Tuesday, May 28, 2013

18 Month Firecracker

Today Madelyn turns 18 months old. Our birth mom couldn't have nicknamed her better because she truly is a Firecracker. We were able to save a little to make a very short trip to Mexico Beach, FL this past weekend and we all couldn't get enough of it. At first M3 wasn't sure what to think about the sand because she's so worried about what's in between her toes. Thankfully it didn't take long for her to get over it and start digging in. We're hoping next time we go our hotel won't have to be so ghetto and we can stay longer. I will have to say though, it worked out great we only stayed a short amount of time because being in the sun all day Saturday just about put me into the ER. The sun unfortunately has never really been my friend. 

When we saw the sign for a BBQ joint named 'Austin's Smokin Butt Hut' we had to turn around and eat there immediately. It turned out to be a really sweet surprise and not just because the food was amazing. The owner sat with us and we chatted about God, adoption and the evils of the world. He recently retired from the Sheriff's department and was adopted himself at 16 months old. We're tickled we stopped!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mother's Day

A year and a half ago I was given the gift of motherhood because of another mother. It has been the most beautiful experience of our life. Not just because we have the awesome responsibility of parenthood, but because we have had the opportunity to feel unconditional love in this life. Mother's Day can be a really hard day for some. I've been there, I know. I'm grateful my attitude changed about the holiday before Madelyn came into our life. It's hard for some to comprehend the beauty & unselfishness of adoption which in return is hard for us to comprehend. We both realize how lucky we are to have amazing women in our life we call mothers. 

This year we had my side of the family over for breakfast as dinner and we sisters had a great time making it together. No, our men did not cook for us nor would we expect them to....they have other redeeming qualities we love about them. For example: playing with the kids in the park teaching them to play baseball or taking time to push them on the swing or teaching a neighborhood boy to throw the frisbee to Gracie. 

 These next two photos brought me to tears for most of the night. Our birth mom, whom we call Tummy Mummy posted them on her Instagram account. The fact she loves US so much is such a humbling feeling.

"The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it" C.C. Scott

Restless and Wild

At times it's difficult to stop and smell the roses. It's something I strive to do everyday and if I get to do it just for five minutes a day, I consider it to be a success. In those five minutes I find there are lots to be cherished. 

Some days the only way I can shower is to let Maddie play in the shower with me. I stood in the shower the other day watching her play with the bar of soap, recognizing the white suds on her hands then proceeds to clean her own bum. Children really are sponges and it can be either a very fascinating or terrifying process to watch.  A terrifying example is when Jordan is at our home and he's all over Madelyn and in return she will slap him or push him away. Our baby is becoming rough and I blame the husband. It's the husbands fault because he is always always always playing rough with Jordan. Something Jordan (and Cony) loves. 

We're now finding ourselves constantly talking about ways to discipline M3. She just laughs at me if I spank her and giggles when I say "no ma'am" to running out into the street. What we are finding what works best so far is praising her when she does what we've asked her to do. She likes praising herself too. We're in a learning curve and I'm guessing once we master this phase, she'll throw us another curve ball to figure out. She may be wild and at times a little rough with her cousin, but when she folds her arms at the dinner table to pray, brings us a book to read, stops whatever she's doing to investigate in between her toes, runs around the house after she's taken off her diaper, hugs on Gracie and gives us 'night night' hugs & kisses...we can't help but be wildly in love with her. 

Another moment I'm trying to savor is this pregnancy. I've had strangers say to me "oh you must be ready for that baby to come out!". As anxious as we are to meet Baby Olive, I really am embracing this experience. It's not always easy especially at night when I need to rest to stop the contractions and the second I do, rest less leg syndrome sets in. There are two things that have been a real struggle for me during this pregnancy... 1.) not being able to sleep in my own bed with my husband (sofa has been my bed for the last three months) and 2.) waiting for someone else to do something physical for me, ie: lifting boxes, moving furniture. The closer we are to the end, I can't help but feel a little panicky. It's the not knowing what to expect that can be a little unnerving at times. But I've made it through some hard times and I just keep repeating to myself 'I can do this, I can do this...'. 

(me at 31+ weeks)

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Importance of Photography

The subject of photography and the important role it plays in our life has been heavy on my mind. You know that saying "a picture is worth a thousand words"? I think that rings true when you've lost someone close to you.

In the last year I've known directly or indirectly seven families who have suffered the loss of a child or children. It's heartbreaking to imagine and these events have really struck a cord with me. I've been doing photography for almost four years on and off and I cherish being able to capture our life with my camera. If you haven't had your family photos taken in a while, please go and don't put yourself in a position of regret. I'm so thankful we had our family photos done just a few months before dad died. 

Here's a little secret- a good photograph doesn't always mean you have on the perfect outfit or the subject is smiling directly in the camera. Sometimes it means letting go and embracing all the lovely moments of life....