Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Wait.... Summer is over??

It cant be after Labor Day...school just let out a few weeks ago & It was just 4th of July like last week... Where did the summer go? I am already booking photo sessions for Oct & Nov.... WOW!

I figured since I was in here dorking around with colors & layouts I better post before grandma calls me to see if I am ok or if I drowned in the ocean... Oh did I mention we went to the BEACH...?? We just returned from vacation. We went to Williamsburg Va(& to Va Beach for a day!)
It was great just like any time I spend with John. I have the best-est husband ever. I love him more & more every day. Not just because he lets me buy $165 Coach purses when we are on vacation, but just 'cuz he is awesome! :) I love him.
We had a great trip. We were so smart about this trip I am so proud of us. We saved cash starting back in April when we started planning this trip so we had spending money. We used or recently paid off timeshare so our "hotel" was paid for. John is a genius & got our rental on priceline so we got a smokin' deal! Then we upgraded once we got there(for no extra fee may I add!) Our airline tickets paid for, because our last big trip(Seattle/Canada this time last year) we were bumped on one of our flights so we were given vouchers on Delta.
Our groceries(since we stayed in the timeshare we had a full kitchen) we purchased with our normal grocery money for the week & our eating out money was provided from Visa, a gift card that is! :) I get reward points for my visa. I havent cashed them in for a LONG time so I had enough to get a $75 Visa gift card... more spending money! Then when we got to the resort the offered us $100 in Visa gift cards to go listen to their sales pitch( 90 minutes of them trying their darndest to pressure you into buying MORE) we said NO but still got the $100!!!! Re- read that...WE SAID NO! Dave Ramsey you read that again! Dave Ramsey you read the whole blog again! We KICKED Cheetah butt on this trip!(thats a Dave Ramsey term for those who are not following the budget!) We deserve two pats on the back for doing so good & not bringing a load of debt home!
Ok so I put a tiny little bit of that super cute coach bag on the discover card($40). But lets discuss the Coach bag & get it out of the way! Its is terribly cute. You have to admit! Its a Maddie bad, its brown with a pink lining! HeLLo C>U>T>E!
I asked permission, i agreed to put all my blow money toward paying it off (for the rest of my life it feels like!) Its a $310 bag, it was on sale, then I got 40% off.. I got it for $176 after taxes. Really it was a smokin' deal! Because I am pretty serious about the DR debt reduction plan I did go back in to the Coach store to look for a bag that was as cute but maybe cheaper after John said it was ok to spend $165(before taxes). I figured if I was allowed to spend $165 he would be estatic if I only spent $145??? Didnt happen.. sorry babe!

Now lets move on from the coach purse...

Photo business is rockin'! I love it I cant wait until the day I can stay home & do this for real. I had a great session with our friends the Prekels this weekend we went to Westport. Funky little part of KC that I have never ventured out to. They love their pictures & that makes me super happy! I have done lots of sessions since my last blog post, it has been a MONTH since I posted anything... UGH where does my time go!?!?
I dont have vacation pictures loaded yet... I have a few on my flickr page but none on my computer(I used Johns laptop from the hotel/airport).
However, I have been saving images from several months. I have a new website coming soon! VERY SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I worked on it all weekend & personally I think its fanastic! I love it! Thanks to a flickr friend Amanda for creating a funky fresh logo & Many friends(& their families) for posing for photos!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Pictures, Wedding Dresses, Brides & Breast Cancer

Hello friends!
nothing to exciting going on at the Puhak house this week... all the normal stuff work, pictures, school, church, & pictures...
We purchased a new template for my website so it will be new & improved soon! very soon! I cant wait! I am working on new pictures this month to post on there so when you go to the site the first time you will see fresh stuff!
It would however be nice if it wasnt so stinkin' humid here so that when I go out to do these pictures I wouldnt melt. I think the weather man said it was going to be hot with a chance of hot & a slight bit of hot today. He also mentioned heat advisory so I guess that means maybe I shouldnt take people out at 2pm (the heat of the day) to go shoot pictures?? That isnt very nice of me. Tomorrow I am though, I have plans to take a certain 3 yr old birthday girl out to do some pictures!! Not sure where we are going yet but we will figure that out when the time comes!

I did something fun yesterday... I donated my wedding dress to Brides against Breast Cancer.
Before I get a bunch of hate mail asking why I did such a thing read the website...its for a charity
Brides to be buy donated dresses at a fraction of the new cost, the money is given to breast cancer research & best of all I dont have to store this dress any more... its a win win for everyone!
I never want my future children to be plus sized & wear my dress, I have pictures & our memories of the dress, I never plan to wear it again, why keep it? It takes up all kinds of space. I have wanted to sell it but this way it goes to help more than just one person.
I ran over on my lunch break to drop off the dress, I dropped it off & filled out the form, then I had to leave. It was bitter sweet . I was ready to give the dress away but at the same time it made me sad. So of course I cried. (Did you expect anything else from me?)
On the donation form you could elect if you wanted to donate in honor or memory of someone. My best friend Jerilyn who lost her mom Carolyn to breast cancer the year before I lost my mom was who I put down to donate in memory of. Though I didnt get to know her very well before she passed away I have gotten to know her through stories from J. Because of those stories I know she was a wonderful strong woman.

I also have signed up to volunteer to help with this event next time it comes to town! I cant this weekend because of Molly's birthday & other things I have going on this weekend, but If I had 2 hours to spare I would so be there this afternoon! So next year I will! I wanted to take a picture to post today but I didnt even bring the camera with me to the hotel when I dropped off the dress, so you will have to wait until next year to see photos! :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Adoption update....

Ahhh… it’s been a while. The adoption journey has been bumpy. We are certainly on that roller coaster ride. We didn’t share our latest news with many until we knew more details but now that we are over that hill & moving on to the next we are ready to share!

July 14th I received an email from my friend Bentley & then a text message telling me to go read my email. Bentley is also in the process of adopting & actually had just returned the day before from meeting the birthmother that they are going to adopt a baby girl due in Sept!! (See adoption does work!)

The email was a forward from a “birthmother” who had contacted Bentley. He replied to her told her he had just recently been matched but asked if he could send her info to us.
She later responded & agreed. Bentley again texted messaged me & said it was a go & I could call her if I would like. My first thought was… oh great now what do I do. What do I ask, What do I say, I have never talked to a birth mom before….. I was sick I was so nervous. I waited until I got home to call. Once I got home I called. I spoke to Tiffany for about 20 minutes. In our first call she told me she was 16 weeks pregnant, she was married, she was a substitute teacher, she asked if she could come visit us here in KS, if we wanted her to deliver here or where she lived in Oh. WOW that’s a loaded question.. I still wanted to get to know her.
I asked her things like if the baby’s father knew she was considering adoption. She told me “well its not the typical pregnancy”. I said OK… not sure what was coming next.
Tiffany then told me that she was originally in a Surrogacy arrangement that went bad. She immediately said she had proof of custody of the babies that she had been to court & in the courts eyes the babies are hers & her husbands.
Did you notice that… I said BABIES… with an S… As Tiffany & I talked she mentioned she was having more than one baby… even more than two babies… yep she was having TRIPLETS…. WOWZA! I don’t remember much after this point. For a few minutes all I could think of was John freaking out when I tell him that there were 3, I had to think of a cleaver way to tell him it was going to be ok & that we would figure it out. But I had to convince myself first!
I continued to talk to Tiffany; she told me about her “big Greek family”, her husband Brian, more about the Surrogate story; we talked like we were old friends. It wasn’t awkward or anything like I was expecting.
She wanted to call me back later… I said that was fine… She called back & we talked later that evening for just a few minutes.
Between her calls I ran up stairs to tell John what was going on. The look on his face when I said triplets was awesome… why I didn’t bring the camera I will never know.
We spent the evening talking about finances, me staying home, triplets, praying, diapers, triplets, finances & triplets! Did I mention that we were both a bit nervous by the triplets thing? But we also booth agreed that if this was God’s plan for us then this is what we will do & we will figure the rest out later! We were doing fertility treatments there was a chance we could have had biological triplets!
The next day we emailed back & forth & with John through out the day about various things. Just getting to know each other, nothing really exciting. She mentioned her husband was getting ready to join the military, Marines to be exact.
July 16th I started to wonder how much of this was true, it was all sinking in & I was thinking clearer (the triplets thing was wearing off). The same time John spoke to our pastor & Ken said to pray for wisdom. We definitely got the wisdom we prayed for. I found many many many posts on various websites about TiffanyM & the email address she was using to contact us. My heart sank.
The more I Google searched her name & email address the more I found. I spent several hours looking online & found enough to convince me this wasn’t real & there were plenty of people online questioning her story. We had also contacted our attorney by this point who had given us some advice & agreed that some of the things we thought were a bit suspicious were indeed red flags & typical “scammer” signs… Yes we were in the process of being scammed. We asked Tiffany for the items our attorney asked for, then we suddenly stopped hearing from her… she removed me as a friend from her MySpace page, she wouldn’t reply to text messages, phone calls, she obviously figured out that we have figured her out, or at least that she wasn’t going to get anywhere with us.

I was angry. I was so angry for a few days, lucky my husband is a better person than I am & told me that being angry at her gets us nothing. I wasn’t emotionally attached to the idea of finally being a mom to these babies yet so I wasn’t heart broken like I thought I would be but I was angry bitterly angry.
She didn’t get money from us, she wasted some of our time but that is really all. So why am I so angry?… Adoption is complicated. It is an invasive stressful process involving lots of time, money, emotions, there are laws & policies that make it complicated. So for someone to make up a story like this makes me so angry. She is adding more complications to it than is needed. There are children waiting for loving families, there are families waiting for babies to start a family.

Then we had a sermon at church last Sunday about being angry vs being forgiving… once again I think God told Ken that I needed a talk! I so needed that sermon. I need to get over Tiffany & her fake triplet story & stop wasting my time & energy being so angry at her. I guess I am still angry about the fact that there are scammers that do this to people. But I am over our situation. I still pray for Tiffany. I have just changed my prayer for healthy pregnancy & healthy babies. Instead now I pray that she does something more productive with her life. I hope the next family is knows to research & dig as deep as they can.

Moving on to fun stuff in my life...
My friends are AWESOME! I had a fantastic weekend last week the girls & John planned a surprise birthday margarita party! They came over John made Margaritas we hung out & chit chated & had some good quality girl time. We missed a few of the Crazy 8 but we still had a good time!

John & I purchased my new photo website last night!!! I am so excited to see how it looks with my images on it I cant wait! the new website will be up as soon as we can get it together but the prices wont change until November 1st.
For my birthday John got my Tax id number for the business! Not very exciting bday present for most people but this is something I was so not wanting to sit down & do... I am so glad he did it. :)
August is booked solid friends! I have mulitple photo sessions, we go on vacation to Virginia (Wiliamsburg area) & with school starting again soon I will be back at church thursday nights with the Teen mops girls. Its been great having an extra night every week, but I miss the girls & the kids!

Bigest looser is going ok... not as well as I hoped but its going. Today I got up early so that I could make sure I had time to walk sometime today. I did 25 minutes on 5.5 I was pushing for 30 minutes but I was so hot I couldnt stand my self for 5 more minutes!
I am determined to get into a new wardrobe by Sept 1 so I am really working on this now! I have a box of super cute clothes sitting in my closet that are all soclose to fitting. I want to be in them by Sept 1 Darn it!

Ok... I have done enough venting for one night... John has already given me a warning yawn.... meaning he is going to leave me in this freezing cold basement & go to bed with out me if I dont hurry it up! So good night friends!

Monday, July 21, 2008


33 yrs ago I entered the world... :) Yep its my birthday & I am 33...& I am ok with being 33.
Ask me in 2 years how I feel about being 35 & we will see how that goes!
It was a great birthday weekend, a great birthday. My girlfriends came over we hung out & had a few margaritas & great snacks & just some good quality girl time! Every birthday should be spent like this!

John & I were going to go out to dinner tonight however I had a big lunch at work... my co-worker & I share the same birthday so we had lunch at Mi Ranchito (the best mexican food in Johnson county!) It was so good I couldnt eat dinner.... so we stayed home. However I found room for ice cream cake John got me!! I love him & I love Ice Cream Cake!! :)

Then I found time for the tred mill... all this celebrating this weekend wasnt good to me! The scale was up 1 pound this week... totally the wrong way!
I need to fit into a new wardrobe(that I already have!) by Sept so my birthday is done, no more excuses time to be serious for the rest of biggest looser Puhak edition round 2. Its only for another month. Think I can bust my behind enough to loose the 15 pounds I want to loose by August 24th? Then keep it off while on vacation the end of August? Not to mention I lost the last round & I am sick of putting $5 a week in the jar darn it!

The wardrobe I have is from when I worked at Bank One in Az, our dress code was much tighter than where I work now & I have a full box full of dressy work clothes alot that I never wore! I have black suit that I cant wait to wear! There were slacks that had tags on them! I have so many cute things in there! (things are changing at work but I cant disclose anything yet!)

When my mom passed I delt with it by shopping...I was a basket case. Didnt matter what I shopped for as long as I could go shopping I was happy. I had a serious shopping addiction, but the good thing is I am motivated to get back into these clothes some of them get into for the first time. I was also in denial that I had gained more weight when my mom passed. Obviously I have figured that one out also & working on it!

My friend Lindsay was over this weekend & pointed out that I have MAGIC shoes!! :) Atleast that is what I called them... Nike+, its something that links my sneakers to my ipod nano to my computer! John checked it out, understands it( thank goodness someone in this house is technical!) & I think that is what I am buying with my birthday money! Hopefully it keeps me moving on the tredmill!

Still taking the month off for pictures, for the rare exception of a newborn shoot(they are only newborn once!) & Savannah, Nancy, Jeanne & Sheri were here(along with Jennifer, Savannah's mom) & we did 3 or 4 session in one weekend! I am not sure who had more fun being silly me or Savannah! It was great to see them again, its been way to long!! Next time bring Josh so John isnt so out numbered!

Well as my dad would say thats all the news that is fit to print!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

July 9 2008

The latest news at the puhak house!

We are starting round 2 of Biggest Looser Puhak edition(John won round 1)
No news yet on the adoption front, however I have heard that our profile has been shown to a few birth parents! So that is a start!!

Photoggraphy is keeping us/me busy! That leads me to the reason for my post!
I am "published" kinda?? I have an image on a billboard off I35 southbound at mile mark 234.

Thanks to our friends the Heard family & their work with March of Dimes, they are on a billboard! They used a family picture I took of them last fall. Exciting! Thanks L & M!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

June 26th....

Missed me?? Its been a month wow! Long time no post...
Lots going on as usual at our place. We finished the clases (thank goodness!) They were long. We learned so much but they were long. We also met some wonderful people! We have stayed in touch with some in our class & had a CPR class this week with a few of them it was great to see them again.
We are now CPR certified, not cure I ever want to use that certificate but its done & off th eto-do list. I think its scary.

Today being June 26th is a sad day for me as it is every year for the last 6 yrs. 6 yrs ago today is when my mom passed away. Time has made it easier, the first year I was still a basket case on this day but today it didnt hit me until I wrote the date on a form at work. John & I went to Iowa last weekend to see the family & we of course went to Rake to visit the cemetary & I usually get sick to my stomach as soon as I can see the treeline of the cemetary, then as soon as we pull in I start crying. This time I was ok until we got ready to leave. It always hits me hard when I leave because I never know when I will be back to visit.
This trip was especially hard being that we had to go through stuff at the Grandparents as they will be moving to Arizona for good this fall. All the cousins got together to split the Fostoria & what ever else we wanted that wasnt going to AZ.
My stinkin' uncle got the secretary desk that I think would be awesome in my house... hopefully he will remember that one day I want that! :)
It makes me sad that they will be so far away now. We wont see them twice a year as they pass thru heading north or south (depending on what time of the year) They wont be 6 hrs away, we will have to fly out to see them. Which is way more expensive & way less convienient than a weekend road trip to Iowa!

Enough of that...
Photo business is busy... its slowed down a bit but it was busy for a while... I would like it to pick up in Sept when its not so hot!
I cant wait to get some time to work on my website & the business side of things... July is coming & that is my plan for July to work on my business.

Biggest looser John is winning... its stinks for me but its awesome that he is doing so good!
I have done well also but he has kicked butt! :)
We- well I am, taking a week off & starting over. I need a break from stressing over so many things.

Adoption.... its going... we are just waiting.
I thought the waiting would drive me bonkers, its not. We have enough going on that I am cool.
Our friends the Bestwicks just brought their baby Quincy home from China, the Millers are in process of adopting Miriam, we are the third family at church that is adopting & it happens in 3's right?? :)
Our link is online now check it out! http://www.adoption-beyond.org/JohnJennifer/john&jennifer.html

We had the opportunity to host 2 teenage girls this week from a youth choir, their from a church in Iowa & they tour to church in the midwest & perform a show. It was a fun time. They were the best kids ever! They were well behaved, poliet, neat. I went up to gather towels in the guest room, thinking when I was a teenager I would have left the towels in the bathroom. These girls had folded the towels neatly on the bathroom sink. Left us a a note thanking us for letting them stay with us. Made the bed. They were perfect!! To think I was worried we would have crazy teenage kids!
Also one of them gave us the name of someone at her church that has a connection to adoption!! God is good! He had us host those girls for a reason!! :)

Ok, I need to get back to work...