Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Wink

I was watching Luke the other day as he was trying to wink. 
He was determined and kept going at it until he finally figured it out.

He finally winked with his right eye.
And he was so excited. 
He cheered for himself and giggled as he celebrated his accomplishment.

Then he decided to switch eyes and the challenge began.

He couldn't do it.
No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't do it.

I watched him stretch and strain as he tried to 
convince his left eye to close.
But, it wouldn't.

Then I watched as my son made a decision in his mind.
He decided to not get discouraged.
He did not give up.

He started giggling, then he looked at me, reached up and pulled his left eye closed.

Then he started cheering, "I DID IT!!"

There wasn't any room in his mind for the fact that he couldn't do this, or that he had failed.
In his mind, he had succeeded.

And I was very proud of him.

There are so many things in life that I have to work really hard at.
There are things that don't come easily to me.
There are days that are harder than others.
There are challenges that are trickier than others.
There are weaknesses that I would love to overcome.

Sometimes it's easy to feel discouraged or to feel like I'm not strong enough, or talented enough.....or "whatever" enough.

I'm grateful for the example of my sweet Luke, to never give up.
He reminded me that how I measure my own success, is completely up to me.

What a sweet little lesson to be reminded of.

Thank you Luke.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mustache Mania

We have had a crazy week here at the Blaylock home!

But, a very happy one.

This weekend, for the first time since Christmas, we had all our children in our home.

And I can't tell you how much I LOVED it!

We had a wonderful Open House to celebrate Keely's adoption and were surrounded by friends and family. We have felt their love and support and it makes all the difference. It's been especially important for Keely, so thank you!!

We worked together as a family, we sat around and talked and laughed, and thoroughly enjoyed each other. There were brief little moments throughout the weekend when I looked at my family and felt overwhelmed with gratitude. It's hard to explain what it's like to be surrounded by these amazing little creatures. They make me laugh and cry. They make me dig deep to be better. They teach me by their examples. They are strong, talented and capable. They are kind and sincere.

Simply put,
they make me happy.

So do mustaches.
I've been saving my mustaches for a day like this.
And I'm happy I did.


They truly are the best little sports.
Such good kids.

Do you want some mustaches?
I found mine at a dollar store, but you can find them here.

Now we move on to Big Daddy.

He loves his kids. 

And he loves me.

He's always joking that he's Mr. Wonderful.

And he really is.

Sorry Big Daddy.
I couldn't resist.

I am a lucky girl!

And this.....
THIS is my new favorite picture.
I think Big Daddy scared our sweet little neighbor.

Oh my goodness.


What a happy, crazy life I have.

This really is what it's all about.
Mustaches and all.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Happy Heart: A New Beginning

This is our Keely.
Today she officially became Keely Blaylock.

I struggled with writing this post, because there are so many emotions I'm feeling tonight as I write this.
This has been a bittersweet day, but mostly sweet.
This has been a long, hard road for Keely. But she is a strong little stinker. In spite of the many different challenges she has had to face in her short little 12 years, she has turned into quite the impressive young lady.

And I couldn't be more proud of her.

It was wonderful to watch her today as she sat waiting for the judge to come in to the courtroom. We were all sitting on a long wooden bench, and I was on the end. As I looked down the bench, I saw Keely. You could see the anticipation and nervousness all over her face. Then I looked past her. And I saw that she was surrounded on both sides by brothers and sisters who loved her.
Brothers and sisters who have each made a choice to love her.

And I couldn't be more grateful. 

Then we got called up to stand before the judge.
As our lawyer asked us questions, I looked at my sweetheart Ricky.
I watched as he willingly assumed all responsibility for my daughter. 
I watched as he put his arm around her to reassure her.
I watched him smile.

I can't comprehend the weight that he feels as a father of nine children.
I can't imagine the stress he feels at times as he tries to provide for all of us.
He cherishes his role as a father, and his kids know it. 
He is always willing to make whatever sacrifice is necessary for the happiness and well-being of his family.
And today, as I looked at him, I was more grateful for him than I think I've ever been. 
What he did today showed what a great man he is.
It showed his goodness, his selflessness and his ability to love.

I have watched him over the past 6 1/2 years, choose on a daily basis to love Keely as his own. I have watched him treat her with the same tenderness and devotion that he treats his own. I have watched this great man choose to be a father to a little girl who really needed him.

And I dearly love him for that.
Thank you Ricky.
My heart is full as I type this and I am so very grateful for you.

No matter how nervous, anxious, scared or unsure Keely may feel at different times in her life, she will always be surrounded by a loving family who will support her and love her. 

She is officially one of the "Blaylock Girls"!

Oh, how I love her.

Keely Blaylock, you make my heart incredibly happy.