We were quite fortunate this year that Thanksgiving was later in the month and not a week sooner. You see, my mom's birthday is November 27th and some years her birthday and Thanksgiving are very close together. Other years, Thanksgiving is up to four days before her birthday. Since we were traveling to Indiana and Michigan for Thanksgiving, I was thankful that we'd be able to celebrate my mom's 67th birthday with her. We started the day by going to the movies. We went and saw Frozen and both Gus and Hugh liked it. I think my mom enjoyed it more than my dad, but I'm just thankful that my dad went.
After the movie, my mom and I went to Meijer to get groceries for Thanksgiving and the day after. We had a nice afternoon together and it was so great to just spend time by ourselves. I miss her more than anything and miss the times when she and I would just go shopping and spend time talking and enjoying the time together. Every year, I try to get my mom something special for her birthday. Some years I've done better than others, and this year I found a beautiful handmade cross at our church's holiday craft fair. Not only was it an awesome cross, but all the money benefits the various ministries of my church, so it was a win-win. I think she liked it. I hope so anyway. We went to the Olive Garden for dinner to celebrate my mom's birthday and Fr. Terry's birthday as well. It was a great dinner and we had an enjoyable night celebrating the births of two wonderful people.
We were fortunate enough to be able to meet with both Claire's family and Hunter's family on the same day during our trip home. We met with Claire's family at Chuck E. Cheese's for dinner in July, and we decided to try CEC with Hunter's family this time. It was awesome.
I was afraid that by meeting at 6:30 that Gus and Hugh would be so tired and not able to enjoy themselves, but they were great. Gus was entertained the whole time and actually ate TWO pieces of pizza while there. It's the most he's ever had anywhere!!
I loved seeing Gus and his Grandpa and Hunter playing together. His grandpa is a quiet man, but very kind and loves to spend time with his kids and with Gus. He seemed to have a really good time with Gus.
Hunter's sisters were super excited to see Gus and two of them have boyfriends that they brought with them to meet Gus. Everyone loves being around Gus and had fun playing with him.
Here are some of my favorite pictures:
Hunter, Gus, and Grandpa
Steve and I had fun playing together too :-)
Everyone pooled their tickets and gave them to Gus. He had 1,180!!
Of course, he HAD to have the birthday cake
After everyone had played and spent all the tokens, we headed back to the table so Gus and Hugh could open their Christmas presents. Since we won't be seeing Hunter's family until next year, they wanted to give the boys their gifts now and watch them open them.
A penguin flashlight pal! The perfect gift!
The seatbelt buddy-- this was on his wishlist!
Showing everyone his dog
Mack and Lightning set
A Flipees hat!!
Gus got a blue one and Hugh got a brown one!
It was getting late and time to head home, so we said our goodbyes and headed to the car.
Gus's Aunt Danielle was having an issue with her car, so we waited until it was fixed. While we waited, Aunt Bethany got in and watched Paw Patrol with Gus. :-)
We are thankful for the growing relationship with Hunter's side of Gus's family. When he and Claire broke up, we weren't sure how it would change the relationship with Gus and how the visits would go. However, it's been really awesome to have separate visits and to see each side of Gus's family get quality time with him and a chance to do fun things and just love on him and not have to worry about stepping on anyone's toes. I'm thankful that our visits are always so wonderful.
I feel like I'm always writing about this, but maybe it's all just in my mind (things I mean to blog about, but never get around to doing). We just love Claire and her family. Seriously. God knew what He was doing when he brought our families together.
We were in Michigan for a very short trip (one week from start to finish), and as a result, we didn't have a lot of time to work with for visiting Gus's side of our family. Thankfully, we were able to arrange a visit with Claire and planned to see her on Tuesday, November 26th.
I blogged from my phone while up north, and some of my posts made it to the blog, but several did not. Day 25 and on were not able to load and so I'm having to re-blog them from home.
We usually go to Jungle Java to meet with Gus's side of our family. We enjoy JJ, but were looking for something different this time. I did some research online and found this place that's super close to my parent's called Tiny Town. It was cute and Gus and Hugh had a great time, but it was a little busy and I'm not sure if we'd go back again or not. We'll see...
Anyway, Gus had a great time playing with Claire. I love watching them together and seeing them create awesome memories. I don't want there to ever be a time in his life when he doesn't remember her, or know that she's his birth mom. It's just as important for her parents, Peggi and Tony, to also always feel like grandparents. I know they don't get to see him as much as they'd like, but when they do see him, I want them to love on him and really enjoy being Grammy and Grampy.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures from our visit:
We played at Tiny Town from 10:30-12:15 and then we headed to Max & Erma's for lunch. I'm glad that Claire and Peggi joined us for lunch.
Gus ordered grilled cheese but decided that Claire's chicken fingers were more his style, so he was eating off her plate and dipping in her ranch. It was really cute.
After we finished eating, it was time to give our hugs and kisses and say goodbye. Gus was overtired and threw a fit before it was time to go. He refused to cooperate for a picture and even ran out and into the restaurant across the hall (we were in a mall) and Steve had to chase after him and drag him out screaming.
The joys of the three-year-old.
I'm so thankful that we have a strong relationship with Gus's side of our family. I love that he sees them and is comfortable around them, and that he'll grow up knowing them and knowing where he comes from. Not all adoptive families are in the same kind of situation as we are, and many long for the type of relationship that we have. I'm very thankful and so blessed.
My blog that's specifically about open adoption and how our family came to be complete.
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I'm Cathy and I'm a former elementary teacher turned SAHM. This blog has grown and evolved through the years to be my sounding board, then a place to share my thoughts, fears, and celebrations, and then where I post pictures and practice my photography skills. I blog about daily happenings. To read more about my family and how we're connected to open adoption, please follow our family blog: A Completed Family.