The journey may not always be smooth, the path may not always be clear, but in every moment there is a memory waiting to be made. What we make of these moments is up to us.

Friday, August 5, 2011

This Journey We are On

I am officially and awful blogger.

It has been months since my last post. Life has sped by. Surely there have been a few speedbumps, but none of them so major that I even remember them now. I simply look back see my little baby boy becoming a toddler and our decision to expand our family.

That is like a fork in the road. Once you veer left, on the path to more kids, the road---no matter how long or bumpy, provides an amazing ride. Our road is a little different than most. In most people's journey to a child, God is in the driver seat with the mother to be riding shot gun. The father to be is in the back seat. He is there to open the door, put gas in, and do what he can to help, but there is a small amount of helplessness that comes with that position. In an OUR adoptions...God is in the driver seat and Drew and I are holding hands in the back seat. We do our best not to be back seat drivers. We try not to complain that the ride is too bumpy, that the destination is too far, or that the seats are uncomfortable. We signed up for this ride and we made an effort to be sure God was in the driver seat for our journey. But, how do you stay patient on a journey with no end date?

People ask us all the time how the adoption is going. I am so thankful that all of our friends are so interested. Each time I get asked thought, I feel guilty. I feel bad that I don't have any new news to share. The conversation ends quickly b/c with no new news there is nothing new to talk about. So, that pit stop over, Drew, Ian, and I continue on our journey.

The thing about being on a journey with no end is that somedays you don't even want to talk about it. You pretend that it isn't flitting in the back of your mind. Some days you don't even have to pretend, somedays you are SO busy with whats in your lap now that the journey doesn't cross your mind until you lay down at night and thank God you are on it. Then, there are days that it eats at you. You fight the urge to start kicking your feet against the seat in a toddler style trantrum while screaming, "Are we there yet? Why aren't we there yet?" Then, there is the average day. The day when you see or hear something and that baby that God is leading you to pops into your mind. You have this moment of longing. This moment of missing something that you have never had. It is an indescrible feeling of excitement, sadness, and anticipation.

I have stuggled to figure out how to put it in to words. Then, I heard TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN by The Civil Wars. I am so in love with them right now. Their music is just so natural and raw. Its refreshing. And this song touched my heart. are their words that I feel describe my heart right now. Obviously it was written about something different, but it is pretty close anyway.

Why are you so far from me?
In my arms is where you are to be
How long will you make me wait?
I don't know how much more I can take
I missed you but I haven't met you
Oh but I want to
How I do
Slowly counting down the days
Till I finally know your name
The way your hand feels round my waist
The way you laugh, the way your kisses taste
I missed you but I haven't met you
Oh but I want to
How I do
How I do
I've missed you but I haven't met you
Oh how I miss you but I haven't met you
Oh but I want to
Oh how I want to
Dear whoever you might be
I'm still waiting patiently

So, dear baby of ours, I know that we will meet you in God's time. I know it will be perfect because His timing always is. Until then, I am praying for you, Daddy is praying for you, and your big brother, Ian, is learning all kinds of things to teach you. I hope you know that you are loved now, you are perfect, and we can't wait to meet you. ~Mommy

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Crazy little thing called.....

Vacation. (You thought I was going to say love, huh? See I am just full of surprises!)

February is a BUSY month for us each year. We have my grandpa's birthday on the 4th (He turned 85 this year), Beth's Birthday on the 9th, Matty's birthday on the 11th ,Valentines Day on the 14th, a heap of birthdays on the 25th (Mine, Sallie, Becca, and Jon), and finally my boss's birthday on the 28th. Whew. Busy Month. So, in an effort to cut down on costs and to avoid filling up every weekend, a few of us try and consolodate our birthday festivities into one event.

This year Matt's bday happened to coincide with a previously planned trip to Charleston. I had purchased tickets to see Gabriel Iglesias (amazingly funny comedian--GOOGLE him) for Drew, Tim, Jon, and myself for Christmas. Since the show was set for Sunday, February 13th, we decided that we would make a weekend of it. Nonny and PopPop were happy to spend the weekend taking care of little man and our pups.

So, Saturday morning we (Drew, me, Tim, and Jon) piled into the Tahoe and sit the road for Charleston. We made great time and checked into the hotel by lunch. Matt and Kara were already in Charleston b/c Matt had a doc appt there on Friday. So, we called them up and a few minutes later they are in our room. After much discussion, we headed to the mall for lunch. (Whoever invented the idea of a food court is stop with 5 or more options to feed everyone in the group=LIFESAVER!) After lunch, we took off to outlet malls. I behaved (by avoiding Carters and OshKosh). Only bought one thing actually. I got an awesome shirt for myself at Eddie Bauer 80% off :) Score. Dinner that night was at Jestine's Kitchen. It was supposed to be at Fonduely Yours, but upon arriving we realized it was a biker bar that served fondue over oldschool flame burners. No bueno. So, Jestine's was up. It was good. The banana pudding was amazing! The off to bed.

Sunday morning we slept in (hahaha. I was up at 630, showered, dressed, and on cup of coffee number 2 when I woke Drew up at 830). We checked out and headed back downtown. Matt and Kara were waiting for us at TOAST. We enjoyed a yummy breakfast (next time I will take advantage of the $10 bottomless mimosas!) before heading the the market. We wandered around for a while. My hubs bought me a wonderful Trinity necklace for Valentine's Day! LOVE IT! Mid afternoon we headed back over by the outlets. They were right near the Performing Arts Center where our show was going to be that night. We stopped at Jim N Nicks for lunch. We love that place. If you are ever near one, check it out. Get the biscuts and ask for honey butter :) Yums. The place was packed so it took a long time. After visiting a bit longer, we parted ways with Matty and Kara and headed over to our show.

We got front row parking and waited for the doors to open. Our seats were amazing. Front row of regular seating. There were 3 rows of folding chairs in front of us for VIP, but they were pretty empty. The show was awesome! There were 4 openers, 3 of which were awesome. Fluffy came out and did a 2 hour set! We scooted home from Charleston and made it home by 1130pm.

Valentine's Day was spent as a family (mostly). Drew and I had both taken the day off since we weren't sure when we would get home on Sunday night. We took Ian to Suzy for a bit in the morning so we could get some yardsale stuff together at the storage shed. We scooped him up just after nap time, had lunch with PopPop, and then headed to the Zoo. I got to spend the day with the two guys I love most in the world. Which is all that mattered to me.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

We Could Use Your Help!

Everyone has already been so supportive and has begun asking if they can do anything to help us. The answer is yes.....Here is what we are working on now:

1st - we would love prayers. The first time around our process was so smooth and amazing - Clearly a work of God. We would love for all of you to be praying for a smooth and fast journey to meet our next child.

2nd- Adopting is an unbelievable blessing, but a pricey one.We have already saved up over 80% of the $20,000 it will cost to fund the adoption. To raise the last bit, we are hoping to host an Adoption Yard Sale and Raffle in March. Here's where you guys all come in: We are looking for donations of items to sell at the yard sale. Spring cleaning? Getting rid of clothes that don't fit? Packing up those old baby toys? Give us a call. We can come get donations and store them until the sale. We have a space set aside for donations of all sizes, so just let us know. Everything will be cleaned up and sold at the sale in March. 100% of the proceeds will go towards bringing our baby home. Also, we will have a bake sale table at the yard sale. So, all you cooks, let us know if you would be willing to bake something. Please pass this on to all your friends, family, and coworkers as well. The more donations we can get the BETTER!

Thank you all so much! We will be sending out a flyer for the sale in a week or two!

Monday, January 17, 2011

It is official!

After much prayer and contemplation, Drew and I have decided to adopt again! We are very excited to begin this journey toward bringing home another child and Ian having a little sister. That's right, we have applied to adopt a baby girl.

This time we have chosen to go through an agency. (Of course we are always open to the fact that God may have other plans for us. He did with Ian. And what an amazing journey that was and blessing he is!) We met the head of this agency during our adoption process with Ian. Last minute we were told that we had to have a private social worker meet with us before we were allowed to bring Ian back into SC. That meant we had to find a worker near Charlotte that would be available right away. Enter Sharon, from Christian Family Services. I called her 10 am on a Friday morning and she was able to meet us at a local Wendy's at noon. She was amazing and crucial in us getting the clearance we needed to come home, helping make sure our paperwork was in line, and getting the adoption finalized swiftly. She was just an awesome person to add to our list of people who are hugely important in our lives.

Fast forward to now: Drew and I are ready to expand our family again and again we are feeling called to adopt. Our first call was to Sharon. She sent us all the info and paperwork we needed to get started. We filled out basic forms, picked out our favorite family photo, picked out a photo of the front of our house, wrote a check for our application fee and sealed it up in hopes of a fast approval. The mail man picked up it up a little while ago. As he left I smiled knowing that we are one step closer to bringing our next child home.

Please pray that this journey is as smooth and joyous as the journey that led us to Ian.

More to come....

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Wonderful Tonight

I am so behind. There have been no Christmas posts (though I have three drafts saved), no pictures of all the holiday festivities, and no posts at all in month. SO, I PROMISE I will do a December recap (complete with photos) tomorrow. But today, I want to talk about something else entirely.

New Years Day has always been important in my family. Not only is it the start of a new year which in itself is an amazing feeling. (With one tick toc the clock creates a blank page and another chapter of our lives is started). It is also the day my grandparents were married and years later it is the day my mom and dad were married. So, we celebrate anniversaries and fresh starts all in one day.

This year was a VERY special anniversary for my grandparents. This year they celebrated their 60th wedding aniversary. The very thought of that is awe insipring to me. It is something that is almost unheard of in our culture today. Not only did their marriage last happily for 60 years, we are blessed that they are both with us and in good health to celebrate it. So on Tuesday Ian, Tim, Drew, and I loaded up in the Tahoe (also a new developmet I need to blog about) and headed down to Orlando. (I will blog details of the trip later..promise....this is about something more). My parents and Ben came down as well. My aunt Mel and Uncle Bill live there as does my Aunt Karen. My cousin Chris, his wife Ubi, and their kids, Katherine and Christopher, came over from Texas, and suddenly we were a gang of 17 taking over local restaurants. We spent a few days visiting and sight seeing until Friday arrived.

My Aunt Mel invited us all to a New Year's Eve party at her church. None of us were too happy about the concept, but we all agreed because we could be together. It was a small affair. There was a DJ, a keg, food, and lots of laughing at our table as we told stories about the past. Ian didn't last until 930pm and my AMAZING husband took him out to the care to sleep for 2 hours. The DJ announced that my grandparents were celebrating their 60th and had everyone clear off the dance floor for them to have a special dance. He played a song that was played at their wedding and my 83 yearold grandfather proudly held my 80 year old grandmother in a loving embrace on the dance floor. They were only able to dance for one verse, but it was enough to make me cry like a baby. I can only hope and pray that the Lord will bless Drew and I with the ability to dance at our 60th anniversary. Then the waterworks really started as the DJ called my parents out on the dance floor for their 23rd anniversary.

Midnight arrived to find Grandma and Grandpa cutting the cake, just like they did 60 years ago. We toasted, hugged, kissed, and I got to spend the start of the year with my two favorite guys, my family, and my extended family. On the car ride back to the hotel, Wonderful Tonight played on the radio. I realized that from where I was sitting it was an accurate song. 2011 had arrived...and it certainly looked Wonderful that night.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Making a list and checking it twice?

Last year my friend D and I decided to brave the Black Friday sales. Ian was only 3.5 months old and I was still learning new mommy restraint. (AKA: learning NOT to buy every cute outfit or toy). The sales were totally worth it. I got toys 50% off and clothes 70% off. We decided that day that we would go again each year.

Fast forward 365 days to Black Friday 2010. Ian spent the night with Nonny and PopPop so that Drew and Tim could come with D and I. JaimieLou decided to join in the fun as well. 2:00 am my alarm went off and we were up and going. Starbucks doubleshot in my hand and Redbull clutched firmly in Drew and Tim's hands, we loaded in the car and headed to Kohl's for their 3am opening. I had looked at all the ads and had an idea of what I wanted to get, but no firm list. We weren't looking for doorbuster items or big purchases. Instead we were just looking for deals on toys for little man. Most of his toys are baby toys. Now that he is walking (running) and working on talking, it is getting close to time to pack those toys up and pull out some big boy toys. Between stops at Kohls, Target, and Walmart, I was able to knock out my shopping for Ian (and a few other little things for others).

Here's my two faves (Ssshhhhhh....don't tell him) :)

This awesome little tent and tunnel. He is big on peek a boo from behind big things (like doors) and crawling through tunnels, so this was a no brainer. Plus it is small enough for inside.

Not to be outdone, Uncle Tim has pulled out the big guns. He got Ian a battery powered Handy Manny Quad. (Mommy is looking for a matching helmet, lol)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's THAT time of year...

The holidays means so many different things to everyone.

They mean busy days of nonstop running from dawn to dusk.

They mean dreading stepping on the scale in a week, but eating seconds (and thirds?) anyway.

They mean bumper to bumper traffic on roads that are already way too busy most of the year (ahem, HARBISON).

They mean getting up at 2am, standing in line for hours, and aching feet for days so that you can get those perfect few toys for a certain little man (at a price you can afford).

BUT, most of all they mean warmth. The warmth that comes only from being with family and friends. The warmth that you can feel when you go home (Mom and Dad's house is always called home in our family...even though we are all grown and have homes of our own- funny how that works) and smell the dinner that mom has worked on all day. It is snuggling up on the couch after the overload of Nonny's stuffing, turkey, and banana pudding. Sitting in the same spot that I sat in through my childhood to watch Saturday morning cartoons. Only now it's warmer. It's warmer because sitting on my lap, snuggling with me, making his own little memories after eating his first real Thanksgiving dinner is my little boy.

There is this surrealness looking back on Thanksgiving that was just two days ago. I am struck by how perfect the tiny little moments are that are almost overlooked. Like the one I just mentioned. Thanksgiving was winding down. Drew, Ian, and I were worn out (and stuffed) from two meals in under 4 hours. Mom and I had finished putting the food away and everyone was settling in to their post meal positions. Dad plopped into his recliner. Grandpa (and his trusty purring companion, Diane, my folks cat) settled into his chair with a book. Mom took a place at one end of the couch, Tim laid down with the dogs on the floor (Ben had to work and came later), Drew took the cetner space on the couch, I snuggled into my favorite nook on the end next to him. Ian snuggled with me with his milk cup. And we all watched Scoobie Doo. Yep. It was perfect. It wasn't the Hallmark moment with everyone gathered around a piano, singing Christmas Carols, and smiling with rosey cheeks. It was just our family being us. Being together. It was warm. It was perfect. And it IS what I am most thankful for.