Saturday, September 20, 2014

Mini-Beach Vacation

Kevin, Kate, and I had our "big" summer vacation at my parent's lake house earlier this summer.  Because of our adoption, we wanted to keep our vacation options open, and honestly had hoped we would have another baby by this point, so our vacation would have been more of a stay-cation. 

Regardless, after the lake trip, we started discussing taking a few days off of work and having a long weekend to make a beach trip.  Kate hadn't been to the beach since she was 10 months old so we knew we were due.  After my September 15th deadline seemed like the perfect time to go, and it was!  We like September beach trips for lots of reasons, the main ones being that kids are back in school, so it is less crowded, and the temperatures are much better.  The reduced rates aren't too bad either!

So, on Wednesday, I wrapped up some things at work and then left after lunch to meet Kevin and Kate at home. We quickly packed up the car and hit the road by 2. 

We had to make a gas/bathroom stop and Kevin chose to stop at a gas station that had a Dunkin' Donuts (not on purpose, I am sure).  I let Kate pick out her doughnut, and had no doubt which one she was going to pick - pink, with sprinkles, of course!!


We checked into our hotel around 7pm and then hit up a local seafood restaurant for dinner.  The next morning, Kate was SO ready to get out to the beach.  

(And this is the point where I over share a ton of pictures.  Remember, she hasn't been to the beach since 10 months so this was pretty much a "new" experience for her at age 3!!)










We couldn't have asked for better weather.  It was warm, but not hot, and there was a cool breeze.  An umbrella wasn't even necessary.  We stayed out on the beach from about 9am until 1ish before we went back to our room so Kate could get in a nap.  Needless to say, she had a blast all morning and slept WELL for her nap.


Because I love this picture so much, I'm sharing it again.  We ate dinner at Barefoot Landing, because there was an Alligator Adventures place there that we wanted to take Kate too.  Unluckily, I didn't realize what time you had to purchase tickets by, so though we made it there before their 7pm closing time, they actually stopped selling tickets at 6pm.  I snapped this as we were walking back to the car. 


Day 2 was more of the same. Kate woke up extra early to let us know that the "sunshine was up" and she was ready to go to the beach.  The weather wasn't as great as the day before, but we couldn't complain too much.  It was overcast, almost too-cool, and very windy.  But that didn't bother this 3 year old at all!






Kate LOVED the beach. She loved the waves.  She loved the sand.  She loved the people.

In typical Kate fashion, our always outgoing little girl made friends with an elderly woman who was tanning by the edge of the ocean. Kevin and I were standing about 20 ft away when they struck up a conversation. They talked for a few minutes and Kevin and I were about to go over to rescue the lady from Kate. As we started walking that way Kate took the lady's hands in her own to help her out of her chair and started saying "let's go run in the waves!" I am so thankful that Kate can make friends (of any age) anywhere.


We packed up early Saturday morning and loaded up the car to head home. Kate was so disappointed.  She kept saying "We're going back to the beach, right??"  When we assured her that we would, eventually, be back, she started pouting and answering us with "No, we need to go back TODAY."

And then, she started pouting that she didn't get to go swimming today. After a few minutes of quiet, she started saying "Mommy! The blue says go back! It says turn around and go back!" Kevin and I were pretty confused about what she meant until we saw where she was pointing and realized she was talking about the blue line on the GPS. Smart girl tried to "trick" us into thinking that the GPS was directing us back to the beach!

Needless to say, we're pretty sure she enjoyed her beach vacation.  And so did we.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Adoption Profile Book and Update


So apparently I have fallen off the blogging bandwagon.  I feel like I did a pretty good job for the past 3+ years and then all of a sudden, things have gotten so busy that blogging was the last thing on my mind. But I'm back, at least for today. :)

So here's a little update (especially as it pertains to our 2nd adoption).  Really, there's not much news, but for the sake of an update, here we go...

So let's back up a little to the beginning.  We submitted paperwork to Bethany Christian Services in July 2013 to start the process on our 2nd adoption.  Yes, that is over a year ago.  Then for various reasons, which weren't really our fault, it took a very long time to finish up our home study to be approved and waiting.  In February 2013, we were finally approved!  Well, it was my busy season at work (I'm a tax accountant) so I really didn't have a whole lot of time to pull together a profile book.  In the end, I basically took the book that we used for Kate's adoption and then just updated all of the pictures.  It was quick and easy, and I thought it would be good enough.

Fast forward about 6 months of waiting and I really felt like it was time to update our profile book.  Technically we didn't have to update our book.  There was no requirement to update it from our agency, but I just felt like it was time.  We'd been waiting much longer than we had for Kate, though I realize that this really isn't that long to wait. I wanted to do something a little different though.  Our initial book had a VERY long letter in the beginning, and then just lots of pictures in the pages following.  I wanted to split the letter up a bit over the course of the book, so it wasn't too overwhelming at the beginning.  And, I just wanted something a bit different.  I finished updating the book this week, and they should arrive in a few weeks!

And now, we are still waiting.  Waiting on that exciting and important phone call to let us know that we will be parents again.  We're excited for that day to come, but honestly, the last 6 months have flown by!  I really can't believe we have already been waiting that long!  We KNOW it will be worth it.  Kate is proof of that!

I'm sharing our profile book below.  Though we are working through an agency, please feel free to share this with anyone that you know may be considering adoption.  Thanks!





Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tiny Tumbler

Remember last year, when Kate went to her very first ballet class?  Well we stuck it out for a whole year, and while I think she had a lot of fun, ballet was definitely not her thing.  Not to say that she was BAD at it.  Ballet just takes a lot of controlled movement, and Kate was not ready for that at all.  The girl likes to MOVE.  So this year, we signed her up for an acro/tumbling class.  Today was her very first class.... and I think we have a winner.

First up, was the outfit...


I bought the little leotard earlier this week at Target.  On Monday, I made the rookie mistake of letting Kate try it on right before bed.  Needless to say, she did not want to take it off, and it became her pajamas for the night.

So today (Thursday) she was pumped to be able to wear her outfit again.  So pumped, in fact, that she wore it all day long.  I tried to snap a few quick pictures before we drove to her class, but she wasn't really into it. She was pretty distracted from the butterflies that were all around her.




I was able to get a few once she went into her class. I walked her in, then quickly dropped her off and went into the parent's waiting area to watch the class on a TV screen.




She loved it.  They bounced on a little trampoline, played with hulu hoops, walked on a balance beam, practiced front rolls, and more.  Definitely a good choice for an active little girl, who never wants to sit still. She was already asking about next week, so I'm pretty sure that means she likes it.

Guess she is no longer our tiny ballerina.  She's now our tiny tumbler! 


Monday, August 11, 2014

Seven.


Today I am celebrating SEVEN great years married to my favorite person ever, my best friend, my husband.  I love you, Kevin, and I'm looking forward to the many more years to come! Happy anniversary!














Sunday, August 10, 2014

Three.

I feel like it was just yesterday that Kevin and I were walking into a hospital in Raleigh, NC to meet our daughter.



Today this sweet girl turns three.


Three, y'all - THREE!



That whole saying "the days are long but the years are short" is so very true.  Some days seem to last for-ev-er. (Get the Sandlot reference??)  Then I blink my eyes and it has been 6 months.  Blink again and it has been a year.  Is this what happens the older you get?  Does time somehow speed up.  How have three years gone by without me even realizing it. 


She's definitely not a baby.  Not really even a toddler anymore.  By her own definition - she is a "big girl".



Though it does make me a little sad to realize we'll never have those baby stages with this certain little girl again, I look at her and am so proud of the smart, independent, creative, hilarious "big girl" that she has already become. 



There is NO TELLING what the next few years have in store for us.  It's probably best that we can't foresee the future, or we might be nervous about what is to come!  With her outgoing and fearless personality, not to mention her current lack of self-control, I can already imagine the future notes from her teachers, the bumps and bruises, and OH, the drama!  But, along with all of that will come lots of laughter, memories that we would never consider changing, and stories that will be shared for years to come.




This girl makes us laugh every single day and yes, occasionally cry!  From the moment we found out about her right up until today - the past 3 years have been an adventure.



And it has been the best adventure ever.  

Happy birthday, Kate!  We love you.  And to quote from one of my favorite movies (which came out on the DAY you were born- August 10, 2011):

You is kind...
You is smart..
You is important...



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