The Post I Never Wanted to Write

This post is long overdue and it’s also a post that I never thought I’d write. To all of you who have followed our journey, prayed for us and supported us along the way, this is for you. We owe you this information, albeit late.

When we began our adoption journey over three years ago there was never a question in my mind of “if we adopt”, but rather “when we bring our child home”. I had a couple people ask me if we would we stop the process if we didn’t have a child by a certain date. The answer was always firmly, no. We were in it for the long haul. We were going to see it through. We knew it wasn’t for the faint of heart and we were determined once we started that we were going to be all in. You can’t just “wait and see” with adoption. Intentional steps must be taken. I assure you, there are no complacent adoptive parents out there. Yeah, some peoples’ processes are smoother than others, but many families fought their way to their child. Sadly, it’s just that hard. It takes a toll emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially. You do everything with no guarantees in the end.

Now, even though we were going to see the adoption through, I did pray early on, that God would close the door if it was not what He wanted for our family. I never thought we’d get two and a half years in and have the door closed. This is what happened. There are several things that could have gone differently to change our course. To keep us moving toward a child. But in the end it wasn’t hard to recognize that the path we were on had come to a dead end. I’m not going to go into all the details, but I will divulge that one of the big things that happened to us, was that our agency, For Every Child, in Utah, stopped all communication. We sent certified letters, numerous emails and dozens of phone calls trying to contact them. It’s as though they fell off the face of the earth and we were going to have to start over. We did begin to start over, but there were some other things happening that caused me to lose peace. We took some time to regroup and consider all the circumstances and everything that had transpired, and placed the adoption process on hold.

We grieved. Yes, we grieved for a child that we never met, but one that we prayed for and envisioned in our family. An orphan who needed a family and a home. Robert and I grieved a daughter and one of the boys felt a real loss for a sister that he thought he would be gaining. We had to revisit the topic regularly with the boys, and talk about what happened and why it wasn’t going to be. I struggled with the fact that the boys had been introduced to the idea of adoption and wouldn’t be sad and questioning the final outcome, had we never started the journey.

Ultimately, and especially with the benefit of time, we have peace in the matter. What was supposed to be a good thing, was not turning out and I do not want to force something to happen that isn’t meant to be. God is big enough to take care of the tiniest of details and if we hit roadblock after roadblock then that’s enough confirmation for me.

A heartfelt thank you for your interest in our family and support along the way. We’d like to say that all money that was donated to our adoption fund has been returned. We’ve tied up all the loose ends and are focusing on doing a stellar job raising the three wonderful children that we do have. I said from the beginning that I didn’t want to live with regrets and I’m glad that we gave it a go. We continue to support adoption and wish all families out there in process, all the best. It is a worthy cause!!

Lastly, have a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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big brothers one year later

It was one year ago that I posted about the boys in their “Best Big Brother” t-shirts.

That was then…

HELLO my name is Best Big Brother

HELLO my name is Best Big Brother

And this is now…

July 2014

July 2014

the BEST big brothers!

the BEST big brothers!

three amigos ready and waiting

three amigos ready and waiting

The shirts still fit them and we’re still waiting to be matched with their little sister. It doesn’t seem like much newsworthy has taken place regarding the adoption in the past year. A friend and I were talking the other day how I am discouraged at the lack of communication we’re getting from our placing agency and she said “Well, you know you’re closer now than you were when you first started.”…TRUE. We’ve been at this a year and a half, so we better be closer now than when we first started!

So, maybe I should shed some light on what the latest is. We are still waiting for our referral (to be matched). We talk often about the newest member of our family, but I don’t like to bring it up all the time because there are still so many unknowns. We don’t have answers right now. I don’t want the boys to be completely wrapped up in it either because I don’t want them to worry. Plus, as children, their sense of time is skewed, so I’m not sure what they expect in all this anyway. They won’t comprehend it fully until it actually happens, and maybe not even then. We also don’t want them to worry about the money needed for the adoption. The kids have all said things to us along the lines of “we shouldn’t spend that money because we have to save for our adoption girl” or “here, I want you to have this money for our girl, so we can bring her home”. It is very sweet, but also makes me a little sad because I don’t want them focusing or worrying about adult issues such as where large amounts of money are going to come from. How do they know that money is needed for an adoption? They’ve been with us every step of the way. They’ve helped with garage sale fundraisers, they see me filling out grants, they rejoice with us when we’re awarded grant money, they’ve witnessed family giving to our cause. Nobody had to sit them down and explain the financial burden of adoption. We just tell them the truth. And that is, that we’re trusting the Lord to provide and that they don’t need to worry about that. So, fundraising is something that continues to consume a lot of hours in our adoption process. This has been a constant.

One hot topic of conversation lately with the kids is what we should name our daughter. The kids really like throwing out ideas (some legit and others completely ridiculous just for a laugh) and a lot of people ask us if we have a name chosen. We have not.

On Monday we’re having a phone consultation with an International Adoption Specialist from a very well respected children’s hospital nearby. We’re excited to get set up with this doctor because once we get our referral, which will consist of our child’s history and medical background, she will look at it and give us feedback in very short order. This way we can proceed armed with as much information as possible. Because these kind of specialists know what to expect and look for with different countries and how to sort of read between the lines, it is recommended that they be utilized if possible. We’ve heard great things about our clinic and feel blessed to have such services available to us! Another bonus to having a specialist like this lined up is that when we’re overseas, if we need anything (medicine, etc.), she’ll make sure we get it.

Our home study expired in April, but our social worker said we would update it later this summer. Since we’re doing an international adoption, there’s no rush in updating it. I trust our social worker so whatever she says… I’m sure there are other things that will need to be redone or updated that we don’t even know about at this point.

I mentioned that the communication has not been stellar with our placing agency. We’ve been told repeatedly throughout our process by various people that this is normal. Feedback? Any adoptive parents out there who can shed some light? Anyone else run into this? I’m hoping that when a referral comes that this will change. Please, encouragement anyone?!

L

 

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a fourth of july celebration

I know it’s a tad bit late to say Happy Fourth of July, but it’s never too late to thank our service men and women. Truly, if you have ever served our country in the military, a big thank you to you!! As I get older I appreciate more and more, all the sacrifices that have been made on behalf of my freedom.

To celebrate our Independence Day, we got together with some close friends. This is a Navy family and they’re moving in a few months so we are very sad about this😦.  But, we had a really fun time hanging out together! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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just some of the kiddos

Baby Boy playing horseshoes with Daddy.

Baby Boy playing horseshoes with Daddy.

firework time

firework time

time to get decked out in awesome moustaches

time to get decked out in awesome moustaches and glow necklaces

let the fun begin

let the fun begin

"don't be jealous of our facial hair"

Who doesn’t love a woman with facial hair?!

Mr. & Mr.

Mr. & Mr.

photo bomb!

photo bomb!

a mom and her boy

a mom and her boy

Besties. The perfect match :)

Besties. The perfect match🙂

"What's wrong. Why can't you take us seriously?"

“What’s wrong. Why can’t you take us seriously?”

May God continue to bless our nation!
L

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a fun first

Our boys love to ride their bikes and this year all three of them are very good at riding. As of late, while they rode their bikes, Robert and I would walk because we didn’t have bikes. This was posing a problem because the boys had to keep stopping and waiting for us to catch up to them, and it was cramping their style :/  When they’re on their bikes, they’re little speedsters.

So Robert and I asked ourselves what we were waiting for and decided it was a great time to get ourselves bicycles. Now, we haven’t kept abreast the bicycle world and what it has to offer these days, so we had no idea how many choices and decisions were to be had when purchasing a bike. Was it wrong that we felt a tad bit overwhelmed? Hard tail or dual suspension, spring shocks vs. hydraulic shocks, disc brakes, wheel size, gear options, and on it goes. Robert loves to research so I let him have at it. Ultimately, we settled on mid grade Schwinn mountain bikes that were on sale at Wal Mart. We got the twinsies guy/girl versions.

With our new bikes out of the boxes and put together, this past weekend, for the first time ever, we went on a family bike ride! We have this really great trail right by our house so we tooled on over there and rode.

First family bike ride!

First family bike ride!

We saw for or five deer and rabbits on our bike ride.

We saw a handful of deer and rabbits on the trail.

The boys got new helmets which they love!

The boys got new helmets which they love!

Crossing the bridge over the river.

Crossing the bridge over the river.

Robert downloaded a cool mountain biking app that tracks distance, path, and calories burned by gps.

We actually rode 4 miles, but the phone died before we could capture the rest of the trip!

We actually rode 4 miles, but the phone died before we could capture the rest of the trip!

The boys held up remarkably well, but Baby Boy was having a little difficulty towards the end.20140625-230025-82825831.jpg I had worked all day, the guys were on the go all day, so Robert and I started out a little worn. But what a great way to spend a summer evening! For my first run on my Schwinn, I liked it pretty well. It needs a little tweaking and I was reminded that I’m not fifteen anymore, as the seat seemed small. Ahem. …Still, I felt like a kid racing my boys and yelling YOLO! They got a big kick out of finally riding with mommy and daddy. Needless to say, we had a lot of fun on our first bike outing and it ended up being energizing and relaxing all at the same time.

The next day Robert asked Little Man how his legs felt after the ride and if they were sore. Little Man said “My legs feel good. Strong!”. He and Middle Man could have kept going and going, like little energizer bunnies.
L

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irreplaceable, Daddy

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I can’t let Father’s Day week pass by without giving a shout out to the main man in our home!20140617-111858-40738800.jpg

This Daddy is loving, playful, a hard worker and the spiritual leader he is called to be. And our boys are blessed to have a role model such as him!

I was skimming through quotes for this post and laughed when I read this one by a father (Red Buttons). “Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected.” :) The kids love wrestling with Robert and just last night as I was cleaning up the kitchen the guys were wrestling in the living room. Poor Robert gets ganged up on quite easily between Baby Boy who loves to “tickle” by gouging you in the armpits with his sharp little fingertips, Middle Man who is a tenacious little beast who can do chin-ups day or night and Little Man who is strong with all the right moves in the wrestling ring. They all go after Daddy at the same time, no holds barred. So last night, I hear moaning and groaning from the other room and Robert mumbling something about “you just kneed me in the crotch…” Uh, unfortunately the boys don’t have much sympathy for a thing such as that yet, so they didn’t really let up. It’s all part of being a Dad, right??

Small boys become big men through the influence of big men who care about small boys. (Author Unknown)

Today is my Dad’s birthday. Happy birthday Dad!! I have so much to be thankful for when it comes to having a dad like him. Was he perfect? I don’t know a parent who ever was. But, I have many fond memories of time that my dad spent with me. These times usually were not deep. They were day to day things. Moments built upon moments that add up to years, where he poured into me. I’ve often thought about how the influence of my dad helped me choose the males that I’ve allowed into my life. My plumb line was my dad. Did they line up to what I knew a husband and father should be? He gave me the self-worth to insist on what I deserved, so when I read this quote I thought it was perfect.

“I have never been a material girl. My father always told me never to love anything that cannot love you back.” (Imelda Marcos) My dad never told me this, he showed me this.

My Dad and me at my wedding almost 15 years ago.

My Dad and me at my wedding almost 15 years ago.

To the leading men in my life, thank you for stepping up to the plate when it’s not always easy and when you wonder if anyone even notices. I love you guys!
L

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at a glance

Well, summer is in full swing around here! The kids have only been out of school for two and a half weeks, but we’ve done so much already it seems like much longer.

Before I get ahead of myself I wanted to tell you about a few notable random things from the past couple months that I didn’t get to write about.

Robert had his graduation ceremony for his MBA! Oh, happy day!

So proud of this man!

So proud of this man!

 

Little Man and Middle Man wrapped up their year of cub scouts. They got to do some really cool things. They went camping a few times. Another time Robert, his dad, Little Man and Baby Boy got to go splunking and sleep in a cave. (Middle Man was afraid of bears and bats so he chose not to go. :) He stayed home with yours truly who had no desire to sleep in a cave. Who needs to do all that when she has a perfectly good bed in the comfort of her own home, right? Plus I went caving when I was like 14. The reasons go on and on.) They had a really great time though, and can’t wait to go again next year!

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Pinewood derby. The boys put many hours into working on these cars!

Pinewood derby. The boys and Robert put many hours into working on these cars!

Middle Man and his best friend at the derby.

Middle Man and his best friend at the derby.

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All bundled in his mummy bag

All bundled in his mummy bag

 

The entrance to the cave

The entrance to the cave

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Inside the cave before they had to get on their stomachs and slither through the tiniest of death traps.

Inside the cave before they had to get on their stomachs and slither through the tiniest of death traps.

 

Baby Boy graduated from Kindergarten.

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the family

 

The day after school let out my bff and her daughter from my hometown came for a visit. We always have a really good time when they’re here, and stayed busy doing something fun every day. The kids have developed really close relationships over the years and even asked me if this sweet little girl was their cousin, which I thought was special! Here are a couple pics from their visit.

All dressed up. Aren't we a nice crew?

All dressed up. Aren’t we a nice crew?

All dressed down for a day at the zoo.

All dressed down for a day at the zoo.

Eating pizza in a bus in a restaurant :).

Eating pizza in a bus in a restaurant🙂.

the kids love eating on the bus

The kids love eating on the bus. It’s become a tradition every time they’re here.

Since school has ended the kids have done VBS, started their summer sports, we’ve gone to a local water park, the zoo, picnicked at a vineyard, gone to the botanical gardens, fixed up and painted the deck, played with friends, entertained around our fire pit, gone for bike rides; and there’s a lot more on the calendar. I’m tired. But, I do love the flexibility that summer brings. We definitely do not get bored in the summer! – Or ever.

the crew hard at work

the guys hard at work

fun in the sun Daddy and Baby Boy

fun in the sun
Daddy and Baby Boy

 

It’s been a while since I posted, now you know why. Also, I never know how much detail you followers out there really want, but I figure something is better than nothing:). I hope your summer is off to a good start and that we can all enjoy the longer days and slow down to savor it.
L

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mother’s Day at the gardens

This is the first year in my ten years of motherhood, that we did not get together with one of our mothers on Mother’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome privilege and it’s nice getting together, but this year it just kinda worked out that we celebrated with them earlier in the week. This Mother’s Day was all mine. We didn’t have to coordinate schedules or consult anybody regarding the day. I wanted to go somewhere special and different where we could be together hanging out and relaxing. –Enter, the botanical gardens, a short drive from our home. We had never been there as a family and it was only my second time going, but I was hopeful that the boys would enjoy it!

So on Mother’s Day we went to early service at church (and saw Michael W Smith sing!) and then we had a simple brunch at home (which I had mostly prepared the day before). Robert packed us a picnic lunch and we set out for the rest of the day. Let me just say, it was awesome! The weather was great, the park was beautiful and we just kept coming upon prettier and more interesting things to do and see.
me and my special guys

me and my cherubs

In addition to the gorgeous landscaping and ponds, there are various exhibits like an elaborate treehouse and model train station. The kids had a great time exploring flowery stone lined paths, waterfalls and castles fashioned out of sticks and vines. We picnicked by a small pond while the kids pointed out tadpoles. Little Man taught us how to play step tag and the guys threw the football we brought.
There is also a historical mansion on the grounds that’s been turned into a museum. It’s unbelievably huge and elaborate. After we went through the museum we walked the grounds. Each exit led to a secret garden, new path, fountain or sitting area. The boys were having so much fun exploring and Robert and I loved the scenery and grandeur of it all.
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A miniature train station all decked out and very ornate. This was one of my favorite exhibits.

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the “castle”

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the view looking up from inside the castle

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“We could play in here all day!”

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memories are made of this

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looking at a millipede their eagle eyes spotted on a little pathway

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Getting out of the house for the day where I couldn’t be mentally distracted or succumb to housework; where we couldn’t wander in different directions, pretending we’re going to come back together for quality time. This is what I needed. This is what we needed. I’m looking forward to going back and next time it won’t be ten years in the making.

L

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my side needs to be heard

BBQ smoker: MIA

Rarely do I (Robert) get to write a blog. Most of the time I’m called upon for proofing or I/T support (which typically includes the uttering of ‘why does it only work when you’re here?’). Lisa blogged the other day about my ride on the struggle bus to get the basketball goal and I feel I need to share it from my vantage point. So the family and I are driving home and pass a house for sale. As we go by, I immediately spy a bbq smoker in the driveway. I quickly stop the van and throw it in reverse, ignoring the calls of ‘what are you doing?’ and ‘this isn’t the way home!’. No, but it’s the way to tasty smoked meats and that’s even better. We pull to the end of their driveway and I gaze at the smoker and admire it; mentally placing it on my deck to see where it would fit best. You have to consider important factors like quick accessibility in rain or shine, ease of use and general sizing requirements. I quickly ascertained that it would fit no problem, but we might not be able to fit all the kids on the deck anymore. There are always trade-offs. I had a brilliant idea, why not call the realtor and tell her that it’s kind of an eyesore and I can help her get rid of this so she can sell the house quicker. It’s a win/win. Lisa doesn’t see the grill at all, but she notices a portable basketball goal and says we should ask if we could take both. Until she had mentioned it, I hadn’t even noticed the hoop. The boys are playing basketball now and it would be great to have, so I can show them some of my skills and beat them solidly in a game of horse. Or anaconda, like I did when I was younger, usually because I enjoyed a slow, painful death since I always missed. I call the realtor and leave her a very professional sounding message. I say ‘Hi, my name is Robert and I’m looking at your house on X Street. Nice house but I noticed it’s got a bbq smoker and basketball goal in the driveway. I’d like to help you out and I think this will be a great deal for both of us. I’d be happy to take them off your hands so it makes the property more visually appealing. Let me know what you think, thanks!’ I’m quite proud of my message, it sounds good and what realtor wouldn’t want to take the word from a random stranger that they need to clean up the clutter at their house? I’m sure she’ll call back with a resounding yes. Well almost, she leaves a confused message asking what is it that I really want. Am I asking her if I can actually have them for free? The home is under contract so she’s got to ask the new owners. They say the smoker stays and the hoop can go, but they aren’t helping to move it. I’ll learn why soon enough. I’m quite disappointed but Lisa’s really excited. I was thinking about teaching my family to eat and how to survive if they can only use a smoker to live off of, and she’s thinking about another way to get the boys out of the house.

After work I decide to go get it. ‘How?’ asks my wife. In the van of course, I say, like it should be the most obvious of choices. ‘What about our neighbor’s truck?’ No, why should we dirty up his nice truck when we can just take seats out of the van? I’m sure it will fit. Yes it will hang out but that’s OK, we are just driving through the neighborhood. Lisa drives over, the boys ride their bikes and I walk. We get to the house and I have to ignore the smoker, staring at me. It is a nice one, not too old either. Maybe I can do like that ancient saying where if you love something set it free and if it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it shows up on my deck, it was meant to be. Things are going good until I try to move it and it doesn’t budge. Ah, that’s right, the base is filled with water to weight it down, no big deal, I’ll drain the water. Except these people were overachievers and filled it with sand. Sand! Who does that? It’s a great idea if you plan on never moving it again or allowing a stranger to help clean up your vacant house. I realize there’s no way it will make it into the van. But what’s this? Tiny wheels on the front of it so you can move it a few feet around the driveway. We tip the post and it rolls, ever so slowly, but it rolls. The boys are riding their bikes all around me like bees circling a hive, and Lisa is just watching me. I’d like to think it’s because of my awesomeness….yeah we’ll just say it is. She asks what I’m doing and again, I feel the most obvious answer is that I’m going to wheel it all the way through the neighborhood back to our house. She laughs. “Are you serious?” Of course I am. The boys need a hoop and this is the only way I know to get it home. How could this not work? She starts to drive off and I follow. I notice the neighbors across the street watching us, wondering why we are taking this goal. I sort of nod, you know the kind of guy nod that means anything from ‘what’s up?’ to ‘yeah I want a milkshake with that’ or even ‘yes I’m taking the basketball goal’. I am slowly trudging down the street, mostly dragging the goal because those tiny wheels don’t do much and with the base filled with sand, it’s really heavy and sluggish. Get to the corner where some guys are checking out their new, really nice, crotch rocket motorcycle. I notice them all stop and stare at me, mouths agape. They watch me round the corner like construction workers watch a pretty girl go by. They are jealous of my portable basketball goal, I can tell. I refuse to look at them and stare straight ahead. Except that I have to look through the frosted backboard and can’t really tell what’s in front of me. As I go, the goal gets heavier and pausing at the stop sign is a bad idea because getting started again isn’t quite that easy now. I trudge through the intersection hoping that drivers will take pity on me and run me over to put me out of my misery.

I remember thinking how it was a lot hotter that afternoon than I thought it was supposed to get. And why didn’t I change out of my work clothes? Half way home. I pause to catch my breath and make sure no one is following me, waiting to take advantage of me in my weak state. The only one I see is my wife, laughing and driving away. I make it to our street a good while later and it’s like the final stretch of a marathon. One where you strap a small fridge to your back and run on the beach. The boys have left me far behind to fend for myself. Lisa returns, at least I think it’s her, through the frosted backboard. Whoever she is, she’s laughing uncontrollably and taking pictures. Why would you take pictures of someone obviously in pain? I can’t even defend myself. We finally make it to the driveway. I mean ‘we’ in the same way that some spouses say ‘we should put in new landscaping’ or ‘we should paint the house’ and look right at the husband. After some effort, we get it up the curb and into our driveway and nestle it in the yard. Right next to where my tiny car has to park so it can fall on my car in a storm. But I’m always thinking ahead. I bought more sand to fill the base with. No wind will knock this thing over and if the wind is that strong, a hoop will be the last of my worries.

The basketball goal now is in its final resting spot, it will never move. The extra sand I added will ensure that. The boys love it and are using it a lot. Funny though, it’s not such an eyesore in my driveway.

How can you not notice the grill?

The bees are swarming

The bees are swarming

Starting the long walk home

the long walk home

Helping?  No, it's picture time instead.

Helping? No, it’s picture time instead.

The basketball goal is holding me up at this point.

The basketball goal is holding me up at this point.

success

success

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a fresh update and the liebster award

Hooray, we made it to post number 50!! I’ve been wanting to lighten up and freshen our little online space for a while, so I figure this is a good time for a remodel. In addition to this being the fiftieth post, I have another reason to celebrate. Last week, Marie from normaleverydaylife.com nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award! Marie happens to be my sister and it’s no surprise that she was nominated for this fun award. I enjoy her blog and I’m sure you will too if you swing on over there to her world. Thank you for your support, Marie! I’m honored and I accept.🙂

Liebster, which is a German word meaning valued, dearest, sweetest or kindest is an award nominated to up and coming bloggers by another blogger. Being nominated for this award is just a way of being shown some love and recognition for your blog. Participating comes with some fun rules, starting with some questions and random facts about myself.

The Questions Marie Asked Me

Why did you start blogging? When my husband, Robert, and I were beginning our adoption journey we decided it would be a good idea to start a blog. My intentions were to keep friends and family informed, but also, as a means to shed light on the adoption process on a personal level as we go through it. Smushedkisses is not just about adoption though; we hope to gain new friends and be a light and encouragement to those who read this blog about family and life.

Are you an early bird or a night owl? Definitely an early bird.

Who is your favorite author? I don’t do a lot of heavy pleasure reading. I’m always doing a Bible study and usually reading something along the lines of a parenting book. I do like to follow some blogs and pick up a magazine.

What is your guilty pleasure? Break ‘n Bake cookies, and The Bachelor which, admittedly, is quite ridiculous.

What is your all time favorite TV show? Maybe sad, but true, I really like Dateline. Or my “death show” as Robert likes to call it.

Name three things on your bucket list. Hmm, this question required me to think on it. I would really like for my family to have a nice vacation at Disney, do some travelling abroad with the kids, and own a modest vacation home where the family can make memories and gather year after year.

What’s your favorite way to relax? This one’s easy. Picture couch, TV, electric blanket and Robert brushing my hair. Which he’s really good at, btw😉

Do you collect anything? We have a small coin collection. When I was a child, I collected cat figurines and gold rimmed cat “collector” plates, which now hang out in our attic. I am not a fan, personally, of having a bunch of dust collectors knick knacks sitting around.

What’s your favorite post on your blog and why? I love going back and looking at the pictures, but my favorite post so far is You Have Gone Before Us. The words in this post came from my heart. It’s a post of thanksgiving and I have always drawn strength from people who have been there, done that. When I know that someone has gone through something I’m going to go through (be it childbirth, marriage, sending a child to kindergarten, etc.), I’m comforted. I say to myself “If other people do this then I can too.” When we can learn from others and find commonalities, it’s a beautiful thing.

Do you enjoy appetizers or dessert more? Dessert, but when it comes to party food I don’t discriminate.

What is your favorite season and why? Fall. Fall is sweater and jean weather. Where I grew up, the leaves changed and it was colorful and beautiful. My mind goes to crisp, cozy and bonfires. Fall makes me think of my Mom because I always remember her saying Fall is her favorite season. Last, but not least, this season reminds me of my wedding which was in October.

Eleven Random Facts About Me:

My husband accuses me of being narcoleptic. I’ve been known to fall asleep in the movie theatre and while fast forwarding through commercials with the remote in my hand.

My love language is Acts of Service.

I love going on long walks and doing Zumba at the gym.

I do not like public speaking.

I was obsessed with cats growing up. My beautiful childhood Siamese cat, Scarlett, died early in my marriage. We adopted a big handsome cat from the shelter shortly after that, but he ended up having medical problems and we had to put him to sleep after a couple months. We’ve been  pet free ever since. (Unless you count the hermit crab we brought home from the beach, and now, the sea monkeys that we have)🙂

I received a small scholarship to play tennis my freshman year of college. Haven’t picked up a racket in eight years.

Pumping dance music makes me happy and I love to dance. The mood has to be right though, because I don’t think I’m a great dancer.

My dream job would be working in a salon where I would see all kinds of before and after makeovers. I would be the awesome esthetician who is an expert in all things skin.

I do not have a Facebook account. I’ve held out because I am not a techie. (I’m getting better though) And FB is so low on my priority list right now that I just don’t want to invest the time in it. Who knows, I might branch out some day.

I grew up in the North and live in the South. Even after fifteen years, oftentimes I don’t feel like I fit in. Even if I feel like I’m fitting in, that’s suddenly interrupted by hearing “You’re not from here, are you?”.

I’m the youngest of four children and we were all born within five years.

Congratulations To The Nominees I Have Chosen!

*I’ve had the pleasure of meeting these first four bloggers and I enjoy their blogs because they are candid and transparent. (Something that challenges me.)

We Are Meant To Live For So Much More at jeremy-and-sarah.blogspot.com  I got to meet Sarah about a year ago when she was the guest speaker at an adoption class I went to. She and her husband have just added a son to their family.

Rebecca Walker Photography at rebeccawalkerblog.com   Robert and I have had the pleasure of getting to know Rebecca and her husband for over a year now. They are a sweet couple and we are very excited for them with the new addition to their family.

Birds In The Treetops at birdsinthetreetops.blogspot.com   Jeanine, a mother of five children, is very insightful and wise.

Snow Bunch at mel-snow.blogspot  Melissa is blessed with seven children and must be exhausted every single night when her head hits the pillow. She doesn’t blog often, but who can blame her?

A Mom In Need Of Advice at amominneedofadvice.blogspot.com  I just came across Kristina and her blog. I can’t wait to get to know her better.

Eleven Questions For My Nominees:

Why did you start blogging?

What is a fond childhood memory you have?

Have you started any new traditions for your family? If so, what?

What scares you?

What is your guilty pleasure?

What is an accomplishment of yours that you’re most proud of?

Dogs or cats? Why?

If money were no object and you could vacation anywhere, where would it be?

What is your favorite post on your blog, and why?

If you could only do your hair or makeup, which would you choose, and why?

What is your favorite candy?

 

The Rules

1.  Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
2.  Share 11 random facts about yourself.
3.  List some bloggers with less than 1000 followers who you feel deserve some recognition and        encouragement.
4.  Notify the bloggers you nominated by leaving a comment on their blog.
5.  Create a list of 11 questions for your nominated bloggers to answer.
6.  Thank your award presenter by linking back to their blog.
7.  Have fun with it!

 

 

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the love of this father aka the day Robert almost died

I just took part in and witnessed the funniest, most ridonkulous, thing in a very long time.

It started last week when we noticed a vacant house for sale in our neighborhood. In the driveway sat a smoker grill. Well, Robert has been wanting a smoker grill for a long time. While his eye settled on the smoker grill, my eye went to the basketball goal that was next to it. I’ve wanted to get the boys a hoop for quite a while. As a matter of fact one of the boys just asked me the other day if we can get a hoop. (They just came off basketball season and I’d like to keep their momentum up.) We decided that since the house was vacant with a for sale sign in the yard that maybe the seller would want to get rid of their left behind “junk” and enhance the curb appeal. Robert was going to call the realtor and inquire.

After work today he informed me that the realtor said we could indeed have the basketball hoop, but sadly, not the smoker. Ooh, a blessing! We were getting a free basketball hoop and the boys will be so excited! I asked Robert how we were going to get our new blessing home. Did he think we needed to borrow a pickup truck from our neighbor? No, he thought if he took a couple seats out of our minivan then we could get enough of the hoop in the van for us to drive it home in. I was very skeptical, but what do I know? After we ate dinner we decided to venture a few streets over and see about getting our new basketball hoop home. The boys would ride their bikes while Robert walked with them and I would drive the van over. Laughable, is what it was. There was no way we were getting this monstrosity in the van. The bottom was weighted with sand! We couldn’t lift it an inch. What choice did we have but to utilize the two little wheels it has in the front and for Robert to pull it home? I was laughing so hard. I really did not think he was going to be willing to do this. I snapped some pictures and guffawed some more. This is love. Frugality. Ghetto. Insanity. All of the above. There were three or four men in the corner driveway hanging out. After all, it is a beautiful Friday night and people are just hanging out enjoying the evening. They watched with open mouths as Robert slowly dragged the goal past. Robert refused to even look their direction. I was so embarrassed. In my best effort to cover my face, I put on my oversized sunglasses. It didn’t help enough. I drove slowly, keeping an eye on the boys and watching Robert in the rear view mirror. Hey, if Jesus carried the cross, can’t Robert pull the basketball hoop?? He says he called upon Jesus, but it wasn’t really a religious experience. (As I write this he says “You probably don’t even know this, but you’ve had a smirk on your face this whole time.”) I can’t help it. I’m giddy over this.

not amused, but a willing spirit

not amused, but determined

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my rear view. he he🙂

…And they’re off. Only .2 mi to go!

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truckin’ on

workhorse

workhorse

he's a hoss

he’s a hoss

So close. Actually getting that up the curb was a real treat.

So close. Actually getting that up the curb was a real treat.

bingo!

bingo!

Happy moment. He lived to tell about it.

Happy moment. And he lived to tell about it.

Do you have a funny story that makes you cringe with embarrassment? Has your spouse ever done anything for the love of his family that you never thought he’d agree to? I’d love to hear about it.

L

 

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