Monday, January 31, 2011

last chance for t-shirts

hey everyone. thanks for your sweet feedback on our name choice for miss charlotte :) i had my very first "babies" shower yesterday thrown by some awesome women at our church and it was such a blessing! i don't have any pictures yet but i'll share some when i get them and tell you more about it then, but it was SUPER fun, especially since we now have both of our children named. i feel a trip to the embroidery shop coming on REAL SOON!!

anyways, i think i promised a post awhile ago about finishing up our t-shirt fundraiser for our adoption and i'm just now finally getting around to it. {yes, i'm a slacker!} i went through the large box of leftover shirts that been sitting in my office for months now and i took an inventory of what we have left. here's the scoop:

we have...
4 - adult small
10 - adult medium
5 - adult large
3 - adult XL
1 - adult 2XL

in case you're new here or have forgotten, this is what our awesome shirts look like {please pardon the wrinkles and poor photo quality in the first picture, and the sick, nasty way ryan and i look i the second picture! we'd just finished up 10+ hours of work on our both hands project. ha!}:

all t-shirts are a slate blue color and are a soft-fashion fit t-shirt. they are super comfy!! we are trying to get rid of them so we are reducing the price to $15 per shirt {plus $5 for shipping if needed}.

if you are interested in purchasing a shirt, we will still use all the money towards our adoption expenses! just to be completely transparent, we still currently have about $5000 in our adoption account but that has to pay for quite a lot of things still at this point. here's what we're estimating that we still have to pay before bringing greer home:

-plane tickets for ryan and myself for our 2nd trip to ethiopia {around $3600}
-a lap seat/bassinet plane ticket for greer's trip home {not a clue ?? anybody know about how much this will be?}
-travel insurance for our second trip {$58}
-guesthouse accommodations {around $350}
-visas to ethiopia for me and ryan {$40}
-visa to US for greer {$404}
-transportation while in ethiopia {$50/day}
-food & misc expenses {$150}

i'm sure we're forgetting a few things but that's our best guess at this point. anyways, all that information to say, if for some reason we end up having leftover money in our adoption account at the end of this process, we will use it towards someone else's adoption or to buy donations for the orphanage(s) in ethiopia. {aka - no quick trip out to baby g@p for us to blow all our leftover money's that been gifted to us!}

so, if you still would like to get a shirt, please let me know! you can pay through our chip-in/paypal link on the left sidebar or you can email me at mrsleslisweeney {at} if you're not sure how to do that or live close to me here in the bluegrass state. we really appreciate everyone who have purchased shirts up to this point! thanks for all your support and love!

now here's to having one less orphan without a family tree and one less box in our office!!!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

our daughter finally has a name!

it's true! i know you thought this day would never come but ryan and i have agreed on a name for our littlest sweeney. here's how it came about...

last week as i was in tennessee spending some time with my grandfather before he passed away, i was thinking about the miracle of life. particularly, what a miracle my grandfather's life had been. he had lived with leukemia for over twenty years and had not allowed it to drag him down. he loved fully and he loved well. he was such a godly example to me and my siblings, and he set the tone for our family, one full of compassion and the urgency to live ou
r lives for Christ. even as he struggled with dementia the last couple years, he never lost his love for telling stories of old, sending us sincere hand-written notes, or giving gentle advice.

{2007 - at my graduation from UK with mamaw & papaw}

as i sat by his hospital bed, i felt the little girl in my belly kicking and again i was reminded of the miracle of life that i was carrying inside of me. it's funny, it seems like she kicked more last week while i was experiencing such a huge loss than she has so far in my pregnancy so i took note. last saturday in particular, while my papaw was living out his last few days with us on earth, i felt the desire to give our un-named little girl a name that would represent the legacy left to us by my papaw. his name was charles david...not necessarily top 100 girls' names but none-the-less, i knew we could still come up with something to honor him. that's when a name popped in my head and i quickly pulled out my handy dandy iphone to consult when i did, i saw this...


Gender: F
Origin of Charlotte: French, feminine diminutive of CHARLES
Meaning of Charlotte: "free man"

i instantly knew that should be her name! not only is it the female version of the name "charles" but it also means "free man", which was exactly what my papaw was about to be. two days later, he went to be free and home as last with his precious Savior. i kept the name to myself and consulted ryan later that night when he arrived in tennessee. he agreed instantly {which we know was the Lord's doing, ha!}

so, while we still don't have a middle name, we at least now have a first name!! whoop whoop! while it's hard to know that my papaw will never get a chance to meet little greer or little charlotte, i definitely look forward to telling them both about his character and his love one day when they're a little bigger.

Friday, January 28, 2011

at last...progress!

we got an exciting email last night from our agency regarding our adoption. let me just say that i was home alone when i received it and i literally screamed out loud when i read it! i freaked my dogs out a little bit, and then i started to cry. {crazy lady pregnancy hormones strike again, right?} it wasn't the specifics of when we will travel yet but it was finally some good news that shows that we're one step closer to bringing greer nathanel home!

the email just basically said that all the necessary paperwork - natty's new birth certificates and his passport with our last name, as well as his final medical exam required by the US embassy - are finally complete! our adoption information is finally complete and ready to file with the embassy. praise the Lord!!! we were also excited to find out that the 2 other families from kentucky that we traveled with on our last trip and absolutely loved, are ready to file as well!! we've been praying and hoping all along that we'd get to travel back with the same group and our hopes may become a reality. here we all are with our kids on the last trip:

6 kiddos soon to be home with loving families :)

with some recent changes made by the US embassy in addis, now adoptions can be filed every wednesday, so our paperwork will be submitted to the embassy next wednesday, february 2nd.
from there, the embassy has 2 weeks to review the file and decide 1 of 3 things:

1) we are ready to come for an embassy interview. {our interview and pick-up trip would most likely be scheduled 2 weeks out from when we hear back from the embassy. i'm guessing either february 23rd or march 9th since those are our agency's standing dates for visa interviews.}

2) they need some additional paperwork to make a determination. {from other blogs i read and people we talked to while in ethiopia, it seems like this has been happening a lot lately and slowing families' processes down quite a bit}. please be praying that our file is complete and that we aren't missing anything else!!

3) they have randomly selected our file to audit. {this is by far the most dreaded of the 3 options! this could mean an additional 2+ months of waiting while the embassy goes back through every piece of documentation, interviews birth families and orphanage workers, etc.} we have been praying for months that this would not happen to us and we would appreciate you praying alongside us for the same thing!

so, now we wait some more :) we wait to hear what the embassy has to report and pray that they are eager beavers and decide to take less than the allotted 2 weeks to do so! thanks for following along our journey with us and praying alongside us. we can't wait to see our son again SOON.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

psalm 20:6-7

this verse has been speaking to my heart A LOT lately...

"Now this I know: The LORD gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God."
-Psalm 20:6-7

i'm sure you can figure why...probably because i have been groveling the last 5 weeks about it: it's all this waiting. it's hard. it stinks. and i can't even put into words how badly i want to bring my son home, or at least know when we are traveling to do so!

i have been laying out his clothes, shoes, bibs, etc. for his trip home and trying not to lose faith that the trip could still be in february sometime. we even already have a couple bags packed, mostly donations, but none-the-less, we want to be ready whenever we get the word to go. however, it's hard to look at those packed bags every day knowing that we don't know yet when we'll go back.

BUT, this verse has still been speaking to me. it's encouraging me to remember that when i'm frustrated over not hearing anything or hearing only bad things about the wait for an embassy appointment from other bloggy friends, i really don't have to worry about those because i know that my God is ultimately in charge. red tape or no red tape. silly bureaucracy or not. He's got his. He knows just exactly when we'll hear the news to come and bring our boy home. He already has that date written on His calendar even though we might not :) so in light of that good news, i'm trying to remind myself that each morning i wake up is one day closer to being with our sweet boy again, and that brings me a lot of joy!

while i'm not perfect at this and fall short a lot, He's working on me. for instance, when driving home yesterday night, i found the frustration and anxiety building up over everything again and then this verse came back to my mind. i quickly began praying out loud {yes, that was me, the crazy lady, driving down the road seemingly talking to myself!}. i was just praying and begging God to take this anxiety and burden from me, and He did. the feelings never quite disappear completely because our little Greer is always in the back of my mind but the anxiety did ease. He is at work in not only me but also in the life of our little boy in ethiopia.

so, i hope this verse brings you some encouragement today too in whatever you are going through. some people trust in chariots and horses, but we can trust in the name of the Lord!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

the goings on

i'm back folks. sorry for my hiatus from the blog! i decided to take a blogging break last week as i spent most of the week in tennessee with my family celebrating the life of my papaw. it was a nice break and good to unplug for awhile.

however, just because i've been silent doesn't mean things haven't been happening. i feel like there's been a lot going on recently but maybe that was just because of the unexpected trip to tennessee left me feeling a little off my game and frazzled. anyways, once again i'll give you an update on things but in bullet form {because i'm lazy like that!}:

  • we have finally decided on a first name for our daughter!! yep, you read that right :) ryan and i did come to a consensus finally for this little princess! more details to come later because we are still arguing deciding on a middle name...
  • i have been feeling quite discouraged about our wait for an embassy appointment the last week or so. i know that our agency is doing a great job and is on top of things, but i hate all the red tape that is keeping us from our son. {ahem...the US government.} i was especially discouraged because i really want to go to pick our little man up, but the more weeks that tick by, the less likely i'll be able to travel because of my pregnancy. if you think of it, will you please pray that we'd get filed for an embassy appointment soon so that we can still travel in february?? we've heard that we are currently still waiting to get our little guy's new passport back and get his physical done so that we can be filed. our agency has 2 dates at the embassy in february for visa interviews {which is what we are waiting to appear at} - the 9th and the 23rd. i'm thinking that the 9th is pretty unlikely, so we're hoping and praying for the 23rd. {plus, that would put us coming home right around or on ryan's birthday and i can't think of a better gift!}
  • i'm currently in my 23rd week of pregnancy and all is going well. i can't tell you the difference that 6 weeks has made! no more nausea, constant feelings of hunger, and other not so fun side effects, and i'm soooo grateful. today i had a doctor's appointment and got to hear our little girl's heart beat again. it never gets old! according to our doctor, she is healthy and progressing along nicely. plus, i got a chance to discuss the possibility of traveling to ethiopia in march in case we can't get a february embassy date. our doctor is hopeful that i would be able to travel if we didn't get the february embassy dates, as long as our embassy date was in early march sometime. we'll see!!
  • my sweet husband completed his first seriously manly project last night...a platform bed from scratch! {ok, i think my brother-in-law mostly built it but ryan definitely helped.}the boys built the bed for an extra mattress set we have that i'm putting in our soon-to-be playroom. all our other guest rooms are filling up with cribs or offices, so we were in need of somewhere to put adult guests when we have them. i thought it would be fun to have a platform bed in the playroom so it could also double as a reading nook for our kiddos as they get bigger. when the bed is moved from my parent's barn to it's new home in our playroom, i'll post some pictures.
  • we finished up registering for baby gifts this weekend and that was really fun! who knew picking out stuff for little munchins could be so fun :) i especially loved being able to register for all the cute pink and frilly stuff as well as the blue and manly stuff...the best of both worlds! i have my first shower this weekend thrown by my wonderful church friends for both of our incoming children and i'm really excited. i would love nothing more than to be able to celebrate the news of being filed for an embassy date with them too! i can't wait to bring greer home to introduce him to all the wonderful ladies of fellowship who have been praying for his homecoming for months now.
ok, that's enough for now! i'm tired and need a computer screen break. thanks for checking in on me :) i hope you have a great monday evening!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

i'm sad to report that my grandfather passed away yesterday morning after a long battle with leukemia and a recent struggle with dementia. i'm so thankful that we had a few days notice of his decline and that i made the decision to travel to chattanooga, tn this past weekend to spend time with him. i definitely will treasure these last few days with him, but even more, all the other great memories that the last 25 years of knowing him have brought.

papaw was probably one of the most godly examples God has yet to put in my life, and i definitely know that the Lord has used him to teach me so much. his death is bittersweet at this point because he was in so much pain recently and really not himself. it gives me so much peace and joy to know that he's in heaven dancing and singing along with the angels right now. he always loved to sing and whistle, and we've heard less and less of that over recent months. however, sunday morning we were playing some hymns by his bed in the hospice unit and the song "trust and obey" came on. although he was not verbalizing much of anything by that point, a few times throughout the song, he would make some noises that sounded like he was trying to sing along with the chorus. i know he could hear it, and that makes me smile that even so close to death, the joy of the Lord still stirred him to song.

today I'm praising the Lord for the hope He's given me! hope that assures that I will be with my papaw again!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

whiny town

i'm feeling pretty whiny today. kind of like this little fellow was frequently while we were with him...

like here:

and here:

here also:

oh yeah, and we can't forget about here:

{please note that all of greer's whiniest moments caught on film, or whatever you call pictures these days, were while ryan was holding him! not to fault the hubby at all though. i was just smart enough not to let ryan document the meltdowns our little man had when i was holding him!!}

why am i so whiny today, you ask? because. that's all. it's my party and i'll cry if i want to.

no, not really. i think i'm just being whiny because i want my son home so badly and we have no clue when that will be! and because our little girl still remains nameless so i can get nothing embroidered for her. oh, and because she's been giving me killer middle back pain for the last 2 weeks! oh yeah, and i have a ton of craft projects for the kids that i can't seem motivated enough to do. and because ryan is reffing a wrestling tournament all day tomorrow so we won't get to spend any time together. and also... {see, i told you i was whiny!!} i could unfortunately go on for hours.


ok, so in light of all my wonderful whining in blogland, i think i'll go read up on the fruits of the spirit. apparently i'm lacking in many of these today.

happy whiny friday, y'all!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

brain dump

today feels like a random rambling day. it's snowing, it's cold, and i don't really feel like my grammar skills might be on my side so i'll just give you some updates on us in bullet form. here goes nothing...

  • we were hoping to get to see R & P this past weekend, and once again, it didn't happen. boo. we told R that we wanted to pick him up for church, go to lunch and then go to the new n@rnia movie, but his mom never answered her phone or called us back when we were trying to make the official plans. this is beyond frustrating and i may have had a few break downs about it. ugh.
  • my pregnancy is going well and i'm loving the 2nd trimester! i'm now into my 21st week and am finally experiencing no more all day sickness and have been able to retire my zofr@n pills for nausea. i know i'll probably never be one of those crazy wonderful women who love being pregnant, but i'm kinda enjoying it right now. although, sweatpants may or may not be the wisest fashion decision, i am beginning to live in them seriously 70+ % of the time. yay for elastic waists :)
  • our little princess is still nameless. ryan and i cannot agree on ANYTHING! it is like WW3 {ok not really} at our house right now. ryan likes things that i would never dream of naming my sweet little girl and vice versa. to add to our madness, we have to give this child both a first and a middle name...YIKES! at least with greer, we only had to pick out a first name :)
  • i never really blogged about our new years or any resolutions. mostly just because i didn't really make any, but there is one thing i'd like to share. ryan and i have sadly never read through the entire bible and we're hoping that we can change that this year. i've always just studied certain books at once or just kinda randomly chose different passages to read during my quiet times, but i've really been wanting to go deeper and read the bible from start to finish. so, in order to do so, we've found this awesome website that has been helping us out. it's one year and it's been a great resource for us! you can sign up to have them send you daily or weekly bible readings in your email, which helps me stay accountable. ryan and i are doing the daily one year readings but they also have a daily chronological readings. i love it and would recommend it if you have a hard time staying on track with your bible readings.
  • it is impossible to find a large (8x10'), decent looking rug that is not $200+! this is a shame. all i want is an affordable floor covering for my littlest man's room that is reasonably priced and that won't feel like he's crawling across gravel. i think i'm seriously in the wrong business. i need to starting making rugs and selling them for 400% mark up.
  • speaking of our littlest man's room, it is coming along nicely. we painted his closet {as it was hot pink from my high school days} and the rest of the room. we also installed a second bar in the closet to hold more clothes and i have already began filling it up with all the clothes we had for P. i have also sorted through unisex sleepers, onesies, etc. that he won't fit in and put them in the baby girl's room. ryan thinks i've lost my mind, but i love organizing, sorting and prepping for our kids! we've also assembled greer's crib and i've completed the first of many craft projects for his room. now i just need to get the window treatments installed, make his blanket, mobile and teething rail, finish decorating the walls and buy a rug. hopefully these things will keep my busy in my free time as we wait for him to come home!
  • it has been 3 weeks since we passed court in ethiopia. we haven't gotten any updates on where we stand right now but we're praying we'll hear that we've been confirmed for a february embassy date soon. i've been reading many other blogs with people in the same stage as us and it seems that a lot of other families are having a hard time getting their embassy dates confirmed. this means a lot of last minute flight booking and higher ticket prices. i'm not sure what we'll do about this but i'm trying to put it in the Lord's hands. we've got just enough left in our adoption account to squeak by financially and finish out this adoption so i'm praying that expensive ticket prices won't send us in the hole! we've still got some adoption t-shirts left and i'm thinking of doing a clearance/t-shirt blitz to get rid of these and help offset any last minute expenses we might have. look for that soon!
  • i honestly cannot believe that it has almost been a year since the earthquake in haiti. i really feel like God used that tragedy to get ryan and i on the fast track with our ethiopian adoption, and while i'm still heartbroken for the people and children of haiti, i'm so thankful that He called us into adoption when He did. our son was waiting patiently for us in ethiopia and now we're on our way! i don't know how or when, but i wouldn't be surprised a bit if we have another child waiting for us in haiti because of the way God has stirred our hearts for the country and the haitian people.
ok, i think that's all my brain can muster for now. if you made it this far, i commend you. thanks for checking in on us and for bearing with me when i just need a brain dump :) blessings to you from a snowy kentucky!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

melkam genna!

melkam genna, y'all!! {that's merry christmas in amharic, y'all}

today is christmas day in ethiopia, and so i can't help but to think even more about our sweet little boy. i know that his christmas this year will not probably begin to match the excitement of next year when our family is finally together, but i'm still praying that he feels extra some extra special love as his country celebrates the birth of our Savior today.

it still boggles my mind to think that my legal child and the son that has grown in my heart for so long now is living halfway around the world without us right now. most days the ache for him to be home is the backdrop to everything else i have going on, and that makes things pretty hard. it's only been 2 weeks and 1 day since we parted ways, but it feels like much longer. however, despite the circumstances of our separation being less than ideal, i do feel like i have been given a new perspective on God's pain and love mingled up in the gift and sacrifice of His only Son. our child is alive and well, and while he is living halfway around the world from us, we do know that we will be united with him again soon. God graciously gave His Son to us, sent Him into a sinful world for 33 years and allow Him to die a brutal death...for US! His sacrifice is more than anything i can even imagine but on this ethiopian christmas day, i am so grateful.

thank you God for your Son. thank you for your love for us that is deeper than we could even dream. and thank you for taking care of our boy while we cannot.

in light of today's christmas celebration, here are some recent pictures we've received of our adorable christmas gift:

ps- doesn't he have the most adorable lips ever!!! i think ryan and i probably have a long road ahead of us as we try to fend off all the girls from kissing those lips :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

our littlest wildcat

my husband, ryan, is a die hard UK {university of kentucky for y'all who aren't from around here} fan. he particularly loves UK basketball and follows the team as much as possible before, during and after basketball season. well, since b-ball season is in full swing, so is ryan. he loves watching the games in person and at home on our couch.

this season, all the UK basketball talk seems to be centered around enes kanter, a UK recruit from turkey that the NCAA has currently ruled as ineligible. anyways, i'm not the basketball buff that my husband is so i'll spare you the details, but i do have a point to all this babble. my husband reads kentucky sports radio, a blog that is all about UK sports, like it's going out of style. since all the problems with enes' eligibility, the blog has been featuring pictures of UK fans displaying signs that say, "free enes".

from the very beginning when we found out about our trip to ethiopia, ryan was set on getting our little greer a UK onesie to proudly display his love for the cats and to take a picture with a free enes sign. sure enough while we were in ethiopia, he did just that. on monday, he finally got around to submitting his picture to KSR and tuesday, it was featured on their site. here's a link to the blog post:

i love seeing my boys together and in blue, so the post did this momma's heart good! i can't wait to finally have our little greer nathanel home so we can cheer the team on all the way through march madness :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

kids say the darnedest things

i'm feeling a little blue today and really missing our boy, so i thought that i share something that has made me smile recently. but first, if you think of it, please say a prayer for our family to be together soon! right now a lot of paperwork needs to be coming together for us to receive our appointment with the US embassy in a timely fashion. i cannot travel very late into march because of my pregnancy so we're asking God to bring our son home sometime in mid-february. thanks y'all!

we all know that kids see the world differently. i love watching my nieces experience the world as they grow, and i love hearing their interpretations of what they are experiencing. particularly, with our adoption of greer, it's been funny to see my 2 nieces' reaction. mikayla, who is 8, and mikenna, who is 6, are very close to ryan and i so they've known about our adoption and pregnancy all along. when we first tried to explain that we were adopting a little boy or a little girl from another country, they were pretty confused. to add to the confusion, they were some of our earliest family members to know that we were also pregnant. at the time that we told them that we were going to adopt a baby and have a baby, the confusion escalated. they didn't really understand the difference, which i think is pretty neat.

in their short little lives, they've experienced the ups and downs of fostering through our experience with R and P, and they've also experienced their parents raising 2 little boys through kinship care. now, they're living through and experiencing us adding a family member through adoption. to them, fostering, adopting, whatever all equals the creation of family and i think that is such an awesome perspective to have at such a young age!!

the night we told the girls that we were pregnant, we asked our youngest niece, mikenna, what she thought about having 2 new cousins. she said that she was of course very excited and began making predictions for what we would have. {now keep in mind, at the time we still didn't have a referral for greer yet so we didn't know if we'd be adopting a boy or a girl or birthing a boy or a girl.} without batting an eye, mikenna blurted out her predictions..."i think we'll have one boy black and one gwurl white". just like that she was hedging her bets for our future. funny thing is, she was right all along!!

since getting our referral for greer, both girls see his picture plastered all over our house and at their nana's house, so he is a pretty frequent topic of conversation. while we were traveling to ethiopia though, it seems the conversations about greer really began to become more frequent. on christmas day, after our LONG trip home from ethiopia, my sister told me about a conversation that she had recently had with mikenna about greer. it went something like this...

mikenna: "it's really good that we're finally going to have a black person in our family."
my sister: "you're right, mikenna. i think so too."
mikenna: "i can't bewieve that we don't already have any black people. we just keep having white people in our family. it's kinda weirwd that we didn't have any before but it makes me really happy."

:) that makes me happy too! i love the innocence that comes with children. mikenna and mikayla obviously recognize that greer has a different color skin than them but they have no idea why and it's really not any big deal to them. i love that they recognize his differences but don't have any of the negative connotations related to their differences.

today, while we wait for our little boy to come home, i am thankful for my little nieces and the joy they bring to our lives.

Monday, January 3, 2011

christmas 2010

i came and went almost 2 weeks ago but i'm just now getting around to really thinking about it. honestly, nothing could really top our trip to meet our son a few days before christmas, but it was still a great one. we missed our little guy the entire day, of course!, but it was good to finally be back home with family and to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

we started the day out at my parent's house for our annual christmas breakfast...complete with biscuits and gravy {my mom makes me my own special batch without sausage because she's great like that!}, eggs, bacon, grits, etc. we then moved to my sister's house to open presents. i was most excited that my parents got me a cricut since i frequently steal my sister's and hold it hostage for months on end. it was not something i had asked for but was a total surprised and i loved it! i was also pretty shocked by an awesome shutterfly photo book that my sister put together for me and ryan that was all about our time with R and P. i could seriously bawl right now just thinking about how much it means to us and all the wonderful memories that jenn so sweetly preserved for us!! finally, my other favorite gifts had to be all the amazing things that my family gave to our beloved greer. my family went all out and it was really special to see all the beautiful presents with his name under the tree! it was special knowing that we'll be seeing the gifts labeled for him for years to come. i think the best gift he got was an awesome train table that will soon take center stage in our playroom {if we ever get around to getting it put together!}. i can't wait to see him standing around the little table and playing trains with his little sister :)

here are a few pictures from the crazy setliffe family christmas:

*mikenna is ready to beginning opening the presents!

*a not so attractive picture of me, my mom and my sister, jenn

*the kiddos are all distracted by their goodies {except mikayla}

*this is my little brother, stuart, and his new friend steve. {a little background - stu is a freshman in college this year and has decided not to cut his hair for an entire year. he's about 7 months into now, and my brother-in-law jason found this wonderful look alike version of stuart and gave it to him from christmas :) stu was quite pleased.}

*the boys + steve

after leaving my parent's house, we headed over to ryan's parents' house for the afternoon. for some reason {i'll blame it on jet lag because that's most convenient} i didn't get any pictures. however, we had a wonderful time celebrating with them. it was just ryan, me, his parents and his uncle jay so it was much more low-key than my crazy family celebration! we opened gifts one at a time and got to oooh and ahhh over what everyone got, so that was fun. greer got several more presents from ryan's parents and so he is all set for his homecoming! after seeing how excited he got over the few toys he played with at the transition house, i can't wait to see what he thinks of all his new toys!!

we also had our traditional brunch made by my mother-in-law and we were all stuffed to the gills. after lunch, ryan and i headed to the couch for a nap partially induced by a food coma and partially induced by jet lag. little did we know, we ended up sleeping for 3 hours!! after we woke up, we showed our trip pictures and videos of little greer to his parents and chatted about our trip for quite some time. it was a great chance just to catch up with each other, rest and relax. the best kind of christmas!

overall, it was a wonderful day and i wouldn't have changed anything {except for sharing it with our little man.} i hope your christmas was equally as wonderful!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

without further ado...

we are having a baby...


yep, most of you guessed it. the newest baby Sweeney is a little princess!!

here's a few pictures from our big reveal...

we couldn't be more happy and excited. looks like 2011 will be a big year for our family with the addition of sweet little boy greer and sweet little girl ??. {we're actively taking suggestions for girl names because the jury's still out!}

thanks for sharing in our joy!