Monday, November 30, 2009

My month of blogging is drawing to a close and now a new chapter is beginning!

This experiment and experience of daily blogging for a month is coming to a close and I am happy to be able to say that I met the challenge. It was not always easy but in the end it was always gratifying. I really did not explore any deep or controversial issues as I have in the past but this month has really been much more lighthearted than all of that and it was fun to share all of the happy things that have been happening lately in our lives.

There have been times on this blog that I have posted quite often and easily and other times when the writers block was as bad as it gets and I have basically abandoned my blog for a couple of weeks at a time. I really love writing, so when I am blocked like that it feels quite uncomfortable. Lately, I have been exploring the creative part of my brain both with photography and with my writing. My mom is always imploring me to write a book and every time she brings it up, I do what I seem to do best and I scoff at my own abilities. I immediately respond by saying to her that it is just because she is my mom that she likes my writing as much as she does. I am sure it helps that she is my mom but deep down inside, I must believe that I have something to say or I would not have been posting pretty consistently on this blog for 4 1/2 years. As I am typing this I can hardly believe it has been that long, but yes, it was way back in 2005, just before we sent our dossier to China for Katie that I began this online journal.

I have had lots of time for thinking lately, especially with all of the twists and turns that our lives have taken and I have come to the conclusion that I am going to stop sabotaging myself by finding ways to not pursue my gifts. It will not be an easy process as old habits die hard....very hard, but I am going to make a conscious effort daily to finally pursue the vocations in life that will bring me pleasure. Writing and photography will top that list. I will do my best to push the fear of failure aside and "just do it" as the commercial says. By me writing this, I am proclaiming this fact to the world or at least my little part of it.

2010 is going to be quite a year for me and I really hope that you will come along for the ride. I could really use the support and friendship as I navigate all of the barriers, both real and imagined, that are sure to come as I begin the next exciting chapter of my life as a woman who is no longer afraid to pursue my own success.

With love and gratitude,

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bridal weekend draws to a close on a very high note!

The much anticipated bridal weekend was a huge success and drew to a close today in a most wonderful fashion. Judy's parents hosted the bridal shower and they give new meaning to the phrase "Hosts with the most." They completely outdid themselves. The party was held in their backyard, which is truly an oasis by any standard. Judy's dad owns a landscaping company and he has truly created a showcase of his talents in their yard. The flora and fauna that he has cultivated is just breathtaking! It was the backdrop to a beautifully decorated patio and gazebo area. The brilliant blue skies and amazing weather just made it all that much more wonderful.

The day was highlighted with tasty food, great company, fun games and the feeling of love in the air.

It was a women's only shower but Justin was invited in for one (very fun) game and to open the gifts with Judy. I kept watching them and thinking that I just cannot believe how my baby boy has turned into such a great man and is embarking upon this new chapter with the beautiful woman, who he has loved for 6 years. It really made me quite misty in a very good way.

I also must say that Marc and I feel so blessed by the fact that this union has brought our two families together. Judy's family and our family just love each other so much and when we are together we are truly one family. We could not have wished for anything better than that.

Here are some pics from this wonderful day that this mama will always remember.


Beautiful atmosphere


Me with my son, the happy groom to be


Me and Judy, the happy bride to be


Enjoying ourselves


Judy and Joyce - Two beautiful sisters


One of the amazing floral centerpieces


The games and fun that was planned for us


Shannon and Pattie, dear family friends


Our table minus Kira who was away from the table


This was just before the game that was planned for Justin. Doesn't he look a bit nervous?? Well, he should be. He had to answer questions about Judy and if he got incorrect answers his penalty was to put on an article of lingerie. He did not know as much as he should of and..................


This was the end result. Believe me when I tell you that there were many more pictures but for the sake of family harmony, I will only show this one of his backside! Thank goodness that he is a good sport!!


Judy's dad looked pretty amused as were the rest of us.


sharing something private


My mom and another dear friend, Kira


Judy and her girls (bridesmaids and Holly on the left is her maid of honor) They did a fab job organizing the festivities.


Sharing some fun while opening gifts.


Next party will be the wedding reception. We cannot wait!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bridal Weekend Heats Up!

Justin and Judy's wedding is approaching at the speed of light and in anticipation of that event, we are in the midst of bridal weekend, with last night being the bachelorette party and tomorrow being the bridal shower.

Our plans were to go to a Drag Show/Dinner as a group, with the mother's in attendance and then the youngins would go off after to do what they do. A couple of my friends, who Judy has befriended, were invited as well which was really nice for me.

I got myself dolled up and then before it was time to leave Marc wanted to take some pictures of me. Since I get a lot of complaints that you all hardly see me on this blog, the next four pics from my photo shoot are for you.





We arrived at the club, got seated and waited for the fun to begin. These men/women were fabulous!! They were funny, campy, sexy and just over the top. We had a blast. The first pic is of one of the entertainers bending over me and me giving her a little love in the way of a tip (wink)


Then this lovely wo/man had all of the women at my table mesmerized with the fact that her legs reached her armpits...what a bod!


Our waitress was also an entertainer. She was outrageous!!


Here is my girl, Kira


Judy's lovely mom and sister, Elsa and Joyce


and my other girl, Shannon :)


Here is the beautiful bride to be, my soon to be daughter in law, Judy


Judy got pulled on stage and of course things heated up a notch but hey, what happens in the drag club needs to stay in the drag club.

My only complaint about the evening was that it was far too short. When I walked into the house my hubby was shocked that I was home so early. He knows me very well and this mama can still party like a rock star but alas, this night was for another star and it was her party so.......

I am sure that I can find something to celebrate soon so that we can partake in a little more fun!

Friday, November 27, 2009

A day for hanging around


Yes, it has been a day for hanging out. The kids did their hanging in the park with daddy and I am at home hanging out and doing a bit of online holiday shopping as well as organizing for next week's annual home purging...oops, I mean garage sale and getting ready for a weekend of fun.

This is Judy's bridal weekend. Tonight is the bachelorette party and then Sunday is the bridal shower. I will have lots of fresh material for blog posts! In the meantime, I am going to go back to my hanging out. I need to conserve my energy for the night ahead >;0)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are thankful for the food that sustains us...


Family to share it with...


Humor to make our life so much more fun...


Men who don't rub it in (much) when they win a game....


A strong and sensitive husband (pictured holding his very petite mother)...


and warm and wonderful, soon to be in-laws, that we love very much!


We are so blessed. From our gang to yours, we wish you a most wonderful and joyous holiday season!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So thankful for Katie's School

I have spoken about Ethan's school before. We are so grateful to have been placed there as well as with a wonderful teacher that has allowed him to continue to progress towards his potential. I have never really posted about how wonderful Katie's school is. Today, is a good day to post about how thankful we are for this wonderful school community that we happened upon over two years ago.

By a weird set of circumstances, (which is our life) we happened to walk into a temple in our city which is well known for it's excellent preschool. Marc went in while I stayed in the car with a sleeping Katie. Ethan was not yet a part of our family. I asked him to get some info on the preschool while he was in there and when he walked out he looked happy and excited. While talking to the director of the school and after realizing that they are both from New Jersey, he found that she was the best friend to his cousin Gayle in New Jersey. We had heard about Gayle's best friend so many times and here we happened upon her at this preschool...such a small world and such an amazing feeling of "beshert" (The Hebrew word for destiny) Not only was this a highly rated school but a very close family friend oversees it. How much better can it really get?

Katie started just a couple of months later, at age 2 1/2, just after we adopted Ethan. It was perfect timing, as Katie needed something of her own while Mommy and Daddy forged a bond with her new brother. She took to her new school so beautifully and we have been blessed with wonderful teachers throughout her time there. Katie is now in Pre-Kindergarten and is excelling. We are so grateful. The school staff and community have embraced us as if we are family and we work very hard to assist them in all of their endeavors. It is a beautiful marriage and it works.

Today will illustrate why this school is so special to us. Instead of the traditional Thanksgiving Party, which has been done time and again; the story of which is hard for children to identify with at this young age, the school decided to have a multi-cultural celebration celebrating the diversity of it's families. Their reasoning was aren't we all pilgrims to this country unless we are native American? Shouldn't we instill pride in the fact that we all are so beautifully different and so amazingly the same? I loved the idea as did Marc.

So today, off we went with our beautiful daughter who was born in China. She was adorned in a beautiful red dress that we purchased for her there and we brought a couple of artifacts that were also purchased there that have significance to us and could be displayed. We also brought in a Chinese Rice dish to share with the group. We dropped Katie at her class and her pride was shining through for all to see. The great thing was that she was able to experience that pride with so many different children that have backgrounds that cover the globe. After we set up the social hall, we got to watch the children walk in and the excitement was palpable as they found their families and got to check out all of their friends finery. Then they got to sample a variety of very tasty foods from those countries and sing wonderful songs.

It was all possible and absolutely wonderful because of the leadership in the school and the dedicated staff and parents that carried it off.

Later, when Katie came home and she opened up her backpack and there was her report card. The following comments brought us a great deal of pride.

"Katie is a sweet, kind and cooperative child who is very mature for her age. She has adjusted well to Pre-K. Her verbal and motor skills are good and she knows all of her letters and most of her numbers in 4 languages! During class discussions she raises her hand and patiently waits her turn. She is not only at ease with her adoption and her Chinese heritage, she is proud of them and enjoys teaching the class the numbers in Chinese. She is a joy to have in class."

We could not be any prouder of her or her school. We love how they have embraced our daughter and all of the facets of her life. As Katie faces life as a member of a minority race, I am so gratified that the school is on the same page as we are in setting the bar for her sense of self. There is nothing in my estimation that is more important than that!

Here are a few pictures from today's festivities.


Katie's contribution on the table




Here comes the children










The nontraditional Marc in the traditional head dress of Trinidad