What a busy spring we’ve had!  Between The Baby’s birthday, Wiggle’s birthday, our adoption anniversary, and our Tuner dying I’ve almost forgotten the blog is supposed to be on a break.  Alas, after today things should return to the normal humdrum of life.  But first can we talk about Miss Diva!  The girl is seven today!

I don’t think a sweeter girl has ever been made. But that wasn’t always the case!  Diva, after meeting you for the first time we sure were worried.  Daddy was convinced you’d need therapy for life.  We thought you were so hateful and rude, but now we know you were just scared.  In fact, now when we ask you why you were so mean back then, you just shrug and say “Because I don’t know you” as if it’s the most obvious answer in the world.  That thought both makes me smile (at your spunk) and cry (that you had to go through such a scary time).  In any case, I don’t even remember a time in your whole sixth year when you were hateful and rude.  I do remember…

  • How we watched Fuller House together every week while I did your hair.  And how I finally got good at doing your hair!
  • Your inability to feel pain.  Seriously, I think you are missing some nerves.  I know you’re not because the other day you got stung by a wasp and you were not very happy about that, but every time we go to the doctor you offer up your arm even if you’re not scheduled for shots, and every time a tooth is the slightest bit wiggly you follow Daddy around with a pair of pliers until you finally convince him to pull it out. download
  • How you always, ALWAYS share with others.  I can’t get over your generosity; it often makes me think of how selfish I am!  Even if you’ve been looking forward to getting something for a whole week, you’ll give it away to someone else.  Without hesitation.
  • When you got $15 cash for your birthday on Saturday you planned to give every last penny to the church on Sunday.  But you forgot the $5 and decided to buy an Elsa crown instead.
  • Your crazy crazy laugh.
  • You’re my best little helper.  I don’t even know how to roll enchiladas or stuff pasta shells anymore because I haven’t done it for two (5)
  • You USED to be my best baby-sitter, but the other day you were in charge of watching Wiggles and The Baby while I took a shower.  I noticed the room was suspiciously quiet so got out early and found you playing outside with the kids.  You were so upset that I was so upset that you cried hysterically (seriously, we could hear you everywhere in the house) under your bed for an hour.  No more babysitting for you.
  • Did I mention that you’re super sensitive and that I both love and hate this about you?
  • My sister and one of my best friends recently had babies.  You LOVE babies and would hold them all day if you could.  Every time we leave you tell me about how you can’t wait to be a mom.  Then later, you see me stressed out about something…you rub my back and tell me you can wait to be a mom because being a mom is such hard work. download (2)
  • Last year we went to Worlds of Fun.  You have to be 48″ to ride most of the thrill rides.  You were about 47.5″ and refused to stretch the truth to go on the rides.  I don’t know who is more excited about going this year, you or Daddy!  He’s been waiting for a roller coaster riding partner for 10 years now.
  • Smiles started play therapy recently and sometimes you go with me when I take him.  You know there are Barbies and dress up clothes back there and you get SO mad that you don’t get to go to therapy too.  You literally beg me to (4)
  • You really have very few faults, but the two major ones you can’t shake are your extreme messiness/forgetfulness and your inability to tell a short story in less than 25 minutes.
  • You really like to be thought of as a girly girl and get offended if anyone thinks you’re a tomboy, but you still come home with holes in the knees of all your (6)
  • You like all foods.  I literally can’t think of anything you don’t like.  This is such an extreme opposite of how I was at your age.  You like weird combinations too, you often make yourself things like a chicken peanut butter pasta pickle mustard sandwich.

But why should I keep talking?  Let’s see what you had to say:

What is your favorite color?
Pink sparkles.

What is your favorite thing to do?
Eat ice cream with my family and I really like to go to Oceans of Fun.

What is your favorite song?
God songs.

What are you most proud of?
I’m really proud I’m level H (in reading) because I moved up a level and I’m almost catched up with my class.

What is your favorite food?
Princess cupcakes.

What is your least favorite food?
I can’t think of anything I don’t like.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
An artist.  I love artists and I want to paint and be just like (my art teacher).

What do you want to do when you’re seven?
Get ice cream with my family.

Who is your hero?
My family because they always help me. Except The Baby because she screams at me and is rude.

What is your favorite game?
Decorating Barbies.

Who is your best friend?
Jenna and Haley and Corbin and Winston

What’s your favorite subject in school?

If you could do anything all day, what would you do?

What’s your birthday wish?
That I could spend all day with my family and also that no one is poor.  I love making clothes and being an artist and if I see a poor person being outside I want to bring them to my house and make clothes for them.

Happy birthday sweet girl.  You are such a blessing to this family, thanks for making us all nicer!

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Little Man is Four!

My first born is four years old today!

Wiggles, you were an answer to prayer.  You made us parents.  Today you are crazy and rowdy and ornery as all get out, but you’re also sweet and smart and snuggly.  Here are some things I want to remember about right now:

  • You  go to sleep every night in your bed.  But by the time I go to bed, I usually find you on the floor…and by the time I wake up, you’ve made your way into our bed.  You just crawl right on in, usually without us noticing.  You tell us you’re going to stop doing that once you turn 4, but you also told us you were going to start using the potty when you turned 3 and we all know how that (1)
  • You LOVE having older siblings.  You constantly play with and pick on them.  You and Smiles are always chasing each and wrestling, while you and Diva like to play Jake the Pirates and do art.  The other day someone said “No one is perfect” and you countered with “Diva is perfect at art.”  mac
  • You like to play mermaids in the bath with Diva.  And she likes to dress you up like a girl.  I love that you have sisters.4
  • You are fearless when it comes to physical activity, and will ride your balance bike downhill at approximately 70
  • You are not so fearless when it comes to the dark or someone using a “spooky voice.”
  • You are a perfectionist.  You get really angry when things don’t go your way and you make sure everyone knows it.  Usually you rattle off your favorite insults and call whoever crosses your path during this time “Idiot stupid meanie.”2
  • You’re also really into rules and order.  You constantly have a plan for how many turns people should have, what should happen next, and how things should be done.  You make sure everyone knows each step of your plan before you start the activity.
  • You LOVE to read and amaze us with how well you can do it.  I think you’ve really benefited from all the work we’ve put in with Smiles and Diva.  You memorized dozens of sight words right along with them and are now getting pretty good at sounding out words- and you make Diva mad when you help her with a word in a book she’s reading.3
  • Sometimes you can be super sweet, like when you stop what you’re doing just to tell me that you love me or when you rub my back or when you share with your siblings.  But sometimes you can be a straight up jerk, like when you randomly hit people or tell them you don’t like them.
  • I have a secret that I’m a little afraid to share online.  In the morning when you don’t want to get up, I tell you that I hope you don’t go potty because I don’t want your wiener germs.  This makes you instantly bounce out of bed, use the potty, then chase me down to give me wiener germs.  You tell me you’ll stop this when you’re 13 (you’re into rules and order and plans, remember?) but I sincerely hope this stops long before then.  I hope what started off as a funny way to get you around in the morning doesn’t scar you for life.


I gave you a survey on your 4th birthday.  Here’s how you answered:

What’s your favorite color?
Blue.  It used to be all the colors but blue is my very favorite now.

What do you like to do?
Play with blocks and train tracks and everything outside.

What’s your favorite song?

What are you most proud of?
You because I just like you.

What’s your favorite food?

What’s your least favorite food?
Hot sauce.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
An art teacher.

What do you want to do when you’re four?
Play and eat ice cream and cake and cinnamon rolls and sleep all day.

Who is your hero?

What’s your favorite game?

Who are your best friends?
Everyone at school except for (3 “mean” kids who shall not be named publicly) and my family and everyone who is nice except for bad guys and strangers.

What’s your favorite thing to do at school?
Play and math.

If you could do anything you wanted, what would you do all day?
Play outside and ride my bike.

Happy birthday to the little man who showed us a new type of love.  You are so special to us!


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A Good Bye Letter To My Favorite Dog

Dear Turner (aka Turn Turn)-

You may not know it from watching me now, but there was a time in my life when I didn’t know how to care for other souls.  I didn’t know how to nurture, wasn’t that responsible, and definitely didn’t know how to cook.  At the ripe old age of 20 I got my first apartment, and shortly after that  I got you.  You were my first baby, my baby before I had babies.


Back in those days your daddy and I were very involved in the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, both holding exec board seats and going to many events each month.  We formed a tight group of friends, and you kind of became the mascot.  You went with us everywhere- to the quad, on numerous camping and float trips, to our friends’ houses. If for some reason you couldn’t go we had many people volunteer to “baby-sit” you.  You had dozens of people watch you over the course of those college years, and I think you still have a special place in many of their hearts.  (But probably not in Daddy’s old roommates’ hearts.  They always got mad when I brought you over).  You grew up right alongside us.  You learned how to sit and stay as we learned how to pay bills and drink responsibly.


You were so ornery back then.  I remember the first night I got you.  I was spending the night at my roommate’s parent’s house.  I wanted to cuddle with you all night long but was afraid you’d pee on the floor, so I put your kennel on a desk chair, scooted the chair over to the bed, and fell asleep with my fingers laced through the door.  That wasn’t enough for you, though. You wanted out of that kennel so badly you wiggled until you knocked it right onto the floor.  I was afraid we’d wake her whole house up!

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Six months old at the lake. Please don’t mind the Pepto Bismol jump suit and political hoodie.

You were always a runner and I was so sure you’d meet your eventual death by way of the car. As people have recounted their memories of you over these last days, nearly all of them involve chasing you.  Our nephew once told your Daddy that he was faster than Lightning McQueen when he was chasing you, but you were faster!  One time we had about 20 people from the business fraternity over to practice a homecoming skit.  You escaped and the entire practice was put on hold as college students chased you in circles around the townhouse.  Our friend Tommy once let you outside at night, started chasing you after you darted, and came back to the house drenched from the sprinklers he ran through.  But my favorite running story is the time you got loose at my parent’s house.  Four grown adults chased you for what felt like two hours, until Grandpa finally sprayed a mist of bear spray.  You ran through it and finally came to a stop.  You didn’t run away so much after that.


Back in your younger days you liked to chew on hangers and we always found you stuck in the middle of them.  You also liked to chew the TV cord and I was scared you’d die of electrocution if a car didn’t get you first.

You were there when Daddy proposed.


After he graduated he moved to Kansas City, but I still had a semester of school left.  Neither one of us could imagine going a week without seeing you, so we split custody.  One of us would get you Sunday through Wednesday. We’d meet in Concordia for dinner Wednesday night and the other would keep you Wednesday through Friday.  You were one loved little dog.

And you were there when we got married.  I really wanted you to be in the wedding but that idea got vetoed (you really didn’t listen very well and you had a barking problem).  About two minutes before I walked down the aisle I was waiting in the stairway of the church when I heard you upstairs, scratching and whining at the door.  I had to frantically motion to the closest person nearby, my uncle, to take you somewhere so you wouldn’t disrupt the whole service.  So rude of you.


You were there as we started our lives together.  You lived in 8 different apartments/houses with us!  You were so spoiled.  You slept in our bed every night.  You took regular trips to the dog park. You liked to sit on the back of the couch and lick Daddy’s head (weirdo).


And you were there as I tried to pretend to play the piano.


I even got super into healthy foods and started making your dog food, using real beef and veggies and organs.  You were in heaven.  We loved you and you loved us right back.  I remember our lives got a little easier when we discovered that if I screamed as if I was in trouble, you would come running over  to protect me even if you had escaped.


You were there as we grew our family, first with more fur babies and then with human babies.


Those human babies changed your life. As it often goes, your status was demoted.  But you never complained, except when those human babies pulled your fur.  But even then, you were so gentle with these small terrors.  Turner, we’ve been through a lot with you.  Thank you for adapting to it all and for so lovingly putting up with all the stuff that has been unfavorable to you.

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You haven’t been acting like yourself for several months now.  There were times we let you outside and you wouldn’t come back in.  We’d go find you standing in the middle of the yard looking lost.  You’ve always LOVED walks, but lately we couldn’t even drag you on them.  You’ve been drinking a ton of water and sometimes peeing on the floor.  In hindsight we should have been more concerned about these things, but at the time we chalked it up to old age.  But when you stopped eating and started sleeping more we grew worried and took you to the vet.  It was time for your yearly check up anyways.  I wasn’t that worried.  I figured the vet would tell us you had the doggy flu or something.  I wasn’t prepared for him to tell me that you were dying.


As the vet rambled on about kidney failure and your enlarged liver and heart, my eyes filled with tears and I wondered how did we get here?  I skipped your teeth cleaning last year.  Maybe if I had gotten it done you’d be healthy today.  I’ve been lax on the HeartGard I used to give you religiously.  Should I have taken you in earlier?  Now I know you’ve been sick for longer than we’ve realized, and I’m kicking myself for not paying more attention sooner.  I’m so, so sorry if I’ve failed you.

The vet thought you’d be gone in a day or two but you held on for nine.  I’m so thankful for that extra time.  We cuddled more than we had in years and you ate better than ever before- ham and roast beef and turkey.  You were lethargic, but you barked a few more barks, went on a few more walks in the wagon, and climbed the stairs til the very end.  I carried you around in my Ergo and slept with you on the floor.


Late this week you started to go downhill, and this morning you let us know it was time.  We took you to the vet.  You were getting your belly rubbed as you died in my arms.


Turner, I’ve never been an adult and not had you by my side.  I haven’t lost a pet since I was a young child, and I didn’t know it could hurt this bad.  Thank you, buddy, for being such a great pal over the last 12 years.  Thank you for being patient with me when I didn’t know what I was doing, and thank you for loving us even when life got busy.  Thank you for the way you greeted us at the door, for your cute little handshakes, for the way you’d try to  roll over but spin in a circle instead.  I love you so much it hurts; it hurts a lot right now.  You’re an old man and you’ve had a good life.  I will miss you terribly.  We’ll have other dogs again some day, but we’ll never have another dog grow up with us.  That title belongs to you alone.

T, I know you’ve been freed from your old body.  I hope you’ll run like you used to in doggy heaven.  I hope they have lots of peanut butter, lots of tummy scratches, and lots of shoes for you to hump up there.  Most of all, I hope you know how very much you were loved and how much you meant to our family.









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Two Years Home!

Two years ago today Diva and Smiles stepped off of an airplane and into our lives.  They left behind everything they ever knew to enter a world that was completely unfamiliar.  I still can’t believe how brave they are!

We knew we would be in for a tough transition.  Back then, we often dreamed about how easy things would be 2 years in the future, when we didn’t have a newborn and all our kids could speak English- and now here we are.  I wouldn’t say things are easy, but they are most definitely without a doubt easier than they were back then!


To celebrate adoption day, the kids brought an adoption book (I Wished For You– if you know someone who is adopting, give them this book as a present) and treats to school.  We knew this might spur some questions from their classmates, so we’ve spent the last few weeks role playing with them and telling them it’s okay to say “I don’t want to talk about that” if something uncomfortable comes up.  They both were able to talk and celebrate with their classes!  We had activities tonight so our family celebration was pretty low key. I actually got them presents this year, but I hid them several weeks ago and now I can’t find one of them, so we will have another adoption day celebration when it reappears! We did sugar them up, looked through their adoption books (I made them, similar to a baby book), and talked a lot about how far they’ve come.

And how far they’ve come!  Here’s a shake down of where they’re at these days:

Smiles:  Such a jokester!  He uses humor to diffuse situations, and if you laugh at his jokes you’ll be his friend forever.
Diva: This girl has the emotional maturity of an 85 year old wrapped up in her cute little 6-year-old body.  I’ve seriously never met another small person who is as compassionate, empathetic, and helpful as she is.  She is constantly thinking of other people and will sacrifice her own desires to make someone else’s life better.


Smiles:  His love for sports continues.   We wrapped up basketball season a few weeks ago and now have baseball practice twice a week.  He’s pretty dedicated; most day he does conditioning on his own at home and sometimes even turns down treats in an effort to be healthy.  He loves pitching and he’s pretty good!
Diva:  She did Tball last year, but apparently all the athletic genes in their biological family went to Smiles (I’m sort of a feminist and I really hate this).  She’s just not interested.  She’s not currently in any activities except Awana at the church, but we are looking into gymnastics, piano lessons, or art lessons.  I just can’t get very motivated to do anything because I really value down time at home.

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Smiles:  Sports and friends.  We moved away from some great neighbors, but we keep in touch and see them regularly.  He’s just recently made new neighborhood friends, but tonight he called Wiggles an a**hole.  He had zero idea that was a bad word and told me he learned it from those friends, so now I’m questioning this friendship!  Friends are really important to him and he walks with a swagger when he feels loved. He likes playing basketball or practicing hitting out front.  He wants to go fishing more often, likes playing Minecraft and Temple Run on the iPad, and loves to put things like Legos together.
Diva:  Art and fashion.  She wants to be an art teacher when she grows up, except for the days she wants to be a fashion designer.  She’s always drawing; I can keep her entertained for hours with a notebook and a pencil.  She mostly draws princesses and pretty dresses.  She likes watching the YouTube instructional videos.  She’ll watch, pause it while she draws, then watch some more.  She’s young enough that she’s really into imaginative play.  Her and Wiggles pass lots of time building forts (they call them campers), mixing concoctions in the kitchen, or acting out Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

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Smiles: You may remember how we decided to repeat the third grade, and I’m SO glad we did!! I never question this decision.  He was just so far behind, but this year has been really transformational for him.  He gets pulled out twice a day, once for reading and once for ESL support with all the other subjects.  The speed at which this kid is learning how to read is amazing.  If his progress continues, by the end of the school year he’ll be reading at a late 2nd grade level- so just one grade level behind.  Can you even imagine moving to a foreign country, not knowing a single letter of their language, and then being nearly caught up just 24 short months later?  He’s keeping up with the other subjects too. He’s multiplying and dividing, learning about the government, and can tell you the different parts of the water cycle.  Two years ago he knew literally nothing.  I remember practicing ABC flashcards for hours and repeating the spelling of his name hundreds of times until he memorized it.  When a kid starts off that far behind it is completely overwhelming, but he’s putting in the work and we couldn’t be prouder.  He does get graded now, but we don’t worry about that just yet.  I’m guessing he’ll be totally caught up to grade level by late elementary school.
Diva: Diva had a huge advantage in schooling- she started off in kindergarten, where everyone is learning such basic skills that a lack of prior schooling doesn’t make that huge of an impact.  That being said, she is most definitely behind her classmates but not to the degree Smiles is. She loves to write stories, but her spelling is so bad I need help reading most of them.  She’s a natural student and enjoys school.

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Smiles:  We had a really tough first year with Smiles.  He struggled for a long time with respecting authority, following rules, and just behaving normally.  But it’s like he grew up about 5 years over the past 18 months.  He’s a brand new kid!  He still pushes buttons, blames others when he’s irresponsible, has bad attitudes about certain things, and antagonizes his siblings, but hey- he’s a kid!
Diva:  Diva is without a doubt my easiest child.  I think I’d be able to say that if I had 1,000 children- she’s just very well behaved.  But, she is incredibly messy, totally forgetful, and would watch TV 23.5 hours a day if we let her.

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Moving night with some of our best friends from Ethiopia.  We’re so lucky to know them!

Smiles:  Smiles hates to talk about his past.  It’s not something he’s proud of.  I think in his mind he says “this is over with, I’m going to lock it away and never think about it again.”  If you ask him questions about Ethiopia or look at old pictures he just completely shuts down; you can almost visibly see the wall go up.  I’m happy he’s so happy here, but I also think that most issues adults have stem from childhood problems that weren’t dealt with properly, so I am determined to help him acknowledge and accept his beginnings.  We do this in a couple of ways.  First, we talk about it all the time.  I know he hates it and he rolls his eyes every time I bring it up, but we keep doing it anyway.  And it’s working, because little by little he is starting to open up.  Second, we started him in play therapy recently.  We found a lady who specializes in adoption and she’s just fantastic.  It’s too early to tell what long term impacts this will have, but I want him to have a place outside the home that’s safe to talk about the feelings he’s having- and I also want to force him to feel and work though those feelings.  One of my greatest fears is that if we don’t get him to accept the past now, it will manifest in teenage or later years in ways I don’t want to deal with.  So, this is still an issue, but we’re working through it and seeing really positive strides.
Diva:  Diva is the opposite of Smiles.  I’m not a professional, but I think she deals with her past in a very healthy way.  She’ll tell anyone who asks about her life in Ethiopia.  She talks about her birth family often and is constantly giving me things to send to them.  Our beloved dog is dying and I’ve been really bummed about it.  The other day I was crying and she told me “Don’t worry Mommy.  Even when he dies he will still live in your heart, just like my Ethiopia family lives in my heart.”  Did I mention SHE’S SIX?!

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So there you have it.

We did a lot of research going into adoption and were prepared to face all sorts of issues. Honestly, our kids aren’t perfect, but considering the instability they faced for several years it’s really incredible how perfectly they’ve fit into our family.  I feel so lucky and blessed to call them son and daughter.





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Baby Girl is Two!

The next month brings a slew of milestones:  The Baby turned 2 yesterday, Wiggles and Diva have birthdays in April, and we celebrate 2 years post adoption in a couple weeks!  These types of posts are my favorite to write and my favorite to later look back on, so the blog is temporarily resumed for this busy season!

I was shopping at Hobby Lobby the other day and saw a sign that read “Though she may be little, she is FIERCE.”  It took every ounce of my being not to buy it for our fourth child.  She may be the smallest member of this family, but she doesn’t let that stop her from being heard!

Baby, you’re a sweet little fireball.  You drive us crazy and you make us laugh.  Here’s what I want to remember about right now:

  • You are pretty much the best sleeper in the whole wide world.  Every time I put you to bed, you immediately roll over, stick two fingers in your mouth to suck, and fall asleep in approximately 4.2 seconds.


  • You’re a somewhat picky eater with a major sweet tooth.  You’ll barely let anything green (exception: peas) come within 3 feet of your body, but you will eat 12 marshmallows in 5 seconds flat.
  • Sometimes you eat six bananas in one day.


  • When you’re not happy with your food selection you let us know by chucking it halfway across the room.  Our dogs love you.
  • When you have food not at the table the dogs follow you around, which makes you go berserk.  You scream “NO” and slap the poor dogs across the room.  You ain’t afraid of a 13 pound dog.
  • You really like to sing songs, but mostly just “Row row” and “Down by the Bay” with the occasional “ABC” thrown in.  Sometimes you tell me what to sing, I start singing it, and then you yell at me. This is really confusing.
  • You constantly take your shoes off.  I don’t think we’ve ever arrived at a destination with your shoes still on.
  • But you love to put other peoples shoes on.
  • And clothes.  If there are clothes in your eyesight you are going to layer them on until you can’t walk anymore.  None of them will be put on correctly but you will refuse all help.


  • When you’re not layering you are very opinionated about what you wear, and just like with song selections you often yell at me for putting on what you just told me to put on you.
  • You have an awesome mullet with bangs so long they cover your eyes, but you don’t like to wear bows, headbands, or hair ties.
  • You also don’t like to brush your teeth, and with all the other kids I don’t have the energy to fight you on this one.  Every night I try, and every night you swat my hand away and brush your nose or hair instead.  Then you throw your toothbrush on the floor.  If you grow up and have bad teeth I want the record to show this is your fault, not mine.
  • Your eye twinkle.
  • We have to keep the doors to the bathrooms closed because you like to take the rolls of extra toilet paper and throw them in the toilet.  The next time you do this it’s coming out of your college fund.
  • While we’re speaking about potty behavior, every time you go to the bathroom you bring us the wipes, a fresh diaper, and tell us “I pooped.”  We still have PTSD from trying to train your brother so we haven’t tried with you yet, but hopefully you’ll be easier.
  • What’s up with you taking a wipe and wiping yourself for 15 minutes?
  • You don’t like to lay down for diaper changes.  You prefer to stand up, spreading your legs almost to a full split.
  • For the first 22 months of your life you pooped 95% of the time you were in the water, including baths (which meant you were rarely bathed), but I think you finally have this habit kicked.
  • Every time you give us a kiss you suck your cheeks in like a fish face instead of puckering your lips out.  They’re the best kisses ever.
  • You know all your uppercase and lower case letters and can name all your colors.
  • You’re talking a lot.  Me and Daddy can understand a fair amount of what you say, but I don’t think the average joe could.  Your most frequently used words, beside “no”, is “please help” or “me help!”
  • You love being goofy with your big siblings and have no trouble keeping up with them!



Baby girl, thanks for 2 great years- can’t wait to see how you’ll grow this year!

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Swan Song

It is with mixed emotions that I tell you this will be my last regular blog post.

I didn’t plan on it working out this way. Quite the opposite, in fact.  One of my New Year’s goals was to post more often;  my eventual goal was to make the blog profitable. After six years I’ve established a solid following, and I thought with a little extra effort I could gain the readership that would appeal to advertisers and affiliates.  So I’ve spent the last few weeks studying just how to do that.  Now I know…but with that knowledge came a realization- I just don’t have the time it takes to do it right.


You see, our last six years have been JAM PACKED with life stuff.  Infertility.  The decision to adopt.  Opening our hearts to older kids.  A surprise pregnancy.  A revoked referral.  A precious baby boy.  Another surprise pregnancy.  Our referral call just two days later.  Convincing the adoption agency to let us continue our journey.  Our trip to Ethiopia.  Our adoption delays.  A beautiful baby girl.  And finally, bringing our kids home.  (Actually, all of that was over the course of just 4 years…the last 2 have been spent adjusting from our normal lives to our crazy lives).


It’s been quite the journey, and I’ve really enjoyed documenting it via the blog.  So much happened that it was EASY to fill the blog with updates. The blog has been a great outlet for my emotions, it serves as a solid reference when we look backwards, but mostly it’s been a fabulous connection tool.  It’s allowed me to share our story with family and friends, even at the times it was too difficult to talk about in person.  It’s connected me with strangers who are going through similar things.  And it’s allowed me to form friendships with people I would not have otherwise known.  I love it.  I feel an emotional connection to this blog- to my diary- and I’m sad to call it quits.


But the blog was started to document building our family- and our family is now built.  It has served its purpose.  As we have progressed from an unknown future to the daily humdrum of family life, I have found that updating my blog is not nearly as enjoyable as it once was.  In fact, it has become another chore- right up there with laundry, walking the dog, and working out.  When you have 4 young children there are a LOT of daily chores, and it is just no longer worthwhile for me to spend the time and energy on something that doesn’t bring me joy…or at least leave me with a clean house/happy family/someday-gonna-be-hot body.


So this is it, friends.  I’ll likely do an occasional post on special occasions, milestones, or when something happens that’s just too long for a Facebook post…but I expect those to be few and far between.  Thank you for reading all these years.  Thank you for reaching out.  Thank you for encouraging us.  Thank you for stopping me in public to share that you like my writing.  Thank you for not judging us, even when we deserved it (remember when we locked 4 year old Diva, 1 week after she was adopted, in her room when she was terrified?  Major parenting fail but you guys loved us anyway).  It’s been a great joy to share with you. Thanks for allowing me to fill your computer screens for so many years.  Friend me on Facebook if we’re not already buds.


There were many times I thought I’d never be here- living in our forever house, working at a job that I love, with a toddler napping upstairs while there are 5 kids (friends are over) playing Wii  (very loudly) in the basement.  But here I am.  Thanks for seeing me here.

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Highs and Lows

Another week, another rounds of highs and lows.

Highs:  Family visit

The Husband has some family that we don’t get to see very often at all- it’s been at least 3 years.  They came to visit last weekend and it was great to see them!  They got to watch Smiles score a basket that turned the game around, took us out to eat at Pizza Street (every kid’s dream) and spoiled us all with presents!  We had a really fun day with them.


Low:  Date Night

The Husband and I were gifted some tickets to a dinner theater and couldn’t have been more excited- who doesn’t love date night when you have 4 kids at home?  Me, apparently.  The show was great, the food was good, but I just wasn’t feeling it that day.  The kids had driven me crazy that morning and I never recovered.  I was bummed I didn’t enjoy myself more and bummed to waste a somewhat rare opportunity.

High:  Last Basketball Practice

Look, I love putting my kids in sports.  Smiles specifically has a fondness for them.  They are teaching him discipline, teamwork, and dedication- all lessons he really needs!  I’m happy he plays on teams, and plan to keep him enrolled in whatever sports interest him for years to come.  That being said….I LOVE THE TIME IN BETWEEN SEASONS!   I hate having plans on weekdays and am so excited to have Monday nights free again.  (Mostly because, The Bachelor).


Low:  Dog Bath, Laundry, Nasty Bathroom, etc

I usually try to keep our weekends relatively low key, because weekends are when I get all my stuff around the house done.  But we’ve had a couple of busy ones in a row which means my dog smells like he rolled in a pile of poop (he probably did), my pile of laundry is taller than my toddler, my bath tub has had a ring around it for a week, my dining room table has been covered in Valentine’s Day craft stuff for a week…I feel perpetually behind. But hey, if you’re caught up with housework then you probably need to reexamine your life priorities (this is what I tell myself to make me feel better).

High:  Fireplace Cuddles


Since my big kids just learned their alphabet less than 2 years ago, they’re not exactly at the stage where they cuddle up with a good book for hours.  I try to do everything in my power to encourage them to get there someday, and most recently it was story time in front of the fire place.  I hope these little moments are the ones I remember years from now when the decibel level of our house is back in the normal range and I don’t need a hazmat suit to clean.

That was my week…how was yours?

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