We had such a nice (and relaxing) Valentine's weekend just hanging out as a family. We've been burning the roads to Fredericksburg the past few weekends working on something very exciting (which I look forward to sharing with you soon!--wink--wink). As you can probably imagine, 6-hour road trips (back to back) with 3 small children is pretty stressful and tiring. So, it was really nice to stay home this weekend and just take it easy!
Jody was originally set to go to trial on one of his cases today, so we didn't plan to see him much this past weekend. The weekend before trial is BRUTAL for the lawyers and paralegals... ( I remember my days before marrying when I worked as a litigation paralegal at Fulbright and Jaworski....super stressful when trial time came around.) They basically have to pull all-nighters the weekend before trial, as well as during trial, as they work to get everything ready for each day, i.e. prepping witnesses, writing opening, voir dire and closing statements, deposition cuts, etc. But thankfully--they had a hearing on Friday and the judge ruled to postpone the trial until March. Yippee! That meant Daddy could spend Valentine's weekend with us and not at the office! :-)
Speaking of Daddy...he is so sweet and thoughtful. When the kids and I came home Friday after picking Noah up from school, we found all sorts of sweet Valentine's surprises around the house that Daddy had left for us on his lunch break.
There were Valentine's baskets in each of the kid's bedrooms with notes from Daddy...they all squealed in excitement when they found them. It was really sweet....
And then I had the most beautiful roses, teddy bear and sweetest note waiting for me in the kitchen.
We had Ann Marie , the kid's babysitter, come over to watch them while Daddy and I went out to eat at our favorite sushi restaurant, Kumori, for our Valentine's date. I ordered my favorite...the Ebi Crunch roll and it was delish!
I sooooo look forward to the weekends and our date nights. It can get kind of lonely being at home all day with the kids. So, it's always so nice to have a night out to ourselves...some peace and quiet away from the kids to reconnect, laugh and talk. I always cringe a little when friends tell me they don't "date" their husbands anymore...big mistake in my opinion. It's so important for the life and vitality of a marriage for a couple to take time for each other...away from the stress of the kids and recharge their batteries.
On Saturday morning, we did our family tradition of taking a drive to Shipley Donuts for breakfast. They each got their usual when we went through the drive-thru...a dozen donut holes and chocolate milk. :-) It cracks me up...Taylor is usually always the first to finish hers. That girl can down some donuts like no other.
On Sunday, we went to church. Jody had to be at the YSA (young single adult) ward to speak on a high council assignment, so it was just me and the kids at our ward. It's always rough trying to do Sacrament meeting without Daddy there to help... we lasted about 20 minutes before the fighting and meltdowns occurred, so I decided to pull the plug. We left the meeting early and just walked down to the nursery where we couldn't disturb everyone and hung out until it was time for Sunday School. :-)
And then it was home for lunch and our Sunday afternoon naps.... the hubby and I finished watching our last two episodes of"The Paradise" on Netflix, so that was nice. We're are so addicted to all the British shows now on PBS. It's practically all we watch. Our favorite hands down though is Downton Abbey. What about you...are you addicted to any particular PBS British show?
After the kids woke up from their naps, we facetime'd my brother, Brian and his family, for a little bit. The cousins always love seeing each other on the screen and showing their new toys to each other. Yesterday was Brian's birthday...so it was really nice to see his face and hear his voice. I miss seeing him on a more regular basis. We live 8 hours away from them, so we really only get to see them on the holidays.
Well my friends, that was our Valentine's weekend in a nutshell.
I was counting my blessings this Valentine's Day...and thinking of how God has blessed our little family. Many of you may remember, it was just a year ago around this time that we were in the fight of our lives to keep our son, Gavin. A custody battle between us ( his foster parents at the time) and the state of Texas to keep our son. A supervisor at our local child protective services here in McAllen (who by the way never met our son personally...never met us...and never once came to our home to visit with us and get to know our family better) felt it best that our son be raised by a Hispanic family instead of us, a Caucasian family....irregardless of the fact that we were the only family he had ever really known. For you see, Little Gavin came to our home at the tender age of 9 months-old and we loved and cared for him as our own son every day from that moment on.
I remember not really feeling up to celebrating Valentine's last year. My heart was filled with so much worry, fear, sadness and A LOT of anger about what might happen to our little fella if we didn't win custody. Knowing all too well that if our petition to become his legal guardians was not granted, he would most likely languish for years to come in the state foster care system.
And now, fast forward a year later to this Valentine's Day... what a sweet gift it was to be able to celebrate it with him knowing he is now "officially" part of our family....my heart was overflowing with gratitude to my Heavenly Father for this great blessing. It still feels a bit surreal to know that he is officially our son. A powerful testimony builder and reminder that all things happen in the Lord's timing--we just have to be willing to exercise enough faith and trust to wait on the Lord. It's easier said than done...believe me...I know. And sometimes our prayers are not answered the way we want them to. But I have come to know this gospel truth of waiting on the Lord on a more personal level because of mine and my husband's journey to grow our family through adoption.
Yes, what a sweet Valentine's weekend it was... I love my dear hubby and children SO VERY MUCH. I can't imagine my life without them and I thank God every...single...day for them.
How was your Valentine's weekend? Did you do anything fun or special to celebrate it?