Wednesday, August 21, 2019


Well would you look at that? A few months have gone by, our family has gone through some pretty major changes, and my #1 best girl turned FIVE years old! We'll start with a quick update on Millie, and then move to the other big five-- that is, the fact that we've been a family of five now for a few months!

We celebrated Millie's birthday with a party at a local park- apparently she has no respect for the fact that her birthday is in early August and we live in Georgia and it's perpetually 39,000 degrees outside and no one wants to be out in all that. Nevertheless, she begged to have a party "in nature, so we can swim and play on the rocks and run and get sweaty!" and so we did just that. 

Man, this girl is something. She remains impossibly adorable, with giant eyes that will just sucker you right into doing whatever it is you thought you weren't going to do. She's smart, fiercely determined, outgoing, and passionate. She loves unicorns, mermaids, rainbows, and glitter. She is a true little earth lover (makes me so proud!!), insisting on picking up litter wherever we go, asking all kinds of questions about how we can take care of the earth better, and being the first person to call you out if you toss something recyclable into the trash. She adores being hot and sweaty, and regularly begs me to turn on the heat in the car (PLEASE RECALL WE LIVE IN GEORGIA AND IT IS AUGUST) so that she can get "nice and sweaty." (Trust me, I know how to say NO to that one.) Millie still thrives on a schedule and plans, and can struggle to deviate from "her plan" even if you're offering something better/more fun. She adores reading books (though she still can't quite read), playing pretend with her dolls, stuffed animals, and other toys, and is equally happy playing by herself or with others. She learned to swim really well this summer and is a regular fish in the pool. She loves dancing and yoga, and is just as happy doing them in the living room at home as going to classes. She took ballet and tap last year, but we aren't planning to do it this year (due to other big family changes, haha), but she goes to a kid yoga class at the Y on Saturdays that she adores, and she hasn't even asked about going back to dance class yet, so hopefully she'll be fine with her "at home" practice!!

At her five-year-old check-up, she weighed in at 44 pounds (75 percentile) and 43.5 inches tall (also 75 percentile). She wears 4T and 5T clothes, or a 4/5 (XS) in girls. (Note: I LOVE this size, which she's been for over a year now, because I can shop from both the toddler AND girls sections of stores. Gimme ALL the clearance clothes!) She wears a size 10 shoe. Although her percentiles would indicate she's on the tall-average size for her age, I find that she generally LOOKS smaller than average in a group of other kindergartners- which could just be because she's on the very young end of her grade. She apparently notices this as well because she regularly asks if she has grown bigger yet. I mean, like as we're eating breakfast before school: "Mommy, did I grow any, or am I still going to be small today?" Bless it.

She started kindergarten at our neighborhood elementary school, the same place she went to pre-k last year. We were absolutely thrilled with our experience at the school last year and are so excited to spend the next six years there too, haha. Millie (or "Camilla," as they call her at school!) is so excited to learn to read this year, and also loving that kindergartners get to go to "specials" each day (PE, music, art, science lab, and computer lab- they rotate through those and go to one each day for an hour). Today she told me that her goal is to be the "special helper" in science lab because the helper gets to wear a lab coat- total #kindergartengoals, right? She loves walking to school (because she can get hot and sweaty, remember?) and on days when I'm not able to walk her, she walks with our neighbors/her best little friend, who is also kindergarten (and also about 4 feet taller than Mills (and 9 months older), which is possibly one reason she is constantly wondering if she's grown yet). She does express dreams of riding on the school bus one day, but thus far we've managed to avoid it- besides, she would hardly be able to get sweaty on a bus, right?!

Being Millie's mama is my favorite thing on earth. She isn't perfect, but she's just perfect for me. And yes, I got her a riding unicorn for her birthday, because the whole point of having kids is to make all your own unfulfilled childhood dreams come true, right? Or something. :) At any rate, she loves it as much as I do, and if you're looking for a ridiculous gift for a kid in your life, I highly recommend. 

In other big news...

We finished our foster care classes, paperwork, and home study during the spring and found out on June 10 that we were an approved foster family. And on June 14, we brought home two sweet baby girls- twins!!! So we have been a family of FIVE since then! Millie had about one hot minute to adjust to being a big sister of two extremely cute, crawly, giggly babes, and she's done it as gracefully as I could have hoped for. I am not allowed to share any pictures or personal information about our girlies (not even pictures with their faces covered), which is super sad because they are SUPER CUTE, but it's understandable. It's been pretty interesting adjusting to life with 3 kids, but buying a van immediately really helped, haha! We aren't sure how long the girls will be with us, but we just adore having them in our family, and are so thankful for the opportunity to care for them for this season. 

As always, I remain more active on Instagram, so catch me there if you want to keep up more than twice a year, haha. I always like keeping Millie's annual birthday posts here, because it's the easiest place for me to go look back to remember all the important things like how much she weighed and what size she wore at any given age, but otherwise it doesn't look like I'm much good at keeping up with a blog anymore! Though I can't really share a lot of specifics, I do have a highlight story on Instagram about foster care, so if you have questions or want to know more about our experience, you can check that out for some answers. I made my Instagram private a few months ago, but if you "know" me (blog-friends totally count), shoot me a message here or there and I'll let ya follow. 

Until next time, friends!

Friday, February 1, 2019

a productive january

Looking back, I would have to say that January 2019 was a PRODUCTIVE month. That's really the only way to describe it. Not the most exciting, not the most fun...but possibly the most productive month I've had in awhile. And since I like productivity...I'm happy, haha.

Here are some of my productivity highlights:

1. Completed our foster care training classes. This was three weekends of Friday 5:30-9:30 and Saturday 9-1 classes. Although I hadn't really been looking forward to the classes in terms of content (I was looking forward to taking them and being done with them so we could move forward in the foster process, haha), I have to say that Matt and I both really enjoyed them and found them very interesting. Heartbreaking, yes. But really helpful, too- not just for our future in foster care, whatever that will look like, but in our parenting journey with Millie, and in understanding more about the reality of 'the system' in Georgia. Anyway. Since we had to spend so many hours there (and so many of our precious few weekend hours away from Millie), I'm glad it ended up being really worthwhile. And now we're done with it! We've had our first home study visit, and we hope/anticipate being done with those and ready for placement by the end of March or early April!

2. Relatedly, we have made great progress reworking our downstairs guest bedroom into a foster kid bedroom! We ("we" is generous....I) cleaned out and organized the closet, moved a bookshelf, books, and our 'office' upstairs to the other guest room, obtained and repainted a dresser, and Matt assembled the crib. Now the room is empty-ish and ready for kids! 

3. I completed two huge JUST BE A GROWNUP, ERIKA, DAMMIT tasks that I've been procrastinating for....uhhhhh....a super long time. I got life insurance!!! I know, I know. To be fair- I used to have life insurance. It was something my grandparents set up and paid for me (and my siblings and cousins) starting when I was a baby. I guess it was whole life insurance or something? Whatever, it was life insurance. But a few years ago they (or their financial advisers, or my parents...I really don't know who, to be honest) stopped doing it (for all of us) and we all got some nice checks for the money that the accounts had accumulated, and that was the end of my life insurance. So it's been on my to-do list since then, but I just dreaded it so much that I never did it. BUT NOW I DID and to be honest, it wasn't bad at all, except for the part where the medical exam nurse lady came to my work to get blood/urine/vitals and I had to pee in a cup in my (public) bathroom and then carry the vials of pee back to my office but when I got up to the sink area of the bathroom to wash my hands there were like TWENTY RANDOM COLLEGE GIRLS THERE (I guess they were in our building for a meeting) and I had to just lay down my pee vials like NBD while I washed my hands and I have probably never been that embarrassed in my whole life. BUT OTHER THAN THAT it was fine, thanks, and now my family is ready for whatever tragedy may befall.

Relatedly, Matt and I finally met with an attorney to get wills written up (and other related boring things like medical directives and such). It is also abominable that we've waited this long to do that, but let's just focus on the fact that now we have done it and we can sleep a little better at night. Hooray!

Are you also failing at doing scary adult tasks like that? Let me encourage you that YOU CAN DO IT and maybe it won't be as bad as you think it will! Unless you have a Pee Vial Situation in your work bathroom, in which case...Godspeed. At least if you die of embarrassment your family will get some money.

4. I read 7 books! According to Goodreads, I am 13% of the way to my 2019 goal of 52 books, and 3 books ahead of schedule. I'll take it! Here are the books I read- this is just a screenshot from Goodreads, but you can see the average rating (which means average of all the Goodreads users) and then my rating (the stars).

The two 'duds' (lowest rated) were both 'twisty thrillers' and the main characters/narrators were male psychotherapists. So I'm just going to say that that isn't my fave book set-up. Hahaha. The middle five books were all fantastic. Notably, 4/5 of them were written by diverse women and featured diverse characters (or...not sure what you call the 'characters' in a memoir...just real people, probably, hahaha). My book club is going to hear Tayari Jones speak next week and I am so excited! I've already raved at length about A Place for Us, so I won't plug it again, but if you haven't read Becoming or An American Marriage yet (they're both SUUUUPER popular, so chances are you have), you should. Circe was the one that surprised me the most- I only read it because my book club picked it. I NEVER would have picked it up otherwise- it's Greek mythology. THANKS BUT NO. But once I got past the dread of reading it and reliving horrid high school memories of drudging through (excerpts from) The was actually reallllly good. It was MUCH easier to read than I'd anticipated, and a complete lack of knowledge/memory about mythology was not a problem. Most girls in my book club felt the same way, and we had some really fantastic discussion about the book. So while it was definitely one of the most intimidating books I've picked up in awhile, it really was worth it to me. 

5. Another more subtle bit of productivity was making some progress towards encouraging Millie to do things independently. This is something we've started to realize we need to work on, particularly in light of the fact that we will likely have another baby or kid who will also have need of parental help in our home soon. So while Millie CAN do many things for herself (change clothes, go to the bathroom, fall asleep at night...) and does them when she has to (at school), we've always been pretty lax at home. I mean...she's our (really old) baby!!! I know she can put pants on by herself. But if she wants me to help her do it, I don't mind. Whatever. I have time. It's time we spend together. It's fine. (And I truly do feel that way.) If she wants me to sit next to her while she goes to the bathroom...why not? She won't always want to spend every second with her mama and daddy, so I'm not just itching to make her do those things on her own (when it's not inconvenient for us to "help" her...although we're not really helping her do anything in the bathroom, just providing company, I suppose). BUT it may not be as convenient for us to keep doing that all the time once there is a baby or toddler that legitimately needs more adult assistance, and the last thing I want is for Millie to think "new kid equals Mom & Dad abandoning me," so we've been trying to start encouraging her to be more independent now. So far she's done great with dressing/undressing herself (I still pick out her clothes because I'm not insane) and pretty good with not needing us to sit next to her in the bathroom every time she goes potty. A surprise success has been teaching her to shower instead of taking a bath- she's always been terrified of the shower, and therefore we still give her a bath every night and it takes like half an hour (and one of us stays with her for the whole time). But recently we started just talking about showers and how 'big kids' usually take showers, and Mommy and Daddy take showers, and all of the sudden this week she was like "I'M TAKING SHOWERS NOW!" and it's been great!! We are still currently staying in there the whole time with her and helping to wash/rinse hair, but she is really doing great (and enjoying it). I feel like she may be able to do this pretty independently in the next few months. The hardest hurdle is going to be getting her to go to sleep at night without laying in bed with her for a long time. We've always just laid with her (we alternate nights) until she falls asleep, which could be five minutes or an hour (always longer with Matt because he puts up with SHENANIGANS during this time. I'm on team 'I will lay here as long as you are quiet and don't move. If you move or talk, I'm leaving,' and then she falls asleep in five minutes and I'm done. But Matt can't handle that harshness, hahahaa, so he's in there til 10:00 p.m. Mainly because he also falls asleep.). Buttttt I think we need to get her to be okay with us leaving after we finish stories and prayers, even if she isn't asleep. It's not fun. She screams and cries and acts like she's been abandoned and sobs things that break my heart. BUT...she does stay in bed and is over it and asleep pretty quickly (probably within like three minutes last night), so I think we need to suck it up and stick with it. This will be harder for Matt than me, hahaha. (Things we will NOT be changing: she always (well, probably 90% of the time) comes and gets in bed with us in the middle of the night and sleeps with us the rest of the night. This is the highlight of my life and I will never stop it or feel bad about it.)

So this has been kind of all over the place, but in conclusion, I am happy with what we accomplished in January! I normally don't require my home life to be all that productive (I get my productivity fix at work!), but this was a happy exception. And now I'm done and can just coast the rest of the year. That's how that works, right??

Monday, January 21, 2019

how I read

This is probably a pretty niche post, but two of my favorite bookish friends recently blogged based on this prompt and I found it fascinating and wanted to play along! If you're a reader, I recommend following Natasha and Allena's blogs, as they are both BIG readers (as in 100+ books last year for each of them!!!) and I get lots of inspiration/book recommendations from their blogs and social media reviews. 

So the topic prompt is How I Read- which, like I said, is possibly of interest to only about a dozen people in the entire world. If I promise to throw in some pictures of Millie, maybe about three more folks might keep reading? I promise. Look, here's a down payment.

Like Allen and Natasha, I'll break down the topic into a few sub-sections:
  •  How I get my books 
  •  Where and When I read
  •  What I read
And I'll also start with a disclaimer: I'm a really fast reader. I'm not a certified speed reader or anything (is there a certificate for that?? Haha), but I'd estimate that compared to my peers in school growing up, in college, and coworkers for the 13 years of my 'professional' life, I read faster than almost everyone. I have not had a head-to-head competition with my friends in book club, so I'm not making any claims that I read faster than fellow prolific readers...just the 'general public.' I say that just to explain that one thing that enables me to read a lot of books (relatively) is that when I do read, I cover ground fast.


How I Get my Books

First of all: I rarely pay any actual money for a book of any kind (ebook or physical). I VERY RARELY ever re-read stuff, so buying books doesn't much appeal to me. I generally only buy a book if I think it's something I'll want to loan out to friends a lot, or if it's something impossibly popular that I can't get at the library for ages, or if I'm going to an author event/book signing and feel pressured into buying it (or it's free with ticket purchase) haha. Occasionally if I find a Kindle book I want (and can't readily get at the library) for super cheap (like $3 or less) I'll buy it. But for the most part, I'm 100% a library gal.

(As my book club friends would be quick to point out- it isn't that I don't spend money on books. I just don't spend money on books at bookstores. If we were to add up the amount I spend in library fines each year, though, you would find that I am actually QUITE a generous supporter of the arts!!!)

I go through phases of being a big Kindle reader (either on my physical Kindle or on the Kindle app on my phone) and being a mainly physical book reader. For the last few years, I'd estimate I did most of my reading electronically because my library's ebook loan system was fantastic. They used Overdrive and had a fantastic selection- I was constantly reading everything on my Kindle or phone. But last fall our library changed over to RB Digital and now I read NOTHING on my Kindle. It's devastating. The main issue is that RB Digital doesn't actually work on Kindle Paperwhites, device is useless. I could still read on my phone via the RB Digital app, but I haven't yet. I just haven't had the energy to learn a new library ebook system. It's a lot, guys. And my library makes it so easy to just get whatever I want in physical format, I haven't felt up to learning the new ebook system.

The reason I love reading on my Kindle or phone: IT'S SO CONVENIENT. I can keep my Kindle in my purse, and my phone is basically adhered to my body, so I am never without a book. I can get in so much extra reading time just waiting in lines, killing the last 15 minutes of my lunch break at work, etc. If I'm in the middle of an ebook, then all the time I would normally waste on Instagram or Facebook is immediately diverted to reading. Also, reading on my Kindle or phone is physically so much easier than reading a library book. I know, I am like 100 years old and infirm, but seriously. I read mostly giant novels, and then if it's from the library, it's usually hardback, and like...heavy and awkward. I can't throw it in my purse unless I want to spend the next year in physical therapy. And although I'm not ashamed to show up to dance class with a frigging giant book in hand...sometimes I just literally don't have enough hands available to also carry a tome. I mean, I'm a Suburban Mom. I have my purse, Millie's dance bag (and maybe jacket that she refuses to wear, and probably her water bottle, oh and usually HER because clearly she is an infant and can't walk), MY water/coffee/bev of choice, my phone (prob won't fit in my overstuffed purse), my jacket...what I need is a shopping cart. Or just to have my books be electronic. :)

But alas, nowadays I'm reading mostly NOT electronically. The Georgia library system makes it lovely and painless to put books on hold, and delivers them from anywhere in the state right to the front desk of your chosen library, so that's mostly what I do. I almost never actually go to the library and hunt for a book...I just go online a few times a week, add everything new on my TBR list to my holds list, and wait to get the glorious email informing me that I have books ready to pick up! (Please note that the library stops letting you put books on hold once you accumulate $10 in fines, which is how I am forced into paying off my debts to society...)

Where and When I Read

As I've already mentioned...if it's an electronic book, I'm reading it all the time. But most of my dedicated reading time is at night. I work full time, plus I have a high-energy, attention-hungry Millie to devote my pre- and post-work hours to, so I don't usually have much uninterrupted time to read during the day. Once she hits the sack,'s on. She goes to bed at 8:30. I'd estimate I'm usually camped out with my blanket, book, and tea by 8:45 p.m., and that's where I stay until about 10:30. All other hobbies have mostly fallen by the wayside. I usually work out either right before or after dinner (depending on who is cooking/who is bathing Millie) and Matt and I tag-team cleaning up the kitchen/house along with cooking, bathing/playing with Millie, laundry folding, and everything else so that once she is in bed, there are no boring household responsibilities left. While I'm reading each night, Matt is also either reading or working from home...we're birds of a feather, I tell ya. Boring birds. But similar birds. 

I try not to read a lot when Millie is up and about (because I'm a very focused reader-- I struggle with being a kind/responsive person when I'm trying to read a book, haha), but occasionally on the weekend I'll read while she watches a movie or something. On the one hand, I want her to see Matt and me reading so that she has a model of adults reading for fun (as I did growing up- my mom was rarely without a book!). Butttttt it's hardly escaped her notice that Mommy and Daddy go through stacks of grown-up library books that rival the stacks of picture books she gets each week. She's with me multiple times a week when we stop by the library to pick up my books on hold. She sees me hauling my book du jour around to dance classes and doctor offices, and she knows ALL ABOUT book club (and aspires to join my book club AND be an author so that book club will come hear her speak). And we read to her all the time. I think she understands that Mommy and Daddy love reading and that's all we do after she goes to bed (which also, I've tried to remind her on nights that she "IS NOT TIRED and DOES NOT NEED TO SLEEP, I ONLY WANT TO STAY AWAKE WITH YOU AND DADDY" that we aren't doing anything fun, just sitting on the couch and which she replies that "reading IS FUN!! I want to read, too!!!"). So I feel like she is getting the memo that reading equals good times without seeing me read/ignore her for hours on end every Saturday!

Preparing to be an author

What I Read

I read probably 92% fiction books. The other 8% (estimated, clearly...although I suppose I could hop over to my Goodreads and do some actual statistical analysis...but nah) is memoirs that read like novels. A negligible statistical amount is other non-fiction...I just don't generally care for self-help/religious inspiration, business/motivational, or pretty much anything else non-fiction. I should probably read more parenting books. Hahahaha. But other than that I don't get caught up in "should." I read what I like. It's my grown-up privilege.

Of my fiction, it's probably an even split between historical fiction and modern. I tend to lean towards more 'literary' books and not as much 'fluff.' I mean, I'll read a popular thriller every now and then, but it's not what I gravitate towards. Same with chick lit. Maybe if enough trusted reader friends recommend something...but I'm not usually reading Elin Hilderbrand/Nora Roberts/James Patterson's backlist. Not judging it, it's just not generally my favorite!

My go-to fiction topical categories are WWII stories (especially if based on a true story!!-- like We Were the Lucky Ones, The Ragged Edge of Night, and The Girl You Left Behind), stories about immigrant families (*cough cough* A Place For Us, Behold the Dreamers, Girl in Translation), and the general format of books that alternate between a modern/historical storyline with some kind of mystery/tales that converge. In general, I like stories that make me think. I want to be entertained, but I want to be challenged, too. And I want the writing to be good. A good story alone is not enough to keep me going, generally. I don't mind crying, I don't mind being disgusted, I don't mind feeling angry. I want to be a better human. Thinking about hard things, thinking about gross things in our nation or world's past or present...these are things that help me grow as a person. So these are the things I want to read about, usually. Except for when I just want to be entertained and escape for a few hours, which also happens, so that's when I'm glad not everyone is as 'heavy' as me and that there are plenty of lighter books there for the taking when I want them!

In general, I only read one book at a time. I am NOT one with five books in progress!! The rare exception would be if I am reading some kind of nonfiction parenting/inspirational book...I can read that AND a novel at the same time. Because in all honesty, I'll read the non-fic book at a snail's pace and it'll probably take me 6 months to finish it (or I'll never finish it)...and at the same time I will have completed 23 novels. Hahaha. Just being honest, though. I will also occasionally work through a Harry Potter re-read at the same time as I'm reading other novels. I know those stories well enough that I don't get it mixed up with whatever else I'm reading. Rereading HP is more like breathing to me, really. :) But if you look on my Goodreads and see it's taking me 4 months to read Order of the Phoenix...well, it isn't that it actually takes me 4 months to read 870's just that I'm only reading it in snippets between my other books. And at this point, HP rereads are more just to savor. Not to power through. Ahhhhh.... 

As for how I choose what to read, I feel like that's where I've grown the most as a reader over the last few years. I've learned to be much more selective with who I take book recommendations from. Just because someone is a friend and fellow reader doesn't mean we like the same kinds of books!! And that's okay! Goodreads comes in really handy for this. If a friend whose reading life I'm not super familiar with recommends a book, I like being able to first browse their Goodreads history. Do we read similar stuff and rate things similarly? Then maybe their recommendation will work for me. Did they give 2 stars to 20 books I gave 5 stars to, and vice versa? Then maybe we just aren't into the same books, so maybe think twice before diving into what they've deemed "must read." Doing a few minutes of research before starting a book has proven REALLY helpful to me during the past few years. If I see a book, read the description and it sounds interesting, and think I might read it...I try to stop and look it up on Goodreads first. Sometimes I'll see that a lot of my friends have read it, and I can browse their ratings and use that to determine whether the book will be a good fit. Sometimes I'll see no one I know has shelved it, but I can browse random people's reviews to make a better guess. But doing a tiny bit of pre-research has really led me to select books I'm more likely to like...which means I'm more likely to read them fast...which helps me read more! In the past, I would just pick up a book if a celeb/lots of randoms on FB/blogs/Insta recommended it...and you know, I may or may not like it. But surrounding myself (virtually) with like-minded readers has really helped me make better choices for me. 

Anyway, congrats to anyone who made it through all that! I guess for my benediction here, I'll just say GO READ SOMETHING. Anything! But make it something you'll like!! The end. :) 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

semi-annual check-in??

Hello there, strangers. Remember the glory days of 200+ posts per year?? Ha. Yes. Those days are not these days. But may as well drop in with an update when I can!

We're alive and well here. Millie is nearly 4.5 years old and full of drama, opinions, and love. She is thriving in school- I am so, so, so happy with our neighborhood public school experience this year. She's learned so much! I mean, I know all kids learn so much, and I don't think she's actually Mensa material or anything, but I'm just regularly shocked with how smart my girl is. Nothing gets by her these days...which is why you might have noticed me frantically researching and ordering books about where babies come from last week. Because yeah. Don't worry. She actually asked "but HOW does the sperm GET in the mommy's tummy??" annnnnnnnddddd all my best-laid plans of being honest, scientifically accurate, and not awkward got thrown in my face. Bahahaha. WOW. I thought I was gonna have a few more years to formulate the perfect answer to that one, but apparently not. (Also, in case you are a fellow adoptive-after-infertility parent and thought you would be able to get by with "I don't know, I've never been pregnant/had a baby!" as an answer to questions about babies in tummies will not. Start making a plan for a better answer today!!)

Still- uncomfortable questions aside, this is a really fun age! She is super into drawing and writing and VERY MUCH wants to learn to read. Most days she comes home from school and reports in a terribly disappointed voice that "it was a good day, but they did NOT teach me to read yet." She also regularly informs me that I am mean and I have broken her heart because I won't teach her to read. I know. I'm the worst. Soon, little one!! 

Matt and I are in the process of becoming (hopefully!) foster parents! It's something we've been interested in for years, but never felt that the time was really right until recently. And now we're gung-ho. Hahaha. We're 1/3 of the way through our state training, all the way through (I think?) with our paperwork, and approximately 0% through with our home study. And maybe 10% through with our gathering of boring documents/doing things to get said documents (like get a physical so that we can get a medical form completed...get CPR training so we can get a CPR form completed...). So it'll probably be a few months before any actual kids besides Millie come into our home, but we are excited! We are not necessarily looking to adopt again (everyone asks this so I figured I'd just share, haha). We're not opposed, if the situation comes up, but that's not what we're going into it for. We're just hoping to be a warm home and supportive environment for kids while they're away from their parents. Millie is very excited to be a "helper sister" and asks every day if we "can go get some kids today" we might just be picking them up at Target. Sooo maybe we have some more sensitivity training to do with her, perhaps. Hahaha. Once (if?? haha) we are approved, we will hope to open our home to kids Millie's age and or two at a time to start with! 

Not much else going on, really. I read a lot? Haha. I completed 71 books in 2018. My goal had been 40, sooo...I met my goal. In June. Ha. This year I set my goal as 52- a nice book-a-week pace that should be manageable for me, even if a new kid (or multiple new kids?!) introduces some chaos into my otherwise predictable life and reading time. My favorite book of 2018 was A Place for Us, by Fatima Mirza. I read it last summer and have never stopped thinking about it, so a few weeks ago I actually BOUGHT IT (in hardback!!) (unheard of) and am currently REREADING IT (also unheard of, I RARELY reread books). It's just as good the second time, so far. So if you're looking for a slow-paced, character-driven (NOT plot-driven), beautifully-written look at family relationships...maybe that's the book for you. I just love it. Also, if you're a reader, I highly recommend joining Goodreads and being my friend. :) It's such fun to have a place to interact with fellow bookish folk, and my reading life has really improved in the years since I've been spending more time on Goodreads! 

Annnd that's about it. Life is pretty lovely and predictable these days, hence the need to shake things up a bit with foster care!! Look me up on Instagram (erikab543) if you want to keep up with Millie's antics in real time...she's a nut, for real. Also this morning she told me something was "crazytown," so apparently she is actually 13. And probably by the next time I get around to blogging again...she may actually be 13. See ya then!!