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Saturday, June 11, 2016

A Difference A Year Makes

A difference a year makes...
I couldn't let this day pass, before taking time to reflect on June 11th, 2015. 
A year ago today, I found out that we were expecting our sweet little bonus baby.
Truthfully...I was a bit terrified when those two pink lines appeared and the "pregnancy" word popped up on the blue test.  My littlest was 5 years old, and my body was 36 years old.  I knew that this pregnancy would be different than Bella's. 
June 11th, 2015 was also the night that Bella graduated from preschool.  I remember sitting in the sanctuary feeling a bit panicky about where life was about to go. 
So much has changed in this past year.  New baby, new home, new job position for Mark.  It has been so much transition. we all know...transition is very difficult for children with special needs. We have had many meltdowns, tantrums, tears and anger at times. 
Even the little pink princess has had her fair share of difficulties with missing the "yellow house".  Not even joking...she slept on a little mattress at the foot of our bed for 4+months.  Finally...she is sleeping in her own room. 
Matthew has been an incredible blessing.  I call him our "bonus" baby.  After so many miscarriages and loss in my twenties, God saw fit to bless me with biological children in my thirties.  The pregnancy was hard though.  I've yet to share too many details yet.  Part of me is still processing. 

I enjoyed as much of his pregnancy as I could.  I was so sick for 12 weeks and then all sorts of medical fun was headed my way.  But with the help of one incredible doctor, we made it to the other side.  Truth...I think these parking spots are more needed after you have a baby and have so much stuff to carry.

Matthew at 10 weeks in utero.  It is so amazing and leaves me in awe that the human body knows what to do to grow, fed and nourish a tiny human.

A fulfillment of a promise.  The completion.  I am so honored to be his mama.  To meet his every need.  To rock him and sing to him and hold him and feed him at 3 am.  A true blessing.

What a difference a year makes!  From two pink lines to 16 pounds of chunk.  I love that life is full of surprises (especially ones you didn't plan on). 

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." ~Romans 8:28

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Crib

It's been awhile since any little one in my house slept in a crib.  Bella had a lovely white crib that was still very useful, but due to the drop sides was no longer safe.  We purchased this one at Target when we were going through the re-licensing process for foster care last year (which would be two and half years ago now).

Recently while spending some time cleaning Luke's room, I took the crib down to give him a little more space.  But when faced with the prospect of putting it in the attic, I found I couldn't.  Two summer's ago, God whispered to me, "I'm not done with you yet."  I have held on to this promise since.  So I moved it into our room.  It is a daily reminder to me of God's promise.

I had several miscarriages before Luke joined our family.  When I was pregnant the first time, I went out and bought the most beautiful wooden cradle.  I imagined myself rocking our soft bundle back and forth while singing softly in the darkness.  Several stuffed animals graced the inside of the white eyelet bedding.  When I lost our baby, I was devastated.  The cradle became a mysterious, secret piece of furniture that seemed to scream "empty" at me every time I would pass by it.  I would try and fill it full of stuffed animals and blankets but it's silence was deafening.  Eventually I would sell it because the pain was too great for me to handle.  Nothing quite turned out like I had planned.

I still feel reverence for the crib.  I still feel like it is sacred.  When it was finally time for a crib, I felt like I had accomplished something.  When we stood over Luke's crib, with him sleeping in it the first night he slept in our home it was a victorious win for my soul.

I went on to have many babies sleep in my cribs over the years (foster babies, adopted babies, biological babies)...Jennifer, Theresa, Gabe, Gracie, Jamie, Karma, Sophie, RJ, Tyson, Penelope, Zachary, Isabella, Robby, Kenneth, Levi and now Matthew (our grand finale).  They each teaching me something about myself, about love, about acceptance, about faith, about patience, about time. 

**I started this post several years ago, if you can believe that.  It has sat in draft form for awhile.  I was in the midst of knowing our family wasn't complete; however, totally unsure of how the completion would come.  I would wrestle with these thoughts almost daily.  In true God fashion He is never late.  His whisper of "I'm not done with you yet"  was fulfilled.  Several years ago, I would have almost 100% told you that our final child would be through adoption.  In my wildest imagination I never thought I would have another biological baby.  What an amazing journey and blessing to the completion.  God really writes the best stories.  And now...this crib...the exact one in the picture.. is set up in our room...and a sleepy baby occupies it finally after years of wonder and a whole lot of faith.

Saturday, June 4, 2016


Welcome Home Dahl Family!
On January 9, 2016, we moved into our new home.  There is nothing more exciting and nail biting than moving when you are almost 9 months pregnant!  After great lengths of discussion, Mark and I felt there would be no GOOD time to move, so we finally decided to bite the bullet and proceed with moving.  The end of November, on our way to cut down our Christmas tree, Mark drove me by our "new" house for the first time.  On December 2, 2015 we made and offer and put our yellow house on the market.  It sold 48 hours after listing.  And the rest, they history.  :)  We were so blessed that the timing for selling and buying worked out mostly seamlessly.  And most everything was unpacked by the time Matthew made his grand entrance.

So for the first time, I share with you all our home.  Come with me on a tour....

This is the large room that greets you when you walk in the front door.  Lately, I have been enjoying finding large alphabet letters to hang around the house.  This room is a study area for the kids, my desk and work space and the piano also lives in this space.  This room leads into the family room and the kitchen. 

This is the downstairs hallway that leads to the half bathroom and if you turn right at the end of the hallway takes you to the garage.  I also keep a gray laundry basket at the bottom of the stairs to put Matthew's soiled clothes into.  It keeps things more organized and saves me a trip upstairs (as our laundry room is on the second floor).

This is our half bathroom.  It has a Mickey Mouse theme. 

This is Matthew's changing table area.  I find I change him more downstairs so we have all his diapers, wipes etc. organized on his changing table.  His baby calendar also hangs close by.

This is my wonderful kitchen.  The door leads into a large pantry.  Huge blessing to have a pantry to store food and gadgets.  Truth...I have some empty cupboards and drawers.

Matthew's feeding cupboard.  This is his area where I keep everything for his formula and bottles.

This is our family room.  Bella is so excited to have a fireplace where Santa can come down this year. 

Upstairs hallway.  The door on the right is Bella's room, the door straight ahead is the kids' bathroom and the door to the left is Grace's room.

This is the little hallway that leads to the laundry room. 

Inside of the laundry room.  It is soooo wonderful not having to laundry in the garage. 

Bella's side of the room.

Matthew's side of the room.

Grace's room.

Luke's room.

Our room and Matthew's room currently :)

Kids' bathroom.

Our backyard with covered patio.
The trees are gone now.

Another view.  It is a smaller backyard than what we had at the yellow house; however, we have so much more space in our home.  There is a park close by and we live on a cul-de-sac so very little traffic.  The kids enjoy playing with the neighbors' kids too. 

I feel so incredibly blessed to have this home.  Sometimes I feel like pinching myself to make sure it is true.  After waiting and wishing and praying for so long for more space we finally got it.  I am so thankful for all the blessings this house provides to each of us!   

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