Friday, July 30, 2010

(road) trippin'

hello, from somewhere in ohio!

we are on en route to wisconsin to visit peter's family! the car is packed with luggage, chick-fil-a, piper, and snacks - including caramel bugles, thanks to a post by julie at joy's hope!; harry potter and the deathly hallows is playing in the cd player, and my butt is only slightly sore from sitting.

six hours down, eight or so go! jeepers, who knew ohio was so big!

looking forward to catching up with family; stuffing our faces with cheesy and creamy goodness; spending time in chi-town with my sister-in-law's family; and meeting up with a bloggy friend! :)

love road trips!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

love letters -- part 1.

*i just had to get this off my chest.

dear target,

i didn't grow up with you, but when i heard about you from my friends down south, i was instantly envious. i literally almost cried when i heard you were making your way up to the northeast and nearly melted into a puddle of joy when i first stepped through your hallowed doors.

i love your beautiful, clean, organized aisles (they are so unlike a certain place that rhymes with ball-cart...i break out into hives when i walk in there). i love your amazing, afforable pieces -- from furniture to housewares to v. v. cute clothing. i love that you brought zac posen to mainstream america. so rad.

i have to admit that it was a little weird when you started selling diesel jeans right next to the xhileration jeans and when you had coach purses on the end caps of the accessory aisles. but, you realized it was weird, too and stopped that. glad we saw eye to eye on that.

when i heard you were bringing fresh produce and groceries to my target, i was ecstatic! imagine, being able to buy cute earrings and sandals and eggs all in the same place! oh, happy day! i counted down the days til the reconstruction was finished and waited with bated breath for the new unveiling. i even endured the constant rearranging of sections and departments because i knew it was a sign of better things to come.

and sure enough, it *was* better. glorious, even. i wanted to dance down the new refrigerated aisles as i picked up my supplies to make chocolate chip cookies.

and then. i stopped short.

oh, target, i just have one small complaint. teeny, really. in fact, i wouldn't even call it a complaint. more of...a question.

why, oh, why do you not carry margarine??

you see, i like to use margarine when i bake my cookies because it makes me feel better about having an extra cookie. or 2 or 3 or 10. i love butter, but somehow, in my deluded mind, i feel like margarine negates the chocolate chips. or at least the brown sugar.

so, when i came to the dairy section and could find no margarine, i was crushed. sure, you carry promise spread, but i've had a grudge against them since i found out their product does not really come in heart-shaped little pats.

and so, darling, would you consider stocking your dairy section with margarine? i would so happily take generic target brand margarine because with you, generic does not mean subpar. i consider target to be a brandname in and of itself.

please? for me? it would make my life so much easier. because, really, stopping by bloom afterwards really brought down my target high.

kay, thanks.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

hugs! (also, the nifty fifty)

today is the last day of my first ICLW. and boy, have i loved it!

melissa states that comments are "the new hugs," and goodness gracious, i have really felt these cyber hugs this week!

it was awesome to find other people who are on similar journeys and glean wisdom from those who are ahead of us in this journey. the journey of infertility and the long road to adoption can often be daunting and isolating, so to find support from others who know how we feel, what we're going through, and where we've been has been so great.

so many of the comments {hugs} people left on our blog were so reassuring and empathetic and kind. others made me laugh and smile. one commenter even claimed i was hilarious! which, to be quite honest, puts a lot of pressure on me. i am forever going to ask, is this post funny enough? am i trying too hard?

i found some awesome new blogs to read -- you can check them out on my sidebar and follow along, too! and am humbled that others also decided to follow our blog. i just love the makes me giddy to know that there is this whole network of people out there supporting each other and caring for one another even though we may not know each other IRL (that's "In Real Life" for those of you not fluent in blog-ese -- don't worry, i'm just learning, too!).

and, hello! this is my 50th post! whohoo! and to celebrate, i ask you, what do you hope your life looks like at 50?

me? i just hope i'm happy and healthy and still madly in love with my family and friends.

and secretly/superficially? i really hope i don't have bingo wings.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

wisdom (in the form of a fortune cookie).

last weekend, my family went here:for lunner (it's a proper term, we ate at 4pm!). apparently, it's quite the famous place for peking duck and really popular with the dc elite (i.e politicians, military bigwigs, etc). sadly, i only recognized a few people out of all the people plastered on their walls of fame -- laura bush, both george bushes, and wolf blitzer. i really should learn more about politics seeing how we live in "the most powerful city in the world" <-- that's literally the tag line for a local radio station. we stuffed our faces with peking duck...yum, delicious! and then we got our fortune cookies. i cracked mine open and got this: it says, "a pleasant experience is ahead. don't pass it by."

i was seriously convicted by this fortune cookie.



by a fortune cookie.

i felt like it was really applicable to our waiting period. i've been so wrapped up with waiting and worrying and being saddened by all the delays that i'm afraid i let some "pleasant experiences" pass by.

the impending arrival of choi boy looms ahead with no real specific details and it makes me anxious...when will he come? will i have everything ready? are we going to be able to get the plane tickets we want? am i going to really leave my co-workers hanging when i leave? etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

pleasant experiences tend to pop out of nowhere and anywhere and can easily be missed if you're not paying attention.

i was not always paying attention.

but, i've vowed to stop and pay attention and enjoy all the little pleasant experiences and perfect moments that are sure to pop up as we continue to wait.

and, i've decided that it'll be okay that choi boy isn't coming until the fall...while we'd love to have him home earlier, having him come in the fall will allow me to take a full maternity leave, something i was not planning on doing if he were to have come home during the summer.

and all this because of a fortune cookie. well, that and some prayer and thinking. :)

now, you know what would be a *real* pleasant experience? if we were to get our travel call today! heehee...i kid, i kid. well, not really, but you know what i mean, right?


Sunday, July 25, 2010


often, when we tell people we are adopting, we get comments like, "wow! that is so great of you!" and "gosh, you are such *good* people!" and "oh, that little boy is so lucky!"

sometimes, we forget and smile and nod and let those comments shine our proverbial halos.

and then we stop and let reality slap us upside the head.

because the truth is, yes, we TOTALLY believe in and want to live out james 1:27 -- religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress...

and we TOTALLY believe that God has a heart for waiting children and wants His people to do their part in caring for them.

but, when it boils down to it, our motivation for our choice to adopt and the primary reason we are adopting is because our hearts ache for a child and adoption is a way to build our family. as i mentioned earlier in this post, adoption was something that was always on our hearts. our step towards actually going forward with it just came a lot sooner than expected due to our infertility journey. we'd like to think that even if we could have biological children, we would still adopt, and i do really think we would...but, right now, adoption is the way to fulfill our desire for a child that we can care for and love.

is choi boy lucky to be coming home to us? i don't know, i can't really answer that.

but are we lucky to become choi boy's parents? absolutely and emphatically one hundred percent YES.

above all else, we want choi boy to know that we are so, so, SO blessed to be able to call him our son...that he has fulfilled our dreams and that he is a gift given to us, and not vice versa...that he has built our family and that our journey through adoption is the one that brought him home to our ever waiting arms...that he is a perfect fit for us and that we are so grateful that *we* were chosen to have the great privilege of calling him ours.

so, the next time someone tells us how lucky our son is, i hope to be able to stop and look at them in the eyes and tell them,

no. no, *we* are the lucky ones.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


remember when i said i wish my life was a musical? true. so, "glee" has pretty much been my dream tv show. LOVE it! it reminds me of all my happy days in choir and theatre and a capella. yes, i was theatre/choir dork. i'll have you know, i was a card-carrying member of the international thespian society. and i'm proud of it, baby!

after the shower, some of my besties and i went to wolftrap to see idina menzel and the nso, led by none other than marvin hamlisch!

they look weird side by side, but the concert was amazing! idina was hilarious and super talented and marv was as charming as ever. seeing rachel berry's mom in concert was beyond awesome. she even sang the glee version of "poker face"! and, let me tell you, hearing the nso play lady gaga was incredible and hilarious!

the best moments of the show was when idina sang "walker's song," a song she and taye (we are totally on a first name basis) sing to their son, walker every night; and when she ended with the sweetest version of "tomorrow," one my favorite songs ever.

see that blue blur? that's idina!this is tiff and me doing our best "diva" impression:and here are the girls!a summer is not complete without a visit to wolftrap! can't wait to bring choi boy there next year for the children's festival and concerts!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


this past saturday, i felt SO loved.

i feel loved on a daily basis; peter and piper do a good job of showing me love, and when school is in session, my kiddos show me lots of love. confession: i teach kindergarten because i need 5 and 6 year-olds to build up my self-esteem and give me lots of hugs. just kidding. not really. ;)

but anyway, i digress. on saturday, i felt super duper loved because my dear friends and family threw me the lovliest, most awesome shower. ever.

i think what touched me the most was that this shower was just like any other wasn't treated any differently because of the adoption and if anything, it was even cooler because we already know who choi boy is, and his adorable pictures were part of the decor!

when going through infertility, baby showers are so painful to go to because they are reminders of what you do not and cannot have. i was hesitant about even having a shower because of this, but my dear, dear friends insisted upon it and i am so thankful they did.

i can't even begin to describe the loveliness in words, so this will be a picture heavy post. besides, pictures are more fun than words, right? oh, gosh, the reading recovery teacher in me just cringed.



the yummy spread.adorable favors! it was a jungle animal theme, so these mason jars are filled with animal crackers and the tags match the super cute monkey invites.some of the decorat the start of the shower, all the ladies wrote notes to choi boy on these adorable hanging notecards that had different animals on them. can't wait to read them to choi boy!we played a game matching momma animals and their young. sophia and i won, but i let sophia take the prize. i'm so gracious. HAHA!then it was time for presents! lydia insisted on helping me open everything. she was too cute!everyone knows how much i love children's books, so we got lots of new ones to add to choi boy's library. one of them was "God Found Us You," a beautiful story about adoption. i bought it for stacey for her grad school graduation and have been looking for another copy ever since. sophia, not knowing this, ended up getting one for us, and when i told everyone at the shower about it, they insisted i read it aloud. i refused because i would have been a hot mess had i tried, but stacey so nicely volunteered to read it.we were all hot messes afterwards.

we got some amazing gifts for choi boy, but the best part of the shower was being surrounded by people whom we love and who love us:

my amazing shower hostess, tiff, rina and tina, who totally poured their hearts and souls into this shower and have been a constant support throughout this journey...notice tiff's skinny arm pose and the cool necklaces they are wearing! :).grace, who came down just for the shower and who has been a constant and faithful friend for the last 20 years...vic, who keeps me sane at london towne...amy and stacey who have been such a source of joy and accountability through small fellow pw's who covered us daily in prayer...ethan, who has already promised to be a good surrogate big brother to choi aunt and baby cousin elissa, who will be choi boy's go-to baby sitter, which is so rad, because i was hers!and all our other amazing friends who have showered us with love and support and prayers and already love choi boy...
thank you all for making this shower so special for us...i am so grateful; not only for the love you showed me on this day, but also for the love you've shown us everyday throughout this journey.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

hey there, ICLWers!

this is my first ICLW week -- yay! for those of you that don't know what ICWL (IComLeavWe) is, check out the icon on my sidebar. it's basically a way to connect with other bloggers, most of whom are also blogging about infertility, adoption, loss, etc. here's a quick summary from the ICLW site, run by melissa of the stirrup queens:

It stands for International Comment Leaving Week, but if you say it aloud, doesn’t it sounds like “I come; [but] leave [as a] we”? And that’s sort of the point. Blogging is a conversation and comments should be honoured and encouraged. I like to say that comments are the new hug–a way of saying hello, giving comfort, leaving congratulations.

if you are new to chois-r-us, the posts bookmarked in the "our journey" page are great place to start to read about our journey with infertility and adoption. i was so proud of myself for figuring out how to add that nifty gadget. really, it's not that hard because blogger walks you through it, but i'm not just that unhandy (i know, not a word) with web layout/design stuff. ;)

and to make this fun, here are a few random facts about me:
*i like to break out into spontaneous song and often wish my life was musical with full orchestra accompaniment and choreography.

*i have a frighteningly good memory, especially when it comes to people and things about them, even if i hear it just once. it's become even more frightening with advent of things like facebook. sometimes, i pretend to not know things about people so they won't think i'm a total stalker.

*i'm really, really, REALLY afraid of bugs. so much so that i will NEVER teach second grade because they have to raise crickets in their classrooms. if there's a bug in my classroom, i panic inside and then ask one of my students to "set it free" outside so i won't look like a big baby. there are many times when peter will come home to overturned cups and bowls housing bugs that need to be killed, not set free. i'm even scared of see, i had a dream they were eating me alive.

*one of peter's ocd's that has rubbed off on me is that i need the toilet paper to come out over, not under. it's gotten so bad, that sometimes, i'll change it in the bathroom of people's houses. i know, i'm crazy.

*i am by no means an expert when it comes to grammar, but i really, really hate it when people incorrectly use _____ and I, and insist they are correct when it really should be ______ and me. misspellings of your vs. you're and their, there and they're also bother me quite a bit. i also have a serious love affair with commas. love 'em.

*but, (<-- see? comma love! and yes, i do realize the comma should be on the other side of these parentheses) i don't like using uppercase letters when doing any non-work, non-professional writing, i.e. on this blog. it's like my way of stickin' it to the man. plus, then it makes uppercase letters really stand out when i do use them. it's a stylistic thing...e.e. cummings did it, and apparently, thomas jefferson had a penchant for them, too. it actually really bugs me that my phone automatically capitalizes things. so, if you ever get a comment from me that has random capital letters, it was written from my phone.

*i think rita's gelatis are an answer to stressful problems. like my automatically-letter-capitalizing phone.

*if i do say so myself, i bake a mean chocolate chip cookie. the best/strangest compliment i got was from my principal, who asked me if i laced my cookies with crack because they were so addictive. er, thanks?

*i love my dog, piper, SO much, even if she is weird and aloof and acts like a self-reliant cat. i miss her when i don't see her and i really, truly thinks she understands me -- words and feelings. i sometimes imagine what her human voice would sound like and what she'd say to me in response. i think she and choi boy are going to be the very best of friends. look how cute she is!
that was a glimpse into who i am...gosh, i sound like a freak. don't judge! :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

friends, fun and FOOD!

phew! what a fun, jam-packed weekend we had!

casa choi was quite full this weekend with 3 friends staying over! my dear sylvia , who is one of my best buddos from college, and her husband, ricky, were in town for a wedding. they drove down from boston! my childhood best friend, grace, was also in town for my baby shower! she came down from the best state in the union, new jersey. :) more on the shower to come -- it was AMAZING! here's a sneak peek of me and grace before the shower:
we are standing with our arms like that because it makes our arms look thinner. much thinner than if they were smushed by our sides. ;)

one of the things we love to do with friends is eat! there is nothing like a good meal shared with great friends. we did quite a lot of eating this weekend and my tummy is very satisfied and perhaps a little larger because of it.

one of our favorite restaurants in dc is founding farmers. so delish! sylvia, ricky, peter and i went for sunday dinner and we had fried food at every course:

for our appetizer, fried green tomatoes with goat cheese and green goddess sauce -- YUM-O!
the boys both had fried chicken and waffles:

i had a fried chicken salad -- look at those huge hunks of avocado! EEP!
homemade doughnut holes with dipping sauce for dessert!
we were so happy and full at the end of our meal...just thinking about all that food makes me smile.

for our last meal before we said good-bye to our friends, we had to have chick-fil-a! this was actually ricky's first time at mom was apalled and made sure he had two sandwiches AND a milkshake. he was not disappointed.

and of course, sylvie and i had to have our's become a tradition to have cupcakes in each city we are in together. :)

i love my friends and am so grateful for times when we can get together despite the many miles between us. i know it will be harder to travel when choi boy comes home, so we are really cherishing each of these moments.

love you SO much, sylvia and grace!

more treasures

while cleaning out our closets, we also found these two treasures that we will be putting it choi boy's room:
i have no idea where this came from, but i thought it was perfect, since the words on it match our blog's subtitle, "life, love, and laughter". it will be a great daily reminder of our journey together as a family. :)

we also found this:it's peter's old wisconsin license plate! when he got his virginia license and plates, he asked it he could keep old wisconsin ones, but a mean dmv lady took his license and said he could absolutely not keep that. he did, however, get to keep his license plate, which we are going to frame and place in choi boy's room. we are going to display it with some vintage looking toy cars!

can't wait to see choi boy's room come to life!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


i am sore today because yesterday we actually spent some time working on clearing out and organizing that nasty office closet. remember this before shot?:here's what it looks like now:

i know, i know, there are still boxes and piles, but you see, they are *neater* boxes and piles!!! ;) and quite a bit of the stuff are things we are holding on to for the snyders' upcoming adoption fundraiser. once we have more space, it will look even better. promise.

the fun thing about cleaning out old stuff is finding treasures amongst the junk. look at some blasts from the past we found:

a discman! remember trying to workout with those and then having to stop the treadmill because the discman fell off the stand and you'd have to pick it up and pray it wasn't broken or that the cd wasn't scratched? classic.
my old 35mm minolta point and shoot! yes, i realize the lens isn't even open, but the battery was way dead. i used to love that thing. it so faithfully served me throughout college and the early part of my teaching years. remember taking crap pictures at the end so the roll would be finished and you could finally develop it and then praying the pictures actually came out halfway decently? it makes me appreciate digital cameras even more.
a mini-disc player! i had no idea what this was, but peter told me it was what rivaled the early ipod/mp3 player. clearly the mini-disc player lost. poor peter, he recounted wistfully how he saved so hard for this in college and told everyone it was going to revolutionize the way we listen to music, only to have it totally defunct in 3 years. sad.
we also found these random glowsticks left over from an old vbs or something. we put them on piper and scout ro, who was visiting for the day, and sent them off to a doggie rave. we told them to stay away from the sketchy mutts trying to deal E.

because of these detours we took while cleaning, it took forever, but it made it a lot more fun. next up, choi boy's room!