Friday, May 31, 2013

In Honor of His Birthday, Ethan's Song

When I'm With You
By JJ Heller
When I hold you in my arms, Love
Something changes
It's the strangest feeling
The things that used to matter
They don't matter to me

When I see you
And you're smiling
How my heart aches
So full it is about to break
You make me believe in love


I could never count all the ways
That you change me, Baby
Every day the sky is a deeper shade of blue
When I'm with you

When I hear you, and you're crying
It resonates, Dear
In a place I didn't know was there
You make me believe in love


 I could never count all the ways
That you change me, Baby
Every day the sky is a deeper shade of blue
When I'm with you

Beautiful baby
You're sweeter than strawberry pie
Just like the morning
Your smile brings the sunshine


 I could never count all the ways
That you change me, Baby
Every day the sky is a deeper shade of blue
When I'm with you


 I could never count all the ways
That you change me, Baby
Every day the sky is a deeper shade of blue
When I'm with you









Thursday, May 30, 2013


Six years ago, we were blessed more than we ever knew by this (big) little boy!

He stole our hearts from the moment we first knew he was coming. 

He has given us so much joy and love and insight and comfort over the past 6 years.

Those blue eyes and that blonde hair still make me ache with love.

I thank God daily for the blessing that he is to us, our family and our friends.

I could write five thousand posts on him and what he means to us, but I think he is starting to wake up, and I have a little surprise for him and I want to see his face when he opens his door...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Fun!

I will get back to posting more about our first days with Ellie, but I really want to start blogging again about what is going on now as well.  Today is May 29 and tomorrow our big boy will be SIX years old!  What?!? Yikes!  His birthday is always the kickoff to our summer and last night I finally got around to making and hanging a Summer Bucket List of sorts.  I don't really like the term "Bucket List", because doesn't it have to do with things you want to do before you "kick the bucket"?  So maybe a Summer Bucket List is a list of things you want to do before Summer itself kicks the bucket...hhmmmm...anyway...

I was inspired by The Happy Family Movement through an insta.gram friend to make and post our bucket list here.

I separated our activities into three groups:  Inside activities, outside activities, and trips.  I keep thinking of more stuff to add too...Yikes!

Inside Activities
  • Make a homemade pizza together.
  • Have a pajama day.
  • Make a musical instrument.
  • Play with blocks/legos together.
  • Play a board game as a family.
  • Bake cookies.
  • Make play dough.
  • Build a blanket fort.
  • Spontaneous dance party.
  • Costume party at home.
  • Family movie night at home with popcorn and snacks.
  • Fingerpaint.
  • Use the bathtub like a pool.
  • Paint rocks.
  • Make a card for Father's Day.
  • Make paper airplanes and race them.
  • Science Experiments day.
  • Write a letter/card to a friend.
  • Make Oobleck.
  • Have a family slumber party.
  • Put together a puzzle.

Outdoor Activities
  • Picnic in the backyard.
  • Make S'mores.
  • Homemade ice cream.
  • Paint with colorful ice cubes.
  • Play in the sprinklers.
  • Blow bubbles.
  • Play in the sandbox together.
  • Dance in the rain.
  • Go fishing.
  • Wash the van together.
  • Sidewalk chalk.
  • Have a watermelon.
  • Read a book outside in the shade.
  • Fly a kite.
  • Water balloon fight.
  • Ride bikes.
  • Catch fireflies.
  • Listen to music outside.
  • Play games with glow sticks after dark.
  • Go on a reptile hunt.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Garden.
  • Bird watching.
  • Camp out in the backyard.
  • Star gaze.
  • Ethan learn to jump rope.
  • Frisbee or Disc Golf.
  • Play hopscotch.

On the Go!
  • Summer Reading Program at the Library.
  • Mill Springs.
  • Play at the park.
  • Ethan's birthday party!
  • Waterpark.
  • Lake.
  • Farmers' Market.
  • Free Movies.
  • Surprise Daddy at work with a picnic lunch.
  • Watch fireworks.
  • Go swimming.
  • Walk the new trail at the local park.
  • Visit the Children's Garden at the PC Library.
  • Take a hike.
  • Church Picnic.
  • Local Museum.
  • Visit friends who live far away.
Whew!  We sure have lots to do this summer!  I'm so excited about having these fun things planned.  Now...I have a few goals of my own that aren't so fun, but that's a post for another day! 

Have a blessed summer y'all!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Coming Home

We got up the morning of November 21 and prepared for checkout.  We packed up all our bags and placed them by the door. We grabbed some breakfast in the kitchen of the RMH and we waited for the call.

And waited.

Then, at around 10:30am, we were notified that our ICPC had been approved and we could come home!  We printed our boarding passes in the RMH offices and were on our way to the airport in Fargo!

But we had to get a picture with this guy first!

We returned our rental car and checked our luggage and were waiting in security before we knew it!

I kept Ellie in the wrap pretty much the whole time and she slept wonderfully on our first flight. 

Flying from Fargo to Minneapolis.

Took her out to feed her, but she fell back asleep.

We had enough time at the airport to grab some lunch and change her diaper before our flight from Minneapolis to Louisville.

By the way, this is what a tray looks like when you travel with a newborn :) 

At one point in time, Ellie had been sleeping on me and I laid her down and noticed this dragonfly imprint on her cheek.  I had forgotten I was wearing that necklace for a split second and it caught me off guard.  It is just kisses from her sister...
Our wonderful friends met us in Louisville and drove us to the Lexington airport, where our car was.

We made it home around 11:30 the night before Thanksgiving.  Ethan was so excited to get to meet his sister, he hadn't slept yet.  He knew we were on our way and didn't want to be asleep when we got to my Mom's.
When we pulled up to my Mom's house and got out of the van, we could hear him yelling inside the house, "They're here!!! Praise God!!!  Thank you Jesus!!!!" at the top of his lungs!
He was in awe of her and loved her from the minute he saw her.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fargo Bound!

Our last day in Bismarck led to our first day in Fargo.  As we waited for the ICPC to pass and get the all clear to leave the state, a few things happened that made our agency contact encourage us to head to Fargo and wait.  We got a rental car and drove the three hours to Fargo where there was a room waiting for us at the Ronald McDonald House (have I mentioned how much I LOVE them?)
The roads are long, straight, and flat there!

She didn't mind the car seat at all and slept most of the way.

We had to stop once and change her diaper and give her a bottle.

Still feeling like this wasn't real.

We got to meet up again with my blog friend and have dinner with her and her family in Fargo.

Then, the re-pack of all our luggage!  We left Bismarck quicker than we expected and kind of packed in a hurry.  So, before we could fly, we needed to re-pack our bags to be best suited for flying home.  We still hadn't heard when that would be, but we were praying for the next day.

The RMH had just put up their first Christmas tree and we couldn't help but snap a picture there.

A friend of ours in Kentucky had been updating everyone on her friends list on FB about our crazy journey trying to get to North Dakota and had posted a request for her friends to pray we would get home before Thanksgiving (just our own personal wish and so that we weren't there waiting through the holidays for the ICPC to pass).  Some one she barely knew contacted her and said he wanted to get us home.  He said he was an international businessman and had lots of Sky Miles saved up he wanted to cash in and get us home.  We hadn't received approval yet, but he insisted that if we didn't book them tonight, we would never be able to get tickets the next day.  We warned him that we might have to cancel if he booked, but he wanted to anyway.

He called the airlines and they said that the day before Thanksgiving was the only blackout day of the year he couldn't use Sky Miles.  He explained the situation and they allowed it!  He booked our tickets home and said he was praying for us.  We got an email with our boarding passes and that was it!  As long as we got ICPC approval the next morning, we were going to be on a plane home at 1:00!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Our Weekend at the RMH

We loved having the weekend at the Ronald McDonald House.  We still can't believe how blessed we were to be able to spend our entire time at the house (even after she was discharged from the hospital).  We just had to wait on the court proceedings in North Dakota to happen and then the ICPC (interstate adoption process) to happen.  It was our prayer to be home by Thanksgiving, everyone thought there was just no way that would happen though.
This post is just another photo dump.  Enjoy!
We did a lot of this.  Sleeping and watching her sleep.

A friend mailed us some super cute hats she made for Ellie.

She had to grow into this one :)

She loved looking at our faces and she was still smiling all the time.

We spent a lot of time in the family room downstairs near the room we were staying in.  It was quiet and we would watch TV and relax.

This is in the upstairs living room area.  She loved being worn and I loved wearing her.

This is Norma.  RMH volunteer, adoptive mama, and super sweet lady we loved.

Ellie's footprints on her NICU page.

Us coming "home" to our room.

Family time :)  Just missing our boy!

She loved having her face rubbed and being sung to.

Gobble Gobble!

It's a girl cupcake!

Falling asleep holding my pinky.
Photo bombed by our resident bear.

Late night cuddle time.  Bring on the late nights!