Category Archives: News

Bedknobs, No Broomsticks

I am still in awe saying this: we have a bed frame. “So what?” you may ask, and I’d understand. Who doesn’t? But this is a monumental moment in our standard of living. We have, for the past 11 years, gone without, placing our box spring and mattress directly on the floor. Yep, that’s our entire marriage of our room looking like a college dorm, only worse because we didn’t even put the thing on a metal frame. Needless to say, I never liked spending time in our bedroom. It made me sad.

But before you go feeling too sorry for me, I’ll admit that we probably could have changed the situation a long time ago but didn’t. We held out for two reasons: 1) it wasn’t really a priority– we wanted to travel, buy a new computer, buy a Vitamix, etc. more than spruce up our functional, though ugly, room and 2) we didn’t want to have to move a real piece of furniture during our transient years.

Now that we know we’ll be here for at least 4 more years, we finally decided enough was enough and bought ourselves something that makes me smile when I peek inside the doorway.

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In other furnishing news, Warren outgrew his race car toddler bed so we bought a bunk bed.

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He is in heaven. Not only does he love sleeping on the top bunk, but the space underneath is big enough to make into a fort or hide away. It’s the most versatile piece we’ve ever purchased. It’s a train, a boat, a car, a plane, a store. And you thought they were just for sleeping. Silly.

Madeline’s Temple Sealing

When Colin and I were married in the Seattle Washington temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we were sealed for time (on this earth) and for all eternity. Sealing being a word used to describe the everlasting bond that would hold our marriage and family together. Because our children are not born to us within this covenanted union with God, we have the opportunity to return to the temple to perform this sealing ordinance with each one that comes to our family. Warren was sealed to us at just 4 months old, soon after his adoption was finalized. This Saturday, we were able to do the same with Madeline.

It was a holy experience. Warren was also able to attend and witness this sacred event. Both of our babies, dressed all in white, was an image I intend to hold in my heart always.

I know that our family has received the promise of being together forever. Though the means of getting to this point are different than for most, the blessings are still the same. All we have now to do is endure well this life. Something to work on each and every day.

Adoption Day

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It’s official! We are thrilled to announce that Maddie’s adoption was finalized today at 9:30AM. After a year of uncertainties, we are thankful to call this sweet little girl our very own for good.

It was an early day for us since the courthouse we needed to attend was an hour and a half away. Thankfully, it was a very quick process. We arrived, waited 10 minutes, and were then escorted into the court room to sit before the judge. We signed the official paper work. Our county caseworker, Carrie, presented our case before the court, we raised our hands as we were sworn in, and we were asked to describe our feelings for Maddie, which Colin thankfully did otherwise I would have bawled my eyes out. The judge expressed his appreciation and then declared our adoption final.

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Madeline was a calm as could be, munching on a cracker while sitting on Colin’s lap. Warren was more nervous. He didn’t want to respond when the judge asked him conversational questions. He brightened up when the bailiff handed him a toy deputy badge and the judge told him he could pick out a stuffed animal for Maddie and for himself.

What an experience. With Warren, we only received news after it was all done. We never had to appear in court. This event made the end feel more real. I’m so thankful it’s all over.

We cannot thank you enough for your support and prayers and words of encouragement. We could not have done this alone. Thank you, Carrie, for your attention to detail and efficiency. Thank you, ANGELS–Meichelle, Stacy, Jennifer, and Rosa–for bringing our little girl into our lives. She’s just where she needs to be.

The New Home (Part 1)

Getting settled into a new dwelling is always a challenge. Pictures to hang. Cabinets and drawers to organize. You have your old stuff which now needs to fit into a new space. Sometimes you get the good fortune of being able to start over. New house, new stuff.

We are attempting to do a little bit of both. We have some good pieces that we’re keeping (our long dining table from IKEA) and some that we can’t wait to post on Craigslist (our futons, also from IKEA). Pretty much everything we’ve owned as a married couple has come from IKEA. Still love the store, but are ready to upgrade.

But that means that settling in has come in stages, this time around. We purchased an entertainment center made of real wood and already assembled to house our gigantic TV which we use as our computer screen. (Post on the acquisition of said screen to follow, if I can get Colin to write it!) But we’re still sitting on the futons and we don’t yet have a new shelf to house our last few boxes of books.

All this to say that our house is not what I would call picture friendly yet. So I’m posting little bits for you to whet your whistle. Just the parts that I consider “done.” Not that our home has to be perfect to make the blog because we’d all be passed out holding our breath waiting for that to happen. But hopefully we can make some more progress soon.

Today’s viewing includes the exterior, front entrance, hallway, and kitchen, with a sneak peek into the living/dining area.

Renny Rides Solo

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For Warren’s 3rd birthday, we got him a two-wheel bike but one without pedals. These are great little bikes because they teach balance without the hindering crutch that training wheels can become. For the last year and a half he has been cruising around on that thing without any fear. This year for Christmas, he asked Santa for a pedal bike. He felt like he was ready to upgrade and so did we.

His only problem was that he had little experience actually pedaling anything. Not a tricycle or big wheel or anything. We had no yard and therefore no way to provide any opportunity. So recently we borrowed a friend’s bike (with training wheels) so he could practice a little. We hoped that he would be confident enough to then go out on his own.

He was thrilled to get his new bike Christmas morning, which I think gave him all the motivation he needed to give it a go. We took him to the church parking lot. In less than an hour he went from insisting that Colin hold onto his seat to insisting that Colin let go so he could ride faster.

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Riding a bike is a big accomplishment. We’re so proud of him for working hard to master this skill. What a big boy he is!

The Big Move

Somehow, we survived this. But I gotta be honest: moving with little children is ridiculously slow and often painful. We tried to make the best of the situation with box forts and bubble wrap slides. But it was a stretch at best. The kids were completely out of sorts as their little worlds were in complete upheaval. At least Warren got to drive in the rental truck– a definite highlight for him. Such a big boy compared to the last time we moved.

Thank goodness we won’t be doing this again for at least four years!

P.S. We absolutely LOVE the new house! Pictures to come as we get settled in… sometime in 2010, I assume!

P.P.S. Many thanks to the friends who came to help and to those who kept me sane during the process.

Releases & Callings

For two years now, Colin and I have both served as 2nd Counselors in our respective auxiliaries: Elders Quorum and Relief Society. A few weeks ago, that all changed. Colin was released and immediately called to be the Young Men President. My release was not far behind. The bishop gave me about a week off and then called me into the Primary, as 2nd Counselor.

Being called to serve in a church assignment happens through divine inspiration from the Lord himself. I do believe that. But what I’ve also come to appreciate in the last few weeks is that the one being called also has a duty to seek for a personal witness that the new assignment is indeed inspired. Sometimes that happens immediately and it’s easy to be excited about your new responsibility. Other times you leave the bishop’s interview thinking, “Huh??” However you get there, I know gaining that testimony is a necessary process for accepting and putting your heart into what you’ve been asked to do.

I’ll have to admit, I was more than a little saddened by this change for me. Put me in Category 2 above. I have absolutely loved the presidency with whom I’ve served. They are phenomenal women. Long presidency meetings aside, I sometimes speculated it couldn’t possibly be as good elsewhere, which is ironic because that was my feeling coming into this Relief Society calling as I left the Primary in Chicago. But that’s the great part about the Gospel of Jesus Christ–as you serve in various organizations in the church, you realize there are always phenomenal people wherever you’re called.

It’s silly to have a preference for where I serve. The specific responsibilities may be different, but the overall goal for every calling is the same: bring people (adults, youth, children) to Christ. How could you not want to be a part of that, in whatever form it may come? Besides, it’s good to mix things up a bit so no one becomes too complacent. No “phoning it in” when it comes to church service!

Working with the children has always brought me great joy in the past. This time around should be no different. Truth be told, I know that it will be an experience that will wind up blessing me more than I’ll be of service to them.

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What calling(s) have you really loved?