31 July 2015

big 3-3

birthdays continue on, even in new places.  even apart.
there's a very special little one whose birthday is on the 7th of july. we celebrated it from thousands of miles away, but we prayed for her, thought about her and wished we were close to her. she turned one and i can hardly believe we've been in this adoption journey for a year already! our love for her has grown so greatly in our hearts and we can't wait when we can celebrate with her. we think of her every day and pray (and beg) that next year we will have her in our arms to celebrate. Here's a vague, but real picture of her celebrating her 1st birthday far, far away, over ocean and land at 10pm at night. hopefully, one day soon, we won't have to be so vague and we can shout it from the rooftops (and Facebook posts ;) 
next year, little one.

and on the 11th we celebrated this guy and the 33 years he's been on earth.

here's jack quoting spanky when he says "i'm not hearing this. i'm not hearing this,"

i wish i could express how much he really means to me and how as each year passes i grow to love him more and more. we've found a rhythm together and he's encouraged me to be the best version of myself. he stretches me, believes in me and challenges me to try new things and take good risks. he's loyal, respectful and a man of integrity. i love living life with him. it's never boring and definitely never lacking tasks (which sometimes goes against my chill-and-relax personality) but we've learned to meet in the middle and that a balanced life needs both. i will say, those laugh lines that curve around the sides of his eyes are from a lot of laughing and smiling. he lives life full and well. 

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.

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