Thursday, July 28, 2011

Family Visits & Birthday Parties!!

From the moment I realized I wouldn't be able to get Elise home for her first birthday, I knew I wanted to give her a birthday party anyway. We finally succeeded in giving her a party last Saturday. What made it even better was that her Nana from FL, her Aunt Jenny & cousin Solomon from NC were able to be here for the party!

We had a great "All American Girl" party! Red, White and Blue decor, cup cakes, and a small #1 cake for Elise, playing in the pool with everyone, grilling out hamburgers and hot dogs (after all whats more American than a burger or a dog fresh off the grill??) Elise opened lots of presents! I think she was a little overwhelmed with it, she didn't tear into the presents, in fact I opened most of them for her. However, she did not need any one to tell her what the cake was for! LOL! She LOVED the cake! She devoured the little #1, it didn't look like a number when she was done with it!

It was a great night celebrating Elise! Celebrating that God has blessed us with this amazing little girl. He took us down this adoption path, and he gave us the baby he created for us! There is no doubt she was meant to be ours, she was meant to be in this family! I hope her birth mother can somehow have peace in her heart because her daughter is safe, well loved and well taken care of.

We had a great visit with Nana & Aunt Jenny. They got to meet Elise for the first time, and we got to meet baby Sol for the first time. Lots of introductions, and lots of fun watching Emmie, Elise & Solomon!! We did some playing in the pool, the hot tub, some shopping, eating and even squeezed in church! A busy busy weekend, but so glad they came and was able to help us celebrate!

Her are some pics of the weekend....
Elise in her little #1 shirt (of course you can't see the #1 very well)

The first lick.....

I think she liked it!!!

Getting messy!!

Elise & Great Grandma

Present Time!

Her B-Day present from Mommy & Daddy

Emmie getting in on the cake & icing

Cousin Solomon (what a cutie!)

Hangin' in the hot tub!

Cute new suits! (Thanks Aunt Jenny)

Pool fun!!

Very fun weekend!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Fun!!

I can hardly believe our summer is half gone!! (well more than half!) We have had an awesome July! June was a little rocky with orchestrating a move, a new baby and a new job!! But, we survived!! And now we are relaxing as a family and it feels so good to be a family of 6!!

Elise continues to thrive! She is still right on the verge of walking. She is talking, eating, playing, crawling... all the things she should be doing. She continues to be very healthy and active. She fits in well around here! She loves the pool, loves the water, and it took her only 15 minutes to get a better tan than her mommy!! LOL!!

We are making progress on the new house too. Lots of projects going on. I love to decorate, so getting a lot of that done. Blake's room is getting closer to being done. We managed to get the flower wallpaper down and it is now painted. I just need to hang curtains and get stuff on the walls. The girls room is ready to be decorated, I had to paint a few things to put in their room, so now its all ready, just has to be hung!

We did manage to get family pictures done finally! So all the pics are from our family photo shoot. Thanks Brandey (Studio Memories) for great pics once again!! We love them!! I hope you all do too!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Big Steps & Big Moves!!

This is going to be a quick post with lots of pictures! As most of you know, we have been in limbo for over a year. We thought we were moving to Orlando, then maybe Atlanta, maybe staying in IN, all the while we were waiting on Elise to come home from China. There were lots of ups and downs in the last year and a half. We did sell our house in Columbus, which made a move out of state a very real possibility. We were sad to sell the house we had raised Brandon and Blake in, yet excited about the possibilities ahead. We were waiting for God to reveal his plan to us. While we thought we knew the plan, we obviously DIDN'T!!

So, in April, we moved into a rental house while Tom figured out what and where his next career move would take us. I am happy to say, that he accepted a job in Indianapolis, for a company and a CEO that he already knew very well, and he is very happy!! However, our rental house was getting sold, which meant we had to act quickly to find something else. We did a marathon house hunt the weekend before I went to China. While I was in China, Tom made an offfer on a house and had it accepted! We moved into our new house on June 30th!! We honsetly couldn't be more happy or more surprised with the outcome of God's plan. We love our house, love the location, love that the boys can stay in Columbus with all their friends, love that we are staying close to Emmie's doctors, love that Tom has found an awesome job with lots of potential, love that we are staying close to family!! However, it is still hard to be so far away from Tom's family, and I know it's hard on them too.

So, Elise is doing amazing!! She is beginning to take steps! We are so excited to see her grow and develop! She is crawling everywhere. She says momma, dadda, bye bye, no, Jo-Jo (which is uncle Scott) and done. We think she is also trying to say all her brothers and sister's names, grandma and doggie. She is growing like a weid too! She has gained about 3 pounds since I got her. She is so happy. She is truely a blessing to our family!

OK, lots of requests for pictures of the house, so a few pics of the girls, then house pics!!!

OK, now onto house pictures.... The front of the house won us over from the start! We absolutely love the double door, the huge covered porch and the old church pew that the previous owner left! I've embelished it a little with some flower pots and outdoor pillows. I'm hoping to get a porch swing or hammock hung at the end of the porch soon!

  The entry wat to the house has slate floors, which we also love and a huge coat closet!
The formal living room,dinning room combo is functioning more as a family room for us. I've never been the type of person who needed or wanted a formal space, so it's working great as our family gathering room! My grandmother's antique dinning table works great here too! This might be my favorite room of the house! We can't wait to put up a Christmas tree in this room and light a fire when it's snowy outside! We also love the leaded glass window! It adds such character to the home!

I really love this kitchen!! I love that it's open to the play room where my girls play. I love the granite counter tops and the fact that every lower cabinet has pull-out drawers. I also love the pantry, which has pull out shelves. Oh, and the huge fire place with the brick wall! Love it!! (notice my girls still in PJ's, or in Emmie's case a diaper)

The basement.... or should I say the man cave!! Well, there is a bedroom for Brandon (but no pic of it yet) a kitchen'ette, an office area for Tom, an entertainment area for the boys, another fireplace, and a workout area for me. Of course most of it still has lots of boxes, but eventually that's what we plan for this space!

And finally, the backyard!! OUR OASIS!! The last part of the house that totally sold us! We are loving the pool & the hot tub. We have a lot of yard work to do over this summer and next, but hopefully some of the overgrowth will be tamed soon! We have purchased several pool toys and a new patio set. This has already been the gathering place for several cook-outs and family fun!! (one of our 2 puggles decide to get in on the pictures, you'll notice Zoey in one of the pics)

So, next time I'll post bedroom pictures. Right now they are all still a work in progress. The girls room needs some "pink". Blake's room has had the flower wall paper removed, but not painter yet. Brandon's room will also be getting a fresh coat of paint, and our room, well it's just a mess at the moment!!

Thanks for all your support and prayers! We are in our dream home & so thankful!! We feel very blessed to be in this place with our 4 kids!!