02 December 2017

tis the season

Our mantel holds an extra stocking this year. This stocking perfectly fits little J's fun loving personality. Sometimes I find myself looking at it wondering what we will feel when we unpack our stockings out of the Christmas box next year and come to J's stocking. Will this new addition hang on our mantel again for another Christmas? Or will we be flooded with memories and emotions when we see it?

As traditions unfold and memories are made during the holiday, I am becoming more aware of how temporary this relationship is meant to be. This child has a stocking that belongs on another mantel, in another home, full of its own traditions and memories to be made. I look at her stocking and pray for the home that it will be hanging in next year; may there be healing and peace.

letters to santa

Is Maya a sweetie pie or what? No requests for Santa (or anyone), just happy to be surprised.

Dane's list involved telling santa about our beautiful Christmas tree and requesting more decorations for it.

He has become the guardian of our tree and has challenged himself to perfecting it by rearranging ornaments and created additions...daily, hourly. "But santa will be so happy," he reminds me as I begrudgingly help him create more "crimp-sauce" decorations. Ahh my adorable, orderly little dude.

Enjoying some more Christmas fun this weekend :).

14 November 2017

discovering beauty

We are almost 5 months in our life as a foster family!

We have had challenges and victories, some members of the family immediately falling in love and some reluctant to let an outsider in (specifically the one losing baby status), and mostly our home has doubled in love and chaos. Living in the "maybe" and unknown status of this beautiful child in our life has been easier than I anticipated. Some days I am flooded with emotion over the weight of the situation, the heartbreak, and the healing that needs to take place for all parties involved. However, most days we just live with the joy, curiosity, and frustration another toddler brings. There is something beautiful about the simplicity of the daily grind, full of all these little moments that keep us going - early morning cuddles, our littles *finally* both agreeing to a big hug, three giggling kiddos during a tickle fight, or feeling a sleepy toddler relax a little more into my shoulder each day as I carry her to bed.

When we look down at her big gorgeous eyes and sweet, silly smile we know we are right where we are meant to be today and that's all that matters.

31 October 2017

say hello to butterfly, cat, and rudolph

Trick or treat seemed to finally click for Maya and Dane this year. Maya confidently approached each house. Dane very matter of factly stated after each house: "Dad, we will still have more trick or treating to do." And J quickly followed suite once she realized candy was involved.

09 July 2017

all aboard!

The Dane train birthday party...choo choo!

We had a great day celebrating this handsome, silly 3 year old. His day began waking up in Oma and Opa's RV in our backyard and ended with a party at the Train Depot, complete with a train ride for all his favorite people.

The extra attention and love was just what this little man needed. Happy birthday, Dane, my little boy, who can quietly play trains and cars for hours on end, who loves a good cuddle, and who can also pull out some serious silliness! We love you, buddy!

06 July 2017

hello, little j

Even though we have been preparing for this moment for over a year, we were in complete shock when the call came and we were asked if we could take a placement. After a quick freak out, yesterday we said "yes" to a beautiful little girl. We are all so excited to have her as a part of our family for as long as she is meant to be with us.

She's already jumped right in playing with Maya and Dane (hence the dirty little legs and feet, a sign of a good Summer morning, right?).

My heart breaks for her and simultaneously is beaming with love as our empty crib takes on life and is now filled with giggles and tears and everything in between. Life isn't fair, but we sure are the lucky ones who get to know and love this sweet, little soul for the next days, weeks, months, years, come what may.

29 May 2017

wishes do come true

Maya starts planning her next birthday the day after her current birthday, so it's been a year in the making. We work our way through a variety of themes. It went from My Little Pony to Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer to her final choice of Shimmer and Shine. Her dad and I were big fans of the Rudolf theme, but we get NO say in the details of this well thought out day.

This year the wish was a pogo stick and a big girl bike.

And like her birthday theme, her wish was all of our commands (thanks to yard sales...lucky for all of us 6 year olds don't get the difference between new and second hand).

You keep life fun, Maya Roz Boz. You keep life moving. And you certainly keep life full of love.

Happy 6th birthday! We love you!

27 May 2017

dear rosalie

The Oberholzer family couldn't have been more excited the arrival of Auntie Sarah and Uncle Marques' newest addition. And let me remind you, Rosalie, how much you made us work for that arrival, hello 30 hour labor at home (never forget your mama is a superhero)! We love how busy you are, your sweet smiles, and that beautiful head of curly hair. 

Some of us were more eager to smoother you than others. Maya has made it clear that she'd like to be your mommy and she holds you with more confidence than a 5 year old should have with a tiny baby. I'm afraid you are stuck with a second "mama" and bestie for life.

Eventually even this little mister has grown to love "Rosie." He has become very protective of you, reminding everyone to be ever so gentle with you. He couldn't be more proud to provide you with a baby storytime that rivals any local library. And look at you sitting so attentively through the toddler rendition of "The train goes" and "Brown Bear." You don't even mind when he throws his train book in the mix for the fifth time. I have a feeling you two are going to be best buds.

Welcome to the family, Miss Rosalie. We love you!

25 May 2017

the kindergarten graduate

Maya, you have truly transformed into a big kid this year. You suddenly have this new found confidence and are a friend to everyone. Dare I say, you may even be an extrovert. You love reading and math and challenging yourself to take your skills to the next level. Long chains, pin pricking, and journaling are a few of your favorite "works" at school. I am so grateful to have found an environment that you thrive in and we look forward to your new adventure at Lower Elementary.

But first, Summer Break!!!

11 May 2017

holding space

We began this journey, well really before our kids; the inklings of it happening when we first started dating. I tend to be a "bleeding heart," as Marcus likes to phrase it. He tends to not be, not that he doesn't care or isn't an amazing soul. We just balance each other, as we do in so many facets of life. He's my ying, and I'm his yang. That being said, I was the driving force behind this new adventure: foster parenting.

It started with an informational class, before we even considered having kids. For a variety of scheduling conflicts we never were able to make the actual foster parent training classes (Hello, grad school and full time work). As it turned out, for us, it was a whole lot easier to make a baby the old fashion way. And I'm grateful our story started out with Maya and Dane.

During Dane's pregnancy we were both always confident there would be more, but the question soon became how? More bio or repick up the foster process or adopt? After many conversations, debates, questioning, crying in confusion, and maybe wishing to just be done with sleepless nights (because we all know that is for the birds); we finally ended up calling a counselor, who specializes in fostering and adoption. She directed us to an Adoption Academy. A series of classes with a variety of professionals that help people, as confused as ourselves, explore all their options. We landed pretty strongly on foster care. Of course, we tortured ourselves with said decision for a few months until the aforementioned counselor pointed out our obvious decision we finally "both" wanted to take. God bless the Engineer, his big heart for me, and for always jumping onboard for a good adventure.

I mean, honestly​, we would probably just be getting married right now if it was up to him...I kid, I kid. I've been told a horse can become anxious alone, so sometimes a goat is added into their pin to help calm them. If this is true, Marcus is my goat. And I, apparently, his prodder.

Here we are. A year later, with hours upon hours of classes, a home study, and divulging all the nooks and crannies of our lives to a social worker. We are nearing the end. The point that they will most likely give us a thumbs up and say you are "licensed foster parents," which will at some point follow up with a little person showing up at our doorstep.

Recently, I set in our guest room/office in defeat as I started to rearrange it for this future child, who may stay 2 days, 2 months, 2 years, or maybe become forever ours. How does one plan for that? I originally planned to just throw a crib into the mix of this multipurpose room. And suddenly it all seemed so unfair and so unplanned. Everything in this child's life seems unfair and unplanned. I realized I needed to make a proper space physically, so I could make space emotionally. Really for all of us. We need to all walk into the "dump all things room" and see that it transformed into something more beautiful, something ready to take on a new life. Just as we will all do with our hearts when this child walks into our world.

There a million reasons and excuses for us to avoid this next step in our journey. It's messy. It's a loss of control. It will likely start and end in some form of heartbreak. We aren't a success story yet. We may flop. It may not work out, but our best advice we received was to say "yes" to learning and then maybe "yes" to a class. You can always say "no" at any point in this journey. And I have found, so far, no one has sugar coated what we are getting into, no one has guilted us into anything, and all have encouraged us to protect ourselves​ and our bio kids.

For us, this process has led to a "yes" and another "yes." Some day in the near future we will most likely say "yes" to a placement. And maybe we will say "yes" again and maybe not. That's ok.

For now, we hold space.

(Note the dinosaur pillow on the crib. Dane said, "Mommy the baby's bed needs a pillow! I can share from my bed." Cue heart turning to goo.)

17 March 2017


We finally got to see Ada in action at one of her gymnastics competitions. She's been working hard and we are proud of the determined and fun-loving little lady she's becoming!

Entertaining themselves while waiting for Ada's turn to preform.

And our pitstop at Dennison Depot for Dane the train man!

02 March 2017

wise beyond their years

Enjoying some puddle jumping during our abnormally warm February weather.

These days my little Dane man is becoming a little Dalai Lama of sorts. He often tells me, "Go so slow," as he walks at a pace that makes a snail look rushed. He's working on his mama, helping me take time to smell the roses. He also helps me by telling me to "Be so quiet. No talking." It's true, Dane man, listening is a better virtue that yapping away. I get, I'm flawed, but I do pee in the potty, so I have that on your wise little soul.

Scootering "so slow". Really, I don't understand. The kid has mad moves on his scooter, yet we are doing everything geriatric style. 2 year olds shouldn't be this patient.

Maya on the other hand seems to be in a rush. She is reading and writing like a champ. She now spells out "secret" words to us like "d-a-n-e needs a n-a-p," followed my a very grown up eye raise and smirk. She likes to keep her calendar packed with playdates, activities, and really anything that isn't just being at home. Her first question at school pickup (after Dane attacks her with a big hug) is, "Are there any specials today?" She maintains a good bit of friend drama. Who knew girl caddiness started so young? Recently she announced, "I can't wait until we are teenagers and will all be nice to each other!" I didn't have the heart to burst that bubble.

I love being surprised by Maya's hugs and I love yous or unexpected thank yous. She really is the sweetest.

Both kids are showing their own unique ways of loving on us. Dane likes to hold hands. He'll cuddle up next to me and find my hand. Maya is a nuzzler. She wiggles her way into my arms and rubs her cheek against my face like a puppy.

Loving watching these two grow and seeing their personalities unfold!

11 February 2017

disney on ice

Our unicorn and tiger stuck out a little in the sea of princesses, but hey they were cozy and unique - true Maya and Dane fashion!

Thanks, Oma and Opa, for the tickets!