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  • Ashley

Holidays, Holidays, and More Holidays...and it's a New Year!

Hello everyone! It is officially 2018...and that is seriously hard to believe. It's hard not to think back on the year while you are ringing in the new one, and that is exactly what we did this past weekend...

So were amazing, difficult, sad, wonderful, surprising, and the list goes on and on. For me, I lost my last living grandpa, one of my aunts who desperately wanted to meet our little one, and my soul dog. My heart hurts more than I can even put into words when I think about all we lost in 2017. I hate change, and these changes were big and heart-shattering. I had someone not long ago say they are impressed with how well I am doing after the difficult year we had and with adjusting to life with a little one. I simply said thank you and that I am trying. But here is the real answer...some nights I cry myself to sleep because looking down next to my side of the bed and not seeing Stormy still hurts like hell. The holidays were a struggle because everything is different without my grandpa, and the first holiday I had with my dad's side of the family in a long time was great, but heart-wrenching without my aunt. Everyone felt the loss of these two, but we pushed through and we smiled because we still have a lot to be thankful for. Yes, I am doing better than I expected, but there are days that get to me, days where I want nothing more than to go back in time for just five minutes, but then Everly does something that makes my heart happy or Sadie does something that makes me giggle, and I smile, and for a little bit, I feel better. But just like everyone else, I face challenges...we are all fighting something, so I just try to be nice and understanding to others and to myself. We are all in this together and are making the most out of every second we are given. we celebrated with Vince's side and then with my side of the family on Thanksgiving Day, and then went black Friday shopping. Everly loved it and even ate her own sweet potatoes while we ate our yummy meal. She made everyone smile and be thankful for what we have and who we were with.

My favorite time of the year started promptly after we finished our Thanksgiving meal...the house was decorated and presents were being bought. Christmas music became socially acceptable to be listened to (even though I had already been listening for a couple weeks...shhh!). Everly loved the lights, the trees, the wrapped presents, and Santa...well, the first time... ;) We had a total of five gatherings and boy was Everly a trooper. She smiled, she charmed everyone, and she loved opening gifts! Watching Christmas through child's eyes is completely magical!

Christmas break has been amazing...I am so thankful Vince and I have jobs where we get to be home for the holidays. But it is also bittersweet...going back to work on Wednesday is going to be so hard for us. Being home with Everly and the fur babies has been so wonderful and makes me long for spring break and of course summer, while at the same time not wanting to wish the months away.

We celebrated the new year and Everly even stayed awake to watch the ball drop, but crashed hard by 12:30. Most have resolutions, and I am no different...yes, I want to drop a few (or several) pounds and eat better...just get healthier, but I also am planning on journaling every day of this new year. I'm excited about this and hope I can keep up with it. It is something I have always wanted to do, but now with Everly, I feel it will be a good way to remember the little things of every day.

A few other tidbits...Everly seems to enjoy Mommy and Daddy's basketball games and cheerleaders just as much as the football games! We met with another couple (who live only 45 minutes from us) who are adopting from the Japan program through Faith. We are so excited to schedule playdates in the future so our little cherry blossoms can be close. We feel it is so important for both of them. Everly is saying "Mama" and "Baba" (whatever that is) like crazy...Dada is pretty down about the lack of "Dada" being said. She still loves any baby food with squash and sweet potatoes mixed in, and now loves baby food with blueberries! She is starting to like yogurt and juice (but prefers water). And the most exciting update yet, we have spoken with our lawyer and we are starting the process of finalizing our adoption. We have two more home visits and then we can go to court and make her legally and officially our girl. So by the middle to end of February, we should be finalizing! Yay!

Well, that about sums up the last two months. We wish you all a happy new year! Here's to a wonderful 2018 for all of us! And of course, here is the overload of photos you have all come to expect from me! Haha! :)

6 Month Photos...Beauty and the Beast Theme...


7 Month Photos...Pocahontas Theme!

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

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