Saturday, February 19, 2011

happy blog-iversary to me! {a giveaway}

one year ago today, i posted my first chois-r-us blog post. i was nervous about putting myself out there and sharing about our journey. i wasn't a blogging newbie, per se; back in the happy days of xanga, i blogged regularly, but it was a lot of blog fluff. this was different as we were really sharing honestly and inviting others to join us for this crazy ride through infertility and adoption

and join us you did!

i thought that this blog would be a place to keep our friends and family updated throughout our adoption process and document things for the sake of posterity. i thought i'd be writing more for myself and my own documentation purposes. never in my life did i think i would find such an amazing community of people who would support us, ugly cry with us, laugh with us and cheer us on through this journey.

i tell people all the time that were it not for the blogging community and the friends and family that have supported us by reading our blog, i would feel so much more alone in our struggle with infertility and so isolated and clueless about navigating through the adoption process and adoptive parenting in general. and that's not all...were it not for the blogging community, i'd be missing out on some pretty rad friends. ;)

so, thank you, friends. and i am sincerely sincere when i say that -- both the thank you part and the friends part. you've made this last year so much better. :)

as a teeny tiny thank you, i'm doing a small giveaway to celebrate my first blog-iversary. yay! i love giveaways!

i'll be giving away a package of three of my favorite things. these are things that i loved before i became a mom and now that i am mom, they are absolutely vital to my everyday normal functioning.

a travel size l'0ccitane shea butter hand cream. i'm SUPER paranoid about my hands getting dry and wrinkly and old-looking (i know, so shallow). i've always been diligent about moisturizing my hands and i adore this shea butter lotion, especially when i put it on before going to bed. now, with choi boy home, i find myself washing my hands all.the.time. -- hello, diaper changes! and hello, lots of baby cups, bottles, and booster trays that can't be thrown in the dishwasher! so, my hands are drier than ever and they soak up this yummy lotion. i can almost hear my dry skin slurping up this creamy goodness. ;) love it!

c.o. bigel0w lemon lip balm.
i'm obsessed with lip balm. it's a bit of an unhealthy addiction, actually. this lemon one has been my favorite for the last few years -- it tastes like lemon bars! and it gives just the right amount of lip hydration without being too sticky or gooey -- it's the best! and i've discovered that's also super helpful in healing busted fat lips that were the result of choi boy's head butting. ouch! and yum -- remember, it tastes like lemon bars! ;)

and 3.
a gift card to this place. before choi boy came home, i'd drink coffee on days when i really needed a pick-me-up. now, i *must* start every day with coffee...and i'm ashamed to admit that i drink obscene amounts of the stuff. it went from an occasional need here and there to a very necessary drug of choice. sad, but true. my favorite kind of coffee is from dd, but if you win and don't have one near you, i'll switch it out for a gift card to 'bucks. ;)

this giveaway is open to anyone and everyone -- no matter whether you've been with us on this ride since day one or stumbled upon this blog today. even if you know me in IRL, please do enter! :) it might not be a car or as cool as 0prah's favorite things ;), but it's my way of acknowledging the fact that this community totally rocks and that i'm super duper grateful for it.

to enter, leave a comment with a life lesson you've recently learned...because if blogging has taught me anything, it's this important life lesson -- friends can be found in the most unexpected places and often at just the right times. ;)

a winner will be announced next friday, february 25th, which is another very special anniversary that i can't wait to tell you all about! good luck!


  1. a great life lesson I have learned recently is I am stronger than I think - I have transformed my thinking about my health and life from the inside out. Down 28 pounds and counting!

  2. A great life lesson lately has been you truly are strong than you think!! We all are

  3. I really want the DD gift card LOL.

    My life lesson has been that God puts people in your life for a reason.

  4. Oh sweet sister of my heart!!! I couldn't have picked out 3 prizes better myself. I am a lip balm fanatic and only drink Dunkin Donuts coffee! And I am super paranoid about having craggy, old lady hands.

    Okay, a life lesson. Since becoming a mother, I have really learned to be less judgmental. Notice I said "less"--still not perfect over here. Anyway, the point is, until you've walked in someone else's shoes, you have no idea what they're going through. So just smile and be a friend.

  5. life lesson: the paths we walk are carved out for us from before we were born, and they are the right ones. we just need to stop getting off track ;)

    ok, i never lotion my hands. GASP. i know. mostly it is because i hate gunking up my rings and my hands are never dry (lebanese, remember?)

    also, i must disagree on your choice of lip balm. you know cherry chapstick is my fave...however i am more than willing to gussy up for date night with something a little lemony ;)

    aaaaaand lastly. coffee = yes. but starbucks. no dd here...booooooo

  6. yay for your blog-iversary! i am an avid reader and fan of your blog, though i may rarely comment :).

    a life lesson i am experiencing as of late:
    you may be able to fool everyone around you, but you cannot fool your own children!

  7. Congrats on your blogiversary.

    Hand cream! Love it! I was recently diagnosed with "Hand eczema" - lovely - basically my hands stopped producing their own moisture.

    And Dunkin Donuts - love it! Motherhood is what created my coffee addiction. I drank it some when teaching but being a Mommy - bring on the coffee!!

    Life lesson - everything is better with coffee..oh no,
    That things work better when I stop trying to be in control and worrying about everything. It's going to happen when and how it happens regardless of my mindset.

    Struggling to LIVE this life lesson right now, but I do know it's true!

  8. Life Lesson: Value, Cherish, and Nurture those who are part of your heart. Never go a day without being thankful for the ones you hold dear.

  9. Yay for blogging! And yay for one year! And YAY for loot! :)
    Life lesson: when something is hard, push through it. Because that's how you get stronger.

  10. I love reading your blog. You have great insight and witty things to say. Of course I love the pics of CB too!
    A life lesson that I am learning now is about enjoying each moment and focusing on the positive instead of the negative. Although things can look bad God does not give us more than we can handle and often had a great lesson for us to learn!

  11. What you think God is showing you may very well be something completely different and way better than what you imagined!

  12. I always need hand cream and I love coffee (decaf), but DD is not in Canada! Oh - and C.O. Bigelow lip gloss?? I have three of them in my purse right now. Love them! Anyways, a life lesson I've recently learned is that you can manage with a whole lot less sleep than you think you need. It's not necessarily good, but you won't die. On a more inspirational level, I would say that I love the way God does things on His time, not ours. I've seen how much better things are when we wait on him, and I also think he has a bit of a sense of humour.

  13. happy blog-iversary!
    a life lesson i have learned is to try to share more about myself. if we isolate ourselves thinking no one else understands, then they won't b/c we don't give them the chance to, and we won't be able to find out that we're wrong b/c lots of people do understand what we are going through!

    thanks for being a great blog friend.

  14. Happy Blog-iversary, Grace! What great loot you are giving generous!

    I think I said this on my blog, but I had a friend tell me, right when we brought E. home, to try to enjoy those handprints on the windows and glass instead of thinking of when I would get the chance to clean them. Soon, I will wish his hands were that small again. Yep, trying to enjoy the moment, whatever that may be. Some days are easier than others, but I'm tryin'!

    Hope you had a great weekend!

  15. Yay for your blogiversary!! A life lesson I'm trying to learn right is a dessert that needs to be savored. It passes all too quickly and I spend too much time hurrying through my days! Not sure I'll ever fully learn this lesson but I'm sure going to try!

  16. A life lesson I have learned is that most everything happens for a reason. And more specifically, in God's perfect timing. I am a little ashamed to admit that it has taken this adoption to realize and trust in these things, but better late than never, right?

    And btw, I am a lemon freak. I have owned that lip gloss and now its gone:(lost it! Awesome giveaway!!

  17. My recent life lesson is, if I'm not so close-minded then more doors will open.

    Love your blog!

  18. I need to start by saying that I love EACH of those things... as in, those exact items. For the same reasons as you... see, meant to be friends.

    The life lesson that I'm most struck by is similar to Sandra's ... Everything happens for a reason. These past few weeks, I've really gotten a big dose of that. I'm amazed by how things are playing out... craziness I tell you, craziness.

  19. Happy Blogoversary!
    I could so use that hand cream - my hands are looking closer to a 40 yr olds each and every day. Ohhh... and DD! Lived on DD in Seoul!
    As for a life lesson - don't leave poopy diapers in the garbage - dogs sniff them out and find them quite tasty - this is my life tonight. sigh.

  20. I just found your blog and wanted to say you have a super cute baby boy ... congratulations!! We adopted from Korea as well & will be home a year in March. Congrats!


  21. Hey guys ... I usually don't win these types of contests & so that's not why I'm commenting ... I'm just sharing my lesson because it's what came to mind: "Since you both are my brother and sister in Christ - I learned that the family of God is for REAL. Reading your thoughts & seeing the pics (especially the ones when you first met CB) led me to feel emotions & pray as if I was CB's biological uncle. I truly feel like I'm CB's uncle Sam. Cool." Love you guys!

  22. Happy Blogoversary!! The blog world is certainly a better place with you in it, friend.
    I've learned that it's ok to be the mom/person that I am. I don't need to try to emulate other moms, I'm ok just the way I am :)

  23. Yay for one year of blogging! So glad I found your blog..through another blog. hehe Love your choices! I use lotion like crazy too girl! My hands get chapped so quickly in the winter. I have a lotion tube in my purse, on my dresser, in my night stand and my make-up bad. obessed right?
    My life lession: i realized this last year, live in the present and not in the future.

  24. A life lesson I have learned recently is my time line is not His time line. We've been waiting to even apply to adopt until this July and to see all the things that have changed and how we've changed over the last year... it's become so clear why he made us wait. God's time is so much better than mine!

  25. Happy Blog-iversary! Life lesson since having kids: That all or most of the things I said I was NEVER going to do once I had kids, I do. Case in point: I am making mac and cheese for about the 8th day in a row for lunch. And, I'm talking, from the box, powdered cheddar m & c because my 5 year old daughter prefers this to homemade. Sigh. I'm also un-showered, wearing sweats, with dirty hair and fuzzy legs. These things all fall into the "I'm not going to just give up and let myself go after kids" category. Longer sigh.

  26. Oooo! love that lemon lip balm... i use it too. :) i have a HUGE hand lotion addiction. all those years of doing skincare and my hands being in water and washed constantly does no good on the hands. an old co-worker told me once that my hands felt like the bottom of a baboon's foot! :( talk about being paranoid after that! lesson? a few things....being a mom taught me that i'm not as laid back and patient as i thought i was and i work on that each and every day. and that although at the time we might not understand why things are going a certain way in our life, you can almost always look back and understand that everything happens for a reason. :)

  27. Hmmm...what have I learned recently? Like many women, I'm getting more depressed as I get older...Instead of being sad every time a birthday rolls around, a boss once told me, "It sure beats the alternative!" How true!

  28. A great reason to celebrate! Thanks for all you've brought to the adoptive blogging community. I have learned that it is okay if I don't run as much as I used to, that someday I will get more chances and wish these days were back. I'm learning to bask in the little things of life and to breathe it all in and savour every moment, to read "just one more book" and cuddle for a little longer.

  29. Happy Blog-iversary!!!
    Life Lesson: Take time every day to show your appreciation and love.

  30. You're pretty rad too my friend and I'm so glad I've "met" you and I hope some day I actually get to MEET you!

    Life lessons? I've learned about a thousand of them since I've become a mom - you can't control everything so just let it happen, ask for help, don't sweat the little things, and things DO happen for a reason you just don't realize that until much later :)

  31. yay! happy blogiversary!

    i'm so glad to have found your friendship. isn't the adoption blogging community fantastic? some of my closest friendships are from the blogging community.

    hmmm. a recent life lesson for me is to not miss out on what is right in front of me because i'm looking too far ahead.

  32. This isn't a recent life lesson but my favorite is Sometimes on the way to a dream, you get lost and find what you were actually dreaming of. .

  33. great life lesson lately has been one of perspective--life experiences can make such an impact, either positively or negatively, depending on your perspective. For example, with respect to infertility, while IF pretty much sucked, it also gave me my sweet little G, and there's no one I'd rather call my baby. :)

  34. That lemon lip balm is one of my favorites too!! Although Sylv just introduced me to eos lip balm, which looks like a little egg and is the BEST balm I've ever tried. I had painful cracked lips one night, put it on several times, and woke up the next morning with perfectly smooth healed lips! I'll have to send you one :)

    I LOVE the giveaway!!! Here's my answer:

    One very important life lesson I've recently learned (I actually JUST blogged about this RIGHT NOW!) is that life will always bring challenges and you just have to survive and savor the happy moments you can find each day, no matter how few or small. It's really the only way to survive and be able to enjoy your life, since the world can be really messed up sometimes, and as we get older, things get so much more complicated and depressing. Looking at a funny thing my son does makes all that adult, depressing stuff just melt away because he's laughing, and that's just the BEST blessing. :)

    ps. I LOVE reading through all the other life lessons people have posted!!!!! tearing up a little here. letting out a little ugly cry in your honor :)

  35. happy blog-iversary!

    i'm so thankful for you and the other people that i "know" only through our adoption blogs and it's made me feel like i have a great support group and lots of people to learn from. and actually, after reading other blogs i decided to start my own, so i would love any comments or tips!!

    my recent life lesson is learning that i have more strength, patience and faith than i thought i did. this adoption process has been hard, but the best thing i've ever done!

  36. Have to admit I haven't tried the hand cream or lip balm, but I put lotion on every 10 minutes it seems and my lips, well, they could use help. And I love DD coffee. Like adore it. There are only a few in this fine state, so when I am near one, a stop is mandated.

    Anyway, my life lesson: God's plans for you are so much greater and better than anything you could possibly dream of. This has helped me not stress so much about where I'm going in life and instead focus on the blessings of each day.

    Happy blog-iversary!

  37. Argh. Take two-posting effort. Somehow it never sounds quite the same second time around.

    Hi Gracie :) Miss you.
    Was just sitting here reading through your blog and thinking about life lessons, while watching the most recent episode of American Idol. Anyway, I digress. In terms of life lessons, I learn them daily. And many times they are never new. They are reminders relevant to me at different moments in my life, when I need to be reminded the most. Such as this one... my pastor said it several years ago, and it still stays with me: "Faith is Rest." Faith in Him means Resting in Him, Faith in His Promises means Resting in His Promises, In His Sovereignty, His faithfulness that all will happen exactly as He has planned. Resting... peacefully... like I could just sleep contentedly like a baby sure of His presence.

    Hard for me to do, but comforting and reassuring at the same time. Sorry if I went overboard with that. :)

    Miss you girlie... since college days! Hope you guys'll be able to make your way out here soon...

  38. second attempt, kiddo fighting sleep on my lap. Sorry if this posts twice!

    I've learned that if something doesn't go how I've planned it, there is probably a better plan.

    I've been reading your blog since we started our adoption process and now I "know" you on AT! Choi boy is adorable and it's been such a blessing to watch your family come together!!!

  39. Great post & great give-away.
    One of my life lessons: I've learned to SLOW DOWN & enjoy the small things...notice the little things...that to most people might not matter, but to me are what life's all about, especially now.

    Happy Blogiversary! I'm so glad you found my blog back whenever that was...which led me to yours. YAY!