Category: Family…

Day Three: I’m Thankful For…My Family.

Preface: I thought it was fitting to express my thanks during the month of November for something new each day, as so many others have done before me. I’ve never taken the time to do this, and it will be a challenge to blog each day, but it’s so important to recognize the blessings God has given us! 🙂 These are in NO particular order…

I have a unique and wonderful family…some I’ve known my whole life, some I’ve known for six years (my dad’s biological family), and some I’ve known for three years (Brennan’s family). I have been surrounded by love my entire life and I am so thankful for that.

The longer we serve as Relief Houseparents at the Milton Hershey School, the more thankful for my family and my childhood I become. Our boys long for the family stability from which I come, and it truly breaks my heart when they talk about not having (or not really knowing their) fathers. Many come from very broken homes…and these things have affected them deeply.

I am blessed to have a heritage of life-long marriages: my parents will celebrate 32 years on November 8th, my mom’s parents just celebrated 60 years, and my dad’s parents just celebrated 56 years. My great-grandparents were married over 60 years. We’ve been blessed to be a very tight-knit family. My mom’s side of the family just held their 51st annual family reunion this past summer. My family is loving, caring, compassionate, welcoming, and hilarious. 🙂

I’m very thankful for my parents and for the example they have provided for my brother and I. Their marriage has faced its trials as life has thrown them some interesting curves over the years…but, they chose to grow stronger together and to fight these trials together instead of allowing their marriage to fall apart. They chose to love each other through it all and their marriage is incredibly strong because of it. My parents are willing to do anything they can to help someone in need, and that is one of my favorite things about them.

I’m thankful that Brennan’s family has welcomed me with open arms and has made me feel welcome from day one. Since they live in the area, it’s really great to have family here since mine is so far away.

I’m so thankful that we have had the opportunity to meet my dad’s biological family and that through this experience we’ve learned so much about our genetics and our quirks. I’m so much like my dad, so meeting them has solved some mysteries for me as well (including where my green eyes came from). I’m thankful that they also (for the most part) opened their arms to us and have made us feel like we’ve always been part of the family.

Thank you, Lord, for your provision of family…

Much Needed Weekend Away…

Brennan and I had the opportunity to get away this weekend for a much needed break from our busy schedule. We had a Groupon to use for a bed and breakfast in New Holland, PA (about one hour from Hershey), so we made our reservations a few months ago and began to plan.

We started our adventure by going to the National Watch & Clock Museum in Columbia, PA (using another Groupon that we’d had). It was fascinating, and I can definitely say that I’ve never seen so many time-keeping pieces in one place before!

 

We checked into our lovely room at the Country Hearth Bed & Breakfast in New Holland that afternoon, and we were not disappointed! The owners are very friendly and knowledgable, and the 219 year old house is in great condition! We had a great dinner at Vinola’s Restaurant & Bar in Leola, PA at the recommendation of the B&B owners.

 

On Saturday, after a lovely breakfast and great conversations with our fellow travelers, we headed down to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. I had been told by my friend Shannon just how wonderful this place was, so when we realized how close we’d be to Longwood Gardens this weekend, we decided that we had to head down there. It was well worth the $18 admission! I was excited to get to use my camera after many months of it sitting idly in our room…and I took about 700 pictures. Granted, I only kept 161 out of those, but it was SO easy to find great photographic subjects! I am excited to go during other seasons to see the different trees and plants that will be blooming/changing!

    

Since we were so close to Delaware (a state we hadn’t been to together), we had picked up a Groupon for a pizza place earlier in the week, and we had a late lunch in Wilmington. We didn’t realize how large their “large pizza” was, and it was definitely enough for us to also eat dinner later. We took our time getting back, and spent the rest of the evening reading, playing Scrabble, enjoying the jacuzzi tub and talking.

This is the first Easter Sunday in my life (that I can remember) that I did not go to church. We had decided to not rush home to go to church, and we didn’t want to try to find a random church in the area to attend. Instead, we enjoyed our day and continued to relax and be refreshed.

We had a wonderful weekend, and I can see why it is so important for married couples to get away every once in awhile. It gave us time to let go of our “to do” lists, let go of chores that need to be done, and focus on what really matters: our relationship. We met almost three years ago and time has certainly flown by. I can only imagine what the next few decades will feel like!

I’m Going to Alaska!!

I’m really excited, if you couldn’t tell…I’m going to be in Alaska for 10 days in May, for my cousin’s graduation from high school. My aunt is planning on moving to California next summer, so I wanted to go while she still lived there, anyway…and I got an AMAZING deal on airfare, so I just couldn’t resist! Plus, my parents and grandparents (and probably more of my family) are going to be there, so that will be great family time as well…

blackstone_bay_-_alaska

I can’t wait to spend time taking pictures up there. I was there when I was 8 years old (17 years ago!), so it’s been awhile…and all I really remember was it being -2 one day…seeing a moose in my aunt’s backyard…going around to places like Kenai, Homer, etc…going to the zoo…but I don’t have vivid memories. Now that I’m older–and much more into photography–I can’t wait to go!

I also decided that I’m going to try to get a meeting with Governor Sarah Palin. She should be in Anchorage when I’m there (based upon the legislative schedule), so I figured it’s worth a shot! 🙂

I leave for California in nine days…so I’m very excited about that as well. But, right now, my trip to Alaska is definitely all I’m thinking about 🙂

Mother’s Day…

Last weekend, I flew home to surprise my mom for Mother’s Day–since it’s been years since I’ve been home on Mother’s Day! It was a great time at home, with family…I am so very blessed to have the family that I do–especially my parents.

Mom and Lesa

Family on Mother's Day

Grandma, Aunt Eva, Mom, Aunt Karen

“Daughter’s Tea” group from church

10 days until New Orleans!!

NorCal Weekend for Grandpa Fay’s 80th Birthday…

What a great (but quick) weekend! I flew home this weekend for my Grandpa’s 80th birthday party. About 75 people came, and it was an awesome celebration of his amazing life. I’m so blessed to have the family that I do! I posted a few pictures for now…more to come later…we had a family photo shoot with a pro photographer, so I’ll post those once we have them. 🙂

You can see my pictures on Facebook if you’d like… 🙂

Grandpa Fay’s 80th Birthday

Nathaniel, Grandpa Fay, Aunt Lori (we didn’t have 80 candles, so we lit one big one!) 🙂

Kristin and Lesa

Kristin and Lesa–the only two girl grandchildren (five boys, two girls) 🙂 –great picture except for the light on my face, LOL…

The boys…

Mark, Kenny, Michael, Kyle, Nathaniel–the boy grandchildren 🙂