Monday, December 28, 2009

What a month!


Wow... the month of December has flown by! I can hardly believe we are about to embark upon 2010. This has been a month full of fun and celebration.

We started the month off by celebrating Ellie's 3rd birthday! Ellie had her first party at her babysitter's house.. loads of fun was had!! Then we had some family and friends to our house that weekend for another birthday party. Ellie's only requests for the day were that Jeff and I wear pajamas with her, that there were balloons in the house and that she have flowers. So... we did just that. We were in pjs (very comfy, I might add), and the house was filled with balloons. A dozen pink roses were on the table for Ellie. she was in awe of it all. In lieu of gifts, we asked that anyone who wanted to, give a donation to Ellie's former orphanage instead. We are THRILLED to announce that the children of Ammanuel Orphanage in Woliso, Ethiopia will soon be getting $200 worth of food their way! we are so excited to be able to do even this small thing for the place that gave life to our sweet girl!

helping mommy make cupcakes for her party at Mrs. Lisa's!

I am constantly amazed at this child! God has reshaped her in so many ways, yet there is still the innocence, excitement and wonder that was there when we first met her just a few months ago. I am so thankful that God entrusted us to parent her, and I cannot wait to celebrate more and more birthdays with her in the years to come!

My birthday was also this month, and Jeff and I got away for our first date night since bringing Ellie home. Let me just say.. I love my kids, but getting away with Jeff was more than wonderful! Thank you Jeff, for being my partner, my best friend, my hero! I love you!

And finally, we get to Christmas. I had forgotten how much fun it is to have a 3 year old in the house at Christmas time! Ellie has had a blast watching all of the festivities! She loves the trees, the decorations, the lights (she LOVED Southern Lights!). She has had fun making her own ornaments for the first time this year. She has relished in learning the Christmas carols (much to Bryan's dismay, I might add). But, she has truly understood that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. We woke on Christmas morning to her singing in her room "Happy Birthday to you" to Jesus. How sweet is that?? It was the perfect reminder of why we celebrate.

My family is my gift, this year and every year. So, I've decided not to post any of our Christmas pics here right now. Instead, I want to take some time to tell them what they mean to me.

Jeff, you are my hero. In every sense of the word, that's exactly what you are. You have made all of my dreams come true.. even those that I was afraid to speak aloud for a long time. You are a dream come true to me. Every day, it is a privilege and an honor to wake beside you, walk through each day with you, and end each day knowing that no matter what happened that day, you are still my number one encourager and fan. You know exactly how to make me laugh, and you know just when I need you to be silent. You are such a Godly man.. an example to me and to our children of sacrificial love. I am so thankful that God placed us together in this life. I can't imagine doing it without you by my side every day! It's my life's greatest honor to call you my husband. I love you forever.

Bryan.. you are my son, my firstborn (my only-born, as you say). You have always brought to me so much joy, and you still do. Nothing makes my day quite so much as you giving me a hug or a kiss for no apparent reason at all. I love that you still kiss me in public and that you aren't afraid to say that you love me. I have loved watching you become a young man. I dream about the man you will one day be; I can only imagine that you will be fabulous! It is an honor to watch you mature, to watch you wrestle out the rights and wrongs, to walk alongside you and encourage you in the faith. I want you to know that I never felt incomplete when you were an only child; you have always been enough for me, and if we had never had more children, I would have always known I was the most blessed mom in the world. Don't for a minute ever think that bringing Ellie home means that you were less than special. Our family is not whole without you.. no doubt! You bring light and joy to my heart every day. You taught me how to be a mom; you've given me grace when I stunk at it too! I love being your mom, Bryan. I love you.

Ellie, you are such a joy. You've shown me a perfect picture of what God's redemptive love looks like. The lessons I am learning through your life seem never ending. You are such a miracle. I never believed that I could be so blessed as to parent two children who were so incredible! I am so thankful that God chose you for us! Being your mommy is such a joy! I am loving painting nails, playing dress up, learning how to do hair, shopping for jewelry and clothes, and shoes shoes shoes! I love that you are a girly girl. Always keep that!! I love your spirit. i love your spunk. I want you to know that this is your forever home, and you will always be safe and secure here. You will always have plenty to eat, and you will always know the touch and sound of love in this home. You never have to wonder again if you are wanted; here, you are always wanted and always loved, Ellie! You are an answer to a very special prayer I prayed many years ago. To see you as the culmination of all of those prayers just makes me tear up and puts chills down my spine! I love you as if I had carried you in my womb, and although I know I didn't do that, I did carry you in my heart. You light up my day when you smile and say "I lub you mommy". I'm so happy you are finally home, sweet girl.

I can only imagine what 2010 has in store...

Styling sunday....sort of

Well, Christmas Eve wasn't on a Sunday, but my girl was stylin' nonetheless.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Styling Sunday 3

Hair, courtesy of Deniece Bell... my hero!! love you girl! Gotta give props where they are due!

Sunday, December 6, 2009