Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We wish you a Merry Christmas...and a Happy New Year!

We received a phone call last night that has altered our Christmas, and certainly our plans for the new year. The birthmom called to tell me that she has decided to go with another adoptive family. So, although this is certainly not how we pictured this story ending, we know that God is still in control. We are mourning the loss of this baby, but we are praying health, love, and happiness for him/her. This Christmas we will be thanking God for the many gifts He has given us...especially the greatest gift of His son, Jesus Christ. In Him all things are possible.

Merry Christmas everyone, and I'll be back in the New Year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Checkin' in

I feel I should apologize for the roller-coaster ride I've taken you on with our domestic adoption. Now I see why they told us at our informational meeting NOT to post stuff about it on your blog. Oops. Live and learn, right? But, I've already spilled the beans, so there is no reason to stop now.
So, our adoption is, indeed, moving forward. Thank you for all of your comments, emails, texts, phone calls, and PRAYERS! I am so blessed to have such an incredible support system here! We are back on track, and SO looking forward to meeting our baby!


This picture of Lily has nothing to do with this post. I just threw it in here cuz I know some of you miss seeing her cute, little mug. (Don't worry, she's not foaming at the mouth...it's just powdered sugar from a very healthy breakfast the other morning.)

She is doin' great! Today she had her "holiday parties" at preschool AND dance class, so tonite she declared "This was the BEST Thursday EVER!"

Hope you are enjoying all the beauty of the season as well...




Saturday, December 13, 2008

Prayers needed (again)

I can't go into details here, but I am requesting everyone to pray for our domestic adoption. Things have gone downhill quickly, and it will take nothing less than a miracle to save it now. I am broken hearted for my family, and I am also hurting for the birthmom and her family. I have grown to care very much for them, and the demise is in no way her fault. She has been wonderful. It's complicated, but know that I am on my knees here...and I would so appreciate it if you'd join me.
Thank you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas is coming

Christmas is around the corner, and we are ready. This year we are not exchanging presents, but will celebrate simply by being together and really focusing on the "reason for the season". Oh, and we'll be gettin' ready for our baby:) Projected time of arrival is approximately January 8th. The birthmom is out of state, so my parents will be traveling with Lily and I. Originally we thought we would be living out of a hotel while there (for about two weeks), but now we have a house to stay in - free of charge. A very gracious and wonderful woman has offered her home to us, to avoid the financial burden of a hotel room. Wow. God has been moving mountains for us here - I feel so blessed to be a part of it all. I know I don't update much these days, but that will change when the baby is home with us. Until then, just keep all of us in your prayers...thank you so much!Other than that, not much is new. Things are going well here. Thanksgiving was nice. Lily requested to be the "pray-er" before our feast. It went something like this "Thank you God for this best Thanksgiving ever...let us be nice to each other and not mean to each other...thank you for this turkey...in your name, Haymen!" She is still loving preschool and church and making lots of friends wherever she goes. She still dances and piroettes to get somewhere, rather than walking. Life is good.
Later, friends.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My graceful girl

Lily loves life - loves to be with people, read books, play games, LAUGH, go to school and church...but one of her greatest loves is dance. She is in her element when she is dancing, and it is such a joy to watch her.














This girl brings such joy into our lives. I am thankful for SO much in my life, but the gift of being her mom is at the top of the list.
I pray everyone has a happy Thanksgiving...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Braden!

My nephew Braden is seven years old today.


And, being the loving and kind aunt that I am - I decided to post these embarrassing pictures on my blog in his honor.


Sorry buddy, but when you put on Lily's butterfly wings and grabbed her wand you shouldn't have "posed" for me! And, you and your brother should both know that if you put on tu-tu's, I'm GONNA take a picture!





Seriously, I love this kid! He is ALL boy (despite the pictures) - and he has a heart of gold.


Happy Birthday, B-Dog. XOXOXO










Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bad Blogger

These pics were taken at the Cider Mill about a month ago - but since I am the Queen of Blog Slackers these days, I am just now posting them.



Life is good here...Lily is as sweet as ever. Seriously. This was our conversation yesterday:

Lily: "Mom, how did I get to be your daughter when I was so far away?"

Me: "Well, mommy can't grow babies in her belly, so my babies grow in another person's belly - and then when they are born, I can adopt them into my family."

Lily: "So, after I was born - that is when God gave you my picture?"

Me: "Yes, I got a picture of you when you were 8 months old."


Lily (again): "But, mommy, don't all people from China have dark hair and brown eyes?"

Me: "Well, yes."

Lily: "Then, how did you know it was ME!?

Me: "Because you have lots of special features that make you different from the other people in China."

Lily: "So, after you saw me in my picture you came and got me?"

Me: "Yes, then daddy and I got in a plane and went to China to bring you home."

Lily: "I'm so glad mommy, cuz I always wanted you."

Me: "Aw, Lily. I always wanted you too. I loved you long before I ever even saw your picture, sweet girl."



(And, I love you more everyday.)






She seems to be asking more and more (specific)questions about how we came to be a family. Now that she sees babies growing in the bellies of friends who are pregnant, and with all of the talk about her soon-to-be baby brother/sister...

I just pray God continues to give me wisdom in how to answer these complex questions.
Hope this finds you all well. And, Michelle, if you are reading this: Happy Birthday to you!!! Lily says "Don't get crazy!"

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Visitors, Halloween, and update

This little lady came to visit us last week...we were so thrilled to meet her. She is a beautiful, sweet, miracle baby and we feel so blessed to know her. Can't wait to see you again (and your mommy too)!
Doesn't Lily look good holding a baby!?!




We also had another very special visitor! Gee-Gee came to town for a week and we enjoyed every moment. She lights up our life so much when she is here, and we miss her like crazy when she leaves.


Halloween was good this year. Lily was a princess, ballerina fairy. A very hodge podge costume, but it cost less than 10 dollars, so I was all for it. (plus, she thought she was pretty fabulous in it.) She decided she didn't want to go trick-or-treating, so we passed out candy instead and had a blast.



She was the leader in her school parade. Strutted her little self around in her cool shades.







Lily's preschool class. They are all adorable and wonderful. She has made some amazing friends this year! (Oh, and she is learning A LOT too.)
She loves school more than I can express. She is a happy girl, most days. She's amazing.



Baby update: projected due date is Jan 12. I am planning on driving there (out of state) with my parents and Lily to be present for the birth. We have chosen our name(s) - we won't know the sex of the child until he/she makes an appearance! Other than that, we are just quickly trying to get our family and home ready for an infant.
Thank you, everyone, for your words of support and congratulations. It means sooo much to me!
I will, eventually, share the whole story with you - and someday I'll visit all my favorite blogs again! But, for now, I'm gettin' ready for a baby! WOO HOO!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Baby Coming Soon!

OK people, I am exhausted...the butterflies that have made their home in my belly are keeping me up at night. Which isn't good, considering there will soon be a baby keeping me up at night! Jay and I are switching from the Korea program to the Domestic program because we have been "chosen" (hallelujah) by a birthmom to be the adoptive parents of the child she will be giving birth to in January! Everything has happened very quickly - it has been a total "God thing" and I will share all of the beautiful details in time.
Just thought I would share my happy, happy news with any of my friends who still check in on me here.
I'll be back soon.
P.S. Lily is over the moon excited that she will be a big sister in 2(ish) months, rather than in 2(ish) years! Woo hoo!!!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Movie Monday

Just wanted to show everyone we're still alive and well. Just have some MAJOR stuff goin' on in our lives right now - and it's keepin' me from blogging.



videoWe'll be back...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Lil Tidbits at 4 years, 4 months...



Yep, today my baby is four years AND four months old. Ask her and she'll tell ya she'll be "foe and a half at Pwissmiss." I remind her on a daily basis that no matter how big she gets, she will ALWAYS be my baby. And, as much as my heart IS longing for another baby...I am really cherishing the incredibly special relationship that Lily and I have. There are so many times when it's just the two of us - and we truly enjoy each other's company. We do art projects, play Zingo, play "tag" outside, read books, tell stories, dance, sing, pray, and LAUGH...and LAUGH...(and LAUGH!)







So, here are some recent Lil Tidbits.






Her pre-school teacher relayed the first one to me...





-In class, they were discussing the differences between people - different features, skin colors, etc. Lily piped in with "My skin is tan because I was born in China and my parents flew on an airplane to get me!" Another time she excitedly exclaimed "We are different, but we are ALL God's creation!"





-Jay brought her up to see me at work one evening. She LOVES to help me around the restaurant, so I was letting her set some tables, and ring in some orders on the computer. She was so happy she nearly burst - next thing I know, she has herself wrapped around my leg and is squealing "I have DA BEST mommy!"






-There are still nights when she struggles to sleep well in her own bed. One night she called for me and explained that she was "having a hard time" and wanted to sleep in bed with mommy. I gave in and told her she could, so she began gathering Baby Spot and her blankie, but then sheepishly asked "how will my dad feel about this?" Another time she insisted that she couldn't sleep in her bed because "the wild noises outside my window make me nu-viss(nervous)." I told her to pray about it, so she did and managed to fall asleep. The next morning she told me that God took away the noises for her...and we haven't had a problem since! By the way, we live in a normal, and quiet neighborhood. There are no wild and crazy things going on outside.






The girl is a total sponge - so I am always extremely careful with the words I choose to say (especially when she is around). Unfortunately, not everyone does this. So, she has said and done some things that I don't appreciate. But, I realize these are all life lessons. We have had many discussions about only following or repeating someone who is making good choices and being a good example. Most of the time, she is really good about discerning which behaviors she can copy. However, I have still heard more times than I'd like "this is boring" or "I'm not INTO this, mom." Oh, and my favorite (picked up from a pre-school friend) "If you do that again, I'm not playing with you anymore." But, I know not to expect perfection from her...she's the first to remind me that only God is perfect - "we all make mistakes." Her pre-school teacher said to me the other day "All your days with Lily must be filled with such joy." And they are, they truly are. I think I will be forever pinching myself over this sweet girl who is so much more than a dream come true.




Pictured: Lily and her friend Molly, age 2. At our last play-date Lily said "Mowee is so cute, I could just eat her up!" (told ya she's a sponge)



















Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Friendships...

Dance class is back in session. Lily loves it just as much this year as she did last...and she and Lexi are in the same class again, which makes them both very happy. They're like two peas.
She is still loving preschool and really comes alive when we get to school. (even when she is crabby with me - she snaps out of it as soon as she sees her school friends). She has declared Jadyn her BFF, but tells all of the kids that they will be "fwiends foweva." We've had a couple playdates, and I'm so proud of her for being a very good friend (most of the time).



However, due to the fact that everyone is back to the busy fall schedule...Lily is missing her friend Wyatt. He still lives across the street, but they haven't played together in weeks. She misses her prince...


She doesn't get to see her cousin Payton much either anymore...he hasn't even been over since she made "the warning signs" for him! We've gotta do something about this.
I'm so thankful for my sweet friends, and am happy to see my daughter forming wonderful relationships in her young life...I hope some of these kiddos are her friends forever. Wouldn't that be neat? I mean, I'm old enough now to be able to say to one of my girlfriends "We've been friends for 20 plus years!" And it doesn't matter how much time passes between our get-togethers, we are always able to quickly pick up where we left off.
And, I will also say that I am thankful for my online friends. Ya'll rock. XO





Saturday, October 4, 2008

Veggie Tales

videoLily's new favorite video is Veggie Tales "Silly Songs: Dance of the Cucumber"...she watches it at least twice a day. This is her singing to my personal favorite song - Sport Utility Vehicle...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Beware! Don't go in there!

I don't have much to post about these days. That's not to say that Lily isn't being blogworthy, it's just that I haven't been feeling very creative. So, I haven't written much down, and I haven't picked up my camera much. Shame on me, yes. But, summer is gone. And, it is gonna take me a minute to be OK with that.

Anyway, one day last week Lily was out at the kitchen table doing crafts. I saw her with her scissors and her red paper, but really had no idea what she was up to. Minutes later she was grabbing the "sticky tape" and hanging these little pictures on all of our doors, and leading up to our stairway. She explained to me that it was a person with a line through it. The purpose: when we have her cousin Payton over, he will know not to go into the rooms or up the stairs...so I can keep a better eye on him.



Do you think it will work?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Whatcha doin' in there????


After reading books one night last week, Lily's face disappeared into her pajamas (as pictured), and I could hear her muffled whispers. So I, of course, asked her what she was doin' in there. To which she replied "pwaying". I asked her why she had her head in her PJs to pray...and her reply was "Cuz God is in my heart - and my heart is in here!"

As if that wasn't sweet enough...I leaned in closer to hear her prayer. It went something like this: "God and Jesus, pwease heal my papa cuz he got hit on his moto-cycle...and take care of ev-wee-one in da world. I love you soooo much. Haymen."

(Yes, my dad had been hit by a car while riding his motorcycle and got banged up a bit - but he is fine...PRAISE THE LORD!)


I love that she is praying on her own now. She will randomly list different people off at night for God to take care of. She mentions family members that live out of state (she does NOT understand why people we love choose to live OUT of this fine state) haha. I also love how much she is learning about God, and how she truly loves Him already, at her young age. She talks about Him all the time. In the car the other day she was rattling on and on..."Mommy, when we do some-ting bad, it's called a sin but God takes our sins and puts them FAR away. I learned dat fwom my devotional you wead me evewee-day." She has plenty of questions about Him too. (Why is He a spirit? How can I hear Him when I can't SEE Him? etc)


She just amazes me over and over again. I keep thinking that one of these days the "awe" factor will subside a bit, but that's not happening. I am 100%, crazy, ga-ga, head over heals in love with this child!


Preschool is going extremely well. She loves it SO much, and has already made some buddies - we actually have our first "playdate" after class tomorrow. A couple of the other moms have volunteered in class already and they both commented to me on how "smart" and "sweet" Lily is. Makes a momma very proud! And, I'm taking advantage of that time to myself - it's been really good for me too.


So, that's it for now. We're just enjoying our fall - although, it still feels a whole lot like summer around here. (and I'm NOT complaining)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sugar Plum Fairy






















Jay took the day off on Friday to watch Lily (my sister normally watches her, but she went out of town). They had a wonderful day together spending money at the mall. This is why Jay could NEVER be a stay-at-home dad...we would have exactly zero dollars and zero cents. Anyhoo, her favorite purchase of the day is a pink pair of wings that she has been wearing non-stop. She is a self-declared "sugar pwum fawee", and she can be found prancing, dancing (and then bowing while instructing us to clap), spinning, and singing in her new wings. Oh, and you know the ensemble just wouldn't be complete without her ballerina costume and her magic wand!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lily's first day of preschool

Lily started preschool on Monday. This is the short version (in pictures) of how the day went down:

Giving Spot a hug and kiss goodbye in the morning...telling him she would be back soon.



Posing with daddy in front of her new school, before going in.



Pointing out her locker.


Telling daddy she was ready to go to school now.
See ya after!






After class the teacher has the students line up against the wall and wait until their name is called to be dismissed.






Lily's name was called, so she ran to mommy to tell her all about her first day at school!




Later that day we celebrated with cupcakes...Lily's favorite. Day one was a HUGE success!



Now, here's the long version. Feel free to skip this part...I just wanted to capture the entire day to look back on.
I had butterflies in my stomache all morning, just thinking of taking my baby girl to school and leaving her there. Lily seemed partly excited/partly disinterested about the whole thing. Jay worked a half day, so he met us at her school for the drop off. She was so thrilled to see him there! We went in and she quickly found her locker and put her belongings inside. Then she excitedly said "I'm ready mom, I'm ready! Where's my teacher!?" Meanwhile, the hallway is rapidly filling up with more kids, and their parents. A few minutes later, in what I would best describe as "partially organized chaos", her teacher arrived and instructed her students to use the bathroom before heading down to class. Lily went into the girls' bathroom and Jay and I just kinda stood out in the hall - not knowing exactly what to do. We weren't needed for anything else, but I didn't feel comfortable leaving yet. I mean, I hadn't really said goodbye. Plus, I was basically freaking out about Lily being in the restroom alone. This is what was going thru my brain: 'was she able to get her underpants AND bloomers off, was she able to lift her dress up enough, and prop herself up on the big toilet? Did she get enough toilet paper, wipe good without leaving drips? Get her clothes back on right? Is she scared that we left already? Does she know her teacher is waiting for her in the hallway or is she scared that she didn't wait for her?'
I stood there, working myself into a little frenzy, for what seemed like an eternity. (it was probably about 5 minutes). What was taking her so long? I looked at Jay and said "I'm goin' in". I walked into the restroom , and there were kids everywhere - I located Lily's little blue shoes under the second stall, and called out her name. She replied "Mommy, I can't get the toilet to flush." I had her unlock the door and I went in to help her. Poor thing, it was an automatic flusher, and it was just waiting for her to step away from the toilet. With that mystery solved, I observed my girl - she had managed on her own. So, she proceeded out to the sinks to wash up, and we were out. Her teacher met us at the door, I got a quick kiss goodbye - and she was off to her first day.
Jay and I made small talk with one of the other moms on our way out to the car. Then I got in my car and the tears just came, one after another in a steady stream...I think I could've cried for an hour, but Jay climbed into the passenger seat and started to gently tease me. So, I got a grip, and we went to kill some time together. We went to lunch, did some shopping (looking, no buying)...the time seemed to drag. (sorry Jay) Finally, it was time to pick her up. So, back to school we went. When she came down the hall to see us, she was ALL smiles. First thing she said was, "Mom, I didn't paint, but I had fun. I love school." She went on to tell us about Circle Time and Book Time and how she made a chain with links, and how her teacher said she couldn't take it home with her - even when she asked her AGAIN.
She said she made new friends. "Anabel is allergic to carrots" she chirped happily. "And we had circle crackers for snack, and there was a carrot on my napkin too, but I didn't eat that." (I'm guessing that Anabel didn't either)...
So, the day was a wonderful success. We went home and made her favorite dinner, spaghetti pie, and cupcakes for dessert. I'm so proud of my big girl...
Today is Day 3, and things are still going wonderfully. Lily truly seems to love school, and her teacher says she is doing great. And, I haven't shed another tear!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Lil Tidbits (from a not so lil girl)

As you know by now, Lily is a constant source of entertainment for us. She is always saying things that make us smile - and lately I have been blown away by how mature she is getting. She'll say something and I'll laugh, and she'll say "Why are you laughing at that mom? You say that all the time." So, I have to explain to her that for some reason when I say it, it's not funny...but to hear a 4 year old say the same thing - it is pretty amusing. When she cocks her head and says "Oh, for goodness sake!" I can't help but chuckle.
Here are some more examples of her recent (maturing) tidbits:
-She and my niece were playing in the other room and Logan (my 8 year old niece) came to me and said "Aunt Nikki, Lily says we need to compromise...what IS compromise!?" So, I told her to go ask Lily what it meant, since it was her idea afterall. A few minutes later Logan returned saying "Lily says it's kinda like sharing when one person wants to do one thing and another person wants to do something else." So, I just kinda smiled and said "Sounds good to me, Logan, now why don't you back and see if the two of you can compromise." Logan smiled at me and asked "How does Lily know this stuff!?" (I later found out that Winnie the Pooh had taught our girl this particular nugget.)
-She was playing school in her playroom and ran out saying "Mom, c'mere, I wanna show you something." So, I went and saw that she had written the numbers 1 thru 12 on her chalkboard. She told me she had been practicing. "With who?" I asked. She pointed to a chair full of her dolls and stuffed animals.
-We were playing school together (I was the student and she was the teacher)...she told me her name was Teacher Lucy. Then she tooted. Without skipping a beat she looked directly at me and firmly said "Students, teachers pass gas."
-The other night after reading her devotional she said "Mom, I need a bible. I can't listen to what God says to me if I don't have a bible." (P.S. She has a bible.)
-Yesterday I was getting her in her carseat and she pushed my hand away saying "I can do it by myself, mom. I'm a big girl now." She got herself situated in her seat and proceeded talking "I remember exactly where my locker is at school, so Monday when I go I'll put my stuff in there all by myself, cuz I heard my teacher say she wants us to be independent." I was thinking about how big my girl is getting...overhearing her teacher at orientation tell one of the other moms that she wanted her students to become more independent - she had taken it all in and decided that she was going to show her teacher just how independent she is. wow. But then she interrupted my thoughts by saying "Um, mom. I still need you to do my buckle." Phew. I guess I'm still needed for something. (for now, anyway!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hard to say goodbye...

It's hard to believe that summer has come to an end, and fall is in the air. It's always hard for me to say goodbye, but this year seems especially difficult. We had such a great time in the water and the sand. (these pics were taken last weekend...our last hoorah, if you will.)

BUT, fall does have many wonderful things to offer. We're looking forward to Lily starting preschool (in 6 days) and starting dance class (in 2 days). Going to the Cider Mill, playing in the leaves, going for long walks in the cooler temperatures...the list goes on. I'm just the nostalgic sort, and I'm reluctant to say hello to a new season, when it means I must let go of the one that came before it. But, such is life. So, I look back on summer with a smile - it brought us much joy.
Lily is ready for a new season. She is excited to start school and make new friends. She can't wait to get back to dancing, and of course she still claims that winter is her favorite season. She even starting rattling off her Christmas list for me today.





























Farewell sweet summer! Until we meet again...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Our Weekend - worth the drive!

Well, Saturday morning we headed to Jay's parent's cabin...we finally arrived at 3 pm. As Lily put it "this is taking us FOR-EVER!" But, when we got there, we decided it was well worth the drive. The cabin is absolutely beautiful - and this is our view from the balcony. Ahhh...so nice.
Lily was so happy to see everyone again. She always has such fun with her cousins Morgan and Macey. One of the highlights of the trip for them was definitely riding on the 4 wheeler with Papa.






Lily would tell Papa when he was going too fast for her liking...she kept a close eye on the speedometer! (she is cautious like her momma.)


We also spent a lot of time at the campground where more family and friends were staying. The girls had a blast playing in the sand and in the waves of Lake Michigan.
Lily enjoyed the water, but the waves kept her REAL close to her daddy at all times.























Mr. Tom was teaching the kiddos how to make an acorn whistle. They never quite got it to work, but they sure did have fun trying.
















Lily is still coming down from her sugar buzz from the weekend - between the oreos, s'mores, ice-cream, etc. Ah - we're taking a break from sugar around here for a bit.













































Lily immediately warmed up to Papa's brother Ken...even told me at one point that she wanted to go live with him instead of me. I reminded her that family is forever - and she can't get rid of me that easily. She eventually decided that this is a GOOD thing. Silly girl.
















Lily and her cousins sittin' around playing with money. Life is good...
She already misses everyone - especially her sweet cousins. Last night, before bed, she told me that she really wants a girl baby. I told her that she'd better start praying for one. So, she closed her eyes and said "God, pweese give me a girl baby cuz Morgan has Macey and she's a girl too. Hay-men."
Hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend too!