Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy 2013!

2013 Resolutions

Do you make resolutions?  I normally don't.  This year I am.  There are some things I really want to accomplish this year.  They are:

1.  Keep using my Advocare products and lose thirty-five more pounds.  I know I can do this.  I lost 35 in six months in 2012, so 35 in twelve months is totally possible.

2.  Use my new gym membership at least three times per week. Thankfully the gym is open 24 hours a day...

3.  Not hate Tourette syndrome so much.  We are so lucky to not have had many symptoms of David's Tourette's for the last nine months or so.  It's been back strong in the last three weeks, and I hate it.  It makes me mad and sad and angry and irritated and want to punch someone.  Instead of feeling that way, I need to do more research to figure out why it's been such an issue recently, and how we can get back to no symptoms.  I don't help David by hating Tourette's, and I need to help him.

4.  Get our budget back on track.  Enough said.

5.  Continue changing our family's eating habits.  This is going to be an ongoing process, I assure you.

6.  Sew more.  I am not the best or the fastest sewer, but I like it and people like receiving handmade gifts.  This year I will sew more.

7.  Continue to make our house more organized.  Right now it often feels like organized chaos.  Keeping things organized with six people in our house can be a challenge.  We're all going to work on this.  

What are your resolutions?

Friday, 28 December 2012

2012 Review

Some of my favorite posts are the ones that look back at the year.  I'm always amazed at everything we've done in one year.  In 2010, I did our top house projects for the year.  We were busy!!  In 2011, it was a lot of house business again.  We always have a project.  Or ninety.  In 2012, it has certainly been more about our family than house projects.  

What a year 2012 has been for The Simpson Six!

In January, sweet baby Jack turned four.

I also kept working on Katie's room, as we were essentially in a holding pattern with our adoption, just waiting for dates or news.

In February, our dossier was submitted in Russia, and we got our first travel date to meet Katie.  We found both of those things out on February first - that was a big, exciting day for us!  Finally, after nine months of paper compiling, fundraising, waiting, hoping, staring at her pictures, and getting ready for her, we finally were on our way to meet our girl.

After having travel delays (in NASHVILLE!) and having to spend our first night in Washington DC instead of on our way to Russia, we finally made it to Moscow.

On February 28th, 6,000 miles from home and from our babies, we took a huge leap of faith.  We drove nearly three hours from Moscow, past houses that looked like they were put together with sticks, through the ice and snow, with butterflies in our bellies and finally pulled up at the compound full of candy colored buildings.  

The first thing we saw was a group of older boys hanging out of second story buildings waving at us and calling, "Mama!  Mama!"  It broke our hearts.  They were repaired though, when we finally met the girl we had been waiting for.

Tiny at 25 pounds, and with a bow the size of a dinner plate, this little muffin was mine from the word go.

We were there for a week, leaving in the first few days of March.  

We quickly grew enamored with the city we expected to hate.  It was so different than home, but different isn't always bad.

We whispered to our girl that we would be back, and we said the hardest goodbye of our lives.

Also in March, our court dossier was filed in record time, which meant we would have a court date within thirty days.  Our hard work was quickly coming to fruition.  Fifteen days later, we had our court date and we were making travel arrangements.

I also explained a little big about how we knew we could parent a child with special needs, and how being a parent of a child with special needs has changed my perspective and has changed me as a person.  It's the best thing that's ever happened to me.

David was in his first play, which made my mama heart incredibly proud, for many reasons.

In April, we packed a ridiculous amount of stuff and headed back across the ocean.

We had medical exams in a foreign country, including a CT scan for Chris.  Good times... And while we were having medical exams done in Russia, Jack was having one done in the U.S. because he broke his wrist.  Again.

We got to visit with Katie some more, and we were in Russia for Easter.

Finally, after nearly eleven months of waiting and working toward a very real goal, we had our court date in Moscow.  After two hours, we were officially named the parents of Katherine Ruth.

We came home and celebrated sweet Henry's seventh birthday party, like only Willy Wonka could celebrate.

In May, my sweet friends had an adoption shower for Katie and were incredibly generous.

I packed my bags one more time, and headed back to Russia.  This time I went there alone while Chris stayed home with the boys.

And finally - FINALLY! - on May 16th, I got our girl for good.

In June, we finished baseball with the big boys and celebrated a lot of birthdays.  

I turned thirty-five.

She had her first birthday party, her first birthday cake, and her first birthday presents.

In July, we readopted Katie in our home state.  My family from Massachusetts was here, and my great friend Bert represented us in court.  Having so many people we love there made it a very emotional process for me, even though Katie was already officially our child.

We also had amazing pictures taken in July, and I still can't believe how much I love them.

We also took a road trip to Cleveland.  

 We met Sarah and Joyce.

We visited with friends, went to Lake Erie, and had an amazing time.

Also, in September, we painted our back door.  I'm still in love with it.

We kicked November off with a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy for Katie.  

We had a great Thanksgiving, and had much for which we were thankful.

In December, our elf got naughty.

We went to our Christmas tree lighting.

And we had an amazing first Christmas as a family of six.

I cannot wait to see what 2013 has in store for our family.  It will be hard to top 2012!