Friday, April 22, 2011

8 months old, really?!

8 months sounds so old!  I can't believe our little Lilah is so close to being a year old!  I'm enjoying every second.  Yes, even the super extreme clingy phase she is going through right now.  It's a little tiring, but it does feel good to have someone want to be around me so much! (besides James, of course :)  

At 8 months, Lilah is:
  • getting around, mostly army crawling, but close to real crawling.  And she is fast when she wants something!  She rocks a lot on hands and knees, and hands and toes.  Our little downward-facing girl :) 
  • babbling, saying "mamamama" (which I love, although I don't think she knows what it means) and "babababa", etc.  She is usually very happy, babbling and making noises while she plays.  She also says "mamamama" when she wants me to pick her up, so maybe she does know what it means :)
  • eating brown rice cereal, bananas, sweet potatoes, peas, beans, applesauce, squash, carrots.  We just started giving her little puffs and it's funny to watch her pick them all up at once and then try to get them out of her fist and into her mouth.  She still prefers milk, but she's getting used to food.
  • playing with balls, cars, musical toys, books, bracelets, and pretty much anything she can suck on.  I think it's so cute that she carries around her favorite toys, which are a spoon, a brush, and a pez dispenser right now.   
  • loving her family.  She definitely prefers Mommy and Daddy and she loves her Ethie (mostly).  She has definite separation anxiety and cries when other people try to hold her.  But she lunges for daddy when he gets home, so I think she feels safe with us :)
  • is our little sunshine!  She brings so much joy to our family!!!

Happy Earth Day to you

This morning, in celebration of Earth Day, Lilah and I took a little jog along the river.  Actually, we've been going for a few weeks and I love it!  My friend let me borrow her jogging stroller and I finally found the Chattahoochee river trail.  It's only about 5 minutes from my house, in the middle of Marietta, but it's this beautiful, wide trail that runs right next to the river.  You can't see or hear anything but the trees and the water and it's heaven!  I can't believe it's so close.  Fortunately, Lilah loves riding along and looking around and it feels so good to be outside and be moving.  Today especially, I am so thankful for so much beauty on this earth!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I love to see

The temple!
In our church, the temple is a place to get married for eternity and perform other sacred acts.  The Atlanta temple was recently renovated and opened to the public for a few weeks before it is closed to only members of the church.  Last night, we got to go through with Mom and Scotty and it is beautiful! My favorite parts are the lovely flowers outside, the gorgeous stained glass windows, and the pictures of Jesus all around.

Ethan was super excited to be able to go in the temple and he asked me every day if it was time.  He even took invitations to his teachers at school.  He was a monkey while we were waiting before (pretty normal), but in the temple, he was really attentive and interested in looking all around and taking it all in.  The last room we went in was the sealing room, where couples are married.  No one was really talking during the tour, except the tour guide, but Ethie raised his hand after sitting in there for a minute.  The tour guide was a little hesitant to acknowledge him, but Ethie said, "I like the temple.  I went there before when we got married forever.  I love the temple."  It was sweet!

This picture makes me laugh... Scotty... Lilah...


Sunday, April 17, 2011

A new house!

No, not for us.  Someday.  But we did get a new one for our hampsters!  We went for family ho nu nee nee last week and picked out a fancy shmancy new place for the little guys.  We needed one that they couldn't escape out of and that didn't leak shavings all over our carpet (so Lilah couldn't eat them).  Mission successful!

Sleepy kids

Every night, we read a book with Ethie (he reads half and we read half) and then he asks me to sing "Hey Dude" ("Hey Jude" :)  Then he snuggles up with all his animals around him... panda, karate bear, and Darth Gator bear.  He has always loved his animals!
Lilah-girl has been waking up a lot lately at night, so then she is extra tired during the day.  Poor baby passed out on the floor!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

This beautiful world

Yesterday we got to go to the Chattahoochee Nature Center with my sweet friend, Miriam, and her cute kiddos!  Ethie had a great time running around, jumping off rocks, looking at the owls and eagles and turtles, investigating, dancing, collecting shells and sticks, and playing with his friend! 
Lilah just LOVES being outside.  She just gets so excited looking around at everything and taking it all in!  I just love being out there with my sweet kids, away from housework and errands and distractions, with nothing to do but enjoy spending time together and soaking up all the beauty in this world. 

Spring break

This week Ethie was out of school for spring break.  Since James still had school, we couldn't really go anywhere, so we had to get creative about what to do around here.  And we managed to stay pretty busy!

We watched General Conference at Mom's last Sunday.  Our good friends, Amber and Zach, and their cute family joined us and it was nice and relaxing
Ethie played with lots of friends this week, went to karate, played games, did puzzles, went to the park (a lot), went to see Narnia at the dollar theater, went on bike rides, played Monster Mini Golf, slept in, and had lots of fun playing together!!!

Mom and Scotty came to visit one day and got to see Ethie's karate class, ate some frozen yogurt, played some tennis, and they ate dinner with us.  Yay for spring break!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

8 years ago...

A perfect little baby was born.

I only had two short days to spend with her before I placed her with the family that was meant for her.  During that precious time, I loved her as hard as I could and prayed that it would last her a lifetime.  And I prayed that her family could possibly love her as much as I did.
And they do!  And I love them for inviting sweet Hannah into their lives and their hearts and giving her all the love she deserves.  And I love them for giving her the most beautiful life and a sweet, loving family to surround her and lift her up.
I am so thankful for the blessing of adoption and how God can work miracles when we need him to.  I am so grateful that He let me know this was the right path for me and Hannah and that her parents were waiting for her.  I am thankful that she will be with them forever because I know that's where she needs to be.
So many people have asked me how I could possibly have let her go and don't I miss her so much.  Placing Hannah for adoption was THE hardest thing I've ever done.  I grieved before and after she was born that I couldn't be her mother.  I still have moments, especially in the springtime and around her birthday when I think about her a lot and wish I could be with her.  I've had two precious visits with her since she was born...
I love to see her because it confirms to me that everything I felt was right.  She is the happiest, sweetest girl and I can tell that she knows she is incredibly loved. And that's what I wanted for her!  Because I knew I couldn't be the mother she needed at the time, I needed to know that her family would give her everything I wanted to give her and couldn't.  God led me to her parents and that is the miracle of adoption.
Hannah's incredibly amazingly wonderful parents adopted another sweet girl and triplet boys.  So she is the oldest of five and apparently she loves it :)  I just love their beautiful family and I can't get enough of hearing about Hannah and the kiddos and seeing pictures of their family!  Her mom is so good at keeping me updated and letting me know what Hannah's up to and how she's doing.  I usually get a letter around her birthday, and a few in between and I just soak it all up!  Lovely Hannah is so full of life and joy and it melts my heart every time I see the smile on her face.

 I love adoption so much because it truly changes lives and makes miracles out of difficult situations.  I wish I could tell everyone what a blessing it can be (not for everyone, but for me it was) and how much I felt God's love for me throughout.  I always look back on that time when I need to remember that He will take care of me.  I wouldn't have chosen to go through such a hard thing, but He helped me through and brought wonderful blessings.  Hannah has blessed my life in so many ways and I will always be thankful for her beautiful pure spirit and for her sweet family.

Happy 8th birthday, Hannah dear!