Friday, February 26, 2010

Test Post

 
Testing to see if email-posting is working.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Slight Change In Plans

We found out this week that we are able to travel a little earlier to pick up our son!!!!!

Like, we leave in TEN DAYS!!!!

So much to do, so much to plan, so much to pack!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love

Happy Valentine's day!

I was lucky enough to spend the weekend with the loves of my life, minus one...
We took a little family trip to Chicago! Other than a few meltdowns, from Jud and I, it was a really fun trip!


We went to the Shedd Aquarium


















The kids favorite part by far seemed to be the penguin play area! Yeah, never mind the thousands of gigantic fish tanks, the dolphin and whale show, give them a plastic egg and a costume and they are all set!































Then we decided to visit the Lego store! That was a HUGE hit! The boys where in heaven, running from one thing to next! The girls were content building!



























Jack loved the magic scanner that showed the finished product when you held up the box!



















A few bags full of new legos later, we were onto the next stop!























Caroline decided that rather than stopping at the American Girl store, we should head right to the Field Museum! Have I told you how much I Love this Girl?



















Emma explaining things to the boys!














































The little photographer! I think she took about 500 pictures on the trip!


























Love.
























Sam kept us all smiling the entire time! I'm thinking it's time to sign this kid up for some acting lessons!









Thursday, February 11, 2010

I never could have imagined.

I had always imagined that when we traveled to Ethiopia, we would pack as lightly as we could, so that we would have room in our baggage allowance to bring over donations for AHOPE.

This means something to me.

I think about the children at AHOPE everyday.

I know that AHOPE relies heavily on donations, and traveling families to deliver those donations. It made me happy to think that we are doing something, maybe not as much as I wish we could do, but something.

This week I sent an email out to the families in Sam's class, telling them about our upcoming trip. I told them that we were hoping to bring two large bags of supplies over to AHOPE and I asked if anyone would be interested in helping us fill these two bags.

These moms, most of whom I barely know, who have no idea about who AHOPE is or what they do, responded quickly and passionately...

Almost immediately after I pressed send on that email (an email I debated for a long time about even sending) I started getting emails back with questions about the donation list. What was most needed? What would be easiest for us to pack to bring over?

I feel overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude towards these women, these families.

I never imagined this response.

I thought maybe a FEW families would donate a FEW things...but I never imagined this.

I almost didn't send the email because I thought, we only have two bags to fill, we can do that. I would be happy to do that.

But somewhere inside of me this voice was telling me that my obligation was to do more than fill bags, it was to raise awareness, to whisper AHOPE into a few ears.

And I am so glad that I did. I only wish we had a larger bag allowance!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

so many thoughts

Well a lot has been happening in our house...

First Sam's birthday and then 5 days later Caroline's birthday. I brought my computer in for repairs and everything seems to be okay now, so as soon as I have a few minutes I'll get some pictures of Caroline up and give her an actual proper birthday post.

For tonight though, just the usual spewing of random thoughts...

This weekend Caroline had her first official slumber party...She's had sleepovers before but never an actual slumber party. yes, there is a difference, or so I've been told!

I thought everything went pretty well, lots of nail polish, blue eye shadow and hair glitter, can't go wrong with that combination right? Everyone seemed to be having fun, lots of music, giggles, and running through the house...but the next day, when Caroline and I were cleaning up the after shocks of the party, she broke down. Like completely lost it. She was so upset. She felt let down by the party...I think she had such high expectations of what this BIG party was going to be like, and when it didn't all go according to her plan she felt disappointed...I can relate! Even though it sucks to see her sad, it's times like this that we get to have some great chats. Just the two of us. And I'm thankful for those.

I'm also thankful for my amazing sister Kristin, who drove down for the slumber party. Although we weren't allowed to enter the basement where the party was held...They were carding, and well, we are just way too old!


So Kristin and I spent most of the night watching Jack, Sam and Emma play the new wii game that she (and Mel) got for Sam's birthday. Now that's love. She had a free night and decided to drive two hours to eat Jimmy John's, watch kids play wii, and then once the kids were down- listen to her sister babble! Yup, she's just that great!


And about the trip to Ethiopia,

We've been thinking and talking and talking and thinking...and talking to many friends who have travelled and then thinking about what they've had to say, and we have decided that both Jud and I will travel!

I'm still nervous.

But I FEEL like we're making the right decision.

Hopefully as the travel date gets closer my mind will be able to focus on the end result rather than the trip itself!

Day to day I've been focusing more on the once we're home aspect...probably because that feels more within my control. Even though I know, from experience that those first days, weeks, months, feel like anything but controlled.

I've been reading a ton and I know that there are definitely things we can improve on this time around with transitions and bonding-things I wish I had known when Emma first came home. I really look forward to having baby Will home so we can start loving him up.

I'm also a bit nervous still about the day to day with a new baby. I've been talking to several friends who have new babies/children at home. I remember how crazy life gets for awhile. What it's like to not have two minutes to myself. How every time I try to talk on the phone, all hell breaks loose...What it's like to have a baby in the shower with me---that's if I get in the shower at all! I remember how my brain turns to mush, and it's a struggle to accomplish anything around the house---laundry piles up and bathrooms get disgusting. I know how some days, the goal will be just to get through the day. Some days are just about survival! I know we'll get through it, I just worry about balancing life with all of the other kids at the same time! I mean 5 kids! Yowza!


I keep thinking about the time when Sam was a baby. One particular day, I was feeling ambitious. I felt like I was getting the hang of 3 kids, so I got everyone dressed looking cute, put a little bow in Caroline's hair, then got everyone bundled up because it was freezing, packed up the stroller and diaper bag and headed downtown to meet Jud for lunch. I remember driving, sweating, but thinking, alright, that wasn't so bad. I did it! I was feeling all proud of myself, maybe after lunch we'll walk around the mall for awhile, get ice cream...we pulled into the parking garage I took a deep breath and got out of the truck to retrieve the big old double stroller, when I realized I wasn't wearing any shoes! Yup. Huge white fluffy slippers! Nope, no leisurely walk through the mall that day. No ice cream.