Thursday, July 29, 2010

One Month Home

It has been one month since we came off the jetway in Philly with our sweet baby girl. I can hardly believe it!

It's crazy-- most times I can hardly remember life without four kids and just bask in the loveliness of our pretty baby girl's smiles and coos... but sometimes (usually when I am singlehandedly trying to "rush" out the door) I think to myself.... WOW! Four kids is wayyy harder than three!

We are so very, very blessed to have sweet Olivia as part of our family. Adoption is just such an amazing thing, you know? An orphan from Africa with no future is now an integral, beloved family member. Her bright eyes and happy giggles remind me every day what a blessing she is to have as part of our family! It's truly such a crazy, mind-blowing thing!

Here are a few pics from the last month. :)

cute baby <3

my 3am laundry helper, her first week home

cuddles with big brother Will

please notice Tristan's very SCARY tiger teeth!
(taken with the awesome Hipstamatic iPhone app :))

a VERY proud big sister with her super-happy-hand-flapping baby sis!

all of us at Olivia's dedication at church last weekend 
(Hallie is wearing a dress we brought back from ET for her!)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Froggy Grass.. ?

Tristan: "Mommy, isn't our grass so froggy this morning?"
Me: "So froggy?"
Tristan: "Yeah, see, look at it. It's so froggy."
Me: "Do you mean foggy?"
Tristan: "Oh yeah, foggy. I thought it was called froggy."

Welcome to a froggy morning in the Poconos, everyone. :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Book Review: Hurricanes in Paradise

This is a review of Hurricanes in Paradise, by Denise Hildreth. Coming off my so-so read by Karen Kingsbury, I loved this book. I loved her characters and the way she built the storyline. I like that her characters were very "real", dealt with real-life issues, and everything didn't just pan out "just so" as most chick-lit novels are apt to do.

Even though I am not Southern (far from it, actually ;)) I did appreciate the Southern charm she threw in to the plot, since I  don't know much about the Southern culture at all.

This book was a light, fun read that dealt tactfully with several weighty issues (HIV, adultery, death, etc.) in a fairly thought-provoking way, given the genre's general tendency to shy far from such  topics. I enjoyed this book and recommend it as a good summer read!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


i love summer.

afternoon swims at the lake.
cute brown babies in bathing suits.
boys squirting water guns.

lazy mornings.
no schedules.
candy land, memory, one more book.

plants growing bountifully.
our first cucumbers, scarfed down by ecstatic children.
snap peas, picked and eaten as fast as they can grow.

sitting on the porch watching a thunderstorm roll in.
kids picking blueberries in the rain.
the rhythm of the fun, fast-paced days and the slower, lazy ones.

gosh, i love summer.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Review: A Time to Dance

This is a review of Karen Kingbury's novel A Time to Dance, which is in her "Timeless Love" series. I finished this book about a week ago, and I have to say that I was not very impressed with it. I am generally a non-critical, fairly passive fan of chick lit. Something about Kingsbury as an author has never particularly grabbed me, though, and this book was no different. I am pretty sure this is my second Kingsbury book. I know there are lots of Kingsbury fans, but somehow she just... doesn't... "do it" for me. 

I liked the premise of the book (John and Abby hit a crisis in their marriage after 20+ years, and are headed for divorce) because I know personally of several couples to whom this has happened, so I was hopeful going into the book that Kingsbury would deal with the situation in a realistic (yet still romantic) way. What bothered me most was that 90% of the book was about John and Abby hating each other, and then in the last 10 pages they suddenly reconcile. It didn't ring true to me as realistic at all. How many couples, after years of neglecting their relationships, just suddenly have a magical turnaround and fall back in love and pick up where they left off? It seems to me that lots of intensive counseling would be needed to pull of a relationship rescue of this magnitude, not to mention the two of them together working through all the issues that got them to that place in the first place. 

Even though I enjoy chick lit, Kinsgbury as an author unfortunately does not cut it for me. As much as I would LIKE to like her books, I just, for some reason, can't. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Two Weeks Yesterday

... since Gotcha Day.

I can't believe that two weeks I wrote about has already come and gone. It has been so amazing, but I am just so aware these are moments I will never get back. I am just trying to soak up every minute with my precious, brand-new, 7-month-old baby girl. I just want to freeze time-- sometimes it feels like such a rip-off that we just got her and already she will be turning 8 months old. :(

It has been such an awesome and amazing journey to our little girl. Sometimes I just feel myself welling up with love... just so grateful that she is ours. Of all the babies in the entire world... God knew she was supposed to be ours. And she is perfect; she fits our family so well. She's like the missing piece we never knew was missing, until she came home and now, all is right with the world.

Except for sleeping. We kinda hit the ground running the week we got home, and haven't slowed down since. Olivia (now called 'Livia, Livi, Livi Lou or "honnnnneeeyyyy" [if you are Hallie]) has had no chance at all to develop a new schedule. She's been napping on the run and crashing late at night for a few hours. Her normal night is from about midnight to 4 or 5 am... then she naps heavily during the day... which has gotta change. Today is Day One of Revamp the Sleep Schedule training. She is allowed one two-hour nap in the morning and one in the afternoon. And as much as it pains me, (how many times have I heard/said, "NEVER WAKE A SLEEPING BABY" ???) I have to go in there and wake her up. Earlier, I started to wake her by calling her name and kissing her cheek, and in her sleep, she lifted her head and grinned! Then flopped back down to sleep. It's hard... but these nights are even harder!! Wish me luck. :)

I find myself so grateful these days. Thankful for health, life, love, community, family. Life is good.