An invisible red thread connects those that are destined to meet,regardless of time,place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.~Ancient Chinese Proverb

Monday, August 26, 2013

Celebrating again!

This weekend we are celebrating AGAIN!!

Brian and I are praising God for 12 wonderful years of Marriage! Woo hoo!!!!
We have actually known and dated each other for over 15 years...goodness...that seems like a long time! (He may say it seems longer for him!)
Have you seen the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"?? That was ours! (Minus the tacky Bridesmaids dresses and the crazy Aunt forcing everyone to eat lamb).
It was a beautiful night and I still get chills when I watch the video and look at our albums. There was  Greek dancing, food and lots of wine. OPA!!!!

I lost it, right before they were getting ready to open the doors! Luckily, my sweet friend was there to wipe away my tears, and fix my make-up...haha

The ceremony was beautiful! Held in my childhood Church, where I was raised. My old Priest even came back to co-officiate with the current Priest. That was special!!
The Service was rich in symbolism..everything done 3 times, to symbolize the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. 3 sips of wine each, 3 Blessings, 3 walks around the table. You could feel the Spirit in the Sanctuary that evening, that"s for sure!!

Brian and I have survived ups and downs throughout this marriage and have managed to stay strong, in a society where so many turn to divorce. I am proud of us. I remember early on in our relationship, we were facing some sort of struggle, and he whispered to me ..."We're the home team-always together.". i always remember that when i see things crumbling around us.Kids, jobs, deaths, moves....they have tested our faith and strength, but we have met each monumental event (and challenge) together. We are polar opposites, but have the important things in common... Our love for each other, our children and this unity of marriage. Hallelujah!!!

Even though you're not an avid Chickennuggetsandchopsticks, honey, I hope you know how proud I am of US. I can't wait to see what this next year brings!!!

This weekend, our sweet girl also turned 21 months!!

Growing, changing and getting FASTER everyday. Boy, is she making up for all those months where she never moved. This Momma is on her toes...all day...(And my husband wonders why I'm snoring 20 min after I tuck her in!!"

Another busy week coming up! Hope you are all soaking up every last day we have left of this beautiful Season. I am not ready for Fall, pumpkins, boots or cooler weather....stay with us, long as you can!!!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Keeping up with The Keefers....

This Post is going to be lengthy because it seems we have had SO much going on around here lately!!

After we wrapped from celebrating N's 8th Birthday, we said our goodbyes to A's sweet little pre-school, where he started at 15 months old. This sweet little Church school has been the BEST place for A to grow and learn. He made the sweetest little buddies there, and the Teachers have become like family to us.
While we know that we are not saying goodbye for good, as I'm sure Mia will start there sometime was still bittersweet to leave on our last day....

In order to properly wrap up our Summer Vacation, we knew we had to make one last trip down to our Beach House to enjoy a week of sun, waves and fun! It was so nice to getaway. We were lucky to have several friends and family join us during our week down, which made it all the more special!
Some highlights from the trip?? Mia discovered that she LOVES the Beach and water! This girl has no fear and must be watched close..because she will find that water in a hurry!! Alex learned how to swim without his life jacket, but more importantly...without his shirt! Don't ask me why this is SO important to both of our Boys..but they love swimming without their shirts on...Like a grown-up, they say.
We enjoyed relaxing by the Beach, building sandcastles, riding waves, shopping the outlets (oh yeah!!!), walking the Pier and playing at the local arcade (you know Boys and their games!)
I think we traveled to the Pier every night for ice cream. By the end of the trip, N kindly requests...:'"NO more ice cream...please??"

but wait...there's more....

As much as we love renting our Beach place out to others during the Season, we are hoping to be able to sneak in a few visits over long weekends...just to feel the sand between our toes.


6 Months. We have known our sweet girl for 6 months.
This month was a very important month for us, as we have really begun to see her bonding to US. While she still is very friendly to others and quick to go to them, we have noticed her becoming a little more reserved before going to someone new. She clings to me, holding me tightly, and try to leave the room??? sweet girl has a complete meltdown. yep..I'll take it!! These are all very good signs as far as bonding and attachment goes, so it seems like our little princess is starting to know us as her Forever Mommy and Daddy. Now...if she would just SAY it!!!
We begin our Early Intervention appts for her this week, which will include Speech and Occupational therapy. We completed our 6 mos post placement visit with our Social Worker, which basically just requires a home visit by our SW to see that she's "OK", and pictures to document how she has spent her last 6 months with us. We have to show that she is being treated for her Cleft and seen regularly by our Pediatrician. Done.
Since we have zero family or health history on our sweet girl, we will be looking into Genetic Testing. We feel that this is the best "preventative medicine" we can give her, and hope that it will give us a hint into her family genetic makeup. With her being covered by DSS"s Services, this testing will be provided FREE..hello!! This will give us such valuable information, and quite honestly is something that we all should be so lucky to have done.
This month I also got back the photos that were taken on the disposable cameras while she was in China. They were very hard to look at, knowing that while these were being taken, we were sitting an Ocean away, waiting and praying for her.
I will leave those photos for another post..

1st Day of 2nd Grade AND a tooth falls out!!!

Today, we officially have a 2nd grader..with one less tooth!!
Our sweet Boy wiggled that loose tooth of his everyday we were on Vacation, trying so hard to get it out before school started.
Well, he succeeded!! It fell out this morning over Breakfast!! He was so excited, and I think it added a little pep in his step as we hurried off to his first day of school! We pray that this year he will grow, mature, learn lots and make sweet friendships. We pray for his School, his Teachers, his classmates and all that work to make his Education a success.
We love you, Mr. Second Grader!!!

So, you can see we've been quite busy! What's up next for us? Brian and I will celebrate our 12 year Wedding Anniversary...awe..., Brian will celebrate his 40-something Birthday and Alex will start 5K!!!
More to come!!!


Monday, August 5, 2013

8 is GREAT

Our firstborn Son turned 8 this weekend.
What a blessing this sweet, shy, caring little guy is to us.
I look at him and see myself in so many ways. We are so much alike, kindred spirits..and I just love him with all of my heart. He's tall, skinny, blonde haired, blue eyed (THAT he did not get from me!!), and has the hugest heart. He's emotional, smart, witty, a little reserved and already I can tell-a people pleaser.

I think back to the day he was born. I was only 36 weeks pregnant, but definitely feeling like he was going to make his entrance anyway. My hubby had traveled out of town for the day, and I had headed into work. It was about 11am, and I was cleaning my patient's teeth (I'm a Dental Hygienist), I began having contractions and excused myself to the restroom. As I closed the bathroom door, my water broke! I freaked out and called my OBGyn, explaining what had happened. Since they didn't "believe" I was in true labor, they told me to come to the Office. I quickly called my husband to tell him what was going on and that he needed to head back to town (he was 3 hrs away). I jumped into my car (yes...I drove Myself!!) and raced to my Doctor's office. I had called my girlfriend who was close to town and she agreed to meet me at the Doctor. Well, as I'm racing down the highway, in labor, amniotic fluid trickling down my leg..(sorry....but it's labor we are talking about).. What do I hear in the background??? Sirens. A police officer was pulling me over!!! He pulls me over and continues to SIT in his car. Hello..dude...can you get out of the car and let's get this ticket over with?? He struts over to the car and begins to ask me if I realized how fast I was driving. I pointed to my belly (which I will admit, was hidden pretty well in my medical scrubs). I began yelling, telling him I was pregnant and in labor. He smirked and asked.."how far along are you??" People. I swear. I'm not making this up. It could have been a movie. I screamed, ""far enough for my water to have broken and its pouring down my leg!! Wanna see?!?!". He just gave me a glare and said, "well.. be careful and slow done." That's it. No police escort to the hospital. Nothing. People kept telling me afterwards that I should have gotten his badge number. Hello. This was my FIRST baby, I'm by myself and I'm totally freaking out. All I could think about was making it to my Doctor.
Well, I screech into the parking lot where my girlfriend is eagerly waiting for me. She walks me in, and registers me at the front desk. We sit. We wait..and this point, all I can do is laugh.and each time I laugh, I feel more amniotic fluid oozing down my leg...we glance at the desk and notice a sign that says. "If you have waited more than 20 minutes, please tell Receptionist". My girlfriend goes and lets them know that I am STILL waiting, and oh, that by the way...SHE'S IN LABOR!!!! We are laughing so hard at this point, because in a million years, I couldn't have scripted this. Other women in the waiting room are asking if I'm ok. We are joking that THEY may get to deliver my baby.
Minutes later, a nurse comes out and casually calls me back. Wait for it. She hands me a cup and asks me to get them a "sample"...
I asked her.."a sample of amniotic fluid??" She looks at me perplexed, where I then begin screaming.."I'M IN LABOR!!!!" I mean, hello, my pants are soaked!!!!
She rushes me back to the OB who quickly looks and says, "'re gonna have a baby!" Luckily, the hospital was right next door, so my girlfriend loaded me up and drove me over to the hospital. We walk up to the desk and tell them we need the Labor and Delivery Floor. Obviously, they thought we were visiting a new Baby, because they moved as slow as Christmas. This little old lady ushered us onto the girlfriend and I are just laughing nonstop. We exit the elevator, and the sweet lady asks..""Who's the patient your looking for?"" We say.."Me!!! I'm having a baby!!"
Oh goodness...well, lets get this poor lady a wheel chair..
FINALLY, I make it to a real hospital bed, with real nurses, and know that I'm going to be OK. My girlfriend stays with me the whole time, holding my hand and seeing Waaay more than she hoped to. She even got to witness my epidural...woo hoo!! My husband finally arrived, along with all of the family that I had called on the way there.
My husband, Aunt and Grandmother were there in the delivery room with me, helping me every step of the way
The epidural took, pushing began..and then it stalled. My poor baby just couldn't make it under the pelvic bone. (Sorry..but this a Birthday you KNOW we're going to talk about the BIRTH!).We tried for 2 1/2 hrs to get him out, and then finally with a little "help" he was delivered. Our healthy 7 lb 2 oz baby Boy was here!!!

We cried tears of joy. I was finally a MOTHER. I had dreamed of this day for years, and suddenly, I was holding MY baby. Now what? Sheer panic took over and I was scared. What if he cried? What if he got sick? What if I didn't know what to do? How was I going to do this with my Family a state away?? forward 8 years...and I have figured it out...I think...

I'm not perfect, I mess up, sometimes I don't have the right answers for his questions...but we are figuring out this Parenthood thing. And I believe I have a pretty awesome 8 year old to show for it.

He has taught me so much about Life, selflessness, sacrifice, and faith...

I love him with all of my being and pray that he grows into the strong, Christian young man that we are sculpting him to be. We know that God has given him this huge gracious heart, and we have no doubt that his future is going to revolve around it. He is destined to help people..I see that already is his kind, caring nature. I'm not sure exactly WHAT he was put on this Earth to do...but I know that he will change lives.. I can just feel it...

We celebrated his BIG Day with Family, Presents and CAKE!!!
You know as a parent that you have great, deserving kids, when you, the parent, are SO excited to give them their gifts. I just love to see my kids faces light up when we are able to give them something that they have truly wanted for so long. We make them wait for it. Build the anticipation. and then when they receive's that more special..

we hope that his 8th year brings him lots of happiness, fun and fulfillment...

we love you, Nick!!!!
Happy, Happy Birthday, sweet Boy!!!