steve

Brief Non-Adoption Update

There is literally nothing at all happening at the moment with our adoption. Of all the kids I requested info on, I’ve received 4 case studies and are awaiting about half a dozen others. We’re reviewing them, but it’s difficult since the majority or them are out of Florida. The logistics of traveling several times to meet a potential child of ours is crazy expensive and we don’t have the time off from work and school to even begin to plan said trips.


We both knew foster care adoption wouldn’t be easy. But we’re dealing with a whole new set of issues that neither of us anticipated. It’s giving us time to reflect and evaluate if we want to get our foster care license as well.

But in the meantime, we are keeping busy by house hunting. Yes, something I swore I’d never do – looking to buy in South Florida. Right now it’s just dreaming as we clean up our (my) credit enough to qualify for a lower interest rate. As much as I love and adore the snow, the older I get and the more friends we make, the more I’m realizing that this little piece of hell on earth isn’t so bad.

Also, Husband is in school for his MBA so time is tight.

On the other hand, since he is now on a daylight schedule, we are getting used to each other again. For 4+ years of our life together (nearly half!), we saw each other at most 2 hours a day and partial weekends. He worked the night shift (9p-9a) and while I was at work, he was sleeping. I’d race home to make dinner, spend some time together then he’d go off to work.

The last month or so, it seems like a vacation. I’ve been slacking on the stuff I’d normally do at night after he’s leave for work – dishes, laundry, knitting – since we now spend a lot of time together… watching TV. We just finished Orange is the New Black (OMG!) and just started Weeds. Separately, he is watching House of Cards.

I hope you’re all well! If you missed any posts, just keep scrolling…


Kiwi Crate

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October

You know when things are meant to be the universe makes sure you know it? Well I was working on our Timeline and digging for when we met and other key dates in my Livejournal. It turns out that Husband and I spoke for the very first time on the phone (after chatting online for 2+ months) on October 10, 2007.

We were married exactly 3 years later on October 10, 2010.

Thanks universe. You rock.

I wouldn’t be all that surprised if we finalize our adoption this October since it seems to be our lucky month.

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3 Years

3 years ago, we said I do.

Becca & Steve | (c) The Emerics | BeccaBlogs.com

I love you so much, Husband!

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Orientation! #LongestPostEver

Finally! (Geez Becca, why’d you leave us hanging for over a week for this post?!)

We had our Adoption Orientation on Saturday morning, June 30th and it was pretty much awesome. I may have been doing research for months (years) and knew a lot of information going into this, but I still learned more.

One thing I learned was that while we are certainly welcome to adopt from out of Florida, we won’t get the FL benefits if we do so. We will follow those state’s benefits and adoption requirements. Not all state’s offer health care, 4 years of public college/university and a subsidy like Florida does – so that needs to be taken into consideration. We definitely plan on making sure our kids take advantage of the college part!

We also need to decide about the Lola and Phoenix. He is a crochety old cat and doesn’t take BS from anyone. Yes, after 8+ years, he still claws me on occasion. I really need to have the vet do a full eval on him bc while I don’t want to accept it, I don’t think he has much longer with us. He’s got so many health issues and is so overweight even with putting him on a diet. So, there’s that to consider.

But anyhow, what we learned/ had reiterated…

  • Children available for adoption have had their parental rights terminated (TPR). They will never be taken away from us bc some random family member came back. Once there is no possible chance at reunification and rights are terminated, they’re available to be legally our children.
  • Judges in South Florida really don’t like waiting the full 6 months once we have a child in our home and tend to push the adoptions through within 30-60 days. This was a major Holy Moly! moment for us. We could be legally mommy and daddy by the New Year.
  • After we complete our classes, we’re turned over to the adoption specialists. They will then complete our Home Study, run more background checks, and ask many more questions to ensure we get the ideal placement.
  • The PRIDE classes are not “parenting” classes, but rather how we will play a role in the kids lives.
  • Most children end up in Foster Care due to abuse, abandonment and neglect
  • If we want to travel outside of FL before the adoption is finalized, we need a court order. To go to Disney, Gainesville, or anywhere else within FL, we just need to notify the team.
  • They would prefer to have one parent stay home with the kids initially, but I will likely use my vacation time for that to get them settled before sending them off to a (likely) new school.
  • If we adopt younger than 5, we do get a day care subsidy for one year for specific preschools – Gold Seal Approved.

Minimum standards for Foster Homes (which we will follow to ensure approval for adoption):

  • Minimum 40 sq.ft. per child and have adequate storage/ closet space.. In a perfect world, we’d have a 3-bedroom place with a room for each child.
  • Max 5 kids per household including biological. No problem here as Lola and Phoenix don’t count. 🙂
  • Kids of opposite sex over age 3 cannot room together. We’re leaning towards 2 boys at this point, so OK there.
  • Minimum $200 residual income after all bills are paid. We’re getting finances in order so this should be A-OK too.
  • 2 years of employment verification checks will be performed. Yep, no problems there.
  • Health history and physicals need to be performed for mental, emotional, physical and any other treatments. Ehh, we should be OK.. My therapy is pretty minimal and I have no problems with Dr. S. telling them all about my sessions.
  • Pets are also checked as I mentioned above. A-OK as I’ve already told the vet to expect the forms.
  • Many children have no prior religious beliefs and we must respect their beliefs if they do have religious beliefs. We need to decide on a religion as he’s Methodist and I’m Jewish and neither of us are particularly religious.
  • We are responsible for transporting them to every appointment, recital, etc in a safe vehicle complete with car seats, seat belts, valid insurance and driver’s license. No problems whatsoever as we never planned on making anyone else drive our kids around.
  • Foster parents need to complete a basic water safety course. We plan on doing that, being CPR certified, and more.
  • All medications, chemicals, cleaning products, alcohol, guns/ammo, and anything else that can harm a child must be locked away. We’ve already begun planning where the meds and chemicals will be housed. Most likely in the outside laundry room or a lockbox atop the closet.
  • Kids must have access to a vehicle and phone at all times. We never plan on leaving them alone, so OK. When they’re at school, they’ll have the phone there.
  • An evacuation plan must be posted in several places and perform fire drills frequently, working and tested fire extinguisher, 2 ways to escape each bedroom, smoke detectors, working battery flashlights in every room, and a first aid kit in the house. OK except for the evacuation plan and the flashlights, we have everything already.
  • There is a list of forbidden and acceptable discipline methods provided that we must obey. OK, we haven’t established discipline yet so having guidelines is great.
  • Criminal and abuse checks ((FBI, FDLE, local and abuse registry) are to be performed prior to PRIDE classes. Done and approved.

We will be an integral part of the team of nurses, social workers, case workers, and others. Even once the adoption is finalized, we can utilize the team.

We have decided that fostering will be too difficult for us to handle. And came to that conclusion separately prior to discussing it after the Orientation. Having a child or children in our home for days, weeks, months or even years then having them taken away would be too hard for us both to bear.

Our initial background screenings went off without a hitch. We had to be checked in both FL and NC since we haven’t lived here for 5 years. Once we passed these, we will have our initial Home Visit – on Friday! – and classes begin on Tuesday.

They have said this is an extremely intrusive journey and they will find everything out about us. And yet, we are still raring to go to become parents.

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So where have I been? We have so much work to do on our current home to get it ready for our babies. We have been decluttering and cleaning and making our little home kid-friendly. It’s making me realize big time how not kid-friendly it is. We only have 2 bedrooms, a family room, a kitchen and a decent sized back yard. I’d much prefer to have at least a 3-bedroom with a larger family room, updated everything including a dishwasher. But for right now, we shall deal with this little place. *le sigh*

Also, I’ve been off work (though you’d never know it) since Thursday, had an interview for an amazing job, working at my part-time job, and in general trying to get the house ready for le babies.

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/end #LongestPostEver

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Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

Well hello there!

This has been a big couple of weeks in the Fletcher home. Two weekends ago, we decided that, yes, it’s time to expand our family. With a human child. Or 2. (as opposed to another furbaby…)

As the first post in my newly revised blog into an Adoption Blog, I’m just going to post all the updates I made on my Facebook the past few weeks.

adopt1

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adopt2

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adopt3

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adopt4

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adopt5

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adopt6

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adopt7

So there you have it. The facebook updates. Coming up will be my [extremely long] elevator speech about the children, the process, and everything else.

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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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Ending 2012 with Some Creativity

This has been a horrible year and I’m so thrilled that it’s almost over. There were way too many deaths, accidents, injuries, hopefully curable diseases/syndromes, and heartbreaks to last a lifetime. Not to mention termites. Never again do I wish to experience this sort of bad luck again. And especially not within a 12 month span. My family has endured so much and we’re still standing. Sort of.

Sorry to start my first entry in many months on a bad note, but it had to be said. There has been some good happen this year. Namely I got a much deserved raise at work, Steve decided to go to law school and took the LSAT (we get the scores in a couple of weeks), and… umm… we have our own place.

Seriously, finding those 3 was like pulling teeth.

Anyhow, tonight I decided to pull my Christmas ornament box out and finish the project that I started last year. Last year I had wrapped all the balls with yarn. I thought there was a color scheme, but it turns out to be blues and greens and other random colors of leftover yarn. Tonight I glued them all down and stuck the ornaments around. I also burned the hell out of my arms and hands in several places. And Lola learned what a hot glue gun was… with her nose.

So without further ado, my adorable wreath!

As far as law school is concerned, we aren’t 100% certain where we will be other then not in Miami. With me supporting us at least his first year, this over the top expensive city just isn’t possible.

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Twins? Triplets? Oh my!

No, I’m not pregnant… Don’t get your imaginations rolling…

I’ve never truly contemplated having twins or even triplets. Sure, I thought about it but it was totally fleeting. I had my first visit with a Reproductive Endocrinologist last month and a follow up this afternoon. After reviewing the 12 VIALS of blood and the Glucose test results, he informed that that even though I have extreme excess weight (yeah he doesn’t sugar coat it), I am quite healthy. I totally got a double thumbs up when I said I’d lost 10 pounds in the last month. I didn’t mention the overall 10” but it might’ve gotten me a full on dance. He was actually shocked that all my bloodwork was perfect and that my sugars were on the low side.

According to a blog by 2 R.N.’s on The Mayo Clinic website…

A normal fasting blood glucose target range for an individual without diabetes is 70-100 mg/dL (3.9-5.6 mmol/L). The American Diabetes Association recommends a fasting plasma glucose level of 70–130 mg/dL (3.9-7.2 mmol/L) and after meals less than 180 mg/dL (10 mmol/L).

My fasting number was 76. My number after the 2 hour glucose test was 116.

In other words, HELL YEAH!

But back to the twins thing, my RE wants me to sign a waiver before he puts me on Clomid as the risk for multiples increases from 1-2% to 5-12% per pregnancy.  He also gave me a bunch of literature to read and said to look up whatever information I can find to educate myself so I know what we’re getting into.

Adoption is by no means off the table. With Steve starting law school hopefully in the Fall of 2013, babies are on the back burner for the next 3-4 years. There is so much to do during that time including moving to a still unknown state, getting a kick ass job enough to support us both for the bulk of our bills (no pressure there!), supporting him emotionally, financially and everything else while he stresses and freaks over law school and much more. It’ll be a bumpy ride but I know we can get through it. Hell, we got though my MBA during the first 2+ years of our relationship. The major difference is he’s not allowed to work the first year for pretty much any law school.

So yeah.. that’s just a teeny tiny smidge of what’s in my brain.

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PS- Hi lovelies. If you’re reading this then I greatly appreciate you sticking around in my maaany months of not blogging. Here’s hoping that I will be blogging again on a somewhat regular basis. There’s quite a lot going on and that has been going on to catch you up on.

While I am writing this for myself, if you still read, can you comment so I know who’s out there?

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4 Years Ago Today, I Met my Husband

4 years ago, Steve and I finally met. I say “finally” as we met online (OKCupid) and had been emailing and IMing for roughly 3 months. During my last decade or so, I was a very active Livejournal blogger and chronicled e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. about my life. Including our relationship. The below posts were all written the day of our date. The “friend” I sent the picture to was, of course, Steve and it greatly amused him. Back then, he liked his cell phone a whole lot more.

During the last 4 years together, we went from living separately, living in his miniature 1 bedroom apartment for 3 months, moving into a huge town house, adopting Lola, changing jobs (us both), unemployment (us both), a trip to Pittsburgh, experiencing several snows (aieeee!), moving to Homestead, my graduation from ECU with my bad ass MBA, a trip to Las Vegas to get Married, a trip to West Virginia/ Ohio, meeting new friends, and so many other things.

Basically, it’s been an amazing trip and I am so freakin happy that we finally had a mutual day off from work (him) and homework (me) to meet.

I loves you, Steve! <3

ps- sorry for the lack of caps and random sentences. I totally LJ’d with train of thought… Apparently I was busier typing than worrying about silly things like proper sentence structure.

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Nov. 28th, 2007 at 11:14 AM

cuz why not?!

i sent this to a friend and thought y’all should enjoy my dorkiness as well!
hehhe
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i have a date tonight. he’s 36, deli manager at [[Harris Teeter]] and lives in Chapel Hill. i met him within days of meeting asshat. stupid me for making such a bad choice. anyhow.. i emailed date-guy a few days ago to tell him i was single again and see how he was doing. we’d kept in touch over the months via email, but he totally backed off. i gave him a brief synopsis of what happened and he’s like “how the hell can anyone in their right mind walk away from you?? maybe he was blind? or just plain stupid?” haha cute ::ego boost::

he was seeing someone for a few weeks, but told me last night he dumped her. i kinda wonder if it has to do with me… if so, then i feel kinda bad! [[no, I didn’t feel bad. At all.]]

 

Fire
Nov. 28th, 2007 at 8:04 PM

date was good. more on that later. it got cut short because….

Nichole and Miles’ apartment complex caught fire. like the building next to theirs. they left with the clothes on their back and 1 of the kitties that they were able to grab before the firemen were kicking them out and making them leave. they’ve left to go buy some clothes to wear tomorrow. hopefully they’ll be able to get back into their place in the morning… or even later tonight. they certainly can’t sleep there. i’ve never so badly wished i had a bigger house! Phoenix and the cat they have, Minion are not pleased. Phoenix won’t come anywhere near her carrier and when i pick him up, he hisses. Minion is now in my bathroom with some food and water and howling like crazy.

the freakiest part is that there were 3 firetrucks in my tiny little cul-de-sac last night. there wasn’t a fire, in fact i’m not sure what it was. but i did go out and ask the firemen if i needed to evacuate. but Nichole said if anything happened i could stay with them. their place is considerably bigger then mine though.

 

date
Nov. 28th, 2007 at 9:46 PM

date went well. quite well actually. he unexpectedly got the day off so instead of meeting after 7pm, he called me around 5:15 as i was leaving work and we met for dinner. i had to go home to grab a package at my complex office then put on jeans and make it to the restaurant. i made it from morrisville to carrboro to durham (over by Sam’s Club) in just under and hour including changing clothes. i. am. good!

so we sat and talked and ate until i got Nichole’s call. i felt terrible leaving so abruptly and told him “i swear this isn’t the ‘date is bad, call and bail me out’ call.. it’s really an emergency and we;ll do this again very soon!” he sent me a text on my way back here telling me to be careful and not drive like a crazy woman. (oops!)

after Nichole and Miles left, i gave him a call to let him know what all happened. i guess i was babbling a little cuz he was surprised to hear that there was actually a fire and not just trucks. me, babble? heh. we tried to figure out another date and i told him that honestly i was crazy with finals until the 13th, but didn’t want to wait that long. he said he got saturday off. so i asked what his feelings on dancing were (not great) and then invited him to the PPD holiday party. he was only hesitant when i told him it was semi-formal. lol. though i think the vision of me in a floor-length gown kinda offset that. i love getting dressed up and sparkly! i told him i’d find out what the guys were wearing (co-workers’ boyfriends, etc) and let him know and he could make the decision from there.

so, uhh.. we’ve been talking sporadically for just over 2 months. our 1st date lasted about an hour and was super casual. our 2nd will be going to a work holiday party in semi-formal garb. hmm… interesting.

i don’t know the last time a guy i dated met any of my friends, let alone work people. can anyone think back this far? it certainly hasn’t been since i’ve lived here (july 21, 2006)

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Happy 1st Anniversary of 10.10.10

One year ago today, we said I Do in our gorgeous suite at the Luxor Hotel overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. My brother and future sister-in-law were there as our witnesses (and celebrating their 2nd dating anniversary) and my fab friend Kelly was there due to her husband being in another 10.10.10 Vegas wedding. Talk about perfect timing!

Sure, we’ve had our share of both good times and bad this past year. We made decisions about growing our family via foster adoption, we visited his family and spent a week in West Virginia, we spent 3 days in Orlando for MegaCon, and learned how to deal with seeing each other for only a couple hours a day due to our opposing work schedules.

Happy anniversary, my love! I cannot wait to move outta here, get grown-up jobs and raise our children together.

Lots and lots of love to the man that supports me and loves me for exactly who I am! I could not be happier to spend the rest of my life with you. <3

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8 Months and Counting

 

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Photo by the uber talented Emeric Photography

Happy 8 monthiversary to my husband and best friend! I love you more every day… Even during the times when I don’t like you very much. 😉 You make me want to be a better person.

We’ve been though quite a lot not just in the last 8 months, but in the last 4ish years. And yet, we can still laugh with and at each other.

<3

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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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