29 September 2007

A family visit

Aunt Mary, Chelsey, Kyle and Brigid

We had some family come over today for a short visit. We had a great time playing with the girls and catching up. The newlyweds, Chelsey & Kyle came from Arizona and Chelsey's mom, Brigid came from Paso Robles. During their visit, they even got a sneak peek at Faith and Grace's Halloween costumes. Everyone else will have to wait 'til the end of next month!

28 September 2007

A perfect evening










It was the perfect start to a fall evening last night and the girls had a great time running around in the backyard. They enjoyed pointing out all of the flowers and leaves they saw. Luckily, even though it was right before dinner time, they didn't feel like eating any of them.

26 September 2007

Mom2Mom


Today was the first day of Mom2Mom at church. I thought it was time for me to get connected with other Christian moms in our community. There are about 60 of us moms with children under 3 years old. For 6 weeks, we meet every Wednesday morning for a couple of hours. During that time, we'll have the opportunity to hear guest speakers, connect with one another, grow, share stories, and build friendships. Most importantly, we are there to help encourage one another. I think this will be great for me and for the girls! They have their own fun program of music, crafts, storytime, snack and lots of playing. God bless all those wonderful volunteers. The girls had a ball!

24 September 2007

One year ago today...


Our lives changed forever! The exciting and surprising news came by way of a Sunday morning phone call. It was the director from our adoption agency and the call went something like this...

Caller: "(Blah, blah, blah) Is Morgan there, too?"
Me: "Yes, but he's in the shower."
Caller: "Are you sitting down?"
Me: "Yes, I'm sitting."
Caller: "(Blah, blah, blah), TWINS!"
Me: (long silent pause) "Oh My Gosh!!"

We will never forget that day and all the details of what transpired. People like to ask us how we felt when we found out we were having twins and we thoroughly enjoy sharing our story. It was also the same day we signed the final papers to buy this home. It was as if God was saying, "Now, GO!" Twenty-one long weeks later, we finally met our precious babies in Seoul. It's hard to believe that a year has come and gone since we first saw the faces of our sweet girls. The details of this glorious day will be etched in our memory forever. It will be told and retold to our beautiful daughters for years to come.

This picture was given to us by the girls' foster family when we were in Korea. They look like two little angels. :)

22 September 2007

little monkeys

Faith looks like she just got away with something.

Grace feeling proud of herself.

Grace, the kissing bandit strikes again!

Times are changing. The girls are 18 months old now and taking just one long nap a day. It usually lasts from 1:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon, so I've had the luxury of having more time to get things done. It also gives me more quiet time to myself and that's been nice! The girls are not only growing taller, they are learning how to climb things. Just last night, they managed to climb up on the bench in the kitchen. Quite an accomplishment!

20 September 2007

Thoughts on Motherhood

The colors of sunrise.

Where do I begin? I guess by first stating that being a mom is not for the faint of heart. It is a full-time job like no other. It is not only physically demanding, it is also emotionally demanding, everyday. One word that best comes to mind about being a mom is "multi-tasker." We are constantly checking the time, aren't we? That's so we can manage the other dozen things we need to do today. On top of all that, we are loving, training and disciplining our children at every turn. Some have even said that your life is not your own anymore. I see that. For me, it's a good thing. I was ready for that. Heck, I probably needed that! Like it or not, soon enough, motherhood also brings to light every flaw we have... and then it magnifies it. Joy! This is not to say that motherhood doesn't bring about the gentler more lovely parts of us, too. It certainly does that as well. I heard something recently that I've been thinking a lot about. It went something like this...

If we ask God for courage, do you think He just gives us courage or does He give us opportunities to be more courageous?

If we ask God for patience, does He automatically just grant us patience or does He give us opportunities to learn patience?

If we ask God for more love, does He just zap us with warm and fuzzy feelings or does He give us opportunities to love one another?

It made me realize that everything that happens in my day is in direct relation to what I pray for every morning. This may be obvious to some but for busy moms, we are often just too busy to sit and reflect. Since taking care of my girls is my main job, God is graciously placing opportunities in front of me to help me grow.
For example, I knew going into motherhood that patience was not my virtue. I have grown much in this area over the years but I still have a way to go. By and large, our girls are great and I have no complaints about them or my husband. I only have feelings of enormous love and thankfulness. There are, however, occasional days when life as a toddler and being the mother of those toddlers is tougher than others. I am aware that training a child in the way in which we want them to grow requires much more than words.
It actually requires living that way, by example. Even still, if you came to my house some afternoons, you'd think that my kids couldn't hear, based on the volume of my voice. Yes, although words are powerful and necessary, actions do speak louder than words. I have to keep reminding myself of that.

As moms, we are never really truly at rest are we? We have such a responsibility and commitment to our children and their future.
When I think about the fact that our girls will mostly learn how to live life and love others by my example....
Wow. There is no choice but to be better at it myself.

Being a mom is so much more than I can explain here. Other than God's love for us, there is no greater love. It took me becoming a mom myself to figure that one out. It is the most challenging and fulfilling thing that I will ever do in my lifetime and although most days are blissful and contented, there will be some days that just aren't that pretty. I thank God for those opportunities. In many ways, it is our children who become our teachers.

Lastly, I never thought that I would be singing children's songs out loud, in public. I'm talking about at the grocery store, departments stores, restaurants, you name it. I can't even carry a tune but you know what? It doesn't matter and I don't care. It's just this strange thing that happens when you become a parent. We do it because it brings joy to our kids and there's nothing better than seeing their sweet faces light up with laughter. We also do it now, just because we can.

19 September 2007

Morning stroll

Shortcut through the neighborhood park.

The temperatures have cooled down this week and the mornings have been beautiful. The girls relaxed in their jogging stroller yesterday while I got outside for some excerise. They also enjoyed the fresh air and had fun pointing at all the things they saw.

18 September 2007

ABC's

Faith having a good time.

Grace learning her ABC's.

Then showing off her muscles.

Grace kissing the caterpillar.

Playing together.

All wrapped up.

All fall down.

Faith thinks about what to do.

Smack!

Sharing.

The girls love to sing their ABC's with their alphabet caterpillar (or is it a centipede?). Anyway, whenever we sing our ABC's, they push the letters on their leggy friend and sing along. They also use it to play tug o' war and wear it around their neck as a boa.

16 September 2007

Two tots


It was a big day for the girls this morning. They officially graduated from the infant nursery at church to the toddler room. They fit right in and had a ball! And who wouldn't with all the toys, games, buggy rides and graham cracker snacks? This is also the first picture we took with our new camera. Let's hope we can keep this one longer than our last one. Happy Sunday!


14 September 2007

Now and then

Now at almost 18 months old.

Then at 7 months old in Korea.

Yes, they are fun and yes, their laugh is contagious. For the most part, they are joyful, happy, healthy, sweet and very curious little girls. On the one hand, you want them to grow up and it's so exciting to see the development and changes everyday but on the other hand, they seem to be growing up so fast! To think that they will never be this small again (sigh...). We are enjoying every minute.

On another note, we have dropped our poor camera one too many times and therefore, the quality of the pictures have not been that great. To top it off, the flash is now broken. All in all though, this camera has served its purpose in capturing lots of wonderful memories for the start of our new family. For as much as it will cost to fix, plus the time it takes to repair, we are probably better off getting a new camera. This time, with the extended warranty. :)
There are many more pictures to be taken!

11 September 2007

That's a wrap!

What a great day! Today we completed the last of our four required post-placement visits. Cindy, our social worker, was not only enjoyable to work with, she really made things easy for us. Thank you to her and everyone at Family Connections Christian Adoptions for all their efforts in helping us become a legal family. We now patiently wait for our court date! In order to celebrate this little milestone,
I think some cake or ice cream is in order!

10 September 2007

Farewell, summer

Sunrise.

Alto cumulus clouds.

Well, I did it! I survived my first summer in the desert! Morgan was worried that I would hate the summers here, especially since I've been living by the ocean for most of my adult life. Truth be told, it wasn't that bad. Like anything else, you just get used to it and work your life around it. I woke up yesterday morning to a beautiful blanket of mid-level clouds above us. I went up to the sky deck to take a closer look and there I enjoyed the most fantastic cool breeze. It was then I knew. I had made it through my first summer! It was no longer 90 plus degrees first thing in the morning and it was no longer 100 degrees at night, when we're going out to dinner. This weekend, we even noticed that the pool was cooler during the day. Fortunately for us, the way our house sits, we were blessed to be able to enjoy our pool throughout the whole summer. It never got above 92 and that's still very nice and refreshing. Even though we're still in the 100's during the day and probably will be for the rest of this month, what I've come to learn is that here in the desert, 100 degrees is actually quite nice. You can be outside and function, especially if it's not humid. I know, it's weird to think that 100 is not very hot!

It's also weird to think back to this time last year and realize how much our lives have changed. This same time last year, we had just made the decision to move and buy our home but we still had no idea that our twin girls were coming. We laugh now because the biggest decision we made back then on the weekends... "Should we go to the beach or play golf?" What a difference a year makes! We were blessed then and we are incredibly blessed now.

With cooler temperatures on the way, I can now go back to running in the mornings (something I haven't done since the girls came home).
I can even take them with me in my jogging stroller that has yet to be used. I'm very much looking forward to spending time with the girls outdoors. Unfortunately, the only thing that they've experienced outside so far is the pool. I can't wait to take them to the park and playground. It's funny, the few times that they have been on grass, they aren't quite sure what to make of its prickly texture. :)

We have a busy fall planned ahead of us. Gosh, before you know it, the holidays will be here. Tomorrow is another big day. We have the last of our post-placement visits! More on that as the week continues...

09 September 2007

Weekend & Newlyweds

Hear no evil, see no evil.

Faith is all giggles.

Grace is pretty in pink.

We have a climber!

Grace learning to surf.

Auntie Emily and Uncle Rich give the best airplane rides.

Out on the town.

The newlyweds.

Rich and Emily came to stay with us for a day before leaving for their relaxing honeymoon this morning. It was great to see the happy couple and celebrate with them by going out to dinner last night.
We really enjoyed our night out, guys! Thanks to Grandma & Grandpa for babysitting!

07 September 2007

Shop 'til you drop

Grace on the way home.

Faith tired after an afternoon of shopping.

Did someone say, "One day sale?" Us girls hit the mall this afternoon.
Even though I don't spend time shopping like I used to, I still pride myself on being a bargain shopper. My best find today? A designer dress for only $15! Not too shabby! The girls did great, too!

03 September 2007

Labor Day Weekend

Ben, Lucy and the kids came to visit from Bakersfield yesterday. They hadn't been here since the pool was finished so we had a great time hanging out with them. Grandma and Grandpa also came over in the afternoon and stayed for dinner. A good time was had by all! Today, we spent much of the day relaxing from our fun and busy weekend. Hope you did too!

Christina, Grandma, Lucy and Faith.

Grace and daddy underwater.

"Yay! Again, daddy!"

Grandma & Christina.

Ben & Shawn.

02 September 2007

Congratulations, Rich & Emily!

Waiting for his bride.

Here she is!

Pray together, stay together.

Rich & Emily with mom & dad.

Our extended family.

Let the reception begin! (Great picture of the couple in their traditional Korean wedding attire).

Giving thanks.

Me and my big bro.

Cake cutting.

The girls danced for about an hour nonstop!
(They were so hot in their dresses we had to change them).

Gettin' the party started and workin' the whole dance floor.

My brother is finally a married man! We are so happy for both Rich and Emily! The wedding was a beautiful celebration of two lives becoming one. Emily was not only gorgeous but also beaming and I've never seen my brother look so happy. May God bless and guide them for the rest of their lives. We are overjoyed!

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