Yesterday we hosted a casual get together with friends for Memorial Day. These dear friends are the people we met the week we set foot in DC over 6 years ago. They have stuck with us through our comings and goings. We all have older kids now and have spread out geographically so we don’t all see each other as much as we would like.  It was nice to get everyone together, comment on how big the kids have gotten, eat yummy food and relax on a holiday from work!  The guest of honor was an adorable 7 week old golden retriever puppy, Wesley Friesen!  He was a charmer!














































































































































At dinner time we set all of the kids up outside with their plates and headed in to eat, a few sprinkles later and all of the kids had successfully shifted their picnic of 11 kiddos into the clubhouse of our swing set.  Why we run around coordinating the kids so much I don’t know, they can clearly fend for themselves!

The Menu

(only possible because I think morning sickness has finally passed!! It only took 17 weeks but I am thankful)

many of these recipe links might be repeats because we pull them out each summer!


Sun-dried tomato artichoke dip with baguette (with this recipe I sub goat cheese for feta, it’s more of a spread then a dip)

Spinach dip and veggies


fried chicken- cheated here, left it to the experts and picked up KFC!

loaded baked potato salad-another cheat, thanks Costco!

corn salad with cilantro lime vinaigrette

Barefoot Contessa’s Pasta Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Fruit Salad…thanks, Margaret!


Blackberry Peach Cobbler Bars, thanks Rebecca (and Southern Living)!!

Homemade ice cream a la Seth and the kids who helped crank it!


The absolute best overflow of a great night was that we finally wore Owen out. He fell asleep immediately and slept until 7 AM for maybe the second time in his entire life. I was about to keel over from exhaustion after such a packed weekend but clearly it was just the right balance for the O man.

Happy Memorial Day! And of course more important than any friendly gathering and yummy food, we want to thank those who have served our country and those who continue to serve.  We greatly appreciate all you do. And this year we especially remember the Foreign Service Officers who gave their lives doing what they love!

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We decided to start out small…as in, a tent in the back yard. Seth has been talking to the boys about camping for a while. And once you mentioned something to a 3 year old you can expect to talk about it often! This past weekend Seth had planned to take the boys on  Friday night but some major winds kept them inside that night. Saturday we had a busy, fun day ending with a dinner with my brother Ryan and his family and my cousin Rosanna and her husband Evan. Seth decided since the boys would be up late anyways to surprise them that night with a rain check camp out. We were not  sure who, if either of them,  would make it through the whole night out there. I was invited for reading time but then I got the boot and the rest was boy time! They went to bed nicely but were up before the birds at 5:15!!






































































first s’mores of the summer!



























first water balloon fight….silly Easter bunny brought some water balloons and we have talked about them EVERY DAY SINCE EASTER! So, last week we pulled them out and filled up a bowl. They lasted all of 5 minutes. But the boys loved them!
































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Not as we expected

So a few months back I found myself about to click buy for a conference ticket to Allume in late Oct.  I have been waiting for ages to go to a blogging conference but always seemed to have the thought of being pregnant or having a newborn that kept me from committing. I emailed a blog friend in Maine and was waiting to hear back from her before making the big purchase.  I also found myself sitting with Seth and him talking to me about where he felt like God might be leading our family…down the road of adoption. In a sort of sense we were moving on from dreaming of having another biological child and we were getting set for the next phase. I interviewed for jobs and got offers, knowing that while the money will help in our current situation, it would most certainly be critical in the event of adoption. I watched as the boys seemed to grow up faster before my eyes. And I grappled with if this adoption thing wasn’t for us, at what point would I feel peaceful about this being our complete family.  We are blessed abundantly and no doubt a feeling our our family being complete is not something I could not come to, but there was something inside of both Seth and I that felt certain our family was not complete. So my prayer was to feel some kind of sense of clarity along the way.

Seth called Fairfax County and learned that they have a once a month seminar to educate families on local adoption. We marked our calendars and moved towards it. And gradually as we approached it we both began to process what it would look like for us…and we began to be excited. And cautious.

We had hoped and prayed for another baby and three times we had our hopes raised, visions of a little person to be a part of us and then we grieved as we lost them.  We had come to the decision in early March that we needed to be done analyzing and trying for another biological child knowing that God had clearly shown us 3 times that this wasn’t the plan.

Or so we thought.

The day before the adoption seminar we learned that I was pregnant. A faded pink line gave us cause for cautious optimism and had us holding our breath for yet another loss.  I got in for an appointment at 6 weeks but because I was a new patient they didn’t do a full OB appt. They did a blood test that confirmed that HCG levels were good. At nearly 10 weeks we went in for a sonogram and were greeted with this healthy, happy, sweet boy or girl. Waving and wiggling around. Heart beating strong and hopeful…lessening some of our fears at the very sight of it beating.












So about the time of morning (all day) sickness kicked into his gear I was supposed to report to my new job!  And it seemed the less I could manage the more the boys needed! We have gotten through the last weeks. I am now nearly 15 weeks along and starting to feel much better as the weeks go on. Somehow I have managed to get into a new routine with work and have miraculously not gotten sick on any patients.

At nearly 12 weeks we told the boys! And were they ever surprised. When asked if Owen wanted a sibling or a puppy, he said puppy. We were worried how he would  respond but he has been so excited.  Jackson had prayed for a sibling so instantly announced that his prayers had been answered. Most mornings he finds his way up to our room and asks if he can say good morning to the baby. His face lights up and he brings his questions. Both boys finish every conversation about the baby with something along the lines of “I just can’t wait this long to meet our baby”. Their child-like anticipation isn’t full of caution and concern, their eyes are bright and confident when they talk about “their baby”.  And it has brought us so much joy to watch them.

While many parts of this don’t feel real yet we are hopeful for a healthy baby and anticipating the changes that will come in our family come early November. Unlike my pregnancies with the boys I now have 2 big boys who will serve as the peanut gallery to comment on each inch of growth along the way! They daily watch me to see if things have changed. A few days into the watch they realized this is going to be a sllllloooow process.

So, all this to say…this my friends is why this poor blog space has been dropped for so many weeks on end. As I feel better I hope to get back on here and share other parts of life. We are making progress with our growing garden, the boys are eating us out of house and home and we are knee deep in soccer and end of school activities.

More to come…


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