How About that 2012?

I guess this is the time of the year where I sit back and reflect on whether it was a good one or not.  [Spoiler Alert:  It was a really good one.]  And I guess this is when I can upload really random photos from this past year that haven’t been on the blog. So, here goes!

In January, we went to Canaan Valley with some friends for some fun in the snow.   I really enjoyed snowshoeing.  I also made a goal to get in shape, lose weight, and stop drinking soda.

In February, we went back to Canaan Valley with one of Okey’s brothers and his wife.  I learned I will never be a skier.

March came, and we thought we were settling into 2012 just fine.  Then we got “the phone call,” and our lives literally changed forever.  We welcomed home our beautiful baby girl later that month.

April had a steep learning curve as we figured out the whole parenting routine.

May brought trips to North Carolina and Texas to visit friends and family, respectively.

We hit our stride during the summer months, continuing to make trips to visit family in West Virginia and Ohio as well as welcoming many who travelled on the busy highway near our townhouse.

At the end of September, we started the adoption finalization process, and Wren got her first tooth.  We also said good-bye to my brother and his family as they moved to Guam.

October was a lot of fun as we had a houseful of babies.

More Friends

In November, Wren was dedicated to the Lord.  We had a very special time of Thanksgiving at home.

In December, the adoption was finalized.  We also celebrated Christ Jesus’ birth for the first time as a family and in our own home.

Well, the year is over in a few hours.  I didn’t lose as much weight as I wanted, I’m still not able to run a 10k, BUT I have been coke-free for one year AND I have made a lot of fun memories with my daughter.  I am very happy with how this year turned out, and I eagerly welcome next year.

From our family to yours… Happy New Year!


Adoption: Officially Ours

Our agency told us a while ago, but we wanted to wait until we got the official paperwork before we made a public announcement.  Now I can’t seem to type it fast enough.  She’s ours, 100% ours.  And, as Okey points out, we are officially hers!

Maybe it’s like this in other states, but we did not step foot in the courtroom once.  It was a strange feeling to have this part of the adoption process occur behind closed doors, as it were, considering how much paperwork and involvement was required from us in the beginning.  We might have called the lawyer more than once just to make sure we were still on track, and she’d assure us that we were actually ahead of schedule.   The adoption was finalized in roughly three months.  In fact, the decree was entered on Wren’s nine month birthday.  (How cool is that?)

We are just so elated.  This news is one of the best Christmas presents ever.

Wren at Nine Months

Wren is curious and determined which means she can get about anywhere she wants.  She crawls.  (I didn’t even know speed crawling was possible until she showed me that it was.)  She cruises along furniture.  She can even stand on her own for a few seconds.


She’s started to rotate while standing.  I don’t think she means to take steps by herself, and she startles herself down to the floor often.  She walks with a wheeled toy quite naturally, though, so I think walking will happen before too long.


It seems like that top tooth has been trying to cut through for the past four weeks.  Sleeping through the night is almost a forgotten memory.


Wren babbles a lot.  She seems to say “mama,” “dada,” and “baybay.”  She makes kissing sounds, “mwah mwah mwah,” all day long.  She’ll even go “mama mama mwah baybay.”  I doubt that she’s really saying a sentence, yet my heart melts.


She still eats her puréed foods and rice cereals, and we’ve introduced her to chicken.  She’ll also eat mushy peas and sliced bananas with her fingers. So it’s not a surprise that her best friend is Susie.  Dropping food, and even outright giving it to the dog, has improved their relationship considerably.


Despite all the signs that my baby girl is growing up, she still refuses to drink from the sippy cup or to hold the bottle herself.  I enjoy our snuggle times during feeding, and I am grateful that I don’t have to give that up just yet.

I didn’t see any birds, but I did see a couple of loons.

“Today is yours,” my true love said to me on Saturday morning.

I replied, “Oh, really?!  I was just reading about this super cool yarn shop in Vienna. Let’s go!”

I didn’t stop to ask if that’s what he had in mind when he made his offer, but he didn’t seem to be too surprised.  To make myself feel better, I suggested we could visit the also super cool Great Falls National Park afterwards.  Again, he didn’t seem to be disappointed.

We made it to Uniquities shortly after they opened, and it was a busy place.  There were lots of workers, shoppers, and even a knitting class going on upstairs. This was not a depressing store.  I made my purchase of scrumptious yarn after we were shown the spinning wheels.  (Ultimately, that’s why I wanted to check out the yarn shop.  Hopefully, more on that later.)

As we were leaving, we spotted the coolest restaurant across the street from the yarn shop.  I had only ever seen one in France.  Could there really be one here… in America, in Virginia?  Dear friends, I am talking about a crȇperie.  And if we drove all the way to Toronto to eat at a pâtisserie, we by all means were going to that Crȇpe Amour across the street.  Okey didn’t seem to be annoyed at this idea.

As we were eating our déjeuners, he did seem to be amused that again across the street was a quilt shop.  I graciously told him that I did not need to go there that day.   He seemed relieved.

Rapids at Great Falls

The fog had finally lifted as we made it to the park, but it was still a bit chilly.  The park, which is usually packed in the summer, was fairly quiet.  In addition to the lack of a crowd, the usual wildlife was missing.  We noticed a couple of kayakers let in on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, and we watched them paddle up the rapids.  Once they made it to the big rock in the middle, they started to climb it.  Then after surveying the rapids, one got into his kayak, and down he went.

There are signs all over the park saying don’t go into the water and don’t climb rocks lest you’d risk death or a $6,000 fine.  A ranger stood by me half-way through their stunt, I asked him if these people were allowed to be out there.  He said that these guys were.

Here’s the 4-minute video of the kayaker going down the rapid:

(My apologies on the jostly-ness of the video — I was being kicked by little legs.)

After this little “show,” we walked along the River Trail and stumbled upon some rock climbers making their descent.  We also spotted some people standing on their paddle kayaks.  A friendly stranger took our picture here, and you can see yet another kayaker going down the rapids.

Together at GF NP

On our way back to the car, we were passed by a trail runner and we spotted a horse.  In all the times that I’ve been to this park, I’ve never seen so many different activities going on.  Who would have thought all it would take is one chilly day for all the loons to come out?