August 16, 2014

Orange County Fair

Nick went to Alaska last week for our friend's wedding. While he was gone, we went to the Orange County Fair.  Being the procrastinators that we are, we waited until the day before the fair ended to go, so Nick did not get to join us. If you know Nick even just a little bit, you will know that he was not too disappointed about this. So, Silas was my date, and we joined my parents and two of my sisters and their husbands. I'm mostly embarrassed at the ridiculous quality of these photos. Nick had our good camera with him in Alaska, where it remains today, since he is as forgetful as me and left it there. Despite that, I guess I'm not embarrassed enough to skip this post. It was Silas's first fair, after all, so it's well worth sharing.  
We like to enter the fair in style, and clearly, my mom and I were in the middle of a fascinating discussion.These pictures make it appear that Silas was really interested in the animals. He wasn't. He was only interested in putting his mouth on the nasty fence that had animal poop all over it.And, now I present unto you....the cheesiest picture of all time, and the reason why Nick is SO glad he was in Alaska....Now my brothers-in-law will kill me. But, there you have it...OC Fair 2014. Done and done. 

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August 7, 2014

Martindale Adoption

I wanted to share another adoption story that is in the works.  Some of my sister's good friends from Georgia, Lindsey and Justin are in the process of adopting a baby.  They have an incredible and heartbreaking story, which has led them to this point.  The following is from their adoption website, where you can learn more and find out ways you can support them. I have been praying for them for a couple of years now and can't wait to see the healing and restoration that God brings to their lives through adoption. From Lyndsey:

We decided to start trying for a baby back in Oct 2011 and shortly learned that we had some complications, which required I go on fertility drugs. After exactly a year of trying, we learned we were pregnant and were ecstatic. If you have ever tried for a baby, you know how discouraging getting a negative pregnancy test can be month after month. But finally, it was happening. Let the planning begin. It was at our 15 week ultrasound that our lives were changed forever. We learned that our baby had a lethal form of Skeletal Dysplasia and would not survive outside the womb. Here we were, first time parents to be, learning that not only our baby would be a little person but he had less than 1 % chance of surviving. Justin and I decided right then and there that despite the odds, we would fight for him and enjoy every minute God gave us making sure he knew nothing but love. 

Asher Knox was born on May 26, 2013, arriving 4 weeks early and much bigger than we all thought, 6 lbs 10 ounces. He looked just like his Daddy. He was perfect….he was OURS. He grabbed our hearts the first moment he opened his eyes. It was at that moment that we were consumed with love and knew that being a parent was the most important thing to us. Asher went to be with Jesus the following day and every day since, we have missed him more and more. We told Asher before he passed that we wanted him to pick out his brother or sister and we know he is working on that right now. Asher knows that another baby will not replace him. He is our first born and no matter how many children we have, he will never be forgotten. But we also know that God gave us the desire to be parents. Our arms are empty and Justin and I want the chance to love another, just as we do Asher.

Adoption has always been in the plan. Our “vision” was to have one and then a few years later, adopt whatever we didn’t have..boy or girl. Of course, our plan was very different than what we thought it would be. With the 25% reoccurrence rate of having the genetic disorder that Asher had in future pregnancies, along with a recent miscarriage and another year of fertility struggles, we feel that God is telling us the time is right to pursue adoption. We are ready. We are scared, excited, and nervous but ultimately hoping and praying that this time, we get to pull away from the hospital with our new son or daughter in the backseat. We are ready to meet our rainbow baby (a baby that comes after a pregnancy loss, the hope after the storm).

This is Asher's story....
Check out the Martindale adoption website here.

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August 4, 2014

Rock Creek Lake Camping: Part Three

The final part of our camping trip included our longest hike up to Ruby Lake. This was our favorite hike of the trip and included some really amazing views. Along the way, Nick was lamenting the fact that he had forgotten to bring the polarizer for our camera. Suddenly, out of the blue, Eddie (my brother-in-law) stopped and said, "Is this what you wanted?" And there it was. A gift from God above...a polarizer sitting on a rock as we hiked past. The perfect fit for our camera.  And now, we have some pretty spectacular pictures, thanks to the Lord's favor and Eddie's keen eye.  Do you see the rainbow in the clouds above? See....God was smiling on us.

Once again, we took a rest and ate lunch once we got to the lake, and a couple people took a quick dip...a REALLY quick dip. I also attempted to take some pictures with Silas, who was not exactly the most cooperative kid at the time. He became obsessed with putting his finger in my mouth and my nose and eventually wore himself out so much that he just rested his head on mine.

And then Silas took his afternoon nap. 

And rested in the hammock when we got back to our campsite.

The next day we packed up camp and headed home.
The End.

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August 2, 2014

Silas: Eleven Month Update

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August 1, 2014

Rock Creek Lake Camping: Part Two

Nick's birthday was during our camping trip, so he got to choose the festivities for that day.  We drove to Mammoth (not too far from our camping spot) and did a hike to Rainbow Falls, which was a fun swimming spot, if you don't mind cold water. I did not swim, but you probably already figured that out. I'm proud to say that this time, I did the first half of the hike with Silas on my back. It was Dad's birthday after all.

On our drive back to our campsite, we passed this cute little church, so we had to pull over to take some pictures.

Once we were back at our campsite, we celebrated Nick's birthday.  We also had a mini celebration for Silas's birthday, since some of the family will not be able to make it to his 1st birthday party at the end of the month. We enjoyed a delicious peach cobbler cooked over the campfire and Nick and Silas got to open some presents.

I'm almost done with the camping posts. Just one more, I promise.

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July 31, 2014

Rock Creek Lake Camping: Part One

So, we survived Silas's first camping trip.  It was very fun, just not very relaxing. Having an 11 month old who wants to put EVERYTHING in his mouth doesn't mix well with a plethora of dirt, sticks and pebbles. Thankfully, we had all of Nick's family with us to help share Silas responsibilities. While things might not have been easy on us, this kid was in heaven.  He woke up each morning with chattering teeth (gums is more accurate I guess), but laughing and squirming to get out the door of the tent.We camped at Rock Creek Lake (pictured above), which is a beautiful spot, with lots of great hiking nearby. It was fun to be able to just let Silas crawl right up to the water and splash around in it. So different from going to the beach. I didn't have to worry about him crawling all the way into the water either, because it was freezing. The weather was perfect, with crisp mornings and nights and warm days of sunshine. This is a spot we would definitely go back to...maybe when Silas is walking and not eating anything in sight.
Our first hike was from the Little Lakes Valley Trailhead.  Silas loved being in the backpack and hung out the side of it on every hike so that he could charm passerbys with his best smiles. 

We stopped for lunch at this lake, where there was some discussion about swimming, but where ultimately everyone chickened out because of the arctic water temperatures and the stinging mountain breeze that would greet them on the way out.

We headed back to our lake, where some people did brave the water in lieu of a shower. This lake was only a tad bit warmer than the other lake, so Silas and I preferred the shore....and a hot shower for me.

Family hammock time was the perfect way to end the night. Part Two coming tomorrow!

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