Happy New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I can't believe it's already 2009! My friend Rachel and I were reminiscing last night about our hoppin' New Years Eve parties that we used to have in high school. What a blast! I can't believe how long ago that feels! I remember 2000 being a big one! Whoa...that was nine years ago! So much has changed since then! Here's my year in review...

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? Nothing really exciting. I guess living away from the area I grew up (not counting college), be away from Jon for 3 weeks in a row while in grad. school, and taking a new job without ever meeting the administrator or seeing the school.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don't usually make new year's resolutions. I'm a perfectionist and therefore would probably make myself go crazy attempting to keep a resolution. But this year, I do want to read more.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes and yes again! So many friends are having babies now! The two closest to me were my sister Rebekah and her sweet baby Jane, and my close friend Naomi and her sweet baby Claire. Here's Jon & with our new niece Jane Lauren who born on July 25, 2008!
Here she is at Christmas this year! Wow, she has grown so much!
Here is Claire, the daughter of our dear friends Brian & Naomi. She was born in June 2008 (sorry I don't know why this is underlined and can't fix it).

4. Did anyone close to you die? praise the Lord, no.

5. What countries did you visit? none in 2008. bummer. But 2009 is our year! Ethiopia here we come!
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? our sweet baby boy

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I'm sure there are more dates from before Aug
ust, but my mind is so on this adoption right now, I can't think of anything else! haha.

June 9, 2008- Started graduate school
August 12, 2008- Moved to the Indianapolis area! We're on to the next phase in life! Jon's internship and the start to whatever comes next!
September 13, 2008- Approved by AAI to adopt from Ethiopia!
December 3, 2008- Officially on the waiting list!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I'd love to say winning the gold medal in the pole vault at the Olympics, but unfortunately nothing quite as exciting as that! I guess I would say adjusting to a move away from my family and where we spent the first three years of our marriage, adjusting to a new teaching job, and starting our adoption.
9. What was your biggest failure? I don't think I like this question, so I'm going to ignore it. I'm sure if I think long enough, I could think of something... but then I will worry about it, so I won't!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing traumatic since my tonsilectomy in August 2007. However, my knees are officially "old" from running so much. I've had to alter my work-outs with cardio that is much easier on my bones!

11. What was the best thing you bought? All the gifts I bought people for Christmas. I LOOOVE giving gifts. I wish I was rich so I could do it more. (Here's a picture of the crazy amount of presents at my parents this year).
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My husband always deserves celebration. He is the best! He loves the Lord, is always reading his Bible, and always initiating good conversation about real life stuff, and is always pursuing my heart!
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? This is not a nice question, so I will refuse to personalize it. But in a general sense, I'd have to say hurtful comments people say about adopting transracially.

14. Where did most of your money go? Ethiopia!!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? our adoption!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman. I don't listen to much of his stuff, but heard this song so much on the radio after his little Maria died. This was around the same time we decided to pursue adoption. So there's a lot of emotions mixed in with that one.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier!
b) thinner or fatter? the same!
c) richer or poorer? We don't care much about this one. As long as we have what we need. We're pretty simple people.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Read! I like to read, I just don't do it enough. It makes me so tired after reading about one page. But I have been reading TONS of adoption stuff lately.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Worry.

20. How did you spend Christmas? It was great! We did Christmas with Jon's family on Sunday the 21st, then drove to PA to spend Christmas with my family. My 3 nieces and nephew were there and it was a blast! Still here enjoying time with my family and friends!

21. Did you fall in love in 2008? Every day, more and more deeply with my wonderful guy Jon
22. What was your favorite TV program? watching the Olympics (specifically the gymnastics and pole vaulting), The Bachelor (got together every Monday with my girlfriends to watch this one), Law and Order SVU, Private Practice, used to be Grey's Anatomy but now it's gotten a little too raunchy.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I am not sure I have ever truly hated anyone. I don't plan on it either (stole this line from another blogger too).

24. What was the best book you read? "The Memory Keeper's Daughter", a few mystery books I read, and some adoption books: specifically "I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla."

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? I honestly don't care much about music. I listen to whatever, but enjoy country. So instead of musical discovery, I'll say downloading sermons from Mark Driscoll on my ipod. I have a 40 minute commute to work so I like listening to all his sermons. The ones that have impacted me the most were his series on Proverbs
(specifically the ones about raising children and being a wife and mother), as well as his series on the Song of Solomon. Incredible!

26. What did you want and get? to spend Christmas with my family in PA!

27. What did you want and not get? A family of three! But soon.... very soon!

28. What was your favorite film of this year? So many....hmmm.... Baby Mama, we're into documentaries right now too, and another movie that I forget the name of... it was where the dad tells his daugter the story of her mom and she has to guess which person is her mom. I loved that one!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? My thoughtful husband threw a surprise party for me with our friends...it was my last birthday in PA before we moved! March 14th! I turned 25! Halfway to 50! Oh my! (And here I am with my Strawberry Shortcake birthday cake- in honor of my childhood obsession with Strawberry Shortcake).
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I Can't really think of anything specific. All of 2008 has shaped me to what I am today, and where we are today!

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? No clue. You tell me. I wear whatever...Jon thinks I'm cute and that's all that matters!

32. What kept you sane? My Jon, my girls Georgia and Rachel

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Shawn Johnson (U.S. Olympic gymnast) and Jen Stuczynski (U.S. silver medalist, American record holder in the pole vault- I competed against her in college!)

34. What political issue stirred you the most? The first black man to become President in the United States! Wow...what that could mean for our little boy. Go back to our November 4th post to read more!

35. Who did you miss? Ever since August, my family in PA, my nieces Natalie, Jane, & Aderyn, and my nephew Manny, and my close friends in PA. Apart from those I miss since moving, I really miss my close group of friends from high school, my college roomies and friends, and my track buddies!
36. Who was the best new person you met? Since we knew many of our current friends in Indy before we moved, I'd have to say all the people we've met through adoption... especially those in the AAI process as well. They have all been such an encouragement to me!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. Still learning them...but I'd have to say not caring so much about what people think, not being such a perfectionist, and trusting the Lord with my brother.


Rachael and Jon said...


This is a great post. I was laughing through most of it because you are so...well...you. BTW, that movie you liked with Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher, and Rachel Weisz is called Definitely, Maybe. Pacerbs was crying this mornins because she misses her mom!

Anonymous said...

uh.. that was the best doo dah pic you could come up with? The one where you gave her an 80's side pony against my wishes! UGH!

The Isaak Family said...

You just turned 25?!! Oh, you're just a youngin'! I guess I don't consider myself old at all, but when I hear of people still in their 20's, I think, "oh, so young!". hahaha! I just left my 20's behind this past June...perhaps I'm still grieving!

Donovan and Julie said...

Rachael - - Thanks for your note on our blog. I see so many references to Pennsylvania in your posts . . . What part of PA are you from? Just curious . . . We live in Lancaster, PA.

Amber said...

Love the blog template! lol, I have the same one.
I aslo sent most of my money to Ethiopia in 2008!

Brian and Autumn said...

Hi Rachael,
I am so glad I found your blog! Thanks for keeping our court date in your prayers. We really appreciate it. Hopefully good news will come Monday! The paperlink chain... Did you ever make a chain link made out of paper taped together to count down Christmas?? I know it is very Kindergarten but when we got our court date I was so excited to have a specific date to count down to, I made a chain link and Brian and I took off a link each night :)

Kristi J said...

I just found your blog through someone else's....We're also adopting and expect our referral any day now!! Nice meeting you...which agency are you with??kristi johnson

Amber said...

Thanks for the compliment on the baby nursery.
Your questions: Let me see if I can remember. lol
We Are with Adoption Avenues and Ayana is pronounced like Iyana. (long I)
Great to meet you! Hope you get a referral soon!

Kristi J said...

Thanks for commenting..We basically decided to adopt because there is such a need in the world to adopt orphans and I felt God calling us to do it. We had 4 bio kids and are very blessed to have 4 easy, healthy kids and felt once I saw the need, that I couldn't look away. We couldn't have any more than 4 bio kids due to medical reasons, so adoption for #5 seemed like a great idea and felt like a calling from God!! That's it!! I just knew I could give a good home to a child that needed a home and now we're almost to the point of referral...so excited about it, nice meetint you, kristi

Leah Reeves said...


What a great year and next your will be even better. Wait until you lay our eyes on your baby boy!

I am ecited to follow your journey.


Amy Kauffman said...

Rach - you are so cute...especially the "I don't have a particular style or whatever, but Jon thinks I'm cute"...you guys are adorable :)

I'm so excited for you guys!!!

Can you send me your current address on facebook please?? :)