Monday, January 31, 2011


Today I went to get Clarissa up from her nap and when I opened the door I found her sitting in one of her dresser drawers. She had opened the drawer and stood in it to reach a jewelry box sitting on her dresser and was sitting in the drawer sifting through the treasures she found in the box.

We bought her the pretty little box in Korea. I bought it so that she would have a special place to keep adoption related treasures. I will eventually give her the letter from her birth mother, the sea shells we collected from the town she was born in, etc., and she can keep them safe in the box and get them out when she wants to look at them.

At the moment the only thing in the box is some cute hair accessories that her birth mother sent her last year. In case you weren't around for that post, about a month after Clarissa's first birthday last year we got a package in the mail from our agency in Korea. In it was a letter from Clarissa's birth mother, one from her birth mothers sister and a pile of clothes, shoes and other fun things for Clarissa. It's extremely rare to ever hear from Korean birth mothers, so getting that package was really special. Over the past year I've dressed Clarissa in the clothes her birth mother sent, but there are some cute ponytail holders she sent that are too big for her hair so I've saved them in the box on her dresser so that I can give them to her later. I'm kind of glad that they're too big for now because they will be something she can wear when she's old enough to understand who gave them to her.

So that brings us to today. I went in to Clarissa's room and found her sitting in a drawer with her special box from Korea closely examining the ponytail holders. It was a sweet moment and I was lucky enough to have my camera handy to snap a few quick pictures.

She didn't understand what a treasure she was holding in her hands, but I did and I decided to give her a few more minutes to play with them before I put them back in the box, so I sat on her bed for a few minutes and watched her play. And while I sat there I thought of her birth mother.

Clarisssa turns two this Friday. I think that her birthday is always going to be a little bittersweet for me. I'm excited to celebrate the special day with our sweet Clarissa but it's hard not to think of her birth mother and what she's missing. I'm sure she's thinking about Clarissa this week. The hardest part of the adoption for me has always been that our happiness came from someone elses pain. I'm sad for her birth mother. I know that Clarissa was loved and that placing her for adoption was hard on her. As Clarissa's birthday gets closer I think about her birth mother more and more. I'm grateful to her for the sacrifice she made and I'm sad for her that she's far away and not able to celebrate Clarissa's birthday with her. She's missing out on an amazing little girl.

Clarissa eventually got distracted by something outside the drawer and and went off to play. I put the ponytail holders back in their special box and put the box in a safer spot so that the treasures in it won't get lost.

So today I'm grateful for treasures from Korea. The little ones I keep in a beautiful box and the big one who is about to turn two and gets sweeter and cuter every day.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Photo Friday!

We had a photo shoot with Clarissa today! I've been meaning to take her out for a photo shoot for a while but frankly, it is so hard to get pictures of such a quickly moving target that I've kind of been putting it off. Taking pictures of Clarissa is not an easy task, which is why you so rarely see them on my blog. :) I love that child dearly, but sitting still is not a skill she has mastered, lol.

But today Shawn had a day off and we decided to use the opportunity to finally get some pictures taken while the boys were at school. After spending the morning driving around town looking for the perfect picture outfit for Clarissa we found it in a super cute childrens boutique. Seriously, that place is like a big dress up closet. We had a really good time there and the woman who runs the place got our contact info because she occasionally needs models for fashion shows. Clarissa loves clothes. She'd be all over that.

Once we had the cute outfit purchased we drove around looking for a good spot to take pictures. We finally ended up in the nature park we love and it ended up being perfect. Clarissa had a really good time running around and trying her hardest to avoid having her picture taken. It takes a miracle to get that kid to look at the camera! We have to pull out every trick in the book to get her to cooperate. She looks cranky in half the pictures. She wasn't cranky, she was actually having a good time. She was just doing her best to ignore me and my obnoxious camera. It''s her "I'm ignoring you and the more you beg me to look at you and smile the more I'm going to ignore you" look.
I took a ton of pictures and I'm still going through them and pulling out my favorites, but here are a few of the ones I like so far. I'm pretty happy with them! Tomorrow we're going to go back out and take pictures of the boys. It is WAY easier to get pictures of them! Josh got new glasses yesterday so he's excited to have his picture taken in them. I'll post those pictures when I get them finished this weekend!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Well, so far January hasn't gotten off to a great start. The January blah's have hit me. This happens to me pretty much every year in January so you think it wouldn't catch me off guard but it always does. January is such a long dark month. I'm tired of winter, I haven't seen the sun in ages.

I always spend January planning vacations that I can't afford to take. Yesterday I priced out a cruise and a family trip to Disney World. We're not going on either, I just like to pretend we are because the idea of it cheers up my January blahs. I research airline prices and hotels and and pick out travel dates and show all of my ideas to Shawn who is used to my January travel planning and just smiles and nods like I'm not insane.

To add to my blahs we had a major plumbing problem in our house last week and we're still in the process if getting everything working again. A week ago our water softener broke and released a sandy resin into all the pipes in our house. We woke up one morning to no running water and totally freaked out. Thank goodness we figured out what the problem was and we've slowly been able to take all the toilets and faucets apart, clean out the resin and get the water flowing again but it's been a frustrating process. The kitchen faucet still isn't working and Shawn has finally given up and has a plumber coming over this evening. We got the resin cleaned out of it and the water is flowing through the pipes again but he had to completely take the faucet apart and he can't get the pipes reconnected properly again. Having no running water in the kitchen is driving me a little crazy.

Not everything is blah around here these days though. Matthew started the gifted program at school a few weeks ago and absolutely loves it. Both boys got their high green belts in taekwondo recently, which is awesome! Clarissa is talking more and making me laugh 50 times a day. She recently decided that she's obsessed with strawberries, but she calls them strawbabies, which is ridiculously adorable. I keep giving her strawberries just to hear her say it. :)

She has such a cute personality. She loves to sing, so we sing songs together a million times a day. She also really loves to color-I think we have a budding artist on our hands! She's really interested in colors and can identity several of them. She walks around the house all day pointing to things and saying "what color is that?". She can pretty consistantly identify pink, red, yellow, blue, black, white and purple. She's getting so big! She turns two in a few weeks, which I can hardly believe. Last night I watched some video we took in Korea and it was really fun to relive those memories and think about how far we've come.

So aside from the fact that I'm in the middle of my January blahs, things are going pretty good around here. I'll continue to plan vacations I'm not really going to take, Shawn and the plumber will get the kitchen sink fixed, the kids will continue to make me smile and we'll keep plugging along. The good news is that January is over half over and life always looks better in February. :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Am I the only one who can't believe it's 2011?? Seriously. Weren't we all just freaking our over Y2K like, yesterday? I always love and hate the new year. I love that it feels fresh and new and it's a time to make fresh starts and resolutions, but I always get a little panicky when I realize how fast time is flying by. It's sort of like my birthday. It's fun to have a party but not fun when you realize that another year of your life is over. It makes my want to push the pause button for a while. It also makes me evaluate my life. Am I where I thought I would be at this point? Am I accomplishing everything I thought I would? What did I really screw up last year and what can I do to fix it this year?

I remember saying this time last year that I wanted 2010 to be the year that nothing happened. Life was so chaotic during the whole adoption process that I was ready for the chaos to die down and have a year of no major events and no big surprises. It turns out that 2010 pretty much was the year that nothing happened. We finalized the adoption, which was wonderful, but other than that 2010 really wasn't much to write home about (or write a blog about, apparently, given how boring my posts have been lately!). Shawn went to work, the kids went to school, I chased Clarissa around the house and that was pretty much our year in a nutshell. Not exciting, but given that it was the kind of year I was shooting for, I'd say it was a success.

Looking forward I think I want 2011 to be a year of goal setting and new beginnings. I've been in kind of a rut lately and I'm ready to break out of it. I need to shake things up a bit. I'm joining the gym again next month, I'm revamping our budget to reach some financial goals we set, I want to do some redecorating in my house, learn to cook some new recipes, reorganize some clutter zones in our house, I want to get out of the house more...I need a change of scenery in my life. You know that episode of Seinfeld where George decides to go against his instincts? Maybe I'll try that for a while. :)

It'll be good. Maybe I'll have something more interesting to write about on my blog. I don't know what surprises this year will hold, but I'm excited to find out!