January 14, 2014

Whew. And we're caught up.

I've noticed that when most bloggers disappear for a while, they come back with "I was just so busy this month!" or "Things got crazy and I just haven't had time to write." But for me it was the opposite. I went away from my blog because things were settling down. Life was hitting an incredible groove and I found that I just wanted to sit and ENJOY the things I would have typically been writing about. The Fall was incredible. Our new neighborhood was a joy to walk through during the season. We got pumpkins from our local feed mill. (Like 30 of them.) We had parties for Abiella's first year home. (Quite an incredible celebratory weekend really.) We had fires with friends out back and lots of pumpkin pie... it was just good. 

(Immediate disclaimer: Many of the photos in this post from Abi's Gotcha Day and Christmas festivities were taken by my talented sister Maddie. Thank you sister!)

Here are some photos from Abi's first Gotcha Day :)

Just magical. 

Throughout the next few months we made friends with folks in our new town, Abi began riding horses every week, and I had the joy of sitting on our couch with a cup of coffee 3 times a week and watching her incredible teachers and therapists come into our home and work with Abiella on core strength, cause and effect, independent movement and so many other skills. 

So blessed.
For Halloween, Abi was a bee. I mean come on. 

Here she is with her friend Charlotte at their awesome Trunk or Treat.

It was the best.

Then came Thanksgiving and Christmas. The holiday season signified a change in the tides. Not only was a new year approaching, but Abi's birthday (turning 3) meant many things. For one, we would be losing one of her teachers and rearranging our schedules to keep the therapies going. Second, all therapies would go on winter break for 1-3 weeks, and third Abi would be starting school in January. As these changes approached, we hunkered down, enjoyed the colder weather, decorated the house for Christmas and spent a lot of time with friends. There were music awards, Christmas work parties, friends' wedding festivities, friends turning 30, a holiday party with all my old girlfriends from college, Abi's first time going to the movies with her girlfriend Charlotte and more. 

Celebrating Ashley's 30th after our friends wedding the night before: air mattresses, pjs, breakfast casseroles, mimosas, and JTT :)  

When the week of Christmas finally hit, we celebrated with my dad, and then traveled to my grandmother's, spent an incredible night on the mountain with my mom and stepdad, and then returned to our home ready to welcome in a house full of guests from all over the country. The last 5 days of 2013 were spent with tons of homemade cookin', 3 meals a day with all 13 of us at the table in front of the fire, lots of time holding babies (Welcome to the family sweet Nephew Henry!!), and laughing until my sides were sore and my eyes couldn't stay open anymore. 1am would come quick and 6am would come even quicker. The house was full and happy and joyful and peaceful. In fact, after 3 days, I realized a few of us hadn't even left the house (like not stepped outside at all) and yet we hadn't even noticed. It was a dream, really. 

Best of all was seeing Abiella and Henry with each other for the first time. Cousins for life!

Matching PJ's handmade by their incredible grandmother, Nana Baa :)

We rang in the new year with Sean's mom cooking an incredible meal of lobster, steak, and veggies... Heck yes. It was divine.

Eventually, the house got quiet, the guests were gone and I was hit by the inevitable post-holiday blues. They were quickly swept away though by the winter storm that came in (exciting!) and then Abiella began school. Whattt?!!? Yep. Tis true. Abi is now attending school 3 hours a day 4 days a week... and I mean a big school with big kids and a cafeteria and a principal and a yearbook and everything. She receives incredible services there (PT, OT, Speech) all while being in a class with 9 of her peers. The first day I dropped her off, I cried as I drove away (predictable) and then sat with a coffee at Cracker Barrel and just looked at Sean with terror excitement in my eyes. I was excited, but oh so very nervous. Abi did great though. 

(Abi's first day of school!)

The second day she had even more fun, and I'm so thankful for the amazing blessings of early education programs, safe environments, and incredible teachers/therapists. Today I met the mom of one of Abi's classmates and she told me that Abi was very happy this morning when she saw her (after I dropped her off) and that made me breathe a sigh of gratitude. Whew.

Now, I sit here writing for the first time in months and it feels good. The new year has begun and with it brand new ventures.

Cheers to life, grand adventures and new beginnings :)

Happy 2014!

mae mae