Friday, December 18, 2009

Baby its cold inside...

Last night I started getting cold, like freezing cold...but I thought maybe it was because I had been just sitting too long on the couch looking at adoption blogs. So I turned the heat up a bit. This morning this is what I saw..

our inside temp was in the 50's was soo cold.  All I wanted to do was stay in bed. Even poor Jake was shivering so I had to put his fleece coat on too.


SO we called our home warranty people and about 7 hours later :) they came to fix it

Apparently the previous owner left something on and the motor in our heater rusted and stopped working. . Thank goodness he was able to come out and fix it because it is snowing!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

2 months down...

Today marks 2 months down of waiting on the waitlist for our baby.  WooHoo!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My favorite obsession

So I must confess I have an obsession. There is something called the Gladney FBI. It is an unofficial list of some of the families (and their blogs) who are adopting from Ethiopia through Gladney.It is broken down into categories of who is working on their paper work, waiting for a referral (that is where we are), who has gotten their referral and finally who has passed court. I admit to checking this website several times a day and reading the many blogs for updates. It is so exciting to see families matched with their child and connecting with others who are going through the process. People have been so encouraging.

So Matt and I are in the waiting category and it tells you when the family was placed on the waitlist and what they are requesting (boy, girl, infant, siblings etc.) It is so exciting to see our name move up closer and closer to the top of the list, even though we have a long way to the top. Recently families have been getting infant referrals at 6-7 months AHHH!! Hopefully they will keep coming that quickly and baby E will be here by summer time!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Love

Happy Birthday to my wonderful, amazing best friend. I love you so much and am very blessed to call you my husband. I know you will make a great daddy. Happy Birthday!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I see pink...

Well a month or two ago I mentioned the fact that my sister was pregnant!! Well today Matt and I and the rest of my family got to see our sweet little niece on ultrasound. That's right I am going to have a niece!! So excited. I had a feeling they were going to have a girl. I have a very strong feeling that Matt and I will get a boy. :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Anyone in need of some delicious fair trade coffee??? Well stop by our store. Our store has coffee from several different countries including Ethiopia. A portion of the sale goes towards our adoption expenses. Makes great Christmas gifts !!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

1 month down...

That's right we have been on the waitlist for 1 month now. It feels as though this month has flown by, and with the holidays coming hopefully it will go by even faster. I pray we have to wait only 7 more months till we see our precious baby E! At times it stills feels unreal that next year Matt and I are going to be parents.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Passing the time...

So I have become one of those bloggers who never posts. But I have been busy busy busy, which is good to help pass the time as we wait for "the call".  Not really expecting that for another 7-8 months though. So what have I been doing?? Well first Matt and I worked hard to make our Halloween costumes. I saw a picture of two little kids dressed up as this and thought it was so cute so I decided to give it a try. Matt made my costume and I made his. Here we are at my friend Rachel's Halloween party...

I also signed up to take a beginning quilting class with my sister and my free time has been spent working on this...I will post pics of the finished quilt once I get it done. The class is at Karen Gray's shop, which I love.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More exciting news!!!

So I have some very exciting news that I have recently been given permission to post. Are you ready for it??? I am going to be an aunt!!! My sister and her husband are expecting and are due at the end of April. Like me, my sister struggled with getting pregnant and I praise God that she has this life growing inside her now. I am reminded of one of my favorite verses: For I know the plans I have for you..plans to give you a hope and a future. God’s timing is so perfect and I am so blessed that our baby will have a cousin to grow up with. I pray that these babies will be the best of friends. I am also very excited that we get to go through the baby planning phases together of picking out our nursery. It is a struggle not to spend all my free time at work looking at baby bedding, cribs, toys..etc. When I see my sister it is also a constant reminder to pray for her, and Baby E as I know he/she has been conceived and is growing and developing at this very moment. Crazy to think about.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Matt and I found out that as of yesterday we made it onto the waitlist for our adoption!! My heart is just over flowing with excitment. So what does that mean to be on the waitlist? That means that Matt and I will be waiting and waiting until we receive a call saying they have a referral / baby for us. The referral includes pictures, developmental info, and any medical info that they have. Currently the average wait time for an infant is 8 months..but it could be shorter or longer than that. I am so excited!! So after we accept our referral then we get a court date in Ethiopia which will be a couple of weeks later (we do not have to be present for the court date). If we pass court then the baby is ours!!! Sometimes people do not pass court on the first time due to several reasons. So after we pass our court date we make plans to travel over and pick up our baby. Yeah!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Did you know that there are 147 million orphans out there today? 147 million. In Ethiopia there are 4.8 million orphans waiting for a family to care and love for them.

Ethiopian Orphans from Simon Scionka on Vimeo.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Our weekend...

Matt and I had a great time at the Together for Adoption conference in Franklin, TN. It was such an amazing sight to see so many people (over 600) on fire for the Lord and on fire for adoption. We met lots of people in the adoption world such as Gwen Oatsvall who helps run 147million orphans.  This organization sells products to help adopting couples fundraise money for their adoption and also their proceeds go to help feed starving kids in Uganda. You should check them out..great organization. I saw lots of babies from Africa and it made me long for my own. What a precious sight to see these multiracial families. I can't wait till we have our baby in our arms!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It arrived.... the I-171H

That's right...Matt and I received the last paperwork that we needed for our Dossier!! Our CIS approval - I-171 H. I can not believe it got here so quickly. I was expecting a couple of months at least so yeah!! Tomorrow I will go get it notarized and send it to Kate our dossier paper lady. She is going to have all of our paperwork certified for us and then the next step is getting placed on the waitlist. One step closer to baby E.

Tomorrow Matt and I have a phone appointment with our Gladney case worker to talk about the next steps in our adoption. Her name is Kristin. After our phone appointment, we are headed out to the Together for Adoption conference..very excited! 7 hours in the car together..hope we survive!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Homestudy Status...

Our Homestudy has been approved!!! That's right we are now Gladney approved!! We received an email letting us know that our homestudy has been shipped to CIS (Citizen and Immigration Services). Now they (CIS) have to approve us by sending us a letter called a I-171H. This can take a couple of months to receive and will be the last piece of our paperwork. So excited!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2 year Tuesday

Today Matt and I mark our two year anniversary!! Woohoo! Hard to believe we have been married for 2 whole years!! I am so blessed to be married to this wonderful man, my best friend. I know he will be an incredible father and look forward to us moving into the next chapter of our lives. We celebrated by going to lunch and are gonna grab some dinner tonight. Anyway check out how sweet he was to me:

I love it! If you want to see more look here
I also got this book and look forward to making all kinds of stuff
and I got another book to a series I have been reading by Francine Rivers...I can't put her books down. Anyway I love you Matt!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What's going on...

Well I know I haven't posted in a awhile, but there hasn't been much adoption news to report. Two weeks ago we found out that in addition to Matt's apology letter for his speeding ticket, he also needed to send in a police report. After going back and forth between the clerk of courts and police department he found out that in Forsyth county they no longer give people police reports. So then we found out he needed to get a notarized letter saying there was no police report available. Who new a speeding ticket would mean so much. I found out that Gladney received his letter and now they are just reviewing our homestudy in order to approve the homestudy to send to CIS (immigration office). (I thought they had already reviewed it, but I guess not). Once CIS receives it they send us an approval letter and that should be the final thing we need!! This process could take several months. So this is were we are: waiting for our homestudy to be approved and our letter from CIS.

We did get trainging videos from our adoption that is a good sign, right. The topics are: Attachment and Bonding, Facilitating Behavior Change, Institutionalized Child, Grief and Loss in Adoption, and Ethiopia Training. After watching the DVD's we then take a quiz to show how much we have learned. I look forward to learning all I can about adoption.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Adoptive families...

Matt and I met for the first time with some families adopting from Africa this afternoon. We met at a park in Greensboro for lunch and a time to meet. It was kind of like the first day of school in a new place...where you don't know anyone and have all of this nervous energy. But it turned out great as we got hear everyone's stories. The families are in all different areas of the adoption process. Some already had their kids, one family was traveling to Ethiopia in a couple of weeks, others were on the waitlist and then there was us who are still in the paperwork phase. I thank God for this group of people. Because they truly know what it is like. The stressors, the waiting and the complete awesomeness of adoption. I look forward to getting to know them all and having our baby grow up with others from his country.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Conference call

Just got off the phone for the monthly Gladney Ethiopia program update. Currently the wait time from Gladney approval to referral is 8 full months for families wanting a child 0-12 months. That's us..except we are still not on the wait list yet!! I still have not heard if the agency received Matt's court report from his speeding ticket that was sent in last week. Once they get that then they can send our homestudy to the Immigration office. Well that is all for now.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I found out today that our adoption agency, Gladney, received our homestudy. YEAH!! There was one problem though. About a year ago Matt got a speeding ticket and not only did he get a speeding ticket but he didn't have proof of insurance in his car!! Keep in mind that I regularly tell him to slow down, especially in that area because it is down hill at 35 mph. So Matt had to write a letter of remorse for getting his ticket to the adoption agency. I told him he should put that he would listen to his wife from now on because she always tells him to slow down. Of course he didn't. But now I found out that we also need the police report from that incident :( I thought we were done getting papers, but hopefully it will be easy to get and that can be sent in. Once that is in they can send our information to CIS so we can get a letter of approval to adopt!! And then be put on the wait list!

Another very exciting thing happened. I was put in touch, by our home study social worker, with some local families who are adopting from Ethiopia. They are having a get together on the 30th at a park in Greensboro, so Matt and I are going to try and go and meet some of the families. Hopefully there will be some families who already have their beautiful Ethiopian kids!! How exciting!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Being patient

No adoption update to report. We are still waiting for our social worker to send in our home study report. She also sends a copy to the immigration office and then they have to send us a letter. Then our adoption agency has to approve us. Once we get this we can be put on the waitlist!! It is so hard to be patient as she sent us the draft of the report over a week ago for us to look over. And I immediately sent it back with our ok. So just waiting...

Saturday, August 1, 2009


So I am super excited. I am pretty sure that Matt and I are done with our paperwork!!! Well I better correct myself, we are done with everything we have to do. On Friday we had the last of our paperwork notarized and I was finally able to get my medical form situated. Actually I made Matt handle it as I have had it up to here with them...and it took him 3 hours to get the form filled out. It is such a relief to know that the medical form is completed, for the third time, hopefully the last time. So anyway I plan on sending all of our remaining forms (my medical, passport copies-we had to redo as we did not sign our full name, FBI results, and two references) to Kate our Dossier service, on Monday to be looked over to make sure that the forms are good to go.

We are only waiting on two things. First, our homestudy report to typed up (I just found out that the woman completing our report had to be with her sick father, so please pray for healing). And second our Immigration letter..but they can't send that until they have our homestudy. So that is it, that is all we are waiting for until we can be placed on the wait list!!! Once on the wait list we will wait for around 9 months until they give us a referral for our child. The referral will include pictures, medical info, and any background information that they know. After we accept the referral we are given a court date in Ethiopia. The court date is usually about 2-3 months out after you accept the referral. Once they approve us on that court date we make plans to travel over and pick up baby E in Ethiopia!

Friday, July 24, 2009

My boys...

Things are happening...

Things to do: This week Matt and I received our FBI clearance reports. Basically it is a copy of our fingerprints with a "No arrest" stamp on it. That's right we have never been arrested. So I need to get it notarized, I think, and send it in. I finally think all of our references have sent in their letters. Thanks Alex, Will, Kelli and Amy, that meant so much to us, you have no idea how grateful we are for the kind words! This week I also heard back from our dossier service, and Matt and I both have to redo our passport copies that we sent in apparently our signatures are not very good.

This morning we had a final homevist with our social worker. We talked about how we want to raise our child, our discipline methods, how Matt and I met and our relationship. Then she went around and looked at our house. She thinks she could possibly get our homestudy report done by next week!! I am getting very very excited as I feel this is the last part on our ends to get us on the waitlist for our baby E!!

Once we are on the waitlist we are required to do some reading to help us prepare for our baby (Currently most families are on the waitlist for 9 months before they receive a referral for their child from Ethiopia). Although Matt and I have already been doing some reading, they have certain topics we must cover. We are also going to go to the Together for Adoption Conference in Tennessee the first weekend in October which will be amazing. Check out another great video:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

You gotta watch this..

Check out this sweet, sweet video of a family meeting their little Lucy Lane for the first time!

New updates...

Tuesday was such a stressful day. I was not feeling well so I went home early from work. I decided that I would organize some adoption paperwork as I was at home. I called over to my doctor's office to check up on my medical form. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had to get a physical to include in our adoption paperwork and the doctor did not complete it as it needed to be. Well since the form was completed incorrectly I needed a new one filled out. I had gone up there last week and they said it would be completed this week as their notary was on vacation. The part that was incorrect was that someone had put US in the county line and not Forsyth. They had also faxed the form so the doctors signature was not original. You would think this would be a simple request. So I called on Tuesday to see if the form had been completed for the second time and they tell me they know of no such form! So I had to re-explain my situation and tell them who I had talked to originally as of course this person was not working today. This takes about 30 minutes as they can not find my chart anywhere. So to make a long story short they eventually find my chart with the completed form and tell me it is ready to be picked up at the main office as I go to the doctor at their satellite office. I go to the main office and pick up my form. Low and behold the form was still not correct and when I asked if they could fix it the woman said no. I started crying right there in the doctor's office. I guess my tears must have made a difference, because the receptionist got on the phone to talk to her supervisor. They suggested that I take the form over to the satellite office and see if they could fix it. So I drove over to that office and luckily a doctor came out and wrote the word Forsyth on the form and signed it for me. I hope that this is all I need for this medical to be complete. You wouldn't think it would be so hard. Okay so enough of my complaining.

On Wednesday Matt and I went to Walgreen's to have 2 passport size pictures of us taken as this was needed for the adoption paperwork. Not sure exactly what this is for, maybe for our travel visas?? Then I went to FedEx and mailed off some of our completed forms to our adoption agency and to KBS who is helping us with our dossier. Our sweet friends Lee and Amy gave us a great, great deal on their baby furniture that they no longer needed. So Matt and Lee brought it over on Wednesday night. When I say furniture I mean a really nice chest of drawers and a changing table with a hutch top. Yea! Now all I need furniture wise is a crib and a glider chair of some kind. I still cannot make up my mind about what kind of crib I want, but I still have plenty of time.

This morning Matt and I met with our social worker who is conducting our home study. We had to talk about our upbringing and our families and what all they mean to us. Overall I think it went well even though I don't always enjoy talking about my personal feelings. :) She gave us some suggestions on books to read and things to think about. Another good thing was that she said she could connect us to some families in the area who have adopted from Ethiopia. What a blessing. We made an appointment for her to come out next week to see our home, as we had to meet her at her home today. Hopefully I can keep the house clean until next Friday!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Adoption update

Matt and I are still working on our paperwork. While we were on vacation my updated passport arrived in the mail with my new last name. Not really crazy about my picture but oh well. I was starting to wonder if it would ever arrive. I have to make a copy of it and get the copy notarized for dossier paperwork. We also got a call to schedule our homevist. We are going July 16th to Greensboro to meet with our social worker and then we will schedule a time for her to come to our home.

On Tuesday Matt and I drove to Charlotte for our 8 am appointment to get fingerprinted by Immigration. The entire appointment took all of 15 minutes and then we drove back home to go to work. The other thing I found out this week is that my doctor who did my physical did not completely fill out the form correctly so I had to go back and see if she could fix it. Well when I went back to the doctor's office I found out that she no longer works there! I am still waiting to find out what I need to do in order to fix the form.

I have a lot of forms completed just need to run by the bank get them notarized and then send them to FedEx.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Matt and I just got back from a wonderful week in Florida. We flew down and I kept thinking that the next time Matt and I fly will be to pick up our baby!! I can't wait. We traveled down with my sister and her husband, and we stayed in a town near Clearwater. While there we went to a Devil Rays game, went to the beach, and went down to Key west for two days. Hard to believe we are back and have to go back to work next week. Here are some pictures from our trip. Enjoy!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Adoption news...

Matt and I mailed in most of our Gladney application today..still a few things that I need from Matt and then it will be complete...I think. This means that our homestudy can now be requested. This also means that we decided to let the agency decide the gender of our baby. I had been thinking that it would be so much easier to plan if we knew what we were getting and had thought about choosing the gender, but then we decided not to. This way will be so much more exciting once we get our referral. We also got our appointment for CIS finger printing in the mail today. We go down to Charlotte on July 7 at 8am. I also mailed off some things to Kate who is helping us with our Dossier. Matt called to find out where we need to go for our other finger printing to get FBI clearance. So things are moving along!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Adoption paperwork...

Well I think we have most of the paperwork ready for our Gladney application. Here is pretty much what we had to do and still need to do:

1. Application - completed
2. Adoption risk paperwork - completed
3. Gladney agreement - completed and notarized
4. Service plan - completed and gone over with our program assistant
5. Child preference form - Matt and I are going to let the agency pick the gender, but we did ask for a child under the age of 1 year old
6. Various other agreements - signed
7. Family photo's - we still need to get someone to take a picture of us in front of our house and take some pictures of the rooms in our house. I just cleaned so I should probably take those soon before the house gets messy again
8. Copies of birth certificate and marriage certificate - I just sent off for these (although we have them, we need certified copies from this year)
9. Employer letters - I am getting mine back from my supervisor tomorrow and hopefully Matt will have his completed next week
10. Physician reports - I just got a call today that mine is ready to be picked up so I will do that tomorrow. Hopefully Matt's will be ready next week
11. References - I already heard from one friend that she completed hers, only three more to go!
Then they will set up our home study, and we have to start working on our Dossier documents. I have already started on some of them as many are the same that are needed for the Gladney file. Things seem to be moving quickly and the paperwork doesn't seem so overwhelming anymore.

Last night I started looking at cribs!! There are so many styles to choose from. I can't make up my mind if I want something like this sleigh style or something really simple or even what color to get. What do you all think?

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Several people have asked the question of why we are adopting. Matt has already written about his reason here. Well for me that is kind of a hard question to answer as there are so many things that brought me to this decision. But here it goes. Matt and I tried on our own to have children. 13 months to be exact..which isn't exactly that long...but month after month of it not working and seeing others around you get pregnant so quickly was very devastating. All I ever wanted to do was be a mama. So in order to do that we started seeing a specialist and tried his advice and pills for awhile with no luck. Over the months I felt God telling me that this is not how he wanted us to have our children. So I started to become more ok with the idea of adopting and of not having biological children. So much in fact that is was all I could think about. This became my desire. I started talking to Matt about it, telling him that this is what I thought God wanted us to do and he wasn't quite there yet, but I began praying that his eyes and heart would open up to it. Not that he was against adopting. We had always talked about wanting to adopt after we had our biological children first. (As a social worker I see all kinds of horrible conditions and know that there are tons of kids out there who need a good home and who need God's love. So adoption was always in my mind.) Matt wanted to keep trying so we did. Eventually Matt started feeling God telling him that we should start the adoption process. He began doing research behind the theology of adoption and became more and more at peace about moving forward with this process. So this is what brought us to adoption.

The other question people always ask is "Why Ethiopia?" When we both decided to move forward with adoption, I began doing research as to where we could adopt. We both knew we wanted to do international adoption. After looking through many countries Matt and I both decided that Ethiopia was the one we wanted to go for. We loved reading about the culture and thought the people from there were beautiful. Something about this country just felt right for both of us.

Matt and I bought our first gift for the baby this weekend! A book about animals that you can touch and feel their fur. Too cute!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

our week...

This has been an unusual and stressful week and it is only Wednesday. Adoption news: Over the weekend I tried to organize some of the paperwork as there is a ton!! I finally completed our paperwork to mail in our Immigration CIS forms and mailed it today. Yeah for completing our first set of paperwork only 1 million more to go. Today, I also talked with our Gladney assistant and got some clarification on some of the other paperwork which will be for our Gladney application. I also found out that we can be working on our dossier, so I need to call Kate (who will help me with the dossier) to figure that out. Matt and I both made appointments to complete our required physicals..mine is tomorrow. Pray for me as I hate needles and they have to do blood work. Ugh. Tomorrow I am going to tell my job about adopting as I need my supervisor to write a letter saying how wonderful I am.

On a side note Matt and I got new phones tonight. Very exciting as my old phone had a huge crack in it. This is the one that I got. I hope I like it...very cool huh??I also upgraded my plan so that I can now get text messages. way to be in the 2009's Laura!!

And this is what Matt iphone :) he has been on it ever since he got it.

Matt and I are leaving for ATL tomorrow for our 5th wedding within 6 weeks!!

Please pray for a dear friend of mine who is in the hospital..she is very sick.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Matt and I decided that we are going to adopt. Isn't that so exciting!! We can't wait. I have been doing tons of research over the last two months...mainly reading others blogs and we have picked our agency and country. The main reason we decided to go with Gladney is because of all the good things we have heard about working with them. The other thing Matt and I decided was where to adopt from. Should we do domestic or international? We decided to go international and chose...are you ready for it...Ethiopia. Yes that's right. After looking at those beautiful kids faces how could we not. We both feel such a peace about our decision and know that this is what God wants for us to do at this moment.

Well where are we at in the process you may be asking yourselves. And that is a great question. We had our orientation with Gladney over the phone last Friday and put in our request for an application. We have since gotten the application and the instructions for moving forward. First thing is filling out our CIS form I-600A which is complete I believe; I just need to mail it off. Tonight I am going to finish printing out all the wonderful documents and instructions and get organized about what Matt and I need to do. We have decided to call the baby "baby E" as we do not yet know what we are going to have. Can't wait till baby E gets here!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Where it all began...

Many of you already know the story of how Matt and I met, fell in love etc. but for those of you who don't I will tell it to you. In the summer of 2006 a new Sunday School class started at our church in our teachers home. I was a little nervous because it was a, get ready for it, SINGLES class. AHH!! For some reason the thought of being in a Singles class depressed me. I thought I would have been married by now and going to a singles class meant I wasn't. Anyway I got over my fear and decided to try it out as the teachers were this really great couple who I had had before when I was in jr. high. Well after a couple of months the class started to grow and really wasn't as depressing as I thought. Anyway, after a class one day in August I went into the kitchen to throw something away and this guy came up to me to introduce himself. He told me his name was Matt and I told him I was Laura. And then that was about the end of our conversation and our first meeting. (I later found out that once Matt saw that I went into the kitchen he looked around for something to throw away just to talk to me.) The class started to hang out outside of church and I decided to go one day, dragging my friend Rachel with me. We ended up playing games over at Matt's house and this is when I started thinking that this guy was pretty funny. Over the next couple of months I countined to hang out with the Singles class and got to know Matt more and more.

One day in October he decided to ask me out to lunch...over email :) We met up at Fourth Street Filling Station and had a really good time. We continued to see each other pretty much everyday after that...I was smitten. After dating for all of about 2 months we started talking about getting married...crazy I know. But we both just knew that we wanted to marry each other. February 23, 2007, 4 months after our first date, Matt proposed!!

On a Friday night some of my girlfriends decided to get together. Our plan was to meet at a coffee shop until everyone arrived and then decide where to eat. Well one friend was taking forever to arrive, so I started getting a little irritated because I was really hungry. After she arrived we started to walk towards the restaurant. On our way there one of my friends, said that one of her students had painted a picture, would we mind going into this art gallery. Well as you know I was starving so I was not too happy about going in. As we go in, my friend says that the painting is behind this wall and for us to come look. Well as I rounded the wall I see a painting of Matt and I, and a little tag sitting by the painting saying "Will you marry me?" I turn around and there is Matt with a beautiful diamond ring down on one knee. I was in such shock, although I knew the proposal was coming, I thought for sure it was not going to be that night as I was hanging with the girls. Matt had also planned a party for us afterwards with friends and family. So thoughtful!!

Six months later, we were married at Calvary Baptist Church...where I attended with my family ever since I was a baby and where Matt worked as an intern. We have now been married for almost 2 years. Through that time, Matt finished graduate school, got ordained, and got a job working at Calvary. We also bought our first house this year..working on it for about 3 months to renovate it. Still working on getting settled, but love our house. Now we are ready to move on to the next become parents!