Saturday, February 12, 2011


These past few months have been busy to say the least.
And every time that I think about this blog and how badly I need to catch up, I get overwhelmed.
So, instead of trying to post EVERYTHING that has happened to us and with us this winter, I am just going to post some things that I am grateful for.

First off, I am grateful for family.
The kind of family that gets "IT"
They get that a family is not always created through blood, but through love.
The top two pictures are from B-Man's baptism. Only 5 people total (children, siblings, parents, nephews) in these two pictures are biologically related to Nate or myself and yet they are ALL our family.
I feel so blessed.

I am thrilled that my boys have had an opportunity to ski this winter. They have loved their Saturday ski days and I have been so happy that they get to spend such special time with Nate.

As sad as I was to say goodbye to such an incredible man, I am grateful to have known Grandpa Shaw. He was a man of many gifts. He loved to sing. He loved to create things. He was hardworking. He was wonderful to his wife and children. But the gift I appreciated most about him is that he had the ability to make you feel special. What a blessing he was to Nate, my children and me.

They say that the way you spend the first day of the year is a reflection of how your following year will be. If this is true, then I am going to be spending a lot of time in my pajamas with my besties playing Michael Jackson the Experience and Kinect Just Dance.
I am so lucky to have such great friends. Truly lucky.

Last, but certainly not least...
I am so grateful to be done with this uterus.
The End.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I LOVE FLorida.
I LOVE my children being matchy/ froo-froo-ey in their clothes.
And I LOVE LOVE LOVE when I can extend that matchy/ froo-froo-ey-ness to my little nieces and nephews while visiting my family in Florida.
I am NOT ashamed.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

St. Patrick's Day and Easter

I love that my children, up to this point, allow me to be the obnoxious momma who matches her children for the holidays.
Here are some pics from Easter.
I SO LOVE LOVE LOVE my children!!!

Have you ever noticed how often it looks like Magoo is grabbing her brother's crotches in pictures???
This makes it picture #3 that I can think of off of the top of my head.
Maybe I will have to make a blog post about that!;-)

Anyone who knows me in person knows that I LOVE to dance. And I love capturing my children dancing.
Lest you think that I coerced my children to match by taking off their shirts, let me assure you that this all happened spontaneously. When one kid takes their clothes off, all of the kids follow suit. It is one of the 800,000 things that I find hugely amusing about my children.

Random St. Patrick's Day pic...
Sometimes, I feel the crazy and obnoxious pressure to be ultra crafty, ultra cute, ultra creative and ultra nice where I live. None of those things come naturally to me. Particularly the nice part. But, far be it from me to deny my children of green pancakes and eggs and green milk for St. Patricks Day. UGGGHHHH!!! I've got to move!

Going back in time

I'm going to admit it now.
Now that my adoptions are complete, and my family is complete, I completely suck at blogging.
But, I just made a book out of my Ethiopia Adoption Blog and am so in love with it that I am now re-dedicating myself to the blogging.
Try to be patient with me... I'm a work in progress.

Here are some pictures that I love from our family trip to California in March.

Here is a picture of Nate and his boys. I love these boys because they are married to some of my best friends, but I also love them because they are fun guys and great dads.
Me and my besties. I forget how short I am until I see pictures like this.

I just love this picture. It is of me and Belly-ome watching Princess Tiana perform at Disney Land. I have to admit, she made me cry. I love her and I love that my little girl can now see herself in a beautiful Disney Princess like Tiana.

Monday, July 5, 2010

3 years ago...

I have been thinking a lot about how drastically my life has changed over these last three years.
Three years ago, I was just a retired high school teacher and cheer coach with two children at home and a husband who had just completed his MBA. Life was easy... and predictable.
And then I think about how drastically all of my children's lives have changed in the last three years...
Three years ago, B-Man and Bellyome were being cared for by a staff of people paid to care for them. Three years ago, they had only seen pictures of their future family.
Three years ago, Bubba and Magoo only had to fight each other for my attention.

Three years ago today, Nate and I were packing our suitcases for Ethiopia. Getting ready for the biggest roller coaster of all of our lives.
I'm not gonna lie and say that it has all been easy. For a good while after coming home, Nutella was my best friend rather than my husband, and I remember feeling like I was barely keeping my head above water for a good year after our family was all united. But, I wasn't the only one who struggled.
My husband lost a wife who could dote on him. For a while, he lost a wife who could do much of anything.
My biological children all of a sudden had a brother who was older than them, but couldn't talk to them and a little sister who couldn't communicate in any way other than screaming.
And my little Ethiopian babes... they lost so much.
My oldest and youngest had to lose their first families and first cultures in order to gain us. They lost everything and everyone that was comfortable to them. And they were thrust into the arms of two foreign white people. Complete strangers. And told that we were their new parents. I don't take that loss lightly, nor do I think that my love for them can make that loss completely disappear.
But, I love them. With all of my heart and then some. They are my children and I feel blessed by them every day that they are mine.
I feel blessed by B-Man's beautiful spirit. He is so dynamic and lovely and strong. He has a sense of himself that transcends anything that Nate or I have taught him. We thank his first family for that.
I feel blessed by B-Man and Bubba's relationship. They adore each other. They are truly good to each other. One always looking out for the other. The reality of their relationship is better than any dreams I had that led up to our adoption.
Magoo and Bellyome's relationship, on the other hand... well, let's just say, they are both strong-willed and beautiful girls who are so alike it is eerie. They like to fight, but they love to laugh and play with each other, too. They are both entertaining and vibrant girls. I can't wait to see what the future holds for them!
These last three years have been so much more of everything than I could have imagined. More difficult, more draining, more painful. But more importantly, it has been more colorful, more fulfilling, and more beautiful than my best fairytale dreams.
I am truly living the dream.
Happy Three Year Anniversary!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

CALI Trip 2010

Every few years, we get to stay in a FABULOUS home in Dana Point, California and hang out with Mickey Mouse.
2010 was NOT actually our year to go.
But, Nate's sister couldn't use the house this year.
And we decided- "who are WE to waste a perfectly beautiful home and perfectly wonderful opportunity to go on a vacation?"

So, three weeks ago, we headed to California.

You may need some background to understand how big this trip is for my family...
For some reason, my husband does not love DisneyLand.
I feel like that opinion is Un-American.
My husband doesn't like beans or sweet potatoes either.
Those things I can handle.
But, I made sure that whether he liked it or not, our children got a heavy does of the most famous mouse ever on our Cali Trip 2010.

We got to ride pretty much every ride we have ever wanted to.
We got to eat with the Disney characters at Goofy's Kitchen.
We got to watch the parades.

My boys got to be Jedis and fight against Darth Vader.
My girls got to sing with Princess Tiana and hold her hand.

And I have to say... after three days of non-stop DisneyLand fun, I was DONE!
So glad that we had a day to play at the park and swim in the pool.
So glad that we had a day to go to the movies and watch that weird Alice in Wonderland movie.
So glad that we got to eat lunch with Nate's step-sister and her boyfriend.

I am just so glad that we had such a wonderful chance to spend time as a family.
How blessed are we?!?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thank you Michael Jackson

Last week, my boys had a play date at "Aunt Rinnie's" house with their best friend Tyson.
They came home with a new obsession.
Michael Jackson.

Now, while I would NEVER want my boys to meet the man in person, I can't help but LOVE his music.
His songs and his videos were a huge part of my tween years... I listen to Smooth Criminal and think of Todd and Ted McClellan performing their routines all over town. I hear Thriller and think of my high school cheer tryouts. I think of Bad... and well, I think of Weird Al.

Anyway, I had to get some shots of my kids dancing to the King of Pop.

Bubba does a mean wave. Check out the focus and determination in his face!

Bellyome's great skill is her facials. This is her "thug" look.

Magoo's move of choice is a spin. That is all she has got

B-Man is on a breakdancing kick.
He is even taking classes from a boy who danced on High School Musical. 1, 2, AND 3!
Who knew that a 7 year old boy would think that was so cool?!?!?