Now that my job has slowed down for the winter (can I get a hallelujah?!) I've been wanting to take each of my sons on dates. First up was my middle son. A lender I work with asked if I wanted tickets to the Husker basketball game and I thought that would be perfect for J. Little did I know that we were court side with a private VIP lounge. Ha! Such fun times. I love being one on one with my little guys.
I absolutely love the company I work for. Our Christmas party this year was a blast. The whole theme was hush/hush but it started with Sushi down at the Railyard and we ended up getting picked up a on a charter party bus. The whole crew wondered where we may be going. The drive took us to a comedy club in Omaha. So fun!
I was honored with 10 years with the company that night. I can't believe its' been 10 years! A lot of life has happened in those years and I sit here thankful and blessed.
We are in a really fun season of life right now. Completely exhausting but fun. I love having 3 kids. It makes each little event or thing a little more exciting (or stressful depending on the situation- ha!) We had a chaotic summer and my busy job was partly to blame for that. Sundays tended to take the biggest hit. Now that things are slowing down, Sunday nights are movie night. This is only our 3rd week but the boys look forward to and ask about it. Popcorn may possibly be the reason they actually sit and take in the movie. Oh well- I just enjoy the family all smooshed together on the couch with no phones or distractions.
The past few Christmases I've wanted to do an Advent calendar but haven't. My friend made these cute calendars with different cards for each night...complete with a game or task on back. Not sure how much a 2, 3 and 6 year old are soaking in, but it's a good time to sit in front of the fire each night and talk God.
I look at my little brood and dream of game nights, football in the front yard, and many more times celebrating life together. So blessed. So overwhelmed by God's goodness. So worth the stress, uncertainty and turbulence to get right here.
This Thanksgiving was one of my favorites. It was simple and laid back and my sister decided, on a whim, to fly in from the Virgin Islands to spend 2 days with us. The boys decided that meant Aunt Kellie gets to help with the tree. So fun and sweet to watch them all interact.
"K" has likely not ever decorated a tree. He went to town. All those low lying, clustered ornaments remain in their places today. I normally rearrange and make it cuter but I can't imagine a more imperfectly perfect tree.
On Thanksgiving day Aunt Kellie coordinated baking some of our favorite cookies from childhood--sugar cookies with red hots. So random but so yummy. The boys really like to bake. It's usually messy and on the brink of disaster but it's something intentional I get to do with them and I love that.
My sister. I wished she lived here but I can't imagine her not living on the island so our visits are full and activity and always great. Her next visit? Our boy's adoptions! Woot!
Another big reason Thanksgiving was so wonderful is that my grandparents moved back from New York. We got to sit around and tell old stories and it did my heart good to see my boys all interacting with their great grandparents.
This is the first picture of the 3 sibs in a long time. Love love.
We had our first snow this weekend and the boys loved it. They were enthusiastic about scooping so we'll ride that wave as long as possible.
Pretty sure our 2 year old had never played in the snow. He was mesmerized and couldn't stop eating it. So fun to be part of this first for him with many more snowy winters to come as a Nebraska boy.
It was no easy task to get the boys inside but nap time had come so they warmed up by the fire before collapsing and taking great naps. Winter may not be as bad as I think. ((TRAPPED. Trapped inside with 3 crazy boys)).
Halloween was such a blast this year. The Sunday before we carved pumpkins and had s'mores (the boys were shirtless since it was 75 degrees). Just a short few days later on Halloween it was freezing. Thanks, Nebraska. Cold or not my heart nearly exploded at the cuteness of my 3 superhero sons. Always grateful when we can build memories for the littles. This one was for the books.
I heard that familiar voice yell "maaaaaama". It had an echo sound but I knew it's because K's head was pressed at the bottom of the door. My 2 year old rarely goes to bed right away since he's been in his big boy bed. (A move we weren't ready to make but the crib escaper required.) I drug my tired body out of bed. A sinus infection had claimed my energy but I knew the yells for me wouldn't stop until I got in there.
I opened the door slowly and felt 'K' move away from the door. He flashed a big smile and raised his hands. I picked him up and he melted in to me...his face tucked under my chin so close and his hands not quite reaching all the way around my neck. I sat down to rocked him until his body went heavy. I couldn't help but remember day one. 'K' is shy but his eyes those first days and weeks told a different story. He was confused and guarded. When bedtime rolled around that first day, I laid him sideways with a blankie to rock him and he climbed me like a tree. He wanted nothing to do with soothing. He wanted to be put in his crib and left alone. This went on for awhile. It was heartbreaking. Little by little the trust grew and he seemed soothed as we patted his back but...that was it...no further. No rocking, no swaying. Just the pats...keeping a good distance but letting us in a bit.
Now, nearly 11 months later, it's hard to remember those days unless they drift back on nights like tonight. This little boy who was left in a crib most his life has learned he doesn't need to sooth himself but his mama can do that for him. God's redemption is so amazing. Happy I get witness it. Happy this boy has found a safe place in me.
Weary and cynical I sat again on that bench last week. The judge finally changed the case goal to adoption. Praise God! He went on to suspend visitation as well. Most would assume visits would end when the State stops trying to reunify but, more often than not, they continue until termination which we are told is months away. The visits tear up the hearts of my boys. They come home and act out and there is always a couple days of rebalancing. I can only imaging the emotional damage that takes place. To have them done is hard to articulate. Peace washed over me. My boys are safe. They will forever know they are loved no matter what. The emotional ping pong is over. Now we can see true healing even though they've already come so far.
Without a doubt they are worth fighting for. Worth going through hell for. Worth the efforts to help heal. Worth the stress they put us through. Worth it. I'm in so in love with my two youngest sons. Court didn't change that but it turned the corner. We can stop focusing on the frustrations of the case and start focusing on adoption. Permanency. Thank you, Lord.