happy, happy, happy


So right now one of your favorite things to say is, "happy, happy, happy!" super fast. I love it. I also love how you can sleep through just about anything, including the mailman ringing the bell multiple times, knocking, and Joey barking. (Not that this has ever happened. Oh wait. It did. I, so miss our old mailwoman, Dana, she knew about things like nap time. Plus she would leave treats for Joey.)

In other cuteness news, you have a new trick. If you don't want to do something, you just sit down. The best time this has happened? Shopping for a wedding present at Von Maur. While we were waiting for them to wrap it, we were walking around, listening to the piano player play. While in the middle of an aisle, I felt you pulling on my hand as you sat down. Once you were down, you released my hand and rolled to your belly and shouted, "Done!" Yep. It was cute and you had several clerks laughing. Mama highly enjoyed carrying you and the gifts to the car.

So you celebrated several Christmases this year.Grandpa Edd came over, you went to Aunt Da's, Grandma Kathy's, here, and Grammie and Papa's. You saw a lot of people, we were worried about how it would play out. You rocked it. We didn't have to spend days regrouping, unlike Thanksgiving, we just had to get back on schedule.

So what was your favorite Christmas gift? I wish I could say it was the train set Santa got you or even the socks he left in your stocking. It was your Jack book. It was the first thing you opened on Christmas day and after that, you really didn't care about the other gifts. You even told us you were, "Done," several times while we tried getting you to open gifts.

So the tree is down and this Mama realized she forgot to take a picture of your goat ornament for the year. There was one. It is dated and in the ornament box. You have also donated a goat this year, so a child won't have a "gloomy face" half the world away.


Opening gifts at Grandma Kathy's

 These are ALL for me?

 Best. Hat. Ever. Thank you Aunt Kristi and Uncle Justin.
 Playing with Uncle Al and P.
 Paper is fun!
 Sleeping until 9 am means Mama and Dada bring the milk to you in bed.

 Jake book!
 Dada is more excited about the train.
 Looking at video with Uncle Alex at Grammie and Papa's

 Uncle Spence got you a Tauntaun
 Riding it.
 Licking the glass with L.

 So Mama might have fallen asleep at Grammie and Papa's. She might have jumped awake when she heard Aunt Meg say, "Where's Charlie?" (She might have said, "You lost Charlie?") Only to see you jump out of the crock.


a little more catching up


So I had meant to post a little more about our first trip to Ethiopia last year. To share with you some photos that previous were not posted, since we couldn't show your face. Yep, life happened. So  here are some of my favorite pictures from our last day with you in Ethiopia and why I love them.

This is the first time you smiled for us. Of course your Dada was holding you. This is the picture that sets on one of the end tables in the living home and has since we printed it as soon as we got back. We didn't know you had REAL dimples yet, we would get to know them later, but you smiled. We worked so hard that first trip to get a smile. To be more honest, we worked so hard to hold you and to have you not crying/screaming. 
 This is from the last set of pictures we took our last afternoon with you. Yep, still tear up thinking about that. Your Dada held you one last time after these pictures, but the picture below is the last time I held you until we reunited in March. So hated to hear T tell us you had to go back inside to the baby house and then eventually from Wass the words, "Time to go." 
On the happy front, you have been in our arms for a little over 9 months now. We have some catching up to do when it comes to your life.  You have been known to throw back some milk while watching the Bears.

The weekend after your birthday, we took the "North Pole Express" to see Santa with your Grammie, Papa, Aunt Meg, Uncle Alex, and L. Here you and Dada are watching the train pull into the station.
 On broad the train. I am thinking you were a little excited about holding your ticket to see Santa. . .
Okay, so the North Pole wasn't the best. As soon as we got there, we had a giant small meltdown. Eventually we got it back together and we got in line to meet the big guy.
We attended an airport party for one of your friends, also a Hannah's Hope alum. Even better, we learned she had the same bed you had in the butterfly room. (LOVE this.) So this is you waiting for M to get off of the plane.
So since coming home we have added some friends to your crib and some sitting on the ledge at the top of your crib. Now when you are either first put into your crib or you want out of your crib, you take the friends down and throw them out of your crib. Recently you started something new. You will get your Street friends down and when they are all in your crib, you will talk to one of them for a bit, stand up, walk to the end of the crib closest to the door, and then throw it. I like to think you are talking with them about escape strategies and seeing who might make it. So here you are when I walked into your room one morning before you had a chance to throw the friends.
So a little out of order, but the Friday after Thanksgiving, you made this gingerbread house with your friends E, A, W, J, and L.
Earlier this month we said good-bye to an awesome woman, your Great-Grandma Willie. Charlie, I am sure you will hear a lot of Great-Grandma stories as you grow-up. She was a really special lady. This is from the first time you met Great-Grandma back in May. You are handing her a wooden block, one of the same wooden blocks your Dada used to play with when he was younger.
During your Great-Grandma's visitation, you spent some time with your Great-Grandpa Charles, aka Deward (from your Dada's other side). This was the first time you would let Grandpa Deward hold you. The smile on his face was so amazing to see. This is what your Dada and I saw when we came to pick you up.
 Because I feel I need to show you I am still baking. . . I made this cake for a dinner with your Aunt Kelli and, as of today, Uncle Jeff.
For the first time since our first year married, your Dada and I put up a tree. Yep. So here you are putting up your first ornament. It was the one you got from church doing Baby/New Child Recognition Sunday.
 Close-up of the ornament and a bit of our Christmas card.
 Our ornament celebrating Charlie coming into our family.
 So this past Thursday was your first snow. I am not sure what you totally thought about it, but I think there was confusion involved. Looking out from the garage after getting home.
 First time standing in snow.
So Charlie, I think that brings us to today. This morning we had breakfast with Santa, along with your friends E, A, W, J, and L and your "aunts" and "uncles" Marcia, Jeff, Courtney, and Brock. You didn't sit on Santa's lap, but you didn't cry. Your Dada said you talked to Santa and after your picture you even walked up again to see him and talk some more. You also won your first raffle during breakfast. You put your name in the envelope for the "Brown Dog," and won! All day you have carried around Dog-Dog, including not allowing us to take him from you. Following breakfast we saw Grandpa Edd and finished the evening with Christmas at your Great-Aunt Da's (Yep, Mama fail. She left the camera at home.)

So I think that brings us up to date, at least for now.



a year ago today, part 2


A year ago today, your Mama and Dada sat in the federal courthouse of Ethiopia waiting to see a judge. It was a long wait. You can read about it here. Eventually we were called before the judge, along with the C family, to say yes to you being our son. Your Dada and I were heartbroken to learn that morning we did not pass court, since there was a piece of paper not there. We were ecstatic that afternoon in the courtyard of HH when Almaz told us we had passed. We were legally your parents, in Ethiopia! We have legally been your parents for a year and you have been in our arms a little over nine months. I have loved the past nine months. I so can't wait for years of being your Mama.

{after learning we had passed court}


a year ago today


A year ago, today, we saw this face, in person, for the first time.  It was a crazy mix of emotions. We have come so far in a year, and you only being home about nine months.


First picture with Mama holding you!

First Family Picture!!!

First picture of Dada holding you!!

I am sure you are thinking,"Who are these crazy people?"