the perfect combination

we love love love this family.
we love love love lazy saturdays when the kids are so busy playing and creating and discovering that they don't even want to stop and eat. or snack. or whine. or complain. but honestly, i don't remember the last saturday we spent in a lazy fashion. in fact, they are a dying breed.

but last week, we found that this family and a lazy saturday are the perfect combination.
and any day that ends with smoores and sticky fingers is a great day in my book :)

i can't even describe what a relief it is to my soul to be able to share the joy of adoption with someone who is in the midst of it. the terror of knowing our children are with oneone else, and there is nothing we can do about it. the many unknowns and questions that we might not ever have answers to. an overwhelming love that can't be explained to anyone, but can be amazingly understood by a mama who shares the same passion for a baby in a far away land.

there will be a day soon when our families will gather again. a lazy saturday. kids and dogs and marshmellows. and 2 extra seats at the dinner table. 2 beautiful, amazing, joyful seats. and we will smile. and remember when we didn't have our babies. and then food will be flung across the table. someone will laugh and someone will get tickled. we will hardly remember all of the heartache of waiting...and yet we will cherish it because we will know how it changed us for the better.


cheap and seedy

it's spring. or, at least it's supposed to be. it was 30 degrees yesterday. yuck.
but in hopes of spring sprouting someday soon, the boys have been sprouting.
it is by far, the fastest and most rewarding kids project.
cheap. that's even better than fast :)
dried beans, as it turns out, are quite easy to sprout. 
we were making a big pot of bean soup a few weeks back, and the boys asked if they could plant some of the beans. honestly, it was one of those projects that i was internally convinced would fail. are beans even seeds? but we proceeded. google led us to soak them in water for 3 hours. then my mom told us to keep them between damp paper towels in a tupperware for 4 days. lo and behold, we had the cutest little sprouts i've ever seen. i could hardly believe my eyes when those little babies sprouted so fast.
since then, we wake up and check our beans every morning. then again in the afternoon. sometimes an evening check is in order. and each day, they grow...it seems like they grow right before our eyes.

it still amazes me what a little bean, dirt, water, and sunlight can do. seriously, when you think about it? it's awesome. :)

mr. idea

my husband is full of ideas.
there is seldom a day that goes by when he doesn't come home with a new idea.
like this, for example. he whipped up 2 of these incredible wall organizers made from 100 year old barn wood as christmas gifts for me and my sister in love, lauren. i'm in looooove with it. almost as much as i am in loooooove with him :)

(photo credit: coolest chic i know)

this little ditty is an idea from a few months ago, and we are just now getting around to doing something about it.
there are at least 38 more that are in his brain from yesterday :)
he needs a USB port so i can download his awesomeness.
in fact, we were in home depot tonight scouting another one of his brain projects.


up and sewing...

the Emery Lin clutch is back!! i've got a bunch listed, and more to come soon!
all are made and ready to ship! no production wait times :) yeah, baby!


favorite moments of today...and a few not-so favorites.

favorite quote:
foster: "mom, you can't just dance all day. you need to do some work!"

favorite food:
we made these today during the perrilous 12-1pm hour when i'm out of activities and the boys are not yet out of energy. the boys went down for a rest before they got to sample their workmanship. i took full advantage of a 9x13 sheet of these coconut/chocolate/graham cracker crust beauties.

not-so favorite #1:
the feeling of just having engorged an insane amount of said beauties.

not-so favorite #2:
sleeping through my alarm this morning, when i should have been meeting the girls at the gym for our recent mon/wed/fri 5:45am workout. uhg. coconut beauties are not a good non-workout day solution :(

favorite delivery:


may 26th, 2010

since we found out about emery, i've been obsessed with may 26th, 2010. her birthday. i've scoured my photos and my calenders, trying to remember what we were doing on that day. my calender was blank on may 26th. i have no idea what our day held, but i know it was right around the time we were packing and moving out of our house. the day after, may 27th, i got all of my hair chopped off. that was the day she was abandoned and taken to the orphanage. may 28th, we had closing and officially sold our house. a new begining for us. for emery. for her birth parents. the 26th changed all of our lives...i just didn't know it yet :)

after all of my scouring, i've found nothing in our photos. not a single photo from may 26th.
all this to say, i got a coupon today. doesn't it always seem that a coupon can make a gal do crazy stuff? it was for "buy one, get one free" photo books and i've spent the last 3 hours combing through 1,000's of 2010 photos. i'm sure there's no way i'll finish before to coupon expires (midnight). i'm sure i'll get way too ambitions and try to edit every. single. one. so as to make said photo book perfect, when i should just actually get it done. otherwise, my kids will have a mom who took zillions of photos, but never printed any for them to see.

lo and behold, i found a lost category. hidden inside a folder's folder. it was labeled Fall 2010. i found a cute pic i took with my camera phone of the 3 baby birds we were watching hatch each day this past spring. NOT fall. SPRING. i thought to myself, "geeze, these are mixed up. when did i take this picture, anyway?"

date stamp: may 26th, 2010. 1:35pm.

i nearly lost my lid. my heart started freaking out. tears streaming. THIS IS IT! HER BIRTHDAY PICTURE!
without knowing it, i documented my 3rd baby bird! being born that very day! it couldn't possibly be a better photo to have taken. and i didn't even know it.
three baby birds. just like mine.
thank you Jesus! i need that today. i needed to be reminded that You were loving her that day, and yet, still let me be a part of it. how miraculous! i'll cherish it always!



fuzhou sisterhood

on december 20th, 2010, i had no idea there was a baby coming my way. i got an email at 11pm and i had no idea that there was a family...just like us...in their parallel world...getting the same exact news. a sisterhood was forming for both me and my daughter.

it was only a day or two after seeing Emery's photo for the first time, that i got a sweet email from Nicole. she's beautiful and talented. a loving and creative mom. a fantastic photographer and an amazing advocate for adoption. she has such an open and warm spirit...i loved her from our first email :)

(we finally got to meet last month at the Living Hope Adoption Luncheon!)
(photo courtesy of nicole chryst )

you see, her baby girl (brooklyn) is one day older than my emery. that's right. they were born ONE day apart. they were born in the SAME city in china (fuzhou)! they were brought to the same orphanage ONE day apart. they BOTH have CL/CP! (that means they both have cute little cleft lip/cleft palates), and their names are almost the same: fu jing liu (emery) and fu jing gui (brooklyn)

pending our delay (please, oh please, Lord, let it only be a few days), we will get to travel together to china and meet our babies together!!!

seriously. i couldn't have dreamed up such an amazing adoption scenario!!! to have another family within a few hours from us with a little girl who has so much in common with our emery?? this rocks!!

i love that our families will be linked forever...we won't know much about our daughters' past, but we will all have each other as a link to their history that began together.

(photo courtesy of nicole chryst )

nicole is one of the most genuine, proactive, sweet and kind people i've ever met. she loves deeply and is a mom with passion...oh how i love moms of passion!! check out her blog and her photography...she's awesome!

speaking of which, i've also met kelly...

(pictured in the center with her sweet daughter Lydia)
(photo courtesy of nicole chryst photography)

a rockin mom of 4, who's got personality for days and a vivacious love for life that glows off of her. she heard we got our referrals and reached out with so much incredible information as well as a wealth of love. check out her blog and her website we are grafted in AND this amazing company who makes custom Chinese character necklaces!!

nicole and i each got one with our daughter's names in chinese!

i've been wanted to make something special for brooklyn and emery...a little something they can wear this summer...their first summer at home...and we moms can pray for their fuzhou sisters still waiting in china.

oh, and i've been wanting to learn how to applique...thanks to the university of google :) and some scraps from leftover fabric, i'm so excited to see they turned out quite cute, if i might say so myself.
the matching owls are for emery and brooklyn.

nicole, if you are reading this, close your eyes :) a box is en route to you as we speak.

(e is for emery :)

here's to many years to come with these fine ladies...oh, and here's to our girls night, hopefully in the very near future :)


the surprise

my foster is a boy who loves a good project. in fact, he can make just about anything into a project. this morning we washed a truckload of potatoes to take to our dear friend's fundraiser tonight...it became a washing, scrubbing, rinsing project of grant proportion.
in everything, there is a project to be found when you are a 4 year old boy.

this past monday, a brilliant idea erupted in my brain. it was naptime. foster had shown such kindness and sweet behaviour all morning. he was mr. happy and cheerful. i put both boys down for a nap, and foster said, "ok, mommy. i'll see you in a little while. i'll go take my nap now."
i knew it was the perfect day for a special reward.

with rowan sleeping soundly (and my mom downstairs to listen for him :) i snuck into foster's room. he popped up with a smile when he saw me.
"get up buddy! i'm taking you on a special adventure today!!"
"really? no nap???" he beamed..."what is it???"
"it's a surprise filled with your favorite things!!"

we hopped in the car and made a quick stop at the grocery store...he's been wanting pistachios, so we headed for the bulk aisle and let him scoop a big bag, just for him. $1.97

then we scooted on over to the salvation army. i told him to pick out any mechanical device he could find that had a blue price tag (blue tags were half price :).

we found this:

$1.50. score.

and swiftly headed home. he was filled with questions. filled with adventure. filled with delight at such a spontaneous event...just foster and mommy.

we got home and headed for the basement. tools were in order. and we hit the mother load in my dad's basement. seriously. anything you can imagine is kept in it's thresholds.

we went for flashlights, screwdrivers and hammers.

"remember how you've always wanted to take something apart and see how it works? well, go to town buddy! take it apart! lets see what's inside."

i let him take the lead. we went with any idea he had to get it open.

in the end, screwdrivers just weren't cutting it.

"can i use a hammer???" he said with awe.

"go for it buddy!"

that was all it took.

the next 45 min were so fun to watch. he is a boy meant for tools and projects and working hard. he hammered and hammered and hammered some more. that poor $1.50 radio was smashed to smithereens.

we examined every little part.
and my little boys heart was overjoyed

i'm so looking forward to our next surprise adventure.
although, i'm going to be hard pressed to beat this one!


emery + flora = bff

i have been on the look for classicly girl items. just one or two. but the most important ones. fancy shoes and the perfect doll/lovie. unimpressed at the selection of dolls in target, online, etc. i've gone off the map in my hunt. the dolls at target, toys r us, specialty stores...they don't look asian at all! they are either dora the explorer, bright blonde as the sun, or fire engine redheads. and while all are cute, i want something that looks like my baby girl. something she can squeeze. love. snuggle. something that isn't $200.  i started researching doll patterns to make her one...and they are SO cute and look fairly doable.
but i'm learning something important about myself as of late. i am notoriously over ambitions and i procrastinate. with everything else going on right now, can i seriously commit to the hours it will take to make her the doll i am dreaming of? to make it just right? no way. knowing me, i'll be up the night before our flight, half packing, half in a tissy over leaving the boys, half binge eating out of nervous anticipation, and half finishing emery's doll. no way. i'll have enough to freak out about, let alone a doll.

so i bought this today.

her name is flora. and i'm in love. the shoes. the bow. the eyes. the olive skin. sign.
she's even going to have dark black hair to accent her fantastic bow.
i love her so much and i can't WAIT for emery to love her. i hope to get my act together someday and make a family of them...my mom made me a doll when i was a little girl, and i cherished it. perhaps a summer project will ensue.

but for now, flora is en-route to us. just like emery.


i take it all for granted.

i just spent a half hour crying (sobbing) and reading her story. her love. her loss. the after. and my heart aches. for her. her family. i can't imagine. it's unimaginable.
i ache because there are so many days that i take my love for granted. my sweet man who cares for us and serves our family and wakes up early with the kids, and give them baths, and rough houses after dinner and brings me a cup of coffee while i'm putting my makeup on, and remembers the laundry in the washer, and kisses me when i'm sad, and makes me laugh when i'm in a bad mood, and loves and loves and loves. he fills my car up with gas when i've let it go on empty again. he teaches the boys how to use tools and how to bake cookies. he folds 5 loads of clothes while watching an action flick. he loves to make hotdogs for dinner. he is strong. oh so strong. he is honest. if i were kidnapped, he would fight an army to save me. he is our champion. he is so much more than my husband and friend and so much more than just a dad...he's our love. and i don't want to know life without him. and i take him for granted. how tragic. i'm putting down the computer. i'm off to call my love and tell him how much i miss him.


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