Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Together At Last!

Here are some pictures from Christmas, most of which I don't remember. (can you find the picture of our dog Viggo in one of the photos?) We were all exhausted. I can't tell you how elated I was to see my beloved boys and feel that our family is now complete. This is definitely it for us!! How blessed I am to have an amazing, loving, supportive husband (and so cute too!) three healthy wonderful children and a beautiful home that we love. Could my life be any more perfect??? Well, from looking at these photos I guess I could stand to lose some pounds. Maybe in 2009!! Happy New Year to all!!

Home Again Home Again Jiggidy Jig

The 10 hour flight from Taipei to Seattle went very smoothly. Kate was a wonderful travel companion! She actually seemed to enjoy the adventure with lots of smiles and barely a complaint. We stayed the night at the Hilton in Seattle as planned and arrived at the airport the next morning at 9:00 a.m. for our 11:00 a.m. flight. With this and that delay we finally left Seattle about 4:00 p.m. and arrived in Helena about 7:00 p.m. Having Kate home was an amazing Christmas gift to be sure, but I have to tell you that she and I slept through almost all of it! With the time change and the excitement of the trip neither of us slept much during the 48 hour period we were making our way home. No big deal at immigration in Seattle. They let you go to the front of the line with your baby. Here are some pictures from the air.

Fianl Taiwan Pictures

Well, you didn't ask for it but you're getting it anyway. Here are some of the final shots of Kate in Taipei. (I'm becoming like the tiresome relative who has to show all of her travel photos I know!)You will see Kate's red couch picture with the two teeth that she had when we picked her up! The others are Kate and I at the Grand Hotel where we went for Dim Sum one afternoon, outside her foster-mother's home and relaxing at the Golden China.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kathryn Pei-Jung Sullivan

A few more pictures of our little ray of sunshine!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dispatches From Taiwan Part II (the good stuff!!)

I have been a bit hesitant to post about our experience with the glorious Kate Pei-Jung because, superstitiously, I suppose, I don't want to jinx it! Kate (whom we have yet to call Kate) is the most ridiculously easy baby we have ever known. She is JUST LOVELY: happy, mellow, smiley and playful. She would love nothing more than for you to sit with her all day and gaze into her beautiful almond eyes. I thought I would be worried if our child did not react with sadness when she left her foster mother, but she didn't and I don't worry because I think that is just who she is. Mrs. Lee, obviously adored her and told us she was a VERY easy cuddly baby. Last night Kate cried for about 20 minutes (we think it might have been constipation) and up until then she literally had not cried for more than 30 seconds. When she's upset it's always easy to turn it around and make her smile. She seems the most happy when we are together quietly in the hotel room playing. She is less animated when in a crowd. She isn't upset, but she puts on her game face and just watches. She's definitely a watcher. So here are the details:
Day five: Thursday, December 18th is the BIG day. We pile into Mei-Ru's Toyota (sort of like a land cruiser, very nice) and begin our two hour drive to Taichung. We listen to the English radio station, which plays mostly hits from the 80's and a Bing Crosby Christmas C.D. all the way there. Mei-Ru is very friendly and easy to talk to so if you have questions about her life or life in Taiwan, this is a great opportunity for conversation. On the way there and back there are several nice rest stops with large clean bathroom facilities and a restaurant/grocery store. The only surprise, if you have not been in Asia before, is that the toilets (for women anyway) are simply basins buried in the floor. Be sure to check if you need to get your toilet paper BEFORE you enter the stall as some, but not all of them, are that way. We arrive at TWCA and meet Carridee, as many of you know, a really lovely young woman. You are asked to leave all your gifts with TWCA instead of taking them to the foster mother. We are at TWCA about 10 minutes while Carridee gets some papers together and then we all get back in the car and make the short drive to Mrs. Lee's home. Mrs. Lee is wonderful!! She radiates a kind gentle warmth. I would guess she is between 30 and 35 and according to Mei-Ru and Carridee she is married and has a 10 y.o. daughter. I felt we could stay as long as we wanted and ask as many questions as we would like but, of course, I was so overcome with emotion that I could not remember anything to ask. Pei-Jung is TINY! She seems very healthy and happy but she sure is small. She does NOT look that small in pictures but I promise you that she is. I thanked Mrs. Lee profusely and made Carridee tell her repeatedly how MUCH we appreciated all she had done. Then it is back in the car to TWCA where we do about 5 minutes worth of paperwork and sifting through Pei-Jung's things (all of which I got back, I must say after being here and meeting everyone I have total faith and the highest regard for TWCA).

I am sorry to report, although not surprised, that we did not meet Pei-Jung's birth mother. Caridee said that she could not decide whether she wanted to come or not until the last minute and in the end decided she could not. I completely understand but I am sorry that we did not get to meet her and reassure her that we would take loving care of her/our beautiful daughter. Along with her gifts I did write her a long letter and Caridee assured me that it would be translated and given to her. After our goodbyes at TWCA we plopped Pei-Jung in the car seat, settled in the back with her and drove back to Taipei. WAIT! We did stop at the baby store and picked up a few things including the formula stackers (LOVE THEM!!!) and a couple of CD's that Mrs. Lee said Pei-Jung liked. When we got back to the Golden China Mei-Ru came inside and helped us fill out the paperwork that we needed which took about 10 minutes since all they really ask for is the I-600 and the DS 230. We brought A LOT of extra paperwork that no one cared about. I think you should bring it just in case, but I think it is rarely ever needed.

Day six: Mei-Ru picks us up at 8:00 a.m. and we drive 10 minutes to AIT. If you are comfortable in a big city, you can easily experience Taipei without a guide. To complete your work with TWCA and AIT, however, the JOH guides are an absolute MUST (in my humble opinion). Things could not have gone more smoothly and I'm pretty sure it was all due to Mei-Ru's presence. As soon as you hit AIT there were several long lines at different points but with Mei-Ru we somehow drifted to the head of the line the whole time. We went upstairs and waited about 15 minutes to talk to Mr Fu who checked our paperwork to make sure it was in order. Then we moved to the other side of the room, took an oath with everyone else and waited 35 minutes for our 10 minute interview with the American representative. Both were very friendly and it was NO BIG DEAL!

Final days: While at the hotel we have had the privilege and pleasure of meeting three other JOH families (Hi guys!!) and their beautiful children. On Friday night we had dinner at the Mongolian grill across the street from our hotel followed by a few Taiwanese beers on the putting green roof of the Golden China with The Pedinis from Austin (Mark, Farley and Neko), and I am SO sorry I am forgetting the last name of the very handsome Tommy and his parents Jeff and Lynn from Chicago, along with his darling big sister Emily, who was adopted from China. Yesterday we went to Taipei 101 with the Lees from Boston (Will, Linda and Julianna). What GREAT GREAT folks, every single one of them. We are definitely lucky to be in such wonderful company at JOH.
Today, Dan, Kate and I spent some NTD on gifts at the Holiday Market (also called the Jade and Flower market) which is only open on the weekends and enjoyed some family time in the big park about eight blocks from the hotel. Tomorrow we are doing laundry and sending Dan off on the plane. Kate and I will spend the night and leave at 11:00 p.m. (with the Lees!) on Tuesday.
Now that some of the newness and excitement has worn down, I started to really think about home today and of course the boys and can't wait to be back together again as a family. That being said, I feel so grateful that Taiwan adoptions require you to travel. It really is an unparalleled opportunity to experience your child's birth culture. We will both have been here seven full days and with a new baby (one who is VERY easy, so I can say this) it has been the perfect amount of time. I am really glad we did not bring the boys this time, but I look forward to returning as a family.

As always, I so appreciate all the good thoughts and prayers you have sent our way and hope you will keep sending them until we are safely home. I am now more excited than ever to follow along on the JOH journeys to come. Sending lots of love and blessings from Taiwan!

Friday, December 19, 2008

More Images From Taiwan

Here are a few more pictures from our pre-Kate days:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Would It Be Too Much To Request Some Extra Thoughts and Prayers??

Well this is it! We are scheduled to leave tomorrow for Taiwan to pick up our beautiful daughter! We could NOT be more excited. We are hoping with all our hearts that there will be no flight delays due to the arctic front moving into our area today and tomorrow. We are taking separate flights because I am so freaked out about leaving the kids. At ages 5 and 7, they have only been without at least one of their parents for two nights. Now we are leaving for 10 days and will be almost 8,000 miles from home! We are so fortunate to have a group of wonderful friends and family rotating through our house to care for the kids and dog when we are gone. This is one of those moments where I am stopped cold in my tracks marveling at how extremely ridiculously fortunate we are to be surrounded by so much love and support. Many many thanks to everyone who is helping out while we are gone! I also have to give a shout-out to our JOH board (you know who you are!) for all the wisdom and advice they have shared. We feel so prepared for this journey because of them. What an amazing resource!! If it's not too much to ask, please think of us while we are gone; of our children who will be home, of our flights going smoothly, of our AIT appointment going off without a hitch and, most importantly, of our daughter's transition into her new life happening with as little trauma as possible. Thank you so much! We will try to post while we are in Taiwan. In the meantime, we hope everyone is having a very happy holiday season!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

FINAL RULING!!!!!!!!!!

That's right folks!!! After waiting a mere 17 days after our first ruling we have received our final ruling which means that baby Kate Pei-Jung is officially ours!! As if that were not miraculous enough we will be able to pick her up and bring her home by Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Isn't that incredible??? I did not think there was any way we would have our sweet baby girl home by the end of this year, but we have been given this amazing gift!!! I know I've said this before but throughout this process we have been blessed by the warmest thoughts and prayers. It gives me great hope for humanity. Thank you so much!! Woooooooooo Hooooooooooooooooo we're going to Taiwan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

November Update Picture and Video

Here is our little daughter at almost 5 months old. I can barely take it. I need to be on a plane ASAP!!! Come on final ruling. I need to hold our baby girl!!!!!!! Current stats: 12.6 lbs.; 22.83 inches long; 14.3 head circumference; 14.8 inches chest. She is still drinking about 4 ounces of formula about every 4 hours and, according to the latest report, all milestones are normal.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dear Kate,

Today you are 5 months old! I want you to know that on this day I feel joy and heartbreak. I feel joy that you are healthy and growing every day and we take great comfort in hearing nothing but the highest praise of foster families in Taiwan from those adoptive families who have already traveled. I don't think I can adequately express how indebted I feel toward this unknown woman half-a-world away who is lovingly caring for you while we sit here and wait for the threads of bureaucracy to untangle themselves so we can bring you home. I am also grateful that you are having this time in your birth country to soak up all the sights, sounds, smells and energy of the land where you were born. I hope you will always carry those impressions with you on some level and you will feel a sense of the familiar when we return to visit Taiwan in years to come. On the other hand, I am gripped by utter heartbreak at having already missed 5 months of your life; five months worth of smiles, tears, feedings, cleanings, changes, cuddles, kisses, spit-ups, sit-ups and all the facial expressions and personality traits that are you. I long to hold you, to breathe you in and know you for the unique individual that you are. Even though you are not with us now I want you to know that thoughts of you consume our day. Your daddy, your brothers and I talk about you constantly and you are always right here with us in our hearts. The waiting is so hard, our family just feels incomplete without you here. I hope this day finds you happy and well. I dream of the day in the not too distant future that we can be with you everyday. We love you baby girl!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Birthday Boy!

Today our "baby" boy turned 5 years old! I can hardly believe that much time has passed since our darling boy came into our lives. It's so appropriate that Luke was born in the month that celebrates Halloween because this boy LOVES to dress up! Once again he had a costume party (he dressed as a ninja) and a good time was had by all; knights and superheros alike. Luke, we love you so much! You are definitely a glass-half-full guy and you make me smile every day with your sunny personality and spirit of fun! You have a beautiful heart and I am so thankful that you still love to cuddle. What joy you bring to our life. We can't wait to see what great adventures you embark upon this year! Happy Birthday sweet boy! Love, Mom and Dad

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Baby Kate at 3 Months 21 Days

Update and Hearing

Hurray! Today we received update pictures and information on our little Kate Pei-Jung. We have been looking forward to seeing our little girl for a whole month! It's thrilling to get this tiny glimpse into our daughter's life but also heart wrenching because we know just how much we are missing. The pictures and information were taken at the end of September. She is now 11.2 lbs.(up from 9.9 lbs) and 22 inches long (up from 21 inches). She is still drinking about 4 ounces of formula every four hours. It looks like she also uses a pacifier about which I am actually quite happy. I'm sure some people think that is crazy, but neither of the boys would take one and I always thought it would be a help in terms of comfort tools. Our hearing is today in Taiwan and JOH advises that "no news is good news" so we hope to hear NOTHING! Even though it could still be months until we travel, it feels like a relief to be moving along in the process. Enjoy the pictures. I'm glad she smiles in the video because, quite frankly, in the pictures she looks a little worried.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Today is October What??

Here's what we woke to this morning. I hope it's just temporary (the weather is famously fickle her in Montana) but who knows. The only upside (other than tucking in and making cookies by the fire) is that the change of season reminds us that we are getting closer to our daughter. Anyway, Happy Holidays!! (just a little early).

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Room to Grow

Here are some pictures of Kate's room. What fun to decorate for a little girl! I only wish it were she and not just her picture resting in her crib. I would still like to have a cherry blossom painted on one wall, but we'll have to see how far we get. Thanks for all the JOH's who helped me pick out Kate's bedding. As you can see, the Wabi Sabi won out! Also, I want to give a shout out to Chuck and Amy who are in Taiwan right now picking up the son for whom they have been waiting 9 long months!! Much longer than usual. In other JOH news, our friends Michelle and Byron have their court hearing today in Taiwan! Good things are happening!

Friday, September 26, 2008

First Update Video

Kate Pei-Jung at 2 Months and 22 Days Old

Technical Difficulties, Please Stand By...

Hurray! We received an update today on Ms. Kathryn Pei-Jung, but the video did not come through = ( sad. As soon as it is resent we will post it along with pictures. Kate is beautiful and doing just great!! The update information was completed on 8-28-08 when Kate was 2 months and 22 days old. She weighs 9.9 lbs. (up from 5.1 lbs at birth!) is 21 inches long and drinks 4 oz of formula every four hours. All her developmental milestones are on target: she is focusing on faces, grasping fingers, turning her head, rolling from side to back, vocalizing and generally doing all the things you would expect from a little person her age. We feel so good about the wonderful care she is obviously receiving from her foster family in Taiwan. How lucky we are that there are wonderful women in the world who want to do this very important exhausting work. Bless them. So stay tuned! We will be posting pictures and videos just as soon as we can.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Extra Extra Read All About It!!!

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FINALLY!!! As you can see from the above news item, our hearing date has been set for Thursday October 16th (that's Taiwan time, so it will be happening in our world a day earlier.) This is the first of three hearings. A hearing date is generally scheduled between 1 and 3 months after referral. So, with a hearing date occuring 2 months and 8 days post referral things seem to be on track. If this trend continues, we would expect to travel sometime in January. Of course, things don't always go as planned so we could travel anytime between December and February (UGH!) At this time, we hope that our baby is safe and happy, her birthmother is surrounded by love and support and our judge is a compassionate soul who will want to expedite this process so that a baby can join her forever family half-a-world away. Please PLEASE keep all of us in your thoughts and say a prayer for the people of Taiwan who recently experienced a serious typhoon. Someday, I hope you will read this post, Kate, and know that we were thinking of you every single day. It's so hard to wait for you. Be well baby girl, we love you!

Friday, September 5, 2008

First Care Package

Tomorrow is September 6th and Kate will be three months old. How odd and sad it feels to have missed this precious time in our daughters life. In our program (JOH program III) babies are cared for in a hospital for the first three months. Next, they are placed in a foster home where they remain until the court proceedings are complete and they are relinquished to the custody of their parents. We have heard nothing but high praise for the foster care system in Taiwan both from agency workers and families who have traveled to Taiwan to meet their children. We are thrilled that we will have the opportunity to meet with the foster mother while we are in Taiwan. Now that Ms. Kate is moving to a foster family we are able to send care packages to her. Today we sent off our first package which included two outfits, a few onesies (size 3-6 months), two pairs of socks, a build a bear teddy bear with mom's voice recorded on it, a soft picture book of black-and-white family photos (since those are the colors babies are most interested in at this age), a disposable camera so that the foster family can take pictures and a little blanket. We also sent a package to the staff at TWCA and one for the foster family. We filled those with nuts and candies from a special Montana store, Montana teas and a 2009 Montana calendar featuring beautiful pictures from around our state. We did write notes to both TWCA and the foster family hoping that someone at the agency will be able to translate. We desperately want them to know just how much we appreciate all their hard work on behalf of our family. We will always be indebted to the many people who were there to care for our daughter when we could not. We think and talk about you all time Kathryn Pei Jung. We can't wait until we bring you home so that we can cuddle, love and care for you ourselves. Soon, we hope.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Outline of Adoption Proceedings in Taiwan

When we first received our referral I was so stunned that for the first few days I couldn't really feel anything except relief that our wait was over. I thoroughly enjoyed the next week floating around on a cloud of bliss; so happy, so excited about our new little daughter. Yesterday the anxiety started to set in and I began to feel antsy and irritable about our NEW wait. Well I better get over that because we definitely have a awhile before we travel. So to pass the time I thought I would post about the next leg of our adoption journey. Pay attention dad, this has to do with your counterparts in Taiwan, the District Court Judges. So, if you have any pull over there now would be the time to use it. A professional courtesy call perhaps?? = )

District Court Process: District courts in Taiwan are divided into a number of specialty groups. Family Court is the court within the district court system that deals specifically with adoption as well as other family issues.

The responsibility of the District Court is to make sure that every issue related to the best interest of the child has been considered. Though lengthy & frustrating at times, the District Court process protects the child, the birth parent, the organization caring for the child, AND in the end protects us as adoptive parents. When the District Court decisions have been made, adoptive families can be confident that the process was handled with consideration and in the best interest of the child.

1. Hearing
a) The family court office in the county where the child was born reviews the case/petition and a Judge is assigned to the case.
b) The judge reviews and considers the case and schedules a "hearing". Hearings are handled differently depending on the circumstances of the birth family, the judge's schedule, persons representing the birth family and those representing the adoptive family. The time involved in getting a hearing scheduled depends on the judge's schedule (docket) and that of everyone else required to attend. Hearings can result in: The immediate decision to finalize the adoption (though this is rarely the case) or the judge may request more information (again, this is rare). Usually, the hearing simply provides the judge with more information about the case and allows him/her to rule on the adoption with confidence. Most often, the judge's decision (final ruling) happens weeks or even as long as months after the hearing. Time line for hearing - 1 to 3 months after court papers are filed.

2. Part I of Final Decree(First Ruling). Once the hearing has been completed and the judge has had time to review all the information, he/she issues the first part of the Final Decree. This is a short statement signed by the judge that is forwarded to all parties involved (social services organization on behalf of the adoptive family and the birth family) notifying everyone of his/her decision to finalize the adoption. This first part of the Final Decree must go to each party and there is a waiting period of 10 days before any further court action can occur. The birth family has until the end of this 10 day period to change their mind regarding the adoption. Once the 10 day period is passed however, the judge can make the final decree. Time line for 1st ruling - 1 to 3 months after hearing.

3. Part II of Final Decree (Second Ruling). Once the 10 day waiting period is over (and the court staff finds time!), the second part of the Final Decree is forwarded to all parties. When the second part of the decree is received by your child's social service organization, the court process is DONE! Time line for 2nd Ruling - 2-6 weeks after the 1st ruling

4. Household registration change and immigration requirements. Before the adoptive family travels, a lot must be accomplished by the child's social service organization. All court documents and background info on the child must be officially translated to English and submitted with certain paperwork to AIT. Also, the child must have his/her Visa medical exam which is forwarded directly (unopened) to AIT's immigrant visa office. At some point the child's guardian must file for a household registration change. The household registration is a file located at local government offices in Taiwan that contains certificates and information about each person in Taiwan. Your child's household registration is attached to his/her guardian's file until the adoption has been finalized by the Taiwan courts. Once the child has been legally adopted in Taiwan, the guardian files with the government office to remove the file from theirs and create a new file showing that the adoptive parent(s) are the new legal guardians.The household registration change takes a day or two or a week depending on the placing organization and the local government office. Time line for official paperwork 2-4 weeks.

5. Adoptive Family receives travel date. Each organization in Taiwan is different in when and how they schedule a travel date. Some wait until all of the above paperwork is filed and then give the family notice to travel quickly. Some schedule the travel in advance, while they work at preparing the above documents. JOH families are typically given 1 to 3 weeks notice to travel.

So that's about it. Our timeline is now in the hands of a district court judge almost 7000 miles away. We have no way of knowing which judge we will be assigned or how full his/her docket might be. Based upon the experience of other JOH families we expect to travel to join our daughter in 4 to 6 months time. Please keep us in your thoughts while we eagerly await word that the courts are making headway in our case.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What's in a Name?

To answer the above question: A lot! Research has shown that by 4 1/2 months of age infants prefer to listen to their own name over another name. By 5 months, a baby's ability to recognize their own name from a longer stream of speech is one of the first steps to cognitive and linguistic development. If you listen to the video we were sent you will hear that caretakers are already familiarizing our daughter with her name (Fan Pei-Jung) by using it repeatedly when talking to her. (You can also hear them say Pei-Jung Li, which means beautiful Pei-Jung as well as words that sound like "chee chung lou" which means something like "time to wake up")~she must have just woken up from a little nap.

Soon our sweet baby girl will be whisked away from all the familiar sights, smells and sounds that have been her world for the first several months of her young life. We are so thrilled to celebrate our child's birth culture and heritage by incorporating her beautiful given name into her full name of Kathryn Pei Jung Sullivan (Kate)! Speaking of name meanings: the name Kathryne means "pure" and the name Pei Jung has a double meaning according to my cyber-friend Eva and her parents who live in Taiwan (Thank you SO much!). It means "an abundant life" as well as "very tolerant". Isn't that lovely? Sounds perfect to us. We hope, Kathryn Pei Jung, you will love your name as much as we do!

We can't wait to meet you baby girl!! We love you and miss you already! Much love from your mommy, daddy and big brothers.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Introducing Ms. Pei Jung Sullivan!!!

I really can't believe I am writing this post. It feels utterly surreal. Today at 11:40 a.m. I was sitting at my computer trying to decide if I should send an e-mail to JOH or simply call and beg them to tell me if we were close to the top of the list. Just then, the phone rang and it was a 206 area code. Well, let me tell you, everyone who is waiting for a referral from JOH knows what that means! Tien (the Taiwan Program Coordinator) was on the other end waiting to tell me that she had a referral of a beautiful baby girl born in the early morning hours on Friday June the 6th. Wow!!! I opened my e-mail to a precious little face and knew it must be a Sullivan baby because she was as bald and serious as all the Sullivan babies have been. I owe a huge thank you to our dear friend Dr. Tess who came right over and reviewed all the information. She said everything looked great! We have a name in mind, but we haven't decided definitively yet so for now we will call our daughter by her beautiful given name Pei Jung (pronounced "pay yong"). After 8 months and 4 days of waiting, we feel so fortunate to finally share with you our referral photo AND a little video. Enjoy!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Welcome Babies Annabella and Qwill!!!

I have to take a break from our family to give a shout out to two families with new additions. First, I want to extend a heartfelt congratulations to my cyber-friend Casey and her family who received a referral of a beautiful baby girl from Taiwan in mid July. Hurray for baby Annabella! Casey and I were waitlisted about two weeks apart and she has been a very important part of my support network as we have navigated the tricky and sometimes turbulent waters of international adoption together. Because they began with a different agency and later switched to JOH they have been waiting over 2 years for this referral and I could not be happier for them!! Perhaps one day our little girls will have the opportunity to meet in person(and Casey and I too!!)

Second, I have been hoping to post a picture of this new little cutie, but I can't get it to attach (Arrrrg!)So I'm going ahead, sans picture, with a big greeting to baby Qwill, a beautiful English Setter puppy who is joining a wonderful family and great friends of ours here in Helena. Shannon, Erik, Zoe and Dash we can't wait to meet your new little darling as soon as you get her home.

Welcome to the world babies!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Sam!!!

Seven years ago today, at just about this time, our beautiful son Sam made his way into the world. Our lives have never been the same since. I can't believe our beloved first born is seven years old!! How did this happen?? I guess it's true what they say, time flies when you're having fun. We love you so much Sam! We usually have a big kids party but decided to hold off this year due to Sam's finger injury (a little less pinky to worry about thanks to a big door with a sharp hinge - ouch!) We will have the "real" party in a few weeks when the finger is healed. Fortunately, Dan's sister and her husband came to visit all the way from Germany just in time to celebrate so we've had lots of outings to keep us busy. Here are some pictures of our weekend. (notice Sam is STILL wearing his triathalon shirt! We really do wash our clothes around here.)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Brags on My Boys

When you have children you dream about them enjoying a full beautiful life better than your own. You want them to be happier, healthier, smarter, stronger, richer in all things. But what I didn't anticipate was that they would be surpassing me so soon! At 40, I've participated in a variety of athletic events but my dream of competing in a triathlon (the shorter sprint distance, mind you!) was cut short when I started having children almost seven years ago. This weekend our oldest son, Sam, completed his first kids mini triathlon! I was so proud of his interest and enthusiasm. He had great focus and did a fantastic job!! He is following in the footsteps of his studly father who at 43 is running faster than he did when he was a teenage track star. (This year he won the masters mile with a time of 4:38!) He does triathlons himself but at this race was just the running leg (his team of course won, what can I say, the man's a physical marvel) Our youngest son, Luke, was right in there cheering on his brother and father and is all set to give it a try at next year's event. Perhaps I will be ready for my comeback then too! Here are a few pictures from our weekend.