Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Luke Steven Davis

I have been weepy all morning.  I just found out that a ward (congregation) member lost their sweet baby boy last night-- born at 20 1/2 weeks gestation.  Of course, it has brings a flood of memories and emotions from the loss of our own two sweet babies.  A friend of mine asked me if I had some insight on what she could do for this family.  While I can't know exactly what they is going through (everyone has different circumstances surrounding their grief) I did have a lot of thoughts come to me.  I thought it might be good to write them here, in case anyone else out there knows someone going through the same thing.

I was blessed to have the most amazing friends and family rally around us through our losses.  I am going to copy and paste one of my blog entries about one act of service that was done for our family at the bottom of this.  It involved turning our mess of a home into a place where we could feel the Spirit and have some peace.  Besides this huge act of service, these are some of the things that meant the most to us at that time:

A friend made a beautiful white dress for Emily to be buried in.

A sister-in-law crocheted beautiful, tiny blankets.

We were given the sweetest little stuffed animals (made for dolls, I believe)-- one to bury with Jacob/Emily, and one to keep for ourselves as a momento.

We were given keepsake boxes to keep all of the memories of that time in-- hospital bracelets, photos, cards, pieces of fabric from blankets/clothes, etc.

I remember well the thoughtfulness of someone we hardly knew (a friend of my mother-in-law) who had a little heart box made with Jacob's name on it.  Seeing his name on the box was so precious to me-- it helped me know that other people realized that he was indeed a person, with a name.  It was super validating.

We were given CD's of beautiful, uplifting music that I played almost non-stop.

We were given beautiful Willow Tree angels.

So many meals... a HUGE blessing.

Someone dropped a box of paper goods off at our door, with a note saying that they didn't want me washing dishes for awhile.  That was such a tender gesture to me.

Lots of cards in the mail.  I treasured every one.

Homemade matching bracelets for me, Jessica, and Emily.

Scrapbook materials to make a little scrapbook of their lives.  The ladies who gave them to me lovingly cut out any sticker/embellishment that didn't pertain to us (things like "giggles," "first smile," etc.)

Babysitting-- this was a big blessing.  It is so hard to grieve when you are taking care of little kids.  Picking my kids up for a couple of hours to go on an outing was so good for them and for me.

Flowers.   My mom and our friends, the Merediths, still sometimes send flowers on their birthdays.  It means so much.


"I'm so sorry," is always appropriate.  No, "I know exactly what you're going through," "It was meant to be," or "I'm sure you'll have another baby."  Though don't worry too much about saying the wrong thing-- I think it was better for me to have someone say the wrong thing than not acknowledge what had happened.   People know that you are well-intentioned and trying to help.  (:

Gifts for their gravesides-- pinwheels, little statues, etc.

As therapy and to give back, I wanted to make some tiny blankets for the hospital to give to other parents who lost a baby that was so tiny.  Normal infant blankets were so big-- these blankets needed to be much smaller-- maybe 18 inches square.  I told my friends at church, and many of them made blankets and brought them over.  I attached little notes that said, "For your tiny angel-- in memory of my own." 

These are just some things off the top of my head.  I am so grateful for such caring people who loved us through these super difficult times.   If you are one of them, THANK YOU.

I also had a couple of other thoughts on how to act with someone who is going through a loss like this.  I know that everyone feels differently-- this is just how I felt.  I personally wasn't able to talk on the phone for a LONG time with the exception of maybe one or two people.  But I did read my emails and really appreciated them.  It was a good way to communicate for me.  I liked when people asked me, "Would you like a meal or would you like (insert another service)"... giving me a choice rather than just a blanket, "What can I do?"  Also, many people were nervous to talk about it all with me, even for a long time afterward.  I really appreciated when people would not only talk about it, but also mention our babies by name.    I know that there is the worry that you will bring up something that is hard and makes someone sad, but trust me-- parents who lose a child are thinking about them ALL THE TIME.  You don't need to worry about "reminding" them.  For me, at least, it was and is ALWAYS good to talk about them.  It makes me know that other people are thinking of them too, and remembering them.  So important.

If you are interested, you can read more about our Jacob and Emily by clicking on their names on the left sidebar under "Labels".  Here is the entry I talked about: 

Sept 28, 2008

Well, I wasn't really going to journal about Emily-- because the emotions are still so personal and even if I wanted to share them, I really don't have the words. But I've been looking at her slideshow over and over, reminiscing about the days surrounding her birth and I thought it may be therapeutic to write down just a couple of the sweet experiences I was given during such a hard time.

I found out that Emily had passed away just a couple of weeks after finding out we were having a girl. I had been on blood thinner (after Jacob's birth/death we found out I had a blood clotting disorder) and so the doctors wanted me to wait 48 hours before delivering her so I could get the blood thinner out of my system. So for two days, I knew she wasn't alive-- but was sent home without delivering her. Those two days were, in a word, a nightmare. I was completely dysfunctional and my house completely fell apart. I had just gotten a large box of maternity clothes from my sister and that first night I threw the clothes, one by one, around the room in a mad rage. I didn't pick up one toy or one diaper or one dish or do ANYTHING besides try to make arrangements for her casket, dress, etc. Needless to say, my house (which wasn't clean to begin with) looked like it had been hit with a tornado.

When I was in the hospital, a dear friend came and borrowed a key from Jeremy. I guess a phone call from one church friend to another quickly spread, and when she arrived at our home with the key, mini-vans were lined up around the block to my home. It was lovingly dubbed "The Mormon Minivan Brigade." My house was not only cleaned and organized top to bottom, but all my laundry (we're talking LOADS) was done and the kitchen stocked. I was at first hugely embarrassed, but soon realized what an AMAZING blessing had been given to me. A friend kept the kids the first night we came home from the hospital, and instead of spending time trying to get my house in some kind of order after just giving birth, I was able to sit down with Jeremy in my beautiful home and BREATHE. We spent the night eating a wonderful dinner, looking through scrapbooks, listening to uplifting music-- and before the night was over I felt so much peace. So THAT was a beautiful, tender mercy of the Lord. Thank-you, my dear Tennessee friends.

The morning I went to deliver Emily I went into a total panic because I couldn't find our camera. I knew from Jacob how precious pictures would become and became nearly hysterical when it was time to leave and I still couldn't find it. Jeremy ended up going next door and borrowing the neighbor's. We took at least 50 pictures of her at the hospital, and more later at the funeral home when we let Taylor and Parker hold her. I needed to develop the pictures quickly so I could return the camera, so I went to Walmart's one hour photo. As I pulled into the parking lot to pick them up, I starting having a panic attack. I seriously felt like I couldn't breathe. Up to this point I hadn't really talked to anyone-- I was staying holed up in my room-- and was just a mess around people. I was so worried that I would go up to the counter and some young teenager would pull my photos out of the envelope for all to see and I would have to actually have to have a conversation about the pics and try to explain it and I was just PANICKED. Those pictures were, and still are, so precious and sacred to me and I didn't want just anyone to see them. I seriously felt like I would die if I had to look at them with other people around. Well, I tried to control my hysteria and finally made my way to the back of the store. There was a HUGE line. They were totally busy. PANIC!!! How was I not going to have a complete meltdown in the store? I said a little prayer in my heart and just cringed as I watched the person behind the counter pull out and flip through the pictures of everyone in front of me (making sure they were the right pics and they were happy with them). I finally reached the counter and gave her my slip.

She pulled out a big fat envelope with a sticker on it that said $0.00 and handed it over to me without opening it. She said, "It looks like there's no charge on these. Please have a good day."

I was able to walk out of the store without saying a word.

Whoever had decided not to charge me for the pictures, also printed doubles and THREE digital CDs.

A tender mercy.

I felt loved.

I knew then, beyond a doubt, that my Father in Heaven was aware of my every need. That He knew me and was holding me and was hurting for me. It was the simplest gesture-- worth just a few dollars, but it has never left me. It has made me wonder how often we are the hands of the Lord. How often does He work through us to accomplish His great purposes. I have often thought about that compassionate person in the store who didn't charge me for my pictures. So grateful he or she did what the Savior would do if He were here.

Am I still enough to hear His promptings? Am I in tune enough to help Him answer the prayers of others?

A lot to think about. I am so so thankful for my darling Emily Anne and the lessons that I have learned through her short little life. These are just two of the sweet experiences I have had because of her. She has impacted my life in a profound way. I will absolutely never be the same because of her, and I am so humbled to have her in my life. Thank-you Emily, for all you have given me. You and Jacob have done a tremendous work here on this earth. Thank-you for leading us to China, and for lighting the way home to heaven. You are my surety with God-- there is nothing I wouldn't do to be worthy to live with you again. I love you.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Yay for role models!

The first time Sophi watched Tisha Unarmed on youtube, she said, "She's a Sophi!"  It was magical seeing someone like herself doing everyday tasks the same way she does.  She often asks now to watch "my Tisha." I really think that Tisha has given her a new excitement about her life.  Tonight, Jeremy was playing with her and said, "You're Sophi Unarmed-- like Tisha Unarmed!"

Sophi, a big smile spreading across her face--  "Yeah!  'Cause we can do everythings!"

Love that confidence!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


It's after 11 p.m.  I just got back from a last minute run to the store.  I don't think a Thanksgiving goes by that one of us doesn't have to do one of those Wednesday night runs.  I always enjoy this particular shopping trip.  I can look around at all of the people at the store and feel a certain kinship with them.  In my mind, they are either very busy, a little forgetful, not super organized, or just laid back about holiday plans.  Because I'm a combination of all of these things, it makes me happy to be around others that I feel I can relate to-- even if it's just in my head and their lives are totally perfect and under control!   (:

Speaking of being busy and unorganized--   The house is a mess.  I've spent most of the day at the computer trying to come up with airfare prices that just aren't going to happen!  When I spend so much time at the computer, the house seems to fall apart.  Today, Xander made about 5 batches each of popcorn and homemade lemonade.  The evidence is all over the house.  Lexi and Sophi played with virtually every toy they could find.  Elli made Elli messes.  Graci and Jesi played dress up and make-believe most of the day long.  The kids helped themselves to breakfast and lunch and snacks. Jeremy's in the kitchen trying to make pumpkin pies with the boys without any clean counter space.   Yeah... the house isn't looking too hot!  And I don't even have tickets to show for it because I can't get myself to pay the prices I'm being quoted.

Speaking of expensive tickets-- our adoption dates have changed!  It's a super long story-- suffice it to say, these new dates will be better for Cali, and she's the most important.  We will be leaving in two weeks from today instead of one.  Now that I've had a day to wrap my head around the changes, I am excited for the extra time to prepare. I am SOOOOOOO excited to go to China!   For some reason it became very real for me today!  I am just giddy thinking about this trip and how much I love our Cali.  I know we are in for a big rollercoaster ride of ups and downs and twists and turns-- and I'm so excited to ride it!!!

Speaking of adoption-- there is an article in the Deseret News right now about our family and the WONDERFUL, AMAZING people who are trying to help us build a new home.  Despite the very unflattering picture of me, (seriously, I look pregnant) I am so excited for this article and its potential to really spread the word.  We've had some fabulous, selfless people step forward and offer enormous amounts of time and services, but the fundraising end still really needs some help.  So thank you, Deseret News!!! (And THANK YOU anyone who happens to be reading this and has donated-- you haven't gone unnoticed-- we are so humbled by your support.)  Even more than helping Puzzle Them Home, I hope the article is a way to open people's hearts to these beautiful children who need homes.

Speaking of children who need homes-- for the record, the section in the article where it says that we adopt "the children nobody else wants" was not my choice of words.  I understand what she was trying to say-- that we do tend to adopt the harder-to-place children and have in fact been matched with some of these kids right as their files were being sent back to China-- but the wording didn't quite come across right.  We know that there are many, many people out there who would give anything to adopt beautiful children like ours regardless of any special needs, but cannot for various good reasons.  My heart goes out to people who yearn for a child and have roadblocks in their way.

Speaking or roadblocks-- my brain has just stopped working.  I think it's time to sign off!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I am so thankful for this beautiful, messy life that is mine!  And I am so thankful for friends and family like you-- love you all!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Common Sense

Tonight Jesi was laying across my lap while I scratched her back.  As she enjoyed the massage she looked up at me and said, with a dreamy look in her eyes, "Am I in heaven?"  I grinned as I thought about how much Christi likes her back scratched.  I said to Jesi, "You are your mother's daughter!"  She looked up at me with pity in her eyes, wondering how she had such a dolt for a father, and replied, "Well...yes.  I am.  She's my mom."


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Darling Parker and some fun news!

Parker turned 12 on November 15th.  This young man is really something special.  He's been acting 12 for a long time-- he's mature and talented and responsible beyond his age.  We couldn't be blessed with a more wonderful son.  When we first found out we were pregnant with him, we were quite surprised.  I didn't know how I would be able to handle two boys so close together.  As it turns out, Heavenly Father knew exactly when Parker needed to be born and how wonderful it would be to have these two boys so close together.  They are the best of friends and their personalities compliment each other perfectly.   Jeremy and I obviously love each of our children with all of our hearts.  They all have our hearts in different ways and each one is so very special.  But this road we have chosen, with so many kids and so many different needs, can be very difficult and taxing and overwhelming.  We are grateful beyond words for these two boys-- we couldn't ask for better friends to go on this journey with.  We couldn't do it without them.

Parker is just plain awesome!  He is particularly sensitive to the emotions of others.  He notices when I need a hug and he is often the first to respond when a sibling needs help.  He is talented and funny and obedient and kind-hearted.   He has liked girls since the day he was born and will make the world's greatest husband!  (;  He's always the first one to notice if I'm wearing a new shade of make-up or just got a haircut (which, by the way, I'm WAY overdue for!)

When I called Parker from the store to ask what he wanted for his birthday breakfast, he replied, "Um, can you call Grandpa and ask him for the recipe for his breakfast casserole?"  I thought that was cute.  (:   These kids love their birthday breakfasts because basically the only time I cook breakfast in the mornings (we do often have "breakfast" for dinner) are on birthdays and conference weekends.   He also got his favorite dinner, fettuccini alfredo, and carrot cake for dessert.  My favorites, too-- yum!

Today, Parker was given his best birthday gift-- the priesthood.  In our church, worthy young men are ordained to the office of a deacon at the age of 12 and receive the Aaronic Priesthood.  My parents drove up to be here for the special occasion, and my brother, Matthew, his wife, Megan, and beautiful baby girl, Emery, came as well.  Mom and Dad not only came, but they came with dinner and dessert as well.  Yes, I am one very spoiled daughter.  (:

We love you, our sweet Parker!  Can't imagine our lives without you in it... We are beyond blessed to have YOU for a son!

And, some really fun news...


We FINALLY got our travel approval!  WOO HOO!!!!!!!!! We will be leaving next week to get our Cali Rose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We're just a little bit excited-- can you tell??!!!!

I have so much to do to get ready, it makes my head spin to think about it!  I'm so glad that there is fun in the preparation and something so exciting and beautiful at the end of it all!  This young lady has waited and prayed for a family for way too long.   I cannot wait to get my arms around her and kiss those beautiful round cheeks.  I'm getting emotional just thinking of it.  She just belongs.

I know that these next few days will be full of so many feelings for her-- and likely the biggest one is fear.  Can you imagine at the tender age of 12, leaving everything you know behind-- even if it's for a better life?  A new language, culture, friends, food, and family.  Any one of those things is overwhelming-- put them all together and I can't imagine where her thoughts are right now.  So if you think to remember her in your prayers during these next couple of weeks, we would be so grateful. 

You're coming home, beautiful Cali.  You're FINALLY COMING HOME.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Head On Over:)

Tonight Christi and I went to drop some things off for the fundraising event tomorrow.  I had NO IDEA how much time and effort so many people have put into this.  These sweet ladies have been baking and sewing all week.  Thank you so much to all of you! 

Please, if you live in the area, consider stopping by Copper Tanning in Herriman and doing a little holiday shopping.  We are so, so grateful and humbled by such sweet people.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Time for a lesson on inner beauty?

Walking into Jesi's room and seeing Sophi on the floor putting necklaces on, I say, "Soph, what are you doing?" Sophi, sounding very flabbergasted, replies, "UGH!  I am getting pretty!"  Duh, Mom.

Later after doing her hair, she says, "MOMMY!  (again exasperated) I not 'dorable yet!  I need spray!!"  I spray a little hairspray and she looks in the mirror, "See!  Now I 'dorable!" 

She then turns to look at me, her nose scrunched up in disapproval.   "Mommy?  You not beautiful yet today." 

"Oh yeah?"  I reply.

 "Your hair's all messy and you not have your make-up on and you don't have cute clothes!" 

"Can't I still be beautiful?" I ask.

"Mommy!!  You're silly!  You ARE NOT BEAUTIFUL!"

At least she gets points for honesty!

If you look at the top of Sophi's head, you'll notice where she gave herself a haircut, no doubt in trying to get 'dorable.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Mom is Amazing.

That's all I'm saying.

--Christianne  (:


I awoke this morning at 4:45 a.m. to the sounds of Sophi screaming that she needed to go potty.  I was delirious with sleepiness.  After taking her and settling her back down, I heard Lexi getting out of her bed and making her way to the bathroom as well.   I waited to make sure I could hear her get back in her bed before trying to go back to sleep.  By this time it was 5:05 and I began to worry whether Parker and Taylor would get up to their 5:10 a.m. alarm for 5:30 basketball practice.  So I got up once again, found them up, and tried desperately to go back to sleep.   I heard them quietly sneak out the door (they had a ride this morning-- thank goodness) and everything became quiet once again.  Too quiet.  I couldn't for the life of me fall back asleep even though I had gone to bed way too late.  I laid there telling myself that I should get up and be productive, but my lazy side told me that I would only wake up the kids if I tried to get up.  I had a million things on my mind and tried so hard to shove them out so I could get some desperately needed shut-eye.  Finally at about 6:30 I dozed back to sleep, only to be awoken 15 minutes later by Sophi's alarming declaration as she came running into my room:

"Mommy!  Mommy!  It's an 'mergency!  Call 911!"

"What's wrong, Soph?"

"Taylor is going to TATTLE!"

Ha.   This is something I can't seem to get through her cute little head-- that announcing a tattle IS a tattle.   (:  I must say, she did put a smile on my face, which is always a good way to start one of our mornings.   As I hurried around trying to get 8 kids out the door, I was struck by the tender mercy of how well our mornings are timed.  Taylor, Graci, and Parker are picked up for junior high at 7:25.  Then I have 20 more minutes to work on getting Jesi, Lexi, and Xander out the door.  They are also picked up.  As soon as they leave, I run down the stairs to get Elli out of her room and into the tub.  As she is bathing, I start on Sophi.  I have about 40 minutes to get Elli fed and ready and give her lots of one-on-one time before the bus picks her up around 8:30.  Then I have 15 minutes to fix Sophi's hair and get her backpack ready and give her cuddles before the bus picks her up at 8:45 (Mondays and Fridays for her two hour preschool).   On Tuesdays and Thursdays I get 10 extra minutes before taking her to her 9:00 a.m. neighborhood preschool.  On Fridays, she's mine for the day.  (:

After-school schedules are just as perfect.  Sophi's home with me all afternoon.  We leave to pick up the kids at 3:00. The junior high kids get out at 2:45 and walk up toward the elementary pick up place.  Because we have a 12 passenger van, there are exactly enough seats to pick up all of my kiddos (minus Elli who goes to a different school) as well as the kids whose moms pick up in the morning (they each have 2 kids).  I get home by 3:30 and have 40 minutes to go over backpacks and have some time with the kids before Elli gets dropped off at 4:10 (things get a bit more chaotic once Elli is here).

I am not sure how getting 8 kids off and back home could work more smoothly, time-wise.  I'm so grateful that schedules don't conflict and we are able to time things just so.  It's also perfect for the other two families in our carpool-- each of us only have to drive one way.   Jeremy is usually able to be home in the morning and is making lunches and signing reading logs and walking kids out the door, which is also a huge blessing.  That doesn't mean our mornings aren't super crazy sometimes (or always)... but they work!

It really is a tremendous blessing.  I am so grateful!!!

I'm not even going to THINK about how things will change when Cali gets here...  (:


Sunday, November 11, 2012


*Tonight we got to Skype with Sophi's new BFF forever, Tisha Unarmed.  Tisha is even cuter on Skype than in her youtube videos.  I feel like we won the jackpot in getting to know her.  She was darling and gracious and so sweet with Sophi.  Love her!

*As it turns out, Taylor is a solo stinker.  Parker had nothing to do with the prank-- he just wanted to call me to tell me he made the team and Taylor made him promise not to tell me that he (Taylor) made the team.  In fact, Parker was so worried about me being sad that he called during lunch to tell about Taylor's prank-- this was right after I had blogged.  Needless to say, Parker didn't end up scrubbing toilets.  (:

*Xander and Jesi have been LOVING the snow.  They have always been great snow buddies.  They didn't have school on Friday and had been playing outside.  I walked into the kitchen and found them making "snow sundaes."  These were all X's idea, and I must say they were quite yummy!

*Jesi made a snowman by herself and when I came out to see it, asked me if I noticed anything special about it.  Ummm??  She helped me out-- "There is a "J" and "E" for Jacob and Emily!"  Not quite sure what made her think of doing that, but it made me happy.  (:

*Parker also has fun in the snow:

*Jeremy has been growing out his beard since his camping trip with the boys.  I LOVE when he doesn't shave, but he usually only lasts a week or two.  This time he still hasn't shaved after three weeks (per my request) and it's been fun!  He was just asked to be a shepherd for the stake nativity, so that gives him a great excuse to keep it for awhile.  Last week, Jesi randomly went and got the pink hairspray from Halloween and came up behind him and sprayed his hair.  Again, not quite sure what made her think of that!  I was afraid Jer wasn't going to be happy with her, but instead he took the bottle from her and sprayed his beard as well.  Good Daddy!  Well, my uncles and cousins own Ogden's Superstore and they are doing a facebook promotion where you can post a picture of your guy in a beard for "No Shave November."  The picture with the most likes wins a little vacation.   I could really, really go for one of those, so I posted his pic.  (: Then I posted it to my page with what I thought was a link to their page and asked people to like it.  Apparently I'm not facebook savvy at all, because he has like 30 plus likes on our page, but only 10 on the Ogden's page where it counts.  I thought when you liked it one place, the like went on the other page as well.  Yeah... like I said, facebook idiot.   Still, it's a winning picture to me.  (:

*Lexi is obsessed with Andrea Bocelli lately.  She talks about him every day.  When we were skyping with Tisha, Lexi walked up to the computer and said, "Hi.  I'm Lexi and I'm blind like Andrea Bocelli."  (:  Every day she asks me if she can meet him.  I keep saying, "Maybe someday."  I guess I need to come up with a better answer-- she doesn't seem to be settling for that one!  I am so glad that she has a role model that she feels a bond with.

*Puzzle Them Home is having a fundraiser on November 17th at Copper Tanning in Herriman.  My sweet friends have put so much time into it-- please consider coming if you are in the area!  You can read about it on the Puzzle Them Home facebook page HERE.

*Our laundry fairies have been doubling as cookie fairies lately and, lucky for us, they happen to make the world's best chocolate chip cookies.  After eating WAY more than my fair share this weekend and also consuming a ton of Jeremy's yummy Thai dinner tonight, I decided I am going on a diet tomorrow.  Like my mom, I decide this pretty much every Sunday night-- but this time I mean it.  Hold me to it.  Go ahead, comment and ask me if I'm being a pig or not.  (;

*Jessica was star of the week a couple of weeks ago.  She did her poster all by herself then asked me to print some pictures for it.  It was so cute, and when she crumpled it up and threw it in the trash after the week was over, I had to pull it out and take pics.

*We are possibly going to be involved in an amazing documentary about China adoption.  Graci would be a focus of the story (think she'd like that?!) and it looks like a beautiful project.  Will keep you posted.  (:

*  Elli has been singing her little heart out lately.  Earlier today, I was thinking about Puzzle Them Home and how we needed miracles for it to work, and she randomly started singing the words "My God is so great, so strong and so mighty.  There's nothing my God cannot do" from her Sunday school CD.  Good reminder for me.  I love that girl, and don't find it coincidence that she knew I needed that song.  She's very close to the Spirit despite her inability to communicate like a typical child.

*Today I sat down per my friend's advice and wrote a list of everything I need to be working on this week in addition to the normal day-to-day stuff like taking care of kids, swim lessons, dance, basketball, church stuff, homework, housework, meals-- the normal stuff that I already struggle to accomplish. I don't have the list in front of me, but these are some of the things off the top of my head:

Go through all the hand-me-down clothes boxes to see what might fit Cali
pack a suitcase for Cali
Go through Christmas gifts (ones we've already purchased on sale throughout the year) and figure out what we still need to buy
Christmas shop (you know-- that one looks so short and easy-- ha!)
buy a mattress
Deep clean the girls' room and somehow make room for Cali's stuff (this one feels insurmountable)
Deep clean the whole house in preparation for China (yeah, right)
architect meeting
science fair projects-- ugh
five dentist appointments
appointment with Xander to get measured for a compression sock
dinner for a family in my neighborhood (whose trials are far worse than mine right now)
buy gifts for China trip (for the nannies, notaries, guides, families, foster families, etc.)
shop for things to occupy girls on the airplane
paperwork for Elli

I am not kidding that breathe was on the list.  I had to write that after I felt myself going into panic attack mode while writing the list.  This is such a busy time of year anyway, and to add everything that goes along with an adoption trip to it is just a wee. bit. stressful.  Oh, and I guess I should add exercise to the list to go along with my diet.

Um, yeah.  I just got overwhelmed again.


Mother's Day

Christi got up this morning, made breakfast for Sophi and Lex and then went back to bed.  A while later Sophi comes in. 

Sophi:  "Mommy, how do you make breakfast?"

Christi:  "I already made you breakfast."

Sophi:  "No.  I want to make breakfast for you!  What do you want?"

Christi (trying to make it as easy as possible):  "How about a cookie and some orange juice."

Sophi:  "Oh.  I can't make that.  Can you?"



Thursday, November 8, 2012

They are in so much trouble!!!!!

Let me give you some background...

As you well know, Taylor and Parker are basketball nuts.  They live for it.  It is easily their favorite sport, and they spend hours and hours honing their skills.  Taylor's big goal this year was to make the junior high basketball team.  We knew that he could do it, but we also knew that it wasn't at all a for sure thing.  He is only in 7th grade and the team is made up of mostly 8th and 9th graders.

So we prayed.  Every day in family prayer and individual prayers we would ask that Taylor could make the basketball team.  We even included it in a special family fast.  He really, really wanted this.  Monday evening, Jeremy took them to buy new basketball shoes, and Taylor picked his in school colors so they would match his jersey. 

Parker tried out as well.  Being in 6th grade, we thought that there was zero chance he would make it, but we wanted him to get exposure so the coach would have him in mind for next year.

Today was the day.   I've been anxious all week because it was unclear exactly which day the team would be posted, but the boys were told yesterday that it would be posted today for sure.  We sent Taylor with Graci's phone and told him to sneak in the bathroom and call us when he found out.

A couple of hours ago, I got the call.  Taylor spoke in a sad, subdued voice.  "Mom, I didn't make the team."  My heart broke, and I tried to console him, but he just said, "I've gotta go."

I was so, so sad.  I love that kid so much.  He is such a good kid and it had meant so much to him.

Fifteen minutes later I got another call from the same phone.  This time it was Parker.  He also sounded subdued (likely from trying not to get caught with a phone) and said, "Mom, I'm not kidding here.  I made the team."  WHAT??!!!  How could that be?  I couldn't even be happy for him because I knew that Taylor would be DEVASTATED that his younger brother made it and he didn't.  I asked Parker if he was serious (nobody, including him thought that he would get on b/c of his age) and he said, "I promise, Mom.  Can't talk right now.  Bye."

I burst into tears.

I know that sounds harsh-- not being excited for Parker.  I assure you I love him every bit as much as Taylor.  But the unjustness of it all just killed me.  Parker was happy to be on the super league team he is on with his best friends.  He shines-- he's super talented-- and wouldn't have been disappointed not to make the team.  Taylor didn't have a back-up plan.  His team from last year dissipated and he didn't try out for another team, hoping that he would be on the school team.  It had meant so much to him, and now Parker made it instead.  AGH.

I tried calling Jeremy over and over but he didn't answer.  I called my sister, Leslie, and just cried and cried to her on the phone.  In the meantime, Jeremy called me back.  The first thing he said was, "Hon, just so you know-- you are on speaker phone and Jes (his boss) is listening.  (He had just gotten a new phone and was still trying to figure it out.)  So I try to tell Jeremy about the whole thing without crying (I wasn't successful) because his boss was listening.  Jeremy was STUNNED.  He just kept saying, "No, no, no!" over and over.  He was as sick as I was.  We wondered if maybe the coach had mixed up the names.  We wondered if he just really needed a point guard (Parker's an excellent one) and he had enough shooting guards.  I asked him what to do, and we decided I should go check Taylor out of school so he could come home and deal with it all without his friends around.

I drove up to the school and checked him out.  As he came walking outside where I was waiting, his face looked inquisitive.  I put my arm around him and said, "I just thought you might like to get away from school for awhile to deal with everything."

A slow smile crept across his face.

"OHHHHHH.  That's why you checked me out.  Um... Mom?  It was a joke.  I made the team."

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!!!!!!!!  I had just spent the last half an hour crying my eyes out (I have swollen eyes to prove it) trying to figure out how the world would ever be right again for our Taylor.    And he PRANKED me!

I didn't quite know whether to hug him or punch him in the gut.  So I did both.  (:

He sheepishly said, "So now that I'm checked out, can I go home and watch Sports Center?"

Um, no!  You can go home and clean my kitchen!  And that's exactly what he's doing right now, the little twit.   Parker can have the toilets. (;

I love those two big stinkers!

Oh, and Parker DID make the team!  I'm so very proud of them both!!  (:


Monday, November 5, 2012

Go Sophi!

Last week, a producer from Right This Minute contacted us and asked if he could feature Sophi on his show.  They did such a great job!  You can watch the segment HERE:
Also, I have had a couple of people leave me comments that I need to check out Tisha Unarmed on youtube.  THANK YOU!!  I finally did, and last night I showed a couple of her videos to Sophi.  I have never seen her so enamored with someone in my life!  She grinned ear to ear and just came alive watching her.  This morning when she woke up, the first thing she said is, "I want to watch more of my Tisha!"  She has been singing about her all morning-- how Soph and Tish are best friends-- and is absolutely smitten with her.  (:  I sent Tisha a message, and believe it or not (I thought with all of her thousands of fans that she wouldn't even see my message) she replied!  She was so sweet about Sophi and I am just so excited to have a mentor that we can learn so much from.  It was amazing for Sophi to find someone that not only was born without arms, but who had a leg discrepancy as well.  I'm sure they will have a special kinship.  (:

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I received an email today from a blog follower requesting my help in sharing a story.  She is trying to raise $1,000 in donations to help a sweet little girl, Channah, find her forever family.  She is asking for people to donate just $1.00 to her "angel tree."  Because November is National Adoption Month, I thought this would be a great post for today!  Please consider helping if you can-- if everyone gives a little, we can make a big difference!

Click HERE to find out more.