Friday, December 9, 2011

Thanksgiving was SO fun this year. We went to LA to spend it with the Coles. Man I love that family. It was SO fun seeing Phoebe and Max dote on Britt and watching them all interact.
We just hung out, ate good food, drank wine and made lots of popcorn.
While we were there we celebrated Britt's one year which I'll post about later. It was perfect and I'm so glad we could celebrate with family.
Bad shot, but this was our thanksgiving dinner.:) it was yummy. Levi's sister Caroline came Phoebe helped me make the apple pie. I love this kid so much.

The cousins jumping on the couch together. It was SO fun to see them play.
We went to a Jump Zone on Thanksgiving morning where there were trampolines EVERYWHERE. it was SO fun! Britt LOVED it. She loves to bounce so much - I wish we had one here.
Wearing our hoodies.
We FINALLY got to meet Campbell. Ah it was so good to hold him and see Sam as a mom. She is a complete natural and loves Campbell so well.
Isn't she beautiful??? She makes it look SO good. We had such a good time sitting outside, drinking some beer, walking around the neighborhood and just catching up. Love them so much.
Uncle Remix trying his baby whisperer hand at calming Campbell down.:) I love watching him hold babies. He's so hot.:)
We went to the beach one day cause it was warm and beautiful - it was SO fun!!!

Britt had so much fun squawking like a seagull, running and falling all over the sand and eating it too.:) It was relaxing and wonderful to just be together as a family. I would go back in a second. I love being near family and made my heart long for the day, if the Lord wills it, that we live close by.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Britt-babe!

Britt Louise. How you have changed my world in the most beautiful way. I have absolutely ADORED being your mommy. I cannot wrap my mind around how much you have grown, changed, learned and blossomed into a giggling happy chubby baby.

I remember the fear I felt as we drove to the hospital. I had no idea what was about to hit me and all I knew was that my world was about to get rocked. I remember the raw emotions that surged through my heart when the surgeon pulled you out and lifted you over that curtain and you gave your first cry. My eyes just flooded with tears and thought, "Britt is here." And I watched as the nurse tried to swaddle your little breech legs but they kept popping up to be at your head. I just laughted for joy through my tears. I remember your small soft little body against mine as you learned to breastfeed. I remember you falling asleep on me and we would just lie in my bed and I would stare at you, completely amazed that you were my daughter. And then we got to bring you home. You were ours. And you never cried. I didn't really know what to do with you, you were so good. You just made little grunting noises. You never cried when you were hungry, or when you had a dirty diaper. You just patiently waited for me to figure it out - what an unexpected gift your little laid back personality was. You took my heart and ruined it in the best way possible. You have taught me so much about Jesus and His relationship with His Father. You have brought me so much joy, so much laughter. I love love love being your mommy. I am a mess today because I miss this tiny you, and I'll never get it back. But mostly because I had no idea what was going to happen to me a year ago today and how instantly and hard I would fall in love with you. I enjoyed and relished every moment I had with you in those tiny moments, and I wish I could go back and do it all over again. I love your gummy smile and that you JUST cut your two top teeth when all your friends have at least 4. I love that your little head is barely covered with honey colored wispy hair. Your big blue/green/brown eyes are covered with long lashes and EVERYONE gives you compliments about them. I love your chubby cheeks, thunder thighs and massive Buddha belly.
I love how as you've grown, so have your opinions. You used to looooove getting your diaper changed and now its as if I am murdering you. You HATE getting dressed and getting your fingernails clipped. You love any kind of medicine, Tylenol, Mylicon, and your disgusting green/brownish syrupish vitamins and scream when we are all done taking them. You love to read, and bring books to us all the time. You love to bounce and jump on our bed and are CONSTANTLY on the move. You are not a cuddlebug, which makes me sad at times, but thats you and so I love it. You love food and are just like your daddy in the way you STUFF your mouth full. The concept of bites doesn't exist to you. I adore you Britt. You are my Buddy, my Brittalious, my Britt-babe. God was so kind to give you to us. I have loved this year of parenting. You are a delight to me and your Daddy. We pray that as you grow, you will discover the vast and deep and unending love that your Father in Heaven has for you. You were beautifully made by Him and you are His gift to us.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Don't tell me babies don't have nightmares. Because they do.

My heart broke in a a whole new way about two hours ago.

It was when I heard Britt sobbing.

I haven't been sleeping that well the past couple nights so I was determined to get in bed a little earlier tonight. I had been lying in my bed for about 20 minutes when I heard something on the monitor. I clicked the screen on so I could see what was up and all I could see were her feet. She was nuzzled down at the end of the crib, out of the cameras view. Which is where she was 20 minutes ago when I checked the monitor before climbing into bed. But she was crying. Sobbing. Hard.

I waiting .5 seconds to make sure I heard her right, swung my legs over the side of our Wall of China bed and bolted to her room. I burst through the door, and she was still sobbing. I bent over her crib and groped around the crib for her, only to find her still lying down, completely still, just crying. I immediately picked her up and her limp body just laid on my chest. She was still sleeping. And sobbing. My eyes filled with tears as I fumbled for a small lamp to check her and make sure she wasn't hurt. After seeing she wasn't bleeding, I immediately shut the light off and just held her and rocked her in the dark. She cried and cried until she calmed down enough to take her binkie in her mouth and snuggle down into my arms where she promptly fell back asleep.

And then I completely lost it.

For multiple reason. One, it scared the CRAP out of me. Two, it was absolutely miserable seeing how scared and upset she was. But to be honest, what REALLY made me cry was the fact that my thoughts immediately flew to my other babies. The ones who at most likely already alive, living in Ethiopia. The ones that don't have their mommy there to run into their rooms, scoop them up, and cuddle them when they have bad dreams. The ones that are alone and abandoned. The ones that don't have someone to comfort them when they are sad, laugh with them when they do something silly and allow them to be kids instead of fighters for their lives. They don't know their mommy yet and its already killing me. They have me, they just don't know it.

The reality is, is that we will most likely receive "older" children. What I mean is that we most likely won't get infants, or even 1 yr olds. And if this is the case, our children will know SO well what it is to fight for their lives. What it is to not know if they will eat again. They will know that if they fall and scrape their knee, crying won't help anything because no one will be there to wipe their tears. And I will miss years. YEARS PEOPLE. Of their lives. I can't wrap my mind around it. Britt is only 10 months old and I have relished EVERY moment that she has grown, changed, developed, learned and I will miss all of that with our Ethiopian babies.

And as much as that breaks my heart, there is hope. Because I have a God who sees all, knows all, and saves every single tear that His children shed. And I know that as I grieve their pain, I can hold fast to the promises that He is with them, that He loves them more that I, and that He will NEVER leave or abandon them. He will be there when they have bad dreams, scrape their knee or do something silly. And I trust Him. He is good, and kind. And for that, I am so so thankful.

Friday, October 7, 2011

FUN news.


We are adopting. From Ethiopia.


We are just a LITTLE excited. We are in the beginning phase of our paper-chasing stage, doing our dossier paperwork and our homestudy paperwork. Its a little tricky signing all the documents we need to, since Eric still isn't home yet, so it just takes longer cause he prints them off, signs them and then mails them to me, in which I sign them and then turn them into our social worker. But anyway, its happening and we are SO SO SO excited.

We are adopting through America World Adoption, the agency I worked for while in college. They are such an AWESOME agency. We have requested two children, either gender, sibling or unrelated, ages 0-5. So we really have no idea what we will be getting. Or how long it will take. There is a good chance we could only be referred one child since younger children are in high demand from Ethiopia (such a good problem!!!) but then again, God can do anything.

There are so many things to pray for, as I'm sure you can imagine, but ultimately if you pray for one thing for us, we ask that you pray that God is glorified and made known throughout this whole process. We have no idea what we are getting ourselves into. Adoption is a long, often messy and painful process. Its NOT easy. But we know we need to be obedient to the calling of adoption and so we walk forward.

We look forward to updating you along the way.:) There is a potentially long road ahead of us and we are excited to share it with you.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Life By Brandi capture Britt in all her cuteness AGAIN. I am looooving Britt at this age right now - she is trying to walk, is constantly searching my face as she tries to understand me as I talk and is so giggling and happy. So her 9 month photo shoot was an absolute blast.My heart breaks when I look at her and see how much she has grown. I got genuinely POed the other day thinking about it. I have loved each new stage, I just HATE saying goodbye to her smallness and babyness. It drives me crazy!!I adore you Britt Louise. You hold my heart in your very small, often Cheerio filled hand, and I wouldn't have it any other way. What a gift and delight you are. I can't thank Jesus enough for giving you to me as my daughter. I am so so humbled to be your mommy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lets be honest.

Any sort of control that I pretend to have of my life is one big fake. Yeah, there are definitely days that its easier and feels like no big deal to do 3 loads of laundry, fold AND put it away. But that is a rare occasion. Like super rare. Especially with Eric gone. If I'm honest, this is how laundry is done in our house.

I do a load. One. load.

It sits in the washer overnight and I usually have to smell it to make sure it doesn't reek of mildew. If I'm on my game, it only sits for a half a day.

Then it sits in the dryer for two days, until I am forced to take it out due to the fact that there are more dirty clothes to wash.

It then gets tossed on the chair in our bedroom where it can stay for 5 days.

5 DAYS PEOPLE. Its been longer too. I've done a week.

And of course some items, due to the serious wrinkles they have incurred, have to be thrown BACK into the dryer because this lady doesn't iron.

Thats just one example. Thats just the laundry. Go ahead and judge. You're probably spectacular at getting your entire households laundry done in 15 minutes flat and for that I applaud you. I'm really ok with the lack of control I have on my life in its entirety. I mean come on people, my husband and I voluntarily gave our souls to the Unites States Air Force 5 years ago. We have spent YEARS apart if you total our time up. We have missed more than 50% of our birthdays and anniversaries together. I have very very little control over my life.

But I'm ok with it. And its because it makes me so aware over and over that I CAN'T DO A DANG THING WITHOUT JESUS!!!! Even my laundry. Yep. Totally just did that. I just spiritualized laundry. But for real, I have to. In order to get through my day without being a complete mess. Because I don't have my husband here to hug me when I'm PMSing and just need a good cry. I don't have another set of arms or able body to help get dinner on, feed Britt, and make sure Ellen isn't trying to destroy my brand new patio cushions outside. And dang it, but I don't have someone to fold laundry WITH me. So Jesus shows up in so many ways that I can easily brush Him aside when Eric is home. It makes my walk with Him so alive, so real, so tangible. Because He's not just the wonderful Heavenly Father who I have a nice time with for 45 minutes in the morning with my coffee, but He's the one thats there when no one else is. And He is even when Eric is home, I just so easily forget.

Deployments suck hardcore. But deployments remind me on a daily basis that I have a Savior who wants to enter into my life in ALL ways ALL the time. Even my laundry.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Its just been THAT kind of day.

Its not that I want to have company over every night to fill the house with another human presence. Its not that I want to spend hours on the phone after Britt goes to sleep so I can have adult communication. Its not that I want to write out an email to friends or family what I'm feeling so I can feel "heard" or "listened to". Its not that I want to get a babysitter and "get a break" from my baby girl so I can have free time to myself. Its not that I want to be invited to peoples houses for dinner and a movie so I don't eat salad with canned tuna and watch last weeks episode of Project Runway. All those things are wonderful and great and often help ease the pain or loneliness. Its not that I don't ever want those things or feel loved when I get those things.

It just that I want my husband to be home. So I can talk face to face with the person who knows me in and out and be listened to and understood. So I can be cuddled with on the couch and have someone else laugh with me at the funny parts in Shanghai Knights. So I can have a reason to make a legit meal that actually requires turning on the stove. I just want my husband to be home so I can use two hands to cook dinner, unload the dishwasher, bring the groceries from the car, rent a Redbox because not just anyone, but my husband is holding my baby.

Its just that I want my husband to be home.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Its been a good couple days at the local Goodwill. Since Britt is now crawling and playing more, I decided to get her some toys. She had about 5 that she was completely over and I hate spending money on kids stuff cause it either gets ruined really quickly, they grown out of it super fast or they get bored of it. So to the Goodwill we went. I found this xylophone for $2.
This I think was $4.50. I saw these are the JBF sale on Monday and the cheapest one was $10. I put new batteries in, gave it a good scrub and it works like new.
This was $2 and its one of those push the middle and the bottom spins. She hasn't gotten the hang of it yet, but when I do it, she thinks its hilarious. We are working on her collection, but I want to keep things cheap. And not a ton at once. Or at all.
$2 bright lime green puffer jacket? Done.
I thought these were super cute shorts with little yellow and black birds on them. They had a cute pocket in the back and were $1.50.
The tags were still attached, Zebi clothing anyone? I've never heard of it, but they were clearly never worn.
These were $3 and super comfy. I have a pair of green New Balances but have always wanted a more neutral color like khaki or gray, so I was SUPER excited when I saw these in my size!
This chair was $9 and I LOVE it. It has such a fun shape and the crushed red velvet fabric is in fairly good shape. I'll probably reupholster is one day, but for now, it works.
I love the nailheads in the detailing. Its a really sturdy and comfortable chair.
And this is where it landed in my house after a good wipe down and vacuum.
Man I've missed Goodwill. Its good to be back.:)

Friday, August 19, 2011

You're asleep and I'm glad you are. But only because you need it. If I had it my way, we would be in the living room, playing with your toys together. The last couple days your cough has made you cry and your crying makes you cough. Which then makes me cry of course. Its been hard being home alone again. Just you and me. Not because I want a break. I don't want a break from you. I love every minute with you. Something changed when your daddy left. It was like any part of you that felt like work, became a gift. A gift to wake up at 6am and feed you. A gift to rock you to sleep, lay you down, rock you to sleep, lay you down, rock you to sleep, and lay you down because you don't feel well and can't sleep. A gift to grocery shop, run errands, get the oil changed, go to my dermatologist appointment, work out, weed the garden, make dinner, do laundry, do my make up, go to the post office, - all just you and me. I call you Buddy more than I call you Britt. Because you are. You're my Britt Buddy.

As much as I have grown accustom to our little duo, I still miss your daddy. He was my first and still is my best buddy But even though that ache is there, you bring me so much joy Britt Louise. There are so many times throughout the day that I look at you, my eyes fill with tears and I feel like my heart is going to burst. I love the way you follow me when I leave a room, and when you round the corner, and see me waiting for you, the biggest smile replaces the look of concern that your face wore. I love how you smack the buttons on your exer-saucer to make them play music and when it turns on, you whip around with the proudest smile that just says "Look Mommy! I did it!". I love when you are crawling about and as I wash dishes, you crawl to my legs, put your chubby little hands on my calfs and pull yourself up, which always tells me you are tired and you want to be held. I love how you love your baths and pool times, and yet you are always trying to climb out just because you want to explore. I love how if I put my face close to yours, you lean in and rest your forehead against mine and give a little grunt of pleasure. I love how hanging upside down and sitting on my shoulders are your happy places. I love that when you smile, you tilt your chin up, your eyes completely disappear in squinting and your gummy smile takes over your entire face.

Tear are falling, (of course) as I type this. I just can't get enough of you. My breath gets caught in my throat when I think about these days being gone. You being grown. I relish every time I get to cuddle with you and rock you to bed because soon, you will be in highschool, with your headphones in, texting your friends. And those times will be precious too. I'm not dreading THAT. I'm just dreading THIS season of life being over. Because I just love it so so much. You are such a gift and I want to breathe, savor, enjoy, and live in each moment I have with you. I think of Mary in Luke when she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. I want to do that. I want to soak it all it, not wish it away.

You are such a gift Buddy. Straight from Jesus to me.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm a mess.

Not in a completely bad way though.

My little sister got married to her best friend less than a week ago. Two weeks ago, my best friend got a call from the adoption agency after waiting 10 months, that she and her husband had been chosen by a birth mom and could they please come pick up their little girl the next day? My little brother is trusting Jesus in new ways that makes me so proud of him and SO thankful to be his sister. My brother in law got word after weeks of waiting, that he passed his comprehensive exam for his PhD and would be moving forward in his program. My older sister told me yesterday of the turn she has taken in her walk with Jesus and how He has shown Himself faithful yet again in her life. It made me weep with joy after I got off the phone. Monday night I arrived in Oklahoma from a 5 week trip, thinking I would be so relieved to finally be in my own home, sleeping in my own bed, with everything familiar. But instead was met with a deep sense of loneliness and emptiness. This house is not a home without Eric. It feels like he left all over again. And today. Today was the first day I didn't breastfeed Britt and its breaking my heart. I know she is ready - she's the one that has done it. But it just sent me over the edge.

So many of the above things are good things. Wonderful things. And the other ones I have full faith that God is using them to draw me closer to Himself. I just don't think I've cried so many tears in one month. Its a little absurd.

Thats really all. I just needed to write it out - cleanse my heart of it. Cry as I typed. He is SO good. So faithful. So loving.

Psalm 42:11b - Put your hope in God. For I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Yesterday was your birthday. It was perfect. Except for that fact that you had to work. Britt and I woke you up with a candle in a muffin singing happy birthday. Britt was a little confused. She didn't know why she wasn't being fed.:) But we sang and then cuddled in bed. It was the perfect way to start the day.
You went to work and we started our day, but the whole time just waited for you to come home for lunch. When you FINALLY did, we packed up and went to Rascals to eat BBQ. It was delicious. Britt loves BBQ so she was a happy camper.
You went back to work and Britt and I went to the pool to play for a while. I made you a lemon cheesecake during her nap and got a movie for us to watch that night. You got home from work and thats when the fun really began. We played Mumford & Sons on iTunes while I made pizza. Britt jumped in the jumper and giggled as you played peek-a-boo and ran at her saying "I'm going to get you!!!" You were in a silly mood so you danced like a crazy man for me and Britt. And then you grabbed me and we danced in the kitchen. I loved that Britt stopped bouncing and watched us and we slowly swirled in circles, hugging and kissing.
We put Britt down and we took everything into the bedroom. The pizza that just came out of the oven, popcorn that we had to pop ahead of time so as to not wake Britt, the lemon cheesecake, beer and the movie. We cuddled up on the bed, watching the Food Network and ate. And then ate cheesecake. And then ate popcorn. I sang happy birthday to you again and we just laid together as we watched the movie. It was perfect.
I wish I had taken pictures throughout the day. I wish we could stay here until its time for you to come home. But I am SO so thankful that we got to be together these last couple weeks - what a gift. God is so gracious to us to give us this kind of "deployment" We have such a wonderful heavenly Father.
I love you baby. I love being your wife and I love living life next to you. You are my best friend, my rock, my personal comedian, my HOT stud and the best father to our Britt. You are such a gift. Happy Birthday.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Disclaimer: This is not my regular post. Not that the Lord isn't merciful to me to show me things of Himself or that I don't continually learn HUGE lessons about how I'm so not the point and that He is everything, but I never really made this blog more than just our daily activities, home decorating, and just stupid stuff I do. But I wanted to share this. And may share more in the future, but I just wanted to warn you that you're getting my heart here - not an update on the new lamps I bought for the guest bedroom (although they're ballin!)

So we all agree that weeding flower beds are not so fun. Some love to plant, upkeep, water, and tend gardens that produce flowers or fruits and veggies. I am none of the above. I don't really like any of it. I'm just not a green thumb kinda girl. But above all, I definitely don't like weeding.

Well, thats all my flower beds have been this spring. Weeds. Like George of the Jungle weeds. So stinkin thick! Its incredible how FAST weeds grow. Unreal. Eric and I finally planted some bushes in the beds near the front door a couple weeks ago, but that was it, leaving it up to me fill the rest in and to make sure weeds don't grow back, aka mulch. Needless to say, I've been putting it off. And so the weeds grew. Fast. Fast like a kid chasing the icecream man truck on a hot summer day.

For some reason, although I think it was guilt of having the WORST. LOOKING. BEDS. EVER on the cul-de-sac and how I at least owe it to the neighbors to not be the outcast, I got the urge to do something about it. So yesterday I went to Lowes (I was a Home Depot girl all the way until they decided that military discounts were something they weren't going to do anymore so they lost my loyalty. And my money.) and got $95 worth of mulch, flowers and perennials to do this bad boy.

That was the easy part. Picking out flowers and dreaming up what I wanted the beds to look like. But I knew I couldn't avoid the several hours of weeding that I knew was ahead of me. You see, it wasn't just weeds - it was CRAB GRASS (please cue the Jaws music) Crab grass sucks. Not stinks. Sucks. You can't just pull it up. You have to shovel it out. The roots go so deep and it spreads itself wide, planting itself over and over so it makes the mangled jungle of grass and weeds. No bueno.

So after Britt went to sleep lastnight, I grabbed a beer (you think I'm kidding... I'm not), my shovel and garden gloves and WENT TO TOWN. For 2 hours. And I'm not even done. The weeds aren't all gone. I haven't even planted anything yet.

Ok, let me get to my point. Cause there is one, I promise. As I dug and dug. And dug. And the Spirit's sweet voice spoke into my heart and told me that my overgrown weedy flower beds are just like my heart. Choked full of sin. And I can try to cover up or mow over it for a quick fix to make it look decent for a time but that in reality it didn't actually remove the sin. As I continued to dig, I was overcome with the picture of how hard it is to battle sin. To truly win over sin it must DIE. It must be uprooted. Its easy to memorize verses with patience for when I feel impatient. Verses for anger when I'm mad at the guy who cut me off, and verses for contentment when I get tired of my clothes. But that doesn't win the battle. That doesn't rip out at the core. My flesh is strong, rooted deep. There is only One who can remove it. Only by the power of the Spirit can my heart change at all. And as little fun as weeding is, so much less fun is the weeding of my heart. Its painful, shaming and at times utterly devastating to see the wickedness of my heart smack in the face. But isn't it a gift? Isn't it absolutely beautiful when you fall so badly that you realize that its not you doing good. It never is. Its the grace of God and Spirit doing the work. The One who wooed me to Himself in the first place. The One who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. He is bigger, more powerful over sin. For He conquered the grave, raising Himself up from the grave and He reigns forevermore. And even in my broken state, He called me to Himself, made me clean, and now walks with me everyday, picking me up every time I fall, carrying me even if I think I'm doing it all myself.

So, weeding is no fun. But even admist the pain of having the roots of sin dug from my heart, I am able to praise my Sweet Savior for having mercy on my soul to show me my wretchedness, that way He may be evermore glorified in me and draw me into sweeter intimacy with Him.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Living room floor update!

Well here it is! Finally showing you pictures of what the floors look like with all the furniture AND a rug!:) It took me forrrrreeevvver to find a rug. If it was the right size and price, I didn't like it. Or I'd like one but the largest it would come was 8x10 and we were wanting a 9x12. Or it would be the right size and I'd love it and it would cost $2500. Yeah, not happening. I got this one off of after seeing a post from the Little Green Notebook about a rug she bought. They have a TON of rugs, mostly Persian. Which isn't typically my style, but I wanted something classic with a modern twist. So I looked for one with colors of pinks, orange, yellow, navy blue and teal. I searched that website for HOURS and finally found one.:) It's not EVERYTHING I dreamed of and more, but I liked it alot, it was HUGE and it was under $1000. Done.:) There are so many colors it could go with anything which is great for someone like me who gets bored so quickly. All I need to do it make curtains, which are these and then the living room is complete! Well... until I get bored with something and want to paint it.:)

The medallion in the middle is my favorite. I loooove the orange.