Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blog Challenge Day 10: Something You're Afraid Of

I'm afraid of death.  Not my own, really, but the death of those I love.  I'm a Chrisitian, and I know that earthly goodbyes are only temporary.  I believe in Heaven, and I believe we'll see our loved ones again, but there are so many people I can't imagine life without. The thought of going through the rest of my earthly life without them is terrifying.

I'm twenty-eight years old, and all four of my grandparents are still living--two of them are in good health, and the other two are in fair health when you consider their ages.  I know I am extremely blessed.  The older they get, the more afraid I become of losing them.  I don't like to think about losing my parents, brother, or friends.  And I can't even fathom life without Bradley or Aniston.  I can cause myself to have a full-blown panic attack just thinking about it. 

I realize that death is a part of life.  It's just a part I'd rather not dwell on.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Blog Challenge Day 9: A favorite picture of someone you could never imagine your life without

I'm cheating and choosing two people I couldn't imagine life without--Bradley and Aniston.  This is one of my favorite pictures ever.  It's hard to think back to when she was little enough to fit on his arm! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blog Challenge Day 7: Your Favorite Movies

1.  Steel Magnolias

2.  Gone in 60 Seconds

3.  The Notebook

4.  Secondhand Lions

5.  Dirty Dancing

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Blog Challenge Day 6: A Picture of Something That Makes You Happy

Blog Challenge Day 5: Your Favorite Songs

1.  "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", Israel Kamakawiwo'ole--I've always loved "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", but this version is my absolute favorite. 

2.  "Three Little Birds", Bob Marley

3.  "Little Miss Magic", Jimmy Buffett--Bradley and I love this song for Aniston.  As part of Bradley's Father's Day gift this year, I printed the chorus, put Aniston's handprints on it (which was an adventure with pink paint, let me tell you!), and framed it.

4.  "Blessings", Laura Story

5.  "Livin' Our Love Song", Jason Michael Carroll

6.  "Beautiful Disaster", Jon McLaughlin

7.  "My Girl", The Temptations

8.  "Grow Old With You", Adam Sandler from The Wedding Singer.

9.  "Dirt Road Anthem", Jason Aldean

10.  "A Thousand Years", Christina Perri--Makes me think of both Bradley & Aniston.  :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Blog Challenge Day Four: Your Parents and Siblings

My family is wonderful.  We've always been close.  Growing up, my dad insisted we have supper together every night.  He wasn't much of one for traditions and routines, really, but that was one thing that was very important to him.  We would all sit around the table and talk about our day.  It kept us in touch with one another.  At times, especially as a teenager, it was a little frustrating and caused some eye-rolling.  If the phone rang, you usually didn't answer it.  If you did get to answer, you had to tell the caller that you would have to call them back later.  Looking back, though, it was a really great thing.  It gave Eric and me time to share, and it allowed Mama and Daddy time to listen and pick up on things that were going on in our lives.  It brought us closer together as a family.  I'm planning to do the same thing with Aniston, and I hope she'll appreciate it one day as much as I do now.

My mom is a giver.  She's always the first to volunteer to do something for someone, even if she has 632 other things going on.  She is definitely a people-pleaser, and wants to make sure that everyone is happy.  She is talkative, and she always says what's on her mind.  Mama is a free-spirit type, which has always addled my Type A personality a bit.  She will talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime.  No topic is off-limits with her. 

My dad is pretty much the opposite of my mama, personality-wise.  He's not a huge fan of social situations.  He loves the outdoors.  Some of the best conversations I've ever had with him have been when we're fishing together.  (Although feeding the ducks out of the boat is a no-no.  Did you know that if you feed ducks, they'll follow you wherever you go?  It's true.)  I love watching my daddy with Aniston.
Eric is my younger brother.  Even though we're five years apart in age, we've always been close.  Unlike many brothers and sisters, we never really fought as we were growing up.  We always got along well, and we still do.  He's really grown up over the past several years, and it's neat to see.  He's funny and sweet, and I couldn't have asked for a better brother....even if he sometimes was a pest, especially when I started dating.  And even if most of my prom snapshots have him in the background making goofy faces.  Aww, memories.  :)

My family is such a blessing to me.  I can't imagine life without them.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Blog Challenge Day Three: Your Relationship

Before Bradley and I got married, my aunt, Marie, put together a book of recipes for me.  She sent a letter to friends and family asking them to contribute a recipe to the book, and also advice about marriage.  A family friend wrote this:

Marriage is not always a 50/50 proposition.  Sometimes it's more like 90/10.  Remember, anything worth having is worth working for.

When I first read those words at my bridesmaids' brunch, I didn't really understand what they meant.  But, boy, do I understand now!   

Our relationship is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.  We argue.  There have been times when we've gone to bed angry.  We're both capable of--and guilty of--saying really snarky things.  You know those couples that say, "Oh, we just bring out the best in each other!"?  Yeah...we're not exactly that couple.  So, no, our relationship isn't perfect.

But it is strong, solid, and real.  We've been married for nearly six years, and our relationship has been tested in ways that we never expected when we said those vows.  We've been through some really hard things together, and we've made it.  We have cried and laughed together.  We have clung to each other when our world was falling apart.  We have experienced devastating loss and indescribable joy.  We have seen the darkest of days, and we have experienced a miracle.  Through it all, we've loved each other.

It hasn't always been 50/50, and at times it has required a lot of work.  Sometimes it's messy and chaotic.  Other times it's breathtakingly beautiful. 

I'll take real over perfect any day.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Blog Challenge Day Two:The Meaning Behind Your Blog Title

When I first started this blog, the title was "A Schnauzer and Some Hope".  I played around with lots of titles before settling on that one.  I wanted something different but meaningful.  "A Schnauzer and Some Hope" referred to Lucy, the miniature schanauzer who joined our family the day after the D&E, and the hope I had for being able to have a baby one day. 

After we added Ethel to the mix, the blog became "Two Schnauzers and Some Hope".

When Aniston was born, the title changed again.  "Two Schnauzers and a Baby" has been the title for the last year.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Blog Challenge Day One: Introduction, 15 Random Facts, Recent Picture

I feel a little silly introducing myself on my own blog, but I realize people who don't know me may be reading, so I'll follow the directions.  :)

I'm Adrian.  I met my husband, Bradley, the summer before my senior year of high school.  After we went on the worst first date ever, he eventually asked me out again and we've been together ever since. :)  We were married in 2006.  Our daughter, Aniston, was born in March 2011.  I started this blog in May of 2009 after we lost our first baby.  The first post still breaks my heart a little when I read it.  I've blogged about years of fertility treatments, a long-awaited pregnancy, and, now, life with our sweet Aniston.  :)

Fifteen Random Facts About Me
*From what I've read, these are supposed to be random things that you wouldn't know by reading the blog.  Hmm...*

1.   I love lists.  I make them all the time, and they are everywhere--on the fridge, in my bag, at work, in random drawers...everywhere. 
2.  Even more than I love making lists, I love crossing things off of them.  There's just some sort of strange satisfaction that comes along with it.
3.  I have a ridiculous fear of going in banks and gas stations and avoid both as much as possible.
4.  I can't bear to erase pictures from memory cards even if I've printed or saved them.  I just buy new memory cards.  This annoys Bradley to no end.
5.  I eat popcorn for dinner on a fairly regular basis.
6.  I broke my ankle while I was in college by tripping over a water hose...while dancing...right after Bradley finished washing my car...on New Year's Day.
7.  The orthopedic surgeon who put lots of plates, pins, and screws in my mangled ankle told me I should come up with a better story.  Lie, he said.
8.  My birthday is my favorite holiday.
9.  I met one of my best friends, Kesha, in college.  Our birthdays are within the same week. It's a match made in heaven and requires a week long celebration.  Some years are more obnoxious than others.
10.  I met my other best friend, Emily, in college as well.  Emily has put up with our obnoxious birthday celebrations (among other things) for years, and has never once told us no--even when we insisted on wearing crowns to dinner.  That says a lot.
11.  Aniston's birthday is exactly one week before mine. 
12.  I've now used four (five, counting this one) facts talking about my birthday....which proves #8 to be true.
13.  I'm a second grade teacher, and I love my job.  I can't imagine doing anything else.
14.  I can't make decisions--even small ones--without major deliberation. 
15.  I put ketchup on almost everything. 

Recent Picture
Honestly, I don't think I have a really recent picture of myself.  I'll try to post one sometime soon.

When Ordinary is Extraordinary

Aniston and I had a perfect day today.  Most days with her are that way.  Really, we didn't do anything amazing or out of the ordinary.  We went shopping and then had lunch at Chick-fil-a.  On the way to the mall she babbled constantly as she turned the pages of a book.  She recently learned that I can see her in the mirror, so when I glanced up to check on her, my gaze was met by a pair of bright blue eyes.  A huge grin and a loud giggle followed.  It's moments like that when I wonder if my heart could burst because of joy.  Today was full of those moments.  She was the best shopping buddy ever.  (I mean, to have someone clap and say "yay!" every time you try something on?  It's a dream come true!)  She smiled and waved at everyone around.  She's such a ham.  She loves for people to watch her and interact with her.  You can be certain that if she feels she's not receiving enough attention, she'll find a way to get it.  (Like when she growled at a lady today.  Even on perfect days, motherhood is humbling. :))  We ate beside of the carousel in the food court, and she was in awe of it.  She makes me appreciate simple things again. 

After we got home, she took a nap and I grabbed the opportunity to catch up on some blogs.  I haven't been blogging lately, and I also haven't been reading.  As I scrolled through my feed, I clicked on several of the blogs I follow that are written by people who had similar struggles with infertility.  Those blogs were lifelines for me for years.  To know that I wasn't alone was an invaluable gift, and that network of support was amazing.  Many of the women have gone on to have babies, and some are even beginning fertility treatments again to try for a second.  But there are some who still don't have their miracles, and that makes me so very sad.  There were tears in my eyes as I read their recent posts because I know the feelings they described all too well.  It's a miserable, dark place to be. 

I sat for such a long time reading and thinking about where we've been and where we are now.  Then I crept into Aniston's room and watched her as she napped--sweet little legs tucked under her, bottom in the air, mouth open in a perfect little "o".  I'm thankful for the perfect days, and the not-so-perfect days too.  I'm thankful for all the moments, big and small.  She's a miracle, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be her mommy.

Our little family is oh so blessed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I'm Back! (Nearly Three Months Later)

Where does the time go?!  I swear, I'm just one failed good intention after another.  How many times have I promised I would keep up the blog?  How many times have I done exactly the opposite?


Life is busy.  And when life is not busy, there's my Kindle...and Facebook....and Pinterest.  (Oh, Pinterest, you're a whole blog post of your own.)  I would like to blog more often, but it just hasn't been happening lately.  That's going to change...tomorrow.  :)

I'm the queen of blank slates, a huge lover of do-overs, and an overzealous planner all in one.  So what's my solution for the lack of blogging?  Why, it's a blog challenge!  Here's what it looks like:

Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts

Day 2: Meaning behind your blog title

Day 3: Your relationship

Day 4: Your parents and siblings

Day 5: Your favorite songs

Day 6: A picture of something that makes you happy

Day 7: Your favorite movies

Day 8: A place you would like to travel to

Day 9: A favorite picture of someone you could never imagine your life without

Day 10: Something you're afraid of

Day 11: Favorite TV shows

Day 12: Something you don't leave the house without

Day 13: Friends

Day 14: A picture of you last year - how have you changed?

Day 15: Favorite Bible verse

Day 16: Your home or dream home

Day 17: Something you're looking forward to

Day 18: Favorite food

Day 19: Something you miss

Day 20: A picture that always makes you smile

Day 21: Your favorite picture of yourself and why

Day 22: What's in your purse?

Day 23: Favorite hobbies

Day 24: Something you've learned

Day 25: Your favorite band or artist

Day 26: Your wedding

Day 27: Where you live

Day 28: Your pet peeves

Day 29: Three wishes

Day 30: A picture of yourself on this day and 5 good things that have happened since you started the challenge we go! :)