Thursday, December 30, 2010

On the Cusp of New Things


It is always so exciting to be just a few days away from the New Year!! Are we really heading into 2011? That sounds so space-age-ish to this 40 year old!

We are sitting at home today with PandaGirl, who has THE FLU instead of being out of town with our extended family to finish up Christmas with them. We were all packed in the Tahoe ready to go when PG threw up yesterday. I had treated her for fever for two days, but it had gone down and she had no other symptoms.

Sure enough, the flu bug hit sweet girl. : (

PandaPop and I are also on Tamiflu for preventative measures. Hopefully tomorrow morning we can head out to give and get the rest of our Christmas gifts.

Then comes: 2011

I am looking forward to what the Lord has in store for our family. We have cried so many tears waiting on our little family to grow past 3 and now with new realities in sight we are filled with JOY!

Of course, at the top of my to do list for the new year is to eat more healthy food, exercise more and get. it. together. in that area of my life. Always, always a struggle.

Next, I am pumped to spend a 4-Girls Weekend with my college girlfriends. We are all turning 40 (well, I'm the only who's already hit the mark so far.....they all are this spring) and want to celebrate our wrinkles and joys together. We had a fabulous weekend that I blogged about a couple of years ago. I was so hoping to be skinny for the next reunion and instead I have managed to put back on every stinkin' pound I lost over a year ago. Way to go, Me!

They love me no matter what and I just can't wait to spend time together.

Also planned and hoped for is the New York trip with my friend who just hit her 40 mark last week and is the self-proclaimed President of Club 40. We are shooting for April, but we'll see.

My photography business has me giddy! There are so many things I want to learn and do and try and......oh, it's endless there. Santa brought me a new software program that will help me tremendously with organizing and editing my photos. I REALLY can't wait to see what unfolds there!!! However, I am a bit curious as to how my life will look with PandaJOY and PandaDoggie at my feet during the day. I'm thinking that my photography work will take place in the middle of the night. Very interesting since I'm not a "night person".

We are currently ripping off all the THREE LAYERS of wall paper in our kitchen from previous owners and excited to do something new and fresh in there. I love warm, rich colors, but I am seriously toying with going all white in there with some dark accents. Hmmm...

Well, I need to go help remove the wall paper, dole out more medicine, keep the dog off the cat, get the smell of bacon out of the air and brush my teeth......then have more Irish Sweet Cream coffee.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

365 Photo Blog!

I have been wanting to do a 365 Photo Blog for most of this year. I started out strong in January and February with another online site, but then I realized that all the wonderful pics that I was so faithfully taking and posting were going to stay put on the site where I posted them.

No, thank you.

I lost interest once I started playing around with my "real" photo projects. Now I am so excited to get started taking a pic-a-day for a whole year. I do it anyway so why not post them for others to enjoy? I love looking at other people's 365 photos and could easily just sit at a computer all day doing it. I think my family might disown me if I did that, however. Life does exist outside of computers, but I'm not sure I remember what I actually DID without FB, my blog, other blogs and just plain old web surfing. Must have been bored out of my mind. Nah.

If you follow me on here---LURKERS!!!---then have fun clicking over several times a week to see the latest updates on my 365 Photo Blog. The link is over to the right top of my sidebar.

Want to try the challenge, too? Do it!!! Tell me about it though so we can enjoy each others' lives....together!

Blessings on this grey-cold-after-Christmas-but-not-quite-New-Year's-Eve-Tuesday!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tangled Me!

::click on collage to enlarge::

Self explanatory collage! ; )

Saturday, December 25, 2010

December Daily 2010-Partially

::click on collage to enlarge::

Just a look into my December Daily scrapbook. I will be doing a bit of regular scrapbooking with cute paper and stickers, etc. along with these collages. Loved doing my first DD last year because of some friends who had done it for awhile. It's an easy way (if you stay on top of it!!) to chronicle the highlights of the month of December since so much goes on in our life. I'll add the rest after Dec. 31st.

Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas from The Panda Family!

God is good all the time. All the time God is good.

I hope that you will look for the good that God blesses you with this week. My heart hurts not having PandaJoy with us when the only thing keeping her away from being home with us is someone else's busy schedule.

Just doesn't seem right.

I am choosing JOY through this Christmas season as an offering back to God. He is good to me and my family and to PandaJOY. He sees all and knows all. He blesses me even though I don't deserve it.

I am so very thankful for the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Miss Chic & Mr. Dapper

::click on photo to enlarge::

We had a BLAST last night at our annual church staff Christmas party. Last year everyone was supposed to go with the theme of "Don We Now Our Gay Apparel" only not everyone did it. That meant that PandaPop and I plus our two friends along with our Senior Pastor and Exec. Pastor were the only ones who really looked ridiculously Christmasy. I don't embarrass easily, but I felt very awkward and didn't want the same thing to happen this year when the email came out last week saying that tacky Christmas was "back by popular demand". HA!! Who demanded it? LOL!

I thought we needed to really go all out with whatever we came up with. Our friends pulled in another goober with us and we all showed up like the lovely models you see above.


Already thinking ahead to next year's event and hopefully will turn this shindig into THE EVENT of the year. HA! Not likely, but certainly fun and entertaining as we opened up our white elephants gifts. I got a frame. The glass broke while sitting on the couch. Great. PP got a canister with some Band-Aids. We tried to fix the broken glass. ; )

Below is our gay apparel from last year. Believe me when I say no one else played along like we thought they would. How gay.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Couldn't Make This Up!

PandaPop and I were treated to a great lunch at Pei Wei yesterday by an old friend that I did head shots for that he'll use in an upcoming book he's co-authoring. Cool, huh?!

I do not believe in luck or horoscopes or fortune cookies to tell my future. My future is fully known and safe in my Maker's palm. However, with the timing of this particular little fortune yesterday: I. About. Fell. Out. Of. My. Chair.



We have waited OVER SIX YEARS for child number two to be in our family and had more delays and tears than I can even remember. What's another month, right?

Patience is a key to JOY.

The word JOY follows me more than any word has EVER followed me and it is always in the perfect context: pertaining to PandaJOY.

There is another little weird thing that has followed me for the past several months, but that is a new post and subject all its own. Quite interesting.

Happy Wednesday! Find a blessing today that you KNOW is from the Hand of God, straight to your heart!

Monday, December 13, 2010

To Keep Moving Forward

::click on photo to enlarge::

In order to keep moving forward and living in the present blessings God so graciously gives we decided to make gingerbread cookies on Friday night and then watched Disney's A Christmas Carol all while cuddled up in our living room with the beautiful Christmas tree lights glowing and our crazy, cuddly PandaDoggie by our side.


Our JOY comes from the Lord not from getting our life the way WE think it should be.

This week is with filled exciting Christmasy things to do with a grown-up girls' brunch, parties for PandaGirl, caroling at a nursing home, wrapping gifts, getting our Christmas card in the mail so that I can mail them out (FINALLY, after waiting & waiting to see if PandaJOY would be in the pic), church staff party, a birthday party and hopefully a trip to see the Gaylord Texan's ICE display.

We finished up our church's worship experience over the weekend. Beautiful rendition of the Christmas story told in a unique way. We watched the person playing God personally hand over baby Jesus to Mary and Joseph, as well as seeing an angel drape Mary in a huge royal purple, flowing organza wrap that represented the "breath" of God. Both very powerful images of God's presence and love for us.

Before the performance last night, we got to Skype with PandaJOY and one set of her soon-to-be grandparents. THAT was a blast!!! They've only met her one other time and that was back in the spring. Ohhhh......we are so ready for that baby girl to be HOME.

Hope that your Christmas is full of blessings and JOY. Look for it!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Joy of the Christmas Child

That's what those words mean.

Joy of the Christmas Child.

Noel is PandaGirl's middle name and from the moment I laid eyes on PandaJOY I thought it was perfect to give her the middle name of Joy should we get to adopt her.

It is so easy to find and buy anything at this time of year that has "joy" and "noel" for Christmas decorations.

Not so easy is getting unofficial word yesterday that we won't get to have PandaJOY for Christmas. Nope. Mediation is scheduled for mid-to-late January. Can you say tears? I cried so hard yesterday for an hour which caused me to get my insides all twisted up into cramps. That's never happened. I have cried harder, but never had a physical reaction to it.

PandaPop and I prayed after I could finally get it together and I stopped calling God "cruel" and remembered that He truly has been faithful in all my life no matter if things didn't work the way I wanted them to. All my experiences and all of His word prove Him to be holy, faithful, loving, kind, more than generous and full of grace and mercy. He feels my tears, too. This is a broken world with messed up people and flawed systems.

I am not posting this for sympathy, but hopefully someone can be led to His feet through our story and know that everything really is out of our control and only God can direct us.

Keep moving forward.

It's been our theme for the whole year and apparently we are not done. We'll never be done moving forward. Once PandaJOY is in our home, I'm sure there will be something else to trudge through, pray through and wonder about.

Thank you for your love and care.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Here & Now

Outside my window… Overcast, yellowish-brown leaves all over the yard and a few piles of them ready to be bagged, very cold!! ; )

I am thinking…about all the gazillions of things on my to do list for today and wondering how they are ALL going to get done.

I am thankful for…beautiful Christmas decorations around my home, watching cheesy Christmas movies with my family and a warm house filled with the love of Christ.

From the kitchen…I smell apple cider candle wax burning to freshen up the house before a CPS visitor this morning.

I am wearing…brown leggings, green long sleeved shirt, pink fleece hoodie jacket and my new-most-favorite-EVER-moccasin house shoes.

I am creating… Christmas gift tags.

I am going…to open up my business bank account today!

I am readingO Little Town by Don Reid (one of the Statler Brothers)

I am hoping…that we will get a call this week for the mediation for PandaJOY.

I am hearing…the dryer tumbling the towels we used to wash PandaDoggie.

Around the house…presents need to be wrapped, purses need a new storage system, dust needs to be removed and overall feeling that Christmas is here from the looks of all the decor!

One of my favorite things… getting Christmas cards in the mail from families that I took the pics for the card. Too cool!!!

A few plans for the rest of the week… PandaGirl's rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal for our church Christmas worship experience this weekend and I'll be taking the photos for the event, prep for in-laws to arrive, wrap gifts, prep for Christmas party to be at our house to honor our children's ministry volunteers on Sunday, more shopping.

A picture to share

Monday, December 6, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I Can Copy From the Best of 'Em

I saw these cute dining chair decorations on a blog the other day, went out and found the needed items and made these little darlings.

Just like that!

I always want to craft and do fun things like this, but never really take the time to get the stuff needed or else I do buy it all and never get around to doing it.

My cyber friend over at Musings from Kim K is FOREVER doing the CUTEST crafts with her girls and I want to be more like that!!

So proud of myself and can't wait to show these off to our Christmas guests.

Also, this weekend on Face*Book people are putting up favorite cartoon characters for their profile picture. Did you do it? Though I have my own personal favorites that represent my childhood better I came up with this little twist that represents my loves: PandaGirl and PandaJOY:

Thursday, December 2, 2010


My darling little Chinese daughter looks just like a darling little Eskimo girl!! LOVE IT!!

On Thanksgiving, the weather was pretty icky in the early morning time. We knew it was going to cool off significantly by lunch with a cold front blowing in, but somehow it blew in a few hours earlier than predicted which caught us all off guard.....but made us all giddy and happy!!! PandaDoggie had a BLAST and I'll post pics of that later, too.

This pic of PandaGirl is so precious to me!! Joy in her eyes does this momma's heart good.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hanging of the Green

A picture to share that I took of our Hanging of the Green service at church this past Sunday. PandaGirl is second from the right on the bottom front row. These are our high school, middle school and grade school choirs. The preschool choirs had already gone to sit with their parents when I snapped this shot. They all did such a great job in leading us in worship as they also decorated the sanctuary with everything to make it look CHRISTMASY!

More posts to come when I can get some pics put together!

Thanks to everyone who is praying for us and PandaJOY. I have prayed blessings back on YOU for taking the time to care about us! ; )

Monday, November 29, 2010

Lots of Thanks!

There is so much to tell about our great Thanksgiving break and you know the way I like to do that is through pictures.....well.....the way I do the collages is not working right now and it's KILLING ME!! AHHHH! Hopefully that will be fixed soon!

We left town last week feeling so sad that PandaJOY was not with us for Thanksgiving (or for forever!) but were determined to let the Spirit fill us with joy to have a great time with our family.

Just like God to always be faithful...He allowed us to have a precious time with our family and friends. I did two super fun photo shoots with friends we haven't seen in a long time. We had a complete and total blast having PandaDoggie with us. He ran free and harder than any dog I've seen!! LOL!! He LOVED the freedom of running in the country. His Gram even bought him and his doggie-cousin matching brown/orange sweaters for the cold that blew in.

Fabulous food was everywhere!

On the way back home we got to stop by and see our little PandaJOY for a few minutes. God knocked our socks off with her precious self by gifting us with her own joy and excitement to see us drive in the driveway. She SPRINTED across the yard, let me grab her up in a huge squeeze and then proceeded to climb up in our Tahoe like she was ready to go HOME.

Very precious moments, indeed.

They are imprinted on my mind's eye.

Extremely difficult for us to leave her in the foster home. I adore my friend who is the foster mom. There is no better place for that baby to be right now if she can't be with us. I am asking you to please, please pray for the whole thing to move forward in her case and let us bring this baby girl home!!!!! Of course, we want to spend the magical anticipation of Christmas with her so we are revving up our prayer life about this and asking God to move mountains, lawyers, judges, mediators, caseworkers: all of them involved. MOVE MOUNTAIN!!

Can't wait to share all the fun pics from the last week with you, but can't do it very easily without my beloved collages.

(PandaGirl took this fun pic of me and PandaPop with my good camera....I never her let her even touch my good one so this is a BIG deal to her!!.....and I think she did pretty good!)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Here is my new website!!

Our hearts are completely broken that we do not get to have PandaJOY with us for Thanksgiving. It is where she belongs. Too bad the lawyers and mediator couldn't coordinate their schedules as hoped. Great thing that we know God is in control---no matter what. I am excited to launch my new website, see family and friends and eat some YUMMY food this week!! Looking forward to putting up all our Christmas decor out on Saturday and watching White Christmas while having hot chocolate.

We have JOY no matter what.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just to Show Me

::Click on images to enlarge::

These photos speak for themselves.

I noticed this tree in our park just down the street from our house and it seems to be on fire it is so orange and vibrant. Radiant.

Truly God's amazing beauty that we get to enjoy. Thank you, precious Lord!!!

Though we still are looking forward to having PandaJOY in our life, sadly, it doesn't look like we will get to have her for Thanksgiving. Breaks our heart when all that needs to be done is paperwork basically. Getting the lawyers schedules to match up with the mediator seems to be a glitch. So sad, but God knows all and is fully in control. Fully.

When He shows me this glorious beauty in a fall tree I can't help but know He is real and has His hand on our life.

I am totally in love with The Afters and their latest song called "Light Up the Sky" says: You light, light, light up the sky to show me You are with me and I, I, I can't deny that You are right here with me. You open my eyes so I can see all around me. You light, light, light up the sky to show me---You are with me."

Can't get any simpler than that, friends.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cafe Rio

My friend tagged me on FB to do this fun meme. PandaPop and I just finished a great overnight retreat with our preteen children's group from church. Great stuff, but I am here to say that last night just might be my LAST time to sleep in a dorm with kids and staying up past midnight. I am NOT a night owl and staying up til 1:00 AM just about did me in!!! Not good for me! I get bossier than I already am and very snippy. : (

PandaDoggie stayed in a doggie hotel for the first time and was soooooo darn cute when he saw us through the window to pick him up today.

Good to be home and hoping for some real decisions to be made this coming week with PandaJoy. Side note: the name of our dorm last night just "happened" to be JOY. Love it.


The iTunes Shuffle Game.

Here are the rules:

1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.3. You must write the song name down no matter how silly it sounds.

If someone says "you're okay" you say:

Maybe by Alison Krauss & Union Station

How would you describe yourself?

It's Your Love by Tim McGraw

What do you like in a girl/guy?

Hallelujah by Newsboys

How do you feel?

We Come together by Newsboys

What's your life's purpose?

Build Us Back by Newsboys

What's your motto?

I'm Yours by Jason Mraz

What do your parents think of you?

Delilah by Cindy Morgan

What do you think about very often?

Jesus Freak by DC Talk

What do you think of your best friend?

Reality by Newsboys

What's your life story?

Nothing Can Come Between Us by Sade

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Paperback Writer by The Beatles

What do you think when you see the person you like?

Like Lovers Do from the Serendipity Soundtrack

What will you dance to at your wedding?

Believe by Gosh Groban

What will they play at your funeral?

Let's Fall in Love by Chris Botti

What is your passion in life?

God's Been Good to Me by Keith Urban

What is your biggest fear?

Take My Heart by Phil Joel

What is your biggest secret?

Heaven by Jars of Clay

What do you want right now?

Heaven is the Face by Steven Curtis Chapman

What will you title this post as?

Cafe Rio by David Benoit

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

These Small Hours...

::click to enlarge collage::

Still all about just throwing some pictures together for this blog. Hoping to be able to write my thoughts in a few weeks. Praying for the people in control of PandaJoy's case to make their decisions quickly and get her HOME! The real IN CONTROL is God and, though I wanted her yesterday, His plan is the one I want most. Stay tuned for more to come!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Here and Now...

I never think about this meme until my friend does it and then it spurs me on to want to totally copy her. She won't mind. ; )

Outside my window… Cloudy, rainy, chilly (this was her answer, but it remains the same this morning).

I am thinking…about downloading some great Christmas music that I don't already have onto my iPod for some festive deaf-dog-walking.

I am thankful for…the cautious optimism around our house preparing for PandaJoy's arrival...though we have no idea when that will be. Sniff.

From the kitchen…I smell the lingering aroma of the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins (recipe below as per request from several Face*book friends) I made. Totally yum and totally more WW points than I need in one sitting.

I am wearing…purple t-shirt, PJ bottoms with brightly colored sketches of well-known cities from all over the world, navy blue frou-frou house shoes.

I am creating… several wall decor pieces, a window treatment and toddler bed blanket for you-know-who!!!!

I am going…to do laundry today, work on my Revelation Bible Study, put black glitter on a cute wooden letter for PG and PJ, pray that PJ will get to us in God's perfect timing-but that it would be very soon, gear up for the (in)famous Wednesday Night Dinner Crew at church, enjoy the chilly fall air and cute fall clothes.

I am reading… just bought Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker. Have never read any of his stuff because I am a self-proclaimed weenie. This looks like I can handle it, just have to find the time to start it.

I am hoping…figure out some sort of work-out schedule that I will actually do.

I am hearing…impaired. Wait. PandaPop and PandaDoggie are hearing impaired. I just don't listen. (PP just helped me with that!!).

Around the house…PandaDoggie needs a bath and his teeth brushed after gnawing on a box of Nerds, usual Wednesday cleaning, waiting and waiting and waiting on some hard dates for PJ to get here.

One of my favorite things… the sweet, comforting, strong, warm hug I just got from my Man as he left for work. Yes.

A few plans for the rest of the week… PJ's room, praying about PJ, finding a place to purchase cute Christmas stockings, short photo shoot, praying about PJ, Skype with PJ, play with PP on his day off, walk deaf doggie, praying about PJ, go to the library with PG for books on CD that she LOVES, try to count WW points (fail by lunch!! YIKES!), finish creative projects, dinner with friends, Daddy-daughter event at church, accountant friend getting me all straight with The Cotton Crop Photography because I absolutely STINK at that part of the business, scrapping a few pics and praying about PJ.

A picture to share

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

(recipe from a grand prize winning entry from Cindy Middleton out of the Country Woman May/June/95 magazine)

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 can (16oz) pumpkin
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 cups (12oz) semisweet chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil until smooth (I did it by hand). Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips (after scooping a few into your mouth first). Fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 400 for 16-20 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack. Yield: 24 muffins

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Party 2010

::Click on collage to enlarge::

After spending the day with some fairly new girlfriends at this place where we had tons of fun, but there were waaaaaaaay too many people there, PP, PG and I enjoyed the second annual Pumpkin Party at a friends' house.

So fun!!! Great fellowship, pumpkin carving, yummy goodies to eat and the perfect fall temps made this another night to remember. Here is a glimpse at last year's gathering.

We also got the very, VERY important phone call from our caseworker for which we have been waiting. Drumroll........we ARE the family that CPS has chosen for PandaJOY!!!!! There is still the mediation and more meetings and a judge and all that, but as it stands at this point it looks like we will be getting her. It is NOT 100%, because anything could happen, but we are so incredibly humbled and hopeful. There will be much more for me to post about this when the appropriate time comes. For now, please pray that all will happen in the Lord's perfect time.....but quickly! lol!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fever & Fame at First!!!

First time ever that
Texas Rangers
are in the
World Series!!!

I think all of Texas has Ranger Fever!!!

Our church is fired up even more that David Murphy of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club attends our church!


Back in 1994-98-ish I was a huge Rangers fan and watched games even when PandaPop wasn't home. Somewhere along the line I lost interest, but never lost touch because the Rangers ballpark is just 30-45 minutes away from us depending on the traffic. Everywhere you look are Ranger t-shirts, hats, signs, etc. I pulled out my visor from way back when today and wore it proudly to church tonight along with PP's jersey. Walked up to pay for dinner and the darling kitchen crew had this huge basket of Cracker Jack free for the taking with a little blue star on them that said, "Go Rangers!!"

Right before we moved to this church we had a last hurrah on THAT side of the Metroplex with some free tickets that someone blessed us with. PandaGirl loved going to her first pro game! Click here to see the pics. Don't know what happened to the background, but I could no longer see the words. Oh well! lol!

We Texans are all about cheering on the Rangers in the World Series and the biggest fans are at our First Baptist Church!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Any Volunteers From the Audience?

I was told yesterday by my dear friend who is the foster mom of PandaJoy to "gather my people and tell them to get on their knees". Methodically the mountain is being chipped away and some final decisions are being made very soon for her case. We are down to the wire and want to continue to be faithful, patient and surrender this entire process to the Lord. Yes, we want her in our life, but only if it is God's plan. I am already trusting for those of you who love us or have come to know me through this blog will pray for just that.

The irony of all this culminating now is that next week will be the one year mark of the trauma we endured with this whole situation. Still pains my heart to think about it, but know we did the right thing.

Thank you so much for caring about our little family.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Bunch of F Words


Since rolling over the 40 hump this past September 4th, on any given day, at least one if not more of those F words can describe me. Well, can't really say that I'm "fit".

Turning 40 has really hit me square in the face like no other birthday has. I have always enjoyed my birthdays and have looked forward to the next with no fear. I'm not making this up, but there is truly something different, at least for this chick, about moving into this new decade. I have had many more wonky days than "normal" ones. It's like I am no longer young. Simply not there anymore.

I'm not depressed about it, but rather just wondering what the heck has happened to me. Like, why on earth do 40 year old women, including yours truly, have the hangy-down cheek thing around their nose and mouth? Why has my mouth turned south? My lipstick now feathers and bleeds. Really? I can see why people get facelifts.

I have needed to lose weight most of my life. A year or so ago I did lose 30 lbs and was on the way to going down another 30, but somehow lost sight of my goal and have put all but five of it back on only this time I feel like a stuffed sausage in the same jeans that I had before I ever lost the weight. I am fatigued all. the. time. I keep blaming it on eating too many carbs or too much sugar yet I keep on eating too many carbs and too much sugar as if none of it "counts".....until I put on the Jimmy Dean Jeans. Once I pull up the zipper, walk to the computer and sit down in the chair I realize, "Dang! I have to stop eating all those carbs and so much sugar!" Then lunch comes around and I forget about it all again.

Round & round the cycle goes. (Anyone my age remember Ratt singing that? It always gets stuck in my head when I hear or say round & round).

I started taking Zumba last week at our local community activity center. LOVE IT!!!! However, my knees have never been the strongest part of my physical self and both of my parents have had DOUBLE knee replacements. Doesn't look so good for my future knee health, does it? I made a specific trip to the mall to purchase Nike Musique shoes that are made for pivoting so I don't blow out my knees while just getting started with the whole Zumba craze. I adore the music and the fun dance moves, but this lard butt is acting like she's 20 instead of 40. My heart is there, but my knees aren't following.

Neither is my buttocks.

I gained three pounds since starting Zumba last week. Isn't that great?!! I have sweated my self to death and was able to pack on three pounds. Way to go, Me!

Maybe it's because I have thought about changing my eating habits, but not actually done it so all the work I've done over the past four weeks (I've been walking the deaf doggie every morning for four weeks) has been great for my heart, but has done jack-diddle for my physique. Well, now I can't say a total waste. I can see that my shape is changing after five Zumba classes, but Jimmy Dean is still my fashion sponsor.

I Goo*gled these words exactly: Fat & Forty

Believe it or not, tons of sites popped up. I hopped through a few and found that I am absolutely NOT CRAZY!!! Yay Me!

There is quite an abundance of information that says exactly what I have felt over the past couple of months. It has been like a little switch was flipped and I have turned into another being once the 40 hit and have thought it was just in my mind.

Bottom line is that I HAVE to eat better and less. I HAVE to lift weights or do some kind of strength training, not just cardio. I HAVE to be proactive. No more just wasting away life.

I am actually looking forward to getting fit and accepting that I really am entering mid-life. I have an AMAZING best friend in PandaPop to go alongside me and a beautiful daughter to watch blossom. We will be finding out in the next few weeks whether or not PandaJoy will be joining our family. This road has been extremely difficult, but hope that we have been found faithful when all is said and done no matter the outcome.

Thank you for your prayers concerning her well-being. I haven't written very much on this blog for the past several months. Mostly pictures. I haven't had much to say. I think PP and I have been on hold in some ways until we know about PandaJoy's case. Don't get me wrong. We have been living and enjoying the life we have, but we have both noticed a vacuum in part of us while patiently waiting for the state to make some kind of logical decision.

We have been THROUGH THE WRINGER with adoption over the past six years. Emotionally exhausted doesn't even begin to describe how we feel about it. It seems that adoption is a buzz word now and many people are doing it to help out a child. I guess we are just depraved because our main goal hasn't been to help a child, but rather to add to our family. We had many people tell us how brave and noble we were for adopting from China. We were no such thing. We were and still are just a couple longing for a child. No nobility there, friends.

I know that I said in the last post with the final pics of PG's party that I would for sure write about the Revelation study and I will, but just not today. Maybe not even next week. I am excited to have the entire week filled with photo shoots next week, then it's Trunk or Treat time at church, then it's November. We have been waiting and waiting and waiting for November. Hopefully, I'll be able to write something on here about PJ that involves goodness and not more questions.

If you are pushing 40 within a year or so or have surpassed that mark, please share with me something that has changed about you since entering mid-life. I'd love to know I'm not alone. ; )

Thanks for hanging with me. And my droopy cheeks.