Saturday, April 27, 2013


Last week (during school vacation for all the local schools) the University of Maine women's soccer team held a soccer clinic for little soccer players!  We happen to know the U-Maine soccer coach and his wife because we have done a number of Lifelines trips with their teams over the years.  And then last year their oldest daughter was in Lily's class at school and this year their youngest daughter is in Eli's preschool class!  It's been really fun to have continued interaction with this family.  And this afternoon soccer clinic that they put on for the kids was awesome!  Eli was in the younger group and Lily just made it into the older group.  This was Eli's first time really doing anything with soccer (though he badly wanted to be a part of Lily's team last fall) and he LOVED it!  I'm not sure I've ever seem him so attentive and focused (though most of it was pretty fun) and I have to say that I think our little boy is going to have some skills!:)  And Lily loved it too (just as much because she was with her friends as because the games were fun)!  Lily starts spring soccer next week and luckily enough we got on the team we were hoping for...coached by our friend Lynn (the U-Maine soccer coach's wife)!  And we also found out that the U-Maine soccer team is going to be hosting a week long half day soccer camp in July for kids both Eli and Lily's ages and I'm thinking that this just might be the perfect distraction for our kiddos as we wait for baby boy's arrival (or maybe, hopefully,  during the first few days after his birth)!  Yep, spring and summer soccer is upon us (for the first time) and we are very excited!

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It's a Girl!

Don't worry, I didn't give birth a few months early and I am still very much pregnant with a little boy.  But we do have a new baby girl in our house.  Let me introduce you to Sadie...

Sadie3 (1 of 1) Sadie is the lab mix puppy that we adopted from an animal rescue on Sunday! If you read my blog last week she is the first puppy I mentioned there. To be totally honest I had sort of decided that this time around I wanted a pure bred yellow lab puppy. Indy was a lab mix that we adopted from a shelter and while he turned out to be the most wonderful dog I often felt like we just got lucky. Indy behaved pretty much just like a lab- and thankfully that's what we wanted. So this time around I felt like maybe we shouldn't chance it and we should just get a pure bred lab. I was also fairly certain that I wanted a different color this time (yellow) so that our puppy wouldn't constantly remind us of Indy. That's what I thought I wanted. Joe was more open to the idea of adopting another lab mix from a shelter, but I just wasn't excited at all about any of the pups he was finding. And then my friend Sarah posted a picture for me of a lab mix puppy that was available through a animal rescue in Southern Maine. It was Sadie (who was named Blondie then). And I instantly fell in love with her. There was just something there and I just knew that she was the one...she was ours. 

 This animal rescue brings dogs up from kill shelters in the south and Sadie arrived in Maine last week (we think from Florida or Georgia, but I'm not totally sure yet). Everything moved quickly and we were approved to adopt her. But then one of the other dogs on her transport was infected with the parvo virus and all of the dogs (including her) had to be in quarantine. We didn't know if she is healthy and we really had no idea if or when we would be able to adopt her. That's when I began thinking again about other options. But I just couldn't get this sweet little lab out of my mind and it just felt like she was meant to be ours. We didn't know what to do. Joe left to lead a men's outreach in New Hampshire over the weekend and I kept allowing myself to daydream that maybe the rescue would contact Joe while he was away and that somehow someway he would still be able to at least see the puppy on his way. Okay, I dreamed too that he would bring her home, but I never really allowed myself to believe that was an option. But then on Sunday morning I got a call from the animal rescue and was told that Sadie was released from quarantine because her medical records showed that she already had the virus (in fact, it almost killed her not long ago). After a short flurry of calls everything fell into place. On his way back home Joe stopped to meet her, knew she was the one after a few minutes, and brought her home that evening!!! 

I just can't even tell you how much we are all in love with her. She may not be exactly what I thought I wanted, but sometimes that just doesn't matter at all...because I think that she was meant to be a part of our little (growing) family. She is just totally precious and overall such a good puppy. Sadie is really sweet and playful. She loves playing fetch and chase and playing with just about any toy we give her. The kids are over the moon with her and love that she will actually play with them. She's a pretty good little retriever. And when she's not playing she is the sweetest little snuggler ever. She loves to just curl up right next to you or in your lap and my heart melts every time. She also loves to give kisses (complete with puppy breath and all). She is very affectionate. And though she is very playful and clearly has a thing for shoes she is actually fairly mellow for a puppy. She does have energy and she does like to chew (and for some reason she gets really excited by Lily's hair and trying to catch her dress) but she is a puppy and she is pretty easily distracted. 

 We don't know too much about her background yet (and much of it we may never know). What we do know is that she is a black lab mixed with something (but what exactly we have few ideas). She has the sweetest little bob tail, a large white patch on her chest, and white patches on her back feet (and one adorable spotted toe). She has one little patch on each ear that doesn't have fur (and won't ever have fur) that they say is a birth defect. She is about 10-11 weeks old and is little right now (maybe 10-12 pounds). She came to Maine with a sister who is a little bigger (and has been adopted by another family). She was very sick with the parvo virus and almost didn't make it. The animal rescue called her their miracle baby. You would never know now because she seems perfectly healthy. She is wonderfully crate trained and amazingly she goes into her crate at night (in our living room) without a peep and sleeps through the night (without any accidents). During the day is a different story. She will go to the bathroom outside almost every time we go out, but she will also just as readily go to the bathroom in the that will be a process. But again, she's a puppy and we sort of expected that.

 Overall we are just taken with her. She is the sweetest, most snuggly little thing. But she's also full of energy and playful. She's great with the kids and she is fitting in just perfectly with our family. We got "lucky" with Indy the first time around and I think that it may just have happened again! It just feels right having a black lab in the house again!:) There is much puppy love happening in our house these days... This is a picture of Joe and Sadie taken by the animal rescue the day that Joe picked her up (the rest of the pictures are mine): Joe and Sadie Sadie (1 of 1) Sadie2 (1 of 1) Sadie4 (1 of 1) Sadie5 (1 of 1) Sadie6 (1 of 1) Sadie7 (1 of 1) Sadie8 (1 of 1) Sadie9 (1 of 1) Sadie10 (1 of 1) Sadie11 (1 of 1) Sadie12 (1 of 1) Sadie13 (1 of 1) Sadie14 (1 of 1) Sadie15 (1 of 1) Sadie16 (1 of 1) Sadie17 (1 of 1) Sadie18 (1 of 1) Sadie19 (1 of 1) Sadie20 (1 of 1) Sadie21 (1 of 1) Sadie22 (1 of 1) Sadie25 (1 of 1) Sadie26 (1 of 1)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

7 Months!

Well, I'm 7 months into this pregnancy and I am growing by the minute.  Seriously people seriously.  At 5 months I looked more like I was 3 or 4 months pregnant...but something has happened in the last two months (the last one especially) and I swear that I look more like I'm just weeks away from giving birth!  I just don't see how there is another good 2-3 months of growth left to take place...I might explode before that happens!:)
Every time I make some kind of comment about how large I feel or look Joe just smiles and says nothing (he's no fool).  So the other day, as I struggled to find pants I felt comfortable in, I commented to Joe on his lack of comment.  He smiled and quietly said, "Yes, you are larger than you were with the other pregnancies."'s not just in my head!
And although I don't love it, it doesn't really bother me so much that I look bothers me that I feel large and crazy uncomfortable (already).  My back is killing me (and per my doctor's recommendation I may need to see a chiropractor if I'm going to make it through the next couple of months).  I'm going to start with a visit to my friend who is an athletic trainer/massage therapist and see what she can do for me.  My recliner, massaging back pillow, and Therabead warming pack are the only things getting me through the day.  It's not pretty.
I'm also already starting to have a harder time breathing.  More than once recently I answered the phone and the person on the other end commented how I was out of breath.  Nope...I didn't run for the phone.  Once I just walked across the kitchen and the other time I was totally standing still.  Hmmmm....
I had a nasty little cold a week or two ago and the nausea is still lingering a bit (but nowhere near as awful as it was).  I'm also not sleeping super's just hard to get comfortable.
So there you have it...I just can't believe that I feel like this and I am still months away from giving birth!  This having babies when you are nearly 36 thing is no walk in the park!:)
But now that I am done sharing all my woes I will once again acknowledge (as I tell myself multiple times a day)...this is ALL worth it.  Our little boy is more than worth it and pretty soon these aches and pain will all be but a memory, but I will have our son for, Lord willing, days and years and decades to come.
So, here's the latest picture.  I promise that one of these days I will get somebody else to take my picture...most of the time I just catch a glimpse of my growing self in the mirror and decide to snap a quick picture.  This was taken yesterday and the kids and I were playing outside for hours.  I had a sweatshirt on earlier (which is why my t-shirt is tucked it), but it got to be 70 degrees here and even I was outside in short sleeves for a bit!
  7 Months (1 of 1)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Choosing the newest member of our family...

Ever since we lost Indy we've been thinking about another dog.  Another dog will never replace Indy...he was our first baby and he will always be special to us.  And there have been moments, as a result, when we didn't feel like we wanted another dog...we just wanted Indy. But the reality is that we are a dog family.  The house feels so quiet and lonely without a dog around.
This week we have been dog sitting for Joe's brother.  We wanted to help them out, but we also wanted to sort of test Lily's allergies.  See, technically she has tested positive for a dog allergy.  But the only time we noticed any affects with Indy was when she slept in the same room as him.  Otherwise she was totally fine.  But we have always wondered if that was because she was exposed to him since the day she was born.  We wanted to test her around another dog and we are excited to share that she did great.  We feel confident now in moving forward.
So we are ready to choose the newest member of our family!  We know that we want a puppy.  Indy was already four by the time Lily came around and he was really mine and Joe's.  He was patient and tolerant with the kids, we trusted him around them, and he was increasingly protective of them but he was never very affectionate with them and he never really played with them.  We would love for the kids to have a puppy...a dog that has energy and wants to play with them and will feel like their's as much as ours.  A puppy that will grow with them (and that we can train).
We are also pretty sure that we want a lab or a lab mix.
But beyond that we are feeling a little conflicted about what to do...
This week our friend Sarah introduced us to a dog rescue in Southern Maine and this little sweetheart:
Photo: TINY TITAN BUS PASSENGER #11:  BLONDIE!!  Blondie is 10 to 11 weeks old and an adorable black lab mix.  Blondie beat the odds and survived a serious illness.  She is our miracle baby.  Blondie would love a home with YOU!!  MAINE FOSTERS/ADOPTERS needed for this baby.  Stubby tail and intense gaze, she is awesome! She's a 10 week old lab mix that was just brought to Maine though the dog rescue.  She was really very sick as a baby, but she survived a terrible virus.  We have no idea what she is mixed with, but right away we fell in love with her.  We applied this week and were approved to adopt her.  Joe was hoping to meet her tomorrow and then if all went well bring her home on Sunday.  Except that one of the other dogs she was transported to Maine with earlier this week tested positive for the parvo virus (the same one, actually, that almost already killed her) and now all of the dogs (including her) on that transport are in quarantine for a week before they can be tested for the virus.  We don't know if she is still healthy, we don't know when she would be available to adopt or when we could meet her.  I feel a little bit heartbroken and we just don't know if we should wait for her or if we should consider one of the other options...

One other option is one of these lab/shepherd puppies available through another dog rescue in Maine.  We are still waiting to hear back from them on some details...but they also seem hard to resist:

And if that weren't enough we've been in contact with another family that has lab puppies that will be available in May (they are only a few weeks old). They have some yellow females and sent us this picture today:
Ugggg....puppy temptation everywhere we turn!:)  We don't know what to wait on one of the rescue mix puppies (none of which have any guarantee at this point in time) or go for the lab puppy (which we could guarantee with a deposit right now).  If we wait on the rescues the lab puppies could all be spoken for by the end of next week.
What to do...What to do?

Monday, April 15, 2013


Easter17 (1 of 1) Easter16 (1 of 1) Easter15 (1 of 1) Easter14 (1 of 1) Easter13 (1 of 1) 
In the week leading up to Easter we tried to do a little something each day to help the kids prepare for and celebrate Easter and the real meaning of the holiday. We colored Easter eggs, did resurrection eggs, made the above "stained glass" crosses, made resurrection rolls, etc... And our Easter weekend was full and busy and filled with friends and family. The day before Easter we had two birthday parties...Hannah's American Girl party and our niece Brenna's fun bowling party! Sadly Eli caught a nasty little cold that weekend so Easter was a bit of an adventure. We went to church with Joe's mom and somehow we made it through the hour and 45 min. long service even though they didn't have a nursery...all things considered the kids did pretty well. But by the time we got back to Joe's parent's house it was obvious that Eli, though totally adorable in his little suit, was sick and exhausted and hungry. He was a bit of a bear the rest of the day. He might be smiling in a few of these photos, but that was no small feat. And the reason I don't have more pictures from the Easter egg hunt we did that afternoon is because Eli was having a bit of a rough time through it all. All in all though we were able to be with family and friends celebrating the life giving resurrection of our Savior and that made for a special week and weekend. Easter (1 of 1) Easter2 (1 of 1) Easter3 (1 of 1) Easter4 (1 of 1) Easter5 (1 of 1) Easter6 (1 of 1) Easter7 (1 of 1) Easter8 (1 of 1) Easter9 (1 of 1) Easter11 (1 of 1) Easter12 (1 of 1) Easter10 (1 of 1)