Friday, March 25, 2011

Chattanooga Choo Choo

The first weekend of Spring Break, we decided to take our first "family of three" vacation.  So, we went just s few hours north to Chattanooga, TN.  The weather could not have been more perfect!

The way up there was just a little stressful for me.  Although Perry slept just fine, there was absolutely NO rest for me because I was on the phone with EVERY hotel in Chattanooga TRYING to book a reservation.  Being the first time I've ever done this, I really didn't think twice about calling on the way to our destination.  Apparently, that's why they're called reservations.

However, it worked out well because we finally got a room at the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo.  We didn't actually sleep in one of the Victorian train cars, but our room was very nice and spacious.  The lobby was also breathtakingly beautiful and the charm of the place was just perfect.  They even had a very nice indoor pool that we took full advantage of! 

After we got checked into our hotel, we walked about two miles to the Tennessee aquarium.  To me, the aquarium is just beautiful!  We saw so many interesting and amazing creatures.  It really made me think, “Wow!  God is just so cool!”  (Yes, I’m so eloquent when speaking of the divine, right?! ;) Then, we got Perry a stuffed alligator with the money Grammie and Grampie sent him with.   We were all so poopered from the day, that we headed back to the hotel to order pizza.  We were glad we did because Perry was also sick on and off that evening (and the next night too for that matter.)

With Perry not feeling up to par and the time changing ahead an hour, we slept in the next morning, then got up and went to the yummiest bistro for brunch, the Blacksmith Bistro.   Gosh, I seriously wish we had one of those around here!  Justin had steak and eggs, I had chicken wings (I know, I know) in this amazing sweet and zesty Asian spice, and Perry had potatoes and fruit.  Scrumptious!

After brunch, we headed to the incline railway.  I think it is a really neat railway, being the longest and steepest railway in the world.  It’s so steep, that as you are going up, you can see over the entire city.  Just beautiful.  The best thing of all about the railway?  The fudge at the top!

After our “touristy” stop at the railway, we headed back to the hotel room to take a nap.  Then, we drove over to Coolidge Park where we ate the BEST ice cream in the world, walked across the bridge, road the carousal, and played on the water fountains (a splash pad area, but they didn’t have the water on).  It was a beautiful evening playing at the park, but we were getting a little hungry, so we headed to a quick dinner at Chili’s, then back to the Choo Choo to swim in the indoor pool.  

Luckily, (since we didn’t plan to stay here, nor did we actually know they had an indoor pool) we left swim class Saturday morning to head to TN, so we all had our swimsuits.  I didn’t, however, have a swim diaper for Mr. P.  We’ve been potty training for a good two months now, so I crossed my fingers, and prayed discussed with Perry the importance of not going ‘potty’ on his adorable octopus on his swimsuit.  He understood loud and clear and did great!!  I did however lose one of a very special pair of pearl and diamond earrings while swimming.  The pool was very large and the deep end was 9 feet!  Being indoors (with dim lighting) the water wasn’t very clear, and I never in a million years thought I’d ever see that earring again.  But, thankfully a little girl with some rockin’ goggles popped up with it after about five minutes or so! I was thrilled!  So we took the opportunity to take BOTH my earrings up to the room so that everyone could hit the hay, so we'd be well rested to take some pictures when we woke up and head home Monday morning.  

As sad as it was to head back home, I’m always thrilled to be “home.”  I guess it goes without saying, no matter how much fun you have away, there’s truly “no place like home!”

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Refuse

I’ve read several blogs lately (mostly from adoptive families) that really sum up my exact answer to the question I get all the time. “Why?”

People are always asking me about adoption. Especially, since it’s obvious that Justin and I can indeed have biological children. In my mind, it makes perfect sense. There is no other way, in fact. However, people still “throw scenarios” at me. I don’t care. Their worse case scenario doesn’t phase me a bit. I always give them my answer. “I love her and she is my daughter and I’m going to go get her, as soon as I can!”

“How can you love someone you don’t even know?”

“It’s easy!” I simply reply.

Because I know she is mine. And if I don’t go get her, who will? If I don’t rescue her, she might be one of the millions to stay in the freezing cold orphanage with no one to show her true love. No one to decorate her birthday cake. No one to call “Mommy.” No one to give her snuggle buggle time when she is sick or has had a bad dream. No one to buy her a frilly pink tutu and take her to dance class. No one to take her to the doctor for her life saving surgery. No one to get her a puppy. No one to help her pick out her new “big girl bed.” No one to take her to Sunday School each week. No one to help her pick out her prom dress. No one to be her forever family. No one.

Since first hearing the song, I Refuse, I feel like this is my new answer to “why?”

I don’t want to live like I don’t care.
I don’t want to say another empty prayer.
Oh, I refuse to
Sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself.
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse.

I also came across this beautiful quote, that I will most definitely be incorporating into Miss Ruby’s room one day:

I loved you before I knew you. Even when there was just the hope of you- I loved you.

If God is calling YOU and YOU don’t answer… who will?

God does not call the equipped, He equips the called.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday {My Water Baby!}


This Wednesday, I'm LOVING My Little Water Baby!!

Perry is doing is third round of "swim lessons."  He L-O-V-E-S the water!! I am absolutely convinced he is such a "water baby" because his Mommy did prenatal water aerobics and swam so much when she was pregnant!  That's where his "water babies playgroup" first met.

Although the class' structure is very laid back, there are 'goals' for each baby to strive for.  I was so proud of Perry last week because he mastered climbing out of the pool by himself!  That is such a safety precaution that I'm extremely glad he got.  He's an absolute pro at kicking and reaching out (for his paci most of the time), and is still working on liking being on his back.  He has even started blowing bubbles which is too cute.  The only thing is that, sometimes when he practices in the bathtub, he accidentally sniffs it up his nose, which is traumatic.

He's definitely a Michael Phelps Mini Me! ;)

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Breath of Fresh Air

We spent the entire day out by the pool enjoying the weather!  Although we were sad that it wasn't quite warm enough to swim, we still had a lot of fun with the hose pipe and water table!

Monday, March 14, 2011

From Rags to Ruby!!

Adoption is so very near to my heart.  I think about little Miss R every. single. day.  At night when Perry says his prayers, he also adds, "and take care of Ruby until she can be my little sister!"  After "Amen,"  Perry always throws up his hands above his head and yells, "Wooobyyyyy!!!!"  It is SOOOO cute!!  I love that Mr. P is already praying for and excited about his future little sis.  I know he is going to be a GREAT big brother!

Though we are expecting to begin our official paper work this November (counting down the days!!) we have been planning for Ruby's arrival for a very long time!  As many of you know, the costs of adopting a beautiful Asian beauty are about as much as buying a luxury car.  But thankfully, we have been saving for a very long time.  The majority of all my graduation money went into a savings account, part of our wedding money went to join the graduation stash, and Miss R even has the sweetest "sponsor" in the world who gives me money each month to go in the savings account that all goes toward bringing our little angel home!

Even with all that, we are still a long. way. away.  That's why two years ago I started a side business called The Red Thread Monogramming.  Through researching adoption, I came across an ancient Chinese proverb that reads “An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.” This saying is so dear to my heart, as I truly believe that there is already a link between my family and the child that God will one day bring into our lives. With that being said, I had been thinking and thinking of all the different ways that I could make an extra buck or two to help fund the adoption that we are dreaming of. When my family got a monogramming machine, I knew this was it! I love being creative, learning to sew, and hanging out with my Grandmommy (who constantly is helping me in the sewing department). What a more fitting name for my “business” than The Red Thread? It’s a constant reminder of what I am working towards. Every cent of profit that I make from monogramming goes straight into a savings account that will one day help bring our little girl home to her forever family!

Whenever our official paperwork begins, I have exciting plans to start a "From Rags to Ruby" Campaign!  CAN'T WAIT!!! 

I truly have so much fun designing and creating clothes and gifts for friends, family, and even strangers who have heard of my business and allowed me to sew for them.  With each piece that I sew, I am that much closer to getting to our little bitty.  So, you can understand how excited and emotional I got to find out that my blog friend Shay is doing THE SAME THING to bring her precious, precious little Will home to his forever family!!  

Sew Shay has SO many cute things to offer.  I think my favorite is her Rainbow Roll which offers easy and cute storage for many crayons.  Go ahead and head over to her adorable sight 5 Weddings and a Rehearsal Dinner and check out her store.  Grab something cute to help her bring Will home!!  You can also get in on her awesome giveaway.  Just be sure to leave an entry before next Monday! 

Happy Sewing!! 

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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