Happy Birthday, Baby!

You know it must be March when my last four posts have all been about birthdays.  I promise after this I will go back to blogging about something else.  Anything else!

But!  First, I must wish a very happy first birthday to a very precious little blessing.  Our tiniest girl, who seems like she should still look something like this:IMG_3548

…in fact, looks like this now:

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She is full of sunshine and sweetness and silliness, and we are all still so completely smitten with her!

Little lady is commando crawling all over the place, often gaining distance by pulling herself up to sitting and then sprawling forward again.  She gets in a proper crawling position often, but with hardwood floors over most of the house, staying that way seems to keep evading her.  She can pull up to standing now and has just started experimenting with cruising.

She seems to be saying mama and dada meaningfully now, as well as a very enthusiastic muh! muh! muh! at mealtimes which I’m guessing might be an attempt at “more.”  She waves and claps with gusto.

She has three teeth on the bottom and a very newly hatched one on top as well as a couple more very close behind.

I never feel that pictures do her justice because she just has the most engaging, endearing little personality.  We just can’t get enough of her, and would rather her not grow up quite so quickly, thank you very much.

We had a low-key family day for the most part, but I think Miss Annis enjoyed the festivities just the same.



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Happy birthday, sweet, sweet girl!

Birthday Boys

I’ve just about given up on ever getting a birthday blog post up on time.  That’s because the night before any given birthday, I am always up until stupid o’clock making birthday presents, and because, in general, my kids don’t read my blog, so it’s mostly just for my own peace of mind anyway.


With that disclaimer out of the way, a double happy birthday to the two menfolk of our household!

Little man had a decent birthday, though not the grandmom’s house day we had hoped for (see: same reason why Daddy’s birthday wasn’t so awesome, below).  He had presents in the morning, followed by some birthday fuss at church.

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Then in the afternoon, the kids unanimously voted to watch Frozen, which was just given to us by a friend (whom I’m not sure yet whether to thank or not), and we sang and had cake with our afternoon tea.

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Sadly, our other birthday boy spent his birthday eve home (very) sick from work, and his birthday proper going to work anyway when he probably still didn’t quite feel like it.  At least he got a cool new T-shirt thanks to Adrian’s Christmas gift that keeps on giving.


I love these two.  So much.  Father and son.  I love the way that God brought each of them into my life from thousands of miles away.  They both remind me that my life has indeed been an amazing fairy tale with unexpected twists and turns. I love that when I give them both haircuts, I can’t tell whose hair is whose when I sweep the kitchen floor.  And I love that they have the same birthday.  Happy birthday to the two incredible men in my life!

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PS I also love that our new little guy has a beginning of March birthday, too, though we will probably never know the exact date this side of eternity.  We will celebrate it next week, wishing we could be with him, and praying that by his next birthday, we will.

Another Birthday Week


Would you believe that this little lady went and turned THREE on us on Monday?!  (I must be becoming an old woman for two posts in a row to revolve around little people somehow being much older than they ought to be, but more on me being an old woman later…).

 Coraline Audrey surprised us in the middle of our adoption process for Niko; she’s a precious blessing that we might have missed out on if it had been left up to us.  We are so thankful that God’s plans were bigger and better than ours.


This little lovie makes us all laugh all day long.  She loves Delia with a ferocity that has worn her big sister down more than any of the other kids have managed to.  She is an irresistible force, and we are so blessed to have her in our family.

The next morning I woke up to this scene in honor of my birthday:


I didn’t cook a single meal all day thanks to my capable little sous chefs!

It was a pretty ordinary day.  We had a lot of school to work through since we’d been at a birthday party the day before for some friends.  I had a pretty bad cold (still do!)  But at the end of the day my heart echoed the sentiments of Mary Ingalls on a birthday episode of Little House on the Prairie we happened to watch this week.  Recently left blind by scarlet fever, she sat surrounded by family and friends, poised to blow out her birthday candles.  “Make a wish!” they all chorused.

“I don’t know what to wish for,” she beamed. “I already have everything I could ever want right here!”

And so it is with me.  My days are often hard, filled with unpleasant smells and difficult behavior.  I don’t get a lot of quiet moments (which is why I’m blogging so rarely and way past my bedtime tonight!), but when I have them, I have a deep abiding contentment with my life.  I can’t think of a single thing I’d change or a single thing I’d wish for.

The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.    – Psalm 16:6


Nine Years of Pippa

Long before there were six, there was just one.  And long before there was a bike-riding, piano-learning, reading, writing, baking, crocheting 4th grader (!), there was just our baby girl.

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From the moment she entered the world, she stole our hearts and changed our lives forever.  She turned a couple of ordinary twenty-somethings into parents, and she persuaded us that we wouldn’t mind doing it all again.  And maybe again.


Of course the wonder is always there, no matter how many times you welcome a new human being into the world, but there is something remarkable about the little person who brings you over that threshold for the first time.  And this little girl has made it all a joy.


Philippa Violet, you have taught me so much more in 9 years than I could ever teach you in a lifetime.  I am humbled and honored that God chose me to be mother to such a treasure.


And I am so very thankful that He chose you to break me into the world of motherhood.  You have made it all a pleasure.  I could not have picked a more perfect person for the weighty job of Big Sister Extraordinaire to this crazy household of ours.  It’s a big job for a little girl, and you handle it with elegance.


It is a privilege to watch you grow into the young lady God made you to be.  But you will always be my baby girl.

Happy Birthday, Pippa!

Look Who’s… Wait… How Old?!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled “Yay!  Daddy made it home safely!” to bring you this breaking news: Beatrix turned six today!  That doesn’t seem right, right?  IMG_1130 

Our lovely girl regularly gets mistaken for younger than she is.  Indeed, last year she received two birthday cards wishing her a happy 4th birthday!  But as soon as she speaks and her clever, feisty sense of humor comes out, you know this girl with the sweet babyface has graduated to big-kid-hood.  Bea has a ready smile, a song in her heart and a bounce in her step.  She is a pro at accents and other crazy voice tricks.  She wants to be an entomologist when she grows up (which I guess means I’d better learn how to spell it!)  And this girl loves Jesus so very much.  Oh, how she melts my heart.


Beatrix Joanna, I just love the little person you have blossomed into.  Keep loving the Lord and His Word all your days, sweet girl!  You delight this mama’s heart.



Birthday Girl


The party was on Saturday, and I foolishly forgot to keep back a gift to let her open on her actual birthday.  Does this girl look like she minded?  Our sweet little lovey was thrilled to wear a birthday crown fashioned by her biggest sister out of a paper towel roll and have a perfectly ordinary breakfast on her special day.

After a morning of playing with her new play-doh and a lunch of French toast, we headed out for the main event: a trip to Target to spend some birthday gift cards that all three of our birthday kiddos received at their party.

While Niko and Romilly waffled around for the better part of an hour pondering nearly every toy in the store, June approached the outing with a single-mindedness I have rarely observed in adults, let alone in a four-year-old.  She wanted a new school book and a dress, and that is exactly what she got.

After our first stop in the book department, she sat contently in the back of the cart poring over her new Pre-K workbook, eyes sparkling with delight.  As we walked through every aisle of the toy department at least twice looking for her brother’s and sister’s gifts, she never wavered.  This is a girl who knows what she wants, and what she wants is almost always remarkably sensible.


Happy 4th birthday to our feisty, precocious, hilarious, but always very level-headed Juniper Lucy.  It is a joy to be your mommy!


Birthday Boys

Thursday was a happy, festive day.

March 1st.  Trevor’s birthday, Niko’s birthday, and as a bonus, a Bulgarian national holiday called Baba Marta as well.

Our little man had torn into his birthday morning gift (a personalized T-shirt with his name and a photo of him and the girls on it) before I even made it downstairs, and he didn’t seem too impressed, so I wondered how the rest of the day would go.  It definitely picked up from there.

After ladies’ Bible study in the morning, we headed straight to Trevor’s work to pick him up for a glamorous birthday lunch at Taco Bell.  Well, seeing Daddy in the middle of the day is a rare and special treat anyway.

When we got home, I began to get a better picture of how strongly Niko associates his birthday with Baba Marta, so we made more of an effort to get into the spirit of things.  On the surface of it, Baba Marta, “Grandmother March”, is just a holiday to welcome in (or will in!) the spring, but it seems to be more of a celebration of all things traditional and Bulgarian.

Niko begged to wear the traditional Bulgarian costume Trevor bought while in country  for special occasions, so (since it was his birthday and, hence, a special occasion) I let him.  Then we hunted down some youtube videos of Baba Marta songs.  This is when we really got to see Niko come to life.  His face just lit up, and he sang along with great gusto!  He also obviously knew a little bit of the traditional dance – so fun to watch!

After dinner we enjoyed cake (Baba Marta color-themed in red and white, per the little birthday boy’s request) and rainbow sherbert, and Niko opened a couple of packages that had arrived for him (thank you, Gran and Grandad and Uncle Adrian!)  (Trevor had opened his present from me that morning, though it has been rather dwarfed by the free Kindle he subsequently received at work yesterday!)

We watched Baba Marta videos again after dinner so that Daddy could see Niko get his Bulgarian groove on, and by bedtime everyone was beat.  What a wonderful day.  I am so thankful he made it home in time to celebrate with us this year.  What a joy this little boy is!

I am also thankful for the big birthday boy of the family.  Words can’t begin to describe how much I love him, how much I appreciate how hard he works for all of us, how much I just plain old enjoy his company.  I am so blessed to be his wife.

Happy birthday to both of my precious boys!

For My Boys

Happy birthday today to both of my sweet boys: one who has been in my life for 12 years already, and one who will, Lord willing, be joining it later this year.

We celebrated for you today, precious little one, and we pray that next year you will celebrate this day with your Daddy, at home where you belong.


Baby No More

I don’t know quite how it happened, but my baby is two today. Two!

Seems like just a few weeks ago, I was staring down at this new little bundle.

Then just a couple days ago she looked like this:

Now I have a full-fledged walking, talking, pigtail-sporting toddler running around my house, and I just don’t know quite when it happened.

Juniper Lucy, the control freak  of our family and our little engineer, we love you more than words can say.  Happy birthday, baby girl!