Friday, May 25, 2018

Pre-School Bound

My girl is officially a Parent's Day Out graduate. Last Tuesday, I walked her in and dropped her off for the very last time. Next year, she will be a preschooler and will get dropped off in the car line like the big kids. 

She is so excited about 3K because "preschool has a hamster!"  I asked her how she knew that and she said that Nina on Nina Needs to Know (a Disney show) has a hamster in preschool.  Preschool already has a lot to live up to! 

Pictures just don't do justice to the amount of growing up Karsten has done over the past year. She is outgoing, loud, crazy, talkative, and has the biggest imagination.  She loves running around barefoot outside, riding her scooter, and anything that requires her to move and run. The girl is never still.

We had no idea how much personality this little girl would bring to our family, but boy, do we sure love her. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Mother's Day 2018

These two girls call me Mama and it's one of the best titles I have ever gotten. I love being their mom and am so grateful that God worked the details out to bring them into our family. I couldn't imagine our life without them. 

Every Mother's Day, I try to get Kevin to take a picture of me with the girls.... but he doesn't know how to use my camera except to push the button. Here's a quick picture I got of him with the girls, as I got everything set up for him. Love these three!

And once I got it set up, Kevin was able to get a few special pictures of me with my two best girls. Love these two so much!

Seven years of being a mom have been so sweet. From 2012 to 2018... kids sure grow up quickly!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Sunny Days

My girls.  These pictures are months old at this point, but at the end of each year, I print all of my posts into a book.  I don't want to forget these moments in time, just because I've been too busy to blog.  Life is crazy, but there are so many moments that I don't want to blow past and forget.  Moments like this - my two girls riding on scooter and bikes, with butterfly wings, pigtails, headbands, skirts and toothless grins. 

I know I'll blink and they'll be 12, and these are the moments that I don't want to forget.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

No More Corn on the Cobb

When my sister and I were younger, if we had a tooth that was even remotely loose, it was going to be coming out that day.  I'm pretty sure I pulled nearly all (if not all) of Kristi's teeth. Sometimes multiple teeth in a day.  True story. Go ask my mom.

This is not Kate's personality though. Kate's top two teeth have been wiggly for a while, but she is the kind of kid that is going to hang onto that tooth until it pops out all on its own. She's lost a few of her bottom teeth but the top ones have stayed in place... until now.

A few weeks ago she and Karsten were playing in the kitchen and bumped into each other. The back of Karsten's head collided with Kate's mouth and after a few tears, Kate realized that her top tooth was now even more wiggly than it had been.  Fast forward to the next day and she came home from school with a tooth that was some how still hanging on, but I have no idea how. She could almost twist it all the way around. We knew it would be coming out that night.

I told her I needed one last picture of her with her top baby teeth. I mean, don't kids just totally lose any remaining piece of that baby face once a top tooth is gone? 

Once it was out, we took an "after" picture.  I feel like she aged 3 years. :(

She was so proud of that gap and was looking forward to showing it off to her teacher and friends the next day at school.  Goodness this girl is growing up quickly.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Open Adoption Update

I get emails from people weekly about adoption and/or what open adoptions really look like.  In fact, just this week I have received 2 emails and a phone call to discuss adoption and openness with them. So, I thought I'd do a little update but also share what our last visit looked like. It was different than any visit we have had in the past because we were able to get BOTH of our girls birth families together.  Kate and Karsten's birth mothers were able to meet for the very first time, which was a huge blessing and I am so excited that we were all able to make this happen! 

So let me back up a minute.  The term "open adoption" is really hard to define.  It obviously involves SOME level of openness between the birth family and adoptive family, but the degree of openness can vary hugely. 

  • It could mean that you exchange pictures back and forth, using an agency or some other 3rd party to deliver them. 
  • It could mean that both families have anonymous email addresses and you correspond back and forth with each other. 
  • It could mean that you exchange phone numbers and call or text back an forth. 
  • It could mean that you are Facebook or Instagram friends. 
  • It could mean you see each other in person regularly. 
  • It could mean that you go to church together, go out to eat afterward, and then go back to your house to let the kids play. 
Openness can mean a lot of different things.  Our level of openness is all of the above.  A few Sundays back, we did the last one on this list.  Kate's birth mom (Lori) was in town with her husband and daughter for an event, and so on Sunday they came to our church.  Karsten's birth mom (Andrea) is pretty local, so she brought her kids over for church also.  We all went to eat at a local pizza restaurant and then afterward, we went back to our house to let the kids all run around and play. 

This is Kate with her baby sister.  See the resemblance?  Crazy, huh!? 

And here is our whole group.  We're family.  Two birth moms, six kids that are all brothers and sisters in one way or another, and then Kevin and me, who are so grateful and thankful that this is the family God created for us. 

Kevin and I will always be so thankful that these two strong, brave women chose to place their baby in our arms. 

Most people look at adoption as a Plan B of sorts.  I'll admit, we likely wouldn't have gone down this path if infertility hadn't been part of our story. But it was. And I've said this before, but looking back I actually view infertility as a blessing because without it, these two little girls wouldn't be who calls me Mama. So to me, adoption wasn't Plan B for our family.  It was Plan A all along, and we just didn't know it. Adoption is, and was, God's best for us.  It's further proof that God can use your brokenness to make something beautiful. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Karsten's First Haircut

Karsten is now 3.5 and I'm finally getting around to her first haircut.  I know - typical 2nd child syndrome, right?  I've wanted it to grow out and with curly hair, it's just really hard to tell if it is uneven or not so we have just gone with it.  However, the ends have started to get really tangled and so I knew we needed to get the dead ends cut off and get it cleaned up a bit.

Kate gets allergy shots on Tuesday afternoons so Kevin and I both took a kid-related chore after work. Kevin took Kate to get her shots and I took Karsten to get a haircut.  On the bright side, there is a Mexican restaurant right next door to the hair salon, so guess what we did after? :)

So here are my before pictures:

I took those with my iPhone quickly before her cut, so this is probably a better representation of her hair before.  This was taken a few days prior. 

Karsten was very concerned that it was going to hurt when her hair got cut with the scissors. I mean, doesn't that make sense for a 3 year old to think that?  After she realized it didn't hurt, she was 100% fine and talkative. 

And in keeping with the 2nd child syndrome, I forgot to take an after picture. Oops.  Here is one a few days later.  Like I said, we just did a SLIGHT trim so it really isn't even noticeable. But combing her hair after a bath is so SO much easier now! When you have stick straight hair, learning how to care for beautiful, curly, bi-racial hair is definitely something I have to work on. We've figured out what works well for her hair for now, but I'm sure I will learn lots more in the future. On thing is for sure, hair cut number 1 is in the books. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Karsten and Mom Night Out

Back when Kevin took Kate to the Daddy/Daughter dance, Karsten and I decided we needed a night out too.  So while Kate and Kevin got dressed up to go to their dance, Karsten did the same (I skipped the dressing up part because, well, I could.)  Karsten, however, will use any opportunity to wear a dress.  She is my girly girl.  She will often ask to wear a dress "Because it's.... Tuesday." #priorities 

And in true Karsten fashion, whatever Kate gets, she needs to have too. So after I finished taking Kate's picture, Karsten declared that it was her turn.

Now when I ask her if I can take her picture, she gives me the hardest time and looks everywhere EXCEPT the camera.  I guess if she's the one that initiates it though, she turns into the biggest ham!

She also wanted to show me some of her dance skills. Ha!

I asked her "If we could do anything tonight or go anywhere, where would you want to go?"

Her answer?  "CAROWINDS!"

So I asked what plan B was and her answer to that....


She's easy. 

Off to Chick-fil-a, with ice cream instead of the toy.  Man I am enjoying this time in our life when I can make her entire day with a $4 kids meal. 

And then we went by Ingles for a sprinkle covered sugar cookie.  Mommy/Karsten night was a success!


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