Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Post for my children 7 of 30

 This is another post for the kids. I hope these posts will help the kids in knowing a little bit more about me than they might ever know otherwise.  Everyone else reading, just gets to eavesdrop a bit on these conversations :)  

7. If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?

This one is a bit of a challenge for me. There are probably so many things that I could think of to wish for and prioritizing what 3 wishes would be is tough for me.  I can think of a lot of things also that I "want" to happen, but not sure if it really qualifies on the wish list if that makes sense.  So, I am just going to go with the 3 that stick out in my mind the most. I have seriously mulled over this one for weeks trying to think of what the "right" things to say would be. I've written things down and then deleted them.  These questions on this list of posts are not always that easy to answer!  

1) I would wish for the resources to make a difference.  I am not speaking in terms of being rich, because to an extent I feel like being rich would be a horrible burden to carry through life. I know personally that the more I get = the more I want.  I would not want so much as I become a selfish person. However, it would be amazing to not even have to think twice about the money to adopt again, because lets be honest, that is always the first thing I think about when I think about adopting again - how would we get the money together.  It would be amazing to have the money to truly make a difference in the lives of orphans.  I would love to have the money so that when I hear of a need, we can instantly respond to that need.  I will not say we have not been blessed financially because I truly feel like we have been and God always does provide. but I always want to be able to do more.  

2)   I wish I could talk daddy in to someday having another baby. This is a much more personal one and one that maybe should not even be posted publicly but since we do get asked this all the time, and I respond with a "I would really like to" and Daddy responds with a "NO!" I don't see why it can't be said here and explained that we have a bit of a difference of an opinion on this one! We are completely 100% together and on board for adopting again (although we have our differences of opinions on the specifics of that as well).  We know building our family through adoption is an important part of our future but I can't help the feeling that I really wish I could experience pregnancy one more time.  
2)   I wish I could talk daddy in to someday having another baby. This is a much more personal one and one that maybe should not even be posted publicly but since we do get asked this all the time, and I respond with a "I would really like to" and Daddy responds with a "NO!" I don't see why it can't be said here and explained that we have a bit of a difference of an opinion on this one! We are completely 100% together and on board for adopting again (although we have our differences of opinions on the specifics of that as well).  We know building our family through adoption is an important part of our future but I can't help the feeling that I really wish I could experience pregnancy one more time.  

3) I wish for health for all of you kids.  Nothing scares me more than to think about something bad happening to one of you.  Eli, you are the "sickest" child we've ever had and just one week of you being in the hospital was enough to scare me for life.  I never want to feel that way again.  I pray constantly for you guys to all be protected.  And to tie on to this, I also wish that we will always be close.  Some kids and their parents don't stay that close as time goes on.  I always want you guys to feel like you can come to me with anything and we will be there for you.  I know in the years to come we are bound to have our differences of opinion but I hope that we can work through whatever lies ahead and you will never doubt that we love you and will always be there for you.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fix #2

About a month ago I posted about my very first Stitch Fix experience!  Even though I liked several of the items in that fix, only one of them fit the way I wanted it to.  The good news of that, is that I was able to give Stitch Fix another try this month because of that!

For those that may have missed my first post about Stitch Fix, here's a quick recap of how it works:

1) Sign up HERE for Stitch Fix!
2) Wait a little while on the waitlist
3) Fill out a very thorough styling profile to help your stylist choose the right things for you
4) Pay a $20 styling fee (that applies to any items you choose to keep in the fix) and schedule your fix
5) Wait, as your stylist prepares your fix
6) Stitch Fix arrives in the mail - enjoy!
7) Spend up to 3 days trying on and deciding between the 5 pieces you receive
8) Send back what you don't want in a prepaid shipping bag and pop it in the mail!  Keep and enjoy the pieces you liked! 

So, what did I get this time?  I chose not to receive any accessories in this fix which meant I got an extra top! 

1) Red Tulle Belle Double Strap Floral Print Tank

 I did like this piece and debated it back and forth for a couple days. In the end, the price was just a little too high for a maybe item.  Verdict: Returned

                                      2) Red 41Hawthorn Wren V-neck Cap Sleeve Jersey 

I really liked where this one was going. It was super comfy but it clung to all the wrong areas of my body and showed every last fat role that I am trying to hide. For sure, no go.  Verdict: Returned

                                          3) Green Just Black Carter Skinny Ankle-Length Jeans

This is one of those things that I had to keep an open mind about.  I didn't  mind the color and wasn't opposed to trying out a skinny jean just to see how it looked.  I have always heard that you need to pay the price to have good jeans and I don't deny that is true.  Hence, my open mind to try a pair of designer jeans. Unfortunately, these were not the pair.  They were just a tad bit too tight and I think would have been a lot more comfortable and flattering if they were a size bigger.  Oh well.  Verdict: Returned  

                                       4) Ellison Lulu Sheer Stripe Bejeweled Neck Top

I really liked the style of this but wasn't sure if the stripes would be flattering or not.  It actually worked really well for me and after a thumbs up from Peter the verdict is: Keeper!

                                      5) Black 41Hawthorn Isadora Cowl Sleeveless Jersey Top

This was another one that was super comfy on and quite dressy. Bonus on this one is that it did flatter and cover up the tummy problem spots.  Verdict: Keeper

All in all, I have to say that I have no complaints except price with Stitch Fix. I feel that the stylists have gotten it right for me on both fixes! If the prices would have been a bit lower on this fix, I may have been convinced in to getting the first top but I am happy with the 2 items I chose to keep.

I will probably take at least a couple months off from Stitch Fix but hope to be able to order another one a few months down the road.  It is such a big thing in the blog world right now that I will be sure to post again when it does arrive!  If you want to give Stitch Fix a try yourself and use my referral link in the process, you can give it a go HERE  Be sure and let me know what you get if you do! 

Monday, June 17, 2013


On Sunday we were able to get together and have a family bbq to celebrate my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary.  I think that 60 years of marriage is such a huge milestone to hit!  I am proud of the fact that Peter and I both come from strong marriages all around. Both sets of my grandparents made it to 60 years of marriage and Peter has one set that has made it well beyond 50 and is still going strong and one that tragically ended far too soon when Peter's grandfather passed away in his 50's.    Both of our parents have made it to 31 years of marriage.  It is wonderful to be surrounded by committed marriages on all sides of the family!  60 years, a day to celebrate for sure! 

After the anniversary party, we came back to the "Keyser compound" our name for the adjoined yards we now share with our in-laws to have a little Father's Day Celebration!  

                                                 Peter makes the BEST smore's! For real!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

This post is a shout out to my wonderful husband and the amazing father he is!  I married a genuinely good man!  I knew that the day I even met him. He has a heart of Gold.  But this man as a father has completely blown me away. He is the best daddy and I feel so blessed that he is the father of my children!  Even yesterday, as he sat in the row in front of me next to a young unaccompanied minor girl who talked his ear off the entire way home - I knew he just wanted to sleep but he put up with her and was so kind the whole way home.  The people in the row with me, thought this little girl was with us and when I explained to them that we had no idea who she was - they commented on how kind he was to put up with her non-stop talking. And I almost got a little choked up when I responded "He's a really good guy."  because I know sometimes I take him for granted.  

I will never forget seeing Peter become a father for the very first time.  It was completely 100% love at first sight when we walked in those orphanage doors and met Malachi.  I will never forget the look on his face and the almost tears in his eyes.  He had very limited experience with babies and yet he jumped right in to the changing's and consoling's and feedings like an old pro! 

I will never forget the day Eli was born and my husband became the rock of the family.  As they rushed Eli out of the room and Peter followed right after. There was no question that Peter would be by his side as he got transferred to a NICU hospital.  He was the steady one by Eli's side when I was unable to be there.  He was the rock that held me steady and cared for me in those impossibly tough moments.

And then he became daddy for a 3rd time in 24 months!  Not just ANY man could handle that. But he was right there and 100% my support through a very difficult pregnancy and he got his precious daughter that he was secretly hoping for who wrapped her finger right around her daddy's heart! 

He is everything I could ever want for a father of my children.  He's the spiritual leader:

The big kid who hasn't quite grown up yet

He's affectionate

                                                                 100% there for them

                                                                      a great role model


teacher, coach, and cheerleader

He is the best man I have ever known!  He always puts the needs of our kids ahead of his own desires.  He is a real man and I fall more and more in love with him as I watch him parent and role model for my children!  We love you Peter!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Atlanta Day's 4, 5, and 6

The rest of our time in Atlanta has become a bit of a whirlwind.  Here are a few more of the highlights of our time together in Atlanta!

Us Oregonian's have a local donut shopped called Voodoo donuts that has some pretty amazing donuts.  A few months ago I came across an article ranking the top donut shops in America.  Voodoo made the list at #9 and I happened to notice that the #1 ranked was in the heart of midtown Atlanta. I figured since it was so close to where we were staying that we HAD to go try these babies out. The donut shop was about a mile walk through the Georgia Tech campus which was fun to take a look at. I think we got a pretty good look at the whole campus and there was even some sort of filming going on at their baseball field this day.  The only drawback is that the weather was very hot and humid and us Oregonian's aren't even defrosted yet at this time of year.  So our un-acclimated bodies were literally dripping with sweat on this midday trek!  Seriously, can someone please explain to me how everyone in the downtown area was wearing jeans and cardigans all week?!?!  I just don't get it!

So, back to the donuts!

Look at these beauties!  There were toffee donuts and cream donuts and strawberry cream donuts and oreo cream donuts and my personal favorite the roasted marshmallow cream smore donuts!  The poor peanut butter cup donates had melted in the heat by the time we made it back to the room.

They were really really good, and I can totally see where Sublime donuts takes the cake in the donut world!

Another fun thing we were able to do is go on a date that I have been trying for YEARS to get my hubby to take me on.  Right near the hotel we found a Melting Pot restaurant.  Since we had hit up all of the restaurants we wanted to visit my husband obliged and took me on this fabulous date!

The food was very good and a lot of fun to cook up!  We had a really great date night and I am so glad that we finally got to go there! A funny sidenote is that they gave us an idea of how long to cook all of our meat, and I love my literal and precise husband who whipped out his smartphone timer to make sure and cook everything to the exact time they told us!

The dessert fondue was AMAZING!  Seriously, that alone is worth stopping by the restaurant!

It became a very good thing that we #1 chose to eat right across the street from the hotel and #2 chose to eat an early dinner.  By the time we walked out of the restaurant, the sky had changed from sunny to really dark and even more humid - who knew that was even possible!  We knew something was about to go down!

I can't get this picture to face the right direction no matter what I try, so pretty much that icon in the middle is where we were, and that was the mess we got caught up in.  I live and love Oregon for a reason - we don't get extreme weather.  We don't get hurricanes, we don't get extreme heat, we don't get a lot of snow and my biggest fear - we don't get tornadoes.  My biggest fear in life is tornadoes. So, to come home from our amazing dinner and hear the news say how this storm caught them off guard and that there could be some tornadoes with this thing - yeah, not exactly what I wanted to hear.

I've been through some crazy storms on our visits to Colorado and Wyoming, but man alive nothing like this.  Constant lightning flashes and a building nearby got struck - it was not my favorite thing but it was kind of cool too!

Our flight home wasn't scheduled to leave until 7PM.  Peter had class for half of the day so we had to schedule an evening flight. So we did a little bit more sightseeing and visited the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial.  I especially felt this was an important place to visit, because without his bravery and the change he demanded, we would not be able to parent one of our children today.   

I feel that being a west coaster, MLKJ's pioneering isn't as prevalent a part of our history or thinking. But visiting the memorial and actually seeing all he did really struck a cord for me as I think about my son and the way he could be treated just based on the color of his skin.

After the memorial, we made the trek back to the hotel and grabbed our bags and got a taxi ride to the airport.  We didn't have anything else left so we were at the airport way before our flight but we figured we would settle in somewhere and just hang out and wait.  Well, those plans were cut short.

This is a view of our hotel room at the airport, watching the planes land.  It turns out there was a problem at our home airport in Portland that caused a trickle affect which means our flight was delayed an hour which meant there was no way we would make our 40 minute connection in Denver.  They tried their hardest to find us something and we were in process of getting booked on to 2 different flights where in a roundabout way we would end up in Portland within 15 minutes of each other, but they lost my flight right in the middle of booking it.  So, we were forced to stay over another night here in Atlanta with a very early flight leaving tomorrow morning and we will be home to our kids (hopefully) before lunchtime tomorrow!  I cannot wait to squeeze those babies!!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Atlanta Day 3

We had another fun and busy day in the city of Atlanta!  I, once again slept in after a very late night while Peter went off to class.  The afternoon sessions did not pertain to Peter so we had the whole afternoon to head out to the city and do some sightseeing.  

We walked down to our lunch location of Gladys Knight and Ron Winans Chicken and Waffles.  

After lunch, we hopped on some public transportation down to the "touristy" district. Our first spot we visited was Centennial Olympic Park.  The park was beautiful and so well kept up!

The next stop on our tour was The New World of Coca-Cola.  We were surprised at just how much there was to see and do there.  Our favorite was the tasting room. Peter wandered around trying them all (over 60 flavors from around the world).  I tried a few - some really good, like melon and pineapple coconut. Others not so good like mint.  I knew the factory had my most favorite pop flavor - Manzana Lift from Mexico, so I was content to sit on the sidelines and drink a few glasses while Peter wandered around the tasting room.

 And then we walked next door to the very large aquarium!  It was by far the best aquarium I've ever been to!

Peter playing with the sting rays. I kept my hands out of all of the touch tanks - thank you very much!

I loved seeing some unique animals I had never seen before - like this white alligator.

We went to the aquarium at the perfect time.  It was after 6PM and the staff there said it was always calm, like you have the place to yourself in the evening!  The adorable little otters were conked out from a day of play. I loved them!

Not the best pictures but these are little dragonfish. Something else unique that I had never seen before.

Beluga Whales (another poor photo)

This tank was awesome and we spent a lot of time just sitting and enjoying it. The picture does not do the size of these whale sharks and sting rays.  They were huge!

                                      These were cool little critters that looked like straws!

                                                        Another fun little tropical tank!

I am kind of "in" to frogs right now and there was a whole exhibit of different types of frogs from around the world.  I won't bore you with all of those photos but this guy was pretty cool.  He looked like wax and ironically is called a wax monkey frog :)

They also had a couple dolphins. I never got a good picture of them but still wanted to put this one in there for my own memory.  They were really funny and very interactive with all of us watching them.

We were worn out after a busy day, but still had a long walk back to the MARTA station, then a ride up north a bit to a local favorite restaurant - Flying Biscuits Cafe.  It was the type of restaurant that would fit in very well in Portland.  Turkey bacon,  tofu sausages, whole wheat french toast with a yummy raspberry glaze.  It is a southern breakfast with a twist.  It was all pretty good food and a fun little change of pace.

Then it was another long walk back to the hotel for some relaxation. We were really worn out but still stayed up way too late. Gotta love timezone changes!