Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Summer/Fall 2013

It's been so long since we posted!  We have had a busy 6 months.  It's mostly involved just schoolwork for me and taking care of Lilly.  And working for Brandon.  Brandon did have a surgery in September, but is finally recovering very well!  We have gone full-throttle into our new adoption journey.  We are so excited for this newest chapter in our lives.  Check out our blog we set up for perspective birthparents and those interested in following the progress -  We also got to go to Utah and meet up with Lilly's birthfather and his family.  They are such amazing people and we feel truly blessed that they are apart of our lives.  It's been a crazy couple months, but we wouldn't have it any other way.  I promise to post pics from our trip, Halloween, Lilly's 3rd birthday, and Thanksgiving soon!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Here We Go Again!

After months of thinking and pondering about when to adopt again, we have finally made the decision and we started the adoption process again!  We don't know how it is going to work out this time; we don't know how we'll raise the money again; we don't know how long it will take; but we are ready to get it going and are beyond excited!!!  We still have so much to do and we're only in the beginning stages since we submitted our initial paperwork (the easiest part of the process) last week on May 20th.  We are excited to share our journey with everyone and look forward to what is in store for our soon to be bigger-little family.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Zoo...Well, sort of.

We went to this cool animal rescue type zoo just outside of Spokane last week.  It's called CatTales.  All the animals are of the cat family and you get pretty close to them.  We had been talking about going all week and practiced our lion growls and tiger roars.  We wanted Lilly to be prepared and excited.  Well, she was more than excited!  She talked about going the whole week and finally when we got there, she ran up to the first tiger cage and the two tigers were playing and one of them growled at the other pretty loudly.  It was amazing!  And Lilly stood there like her mind was blown!  She was really overwhelmed and we ended up being one of those people with a screaming child that wouldn't leave because we wanted to get our moneys worth.  haha!

Lilly pretty much calmed down once we got back to the car and then started talking about the animals again and wanted to see them.  Maybe in the Fall we'll try it again little one.  :)

She's extremely overwhelmed here.  It was almost too much to handle seeing all these lions and tigers we had been talking about all week.

After the zoo, we went for a drive (and by drive, I mean we got sort of lost for awhile and just drove until the gravel road turned to pavement again) around Mount Spokane and then to this little diner that's in a train car for dinner.  It was so cool inside and the food was yummy!  We haven't really gotten out much in the past 11 months since we've been here, but we figured that since Brandon starts his job, we should probably get out and have a fun day.  These were both fun places we will definitely return to again!

Easter 2013

We had Easter!  It was so much fun!  Lilly got all dressed up, one of her favorite things to do.  She loves twirling and saying "I'm sooooo pretty!  Soooo beautiful!"  For instance, she's sitting next to me as I write this and looking at her pictures saying, "Cute little dress."  

Before church she opened up a few Easter things that family had sent and the "Easter Bunny" had left.  We went to church and then when we got home Lilly took a nap and the Easter Bunny hid a bunch of eggs.  She was so excited when she got up and promptly opened each egg and ate the candy inside.  :)

 Before Easter, I was suffering from some allergies, but still wanted to keep traditions alive and we made some sugar cookies and then delivered them to a couple friends.  The second Lilly had gotten out of her bath, she grabbed a chair and climbed on the counter.  She was clean for almost 30 seconds!!!

We also enjoyed listening to all the Apostles and the Prophet speak during General Conference.  Lilly did fairly well, when the Prophet went to speak she sat in the chair for most of it and would point and say "Prophet" over and over again.  We truly are blessed to live in a time when we can listen to the Prophet on our computers, television, phones, etc. 
And of course, Lilly has about 5 phones (none of which work) that she is always calling Grandpa & Grandpa (she doesn't quite know how to say grandMA yet, so she just calls them both Grandpa) in Russia.  She'll be babbling away and tell us she's called Grandpa.  Only roughly 16 months until we get to see them again.  Still can't believe they've been gone like 8 months.  We are so proud of them and we were worried Lilly wouldn't know them, but we Skype at least once a week and it's really helped...Lilly...not miss them so much.  Yup, it's all Lilly.  :)



Blessings in Disguise

When I work out and see the pregnant ladies come in and work to stay healthy and the women that have just had a baby and listen to them complain about the 5 extra pounds they have left to lose.  I get jealous, I get angry, I get hurt.  I would give anything to be one of those women.  Worrying about a few pounds gained.  Tired of being 9 months pregnant.  I know this isn't all of them.  I know not everyone feels that way.  I recently had a pregnant women just tell me how lucky I am, how annoying it is to be pregnant, how I should just be grateful.

My initial response is always the same, 'thank you' as I chuckle and act like its no big deal.  But it is.  I then sit and think about her response and my struggle begins.  I think about how I yearn to feel a baby inside me.  I hear how breast feeding is not always so great, but that was the hardest thing I had to deal with when adopting Lilly.  I worried about not being able to bond or feel a connection to my child.  I get angry when people complain about being pregnant.  Shouldn't they be grateful?

Then I realize, again, that shouldn't I be grateful?  And I am.  I have a beautiful daughter that loves me and her daddy.  I am thankful that I get to hold her each night.  I am grateful for the vivacious, sweet, stubborn, hilarious, and caring child I was blessed with.  I am thankful her birthfather and birthmother trusted us to raise our daughter.  I say 'our' because she is ours.  We are all four here to love her and teach her.  We may not be able to see her birthparents very much, but they are always with us.  I am thankful Heavenly Father gave us all the struggles and trials he has given us.  I worried that Lilly would be nothing like us, but she looks just like Brandon and acts just like me.  She's a hilariously, beautifully crazy little girl.  I pray we are blessed soon with more children, but if not, we are beyond blessed.  My ache is still there and I still hurt.  I still dream about having more children and I still pray we are able to.  

But my prayers have changed over the years.  I no longer as why me, but thank Heavenly Father that it was me.  My heart breaks when a friend shares their struggles with infertility.  I have a million words that mean nothing, because the only thing we want, any of us want, is peace.

I have my struggles, I worry all the time, and I think I will always be envious of the miracle some women are able to bring into this world, but there is another plan for us.  I have several friends who struggle with infertility and I have been there; but know that you are not alone.  I always thought I was the only one, but you're not.  I wish I could go back and realize that, but better late than never.  And now I can be the listening ear for those that need it.

I think back to what people have said to us on the past and I don't fault them.  I fault myself. I am grateful for our infertility.  I am grateful I was given this struggle; it used to be a burden, but I now realize it is a blessing.  Most of the time, our struggles and trials are blessings in disguise.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A little update! sheesh, it's been a couple months. :)

We've been able to go and visit my brother's family in Richland a couple times over the past few months.  Lilly likes to go into her cousin, Sadie's room, and put on her shoes.  We heard Owen yelling for us to "get the camera, you guys have got to see this!"  We run upstairs and this is what we came across, Lilly wearing no pants, but with Sadie's boots on.  This girl just cracks me up!  
I was able to spend some time with my lady friends while in Richland, thankfully they were willing to come over late one night and hang out for a few hours.  It was a lot of fun and quite a bit of Mtn. Dews were consumed, mixed with OJ - it's fabulous!!!  These are two of my favorite people and they are amazing to hang out with.  I am blessed to have them in my life.

On February 5th, Lilly used the potty for the first time!  We were overly thrilled when she actually went potty.  After her nap, she said she needed to use the potty and actually did it!!!  It was quite amazing actually and I never thought we would be that excited.  Then on February 25, she did the next craziest thing, she pooped in the potty.  I could not ever imagine that this would bring us to erupt in clapping and cheers, but it did!  Now she likes to bring her pink puppy into the bathroom and help him go potty, it's really funny.  She also uses my step-stool that I got from my brother, Jared, to help her get up on the toilet.  I got the step-stool when I was two, to help me get into my bed.  27 years later, my daughter is using the same stool, it's the gift that keeps on giving.  Who would have thought that I would still be using it.  :)
Speaking of this big pink dog, Lilly usually always wants to sleep with it and that thing takes up half her bed!  She will typically start with the dog in her crib and after she's asleep, we will go in and get it out. 
We are so blessed to be able to communicate with Lilly's birthparents and a few weeks ago we had a little Skype session with Mandy.  We hope to be able to visit Lilly's birthfather and his family sometime this year.  It is our goal to see them both at least once a year, unfortunately, with all our moving and school and stuff, we weren't able to see Victor last year, but it is a top priority for us this year.
Lilly and I have been able to go down and visit my brother's family and we've been able to watch the kids while they go away for the weekend.  This past visit, there were a few stray dogs that would not leave the front yard and they didn't have any collars on.  I could not resist the sweet kids asking to make sure we call animal control and find the parents of the puppy.  Well, one dog ran away and we never caught him, but this little gal (which the kids named Spot, and her nickname was Two-Face, lol), she would not leave the kids' sides.  I called animal control and they were hoping to pick her up that night, which did not happen, so we had a dog for the night.  She stayed in the garage and we never heard her bark or anything and the kids would take her outside to go potty and played with her the whole time.  It was so sweet.  Then animal control came and took her away.  I just noticed today that she's on their website and is available for adoption, seriously the best little dog ever.

 Here's some stuff Lilly's into:
  • She is obsessed with Phineas & Ferb.  She will ask to watch "Phineas" all day.
  • She said her first prayer all by herself yesterday, Sunday, March, 10.  It goes like this..."Dear Heavenly Father, Thankful for this day, Amen."
  • She likes to play with her phone and will usually call "Grandpa in Russia".
  • She loves to help cook and bake.  She will say "I DO IT" and wants to stir whatever it is that is being cooked.
  • About 2 weeks ago, she started saying "I love you" and can get away with anything when she says "I love you Daddy" or "I love you Mommy".
  • She just got her 2 year molars and from what I understand, we are done teething for awhile!  WOOHOO!
  • She knows all the Disney princesses.  Our homepage on the computer is Disneyland and we are working on having her understand all those characters so that when we go in a year, she will know everyone.
  • She thinks every sports team is BYU.  She'll say "BYU, go COUGARS!"  We're just trying to raise her right.  ;)
  • She REALLY likes to put her shoes on.  She says, "I do it!" and wants to put them on, most of the time she knows which foot they go on.  And she also likes to take off and put on her own clothes.  Of course, her shirts are usually upside down...yup, upside down.
  • She knows her ABC's and can sing the song.  She can count 16 usually without a mess up, but most of the time she'll skip a number or two.
  • She's the smartest kid I know.  :)
  • She will do anything to make you laugh.
  • She is a daredevil.  She likes to climb on top of chairs and jump off.  She will pull all the pillows off the couch and then jump off the couch onto the pillows on the floor.  She also does this with our bed and the pillows on our bed.
  • She likes to wear Mommy's high heels and walk around the house.
  • We started going to the gym and she loves to go and play there, which has helped with her going to nursery at church.  She now never has a problem walking in and going to church, she'll always say "play with toys?"
  • Everything is, of course, HERS!  We are in the phase of "that's mine" and "you're looking at something, it must be mine".
  • She knows when she's in real trouble.  We get mad at her and she will throw her head down to her chest dramatically and pout her lips and say sadly "go to room," then she walks into her room and SLAMS the door shut.  It's actually so cute and funny, but she doesn't know that.  haha!
  • We love her more than she knows.  She has started to become very affectionate and will just run up to you to give you a hug and kiss.  She was a very uncuddly baby and I would have to force her to snuggle, but now she wants to sit with you and she will say "baby?" and want you to hold her a like a baby, and of course, I do!  I don't care how I get my snuggles.
  • She likes to be chased and to chase.  She will say "I get you, I get you, I get you" and run all over our apartment.  She will scream with delight if someone just chases her.
  • She always wants Daddy to play with her and her princess castle.  She says, "c'mon Daddy, castle?"
  • She will destroy her room in about 10 seconds.  She has hundred of books and pulls them ALL off the shelf, then she sits on top of the pile and reads them all.
  • She gets sad when she hears someone crying and will point to them and say "crying?"  It makes her very concerned.
  • She will throw a horrific tantrum when she wants something, she is very passionate about it and extremely emotional too.  She always wants to go outside or go for a ride.
  • She is obsessed with her cousins, Ansel, Jonas, Owen, and Sadie.  It's probably because they love her so much and she's sees them the most.  She walks around our house with their pictures and sometimes when we go for a ride somewhere, she says, "Ansel? Sadie? Jen? JenTopher (Her way of pronouncing Christopher)?"  She is the happiest when she is with her cousins and they are chasing her around the house.