Tuesday, December 1, 2009
-In Junevwe will be moving to Fresno for Alex 3rd year of med school, which is hospital rotations. I've been told that the 3rd year is harder than this one, and it will be good to have friends an family around when Alex is spending so much time in the hospital. I will graduate from in May of 20ll with my BA in Ministry and will decided when I get closer to that what is next for my education.
- The 4th year Alex will be doing "away" or "interview" rotations at hospitals that he might want to do his residency at. Since he doesn't know what he wants to specialize in yet (he's mostly interested in surgery), we still have to wait and see what that year holds. He will also have to do a international rotation so he can finish his MPH at the same time as his doctorate. Luckily, he will get 8-12 weeks of vacation, which is when we hope to start the surrogacy process.
It will be interesting to see how that pans out. I have so many ideas of how I want things to happen but realistly
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Here's what my first project will look like:
I get to make money doing something I love!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
When we started this, we had thought the process would move much faster. We also thought there was a good chance we would end up staying here for at least another year. With this new information, we both realised we we're just spinning our wheels. Since we don't have the money to pursue domestic adoption, it looks like it will be two years before reassess and decided how to start a family. We still really want to do foster adopt, but I'm not sure when exactly that will happen.
Alex starts rotations next year, and we could end up back in Fresno or in Michigan or even New York. We are hoping for Fresno since that's where all our friends and family are. But we are not in control, so we'll have to wait and see.
Anyway, this has been several weeks in coming, and decided to finally post the news. I think I was putting of posting it because it feels so much more final when you put it in a blog. To say this sucks is a huge understatement, but it is what it is. And I do feel that this is the best decision for us right now, even if it is a hard decision.
"We're adults. When did that happen? And how do we make it stop?" - Grey's Anatomy
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I'm not as nervous as I thought I would be. Today's appointment will be at their office and will only take about an hour. I think its mainly to give us more forms to fill out. I will probably be more nervous as the day goes on.
Oh, and it is literally pouring rain here, and has been since 4am, so at least if I look all frazzled at the appointment I can blame it on being wet :)
Monday, October 12, 2009
I tried calling our county social worker today but they were closed for Columbus Day so I was going to try again tomorrow, but now I don't have to.
I'M JUST SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW!!! (can't you just see me dancing around my living room with excitement:)
I'm a little embarrassed about my last blog. It seems as though I only get on here to vent about the wait. We really have so many great things going on in our lives. God has truly blessed us. And I don't mean blessings by material things, although I believe everything we have has come from the Lord. It's the intangible things I feel most blessed by- the close relationship we have to our parents and siblings, wonderful friends, the restoration of our marriage, and most importantly God's grace and His sacrifice for me.
I read John 1:16 last night as a part of my Beth Moore study "Beloved Disciple". I highly encourage anyone who can to go through one of her studies because it has been so moving for me. I was feeling down after writing my blog and decided it would be a good time to spend some time in the word. This was the verse of focus for yesterday's study and she went on to explain that original word for "blessing" in the bible is "charis" which is often translated to grace.
Charis means "grace that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech, good will, loving-kindness, favour of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues"
Isn't that beautiful? God is blessing me by keeping me strengthened.
Charis is a name Alex and I had picked out if we have a daughter. So this verse was inspiring because I felt like the Lord met me where I was at. I don't know if I would have been as into it if she hadn't gone into detail about the word Charis. And I could have read that study another day and not felt the same as I did last night.
I don't need to feel happy, or be optimistic to know that He is walking with me, encouraging me, and pushing me forward. I'm so grateful for a God that meets me where I am.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
It has been two months since we did our fingerprinting and we still haven't heard anything. it doesn't sound like very long but they told us 4 weeks. So we waited and then they said 6. So I decided to wait an extra two weeks without calling because I was sure they were gonna call last week while I was in Fresno. Nope. So I'm going to make calls again tomorrow to politely ask if there is anything else we can do while we wait to hear from the home study agency.
In the meantime I've attended a few parenting and bonding classes, worked on our profile, read up on transracial adoption and children born exposed and addicted to drugs. I'm feeling like I'm on information overload. Not to mention that I'm constantly on Bethany's web forums and Adoption.com reading about other people's adoption experiences.
I'm officially my classes, so I'm doing my online orientation this week and my Foundations for Leadership class starts next week. On top of that I still have two independent study classes I'm working on and I've been leading a small group at church so these this should keep me a little more preoccupied. Hopefully it will make the time go by faster.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
It's one of the frustrating things about the adoption process... all the waiting. And with all the waiting I really have nothing new to write about except how my mind is constantly thinking about babies and children, and how I feel like this is taking forever. OK its only been 3 months since we started. We have everything done but the homestudy. And now we have to wait to be contacted by the agency that the county subcontracts homestudies out to (did you catch that?) Since the State made some big budget cuts, our county is down to 3 placement social workers, so they are having to subcontract their homestudies out to a private agency. Just means more waiting for the extremely impatient me.
I have managed to get the kids room done, and have spent quality time quilting so the bed and crib could have matching bedding. Plus it keeps my hands busy and makes time go by faster.
I keep being reminded by everyone that once we have our children, we will look back and think this time went by so fast. I know there right. I look at my sister with her son Ben and she practically has no recollection of pain of they 3 years she waited for him. Its taking dedication to try to focus on that rather than the wait. The Lord is streching me.
I'll wrap this up with song lyrics from Everlasting God by Chris Tomlin that inspired the title of my blog:
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our Strong Deliverer
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won't grow weary
Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our Strong Deliverer
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won't grow weary
You're the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
It's official. I got the cutest boy in the whole world. He has been running us ragged. He cried really hard & was a "touch me not" for about 1/2 hour, & gradually warmed up to us. It's been really neat ever since. He is very 2. All energy, but a total sweet heart. He wants to climb everything in site. He loves his Good Night Moon book & Tonka fire truck. We are exhausted all. But when we won him over, oh boy. He called me mama, & Doug Baba. He even kissed Doug before we left the CCAA building. He laughed all the way to the hotel, & has been charming everyone he meets. The hotel staff are shocked about how easy going he is. He hates the crib, loves bananas & chocolate chip cookies. He started clinging more to me at first, but later attached to Doug as well. We couldn't be happier. I feel like I've found myself.
Here are a few pictures of them:
Thursday, July 2, 2009
So here is a bullet point update about what is going on here:
- We finished our PRIDE training (the 27 hours of training necessary to adopt through the state) last Saturday. Now we are just waiting for a social worker to contact us to do the home study and live scan. I called our contact person with the county this week, but unfortunately (thanks to budget cuts) we now only have 3 licensing workers for the entire county so it could take longer than we want. I would love to have everything done by the end of July so that we could be licensed by September, but that may be a little overly optimistic :)
- We've set up the "kid's room"! My sister gave me her beautiful crib and we bought a toddler bed that extends to a twin bed at Ikea so the room is "homestudy ready". We are hoping to be approved for up to two children (siblings) between the ages of 0-4. We don't have a lot of kids stuff, but the beds are a start! Here's a picture of the bed we bought:
- Speaking of my sister, Kristi and Doug are in China right now! They left yesterday morning from San Francisco and will be returning home on July 17th. Here's the email they sent me today:
Hi all, We are in Beijing. We arrived on 7/2/09 @ around 1:30 PM Beijing time. The flight was fine with us getting an emergency exit row. We were served three meals. We cleared health inspections teams with no problems. About 6 department of health ladies came abroad the plane at the gate and took the all the passengers temps with a thermal scanner (about two inches from our foreheads). They were wearing gloves, masks and goggles. We made two shopping adventures and ate at Yoshiko's Fast Chinese Food for dinner. We are leaning the art of negotiating with Chinese teenagers for a watch and belt. Also went by McDonald's for a shake and Dairy Queen for Oreo Shake. It's 100 F here (but a dry heat like Fresno). The natives are friendly and helpful. They put up with our attempts to speak Chinese. We will update the baby blog tomorrow (in 12 hours) Love you, Kris and Doug
They will be getting Ben on July 7th, so the next few days should be fun just sight seeing and taking tours. Please keep them in your prayers as they travel!
I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July! We were invited to join some friends on their houseboat on Lake Trinity near Shasta, so we'll be headed out tomorrow. We are looking forward to the wonderful relaxing weekend on the lake with our friends.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
It also happens that there may be a 60% cut in the funding of their program starting June 30, so we were encouraged to sign up for the next class available - and we did! Our classes start this Saturday! I was happy to hear they did Saturday classes because we can get our hours done so much faster - only 4 weeks instead of 8. We will be done with our training by the end of June! (Can you tell I'm excited?)
It seems like everything is falling into place. They told us it would take between 4-6 months before we are licensed, and I'm praying we are closer to 4 months.
And the Lord keeps providing! My sister found out that her crib doesn't convert to a toddler bed, so she bought a toddler bed and is giving me her nice crib. And a family member is giving us a twin daybed that she doesn't need anymore so the nursery will be set up before we know it. Its so nice to finally see things coming together so easily!
Friday, May 29, 2009
Its funny how we've been so set on private domestic adoption, but God just kept tapping on my heart. We have our orientation on Monday and I am ubber excited. We had actually started the process a few years ago through Fresno County but it wasn't really good timing for us at that point. I'm finally ready to finally see this dream become a reality.
Keep us in your prayers as we know this is not an easy road but are preparing for the challenges it has in store for us!
Monday, May 11, 2009
As a way to congratulate myself for my hard work (it took me 2 FULL days to finish all those stinking questions), I decided I would just LOOK at baby stuff. You know, get ideas for what kind of crib I want and the type of bedding I'd like. I know I want something with yellow in it because its my favorite color. And while I was web surfing I found this...
The entire set is here
Do you SERIOUSLY know how hard I'm am trying to stop myself from buying this!!! One is because I'm worried about buying anything until after my homestudy is approved. Also because I'm debating on whether this is gender neutral. If you've seen what they consider "gender neutral" you'd probably think this is pretty close...
This would be ADORABLE in the "Lion's Den Nursery". Ughhhhh. Why did I ever even look!?!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I've been up for the last hour working on one of the home study questionnaires. The question I'm stuck on is:
What do you expect from your children?
Um, I want them to be happy and healthy..... right? Is that enough?
I want to put something eloquent and profound. Nothing is coming.
The other question I'm stuck on:
What aspects of child-rearing are important to you?
Can someone define child-rearing? That's "raising children" right?
This is Websters Definition
- "The training or bringing-up of children by parents or parent-substitutes. It is used also for child rearing practices in different societies, at different economic levels, in different ethnic groups, etc. It differs from parenting in that in child rearing the emphasis is on the act of training or bringing up the child and the interaction between the parent and child, while parenting emphasizes the responsibility and qualities of exemplary behavior of the parent. "
Yeah, I really need to go to bed....
Monday, May 4, 2009
We've picked the agency that we want to work with (thank you Kirsten for the recommendation). Alex and I went to the information meeting Saturday and were able to get all of our questions answered and both felt good about moving forward with them. The staff was really nice and very knowledgeable and even though they are a large company they feel like a small office. They have locations in 4 states, but their Bay Area office is literally right down the street from us.
We've just gotten started on the home study paperwork, and boy there is a lot to fill out. I don't remember the last time I had to right a autobiography. Or when I last needed to discuss the things Alex and I usually have disagreements about. But hey, its going to be so worth it in the long run! Of course, I am having panic attacks thinking that we won't pass the home study (apparently that's a pretty common fear, but most people pass). We have a packet of paperwork to do before our weekend seminars at the end of the month. Hopefully I can get these done fast now that we are all moved. The average wait time for a match is 12 months, so we have awhile once our profile is up, but at least we will have our part done.
This is finally feeling real!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I was looking around my apartment this morning at empty boxes I need to fill and asked my self "Where do I start?"
Than I thought, "hum, that's a good blog title"; so I'm ignoring my empty boxes and writting about what's happened this month instead. So, yes, this is a long post about my month and I'll be amazed if anyone can even get through the first paragraph:)
The Wednesday before Easter I drove down to Fresno to start putting together my sister's shower at my parents house. It was a lot of fun, but also exhausting. I'm so glad I had my mom, Aunt Jan, Karey and Marnie to help. By the time Saturday came around I was so tired - and my tiredness was noticeable on every picture of me. It didn't help that I had a "wardrobe malfunction" which the Ann Taylor dress I had planned on wearing and had to wear another one that wasn't as flattering. But the most important part is that Kristi had a wonderful time! She loved the party and couldn't believe how many people made the trip to come a see her. She felt special and loved and it was totally worth the all the work. (I would post pictures but I forgot to take my camera, so I'm waiting to get some of the pix from my parents.)
Alex and I have decided to move. We found a place in Martinez, which is about 20 minuites south-east of where we are now. We have friends living in the same apartments, so Alex can carpool to school, and the rent is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than what we are paying now. So I'm looking forward to living near friends again, and in a town that has more than a just a Walmart for shopping. Martinez is also in Contra Costa County- which is important because we are still considering adopting though the foster care system and they have a great program. We've both felt called to fost-adopt but we are praying about whether right now is the right time.
Last weekend, for our anniversary, Alex and I went to a Weekened to Remember conference in Sonoma. We had been to marriage retreats before and thought this would be similar, but it was so much better! We both feel like we came away from the weekend understanding each other better and more focused on our marriage and each other.
So that's been my month. I guess I have to go pack now....
Monday, April 20, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Apparently I was wrong. So very wrong.
So the first step is to attend an information meeting, which they usually do one a month. This month we will be at the "Weekend to Remember" conference in Sonoma the weekend of our anniversary's - and of course, this months meeting landing on that weekend, so April's out. Their meeting next month lands on the week of Alex's finals, so May's out. So that means that we can't even start the process until after the information meeting in June.
But that's not all, folks.
The first step in the process is doing the all day adoption seminar. Which isn't until late July. They only do one once every other month, and we can't go to the May seminar because, of course, its the week of Alex's finials.
So I have to wait 3 months to even start the process! Once the process is started (info meeting) they say that it usually takes 3-6 months to do the profile and prepare the home study. So the soonest my profile will be up is in October.
Someone told me adoption was a bunch of "hurry up and wait" but I had no idea it would be like this. Realistically, 3 months is not that long. And we are looking into a few other adoption agencies so it may be sooner.
I'm just so ready for a baby its hard to think logically that things take time. I mean even pregnant women have to wait 9 months before they hold their new little ones!
Monday, March 23, 2009
Kristi had picked out the fabric 3 years ago when she and Doug started the process, and it's hard to believe that she's finally getting her child! The colorful blocks have different kinds of fishes on them. She painted the nursery this weekend in a light "island blue" and is planning on going with a whimsical underwater theme.
Here's a pix of the quilt we are so proud of!
I love working on the quilts but always forget how much work they are. I'm exhausted!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Since I'm co-hosting my sister's adoption shower in a few weeks, I am in search of the perfect cake. Mainly because I don't care for store bought cakes. It been fun but a frustrating search to find a cake design I really like for her shower. I know I want it to be two tiers and possibly basketweave, but after looking on wilton.com and cakecentral.com, I am still coming up with nothing. Looks like I'm going to have to be creative and design it myself.
And since I was feeling nostalgic about my cake decorating, I thought I post my cake slideshow, since I haven't had it up. It does kinda make me want to rethink adopting this year and go to the Culinary Institute of America this year instead. Just kidding:)
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer
2) Select the 4th picture in the folder
3) Explain the picture
4) Tag 4 people to do the same
NO CHEATING! (cropping, editing, etc!)
Awe!! Its a cute pix of my brother Matt and his wife Beth when they first started dating! Arn't they cute :)
Ok, I don't tag people 'cause I don't wanna leave anyone out, so if you think this is fun - do it! (Thats what my other friend did on her blog and I think its a great idea:)
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Alex and I have decided to start the process for domestic adoption :)
This has been a long time in coming, since we "almost" started at least 3 times in the last 2 years. I've been ready, but Alex really hadn't come around, so this last November I decided to just stop nagging him. I figured that worse case scenario we would wait until he was done with med school to start, but best case scenario, me "not nagging" would give him time to process and think about it without pressure.
Well the "not nagging" method worked for me. As I was praying for the Lord's direction, Alex was also praying, and talking it over with his friends and mentors. I was in shock when last week when he came home from his men's bible study and told me he was ready! Definitely a good shock though. ( I really think Kris and Doug getting their referral helped motivate Alex - he wants our kids to grow up with theirs!)
There are several reason why have chosen domestic adoption over international adoption. One is because several of the countries we are interested in adopting from have strict laws that don't allow people with any history of depression from adopting. Since Alex and I both have been treated for depression in the last 10 years, (seriously though, is there anyone with infertility who hasn't?) that counts us out. Because Alex is in school, he cannot accompany me on trips to other countries for weeks at a time. So that knocks out the remaining countries we'd considered. We both feel like domestic adoption will be a better fit for us in the long run.
So I've called a few agencies and requested information packets. Realisticly, getting started means we will probably be waiting 1-2 years from now before we actually have a baby. I can be optimistic though and pray for a quicker placement :)
I'm so glad we are finally taking this step! It feels like its been so long in coming, yet I can't believe we are actually ready:)
God is Good!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
After Kristi received the referral, two weeks ago, I drove down and spent the weekend with my family in Fresno. Its definitely changed things - she was expecting an infant girl and is getting a toddler boy. She and Doug are thrilled to be getting him, its mean cleaning all the "girl stuff" out of his room. Than we went with Kris to register at Target for her "baby shower" because Babies R Us really didn't have what she needs for a toddler. Its amazing how the last 3 years has seemed like the "worlds longest pregnancy" for her, but now that she has the referral we are all rushing around to make sure his quilt it made, and the nursery is done and that Kristi and Doug have everything they need to bring this little man home. Its fun though - now I have a reason to buy cute boy stuff :)
Friday, February 27, 2009
Kristi & Doug received the referral for this 2 yr old boy last nite. They had to make a tenative decision by 2 pm today. They have submitted their letter of intent to adopt him. They now have 1 - 2 weeks to have his medical files reviewed and make their final decision. He was born with heart problems and had surgery in Jan 08. They have had their doctor review the files and so far is looks like everything is a go. They are waiting for one more review before they make their finial decision.
As of now they are calling him Benjamin.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
First the bad- last Friday, Audrey and Bogart got into one of their fights in the middle of the living room. It was looking pretty bad, with Audrey pinning Bogey, so I jumped in and pulled Audrey off Bogey. As I was walking away with Audrey in my arms, Bogey then came after me and bit my leg. 3 times. I screamed for Alex who was in bed, and he ran in and pulled Bogey away from me. It turned out one of the bites was pretty bad. The result was a 3 inch gash under my knee. Obviously we had to make a very painful decision. On Saturday morning we called a Cocker Rescue and SPCA who both informed us that they couldn't do anything to rehabilitate him because of his age. Apparently because he was so young (not quite two) and already displaying biting and aggression, he would be too much a liability. So Alex took him into the SPCA to have him put down. This was a horribly painful decision, but we felt that we had made the best, most responsible choice. If he would attack me, his mom, he could lash out at anyone. So I have been grieving this week for the loss of my sweet pup, one of my kids, who I never thought would turn on me.
The good news (yes, now that your feeling depressed with me I'm going to cheer you up a little:) - Kris and Doug, (my sister and bro-in-law) just got a call today from Holt with a referral of a little boy in China. He does have a few medical issues that they are talking to a doctor about, but we should know their decision for sure in a week or so, after the doctors review the files. Please be praying for them, that they would know if this is the right child for them. I'll fill in the details about the child when we know more.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
I’ve realized the benefits and drawbacks of having a cold living away from home. The drawback is that I can’t just call my mom and ask her to bring over food, magazines, and cough syrup. Alex has been pretty good about that the last couple of days because his classes have only been half days. But today he’s gone from 8am until 9pm because he also has his MPH class tonight, so I’m on my own. The benefit of living far away from home is that I had no problem running to Walmart this morning before I showered, in my sweats, with my hair looking awful and no makeup on. I felt like crap and since I don’t have to worry about running into anyone I know, I didn’t care. So there! (I did, however, get several strange looks as I sneezed and coughed my way through the isles.)
In the midst of all this, I’m suppose to be the ladies from the small group I’m leading at church next month, but after calling 5 of them on Monday, I feel too icky to do anything. I might try to tackle it this afternoon. We’ll see.
My wonderful husband, who has been taking good care of me the last few days, picked up movies for me. Ratatouille and Open Season are both really cute kids’ flicks if you haven’t seen them yet. (I like cartoons when I’m sick- and when I’m not sickJ)
That’s all the randomness for today.
I caught a mild cold when we came home from Fresno that luckily only lasted a few days. Than Alex got sick and I thought "wow, he's a lot worse than I am - lucky me, I only got a mild version of that virus". He was pretty miserable until Monday, when he finally started feeling a little better. Than yesterday morning I woke up with my lymph nodes feeling like golf balls and my head feeling like it was floating 10 feet above my body. It’s a very strange feeling!
Everything in my house is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected now because I don't want to get sick again. Lysol Wipes are my best friend! And since I don't feel like eating I'm tackling my New Years resolution of losing 20lbs. So good can come of a cold!
So regardless of our beautiful 70 degree weather the last few days- I'm stuck inside.
On a more positive note: My parents are going on vacation next week for their 40th anniversary, so I'm heading to Fresno to run the office - like old times! So hopefully I'll be fully recovered before Sunday and I'll get to spend some time with friends next week.
Friday, January 9, 2009
It’s symbolic for many reasons. One is the many struggles our marriage has been through to get to our ten year anniversary (I’m saying this because we’ve had many struggles to get through in our 7 years). I think anyone who goes through hard times feels a renewal when things start to get better. Our ten year anniversary is the same year as Alex’s graduation from med school, and the year I will hopefully received my ordination through the Foursquare Church. So it will be a year of "ending one chapter, beginning another." Also, or current plan is to wait until Alex graduates to begin our family, so it will symbolize us leaving our “family of two” years behind us.
So my question is; what do you think of vow renewals?
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
I'd be lying if I told you I backed out of Lynae's New Years BBQ just because I was tired. She confirmed to me later what I expected would happen at the party. All but two of the couples there had children. The guys went outside to talk and BBQ while the ladies sat inside and talked about their children. And childbirth. And nursing. And aches and pains. And when I heard this I ached for the two women who didn't have children, because I know them and their struggle with infertility as well. And I realised that if I was there I would have had to go home. It would have been too much. I'm grateful that I know how much I can take.
I have peace within the pain right now. I don't really know how to describe it. I know the Lord is in control, and I have peace with his timing. But I've also gotten to a point where I know my own limits. Hanging out one on one with my friends and their kids is so much fun. I love sitting and visiting while playing with their little ones. But group settings are my struggle. Because the conversation usually turns to what is most important to everyone there - the children. And I know when I have children I will be there talking up a storm. But for now, I'm okay knowing with what I can and can't handle. And not all days are like this. I knew Thursday morning when I woke up it would be too hard for me. It may have not been as hard the week before.
A few weeks ago I bought a baby toy. Its a little stuffed baby lion that plays "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". You may see this as a torture devise, but I see it as a reminder of God's promise. That He will always take care of me. That He knows my deepest dreams and desires. And that one day I will have the children I've been waiting for.
So I'll leave you with one of my favorite verses (from the Amplified Bible)
"And therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all those who wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him!"
Saturday, January 3, 2009
The best parts of our vacation:
- Went to Grace Place (our church in Fresno) and saw many of our friends that we've missed
- I spent almost an entire day with Lynae and Andrea. Andrea has gotten so big since I last saw her in July! (So had Lynae- but in a good way - she's expecting a baby boy in March)
- Last minute shopping with Beth - I miss my shopping partner!
- We went to Madera Christmas Eve to visit Alex's family there
- Watching Marnie's face as she opened her gift from all of us (we pitched in with my parents and siblings). I have a picture of the exact moment she realised it was an American Girl doll!
- Grandma Lion taking us all (his parents and his sister Rose and her husband Jesse) out to a fancy family dinner (I had duck:)
- Putting together a 1000 piece puzzle with Alex's parents
- Spending an afternoon just hanging out with Cass "like old times"
- My mom's prime rib dinner for dads birthday on New Years Eve - and the look on dads face when he saw the putter Kris and I went in on together!
- Seeing "Despereaux" at the theater with Grandma Lion. It was a great movie!
I'll have to post pictures later (my camera is in my car and I'm feeling too lazy to go outside in the cold to bring it in!)