12.31.2010

Happy New Year's Eve!

Wow...I can't believe that I haven't posted in several days.  I went back to work this week and almost every night, we've had something going on.  Despite our busy-ness, we were busy together as a family which is nice for a change.  Therefore, I opted to take a super quick bloggy break.

Something I also can't believe is that we are bidding 2010 goodbye already.  I looked back at my blogs over the past year and here's a highlight of the year for the Taylor family:

January - Date nights, snow and experiencing God healing deep wounds in my life.
February - A new nephew was born!
March - Jenna becomes a Christian and God told me in no uncertain terms I was to go to South Africa.
April - I took part in a couponing panel for a group of advertisers.
May - Jenna was baptized and of course, the Nashville floods
June - I lost my brother Danny
July - Decided we wanted to adopt and started researching agencies
August - Vacation and officially accepted into the China adoption program at AWAA
September - Left for South Africa, but immediately before that, I lost my brother David.
October - Survived re-entry from South Africa
November - iPad giveaway announced and we sent in our USCIS application
December - Received our USCIS appointment cards, drew and iPad winner and named our new daughter...KYLIE!

As you can see, it was an evenful year.  It was the 2nd year in the last 3 that I lost 2 loved ones.  The whole year Steve looked for a job and by the end of the year, he had started online classes.  But when I look back over the year, I feel like the year was just dripping with God's provision for my family.  I would love to do a post on all the ways He has blessed us over 2010, but there wouldn't be room for it all.  And if I'm being honest with myself, this year, ironically enough, I have probably spent more time being mad at God, doubting Him and just in general, flat out not talking to Him.  And yet He has continued to show up in our lives over and over again.  Isn't that the way with parents though?  Those of you with teenagers especially know...no matter how hateful they are to you and how long it is between times that they do more than grunt at you or ask you for things, you still love them unconditionally and provide for their every need.  Because that's what parents do.  That's what LOVE is.  Thank God, He is One that pursues.

Looking back, I had really only two goals for this year other than taking each day as it came (which by the end of 2009, would have been an accomplishment) and that was to participate in a 5k and blog more.  I fulfilled my 5k duty, no thanks to my laziness, but to my boss who basically pushed me into the car to the race.  As for blogging, well, I felt like I did better with that, but when I look back, I will have published 133 posts in 2010, 158 in 2009 and 161 in 2008.  Even though I felt like I did better, clearly I did NOT.  I tell ya, something happened in 2010 and I just couldn't seem to find my groove at home, work or anything that used to bring me comfort through its routine.

But enough about what I didn't do and a little about what I'm going to do in 2011.  I don't do resolutions because that seems to be jinxing myself to fail!  I just make a list of things I'd like to change in my life.  Which, I realize are really the same as resolutions, I'm just not calling them that, but this is MY blog and that's how I roll.  :)

For 2011:

1.  Get back to being friends with God.  I say it that way because I have a couple of friends that I talk to about things way more than I do God.  And they are my bestest friends.  Why should the God of the Universe and the One who has blessed me abundantly more than I could ask or imagine be any different?  Any less special to me?  I want to change that.  I'm not going to define what that will look like because it's more of a personal change, but in general, that's what I desire.

2.  Get my groove back.  I thrive on routine, organization, lists etc.  I feel like 2010 found me floundering all over the place.  I want to find the comfort in routine again.

3.  Get caught up on some of my scrapbooking projects.  I want to be more intentional about it.  Scrapbooking 2 long weekends out of the year at a retreat is no longer cutting it.  I have to get back to my once a month scrapbooking if I'm going to keep up.

4.  Read more.  In 2009 I read upwards of 40 books.  That's a stinkin' lot of reading.  But I burned out.  And pretty much ignored my family a lot.  So in 2010, I read a whopping 12 books.  Which obviously is one a month and that's not bad, but still...UGH.  I need to find that happy medium.

5.  Continue to pay it forward where I can.  So many of God's blessings for us this year have been financial and through the generosity of others.  You have never experienced a humbling experience until you have watched 200+ people (many of them complete strangers) buy iPad tickets or t-shirts to help fund your adoption.  Or have received numerous gift cards in the mail sent by anonymous friends when times were hard.  Our lives have been changed this year and it's certainly been a work in progress.  And we'll never be able to repay everyone, so instead, we want to pay it forward.  I hope 2011 brings Steve a job to allow us to do more in this area.

And that's it.  Right now, I'm about to make a list of things I need to do in this last-for-a-long-time long holiday weekend.  Because you know how I love my lists!

Happy New Year's Eve!

12.27.2010

A Great Christmas Eve Gift

For those who didn't see on Facebook, on Christmas Eve, I went to the mailbox to find this:

This is the paperwork we've been looking for!  It's our appointments for the USCIS fingerprinting!  We got on January 18.  After that, it might take a couple weeks to get the results.  After that point, it's just a matter of wrapping up the paperwork before our dossier goes to China!  Of course, by my very rough calculations, it's probably going to be end of February before we get to that point.

But for now, we just wait until the 18th.

12.25.2010

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord." Luke 2:11
video
I couldn't have said it better myself!  Merry Christmas to each and every one of you!

12.24.2010

Merry Christmas Eve!

Today might be my favorite day of the Christmas season.  I love all the baking and bustle and time spent with friends and family.  And then getting to do Christmas Eve service.  Ahhhh.

Last night we went to my sister's house to do Christmas with my family.  It was so much fun and the two kids (cousins) got to play which they don't get to do nearly enough.

Just look what my sister in law, Judy, brought me:
There are a TON more of these, but they are all pictures of my mom and one of my brothers way back in the late 50s.  There are a couple pictures of my mom with my oldest brother while pregnant with my other brother.  I have to get these into an album, but just not sure how I'm going to lay them out yet.  But these are priceless to me.

Check out the gift my stepmom Bertie gave Jenna...
And do you know what this little trunk was filled with?
Hand made American Girl doll clothes!  FILLED!  And not just clothes, but handmade purses, jewelry, shoes and socks.  There was just outfit after outfit.  It is amazing.  It's truly a labor of love.

And Jenna's cousin Garrett had fun opening his presents:


The adults did a gift card exchange. Steve ended up with iTunes and I got Kohls.  I might be able to find something at Kohls.  :)

But I think the most exciting part of the evening was...

This was the finger food table...or the non-sweet table.  And there was some GOOD STUFF to be had on this table.  But the best food was here:

The SWEETS area.  Holy cow.  Can you believe all this food was the result of 4 families.  Probably more like 3, but we do love our foods.  This is my plate...ur...plateS.

You like my Diet Coke?  Drinking diet negates all the calories on those plates.  At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

But my favorite part of the night was just spending time with my family.  We don't get to see them nearly enough.  And I love it.  For the first time in...well...EVER...that I can remember, we did a family picture.

This was just a test shot.  But looking at it just made me smile.  Then we decided to do a goofy picture.

Obviously some of us got into this more than others.  How about another try at a goofy picture...
OK, better.  And now for the actual picture.

Ah yes.  Gosh I love these people.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!

12.23.2010

Christmas Traditions:Snow!

Yesterday, we participated in one of our favorite Christmas traditions.  For the last 3 years, we have gone to ICE! with the Millsaps.  This year, we decided to forego ICE! and go to the new attraction called Snow at Gaylord Opryland.

This is a pretty neat little place...they make snow and you just get to play in it.
They also had real reindeer which were pretty neat to see.  I won't tell you all the drama that surrounded Katie and these reindeer, but suffice it to say, in the end, we all got our ticket price refunded.  But the drama kind of ruined the fun for me.

Katie loved the reindeer
After Snow we went to Cock of the Walk restaurant for dinner.  We only do this once a year and we really love it!  The girls have their pictures made in the big chair.
We contemplated, as we do every year, going to the Opryland Hotel to see the lights, but we decided against it.  I had one last stop to make on my way home and we were all ready to get home.  The girls did NOT like our decision and we had quite the attitude to deal with.

All in all, it was a great time and I hope we can keep the tradition going with our expanded families next year.


12.22.2010

T-shirts!

Just wanted to remind you all that I still have LOTS of t-shirts to sell!  I bought 150 of them up front and I have to get rid of them (lest all the homeless in Nashville will be wearing them!).  If you haven't bought one already, let me know.  You can purchase over in the right toolbar or you can pay me directly.

They are great t-shirts and would make a great last minute Christmas gift!

Speaking of t-shirts, that's a perfect segueway into something I really want to share with you today.  Yesterday, my friend Katelyn and I had our first annual Christmas lunch and exchanged our gifts.  If you don't remember, Katelyn is not only the designer of these awesome shirts, but also is the beautiful model wearing the shirts.  Anyway, she gave to me Kylie's first Christmas gift...



This picture doesn't do the colors justice, but I'm too lazy to break out the good camera.  They are little colorful elephants strung together.  They are actually made in India, but the bright colors reminded Katelyn of China (she traveled to China this Spring on a trip long before either of us knew that country would become special to me).  I can't wait to get Kylie's room done so I can hang it up!

Then for me she got a red sweater which I will be sporting tomorrow and will try to take a picture of.  I had mentioned to her a while back that I liked red because my mom always said I looked good in it (and my mom also looked good in red).  Katelyn remembered that comment and specifically sought out a red shirt for me.  That's the kind of friend I hope to be one day.  And that shirt will always be special to me because it will always remind me of my mom.

Thank you sweet friend!  I'm so glad we are friends.  Here's to another FUN year!!!

12.21.2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RACHEL!

Today is Rachel's birthday!  For those of you who don't know me personally, you'll remember meeting Rachel back when I drew for the iPad!

I have known her since I was about 7 or 8 years old.  There are a few years difference between us and she is younger, so we really have known each other almost our entire lives.  And because God has a sense of humor (and knows just what we need before we do), it has so happened that Rachel is also adopting a daughter, but hers from Ethiopia.  We are very close to each other in terms of process.  And I honestly can't think of ANYONE I'd rather walk this journey with.

And not just the adoption journey, but this journey of life. 

Rachel-I'm so glad you are in my life!  Happy birthday sweet friend!  Here's to another 30+ together!

12.20.2010

Jenna the Superstar

Sunday was Jenna's day to shine!  Not only did she sing with the children's choir in our church services, but she also performed with her ballet class. 

I love the song they danced to and what better song to watch your precious daughter and her friends dance to than "How Beautiful"?  The beauty and innocence of these sweet girls really made me cry.

Didn't the gitls do so well!?  Again, there is just nothing like watching children worship in song.

We were disappointed last Sunday when the inclement weather canceled her dance performance for the assisted living center.  But the girls got an extra practice in and I thought they did great!  Jenna doesn't play any sports (she just plays piano) and so this ballet class (which is free through the church thanks to Ms. Leslie!) helps her tremendously with her coordination and balance.

Enjoy!

12.19.2010

Christmas Program

School is out and Jenna is enjoying Christmas break at home.  Last week they had their Christmas Program which they combine with their Grandparents Day celebration.

Here she is before the show started.  I drop her off about 45 minutes before school starts and that comes in handy on days like these where there is a program because not only do I get a kicking parking spot but also an awesome seat!  We decided to do a little pre-show interview:

video


Jenna was super excited because she got to play bells on one of the songs.  So, of course we had to video her big debut!

video

It was a great program and I just loved hearing the kids sing!  There's more from where this came from...but you'll have to wait!

12.18.2010

iPad Winner!!!!

I can't believe this day is finally here!  I could not wait to draw the lucky winner of our new Apply iPad.  First, let me tell you we sold a grand total of 259 tickets which equated to be about $2,000 towards our adoption! (Which is more than the $1500 I said in the video...clearly math on the fly isn't my forte!)  Every dollar counts and each of YOU made it happen.

Believe me when I say I wanted every single one of you to win this prize! I wish I could have given away 5 of these! I was humbled at the number of folks, many total strangers to me, that donated to help bring Kylie home to us.

(Also, let me apologize for the awkward ending to the video....Steve was delaying cutting it off...sorry to subject you to the awkwardness.)

We are just so blessed! So without further ado...CONGRATULATIONS to:

ELIZABETH YANCEY!!!!!!

Elizabeth-I'll have this for you tomorrow at church!  Congratulations!!!!  Thanks for entering!

As you saw in the video, Rachel is also fundraising for her adoption.  Please visit her blog and watch for her cookbooks to go on sale.  You can help bring her daughter home from Ethiopia!

Congratulations to Elizabeth again and to Steve and our special guest Rachel for helping us draw.   And THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to every single one of you who bought tickets!  May God bless you for your generosity this Christmas season!

12.17.2010

iPad Giveaway...THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE!

The iPad giveaway is tomorrow!  I am so excited to draw!  I can't wait to tell one lucky person they won!  So today is the last day to get in on the action!  If you haven't purchased your tickets, you are running out of time.  Click now on the iPad to the right and enter to win!

We are getting closer to our goal of 350 tickets...won't you help us get there?!  Thanks!!

12.16.2010

Design

Remember this:

And this:
And then this:
Well, we ended up not using the frog tape but using regular painters tape, sealing it tightly and painting away from the tape with a brush instead of a roller.  This time we were smart and didn't paint the entire stripe, but just a little portion and then checked to see the outcome.   And you know what? 

IT STILL DIDN'T WORK!

I was ultra frustrated so we had our friend who is a professional house painter come in.  He told us we'd have to paint over the stripe with primer, then retape and paint it with the wall color (which was custom mixed and we had no more of) and then after it was sealed, paint the pink stripe.

Sigh.

Now the nice thing is he cut a little piece of the green base coat out of the wall for us so at least we can get the right color to cover the stripe.  But that sure did seem like a lot of work.  And to be honest, the more I looked at that stripe, the more I hated it.  Now it could be because it gave us so much trouble, but when I started looking for ideas and pictures online, you never see just this solitary horizontal stripe.  There's always stripes flanking it or another design.

We thought about fixing the stripe and then painting a light blue stripe (to match the color in the fabric) on top and bottom, but again, seems like a lot of trouble and I wasn't sure I was in love with that idea either.

Because I have NO decorating sense at all (those of you who have seen my home know what I'm talking about...it's just not my gift), I started looking at pictures online.  And you know what?  It seems more people are just painting the room a solid color and either using decals or other decorating accents to color up the room.

Now, THIS is what we are thinking...no pink stripe and...

This would go over her bed.  It was of course say Kylie and be in different colors, but you can customize, so not sure what colors...probably darker pink.

Then this around the entire room:

I can also get this with more pink than brown in the background, but there is brown in the fabric and I ended up getting a little brown trip for the shade and think it would really look good.

And then maybe these scattered about the room:
Again, the sizes might be different and maybe different colors.  I don't want to overdo the brown, but there are so many colors in the fabric that I could probably do several.  However, I don't want to introduce too many colors either. 

But who knows.  Because I have not an ounce of creativity in me when it come to this, it might just look awful.  We could likely get rid of the dots all together and do something else.  I really like these name things...



And I know I can make them myself but...yeah.  Not gonna happen.  Any takers out there?  Who want to do this for me?  Come on...know you want to.

So stay tuned...you never know what might happen in this room!

And by the way, if you haven't bought your iPad tickets, you need to do it NOW!  You are running out of time! (in the spirit of the old Chaos ride from Oprland...YOUR TIME IS RUNNING OUT!)

12.15.2010

An update on Steve

With the iPad giveaway (enter now if you haven't!) and all the adoption stuff going on, I haven't said too much about Steve's studies for his new career.  A bunch of you have asked how that is going and how he is feeling after his sinus surgery, so this post is all about getting you up to speed on my beloved.  :)


First of all, Steve is, for all intents and purposes, fully recovered from his sinus surgery.  The main questions are, "Can you tell a difference?" and "Would you do it again?"  And the answer to both of those questions is "NO".  Well, he CAN tell a little bit of difference...he can tell he is more open and he rarely if ever gets stopped up (outside an allergy attack).  But in all the surgeries this man has had (major and minor), he maintains this one was by far the worst in terms of pain.  So if sinus surgery is anywhere in your future, talk to Steve...he'll be glad to give you an honest opinion of what to expect!

As to his studies...he finished the first part which was Anatomy.  It was very hard for him and he struggled with it.  He still feels like he doesn't know it well enough.  But if you ever took anatomy (which I did not), you probably know, there's a lot about the body to know.  He moved on to start the coding when he realized he was studying for the 2010 coding and obviously we are almost done with 2010, so his advisor and teacher are discussing whether he should just wait a few months and start the 2011 coding.  We are kind of hoping they do say to wait because then he would have the option to either go to class or do it online LIVE as opposed to the recorded classes he's doing now.

In the meantime, Steve has turned into quite the house husband.  I say that tongue in cheek, but y'all, I have gotten pretty addicted to having him be able to do all those things I can't do during the day because I'm working.  Go to the bank, run have documents certified, fix dinner, pick Jenna up etc.  It is very wonderful and he doesn't seem to mind.  He has also done quite a bit of volunteer work for the church also and he likes doing that and feeling useful.

Thanks for all your questions about him.  He does appreciate it.  He hopes to be finished with his school by about August of 2011.  Let's hope 2011 is our banner year.  We are certainly long overdue for one!

12.14.2010

Snow Day!

We had a very busy Sunday planned, but unfortunately, it started snowing and our whole day ended up getting canceled.  The good news is I really needed the day to finish wrapping the Christmas presents.  This time, I watched The Holiday while wrapping.  Watching movies really does make the time go faster.  And our tree now looks less lonely with presents underneath it!

And while I was wrapping, the snow kept falling...and kept falling...the roads were very bad on Sunday night so our offices didn't open until 10am.  I didn't leave the house until probably 11 because the roads in my neighborhood were definitely icy.  Where we are, here's how much we ended up with:

Yep, that's about 3 inches.
And as is our tradition, Mom never missing a snow day!  At 10:00 in the morning with the temperature hovering around 20 degrees, I bundled up with my girl for a few minutes in the snow before getting ready for work.
She *might* have been a little excited.

This is what she was waiting on...to hit me with a snowball.
We bought that red toboggan sled about a month ago at Lowe's.  There were about 4 left and we have learned from experience if you wait for the snow to come before buying you will find every place SOLD OUT.  So this was our first opportunity to get it out and break it in.

And, just to prove I was actually out there in the snow with her AND that our street was solid ice, here we are enjoying a ride down together:

video
This was the first time I used my new flip camera and I think it turned out pretty good considering.  I enjoyed the few minutes I was outside with Jenna, but it was so brutally cold and I had to get to work so we didn't stay out long.  All in all, it was a good day even though I did have to work.  We are supposed to get ice tomorrow night, so we'll see if we get another snow day.

12.13.2010

Welcome FILLED WITH PRAISE Readers!!!

If you linked here from Filled with Praise, THANK YOU! It's so nice to "meet" you. I'm so excited to tell me story again and I can't wait to get to know you!
Here we are.  That's me, my daughter Jenna Grace, husband Steve and his service dog, Katie.
The story of how we began our adoption journey starts here. Actually... it starts way back before this blog even began, but you'll get the general gist!

So, welcome to Just Haven't Met You Yet. Please feel free to browse my blog, enter to win the iPad (the link is just over there to the right), and become a follower (add me to your Google Reader!) I'm what I affectionately call a "blog 'ho". I LOVE reading blogs. So if you have a blog, leave me a comment below and I'll add you to the ever expanding list of blogs I read.

I'll be drawing for the iPad THIS COMING SATURDAY, so don't delay in buying a ticket.  They are only $10!  We are still short of our 350 ticket goal!

Thanks for visiting! I hope you'll keep coming back!

12.12.2010

It's ALL done...

Praise be to God that I finally finished all my Christmas shopping Friday night.  All the way down to the stocking stuffers!  I can't tell you what a load this takes off me.  However, I still have wrapping to do.  Yesterday I managed to put a dent in the wrapping while watching Love Actually.  I know it's not the cleanest movie out there, but I sure do enjoy watching it.  It has become my own personal tradition...

I set up the card table in the bedroom with all my wrapping paper and bows and wrap while I watch it.  It makes the time go so much faster and some years I end up watching it multiple times. 

Our tree looks even more beautiful with the presents under it.  I love Christmas. Another tradition that I'm looking super forward to is going to ICE! at Opryland with the Millsaps.  We have done this several years in a row, however, this year we are opting to skip ICE! and just do Snow instead.  After we are done, we visit Cock of the Walk.  This year, I might talk them into going to the Opryland Hotel which has now reopened after completely flooding this past May.  It's just so stinkin expensive to park...it's really ridiculous especially after spending money to see Snow and eat.  But we'll see...

Happy Sunday to you all.  Hope you have a blessed and restful day!

12.11.2010

iPad Giveaway!

No, it isn't time quite yet, but it is certainly close!  We are currently a little over halfway to our goal of 350 tickets.  Thanksgiving week was a very slow week for ticket sales but this week and last has certainly picked up.   

Just to remind you, I'm going to be drawing the winner the morning of December 18...that's NEXT SATURDAY!  I am SO excited!  Next Saturday I'm going to be videoing the drawing of the winner and then I'll post that video to my blog by 12 noon central time.  I've lined up a special guest to help me video and draw and it's going to be super exciting!

With all that said, here are a few things you need to know:

*I am cutting off the drawing at midnight on the 17th.  Whatever is in Paypal or my hand (for those who want to enter in person) when I get out of bed on Saturday morning is it. 

*Also, if the winner is someone for whom I have a phone number, you might get a surprise phone call from me, so if you entered, be sure and keep that phone handy! 

*If you have told me you want to be entered but have not yet given me your money, remind me of this no later than next Friday night so I can enter you.  To date, I have only entered people who have given me money or used Paypal.

*My goal is to reach 350 tickets before drawing.  However, I have decided I will draw on Saturday no matter what number we land at.  Every dime over the purchase price of the iPad (no it wasn't donated...I bought it with my money) is a blessing and so we have felt led to draw regardless.

A special thanks to those of you who entered already.  So many of you have purchased and I can't tell you how humbled I am at the number of people...some total strangers...who have entered to show their support.  A bunch of you don't even care about winning the iPad...you just want to support us.  YOU are playing a part in us bringing Kylie home.  You should feel amazing about that.  I totally think you are amazing.  Each and every single one of you.  Seriously.

To those of you who have not purchased yet:  STOP RIGHT NOW and click on the Paypal link to the right and do it now.  If you don't, you will forget and miss out on the opportunity to win.

Whether you have purchased or not, would you consider doing the following: 

*Posting this on your blog to remind your readers to visit for their chance to win.
*Sharing this link on your Facebook status so your friends can enter.
*Tweeting about this so your followers will come and purchase a ticket.
*Email our blog address out to all your email contacts...

Just think, if you have 300 FB friends and only 1/2 of them purchased just ONE ticket, I would surpass my 350 ticket goal.  Please, it only takes a minute to share the news.

Thanks so much!  I can't wait for next Saturday!!!!

12.09.2010

The Stockings Were Hung...

Christmas cards, round 1 are out.  So, a bunch of you will be getting them in the next few days.  I already had to order more cards, so round 2 should go out tomorrow.  If you don't receive one, please let me know.  I sometimes drop addresses off my list inadvertently.  Please know it's not intentional.
With that said, we included our adopted daughter's name on the card.  We are using this way to announce her name.  I never liked the idea of calling Jenna by her name before she was born.  I guess maybe it's some kind of stupid superstition, but I just felt like the name wasn't really hers until she was born.  Although, we never thought she didn't look like a Jenna and I don't recall ever being wishy-washy about her name once she was born.

Anyway, since I'm kind of weird like that, the idea of naming this child while we were so early in the process was a huge turn off to me.  But I did LOVE talking about potential names.  Me, Jenna and Steve would sit around and call out names and then go, "Nahhhhh" or "OK" or whatever.  But after a while, it was awkward trying to refer to this child.  I mean, really, how you do say it?  "Our adopted daughter", "the other child", "our other daughter" etc.  Nothing ever felt right.  So, we narrowed down the name choices to about three.

When it got to be time to do Christmas cards, I knew the photo we would use.  This one we took for Orphan Sunday has become my new favorite.
But then for people who didn't really know our story yet (yes, there might be a few!), I figured the picture might not make sense.  That's when we decided to choose her name and include it on the card.  We had three top choices for first names and couldn't decide.  So literally, we put them all in a bag and let Jenna draw.  And that was the name.

For your curiosity, the names were...Layla, Kylie and Anna Faith.  One of them Steve liked best and one of them Jenna and I liked best.  The other we all 3 liked equally.

All that to say, when you get the Christmas card, you'll know the name of our new little girl!  But if we don't exchange cards with you, keep reading...

Somehow this year my stocking has gone missing.  We aren't a family of all matching stockings, so that didn't bother me too much.  But I thought what would be more fun than buying myself a new stocking and adding a fourth to the lineup!?

First, here is Steve's...it's a Harley Davidson stocking and I think it's perfect for him.

And of course, I bought Katie a stocking when she joined our family last year...

And when Jenna was only a few months old, her Nana (Bertie, my stepmother) made her a stocking.  Yes, this is ENTIRELY handmade.  And I love it.


So, I decided I was going to buy myself a stocking that I really liked.  I got on Etsy and it wasn't long before I found one that I loved...

And the same seller had the one that I ended up buying for our new addition.  Introducing...

Kylie!  We won't decide on her middle name until we know who she is.  If it works out, we plan to use part of her Chinese name as her middle name.  If that doesn't work, she'll be Kylie Faith.

I'm not sure Santa is actually going to fill her stocking this year, but hopefully by next year!


1/2 Way There!

Just a super-quick update to let you know that as of just now, we are 1/2 way to our goal of 350 iPad tickets sold with a little over a week to go until the drawing!

If you haven't purchased yet, now is the time!  Let's drive this home!

More to come....

12.07.2010

A Quick Update

I'm super tired tonight, so I'm determined to get in bed early, but I wanted to give you all an update on the the iPad ticket and t-shirt sales.

We are just a few tickets away from being to the 1/2 way point of the 350 ticket goal for the iPad!  That's great progress, but the drawing is just a week and 1/2 away.  So if you haven't purchased your tickets, you better get to it!  Of course, I'll remind you again closer to the time.  :)

That's it.  Just wanted to keep you all updated on my progress! 

12.06.2010

Random Monday Thoughts

For a Monday, today wasn't too bad.  I'm having quite the array of random thoughts this evening...

*I got my Christmas cards ready to go out today.  I need stamps and return address labels.  And more cards.  I always UNDER order.  You'd think I'd learn.

*I am craving some Garrett's caramel popcorn.  Too bad I'd have to fly to Chicago to get some.  I'm seriously thinking about ordering some online. 

*I ordered two new Christmas stockings off etsy and they came today.  OMG.  Love them!  One is for me.  The other is for our daughter from China.  They are both embroidered with our names.  Pictures to come soon (as well as the announcement of her name)!

*I really need to wrap some Christmas gifts.

*Speaking of things I really need to do... I need to think about finishing up my Christmas shopping.

*I have to get gas in the morning before work and that is going to be no fun in the frigid temps.

*Elfred has neglected to move almost 3 nights in a row.  YIKES.

So, happy Monday to you all.  Thank you for joining me for my random thoughts.  I promise a more coherent post later this week!

12.04.2010

Happy Saturday!

Today all of you reading are going to be subject to a random smattering of my thoughts, so just hang on for the ride!

First, guess what I did last night?  It's something I've never done before (not exactly anyway) and I wasn't truly ready for.
That's right.  I did a 5K.  Please note, I did not RUN, I WALKED.  And very slowly at that.  I wasn't the last one, but I certainly was bringing up the rear.  A year ago, my boss and I decided we would do the Turkey Trot which is the Thanksgiving 5k.  We started the Couch to 5K training program. 

And then we quit the C25K program. 

And before we knew it, the year almost passed us by.  Then, our company began the C25K program in anticipation of Rudolph's Red Nose Run.  My boss signed us up.  And I personally, never attended one training session.  In my defense (because I'm feeling the need to defend my laziness), the training nights were Tuesday and I have my ladies Bible Study on Tuesday night so there was no way I could make it.

Fast forward to yesterday.  It's the day of the race and neither of us were really ready.  We were totally split on doing it at all.  As pathetic as it sounds, we both would have been just as happy working right through the whole thing (goodness knows we have plenty to work on!).  In the end, we decided by flipping a coin (not even literally...we used her iPhone app).  Seriously.  We did.  And it came up heads...we walk.  So I did.  And my feet still hurt.  But I finished.  And now I can say I've completed a 1/2 marathon AND a 5k.  Yay me.

In other news, I participated in Christmas For A Cause on Thursday night.  I honestly didn't know what to expect since the hostesses had never done this before.  I'll admit I was a little skeptical.  Oh, how small my faith was.  Honestly, I have no idea how many folks came.  What I can tell you is that I made about $300 between the iPad raffle tickets and t-shirt sales!  I'm not actually sure how much profit I netted after I did my own shopping there.  I mean, hey, I have to support the other adoptive families and not for profits!  At one point, I gave another adoptive family $10 for something she was selling and then she came to me and gave me $10 for a raffle ticket!  It was a great night and not just for the fundraising.  I met some super cool people.  God is awesome!

And speaking of blessings...I know my veteran readers have noticed random "welcome" posts that probably make little sense.  But, I have done a lot of shameless begging lately.  I know we are 2 weeks away from raffling off this iPad and we still have a pretty good way to go to reach our 350 tickets sold goal.  I'm since a self proclaimed "blog 'ho", I figured I could use that to my advantage.  And I, like most of you, read a lot of the highly trafficked blogs.  I figured what better way to get the word out than utilizing the blogs I read.  So, I began de-lurking and emailing the owners of these blogs to ask them if they would post my fundraiser.  And for the most part, every one that has responded has said yes!  And yesterday, one of my favorite bloggers, MckMama tweeted and Facebooked her fans about my giveaway!  Just to put it in perspective, MckMama has 21,000+ followers on Twitter (of which I am one)!  Holy cow!  If only 1/5 of those bought 1 ticket, I'd be able to completely fund not only MY adoption but partially fund someone elses!  Now, I'm sad to report that level of interest hasn't happened YET, but here's hoping!

I will say I have had a huge increase in number of hits on my blog.  And I have spent the entire morning reading new blogs of folks that were kind enough to leave comments with their blog addresses!  I'm even more of a blog 'ho now!!! :)  Thanks to all of you who visited, left comments, became followers and purchased either iPad tickets or t-shirts!  I'm SO glad you are here!

OK, so after all that rambling, I gotta get busy.  What's on the schedule for today?  My to-do list looks something like this:
With all that on the horizon for the day, I gotta go, but I thought I'd leave you with a picture of where we found Elfred the Elf (on the shelf) this morning.
Happpy Saturday everyone!

12.03.2010

Welcome MckMama Fans and Followers!!!

If you linked here from MckMama's tweet or facebook post, THANK YOU!  It's so nice to "meet" you.  I'm so excited to tell me story again and I can't wait to get to know you!

The story of how we began our adoption journey starts here.  Actually... it starts way back before this blog even began, but you'll get the general gist!


That's me, my sweet daughter Jenna, my husband Steve and his service dog Katie.

So, welcome to Just Haven't Met You Yet.  Please feel free to browse my blog, enter to win the iPad (the link is just over there to the right), and become a follower (add me to your Google Reader!)  I'm what I affectionately call a "blog 'ho".  I LOVE reading blogs.  So if you have a blog, leave me a comment below and I'll add you to the ever expanding list of blogs I read.

Thanks for visiting!  I hope you'll keep coming back!

12.02.2010

NEW T-SHIRTS!

Tuesday afternoon, I picked up our hot-off-the presses adoption t-shirts.  Before I show them to you, let me tell you a little bit about the design and designer.

One of the first people (if not the first) to know about our adoption plans was my friend Katelyn.  Shortly after we "went public" with the news, I knew I wanted to sell t-shirts as a fundraiser.  I went to my friend, Jamie's blog and read everything about when she was selling t-shirts for her adoption. After some research, I quickly discovered the first thing I needed was a unique design.

The minute I mentioned the idea to Katelyn, she was ON IT.  She immediately had an idea and went to work.  I'll admit, I was a little skeptical because how could you have an idea THAT quickly?  I am not kidding when I say in less than 2 hours, I had a draft.  And the final version was not very far off from the original draft.  We had some tweaking of fonts and colors, but nothing major.  And the best part?  I LOVED THE DESIGN FROM THE START.

So, without further ado, modeling her own, unique design, Katelyn!!!!

Seriously, I am in love with these shirts!

And for those of you who would like a shirt of your very own, I am selling them for $20 and all proceeds go to help with our adoption costs!  If you want to order, you can do so in person or you can click over there underneath the iPad and purchase one through Paypal.   If you are located out of town, I will ship them to you at no additional cost. 

And if you are very anxious, come on out to Christmas For A Cause which is happening tonight!  I will have plenty t-shirts there just waiting on you to pick them up.  You can be the first!

Now, if you are looking for a t-shirt printing place, I can highly recommend Dragonfly Screen Graphics.  I got a steal of a deal on these shirts and these folks are super easy to work with.  The best part?  They are local...located right here in Nashville, so you can pick the shirts right up with no additional shipping cost.  I can also let you in on a little secret that they print t-shirts for a certain VERY LARGE healthcare company in the area.  And if they are good enough for that very large company, then they are good enough for me.  If you want more information on them, let me know.  I'll put you in touch with Lucy over there and she can help you out.  There's no minimum order and she can also do out of town orders as well.

Thanks so much to you all for your support!

12.01.2010

I couldn't wait...

I am so proud of how the t-shirts turned out that I couldn't wait, so I'm posting these ugly cellphone pictures now.  However, I plan to have more pictures with a live model tomorrow. 

Front

Back
I'll be selling these shirts for $20, will ship if needed (no additional charge) and 100% of the proceeds go to help bring our sweet daughter home from China.  More information tomorrow about how to purchase.  If you can't wait to find out the details, email me!