our biggest news of the year...

We are expecting our third child!

In twelve to eighteen months Chad and I will travel to Ethiopia to adopt a baby boy. When I tell people the news, tears stream down my cheeks. It's embarrassing, but I cannot help it. They are happy, giddy, joyful, bursting, fill-your-heart-with-pounding-love kind of tears.

For a long time (perhaps our whole marriage) international adoption has been on the back burner of our future. We don't know why, but it's always made sense to us. Melody and Leah came unexpectedly and this decision has come about similarly. Despite the constant pace of life, adoption has been knocking on the door of my heart nonstop for the past year. It was almost a nusaince. We both thought we'd adopt later, but the call was strong in me now. I tried to push it away, feeling trapped by its intensity. It would not go away.

One Friday evening in early October Chad and I were sitting outside. The evening was dark. We sat in the orange light of a small bonfire. It was the first time all week we had quality time alone. Suddenly the adoption pang washed over me again. I silently sighed, frustrated and confused. My thought was, "God, why am I so drawn to this if Chad isn't there yet?"

An instant later I said, "What do you think of adoption?" I just threw it out there, not expecting anything really.

He calmly replies, "Actually I've been thinking about adoption all day today and yesterday. Maybe it's time for us to do this."

My eyes widened and I started smiling, a little bit at first and then hugely. (The smile hasn't stopped since.) It was the exact same feeling as seeing the two lines on a positive pregnancy test.

All I could say was, "REALLY!?"

And just like that, we were expecting our third child! For three weeks I researched different agencies. We narrowed it down to Holt, CHSFS, and Gladney. Our final choice was Gladney. I sent in our first paperwork on November 5th.

In the midst of everything with the adoption, we've celebrated birthdays for Leah, Chad and Melody. We also did Thanksgiving and our 8th Anniversary. And next week is Christmas!!!! To say I have been burning the candle at both ends is an understatement. Another factor -- I cannot sleep at night. My mind starts thinking about Africa, then Ethiopia, then the baby. Then I switch gears to where we are in the paperwork process. Then my freelance design deadlines. Then the house, which has fallen into crazy disarray because of everything else. Then I think about Ethiopia and the baby again. The circle is maddening. In all of this, Chad is next to me as still as a boulder, in the deepest stages of sleep.

Now you all know why I haven't had any time for blogging!


melody's birthday party

We celebrated Melody's birthday early this year. Her birthday is December 22; we had her party a couple of weekends early so that more people could attend. It was the first big birthday party we've had. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun! Above is a picture of Melody that I frantically snapped seconds before guests started to arrive.

I made the cake four layers because Melody is four years old! The cake had a total of 10 cups of sugar and an entire container of cocoa. We pretty much ate the whole thing at the party.

Here is my brother, aka Uncle Christopher. He is a wonderful uncle and a great gift giver. He gave Melody a pink flashlight; she was thrilled. She has wanted her own flash light for a long time.