Monday, January 14, 2013


For Julie's Birthday, I arranged for us all to go sledding! It was 18 degrees out but we still had a blast. And coming home to hot chocolate and cafe rio wasn't too bad either ;)

Mike, Kristy, Ryder, Boston, and McKell
 Mike, Boston, and Mckell
 Julie and Addy 
Us ;)
 Erika and Carson

 Julie and Ryder
 Kristy and Mike
 Ryder got a little cold, so he sat in the car with Grandpa.

Happy Birthday Julie!!

New Years

We had a fun New Years with great friends! Dinner at Zupas then a night full of games made for a great night! Nothing beats watching the husbands dance together.....;)

Pete, Clark, and Jason ;)
Lauren, Savanna, Liz, and Jess

The Girls attempt at dancing...
Cute Jess and Baby Savanna

Lucky to have great friends!

Happy New Year!!

Christmas Festivities!

We had such a great Christmas break! There's is so much for me to write about. But I think I will let pictures tell it all ;) We enjoyed spending so much time with our families!

A "Christ-moose!"

The Hanks girls have a tradition every year to do Tea with Santa at the Grand America. It's so fun, and the food and hot chocolate are delicious! 

On the 22nd we had the Daw family Christmas party. This party wouldn't be complete without a nativity scene from these cute kids...

Christmas Eve was spent with my family. For the past few years my dad has gotten into ugly sweaters. He likes to order himself a new one each year. My mom and the pups were lucky enough to get their own this year!

Audrey loves Max!

Dayna and I got really lucky this year with our Christmas Eve jammies...

Christmas Morning! We headed to Hanks to open gifts and have some lunch. ;)

We had a blast celebrating Christmas with everyone. Can't wait until next year!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

4 Years

     Yesterday marked four years since I came home from Ecuador. I can't believe it has been so long since I was with the most amazing children I have ever known. It saddens me that so much time has passed. I want to go back so badly but timing is never right and I feel as though I have lost a big connection to Ecuador. When I was there I volunteered with 50+ kids and I loved them all. We spent most of our time at the orphanage called St. Vinciente De Paul. This is where Jose lived. St. Vinciente's had about 25 kids. They ranged from a few days old to about 2 years old. These children leave an imprint in your heart the moment you meet them. After seeing them, where they live, and their daily lives you can't help but get a lump in your throat. When I first went to the orphanage I was very overwhelmed. I didn't realize how tiring it was going to be and how much work we really had to do each day. Not having wipes, only our bare hands, to clean dirty bums didn't help either. After about 2 weeks I was exhausted. I was sick and physically worn out. But then something clicked for me. This was not a vacation, this was a time for me to be completely selfish and to give these children ever ounce of love that I could. So that's what I did. Some days it was still hard to work because we were all so sick all the time. But there was one little boy that kept me going, Jose. I didn't feel close to him right away. About 5 weeks into things I started to really admire this little guy. While some of the kids would be playing, some teasing, beating each other up, Jose would be quietly walking around or just sitting by himself. He was a shy little guy and never got into the commotion of the others. Him and I started to become very close. As soon as I would get to the orphanage in the morning I would go straight to his crib to wake him up, and I loved being the one to put him to bed at night. I wanted to be with this little guy every second that I could. I don't want you to get the impression that I didn't like the other children or that I never spent any time with them. I loved them all dearly and miss each one of those sweet faces. But the relationship I had with Jose was different. At one point he even started to call me mom and that's when my heart broke. He never knew his mom but he knew what the role of a mother was; bathe you, feed you, play with you, clothe you, and love you. For that short time that' what I was with him that's what I needed to be for him and the others. We didn't have much time to spend together but the time we did have was amazing. I love that little boy very much. My parents tried to adopt him but unfortunately that didn't go through. I think about him everyday. I always imagined myself taking Jason back to meet him one day. About a year and a half ago Jose was adopted. I'm sad to say when I heard the news I was very upset. Yes, I want him to have a loving home. I want nothing but the best for him. I just wish that he could've been with me, or that Jason could've met him, or that I could've just seen him one more time. I hope he is happy and loved as he should be. He will be 6 years old in February. I can't believe it. I'm so grateful for everything he taught me and for those short 3 months I had to spend with him.