December 27, 2010

Scenes from Christmas Morning

Now she's smiling!
The kids made Joe a wooden bi-plane for his office.
Andrew & Marguerite with Andrew's stocking stuffer slinky.
Santa did not forget about Kathleen's special diet.
From Kathleen to Marguerite. She wrote one of these for each of us. So sweet! 
Marguerite & Kathleen check out Therese's new "styling head."
Anna Marie and the boys enjoy a book about the NFL.
Therese, in her new princess costume, with her Matryoshka dolls and book—all the way from Russia.
This scene is so 1970's.
Christmas gifts this year included snow skis (which we had to try on again and again in the family room, of course).
Sorry, Marguerite. Boots, not snow skis, will have to do for this year. 

Christmas Photos

A few snapshots of the family bright and early on Christmas morning, before we walked out the door for Mass.

Posing for photos was not Marguerite's cup of tea this Christmas morning.

William, Therese, Marguerite, Anna Marie, Kathleen, & Andrew—Christmas 2010.
Ready to head out to the door to Mass. Gifts will follow.
(Andrew needs to give half his smile to Marguerite.)
William & Andrew—"How long until presents, Mom?"
Joe & Elizabeth, Christmas 2010
Still trying to get Marguerite to smile for a Christmas photo.

December 26, 2010

Christmas Eve

A year ago on Christmas Eve, we awoke to the amazing realization that Marguerite would be with us forever. At the stroke of midnight on the night of December 23rd, the revocation period ended. Christmas Eve last year was one big happy, tired celebration.

This year, with renewed energy and feeling a whole lot less sleep-deprived, we celebrated a much more mellow Christmas, remembering fondly the year that has passed since Marguerite entered our lives.

Staying home, we cooked our usual feast—an array of finger foods, with a seafood focus. 

Following the meal, Joe read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to the kids, followed by Luke's account of Jesus' birth. The little ones tracked Santa's progress on the Norad Santa Radar site, and went to bed with visions of Legos, dolls, and Nerf guns in their heads.

The kids are sprinkling "reindeer dust" on the front lawn, so Santa's reindeer will be able to find some sustenance when they arrive.
Christmas Eve dinner.
Using the tablecloth that Grandma Carolyn brought us from Italy.
Oh, we miss Grandma Carolyn so. 
Therese and William survey the food choices after the first round of Oysters Rockefeller.
Escargot were on the menu this year...
And bacon-wrapped scallops are on the menu every year.
Joe reads the account of Jesus' birth from the Bible, directly after Christmas Eve dinner.

December 22, 2010

Random Shots

Random sweetness in the month of December...

Miss Marguerite Jane, sporting birthday PJ's from Aunt Margaret & Uncle Tony.
William, sporting "the coolest jacket ever," courtesy of Aunt Margaret & Uncle Tony.
Marguerite snuggles with her baby doll, Janie.
Would you look at those eyes?
Great note from our pianist Kathleen to her teacher.
The whole gang, sporting hand-knitted Christmas hats from Joe's colleague's 91-year-old mother.
She's never even met our kids. How sweet is that?
Kathleen snuggles with Marguerite until she falls asleep. Now that's sisterly love.

December 21, 2010

Bring on the Mess (I Mean, the Gingerbread)

We decided to host a gingerbread house decorating party this year for some friends. Each family decorated a gingerbread house, and we had a grand winner at the end of the evening.

Although we discovered bits of dried frosting and candy and coconut for about four days afterward, the party was a blast and something we'll surely do again.

They say Christmas is for kids, and I'd say these photos pretty much summarize that idea.

Starting the house- building process
Ready for gingerbread house judging
The little kids kick back in front of Christmas videos.
The dining room is where we held a little Christmas cookie exchange.
Marguerite spent much of her time trying to retrieve frosting as it was dropping from the table to the floor. Hey, if a toddler can't scavenge a little frosting, what's a gingerbread house party?
The house that Anna Marie built and Kathleen (pictured) decorated. Nice job, girls!

December 19, 2010


I should go back and see how many times I've used this particular blog post title to refer to Marguerite.

See why this girl charms us so? We love you, Marguerite!

With wig and hat from the kids' dress-up box.
With wig and hat from the kids' dress-up box.

December 18, 2010

William, How'd You Get So Old?

William is now two whole handfuls.

Our spunky boy who'd like nothing better than to listen to music, run, and dance all day, has turned ten. A whole decade has passed since his challenging arrival (c-section after six+ hours of unsuccessful pushing) and his frightening health ordeal.

William is our smiley little man who enjoys Cub Scouts, running, and playing make-believe. He is a Star Wars fan and enjoys knights, castles, and Legos.

And William loves, loves, loves that his birthday falls just ten days before Christmas. "More presents all at once!" he exclaims as he explains why he likes having a Christmastime birthday.

Happy 10th Birthday, William!
Is this a handsome young man, or what?
William, all decked out in his Robin Hood birthday costume.
William and Dad break into a new airplane model gift.
William and his homemade (sliding layers and all) Christmas-Birthday Poke Cake.

December 16, 2010

She's One!

One year ago we had a mad-dash, heart-racing, emotional trip to Georgia to meet our lovely newborn daughter. To think back to that time is to remember one of the most emotional periods of my life. We loved Marguerite even before we met her. But we fell in love in a bigger, deeper way once we laid eyes on her. So tiny, so beautiful, so perfect. And, yet, we were torn in two by the heartache which Marguerite's birthmother was enduring as she made the choice to give her daughter a better life.

It's hard to believe it's been a year. Such a cliche, but so very true.

We hope and pray that Marguerite's birthmother is doing well. She's been in our hearts in such a special way, especially as we celebrated Marguerite's first birthday and prepared for Christmas. We send photo updates through the agency, but we do not hear from Marguerite's birthmother. We trust that, if she is choosing to view the photos, she is just as proud as we are at what a lovely, precious girl Marguerite is.

Marguerite, you are our pride and joy! Happy first birthday, Sweetie!

Party princess, ready to open birthday gifts!
Marguerite receives her own Bitty Baby doll for her birthday. 
Marguerite would not take her hands off this doll all evening. Here, she is trying to hug "Janie." 
Marguerite gets a lesson in diapering her baby.
Birthday cake? For little ol' me?
Whoa! Sugar dance! I like this stuff! Bring on more chocolate cake!
Marguerite's first taste of sweets—in the form of chocolate birthday cake—left her all-smiles.