2011… what a phenomenal year

Today is my birthday!  27 years old…  To be completely honest, I FORGOT how old I was (oh my god… is it too early to have dementia?) and I’ve been telling people that I was 27 for the whole last year!  Much to my surprise, I’m actually turning 27 today! lol… talk about getting a year of your life back. 😉

So, besides having completely lost track of my age, the last twelve months have been some of the best of my life.  With that being said, and the fact that a few days ago we started a brand new year, I think it may be an appropriate time for a little reflection.  Afterall, if I can’t even remember how old I am, whats to keep me from forgetting the events that made up the best year of my life thus far?

And for this reason-  A brief recap of 2011

January 2011:

I celebrated my 26th birthday as a first time foster momma to three amazingly wonderful kids who I miss something awful.  Ian took them shopping for my birthday and they each picked out a gift and card for me, each spending time looking for the perfect one.  I will cherish those cards forever.  We had just gotten a new jacuzzi on our back deck and we spent the unseasonably warm January evening cooking out, having a picnic on the back deck, and splashing around in the hot tub.

Night time picnic 🙂

Atlanta also experienced the snow/ice storm from hell- which equalled an extra 10 days of vacation for me!  One more advantage of being a school teacher 🙂

February 2011:

Saying goodbye to our first three children was heart breaking to say the least.  Although, knowing they were going home to their loving Momma made it easier.  9 days later, our lives were blessed with two new children… I can’t explain the love we have for all of our foster children, however, these two- we still hope and pray every day that they may become available for adoption at some point.  They are and always will be a part of our family.

❤ ❤

We also started a tradition of attending the Annual Fish Fry in Ian’s hometown in Minnesota!  It was a BLAST and I cannot wait to go again this year.  I even got to meet Ian’s beloved Grandma Odie- WHO IS ALSO A RED HEAD!! 🙂

March 2011:

March 2nd… The two children’s grandmother regained custody.  Have you ever cried so hard you couldn’t breathe?  Multiply that by about 100… that’s how I felt.  Horrible day… one of the worst.  But what I learned from those children… and hopefully what they learned from us… is what kept me going.  After dropping them off at DFACS, I couldn’t imagine going home to an empty house, so I drove to Target and walked all through the store, sobbing uncontrollably. Pathetic and pitiful, I know…I’m sure people thought I was insane.  By the time I finally made my way home, three more children- 3 girls this time- were waiting on my porch with their DFACS worker and needing a place to stay.  I gladly welcomed them and they lived with us for the next six months!

March 8th was a day I will NEVER forget.  WE FOUND OUT WE WERE EXPECTING A BABY OF OUR VERY OWN!!

Read about it HERE!!! 

We also planned a family trip to Las Vegas for my little brother’s 21st birthday!! This is where Ian and I shared our BIG NEWS with my amazing family 🙂 🙂

April 2011: 

  • Easter Egg hunts and making Easter eggs with the girls 🙂
  • Ian’s 28th birthday
  • Lots of weekend trips- Charleston (girl’s first time at the beach!), Augusta, Athens (girls’ first Georgia Bulldogs football game)

goo dawgs!

May 2011:

Made our baby news public 🙂

My facebook status from that special day 🙂

Our first ultrasound 🙂

Our first baby picture 🙂

First Annual Rib Cook-off at our house

"Aint nobody touchin' those ribs but me!" says Ava

Bought my new soccer mom car- plenty of room for plenty for babies and doggies 🙂

JUNE 2011:

We found out that we are having a baby BOY!!!

JULY 2011:

Lots of travelling- North Carolina for Ian’s sister’s wedding shower and a trip up the East Coast with my family!  I LOVE having summers off!

New York, New York with the whole Famn Damily

August 2011:

Back to school

Put the baby nursery together– read about it HERE!!

We made it to the THIRD TRIMESTER!

SEPTEMBER 2011:

The month of LOVE ❤ ❤ ….. AND…..

Weddings, weddings, weddings!!  ITS TIME TO CELEBRATE!

Ian’s sister’s wedding in Charleston, one of my best friend’s weddings in my hometown in Wisconsin, and OUR FIRST WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!

And I can’t forget to mention an AMAZING surprise baby shower with AMAZING FRIENDS… some that I hadn’t seen for years.

AND we got maternity photos taken by Jessica Gutzman 🙂

OCTOBER 2011:

Our hospital tour, which made this whole pregnancy thing even more “real”

ANOTHER fantastic baby shower thrown by one of my best friends from college

And we finally made it– FULL TERM!!

NOVEMBER 2011:

OUR WHOLE LIFE CHANGED WHEN WE WERE BLESSED WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BABY BOY IN THE WORLD ON NOVEMBER 15.  Read all about it HERE!!

DECEMBER 2011:

Enjoying every single second of maternity leave with Baby Graeson.  I can’t stand the thought of having to go back to work- even if its not for another month and a half!

Our first Christmas as a family of three was unforgettable.  We have never felt so incredibly blessed.

So, as you can see… 2011 is a year that I never want to forget- not even one second of… It was full of more joy than I have ever known, tears, heart ache, and growth– not only my belly, but also individually and as a family.

So thankful,

Andrea

XOXO

Oh, and because it is my birthday, could you please click the box below to vote for my blog??  😉  I’m trying my best at the guilt trip… 😉

Thanks!

2 thoughts on “2011… what a phenomenal year

    • Thank you for saying that- truly the rewards outweigh all the difficulties that come along with it though. I have learned so much about myself and have become a better parent and teacher because of those children. They helped me more than I could ever do for them. 🙂 🙂

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