Thursday, November 29, 2012

Impromptu Playdate (and Pom Pom Hat)

Uncle Johnny and Aunt Alyssa were in town this weekend, and Peter was so glad that they were! Peter loves them both. Especially Alyssa. He likes to flirt with her all the time. I was actually over at Alyssa's parents' house last night (I am in the YW Presidency with Alyssa's mom!), and Peter saw a picture of Alyssa on the the wall in her wedding dress. He got so excited and pointed, smiling, to the picture. I love that he recognized his aunt! 

On Saturday, Johnny took a few minutes to help Scott put our Christmas lights up on the house, and Alyssa played with Peter in the back yard. I love watching this little boy crunch around in the leaves, play with his cars, and be so busy all the time. Everything I love, like a beautiful Utah autumn, is made infinitely better by Peter. Especially when Peter's cruising around in a pom-pom hat. We are so blessed to have such wonderful family members so nearby. These impromptu playdates are the best! Thanks John and Alyssa!

I love this last picture. He was so relaxed, just chilling in Alyssa's arms and staring at the berries on the tree. Those eyelashes! And that hat! Oh I love this boy!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Peter's Giraffe

You give your son a penguin. You put him in the crib, take him on all the family trips. Snuggle him with it during story time. It's small. It's cute. It's replaceable. You have back-up penguins. You think he's going to pick the penguin as his favorite little friend. 

Peter had never seen this giraffe a month ago. I reorganized his bookshelf one day and put this little giraffe on the shelf. Peter is now obsessed. He carries his giraffe with him from room to room. He reaches for it at naptime, and he always knows where he is. One day I asked him where his giraffe went, and he walked to his bedroom, knelt to the ground, disappeared under his crib, and came out with his giraffe. 

They are the best of friends. 

Slap Happy

Peter was so excited about his turducken. Thanks Uncle Doug! We froze the leftovers for you. 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Happy Birthday Kirsten!

Kirst, I wish you were here so I could follow you around singing, "God bless the mister who comes between me and my sister! And God bless the sister who comes between me and my man!" Oh, how you would love it! But don't worry, I intend for you to hear plenty of Birthday Operatics by phone this fine, fine day.

I can't even picture what my life would be without my sister. We talk every day, and we talk about everything. I can always count on her to appreciate something wonderfully weird and have a good laugh with me. Peter loves his aunt Kirsten. She took care of him while I struggled to pull through in the hospital. She is the most amazing example, friend, mom, adventurer, cook, inventor, creator, teacher, dancer (huh?), advice-giver, drop-everything-to-do-something-for-someone-else-er, conquers-impossible-amounts-of tasks-in-unreasonable-amounts-of-time-er, party planner, and sister.  We did a surprise 30th birthday party last week with our family, and we came up with 30 words that describe Kirsten. We may have used some homemade words, but they described her perfectly and expressed just how much we love her! 

So grateful for you, Keek! Happy Birthday! And Turkey Day! Enjoy your Turducken! Bleh.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Welcome to Holland

A few months ago, Scott and I attended our first LDS Family Services Adoption Workshop. We had the most wonderful experience as we spent 48 hours hearing stories from all sides of the adoption spectrum. We felt challenged in our assumptions and expectations of what we thought our adoption(s) might look like, and we were blessed with peace, comfort, and assurance that we are being led by a loving Heavenly Father on a path which will ultimately bring more happiness than we could have previously imagined. We felt empowered that we can endure the trials necessary to put us in the right place and time to recognize the Lord's will when we see and feel it. 

Because November is National Adoption Month, I wanted to take a minute to remind myself of all those good feelings and confident moments, and maybe share some perspective with others who may need it. I have been recently thinking about our lives with the strong impression that our paths are perfectly suited for us, even when we begin to doubt that they are. Lately I've come to understand that it matters very little if we are where we thought we'd be, and it matters a great deal where we are going. Scott, Peter, and I have found ourselves on a path that we never expected. But it is beautiful, and it leads to the same beautiful goals we've always had for our family. Our understanding of those goals have broadened and lightened. They mean so much more than they ever did.

At our adoption workshop, a friend shared the following essay. It is not about adoption, but it is. It is about every time in life we find ourselves thinking that things are not going the way we thought they would, and that's okay. It's a different place. We'll learn the language. I don't pretend to know everything, but I have a loving Father in Heaven who does. And I have a loving Savior who sacrificed all so I could feel the extraordinary gift of hope. That's what the Atonement means to me: that even with all my limitations, I can turn my life over to loving protectors, who will make so much more of it than I ever could on my own. They keep me company and show me the way in Holland. 


Emily Perl Kingsley.

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Photo by Christine Olson Photography
We love her!
*We have had wonderful friends and family asking us how we are doing with our adoption process, so I thought I'd add a little update. Scott and I have finished our paperwork! We are currently trying to schedule a home study. After the home study is completed, we will be able to publish our profile online for anyone who would like to see it. In the meantime, we are just one home study away from being approved to adopt! It has been a challenging, but enjoyable process, and we are so excited to continue forward! As always, feel free to take a look at our adoption blog by clicking the picture on the upper left of this page. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Little Boy Blue

This little blue-eyed boy... 
In his little blue Patagonia fleece...
In his little blue car...

I die.


Before the Snow Fell

Just days before a foot of snow buried our entire house, yard, and Halloween pumpkins on our porch, we had a lot of family fun in our yard. Peter discovered his playhouse out back, and Scott and I made a futile attempt to rake up our trillions of leaves. 


Peter reminds me a lot of my brother John sometimes. Johnny was a big "helper." From his early days, he was sweeping the deck while the rest of us swam in the pool. He would push a little wheelbarrow around the yard while the rest of us ran through the sprinklers. 

Peter is a lot like that. He loves to "help" with whatever I'm doing. 

He "helps" me load the dryer. I hand him the wet clothes, and he loads them into the dryer one-by-one. 
He loves to "help" sort the laundry. I'll put a couple different piles around the room, and he'll put them all into the basket. 
He loves to "help" me brush my hair.
He loves to "help" organize the fridge by moving condiments to various shelves. 
He loves to "help" me put anything away. 
He loves to "help" Scott do his work on the computer. 
He loves to "help" me make the bed by making piles of pillows and handing them to me one-by-one. 
He loves to "help" me do the dishes by loading plastic cups into the bottom rack of the machine. 
He loves to "help" me cook by standing on a chair next to me and stirring a spoon in a bowl or splashing a spoon around in the sink with a little water in it. 
He loves to "help" get ready for his tub by picking which toys he'd like to toss into the bath tub. 
He loves to "help" me get his shoes on by sticking his foot out in front of him. He loves to "help" get himself dressed in general. 

Two weeks ago he "helped" his daddy with all sorts of projects around the house. He "helped" daddy hang our new clock. He got his little hammer and thought it was very cool that his hammer matched daddy's. I was able to get a picture of Peter "helping" daddy baby-proof our cabinets (no more tying ribbons around the handles!). He saw Scott screwing the little latches into the cupboards, and was very excited to "help" him. 

Oh these boys. I love them.

Easy to Please

 I have to say, Peter is pretty easy to please. I am so grateful for my chill little guy. For Peter, there's a few simple things that help him achieve the ultimate level of pure joy.

Playing with snow! Especially in the kitchen! Peter is LOVING all the snow we've had recently. He is happy as can be if I let him hold a little snowball in a cup in his carseat. That's my boy! I think it's time to get him on some skis.

Waking up from his morning nap to find his cousins in his living room! 

Sneaking into Mom and Dad's room, climbing onto our bed, building a pile out of the pillows, and hiding under the pile in the corner of the bed. Oh that Einstein hair! (He's had a haircut since this picture. His hair grows so fast!)

 Watching for garbage trucks on Tuesday mornings. (Ignore the sheets on the couch. I have been sleeping on the couch for two weeks so my cough won't wake little man. I can't wait for it to FINALLY pass!)

Hanging with Dad!

 And reading books in his little corner. We're getting him a little chair for Christmas so he can really kick-back and relax!

We love him so much! We are so blessed to have this boy in our lives! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pumpkin! You're Always Yelling Pumpkin!

Peter is not even old enough to grasp the Halloween concept (as far as we know), but somehow Halloween was a hundred times more fun because of him! He had loved wearing his cool dinosaur costume at the "Dinner in the Driveway" (thanks Andrew, Ben, and SJ for letting him borrow the costume), and he LOVED handing candy out at the door. Each time the doorbell rang, we'd scoop him up and let him wave to the kids at the door. That's the big thing these days... waving. He waves to the phone when we tell him to say hi. It is so so cute. I guess I should mention more about what he's up to these days... but another time. Right now, we're here to talk about pumpkins and Halloween.

Peter wasn't quite sure about carving a pumpkin until I had cut holes in the front and he could stick his hand all the way through. The mushy gush wasn't all that appealing to him... and I totally agree. There's no secret as to why I can't handle many pumpkin-flavored things...

I love this picture below! Look at those eyelashes!

I loved watching him try to figure out what on earth was going on. 

 He discovered his hand! And so began the game of shoving everything he could find into the pumpkins mouth and eyes.

One of our little pumpkin friends greeting the trick-or-treaters.

Peter waiting for the kids to come! We spent the evening watching Scott's childhood favorite, Raggedy Ann and Andy's The Pumpkin Who Couldn't Smile, which basically made me feel like I was watching Peter.  

Except Peter's never that sad. 

We love this little movie, and Peter sat and watched it with us too. I love the little voices and the very simple plot. Some of the dialogue made us laugh a little. "Pumpkin! You're always yelling Pumpkin!" Scott gets really excited about the skateboarding dog and his awesome jump-over-the-rug move.

After Peter went to bed and the trick-or-treating died down, Scott and I watched the old movie, "Clue." Scott had never seen it before, and it was a fun Halloween movie... we're not into the scary kind. 

Our spooky house... not really. We have the weird mound in our front lawn. People always say it looks like someone is buried below... so how could we pass up the opportunity to have a headstone? 

Hope you had a Happy Halloween too!