Friday, April 29, 2011

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday was spent celebrating Perry's adorable friend Jakely's 2nd birthday at a local park.  Though Perry gave Jakely a very quick birthday hug, he was pretty content putting some miles on her hot pink jeep and coasting down the slide.  He was also quite taken by the furry white tornado Bella, the maltipoo.

After the party we took P to hunt Easter egg's at my old church.  (Though P pretty much missed the hunt because we were running late and P had to go potty!  YES!! P has been wearing big boy underoos for the last two weeks and has done fantastic!  He will even (for the most part) wake Justin or me up at night to go potty!!)

(This was taken right before P was allowed to go to the potty....not by me but by the organizer.  The Easter Bunny was ready to head out and if we wanted a picture it was now or never.  Perry did a great job "holding it," so I was really proud-despite the lack of "hallmarkness" this photo exudes...)

After the hunt, we had a snack and Perry made the cutest Easter sticker art that has now found its home on our refrigerator.  Since P doesn't go to school yet, this is really his first piece of art.  It's definitely getting laminated and scrapbooked!  (We will not be home tonight, so I will try to take a photo of his art work and add it soon!)

Then, we went to Grammie and Grampie's to hang out by the pool.  Some ding dongs family members decided to actually get in the artic water.  Pure craziness if you ask me!!

Saturday evening, we house hopped to Grandmomma and Grandaddy's for some sandbox, swing time, yummy tacos for dinner, and dying Easter eggs! 

Though Justin and James initially made fun of Melissa and Me for being so excited, they were quite into it.  Justin made some amazing vehEGGles!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Heart of Dixie Devastation

It has been almost two weeks since tornados stormed across the state of Alabama causing massive damage and casualties. The day started out scary with straight line winds, some upward of 100 miles an hour causing major damage and power outages throughout the state. I took Perry up the mountain to his G&G’s in a raging storm, irritated that they had not yet at least postponed school. Though I knew they were most likely thinking we would have to dismiss early due to the threat of even worse weather that afternoon. With already 6 makeup days scheduled due to the ice and snow storms from January, I knew they wanted to keep us in school as long as feasably possible.

So, on to work I went, only to arrive to a pitch black school. Our school is very old and in the first grade in particular, there are not many windows. Though kids continued to arrive, it was pretty quickly decided to close school at 10:30 due to the fact that we could not legally hold the children here since we couldn’t feed them. So, we had a very productive school day coloring and napping in the library with the little light we had.

As I drove home, I called G&G’s to check on Perry since he’s been a little under the weather lately. Grandmomma said she thought he might have an ear infection, so I called the doctor to schedule him a visit. All they had left (before closing for the storms at 12:00 was an 11:15 appointment.) “ I’ll take it!” I said, though it was already 10:55 and I was no where near my child, let alone the doctor’s office. So, I flew to pick up Mr. P and then (more carefully since I was now carrying precious cargo) flew to the pediatrian’s office. Luckily, P had no ear infection, just terrible allergies. (Thanks Grandaddy-you’ve plauged us all!)

So, after pincking up a prescription (and the delicious sucker and icee that the sweet cashier gave to Perry) we made a quick run into Subway, we headed home, ate lunch, then laid down for a nap. By the time Perry and I woke up around 5, Justin was home and the storm was already upon us. We knew it was going to be bad, but we figured we would just hunker and bunker under our stair well since we didn’t have a basement. (Sadly, at this point, we had NO CLUE how bad it was actually going to be!) Justin and I had already gathered up candles (we were unprepared with no flashlights) and cleaned out the closet so we would all, plus the two horses dogs, would have a place of safety.

About 5:30, we watched in horror and utter devastation as the F5 tornado with windspeeds beyond 175 mph tore through Tuscaloosa-home to so many of our friends. As soon as we saw it destroy Birmingham (where both my sister and mom were) and the weatherman announced it was headed to the Trussville/Pinson area, Justin looked at me and yelled “let’s go” in sheer terror. We both knew that if THAT actually came through where we were, our stairwell would come no where close to keeping our family safe. In a matter of terrified miliseconds, I grabbed my child, my Freddy, Perry’s munk-munk, my computer, phone, and most valuable pieces of jewelry (I know this seems odd, but my jewelry is so much more than glits and glammer to me. Nearly every piece I own has a beautiful story behind it and I have always reguarded my jewelry as a type of scrapbook.) and ran to the car. Justin already had it started and our two dogs were shivvering, muddy and wet, in the seats. I was so thankful that all I truly loved was in the car. I told Justin as we drove that if our house was destoyed, the only thing I would be devastated about losing would be our wedding photographs, but other family members had some, so we would be ok.

I was terrified. We flew (probably insanely unsafely) to my parent’s house about ten minutes away. It was pure craziness. There was not a soul on the road. It was the creepiest, most isolated feeling. Just a green sky, pelting rain, and debrie from the tornado falling out of the sky. It was so scary. Seeing Justin so scared really disturbed me. Though I’m not sure who was more scared, Justin or Jasper. That big thing, all 140 pounds of him, crawled from the front seat and into my lap (believe me, there’s no stopping a terrified Bull Mastiff) sopping wet and muddy, shivering and whimpering the whole time. And then there was me, crammed in between the carseat and the car door, absolutely unable to move.

We pulled up to Mom and Dad’s and Justin ran the dogs in one at a time while I unbuckled Perry. Then, I threw Perry into Justin’s arms and they ran into the basement. Me and my bad witch of the west looking self running behind.

We ended up staying in the basement until it had all blown over, though, the storms did not end until well after 9:30. It was very scary being downstairs with only the radio and poor cell phone reception. Luckily, we had the music room and a freezer full of ice cream to keep Perry entertained, though with him being scared and not feeling well, we definitely had a few meltdowns.

I was very glad for our safety, yet stayed in constant “text message contact” with my sister Melissa who was in a friend’s basement in Birmingham, and my Mother who had been called in to the hospital, also in Birmingham, earlier that day. Thankfully, both were also okay. My mom was given a front row seat to the storm through one of the windows on the upper floor where she works. Her pictures of the ENORMOUS tornado were absolutely unreal. In some parts, it was reported that the tornado was over 2.5 miles wide!

Looking at all of the pictures of the mass devastation still chokes me up. Knowing that over 340 lives were lost (one in particular being a very sweet friend’s mother) and hundreds still missing, with many, many family’s (numerous family friends) homes completely destroyed or gone really puts life into perspective. Seeing all the debris from various counties and even states in our yard is unbelieveable. I actually even saw a 4 foot board with nails fall from the sky into my parent’s backyard

I don’t know why God spaired my or my family’s lives, but I’m beyond thankful that he did. This is certainly a somber time for my state. I am certainly counting my blessings and loving on my family and friends a little more than usual. Please continue to lift the South in your prayers as it will take years to rebuild.

Tuscaloosa Tornado- This is a view from a friend's daughter's balcony.  After it came through, her daughter's arpartment complex was the only one left standing.  All the apartments you can actually see no longer exist.

Birmingham Tornado- This is the view from St. Vincent's where my mother was.

This is some of the damage near the Summit in Birmingham, AL.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Good Friday

The Easter season started many weeks ago, with the Lenten holidays.  For my lent sacrifice this year, I gave up lunchroom food.  Many people would not think this would be a big deal, however, our lunchroom food is pretty yummy.  Plus, they have very good salads, and everyone knows I am ADDICTED to salads!!  Plus, buying my lunch was so very convenient.  This sacrifice was very difficult to keep due to the shear annoyance of having to get up earlier to make my lunch, but as I reflect, I am very glad I did it.  I feel like my lent sacrifice made the Easter season even more meaningful for me.

I always find Good Friday to be a gut wrenching day, and I can see how others might feel the same way.  The agony my savior went through for me and you just puts me to shame.  I am so sad for all that He had to endure.  I also can't ever distance the thought of Mary having to watch her Son die on the cross for the sins of the world.  Absolutely unimaginable.  Heart breaking.  The day that true love died.  The thought of having to watch my baby boy go through any hardship makes me sick at my stomach.  I spend every moment I can with Perry, but on Good Friday, I absolutely could not get enough of him.  I am happy to say I spent Good Friday with my beautiful son, doing what boys do best- getting dirty!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Swings, See-saws, and Slides! Oh my! {Black and White Wednesday}

We are very fortunate in that we have a lovely little park at the end of our street.  It’s not too big, but not too small.  Just the right size for my sweet little bitty.  So, several afternoons a week, we take advantage of this neighborhood playground. 

First, we have to make sure the slide does not have any “BUGGGGGSSSSS” on it.  My little man can spot a bug from a mile away!!  He’s SO funny trying to step on them.  Thankfully, on this day, one lucky critter got away thanks to me and my PETA mentality.  Then, he makes his way to the top, crawls through the “tunnel,”  then slides down giggling like crazy!   As soon as he gets to the bottom he screams “Gi, Gi, Ginnnn???”  Most things he articulates very well, but “do it again!” has always been this cute stream of sounds!  He also loves going down in my lap because we go extra fast.

  This little one is going to LOVE Six Flags one day!

After sliding a while, it is off to the See-saw.  I really think this is his favorite!  He seriously is all grins on this thing!  Bouncing him up in the air is so much fun.  He can’t get enough!!  He’s so funny because he rides one side a while, then makes me swap with him.  Then he rides that side for a while, then he makes me swap with him.  I guess he needs a quick change in scenery!

Normally in our playground routine, the last thing we do is swing a bit.  I have to say, it is my favorite time.  Perry asks to sit in my lap, and we leisurely swing back and forth, back and forth.  Having his sweet head laid back on me relaxing, while we listen to the birds and watch the sun dance through the trees is such a peaceful time.  I really cherish these special moments with my sweet, sweet little bitty!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Wind In My Hair {I Heart Faces}

I Heart Faces is hosting a contest this week with a "wind" theme.  I'm really going to try to start participating in more photo contests, so I was excited to make this deadline!  

I know I've already showed this picture of Perry and Sophia, but I just adore it!! I love how much Perry loves Sophia and would do anything to make her happy!  Even if that means pushing her all around Railroad Park in his little purple coupe!  I love how the wind caught Sophia's beautiful curls on her blissful first date!

To see more beautiful "wind" entries, click on the link (text) below.
I Heart Faces Link

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Day Out With Thomas {Black and White Wednesday}

We had planned to take Perry to see Thomas the Tank Engine when he came to town, so we were really excited when Grammie won tickets off the radio!  

So, after church Sunday (before last) afternoon, we loaded up the car to go see Thomas and Sir Topham Hat.  

When we got there, Perry was immediately enthralled with the petting zoo. 

After lovin’ on the rabbits and baby goats (I secretly LOVED the darling little piggies), we headed on over to the mini train.  Perry, Grammie, and Grampie took a quick spin around the railroad museum.  

Then, we needed a few refreshments as it was a FANTASTIC 82 degrees and sunny! 

Of course, we visited the gift shop, where Perry got an engineer’s hat and a really cute Thomas balloon.  

Next, it was straight to the bubbles while we waited for Thomas.  Though Perry had fun with the bubbles, I think he had lots more fun pretending to dump all the nasty water out of the “wash your hands off” bucket.

Finally, Thomas pulled up to the station.  We boarded the train and off we went on the 100 year old train car.  

Perry was just a little anxious to get a move on!

The train ride was about 30 minutes long and actually put precious little Perry to sleep towards the end.  

Thankfully, it was the last hoorah for the day, and we were able to load him up in his car seat for a nice nap home.  The only disappointing part of our weekend, was not getting any rest.  But who can complain after having so much fun?!

The nostalgia of being on a 100 year old train car really got to me.  Justin and I had a lot of fun pretending what it must have been like to travel in that train car so long ago.  I really enjoyed converting this picture of Perry into Black and White.  I feel like he really does look like a little boy from the 1920's anxious to travel on his first big train ride!

To see other amazing B&W shots, hop on over to Lisa's blog:
the long road

Monday, April 11, 2011

John Deere Days {Sunday Snapshot}

Saturday before yesterday, after swim class, we headed up to Perry’s Gran and Pop’s to go with them to Snead Ag’s annual John Deere Day.

Perry was in tractor heaven!

He loves, loves, loves tractors, back hoes, gators, and
all the like.

And when I mean love, like, he REALLY loves!

Like, he sleeps with his tractor every night, loves!

We had a good ole’ time and to my delight, even got a small bit of a tan while we were at it.

Of course, Gran and Pop couldn’t resist when we went into the store and Perry saw all the toys, followed immediately by, “Can hab it, peeeezzzz?”

Oh, so sweet!  Perry now has three more tractors to add to his collection!

Sunday Snapshot

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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