Friday, February 26, 2010

February is Now Officially Grown-Up Decisions Month

So it's been a bit since I've had time to write because we've had quite a bit of life-changing stuff happening at Casa Rizzbanik. For starters, the engagement. Followed only two weeks later by the purchase of our first house. Yes, I know. We're insane. We didn't plan the timing that way, but cest la vie. First things first, the proposal story:

During the never ending Snowpocalypse of 2010, there was a State of Emergency that started at midnight on February 10th. Since neither Alex nor I have companies that close during state of emergency, we both waved goodbye to our respective PTO days and opted to spend the day in our pajamas. I started my day by emailing work to tell them that the four feet of snow outside would be keeping me from getting in today and then promptly calling my Mom so she didn't freak out and think I was insane and attempting to travel to work. I also remember in this conversation telling her that she should be jealous because in light of the fact that we probably wouldn't have power for some portion of the day (as there were already 6,000+ power outages in NCC alone at that point), Alex had bought her most favorite game and we were planning to play a few rounds. My mom is a Scrabble fiend. She actually was a little jealous.

So after breakfast, we both sat down and played a round or two of good ol' Scrabble. Since there was really nothing better to do, I think we were actually working on game three when Alex pensively stared at his wordbank for quite a while. I was getting annoyed because he was taking forever. Eventually he tentatively threw down his word. I glanced at it and was all prepared to get mad because one of the "letters" he threw down wasn't a letter at all...but then it registered. He had spelled out "L-O-V-E" with the engagement ring as the "O." I know I looked at him puzzledly, but I couldn't tell you much of what was said after that because I was totally overwhelmed and happy. Once things had calmed down a bit, I got the whole story which he had been bursting to tell me for about a week at that point.

The previous Thursday, Alex had gone to the jeweler and picked up the ring after work (Again I had no idea...I just thought he was teaching at the Kung Fu school like always). Being excited about his new purchase, he decided to go over to his parents and tell them that he was planning to propose and get their blessing. Unfortunately his Dad was away on business, but he did get to have dinner with his Mom.

After dinner with his own Mom, he then headed over to see my Mom. Apparently she wasn't home, so he waited ("like a stalker" is how he put it) in his car outside. She came home a short while later and he got out of the car and her immediate response was first, "Do you need to borrow the second car?" quickly followed by "What's wrong with Annie, is everything okay?". Being the wonderful lady that she is, she took the news very well and was supportive of Alex's decision. So two important people down, two to go. Mom-mom and Pop-pop.

Alex headed there on Friday. but Mom-mom wasn't home, so Alex talked to Pop-pop. Pop-pop of course gave his blessing along with lots of other marriage advice including what to look for in a house and the benefits of a joint bank account. The one thing he made sure to throw in was the fact that he was glad that Alex was going to ask me to marry him because he thought that was what my Dad would have wanted. I cried when Alex told me that.

So it turns out that Alex told all these folks (and Pop-pop told Mom-mom who was PISSED that she missed Alex's visit) that he was going to propose on Thursday, Feb 11 — our third dating anniversary. Well, it turns out that the ring was burning a hole in his pocket and he absolutely couldn't wait any longer, so he put his plan into action a day early. It was a lot of fun to call friends and family that day because even though they knew it was coming, they were expecting to hear from me the following day. I think I spent literally 5 hours on the phone that day telling different people and eventually had to give in and send a mass email. I really wanted to be able to call everyone individually, but it was literally impossible. Especially when after the 3rd phone call, I was getting phone calls! I guess good news travels fast :-)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Proposal by Scrabble

Working from home today, so I only have a minute to update...but here's a reenactment picture of our engagement by Scrabble. It's totally nerdy, so of course I loved it!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Today's Guardian Angels: Delaware State Troopers and Those Wonderful Papilis

All I have to say today is that I have the best adopted family in the entire world, and that Delaware State Troopers are by far the nicest, most helpful folks you could ever ask for.

So my morning started off a little shaky at the start because our neighborhood is still a bit on the icy side. I made my way carefully to Route 1 and breathed a sigh of relief to be on dry road with a bit of traction. Sadly, that calm didn't last for long as I noticed my left front wheel starting to wobble. I was already past the 40 exit going South on Route 1, so I figured I'd slow down, put my flashers on, and get in the right lane to try to make it to 72 to get off and get help.

In the short amount of time it took me to slow a bit (appx 40 MPH) and start making my way over, my tire went completely flat. Not the usual hiss and thunk thunk thunk sort of flat, but the exploding, tire shredding, shrapnel kind that you hope tractor trailers never have happen when they're in front of you. So now I'm at least in the right lane, but I can't drive on the rim of this busted tire so I have to pull over. This would have been significantly easier if there weren't literally 2-3 feet of snow piled up along the shoulder. So I pull over as far as I possibly can but the tires on the left side of my car are still touching the white line denoting the beginning of the right shoulder of the road. All I have are visions of someone clipping the back bumper of my car and sending me spinning into oncoming traffic. Talk about terrified.

Flashers on, I go to inspect the damage. Waited until there was a lull in traffic and went to look at my left, front tire which was absolutely shredded. Great. And it looked like all the bumping around had probably effed up my alignment as well. Double great. So I go stand
in the snow on the passenger side of my car to try to call for help, shaking because I'm scared and getting passed by semis that shake the car and me alike. Can't hear because of said traffic, so I opt to sit in the passenger's seat on the safer side of the car and call. Tried Uncle Barry but I must have the wrong number. Next was Uncle Joe who happened to be on the phone. Third was Aunt Maryann. Of course now that I'm finally getting someone on the phone, I start crying like the little girl that I am and explain to her where I am and what's going on. She took down the info, called it in, and had a police car out there within ten minutes. She also said she would double back since she was just a bit over the bridge and would make sure everything worked out okay.

So true to her word, a car came with lights flashing and pulled up to my rescue. Officer O'Leary, my favorite person of the day, met me at the space between the two cars and I started thanking him for coming out immediately, noting with the eye of the niece of a state trooper that he had remembered to put on his hat before exiting the car (Aunt Maryann and Uncle Joe are always upset when we're watching the news at Mom Mom's and their younger officers forget that they always have to be in full uniform).

So Officer O'Leary helped me haul the spare out of the back of my trunk (politely ignoring the immense amounts of crap I have in there including blankets, dresses, and other stuff that I'm too lazy to bring into the house). Although I know how to change a tire (since Alex just taught me) all he would let me do was help find the support point under the car where the jack can safely hoist up the car. Then he asked me to wait on the other side of the car so I would be safe. Definitely a stand up guy. He then changed my tire like such a pro, that Maryann didn't even have time to get to us before I was on the road again.

She caught up with me around Middletown and tailed me down to Smyrna (I wasn't hard to catch up to since you're supposed to go at max 55 MPH with a donut...especially in cold weather). She actually ended up coming with me to the tire place and helped me get all straightened out before bringing me the extra mile down the road to work. So now despite being a bit shaken, I'm here. I have been well taken care of, and am happy to have such great people in my life that care so much about me.
I still maintain that being an adopted Papili child is one of the greatest things in the world and I'm lucky to have such a great family.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Today's Delaware Adoption Fun Fact

So even though I'm not sure if I want to go through with the whole process, I've been gathering some information about how to go about finding my birth parents (with Mom's blessing of course...). Today I looked up a bit on information online and found out that all adoptees in Delaware have two birth certificates, one that was used from birth to adoption and one used after.

More often than not, the original birth certificate contains the name that the birth mother intended for their child. In other words, I could have a totally different name and not even know it.

Mind you, not all birth moms bothered giving their newborn a temporary name (Just "Baby Girl Insert Last Name Here"), figuring that the adoptive parents would take care of that, but it is something to think about.

The cost to have my original birth certificate mailed to me is $25. Chances are it will have no useful information on it, but now I'm dying to find out for sure. The form says it could take up to three months to be mailed back to me, and I don't doubt that based on my conversation with an employee there. But it's something to look forward to.