Tuesday, December 25, 2012

merry christmas

From our family to yours
Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

december two.

i turned 29.
my boys blessed me beyond measure with
breakfast in bed, thoughtful gifts, 
lunch out, quality time with my two favorites,
and dessert with some dear friends.
It was perfect.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Oh, Christmas tree

{november 30 2012}
we were in search of the perfect tree...

we pondered what one what one to buy.
we found it. we took pictures with it
{and then celebrated with hot chocolate}

the rest of our night looked like this...

and this...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

big love.

November 18, 2011
We received a phone call that forever changed our lives...
{and his}

We saw his picture for the first time.
Our hearts overflowed with love
and indescribable joy. 

One year later, on November 18, we celebrated.
We danced and ate cookies 
(complete with Ethiopian flags).

We held hands as a family
and thanked God for His faithfulness
and for this little guy, 
who is filled with such deep, deep joy.

(this mama did all she could to hold back the tears).

I cannot imagine our family any other way.

One year.
what a difference.
what a blessing.

Monday, November 12, 2012

sweet friends.

so grateful for this sweet girl (& her mama!).
it makes my heart leap for joy watching these 
two precious kiddos play.

so grateful for beautiful fall days & play dates!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I love my wife. I love my son. 

I am sitting here on a Saturday night at 11:00pm with my wife and son already sleeping. I'm not out with friends, searching craigslist, watching sports, or doing grad school work (which I should be doing) - I'm writing this blog.

As I sit here in the calmness of a house that is usually reverberating with the sounds of laughter and little footsteps running all throughout the house, I can not help but thank God for the blessings of my life.

I am typically not the blogging type, but tonight I just wanted to write.

Moses has been home for 71 days, and I can't imagine life without him. He is such a sweet and joyous boy, and an absolute blessing to us! He has greatly changed our lives in so many ways...

Our kitchen table is no longer a place where we sometimes eat meals, it is now the center point of our house. Every meal is around the table. We sit as a family, pray as a family, and eat as a family every night. Dinner time, albeit a bit slower these days, is such a welcomed part of my day. It allows me quality time with both my wife, and son, without any other distractions.

Our kitchen, for that matter, is no longer a place just for food and dishes, it is now a race track. It is almost a nightly ritual that we will have a race around our kitchen after dinner (He's preparing for a big race against his cousins this winter - Watch out E and T - Lightning McMoses is coming)!

Our TV is no longer that important, rather, the cd player and music from our phones fills the house throughout the evenings with our son doing his best to sing (and dance) along. I love it.

Raking leaves is no longer a just a chore, it is an adventure. Jumping into piles of leaves and raking them back into a pile to do it again is now the plan when I grab a rake.

Soccer is no longer that sport that I never got into, it is the highlight of our time outside. The way he runs, laughs, and kicks the ball all while being chased by his daddy is quite the sight.

Date night is no longer going out to a restaurant for dinner, it is eating ice cream and watching a movie or just talking (at 9:30pm) on a Friday night (when did we get so old?).

Saturdays are no longer a day to just do projects around the house, they are days to get breakfast for mommy, and explore the parks in our area. Moses and I go out on Saturday mornings, before Emily gets up, to get muffins, cinnamon rolls, or cinnamon bread/monkey bread for breakfast. He then brings it into the house and runs to find mommy - alerting her that it is time to eat. We will then usually head out to a park in the area and go for a family walk. Moses loves being in his stroller and feeding the ducks at the multiple lakes in our area. It doesn't get much better.

Watching a movie is no longer just something to do, it is now "Family Movie Day." Moses watched his first real movie this past weekend, Cars (thanks grandpa and grandma), and we made a big deal out of it. Our living room was transformed into a large "bed" of pillows and blankets, and we ate homemade kettle corn (it even warranted an appearance by Raffie). He LOVED it. The boy loves cars and food - we couldn't have screwed this one up if we tried.

Our goodbyes are no longer a simple hug and kiss, they are now multiple hugs and kisses, and usually a family hug or two. Perfect.

There are so many other "changes" that have occurred, but these are just a few that are orchestrating this blog tonight. I am so blessed.

Like I said earlier...

I love my wife! I love my son!

Friday, November 9, 2012


i love pinterest. 
especially when time is on my side.
{thank you, maternity leave}

 my love for cooking
& crafting has been rekindled. 

here are a few of our {new!} favorite tried and true recipes:

{super easy & delicious!
we added chicken and whatever veggies 
we had on hand. a new favorite!}

{we had a plethora of tomatoes in our fridge from our csa box.  
Unfortunately, I don't like raw tomatoes...but, these were delicious!!
I added some balsamic vinegar and gorgonzola cheese once they were done.
so good!}

{another fall favorite.
super easy and delicious}

{so good! even better, you prepare it the night before. 
we're definitely making this for Thanksgiving morn!}

{this is my favorite stew, ever. it's simply amazing}

Thursday, November 8, 2012

looking back.

Next week I rejoin the working world. 
Twelve weeks went by way too fast and in these fleeting moments
i find myself reflecting on what has come to be.
I can confidently say it has been the best three months of my life.
It has been challenging and enlightening.
Being Mo's mom has been nothing short of incredible.

There were moments in Ethiopia that I sat next to my son,
whose crying I couldn't console, 
and I closed my eyes and simply cried, too.

I found myself crying out to God.
for wisdom. patience. energy. 
all while thinking,
this is the beauty of the cross.

i am broken
and i desperately need my Savior.

Those days were beyond hard.
we were all weary. exhausted. confused.

By the grace of God we have come so far. 

He is so full of JOY.

My heart is overflowing with gratitude.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

just a glimpse..

jumping into parenting a 2 1/2 year old is pretty wild
and at times it's down right hard.
but, the blessings are bountiful 
& my heart is full.

i love seeing the world through Mo's eyes.

he finds great joy in smelling the coffee beans
or running his hands through the bag of bird seed.

he loves "sweet treats" and with a huge grin says, "yuuummmmy".

his laughter is contagious when we "race" around the track in our kitchen...
...or march with our homemade {oatmeal container} drums.

and...music makes his soul come alive.

i admire his child-like faith.
and "i love you Jesus" 
has never sounded so sweet.

he is an incredible little guy.
he has taught me so much...and daily he reminds me to slow down
and take in the simple joys this world has to offer.

{on this particular day
it was blanket rides through the kitchen}

i love moments like this.

g&g come to town

October was a busy {& completely wonderful} month.
The weekends were packed with sweet friends & family.
Last weekend the fun continued!
Moses met his Grandpa & Grandma.
It was a joy to watch play and laugh together.
We can't wait to see the rest of the family when we travel "home"
in December! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

poppy & mo

these two have such a special relationship
& it makes my heart sing.

Moses gets to meet his other grandparents TODAY!!!
We're ecstatic to introduce this little guy to family who has loved him 
dearly from afar and diligently prayed us through this process.
Pictures to come!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

sweet times.

i'm so grateful for a friendship with such deep roots.
it has withstood the test of time and distance.
my heart rejoices in the memories of our past
and it looks with great anticipation to the future.

thanks for visiting, leah & john.
we are beyond grateful for your sweet friendship.

it was another incredible weekend. complete with a trip to the park, a train ride, 
bluegrass music, food trucks, baked pumpkin french toast, 
walks, soccer, good food, great conversation, lots of laughs...AND a visit from my aunt & uncle!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


i love saturdays
for the beautiful traditions
of muffins, sleep & quality family time

james is an amazing dad & an incredible husband. 

he graciously lets me sleep in on saturdays
and he sneaks out of the house with Mo
before the sun rises

together they go to their special spot,

 a fully enclosed pedistrian
bridge that crosses a major highway

they watch the cars & trucks pass below
{and do their best to grab the attention of the semi-drivers to hear a "honk"}

all the while i soak up some uninterrupted sleep.

soon after 7:30 i wake to the sweet sound of,
"good morning, mommy"
and there stands my sweet ethiopian babe,
with muffins in hand.

life is so good, friends.
so grateful for my boys & sweet traditions. 

here are pictures from this past saturday's morning adventure
{even "Raffie" took part!}

 "Raffie" and Moses
{the greatest stuffed animal, ever}

 on the bridge

 he is growing up so.fast

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

farmer's market

farmer's market: fall 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

a good one.

i love weekends,
especially ones like this past.

it included some of my favorite things, ever.
and it left me feeling full & so blessed.

my aunt & uncle came to visit from chicago.

we laughed, we talked, we cried, we reminisced.
we cooked & enjoyed a ridiculous amount of good food, 
red wine & coffee. 

we had a bonfire and made s'mores.
they loved on Moses & he fell in love.

the weather was perfect 
& the company divine. 

so grateful for the moments we shared
& memories made.

thanks for making the trip, Uncle Tim & Aunt Laura,
and for gracing us with your presence.