Month of Celebrations, Especially Today!

I love August. This August, in particular, is a month of celebration and joy.

MARRIAGE :: August 5th we celebrated 10 years of marriage!!! It hasn't always been "happily ever after", but it has been a partnership deeply committed to oneness and loving each other through the best of days and the worst. In our 13 years together we've experienced some tough stuff and fought through challenges, but we are more in love with each other and more connected today than we were 10 years ago. Brian has been the most sharpening and shaping person in my life [next to my parents?]. I respect, love, and admire him more than words can say.

We imagined for our 10th anniversary that we'd escape to Hawaii or Europe, but with 2 little ones only home for 6 months, the best we could do was 1 night away in a local hotel. My mom was so generous to provide us 30 hours away from our kiddos to reconnect with each other and enjoy time together. It was an amazing gift...we were crazy excited!

View of the pool where we spent many hours lounging
Celebratory gift from our hotel

We cannot wait for the next 10 years of life and partnership together. The best is yet to come...

BIRTHDAY :: August 9th I celebrated my 32nd birthday. This was my first birthday where I didn't take the day off work and solitude at the pool with my Bible and journal in hand. This birthday started EARLY with 2 toddlers who intuitively must have known it was my birthday. They awoke at 1am, 4am, and 6:30am. I'm sure they meant to wish me happy birthday, but it wasn't my love language [wink]. My mom was still in town and I was able to celebrate with her - what a gift!!!! We ate breakfast overlooking the ocean, my mom gave me a beautiful charm necklace with Judah and Addise's names engraved, our Embassy date, and the quote "chosen. to belong. to be loved."

After a half dozen pictures, this was the best we could do.

MEET THE COUSINS :: This past weekend Judah and Addise met their Puerto Rican/Finnish cousins, Luna and Esa. Since they left, Judah keeps asking for "Muna". They had such a great time together playing at the beach, checking out the aquarium, and hanging out together. We are SO grateful that Brian's sister's family drove 17+ hours each way to meet our kiddos!

The fairest of babies with the brownest of them

REFERRAL ANNIVERSARY! :: Today, August 16th, marks 365 days since we first saw Judah and Addise's faces. You can read the original post about "The Call" HERE. You can read my first thoughts about Judah [Lil A] and Addise [Baby T] HERE. Re-reading these posts, I can't help but weep in gratitude for all God's done this past year in our family. Judah and Addise are miracles. They were brilliantly chosen by our God for our family. They have grown SO much this past year in every way.

One of Judah's referral pictures.
Those eyes and chiclets teeth captured my heart!

The first time I laid eyes on my daughter.
Her lips and rolls wrecked me.

It's hard to describe the year our family has had. We are celebrating so much this month. Recently, I told Brian "I've never been so happy!" We are living in the goodness of God more than we ever could have imagined. We are grateful for the pain. In fact, I confessed to Brian that I'm GLAD we never got pregnant. If we did, we wouldn't be Judah and Addise's parents, and that is impossible to imagine!!! We are grateful for the transformation we've experienced through the heartache and waiting and loss. Brian and I are forever changed by our love for each other and the gifts he's given us in a 3 year old boy and 18 month old girl.

Thank you, Jesus. We celebrate because of all you've done.