Monday, January 20, 2014

The Olympics are Coming!

When the Olympic Games are just around the corner, I start getting asked all kinds of questions.  In case you live in a hole or are only into sports til the Super Bowl commercials end, the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony begins on February 7th in Sochi, Russia.
If you want to check out Team USA, find out when to watch and who to cheer for, then check out these sites:

US Olympic Team

NBC Olympics

Now as an athlete, I'm always getting asked interesting sports related questions, but there's something about the Olympics that really brings out the unusual ones.  I'll answer a couple of the usual ones here, but I would love to hear from you!  Just post your questions in the comments below or on my Facebook or Twitter, and I'll dedicate a post to all of your questions no matter how crazy.

Q:  Have you been watching all of the Winter Olympic Team Trials?

A:  Unfortunately this year I have not been able too.  But with a baby due any day now, we'll be hunkered down at the house just in time for the Games to begin, and my girls are fascinated by sports. Although they may try some stunts at home, which we'll have to be careful about.  After we took them to the pool the other week to watch a diving practice, Arella tried to dive head first off of a box onto the game room floor!  I think she understands that we only dive headfirst into water now...

Q:  If you were a winter athlete, what sport would you do?

A:  Growing up in Houston, TX, I freeze at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so I'm not sure I could ever handle any winter sport!  But my favorites to watch are the more aerial/acrobatic events like Aerial Skiing and Snowboard Halfpipe because that's the type of athlete I am.  However when the Olympics are on with medals on the line, I will get sucked into every event!  I also like to follow athletes that I've had the honor to meet at different events.

Q:  What goes on behind the scenes at the Olympics that an armchair quarterback might not know?

A:  A LOT!  But probably one of my favorite parts about the Olympics is the athlete village.  At the Summer Olympics, about 10,000 athletes and coaches from all sports and countries are housed in a fenced off, secure village.  The Winter Olympics athlete village houses about 3,000.  The village is truly like a city with apartments for everyone to live in, a huge 24/7 dining hall where everyone eats together, weight rooms, recreation areas, shops, event venues, transportation center and of course security to get in and out.

Okay, now it's your turn to ask the questions!  Let's hear them!

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Bumpy Road

A sweet friend of mine was pregnant with twins.  She posted weekly pictures of her baby bump in the same shirt, her perfectly poised three children lined up next to her as they held a sign of the current week and there was even a backdrop.  I thought it was such a cute idea... until I tried it.  Then I remembered I have two unpredictable toddlers, would not have enough brain power to remember to wear the same shirt each week, and how in the world do you make time to set up a backdrop?!  Plus we moved in the midst of this pregnancy, fudged a few weeks together and completely forgot other weeks. 

Regardless, we continued taking the pictures.  Now that I see them all together, I can't help but laugh and be thankful that we're so random and not Pinterest perfect.  From missing pants to tears to milk bottles to bedheads to dramatic faces, this is our little bumpy road to meeting Zadok.  Get ready to join the crazy kid.  Readers, you have left Pinterest, this is officially Realville.

Since this has been my most popular post, I figured I should probably finish it! Here is the end of the bumpy road.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Crazy Love

Families are knit together in all kinds of ways and at all different intervals of time.  Sometimes things go according to our plans, and sometimes things turn out completely different than we hoped.  But the way God paints that family portrait is what makes each family so unique and beautiful. 

I never dreamed we would one day have four kids, but that's the path we're on now with number 3 due pretty much any day now and finalizing our dossier to adopt number 4.  I don't know that I ever ruled out having that many kids, but I certainly didn't think it would happen so fast.  I guess since we got a late start on beginning our family, we're making up for lost time.

As we're closing in on Zadok's due date this month, my husband and I have had some great conversations born out of nervousness and anticipation.  It's always exciting to add a child to your family, but scary at the same time.  You have the joy of this new little person and you wonder how they will bless and change you and your family.  But there's also the fear of how this little person will wildly disrupt your family life and you wonder just how long it will take everyone to adjust and find some kind of rhythm.

As excited as we are for this little guy, we are also a little overwhelmed trying to imagine how to function as a family of five.  During these great discussions, my hubby and I realized that we're going from one to three kids in 13 months and the oldest is two and a half.  It's by far not the craziest way I've seen a family put together, but it's still a bit daunting.  Then hubby starts thinking about number four and he just turns pale (even for his Minnesota paleness).  I just think, at least we have a couple of years before that one... right?  Then I mention a possible number 5, and he just stops me dead in my tracks and says, "We're going to get through having four first!"  Sometimes he's just fun to mess with.

Christmas Day 2013

Today was a crazy, hard, frustrating day, and I. Am. So. Thankful. For It. 

Our dogs both came down with something that gave them the runs.  Everywhere.  Constantly.  It got messy and smelly really fast last night and this morning in our house.  We were fighting to get into a vet that's actually open on Sunday after church.  Zoe melted down big time leaving church and just about the entire way home.  Eriek was cleaning up dog messes again while I was in with the girls at nap time changing diapers and taking potty trips- did I mention that was nap time?  Since the girls weren't sleeping, Eriek asked if they wanted to go with him to the vet.  Arella jumped on board and Zoe was torn.  Zoe does not do well without a nap. Did I mention they didn't nap?  Zoe wanted to stay home with me but she wanted to be with Arella.  So as Daddy and Arella left with the dogs, Zoe immediately and violently melted down again. 

This blew up beyond a little tantrum.  In fact it was so violent with thrashing and kicking (and that's hard to hold onto when you're 36 weeks pregnant), that it reminded me of the first time I held her when she freaked out until she passed out in my arms.  It broke my heart because like that day in Changsha when her whole world changed, this time just seemed like she thought Arella was gone forever.  Finally she began to calm down and I kept reminding her that Arella would be back soon as I swayed and soothed her.  I knew she was exhausted, even more so after that, so I was going to try to lay her down for a nap again.  But she just wanted me to hold her.  Then she kept asking to go in Arella's bed.  So I laid her in Arella's bed and she was completely calm and content. 

She slept great in Arella's bed (and it was her first toddler bed experience!) and was happy to have one-on-one Mommy snuggle time when she woke up.  When I told her Arella and Daddy were on their way home, she lit up like the star on top of the Christmas tree!  She was just a bouncing ball of smiles to see them.

Tonight Arella had a really hard time when Daddy had to leave before bed time for a pastors' meeting.  When Arella gets upset, Zoe automatically gets upset and vise versa.  We really feel each other's pain around here.  As I was getting ready to tuck them in after a tiring, whiny bedtime ordeal, Zoe climbed into Arella's bed next to her so we could pray together.  When I started praying, they started giggling, so happy to be next to each other holding hands.  My prayer that nearly started with, "Lord please get these girls to sleep or I fear I may pull my hair out" turned into, "Thank you Lord for the deeply passionate love that our family has for each other."

Yes, going from one to three kids in 13 months will be hard.  There will be major and minor adjustments.  There will be sleepless nights, jealousy issues, and learning curves for all of us.  But what Zoe showed me today is that deep, passionate, crazy love for each other is worth all of it.  Zoe, who had no family 13 months ago, is as crazy in love with us as we are with her.  This gives me a hint at understanding the deep, passionate, crazy love God must have for us since He gave up His son to add us to His family.