Together at Last

I'm not sure who missed who more....


The Wedding

Our whirlwind week has finally ended, and boy will I sleep good tonight!!! We just returned from Ohio after attending my cousin's wedding. And it was FABULOUS!!!!

Though Alex suffered from severe sleep deprivation, she was a trooper. She was quite proud of her role as Flower Girl and took her job of petal tossing very seriously. And what a great time she had at the reception dancing the night away.

Everything was gorgeous! Truly magnificent. Brittany's attention to detail was evident throughout the entire ceremony and reception. Everything was gorgeous. From the decorations, to the dresses, to the song and vow choices and again with everything at the reception. They are a remarkable couple and I am so happy to call them family. I love you, Jason and Brittany!

Actually this week was a wonderful opportunity to spend time with the whole family. Picture the show "Newhart" and that is pretty much where we stayed. In a 20 room Inn, in a quaint little town. We reserved the majority of the rooms and so enjoyed the time together. We took over the lobby and lounge in the mornings and late nights with sprawling spreads of pizza, salads and dessert. Nothing like 4 generations all hanging out in their jammies in front of a fire. Kids palying. Adults laughing. Love being shared by all. I am so blessed to be part of such a special family. Here a some photos of the big day...


Merry Christmas...

...we'll be back next weekend!




....and let the festivities begin!

Today marks the official kickoff of our whirlwind week of celebrations. This afternoon we celebrate at the cabin with Shawn's mom's side of the family. Special visitors, Mr and Mrs Claus, also make an appearance.

Tonight we (us, Shawn's siblings and our kids) all sleep at my inlaws and will wake up to their version of Christmas morning. All year we look forward to the danishes and mom's egg and sausage casserole. And if you know my inlaws you can imagine the sea of presents that await. My mil starts shopping the day after Christmas for the next year. Where will we ever find homes for all that stuff!

Later that evening we'll be off to my Aunt Nancy's to have Christmas Eve with my mom's side of the family.

And for the first year EVER....we will wake up Christmas morning at our own house!!!! Santa usually visits us a day early so we can do the "Christmas morning" thing at my inlaws. Hopefully this year will be nice and calm and relaxing....as opposed to last year when we carted EVERYTHING to the nursing home after my father-in-law's fall. What an ordeal that was!

So once we finish our Christmas celebrations at home, we'll be off to (my grandmother) Nanie's house where the whole family attends on my dad's side. Though this will mark the second year in a row that my cousin, Rickie, has been deployed and unable to join us. Prayers for a safe and speedy return go out to him!!!

Hopefully we'll then be able to call it an early night...as all of the same people will be leaving the next morning for Ohio for my cousin Jason's wedding. So Wednesday we'll be traveling, Thursday is the rehearsal and dinner, Friday is the wedding, and Saturday we'll be headed back home.

Let the games begin!!!!


Christmas at Home

Well, it looks like we will be spending Christmas at home this year. Home being Rochester. For a few weeks it looked like we may be spending Christmas in Bethlehem, but that no longer seems likely.

In mid November, we were put in touch with an expectant woman in PA. For several weeks we spoke on the phone. We talked about her, us, her kids, Alex, the baby and her current situation. Things continued to proceed forward and she was well into making an adoption plan for her baby. So we started to prepare and get some things in order. Notified work. The whole deal. But it never seemed right. I couldn't help but thinking that deep down she really wanted to keep her baby. She was already parenting two children and seemd to be doing a wonderful job. We knew all along that, although he wasn't going to fight it, the father was not in agreement with the adoption plan. And last week she indicated to the agency that she too was unsure at times as well.

My greatest fear as an adoptive parent is that my children's birthparents will come to regret their decisions. That, given a "do-over", they would have chosen to parent. And I would hate to think of anyone being in that place. I have seen it too many times already. And all through this situation, I kept hearing the voices of the many birthmothers I have met over the past five years. So many echo the sentiment that they wished someone would have told them "they could do it" and that their situations were temporary and that things would get better.

So I sent "L" a letter last Friday. I told her what an amazing mother I thought she was and that she would no doubt make a wonderful mother to this newest child as well if that is the route she chose. And that although Shawn and I would be over the moon at the possibility of adopting this baby, we totally understood if she had changed her mind and decided to parent. We have heard nothing in return and assume that means she has made her choice. And that is ok. Actually, it is more than ok. It's great.

Of course I am sad for myself. But for her and this baby I am so very happy. I wish them only the best. And I am honored to have been part of their lives, if only for a short while.


Snowed In

Well, we weren't quite snowed in, but the storm they'd been predicting forced us to get all our errands done yesterday. So today we enjoyed a lazy day at home. We had fun decorating a gingerbread house (though I think more candy ended up in Alex's mouth or on the kitchen floor than on the house.)

Later, Alex played out in the snow with Hemmingway as Daddy shoveled for the 3rd time in twice as many hours. Next year we are sooooo hiring a plow service! But she had a good time rolling around in the snow and sledding on the snowbanks.

And afterwards, we all warmed up with some hot cocoa. And extra whipped cream, of course.


Visiting Daddy

This will be Shawn's 4th week in a row away from home. He has been working in Niagara Falls Monday thru Friday and home on weekends. It is just far enough away (between the hours and the weather) to make commuting unrealistic. So last week Alex and I went up for the night. Of course she was thrilled to see her dad. But she was even more excited to swim. The lifegaurd was strict though and wouldn't let Alex in the hot tub which she was slightly perturbed over.

So I asked her before bed where she wanted me to take her in the morning for breakfast. She suggested room service! I didn't even know she knew what room service was, since we never order it. She thought it would be a good idea to have breakfast in the room where she could eat while watching cartoons in her jammies. I guess life doesn't get much better than that for a kid!