Thursday, December 28, 2017

Seattle Aquarium

We ventured into the city to check out the aquarium before the year was through. It was fun to be in a place filled with tons of critters found locally. Beautiful fish found in the Puget Sound, harbor seals and otters, jelly fish and octopus... It was definitely worth the visit, at least one time... the view from the aquarium is unlike any other, surrounded by the Sound on all sides, and a view of the wharf.

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Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas 2017

I'm pretty certain every year, I think the same thing. Christmas comes... I blink... and then it's gone. It flees all too quickly. The beauty of the season is so magical... so beautiful... and this year, we even had a "White Christmas"!

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Monday, December 18, 2017

the Hopeful

When we first adopted our Charlotte... she was completely nonverbal. She didn't speak any Ukrainian or Russian... Her room in the orphanage was right beside the music room. When we were walking her back to her room during one of our visits, just as we passed the music room, she started humming a sweet tune to us. She was in perfect pitch. It completely warmed our hearts to hear her voice for the first time. Language came over the months following... and it became evident that this girl had an amazing talent with her beautiful singing voice. We found out when she was homeschooled in Kindergarten that she needed hearing aids for her sensori-neural hearing loss. We were completely blown away by the fact that she was on pitch, even with having a hearing loss... in both ears! People have told us throughout the years that this girl needed to be part of a choir, and to have voice coaching/lessons. When the opportunity presented itself, that she could join a chorus... I plugged her right in. The very first time she practiced and came home, she announced to me, "Mom, I found 'my people'... " with a huge smile beaming across her face.

Her first concert was 2 weekends ago... The Christmas Concert. Marley and I created a bravo bouquet just for her. It was full of roses (because they're Charlotte's favorites), and tied up with fancy strings. Not sure what possessed me... but I really believed that the kids would do alright watching Charlotte perform. I was little disillusioned... optimistic... hopeful. We made our way to the chapel where it was held, and immediately began trying to figure out how we were going to make it through a performance where every little tiny human was melting down over something different. In the end, we sent Daddy home with all the littles...thankful to him for handling the littles so I could stay to listen to the rest of the concert (it was 2 hours long!) with my sister in law, Courtney... ate a quick cookie during the reception that followed, and took a Lyft home after that. It was the craziest thought... that we could all "enjoy" Charlotte's singing... and maybe in a few years, we will be able to. I'm not losing hope... Call me Karen... Karen the Hopeful.

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Business Down Below, Party Up Top

This year, decorating our Christmas tree was a little more interesting. Having 1 little one that pulls on lights and "play" with the ornaments, is one thing... BUT, we have 2 little ones that liked to pull on lights and "play" with the ornaments. So this year, we limited our lights and ornaments to the top 3/4 of the tree, and only non breakable ornaments were allowed on the tree. You can call it the "business down below, party up top" tree. Each year, my favorite part is finding an ornament for each of the littles that matches their personality... I wrap them up and stick them in their ornament boxes. At the start of decorating, everyone gets to open up their new ones... watching them stick their ornaments on the tree, is the sweetest part. Sometimes they're clustered together in one general location and other times they're spread out all over the place. It's easy to want your Christmas tree to look "perfect"... but to me, the wonky way they decorate it, is exactly that.... "perfect".

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