Friday, May 19, 2017

things worth remembering

Although it seems I'm long past the point where I blog a recap of every holiday (much less every weekend...or DAY...ahhh, the good ol' days of blogging, RIP), there are a few semi-recent events that merit sharing, if only so that I can more easily look back on them in the future (and not just wait for TimeHop to remind me about it). 

We had a particularly special Easter this year. I mean, every Easter is special...but this one a little more than most.

We enjoyed egg hunts and extra-cute outfits and church and time with our family as usual.

The cousins on Matt's side of the family! Five and counting!
I'm not going to be able to hold her like this for pictures much longer. HOLY COW SHE IS HEAVY.
After lunch with Matt's family, though, we were thrilled to go across town to attend a huge Easter party on a farm, hosted by Millie's biological family.

Millie's "tummy mama," J, has relatives that live near Athens, which is how we got connected in the first place (her relatives are friends with one of my coworkers). They live on a big awesome farm and throw huge bashes for Easter each year, inviting family, friends, and neighbors (there were about a hundred folks there this year!). We were thrilled to be invited and spend the day with not only J, but with J's mother, grandparents, friends, aunts, and uncles- many of whom we met in the hospital and/or whom came to Millie's dedication, but we haven't seen them in a few years (with the exception of J). 

It was a beautiful, sunny day, and there were plenty of games and activities, food and drinks, and people to catch up with. Many members of Millie's biological families have remained in touch with us through social media, so they feel somewhat "in the loop" with her life, which is a blessing for all of us. They were delighted to get to experience her in all of her abundant joy and chaos in person, and we were equally happy to get to spend time with them! 

I think one of the sweetest moments for me was when an elderly man (I guess Millie's great-grandfather) came over to us and said "well, I'm not on Facebook, I don't know how to do all of that stuff, but every time you post something, Aunt Suzie [not her real name] calls me to tell me what crazy thing Millie has said, and we just laugh and laugh! Thank you for letting us stay a part of her life." I love thinking that there's a little Millie Phone Tree going on, getting out the news to relatives far and near every time our sweet girl says something wacky.

At any rate, it was a wonderful, nearly magical day. To me, it was a picture of the absolute Best Case Open Adoption Scenario. This is what we had hoped for. What a blessing to live it.

I share this picture with permission. This is our beloved Mama J.
Naturally, Millie ran straight to whatever activities would make us all the messiest. :)
We had a pretty dedicated egg hunter this year, too!
We are so thankful for J and her family's desire to include us in their lives! Happy, happy, happy.

In less emotional (well, maybe not really), more sparkly news: Millie had her first ballet recital this week! After a mere two months of weekly lessons, she and her four classmates were deemed fit to show off for a small group of parents (and large group of adoring relatives known as the Millie Fan Section). GUYS. Seeing my sweet girl all dolled up in a costume and makeup?


I guess this will be her headshot for her professional dancing career.

To put it mildly, she was a joy to watch.
In the entire 25 minute performance, this may have been the only thing she did that actually looked like ballet. HAHAHA not even kidding.

One little dance had props! AKA things to distract Millie.

What she lacked in skill, she made up for in enthusiasm.

She's literally floating away from the excitement!
In conclusion, there's not an ounce of stage fright in this one! Although it was a very low-key recital, as you can see- just a few rows of chairs in a church fellowship hall, no stages or lights- I still wasn't sure how she would react once she saw us sitting there and realized she was supposed to be performing. Clearly, though, those weeks of hardcore ballet training (lol) paid off and she went right to her sticker and assumed first position as soon as her teacher said to! 

I was SO very proud of her, and proud to be the mama of the child giggling and having a ball and generally causing the rest of the crowd to grin. (A friend asked if this is how I was when I used to have dance recitals. The answer is no. I loved dance and I loved following rules and doing everything exactly right (and I loved costumes, makeup, and recitals!), but I have never been precocious or bubbly or thrived under the spotlight or the attention of strangers! This baby is all her own person in that regard!)

I've said it a million times, and I'll keep saying it: it really just keeps getting better. If her baby days were amazing...well, there are just not even words for how fun and joyful her days are now. I want her to stay exactly like this forever, but she won't- and I can't wait to see what's next.

Thursday, May 11, 2017


I know a "formula" post is probably the biggest cop-out ever for someone who can hardly pull it together to write once a month, we are. I always like reading these when other people do them, so maybe you do too! Amazon Music Playlists. I seriously just discovered these a few weeks ago and I am totally hooked! People have thought of playlists for every imaginable mood and genre, and I highly enjoy tailoring my listening to my mood at work all day long. One of this week's favorite playlists has been "50 Great 90s Alternative Songs," which makes for great conversation when coworkers come in for a chat...

Eating...everything in the world, which is unfortunate. But I must say we've done some good cooking at home lately. If you're looking for new go-to summer dishes, I recommend Roasted Sweet Potato Rainbow Salad with Lime Crema and Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing. Cannot get enough of those two recipes!!!

Drinking...lemonade! Not all the time, but after almost 10 years of marriage, Matt decided to reveal that he knows how to make Chickfila lemonade (he worked there for 9 years prior to our marriage). Uhhhh yes. So now we have an unfortunate habit of buying bags of lemons so that Matt can make us fresh lemonade at night. Tasty, but not exactly what my thighs were needing this summer...

Wearing...I am REALLY going to lose most of you here, but maybe there is someone else with the feet of a 70 year old that can benefit from this info. So over the last few years I've developed the WORST plantar fasciitis. I've gone from the typical having bad pain in the mornings and late evenings to some days being in excruciating pain all day long. It's miserable. Anyway, after spending a billionish dollars on inserts, special braces, tools, and all other kinds of nonsense (not really nonsense- some of it really works, glad to share my tips if anyone needs them, haha), I discovered that wearing specifically PF-designed shoes is the key to breaking the cycle of awfulness. I bought these Vionic flip flops a few months ago and they are a GAME CHANGER. I wear them ALL of my non-working hours (NEVER going barefoot- not even to walk from the shower to the closet, etc.), during my lunch hour, and sometimes (on the worst days) even all day at work. Sorry, not business casual, but it's either that or I can't come in because I can't walk. They have made a HUGE difference. Then I bought a pair of Vionic's work-appropriate wedges, and just last week I got a pair of these cute summer sandals that are appropriate for both work AND play. These shoes are more than my normal Target-budget, but have been SO worth it. So there's my plug for the similarly afflicted sistahs (and brothahs?)...get you some good old lady shoes!

Feeling...excited for summer. The extra daylight, the plethora of outdoor opportunities, the vacations on the horizon...summer is the best! Millie had a BLAST on our recent beach trip and she can't stop talking about going back to the "BIG ocean to PWAY PWAY PWAY!! [play play play], so I am super excited for our next trip. In like 3 months, haha. But still.

Wanting...time to slow down. Cliche as all get out, but I just LOVE the stage Millie is in right now and I want it to last forever! See above. I just couldn't ask for more.

This picture is oriented correctly. :) We were laying in the hammock. Lately Millie likes to pretend she is a baby kangaroo and I am the mommy kangaroo and she gets in my "pouch." She walks around requesting to get in my pouch because she "so safe and so warm dere!" See what I mean? Never change, Millie!!! (It is less cute at 3:00 a.m. when she is crying on the monitor "I need seep in Mommy's pouch!!!")