Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Twenty-Thirteen

2013... what a year!

Like every year there were highs and lows, but I'm thankful to say that the good outweighed the bad. 

We've made new friends at work, in our church and through our adoption agency.  We shared memories with family, including a few trips to Michigan, visits from my Michigan family, cookouts with Nate's family and a couple of fabulous Christmas celebrations.  We had some once in a lifetime experiences, including meeting J and being matched in our adoption, attending several professional sporting events and the Football Hall of Fame Enshrinee's Gold Jacket Dinner, the Hanson concert I thoroughly enjoyed, and our first big vacation/delayed honeymoon to Mexico!  And we made some amazing strides in our adoption journey, from completing our paperwork to joining Adoption Network Cleveland, attending agency events and being matched.

2013 was a great year all in all, but I have a feeling 2014 could top it!

Since my last update we have attended four more check-up appointments with J.  Thankfully all have been relatively uneventful.  I can't say enough how thankful we are for the opportunity to attend appointments, not only for the first hand information we get from our doctor but also for the opportunity to get to know J more. 

We've also had one ultrasound, which Nate was unable to attend due to a work trip.  He was pretty bummed to miss the appointment, but we did find out that baby girl appears to be right on target for size and looks to have lots of hair!  I called Nate on my way home from the appointment to tell him I was headed to the store to buy some bows!

We did a tour of the hospital where J is planning to deliver, after one of our appointments.  It made for a long day, and we didn't really learn as much as we were hoping to learn.  We found out where to park for the quickest access to the maternity floor, got a tour of the maternity floor and got a list of hotels closest to the hospital.  Since we weren't able to get much adoption specific information, we asked for the social worker's phone number to see if we can get any more specifics.  From what I've read of other adoptive families, the hospital can be one of the bumpiest parts.  I'm expecting the worst, and maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.  We will see...

Our families and friends also threw us three separate baby showers since my last post!  I'm so thankful for all the effort that went into these, and the thoughtfulness people have put forth in planning our showers and bringing gifts.  Nate and I truly appreciate everything we've received, and we're officially ready for baby girl's arrival!

We celebrated Christmas with my family earlier in December, and it was really nice!  We decided to keep things simple and just do an ornament exchange, instead of buying gifts for one another.  We watched the little kids open their gifts and had fun opening or "stealing" one another's ornaments.  Hopefully that will become a new family tradition.  We never seem to have enough time to spend with one another, but it really was a nice trip.

Christmas with Nate's family was also so great.  We attended Christmas Eve service at the church where we were married, with Nate's entire family.  Afterward we went to Nate's parent's house for dinner and present opening.  Again, we opted to get gifts for the kids and not worry about doing a gift exchange between adults.  It's just so much fun watching the little ones enjoy Christmas!  On our way home, Nate and I decided to do a little extra driving to look at Christmas lights, and we spent Christmas Day relaxing at home.

On Friday we attended our most recent check-up appointment with J.  She said she had been feeling sick all day on Thursday, so we packed a bag and some baby essentials before we left for the appointment - just in case.  Obviously, there was no baby on Friday but we are officially "on call."  J is already starting to get dilated and was 70% effaced as of Friday.  We are all eager, and hoping for a happy, healthy baby in the new year!

Today we celebrate New Year's.  We are still trying to decide exactly what we should do.  Things have been so busy lately that we have enjoyed relaxing at home, but we also enjoy ringing in the new year with friends... decisions, decisions.  Whatever we decide, tomorrow begins a year that is bound to be a memorable one!

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope 2014 brings you all health, happiness and success!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Keep Shopping Amazon for a Cause (please)!

About a year ago we started what has become one of our most successful adoption fundraisers, and it's still going strong!  Please remember us for your Cyber Monday (and other online) shopping. 

If you access Amazon using our link, a portion of your sale will automatically be donated to our fund.  Everything looks the same to you and it's confidential.  Just be sure to start with an empty cart!

Thank you!!