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Merry Christmas everyone! We had a lot of fun this year. We spent Christmas eve with Mandie’s family and had a quiet Christmas Day at home.

The week before Christmas, we went to Temple Square again, this time with Mandie’s family. As soon as Dimitri realized where we were, he asked, “Hey, where’s Kasi?” I thought it was so cute that he remembered being there a few weeks earlier with her.

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It’s always been a tradition in my (Mandie’s) family to get together on Christmas Eve. We play games, eat food, and open presents. In Colombia, where my mom is from, instead of Santa bringing presents, Baby Jesus brings them, and he always brings them at midnight on Christmas Eve. Traditionally, the parents wake the kids up at midnight to let them know the Baby Jesus has come. When we were growing up, we’d always just try to stay up until midnight. All our cousins, aunts, uncles, grandma and grandpa, would have so much fun watching movies, playing games, dancing to music and eating Colombian food. Then at midnight, we’d open gifts. Christmas eves with my family are some of the best memories I have as a child. Now, with all of us grown and kids of our own, we continue this tradition, but for some reason we can never quite stay up till midnight. With so many young kids, we usually start opening presents around 7 or 8. But it’s still a lot of fun.


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Dimitri had a lot of fun. The funniest (and most embarrassing for mom) part was when he opened a present that was a book and a sweatshirt. He looked at them and then grumpily said, “I wanted a toy!” I guess we’ll have to work on our manners and gratitude.


Acting out the Nativity. Baby S got the honor of playing Baby Jesus.


One of the games we played is to try to make someone look like a snowman. Dimitri just thought it was fun to get wrapped up in toilet paper.



Last year on Christmas Day, I made a meal with foods that might have been eaten in Bethlehem at the time of Christ. It was really fun and we decided to make it our new Christmas tradition. This year we had fish, flatbread, hummus, olives, nuts, goat cheese and grape juice. It’s a yummy meal and a fun way to help us think about Christ and what things might have been like when he lived.

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We hope that everyone had a great Christmas! And best wishes for a Happy New Year.


Temple Square

Kasi (Dimitri’s birth mom) and her husband Lane came to Salt Lake to see the Christmas lights, so we were able to spend a bit of time with them at Temple Square.





We love every chance we get to spend time with Kasi. We love her and we love open adoption!


We love Thanksgiving at our house! Our first Thanksgiving together,  we were dating. I had to work, but Adam came over in the evening after I got home and we ate some apple pie that I had made the day before. The next year, we had been married just a few weeks. I had the day off but Adam had to work in the morning. I cooked all morning and we had our first Thanksgiving meal together when he got home. Every year since then, we’ve cooked a full Thanksgiving meal, even when it’s just been the two of us. This year was fun with the four of us, although it was a bit of a juggle cooking everything and taking care of Baby S.

We love having individual cornish game hens instead of a big turkey
We love having individual Cornish game hens instead of a big turkey

Ready to eat
Ready to eat


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

It’s been a while

I obviously haven’t been updating this as often as I usually do. As you know from my last post, we are caring for a sweet little foster baby (Baby S). He is now 10 weeks old, and he is keeping us busy.  To protect the privacy of Baby S and his mother, we won’t be posting pictures of him (you might see a picture of the back of his head or maybe his toes, but never a picture that would make him easy to identify) and the information we give about him will be pretty generic.  I will say that he is a happy baby and that Dimitri is adjusting to being a big brother. We really love having him be a part of our family.

A lot of things have happened that I haven’t written about,  so I’m going to try and catch up over the next few days. To start, here are a few random things Dimitri has been up to.

Playing with the huge blocks at the library is one of Dimitri's favorite things to do
Playing with the huge blocks at the library is one of Dimitri’s favorite things to do



Playing at the park with Aunt Vannessa and Cousin Anniston
Playing at the park with Aunt Vannessa and Cousin Anniston









Recent Happenings

We haven’t posted anything for a while. Not only have we been really busy, but I’ve struggled to figure out exactly how much to say about what’s been going on. Right now we are foster parents to a 6-week old baby. We were not planning on doing foster care again at this time, but things just kind of happened that way. To protect the privacy of the baby and his mother, I’m not going to give more details than that at this time. I think it’s enough to say that he is living with us and we are happy and honored to have him.

People keep asking us if we are going to adopt (for privacy purposes, I’ll just call him Baby S). The goal of foster care is always reunification with the child’s parents.  We are happy to take care of him while he needs us, but can’t say exactly how long he will be here with us. For now, we will love him without reservations and care for him as if he was our own son.  We still want to add to our family through adoption; we just don’t know when that will happen or who it will be that joins our forever family.

Things have gone pretty well so far in transitioning from a family of three to a family of four. Dimitri is adjusting to being a big brother. He loves to help and has fun playing with and holding Baby S. We are having fun remembering how much work newborns are and how little sleep you get. Haha. Overall things in our house and going well. We will post periodic updates on how things are going.

Dimitri helping Dad bring Baby S into the house when we brought him home from the hospital.
Dimitri helping Dad bring Baby S into the house when we brought him home from the hospital.



First Visit

I missed my usual “Throwback Thursday” post yesterday, but I guess a day late is better than never.  This is the first time Kasi and Dimitri saw each other after she placed him with us. It was almost exactly three years ago; Dimitri was just over a month old and Kasi had just celebrated her birthday. It was a special visit. We’re so grateful that we’ve had lots of visits and time together since then. We love open adoption and we love our sweet Kasi!

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General Conference

This weekend was our church’s semiannual general conference.  It’s not always the easiest thing to listen to the speakers when you have a three-year-old running around, but we did our best and luckily Dimitri is pretty good at entertaining himself.

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We have quite a few traditions that involve food, and one of them is that we always eat food from one of our missions on conference Sunday. Last time, we had a few Greek dishes, and this time was Mandie’s first try at making Moro de Habicheulas, which is a traditional rice and bean dish from the Dominican Republic. Adam said it tasted like he remembers, so I guess it was a success. As you can see, Dimitri approved of it too!

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We feel very blessed to have living prophets who instruct and inspire us. Conference is always a good time to reflect on how we can more closely follow our Savior, Jesus Christ. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Throw Back Thursday

Throwback to three years ago when Dimitri was just a little over a month old. What a cutie. He still has that blue blanky. We sure love this precious little boy.

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Throw Back Thursday

This is a throwback to the time that Adam and I ran a marathon together.  We ran a lot together while we were dating, in preparation for a half marathon. The long runs were a fun way to get to know each other. The half marathon (13.1 miles) was the perfect distance- long enough to be challenging but not so far that it felt impossible.

The full marathon (26.2 miles) was a different story. I had tried to run one several years before meeting Adam but wasn’t able to finish it. This time, however, with our training and Adam’s encouragement, I was able to do it. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and I am very proud to say I’ve completed a full marathon.

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One of the things I love most about the fact that I’ve run a full marathon is it gave me the knowledge that I can do hard things. Since we’ve been married, Adam and I have had to do a few hard things. Like facing the fact that I’ll never be pregnant. Like having our hearts broken when the foster kids we love left our home. I’m not complaining and I wouldn’t change a thing about our life together, but the fact is that sometimes it’s HARD. I love being able to think back to running that marathon, wanting to quit at the 18th mile, but knowing I went on. And then thinking to myself, if you were able to do that, you can definitely do this! I know that Adam and I can handle whatever comes our way.

Throwback Thursday

This is the time we made donuts with our nephews! It feels like this was just a while ago, but based on the fact that Dimitri wasn’t born yet, and how little our nephews look in these pictures, this must have been about four years ago. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but I love to bake and cook! I think I’m better at cooking, but baking is fun too, and these homemade baked donuts are some of the yummiest things I make.

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Yum! I haven’t made these in a while and now I’m thinking they sound pretty good! What sorts of things do you like to bake or cook?