Posted in Uncategorized

Hasta La…Never 2017

Goodbye 2017! Good Riddance! Don’t come back! See ya never!

I’m not one to usually say “oh i’m so glad 2017 over” but THIS YEAR I am so glad to see 2017 go! I’m ready for a new year!

Highlights from this year:

January: Found out we were chosen for the boys, went to visit them and ALL OUR STUFF WAS STOLEN OUT OF OUR HOTEL!

February: Waiting on paperwork to bring the boys home, found out we MIGHT have to redo our homestudy, FBI background checks and fingerprints (ended up not having to redo anything)!

March: Boys came to visit! Found out that the state was nowhere near ready to send them to us. Put my Grandpa in a Memory Care Home for the first time, along with that comes having to deal with accepting his Dementia.

April: Still waiting for paperwork.

May: Paperwork goes through! The move in date is set for the end of May. My Grandma brings my Grandpa home from the Memory Care Home. This brings along new challenges.

June: Boys are here! Getting used to each other, they meet their grandparents, great-grandparents and uncles. As well as trying to make sure my Grandma is doing okay with my Grandpa.

July: Start having problems with D’s attitude. He runs away. Grandpa is moved into another Memory Care Home, it’s closer but I don’t like it. It smells like a nursing home and the nurses are rude.

August: Problems get bigger. He is now disrespectful and refuses to do anything we tell him. He won’t go to the doctor and we are not allowed to force him to do anything. He runs away again. He comes to us and tells us he wants to go home and will we buy him a plane ticket. He lies about everything and Q starts lying as well. I have had enough of his disrespect and we yell at each other, I leave the house and try to drive my car into a ditch and die. My husband talks me down and we realize we can’t live like this anymore. We tell our caseworker we need to disrupt. Boys go back to their home state. While dealing with all of this, my Grandma and Grandpa move out of state so my Grandpa can go into a VA home. My own father doesn’t call me for my birthday, never acknowledges that I called him for his birthday or Fathers Day, and reaches out to both of my brothers on my birthday and not me. Cue a lot of tears in August. (August was a rough month).

September: I relive that story over and over again having to tell it to family members, friends and neighbors. I cry a lot. I know we made the right decision but I am sad it didn’t work out. Caseworkers and agency NEVER reach out to make sure we are okay. The good news is that my grandfather is doing well in the new home although my grandmother is having a hard time.

October: Still getting over the fact it didn’t work out. Halloween at the store so that keeps us busy.

November: Vacation for me to see my brother get married! Was a much needed break! Enjoyed getting to know my new sister-in-law! However, my father is there and doesn’t acknowledge anything about the boys, doesn’t ask me how I’m doing, hasn’t called me since August.

December: Holidays are upon us and that makes me happy and sad. This was supposed to be our first year with kids. We were supposed to start new traditions. I’m starting to deal with the fact that my biological father wants nothing to do with me, which has been hard because I worked really hard to try and repair our relationship.

I guess you can see why I’m ready for next year! I just want to put 2017 behind me. Yes, I grew a lot. I am thankful for the growth I went through this year. But I am also ready to move forward.

Cheers to 2018!

xoxo

nikki

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Posted in Infertility

Yesterday

Yesterday I went grocery shopping. I usually try to avoid the stores during the week before Christmas but I needed to stock my house with groceries before all my family comes next week!

I actually had a really enjoyable shopping trip! I was polite and happy to everyone and it paid off, people would move out of my way and when I got to the front and was looking for a register, a manager was opening one up right as I walked by her!!

We had a fairly nice conversation and then she asked if my kids were out of school. I kindly replied with “oh I don’t have kids.” To which she replied “Lucky you.”

Years ago, or even a year ago, that would have really gotten to me. I would have wanted to say something like “you don’t know how hard we’ve tried to have kids” or “i would give anything to have kids” or “lucky? are you crazy?”.

However, I just let it go. She doesn’t know my story. She obviously didn’t mean any harm by it. She thought she was being nice or funny. I can’t take everything everybody says personally. I’m proud of myself for not responding to that or letting it bring me down. I smiled, brushed it off and changed the subject to something else.

I was and am still really proud of myself for not letting that comment get to me. Normally I would have come home and steamed about it all. day. long. But now I realize that she didn’t mean any harm. And it honestly didn’t offend me.

There was a time when kids were all I thought about it. I thought my body was failing me. I thought I was a failure. I cried to God asking Him what did I do wrong that I couldn’t or wasn’t having kids. I thought for sure that not having kids was a punishment for something that I had done.

Now I see differently. I’m not being punished. I’m blessed. Whatever happens in my life, I know it’s in God’s plan.

Do I want to adopt kids? Absolutely not.

Do I want biological kids? Yes. Yes. I would love to have a kid of my own. But I also know that is up to God. He will bless us with children if it is in His plan. He knows my heart, my wishes, my desires and He also knows what is best for me.

If not we will just keep loving on these adorable fur babies:

“Thanks for the bed, Mom, but it’s a little small”

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“Mooom, he’s sleeping in my bed again!”

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xoxo

nikki

Posted in Family, Life

#MambaMentality

Last night we watched Kobe Bryant’s jersey’s hung up at the Lakers Stadium. (To be fair, this was not as huge a deal to me as it was to my husband).

I knew NOTHING about Kobe Bryant or sports in general until I met my husband. I’ve learned a great deal over the years but I’m still not into it as much as he is.

What got me last night though, was his video “Dear Basketball”, I’m so emotional lately it really got to me!

Kobe talked about his #mambamentality and ever since then I’ve been thinking about my grandpa. He had the closest mentality to that of anyone I’ve ever known.

He has Dementia now. He is living at a care center and most of the time he doesn’t know who I am. There have been moments when he has known who I am and those are so precious to me.

He was an amazing salesman back in his day. He was also top salesman no matter what company he worked for. He was a Marine. He was in Korea. He did a lot of amazing things before I came along but here are the things I remember most about him:

He got up at 5am every day regardless of weather. He would walk his German Shepherd 3 miles ever morning. Then he would come home and have the same breakfast every day.

He would drink three cups of green tea a day.

He LOVED his garden. Every since retirement, he would spend hours a day out in the garden: weeding, moving sprinklers, planting seeds. My grandparents had the best garden! He loved his front yard. Ever since I can remember he would be out front playing with us and pulling weeds.

He would watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune every night. He also did the crossword in the newspaper.

He had passion in every thing he did. I don’t remember a day he wasn’t up by 5 am. He had his routine and he stuck to it until he couldn’t remember it anymore.

He is one of the greatest men I know. He was always doing something.

And I think “Dear Basketball” reminded me of him because he had so much passion and so much love for his job, his garden, his front yard, and his family.

I don’t get to see him very much because he lives out of state now and I miss him a lot.

I will never understand dementia. I will never understand why such a healthy man was diagnosed with such an awful disease. He walked every day, took his vitamins, drank his green tea, was a vegetarian…it just doesn’t make sense.

But I know that there are a lot of things in life that don’t make sense. All we can do is pray and just have faith in God. I know this is part of His plan. I’ve always believed that God never gives us more than we can handle but He does give us trials. This is just a trial for my family. A trial that we all hate but yet we are all strong enough for.

xoxo

nikki

Posted in Adoption, Depression, Happiness

Thank YOU!

A huge thank you to those who have liked my posts lately! I appreciate so many of you reading and liking my words. My whole goal for this blog lately was just to get the word out about adoption disruption. Going into this I just wanted one person to feel that they are not alone and now I’ve got multiple likes!

Whether you come for my DIY posts, adoption disruption posts, or another reason, thanks for reading!

This year has been hard. From trying to get the boys out here, to having them here, to having them leave, this year has been a rough one. All I’m trying to do is share my story so that someone else doesn’t feel alone. That they know what they are going through is normal and there is someone else out there that knows what you’re going through.

Adoption is HARD. From the classes, the training, the home study, FBI background checks and SO MUCH paperwork to meeting your possible kids to getting them and realizing WOAH we are not prepared for this. If you have made the decision to disrupt and felt relived about it (you are NOT ALONE). That is how I KNEW we were making the right decision by how much relief we felt about them going. You can’t live in hell. Not even if caseworkers want you to. You deserve to be happy.

So wherever you are in your life, whether you’re single, married, have kids, don’t have kids, as long as you are happy in your life, that’s all that matters. And if you’re not happy, I encourage you to make whatever change you need to in order to be happy.

Living with clinical depression, I understand how hard it can be to be happy. So when you find that situation where you are happy, go for it.

 

At the end of the day, we only get one life. And we have no idea how long that life will be or where it will take us. So hold on to anything that makes you happy.

That’s my Christmas wish for all of you. That you will be happy. And do what makes you happy.

Here’s two pictures of somebody that makes me very happy! One of my furbabies! He likes to curl up next to me and I like to take tons of pics until he gets annoyed!

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Look at that stink eye!! Is that not the most adorable thing?!?!

xoxo

nikki

Posted in Uncategorized

Holidays 2017

I have been able to keep my mind (and myself) pretty busy these last couple weeks with very little downtime to really think about things. If I’ve needed to, I’ve taken some very long walks around the neighborhood to cry and vent by myself.

I’ve stayed away because I just haven’t been ready to blog anything. I’ve really tried hard to keep my mind away from thinking about “what could have been” or “what should have been”. It’s a normal human thing to think about those things but I just haven’t wanted to sit down and write about it.

I deleted Facebook from my phone because it was just getting too hard to look at the “elf on a shelf pictures”, “cute christmas jammies”, “kid traditions”, etc. I’ve felt better since doing that. At least the pictures aren’t screaming at me and I don’t check Facebook when I’m out and about doing things.

It still hits you at random moments though. And it’s especially hard because everything Spider-Man reminds me of Q. We’ll be out shopping and I’ll see these adorable Spider-Man pjs and say to my husband “Q would have loved those”. That’s when it really hits me.

I WANTED to give those boys EVERYTHING. We DID give them EVERYTHING. And it wasn’t enough. We had nothing more we could give. I wanted it to be enough. I wanted our home and our family to be enough for them. I tried everything I could to make D happy. I took his disrespect. I let him walk over me. And in the end I just couldn’t take it anymore. They wanted me to. But I just couldn’t. There is only so much disrespect and emotional abuse one can take. See, I’d already been emotionally abused for years by my own biological father. I couldn’t take it from an 8 year old for very long.

Anyway, the loss of the boys has hit me at random times. This was SUPPOSED to be our first Christmas with kids. And that was so exciting to me. I wanted to start new traditions and continue old traditions that we had from our childhoods. So, yeah, it sucks. There’s nothing else to say. It. Just. Sucks. Not that I want D and his abuse back. No, I don’t. It was just the idea of finally having a Christmas with kids that I’m mourning.

We finally put our tree up a week ago. Normally I would have had it up the day after Thanksgiving. We got a train last year, which was something I ALWAYS wanted when I was a kid. A part of me was a little sad putting it together this year because when I got it last year, I thought we would have kids with us this year. I imagined how excited they would be to put it together and put the tree up. (The awful part is that Q would have been excited, he loves trains).

I’ll end this post with a picture of our Christmas tree. I do love it (it’s prelit!) and love putting it up every year. There’s something calming about putting the tree up, putting the ornaments on, and just looking at it.

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xoxo

nikki

Posted in DIY

Living Room Makeover

Next up on my DIY list was the living room!

We finally got around to painting an accent wall in our living room. I do not remember the color we originally picked out but then we saw this guy on the “Oops” Shelf for $9 and it was a pretty close match! It’s definitely lighter in person but I just couldn’t get a good picture:

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Then it was time to decorate! My husband leaves pretty much all the decorating up to me. If there’s something he really wants, then he’ll speak up but for the most part he leaves it to me!

(The Christmas tree is not part of this post, it was just already up when I got around to taking these pictures!)

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Now let’s go through each piece!

These are Hobby Lobby letters that I painted purple:

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I had this board leftover from another project and used my Silhouette to cut the vinyl:

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Just a leftover frame, some scrapbook paper and a creative mind for this one:

(Hot Air Balloons floating over the mountains, I hand drew everything)

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I also love to cross stitch so I was able to add two of my finished cross stitches to the wall:

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I finally remembered to take a before picture! This is what I’m talking about when I say I use my Silhouette to make stencils:

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Then I paint over the “stencil”, peel off and voila!:

(I painted the happy birds and happy trees 🙂

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Cross was from Hobby Lobby, and I used vinyl:

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See how the “Z” is coming up? This is why I usually choose to create stencils and paint directly onto the wood.

“T” from Hobby Lobby and vinyl again:

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This is the only piece I 100% bought. Found it at Kohl’s during their Black Friday Sales and couldn’t pass it up!

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Again, had a leftover board from another project and painted this quote on it:

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Arrow from Hobby Lobby and vinyl again:

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Board was a gift and used vinyl/painted the black words:

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Board from Hobby Lobby and vinyl again:

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Every piece on the wall was thought out and added because it brings me joy. I don’t think you should have anything hanging on your walls that doesn’t bring you joy. I enjoy having a lot of quotes because they each mean something to me and they are a reminder every time I see them. I especially love the “Blessed” and “Grateful” over the windows. They remind me of just how blessed my life is and how I need to be grateful for the wonderful things I have been blessed with.

Hope you enjoyed this post with all the pictures!

xoxo

nikki

Posted in DIY

Guest Room Makeover

Today I’m here with a crafty blog! With most of my family coming here this year for Christmas, it was time to finish the guest room. (We’ll have to find places to put air mattress for 3 of them, but at least my mom and step-dad will have an actual bed!)

The guest room used to be my craft room, then it was the guest room when the boys shared a room, then it was D’s room, and now it’s back to a guest room!

Here’s the before:

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BORING!

I really love color on the walls. Almost every room in our house has one wall painted, I like accent walls. I think they make more of a statement than painting every wall. I’m also AWFUL at deciding on a color. When we went to pick out this color, I realized I’m WAY more picky than I thought. I didn’t want to do purple, teal, green, or blue because those colors are already in the house. I didn’t even realize I cared until we were picking out colors! My sweet husband was like “but some of those colors are downstairs and this is upstairs” and I was like “it doesn’t matter! i don’t want the same color used in the house twice”. So, anyways, we finally settled on the color he picked out, because he is just amazing at finding the right color! When I was painting the wall, though, I was like “ahh i don’t know if I like this” but after two coats I LOVED it.

Here it is:

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You’ll notice that I don’t tape the ceiling. I have a really hard time taping it, so I just VERY CAREFULLY use the edger to do the ceiling. As long as you take your time and don’t put too much paint on the edger, you’ll do just fine! Also, I’m not a professional so my lines are not perfect but that doesn’t bother me. If it bothers you, then I would probably suggest taping the ceiling.

The color is Behr’s Blazing Autumn from Hope Depot. It makes a statement but is also more subdued and makes the guest room feel comfortable instead of having a bright color screaming at guests!

Another important thing to note is that I painted this over a tan wall, not a white wall. Our whole house was painted tan when we moved in. On a whiter wall, this color may be brighter than it is here. Or not, I’m not really sure if that makes a difference but thought I’d note it anyway!

I think I also like accent walls because then I really only have to decorate one wall!

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The “Be Our Guest” is individual wood letters I bought at Hobby Lobby and painted teal.

Sidenote: I LOVE to shop Home Depot’s “Oops” Paints. They are usually located beneath the paint counter. Most of them are sample paints and are .50 each. (Sometimes they’ll have a gallon, that’s actually where we found our living room color! I think it was about $15, it was normally a $30 gallon of paint.) I have SO MANY of them and keep buying them every time I go and see a color I don’t have! I love them because they are so much bigger than the craft paints I buy from Hobby Lobby, they are cheaper, and I don’t have to use as many coats when I’m painting something.

I love this next idea:

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I used the tracing pens with my Silhouette to make this one. Sometimes the lighter colors, like the orange “Welcome” don’t trace completely so I’ll take a sharpie and trace over it and then color it in. A little time consuming, yes, but it looks great!

When I was painting the wall, I realized it reminded me of the desert, so while the first coat was drying, I went and created this:

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I’m actually super proud of this, even though it looks amateur (it is amateur!). It is the first painting I’ve EVER DONE that is completely hand drawn by me! I usually use my Silhouette to cut out silhouettes that I will trace so that everything is perfect. But on this, I just hand drew everything! It is so not perfect but that’s what I love about it. It’s the first thing I’m letting my perfectionism go on!

And our guest room is finished and ready for family to come visit for Christmas!

xoxo

nikki