Wednesday, August 20, 2008

FOUR ... Fabulous Four!

Guess who turned four today?!?! That's right -- my sweet girl is now four years old!

She's grown up so much in the past year, it's really hard to believe all that she's learned, accomplished, discovered and braved. We celebrated pretty low-key today ... actually, REALLY low key.

Our lives have been topsy-turvy this past month. In a matter of one week, I was offered a position with a great company and accepted it, I resigned from my old position, we got a contract on our house, and we signed a contract with a builder on a new house. Yes, we're building and I hope our marriage survives it (just kidding). Actually, Michael and I are celebrating (again, think low-key) our 20th wedding anniversary today!!

So, in the past month, I've had a yard sale, we closed on our house and are in the midst of packing (we'll have to move into rental property while our new home is being built -- ugghh), the boys started school, my youngest changed districts and schools, and all three boys started their soccer seasons, complete with weekend out-of-town tournaments. My head has been spinning, and I told Michael I just didn't think I could handle another change.

Then lo and behold ... Sawyer got his driver's license.

And totaled my 4-Runner just two weeks later.

Miraculously, he walked away from a really bad accident unscathed with the exception of some burns on his arm and places on the inside of his mouth from the airbags. He most definitely had an angel on his shoulder. I chalk it up to inexperience (and most likely, excessive speed), but he was coming home from work on the interstate, was in the passing lane, and the car to his right veered into his lane. Sawyer over-corrected and hit the concrete barrier. He lost control, skidded across three lanes of interstate traffic (without coming into contact with another vehicle), slid off the road, down into a deep ravine, and into a tree. Truly, God spared his life that night and I thank God he is alive.

Subsequently, I had to get a new vehicle, which I just purchased two weeks ago. Then last Tuesday night, while in the Cracker Barrel parking lot, an older gentleman backed into my passenger door. And I still have temporary tags!! Just a small dent, but I took it for estimates and they're going to have to keep it for a couple of days while repairs are being made.

And I couldn't even be upset with the man that hit me. First, it was an accident. And second, he's 85 years old, meanders up to me, and says, "Well, did you ever see such a thing? I try not to do stupid things, but every once in a while, one will sneak up on me." I felt so badly for him. I kept apologizing to him!"

More info that you wanted to know, I'm sure. I haven't had a minute to think, much less blog, and I guess I'm documenting all of my whoas to try to justify to myself why Oakley didn't get a big birthday bash this year.

She was more than content with a few presents and her immediate family joining her this evening for birthday cake (not even ice cream). She got to wear a birthday crown during preschool this morning and I picked her up early today from school.

She joined me on a visit to Sullivan's elementary school this afternoon. A week or so ago, Sullivan's third grade teacher called and asked me to come and talk to the classroom about our travels to China and how our cultures differ. She is devoting this semester to studying the Olympics and all that it encompasses. She asked me to bring photos and anything we picked up in China that might be of interest (chopsticks, Chinese silks, currency, artwork, etc.) As I was gathering things together last night in preparation, Sullivan asked me if we could bring Oakley. I explained to him that she would miss her naptime and that it probably wasn't a great idea because she would then be grumpy on her birthday.

"But Mom, " he implored. "She's the best thing we got in China!"

You can't really argue with logic like that.

So I picked Oakley up after lunch today and she accompanied me to Sullivan's school. This was such a special visit for us all. I think Oakley felt really special as we talked about her homeland, about what a beautiful country China is, and about how warm her people are. She even taught the class how to say hello and thank you in Mandarin. Sullivan was so proud of her and he beamed throughout my entire presentation. I love talking about China and why we love it so much!!

All of Sullivan's classmates kept wishing Oakley a very Happy Birthday, and she practically waltzed out of the classroom when it was time for us to go.

So after soccer (surprise, surprise) this evening, we all gathered in the dining room and celebrated our little girl. After we sang Happy Birthday and she blew out her candles, she opened her gifts. She loved her Mary Poppins movie, her new pajamas, her Ariel bathtime doll and her new Candyland game.

But she was most excited about opening the gift from her best friend Caeleigh!! It's a precious "O" peg rack, and she absolutely loves it! Thank you, Caeleigh. Oakley loves you and misses you so very much!

Happy Birthday to my sweet Oakley, who thanked me this evening as I was tucking her in, for singing Happy Birthday to her and for getting her a cake with green and pink polka dots.

And thank you to her birth mom, whom I know is dreaming tonight of the baby girl she held in her arms four short years ago. Please know that your precious girl is everything you want her to be -- well-loved, cherished, and so very happy.


Mission To Macie said...

Happy 4th Oakley!

Happy 20th Jana!

And I thought I was BUSY! haaaa
you WIN!

Oakley is as precious as ever.

Bloggerland misses you and I am glad to see you back! Hopefully things will settle down for you!

Jill and Macie :)

David and Sarah said...

What a month! Happy Birthday to your sweet girl. How fun to spend part of her birthday in her brother's class, talking about China. Happy Anniversary to you!

Jennifer said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY OAKLEY!!! We know you had a special day!

Happy Anniversary to your Mommy and Daddy, too!

PS... Oakley... you get prettier and prettier every time we see you! I didn't even think that was possible!!! :)

Amy said...

Happy Birthday to your Oakley! My husband always says we got the best thing made in China :)!

Anonymous said...

Wow! You've got alot on your plate right now. I hope it slows down soon.

I love the sentence you wrote to Oakley's birth mom. That was very thoughtful.

Oakley is beautiful! You can truely she happiness on her face.

I've followed your blog since the day you left for China. I really enjoy reading your posts.

Amy in Richmond

Whitty's Four said...

Happy, Happy Birthday to My Best Friend Oakley!!

I love your outfit, it is too cute!!
I miss you!! I had so much fun at your house, I wish I could see you more.

Talk to you soon friend,

The Ferrill's said...

I think Oakley's birthday sounds wonderful, party or no party! Sometimes intimate family gatherings make for the MOST SPECIAL birthdays!
Oakley is one amazing little girl...she just shines!
I am so thankful your son was okay in the car wreck. Thank the Lord! And I'm sorry you're once again dealing with a car issue...but I'm so glad it was you that the little old man hit, because anybody else might have been mean to him and you gave him some mercy and cheer which I'm sure he needed. You are precious!
(Not that I want your new car to be hit, but you get what I'm saying I hope!)
Wow, moving? Building? That is a big endeavor, so I will keep you in my prayers and can't wait to see the new home! ;)
It's great to "hear" from you again! And Happy Birthday Oakley!

Somewhere In The Sun said...

Wow! I don't know what else to say! I'm SO glad that Sawyer is okay. Yes, God is surely watching over your family!

Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, Congrats on the drivers license!

I love all of the pictures...she's changed even in just a month! My very favorite thing about the post is what Sullivan said about Oakley. Just priceless!!


Felicia said...

Jana, I was wondering why you haven't posted in a while...bless your heart. You've had quite a whirlwind month. So glad Sawyer is okay and Oakley is a beautiful 4 year old :)

Emily said...

happy birthday oakley!
Love u all and miss u all!
Emily and Tracey

Marla said...

Happy birthday to your sweet daughter, she is beautiful.
I'm a friend of Leslies and look forward to meeting you.
You are one busy woman but isn't life fun. Glad your son is ok.

Paul and Jackie said...

I just love checking your blog and hearing about your sweet family. Oakley is a doll! The most photogenic child I've ever seen. You are blessed!
I had to chuckle about the older gentleman hitting your car. Made me think of the commercial on tv, only in reverse where the older couple "take out" the boy who hits their car instead of granting him forgiveness. :) Glad you are the forgiving type!!!!
So thankful your son is ok. Guess I have this to look forward to. GREAT!
Jackie Wetzel

Krista ~ Bits and pieces said...

Happy 4th birthday.

This is such a fun year. Soak it all up my friend!!!

Your photos and words made me grin from ear to ear. SO precious!!!!

have a wonderful weekend,


Nicole said...

Happy Birthday Angel .... Oh I meant Princess~ We love you!
And Happy Anniversary Jana and Mike, we love you too!

Adam and Cynthia said...

Ok, you are going to make me cry! She is just amazing. That's it. Simply amazing!

What a blessed family you have there, girl!

We love you all!

Happy Birthday Sweet Oakley!

Oh, it appears she didn't wince this year at the birthday singing!

mommy24treasures said...

Happy Birthday Oakley!
I love the comment she is the best thing we got in China:):)
So sweet!

Michelle said...

Happy belated birthday to your beautiful little girl. What a sweet story about her going to Sullivan's class.

Anonymous said...

You have been a busy lady this month. Glad to hear your son is ok.
Moving is always difficult. Are you
moving very far? Happy birthday and
Happy 20th anniversary. Liz

Chris and Deb said... have been so busy Jana and it sounds like it will be that way for a while....I am tired just reading this!

Belated Happy, Happy 4th Birthday sweet Oakley! It looks like you had a wonderful birthday and how extra special to visit Sulivan's class too!

Hope you all are having a great week!

Donna said...

Wow, Jana, what a month you have had!

I'm so relieved to hear that Sawyer is okay. What a scare that was! He definitely had God with him that night.

And happy 4th Bday to Oakley! She is precious!

And last but not least, happy 20th anniversary!

Good luck with the house building stuff. I can't wait to hear about those adventures!

mommy to Lena and Macey

Andrea Nielsen said...

What a crazy month...I can relate girl! I hope that things have slowed down, and am so glad Oakley had a great birthday. It is so special just to have them here for their celebrations!
Blessings, Andrea

Leslie said...

Thanks for a Big update Jana. Boy what a month you've had. We have talked but you didn't mention any of this. I'm so glad Sawyer is alright. Praise God for that.

Happy Birthday Oakley!!!!!

Happy 20th to you guys as well!!!!

***a side me about the circus. I've emailed you, but don't have your work number anymore. One word for that one...LILY. We have a group coming when your going to be there. We are finally going to meet!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

How is the moving going and the
new job? Mary

Amie@HeartSmiles said...

Oh my goodness this post made my head spin, You are so busy!!!

And what a sweet little 4 yo!adorable!

Hope life settles down a bit for you!


Donna said...

How are you all? I haven't seen any new pics in a while and I just wanted to check in. Hope you all are well!

mom to Lena & Macey

Anonymous said...

How is the move etc going? Mary

delucchi family said...

Hi, I have three boys and a girl too!1
Love your blog, and hi from cold and wet UK.
Love Jules

Mom of 5 said...

I am just catching up..
Happy Birthday - oh my what a post. Glad all is well.