Forward Motion


Some days it feels like nothing is happening with our adoption finalization or with our new home build…like we’re stuck in a holding pattern. The truth is, things are moving forward—just at a snail’s pace. I’m ready for Precious to officially be part of our family forever. I’m ready to have a home of our own again. Someone else is eager to move forward, too. Precious has been great at sitting up on her own for over three months now but she hasn’t figured out how to get from here to there yet. I can tell she’s thinking about. She has started lunging for things. It’s amazing how far Precious can reach when she puts her whole self into it.

I know how you feel, baby. I’m ready to move forward!

In with the Old, Out with the New


For the past five years—ever since we bought our mid-century modern ranch—Jason and I have been buying old things to replace our new things. We found a set of vintage end tables at a thrift store, came home and put our new-ish IKEA tables on craigslist.  We found an old dresser on the side of the road and gave our new-ish dresser away to some friends. And we kept going and going. Most recently we traded in our new-ish sofa and bed frame for 1950s sofa and bed frame replacements. It’s not just because we love the style of the vintage replacements; but also because of the quality. Things from that era were made to last. Why buy new, more expensive furniture that doesn’t stand up over time when we can spend less on vintage wares that just need refinished or cleaned up?

Well, I’m afraid we’ve taken our philosophy one step further…we’ve entered into the realm of classic cars.

It’s not a mid-century car. We’re not that brave yet. (Maybe someday we’ll have something as sweet as this 1963 Falcon!) We got ourselves a 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300SE. Quite a contrast to the all practical suburban workhorse we bought last spring, our Silver Bullet.

Fun fact: when this car was new, it cost 3x as much as the home Jason’s parents bought in the 80s. And much like furniture from the golden age, this car was built to last with style and quality would couldn’t find in a new-ish car…at least not for the same price.

I’m not going to lie…we were sort of wooed by the design. We love the boxy navy blue exterior and the tan leather interior—and it’s in amazing condition for the age. It has all kinds of fun buttons that we’re still figuring out, a huge sunroof, a thermostat climate control dial, ashtrays and cigarette lighters in the back doors.

In with the old…that means it was time to kick out our new (10 year old) Ford Focus. It’s a little bit sad to say goodbye to the ole’ Green Meanie. It’s taken us a lot of places in the 8 years that we owned it and it’s been a good little car, but it is time to move on. We’ll let someone else eek the last couple years out of it.

Cousin Love


Just a month ago, my siblings and their spouse and kids came to visit from Pennsylvania. Two weeks later, Jason’s older brother Steve, his wife Char and their 3-year-old Aiden came to visit, too. It was so wonderful to see everyone. The cousins met each other for the first time. They were very sweet together…lots of hugging and kissing going on. We went out to dinner and ice cream one night.

Char with Precious and Aiden, being silly at Oscar’s Taco Shop:

…and looking normal:

Uncle Jason and Aunt Martina with Aiden at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams:

Another day we had a cookout at my in-laws house. I didn’t do a very good job of documenting the adults. Oops. The three cousins had fun playing together.

The three Ahlbrandt cousins looking sleepy together after dinner and afternoon of playing:

Check it Out: The Incubator Project


Since there a lot of adoption advocates here, I wanted to tell you about a lovely drive going on over at one of my favorite blogs, Under The Sycamore called the Incubator Project. Ashley’s youngest daughter is waiting here at this orphanage in China (gut-wrenching photo, I know!) and they’re in need of a new incubator to keep newborn babies warm. For a minimum $20 donation, you end up with a beautiful gift as a well as helping to pay for their new equipment. Check it out.

Our Love Story – 1:2


I thought it would be fun to record Jason’s and my love story—at least the beginning of it—starting with when we met and fell in love back in 1999. This is part 2 of 6.

In another part of town, Jason had had enough. He was 16 and already jaded from hurtful relationships. He wore his heart on his sleeve and subsequently had it crushed by a girl more than once. Many nights were spent scribbling poetry into spiral bound notebooks, allowing the tears to flow in the privacy of his bedroom. Thoughtful, creative Jason spent hours practicing scales, learning new songs and writing music. Sometimes he would even fall asleep on the floor with the guitar still strapped across his chest. “I don’t want to have another girlfriend until I meet my wife!” he told God.

He also played around town in a few hardcore/metal/punk bands…

(Photo courtesy of Facebook. That’s him on the right.)

We met at our church at a Wednesday night youth group gathering. I don’t remember who introduced us for the first time but I knew who he was months before we officially met. He noticed right away that my eyes are two different colors. I can tell a lot about someone based on this. One eye is blue and the other is hazel, but the difference is subtle. There are people who I’ve known most of my life who have never noticed. Jason was looking into my eyes;  he was really seeing me.

As our relationship started to grow and form in the weeks to follow, Jason insisted we take things slow and not rush into dating, remembering what he had told God and thinking he couldn’t possibly meet his future wife so young. He assumed the answer to his prayer would come in several years and he was OK with waiting.

Phone Photo Friday


Somebody got a big haircut…

Easter 2012


I had every intention of getting a photo of the three of us all dressed up for church on Easter…but it just didn’t happen. After church, we had lunch at Cheesecake factory with both sets of parents plus Jason’s brother Dan, our sister-in-law Ginger and Precious’ cousin Eliza.

These two couldn’t be more different but I hope they grow up to be great friends. This photo just cracks me up:

After we all had afternoon naps, it was time for a quick photo shoot of our beautiful baby girl. (Jason and I had already changed into our comfy clothes.)

These two have a special relationship. Jason can make her giggle and laugh more than anyone else. She says “Dada” 30x a day—that’s 30x more than any other word. He adores her. And she adores him. It’s almost like she knows she came THISCLOSE to growing up without a daddy, but he fought hard for her—we both did—and Father God did a big miracle for our family in allowing us to stay together.