Friday, July 8, 2011

Love letter to my one year old...

June 29, 2011

Lilly, my dear, it is the eve of your first birthday and I’ve just tucked you into bed. The kitchen is a mess and your highchair is sitting out on the deck still covered with hummus (your newest favorite food) still waiting to be hosed off. You are one messy eater! Grace, your still adoring Sister, is out late with Dad practicing riding her two wheeler, and I’ve decided to steal this time to tell you just how very special you are to us.

Let’s see...where to begin?!? You are a VERY happy girl. You smile all of the time and when you smile your whole face just lights up. Everyone is always telling me how happy, sweet and cuddly you are. You are so silly, too. We call you our Silly Lilly because you are always making us laugh. You LOVE music! You are one very good dancer too! All we have to do is sing to you “Let’s dance,” and by the time those two words are out of our mouth you are dancing away. You are an awesome eater, and it is so much fun to watch you enjoy your meals. You love just about everything but some of your favorites are pickles, hummus, peas and avocado.

You are a good talker, too. You are already saying ball, book, Gandma, bread, mama, dada, neigh neigh (Grace), bye and hi. You love to wave, blow kisses, give pat pats, give high five and low five, kiss and snuggle. You are SUCH a cuddle bug. Oh, I could just eat you up! You also do the CUTEST thing when you are excited. You smile from ear to ear and shiver/shake. Every morning when you wake up I pick you up out of your crib and as we open the window blinds I look at you and you do this little excited shake. We open the shade and say, “Good morning, tree!” We then open the other window shade and I say, “Good morning, world!” We finally open the door of your room and say, “Good morning, house!” You just LOVE it! Your joy is absolutely precious. This is how I get to start my day every day. How lucky am I?!?

You are very proud of the way you can now free stand. I am sure you will begin to walk any day now.

You are beautiful!!! You now have very thick strawberry blonde hair. It is almost to your shoulders and it is getting little curls like your sister's. You have big blue eyes and beautiful olive skin. You have eight teeth so far—four on the top and four on the bottom. You got the bottom right tooth first, then the bottom left and then the top two. Your molars are working their way through now. Your body is so adorable! You have nice chubby thighs and the cutest little (ok, not so little) behind. We love to watch you crawl naked to your bath! It is SO cute!

You are a clever little girl too. It is obvious that you want to master everything before you show it off. You said “Mama” first (and early too) and when you said it you looked directly at me saying it perfectly and deliberately. It was obvious you knew exactly what you were saying.

It took what seemed like forever for you to crawl, almost 9 months. But, again, when you had your audience and were ready you just took off and never stopped. You were a pro!

Grace swears she walked in on you walking back and forth in your crib. We all think you are practicing for your big debut!

So, in a nutshell, you are one loving, silly, active, smart, beautiful little girl and we still feel beyond blessed to have you!

Our home is very full of noise, toys, crumbs and fingerprints—we wouldn’t have it any other way! It is rarely quiet and never boring or dull. We are very, very busy all of the time!

Everyone is so in love with you, and you love your family so much. I, obviously, cherish you—just love you to pieces. You and your Dad are so precious together. You light up every day when he comes home from work. Grace loves you so much and she still loves being a big sister. The two of you love to play ball, hide and seek, peek a boo, swing and take baths together. Grace loves to read books to you and she is always entertaining you with your toys. She is a GREAT big sister!!! Grace just got home and asked me what I was writing. I told her and she asked me if I would read this letter to her, so I did. As she listened to me reading she began to cry so hard. I kept asking her if she wanted me to stop reading and she kept saying no (while crying). She then said she just loves you so much that she can’t stop crying. She loves you THAT much!!!

Grace also wanted me to tell you about your temper tantrums. You just learned how to throw them and they are pretty funny. You cry (typically because you want something you can’t have) and then you throw yourself onto your back. You do this over and over. You don’t pay any attention to what is behind you so you have hurt yourself many times now on blocks, walls, toys, etc. I am pretty sure that you will soon learn that the only one you are hurting is yourself!

On the “love” front… You love your Grandmas so much, and they adore you too. You spend tons of time with each of them and I feel so blessed watching them with you and your Sister. You are two very lucky girls!!!

Of course, everyone else loves you too. You are surrounded by the rest of your loving family, friends, and neighbors. We are all just so blessed to have you in our life.

You love life and we love you!!!

Happy first birthday my beautiful baby girl!!!!!



PS. Here are your "big dates" thus far:

November 2 (4 months) : Rolled over from back to front
November 24 (almost 5 months): Rolled over from front to back
November 27: Ate for the first time—first rice cereal, the peas, then sweet potatoes, pears, and apples. (You LOVED chicken and sweet potatoes at 7 months…)
December 6: First tooth, bottom right (bottom left followed one week later)
February 9, 2011 (6 months): First word! Mama—You had not babbled at all. You were sitting in the high chair as Grace sat on the stool. I was getting breakfast ready for you girls. You looked up at me and just said it, Mama. With perfect clarity. We both cheered you on and you continued to say it hundreds of times that day. You left it on everyone’s voice mail. You were SO proud of yourself!
February 24  (7 months): “Dada, Dada,Dada” You typically wave and smile while saying Mama and Dada.
February 21  (7 months): Top left center tooth is beginning to peek through your gums.
February 24  (7 months): Starting to show interest in trying to crawl. You are getting up onto your knees and rocking a bit—still not getting anywhere, but trying!
March 31 (9 months): You crawled for the first time. You seriously just took off, just like that, and you were off to the races! Grace said “Mom, Lilly’s crawling!!!” I really thought it might be one move, maybe two. But, nope! You really began crawling that day…non-stop. SOOO cute!
By 10 months you were creeping along furniture and now, at a year exactly, you are walking with the help of one finger. You sure are growing up fast, and you make us so proud!!!

Life Lessons Learned:

Never give up on your dreams. When something seems impossible, try harder.

God has a dream for your life, and I promise it is so much bigger than anything you could dream for yourself.

You will never know the moment when someone will come into your life and change it forever. Welcome new friendships.

Cherish your friends and never take them for granted. Make time for them, even when life gets busy.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Share your talents. Make a difference.

This life isn’t a dress rehearsal. Live it fully and appreciate each and every moment.

You cannot appreciate true joy without also experiencing awful sorrow.

This too shall pass. One day the horrible pain will be a vague memory. Press forward when things sometimes feel impossible and unbearable. You will be so glad that you did.

Wear life as a loose garment. Nothing should be taken THAT seriously. If you have your health, love and the health of those that you love, then life is very good.

Cherish your family. They will support you and love you forever.

No dream is too big.

Pay it forward.

Do not judge others if you have not walked their path. We all have our own, unique, life journey and it makes us who we are. Embrace your own journey and learn what you can from it.

Be proud of yourself and your life journey. You are sooo special!

Take time to smell the roses. Life is not a race. Enjoy it.

Be proud of who you are. There will never be another you!

Smile at strangers. I promise that it will make YOU happy.

Be a good friend. Listen and always make time for others.

Love—love with all of your heart.

Live an open and honest life. People will respect you for your integrity and for being real. There is nothing you should ever be ashamed of, nothing.

Life isn’t about collecting “stuff.” We all enjoy nice things, but please, darling, don’t let your “stuff” define you.

You make money to spend it. Spend it on what you need and on what will make your life rich. Not on what will make you appear rich. Make a difference.

Say “thank you” every single time someone goes out of their way to make your life better. No one owes you a thing and you must appreciate the kind acts of others. When you say “thank you,” mean it.

Always see the cup as half full. You will have so much to be grateful for. Life is GOOD!!!

Do what you love and be proud of what you do. Whether you decide to embrace a career or make a career of parenting, do it because it feels right for you. Appreciate that you have the choice and embrace your decision.

If you have children, cherish them. You will love them more than you ever knew possible and you will finally really understand just how much I love you.

Live each day fully. You never know if it will be your last. So, make it count.

Travel, see the world. It is one big, amazing place!

Please don’t wait until retirement to see it either. Many people (including each of your grandfathers) never got to savor the fruits of their labor. Live life NOW.

Don’t spend more than you have—ever.

If you do decide to spend your money on something, enjoy it. You made the money and you deserve to feel happy spending it. That is what money is for.

Share your gifts—whatever they are. Without Jamie’s gift of fertility we wouldn’t have you.

Take risks—go after your dreams. Without risk comes no reward.

Give your all to whatever you do.

Don’t worry about what other people think. Ultimately, this is YOUR life and you need to do what feels right to you. You can spend your whole life worrying about what other people think. Don’t. Life is too short!

Savor the times when everything feels right!

Listen more than you talk. God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. When you do talk, make it count. (Your Mom is still working on this one!!!)

Never be afraid to admit your flaws. No one is perfect. We are all a work in progress. But, when you know better—do better. Try to be the best person you can be.

September 4th, 2010

Lillian, you really are our gift. I call you my precious gift all of the time… You couldn’t be anymore perfect or anymore sweet. We are all sooo in love with you!

You smile all of the time now and your smile is just adorable. The way your eyes light up melts our hearts. You have eyes only for your Dad, Sister and I now too. You know our voices and it is obvious that you love us. We cherish you!

You love to look at the letters that Jamie made for you of your name on your nursery wall. You could stare at them for hours and smile. That makes me smile. Speaking of Jamie, you adore her, too, and you absolutely know her voice. We visit with Jamie weekly and have such a special time.

I have started calling Jamie “Auntie Jamie,” but even that doesn’t seem special enough. I just can’t think of any other name special enough that we could call her for life, so Auntie Jamie it is—she will always be our very special angel.

We had our gratitude barbecue a few weeks ago and it was just wonderful! We honored Jamie, Jamie and their family and also thanked everyone else for their love and support. We had about 50 friends and family over for dinner. The cake said “Forever Grateful” on it. We sure are!

You are our divine gift. You are so much more than we ever imagined for ourselves. I never knew I could feel THIS grateful and THIS complete. We are one big, happy family now and life is sooooo much better with you in it!

We love you, our gift. We love you, our Angel.

We are happy beyond measure!!!


Your Mommy

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The awesome arrival of our baby girl on June 30th, 2010...

August 9th, 2010—Almost 6 weeks old…

I’ll begin with I’m sorry that it has taken me almost 6 weeks to write in here about your birth, but more importantly about you—our sweet angel! I have been very busy with you and your big sister and with all of the visitors that have wanted to meet you. There have been SO many!!!

I’m taking our second “date night” (our weekly night out with Grandma watching you girls) to sit here in peace at a coffee shop so that I can write. I think this is the only way I’ll ever write in here between now and when you are 4! You two are keeping me busy and I love it! It is exactly what I always wanted—EXACTLY!

I guess I’ll go back to the day of your birth… I slept no more than an hour the night before. I just couldn’t fall asleep to save my life! I feel like the moment I finally crashed the alarm went off and it was 3:30 a.m.—time to get up and hit the road. I left the house at 4 a.m., picked up Jamie at 4:30 and we were off to the hospital! We were both very excited and a little nervous about the long day we had in store. I’m sure we were each hoping and praying that all went well.

We got situated in our room upon our arrival and we just talked and waited. At 6 they began the IV of meds for Jamie’s strep B. At 10 a.m. they began the pitocin to begin contractions. Jamie was still 3-4 cm dilated. The contractions got stronger and stronger as the drug dosage picked up over time.

Meanwhile, my Mom and Grandpa John showed up. They arrived early, at 7:30 a.m. They said they just couldn’t wait another minute to be there! Too sweet. They came bearing a huge box of bakery goods from the very best bakery in town along with coffee. I must say, this was one big perk for me since I could eat during this delivery... I felt guilty eating a thing but did enjoy my fair share at Jamie’s request. I made sure to enjoy the treats in another room though to avoid torturing Jamie!

At around 9 a.m. your other Grandma arrived along with your Dad and Grace. Everyone was SOOOO excited!!! Grace had her hair all done up and she was wearing her “Big Sister” shirt along with an ear to ear smile. By 9:30 (or so) Uncle Luke and Aunt Rachel arrived. Missy (Jamie’s Sister) and boy Jamie arrived just after them. The photographer came at 11 a.m.

By the time the photographer arrived Jamie was still 3-4 cm dilated. They continued on to break her water anyway. Apparently, you were “floating,” so Jamie wasn’t progressing at all. We were all hoping that you would be here by 11a.m. All of the bets on your birth time came and went… the clock ticked on.

Just before the photographer arrived, the Elders from Jamie’s Mormon Church came and led all of us in prayer. We all held hands around Jamie and prayed. It was beautiful, peaceful and perfect!

Honestly, the day couldn’t have been any more perfect. I enjoyed every single second of it! We all did, Jamie included. Jamie had her epidural right away and swears that she was never in ANY pain. Amazing! We all talked, laughed, and just enjoyed being together while waiting to meet you.

By about 4 p.m. Jamie’s contractions were awesome, yet she was still the same 4cm. We all got worried. They made her put one leg up in a stirrup while laying on her side for 20 minutes. Then they put her on her hands and knees for another 20 minutes. At 4:40 they checked her again and she was 10 cm and ready to push!!! The doctor had to rush over from her office down the street, and she barely made it.

As soon as our OB arrived and said “OK, push!” your head was out. It was VERY scary though because your cord was wrapped around your neck very tightly twice. It was hard to cut because it was so tight but as soon as they were able to cut it you FLEW out—literally flew out like a rocket ship! I was so grateful we had experts on hand to catch you! You were completely stunned and bright purple. You didn’t cry at all. I was soooo scared.

They took you over to the table and worked on you for a while before you turned pink. They suctioned your throat over and over again, thinking there must have been inhaled fluid in there because you weren’t crying. Still, hardly a peep. Jamie then said that a couple of her kids never cried. It was at that point that the doctor said, “Some babies just don’t cry.” They felt that you were fine so we trusted them, and thankfully you were. This was the first telltale sign of what an easy baby you would be!

I then cut your cord and asked them to hand you to Jamie. She held you, kissed you, looked at you, kissed you again and cried tears of pure joy and relief. Job well done!!! After a few minutes she looked at me (I was by her the whole time rubbing her head and telling her how proud of her I was)… Anyway, she looked at me—smiled—and said “Are you ready for YOUR baby?” I wanted to shout “YES, SOOO READY!!!” but instead said, “I’m ready for her when you are ready to give her to me. I’ve waited for 4 years and I will wait 4 more.” Jamie said “I’m ready. Here is your baby.” She reached out her arms with you in them and I reached out mine to accept my gift.

I took you into my chest and cried like I have never cried before. You were finally in MY arms and, man, did it ever feel AMAZING! There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Every doctor, nurse, and family member was crying. You will, I’m sure, see the amazing video and photo that we have of your birth and you will see just how special this moment was. The saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” couldn’t be more true in this case. It was such a magical time. No one can watch the video or look through the photos without crying. You will always be our miracle baby—our precious, precious gift!!! Your birthday couldn’t have been more perfect!

Grace was in the delivery room too, and she also cried when I cried. I had told her I would cry when Lilly was born but there is no way I could have prepared her (or myself) for a cry like that. I just had no idea that an animalistic cry like that existed. SUCH a happy cry! SUCH a relief! SUCH JOY!!! She too knew they were tears of joy, but it was all very overwhelming for her. She, to this day, says that she is very glad she was in the room and that she was very glad to see her sister be born. I’m glad that she was there and that she was a part of that incredible time in the creation of our family.

You were one large baby and you had a full hear of dark brown hair! It caught us all off guard! You were born at 4:53 p.m. and weighed 8 lbs. 13 oz. You were 20.5” long.

I held you and your Daddy held you skin to skin for an hour and then they bathed you and everyone else got to hold you. Your big sister fed you your first bottle. How special is that?!? Man, she loves you!

By about 8 p.m. everyone left but boy Jamie, and we were moved to our final destinations. Jamie and I had rooms across the hall from one and other. It was GREAT! You spent two nights with me at the hospital, and then we went home. While at the hospital your dad, sister and grandmas came and hung out most of the day. We had many other visitors too… I just couldn’t believe you were real and that you were really ours! WOW!!! I would sit awake all night just loving on you, looking at you, and thanking God for you. My heart was completely overflowing with pure joy, peace and gratitude.

While in the hospital Jamie and I spent many special moments enjoying you. We took turns caring for you while the other showered or ate. We wore matching pajamas. We had the photographer come and take special photos of us together with you… She is SUCH a special person and friend.

Jamie’s whole family came in to see you, and each of her kids loved snuggling you too. Her best friend came to visit as well, and it was so nice to see her be surrounded by so much love and support. Just before Jamie left the hospital we spent some special moments together talking. It was during this time that I gave her the pearl necklace and the card I had written her. I gave her a gift and card for Jamie as well. She was touched and it was wonderful.

After Jamie left, we finished up with all of the “adoption” paperwork and then were given the go ahead to leave. It was magical! They actually wheeled me out with both Lilly and Grace in my arms. We were surrounded with balloons and flowers. Ahhhh…we were on our way home. We were COMPLETE!

We had arrived for the induction on Wednesday and by 11 a.m. on Friday we were on our way home as a foursome, everyone in perfect health. Amazing! Our car was full, our hearts were overflowing, we were at peace.

Life has been surreal since your arrival. You are so beautiful and just the sweetest little thing. We all adore you.

Grace has adjusted really well to being a big sister. She sometimes wants more of my time, but she never blames you. She really loves you SO much! She says “Hi blue eyes!” with so much love in her voice or “Hi little Lillian Kate!” It is so sweet to watch.

We have been in the house most of the past 6 weeks but with many, many visitors. We celebrated Grace’s birthday with a big family party. It was really nice.

This Saturday we are hosting a huge gratitude party BBQ in honor of Jamie and Jamie and their family.  We are expecting about 60 guests. I’ve had beautiful leis made with fresh flowers so that everyone will know exactly which couple helped us create our angel. We are really looking forward to having all of our friends and family together to honor them. It will be great for everyone to really get to know one another. It should be a wonderful day!

Today was the “adoption hearing.” I watched Jamie’s 4 kids while Jamie and Jamie went to the hearing. Pretty funny, huh?!? Quite the “adoption”! Everything went perfectly and you will be 100% ours legally in 21 days, on August 31st.

I will write again more soon because I know there is still so much more to say. So many lessons learned about life and humankind. For now though, my arms and heart are full and life is beyond amazing—it is, for the very first time, COMPLETE.

I promise to cherish you forever and ever my love!!!


Your Mom

PS. I still see Jamie all of the time and she is doing great too! You would never even know she had a baby just a mere six weeks later. The baby weight all fell right off. She feels so great and continues to say that it was the best thing she ever did. She also says that she couldn’t have done it for a better family.

SO, Lillian Kate…it is official…you had the BEST birth story!!! And--you are SOOO LOVED!!!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 29th, 2010

Hi Sweet Pea,

Tomorrow will be your birthday, baby girl, and we are all on pins and needles at this point—so eager to hold you and love you and make sure that you are healthy and that Jamie is healthy. Please God, let all go well and please shine on us tomorrow. Let it be the very best day of all of our lives! Keep Jamie and our dear little Lilly safe and healthy/happy. Please help Jamie to revel in the amazing deed she did—let her know how loved and appreciated she is and will always be. Without her, my dear Lilly, you wouldn’t be a branch in our family tree. Without her, you would not fill our empty seat at the dinner table. Without her, my heart would still be missing a huge piece. God please help Jamie to really know what she has done for all of us—she has changed so many lives for the better. She will always be our Angel—ALWAYS.

Now Lilly, please know how adored you have always been. Please know how much you mean to all of us. I promise to never take you for granted—I will cherish you always.

Tonight is like Christmas Eve, although I’ve never had a Christmas Eve this special… Tomorrow you will be given to me, to us, our gift made perfectly—exquisitely for us with so much love, attention, and compassion. There has never been a gift so special! Tomorrow will be the very best day of our life!

I plan to pick up Jamie and we will be at the hospital by . She will get the antibiotics that she needs for Strep B and then they will break her water and get her labor going. You are being induced one week early to avoid the possible risk of placenta calcification that sometimes occurs at the tail end of pregnancy when a woman carries an embryo that is not genetically her own. When the placenta calcifies the baby fails to get the nutrition and/or oxygen needed to survive. At this point, you are healthy; and we all thought it best to eliminate any possible risk to you and your health.

Jamie has had many contractions since last Saturday so who knows? You may even come naturally between now and tomorrow morning. Wouldn’t that be great!

Your Dad, Grace, both of your loving Grandmothers, “Grandpa” John, Uncle Luke and Aunt Rachel as well as Jamie’s sister, Missy, and her husband all plan to come to the hospital at . The photographer that has asked to chronicle our journey will also join us just as soon as things get going. The doctor guesses that you will arrive around . Hopefully all goes perfectly, as planned!

Grace and I had a really nice last day as a twosome. We went and bought “It’s a Girl” balloons for the mailbox, then played many of her favorite board games. After that we went to the pool for 3 hours. That sister of yours LOVES the pool!!! I wonder if you will love it as much as she does?!? She is very proud of herself because, as of last week, she “officially knows how to swim”! (This is what she is now telling/showing everyone.) It amazes me how much she has grown up over the last 9 months. She is one big girl now! Anyway, it was a VERY chilly day today but no other outing would do for our last big day together…so the pool it was!

She is already sound asleep and she knows that the next time she sees me it will be at the hospital. She is VERY excited and really wants to be in the delivery room. We will see how she feels when the time comes.

So…that is your update! Wish me luck sleeping tonight!!! I’m sure I’ll need it! Amazingly, I’ve slept really well up until now and I feel so peaceful about everything. I am more at peace than I have ever been in my entire life. I can only imagine all of the peace I will feel tomorrow when you are safe and sound and finally placed in my arms and when Jamie is smiling from ear to ear—so proud of herself and her gift.

I love you, Angel. Enjoy this last night in your “nest”.



Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 26th, 2010

Well, my little lover—I am about to meet you! You will be in my arms in no more than 4 days. It is Saturday evening and Jamie is scheduled to be induced on Wednesday, June 30th, at 5 am.

Our last OB appointment was yesterday and she was 2-3 cm dilated. The Doctor said that she wouldn’t be surprised if she saw us before Wednesday. Time will tell…

We had a non-stress test done yesterday as a precautionary measure—just to be sure that you were ok. You did not “pass” the test because you were too tired and you were not responsive enough to all of the beeps and vibrations (torture) the nurse put you through. We had to go to the hospital for an ultrasound just to make sure you were ok. The good news is you passed with flying colors, scoring 8 out of 8. They checked the amount of amniotic fluid, your heart rate, your movement and your breathing skills. You did PERFECT!!! We also got to see you in 3D. How FUN! I think you have Grace’s pretty lips and little nose too. You are still our little girl as well. Thank God!

I just cannot believe how amazing the past 9 months have been and how quickly they went by. In no time at all we will be kissing those little lips of yours and holding that little hand. Unbelievable…UNBELIEVABLE!!!

I hope as you read your journey to life in this journal you realize that all things are possible if you want them badly enough. Hopefully you will also see how important great friendships are and aspire to also help others, just as Jamie and her family have helped us. It is also so important that you never judge someone’s journey if you haven’t walked down their life path. Many people haven’t understood our infertility journey—many thought we should just “move on” or “accept” things as they were. Those that we adore supported us through it all—never judging us or our decisions. Find THOSE people. Be THAT person. Be open minded, supportive and loving. Fill your life with people that love and support you. Life is just too short to live it any other way.

Life is also about choices—please, honey, choose to see the cup as half full and enjoy the journey. Take time to smell the roses and cherish the simple things—a beautiful day, a child’s laugh, a call from a loving friend, the waves crashing on the beach, the sunset. These are the things that are important… Not your job title, your salary, the size of your house. These things won’t mean a thing to you on your deathbed. Those that surround you and love you—those that take the time to tell their children about the person you were and the life you lived… Now that’s what matters, that’s what really matters.

Be a good Mom—a really good Mom. No job is more important in my opinion. Remember too that you can do everything, you just can’t do everything at once. Find peace in that and decide to live in and savor the “now.”. “Life is what happens when you are busy making plans.” This is my favorite quote and it is a lesson your Grandma taught me many years ago. Enjoy your journey and learn to roll with the punches. This is no dress rehearsal and there will be no “do over” so you had better enjoy the ride! I have SOOOO enjoyed this ride. Your life journey is better than anything I could have ever created or dreamed up. It was so much more than Jamie, Jamie, your Dad and I could have ever have imagined. It was better than any novel I have ever read or any movie I have ever watched. I would never have had it any other way. It was PERFECT. You have SO many people that cherish you already and you haven’t even been born yet. It took an army of loved ones to help bring you into this world. Amazing how wanted and prayed upon you have been!

Your “journey” into our life, this wonderful life of yours, was anything but typical… It was one extraordinary adventure. Your life will be one extraordinary adventure too! I’m sure of it. Enjoy it my darling…

I cannot wait to meet you, My Love.

God Speed!!!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo (and a gazillion more),


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 18th, 2010

Hi Honey,

I wanted to let you know that the Doctor has decided to induce you one week before your due date (if you have not come on your own by then). That means that in just over a week and a half, you will be in our arms! Unbelievable!

Please, God, take good care of our Angel and of Jamie and please keep each of them healthy while we wait…

Love you, Peanut.

Your Mommy

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 17th, 2010

Hi my little lover. I am longing for you right now… Feels like I’m holding my breath until you get here. It is soooo close!

We just got done looking at all of the pregnancy photos, and they are amazing. Your journey has been nothing short of a miraculous, amazing love story. I am so glad that you will have these photos to see how much so many people wanted you. You are our gift—you will always be my most amazing, most special gift.

We have had another wonderful week. On Tuesday Jamie, Olive, Grace and I went to get our pedicures for the hospital. We had such a fun time. The girls LOVED it and our toes are all now ready for your big day!

On Wednesday (yesterday) Grace and I went to pick out our gifts for each of Jamie's kids. We got them each a stuffed animal and some other fun toys and candy. I’m excited to give them to each of them at the hospital when they come to meet you.

Today Grace and I went to the park, then the pool. It was a gorgeous day!

Tomorrow we will go back to the OB to check on you again—37.5 weeks “baked”!

Love you, honey!!!


June 13th, 2010

Hi My Baby Girl,

You are so big now!!! You are almost 37 weeks, which is considered full term. Ahhhh… You are doing GREAT and so is Jamie. We had her OB appointment 2 days ago and she was one centimeter dilated. That doesn’t at all tell us when you will be here but things are beginning to happen.

We also had Jamie and Jamie and their kids over yesterday and a photographer came to take baby photos with all of us. We had a wonderful time with the Compton Family, as always, and hopefully we got some good shots. After the photo shoot we all went out to lunch and it was great!

Your Dad, Sister and I all felt you kick a lot too yesterday. That was the best part of the day.

Jamie guessed that you would be born in 1.5 weeks from yesterday. Your Dad guessed two weeks from last Thursday. (Today is Sunday.) I’ll just be thrilled to meet you, whenever you decide to join us (but selfishly hope it is in June!!!).

I also went to the mall yesterday and bought some fun gifts for Jamie and her family. I made a goodie bag filled with fancy bath stuff, magazines, and candy for Jamie’s hospital stay and I also got Jamie a beautiful necklace. The necklace has a pearl in it that hangs through a pretty heart. Jamie loves pearls and I love the semblance of pearls because they are the birthstone of June (hence my hope that you are born this month!) and I love that the pearl flows through the heart. It makes me thing of you, darling, and how we all grew you in our heart. Without Jamie’s HUGE heart, we wouldn’t have you. The necklace is just perfect and I can’t wait to put it on her after your birth!

So… we are ready for you. I even bought your pretty baby book yesterday. I hope to get your footprints into it at the hospital. We will see if I remember in the midst of all of our excitement!

I am beginning to wake at night now—just thinking about how soon you will be here. I can tell I’m getting more anxious. I just hope and pray that you are born healthy and that your delivery is as painless as possible for Jamie. I also hope that Jamie is ok emotionally after handing you over to us. What a gift!

OK, off to tuck my Gracie Girl into bed.

I LOVE you!!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

June 1, 2010

Hi Peanut,

I spent the evening with you tonight and enjoyed every single second. You are really getting so big. It is beyond amazing! Jamie and I went to dinner and then went and saw the movie “Babies.” During the movie you were moving around as much as you are able to now. It is getting tight in there now. I loved feeling your little butt move around. Before we all know it that little behind will be in our arms!

Jamie is doing just awesome. She feels great and she looks so amazing. You can tell that she really just loves being pregnant. I really think she would (and should) stay pregnant forever. Just not with you! She is just glowing. She tells me all of the time how glad she is that she did this. You can absolutely tell that she means it.

I think that this journey has completely exceeded every possible expectation any of us could of ever possibly had. Your journey to life, my dear, was an amazing one. Nothing less than a miracle! MUCH better than a great novel or movie… How lucky are we that we got to live it?!? See, God has a plan for each of us and his plan is so much bigger than any plan we could dream up.

Jamie said that you are fully down in her pelvis now, head down too. I’ll bet we will be holding you THIS month. It is just so surreal. So very hard still for me to believe.

The pool in our neighborhood opened this last week. We have told Grace all along that it would open just before you came. You can imagine her excitement! She tells anyone that will listen all about you.

I am spending these last special days with Grace and really enjoying them. We have been playing at the pool, the beach and we went to a professional baseball game too this past weekend. She just loved the fireworks at the end. Everything is that much sweeter these days for all of us.

That is about it here. We go to your next appointment on Friday. (Today is Tuesday.) I’m sure our OB will just tell Jamie what a rock star she is and tell her to keep up the great work!

I love you honey--so very much!

May 25, 2010

May 25, 2010

Hi Honey,
I wanted to write to you to let you know how excited everyone is getting. You are getting big and you will be here before we know it! Jamie continues to feel and look great. You can tell that she is genuinely just so glad that she chose to do this. Gosh, she grew you! Your Aunt Andrea and cousin Ella were in town this last week and it was so wonderful to hold Ella. She is such a beautiful and sweet baby. I adore her and so does Grace. Unfortunately, your Dad got the stomach flu and Grace got croup just before they arrived so they stayed at Grandma’s house just to play it safe. We did see them some but much less than I had hoped. Grace had a broken heart because she was too sick to even touch Ella. The extent to which she was so upset about it broke Aunt Andrea’s and my heart. It also showed all of us what a gift you will be to her. She is just sooooo excited for you—we ALL are!

Aunt Andrea and Jamie and I went out to dinner last night and it was a wonderful time. Your Aunt cried while thanking Jamie over and over again for you. We will thank her for the rest of our lives! Aunt Andrea loved seeing how very pregnant Jamie is too. It made you that much more real to her.

I packed your bag for the hospital today. I suppose I’ll pack my own soon too! Jamie and I went out a week ago to buy matching PJ’s for the hospital. Should be a great photo opp! It was fun to check out at each store because in each case the person would ask Jamie what she was having and in each case she would answer “She is having a girl.” (While pointing at me.) No one could believe her selflessness or my good fortune. They were all VERY happy for us.

Honestly, baby girl, the journey to you has been such an amazing one! God has had and continues to have a plan for our life that is just so much bigger than anything we could come up with on our own. This journey has truly been beyond amazing. You should always know what lengths we all went to with the dream of you in mind. Now, my love, you are only weeks away from my arms! Hard to believe…

Oh, and our home study is now COMPLETE too. One day you will have that fun read to look forward to as well!

I love you honey.



May 9th, 2010 (Better late than never!)

I apologize for the long delay in posting the last/next few journal entries. I will work on catching up over this next week. We have been VERY busy in May of 2011 with a fun trip to the Smoky Mountains and also to Atlanta to visit with my Sister and her family. Life in 2011 is amazing. But…for now, I’ll finish catching you up on 2010!

May 9th, 2010
Hi Lilly, my dear. I wanted to take some time today, on Mother’s Day, to tell you how happy and excited I am to be your mommy. I love you so much already, amazing since we haven’t even met yet! It’s funny because even though you are not growing in my belly, I do feel you growing every day in my heart. I cannot believe that you will be in my arms in just 6-8 more weeks. Amazing!

We have had one wonderful week. On Monday of last week Grace and I went to Dutch Village in Holland for the day and had such an amazing time together. The day before, we went to Holland as a family for their Tulip Festival and that day was perfect as well. The day before that we went to the children’s museum, and the day before that Grace and I went to the zoo. Hope you are ready for some fun! (And I hope you are an easy baby so we can keep up at our crazy pace!) Last Thursday was Grace’s Mother’s Day tea party for me at school. It was adorable. She goes to farm school on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30-11:30 this year. Anyway, they sang songs, brought us “tea” and made muffins for us. They also made us special gifts, a painted ceramic tile and a beautiful drawing of their mom. We watched a video of each of them telling their moms what they loved most about us too. It was so sweet! Later that afternoon we met Jamie and Olive as well as Jamie’s mom for lunch, and we all went together to the OB appointment. Grace and Olive loved hearing your heart beat! They also liked meeting our OB. She couldn’t believe how much Olive looks like Jamie and how much Grace looks like me. It was a perfect day once again! You are doing so great still and so is Jamie. She still looks amazing too!!!

On Friday Grace and I went to a “Fancy Nancy” dinner at church. We got all dressed up in our fanciest clothes, had a “fancy” dinner, got a professional photo taken together, did 3 fun “fancy” crafts, listened to a librarian read her favorite Fancy Nancy book and then had a dance party. It was so much fun!

Yesterday your Dad and Grace brought me breakfast in bed and, boy, was it ever good! We spent most of the day organizing all of the girls clothes in this house to be sure that we had everything ready for you. Last night we took Grandma out for dinner at Bonefish Grill with Uncle Luke and Aunt Rachel. (They have been dating for 4 years at this point.)

Today we spent Mother's Day with your other Grandma, Aunt Heather and her boyfriend Marc. It was a really nice day.

So, as you can see, we like to stay busy around here. That is probably why the time goes so fast. Like I said, you really will be here with us joining in all of our fun before we know it! We are totally ready for you!!!

We are almost done with the “adoption” paperwork. We have our last home visit this Tuesday and then we are all set, I think. I am really glad that we were forced to “adopt” you. I’m sure it will be a fun read for you when you are older as your adoption book chronicles your father's life and my life since birth, our dating and married life and our life as it is now. It is quite the “baby book” for you. After reading it you will see just how badly we wanted you. You are the greatest gift of all, that’s for sure!

Jamie also had a random stalker over the course of the last couple of months and that too has been pretty upsetting for all of us. Her husband finally called this creep and asked him to please leave her alone. (He really was a stalker, had been imprisoned in years past and all…very scary.) He asked Jamie’s husband if they were happily married (who does that?!?) and he said “yes, very happily.” He then asked Jamie’s husband to please ask Jamie to send back all of the creepy stuff he had sent her. (This included some psycho “love story” and other letters that he had written her.) This stalker has been in and out of mental hospitals and prisons. Jamie met him 13+ years ago at her first job at a restaurant. He found her on facebook a couple of months ago and then was able to find her address. At that point he began sending her many scary letters. Needless to say, this has been the hardest part for me of this journey. There is nothing like not being able to protect your dear friend and your baby. It was a really, really hard and scary time for all of us.

Ironically, this was all coming to a head at the same time as we found out that your pre-birth order had been denied and that we would need to “adopt” you, and quickly too. It was especially hard because I wanted so badly to know that you were safe, yet I knew that you were not ready to come out and, even if you did, you would not be legally ours. What a crazy time it has been.

Now, honey, you can see why I couldn’t bring myself to write in here for a while. We stayed very positive during this time and somehow writing it all down would make it too real and too scary. So, I’ve not been able to write.

I really think we are through the worst of it now though. Thank God!

I have absolutely learned to appreciate each and every day and not to let those things that we cannot control get in my way from having a wonderful day. I refuse to let them bring me down during this amazing journey to you. The outcome in life will be the same, whether or not we obsessively worry or chose to just keep plugging away and seeing the cup as half full, savoring life. The only thing we CAN control is how happy we are today, in this moment. Thanks to this lesson, I spend much less time worrying and much more time savoring all of the wonderful things life has to offer. This lesson has been such a gift and you, my dear, have helped me learn it. I love you honey!

Xoxoxoxoxoxo (and a million more!).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May 4th, 2010

Hurray, it’s May! We are getting close to June—the month I believe you will be born. You are actually due July 7th but Jamie had Nolan and Preston each two weeks early so my guess is that you will follow suit!
We have had so much fun as a family getting everything ready for you. If you came into our home today you would absolutely think you were here already. All of your clothes have been washed and put away in your room (and this was no small feat as you have a million adorable outfits!). Your Dad deep cleaned all of the baby “stuff”—the swings, car seats, strollers, etc. for you too. Even the cupboard is full with clean bottles, just waiting for you to need them.
Your big sister is SO excited for you—I know I say that in every note to you but, really, I just can’t say it enough. Her anticipation for you is just the sweetest thing! She talks about you nonstop and happily shares all of her stuffed animals and favorite blankets with you by placing them in your room to wait for you. She has been practicing reading for you, too. She can’t wait to read to you just as soon as you get home. She has gotten all of her favorite “Baby Einstein” movies out from when she was little and is now watching them just to prepare for you. (She is trying to remember all of her baby signs!) She is always telling me that she will wake up at night to feed you or change your diaper if I need the help. I’m sure she really would if I asked! Too bad she is only three!!!
It is amazing how much love you have for your child. I love Grace so very much and wonder, like I’m sure all moms do at this point, how I could possibly love another child as much as I love her. Everyone says that your heart just doubles. I’m sure that will be the case. I already love you, my dear, more than words could every adequately express.
I am so, so, so, so, so, so glad that we never gave up on having you! Thank you God for all of the strength it took to make the dream of our family a reality!!!
Oh, and on the “family dream” note… About a year and a half ago I had a very real dream that we adopted a little boy from Ethiopia and named him Eli. When we almost adopted from Ethiopia, it was because of this dream. Anyway, I feel so strongly that this was more than a dream and that our little Eli is still out there waiting for us to find him. It’s funny because I now feel so content with our family of four (and you aren’t even here yet!). That being said, I still feel so bizarrely as though I have glimpsed into our future and this little boy is still a part of it. Anyway, I’ve shared this story time and time again so all of our closest friends and family know about “little Eli.” The reason I’m mentioning this is, about a month ago our close friend Katie called to tell us that she was reading a book named “The Baby Name Wizard.” In that book you can look up your existing child’s name and see a few suggested sibling names. Anyway, Katie looked up Gracie (the name we most often call Grace) and in it you will NEVER believe what it says! Gracie’s sister name is Lilly and her brother name is Eli!!!! Amazing! I’m 99.99%  certain that Lilly was even spelled with two ll’s. Crazy! Especially since we never even knew of this book until just the other day, well after we’ve told the world about Eli and hung the letters to your name  on your nursery wall! Right now, all we can think about it is YOU though. I’m sure you will keep us busy enough for the near future! I just wanted to tell you this story, just in case my dream ever comes to fruition!
I do have more to updates for you, but my hand is sore and I am sooo tired. I’ll fill you in on everything else soon…
I love you my baby!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

April 30th, 2010

Hi my beautiful baby girl. It has been sooo long since I have written to you. I keep waiting to have lots of time to write, and the moment just hasn’t presented itself. So, I guess I will just have to write what I can, when I am able.

The reason I wanted lots of time to write is because I have lots to tell you. Let’s just say we came to a pretty big “hurdle” about three weeks ago. The pre-birth order for maternity and paternity that our attorney sent to the judge was denied. Apparently, since it is still so rare to have someone else carry your biological child, our county doesn’t feel comfortable granting a pre-birth order the way it is done in most other counties in the nation. The way it was supposed to go per our infertility clinic and our highly specialized attorney, we would have the pre-birth document approved by the courts and placed in Jamie’s ob file so that when you are born you are immediately recognized as our biological child—end of story.

To process the pre-birth order we had legal documents all notarized by Jamie and Jamie, our infertility doctor, and your father and me stating that from conception you were our biological child and that we all agreed that you would immediately be recognized as our biological child upon your birth. Our attorney, who was referred to us by our infertility doctor as the #1 attorney in the state who specializes in surrogacy law, has processed around 10 of these pre-birth orders over this past year with no problems at all in other Michigan counties. We were the lucky ones to run into this issue for the very first time and without any warning. SO, it has thrown all of us for a HUGE loop (to say the very least).

The only “solution” to this legal nightmare is to “adopt” you, our biological child. Ridiculous, isn’t it?!? I’m sure some day this will just be a funny story for you to tell your friends, but right now, let me tell you, it is anything but funny…

I am so very glad that I have been journaling your entire journey to our family for you so that you will never for a second question whether you are really our biological child because of this “adoption.” Please know that this was just one random hoop that we had to jump through in this long process, and please know that we have always known, from day one, that we would do anything for you. You have always been our child. Ever since the day one year ago that we created you as our little embryo. If you ever read this and want more proof that you are biologically ours, just pull out your photo book and look at that precious photo of you as our little embryo! In that photo journal you will see that we were with you every step of the way as you made your way into the world and into our hearts and family.

Your Dad and I have been very busy doing all of the required adoption home study stuff that is now required of us. We only had 10 weeks left in Jamie’s pregnancy when we found out that we would need to file for adoption, and since Jamie had each of her own children around two weeks early, we may even have less time to pull this off. (Hence my lack of time to write in here over the past few weeks!)

The amount of time it takes most couples to do what we have done in one week is about 4 months! Amazing, huh?!? We have been busy filling out all of the applications, each writing our autobiography, filling out our budget, getting copies of our birth certificates, marriage license, driving records, local police background checks, federal background checks, getting fingerprinted, getting full physicals with TB tests, getting references from friends, family, neighbors, Grace’s teachers, and co-workers and much, much more! It has been just nuts. We know that you are SO worth it all!!! We met with our case worker at our adoption agency last night for three hours, and she was just great. We loved her! She knows and understands our full story and wants nothing more than to help us cut through this red tape as quickly and efficiently as possible.

This whole process has actually been wonderful for your Dad and me. It is really nice to tell someone about our lives and why we know we make a great team and will be wonderful parents to you. This whole infertility chapter has brought your Dad and me so much closer. We are both just bursting with excitement now over you!

That’s your update for now, peanut. I love you!!!