Wednesday, December 26, 2007

We are expecting!

It is very early to be making an announcement but I did not want to wait to long to post our family video when we let the kids know. It was so exciting and we were thrilled with their response. Daddy captured the whole thing with his new camcorder that mummy bought him for Christmas!

I bought bibs that read I love my big sister and I love my big brother. After the kids were done with opening all of their gifts from "Santa", I handed them their "special gifts". As you will see in the video, the kids got it right away! They almost knocked me completely over!

The night before, on Christmas Eve, we told my parents and brother in the same way. Their reaction was a bit different- they cried!! It was very touching. Rob was so nervous that he forgot to turn the video camera on- too funny!

After we told the kids Christmas morning, we went over to Rob's parents as we were all having dinner there. We broke the news the same way with bibs printed for his mum, dad and Aunt Syl. Same reaction as my parents- lots of tears and everyone is just thrilled.

This is a long-awaited miracle and we are so grateful. I am praying every day that I stay healthy!

Attached you will see the video- enjoy! There is also a picture of what the fetus looks like at this point. I am officially in the sixth week.

Week 6
The embryo officially becomes a fetus. It is about the size of a baked bean and its spine and nervous system begin to form.
The fetus already has its own blood system and may be a different blood group from its mother. Blood vessels are forming in what will become the umbilical cord and tiny buds which will become limbs appear.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Decorating Our Tree (A Long Overdue Post!)

I thought you would enjoy all the silly photos of us decorating...OR watching daddy string up the lights while the rest of us horse around...check out Bambi and then Kayla's festive underwear...yes we live in a CRAZY house...welcome to my world!!!

I wouldn't trade it for anything :) MERRY CHRISTMAS Everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Eat, Pray, Love

So...we were scheduled to have our next book club meeting last night and we needed to postpone due to some leaky roofs (isn't that the story everywhere in New England right now?) Ugh! We have had more snow in December alone than we had for the entire Winter last year! You all know how I feel about Winter too- YUCK!

As always, though, we are making the most of it!

Our book this month was Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is a true story about the author and just amazing. She talks about her painful divorce and her different stages of healing. She ate her way through Italy (my favorite part of course)...then prayed her way through India and then loved again in Indonesia. A best seller and an Oprah approved book- a must read!

Can't wait until we do get together and talk about it!

Last night, Kayla and I practiced the first part of the book anyway and had a nice dinner at the Blackwater Grille in Salem...Rob was playing so we had a chance to catch part of his gig while we sat at the bar too...very nice night..and the place was decorated so beautifully....Linda has done such a wonderful job with this restaurant!

Then of course, on the way home, we stopped at one of our favorite destinations- Starbucks at Barnes and Noble. I got a hot chocolate (so I could feel like a little kid again) and she got a white peppermint mocha or somethin' fancy like that!

Fun little night...even though we only did the Eat and Love parts! :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bill's Annual Family Christmas Party in York

We always look forward to Bill's family party at his home in York. This year, it was especially nice since most everyone made it.

We enjoyed Terri's festive food and it was nice for the kids to all meet each other!

I have included a few photos that we snapped!

Company Christmas Party 2007 at Foxwoods!

So....we always have a fantastic holiday bash with my company. This year, Bill decided to take us all to Foxwoods overnight. He never lets us down!

When did we go you ask? Thursday!!!!!!!!! The day of the Nor'easter? Well, the girls were allowed to leave the office at noon. By the time we closed up business and got organized, we didn't get on the road until 12:30, however, it made a world of difference. As scary as it was driving down there, Kim was our hero. She got us there safely in her awesome Altima with navigation AND new snow tires! It only took us a little over three hours.

The guys? That's another story. They left an hour and a half after us and it ended up taking them 9 hours!!!!!!!!!! I don't know how they did it. Dave V was their hero- he drove the whole way.

What surprised us the most, after their horrific ride, is that they showed up in the best moods! So we got busy with our Secret Santa right away.

Dave V had me and I got four classic albums- hysterical! I knew my hubby would enjoy them even more than I will- Partridge Family, Fabian, Breakin' Soundtrack and The Osmonds. I had Kim and since she always looks half her age, I got her a "Miss 21 sash" that she wore around Foxwoods all night and a card game for girls' nights outs and a great bottle of Pinor Noir which is her favorite wine. We had some laughs.

Kim got Smitty and signed him up for a chip of the month club (since he is a chip junkie). Jen had Bill and got him the Marathon Shirt from the Office (his favorite show). Smitty got Steve a Notre Dame shirt (because he went to BC and they are arch rivals) and there were many more funny exchanges.

Since the guys were so late- we did dinner in the room. The rest of the night consisted of gambling and laughs. Denise and I were the first ones to go to bed at 12:30- some stayed up until 4am- don't know how they do it!

The next morning, Bill took us out for brunch. We all agreed that we are very lucky to have each other and even luckier that we love working with each other so much!

The picture of the four girls here was at a restaurant on Thurs night- we were killing time waiting for the guys (who still had another four hours to go!)

The picture of the entire group is breakfast on Friday morning- I think everyone looks great especially for getting such little sleep!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Breton Annual Christmas Party

We hosted our 5th annual holiday bash and it truly was the best one we had yet. We got to spend some quality time with family and friends- some from town and work, who we are blessed to see often and others we don't get to see nearly as much!

The live music was terrific once again- thanks to Carl Ayotte and Paul Carr. I sang my rendition of Patsy Cline's Crazy and Rob and I, along with Carl on backup, did Sara McLaughlin and BNL's God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen mix. Of course, my Dad didn't let us down- he truly brought the house down with Sweet Caroline!

I did hear, through the grapevine, that some friends did not receive their invites this year. For this, I apologize- I can only say the U.S.P.S let us down and we missed you!

Enjoy these pix :)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Boylston Home for Girls

We visited the Boylston Home in Manchester yesterday. We started a family tradition last year. We choose a different shelter/home where we will bring a meal we prepared for the holidays.

This year, we were fortunate enough to visit the Boylston Home. We brought our American Chop Seuy, Salad and Bread. We also got to spend time with the family that runs this home.

The home operated, in the past, like other group homes. Now, the state of NH, is trying to get away from the group home concept and moving towards more foster care situations.

As a result, the Boylston home lost its funding and was forced to close its doors earlier this year.

Some special invidividuals, however, did not let it die on the vine. They came up with the concept of having it be a "faith based home." (no specific religion- nondenominational).

They found the wonderful Coberley family in Kansas and asked them to move out here to run the home. They did just that. They have now re-opened and they are anticipating a full house soon. The home serves girls who may be unwed mothers or those who are living on the streets and have no where else to go.

Various churches across the country can recommend girls for the home and they will fund their associated costs.

The Coberleys explained to us that they welcome volunteers and gifts from all of us. Their piece of advice was "give what you like to give or what you are good at." For example, they could always use diapers. They also could use some help with painting and repairing walls. They are also open to volunteers taking a girl out for an afternoon (they would have to run a background check on anyone who may be interested in spending some time with the girls).

If you have some time to volunteer or you have a gift to give, please visit the Boylston Home. You can call and ask for Cheryl- she is just wonderful! Their website is www.boylstonhome.com or you can call at (603) 622-2313

This experience meant two things for our family: 1. It showed the kids how less fortunate so many people are out there and pointed out even more how lucky they are for who and what and they have. 2. It educated us on this wonderful home where we will be volunteering, now, for years to come!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Family XMAS Card Pictures 2007

So...yes...we took pictures outside today! Crazy? I think you already know the answer! My best friend is just that- NOT crazy- simply the BEST- Cass thank you!!!! Thanks for braving the 18 degree weather today to get some family photos.

Here are some outtakes- enjoy! We had fun before we got frost bitten down at Griffin Park!

Reuniting with Old Friends

Last night I met Donna and Caitlin at Margarita's. We had a great night reconnecting. We worked together for five years back at OPIS and New Boston Select Staffing.

I still remember the day I met Donna for the first time. She had recently had her first daughter Brooke. Brooke is now 8 years old and her second daughter Christina is now 5- oh how time flies!

Donna is my friend who I always look up to- she is the one who did everything the way "you are supposed to." She did things the right way and is always so responsible. I always love her stories too. She never lets us down! She is always good for some belly laughs!

She is also one of my heroes because Donna survived breast cancer without skipping a beat. She looks at life and just takes care of everything like it is no big deal. I wish I got to see her more often. I miss her all the time but the good news is that she is right in Pelham- pretty much five minutes away!!! She now runs her husband's business at home while taking care of their two girls- they are so lucky to have her as a mom.

Caitlin just celebrated her one year anniversary with Peter. Donna and I along with Steve and Rob had a blast at her wedding last year. Caitlin and Peter are such a special couple-truly meant for each other. Caitlin, like Donna, were the best employees I ever had- they had true passion for their recruiting work and were my sanity (if that is possible because you already know how crazy I am!)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Journey to Bethlehem

So....we ventured out last night to the drama "Journey to Bethlehem" presented by the Windham Bible Chapel.

It was an interesting experience. Yes, the kids were dreading it but when all was said it done, we had a blast.

I would highly recommend the event for older kids (like my stepkids) but it was too educational and long and drawn out for Baby Alexis who accompanied us with her parents Cass and Steve. She was actually very good for over an hour but after that, she had enough and actually so did we.

We were disappointed that we didn't get to enjoy the hike portion of it where you go on a trail wtih a guide to find Baby Jesus. We did enjoy, the play and the movie though- boy did we have some laughs! Only us- the Griswolds!! ha ha

We went back to our house after for some cocoa and dessert and the kids were coaxing Alexis to walk...we did get to see three steps- she is so cute!!!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Festival of Trees

My mom and I went to the Festival of Trees in Methuen last night. It is an annual event where there are over 200 decorated Christmas trees! Each tree is donated by a different organization and each one has its own theme. You purchase sheets of raffle tickets and put your tickets in the tree of your choice. The raffle drawings will all happen on Saturday night. If you win, you win the entire tree and decorations and then the secret raffle prizes associated with that tree (you don't know what the prizes are ahead of time!) It was really fun and a special time! The festival runs through Saturday- you can check out the info at www.methuenfestivaloftress.com

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Ann Taylor Dress?

Returned it...yep...such a shame..did not like the way it looked on me at all AND at the same time,realized, our party isn't fancy...sooooo I am either going with an Ann Taylor top and jeans or the top with black pants...yes I obsess over fashion...it is a bad habit!!! I get it from my mother ;)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Caiden gets Baptized

Today was the christening of my precious godson Caiden Dane. The service was absolutely beautiful and I think Caiden knew everyone was there to see him- he was great! Even when the priest put water all over his head and wet his hair...he just looked around..and took it all in.

What made today extra special was that Marky Mark was back in town! Julie and Cory asked Mark and I to be Caiden's godparents and we all got to be together today for this blessed event.

Mark and Angela also brought their new baby girl Victoria with them and we just had a ball with her too! She is the spitting image of Angela....just so sweet and adorable!

God Bless Caiden
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