Friday, December 28, 2007

Adoption update

Just as they told us - International Adoption is unpredictable.

I just thought I'd give you a quick update. Our adoption agency has upped the estimated wait time for a referral to 6-9 months. That puts us at getting a referral anytime between early February and early May. Families who are getting referrals right now have been waiting approximately 7 months, so, we'll see how that fluctuates as we get closer to getting a referral!

They have also increased the time to travel after referral to 4-ish months, although, they did say that they are hoping/anticipating a decrease in that wait time. We'll have a LOT to do between referral and travel, so be it 3 months or 5 months we'll be busy! We are holding off on doing anything to the baby's room until we get a referral so we can make it gender specific. And I will say, it is very hard to prepare for your first child when you have no idea the age, weight, gender! So, yes, we will have much to do after we get that phone call, whenever it may be!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Well, our last Christmas without kids came and went! We spent the majority of our time in Frederic with Aaron's family which was fun. After the big snow we went out hiking in the woods. It was BEAUTIFUL out there - it seemed like a scene from Narnia! It was nice to spend some extended time with the Peterson clan.Christmas Eve night went to Coon Rapids and spent the night and Christmas day with my family. My dad's sister and her family were in town this year, and Aaron was able to meet my uncle Tim and my cousin Jake for the first time (considering the fact that I have a total of 3 uncles and 7 cousins, that is a big deal!).

We came home to 10+ inches of snow - but we have the BEST neighbors - they cleared our whole drive way, our porch, our front walk, and a path from the garage to the house. It was nice to come home and not have to deal with clearing the snow. Now if it would just STOP snowing for a while, that would be nice....

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What I REALLY want for Christmas

posted by Aaron:

It's almost Christmas! I love the whole Christmas season as I'm sure most of you who read this do too. One thing I do dread every year though is the "gift list." I've never had a real easy time coming up with a list of things I need or want. I'm don't really need much and most of the things that I would LIKE are things that I'd either rather just get myself, or are completely ridiculous to put on a gift list (ie a new furnace). Creating this years gift list went something like this.....

Katie: We need to get lists together for my family to do some Christmas shopping.
Aaron: Oh, ok.
Katie: I already made mine three weeks ago.
Aaron: Oh. How long did it take you to make yours?
Katie: 3.5 seconds
Aaron: Oh.
Katie: You say "oh" a lot."
Aaron: Ok. I can't really think of much that I want...
Katie: How about some new shoes or a gift card to DSW? You could REALLY use some new shoes.
Aaron: Ok
Katie: How about a new chair for your office?
Aaron: Ok
Katie: How about a gift card to Menards or Home Depot for some stuff you could use in the garage.
Aaron: Ok
Katie: How about a popcorn popper?
Aaron: Ok. Oh - and how about some neckties? Mine are getting old.
(and I wear ties probably 2 times a year, so this is a pretty big need in my life)

So there you have it. Katie came up with about 80% of my gift list this year. Now to the main point of my post. What do I REALLY want for Christmas? Something unique....something.....practical.....I've got it!

Chuck Norris Action Jeans

From the ad: "Developed by Chuck Norris for stunt fighting in action movies, these great looking western style jeans have a unique hidden gusset which allows greater movement without riding or ripping."


I suppose $19.95 in 1980-whatever dollars might be a bit much for people who are buying on a budget (they're probably $60 now). Maybe something that doesn't cost money...something like....

A recount of the 2000 election.

For the last seven years I just keep thinking "what IF?!"
If Al Gore had won the election I wouldn't be debating right now if I should add on a central air unit to my furnace. Global warming would have been taken care of and I could have avoided those long, hot and dreaded three weeks of summer in Duluth. Not only that, but who knows where the internet would be today had he had 8 years to lead us into the technology of the 21st century. Oh well.

One last idea.

A game of catch with Fidel.

As most of you probably know he was quite the baseball player back in his day and according to this picture it looks like he still keeps on top of his game. He may not be around next Christmas, so if you're really going to take me up on any of these ideas, this is probably the most time sensitive one.

There are some ideas. If you get me one of these please try to keep it a secret until Christmas Eve if you're in the Peterson family, Christmas Day if you're in the Flavin family or until at least Sunday the 23rd if you're not actual family. I'd like to enjoy a little suspense as I wait to see who might get me one of these things.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


It's been a while since we updated this thing! Here we go...

1. Aaron and I are officially empty nesters. Jen and Buddy moved out on Monday. The last 4 or so months FLEW by! It worked out really well to have Jen stay with us while she finished school. Page now has free reign of the basement again and she has been looking for Buddy down there. Jen may be back up in Duluth depending upon her job search; we'll see what happens!

2. Amp 11 rulz. Aaron's band's show at Beaners last week was awesome! They did a GREAT job (I am slightly biased, I know, but I really would have no qualms with saying they stunk. Just ask Aaron). Amp 11 had by far the most groupies of the night. We'll keep you posted if they have any more shows - or if they sign a record deal. This picture is a little blurry, but the lighting was bad for photo ops at the concert. You get the general idea. (Thanks, Heather!!)3. Adoption...nothing new. We're still waiting. It looks like our wait for a referral may be longer than the 5-7 months we were "quoted" back in August. I'm checking with our contact person at CHSFS and we'll let you know. Just for reference, we will be waiting for 5 months on January 8th.

4. Zubaz. I read in the paper today that the guys who created zubaz are re-introducing them. You can only buy them at, which is an interesting almost seems like a joke but I think they are serious. Check it out, it is weird.

That's all from the Northland.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

silver bells, wedding bells

Congratulations, Jesse and Jodi, on your engagement!
Jodi - we are excited for you to be an official part of the family!
**and yes, that picture is a picture of the actual engagement!**

Beaners concert!

Posted by Aaron:

For those of you who are in Duluth and are interested my band is playing at Beaners next Friday night (Dec. 14 @ 8:00pm). There are 3 bands playing (we're first) and we'll be playing for about 30 minutes. IF you care you can check out some of our music here:

Also, if you want more info on Beaners or the other bands playing that night you can check out their site @

Hope to see some of you there!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Big K stands for Krappy Kustomer service

Posted by Aaron:

So today I went out to run some errands for my business. Stop by the bank, Sams Club to get some shelving and Kmart to pick up some Western Union money from a customer. I kind of dislike Kmart for a number of reasons:

1. The aisles are all WAY to narrow
2. It's very cluttered
3. It's like stepping back into time about 15 years
4. Martha Stewart

Anyhow, Kmart is the only place that did Western Union that was close to where I would be this morning. I've picked up money there before without to many problems. Today, I walk in at 8:13 am. I'm the only customer in sight. I walk up to the customer service counter where a Kmart Kustomer Service worker is busy counting some Kash. I politely say hello and grab a Western Union money pickup form to start filling out. She ignored me and kept counting money. I started filling out the form and all of the sudden she looks up at me starts searching around for something and pulls a sign out from under the counter. Without saying a word she sets a sign on the counter that says:

"Western Union Closed: Hours - 8:30am - 6:30pm."

I looked at her waiting for her to laugh and insert her punch line. Then she just kept counting money. So I said "ok, then - I'll come back in SEVENTEEN minutes!" As I'm walking out the door she says "you can fill out a form now so you don't have to when you come back." Thanks, lady.

So, I finished up my other couple of errands and went back to Kmart at 8:45. I walked in and there was a guy being helped at the service counter, so I got in line behind him. The same customer service lady finished helping the guy in front of me and he left. I walked up to the counter and rather than helping me right away she took about 30 seconds to clean some things off the counter and organize a few things. After everything was neat and tidy she came back to the counter and I gave her my filled out Western Union form and ID. She started processing it and then stopped to check out some old folks who were in line behind me.

"I'm just going to help them while this processes."

Ok - apparently they use dial-up at Kmart still. So, she finishes checking out the old folks (apparently Kmart doesn't have checkout lanes open in the morning? Just the customer service counter for checkouts?). She comes back to me, fumbles around with things on the computer a bit more shaking her head and mumbling to herself. Then she hands back my form and ID and says:

"You'll have to come back at 10:30. My password is expired and the ONLY person who can reset it doesn't come in until 10:30."

AHHHHHH!!! At this point I was pretty hot. I just said "OK" as politely as I could and walked off pretty irritated. As I'm walking out the door I hear her yell after me:

"Or you could go to the one downtown!"

Thanks Kmart, for giving me a reason to never go to your store again. I unintentionally avoided your store before, now I'll intentionally avoid it.

Reason 5. Poor and incompetent kustomer service

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Life continues

It seems as though Aaron's post had quite the readership! I can't compete with his comedy, so I'll just do a brief, boring update.

As you'll see, we are now number 43 on the list, so that's exciting! :) We started clearing out the soon to be nursery this week thanks to family coming up for Thanksgiving and us needing to have someone sleep in there!

Last weekend Jo and I surprised Aaron and Jon with a weekend in the Twin Cities. We had always planned to do one last trip before we have kids, but, that just didn't happen. We did go to a few fun restaurants and sent the guy to a Timberwolves game while Jo and I shopped. We ended up staying in the same hotel as the Oakland Raiders which was kind of fun because we would periodically ride in the elevator with some of the players. They are HUGE. I brought my camera, but unfortunately I didn't take a single picture. Oh well, I'll have pictures in my heart. (ha!)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jack Bauer

Jack Bauer is my hero.
The end.
Posted by Jen.

Calling all men....

Posted by Aaron:

Alright. Time for a little change here. Katie usually posts on the "Peterson family" behalf and that's great. I really appreciate it and I know those of you who keep up with us this way do too. I read a number of people's blogs from time to time and it seems like blogging is largely done by women. Topics usually revolve around:

1. My child learned how to poop in a toilet
2. My pregnancy is going well
3. Here's a cute picture of my kid dumping sand on their head
4. So, we bought a REALLY cute outfit for little Suzy this weekend!

Now don't get me wrong. Those topics are all EXTREMELY interesting to read about, but I think some of the men out there may get a little bored with the narrowness of the subject matter. That said I thought I'd do a post on some macho topics.

1. Macho Man Randy Savage:

Today is his birthday (Nov. 15) - happy birthday Randy!!

Interesting facts about Macho Man Randy Savage:
- His signature finishing move: the Flying Elbow Drop
- Two time WWF Champion, Intercontinental Champion
- Notable quotes: "Oh yeah, dig it!", "You're gonna feel the big elbow brotha"
- Notable Victories: Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Big Boss Man, Jake Roberts, Crush

2. Caber tossing:

Also known as "telephone pole throwing." Yes it's done by men wearing skirts. Normally I make fun of men wearing "kilts" but honestly, a guy who's confident enough to wear a skirt is a guy I don't want to mess with.

3. Monster Trucks

What says "macho" more than the Grave Digger smashing the crap out of a bunch of cars?! Well, Randy Savage is first, but a close second is...the Grave Digger smashing the crap out of a bunch of cars. Oh yeah!

Interesting Grave Digger facts:
- Created by Dennis Anderson. Could this be the SAME Dennis Anderson who is also our most beloved local newscaster here in the Northland?
Maybe not, but it could be....
- 10,000 lb weight, 66 inch tires
- Fact: Custom graphics are SWEEEEEET.

4. Macgyver

Macgyver. Where to begin? Given a swiss army knife, some dental floss and a used kleenex, Macgyver could single handedly defeat global terrorism. Let's be honest people; Jack Bauer is a novice compared to Macgyver.

Interesting facts about Macgyver:
- Macgyver was born in Minnesota (so was the actor who played him)
- Disarmed a missile with a paper clip
- Made defibrillator from candlesticks and electrical cord

And last, but certainly not least, we can't forget about.....

5. Mr. T:

Mr. T is a founding father in the pop culture movement. Acting, pro wrestling, music; you name it, Mr. T either has done it or could do it if asked. How many people do you know who have done literally nothing noteworthy in over two decades who are still world-famous simply by three letters? Not only is Mr. T one bad mother, but he also teaches kids to do the right thing as shown in this hit video from 1984:

And Katie said there wasn't much exciting going on in her last post...

Well, that concludes this post from a man's perspective. Men - show your support! Leave a comment if you're in favor of more macho posts.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Miscellaneous things

There hasn't been too much going on in our lives, so, here are some miscellaneous things to keep your attention until something more exciting happens.

*Jen boiled brownies last night. Which is hilarious, because Jen and I are the only two people on the face of the planet that have each boiled banana bread.
*Jen and I are #1 and #2 on our Fantasy Football league. Aaron is #8
*We have a Christmas tree up in our basement. It has been up for 2 weeks. Buddy licks the tree and then burns his tongue on the lights.
*We started season 5 of 24 last night and watched 4 episodes in a row. LOVE IT!
*I guess that's all for now. See? Pretty lame!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I just wanted to say that after being on the waiting list for three months we have moved from #50 to #49! Who knows - maybe we'll be even further up by the end of the week!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Today we took one more tiny step forward to getting our baby. We got our vaccines!! How romantic. Aaron and I each got 6 shots, (3 in each arm) plus a couple prescriptions and we have LIVE TYPHOID in our refrigerator (oral vaccine). Our arms are a little sore, but, oh well. I have also been told by my wonderful sister that our blog looks really boring. I agree. So here are some random pictures for you to enjoy.
Hanging out in Hartley Park a couple weeks ago...

Here is Buddy sleeping in the carseat we have in our basement...
Aaron and Brandon..."working"....


Last night, sometime between 9:45 and 9:55 our Subaru got vandalized!! A few middle/high school kids put tape and paint on our car. They also super glued pennies to the hood of our car, and put super glue in the locks. Luckily our locks still work. The tape and paint came off fine, but the pennies will be there until we get to the auto body shop. Hopefully insurance will cover the body work!
When I came home last night at 9:55 I saw a couple kids in our street with backpacks - the were acting totally normal so I didn't think much of it until I saw our car. I touched the super glue and it was still tacky - it got on my fingers - so I know it HAD to have been those kids. Just another exciting day in Duluth. Gotta love Halloween.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

fruit flies

I think that God is playing a joke on me.

Jeff's sermon on Sunday was from Galatians 5 - he spent time talking about the fruit of the spirit and the sinful nature. He had made the analogy of "when your bucket [of life] gets kicked, what comes spilling out?" I realized that over the last few weeks I've been producing less and less fruit of the Spirit and MORE acts of sinful nature - can we say discord, fits of rage, (aka MELTDOWNS), and dissentions?

Anyway, I decided to spend a few days praying about that and studying Galatians a bit. Today as I was praying I was asking God to remove the "rotten fruit" from my life so that I can start producing good fruit. And then I started laughing to myself.

For the past 5 days we have had fruit flies in our kitchen. I have NO IDEA where they are coming from. I have cleaned our kitchen with bleach, checked ALL of our fruit, set fruit fly traps (yes, they do work!), and those nasty things KEEP ON COMING BACK!!! I am going CRAZY. And as I was praying I was realizing tha
t those nasty little fruit flies are coming from somewhere that I can't see, and my surface cleaning isn't taking care of them. I need to find the source, which is hidden, clean it up, and THEN they'll disappear. It is a good example to me of how I can't "surface clean" and force myself to be more patient, loving, self-controlled, etc. God has to go to the hidden parts in me and deep clean them out in order to get rid of the fruit flies in my life!

Oh the irony of it all. So here's to fruit flies and God's sense of humor. (And I also prayed that he would miraculously make them disappear from my kitchen now that I learned a lesson!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

our decision to adopt.

I originally titled this post "why adopt?", but while sitting here pondering that question I realized that the answer to that is probably an entire different post. I think it probably goes deeper than how we came to the decision to adopt. It is interesting how our understanding of the whole concept of adoption has grown since we started this process...

And now, the condensed, a bit scattered, adoption story.
Since I was a little girl I knew that I always wanted to adopt a child. I figured that if I were to ever do that it would be if I was unable to have biological children - simply because you grow up, get married, have kids, and then die. :) I have never had that deep desire to be pregnant or have biological children. Before Aaron and I even got engaged we had conversations about adopting and my desire for that. Aaron had always been very open to that idea, thinking that if we couldn't have biologica
l kids we would definitely go down that avenue.

Fast forward several years to last fall. We had come to the decision that we were ready to start trying to get pregnant in early 2007. It was about this time that I also found out that I have high blood pressure and we were beginning the process of figuring out medications for me. A few months passed and I did not have my medications figured out yet, and my primary physician had set us up to talk to a high-risk OB doctor to talk about the risks of getting pregnant with high blood pressure. It was very important to both of the physicians that we not get pregnant until my blood pressure was at a certain level for 3 straight months.

This was a really frustrating time for us on multiple levels. And although it might seem petty, three months is an ETERNITY to "wait and see" if my BP numbers stay low so we could start trying to get pregnant. It was December/January when we started talking seriously about adopting. We spent time praying together and separately if God was wanting us to adopt our first child and we also talked with some friends and family about our thoughts. We starting doing some research on adopting, knowing that if we decided to make the decision to adopt we wanted to jump right in with both feet and not decide to adopt, and then have to decide domestic or international, where, which agency, etc.

Sometimes it is hard to know if God is closing doors and leading in a new direction or if there is adversity that you just need to get through.

Last March I went back to see my physician so she could check my blood pressure and see if my numbers were good enough to start my "three month" waiting period. I had been taking my blood pressure at home and I knew it was on the verge of where she wanted it to be. Aaron and talked and decided that if I needed to change my medication again we would more than likely start the adoption process. I went to my appointment and my doctor said "well, Katie, your 3 months hasn't started yet."

I wasn't exactly sure how to react to that! Aaron and I spent some time talking after I got home. We went over our options once again...wait a minimum of 4 months to begin trying to get pregnant (assuming the new meds worked and STAYED working) and hope we got pregnant fast, or start the adoption process. We both felt extremely at peace about adopting, and we didn't want to wait and hope that something worked out quickly with getting pregnant. So, here we are, adopting our first child from Ethiopia! If someone had told me a couple years ago this is where we'd be today I would have laughed, but we are so confident that this is where God has led us that we wouldn't want it any other way.

It is hard for us to explain, really, how we decided to adopt, so I hope this gives a glimpse into a long process that we hard. Those of you that walked through it with us helped us in so many ways - even just listening to us (me!) talk endlessly about "what does God want us to do?" and "I am so frustrated!" We continually thank God and give him praise for you, our family and friends, and for directing our paths to adoption. We're excited!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


As of yesterday we have officially been waiting 2 months. I was going to write a post explaining how we came to the decision to adopt, since I haven't done that yet (although most of you who read this probably know the story!), but then last night happened, and I thought it was funny and worth sharing. So instead of writing about our baby (in a sense), I'm writing about our dog.

I'll try to make this story as brief as I can...we'll see what happens!
Last night I came home from a baby shower for a friend and was completely exhausted and had a headache, so I took some Tylenol PM and Aaron and I went directly to bed, I was looking forward to SLEEPING. Aaron had mentioned to me earlier that Page had spent most of the day in his office with him, and she was even sleeping underneath his de
sk by his feet. She spent the rest of the day following us around when Aaron wasn't at his desk - it was strange. She is a timid dog, so we just brushed it off as her being 'needy' or maybe she got spooked by the cat.

ANYWAY, so we're in bed and all of a sudden I hear a high pitched "beep" and Page comes running into our room. Aaron didn't hear it, so I wrote it off as a random noise outside. A few minutes later I heard the "beep" again this ti
me Page totally freaked out and tried to jump up on the bed. I calmed her down - she was shaking - and listened for the noise again. A few minutes later I heard it AGAIN, the dog freaked AGAIN, and I figured it was a smoke detector or the carbon monoxide detector.

Strangely, the noise seemed to be coming from far away, and both the detectors are in the hall outside our room. So I started wandering the house, listening for a beep that did not have ANY pattern to it. Sometimes there was one minute between the beeps, sometimes 3-4. After 20 minutes of this I FINALLY found the stinking smoke detector downstairs. (the joys of moving - I didn't even know there was one down there). When I found the stupid thing Page was with me - the detector beeped and that poor dog almost jumped out of her skin.

The conclusion: A couple years ago we used a bark shock collar on her. It would beep and then Page would get a shock. Now, every time she hears a high pitched beep she thinks she is going to get shocked. (There was a commercial on a while back with a heart beat monitor - when that commercial would come on TV she would stick her tail between her legs, start shaking, and try to climb on our laps!) Apparently that smoke detector had been going off all day and she was afraid of getting a shock! We hadn't heard it until everything was quiet.

Today she's back to her normal self. Unannoying, mellow, relaxed Page. So there you have it. If you are ever going to use a shock collar, keep this story in mind. If you are still reading - I hope it was worth it! :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A blessing and a curse

Today was an interesting day. Here are my 2 events.

The Blessing: I was able to go with my very good friend Jo to her ultrasound appointment! She is 22 weeks along - it was so amazing to see the baby. You can see pictures on her blog - a link is to the right. Babies are truly miracles - God is so awesome - to think that he is creating that child and we were able to get a glimpse of its development before he is ready to come into this!!

The Curse: We got a phone call from our adoption agency today and were were told that we have to get re-fingerprinted for our background checks and fill out new background check forms. Apparently all the back
ground checks they had on file (we did ours last spring) expired in July because of some STUPID government law that is now in effect (I guess it's called the Adam Walsh Background Study). Ok, I'm sure it isn't actually stupid, I'm sure it is necessary and all of that, but really??? Just when I thought we were done with paperwork for a while.... ANNOYING!!! On top of that, we also need to get Jen fingerprinted for both the background check AND for USCIS (immigration) since she is listed as living with us in our homestudy (which is good, because now we are able to get a referral without any messing around if she is still here. Otherwise we'd be having to deal with this yeah, it's ok).

Right now this makes me want to scream. Later, I'm sure I'll be fine. I prayed about it a little bit today, and in the grand scheme of things it isn't a huge deal. This, too, shall pass!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

We made it

It's almost official: We made it through September. This was a crazy busy month for us, although most of the activity was fun we didn't have too much down time over the past 6 weeks. And now, IT IS OVER! Yeah! A glance at our calendar over the next couple months shows nothing too monumental going on which is how I like it. Not only does it mean life is a bit calmer, it gives us the flexibility to go to Frederic or the Cities without feeling like we are NEVER at home.

Adoption Update: Our agency hasn't given out many referrals over the past several weeks so there really hasn't been much progress forward to document. I'm feeling a bit drained right now so the thought of possibly getting a referral in 3 months freaks me out a bit - right now I'd be ok with waiting to get one until late Spring! I'm sure though, that as we continue on with waiting I'll get more and more antsy to get that phone call from our social worker!


Monday, September 17, 2007

Why our blog is called "As It Goes"

Since the Brazilians are coming, I thought now would be a good time to explain the title of our blog.

Joseph practices his English while talking to Aaron on MSN. For the longest time Joseph would say, "Hi Aaron! As it goes?" rather than "Hi Aaron! How's it going?"

Now, as a joke, we say "As it goes?" You can see it makes perfect sense for a title of a blog, because we are telling you how it is going!

(Joseph also used to get "come here" and "let's go" confused, which made for some funny moments when we were in Brazil. We didn't know if he was asking us if we wanted to go or if he was "commanding" us to come somewhere. Maybe you had to be there....)

The Brazilians are coming!

Joseph and Lilia are coming on Friday! Most of you know that about 1.5 years ago Aaron, Jen, and I went to Rio de Janerio to visit Joseph and Lilia (Joseph is a customer of Aaron's). They took us all over the Rio area - we had a great vacation. Now we get to return the favor!
Like I said, they are coming on Friday and will be staying 8 days. We pulled out or Portuguese to English dictionary and we are getting an itinerary sketched out so we don't miss anything. If you have any ideas of things we should do or restaurants they shouldn't miss while they are in America let us know! One of the things I am most excited about is taking Lilia to Caribou Coffee. While in Brazil we got shots of espresso and Jen and Lilia each put in about 5 packets of sugar in that little cup. I think Lilia will love a Turtle Mocha or a Mint Condition! We'll let you know, but really, how could you NOT love Caribou?!

Monday, September 10, 2007

One month down, 4-6 to go

Well, we have been on the waiting list for one month! The good news is that the rainy season is apparently done in Ethiopia, which means referrals have started back up. Our agency gave out 3 referrals last week...we are slowly moving up the list!

Aaron is still plugging away on the office out in the garage. We have some friends coming over this week to help install some windows and get sheet rocking done. I'll be sure to post some pictures when it is complete.

One good Buddy and Page story: Saturday night Aaron and I got home late from his 10 year reunion. About 12:30am, shortly after we went to bed, Page barked at Buddy and we heard her chasing the poor cat around the house in the pitch black. It was quiet for about 3 seconds, and all of a sudden Page made this strange howl/whine/barking noise and there was another chase. I heard Buddy go down to Jen's room and I heard Page in our room. I reached my hand out and our timid dog was standing as close to our bed as she could get with her tail between her legs. She didn't leave the side of our bed until Jen got home an hour later! It was kind of funny.
Maybe you had to be there. :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


We just got back from spending a little over five days in New Jersey for my cousin's wedding and a little sightseeing in NYC. I realized why I love traveling so much - it makes me appreciate HOME! Every few months I get the itch to go somewhere - on a plane - and I get more and more anxious to just get OUT of Duluth for a while. We'll end up going somewhere, and I come home and I love it. I love knowing which street to turn on to go get something to eat, I love having my entire wardrobe available to me (small as it is!), I love my bed. And I love having the experience of visiting a new place, trying new food, watching different people, and experiencing a different lifestyle. I think it is so cool that you can get on a plane and a few hours later you can be in a completely different place. LOVE IT!

On the adoption front - Our agency has not been giving out referrals over the past couple months due to the rainy season in Ethiopia and courts being closed. It sounds like referrals will be starting up in the next week or so...hopefully there will be some news that we are moving up the list! We'll keep you updated!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007



This is Buddy the Elf, er, the cat. He lives at our house now, which is really funny to me because Aaron doesn't like cats. But he likes Jen, and Buddy comes with Jen, so now he lives here for a while. Buddy is more like a dog than Page is. He begs for food. It is hilarious. Hopefully Buddy and Page will become best friends really fast. I'm sure we'll have some good animal interaction stories for you in the coming months. :)

Anyway, we're excited that Jen and Buddy are living here while Jen finishes up school and figures out what to do with her life. Mostly because we can now watch 24 on DVD LITERALLLY whenever we want. Season 4 starts in about one week.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Eight years ago today Aaron and I started dating. These past 8 years have been the most wonderful, blissful years of my life. (Ok, you can stop rolling your eyes). Seriously though, I can't believe we've been together for 8 years! It's gone fast.

To mark the occasion we decided to go get fingerprinted downtown at the Federal building! Actually, the government told us when we had to go down there - which was 8:00 this morning. It was worse than being at the DMV. We were there for over an hour. It took them almost a half an hour to fingerprint the lady in front of us. Apparently she had "bad prints." It took about 20 minutes for them to print BOTH me and Aaron. It's a pretty slick system- it's all computerized...which makes me wonder - why couldn't they use the prints that we had taken a few months ago just to apply for our adoption? You'd think they'd all be in the same database. (Aaron's answer would be "because it is the government!")

On my way home from work I picked up Caribou Coffee and we had a 2 minute celebration of 8 years together and the end of paperwork for our adoption. At least for a few more months!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Not much new

I told Jen that when the baby comes home we'll buy him/her a shirt that says this!! Ha!

There isn't a whole lot new going on up here. We are going to savor these next 2 weekends of dullness as we are completely booked until October after that! It's all fun things, but nevertheless, it is busyness.

Aimee and Chad and the kids were up last was nice to spend some extended time with them. The downside being that we ALL have colds now (everyone except Jesse!) - I even went home from work early on Wednesday and slept solid for 3.5 hours in the afternoon.

On the baby front - I've started looking at things like high chairs, pack-n-plays, and diaper bags. Currently I'm considering a Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair - it's kind of weird, but I kind of like it. I think Aaron and I are going to need to go see what is out there so we can get more of a feel for what we like and don't like. I suppose we still have plenty of time!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

do a happy dance

Yeah! We found out today we are OFFICIALLY waiting! 5-7 more months and then we'll know who our child is! We are so thankful that the process has gone smoothly up until this point. I am also glad that we are pretty busy the next several months which will hopefully make the wait go fast - but not too fast - I want to enjoy these last few months of it just being us!! (Not that six years hasn't been enough, but you know....)

If you think of it, you can be praying for our baby and his or her birth mother and family as these months progress. There will be much going on in their lives and they will have some hard decisions to make. It is so strange to think that somewhere in Ethiopia is a baby that God is knitting together in his mother's womb- or is already born! - to join our family.

Well, I wasn't anticipating those deep thoughts, so we'll just leave it at that and expound on those at a later time. :)

Friday, August 3, 2007

just in case you care

We UPSd our dossier down to CHSFS today! It sure is nice to not have that hanging over our heads anymore. Working on that dossier was like homework in college - you knew it had to get done at some point, so even when you were out having fun there was always this nagging feeling of "something to do." Anyway, that feeling is gone! The pictures to the left are the pictures we had to include in our dossier, the first look the Ethiopian government will get of us. :) (I have some much more fun pictures, but they are still on the camera...which reminds me...I can't remember the last time I've printed off any pictures - anyone else have that problem??)

In other news...Aaron's parents are up for the weekend. Mike is helping Aaron with electrical stuff in the garage. I should have taken a picture of the trench they dug today in the yard. It was a lot of work. It is nice to start working on the garage to get Aaron ready to move the office out there. Hopefully that will happen before it snows.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

hopefully only a few more days

until we will be on the waiting list! We have all of our paperwork and forms, now we just need to get it all notarized, get a few checks and money orders, and ups it down to CHS. That's the latest from the Northland.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

my Grandma.

*note - this is lengthy!*

As most of you probably know, my Grandma Carlson has not been doing well. Yesterday my mom called me and said that Grandma wasn't waking up and that if we wanted to see her before she passed away we should come down soon. Aaron and I decided to head down to the cities yesterday afternoon.

My grandma is not a Christian, and I had intended to send her a letter reminding her of Jesus' love a couple weeks ago. I never got around to writing or sending the letter (bad granddaughter!), so as we drove down the freeway I told God that if he wanted me to say something to Grandma He would have her wake up while we were down there.

We arrived at my aunts house and Jen and Mom and I went in to see Grandma. She is very weak and in much pain, and has a hard time breathing due to emphysema. She was sleeping. We spent the next hour or so chatting with family and going to check on Grandma. I told Jen about my prayer, and she, too, felt like she wanted to say something to Grandma about Jesus if she had the chance.

After a while we decided to head out to get some supper, and then my mom came out into the living and said "Grandma is awake if you want to come see her." We all went into her room and were talking to her, all she could really say was "yes" and "no" because it was hard for her to talk. I knew that God had given me an opportunity, but I was wasn't wanting to say anything in front of all of those people. So, we said our good-byes to Grandma and we were getting ready to leave. Jen came up to me and said "we need to go say something." And a moment later everyone had left the room and we knew we had to go talk to her.

My parents have told Grandma about how Jesus saves and how we can go to heaven and be with him if we repent of our sins, so we didn't need to tell her the whole story again. Plus, I think that would have been a tad bit overwhelming for her. I simply said "Grandma, Jesus loves you" and something else about heaven, I'm not sure what exactly. Jen said "Grandma, we love you, and so does Jesus." Grandma looked over at us and nodded her head, so we knew she heard us.

At this point Jen said she was thinking "Grandma could have given her life over to God right now, and he can still change her at this very moment." We were leaving, and Jen said "Bye Grandma, I love you." Grandma said "I love you too dear."

If you know our relationship with my grandma at all, this is a poignant moment. My grandma has never once said that she loved any of us, at least, not that we can remember. Our relationship with her is pretty distant. So for her to say "I love you" sent me, my mom, and mostly Jen into tears.

On our way back up to Duluth I called my Grandma Flavin and started telling her this story. After I told her about my initial prayer, she stopped me and said "You need to know that this morning I woke up with a heavy burden to pray for your grandma, and I prayed all day today that somehow somebody would be able to reach her today and talk to her about Jesus today." is very possible that in that moment my Grandma realized Jesus' love and that she gave her life to Him. I really really hope that she did. I hope that her saying "I love you" was an outward expression of a change that happened inside her heart. I hope that when I go to heaven she is there - wouldn't that be awesome?!

And what a reminder that maybe people just need to know that Jesus loves them.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

We're approved

Yesterday we had our second and final visit with our social worker for our homestudy and we are now approved to adopt! (we didn't think we WOULDN'T get approved, but I guess you never know!). It was quite uneventful, but nice to have yet another thing done in this whole long process. We received our dossier paperwork by email yesterday and I'm going to start working hardcore on that on Monday. (our dossier is the paperwork that gets sent to Ethiopia). I'm hoping we can get all our paperwork and finances in order in the next two weeks and then we'll be on the waiting list! This might not be realistic, but I can always set a goal.

After we met with our SW we went to the Twins game with some friends. We had a great time, the Twins won, and I got to see Santana pitch! I think he might be my favorite player. Him or Joe Nathan, I'm not sure. :) Anyway, here are some pictures from the game!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Adoption Baby Book - help needed!

Hey everybody! I need some help. I have started looking for a baby book that is specific to adopted babies and I'm having a hard time finding anything that I like. I found ONE at B&N/Borders that I wasn't crazy about, and I found a couple online that have special inserts that look like they would work but I'm looking for more ideas. Anyway, I know many of you have either adopted babies or you know people who have adopted babies, and I'm wondering if anybody knows of any good baby books and can point me to a website, store, book, or SOMETHING. Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

a picture and a thought

Our blog is looking a little "blah" so I thought I'd add a picture to spice it up a bit.

One thing that stinks a bit (for me) about international adoption is that we don't have a "due date" and we have no idea how old our child is going to be! I was out shopping with Jo this afternoon and we were walking through the baby stuff (she's due in February! yea!) and it's just annoying to not be able to get cute things while they are on sale and at garage sales, etc. Oh well. I suppose we have a bit more to do before I start thinking about that stuff anyway!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

First Homestudy Visit

Our first homestudy visit is done!! Corrie, our social worker, came over this morning. We spent a few hours talking about our families, our marriage, and our parenting plan. It was actually a really enjoyable experience. The hardest part of the whole thing for me was when she asked me to describe my parents. I don't know why that was hard for me...I guess they are just "mom" and "dad!" I was a little distraught about the fact that our house is still in a minor state of disarray, but she didn't really even look around, which was kind of nice!! I can take the boxes that I hid out of the closet now. :) Thanks everyone for praying for our visit!

We have one more visit with Corrie down at the agency in 2 weeks. I asked her if she thought we could be on the waiting list by September, and she said that if we weren't on the list in August she'd be suprised. I'm going to start working this week at gathering the paperwork that we can now. Corrie said that the current wait time is 5-7 months for a referral, so the sooner we can get our dossier in to the agency the better (in my opinion). We know, though, that God will work things out so that the right child becomes part of our family and it won't matter if we get our dossier in at the end of July or the end of September.

So, that's the latest update! Hopefully it won't be too long before I can post that we are officially waiting....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Woo Hoo

Aaron got a phone call today from our social worker! We have our first homestudy visit on Saturday!!! Our social worker is technically on maternity leave until early July, but she is going to be in Duluth this weekend and decided to get a head start on us. Isn't that nice? We're excited to get it started! I just hope she remembers that we've lived in our house for a whopping 3 weeks. :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Updates and pictures

Hey Everyone
Well, our house is finally starting to feel like home, so that's nice! Last weekend was Grandma's Marathon - here are some pictures of my mom and sister running it.

I didn't get as many good pictures this year as I did in the past, but oh well. I guess that's how it goes sometimes.

In other news - we submitted our self study to our adoption agency today! YEAH!!! Now we will get assigned a social worker and begin our homestudy. I hope it goes quickly!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Starting to settle in

First of all, I need to make a correction. I sent out an email with our new address on it, and, like an idiot, I spelled our street name wrong. It is "FARIBAULT."

Anyway. We're here, moved in, not unpacked, but in the process. I think I'll be a really happy camper in a few days when we can see the floor in our room and we get a few more boxes unpacked. We are really thankful that the weather turned out to be just fine - I think that it rained a total of 10 minutes on Thursday. We are VERY thankful to our friends and family who brought us food and helped us move, unpack, and paint. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

So here's a quick funny story about moving day. Aaron and I went back to the old house for a final quick walk through to make sure we didn't forget anything and that it was clean. Everything looked good, so we left our extra keys on a shelf, locked the door, and went out to the cars. Aaron went to start the car and realized he left ALL his keys inside the house and we had no way of getting in! So we called and left a message for the new homeowners asking if we could stop by to get the keys. We drove home to our new house and I was looking for my bathroom bag to get my glasses. I couldn't find it. I had LEFT IT AT THE OLD HOUSE!! What an idiot. I was pretty mad, to say the least! Anyway, all is well - we have our keys and my bathroom bag and we're on our way to making this house become home.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

It's going to be crazy

Tomorrow is moving day. 3:00 is the original plan to start loading things up. They've been talking all week about rain on Thursday, but now they are saying "severe weather" "strong winds" "large hail" "possible tornados" all starting THURSDAY AFTERNOON!! (I don't believe for one minute we'll get a tornado in Duluth, but large hail....see my post a few weeks back for that!!). Anyway, it should make for an interesting moving day! We'll keep you posted.

Sunday, June 3, 2007


Hey everyone
My mom and sister are running Grandma's half marathon in a few weeks. They need some ideas for quotes on their shirts - check out their blog for details. There is a link to the right!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

enjoy a demotivator.

I'll be posting these periodically, I think. They are hilarious.
"Quitters never win, winners never quit
But those who never win and never quit are Idiots."

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Another step done!

We finished our pre-adoption classes (PAC)! We had PAC on Thursday and Friday this week. It was 16 hours, most of which consisted of listening to different people talk. We were in a small group with 4 other couples - we were a fairly diverse group of people in how we all decided on adoption. It was good meeting them, and we plan to touch base periodically to tell each other where we are at in the process.

PAC was good - there wasn't too much "new" information for Aaron and me, but there we did walk away feeling more prepared to become a multi-racial family; we have had some really good discussions about things that were talked about which I am sure will continue in the weeks and months to come. It will be interesting to see how all the "in theory..." thoughts end up presenting themselves in real life.

Next step - complete a "self study" (in the midst of packing to move in less than 3 weeks!) and after that we get assigned a social worker and we will start our homestudy.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hail storm

Check out these pictures form a hail storm we had this afternoon!!

Page thinks that ice is a treat, so she was very excited to see treats all over the place. :)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

If you woke up this morning it is because Jack Bauer saved your life

I think I'm addicted to 24. We just finished season 3 on DVD. I dreamed the other night that Aaron turned into Jack Bauer and Jack/Aaron saves the world from a deadly virus in the alley back by our garage.

I can't wait to start season 4.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

for sale again?

You know, one week can bring a lot of drama. It's nuts. Here's the short story: the offer that was made on our house on Saturday fell through!! BUMMER!! It's a lot more complicated than this, but the simple version is that our house needs a new roof, and it kind of put the buyer into "freak out" mode or something like that and she cancelled her offer. Basically I am totally stressed out right now, but life goes on and there are a few other things in the works so we'll keep you updated. If you think of it, please pray that something will work out and we will be making wise decisions. We know that God is in control and in the end it will all be fine, it's just stressful right now. I will take my advice from my last post and remember that God deserves all our praise anyway!

In other news...sweet Twins game on Tuesday night, huh?! This picture is after Morneau hit his 10th inning homer. I am excited to hit up a couple games this summer!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Deep thoughts about a sold house

Yesterday evening Aaron and I were sitting around waiting to hear if anyone would be putting in an offer on our house. We had one offer already, it wasn't the greatest, so we were really hoping a better one would come in. I decided to do my quiet time - I'm reading Revleation right now - and this is what I read (Rev 4:11):
"You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being."
It got me thinking is really easy to praise God when he sends blessings our way, but I don't often praise God just because he exists and he created the world and all that is in it. He is worthy to receive praise if we got 10 offers on our house, no offers on our house, or if we didn't even HAVE a house. The fact that He is who he is is enough to deserve our praise - I am glad to be reminded of that!

This morning we DID get a better offer on our house - the papers are signed and all that is standing in the way is a home inspection which we anticipate will be fine. We ARE praising God that he blessed us with the new offer on our house! And we will continue to praise God because of who he is.