Friday, January 16, 2015

Because Sometimes You Need An Attitude Adjustment

Patience is a virtue. It's also one of my areas of weakness . . .one of the things with which I struggle the most.

I have been incredibly impatient lately. I am frustrated that we haven't received another referral. I'm frustrated with the prospect of waiting even longer . . . of doing yet another home study update . . . of Andrew growing older while he waits for a sister.

I'm anxious for this referral to come, and everyday I wake up hoping that this will be the day. While I think it's important to wait expectantly, I also know that dwelling on the wait is not healthy. I know it makes me lose sight of what is right in front of me. It makes me a less than pleasant person to be around.

I was praying and telling God how I felt about all of this, and I told Him that I don't know how to not be anxious for another referral. I don't know how to do this waiting time with grace and dignity. And as so often happens, God spoke to me not in words so much but in the gentle way that He impresses on my heart. He reminded me that this isn't about my desire to have a daughter. He well knows that desire. He is more than fine with that desire. This struggle is about me not trusting Him. It's about me being afraid that somehow we're going to miss out on the daughter that is meant for us. That somehow God isn't going to get it right. So yeah . . .

That's not exactly something of which I'm proud, and I won't pretend that I was suddenly magically happy about waiting. But I'm determined to do this God's way. I have no choice but to wait on His timing. There is really no way around that, but I do have a choice about my attitude. How I act (or don't act) while I'm waiting says a lot about me and who I think God really is.

As always, I come back to His Word (to one of my favorite scriptures): Philippians 4:6-7  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Friday, January 9, 2015

California: California Adventure and Cleveland National Forest

California Adventure

On Monday morning, we once again we're up at the crack of dawn to head to California Adventure. California Adventure is the newer of the two parks. It has Nemo, Frozen, Cars, Toy Story (most of it . . . some is in the Disneyland Park), Monsters, Inc., etc.

The first ride we rode was the Radiator Springs Racers. There was a little bit of a wait, but it was so worth it. I don't have as many pictures from California Adventure. We didn't take out the big camera so all the pics were just on the phones.

One of my favorites! I love Sully!

We didn't quite shut the park down, but we got close. I think we were here about 12 hours, and our feet were just about done by that point.

Favorite Ride: Radiator Springs Racers - I think we all agreed on that.
Favorite Food: Ghirardelli hot fudge sundae
Favorite Area: Hollywood Land - the backdrop of the sky was incredible
Favorite Show (in both parks): Hands down, Aladdin, in California Adventure. It was awesome!

Favorite Park Overall: Andrew - California Adventure (this is the park for your kids - it's a Disney-Pixar wonderland); Patrick - Disneyland (I think); Me - Disneyland, no contest. It was far and above my favorite.

Drive Down the Coast and Through Cleveland National Forest

On Tuesday it was a lot cooler and rainy, and we were all "theme parked out" so we decided to take a scenic drive. We drove down the coast through Laguna Beach where I texted my reality show obsessed sister a bunch of random pictures that aren't internet worthy. Eventually, we ended up driving through Cleveland National Forest. It was really pretty and a nice change of pace after two insanely busy days.

This trip was something that we felt like we needed as a family after the crazy 6-7 months we've had. It hasn't all been bad. A lot has been good, but it has been insane. In addition, we are hopeful that this time next year we will have another little one at home, and a lot of our traveling will be on hold (at least for a while). 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

California: The Pacific Ocean and Disneyland

We got up way before the crack of dawn on December 27 . . . try 3:00 a.m. . . . to head to the airport and catch an early flight to L.A.

We got to California around 8:30 in the morning, got our rental car, and headed toward Anaheim. Obviously, we had quite a bit of time to kill so we decided to drive to the beach. The weather was beautiful. It was in the mid 60s but calm.

We were able to check into our hotel early so that was a plus. Our hotel was not in the resort. There are a lot of hotels in Anaheim and only a few in the resort which are super pricey. Almost, all of the hotels run shuttles every 30 min. to and from Disney so it's not a big deal to stay outside the resort. After, resting for a little while we headed to Downtown Disney. 

It was pretty packed, and between getting up in the middle of the night and the time change, we were exhausted so we headed back to the hotel early. I think we were all asleep by 8:30.


First a quick explanation on why we chose Disneyland and not Disneyworld: There were a couple reasons. The first was that we only had about four days and we knew that Disneyland is much more manageable than Disneyworld if you only have a short amount of time. I've been to Disneyworld, and I know how huge the resort is. Disneyland can easily be covered in 2-4 days depending on what you want to do. The second reason, and the most important for me, was the nostalgia factor. I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff, and this is the original Disneyland. It was Walt Disney's original dream, and I wanted to be there. If I had to choose between the two, I'd probably go back to Disneyland, but that's just me. They say that people usually have their favorite, and they don't often waiver. Disneyland is definitely mine. 

We got up bright and early because we wanted to be there when they opened the gates. We chose one of the busiest times of year to go, but I in no way regret that. First, if you've never been to either Disney resort, I encourage you to go even it's just to one park for one day. Disney isn't just about the rides. It's about the whole experience. And they do theme parks like no one else can. They are efficient, fast, clean, and magical. Yes, I'm being all cheesy, but I am not a theme park person. I don't like Six Flags or Schlitterbahn (there I said it!), and I like, but don't love Sea World . . . but Disney . . . I love Disney. Second, it's just fun to go at Christmas time. The decorations and the trees were amazing.

I could put these in some sort of order, but I'm too lazy. Just know they're all taken at the original Disneyland park at some point during the same day.

No one does rides like Disney does rides. I loved every one I road, but "It's a Small World" was my favorite. I'm nothing if not cliche. 

Sleeping Beauty's castle. I can't tell y'all how much I loved this. I was just like a little kid. 

This made Andrew's day. He took all his superhero shirts with him, but he just happened to be wearing his Captain America one. If you'll remember, because I know our lives are just that important to you, he was Capt. America for Halloween.

We spent 14 hours in the park . . . 14 hours! Please don't anyone expect me to do this at Fiesta Texas or Sea World or Schlitterbahn . . . it isn't happening. We stayed for the big end of the night show and fireworks. I'm so glad we did. It was spectacular.

My favorite ride: It's a Small World
My favorite area: It's a toss up between Fantasyland and New Orleans Square
My favorite food: The Corndogs at the Little Red Wagon . . . yes, they are that good!

Next up . . . California Adventure and a scenic tour. I know you cannot wait!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Christmas Recap

So it's been a while. Things have been busy, and I have so much catching up to do. Christmas was great. Crazy, but great!

This is just a small sampling of all the festivities (and eating . . . lots of eating). Andrew got a few toys (Legos galore) and a couple of other things, but his big gift . . . our big gift as a family . . . was a trip to California to go to Disneyland. We left the Saturday after Christmas, and we had the best time. But that will have to follow in a couple more blog posts so as not to send you into picture coma.

Bulgaria has been quiet which is normal and to be expected during the holidays. I'm anxious for things to get moving again and praying that we here good news soon. Hope everyone had a great holiday season!