Friday, April 18, 2014

A 2nd Birthday!

As impossible as it is for me to believe, our precious lil princess is now 2 years old!  

We started our morning off with some strawberry waffles and birthday candles.  The candles may have been a poor choice.

 But soon we were off to enjoy an early morning at the zoo!  The princess was ready to ride!

The giraffes and the silly, deep voiced birds in the exhibit were Sabrina's very favorite at the zoo today!

I think she had a really great time and it was fun to see her enjoy her time with us!

Then it was off to the toy store for her to pick a special birthday toy.  Instead of buying the kids any birthday presents we thought it would be more fun to let them pick something out for themselves.  The crazy thing is that she had a whole toy store in front of her and as soon as she saw the shoes over in the corner, she bolted for them!  This girl loves her shoes, but unfortunately we couldn't find anything in her size.  But she was almost as excited about getting a ball and a book (and we picked out a little Disney castle for her).

                                                            And some yummy lunch!

                                      And a free  scoop of Birthday Cake Ice Cream!

                                            Yep, I would say this girl has had a good day!

Princess Sabrina,  You are the most beautiful and precious baby girl in the world!  I always thought I wanted a baby girl but I had no idea just how special the relationship between mother and daughter really is!  I hope we can always maintain a special and close bond!  Your smile can light up a room and I love that you got your daddy's dimples.  You've always looked more like your daddy but everyone is saying now that you look more and more like me.  I think it is that curly hair!  You are my little sunshine and I love you so much!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Malachi turns 4!

In the blink of an eye, our sweet little Malachi has grown into a funny, sweet, kind 4 year old little boy!  I feel like these last couple months he has really transformed into a young boy instead of a toddler.  I already feel like the age of 4 is going to be wonderful and fun!  

Per our family tradition, Peter was able to take the day off work so we could lavish a little bit of extra love and attention on the birthday boy!  The morning started off with some Birthday Cake Cinnamon Rolls, complete with 4 candles which was the funnest part for this kid!

Then it was off to the toy store so he could pick out a special gift for his birthday. This year he picked out an Iron Man toy, a rescue bots leap pad game, and Iron Man 2 (seeing a theme here?).  Then we were off to a yummy lunch of Malachi's favorite food - cheeseburgers and french fries!

After a good lunch, we were off to the movie theater to watch The Lego Movie and eat lots of popcorn!

And then a yummy stop for a free ice cream scoop, of which he chose rainbow sherbet.  He is such a cutie and it was so great to get to spend a special day just with him!

But in the end, no day is complete if these boys aren't together.  They had a lot of fun checking out Mal's new game when he came home. I love the bond these two guys share!  God wrote a wonderful story when He gave us these two!

We also had Malachi's Birthday Party over the weekend. Any guess of the theme?

Malachi was totally mesmerized by his Iron Man cake!  4 is such a fun age for Birthday's!

                                                         Sabrina enjoyed the party too!

         Poor Eli was enjoying himself, until he got in a fight with a chair and got a nice black eye. Then he looked like one tough Captain America!

It has been a wonderful week of celebrating Malachi and all the joy he has brought to our life!

Malachi,  We love you so very much.  I remember the agony we felt 4 years ago as we were waiting for much longer to see your face than we anticipated. Little did we know, you were just entering the world and the day would come so soon where just your existence brought us wonderful joy!  Today is a mix of emotions as I think about your birth mom and how much I wish she could she the beautiful little boy you have grown into.  I wish I could tell her about how smart you are, or how funny your sense of humor is.  How kind you are to your little brother and sister.  Or how much you love Jesus.  We are so proud and happy to be your parents!  You have blessed us so very much in these first 4 years of your life and I know you will continue to be a blessing to us all the days of our life.  Happy Birthday sweet boy!  Here's to a fabulous year four!  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Today, I am 28 years old.  And suddenly (and I know some of you will laugh and some of you will agree) I feel like I am getting old.  Not ancient or anything like that, but for some reason it truly feels like turning the page from 27 to 28 takes you from "mid twenties" to "almost thirty".

For some reason, 28 makes me reflect back 10 years ago to the age of 18.  On my 18th birthday I was boarding a plane for a trip with my classmates to Mexico to serve on a mission trip that would ultimately alter my life course quite a bit.  I had the huge privilege of spending my 18th birthday with my friends in Disneyland, a place I had not visited since I was 8 years old. I had no idea at that time that Disneyland would become the place that I visited every year for the next 10 years or that in just 9 short months from that date I would be traveling to Disneyland to get engaged and would return there for my honeymoon and with my children just a few short years later.

I had no idea that as I left the airport on that day and the boy who I had an itty bitty crush on and who would give me an unexpected and moment lingered first hug (of which was very out of his character and something I would be repeatedly teased about on the trip) would soon become my boyfriend and we would fall deeply in love with each other and that before the clock turned another year  we would be engaged and eager to be married.

10 years ago, on my 18 birthday I was told I was supposed to have a plan for my life and a direction but I didn't have any of that.  I had hopes and dreams but no idea what any of that meant for me at 18 years old.  I couldn't even comprehend the impact that serving for a week with adult special needs orphans in Mexico would have on me.  I had no idea that the simple words I saw daily posted on the wall of the orphanage  James 1:27: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."    would become ingrained in my heart and a part of who I am and a passion of mine.  

Things were so confusing in my life during that time. I was hurting and very confused.  I had no idea of the immense turns and blessings that were headed my way.  I had no idea that from my 18th birthday on, my life would feel like it was moving full steam ahead.  I look back now and can't believe at all that has transpired since that day.  I have been blessed with the most incredible husband for me. Who loves deeply and sacrifices to make my dreams come true. God has grown us together in such a way that our hopes and dreams are intertwined with one another and we are a united team, working hard together to accomplish our goals.  

I have been blessed with one of my biggest hearts desire - a house full of babies to love and enjoy life with!  It feels surreal to me that I am a mother of 3, almost 4 sweet babies! We have families who care about us and support us.  We've lived in 3 homes (all of which were "project homes") the one of which now feels too good to be true.  We've worked hard through college, the CPA exam, a layoff, overtime hours, and finally me being allowed to have my dream job of staying at home with my kids!   We've traveled to lots of fun places and enjoyed lots of good times and made hundreds if not thousands of good memories.

My 18 year old self could  not have even imagined all the good that would become of my life. I think the trajectory of my life made a steep and sudden change starting right around my 18th Birthday on that trip to Mexico and it hasn't slowed down for a moment since. Peter and I have lived every moment of our life together at full steam ahead. Sometimes it's hard to believe I am 28 years old and sometimes it's amazing to think of all I've done in my 28 years.  I'm so grateful for all the good in my life and I hope this next year is as busy, crazy, loving, enjoyable, and surprising as the years before it!  

Monday, March 10, 2014

Still Processing

We've been home from Ethiopia for about 6 weeks now... and in all honesty we are still struggling. I think that is why I have had such a hard time even blogging since our return.  On the good side of things - We have both come home with a stronger fervor to maintain and grow our relationship with God then we have had in years.  We've developed a more intimate relationship with God together as a couple than we've ever been comfortable before. We've been more honest with our feelings and have allowed ourselves to be raw.  All this deep thinking, heart to heart talking has helped us become closer to each other than we've ever been before.  We're genuinely happy.  This trip was the catalyst to some much needed changes and actions on our part!  I never would have thought it would impact us this much.

And don't even get me started on the stirrings of our hearts.  The emotions still remain too raw.  The desires in our hearts still burning.  But how to turn this processing into action remains a bit tougher.

And even though there have been some very good things happen since our return, we have had a fair share of challenges too. The days have been hard.  I could count on maybe one hand the amount of days I have been "healthy".  I've had 3 colds, fevers, pain with running, severe back and neck pain.  I can't believe the amount of crazy.  We've had a lot of hard behavioral problems with the kids. The adoption has been stressful.  We've had a golden carrot dangled in front of us only to have it snatched away.  We've faced some very very hard, stressful and difficult days.

But we're hanging in there. We're not faltering. We're trusting God even when it is hard and trying to decipher what His will and plan for us is while hoping that things lighten up here in the days ahead.  Needless to say, our trip was life changing.  This trip and the things on our heart aren't fading as the weeks pile on.  I don't know what is going to happen now. I really wish I did.  So we remain in processing mode.  And that's why I've been a bit quiet.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Swagger Wagon!

Well, I guess we joined the ranks of all the "cool kids" today and joined the "Swagger Wagon" Family.  Since our +5 will soon be a +6, my beloved jeep would no longer due. We've been trying to sell it for a few months now and this past week it sold leaving us with an immediate need for a new vehicle.

Can I just say, even as we are avid Dave Ramsey fans and have been debt free (mins a mortgage) for over a year now, the temptation still stood to get something "nicer" and go back into just a little bit of debt for a new car.  Now, I do think there are times that we are okay with taking a detour from "the plan".  I think we made the right choice to go on on the trip to Disneyland last summer to run the races even if it slowed us down a little bit on our goals. I think it is totally okay to take money out of our savings to help fund our adoption even if it means we will have to spend time going back and replenishing that afterwards.  However, in this specific instance I really just felt convicted that we needed to stick to our plan and pay cash. The problem was, we just weren't finding what we were looking for.  I was searching in a 500 mile radius of where we live and still not finding what we wanted. Everything that was nice and affordable seemed to have a bad title. Some models had poor reviews.  I was looking for a very specific car with a very specific price range and coming up totally empty.  This has been going on all week and I have spent far too many hours just trying to find anything that fit the bill.  One car is not really working all that well for us but we were willing to do what we had to. 

Then this little baby popped up on our radar just a short distance from home:

A few emails, Peter taking her for a quick test drive, a quick round of negotiating with pick up scheduled for tomorrow and boom. We're the (proud?!?) owners of the exact type of swagger wagon I wanted and best of all - paid for with cash (and some leftover to spare!).  I still will miss my jeep, but this ride with our family of 6 will be sweeeeeet!  

Snow Day

It has been a very busy month in the house, and now I am left with a little bit of blog catch up to do on the happenings.  Right around the same time as Eli's birthday we had the biggest snow storm for several years. Definitely the most snow the boys had ever played in!  

It was a fun little time to be snowed in and enjoy our little family. I would hate living somewhere with a lot of snow, but one good snow a year would be perfect for me. Unfortunately we only get a good snow about every 5 years.  But we all enjoyed it while it lasted!