Wednesday, May 29, 2013

9 years

Nine years ago today I married my best friend.  We started off together as crazy teenagers and never in a million years did we think that our lives would look like this.  It's so true that God's story is better than anything we could ever create. 

This year Brad proved that he truly will follow me to the ends of the Earth (or in our case China).  I am so thankful for a God loving man who sacrifices daily for his family.  He is the definition of a servant's heart.

Love ya babe.  Looking forward to many more crazy years together.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Moving Up

This week Kyrie graduated preschool.  She will be 6 in July so she could have gone to Kindergarten last year but, for a variety of reasons we chose to do a year of TK (transitional Kindergarten).  We prayed and prayed over this decision and God led us to TK. It is amazing how much this year has blessed our whole family by having Kyrie around more.

She has been attending the preschool at our church since she was 2 and it has become a second home to our family.  I watched my sweet girl transform from a 2 year old who had to be picked up early on many occasions because she was so upset to a 3 year old who couldn't wait to go to school.  In the 4's class she struggled some with attention and shyness in new situations.  But, by the end of her 4's year thanks to her wonderful primary teacher and her music teacher she gained the confidence to get up on the stage and sing a solo at graduation.  Now, in TK our girl has soared.  She is confident, outgoing, kind hearted leader. (Do I sound like a biased mom?)  Our family will forever be thankful to the teachers at her school who guided her through these foundational years.

Graduation was a very emotional day for me as a mom.  Kyrie and I are both ready for her to move up to Kindergarten.  But, I will miss her so much next year.  I will miss her chatter, her questions and her constant desire to learn.  Most of all I will miss she and Brooks playing dress up and bride and groom all day.  I have fears about her leaving the cushy Christian school she has attended with 7 other classmates to a sea of 24 kindergartners from all backgrounds.  She is about to experience life from a whole different perspective and my prayer is that we have given her a foundation to stand for her beliefs and be a Christian example to others. 

A photo from the slide show before graduation.  I am convinced they just had the slide show to watch the moms cry.
The processional. Note Ky's dress: Her daddy surprised her and took her shopping the night before for a special graduation dress.  So sweet
Saying her verse:  "I praise because I am fearfully and wonderfully made" Psalm 139:14

 Receiving her diploma

 Amazing Teachers: Mrs, Ann and Mrs. Julie

Future Husband Holden

We are so proud of you baby girl!  Happy graduation day!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

18 months

Today we celebrate Olivia's 18 month birthday.  We do 1/2 birthday celebrations in our house.  This is a tradition Brad's mom started when he was young and we thought it would be fun to continue with our kids.  Although, I must admit now that we have 3 is seems we are celebrating a birthday constantly.

We were going to go out for ice cream but because Brooks came down with a fever virus we stayed home and had cupcakes.  I am quite certain Olivia was happy about our change of plans. 

Today wasn't all celebrations.  We had Olivia's well visit which required 2 vaccines.  Sweet girl cried for just a moment and then forgot all about what had just happened.  We also found out that she is now officially on the growth charts.  She weighs 20.6 lbs (was 16.8 when we got her) and is in the 25%.  She is also in the 25% for height.  The doc was impressed with her language and couldn't believe her huge personality.  She had the whole staff cracking up.  That's our girl!


Soccer took over our house this fall.  Brooks played in a clinic which was actually a bit of a bust but, he enjoyed the t-shirt, shin guards and cleats Ha! 
Kyrie played her second season of soccer and continues to LOVE it!  Thursday practice and Saturday games were the highlight of her week.  Brad coached the team again and they enjoyed special time during practice as it was just too much for me to drag the other two kids during the dinner hour.  I did love watching the games.  Many of the kids were the same from the fall and it was amazing watching them transform after two seasons.  We are so happy our girl has found a team sport she loves.

 Reese and Charlotte came to watch a game.  The little girls loved sharing a big chair together.
This is B's typical face when he is showing Liv love

Coach Daddy having one last huddle.  Notice someone snuck in.
Yay! Daddy is done coaching.  He is all mine now!

Coach daddy presenting his girl with her trophy.

Good Bye soccer season.  See ya next fall!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Girl's Weekend

Olivia and I had the privilege for flying to Fl for the weekend to celebrate my mom's birthday and once the tickets were purchased we found out the added bonus that it was Mother's Day weekend.  We had an amazing weekend full of many firsts for our baby girl.

She had her first time sleeping in a pack n play which went much better than expected.

She had her first swim in the pool (I refused to go in the freezing pool.  I refused to go in the pool.   Nana won Nana of the year award for braving it)

First time playing with her cousin Lillie and meeting her Uncle Josh and Aunt Kat

First Time Eating Seafood

First Time with her Toes in the Sand

First time flirting with Poppie

First time lunching with Nana and Mommy

First time getting spoiled with mommy's full and complete attention.  What a great weekend it was.  So thankful for all of the memories made and for my rock star traveler.

Mother's Day

What a difference a year makes.  I spent last Mother's Day in a sea of emotions.  We had just begun our adoption process but, had not yet been matched.  I knew in my heart that I had a baby out there waiting for her mommy. (I now know she was only 6 months old and had already spent 5 months in an orphanage)  It was hard knowing she was somewhere alone just waiting and I couldn't hold her on a day we are supposed to celebrate our children.  Brad surprised me that day with one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received.  He painted Chinese symbols on canvases that read Faith, Love, Family, Happiness and Baby.

This year is so much more joyful. Not only am I holding my new daughter but, she and I have taken our first solo trip to visit my mom.  What a joy it is to be together at this special time.

                                   Self-Portrait on the plane
                                          Ladies who Lunch
At lunch today my mom and I talked about Olivia's birth mom. We wonder what her story was, why she had to say good bye.   How hard it must have been after feeling her move in her tummy, giving birth and looking into her beautiful soulfull eyes then having to walk away. I pray today and always that somehow she is at peace and knows how loved "our" daughter is.  I am so grateful that she chose life and that by her brave choice I get to be this precious child's mom. What a honor! 

I am missing my other two babes terribly but with Ky being 5 and Brooks 3 dates don't mean much. Mother's Day in the Sund house will be next weekend. My big girl and I are looking forward to Mother daughter pedicures.

Blessed to be called their mommy
 All of my loves