Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Waiting

One of my least favorite parts of adoption is WAITING! Waiting for the homestudy, waiting to be approved, waiting for an expectant parent to contact you, waiting to be chosen, waiting for the baby to be born, waiting for placement paperwork to be signed, waiting for finalization, and then waiting the full year to start it all again!

Waiting to be chosen is by far my least favorite of all the waiting, but it has definitely been difficult waiting for Joey to be born. Last week, the plan was that an amnio would be done on November 29th and then there was a huge possibility he would be born November 30th. Yesterday, expectant mom (K) called me to tell me her blood pressure and blood sugar had both skyrocketed so she was going to the hospital. They were afraid of a clot in her lung and wanted to do some tests to check her out. Thankfully she does not have a clot, but when they did the amniocentesis to check Joey's lungs, I'm pretty sure they came back as not fully developed. So now they are wanting to keep him in there until 37 weeks (December 5th). So we are back to waiting. This time has given me so much more anxiety. I'm constantly on edge and really dislike this feeling. But it is definitely part of the process.

As a planner, I really hate surprises! I want to KNOW when things will happen so I can prepare for them. But this is just another lesson in trusting that there is a Plan, even if I don't have all the specifics. Joseph Parker will be here soon, and hopefully become a part of our family.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween


Love, The Colvins

My mom made our costumes this year. We are Aladdin, Rajah, and Jasmine. Grace went trick or treating for the first time and she wasn't quite sure what to do with it. :) She loved grabbing candy out of the other buckets and throwing them into hers. :) Grace loved her costume and kept pulling it over her face and playing peekaboo. She managed to sign Happy Halloween with my prompting. We went around my parents' neighborhood in Utah and it was chilly, but not too bad. We had a great Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chocolate cake

I found this on another blog too. I sat here sobbing reading it. This is very much how infertility has been. Beautiful analogy.

"Imagine yourself dressed up in your finest clothes. You and your sweet husband are attending a dinner together in one of the nicest restaurants in town. You both have planned, waited and saved for this evening. To say the least, you are very excited! You and your husband arrive and the atmosphere is more than you expected. Everyone around you is having a good time. The chandeliers are sparkling, candles are glowing and sweet soft music is playing in the background. To your pleasant surprise you see others there you know. You are seated with them and in your heart you think there just couldn't be anything better!



The table is just exquisite. Breathtaking really. The people at your table begin to talk to you in jolly conversation. You glance at the menu and you don't even know where to begin! You look over everything slowly and carefully, especially the dessert menu! All of your life you have been hearing about this restaurant's marvellous and divine desserts. Deep in your heart, you have been looking forward to enjoying dessert the most!

Everyone at your table orders their food. For dessert they all order chocolate cake. You think, "Hey that sounds perfect. I'll have chocolate cake too please." The waiter nods in approval and quickly swifts off to put in your order. In the meantime, you are still enjoying the surroundings, the music and the company. You grab your husband's hand and sigh "Yes, life just couldn't get any better."



The food comes and everything looks just pleasing. Some of the things you tasted you really love, some of the things you didn't. Either way, you know that dessert is on its way. That thought in and of itself is just exciting! Then you see him, your waiter! Your wonderful, blessed waiter with a silver tray full of plates of chocolate cake! He comes and starts handing out plates to those you know. You look at the cake and to put it simply, it looks just divine. You're even more excited now! The waiter comes to your side and then passes you and your husband. You are shocked and think there must be some mistake. you don't know what to do, but rather than make a fuss you think, "Just wait, I will get my chocolate cake soon too."

Those that have their dessert are going on and on about how amazing the taste is. You smile, you are truly happy for them. Deep down you are anxious and their feelings only feed your curiosity and desire. Then you see the waiter again and think, "Ahhh, here he is." You notice that he starts handing out seconds and thirds to those that have already had their piece of cake. Your husband doesn't notice, he's busy chatting with the fellow next to him! Deep down though you get a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. You know something is wrong, something is very, very wrong.

You ask the waiter, "Excuse me please. Where is my chocolate cake that I ordered"? The waiter just replies, "The baker has said that you must wait." He rushes off and not another word is said. Time goes on. You still enjoy the surroundings, the people and the conversations. All the while though, you can't get chocolate cake out of your mind. Time keeps creeping by and soon your husband notices too, "Where is our dessert?" You hold his hand and look into his loving eyes and think, "Even without chocolate cake, life is still good."


Time, however, creeps and it creeps. At moments it seems like it has even stopped. It's getting late and people are noticing you haven't received your dessert yet. Questions start arising and you just don't know how to respond. You look around other tables and notice that people are also getting their third, fourth and fifth servings of dessert. "Why" is all you have to lean upon.

You notice that others have ordered things for dessert besides chocolate cake. There is cherry pie, brownie ice cream sundaes, raspberry cheesecakes and such. They seem just as pleased, if not more pleased with their desserts and you wonder, "Should I order cherry pie too"? You talk to the waiter and he simply says, "I'm sorry ma'am, you just need to be patient and wait."

You are starting to burn inside. Despite all of your best efforts you are beginning to boil. You really want to jump on top of the table and stomp while shouting, "Where is my chocolate cake?" You don't though because you know that will get you no where! Instead you look around and notice that there are some that are refusing their chocolate cake. "It will make me fat" one says. "Ugh. I have enough already" another states. One woman, simply dumps her beautiful chocolate cake onto the floor.


As you look deeper around you, you notice there are a few others that are waiting too. Your heart goes out to them. You smile and wish there was something more you could do. You know their pain and it hurts. It really hurts.


Finally, the waiter comes and he has chocolate cake on that familiar beautiful silver platter...and he has enough for two. One for your husband and one for you! Your so elated with joy that you can't hardly stand it!!! You tell everyone at your table and they are just as happy for you. "We knew it would happen" they say. "You just needed to relax"! Little did they know that deep inside relaxing was the last thing you were feeling! You look at your husband. Tears are in both of your eyes. You carefully take a taste. It's such sweet, sweet perfection. You go to take another and just before you do the waiter comes and gently takes your plates away. "Something is wrong" he says. "Don't worry my dear, the time is soon."


There's confusion. Sadness. Anger. Above all though, you are just deeply and truly heartbroken. Heartbroken to the very core. You don't know what to do. You turn to others for support. They cry with you and too ask why. You take a deep breath and find the strength to go on. You have been given the promise that you will receive dessert. It is just not understood as to when. You decide to put your full trust in the baker. You reach far inside within yourself and find the effort to ask your husband to dance.

He looks at you and smiles..."Yes, I would love to dance with you my dear one." You both get up, leave the table and set off to dance.

As you are dancing, you get your bearings. You again begin to notice your surroundings. The beautiful surroundings that have so magically grabbed your attention in the first place. You remember the music, the sounds, the smell of the sweet flowers. You breathe. That's all you can do. You breathe and slowly begin to enjoy the moment again. Slowly, it all comes back to you. The things you love. Being with the person you love the most. The pains you have just felt are still there. Still vulnerable, but you feel life again. Yes, life is still good.


After quite a few dances, you both decide it's time to sit at your table. People still have their desserts and their chocolate cakes. Your space is still empty. You decide, however, to really focus on those around you. In doing so you find more joy. The desire for dessert is still there- but it's manageable. Time moves on.


Then suddenly, out of nowhere, your waiter appears. He has the biggest smile on his face. He is pleased to announce that you and your husband's dessert is finally here!! Your heart wells up with joy, but you're afraid too. You ask the waiter, "Will you take it away"? "No, this one was made especially for you." You smile back, hardly believing that this could be true or real. You look at it and it's not a dessert you have ever seen before. It's then that you realize that the baker has made a dessert with all of your favorite colors and flavors. Careful detail was lovingly taken into every consideration. "How did He know that this is exactly what I wanted"? The waiter just smiles and says, "Because he knows and loves you. If you look, you can see him there."


You look and at the door, through the little round window you see a gentle man with tears in his eyes. He is grinning from ear to ear and looking at you and your husband. You can't hardly see anymore because of all of the happy tears. You whisper a big "Thank You" and in your heart you feel that this simple phrase will never be enough.


You look at the people around you, they too have tears in their eyes. They too are smiling from ear to ear. Everything is so precious and tender now- even more so than when you first arrived here. It's then that you learn that the pains you have felt all along the way... the waiting, the crying, the agony....it's all been a special recipe to make this moment this much more wonderful and sacred.

In your soul you take a deep breath and slowly let out a big sigh of gratitude.


You grab your husband's hand and sigh again, "Yes, life just couldn't get any better."
I found this on another blog and thought it was a beautiful poem so I wanted to share it. :) We feel so blessed to have our little Gracie through adoption. I'm grateful for her birth mom making the loving choice to place Grace in our family. And we are so blessed again to be able to get to know expectant mom while she is pregnant and that baby boy will be a part of our eternal family too.

With a little one to love
And I prayed with hope
I prayed in faith
That soon the day would come-
That in my heart and in my arms
I’d hold a little one.

Like Sarah in the Bible
The days and years seemed long.
I waited for a miracle-
Would it ever come?

Unlike Hannah,
Unlike Sarah
It was not meant to be.
A little child would not be born-
Not from within me.

It seems like God just took me by the hand.
I heard him say, “This is the plan.”
I asked Him why this burden was mine to bear.
He said, “Find faith, I’ve heard your humble prayer.”

There’s a story in the Bible
A story I understand
About a woman who bore a child
And placed him in other hands.

She wanted him to be kept safe-
She traded sacrifice for faith…
And in the end he grew to be
One who looked upon God’s face.

Like this woman in the story
Another bore a son.
She traded sacrifice for faith-
And placed him in my arms.

Like Hannah, and like Sarah
My miracle had come-
And in my heart and in my arms.
I held my little one.

It seems like God just took my by the hand.
I heard him say, “This is the plan.”
Again, I prayed and humbly spoke to God above
For now I held a little one to love.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Grace's first Leo

I started gymnastics when I was 5. I loved it! I was not very good but I made it up to competitive levels. Then, when we moved to Arizona when I was 9, we tried finding a good gym, but we just couldn't. So my sister and I did a little tumbling instead. Finally, around the time I was 13, a new gym opened less than a mile from us. My sister ended up getting a job there and I took tumbling at night. The summer before I was 16, I started coaching too. I ended up coaching there until I was 23. It was a great job and I loved it. It's where I grew to love children and wanted to become a mom.

Every season, we would get a whole new stash of Leotards. I would go through them, dreaming about when I would finally be able to buy my daughter a leo of her own. After going through infertility, I wasn't sure if that would ever happen. I bought tons of baby clothes, but I never bought a single Leotard. Then, we got our Miracle, Grace. I have been waiting 17 LONG months to put her in gymnastics. Most gyms have you wait until 18 months, but luckily, here in Rexburg, the class starts as soon as they are walking. I was thrilled! So we signed her up.

The first few times, I would just put her in a onesie. Then today, I put her in a swimming suit (that BARELY fit). As we were leaving, I looked through the Leotards. And suddenly, my dream was coming true. I found one that fit Grace (it's still a bit big) and instantly snatched it up. I had her do a little fashion show afterwards and she just kept rubbing her tummy. Even if she never loves gymnastics, I am so glad I was able to buy her this leotard, and live that dream. She is my miracle and I thank my Heavenly Father daily for her.

Starting her forward roll
Oops! Fell sideways!
Laughing on the floor
Stand up and big TA-DA!!!!!!

I seriously love this little leotard and I hope it's the first of many to come! It's a GK leo (I wore them all growing up) and it's Nastia Luikin's line! She's one of my favorite gymnasts so it made it even better! :)

And because I don't want to forget, today was the first day of gymnastics that Grace would let her coach help her! I'm really hoping it's helping with her stranger anxiety! She ran right up to Coach Mallory and wanted to swing on the rope! She also started doing the Choo Choo train on the way to each event. She's catching on to everything. Her all time favorite thing, is jumping into the foam pit. The drop is bigger than she is, but she thinks it is hysterical! Next favorite is the rope swing. She likes bars, but it always seems to fall towards the end of class when she gets tired. But she can do a pullover with my help and is totally fearless! She's turning into a monkey everywhere we go now!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Catching up... Again.

Can it really be October already?

Life seems to be flying by. Grace keeps me busy. Life in Idaho is... interesting. :) It snowed a couple days ago. Snow, in October. It's just not right. And of course, it had to start snowing as I was driving 20 miles to the next town. We went shopping for my birthday and came out to find our car was covered in 3 inches of snow. It was a little unreal.

Grace is learning so much. She is starting to try to talk. She's also getting a lot more social and will say Hi to every person at the store she sees. It's quite funny. And she gets really mad if the person doesn't say Hi back. She is starting to want to color all the time now too. The signs she does the most during the day are Movie, Color, Airplane, and More. I see each one at least 10 times a day.

Grace is really starting to do well in gymnastics. She is doing forward rolls by herself on the mat, and she did a pullover with my help on the bars. She LOVES hanging on the bars. She also loves the trampoline and jumping off the end into the foam pit. She is getting a little more coordinated. I'm learning I'm definitely a helicopter parent and am always hovering over her making sure she doesn't fall. I'm trying to remind myself that she won't learn to be careful if she never falls. It's really hard though. I want to protect her as much as I can.

Expectant mom is 29 weeks tomorrow. I can't believe how fast this pregnancy is going for me. I'm sure it is dragging on for her though. She has a hernia above the baby and it's causing her a lot of pain. Baby boy may need to come out sooner than we hoped so that she can get that taken care of sooner. He is constantly moving and kicking around.

Robby has been working 14-18 hours a day since we arrived. They are ALMOST finished with the project. I'm really hoping we can start spending more time together soon. It's quite lonely by myself here after Grace goes to bed. I've been watching a lot of shows and have read a couple books already too.

Although I really hate snow, I'm really excited to take Grace out to play in it. She has been loving the cold and the wind and the snow. She definitely doesn't get that from me. I got her a cute snowsuit and mittens so we will be prepared for the next storm.

Hopefully it won't be another month before I actually have exciting news or pictures. I feel like life is just moving along, quickly, but uneventfully. Which I'm DEFINITELY not complaining about. :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Catching Up

I have been so bad at this blogging business lately. It always seems to be the last thing to get done.

Back in June, Robby was let go from his job because they were going in a new direction. After a few weeks of trying to find something, we realized that jobs in Arizona for web developers were quite limited. Finally, Robby gets an email from a job listing in Idaho. Rexburg, Idaho. Home of BYU Idaho, and that's about it. :) We decided to pray about it. Then Robby found out about another job in Arizona. And then another in San Francisco. And yet another in Portland. So we were praying and the only thing that felt right was Idaho.

Now, I LOATHE snow. I don't like cold weather and LOVE sunshine. So for me to feel that Idaho is where we are supposed to go is both bizarre and unnatural. The company decides to fly us out there and instantly I fell in love. The city is beautiful. The BYU campus is fun to walk around. The Rexburg Temple sits on the top of a hill and you can see it from almost anywhere in the city. There are 2 bowling alleys and a theatre (that's only important because Maricopa doesn't have one). :) The houses are so classic and everywhere is Green. It feels like a whole different world up here. And EVERYONE is LDS (Mormon).

During all of this falling in love with Idaho, we found out about K, our new expectant mom. That definitely put a kink in our plans. We decided that Robby would be able to work from Arizona for the time being and then after Baby Boy was born and the adoption was finalized, we would revisit the plan to move to Idaho.

Well, I guess there needed to be a new plan. The company NEEDED Robby to come up and finish the project that they were working on. It could take 1-3 months, but most likely more like 3. So, off to Idaho we went. We thought about having Robby stay up there by himself but I knew I couldn't be away from him for 3 months.

So we packed as little as possible, and drove 12 hours to my parents (in reality it took 14 thanks to all the stops we took) and then drove another 3 hours up to Rexburg. We are staying in a tiny 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment. We have no TV, limited internet, and no place to play inside. So, we've been outdoors almost all day long, every day. Grace is LOVING the park and running around. It is amazing to watch her climb and run. It does make for exhausting days but the sunshine is wonderful.

I'm sure I'll be complaining about the snow in the next month (please let it not snow for at least a month), but for now, I am enjoying Rexburg. Dare I say, I love it here. We went to the Student Ward (our whole apartment complex is the ward) and have already made several friends. I was so worried I wouldn't make friends because I've had a really hard time making new friends over the past few years, but everyone has been so loving. I think it really helps that no one can resist Grace's charm. Our ward has only 9 kids in it including Grace and almost every single one of the girls is baby hungry. So Grace provides a lot of entertainment. :)

Robby is working a TON. From 8 am until 10 pm and sometimes later. We miss him, but we go visit him about twice a day so we can bring him lunch, or dinner, and we go and run around the park as a family. It has been so wonderful and I can definitely feel our family coming so much closer together.

It's really scary not knowing what the future holds. We could end up back here, or we could end up staying in Arizona, or the whole company could be moving to San Francisco. We don't know and although it's a little terrifying, I know that Heavenly Father will help us go where we need to be. I know completely that this is where we are supposed to be right now. As hard as it is being away from Grace's birth families, and from Baby Boy's expectant mom, and all my friends, I can't deny this is where we are supposed to be.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Nursery

I was called into the Nursery (18 months to 3 year olds) at church a couple weeks ago. I haven't been in Nursery for several years so it's definitely a different experience. I laugh because a few weeks ago I told someone if I was called into Nursery when Grace was going into it, I would say no. I guess Heavenly Father wanted to see if I was serious about that. I of course said that I would do Nursery and it's nice that I can be with Grace the whole time but not have to constantly be telling her Don't Touch because she's in a baby friendly zone now. :) I decided that even though she isn't old enough to be technically in nursery, that I would dress her up like a Big Girl so that she could at least look the part. ;) I bought her some brand new shoes, put on her "Pretties" (bracelet and necklace that the Manwarings gave her for her sealing day), a pretty dress, and a pretty bow (made by Kristin Williams, also for her sealing day), and got out the camera. She started Cheesing it up right away.

Grace hamming it up for the camera.

No more pictures please! Lol.

She is just way too cute!

She started playing peek a boo.
Hiding.
OH THERE YOU ARE! :)
Waving Hi to Daddy!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Random Thoughts

It's been over a month since I last posted. Life has been very busy but not that exciting. Grace is continually growing. And good news, she is gaining weight, a lot of it. :) She has a huge pot belly and rolls on her thighs. After stressing so much about her weighing enough, I'm so happy that she is gaining now.

I have been in a little funk lately and desperately need to get my groove back. Lol. I am going to try waking up before Grace so I can exercise and get dressed first thing rather than lounge in my pajamas all day. Hopefully this makes it so I can fit back into my jeans comfortably again... :)

Robby has been working hard. He works from home so I get to see him all the time. I love having him home so I can get things done during Grace's nap.

We are slowly cleaning out our home after being inspired by the show Hoarders. We realized how much we are keeping for sentimental things that we never even look at and are in boxes in our attic. So we went through and kept only the bare minimum and tossed everything else. Same goes with all our clothes. If we aren't wearing it, it goes. We're trying to establish a new rule that before anything new comes in, something old must leave. We're having a garage sale this weekend so hopefully we can make some extra money and make some room in our garage.

I went to the temple this last week with our potential birth mom and her fiance' and had a wonderful time there. It was so wonderful being there and feeling the spirit. They are both investigating the church and I have loved being a part of this process. My dad always told me that during my baby blessing he blessed that I would be a missionary. Even though I didn't serve a full time mission, I feel like this is helping me be a missionary. We went through the family exhibit at the Mesa temple and sobbed. It talked about how our families can be together for Eternity. I know that is true and I'm so grateful that even though Grace wasn't born of me, that she is sealed to us with the same covenant.

I'm not sure I announced it here, but our potential birth mom is having a Baby Boy. We are SOOOOO excited! We bought Grace a baby doll to start practicing being gentle and she walks around snuggling it, rocking it, and feeding it. She's going to be an amazing big sister. We have been talking about names but nothing has really stuck yet. I guess it's going to end up coming to us at the last minute just like Grace. :) She is due Christmas but the doctor said most likely she will deliver 1-2 weeks early. It seems so far away and yet so soon.

I got called in to teach the nursery and today Grace came with me. She had a lot of fun playing with the older kids. She did fight over a few toys that the big kids liked to steal from her. Lol. She's at least a head shorter than the smallest one. She did however get them back by snuggling on to each one and not letting go until they pushed her off. She's very affectionate. :)

That's about all the news in our house. :) It's been an exciting month so far. :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Expecting


Baby Pookie at 12 weeks

This news is just too good to wait. We have been chosen by an expectant mother! She is due December 25. We have been in shock all weekend and it's starting to sink in but I'm sure over the next few months it will become very real. Expectant mom K is incredible! We are so excited to get to know her more over the next 5 months! We don't know boy or girl yet but she invited me to the gender revealing ultrasound in 3 weeks. She found us on the ItsAboutLove site (our agency profile) and said that she liked our profile but she LOVED our picture of Grace. I am just dying to get December here so that we can meet this sweet little baby.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

TA DA!

Life has been a little crazy so I haven't been very good at blogging. And I can't make any promises that it will get better because life will continue to be crazy for a while. :)

Grace and I were practicing our gymnastics and I was helping her do forward rolls. At the end of each one, I always say TA DA! and have her raise her hands. After she did a few she didn't want to play any more and wanted to walk around (did I mention she is walking every where now? It's a little crazy). As she was walking around, she kept raising her arms up in the air and said TA DA! I couldn't believe it! She is not a very verbal little girl so I was shocked! She usually just signs things instead of talking so I am counting this as another word. :)

At almost 14 months, she says Nana (banana), Dada (daddy), Mum mum (mommy, and only when crying), DAH!!!!!!!!! (dog, always said in her "monster" voice), and Noo Noo (binkie)

In the last few weeks, she has started signing fish, bath, cookie, and Dada. Cookie is her favorite and is always immediately followed with Eat and Please. She definitely has a sweet tooth!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Adoption Profile

Our adoption profile is now on the It's About Love site for our agency! It is so exciting! I can't help but look every day to see if the profile hits are going up quickly. Robby and I are so excited to be hoping to adopt again! We can't wait until we can witness another miracle and welcome another birth mother (and hopefully another birth father) into our family. Feel free to pass along our button or our information to anyone. We really hope this journey is quick and that we get our miracle soon! :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Grace and her bear through 1 year

3 days
1 Month
2 Months
3 Months
4 Months (we were out of town and forgot her bear)
5 Months
6 Months
7 Months (Too busy getting sealed. We brought the bear with us but forgot to take a picture)
8 Months
9 Months
10 Months
11 Months
1 Year Old

What an amazing year it has been. She has definitely grown!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

1 Whole Year

I can't believe it. My baby girl is 1. This year has just flown by. It honestly still feels surreal at times that I'm a mom and that I have our precious Angel and that she is already almost a Toddler.
Grace is constantly learning. She is only saying a few words (mama, dada, dog, num num) but she is starting to learn new signs almost every other day. She can sign more, all done, eat, please, thank you, flower, movie, dog, and made up her own signs for snuggle and lovey (her little blanket). I can show her a sign and she will almost always attempt to sign it back.

Grace LOVES watching Tangled. She couldn't care less about any other movie but when Tangled comes on, she will sit and watch almost the whole thing. She loves the singing and dancing and bounces up and down on her knees while watching it. From the first moment it is on, she sees the fireworks and gets super excited (so we are working on the sign for fireworks). She loves watching Mickey whistle and laughs and points at him. She squeals and laughs when Rapunzel screams at Flynn and laughs even harder when Rapunzel hits herself in the head with the frying pan. She points and laughs at Maximus (the horse) and loves when Pascal comes on the screen. This is generally the time that I can clean up, fold laundry, and do dishes. Grace will snack on apple cinnamon cheerios and be completely content. I love it.

We went to Grace's 1 year doctor appointment and here are her stats. She is 15 lbs 10 oz and 30 inches long. She is having trouble gaining weight and I am constantly trying to get her to eat more. She is now on a mix of Hemp milk and Rice milk and we plan on starting Almond and Coconut milks in the next couple weeks. We want her to get a big variety and also be getting different fats and vitamins.

Grace's favorite food right now is Goats milk yogurt. I mix in a little flavored coconut milk yogurt and she gobbles it up. She also enjoys pretty much anything that I'm attempting to put in my mouth. She loves sitting on my lap and eating off my plate. Probably not a great habit to form, but I am a pushover. :)

We spent part of the day with Kayla (her birth mom) and had a lot of fun. We went out to an early dinner, went shopping, and then went to birth mom group. I just love going to group and hearing all their stories and feeling their special spirits. Those ladies are truly incredible. I am so grateful for Kayla (and Austin) and the sacrifice they made for Grace. I know I would not be a mom if it wasn't for them. Celebrating her birthday brought up a whole new love and respect for them. They are so amazing and I'm so grateful they are in our lives.

Grace's party is on Saturday so I'll make sure to post pictures then. :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Family Pictures

We got our family pictures done (again) and they are amazing! My friend Mary Jordan did them for us. She is an amazing woman, mom, and friend. We've been having play groups with our cute little bunkins since they are a month apart and both were adopted. You can check out our pictures HERE! They are hoping to adopt too and you can see their website HERE. Warning, it is the cutest thing you will ever see. :)

Thank you so much Mary! You're incredible!

And can I just say how much I love documenting our family like this? It's so fun to watch our family change and watch Grace get older. And I love all the different styles of photography.

And only 13 more days until our profile can go live. I should really get on top of that and get it all ready. I should probably call our case worker too... I'll get on that tomorrow. :) In between planning for Grace's birthday and bringing home a PUPPY! :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Adoption Button

In a mere 27 days, we will be able to have our profile back on Itsaboutlove.org (our agency website). We are so incredibly excited and nervous. Nervous because we don't know how long our wait will be. Nervous because we don't know what the journey will be like. Excited because we cannot WAIT until Grace becomes a big sister! Excited because we have been wanting to grow our family again!

In celebration of this momentous occasion, I've been working on the adoption blog. I also created our own adoption button! You can copy the button and put it on your blog! We found Grace by telling everyone we were going to adopt and we know that our chances of adopting are much higher the more people know about it. So help spread the word!

All you have to do is copy the code underneath our picture on the right. In your own blog, you add a Gadget and then select the HTML one. Copy the code into the main box and then save. It will add our little button and you will help spread the word! :)

Feel free to take a look at our Adoption Blog!

Hoping for Another Miracle!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Answered Prayers

Grace was sick this last Saturday. She threw up multiple times and was more clingy than usual and was refusing to eat. So Sunday and Monday we kept her on a liquid diet just to get it out of her system. Then today she started refusing food again and then threw up. Grace is already WAY too skinny and I've been trying to get her to gain weight so I was starting to really freak out. So I gave her a bath and I'm in tears just wondering what to do. Robby and I share a car so I'm at home, 45 minutes away from her doctor (who I might add isn't in on Tuesdays anyways) and have a sick baby.

I got her out of the bath and just started praying. I didn't know what I should do but I just asked for help. I then got Grace dressed and my phone rang. It was my visiting teaching partner Alisha. I thought she was calling about us visiting teaching this Saturday so I answered. She then asked how I was and that she heard Grace was sick and wanted to know how she was doing. I literally just started bawling. I told her that Grace just threw up and I didn't know what to do. She told me that just for peace of mind I should take her to the urgent care. She wasn't able to take me but she would find someone. 2 minutes later she calls back and says she talked to Jenna in our ward and she would come get me in 10 minutes.

Jenna takes us to Urgent Care and while we wait we stared talking. She tells me that this morning she had prayed for an opportunity to serve someone and a couple hours later she gets a call from Alisha.

I have no doubt in my mind that Heavenly Father was answering my prayer. And I am so grateful for wonderful friends who listen to the promptings of the Spirit and ACT on them. It is just so comforting to know that Heavenly Father listens to me. Even though I am not perfect, He still loves me.

Grace is doing a little better. We have to keep her on fluids for a couple more days and follow up with our doctor. If she still isn't eating or able to keep anything down we will have to do something more drastic but I'm really hoping it doesn't come to that. So please help pray for Gracie that she will feel better quickly (and that she can gain back all the weight she lost plus some).

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Reception

I know, you are probably all tired of wedding posts by now, but it's Sunday night and I'm "journaling". :) Also, I decided to combine 6-10 because it was just easier. :)

When picking my colors for the wedding, I naturally picked my favorite colors. Orange, Pink, Yellow, and Lime Green. I love everything bright and cheerful so it was pretty natural that is what I would pick.

For the flowers, I LOVE lilies so I wanted lots of calla lilies in different colors. I also wanted a lot of exotic flowers. I think the bouquets turned out beautiful!

The Food - I seriously only remember that there were eclairs, cake, barbeque pork sandwiches, and my fruit mountain. If there was other food, I didn't eat it. I was so lucky that our neighbor and great friend was able to put all the food together for us.

Isn't this the coolest thing? I seriously wish I could have one in my house at all times. :)

This is one of the centerpieces. We had them in orange (made with oranges) and yellow (made with lemons). I just loved it and thought it was so perfect!

This is to show off my shoes. I looked EVERYWHERE for white heels that I liked. I couldn't find any. And unfortunately, colored ones weren't "in" yet so I went a little more unconventional. I wore white DC tennis shoes. And I loved it! I was so comfortable! I could have jogged around. My feet didn't hurt at all. Wish I could say the same thing about my dress...

My other accessories were my sister's necklace from her wedding. It was my something borrowed. :) My veil was also from her wedding but my mom shortened it and added piping at the bottom. I wore earrings that Robby bought just for the wedding. They were white gold and were half hearts with diamonds in them. They are beautiful and I love wearing them. I also wore my bracelet he got me for our first Christmas.

The cake. My friend's mom made this for me and I LOVED it! The only cake layer was the top and the rest was styrofoam. I didn't want all that cake though so we had Costco sheet cakes instead. And I thought the cake looked so incredible. :)

The bridesmaids were my best friend Paige, my sister Kristi, and Robby's sister Alyssa. I wish we could have found dresses that I liked for everyone to wear but my mom did a great job making these skirts.

The Dress - I went to several stores before I found the perfect dress. And what did you know, it was strapless. I loved the line of the dress, the lace up back, and how it twirled when I spun around. So we had it altered to have sleeves. I didn't want just cap sleeves, I really wanted 3/4. Mostly because not a lot of people have it. The lady altered my dress beautifully but wanted to charge an arm and a leg for the beading. So my mom did the beading on the sleeves and the top part of the bodice. You would never be able to tell. She did an AMAZING job! Oh, and I wore "nice shoes" to the sealing because my mom wouldn't let me go in the temple with tennis shoes. Moms are so proper. ;)

The Men - Since I had so many colors for the wedding, we had each of the guys wear a specific color of tie. The youngest brothers wore Orange, the best man and other brother wore yellow, my brother in law wore green on his own (he's so awesome) and then the dad's wore green too. And Robby volunteered to wear pink. It's awesome now though because he loves wearing ties to match Grace. And she has a lot of pink. :)


Our reception was at Stonebridge Manor. It's a beautiful place and I had fond memories playing there growing up because my friend's parents are the owners. I love how classy it is and I was so glad we were able to have the reception there!

It was such a wonderful day. We were married June 17, 2005 in the Mesa Temple. Afterwards, we went to a luncheon at Mattas. Our reception was that night and it was so amazing. I am so incredibly grateful for all the wonderful friends we have that helped put the wedding together. We had friends do the food, flowers, cake, and my mom did the bridesmaid outfits. The day went by so quickly and I wish I would've written it all in my journal that night. But I guess 6 years later is almost as good. :)

Engagement Pictures

These are some of my favorite engagement pictures that we took. They were done at Freestone park in April, I believe. I miss that long beautiful hair. Also, we both look so skinny! But one thing hasn't changed, we are still as much (if not WAY more) in love. :) I also remember it took FOREVER to find outfits that "matched" but weren't identical. And find something we both looked good in. This blue green brought out the blue in both of our eyes and so it was the winner.

This is Robby's favorite. I love how I'm gazing into his eyes. :)

I remember distinctly that we smashed our heads so tight together. We never moved more than a foot apart. :)
Poor Robby. Lol. I had to jump on his back for this one. He was not used to carrying me around!
This is the one we ended up choosing for our invitation. I just love it!
We look so lovey dovey in this one!
This one is just fun. I love the tire swing!

The Ring

After Robby proposed with my mom's ring, we soon went ring shopping. I looked online and found a few things I liked but nothing I loved. Until, I found this ring. :) It has a princess cut (that's sounds so much prettier than square) and then diamonds on each side of it. It was WAY too expensive looking back but I loved it. I also paid for it myself. Which I know most women would hate but I love that I can say I worked for it. And really, it's OUR money once we were married anyways. :) And it helped build up my credit which was awesome! I know, hopeless romantic. Lol.

Robby could seriously care less about his ring. He wanted something simple, comfortable, and not very expensive. His is just a white gold band. But he wears it all the time. Which I love because way too many girls hit on my cute stud muffin! :)

Grace's birth dad came to visit

Grace checking him out. She is so much better with guys than girls. I should probably be really worried about that... :)
Poor thing was not feeling very well that day but she was still adorable!
Blowing kisses to Austin. I seriously almost started crying. :)
All of us together. :)

We seriously love when Austin comes to visit Grace (and us). I love having such a wonderful open adoption! It's so nice to hear how well he is doing with work and how great his family is doing. And the way he looks at Grace just makes my heart swell. You can see the love he has for her in his eyes (and in his smile). She has so much of his looks. While we were at the park we were talking to another mom and she was shocked that Grace was adopted and thought that Austin was her uncle. I quickly corrected her and am so infinitely grateful that we have him (and Kayla) in our family. :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Proposal

It was February 17, 2005. I woke up and was about to get ready for work when I saw an envelope. I opened it up and it said to get dressed, that I didn't have to go to work because it was covered by Trevor and then to read the next card. The next card told me to drive myself to the first place Robby and I saw each other. So I got in my car, drove to the institute building where we had church and found another card there. --- Sidenote, I got hit on while I was there and was about to tell the person "BACK OFF I'm getting proposed to right now!" but I didn't and just said I had to leave. Lol.

The next card sent me to where we first talked. It was at Family Home Evening at the Temple in the church across the street. We were eating donuts and drinking hot chocolate. Robby saw me get away from my then current boyfriend who was making me upset. I think it was something along the lines of he was telling me about the date he just went on with another girl... So I saw Robby and decided we should talk so I could make the current boyfriend jealous. Sidenote--- Girls are evil. :)

I looked EVERYWHERE for a card and could not find one! I tried calling Robby several times and couldn't get a hold of him. So I was sitting in the parking lot trying to figure out what to do. I finally get a hold of Robby's friend Brian and tell him there is nothing there. So he talked to Robby and told me to go to where we had our first kiss. I found out later that Robby had written me a beautiful poem and had a cd player there to play a song to me. I'm really sad someone stole it. :(

I went to Robby's house where we had our first kiss and under the love sack was a pile of Hershey's kisses and a card saying to go to where we first said "I love you." That was just in the next room over so I went there and found a card saying to go to Papago Peak. He gave me directions but of course I got lost and had to call him. I finally found it and hiked up to the top. I am not a hiker but luckily this only took me 5 minutes. :) Then at the top there was a CD player and a note saying to play the song and close my eyes. It was our song and when it finished, I opened my eyes and he was right in front of me.

He told me he wanted to be with me forever and asked me to marry him. I of course started crying because he was tearing up and said "YES!" We hadn't bought a ring yet so he borrowed my mom's ring and put it on my finger. We then sat at the top of the peak and looked out over the city of Tempe. I took 2 pictures on my really old camera phone and hopefully some day I will download them off of that. :)

This reminds me that we need to get back to that peak. We have talked for years about going to it and haven't. Maybe we will this year...