Fall 2013 was BUSY. It was so busy that I never got around to posting anything for the boys’ birthday, Buddy Walk, or any of the holidays. So I’m going to wrap that all up here in one epic post for the boys to read when they’re older. Warning, this post has 50 trillion photos.
Fall started off with a bang – the boys turned 1 September 12th! This involved about 2 months of planning, shopping and decorating. Everything turned out great, and I had a lot of fun with our Alice in Wonderland theme.
Whew! Themed parties are a ton of work! I’m not sure I’m going to do one next year – we may just skip town and go camping 🙂 We had a great time, though, and a wonderful turnout.
A GROWING FAMILY
Another big theme for us this fall was growing our family. We have had 4 embryos frozen from our last IVF that resulted in the twins. In late August, Steph and I transferred two of those little embryos. After lots of waiting and a million pregnancy tests, we found out we were pregnant. We were so ecstatic! I had never had success with a frozen transfer. The excitement was short-lived, though, when I miscarried on the boys’ birthday – I was 5 weeks. A positive thing that came out of this pregnancy is that I did get pregnant on a frozen round. I had half-way convinced myself it was impossible.
Though it was incredibly painful, another beautiful thing that came out of us miscarrying was that Steph and I made the official decision to become certified foster parents. We know we want a big family, and both feel like we’re running out of time. We had learned about the foster to adopt program from friends of ours who adopted a sibling group of 3 boys through the foster care system, as well as another boy. From zero kids to 4 overnight, they were an inspiration to us.
We started the classes in early October and on December 17, we got the news that we were licensed foster parents! We are licensed for 3 children, but I am not so secretly hoping that they’ll give us a sibling group of 4 children. Thanks to the kindness of our friends, we have two amazing rooms set up with beds, dressers, clothes and toys. Now we’re just waiting for the call, and my cell phone is basically surgically implanted to my hip. We are so excited to see how this journey unfolds for us, and the children that will come our way to be nurtured and loved.
We also hosted our annual Halloween party in late October. The boys were bikers. Everyone thought they were pirates, but whatever they were, they were CUTE! We had a great turnout and did a fun costume contest. Steph made appletinis and this year I broke with tradition and asked everyone to bring their favorite spooky dish. It’s too hard with the boys now to cook, and a bit pricey to cater in. We had tons of great food and I think people really enjoyed being able to contribute! My favorite dish was the cat litter cake, which was served in a cat litter pan, with a litter scoop as the serving utensil. It was pretty disgusting.
BUDDY WALK TIME!
November 9th was our second Buddy Walk. We had a great group of friends and family turn out to show their support for our team, “August’s Light”. Dozens of our friends donated to August’s team. That, coupled with the money we earned from the Great Gatsby silent auction and a “Name Your Price” garage sale, helped us raise over $3500 for our local Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville! It was a beautiful day at the beach!
Thanksgiving came, which meant 2 days of cooking and lots of wine with my mom. She doesn’t know how to do anything on a small scale, and we had a feast as we hosted 20 at our house. If you know me, you know that I love a pretty tablescape. You also know that I use words like “tablescape” in everyday conversation. 🙂 This year’s table was beautiful! Ophelia and I did it together.
December finally arrived! My favorite month of the year. We started the month off with a photo shoot by our photographer Christina Block. She always does such amazing work, and I’ll look forward every year to doing a shoot with her that’s a combination of the boys turning a year older, and taking pictures for our Christmas card. Here are a few of our favorites…
From the photoshoot, we chose a few pictures for our annual Holiday card. I know this is hokey, but I’d like to find a way to turn our annual cards into smaller Christmas ornaments. I’m sappy like that. I’ll have to turn to Pinterest. You know somebody’s done that shit.
This is what I posted Christmas morning. Hopefully I didn’t cause Christina Block to roll her eyes at me, with my deconstruction of her photos, hee hee 🙂
In December, we also visited my grandparents in Indianapolis – the boys’ 4th plane ride! It was much harder flying with them this time around. Steph and I were pretty frazzled even before we pulled back from the runway. Steph decided we were never flying anywhere again. Umm, which is pretty much impossible because we plan on visiting my grandparents 3 times a year, and we’re not making that drive!
It was great seeing them – I love my grandparents so much, and wish we lived closer.
After we got back from our trip, we got busy trying to get into the Christmas spirit – buying a tree, decorating the house, buying new Christmas PJ’s, and watching the best holiday movies in the world – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Elf. I’m still trying to find my copy of Love Actually, which completes the holy trinity of holiday movies 🙂
We decided not to get the boys too much this year because they need nothing! Seriously, they got so much stuff at their birthday, we just got them a Little People Barn, an Elmo DVD, an Elmo bath mitt, some Elmo books, Elmo fork and spoon. Is there a theme here? Christmas morning was lots of fun, though we really missed Dakota, who is still in Thailand. I tried to get him on Skype for Christmas, but no luck there.
As I sit here and write this, we are a few days away from the New Year. I’ll have a post on my resolutions later on, but it may or may not involve trying to slow down the pace a bit. I’m not sure if I’m going to be successful, but another big theme this fall for me was purging….trying to curate my house and getting rid of anything not useful and used. It’s been a huge undertaking, but I’m committed to having a clutter-free, simpler 2014 for our growing family!
Much love from our family to yours!