Monday, May 28, 2012

California Vacation

Last week, we had a wonderful family vacation! Yes, all four of us traveled together by plane and we survived! We were unsure if we should bring our giant double stroller with us, but it proved to be AWESOME for transporting two little boys AND their carseats through the airport and to our gate!

As soon as we arrived in Los Angeles, I felt revived by the dry air and cool temperatures. Ahhhh. I had forgotten how beautifully flowers grow there in such profusion. Front yards are works of art!

We stayed with our dear friends Jenn and Dave and their sweet baby Ellie! The boys had a great time and they enjoyed special breakfasts of Mickey pancakes made by Jenn!

The weather was so beautiful, we ate most of our meals outside on their patio.

One day, we drove to Irvine and had lunch with some friends who also have a son from Ethiopia.  The boys had a blast together at the "kids" end of the table!

After lunch, we decided to take a drive to Laguna Beach where we enjoyed "Monkey Flip" milkshakes (chocolate, banana, peanut butter and date) and took in views of the Pacific!

Since this was the boys' very first time to be near an Ocean, we had to take them to the beach!

We drove up to Arcadia one day to visit another Gladney Family, the Scherers! Brian and I met these twins in Ethiopia while they were still in foster care, so it was wonderful to see them again at 2 years old!

On Wednesday, we went to Disneyland! The day started off with a "character breakfast" at the Storyteller's Cafe.

Jeremy's favorite part was driving a car on the Autopia ride.

We went on the Nemo ride.

And of course, the boys got Mickey ears (which Mommy got to wear, too)!!!

Meeting Mickey was Zachary's favorite part. When we left, he said, "Bye-bye, Mickey" in a sweet, tender voice.

Dads with their kids!

On our last full day, Brian got to have lunch with a group of guys he mentored while we lived there. They were in college at the time, and now they are all in their mid-twenties, with jobs, and one of them even has a family now! It was a fun reunion!

It was a great week, full of fun and friendship!

Last Day of Preschool

 Pizza Party!

Jeremy with his teacher Ms. Cinthia.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Very Happy Mother's Day!

Today has been a really wonderful Mother's Day. Two very well-behaved boys loved on their Mama all day long! Unsolicited hugs, kisses, and "I love you"s were given and this mother was a happy lady!

After church, we went out for lunch at a delicious buffet in our neighborhood. Jeremy really got into his chocolate dipped marshmallows!

My mom (the boys' Nana) was with us, and it was just a great day! I'm so enjoying this season of life, being a mom to my little ones, living near my mom and enjoying regular time together, and seeing my boys' close relationship with Nana, too.

My cup runneth over. It really does, and I feel so aware of it today! Thank You, God for my beautiful family!

Brian gave me a lovely card this morning and when I opened the card, a poem was inside that he wrote for me, which he has given me permission to share here:

Mother's Day 2012

A lifetime of waiting
Unanswered prayer
Still hoping
Still waiting 
and then...

A moment of connection
over dinner
Bright eyes
A smile that lights up his world
and then...

A wedding day
Unbridaled joy
Hearts intertwined forever
As husband and wife
and then...

A new season of waiting
Delays unknown
Prayers unrequested but offered
Not knowing that they are sought
Not knowing that someone is looking for them
Someone waiting to bring them home
And then...

A "gotcha" day
A moment of connection
Sons and their mother
And then...
A family

The waiting is over
She has entered their lives
Her warmth
Her love
Her laughter
Her prayers
Her smile has lit up their world
Their hearts knit together with hers
Wife and mother, Lover and caregiver
Love and Loyalty for a lifetime.

Thank you, Brian, for making me feel so special. I'm so glad we're on this parenting journey together. You're a wonderful husband to me. xoxo