adopted or biological) Ian is always going to be my son. I don't need papers from the state, related DNA, or even similar looks to tell me that he is mine. I feel it in every part of my heart.

    Those were the top three things that made us cringe. Again, I know that the strangers that asked them asked with honest intentions. Yet, they were some of the most hurtful things I heard (and continue to hear). Again, don't walk on eggshells around people who are adopting. The one thing that all adoptive families want is support. In our own way, we are expecting a child. The paperwork, waiting, and matching time are like pregnency, labor, and delivery to us. We are excited and nervous, just like most expectant parents. We want you to share those feelings with us. All the other comments and concerns can wait until another time.

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    Milestones, Memories, and Muscles

    This week has been full of memorable events and milestones. Friday was my Dad's birthday, so we had my parents over for cake. Ian loves his PopPop and was happy to shower him with drool and baby smiles on his birthday.

    Saturday Ian went to spend the day with Papa J and Grandma T (Drew's folks). He hadn't seen them since our Shealy family beach trip July 4th weekend and I needed to finish painting our bathroom and bedroom. I dropped him off in the morning and he spent all day playing with them. I finished painting our rooms and got all the art and curtains rehung. Drew spent the morning doing a landscaping job in Chapin. We took a break mid day to celebrate Dad's birthday as a family and all met at FarmBoys BBQ. Grandpa B (my grandpa), Mom, Dad, Drew, and T (my little brother) all ate our fill of yummy BBQ and headed home. Drew's back was bothering him, so he grabbed a nap and T pressure washed the house. Papa J and Grandma T wore Ian out and after a quick dinner, he went right to sleep.

    Sunday AM Drew was really sore. His lower back was hurting a good bit, but he had made plans to go fishing with T. He sucked it up and they spent the AM fishing while Ian and I got ready for the cookout we were throwing for my little brother, B. B just finished up USAF Officer's Training school and came home after 6 weeks away. Midday Grandpa B, T, Drew, Mom, Dad, B, and Katie (B's girlfriend) all came and we caught up, told stories and just spent a great day together. By the end of the day Drew was hurting pretty bad and went to bed early.

    Monday is Ian's day to spend with Nonny (my mom), so I took him up and got him settled with her and came to work to start my day. Drew and I work for the same company, so it isn't uncommon for him to stop by my office during the day to say hi on his breaks. Monday AM, he came in well before his break and told me he had to go home. His back was hurting too much for him to stay. We called and got him an appt with the Dr. Turns out he pulled the same muscle group he hurt Spring of 2009 when he unaligned his pelvis. Dr told him to rest until Thursday and gave a muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory. While poor Drew was feeling achey, Ianbaby was feeling icky. We realized that he is cutting 3 teeth at the same time on top! Poor little man.

    Ian didn't let his teething pain hold him back though. He took his first steps on Tuesday! Beth and I were playing with him when I dropped him off. He let go of the couch and took 3 little steps to a toy before sitting down and crawling. He thought we were crazy for cheering him on, but it was so sweet. I feel so blessed that I was able to see it happen. As a working mommy, I always worry about missing these milestones. So far I have been there to see him crawl, pull up, and walk and that makes me SO happy. I don't think it will be long before my lil man is running around like crazy. He has to do something to keep up with Legree when he is with Auntie Beth. :)

    All in all it was a pretty eventful week, but aside from Drew being was full of wonderful memories. This is what life is all about. :)

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    Shockingly I am at a loss for words

    I know that any friends of mine reading the title line of this post are in disbelief. I created this BLOG in early July and have yet to post anything on it. This is because I have had no idea what to post. I have started a few entries, but then been unhappy with them or run out of time to finish them. Even now, I have been sitting here staring at the monitor for quite a few minutes in an effort to figure out what to say. Guess I will just start at the begining:

    Why am I creating a blog?
    Well, my wonderful friend, Beth, created one to document the day to day with her precious little baby boy, Gee (Legree). He is about 3 months older than our little man. As I started reading her posts, I realized that this is a great way to make sure that we remember the little things. Those moments that later on can be really great memories. Having just adopted our amazing little man, Ian, in September we are having more and more of the milestone moments that I want to be sure we remember. I want Ian to be able to read this when he is older and try to remember all the fun things we did when he was little.

    So, that's pretty much what this will be...just a place for me to post thoughts about what has been going on with our little family. Nothing to exciting or entertaining to everyone else, but the most important things in the world to us.