Sunday, October 30, 2011


Yesterday I went to a huge yard sale for a local couple who are planning to adopt from Uganda.  I scored some cute clothes and a bike for Laurel since she's been stuck riding our ghetto fab bike with one white tire and one black tire!  I was able to meet Chris (but not his wife, April) and tell him congratulations and good luck on their journey.  I said that Cadence came home to us last year.  He asked me what advice I had for them.  Hmmm...  

Contrary to my husband's opinion, I don't have advice to give on everything!  I worry about saying something that might offend someone or saying something that they have heard a hundred times or that they might think is just plain stupid.  I thought about his question for a moment the said "Patience.  Have patience."  I am not a patient person (as pretty much anyone who knows me will tell you) but the entire adoption process was the ultimate test of my patience.  I've thought about the question some more and have come up with a few more pieces of advice.

- Get to know other adoptive families.  Families who have been down this road before are an invaluable resource. Other adoptive families we know have given us wonderful advice and support  about attachment issues and what to expect when your child comes home.  If they have gone through the same country and if they have done it recently they can help you with where to stay, who to get to help you when you are there, what items to bring with you. Families who are going through the process on a similar timeline to yours are wonderful to have available too.  Some adoption agencies will let you know about other families in their program as well as checking out yahoo groups and adoption websites.  It's good to have others to lament to when something doesn't show up in your mailbox or the phone hasn't rung with big news to an outlet that most adoptive parents can use and one time or another.

- Prepare yourself for life beyond Family Day (or "Gotcha Day").  As with a wedding, there are so many plans and so much excitement that goes into the big day it's often easy to forget that at some point you might get tired of picking his dirty socks up off the floor and you'll have to ask him 4 times to PLEASE fold the laundry.  Raising a child is hard.  Like, really hard.  If your heart and mind don't see past the expectation of a joyful, tear-filled meeting when your child is placed in your arms, the sometimes hard road of parenting can feel unbearable.  Don't get me wrong, being a parent is one of the best things that has ever happened to me and I love my children with all my heart!  I cannot imagine my life without them, but our days aren't always full of rainbows and flowers!

- On that note, be aware that post-adoption depression is real.  It was very easy to write off a little post-partum depression as "hormones".  When I was not in the best place after Cadence's adoption, it took some words of support from a fellow adoptive mom to make me see my post-adoption depression for what it was.  This was the child I had been yearning for for so long and she was here and what the heck was wrong with me that I wasn't over the moon happy all of the time?  Realizing and accepting the way I felt helped me deal with it and continue to move past it.  But it does happens!

- Have faith.  Adopting a child, like trying to have a baby, is a leap of faith.  Faith that everything will happen as it's meant to happen at the exact right moment.  It may not be on the timeline that you want or what you expect, but it's happening exactly the way it was meant to be.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Good weekend

Brad went camping for the weekend so it was just the girls and me, gorgeous fall colors, perfect temperature, and lots of free time!  

See what I mean?  Gorgeous colors!  Between that and pumpkin spice everything, I love fall!

We started off our weekend with a birthday party for this little cutie!  She was so stinkin' adorable in all of her flowery pink it was ridiculous!  Austin's parents threw a fabulous Champagne and Cupcakes 1st birthday party for her.  We made a new discovery there...  Cadence HATES clowns.  Like, terrified, clutching onto Mommy for dear life kinda scared.  She wedged herself into the farthest corner of the house to be nowhere near him.  I figured we'd just hang out in there for most of the party, but luckily the clown went away at some point.  We enjoyed champagne, cupcakes, and friends for the evening!

Ridiculously cute!

"Where did that clown go?"

This is basically how she felt about the clown

Cupcake time!

Beautiful sunrise Saturday morning

I have been following a local farm blog since the spring.  Juniper Moon was having their fall sheep shearing and we were so excited to check it out.  There was a potluck lunch and maple cotton candy (who knew, right?) and lots of animals.  The shearer was a "bad-ass shearer"!  No really - she's going to Australia for the "Shearing Olympics" (who knew, right?). It was a low key and relaxing morning.

One very friendly llama

Friend Sophie joined us at the farm

Watching sheep shearing is very interesting!


I don't know how they make them go so limp

After!  Brrr...

That's a lot of fur!

The aftermath of one of the black sheep shearing

Saturday evening the girls got to don their Halloween costumes for their first ever Roller Derby event!  Sierra loved watching the match and figuring out what was going on.  Laurel attached herself to two of my friends and Cadence spent most of the time maneuvering the bleachers (and I spent most of my time making sure she didn't fall!).  It was another late night but so much fun!
Ladybug, witch, and "Your worst nightmare"(?!)

Security officer and her prisoner (prisoner Jessica is working her way to being a Derby Dame - she's my hero!)

Brad came home Sunday afternoon and we went to the park for dinner and bike riding.  We've been working all summer with one little girl, waiting for her to get to two wheels.  She's afraid to fall, to get scratched and hurt.  She didn't want to wear pants and long sleeves to protect herself because it would make her too hot.  She had moments of seeming like she wanted it, but one wobble and she was done.

Really... that is a smile!

Sierra has almost outgrown her bike

And there it is... One push and she was off!  She stopped at every corner and needed help to restart then finally resorted to her scooter, but she did it!  And later, when we weren't looking, she went back for more.  She pushed herself further and worked even harder so she could do it all on her own!  Proud moments!

Lastly we finished our halloween gingerbread house.  They never quite look like the ones do on the box, but cute nonetheless!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Warrior Dash 2011

Besides being an amazing friends,  Lisa is my go-to girl for adventure!  Pretty much anything I throw her way she is open to trying (I'm still working on repelling off of a skyscraper though!).  When I mentioned the Warrior Dash, aka The Craziest Frickin' Day of Your Life, back in the spring she decided to start training.  She did an awesome job getting ready physically for the race, but more importantly,  I knew she'd be up for having a good time!  Three and a half miles and twelve obstacles is not a problem when you are cackling the whole time!

It didn't take much thought for our costumes.  It had to be The Tortoise and the Hare.  Kickin' it back to March 2010 when we were Team Tortoise and No Hair and shaved our heads for St.Baldrick's (one of the best events of my life, btw)! 

There were only 2 low-points about the Warrior Dash. 
#1 - We got an email the night before the race to say that their liquor license was denied and they wouldn't be serving beer.  While I wasn't planning to get plastered, I was counting on a few beers to get me through #2...
#2 - It was 50 degrees!!  And we were going to be wading through chest deep water (which for me meant swimming!)  Can you say B-R-R-R-R?

In the end though, we came, we saw, we scaled walls and jumped over fire, we dove into mud pits, and we planned our costumes for next year's race!  We had a blast!

Tortoise and No Hair
"Slow and steady wins the race" - we heard this a lot!

What we had to look forward to

Zombie fire jumping

Wet, muddy slippery cars

Trying to figure out how to get across without getting wet

Log rolling bunny

Wet tortoise

Fire jumping bunny

Lisa's fab mud pit jump

Lisa trying to recover from said fab mud pit jump

Our rinse station - the James River
My injury to show my true warriorness - a jammed finger
(possibly broken but since I'm a nurse I refuse to go get it x-ray'd!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Laurel's sweet heart

I feel so blessed to have children with such big hearts!  We frequent an outdoor mall area where there are usually a number of people asking for money.  I know lots of people have different views about this, but I have always been one to try to give them something if I have extra to give.  I have very vivid memories of the thankfulness from the homeless & poor when they receive something they need.

There is one gentleman who usually has a dog with him (I think the dog actually hangs out with a few people).  For months we'd see him in the same place and whenever we pass by the girls make sure that we give him a little money.  Laurel has frequently worried about this man.  She wants to collect warm clothing for the winter to give to him and in addition to taking him a sandwich and chips she wants to make sure to bring some fruit so that he is healthy. 

We gathered some food for him and dog treats and a toy for his friend and this sweet note that Laurel wrote.  We've been on the downtown mall a few times but haven't seen him in his usual spot and I've heard that he got a job selling t-shirts.  Laurel was so happy to hear this, but we'll continue to bring our goodies with us until she can give them to him.

"I'm sorry that you don't have a home.  I wish you did. You are really nice.  From Laurel Williams"

Ombre egg?

Ombre is all the rage right now, particularly in home decorating.  Who knew my chickens were so hip?!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Beach trip 2011

I'm attempting to catch up on my blog which has been neglected when the white walls of my house were finally too much for me to bear.  In the last month I've painted 3 rooms, put up one wallpaper boarder, and refinished a table!  Productive, but I need to document our summer memories! 

Cadence finally got to see the ocean!  We took an overnight trip to Virginia Beach in September.  Even though we forgot all of our beach toys, she loved it!  I brought cute matching outfits for the girls in an attempt to get a good summer portrait.  The attempt was unsuccessful to say the least.  On our way out to dinner I tried to get a picture of them on the pier.  Cadence refused to look at the camera much less smile and the girls all kept scooting back until I thought they'd fall off the pier!  After about 5 minutes of attempting to get them posed, an absurd amount of "look this way, smile, get closer", and only 3 pictures taken I turned around to find my husband exasperated and an old couple cracking up at the event!  Another attempt the next morning was equally unsuccessful but without an audience to mock us... at least that I could see!

It was a short but fun trip!  Laurel and Sierra love to ride the waves and Cadence loved playing in the sand.  We are hoping to have a week long beach trip next year!

Riding the waves!

Her favorite past time - throwing sand

You see what I'm talking about?!

Me and my girls

Cadence gets a lift from Daddy

Forgot this portrait attempt on the way home from dinner. 
 Yes, I think a 16x20 of this will do!

What a wonderful moonrise view with the fireworks from our room

Two out of three ain't bad according to Meatloaf. I disagree!

Playing in the cold morning ocean

Our quality sand toys compliments of our hotel

Big girls ride the waves

Is there a better way to end a beach trip than wonderfully sandy feet?!

Just had to throw this in... Laurel's love note to me before she gets on the bus every morning. 
 I heart her too!