Blogging

Wordpress, blogging and design work

Hi

My life has taken a major change and blogging is the last thing on my mind. I don’t foresee many more posts on here, but please keep me in your feeds bc you never know when I’ll feel like writing. =)

I am on a major health journey and have lost 80lbs since February and feel like a whole new person! I have more to lose, but am thoroughly enjoying how I feel these days. A huge plus to losing so much weight is the possibility of getting pregnant without drugs. So we’ll see how that works out. I bought running shoes and an awesome bike and signed up for 2 Disney 10K races in February and April plus some local 5K races. I may have an obsession with virtual races and complete all my miles on the treadmill at the gym.

My handsome nephew is now 7 months old. I don’t get to see him very much, but cherish every moment when I do and love all the photos I get of him. He is such a sweet baby!

We (yes, collectively) have given up on the foster system in Miami. I have zero faith in it and have quit the Board of the association effective September 30th. We aren’t even getting into this anymore. I’m so fed up. Just am thankful for the amazing handful of friends we met along our 3+ year journey with nothing to show for it.

We spent a week in San Diego for Comic Con and it was the single greatest week I’ve had in a long time. Our wedding week in Vegas is the only thing to compete.

I got a new job! And I freakin love it. I still work on Miami Beach, but in a position of considerable power in an organization that will help me with my future political career.

Still in MPA classes – 4th semester. Graduation is next summer. I will then be able to rule the world.

My 40th birthday is on Friday.

Forty and Fabulous 40

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People Question…

It Takes a Village to Adopt a ChildPeople question why I blog. I have been blogging on different platforms since 2000. I do it for myself. For my well-being. To share my story.

People question if I/we are adopting to just get a child. Yes, of course. We want a son or daughter. Or both. But also to raise them and make them even more amazing little people.

People question why my blog is all “me”, “my”, and “I”. Well… do you see a child placed in our home? I certainly don’t.

People question if I truly want a child or just the experience. Let me tell you, this experience is so difficult and emotionally taxing, so it’s definitely not for that. I want a child. We want a child. We want to be parents together.

People question how I am so open about everything. What do I have to hide? Don’t read it if you think I’m too open or if it makes you uncomfortable.

People question why I post so much about the adoption process. If it helps one person then it’s all worth it. Seriously. I felt completely lost at the beginning and would have loved to read a real story of someone’s process while I was going through it. So many adoption blogs are international, private, and/or infant. I’m not saying mine is unique, but also, that’s exactly what I’m saying.

People question what will happen if our future child reads this. Is that a bad thing? I have nicknames for everyone that needs their identity protected. It also shows just how much we want them and how far we’ve come to be their parents.

People question why we’re not longer visiting with Ballerina. It’s not a story to tell on a public forum. There are so many details and reasons, but the main reason is bc she no longer wants it. As a teenager, she had every right to put on the brakes for any reason and she did.

People question how I’m handling the loss of a potential placement. Poorly. I am even more emotional these days. Mostly bc we don’t know why. We did everything right as far as we can tell. We followed all the proper procedures. We were a great fit with her and for her. We would have rocked her 48+ months until she turned 18 and helped her in so many ways.

We don’t know if she will change her mind and want to visit with us again, but we’re not banking on it. It is honestly easier that way as much as it hurts.

People tell me that I am amazing for wanting to adopt an older child. Thanks. But we’re not doing it to be amazing. We’re doing it to complete our family in a way that makes sense to us.

And finally, to the people that never (or almost never) question my sanity, reasons and motives for doing all of the above, you’re awesome! Thank you for standing by our sides and enjoying reading about our journey. This has already been a 14 month journey and there is no end in sight. Even if we were to finalize an adoption tomorrow, I wouldn’t give up all the truly amazing friends I have made along the way. I honestly don’t know how we would get through this whole thing without the support of our family, friends, and new friends.

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NFPA/FSFAPA Conference & Ballerina

Untitled-1We had an amazing time this past weekend at the NFPA/ FSFAPA Conference. Between meeting folks from across the nation, to playing in the pool with our friends kids, seeing old friends and family, and all the sessions… And not to mention the pillows. OMW the pillows. My bed had 5 of the softest, fluffiest pillows.

But I digress. We both learned a lot about ourselves, the process, and how we can help to empower our future child/ren. We also had 9-10 hours stuck in a car together plus all the down time to talk and to discuss Ballerina. As an aside, we must’ve gotten the “how are things going” question about a dozen times and asked why we hadn’t brought her with us at least twice. We honestly didn’t know that was a possibility.

We decided that yes, we absolutely want to adopt her. We have so much to offer her to help make her way into adulthood in just a few short years. 54-ish months to be exact. (Why is it that things in months sound so much shorter?) We discussed her school, speculated on the kinds of books she liked to read, how she’s spending the summer, her hobbies, family trips we’d take, high school, colleges, and more. Then we questioned if she even wanted to live with us. Wanted to be our daughter.

That question still plagues me. I hope she does. WE hope.

I know in my past posts, I seemed ambivalent about that. But it’s a yes. We want her in our family. We want her to be our daughter.

But in the end, if this doesn’t work out, we only want the best for her. And I genuinely hope she knows that.

We’re told this process can take months and that she (or we) can decide at any time not to move forward. We’ve been asked repeatedly if we are sure. But in the meantime, we are going to do our best to show her that we do want to be her parents.

People question why I write and why I put my entire life out there. Aside from not having anything to hide, it’s cathartic. Writing about my life and our process really helps me. Getting it all out there helps. Sure, there will always be critics and folks that tell me to close the book, stop oversharing, that no one cares. To those people, I say… then don’t read it. I’m not going to change my life to suit you. Unsubscribe, unfollow, block me. I don’t care.

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Adoption Search Terms

I have got to check my search terms more in the future bc this happened in the last month:

  • “becca blog in Miami”
  • owls representing children tattoo”
  • “becca friends orlando fl”
  • “adoption of twins or triplets blogs”
  • “104,000 foster care children”
  • “do i have to take pride classes if i have non relative placement of a friends child in my home to adopt in florida”
  • “family paperwork infographic
  • A handful of “knit wedding veil” and about a dozen variations of “becca blogs

Some of theses are pretty amusing and I’m still baffled that they led to my little blog.

By far, my most visited post is the one about Apple Butter. Even before I posted the link to Pinterest, it got several hits a day. And now, I’m breaking 100 hits a day. Oh Pinterest, I do love thee.

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A Perfect Life

Having just spent the last 2 days at Wordcamp Miami, my passion is running super high for working for myself. Not to mention kicking butt. In my perfect life, RS Creative Solutions will run smoothly and earn us enough money for Steve to do law school and me to not have to work in corporate America.

In reality, I don’t have any consistent clients and don’t get paid for the bulk of the work I do… mostly bc I don’t ever bill for it. From now on, I need to set boundaries, create job scope/ specs, get down payments, have contracts signed all before I ever do a drop of design work.

I’ve been doing this long enough (15 years) that I can’t keep calling myself an amateur. I mean really, that doesn’t help with my design-esteem. Yeah, that’s like self-esteem but for my design work.

I found two somewhat mentors willing to help me with my business and was told that I really need to get to more events in the industry. I was also told our URL was too long. So I bought a shorter one: RS Creates

Now to implement my perfect life.

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25 Things About Me

I used to be very big on Livejournal. Once, a few months back, I used a blog printing website (LJBook.com) to create a book of all my posts and, that book? It was over 7,000 posts and 4500 pages. Now, keep in mind that I was very active between 2003 and 2008.

But I digress.

I was digging around to find some of my earliest knitting projects posted on LJ and not on Ravelry, and I found one of those “25 Things About Me” lists from January 2009. After reading though it, not a whole lot has changed. It’s posted below with the updates in green.

1. I grew up in the “country” of Miami. There were no sidewalks, no street lamps, and a bunch of horses around the corner. Oh, and the smallest lot in the area was 1 acre.

2. I learned to knit in a bar. By a half drunk girl. <3 Now I’m obsessed with knitting! Seriously love it. However, I have knitting ADD and rarely finish a project before starting a new one (or 3)

3. On that note, I collect yarn for it’s softness and colors. No clue what’ll ever be made with about 2/3’s of my yarn stash. But at least I did finally start organizing it all. (It’s in several bins by yarn weight. I’m actually starting to list about a dozen for sale that I likely won’t ever use.)

4. I am horribly terrified of spiders, rats and, to a lesser degree, snakes.

5. When I was about 12, my “job” was to feed the hundreds of birds that we owned. Did it all the way through high school.

6. Die hard Gator fan. Die Hard. Even though I’m currently enrolled and paying an arm and leg for my MBA at ECU, my love for the Gators vastly outweighs my love for the Pirates. (sorry ECUers!) (Scratch that, graduated May 2010)

7. I tend to start watching shows a season or 2 after they start and then watch every single episode. Like LOST, I got into it 3 episodes to the end of season 4. Then proceeded to watch every episode in a matter of weeks to catch up. (Yup, just did this with both Drop Dead Diva and Secret Life of the American Teenager. Oh, and Firefly. And Doctor Who. And Torchwood.)

8. I have a personal vendetta against Ben Affleck. He got Jennifer Garner pregnant and ruined my favorite show (at the time) – Alias. (I fully admit that this is weird, even for me.)

9. I will watch everything J.J. Abrams produced or will produce. By far my favorite producer/ director/ writer. (And bonus, he tries to always cast Greg Grunberg in everything he does! Love him!)

10. I want to have lots and lots of babies. And have a list of names that I love. Now to find names I love that overlap with names Steve loves. (uhh yeah, still have that list, but the overlapping list is far far shorter. Blah.)

11. I was engaged right out of college. My feelings for him paled in comparison to the person I truly loved when I was in college. We’re talking head over heels love as compared to lukewarm love. And we never even dated, that’s the sad part. (He and I are both married now, obviously to different people, but seeing his wedding pics was a bit bittersweet.)

12. I’d basically given up on online dating when I met Steve. I had no idea how things would end up even though I did know there was something special and different about him on our 1st date.

13. I proposed.

14. My parents have 25+ dogs and I can name them all… but only when I’m there and looking at them. And yes, the majority of them look exactly alike except for a few markings. (They’re down to about 20 now… I think. I honestly don’t know bc they’re never all out at the same time.)

15. I have 5 tattoos and counting, but not a single one is anywhere that will be affected by being pregnant or nursing my kids. 3 on my ankles, 1 on my neck and 1 on my hip. (7 now! The other 2 are on the collar bone and on the left wrist.)

16. I was raised in a Reform Jewish synagogue and had a Jewish education until the 10th grade. I have been celebrating Christmas with Jen’s family since I was 16-17 years old and can never even remember when the Jewish holidays are.. let alone observe them. Jen or my mom has to tell me.

17. Stars are my favorite shape and 12 my favorite number. (Other favorite numbers are 843 and 42, with the latter being 1/3 of my latest tattoo.)

18. One of my tattoo’s is a seemingly random cluster of 37 stars – 3 different shapes/ sizes. There is nothing random as I drew it in Photoshop very deliberately with a specific design in mind. Also, the 4th and smallest stars were left off as they’d have been nothing but a needle prick.

19. I taught myself web design when I was a freshman at UF. I didn’t like my dorm roommate very much and spent all my free time in CIS Lab (the computer lab) tearing apart websites to figure out how they’re made.

20. The majority of my friends in college were made on IRC back when the internet was safe – yes, there was a time when it was safe! We all met up in #uf and had reunions in Gainesville for years afterwards. Many of them I’ve found again thanks to FB!

21. By that token, I got online in 1994

22. When I finish my MBA (May 2010) I will be able to manage at IT department, and also know what they’re talking about since I’ll have been coding websites for almost exactly half my life. (At my age, that’s a feat!) (Will be able, err, am able… yet still unemployed by MBA standards. Grr.)

23. I’m a label whore when it comes to my purses. I own Coach, Lucky Brand, loads of Vera Bradley and a knock off Kate Spade. (While I do have a few Coach bags and tons of Vera Bradley’s, my favorite is a no name faux leather bag from Kohl’s.)

24. I’d love, more then anything, to learn more about my dad’s mother Clara. My brothers and I didn’t find out she’d even existed until a few years ago and it was unbelievably weird and freaky to find out that his step-mother wasn’t his real mom. It was also somewhat of a relief since she always treated me like I was the most horrible person ever. BTW, Clara died when my dad was very very young before he was moved to Florida from Chicago. (I still don’t know very much, though I do know her maiden name. However, that’s about where my knowledge ends. :()

25. I am the only bridge of communication between my parents and brothers and my dad’s step-mom’s family. My “cousins” are awesome even if the parental/ grandparental generations don’t get along.

*wow. that was really difficult to come up with.*

Clearly I haven’t changed all that much in the last 2.5 years.

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Updating Consistently

One of my biggest problems with blogging on a consistent basis is that I feel the need to really take a lot of time and energy to write each post. Another problem is that I tweet and Facebook update like crazy. Well, mostly twitter. I’m getting a bit bored with Facebook, honestly.

Where do you find your inspiration for blog posts?

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Gearing up for Word Camp Miami

OMG, I am ridiculously excited about Word Camp Miami tomorrow. Like, I can’t even begin to share with you just how excited. It is my first blogging conference and I’ve already gone through the program picking out which sessions I want to attend.

Every time slot has 3 options for each track: Beginner/Blogger, Marketing/Design, Developer. My choices are a good mix of the 3 tracks, mostly concerned with SEO, monetizing, developing WordPress for business and other similar topics.

Clicky-clicky the image for a full size version

Are you heading there? Let’s meet up! I’m hoping to be there around 7:45am with a huge steaming Starbucks coffee. Coming from Homestead to Coral Gables means waking up around 6am to be on the road by 7am. And this girl loves to sleep until 10-11am on a regular basis!

Recap will follow probably on Sunday. If I can figure out how to live tweet only the #WCMIA tweets into a post, I will.

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Recent Design Stuff, Mild Depression

Hello my friends,

It’s been quite busy lately for me.

Recent creative accomplishments:
* Created the adorable business cards from a few posts back
* Designed the theme for this blog
* Designed/created a business card holder from scrap yarn [pattern forthcoming!]

Upcoming accomplishments:
* Legalizing my companies
* Preparing for Word Camp Miami this Saturday
* Knitting a [test knit pattern] sweater
* Job hunting, primarily in Orlando
* Going back to school (no clue for what though!)

While things are busy, mentally I’m not doing so fabulous. There is everything and nothing going on at the same time. Between not contributing financially and living in a place I despise, I feel out of my mind. I am sorta on the mend – as much as I can. Working through depression without professional assistance is difficult, to say the least.

It was suggested that I buy the book, The Dance of Anger to read and work through my problems. Here’s hoping, yes?

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Welcome to Becca Blogs!

Cute cards, right? This iPhone picture doesn’t do them justice!

I finally got everything completed with the transfer and domain swap. There are still a few glitches here and there like some posts have multiple signatures (I learned to hard code around the dynamic code so I’d stop forgetting to add it.. see below!) and some hard coded links from earlier posts direct back to the other blog. However, seeing as this blog is about 97% complete, I decided to launch!

Those adorable business cards up there? They are obviously meant to look similar to the header on the blog.The back has my name, phone number, Twitter handle and email address. These cards have been in the works for about a week as I tried to find a company to print them with a relatively quick turnaround time. No dice! In the end, I laid them up in InDesign CS4 16 per page and printed them out on our shiny new printer. Oh, but finding a thick enough paper to suit my desires? That was a pain in the tush! Michael’s didn’t have it and ordering it online would’ve taken forever. Someone suggested Pearl’s and they had it! You can’t really tell, but the paper is an ice blue which saved our ink from having to bleed color around the entire card. Win-Win! Oh, and it cost me under $4 for the paper with no shipping costs! Bo-nus!

Anywho, welcome to my much-easier-URL-to-remember blog!

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Entirely New Blog/Look

If you’re reading this in your RSS reader, you won’t know that the entire blog has changed, even the URL. Please, pop on over and have a look around!

Don’t worry, as long as you’re using the Feedburner RSS, you will still continue to receive all my posts.:-)

Also, if you are reading, I’d love a comment every now and then to know who you are.

Thanks!

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Have You Ever Coveted Another’s Life..?

Hello friends!

Death Flu Update: I am mostly OK and recovered from the Death Flu. Right now the cough is lingering and, because my body sucks, the chest pains. Oh, not your typical chest pains… no no no, I should be so “lucky” to have those. These are the “I’ve coughed so much that I either cracked a rib (or 2) or ripped the muscles away from my rib cage” type of pains. Sadly, I have experienced them before. Last time I went to the ER terrified that I was dying. The chest x-rays and shot in the butt confirmed that I wasn’t and I was given heavy duty narcotics. This time? I shall suffer with only Tylenol.

But alas… being down and out for well over a week has given me a lot of time to think and soul search about my current life. As I perused Facebook, Twitter and read through all my blogs amongst all the sleep time, I discovered that one of my high school friends is living the life that I wish I had. Have you ever had that revelation?

Don’t get me wrong, my life really isn’t bad. She just has the stuff we both want: 2 beautiful children, an amazing husband, a few profitable businesses to warrant her being a stay at home mom, a great house and the lot purchased for their dream home, enough money to take family vacations and, best of all, she loves her life. I’m sure she has a lot more than just these things, but we really aren’t close enough for me to know. Basically, in the limited view I have of her life, she has it all. The businesses thing is something Steve has been talking about for ages. He really wants something that will earn us rent/ royalties for many many years to come. Enter my yarn shop? Maybe some apartment complexes?

What does this mean to me? I dunno. Something along the lines of how do I emulate her life? Yeah, I have no idea. The businesses take money, as does the children, homes and vacations. While we are doing OK with Steve’s current salary and are able to pay down some of our credit cards and other bills, we definitely need more for kids, homes, moving, etc. While I would love to be a stay at home mom and raise our kids, well, we don’t have any yet. My part-time job is kinda killing me in that I hate not being able to contribute more financially to our little family. I’m still dreaming of the day when I find a job with a nice salary and health insurance. One day, I would love to actually use my uber expensive education.

Do you know someone that has everything you want out of your life? What did you do? Steve suggested I ask her how she achieved everything, but that sounds a bit odd to me. Am I alone in thinking this? I dunno… Any suggestions?

Also, I have been tirelessly working on my new blog. The coding is still all over the place and not yet ready for the big reveal, but hopefully soon! No, I’m not giving out the link until the coding is pretty. Mostly because right now all my pages are broken. 😉

Cheers friends!

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