a girl’s first time to the zoo

We took a long weekend and spent a couple of days at Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. For those of you that have been, you know that it is HUGE. We haven’t been in years and were surprised at how many more exhibits there are. We were there both mornings at opening time and left early afternoon at nap time and quite honestly could have used a third day! Our gal LOVES animals. You’ll see in the pictures that she kissed as many as possible. We were (quite) literally washing off exhibit windows as we left where she had kissed. We have a lover!

We had been telling her for the week prior that we were going on an adventure! We would stay in a hotel, go swimming and see her cousin Madison play volleyball. She was excited…just because we were! Every night before bed we would show her youtube videos of zoo animals and we would make their funny noises to get ready!

We started our trip out watching cousin play volleyball!



The zoo was perfect, the weather was amazing and Lainey did great!



This was probably one of our favorite moments. We gave her one of the snack sticks to hold in the bird pavilion, not thinking a bird would EVER land on it! Welp! One did! I think the first photo clearly shows how she felt about the whole situation! Mama whispered in her ear to hold really still so the bird could eat and she did very good. We then told her to smile, which is the second picture!

img_20160904_101237738 img_20160904_101246686Her very first carousel EVER!

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I love these next two pictures with her reflections in the glass!

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And, of course the highlight for Mama’s trip!!!



One last kiss!

The hotel has a river flowing through it and at breakfast they gave her food to feed the fish. She LOVED it!


Adam and I joke that we might finally have our veterinarian of the family! Our girl sure loves animals of all kinds. Except for bugs. Definitely not bugs.

I hope to post again later this week. I’ll be having surgery and maybe a little free time on my hands so plan to catch up on a few things. #dreaming

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever. Ps 107:1

Today is Birth Mother’s Day

Mamamama, she says in one long babble while also signing Mama and patting me on the back. That is what I came home to last night after a long week of work. We walked around the neighborhood chasing the neighbors cats, smelling flowers, picking up rocks, kissing the neighbors dog statue and we played on her swing.


We read books. Her favorites right now are the ones that you can touch and feel, Pete the Cat books, Llama llama books and 100 first words that she absolutely loves to point to and try to either say what each thing is or sign if she can’t say it yet. She is learning new signs quite often now! She also loves animal books and when Mama and Daddy make the animal noises and movements. She can bark, act like a monkey and a giraffe (of course!!!!!).


About a week ago she started signing sleep when she is ready for bed while reading so we open up our Jesus loves me book and we sing. We hug and kiss and we go to bed. She rarely cries. She is a good baby.

She is my rainbow baby. She filled me with life after several years of a pain-filled, dark storm. She is a gift. A great gift from her birth Mother. I pray that as I receive wet Mother’s Day kisses tomorrow from my Lainey that her birth mother knows how so very loved this child is. That she can continue to have peace in her heart that the selfless decision she made to not only allow Lainey life, but to allow Lainey life with her Daddy and I was a good one. I cannot imagine the ache her heart must feel wondering what Lainey must look like or what her sweet little voice must sound like. Just tonight, her Grandma said how she loves how it is so quiet and scratchy sounding!

I am just now beginning to see some of the real meanings of what being a mama truly is. Perhaps the most important thing is that she is first. Always. She will always be before me. I think you are an amazing birth mother and knew Lainey should be first all along. You put her first before you, too. That’s why you chose me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


not a baby anymore

Excuse me while I wipe away the tears. A big girl lives in our home now. A big girl that plays kitchen, colored with crayons (and markers-brave Daddy!!!!) for the first time yesterday, says kitty-cat and ball (among other things), has ten teeth, and climbs up AND down the stairs faster than I do.


She is starting to learn about Jesus. She does prayer hands at the table before she eats and “sings” with us when we sing Jesus Loves Me at least twice at bedtime each night.

Another favorite song is Multiplied by Needtobreathe. You heard it here. Adam plays it at least daily and sings it to her, and of course she “sings” along. As a side note, I still weep when the freaking song comes on from the flood of motions from that day come back! #willthateverstop?

Her favorite books at bedtime are Wheels on the bus and Llama Llama Zippity Zoom. She does this weird tongue-rolling thing whenever we say the word llama. It’s absolutely awesome!

She is still a fish and loves the water. She will take a bath that lasts almost an hour some evenings! She will purposefully put her head under the water, loves to float on her belly and will even put her face in the water “pretending” to blow bubbles. She helps remove her clothes before bath-time, even her unders!

Her friends at Mama’s clinic adore her and even made a “toy shelf” for her during her visits! She’s become an expert blood-pressure-machine-rider and can run the halls with the best of ’em. I’m so thankful that even after all of the poking and prodding she’s had in the past couple of months she still doesn’t mind all of my partners and the nurse’s looking and listening to her. Such a big girl!

Because of her cow’s milk allergy, we have to be creative and she absolutely loves her Daddy’s home-made “ice-cream” (frozen bananas plus strawberries and peanut-butter). Other favorites include hamburger, avocados, bananas, pears, eggs, sausage, apple sauce, mama’s cookies, tomatoes and cutie oranges. Speaking of which, if anyone has any special recipes, please send our way! Especially for snacks…that is where we struggle.

She is not a cuddler-never has been but is very affectionate. She gives hugs and kisses (open-mouthed ones!) and then goes on her way. She’s a busy girl, after all.

She has horrible allergies that just started 6 weeks ago. Having never had myself, this is a whole new ball game to us. There are days her little eyes are just dripping and snot rockets are just shooting out! She had her first bilateral ear infections that wouldn’t go away on their own and required antibiotics (up until now, she hasn’t ever had any!). She needed breathing treatments at the beginning while we sorted things out and kept her inside to get things under control and have been “managing” better since. Honestly, she still isn’t good so we pray that her “season of allergies” will be short-lived! We’re hoping a new fancy air purifier in her room helps also.

She definitely has a few favorite toys. Bob, her lovey is for her sleep time only, Sally the seal came from cousin Colt and pretty much makes anything better in life so we save her for emergencies, Tina the “happy” (a round fabric thing that laughs and giggles at her) is EVERYthing to her and she has three baby dolls that she loves.

She goes to an in-home Christian daycare half to full days most days of the week and is home with Daddy the rest of the time. We can’t get her jacket off fast enough and she is scrambling away to play with her friends when we get there in the mornings. She loves her Ms. Sydney and sometimes doesn’t even want to come home!

And, she wore a skirt for the first time today…(Daddy just says to be sure she has bloomers on!). I say praise God for this child! Just look at her so full of life!




Happy Birthday, Jesus!


What a magical time! Happy birthday to our savior and thank you, Jesus for the gift of life we have been given. Thank you for each of our angel babies and for Lainey Noelle.


Lainey’s first Birthday cake for Jesus!

As we worshiped Jesus (I should say tried to worship with a sweet fussy girl…Iwon’tsaynames) by candlelight last night I thought back to just two short years ago. We had just lost Noelle and the first song we sang at that Christmas Eve candle light service was Noel (not a coincidence, I am sure!). There we were singing in the very same church with a sweet child in our arms that sometimes I still wonder what I did to deserve. Our God is amazing. He died for us so we can be forgiven. So I can be forgiven for my sins yesterday, today and tomorrow.


I know I have written before that there have been times when all I could say is “God, help me”. Times when I had no other words. But, the truth is (and unfortunately I don’t write enough about it) there are just as many times that I say “God, thank you!”. And, really I should be saying it way more because everything good does come from Him.


Christmas tree pancakes from Daddy (he wants everyone to be sure to note he added ornaments AND a star!)!




A tree hung for our angels…

We honestly didn’t get very much for Lainey as all of our family (and friends) spoiled her wonderfully for Christmas and truthfully, she loves paper and boxes! And…..it takes forever to open her gifts! A few times I have found myself saying “I can’t wait until she gets excited for Christmas morning or I can’t wait until…”. But, the truth is…I can. I can wait. She isn’t walking yet and part of me hopes she doesn’t for a long, long time because she is my baby. My only baby and I want her to stay a little baby for as long as possible. She isn’t really talking yet and I love hearing her whisper little bitty baby babble! I’ll wait as long as it takes to hear Mama. I can wait. Just the thought of getting rid of bottles makes me sad because that means she is growing up already. Yeah, I can definitely wait. This Christmas of paper and boxes was just right for this Mama.