Thursday, April 23, 2015

Our new normal...

Bryan went back to work at the fire department today, after a beautiful, wonderful, 7 weeks off on paternity leave. While we surely would have survived without him being off this long, it has been such a blessing to have him home during this transition. I am so thankful for his choices, and that he makes our family such a priority. 

During this past seven weeks, we have been adjusting to our new normal as a family of six. Life with a baby changes things. Very quickly, remembering the diaper bag, and the bottle and the bibs, and the blanket becomes second nature. After a while, you actually get used to waking up in the middle of the night. And soon enough, grocery shopping with four kids becomes no big deal. 

Tuesday evening after dinner, we packed up the kids and the stroller and the dog, and went for a beautiful sunset walk along the river.

This one is smiling...

...and this one is smiling...

...but this one is "I can't smile, I'm too tough" (in her backwards sneakers).

You can't really see it, but Bryan was smiling too. 

A good bit of the time, Lilly preferred walking and holding hands with Taite at the same time. "He likes it when I hold his hand." She is fairly prone to clumsiness and tends to walk into the stroller, so this wasn't the best idea, but I love her heart. 

It was a beautiful evening.

Here's a random story... Yesterday, I fed Taite, and then laid him down on the floor to play with his toys. A few minutes later, I walked past, and he wasn't there. My eyes quickly darted to the swing in the living room. No baby. "Where's Taite?" The bouncy seat in the kitchen, no baby. "Guys! Where's Taite?" The high chair in the dining room, no baby.  A feeling of panic came over me. "Bella! Where is Taite??"  "Right here Mama, he was gettin' fussy." And my Little Mama continued on, working on her history lesson...

I can not even put words to the feelings that I have when I watch my bigs love on our baby. I knew they would be wonderful big siblings. I knew they would love him. I knew that would want to help take care of him. I knew they would talk silly to him when he fusses, and I knew they would hold his hand. But when I actually see them loving him, and loving him so well, they just make me so proud.

And yesterday afternoon, my sweet friend Sara and her family stopped by for a little visit. It was the first time for us to meet each other's sons, so that was special. The kids enjoyed playing together, and we enjoyed catching up. And just before we all ran out the door (the girls had to get to gymnastics class), we sat the kids down and snapped this picture. What a bunch of cuties.

Today was the official first day in our new normal routine. It was a slow and easy going day, and it was nice. We did school in the morning, a trip to BJ's after lunch, played outside with Tortuga the turtle, and caught lizards and tadpoles... Even though we are missing Bryan, all is well on the home front.

As it turns out, the new normal is not that much different from the old normal. We spend time together, we play outside, we love each other. It's life, and it is so good.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

This day, three years ago.

On this day, three years ago... this little blog of mine started. Here it is, my very first post. I spent some time today, just clicking "newer post" at the end of each page (bottom left after the comments section), and read through the history of our family over the past couple years. Some things have changed, and some haven't changed at all. My littles were so little, and their precious hearts, so big. It was good to reflect and remember that these moments in time are so worth preserving and savoring. It was good medicine for me today.

Sunday, after dinner, we decided to head to our friends pool after dinner. It had been a hot and sweaty day, followed by waves of rain. We waited for the first storm to pass, and then squeezed in about an hour of swimming before the next batch of rain came blowing in. It was good family time.

It was also Taite's first time in the pool. He wasn't necessarily in love with it, but he didn't seem to mind it either. The kids loved having him join them for a few minutes.

Overall, it was a great evening. It was great to be together, and great just to be us. I am so thankful for the beautiful lives that I'm surrounded by. I'm so thankful for the choices we've made and continue to make as a family. I'm thankful for our past, our present and our future. I'm grateful for this blog, and for the ability to look back over the past few years, and remember in vivid color our lives, the ordinary and the extraordinary.

With that, Happy Birthday little blog!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Six Weeks...

Six weeks have come and gone, since the day our son was born. I have heard it a million times, and said it just as much myself. Time flies. It just does. The older I get (yes, I'm sure I've said this part too) the faster it goes. And I'm sure time has no intention of slowing down, or even maintaining it's current speed.

All of the planning and organizing and waiting... It happened. Taite came home, I blinked, and now it's been six weeks.

Last night Bryan and I were reflecting over the past six weeks. I won't lie, (this is true, I really won't lie to you) as much as I have loved this new season of our lives, parts of it have been hard. Really hard.

I think the hardest part for me, has been realizing that my expectations of how it would be with a new baby, are not actually my reality... In my mind, I truly imagined that this sweet baby would come home from the hospital, that he would magically fit right into our busy-and-packed-full-of-fun lives, and we would go on, completely normally, just with a new addition...

I must have forgotten about scheduling the day's events around naps and feedings and I most certainly forgot about that waking up in the middle of the night business. I forgot about being really tired- the kind of tired when your eyes burn at night, because you're so tired. I forgot about having a messy house that just stays messy for days. I forgot about having uncompleted chores, and a full kitchen sink, and laundry baskets piled high. And I forgot the joy that comes from a quiet shower, or a trip to the grocery store alone.

I have been so blessed by my husband these past six weeks. Seven weeks he took off from the fire department, and he has been an amazing source of help on the home front. He has rocked the midnight feedings, and he daily rocks the sweet baby. He has home schooled the kids, done dishes and laundry and cleaning, and never once mentioned the fact that I may have spent the whole entire day in the same yoga pants I woke up in.

And last night, as I stood surveying the kitchen counters, so many things weighing heavy on my mind, he hugged me and said "you're doing a really great job". And I cried. And I confessed that I don't feel like I am. As much as I enjoy spending hours a day holding our sweet son, and talking to him and feeding him, in the back of my mind, I know that my house is a mess, and there is laundry to do, and I need to take a shower, and I wanted to be able to do it all. And I'm tired. And I'm disappointed, because I thought the seven weeks that he spent at home would be filled with us doing fun stuff together, not spent hanging out at the house.

I don't really think there's a point to this, but here is a conclusion...

I wouldn't trade Taite for anything in the world. Not sleep, not my old clean house, and not all the money in the world. I love that boy so, so much. And there is not one little ounce of doubt in my mind, that God called us to adopt him. Not for a moment would I consider changing the fact that he is ours.

The only thing I wish were different about these past six weeks, are my own expectations of myself. There are so many things that I want to do and do well, things I truly enjoy, like planning events, and hosting dinners, and finishing strong a great year of Classical Conversations, and staying on top of the chores at home. But I'd like to relax a little more, in the midst of the chaos, and just breathe more. I want to soak in this new season of life. I want to enjoy the slower pace that a baby brings. I want to spend hours holding and feeding and cooing and smiling, and not think about the laundry. And mostly, I just want to be thankful for these days, because I know that they won't last long. Soon enough I will have forgotten all about those middle of the night feedings, and I will long for quiet days spent at the house together as a family.

Monday, April 6, 2015


Bryan and I have been so blessed by our church family over the past eight years, and truly love the people we get to share our lives with.  They are some of the most generous people I know, caring, helpful and loving.

Two weeks ago, these four gorgeous friends blessed our family with a baby shower. The theme was "We found our missing piece" and they created such a beautiful event for our church family to come and fellowship at. THANK YOU Susanna, Nicole, Lois and Charis! And THANK YOU Dawn, for taking all of these pictures!

One of our gifts was a photo mount signed by our friends, that bordered a puzzle picture of our first family photo together. I love it!

 This talented cake making super-star made this beautiful and delicious cake!
THANK YOU Janette!

Sweet little Taite got passed all around from one loving friend to the next. 

What a blessing this church family is, and what a blessing our son is. We thank God for him, and for his precious life. We celebrate the addition of him to our family and to our life. And we rejoice in the friendships we have, that have walked this adoption journey with us, praying for us, encouraging us, and loving us.