find the tree & put it in your house

Hood up, boots on - we're ready to go!
 We'll search the trees, high and low.
 Skeptical glances of trees too small
 and snuggles with mommy behind trees so tall.
 Holiday smooches received with glee
 though sometimes mom and dad smother me.
 Despite distractions that abound
we've got the best Christmas tree around!


i will give thanks to the lord



[1] So thankful for this man. Love seeing him as a grandpa.
[2] Thankful for my mom and the way she loves Bonsa. (& for the amazing meal she made)
[3] Mom's antique high chair. Being put to good use...
[4] for this buddy boy.
[5] I love my family. Thanks to Jayne for taking this picture!
[6] Photoshoot with Aunt Marcia before dinner. Dad & his boy... and mom in the mirror, being crazy trying to get Bo's attention.
[7] Snuggling my boy... while he lets out a big ole' yawn.
[8] Bo's first Thanksgiving.
[9] Final preparations for Thanksgiving meal - getting Bo buckled into his seat, using a pillow & belt! Delicious food, delightful people. God is good.
[10] A more true-to-form picture of the Parton family. I love this so much, despite my awkward foot all up in Doug's armpit. Ah, marriage.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; 
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
-I Thessalonians 5:16-18


a post for grandparents

Just lots of pictures of my favorite little boy.


recently i'm... [29]

Reading: I read Mindy Kaling's book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) and gave it 4/5 stars. There are parts that are laugh-out-loud funny, but there are also poignant gems throughout. One of my favorite parts:
"As it is, I guess I find "Jack & Diane" a little disgusting. [...] I can't help but notice the wasteful frivolity of it all. Why are these kids not home doing their homework? Why aren't they setting the table for dinner or helping out around the house? Who allows their kids to hang out in parking lots? Isn't that loitering? [...] In high school, I had fun in my academic clubs, watching movies with my girlfriends, learning Latin, having long, protracted, unrequited crushes on older guys who didn't know me, and yes, hanging out with my family. I liked hanging out with my family! Later, when you're grown up, you realize you never get to hang out with your family. You pretty much have only eighteen years to spend with them full time, and that's it. So, yeah, it all added up to a happy, memorable time."
I'm also re-reading The Book Thief and loving every second of it. If you still haven't read this book, just drop what you're doing (I mean, maybe don't drop your laptop) and get this book immediately.
Listening to: Big surprise, I'm still listening to Mumford & Sons on repeat most days (they're just my favorite driving music!). Lest you think I never listen to anything else, I'm also spellbound by "We Don't Eat" by James Vincent McMorrow, digging Of Monsters and Men (esp. "Mountain Sound"), and I'm probably really late onto this whole Madilyn Bailey scene, but her rendition of "Titanium" is gorgeous.
Watching: May as well totally fess up to my Mindy Kaling crush because I am loving The Mindy Project. Also, a couple weekends ago, Doug & I rented October Baby. I remembered hearing about it vaguely because it's about adoption. Guys. It. Was. AWFUL. I  don't know what I was expecting, and I can't believe I watched the whole thing, but it was like I couldn't stop torturing myself.
Cooking: The other night I was scrambling for dinner plans, decided to go with chicken, went to SkinnyTaste and searched "chicken" and clicked the first thing that caught my attention - balsamic chicken with roasted veggies. I substituted a few of the veggies and used dry spices because I didn't just have fresh rosemary or sage (I know, what's my problem?). SO good. I love her recipes because they're so easy! Oh, and I made these peanut butter pretzel globs again. Sweet mercy.

Crafting: I'm so excited about our church's women's outreach (it's not until April). We are organizing some DIY groups right now, and one of my projects is burlap bunting. So obviously I had to experiment and make myself one first!
Excited about: going home for Thanksgiving.

Thankful for: Family. Friends. The power of the Cross. There is just too much to list. Learning to be thankful in all seasons of life. I want to be able to echo Paul's words in Philippians 4 - "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! ... I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."

Clinging to: a variety of Scripture. Philippians 4:4 (above). Isaiah 43:1-5. Hebrews 4:14-16.


ten-on-ten :: nov

9am :: breakfast toes.

10am :: ready for our walk!

11am :: lower rouge trails (i'm a cheater. here's 2 pictures).
12pm :: lunchtime.

1pm :: can't believe this babe has been home for 2 months.

2pm :: snacks with my hubs

3pm :: slobs.

4pm :: wide awake & wishing uncle ethan a happy birthday!

Updating throughout this special day -
Happy 22nd birthday to my sweet brother Ethan.

Join in the fun at A Bit of Sunshine!
ten on ten button


embrace the camera

And that's all for now because somebody's little belly and bare toes are calling my name.


awkward comments in real life

So, having gone through pre-adoption education classes and hearing so many "horror" stories from adoptive families - especially transracial adoptive families - I was expecting to hear multiple comments from friends, family, strangers... you name it.

I've been pleasantly surprised that really, the comment I hear most often is, "He has amazing eyes!"
Which is just true.

To be honest, sometimes I think adoptive families get a little too worked up about questions they're asked. I mean, don't you want people asking questions about adoption? Don't you want opportunities for dialogue? As long as no one is being hostile toward your child, what's really the harm?

But I digress.

Anyway, we have encountered a few awkward/hilarious comments, which I just thought were too funny not to share. Only one of them was about race, and that was before we even had Bo home.

When we started telling people that we had accepted a referral for a baby in Ethiopia, someone did ask us if he was black. I couldn't tell if they were joking.

After bringing Bonsa home, I took him to the grocery store with me. I had him nestled comfortably in the Ergo, his head resting against my chest. Coming around the corner of an aisle, I made eye contact with a middle-aged man, accompanied by his young daughter. He looked at Bonsa, smiled and said, "Best seat in the house." Um, what?

We visited my family in NY in the beginning of October, and we always drive through Canada. On our way back into New York, the border guard was asking us some questions about the adoption process. He asked if there was a lot of paperwork, and we laughed and said yes. He then proceeded to say, "Yeah, and a lot of money, right?" We agreed to this statement as well. Then he said, "So, did you just pay his birthparents?" Umm... no. I think we said something about the fees for our agency and lawyers and visa/passport, etc... Really? You're border patrol! How do you not know that's ILLEGAL!? Maybe he was trying to trick us...

So there you have it. Our three funny comments. So far! Stay tuned...


working moms

I don't know if I've ever publicly declared my admiration for working moms.
There should be a holiday JUST for working moms. 
I mean in addition to Mothers' Day. 
Working moms - you are awesome and I admire you greatly.
I think I appreciated working moms before I had a son, but now that I'm a mom... wow.

So I started a part-time job in the beginning of October. 
I'm working for a company that helps schools and libraries receive discounts on telephones&internet.
It's the most ideal situation I can imagine.
I work one day a week from my friend Katy's home office, I take Bonsa with me, 
and one of my former students watches our babies.
I eat lunch with Bo and give him his bottle. 
I feel so incredibly blessed to have this opportunity! 

This past Friday, Katy and I had to drive to Indiana to go on client visits. 
It was the first time I've left Bonsa for the whole day.
My friend Patti watched him, and sent me several pictures throughout the day.
So grateful for amazing friends!!

Me & Katy rocking it out as business women.
Did we wear sweats and then change into business suits in a gas station? Yep. 
First pic of the day from Doug:
Pic #1 from Patti, playtime for baby boys!
Pic #2, enjoying lunch:
Pic #3, just silliness.
Pic #4 - check out those teeth!!
Pic #5 so busy right now
Pic #6: TEETH.

I'm hardly a "working mom", but all these pics made my first day away from Bo much easier!
Thanks again, Patti!