one year old pictures. just a tad late.

By Kids, Moldova

finally…mercy adoniyah’s one year old pictures. i have been trying to upload these for at least a month! it’s the thought that counts, right?! i have a few more {with addy} but i will add those in the next post.

happy first birthday, mercy adoniyah ♥

By Holidays, Kids, Moldova

here are the pictures, finally! we celebrated her birthday over a two week span including a birthday party while grammie and pops were here and then a family day gone almost bad on her actual birthday. ahhhh life. i was very thankful that we had planned to have her party two weeks early because she ended up having a repeat of roseola on her actual birthday! {yes it is possible to get roseola twice, we learned.} anyway, here is yet another blog post of mass picture catch up!


the party was a beautiful combination of grandmas and aunties, the united states and moldova. grammie brought over quite a few birthday party necessities from joanns, target, amazon, auntie cacey, auntie dohdoh…you get the idea!


i have been learning a lot about my youngest and her little fire-y personality. but i have also been realizing that she is analytical and pensive. she had four entire birthday guests plus her family members and it was almost too much.


ready and waiting – – we thought maybe a gift would get her interested.


but she was not thrilled.


there is nothing cuter than the red eyed half smile of uncertainty. i think the tissue paper freaked her out at first.


her birthday outfit. i found this fabric on etsy and grammie used one of my vintage patterns. we found these brand new shoes at the second hand for less than $4! the sweater is the present from the pictures above. she was adorable.


birthday cake place of honor. {and amazing birthday crown from auntie whitney.}


one year of monthly pictures.


the cake. gluten free mix from the states (low stress), moldovan-version butter cream frosting (okay technically the second batch), bunting and decorations from dohdoh and mushroom cupcakes by teresa.


the guests (minus liam). do they come any cuter?


another mushroom only this time with a marshmallow and apple. just a little pre-sugar.


presents. the practice present actually helped.


big sister helped too. {addy did amazing and yes, we were a little surprised. i think it helped that pops was next to her the entire time.}


a little sophie the giraffe from big sister.


it’s love.


this was her initial reaction to her cake. in case you can’t tell, she isn’t all that thrilled. we probably should have practiced candles along with presents.


the “is this safe?” look for grammie.


but then surprisingly, she had no hesitations about exploring the cake. i have already noticed that she seems to be very, very tactile!


the “is this okay to eat?” look.


and the taste.


i now introduce you to baby-that-has-officially-consumed-sugar.


victory. this kid has never eaten this much food in one setting. ever. she just kept eating and eating.


and then she was done. she chucked the last few pieces on the ground and asked to get out of her chair.


post cake belly. i know, it’s pretty impressive.


oh look, someone decided to finally crack a smile.


two weeks later…birthday morning. {can you say sick? the past three days mercy had been having a pretty high temperature.}


special gluten free pancake mix from grandma ducky.


and grandma ducky and grandpa jim’s birthday present for mercy. it was a hit.


the candle professional.


yeah that’s right. she is still blowing even though the candle is long gone.


the test…


the look of approval!


addy trying to eat her pancakes like a big girl:


resorting to a much more efficient method!


happy pancake tummy!


oh and maybe a little birthday chocolate milk to wash it down.


addy helping mercy discover her new play telephone…


bath toys from aliana:


then we decided to try and have a special outing. mercy’s fever seemed gone and she seemed fine. it didn’t go so well. it was hot and sticky. mercy did a lot of this move {the mid walking tantrum.}


and gave this look a lot:


and then low and behold she broke out in a rash. we weren’t sure if she was having an allergic reaction, severe heat rash or what so we decided to call it quits and come home.


although this one did get to ride on a {huge} horse for fifty cents!


we got home, napped and regrouped. we put the candle in a chocolate-covered zefir {meringue-type dessert} and it was a hit.


happy one year of life, mercy adoniyah. i can’t wait to see what the second year of your life holds!

a photo recap

By Family, Moldova

here is a compilation of pictures from our visit with grammie and pops. i would say the trip was, hands down – – amazing. they had a slightly rough time getting here – – being re-routed through istanbul {not constantinople – – and yes, i do make myself laugh} and losing their carry-on luggage for two days. how you can lose your own carry-on luggage, well the answer lies with lufthansa. or possibly istanbul. they showed up a few hours late in the best of spirits. i think they took all of one day to recuperate. i’m guessing their grand-kids sped the process up. they cheerfully bought clean underwears until their luggage showed up. their visit was a mixture of showing them our daily life here in moldova and enjoying some of the tourist-y things we had never done. it was a whirlwind of two weeks. my mom and i had more than one special day out. it was perfection, really. ♥


disclaimer: overload of pictures



don’t say you weren’t warned

feel free to stop reading this post

there are in fact seventy-five pictures coming up


grammie and addy reunited ♥

grammie and mercy reunited the next morning ♥

the amber necklace that grammie brought that has already worked miracles!

grammie and addy looking at addy’s birth pictures…

grammie’s birthday breakfast:

pops and his girly ♥

silly girls

kisses too {mercy’s hairstyle is natural fyi}

berry breakfast:

pop lovies

chisinau botanical gardens

who let the men lead the way?

so instead grammie put addy in charge! she’s all too natural.

then grammie taught addy how to act like a tree. hopefully grammie doesn’t kill me for adding this picture to the blog!

and she {grammie} taught her {addy} about slugs.

then they found sticks and went hiking:

mercy needed her own sized hiking stick.

apples + exploring…

mama lovies, too. ♥

little girl sitting on top of a rock?

{with a little help, maybe}

botanical garden beauty.

does it get any cuter?

oh this kid.

she loves us, really she does!


grammie watching a movie with her girls:

grammie got her picture in front of “stephen the great” {well technically his side}

and of course a lion.

showing grammie and pops some authentic moldovian food:

daddy said no. i guess it’s a good thing.

oh this kid. she is growing up too fast. {and yes, i am wearing an apron.}

she was helping pops and told him, “pops, i could really use some glasses here.”

my mama’s birthday

“mexican” food in moldova.

she drinks diet coke with style!

pops’ souvenir…

it’s love ♥

my crazy one year old!

then i touched a zebra for the first time!

there must be a bond between these two!

gorgeous ♥

she was letting lamby meet the animals…

awesome close bear!

grammie’s girls:

the ability to get oh so close to the animals!

those smiles…

she came running up to me and said with those dark, serious eyes, “you keep lamby safe from the ducks and gooses!”

this picture warms my heart beyond words ♥

and this one just makes me giggle!

they love each other.

a special dinner with the team from phoenix:

oh those kisses ♥

birthday party before:

birthday party after (and more pictures to follow of the birthday festivities)!

we went to the little amusement park next to our house and rode pretty much every ride for $5. mercy was somewhat jealous she wasn’t on the rides.

notice the crying? pops said, “you get sit in front and drive the boat.” addy started wailing, “but i don’t know how to drive a boat!”

much happier girl on her pops’ lap…

addy and mama on a ferris wheel that daddy refused to go on:

then grammie made daddy and mama go on this ride. the actual ride wasn’t scary but i will admit the creaking metal was a little worrisome, ha!

addy loves these bounce houses and mama is way to old fyi…

we ended friday with an impulsive lunch in a castle…

addy was completely in heaven ♥

we can’t wait for them to come back!

we love you guys and miss you!

with love from sleeping beauty and cinderella ♥

By Family, Holidays, Kids, Moldova

i married an only child.


there is nothing wrong with marrying an only child.


although there is always the chance that they don’t do kids well.


but i didn’t need to worry.


i married a natural. ♥


dear hubs,


thank you for being an amazing, caring, silly, loving, passionate, driven, concerned, protective, fun and completely awesome daddy to our princesses. we love you so much and are so thankful the Lord gave you to us! thank you for being our prince charming.


love forever,


marie {aka mama}, cinderella {aka addy} and sleeping beauty {aka mercy}


p.s. happy father’s day!


happy birthday, baby girl ♥

By Holidays, Kids, Moldova

today is sissy’s real birthday (even though we had a party a few weeks back).


and suddenly i have no words to convey my thoughts or my love for this amazing little gift the Lord saw fit to give us.


my sister said it best when she told me, “i never expected to be sanctified this much through my children.”


so i guess i owe mercy a few thank yous.


thank you baby girl for teaching me that love doesn’t divide, it multiplies.


thank you baby girl for teaching me that anything and everything has the potential to be dangerous to your well being.


thank you baby girl for teaching me that not all kids are born outgoing and social but some are born more thoughtful and analytical.


thank you baby girl for teaching me to slow down and learn how you need individual quality time.


i can think of so many things to say about my youngest daughter but for now i will just leave you with this – – a little recap from the first year of her life.


we love you so much, mercy adoniyah klein burtt. you are precious to your mama, dada, big sister and a whole lotta family and friends! ♥


p.s. you can check out daddy’s post here



p.p.s. both of the songs in the slideshow are super cool covers, huh? check out this blog called “52.” it’s pretty cool!

goodnight baby girl

By Family, Holidays, Kids, Moldova

tonight i laid my baby girl down to sleep for the last time.


yeah, yeah, i know. tomorrow she will only be a day older.


but she will be one.


and mamas out there know what i am feeling tonight.


i don’t know if mercy is my last baby or not…which is why i am so thankful that my own mama has been reminding me from day one to enjoy every moment {even the exhausting parts} like they are my last.


so whether or not i have another baby to rock to sleep someday, tonight i took my time snuggling and kissing my baby girl. because i know tomorrow she is going to wake up a little older.




goodnight, mercy girl. see you when you are one!


p.s. sorry for the fuzzy phone pictures.
p.p.s. i do realize she is wearing christmas pjs. they are surprisingly thin. and they still fit. so why not?
p.p.p.s. check back tomorrow for a special photo montage of the birthday girl!
p.p.p.p.s. but a little video to hold grandma and grammie over for now


school ♥

By Kids, Moldova

three and a half year ago, the Lord gave christian and i this amazing little baby girl:
yesterday we dropped this little person off for her first day of school:
p.s. stay tuned for a special post on saturday in honor of our youngest turning one!

happy birthday, grammie! ♥

By Family, Holidays, Kids, Moldova

this is a fun time to have grammie and pops visiting. they got here on mother’s day. before they leave, we are celebrating mercy’s first birthday. and today, we celebrated grammie’s birthday.

we started the morning with eggs, potatoes and fresh fruit.


the girls are really into all the fruit options right now!


addy has a thing for cherries.


and mercy has a thing for strawberries.


pops has a thing for grammie. ♥


then pops and daddy stayed home with the girls so grammie and mama could have a date on the town. it was a blast and included a coffee date, introducing grammie to the market, almost losing grammie to a jam packed bus and a few other exciting events.


we ended the day with soup and bread. and then a candle in a little goodie called chocolate zefir.



grammie may have been attempting to introduce mercy to chocolate before her first birthday. oh grammie.


she wasn’t into it at all. whatsoever. can’t you tell?


this one loves zefir.


happy birthday grammie. thanks for being an amazing mother and grandmother. we love you and are so thankful that you are here in moldova with us on your birthday.

two days to grammie and pops!

By Kids, Moldova, Uncategorized

i love this kid.


she made me a mom.


she perplexes me.


she confuses me.


she makes me giggle outloud at random moments.


she’s the hot water to my tea bag.


she’s been the greatest factor of my sanctification so far.


i really love this kid.



on a side note, we are one week mimi-decreased. i am so proud of her. last week she had her mimi in her mouth for oh about 92% of her day. today she had it in her mouth for about 42% of her day. she diligently takes it to her “safe spot” the second she wakes up from her nap or nighttime and doesn’t go get it until it’s time to go to sleep again. you have no idea how much work it has taken to get to this point. {i take that back. some of you know exactly how much work it has taken.}


yesterday she told me, “mama you should use less english and talk more in romanian like everyone else.” {must you rub it in, child?}


today she asked me to nurse her doll.


i said to her, “grammie and pops are coming. what do you think they should bring you?” she replied, “gypsy.” {gypsy is their dog.}


she can’t wait for her grammie and pops to get here on sunday. she has everything planned out, including seventeen trips to mcdonalds for vanilla ice cream cones.


this morning i was brushing her hair. she said to me, “Jesus died on the cross. he was dead for three days. while he was dead the dragon came and attacked the princess. but the prince killed the dragon. and there was blood. and then Jesus rose again!” i said, “isn’t that blasphemous?” she replied, “no mama! that’s the princess and the blood story. {that’s the biblical version of princess and the frog, i guess.}
if you had asked me if i could love being a mama this much, i would have told you no.


i’m so glad i was wrong. ♥

oh yeah it’s thursday.

By Kids, Moldova

so my parents come in on sunday.

we aren’t excited.

nope, not at all.

i even forgot it’s thursday, the day i try and post about mercy. and i’m kind of tired and even though technically when i wake up it will still be thursday for most of our blog followers, i am still going to post tonight. just a little something.

five random iphone photos i like:

seriously. this kid and her facial expressions. crack. me. up.
i ♥ her!

{goodbye mimi}

By Kids, Moldova, Uncategorized

they say a c-section prevents that early nursing bond and might make it harder for a newborn baby to learn how to nurse.


they weren’t talking about you.


you were forty-five minutes old the first time i nursed you. you sucked. and sucked. and sucked. you didn’t want to stop. we had the best nurse named meredith. i remember the next day you still wanted to nurse, for hours at a time. i was feeling exhausted and didn’t know what to do. she smiled and said, “well i don’t think we need to worry about this little one getting confused about nursing.” she opened a package with a yellow pacifier and put it in your mouth. you closed your eyes and fell asleep. i breathed a sigh of relief, closed my eyes and fell asleep too.


i have never regretted giving you a pacifier. your personality needed that kind of comfort. you slept through the night at an early age, sucking contently on your pacifier. you sat through church as a baby, sucking contently on your pacifier. you made it very clear that you needed to suck on something to comfort you.


you personalized your pacifier. we called it a “binky” but around a year old you decided it would be called a “mimi.” you settled one one specific brand. we learned to keep “spares” in numerous places (cars, purses, friend’s houses). you would become attached to a specific design (aka the pink pirate) and use that one until it literally disintegrated.


we probably spent your college fortune on pacifiers. i boiled pacifiers on a regular basis trying to keep them sterile. i actually think it kept you from picking up germs because your hands never went in your mouth when we were in public, thanks to your pacifier.


like i said earlier, i have never regretted giving you a pacifier. i am thankful you were able to tell us what you needed.


but baby girl, i have to tell you something. and i wholeheartedly know that you are not excited to hear what i have to say.


your mimi needs to go.


i’ve considered taking it away twenty-five hundred times since you’ve been born.


it’s not because of what others have said. yeah, everyone has an opinion about whether or not you should have a pacifier anymore. but i don’t even care.


the fact of the matter is, i’ve taken all things into consideration and i have come to the conclusion that your mimi has to go.


and it’s not pretty.


i don’t have a method. i’ve tried everything and none of it really seems to be the “magical” trick. and honestly at the rate we are going, i might change my mind tomorrow and give you back your mimi.


but that’s what parenting is, huh? it’s daily trying to make the best possible decisions for your children. and i’m constantly reminded that no one else really knows the entire story.


so i am just going to ignore all the crazy-ness.


drink another cup of coffee.


pray you don’t hate me.


and put yet another bandaid on your five millionth faked injury that you keep getting, trying to get your mimi back.


i love you, princess addy grace cinderella.


hang in there. i’m pretty sure it gets easier.


warning: pacifier overload following. and these are only the ones from my old phone!


sisters ♥

By Kids, Moldova

my only regret as a child that i can really put my finger on…is that i wish my sisters and i had become closer sooner. my prayer for my girls is that they would learn at an earlier age than i did just how special they are to each other.

addy was reading…mercy noticed her and came crawling (i know, i know, she sports a pretty cool headband look). yes, they are reading a pop-up “night before christmas” book. and yes, mercy has eaten part of addy’s book in the last picture. over half of our board books are missing pieces that have been consumed by our youngest child.