timeline update! {& emery's birthday}

it's her birthday today. actually, since china is 12 hours ahead, her birthday was technically yesterday, and i totally forgot about the time change! but in america, it's her birthday. a glorious day. with glorious news! we have a timeline update and we are approx 6 weeks from takeoff.

the day each of my 3 kids were born...i reflect each of those days more and more. i try to remember details. how they looked. how i felt. the smell of their new skin and the lovely feel of their kissable lips while they slept. their birth stories are so different, and yet so much the same. they were each created for a unique and profound purpose...to bring glory to their Father with each day of their existence. they each have the ability to change the world around them. they were created to be loved. to bless their family and friends and strangers. to bring joy and blessings to their parents. to bring love and joy to their siblings...an unconditional love so beautiful it can't really be explained. 

some of my kids were born to us through adoption. some were born the old fashioned way.
from here on out, it doesn't really matter who is and who isn't.
all that matters is we are a family. the weldons.
and today, we celebrate our one year old...Emery Lin Weldon

HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY honey! we love you so much! can't wait to celebrate with you on gotcha day!
we'll do it up in China...maybe get some fireworks and dumplings...toast some chinese locals on the street...eat some crazy strange chinese cake or meat on a stick. and we will soak up every moment with you. precious and amazing you.


i'm obsessed {with pinterest}

oh if only there were 47 more hours in the day.

the breakup

we've been together a while now.
4 or 5 years, give or take a few caffeine breaks and pregnancies.
you've seen me through many a late night and early morning.
when you're hot, man you're smokin hot.
but you can be cold, my dear. cold as ice.
i gotta say, i love it when i get the cold treatment. keeps me on my toes.
and then there's luke warm. not my favorite although i've been known to love a tall glass of lukewarm. 

but we need to talk.

it's not you, it's me.
well, it's you a little bit.

i've found someone new.

it started out innocently, i promise. i never meant to leave.

the refrigerated creamer section of wegmans always makes my eye wander.
and then i saw it. refreshing. light. new. coconut infused.
i told myself i would just take one sip. but that was all it took.

you're out dear.
the new one's in stock, and man-oh-man...tastes like a caffeine jolting pina colata. it's getting serious. i think i'm in love.



tea time

the rain has us going all sorts of crazy.

we went so far as to invite all of our stuffed anmials to tea, including heart shaped sandwiches and sugar cube tongs.

william and kate (gorgious by the way) might not be so impressed, but 2 boys, 11 stuffed animals and our nai nai had quite a splendid time. oh, and tea parties can be only fully enjoyed whilst donning buzz lightyear pj's, or so i am told.

we only spilled 3 cups of tea (full, newly poured, cups) and even made granola bars into granola nuggat bites, which make them far fancier.

i'm sure william and kate would NOT approve of this move...but since we are still tea partiers in training, we felt it neccisary to try out all of the naughty techniques before we work on the proper ones :)

in non-tea party related news, i'm moving at warp speed it feels like, but still nothing is getting done. and then all i want to do is write or photograph, or edit, and none of those things are really very helpful with all of the getting done. we are approx 4-6 weeks (yes WEEKS!) until we go to Emery!! eek!!
we don't have our exact dates yet, but soon, very soon!

i sobbed through church tonight. there are babies everywhere. i love seeing my friends holding and giggling with their little ones. i'm fascinated by the relationship of moms and babies. dads and babies. i think that's why i love photography so much, because it can capture a relationship.
i can't help but allow my mind to wander to my own little one. i hate hate hate not knowing where she is or who is holding her. i am having more and more trouble praying for her because i just sob. no words. no thoughts. just tears and pleading. pleading for her safety. for a government official in a far off government office to grant us favor. pleading to her Father, who loves her so much more than i can fathom. pleading that turns to thankfulness that i can even be shown worthy enough to be the mom of these amazing kids. i'm so often not the mom i want to be. i get lazy and selfish and some days i'd much rather keep my own adjenda than stop and play baseball or start messy art projects. and then i see my friends with their little ones. i am struck by what a treasure it is to have those moments...i'm so much more aware of it now that i can't have it with Emery. i missed out on so much of her life. so many moments. it's so very painful to think about it, i can't. i'm a moment away from tears at all time. a bonified mess of emotions. i can't take it much longer. and yet, somehow, i can. i can, and will, honor the process. i don't want to. i don't like it, but i choose it. if this is what i must do to reach my daughter at long last, then i'm in.  all in.  cards on deck.  tea party at the ready. 

roller derby

we cheered and jeered for the newly formed roller derby squad on saturday night. located at the site of my middle school roller skating hayday, we embraced fishnets and teenie tiny shorts, coupled with sassy nicknamed ladies wielding shoulder slams and hip smacks for days. seriously, these girls can take the pain and then some. clint's sister christie (known only as the "deckherh8er" in the derby world)  rocked the rink along side "hustle lynn", "blonde mayhem" amongst many others i can't remember at the moment. 

                                                                                                                              (photo credit: brandywine roller girls)

we hung out for a bit with the gals after the gala...what a great bunch. regular moms, business women and professional ladies...who gear up and kick the snot out of each other for fun. oh how i wish i were so tough. i admire their gusto and no-fear attitude.  i'd be down for the count after just one of these...                             

(photo credit: blair caldwell)

although i nearly became a roller girl casualty while taking this shot on clint's camera phone:

 i got a roller girl in my lap, and leapt out of the path of destruction

we had so much more fun than i expected...you can't beat unusual date nights with great friends...who needs a sit down dinner?? i love a good chance to scream until my throat is soar, and cheer for a solid hip check :)

(photo credit: blair caldwell)


daily random

i went wayyy overboard in my hair cutting adventure this evening. the overabundance of ringlets led me to cut at least 1 unch shorter than i anticipated. uhg. why oh why do i insist on going all rambo and chopping everything in sight?
put. scissors. down.
walk. away.

 foster made emery a christmas gift today, which included a lovely letter and a tissue paper flower. he might just be the first person in america to have an item crossed off of his christmas list for this year :) and i might just cry at his thoughtfulness.

our laundry basket doesn't quite know how to handle the traumatizing amount of pink that was introduced today. little ruffles and pink crazyness seems to be floating around everywhere. our laundry pile is a mixed bunch of boy meets girl. and i love it :)

after stalling and fretting over emery's blanket for months, i finally sat down and finished it tonight. i'm sooo pleased with it! the colors, the vibrance, the carefree essence...ok i'm reading too much into it. it's just a blanket. but, oh...i love it.
("hoot" by momo fabric)

and then there's this. foster has talked for weeks about wanting to find a caterpillar. to no avail. then today at a friends house, we found them swarming on the sidewalk. we carried this little buddy all the way home on our lap. not even an hour after bringing him home and making him a habitat, he started spinning his cocoon! what awesome timing! can't wait for the boys to wake up and see the progress he has made by the morning.

snazzy reds {rockin gift idea}

hands down, most creative little girl gift! i can't wait for my gal to dazzle in these sassy reds, just like this gift dazzled us! thanks chris!!


{cabled in & year of the rabbit}

we got word on friday that we are "cabled in" with the national visa center. i think it has something to do with our information being emailed to china, and i'm pretty sure it gets us to the next step of Article 5, along with a stack of paperwork that was couriered to china on friday. it is at this point that i realize i should have paid better attention to what all of the forms are and what all of this means. in all honesty, it felt like we would never get here, so when i saw anything about "after you get your referral" or "preparing to travel" i skipped over it. it felt way too far away and impossible. all of the sudden, we are one of the ones waiting. not for 75 steps, or even 10, or 5. as of right now, we are 2 steps away. Article 5 and Travel Approval!! holy smokes. this is really happening!

i'm sending a little something to emery for her birthday (may 26th). it's the year of the rabbit in china right now, so this little gift is a traditional item that commemorates the current year. we're sending a note and family photo and another camera, in hopes of capturing a shot of emery and her foster family or caregiver. i am  asking specifically for birthday photos, and i am praying praying praying that they take a whole roll of film. oh how i long for pictures of her with her caregivers. i want so badly to have a link to her past so she can have a visual of what life was like in china.

the tricky thing is, you can't just up and mail something to your waiting child in china and expect it to arrive. if you send a note it must be translated. if you want it to actually arrive, you must send to a third party and have them repackage it and send with chinese postage and writing so it isn't so obviously from overseas. after sending a care package and spending a whopping $50 in postage, not to mention the 3rd party fees, i decided to use a company in china who specializes in sending items to waiting children. there are several companies who provide the same service, but this one is really unique and special. they are a smaller operation, which gives them the ability to provide awesome customer service and really beautiful products.
 i got my jing liu (emery's chinese name) necklace from them a few months ago, and haven't taken it off since.

i got this photo from Jiayin Designs on friday, letting me know they were shipping emery's gift.
how many companies do that? they are fantastic to work with, and graciously met our request of adding a camera and family photo. if you are adopting from china, this company is a great asset!!

the beach, with a side of puke

my limp and now 7lbs lighter frame, is currently nursing a tall glass of ginger ale as i catch up on emails and my poor little lost blog. we headed out for a long beach weekend with 3 fantastic families. we all went to a fundraiser a few months back for our dear friends who just brought their son home from Ethiopia. it is such pure joy to be a part of a community of other families who are adoption minded. i know it will be more and more important as we go on in our journey.
anyhow, at the fundraiser, we all went in on a beach house. the 4 girls and 8 kids carpooled and headed down a day early. due to my directionally impaired skills, katie and i ended up making a slight (1.5 hour) detour in the wrong direction, chocking our in car total to just under 6 hours. as a point of reference, it took clint 2.5 hours to get us home today...but we won't tell katie, mmk? at least she's the perfect person to be stuck in a car with! i'll take another 6 hours, please, but this time, no stir crazy kids in the back seat :)
we had a splendid (and exhausting) day on the beach, and 4 mamas and 8 kids were really excited about the hubbies arrival, late friday night.
oh around 2 am, i woke up to a not-so-welcoming feeling. i'll spare you the details, but add in a large amount of puke that lasted through the night and well into the day. perhaps the worst flu i have ever encountered. and although i missed a great day with friends, including the boardwalk, and kids on rollercoasters, and the company of some of my favorite people, i must say, i'm thankful it happened at a time when i could have a day to be sick. puke at the beach = horrible. puke at home while taking care of kids = even worse.

i'll take the beach with a side of suntan next time, thank you :)

{emery's baby shower amazingness!}

last friday, my gal-pal laurel and i headed out for an evening of girl-gab dinner. after stuffing ourselves full of chatter, seared tuna, and outback steaks (our $70 meal was comped to $10 each! laurel, you rock!) we headed out for coffee, but made a quick stop off at church to "pick up her diaper bag." little did i know, as we snuck in the back door of the cafe, i was actually walking into emery's surprise baby shower! when we opened the door and heard "surprise," my first reaction was "oh no! we ruined someone's surprise!" thinking we were walking in on someone else's party! i was more than suprised...my heart was exploding! i couldn't believe they had done all of this for me and my girl. after calming down from the initial shock and sharing some tears of joy, i was so blown away by the love and amazing generosity of our friends and family. man, baby girl...you've got a whole lot of love coming your way!

and seriously? the most beautiful shower i have ever seen. the fashionable and creative lauren, of Paper Heat Studios, came up with the most amazing design and seamlessly thought of every tiny detail. she teamed up with my sister in love lauren and worked for weeks preparing to shower my sweet baby girl with love. i've dreamed of throwing someone a shower with lauren's creative juices...i can't believe emery and i were the recipients of such a memorable night! what a blessing the laurens' are :)

i am beyond blessed to be among these girls. my daughter has no idea what is coming for her, and i can't wait for her to be among women such as these.

and oh the little girl clothes. oh the amazingly cute little girl things. little boy clothes look dirty rocks compared to these gems! i can't stop looking at them! can't wait for emery to wiggle around in her fabulous new digs!

see the rest of the shower here. this girl rocks!

oh, and here's how she made Emery's beautiful "E" board!!

Chare', thank you so much for capturing emery's night! i'm so thankful to have all of the details documented to show her someday! :)


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