Wednesday, June 25, 2014

These Days

We had a crazy busy weekend of yard work this past week. Peter busted his behind the whole weekend to build me a wall! It is fun to see eye sores in the yard continue to transform into something nice!  The yard has been a huge project, but little by little we're making our way through the spaces and fixing them up!  

One such eyesore was in the corner of the yard.  We want to transform it into a wonderful garden space since it has full sun all day long. That was one of the first projects we wanted to accomplish this summer, even though we know we won't be able to plant the garden until next year. 

For whatever reason, I just loved the simplicity of this weekend.No commitments, just our little family enjoying summer in the backyard. The kids running around and "helping" daddy. It was really just a great time of watching our children who have grown so much since last summer!

                                            A snip it of hard work from last summer paying off!

                                                                It's a beautiful life!  

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer Book Club!

These sweet boys love to read!

And this summer they are getting rewarded to do so (and Bina too!).  For these summer months, the boys have signed up for the Usborne Book Summer Reading program.  The goal is to read (or in this case for Mommy to read to them) at least 20 minutes per day for a total of at least 400 minutes of reading this summer!

I don't think anyone doubts the benefits of how important reading or being read to is for kids and we're taking more time out in the coming months to make sure and dig into some books.  The really cool thing about this is that the kids are able to ask for sponsors.  75% of their sponsorship will allow them to pick out books for themselves and the other 25% goes towards books for children in foster care.  If you would be interested in sponsoring the kids this summer as they try to meet their goal of 400 minutes of reading and allow them to pick out some really cool books at the end as a reward, shoot me an email at

Regardless of whether or not they get any sponsors, we've really been enjoying the summer reading program and the extra time we have to sit together and enjoy a fun book!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

Today is Father's Day and I just have to say how blessed I am by the man that I get to raise my children with!  He is an incredible father who selflessly works so hard and does everything in his power for his family.  Not many people know this, but Peter puts in some serious hours at the office each week but still makes it home in time to eat dinner with his family and put them to bed. How does he do this? By getting up and going to work at 5 in the morning!  I think it takes a special kind of guy to make a sacrifice like that so he can spend time with his family!

As I did on Mother's Day, today I want to reflect on the first time I saw Peter hold each of his children.

The long awaited day came for us to go and pick Malachi up and while I was a total baby hog at first, he patiently waited for his turn and then I saw him totally become captivated by this little man.  Malachi and Peter have always had an incredible bond from day 1 and that has been fun to watch develop!  Peter was such a nervous daddy before we picked him up, worried about feeding him and changing diapers and such but got right in there and took charge like a boss! 

Peter really lived out his name meaning when Eli came along.  He was my "rock"!  He didn't hesitate for a moment to take charge of the situation when I was a huge hormonal mess that couldn't think straight. He never left Eli's side through those first few difficult hours and even road up to St Vincent's with him in the ambulance. This was a very scary time for Peter too but he held strong through it all and took really good care of me emotionally and physically and was there for Eli (and 9 month old Malachi) every second he could be.  I think Eli was about 2 days old before I let go of Eli long enough for him to get his hands on him, but I did eventually share.

And then there was the meeting with the princess! I don't care what he says, that little girl stole his heart from the first moment he saw her!  Her delivery was the smoothest of all the kids and I yet again, hogged her while Peter waited patiently to meet her.  But I know it was instant love at first sight!

For fun, I had the boys do an interview about their daddy today and these are the results with Malachi being 4 and Eli being 3. 

What is Daddy's favorite food?
Mal: Cookies
Eli: Strawberries

What is Daddy's favorite drink?
Mal: Water and Soda
Eli: Syrup

What is Daddy's favorite color?
Mal: Red and Blue
Eli: White

What is Daddy's name?
Mal: Daddy and Peter
Eli: Daddy

How tall is Daddy?
Mal: 2 feet
Eli:  White?!?

How much does daddy weigh?
Mal: 1234
Eli: no answer

What color is Daddy's hair?
Mal: Gray
Eli: Black

What color are Daddy's eyes?
Mal: Gray
Eli: White

What does Daddy do at work?
Mal: Works on his computer and does numbers.
Eli: nothing

What is Daddy's favorite thing to do?
Mal: Cook Dinner
Eli: Go to work

What is Daddy's favorite sport?
Mal: Soccer
Eli: I don't know

What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy?
Mal: Work outside
Eli: Play games, have tv, go shopping, play outside

Where does Daddy like to go?
Mal: Shopping
Eli: Toy store, outside, shopping

Why do you love Daddy?
Mal: Because I do
Eli: Because I love him.  Me love mommy too! 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

2 Years Running!

Personally, I can't really believe I've stuck with something for 2 years but I have now been a "runner" for 2 years and counting!  It's to the point now where if I don't get out for a run at least once every couple of days I feel totally out of balance.  It has become a wonderful way for me to get away and unwind in the evenings after a busy day with the kids!

I am so glad that I made the decision to try running. I'm not natural at it, I'm not fast but it has become an enjoyable hobby for me!  When I started running about 2 months after having Sabrina, I couldn't even make it around the track once.  It was ROUGH!  I remember feeling like I would never be able to even run a 5K.  I say this to motivate anyone who thinks they can't do it. Because believe me, if I can do it, truly anyone can!  

The GOOD from this year: I have made some steady progress to improve and run farther.  We even took off 2 months in December and January but I was able to pick it back up pretty quick! I try to average abotu 4 days of running per week. I've ran 3 races this year, including my first 10K (Peter ran his first half-marathon at a great pace!).  I can somewhat easily run 6 miles now.  I've also cut off about another minute per mile in the last year (averaging right around 10 minute miles right now).  

The BAD from this year: I have still been plagued with injuries.  My first year running I dealt with a lot of pain and very slow progress due to my patella slipping during runs.  I had to wear knee straps and increase distance very slowly but was finally able to ween myself off the straps last fall!  After working through the knee problems I became plagued with shin splints and have had to sometimes take off entire weeks of running to rest the shins. I finally resolved that with Thoro Socks!  Just when I was finally able to increase my distance at a decent pace, I have started having a different type of knee pain that the best self diagnosis I can come up with is runner's knee.  I've had to slow down on increasing my mileage and take more rest days and that is getting frustrating. But slowly and steadily I know I can improve even with injury setbacks.

The GOALS for this next year:  I hope to pick up 7 and 8 mile runs here within the next month (all dependent on those knees).  I don't know where I want my mileage to stop but if I can comfortably run that many miles I might contemplate a half marathon a year or two down the road.  I would love to give a 10K another shot along with a few more 5K's.  I would love to pick up a 5th day of running per week, but with a new baby joining the family, I don't know how likely that is to happen. Along with increasing my distance, I would love to bring my average pace down another minute or so. So averaging somewhere in the 9:00 miles for 5K's and 10:00 to 10:30 for 10K's.  But mainly I just want to continue to make slow and steady progress and enjoy my time out running as I go along! 

Friday, June 6, 2014

10 Years Ago

Now, I know when you have a wedding anniversary you aren't supposed to still keep track of dating anniversaries and such, but like I said in my last post. We love any opportunity to celebrate so we still keep track of dating and engagement holiday's and random things in between!  And when you have as cool of a story as we do, which I think had a miraculous ending to get us together, well it's worth sharing~
It's hard to believe we are 10 years out of high school, but we really truly are!  10 years ago today, we were 1 day out of high school.  We, as most fresh graduates had the whole world in front of us. We had dreams and plans and hopes and I think I can say with certainty that our plans did not consist of getting into a serious relationship over that summer!  

I may have had a little crush on Peter  as we finished out the school year and Peter may have had a slight interest in me, but neither of us really let it show. We came from a VERY small private school and after graduation we did a few rounds of graduation parties between our classmates. Peter was having his party so I and a couple girlfriends stopped by there.  A few friends knew about my little crush and were heckling me a bit.  In fact, Peter's dad walked by us during the party and I remember them joking with me that "there goes your future father-in-law".  I was a little embarrassed thinking he might have heard that but I guess there was truth to the statement!  On the other spectrum, apparently Peter's uncle noticed me and mentioned to Peter before we all left for grad night that maybe he should consider me!  

And that began a crazy and weird grad night with our small class!  I remember sitting by him and chatting with him on the way to the coast. I remember playing games with him and that there were I think 4 of us who actually stayed up all night chatting and being goobers.  I did kind of notice that Peter was hanging out pretty close to me most of the evening but I REALLY didn't want to go there because I didn't want to make myself believe something that wasn't really there.

In the morning our class took a walk on the beach together. Apparently Peter was trying to get me off alone for a second so he could ask me out. But that never happened and we always had a group around us.  So he gave up.  Before long it was time to get back on the bus and head home.

Now I truly believe our story could have ended here. Who knows what that summer was going to hold for both of us and with our personalities I think we very well could have never spoken to each other again.  Fortunately, I believe God intervened and 14 miles from the coast (FYI - 14 has always been my lucky number) the bus broke down!  This gave us 2 more hours to sit in the back of the bus and chat and it gave Peter one final opportunity to work up the nerve to ask me to be his girlfriend!  As the inside of my wedding ring has engraved the same words, I am so glad he put himself out there and uttered the words "I'm interested" that day!  

Those two words really catapulted our relationship!  I don't think we've slowed down to catch our breath once since that day!  Within 2 months we were in love and started talking about marriage.  At 7 months we were engaged.  19 months to walking down the aisle!  Peter's gone from a graveyard dishwasher to save money for a ring to now being a CPA.  We survived 4 years of school and the hardships of a job layoff, bed rest and a premature baby.  We've bought 3 homes and gone from 900 sq ft for the 2 of us to 2800 sq ft for our growing family!  We've had 2 children together and have walked hand in hand through the adoption process twice!  We've served in Africa together and played hard in Disneyland 10 times!  We've fought unfairly and have grown closer and fallen more in love each day!  

We've created a beautiful life together and I can honestly say that there has not been a single moment of these last 10 years that I haven't wanted that man by my side!  We had no idea of how blessed our lives were about to be as we sat on the bus on June 6th 2004 - NO CLUE!  I am so thankful that God made that bus break down.  He saw the purpose our lives were meant to fulfill together!  

One of our first dates!  

Monday, June 2, 2014

Relaxing and Celebrating

Peter and I used to love to come up with any excuse to celebrate something. Well, we actually still enjoy doing so but usually can't find the extra time or income to make it grand.  We decided a weekend away was long overdue!  As we did the math and tried to calculate the last time just the two of us went away (minus business trips because Peter is gone half the day, mission trips, or trips when I am pregnant and not feeling well) it has been over 4 years since we did so.  So, really it was before kids :)

Since we couldn't do 3 separate celebrations we decided to make this an epic weekend away and celebrate his new job, 10 years since we started dating (on June 6th), and baby moon all at the same time!  

We booked a weekend away at a very nice hotel at the coast and had an incredible time just relaxing and enjoying time together!  I think we both left realizing we NEED to make this a priority a little more often than just once every 4 years!  Hopefully with more vacation time and added income we might be able to make that more of a reality!  For now, my goal was to send Peter off to his first day of work relaxed and we've now "baby mooned" and so the new little mr and miss is welcome to join us at anytime ;)  

(This is what happens when apparently every restaurant in the town shuts down early - you improvise!)  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Story of Faithfulness

Peter is the type of man we like to describe as "loyal and hardworking".  They are great qualities to have and I am thankful that those are two words that can be used to describe him.  He is a very loyal employee.  So you must imagine my total surprise when I got an email from him at the end of January saying there was a position at another company he was considering applying for.  I am a researcher by nature so I used those abilities to scout out this place.  The more I read, the more we thought this place would be a great fit. Less of a commute, better work/life balance.  Some awesome perks and a pretty significant pay increase.  We began to wonder if things were too good to be true.

Next thing we knew, he was flying through their rigorous interview process and things were looking pretty promising.  Peter is such a hard worker and I was excited to think all of his hard work might finally pay off for the type of position he deserved!  We were praying so hard and really felt God saying this was his job!

Then the bomb dropped.  "It was a close call and they really wanted to hire him but chose someone with more experience.  But we still want you down the road."  Now, this was REALLY hard news to hear.  It felt like something so perfect had been taken away from us.   And more than that, I felt like we had been let down by God.  I know that sounds silly and ridiculous but I did wrestle with God about this for a few days. It just didn't make sense that He had told us this was ours and then the answer was no.  As we continued to pray we felt more and more that the answer wasn't a "no" but a "not now".  I can tell you that still wasn't the answer I was really wanting.  The last thing you want when you get your hopes set in something is to be told "wait for it".  I had some fears that I might be misinterpreting what I was hearing. I wanted assurance but He patiently reminded me that this is where faith is built.  It was completely out of my hands and all I could do was wait and trust that it would all work out in God's timing.  A real faith building exercise!

I kind of joked around that perfect timing would be if they came calling at the end of May after Peter got his bonus from his current job.  Then we just went along with our lives and Peter continued to work hard and make the best of where God had him.  That all changed when one morning towards the end of April I woke up to Peter telling me that the new employer had called and wanted to schedule a meeting about a potential opportunity as soon as possible!  This came as a total shock and was met with lots of excitement!  As all the details fell into place I remembered time and time again that God was being faithful to us! He said he would do it and He was! And more than that, He was putting Peter where he wants him to be.  This new position will be even better for Peter's career than the path that Peter was seeking the first time around.  This will be a change of pace from sticking with Fed Tax which Peter has been doing for the last 6 years and he will be moving to the more challenging and fast paced world of International Tax!  It's going to be a huge adjustment for all of us, but we are both very excited for this new opportunity!  As it all worked out, it happened in the exact timing that I said was ideal! God is faithful in ALL things!