Thursday, December 31, 2015

Year in Review - 2015


                          2015, What can I say?
You have brought so much to our family!

Aside from all the birthdays and holidays, there are a couple of high points I would like to point out.

In April, all 3 of the girls were in the play Alice@Wonderland. Avery had the lead role of Alice. Morgan was the Dormouse and Humpty Dumpty and Sydney was the Caterpillar and Tweedle Dee. I was the director and it was so much work but so much fun! I loved seeing what they all accomplished and how talented everyone is! I had to step down as the Drama director this year due to starting school. It was a necessary thing to give up but I really do miss seeing the kids doing such cool plays and stretching themselves in new ways.
Sydney, Annalise and Avery
Tweedles and Alice
Morgan and Avery
Humpty Dumpty and Alice

In June, my 4 big kids and I went to Haiti for a missions trip. This was a life changing experience for all of us and something we will never forget. These children continue to be on our hearts and mind and we look forward to the time we can go back. 

In August, my kids all started school and Morgan started her first semester of college classes as she dual enrolled at a local college. She rocked it and ended the semester with 3 A's and 1 B! So proud of her! I started Midwifery school in the middle of September as well and, yes, I passed my first term too!

At the end of September, we added a new member to our family. On the 29th of the month, we finalized the adoption of Christian Troy. It was a joyous day for our family but also a sobering one. We were starkly reminded that this not only brings finality to our family but also to his biological parents. 

We have 2 new licensed driver's in our home (well, they both have their permits, 2016 will bring the official drivers). Morgan got her permit in March and Avery got hers in October. They are doing great and Morgan even drove the whole trip home from her grandparent's house in Georgia.

So, to sum up our family this year...
Cory has been working at S.I. Goldman for a little over a year now. He is enjoying his work and the people he is working with. He continues to teach Sunday School every week to the 3rd-5th grade kids. He has started taking on so much more at home to help me with my crazy schedule.
I am going to school to become a midwife. I often miss family events and birthdays due to the birth of a baby but everyone has been so understanding. I am still doing doula work some but much less than before. I am homeschooling the 4 older kids (they are mostly independent) and doing the best I can at rearing a little 2 year old (with tremendous help from my kids and hubby). I would say I am still a homemaker but it sure seems like I am barely doing any of the homemaking anymore :) Again, so thankful for my awesome family!
Morgan is a Junior in high school and dual enrolling in college. She felt a little overwhelmed at first but I never doubted her. She did amazing and ended the semester with a 3.75 GPA. That's my girl! She also has her first official boyfriend which has thrown the entire family for a loop. He is a nice boy and we all approve but it's hard to think that she is old enough to be walking this journey. Unfortunately for Morgan, she is the oldest of all the kids/grandkids and it's not just her parents having a panic attack but the whole extended family :) She also continues to sing on the worship team at church and has started playing the ukulele.
Avery is a Sophomore in high school and is doing so well in school. Every year, she adds a new skill to her creative repertoire. This year, she has started drawing tattoo designs and is obsessed with makeup perfection. She has declared that she is NOT going to college but wants to go to cosmetology school and pursue her artistic career. It's either that or a tattoo artist. So, I'm supporting the cosmetologist :) She loves to paint nails which includes some pretty amazing designs. And, for Christmas she received a henna kit and is already doing breathtaking designs with that.
Sydney is in 8th grade but taking 3 high school classes. She has become an accomplished guitar player and is a regular member of the Sunday morning worship team. She loves to play the guitar and spends hours every day practicing and learning new songs. She learned basic techniques from her grandpa and uncle Jarrett but has been mainly self-taught. It's so cool to see her find something that she thrives at and loves to do. She is such a character and can manage to do 5 things at once without any trouble.
Jordan is in 6th grade and officially part of the youth group. He could hardly wait to move up at church and fits right in. I don't think he would say he likes school yet, but I have been so impressed how independent he has become this year. He needs help occasionally but mostly can finish his schoolwork all on his own. He started fine tuning his skateboarding skills and is so excited to learn his new rip stick and long board. His favorite thing is to spend the day outside climbing trees and exploring. Jordan also had daddy move his weight lifting equipment (you know, since it wasn't being used much :)) to his room and is enjoying following in his dad's footsteps.
Troy turned 2 this month. He is a bundle of energy and the strongest little 2 year old I have met. He often moves the furniture around in my living room or whatever house he happens to be at. If you haven't seen it, it would make you laugh. He is a rough and tough boy and some of his favorites words are "stop" (when he doesn't like what you are doing), "go" (when he wants you to go somewhere with him or go away from him), "dada" (anytime I pick up my phone he says this hoping that we are calling daddy), "mom" (when he wants something), "bubba" (Jordan loves that this was one of his first words). He also says "Mo" for Morgan and the other 2 are feverishly trying to get him to say their names :). There are a couple other words but those are his favorite. He sleeps well because he never stops moving when he is awake. So, needless to say, he keeps us all on our toes. We are so incredibly thankful for the blessing of this little ball of energy!

What a year! I love to look back and see how God has worked in our home and our family. We look forward to what the coming year will bring. I know there will be challenges that will remind us of our need for a Savior. There will be joys that will remind us of God's grace. There will be times of laughter and times of tears that will bind our family together. Whatever this year brings, we know that God is in control and we put our trust in him.

The Largaespada Family

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

It's a hot Christmas this year! We even went north to Cory's parent's house in Georgia but it was raining for 2 days straight and then a high of 78 on Christmas Day (when the above picture was taken). But, we headed out to the park determined to get one day outside while we were here :)

It's been so nice to relax and spend time with my people without worrying about school for me or them or being called to the birth of a baby. I mean, I love what I do, but it's so nice to be with my family without thinking about anything else! One more week without school and then it's back to craziness. I'll enjoy these moments of peace and relaxation while I can.

Merry Christmas!!

Midwifery School - Trimester 1

Celebration lunch with my classmates after our Finals

This last Friday was my last class of my first semester of midwifery school. I can't even begin to tell all the things I've learned in these first few months. As comfortable as I am in the "birth world", I have never participated in any of the medical side other than observation. So, this has been a huge learning curve for me. Everything from learning how to take a blood pressure and pulse to drawing blood and learning how to operate an oxygen machine have been brand new for me. And, I have learned so much so quickly. It's weird to think how comfortable I am now sticking a needle in someone's arm when only 2 months ago I would have broken out in a sweat at the thought.
I also underestimated how busy I would be going to school. No matter how much Jennie tried to warn us, I still didn't have a clue of what to expect. I am interning at the birth center 2 full days a week and school is all day on Friday. Plus, I am attending 1-2 births a week almost every week. This averages out to almost 40 hours a week. I really expected it to be closer to a 20 hour week. But, there are some of my classmates that are having a hard time getting any hours so I guess I should be thankful for that part :) But, trying to get all this done at the same time as homeschooling my kids and going to our co-op 1 day a week has been challenging to say the least. And, not just challenging for me. This has brought a new level of independence and initiative to my kids that I didn't know was in them.
I do miss being at home and I do miss spending time with my family. Family time has become very precious and something I look forward to. Keeping the house clean and in some type of order is now almost impossible. My kids and husband are such great help and I couldn't do what I am doing without them, but there just isn't the time to get all the things done that I usually would do.  There is the constant battle I struggle through of requiring my kids to be part of the team of our family and helping each other out and feeling like I am asking too much of them in order to follow my own dream. It's a constant conversation as a family and a balancing act that will continue to mold and change as the needs of everyone does the same.
I love learning from my midwife and I love my classmates! If there are a couple things I know for sure, the next 8 terms will challenge me to do things I didn't even know I could do, will stretch my family to new limits and will allow me to pursue a dream that I have wanted for so long. So, it's 1 term down and 8 more to go. I am so excited to see what I will learn in this next term and I am so thankful for the support of such an amazing family!

Friday, November 27, 2015


Every Thanksgiving, we come up with a couple fun crafts to do with all the kids (usually one that involves food and one that doesn't). This year, we made turkeys out of mason jars, whoppers, chocolate covered pretzels and construction paper. This was a hit for the messy factor and the yummy candy factor :)

The "non-food' craft was very simple and served 2 purposes. We painted clothespins for a fun game of Turkey Tag (each person has 3 clothespins attached somewhere to their clothing and the goal of the game is to be last person with any clothespins left still attached. In case your wondering, yes, this did cause skinned knees, busted lips and hurt feelings but I'm still calling it a win! :) ). We also used these clothespins to hold our place cards that were printed from online and names written in by 3 of the girls.

Morgan and Sydney are becoming quite the musicians and love to play and sing together. So, on a lazy day like today, it's the perfect time to play and sing with cousins :)

And, by the end of the day, everyone was exhausted, so we watched a favorite... FROZEN! Such a fun day with family and relaxing and yummy food!

Sunday, November 1, 2015


My kids on Halloween. Morgan didn't dress up at all but I still made her get in the picture :) Avery is the Snapchat update (I know, she is funny), Sydney is tweedledee with her cousin, Annalise, being Tweedledum, Jordan is just a blue person and Troy is Scooby. We had a lot of fun walking around the neighborhood with friends and family. Troy and Emmie enjoyed riding in the wagon and getting candy handed to them. I think they decided this is their new favorite holiday :)

Here is a close up of Jordan. 

Tweedledee and Tweedledum

Pumpkin Patch

It's that time of year

In case you can't tell, that's actually a smile :) He is trying to say "cheese". Too much cuteness!

 The whole crew that was there

My kiddos. Love em!

My Family of 7

We are officially and legally a family of 7! We are so excited to have this sweet boy a part our family.

We know he had no idea what was going on or that anything is even different. And, we feel so blessed that is the case. One day, he will ask questions and we will have answers. One day, he might have big emotions over the impact of his adoption day. But, right now, the big emotions came from all the big people in his life. We all know the difference this means. We all know the permanency he gained and the biological family he lost. We all get it. He doesn't yet. But, one day, he will.

Right now, he is all smiles and loves being the center of attention. Right now, he feels safe and loved. Right now, he couldn't imagine anything different. We will cherish these moments. We will smile with him. We will laugh at his humor. We will clap at as his accomplishments. We will even giggle at his 2 year old fits. We will enjoy this stage and all the ones to come. 

And, we will remember this day as a day that our family grew 1 person bigger. We will remember this day as the day that we all felt a little more settled and able to breath easier. 

We will remember all the love and support we felt by those that walked alongside of us. We will remember that the road ahead might not be easy but it will always be worth it.

We LOVE you sweet boy and we are so glad you are part of our family!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Adoption - Here and Abroad

Well, we finally have an official adoption date for the newest member of our family. On September 29th at 1:30 p.m., we will legally be a family of 7 :)
We are so excited for the finalization of a very long process. We are also grateful that our little guy won't even skip a beat because of the age he is at. As for right now, he doesn't know anything different than us as his family.
We are also extremely fortunate to not only have extended family members who have walked this road before us but also close friends that have adopted from foster care. We will and have already used these resources in helping us navigate the journey of adoption.

We are also beginning the pursuit of adoption from Haiti. A couple of months ago, my kids and I went on a mission's trip to Haiti and all of our lives were forever changed. It was impactful, empowering, heartbreaking and eye opening. We did so many things on that trip that we will never forget, but one thing that has stayed at the forefront of our conversations since we have been home is a little boy. He is 1 month younger than Troy and he captured the heart of all 5 us immediately.
Since we have returned home, Cory and I have been praying and talking about him and trying to figure out what God was calling us to. Well, we have officially decided to pursue adoption from Haiti. We know the process can be anywhere from 1-3 years and we are jumping in with both feet and not any idea of the world of international adoption. We are excited, nervous, overwhelmed and at peace all at the same time. We know one of the biggest hurdles in international adoption is the cost. So, we will be trying to raise as much of the funds as we can along the way.
We know that the finalization is not guaranteed and there are several hoops we will need to jump through and there will be several times along the way that God can close the door. For now, we just know we are called to be "willing". The rest of the process and the future we leave in God's hands.
We also know that moving forward in this direction is crazy and doesn't make logical sense. But, if there is anything we have learned while walking with the Lord in our marriage, it is that He often (and I mean, often) calls us to do things that sound crazy. So, here we go. Jumping from a new family of 7 to a soon to be family of 8.

This sweet boy melted our hearts.

It didn't take long for me to fall in love with the children of Haiti

Could this be any sweeter?

Who wouldn't want to hold this snuggly guy?

Monday, August 3, 2015

This one's just for me...

It's been a year and a half since I've written on here. So many changes.
I have been thoroughly enjoying my doula business. It has kept me busy and allowed our family a little extra income. It has been a big adjustment for everyone as well. We know that planning vacations is no longer something that can happen spontaneously. In order to actually go out of town, I have to be sure I do not take clients with a due date within 2 weeks before or after my vacation dates.
However, last Summer, we were fortunate enough to plan the biggest vacation our family has ever done. We rented an RV with my parents and brother and drove across the country in 10 days. The main attraction was the Grand Canyon. But, we visited lots of amazing places along the way. We made memories that no one will ever forget.

Also, in March of 2014, we welcomed a new little guy into our home. He came to us at 3 months old and will officially be a member of the family around August of this year. We had no idea when we began our Foster Care journey that the first placement in our home would end up staying with us forever. We knew that this type of situation is rare and we were bracing ourselves for heartache. I have been surprised at the mixed emotions I have had in this process. Although I am overjoyed at the thought of this baby joining our family, I am saddened at his loss. I am saddened that he will officially have no legal relation to his birth parents anymore. I am saddened by all the things that his parents will miss out on. I am excited to see him grow but I know that there will be milestones along the way that I will be starkly reminded that his birth parents should be seeing this too. Adoption is a funny thing. I think it is one of the most redemptive things on this Earth and I think it is a picture of what God does for his children, but it always starts with a loss and brokenness.

As we move forward, we are not exactly sure what we will be doing. We definitely did not anticipate closing our home after only a year and a half but we sure didn't think we would be adopting so quickly. At this point, we don't have a vehicle that will hold any more children. But, we are not sure what God is calling us to. Are we done with Foster Care for now? Should we get a bigger vehicle? Are we open to adoption again in the future? Do we think our family is complete? Lots of questions and we don't know the answer. It is something we are praying about and looking for God's leading.

One more thing to throw into this mix is that I am starting Midwifery School (to become a midwife) in September and it is a 3 year long program. It will be intense and financially tight, but it is something I have wanted to do for years and will be a logical continuation of my doula work. Again, it is something that we are praying about because we know the stress it would put on our family. Going to school with kids at home is never easy and I don't want to be naive about the consequences.

Morgan will be starting to take college classes this Fall as well (dual enrolling in High School). She also will be looking for a job. Avery will be in 10th grade. Sydney in 8th and Jordan just starting middle school in 6th.

What I know for sure is that God knows what He is doing and I can trust His timing and leading. I am praying for his direction to be clear to myself and my husband and for us to be unified.