Tuesday, April 26, 2011


On Easter Sunday Sierra took her first communion.  This event marks a new beginning in her spiritual journey.  Brad and I will answer her questions, expose her to different paths in life, and ultimately she will choose her own direction, but this is one of the first steps in her spiritual growth.

April 24th also marked the anniversary of another beginning... the beginning of our life with Cadence.  I woke up that morning, one year ago, and got ready to start the chaos of a Saturday.  Gym for me, swim for Sierra, baton and a sleepover for Laurel.  I hurriedly opened my email and saw a message from our adoption agency.  "Waiting Child Match - WANG, FENG YE".  Holding my breath, reading the email, really only processing a few words "read this ENTIRE email carefully", "Female, 5/2/09, cleft lip and palate, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia", "time constraint on shared list", "This IS a potential child match".  And then there were 4 pictures... and those eyes.  Deep, dark, intense eyes.  They didn't seem sad or broken to me, as I've seen other orphanage pictures look.  They also didn't seem ecstatically happy, but content.  But it felt like they were looking right AT ME.

And I was scared.  We weren't supposed to get this until December, at least.  I'd been watching everyone else's timeline and this was too soon.  Could this really be it?  Could it really be her?  Was this our daughter?  Was I supposed to open up my heart to this child and believe that she would be in my arms in a few months?  What if some adoptive parent put their child on a plane back to China with a note in her pocket... and China stopped their adoptions, like another country had (albeit temporarily).  Was I strong enough to have faith in the process to accept and love this child now?  But isn't that what I did with both Sierra and Laurel?  I fell madly and deeply in love with these children from the moment I saw two lines.  I took a leap and opened my heart to something that I could lose.  And I do it everyday now.  I am not so naive to believe that the universe will discriminately protect me from the worst heartache possible.  But I keep on loving, fiercely and deeply... as I did with Cadence on the same day that I opened that email.  It didn't matter that I had never touched her hair, smelled her skin, or heard her laughter.  It didn't matter that she was on the other side of the world.  She was my daughter.

Four and half months later I got my first look into those eyes in person.  I got to hold her, wipe her tears, and eventually hear her laugh!  And now, one year after seeing her face for the first time, I get to do this everyday!  We are truly blessed!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Feel good things

We are so close to moving into our new house! Just two more weeks! Wait... TWO more weeks?! I haven't started to pack a thing, I have no extra days off of work, and between now and then we'll celebrate two birthdays, an anniversary, and probably buy a car. And then we will move to a new house where we are already formulating lots of exciting endeavors and projects. Lots of time consuming, very involved projects. That will take... years.

Those of you that know me well know that these things cause me no stress. And when I'm feeling this kind of "no stress" I'm completely full of patience and serenity, making me the mom I always hope to be. So I'm never short-tempered, frustrated, and completely impatient with my husband and children. Yeah, right. Which, of course, makes me feel worse and behave worse and then feel even worse. I know that we all go through this, but it never makes it any easier when it happens. And then sometimes I find a quote, poem, or blog that speaks to me. It reaches me deep in my soul and makes me feel like it will all be ok... that I will be ok. So I'll print it off and put it in my "book of feel good things". When I do this, I'll look at my other "feel good things" and then, well, I'll feel good! It's amazing the power that words can have! So read here for some "feel good things"...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Break

For some reason, when all 3 kids are home, the volume in our house increases 10 fold! If one is gone, it doesn't matter which one, the noise level is reasonable. For this reason, I've been slightly dreading the summer. I love summer, pool time, relaxing with the kids. But thinking about everyday, all day, being overfilled with noise, I was feeling a little overwhelmed. Sierra and Laurel had spring break last week so I got a little taste of what summer will be like... and it wasn't too bad! I'm sure we'll be outside a lot, but I think as the novelty of all of them being together wears off a bit, so does the noise level. Yay!! We did manage to do a few fun things. A friend from work has a sheep farm and has recently lambed almost 100 babies! Wow! We were able to make it out to her beautiful property and bottle feed a couple of the babies. We explored the ground, petted the horse and dogs, and fed the mama lambs gingersnaps. Yes, gingersnaps... who knew!

Brad was off one day and we took the kids to Bounce and Play. Of course the big girls loved it and not surprisingly, so did Cadence! Once we went down the big slide with her she was ready to do it all by herself. She is a daredevil! On a more subdued note, Sierra, Laurel, and I went to a friend's pottery studio. The girls had been there before and started a project. Unfortunately our friend was called away and they weren't able to finish... so they finally completed their plates. More exciting, they were able to use the pottery wheel. Wow, much more challenging than I anticipated, but we all had a lot of fun!

Maybe summer won't be so bad after all!


Way back when I first met Brad, way out in California, he talked about Charlottesville. What a great town it was and how there was this cool little area called "The Downtown Mall". Who knew I'd be walking there one day with our youngest daughter! It's one of our favorite places to go... yummy places to eat, lots of fun stores to browse (and occasionally buy something!), outdoor vendors and street performers on most corners. It really doesn't matter who you are or where you came from, everyone fits in on the Downtown Mall. No one seems out of place. It epitomizes what I love about C-ville, the diversity!

Cadence and I headed down that way today. The weather was perfect and I had a coupon to use at one of my favorite stores. After a major score at Jean Theory, we headed to Marco and Luca's for a hot bun snack, then around the corner for a chai latte for me. Cadence loves to just run down there. She's not one to be contained or carried much, and it safe enough to give her room to roam a bit. She loves to look at her reflection in the store windows and dance when she hears music that moves her! The fabulous couch outside the artist co-op is full of intricate, fun pieces for her to point out. We ended the trip with a stop at the amazing Capellino's Cupcakes. I thought I'd restrain myself a bit so we opted for just an icing shot, sans cupcake (real restraint, huh?!) Then I saw the chocolate caramel cookies with sea salt! Y-U-M-M-Y!! I've been on a huge salted caramel kick, and this was beyond delicious! All in all, it was a very good day with my little girl!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April Fool's Day!

For the past few years I've had fun playing a food related April Fool's Day trick on Sierra & Laurel. I think it's cruel and unusual to present food as something sweet when it's really not (I could never eat the "cupcake" that turns out to be meatloaf and mashed potatoes), so I usually opt for the opposite. This year was "Chicken Pot Pie". Both of my girls dislike it, so I knew they'd be hesitant to dig in... as you will see! Here it is...

The pie consisted of pie crust, vanilla pudding, starburst (corn & carrots), mike & ikes (green beans), bananas (potatoes), and dried fruit (chicken). Topped off with another pie crust.

I rushed the kids in after school saying that they had to hurry and eat because we had to run errands. These are the faces that followed when I said it was chicken pot pie. Nice...

Sierra was starting to get a little skeptical wondering why it was cold.

And then she finally tastes it...!

Despite the fact that Laurel was already going through the trouble of picking out the "peas and green beans", she happily ate them all when she realized it was all candy!