We’re low key people. Rarely do we do big parties to celebrate, and if we do, they are never fussy. Most of the time we prefer a day of fun, spent with immediate family or a friend or two. Today we had a blast as we celebrated Daniel’s Birthday!

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First stop of the day, a beach gathering with friends! Daniel lazed on the beach, carving out the perfect seat in the sand and dozing with his hat over his face. Doozer and I headed down to the shore and splashed around in the COLD water with his new super long leash.

My sweet friend Nicki took these of us (minus the first selfie) and I love them. After lunch and some sunshine, we headed to an ice cream shop for some sweets for the drive home.

daniel_cakeAfter a nice nap, Daniel played his latest video game while I ran out for pizza and cake. I lit a candle, sang him a song, and the birthday boy blew out the candle. With our tummies full of goodness, we were ready for our last adventure of the day…

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…Pinball! About a year ago we were introduced to a guy who owns a garage and once a week in the evenings, he opens up the backroom where he keeps about a dozen pinball machines on free play. It’s like a Daniel dreamland. We spent a while hanging out and enjoying vintage game play.

I love our little family. We have such a wonderful time just being together and doing the things we love. I’m glad that we have the chance to celebrate each other and the joy we find in the little moments of just being who we are.

Written by the wife of the most awesome birthday boy in the world,

Christy

I really lucked out. I have an amazing family. We aren’t perfect. We’ve been through a lot together. But we are amazing.

Most amazing of all? My Momma. She’s beautiful and strong and wonderful. She bring smiles and kindness everywhere she goes and she blesses my life more than I can describe.

Momma, Christy, and Sarah Sushi Date Scrapbook Page

Growing up, I remember summer days when we would go to a local burger place. There was a play structure and my siblings loved to play for as long as possible. Bring the oldest, I had outgrown the ball pit and the winding tubes. It wasn’t that I wouldn’t love to join them, I was just too tall to fit anymore.

Lucky for me, I had a wonderful mom. She and I would sit at the table and talk about everything. I told her about school and my preteen crushes. She listened to my silliness and made me feel so grown up. I knew that I could trust her. I knew that she could help me. I knew that she loved me.

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As I’ve grown up, I’ve been able to rely on her again and again. She had her own challenges and pains, but she was always there to help heal my hurts and sadness and rejoice with me in my success and happiness.

I love you, Momma! You are such a wonderful example of a mother and I hope that I will someday be the mom you taught me to be!

With eternal love and appreciation,

Christy

Let me first start by saying, I love, love, love my family. I love spending time with them. I love following all their adventures and sharing ours with them. Whenever I get a chance to celebrate with them, it’s always an amazing time of joy and laughter. We dance, we sing, we joke and tease. We don’t quite smiling. I love my family so much!

My second cousin, Rebecca, invited my mom and I to share in witnessing her beautiful wedding day. How could I resist spending a perfect evening surrounded by a room full of people I adore!

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My Momma and Me

My Momma and I went shopping for a dress for her to wear to the wedding. She has been working hard at getting in shape and we were so excited to see her new beautiful figure in the mirror in the dressing room. Doesn’t she look amazing??? =)

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Here’s the gorgeous bride, Rebecca, and her groom, Paul, laughing and giggling their way through the sand ceremony. This is when I really got a true feeling for their relationship and I pray that their marriage remains overflowing with this joy and love.

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The wedding and reception venue was held at this AMAZING outdoor lakeside resort. The view and atmosphere was spectacular.  We bathed in the beautiful setting sun as we sat down to dinner.

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Grandpa and Me

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Grandma and Me

It was so wonderful to have the chance to visit with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and extended family at such a beautiful place! We danced the night away, busting out moves to “Baby Got Back” (It’s the only song that mentions Becky by name. lol), singing into imaginary microphones for “Respect”, and jumping up and down to “Call Me Maybe”.

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All my family has been an amazing support to Daniel and I as we have walked the road to adoption. They have said so many prayers and shared the news with so many, in hopes that someday we’ll find our match. I really can not express how blessed and overcome it makes me feel to hear all the things that they do to help us realize our dream.

I can imagine how special it will be to celebrate the arrival of our baby with our family. We just can’t wait to share our joy and spend the years growing and dancing through life together!

Enjoying every moment of being together again,

Chrsity

Great Love
Sigh… This is many years ago, back when we were so YOUNG. We had annual passes to Disneyland that year and I dragged Daniel along almost every week. We took these photos on our last visit before they expired. I think that’s part of the reason Daniel was so cheery; he’s looking forward to a nice long break from “The Happiest Place on Earth”. *wink*

Lately, one of my favorite things is to go for a walk down the street with Doozer, our dog, and Daniel to eat dinner together at the taqueria. Doozer loves munching on tortilla chips while we enjoy some yummy carnitas.

We’re pretty lucky. We have been such great friends all the time we’ve been together. He makes me smile, shake my head, but really, he mostly just makes me happy. It’s been great having Doozer in the family, too. I get to watch the nurturing and playful side of my husband much more often. I love it. SO MUCH.

I feel so fortunate and blessed to have our nine years of happy memories with Daniel to look back on!

Love your nostalgic and sappy, prospective adoptive momma,

Christy

Daniel and Christy on Stairs

The last time Daniel and I had someone follow us around with a camera was almost 9 years ago, on the day we were married. Needless to say, we were LONG overdue for some new family photos. We are fortunate to have a nice collection of snapshots thanks to friends and family, but thanks to our friend, Leia, we have some amazing photos to print and share!

Daniel, Christy, and Doozer on StairsDaniel and Christy LaughingDaniel and ChristyChristy and Daniel Holding Each OtherDaniel and Christy sitting on the DockDaniel kissing Christy's foreheadDoozer with his FamilyChrisy, Daniel, and Doozer

We’re so grateful to have each other and so happy that Leia was able to capture our love for each other! Thank you Leia!!!

Endowment Day

Christy and Daniel at the Temple
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I was raised with the sure knowledge that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I had a testimony of this at a very young age and have known of the power of the atonement throughout my life. We never consistently attended church as a family, but we were Christian in faith.

When I was 14 years old I met a guy at high school, named Josef, that I eventually started to crush on. When I took a step back, I wondered why it was that I liked him. The main reasons ended up being that he had high standards, he wasn’t at all profane, he was kind… overall just one of the best people I had ever met. I asked why he was this way and he explained it was his church and his beliefs that made him who he was.

Time went by and I continued to wonder about what it was he actually believed. I started looking at myself and realized I wasn’t happy with the way I was living my life and wasn’t making choices that the Savior taught.

I started asking Josef and other friend, Melaney, about their church. It was the first time I had ever heard about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. After some time I decided to pray about what they were telling me. It was the first time in my life that I actually prayed and received an answer. I had a sure feeling that what they were teaching me was true and to continue finding out more about the church.

I started making changes in my behavior by living the standards the gospel taught. I spent the next several years studying the Bible, finding out more about the church, and praying about what I was learning.

Christy's Baptism

Christy with the Missionaries
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I went to my first meeting at an LDS Church just after I graduated high school. Within a month of attending my first meeting, I was baptized. A year and a half later I married my husband in the Redlands California Temple.

Though the many challenges I’ve faced over the last ten years of membership in the LDS church, I’ve had my faith to sustain me. I have know so many wonderful people thanks to my association with this church. It has strengthened my marriage. I have found meaning and peace in my life. I have been blessed. I know in time, the gospel of Jesus Christ will provide the keys and inspiration that will help me be a mother of faith and gentleness to the children sent into our care.

-Christy

I Believe

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Several years ago on my birthday, Daniel surprised me with a letter that described his memories of some of the most important moments of our life together. I got his ok to use some of it here, so you could hear more of his voice and his heart. I cherish this letter. I am so lucky to have him in my life.

The morning we were married
“I set my alarm for three and a half hours after getting in from Return of the King. The movie was alright, but I was preoccupied with what would be happening later in the morning. I was exhausted and mercifully sleep came quickly.  I slept the sleep of the innocent. I woke up, dressed, and left for the temple making sure that I had everything we needed.

I felt wonderful. I felt excited. I even felt rested, which to this day still boggles my mind. I wanted to make sure that everything was right, but then on the other hand I didn’t really have a care in the world. At that moment of time, I knew that this was the right thing to be doing and there was no doubt or fear in my mind.

I remember thinking that this moment in time would never come again and that this was the most important thing I’d ever do in my life as I made those sacred covenants with you in front of God, Angels, and Witnesses.

Time felt like it crawled by as I waited for you to make your appearance. I remember almost falling out of my seat as you finally walked out of the hallway and into the room. I thought you were the most beautiful creature on the face of the Earth and I was the luckiest man for you to have taken such a risk on me. Truly, I was so taken back by your beauty and your grace that I remember just wanting to take that moment and freeze it.

I felt wrapped up in the Spirit and comforted when I was asked to take me place across the alter from you and join hands. The actual ceremony seemed to whisk by like a paper caught in a strong fall breeze. I’d heard the words before, but this time it was different, as this time sealed me to you for eternity.” – Daniel, Summer 2007

Yet to ComeThere are moments in my day that are great. Shiny little bits that make my smile creep out. A song on the radio. Daniel’s touch. My dog’s pant. A friend’s laugh.

Sometimes though, the waiting gets to me. I try to outrun it by hitting the pavement and logging miles. I distract myself with books and with shows on TV. I get together with my friends and talk late into the night about everything under the sun. We load up the dog in the car and go for day trips.

And every once in a while we just sit. It’s quiet and we hold each other and just breathe. It’s gotten past wondering out loud. We’ve already spent years of talking back and forth about the questions we have and trying to guess the way it’s going to happen, or even if it will. We’ve already said it all. Now we just wait.

Every couple that has adopted goes through this. Whether they wait just a few weeks or years, the consensus is that they have all agonized with the wait. But from everything that I have read, they would all do it over again because even though the wait was hard, in the end it led them to the child that was meant to be in their family. They look at the losses they’ve experienced and the matches that didn’t work out and they are grateful for them, because if anything had been different they wouldn’t have have their child. And life would just not be the same.

I try not to focus on the wait. I try to just live my life and pray that it will all work out. I have to trust that this wait is for a purpose. That this time living in the unknown will be the best thing in the end because it will lead to our baby. And we will be the family that God intended us to be.

-Christy

Jeffrey and Family

Doozer and I packed up the car and headed down to visit with my brother and his family last week after getting word that he was in our hometown for a few days.

My momma asked if I would bring my camera to take some pictures of them. Little did she know that was my plan all along! :)

Baby brother, lovely sister-in-law, and sweet nephew, safe travels as you drive across country back home!

Alyssa and Jeffrey     Family Relaxing in the Park

SiblingsMeet my brother and sisters! I’m the eldest, so I’ve watched them all grow up. But now that we’re all adults, we are scattered around the world and unfortunately, don’t get to see each other all that often anymore. In fact, the above picture was one of the last times we were all together.

Thank GOODNESS for social media or else I would be heartbroken at rarely hearing from them, especially as two of them have little ones of their own that are getting bigger everyday!

Sisiter's WeddingThis is my sister, Melissa, on her wedding day. David was her email pen pal from Scotland that she started writing to in her “tweens” and many years later, Melissa flew across the Atlantic Ocean to meet him. They married and now live in Scotland with their son and newborn daughter.

I’ve always thought that Melissa was born in the wrong decade. She LOVES the Beatles and would listen to “Beatles Brunch” on the radio every Sunday. In used to drive me CRAZY, but now whenever I hear a Beatles song I smile and think of her. She also loves the original Star Wars trilogy and she exposed me to a solid foundation that would prove useful when I married Daniel, another huge Star Wars fan.

BrotherThis handsome sailor is my brother, Jeffrey. We’ve called him Furry and Fur Face, long before he could grow facial hair thanks to the little boy across the street that used to knock on the door and ask, “Can Jeff-Furry play?”

My bother has never been a big talker, but he’s a very talented musician. I’ve loved hearing his “voice” through music he writes for guitar. He’s always had a big heart and gentle sweetness. When we were little, he used to stick to my side like glue. He always wanted to sit next to me and be where I was. Now that he’s all grown up, married to a wonderful young women, Alyssa, with a son of his own, I know that sticking near them is all he wants to do.

SarahThis rockstar is my baby sister, Sarah. These photos were taken at her high school graduation, but it wasn’t long after that she married her high school sweetheart, Alex, and they both enlisted in the Army. They are both in South Korea, having a big adventure as they enjoy their first years of marriage.

Sarah is bubbly and animated. She feels deeply and loves wholeheartedly. She gives the greatest bear hugs, so hard that when she was little she routinely knocked the wind out of grown adults. She’s brave, funny, and so loveable. Watching her grow into a woman has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

     

I’ve been so blessed to grow up with these amazing people. I miss them so much, but I know that they are living the lives that they were meant to live and finding joy in all that they do.

-Christy