Saturday, September 28, 2013

Handsome Dude

Look who made the cover of Central Coast Family magazine for October. Who better to represent the Central Coast Railroad Festival and all its family-friendly activities.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Help Fight Epilepsy

Do you know the totally amazing, rock star, awesome, Gibson family?   (All though I really am not allowed to call them rock stars because they are really just people, Jeannette said so in a blog, but it’s the way I talk so she has to deal.)

Do you know Jill and what an utterly cool 4 year old she is?

Do you know about epilepsy....and that ....well

Do you know The Regusci family is going to walk to end epilepsy?

Do you want to know why? 

Years ago before kids Matt and I meet Andy and Jeannette.
When I first meet Jeannette I remember thinking she was "super cool" and "super smart".  She had a real career, you know like with a fancy job title, and she had work clothes.  She planned city's and things or something like that, and used big words.  

I was a nanny.  I could sing a mean nursery rhyme but that was about it.  

She also baked, scraped booked, spoke a second langue and had über crafty friends.

Serious coolness and totally out of my league because you know I got pregnant and had a baby and adopted all like within the same year...insta-family.  What "cool" person would want to be friends with a stay-at-home mom.  Who could barely take a shower or make a box of mac and cheese and her BA hung above the laundry machine because it never saw the light of an office.

But  those things didn't matter to Jeannette the "career" gal.  Jeannette just cared about your heart. She accepted everyone and welcomed you no matter what.  Soon we found ourselves in more and more situations together and not to long after she was toting around a one year old pregnant with twins.  And with that we had a lot in common and became even closer friends. (for the record she is still more cool than me and has uber crafty friends but she accepts me because like I said, she is a rockstar)

Now, we both have husbands that spend a lot of time traveling for work, we have more then a couple kids, we have twins, and we have kids with special needs.   We don't see each other everyday or talk everyday but in my opinion we get each other.   We can be real with each other. 

No sugar coating.  Just raw.  Love it.  That's us.  
Jeannette is also my friend I called when Jonathan was airlift from Tahoe to Reno.  

 It didn't matter it was late at night past her bedtime. She would wake up.  And she would get it.   She knew what it felt like to be driving in the car helplessly, why your baby fought for his life in a helicopter without you.  She knows the feeling of walking into and ER and not waiting.  Having ever doctor and nurse at your baby’s bedside.  She knows the lingo;  O2 sat, CBC counts, IV lines, ventilators, brady, rescue meds,  respiratory and cardiac distress.   She knows what it feels like to sit by your babies bedside in the PICU with monitors dinging and beeping.  She knows what not to say.  She knows to say...that sucks. 

Why because that is part of their normal lives because they have a daughter with epilepsy.  It shouldn't be that way for any family but it is.

Needless to say when Jill, one of their twin daughters, started to have seizures our hearts poured out for our dear friends.  I can remember each text like it was yesterday "Jill is seizing called 911".  Then we would wait for the all clear, sometimes hours waiting for the discharge text.  But then there was the time we got "Jill is still seizing" I cried.  I wanted nothing more then to drop everything and run to their side and hold their hands, but knew that was not practical for them or my family so we prayed.  We pray hard. 

Nothing seems liked enough at these times.

We only have glimpses into what life must be like for our dear friends and I want nothing more than to heal Jill, to tell my friend all is good she won’t seize again but I can’t.   Jill is strong, she is very strong and she has attitude and she will move mountains because epilepsy will not define her or stop her.  That girl brings so much life and love it is amazing.

So that is why we are so excited because we finally feel like we can stand up and support or friends in a very tangible way.   On Nov 17th our family will all be walking with #teamjilly in the 5k to benefit the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angles.   Please consider donating to our team by clicking here.  This would mean the world to us.   As I have learned more and more about epilepsy form my friend I am amazed at how little knowledge I really had, like 1 in 10 people will have a seizure in their lifetime (there are 11 of us living in our house).    It truly is a worthy cause to donate to, plus Jill is super cute. 

If you want you can also get #teamjillygear here, which is super cute and all proceeds go to the fundraiser. Also Jeannette is trying to get someone from every state wearing #teamjilly purple on Nov 17, be part of the social media fun -sport your purple and support us walkers that day!  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Kept Them in Stitches

Serafina did a super job at her Melodrama audition today. What a hoot! Tracy and Nana wrote a 1-minute parody of the Night Before Christmas for her, and she knocked it out of the park. Everyone was in the theater this year to see all the auditions, and the audience was in stitches for the entire 60 seconds. Her one minute of song was "Consider Yourself" from Oliver, and may we say she did a great job with that as well (thank you, Danielle!). Somehow it seems important we get the parody script entered here for posterity; so, here it is. It struck us, and apparently everyone there, that it was perfect for the Melodrama, which is all about fun, right?! Without further ado...

'Twas the Night Before Auditions

‘Twas the night before auditions and all through the house
I was singing and hoping I would not sound like a louse!
My clothes were laid out wrinkle free on the bed and I shouted
“Mom, where is that picture of my head?”

Belinda, Tiny Tim, any part I will take –
Just so I can have popcorn at every break!
How much fun it would be to see the old crew
This year, I wonder, what they’ll make you do?

My favorite part?
The Vaudeville review!
Reindeer rapt is what I would do...
“The reindeer rap …. We’re talkin’ …..”

Then Mom shouts, “Jump into bed”
I leap in a panic as there’s no poem in my head!
But tomorrow I’ll try with all of my might
To audition with flair …
Now, to all a good night!

Update: She didn't get a part at the Melodrama this year. But that turned out to be fairly providential as she ended up with six other productions of one kind or another from here through Christmas. See the Theatrics page for some of them.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

CDMA Party

Serafina takes classes at Coastal Dance and Music Academy, and today they held a Student Appreciation Party at the Heritage Park in Arroyo Grande. All the kids had a grand time playing games, running around, eating hot dogs, and showing off some of their stuff to friends and family. Photos from the event are here.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Jamie Takes Papa Bill Home on Southwest Chief

After Dad’s and Vickie’s recent visit to California, including the SMVRR business excursion to Seattle, I took Dad home to Kansas City via Amtrak’s Southwest Chief. Predictably, the book I always pack was never cracked. We did nothing but gaze out the window and eat in the dining car (which also involved looking out the window!). Well, there was the occasional bio break, railroad talk, platform wanderings, but by and large it was something of a treasure hunt – what’s around the next bend?! If you want to see the country, the exceptional beauty, the bad, and the ugly, travel by train. You get a perspective like no other. On our second and last night, we were in the southeast corner of Colorado, heading for Kansas, watching a long storm line do its thing a fair distance away. It put on quite a lightning show for hours. And as if that weren’t enough, we saw a meteor (Perseid Meteor Shower) as the skies were perfectly clear near the train. The evening ended with a hilarious comedy routine performed by our car steward over the intercom describing the problem we were having with the toilets: “I’ve got some good news and some bad news…”. Nothing like a good belly laugh to end the day.

That’s not my photo, but it’s remarkably similar to what we were seeing. I did not have my camera with me. Shocking, I know. The photo came from a royalty-free photo website I often use:

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The story behind the pictures

The last week has been an amazing week for our family, and many of you have seen my picture on Facebook or instagram and wondered why #happytears and #Godisgood.  What is this amazing story?  I have been hesitant to post more information because it involves my boy’s birth story and well social media can get out of hand.  So before I share more I have a few things to say.

No adoption story is the same.

Adoption is life changing; for all involved.

It is a beautiful thing and at the same time messy.

We have now adopted twice and neither story is close to being the same, nor similar to any of our friends.  All adoption stories come with brokenness, and at the same time immense joy, happiness, and love.

Adoption is brokenness yet makes a family whole. 

Adoption is expensive, emotionally draining, yet priceless.

Adoption crosses cultures and separates them. 

Adoption is God’s grace at work. 

The most important thing to remember, no matter your view, at the heart of all adoptions is a child and in this case two. 

For that reason I have guarded my boy’s story from the internet.  I want them to be able to hear their story from Matt and me, their Mom and Dad.   It is their story, not mine. 

At the same time, it is also our story and part of our daily life.  It is an example of God’s amazing work. So it is with caution that I share a bit of the boy’s story with the cyber world. 

My request is that you, as friends and family, don’t ask probing question.  Accept the info I choose to share and please comment only if your words are positive, happy and God glorifying.  Know once published my boys at any time can come back and read what is written.

What you need to know is that my boy’s birth parents loved them deeply but knew the best choice for them and the boy’s was adoption.  They made the hardest choice any parent has to make; and one they never expected to make.  Brokenness.  My only hope is that they find comfort in the fact that boys are loved and cared for by so many.  

With that – this week my boys had the chance to meet the women whom carried them for 25 weeks. They got to meet their surrogate mother.

Through God’s amazing ways we connected.    She had no idea what happened to the boys or how they were doing.  She thought about them everyday and wished for the chance to hold them.  The first and last time she saw the babies, she was unable to hold them because they were so sick.

God brought us together.  She was able to finally hold the babies she had carried.  I was able to see pictures of her glowing pregnant belly at 15 weeks with my boys and another picture taken just 4 days before delivery!  Oh my mama heart was so happy for my boys to be able to have met her. 

She told me about how David kicked all the time and Jonathan was curled up on one side.  She described their position in the womb which is identical to positions I find them sleeping.  I can’t express how amazing it was to meet her and her boys.  

I don’t know what the future holds for my boys, if they will get a chance to meet their birth parents or not.  But after today, I do know that they will be able to know their tummy mommy, which is amazing.  My boys are blessed to have not one or two but three different moms to love them in different ways.  She helped to give them life and for that our family will always be grateful to her and her family and the sacrifices they all made to bring David and Jonathan into the world.  #happytears #Godisgood 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pier and Park with the Boys

Tracy was directing nursery activities at the church, Nana and Serafina were prepping for an afternoon birthday party, so what were the boys left to do?... Field trip!