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December 2015

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Happy New Year’s Eve, or as I call it, “Gotcha Day”! “Gotcha Day” is a phrase coined in the adoption community for the day your children become signed, sealed, delivered & yours. Legally. Forever. On December 31, 2014, we scurried downtown Portland to a courthouse. Our family & lawyer met us in a small courtroom where we were warmly greeted by a judge & her staff. They had even gotten donuts & plush toys for the boys. The judge read a poem & we signed papers making the adoption official. Months of paperwork, social worker visits, a home study, emails to the lawyer (which are also expensive) & a few curve balls later, this day was finally here. I felt lighter. It was a relief that after having the boys for 7 months, I could really call them mine. I hope as you read this, you will find hope. Miracles…

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Even though I’ve had the worst flu I’ve ever experienced, it was one of the best Christmases of my life. Something about the boys coming down our stairs in excitement to open prezies. The way they appreciate everything but mostly that they love the extended time together. It just blesses my socks off. I cried a lot. Now Christmas is over – it’s onto New Years! Does anyone have any traditions for New Years? Something hit me today as I began reading through social media feeds. All resolutions have a common thread: mind control. Taking thoughts captive is imperative to achieving any goal. The battlefield of your mind must be conquered. It is the ultimate will power. Your goal may be to lose weight – but that must first be a decision you make in your mind that you will not be derailed.…

Merry Christmas from our crew! We are in love with our family pictures done by friend & teacher Tiffany Redwing. Like her Facebook page! Christmas at home this year has been wonderful – even though I have had the flu. I love watching the boys open prezies & I love how they appreciate things. Mostly, they enjoy the time together as a family. Also, I thought you may enjoy this raw footage from a video David made for church. He interviewed a bunch of kids & included ours. Merry Christmas from Levi & Wyatt! [wpvideo CdCY89uk] [wpvideo V51mdTyg] Best. Christmas. Ever. Tomorrow, we take the boys on a special Polar Express train ride. So excited! JOY TO THE WORLD!

Wow. December 24 is here already. Hard to believe. I’m no historian, but I did a little bit of research. Not sure how much of the following is true – but I wanted to share because their are nuggets of truth & something we can all glean from it. I talk a lot about the song O Holy Night because I am moved by it every time I hear it. Not bad for a song written 168 years ago in 1847! Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure was the commissionaire of wines and a poet in a small French town. He was not what you might call a regular church attendee. So, he was probably surprised that the priest of his local parish asked him to write a poem for Christmas mass. Inspired by the gospel of Luke, he penned Cantique de Noel. He was so moved by his work that he…

I’m pretty emotional lately. Christmas has a way of making me slow down, take stock & focus on what matters. Of course, that happens AFTER I was stressing over lame stuff. Nevermind that! I have laser-like focus on what matters most! While wrapping presents & labeling them, “to Levi & Wyatt from mom & dad”, it felt surreal. I haven’t written anything that sweet since I started signing my name “Mrs. Conlee”. Years of prayers & tears of heartbreak are fulfilled in the names of the 2 most special boys I’ve ever known. I get to be their mom. And they will be mine for all time.

Last night, our church put on a great program for the entire family. My sweet boys got to see their dad front & center stage for the first time. Their eyes lit up. They were so proud, and their father was moved by their adoration. I heard my Levi pray – completely unprompted by me. I sat there, with Levi on my lap & Wyatt clinging to my arm during the song Joy to the World. This verse hit me like a ton of bricks: He rules the world With truth & grace And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness And wonders of His love And wonders of His love And wonders and wonders of His love I was literally holding the wonders of His love in my arms. The tears flowed. I just could not help it. So, it is with a full heart that I…

December 19 is a very special day. It’s my dad’s birthday. I’ve always thought it sucked for him to have a birthday so close to Christmas, so I try to make it special for him – because he is so special to me. We have a dinner & a movie tradition for his birthday. He gets to pick the film. Not going to lie – he’s picked a few stinkers that shall go unarmed. However, the rule regarding the birthday movie is we can’t give him a bad time in the event it’s bad. You know, it’s part of the gift, really. Haha! We will be seeing STAR WARS today. This may very well go down in history as the best birthday movie. EVER. Seems so silly just to call him “dad”, but what other word encompasses loyalty, friendship, kindness, generosity, thoughtfulness, unconditional love, counselor, cheerleader, faith, grace, mercy, wit,…

I took my mom to get her eyebrows re-done where I got mine tattooed & also got my touch up (I go every 2 years, so this was my 4th visit!) I love these people. (Mom getting her brows tattooed & mine after completion of touch up.) I get asked often about the process. It’s pretty simple. You get a numbing cream on your brow area & it takes about 30 minutes to kick in. Then, the artist mixes a blend of colors of specially formulated ink for your face to create the ideal shade. The process takes about 90 minutes total. There is some soreness, itching, redness & scanning typical with any tattoo. The color is darker & they appear thicker until it has healed & the flaking begins. The finished look is actually much softer than the photo above – lighter & not as thick. I would say…