Saturday, December 27, 2008

Truly Blessed

We just want to send a big "THANK YOU" to all our family(and friends) who we got to spend our brief, but beautiful Christmas with!! This year was truly special, and Greg and I talked all the way back to Pittsburgh about what a wonderful year it has been for us.
I know that times are hard, on everyone, right now, and that there have been some major hiccups and snags for us over the last year, we're still right in the middle of our newest hiccup, but thanks to all of you, we've never felt more loved. We tried to do Christmas a little bit smaller this year, as I'm sure most of you did, but made sure that that Maggie understood the real reason of the season.
She knows about Jesus birth, and that THAT is the real reason for Christmas, but this year we wanted her to understand that GIVING is more important that getting. I know for a 5 year old that can be a little difficult, with so many people "giving" you presents, but we really pushed to her that what we receive is not nearly as important as what we give.
As brief as our stay was, we just want all of you to know, that we have received the best Christmas gift ever, just by being loved by all of you. I hope we have also returned that love so you all know how important you are to us!! I feel a little cheesy writing all that, but knowing you're out there, reading, following our lives, taking a part in it, and loving us, makes us happier than you know!! We hope you all had a Merry Christmas!!
Here are a couple funny pictures of the kids from our quick trip home!!Maggie "defending" the milk and cookies...that boy was bound and determined they were for him...Oh, and pop-pop, Santa called...he was NOT a fan of the flax-seed cookies after all!!

Fionn and daddy before bed Christmas eve...

Christmas morning...real smiles from both of them as Maggie shows Fionn how to play in the wrapping paper!

Fionn not too sure about being buried in the wrapping paper!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hip-hop Princess

So after our whirl-wind trip home this weekend for some QT with the family we INSISTED Maggie come home last night, because she HAD to go to school today and half a day tomorrow. There were tears, fits, guilt trips, and that was all just from the grandparents(JUST KIDDING) Maggie is getting very good at pushing just the right buttons to make you feel like poo to get her way, but we stood her ground and made her come home...
So we wake up today, two hour delay, okay not a big deal...within the hour school was canceled...that did NOT fit into my "wrapping" plans for now I have to wait until tonight to wrap all her presents. Greg woke me up as he left just to tell me that the upstairs bathroom pipes were frozen. He tried for a few minutes this morning to thaw them, but no luck. I kept at it all day(in all my spare time) and they finally broke free around 2pm.
Maggie and Fionn have been grumpy and miserable all day. I don't know what the deal is, but Maggie was only cheerful today while in her "hip-hop" idea where it has come from, but suddenly everything is hip-hop. She told Greg the other day that he looked "hip-hop" in his new hat, lol, and he just looked at her and grinned...well today she dressed herself, and added to her wardrobe as the day went on....this is where we were at around noon today. I HAD to grab the camera for this one...this is me sneaking up on her as she looks out the side window, and then her posing once she sees the camera...Even on the coldest of days she warms my heart!!

Ultrasound Update

Unfortunately, the offical results came back but nothing that I didn't already know has developed, but the preliminary tests have been confirmed. I am sorry from no knowing how to post this because I, myself am still numb and stunned, however, the ultrasound has shown that there are two masses on my testicle and that my primary care physician has placed a referral for me to follow up with urology to further define an official diagnosis. Currently I am awaiting to hear from someone but more than likely that will have to wait until after the first of the year. I am trying not totally lose it, and I give all of my current sanity and to much thanks to my amazing and beautiful wife and awesome kids. I am currently with the mindset of preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. According to my primary care physician I will more than likely need surgery to remove or correct the situation, either of which do not excite me; but if that is what needs to be done so be it. Thanks to everyone who reads this, I know there are many family members and friends that have been waiting to know. Well, I better get back to work. Thanks again, and a special thanks to my wife, I love you.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Few and Far between

This week I took the memory card out of my little Kodak Point and shoot and got all kinds of surprises. We don't use it very often, but it's the one we take to Steelers games and such since I don't dare take "my baby" The weather forcast always seems to be questionable for every game we go to, so we just grab this little thing and go. Maggie and Aunt Sharon also took it to her very first Steeler game earlier this year as well, so I found a couple of those pictures on it as well.
I can tell you they had much better seats than Greg and I usually have, but it's an "experience" hiking all the way to the top we tell ourselves. So here are a couple "jems" to share. It seems that pictures of just Greg and I are just that, rare jems for me to treasure. It's not very often that I'm in front of the camera as it is, but to get both of us, is a rare thing indeed.

after the game, getting ready to head back down all the steps...

Along the rail, with the city behind us

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Long Day

I thought I would post a quick update on Greg's tests today. We know nothing. Great update, I know...
Since we did not know how long he would be gone, I stayed home to get Maggie off the bus. He called me upset after the sonogram, just to tell me the lady would not tell him anything and turned the screen away while doing the Sonogram. Just from this, and her not saying at the end "okay everything looks good, we'll be in touch" set him into a panic...So what the lady DID say to him was "There isn't a Dr. here to read this today, you will hear back from us in 2-3 days."
So that's where we stand, we will update you when we finally hear back from them.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Prayers Needed once again...

Hello all our dear friends and family. Tonight is a hard post for me to write, but we need your prayers. Yesterday Greg went to the Dr. and came back and dropped a bomb on me...
They found a lump, and he needs further testing.
He's not a big fan of talking about the details of this situation, so all I can tell you all is that yes, it very well can be cancerous. He broke down and told me he's known it was there for a while now, and finally went to see someone about it. He also left all the paperwork in the car, so I went and got it and scheduled his test for tomorrow. We will not know anything definitive(i don't believe) tomorrow, but this is really eating away at him.
As of yesterday we were not going to say anything until we got test results back, but I don't think this is something that we can even perceive thinking about alone. Today we told close family, and Greg is not doing very well.
So my dear friends, I ask you to keep him in your prayers. His test is tomorrow at 1pm and I would appreciate any good thoughts you could send our way at that time. I'm trying not to think about what could happen, and just living in the now. If I even begin to think about the possibilities then I start to crumble, and I need to be strong for him and the kids right now.
I don't have much more to write tonight, my mind is completely pre-occupied with tomorrow already. All i can tell you is that I've never been loved so completely and so honestly by another human being until I met Greg. He is my rock, and to see him afraid breaks my heart.
So please Pray that all goes well tomorrow, and that there is nothing for us to worry about!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

No Smiles for Mommy...

After hounding my family since the day after Thanksgiving to do pictures for our Christmas card, I finally gave in and decided just to shoot the kids this year...Since Greg had to work tonight, I decided to get them ready and just take a couple in front of the tree...
I'm only adding ONE picture, and it sums up the WHOLE shoot...I got I guess everyone gets regular cards this year!'s okay to laugh, i did, after they went to bed anyway...
Notice the tear coming out of the corner of his eye...and yes his face gets that red instantly when he's mad...gotta love it!

There was lots more that happened over the weekend, so I'll catch everyone up then. It was a very emotional weekend for me personally, and I'm trying to find a way to work through everything. If you get a moment, go check out Lindsey's blog. She could use all your prayers and words of encouragement right now.
More soon I promise...Maggie had a very cool day Friday. It was a day of very cool highs for us family wise, and a day of very low lows at the same time for me.
I know that everything happens for a reason, and I accept that some babies are not going to stay here with us for long, but for me to know that all a new mother wants is to meet their child, to look into their eyes, and to have that taken away at the last breaks my heart.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Watchin the game

On Sunday Greg went to the Steeler game, and the kids and I happily stayed nice and warm watching it from home! Fionn LOVES football(and hockey) and thinks our tv is a drive-in sometimes...Here are a couple pictures of the kids watching the game!

getting a little too you understand why it's a "drive-in"

showing some support of great "D", gotta love that he knows how to wave his towel already!

taking a break to smile at mom...

lol, he loves his towel!

out of all the "portraits" that I take of him, this might be my favorite of all...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Saturday morning came EARLY at our house, and it arrived with a mess for mommy, all before 7am. God bless the person that came up with the baby monitor! With it's help, I heard Maggie start moaning in her bed, and then I heard her say"i'm gonna throw up" as she got up and charged into the bathroom...Listened to see if I heard wrong for a moment, and the poor thing was in there gagging away! So I went in and took care of her, and when we were all done we went back in the kids room because Fionn was awake and starting to fuss. I laid Maggie back in bed, and went to pick up Fionn. I said a small prayer when I picked him up, he was dry(we're having some issues with him peeing like a madman at night) and then turned him over and realized he was soaked up to his armpit....Grrrrr...still not 7am yet. SO, I get Fionn cleaned up, put both kids in bed with Greg and go back to clean up his crib and get things in the wash, and then bleach the bathroom to try to keep the germs at a minimum! Now it's 7am!
The morning continued on, Maggie running to the bathroom every half hour or so to be sick, each time insisted after she was done that she felt better...We were supposed to go to breakfast with Santa at Maggie's school, had already paid for it, and she was so upset that we were missing it, that she made herself more sick. The poor girl was having a meltdown over not seeing santa...
So Greg and I made the executive decision at 10:40am(it was over at 11am) that we would take them to see Santa, no food, just santa...
We had hoped that there wouldn't be a line and we headed off...There were still people everywhere when we got there, a couple kids from her class, but she was only interested in Santa(and Fionn seeing Santa) When it was finally our turn, she forgot what she wanted to tell him(it's a good thing Santa already knows!) She was white as a ghost, a little green even, but smiled from ear to ear sitting on santa's lap with Fionn. He watched her expression, and since she was smiling, he smiled too! He liked Santa's beard, and tried to see if it was real or not a few times, lol. So after we sat on santa's lap we gathered a craft to go and headed back home. Daddy tried to make her feel better with pancakes, but she graciously "projected" them back to him a bit later. By Sunday she was started to perk back up, food stayed down, and we were only dealing with gastro issues by then. But she was nice enough to share, and by Monday we were both down and out! Everyone is on the mend now, except Fionn, who is teething, so all the fun stuff that goes with that is starting up...Poor boy!!
Oh, i just have to share my favorite quote from Maggie on Saturday about being sick. This was said in the truck on the way home from seeing Santa. "Mommy, I got that shot in my arm right here(pointing to arm), it HURT, and it's not helping." I gotta say, even sick she crack's me up!
So here are a couple pics with Santa, enjoy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tree part two...

Here are a couple more of the tree...and one of our outside decorations. The funny part is that we have so many more decorations, but really not sure where to put what this year. The old house was easy, we knew all our decorations were safe, we were up on the hill. Now that we are at street level, well we're a little more careful with what we put out. Still looking to put up our penguins though. Sorry Brian and Lauren, there is still more to come!

hmmm...doesn't look like we're putting the star on!okay, that's that we took off the bottom foot of the tree!now that it's all decorated, home made tree skirt and allthe ornament that we got for Fionn...his foot was supposed to fit on that little white sheet of paper...not so much...we went for an "artsy" approach!the preliminary outside decorations...more to come!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree...

Wednesday we went on our annual trek to find our Christmas Tree. Since we moved to Pittsburgh, we've gone to the same place every year, and we LOVE the day. This day is "our" day as a family, to get us ready for the Holidays. Since we always come home for Christmas(which we LOVE to do as well) all our "our" little family traditions happen before hand.
It is never an easy task, for we all have different ideas on what the "perfect" tree is, and it usually takes us quite a while of stamping through the same patch of trees to find the right one. It has to be the right color, the right shape, and have a perfect top to put our star on. I have a symmetry issue, and Greg and Maggie try their best to humor me. Maggie has to look under all the trees, she has to make sure there is room for the presents...You'll hear her, she'll walk up to a tree, look under it and say "nope, not that one!" LOL, the continues for about twenty minutes usually until Greg and I insist she look again usually at the one we are favoring...If she gives it the okay, then we're in business...
It was a little more tricky this year with Fionn! HE wanted to take the pictures, and he was not entirely too sure about what we were doing roaming through the trees...He did like the tractor ride though, and didn't seem to mind all the mud(that's because he was in the wrap)
All in all we picked a perfect day to go find our tree, there was no one else there, and it wasn't super cold yet, like it is now. We were going to go originally after Breakfast with Santa in the morning, good thing we changed our mind...

The one thing that continues to also be a tradition...the tree not fitting in our house, LOL...Bigger house, and we still got a tree that was WAY too big!! It didn't look that big in the middle of the field!! Here are some pictures of our adventure...On the wagon was a bit bumpy

Fionn wasn't so sure about the bumps at first...but liked the tractor

my goofballs "sneaking up" on our tree

with the kids in front of "our" tree

See! She even borrowed daddy's gloves for a thorough check!

daddy cutting down our tree, after it passed the Maggie test...

"uhhh, mom...what's daddy doing?"

dragging it out, maggie always helps as you can see...

grow trees grow...we'll be back next year to search out our next perfect tree!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mikey the J-man

While Shell and Bill were down for Thanksgiving, we decided to get some new pictures of Mikey! He did great, and I'm excited to share some of his new pictures with those of you who haven't seen them yet! We got the clearance from mommy to show him off, so here he is...New Mikey pictures!! Look how big he's getting...he's not far behind Fionn(who had his last round of Synagis this morning, so his legs are a little sore)

Enjoy the new pics of Mikey!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Why we are thankful!

Here are a couple pictures from Thanksgiving...It was a great day, surrounded by those we love, and I cannot put into words how thankful we are for the life we have been given. Just look at these babies, life cannot get any better!!

helping make the sweet potato casserole(in her great grandmothers apron)

Shell and Mikey waiting for dinner!

Fionn giving Mikey a ride on his jeep!

everyone getting ready to eat! Yes Bill and Fionn are there too!

Fionn's first mashed potatoes!

Mikey, checking everyone out...before they both melted down

Fionn after dinner!