Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happy birthday Neil!

Happy Birthday to my one and only, my best friend, my groom, the love of my life!!
We love to take every opportunity to celebrate so we headed out to La Tuna Grill and oh my goodness was it good!! Neil had been before and always wanted to share it with me so we went and already can't wait to take someone there! Super casual, super yummy!
We were supposed to go to a movie but at the end of dinner Neil said "Let's do something different!" - there's just something about spontaneity that I love so we ran with it. We stopped in to see my brother at his place downtown to check out the work he's been doing on his patio and some recent art projects.
On the way to Billy's place we passed an outside bar called The Friendly Spot so we went back to check it out. Another place we can't wait to take someone else to - outside bar, kids playground, yummy sangria, full menu, everyone brings their dogs - had an Austin feel to it and can't wait to go back!

We were back to my parents to pick up the girls around 9:30 just as they were watching Winnie-the-Pooh. Thanks mom and dad for helping us get out to celebrate Neil's birthday!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Congrats Kate and Tracy!!

Today we celebrated Kate and Tracy's wedding day and what a beautiful ceremony and reception at Scenic Loop Cafe!! Claire was so excited to help by passing out bubbles to the guests. It was a wonderful, intimate day to celebrate the union of two families! Can't believe Kate and I've been best friends for 21 years. There's not much we haven't been through together.

Me with the beautiful bride!
Kristi, Kate, Karla and Me

Mr. & Mrs. Rickman

The girls (minus Eden) - Abbey, Emma, Lydia and Claire



Grandma and Grandpa with the girls

Congrats Kate and Tracy!! Praying for God's blessing on your new marriage and family!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Big girl bed & Sharing a room

Monday was the big day - the start of "Operation Share a Room"! The girls have been so excited to share a room since we started talking about it 6-7 months ago. With Claire on the brink of starting school and Eden potty trained the past 3-4 months and needs to be able to get to the bathroom, we are trying to spread out the transitions as much as possible. So far, it's going...ok... could be better, could be worse but hey!! Everyone would need adjustment time to a big bed and sharing a room. The girls have some different sleeping habits so that has been a challenge. Eden is a singer and loves to sing herself to sleep - loudly - and Claire can lay there silently till she falls asleep. Eden is also learning that she no longer needs someone to help her out of bed so she's all about not staying in it *sigh* To say the least, it's gotten better and easier each night although we are all a wee bit more tired around here this week. Praying things are ironed out before August 22nd for Claire's first day of school!

Monday morning we got started with rearranging and getting a few new things that were needed. We got Eden's mattress and then the girls went with me to pick out a new rug (pink of course) and new sheets for their beds (we only had one set of twin sheets). A huge thank you to Dianna, Kay and Maddie who gave us the cutest comforter for Eden's new bed!

We also got to organizing! With sharing a room comes less space so we needed a plan for all the "stuff" and toys. Still a work in process as we make room in the closet and dresser drawers. If you have any tips let me know!

I remember sharing a room with my brother and older sister at different times and I loved it. It was a learning process but I think a great experience for us to share our stuff, learn about privacy, give and take, etc. We are waiting to sell Claire's bed so we can buy bunk beds for the girls and that will be another time of excitement! Claire keeps saying "Sorry Eden, I get to be on the top because I'm older" =) Eden couldn't care less right now but I know she'll be wanting to hang out up there!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Reunion

The old high school gang got together and it was almost surreal to see us all there watching our kids play together. Karla was in town from Kentucky and Christina in from Houston. Most of us have known each other since we were in middle school and some even younger elementary. Those of us who could, met at Kate's during the day and then it was off for a GNO in the evening to celebrate Kate's upcoming wedding!

Here we are with all 11 kiddos =) Christina (and Manny) with Dimitri and Valentina, Karla (and Mike) with Evelyn and Kaitlyn, Beth with Lucy, Me with Eden and Claire, Crystal with Julia in-utero, Aubrey (and Andy) with Lyla, Jenny with Lily and Ali, Kate with Abbey
Just the kids!

That night the girls went to Carinos - can't believe it's been so long since we've been together!! Danielle made it from Austin, Christina, Me, Crystal, Aubrey, Beth, Marie, Erin, Karla, Kate and Jenny!
Danielle and Christina
Marie, Beth and Crystal
Jenny and Aubrey
Erin, Karla and the bride-to-be, Kate
Me, Crystal and Danielle

Kate and Karla saying hello to Julia!!

What a fun night! We are blessed to have friendships that even though we don't see each other all the time, we can pick up where we left off. We've been through a lot together!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Turning 31

Well, I didn't feel old until I went to the movies (yes, we actually went to see a movie - "Larry Crowne" - just us two) and I saw a movie preview with George Clooney and then I saw Tom Hanks... what happened to those guys?! Anyone remember "ER" and "BIG"? I guess you're supposed to look older as the years go by but they certainly made me feel MUCH older =) I've learned with years, we have experience which gives us wisdom and we are blessed with each day we have with our loved ones here on earth.

Neil and I not only went to the movies but had a real date night with dinner too! My favorite, Italian! Neil always knows what I like for my celebrations... a big bowl of pasta =) We went to Carrabbas which always makes us reminisce about a double date we went on there once loooooong ago although we weren't on it together (circa 1998 maybe?) =) Can you believe we both remember what table we all four sat at? HA!! Must write at another time about the three double dates we went on with all different people while never being each other's date. Kind of funny!! Our date night was Thursday so my actual birthday on Friday started with sleeping in (THANK YOU NEIL!!), breakfast in bed with homemade cards and poems, a spa morning with the girls (gave them a bath, did their hair and nails!) and then it was off to see the new "Winnie the Pooh" movie. The girls had been looking forward to celebrating mommy's bday like this for a looooong time... boy have bday celebrations changed for us!! Wouldn't have it any other way - we had a blast! It was Eden's first movie and she really loves Pooh right now so she loved it. My mom came and all five of us enjoyed while eating a bucket of popcorn bigger than Eden's head!! Here are my sweethearts all dressed to coordinate thanks to my mom and a HUGE sale =)
Eden mesmerized by the big screen!
Thanks mom for coming with us!!
sweet sisters (and "Brownish" the puppy)
"Pooh" was a big part of my childhood - only wish Billy could've been there too as we shared a lot of memories with the original movie. After the movie it was off to dinner at my mom and dad's. Billy came over and Mike and Heather brought Pierce in from Austin. A yummy dinner and the next morning a swim with everyone before they had to head back to A-town. What a wonderful way to celebrate!! And that wasn't it =) Sat. evening it was off to Neil's parents to celebrate my bday along with Shannon and Neil's bdays - we always do a group thing since we all have birthdays close together! What an amazing birthday weekend!! Thank you to everyone who made it so special!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July Number

I can hardly BELIEVE that our July number is...

And the same time we checked email to get that number there was an announcement of another referral so we are now sitting at unofficially #23!! We are elated and so encouraged by the number of referrals that went out this past week. It's amazing how much it continues to move when we were all so worried about everything drasticly slowing down. So far our agency hasn't seen that and they are still quoting us 18 months for our waitlist time. We have been on the waitlist for 9 months and 3 weeks.
The courts close in Ethiopia starting at the beginning of August for 2 months for the rainy season. We don't know the exact dates until it happens. Closing court doesn't neccessarily slow down referral movement since Hannah's Hope (our agency's transitional home) isn't to capacity right now. It will slow down the process for those waiting to travel for their first trip for their court date. We will see how it affects our wait time. Please pray for it not to slow things down too much.

People ask us how we're doing and right now we are doing fine. We really feel at peace with our wait right now but ask me next week and I may have a different story for you =) It's a little emotional at times but we are truly trying to savor this time to prepare for our little guy. Honestly, it's amazing how at peace we are most of the time and the only explaination for that is God. He has given us so much through this process and we are amazed at how much He continues to confirm His plan for our family.

The girls are getting more and more excited as we move down on the list and move them into the same room. They pray and talk about "baby brother" all.the.time. It's so sweet and right now that might even be one of the hardest parts - them not understanding and anticipating this brother we've been praying about for as long as they can remember.