Monday, January 30, 2012

Celebrating 45

My birthday celebration included a little "girl time" this weekend. Madi and I took an overnight trip to Disney with friends on Thursday. The plan had been in the works since last Summer when the girls graduated from preschool together.

Three moms.
Three girls.
Loads of fun.

The first highlight of the trip was, of course, the swimming pool that they discovered upon our arrival Thursday evening. While us moms enjoyed some wine and conversation, our little mermaids enjoyed blowing off some steam after our three-hour car ride. We took them to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner, and they had a ball as they ran around together and explored their surroundings.

One of our highlights at the Magic Kingdom was a lunch with the princesses at the castle. The girls were glowing as each princess approached our table during our meal. Madi was a bit shy (they all were, actually), but they seemed to really enjoyed the experience.

Madi had been so psyched all week to go on the Haunted Mansion ride. It was all she talked about, and she was pumped up when we got to the line. The six of us waited and waited in line together wondering who would drop out first. As expected, Bridget pulled Lauren before we entered the bottom of the tower, where they made the haunted introduction to the ride. Olivia ended up in tears during the whole spiel, so Tabi then pulled her, too. The surprising part was that I was entirely excited about the ride, and all of a sudden Madi burst into tears begging me to leave! Cracked us up. So needless to say, we followed Tabi and Olivia out.

Madi totally loved the 3D Mickey's Philharmonic Orchestra movie. She jumped out of her seat and reached for everything that flew by her. I can't wait to see another 3D movie with her.

We drove back Friday night, which was quite exhausting. Next time, we'll spring for another night. It was nice, however, to wake up at home on my birthday. Jimmy and I enjoyed a nice evening out together on Saturday.

So far, 45 feels okay;)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rest in Peace, Cinnamon

Our sweet girl Cinnamon went to Heaven this morning. She was almost 17.  We really wanted her to die in the comfort of her own home, and she went very peacefully. In fact, I thought she was sleeping when I went to check on her this morning and realized that she'd passed.

Jimmy and I both prayed to St. Francis last night to end her suffering and for God to take her peacefully. Our prayers were answered.

This week, the kids had been so sweet to her when they found out she was dying. Charlie covered her with his blanket (which he is usually glued to) and both kids gave her kisses and held her paws. Charlie tried to feed her water from a sports bottle, and Madi even generously offered up one of her blankets to bury Cinnamon in.

We love you, Cinnamon. Rest in peace, you good girl. And tell your brother we said hello and miss him too. We are glad that you two are together again.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dear Daniel,

Two years ago today, they placed you in our arms.

And we will never be the same.

I praise God for having you.

But I'm sad to have lost you so soon.

The love I have for you will never diminish, son.

You are with me always, a fixture in my heart.

Thinking of you today and every day, my angel boy. 

We miss you down here.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Daniel and Charlie

What is one thing that these two boys have in common?

 A shared love for their big sister's headbands!

Daniel in March 2010
Charlie in January 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Showing Hope

Last week, Jimmy and I received an email invitation to volunteer with Steven Curtis Chapman's upcoming "Songs and Stories" concert tour. I am assuming this is something that Show Hope grant recipients are invited to take part in. 

When I first read the email and noticed that the venues were rather far from us, I hastily declined, but asked to be contacted if the tour should come further south.

I woke up the next morning having second thoughts (Holy Spirit, I'm sure), and dug up the email to show to Jimmy.

Surely we could make this happen, right?  I mean...after everything Show Hope did to help us bring Charlie home??

So, we promptly lined up a babysitter (thank you, Mom & Dad), cashed in 10,000 Marriott points (thank you, credit card bill), and we will drive to Lakeland, FL on March 10th to spread the good word about adoption at a Christian music concert (thank you, God).

We are really excited about this unique opportunity!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Say "Cheese!"

Mr. Charlie is getting big.

In fact, he's finally caught up with his peers. I took him to Mommy & Me yesterday, and he was the same size as all of his little friends.

I have no idea how much he weighs or how tall he is. I usually rely on our pediatrician for charting that data. But, thankfully, we haven't been to the doctor since Charlie's well visit in September. I suppose I should throw him on the scale at Publix!

It feels so good to watch this little guy thrive...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"Merry New Year!" Madi would say.  New Year’s Eve seemed like the perfect occasion for something out of the ordinary this year. We wanted to do something low-key, but at the same time, we wanted to do something special and fun for the kids, too. So we settled on dinner out at a Japanese Hibachi restaurant.

It was everything we hoped for and more.  It was quite an entertaining dinner, and it was--by far--the best Charlie's behaved at a restaurant--probably because he was totally freaked out when the hibachi grill went up in flames. He instantly snuggled in very closely with Dada for protection.


The kids were clearly mesmerized by all of the activity, and the chef really connected with them. Madi loved that the chef decided that she should sample everything for the table. She felt so important.

We loved all of the tricks that included Daddy being hit in the cheek with a shrimp that was supposed to end up in his mouth (not), so on the third attempt, the chef made the shot.  Madi predicted the "onion volcano" when she saw it being constructed. We were pretty amazed that she caught on to that, having never seen it before. I guess we shouldn't be surprised by anything that child figures out...

After dinner, we spontaneously caught up with dear friends, the Wilson family, who we haven't spent enough time with lately. We passed by their house when we returned from dinner, and they joined us in the yard to release a Chinese lantern into the sky for good luck. It was so nice to catch up with them.

 We wish all of our family and friends a very
Merry New Year, and we pray that 2012
brings much happiness, peace, love,
good health, and prosperity to all of you!