Category Archives: Family

The Best Gift I Can Give

As we come to the close of the day on this Christmas Eve, I’ve come across many things the last few days speaking to me about the difference in presents vs. presence.  The last couple years, we as a family have been more focused on experiential gifts and being in each others presence, rather than tangible gifts.  Don’t get me wrong, we still give and receive presents, but not on the scale we have in the past.  I love making memories with my family;  it’s, in my opinion, the best gift I can give.  And it’s not just being physically present, but mentally present as well.  I’m guilty of being out with my family and being physically present, but my mind is on the proverbial “moms list” of things that need to be done or even worse having my nose in my phone.

My continued goal for the new year is to be more present with my family.  I’m slowing learning that laundry can wait and dishes will eventually get done, but my son will only be two for a couple more months and my husband deserves my attention when he’s home.

I try to keep this quote in mind:  Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” – Mother Teresa

I also saw this Holiday To-Do List on Facebook yesterday that I just had to share.

holiday todo list

From my family to yours, I hope that you have a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday and wish you many blessings as we move into 2015.  See you next year!


If you have thought about supporting us during our adoption journey, please take a moment to visit our fundraising page.  No amount is too small or to large, $5 to $5000 to help a family bring home our baby girl.  All donations are tax-deductible through the Adopt Together website.


My 21st Century Life – Part 2 – A letter to my son

Although he won’t be reading this for many years, I’m sure, I have some motherly words for my beautiful son.

It seems like only yesterday we received that very special phone call that told your father and I that we were about to become your parents.  You may not know, but we waited long and sometimes not so patiently for you to come into our lives.  You see, although you did not grow in my belly, you had grown in my heart for more years than I can tell you.  I prayed for you, I longed for you and I cried for you for what felt like forever.  I loved you so much before I ever saw your face.  I remember driving in the car, when we still didn’t know if you were a son or a daughter, wondering what your face looked like and what I would feel when I finally laid eyes on you and got to hold you in my arms.  To say that you were beautiful and perfect would be an understatement!

Now fast forward almost three years and my baby is not a baby anymore.  I’m amazed every single day by how smart you are, how quickly you pick things up and by how careful I have to be what I say around you unless I want it repeated.  🙂  You have an infectious smile that can literally charm anyone you meet.  It will be my job as your mom to make sure you never abuse that charm with anyone.

I so enjoy our days together, when we take trips to “go park go play”, and our lunch dates with friends.  I enjoy having you in the kitchen with me where you play with the water in the sink while I cook dinner.  I love that you want to help me bake, and I hope my future daughter-in-law appreciates my teaching you to cook and bake.  While there are times of frustration and angst, our life together is NEVER boring.

I bet you didn’t know that there are nights I lie awake wondering what your future holds.  I’m excited to see what path your life takes; whether you are challenged academically or if sports are in your future.  I’m terrified of the first time you get hit on the playing field and making sure I don’t embarrass you by running on the field to check on you.  I worry whether or not you will encounter a bully at school and if I’ve prepared you with the proper tools to handle that.

I’m not ready to look much past that, so I will end this first letter for now.  But know this, throughout all your years I will do everything I can to help you become the best “you” you can be.  I’m so thankful everyday that I get the privilege to be called your mommy.  I love you to the heavens and back my precious Caleb.



A First for Me

My cooking and baking adventures started a little over a year and a half ago when I came home full time with my son. I’m typically a recipe conformist and follow it to a tee. I’ve tried on several occasions to branch out and tweek recipes I find, but they typically end up inedible.

So tonight I took a chance and tried it again…and voila SUCCESS!!!  Here’s what was left of it after my family got a hold of it 🙂


I happened across a recipe on Facebook today (Original recipe:  Here is my version I created tonight.

1 pounds boneless, skinless chicken (I had a package in the freezer that contained a breast and 2 tenders)
1 large russet potato (I cut mine very small using this chopper)
Chopped broccoli (I chopped a partial head of broccoli, you could use froze, but thaw and warm before adding)
Olive oil
black pepper
garlic powder
hot sauce (I used Frank’s and only in the chicken marinade)

Colby jack cheese
Crumbled bacon
Diced green onion

I didn’t include any measurements because I just mixed in ingredients to what my families taste are.  Use your judgement and the likes of those who you are cooking for.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Spray a 9X13″ baking dish with cooking spray. In a bowl mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Add the potatoes and stir together. Scoop out the potatoes and leave the marinade in the bowl.  Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, add the cubed chicken to the bowl with the left over olive oil mixture, adding hot sauce to taste, and stir to coat. If your chicken is not coated well, add additional olive oil and spices.  Once the potatoes are fully cooked, remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 400 degrees. Layer the chopped broccoli and then the raw marinated chicken on top of the potatoes. In another bowl mix together the cheese and bacon and cover the chicken.  Top with green onions and return the casserole to the oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the topping is bubbly delicious.

I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure this recipe could be further tweeked with different vegetables or maybe even a homemade cream of “something” soup.  Once I started taking the time to read food labels, I haven’t used a can of this stuff in more than a year.  This recipe is fairly simple and can be made with organic ingredients.  Highly recommended, especially for the upcoming holiday season where several family favorite recipes call for this soup.

I’m including a completely random picture of my son.  This made me happy tonight.  There’s nothing cuter than a boy and his dog.  Especially when said boy wants to cuddle with the dog on the dog bed and the dog just wants to go to bed!


Adoption News:
We got an update today that our fingerprint clearances came back last Friday.  One more step closer to being able to start the matching process to bring home a daughter to add to our little family.  As I’ve mentioned, if you would like to hear about our adoption story or support us during our journey, please click the link.

So Thankful

We are visiting our second home and family this weekend for our next to last home football game of the season. I was surprised when I realized I hadn’t mentioned this before, but my husband and I are proud members of the Fightin Texas Aggies Classes of ’02 and ’04 (Texas A&M University). We are very proud of our alma mater and we spend a great deal of time there especially now that part of our family lives there as well.

Our Caleb loves to be helpful to others, whether it’s helping mommy make cookies in the kitchen or helping his Gigi feed the dog.



When we adopted Caleb two and a half years ago, I never realized how truly our lives would be changed. He has such a personality and a kind little heart. A couple weeks ago in his gymnastics class there was a little girl in his class that was very upset and he went to her and gave her a hug and sat with her to comfort and help her feel better. It was such a precious moment.

I think when we get into the holiday season it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of things. But it’s so important especially as a parent to a little one to make sure that we are taking time out to be grateful and thankful. Kids are such sponges that they take in everything they see so it’s important for us to be the best examples they see. Whether that be giving at church or helping/supporting a charity or giving your time and talents to those in need. The lessons they learn early on will carry with them all the rest of their lives.

Every year we work with our church and another church to support an Angel tree. This is a way that we can help out local school children and their families in our community who are in need. This year our family has chosen a little boy the same age as Caleb and I’m looking forward to sharing this with him when we go to purchase clothes and toys for this little boy. I want to instill in him a giving heart and how we can take our many blessings that we have and to bless others.

I’d love to hear from you about any traditions that you and your family have that you do each year.