Wednesday, February 29, 2012

adios february

for a february, i can't remember a better one.
big things have happened in the Penick household this month
i got my horse's tail highlighted and then had six inches chopped off

just a little evening color & cut

new do//6 inches off

and for the last week we've been undertaking a major purge in our house
but for good reason

productive morning//giveaways

with a little push, we decided to turn our third bedroom that was once our office/library/clothes/storage room into a nursery for baby #2!
these bags were just after day one
since this photo the donation bag count has at least doubled
filling up our entire foyer

it's a good feeling - purging
also a good feeling was moving all of our books downstairs
out in the open to browse at random

so now, with the help of a little spur of the moment ikea trip with my favorite little road-tripper yesterday, we got a piece of furniture that let us move all of our clothes from the third bedroom into ours - and he got a few wooden toy trains for being the best little sidekick i could have ever hoped for.

we left the house at 8:30 yesterday morning, drove the two hours to pittsburgh with him talking and laughing and clapping to the music in the back - then we got what we needed and fed him lunch and we were back in the car by 11:30. home by 1:30pm. he slept the whole way home and still took a nap from 3 to 5.

i had never taken a road trip just the two of us, and i must say, he definitely convinced me that more will probably be in our future.

then last night Curtis put our new purchase together as Micah did his part to help (ie. distract)
it's a work in progress, but a huge step closer to preparing our home for a new member of our family
Curtis says i'm nesting, but i just feel excited. excited to give this baby a room as special as Micah's was for him. One we labored over, prepared, and yes, maybe nested over too.


so yeah, February was grand, and i think March will be just as exciting.

on the agenda:

room demolition (& hopefully after that a quick insulation/drywall/mudding & paint job)
our first family vacation to Florida with my parents
Lord willing we'll finish our paperwork for our adoption so we can start our home study

Happy Leap Day folks!

Friday, February 24, 2012

and just like that, the boy is weaned.


I know all of our routines are an ever changing lot but this one
this one has been with us since the hour he was born
from that first sleepy suck to last night

I almost can't imagine a new routine that doesn't include nursing bras

As he laid on my pillowed lap last night I knew it was time.

an anticlimactic end to a year + a week of nursing.
as he finished he looked up at me and touched my nose, giggled, then yawned
in that moment I made up my mind - this would be the last night
and just like that, we were done.

I gave him a hug and a kiss like every night, but unlike most, 
last night I whispered in his ear "thank you for letting me nurse you this long."
and then we walked across the hall to his room and I laid him in his bed.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

and the boy is 1

i really don't even know what to say
i've spent the last two days
replaying last year's events
hour by hour in my head
when my water broke
how we went through the drive-thru at Starbucks on the way to the hospital
21 hours of labor
2 hours of pushing 
and his arrival
then this morning Curtis was putting together a little slideshow for his birthday and we looked through
dozens of pictures from the last year
it has been one amazing year spent with this little guy
and now, just like that, we don't count his life in months anymore, but years
but oh, he will always be my baby!

happy birthday micah david

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

our valentine's day, in pictures

reading grandma & grandpa penick's valentine's day card

love, g&g penick
our kitchen chalkboard
i *heart* him
our v-day motto
just a little bit of v-day morning crafting
watercolor heart garland in the kitchen window
morning view
watercolored card for him
valentine's for micah's sweethearts
all ready for our lunch date
love notes stuffed in our mail boxes
tweet tweet, i think you're sweet
so glad we can love
a heart
cards (he called me his trophy wife! haha)
my gift to him, a little place to show him how much i love him
today's reason
because he knows how much i love my ice water
new bottle next to my old faithful
micah's gift to me because he wants to paint i guess :)
one of curtis' coworkers sent home this hand-me-down toy for micah - i think he now wants to be her valentine
our reflection on our way to our little lunch date

*we may all have coughs and sniffles, but we didn't let that stop us.
he brought us home thai takeout for dinner
we opened cards and little gifts
put the boy to bed and now
season two of downton abbey.
i'd call this a very happy valentine's day indeed.


love day

even with coughs and sniffles and ear infections and pink eye floating around our house for the last week i was determined to have a nice valentine's day with my boys.
with a little creativity and crafting, we're keeping the day simple and full of love with the help of a little watercolored garland on the kitchen window.

this afternoon micah and i met a friend and her three little girls for lunch. micah enjoyed the attention from his three sweeties, got his first birthday card and a sweet little friendship bracelet. now he's napping and i'm thinking about what i want for dinner. we're thinking thai takeout, but if we're feeling wild, we might go out - our little family of three. although we'd hate to ruin anyone else's kid free date night by toting along our toddler. we'll see.

then cards and little gifts exchanged between us. i'll show you what i made him in another post, and as for what i'm getting, i'm not sure. all i know is that he took micah with him yesterday for a little trip to target. when he returned he snuck up to our room to wrap whatever it was and then told me, "i know you jess, don't worry, i wasn't shopping in the valentine's day aisles." i'm curious to see what they came up with, he said micah was a big help.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

v-daying it up

Micah is on day two of a fever.
He was up much of the night burning hot, poor baby.

So we spent part of our home bound morning turning a little corner of our dining room into a small corner of valentine's day love.

As you can see I have no clue what to do with the little bible verse I wrote out in v-day colors ;)

1 John 4:19
"We love because He first loved us."

A great verse for this season of love if you ask me.

Monday, February 6, 2012

tree lawn treasures

as we were pulling into our driveway last night after the super bowl we noticed that our neighbors had put their train table on their tree lawn.
so although our house is cozy (ie. small) we were in agreement that Micah would live it - which he did!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

adoption: an update for February 1st


You probably already know that we are in the thick of the "paperchase" to adopt an infant from Ohio.

What for a while was a slow pace to take our time, to spread out the ages of our children a bit has turned into a full out sprint to this baby.

We decided two weekends ago that if this is the thing we are called to do right now, then we must move at full throttle to that end.

That and the fact that the adoption tax credit hasn't yet been extended past adoptions finalized in 2012, so we hope to be on the receiving end of at least a good chunk of that $12,600.

Finalizations occur 6 months after the placement of a child, so if you're following along and doing the math, you  may be wondering if we realize we're be hopefully getting a baby by the end of June.

Yup, we did the math too -- and we know that pretty much means we could be about 5 month "paper pregnant right now.

As I write this, I am nursing our 11 1/2 month old, carrying his tired, limp body to bed for the night. To a crib.

Yup, we realize that we will need two cribs. That our kids may be less than a year and a half apart. And yes, that this may be the hardest thing we've ever done. But at this point, we know what we know and there's no convincing us out of it.

To say we're thrilled and terrified would be an understatement. But we know what we know and what we know is that we are supposed to adopt, so we run, sprint, pant out of breath to that finish line that we pray comes by December 31, 2012.

And we know it may not. But we also know that if we don't make the cut off, and don't get the $12,600, the Lord has still got this and he will provide.

And you know what, we're really not stressing. Even apart from the government rebate (that would come in 2013, so we still have to come up with the $ upfront) and apart from the $5,000 Curtis' company will reimburse up as part of their adoption program, we are still looking at a larger-than-we-can-handle sum of money.

And although a whopping $25-30,000 total has the potential to scare any sane, budget-conscious family to flee - we, like so many other families we know, do just the opposite.

Although we have moments (many actually) of being scared, daunted and doubtful, we know, know, know that God's got this. He's not daunted by that sum. And better yet, He already knows (cuz He planned it) just how we'll pay this bill.

This is not too big for Him. And in our best moments we trust that.

So what's next?

We are trucking through the last check boxes in our over an inch-thick stack of paperwork. We are starting our home study, we are figuring out a finance plan.

To be honest, we're not sure how we're going to pay. We have some money saved from my working, we know ( or hope more like it) that we'll be getting $17,600 back next year from the government and Nestlé) but we still have to fill the gap and come up with that $ up front.

We're debating fundraising. We're compiling a list of grants. We're debating about asking for a loan, tapping into our home equity (what little we have), using a credit card. The bottom line is we will do anything to bring this baby home. we are even praying about asking folks for support. It takes a humility that just doesn't come naturally. Honestly, we don't know what to do, but what we do know is that it is just one of many opportunities to trust.

After all, it's not our money anyways. Last week, on our chalkboard in our kitchen Curtis wrote out this verse from 1 Chronicles 29:14

"But who am I, an what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you. And of your own hand have we given you."

It is all His. Every last penny. And whether friends, family or strangers give generously or we fill up a credit card limit for this baby, it's not our money. And while it's humbling, it takes the pressure off.

So we're not sure what we're going to do, how we're going to pay, but we do know lack of money will not be a deterrent to adopt. ever.

So, if you will, pray with us that we will obediently, humbly walk this road not in any confidence in ourselves, but in full confidence that He who called us will make a way.

And we look forward to sharing here exactly how that way will unfold.

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