Family Reunion

This past weekend we were able to go to Kasi’s family reunion. We have done this every year since Kasi was pregnant with Dimitri and plan to keep doing it for years to come. It’s fun to be able to spend time with Kasi and her family and it’s especially fun now that Dimitri is starting to realize who Kasi is and what an important person she is in his life. It was really fun seeing them interact.

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Kasi’s family always camps near a lake. Dimitri is really learning to like the water and it was fun to see him and Kasi play together.

Kasi and her fiance Lane splashing with Dimitri
Kasi and her fiance Lane splashing with Dimitri


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Tired out after so much playing
Tired out after so much playing



Dimitri thought this little plastic deer was fun to ride. He called it Bullseye, after the horse on Toy Story
Dimitri thought this little plastic deer was fun to ride. He called it Bullseye, after the horse on Toy Story

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Goodbye Kisses
Goodbye Kisses

We sure love open adoption and chance Dimitri has to know his wonderful birth mother.

Throwback Thursday

This is the first time we took Dimitri to Kasi’s family reunion. We’ve gone each year since Kasi was pregnant with Dimitri and it’s something we always look forward to. It is such a blessing for Dimitri to know not only his birth mom but all of her family as well.



That was Dimitri’s first time getting in a lake and he loved it. Kasi and her family camp near a lake most summers.



Taking a little snooze in the tent
Taking a little snooze in the tent




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We are so grateful to Kasi and her family for welcoming us into their family and letting Dimitri be a part of their lives. Open adoption is such a beautiful thing that we are so blessed to be a part of.

Family Fun

Last weekend my sister Vannessa was here from Florida so we spent a lot of time with family. Dimitri had a lot of fun with his cousins and we even were able to sneak in a girl’s night out that doubled as a baby shower for my sister who is expecting a baby girl in August.

Dimitri with his counsins Cade and Anniston
Dimitri with his cousins Cade and Anniston



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As you can see, we had a lot of fun in the water. I love that Dimitri likes water and isn’t afraid of it. When I was young, I was pretty scared of the water and didn’t learn to swim till I was older. It makes me happy that Dimitri is a little more adventurous than I was. In fact, my parents rented a dunk tank and most of the younger kids were nervous to get dunked, but Dimitri just climbed right up the ladder and wanted to take his turn. Uncle Joe was there to help him, so he wasn’t scared at all.


Dimitri and Aunt Vannessa
Dimitri and Aunt Vannessa


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Girl’s night out with all my sisters (and my mom- she’s taking the picture). Ginger, in the middle, is expecting her first girl after having three boys so we had a little baby shower for her.
Cousin goodbyes. Anniston and Tatum are the cousins Dimitri sees the least because they live in Florida.



We had so much fun with the family while Vannessa was in town! We hope everyone else is having a great summer too!

How to Raise an Adult

As I mentioned a while back, I’m reading books again! It is so much fun; I forgot how much I enjoy reading. Here’s my first book review. I just finished To Kill a Mockingbird and am in the middle of another fun book, so more reviews to come!

I was introduced to the book How to Raise an Adult when an article on Facebook caught my eye. The article talked a lot about “helicopter parenting,” and how parents are so anxious for their kids to succeed that they help them do things that the child could reasonably do for themselves.  The article went on to mention that a former dean of Stanford, who had seen first hand the effects of over-parenting when she saw that freshman coming to their first year at Stanford were less and less able to do basic things for themselves, wrote this book. I decided to read it, and I am glad I did.


It was eye-opening to think about what messages we are sending to our kids when we do things for them. When a parent takes over a science project for their third-grader, the parent may be thinking something like, “I am being a good parent by helping my child get a good grade. I am involved in my child’s education and this shows them how much I love them.” The child, however, might understand something more along the lines of, “My mom doesn’t think I am smart enough to do this on my own. Mom doesn’t trust me to do a good job.” The more we do things for our kids that they should be able to do for themselves, the more we are denying them a chance to grow and gain confidence in their own abilities. The book has a lot of good advice on how to find a good balance between helping too much and not helping at all.

I was really shocked at some of the examples the author gave of things that kids and young adults couldn’t do for themselves when they got to college because it had been done for them their whole lives. She told of 19- or 20-year olds who couldn’t do basic things like ask for directions or register for a class. She even told a story of a young man whose mom mailed him a few packages. The packages got delivered to the main entrance of the dorm room, and they were too heavy for him to carry up to his room by himself. They stayed there for a few days, until his mom called the dorm advisor and asked him to go help her son carry the boxes to his room. She explained that her son had called to tell her that the packages were too heavy for him to carry on his own, but that he didn’t know how to ask anyone for help.

Because the author of this book was a dean at Stanford, there was quite a bit of talk about the pressures of getting your child into a “good” college.   I can’t say that much of that applied to me, because, even though I hope Dimitri wants to go to college one day, I can’t say that I have ever once thought that he needs to get into Yale, Harvard, or Stanford or all will be lost. Apparently, there are some parents who think that way and put a lot of pressure on their kids even at a very young age. It was interesting to read that some parents justify doing basic things for their kids so that their child has more time to focus on homework and extra-curricular activities and has a better chance of getting into a good college. As a result, these kids have amazing grades, good SAT scores, and lots of talents and hobbies, but can’t make their own bed or make themselves a sandwich. I guess those chapters are geared more towards parents who have specific expectations for their child’s college education, but the rest of the book, in my opinion, is applicable to any parent.

Overall, this book was really interesting and I learned a few things about what I can do to help Dimitri learn and think for himself, and hopefully, one day turn into a confident, capable adult.



Throwback Thursday

As promised, here are pictures from when I was a little girl.

My dad and me
My dad and me


Watching a movie with my big sister
Watching a movie with my big sister
There's really nothing to say about this photo except, It was the 90s
Me with all of my siblings.There’s really nothing to say about this photo except, It was the 90’s.

Gardner Village

A few weeks ago, Dimitri and I went to Gardner Village with a few friends. Gardner Village is a fun place with shops, a petting zoo, boutiques, and lots of open space for kids to run around outside. They have different themes at different times of the year; for examples at Halloween everything is witch-themed and at Christmas they do elves. This time of year it is fairies, so Dimitri and his friends had fun trying to find some of the fairies.

Looking through a fairy door
there’s this big old-fashioned bell at Gardner Village that Dimitri always wants to ring when we’re there

Some of the best shops they have at Gardner Village (at least in my opinion) are the fudge and sweet shops. Dimitri opted for a chocolate covered strawberry and was not disappointed.


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We are having a lot of fun this summer and look forward to more adventures! What kinds of things are you doing for fun this time of year?

Throw Back Thursday

I know this is what you’ve been dying to see…pictures from when Adam was a little boy. Wasn’t he adorable?



Here Adam is with his sisters and his grandmother.
Here Adam is with his sisters and his grandmother.

Next week I’ll post a few pictures from my childhood.

Recent Happenings

Pictures of how we’ve been spending our time lately:

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Popsicles on the porch on a hot day. We had just come from the splash pad, which explains why Dimitri is wearing nothing but a swim diaper.

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Blowing bubbles is one of Dimitri’s favorite things to do. We were working on potty training so he’s wearing underwear. I promise we do put pants on him sometimes.


Dimitri has started to really enjoy playing the piano. Hopefully that sticks when he starts actual piano lessons in a few years.


Family movie night! When Adam and I were first married, we would occasionally pull the mattress off our bed and bring it to the front room and have a movie night. Movie nights at our house usually turn into Harry Potter marathons. Anyway, we’ve done it a few times with Dimitri and he thinks it’s pretty fun.

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Dimitri inherited this Buzz Lightyear backpack from one of his cousins and he can’t go anywhere without it.


Snack break at the splash pad.

These are some of the things we’ve been doing lately. We have more adventures to look forward to this summer like camping with Dimitri’s birth family next week and his third birthday coming up in August. What fun things do you have planned for the rest of the summer?

Throwback Thursday


This was a long time ago! That is my abuelita (my grandmother) with three of my cousins, my sister, and me (I’m the younger girl). It’s been almost three years since Abuelita passed away; I miss her and still think about her often. She was such a loving person who always had time to serve and help. She loved all of her grandchildren so much. I remember she cried because she was so excited when we told her that we would be adopting Dimitri. I am glad they got to spend some time together before she passed away.

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Family Camping Trip

This weekend we went camping in American Fork Canyon with Mandie’s family. Dimitri was in heaven the whole time. Dirt, cousins to play with, treats, and staying up late- can life get better than that for a toddler?

On a little hike while Adam was mountain biking
On a little hike while Adam was mountain biking


Dimitri playing in the hammock with his cousin Parker
Dimitri playing in the hammock with his cousin Parker




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Adam loves to mountain bike and got to go on a ride with Joe and Curtiss (our brothers-in-law) while we were camping. As you can see, Dimitri is excited to follow in his dad’s footsteps. This is my sister, his Aunt Linda helping him learn the ropes.

My family goes on a camping trip every summer but we haven’t always been able to make it because of work or other scheduling conflicts. We are glad we got the chance to go this year. It’s nice to have time away from everyday life to spend together and be in nature.

At the end of the month, we will be camping again, this time with Dimitri’s birth mom and her family. We’ve done this every year since we met Kasi, even the summer when she was pregnant with Dimitri. I love for Dimitri and Kasi to get to spend some time together and for us to get to know her and her family better.

Do you like camping? What kinds of things do you love to do every summer?