Friday, May 28, 2010

A visit from one of my Chatty Sisters

As you may see from this marathon posting session, we have been busy as bees around here and I haven't even posted anything concerning school activities. I am literally counting the days to when I can soak in the easy livin' of summertime but we still have a couple more days of busyness and then I can breathe a sigh.

In addition to celebrating Cody's 13th birthday we had a visit from one of my chatty sisters and her family. I have posted a few times about this group of women who I came to know online while we were waiting to travel to adopt our Emily. A bond formed between all of us during that time and then we were able to pass that love for each other down to our daughters. Describing what we share as a group of women and daughters is beyond words. We spend our days chatting online which we love but when we are able to get together face to face...the fireworks fly. Our family was treated to a special visit from Julie, Caroline and their family as they were beginning their vacation here in the west. We were so appreciative that they took the time for a visit with us. They only spent one night but it was packed full of lots of fun. We wore them out squeezing in as much as we could. All the kids got along beautifully. And as always I stood in awe as I watched how Emily and Caroline seemed to pick up right where we left off last time we were together. Emily and Caroline spent their days in China together in the same Foster Care Villiage in Kunming, China so I am convinced that there is a unique connection that these two little girls have to each other simply because they shared something very special during the beginning of their lives.

Julie and company, thanks for sharing a bit of your vacation with us....we loved having you.

Emily and Caroline
The chatty mommies and the "Sisters Chinese"

Me and Julie
Super Silliness

Hiking fun on a BEAUTIFUL CO day
The whole gang

13...where did the time go?

On May 22, I officially became the mom of a teenager. My first-born celebrated 13 years of life and what a beautiful ride these past 13 years have been. Cody's birth and presence in our family is such a miracle....a work of God that unfolds each and every day of his life. I was able to spend 3 years with him before our second son was born and have been reminded over the past few weeks how precious that time was. After waiting for many years for God to make me a mommy I soaked in every moment with Cody during those early years. He filled our life with indescribable joy.

These 13 years have not always been easy for Cody, in fact he has walked many roads that a child should never have to travel but has done so and absorbed it all with such an accepting attitude. He is my deeply passionate kid...everything he does and feels is intense. He thinks so deeply and cannot be satisfied with surface. He demands explanation and takes nothing without feeling the truth deep in his heart. He is highly emotional and loves so deeply. Little did I know that 13 years ago when he was placed in my arms that he would bring so much passion into my life. He keeps me on my toes. He is bright minded, has amazing creativity and thought processes that amaze me and I pray today and everyday that He will forever be a man after God's own heart, that he will follow his talent and passion as that intersects with the incredible things that I know God has awaiting him. I ask God to protect his heart and allow him to see the goodness of life and that although life doesn't always play out like we think it will, God still makes a way for incredibly beautiful things to unfold. So, as my #1 son officially enters manhood may I always be passionate about expressing my love and appreciation for him, may my amazement at who he is becoming as a man overwhelm me with pride and may he always know how so very precious he is in the sight of the one who made him.

Happy Birthday to Cody, I love you "to Pluto and back"!

My first moments with my new son.
Happy Daddy!

Fascinated with the lips, already he has amassed quite the library...a sign of things to come. He is my reader.

Had to throw this one in with my alma mater's, he tells me he wants to follow in my footsteps and go to Samford....I couldn't be happier plus his Aunt Lissa and Mr. Jay could keep and eye on him if he makes his way to B'ham.

First day of Kindergarten

He loved Tae Kwon Do

One of my favorite pics of all time....Oh he will be such a good little Sigma Chi
Video Games......his greatest passion and my nemesisMagic Basketball I love this one...reveals his occasional softness

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Mother's Day!

My Mother's Day will go down in the books as being one of the BEST! My man and my kiddos did a fabulous job of making me feel extra special. I was truly celebrated and loved on throughout the day which made it such a wonderful day. One of the things that made the day so out of the ordinary was the fact that I didn't have to cook all day...YAY ME! For those of you who know me, you know that I basically am in my kitchen non-stop. Between having my man and kids home all the time and no feeding schedule I literally cook all the time. We seldom ever eat out in fact before Mother's Day we had not been out for dinner since a few days before Christmas therefore not having to cook and going out for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants was all I needed to feel like the greatest mom in the world. I splurged and had a yummy steak, delicious mashed potatoes and fried cheesecake for dessert and then we went for a hike at a beautiful location. We were blessed with incredible weather for the day which I loved since I was so done with the snow in May. Each year I love being reminded that I have this awesome job of being a mommy to 3 incredible kiddos who I get to love on every day, 1 precious boy who is loving me from Heaven and a darling little brown-eyed boy who is waiting in China for his mama to scoop him up and love him for the rest of his life. It doesn't get any better than that!

My Babies
Darling girls

He was the first to make me a mom.
I am so blessed to have this one to call mine.

Another sweetie who calls me mama.

I couldn't be more happy than to be surrounded by my loves just missing 2.

The beginning of our hike

I never tire of these views...God's beauty blows me away!

A family of deer came to visit during our hike...another thing I don't get tired of is seeing the wildlife

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Celebrating 5 years!

A few weeks ago we celebrated a very special day. On April 25, 5 years ago our sweet Emily was born into this world. I wasn't there for her birth. I didn't hear her first cry nor was I the first one to hold her little body. In fact it would be almost two years before she would know of my love for her. It is a day that we celebrate and rejoice over because I confidently believe that on that day God knew that she would be mine. I grieve the loss of those first two years as I imagine her life before God brought her to me yet I am thankful to a woman on the other side of this earth who gave my daughter life.

God has redeemed those 2 years and magnified and multiplied the sweetness of the time we have been together and so we celebrated in a big way the miracle of my baby girl's birth. I rejoice over her and what a beautiful girl she has become. She has grown in some incredible ways. Her tenderness, compassion and capacity to love leaves me standing in awe of how could so much beauty be wrapped in such a tiny person. She loves so deeply and unconditionally and without expectation. She has no apprehension in spontaneously expressing her love and emotion verbally and physically. Emily brings sweetness to my days. She makes me smile. She warms my heart and one of her hugs can make all my hurts disappear. One of the greatest things I love about her is how much she loves to embrace all that God gives her. She already has a passionate love for God. She loves to sing praises to Him, talk about Him, tell me about what she has learned about Him. She looks forward each week to going to church and learning more about Him. What an inspiration she is to me. How grateful I am today that God chose me to be the mommy of such a beautiful little girl. May I always live up to the call of loving her as much as she loves me.

Happy Birthday to my sweet little China girl!

The Little Girls

The Big Girls