Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Technical Difficulties...

I have gotten several emails lately from people that said they never got my invite to the new blog. I am not sure what happened, since I thought that I had replied to everyone that requested to follow us.

If you did not get your invite with the new address, please email me at and I will make sure to resend it.

So sorry!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I should win an award

an award for being the worst blogger ever.

I have completely fallen out of the blog world- haven't even hardly read blogs for a while, much less actually take the time to comment on them.  In the process, I am sure that I have lost most of my blog readers.

And now Bloglines is closing and I am going to lose all my links- so I am SERIOUSLY going to have a hard time then.  (suggestions?)

Also, to be completely honest... I am a little afraid of posting anymore. The burglars got my computer and accessed the cookies to get my credit card information, so does that mean they are reading my blog that is bookmarked, too? I am sure that they don't really care about the goings-on of our life, but I still don't want them to know any more about me than they already do. 

So, for that and a few other reasons, I am thinking about shutting down this blog completely. 

And yet, God is moving in our lives and we have news to share. I want to continue to document our journey for myself, for Holland and for the child that God will someday bless us with. 

So here is the plan...
I am going to delete this blog completely.

Though it has been a blessing to me in many ways, it has also been a source of hurt at times. I know that there are people reading that I certainly never expected to. While the majority of readers love us and support us in ways that we could never expect, there is a small portion of people that have used the feelings that I have shared to hurt me. So, I will have it printed for my own keeping, but then will take it down.

And then I am going to start a new blog for a new chapter in our lives.  Curious enough about what that is to want to follow me to the new blog?

If so, please send me an email ( or comment on this post. I am going to make the new blog private, so I will need to send you an invite to read it. I know that is a pain and I often slack in reading my friends' private blogs, because of that extra step it takes to sign in. But I just don't feel like I have any other choice.  Leave me the email address that you use to sign in for private blogs. And if you are a blogger, will you please leave your link? I am going to have to set up some other list, once my Blogger is gone and I want to make sure that you are on it. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The break-in

One of my biggest fears has always been for my home to burn down. 

I don't know why I am so fearful of this. But, the thought of losing irreplaceable memories just makes me sick. 

On Monday, I was at work and I got a call from a neighbor, but I was with a patient and did not answer. But then another neighbor called just after that. My heart stopped. I just knew that my house was burning to the ground. The crockpot that we left on had malfunctioned and every memory was turning into a pile of ashes. I could just see it. 

I answered the phone "Is my house burning down?" 

"No, but the police are here. You house has been broken into."

Oh. Just a break-in. 

Wait.... Just a break-in? Someone was in my home? Did they destroy it? Did they take my computer and hard drive with all of my pictures? Did they take my mom's jewelry? Oh no!

My co-workers were amazing and helped me quickly leave so that I could rush home and meet Rusty and the police. I called Erica as I drove. I don't know what I expected her to do, but at this point I had hit total panic mode. 

I never, ever thought that I would be so upset about a break-in. Until it happened to me. 

Yes, I am glad that we were not home. Yes, stuff can be replaced. I know it could have been much worse. 

But, someone was in my home. In my bedroom. Standing on my furniture- helping themselves to things that we have worked very hard to attain. 

Someone walked through my home with pictures of us and our loved ones staring back at them as they shopped among my belongings. They were surrounded by scriptures hanging on the wall. They even stole a radio that was sitting next to the Bible on Rusty's night stand.

They took a lot of things.... 
4 tvs
2 latoptops
wii, wii fit board and games
3 cameras with pictures on them (including my "real" camera and the new underwater one that we just bought for our trip to mexico)
ipod and wireless speaker transmitter
Bose ipod docking station
Rusty's watch

But most importantly, they took my sense of security in my own home. And that can never be replaced. There is no homeowner's policy to cover that. 

The cops that came out were totally inappropriate, saying things like "Oh, they will come back. They see what else you have and know that insurance will pay you and you will replace the stuff." Thanks buddy. True or not, he succeeded in freaking me out. We are having all of the doors replaced with ones that cannot be kicked in. And our gate and doors are always locked now, with the alarm on. Always. 

Also, when Rusty would tell them what was missing and the value of it, he would make remarks about "Who pays that much for a camera, watch, etc?" Saying, "You paid that for a watch? What do you do for a living, man?" They didn't take fingerprints. They acted like it was all a big joke. 

They may do this every day, but I don't. This is kind of a big deal to me and they were not helping at all. Not even a little bit.

So, to answer the questions that we have gotten 100 times:
  • Yes, we have an alarm. 
No, it was not set that day. However, we have been told that with a "smash and grab" type burglary like this, it often does not matter if you have an alarm. Sure, it is a deterrent, but often times it will not stop them. They know that they have several minutes before the alarm company can notify the police and that the police actually respond. 

Our neighbor saw the crime happening and called the police. I truly believe that they probably responded quicker to that than they would have to "another" house alarm call that could very well be a false alarm. 

The alarm would have notified the neighbors, but in this case, our neighbor was all over it- even without an alarm. Don't get me wrong, we will always have it set now. Our home is turning into Ft. Knox. But we were lucky this day that even though it was not set, our neighbor was alerted that something was wrong. 
  • No, we do not know if we were targeted or not. 
The car was caught on our neighbors security tapes circling the neighborhood 4 times prior to the burglary. We think that they were possibly scanning the neighborhood looking for a house that looked empty. They most likely rang the doorbell and when I did not answer, decided that it was safe to come in.
There was another burglary in the back of the neighborhood that day, but the homeowner did not find it until they returned home from work, so we don't know the timing or if it was the same people. Their front door was kicked in though and all they had stolen was a computer. 
  • Yes, we have thought about the fact that we have had contractors in our home. 
All of that work was done downstairs and the workers were never left alone. We do not have any reason to believe that they knew about our media room. 
It could be totally random, that they just chose our house and hit "the mother load" once they made it to the media room. This seems to make sense since they did not head straight to the media room, but took stuff from the living room and bedroom too. Or it is possible that they saw the tvs from the road when the blinds were open. We just don't know. I have blogged about the media room before, so for all we know, it was one of you- my blog readers :)

  • The dogs were in the garage.

They broke in through our side door:

Which is now boarded up while we wait on it to be rebuilt. It's kind of unnerving, living like that. I am ready for it to be put back to normal.

The media room:
There used to be 5 tvs. Now there is one broken one, hanging upside down.

The footprints that they left from standing on my furniture covered in sheetrock dust.I don't know why this creeps me out so much, but it does. 

A different cop came back the next day after I played vigilante (long story) and called them because I thought I had found the suspects! Anyway, he decided to take prints, so now our house has black powder all over it too!

Here is a picture of the vehicle that was caught by our neighbors security camera:

Everyone has been so extremely supportive during this week and I am so thankful for friends and family that are praying for our sense of security to return. Honestly, I really never thought it would bother me so much. I am surprised at how it has affected me. 

Every day I feel a new emotion: 
Monday, I felt helpless and victimized. 
Tuesday, I was just mad. 
Wednesday, my girlfriends took me out for a girls night and I laughed. It was all just funny. 
Today, I am pretty much over it. I just want my home back. Oh, I don't want to pay our homeowner's insurance deductible.  I mean, they rip me off and I still have to pay thousands of dollars to fix it? I don't really get that. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jackson's 4th Birthday

Last weekend, I went to Stillwater, Oklahoma to celebrate my nephew's 4th birthday!

Could he be any cuter?

While I was there, they took me to eat at Pop's, which is a really cool place out on Route 66.

Bottles of pop lined all of the walls of the restaurant

The next day, we went to eat lunch with my sister-in-law in her classroom, then went to play at a local park.

The BIG kids had fun too!

Jackson woke on his birthday to find Buzz and Woody in the kitchen with his gifts!

Then we headed to Oklahoma City for lunch at Chuck E. Cheese's before I had to fly home.

It was so great to get to be a part of this special day!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Introducing Nate Ryan Brothers

In March of 2009, my bestie, Erica was blessed with an amazing little boy that she named Nate. For the last 17+ months, she and her husband Colin have been jumping through hoops and red tape to finalize their adoption.  

During the process, she chose not to display any pictures of Nate on the internet, for his protection. And so, I have not been able to show off one of my favorite little boys in the whole wide world. But all that changes now. 

Today, I had the honor of being in the courtroom as a judge declared what we have known since the day he entered their life: This little boy is their son. He is now officially a Brothers!!

So, I am happy to finally get to introduce to you
Nate Ryan Brothers

His name, Nate means "A gift from God"

Proud new parents

What a beautiful family!

Loved and spoiled rotten by his grandmas

And his Aunt Corrie

(I know this one doesn't have Nate in it, but I still had to share. It makes my heart happy every time I see the joy on Erica's face in this picture from Nate's Welcome Home party!)

And finally, the BIG DAY!!!!!

Many of you that read this blog know Erica and what she means to me. It sounds corny, but I know that I would not be who I am today without her friendship. She is one of the strongest, kindest, most generous, thoughtful and loving women that I have ever met. Her wisdom, laughter, sympathetic ear and friendship have guided me through my own journey, as I watch her travel her own. I am blessed beyond measure to have her in my life and to share this joy with her. She is an amazing mommy and to say that I am thrilled for her today, is the understatement of the year.