Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Movin' and Shakin'

You may have heard we experienced a little earthquake out here today. First of all, we are fine! Lily and I were actually in Target picking up a few last minute items for my trip. We were looking for quart sized ziploc bags (since I will not be checking a bag...no need to add that stress!) when, I felt the ground start to move. Lily had no idea anything was really going on, and the lady next to me with her 7 or 8 year old daughter went into total panic mode. She clung to me for dear life as her daughter looked around a bit confused about what was happening. This poor lady was most definately not from California! As far as earthquakes go, this was actually a nice one. It was what we call a "roller" as opposed to a "shaker". The "rollers" feel kind of like you are on a wave and you just go with the flow. These are nice because they usually don't cause too much damage. The "shakers" you hear coming. You usually hear a loud "bang" and then you'd better take cover. Those are generally not so good! Anyway, once it was over and I helped the poor lady next to me calm down, we got our ziploc bags, picked up a few items that had fallen, and went about our merry way. Everything is just fine...as long as this doesn't mess up my trip tomorrow!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

This month has been a little crazy for us. We've had a lot going on. It's all been good stuff, but I hate looking at my calendar and seeing too many things happening. I get a little stressed out when things just look so overwhelming...even though they are good things! As you know, we celebrated Lily's one year anniversary with us along with my mom's birthday. We also went to a Mercy Me concert with our friends Sean and Michele which was a fantastic night of worship! Last week was VBS at our church. The theme this year was "Go for the Gold", chosen as the Olympics are being held this year. The mission country was China, for obvious reasons. Our pastor's wife contacted me several weeks ago and asked if I would do a short presentation about our adoption experience. I was honored to be asked and while my presentation was only a few short minutes, a lot of time and thought went into it. Sometimes it's harder to prepare a shorter speech as you have to try to squeeze a lot of information into a little bit of time. Anyway, it went very well and I pray that we were able to be an encouragement for others to adopt. Let's see...Saturday Lily was invited to 3, count them, 3(!) birthday parties. We RSVP'd with a maybe to the 3rd party as we wanted to see how Lily was holding up. Well, we ended up making it to all 3 and she had a fantastic time! She is quite a trooper. Robert and I were exhausted, but Lily held up just fine! Tomorrow we are going to see James Taylor with our friends, James and Allison. We've been looking forward to that for a long time. We'll be getting home quite late, no earlier than midnight I'm sure, and then 4 hours later my best friend Jenny and her dad will be picking me up to go to the airport. Jenny and I will be heading out to Salt Lake City, Utah for the Stampin' Up convention. We are very excited and can't wait to see the new catalog! We'll be there for 4 days. 4 days away from Lily. I know she will be in good hands while I'm gone, but a mom can't help but worry! If you think about it, please pray for both Lily and I...that we will get through this long separation unscathed. I've had some Stampin' Up events and have been working on planning Lily's 2nd birthday party as well. We'll be having her party a little late this year. A week and a half after I come back from Utah, we will drive up to Oregon to visit family and we'll be there over her birthday. During that week and a half between trips I'll be doing all of the last minute planning as we will have her party 2 days after we get home from Oregon. We also had our final home study for Lily's post-placement this month. Mixed in with playdates, many visits with friends and family and the usual busyness of keeping a home, this month has been quite the marathon! I don't know how working moms manage. Mind you, I'm not complaining. Believe me, I've got nothing to complain about, but being this busy really helps me appreciate the down time and long for it even more. I don't want to be one of those people who is so busy there is no time to accept a spontaneous invitation, or to just rest and "be" with my family. Right now I feel like I am trying to learn to juggle, when all I really want to do is just roll one little ball around. Balance is something I am still working on and I'm sure I will find it eventually. Today was yet another reminder of how fast time flies as I went through Lily's clothes and got rid of many things Lily has already outgrown. Note to self: Slow down, relax and enjoy every precious moment.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another Anniversary

One year ago today we welcomed our newest American citizen into this amazing country. I hope we can instill in her the pride, appreciation and gratitude we have for living in the greatest country on this earth. I have found myself pondering over the last several days what her life would have been like if we hadn't come to get her, if she hadn't been adopted, if...

But then I remind myself how silly it is to wonder "what if". It doesn't matter because "it wasn't". God has blessed us. Lily has been blessed with a home, a forever family and people who love her more than she may ever understand. And I know we have all been blessed even more by her. Welcome home baby girl!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Streetcar Named Desire...

...a rendition by Lily Grace. Boy is this girl a ham!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

One Year Ago Today...

Nanchang, Jiangxi, China

July 9th, 2007

Home at Last

July 26th, 2007

August 20th, 2007

September 15th, 2007

October 6th, 2007

November 15th, 2007

December 20th, 2007

January 14th, 2008

February 22nd, 2008

March 17th, 2008

April 17th, 2008

May 11th, 2008

June 10th, 2008

July 5th, 2008

How blessed are we?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fun With Friends

On Friday, June 27th, Lily and I went for a "playdate" with our friends Jenny and Samantha. Samantha just adores Lily and vice versa. Samantha keeps threatening to keep Lily, and I can't say I blame her for wanting to do so! They had so much fun together playing in the pool and playing "chase", Lily's new favorite game. Lily still keeps talking about how we went to "Mantha's" house and played in her pool and with her puppy and had ice cream. I can't believe she remembers it, but she mentions it at least once every day.

Lily's new "ladybug boat". She had fun in this for a while, until she wanted to come o ut and play with the rest of us. It looks likes she's giving the "peace" sign here.

Lily freed from the confines of her boat. She did so well in the water and I am so glad she liked it. She even dunked her head under the water all by herself. I guess the time is coming for some swimming lessons.

On Sunday, July 6th, we went to lunch with our friends Sean and Michele and their girls, Tess and Rachel. Robert put pictures of them on his blog, so I am showing off more pictures of Lily. Have I ever mentioned how grateful I am to be married to such a great photographer?!

They were giving away these hats and balls at the play area. Lily loved them both! She had so much fun running around and Tess seemed to have a lot of fun playing with her. Lily seems to have a special affection for older children and is not so much interested in those her own age.

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Very Happy 4th!

This day a year ago, we were on a plane headed to China. Our lives were going to change forever. I had no idea what to expect, but I know I didn't expect it to be this good. There are so many nay-sayers out there, and sadly, many of them are parents. I wonder if many people go into this with their eyes wide shut, not realizing the enormity of the responsibility they were undertaking. During the wait for Lily, so many people would tell me what they saw as the negatives of parenting. "You'll have to sacrifice so much." "You'll never sleep again." You won't be able to do anything you want to do." "You won't be able to travel any more." One of the comments I heard the most were when parents came in to the school office where I worked with their unruly children saying, "Are you sure you want to do this?" If anyone was going to turn me off from being a parent, it was surely going to be these people. But I knew I had a higher calling, and that this was not only my dream, but this was God's will. God put this desire on our hearts and no amount of negativity was going to keep the will of God from happening. So far, we have proven every single one of those nay-sayers wrong. Sure, I have to scarifice some, but not nearly what I expected and it is my joy to sacrifice what little I need to for my daughter. Sleep? I am blessed to have a daughter who sleeps 10-11 hours a night, and sometimes even a nap during the afternoon. I am able to do plenty of things I want to do. Not always at the very moment I want to do them, but I am able to still do the things I did before. Lily travels very well. We have been to Palm Springs, Austin, TX and in August we will all go to Medford, OR. And am I sure I want to do this? A thousand times yes. Not once since Lily was put in my arms have I ever questioned if this was the right thing to do...even during the tough moments. I am not denying that parenting is sometimes tough, but nothing worth doing is easy all the time. As we celebrate our independence today, may you cherish every moment with your child(ren) and may we all remember the true sacrifices that are the reason we celebrate today. God Bless!