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Book Reviews

I love reading. A few months ago I was realizing that I don’t read as much as I used to. I think when life is busy it’s one of those things that falls by the wayside. At least for me. Anyway, I decided that I needed to start reading again. I made a list of books that I wanted to read and told myself I’d read a few of them each month. My list is about 200 books long now, and even though it might take a while, I plan to read all of them. I thought that posting an informal book review on here would help me stay committed to my goal of reading.


I have my long list of books organized by category. I have plans to read some fun novels, biographies, books about health and medicine, self-help books, and more. Some of the books I’m most excited to read are:

Luther’s Fortress: This is about Martin Luther and his reformation. I have always been interested in Martin Luther and have always wanted to learn more about him, but have never really taken the time to. So now I am going to.

Hidden Figures: This one caught my eye because it is now a movie. It looks fascinating and seems like a part of history that really needed to be told. I haven’t seen the movie yet because I’m waiting until I read the book.

Jane Eyre: I read this in about 8th grade but have not read it since. I decided I needed to add some classic books to my list.

My list also includes quite a few parenting books, such as The Opposite of Spoiled, The Parents We Mean to Be, and The Importance of Being Little.


These types of books are some of my favorites to read. I love gaining new perspectives and realizing that the way I think about something is not necessarily the best way or the only way to do things. Not just about parenting or raising kids, but about life in general.  I was reading another parenting book a while back called Parenting without Borders, and somebody who saw that I was reading it made a comment about how parenting should come naturally and she feels bad for people who feel that they have to read books to learn how to raise their child. While I think it’s fine to rely on your instincts and intuition to raise your child (and I definitely do that), I guess I had never thought that I “need” these books to know what to do for Dimitri. I just like to think about things in a new light and be armed with as much information as I can.

I’m excited to start reading more and to share my thoughts about all these books with you!

What are some of your favorite books? Do you have a list of books to read? I’d love to hear what’s on it!

Throwback Thursday

A throwback to our wedding! I realized I hadn’t put any pictures of the big day on here, so I thought this would be a good time to do it.

We were married on November 6, 2010, in theJordan River Temple.




When we got married, we had five nephews. Now we have 12 nephews and two nieces (and another niece coming in August!). We are lucky that a lot of them live nearby. Dimitri loves playing with his cousins.






A lot has happened in the last six years, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Spring is Here

It’s finally starting to warm up here in Utah. We spent most of the day yesterday outside, and the sun felt wonderful. We worked in the yard and Dimitri loved helping.

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I found this cute little toy lawn mower at Saver’s on Friday. As soon as Dimitri saw that Dad was mowing the lawn he knew he needed to go help.

After he was finished with the lawn, he put on my gardening gloves to help with the weeding.

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Sure love this big helper of ours!

Mother’s Day

I just realized it’s Friday, so I missed my “Throwback Thursday” post yesterday. Oops. But that’s okay, because all week I’ve been wanting to post about Mother’s Day, and specifically about our Kasi. So I’ll do that instead.

Kasi is Dimitri’s birthmother. We cannot express how much we love her or how grateful we are for her. It is such an amazing blessing that we get to be a part of each other’s lives and that Dimitri gets to grow up knowing her.

Kasi when she was pregnant with Dimitri
Kasi when she was pregnant with Dimitri

If you haven’t already heard the story of when Kasi asked us to adopt Dimitri, you can read it here.


We have been able to visit with Kasi several times since Dimitri was born. The pictures above are from the first time we went to see her after Dimitri was born. We also stay in touch through text and Facebook, and we video chat most holidays. This year, when we talked on Mother’s Day, it was the first time Dimitri seemed to really know who Kasi was. It was fun to see him get excited about talking to her. He wanted to show her things he could do, like dancing, counting, and singing. After we had finished talking, Dimitri kept saying Kasi’s name and asking where she had gone. After a few hours, we text Kasi and asked if she could talk again before Dimitri went to bed because he kept asking for her. He was excited to see her again, and I love that he is starting to realize what an important person she is in his life.

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Camping trip with Kasi and her family. I love how Dimitri just snuggled on Kasi and fell asleep.
Camping trip with Kasi and her family. I love how Dimitri just snuggled on Kasi and fell asleep.
This was our most recent visit with Kasi. She is with her boyfriend, Lane, and his son.
This was our most recent visit with Kasi. She is with her boyfriend, Lane, and his son.


Throw Back Thursday

Dimitri’s first Christmas.



Here we are with Dimitri’s great-grandparents (my grandparents). My grandfather passed away last summer, but I’m so glad that Dimitri got to spend a few years with him. In fact, Dimitri was able to have a relationship with all of my grandparents, which is something I’ll always cherish. My grandpa had a hard time with his memory the last few years of his life and couldn’t always remember the names of all his grandkids, but he always remembered Dimitri. He never forgot Dimitri’s name and he remembered being in the temple with us when we were sealed to him. I loved that he would bring that up and talk about how special it was whenever we saw him. What a blessing it is for Dimitri to be surrounded by so many people who love him.


Baby Animal Days

On Saturday we took Dimitri to Baby Animal Days. We had a lot of fun and Dimitri got to hold and pet all kinds of animals.

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I wish I would have taken pictures of more of the animals they had. There was a llama, a camel, a baby fox, sheep…it was quite an impressive array.

For some reason, Dimitri really loved these
“head in the hole” signs that they had. I never once encouraged him to get behind them for the sake of taking pictures; he did it all on his own. He stopped and wanted his picture taken every time we passed one.




He also got to ride a pony, which is becoming one of his favorite things to do. When the ride was over, he patted the pony’s main and said, “Thank you, pony.”

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My grandma doesn’t live far from the farm where Baby Animal Days is held, so we stopped to visit her as well.


It was a fun day and we are excited for more outdoor adventures now that it is finally getting warm around here.

Throw Back Thursday

So, if you’re not a total Harry Potter geek like I am, you might want to just skip this post. Well, Dimitri is certainly cute whether you like Harry Potter or not, but if you’re a fan, it makes the story more fun.

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Dimitri has a cute little toy car that he loves to play in. He is starting to prefer his bike over the car, but this was last Fall and he was all about his little car back then.

I had pulled a few boxes out of the garage that we still hadn’t unpacked since we moved. In one of them, I found a plastic wand that I had given Adam while we were dating. I can’t remember why I gave it to him, maybe when we went to see one of the Harry Potter movies in the theater. Anyway, I asked Dimitri if he wanted to play with the wand and of course, he did. He ran over and grabbed it from me and then went back to playing in his car, wand in hand.

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Next thing I knew, his poor little wand had snapped in two.

I posted a picture on Facebook along with this:

“My cute little red head, playing outside in his car, when his first wand broke. I need another Harry Potter nerd to appreciate this moment with me.”

My friend commented, “He must be a Weasley!” and my cousin asked, “Where’s the Spell-o-Tape when you need it?” It made my day that other people recognized this moment for what it was.



If I had to choose only one food to eat for the rest of my life, I’d probably choose watermelon. Seriously, I love it that much. Dimitri loves it too, which makes me very happy. These pictures are from one of the first times he tasted watermelon.

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A week or so ago, I bought my first watermelon of the year, and it didn’t take long for Dimitri and me to finish the whole thing. I thought to myself, “I am so glad that Dimitri inherited my love for watermelon.”

It took me a few minutes to remember that Dimitri didn’t actually inherit that (or anything) from me, because we don’t share the same DNA. It’s not that I forget that he’s adopted, or that I want to downplay the important role his birth parents have in his life. But he’s my son who I love with all my heart, so sometimes it doesn’t occur to me that we wouldn’t share certain traits or characteristics. I think most adoptive parents would say something similar. I know several people who have both biological and adopted children, and I have never heard one of them say that they love their biological children more than the ones who are adopted, or that they think of them any differently. Multiple people, who don’t have that close connection with adoption, however, have asked me,  “Do you love Dimitri as much as you would if you’d given birth to him?”

I’m never quite sure how to answer this question. First off, I’ve never given birth, so I have nothing to compare it to. But more importantly, Dimitri was not a consolation prize for not being able to pregnant. He wasn’t the second best option. He is my son who I love beyond anything I knew was possible and I’m quite certain I’d feel that way no matter how he came to our family.


I am so grateful for the amazing miracle of adoption, for Kasi and Luis choosing us to be Dimitri’s parents, and for the chance to be the mother to an amazing, wonderful little boy.


Happy Easter

Adam’s mom sent us a big Easter package with all kinds of toys, stuffed animals, and candy. Dimitri loved all of it but was particularly fond of the white chocolate bunny.




However, he wasn’t very happy when I told him he couldn’t eat the whole bunny in one sitting. This is his face when I took it away from him.


Poor little guy. After that, we went outside and blew some bubbles that also came in the package, and he was happy again.

For breakfast on Easter, we always make French Toast with a special Greek Easter Bread that Mandie had and loved when she was on her mission. It’s a fun little tradition and Dimitri liked helping this year.




Dimitri wore his new suit to church and decided to stop and smell some flowers on the way.



This afternoon we went to Mandie’s parent’s house to have dinner and an Easter egg hunt. Dimitri had a lot of fun looking for the eggs and playing with his cousins.




After the kids had their egg hunt, they had a lot of fun playing in Grandma and Grandpa’s backyard. Here is Adam helping Dimitri and one of his cousins with the tree swing.

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We were also able to talk to Dimitri’s birth mom Kasi. Dimitri liked showing her all the eggs he found and blowing her kisses. He also said “Kasi” for the first time which I thought was really cute.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! We are truly blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family, but most importantly to be able to reflect on the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior who is the source of all our blessings.