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Monday, April 29, 2013

Distractions while we wait...

We've officially been doing this adoption wait for 1 week. Yep, just 1 week. In reality, I feel like we've been waiting since mid-February. My mind was consumed with baby #3 during the months of February and most of March. This was a good and a sweet thing. I was constantly thinking about and praying for our next baby and birth mother that we'll probably begin building a relationship with in the future. Then we decided to do some food testing with Holden (I keep promising more on this - and I never make the time to sit and put it all out there). Anyways, we took a very dramatic turn with his diet on March 18th. Yes, I remember the date that things in our kitchen really changed. We already had him on a somewhat limited diet - gluten free and dairy free. Can I just tell you that was a piece of gluten free cake compared to this new deal?! As I was saying, it has been a distraction. In the long run, I completely believe in the route we're headed. But I'm going to admit that it hasn't been easy on my end. Or his. But I've probably whined about it much more than Holden has.
A much sweeter distraction recently has been planning that boy's 5th birthday. Oh my goodness, I get a lump in my throat when I realize that he is almost 5!! It really, really, really does not seem possible that I have been a mommy for 5 years. Jeremy and I decided we would do big parties for our kids through their 5th birthday and then we'll change up their celebration in the future years. So this is the last little party that I will plan for my firstborn. Whoa. I threw out a couple of theme ideas to Holden and I was happily shocked when he chose the one I had been hoping for. I figured he'd pick a character theme or something. But it's been a fun distraction for me to put together the little details for his 5th birthday celebration.
A practice run on the birthday cupcakes. One of the main ingredients is pureed chickpeas! I promise this recipe could fool you! Gluten free, dairy free, rice free, nut free, quinoa free. Just about everyting FREE. ;) Nonetheless, delicious! He was a big fan of his chocolate cupcakes.
I mentioned in a previous post that we were planning to start some landscaping this spring. Well, demolition started last weekend. We ripped everything out of the front yard, except for our one lone tree. Somehow we started with an idea to do some type of permanent edging for landscaping and then we'd fill it in with plants and flowers. Then a few conversations later and we were extending our front patio. Jeremy is a DIYer through and through. And because I've seen him do so many projects throughout the years, I never really question if he can do something or if it will look anything less than perfect. He's a thorough researcher and on top of that, a perfectionist. This little project has taken most of his free time for the past two weekends. And his back was killing him by Saturday evening. But it's been a fun distraction to watch my husband add some much needed curb appeal to our home. He amazes me with his talents and abilities. I told him last night, that in my opinion, this is his most impressive DIY project yet. I'll definitely be posting before and after pictures once the whole thing is completed. We're just calling this phase 1 of 3. :)
On demolition day, Holden had the privilege to play with some worms. Ewww.
We are tentatively planning (please note that planning is a VERY loose term in our house these days) an early summer vacation in the next month. Obviously, if we get our baby call, there will be no vacay. And we're a-okay with that. But if we are still in this wait, it's a little something extra to look forward to. Sea World just may be in our future again. I just know the boys would love it so much at this age. It's been two years since their first Sea World experience. And I would love for it to work out for us to take them again very soon.
These two faces are my constant reminder, that God's plan is NEVER delayed. His timing is always perfect. So for now, I wait with joy and contentment for him to fill our home again with another baby love. And as we wait, I'm thoroughly enjoying my family of four.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Welcome Spring

Spring has finally arrived! The weather has been beautiful and amazing with recent afternoons temps in the mid 70s and 80s. We are in our shorts and summer threads and enjoying this spring weather. The grass has now had it's first mow of the season and the sprinkler system is being put to use. We will be doing some landscaping in the next couple of weeks ~ sadly our first attempt after being in this house for 3.5 years! I know that soon enough it will be blistering hot by 11am so we are spending our days outside as much as possible right now. Yesterday after the boys took their naps we spent the entire evening in the backyard. The boys talked over the fence to their neighbor friend while Jeremy grilled burgers. It was a sweet time with my family. I caught myself sitting, watching, laughing and soaking it all up. I do indeed feel like I have a fun bunch to live life with.
You'll notice that all plates have been cleared from the table. This little guy was the last one to finish eating. But he had a man-sized burger. I couldn't believe he finished all but about 2 bites! Plus his potatoes and 2 good slices of watermelon. He's such a good eater.
Jeremy wanted to test out the sprinkler heads. That was just an opportunity for Holden to have some fun. This boy has loved the water since he was a baby. Some things never change.
But some things do! Last summer Holden didn't really care for watermelon. But it was a constant in our fridge because Pax and I could eat our weight in that stuff! Yesterday Holden decided he loved it. And he has continued to ask for more of it frequently today. That's a good change.
He could barely pause from the water fun to get a picture with me.
Daddy and Pax after dinner.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Adoption Update

Yesterday Jeremy and I spent an entire day in Oklahoma with our adoption agency. They had requested that we attend an Adoption Orientation. If I'm being completely honest, I thought it was going to be a waste of time for us. With this being our 3rd adoption, what could we really learn that is new. But goodness, it was such an amazing day getting to meet our agency staff face to face. And more importantly, getting to hear their hearts and their passion for adoption. You have to know that Jeremy and I can instantly connect with those that share this passion with us. So it was such a wonderful day. It was emotional at times, hearing other's stories and sharing parts of our own. But at random times, as I sat and listened, my eyes just welled with tears and often for different reasons. But a few of those moments were just because I knew right then that we were right where God had always planned to place us. We landed at Lilyfield by process of elimination. But Friday confirmed to us what a special agency this is and what wonderful and ethical work they do. And I'm so proud and so thrilled to be working with them through this adoption process. I looked at the clock around 2pm and cringed at the thought that we only had 1 hour left. I had been soaking up the stories, the information and the company that surrounded us. And honestly the time flew by too fast for my preference.
Jeremy and I stopped for dinner on our way back to Texas and had one of the greatest conversations that we've had in a long time. We were just processing the information outloud while reflecting back on our past experiences. So I'm going to share something that I've never shared with anyone except Jeremy. We were always open to an open adoption, even if we were timid at our first thought of it before we began adopting. But when Holden was placed with us, his sweet birth mother chose a closed adoption. She felt like that was easiest for her and we completely respect her decision. Though I will admit that I long for her to see his sweet face today, almost 5 years later. And I wish I could tell her in some way how she has blessed our lives. But because of his closed adoption, I never had this other person in our lives that shared that title of mother with me. It was just me. We just had K in pictures, though we talk about her often. So when Pax came along, again we were open to an open adoption. And his adoption has remained wide open, which we have loved. But very early on, there was this fear way down deep, that I couldn't even say outloud to Jeremy at the time. It was that Pax wouldn't ever feel as much MINE because M was a present birthmother in our lives. She was more than just a picture and part of his story. We had an actual relationship with her. So I had this fear that my connection to my two sons might feel differently and maybe even a little less with Pax. Man, that doesn't sound good does it? At some point, I did share these feelings and thoughts with Jeremy, while they were still very present. So yesterday, Jeremy shared a little of this for those that seemed timid of open adoption. Honestly, I had sort of forgotten about that time and that crazy fear. Jeremy also explained how there is no confusion with Pax on who is mommy is. And how he normally CLINGS to me at those visits. So as just the two of us sat at dinner last night, tears were streaming down my face as I sort of laughed at that fear that I had somehow forgotten even existed at one time. And Jeremy responded to me with, "Isn't it funny...{And then a big gulg. He was having trouble getting his words out too.} how God tells you you're wrong." And we sat misty-eyed at the work of the Lord and perhaps one that we had overlooked. I will never forget those words that came from his mouth. You see, the ironic part of my past fear now, is that God has given me the sweetest momma's boy you could ever know. He has woven our hearts so closely together in many ways. One of those unique ways was by giving us such similar personalities. In fact, because he is such a momma's boy, we work extra hard for Jeremy and Pax's relationship to be just as close. Because the boy just loves his mommy. And of course, I love him more than I ever knew was possible. Just as I love Holden. And you're probably thinking...of course you love your children equally. But that fear when we first brought Pax home was so real to me. I was scared to say it because it sounded so awful, but it was very real.  And look what God did with that fear. Pretty amazing, in my opinion.
So we can now mark Adoption Orientation off of our checklist! We should be an official waiting family by the end of this week. Our social worker here is still trying to tie up lose ends on our homestudy so that it meets both Oklahoma and Texas requirements. I actually didn't realize until Thursday that it was not yet completed. But I'm not worried or sweating it. I know that each of these details is all part of God's timing and His plan. We are now just one step closer. So we'll wait with joy and anticipation to see God's plan for our family revealed. And I hope my next Adoption Update is news of baby #3!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Sunday 2013

We had a really great Easter Sunday yesterday. A time of worship, thanksgiving and sharing the meaning of Easter with our little boys. I find it to be a heavy task as parents to make sure these significant holidays point us all towards Jesus, even with the fun cultural traditions. Here are a few pictures from our day.
Pax's goodies above and Holden's goodies below.
A family picture with the automatic timer. I'm stunned that all of us are smiling. I will admit that we had a sock monkey set up behind the tripod. Those boys will do just about anything for their sock monkey friends.
While I put the finishing touches on lunch, Jeremy finished up with the last Ressurection Egg. It was our first year to use the Ressurection Eggs and I loved them. More importantly, the boys enjoyed it also.
After 3 hours naps (where this mommy decided to nap too!) they headed out for an evening egg hunt in the backyard.
Checking out their loot. We couldn't do candy this year. Long story...that eventually, I do plan on posting. I thought opening their eggs would be a little disappointing. Even though they are young, they DO already associate easter eggs with candy. But as they opened their eggs and found tatoos, tiny little toys and pocket change, they were OH SO excited and never mentioned the absence of candy! And I love the fact that now we don't have a big bowl of candy at our house.
It was really a great family day with just the 4 of us.


Yikes. I turned 33 last week. Let me just be honest and say that sounds WAY old. And let me just be honest and say that I still feel like I'm only 26. And let me just be honest and say that I may be singing a different song when the sleepless nights with a newborn come my way. That always has a way of making me feel {and look!} a heck of a lot older. ;) My birthday was was a pretty low key day. Unfortunately, the boys did not behave as if it were my birthday. That's always frustrating when your kiddos don't want to participate in the day you've set aside for youself to be treated like a princess. I didn't capture photos of the low points of this day. But I promise, they existed. Don't let all the smiling pictures fool you. Anyone else out there ever get there expectations crushed by mere preschoolers? I took the boys to Costco to get a few groceries and somehow walked out of their with a little something extra to celebrate my day. Jeremy and I actually had a date night this past Saturday to celebrate a little more without the sweet children. :) Here are a few snapshots from my actual birthday.
I have a thing for carrot cake. So it's only appropriate that my birthday is often close to Easter.
I had a couple of gift opening helpers.
My sweet husband picked out this gift. I absolutely love it!!
And here's to an exciting year ahead! :) But hopefully not one that will make me feel {or look!} 34 at the end of it. I have high expecations for what is in store.