Sunday, June 29, 2014


One year ago tonight at 11:30pm we arrived in Raleigh. Personally, I was a sick, emotional mess. Brian, despite no sleep, was amazing. I think he got his second wind when we landed in Newark and he got to eat a good 'ole fashioned American hamburger. I, on the other hand never really got a second wind. On our flight from Beijing I woke up feeling like someone was running nails inside my throat. My head hurt and my body ached and I just wanted to be home in my bed. When we landed in Raleigh I couldn't get off of that plane fast enough. Brian had JG and laughed as I ran ahead. I was beyond excited to see my boys and couldn't wait to hug their necks. I was crying before I got to them and it only got worse. I didn't care how many people were around, I cried the ugly cry long and loud while I hugged them. I didn't realize Aubrey was recording it all but I'm glad she did. I have tried to upload it to no avail. Pics will have to do.

A year home. Of course its hard to believe. JG is growing and changing so much I can't even keep up. She's a little taller but has only gained about 4 pounds. Her Nai Nai just bought her a pair of shorts that are 12 months and they are still somewhat loose. She is talking in full sentences. In fact, she rarely stops talking (it can be a little exhausting at times). She comprehends in ways that blow my mind and cause me to realize I need to be careful what I say and what I do. She is watching and taking it all in, like a sponge. There are many things B and I are experiencing for the first time because we've only had boys up to now. Some things are fun and wonderful, and some drive us crazy. But overall having a girl is a gift from God. 

We couldn't be more thankful for this journey of adoption and pray we stay in God's will regardless of how hard it is. 
Please hop over to and see what else we are up to. 

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

19 Years

It all began with the cliche, their eyes met across a crowded room. Only, it wasn't crowded. We were in a management training seminar for Mazzio's Pizza (a restaurant chain we both worked for) and all I could think was, "Crap, he is so cute, why was this the day I forgot to wear mascara?!" As we went around the room introducing ourselves I was immediately drawn to how funny and cocky he was. It was instant. It was September 1994. 
Even though we all ate lunch together that day, he didn't say two words to me and then I didn't see him again for 2 months. 
It took me forever, but I finally figured out which store he worked at and would stalk it, always hoping his massive green truck would be sitting out front. It never was. 
And then, one day, he walked into my store. I rang him up for a buffet lunch, he went and sat in the TV room and still never said a word to me. I didn't get it. I gave him all the signals a girl could give. Insert Seinfeld quote here: 'Cause its signals, Jerry, its signals. 
Finally, one evening in March of 1995 while I was eating at his store he asked me out. Took ya long enough, I wanted to yell! 
Just about 8 weeks later on June 3rd 1995 my ready made family, just add a husband, was ready. 
People who hear our story usually say things like "Well, when you know, you know" or "You were made for each other" and I always shoot back with the same thing: "Honey, I didn't know a thing except that the sex was good and I wanted a father for my kid!" 
They always laugh and I laugh too but its the truth. I had a 20 month old little boy and felt like damaged goods. I would have married anyone. But I didn't just marry anyone, God gave me a piece of gold when he gave me Brian. 

This was our first family pic taken shortly after we were married. 

Brian and I didn't know each other from Adam. We both came from horribly dysfunctional families and carried on the same cycle with each other until God, in his mercy and us in our pain began to fight for something better. We began to choose to love each other and we began to pray for God to change ourselves instead of pointing the finger for God to change the other. We began to put God first and each other second. We fought hard and we went through a lot. We almost lost each other a couple of times but somehow persevered. We always had amazing friends in our lives that held us up and held us accountable and most of all we always had godly counsel to mediate during the really tough times. 

I can honestly say now I married Brian because I lusted him but I'm still married to him because I not only love him but I am IN LOVE with him. I can finally say, and it took me about 12 of the 19 to get here, that he is my friend. I love talking to him, I love sharing with him and being with him. There is no better place to be than at home on our couch like vegetables in front of the TV. 
I am a better person because of him and we are better because of all we have been through. As we embark on this second journey of adoption, navigating a kid-out-of-the-house relationship, getting two more kids through high school and the joys of toddler hood I know I can do it because he is by my side fighting as hard as I am. 
Marriage is a gift that is never to be taken for granted and I am so thankful that we have both CHOSEN to work hard to keep it in tact.