Maki Roll

I have been having a hard time with my weight since having the baby. My weight has been UP & DOWN... off & on! It's so tough to lose and maintain the weight in a healthy way. Andrew has noticed how much I have been struggling with this issue and got me an early birthday gift- the Bodybugg.

The Bodybugg is a device that tracks calories burned by measuring skin temperature, Galvanic skin response and heat flux. With these measuring tools, the Bodybugg can accurately determine physical activity and caloric expenditure. With the Bodybugg is an online tool that is used to input all calories consumed by logging food intake daily. It's so simple. By knowing that burning more calories than consumed results in weightloss, I can view and track this information and lose weight the right way! Obviously I am stoked about this new toy! I started using the Bodybugg yesterday and now know that I consumed 926 calories and burned 1987 calories. I had a calorie deficit of 1061 calories.

The best part of the Bodybugg is that I am able to be more accountable and conscious of what I'm doing with my body. It encourages me to park further away at the market or walk to the mailbox instead of driving up to it on my way home. It also makes me more conscious of what I am eating and that if I eat unhealthily, it WILL show!

In our house, we name almost everything... our cars are named Origami & Sashimi. We have two vacuums named Shrimpy and Seaweed. Are you noticing a pattern here? I guess we're getting in touch with my Asian roots. I have decided to name my new toy Maki... short for Maki Roll because he is as small as a piece of sushi!

Cheers to Maki and I... and our adventure to healthier living!

Mama of 6

From Tuesday through Friday last week, I played mom of 6 kiddos! Going from 1 super easy toddler to 6 kids, ranging from 14 months to 13 years old was a little crazy but way fun!

Londyn and I stayed at the Milne farm and got to hang out with my 4 nieces and nephew. Londie Lou LOVED all of the attention and especially their bonus room filled with the best toys. Kyler (3 years old) and Londyn were best buds and played for hours together. The experience made having another child someday seem not so terrifying!

We didn't just chill out and play the whole time as the kids had a schedule filled with soccer, dance and a youth temple trip to attend. We also had a play date with the Tanuvasa's, took the older girls to the mall, ate/played at McD's, and went to Red Robin with Grandma Milne.

One of my favorite parts of the week was at night when the two younger kids were in bed and the older girls and I would stay up and watch movies, eat snacks and talk. I am only 10 years older than Mikaya (the oldest) and so hanging out with these girls was like a big girls night.

I was a little nervous about Kyler because he has been a tough guy lately for his family, but I was surprised to find that he was pretty awesome while I was there. I think it helped that he had Londyn and wasn't the only little kid around. He was always helping Londyn and "babysitting" him. Such a funny kid the Ky-Man is. I love listening to him explain things in his own quirky kid way.

It was an exhausting week and I praise my brother and sis-in-law for their ability to raise 5 kiddos. They make it look so easy! Spending the week with them was a blast, but coming home to my husband and baby girl was a sweet relief.

Love you Milne's! Thanks for the fun times!


Kam-a-Rama the bookworm

Mikayla - my partner in crime

This is Zach. He isn't my nephew but one of Kyler's best friends and got to play with us at the park. Since Londyn was born, I have arranged with Zach's mom for them to marry. Such a gentleman- isn't he?

Gotta love Kam's sassy style

Kyler and Zach playing basketball. This is the first of Kyler's many boo-boo's of the week.

Londyn's favorite hobby is moving around furniture and pushing carts & strollers. She did this for about 45 minutes straight.

Zach, Emma & Kyler. Emma is such a good big sis. She mommy's Kyler and watches out for him. Kyler LOVES his Emma!

I didn't get any pics of Mary because she was at soccer practice and then my camera died. Boo. Love ya Mary-Berry!


It's a BOY!

No, we are not expecting a baby boy... but we do have a new addition to the Armitage fam. Meet Ollie! He is our handsome 1 year old lab/terrier. As most of you know we had to find a new home for Sumo (our first dog) about a year ago as we were new parents and could not give him the attention he deserved. We decided we are not ready for another puppy at the moment, but we do have some love to give a more established/trained dog that is in need of a home. We found Ollie through a local ad and just had to check him out. His previous family was so sweet and loving, which really sealed the deal because we knew Ollie came from good roots.

So far, we have discovered that Ollie loves to go for walks, chew on his toys and most of all, attention. He is very obedient and house-trained (a definite must) and kennel trained as well. When we leave the house, he stays in the backyard and at night sleeps in his kennel. He is such a good boy!
Since the day we met Ollie, he has been extremely attached to Andrew and never leaves his side. When Andrew leaves his sight, he mopes around until he returns. We love that he has bonded with Andrew but on the other hand, Londie Lou has shown some jealousy which is hilarious and cute all at the same time. Andrew is so popular in our home nowadays! He's definitely getting more cuddles from Londyn since Ollie has come into the picture.

Even though Ollie is almost 50 lbs. he is as sweet as a little pup. He is so cuddly and just eats up all of the attention he can get.


Colby & Christine

One of my most favorite friends from my years in Provo is a tall-white kid with a red fro! This would be Colby! He is such a doll and I love him dearly! I have so many fun memories with Colby from my time in Provo and he has always been such a good friend. Colby is from Alaska and is still in Provo for school, so when we moved to Oregon - I didn't think I would see him again. But as fate would have it, Colby married a super cute Oregon chick named Christine! In fact, we both grew up in the same stake. We were able to attend their beautiful wedding reception a week ago and it was SO good to see Colby and meet his gorgeous bride! They are too cute together!

I never knew Christine growing up but LOVE that she found Colby and that we will get to visit with them whenever they are in town! Congrats Colby and Christine!

Youth Beach Trip

On Saturday, Andrew and I got to attend our ward's youth beach trip at Sauvie Island! Andrew is on the advancement committee for scouting and due to work, never gets to attend mutual nights. So since we both get to work with the youth, we both got to go! Grandma Milne took care of Londie Lou ALL day! I didn't even call once because I knew she was in good hands.

It was a strange feeling to be without our little girl for an entire day. It felt like we were newlyweds again!

At first the weather was overcast and pretty cool but as the day went on, the sun came out and it warmed up to be a perfect day at the beach!

My brother Kevin is an advisor in Young Men's and planned an amazing trip for our youth! From the activities to the food, they were on top of everything. The Young Men leaders put on a "Survivor Challenge" and split the kids up into teams. They competed in various competitions and at the end, the team with the most points-- won! They had all sorts of rounds including swimming, an obstacle course, eating food from around the world (including vienna sausages, canned fish) and lots more. Not only was it a day filled with fun and sun, we had a delish cookout dinner!

The Leaders

The Youth getting ready for their challenge

Bishop Milne getting soaked by one of our young women! (mind you... this was the 1st of 3 times)

It was such an amazing turnout of youth! I absolutely love my calling and our young women. I am so lucky to be able to hang out with them and be a part of their lives!


L.J. Today

I have been noticing so many "Londyisms" as of late and I finally have the chance to record them!

Londyn is still a shy little walker, but is getting more comfortable with every passing day. Before we know it, she'll be off and running!

As I have mentioned in previous posts, she is getting to be so communicative! It amazes me how quickly she absorbs and especially remembers the new things we teach her. It was only two days ago that I taught her the sign for "all done" and I probably only went over it a couple of times. After forgetting to practice it yesterday, I didn't think she would remember it. When we were driving in the car, I went over all of her signs and words (as we usually do to keep her distracted) ... and to my surprise, she remembered! I should never underestimate my lil firecracker!

She now signs:
All Done

She also throws her hands in the air when we say "So Big!"

Words she says:

Londyn also loves to play peek-a-boo. When we say "Where's Londyn?" It's especially cute because she puts her hands behind her head (instead of over her face).

Let's see... Londyn hasn't ever been really attached to any "Lovie" as they call it in all of the parenting literature. She has always loved her blankie, but isn't partial to any one in particular. Lately, she has this love for her "Dog-Dog" which is a little pink poodle that someone gave us at my baby shower. She goes to bed with it... totes it around everywhere, and worries when it's not near. I think it's so cute that she's grown attached to something but will probably pay for it later when it will inevitably get misplaced.

With the Summer comes fresh home-grown veggies from the gardens of many family members. We have been so lucky to benefit from their overgrowing amounts of zucchini, which I can never have too much of! Seriously one of my favorite vegetables... and apparently Londyn's too! She eats SO much zucchini, it's kind of ridiculous. The kid would eat ONLY zucchini if I let her. I guess I won't have to be one of those mom's that has to hide veggies in her kids' meals. Phew!


Also Known As...

After my most recent post on adoption I haven't been able to stop researching my options and thinking about the possibility of finding my birth family.

I have a few basic documents that were given to me by my mom, but I wanted every possible record in my parents' files that I might need in order to begin my search. Yesterday was the first time I looked through most of the files and was surprised to find one that I definitely hadn't seen before.

This particular document gave me some very valuable information. For one, I found out that my birth mother was 33 years old and my birth father was 40 years old when I was born. I also found out that I was born at 1:30pm and weighed 7 lbs. 7 oz. The most surprising find was that my name Hyo Eun Kim was not given to me by my birth parents but given to me by my Korean social worker. Now to some this may be an insignificant piece of knowledge, but to me... this fact was devastating.

I have never gone by, nor used my Korean name but deep inside I have always felt a kinship with it's significance because I thought it was the one piece of the overwhelming puzzle that linked me to my roots.

I have never felt Korean, Asian or any connection with my ancestry. But Hyo Eun Kim was a connection on paper and in history that I thought was of value to my birth family. At first, when I told Andrew about my discovery... I was so upset and feeling those same feelings of abandonment. He held me and explained how difficult it must have been for my birth parents to place me for adoption and that giving me a name would probably make it even more painful to do so.

A day later... I am realizing that the negative thoughts and feelings I have been mulling over are not of God and are most definitely from the adversary. I have to remember clearly the blessings that I have received from my adoption and where my life has led through faith from not only my parents and I but my birth parents as well. The adversary wants me to feel worthless and weak.

It amazes me how I could feel so strongly about finding my birth family one day and within 24 hours, be so unsure. As for now, I am just grateful for my adoptive family and especially my husband and daughter for the belonging and unconditional love that they give me. I'm starting to warm up to the idea that it's okay if I don't find them and I will be okay if I don't find them. They gave me a gift that is of more value than any other. The comfort in knowing I am loved is what gets me through this process. This one document was eye opening and I realize that I am not ready to find out any more beyond the information I already have. Maybe someday I will re-open the files, but for now I am happy with things just the way they are.

Good Eats

While Andrew was at Costco the other day, he picked up one of their huge containers of yummy grapes. LJ's never had grapes before so we tried giving them to her in cut up pieces. At first she wasn't sure about the so-called grapes, but then used her fabulous problem solving skills (just like her dad) and figured out that she loves grapes, but not the skin. So now when we give her grapes, it take her a while to eat them because she spends so much time getting rid of the skin.

It has taken me a while to get over the fact that toddlers make messes and as the mother of a toddler, I have to just deal with it. I never realized that making messes is part of their learning and discovery. Well, this may be a fact but it's still not easy for me to get through without cringing... especially when LJ is eating spaghetti and decides that she is getting tired, and then proceeds to rub her primavera covered paws all over her eyes and face. It's at moments like that where I take a deep breath, smile and remember that life wouldn't have nearly as much joy without her and those lovely messes that she is so good at making.

USMC Family Day

This weekend we had Marine Corps Family Day! This year it was at Blue Lake Park in Fairview, OR. The park is on the lake with waterfront sand, big water fountains to play in and lots of areas for different events. The Marines had a dunk tank and a bounce house, not to mention the yummy food they provided. It was nice to be together for the day, but with a little one who doesn't like the sand or water... we ran out of activities pretty quickly. Andrew was required to stay until 5pm and we wanted to spend as much time with him as possible, so we stuck it out til the end. Londyn surprised us and lasted the entire 5 hours. We even snuck out for an hour to run to McD's so Londyn could get down and play somewhere. We're such rebels.



All week I have been beating myself up about last weekends' madness in "trying" to celebrate Andrew's birthday. So, I planned attempt #2: Project Surprise Party.

I told Andrew I had to go into work early yesterday and pick up the cake, decorations and supplies. Thank goodness for the Dollar Tree! That place rocks! I ran over to my parents house and dropped everything off. I put my niece Megan in charge to set up and decorate however she wanted. I had balloons, banners, tablecloths... and more balloons. Then I headed off to work.

Andrew and I planned to go to Red Robin for dinner because I had a coupon for a free meal on your birthday! But, we had to make a stop at my parents' house to drop off something "work related." It was funny because we were both starving and getting antsy to get out so when we stopped at my parents' house, Andrew wanted to stay in the car while I dropped off whatever "work related" stuff my dad "needed." Well, I kind of made him come in with me and Londyn... which he wasn't thrilled about. When we got there... he still wasn't sure why there were lots of people there and decorations. Then I told him to come outside and everyone shouted "SURPRISE!" I totally got him! He had no clue!

Megan did an awesome job decorating and I was so busy that I forgot to get pictures of it all. My mom is amazing and got 10 Domino's pizzas and made a delish salad. Thanks Mama Mia! My sister brought the sodas and water. Jenelle, you rock! The cake I got was a hit and I'm sad I don't have a photo to show for it. But it was a chocolate/peanut butter ice cream cake with mini ice cream cones on top and it read "Happy 25th Birthday Andy-Roo"

We had close friends and the fam there which turned out wonderfully! Andrew deserves a night all about him and I was finally able to successfully do that!

Happy 25th Birthday Babe!!!


reflecting on adoption

Over the last year, so much has taken place in my life that has given me a deeper testimony and love for adoption. My life and my prosperity is a product of this beautiful gift from God. Adoption is not just bringing a child into your house and providing "things." Adoption is extending your home, heart and family to another human being. Adoption is giving a child a life and a belonging in this world.

As a child, being adopted wasn't a flaw or a part of my history that I was ashamed to claim. But I also didn't acknowledge the worth that it gave me. Some have asked, "do you ever wonder why your parents/family didn't want you?" At one time in my life, I did ask myself that question and for a second, let myself believe that I was an unwanted child. But then I quickly remembered that I was wanted. My birth parents wanted so much for me to have a life with two parents that provided a life of stability and joy. Then I think of the two individuals that are and always will be my parents. They wanted me so much that they searched, waited and sacrificed for me to be a part of their eternal family. My father and especially my mother experienced long suffering and great loss in their journey to find me. I admire the strength that my mother had to have faith in God and continue on. Without her faith, I would not be the person I am today.

I absolutely love spending time with my father, which is rare these days... but today I was lucky because he took me out to lunch downtown. Just picture an older white guy having lunch at Stanford's with a young Asian girl, about 40 years her senior. To be honest, the unusual dynamic didn't cross my mind but halfway through our meal my dad said, "I bet our waiter is wondering what our relationship is... and how we know each other." We laughed and found pleasure in making the waiter run various scenarios in his head. We also talked about my dad's half brother. I'm always curious about my dad's upbringing and his family as I don't remember my Grandma Milne and never met my Grandpa Milne. I love hearing stories about my dad's childhood and when times were more simple. His stories made me think of my birth family, especially my birth siblings. I have always wondered what it would be like to have family that actually resembled me. I have never experienced that aspect of "family." Although it is a curiosity that I might have to live with for the rest of my life, it is something I think about often. I wonder if we may have similar mannerisms or the same facial expressions. Maybe we have the same type of hair, teeth or even bone structure. The simple physical commonalities that many families have, I have never shared. This aspect of being an adoptee doesn't make me sad or upset, but just makes me wonder who the individuals are in this world that share my DNA. There are possibly women and men on this earth that I may cross paths with in my future and never know that we share something special and unique through lineage. Being adopted makes me extraordinary, but a part of me would someday like to find my birth family and experience what it would be like to look like everyone else in the room.

I am beginning my search today. I may not find my birth family, but I am determined to try.


I usually don't have a problem leaving Londyn when Andrew and I go out or when I go to work for 4 or 5 hours, but today was another story. I dropped her off at Grandma's house at 7:30AM and headed to work. For some reason it was really hard to leave her there. Of course, she didn't give me the time of day when I left and I know she was in good hands, but all day I was missing my Londyn. I even called my mom 3 times to check on her.
After 9 1/2 hours without me, all I got was a pity smile upon my arrival. I was expecting her to get super excited and come give me big loves... but no. Nothing. I suppose that's better than the alternative of screaming and pitching a fit whenever I leave the room.

When we got home, I relaxed on the floor and we played with toys. All of a sudden, she got up and started walking! In the past couple of months I have only seen her take 1 or 2 steps, but this time it was 5 or 6 steps in a row! I love watching her master her walking technique. Of course, when I try to help her or encourage her to walk to me, she plops on the floor and will only crawl. She is little miss independent.


All About L.J.

Londyn is my sweet sweet girl! I am just loving her up these days! She is so much more interactive and constantly reminding me that she isn't my little baby anymore. She is growing up already!

We are working on new signs/actions to help her communicate and avoid as many tantrums as we can! She loves to make the kissing sound and makes it whenever we give her kisses and is learning to blow kisses too. She also LOVES when we sing "Patty Cake, Patty Cake" and proceeds to clap after every time through... leading to another round of singing it. Londyn is also getting very good at signing "more" when she wants something. Right now, we are working on "please" and "thank you".

I am so lucky to have such a fun-loving and go-with-the-flow daughter. This week I am working 4 days in a row and she will be in a different home each day, all of which are family members which makes the visits super fun! It's such a relief to know that she is in good hands and won't have a rough time being away from me. It's bittersweet that she isn't more attached to me, but realistically it is a blessing.

My friend Kitta is a fabulous photography, in fact we were lucky to have her shoot our wedding two years ago. At our reunion of friends last week, she shot some amazing photos of the kiddos that were there. I love these two that she caught of my lil' LJ.

The older the kid gets, the more she looks like Andrew and I love it! She is FINALLY growing some hair on that cute bean of hers and it is coming in a dark brown like her daddy. Fortunately for me and my camera, the little monkey woke up today from her afternoon nap with a serious case of bed head. Personally, I think she wears it well!


A Verry Merry Unbirthday to Andrew

Andrew's birthday is next Sunday, August 8th and has drill that weekend and work as well, so we decided to celebrate this weekend. I had been working on the plans for a couple weeks... trying to come up with the most unexpected and fabulous surprises in the history of his birthdays. Unfortunately, my plans didn't quite go... well, as planned.

On Saturday morning I made a delish breakfast of french toast and bacon... told Andrew to relax and do whatever he wanted for the day. But, at about 3:30pm we would be having an early dinner and then going out. I planned a grande meal of grilled chicken, baked potatoes and grilled corn on the cob. The preparation of the meal started in the morning because I wanted it to be just right! I put the seasoned chicken quarters in the oven for 45 mins at a very low temp and then put them on the grill at the lowest setting possible for a slow grillin' and then threw the corn in husks on as well. These were supposed to grill on low for 30 minutes to perfection! About 5 minutes later... I noticed an abnormal amount of heavy smoke coming from the grill. Lo' and behold, our food was on fire! I don't mean ohhh some light flames forming... I mean everything edible was flaming to a burnt crisp! Of course... the estrogen kicked in and I started bawling. I let out a tearful call to Andrew and there our charcoal covered meal rested. He chuckled in the efforts to provide comic relief, but that only made it worse. I was devastated.

When I finally pulled myself together, we decided to go out to eat in Vancouver, near the surprise location. The restaurant we were heading to was one we had never tried but I had found it online with great reviews. It's a pizza joint and Andrew loves good pizza. Of course, we never made it to the pizza place because we got stuck in nasty traffic AND couldn't find the place. We then drove to Club Zoo ... which isn't much to tell because it's basically a club in the middle of a run down strip mall but supposedly a good location for live MMA fights. Andrew likes to watch the UFC fights on tv and I figured he would enjoy it live. We didn't get a very good vibe at the club but the actual fights were awesome and entertaining to watch. I loved it!

After the fights we drove home and stopped at Burgerville for Andrew's birthday dinner. He had never been there before and had heard good things, so we figured... after an unsuccessful night with grub... we couldn't go wrong with fast food. When we got home, I brought out a large piece of chocolate cake with strawberries and sang a weak and sorrowful rendition of happy birthday.

Ever since I was a kid, birthday's have always been a huge deal! Your birthday is YOUR day. ALL about you! But, I pretty much failed at Andrew's birthday this year. I hope he know's that in the midst of the continuous events gone wrong on his day, I planned it with love. I love you babe and promise to make it up to you next year!

Oh and Londyn gave daddy a Spongebob Squarepants card and a gift card to go see TRON when it comes out in December (a movie he is counting down to see)! Maybe I should take some gift giving tips from my kid.

reunited... and it feels so good.

When I was in the single's ward here in Lake Oswego, I made some of the most wonderful friendships and keep in touch with those girls even now... almost 5 years later, most are married and even having babies!

It has been far too long since I have seen my girls!

Two of these gorgeous dames came to town for a visit, so of course a reunion was in order. We had amazing food, lots of laughs, hugs, kisses and memory lane. It was fun to meet the men in these ladies' lives and see how happy they are! Unfortunately, my man wasn't able to attend as he was bringin' home the bacon. We missed the Mr.

The Ladies

The Mama's

The Crew