Friday, November 17, 2017

FLASHBACK: Z-Dogg In The House

Every now and then ya just gotta take a look back and see how far you've come!

God has been busy writing an amazing story in the life of this little dude... and I am blessed to be given a front row seat to it!

You're a priest and a prince in the Kingdom of God, Z-Dogg... don't ever forget it!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Polar Opposites

"Daddy - can I stay up to watch the rest of the Steelers game?"

She flashed her cute little eyes at me and PROMISED me morning would go smoothly...

So she was allowed to stay up for the last quarter.

"Daddy - I'd rather go read - can I go down to my bed and read?"

Uh... of course!

Three and a half minutes later - here's how football watching was progressing...

And reading was going GREAT - "I think I'm gonna finish this book tonight, Daddy!"

I love that their unique, God-given DNA is starting to shine - it's a true joy to see them burst into who they were made to be!

They couldn't be more different while being more alike.

I love it.

Stay true to you, girls! Never waiver!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wild Man

It's true... he is.

Stay wild, Z-Dogg!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Her People

With her "Bionic Elbow" surgery behind her - this super trooper just needed to be surrounded by her people to get her healing vibes kicking!

And I think it was working!

The goofballs were worried about her this morning - and Laura knew it...

So when we got home and got her settled - we made three of these little notes and I took them to the office at the school to be delivered to the kids.

After school they were happy to know mommy was okay and were super excited to see her!

This little guy even said that "even though we can't pray at school - I prayed for you all day in my head!"

And let's be honest - massive amounts of Iced Chai Tea from our favorite Starbucks crew didn't hurt either - but it was her little minions that brought her the most joy!

Rest and heal mommy - your crew has your back!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Chaser of Truth in His Word

You are looking at one special, special girl right here!

Daily I am in awe of and grateful for the joy, peace, love and Jesus she brings to the surface in our house.

Lately she has been digging HARD into her Bible and several of her daily devotionals she has...

And it is a beautiful thing to watch!

She has been watching for challenges or needs she sees around her and literally RUNNING for her Bible, leafing through it to find relevant scripture and reading it over us.

Tonight - before bedtime - Laura was anxious and nervous about her surgery in the morning.

Mebbie excused herself from the table and came back to read some scripture for Laura - words about clinging to Him when we need strength and courage.

I absolutely love it!

Girl... keep your nose in that book, Mebski Love!

It never grows old!

You honor Him so well, Mebrate Saidah!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Bringing Our "A Game"

This girl right here loves a good school project. We've done detailed slide shows, dressed up like famous folks of history and even produced videos.

And we ALWAYS try to bring our "A GAME" to everything we do.

Which is why I was caught off guard on her last one...

I heard the grade she received - WAY lower than we usually see from her.

Then at the school assembly for her to present it - I understood why on the grade (and actually thought her teacher was VERY gracious with it).

I was bummed - but it led to a good conversation with her and it allowed me to explain one of the Core Values and Beliefs I came up under while working at MindSpring:

"We insist on giving our best effort in everything we undertake. Furthermore, we see a huge difference between "good mistakes" (best effort, bad result) and "bad mistakes" (sloppiness or lack of effort)."
She took it well and finally admitted that she just didn't put the effort in and never even told us about it so we could help her out.

Which led us to where we were this weekend... her totally redoing her project.

Not for a grade. Not for extra points. Not for anything official...

But to prove to herself and her teacher that she wants to give BEST EFFORT in all she does.

And she was actually pretty stoked about the whole thing!

She worked super hard on her display board and even re-worked some of her report to be a little more accurate.

Then she insisted on presenting it again to our family.

I was so proud of her!

She could have taken my feedback any way she wanted to.

Been embarrassed. Angry. Irritated. Mad at me.

But she didn't!

She took it - grew from it - and channeled it!

Meron - I am super proud of you, girl!

You showed a maturity not seen in many this weekend. You worked hard when you could have been playing and you proved that you are really about best effort.

Thank you so much for hearing our feedback in the spirit it was intended!

Way to bring your "A GAME" girl!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Strong Family Bonds

This is one of my favorite places to go to squeeze a "field workout" in at.

So anytime I can get the whole crew out there - I get EXCITED!

Tonight we hit the field as a family to exercise away some of the stress that this week has brought us!

There was running.






Jumping rope.


There was also laughing.





We basically played like kids for an hour and a half!

And we're better for it!

And this maniac here wasn't letting no crushed elbow get in the way of some core and strength training!

The family that plays together, stays together!

And yes, Z-Dogg is kissing his muscles!

Stay strong, Camp Hoffman!

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Tale of the Broken Olecranon

I was in San Francisco for work... a short 2.5 hour flight away from home.

I had JUST finished Face-timing with my goofball crew and was about to head to my co-workers room to grab some dinner - when my phone rang.

It showed "Laura Hoffman" on there - which was odd cuz we just talked - but I grabbed it and said "Hey - what's up?"

Nobody said anything but I could hear some noises - sounded kinda chaotic - was that laughing?

I said "Hey - guys - what's going on?"

But that wasn't laughing I heard... it was actually screaming and sobbing. Loud, uncontrollable crying.

Chills ran down my spine.

I could make out Meron trying to say something but being overcome by sobs...

At this point... I am freaking OUT.

"Meron... calm down. What's going on girl? Meron... talk to me. What's the matter? Where is Mommy?"

She finally catches a break in sobbing to blurt out:

"Daddy... mommy broke her arm. It's bad daddy - come home... I NEED you!"

I am here to tell you - those were possibly the scariest 20 seconds of my life - as I tried to figure out what on earth was happening and why Meron was sobbing on the phone with me.

I finally got to Laura... she was eerily calm and matter of fact.

She was taking the trash out and had slipped and fallen on some ice. She was pretty sure her arm was broken.

I got back on the phone with Meron - who was still freaking out - and tried to calm her down and walk her through helping her mommy out - loading her brother in the car, getting buckled up...

And then I hung up and prayed as Laura drove herself and three kids through the icy, snowy night to the closest urgent care.

I got this picture a little while later while I was at dinner trying NOT to think about how freaked out I was...

I had messaged some friends of ours in the neighborhood asking for prayer - and silently knowing they'd rush to go help.

Sure enough - I get a text from Laura that says: "Sarah just showed up here..."

I put Sarah in that message cuz I know her - she's prone to jump into action - and that's exactly what she did - and she has no idea how much peace of mind she gave me.

She helped with the kids, picked up prescriptions and even came back to our house to get the kids in bed and got them to school the next day!

She was the church - full on!

Meanwhile - I was cutting my work trip short and finding the very next flight home I could find. Because when your little girl calls you back after calming down and says "Daddy... come home please. I just need my daddy..." - you go home.

Picked up by a taxi at 2:45 AM, I managed to be back at our house by 10:45 AM that morning so we could try and figure out what on earth to do.

Today we walked into the Center for Orthopedic Excellence with some xrays to get some answers.

Seems like Laura did a pretty bang up job on her arm!

As the doctor at urgent care put it - her olecranon was "off and up" - and that was confirmed by the surgeon today.

Apparently the piece that broke off is right where the tricep muscles and tendons anchor to the bone - so when it broke off - it got pulled up in her arm.


So - according to the doc - this is a common injury - and surgery this upcoming Tuesday will involve some drilled holes, some pins and a figure 8 wire set up to pull it all back together and let God do what God does as He heals her bone!

Laura has been a REAL trooper throughout this whole thing.

With her arm immobilized - she hasn't let on to any real pain.

The only tears we've seen have been around plans thwarted by this unscheduled accident!

Our good friend Angela was due to land here in Colorado on Thursday night for a visit - one that Laura was so looking forward to.

Angela was able to get a full refund on her trip - to hopefully reschedule SOON!

Then there was our family vacation trip to the beach...

We were supposed to leave this next Thursday morning and make our way to a rental on the beach in Alabama for a LONG and much needed ocean break over Thanksgiving.

That won't be happening now either... and we're all pretty bummed.

But here's the thing... these are just things and they can be rescheduled.

The good thing is Mommy is okay - it could have been WAY worse (think heads, concrete steps, etc) - and she WILL get fixed up soon!

So Meron is calm now. And when I asked her why she was was so worked up that night she said:"It was really, really scary daddy..."

I bet it was girl. I bet it was...

We HAVE to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everybody who has reached out to us. Prayers, meals brought and paid for, dinners set up, so many people reaching out from near and far... and an employer who understands my absolute requirement of putting my family first in my life.

You guys have no idea what that means to us.

The network God has strategically placed around us was not by mistake. His design is sovereign and you guys have honored Him so well...

Laura may not be doing any burpees or push ups any time soon - but she's gonna be back and be strong and she's gonna do just fine.

It truly took a village this time... we couldn't have done it without you guys.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Happy Birth-iversary!

How do ya redeem a day out of the year that birthed a train wreck like ME?

A sovereign God like ours is always thinking ahead!

And He used these two right here to help even it all out!

First - He brought this gorgeous lady into my life and what'd we do?

We went and got married on my birthday!

15 years ago today we tied that knot - and man alive who would have predicted the journey we've been on?

Laura - I'd do it ALL OVER AGAIN with you - you're my rock, my cheerleader, my support... my EVERYTHING!

Happy Anniversary, you hottie!

And as if that wasn't enough - what did God do next?

He brought this amazing little dude into our lives - who just happened to be born on... MY BIRTHDAY!

That's right - I share a born day with one of the coolest kitties around!

Zechie - you have NO IDEA how thankful I am that God made you... and I am more than happy to give this entire day to YOU!

Happiest of birthdays to you little homie - we shall celebrate you big as we always do!

Happy birth-iversary to two of my favorite humans ever made!!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Brother of Sisters

It just goes with the territory Z-Dogg... being a brother of sisters.

You're a super brother and a really good sport, bro!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Story of Us

For like... EVER... we've been working on a project that tells a bit of the story that God has been writing through Brighton and our family.

It's a book - written from Meron's perspective...

And illustrated by this girl right here!

I love that it gives us something to collaborate on and work together on.

We're not rushing it - we're taking our time and enjoying seeing the story unfold.

And one day... soon maybe - we'll have a book about it!

Draw on, Mebbie... DRAW ON!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Touched By Adoption

November is "National Adoption Month" and I am loving seeing people we know updating their social media profiles to say "Touched by Adoption!"

I know this house certainly has been!

The act of adoption forever altered our lives and gave life to new branches on our family tree... and we couldn't feel any more thankful for it!

Love this group of goofballs!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Candid Beauty

Sometimes - I sit across the room with a long lens and snap pics when people don't know I'm snapping them.

Ya catch some of the best looks and most natural beauty that way.

This is one of them...

You are a BEAUTIFUL young lady, Meron!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Pouty McPouter Pants

"Zechie - you stay here with Mommy to cheer on Mebbie when she comes by - Meron and I are gonna run over and cheer her on over there!"

That was it. That's all it took to bring out the infamous...

Pouty McPouter Pants!

Man - Mister McPouter Pants knows how to lay it on thick too!

No shame in his game either...

Who cares that he's in the middle of a football field at the Junior Olympics State Cross Country meet?

Not this dude.

Glad we could document it too - just to show his goofy little booty just how crazy he looked!

Good thing is - Pouty McPouter Pants usually leaves as quick as he comes.

PRO TIP: Pouting doesn't work, Z-Dogg!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Stop Doing the Robot and EAT!

** DISCLAIMER: this is a re-creation **

There's never a dull moment 'round these parts!

Tonight - everybody was done with dinner EXCEPT for Z-Dogg. We were all waiting for him to wrap it up when I looked over and instead of eating... dude was doing "The Robot" dance...

First words instinctively out my mouth were:

Zechie... STOP doing the 'Robot' and EAT!

I quickly realized how ridiculous that statement sounded...

The little homie keeps us in stitches for sure!

Stay crazy, little Z-Dogg!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Two More Holes in the Head!

Somebody has been counting down the days until she turned ten years old so she could go get her ears pierced...

But she was STILL nervous!

That's when the mother of all goofballs kicked it up a notch to try and calm our girl down!

It worked a bit - but as she was waiting out the 25 minutes for the numbing cream to take full effect - she said:

"I have butterflies in my stomach..."
Her hands were sweating like crazy but she put on her best big girl face!

Then - it was time to place them with a dot from the marker... this was getting real!

She tried to jump away at first - but then she remembered just how much she wanted these!

And after she felt like... NOTHING... on the first ear - that second one was a breeze!

BOOM! She was done... and just like that - two more holes in the head filled with her pick of earrings!


Way to conquer your needle fear Meron!

Ya look gorgeous big girl!