Friday, January 31, 2014

Cooley Aston McFarlane

Dear Cooley, 

The past year of our life could probably best be described as "full of surprises." With the addition of you to our family being the greatest of those unexpected events. Although having a baby in a different country was not specifically in our plans, we know that it was part of a greater plan for our family and are so grateful for the many ways that your birth has brought us closer together. Although you have only been with us a short time, it is very apparent that you were a missing link in our family chain. Everything about your birth story has been out of the norm for us which has helped us learn and grow through the process.

One of the coolest experiences about your birth has been getting to bring you home to meet your brother and sister. When Maeli saw you for the first time she couldn't stop laughing she was so excited. She helped put you in your car seat and held your hand the whole way home. And when you began to cry when the nurse pricked your heel for a test, Maeli began crying too. Although her interest may wane over time, know that she loves you and will always be there to comfort you when life "pricks your heel."  

Your brother, Milo, has been enthralled by you since the moment he first met you. He loves to have us sit you on his lap so he can touch your face and "burp" you. He showers you with kisses all day long and has been found on many occasions to lay on his belly next to you to look you in the eyes and jabber away. We know you won't always get along but hope you will both remember how lucky you are to have a built-in best friend in your family. When life gets crazy, you will appreciate having someone willing to put the world on hold to be by your side. 

Cooley, as we hold you in our arms, we can't help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude that our Father in Heaven has trusted us with your care. As we get to know you better each day, we fall more in love with you and the spirit you bring into our home. We know that you have a special purpose here on Earth and that we have so much to learn from you. We are so excited by all the possibilities that your little life brings and can't wait to build a lifetime of memories with you. We love you baby boy.


Mom & Dad


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Princess Ears

Big day for this girl! After months of begging, this princess FINALLY has pierced ears!



Sunday, January 26, 2014


These days, an occasional snowflake is the closest we come to a Circle K slushy. 



So Happy Together


Monday, January 20, 2014

Nursery Time

As much as we have enjoyed chasing this mischievous face around church for the last year, we enjoyed dropping him off at nursery for the first time even more.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Funny Guy


A Weekend In London - Day 2

Stop 4 - Buckingham Palace: After arriving at the London Eye and finding that it was closed for maintenance, we grabbed the bus and headed over to Buckingham Palace to watch the Changing of the Guard.

Stop 5 - Open Top Bus Tour: During our stay, we used the open top buses as our primary means of transportation. The kids were most excited about the fact that they didn't have to wear a seat belt while driving around.

Stop 6 - Natural History Museum: We made a quick stop at the Natural History Museum to see a few of the larger displays we thought the kids would like. The highlights were the life-size dinosaur and blue whale displays. We found that Maeli was not particularly fond of the life-size hippopotamus display.

Stop 7 - Hyde Park: Due to the cold weather, we decided to forgo our initial plan of having a picnic in the park and took a stroll through the park instead. The kids particularly enjoyed chasing the birds along the lakeside.

Stop 8 - Covent Garden: Since we missed the street performers the night before, we headed back to Covent Garden to see what all the hype was about. The kids were thrilled to find that there was a performer doing balloon animals. Both kids ended the night happy with a flower balloon hat and a balloon turtle.


A Weekend In London - Day 1

Stop 1 - Tower of London: We started our trip by heading over to the Tower of London. The kids had fun seeing the crown jewels and the armor worn by the knights. Although the torture chamber was a bit difficult to explain to Maeli, we had fun navigating our way through the tower and exploring the different rooms.

Stop 2 - Hamleys Toy Store: With two kids under the age of 4, we figured that a stop at Hamleys Toy Store was pretty much a requirement. With 7 floors of over 50,000 toys, the store has been voted one of the top 10 toy stores in the world and has been said to be the world's oldest toy store. Our favorite part was getting to see all of the toy demonstrations as we shopped.

Stop 3 - Five Guys (in Covent Garden): Of all the food choices in London, we chose...Five Guys. I have to admit that this was the first "normal" American dining experience we've had since moving overseas (ie. quality, portions, drink refills, etc.). Needless to say, it was nice to encounter a small piece of home.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Donadea Forest


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