Password Post

Hey guys! Sorry for the unannounced password protected post! I am happy to share the password with just one simple request that you not share it with anyone else even if you think they should have it :) Just ask and I will provide or tell you why I will not (though I don’t think I have even had to do that)!!! Thanks everyone for understanding…there may be a few more of these posts coming soon!

To say thank you check out this cutie who loses her cast in just 8 days! YEAH!!!!!!!

{98/365} Let’s PARTY!!!!!!!!!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Where did the last year go? Heck where did the last month go? Well it is that time again, time to party BLOGGY style! I love when 5 Minutes for Mom hosts the Ultimate Blog Party ~ I always get to know some great women and find some cool new blogs!

If you are stopping by here for the first time I offer up a huge HELLO, a Pepsi Throwback, some homemade bread and well a ton of toddler toys! Sit back and enjoy a chat with me ~ everyone who has ever chatted with me will tell you I LOVE to talk (read a few blog posts and you will see I have so many issues keeping things short and sweet!)! A few of the basics about me ~ I am a stay at home mama to the most adorable twins ever (this post tells our story), I am married to an amazing man (check out this post to see how amazing), we are hosting a Korean exchange student and as if all that does not keep me busy enough I love to sew (or crochet or knit or heck any craft), tinker with my blogs a.k.a blog, take pictures (check out this blog and my flickr for my project 365 pictures) and cook!

I am currently just trying to find my way! Most days I blog about Little Man and Little Princess’ greatest accomplishments but some days it is all about me and other days it is all adoption related though I usually leave my adoption posts for the other blog I write for, Grown In My Heart :) My family has a lot planned for the next year ~ we are planning vacations; I am finalizing plans to be in New York for BlogHer; we are discussing if, when and how our family will be growing; I have started home schooling the tornadoes (my nick name for the twins) and I am sure so much more will happen in the next year! So if you like what you you see be sure to grab the RSS feed or get updated by e-mail and maybe by the time the party is over I will be all caught up on blog posts because yes I realize I am like 20 behind (maybe I will have that as my project for this weekend)!

So how can you party? Well find the rules here (they are pretty simple) ~ write your post, link it up and visit the others who are at the party! I know that I am going to try and visit others who are partying ~ my goal is 50-100 but who knows last year there were hundreds if not thousands who partied along with me!

If you made it through all of this then please leave me a comment! Tell me a little about yourself and what makes you who you are! And if you are going to BlogHer let me know that as well, I would love to try to hunt you down there as well! Oh yeah I cannot find the code now BUT I wish I could last year at BlogHer I (yep little old me) got to turn the cameras on Janice and Susan and interview them! They are the best so thanks for hosting the party guys and cannot wait to see you at BlogHer this year!

So GO PARTY!!!!!!!!! Thanks for stopping by!

{75/365} I am BACK!!!

For over a month my keyboard on my laptop has been on the fritz…as in some letters didn’t work at all, some were missing and some were on the way out. Typing anything was a pain….a royal pain and I HATED doing anything on the computer. I stopped responding to e-mails, didn’t tweet any more, wrote all my posts out long hand, and let e-mails pile up. No longer ~ the new keyboard I ordered with the money from the Etsy orders has arrived! I installed it quickly and am in complete LOVE…for the crap we are still dealing with this is nice. It is nice to have something work and work right finally!

Watch out ~ I may just now be able to say EXACTLY what I am thinking…and that is not always a good thing (ask anyone who knows me)!

So for what you are really here for:

{42/365} Can I sit at your table, again?

I am pretty sure I am down to like ONE real reader anymore. Between the move and the original issues with the feed I have lost a ton of followers. I built my blog readership before by visiting other blogs, reading and commenting. I became involved and wanted to read people’s stories. I pretty much only read adoption blogs. Then when we brought the babies home I was able to keep up for awhile but there came a point when all I could do was read but if someone’s child was older than mine or the same age I stopped reading it was way too hard…I felt as if the delays my children were suffering were my fault even though in reality they were due to two things (1) being born at 25 weeks gestation and (2) being adopted into a foreign culture at 14 months old.

I then had to go looking for new blogs to read…ones that made me feel as if I was a good mom or helped me learn how to be a better stay at home mom. I kept all the other blogs in my reader but added new ones as I would visit them only once to see what they had to say. Sometimes I would read all the posts in my reader and cry…it was hard because I felt not only as if I had lost my community but I had lost the amazing friendships I had built up in the 20 months we went through the crazy adoption. As blogs went private or had passwords added I would miss out and feel too late to join in so I would be at a loss, feeling once again left out.

I would resolve to catch up again and start commenting again now that I have a little bit more time and fail so badly. Then I would feel bad again…I want to be a part of the community again but now I am afraid to ask to be a part again. Have I been gone for too long? Has too much happened? What if I still have issues returning phone calls or e-mails? What if I am still always behind but I am still reading?

Will you take me back with all my faults? Can I sit with you at lunch again?

And the pictures you came for:

Changes…big and small

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Ok so I am working on the Korea Blogroll to change it from one long list to a list of those who are or have adopted from Korea and those who are adopted from Korea so that you can find EXACTLY what you are looking for as well as update a few of the links as they have changed or no longer exist.

I am working on my own blogroll – right now I have completely cleaned up my google reader (wow that was a task) and am working on redoing my blogroll…because of its size it is going to have to be a page of it’s own….so if you would like to be included on that blogroll leave a comment…

Finally I have a few password protected posts I want to write, so if you want the password leave a comment as well….I forget the old password as I have not used it for so long…these posts will appear on the first page and in the reader but not in the top rotating part. Oh yeah for some reason I am not sure why to get the reader to work you have to click on the word “posts” in  the top right hand of the website then pick your favorite reader to read in — sorry I am working on that (or you can just follow with your google id and I know at least with google reader it will put it in there if you have it set up that way!)

Don’t forget to read up on the posts I have been posting from when my computer was down…I still have six more to go! And tomorrow is a REALLY fun post!

Remember When…

Do you guys remember when I said I was going to do a few reviews and make so they didn’t overload this blog? I do and then it happened, I had A LOT of review requests and if I put them all on here I would have lost all of my content, it would have been just reviews/giveaways and I didn’t want that. So I did it…I started a blog where I can put my review/giveaways without having any on this site UNLESS they are absolutely major! Where is this site you ask? It is called Things Our Mama Loves (you can get there by clicking on the words or just going to thingsourmamaloves.com).

I already have all kinds of FUN reviews and some giveaways. I have reviews/giveaways for the kids, for mom, for the family, for the crafter in you and am working on a few that will benefit dad! Because not everything can be a giveaway, I am trying to make sure there is at least one giveaway a week and this week there are more giveaways than normal! Also Wednesdays on Things Our Mama Loves are Wordful Wednesdays – and I will be reviewing books on those days! And because we have a TON of books I will be giving away the copy of the book I reviewed, to pay the love forward! Also, I am trying to take video and pictures of the kids and I trying some of the products out. So here is the deal — go over check out MY first review/giveaway for Ageless perfume that makes you feel and smell up to 10 years younger (all the info is there!) And while you are there feel free to follow along even if you are not interested in that specific product you might be interested in a later product! See you there!

My crazy life…

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So this is a post about some things going on for me and some others out there in this crazy world….

First – a friend of Little Princess’ (even though they have not met – but Mommy and Daddy have met her and her amazing parents) who also is adopted and has TSC was featured in the paper (not ours but near her) – PLEASE read her story and comment on it. You can read it here check out her video as well! Her mom and I talk a lot and I had a very hard time talking to her when we found out so much good news about Little Princess BUT she was the one to tell me not to worry that every case of TSC is different and her daughter and Little Princess are proof of that!

Second – some of my blog posts are going to be posted on the blog titled Experiencing Motherhood started by an amazing woman, Tabitha Rhea, as a way to help herself while she is trying conceive (read the whole story on the about page of Experiencing Motherhood). She also writes her own blog From Single to Married and Everything in Between. I cannot remember how she found my blog BUT she did and she asked if she may use a few posts on Experiencing Motherhood – the first one was posted today, it is titled Twins are Individuals Too – so head on over and check out both of her sites!!!! I am VERY excited about this!

Third – Tabitha was actually the second person to contact me about my writing about parenting (both were complete shocks). It actually took me a lot longer to get back to the first person as I thought it was a hoax, until I Googled him and the organization, joined up before I said yes and asked TONS of questions. So after talking to Aaron and reading up and realizing that all I have to do is still write for the blog I ALREADY write for – I joined the Wellsphere community of bloggers. This is a health care community of people and they use my writing for the parenting section – trust me I am NOT qualified as a health care professional (I faint at the sight of blood and/or needles). I actually enjoy this one as it requires NOTHING from me – they use what I have already wrote. I am still working on getting more involved in that community and they recently joined up with HealthCentral to provide even more information. I have added a button on the side to get you to Wellsphere, it has been there for awhile now so you may have already checked it out, if not please do it now (I just learned you have to click the bottom – I will try to fix that).  

Fourth – I started a new blog solely to get some critique about my photography – that is where I will post my I heart faces entries, some other photo contests I plan to enter and where I will take all forms of criticism on my pictures – so I am going to try to post one picture a day (it does not mean I took it that day – just that it is a favorite or needs some help) to get criticism or let me know what I could do better – as well as use to ask some photography questions of other photographers BUT I do plan on using my two favorite subjects J

Fifth – I am still working on the Etsy re-opening, the remaining parenting truths and a few other things (and I promise to get to the few e-mails sitting in my e-mail in box)!!! Keep watching for all the fun things J

Changes…

No pictures, just a note to check out all of the changes that will continue for the WHOLE week as I want to get so many things done. I have to continue to add tags and categories so that posts can be found by those looking (that may take closer to a month as I have over 450 posts to go through and am having fun reading the old posts) – update our story and get it relisted…do a post on TWO things I have been asked to participlate in (including getting back to one of the people) – finish the parenting truth posts. Also, a favor to ask – check out the blogs I read page (it got WAY too big for a blogroll and so I moved it to a page) – make sure you are there or not there and check out any other blogs. I am really trying to incorporate this with some online house cleaning – as in I ended up deleting over 100 blogs from my google reader as the links no longer worked or they had went private or had not updated in over a year and didn’t say anything before hand. SoI need to make sure I didn’t accidentally get rid of anyone – also on my list is to check out the Korea Blogroll and start to clean it up – as in do the same thing I did in my google reader – make sure all the links still work. I really am trying to clean up my act for so many reasons but the fact that I have NEVER done it in two years I have been blogging and my daily visitor count is nearing 200 (I realize 200 is not many for some and way too many for others…) I think it is time…so check everything out – tell me what works and what does not! Thanks in advance!

Our First Post

This is our first blog ever but we figure that we could add that to a lot of firsts lately! I guess this post will be about Aaron and I… (and I should add a disclaimer that Carissa will most likely be the one doing most of the posting – I tend to be a bit verbose so I apologize in advance!)

I (Carissa) am an attorney. I grew up in Central Illinois and went to Monmouth College and Southern Illinois University School of Law. I currently work in Springfield, Illinois in a general practice firm! I love anything Disney or panda related! I have wanted to adopt my entire life. A very good friend, probably my best friend as a child is from Vietnam and so the country is very near and dear to my heart!

Aaron is an actuary. He grew up very near to where we currently live. He graduated from the University of Illinois. He has worked at the same company for almost 12 years! He likes anything Illini or dog related! Adoption is new to Aaron but he is excited to go through this process and has been trying to help me keep everything organized!

We live in an AMAZING old home, that needs so much work we at times are not sure where to begin! We have five dogs [Mia (cocker spaniel), Nala, Ima, Kate and Simba (the rest are Norfolk Terriers)] and four rabbits [Lilo, Stitch, Smokey (these three are mini lops) and Elphie (he is an English Lop)]. We love musicals and helping each other do things!

We are anxious to help each other become acquainted with our children! We are requesting two infants, we hope a boy and a girl but really we do not care as long as we are able to start our family. Please feel free to add any comments possible to help us along!