Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Boys

Just some pictures for now. Pictures of our boys with their friends who are more like family. Love seeing these goofy, silly, sweet, fun boys all together. Can't wait to wait them grow up together! So grateful for the privilege.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

In Memorandum -- One Month

It's hard to imagine it has been a month since Dad passed away. It's even harder to imagine the months that stretch ahead without him.

This morning, on the way into work, a random song came on the radio (already I can't recall the specific tune) that took me back -- back to my childhood, back to those uneventful and seemingly irrelevant, unimportant moments. Those moments you don't realize until much later that are in fact the very fabric of who you are. Those moments that mean so much. Those moments that ARE your childhood and the basis for where you've gone and who you have become.

Dad was such a integral part of so many of those childhood moments. This morning I was whisked back to the late 1970s. Any given night. Dad would have to work at night and would willingly drag me along to Raven. Sometimes we'd settle into his office: the radio would be playing while I was pounding away on the ancient (even then) typewriter while he worked on various tasks. He'd always allow me to get a pop from the machine, and in special instances, I'd even get a chuckwagon! Other times, I would lace up my roller skates while Dad would flip on the lights, turn on the air compressor (because who knew when I'd feel like stopping and blasting the "air jets"), and while I skated around the plant he would crank the music up over the loud speaker. Music I'm sure he detested but played because he knew *I* liked it. It was one of those songs that was on the radio this morning. It was one of those songs that had me standing in the middle of Raven, Industries circa 1979. It was one of those songs that had me sobbing on the way into work this morning.

I know that some day it will be these memories that give me comfort and bring me peace and joy. Right now, though, it's these memories that create an ache in my heart and soul that make it hard for me to breathe.

Below is the letter I wrote to Dad shortly after he passed. It was read at his funeral. I wish I'd had more time. More time to make it more eloquent. More time to include more memories. More time..... I miss you Dad. I love you.


A couple months ago around Father’s Day, you were sitting on my couch, and I had just seen a post on Facebook that stated there were some questions that everybody should ask their Dads. I pulled out the list and ran through every question with you. What’s funny, though, is that I don’t remember a vast majority of what was asked or answered. What I do remember, though, was your response to two of the many.
I was reading through the list and came across, “How would you describe your wife?” Your reply? “The love of my life.” The other? “What are you most proud of?” You stated simply, “My family.” You reiterated those very sentiments mere hours before you went Home to be with your Father. Those short, simple statements, summed up perfectly why you lived your life the way you did and what it was you valued.
Day in and day out you proved how important your family was to you. You worked hard for over four decades for the same company and proudly served your country for over three decades in order to provide an amazing life for us. Even when the years were lean, we never wanted for anything. And somehow, we could even manage some “special” family vacations: trips down to see David at Ft. Sill (I don’t know who the h@ll's driving in the morning, but it sure the h@ll isn’t going to be me!); cross-country treks to California to see the relatives (the front seats of that Tempo really did allow for some leg room in the back!); and so many more. Later in life there were trips to the Cosnap Mountains (who would have ever thought a mountain range could be that big?!) and several trips to Europe. There’s no doubt you definitely traveled lots of klommitters creating precious memories along the way. Memories your entire family will cherish.
When we were at home, though, there was always an abundance of laughter and love in our house. You and Mom created an environment that fostered that. You two showed us all how a true partnership worked. Your marriage was an example of selfless love, kindness, patience, respect, and understanding. AND compromise….. That atmosphere invited people in, and while we were growing up we always had a house full of friends who were more like extended family. It was a fun, relaxed house thanks to you and Mom, and we were always allowed to be who we were knowing always that we were loved unconditionally.
Dad, I will miss, we ALL will miss you: your gentle nature, your tender heart, your impressive intellect, your quick wit, your sense of humor, and so much more.
Dad? If you were proud of us? It was due in no small part to the example you set and the home you helped create. I told you just days ago that you are the greatest man I’ve ever known and that I am proud to call you Dad. I pray that right now you can look into my heart, see into my soul, and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that truer words have never been spoken.
I love you Dad. Too much.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Impending Six Months and Mothers's Day

Six months ago I was standing at a table at the Civil Affairs Office in Wuhan, Hubei, China waiting to meet our son. Six months ago, when this precious, beautiful boy walked through the door, he took my breath away. 

Aiden & Ethan meeting their baby brother for the first time ❤️

I was in love.

Fast forward six months. I still love him. Even more now than the day we met him! He is precious, and smart, and stubborn on a level even I have to admire.
Fast forward six months. It's Mothers' Day, and I have all three of my boys under one roof. AND, I'm the mother of THREE BOYS.
Fast forward six months. I am still breathless -- but for entirely different reasons. I quite simply no longer have time to catch my breath! Wow. Three boys: ages (almost) 7, 4 1/2, and (in 3 months) 4. Yeah. I'm tired. A lot.

But, oh, my heart. I would not miss these guys and this beautiful craziness for all the energy in the world. I would not trade this insanity, this (marginally) controlled chaos for any amount quiet, calm saneness.

And I know. I know. It's only going to get busier, more hectic. Wilder. Can you think of a more wonderful reason to be exhausted, though?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

It was official....

....three months ago today,

and our lives have been infinitely better every day since!

We are so grateful you are our son and brother, Carter Allen!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Three Months Ago

What were you doing three months ago? Here's what Troy and I were doing. Yep. We were China bound. Now, I don't know if I should say it was JUST three months ago or it was THREE WHOLE MONTHS ago. Sometimes it seems like a lifetime ago and then it seems like it was just yesterday. Mostly, though, it feels like he has been ages since we went to get our little guy. I forget he has only been with us for a few months not forever. The reality is, three months ago we landed in Shanghai,

giddy with anticipation!

Monday, January 26, 2015

We Built Us a FORT!

Because I haven't been busy enough with my return to work, being sick (probably Influenza A), having a very sick kid in Ethan (definitely Influenza A), and trying to find our new routine / balance, I decided to do a quick make-over of the storage area under our stairs. We simply do not have enough space in which the boys can play, so I decided to create a "fort." With the help of Emily (and hers and Jeremy's generosity to allow us to use space in their garage for the winter), I did just that. It is still a work in progress, but the boys love it, and hopefully it will help us to retain a shred of sanity, especially on the probable bitterly cold, snowy days we're still facing this winter and during the rainy cold days we're all but guaranteed this spring. I know I wish I'd have had a fort like this when I was a kid. Heck, I wish I had one now!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Our Last Days in China -- A Pictorial Review

On one of our last days, we had our Consulate Appointment.

With this appointment, Carter got his US visa ensuring that once we touched down in the US, he became a citizen

That night, after spending the day making a stop to buy some pearls at the pearl market, we went on the Pearl River cruise. We all had a wonderful time eating Papa John's pizza and enjoying a Pearl River beer.

The next day, after making a last stop on Shamian Island and eating at our neighborhood, legitimately local restaurant, we took a van with an wonderful couple from Nebraska down to Hong Kong.

Our last day was spent in Hong Kong. Well, not really. Most of it was on Lantau Island where we took a 25 minute (ONE WAY) gondola / cable car ride where I was fairly certain we would plummet 100s of feet to our deaths in a ball of twisted metal and broken glass. Against all odds, we did not and spent a fabulous day at the Big Buddha enjoying the breathtaking scenery and gorgeous weather.

The rest of the day doesn't even warrant the time it would take to explain. Suffice it to say, getting off the MTR at either the Hong Kong Station or the Kowloon Station was more than a little confusing and the taxi / color / island system does not lend itself to usage when you're tired, hungry, and annoyed. We may have gotten "stuck" in an incredibly upscale mall. Frustrating does not begin to do justice to the emotions we were experiencing.....

At one point, when we did step away from the metro station proper, we were greeted with this amazing sight. Sadly, we could NOT figure out how to get there! Geez.

We finally gave up at went back to the hotel to eat supper. At least it was astronomically expensive. :( This does not sit well with a penny-pinching tightwad such as myself, but it was the last day, and we were done. A detail worth noting? Throughout the entire day (1/2 day debacle), Carter did not fuss. Not once. The kid is ridiculous! Starting on the metro, he even fell asleep for about an hour and a half in his stroller,
that is until Troy pulled him out to hold him so he would be more comfortable. We can only pray that this kind of travel is not a fluke or related to the state-of-adoption-shock. He was like that the entire two weeks we were together in China. He made the time in-country far too easy which allowed us to see a lot of China and experience a lot of the culture. What a blessing -- in so many more ways than that, obviously!

Coming home the next day was nothing short of brutal, not because of Carter since he slept, played or watched videos; rather it was brutal just because it seemed to be the eternal day. We were awake for nearly 40 hours straight. However, the rough day of travel was somewhat mitigated by being met at the airport by a couple "groups" of people. Our boys, other family and close friends greeted us at the top of the escalators.

As we descended, we were welcomed by a group of students.

A warm, sweet welcome to say the least! Our home was even festooned! And snacks and beverages were waiting as well.

Sigh. We are more blessed than mere pictures and words can convey.

Since then, jetlag has been a cruel and constant companion. Hopefully that will be gone soon, too! It is sitting heavily with me now, though, so I will conclude this post. In the next post, I will try express our gratitude, though, as intimated earlier, paltry words probably cannot do it justice. Til then....