Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Family, Food, Fun!

We've had a busy week or so! So once again, it's time to play catch-up on the blog, which I consistently mean to post on, and promptly forget about.

The weekend before last was General Conference--a twice-annual, two-day even in which members of our church attend/watch/listen to several sessions of addresses from the leadership of our church. I always look forward to it; it is very uplifting, and a great chance to take some time and take a look at myself and my life and ways I can do better.

October Conference is particularly nice in our house, because it's the weekend we always make apple butter! It's delicious on pancakes or popovers :)

Popovers and apple butter, with a side of bacon. Best breakfast ever!

all packaged up, along with some fresh homemade bread
This went to my sister :)
We got to spend some time with my niece and nephew that Saturday. It was fun to have them over to play! Our nephew loves to snuggle, which is just fine with us! Here he is with Reece:
so darn cute!
That Sunday, we drove my youngest sister back up to school at BYU-Idaho. It was a late night; we left Salt Lake at 4:00, got to Rexburg about 9:00, and turned around and came straight back. We got home around 1:00 am. We both took Monday morning off so we could sleep in. It worked out well. 

Monday evening was great; we went to Reece's brother's house, to see them and also Reece's other brother, who was in town from Alaska with his family. It was so much fun! We haven't seen them in a year. We're planning to go up and see them next July. 
The whole group; and our forthcoming nephew, seen in our sister-in-law's baby bump on the left :)

We had a friend to dinner on Wednesday; I made copycat Cafe Rio steak tacos (homemade tortillas, pico, steak; rice and beans; and we got some Cafe Rio tomatillo dressing), and they turned out pretty good! It was my first time trying the recipes for everything but the tortillas; they're definitely keepers! 

On Thursday I had a training for Primary (LDS children's organization, where I do the music on Sundays), and it was lots of fun to exchange ideas with the other music people. 

Friday and Saturday nights I had to myself; Reece had a computer game night with the 12-13 year old boys (he works at the office where they hold the game night, and works with the boys at church, so he always chaperones the evening), and on Saturday he had a meeting with the publishing company where he works down in the next county. It worked out well, as I had a lot of time to prepare for our Primary program!

Once a year, the Primary kids do a performance in our Sunday meeting. They each have speaking parts, and there are several songs (usually around 8). There are 90 kids in our Primary, so we have a big group! They did so well! I told the kids that, for every song they sang nicely, I would put a big marshmallow in my mouth and then sing a song to them. They love this idea; I did it for last year's performance too. So on Sunday, after the program, I put 8 big marshmallows in my mouth and sang "Popcorn Popping" (a silly song from the children's music book; it's one of our favorites). It was hilarious! We split the kids into two groups, since there are so many, and meet with the younger group during one hour and the older group during the second hour. So actually I had to do the marshmallows twice. Some of the teachers took pictures, and one of the older kids took a video. However I made them promise it will never end up on the internet! So I do not have a picture for you. And if I did, I wouldn't post it. I may not have any shame in trying to make those kids laugh, but I have enough that I don't want the internet to laugh at me! 

So there we are, all caught up. Hope you've been having as much fun as we have!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Discouragement and Hope

Last Friday and Saturday were pretty rough days. Reece and I were both feeling discouraged at how long this path to parenthood has become, and how much longer it feels. We both were wondering if this is ever going to happen for us, if we'll ever get to be parents. After years of infertility and treatments, we were excited to choose adoption, and we burned through those stacks of paperwork really fast! A week after we were approved, our agency announced that they aren't going to be an agency any more (see the last paragraph of this post). We have three months to find a match, or it will cost literally 5 times as much to adopt. We have begun the overwhelming process of researching adoption grants, other listing sites, and even other agencies. It all feels really discouraging. And I am sick of filling out paperwork! 

On Saturday afternoon, I just had to get out of the house. I found an excuse (needed a new butter dish) and off we went. As we came out of the store, I saw what was literally the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen. And then I realized it was a double rainbow!

I've always liked rainbows. Growing up, my mom had Noah's Ark stuff all over the house, as it was her favorite scripture story. She was impressed by the faith it took to build the ark and get in with all those animals, not knowing how this would turn out. And of course, at the end, the rainbow is God's promise that He will not destroy the earth with a flood again.

So when I saw that double rainbow, it just felt hopeful to me, like a reassurance that this is all going to work out. We got in the car and drove to the next store (to get jars for our annual apple butter! I'm very excited, we're making it this weekend). On the drive, we were listening to a random radio station, since all the ones I usually like had commercials. Just as I tuned in, they were playing Michael Buble's "Haven't Met You Yet," and the chorus really hit home to me. It goes:

And I know some day that it'll all turn out
You'll make me work so we can work to work it out
And I promise you, kid, that I'll give so much more than I get
I just haven't met you yet

It felt very much like the song was about adoption. I'm adding it to our hypothetical "adoption soundtrack." I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for us, and I believe that His plan includes becoming parents. It has taken a lot of work to get to a point where we are ready for this, both legally/logistically and emotionally. But I know that work will be used to work it out, in ways I don't yet know or understand.

And I know that Heavenly Father does give us so much more than we are even able to give to Him. And Reece and I have so much love to give this baby, however he or she comes into our lives. We talk about parenthood all the time, about the fun activities and traditions we want to do and the things we want to teach our children. We love the opportunities we have at church and in our extended family to love children, and we're hopeful and excited to have children in our own home.

When we came out of the store from the last of our errands, we saw the double rainbow again. I posted a photo of it on Facebook (side note: maybe we should get an adoption instagram account), but here it is again:

It was more visible in real life, but you can see the double to the left here

I made it the wallpaper on my phone. And we're looking for ways to redouble our efforts to get our name out there, in the hope that someone will choose us. If you would like more of our passalong cards, let me know and I can mail you some.