Monday, January 19, 2015


There will be a brief intermission while I run around like a chicken with its head cut off, freak out about a few things, and then come to the realization that God is on His throne, His timing is perfect, and He loves me in spite of myself. Blogging will resume shortly.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Not Your Average First Birthday

The much-anticipated first birthday has come and gone. It was wonderful. And now we have a one year old! Wow.

Like I said, we went to Disneyland on Squeaks' birthday, and had a party the following Sunday. Disneyland was a blast as usual. Squeaks drew attention everywhere she went, smiling and waving at all the people with us in line. It's been four months since our last Disney fix, and even just in that short time there is a very noticeable difference in Squeaks' awareness and attention span. She laughed and clapped on the rides, pointed at things as we passed, and tried her darnedest to stay awake all day to take it all in. She loved it!

I had been preparing for her birthday party for weeks. Slowly making decorations, a little every night. When Sunday finally came, I could honestly say it was exactly what I had hoped for. And it didn't stop with the decorations. The party itself, the guests, the atmosphere, the food, it was all fantastic. I don't think it was your average first birthday party, which is fitting. Nothing about Squeaks is average. From her entrance into our family, to her calm and happy personality. She is incredible. I'm not biased or anything though...

This Christmas my parents wrote a blessing letter to Josh and I that was really special. It gave me the idea to have Josh and I, and both sets of grandparents, write blessings for Squeaks' birthday, and read them at the party. It's a Biblical tradition that I think will now be a family tradition as well. It ended up being one of my favorite parts of the day. Words don't do it justice really so here's video (and I shared our letter in this post). I intend to put all three blessing letters, along with pictures from the day, in a book for Squeaks to read when she's older. I love these kind of keepsakes! 

The amount of love for this little person is overwhelming. I wish you all could have seen it. A house packed with people completely in love with my daughter. It was beautiful. I am forever grateful to our friends and family for their support and for joining with us to celebrate this incredible little girl.

Now for mass quantities of pictures!

Can't go to Disneyland without Minnie ears!
She was super cuddly all day, especially with daddy.
 Party day!!!
Ready for her first birthday! Proud parents and grandparents.
Love the way my "Happy Ever After" banner turned out on the back porch. Squeaks loved Grampy's glasses.
Enjoyed a great baked potato bar!
My friend Renee' made the most amazing mini cupcakes!
Fun in the bounce house.

One of the kids decided they preferred their Legos chilled. Lol! I love the way Josh labeled his cup!
Opening presents! She got a bit distracted so mom did most of the opening, but she loved playing with all her new toys after.
Grandparents reading their blessing letters. I displayed Squeaks monthly pictures above the food table. It was so fun to see them all lined up and compare the differences month to month.
Love our family!

This is what I'm always saying about the paparazzi. This family was baby starved before Squeaks!
She loved her smash cake. She wasn't quite sure what to do with it at first, but she got it after awhile. Here's the recipe I used. Yum!

Little Girl

Dear Sweet Daughter,

Your first birthday snuck up on us, but took forever to get here. Every day you are less and less a baby, and more and more a little girl. Watching you grow has been our joy. It feels like both an eternity ago, and also like it was just last week that we were praying and waiting for you to come home. We have loved you since before we knew you, and we love you more by the moment.

This time last year you were held in your birth mother's arms as she made the hardest and most loving decision of her life. She chose us as your parents. God brought you to us through her. You are her child, you are our child, you are God's child, and He has blessed you with unending love. As your parents we also want to bless you.

We pray for you every day, sometimes multiple times. Our prayer is that you always know God. That your relationship with Him grows deeper everyday. When He feels far away, run to Him. When He feels close, and loud, and comforting, cling to Him. Strive for strength, discipline, and honor. Seek joy, peace, and love. Put God first and He will help you, because it won't always be easy. Following Him is not easy, so let Him carry you instead. Whatever hardship you face, trust His plan. Whenever you are impatient, trust His timing. Whatever hopes and dreams you work toward, let Him guide you. We pray that your life is full of joy and laughter. We pray that you know how much you're loved.

Today is your first birthday, and many more will follow. A lot will change, but a lot will stay the same. Your mother will continue to be the emotional, driven, cuddly one, and your father will continue to be the strong, steady, fun one. You will continue to be a blessing to our family, your family will continue to want the best for you, and your Heavenly Father will always love you.

God bless you little girl.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy First Birthday!

Today our daughter turns one! *deep breath* So far I've cried twice, but I'm holding strong.

There is so much in my head, so much I want to say, about this past year, about our beautiful girl. Today marks yet another notch in the blessings-from-God column.

For now I'll share "the plan" and gush later. Josh got the day off work, and we're heading to Disneyland. We'll ride all Squeaks' favorite rides, and maybe we'll let her try a churro...or a pineapple wedge...slow down mom. We will have a fan-flippin'-tastic time! Then Sunday we celebrate with friends and family at our house. I've been working on decorations for weeks. I've also learned some valuable lessons for future birthdays. Squeaks' was born so close to Christmas that, once I got time to shop for decorations, the pickin's were slim. Mostly Christmas decorations. It's a good thing I enjoy crafting and own a Cricut. I'm really looking forward to her party though. I went with a vintage storybook theme (see my Pinterest board) and I am thoroughly charmed by it. I'm sure Squeaks likes it too. She is totally aware of the effort I'm putting into this and has thanked me many times. She's not at all distracted by the empty packing boxes and roles of ribbon....ummmmm. Still, I love doing it, and she'll love looking at the pictures when she's older. I will share loads of pictures and a special speech I have planned for the party later (want to keep it fresh for the guests who read my blog).

This year has been awesome and I want to thank you all for your support and kind words, both while we waited, and while we baby-stepped our way through the first year of parenting. You're all part of Squeaks' life and I'm grateful we all get to celebrate this amazing little girl together. that was a little gushing, but believe me, I've got lots more for later. Since the festivities have yet to be photographed, here's a little something I made to display at her party. I love it! And her obviously, cause seriously, look at that face!
Can't forget her 12 month picture too! The set is complete. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Jan. Adoption Love Link-Up: Hopes

Our first link-up of a new year! It's been so much fun "collecting" everyone's blogs and reading about all the adoption love. I look forward to this link-up growing even bigger in 2015 and meeting even more awesome people. This is a very blessed world we live in where adoption can bring us together, help us grow, and learn from one another. Thank you all for being a part of it!

For our first topic of the year I want to hear your hopes and dreams. I remember at the very beginning of last year we had no idea what was ahead of us. I wrote this post and two days later our daughter was born and we got our call. A split second. That's all it takes, and life is totally different. 

How will adoption play a roll in your year? What are your hopes and dreams? Are you waiting for your little one to come home? Write about how you imagine that happening. Are you placing/have you placed a child for adoption? What are you hopes for your child's future, and how you will be a part of their year? How will you contribute to the adoption world this year? new year to you all!

To read last month's link up and see who wrote about our topic see this post and follow the links in the comments.

Visit the link up page here.

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