Away We Went

This week was crazy town.  Satan tried to get us down and throw kinks our way, but Tuesday night we set our alarms for 2:45am and wrapped up any last minute packing that still needed completing.  We all rolled out of bed tired, anxious and so excited.  Hudson’s complexion had more color, his spirit had perked up and his voice volume was so loud which is standard excited Hudson.  No one grumbled about this early morning rise.  We checked bags and double checked paperwork and passports.  Then my sweet father-in-law knocked on the door at 3:15 and we started loading bags into his van.

I slept about 2 hours.  My nerves were off the hook.  Our little guy’s O2 machine had arrived just in time and we found the missing piece the company left out in no time all thanks to our amazing pediatricians office yet again.  Most of the night I felt like I was just going to vomit.  So anxious.  So nervous.  So excited.  So thrilled.  So sad.  Praying, praying, praying.  Keeping myself busy with a million and one things.

Nashville to Detroit.  We ate breakfast at 4:30am.  Chicken biscuits and hash browns.  This was Hudson’s first flight ever and Solomon’s first flight since he was an itty bitty coming home with us from Ethiopia.  They were the cutest things ever on the flight.  Solomon was his normal chill self and Hudson had nervous emoji teeth and was fidgety and would have bitten every fingernail he had off if he was a nail biter.

The Detroit airport was a sweet reminder of coming home from Swaziland last year.  Our phones blew up with messages of so many praying for us and our little guy.  We rode all the moving walkways and escalators.  I was probably the most excited about the amazing color music tunnel.  Rainbow lights forever.  The kids hauled all their bags and we’re ready for a break when we finally reached our gate.  Then we waited and ate lunch.  McDonalds for the kids, sub for Josh and a salad for me.  I could not quit thinking about our son.  Praying over his heart.  Praying God would allow him peace and comfort only He could provide.  Let him feel the supernatural goodness that is our God.

 

Detroit to Beijing.  13 hours and 12 minutes.  The kids did awesome.  I actually watched just a few movies…The Great Gilly Hopkins (sooooo good), Keeping Up With The Joneses (sooooo funny), Mother’s Day (eh…not my fave), The Hollers (sooooo good) and then a few episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (sooooo hysterical).  Flying into China was beautiful…the mountains were amazing from the plane.

We landed in Beijing.  Went through customs with ease.  Met our guide Cindy who is crazy nice and from Beijing.  Met another family who is with our agency and bringing home their 6-year-old.  Our bags arrived safely which was a huge praise.  I prayed over those bags…thought about laying hands on them before handing them over 🙂  Drove about an hour from the airport to our hotel in Beijing.  All the kids passed out on the drive.  We all hardly slept any on the plane.

After checking into our hotel we headed out to explore a bit.  We ate the tastiest steam buns for dinner just down the street and there was the nicest lady working who spoke english…she was so so nice and helped us order.  She also told me Harper was beautiful.  The smells were amazing walking down the street and all the food looked delicious.  We also stopped in a little grocery shop to snag some water and the kids picked up some fun candies.

Afterwards we headed back for bed.  Everyone grabbed showers and then crashed.  While laying in bed we checked emails and got another update on our little guy.  My heart raced as I opened it because we received a not-so-great update on his health last Friday.  This update was different and said things like his favorite snacks are rolls, biscuits, yogurt, warm sugar water and fruits and that his nickname is “commander” in Chinese and that he loves to play in water.  My heart still raced, but this time because I still can’t believe we get to be his parents.  I still can’t believe God would call us into this journey.  What an honor.  What a gift.  Can’t believe we are finally here.  Simply cannot wait to see our little guy face-to-face and whisper in his ear, “I am your Mama and I will love you forever.”

A-H {randomness}

A)  The wildest thing happened over the weekend…Josh Kelley and I had not one, but two date nights.  What in the world!?!?!?!  We’re in a season of few date nights…and by few I mean zero…so to have 2 back-to-back was insane and totally wonderful.  A dream.  We got to hang with some of our favorite people one night and talk all things China and life and family.  The next night we went out solo and realized how nice this really was since our family will be changing soon.  There was cheers-ing involved because God is good and He does all kinds of wondrous things.  Plus it doesn’t hurt that we ate spicy catfish, grouper, shrimp, pork fries, tacos of all kinds and homemade guac.

PS:  That was the prettiest black & tan beer I’d seen!

B)  Last week I spent a day creating.  I am closed for orders, but made up some goodies for a sweet friend who is going to bless our socks off when we bring our little dude home.  It was really nice to take some time in a very chaotic week to just create.  Made my heart soar a bit.

C)  I have been to Target approximately 27 times lately.  On one trip Hudson was the only big kid who did not need new pants.  We completely got away with not buying any new school clothes this year and then Harper proclaimed, “You know I only have one pair of pants right?”  Hahahaha.  We’re minimalists…or neglectful.  You pick.  Solomon was down to 2 pairs, so we picked up some new pants.  I loved Hudson just sitting there waiting while the others tried their pants on.

D)  I snapped this right before Josh and the big kids walked out the door for school.  Every morning we’re like a tornado whirling through and then 4 out of 7 people are gone and I look around like Whoa!!!!

E)  I keep telling Josh he is nesting.  He’s replaced our broken vanity, Harper’s broken toilet and then I looked up one afternoon to find him all of a sudden in our backyard with a truck full of dirt.  He is the funniest and I have cracked up watching him prepare for our newest little guy.

F)  DELICIOUS DINNER ALERT!!!!  Okay, you guys, THIS was amazing.  Totally so so freakin delicious and every one devoured it.  It was super easy too and hello crockpot, I do love you!

G)  Amon = snuggliest kid ever!!!!  If you need a cuddle…he’s your man.

H)  And Sunday night we celebrated our littlest 3rd birthday.  How can she be three?!?!?  She is wild and sweet and fiery and strong and brave and crazy smart.  So blessed to be in her life. So blessed to know her inside and out.  I don’t know what the future holds for her, but I absolutely trust God who began a good work in her to finish it out to completion.  He does write the best stories and we’re all kinds of thankful to be a part of hers.

Plus her in a PJ Masks Owlette costume = the cutest thing your eyes have ever seen.  Ever!

Happy Wednesday!

Everywhere

Yesterday I woke up and had a clear sense the day was going to be good.  I even had a post ready I’d written the night before proclaiming it.  After my workout I headed over to Kroger and was met yet again with God’s goodness in the sky and I was ready for the day…I was welcoming it…encouraging it.  What entailed the rest of the day was, for lack of better words, just shitty.  Ha.  It simply was.

I was in no way emotionally prepared for the day and all that it held.  I felt “attacked” by Satan.  It was just thing after things after thing.  Two sick kiddos, one with the flu, no Tamiflu and driving around for 3 hours trying to locate Tamiflu with all the kids in the car.  When we finally had one set of Tamiflu in hand Harper shouted from the backseat, “Victory.” in her best Mel Gibson from Braveheart.

There was the craziest search for an O2 machine that meets airline regulations and then a fight with Delta.  There was a race to our doctor’s office to get papers signed and sent in time to get this O2 machine.  All of our kids we’re feeling heavy and overwhelmed and a sad right along with Josh Kelley and myself.  There were reminders all day long about our newest little guy’s heart and fear settled in.

I cried to approximately 32 different people yesterday.  I sobbed in my father-in-laws chest when he came over to bring soup and juice boxes and pick up a load of clothes my mother-in-law so graciously said she wanted to do for us.  I miss my mom and when he walked into our kitchen I just wanted to be hugged…to feel parented again.  Sometimes what I so long for is just my Mom’s hugs.

There was crying from everyone all day long.  There were some curse words.  I might have yelled and cried when a lady in the Chickfila drive-thru went around me and got in front of me in the drive-in line.  I mean, come on.  No one should be skipping line at Chickfila…aren’t they all Christians.  Didn’t this lady know I had a car full of hungry kids who had been in the car for F.O.R.E.V.E.R including one who was passed out from the flu?!?! Hahahaha.  It wasn’t my proudest moment.

It was a bad day, but in the midst of the junk and the sickness and what felt like attack after attack from Satan, we kept trying to remind each other of how good God is because that’s the truth.  He is always good.  No matter what.  And not one part of our day yesterday surprised Him.  We kept looking for Him everywhere and sure enough we saw Him everywhere.  I always want my kids to know we were not promised easy, but we were promised God’s love.

We saw God in many places yesterday like in Tamiflu for $15 and soup & juice boxes and laundry help from my in-laws, and the best pediatrican around and his staff that is insanely kind, in hugs and scriptures from our nurses, in access to healthcare some in this world never have a shot at, in a note from Hudson he walked over to my feet on his remote control spider while I was cooking dinner, in a sweet note from Harper while I cried to a Delta employee, in 12 random hugs and the prettiest plum tree bloom from Solomon yesterday because he knew I was overwhelmed and sad, from Redbox movies and favorite Gatorade flavors, from texts from friends saying they were praying and asking how they could help, from Hudson’s replacement remote control airplane that broke on Christmas finally showing up yesterday of all days when he was feeling so sick and down.

Everywhere we looked He was still showing off His goodness and His might and reminding all of us we are seen and known.  As we left our pediatrician’s office late yesterday afternoon I heard Hudson saying,

“When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Psalm 61:2

I looked back and he was reading a small piece of paper he said one of our nurses handed him.  I sat in our car and just sobbed because this is Jesus.  All day long when our hearts were overwhelmed, God lead us to Him and allowed us to see His goodness everywhere.

Here’s to a new day and even if it’s not what we’ve planned or want or like may we still see Him everywhere we look.

8 Things

1.  Hudson Kelley is Josh Kelley made over.  I always thought he was more Hall (my Mom’s side) than anything, but day-by-day I see it.  He’s Josh Kelley to a tee and I’ll love that and his crossed little legs while reading forever and ever…amen.

2. Amon, our littlest, her parents and me all went out for lunch on Valentines.  When I asked the kids what they’d like to eat pancakes was the unanimous choice.  Who knew IHOP would be slammed at lunch on Valentines Day?!?!?!  It was hoppin’ for sure.

While we were there a homeless man who seemed to have some metal health issues came in and was being loud saying some unkind things and appeared very angry about something.  Instead of kicking him out or making a scene an IHOP employee simply brought him a drink and some food.  The man accepted and sat chatting quietly to himself, ate and then left.  I think we’ll be going back to that IHOP.

3.  Twice this week I’ve been met with God’s goodness and love and mercy in the Kroger parking lot sky.  I hope I never ever quit seeing His goodness in the simplest of places.  Trying to keep my eyes wide open this week on the lookout for Him.

4.  Tomorrow is Noonday Collection’s spring launch.  It’s one of my favorite days.  Cannot wait to see what all they’ve got to amaze my eye balls with.  If you’ve never purchased from Noonday definitely take a peak and make a purchase that impacts the world.  They are my total fave!!!!

 5.  We took the kids to a surprise Valentines movie last night to see the Batman Lego movie.  They almost died.  It was the sweetest thing ever and you would have thought we we’re taking them to Disney World.  We don’t go to the movies a lot because ummmm, 7 people, but on Tuesday’s a local movie theater has matinee prices all day and $2 snacks.  It was the perfect little Kelley Valentines.

6.  Prepping and nesting like it’s my job.  We simply cannot wait to get our boy home.

7.  Hudson and Solomon.  I just can’t even.  They make me want to cry a river and laugh so hard and scratch my head and pull my hair out and sit in amazement at God’s plan.  I’m not going to say they are my favorite brothers because we’ve got a few other little brothers too, but they’re definitely my favorite big brothers. Hands down I could not love these two more.

 And 8.  All the props to Josh Kelley.  I guess this is my internet display of affection.  He’s just my jam…except when we don’t like each other 🙂  We are far from perfect…we’re working on “us” all the time, but he is hands down my favorite person ever.  And when our family goes into uber chaotic mode he just does his thing keeping us all together and laughing and sane.  On the drive home last night Chainsmokers came on and I sang very romantically to him, “If we got down then we go down together.” Hahaha.  The perfect Valentines theme song for this year.

   

Happy Wednesday.

Babies Come From Airports

*UPDATE*  I should have kicked this post off with this in the beginning, but the title of the book comes from one of the young sons mentioning this thought that babies come from airports.  The dad quickly corrects him and the theme of the book IS NOT that babies come from airports.  The book is written from a child’s point of view and focusses more on the airport arrival of a sibling joining the family through international adoption.  The entire relatively short book takes place in a days time and does not encompass all facets of adoption.  *UPDATE*

We recently did a big book fundraiser with Suzanne from Usborne Books and it was such a fun and easy fundraiser.  Not only did we get some great financial support for our adoption, but we also scored a ton of free books.  I was completely shocked by the amount of free books so I let the kids order away.  I am crazy pleased with all the books we ended up with…every last kiddo got things they really love.

One of the books I ordered was Babies Come From Airports.  I’m kind of a weird when it comes to adoption books and pretty particular and I had not read this book before, but we we’re getting free books so I figured what the heck.  If I ended up not liking it, I could just donate it or see if another mama who has adopted liked it.  I do want to say I believe in different strokes for different folks.  I guarantee another parent who has adopted might read this and not like it, but I’m super particular about books that portray adoption and I really loved this one.

There are lots of things I like about this book so thought I’d just list some of them out.

*Right off the bat I love that it doesn’t place the parents in a “savior” role or as wonderful people because they adopted their children.  That’s a massive pet peeve of mine because goodness knows Josh and I are a mess, we’re no one’s Savior…God is… and all of our kids have blessed our socks off.  I don’t know how we got so dang lucky.  This book is more just about how adoption can make up a family and that’s it.  Lots of joy portrayed which I love.

*I like the child’s persecutive.  It’s a total kid perspective and one lots of kiddos might have who are adopted and not adopted.

*I like that it could appear maybe all 3 children in the book are adopted…so maybe no biological children.  I am completely making an assumption, but the parents look different than all 3 kiddos.  One son could maybe be assumed as a biological child, but you could really go either way.  It also doesn’t hurt that one little boy is clearly from Ethiopia (the Ethiopian flag is on his life book) and their new sister is coming home from China 🙂

*It talks about how children come from labor which I thought was neat because it could go in different directions of physical labor to birth a baby or the labor involved in adoption like paperwork. I also like how the child defines labor as “you work a lot”.  We’ve always told our children that adoption is a very careful process and there are lots of people involved and lots of paperwork involved because everyone wants the process done exactly right for the child.  We never want them to think you can just go pick up a kid flippantly…we want them to know there’s a process and a lengthy one at that…for a very good reason.

*I like how one of the boys, Adar, confuses airport security with an actual man named Security.  I also loved how he looked at Security as being someone he thought fondly of and not as something scary or hard.  Plus Security ends up being the sweetest older gentleman who whispered “Welcome to the USA” when he was a baby and his mom brought him home.  Adar draws Security the sweetest picture which you know is special because he has used drawing through out the book to keep track of all the things he wanted to show his mom when she returns from China…drawing is his thing.

*Adar gets separated from his dad and brother at the airport and airport security and Security ends up helping.  When Adar points out his dad security does ask “You sure?”…some parents might throw shade as this part, but honestly, it rang quite true with the outside world for our family.  As a multi-racial family we hear things like that a lot.  Adar simply says, “Yes, ma’am” and then points out his mom too.  It then shows the lady security officer crying when the Adar shares his picture he drew with the older gentleman Security.

*There’s diversity through out the book.  The mom and dad are of different races and on top of that it appears all three of their children are different races as well so a multi-racial family indeed.  And even though the people in the background at the airport are in black and white, they still display different family makeups and included women with head coverings.  Those are tiny details, but ones I thought were really neat.

*Near the end it shows two of the kids talking about their Gotcha day which was sweet and ends with a “Babies come from love” quote.

Here’s the straight up truth…I sobbed when I first read the book.  Now granted I’m not in the most emotionally stable of places currently and we’re bringing a son home from China soon, sooooo take it or leave it, but I really liked this book.  It’s a perfect read for Amon, our littlest and our new little guy.  Harper, Hudson and Solomon all humored me while I cried my way through it…and they might have laughed at me as well, but totally a win for the younger crowds.

If you would like to snag this book or others, just head over HERE and shop away.  There are so many great books and Suzanne was a gem to work with.

Happy Tuesday.

Hey Hey!!!

Well Hi!!!  I know every last one of you can relate, but our life is currently wild as wild can get and all of our sweet kiddos are each dealing with tough things…minus ole Harper who’s helping us keep a float.  So hence my absence around these parts last week, but I’m back and determined to write each day this week.  It’s good for my brain.  We’ll see how it goes.

So how have you been?  What’s new?  Have anything crazy exciting or hard or sad or inspiring or a good joke or a good recipe to share?  I’d love to hear it.

Around our place everyone’s just hanging on 🙂  We are officially ready for Valentines though.  Each kid picked out store bought Valentines…Doc McStuffins, lots of Star Wars and Pokemon.  My go-to teacher gifts are chocolate and a gift card.  I tend to not branch out much, but I just keep thinking that’s exactly what I would want too.  And I’ve got the kids’ books and beans ready to go.  We give them a book and a pack of jelly beans every Valentines…it’s tradition.

Hudson has been sick and down lately.  He’s missed so much school since the beginning of January and he LOVES school so he’s been really sad about that.  The kid has had blood work and an EKG and an ultrasound and prescription meds and we still can’t figure out what’s making him feel so bad.   Would you pray for him?  I just keep praying for his little body and for joy…lots and lots of joy even when he feels so bad.  We’re all trying to figure things out asap before we head to China.  We want him to enjoy the trip and not be miserable the whole time.  Your prayers would be greatly appreciated.

PS:  Amon cracks me up in all doctor’s offices/hosptial.  He really doesn’t get “personal space” and is crazy nosey.  Always makes me laugh watching him.

I’m still sugar fasting and it has been so good for my heart, mind and body.  Food has always been such a comfort to me…it would make a bad day better, it makes me happy, it solves problems, it makes my world go round for crying out loud 🙂 so it has been really sweet to sub in Jesus which I’ve never done before.  And you know what, He totally sustains and He’s way better.  Not that food and sweets are bad…I’ll never think that…but I have a dependance on certain foods for comfort and I’m trying to learn to look to Jesus for my comfort instead.

Josh Kelley nested this weekend.  It kept cracking me up that while the Kelley family chaos level is crazy high Josh took on replacing our broken vanity and Harper’s broken toilet.  You guys, 7 people in our little house…a toilet and sink cannot be out of commission.  I was feeling the anxious stress about it, but he knocked them both out in a days time and all was right in our wild little world again.

Laura Kelley Fun Fact #2:  I have very limited clothes and shoes.  Too much of both stresses me out big time, but my weakness is a good bag.  I still try to be very choosy so as to not have 1000 bags plus I don’t have room for 1000 bags.  On one particularly stressful adoption/Hudson’s-still-sick/our-littlest-is-losing-her-mind day as I sat in our doctor’s office I discovered a hole in my most favorite favorite bag.  My friend Ashley then called and she got to hear all the distress over the hole.  Sometimes the drama is real you guys.  I sent her this after we got off the phone.

Sidenote:  Ashley is pretty much the only person who still calls me on the real live phone.  We talk weekly and I always look forward to our chats.

And last thing…I haven’t tried too many new recipes lately, but THIS ONE was delish.  Solomon even had leftovers for his snack one day 🙂  I did puree the peppers and onions at the end like it mentions and it was sooooo good and made it a thicker soup.  Also I’m making THIS for dinner this week.  I’ll report back, but it had me at honey sesame…yum.

Here’s to a crazy good week you guys.  Praying we all see His goodness everywhere and are so encouraged.

Happy Monday!

Created For Care & Fasting

Hey there!!!  Hope you guys had a good weekend and Monday.  Today is dreary and rainy yet again and I’m sitting on our couch with zero lights on.  I’m still in sweats and I conquered the grocery store with some littles in tow today.  This task always makes me feel super human.

I spent the weekend at Created For Care and it was the bomb!!!  Like I loved loved loved it yet again.  I realized what I love most about C4C is, 1) Our family is “small” sized.  Some of these ladies have like 10-16 kids.  No joke.  2) Everyone else’s families are in therapy too.  I laughed so hard when I shared how excited I was when our therapist told me last time that we had a $96 credit!!!!!  When I said this, I wish you could have heard the other moms…instant jealousy :)…they knew how awesome it was and how it was pretty much like hearing you just won the lottery.  I thought about that moment so much because it just affirmed my heart on so many many levels.  Yah for feeling normal.

The theme for Created For Care is “God writes the best stories.”  It was exactly what my heart needed.  Currently I just have a laundry list of questions for God about why and how and what exactly is He up to.  I got to teach sessions on Bible journaling…2 of which we actually broke down scripture together. I have always dreamed of doing this…of sitting around with other women and taking the exact same set of scriptures, going through them and seeing how God speaks to each individual.  It was pretty much a dream.  I got a little teary about it all because what a gift God gave me in each session.  Just feeling all those feels.

In other news, my people missed me or so they say.  I might have come home to Josh Kelley having rearranged ALL.THE.THINGS!!!!  This is his M.O.  I go out of town and then he changes things around the house or hides throw pillows…he loathes them…or puts away extra blankets where we can’t reach/find them…he thinks we have too many blankets too.  This time it was ART!!!!  We have a gallery wall going up our stairs and the kids are known to knock certain easily-knockable pieces off the wall pretty often.  Well, Josh Kelley had had enough apparently.  Everywhere I looked art had been moved or rearranged.  It stressed me out a bit.  And then I realized he even changed our brand of toilet paper and I laughed…although I’m still thinking/stressing/coming-to-grips-with his other rearrangements.  Alas.

In other news, we started a sugar detox which I then turned into a sugar fast.  Do any of you fast?  I have always been so interested by fasting, but have never actually done it.  I’ve read about it and thought about it and talked to Josh about it before and then this weekend one of the speakers spoke briefly on it and it sealed the deal for me.  I was reading in Exodus 9 and I noticed how when Moses needed something from God…like to stop the hail plague…it says he “stretched out his hands to the Lord.”  I instantly took that up for my fasting mantra.  I have an unhealthy love affair with sugar plus I’m a complete emotional eater and currently is the worst time to do something like this because my emotions are all over the place for so many many many reasons, but I have been stretching my arms out.  Whenever I want that piece of super tasty heart shaped chocolate candy Harper bought for Josh because I just know it will cure what aisles me, I pray instead and tell God I’m reaching out to Him.  I know this probably sounds super dumb, but so far I am really loving it.  I can feel the dependance.  I’ll report back at the end.

So due to no sugar at all, I’m eating lots of veggies which I feel pretty mad about, but today I did discover this.

Game changer for my lunch time.  I did not use the teriyaki sauce though and instead used some oil and garlic and tamari.  So so good.  And quick.  And easy.  I also threw in some leftover chicken from last night’s dinner.  I’m also pre-making smoothies.  Wah-wah.  It’s not anything like pre-making cookies.  Insert sad face emoji.  And there are currently lots and lots of salads in my life, but this too shall pace.

 

And why yes we do eat 3 dozen eggs each week.  Oy!

Make your own salad night is a regular around our house.  Most of the kids are cool with this, but then there are these 2 littles who aren’t exactly…as in just flat out won’t eat it or most dinners each night for that matter.  I laughed so hard at Amon’s “salad” from last night.  And why yes that is a side of mustard.

 That’s all I’ve got for today.  Hope your Tuesday is carrying on.  Tomorrow is Wednesday which means the next day is Thursday so technically it’s already almost the weekend.  We’ve got this!

Solomon is 8!

I can hardly believe it, but Solomon turned 8 yesterday.  Where has the time gone?!?!?!  Last night when I was kissing him goodnight he asked if I liked 2-year-old or 8-year-old Solomon better.  Gah, kid.  Tough question.  I defaulted to liking them both equally and throwing out fun things about both the 2 and 8-year-old Solomon that I enjoy/ed.  Then he told me I had to choose…when push came to shove I chose the 8-year-old Solomon to which he replied, “I knew it.”  Our big kids are just at such fun ages and we’ve got a two-year-old who is currently losing her mind and throwing massive fits every dang day all day long.  Give me all the big kids of the world.

Solomon planned his day to a tee.  Josh Kelley kicked his day off with a killer Pokemon birthday door.  The tradition lives on.  He chose fun cereals for breakfast…which one was chocolate shredded wheat…it still makes me laugh.  Hudson has been feeling pretty yuck lately so he stayed home from school and Solomon had a doctor’s visit right in the middle of his lunchtime, so I let him pick a quick lunch spot.  McDonalds for the win.

Since he missed lunchtime at school on his birthday, today Amon and our littlest ate lunch with him and he shared ice-cream cups with all his classmates.  By the way, I love 2nd graders.  We had so much fun chatting and I loved hearing all their little thoughts.

Hudson can’t do dairy anymore so we hardly ever have pizza.  Wah wah.  When I asked Sol what he wanted to eat for his birthday dinner he said, “I want that good pizza over by where we get jelly beans.”  I totally thought he was referring to a little local pizza shop that is delicious, but when I said the name he said, “No the other pizza place across from there.  You know, it has the little cave man holding a stick with a pizza box stuck to it?!?!”  Uhhhhh, Little Caesars?!?!?!?!  Is that really the good pizza he is referring too?!?!?!  Why yes, yes it was, but he made sure to add an order of bread sticks to his order as well.  So we dropped $15 on his birthday dinner.

We don’t do parties every year, so when we don’t we let the birthday kid pick something fun for us to do as a family.  Solomon chose Jumpstreet…aka giant building full of trampolines.  After dinner we headed out and they had so much fun jumping their hearts out.  And there was even a mechanical bull they all got to ride.  I laughed SOOOOO hard.

Then we headed home to enjoy homemade brownies, Reeces peanut butter ice-cream, homemade chocolate sauce, whip cream, sprinkles and cherries.  Hudson ate jelly beans.  Poor kid.

This morning Solomon walked in our room and met me as I just had crawled out of bed.  He wrapped me up in one of his good hugs he always gives and said, “Thanks for making my day so great yesterday.”  This kid you guys.  He has suffered so much loss is his little life and it has not been easy on his heart.  He has questions and sadness and rightly so.  We are all working towards healing and helping him work out all those massively big and hard and straight up unfair feelings an 8-year-old should never have to feel, but his little heart is strong and kind and brave.  He absolutely amazes us.  He makes us laugh so hard and he is such a helper.  We are seriously the luckiest parents on the planet.

Solomon James Altaseb, you are a joy!!!!  God has been so good to our family by adding you to it.  We wouldn’t be us without you!  Love you to pieces and happiest 8th birthday.