Welcome to a piece of our sweet journey of life. This blog is about our family life-- my husband, my type 1 diabetic kindergartner, my spunky pre-schooler, my newborn baby girl, and myself! Enjoy!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Color Me Happy: A Painting Update

So, it's no secret that Aaron and I dislike hate painting.  "Hate hate hate. Double hate.  Loathe entirely." (Name that movie.)

We made a pact that if we ever chose to paint a room in our new house, we'd hire professionals.

So..... we did.  Because, let's face it-- our master bathroom and our laundry room left little to be desired-- and when I say "little" I mean "both whole rooms needed a makeover."

The choice of paint color in the master bathroom was easy.  Sherwin Williams "Sea Salt."  It's a light gray-green with hints of light blue and even a silver sheen.  So so pretty.  So awful to photograph. Pictures just do not give any justice to the true serene nature of this color.

For the laundry room, a voice deep inside me said to "go bold."  Deep purple or deep teal.  My practical side said "go neutral.  Choose a light white, or an off white, or something that won't overwhelm you."  So I studied light colors.  And, I chose to follow my original instinct.  Okay, so deep purple might have been a bit much, so we chose another Sherwin Williams color (since we were already picking that brand for our bathroom).  We went with a deep teal called Federated Blue.

Both rooms, in their "pre" state were a buttery yellow.  The master bathroom had some choice stenciling done, and the laundry room had a decal that my sister-in-law accurately described as "cheeky."

Here's the "Before" pictures of the Master Bathroom.  The white stalks on the wall formerly had decorative birdhouses hung on the wall at the top of the poles.  Aaron offered these bird houses to a church member who gladly took them off our hands.

The "Before" pictures of the laundry room.

The "After" pictures of the Master Bathroom.

And the "After" pictures of the laundry room.

The painter liked both colors, but was very pleased with the laundry room color.  He said it was really bold and he thought that was cool.

I am SO happy with how these rooms turned out!  The painters had it completed by 5:30 in the evening, and I was left with two beautiful rooms!  Hiring painters was such an awesome decision.  It took me over three months to paint our master bathroom in our other house because I hate painting that much.

These painters did an exceptional job and I couldn't be happier!

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Lyrical Fridays: Thy Will

I heard this song on the radio yesterday and it instantly became a favorite.

It is Hillary Scott from Lady Antebellum and the Scott Family's song Thy Will.

Link to YouTube video

I’m so confused
I know I heard You loud and clear
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don’t wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of Your plan
When I try to pray
All I’ve got is hurt and these four words

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done

I know You’re good
But this don’t feel good right now
And I know You think
Of things I could never think about
It’s hard to count it all joy
Distracted by the noise
Just trying to make sense
Of all Your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that You’re God
And I am not

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will

I know You see me
I know You hear me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Goodness You have in store
I know You hear me
I know You see me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Goodness You have in store

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done

I know You see me
I know You hear me, Lord

Oh how this song can be applied in so many areas in life.  I'm sure for each of us, it holds a different purpose and a different meaning, but one thing I know is true-- we have all pleaded with God for something.  And sometimes, the most peace comes when we say "Thy will be done."

Until Next Time, 
Much love, Reba

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday: Favorite Vacations

Today I'm linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals for Show and Tell Tuesday!  The topic today is very near and dear to all of our hearts, I'm sure-- Favorite Vacations!

My favorite vacation spot is a place my family has been going back to since before I was a sparkle in my parents' eyes.  For real, though, this place is where my Nana has been vacationing since she was a little girl!  It's the family beach cottage in a quiet little beach town on the Forgotten Coast.

No AC.  No TV.  Simply perfect.  In fact, my husband and I are taking our sons there this very weekend and we are so excited!

Sea oats frame the sugary sand.

Where swimsuits are the uniform,

And herons are a daily sight.

Where the sea and the sky run together,

And the view from the front porch is unbeatable.

Where storms are calming,

And sunrises are too pretty.

 Where puzzles take over tables,

And sunsets are experiences.

Where walking in water is a pastime,

And favorite rooms are extra cozy.

Where God shows His majesty,

And friends gather to find peace.

Where crystal waters lend an ease to photography,

And you feel your best outside.

Where the front door is always ready to open up for family and friends.

This is the beach.

Until next time,
Much love, Reba

Friday, May 20, 2016

My Journey to Get Fit

My entrance into motherhood was fairly simple.  I was pre-warned about the different shape my body would take on post-partum.  Although I was still somewhat surprised at seeing that shape, at least I knew it was coming.  I also had zero trouble breast-feeding Michael.  I only began to run low on supply when I found out I was pregnant with Noah.  Michael made it nearly 8 whole months on breast-milk, and another month from what I had stored in the freezer.  Breastfeeding Michael, and then getting pregnant while breastfeeding made for a VERY easy transition back into my normal size and even smaller. 

Breastfeeding with Noah was not so easy.  Although I did not gain as much weight during that pregnancy, I had a harder time getting it off.  In fact, I still have not returned to my pre-pregnancy weight.  Noah is nearly two and a half years old.  With Noah, we had our difficulties in breastfeeding. He was allergic to dairy products—meaning that I had to cut back on my dairy intake in order to make the breastmilk easier for him to digest.  This helped, but it did not solve the problem.  Noah still had issues with the breastmilk and this lead to us fully switching him to formula by the time he was six months old. 

I also made such a crucial mistake while breastfeeding Noah.  We had just listed our house for sale (for the first time), and we moved in with my mother-in-law and step father-in-law.  That meant “my house” was a bedroom, and I did not have the freedom to just breastfeed Noah whenever the need struck him.  Breastfeeding him was more of a planned event.  I had to get back to my room or to his room, and get all set up before proceeding to feed him.  This hindered my ease of just being able to supply him with food when needed.  I felt embarrassed to breastfeed in someone else’s home, and that dwindled my supply greatly. 

If I could do it over—or if I ever happen to get pregnant again—I will breastfeed in the comfort of my own home no matter what.  I will not put myself in a position to be embarrassed or unable to breastfeed when the need arises.  I will make sure I’m in my comfort zone and have all my supplies ready to go whenever that baby needs milk. 

Not being able to breastfeed Noah for very long definitely hindered my ability to get back down to my normal size.  We eventually moved back into our house and then pulled it off the market (miraculously two days prior to Michael’s Type One Diabetes diagnosis).  If I had been in my house the whole time, I might have been able to continue breast-feeding and been able to completely cut out dairy or totally change my diet in order to have Noah be able to digest the breastmilk properly.

I did the P90X3 workouts nearly to completion (just one week from finishing) when Michael was diagnosed with Type One.  A medical diagnosis of any kind for your child completely rocks your world and throws you to the ground.  And while your world and your head are spinning, you don’t have the energy for exercise.  You barely have the energy to prepare healthy meals for your child who needs them, and you have no energy left over for healthy meals for yourself.  I think Aaron and I both gained weight after Michael’s diagnosis.  And, of course, the added stress in our lives due to that diagnosis didn’t help us with this at all.

In Spring of 2015—right before we chose to list our house for sale again—I was shopping with my mom at a consignment sale and I reached down to help her lift up a larger toy item.  A volunteer at the sale said “uh uh uh.”  I assumed she thought I was trying to take the item away from my mom, and didn’t know that we were shopping together.  I said “It’s ok.  She’s my mom.  I’m just carrying this for her.” The volunteer then said “Not with that belly.”  She thought I was pregnant.  Oh, so embarrassing. (What’s more embarrassing was that she was the third person that month who said something about being pregnant to me.) My mom—who is a gem—stood with me in our recognized silence.  I tried to shake it off.  We made small talk and acted like we didn’t hear anything that the volunteer had said.  After dropping off my mom at her car, I cried the whole way to my house.  I texted her later that night to thank her for not saying anything.  She said it took everything she had to not say anything to that person, and more importantly, to not kick that person. J

I broke down to Aaron and told him how disappointed I was in myself.  We started P90X3 again the following day.  I added in T25 and eventually PIYO that my mother-in-law let me borrow. 

Once we received an offer on our house, our diligence in working out slipped away.  We were feverishly packing and getting our ducks in a row to move.  When we moved into our new house, we were on the fast train to unpack and really create a home.  We were occupied with getting things done and getting settled.  The whole moving process meant lots of unhealthy food choices. I used to trick myself into thinking that “just one won’t hurt and it won’t make a difference.”  Except, it does hurt and it did make a difference.  I started noticing that my clothes were getting tighter.  I had to go up a pants size.  I don’t own a scale—so I gauge my weight based on how my clothes feel, and how I look in the mirror pre or post shower. 

I was so mad at myself.  I was worried I had dug a hole for myself that I might not be able to climb out of if I kept digging.  I made a decision to really get serious and buckle down on working out.  It’s something I chose to do for myself. To be a better woman, wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend.  I needed to carve out time and be serious.  I asked for two work-out DVD sets (1, 2) for my birthday.  Aaron got me a set that I had not heard of before, but that was specifically designed for women.  My mother-in-law got me the other two sets (1, 2) that were designed by moms for moms who carry around a little extra pooch on their middle—due to child-bearing.  I am currently working on the women’sat-home-fitness DVD set and the first set from the DVDs my mother-in-law gave me.  The first set is 30-Day Core set, and the second set is a more intense fitness program where they recommend that you work out consistently for two-months prior to starting that program.  So, I’ll do as they ask. 

So, I’m doing XTF MAX 90-Day Program, and Mom’s Into Fitness30-Day Core Program.  I’ll do the PrettyFierce Lean Out 60-Day Program when I’m done with the first two programs.  I have my workout charts hanging up in my closet by my clothes.  I also have a picture of me in my workout gear to be my motivation.  It’s my “before” picture, and I want it to be the biggest I ever am.  I’m hoping for big changes for my “after” pictures.  I plan to take an “after” picture when I’m done with the 30-Day Core set (I have two more weeks).  I also plan to take an “after” picture when I’m done with the 90-Day set (I have 10 more weeks—in a 13 week program). 

I’ve changed my eating habits and I’m very aware of what I intake now.  I’m actually feeling my best on the inside.  But I’m super struggling on the outside.  I don’t feel like I see a change yet, and I know it hasn’t really been that long, but I was at least hoping that some of my clothes would feel looser by now.  I’m not giving up, though.

And I do allow “cheat moments.”  I’m not ready to give myself a “cheat day” yet, but a “cheat moment” I can handle.  I attended a photography workshop on Sunday the 15th (that’s a post in and of itself) and they had some mini bundt cakes and some fresh fruit. I took a small serving of fruit and only one cake.  Out of four different kinds, I would have loved to try them all, but I refrained.  And my mom and I snacked on Skinny Pop popcorn and Diet Snapple on the way home (a nearly 4 hour one-way drive) instead of indulging in fast food.  It’s choices like that that make me stand a little taller and reaffirm to myself that I CAN do this.

I’m also reading Kate Hudson’s book “Pretty Happy.”  In this book, it even talks about not chastising yourself when you have a day that’s not as healthy as other days.  The books instructs to take a step back and evaluate how you felt after that poor choice in food or the choice not to do physical activity.  Then it says “do better tomorrow.”  Don’t just wallow in pity if you mess up one day.  So, I’m not.  I’m not going to wallow.  I allow myself a cheat here and there (like 1 mini bundt cake or some cookie dough if I’m baking cookies for an event) but I do not allow myself a whole day, and I don’t beat myself up for enjoying a tasty treat at a fun event. 

I’m also part-way through a 24-Day Challenge of AdvoCare.  This is my first time using these products.  I saw my older brother undergo a huge transformation in his appearance from using these products.  Since he is now a distributor, I’ve asked him to help me out.  He was able to provide a list of the best flavors of drink mixes and aided me in selecting what type of supplement to pick for the second half of the phase.  I’m really enjoying taking these products and knowing that I’m doing something healthy for myself.  I’m on Day 11 of the 24-Day Challenge and I’m feeling a difference on the inside already.  My brother explained that these products will help me lose weight, but they will not make me lose weight.  He said if I don’t exercise and eat right, then these products won’t do me any good.  That’s enough motivation for me!  I don’t want to spend money on something that doesn’t end up working because I made poor exercise and food choices.  I’ll be sure to exercise and eat right so I can get the maximum results out of this aid.

This journey to getting fit is exactly that—it’s a journey. It’ll take time.  My goal is to keep going.  Keep working at it.  Do not skip a day of working out, or if a day is skipped, then make it up the next day in addition to the other work-outs on the schedule. I know results will come.  Results will come whether I sit on my hiney or whether I get serious and stay focused on what I want my end goal to be.  If I sit on my hiney the whole time, the result will be a bigger, more pudgy body that can’t squeeze into clothes correctly.  If I stick to my new routine of working out and eating right, the result will be a more toned and trim body that easily fits into clothes.  My goal isn’t to go down in clothing size, and it’s not to weigh a specified amount.  My goal is to feel good on the outside and on the inside.  I know that muscle weighs more than fat, so if I’m a smaller person with more muscle tone, I might actually weigh more than if I was a bit bigger with pudgy areas.  So I’m going for the tone body.  I want to feel good.

I’ll include some pictures of my lunches and snacks that I’ve found filling and healthy. 

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Monday, May 9, 2016

May 9th

There have only been a few very dark days in my life.  The most distinct one—the one where certain smells, sounds, songs, and phrases can instantly transport me back to that day—is May 9, 2009.

The day before Mother’s Day. A bright, clear Saturday.  Gorgeous blue skies.  Perfect weather for motorcycle riding. My dad set out on his motorcycle that day to meet up with some friends and pick up a Mother’s Day gift for my mom.

My brothers and I went to the local feed shop and bought a hanging basket for my mom and a small yellow potted flower for my mom’s youngest sister who was visiting for her birthday that same weekend.  My older brother and I had finished up our exams for the semester, and we were scheduled to be home for the next few weeks.  His wedding was coming up in six weeks.  Our younger brother was 12 days away from his high-school graduation.  I was three weeks away from starting a summer internship which would finish out my courses for college at Auburn University.

My older brother’s fiancĂ© arrived at our house to spend the rest of the weekend with us.  We had bought some Mother’s Day cards and I went into my room to write a note to my mom.  As I closed my door, I heard the phone ring.  Something deep inside me ached in that moment.  In an almost out-of-body experience, I imagined that time slowed down, and that something was going to go horribly wrong. 
I slowly walked to my bed to start writing the message on the Mother’s Day card.  A knock at my door revealed my future sister-in-law.  “Your mom is in the kitchen and she’s crying.”  My heart sank, and I knew.  I knew something was very wrong.  The only other time I’ve seen my mother in the kitchen crying was when she got the news that one of my friends had died in a car accident—which was very close to this same day, three years prior.  I ran to the kitchen and saw my mom holding the phone up to one ear, with her other arm clutching her heart.  I said “No, no, no, no.”  She was sobbing, and my now sister-in-law was wringing her hands as she stood behind me.  I leaned back into the living room and saw my aunt napping on the recliner.  “Aunt Robyn!” I screamed.  She popped out of the chair and came running to the kitchen.  My sister-in-law went to grab my older brother who was just exiting the bathroom.  It was so many very long seconds until my mother hung up the phone and could talk. 

“Your dad has been in an accident.  The helicopter is on its way.  We’ll get another call back once we know if they’re taking him to Montgomery or Birmingham.”
My older brother’s head sank.  He knew what the helicopter meant.  I didn’t.  I assumed it was a good sign because it was the fastest mode of transportation.  I didn’t understand how dire the situation was until he told me. 

My mom asked me to call the Associate pastor.  He lived just a couple miles up the road.  He raced to our house with his young son.  I also called my then-boyfriend (who is now my husband).  My boyfriend called his mom and stepdad who lived at the top of my parents’ street.  My future father-in-law rushed down the street and was prepared to drive us all in his van to either one of the Montgomery Hospitals or the Birmingham ones. 

Everyone who was in my house joined hands in prayer.  The associate pastor’s phone went off.  Matthew West’s “Something to Say” was the ringtone.  “You’ve got something to say, and you know if your heart is beatin’.”  He silenced the ringer, but I’ll never forget thinking that the lyrics said “and you know your heart is bleeding.”  Our hearts were torn.  We were in a panicked state of not knowing if my dad was even still alive.  My younger brother was grasping the situation and told me that he wasn’t able to graduate high school if my dad wasn’t around.  I told him that we would make sure he graduated.  I told him dad would want him to graduate. 

We got the call that my dad was being flown to a Montgomery hospital. My mom called her friend who worked in the NICU, which was right next to the heli-pad.  Her friend ran outside to meet the helicopter and be with my dad as the crew rushed him down the hall to assess his injuries.

We gathered in the waiting room of the ER, and church members from our current church and from the former church that my dad had pastored began showing up.  I remember how odd it was to see other people in the ER who were there to get vaccinations, or because their nose was running, etc.  We were there for a real life emergency.  My mom’s friend came out at various time intervals and gave us updates on my dad.  They were not removing his motorcycle helmet, because they weren’t sure if his neck was broken.  They were cutting his t-shirt and jeans off.  Eventually, my mom got to go back to see him.  Everyone who was in the ER for our family joined hands again.  A chaplain came and moved us to a private waiting room.  Church members (both current and former) cycled through to give us hugs and pray.  Doctors then began rolling in.  My mom was back with us at that point.  The doctors needed a full medical history on my dad—what medications was he taking, had he had any recent doctor visits, etc.  They were trying to decide the best route to take for their emergency surgery that they were about to do.  They told us he had a 50% chance of survival.  My mom wept.  They told us one arm was severed, and only hanging on by a tendon.  They told us they’d have to amputate both legs.  They came in again in a couple minutes and said they’d only have to amputate one leg.  Then they said his survival chances were 40%.  We all sobbed.  How could this be real?

The chaplain came and told us that they were about to take my dad into emergency surgery.  He told us that we could stand in the hallway and the nurses would roll his gurney by us, and we could say “goodbye.”  The odds were not good that my dad would survive the surgery.  The chaplain led us, just my mom, my brothers, my future-sister-in-law, and my aunt, down the hall and he closed both doors behind us.  I remember hearing awful blood curdling screams and yells coming from a room further down the hall.  I asked my mom if that was dad.  She assured me it wasn’t.

After what seemed like forever, a gurney came rolling down the hall.  Four nurses were pushing the bed. My dad was covered up with sheets, up to his neck.  One nurse was pumping breaths of air for him with a purple pump.  The chaplain told us my dad woul be able to hear us. The nurses offered encouraging expressions as we each tried to come up with something to tell my dad, to encompass twenty-plus years of life and love.  It was hard.  I think I could only squeak out “I love you.”  My older brother spoke the most.  He is so very strong.  He told dad that we’d see him later.  The nurses pushed the gurney through more double doors to the OR.  The chaplain took drink orders from us so he could get us a drink at the Chappy’s Deli in the hospital.  We were then led to a much larger waiting room—for surgery waiting. 

People filled up the waiting room.  They were all there for us.  I remember hearing people talk about the price of beef at Winn Dixie.  I was furious.  I realized that their lives were going to continue on as normal.  Ours was forever changed.  After hours passed, the doctors came into the waiting room.  My mom, brothers, sister-in-law, aunt, our associate pastor, and myself, were taken into a small room.  The doctors said they attempted a CT scan, but my dad wasn’t stable enough to finish.  So, they had to stabilize him and just perform emergency surgery.  They cut him from sternum to right above the groin area.  They had no idea what was damaged inside of him, so they had to open him all the way up.  He had some broken vertebrae, collapsed lung, ruptured spleen, compound fracture in his right arm which they were able to reattach since it was nearly severed, a fracture in his left arm for which they input an external fixator, a shattered knee cap, multiple broken toes, broken right wrist.  He survived.  The doctor said “He has a long road ahead of him.”  I said “At least there’s a road.”   

The next few days, my dad would undergo more surgeries to repair his broken pieces.  He was in a medically induced coma for two weeks.  He did not open his eyes until two weeks after the accident.  My brother’s high-school graduation went on, and my brother did great.  Some church members even accompanied my brother to the hospital in his cap-and-gown later on to bring the diploma to show my dad (who was still in a coma). 

He stayed in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit for three weeks, and then was moved to a regular room.  My mom worked so hard to prepare our house for him to come home.  He arrived home via ambulance on May 29, 2009.  We had a hospital bed set up in our dining room, and that was his room for months.  He had occupational and physical therapy.  He had to learn to walk again.  In fact, he learned to stand with the assistance of a walker, the very week before my older brother’s wedding.  He practiced walking around our living room the day before the wedding.  On the wedding, my mom’s brother-in-law (husband of her older sister), pushed my dad (the Best Man) down the aisle in his wheelchair.  When my sister-in-law entered the sanctuary, my dad stood up for her walk-in.  Afterwards, he sat in his wheelchair for the duration of the ceremony. 

A little over three months after that, my dad graduated from his physical therapy, and had me take a picture of him standing in front of the school bus that he was going to get to drive for that year.  He propped his right leg (the one with the shattered knee-cap) up on the tire of the bus, and I took a picture and went with him to take it to his physical therapy leaders.  For weeks, he’d go back to physical therapy to cheer on the other individuals in there.
On October 3, 2009, my dad walked me down the aisle.  No walker, no wheelchair.

It took him years to be able to run.

And I got teary eyed when he told me that this accident took away years from his life. 

You might wonder what caused the accident.  An 18-year-old and his buddy were riding in their car in the opposite lane as my dad.  The 18-year-old needed to make a left-hand turn from the road onto the driveway of his dad’s auto repair shop, and this kid decided to turn right in front of my dad’s oncoming motorcycle.  My dad hit the car, and flew feet into the air, and landed on the concrete road.  It was a country road, so it took a while for the volunteer ambulance to get there.  They knew they needed to life-flight him, but they had to transport him to a nearby church parking lot to give the helicopter somewhere to land.  My dad’s friends who were on the bike ride with him saw the whole thing, and it was the male friend who used my dad’s cell phone to call my mom and give her the news that send us all into a whirlwind that day.  She thought it was my dad calling her.  She answered the phone in a genial manner and said light-heartedly “If I knew it was going to take all day, I wouldn’t have let you go.” Then she realized it wasn’t my dad.  This friend would later tell us that dad’s eyes were open after he landed on the road.  He was groaning in pain.  Fortunately, my dad remembers none of this.  He remembers trying to swerve and avoid something coming into his path (the car), but he remembers nothing else waking up in the hospital weeks later. 
We are very grateful that my dad doesn’t remember more of what happened. We’re also grateful that he was wearing a full face shield helmet.  It saved his life.

Today, my dad can run.  He can coach soccer.  He can hunt and fish and exercise.  He is his happy, jovial self.  And we are eternally grateful that God chose to let him stay here with us.

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Baby Girl Adoption Dreams

This post is going to be very random.  But, adoption has been weighing heavily on my heart lately.  I know that Aaron and I are going to adopt a baby girl in the future, but the questions have been arising as to "how much of a baby really?"

Adopting a baby vs. a child is akin to adopting a puppy vs a dog.  Everybody wants the puppy.  The cute face. The chubby rolls.  The coos and giggles.  But then.... that puppy grows up and isn't a puppy any longer.  Suddenly, the puppy needs more room to grow and play.  Messes are bigger.  Food consumption is greater.  Their desire to be shown affection and attention grows with each passing day.  No longer are they the cute face you get to look at when you walk through the door, but now they can acknowledge that they need you and they desire to be with you even if you don't feel the same.  And you know what they call those puppies?  Dogs.

Humane shelters are filled with dogs.  Puppies hardly ever enter into humane shelters to be adopted.  But dogs are another story.  People willingly adopt a cute little rolly-polly puppy.  They play with it and feed it "Puppy Chow" and buy it some cutesy little toy.  They keep the puppy as long as it's "travel size" for their convenience.  However, once that puppy exits puppy phase, the honeymoon period is over.  Not everyone who buys a puppy has space for a dog-- physical space, and space in their heart.

Adoptions are similar.  Babies are sought after in adoptions.  It's easy to want to be the family that goes to the hospital and receives the newborn.  Getting to parent a child from Day 1 is such a tremendous blessing.  We've been able to do this twice with our biological children.  Caring for a tiny helpless human being is a huge job, and a great honor.  We loved it.  We are loving every minute of parenting two toddler-age boys (although some moments drive us up the wall, it's still totally worth it!).  And often I catch myself thinking, what about those babies who don't have a family ready to take them home from the hospital?  What about those babies who grow up in the foster care system ready to be adopted, but exiting the baby stage into the child stage lessens their chance for a forever home?

As my own babies were growing out of "baby" stage, I would occasionally be sad.  I loved their tiny little selves.  But I reminded myself, as they exited a previous stage and entered into a new one, that there would be multiple things to love in each new stage.  And, I truly absorbed the phrase "every age and every stage is my favorite."  I look at my two little ones and I'm daily amazed at what they can do and what they can say and how they can show love.  And I know that these two young boys are capable of being rock solid family members and I'm so blessed that Jesus chose me as their mom.

This recognition of what our own kids are capable of has led Aaron and I to really contemplate adopting an "older" child.  We still want our adopted daughter to be the youngest member of our family, so we still plan on waiting a few years to begin the adoption process. And we know that we want to adopt domestically rather than internationally.  However, we don't necessarily feel called to adopt a newborn.  We are trying to listen closely to God to find out, in fact, if He's leading us to adopt a two-year-old or older.

Sure, there are things about baby stages that are just precious-- like tiny outfits, tiny blankets, tiny hair bows for little girls!

Oh! But listen to all of the things that come with toddler-hood:

  • telling you what food they want
  • telling you where they hurt
  • playing with toys (with you, and independently)
  • and most importantly-- saying I love you

Toddler-hood is so fun!  And toddlers are so precious!  

We feel very called to adopt a sweet little girl.  And we feel like God is leading us to a little one who isn't quite a baby.  We have a lot of love to give, and I am fully confident that God will direct our paths and that He already knows the treasured one who will one day join our family! 

Until Next Time, 
Much Love, Reba