Happy Thanksgiving & Happy Birthday Kaia!!!


Kaia turned the BIG 1…Thanksgiving Eve…who knew we would have a “turkey baby”…sorta.

Her birthday was 11/26, the day before Thanksgiving. We thought about celebrating Wednesday, but decided against it and waited for family to join us Thursday…and we are sooo glad we did. What a Thanksgiving we had. My thankfulness and gratitude was overflowing and the 2 new little ones were a big part.

Pearlie’s parents (the kids call them Lolo and Lola), came up from Ft. Lauderdale, Pearlie’s sister, Marissa came over with her 3 kids (her husband,Nathan, is a pilot, and was flying), and my parents joined us for a fun day of playing with the kids, watching the Titans, and of course FEASTING.

Let the feasting begin!!!

Let the feasting begin!!!

Kaia was missing in this picture and during this meal, because she could not hold out any longer for her nap. She is a napping queen and is miserable if she misses them. Pearlie, lately has the kids on one afternoon nap a day, with the occasion morning one if they get up early or just seem tired. On Thanksgiving, with all her cousins to play with and all the activity and excitement, she let us know pretty easy that she was ready…Thanksgiving or not. It turned out good, because that made it better for her party later in the evening.

Tita Marissa lounging watching football Titans rout...11-1

Lola and Kaia Mateo and cousin Braden (6)

The Girls - Avery(8), Kaia(1), and Addie Reese(4)

The Girls - Avery(8), Kaia(1), and Addie Reese(4)

A big part of Thanksgiving is for sure FAMILY…and with the start of ours it was fun to see and experience how that would be for us and our loved ones. The sad part is that we couldn’t be with all the people that we love, but as always things worked out “just the way they were supposed to”, and the joy, gratitude, and love was felt for those present and absent.

all the kidsAvery, Braden, Mateo, and Addie Reesethe girls b/wthe girls (close up)

So then later on our Thanksgiving Day we got to have fun with Kaia’s 1 year birthday celebration. As usual for this age…it was more about the adults creating photo opps and having fun with it than really anything Kaia was looking forward to experiencing. But as you can tell in the video and pics she figured it out and her fun was evident and matched ours, as we watch.


birthday candle cake time!! Kaia and her parents

cake "stuffing" cake smile

Happy Birthday Kaia

Happy Birthday Kaia

pile of cake "Kaia sandwich kiss" giving some to mommy

bow Mateo got some "gift love" too

Daddy and Mommy celebrate with Kaia...Happy Birthday "little girl"!!!

Daddy and Mommy celebrate with Kaia...Happy Birthday

This last week and weekend has been so full and for the 1st time it seems that FULL does not have to mean fast and furious as well. I am sooo glad we got to slow down and enjoy not just the holiday but Kaia, Mateo, and our family. We are so blessed and happy to GET TO experience this all…My life it seems will never be the same…Rock On Friends…Happy Thanksgiving (late) and a Merry Christmas (early) and all the moments in between (just right).

welcome home lyla!

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Lyla was welcomed home Thursday afternoon by Mateo and Kaia (and many others including Pearlie and my Mom). I was disappointed that I had jury duty and couldn’t welcome them home too. The pictures are courtesy of Pearlie. Lyla is just a couple weeks older than Kaia and will be celebrating her 1st birthday this week. Pearlie and I first met Lyla when we traveled down to EN last December. Her parents, Grant and Helen Claire were their also visiting Lyla, and our family’s friendship began. We were so grateful for their insight and help, during that visit, as it was their second adoption from SD/EN. Their little boy, Graham, is 3 and is happy to welcome home his little sister. It just so happened that we had to travel to Guatemala to meet this family that lives only 15-20 minutes from us. Another gift of adoption shows itself to us. Congratulations Grant, Helen Claire, Graham, and Lyla…your family is finally all together!

Grant, Helen Claire, and Lyla homecoming Lyla and Mommy! Lyla Lyla and Kaia Helen Claire, Lyla, Mateo, and Kaia

Lyla (closeup)

october was fun!


The kids are growing and changing so fast. It is hard to keep up. I can’t really tell unless I am looking back at pictures and/or video though…living with them everyday is so delightfully different than the monthly updates from EN.

The kids are doing there usual routine these days. Mateo either got sick and passed it to me or the other way around. It is hard to know which happened first. He is such a trooper though and continues to smile and be happy even when he’s sick. I love that kid. Kaia is as full of energy as ever. She is mobile via the fastest crawl I’ve ever seen. She is way more of an explorer than Mateo and to be honest I think she gives him tips and new ideas of what to explore since he can walk pretty much any and everywhere.

We are enjoying being parents, BUT we also miss our freedom too. We miss going to any place at any time and doing whatever we want when we want it. And dare I mention sleeping in…I “forgot” to tell the kids that time fell back this weekend. I don’t think it would have mattered because on the weekend they seem to get up early and not sleep in. Did I say how much I enjoy parenting and having kids? Thank God they love hockey and the Nashville Predators (despite what their faces in this picture shows). I have some great plans for the first Guatemalan born NHL player – Mateo Jeffrey Pope!

So here is a little video recap of my family’s month along with my Mom’s 69th Birthday with us and the kids. Happy November everyone and hope your life is as full as you desire it to be and that your cup is running over with blessings and gratitude, mine is! Keep Rockin On!


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