June 30, 2010

And the Winner is........

"oooohhh pick me, pick me. I'm not artsy enough to do it myself. but i love your new look."

Quint, my non-partial, non-reading little man chose your name from a little blue bowl holding slips of paper with all of the entries.  Congratulations, Becky! Send me an e-mail at bushelandapeck2@gmail.com and we'll get started on your makeover!

Thanks to all who entered!  Do not despair - even though so many of you put your hat into the ring for this one, I'm thinking of another give-away soon...so be sure to stick around for that!

New York, Day 2 ~ Part 2 tomorrow!

June 29, 2010

New York - Day Two...Part 1

Day 2 ~ Part 1

Our second day in New York, and right after breakfast, we walked to St. Patrick's Cathedral.  I think it was meant to be a brief visit.  I have to tell you, I had a hard time leaving.  I could have spent a good portion of my day there.  You're about to see why.

When I walked into the church, I was overcome.  For visual reasons, yes.  The array of colors, stained glass, arches, and carvings took my breath away. 

But the tranquility.  The peace that overcame me.  It was quiet inside, despite the many people milling about.  It was serene.  It was a safe refuge amidst one of the busiest cities in our nation.  Outside, street cars may have been honking, exhaust fumes billowing up from countless trucks and construction, jack-hammers, people, sirens...but inside...oh.  The silence.

I'm not Catholic.  But it didn't seem to matter.  I felt welcome. And comforted.  This church was a reverent place of worship to the Living God and it touched me deeply...

and as I walked around, careful and quiet...I couldn't help but light a candle for my Mother.  My mother who has suffered tremendously for years with MS.  And I cried.  And I said a short prayer asking God to grant her comfort and peace.  

Your candle, Momma (above and below)

And I didn't want to leave.  I so didn't.  

But there was much more to do and see...

Part 2 of Day 2 to come ~

June 26, 2010

Blog Makeover Give-Away

ah yes, another blog design over here at Bushel & a Peck.  And Me Likey.

and I know what you're thinking

you're thinking "didn't you just update your blog design like two minutes ago?"

and the answer is "why, yes...yes, I did"

on the other hand, what you couldn't possibly know is that I'm thinking about a little side business in blog makeovers

I'm thinking about it

and with that possible little side business, how about a give-away?

maybe a little blog-makeover give-away

and maybe you're in bad need of one of these thingies?  Maybe you're not at all.  Bless you and your beautiful blog...

but if you are, in need that is, then it's your lucky-ish day...depending on if you like my style or not

and before you say "no, actually I don't like your style" - just keep in mind that I did work quite hard on this look and even though the header is a bit of a pre-assembled blogwear piece that I purchased - the rest of what you see here is all me.


Here's the thingy

If you want...wait scratch that...if you need a blog makeover...leave a comment telling me why.

Quint will pick a random name from the comments out of a hat on Tuesday.  Catch that?

You have until midnight Monday to leave a comment with a name and a reason why you need a makeover.  

Now, let's go over the rules of the give-away, shall we?

  1. You must have a blogger format.  Not Word-press, or any other blogging tool.
  2. You must be willing to give me access to your account - otherwise I can't help ya!
  3. I will create a blog design especially for you, and I will keep your preferences to color in mind as I create it.
  4. You must be willing to include a small widget that says who created your new look (that's me), including a designer credit for your elements.
  5. You must provide me with personal pictures (if you so choose)
  6. Blog design could take a couple weeks. Just be ok with that.
  7. You must be willing to brag to all about how much you love it.  Ok, not really.  Unless you want to.  I mean, ahem...that's great.  That is to say, yes, please do...if you want.  I mean, no pressure.  None at all.  Nope.  Not a bit.

If you're ok with the above - leave a comment starting NOW.

Oooh fun!  A give-away!  Tell your friends! (unless you want to win - ha!)

June 24, 2010

New York in Pictures

Yes, ok - I'm late, I know.  Let's talk about New York.  It was a four day overwaytoofast blur of fun, exciting happenings, and lots of walking.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous - not a drop of humidity, 70's, breezy.  Just gorgeous. 

I'm so beyond being able to even remember everything we did.  Seriously.  I tried to re-tell it to a friend the other night and I couldn't.  How lame is that?  I've been home for like, less than a week and I can't remember all of it.  That is a testament to how much we saw and how much we did.  It was absolutely amazing...

So let's get on with it...and if you've never been to NYC and these posts don't get you into the mindset of "Gee, maybe I really need to go", then you need to e-mail me and we need to chat.  You need to go.  It's a part of our nation's history and it's fabulous!

Day 1

Grand Central Station 

New York style Reuben

Pickled Herring - A Dutch Favorite 
(especially for my dutch boy)

Cheesecake at its finest

Patriotism is alive and well

Top of the Chrysler Building

Central Park ~ John Lennon Memorial

Central Park Beauty

...because you needed to see some of our goodies

Yes.  It was very blue.  And it was spectacular!


June 20, 2010

About Father's Day

For my father - who worked three jobs for so many years...putting food on our table, clothes in our closets, and always giving us a warm and cozy home to live in...

for all the extras...the Barbie Dream House...(fully furnished, people!) for the pink huffy dream bike...the countless Cabbage Patch Dolls, lugging us all to Disneyland and then running right alongside us to help us be the first in line for the best rides...

for all the double scoop pink bubble-gum ice-cream cones you indulged, for letting us write on your back in ink-pen...just because it was fun and for all the times you got on the floor and let us climb all over you, nurse you to health, or "dress" you up

for the support you've given over these many years, for loving us kids when we weren't exactly loveable...for putting up with our nonsense (and there was an awful lot)...for always keeping us laughing...for teaching us how to treat others...

for an incredible work ethic, for integrity, and for reminding us to enjoy life because it's much too short

for music, because singing is a part of who we all are thanks to you and Mom

for the amazing gift of our faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice, and for having a worshippers heart and showing us what that looked like

for that and for so much more Daddy, I love you.  

For my husband and the amazing father of my two children, I LOVE you.  

for all your tenacity, hope, enduring strength, and examples of grace...for the journey to our babies and never giving up when I wanted to so many times...

for all the amazing meals, the tender hugs and kisses, the bedtime stories, the cuddles, and the way you melt our hearts with your attention...

for the Godly man you are and continue to pursue, for the way you lead our family and the way you love us every single day

for all the gifts you give us tangible and unseen, for the grace you extend to me - when I fall down, for the countless acts of kindness you shower us with, and for the many ways you show that you're crazy about us, day in and out

for playing with and gently tossing our kids around until all of our sides hurt from laughter, for being lighthearted and easy-going, fun-loving, and good-natured...

for all this and goodness knows, so much more - thank you for being who you are and for being an amazing father to our little blessings.  We love you so very much!
Happy Father's Day!

June 18, 2010

About Hope

What I want to say is this...

Only five months have passed, as of today.  Only five short, incredibly fast months since she was placed in our arms.

We had what you could call, a very difficult transition period when we met Keira in January.

Many of you who followed along read what a very sad, traumatic, trying, and difficult transition we experienced.

And it was heartbreaking on so many levels - the disappointment and rejection AB and I felt seemed insurmountable in moments

and there are many, many people reading this blog who are still waiting parents

some of them even getting ready to travel

and all the excitement and fears and wonder and anxiousness can be extremely overwhelming

so maybe when you read a blog like mine, and you read a story like Keira's - it makes you sad or makes you feel vulnerable, maybe scared...hoping it's not like that for you.  And I can so understand that.  I've been right where you are.  And for us, it ended up being exactly what we had feared, in so many ways.  And I pray for you it's not. 

However, not too many people - not nearly enough people - will tell you like it is, the way I told it like it was.  Especially from this type of format - where many of us are strangers and I have nothing to gain by exposing my heartache.


except now I want you to know something...need you to know something

No matter what darkness we walked through five months ago - we knew one thing remained...Hope.

There was always hope deep down in our spirits

There is always a way when your will is strong

There is always direction, if you're looking to find it

Wisdom.  Strength.  Perseverance.

And love, love, and more love.

Not easy.  But always there.

I leaned heavily on the love and comfort of my Heavenly Father.  I cannot tell you how much that one thing alone carried me through such a difficult and trying season of my motherhood experience. 

and so, I'm here...telling it like it is, and this time, I think you'll like it.

That no matter what happens when you're united with your little one - you all know who you are - those traveling, waiting for referrals, or contemplating adoption

no matter what happens in those first moments, those first weeks, months...maybe even longer for some - still...

there is hope

there is always hope

lean on it...lean into it...be comforted in it...

focus your eyes on it

grab hold of it

dwell on it in the dark moments and bask in it when it covers you

This is how we made it to where we are now

with her...

Hope.  Believing in tomorrow.  Hoping...

Perhaps it's better to show you...

 and so with hope in our hearts

and love, love, and more love...

five months later...

there is Hope

and love, love, and more love

June 15, 2010

And so she's One

It's been an amazing 5 months home...and my princess is One.  Friends, she is such a Joy.  A happy, easy-going, sweet-natured baby girl who we love more and more every day. 

Happy Birthday little one...we're so glad you're a part of us forever

We're off to New York - laptop is coming along....can't. live. without.

June 10, 2010

Big Apple

...and so on Tuesday AB and I are off to one of our favorite places in the US

I heart NYC so much

Like mucho, mucho

Like, I've got a list of my top five places and it's right at the top

Even though it's techinically for "business" and even though technically we're being "paid" to go (we being AB and I) - I'm so ecstatic...I can hardly stand it

New York, people

New York.

Never been?  Let me tell you - it IS as magical as they say it is.  It just is...

dreamy sigh...

And because this is a pleasure type of business type trip - we'll be doing tons of playing.  Some seriously amazing and fun stuff on the agenda - which I will document and report back to my public (snort).  And because this is a business type trip - all the playing will be paid for courtesy of the host.  And can I just say?  

I love me some New York.  Mucho.

So, I'm not 100% sure if the laptop will come with me...just because I could use the break, and because who has time to do lap-toppy things while in NYC?  I mean, hello?

On the other hand, I might feel lonesome for some internet time at the end of the day...

On the other hand, I might not.

So it's debatable.

And don't fret for "The Littles".  They will be in the safe, loving, and very capable arms of their grandparents - who adore them.  And who, for the record, were kind enough to come to our home so the kids could stay in their beds and all that jazz...which makes this mama ohsohappy down in my heart.  Love them...they are the best!

So, that's what's up buttercups...

oh, and I'm in major infatuation with Betty.  Can you blame me?  She's like the greatest thing on two wheels.  No, seriously.  The greatest.

Also?  Random but still...

Do you back up your personal computer?  No?  Let me advise you right now - and this is free advice that otherwise will cost you a small-bloody-fortune to hear later: go out right now and buy two things.  

1.  An external hard-drive backup device.  They are not expensive.  Plug it in, follow simple intructions, and watch as it makes copies of all you hold dear.  Then love it, squeeze it, and never let it go...or put it someplace very safe for a month and then repeat.

2.  Buy some DVD's...writable DVD's.  Like the 4.7 GB kind.  Walmart, people.  It's a no-brainer.  Insert and copy your pictures or writings, or files, or videos, whatever - onto them  Organize it however you see fit.  The point is: do it.  Just for kicks.  Just in case.  Just because.  Put somewhere safe.  Firebox?

Here's another tip - don't wait on this.  Do it now.  Here's why.  All those files you lovingly store on your computer - you know?  you're whole world?  Pictures of your sweet babies?  Fur-babies?  Home? Love?  All that stuff?  It's super-duper vulnerable on your computer.  Don't believe me?  Ask the countless people who have lost precious, precious irreplaceable items stored on their computers. 

It's not worth it.  You will cry the ugly cry.  You will mourn and grieve and kick yourself and hate yourself...and cry the ugly cry some more until your mascara is running down your cheeks and you're eyeballs are aching.  You will.  

This has not, mercifully, happened to me.  I'm a backer-upper.  I have three sources - just to be safe and I backup monthly.  I could not stand to lose more than that.  Even a month's loss would be sad and unfortunate - but a month and no more, I could sort-of stomach.

There would be no comparable feeling to losing Keira's Gotcha pictures.  Quint's 1st year....Kaleigh's life...oh my heart.

Please, whoever you are that reads this and doesn't back up your stuff - I promise you, it's not hard and you don't have to be all tech-savvy.  Just go to Best Buy or wherever and ask some nice salesperson to give you a hand selecting what you will need.  Or go online and research external hard-drives.

You'll thank me.  You will.


Anyway...sing it with me now...

Start spreading the news.....

I'm leaving Tuesday....

I wanna be a part of it...

New York....New York....



June 9, 2010

She's here...

and she's spectacular...

everyone, say hello to "Betty"...can't you just picture it?  Pinup for the 40's...beautiful blonde bombshell Betty?

Betty, dear...say hello to everyone...

Mommy like.

Mommy like a lot.

Now I'm off to ride like a free blue-turquoise colored bird in the sky...

and to wait for her glorius fawn-colored wicker basket to arrive - oh I die!

all I need now is a "ring-ching-ring" bell to clip on her right handlebar and we're golden

Can't you just hear me riding up the lane?

June 7, 2010

How much did he cost?

I actually cringe when well-meaning people ask that question.

And I'm always surprised that they actually ask it.

I usually divert or re-direct the conversation.

Because is adoption really about money?  Is it ever really about money?

When we were fund-raising for Keira, it still wasn't about money.  It was about faith.  In people, in God, in His plan for our family...not about how much money we could plunk down to get to China.

And even though my son clearly has an idea of how much he costs..

(or maybe he just found that sticker and put it on his cute little self...)

I know this much is true

No matter how many labels people put on adoption or love or how many times people insist on attaching a monetary value to my sweet boy

nothing can ever change the truth

He is priceless

June 6, 2010

I remember when

he did this...daily.  Sometimes several times a day.

 I've got de-ja vue over here

and brother's looking pretty suspicious - 
so I think we know who showed her the ropes

I heart those two rascals...