Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lady lovebug's first Christmas presents 2011

It was so sweet on Christmas morning. Joshua and my mom bought two gifts for Lauren and had me open them. One is a children's Bible, from Joshua who said, "look mommy, it's just like mine - only hers came with a CD so she can learn the language". I was so touched that he would ask my mom, while in the Christian bookstore to get her a bible. He loves his Bible, and even though he's not quite reading all on his own, he's beginning... but he loves to read the stories through the pictures. He already thinks of her as his sister :) and I absolutely love that! The other gift from mom was something every Kentucky girls needs....... a Wildcat outfit :) This little dress is so cute - with "UK" embroidered and "paws" on the bloomers. You kindof have to be from Kentucky to really get this... we LOVE our University of Kentucky WILDCATS ... basketball team :)No doubt! The other item in the picture is a light switch cover that Joshua and Brad painted for me for my birthday, which was right before Christmas. I love it and think it will look great in Lauren's room. It's a castle design if you can't tell... with multiple colors perfect for her room. :) So there you have it little one... Christmas presents before you even arrive home :)

C-A-T-S.....CATS, CATS, CATS !! Goooooo....... CATS!

On other Christmas ramblings.... I'm not a big "after Christmas shopper". I don't really like all the crowd, lines, etc. And there is really nothing that I need however, this year ... right before Christmas I found myself shopping late and working hard to find ornaments that hold a photograph, because many were sold out. This is somewhat of a tradition because Brad's mom has collected for years Christmas ornaments with the grandkids' pictures in them. It is so much fun looking at her tree with all the kids and how they have changed through the years. Her family is the love of her life -- so even though we didn't travel to Rockford this year - I always try to mail her a photo. I finally found an ornament and got it off in the mail right before Christmas. During a last minute trip to Michael's craft supply... what did I see?? Really cute ornaments with photos in them.... so I registered it away...and thought, ok that's one place I will venture out to after Christmas for 1/2 price sale (so I'll already be set for Christmas 2012). ... So on Dec. 26th mom and I went to do a little shopping. I'm standing in Michael's going through ornaments and counting for Nana, one for Grandma, and one for us.... oh wait!! I will have TWO children next Christmas!!! Two for Nana, two for Grandma, and two for us!! It was an amazing, yet surreal feeling.... visualizing her sweet little face in this picture at the top of the Christmas stocking ornament. Oh.... I can't even tell you how excited I am for that day to come!! We love you little Lauren...our Lady Lovebug... and we're counting days until "spring" when we anticipate coming to get you. You are loved!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas - a time of anticipation

It is such a beautiful time of the year, full of anticipation of the celebration of our Christ's birth. I'm so looking forward to spending our first Christmas Eve at our new church tonight. I look forward to the peace and calm of that moment. In our world of busyness and materialism, there is something so sweet about a candlelight service that reminds us of the night Jesus was born, with likely only the bright star and radiant angel lighting the moment. We reflect on the important things in life, like family, our faith, our friends...and our Lord.... and are we following His will...are we on His path? I pray that our desire to please Him does in fact please Him and that we always strive to follow His will.
Merry Christmas to all - for those we don't have your mailing address: Here was our Christmas card this year (yep, it had a picture of our feet):)

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
During this season of anticipation, we continue to pray for Lauren's arrival in 2012.
Brad, Renae, and Joshua.

I can't help this Christmas, though, thinking ahead to next Christmas when our little Lauren will be home. As the date nears, our anticipation grows with great excitement. We are ready here at our house for that day. The only thing we lack is a high chair, bottles, (and I'm sure things on our packing list from our agency)... but basically, we have everything! I'm still focusing hard on my diet -- and have lost 30 lbs. -why I bring this up - some may think is silly, but I've been blessed with good health all my life, and still healthy now... but I want to ramp up my health with fabulous eating habits and exercise to clear my mind, be the physical person God wants me to be, "Crave God - not food" (which is the title of a book I'm reading), and be ready with extraordinary energy and vigor to face whatever challenges may come when we bring our little Lauren home. So I'm building new healthy habits involving limiting sugar (to zero), limiting unhealthy carbs, and adding exercise. I feel great! Having a birthday two days ago - was also another reminder raising a little one at 46 may be different than late thirties :) -- so I'm putting the finishing touches on this aspect of my life - building lasting routines all for the benefit of me, my family, and how my life may be of use to the Lord. This sounds so selfish, but I'm learning if we don't take care of ourselves, we dishonor the I'm getting there.

As we seek Jesus this season, may it be foremost in our heart and mind every day of the year! Merry Christmas to all, especially our little Lauren in India (momma and daddy are coming soon)...and Happy Birthday, Jesus.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Settling in for a long winter's nap -- new update on adoption

We had a great talk with our agency rep (we LOVE them!!)- who shared with us that the region that Lauren comes from usually takes a little longer to process. So court will likely take up to 5 months, and then the VISA process 6-8 weeks.. this puts us somewhere around May/June timeframe...maybe April. I know God's timing is perfect, so I trust in him that when the time is right, we will travel. So I say, "I'm settling in for a long winter's nap, while visions of my sugar plum dance in my head" :)

One thing about the experience of adoption - a "general known" is so much better that a "no idea whatsoever", or even an "optimistic timeframe"... things happen...that's international adoption - but for me, it's always easier when I hear "at least count on this" - because then I settle my heart and live in the moment, knowing that if I focus too much on the process every day it would be so much harder. I don't forget about little Lauren - I just don't dwell on the timeframe.

So for now, I'm thankful for getting NOC - and hopeful her case is making its way through the court all in good time. I'm looking forward to next summer so very much! Meanwhile, bundle up, honey it's cold outside!