We had a wonderful time on our trip! We drove all the way to Alabama, and opted to drive overnight so Raia would sleep through most of it. There is NO WAY she would have stayed in that car seat for 10+ hours (one way) during play time!! Nathan did an excellent job getting us there and back unscathed, while I plugged in my computer and surfed the net for most of those 10 hours! I tried not to sleep, but on the way back I did a little. I was afraid Nathan would fall asleep at the wheel, and wanted to be alert in case he did. Thank goodness he didn't! Way to go, Nathan!
***Please know that the following information is not easy for me to blog about, and share with the entire world (if they so happen to come across this blog)***:
I have not shared on my blog yet about my sons; they both live in Alabama. This blog was primarily made for my family, but I do have a few non-family readers. It is something I am not particularly proud of, the fact that I am not with them. Only my closest friends know my past, and know my situation. I do not openly share this information, because I am afraid of being harshly judged. I know that there is only One who I should care about judging me, but I am only human, and I do care about what people think of me. Eventually I will have peace about everything; I am working towards that now. I feel like finding a church to attend, and renewing my relationship with God is my first step.
Patrick, who is 11, is my son from my first marriage. He is one of the smartest kids I have ever known, very sensitive on the inside, cares so much about his Granny (my Aunt, she has adopted him), loves attention, absolutely loves his video games, he likes to play rough and tough like the big guys, and he is growing like a weed! He had hit a growth spurt since the last time I saw him, and I almost didn't recognize him! My little boy is almost a man!!
Jacob, who is 7, from my second marriage, is a sweet boy, he is so polite, nurturing (he couldn't stop loving on Raia!), also loves his video games, smart, and very forgiving. He hadn't changed much since the last time I saw him, except for the few teeth he had lost, and a little taller.
It is tough not being there to watch them both grow up, but they are both in the best of hands, learning and growing, and always ready to see me when I come to visit!
We stayed in a hotel this time while we were there (Thank you Mom!!). Usually we stay with my Aunt, but her health is not what it used to be, so it was best that we let her rest instead of catering to us. Any prayers you could say for her would be wonderful! I love her with all my heart, and she has become like a mother to me, and HAS become a mother in my place for Patrick. For that, I am forever grateful.
While we were at the hotel, the boys swam, and LOVED being at the pool! I think we spent more time at the pool than anywhere else! They had an inside pool, and a hot tub (thank goodness!!!!!!!) While the boys swam in the sub-zero degrees pool (YES! It was cold, even being inside!) I was able to take Raia in the hot tub for just a few minutes. She didn't seem to mind, but we never kept her there for more than about 15 minutes; the pool was just too cold for her....AND me!
More pictures from the pool:
We had an after Christmas Christmas. We opened gifts - mostly Patrick, Jacob, and Raia, and they had a blast! I think that doing it this way kind of extends the holiday, you know? (Kinda like when someone wishes you a Belated Happy Birthday - it makes your birthday last that much longer!) My last post was about not having many Christmas decorations, and my Mom, being a loyal blog reader, filled TWO whole gift bags with Christmas decorations and ornaments! Even one from my childhood from my Nomi! I loved them all, thank you so much, Mom! I can't wait until next Christmas when I can put them all out! I LOVE Snoopy, and especially Woodstock - he is my hero! - so I got a cute Peanuts themed plush Christmas decoration to put out for Christmas, too! She thought of everything! Love you, Mom!!I also got one of those Big Top Cupcake (silicone, even!) from my Aunt!! Thank you!!!!!!
My other Aunt (I have lots of family, and since I'm adopted, my family tree has lots of branches; it gets complicated, so I won't bother explaining here) got Raia the cutest blanket, personalized with HER name on it! It came with a duck, arms wrapped tightly around the rolled up blanket..did I mention how CUTE it was?!
Raia also got a tea party set from my Mom, "Gran-Gran", and she LOVES it!!!!! Here she is playing with Nana:
We had a really good time. It is always so great to be home, and to see my boys. I miss them terribly. They are going to be grown before I know it. It is always so hard to leave, knowing that it will be months before I see them again. Patrick was having a hard time before we left, he never wants us to leave...it breaks my heart.
I know that it won't be long before we can go back, but it hurts knowing I am not with the boys, raising them like I should. God has a plan for me, for all of us. If I had not come to Texas, I wouldn't have my beautiful Raia. That is what keeps me going, and it is what keeps me from beating myself up over my bad decisions. I have three wonderful, smart, beautiful kids, and though we cannot all be together now, I know things will all work out in the end. I am truly blessed.
Thank you all for checking in!