29 November, 2014

Decorating our trees

Our house is festive!! We have two big Christmas trees and three small trees for each of the kids rooms.  I love their delight with them. They got to decorate their own... and my thinking is that if they each have their very own maybe the ornaments will stay in place on our family one.  (:

The name Jovie has for Santa is one I hope I never forget...  We have a dancing Santa that plays jingle bells and no matter how many times I tell her he's Santa Claus she insists that he is "she-she bells".  All Santas everywhere are now "she-she bells" to her. Precious baby.

27 November, 2014


Thanksgiving was just us at our house this year. It was a perfect laid back, stay-in-your-pjs-until-noon kind of day.  And for the girls that always means dress-up! Mae pretends that she is going on a date with her husband, Ian, and then tries her hardest to get her husband to comply.   

Our meal was generously made for us by my precious friend Noelle and it was scrummmmptious!

26 November, 2014

C+K=11 years

On November 22 Cody and I celebrated eleven years of our marriage. To celebrate we took the babes to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens {and a few nights later got a date night—just the two of us}. This was Ian and Jovie's very first glimpse of CHRISTMAS!! It was a magical night for them and equally fascinating to us to watch them.

In eleven years Cody and I have been on quite a few adventures together. Our passions and dreams have changed drastically through the years, but even to our own surprise we have remained in sync together. It amazes me where we are today... in eleven years we've seen the rich blessings of our Father and magnificent fortune of being parents.  We share the crazy gushy kind of love for each other.

Our marriage is not without challenges, quarrels, or grumpy moods.  We've gone through times we really struggled. To be honest, it got a little ugly there about a year and half into our marriage... we sought out a counselor and learned better ways of handling our disagreements. No marriage is perfect... I think it's scary to go into marriage with that expectation.

If I could humbly pass on some advice:
It takes purposeful practice to make a marriage work. 
Marriage is about companionship, communication, two people sharing each day, and openness. It means your spouse is your first one you call.   

You have to establish marriage as a priority. 
You are each one half of a whole. They are first. The best thing you can do for you kids is to say, "I love your dad so much and we are going on a date" It is important for your kids to know they are not the most important thing in life. It actually gives children security to know this. 

Recognize God's purpose and authority in your lives.
Place your life before God. Romans 12:1-2 "So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embrace what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."


24 November, 2014

Hard things

My dear friends,

I'm sorry.

I'm an on-again-off-again blogger... consistency in any social media form is just not my strong suit. If I am posting to instagram, then the blog gets forgotten—or vice-versa.  I don't know what my deal is really... I promise I don't neglect any of my children this way.

BUT this time I have a good reason for not keeping up... we have had a really HARD time since Ian's surgery. In an emotional, life-sucking, punch to the gut kind of way.  A week after Ian's surgery we started noticing things that at first I questioned. "Am I being an overly worried mother, or is this something I should be concerned about?"

Do y'all do this too? I want to trust my gut but I needed a little confidence to call the doctor. So Monday morning I was on the phone... left a detailed message for surgical at CHOA. I kept my phone in my pocket all day, waiting. And waiting. No call on Monday. Tuesday I called back and the recording says "do not leave duplicate messages"... Yeah, fat chance. By now I'm in full momma bear mode and my message was pretty direct. I NEED A CALL BACK.

So I started scrolling through my directory of folks we'd dealt with at CHOA, I called our urologist and emailed a PA over there, begging for a direct line or better way to get our doctor.

I finally got our doctor late Tuesday afternoon. She was concerned that he was still in pain and had a fever but didn't seem as upset by what I was seeing... which was gruesome to say the least, and I will spare you the details.

Right after I got off the phone, our urologist returned my call from my early frantic attempt. Sweet man. He was concerned and asked for me to send him pictures of the surgical site. He said Ian definitely had an infection and that he hoped we got ahead of this in enough time to let oral antibiotics work (he said "staph infection" and "we would need to go to the hospital if this didn't work." I panicked.

Looooong story short, this has been extremely difficult. It seems this surgery was unsuccessful and he will need to have another surgery with a temporary colostomy (to give him time to heal). The biggest victory has been that I feel like Ian and I have grown leaps and bounds. It was my prayer request to bond closer and that unquestionably happened.

Ian has been in a lot of pain, but has been in such good spirits despite it all. My sweet little boy was smiling from the moment they wheeled him back to us in the hospital and throughout this all. This has not been easy for him. Sitting has been pure torment. My precious momma took Mae to and from school every day. And we've been cooped up for two weeks. BUT his infection is gone. AND he is feeling much better.

We canceled our Thanksgiving plans, so it's likely you will see us at the Cracker Barrel, but here's my deep breath and my letting go.

Tomorrow is a new day. And I can do hard things.


09 November, 2014

Ian's Surgery

Will you be our prayer warrior again for Ian? His surgery is today (Monday, 11-9). We will be there at 6am, the surgery is 4+ hours and we do know he will have to stay the night.

It's a delicate procedure to all his most sensitive parts. The surgery should improve his control... but the doctors have told us they don't know how well it will work. Will you please pray for three things:

#1 That this surgery completely gives Ian the control that the rest of us were born with.

#2 This precious boy to heal quickly, and not be in pain.

#3 For this to be a time where we can grow through it and bond closer.

It would mean so very much to us for you all to lift our sweet boy up.

Rosey W. Unicorn

This is a story of a girl and her stick unicorn, she's affectionately named Rosie W. Unicorn. They are best friends right now and she insists on sleeping with her. I am amazed be Mae's boundless imagination.

As you can see Ian and Jovie are always happy to tag along on whatever adventure Mae dreams up for them.

08 November, 2014

born in a far, far away land...

Mae has a love of her story. She delights in hearing how we crossed the ocean to get her. When she plays with her baby dolls, she tells me how she just brought them home from China... if not that, then she is pretend packing for a voyage to China because there is a baby waiting for her. She is continually telling me she was "born in a far, far away land." She truly is a princess born in a far, far away land.

I love that at a young age she may have a glimpse of the fairytale-like story of the way her God loves her... pursues her and rescues her. All of us have a redemption story.  We are sons and daughters of the King of Kings because he has adopted us to be his. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:5

Having adopted,  I can tell you what this means to me. We didn't do anything to earn this, we were helpless, fatherless, left alone we would have been orphans in a far, far away land. But we were chosen. The journey of adoption takes determination; it takes purposeful planning. Longing to be with your child is overwhelming. God sent his son into this world and started his adoption journey. Jesus walked this earth because God was longing to be with us. He chose the cross in order to adopt you. His sacrifice was his commitment of love.

Love has won.

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