Monday, November 23, 2009

Being Thankful

"Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking,
which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving."(Ephesians 5:4 ESV)

This year as I approach Thanksgiving rather than dwelling on the turkey, pilgrims and festivities I'm going to go back to the beginning. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln wrote a proclamation declaring the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving. And it wasn't to celebrate food, friends or even the "first dinner" between the Indians and Pilgrims. Thanksgiving's very first and true meaning was to give thanks to God for all of the blessings in your life.

So this year rather than being stressed about preperations, I'll thank God for giving me a home to host dinner in. Rather than feeling cynical or upset about life, I'll thank God for giving me these opprotunities to lean on him and learn about grace. When I'm tired and sore I won't beg God for a healthy body, I'll thank him for allowing me the opprotunity to feel compassion and empathy to the afflicted. And rather than worry about finances I will thank God for always providing for our family.
I will not dwell on the negatives... but thank God for everything.
Don't get me wrong, I will still be thankful for:
Good Food
Good Friends

Lots of Family

and this little guy....

but I will make sure that for all of my many blessings I will give thanks to the Lord. So while I will indulge in scrumptious food surrounded by my loved ones I will know and acknowledge that all good things come from the Lord. And I will give Him my thanks.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Month 3

Has another month already gone by? Is it really the middle of November and is Thanksgiving truly one week away. And the biggest question of the day: is Gabe actually 3 months old today?

The answer to the above questions is a resounding YES!! And the most surprising for me has to be that Gabe is 3 months old. Where did all the time go?

I suppose it went to bottles, cuddles, naps, cuddles, playing, cuddles, learning and more cuddles. Do you see a trend in our activities... yep, Gabe is a cuddler and I love it! I love it even more because when he's done cuddling he uses his little hands and pushes you away. It's so funny and I can NOT believe how strong he is.

Yes, everyday Gabe gets a little bit stronger, a little bit longer and, alas, a little bit chunkier. We weighed him a two days ago on our scale and it said he weighed 14lbs.... not that big of a weight gain for 3 1/2 weeks considering he went from 9lbs 2 oz at 1 month to 13 lbs 7oz at 2 months. Is his growth starting to slow down? I'm not really sure because it seems like he's a little bit longer every morning when he wakes up.

Speaking of waking up, Gabe is doing quite a bit better sleeping at night. While he still wakes up every 2 hours or so, he generally doesn't need anything until about 3 AM when he's hungry for a bottle. He just wakes up, talks and coos for a bit and then goes back to sleep. I suppose when Gabe goes into his own room I may not even notice these little bouts of awake time... but I'm just not ready for him to sleep in his own room yet. Maybe soon.... but maybe not!

So, Gaby-Baby, this is what you're up to at 3 months old:
  • You have the cutest chubby cheeks! It's no wonder Daddy calls you 'Cheeks' and Nonnie calls you a 'Chunky Monkey.'
  • You have the most contagious smile. I dare anyone to see you smile and not smile back. They won't be able to do it... your smile is more contagious than the Swine Flue

  • And now you smile at me or Daddy when we smile at you.

  • You coo, gurgle and make the sweetest noises!
  • Gabe, you still LOVE your bottles! You drink a 5 ounce bottle every 3 hours or so and then drink a whopping 6 ounces around 9 or 10 every night... and that keeps you nice and full to the aforementioned 3 AM.

  • Playing on your oceans mat is always soooo much fun as is reaching for your rattles and toys when you're laying on a blanket.

  • Tummy time is still amusing for you too. Except, you're not pushing up as much or for as long :( I think that its just because you are a little bit too chunky for your little muscles to hold up for too long :)

  • As long as the weather stays nice (and by nice I mean above 40 degrees or so) we go for a walk outside each day! It's amazing what a little fresh air will do for your (or my) disposition!

  • Reading is also an integral part of our day... and occasionally I throw in a Harry Potter chapter or too to keep me a little more occupied! You actually seem to enjoy it... I think as long as your comfy in my lap and I use an excited voice I could probably read you the phone book and you'd smile!
Gabe, your Mommy and Daddy love you sooooo much. You're the light of our lives. And while you've only been with us for 3 months, I can hardly remember what life was like without you. I'm pretty sure it included a lot of starbucks and book reading but who can really remember :)

Next week not only are you having your good friends London and Waverly visit, you are also going to be 14 weeks old and celebrate your 1st Thanksgiving!! Lots of big adventures are coming up in your little life.... I'm so excited! And you are too, you just don't know it yet!

Tried to get a picture of Gabe smiling....

but he just wanted to eat his hands!

And his super cute little shoes!

Thank you so much for traveling this journey with us; watching us grow in faith, Gabe grow in life and our family grow in size!

Love & Blessings, Meredith

Friday, November 13, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Gabe's been home for 12 weeks now! I can't believe its been 12 weeks that he's been home. 12 weeks of lots of love, cuddles and kisses and little sleep. It's been the best 12 weeks of my life.

12 weeks ago Gabe came home in this super cute outfit looking oh so little:

12 weeks later it still fits, only just:

I'll admit that I find it a little sad that Gabe has outgrown just about all of his 0 - 3 month clothes but also consider it a miraculous blessing from God that he is growing and thriving so marvelously! We are so blessed by this little guy!

And just because I think his smile is adorable......

And is there anything sweeter than a sleeping Gabriel? Couldn't you just eat him up?

Have a wonderful, blessed weekend!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Dedication Day

Sunday was a very special day for the LaGorga family - Gabe was dedicated at church! Ever since he came home, I've been looking forward to this day. I know that sounds silly but dedicating Gabe was just another step in the process of him being officially ours. I know he's 'ours' but until the judge stamps the papers it's not truly official. But this dedication was another way to make it feel official. Ironically though, dedicating Gabe to God actually reminded me that Gabriel really isn't ours to begin with. Gabe belongs to God and we are just the fortunate enough to be the people God chose to be Gabe's parents.

And if being dedicated isn't special enough, Gabriel was also the 1st baby to be dedicated at the Encounter Service in the RNC. I just thought that that was super cool!

A few weeks earlier Pastor Brian asked Matt and I to write a prayer for Gabriel. It needed to be short, which is no easy feat for me but eventually we figured out what our prayer for Gabe is. This is what Matt prayed for us (I don't like public speaking):

"Our prayer for Gabriel is that he always knows how much he's loved; by his family, by his biological family and by God. That he fervently believes Jeremiah 29:11, knowing deep in his soul that from conception God had a plan for him. We pray that Gabriel remains a child of God through out his whole life and that as God allowed us to adopt him, we pray that he allows himself to be adopted into Jesus' family. We pray that he follows Jesus, becoming more and more Christlike and always lets his light shine."

Pastor Brian spoke of not only dedicating Gabe to God but of the commitment Matt and I were making to God to raise Gabriel to love the Lord and to follow Him all of his life. Pastor Brian also chose a scripture verse for Gabriel. A verse that will be prayed over Gabe for the rest of his life by Matt and I and one that Pastor Brian felt was significant for Gabe. He picked Proverbs 3:5-6.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Oh, I love that verse and not only will it be a significant scripture verse to Gabe, it is also significant to me and I'm imagining many other couples who are battling infertility or traveling the winding road of adoption. It wasn't until I let go of my will for my life and family and listened to God did the doors of adoption open leading us to Gabriel. And it wasn't until I learned how to freely trust God (which, honestly is a day to day struggle) was I able to stop trying to understand why things were happening and understand that God was, and always is, in control.

The dedication was beautiful and we are so grateful for Pastor Brian for dedicating our son to God. What made my heart even happier Sunday was that almost all of my family was there. Mom and Dad (who attend with us anyways), Matt's mom, Matt, Mariah and Caleb, Michael, Annie and Sam, Justin, Chris, Tony (who attends with us too) and Gabe's great grandma Thomas all came to bear witness to this joyful occasion!

And because I'm a goober and was messing around with my camera's shutter speed, most of the pictures my SIL took turned out blurry... but here's a few that made it :)

During the dedication....

Matt reading our prayer for Gabe.

Pastor Brian praying for Gabriel (and us :) )

Super studly in his sweater vest.

I am so blessed to have this incredible family of mine
Love & Blessings, Meredith

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My New Job

Yesterday Gabriel and I voyaged over to Beachwood to talk to my boss, visit some friends and answer the MILLION DOLLAR question: when will I be returning to work?

The conversation was short because I'd already accepted a new position closer to home. I'll no longer have an hour long commute both ways with treks in the snowbelt at 5:30 in the morning. Other than that my job was pretty awesome:

good hours,
weekends and bank holidays off,
laid back atmosphere,
great people to work with
And with my new job:
the pay is A LOT less
the hours are MUCH longer
No sick or vacation time
I have to work ALL holidays.
It sounds as though I got the short-end of the stick in this job change but I know better. My new boss, well he's super cute and the person reporting to me.... well I couldn't adore him more.
Our days will be filled with working lunches, late night meetings, purchasing meetings at local businesses and lots of team-building exercises. I can't go any higher up the corporate ladder and he can't get fired. Meet my new co-worker:

Yep, that's right.... yesterday I officially resigned from my job to take the position I've been dreaming of since I was a little girl!

I will be a stay at home Mom.....
and I couldn't be happier!

Monday, November 2, 2009

27 Years and Counting

Today Gabriel's daddy is 27 and he just wants to say........

27 years ago Matt came into this world and I couldn't be more grateful to his mother for this! Life certainly wouldn't be the same without him and Gabe and I are so grateful to be able to spend this birthday with Matt/Daddy.

Not only is Matt a great husband, the best in my opinion, he's also a fantastic dad. Besides not being able to scrub out dirty diapers (he says he'll throw-up), Matt does it all. After working long days and going to school for his MBA 2 nights a week, he comes home and spends the rest of the day entertaining Gabriel. Gabe gets so excited to see Matt; they cuddle in the recliner, play together on the floor or do 'exercises' together. Matt will stand Gabe up and Gabe will try to walk or Matt will lay Gabe on his chest and Gabe wiggles his way up to Matt's face. It's so cute and I just love to watch my boys together. No matter how tired he is, Matt always has time for Gabriel and me.

We love him so much and just want to say..... HAPPY 27th BIRTHDAY! Thanks for working so hard to give us a good life!

Gabriel and his Daddy.....

We love you Matt/Daddy :) Can't wait to spend these next 2 days with you!