Monday, July 15, 2013

summer smiles ...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

it's been awhile ... but i feel compelled to write tonight.  my ella james.  5 and 1/2, missing her two front bottom teeth, kindergarten.  how does this happen so fast?  when faced with the dilemma of where to put her in school, i thought my break down was due to the inability to make a decision, alone, with difficult maternal  conflict.  this was not the case.  i realized after many sleepless nights, and many tears, that my broken heart was due to the realization that my dream to be at home with ella as a baby, as a toddler, was no longer obtainable.  what a devastating realization for my heart.  how i've longed to have more time with her.  i am on this path ... this unknown path alone with my ella ... i'm still so blessed, grateful, and willing to carry on and move forward.  we have a place ... here on earth ... meant to do great things. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

time is flying ...

ella just turned four. i cannot believe it goes so fast. her dad and i said today that it is almost impossible to remember her as a baby. we have this brave, smart, growing little beauty with a personality i would have never imagined. she is simply the most awesome thing in my life. i am blessed ... so lucky ... so happy to be her mom.

birthday girl ... number 4!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

modern family

that's what we are. a modern family. we've got it all ... financial downfall, single parenting, bi-racial, down syndrome, adoption. we've also got each other. now that's worth all of it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

where the heart is

with recent life events i am considering the option of letting go of this old house. one year ago i ventured into this perfect little nook. as time has passed by, and life changes have crossed my path ... it is time to possibly make a new start. i have put my heart into this home ... literally ... and i know that no matter where ella and i end up ... that old saying will hold true, that home will be indeed where my heart is.

this old house ...

ella james criger-mcfarland

Sunday, July 11, 2010

starting over ...

i am learning ... that life is full of lots of starting over. it is hard to adjust on my own to many things ... but with ella, i am finding it's that much more complicated. at the end of the day, i want happiness for those i love ... and at the end of this life, i hope for just the same. so ... we shall see what the future holds for this pod of two peas :)

4th of july 2010

2 parades, festivities, and fireworks = strong willed little girl ALL day.

kiss lips

lately ella has been posing for pictures with what i call "kiss lips" ... cracks me up.

vacation ...

i finally had one! it was beautiful. hard to be away from ella ... but good sun, good company, and a nice break from reality :)

cayman 4.24.10

big stuff these days ...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

our backyard ...

is full of purple flowers! it was a sweet surprise to see them surface this spring ... they are all over ... and ella's favorite color is purple. meant to be.

new crocs ... summer has arrived

beautiful girl ...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

turning 3 ...

ella james ... and the big #3. what a big girl. potty training in the works ... pre-school around the corner ... big girl bed ... genious ... an as always, beautiful. i often find myself busy and missing the little things... but lately i've been trying to take in the little moments with ella. she is so funny ... and so sweet. i honestly don't know what i'd do or where i'd be without her. she keeps me going ... when i sometimes feel that i can't. what a lucky mom i am.

christmas morning 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

ella james ... big girl

ella's hair is so unique ... and before we gave it a healthy trim, i put it in an updo ... so beautiful. you would never know she is only 2. actually, turning 3 in less than two months. so crazy ... my baby girl is getting very big. i'm looking forward to her going to preschool this next year ... she is so smart ... and i know she will love the company of others kids while getting to explore with her ever expanding mind.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

day dreaming ...


i have not been on vacation since august of 2005. seriousely. it is about time. again, seriousely. i love warm weather ... the beach ... friends ... and the ability to simply take it easy. i am really looking forward to having that opportunity this coming year. i'd like to have a venture with ella ... and one for myself :) any suggestions for a single mom with a 2 year old would be greatly appreciated.

what a girl wants ...

i would have never guessed that ella would be into princesses ... i was always into star wars :) she knows them all ... has all the little figures ... and natually wants to dress up as them. on her recent trip to visit the cousins she had the opportunity to be snow white. heaven. what a beautiful princess ....


Monday, October 19, 2009

and so our new life begins ...

we are finally getting settled. it has been 2 months ... and we have gotten the house feeling a little more like home. we still struggle with bed time ... ella has not adjusted very well to her new environment and gives me a heck of a time at night, but i know it will get better. i feel very blessed to be in such a nice neighborhood ... it is truly charming. westerville is the back of my hand ... literally, so it isn't hard to feel like we fit right in. i will say this - i never knew what being a single mom was until we moved. it has made me more aware than ever that ella is my hands ... truly in my hands. life is challenging, but it is good. ella is happy ... and at the end of the day i feel like that's pretty good.

room to play ... and cook :) well, try to cook

wide open spaces

big girl's room

finally getting settled

Thursday, August 27, 2009

the house

i have not written on the blog for over a month now ... and there is so much to fill in on. the house. we moved in saturday, august 22. what a crazy few days it has been. the moment i think i'm organized and set, i then find myself returning, then buying, boxes and trash everywhere, and no laundry system down yet so clothes are everywhere! ella has a new swing set that i bought from a friend and she loves it. i actually swing with her :) night time is a challenge ... she is learning to adjust to a big girl bed and therefore we play musical beds for about an hour @ night. it is a beautiful little house that i hope will feel like home soon. lots to get used to. i'm super thankful that my parents are close by ... i take much comfort in that. i've been blessed with help from family and friends ... and can't believe it is all finally here. lucky. blessed. happy.

one small note that i'd wanted to post earlier ... i was wonderfully surprised by a visit a few weeks ago by bob and cindy. believe it or not they were my parents neighbors before i was born! years later, they took me in and showed me lots of love and direction by letting me stay with them in connecticut when i was a wandering mess trying to complete school. their visit was short lived, but none the less made me thankful for those in my life that have guided me with grace, respect, and understanding. i truly love that they are a part of my life.

i will post pictures soon ... and, as always, thank you for reading :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

big girl hairdo

sense of humor

ella has one ... thank God! one of ella's favorite movies is shrek... which was one of her dad and i's favorites from when it first came out. she gets what's funny ... and that just cracks me up! i love her laugh, her smile ... and the fact that she is always doing both of those.

4th of July

what a fun day we had with the cousins ... new albany parade, lunch @ uncle chad's with naked swim in the backyard with cousin rubes, nap, and then party & fireworks. nothing is better than good old small town fun with family.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009

our new home

it is official. ella and i are moving ... and this is our new home. it's about 2 miles west of my parents in westerville. it was built in 1957 and is in wonderful condition... hardwood floors, vintage kitchen ... huge fenced in backyard. just adorable. i received approval from the bank on thursday and now we just hang tight. closing is august 24th ... so exciting!

what a step ... for ella and i. she is getting so big ... so smart ... retaining every little thing you could imagine. what fun to have memories in our own home. it was worth the wait. and ella is worth it all.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

baby steps ...


when i first began this blog, it was intended to share stories and pictures of a day in the life of ella ... but as time passes, i am finding that it has become my diary as well. a chance to share a few of my random thoughts ... and my life as it is with ella. i have serious anxiety ... most that know me know this ... but lately it's taken on a whole new meaning. my job is super demanding ... and i am on the verge of a life changing move with ella. our first baby steps into the reality of making it on our own. the move. as i am up at 4am typing this i just keep saying something over and over to myself. "serenity now, serenity now, serenity now." what is funny is that ella's dad used to say that jokingly ... and it has stuck in my head through the years ... and i actually use it when i'm on the edge.

thank you tiffany, for your own blog and stories ... and for being my life long friend. thank you chrissy ... for being so good to ella ... and lending your heart and ear and sharing your amazing family. i just had to give a shout out to you both!

i will end with this ... church. it is almost a joke that i attempt going because ella only makes it though the singing, but i do have to say, worth it. 5 minutes of beautiful music that seeps into your heart and tugs is therapy from God.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

sweet, sweet baby

ella is two ... and all that comes with it. the sweet ... the rotten ... and the wonderful.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

deep thoughts from mom

tonight ... my thoughts go to that saying "what you don't know can't hurt you." really, are you sure? i wonder this very thought as i think of all that ella hasn't learned about this world ... and the people in it. what you see isn't always what you get, you can't always have what you want, etc. how does one protect a little heart, when it's so hard to protect your own? curiosity killed the cat ... and i believe it! but isn't it always worth seeking and finding? i wonder these things ...

Monday, May 25, 2009

the search continues ...

the house we looked at saturday was a dud. it amazes me what money can buy ... and what it can't :) so, the search continues. i will now have a realtor to help me on this journey ... and hopefully we will find our perfect nook ... that feels like home. for now, there are options ... which is certainly not a bad thing. being in the apartment world is always a safe backup. ella reminds me daily of what is important ... and to not sweat the small stuff ... or the big stuff. when @ the end of your rope, just tie a knot and hang on!

new old dress

today i put a dress on ella ... one that my mom saved from when i was 2. she and my dad went to haiti on a mission trip and this was something she picked out just for me. today, ella is wearing it ... as if it were meant just for her.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


ella loves stickers ... @ lunch with the cousins, calvin decided to use her as a sticker board and she actually let him :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

today ... i woke up early to ponder decisions in the making. buy or rent? i am looking at a house on saturday ... very near my parents ... and cherrington elementary. why is this so scary ... this big exciting adventure ... ? if i decide to rent, ella and i will most likely head downtown ... and what a change that would be as well. crossroads ... fork in the road ... i can't seem to wrap my head around this next step. my decisions are no longer my own, but rather, the ultimate path for ella. ella, ella, ella ... thank God for her as my little sidekick :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

so i got a promotion @ work :)

seven years ... finally paid off. with the luck of one co-worker deciding to head south for a new position, the shift happened ... and i was blessed enough to get the opportunity to be a property manager. what a whirlwind it has been the last few days ... nerves, pressure, no time, excitement ... all rolled into one. it leaves me with one thought at the end of the day though ... and that is ella. no matter what my day holds ... no matter what my job holds ... nothing is more important than my happiness with her. i always carry every moment with her in the back of my mind ... every hug, smile, kiss, laugh ... those are the things that make me - me. a mom. lucky, lucky me.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

so smart ...

not only can ella count to 25, but she can go to 10 in spanish (with a little help :) she had her checkup today and she's a whop'n 31 pounds. "a little over" the dr said ... i think that is what i like to call "healthy" ... right?


lately @ night ella and i have been laying in my bed watching noggin before nite nite. tuesday night, ella kept looking right into my eyes, smooshing her face on mine, and giving me kisses. for no reason ... just being sweet. truly sweet. what a special moment ... it is rare to feel purely loved.

@ least you look pretty

ella tends to have a temper ... clearly she is my child. don't you feel like this sometimes? like you just want to run screaming & shove something ... just to get it all out?!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

ella was a champ at getting eggs on sunday ... that is until she saw the swing in the backyard! what a fun day we had with the cousins and family ... good food ... good weather ... and good peeps (not the marsh peeps, but rather real peeps :)

ella has been "swimming" in the tub for a while now, but has just realized that she can lay on her back! it is so funny ... she loves it!

big stuff ... ella loves to look in the mirror! she is quite the handful lately ... screaming & all. her dad just bought her a shirt that says "reasons why you might confuse me with a rockstar" ... 2 of them could not be more exact: 1) i can scream really loud 2) no one else can pull of this hairdo.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

ella just turned 2 ... how is it possible? she is so big, so smart, so fun, so beautiful. every day i am amazed that God picked me to be her mommy. how lucky am i? i really try to appreciate the every day with el ... and not worry about what is to be ... every day is so special.

her personality is so energetic ... so independent. it makes her a bit rotten sometimes ... but it is her. and i love it. she snuggled with my dad today on the couch. it was about the most perfect thing i've ever seen. she loves papa.