NY/CT and God’s AMAZING Grace!

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Just got back from an AMAZING trip to CT/NY!!! We were up for 2 weeks so Jeremiah could spend time with his bio-father! The visits have taken HUGE leaps in a good direction specifically over the last year (i.e. I stopped crying every time I dropped him off, stopped critiquing everylittlething that Brian did with him, and just focused on is he safe/happy), but MAN this year God just ROCKED my world!!! So 8 years ago, Brian and I were in the middle of a nasty custody/visitation court battle that went on for about a year and a half. Mostly I was just trying to do anything possible to cut this “bad” person out of my baby’s life! Looking back though, I realize, I had done a major turn around since I got pregnant, but did not give Brian any chance to prove he had too! UGH and I call myself a Christian! Someone needed to remove their own log, ya know??? (Matt 7:3) Anyway, this year when I dropped Jer off Wes got out of the car, and get this, TALKED with Brian for a WHILE, which made my jaw almost hit the floor. BUT it gets even better! I had only briefly met Brian’s mother once, and we were going to pick Jeremiah up from his mother and fathers house (Jer’s grandparents) on the final night b/c Brian was at a wedding. So I was a little nervous, since it had been about 7 years or so since I’d seen this lady and I wasn’t sure what she would think of me or what she knew about how bad those first years were! Wes came with me and we brought Ava too (Ethan was sleeping already back at the house where we were staying). They came out to greet us with open arms, literally, and invited us in! We stayed and talked for about 1/2 hr, and they praised Wes and I for how well we were raising Jer. NO ONE from his side of the family has EVER even acknowledged Wes, nonetheless complimented him!!! Then, Jer’s grandma came out with gifts for our other 2 kids, and wanted to take pictures and asked us to come back and visit when we were in town next!! WHAT???????? I was/still am speechless!!! When I got in the car, I didn’t even have the words to express to my sweet Jesus, how thankful, and undeserving I am of his mercy!!!! What a wonderful life Jeremiah will have! How great for him to see all of us come together!!

My sweet big boy

One of the Hebrew translations of the name Jeremiah is “risen from the ashes.” Risen from the ashes we are indeed!! God is so good!!

Anyhoo, now for the fun stuff!!

The first week, we stayed with my brother/sister in laws. So fun! They have a little boy just a couple months younger than Ethan so it was great to watch them play! We also went to NYC for a day! HIGHLIGHT! We parked in Times Square which is one of my favorite parts of Manhattan! I kept telling Wes how fun it would be to raise our kids in a walk up and all the culture we would experience. Then we passed the “naked cowgirl,” (which is sometimes the “naked cowboy,” and I took back my statement. I didn’t take a pic, but picture a 70 year old lady wearing nothing but cowboy boots, underwear, and pasties over her nips! Ava saw her and said “she looks out of her mind.” Yes! Good answer!

more "culture" that was picture appropriate and made ava laugh hysterical

We went to Toys R Us and got to play with a ton of cool toys, and Grammy bought some goodies for the kids!

Toys R Us Barbie house 🙂

ava and her goodies

We also ate at a deli that Wes loves and I finished an entire 3/4lb bacon cheeseburger all b/c my hubby dared me to! UGH BLOAT! But it was YUMMMMY!!! And we got to eat upstairs where there weren’t many people so we used chairs and blocked off a huge section for Ethan to run around in so we could eat in peace.

NOW for the REAL reason we went downtown! CAKE BOSS!!!! According to the GPS it was only 15 minutes from Times Square, but in NYC driving time that really means 1/2 an hour lol. Hoboken is super cute, and I LOVED IT!!! We got in line (which went across the street and down the whole block) and waited for our turn to get inside! It took about 2 hrs to get in, and thankfully there was a big farmers market happening next door so my MIL went and grabbed food for the kids to occupy them.

Then, we got IN!!! It is literally shoulder to shoulder in people, even though they only let a certain number in at a time. Reason number 8423780245 I married a giant is for advantages in situations like this! He was able to see over everyone and let me know what was in the glass cases that we could order from b/c they expect you to know exactly what you want when they call your number! We got some cannolis, cookies, cupcakes, and few other random pastries, which came to a bunch of boxes for only $20!!! Super yummy and super cheap!!  I don’t think I’d wait in line 2 hours again, but it was worth it once!

Week 2 we were at my “family’s” house in CT! I have known them since I was in 8th grade and consider them part of my family! I love love staying there! One of my “sisters”  had an engagement party while we were there, and it was sooo good to be there to celebrate with them! The other one has a son who is within a few month of Ethan’s age, just like my SIL, and oh boy was that interesting!! lol Ethan and Isaiah have a love/hate relationship! They constantly “fought” over toys, and whatever one had, the other one demanded too!! SOOO FUNNY to watch them interact! The week was also filled with a murder of Ava’s caterpillar, and adventures finding new bugs to “love” lol. BIG event! I got Ethan to swim in the pool by himself!! He was HATING that I had to hold onto him and found any type of “baby holder” lame, so I busted out the swimmies and he was in HEAVEN!!! YAY!! I have free hands in the pool once again!

Ethan and Isaiah

We also got to have professional family pics done!! Aside from Ethan’s newborn pics, this was our first prof photo session ever! My SIL is an amazing photographer and I can’t wait to have some awesome pics hanging in the house (read 10X20 family pic! one of my long time wishes, weird, I know)

One of the best days this week was going out on my friend Andrea’s boat! I happened to have Jer for part of the day that day, so we were all able to go with her and her hubby!!! BEST DAY EVER!!! Tons of sun, laughs, swimming, memories made, and did I mention sun??? Everyone but Jer was a little tomato-looking by the end of the day! All 3 kids loved the water, and the big 2 loved getting to try out some “water sports!” P.S. This was one of two days during our visit that I had Jeremiah during the day while his Dad worked. He got done early, and I stayed on the boat with the other kids while Wes took Jer back to his house! I know this seems silly, but it was HUGE that Brian was allowing someone other than me (esp Wes) to do the drop off! AHHH!! God is so stinkin’ AWESOME!!!!

It was so bittesweet leaving!!! I could barely keep it together Sunday morning in church before we left!! I love all the people here sooo much!! I also think it would be so great to have Jeremiah be able to hang out with his Father and his family on a regular basis. Visiting only twice a year is HARD on their relationship especially since boys/men aren’t huge phone talkers lol. In our hearts, CT is where we want to end up, we just have to wait on God’s timing and see if/when He takes us there!!

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