Baby Dixon Adoption Story: Part 8

So it’s been a while! 8 months to be exact. The last post in our adoption story was definitely unexpected and extremely hard. But this one brings new light and hope! Let me give you the real, raw low down on what’s happened over the past 8 months, friends…

After last year’s failed adoption in late October, it took us several months to process what had happened and work through the feelings & emotions. Crazy what all we felt. Honestly, there are still some days that we struggle with all of it. But God has been faithful and gracious, as always. His mercies are new every morning and His loves never fails. One day at a time, one step at a time, we stayed the course and got everything updated at the agency so we could start to be shown again to birth moms as they came in.

In early March of this year, we were making dinner and my phone rang. It was the agency. Anytime they call, my heart skips a beat. After a lengthy conversation regarding two different birth moms who were due one in August, one in September & some other special situations, the question was…”Do you want us to show your profile to either of them?”

The questions flowed in…are we ready to put ourselves out there again? Can we handle this? Can our girls handle this? Does this make financial sense? What if it fails again? But what if this could really be our son? Although we might not have felt strong enough yet to “do it all again” or “start over”, we knew God had called us to this and would provide what we needed. It’s not about us, but Him. It’s about a child’s life and the love we have to give.

“YES, you can show our profile to them.”

Fast forward just a few short weeks. Sitting at my desk doing some work late one afternoon and my phone rings. The agency. Is this it? THE CALL?

As the sweet lady from the agency spoke the words, “You have been chosen again…”, it honestly didn’t feel real. I think she was just as nervous to tell me as I was to hear it! It didn’t set in. I honestly felt nothing. And felt bad that I felt nothing. What was wrong with me? I realized in that moment how hardened & protective my heart had become. God, forgive me.

I hung up the phone and immediately called Ryan, then my mom, siblings, my best friends. I asked them if they were ready to walk this road again. We all were kind of in shock and not sure how to feel. We told our girls and they had the the we-will-just-wait-and-see attitude. I couldn’t blame them.

Don’t get excited. Don’t get your hopes up. This is all I could tell myself for weeks. As a family, we prayed. For the new birth mom. For the baby. But we didn’t talk much about it otherwise. We didn’t want to prepare a nursery. Not yet.

Ryan & I had the first official matching call with the birth mom. It was super easy. Quick. She was incredibly sweet and seemed excited about our family.

Late April, we had our first meeting set up with her. We were to meet for dinner with her & the agency rep. We were more nervous this time than I remember being last year. I think we were honestly just scared of being hurt again. But once again, we realized…it’s not about us. On the drive there, Ryan & I talked through all of this a lot. Thankful to have such a strong husband to walk this journey with. God knew we needed each other in this life.

As we waited at the front of the restaurant with the lady from the agency, the clock was ticking. She didn’t show up at the time we had agreed upon and worry set it. Had she already changed her mind? Did something happen? Is this really going to happen again, God? Ryan & I looked at each other and didn’t have to say a word. The agency rep was texting her as she walked through the front door. She was running late because it had taken longer to get her oil changed on her car than she anticipated. Sweet relief. She apologized and we headed to sit at our table. I know she must have been just as nervous or even more so than we were.

She was beautiful. She was so kind. We enjoyed our time with her just getting to know her. It was easy and honestly quite comfortable. It’s amazing how much love you feel towards a woman you hardly know. Not to mention the love for the tiny human being formed inside of her. It’s truly incredible. As we left and I embraced her, I felt God whisper to me, “Trust me.”

As we drove back home late that night, we felt very uplifted and good about it. Time to prepare the nursery. Time to embrace this really might happen. Just breathe and trust. Move forward. Do the next right thing. God’s got you. God’s got Levi.

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Over the next couple of months, we have texted and received many updates about our birth mom. All good. She is so independent. She is working hard to better her life, going to school and preparing for the future. She feels well even though it is extremely hot in Texas! Sonogram shows baby boy is doing fabulous. Her texts to me are always so sweet and thoughtful, even though I know she has her struggles and is also preparing for the grieving ahead. Things are moving forward positively and smoothly. No drama and no red flags (like last year). I thank God for this so much as last year took a toll on me many days.

We have prayed daily and feel the prayers of our amazing friends. It means the world the messages we have received just filled with encouragement and prayers. We are now two weeks away from due date. We have done some arranging in our house as we prepare. The nursery is officially ready. All of Miles’ tiny clothes have been washed and put away for baby brother.

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So my friends…

Our home is ready.

Our hearts are ready.

Our kids are excited to meet their brother.

We are ready to see what only God can do.

We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but beyond grateful we know without a doubt WHO holds tomorrow.

And now we wait for the next phone call…

Miles Clark

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Baby boy was originally scheduled to arrive via c-section on October 30th. But he had other plans in mind!

The day before his arrival, I woke up feeling fabulous. I went and worked all day long at my favorite coffee house downtown. I was productive and felt better than I had in weeks! Side note: My mom says this is always a sign of impending labor when you are 9 months along.

Then later that night BAM!, I started feeling miserable. I laid on the couch groaning and whining driving my hubs crazy. Decided to head to bed and we watched an episode of Seinfeld. {Which can we just talk about how awesome this show still is? After all these years, it’s still hilarious and is one of the best shows ever created.} Right after turning the lights off and giving Ryan a good night smooch, I laid my head on the pillow. When I was dozing off, around 10:3ish, my water broke! We jumped out of bed and I called my mom. It was time!

Mom came over to get the girls and Ryan & I headed straight to the hospital. I could tell things were happening fast. After circling the ER entrance a few times out of pure confusion on where the heck to go, we finally figured it out and went in. Funny how your brain doesn’t work the same when in slight panic mode. We got checked in and to the room. The nurses hooked me all up and sure enough I was having pretty strong contractions and already dilated. Our room filled up with family and friends as we waited for the doctor and next steps. The excitement was building…we were about to meet our first son!

It was after midnight, they got me back to the cold operating room and Miles Clark Dixon was born at 12:46 on October 21st! 8 pounds of pure sweetness.

There really is nothing like the experience of birthing a child. We were and continuously are in awe of God’s creation. Miles is a gift from above and we are beyond grateful. Our hearts are overflowing for love for our boy!

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Baby Dixon Adoption Story: Part 7

Well, this truly isn’t what I thought this post would be about. And honestly, I’ve been putting this off for weeks. Even sitting here now in our quiet home office while Miles naps, my heart aches and tears fall onto my desk as I type out these words…

Our adoption fell through.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again: Adoption is beautiful but hard. And you’ve seen here on this blog the good, bad and the ugly. And we have now officially been put into the category of having a “failed adoption.” We knew there would always be a chance in adoption that the birth mom could change her mind. But, we truly didn’t really see this coming. At least not the way it played out. It all felt so certain, especially there at the end. It all felt like it was so perfect. SO meant to be. We’ve been talking about having twins for a good part of this year and have two of everything. We were all set for our #dixontwins.

God brought us all together for a reason. Just not the one we thought.

So, what happened?

You know, honestly…we aren’t sure. And we may never really know. You see, up until the day that our birth mother delivered baby boy, we felt certain in the adoption plan. She even called us when she was heading to the hospital. But then, the next two days were quite confusing and emotional. Without going into much detail, I’ll just say this…the last phone call I received from the birth mom was in the middle of the night to let me know that “they were sending her back home because the baby wasn’t ready to come yet.” When in actuality, he was already born and they had decided to parent…which we later found out from the agency. That’s the last communication we’ve had with the birth mom. Which is hard considering we’ve worked for 5 months to build a relationship and felt like we had such a neat connection.

It’s been an interesting and rocky road for sure, but we know who ultimately is writing our story. It’s not us. And thank God that His ways are higher than our ways and His plans are always greater than our own. The story He writes is always better. So we trust and hold on to this truth. And we pray for the baby that was born that night. That God would protect him. That God would work miracles in the birth mom’s life. That she would come to know the Lord. That somehow they would be able to escape poverty and find a stable place to live. That the boy would grow up being loved and fully cared for well and one day that He would come to know Jesus. Addi, our oldest daughter, who we learn so much from daily, has been praying that for quite some time. She told me one day months ago, “Momma, even if (birth mom) changes her mind and that’s not our Levi, that he would still get saved one day so we can at least meet him in Heaven.” Oh precious, what a heart you have on you.

We grieved this loss greatly. And are still processing. It’s hard to see the duplicates of everything we have in the nursery. It was very hard to watch our girls grieve. That honestly might have been the hardest part! The emotions of a lost adoption are hard to explain. We have felt anger, confusion and most of all, sadness. We have felt so loved through this process by our family and friends. They have come and wrapped their arms around us, cried with us, brought food, sent flowers, fruit or an encouraging note and just loved us well through this time. God has blessed us greatly with these people. Our people. We are forever thankful. Thank you.

Now what? We pray, we trust, and we do the only thing we can. The next right thing…

So now, we are in the process of updating our profile with our agency and gearing up to go back in the “waiting families pot.” Now that we have sweet baby Miles (post to come about his birth soon!), we have to have a new home study and update everything on file. Moving forward with this is such a weird feeling and honestly hard to even think about it. We prayed about it for several days and came to this conclusion: God called us to this. We know in our hearts that our Levi is still out there. We must proceed and it WILL be worth it. What if Jesus gave up after things got hard? Look at all He did to adopt us into His family.

Because of the gospel, we have no choice…we take the next step. Now to see what Part 8 will bring!

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#babyDixon Adoption Story: Part 6

Twins?

Let’s just talk about this for a second.

God sure is funny isn’t He? You know, we had our daughters very close together…Addi was 7 months old when we found out we were pregnant with Kamryn. So, we sort of did this once before! Had two babies about the same time. For years now we have been asked if Addi and Kamryn are twins. And it was crazy and is a complete blur and we had no sleep and on and on and on…BUT, we loved every minute (well, ok, most minutes) & it was obviously totally worth it. Let’s throwback to those times…here we are at the Tyler zoo pushing 2 strollers!

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So honestly, having two at the same time again doesn’t scare us THAT much! Plus #thoseDixons sort of like crazy adventures. Not sure if you’ve discovered that about us yet :) We are VERY excited. Yes, it will be different this time around because they literally are arriving within weeks of each other (or less)…not 16 months! But we are  thrilled about the “twins” that God has created to join our family very soon. When we originally heard that the birth mom that chose us was due just a short 2 1/2 weeks after I was, we just laughed. 2 girls. 2 boys. Goodness gracious, here we go!

What have we done to prepare?

After learning of the news that we had been chosen several months back, we have been on a mission! When I found out I was pregnant earlier in the year, we had already started to prep the nursery for one. Then, when we got the call from the agency in June, we just started doubling everything!

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We truly feel so blessed by the amazing friendships & family in our life. We’ve had friends give us baby stuff that they no longer need. Several sweet friends planned and hosted a beautiful baby shower for us. We’ve received so many generous gifts, it brings tears to my eyes!  We are fully loaded. We have so much stuff it’s crazy! Our drawers and closets are full of clothes. We have gadgets, bumbos, play mats, bouncers, bath gear, double pack-n-play, boppies and on and on. I also have some twin mom friends that have given me some fabulous tips…and will for sure be a resource I will tap into after they arrive! Thankful for these wise, beautifully brave mommas that are there to help. And you know Grandma is having a hay day with this! My mom & I have gone shopping a few times for various things and she’s loading up her house too!

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A few frequently asked questions we get about our boys….

1. When are they due?

Miles will arrive on October 30th or sooner because I have to have a c-section (since I’ve had 2 previous ones). Levi is due November 22nd. 23 days later.

2. Do you plan to breastfeed both of them?

Yep, I’m sure gonna try!

3. What race is Levi?

He is African American. So yes, our twins will be one black and one white! Beautiful.

4. Are your girls excited?

Oh my goodness, they are SO very excited! They can’t wait. They talk about the boys all the time and even fight over who’s gonna get who. Kamryn thinks Levi will be sweet like her. She says Miles will be a “stinker like Addi.” Hahaha! They pray for the birth mom. They totally geek out and squeal anytime I buy new outfits or a gift arrives. They are giddy! And knowing how helpful they will be is awesome…they will be little mommas.

5. Is Ryan glad to have some boys in the house?

You know what…Ryan has been the sweetest and best girl daddy ever. It has been an absolute joy watching this over the past 9 years. Our girls ADORE their daddy. But YES, he is excited to play ninja turtles and trains with boys! He’s excited to think of future camping trips, hiking trails, and football. He’s pumped about adding two boys into our crazy fam. And I know he will be an amazing boy daddy too. Thankful for how he loves us all. By the way, he’s been such a fabulous support to me during pregnancy. He willingly eats whatever sounds good to me so he’s proud to show you his “pregnancy” progress!

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Well folks, that’s about it. Our adoption story thus far. We are prepped & ready. We have done and continue to do all we can. Now, we just continue to pray and wait to see how the rest of the story will unfold. God’s story is always better than ours and we hold on to Ephesians 3:20…”He is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine.” We have faith that God has been and is in control of everything. From the timing of when the babies will be born. To the adoption process, those 48 hours at the hospital and all that that will entail. To bringing two baby boy bundles home and starting our life as a family of 6! We pray often each day for God to go before us as all of this is beyond our strength or power. We know He already knows how all of this will play out and this gives us hope and comfort!

THANK YOU for following our journey and your prayers & encouragement along the way. Your prayers specifically for the birth mother are much appreciated over the coming weeks. The final post in this series, Part #7, will be after babies arrive!!! We can not wait to bring them both home.

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#babyDixon Adoption Story: Part 5

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Tears filled our eyes and many emotions and feelings filled our hearts after receiving that call from the agency that evening. “You have been chosen.” Words I will never forget. I automatically had a strong sense of connection and love for this birth mother who had just looked through our freshly printed profile book and picked us. Our family…those Dixons. We had been praying diligently for her, this person we had no clue who it would be, for months. Actually, for years now even at night as a family while tucking the girls into tiny twin beds.

When we got set up with our new agency, they connected us to their private Facebook group page with their other adoptive families. On this page, they post brief descriptions of birth moms that come in wanting to set up an adoption plan. When our birth mom’s basic info was first posted, we read the details and something just spoke to us about her and our hearts told us that this might be THE ONE. So when they called and told us that she had picked us, we almost weren’t surprised! And here’s the even crazier part – we found out she is due just a few weeks after me! God had brought us together for a reason and the story begins to unfold. Our twins.

So the process works like this. Once the birth mother picks a family, they set up an initial “match call” with a social worker to talk, introduce ourselves and get to know one another. Then if that goes well, a face to face meeting would be set up. After that, the amount of times you meet up or see each other before the birth is really determined by both parties – the birth parents & us. Then, details regarding the birth of this precious baby and hospital would be worked out. In Texas, after the birth, the birth mom has a 48 hours minimum wait to sign off her rights and complete the relinquishment. Thinking through this brings tears to my eyes. Oh the pain, hurt, loss, joy, happiness, humbleness and more unknown feelings that I know these 48 hours will hold.

Our first call was scheduled just a couple of weeks after being matched. Ryan & I were super nervous. To hear this strangers’ voice on the other end of the phone. To relay on to her successfully how thankful we were she picked us, how brave we thought she was and how much love we already had for her and for the baby boy she was carrying. We dialed into the conference call number set up by the agency and immediately were connected to the social worker who was there with her. For the next 45 minutes, we talked. She shared.  She asked some good questions. We asked her some questions and got to know her. Our heart broke for her but grew bigger for her during these minutes. We told her how humbled we were and how we felt like God had brought us together. It was a special time and it just felt right. This was really happening.

After receiving confirmation from the agency that she too felt good about the call, we were on to the next step…setting up the face to face meeting! That was scheduled for just a few short weeks after our call. Date & location was arranged and we were praying hard…we knew going into this would be nerve-wracking for all of us!

In the mean time…my pregnancy was going well and my belly continued to grow. Sweet baby Miles was measuring in the 90% percentile (and still is). He’s going to be tall like Daddy, no doubt! This little guy moves all the time and, according to his sonogram pics, will have some chunky cheeks. So excited to meet him and kiss those cheeks! Precious little boy already has his momma’s heart. Here are some pics showing his growth during this time over the summer…

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So the day came for us to go meet the birth parents. We took a little road trip across Texas that morning to arrive in time for lunch. On the road, we prayed and we talked to some friends on the phone who had experience in this area and were able to give us some great advice and perspective. Ryan & I were both so nervous. Probably one of the most nervous times of our entire lives to be honest! Would we say the right things? Would we know how to act? What to do? How to respond? What is appropriate to say and what’s not? This was uncharted, very new territory for us and we had no clue what to expect. But we prayed and we decided to just be us, be real & go into this honest and open. God knows us and knows her and knows what this baby needs….we just have to be obedient and take it one step at a time. We knew she would be nervous as well and prayed that God would calm all of our nerves! When walking into the restaurant, we weren’t even sure what she looked like or who we were looking for. A few minutes after sitting in the lobby area, we see 3 people walk in – the social worker, the birth mom and the birth father. My natural response? I walked straight up and hugged her fighting back tears! We had a really good lunch followed by ice cream. Conversation seemed to flow easily and comfortably. We talked about pregnancy, families, their hopes & goals, what life for Levi would look like with us, etc. God’s hand was felt all over this day. We left amazed, exhausted, drained but fulfilled.

The consecutive months after this meeting, things have been up and down….some good days, some hard days. Adoption is amazing, but it is also very, very hard. It’s a roller coaster that is hard to explain. Words fail. We knew it would not be easy, but we never EVER doubt that it will be worth it. Levi will be worth it. God has called us to this. Since our initial call & meeting, the birth parents have dealt with a lot of drama, family issues, doubt, questioning their decision, some health concerns, fear, guilt, hospital trips and on and on. It has been difficult for all of us, but most definitely for them. Our love grows for the birth mother as this relationship develops. Our love for baby boy grows greatly. So much to all of this…constantly leaves us on our knees before our Creator. Each day might be crazy, but one thing always remains: God is in complete & total control. This is the stage of the game we are in currently…we continue to meet with them & talk to them on the phone off and on, we pray consistently and continue to prepare for the birth of both of our sons. We continually remind ourselves, this is not about us…this is about God’s plan. We are the clay, he is the potter. Definitely a faith building process!

Next up in Part 6, I’ll share with you guys more about what it looks like to prepare for TWO! Our #Dixontwins. A look inside the nursery, our babies shower and some of the goodies we’ve picked up or have been gifted as we get ready!

For now, we just ask you pray if & when you think of us…

Pray for the birth parents: for peace, comfort, healing, assurance in their decision and the actual delivery, hospital process, their family & health for birth mom.

Pray for our baby boys: for them to continue to grow and develop, for health, for their entrance into the world and into our family! And pray that the timing of their arrival works out as I will most likely be recovering from a c-section with Miles when Levi arrives.

Pray for us: that we would put our full trust in God and have complete faith in his plan through all of this. That we would have the right words to say and remain strong. Pray specifically for our girls and their hearts through all of this, the stress and worry they feel and for them as they prepare for a lot of life changes.

Thank you all! I can’t even express through words how much your prayers & support means to us throughout this process!

#babyDixon Adoption Story: Part 4

We’re officially pregnant AND adopting, all in one! YES. It’s true. Ryan & i were in shock for about a month! Did that really just happen? REALLY?!!! Seriously?! God’s funny sometimes. After multiple positive pregnancy tests and when I started feeling nauseas and extremely tired…things really started to sink in. This was happening. We were going to have 4 kids.

Quickly after this shocking news, we received word from our agency that there was going to be a get-together dinner in March to get caught up and meet other adoptive families. We were excited about this! We were still fully committed to the adoption and hopeful for some good updates/clarity at the meeting. Prior to going, we had started to discuss the possibilities of looking into additional agencies as we started to wonder if we should be more proactive after all of the months and months of waiting, not any action, and limited communication. We had no clue if this was even possible, some of questions that Ryan & I discussed were…

Can we be with more than one agency at a time?
Is this agency the best fit for us after all?
Does it normally take this long?
What if we were with another agency or more than one agency, would that better our chances?
If we change agencies, are we trying to be in control and not let God be in control?
What will the agency think of us being pregnant?

So after praying about this before the meeting, we decided that we would base our decision to search for other agencies or not after hearing the “updates” given. So we went, dined, chatted with some other couples, received the updates and left with no doubt in our minds. It was time to do more and work harder to find our son. We learned during that meeting that we would not be able to get an updated & needed home study for the year, which is required, until after the birth of our biological baby. And also, that the agency wouldn’t show our profile to any birthmoms until 6 months after delivery. Honestly, this was eye-opening and discouraging all at the same time. Ryan & I felt in our hearts that the pregnancy should not put any kind of delay on our adoption process. So to us, this was a clear sign.

We began to pray that God would show us what to do next. Where do we go from here? A couple of months past. First trimester came and went and I was starting to feel better & more energetic. We had been invited to Lubbock to attend a 40th wedding anniversary for some of our dearest friends and mentors in May. A couple of weeks prior to that trip, I so happened to remember that I had a friend on Facebook that worked at an adoption agency based out of Lubbock! A girl that we used to go to church with when we lived there years ago. So I sent her a quick Facebook message that went something like this…”Hey girl, would it be possible to come by on Friday, May 22 for a quick meeting to learn more about your agency?” To which she quickly responded saying that we could and that the director of the agency was available that afternoon at just the perfect time when we would be pulling into town after our 8 hour drive. All set.

The day before our trip, we went to the doctor for the big gender reveal. We currently have two beautiful girls who fill our lives with much joy and a little drama. :) We’ve always known in our hearts, we were supposed to have a son and assumed it would be through adoption. With this pregnancy surprise, we thought it would be so cool if it were a boy so we could have 2 sons since we have 2 daughters. 4 kids! WOW. We never really expected to have that many! #thoseDixons were about to go from 4 to 6! As soon as they put the ultrasound instrument on my growing tummy, he revealed himself proudly! It’s a boy! Tears of joy filled our eyes as we watched them explore our precious son who we had already chosen a name for, Miles Clark. It was a special moment and we felt God’s presence surround us. Sharing this news with family and friends made for a fun day! We were excited to learn all of this before heading West to celebrate with our friends.

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So after arriving in Lubbock that Friday, the whole Dixon crew went to meet with the director of this potential new agency for about an hour and a half. It was everything we needed. She said things that spoke right to our heart about their mission and the way they approach this adoption process. They also said they left it up to God and the birth mom to decide if she would want to choose us knowing we were pregnant, so they continue to show profiles. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with her and loved hearing her passion for what she does. We left with a fresh new stack of paperwork and list of to do’s to get the ball rolling yet again.

After a great time in West Texas, we headed back East to Tyler. On the long drive home, we started filing out the new forms, talking about baby names, and feeling overall more confident and excited about this new door of opportunity. We felt like this step was the right one and bringing us closer to our second son, who we even chose a name for on the drive home…Levi, which means “attached or united.” Perfect. The 2-3 weeks after that initial meeting we completed doctors visits, background checks, updated references, fire & safety updates, a home study visit and preparing a new profile book to be printed. We also had a 2 hour phone call with the agency discussing what circumstances, conditions, preferences, etc we would be willing to accept. This call was honestly very hard and exhausting. Questions like “Would you take a baby who’s birth mom smoked cigarettes? If yes, how many cigarettes per day is OK?” and “If your baby had XYZ, would you take him?” Heavy, heavy stuff to think through and answer. We worked fiercely to complete everything needed as we felt God saying, “move!” We had everything turned in to the agency including the freshly printed profile books by Friday, June 19th. Just under a month after our initial meeting. Whew, sweet relief!

3 DAYS LATER. June 22nd. My phone rings a little after 5 that evening. The call we had been waiting on for 2 1/2 years…

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Miss the first 3 parts of our adoption series? You can read there by clicking on the links below! Stay tuned for Part 5. 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

#babyDixon Adoption Story: Part 3

So we continue along our journey to #babyDixon. We knew this process wouldn’t be easy but we always knew it would be worth it. Thoughts of our future kiddo helped us press on through any doubts or discouragement along the way.

At this point, June 2014, we were all set, in the “book” at the agency to be shown to birth moms, and daily wondering when our phone would ring telling us we had been chosen. Month after month continued to pass. We received a couple of emails that our profile was going to be shown, but never THE call. With those couple of emails, there was much prayer, hopeful anticipation and thoughts of “what if?”

 

We constantly had to remind ourselves not to get discouraged. From the beginning stages of submitting the first round of paperwork ’til we swaddle the tiny baby, we knew this thing was in God’s hands and we didn’t want it any different. We would patiently wait some more. Another holiday season came and went with no additional stockings to hang by the fire. Hello, 2015.

 

So, Ryan & I started talking about something we hadn’t talked about in a very long time. We started questioning something we thought we had felt certain of previously. The whole “should we try to get pregnant?” talk. Oh boy. But wait! Before we go into this, let me give some background…

 

After having our girls so close to together back to back in 2006 & 2007, this momma had honestly no interest in enduring 9 months of pregnancy again. I mean, for the love, I was pregnant for basically 2 years straight. I really felt that I was done. I knew in my heart that God had planted that seed of adoption and felt perfectly content and at peace with that being how our third child would come into the world. But, Ryan always said throughout the whole process of adoption (partially joking but not really), “You know if we have 3, we should have 4 right? He’ll need a buddy!” I always would laugh it off but just thought that maybe we would just adopt twice…you know, if he was really serious about the buddy thing.

 

So fast-foward to early 2015. Things were moving still extremely slowly with our adoption process and my 35th birthday was rapidly approaching. Thoughts of pregnancy crept in. See Exhibit A.

 

Exhibit A:
Maybe I was making a mistake by shutting that door? 
What if God wanted me to get pregnant AND adopt? 
I do like the thought of feeling the baby move, breastfeeding and my girls being a part of such an incredible thing.
Maybe I wasn’t done? 
Maybe I should try again before I turn 35? 
I’m too old.
Could I really endure that again? I mean, 9 whole months, really?
Could I give up running & wine for nearly a whole entire year?
I can’t. I just can’t.
Am I selfish?
Would I be able to handle 4 kids, owning our own businesses and have any kind of life?
What if I get stretch marks this time around?
What if I can’t get pregnant anymore?
What if it was a boy and looks like Ryan? I would just die.
Am I crazy?
I don’t even know how to have a newborn…it’s been over 7 years! What the heck is a Nose Freda?

 

When I told Ryan some of my thoughts, I could tell he was trying not to show his excitement and make sure this is something I really wanted to do. But his grin told me all I needed to know. So we talked through it, went back & forth for about 2 months. Should we? Shouldn’t we? Then finally one day, we decided something BIG. Something kind of crazy. Have you heard of the story in the Bible about Gideon laying out a fleece and asking God to give him a sign – if it were wet the next morning, but the ground was dry THEN he would know for sure? Well, we decided to throw out the fleece so to speak. But honestly felt in our hearts it was the only way to move on from these few months of uncertainty. God is gracious and patient with us humans, thank goodness huh?

 

So, we decided to really pray intently and try for 1 month. Just 1 month which technically is only a week or so. If God wanted us to get pregnant, we would. If not, we would just completely move on from this idea and be OK with it. But, either way, we’d move on with our plan to adopt as that never was a question.

 

So, we did. And it did. And He did. And now this…

 

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Miss Parts 1 & 2? Here you go:
Read Part 1 HERE
Read Part 2 HERE
Stay tuned for Part 4. God really just starts showing off!

#babyDixon Adoption Story: Part 2

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Our journey had officially begun. Hurry-up-and-wait seemed to be the theme throughout this stretch…

In March of 2013, we left our first training at the agency with a clear direction, a stack of paperwork, list of required books on “Open Adoption” to read and a dose of anxiousness. The paperwork required, as expected & understandably so, was INTENSE. Very personal questions were asked, details of family history, childhood memories, copies of birth and marriage certificates, work & living history, doctor check-ups & referrals to ensure we were “fit to parent”, letters of references were requested, etc, etc, etc. The agency had told us the next step after completing this would be a 2 day seminar specifically about Domestic Infant Adoption, but they had just had one and it would be a few months before the next one would be scheduled. We thought that’s ok! That will give us some time to complete this huge pile of to-dos.

So, we worked on this paperwork and read the books off and on for the next few months…at night when the girls went to bed, on airplanes, Sunday afternoons on the patio, on road trips, you name it. Late summer, we mailed off a huge packet containing the completed paperwork to the agency. Everything was DONE! We felt so accomplished and excited. Maybe baby Dixon would be with us by Christmas? We would need a stocking for him and of course new family photos for a Christmas card! Ryan began painting our guest room that would become a nursery. We dusted off the beautiful crib my Dad had hand crafted for Addi and set it in place. We continued to move forward as we waited for the next green light. We read books, learned so much about open adoption…the good, bad, ugly. Ryan and I both felt 100% sure about having this openness (which just means you can have some sort of relationship with the birth mom and possibly the birth father after placement). We prayed for the birth mother often knowing the struggle and pain she would go through. A love in our heart grew for this person who would carry this precious gift.

We were anticipating the 2 day seminar to be scheduled “any day now” and felt like we were making progress. We waited. And waited. And waited some more. The agency thought they would have a seminar in the Fall of that year but it didn’t happen. Months came and months went. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years…and nothing. Honestly, we began to feel discouraged. At this point, all our friends and family were aware of our desire to adopt. As good friends and loving family do, they asked “How’s the adoption going?” to which we would reply with a sigh, “Just waiting!”. We knew adoption could be and usually is a long process…but every time we took a huge step forward, nothing much happened. We prayed. Mostly for patience but always for our baby who we knew God had already picked out for our family. Some days, we questioned. We had faithfully taken the steps…God, this was what you wanted us to do, right? Finally on a cold winter day in February 2014, we received word that we had gotten in to the long-awaited seminar! This was it! It was scheduled for late April, still a couple of months away, but we felt encouraged that things would began to happen!

With a newly found vigor and positivity, we attended the 2 day session that Spring. The days were filled with intensive training on adopting a newborn. What to expect, the process of being chosen by a birth mom, the match meetings, the hospital stay, etc. We learned so much and enjoyed every minute of it. We even heard a testimony from another adoptive couple who had been through the process. They had been chosen quickly and had a beautiful baby girl. They shared their story and it touched our hearts. We began to wonder even more…how would our story play out? Feeling more confident than ever that we were on the right track, we left with a few more items to take care of to get ready for our home study. One was to create a profile with pictures and a letter for the birthparents. This profile would be what they would show a birth mom when she was ready to choose a family. This was all the birthparents would know of us. Our one shot to make a good impression. We thoughtfully but quickly took care of this so we could get our home study scheduled and do all we could to “get in the books” as soon as possible. We were ready. We got a call to setup our final piece of the puzzle, the home study. It was scheduled quickly, the interview and home inspection was smooth and painless. Some general questions for Ryan and I, a walkthrough and even some Q&A with our girls on discipline and their happiness levels. The last official item was officially checked off. We left on a family vacation in early June with everything complete. Now, we wait some more.

Sitting outside on a porch while at the beach that June 2014, my phone rang. It was the agency. The first of many anticipated calls along our journey…our home study was approved and our profile had officially gone IN THE BOOK! So they would be able to start showing us to birth moms that they were working with. Tears streamed down my face as I looked at Ryan and told him. It’s happening…here we go. Knowing that from that day forward, the next time our phone rang, it could be THE call. The one to tell us we had been chosen. The one that would bring us closer to our son. The one that, unbeknownst to us, was still so far away.

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Our Valentine’s Day Adventure

We had such a great Valentine’s Day! It was gorgeous & sunny outside, so Ryan & I decided to soak that up and spend sometime outdoors as a family. I packed up a picnic filled with pepperoni and mozzarella roll ups, sesame crackers, hummus, dried fruit, pita chips, girl scout cookies and nuts (YUM) and we headed to the Mineola Nature Trail to explore, hike and enjoy the sunshine! If you live in East Texas and haven’t been there, you should go! It’s fabulous out there. Beautiful and very peaceful. We love taking our girls on adventures that we like to call “memory makers.” Can’t think of a better way to spend a day celebrating LOVE with the people I love the most! That night, Ryan & I put the girls to bed and had a date night at home. He grilled steaks, we opened some wine from our favorite winery and chilled outside on the patio laughing and enjoying the Spring like Winter night! My favorite kind of date night. I am one blessed wife & momma. Here are some pics from our day.

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Will never take it for granted!

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When my girls were little, all I wanted to do was be able to work from home so that I could be with them more. I worked a typical corporate 8 to 5 cubicle style job for most of their babyhood and well past their toddlerhood. Sat at my desk most days always wishing there was something more. I worked hard but felt like I got no where. Financially…or in life. It always made me so sad to drop off two sweet baby girls at daycare in the morning and only have what seemed like a few minutes each night to really spend quality time with them. I struggled with this for years but thought that was just the way it was. We didn’t have another option. We had so much debt and way too many bills. I always prayed that God would somehow allow me that freedom. To open a door for my family. I love to work and always have, but just wanted something that would give me the freedom to do it from home. I prayed and prayed and searched and searched. Fast forward to today. I am overcome with joy and emotion as I think of all that God has done in our lives over the past several years. The things he has brought us through, both ups & downs. I am so incredibly grateful that I have found IT. To be able to work a job that I love from home or wherever I choose and set the hours I want. My kids can be with me when I work. I love this so much. I am also thankful that this job doesn’t feel like a job to me…I help people achieve goals and earn income doing it. It’s also allowed us to pay off debt and dream bigger than we’ve ever imagined. It really is my dream come true. To live more. Such freedom for which I will not take for granted and will count my blessings daily as I soak up making memories with my babies!

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#focused15

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I have a friend who read a book called One Word That Will Change Your Life and told me all about it! In a nutshell it encourages you to pick just one word and let it guide you the entire year to help you simplify and go after your goals in all areas of your life. I decided to do this. I am all about setting goals and love the start of a fresh new year to go after brand new ones. Instead of making overwhelming resolutions I could potentially fail at, I decided to choose a word and let that push me to succeed in several areas and goals! I prayed about it and decided Traci’s word would be FOCUSED. Past tense because the end goal is to be more focused. That’s my destination (and my new hashtag). Let me explain…

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  • I wanted to be more focused as a mom. I want to have time with my children where I fully focus on them and relish each moment with them as they are kids. Because as time has already proven, it speeds by. How are they already 7 & 8? I mean, really. Life is crazy and I love crazy. BUT. I want to slow down enough each day to have intentional focused time with my munchkins. It’s in those sweet moments where memories are made and hopefully impacts their hearts. I don’t want to miss it…at bedtime, reading a book, cuddling, playing a game of basketball, looking them in the eyes, holding their hand.
  • I want to be more focused as a wife. With Ryan & I both having our own businesses, we tend to be in “work mode” often. And we both enjoy working. However, I want to have even more time with my husband that is fully focused on us. Not our kids. Not our businesses. Not our long list of to do’s. Just us. Our friendship and our love. Date nights need to be just that. A night together to laugh, talk, look into each others eyes, and just be. Ryan deserves that from me. Our marriage deserves that. We do fairly well in this area but there is always room for improvement! I am blessed to have an amazing man who not only is my best friend but also business partner. I want to be able to fully focus on the most important part of our relationship as husband and wife first!
  • I want to be more focused in my business. Working from home is a total blessing of which I’ve dreamed about my whole life! I love what I do and the freedom it allows me. Wouldn’t trade it for anything! However, something I have learned about myself is that in order for me to truly focus and get more done, I have to do a few things. Which is my goal in this area for the year! That is to utilize my planner to help me plan out my weeks and months better. To make my list of things I need/want to accomplish and mark them off each day. If I don’t write it down, chances are, it’s not happening. I also have decided in order to focus fully on getting stuff done in my business, I work so much better from a coffee shop! When I’m at home, I sometimes get distracted by “home stuff”…i.e. laundry, dishes, my dog, the piles of toys, etc. But when I take my computer to the local coffee shop, I get a ton done and can intently focus on building my business. I love it. Plus the coffee is amazing and that’s always a perk! I have a big goals for my business in 2015, so being & staying FOCUSED is key.
  • I want to be more focused with my running. Last year, I ran. But honestly it was half-heartedly. I didn’t give it my all. I didn’t do it as much as I would have liked or pushed myself as hard as I could. The races I did were hard and I didn’t even really try. As I ran across the finish line of the Dallas Half in December, I determined then & there that I wouldn’t let another year pass like that. I know there will be a day when I’m older where running is a thing of the past….hopefully that day will be when I’m like 90! I want to relish in my runs all that I can. So this year, I am focused. Focused on getting better. Getting faster. Doing more. Running with purpose. It clears my mind, I get my best ideas while running, and have some of my best worship experiences. It’s my “Traci time.” I need this and it’s good for me! Dedicated to being more focused and the runner I know I can be.
  • Finally, but most importantly, I want to be more focused in my relationship with the Lord this year. I have started getting up early & I was not an early morning person! But slowly I’m becoming one. And loving it! I need to have more focused quiet times in the mornings to get my heart and focus where it needs to be each day. JESUS. When He is my focus, everything else falls as it should. I don’t let as many things affect me in a negative way, I’m a nicer and more patient momma when my girls wake up, I’m a better friend. I have determined that I can’t do this life thing by myself (duh) and God doesn’t expect me to. He’s there always and is continuously faithful. I need to let him guide my days instead of bringing him in on occasion when it’s convenient. He is bigger and greater than all things….I need him in ALL areas, not just a few.

My prayer at the end of 2015, as we are celebrating another year with our amazing friends & dancing the night away at our annual New Year’s Eve party, is that I’ll look back over the past 12 months and know that I FOCUSED on what’s most important. In each moment of each day of each month of the whole year. I want to make it count and live it to the fullest.

I challenge you to pick a word and join me in striving to be the best version of YOU that you can be this year! And I would LOVE to hear about it if you would be willing to share!

Much love,

Traci

Addi’s Dance Improv

Every year at Addi’s school, they have the opportunity to enter a piece of art into a contest. Addi always wants to do it because 1. she LOVES to create stuff and 2. if you enter, you get to attend the ice cream party – hello! most important reason, right here. Here was the post from last year and her painting that ended up going all the way to state! I can’t believe how tiny my babies look in that post – geez, how quickly they grow in a year’s time. Ok, so. Prepare yourself. Here is this year’s submission. She chose to make up her own dance routine for her art this go round. We played this song maybe 3 times to let her rehearse and practice. She called me into the room when she was ready and I hit record. This is what happened…

Addi’s Art Project

Can you believe that? I had to pick my jaw up off the floor! I know I’m partial, but seriously…I was AMAZED. I showed Ryan and he was blown away. Pure, raw, natural talent right there. And all improv! I’m one proud momma.

Addi’s Luau Party

My big girl turned 6 last Friday! While trying to decide for months and months what kind of party she wanted to have (because this is a BIG deal, you know), her new Aunt Bre suggested a luau. Addi LOVED that idea so we went with it. Aloha!

Ryan grilled jerk chicken & pineapple kabobs & made his delicious mango salsa. I put together some hawaiian ham & cheese sandwiches and ordered tasty cupcakes from a friend. We bought flowery leis & headed out to the lake for the party. We figured if you are going to a luau, what better spot than by water!

Addi had a blast with all her friends, which of course fills my heart. We played Hot Pineapple (instead of Hot Potato), Musical Beach Towels (instead of Musical Chairs), and of course the Limbo!

We had a fun time celebrating our Addi and the 6 years of joy she has brought to us. She is one amazing little girl!

Give me a push.

We went for a run a few mornings ago and then let the girls ride their bikes afterwards. They love to ride bikes at the trails. Their little legs get quite a workout! Towards the end of our loop around the park, Addi was getting tired and would ask me for a push. I would gently push her along and she would peddle for a while and then need another push. Kam is pretty fearless when it comes to riding bikes…she whips around, goes up & down hills like nobody’s business. Addi on the other hand it a bit more timid, we really have to coach and encourage her. It constantly amazes me how different our girls are.

Anyways, as I walked along side my babies that day, I got to thinking. I hope & pray I can always be there for my girls when they need a little push in life. Those times when things get downright hard, when they set a goal to accomplish something, when their hearts get broken, there’s a big test at school, a friend lets them down, they lose the game, they want to try something new, etc. I want to be there for them when they need me most. To help them keep going. To press into Christ, learn from mistakes, grow in trials, and move on. To keep on keepin’ on, as my Dad used to say. We tell our girls all the time, “Dixons don’t give up!” I want to encourage them to be the best they can be while loving them the best that I can. I want to motivate them to achieve their dreams and accomplish their goals. I want them to know that mommy loves them no matter what and I will always be there to give them a little push when they need it.

I love these two and thank God for them and the way they push me to strive to be a better person.

Mini Vacay, My Amazing Team, First Tooth & Teacher Appreciation Gift

Wow! I’m a blog slacker! Seriously. I apologize for my lack of attendance here in blogland. Heck, no one probably even looks at this thing anymore. Is anyone even out there? Hello? Can you hear me? Anyone? Bueller? Attention: I’m finally posting a blog!

Mini Vacay

This past weekend, we headed down to San Antonio with friends for some time away. We had a blast! San Antonio is a great place for family vacations. It’s just close enough where driving is not terrible. There are plenty of options of things to do for both children & adults. We did Sea World and Schlitterbahn. We headed to the Mercado & had delicious mexican cuisine & margaritas at Mi Tierra. We rode a “Cinderalla” carriage ride. We laughed. We got up hastily at 12:30 a.m. & carried our sleeping children down 6 flights of stairs when the fire alarm at the hotel was going off. OK, so that part wasn’t fun. At all. Nor was it very funny to find out that someone decided to pull it for a dirty joke. I was sort of impressed by the fact that I followed all the rules of a fire drill: touching the door before opening it, taking the stairs, putting on a hat to cover nasty bed head, etc. It was a great weekend with friends!

My Amazing Team

My It Works! team is blowing it up. I’m quickly figuring out that “ground level” is an understatement. Thankful I jumped on board with my friend Ashley called me in January! I have a great group of ladies & a few men that are seriously killing it. I love this company. I love helping people get healthy. I love making new friends. And I won’t lie, making extra money is a perk too! We paid off our last credit card this month…woohoo! If you haven’t checked out our great products, click here. Good stuff!

First Tooth

Is it weird to get teary eyed when your first born child loses her first tooth? I mean really, enough is enough. First we did this thing called Kindergarten and now this? I can’t take it! She’s growing up way too fast for my liking. She was such a big girl about the whole pulling of the tooth deal. It has been loose for a while, but when she came home from school yesterday after consuming an apple for snack, it was hanging by a thread. So big girl went and got some floss and yanked that thing out like it was nothing at all! She was so proud. We were so proud. Tooth fairy came and left four quarters. Addi was way pumped by that (which thankfully she wasn’t disappointed since she made mention of “maybe the toof fairy will leave like one hundred dollars or something” the night before).

Teacher Appreciation Gift

My friend Amy was kind enough to share this crafty idea with me. I am lacking in the area of crafty, I’m just saying. So glad I saw Amy while in San Antonio and she gifted me with some of her craftiness. We have truly been blessed this year with fabulous teachers! As you recall, I was pretty worried/upset/depressive/anxious about Addi starting Kindergarten. Ryan & I prayed for her teacher months and months in advance. And boom, God provided an amazing person to us for Addi’s first year. Seriously couldn’t have asked for a better lady to teach and lead my daughter each day. And Kamryn’s preschool teacher has been awesome as well. Both ladies are super caring and give 110% every day. We are so so thankful for both of them. With it being Teacher Appreciate Week, I wanted to give them a little something to shower them with appreciation. Cue Amy’s crafty idea. How cute is this poem? I loved it! And I hope Mrs. Jeanes & Mrs. Kelley know that we mean every word!

Green is for the inspiration you give me each day.

Blue is for your patience in showing me the way.

Orange is for your warmth and caring style.

Yellow is for the way you always make me smile.

Red is for my life that you have touched this year.

You’re a very special teacher just like this jar, that’s clear.

You place knowledge In children’s hands

and melt into their hearts and lives forever.

You’re a “Magnificent” & “Marvelous” teacher

Thank you for being my M&M.

I just love you so much.

We have designated every Wednesday night as “Dixon Family Night” in 2012. It was one of Ryan & I’s New Year’s resolutions – to set aside one night each week that we marked on our calendar and would not schedule anything with anyone else on that particular night. These nights would be different than other regular nights filled with homework, reading, chores, laundry, etc- we would specifically do something fun & different together. Just our little family.

We have done a variety of different things thus far. Sometimes we stay home and play games like Trouble or Hi Ho Cherry-O. Sometimes we rent a new movie, put on cozy pj’s and munch on popcorn as we all snuggle on the couch together. Sometimes (like tonight) we go out for ice cream and to the Just a Dollar store to let the girls pick out one treat each…”anything you want in the whole entire store!” It’s very exciting as you can imagine. ;) We have really enjoyed these nights and cherish the special memories that we are making with our girls at this age.

Tonight as we were sitting in TCBY enjoying our yummy frozen treat, Kamryn randomly looked up with watery eyes and her chocolate covered mouth and said, “Mommy, I’m so glad you are my Mommy. And Daddy, I’m so glad you are my Daddy. I think I’m gonna cry because I just love you so so much!” Melt my heart. The girl literally had tears welling up in her eyes as she spoke. Here was our sweet four year old daughter expressing how much she loved us and how thankful she was that we were her parents. PRECIOUS. What a sweet moment & one that I want to remember (especially when she becomes a teenager!)…so I came right home and documented here on our blog.

Baby girl, I thank God everyday He gave us you & Addi and let us be your parents! What a great blessing and amazing gift. I just love you so much too.

My heart is full.

Messy Night.

Tonight after dinner, I was doing my nightly ritual of cleaning up. You know, the usual…dishes, wiping the table & faces, picking up the toys on the kitchen floor as well as the socks and shoes that I’ve tripped on a few times, etc. After starting the bath water, I continued cleaning up books in the hallway and then on into the girls’ room which was utterly disastrous. Stuff was everywhere. I honestly felt annoyed by all the mess. If you know me, you know I prefer order and organization. Things have a place and they belong in that place. And just as some not nice words were about to escape my mouth and regrettably enter loudly into the house for all to hear, something smacked me in the face (and heart) so hard that tears came to my eyes.

You see, at this very moment there is a mommy out there in my city who is mourning the loss of her precious 3 year old daughter. I can’t even fathom that. And here I am griping and moaning about the mess my daughters have made as they happily played in their room this evening. For those of you from Tyler, I’m certain you have heard about Haven Grace. For those of you who haven’t heard, please take time to watch this. What a blessing this child was to so many and what an amazing life she lived in her short time here. My heart has been heavy for this family for the past few days. Sad for her mommy & daddy and their incredible loss, but also inspired by this sweet little girl, her caring heart & her courage. Wow, what an angel.

So, how dare me & my complaining tonight. I should thank God for this mess we call our home. Lord, forgive me for being so stinkin selfish at times. Stepping on that toy while cooking should remind me…I have healthy children who are simply being kids and enjoying life. Instead of being annoyed, I should hold them close & give them a big fat kiss while thanking God for them. And the fact that He loves me and doesn’t shout out ugly words even though I’m a mess at times.

Kam’s Hot Chocolate Birthday Party

A few months back, Kam informed me that she wanted to have a “hot chocolate” birthday party. Easy enough! So this past weekend, my baby turned 4 and we had her a partay. Did you hear that? MY BABY TURNED 4, PEOPLE!

This sweet litttle bundle who just looked like this yesterday…

Now looks like this today…

I think as soon as you become a parent, you enter into some kind of weird warped time zone. Seriously, I’m amazed at how fast it goes and at the same time challenged to cherish each precious minute of each day! Anyways, enough of the sappy mommy talk (before I start crying!) and on to the birthday party.

A hot chocolate birthday party is what she wanted, so a hot chocolate birthday party is what she got! After all, it’s not everyday YOUR BABY TURNS FOUR. Here’s what we did to celebrate. On the invite, we told everyone to come in their pajamas to the party – since it was a mid-morning party on a Saturday, we thought this would be appreciated! Each of the kids got to decorate a chocolate cupcake to enjoy along with their cup of homemade hot cocoa in a snowman mug. We had a buffet of marshmallows, peppermint sticks, mini M&M’s, different colors of icing, and holiday sprinkles. I also made marshmallow snowmen (thanks Pinterest), which were a hit! After this fine dining experience a.k.a getting hopped up on sugar (sorry mommy friends), we had storytime. Ryan read one of our kid’s favorite books called Snowmen at Night. Then, we went on a snowman hunt (thanks to my friend Rach for this fun idea). I printed out blue snowmen and hid them all around the house. I told the kids that last night, twenty snowmen had snuck into our house & hid (you know…as a follow-up to Snowmen at Night) and they had to help find them before they melted! Then, it was time to open gifts & pass out goodie bags. Each kid was able to take home their snowman mug too. All in all, I think it was a fun party & Kamryn had a great time and felt special. Addi said it was the best party ever! Love that my girls appreciate such simple things like hot chocolate.

Happy birthday to the sweetest four year old ever!

Fans for Friends

A few nights ago, Kam spent the better part of an hour working on some “fans for friends.” She meticulously folded and colored on probably 20-30 sheets of construction paper. She came in and asked me if I would like to buy a fan. Of course I did and she “sold” one to Ryan as well. She was proud of her fans and even wrote her own jingle. Reminds me of her entrepreneurial sissy and her colored pages. So, without further a do, here’s is Kamryn Jane’s commercial for her “fans for friends.” If you would like to buy one, please send money to Tyler, TX (that’s what our address is according to the girls).

Art Contest

We love Addi’s school. It is an Arts Academy and promotes art & creativity in all they do. She gets to take dance, drama, music, and art every week. How cool is that? She enjoys these classes so much. Recently, they sent home a flyer about a school-wide art contest that they do every year. Addi is always a little nervous about entering into contests or playing games. She’s a perfectionist, doesn’t like to lose, and worries about every detail. (Not sure where she gets this from!) However when she heard that everyone that enters gets to attend an ice cream party, it was on. She was ready to get her creative on.

For this contest, you can submit a painting, a musical recording, do a dance, photography, etc. But the student has to do it all by herself. Addi chose to paint. We got her a blank canvas and let her have at it. Of course, Kam had to paint something too. (She’s a bit more free-spirited and carefree as you can see with her painting below.) Addi is so serious about everything she does. She worked on this piece for a couple of days, shed some tears of frustration if she “messed up”, and asked a billion questions about the contest and what was going to happen. I reassured her (a million times) that the beauty of art is that you can’t mess it up…you can make it however you want it and anything goes. It’s her canvas and every stroke she makes can be whatever color or shape she wants. She’s such a rule-follower and likes to color in the lines, so this was somewhat difficult for her to understand.

It turned out great. She was very proud of it and was excited to turn it in to her teacher. The painting is of her standing outside her house. She’s holding an umbrella and Bailey is next to her. The sun is shining (and smiling), there are flowers along the pathway and a rainbow in the sky. Oh, and don’t forget the pink heart clouds.

I love these artists, their personalities and their sweet little hearts! They are beautiful.