Friday, July 29, 2016

Good Girl - Amelia - March 1999 - July 29, 2016

GG. How do I even begin? You've been there. You've been everywhere. You've been through it all with us. 

You were there when I graduated college, when Will graduated college, when we moved to Centreville, when we moved to Fairfax, when we moved to Herndon, back to Fairfax, when we got engaged, when we got married, when we got Eligh, when we got Illy, when our grandparents died, when we bought a house (and moved again), when we got pregnant, when we lost the baby, when we flipped a coin and moved to NC, when we sold our VA house, when we bought a new house in NC, when we got pregnant again, when we lost that baby, when I was allergic to fertility treatments, when Will got diagnosed with Chiari, when he had brain surgery, when things seemed so hard, when we decided to adopt, when we got approved, when we got matched, when it failed, when we were devastated, when we were chosen again, when Dax was born, when he came home, when we experienced the happiest moment of our life, when you loved on him and cared for him so tenderly, when he said you were his best friend, when Yaya got so sick, when she died, when he had to be told you were going to see Jesus and be with Yaya. You've been a huge part of our lives for the past 17.5 years. You've been there in the good times and in the bad. You've been such a good girl. 

Your name was Amelia for a long time, and Will and I called you Mealboze, Meal, or Mealy - but when Dax got older he called you Good Girl. It's because you were such a good girl. Eventually it switched to GG and that's where you landed. Sweet old GG. 

You've worked hard to be such a good friend and my first baby. I'll never forget the day we met at the SPCA in Harrisonburg and I saw your tiny sweet face. I knew you were my dog, and I refused to let you go. I sat and held you  in the grass for hours until they could verify we could have dogs in our apartment. You were so tiny, so sweet, so small. You were just what I needed. A puppy to love and someone to love me unconditionally. 

We're going to miss you, but we know you're not comfortable here anymore. Your leg hurts, your hip aches, its hard for you to stand and even harder to walk, your teeth hurt, you cannot see, can hardly hear, you have dementia that keeps you pacing all night long, and your heart is weak. We know that it's selfish to keep you here when you're in pain and you've lived such a full and rewarding life. So, go on sweet girl - run off into the field, face first into the light with your sweet soft ears gently bouncing in the wind. Go and be happy. Go and be pain free. Go and rest and we'll see you again one day. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

neutral nursery

today's the day.

we're at the one year mark on waiting.

we were prepared to wait, but honestly never thought we'd be waiting more than one year.  as noted, we finally got the new crib sheet and redecorated the nursery to a more gender neutral theme.  our profile book has been updated and four copies are supposed to come into us late next week so they can be sent out to each of the bethany offices in the state.  we're glad we've got this all updated and can kind of start fresh.

dax says the baby will like the new room.

we're trying to explain to dax that we're still waiting for a baby, but it might not be a baby sister.  he's grown quite attached to the name we'd given this illusive baby girl - so we now keep having to redirect him to say that maybe it will be a sister - but it could be a brother.  he asks almost every day if she's coming today.  either way he's excited and just hopes that his sibling can play baseball with him soon.

join us in praying that our hearts can hold out while we continue to wait for God's perfect match for our family! 

we've chosen a more gender neutral color scheme.
we're still in love with the birds and tied that into the new colors.  the quote over the bed is Psalm 30:5 to remind us that joy comes in the morning.
will's great at making origami!  one time i had an art show and he made hundreds of birds to hang from the ceiling!
i painted the new painting to go above the crib.

Friday, May 20, 2016

the waiting, oh the waiting!

new color will focus on green.  crib sheet will be a myriad of colors.
people like to check in on us and they ask us how things are going and what's new on the adoption front.  part of me is happy that they asked because they are concerned and they care, but part of me still gets very irritated about it - not because they asked, but perhaps because they had to ask.  the truth is there's not a blip of anything going on in the radar.  we've got nothing to report, not one phone call, not one situation presented to us, nothing.  see, if we had something to share - we'd likely share it, but there's nothing to share.

waiting is hard.

that's where we were two weeks ago and it precipitated us setting up an appointment with our social worker to discuss where we're at.  we originally felt God leading us to adopt a baby girl and we arranged our profile in that way.  our profile book was geared towards an expectant mother carrying a baby girl in her belly.  our nursery was decorated in shades of light gray, pink, and seafoam.  we had a couple little girly baby outfits, just in case we got a "stork drop call".

however, in the past few weeks God has been changing our hearts.  we know that it is important for us to bring a sibling into our home for dax and to help complete our family.  we know that child should have a skin tone that doesn't match ours, but one that looks more like daxton's.  however, that's our only firm and solid goal.  our goal is no longer to try and only locate a female sibling, but really the sibling that God wants us to have join our family.  if He wants to have us parent a girl, He'll bring us a girl.

our social worker got our profile updated and removed our video from our online set up.  we're working on redoing the nursery so that we can update those photos in our profile book.  we also had to remove sweet iliana's photos and name from our book.  that was hard, but our lives are changing.  we hope to get the photos done and the books printed shortly.  right now we're just waiting on a crib sheet that was ordered to give us a more gender neutral look.

it's good to have something to work on to keep us busy, and at the 11 month mark of waiting we welcome some more activity to be occupied while we wait.  waiting is hard and i don't think we ever thought we ever imagined it could possibly take this long, even though they warned us it could.  we hope that these changes will help to open us up to the right situation so we can continue to grow our family.

God has made it abundantly clear that we are to build our family through adoption.  that is something we have not questioned in the past decade.  and in that calling we know that He will provide another child for us to love, but sometimes our flesh is weak and we are impatient.  we continue to ask for your prayers as we endure this season of waiting.  we know that the wait, regardless of how long it may be, is a necessary part of our life that will get us to the point where we parent this special placement.  thanks for being with us in this wait.

lauren daigle continues to really help me keep focus:

"Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see

I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face, You’re by my side

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!"


Friday, April 1, 2016

iliana white - 8/2001 - 4/2016

iliana has been fighting a long battle.  last night she endured her worst seizure ever.  at one point i asked will if she was dying.  neither one of us was sure.  we called conti and she rushed over to watch dax sleep while we took iliana to the doggy er.  the doctor there confirmed she was stable at the moment, but anything could change at any time.  we knew we needed to watch for signs of heart failure and the doctor could not confirm that this was a seizure and thought it could have possibly been cardiac fainting, since her heart raced and raced for twenty minutes after it was over.  will and i knew when we headed to the vet we'd likely not be bringing her home, so we were sort of surprised when she stabilized and was able to come home one last time.
this morning we woke up and noticed (from her bed wetting) that she must have had several other "events" throughout the night.  she wasn't herself today.  she was lethargic.  she could not stand.  she could not hold her head up.  we let her sleep.  once she finally did try to wake she barely stood and then peed all over the bed.  after that, she collapsed.  i stripped the bed and loaded the washer, but kept her in my arms.  i told my work that i was going to need to take the rest of the day off.  i knew the time had come.  will and i both agreed we needed to call to make "the appointment".  we made the phone call and i started to wrap up work when will found some paperwork i was given back in november of last year about "laps of love".  this service has doctors come out to your home to help your pet move on to heaven.  we immediately called them and they said we could have someone out this evening.  after chatting through the options we booked them and called to cancel the other appointment.  then, the clock started ticking.
every second that passes you think you've made the wrong decision.  but, every time i looked at her face i knew she was not the same dog that we've loved for so long.  she was fighting hard, but the battle was taking over and she just could not fight it anymore.  i sat with her all afternoon.  i petted her, felt her soft ears, petted her cheeks, admired her whiskers and her eyebrows and her spotted fur.  dax petted her, kissed her, and sang her lullabies.  daddy held her, rocked her, and talked to her.  we all took turns saying good bye the best way we knew how.  by afternoon she still was not able to do more than lift her head.  i had to hold her up to go potty outside and just let her bask in the sun and feel the breeze in her fur.  she never even took one drink of water or searched for one bite of food today (which if you know her, is very out of character).  she was fading.
conti came over to be with dax.  she planned on swooping him out for some distractions while mommy and daddy worked with the doctor.

the doorbell rang.  my heart sank.  we knew this was it.  the doctor came in.  we told dax to say goodbye to the doggy, that she was going to meet Jesus.  (we chatted with him earlier about it and explained it all the best way you should tell a four year old...)  he gave her a kiss and told "yaya" goodbye and off they went.  we talked to the doctor and told her we'd like to do it outside since illy loved the warmth of sunshine and breeze.  we all headed out back and sat down with the sweet girl while the doctor did what she had to.  she was very gentle and let me hold illy's head and cradle her while we said goodbye.  she left us.  we cried.  we sobbed.  we're still sobbing now.  but, she's gone.  she's at peace.  i hope she knows we did all we could to keep her comfortable and happy and to prolong her life as long as we possibly could.  it's going to take time to heal,  and we're cherishing every memory as we walk down this path.

illy - i love you.
i love how you lick my hands, legs, and feet uncontrollably.
i love how you let me hold you like a kitty cat.
i love how you rub your face while walking around upholstered furniture.
i love how you love to bask in the sun and feel the wind.
i love how you bat your eyelashes.
i love how you circle, and circle, and circle to get comfortable.
i love how you snuggle up with us when you sleep.
i love how you love to eat, just like momma.
i love how you love me rubbing your ears.  you'd vocalize just how great it was.
i love how your spots made you look like our little cow.
i love how you were always sad if i cried.  you loved to kiss away the tears.
i love how you never took crap from anyone and you always stood up for yourself.
i love how sometimes you snarled at me and showed me your teeth, but you always apologized by licking later.
i love how you scratch the side of the bed to be picked up about 15 times each night.
i love how you terrorized eligh.
i love all of your nicknames:  illy, donny, yaya, lana, iwiiana, illy fo shilly, lanalana ding dong, yana fo shanna, phil donahue - etc.
i love how you snore like daddy when you are getting really good sleep.
i love how you cracked us up.  one time you ate the cap off a huge bottle of lotion to get the contents out.
i love how you used to devour your chew chin sticks.  we used to spend $20 a week on your habit.

i love how you fought so hard through cushings, tumors, pancreatitis, ripped out nail beds, broken teeth, fights with your sister, and seizures - but you never gave up.

you will be greatly missed.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


best little friends ever.  dax is always talking about joshua and apparently joshua is always talking about dax.  so, when i saw them both dressed in their gingham button down shirts i told them i must have a photograph to document this immense friendship.

today was the Easter musical performance at preschool.  we didn't have our expectations set too high since in previous attempts at singing on a stage dax has either frozen completely up, or been more interested in the plants behind him, the carpeting, or laying down on the stage.  however, our hearts leapt out of our chest today when not only did dax stand still with his classmates, but he actually sang words and did the hand motions too!  we were so proud of our sweet boy pulling this off.  he sung his little heart out and our favorite moment was when he sang "roll that stone away" and he acted as if his stone was heavy to get up the hill, but easily rolled down at about 50 mph.  he gave struggling rolling hand motions followed by rolling hand motions that were almost completely out of control.  too hilarious.

we love to see his personality blossoming and watching him develop friendships.  he's pretty popular at school and we're glad that he's proving to be a good and compassionate friend.  we're so glad he's not shy like mommy and daddy. every night he still prays for his friends, his teachers, and his family.  such a sweet soul.

happy easter!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

soccer mom

it happened.  today was the day.  today was the day that dax got to "play" soccer for the first time.  (i use the word "play" loosely because it was more like a tutorial on how to actually get acquainted with the world of soccer.)  however, we knew from the instant that this boy is a natural.  he's been geared up about it since we signed him up, bought his shin guards, socks, and a new ball.  he knows daddy used to play soccer when he was little and he wants to be just like daddy.  he even played along with the obligatory front porch photos to mark this momentous occasion.
now we like to take pictures with a cheese face.  this means you close your eyes.

more cheese.

shiny new soccer ball.

this picture is brought to you by olan mills.

now he's being a ham.

he was stoked when we reminded him last night that today would be soccer day.  we all got up early and the house buzzed with excitement about the main event!  we got him all dressed up in his uniform and loaded up the car to head to the soccer field.   
seriously listening.

not a fluke, still listening.

you got it.  still listening.

following directions and doing his stretches.

dax was excited to see where he'd be playing and joined all of his other "friends" on the field.  i settled in a spot on the grass while will helped dax get acquainted with the game.  however, it was not too long before will got to come and join me because dax was ready for this!  dax immediately took to listening to each of the coaches and was more focused and intense than i'd ever seen him.  he listened, stood still, did as he was told, and was good at what he did.  it was the first time we'd ever taken him to a practice of some sort where he continuously got thumbs up from m&d.  
he'd learned this stretch before at gymnastics, but never actually done it properly.

getting excited to use the soccer balls!

dax getting some kudos.

who is following instructions?  my child!

dax will show you how to do it.  you put your foot on the ball - just like this.

amazing control getting the ball through the cones without over shooting it!

looks like a natural!

super confident on the field!

amazing foot work!

go for the goal!

we were so proud to see him enjoying the game and doing as he was told.  it was an overwhelming feeling to see him doing so well and being in love with playing, meeting new friends, and learning a new skill.  we were very impressed with his mad skills and cannot wait for next saturday to see him do it again!  

officially a soccer mom.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

sixteen years

the first grandson in our family turned sixteen years old this past valentines day.  nobody ever dreamed there would be twelve years separating him from the next grandchild (dax).  however, it did give us all a good chance to spoil james parker completely rotten.  nah, i promise he is a good kid - but he's still pretty rotten.

 james loves golf, hunting, and the west virginia mountaineers.  to make his birthday special we got him a custom cake with some of his favorite things.  to top it off we selected a ball cap like the one he wears on his facebook page.  he was pretty shocked when we had a little mini hat that looks just like one he owns!  (hey, your mom asked me to stalk you on facebook when you set up an account - so, i had to!)

everyone loved the cake and even found the weaponry very comical.  the rifle ended up being the source of many a conversation and much laughter throughout the day!  it doesn't take much to amuse this group!

james was a good sport and didn't really care too much about the dismantling of the cake, so long as he got the strawberry cake and ice cream!  he raked in a ton of cash (almost $500), remember i said rotten?  here he is opening one of about a hundred cards full of cash.
it was wonderful to have all of our family together for this special occasion.  it was awesome to celebrate with so much love, laughter, and excitement!  kids really do grow up so fast.  it's so hard for me to imagine that this sweet guy is old enough to get a driver's license!  where does the time go! 

so thankful we're all within a drive of each other and we can be together for holidays, birthdays, or just on a whim!  it no longer takes an airplane trip and lots of planning to just live life together!

my sweet sister beth has lost over eighty pounds within the past nine months!  that is the weight of a 12 year old!  so impressive!  she and her husband have embarked on quite a journey and they are really knocking off the pounds.  we hardly recognize them as they continue to slim down!  i love this picture above because i see my sweet sister feeling so much better and her eyes are once again sparkling.  it was so good to be with her and be able to spend time just laughing, joking, and hanging out.  this happy time together will surely be a treasured memory.