Who's the cutest girl around?

I am a mom of a cutie pie (very biased). And I wanted to share my experiences with others (including my cuties grandparents, great-grandparents, numerous uncles and other relatives). I love being a mom and can't imagine doing anything else.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Longest Monday ever

We are back into the swing of doctors visits. And today made up for missing last weeks visit (lengthwise). We had a cardiologist appointment this morning at 10. I assumed (wrongly) that it was in Hershey. When I got out my directions and started reading I realized it was in Harrisburgh. Thankfully we left early so we could meet up with Cynthia. It took almost 50 min to get there. The appointment went well. They said that the chambers of Alivia's heart are slightly enlarged from working so hard. But they think its because she is anemic and needs more red blood cells.

Well yesterday I started to notice that Alivia had some peticia (small red spots). These are caused by low platelettes.So this morning before we left I called to see if we could stop in and get the CBC done today just in case she needed a transfusion. Then they could do it today and not delay the bone marrow biopsy tomorrow. Well we got there around 11:45 and got her blood drawn/port accessed. We (Livi, Cynthia and I) then went and had lunch. Livi's CBC was ready when we got back. Her WBC's were down (woo hoo) to 44, her platelettes were 14 (normal is between 140 and 340), and her hemaglobin (red cell related number) was only 6 (normal is 11-14). So after much discussion and seeing a resident and a doc (not our doc) they decided to just give her platelettes since that was what she was showing signs of needing (patecia). So we got situated and waited a long time for the platelettes to arrive from the blood bank. It was around 2:45 when the finally got her all set up. She feel asleep right before the transfusion started and we went intot the transfusion room (unfortunetly not the single, small room). One of the other kids in the room was pretty upset and throwing puzzle peices around and crying. Well that woke up Alivia. But she did an amazing job. Or IV machine started to beep pretty soon after we started (usually means we're done), the nurse came in to check and realized they had run the saline and not the platelettes through so it was as if we hadn't even started the trasfusion. But thankfully by this time the quiet, single room was empty so we moved over there to finish up. And we got to watch Livi's favorite video (Sing Yourself Silly) twice! She did so amazing today. She didn't cry when the cardiologist looked at her, when she had and EKG and Echocardiogram, or when they accessed her port. She did so great and I was so proud of her. She is getting to be such a big girl and so tolerant of all the poking and proding.

Tomorrow we have to be back at the clinic at 9am to get her CBC again and her port accessed (we never come home with it accessed since she wont' sleep if its in). And then we are scheduled for surgery around 11. So tomorrow will be another long day. But my parents and Cynthia will be there to help distract her...and me. Pray that she doesn't have a bad reaction to the anesthia like last time. That is my biggest concern for tomorrow...and that she isn't too scared and that it doesn't hurt too much....and...that there's a miracle and she gets all well!!

THis is Livi watching her video while she gets her transfusion. She loves that video!!

Thanks to..
...Jamie for dinner. We were driving home and we passed a stand and I thought...wish I had some corn on the cob. But Livi was asleep and I couldn't stop cause she would wake up and I got home and there was CORN!!! Thanks friend. It was the perfect dinner for today!
...Cynthia for putting aside her day and spending it with us at the hospital.
Thanks to Brenda Plank, Amanda Sanner, Keira Miinich, Sarah Sensenig, Jennifer Williams, Becca SMith, Nicole Baker, Cori Bitterman, Rosalyn Wenger, Rhonda Wenger, Elaine Jaenke for the cards and Gift certificate for to the spa. Can't wait to use it.

Saturday and Sunday

I started "picture week" on a Monday so I'm finishing it today. A nice full week of pictures. And I might even throw one into my entry about Monday....we'll see.

I know this one is fuzzy but she was feeding herself and trying to feed me and I was dodging a yogurt covered spoon.

She spend Sunday evening walking around with her boots on...again.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Pool Babies

Not many words are needed to describe the following pictures. We had such fun with April, Grace, Samual, Leslie, Eden and Aksel. We love our friends.

Grace, Alivia (who hates to be told to look at the camera!) and Eden

Eden and Alivia


Grace and Samual (I always call them the kids and Alivia gets so excited if I say we're going to see the kids.)

My favorite shot of Livi from the day. She loves the water and enjoyed watching the big kids jump off the diving board.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Our Day With Noah

We had a fun day with Noah today. Beside one little set back (forgetting Livi's meds at home...had to run home and miss seeing Noah run through the fountain) we had a great time. Here are some shots.
Livi walking with her rain boots on...a much slower process than walking with shoes that actually fit.

Livi and Noah playing at the coffee table (Livi is distracted by her signing video on the television..thats why she isn't looking a the camera)

It was such a busy morning that both the kiddos fell asleep for a while.

All in all Livi loved having Noah in the car with her. He was so helpful and sweet (wanting to hold her and feed her). She is doing really well with kids right now. Not as scared as she used to be. This is my favorite picture of the day.

Thanks to...
...Cynthia for coming with us and watching Noah while I ran to get medicine for my girl
...Noah for being so good with Livi
...Gina P. for dinner (we are saving it for tomorrow)
...Brent, Christine, Grant and Noah for dinner tonight. We had such a fun time being with you guys and catching up.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Livi got a headband today at the mall and she didn't want to take if off. I was surprised that she even let me put it on her since sunglasses are extremely offensive and she won't even let them near her face. But for some reason a headband is a great thing and she will wear it for hours.

She also had her very first lollipop today. I got my hair cut and they have a bowl of candy at the register. We thought we would let her try a lollipop. At first it was gross till mommy tried it then it was suddenly the greatest and we had as sticky little girl on our hands.

I tried desperately to get a picture of her "dancing face" (pucker lips) but each time I would try she would get shy or make this face. I love this face and it makes me laugh each time she makes it. I will try again to get the "dancing face" but it is a hard thing to catch.

We had a small answer to prayers today...a whole week off from doctors visits. No blood draws, no nothing. This will be our first full week since April 8th that we haven't been to the doctors. I don't even remember what its like not to go. Instead tomorrow we will spend the day with Noah (one of the little boys I used to nanny... who isn't so little anymore. He just turned 5) I am so excited to see him. What a good Thursday!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Reading Day

Alivia loves sitting in her rocker reading books from her bookshelf (that her daddy built for her). She actually really likes to look through them quickly, throw them on the floor and move on to the next one. And she loves Grace's rain boots! She wants them on then off then on again. Its really sweet.

Oh and here are some pictures of Livi with her new pet. We are calling him Zeus. Such a nice pet and so easy to feed and clean up after.

Thanks to...
...Mom for the card (love you so)
...Cynthia for cleaning...mmmm a clean house.
...Gina P. for the soup (what a suprise)
...Anya for dinner last night
...Aunt Lisa for the signing video (did I thank you yet? its a really fun one and we are going to learn all the foods)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Picture week

I've decided to make this week Picture Week. So along with any updates I will be posting a picture (or 2) a day to show what we are up to and how cute our girl is (according to us and her grandparents and uncles....and a few others). Alivia had ice cream tonight (which she is in love with) and she also had bread (another new love) and she decided it would be amazing to combined the two. This face is the result. Guess it was a success. By the way...what is that guy in the background doing? Thanks buddy.

Monday again

This picture pretty much sums up our weekend. We all got a lot of rest and relaxation. We didn't do anything really but it was really nice. I love being busy but I love time with the three of us just as much.

This week is an up in the air kind of week. We have another bone marrow biopsy scheduled for next Tuesday AM and we are not sure if we have to go get a blood draw done this week or not. We won't find out till Wednesday. I would love to have a whole week off. Our last "week off" still had a blood draw. Since April 8th there hasn't been a single week that we haven't been to Hershey Medical Center. I not sure what a week without a trip would be like.

Pray for...
...a real week off.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


I just wanted to write the thanks that I have piling up on my desk. I keep forgetting and don't to ever leave anyone out.
So here goes.......
Thanks to...
...Amy (and Hannah) K for organizing the backyard pool party at my house (thanks to Tina and Owen L., Kathy, Xander and Bryn B. , April, Samual and Grace S. for joining in the fun) Oh do I love my friends.
...Lynn Boronow for yummy chicken and Christi for the sweet gift. Alivia has been coloring on all the wrong things and she loves it.
...Pauline Williams for the gift cards. Can't wait to eat Olive Garden...mmmm
...Joanne for the sweet card and fun pics from the wedding.
...Marmie for being our ever faithful card/gift sender. We love the duckie, soap and cook book (James will benefit from that part of the gift the most) and I even loved the box it came in (it said believe in miracles and had a little girl on it. How perfect. It is going to be the sticker storage box from now on.
...Cathy Schloemer for the encouraging words and the stickers...can never have to many
...Margot Cole...it is so amazing to me that you are organizing and raising money for us through this half marathon. It is also going to come at such a perfect time. We found out that we will probably be paying for next weeks bone marrow biopsy because they are going to do all the lab work at Johns Hopkins and since they could do it at Hershey but aren't it will be something we need to pay for. And the 4 diamonds fund won't pay for things outside of the hospital (I think thats how it works) I'm going to get all the details Monday but the money will come at the perfect time to pay for this procedure. So thank you again and again. How is the training going?

Better go enjoy the rest of my weekend with my sweet little family.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Backyard Beach Baby

We had some friends over this AM to swim in our baby pools. Livi didn't love it. She did okay but had a hard time sharing her toys. Very typical 16 month old. Now she's napping...sharing is a very tiring thing. When I get the real pics developed I'll try to post on of all the kids in the pool.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I hate Doctor days

I think well just be skipping to doctors from now on (not really but I wish we could). We are going along fine and dandy and then we got to our weekly visit and her counts are up again (60 this time...grrr). So the doctor is starting to think of using Glevace again (even though she doesn't have the genetic marker for it) just to try. His thought is that maybe the clone is becoming resistant to the Hydroxerua. Great. So maybe Glevace or maybe just start treating ALL even though she doesn't officially have it. (by the way the survival rate for ALL is between 75 and 80%) But he has never treated a child for a leukemia they don't have before and really would rather not start now. The other option is just to go straight to bone marrow transplant (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!). Next week we will have another bone marrow biopsy and see what the blast count is. If it is over 20 or 25% then we have ALL otherwise we dont'. Don't know what is a good thing at this point. Is it better to just get ALL and get started with the curing or better to stay where we are and not really know if there is a cure. Either way seems horrible to me. Waiting and not knowing is really hard and on the flip side knowing it's ALL would be really hard cause then she will get really sick for a while from the chemo.

I am struggling with seeing the good in this situation and being thankful. I want to be full of faith and trusting God but those are very tall orders when things seems so out of control. I know God isn't suprised by this and that he planned every second of this its just so hard to understand why. I am constantly crying out for the ability to trust and bigger faith. Please pray for me.

My parents left to head home from the hospital. I am daily amazed by their sacrifice for us. They have put so many things aside to be with us. They cancelled their vacation, drive 3 hours here and 3 hours back almost every week, they clean my house, take care of Alivia and just bless us in so many ways. They would say that they are lucky to get to be with her and to be able to help but I think it is so much more than that. They are true servant and I love them more than I can express. I'm so glad we got to spend my mom's birthday together. We had a really good day.

Please pray...
...wisdom for our doctor (what to do next)
...peace, faith, trust for me
...continued happy days for Alivia (she definetly doesn't feel sick)
...for the white cells to go down (not be resistant to the meds)

Thanks to Jill Piper for the card. It was so kind.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Good times

Alivia actually slept last night. It was amazing. She slept the same pattern that she was sleeping before she got sick (meaning she only got up one time). We had a really busy day too so it was good she got some sleep. We ran some errands in the city this morning (market, hair salon, trophy shop) and then came home and Cynthia was here cleaning (thanks a ton...it was such a huge help). Then Leslie and the kids dropped by to pick up a dress I had borrowed and Alivia got to play with the kids. Thanks for being such a sweetie Eden! Livi loves playing with you. Then we took a nap and it was 5 before I knew it. James came home, a huge storm rolled into Lancaster county so we ran around getting things from the yard that might blow away. James left for a haircut, Jamie came over and hung out (good to catch up), my parents arrived, Jamie left, Andy and Sonya came by for a few hours and now I'm sitting at my computer and Livi and James are sleeping. I love busy days. I love friends being around. It was a great day.

My parents are here till Thursday and tomorrow is my mom's birthday. I'm so glad we will get to be together. Happy Birthday Mom...I love you and so does Livi (you should see her face when they walked in the door....pure joy!)

Thanks to
Cynthia for cleaning
Grace Bennett for the sweet card and angel
The Snyders for the stickers...the big animals ones are a new favorite thing to carry around

Monday, July 17, 2006

Just a quick thought

If you leave a comment please sign your name so I know who it is from. Thanks

Pictures by Beth

When Beth was visiting she took some photos when we went to the park. Here are 2 of my favorites. Thanks Beth...we love you

Sunday, July 16, 2006

weekend update

This weekend was a fun one. We had such a great time with the Spinetti's at IKEA. Even the monsoon couldn't ruin our day. They even came back to our house for some Quizno's. Nice.

Today we went to church (almost made it through the whole service without Alivia breaking down!). We got home, Livi took a nap, I went to the grocery store and James straightened the house (Thanks babe!). Then tonight we celebrated Haughery family birthdays (Bill's 51st and Hannah's 1st) with the fam.

Funny how it doesn't matter what the doctors say life just keeps on going. I find it so strange that everyone elses life is just going along as usual while I feel like we've stepped outside of our lives (even though this is our life now)...like we've taken a wrong exit and can't seem to get back on the highway that everyone else is speeding along on. Wonder if that feeling will ever go away or will it just feel like this until Alivia is well?!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Another day

So I definetly didn't expect today. I shouldn't have expectations but I do...oh I'm human and thats what we do. Anyway, James and I prayed about it and decided that I should take Livi to Hershey for her blood work cause she has to port now and the arm sticks are so traumatic for all involved. So we got there around 9:30 and it was pretty quick getting the port accessed the blood sent off to the lab. Then Alivia and I went to the park behind the hospital and meet up with Kathy, Xander and Bryn. What a nice distraction. I gave the nurses my cell number so they could call when the results came in. Her white cell went back up to 34 and her platelettes came down to 30. Not what we were hopeing for and yet not the real hard news of the day. So I went back to the office to get the access out (no transfusion till next week) and the doc was on the phone and wanted to talk. Well he had talked to the doc at Hopkins (the bigwig) and after reviewing her slids that doc is sure that this is going to turn into ALL. Funny for a while that news would have made me happy till I saw what a kid with ALL looks like and realized that NO leukemia is a "good" leukemia. That is the kind that takes about 3 years of treatment. He also told me that if you are diagnosed under 12 months it is a much worse prognosis and after 12 months it is better. Well she is right on the line so they would act as if she was under 12 months and go after it with a lot stronger doses of the medicines. Vincristine and steriods would be the first things she would get. So I guess now we just sit and wait for the bomb to go off, or at least that is what it feels like. We will have another bone marrow biopsy in 3 or 4 weeks and weekly visits until then. Also we will continue with the hydroxeuria.

pray for...
...healing for Alivia
...patience and peace for us.

thanks to...
...kathy for coming to visit
...the garners for the panera gift card (yummy can't wait)
...LOLC 3rd and 4th grade sunday school class for your sweet letters.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


The last few days have been so good. The only thing missing is James!! But we'll see him tomorrow. This is going to be a list of all the blessings/fun times God has bestowed upon us this week....
...sleep for me!! (my mom takes the breakfast shift and lets me sleep an extra 2 hours. I feel like a new women)
...fun times with the fam
...watching Livi swim in her new yellow baby pool that Gigi and Pap bought for her. She loves it and we love her in it.
...dinner with Beth (hasn't happened yet but will be so great)
...not having to go to the doctors this week. They called yesterday and said we needed a break so we get this week off. We still have to get a blood draw and are praying about whether we should drive to Hershey to get it from the port (thats why we got the port) or try for a blood draw in the arm at Heart of Lancaster (we've had good results there in the past). Sort of have to decide which is the lesser of two evils...all that car time and the wasted morning going to Hershey, or a quick (yet painful/scary) trip to Heart. Never thought these would be options I would be thinking over.
...James getting a lot of work done so he won't have to work on the weekend and can spend time with us.
...a fun weekend ahead (saturday with the Spinetti's and Haughery family birthdays on Sunday)

Livi is growing in leaps and bounds it seems. She is so aware of the world around her and seems to know a lot more than I expect her to know. For instance...she is learning sign language from some videos and uses the signs to communicate with us. But I didn't realize how much she had picked up till today. We were sitting on my parents bed listening to my dad play guitar and a bird chirped outside the window. Alivia perked right up and pointed to the window and did the sign for bird. That sign is on the tape she hasnt' watched in a while. But when I asked her what she heard she did it again. So sweet! She is starting to try to say some words like "duck", "fish" and what sounds like "I did it". I'll try to get some new pictures up soon. All in all this a great week.

I wanted to say congratulations to my friends Briana and Lawrence! They are expecting their 3rd child in February. They have twin boys and one have had a large number of health concerns with their one son. I am praying for you each day that this pregnancy is easy and that the baby is perfectly healthy. Love you

Also....to my friend who got news she was not wanting to get yesterday...I love you. I am here for you and I know that somehow this is a part of God's plan just as Alivia being sick is part of his plan. Obviously we don't know why these things are part of his plan but we know that ultimately He will be glorified through them. (not such a comfort in the middle of them I know) Someday you and I will look back and this time and see God's hand in it and be so glad for all we went through. And for now we'll cry together. I love my sweet friend and my heart is crying along with you.

please pray...
..for wisdom on where to get the blood drawn on Friday
..a safe trip tomorrow for my dad, James, Alivia and I (dad's driving us to breezewood to meet James)
..Alivia's pre-molar to come in. She is doing pretty well with it but naps have been hard. thankfully she's had my parents and Aaron to distract her.

Better go...I have a dinner date with Beth!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Long time

I have had the greatest couple of days. We got to my parents Friday around midnight and Livi did super in the car. Not so good once we got here but its always hard adjusting to a new place...especailly cause most of the time an unfamiliar crib means the hospital. But once she got to sleep (3:30 am) things went well the rest of the night. Saturday was a day of hanging out and getting ready for the wedding. We got to Pittsburgh around 5 and spend some quality time with the fam before the wedding. Sarah looked smashing and it was fun remembering the first time I saw her (in the hospital when she was born! My parent snuck me in cause kids weren't supposed to visit and I took her a pair of my old mittens...thanks for pretending you wanted them Maria!). The whole thing was beautiful. Great colors, amazing flowers and all around fun. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Sams!!!! Livi loved dancing and walking around the deck and we got to see family and met some friends of my parents from elementary school. Livi ate the icing off all the cake she could and was just cute as could be. She even let Marmie hold her for a few minutes (she isn't very good with letting people hold her so if you get to it means you are pretty special!)

Sunday we went to church...the whole thing in fact. We don't usually make it through the whole thing but Livi was in a great mood and there was plenty to distract her. It was so great to be there and see everyone. Thanks for all being so understanding about not touching Alivia. It's not the most fun thing to enforce but it is really helpful when people understand. Also thank you to everyone who is pray. During the announcments the whole church prayed for her. I was so blessed. Thanks. We went to the park Sunday afternoon. Alivia was a bit overwhelmed because there were a lot of kids all over the place. We might have to try that park again when its not so crowded.

Monday (today) Uncle Mike (from California) came up to vist and take us all to lunch. We had a great time laughing and talking with him. I miss not seeing him more often and am so thankful for the time we got to spend. Thanks for making the trip to Indiana Mike..we loved spending the day with you.

Around 4 we started to discuss Alivia and I staying for a few extra days. James was sure from the start it was a good idea and although I really really wanted to I was nervous about not being closer to the hospital and it being a big deal to get us home later in the week for her doctor visit. But James and I prayed about it and decided that it would be a good thing. My parents are a huge help and Alivia is so happy to be around them. And Aaron (my brother) is Alivia's new favorite friend and she would be sad to leave him also! I actually got to sleep in today for the first time since before Alivia was born. It was so good to get some rest and it makes all the difference. You forget how much you need sleep until you get a good chunk and then it all comes back. I am so thankful that my mom and dad are willing to get up early with Alivia. They had a great time walking around the neighborhood. Livi just wants to cruise everywhere. She even stood for a few seconds this evening. We are getting so close to walking. She was so close right around when we found out she was sick and that first stay in the hospital set her back a few months it seemed. And it would take a few weeks to get close again and right when she was close we would end up in the hospital again. Hopefully this time there will be no hospital stays for a long time and she will start to walk. It will change our lives but that is a change I look forward to very much.

Hope everyone is doing great. I know we are. This feels like its our vacation. Thank you God for a break!

Friday, July 07, 2006

So unorganized

I am the most unorganized person ever... and that is not like me. I love making lists, being on top of my game and always being prepared. I failed miserably this time. We had planned to be on the road at 8 and it is 8:05 and we aren't anywhere near ready to go. James is on his way back from Hershey because I forgot to get Alivia's prescription and we don't have enough for the weekend. So we had to call our friend Corey who is a resident to call his friends at the pharmacy to call the manager of the out patient pharmacy to get the perscription...good grief!

Once James finally gets home (poor guy) we still have to finish packing...Alivia was tired of the packing and wanted to come watch her favorite movie. Thankfully she did a great job sitting and helping me so that part is almost done. I don't even have my outfit for tomorrow picked out. Thankfully my friend Leslie came to my rescue and let me borrow some clothes! But we are going to get there and that is all that matters.

Livi is doing great. She has no idea what a great weekend is ahead of us. It will be intersting to see if she remembers my parents house or if it is strange since we haven't been there in so long. This is our first time away from home since we found out she was sick and its a huge deal to us. I am so excited to get out of town and be with my family.

I need to get some more things together. I am learning how much I need others. Thanks Corey! Thanks Leslie! What would I do without my friends?!

Also thanks to Sue Minich for last nights dinner...it was something no one had made before and was so good. We both enjoyed it a ton! And thanks to Cynthia for coming and sitting through the incredibly long doctor visit today. It was supposed to be 3 or 4 hours and ended up being 5! You are a trooper thanks.

Hey Allen family....can't wait to see you tomorrow. Thanks for getting married Sarah so we can all get together (ha ha). Can't wait to see my little cousin in a wedding dress....bet you I cry. Love you!

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Another positive day at the doctors. Alivia's WBC count came down to 121.1! that is only 10 thousand more than a normal person...yea. We have to go back tomorrow for a blood transfusion because her RBC's are low. They Hydroxurea can start to supress the bone marrow after a while and that is what seems to be happening. so we will go for our transfusion (which takes 3 hours!) and then head out for the weekend. I am so excited to go away. Wonder if I should pack our hazmat suits for the wedding? Probably a lot of people will want to touch and hug us. We'll just have to lysol people as they approach us.

...that tomorrow goes smoothly. the transfusion takes 3 hours and anyoen that has a 1 yr old knows keeping a 1 yr old content in a small room for 3 hours is a huge task.
...that nothing else goes wrong and we actually get to go away for a weekend!

In the next week or so we will be going to a cardiologist because Alivia's heart has a "gallop" (instead of beating thump-thump (2 chambers) hers has a 3rd noise) could be just because of the need for red blood cells but our doctor wants to be safe. WE are all for being safe!

Gotta go take advantage of the nice evening...its not humid for the first time in a long long time. Time to hit the park!

Pre- appointment

Our appointment today isn't till 4. I know its late but it will work out the best for Alivia not to be in the hospital all day and then she can take a nap before we go. Last night was half tough. Wondering what that means...well she got up a ton of times before 5 am but then slept till almost 10. Silly girl. Need to work on having the sleep be during the night! AT least there was some sleep.

We had a great 4th of July weekend. And the 4th was just a great day of relaxing as a family. All in all a great time. As long as all goes well today we will be heading to Pittsburgh this weekend for my cousin Sarah's wedding. I love weddings. And I am so excited to go away for the weekend.

I'll write more after the appointment. If all is well it should be a really simple visit.

please pray
Alivia has had diarrhea for the last few days. We are praying this is a just a side affect of the medication. Otherwise she will have to have a colonoscopi (I think thats the right term) to make sure the isn't any damage from the eosinophils. Pray that she doesn't have to! And that she gets over the diarrhea. (boy is she going to hate this entry someday...sorry sweetie!)

Monday, July 03, 2006


This weekend was so busy and so fun. We went to market with Maureen and Beth on Saturday morning and out to lunch (thanks Maureen!). Maureen headed home around 1 and my parents arrived around 1:30. We hosted a picnic for some friends and had the best time. There are some things that we love to do and hosting picnics is one of them. We love grilling and hanging out in the yard with friends. Sunday we went to church and spent the afternoon watching thunderstorms from the front porch. Sunday evening we met up with Scott and Angie and watched more fireworks (have I mentioned I absolutely love fireworks and look forward to them all year?! Well i do!).

Today my parents let me sleep in and they took care of Alivia (such a blessing!!!!!) then we went to Lititz and walked around looking at the shops. We had a nice lunch in the tea shop and then headed back to our house so Alivia could nap. Once she was asleep my parents and Beth headed home (miss them already). Tonight we just hung out as a family since this week is busy also.

I am so thankful for busy weekends. They resemble our lives before this all started and make me feel more like myself (normal for us). Livi did great all weekend and seemed to enjoy all the activities. She is a social girl just like her momma!

I have a lot of thank you's to catch up on.
Thanks to...
...Patti Smith for the great dinner last Thursday
...Keirnan Smith for sharing his favorite book with Alivia
...Mike and Joanne Allen for the card (can't wait to see you this weekend)
...Joe, Kelly, Campbell and Bailey for driving all th way here for such a short visit. We treasure our times with you. Wish they could be more often.
...Marmie for the card (you are so faithful to send us cards)
...Karen Murchinson for the sweet letter
...Jeremy Landis for the most amazing flowers (more like bushes!) I love them and am watering them daily (promise!) Thanks for hanging out with us boring old people. We love it!
...Maureen for wanting to drive here for an afternoon just to see how she could serve us. We are blown away by your servants heart. And also so glad you stayed over. It was so much fun!
...My parents...for everything
...Jim and Jean McClements for their dear letter
...Kathy McVicker for the 5 little monkeys (Livi loves them and carries them around)
...John and Maryann Plesnicher for their letter and gift (we are truly blessed)
...Anita and Bill Kennelly for their card (see you this weekend!)