Dawson Pierce turns 4!

4 years
They flew by in the blink of an eye
a drop of a hat
and lots of other idioms that mean really quickly

Our world changed so much the day our Dawson Pierce was born because I was opened up to the special love that little boys have for their mama. If you aren’t the mother to a son I pray you get to experience that kind of love for yourself one day because you just can’t really describe it. Boy mamas, am I right?!?

These past 4 years have been incredible. Watching Dawson grow into the little person that he is has been one of the biggest joys of my life. I’m so proud of him for who he is becoming and how much he has grown up this past year. It’s a few days past his birthday now and as usual I’m behind on this post. Just this morning he was looking through our wedding album and the album of his big sister’s first year and wanted to know where his album was. Well, about that bud.. Mommy dropped the ball. It happens you know. Times keeps going by so FAST.  I could do the guilty mom thing but you know what? I’m not. This morning I had this revelation that I may not be the best at documenting our lives but I’m ok with that because in the end what matters the most aren’t the pictures. What matters most are the moments.

The moments when my sweet, sleepy faced boy climbs into bed beside me at 6 am just to snuggle. He will always runs his fingers along my hand and fall back to sleep just for a few minutes. It must be close to what heaven is like.

The moments when he has learned something brand new and his face lights up so bright that he is beaming while I cheer him on.

The moments after he has played outside for hours and rushes through the door sweaty and covered in grass stains and I can’t help but pick him and take a big, deep whiff of that puppy smell. You boy moms know the one I mean!

The moments when we are curled up on the couch just being silly and he bursts out into the biggest belly laughs that I wish I could bottle up and sell. The world would be a happier place.

The moment when you see your baby boy become a big brother and not only take on the role but embrace it fully. When he teaches and encourages his new little buddy and your heart can’t help but melt.

These moments can’t be captured in a photo but I’ll remember every last detail of them. So, I may not ever be the mom with a shelf full of scrapbooks or even simple photo albums but I’m ok with that! My kids will be ok with the moments I’m right in the action with them instead of just an onlooker with the camera, right? ; )

And before I forget I wanted to share some of my favorite things about Dawson right now~

– When he is telling you a story about something that happened in the past it always, always happened on Wednesday. In fact, when he is talking about something that will happen in the future it will be on Wednesday. Basically, if he is referring to anytime that is not in the present it will be Wednesday.

– He has the best sense of humor! The boy is going to be the class clown. I feel it in my bones. He is already witty and picks up on jokes that I think are going to fly right over his head.

– He is very particular about his room and toys. Everything has a place and he cannot go to sleep without making sure things are tidy. No shoving things under the bed for this guy!

-He loves to share. No, I’m not kidding. If he is given a snack or treat he always asks for one for Reagan (and more recently for Maddox too). If you ask him for a bite of something he is eating he happily obliges.

-He sleeps with a blue minky dot blanket that he calls “night night”.

– He LOVES super heroes,transformers, swimming, macaroni and cheese, chocolate milk, going to the jungle (which is of course the zoo), Scooby Doo, going to the beach, playing in his sandbox, practicing writing his name…I could go on!

We are blessed everyday by our sweet guy! Happy Birthday, Dawson Pierce!!  I can’t wait to see what year 4 brings us!!

 

****I could have searched for a sweet little picture of our guy all dressed up and…clean, but this is our Dawson the way we know him best! Silly, covered in dirt with some food smudged on his face…and we love every inch of him!*******

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One Week Home

This very moment one week ago we were walking off an airplane into our hometown with our sweet blessing. We were exhausted and hungry but seeing the flashes going off through the airport windows gave us one last burst of energy. We were greeted with cheers  by our closest friends, family, and neighbors and 1 minute later I wrapped my arms around my two big kids and squeezed them so hard I took their breath away. At that moment we became a family of 5. As I sit her one week later I couldn’t be filled with more joy. The boys are splashing in a bubble bath and my sweet girl is curled up beside me. Life is so good!

At some point late in the week things started to fall into place. Maddox was sleeping through the night. David and I felt like we were alive again. We were seeing so many more laughs and giggles than tears. The big kids fell into a comfortable spot in their roles and everyone was getting along. I know it’s a honeymoon phase and if I had a sponge I would soak it up and bottle it because it is PRICELESS!

Last night Maddox slept in his bed from 8pm to 8:30 am and when I opened his door this morning he gave me the biggest smile. He was finally expecting to see me instead of someone else. It was a big moment.

Every day we see more and more of his sweet personality. Here are a few pictures from our evening in the backyard:

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~Easter Parade~

Our kids go to an AMAZING preschool that we really couldn’t say one negative thing about. They love it. We love it. End of story.

One of the many traditions they have each year is an “Easter Parade”. It’s one of my very favorite events of the school year.

It’s a full day worth of fun though starting out with an Easter Egg hunt, followed by a fun Easter party, and then the infamous parade. The kids parade into the sanctuary waiving their palm branches and singing. The fun part is that each kid creates their own special Easter hat to wear in the parade! The 3 year olds are all bunnies, and the 4k and Kindergarten get to be as creative as they want. It is really fun to see all hats…and all the hard work the mommies put into them! ; ) Once on stage they sing a few songs. It’s super cute!

The kids (and my) very favorite song goes something along the lines of, “There was a shake and a rattle..and the stone was rolled away..on the mighty resurrection day!” I always get chills when I hear them sing it.

Almost like the chills I get when I read this:

 

Jesus Has Risen

 

2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

 

5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

 

8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

—————————————-    He is Risen!

“Let the resurrection joy lift us from loneliness and  weakness and despair to strength and beauty and happiness. ” ~Floyd W.  Tomkins

Blessing to you as we celebrate the joyous resurrection of our Saviour. I hope we can all remember that while bunnies and egg hunts are fun our true joy comes from Christ Jesus. May that joy surround you in the coming days and remind us of the true spirit of Easter.

 

 

Summer Bucket List

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Summer is quickly approaching and I find myself trying to come up with a list of fun ideas to keep us all busy!

Last year we went on our “Tour of Parks” where each week we picked a different park around town and enjoyed playing and a picnic lunch. We did all the usually things like the splash pad, beach, swimming at Grammy’s, playdates with friends and cousins, etc and so on but we had no real plan or schedule. And while no schedule fits right in with my personality with two preschoolers (add in a toddler this summer) after 2 weeks or so they were bored and I was about to lose my mind!

THIS Summer I have big,big plans! I have decided that each day will have a loose theme…and I do mean loose.

I haven’t layed it all out yet but here are some ideas I’m tossing around:

~ A day for water fun (pool, beach, splash pad, water park, sprinklers, backyard water slide,etc)

~ A day for Books/Reading ( Books store, tent reading in the backyard, checking out the book trading store in town, the library ~ as a kid one of my favorite things about summer was the reading program through the library. I’m not even sure if they still do this but if they do I’ll sign the kids up)

~ A “Get out of Town” Day ~ Zoo, EdVenture Museum, Visit to Grammy’s (soo much to do there), aquarium, so much more I could add here

~ PJ day- Movies, popcorn, backyard picnics, painting/crafts, kitchen table tents, homemade lemonade…you get the idea!

~ All about Nature- State parks, nature trails, rail trail with our bikes, neighborhood “hike”, fishing, botanical gardens, outdoor scavenger hunts, McLeod farms (strawberry picking, peaches, hay ride, homemade ice cream!), Sunflower picking ( a favorite as a kid), so much more!

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Other things:

Hapi Kids Yoga classes (local yoga studio)

Local movie theaters free/ $1 summer movies

Several camps I want to let the kids pick from (Science South, gymnastics, Tae Kwon Do, etc)

VBS

Pet Store

FunDayGo (Indoor inflatables)

Chuck E Cheese (dare I say it)

Italian Ice/Sonic Happy Hour/ Bruster’s baby cones/ Sweet cupcakes/CFA

Local Theater ~ In the past has had shows throughout the summer for the younger kids

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Do I for one second think I will get through all of these? No! But, at least we have a starting off point to brainstorm from. I just don’t think going into summer with 3 kids and no game plan is a good idea! 🙂 Any thing I’m missing? What are your favorite things to do in Summer? Favorite places to visit? Help me add to my list!

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Soccer Star

I mentioned earlier that Dawson started his first ever season of soccer this year. He is such a natural! It’s funny really because he has never really shown that much interest in soccer but David signed him up on a whim and we had all the gear just laying around from Reagan’s failed attempt.
Let me show you what I mean. My girl is talented at many things but soccer was just not “her thing”. These are a few shots from Reagan’s soccer career. It lasted all of 3 weeks. :

How's that for not listening to the coach?

Now sounds like a good time for a chat...

Drills? Nah, I'll just play with the cones...

Did you see my PINK shin guards!?!

And my very favorite the team picture~

Reagan is the 3rd person to the left... What else is there to say? Soccer..not for her.

Maybe Dawson was paying attention to what was going on?

So, I had no real expectation of how soccer would go for Dawson. But, he really blew us away! I wish you could see the look on his face when he is out there on the field! He has SO much fun!! I’ll refrain from my bragging now and show you a few of my favorite shots.

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It was a CHILLY morning out on the soccer field. David looked over at me at one point and said that now that I have the minivan AND a  soccer player then he supposes that officially makes me a soccer mom. Who would have ever thought? But man, I sure do love every minute of it!

~ We are F-A-M-I-L-Y ~


I really don’t do a great job of updating anything but adoption related stuff. We do have other things going on outside of that and I’m failing miserably at documenting our life as a whole. So, I’ve made a commitment to myself to try to at least blog once a week on our family life and my goal is to have those posts up on Mondays. I’m going to call it…well I don’t know yet but I’m sure when I do come up with a name it will be really clever! Any ideas? Help me come up with something fun!

So here is a little of what we have been up to. The next posts will be more picture filled as I really try to do better at taking them!!

Dawson:


Oh my, where to start? Dawson has become our “class clown”! He is so much like his daddy with the witty jokes and silliness. In the past year his personality has exploded and I’m loving every minute of it!
At the beginning of the school year he was having some trouble getting into a routine and learning how to play well with his friends but from all recent reports he is doing GREAT! On Friday progress reports came home and I was so impressed with how much he has learned since the last report. He is crazy, smitten with his teacher and talks about her ALL the time.
     He is all about order. Things must go in their rightful place and his room has to be picked up before nap and bedtime. If one of us puts something in the wrong place he quickly corrects us (and has been known to push Reagan out-of-the-way and tell her she’s not doing it right!)
On Saturday, he started soccer at the Y. This is the first time we’ve signed him up for anything organized (if you can call 3 year old soccer that). I’m glad we waited because he is ALL about it. I was amazed at how well he handled the ball. He could kick it across the field, steal it away from his “opponent”, and he even scored a goal. And quite frankly, I have no idea how even knew what to do because neither David or myself know a THING about soccer! Raw talent! ; ) Hey, it’s my blog I get to brag all I want, right?

Reagan~


I can’t believe how much Reagan has grown up this year! I’m so proud of who she is becoming. Right now, she is all about arts and crafts. Her favorite thing to do is paint and she could spend hours doing it.

At school she is reading and recently really just had that clicking moment when she knew she was getting the skill and is just taking off. I hope she loves to read. It’s one of my favorite past times and I want both of my children to have that outlet. We were really proud of her progress report as well! Her kindergarten year has just been a huge learning year for her and we are proud of all her hard work.
She took a gymnastics class recently and although she loves gymnastics I think she had learned most of those skills when she took a few years back. This was a beginner class at a different gym and I think she was bored by it. She really wants to go back to her old gym so that’s the plan for summer camp as of now.
Reagan had her first away sleepover and I survived. : ) She was literally across the street so it wasn’t so bad. : ) She of course had a blast!

It is really hard to believe she will be 7 this year. Where oh where did the time go? Just yesterday she was toddling around and now she is losing teeth and reading!

The Grownups:

After really having a tough few months of struggling with the adoption wait I’ve recently just had a big burst of energy and have plunged into doing a LOT of cooking. Pinterest just makes you feel all kind of domesticated. That has been really therapeutic for me. I’m also in the beginning stages of a little ministry idea. I’m REALLY excited about it and can’t wait to pull it all together and share more. It’s nothing big but I think I’m really going to enjoy it.

David has been crazy busy with work. This is the job he’s worked since we’ve met so it’s all I know. : ) I wish he didn’t have to travel so much but I’m just thankful he has a job that he loves and excels at. We are super lucky that when he’s home he is 100% here.  I honestly could not do life without him by my side! 

 He recently ran his first few races and rocked them. I’m super proud of his dedication to running! Now if I could only get my behind out there! ; )

And as always we are anxiously anticipating the news of our newest arrival. We have good and bad days but lately more good ones. Today we heard that the ministry has stated that it will be at least two more weeks before they accept any submissions. It looks like we have a while more to wait. : )

No use crying over spilled chocolate milk…unless it spills on “Night Night”

I just had a to jot down this sweet story.

We’ve been inside ALL weekend basically. The kids had a stomach virus and I was recovering from a cold/flu/sinusy type thing. By this afternoon everyone was going CRAZY and we needed to get it out.

 As soon as the sun set I called both of the kids in the living room and said, “1,2,3…go get on your PJs and meet me at the door in 5 minutes.”

 Reagan reappeared less than 2 minutes later in Christmas PJ’s and sparkly black ballet flats and dragging in just in time Dawson shows up with a Spiderman shirt and cotton shorts. I don’t blame him it’s been unseasonably warm even for the south!

We loaded up. Rode through the drive thru at Kr*spy Kreme (The hot now sign was on. It was a must). The kids got chocolate milk and a sprinkle donut and then we headed out in search of some really great Christmas lights!

 I told David we needed some type of award to hand out to the house that we all decided had the best lights and he looked at me like I had 5 heads so apparently he thought it was a dumb idea. Sounds fun to me!! Can you tell who the fun stopper is?

 Anyway, we rode all over town “oohing” and “ahhing” over the lights and had a fun time. Just as we were about to come home Dawson spilled his chocolate milk ALL in the floor of the car.

 We didn’t realize at the time but the majority of the milk was soaked up by “night night” his very special baby blue minky dot blanket. Sigh… We do have extras but they are spread out at different grandma’s homes at the moment.

 We got the kids ready for bed and prepared for the nuclear meltdown. Dawson is a chill kid but mess with the “night night” and you’ve got a problem. Seriously, he NEVER gives me trouble about going to sleep as long as he has it. So, he is screaming and crying for the blanket. I held him, and tried to comfort him to no avail but finally I had to say that it was enough and leave the room.

 Of course it continued (more of a whimper by this point) but I’m trying to block it out and then I heard Reagan’s voice and I started to call out to her and fuss that she wasn’t upstairs. She came down the hall towards me and said, “Mama, I gave Dawson my Macy (her equally as special blanket). He was just so sad and it was an accident with the milk. I know how it feels to be without my blanket and I think it would be ok with me if he snuggled with Macy tonight.”

Stop the presses. This is a moment that you just want to savor. 

Thankfully, Dawson seemed to be ok with this scenario (although he turned down every other similar blanket I had offered previously). It must have been something about it being her special one that he could just tell it was a sacrifice and accepted it. Within 2 minutes he was asleep.

I’m so proud of my sweet girl. Isn’t it amazing when you see your children displaying a trait you’ve worked so hard to instill in them?   Compassion is a hard one. She really has the biggest heart. I think I may go sneak Macy away from Dawson and take her upstairs. I would bet Reagan is still up there unable to get to sleep without her. Wow. So much to learn from my kids!

 

Fall Y’all

 Ok, it’s been Fall for a little bit but I’ve got a few pictures I wanted to catch up on from this week. I am so proud of myself for actually taking my camera with me lately.

Here is a little bit about what’s been going on with us:

Tuesday was my birthday and we had a fun family day. David took the day off and the kids took out to lunch at Ol*ve Garden. David asked Reagan where she thought I’d like to go and she said she just knew I’d pick OG…and I did!

And it just so happens OG is HER favorite too..so it worked out in her favor.

 This is how she eats her bread sticks. She bites off the part with the salt…

 Hmm..Is he working or playing Angry Birds? That is the question….

                          

                                        I think the Tiramisu was for me but I only got one bite….

After lunch we came home and took a fabulous nap then headed out for ice cream and to the movie store. We rented E.T. and stopped for snacks then we all came home and put on our PJ’s. The rest of the evening was spent curled on the couch watching movies. I seriously could not have planned a better way to spend my birthday. Relaxing and fun!

 Last night was the annual Fall Festival at our church. The kids look forward to this every year. I had a family theme for our costumes this year (Goldilocks and the 3 bears) but my kids actually had an opinion this year (so not fair).  Reagan picked Ariel and Dawson wanted to be Buzz Lightyear again. He tried to change his mind at the last minute and be Optimus Prime but I was not about to purchase a costume when Buzz was super cute and recycled from last year.

     He was so proud to show everyone that his wings would light up and ran around with his arms in the air shouting, “To the rescue!”

 Prettiest little mermaid I’ve ever seen. I’m hoping someone introduces a Chi’ to her one day soon though.

                                                       Aunt Jenny joined us at the Fall Festival too!

                                                                              My sweet Ariel

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 We had a blast. Ate too much junk. Caught up with friends. Went on a hay ride. Played carnival games.Jumped on bouncy houses. Trunk or Treated. Slept well!

 Yay. I’m all caught up. Now to get some laundry done.

A Field Trip First

    Yesterday,  I got to attend Dawson’s 1st ever field trip. To say that he was excited is an understatement. He was THRILLED..and on top of that he asked at least 10x if Rea Rea (his nickname for Reagan) was going and jumped up and down when I said it was just the two of us. He loves some one on one time with his mama and I’m loving that he loves it! : )

 So, the field trip was to a corn maze on a local farm. They really had a great set up and the weather was amazing. We had a lot of fun!

                                                                           Just a little excited!

                        Even though I look at their sweet faces everyday sometimes it surprises me at how much they look alike. And don’t they look very grown up in this picture??

    Just hanging out on the farm!

Dawson and his buddy (neighbor, car pool friend, partner in crime) Cole

We went on a fun hay ride around the farm and afterwards headed over to the pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkin!

After quite some searching Dawson settled on this orange and green spotted one.

                                                                                    Sweet Victory!

   We ventured through a mini corn maze..and a bigger one too with his whole class but I didn’t get any pictures of that.  In the BIG corn maze we followed clues to find our way out. The kids had fun. I asked Dawson what he thought we would find in the maze? Lions? Tigers? Bears? His reply, “No, just corn!”

 

                          Removing all the kernels of corn from the cob. What big muscles he has!!

Very cool sand box FILLED with corn kernels and lots of buckets, scoopers, and of course farm equipment toys. This was one of Dawson’s very favorite parts!

                                          Pausing just  long enough for me to snap a picture.

                      Dawson and I stopped for a quick picture in front of this super cool hay bale spider before we left. The sun was bright and in his face..and he was “sweaty and tursty” so this was the best we could do! This spider reminds me that I almost died this morning when I spotted a very large 8 legged creature in my kitchen. I feel certain it looked something like this:

 Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration but did I mention I don’t do spiders? And of COURSE I was going to be brave and flip-flop squish the terrifying creature but as I returned to the room with said flip flop…IT WAS GONE!  I feel a little jittery…