Friday, August 29, 2008


Tate in Guatemala enjoying the music before bed

Yosemite with the Family

Waiting for Daddy

A family again!

Tate, just hours old

Tate is two!

Happy Birthday, sweet boy. I can't believe you're two! This last year has been a great one for you! I think the best day was the day your daddy came home from Iraq! You knew him right away, and the adjustment period was almost nonexistent. Another highlight was our two month trip to Guatemala! You also got to visit Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras. I dare say, you have a full passport my son! You adjusted so quickly to the change in climate, language and way of life. Everybody loved you. You flirted with every Latina woman you had the chance to meet, and I think you will marry one someday! We rounded out the year with a big move to Kingston, Opening Day for the Mariners, and a big vacation to Tahoe, Yosemite, San Francisco and the Redwoods. We also spent a week at the Oregon Coast. And, you found out you were going to be a big brother! I am so proud of the little boy you are, and I know you will become a great man one day. I love you, son!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Two years ago...

I was nearing the final stages of labor. Tate was born at 01:55 EST, (so 10:55 PST). I cannot believe it's been two years.


Good news...I'm 'officially' pregnant! The doctor's office called and my test came back positive. Go figure. I'm 13 weeks today, so yipee for the end of my first trimester in sight! I think I should do something fun for Mark tonight, maybe make a special dinner or something. I go back on the 11th for an appointment with the nurse (the one where they ask you all the super personal questions) and the on the 15th I get to see the doctor!

Wow, last night was a rough one. Tate woke up in the middle of the night and wouldn't go back to sleep for at least an hour. I'm not sure if he had a bad dream or his tummy hurt, but it was difficult. Finally we put Skipper in there with him and we fell asleep. I thought he might sleep in, but no, he was up before 7. Shucks.

Well, I really need to do some laundry. Today is my laundry day. I should also empty the dishwasher. I don't really want to...we'll see what else I can scare up to do instead of what I should be doing.

Have a fantastic day!

Jenni & Sam

PS. Tomorrow's a really big day for us!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oh the Vampires!

I went in for a blood draw this morning. It went well, actually. I never have high hopes after my pregnancy with Tate, and I am a little concerned because my hopes are actually being raised after visiting the office.

I was out in under 15 minutes, a very reasonable time frame for a blood draw and necessary paperwork. Then the Vampire drew my blood, and I was out of there. Unbelievably quick. I will call back this afternoon after 4 and then schedule my 'interview' appointment. So easy. Who knew?

I can't even explain the peace of mind I have being able to have my own doctor, and not have my time wasted. This same procedure with Tate took over 2 hours. Seriously. And it took six (yes, SIX) weeks for me to see a doctor after that initial appointment.

Ahh...the joy of competency!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's back

My back pain, that is. It's been forever since I've hurt it, and yesterday night I tweaked it by putting Tate in his crib. Bummer. I can't go on relaxers or even Motrin because I'm knocked up, so pray for my ability to cope today. Tylenol just doesn't get the job done.

Yesterday I got two batches of applesauce done. I wanted to do more, but I have to wait for it to freeze, so I just did two. I should be able to do a couple more today if I can bend down. We'll see. I'm not too keen on the idea at the moment.

I also have my own doctor! I'm so stoked about this! I go in tomorrow for a blood test to make sure that I really am pregnant, and then I will see Dr. Zapata. I'm very excited to have my own doctor and not have to just see whoever is available when I come in.

Ok, I've got to go deal with Tate. He's mad at one of his toys and about to take it out on Skipper.


Monday, August 25, 2008

LOTS to do

Hey Friends!
Well, we've survived another weekend. I realize that weekends are supposed to be restful and relaxing, but lately we've jam packed them so full that we're exhausted by Sunday. Luckily, though, yesterday was somewhat relaxing. I missed the ferry to go to Brittney's bridal shower (who would've thought there'd be a line to get on the ferry at 11:00??!) so we're doing lunch today or sometime this week.

We tried a new church last night and we liked it, so I think we'll go back next week. We really haven't been as good about getting connected in a church as we should have been. I guess that's the one thing about living so close to's easy to have stuff to do or places to go every weekend so it's harder to push ourselves to find a church. In Virginia it was necessary because we were so far away from family that the church was our family. We found a great church, Believers, and we really miss it. We did get involved in a small group here right away, though, and that has helped.

Well, I've got a TON to do today. We harvested apples this weekend so I've got to get on it and make some applesauce. Also, I've got to make an apple pie for my neighbor who has a B-I-G birthday tomorrow! I also need to call a lady from the above mentioned small group to set up dinner on Wednesday. She had a baby on Thursday (I think) so our small group is doing dinners. On the 'should do' list I have making a doctor's appointment for Tate, and one for myself as well. Of course, I may leave those for tomorrow or Wednesday, or possibly even Thursday. I know it's irrational, but I always feel like I've been through war after getting off the phone with Navy medicine. They rarely have any reasonable time slots open for appointments and the call center people are seldom very helpful. Needless to say, I dread every call and put it off a lot longer than I probably should.

Alright, well, instead of just talking about what I need to get done today, I should probably just do it.

Have a great day!
Jenni and "Sam"

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Dress, and a few other things

So, here's the dress for Missy's wedding! I think it's beautiful, and it is SO comfortable. It will be that color, too (it's officially called 'apple'). The wedding is in November, and the colors are black, white, silver and red. It's going to be very elegant.

Ok, now onto the 'few other things'. Really, it's just one thing. And it sort of ties into the dress choice.

Ready for it?

You sure you're ready?

Absolutely sure?

We're pregnant!

Are you as shocked as we were/are? I'm sure. We've had a really hard time coming to grips with the pregnancy, because the adoption is on hold until the baby is 6 months old. It's not that we don't want this baby (we do, of COURSE) but we felt so strongly that God was calling us toward adoption that we have been very confused as to the newest development! In the interest of sharing, but not over sharing, I will just say that we were using three different forms of birth control RELIGIOUSLY, so this baby is a miracle and a gift. My due date is March 5th, which is my birthday. After we realized that, there was no denying that this baby is a GIFT from God.

After praying and praying over this, we have come to a peace about the adoption. We really believe that Elliana was supposed to be our daughter. Everything came together in such a way that it was evident to us that God was orchestrating it. However, God has given all of us free will, and the birthmom chose to keep her baby, against every one's better judgement. If she wasn't supposed to be ours, then we believe that there would be another baby out there that was supposed to be ours. Instead, right after the adoption fell through we found out we were pregnant. That was a very clear indicator to us that the adoption process was to be put on hold for at least a year (you can continue after the baby is 6 months old).

We still feel that adoption is part of our future. We are tentatively planning on doing an international adoption in a couple of years, after Mark is out of the Navy and in a stable job situation. Because of my love for Latino/a people, culture, history, etc, I think we will pursue Colombian adoption, or, if Guatemala is open again, we may pursue that. However, for now, we are focusing on Tate and "Sam", who is in it's 12th week of gestation.

We aren't going to find out the baby's gender until it's born. I think it's going to be easier to convince me to go through labor again this way!

It's been a joy to share our big news with you, but please, don't think that this pregnancy takes away our pain from losing Elliana. The hardest part of this has been feeling the loss of one baby, and feeling guilty over not feeling joy over the pregnancy because of the grief of our loss. We're doing better now, but one doesn't replace the other!

To tie the dress in, there's a bunch of room so my 5.5 month pregnant belly will fit in the bridesmaid dress :)

Ok, Love to you all.
Jenni and "Sam"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Long time, I know

Peek a boo...guess who's almost two!

This is just all Tate...

He was clapping to get the ball back. We bribed him.

I don't remember what he was looking at, but it's cute!

Mr. Personality

Wow. Where to begin?

My son is almost two. I can hardly believe it. We had our two year pictures yesterday, and WOW! That was a chore. As soon as we walked into the place Tate started tantruming. I will say, though, our photographer was fantastic and we got some good shots. The last one, particularly, shows his disdain for the photo session, but we survived.

We've been over at my parent's a lot the last couple of weeks because Stephen (my brother) is leaving for Hawaii on Saturday. He'll be back in December for a couple of weeks, but man, am I ever going to miss him. We've had fun hanging out this summer, and it's great to see him being used by God to do some incredible things.

I hope you're all doing well. I am sorry for the lapse in communication, I just haven't been up to much so there wasn't much to write.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bye bye, Sucker

That's Tate's favorite new phrase.

He was having a sucker, aka lollipop on Thursday in Edmonds. My mom (aka Mrama Duke) said to him, "Tate, you're sucker is all gone. Say bye bye to your sucker." At this point my beloved offspring runs down the pier waving his hands to everyone he's running past yelling, "BYE BYE SUCKER" at the top of his lungs. My mom is running after him saying "Lollipop, Tate, bye bye Lollipop." I about died laughing.

Anyway, the weekend was great. We had fun, and I did manage to find a dress! Yayhoo! I'll find a picture on David's Bridal and post it because we didn't take any there. I came home exhausted, and for the last couple of days have just been playing catch up around the house.

Our Bmom ended up having her baby on the 5th of August, so it looks like no one would have won the contest, oh well. I guess her counselor is going to meet with her soon to check on her and see how she and the baby are doing. Mark and I are feeling really good about where we are, what we've been through, and where we're going (more on that in another post). Don't worry though, we're not going anywhere until next year :)

Well, that's all I can think of to update. I'm going to take a nap this afternoon because I'm pretty beat. Tate was up late last night, and then bright and early this morning!

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Plans for the Weekend

I get to go visit Missy and go wedding dress shopping! Yipee!!! I'm the Matron (ewww...sounds so OLD) of Honor, and I'm excited to get to to shopping with her. I'll post pictures when I get back, probably Sunday or Monday.

Happy Thursday to you all, and have a wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The fog is lifting?

I am finally feeling like a distant relative of my old self. I've got some energy back, and I am a little more optimistic. There are several things that it could be attributing to my more cheery outlook, including...

* The fact that the Mariners had an amazing come from behind victory last night, including a grand slam by Raul IbaƱez, and my favorite position player, Yuniesky Betancourt went 2 for 4, scored twice and had an RBI. Games like this are rare for us this season, and they make me smile.

* I had 9 hours of sleep last night and woke up without an alarm clock.

*I had a fantastic workout this morning, and Tate was good the entire time so I didn't have to stop halfway through to reprimand him.

*I had chicken chow mein for dinner last night.

*My mom is coming over to visit today.

*I get to see my best friend this weekend.

*Tate is attacking me giving me kisses.

So you see, there are several reasons for me to smile today. However, I think the biggest reason that I am doing better is that I had an awesome devotional and prayer time this morning. I started off my day on track, and sadly, over the last two weeks I haven't been as purposeful in doing that as I should have been. I would still do a devotional and pray, but it was more of an after thought than a priority.

Hopefully this is the first day of many better days. I'm glad that I've been grieving and accepting our loss, because my joy is so much more real when I acknowledge what I've lost and am able to move on, with the help of the Holy Spirit (IMHO, of course).

Alright, I'm off to play with play dough with Tate. I made him some red play dough last week and he LOVES it.

Have a fantastic day!


Sunday, August 3, 2008

One day at a time

Isn't that the motto for several recovery groups? Well, it's now our motto, too. We're making it, one day at a time.

We have heard that as of Friday the Bmom still hasn't delivered yet, so that's news, at least. We've been praying for her almost constantly, just for her and the baby's well being.

Other than that, we're not doing anything too exciting. Unfortunately, due to the depression, I can't create. It's not that I don't want to, I'm just can't. I am hoping that my old self returns soon so that I can be more energetic, creative and just plain old me.

Sorry to be such a downer...there isn't much to tell but I want to keep you all informed.

Thanks for your prayers, we are surviving on them.