July 31, 2011

Blessings

Pause my regular playlist if you wish to watch the video.

My brother is headed to college in a couple of weeks (far far away) and so we sang in church today. Singing with Will is about the only thing that keeps me from passing out (I get TERRIBLY nervous before singing in church). I love him, and I love this song. Kurt was on call today and had to miss, and so our friend taped it for him to see. This song ("Blessings" by Laura Story) is really simple, but very profound. We've all ached, wondered where God was, why we're experiencing what we're experiencing. Our adoption particularly comes to my mind, as we're in an uncertain period right now. But God has promised to be faithful, and He HAS been. There have been so many times He's given us mercies in disguise. Happy Sunday. :)



We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart that this is not, this is not our home
It’s not our home

What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy?
What if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

July 28, 2011

Crib to Bed Transition Process - Please Share!

Evy Kate is now almost exactly 2.5 years old (I can't believe it!). When we were in Dallas last week, I bought her big-girl bed! I didn't expect to buy one this soon, but it was such a good deal, I couldn't pass it up. It's iron, which I didn't think was in the budget (from my extensive research on possible big-girl beds). So when my aunt and I stumbled across it at an antique/flea market-type shop, I knew what a good deal it was. It's a full-size bed, which is what I was wanting. That's another thing I debated. I LOVE the look of two twin beds in a child's room, but I wasn't sure that would fit in Evy's room. Also, a full-size bed can grow with her easily. I was able to also get great deals on the bedding I was wanting (a simple white set from Target). We're leaving the Angel Toile fabric, because I love it and it still suits her so well (plus it saves money!).

All that to say, the elements of her big-girl room are mostly in place. However, I know we're not ready to make the switch. We are still unsure as to when Liam will come home (we're still hoping for possibly October now?), and I don't want to put Evy through a major change around the time of him coming into our family. Also, she's still perfectly content in her crib. She's never tried to climb out, and she sleeps SO well there. I have the mindset of, if it's not broken, why fix it? Now, of course, once she reaches a certain age we'll transition regardless. But I just don't think we need to push it right now. I've also heard from several other moms that they moved their children too soon, and it messed up their sleeping habits.

Something I'm concerned about is how to handle Evy getting out of her bed and staying in her room during quiet/nap time. It's a personal rule that we have that she stay in her room for a certain amount of quiet/rest time each day. I don't feel comfortable child-proofing the door from the inside because I think of her being trapped inside should we have a fire/emergency, etc. Do I just totally babyproof her room and when she wanders out, I repeatedly (gently) put her back in her room until she understands? Did you bolt dressers, etc. to the walls?

So, while I'm in the "figuring things out" stage, I'd love your input! I know there's so much wisdom out there, and I'd love to hear your experiences with making the change from crib to bed. Also important to note: Evy's crib doesn't convert to a "toddler" bed, so we'll be going straight from the crib to the full-size bed. Here are some specific topics I'm wondering about:

-When did you transition? Was it based on age, readiness, necessity?
-Did you use bedrails or go without? If so, what kind, and what was your experience?
-How did you introduce the concept to your toddler, and did you use any special "methods?" Or was it just an easy, cold-turkey thing?
-Like I mentioned earlier, how did/do you handle the staying-in-the-room thing?

I look forward to hearing your responses! I think blogging is such a great resource for ideas and help!

July 27, 2011

Recent Photography

I have been busy taking lots of pictures with Love in Pictures Photography! I really am the one who is blessed by getting to interact with the people I have. I've so enjoyed meeting families and individuals and taking pictures that they hopefully love. Here are some recent selections:












The picture below is of my "nephew," Graves. He belongs to one of my best friends. He's the first baby to come along since I started my photography, so Carrie - it's time to have another baby so I can take pictures for you too! ;) More of BG are coming soon!


July 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dad!


We were in Texas all last week, and it was a great trip! We love seeing our family there, and it always feels a little bit like "home." However, we're glad to be back and settled! On July 21st, we celebrated my dad's birthday. I'll post more pictures of everything later, but this song pretty much sums up my dad. I adore him, and thank God every single day that he's in my life. I don't take it for granted, and I KNOW what a blessing he is; not only to me, but to so many people! This is one of my favorite songs, and it describes my dad perfectly. (Pause my regular playlist.)



Here are the lyrics:

When I die there won't be much to salvage from my earnings
I never had a lot of land or houses to my name
I've never been a corporate prince on Madison and New York
I never held a diamond in my hand

But I've seen children laughing
As only children can
And I've known my creator
And I've been a happy man

I never really loved the way I saw it in the movies
But I had myself a woman of my own
The place we lived was modest
And we kept the yard together
I never traveled far from my hometown

But I've heard music playing
That made me understand
And touched the hearts of heaven
And I've been a happy man

Life has had it's hard times
When I've felt the chill of winter
I can't forget the night when my sweet Julie slipped away
But growing old is different
Than I always thought it would be
The sweetness of my youth
Just grew with age

'Cause I've known wealth and beauty
Beneath his guiding hand
And knowing soon I'll see him
Has made me a happy man
And knowing soon I'll see him
Has made me a happy man.


My dad loves the simple things; he isn't a flashy person or want attention for himself. He just loves Jesus and his family, and I can say that my dad is truly a happy man. And being around him makes all of us so blessed and happy!

Dad, Happy Birthday. I LOVE you!




July 19, 2011

What's Happening in Korea

 Well.....there's an update. You can read it here. Thank you for supporting us and praying for us, even when the future is VERY uncertain!

July 17, 2011

Christmas in July

It's that time again! I do this every year, and it helps propel me through the summer (I am NOT a summer person). I do believe it's best to enjoy each season I'm in, but a little daydreaming about my favorite time of the year won't hurt! :)




















July 15, 2011

Adopion Update

Well.......

No EP's are being approved or submitted again for the month of July. This happened last month in June, and sent people reeling. Now, it's double those emotions.

What does this mean? Well, it's hard to say. We know that the Korean government should approve more cases this year (though it will probably be very few), but we have no idea where we are in the lineup. We still think there's a (kind of?) good chance we could be submitted this year, but who knows at this point?

So, we will continue to wait to be submitted and pray for approval this year. The worst case scenario is that we wouldn't be submitted and/or approved this year, and the EP quota would get reset in January. Obviously, we DO NOT want to have to wait until early 2012 to travel! We are praying this doesn't happen.

With each monthly update, I'm honestly trying to learn to trust God more. I was oddly calm when I read the email just a few minutes ago. I haven't shed tears; I think I'm too tired in other ways right now. I am clinging to the promise that God knows our story - He wrote it! He knows exactly when the time is best for us to become a family of four. I like to think that He is just making sure I have exactly the right amount of time with Evy before we add our second child to the family, and He knows that Liam needs a little more time to cuddle with his foster parents. As hard as it is, you have to tell yourself things like that. I KNOW that God is in control; I just have to remind myself every 5 minutes.

Please lift us up; I am praying that the next email we get from our agency is much more positive. Also pray for the families that have been submitted, but have been waiting two months to get approval. They are literally living "so close, yet so far away." I know they ache even more than we do.

Thank you for praying for us, and for our son!

July 14, 2011

Easter Day, 2011

We had a wonderful Easter here at home! It was kind of rainy that day, so we didn't get any pictures outside. However, we had a wonderful Easter service at church, and then we had a great meal with my family. Kurt's mom made Evy her beautiful Easter dress (as she does each year), and they are treasures to me! We designed this one with lavendar fabric, because Evy didn't have anything that color and I thought it was so pretty for Easter. I also wanted crosses on the yoke. Mrs. Pam is so incredibly gifted, and Evy looks beautiful in her dresses! Here are pictures from the day!

















July 12, 2011

Easter Festivities

We had a lot of fun in the days leading up to Easter!

We do Easter baskets on the Saturday before Easter, because Sunday mornings are kind of busy and hectic for us. Evy LOVED finding her basket downstairs! Kurt's mom made her basket. We found a pretty white one at Hobby Lobby, and then Mrs. Pam made a liner to go in it. It's so cute!





This is kind of random, but so cute. Evy went through a short phase where she was a "baby." She would crawl, want to be wrapped up, etc. We went over to my parents' house that night and Evy was in Baby Mode. Uncle was happy to oblige!



My mom's parents came into town, and we love when Nana and Poppy are here! Mom and Nana watched Evy one day during lunch so that my siblings and I could go with Poppy to eat. We LOVE these lunches, because we always talk about the widest variety of things imaginable!


Evy dyed eggs for the first time. Now THAT was cute to watch! The whole family enjoyed it, and she was loving every minute!












We snapped some family pictures, and I think they turned out really cute. We love Easter!





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