Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Big Announcement

Ok....finally. Finally, we are ready to spill the beans.

You've been so patient.

Or annoyed.

Or both.

Sorry!

This thing has been in the works since about February or March, I guess. Plans have been made, disagreements hashed out, selfish feelings put at bay, craziness rationalized.....

You get the gist.

This thing has NOT been an easy decision. It's been something that we know we are supposed to do. Something we know is the right thing to do for our family. Something that we, *ahem*, I haven't always been 100% on board with.

But, I am now. And I am certain. And excited. And in a good place.

So...here we go.

Ready?

Our big news, is that our family will be growing again!

Sometime in the next few months....we hope to adopt again.

From China...again.

This time.....a son.

We are paperwork ready. Everything is done. We have to wait until Rylie's 1-year adoption date to send our dossier off to China (September 20).

Now, we just have to find him.

And I absolutely can not wait to see that sweet face for the first time.


Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.
They are easier to ignore before you see their faces.
It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms.
But once you do, everything changes.
-David Platt


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sunday Snapshot- A Week of Firsts (Life and Photoshoots!)

Back in the spring when I took a photography class, it was really nothing more than wanting to learn how to use my dSLR camera and take better pictures of my kids. So, when one of my co-workers asked me to take her son's newborn pictures, I was super-nervous!! I had never taken pictures for anyone other than myself, when, really...if I mess up, I mess up. No one gets disappointed except for me. And I can live with that! But, the thought of messing up pictures of a precious newborn...well, that put me in a little bit of a frenzy. Still, how could I say no to a chance to hang out with such a sweet little guy for a while?

Well, I decided to bite the bullet and go spend some time with sweet, perfect Max for a while on the day he turned a week old. Man-o-man what a great time! I loved getting to capture these shots and I must say, I was pretty happy with how they turned out! I hope his family enjoys them....because he certainly won't be this little for long! I'm so glad they let me come and play!

Here are a few of my favorites! (you can see them all at www.BabyMax2011.shutterfly.com)

Sunday Snapshot

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Snapshot- Maymont

The end of summer is starting to rear its ugly head around here, and I am suddenly feeling like I need to cram some more fun into our remaining few weeks.

We had a mild day on Friday, so the kids and I packed up and headed to Maymont Park, one of my favorite places in the city.

I wish I had more pictures, but trying to wrangle 3 kids who want to trek off through bamboo forests and climb waterfalls makes pictures a little hard to come by.

But, we had a great time regardless.

Jonah caught a little frog, which absolutely thrilled him, but it was so little and jumpy, I didn't get any pictures.

Reagan made a new friend as well.


We had a few rare moments of love between these two.


All 3 worked on their rock-climbing.


Rylie charted her own path.


And we fed some huge Koi without losing anyone into the water!

Only 3 weeks left. We'll see what else we can get in to!

Sunday Snapshot

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Zucchini Cakes

We just had these for dinner....and if you don't try them, you are seriously missing out! Yum!


Words With Spouses

Rush discovered "Words With Friends" on his smart phone a while back. He and some of his friends at work have been having continuous battles for the past few weeks. I thought it was a little silly.

But then....

We discovered there is a way to play on Facebook.

Oh. My. Gosh.

They should call it "Crack with Words." Seriously addicting.

My first battle was with my husband. He smoked me. In my defense though, he's a "s" and "ed" adder. So unfair. (Unless it's me that has those chances, which I will take full advantage of, thank-you-very-much.) But, he really and truly kicked my butt. I relented. But the battle rages on....

I'm hoping our marriage survives, considering there's also a "chat" option. Better known as a "smack talk" option here. Thank God for John Acuff's guidance.

Now he has just one more excuse for not getting me a smartphone. Thanks a heap, Facebook.



Thursday, August 4, 2011

Journeys


Ever been on a journey you really don't want travel?

A journey you might be dreading, but know you have to go on?

And you know with everything in you that it is what you are absolutely supposed to be doing?

But in all reality, deep down, you're not really happy about it. Because it means that you have to give up some things. Some things you really do want. Some things you always saw in store for yourself. Some things you think you deserve.

And you know it's going to be hard. And challenging. And you really have no idea how on earth you're going to get to your destination. In fact, it looks darn near impossible at times.

Surely, someone else should have been chosen for the journey. Someone better equipped. With better judgment. Better ideas. Better plans. Better resources. Someone more patient and less selfish.

But, no. It's you. You are the one that was chosen. You are the one that has to go. You are the one who has to sacrifice, and stretch, and wonder, and trust.

Ever been there?

Yep. Me too.

Right now, as a matter of fact.

Blindly having faith that it is going to be ok. Trusting that I don't have to worry about one single detail of the journey. Because when God calls us to something, he is faithful to see it to completion.

Still, I am of little faith. I am selfish. I am impatient. I am greedy, and pouty, and lazy. (Well, not all of the time!) But at our core, aren't we all? We know that usually the greatest rewards in life come from the greatest struggles. But we really don't want to go through the struggle part, do we? Who would?


"....I could not help but think that somewhere along the way
we had missed what is radical about our faith and replaced it
with what is comfortable. We were settling for a Christianity
that revolves around catering to ourselves when the
central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves."

-David Platt, Radical



Ahhh, that whole 'die to self' thing.....that's hard. And usually it's not fun. Rewarding? Yes. Fun? Not so much. Still, we're on board. We're paddling. We're looking for the joy along the way. And the challenges.....well, we'll just hand those over to someone who can take care of them.


Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself,
“The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.”
-Lamentations 3:22-24




Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Black and White Wednesday- Princess Rylie

A while back, I found a blog that drew me in immediately. Adorned with gorgeous pictures of her kids, I noticed one of her beauties was Chinese....and named Reagan.....and came home from China just a few weeks after Rylie. Well, back in the spring, she offered some on-line photography classes, which I signed up for as my birthday present. I have always loved taking pictures, and a few years ago got a used dSLR camera, although I really knew nothing about its functions above staying in Auto. Well, Lisa taught us some super-useful info, which transitioned us all into shooting in manual. I still need a lot of practice, but have had fun learning!

Of course, I have lots of opportunities to practice with the kids....when they decide to cooperate.

Rylie has been my biggest challenge, though. She hasn't quite figured out the smile-on-demand thing, or how to continue looking at the camera for more than a split second. Luckily, she gave me a great opportunity to practice one morning, while she was playing dress up. She took just about every conceivable thing she could find to put on, and transformed herself into a fancy little princess.


At first, she didn't really get into it.



And I think she was annoyed at the camera being in her face.



Or distracted by her toes.



But, I couldn't let the opportunity pass by.



To capture a moment when this little girl initiated a little session of pretend play.



And one in which she looked so beautiful at that.



Well, I couldn't let that moment pass by.



How I love you, my little princess. And I love capturing your moments of joy.


the long road

Starting Over

It seems the most recent theme on my little blog has either been ABSENCE or CATCHING UP. Sorry about that. I truly have no idea where 2011 has gone. August sneaked up on me from out of nowhere! I guess that's what happens with 3 kids. Time literally flies. And I am having a hard time keeping up.

For now, mostly for myself to remember....here are a few highlights!

  • Rush's sister came home from the Philippines, where she has been serving for the past year as a teacher at a school for kids of missionaries. Reagan was lucky enough to fly out to LA with her grandparents to meet Sharon as she arrived back in the States. While they were there, they went to Disneyland!!!! She loved every minute of being treated like a princess and had a great trip!
  • Rush took Jonah to Disney World for one of their Star Wars Weekends. Being the Star Wars nut he is, he went crazy. He didn't even know he was going until the morning of their flight. We woke him up and had him get ready, just as if he was going to school. Over breakfast, Rush spilled the beans. It was awesome. I think Jonah was in shock all weekend.
  • We had a week in the Outer Banks over spring break with Rush's family. It was Rylie's first real beach experience and minus a few moments, she loved it!
  • Rush and I were lucky enough to have a few days in Cozumel in May. It was nice to literally have nothing to do. Well, except sit on the beach or by the pool all day long.
  • Jonah lost his first tooth!
  • My sister had a baby....she lives in Roanoke, so my mom and I packed up the kids and headed for a visit. Sadly, the kids had never been to Virginia Tech before, so we took the opportunity to take them to Blacksburg for the first time! Rush was disappointed (to put it mildly) that he didn't get to come, but the kids LOVED it! We checked out campus, played on the drillfield, hung out at the duckpond and more. I wish we had a little more time there, but overall, it was awesome going back and having the kids with me. Last year was the first time since we graduated that we have missed going to at least one football game per season (since we just got home with Rylie). Fortunately, this year we get to head back to a game and take Jonah with us! Can. Not. Wait!
I'm sure there is so much more I could list, but I think those are the big things.

In other news, Rylie is doing great! She's progressing well in speech therapy and her therapist seems really pleased. She LOVES her Sunday School class and adored bible school last week. The girl pays attention....she knew a lot of the words and motions to the songs they learned. I was really surprised at how much she remembered!

There's some big news coming down the pipeline. I know I alluded to it months ago and left a lot of people hanging. Sorry about that! I promise I will share soon.

And, I am going to really try to get back on the blog bandwagon consistently!