Monday, December 20, 2010

Frosty the Snowman

This past weekend, we got about 2" to 3" of new snow on the ground. The kids are out of school now for the Christmas break and it was cute seeing all the neighborhood kids out in their yards building snowmans! Ethan was no exception and Jason helped him to make a really tall snowman. Ethan loves being outside when his daddy is outside and doesn't seem to mind the cold! I truly am blessed to have these two wonderful guys in my life :)

Ethan likes eating the snow

Rolling up the middle section of the snowman

Almost there!

Now for the head

Just about done
All done!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Jingle Bells, Jingle All The Way

Yesterday, Ethan's kindergarten class put on a Christmas program for all the moms and dads. They got to dress up in their nicest clothes and sing us some songs that they had been working so hard on. We heard favorites like "Jingle Bells", "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer", "The Twelve Days of Christmas", and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas". They even sang one that I hadn't heard before about baking Pumpkin Pies and eating Peppermints around the tree - So cute!!
So cute in his Christmas outfit!

My little "chef"!

"Jingle Bells Jingle Bells Jingle all the way!"

Getting ready to be a "partridge in a pear tree"

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It's December and Christmas is coming! I always love this time of the year because there are three holidays that we get to celebrate during the fall: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. This also means I get to decorate our house which I enjoy :) I thought that I would share just a few pictures of some of the decorations that I have put up in celebration of Christmas. Enjoy!
Ethan in front of the our Christmas tree

The decorations on top of our entertainment center.

Christmas Nativity set

I love the lights and pine bow on our banister. So pretty!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What adoption means to us

Since the purpose of this blog is to share with potential birth parents a little more about our family beyond what they might see on an online profile, I thought it would be a good idea if Jason and I were to share our feelings about adoption and what it means to us.


I will admit that when Jason and I first started down the path to building our family, adoption was something that was just there for me. I guess I should explain further by saying that I knew that I wanted to be a mom but didn't really care how I got there. Either we would achieve pregnancy by natural or assisted means or we would adopt. I hadn't really given adoption any thought beyond that it was just a way for us to build our family. I have known many people in my life that were adopted including Jason's mom is as well as his sister's husband, and it didn't seem scary or strange to me. Of course, now I can fast forward five years and realize just how important adoption is and, what a selfLESS decision it is, because of the joy I experience every day being a mother.

Adoption is a most wonderful blessing. It is also one of the most selfless things a person will ever do. It is not selfish to think of someone else's needs above your own. I am truly grateful each and every day for the decision that Ethan's birth mother made in not only giving him life but giving him A life that she knew she wouldn't be able to give him. I do look forward to being able to bring another child into our home. I don't know when that time will come but I am excited.

Ethan and Mommy on the Ferris wheel at Santa's Land


I have been around adoption my entire life with my mom and my aunt having both been adopted by my grandparents.  Growing up talking about adoption with my mom, I thought adoption was the “cool” way to come to a family since it meant you had a lot more people who loved you right from the start.  As I’ve gotten older and Laura and I have gone through the adoption process ourselves, my enthusiasm for adoption continues to grow.  I see it as a win-win-win for everyone involved—the child, the adoptive parents, and the birthmother. 

The child receives the blessing of joining a family and being loved by parents who have been waiting and preparing especially for him while also knowing he has a birthmother who loved him enough to give him more than what she could provide alone.  The adoptive parents receive the joy of welcoming this special child into their home and experiencing the increase in love in their hearts for the child as well as the birthmother who has given them such a wonderful gift.  The birthmother receives the satisfaction of knowing she sacrificed her own needs and desires for the benefit of the child she gave life to, benefits from increased opportunities in life that may not have been available otherwise, and expands her own circle of love with the adoptive family.

Adoption certainly isn’t the easy way out for the birthmother, especially in the short term.  However, I know from my own experience it can bless everyone involved.

Jason and Ethan shoveling the driveway

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Let it snow Let it snow Let it snow!

Well, first off, I have to admit that I am one of those people who just LOVES the snow! It makes everything so pretty and clean and white and yes, I love the cold too! Jason loves it as well and doesn't mind having to go out and shovel it off the driveway and sidewalks. In fact, his dream is to one day be snowed in but of course I always ask him "Have you EVER been snowed in?" His answer is always "No" and I have to remind him that I have been snowed in and well, it's really NOT that much fun :( The first couple of days are neat but then, once you can't go anywhere, it gets boring. Luckily it doesn't snow so much here that we get snowed in and the cities are pretty good about plowing so I know that I can always get out if I have to. Anyway, this past Thanksgiving, we got some snow storms that were fun. The first one that came didn't really dump on us that much but the Sunday after Thanksgiving is when we really got it! We woke up to around 4" and then we got even more on Monday!! Can't wait for more :)

Look at all that snow!

Our little snow shoveler :)

Glad Jason doesn't mind shoveling the snow!

Ethan loves to help his Daddy to shovel the snow

View of our backyard

A sledding we will go!!

The weekend before Thanksgiving, a big snowstorm blew through the area and the temperature got really cold! This made for some prime opportunities to go sledding during the Thanksgiving holiday :) Jason and I had found a really nice sledding hill in a park that we knew we wanted to check out sometime. The day after Thanksgiving gave us the perfect opportunity to do so. By the time we got to the park, most of the snow from the top of the hill was melted but there was plenty on the sides to still do some sledding. Ethan really enjoyed himself and he wasn't afraid AT ALL of going down the hill by himself on his sled. We also brought some tubes that we had and shared them with others that were at the park sledding as well. My brother Rick came too and wished he had brought his snowboard! We stayed for over 3hrs and we thoroughly had a great time :)

Getting ready to go down the hill

Ethan and Daddy coming down!

Look out for Uncle Rick!

We love living where there is snow; it's fun to play in!


This year for Thanksgiving we stayed at home and my brother and father came to celebrate the holidays with us. It was nice to see them again and have them stay with us. The big snow storm that was passing through didn't really hit us too bad though my brother Rick had to drive through the brunt of it! My dad said that his drive up from Las Vegas was nice and sunny though a bit cold. The day of Thanksgiving was nice and Jason enjoyed cooking a nice, big turkey for everyone. We served most of the traditional trimmings (mashed potatoes, salad, cranberry sauce, stuffing, rolls) with a most delicious apple and chocolate pie. Later that afternoon, after everyone was pretty much stuffed, we took a drive together just to get out of the house. This drive is becoming sort of a tradition for us on Thanksgiving Day and gives us something to look forward to. Later that evening, Jason and I spent time deciding which stores we were going to hit for Black Friday and even decided to stay up late to go to Wal-Mart (which opened at 12am). Though we didn't get anything, it was still fun to see all the shoppers in the store!
The table all set to eat

Jason carving the turkey while Ethan watches

Our family on Thanksgiving

My brother Rick on this cool train car we found while driving around

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dear Birthmother

First of all, we would like to thank you for taking the time to get to know us. We know that you have many options to consider for your baby and we hope that as you make the decision that you feel is best, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you no matter what you decide.

In 2005, we adopted our little boy Ethan, who has brought so much joy and laughter into our lives. Although his birth mom chose to have a closed adoption, we still think of her often and are grateful for her decision to place. We do look forward to having an open adoption relationship and would love to talk about it with you should that be your desire.

We met in 1998 at a church dance, and were instantly captivated by each other. We were married about 7 months after we met, and our relationship has become even better as the years have passed. 

No matter what we're doing, the best part for us is just being together as a family.  We both enjoy hiking and being outdoors, and our extended family members often go with us. We especially enjoy loading up the car and heading out on road trips. This past summer, Ethan and Mommy flew to Georgia where we visited with family. We also spent three days at a mountain retreat for a family reunion where Ethan was able to go four-wheeling. He loved being able to get dirty playing with his cousins! Trips like this have given us the chance to see many different places and keep in touch with our extended family. We also have a family tradition where every Friday night we get a pizza, watch a movie, and Ethan tries to stay up as late as he can!

Jason is fun loving, loyal, and likes to do things outside.  He loves hiking and working in our yard.  He is always making up little songs to sing to Ethan and me and likes making us laugh.  I enjoy watching him play with Ethan, and you can see how much Ethan loves his daddy.  Jason grew up in Washington State and comes from a large, close-knit family. He is the oldest of six kids.  Some of his best childhood memories are of exploring the woods on his family’s property and helping raise different farm animals, including his own calf.  Jason is a hard worker and is very supportive of me staying at home.

Laura is outgoing and friendly with everyone she meets—which is why I fell in love with her so quickly.  We still laugh about our first date when we went to a sandwich shop for lunch.  I finished my entire sandwich before Laura had eaten half of hers because she had been so busy talking.  Laura also has a talent for being able to laugh at my homemade jokes, even when they’re not very good.  She comes from a family of three and, as the oldest, she enjoyed taking care of her younger sister and brother.  Now, she’s a dedicated mother to Ethan, and he loves having her always near him.  Whenever he’s hurt or sad, he wants his mommy to comfort and soothe him.   Watching her with Ethan makes me count my blessings everyday that I’ve been so lucky to have such a wonderful family. 

Ethan is a lively little boy and is curious about everything.  He loves to be outside playing and helping his daddy. Ethan also likes to play with his cousins, who don’t live far away. He also started school this year and loves riding the bus, playing with his friends, and learning. Ethan joining our family has been a simple miracle, and we’re so thankful for the decision his birth mother made to place him with us. We tell him all the time about who she is and that she loves him very much.
Our families are very supportive and excited to see us expand our family through adoption.  Jason’s mother and brother-in-law were both adopted and express gratitude for the decision their birth families made in choosing adoption.

We enjoy many traditions with our families.  One of our favorites is going up in the mountains and cutting our very own Christmas tree just after Thanksgiving.  We also spend a week every summer camping and hiking as part of our annual reunion with Jason’s family.  Christmas Eve is very important in Laura's family. After a delicious dinner of Southern fried chicken, we open presents. After wards, while all the kids are playing with their new toys, we sit down to watch "A Christmas Story". We end up quoting all our favorite lines from the movie and laughing together :)

Although we can never truly understand your difficult decision, we pray that you will find strength and peace as you make plans about your baby's future.  Even though we have not yet met you, you are already in our thoughts.  Should you choose our family with the gift of your precious child, please know that there will be no greater joy for us.  Thank you for considering us, and may God bless you in your decision.


Jason and Laura

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Family pictures

This past May, we had some professional family photos taken. I had been wanting to have some done for awhile now but lots of things kept getting in the way (money, time, figuring out what we wanted, etc). A professional photographer, who was adopted herself, was offering her services for free to any adoptive couples that wanted some pictures taken for their blogs, pass along cards, or adoption profile. Of course we jumped at the chance! I really liked how they turned out and wanted to share some of my favorites :)

Monday, November 15, 2010


This year for Halloween Ethan wanted to be a pirate. He found his eye patch from some McDonald's kid's meal while playing and that was what made him decide. We also did our traditional carving of pumpkins but this year, we got to use pumpkins we had grown in our garden. Jason planted a different variety than last year and they were much better, more like the ones you can pick yourself or buy at the grocery store. Also, Ethan's school held a carnival on the Saturday before Halloween that we went to and he had so much fun riding the rides and seeing all his friends! Halloween is a lot of fun in our house and we look forward to it every year :)
Ethan being a scary pirate!

With some of the pumpkins that we grew in our garden

Ethan loves carving pumpkins and here he is with one of his creations!

Jason and I at our ward's Halloween party

Going Trick or Treating :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Baja Mexico cruise

This past September, Jason and I had the opportunity to take a cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico. My mom came to stay with Ethan for the week so he wouldn't miss any school. This was our third cruise together and we were looking forward to getting away as a couple. Jason got me to go ocean kayaking while in Catalina (which took some nerves of steel not to panic ON THE OPEN OCEAN!!) and in Ensenada, we went to go see La Bufadora which is one of three natural blowholes in the world. Of course, I have no pictures from when we went since Jason thought he had grabbed the camera but actually grabbed the camera case (with no camera inside!). This was actually my second time there so I am just going to add some pictures from when I first went (which was only in May). Overall, we had a great time, loved being together, and want to try and cruise once a year.
Getting ready to go ocean kayaking.
Waiting for a boat to go by.
The blowhole in Ensenada
Jason in the main plaza of Ensenada.

Ethan's first day of kindergarten

Ethan turned five years old in August just in time to start kindergarten. I think Jason and I were probably more excited/sad for him to go to school then he was. For the few weeks before he started, he kept making comments that he didn't want to every go to kindergarten but once he met his teacher, Mrs. Wright, on Back to School night and started riding the bus, there was no looking back!

Say "Cheese"!
Waiting outside his classroom

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Here's to blogging!

Yes, this is my first "official" blog. I have been reading others' blogs for a few years but never really created one before. Call me resistant to change or a technophobe, but I have decided that maybe it's time to start one. So far, so good can you tell? I really like how things have come together and it has actually been fun thinking of the various posts/pages I can create. I'm not very creative so it has been a learning curve for me to figure out how to create a blog but things have gotten so much more "user friendly" that even an old dog like myself can learn :) Anyway, if you have come here either by accident, or on purpose, thanks for stopping by!  Oh, and leave a comment because that would be great :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ethan Edwin

In June of 2005, we were lucky enough to be picked by a birth mother who was expecting a baby boy in August. We were able to  meet her and her daughter before Ethan was born.  We had the awesome experience of being able to hold him when he was just hours old and until we brought him home from the hospital, we were there taking care of him and bonding with him.  We will forever be grateful for the gift his birth mother gave us to become his parents.

We brought Ethan home when he was just 5 days old.  My family was waiting at the house and we had quite the Welcome Home celebration.  A few days later, Jason's sister Stacey came by before she went back to school to see her newest nephew.  We had fun adjusting to the schedule of a newborn and Jason was wonderful in helping  out with the late night feedings.

Ethan has brought so much joy into our lives. We enjoy being his mom and dad and can't till the day when we can adopt another baby because we know that Ethan will be such a great Big Brother!

Ethan meeting his new cousins Jason, Ryan, and Jenna  
Ethan being held by his Aunt Christa
Ethan being held by his Aunt Stacey

Our house

In 2006, we decided that we missed the mountains and snow of Utah and moved back after living in Las Vegas for almost three years. We were able to get a good sized house in a nice city for a much better price than we would have in Las Vegas. Construction was started in September and we were able to move in right after Christmas of 2006. The next summer Jason worked really hard getting the sprinkler system installed and the grass planted. It was great that by Ethan's second birthday in August, there was enough grass for a pool party! Jason also constructed, with the help of his father and brothers, a really cool jungle gym with a large sandbox underneath. This jungle gym has definitely been the envy of the neighborhood and it's not surprising to find most of the neighborhood children playing in it. Eventually we would like to finish the fence around our house and build a deck outside our back patio.

Under contruction

The finished product