Monday, November 23, 2015

Christmas Tree Farm {2015}

This weekend we headed over to Pine Hill Farms to choose our Christmas Tree. My sister had asked me to take a few photos of her and her hubs for their Christmas card.   I can show this one, because it isn't the one she chose for their card.  Aren't they cute?  

JackCruz wanted to take home all the trees that were 'just his size' but weren't large enough to purchase.  So he settled for lots of 'take my pic-surs Mommy!'s.

Perry was hilarious and sweetly asked to choose a live tree for his and JackCruz's room this year.  He was WAY too busy doing his happy dance to actually pose for many pictures. 

Perry and his buddy, A-who spent the weekend with us, were determined to cut down and carry the tree themselves.  I was pretty impressed because they only required minimal help from Justin!

Our annual 'sit in the sleigh and smile' photo!

JackCruz was determined he was also going to cut down a tree himself too, so Justin rigged up our pre-cut tree to make JC feel like he was cutting it down too.  He was so proud!  And I love that Justin is so sweet to do things like that for his boys.   

It also got considerably warm, so all my boys were shedding their clothes...from now on Justin is never allowed to choose his own undershirt...not exactly the holiday wardrobe I had in mind, but I did my best to just... let it gooooo, let it gooooo....

We watched the reindeer for a bit, but then JackCruz got tired, hot, and thirsty, and (naturally) charmed one of the tree-men into giving him a cold ginger-ale.  The older boys camped out at the hot-bar getting cup after cup of hot chocolate and the most delicious apple cider in the whole entire world!  

We can't wait to get our sweet little Christmas tree all decorated this year!

{thankful for}
extra boys at the tree farm
happy dances
hot apple cider and ginger ale
new ornaments
cute little Christmas tree boys
delicious pancakes

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Nashville {Flea} Market

A few weeks ago we loaded up the girls and headed to the Nashville Flea Market for a night.  If you've never been and enjoy looking for treasures, I'd highly recommend it. 

And my biggest piece of advice? 

 If you fall face first in love with something, DON'T LEAVE IT and then worry all night that someone else will purchase it before you can get back to it the next morning!!  

Thankfully, the angels from Heaven guarded that beautiful church pew for me until I could get my totally voiceless (laryngitis) self back to it!! 

.... I kid... sorta. ;) 

{thankful for}
safe travels
extra ropes
a sweet loader-upper
meaningful treasures that make houses homes
laughing till you cry
shadow puppets
filet mignon & edamame
a drink stop on the way home

Friday, October 16, 2015

Finally {FOURever} Day

On October 14, 2014, our lives changed forever, for the better.  The son and little brother that we had all been waiting on for 3 1/2 years... or rather a lifetime... was finally placed in our arms.  

{It was the most bittersweet day I've ever experienced.  And for that reason, I've held-and probably will always hold- many details of it close to my heart.  Which might also make this post feel a little choppy.  There's just a million words to describe this trip and honestly, it's so overwhelming in so many ways and in turn just renders me speechless.  But as I look over these photos and remember those days, my heart is simply flooded with joy and thankfulness to my God, who puts the lonely in families.  And fulfills His beautiful promises.  And illustrates how easily love crosses oceans.}  
I can't even begin to express the emotions of walking the streets of Seoul as a family of FOUR.  One year later and its still completely surreal.  He still climbs into my bed each morning and I just can't believe he's finally home.  
We are far from naive and realize that though adoption is beautiful, it comes from a really, really hard place.  And yes, it may be hard at times, but we are absolutely honored to be on this journey as a family.  A journey of redemption, finding ourselves, and building one another up.  We realize that this adoption thing is a marathon and not a sprint and we feel immeasurably blessed that God called us to build our family in this way.  We are truly the lucky ones.
This man.  He's the very best Daddy in the whole entire world.  And there is no one I'd rather travel to the ends of the earth with.   He loves his children so fiercely.  And they love him just the same.  
I'm the luckiest girl in the world to get a front row seat to their sweet relationships.
Our little Monkey is the greatest thing ever.  He rocks the role of BIG brother.  And our little Taco is the most darling little bro.  He adores and looks up to Perry and is so stinking sweet when he calls P 'buddy.'  Of course their siblingship is certainly not without its faults.  Barely 24 hours in and their first fight was over a cheese bagel, pictured above.  ;)
But their relationship is resilient and they love one another so much.  

Our time at the North Seoul Tower was an emotional roller coaster, full of many smiles and even more tears.  We placed our lock of love and showed JackCruz his very first glimpses of home... even though it was a very hazy view across a few oceans or so. ;) But to look out those windows towards home and know that so many were sending so many prayers our way was so humbling and encouraging.  
JackCruz, you are so much more than we could have ever asked for or imagined.  When God chose our family to welcome you, man did he bless us.  Your spunky sweetness is everything this Momma needed.  Your smile could light up the world and you charm every single person you meet.  You are loved here and there and everywhere in between.  Thank you so so much for just being you.  
Seoul will always have my heart.  It's where we became a family.

Happy {FOURever} Family Day Boys.  
I love all three of you like CRAZY.

{We were given the amazing opportunity to have friend and photographer Dylan Goldby of Welkin Light Photography document our first full day of being a FOURever family.  All these amazing photos are courtesy of his amazing talent and artistry.} 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Happy Birthday {JackCruz}

Two weeks ago today on September 3, this precious little stinker bug turned three years old.


How is that even possible?!

One year ago on this same date was the most amazingly bittersweet day of my life.  We were given the  sweetest privilege of sharing an extra day with our son to help celebrate his birthday.  But as amazing as our time together was, it ended quickly as I hopped out of the car, in the middle of a busy intersection, in the pouring rain, ruining my favorite flats and kissing my beautiful birthday boy goodbye until I would see him again.  

Oh my heart.  That's hard to relive.  

You know that goodbye is gonna sting.  

But you don't realize how much until you actually have to do it.  

So the fact that we got to spend this birthday together-the entire day with no goodbyes-was almost more than my heart could handle.  

We took two special outfits to document this day in:  his smocked birthday shirt from his Auntie Becky that he also wore on his second birthday while we were in Korea, and his beautiful new hanbok that I was able to pick out for him.  My sweet friend was in Korea bringing her little boy home and gave me the opportunity via Iphone to shop in Seoul all through the comfort of my bed.  Technology, ya'll, is simply brilliant.  That was such a fun night!  In Korea, they don't really acknowledge traditional pink/blue as gender prominent, and I absolutely LOVED the green and pink combo on this one.  Pman also got a new one that is more purple and green and I think they are both stunning.

Of course, I may have a slight hanbok obsession as we now own six... But I think they are so beautiful and I love the uniqueness of each one and how special they are in honoring JackCruz's culture.  I also just love that Perry calls them his 'king outfits.' 

As I snapped away, I couldn't help but choke back tears.  Because, if you know me, I'm a bit emotional and wear those emotions right on my sleeve for everyone to see.  And even at almost a year home, I just still can't believe he's here.  Three and a half years in process and truly a lifetime of longing for him... and he's here.  

And he's so amazing.  And loud.  And joy filled.  And crazy stubborn.  And lovable.  And charming.  And opinionated.  And silly.  And strong willed.  And intelligent.  And absolutely adorable.  

And mine.  

I am the luckiest girl in the entire world.  

Happy Birthday JackCruz JiHwan.  You are loved from the East to the West, to Forever and Back, and EVERYWHERE in between.  

{thankful for}
a selfless birth mom who loved her son the very most
beautiful hanboks
gorgeous weather
getting to chase mulgogi
my littlest baby
those little red shoes
shopping the markets of Korea on a smartphone
my brave big boy rocking his new big brother role more and more each day
that love truly crosses oceans
Omma and Appa, and all the other amazing foster families
Holt International, Villa Hope, and our amazing Social Workers
my precious husband and his heart for adoption
that security didn't see us picking the flowers! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

{Summer} Break

JackCruz is snoozing beside me, Mr Perry is learning away at school, so I decided it was a good time as any to return from my hiatus.  I have always loved this form of documenting our lives, but over the summer it just didn't get touched.  Or thought too much about, even.  We were just too busy making the memories to document them!

To quickly recap our summer, we spent our time getting good news from JC's doctor, celebrating our blondie turning SIX!, watching P graduate from Kindergarten, catching tadpoles and crawfish, splashing on the beach and finding starfish and shark's teeth, painting, sleeping late, making fresh/home grown salsa, canning pickles, tubing at the lake, twirling batons, home-improving, McWane Science Centering, reintroducing home cooked meals, celebrating our Taco turning THREE!, and just soaking up being a little family of four.

And it was a gooooood one.  Crazily full and yet blissfully not.  It was good Sabbath.

Some of it, I may go in and recap, but I'm not putting much pressure on myself to do so.  So, we'll see....

{thankful for}
summer sabbath
homemade dinners around the table
homegrown salsa
lazy winding creeks
shady trails

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Take Me Out to {Perry's} Ballgame!

Perry's team was kinda the underdog team of the bunch this year.  And we consider that pretty stinkin' lucky because aren't the littlest littles the absolute cutest to watch sift dirt through their gloves pick flowers stand there and watch the ball roll by play?  

Like, ever?! 

So to up our anty, somebody decided these little giants needed some war paint for the last game.  

...Maybe we shoulda tried the scare tactic back in March...

It might not have made too much of a dent in the other team's confidence, but I have to say I think it gave our little guy's a little pep in their step.  Despite still feeling a little puny from his four day sickness over the weekend, Pman totally rocked his last game.  Two AWESOME stops at third base and a rockstar hit to the outfield, along with an RBI or two.  

But no matter the number of wins or losses, a little league baseball uniform means precious little league baseball pics.

And that, my friend, makes for an AWESOME season.

{thankful for}
new ball park friends
learning first from third
getting to hear little ones yell "TIME!"
snacks after the game
ball park sunsets
growing confidences
a daddy that loves to be involved

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

{Super} JackCruz

 Because when life gives you a child who wants to be naked as much as he does, you throw a cape and some 'goggles' on him and start snapping.

{thankful for}
little boy underoos
the superhero within
a cape and some 'goggles' hanging out in the dress up drawer
fresh sheets

Our Adoption Timeline

  • June 19, 2011- We are officially "Paper Pregnant!" We have submitted our Waiting Child Application to Holt!
  • July 5, 2011- Submitted our formal Home Study Application to Villa Hope
  • September 6, 2011- Submitted all of our paperwork for our Home Study
  • October 8, 2011- Completed our First Home Visit
  • October 17, 2011- Completed our Second Home Visit
  • November 14, 2011- Home Study Approved
  • December 1, 2011- Filed our I600a
  • February 1, 2012- I600a Approval Letter
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