Saturday, May 29, 2010

One year ago...

One year ago today I saw this picture for the first time and was instantly in love.

I think of Referral Day as the day when Mati joined our family. We hadn't met him yet, but we knew he was ours. It was like the moment in the delivery room when the baby is finally born and the doctor says, "It's a boy!" A year ago today, our family coordinator was like the doctor. She shared all the pertinent information about this child who was an instant, our family changed. And we've been better for it ever since!

A year later, we've got one healthy, happy guy who lights up our family with his smile and laughs. Mati is a tangible representation of the goodness of God and the amazing way He works in our lives. And I praise God that every day of my life, I get to see this face and have him chase me down in his trademark run, arms swinging, to give me a kiss.
"For great is His love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD!"
Psalm 117:2

Read the full account of our Referral Day here.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Party time

Mati's party was a rousing success, and not just by the two year old's standards. It was great to celebrate our little man's life surrounded by friends from church and our family.

The "Melmo" cake and cupcakes-Hershey's perfect chocolate cake never disappoints!
Checking it all out before singing time.
This is the closest thing I could get to a smile from the birthday boy! He didn't know what to do with all the attention and focus on him.
We played a rousing game of Pin-the-Nose-on-Elmo. Haven was just a little off!
We also tried "Elmo Says", but the birthday boy just ran around everyone laughing. I think he loved it all!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A second birthday, but the first

Today, my baby boy turns two. He's not a baby anymore, but a rough and tumble, wild and crazy toddler. It's hard for me to fathom that even one year ago I didn't even know him. He's so deeply woven into every part of me now, I don't remember not loving him. There are a million things I love about this kid, and his facial expressions are just one of them.

Then there's the matter of these lips of his! And I love the little kissing game that he plays with me.

He's an expressive guy, too and usually asks,"Where'd it go?" with his arms in the air.

And then there is this smile...

And these eyes. His eyes are what drew me in the moment I saw him.

And he's just a little bit totally crazy! He makes me laugh all day long and loves to be the life of the party!
So today we celebrate. It's his second birthday, but the first as one of us. There will be all manner of fun had today. An Elmo cake (he calls Elmo "Melmo" and I love it!), friends and family and presents and lots of laughter and love.

Happy Birthday, Mati! You are my best guy and I love you more then I ever thought possible!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy dishes and a favorite meal

My happy dishes have made their way back to our table again. Last night they were filled with one of our favorite ways to eat zucchini. We usually eat this as a main dish, but it's also great as a side with grilled chicken.

Veggie Veggie Couscous
for the veggie part:
2 Tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (optional- I don't always add these and if I do, only half the can)
16 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup raisins

Heat oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Add garlic and onion and cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle spices over onion and stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Add zucchini, chickpeas (if using), tomatoes and raisins. Cover pan and lower heat to medium. Stir occasionally until zucchini is tender and juices have thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve with couscous.

For couscous: Boil 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1 Tbs butter and a tsp of salt. Stir in one cup of whole wheat couscous and remove pain from heat. Let stand 5-10 minutes and then fluff with fork before serving.

Another delicious variation is to add a diced red pepper in with the onions. Really, you can't fail with this one. We love this dish and can't wait til we have lots of generous neighbors unloading zucchini on us like crazy!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

All good things must come to an end

Well, we're home. Exactly one week later, we pulled in front of the house. Almost feels like we didn't go anywhere because we picked back up right where we left off. But my sunburn tells me otherwise. It rained when we left on Monday which made it that less painful to leave. Know what else was less painful? Packing suitcases full of clean clothes and knowing I didn't have a mountain of laundry awaiting me at home.

A great trip all around, and I've got some more pictures to prove it.

We didn't swim per se (hello, the water is barely 60 degrees), but we did lots of wave jumping.
Mati gives the beach his seal of approval.
And his sister a big smooch!
A hair full of sand: the result of his lack of fear of the ocean and getting knocked down a time or ten by crashing waves (and scaring his Mama to death!)
My beautiful beach babe!
Sand monsters!
I mean, can you stand that face? I am powerless against it!
See, I was there!
And so was this handsome man!

Thanks for the memories, beach! Hope to see you again soon!

Friday, May 14, 2010

My man: the surfer

Dreams coming true on vacation...Cale rented himself a surfboard today. The waves didn't exactly cooperate and we had to head down the beach trying to find the perfect break.

Maybe tomorrow. I'm so glad there's still a tomorrow to our time at the beach.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sand between our toes

Can you guess where I'm at? I'll give you a little clue...

Unfortunately, this was Mati's initial response to the beach. He cried and cried and had a death grip on Cale.
But we quickly made progress and became one with the sand. He was especially fond of throwing sand at Mama.
And then he realized that he could even walk on the stuff. He didn't want to be left out of the fun being had!
Now you must excuse me. I've got some relaxing to do with my people.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

some nights we fight

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about this:

I'm what you might even call obsessed. And I don't care.

Clear eyes, full hearts. Can't lose.

Who's with me??!!