Friday, August 24, 2007

It's a boy!!!

Hey everyone. We were just notified today that we were chosen to adopt a baby boy due in November, although he will be born by c-section around the end of October. Words can not even express how happy we are! We are so grateful for all of you who have supported us during this crazy time. We know that many prayers, fasting, and good thoughts have come our way lately and we are SO GRATEFUL for all of you. We feel so blessed to have such a wonderful support system.

We feel that this baby is truly a miracle in our lives and evidence that everything happens for a purpose. As many of you know, we were chosen for a baby that was born on July 22 in Utah. We didn't know if the baby was a boy or girl until she was born. Before we went to Utah for her birth, we went to the temple to seek guidance. Tirsa felt strongly in the temple that the baby was a boy. When we got to Utah, the baby was born, and she was a girl. Not only were we surprised to find out her sex, but she was supposed to be born with multiple problems, none of which she had. We were thrilled at the possibility of adopting her but her birthmom decided to parent her herself. We were heartbroken and confused at our strong answer in the temple. We returned home just a month ago with empty arms and heavy hearts. But, 2 days after getting home, we were asked if we wanted our profile to be shown to a prospective birthmom here in Colorado. The baby was a boy and he was diagnosed with gastroschisis, which is like a hernia near the umbilical cord that allows a portion of intestine to protrude through the baby's abdomen. We were told that the prognosis for this condition was good. We said to absolutely show her our profile and that we were interested. Later, we found out that she was considering 4 families, so we figured our odds were 25% to get this baby. A week later, we learned that a birthmom in Ohio was pregnant with a baby girl and she was considering placing the child with us or another family. 50% chance of getting that child. We were thrilled to know that 2 birthmoms were considering us at once, since we really haven't had any other possibilities in the past two years. Well, we found out last week that the Ohio birthmom chose the other family. So, we went from a 100% chance of getting a baby girl, to a 50% chance of getting another baby girl, to a 25% chance of getting a baby boy and wouldn't you know it, the odds were against us and this is the child we were chosen for. We are so happy!!!

We know that he will have a surgery right when he is born to correct his intestinal condition. We hope you will continue to pray for him, us, and his angel birthmom. We don't know her yet but we already love her so much. A sacrifice like hers is tremendous and we are so grateful there are women in this world like her and like Bella's birthmom. Because through them, we receive our greatest blessings and joy. We'll keep you updated as we know more.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A quick camping trip

We decided to take a quick camping trip past Fort Collins before Blaine starts school again next week. We invited Ellie, Bella's 4-year-old cousin, since she isn't in school yet. We got our slurpees and we were off!

The girls couldn't wait to go fishing with their spiderman and scooby doo poles.

Blaine spent the whole time going back and forth between the two girls and recasting their lines. We didn't catch anything but the girls didn't care. They had fun just holding the poles!

Then we took Mom and Dad's inflatable boat out on the lake.

Who would've known that two light sticks would become sooooo entertaining?

And then, of course, the s'mores. Ellie ate half of one and Bella just ate the marshmallows and chocolate. I lost track of how many Blaine ate and I'll never tell on myself.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Our missionaries

Are those eskimos?

We are so proud of Mom and Dad...Hermana and Elder Allen. They are half way around the world, braving a southern Chilean winter, trying to learn the language, and serving the Lord as missionaries. We are so grateful for their example and we know that we are all receiving blessings because of their selfless service.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

6 years and no where near the 7 year itch

Just a quick shout out to my hubby. Thanks for 6 AWESOME years! Together we have done it all. We’ve experienced heartache and joy; failure and triumph. We’ve filled our house with laughter, tears, and happiness turning it into our home. Together we’ve climbed mountains (literally and figuratively) and we’re stronger because of it. Together we’ve supported each other through Bachelors and Masters degrees (and the end IS in sight!). Together we’ve visited foreign lands and we’ve taught our daughter the value of family. Together we’re so much better than we are apart and I can only hope and pray for many more years TOGETHER.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Yo Amo Chile

Inspired by Kelli who recently made Chilean empanadas for dinner, I decided to treat my family to some Chilean cuisine. My parents, who recently came back from Chile, had just brought me a big bag of manjar (dulce de leche to the rest of the world), which is a yummy carmely spread. So, tonight we made panqueques de manjar. They are basically rolled up crepes with a manjar filling. Rich, but yummy. I'll post the recipe for those of you who might want to try it. You can probably buy dulce de leche at any Latin market or you could make it by boiling condensed milk (I'm sure there is a recipe online somewhere).

We even had banana milk to go with our panqueques. The banana milk recipe is your basic blended milk, sugar, and bananas. I don't know that it is necessarily "Chilean" but that is where I had it for the first time and drinking it in the states always reminds me of late night treats that my Mamitas would have waiting for us after a long day of missionary work (only they used powdered milk and LOTS of sugar).

My connection to Chile continues to grow rather than diminish over the years. First of all, when I received my mission call to serve in Vina del Mar, Chile in 1997, I was stunned. My dad had served his own mission in Chile in 1961. The thought had never even crossed my mind that maybe I'd go there but as soon as I read the call, I felt an instant love for Chile and its people. How could I not? I had heard countless stories about Chile and their people from my Dad as I was growing up. After my mission ended in 1999, I felt such a strong desire to go back. So, in 2000, I went back to Chile for a month and traveled and visited Chilean friends. It was a blast! About three years ago, my parents bought land in southern Chile on a whim. Last year, my husband and my daughter took a much anticipated trip back to Chile and Argentina, where we also met up with my parents as they decided what to do with that land that they bought. Before we met up with them, they had already drawn up plans with an architect and were on their way to building a Chilean home. This year, Blaine's parents put in their missionary papers. We all made guesses as to where we thought they were going. I guessed Osorno, Chile (it was more of a fantasy than an actual guess) and wouldn't you know it...that's where they got called. (I'm still waiting for some sort of prize or something for guessing it right. I mean, come on, there are about 350 missions to choose from!) Anyway, so as fate would have it, Blaine's parents are now in Osorno, Chile, serving as missionaries and my parents are almost through building their home in Llanquihue, Chile (1 hour south of Osorno). So, as you can imagine, I am now dreaming about our next trip back to Chile. With both of our parents living there, we've GOT to go. Don't you agree?

From the mouth of a 2 year old

A conversation between Bella and Daddy:

Bella: "Daddy, can I go watch t.v.?"

Blaine: "No, not right now."

Bella: (Having an ah-ha moment said)... "Should I go ask my Mom?"

So, she has now figured out the concept of splitting parents. She just hasn't perfected the art yet! I'm sure it won't be long before she realizes that she shouldn't ask the parent that just said no if she should go ask the other parent. She cracks us up!

The other day she came up to me, and while holding up her Mickey Mouse pillow asked, "Mommy, can I take this pillow with me to college?" She is only 2 and she is already packing for college! I didn't even know she knew the word college!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I love to see the Temple

Bella keeps talking about the temple lately. "Mommy," she says, "I want to be married." "O.K.", I tell her, "When you are about my age you can get married." "I want to get married in the Temple," she says, as she points to the picture of the San Diego temple on our wall. "I want to get married in THAT temple."

Meet Bella

She is almost three, likes to sing, dance, watch cartoons, go to the park, and speak Spanish. She has learned her first joke, "Knock, knock...Whose there? Orange. Orange who? Orange you gonna give me a kiss?" and she gets a kick out of telling it.

To strangers, she is shy, cautious, and quiet. To those who know her best, she talks, talks, talks. She is sweet, smart and gifted. She can remember the tune and words to just about any song after hearing it one time (English or Spanish), which we are sure, is a gift she inherited from her birthfamily. She has an aptitude for the Spanish language, which she probably got from me (her mom) and she is my star student in Spanish class. She is lucky enough to have two mom' who gave her the gift of life, her beauty, and inherent talents. And then there is me, her mommy, who gives her my whole heart and soul. I know that she is one of the rarest gifts and I thank God every day for the privilege of being her Mom.