Sunday, October 15, 2017

Weekly Happenings

Sunday's nearly over, so time for me to catch up yet again. I love this time of year. It's busy, but with all kinds of FUN things - football, Halloween fun, Thanksgiving, family time, fall break and so much more. In between all of the fun activities, we have to fit in the normal everyday life too.  Right? I know we're not the only one whose weekends are packed to the gills. Anyway - here is a bit of the "normal" filling our days...

Kate started allergy shots about a week ago.  This is a pretty intense 2 year commitment, where we go weekly for shots (one in each arm).  Our new Tuesday schedule is that she goes to school, then takes part in the Good News Club that her school offers in the afternoon.  I pick her up from Good News at 4 and we head straight to the allergist office, where she gets her shots.  We have to wait around for 30 minutes after the shots to make sure she doesn't have a reaction, and it's been a good time for her to get all of her homework done. 

Needless to say, Tuesdays wear her out.  Napping on the car ride home has become a regular Tuesday afternoon occurrence.  

I've learned that when I leave my phone laying around, I'll often come back to random pictures.  This has to be the most random one that I've found though.  I had about 30 of these in my camera's photo library earlier this week. Ha!

Outfit planning for family pictures is the worst.  It's so hard to decide!  

Karsten is definitely my cuddly kid. She will often see me sitting on the couch and climb up in my lap, or will run up to me and say "Mommy. I needja.", which means "Will you pick me up and hold me?"

Karsten is also my princess-obsessed kid. Kate went through this phase too. Every evening, it's a total guess as to which Karsten will come out dressed as. On this night, it was Princess Elena.

Weeks ago, everyone was posting pictures that said "Hello October" and talking about how they were looking forward to boots, scarves, pumpkin spice and all things fall.  Yeah that hasn't happened here in SC yet.  The high today is 85. I'm so ready for things to cool down a notch!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

TimeHop Blessings

Do you use TimeHop?  I love it. And I hate it.  It's an app that links to your social media accounts, and to the pictures you have stored on your phone. On each day, you can log into the app and it will share with you pictures that you have taken or posted on that same day in years past.  So today the app is showing me pictures from October 11th in years past.

I love it because it reminds me of things that were going on in my life 1, 3, 5 or 10 years ago.  When a Facebook status update from 2007 pops up and says things like "studying for the CPA exam", it takes me back in time to when I was a fresh college graduate and newlywed, starting my first job and studying ALL THE TIME to pass the dreaded CPA exam. It helps remind me how far I've come and what I've accomplished.  It's also fun to be reminded of things that were apparently important enough in your life at that moment in time for you to share with others, but maybe not so important that you really remember them years later.

It also shows me pictures of my kids 1, 2, 3, etc. years ago, which is the reason why I love it and hate it at the same time.  Karsten turned 3 last Friday so the past week I've had pictures pop up every single day of newborn Karsten.  Ugh! She was so tiny.  And seeing those pictures, I'm reminded that this stage in our life is over.  No more baby fingers, baby snoozing, baby gurgles and baby cuddles.  I see pictures of 3 year old Kate meeting and holding her new baby sister, and I can't believe how little Kate looked! At the time I thought she was SO OLD, and now she's twice the age she was then.

Two years ago we were celebrating a big FIRST birthday, surrounded by family and friends. 

And an even further peek back in time - look at sweet baby Kate!

In 2011 when we attended our informational meeting at Bethany and were just starting the adoption process, if I could have had the Reverse TimeHop app and seen into the future all of these pictures, my mind would have been BLOWN at how much God was going to bless our family.  If I could have seen these two girls, and the trips we would take with them, and the memories we would be able to create in 6 years of parenthood... well, I don't know that I really would have been able to believe that it would all be real. 

Grace is defined as God giving us what we don't deserve.  I can't think of a better descriptive of my life with Kevin and these two He has blessed us with.  Seven years ago (ironically, seven years ago to the moment, since I'm writing this at 9:32pm), I posted this to Facebook. We had not even started the adoption process, and maybe not even yet talked about it.  I don't remember what was on my mind or why I chose to post this, but seven years later I can see GRACE all over my life and I'm so thankful for it. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Karsten is Three!

Today, Karsten turned three.  THREE!  It's unbelievable to me, since I feel like Kevin and I were just driving to the hospital to meet her for the very first time. Yet somehow she has been in our family for 3 years.  She is the same age that Kate was when Karsten was born!

Here she is on her last day of being two years old.

This girl is nothing like I thought she would be when she was a clingy baby.  Gone is the shy, quiet, timid baby girl.  She is bubbly, loud, mostly outgoing, and so full of personality.  Her smile is the biggest thing about her, and when she gives you one, you can't help but grin back.

She still loves Mama best.  A few days ago, Kevin was home with the girls when I was pulling into the garage.  He looked at Karsten and said "Let's hide from Mama."  After they found a hiding place, Karsten looked and Kevin and said "This is not a great idea."  He said "Well, Karsten, what IS a great idea?"  She said "Let's go find Mama."  And then she ran down the hall and threw her arms around me, the whole time screaming "Hey Mama!! You're home!!!"

Kevin will tease her sometimes and say "Who do you love more, Mama or Daddy?" She almost always answers Mama, although occasionally she'll say "Karsten" or "Bunny".  But then she always assures Kevin that she still loves him too. :)

Her raspy voice is a constant noise around our house. Girl loves to talk. And sing. She knows the entire books of the bible song - old and new testament.

She is Kate's shadow and anything Kate does, Karsten must copy.  They are best friends and I hope it stays that way forever.

About 6-8 months ago, the girls decided they wanted to spend the night together.  It was a Friday night so we figured we'd try and see how it went.  We put them in Karsten's bed and then went into the living room where we proceeded to watch them play on the monitor for the next hour and a half.  Finally, we separated them and put them each in their own room so they would go to sleep.  Of course they both cried, so we said "We'll try again when Karsten is 3."  You know - sometimes you just say things to get your kids to be quiet and don't even realize what you're committing to.  Well, since then, Karsten has said "When I turn 3, I'm sleeping with Kate." Today when she got out of bed, I said "Karsten, do you know what today is!"  She said "It's my birthday! I'm three and I'm sleeping with Kate tonight!"

(Update- we did let them sleep together. It lasted 30 minutes.)

She is girly, and loves dresses, nail polish and lip gloss. She amazes me with how much she knows at this age.  I'm so thankful that she has a big sister who loves to teach her.  She knows her ABC's, all colors, can count to 30, can mostly dress herself, and talks like she's 15.

Happy birthday, big girl! God has great plans for you, and I pray that you'll be willing to trust and follow Him.  I love you to the moon and back, and more than you'll ever know. 


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