Archive for June, 2013

Summer in Virginia and NC

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

For the past week, we’ve been in North Carolina and Virginia, mainly to attend the wedding of Tim’s lovely niece Bethany. The ceremony was held outdoors under a giant magnolia tree, with the reception inside an old Southern mansion that once belonged to a tobacco magnate. Afterward, the party went on for hours outside, with the four of us–Tim, Olivia, Mateo, and I–dancing like crazy to a play list that ranged from Sweet Home Alabama to Cotton-Eyed Joe to Adele, Michael Jackson, and Black-Eyed Peas.  Yesterday we visited Natural Bridge, near Lynchburg, and today, Thomas Jefferson’s showplace, Monticello. Tomorrow we plan to tour the University of Virginia (Tim’s giving a lecture) and Appomattox. Eventually we’ll go home, but I’m trying not to think about it.

Tim’s sister and brother live locally, which is fantastic, because our kids get to see their East coast aunties and uncles and cousins, and Tim and I can visit too.

Did I mention they eat fried chicken here? And hush puppies and barbeque and cole slaw and sweet iced tea? I was born in Virginia and spent my girlhood summers at my grandmother’s house. Just one bite of fried chicken takes me right back. Oh my goodness. Heaven. ~



Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Today is Mateo’s last day of school. Olivia has been off since last week. Already the change in schedule affects us: Olivia reads under the covers later than usual (which is already late), but because she doesn’t have to awaken early, I let her. And last night, Mateo and I stayed up until 10:30 PM, packing for our trip tonight to North Carolina—Tim’s niece is getting married there—and instead of my usual freak-out, I stayed focused on packing and didn’t worry about the time.

This summer we’ll be traveling. After North Carolina, we attend Heritage Camp for Adoptive Families, a long weekend in the Colorado mountains with other adoptive families, which we love and look forward to every year. Fourth of July we’ll celebrate with my folks and siblings in San Diego, and then Olivia and I will take a short trip to Minnesota. The summer will end with more family visits and another wedding, this one my nephew’s, in Maine.

Today I will finish (or start) cleaning the house so when we return I won’t be too overwhelmed with all I left undone. Which, believe me, is a lot. One reason I look forward to the end of the school year is that the daily deluge of incoming tests, art projects, and homework, stops, at least for a few months. Two cardboard boxes filled with detritus are stacked in a corner in the kitchen (they feel like an accusation), and if I don’t empty or at least edit them, I won’t have room for next year’s avalanche. It never ends.

The weather’s been sunny and warm, so last weekend we took a short hike around Lake Lagunitas, a beautiful flat trail around our local reservoir. The photo above is from that lovely afternoon.

Ready or not, it’s summer. ~

Image credit: Jessica O’Dwyer


A few links

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Here are links to a few articles I’ve read lately that I found interesting, as well as to two new TV shows that deal with adoption and foster care:

In the New York Times, Eager To Adopt, Evangelicals Find Perils Abroad.

On the Huffington Post, by Kathryn Joyce, Author of The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption, The Problem With the Christian Adoption Movement.

From the US State Department, Update on Intercountry Adoptions in Guatemala.

On NBC News, an interesting look at an open adoption, Woman’s Struggle Over Adoption Leads to Modern Family.

An ABC Family series about a multi-cultural family through adoption and foster care, headed by two moms, The Fosters.

And finally,

A new reality show on the GMC cable channel, featuring Leigh Anne Touhy of The Blind Side fame, Family Addition With Leigh Anne Touhy.

Enjoy! ~


A gathering of families

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Last Sunday we hosted our third annual cook-out for local adoptive families with kids born in Guatemala. About 65 people attended, half of them children, with lots of trampoline jumping, eating of hot dogs and hamburgers, and bonding among friends old and new. The photo above shows one of the cakes we served for dessert, decorated with the Guatemalan flag, and made by my friend the baker at Safeway, who always threatens “I don’t know if I can do the quetzal…” and yet, every year, manages to do just that. I received lots of lovely thank-you notes from families who attended, but the truth is that I love the party more than anyone. Looking forward to next year! xo


Image credit: Marie Lappin