Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

...So you know your lives have completely changed when you spend an ENTIRE day with some of your best friends and ONLY get pictures of the kiddos...  Sorry friends!  We'll be sure to capture some of the adult fun next time. =)

Regardless of the missing pictures... we had a wonderful Memorial Day at the McDaniel's home!  We hung out with Tiffany, Michael, and Brielle McDaniel; Jayme & Isabella Higgins (we missed you, Grant!); Jill & Shaun Hand; and Candace, Josiah, and Adalyn Reneau.  Such great friends who were kind enough to let me veg out on their couch in my pajamas.  That's right, I didn't even brush my hair before going over there... I suppose that's what surgery will do to ya!  Oh well...

Here's a great little video of Brielle, Adalyn, and Reid playing together on the floor.  What the video didn't catch was Reid's HUGE smiles at these two little ladies (such a flirt!)...and his attempts to pull off Adalyn's cute bow...

Sweet Isabella is still just a little too young to join the rest of them on the floor, but she'll catch them before we know it!  She enjoyed her afternoon napping peacefully through the party...

After a great fajita lunch, we decided to let all the kids go for their first swim of the summer... Brielle...LOVED IT!!!  And even Isabella enjoyed her little feet splashing in the water!  But Reid and Adalyn were a bit picky with the water temp...apparently it was a little too cold.  (IT WAS FREEZING!!!)  Here are Adalyn and Reid after the swim attempt... 

We all decided that they are in BIG, BIG trouble if another naked picture of the two of them surfaces before their wedding...

My little man...drying off after the "swim".  I think he was really throwing a fit about the pink Dora the Explorer swim diaper that he had to borrow from Brielle (I was super-mom who forgot his swim suit...)...

Reid flirting with Brielle =)  Well, it started out as flirting... Brielle kept taking Reid's rattle away from him and he was starting to get upset about it.  I told him that he better get used to those older women bossing him around...haha! 

Child Dedication


On Sunday, May 24th, Keystone Church had Child Dedication Sunday...  Surgery, smurgery... there was no way in the world that I was missing this - what a special day for Reid and our family!  With a ton of help from Ben, I managed to get up, shower, and hobble my way through it =)  

Here we are with our pastor, Brandon Thomas, before the dedication...

Reid goofin' around with his Dad (as usual!)

Our these two with all my heart!

With Jayme and Isabella Higgins...both Reid and Isabella were being dedicated during the 11am service - so special!  We definitely wished that Adalyn Reneau, Brielle McDaniel, and London Jones were there to join them, but they were dedicated in earlier services =)

Reid showin' off his Sunday duds...what a handsome little man, if I do say so myself!

Ben and I dedicating Reid...

A pic with all of our family that was able to be there - Gary Floyd (Doc), Karen Floyd (KK), Ben, Reid, Me, Carol Peterson (Grandma), Carl Peterson (Grandpa), (Aunt) Neely Floyd, and (Uncle) Craig Pedersen.  We definitely missed Uncle Joey, Aunt Candice, and Uncle Jeff!

...with my side of the fam...

With Ben's parents...

With the De La Portes!!!  Jason, Jen, Kylar, and Keagan... so glad that Keagan and Reid were dedicated together!

Great, great friends!!!  Jayme & Isabella, Jill & Shaun Hand, Susan Robertson (missing Grant and Mike!)

Jayme, Isabella, Myself, Jill, and Reid... Thanks for holding my little man, Jill!  (I am on mega lifting restrictions...) Love how he looks almost as big as Jill! 

Me and friends...and hoping that Keag and Reid will be the same way!  (And, in case you couldn't tell... Reid was DONE! =)

After the Keystone service, our whole family came back to our house for some Babe's Chicken... All in all, it was such a fun and special day - one that we will always treasure!  We love you baby boy!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Emergency Appendectomy

Just to give everyone a quick update of where we've been this week...  I woke up early Tuesday morning with a pain in my side that very quickly escalated by Tuesday afternoon.  Ben took me to urgent care where they gave me a huge shot in my side for the pain and immediately sent me to the ER.  Long story short, I went into surgery for an emergency appendectomy on Tuesday around midnight...  No fun at all, but everything went really well.  They got my appendix out before it ruptured, so we are very thankful about that. They kept me in the hospital for several days before releasing me on Thursday afternoon.  It feels so good to be back home in my own bed!!!  Our families and friends have been absolutely WONDERFUL...they have been helping us out with everything...we truly could not have done this without them!  Both Grandmas jumped into action to help out with Reid.  He, of course, is loving all the attention they lavish on him.  They would bring him up to the hospital during the days to hang out and nap with me, then he  would stay at their houses during the night since Ben was staying with me in the hospital.   All of our friends jumped in to help as well, and I think we have meals coming for the next several weeks...THANK YOU!!  Thank you for all of your notes, cards, and prayers...we truly appreciate it!  Please continue the prayers over the next several weeks...especially for Ben...  I am on lifting restrictions of no more than 10 pounds until my incisions heal.  Sweet Reid, obviously, blows that weight limit out of the Ben is full-time caretaker of both Reid and myself right now.   He really does deserve Dad Of The Year award...he's been great!!!  While he's at work during the days, our Moms and friends come over to help.  I can still play with Reid, nap with him, and we can prop him up by my side to feed's just the lifting and carrying around that I can't do.  All of that to say... we're doing great and I'm recovering really quickly.  Even made it to child dedication at church this morning (pictures coming tomorrow!)...  thanks again for all of the support!  More updates coming soon...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Incredible Pictures here are some AMAZING pictures taken at Jen DeLaPorte's birthday yesterday that I promised to post.  I love them!  Seriously, check out Jennifer Wildey Photography...
She takes such incredible pictures, and will gladly book sessions in the DFW, Austin, and San Antonio areas.

Here's Reid checking out Emily Borg... he has to study people before he smiles...

...and now he's relaxed and smiling with Em...

One of my new favorite pictures!

My fam...

Having fun with Dad...

One happy baby boy! (and another new favorite pic!)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Our fun weekend...

Just a warning...we had a very eventful weekend, so this post is rather long and contains TONS of pictures (and still more to come)...but we had so much fun that I had to share...

The weekend started off as we headed out to Grapevine Main Street Days in downtown Grapevine.  We went out there with our good friends Candace, Josiah, and Adalyn Reneau.  Adalyn and Reid are only 4 months apart, so it's always a great time watching them interact with each other!

Here's a picture of the two men in my life...ready to go have some fun!  (Reid had just eaten his dinner, so the bib was still on for protection... And, yes, it says "Chicks Dig Me")

Me and the little dude...of course the camera didn't catch his smile.  I like to think he was just too mesmerized with his Mommy =)

Reid is so much fun these days!  Love how he is starting to smile on cue for the camera!  
If you can't tell, Reid had a complete BLAST at Main Street Days... all of the lights, people, live music... he laughed and squealed for most of the evening.

Here's a great pic of the Reneau's!  Isn't little Adalyn ADORABLE????  

Our little fam...once again, Reid is smiling for the it!  What a ham!

Adalyn and Reid... a future love connection??? 

We seriously had a ball on Friday's always great times with the Reneau's!  Reid and Adalyn did so great as well!  Reid got in a good nap while we ate dinner, then was WIRED for the rest of the evening!  Here's a pic of him around 11pm that night as we were headed home.  It was hours past his bedtime, so shouldn't he have been fast asleep??? He did (finally) crash out as soon as we got in the car =)

On Saturday, we were up bright and early to get Reid over to Grandma & Grandpa Peterson's house so that Ben and I could go to Karen Stark's / Matt Skains' wedding - what a beautiful day!!!  I didn't get too many pictures b/c I felt like my flash was competing with their photographer's... but here's the newlyweds walking out of the church...
Karen and Matt got married at the TCU Chapel at 11am, then had their luncheon reception at Colonial Golf Club.  Despite the rain, everything was absolutely perfect!  Karen was a beautiful bride!!!  And, we got to see a lot of our "extended" family that we don't get to see as often as we would like...

One such family member... is ALLISON!!!  
Allison and her husband Eric traveled to the wedding all the way from Turkey...oh how we have missed them!!!  Allison and I grew up together and she was a bridesmaid in my this girl!  It was so much fun to sit with them at the luncheon and have a good chance to catch up...we're sad to see them head back home, but our thoughts and prayers are always with them.

A rare pic of just Ben and I during the reception =)

And a pic with some more of our extended family... Jen & Jason De La Porte!
Jen and Jason live here with us, so we see them all of the time... but had to post this pic for two reasons... #1 - They are some of our closest and dearest friends...not a thing in the world we wouldn't do for these two!  #2 - Saturday was Jen's 30th birthday!!!  Happy birthday, my friend!!!  (More to come on that later in the post...)

And, the last (of the very few pics) I took at the wedding is Ben and I with Blaire Bender...

Absolutely love this dear friend, as well!  Blaire is a nurse in Oklahoma City now - we miss her living in Fort Worth!  She also happened to have been one of my bridesmaids and was a beautiful bridesmaid in Karen's wedding on Saturday as well! =)  I wish I would have gotten a few other pictures to include Brian & Emily Borg and Dave & Cindy Bender... but they were at different tables than we were, and my brain stops functioning when I'm baby free... I tend to just sit back and relax =)

On Sunday...I forgot my camera...uggg!  But Jen Wildey (Rex's wife) took a lot of pictures that I will be posting as soon as possible.  Shameless plug here... Jen is a professional photographer and she's WONDERFUL!  Check out her website at Jennifer Wildey Photograhpy.  =)

So Sunday started off with the huge THINK BIG celebration at Keystone - what an incredible morning!!!   We were celebrating the end of a 3-year journey and capital campaign to fund our new building space.  It's always amazing to me that we belong to such an incredible church family who are Christ-centered and wholly committed to following His direction.  How our lives are blessed every day by this community!

Then...right after church...we headed out to Jen DeLaPorte's SURPRISE 30th BIRTHDAY!!!  (These are the pics that I will have to post as soon as I get them from Jen Wildey...)  But what a fun afternoon!  Her husband, Jason, went above and beyond to make the day so special for Jen. We love you, Jen, and had so much fun celebrating with you!!!

Now, it is Sunday evening... Ben is out mowing the lawn, Reid is getting ready to go down for the night, and I'm off to relax and get ready for the week... later!  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Reid meets his Aunt Candice!

We were so excited that Reid finally got to meet his Aunt Candice last night (we were sad that Uncle Joey wasn't able to be here as well)!  Candice and Joey currently live in New York City where Joe is completing his MBA at Columbia, and they continually spoil their nephew with fun gifts from NYC. =)  Unfortunately, Reid refused a good afternoon nap yesterday... so by the time we got to see Candice at dinner he was not in the best of moods.  But, Aunt Candice will be here all week so we're definitely looking forward to spending more time with her in the next few days.  Many more pictures to come!  We're so glad you're home Aunt Candice!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

This was my very first Mother's Day, and I cannot even describe the emotions that I have felt all weekend long!  I've cried (happy tears) multiple times per day at the mere thought that I AM ACTUALLY A MOMMY THIS YEAR!!!  God has blessed me with the most perfect baby boy...It still blow my mind!!!  God is so good, so faithful, and I am amazed every day that he completed our family so perfectly through the miracle of adoption.  For those that began reading our story late, our entire adoption process - from the time we were eligible (once our home study was complete) the time that Reid was born and home - was only 11 weeks long!  When we started the adoption process late last fall, I was not at all expecting the possibility that I might be celebrating Mother's Day 2009...If that's not a miracle, then I don't know what is!

Here's a picture with me and my little man from this afternoon...

We had a WONDERFUL weekend - Ben (and Reid, of course) definitely spoiled me!  Spent tons of time with our family and great, great friends.  Dinners, BBQs, lunches, golf, movies, hanging out... great, quality family time - and I truly treasure every minute of it. big Mother's Day present from Ben and Reid (not that I needed a present, of course) - is that a crew will be here tomorrow morning to totally re-landscape and clean up our yard...HALLELUJAH!!!  If you know me, I'm very picky about things like this and we just haven't had the time since we've moved into our new house to take care of it ourselves.  (Imagine that with a new baby and all!)  So I'm very thankful, and very excited to see the finished results!  I'll have to post some pictures of it later this week...

This Mother's Day was also very special to me, not because it was my first, but because for the first time I truly understand my own mother's love for me.  My mom is the greatest, strongest, most faithful, and best friend that I have.  I love her so very much and am so thankful for the example that she has set.  Here is a picture of Reid and I with "KK" while we were visiting Great-Grandmother's new house (she moved to Keller this week!)...

I am also very thankful for a WONDERFUL Mother-In-Law!  I truly couldn't ask for a better family to marry in to, and I have learned so much from her example of how to raise Godly men.  She is an amazing woman and I am proud to call her 'Mom' as well.  Here is a picture of Grandma with Ben and Reid...

And one final mother that I can't help but think about on this special day... is "S", Reid's birthmother.  I can't imagine the emotions she must be feeling today, but I am forever grateful that she entrusted this precious little life to our family.  Her selfless, loving sacrifice is something that very few people could ever understand.  'S' so lovingly welcomed Michael Reid into the world and cared for him those first 48 hours as only a birthmother could.  We thank the Lord every day for her faith, love, and ultimate sacrifice.  I wish that I could post a picture of her as well so that everyone could see how truly beautiful she is, but those are pictures for only Reid - and pictures that he will treasure!

To end this post, I want to wish a VERY HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all of the wonderful Moms and Moms-To-Be that I know... you all truly are amazing!  And, of course, I'll end with some pictures of the handsome little man...  I took these a few minutes ago on our way home...Reid and I were having a little conversation in the back seat of the car. =)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Online Strangers

Odd title for a blog post, I know...  But since I entered the great world of Blogland, I've probably been asked more times than I can count about why I blog... How could I let "online strangers" read about the personal parts of life?  What is the attraction to it?  How do I have the time? Why is my blog not set to private? Do I care if so-and-so forwarded my blog on to their entire email list? etc, etc...  Up until a few months ago, I don't know that I had a really good answer for those questions outside of the fact that it was just therapeutic for me.  But, now, I do have an answer worthy of sharing...

I just finished up a phone conversation a few minutes ago with a woman that I have never met in person, yet we had an immediate connection and I now feel such a deep bond with her that is difficult to explain.  Neither one of us are able to have biological children, and until you have been through that, there is just no way to really understand.  She was forwarded my blog by a friend of a friend of a friend, and contacted me over the weekend.  Hers was the third call that I have received exactly like that over the last two days.  In a given week, Ben and I usually receive 5 to 7 calls from people like this that we have never even met - all who have questions about our story, what we went through, and the adoption process.  Not to mention the amazing friends and support system that we are surrounded with, many of whom deal with the same problems of infertility.  

If you would have asked me a year ago, when I started blogging, if I thought that it was even a possibility that God could turn a situation that was devastating (in mine and Ben's eyes) into the beautiful adoption story that we have today... my answer would have been most definitely no.   That's flat-out embarrassing for me to admit, especially after seeing how everything we went through fits so perfectly into the plan that God has for our lives.  A plan that is a thousand times better and more fulfilling than anything we could have done ourselves.  

So, the reason that I blog, is that we feel incredibly blessed to be given the opportunities to talk to these amazing couples, to pray with them, and to give them hope about adoption on the other side of their storm.  In no way, shape, or form can we take credit for ANY part of our story because it is not our own - it is God's story and His unfailing, compassionate love at work in our lives.  And that love of God, which we in no way deserve, is most definitely a gift we are willing to open up and share with "online strangers" - many of whom we can now call friends.

A quote that I absolutely love, which I am adding to the side panel of my blog, sums it all up perfectly to me (courtesy of my friend Amanda's blog):

...I talk about my life anyway because if, on the one hand, hardly anything could be less important, on the other hand, hardly anything could be more important. My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are that you will recognize in many ways that it is also yours. Maybe nothing is more important than that we keep track of, you and I, of these stories of who we are and where we come from and the people we have met along the way because it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity, as I have long believed and often said, that God makes Himself known to each of us most powerfully and personally.

--Frederick Buechner

So, thanks for reading and for taking an interest in our story - you are a blessing in our lives.

Three Months Old!

So I'm a little behind on blogging posts due to a sick household, but we are all better now and everything is getting back to normal - thank goodness!!!  

To catch everyone up... sweet Michael Reid turned 3 months old on Sunday - I can hardly believe it!  He's getting so big, so fast...

Reid now weighs a whopping 14 pounds and is 25 inches long!  When we go in for our well-check visits, all of the nurses still comment that we're raising a line-backer - and a VERY handsome one at that!!!  Dad is VERY excited that we could have a potential football player in the family... If Reid was our biological child, he wouldn't stand a chance - he'd be too lanky and too skinny =)  Who might be the very last thing he wants to do...we'll just wait and see!

Another great thing about the 3 month mark... we are to the HALF WAY point of our adoption finalization - YIPEE!!!!  We absolutely cannot wait until August!!! =)  More details about the process in future posts...

I love this picture...I can totally hear him saying, "Seriously, Mom???  Another picture???"  I just can't help myself!

Reid's new-found love is the television...every time we walk into the gameroom, it's the first thing that he looks at or watches.  Here he is yesterday morning watching his Baby Beethoven DVD...completely mesmerized! 

And, again, wondering why he has constant paparazzi surrounding him...=)

Reid is also VERY interested in his toys...he always wants to be playing with one of them!  This is a great shot of him holding his Columbia turtle (from Aunt Candice & Uncle Joey) while talking to his singing friends on his swing - I love how he's pointing his little finger at them!

Another new "favorite" of our little man...standing and walking - he constantly wants you to be holding him up where he can walk around.  Here he is walking on Daddy's chest...such strong little legs =)

My favorite time with the little dude is still right as he wakes up from his naps...he is such a happy baby!  (Of course the camera didn't catch his smile)  He has started pushing himself up on his elbows as high as he can to peer over the side of his bed at us when we walk into the room to get him - too cute!  And, surprisingly, he even rolled over TWO times yesterday from his tummy to his back!  Go Reid!

When I saw this picture I was amazed at how big my baby boy looked - definitely no longer a newborn!  Makes me a little sad that he is growing so fast, but excited about all the fun times ahead...

And, finally...I just had to post this picture that my sweet friend, Kym, just sent me.  She took this on her phone several weeks ago at church... Our little man stylin' in the Shoe Gypsy hat!

We love you more every day, sweet baby boy!!!