Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Very Special Gift

I received a very special gift from my Grandpa yesterday.

My Grandpa is a very special man in my life. He has been the only constant male figure for me. He helped raise me and actually walked me down the aisle. He is a very traditional, proud man too, which has led to some nice disagreements over the years... particularly in my teenage years. I'm pretty sure I'm the only grand-kid who has ever really talked back to him and told him he was stubborn! He taught me how to be wise with my money, since my parents were not the best examples in that department, and taught me how to barter :) I have never paid full price for any appliances I've ever bought! He has been very generous with his money and time throughout his life. He is very mission-minded, giving to charity, volunteered for various organizations and loaned money with out an expectation of repayment. He believes once he has loaned money it is gone, repayment is a nice surprise. Because he is such a great man and so generous, it makes you want to prove yourself to him and pay back every cent. I was so proud that he was proud when I paid off my loans from him. I hope I continue to make him proud :)

This past year has been really rough on my grandparents. They are in their late eighties and Grandpa's health has taken a noticeable turn for the worse. The stress has affected my Grandma's health too. My mom is the main overseer of everything medical for him too, so I hear everything first hand. He has been in a lot of pain this year and in and out of lucidity, depending on the day. It is hit or miss whether we will get a good visiting day or not.

My Grandma had already given Jon and I a bit of a donation towards our "Bring Sofie Home" fund which I assumed was from both of them. Yesterday I stopped in for a visit with Livi, which I usually do a couple times a month. Grandpa asked Grandma to go and get "the envelope". He reread the note inside it and handed it to me apologizing that his writing has gotten smaller and shaky and he hoped I could read it ...

In case you can't read it, it says "Dear anxious and Hopeful Parents! Here is waiting and with much prayer that highlights you forth. May you be richly blessed! Love Grandparents with love, I & A Schmidt." A check for the same amount that Grandma had given us was in the envelope, doubling their donation. (I did clarify that with Grandma that this was a lucid decision. She said the first gift was from her and this was from Grandpa. I like how they have "separate" money at their age!)

The money is such a blessing to us right now, as we are already using borrowed money to pay for the adoption costs, but the effort for the note and his attitude towards this adoption is priceless. On visits that my Grandpa has been able to talk, he has always asks about our adoption, though he may not remember all the details :) He can't write as well as he used to and it takes a lot of effort for him. He worked long and hard on the note but wasn't happy with it. He wanted to throw it out and start again. Grandma stopped him and told him "it is perfect". She is the most gracious and beautiful woman I know. I'm thankful she stopped him from throwing it out. His note outlines his attitude and the support that he has been through this whole process. Even though he is a little more traditional in his thinking, he completely understands our journey and acknowledges it!  This is not something we have encountered from the senior population.

It means so much to me that he acknowledged how anxious and hopeful we truly are. He is waiting with us, not just watching from the sidelines. My grandparents actually adopted their sixth child through a private, domestic adoption. They know what it is like to be adoptive parents. Unlike some of Grandpa's peers, he better understands what we are doing and has only taken notice of Sofie's Down Syndrome once or twice. Sofie will be his beloved great-granddaughter first and foremost. He mostly doesn't understand why it costs so much, but that is the Mennonite in him talking. He thinks there is corruption in the governments for the prices to be so high :)

Lets Keep It Real

This post really hit home for me. It is taken from a blog I occasionally read called Under His Wing (I linked it for you). The family has recently adopted 2 little girls from Bulgaria. I thought it might be interesting for you all to... maybe it will shed some light on the ups and downs that we might be going through once Sofie is home. 

Lets Keep It Real....

Honesty? Bleck... I hate keeping it real on this blog. To many people read it that I probably put up a pretty good front for. Well, actually I guess it is not really a front, it is just a matter of only sharing and showing the good stuff. And the good stuff is real, but so is that hard stuff, and that is what I don't like to share.

But sharing the hard stuff is important. It is important because I have found it is all to easy to feel isolated in the struggles one has with raising kids, let alone raising children adopted from orphanges over seas and those same children with disabilities that make progress even harder, and ever sweeter! [Was that a run on sentence? ;)]

The girls have been home from Bulgaria for 8 months now. Lets start with the GOOD, well the FABULOUS really.

Miss Yana is doing amazingly well! I mean, truly, sincerely, completely, and honestly WELL! She has my heart and I feel like I am almost at 100% of having that genuine "mommy" feeling towards her at all times.

I know we all like to think that in adoption, one that we worked so hard to make happen, and waited so long for, that that "mommy feeling" is immediate and overwhelming and solid. Well, are you sitting down? Because I am here to tell you "that ain't the way it is!".

You see, first it starts with a overwhelmingly tender feeling every time you dream of your little one or look at their picture. Then you meet them, and most times you still have the feeling. Then you have them home and it is one moment at a time... sometimes you love them so much it hurts and sometimes you feel like you are babysitting someone else's kid and truth be told, a really strange and unlikeable kid at that! [And that is just the highly condensed version!] [I will add that this was with the adoption of the 3 that were older. Luke, adopted as an infant, took all of about 5 seconds to win 100% of my heart. That is the blessing of newborn adoption. :)]

Relationships take time. Building good memories to get you through the hard moments and days and weeks takes time. Getting to know someone, knowing them in a way that someone else doesn't takes time. Letting love grow from a choice into a genuine feeling takes time. And to make things harder yet, there is no time line for how much time it takes! 

Now back to miss Yana. I love this little girl!! Her smiles make me smile, her joy fills my heart with joy, her achievments no matter how small make me want to shout and do the Arsenio Hall "Wuh, wuh, wuh" with my fist.

I find it amazing that this little girl, who had NO ONE for 7 1/2 years, who attached to no one, who had no communication besides crying when hungry is following her MAMA ALL OVER THE HOUSE. She wants attention and she wants it now! If mama isn't home, then she will find someone... usually her big sister Quincy who is a sucker like me and picks her up all the time! :)

She is getting so strong. She now will slap our hands to play pat-a-cake and other games. No more wimpy, half hearted attempts. She crawls very quickly and does not seem to tire easily. She is learning to be pulled to a standing position by bending her knees! That is huge! I am trying to teach her to bounce, but she doesn't seem to have the knee muscles yet... She will stand for just a couple of seconds, sometimes as much as 10 if she doesn't realize it :). Her personality is jsut growing by leaps and bounds. She makes eye contact, demands engagement, and knows what she wants. She will crawl to her highcghair when hungry. She will search for a specific toy, even remembering sometimes where she last saw it! She is making many letter sounds, and almost has me convinced she says her name. She did not make any sounds beside hissing and spitting and grunting when she came home except randomly on accident it seemed.

Our little girl who had no personality, no opinion, no autonomy is becoming an assertive, engaging, opinionated ball of joy within the safety and love of HER family! She is alive and loving it!!

She has such a long way to go though. She still only eats from a bottle. She needs to learn to walk. Potty training ... well we don't need to discuss what isn't happening do we? ;) The fact is she is doing great, and while occassionally I still get worn out with all the annoying, and sometimes embarrassing orphange behaviors... She is my daughter in my heart and I find her amazing. It seemed like a long road to this point, but looking back it seems to have flown by.


Now for the hard. Little Miss Tavi. I will start by saying things are going well. And maybe if I didn't have the twin process of Yana to compare it to I would even say things are going great!? But I can't say that for sure.

The thing is Tavi was "supposed" to be able to bond better. At least according to all the text books and articles I read. She did have a special caregiver. She was favored by orphanage staff, adored by some. She received better nutrition, was in a good group of kids, and got around very well.

But she is not bonding well. Her emotions are not engaged. Oh she shows happiness readily enough. She even cries sometimes. But not really when she should. If she gets "yelled at" or "in time out" or some other thing that conveys displeasure she appears clueless.... sometimes she will draw into herself a little bit, but not much. If she gets hurt she will occassionally cry, or laugh, or hit herself and laugh... but that is the exception not the norm.

She appears to LOVE everyone. She is so exicted to be picked up by someone new. She does not like coming back to me. I know that some people take this as she loves them to pieces, and I like to see Tavi happy, but I do get irritated to and want to say "You know, she really doesn't care about you at all..."

I CRAVE a sincere emotion from my 5 year old daughter. I CRAVE REAL interaction from her. My heart is longing for her to see me as more than the constant care taker who represent sameness, boring routine, been there done that kind of things. I dont' care if it is extreme dislike, I just want it to be genuine.

She is still living in her shell, and I am constantly brain storming and searching for a trigger to let her break free. She is a sensory addict. She craves tactile input. She loves to be thrown in the air, spun around, wrestled with, snuggled up tight, rocked, carried around like she's riding a pony and so on.

She is obsessed with that stuff so much, from absolutely anyone, that I am developing an aversion to interacting with her like that. How's that for real? :(

It is such a hard thing to figure out. I know the rules of no holding or hugs except from immediate family... but when you can not see, and your eyes are your other senses, esp. touch... what is the answer?

Part of me knows I just need to give it more time. I really hate that word! How many times do we have to "give it more time" in the adoption world?!

She is a brave and independent little girl. She will roam around most new places securely figuring out her environment. But then, if you put her on the potty, or in a chair or on the floor in a way that conveys "break time" she will sit frozen and I am guessing for HOURS! The most I have given it is 45 minutes! I just want to scream at her sometimes to "be normal". But again, I know to "give it time."

Now just let me say, my heart loves her dearly, but the fact is choosing to love her happens still more often than being overcome with that "mommy feeling" towards her. I don't like it, but that is the way things are.

And I am confident that time will work things out. I have been praying about the relationship Tavi and I have often lately. I am confident that God is not only listening, but working things out for the good of my family!

I am her mommy. She has me for life.
 I guess you could say she "had me at hello". She will find herself someday. She will have her whole family behind her every step of the way!

Love is growing, it is just still under construction. The paint is still wet. The Lord just isn't finished yet.

Being confident of the outcome can still leave me quite emotionally spent in the process though. So in an effort to encourage others, in an effort to encourage international adoption, in an effort to communicate real struggles I decided to share a bit of my heart.

But even with all my scattered emotions, Tavi John still does amaze me! 

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Is it actually spring now? I think it is. The weather this week has been mostly fantastic and couldn't have come at a better time. The winter blues were getting to me. I needed to be reminded why we moved to Chilliwack again... OUR BACK YARD! I love it. Plus, we are just around the corner from a school with two pretty fun play grounds. Each day it hasn't been raining we've rode Livi's bike to the school and played hard! I'm loving the sleeps I'm getting out of her because of it.

 She is getting really good on her run-bike now!

 Climbing the rock wall! She was such a Pro on it! 
It freaked Mommy and Daddy out a bit but she didn't even blink at the over 6 foot wall!


 The school has a fun wiggly, rocking balance beam that she enjoyed!
She was "smiling" for the camera here :)

 Learning to pump on the swing.

 She wanted to climb everything, just like the big kids!

 This was the scariest ladder on the play ground...
I don't think she liked that Mommy was underneath taking pictures. She did it all by herself though!
 We wouldn't let her try this alone, so Jon helped. 

 My big girl!

Surprisingly the only picture taken in the back yard this week. 
Drawing on herself and not the ground, as usual.
I like this picture :) Morning hair!

Monday, March 21, 2011

World Down Syndrome Day!

World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated on the 21st day of the 3rd month each year to signify triplication of the 21st chromosome. It is a day to raise awareness for what Down Syndrome is, is not, and how people with Down Syndrome play an important role in our lives and communities.

I was welcomed in to the life of Maggy when I was 16 years old. She, who has Down Syndrome, came to live with us because her parents had passed away and her sister didn't want her unless she could get paid to keep her. She was just shy of 250lbs and 4'6 tall. She threw tantrums to get what she wanted and her quality of life was diminishing. She wasn't valued and dealt with that by overeating and throwing tantrums. Her original doctor even told us that she didn't have any other pleasures in her life so we should continue to let her eat whatever she wanted... We switched doctors.

It didn't take long for Maggy to love and trust us all. Because of her our family was changed for the better. Maggy lost 150lbs and stopped throwing tantrums. I believe that our family was saved by Maggy. All us kids were in the midst of our angry teenage years and Maggy taught us too focus on something other and bigger than ourselves. For example, even though my brother wouldn't talk to anyone, he would go and tuck Maggy in to say goodnight each night. That eventually led to him talking to us again. I know I've told that story before but it was a huge turning point for all of us. Maggy was and still is a un-judging shoulder to cry on and listening ear for all of us. She is still the worlds best hugger :) In every sense of the word that matters Maggy is my sister and I love her with all my heart!

I always knew I wanted to include a people with Down Syndrome in the family that I grow as well and I was blessed enough to get a husband who wanted the same thing! We didn't know exactly how that would come about until I proposed adopting a little girl to Jon last January. It was not a big debate. It wasn't a question of whether we should adopt who we now know is Sofie, but how we were going to make it happen.

I am literally filled with bubbles of anticipation for Sofie to come home. I can't imagine how much she is going to bless our family and I can't wait to find out! I think next years World Down Syndrome Day is going to be a very different personal feel for me :)

Down Syndrome is not a disease. People with DS do not suffer from it.
It is genetic, just as brown hair and blue eyes. It is there at conception. 
People with DS are someones child, grand-child, sibling, co-worker, friend, lover, even parent.
People with DS can contribute to society just like any other person can.
Please do not think of people with Down Syndrome in terms of what they can't do...
Only look at them in terms of what they can do. 
They should not be underestimated or under valued.
They are human, just like you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


  1. I got word yesterday that our agency got our official proposal for Sofie and it is in the mail! We should get it tomorrow!!! This is a huge step forward and it actually came earlier than expected! I was told that it would that the MOJ and Hague Convention 2-3 months to get the proposal to us... we got it within a month of Bulgaria receiving our request! Just two months after we mailed it off! We should receive the original documents in the mail before the end of the week too sign and officially accept Sofie. The next step is waiting for our court date!
  2. Last weekend my sisters, bro-in-law, Jon and I did some much needed yard work in our/our mom's yard. It isn't completely done yet but we got all the big stuff done. We cut a bunch of over grown branches off our blue spruce in the front yard, trimmed back some juniper bushes that hadn't been touched in years, and pulled out four overgrown junipers from the front yard. We got all this done in the rain too! It looks like a big mud pit right now but there is now some potential! It is a great start for me to get it looking nice this spring and summer with Livi (and Sofie!) running around and exploring our huge yard!
  3. Jon let his bosses know that he is interested in a advanced position. A position hasn't been posted yet but there was a notice sent out wondering who would be interested. This would mean a raise and the opportunity to do some teaching in the field of community living! It would be pretty perfect and is the next logical step up the ladder! Governments never move quickly but we are hoping that something comes of this!
  4. We got to enjoy some good friends that we haven't seen in almost two years over for supper last night! We got to reminisce over our college years which was a lot of fun but made me feel really old!
  5. My best friend in Winnipeg had a little baby boy on Sunday. I am so excited for her! Little Toby came in to the world almost 7 weeks early but he is doing so well! He is going to be such a little blessing. I really wish I could go out there to meet him... one day I will, if we ever have money again :)
  6. My Lent has been going really well. I started reading my Henri Nouwen book and am allowing myself to start speak more freely about prayer... something I am not comfortable with. I have been doing really well on the self-denial part. To be honest, I didn't think I'd make it this far without sugar but it has been easier than I thought. I thought the beginning would be the most difficult part but I think I was wrong. I haven't had any sugary foods except for eating what I thought was a healthy nutty, berry granola bar on day 1, only to realize later that sugar was the number 4 ingredient. I haven't made that same mistake and have been fine with out it! I definitely have had my evening cravings but I just think of Sofie and what she is all going without! I've also been focusing, this week, on what God has done for me in my life. I am so blessed. No red meat and poultry has been a little more difficult than I thought. Funny how I thought the sugar would be harder than the meat. I just really need to plan all my meals better so I have all the protein I need and don't get shaky and eat something crappy. That seems to be when I crave the sugar most too. 8 days in to Lent so far! I'll expand on this more further in to lent I think. 
  7. Livi used the big toilet tonight without having to use a stool to step up on. I haven't measured her in a few months but she must have grown! She is taking pride in how big she is too, saying things like "I'm growing up so big like Mommy!" or "I am big, just like Daddy! Right?" I love my little weirdo :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lovely Livi

Livi has been taking off lately! We are just amazed by how fast she is accomplishing different things. The most amazing feat has been her writing. She began with Daddy's Valentine's card. I put dots for her to trace, helped her hold the pen properly and held her wrist steady. She did really well. I was quite proud...

A week and a half later she wrote a birthday card for her Daddy. I again made the dots, but only outlined the letter with my finger before she did it all by herself! I was SERIOUSLY proud!...

This is what she has been doing lately! She tells me the words she wants me to write and just goes at it :) It is her "work" while I am doing my work on the computer. I love it!...

It is not new information that Livi is talkative. She speaks clearly and pointedly about everything. It has its pros and cons! Lately though, she has been coming up with some pretty hilarious sayings...

-After stubbing her toe, and walking over to me, she cried "I CAN'T WALK!"
-She fell down and scraped her knee, crying she said "A prune will help me!" She loves prunes and thinks they are basically candy.
-"Excuse me! I farted!"... a few seconds later "Oh! I farted again! Mommy I fart A LOT!"
-Me: "Livi you are getting so big!"
Livi: "I know! I'm growing up big... Just like Mommy!"
-"What's a penis for?" ... She asked this to her Daddy and he epically failed in his response! I think he was caught off guard :) He started laughing!... Then told her that that was adult talk but did manage to explain it was for peeing. Not convinced that was the most holistic response he could have given :S

Okay, I just typed those out and realized how dramatic she sounds. She is dramatic... and quite the little performer. She puts on dance shows for me daily and frequently sings too. I wouldn't be surprised if she ends up being a comedian either because she is always joking and pretending with us. She also has a bit of a quirky sense of humor. She makes funny faces at us, even though she knows the answer to something she'll say the wrong thing and double over laughing, and she'll do funny walks and moves just to make us laugh. Such a goof-ball!

She also has the makings of an imaginary friend. She calls it 'Giant'. I love it! Jon is a little unsure of it's appearance but I think it is a good sign of a creative imagination! I think Giant was born from the furnace room which opens in to our hallway. The furnace makes a noise when it comes on and startles Livi and somehow that became a Giant in the hallway. I didn't want her to be afraid of anything so I encouraged her to talk to the Giant and invite it to play with her.... Now they run around the house together, jump on the bed together, she tries to give him her food and I get her to eat things she is unsure of by saying something like "Eat you dinner quick before Giant gets it!"

She is too smart for her own good and rapidly learning how to do everything herself. She can mostly undress herself. She still needs some help with her tops and boots, but shoes are no problem. Once I help her with want foot goes in what hole she can pull her pants up. She goes pee and washes her hands all by herself when we are at home, but I do occasionally find the entire roll of toilet paper unrolled on the floor because she forgets to wipe and instead has fun spinning it. She is a pro and making coffee with Daddy and only serves us coffee from her tea set. She has also become quite tech-savvy. Her fluent ability to use my iPhone, navigate between her games and even buy food for her virtual giraffe once (I was not too happy about that one!) spurred my mom in to buying an iPhone to keep up with the technology! She can also change DVD's in the Xbox! Jon is super impressed with his little tech gamer... Me? Not so much.
Playing her puzzle app on "her" phone.

Right now Livi is very congested. I think the last time she had a cold that lasted more than 36 hours she was about 6 months old. She never gets sick so I'm not really sure what to do other than keep the steamer on. She missed her nap today because she couldn't breath through her nose to suck on her soother and actually sleep. She finally did get a late nap but then didn't fall asleep until almost 10! I think we are in for a long night. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Ash Wednesday is tomorrow. This marks the beginning of Lent. Being Mennonite I have never really observed this season. In college I played at observing it a few times. I gave up soda, but not all sugary drinks, or Bailey's but not all alcohol, or I chose the practice of having Sunday's off from the self-denial. It was very one tiered too. I did not participate in the prayer, penitence and alms-giving tiers of the Lent season. Only my pseudo-attempt at self-denial.

This year I feel like I need to refocus. I want to do this Lent thing right and I really want to get something out of observing Lent this year. I want to remember and explore what Jesus has done for me. I want to experience some real self-denial and co-suffering. I'm not thinking that giving up some type of food or entertainment is, in any way, going to let me experience the type of suffering that Jesus has endured. But, being as self-gratifying and undisciplined as I am, I think that this will be a really good learning experience for me. In thinking about co-suffering, Sofie is close in my thoughts here too. She does not know how much she really is suffering. She is malnourished. At only 6 inches shorter than Livi, she is nearly half her weight at 18lbs. I am her mother and I think it is quite fitting for some co-suffering to take place.

Prayer has been a lost practice in my life. In recent years, I have openly said that I do not pray. I do not think that this is entirely true anymore. I think the prayer has been very bastardized by the church for me and I didn't know what true prayer was. I believe that I always was praying, just not in the Evangelical sense of the word. I think I was practicing it more in the sense of worship and experiencing God through life in general. Don't get me wrong, I think that there is more to prayer than this and that is what I am hoping to explore through this Lent. How will prayer take more of a role in my life and how am I going to model that for Livi? I want to explore prayer as spontaneous utterances, not just self-serving as I have been taught. I want to find or develop a creedal statement for myself. I want to explore old hymns that I had once loved so much.

I think I'm generally good at acknowledging my sins but find the reconciliation part to be a little difficult, especially in areas where I feel righteous. I think that there is great potential for this part of Lent to really surprise and change me. I'm not sure how exactly I'm going to explore this but I think through the self-denial and prayer my journey may reveal some much needed penance that I was unaware of.

The last important part of Lent is Alms-giving. Because of the adoption, we don't really have any "alms" to give but I do have some paper work and creating for Chosen Children that I have greatly been procrastinating. This is my time to get it done. I want to take a few hours each week to sit down and accomplish and create what I feel so passionately about.

What is this Lent going to look like for me?
For self-denial: I'm going to give up red meat and poultry. I going to still allow myself to have seafood since being the cook in the family I think my husband might shoot me if I didn't at least make that. Just giving up meat would be an "easy" choice for Lent since I've been heading that way in recent months anyway. The other thought that kept popping in to my head was to give up sugar. This will be difficult for me. I debated about even telling anyone because then I have to be accountable, but I guess accountability is a good thing, right? I'm not going to be so stringent against sugar that I can't eat bread if it has a bit of sugar in it, but I'm going to try to not eat any explicatively sugary foods and not add any sugar to my teas or oatmeal. I'm going to still allow myself fruit of course and probably a bit of honey every once in a while too. I'm not sure that I'm going to perfectly succeed in denying myself sugar but I want to give it a shot!

For prayer: I want to do some reading and meditation. I'm not much for reading but there is a Henri Nouwen book I have been wanting to read. I'm also hoping that some of you guys can help me with this part. Are there any prayers, blessings, versus, creeds, songs, etc... that you would like to share with me through out this season? You could email or facebook me them. Let me know some practices that you do! I would really appreciate it!

I already said that I don't know what to do or expect for the penance part but I'm excited to see what I learn about this aspect through my self-denial and prayer. And as for alms-giving I plan to give my time and get a lot of the Chosen Children stuff done that I've been procrastinating. I do not plan too take Sundays off from Lent either. I think I would just binge on those days and it kind of defeats the idea of cleansing too. So, wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Birthday My Love!

My husband is 30! I keep calling him old man... Is that mean of me? It is all in good fun. Who am I to talk anyway? I'm only a year and a half behind him!

I love him so much and he has become such an incredible man, husband, father, lover, provider, friend, and confidant. He has come so far since I first met him and I respect him more each day.

On his actual birthday, my family all met him and a friend of his for dinner at Boston Pizza. Livi and I decided to give Jon a tattoo for his birthday! Well, part of a tattoo. "We" decided to use some of the birthday money that he had got from his Grandparents to begin a tattoo he has wanted since we knew we were pregnant. He wanted a page from the wild rumpus of Where the Wild Things Are. It was his favorite childhood book.

Saturday morning was the appointment and we couldn't be happier with how it is turning out. I had spoke in detail with Deborah, the tattoo artist, that we did not know when we would be able to complete the tattoo, so it needed to look completed for the $200 that we could pay her. She said that she could get the outline for at least three of the characters done and we could add color and characters when we could afford it. When she was just about done she told Jon that she wanted to complete the rest of it for him as a gift if he would allow her to photograph it for her portfolio! We were so excited! What a gift!

There is a better picture on facebook but this is all the blog is getting for now.

Saturday night was Jon's birthday party with friends. Because of the snow, it didn't quite go off as planned but was still a lot of fun! We missed the belly dancer at dinner but had a lot of fun enjoying Afghan food and lounge seating! We had Dad's Lime Mouse Cheesecake back at a friends house for dessert before going to see Tyranahorse play (our friends band). I was a little tired by that point but it was fun and the snow in the downtown east-side was gorgeous!

 The Birthday "Boy"
Our fabulous friends who opened up their home for the evening! ... and morning :)
Jon's sister and brother in law! They came all the way over from the Island!
Those straws are from a huge signature drink that we shared at the restaurant :)
The newly-weds!
More pictures will be added once I get them! This is all that was on my camera!!! Sorry Liz :(

I'm still re-cooperating and need to catch up on my sleep but it was worth it. I can't wait to see what the next 30 years brings for Jon and I'm so blessed to be a part of it!

I love you babe :)