Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Funny story for the day...

This will be very brief, but it was too funny not to share...

So tonight I had a few girls over to our house just to hang out and have some fun girl time. Obviously, on nights like these, Ben either finds something else to do or stays extremely well hidden.  (Tonight he headed out to Beef's for wings and to watch a game or something.)

Anyway, we had a fun little crew tonight which included one of my very best friends, Anne Hernandez, who also brought one of her daughters named Avery.  Long story short, Ben ends up getting home before the party ends and Avery is VERY excited because she loves Ben.  So she sits down and starts to talk to him...  Don't ask me why, but somehow they got on to the subject of us not having toys to play with in our house or something.  So Ben decides to tell sweet Avery (who is a very young six years old) that he and I are adopting a new little baby so that we CAN have toys in the house.  "ADOPTING???"  She was baffled by this word.  At this point, Ben tries to explain further but only digs himself in deeper and confuses poor Avery even more.  Then the light bulb finally came on... Ben realizes that Avery really has no clue about where babies come from, much less why their mom wouldn't be able to take care of them - yep...good one, Ben.  

I walked up just in time to hear Ben say, "Yeah...why don't you ask your Mom those questions in the car on your way home tonight."  So sorry, Anne...I'm sure you weren't quite ready to give your 6 year old "THAT" talk yet.  Avery's now wondering when you and Jake are going to be "adopting" another little baby...LOL!!!

And, here's a pic of the Hernandez family - Jake, Avery, Anne, and Kailey.  We love them so much!  It's a very old pic, mind you...Daniel isn't even born in this picture and he's now two years old.  Oh well.  I thought it was festive with the pumpkins and all =)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Change of plans...

Well...we had a slight change of plans for our fun weekend away...but still had a great few days!

Friday night we had Candace's baby shower at our house, and had a complete blast hanging with all the girls and celebrating with Candace!  So much fun, in fact, that our house wasn't cleared out until about 1am...then once we were done picking up we didn't get into bed until about 2:30am.  Long story short, Ben and I both slept through our alarms on Saturday morning.  We got some much needed sleep, but decided it was too late in the day to head all the way out to the resort for a such a short time.  So, we postponed our little getaway until this upcoming weekend - we're still looking very forward to it and are excited to go on a little mini-vacation!

So...in lieu of our resort weekend...we still decided to keep Saturday as a full day-o'-fun with just the two of us.  And we had a blast!  We went out to a great brunch...then went and looked at new TVs and eye glasses for Ben...(and, of course, I got a little shopping in!)...  Then we headed over to Babies R' Us to start looking at baby furniture, bedding, necessities, etc.  For those of you that know Ben, this won't surprise you at all...  He definitely didn't start off too excited about this little Babies R' Us errand, but by the time we left the store he was already researching strollers, high chairs, cribs, you name it...on any consumer report he could find (shocker...I know!).  The poor little girl who stopped to ask if we needed any help was bombarded by questions from Ben that she had no clue how to answer.  It was funny to me...it was so Ben.  It made me happy that he got so in to the baby stuff =)

After Babies R' Us, we headed to a movie (saw Miracle at St. Anna - pretty good!) then ended the day at Palio's for dinner.  All in all, it was a great day!  It's always nice to be reminded about how much you love hanging out with just your spouse...just the two of us...we really do have fun together.

Just FYI...we're already working on our top lists of names for Baby P...not ready to share them yet, but let us know if you have any cool name ideas.

Oh!  And here's a pic of all the hostesses from Candace's shower on Friday night..thank you girls so much for all of your help!

Pictured: Jenn West, Lindsay Arita, Jill Hand, Candace Reneau, Me, Jamie Mullins, and Jayme Higgins

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fun Weekend Ahead

With a few LOOOONG weeks behind us, Ben and I are looking so forward to this weekend!  Tonight we have the honor of hosting a baby shower at our house for our great friends, Candace & Josiah Reneau - we're so excited to meet Adaline Love!

They have become such dear friends to us, and are probably some of the funniest people we know.  Seriously.  If you ever meet Josiah, ask him to give you a sample of all the different accents he can do.  AMAZING (and so funny)!  And, here they are...(sorry, Candace...I totally stole this picture off of your blog!)

After the shower, Ben and I are headed out of town for a few days for some MUCH NEEDED R&R!!!  We're going out to a resort near Lake Palestine and I'm so looking forward to a weekend with just the two of us... (And the resort doesn't look too bad either! ...Check out the pics below...)

So...we hope everyone has a great weekend, and we'll see you next week!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thank You

From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!  We have been so humbled by the number of emails, blog comments, and phone calls that have inundated our house these last two days.  What a blessing to have friends and family who are so excited to walk this journey with us.  It's been amazing to already see God at work... People (some whom we have never even met) have been coming out of the woodwork - contacting us - to talk about a similar situation they are going through or have been through.  All of your prayers and support are truly appreciated and are such an encouragement to Ben and I.

To bring you up to speed quickly...  These last couple of weeks Ben and I have been researching and talking with different agencies and adoption services.  It was very overwhelming and at many times discouraging, but all of those feelings went away when we spoke with Kay.  Kay is part of a private law firm based out of California who specializes in domestic infant adoption.  She made us feel so comfortable right from the very start and has been so great about answering all of our questions.  Long story short, her law firm is the group we will be working through (instead of an agency) to facilitate our adoption of "Baby P" - we are so excited and so thankful to have found them!

We now have Paperwork Part 1 in our hands and our goal is to complete that over the next week.  After the first round of paperwork...we then have a second round of paperwork (it's endless!), then we have to get all of our FBI fingerprinting done, background checks, health records udpated, and start our home study.  (The home study and everything it encompasses is an entire blog post in and of itself.) Lots to do!!!  But, our mindset is to take it one day at a time...every step we complete, gets us that much closer to the baby God has set apart for our family.  

Again, thank you all for your prayers and support - and please keep 'em comin'!  We couldn't do this without you...much love from our house to yours!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Beginning Of Our Journey

The following is a letter that went out to some of our friends and family tonight...unfortunately, I don't have everyone's email address that keeps up with us through the blog, so I thought I would post the same letter here as well.  =)

Dear Family and Friends,

I don’t know how to start this letter other than to preface it by saying this is not a letter written out of sadness. Rather, a letter written out of hope…a letter about God’s perfect plans…and our very long journey to realizing those.

Ben and I have recently found out that we are not going to be able to have children naturally. To many of you this may come as a shock, and we sincerely apologize that most of you are just now finding this out.  But please try to understand… It’s not that we haven’t wanted the prayer and support of our precious friends and extended family, or that we don’t trust enough to allow you all in to our lives. It was a personal decision which we felt very strongly about that allowed our family to have some private time to truly seek God’s will and direction for our lives. And, without knowing any details, many of you have been praying for us just the same - for that we are truly grateful. Your prayers have been felt on many occasions, and (unknowing to you) have given us strength when we thought we had none left.

Looking back, we see many blessings and many times that God was holding our hand through this entire process. I am not going to lie and say that any of this has been easy, or that our decision was made without any period of grieving, because it most certainly has not been that way. We’ve had to come to terms with the fact that the picture we had painted in our heads of what our family will look like is not our reality. God has a different plan…a different picture. It’s amazing how He molds our lives, our hopes, and our dreams into something completely unexpected yet completely wonderful.

Now, on to the second part of our news… (And, to what may come as shock #2 to you)… We know that there are many options out there in regards to our next steps in starting a family – many of those have been wonderful choices for some of our friends. However, we feel God’s direct call on our life to ADOPT, and we are very excited about this!

Obviously, there were many hours of prayer, research, and consultations that went in to this decision. And the outcome of all that is, not only do we feel called to adopt, but we feel called to a very specific adoption path – one that we know is a much longer road both emotionally and financially. We have chosen to do a private domestic (United States) adoption of a newborn infant - an infant we bring directly home from the hospital after birth. Our ideal situation is to be paired with a birthmother during her pregnancy that is not able to care for a child due to young age or insufficient support. As I said, definitely a long road ahead, but it’s a road that fills us with hope and excitement for the future.

A quote that I recently read sums up our experience perfectly… “The process of adopting a child takes more courage than you think you have; offers more self-knowledge than you think you want; and reassembles your characteristics into someone familiar, but changed. It is an incredible journey through a rich landscape of hard truths.”

Fortunately, God could not have placed us in a better network of family and friends to help us through this process. We are forever grateful for you. The main reason for this letter is that we are asking for your prayers in the requests below, and know that you will faithfully join us in this journey ahead.

1. Pray for the baby that God has prepared to place with our family.
a. 1 Samuel 1:27 – I have prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord.
b. Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born I set you apart.

2. Pray for the birthmother – for her strength and for her health. We give praise for her completely selfless decision.
a. Phil 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
b. Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

3. Pray for our strength as we begin this long process…that we continue to trust and seek after His will.
a. Jeremiah 29:11 - I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you; to give you a hope and a future.
b. Isaiah 55: 8-9 - For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.

4. Spread the word. Please forward this email to as many friends and family that you have who will join us in prayer.

We will be updating everyone on our adoption journey through our blog (http://holpeterson.blogspot.com), so please be sure to check in there for regular updates.

And with that, we’ll leave you with the words to a song that have spoken peace over our house many times as we are trusting God and slowly learning how to fly... 

We love you all very much, 
Holly & Ben Peterson

Too many times,
You’ve heard the same old lines.
Too many smiles,
Try to tell you that it’s alright.
But they never know what to say,
To completely convince your fears all away.

Night brings the dark
To blanket your breaking heart.
Each distant star
Reminds you of how small you are.
But in that quiet place,
Come the words of a Father and his healing embrace…

And he says,
“Take my hand, I’ll carry your load.
I know you can’t face this world on your own.
And though this place seems hard, I know,
I want you to see that I’ve not let you go.
You’re soaring with me because you’re under my wing.
I’m showing you how to fly.”

Like tarnished silver,
Like a candle that’s burning low,
Life makes us weary,
And battles leave us wounded and cold.
In the moment where hope seems to end,
He comes to our side, and he whispers again…

“Child, take my hand, I’ll carry your load.
I know you can’t face this world on your own.
And though this place seems hard, I know,
I want you to see that I’ve not let you go.
You’re soaring with me because you’re under my wing.
I’m showing you how to fly.”

“Those who hope in the Lord receive fresh strength; they spread their wings and soar like eagles…” Is. 40:31

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Blog Coming!

I am still alive...and actually have lots to blog about and catch you all up on (I know you're getting excited)...  

However, the blog is currently being redesigned and will be back up and running by the end of this month...  Sorry for the delay, but it will be worth the wait =)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Take It!

I had to share this post from my friend and coworker, John...this is in response to me giving him a hard time in my "Week-O'-Fun" post...too funny...thanks, John!  Just click on the copied post to be redirected to his blog and read it for yourself...

Friday, September 5, 2008

For Grant...Join Facebook

Wow...this is my second post in under 24 hours...watch out, John...I'm catching up!!!

This post is dedicated to my good friend, Grant...here's a picture of him with Ben and I:

Grant is one of those people who refuses to join Facebook (or any other social networking site, for that matter) because he insists that people still like him enough to pick up the phone and call.  (And, we do like you Grant...just don't want you missing out on the "fun.")  So...for the last several months...Grant and I have had a little war going.  My goal is to wear him down until he finally caves and joins Fb.  We've gone back and forth sending each other messages almost every day via text, email, in song, poems, had messages drafted to each other from 'The Facebook Team'...you name it.  It's actually been quite fun(ny).  We've even gotten our spouses and friends involved.  All of that to say, I am running out of ideas to subliminally brainwash Grant, so I have resorted to the blog...  

And, in honor of Grant...I came across this great blog entry I had to copy and post.  (From www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com - GREAT blog, hilarious...check it out!)  So...without further adieu...

#106 on the list of Stuff White People Like: FACEBOOK

Social Networking sites have been embraced by white people since their inception. Because these sites use profile pages, white people can more efficiently judge friends and future friends on their taste in film, books, music, and inspirational quotes. Advanced level white people, fearful of being judged on their tastes from last week, will often only list one or two ironic things as their favorites. For example under music they would simply list “P.M. Dawn” or under films they would choose only Armageddon. In both cases these ironic answers serve as protective shields from the harsh gaze of other white people.

However, it is important to remember that the “where” is often as important as the “who” when it comes to social networking. As noted in earlier posts, white people are obsessed with being in the right neighborhood and the Internet is no exception.

In the early days, white people joined a social networking service called Friendster where they could connect with old friends and make new ones. Eventually, white people started to notice more and more of their friends on MySpace, so they closed their Friendster accounts and migrated to the new service. It was like living in a neighborhood that was pretty good but kind of far away, so you might have to miss out on a few parties. Needless to say, this was unacceptable.

For a brief period of time, MySpace was the site where everyone kept their profile and managed their friendships. But soon, the service began to attract fake profiles, the wrong kind of white people, and struggling musicians. In real world terms, these three developments would be equivalent to a check cashing store, a TGIFridays, and a housing project. All which strike fear in the hearts of white people.

White people were nervous but had nowhere else to go. Then Facebook came along and offered advanced privacy settings, closed networks, and a clean interface. In respective real world terms, these features are analogous to an apartment or house with a security system/doorman, an alumni dinner, and a homeowners association that protects the aesthetics of the neighborhood. In spite of these advances, some white people still clung to their old MySpace accounts. That was until they learned that Facebook started, like so many things beloved by white people, at Harvard.

Within a matter of months, MySpace had gone from a virtual utopia to Digital Detroit, where only minorities and indie bands remain.

If you plan on befriending white people, it is essential that you join them in the digital suburbs and open a Facebook account immediately. It’s also a good idea to make up a story about how someone from high school sent you a friend request and after accepting you discovered that they were fat and unsuccessful. White people love these stories.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Hello to all three (maybe four) of my faithful blog readers...  Yes, that means YOU...in case you're still wondering, that's my mom, my sis, my friend Kym who reminded me that I haven't posted all week, and my boss, John, who would win a blogging emmy (if there was such a thing) for  "the most blogs any one person could possibly post in a single week."   Seriously, he's kicking my butt.  And, yes, we've turned this into a competition.  Anyway, love you guys and so sorry I've been M.I.A. in blogworld...but it has been a very busy (and very eventful) week.  

By now you've surely caught on to my fondness for lists, so here is a highlight from each day this past week that I missed blogging:

Friday, August 29th - If you've known Ben and I for long (or even if you've known us only a short time), you've come to realize that a weekend isn't truly a weekend for us until we make it to Coal Vines (our fav!).  Is it a sign that you go somewhere too much when the waiters/waitresses/managers are on a first name basis with you and all of your friends?  We didn't think so, either.  When it comes to Coal Vines there's no such thing as too much.  And Friday evening we were joined by two of our great friends, Michael & Tiffany McDaniel...we always have so much fun with you two (and can't wait until you two become three)!

Saturday, August 30th - My Father-in-Law's Birthday (we're celebrating this coming Friday)...and Candace's Birthday Celebration!!!  And, boy, did we celebrate...well, as much as her preggo self could, anyway!  Jill, Shaun, Grant, Jayme, and I all took her out to a great dinner at Mi Concina...then we headed out to Club Dada to hear her husband, Josiah, play with Tim Miller.  Wow...they're great...check them out if you ever get the chance!  Fun night filled with great memories... (And by the way, Candace and I have YET to take a decent picture together...our faces really aren't that wide...)

Sunday, August 31st - Keystone Church (always)...a great cheeseburger with our Sunday lunch crew...and hanging with my Mom.  My parents truly are two of my best friends and I love spending time and talking with them.

Monday, September 1st - LABOR DAY!!!  Isn't the day off a highlight for everyone???  ...and, Ben finally came home after a weekend at the lake with the boys.  I missed him =)

Tuesday, September 2nd (A) - We had the great pleasure of spending the evening with our dear friends Steve & Tracy Preskenis.  As Ben describes them..."they're just good people."  We love you guys and always treasure our fun times together (especially now that we're neighbors)!

Tuesday, September 2nd (B) - Ahem...wait for it...  It was the night I have been unashamedly looking forward to for, I don't know...maybe the last 15 years or so...  That's right...90210 is back, baby!  And I felt like I was 13 years old again throughout the entire 2-hour season premier.  Not that it was outstanding television by any stretch of the imagination...but it was more of a flashback to those junior high slumber party nights when you and all of your friends wanted to date Dylan McKay.  It was greatness.  I was thoroughly entertained although a bit disturbed that Nat was STILL working at the Peach Pitt.  Hmmm...

Wednesday, September 3rd - Ben and I had the honor of hosting our Keystone worship team for dinner and vision casting at our house.  What an incredibly refreshing time filled with fellowship and worship!  I so admire Brian (our worship leader) and the rest of the Keystone staff who remind us about our purpose, that we're singing and playing for an audience of only One, and to "hold loosely"...  It was a great night and we were privileged to have you all in our home.

Thursday, September 4th - (Pictured: Karel, Donnine, Malcolm, and the side of my head as I'm texting on my iphone.) Last, but definitely not least... Today our WeAreTeachers team had the opportunity to FINALLY meet face-to-face with Karel Baloun.  For the past several months, our team has been working with Karel via video chat, skype, you name it...on a new Facebook application called "I Am Teacher."  It's VERY exciting for us and we had a great day that generated some even greater ideas...I can't wait!  If you have a Facebook account, definitely check it out and send us your feedback...

Well...that's it for my week-o'-highlights...  This weekend is sure to bring more fun as we're celebrating a birthday with Ben's dad tomorrow night...I'm sure I'll take plenty of pictures and fill in my faithful blogworld readers soon...goodnight!