I thought I would have to teach my daughter about the world; turns out I have to teach the world about her. They see a girl who doesn't speak,
I see a miracle who doesn't need words.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Family Time!!

October and November were great months for family time and celebrating.  In October Aaron's mom, Aunt Barbara, Uncle Louie and our nephew Jack came to visit and as an added bonus, his cousin Dawn surprised us as well!

Aaron and his Mom  
Uncle Louie, Aunt Barbara, Dawn, myself and Aaron

Cousin Time!
My mother-in-law, Uncle Louie and Aunt Barbara are in Niagara Falls, NY, Dawn is in Buffalo and Jack is in Rochester, NY - needless to say it's a long trip and we don't get to visit nearly as much as we wish we could. 

Zach was thrilled to have some time with his cousin Jack. 

...and so were Aunt Donna and Uncle Aaron!

Alex celebrated her 14th birthday in November and since we've never been able to celebrate with them we had an early birthday party for her.

Aunt Barbara, Dawn, me, my mother-in-law Beverly and Alex

Jack, Aaron, Alex, Uncle Louie and Zach

Alex loves her crazy Uncle Lou Lou (as we loving refer to him as) - we all do!

We enjoyed some nights out by the fire pit...

...and enjoyed snuggling in the mornings...

 ...and lots of love in between!

It was an awesome 3 days and we were so sorry to see them leave - time went way too fast.

Speaking of Alex's birthday, I think she celebrated all month long!!

She had another early celebration with MeMe and Papa....

...and enjoyed more cake!

...and time with her most adoring fan.

The night before her birthday we went to my friend Sara's house (who literally has blow-ups on her lawn for E-V-E-R-Y occasion!) and she was kind enough to have a huge cake blow up out for Alex which she thought was pretty neat!

..and she had cupcakes with some of her friends and loved how loud everyone sang happy birthday to her!

On her actual birthday she celebrated with her friends at school and they made her this beautiful birthday card...

...and her wonderful teacher decorated the classroom door and the white board - she even had birthday napkins for her cupcakes :)

My friend Leslie discovered that Alex likes turtle pie - so that evening we celebrated with that!

Considering she has a feeding tube and doesn't take anything that's not blenderized by mouth, I would say she sampled enough cake, cupcakes and pie to last her for the entire year!
For Thanksgiving we had more family time and we were happy to be able to host Thanksgiving in our new home. 
Aaron's Dad and step-mom were able to come in from Rochester, and his Aunt Helen from Schenectady - we feel really blessed that they were able to make the long trip to be here with us. 
My father-in-law John, Aunt Helen, my mother-in-law Joan and Zach

The night before Thanksgiving Zach and his Grandpa were able to make memories by prepping one of the birds we were making that was going in the deep fryer.

...and Aunt Helen got to spend some quality time with her favorite "fur-nephew, Rudy!  Rudy LOVES Aunt Helen (again, we all do!)

My mom's cousin Madeline was able to come visit from Delaware and I haven't been able to spend time with her in years so I loved that she was able to be with us!

And it was nice for Aunt Helen and Madeline to visit again - they have not seen each other since Aaron and I were married  over 16 years ago!

I got to spend time with my beautiful nieces Abigail, (who was home from her first year at college at Mary Mount) and Emily.

Zach and his cousins

It wouldn't be Thanksgiving if I didn't have a picture of my dad carving the turkey.  I have a picture of him carving every single year - except one when they took a trip out of town back in 2000.

Aaron's dad and Joan...

I wish I would have taken pictures of all of the delicious cookies my mother-in-law made.  Joan, hands down, makes the most delicious homemade cookies - e.v.e.r.  I'm pretty sure the first words out of Zach's mouth were "Hi Grandma, did you bring me any chocolate chip cookies"?!? Her butterball cookies are one of my favorites!

Zach and Aunt Helen

Family Photos!

Shane, my brother-in-law with his Dad Leslie behind him, my brother Danny and my Dad

No caption needed - Alex with her Papa = happiness
Aunt Helen, my mom and Madeline
Me and my sister Dana
Emily, Shane, Dana and Abigail

All the ladies!  Madeline, Dana, Mom, Aunt Helen, Me and Alex, Emily, my sister's mother-in-law Pam, Abigail, my sister-in-law Twila and Joan
And the men!  My father-in-law John, Shane, his Dad Leslie, my brother Danny, my Dad, Aaron and Zach
I love spending time with our family - and I loved that so many of us were able to spend time together for the holiday when we typically can't.  We're grateful for the time they sacrificed to drive over 10 hours to be with us.  We are so looking forward to celebrating Christmas this week and enjoying more family time - and we will be missing all the family that we can't physically be with, but we'll be grateful for all of the quality time we just had!