Monday, March 31, 2008

The lone Easter picture...

You would think that since I tend to be camera happy, I would have managed to get at least a couple of pictures of Tate on Easter. Nope...I was an exhausted slacker on Easter and this is the one picture I got of Tate putting an egg he found in the Easter basket! We had a fabulous meal at my Aunt and Uncle's house and they hid eggs and candy for the kids to find. Tate had fun even though he didn't completely understand the concept. It was a very low key Easter for us. After going home, Nana and Papa P stopped by and gave Tate (and Sean and I) his Easter basket and hung out for a while as well. It was a nice, relaxing day.

Sorry for the delay!

Our internet has been down literally every time I have tried to post pictures since we returned from Florida! It has been driving me crazy, but FINALLY I have a connection and am able to post some pictures from the last day in Florida!

I thought it may be fun to give Tate a bath in Mom and Dad's big tub, but he was SO TIRED he wasn't too fond of it...although I don't think he wanted to do anything but sleep by the time I took this picture! I just think this picture is funny because Tate looks so little in the huge tub!
Here are Mom and Tate hangin' outside of Mi Pueblo while we waited for our table.

Mom and Dad outside of Mi Pueblo

Missing Florida!

Here are some pictures I took in beautiful Florida. I was looking through them and missing Florida so much today! It rained cats and dogs today and days like this, I could pick up and move to Florida!!!

The sunset at Sharky's

Just some nature shots outside of Mom and Dad's house...

A sandhill crane in front of Mom and Dad's house

By the beach at Sharky's

Even the spiders in Florida are beautiful!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Blood Diamond

Sean and I were able to sit down and watch a movie together tonight. It has been so long since we've done this, so it was a big deal! It was so nice to have a night with Sean that he got home from work and didn't have to immediately go spend 4 hours doing homework. We watched Blood Diamond which we have been wanting to see for months now. It was really hard to watch, I literally cried from about 5 minutes into the movie until it was over. It's just so unbelievable. Sean was moved by it as well. We are so glad we watched it. I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it already.

Friday, March 28, 2008

It's been forever!

I know it has been way too long since I have posted last, but we have had some annoying internet problems since we got back from Florida. It seems that every time I have gotten a chance to post, I would go to get on the computer and the internet would be out. SO IRRITATING! And of course, I am short on time right now. I will post sometime this weekend and maybe even put some pictures up!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday was lost luggage...

Yup, we fly into Omaha to find that our luggage didn't come with us. They said they would fly it to Des Moines once it arrived and then the Des Moines Airport would bring it to us. Hopefully we get it today.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Friday was a fiasco...

Our flight from Chicago to Des Moines was cancelled and the weather in Chicago was terrible, so we were not hopeful that we would even be able to get into Chicago from Tampa on time if at all. Dad stayed on the phone with the airlines for 4 hours getting new flights for us. It was kind of crazy and a bit stressful, but we ended up catching a flight to Atlanta. We are now here in Atlanta and have been since last night around 6:00. We stayed in a hotel and have just been hanging out and relaxing today. We have a flight into Omaha that leaves at 6:30 tonight and then a car rented that we will be driving home once we get into Omaha. It has actually been kind of fun just having a family day in Atlanta...although Tate has diarhea and I have a sore throat. Hopefully we will all get back to our normal selves in time for the work week to start on Monday!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thursday was swimming...

Today we relaxed and spent A LOT of time in the pool and jacuzzi. It was very relaxing and Tate had a great time playing, splashing, relaxing in his floatie, and throwing rings. He loves the water, that's for sure! The guys golfed and when they got home, we all went out to Mi Pueblo for Mexican food. It was a lot of fun and really yummy. We had about a half hour wait before we were seated and Tate played in the courtyard outside of the restaurant while we waited. He had a blast running around and meeting lots of people. :) After we got home, Tate went to bed and we played a few games of Skip-Bo. We have had an ongoing tournament while we've been down here which Dad and I whooped up on! :) It ended with Dad and I winning 5 games, Sean and Mom winning 3. After the Skip-Bo tournament, we all got into the jacuzzi and chatted. We are so sad that this is our last night and we have to head back to Iowa tomorrow. :( Our flight leaves at 4:30 in the afternoon from Tampa tomorrow and doesn't get into Des Moines until 10:45 pm! We will be TIRED when we get home...and poor Sean is going into work at 7 am on Saturday...ugh! The next time you hear from me, we'll be in chilly hoo!!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday was shopping!!!!

The pier and beach at Sharky's.

Outside, listening to the band at Sharky's.

Mom and I went shopping today. We had a great time. The best TJ Maxx EVER is here in Venice and we LOVE shopping there. It is huge and even has a furniture department. Mom and I spent just over 4 hours there today! We bought TONS of new books for Tate and got several other odds and ends. Then, we went to a restaurant and ate an appetizer to re-energized for another 2 hours of shopping. It was great to shop with Mom and have the guys stay home with Tate! Then, when we got home, we all loaded up and went to Sharky's for supper. MMMMMMM!!! We love Sharky's. We went out on the beach and took some pictures and then ate a fabulous dinner before heading home. Everyone is now in bed and I am heading there shortly. I can't believe that tomorrow is our last full day here! :( We are so sad! The weather has been to die for and we have had so much fun watching Tate soak up all of the new surroundings. Sean and Dad have golfed a couple of times (and are going tomorrow too) and we have done a ton of resting and relaxing. We are going to soak up every second of the rest of this fabulous vacation!!!

Tuesday was boating...

We rented a pontoon boat on Tuesday and it was so much fun. We rented it from a different place than we usually do so we got to cruise in unknown territory. Some friends of ours joined us as well. It was really exciting because we saw TONS of dolphins...probably 10 or 15. Also, two times right in front of us a mantarey jumped WAY out of the water. It was pretty exciting. By the end of the boat ride, Tate had ants in his pants and was getting a little crabby. He didn't like being confined to a boat the entire time. He never quite got his sea legs so it wasn't easy for him to walk around on the boat without falling over. He really liked to stand and look over the edge of the boat into the water. When we were done boating, we headed back to the house and grilled steaks and swam in the pool and then ate outside. It was another great day and by the end of the night, we were exhausted!

Monday was a beach...

I love this picture of Tate...he is SO AMAZED by the vastness of the ocean. He was oooooing and ahhhhhhhing like crazy with his arms spread wide open and taking it all in!

He loved the may be his new favorite food!

"WHOA!!!! Look at this big shell!!!"

We had a great day on Monday. I truly think it was the best day of Tate's life...I am not kidding! He was in heaven. He loved the beach! He ate (and I really am not exaggerating) about 1/2 pound of sand. He managed to somehow swallow about 3 shells the size of dimes as well. He was so fasinated by the water, but was dangerously brave. He ablolutelt DID NOT want us to hold his hand while the waves were pounding in and knocking him over. He would have ran full speed into the cold ocean water and been swept off to sea if we would have let him. He loved it, by the time we left, we could not stop him from filling his mouth with handfulls of sand. I started thinking that this was no longer very healthy, so we headed home and got in the pool. Tate skinny dipped, but we all decided not to join in on that! Tate swam in the pool and then relaxed in the jacuzzi for about an hour. He was SO TIRED from his fun filled day in the sun that he conked out the moment his head hit the pillow! It was such a great day!

Monday, March 17, 2008

We NEVER want to leave!!!

We have had a lot of fun since we arrived on Friday. As usual, we are pretty much plotting to never come home. Ha!

We didn't get in until almost 11:30 pm on Friday night and then arrived home around 1:00am. We headed to bed and Tate awoke (too early!) to discover he was in heaven! :) He has been running all over the house babbling and squeeling in delight. He has thouroughly enjoyed swimming and would stay in the water all day if we let him. I have gotten TONS of pictures, but have not gotten time to put them on the computer.

Mom and Dad's flight was delayed (12 hours!) and I drove to Ft Myers to pick them up at the airport Saturday night (well I guess it was actually Sunday morning) at 3:00am! We didn't get back to the house until 4:00am! Needless to say, Sean got up with Tate and I slept in and then when Tate napped, so did I! I was TIRED! The guys still got a round of golf in and Mom and I got some shopping in as well. We went out to the Tiki Bar and had an amazing dinner (Sean had the BIGGEST King Crab legs to come!) and then came home and played Skip Bo until about midnight. It was a great day!

Today we are going to the beach after the guys get back from golfing and then tomorrow we are renting a boat for the day. The weather has been beautiful with temperatures in the mid 80's and lots of sun!

I will try to get pictures on here today or tomorrow sometime!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

So Excited!!!!

Tomorrow we leave for Florida! Woohoo! We can hardly contain our excitement!!!!

Sean and I are both going into work for a few hours in the morning...we get off at noon. Our plan is to meet at home and get everything loaded and the house closed up and then go to pick up Tate at daycare and go right from there to the airport. We don't get into Tampa until 11:00 pm and then have an hour drive (we have reserved a shuttle service) to the house. We are hoping that Tate will sleep on the plane a little bit and then on the car ride, but we'll see. Mom and Dad fly in on Saturday afternoon and Sean will go to Sarasota to pick them up and bring them back. Then, it will be a week of fun and relaxation (as relaxing as it can be with a 17 month old!!!) in the sun! I am planning on bringing my camera cord so that I can blog from there, but we'll see if I end up getting around to it...I am going to try. Hopefully the pictures of our albino family in the bright Florida sun don't blind you! Ha!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Ok, I was tagged by Cassie. So here ya go...

1. When I was 18 I got my tongue pierced...twice. I had it pierced once and then went home to Muscatine to visit my parents (who said that all funds would be cut off if I got it pierced) for a couple of hours before I went to hang out with friends. I had it pierced for a couple of months at that point so I figured I could take it out for a couple of hours and it would go back in just fine. I was wrong, I couldn't get it back in. SO, instead of looking at that as a sign that I shouldn't have it pierced, I went back home (to Cedar Falls) and got it pierced again! Ouch! I had it pierced for 5 years before I took it out. I kind of think it's icky now, so I guess you could say I have changed quite a bit since then.

2. I have 3 tattoos. Another product of my wilder days.

3. I can say the alphabet backwards. I worked on it for days when I was about 12 years old and was so proud once I got it!

4. My family says I have "monkey toes" because I can spread my toes really far apart and I can pick things up quite easily with my feet.

5. I never knew I had naturally curly hair until I was in cosmetology school and started learning more about hair. I always thought my hair was just really frizzy. It's amazing to me now that I never knew because it's hard for me to even get it straight these days!

6. I always knew I wasn't going to be able to get pregnant. I have said it for YEARS to my family and they always just brushed it off and thought I was just paranoid, but deep down I knew that I wouldn't be able to get pregnant. I may have a little bit of ESP! Ha. :)

7. I secretly wish sometimes that Tate would sleep in bed with us! I know it's not a great habit and it's a blessing that Tate prefers going to sleep on his own and sleeping in his room alone, but I can't help it. I wish that I could lay in my bed and cuddle with him or that we could take naps together. The second he gets into our bed, he thinks it's play time, he doesn't even understand the concept of sleeping with Mommy and Daddy.

8. I've never used a lawn mower, never mowed an inch of grass, or even ever turned on a lawn mower...I don't think I would even know how to. I plan to continue this trend! :)

9. I LOVE milk...I could drink a gallon every day if I didn't restrain myself. MMMMMMMM!!!

10. I still like to cuddle with my Mom. ;) I like to cuddle with my sister too, she LOVES to cuddle with me! We spend lots of time cuddling when we're together.

I tag...
Sara Knutson - I have a feeling she has some interesting facts from her past ;)
Lora DeCook - Because she needs to blog's been FOREVER!
Gretchen Paricka - She's due for another blog as well!
Sara Butler - I don't think she's been tagged yet and almost all of my blogging friends have already been tagged!
Becky Dirks - She hasn't been tagged yet either!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Birthday Masterpiece

Tate's birth mother, Maggie's birthday is this weekend. Along with a little gift from us, we had Tate create a birthday masterpiece for her. We sat him down with crayons and paper and he ever so carefully and with such concentration created this beautiful piece of art for his first mom! I just thought it was so sweet that I had to share it! We hope that Maggie enjoys it!

Much better...

My bug was a short one. I am feeling much better tonight and was even able to enjoy a grilled steak! :) It has been so long since we have been able to grill! It was yummy! Tate spent the day at daycare and I was able to get some much needed laundry done and also do some cleaning. In addition to that, I was able to sleep the entire morning! After dropping Tate off at daycare at 8:45 this morning, I came home and went back to sleep until almost 1:00! It was SO NICE and much needed! I awoke feeling much better and as the day went on, I began to feel like myself again. Whew! The stomach bug is the WORST!!! Anyway, here are a few pictures from tonight...

Here Tate is looking outside longingly. It's so nice to be able to have the door open and to be able to grill!!!Just being silly...

Tate has a love for all things he can ride. This truck is not meant to be ridden, but Tate does not care, he loves to sit on it and "ride" it.


I am not feeling well today. I am home from work and still sent Tate to daycare which is a sure sign I am not up to par. I know that he will have more fun and more attention at daycare than he will here with his sick mommy. I have a stomach bug and was up all night with that so hopefully I will get some catch up sleep today and this will be a short bug. I have already had the stomach flu 2 other times this year!!!! What is going on this year?!!!!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008


Tate LOVES pineapple. Tonight he was eating his pineapple after dinner and he was being such a ham! He was putting his paper plate that was covered in pineapple juice on his head and trying to get us to laugh at him. He ended up soaking wet with pineapple juice. Even though he smelled good, we headed right to the bath to get him cleaned off. He'll do anything to get a rise out of us these days!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I stole this from another blog...

“…character transformation, though dependent on grace and God’s empowerment, requires a lot of hard work, vigilant oversight, rigorous thought, self-discipline, and a life marked by repentance. It also entails surrendering to a God who is more concerned with our character than with our comfort.” (Gary Thomas)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Our Evening

We didn't do sushi tonight after all. Chris and Brenda are sick and so we decided to cancel the plans. :( Sean and I went out to Chinese Buffet instead (not quite the same as sushi!) and then we took Tate to the play area in Merle Hay Mall. He had a BLAST! It was crazy in there with kids everywhere. He just ran around following all of the other kids and squeeling in delight. It was pretty cute. Then we had Dance Party USA at Old Navy. Tate was groovin' to the blaring music in there. He cried when we finally made him leave. We headed to Target for some odds and ends and now Tate is snoring in bed and I am about to head up to the couch to relax and watch TV with Sean. It was so nice to have a family night! It is going to be a little taste of heaven being in Florida and being able to spend 7 whole days together as a family...I can't wait! Oh, and the warm weather will be nice too! ;)

Thursday, March 06, 2008


I am so excited for tomorrow...we are going to Chris and Brenda's to celebrate Brenda's birthday and eat sushi! MMMMMMMM!!!!!!! Then, Saturday I am getting my hair cut in the morning and visiting with my good friend Jessica who I don't get to see often enough. The rest of the weekend will be filled with preparations for our upcoming trip to Florida. I have big plans of getting the house spic and span before we go so that when we return home, we will return to a clean home. We'll see how that plan pans out though, it is so hard to get the house cleaned with Tate following me around destroying everything I have just cleaned and organized. Plus, I hate to spend my 2 full days with him cleaning when all I want to do is give him my undivided attention and enjoy every second with him. Also, I have to dig out some summer clothes to pack as well. Then on Sunday at some point my Grandpa and Uncle will be stopping into town so we plan to get together with them. Then a new work week begins and I am praying that it flies by because I am SO ANXIOUS to get down to Florida!!!!!! For now, I am exhausted and think I might just head to bed. Sweet dreams!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Mark Schultz - Everything to Me

Melissa and I went to a Mark Schultz concert at our church last night. It was amazing and very touching. I didn't even know that Mark Schultz was adopted and is a big advocate for adoption. He told his touching story and I bawled. He is such an amazing talent, person and Christian. Here is a video of his song that he wrote for his birth mother. Kind of ironic that when I searched this video I found that it has a Bethany Christian Services advertisement in it!

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Sean and I have been discussing adoption a lot lately. We are more busy than we have ever been, we are financially strained with Sean in school and the thought of him remaining in school for quite some time, it seems there are not enough hours in the day to spend quality time together as a family as much as we would like, we are tired from our crazy schedules and we live in a rental home for the time being that is not particularly large. We still desire another child. We know that this is not the most convenient time at all to even be considering growing our family once again. There are so many reasons that this is the 'wrong time' for us, but we find our selves talking about it all of the time, trying to talk ourselves into ways to make it work, trying to convince ourselves (and others) that we can do this. We know that in a few years, the time will be more 'convenient', but we are heart broken to think that we may have to wait another several years.

I am writing this just because it has been weighing particularly heavy on my heart these last couple of weeks. I have been told, "it's just not the right time" or "you're young, you have plenty of time" or "you have to be realistic, you can't do this right now" or "just pray about it and it will all work out as it should". I have been praying constantly and I just feel that my heart gets more and more heavy with the feeling that my second child is out there somewhere. Maybe he/she is not born yet, but I feel my child growing in my heart just like we felt Tate growing in our hearts from the moment we decided we were definitely going to adopt; which also happened to be the same month he was conceived.

I have been struggling so much with the fact that it is not as easy for us to grow our family as it is for others. I am embarrassed to admit that I have again been feeling that it is not fair that we can't just say, "okay, we want to have our second child, let's start trying to get pregnant". I am not saying that I wish I could get pregnant, I am absolutely passionate about the blessing of adoption, and will not feel at all like I am 'missing out' if I don't have a biological child. The fact that we can't just decide to have a baby and not have to worry about all of the expense that go along with it is what I am talking about. Our health insurance doesn't pay for us to adopt, but if we were able to get pregnant, we could have another child and not have to worry about paying tens of thousands of dollars to deliver it. I am complaining and I am sounding ridiculous I know, but these are the feelings I have been struggling with. This is me being completely honest. This is me not trusting enough in the Lord's plan for my life, not allowing Him to take the wheel, me wanting to be in control, me being selfish. I do believe God created me to be an adoptive mother, I do believe that Tate was created for us and that he came into our lives at the perfect time, God's time. For some reason, my heart keeps telling me that it is time again, that God is preparing me for another child. I will wait, I will pray for patience, and I will pray to follow God's heart and not my own.


Once their were two women who never knew each other.

One you do not remember, the other you call mother.

Two different lives shaped to make your one.

Once became your guiding star; the other became your sun.

The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it.

The first gave you a need for love, the second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name.

One gave you a talent, the other gave you an aim.

One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears.

One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried your tears.

One sought for you a home that she could not provide.

The other prayed for a child - and he hopes were not denied.

And now you ask me through your tears,

The age old question unanswered through the years;

Heredity or environment - which are you a product of?

Neither my darling.

Just two different kinds of love.

-Author Unknown