Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Our Redecorated Bedroom

After 6 years in our house, our redecorating activities have finally made it to our bedroom! It was quite the project, but when Spike and Sharon announced that they were coming out for a visit and intended to paint, we knew it was time to get ourselves in gear and figure out what we wanted to do with our bedroom!

It took weeks of paging through catalogs, scouring websites, and dozens of consults with friends (ok, that may be a little exaggeration, but it's a very good thing that we have such wonderful friends because lesser women would have thrown me out of the circle after I passed around the 5th set of paint chips) but in the end we have come up with a warm and spicy (that was the look I was going for) bedroom that's not too girly (that's the look Steve was going for) and I love it!

There's still a little more work to do... the books are still all over Ben's floor instead of on their new bookshelf, we need to repaint my night stand, and Steve desperately needs a new bureau, but the hard part is done and it's simply fabulous!

In the spirit of all good home decorating shows, here's the reveal:

Boring old bedroom

Gramma and Poppop come and paint the ceiling, walls, and trim

Steve and Jamie apply the final coat under the chair rail - a crackle coat!

Here's the crackle up close

Steve assembles some new furniture (we have lots of books)

Jamie assembles and arranges decor

Tah dah!

It's like a whole new room!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Adoption Update

We don't have a ton of news about our dossier, which isn't too surprising since we're only in week 1 of the anticipated 2 months of waiting for it to be translated into Russian. We talked to our adoption coordinator, Susan, with World Partners Adoption today and she confirmed that our dossier has arrived in the World Partners office Kazakhstan and is all ready for translation! So, at least a little part of us is in Kazakhstan already :)

Now we wait for translation to complete and then they'll send our translated dossier to the Kazakhstan consulate in New York. We'll keep you posted as we get further updates.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Wonderful Week in Oregon

Happy Spring Break! We just got back from a delightful 5 days on the Oregon coast, made possible by the fabulous Thomas family. Cindy's family has a condo just a little north of Cannon Beach that they invited us to share for a few days... I think that someone in our family should buy a condo/mountain cabin/beach house for us to use a few times per year :) I'll admit that the drive was long, but it was well worth every hour for in the car our few days on the beautiful beach!

It'll come as no surprise that the weather was a little cold and rainy (April + Oregon + coast), but since flying kites was high up on our list of things to do we didn't mind much at all. Sam really got into flying his kites on this trip, doing tricks with several of the kites that my grandfather has given him over the years and taking delight in helping Steve assemble and disassemble each creation. They even invested in a new Delta and three spinners - quite the lovely souvenir from our trip.

It's tough to pick out my favorite part of the trip, but I think it's a toss up between the tidal pools at Cannon Beach and playing on the shipwreck of the Peter Iredale. Ben and I had a ton of fun discovering shellfish, sea anemones, and starfish in the tidal pools and learning a little about ocean ecology. The Peter Iredale was a three-masted trading vessel that ran aground in 1906 on the beach about 15 minutes north of where we were staying. As you can tell from the photos, we all enjoyed climbing around the wreck and stomping in the puddles around it (ok, Mr. Shark Boots Ben technically did most of the stomping, but we all enjoyed the wreck).

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Adoption update!

Hooray - our dossier is complete! Our paperwork came back from the Utah Lt. Governor's Office today and here you can see all of it arrayed around us in splendor! And tomorrow morning, it all goes off in a glossy FedEx box to Georgia (where World Partners Adoption is located) for translation into Russian! Yes, this paragraph is full of exclamation points... it's just an excited sort of day :)

And now the real waiting begins. Our part of the document prep is done and we have somewhere around 8 months until our invitation to travel to Kazakhstan! Yes, the wait is brutal already, but in all of it I try to remember that we have the rest of our lives with this little beauty and a few extra weeks will feel like no time at all once she's in our arms. So far, I've spent the time catching up on our scrapbooks (have to find places for past memories as we're creating new ones every day!) and planning how to redecorate our room and fix her room up (oh, plus work and hanging out with my fabulous boys!). Besides, I'm sure you're not worried about the Morningstar Family finding ways to fill the time... we do tend to find adventure around every corner.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Wonderful 29th Birthday

I have finally hit the most mythical of ages, the age that so many folks claim for years and years and years - I'm 29! And I have to say that it was a wonderful birthday.

The festivities started Friday night with a 20's-themed murder mystery party at the house. I've heard from several people who have viewed this photo that they've never seen me looking quite so... made-up. In fact, one of our guests didn't even recognize me when I answered the door (although he's a guy, so take that for what it's worth). Yes, it's true, I don't think that I've ever spent so much time on hair and makeup! But when you and your girlfriends are pursuing the perfect look, time just has to take a back seat to glamor. My part was that of the reporter, so my costume was suspiciously like what I wear to work, but I am happy to report that I finally found a good occasion to wear the silk stockings that my grandmother gave me years ago, complete with seams up the back!

We had a fabulous evening of murder and mayhem - if you've never done a How to Host a Murder before, they really are a lot of fun if you have a group of slightly theatrical friends (and, yes, our friends are often well beyond slightly theatrical, as you can tell by the costumes!). We started with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in our Chicago speakeasy and Steve was, as always, the consummate bartender. Then we did a few rounds of the game, paused for dinner (Steve made a heavenly penne rustica), and finished up just after midnight! Yeah, it was a lot of partying for somebody who's almost thirty.

Oh, and I'm sure that you'll all want to know what Steve got me for my birthday (as if throwing a fantastic party wasn't enough). This year, he rigged up a Bluetooth connector for the iPod and purchased matching Bluetooth headphones that go inside of my motorcycle helmet! I love listening to audiobooks as I drive around but, of course, headphones are a big no-no when driving a two-wheeled vehicle. So Steve found safe, legal, tiny speakers that go inside of my helmet so that I can still hear what's going on around me but can finish up Pride and Prejudice while driving the scooter. What a fabulous man.

And then Saturday brought even more celebration! We headed up to Park City for the afternoon and took a ride on the Alpine Coaster (which we just found out is open in the winter!). Then we hit The Canyons for a free Rusted Root concert (a favorite band), and by the time the boys' boots were finally filled with enough snow to make them truly miserable, it was time for our dinner reservation at Zoom! Yep, it was a fantastic birthday - almost good enough to make me look forward to my 30th :)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Adoption Update

I have a real adoption update this week - hooray and huzzah! We finally got our 171H back from Immigration, so the paperwork-collection portion of the process is complete!!! I sent 19 documents off to the Utah Lieutenant Governor's Office this morning for apostille (that's the notarization of the notary process) and their turnaround time is 3-5 days, so if all goes well and our paperwork is acceptable (no reason that it shouldn't be, I'm just bracing myself for the worst), this time next week we could have our completed dossier in hand! Woo hoo!

After the dossier is complete, it all goes to our adoption agency for translation and they facilitate all of the processing after that. I haven't paid much attention to that part of the process yet, so now that we're getting close it's time for some more research! But for now I'm going to celebrate a major milestone - sending all of those papers off to Salt Lake this morning felt wonderful!


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