Finally I Can Say........





Woo-Hoo!! After months and months of collecting precious documents, signatures, certifications and authentications, our dossier is finally on it's way to China!!!! We are so excited that this part of the process is over. Now the real wait begins.... praying for a speedy LOA!


Happy Birthday Tulah!!!!

As we celebrated Jesus' birthday yesterday, my mind kept thinking about a very special birthday that would occur today half way around the world. Today, our sweet Tulah, turned 2 years old! I do hope that she enjoyed her day and got some extra special attention today! A few weeks ago, we put together a special Christmas/birthday care package for her. Hopefully that package got to its' destination in China, and she got to open it !! Here is a picture of what we sent her. My favorite was the recordable story book. Michael, Zoee and I took turns reading each page! I do hope that she gets to hear our voices!!

Yesterday, on Christmas morning, I woke up and took a chance. I went online and looked on the blog for An Orphan's Wish, just to see if there happened to be any little details on the Christmas celebration that took place there (they are 12 hours ahead of us). And much to my surprise, there was a picture of her!! A wonderful, smiling, and obviously happy girl!! You can check out all the happenings here:


But here is my absolute favorite picture from that entry.....
Happy birthday sweet girl!!!! This will be your last birthday without us! As each day passes, we are one day closer to bringing you home!


Merry Christmas From Our Family To Yours

May you delight in this day and bring glory to Him who came to be our Savior!!

Family Christmas Card 2011 front & back

We are so thankful for all of our blessings this year and in the year to come. Tulah, this will be your very last Christmas without your Forever Family!!!!


Fun With Friends!!!!

An Orphan's Wish posted the cutest picture today on their blog..... starring none other than sweet little Tulah herself along with 2 of her friends. Just thought I would share!!!

And, for those keeping up with the process, our documents should be picked up from the Chinese Embassy (in Washington, DC) tomorrow and on their way back to us! Which means my friends that we should be DTC (all our 6 months worth of paperwork to China) next week!!! YAY!!! We are still really hoping to be traveling in early May, so please join us in praying for many quick approvals to come!!


Sunday Snapshot..... A Very Busy Week Indeed!!!

As this weekend is wrapping up, and I look back on all the happenings of the week, I can't believe how busy we were!! As busy as it was though, we had a very fun week, with lots of celebrations!! Let's see, this week (in addition to school and work) had: a Sunday School Christmas party, 4 ball practices, 3 ball games, an impromptu trip to our capital, a Christmas play, a Christmas party, a graduation, and a Christmas musical!! Whew! Here are a few of the highlights!!!

We enjoyed our Sunday School Christmas party last Saturday evening. One of our good friends annually hosts this party at her home, and everyone has a great time. All of the kids stayed at church with some of the older kids, so it was really great for the adults to get to chat and catch up! I caved and let Zoee and Grayden wear their new Christmas outfits to the party. I was going to to save them for Christmas Eve, but they are so cute, I thought they should wear them more than once!! Check out the ruffle bottoms on Zoee's jeans.... so adorable!! I found them on an Etsy shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/SweetSophiaBowtique?ref=ss_profile)

** I really need to learn how to sew!!**

On Monday, after 77 days.... we were finally given our 1800 A approval!!!! Yes!!! I know that for some of you this is foreign language, but this is the United States Immigration Services approving us to bring a foreign born child into this country. There are many more approvals to go during this process, but this is a big hoop that I am happy to have jumped through!!

Our 1800 A approval was the last document we needed for our dossier (collection of 6 months worth of paperwork to go to China). Since my goal has been to try and get our dossier to China by the end of the year, I decided to drive to Raleigh to get all of our documents certified. My mom went with me and we dropped everything off by 9:30 am. I was told we could return for the documents at 4:30, so we took advantage of the day and went to breakfast and then shopped around. We had a lot of fun. At 4:30, that all ended. When I returned to the office to pick up our documents, I learned that they had rejected some of our documents because they weren't notarized properly. I honestly felt like somebody ripped my heart out and stomped it with their shoe. I was exhausted from the day and then I learned that I would have to do it all over again. I really wasn't very good at hiding my feelings by this point, and I think the lady at the desk felt sorry for me. I heard her call a lady in another office, and then she asked me to step aside. Proving once again that our awesome God works miracles in what He favors, around the corner came a true angel sent from Him. **Remember when you read this next part that it is now 5:00 pm and I am in a government office** I was literally shaking and trembling and the lady who stepped out and touched my arm, offered to correct our documents and re-notarize them. 6 of them. At 5 o'clock. PM. And then I dared to ask if they would also be able to be certified that day since we had driven in from several hours away. And she said... "Give me 15 minutes". And then she brought the beautiful, certified papers out to me. And I cried like a baby. I hugged her. I think I said "God bless you at least 5 times". And she hugged me back, smiled and asked me to send her a picture of my baby. And let me tell you, she is going to be on my Christmas card list from now on!! So, what I thought was going to be a devastating day, turned out to be a day in which once again, God showed me that he favors this adoption, and He is behind every step, every approval and every payment in this entire process.

Zoee had her first ballgame this week and they WON!! She did great!! It is so amazing how much all the girls on her team have improved since last year. They are quicker, taller, and more aggressive! Michael is helping to coach, and he was grinning ear to ear the whole game! He was so proud of all of the girls!

Grayden got to be in his very first Christmas program ever this year!! We were so excited to get to see him on stage! He loved every minute of it and I think he was just the cutest, most handsome wiseman ever!!

He was very excited that he was the wise man who brought the gold!! Too cute!! His teachers and the entire Preschool did a wonderful job making this so special!!

On Friday, at Zoee's school, we celebrated her teacher AND Jesus' birthdays!!! It was so much fun! We were able to keep it a secret from her teacher, and she really was surprised! Mrs. Whitford is such an EXCELLENT teacher, and it was an honor to be able to help make her day so special!! Do you see the Crayon Monogram?? That was Zoee and I's very first (of many) Pinterest projects! Very fun... very easy... very affordable...and very cute!! You can check out how to do it here: http://acreativemomma.blogspot.com/2011/05/crayon-monograms.html

And, on Friday night.... IT FINALLY HAPPENED. I GRADUATED!!!!!!! Yay!! After 3 years of full time working + school + being a wife + being a mama..... I am finished... with the school part that is! It feels really good to finally have my Master's and have that goal accomplished. My family was such a huge part of helping me succeed, and I could not have done it without them. And they were all there to see me walk across the stage and be hooded. Thank you all so much! Love you!!

Sorry for the exceptionally long post, but it was a very busy and very fun week! I hope that each of you enjoy this last week before Christmas and that we can all slow down a little and take time to reflect on the true meaning of this season. Blessings!!!

Sunday Snapshot


Sunday Snapshot: A Reminder.....

I just wanted to mention a quick reminder about our "Faith" necklace fundraiser. Tomorrow is the LAST day to order a necklace and have guaranteed Christmas delivery !!!! Please check your gift lists and see who you could bless with this special piece of jewelery. It is sure to bless you as well, as you are helping to change the life of a little girl across the world.

It is very easy to order! Just click on the Buy Now button you see at the top right hand corner of my blog!!

Thank you!!!

Sunday Snapshot


Happy Birthday to my baby boy !!!!

It seems like this was just yesterday, but my baby boy just turned 5 years old. Just thinking about it makes my heart heavy. I want to freeze this time with my babies. I want to hold him and rock him, and keep him close to me just like I did in this picture. But, I can't.... and whether I want to admit it or not, apparently he is going to continue to grow up at warp speed right in front of my very eyes. Reflecting on this makes me want to SLOW down, and cherish this time, because it flashes before us like the blink of an eye.

This was the first year that this boy has had a "friend" party. So, I wanted him to enjoy the heck out of it! He picked the theme, and who he wanted to invite. So everything from the invitation, to the cake, to the activities, were all about a camp out!! Well, as I like to call it a "pseudo" camp out, because this one ended at 9:00 p.m. !! I was just not up for an overnight camp out with a handful of 4 and 5 year old boys!!!

This was his invitation....

.... and this was his campfire cake!!!!

And here are a few snapshots from the party....

(so this pic turned out terrible... but it's the only one with all the kids together)

Happy birthday my sweet boy, mama loves you and you WILL always be my baby!!!


My Favorite Things....

I can't believe it is already December!! It really is unbelievable how very fast time flies. When I was little, it seemed that Christmas took forever to get here, and now, it seems like I just got all the Christmas stuff put away, and it's time to get it out again!! I must say that I haven't exactly gotten quite into the Christmas spirit yet, but now that it is December and my tree is finally up and decorated, the good ole' Christmas spirit can come and visit me any time now!!

As I was blog stalking today... one of my favorite downtime hobbies... I came across the most fun and interesting post. You can read about it here. Basically it was all about your favorite things and how to host a really fun party where instead of bringing a gift to exchange, you bring your favorite thing to give away!! FUN right?!? (And... Lesley C., if you happen to read this, you must plan one of these!!) The blogger set up a fun way to link up with other bloggers so that we can all share our favorite things.... so I thought I would join in the fun!! The goal was to keep the favorites under $30... I kind of followed the rules!!

So, here are a few of my favorite things:

Bare Escentuals Buxom gloss is my absolute, most favorite, have- to- have item. I have tubes all over the house, the car, at work, in my purse. Cannot do without them. They give your lips a little tingle, and come in all kinds of fun colors!! Can you be addicted to lip gloss?? I think I am. I think these are around $ 18. Worth. every. penny.

I found the Secret Moments collection at Victoria's Secret and I LOVE it!! I must have the body cream. My 2 favorite scents are Good Day Sunshine and Girl's Night. They are fab!! So sad though, you can't really find them right now. I asked about them last time I was at the mall and the salesperson told me they went to Semi-Annual Sale. I really hope that means they will be back, because I promise, they are great! I stocked up at the end of the season and got like um... 10 tubes to hold me over, but on sale for $ 3 each. Yes, please!!! And VS, PLEASE BRING THESE BACK!!!!

So, yes, I do have a smart phone that will keep up with my oh so busy schedule, but that just will not do! I have to have a planner and I love this one! I have purchased the same Barnes and Noble Gallery planner for 3 years now. I love it because it has big blocks to right in, and all kind of handy info pages in the back. Every year, I have just got a brown tannish color, but this year.... it came out in pearl glaze!!! The picture doesn't do it justice... it is really pretty!!! Cost $ 19.99

I don't really have these yet.... BUT.... I have tried them on several times, and I really hope Santa reads this and decides to bring me a pair! These are a pair of glitter Tom's shoes. They are really cute, very comfortable, and the best part..... for every pair of Tom's shoes you buy, they will donate a pair of shoes to a child in need. I love that!! These are $ 54 (I know... over the limit!!)

Ahhh....Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I love this book. I have blogged about it here in the past, so I won't rewrite whats already been written, but this book was so motivational to me and if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It would be a great gift as well. Can be ordered from Amazon for $ 10.19.

And.... my most favorite thing.... my "Faith" necklace. I got this necklace over a year ago... way before our journey began. It means so much to me and I wear it every day. It is sterling silver, is inscribed with the word Faith and has a mustard seed charm. It is beautiful... and meaningful. And a beautiful symbol of our adoption journey. It is from Silpada jewelery and is $85. And, if you really like it too, you can purchase one here, and help bring our precious Tulah home. It is $85... .I know... way over the limit... but it is for a very good cause!!!!

So, there you have it. A few of my favorite things!!! Wanna see other peoples favorites... click below to check it out!!!