Category Archives: Family

Happy first day of Summer! With this hot weather we’ve been having, it’s hard to believe today is just the first day. We are SO CLOSE to our one year anniversary of “family day”!!! I can’t wait to share that blog post with y’all!

We’ve done a lot already, but here’s a list of things we would like to do together this summer:

  • Celebrate Family Day!
  • Visit our local farmers market
  • Make this heart tie-dye shirt 
  • Run through the sprinkler
  • Dollar movies
  • Go to the beach
  • Spend more time with Nana since she’s off
  • Build a sandcastle
  • Splash Country
  • Dollywood
  • Go to Mimi’s pool as much as possible
  • Bake cookies for friends
  • Catch lightning bugs
  • Plant a tree on the farm
  • Water gun fight
  • Play with sparklers
  • Ride bicycles
  • Play in the rain

Here’s our biggest bucket list item: HAVE FUN! As a mom, it’s easy to overdo it trying to make every summer moment extraordinary. And while some moments should be amazing, I need to realize that she’ll love every moment as long as we are together and having fun. Just sitting on our land eating dinner makes her happy…

View More: of course eating watermelon is her favorite… _KLP9967Happy summer everyone!

Sweet P’s Uncle Zack got married May 14 and it was the best day! Sweet P was a flower girl and I was afraid she would be overwhelmed but she handled it like a pro. The girl can flower girl like no other and seeing her walk down the aisle in that dress made me tear up! Be sure to check our Instagram for her awesome dance moves at the reception!

We started off the weekend with the rehearsal dinner at World’s Fair Park. The weather was perfect, and it was great finally meeting Jessica’s friends and family.


Dinner was at Downtown Grill and Brewery. My husband, Zack’s brother, gave a speech and let me just brag on him for a second:  It was the BEST best man speech I’ve ever heard, and I’ve been to a lot of weddings (we film/photograph them for a living). Casey prepped and thought it out for a awhile. He wanted it to be perfect and it was! He tied in stories about their childhood, and it was funny yet sentimental. The one thing I’m sad about is it won’t be on video like the speeches at the wedding. Hurts my heart because it was that good…oh well!

The wedding was at Gettysvue Country Club and it was a beautiful day! Every detail was thought out perfectly. The theme, the colors, it was all stunning. I was very honored that Sweet P was a flower girl and I was asked to be a bridesmaid. We’re so happy to now have Jessica as a sister!!

Sweet P and her cousins, beautiful flower girls…


I was so proud of myself for not taking my professional camera! This was very hard to leave home, but I decided to live in the moment and enjoy the day with family. These photos are a compilation of phone pictures from me and family (thank you Starr). 🙂 IMG_7901

13234935_10206449911393549_2006307166_o13234482_10206449908313472_500382620_oCongrats Uncle Zack and Aunt Jess!! We love you!


Our precious girl just turned F O U R!


We absolutely had the best time celebrating her. She had been counting the days to her birthday for weeks. She woke up that morning saying “my birthday is today? My party is tomorrow?” She couldn’t wait. It was a very emotional week for me I won’t lie. If you follow me on Instagram then you’ll catch a glimpse of my feelings. Birthdays are hard on any mom, but I feel they can be even harder with the backgrounds our little adopted ones have come from. I cried often and even broke down at her party as we sang happy birthday. I just couldn’t help myself, I’m so proud of everything she is. Y’all that know me know that I love to make a big deal out of birthdays so we kind of celebrated a majority of the week:

Thursday was her actual birthday so I took her to Knoxville to get her nails done and a day of shopping. She LOVED having her nails done. Oh my goodness, the entire time she was grinning from ear to was so cute. And of course no birthday is complete without a trip to Wasabi…

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Thursday night we all went to Cracker Barrel with the family and celebrated. It was a special day that we’ll never forget.

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Friday was her party!! I was nervous about overwhelming her with a lot of people so we only invited her friends that she has been spending time with. I didn’t want there to be strangers at her own party. This was a great decision because the perfect amount of people were there. She played and played the entire time! I can’t say enough great things about Fort Imagination, it was like having party planner! Other than food, they handled it all which made things way less stressful. I’m so thankful for Sweet P’s friends God has surrounded her with. They bring her so much joy…



claire4-15claire4-14She isn’t scared of anything! claire4-13Fort Imagination has a “secret garden” hidden within the castle… so neat! claire4-12claire4-10claire4-9This is the wedding photographer coming out in me as I wanted to capture every detail… claire4-8claire4-6Her cake was from Publix of all places. They have the BEST tasting cakes with tons of options. The glitter #4 was from Hobby Lobby… claire4-5Sweet Beginnings by Elaine – Thank you SO much for these gorgeous cupcakes, they were delicious!claire4-3All the decor and balloons was done by Fort Imagination (woop woop)! claire4-2

Saturday we picked up Nana and Mimi and headed to Pigeon Forge. First, we went to the huge ferris wheel in The Island. Then, we went to Dixie Stampede and had a blast! Sweet P couldn’t wait to see “Dolly’s horses”. She asked for a horse for her birthday so this was a close as we could get to giving that to her. 😉 She loved it!

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Sunday we went to a fondue restaurant with our friends where there was a fairytale theme. Anna and Elsa were there and it made her day…

IMG_1286 2It was honestly the best week. I was just happy to have a healthy girl by my side…everything else was just a bonus. I hope she enjoyed it as much as we did and I can’t wait for many more!

Happy New Year! I seriously can’t believe we’ve been home with our baby girl for SIX MONTHS! Time is flying by y’all. For whatever reason, I missed the 5 month blog post…oops!! I think we were having too much fun during the holidays! 🙂

Six months later and things are going great!


Attachment: This is something I prayed about for over a year. That our child would attach to us and bonding would go well. Let me tell you, God answered that prayer! Sweet P knows who her Mama and Baba are, and she rarely lets us leave her sight! I’m so thankful. However, I can’t help but wonder what she thinks. Does she realize that we’re here forever? That we’ll never leave her? That strangers are never going to come in the door and take her away? I pray she understands. I think a good sign is whenever we leave the house she says “Bye Pat and Pearl, we’ll be back soon”. At least she has comfort knowing when we leave, we’ll be coming back home.


Language: Her language and speaking is coming along well! She’s starting to form sentences, and some things I’m not sure where she gets it from. Either Mimi or Nana have taught her “yummy in my tummy!” and “uh oh spaghettio” because she says those a lot. We were taking down the Christmas tree and I asked her to hand me the snowflake ornaments to which she responded “I can’t reach those!”. She was digging in my purse the other day and I told her to get out and she said “when we get home you’re going in time-out” HA! SO yeah, speaking and sentences are going well to say the least! We’re hoping to get her into some kind of speech therapy here soon to start forming her sentences and learning more English.


Sleeping: Sleeping is going great! She still sleeps with us, and we love it. The other night I jokingly said “Why don’t you go to sleep in your big girl bed tonight?” and she said “ok!”. I took her upstairs NEVER thinking she would go through with it, laid down with her, and she feel asleep! I was shocked and sad! We left her there for a while, but eventually moved her to our bed because we don’t have a monitor in her room. Something we obviously need to be purchasing soon! It’s funny, she doesn’t toss and turn as much as she used to pre-surgery. Of course she moves around like all toddlers do, but before her surgery it was bad… like she was uncomfortable. Now I know that she’s feeling a lot better because of the way she sleeps.


Food: She’s eating a lot more! The girl will try anything, but bread and meats still aren’t something she likes a lot of. Eggs and bacon are still her favorite as well as any type of soup. Bananas, watermelon, and grapes are always a must. Thankfully we’ve never had to deal with a lot of food issues like many adoptive families do.


Her Health: Her heart and scar are healing very well! We went to the doctor last week and her Oxygen level was 98!! It was so great to see that number (before surgery it was always in the 80’s). She goes back to her cardiologist in February just so he can check and make sure everything still sounds good. We’re praying her heart does well for many, many years to come!

As you can see below we’ve been having a great time with out girl! People ask me how motherhood is going, and I tell them I’m loving it! It’s hard, I miss sleep, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Adoption has been the best thing to ever happen to us. It was a long road, but so worth it! God is good…



I was recently asked how I find joy in the midst of waiting. If I’m being honest, it’s hard! For me and my journey, peace and joy must coincide. I can’t be joyful about something unless I’m at peace with it. Finding JOY in the waiting means being at peace with where God has me while I wait. Whew that’s hard, am I right?!

First, I suggest rethinking your definition of Joy. It’s hard to be upbeat all the time while waiting. I love this definition from Rick Warren’s website:

“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”

All of my friends were getting married, and I waited for what seemed like forever before God brought me to my husband. Then God said wait over three years for children.  It seems whenever I have a plan God says “wait” and I’m learning to be ok with that. Why? Because once I come to peace with “the wait” being God’s will, I can be more joyful. How do I find peace? Lots and lots of prayer y’all! I know I talk about prayer journaling all the time, but it’s a must for me. Prayer keeps me focused and reminded that God can give peace and joy in all circumstances… all you have to do is ask for it.

“May the God of hope fill you with all Joy and Peace so you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Finding joy in the waiting means being at peace with where God has me while I wait.