Friday, June 29, 2012

A Year Ago Today...

I did one of these types of posts on the one year anniversary of completing our homestudy, so I thought that THIS special day also deserved the same kind of post...

A year ago today was a pretty special day. It was the day I found out that I might be a mom soon.  You know, because nothing is ever definite when it comes to adoption.  It's always the possibility. 

June 29th, 2011 was a Wednesday.  I remember coming back from my lunch break and sitting down at my computer to do some work. I left my desk to run to the printer and came back to see that I had a missed call from our adoption worker.  I KNEW something was going on. After we finished our homestudy back in April, we didn’t really have much contact with our adoption worker. Not that I’m complaining. There wasn’t a reason to have a lot of communication with her, and I most certainly didn’t want her calling every day to tell me that nothing had happened.

So when I saw the missed call, I knew it was a big deal. And, boy was it. Her message said “Kelley, Hi this is Jean*. Please give me a call back when you get this. If there is any way you could get Kevin in on the call also, that would be great. Talk to you soon!”

I immediately walked outside and called Kevin. Neither of us knew how to do 3 way calling on our phones, so we just decided that I’d call Jean* and then I would call Kevin to let him know what she wanted. When I called her, the first thing she said was that we had been selected by a young couple to parent their child. She gave me a bit lot of background information. Then I called Kevin to tell him everything, and then I told Kevin to call Jean* because I couldn’t remember everything. It was crazy. It was exciting. It was scary. It was CRAZY. Our baby was due in just 5½ weeks!

We knew it wasn’t a done deal by any means.  Nothing is ever for sure in an adoption until everything is signed and finalized. We still had to meet the birth family, and then of course go through the birth, revocation period, etc but on June 29th, 2011 everything became very REAL.   

 And exactly 6 weeks after finding out about her, our daughter, Kate, was born.

She’s a pretty special little girl, and she comes from two very special birth parents. I can’t imagine what they had to go through to make the decision for adoption, but I’m so glad that they chose life for their daughter and chose Kevin and me to be her parents.  We are definitely blessed.

Since she was born, I've been working on typing up the complete story of our journey to Kate, and of her birth, placement, and adoption.  I think I'll share it today, so I've posted it under a new tab at the top of this blog.  It's called "Kate's Story".  Here's your warning- it is very long.  And I mean VERY.  I've said all along that this blog was meant to document our lives, as sort of a scrapbook.  It's only fitting that Kate's story be included too.  Her story is already ALL OVER this blog, but it's in bits and pieces over several different posts.  So, I've put it all in one place and if you care to read it, it's there.  I didn't go back and proof-read it, so sorry for the typos and grammatical errors. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cheerio Girl

My girl loves to eat, and those puffs are getting expensive.  Not to mention the fact that they don't last very long.  So, we switched Kate to Cheerios and I think she likes them...

Anybody surprised?  No?  Me neither.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Kate and her Papa's

I had this post in mind for a few days, but I wanted a specific picture to go here.  It was one of my dad and Kate during our beach vacation.  For the life of me, I couldn't find it.  I asked Kevin to bring me a copy of all of the beach pictures that I'd saved on his laptop, since that was the computer we took on vacation.  So tonight, I looked through ALL of those pictures and still couldn't find it.  I had been pretty good about deleting off my memory card on my camera so I figured it wasn't there, but thought I'd check anyway.  Well, it feels like tonight was Christmas because I not only found the picture that I was looking for, but I found about 300+ vacation pictures that I didn't even remember that I'd taken. YAY!  I know I said I was through with vacation pictures, but I found a few more that I'm just going to have to share.  Not tonight though.  This is a different story...

Kate LOVES her two Papa's.  Kevin's dad is Papa and my dad is Papa Rick.  Not that she can say them yet, but she will call them that eventually.  Kate loves them both so much and you can definitely tell.  In general Kate likes men more than women (can we say trouble?) and besides her daddy, these are her two favorite men.

Here's Kate with Kevin's dad (Papa)...

And Kate with my dad (Papa Rick)...

Yep... she loves these two!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Week & Weekend

We had a crazy/packed week, and had a lot of stuff going on this weekend too.  I've been so busy that I haven't had time for a real blog update until now.  

This week started my first few days at a new job!  I haven't mentioned it on here, but I recently changed jobs.  I'll be doing the same thing, but with a different firm and with reduced hours.  Well, reduced hours for a public accountant anyway.  I'll be working 40 hours a week, year round.  Only in public accounting would you have to go to a reduced schedule to work a regular 40 hour per week schedule, but I am pretty excited about this!  

I have absolutely loved working with the firm I was with previously, and I'll miss seeing my former co-workers every day.  I made some great friends, and look forward to continuing those friendships forward.  However, I'm really excited about this new opportunity.  I've already met some great people, and as a plus, my sister already works for this company.  I had a great first week and know that this will be a really good change for our family... especially during the January-April months!

In addition to starting a new job, we had Vacation Bible School this week.  One of our youth and I taught the 3, 4 and 5 year old class and let me tell you, they wore me out!  They were a handful, but we had so much fun and HOPEFULLY they learned a lot.  We had 15 kids each night and FOUR of them were named Emma.  It was definitely a little confusing. 

So that was this week.  Saturday, Kevin and I met up with my mom, my sister, my aunt, my cousin, and her little boy for lunch downtown.  We got there a few minutes early so Kate was entertained by playing in the car. 

After lunch we went to see the Lion King.  It was SO, so good.  I loved it.  I think the word amazing is pretty over-used, but it really would fit here.  It was amazing.  The costumes were beyond anything I could have thought they would have been, and it was just a great show.  If you ever get the chance  to see this, I would say go for it!  

After the show, I came home and we did the typical evening stuff- dinner, Kate's bath, and bedtime.  I had to throw this picture from bath time in because I just cannot believe how long Kate's hair has gotten over the past 10 months.  She's got 2-3 super long strands in the back.  You can see one of them here. 

And here's one more that I just had to throw in here for fun.  Baby crocs.  Are they not the cutest, or what?  Kate finally fits into these, so I think she'll be getting some good use out of them now. :)

Since Saturday was so packed, we just came home from church and spent today being lazy around the house.  We did finish up a bit of laundry and Kate had to "help" her Daddy out.  I think she enjoyed the "helping".   

And here are a few (lots) of pictures of Kate playing with her walker outside.

At first, I just let her walk around in the grass because I wasn't sure how the dogs would respond to her.    They're usually really gentle but I was scared they might bump her and knock her down.  I didn't need to worry.  They were so gentle and Cooper just followed her closely, almost like he was guarding her!  I think they're going to be best buds!

Oh the many faces of Kate. I love it!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kiddie Technology

Last October, when my phone was due for an upgrade I did NOT want an iPhone.  I can't even remember the reason why, but I didn't.  Kevin was due for an upgrade at the same time though and he spent lots of time playing around with the phones in the stores, deciding which phone he wanted.  Basically, he wanted the one with the easiest to use touch screen.  He is usually not good with touch screens.  Forget using my GPS.  It doesn't pick up the right letters that he is intending to touch, so I usually have to put in the addresses.  After all of his investigating and "testing", he decided he wanted the iPhone.  I'd wanted the Droid Incredible II, but decided to get an iPhone too.  We use each others phones and it's just easier to have the same things.

I'm SO glad Kevin talked me into getting this phone.  I love it.  And sadly, Kate has learned to love it too.  I have to say, it was a definite life saver on the 8 hr trip home from vacation last week.  She got restless quite a few times, and there were a few apps that made the car ride so much easier.  I thought I'd share the ones we Kate likes.  Here's a quick screenshot of "Kate's" folder and then the top 5 apps that got us through the travel.

1. Music Sparkles - This one is by far her favorite and we were actually just introduced to it by a friend while we were on vacation.  She had it downloaded on her iPad for her nieces to play around with and Kate LOVED it.  So, I put it on my phone for Kate. Basically, there's a little bit of background music and then the kids can "play" different instruments to go along with the music. Kate automatically starts bouncing (ie- dancing) when the app turns on.  Best part is that it's FREE.

iPhone Screenshot 1

2. Itsy Bitsy Spider - This one is just fun.  The song plays and the different characters on the screen do things when you touch them.  It's a fun, interactive song app.  BUT, the guy who sings the song sounds really weird.  Still cute though.  Can't remember how much this one cost.  Maybe $1.99?

iPhone Screenshot 1

3. Twinkle Star - Who knew Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star had more than one verse?  Apparently it does.  This app does more besides the sing-along but that's Kate's favorite part.  It has 8 different games, but they're a bit above Kate's head for now (puzzles, maze, paint, matching, connect the dots, peekaboo, etc).  She does love to listen along to the song and watch how the different scenes play out. You can get this for free but it just sings the first verse and then prompts you to pay $.99 for all of the verses.

iPhone Screenshot 3

4. Old McDonald - Costs $1.99.  It's similar to the Itsy Bitsy Spider one.  the Old McDonald song plays along and the different animals make their sounds when you touch them.  Kate loves animals and animal sounds right now, so she enjoyed this one.

iPhone Screenshot 2

5. Baby Aqua - This was the first one I downloaded on my phone.  It's pretty basic.  One fish at a time comes up on the screen and swims around.  When the fish is touched, the name of the color is said aloud.  It also counts up from 1 to 10.  Of the 5 apps, this is probably Kate's least favorite.  I think it costs $.99

iPhone Screenshot 2

Honestly, I haven't tried a ton of other apps so these are Kate's favorite by default. Plus, it's not like she really plays around with my phone all that often, but when you're stuck in a car for 8 hrs, you do what you have to do.  Anybody have any other apps, or games/toys that your kids LOVE?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Last Beach Post

The rest of our vacation was spent golfing (Kevin), fishing (my dad, mom and sister) and beaching it (me and Kate!).  I'm going to leave it at that, because the pictures tell it all...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Beach Days

Oh we are back from vacation (on Saturday) and it feels so good.  Don't get me wrong, I loved vacation.  There's just something about sleeping in your own bed though!  We had a blast and I'm hoping to recap most of it in one post, but we'll have to see!

On Tuesday we went to Cape Lookout with some friends on their boat.  It was an overcast day, which ended up being PERFECT because it wasn't too hot and wasn't too cool outside.  We saw the wild horses, walked around Cape Lookout, and got to see a few of the islands by sea.  It was beautiful.

Well, I started this post yesterday and after the day I've had, I don't think I'm going to finish up our beach vacation in just ONE post.  Today I started a new job, got home just in time to change clothes quickly and then head to church for Vacation Bible School.  It was a very good day, but also a very busy/crazy day.  It looks like I'm going to have to do a few more posts to wrap up this beach vacation! :) So, check back tomorrow for more beach pictures.

PS- Check out this great Father's Day post that Kevin put on his blog. Love it!


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