Sunday, July 13, 2014

Camp Nana and Poppie

I'm not sure how I am going to sum up three weeks into one blog post.  Warning....It's gonna be a looong one.

The highlight of our summer is always our extended vacation at Nana and Poppie's house.  We usually are able to spend some time at Oma's as well but, this year she had hip surgery and spent the whole time we were in Fl either in the hospital or at a rehab facility.  We are happy to report she is now home and doing well.  We are looking forward to a visit very soon!

So here is what we have been up to at Camp Nana and Poppie.

Brad drove us down to help with the drive and be in Naples for his mom's surgery.  Once she was settled, he and I snuck away for two nights to celebrate our 10 year anniversary.  Nana and Poppie spoiled the kids and Liv did amazingly well as this was the first time EVER that mommy and daddy had left her over night.  It made me realize just how far we have come.  Last summer she couldn't even have the bagger at Publix push her out in the cart without an absolute terror meltdown. 

We had!!!  So nice to have uninterrupted conversation, only one mouth to feed, time to sleep and just plain time to be together.  Thank you Nana and Poppie!

We stayed at a fancy hotel and enjoyed nice dinners out, relaxing by the pool....

A visit to Epcot

 A drink in "Italy"

Unfortunately on the third day Daddy had to get back to reality and we said our goodbyes.

But, the kids and I still had lots more fun left at Camp Nana and Poppie's.

Liv got her ear's pierced

We lunched with Nana and explored near by towns

     We had fun with new friends at the Children's Museum
Kyrie and Katie were fast friends.  Her mommy and I have been friends since about the same age.

We played for hours and hours in the pool and tried Whistle Pops for the first time.

We celebrated our country's birth day.  Even though the real fireworks show was rained out

We had movie nights in bed (may have been a way for the adults to have some peace and quiet)

We picniced with our cousin Lillie

We had tea parties

And took super long naps

We learned new pool games (pool baseball)

And practiced our reading skills

We took naps at 10:00 am because we stayed up too late the night before.

We went to the beach

And played golf with Poppie

These two really like each other

So do these two

We took advantage of free summer movies

And visited the aquarium

Our nature lover loved petting sting rays

We met our favorite celebrity, "Winter" the dolphin

We celebrated our favorite big girl's 7th birthday a little early with a lobster feast

She REALLY liked the wheelchair for her American Girl

Such a fun summer!  Thank you Nana and Poppie for all of the memories.  
We Love You!

Tomorrow will be a sad day.  Until next year.....

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Lil Miss has been asking for earrings like her big sis for awhile now.  

Mommy finally caved.  

She was so very brave and Oh so proud

The tears lasted about 30 seconds and stopped with a lollipop. 

Gorgeous girl before earrings and after.  

Olivia has microtia.  Before we had her I sometimes wondered if she would be sad that she couldn't have earrings like her mommy and sister.  I did a little research and asked other microtia parents about ear piercing.  I found out there is no risk and it shouldn't affect reconstruction if we choose that route at some point.  So I decided to grant the wish of my brave little girl.  I think her nemo ear as we call it looks gorgeous accessorize with a pink stud.  

Friday, June 20, 2014

Long Lost "Sisters"

For those of you who have been following along since the beginning, you may remember this post.  Up until last week I had never met Donita, the dear friend who found me on-line that November night and shared some of our first glimpses of Olivia.  I had also of course never met her precious daughter Cecelia who was Olivia's "sister" for her first 14 months of life.

Last summer, Donita let me know that their family would be traveling to SC for a family wedding.  We were both excited that our girls would be in the same state and have the opportunity to meet once again.  As the weeks drew nearer, I grew a bit anxious about how we would pull this trip off.  The wedding was 3.5 hours from our house.  I contemplated a day trip with Olivia but, wasn't sure how to work out child care for the other two.  I thought about taking all three on my own but, that of course terrified me.  Bringing Brad wasn't an option as we knew he needed to save his vacation time for a family matter later in the summer.  I ran my dilemma by my most adventerous friend Mindy and the problem was solved within minutes.  Girls Trip + 1 (Brooks).

Somehow we loaded five kids, two adults and all the stuff that was required into my SUV and off we went for our road trip.

I realize Brooks looks like he had two black eyes. I assure you he did not.

Kid boot camp.  Planking on the beach.

Don't let this photo fool you.  There was VERY little sleep happening.

            Our "relaxing" breakfast

The other perk of traveling with Mindy is that she is a super talented photographer and offered to take a few shots of Cece and Olivia's reunion.

They look so angelic waiting for Cece to arrive.
And no, we did not plan these amazingly coordinated outfits....great minds just think alike!

I'm pretty sure that if I hadn't been worrying about Brooks collecting bugs and Kyrie hiding because she was shy I would have lost it at this moment.  It was so special to finally meet this family who is so connected to our daughter's past.

In the moment the girls didn't seem to recognize each other but, this photo leads me to believe maybe they did.

Olivia is holding a photo we keeped framed in her room.  It is of she and CeCe and the orphanage with the stuffed animals our families sent for their first birthdays.

Sweet Sisters



I'm pretty sure Kyrie wanted to sneak Cece home with us.

It was a whirlwind of a trip and our time with the Franques family was very short but, I wouldn't have traded it for anything.  When there is very little you know about your child's start to life it's so important to cling to the pieces you have.  Our goodbyes were not for long because we know that one day soon our girls will see each other again.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Fit For A Princess

When Olivia first came home she slept in the sitting room of our Master. About three months later she moved into Brooks's room and he got the bonus room. We never decorated her room because we wanted to wait until she was ready for a big girl bed and until she was ready to let us know her likes and dislikes. 

I have been collecting treasures for her room since before she came home. I wasn't sure how it would all come together.  But, I must say I am in love and so is Olivia. 

When we gave her the big reveal she said "Thank you mommy I princess" "This is the best day ever. ". 

She refers to this as her Belle bed. It's the only new furniture in her room. A spray painted Ikea bed. The book shelf was a yard sale find. 

Olivia calls this her "Belle bed".  Belle is her favorite princess. 

This was made by a friend of mine for Olivia's birthday. 


This beautiful verse was given to us by a friend when we were waiting for Olivia. 

The art is actually wrapping paper I bought the Christmas we were waiting for Olivia. It was the color inspiration for the room.

Our girl asked for orange walls.  I couldn't bring myself to grant that wish for her.  But, I am delighted that she is happy and her new room is the perfect accent to her contagiously vibrant personality.