Welcome Baby Mae

A little over two years ago I had one of the best experiences of my life when I was present to photograph the birth of my first niece.

Three days ago I had the privilege to do this again, as my second niece came into the world, and the experience was just as amazing as the first time.

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I actually didn’t get as many pictures this time as last time because everything happened SO quickly! Let me just say, these two were birth rock stars! Calm, composed, supportive, loving. It was incredible to watch.

Not to mention the other rock star. How amazing is it to have a sister who is a labor and delivery nurse when you are delivering a baby? Incredibly amazing. And we all got to see her in her element.

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Can I just say that I really love these people? When I think about all of the blessings that came to me when I married my husband, my sisters are high on that list.

And getting to be an aunt? The absolute best.

I already adore you, baby Mae. Welcome to the family!

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NO MORE HOMEWORK!!!!!!!!

A guest post from Drew- age 9 (After learning about how a bill becomes a law. Although he missed the part where he can’t actually introduce a bill himself. Details….)

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I made this tonight and I am giving it to my teachers. Hi, my name is Drew, and i don”t like HOMEWORK!!!!!!!

Homework stinks, and i decided to make this bill so i don”t have to waist my time doing HOMEWORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOMEWORK is so bad i think it needs to stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HOMEWORK is made to be mean!I think this bill should be a law because it hurts people brains.It needs to be a law so then it will not bother peoples brain.:):)

(Sidenote: I definitely help him with his homework. Every. Single. Day. I don’t know where this claim of “no help” is coming from!)

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A new parenting era: The Tween

So if you have been reading my blog, you know how much I dislike the first day of school. I always mourn the summer of being together with my kids, and also mourn how much they will change during the school year. I know it is going to happen, and during the year when I realize it has, I always feel kind of sad. Change is not really my thing.

This year has meant huge changes for Z. From where I’m sitting, fifth grade seems to be a bridge between childhood and the infamous preteen years.

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I treasure my relationship with my firstborn so much. He is such an intelligent, deep, and thoughtful person. Beyond that, I just “get” him. I understand what makes him tick, and it is easy for me to understand his emotions in almost any situation. I think this has helped us to have a very strong relationship. I’m used to him telling me just about anything.

Recently, I have seen him start to change. He is an absolute bookworm, which is wonderful, but he usually prefers to lay on the couch and read than play with his siblings, or do just about anything really. D recently told me that he is so sad that Z is not a “regular kid” anymore. All of my kids are used to playful attention from their biggest brother, so they are definitely missing him.

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Today I was talking to Z about school, and innocently asked him about a girl that he told me a while ago “liked” him. He looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Mom, that is so embarrassing! How would you feel if Nana came in here and said, ‘Hey Emily, you have to meet this new guy. I think you would really like him. Maybe even more than you like Jeff!'” Ummmmmm, okay. First of all, not nearly the same thing. Second of all, WHAT? I thought it was just a regular question, but apparently we have moved to an alternate universe where seemingly innocent questions are now extremely embarrassing. Sigh.

I recently read that you have to continue to grow with your kids. If you don’t, you will be left behind. Wow. Although that may be true, it is not easy. Not when I can look at my 11 year old and see him as every age that he has ever been, and feel a love that could make my heart explode. I’m not going to lie, it stings a bit.

Just going to pray that I can be what he needs. Hoping that I can make myself grow even when it hurts. I have adored him at every age he has been so far. At least I know that there is one thing that will never change.

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Halloween 2015

Better late than never. It was a fantastic October with my bunch!

This was our last “first” holiday with Kai, and it is safe to say he LOVED it! He was so fun when I explained to him what we would be doing. He looked at me in awe that everyone in the neighborhood would be giving him candy.

I thought we would have to slow down a bit for him to keep up, but he was running from house to house as fast as his little feet would take him.

We celebrated as much as we possibly could this month (we needed to make up for missing Halloween last year).

So much fun.2015-11-11_0006 2015-11-11_0005 2015-11-11_0007

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1st Kai Day!

Today marked a wonderful milestone in our house. Kai officially became ours 1 year ago today!

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We celebrated with Chinese food and watching Kai’s China video together as a family. We talked about our favorite memories of that time, and gave Kai a lot of extra hugs. All day he proudly declared, “Today is KAI day!!”

It is hard to believe that we were in China a year ago. In some ways it seems like it was  a short time ago, but in other ways it feels like so long ago. It really is almost hard to remember what our family felt like without him.

This little guy has brought so much happiness to every member of our family. Before he came home I was worried about him feeling left out. Our older boys are so close, and our girls are so close, that I worried about him being without a buddy. There was no need to worry. Each of our kids loves to be with Kai. They all adore him, and he happily follows along with any one of them.

Kai is all of the things that I was hoping he would be. He is happy, sweet, and incredibly intelligent. He is also so much more than I ever could have imagined. He is sensitive and deeply loving, and just thinking about him makes my heart melt a little bit. He has a way of stroking my hair and melting into me when he sits in my lap that just makes me want to freeze time.

Adoption brings along so many questions. Even though we had already done it once before I wondered if I would feel connected to this dear child. I wondered if he would feel connected to me. For some families this is process that takes a very long time of understanding, love, and nurture. I was prepared for that, of course as we took that leap of faith when we flew across the ocean.

In this case, there was no need to worry. This year has been absolutely wonderful. Not that we didn’t have a few bumps along the road. We did. Everyone does. But the love I feel for this sweet boy is so deep and absolute, it could break my heart.

I still feel in awe some days that Kai is here. I felt a deep connection to him for a very long time before I even knew that he could be ours. We thought our family was complete before his face touched my heart so deeply. I am so so grateful for this blessing. For this child that I didn’t realize was missing, but so wonderfully completes the circle of our family.

We love you Kai Yi!

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