Sunday, December 21, 2008

Making Memories and New Traditions

Ok. Here's the story:
Our first holiday season with Miss Lucy has been a little different than we had magically imagined. My grandfather (whom I think the absolute world of) has not been well. To be brief, and so not to go in a direction I am not prepared to go, I will just say that our time with family has been spent in a different and far more important way. Needless to say, Christmas has snuck up on us...
So, determined to create memorable moments and to begin family traditions, I made my little family of four trek to the mall for the quintessential photo with Santa Claus. I went online to be sure what time to be there, and packed my little family into the car at 8:00 this morning. Lucy was decked out in a gorgeous silver sparkly dress, and Sam chose a handsome button down all by himself. They were adorable, and Sam was psyched up for his first real visit with Santa. (In past years, he has opted to send Santa a wave from the sidelines, not feeling brave enough for a face-to-face it the man himself.... this was his year!) All the way to the mall, Sam rehearsed what he would say when finally facing the big guy, and he was feeling very "big-brotherly" in his role of ushering Lucy into this tradition.
Well, we arrived near 8:30 only to discover that Santa would not be rolling in until ELEVEN o'clock! Hmmm. That was the first sign of what was to come. But, determined to make the most of things, we took advantage of the nearly empty mall and attempted to make a dent in our pathetic shopping list. Both kids were true sports. Finally, with 30 minutes to go, we decided to head to Santa's Workshop and join the small cue that had formed. At that exact moment, a white haired, jean wearing, tattoo sporting jolly old soul arrived on the scene... yup. Sam's eyes were glued to this character who looked familiar but so quite right. I think I heard him whisper, "That guy is not Santa....". We tried to divert his attention, but the damage was done. Naturally, he accepted that that man must be one of Santa's many helpers as St. Nick himself is a very busy man these days. Fine, good enough.
While waiting in line, and waiting, and waiting, we befriended some other families and shared war stories of Santa's past. We swapped toys and crackers and went to great lengths to keep our gaggle of children content while waiting. Finally, at 10 past 11, Santa made his grand entrance... and, truly, the crowd (with seeming memory loss of the jean wearing fella of a half an hour ago) went wild! It was a magical moment... just as I had planned! ;-) We were the fourth family in line and ooohed and aaaahed and giggled as each child timidly approached the now rosy cheeked Santa.... the first one was a screamer, and we all thought it was precious, knowing he could easily be our own... and, as you can see, folks, that is just what happened. Three hours, a big hit to the VISA, and half a bag of goldfish later, here is our first Santa photo!

Merry Christmas!

May yours be filled with laughter and joy... and loved ones to share it with.

Much love.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Has It Really Been a Year?!?

One year ago, I heard words I will never forget from a woman I would never meet thousands of miles away... One year ago, I was told that Luciana was OUT of PGN! It is so hard to imagine how my every waking moment was consumed with "OUT" and PGN, to call, not to call, stalking Guatadopt and plotting timelines... sound familiar to anyone?

I can remember everything about the joy of that night... where I was and what I did right after, the shouts of cheer from families and friends, the "special delivery", the tears and the laughter. We took the first deep breath we had taken in a very long time. The days and weeks to follow would prove to be some of the most challenging in my life, but this night one year ago was simply joyful.

Take a look back: One Year Ago


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sneak Peak

While home yesterday (Sam is still sick), I attempted to snap some pics of the kids for their FIRST holiday card together... it was a time in my life that I was grateful for a sense of humor... and that Sam is such a very patient big brother. Luciana wanted NOTHING to do with the adorable ideas I had for a picture. She was in and out of the old LL Bean sled, she wouldn't look at the camera, she certainly would not smile.. she was having NOTHING to do with it. Truly, I started to snap pics of her during one of her tantrums thinking this year's card would show what life is really like in our house! (hee hee) Sam was exasperated and we were about to call it a day... but, don't you know, when naughty little girls know they are getting away with something, they SMILE! I snapped this moment as Lucy climbed (first time!) into her rocking chair and whipped around with that "look what I did" smile! Look at Sam's face... can't you read his mind?!?! Ha! I love it. So, here it is, our wild child with her adoring big brother. Happy Holidays!

(The tree is decorated now, I promise!)
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We are feeling more than our fare share of blessings today.

It's so strange to remember "this time last year". Our life is so full... and insane... that I could almost forget to remember! Ha! But, on days like today, I try to take at least a moment to soak it in... my house is trashed, my laundry is overflowing, sleep is a novelty, and we are loving every minute of it!

Happy Thanksgiving.
Love, love, love.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Each time I have passed those little "Baby's First Halloween" onsies that have been all over the stores this month, I was reminded of this time last year when my heart was aching for a sweet baby girl who was so far away that I couldn't hold all of my longing for her in one heart. Halloween is such a corny and silly holiday, but holidays are each like little timelines of memories and moments, and I knew we were missing this one with her last year. I wondered if she was wearing the little onsie we had sent after our first visit with her... also in October of last year. I wondered if she could even remember those strangers who had loved her up for one very amazing week in her life only a few weeks before. It's funny what certain times of month can bring back in emotion... Well, these pics just scream, "Look how far we've come, baby!" We had a blast... the "little stinker", Darth Vader, and Raggedy Ann! Daddy went as a business executive... with and orange tie, to be clear that he really knows how to shake things up! We were visited by Didi and Papa, and the whole night was festive and fun. We hope yours was, too!

Happy Halloween!

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PS- Check out the little stinker one year ago!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

First Day Of School... A New Beginning

Keith snapped this pic as we were heading out on our first day of school in September...
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Monday, September 29, 2008

A Month Late...

First day of school!

Both kids are doing great at school and in daycare and I am adjusting to being back to teaching. I have a great class, so that helps a lot. It is such a blast to see Sam at school every day, and Luciana is the princess of Munchkin Manor! It is an adjustment, and I miss our "lazy" days together, but everyone really is doing so well that I just can't complain. As October approaches, I feel that old sense of routine starting to kick in, and the frantic pace of September seems to be evening out... knock on wood!
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

In the interest of fairness...

Here's Sammy!
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Happiness is...

Hey there blogger family-
We are still here. I am overwhelmingly guilty of neglecting our little site here... and I am sorry for those of you who are loyal visitors. I can only say that I am just too busy at the moment and have hopes to do a better job when some sense of routine returns to our lives. I am still checking in on my blogger families each morning with my coffee and love to see how well your families are doing. I am envious of your abilities to update, and so glad that you do!
Life in Maine is as peachy as ever. We are experiencing decent sized transitions which are coming with inconsistent bonding issues. Both kids are in daycare and fairing well... for the most part. I am back to school busily getting ready for the students to return after labor day. Sam will be transitioning to a new school for First Grade, and Lucy will stay at daycare. All that said, there is a lot of anticipation in our home for this new schedule to just begin already! We have spent so much time preparing for these changes, I think we are all feeling ready to just rip that Band Aid off!
I anticipate a few growing pains at the start of school, but once settled, I hope to be back to regular updates and oodles of pics! For now, thanks for checking in on us. All is well.. just look at that smile!
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Friday, August 8, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Belated Happy 4th of July!

Just an Update

We have been making the absolute most of summer and are having a blast. Most days, I am off running to some beach or park with the kids. We have spent a lot of time playing, and both kids are doing great!

Soon, I will be back to teaching, Sam will be in First Grade, and Luciana will be in childcare. That day is coming quickly for us, so we are just filling up our time doing all the amazing things you are supposed to do in the summer in Maine! Most recently, we had a great time catching crabs in tidal pools and making a dam in a stream heading to the ocean. These simplest of moments are what I love about living in Maine with children. Luciana is a total beach babe and relishes in splashing and crawling all over the beach... and eating sand a rocks, of course!

Lucy is on the go for sure! She crawls and climbs everywhere. Last Saturday she took her first steps! Fittingly, we were at a picnic for adopting families. How cool! Her mobility just recently lead to her first "shiner" as she fell near our treadmill and took a hit to her sweet little face! Ugh! I still shudder thinking about it. I was tempted to snap a pic, but I couldn't do it... which is why we have yet to document those first steps! We will soon when she's really going!

Otherwise, it's pretty ho-hum, lazy days of summer around here. We play hard and sleep well! Sam's 2nd tooth and aproaching birthday have been hot topics around our house, and Luciana's first words and steps keep us totally amazed. First words: Dada, thank you, uh-oh, yay, and finally Mama! She is on the brink of more... she clearly has lots to say!

Pics soon... I hope.
Much love.

Monday, July 14, 2008

1st Birthday Pics

Better late than never.

We celebrated Luciana's 1st birthday twice! Our first celebration was on Lucy's true birthday and was shared with the children and families in our neighborhood. All the kids enjoyed taking turns bouncing in the giant, cake shaped bouncy house. It was a blast. Keith and I even got in on the fun when he arrived home from work. It was such a fun day. That night, Lucy had her first taste of birthday cake. She was tentative at first, but, with a little help from Sam, she was into it in no time! Once she had a taste, she dove face first in! Good girl!

Our second celebration was with family and close friends. We had a BBQ at the house. Luciana spent most of the day in one loving set of arms or another! She was all smiles and everyone had a great day. By the end of the two parties, we felt we had really made the most of her special day... and we were wiped out!

Enjoy the pics... this girl knows how to work the camera!

Friday, July 11, 2008

One Year Ago...

I love these "one year ago" posts... it is so amazing to me that we are at that one year mark for these memories.

One year ago today we officially accepted our referal of baby girl! I don't know why it was so long after receiving her referal... I think we just assumed that it was known that we accepted her! Ha! She was ours from the first moment we knew she was born. Still, it was on this day that we made the official call to our agency, and that moment changed our lives forever.

As I type this, that same sweet baby I could only imagine in my heart is yelling at the top of her lungs and pulling her bow out of her hair... perhaps she thinks feeding her dinner ranks higher than some sentimental memory post! Ok- moment done!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Updates Coming Soon!!

I just love this kid!

Ahhhhhhhhhhh! We are coming up for air after the whirlwind month of June! I am working on getting 1st Birthday and 1st Camping trip pics up... better late than never!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

One Year Ago...

One year ago today we first laid eyes on the sweet, sleeping face of our beautiful daughter. We will never forget that moment or all of the emotions we felt as we looked at her 2 day old pictures over and over and over again.

The email subject line read: Introducing Andrea!

I froze, then I called to Keith and Sam. I remember putting Keith in the computer chair and then hopping onto his lap with Sam so that we could all be as close together as possible. We opened the email and fell in love. Just like that. (She was just 2 days old on the photos we received, and a still itty-bitty 8 days old that actual day.) There were tears and hugs and so much laughter... we felt it all! That night, after many calls to loved ones, we headed out for a "Big Brother Celebration". We had a picnic on the beach and then each shopped for an outfit for our Luciana. We talked nonstop about what our lives would be like with this precious angel home with us. You know that feeling when you smile so much your cheeks hurt and your gums get all dry and you are just sure that every stranger you pass has to know that something truly wonderful has happened in your life... that was us.

Right now... Luciana and I are home alone for a little while. Soon Keith will be home from work and Sam will be home from Mimi and Papa's. But, for a few minutes, we are alone and I am going to go scoop up my carrot covered sweetie and snuggle her up all to myself.
Wow. A year.

2 day old Luciana.

Our celebration at the beach... one year ago!

Love, love, love... LOVE!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday, Luciana!

How can it be? Our sweet girl turns ONE today! I remember exactly what I was doing this time last year.... waiting and waiting for the referral of our beautiful baby girl and torturing Keith with incessant thoughts and questions about what it would be like when it happened! It would be just a week later that we would first see her precious face. I've said it before, and I will say it again... we are so BLESSED!

Sam and I had a blast playing with Luciana the other day, as we do most days. Watching my two children make each other smile and laugh is the greatest joy I have ever known. Here are some snapshots of just one of those moments... enjoy!

If the rain holds off, we will be celebrating today with our neighborhood friends in a big ol' cake shaped bouncy house! We will celebrate with our family and a few friends this weekend. I promise to post pics of all the good times soon!

Much love.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

I just found these pics in our basement! Look how young we were! Could we be any happier? Well, time and life would prove that we could! Still, running through a field of Maine lupines (my favorite) is hard to beat when you are holding hands with the love of your life, and your very best friend. Who could have known the amazing Dad he would become? And, for me, I had no idea what "best friend" meant. I could only imagine what was in store... and I was way off! Ha! AND, I couldn't be happier. I said "I do" once when I thought I knew what love was.
Now, I do. And I do, and I do, and I do. Happy 8 years, babe. Heart, me.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Heart

I have put off this post; these emotions. Luciana's 1st birthday is in 4 days. This seems impossible to me. It is such an amazing milestone to have the blessed privilege to be able to celebrate with her.... in our home... with us. It is so emotional to acknowledge that she is home with US because there were many scares along the road to becoming our family that threatened a very different possibility on these days. We are so blessed.

Having said that. I am a mess! ha. Anyone surprised? I just keep counting the days to Luciana's birthday with a heavy heart (and one of celebration, of course) and the reality that it will mean something very different for both her birth mother and her foster mother. I hold Lucy's birthday so close to my heart more for her first mothers than even for myself. On June 18th I am going to remember how very much I longed for my sweet angel, but, more than that, I promise to remember the two women who made sacrifices I can't imagine to give her this life with our family and to give us the family of our dreams. We will honor the two families who loved her first.

I have taken some time to look back at the posts I first wrote when we were beginning the process to adopt. It feels like an absolute lifetime ago. I had SO much to say, and the emotion was so raw! Now, I just spend a whole lot of time being thankful to God that I can go upstairs and kiss the heads of my children as they sleep and know that we are complete.

Much love.

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Family

I am home tonight. My baby girl has been battling a 3 day fever between 99 and 104. She is sleeping now, and we are feeling like she is on the other end of some kind of viral "blech", but it has been a long few days. With her birthday, our anniversary, and Sam's last day of school on the horizon, we have been feeling right out straight. BUT, with all that said, I have had another big event on my mind...

My baby cousin, Julie, is getting married tomorrow in North Carolina. I was able to be at her twin sister Melissa's wedding a few years ago, but we could not manage to get to Julie's. This has been so hard for me. I am a crier... I just am.... so, today has been tearful for me. Aside from Luciana not feeling well, it has been on my mind all day that my great-big-wonderful family would be having their pre-wedding fun today... a sort of family reunion of sorts. I have the most amazing memories of special time with our family. For a very close-knit, very loving family.... we just do not see each other as much as we would like to. But, when we do, it is a GOOD time, an emotional time, a LOTS of hugs and kisses time! Having been to Melissa's very southern, big dinner and bigger party pre-wedding events, I can just imagine all the celebrating that is going on. I am not there, and yet I have received 3 phone calls, one email with pics, and a "few" calls just from my mom because everyone knows how much I wish to be there... I am so happy for my sweet Julie. My all-too-soon grown up cousins are making amazing lives for themselves (some married, some parents) , and I am just so proud of each of them. I can't be there...but I know you sneak onto this blog from time to time... and I can take this moment to tell you how much I have marveled in the women (and man, Brian) you have become. I can't be there to have one of our famous all night heart-to-heart's, but I am only ever a phone call away. For tonight, Jules, just... be happy. Meliss... keep on shining. Bri... keep on keepin' on. You each deserve happiness. John (my brother) and I love you each like crazy cakes from how ever many gazillion miles away. Family is what matters.... and we are there with you in spirit this weekend... and always.

Much love.

PS- You're gonna pay the price of the Pr*** promise if you do not send me pics from the wedding!

How Is It Possible?

In just 5 short days, our baby girl will be one year old.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bobbi, Did I Beat You To It?

Sam had a surprise day off from school today! We had some special visitors arrive and headed straight to the beach on this 85 degree day!

Handsome Reese had a blast and charmed new friends into sharing their trucks.

Luciana was ALL over the place. She LOVES the beach.
Her favorite moment was splashing in the ocean!

Cassie was her usual "patience of a saint" self with all of the kids.

They spent hours catching hermit crabs!

Krista and Sam were basically inseparable... in the water, catching crabs, playing frisbee.

These two have become fast friends.

Back to the real world tomorrow kiddos.
(I know the layout is idea why!??!)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Field Day

Sam had Field Day at school last week. Luciana and I were able to go to his school to watch him have a blast in his school's very silly activities. Here are just a few.

Watermelon seed SPITTING contest!
He was covered in watermelon juice for the rest of the day... and sweat. Yuck!

Parachute Fun!

Dancing with Zoomba... he's got some moves!

Sparks Arc brought a BOA!

It was such a blast to watch Sam spend a great day with his classmates and teacher. I can't believe Kindergarten is over in just 2 more weeks. It really does seem like just yesterday that we were saying we couldn't believe our baby was going to school. He has grown up so much this year. He certainly has learned a lot... especially beyond the classroom! I am so proud of my little boy and I can't wait to have a blast this summer!
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