Monday, December 2, 2013

June Bloom {Growing Pains}

Welcome back! 
{speaking to myself} 

It's been forever since I've blogged as I've been just a bit busy lately. 
Having an infant and transitioning into a Mama of 2 has taken much of my time…

Ever been there? 
{speaking to you now}

I was looking back at some old posts and I was reminded of two things:

1) I didn't start blogging until Ethan was 5 months old. 
2) I need to keep blogging because, unlike Facebook, this is a keepsake for me and my family.

Well, Grace is near 6 months now so it's time to catch up!

My goal is to be up to date by the end of the year… so...

Here we go!


June was a month of beauty, growth, new life, change, and challenge.

Grace was born on Monday, June 3rd.
We moved Saturday, June 8th.
Mark's brother, Scott, got married on Sunday, June 16th. 
Grace came home with us on Monday, June 17th.
We celebrated our 9 year anniversary on Wednesday, June 19th.

Does it sound...
It was.
Super celebratory?
It was.
Oooh yeah.

I was stretched so far that my closest friends could see I had checked out.
Mentally that is.
One friend even said I looked zombie-like.
{attractive, right?}

I was spent. 
And if I had anything left in me to give, I saved it for my son, who was also going through a lot of transition (between our foster care experience, moving, and now adding another babe)…

I was ready, at any moment, to absorb the impact of his fall.
Which I knew, I just knew was coming… annny minute… juuuust around the corner…

But he didn't.

Call it resilience. 
Call it ignorance.
Call it what you will…

I call it God's provision.
God was all over the month of June... even when I was unraveling at the seems.

His strength is made perfect in my weakness.

Here are some pictures of June along with some candid commentary…

Getting a pedicure with Anna and saying hello to Baby Girl while she was still cookin'.
I feel truly blessed to have spent time with Anna while she was still pregnant.
It allowed me to get to know Grace's birth mom and experience part of her pregnancy with her :)

Happy Birthday, Gracie!

Back at the fort. 
Taking a break from packing...

 Switching gears to wedding mode.
Jennifer's bridal shower with the Young girls...

Noteworthy: I tried fish at Sienna and LOVED it.
As a previous "anti-anything that lives in the ocean kind-of-eater"… this is HUGE.

Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi with Cilantro Lime Rice, Pineapple Salsa, Thai Chili Sauce.

Monkey Boy finding fun while I get my bridesmaid dress altered...

 So, I had this day.
The kind of day where I tried with so much effort and so much determination to get a handful of things done. On the top of my to-do list: 
Call credit card companies and switch over to new address.

Sounds easy enough. 
Should take no more than 10-15 minutes tops.
Because I'm not the primary card holder on majority of our cards, I couldn't do it.
{Mark, in the mean time, was working all week to cover for the other doc in the office…}

I know the man's social security number, blood type, and every flippin' freckle on his body…
You can't… just…?

They tell me that I can change it online, however.

Log onto the internet… it's disconnected.

Call Comcast.

After many transfers and holds and attempts to "fix the problem on their end"
... an hour later… 
still disconnected.

It's 10am.

I spent just under 2 hours doing absolutely nothing {productive}.

But, wait... where was my 3-year-old?
And why was it so quiet?

I run all over the house calling out his name.
No answer.
Heart pounding, I enter this scene:

See those shoes at the bottom of the picture?
Ethan had them on and was walking through the sticky mess. 
In the background I hear "Glug. Glug. Glug…" as the cleaning containers continued to pour out the mess that so accurately described my life at that moment. 

And there… in the middle of it… 
was Ethan
tracking prints all over the garage as if to say, 
"Have you walked in my shoes lately?"


That's when I cracked.

I literally came unglued as I stared at the cleanest mess I had ever encountered, not knowing where anything was to clean it up.

{Because unpacking boxes was the 2nd thing on my to-do list}

I made such great efforts to take 2 steps forward in productivity but instead felt pushed back 5 giant steps.

So what did I do? 
I called my Mom. 
No answer.

So... I called my Mama-in-law.
When she picked up the phone, I started sobbing.

I don't know what it is about breaking points and a simple "Hello?" on the other end of the line… but I always just lose it when I hear some anticipated love and comfort on the other end.
Just give me a hint of normalcy and I feel safe to emotionally collapse.

So… that's what I did.

Seeing I had lost total control of my life, she ordered me to take the day off.
Leave the mess for Mark to clean up and go do something fun and relaxing with Ethan.


So, for the first time since we moved in, I enjoyed our new pool with this little man.

Who, by the way, started swimming independently.
Which meant I could do this:

What's a life story without a little drama? ;)

And then she came home.

And all I wanted to do was hold her and keep her safe...

 This is what our anniversary looked like 2 days later…
headed out to a romantic dinner… table for 3.
My mom took Ethan for a week so that Mark and I could bond with baby.

Auntie Krystyna and cousins from the East Coast (in for wedding… great timing!) and Grandma Young

Me to the girls: "Thanks for coming to visit us!"
Bella: "You're welcome. I like your baby."

My favorite quote of the day!

Grace's first little buddy that came to visit… Adrian :)

Sibling love <3

Growing pains lead to growth.
But in the end, if you have a bigger heart because of it… it's worth it.
Even if you look like a zombie in the process ;)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Story of Grace {Chapter 1} Simple & Sweet

"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In LOVE he predestined us for ADOPTION to sonship {or daughtership ;)} through Jesus Christ. In accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious GRACE, which he has freely GIVEN us in the One he loves."
- Ephesians 1:4-6

It is with humbled, grateful, and full hearts that we introduce our daughter - and Ethan's sister!...

Grace Elizabeth Kyleigh Young

Gracie was born on June 3, 2013 at 8:01am
6 lbs 5 oz.
19.5 inches
Healthy baby girl!!

The Story of Grace {who we call Gracie} is a beautiful one with more facets than I'm sure we're even aware of! God is in the details and He most definitely was the author of this story.
I don't want to leave anything out, so in an attempt not to bore ya'll with any details you don't want to know, I'm creating "chapters" to her story.
This way you can pick and choose what you want to read.

Chapter 1
Simple & Sweet

The following is a simplified story of how we were blessed with Grace 
{oh how I LOVE the double meaning of her name!!!}

The purpose of this chapter is to quickly bring you up to date as well as bombard you with more pictures than you could ever hope for.
This should also take care of your cuteness quota for the day ;)

Here we go...

We were notified by email through a contact at our church that a birth mom - due any day - was looking for a family to place her child up for adoption.
We sent in our information, a letter with a brief story about our family with some pictures, and we were asked to come and meet the birth mom.
We met and visited several times over dinner, pedicures, and a doctor's appointment...

The birth mom told us she wanted us to adopt her baby girl.
Gracie was born.
Birth mom took 2 weeks to finally place her in our arms.

There was a 30 day period where birth mom could change her mind and take the baby back.
She didn't.

Gracie is now 9 weeks... cooing, smiling, and absolutely perfect!
Baby girl is sleeping 8-9 hours at night and 75th percentile all the way around!
Praising Jesus for our sweet, new, cuddly bundle!

{Gracie at 9 weeks}

Behind the Name:
Mark named Gracie, and named her perfectly.
It was very powerful to me that her daddy named her. Going from fatherless to fully loved sits well with my soul...

Grace {divine grace} means "God given, favor, blessing."
Elizabeth is after Mark's sister, Christie Elizabeth. It also means "God's promise, God is my oath"
Kyleigh is the name that her birth mom, Anna, gave her and means "beautiful"

All of the above are true and fit her story... and ours... perfectly.

GraceGod Given - Gracie was just that, God given, as she was literally dropped in our laps right when we thought we'd wait and pray about trying to adopt again.
Read more about our adoption journey HERE.

Blessing - I've never met a baby that was so easy going, smiley, and cuddly! I love Ethan more than my own life, but the child didn't like to cuddle as an infant! Also, I thought he was a good sleeper... the first time Grace slept 8 hours in her 7th week, I thought... thank you Jesus!! That has been a reoccurring, overwhelming praise of my heart since she has joined our family.

And those smiles!! Ethan took several months to smile. She smiled since the day she came home with us. 

Gracie Smiles Weeks 2-9

ElizabethGod's Promise - After a seemingly unfruitful journey toward adoption... a journey that started over 2 years ago filled with much brokenness and heartache, God proved Himself faithful. 

"As scripture says, 'Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.'" - Romans 10:11

Sometimes it's hard to see God's purpose in everything, especially when it's painful and the storm doesn't ever seem to lift, but I  knew with all certainty that if I was doing what God asked me to do... called me to do... and trusted in Him, that He would be faithful. He doesn't waiver. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow... and so is His plan for us.

How is Ethan doing with Gracie?

Ethan was super "guisguided" (excited) to have a little sister...
Here is a picture of the day we brought home Gracie. 

{Gracie at 2 weeks with brother}

Big brother is smitten and already protective.

{Gracie 3 weeks, Ethan 3 years}

We had a play date where one of Ethan's friends thought Gracie was so cute that he wanted to take her home.
Ethan piped up and said, "You can't take her home! She's my baby! She lives here!"

She has a protector for life ;)


Our journey has been anything but easy or comfortable, but God didn't promise us that. 
Through struggle, heartache, perseverance, and pure faith, God has been faithful to us as we carried our cross to follow Him and our calling to adopt. 

She was the plan all along.
She is perfect... just like His plan for us.
Thank you Jesus.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
- Joshua 1:9

"And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me."
- Jesus in Matthew 18:5

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Spring Fever

Spring. We gotta thiiing... goin' on!

How can I explain it?...

You know the type of person at a party when you look their way for a split second too long and because of your "lingering gaze" they're encouraged to walk on over and strike up a conversation with you... for better or worse?

That's me... and Spring.

Once the sun makes long enough contact with my skin on the day it's close enough to the earth that it feels... warm, nourishing, and glorious!... that's the day I go to Green Acres and buy flowers. Spring Flowers. 

I had Spring Fever!

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of winter... I'm a fan of white Christmases! But once we ring in the New Year, I'm ready for the sun again. If it were up to me, the weather would start to get slightly chilly in October (no more 90-100 degree days!) and progressively get colder until New Years.

But like I said, once I kiss my Hubs at midnight... I'm ready for a 70 degree day on January 1st.

Dare to dream.

Dare to dream in color and... sunshine ;)


Sooo I just spent the last half hour writing cute and clever stories and captions to the following photos.
But, since blogger deleted them all, you have been spared my rambling.

I'll make it quick and painless:


This year, Ethan got it! He understands that Jesus died on the cross, rose again, and is alive.
 It's so fun and rewarding to watch him grow and learn! What a blessing it is to be his Mommy :)

When E found an egg he shouted "A-Shaw!"
Why? The world may never know...

Family Picture
Bum in a bucket!

Ethan's Easter Basket had the Full Armor of God in it this year.

My soon to be sister in law, Jennifer, asked Mark's Mom and me to join her in dreaming up wedding flowers at the SF Flower Market/District.

I was super stoked to join since I'd never been!

Check out the succulent with jewel-like water drops.

Bride to be with a potential centerpiece.
Spoiler alert: She didn't pick this one for her big day!

Spring = Park Days!

Here are some pics of Ethan with one of his favorite friends, Nevaeh.

Random Spring Fun:

Daddy's Helper
Spa Time

Family Favorite...

We visited the California State Railroad Museum with Ethan for the first time.
Thanks to Auntie Lori, we used our Entertainment Book coupons for BOGO admission. Ethan was free because he's under 5... so we had some cheap family fun!

Ethan hiding under his hat from the parking lot to the shops...

Out from hiding...

Playing with "twains"

Happy Spring everyone!!