17 July 2015

nothing to get hung about

so, we adventured out again. 
this time with new friends and kids a plenty.
for a minute there, i felt like i was time traveling (re: amy poehler's book) 
we ate apple crumble pie and drank tea and had to wear a sweater because it was a chilly morning.
it was wonderful. i drifted back to childhood days in ohio at apple farms, drinking cider and sampling maple syrup. this wasn't quite that, but it was drinking real apple juice (and later apple slushies with a scoop of ice cream) and driving on a dirt road past apple trees and going into a shop with homemade jams and apple butters. it was california-close. and the kids loved it.

and it was around this moment that i looked around and thought to myself, 
we're going to be okay.
it was a bit rocky there for a couple of weeks and sleep was restless and my inner person was wrestling with the true discomfort of change and missing everything we love and knew. 
but seeing these open strawberry fields, watching jack run down the trenches, Zoey slowly picking up the tiniest berries and eating as many as she picked, i had a deep sense of affirmation that we are right where we are supposed to be. 

its on hard days that i find Jesus often wants to affirm that He knows our hearts, our deep needs and what we need to renew and give us courage in our steps. for me, it was the strawberry fields on a cool, cloudy and windy day. 
and i think it may have given jack the boost he needed too. he loved exploring and picking the berries and playing with new friends. 

we know we're here for a purpose, in this city and during this time. we aren't sure what it is but we trust that Jesus does and that He'll carry us and direct us to where He wants us to be. 
i can see His hand in the friends that we've met so far, the parents of the kids we've met on the playground, the home that we're living in and the neighborhood too. He's up to something. I'm not quite sure what it is just yet or what more He'll ask of us to do (isn't that the fun part?) but I'm all in. We're all in.

things we miss

sometimes we miss the big windows in our family room.
the monsoon summer storms
our back yard and walks around our loop

and while we're there. little people. they're growing up so fast!

our beloved baby-sitter, holly. 
she was really great and the kiddos loved her so.
as a former babysitter who still keeps (more like spies?) up with the kiddos she once rocked to sleep or babysat regularly, i have a heart for that first babysitter. holly will be missed always!

and my, we miss that desert rain. 
but we are learning to love the cool nights here and the breezy, foggy mornings.

15 July 2015

settling in

We've landed in this new territory and after a bit of culture shock and awe at a city so large and overpopulated, it feels like the dust has settled. We look and feel different, but here we are. A little wiser, a little stronger and weaker all at once. Everything is in tact. I've watched my boy grow up in the last couple of months right before my eyes. His world has expanded and growing pains have come, but they've stopped now for a bit, giving him some room to breath. Welcome to the rest of life, my boy. It hasn't always been easy and feelings I've stuffed for years have surfaced. It's strange how quickly being a new person in an unfamiliar place can do that to you. But we've made it through and the heat has lifted (literally) and the cool California breeze has entered our evenings and we are embracing it.

 We've made a few friends and had a few good adventures (the beach often included in those adventures) and Jack told John the other night "I'm not where I was, but it's like I got a little boost and every day I get a little bit closer to being like where I was. You're not there yet either, dad. But you're getting there" 

Those boosts of kindred spirit discovering and playground friends and fellow little rascal fans have lifted our boy's spirits and I can see him stand a little stronger and with a little more courage. 

It was hard there for a while, not going to lie. To watch my little extroverted boy become a timid, lonely  and sad little bug was hard to watch. He expressed what we were all feeling and yet we knew the feelings would pass, but for him, his entire world just got turned upside down. 

Sometimes he would cry and tell me how everything is different and he wants to go back. He's inherited the gift of nostalgia and love for all that is familiar. But a few things he does love are the fog, the green grass in our yard (not sure how much longer that will be green) the nearby beach and the great playground scattered around. Oh and the ships not far from here.

And once we finally moved into our home, things settled and we unpacked familiar memories and although the surroundings had changed, the old familiar toys and sheets and dishes helped welcome us back to a new normal. And the kids discovered a new backyard and have found a great playmate in the other.

they also discovered the little rascals movie (1994 version as well as a new one on netflix.) Its as if Jackboy is in search of his little gang and now knows what a pretty good one looks like. Zoey gets into it too. Jack says he's Spanky. Not sure why he picked him, but he did. oh and Zoey is always Darla.

15 June 2015

(delayed) mother's day post. a look back.

Mother's Day 2015

Mother's Day

Mother's Day 2013

time just goes so fast. i can't believe how quickly these last five years have gone and how these little ones have grown and changed and their little personalities develop. love watching them grow and change and so thankful to help steer them. thankful for grace to start the next day anew.


 THIS SONG came on pandora as we got ready one morning in our new city, but not quite yet in our new home. we had just moved, said goodbye to everything familiar and comfortable and left our little home. we were a little disoriented, moody and all the unfamiliar surroundings were throwing all of us in a funky mood. we tried to refresh our spirits with one thing familiar and for us that's after-dinner play with the josh ritter station. when this song came on it was a reminder that familiar would return and we would one day get settled into this (BIG) new city and one day i would remember to bring my paper bags to get groceries (they charge .10 per bag here! i am so mad every time i got to the check out and have forgotten.) one day i won't get lost or forget that to give myself more time getting to places. one day we'll have a usual place route that we take to church and home and our favorite little thrift stores around town. one day. but it's hard to remember that when you're in today and today i can't tell you which way is back to home and which way is to san francisco (so very thankful for my phone!) so, for today, we try to remember what is familiar and what won't change. That Jesus is still faithful and He will provide friends for my little extroverts and He's given us these beautiful trees and a quick 45 minute drive to the ocean. it's been good to grow as a little family, to learn when we need breaks or to discover that we our kids are in fact little friends.

probably the greatest surprise to me since being here is how my heart aches to bring our little one home from haiti to experience this transition with us. (not that it didn't when we lived in arizona, it was just different. i can't explain it.)  here there is so, so much culture here and people from all over the world. there's this pool of insight and helpful tips and other adopting parents and support groups. my mind is blown every time we explore the city.fleet

other moments that have been beautiful are the kiddos being reunited with their daddy and their chats as they drift off to sleep. jack and zoey share an air mattress and john snuggles in between them and sings them to sleep. i often have to wake him after about 45 minutes. it's precious.

i am so thankful we're all together, experiencing this transition together. moments have been hard and challenging and we often feel very flooded and our heads are left spinning, but they are good. and each day we feel a little bit more settled and are meeting so many incredible people. one day we'll learn which short cut to take, which grocery store has the best produce (though i'd have to say ALL so far) and which park has the most shade. for now, we just give it time.

14 May 2015


We said goodbye to the church building we came to long ago when Jack was just a little bug in my belly.
My goodness. Who are those young folks?? 
(And my goodness! how our bodies change!) 

What a wonderful season it has been. What great memories are held at that building and my, what memories are to be made ahead.

We wait as the seasons change and spring is turning into summer. Rain has come a little late for our small city, but last night we were awoken to a thunderstorm. Jack joined me in bed and we were able to listen to the rain fall on the roof for a few minutes. I love a good middle of the night rain.

We recently got back from visiting my brother and sister in law in Nashville, TN. How wonderful it was to feel the green grass beneath our feet and feel the humid air at 9am. We slept with the windows open, drove with the windows down, and celebrated the limited allergy attacks.
We spent most of the day time together, truly bonding as a little fam. Sometimes it's hard to do that with young kids. Somewhere along the way these two entered into a new season too. Gone are the days of making sure they don't put hidden trash in their mouths or making sure they don't fall on sharp coffee table corners. We've entered into the days of pretend play, watching their little bond form and time spent together laughing and adventuring together. We know (and hope) there are more days of helicopter parenting ahead of us and anxiously await the day when we can bring home our little one and enjoy all of that again and we can't wait until she joins our adventures. We were pleasantly surprised that they are pretty great travelers and adapted well to new surroundings. The days were relaxing and fun with trips to parks around town while the evenings were spent with my brother and his family until about 2am when we would call it a night. We put the kids to sleep there and stayed up way later than we should have laughing and enjoying each other's company. Siblings are great that way.

There were a lot of laughs shared, a few tears, conversations about our quirky and adorable kiddos and reminiscing about days long past. We enjoyed popsicles and the best BBQ I've ever had, tacos and late night bowls of ice cream with cinnamon. 

There's something really precious about seeing your brother as a dad. Watching your sibling grow up and dreams coming true and some dreams not so much. It's a strange journey that we're on and one that I miss so much spending more time with him and his little family. I'm so thankful for siblings for our kiddos and that they can share that bond and the roots that go so deep with someone else too. 

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