September 26, 2009

Walt Disney World '09

I know I have been horrible at blogging lately!! We are currently on vacation at Walt Disney World and I know the grandparents are very anxious to see pics of us (okay...Avery) on our trip so I will try to better....at least this week. We are traveling with our dear friends Bob, Erin, Mollianne, and Meisey. Can't wait to see what all this adventure holds!!

We stayed Friday night at a hotel right at the airport since we had a very early flight Saturday morning.
Avery and Paul chilling out at the hotel.

The girls were just too precious pulling their own bags through the airport.
Avery was quick to decide that anything Mollianne did she wanted to do too!!

and Meisey sure couldn't be left behind.

My own little budding photographer!!

Bob, Erin, Mollianne, and Meisey boarded and ready to take off for Orlando!!

Paul, Avery, and me....ready to get this trip started!!

This was Avery's first flight since we came home from China (let's not talk about how that flight went)...she did FABULOUS!! She was so excited at take-off and proceeded to entertain us the entire time.

Two little peeping toms sitting right behind us!
We have arrived!! First Mickey sighting at the airport!

We traveled by bus to our hotel, got checked in and were welcomed with:
Mickey ear towels!!

Saturday afternoon was spent unpacking and napping. Later we went to Downtown Disney for dinner..more on that later!!

Having a great time!!!!

Thanks for checking in!!!

August 27, 2009

Galveston trip.....

We left yesterday and headed down to Galveston for a couple of days. We wanted Avery to play in the ocean (okay, Gulf of Mexico) and see what her reactions would be. She as a little skeptical at first but then she began to love the waves and just laughed and laughed. Our day today consisted of beach in the morning, afternoon naps, and then beach again in the evening.....this is the life!!

Paul and Avery waiting for a wave!!

First experience building sand castles.

Last night we made a pitstop to pick up some beach toys, Avery had to go ahead and test them out while we were in the hotel room:
Yes, that is a sand bucket on her head!

We also ventured out last night to eat at the Rain Forest Cafe. We thought Avery would enjoy the scenery and the animals. We were wrong!! She did not enjoy it, she kept telling us she was scared and that was BEFORE the rainstorm came. We were able to finally calm her down and make her happy (Coca Cola works wonders)but I don't think we will be visiting another Rain Forest Cafe anytime soon.

Avery wasn't too sure about the big gorilla outside of the restaurant.

Avery and Daddy

Here she is with her special glass that make her not too scared to sit and eat.

Love this picture of daddy and daughter strolling along the beach.
Life is good!!

So that's our mini-vacay so far......

Happy Thursday!!!

August 25, 2009

Remembering to treasure every moment....

This past weekend I attended the Women of Faith conference with my mom and some dear friends. We had the pleasure of seeing Steven Curtis Chapman perform. He did an amazing job and spoke to us about the death of his daughter last year. For those that don't know, he is a christian recording artist that has 3 biological children and 3 little girls adopted from China. His youngest died last year at the age of 5. He told us the story of the night he wrote his latest hit "Cinderella". I could relay the whole story to you but instead will just summarize it: after a long day he was putting his 3 youngest daughters to bed and rushing them to get to sleep so he could get back to work. After they were in bed he thought about his oldest daughter, who was then away at college, and how he remembered performing the same nighttime rituals with her and how he couldn't believe how fast the time had passed him by. He wrote the song and he told all of us in the audience how important it is to treasure every moment with your children, before you know it they will be grown up and not need you for those bedtime stories and tucking in each night.

As I was listening to him I could help but think of my own life and how much Avery had changed it!! I will have to admit there are times when I get frustrated with her or when I rush her to do something and I am definitely not treasuring each moment. I also thought about that little girl we were handed in China 16 months ago. A baby girl that could barely hold her head up, that couldn't sit up, and was a little frightened of us. A baby girl that already had a smile that lit up a room, that already tons of personality, a baby girl that captured our hearts instantly!!

Looking back now it's hard to believe the little girl that runs all over the house jabbering away today is that same girl. She has changed so much over these past 16 months that it hurts my heart just a little that my baby is no longer a baby. She is growing and changing everyday and I realize it has only just begun. Paul and were looking back at some of the pictures from Gotcha Day this week and we can't believe how much Avery has changed since then, how much our lives changed, and how much joy we have experienced.

I know I am probably rambling here but my point is this: After hearing Steven Curtis Chapman speak this weekend I am making a more conscious effort to enjoy EVERY moment.

For fun I am taking us on little walk down memory lane with our baby girl:

This is the collage I made the day we received our referral:
The only 3 pictures we had of Avery until we held her in our arms.

A day that we will never forget. I still remember every moment, every emotion:
Finally in our arms. She may not look too happy here but Paul and my smiles definitely make up for that!

We had been home for 6 months when this picture was taken:
Avery's first of what I hope will be many trips to Walt Disney World!

Our family in May 2009
Our baby is now a toddler!!

And finally, our family today:
The change in Avery is amazing. They really do grow up sooooo very fast!!

And just in case you haven't heard the song mentioned earlier here are the lyrics:

Cinderella
Steven Curtis Chapman

She spins and she sways to whatever song plays,
Without a care in the world.
And I'm sittin' here wearin' the weight of the world on my shoulders.
It's been a long day and there's still work to do,
She's pulling at me saying "Dad I need you!
There's a ball at the castle and I've been invited and I need to practice my dancin'"
"Oh please, daddy, please!"

So I'll dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh I'll dance with Cinderella
I don't wanna miss even one song,
Cuz all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

She says he's a nice guy and I'd be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of the dress
She says "Dad, the prom is just one week away,
And I need to practice my dancin'"
"Oh please, daddy, please!"

So I'll dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Ohh-oh ohh-oh, I'll dance with Cinderella
I don't wanna miss even one song,
Cuz all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone
She will be gone.

she came home today
With a ring on her hand
Just glowin' and tellin' us all they had planned
She says "Dad, the wedding's still six months away
but I need to practice my dancin'"
"Oh please, daddy please!"

So I'll dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Ohh-oh ohh-oh, I'll dance with Cinderella
I don't wanna miss even one song,
(even one song)
Cuz all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone



Thanks for checking in.....Happy Tuesday!!!

August 3, 2009

Where..oh..where did July go???

It's seems amazing to me to look at the calendar and see that it's already August. This summer has flown by and with time moving so fast I have been a terrible blogger. Of course those that know me know I have tons of pictures of all our activities over the last month. Hopefully (notice I said hopefully) within the next week I can get everyone caught up on all our goings-on and not fall this far behind again.

I blog for a couple of reasons: first and foremost because I don't journal. This blog serves as a journal for me. I love to look back over the last 3 years (can you believe I have been doing it for over 3 years?) and see exactly where we were and what we were up to at any particular time. The memories that are stirred just by looking at on old post are amazing. Also amazing is to see how much our family life has changed and how much of it has stayed the same. While some traditions have continued throughout the years, I can see a whole new slew of one's starting. Another reason I blog is so that our family and friend never have a shortage of pics for their Avery fix. I am always amused when I go into Grammy and Daddy Sonny's house and there hanging on the wall is a photo of Avery that Grammy printed off the blog. :)

I don't know if I have mentioned on here or not but I am back in school. That's right 10 years after I graduated from nursing school and left what I thought would be the college years behind me I am back!! I am currently taking classes in an accelerated program to obtain my bachelor's degree in nursing. Each class is a semester's worth of work taken in only 5 weeks. It does make for a fast and furious 5 weeks. We get one week off between classes and then we start over again. I am also involved in a ladies summer bible study at church. We have been doing the Beth Moore study of Esther titled "It's Tough Being a Woman". I would encourage all of you to check out this study. It is amazing. I never realized how much a book of the bible could mirror a soap opera but Esther sure does!!

So anyway with school, bible study, work, homelife, a husband, and a 2 year old all on my plate maybe you can see how blogging kind of fell to the wayside. As I said hopefully I won't fall this far behind again because I really love this outlet and love creating the memory trail for my family.

July was a super busy month for us, we were on the go constantly and of course I have the pictures to prove it!! So without further ado let's take a stroll down memory lane:

At the beginning of the month Avery and I visited the local Children's museum. There were a variety of displays and hands-on exhibits for her to try out. By far her favorite area was the painting room. She put on her smock and just went at it:
Our little artist in the making

and here is her wonderful work or art. Do you think we have the Picasso on our hands??

On Independence Day, we gathered with the family for a fun time of food and fireworks. Our tradition has been to tailgate in a local mall parking lot and then watch the firework show when the sun goes down. This was Avery's second year to attend and she loved the fireworks. As soon as they started she was clapping and ooohing and aahhing at everything.

My family....My world!!

Avery continues to grow and thrive so much everyday. She is becoming little miss independent. She proved that earlier in the month by getting very upset when I tried to take corn off the cob and put it on her plate. She wanted to eat it all by herself just like everyone else at the table.
Avery trying for the first time to eat the corn right off the cob.

She is also becoming quite the little imitator. Here is a perfect example:
Mekenzie was painting my toenails and Avery had to get right down in the floor with her to supervise!

Mekarlie, Avery, and Mekenzie....it warms my heart everytime I see a picture of these 3 girls together.

Midmonth I had the opportunity to meet up with a couple of girls who were dear friends to me in high school. Although Kiesha and I see and talk to each other frequently, Tracy and Missy (or Melissa as she is known by now that she's a grown up) found us both up on Facebook and we have been communicating and catching up there. The opportunity arose for us all to be in the same town and have dinner together and we jumped on the chance. It was such a great time and although we only stayed at the restaurant a couple of hours I think we could have stayed all night and never quit talking. I can't wait to all get together again and even get our kids together in the near future.
Tracy, Me, Kiesha, and Melissa....CHS class of '91

We have also been spending some time out at the lake this summer. Mimi and Poppy bought a pontoon boat and Avery just thinks it is fabulous.
even more so when she gets to drive!!

Kelby got a very cool haircut that he couldn't wait to show off. It didn't last very long (he shaved it shortly thereafter) but we did take some pictures that we may be able to use for blackmail purposes in the future:
Kelby and his new summer haircut

Avery and Rowdy were not too sure what it was supposed to be.

Also this month we attended a birthday party for Valerie's kids. Their birthdays are 30 days apart so she and Gary hosted and animal themed party complete with petting zoo and pony rides!!!

Never in a million years would I have imagined these animals running around my dear friend Valerie's yard. The things we do for our kids.
Just some of the little critters that the kids got to feed and pet.

Christie and Paul showing Avery and Quint all the little animals.

Avery finally getting her nerve up to feed the animals.

Mollianne cradling a baby chick.

And then the pony rides began:
One of the guests of honor taking his first pony ride. Can't believe this little guy is already 2!!

And the other guest of honor not quite sure what to make of this whole pony thing.

Meisey decided to sit out the pony rides!

Can you tell Quint was a little excited?

And last but certainly not least, Avery's first ride on a pony.

Later after most of the party guests left Avery and I decided to take a little ride on some toys hanging out in V's living room.
These "little cars" were quite the hit with the kids.....and the adults too!

Thanks for a fabulous party Valerie, you better start planning next years now!

I included the next picture just to show you what may happen when you leave out the package of aluminum foil and turn your back:
Yep, the whole roll became a toy....but it was worth it see a smile this big!

To wrap up our July we spent a day at Hawaiian Falls Water Park. It was great weather, the sun wasn't out too terribly much and we had so much fun we all came home with souvenir sunburns!

Mekenzie, Mekarlie, Kolin, and Avery getting ready to hit the wave pool.

Christie, Erin, and Me pre-sunburn :)

Mekenzie and Avery waiting for the waves to start rolling in. Avery wasn't very impressed with any of the slides but really enjoyed the wave pool.

Mollianne just chillin' out in her tube ready to take on the waves.

So that was the MAJORITY of our July. We also attended a wedding, a graduation party, and several other gatherings with friends. It was truly a fast and furious month for us.

Hope you enjoyed the update. Thanks for checking in!!!!

July 6, 2009

Another one of those....

I love to look at older pictures and see exactly how much Avery has changed in the short time she has been with us, so here we go with another one:




July 4, 2008......and......July 4, 2009!!

Guess we don't have a baby anymore, we have a little girl!

Jibber Jabber.....ALL THE TIME!!

There was a time several months ago when we (Paul and I) were concerned with Avery's speech..or lack of it. We addressed it with our pediatrician at her 18month visit where he encouraged us to just wait a little while longer. After all, she has already made such huge progress let's just let "nature takes it course" and see if the speech comes too. Between the 18 month and 2 year check-ups she did start to verbalize more. At her 2 year appointment we were given to the "standards" for kids her age and I have to say she still fell way behind on the "normal" vocabs of 250+ words and 3-4 word phrases for a 2 year old. Once again her pediatrician encouraged us to wait, after all she had progressed from the last visit and he really thought she would come in to her language at her own time. Well, once again Dr B. was correct!

At 26 months this girl talks non-stop!!! It's almost as if she woke up one morning and said to herself "I think I am going to talk now!! and hasn't shut up since. She identifies everyone and wants you to help her to identify everything, which she proceeds to repeat several times.

The funniest thing is her manners! I will go ahead and admit while Paul and I encourage good manners we are not drill sergeants on the issue. Our little Avery, on the other hand, is very diligent when it comes to manners. She says please about everything, she thanks you over and over again for giving her something or helping her, she blesses you when you sneeze. It cracks us up because all of these phrases she says not once but approximately 10 time for each incident.

She has also started wanting to talk on the phone. She will hold a conversation with whomever is on the phone but doesn't quite have the concept down that the other person cannot see her nod her head for yes. :)

There are still certain letters she has verbalizing but we have become pretty good at interpretation.

I know I am way behind on pictures and posting but I wanted to record all her progress since I use this blog as my own journal of her growing up.

Happy Monday!!

June 22, 2009

18 years!!!!

June 22, 1991......the day we said "I DO!!"



It seems like a lifetime ago....we have been through so much together but I wouldn't have chosen anyone else to be by my side.

Paul...I love you more than words can say. You have been with me through thick and thin, happy and sad, and everything in between. I can't imagine my life without you in it. I hope you never doubt my love for you!!



Here's to 60+ more years together!!!!