Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Joy of Christmas

A few days before the 25th the East Coast was hit with it's first real snow storm of the season guaranteeing that we would all have a white Christmas. Christian and his Dad set to work right away shoveling the white stuff along with the rest of the neighborhood.
I'm a strange bird because I love shoveling snow, but sadly I could not participate due to my having surgery just two days before the big storm came. So I swallowed my pride and forced myself to watch from the warmth of the living room and played with this little guy. (Sure was a tough morning for me, let me tell you. *wink*)One of the many things I love about the Christmas season is that people dust off their address books and discover the long lost art of using the postal service. Here is just a handful of the wonderful holiday messages Christian and I received. For the past six months I've been guarding a box because it's contents are more precious to me than any purchased gift could ever be. So as an early Christmas present to myself, even though we haven't begun work on our living room, I opened the box that held the two paintings I picked out that where created by my Aunt and I displayed them on our mantle. Tears were shed as I gazed upon the beautiful work, and I know that my Aunt was standing next to me that morning, happy as a clam, that part of her is now officially in my new house.Christmas day was spent at my in-laws house. Kathy had a slightly smaller group to feed than usual. Luke, who recently got engaged spent the afternoon and evening with his future in-laws in Connecticut. While John and his wife with little Shayla spent their dinner with Krysty's family. This is just part of the wonderful shifting dynamic that is family. We're ever growing and ever changing, but we always feel the love we share no matter the distance.Grandma and Grandpa K came up with Christian's cousin Jessie, whom we were so happy to see because it has been far too long between visits.Melissa and Brianna, along with their parent's Anne and Bruce (Christian's Aunt and Uncle) also joined us for the day. I can not get over how grown up these little ladies are. Melissa will be graduating high school this year, and I remember when Brianna was just a little kid blowing bubbles and running around her yard. Kathy's best friend Helene stopped by, and stayed for a bite to eat. Here she is in her new hat, complements of Kathy. She's such a sweetheart. Look at those baby blues. Like father like son.Dinner was great. Kathy always creates such a wonderful holiday meal. And dessert had quite the spread, cookies, cheese cake, and how cute was this little Frosty ice cream cake?!? At the end of the day, when all out tummies were full, Coby took a lesson from his big brother Keith and headed to a soft spot for a holiday snooze.From the Kaufman family to yours, we hope that your Christmas was truly wonderful, filled with love and laughter. Merry Christmas !

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ding-dong the plate is dead!

I am happy to report that the great clavicle saga has finally come to it's conclusion, and oh what a happy ending it is! Yesterday's surgery was a fine success, and I left the hospital hardware free! Regardless of any discomfort I was in, the smile on my face never fell. (Honestly, I'm really not in much pain at all. I'm not sure if its just because I've built up my tolerance from the three previous surgeries, or if its because we weren't rebuilding bone this time, but I feel great!) I know that I'm normally a little more long winded with my entries but I'm back to being predominately left handed and typing is a little bit of a challenge, so I shall wrap this up with sending out a thank you once again to all those out there who kept me in their thoughts for the last year and a half. I've felt the love and am utterly grateful! Thank you all so much!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Say Buh-bye to the Clavicle Saga

Just a super quick FYI, that most of you who are faithful readers are already well aware of.... Tomorrow (Thursday Dec. 17th) is my fourth and FINAL surgery for my great clavicle saga!!!!!! I go in at 8 in the morning, I'm guessing the surgery will be somewhere around 10 or 11, and I should be home by mid afternoon. I'll be staying at my in-laws for a little while. As much as I'd like to stay in my new house, there's just too much dust from all the construction, and frankly I'd be WAY too tempted to try and put things away which is a major No-no! So I appreciate the offering from John and Kathy to take care of me and feed me while I'm recovering. Things will go great, I can feel it! I'm a little nervous as always, but more than anything I'm thrilled that the final chapter is going to be written! So keep your fingers crossed for me tomorrow and send good vibes to my surgeon that every things goes smoothly. I'll let everyone know how it went in the next day or two. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers! Love you guys!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Moving Day!

Well, it's been quite some time since my last post, and I have an extremely good excuse for my lack of attention to the blog. WE'VE MOVED!!! Hooray! Last Saturday after Christian closed the office and I got home from my World Lit. class the Kaufman family came to our rescue and in a big blur all our belongings were packed up in a Penske truck and we headed west.

So now our house has become our home, and as of last night, Christian and I are officially living in our home! How exciting! The upstairs where all the bedrooms are is not finished (We had a little boo-boo with the floor stain. Miscommunication really, and sadly they need to be re-sanded and re-stained once again.) so we are currently living out of the family room, which we have turned into our make-shift bedroom. The living room is holding a few items, not too many, but since we decided we no longer wanted the green monster of a couch, there really isn't much in the way of cozy living in the living room yet. (We'll fix that as we go along, I'm sure.) The dinning room is still being worked on. The sister beams are up, insulation is going in under the floor boards for the second floor, and the second batch of new windows have arrived so they should be going in hopefully next week. We're not going to tackle the kitchen until the spring. So for now it's a perfectly fine kitchen that once we clear away all the sawdust and Spackle dust from our various projects will be great! As a welcome to the neighborhood gift, Mother Nature decided to share a little Christmas cheer and snow on us while we were moving in. It didn't slow us down, but my goodness did it sure make everything pretty to look at. And as icing on the cake, we were greeted by four of my favorite kind of neighbors in our neighbor's backyard.The apartment Christian and I moved out of we had lived in for two years. It was our first place as a married couple, and it treated us well. We're happy that we rented it out to a new couple who are just beginning their life together, and hope that it blesses their relationship with love and harmony just as it did for our newlywed life.One of the things we will miss about the apartment is the stellar view of the Manhattan skyline. We had a perfect view of the Empire State Building and each night we would play a game to see if we could guess the color(s) of the top part of the building. (It changes constantly) Also Christian's brother Luke lives in the city and so every night we would look out our kitchen window and say, "Good night Luke!"We truly wish to thank everyone that came to help, you guys are the best! So let the bells ring and chime, the Kaufman's have finally come home!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Gobble-Gobble Day!

Thanksgiving was a wonderful success this year held at the Kaufman house. My in-laws, John and Kathy opened their home and hearts to the family and we all had a very enjoyable day spent talking, watching football, and of course chowing down on some super delicious food!This was the second year that my sister-in-law Krysty's family came up from central Jersey to share the day with us. Her parents and one of her two brothers, along with his wife and their two energetic boys helped fill the house with an abundance of laughter and conversation. Also my mother-in-law's best friend ate with us as a pseudo member of the family. (She's known my husband his whole life!) Christian's cousin Alex drove all the way from Virgina to spend the weekend. He is in the Marine Corps, and will be shipped out over seas in about six months, so we were thrilled to have him visit! And lastly, but certainly not least, Christian's Grandmother and Grandfather drove up from the Jersey Shore. That makes a grand total of 20 people, including little Shayla of course! Luke and Emily have discovered a love for wine, and recently have begun a collection of bottles from their travels, or wines that they simply must try. Well, today in honor of having an Oregonian as a member of their family, they enjoyed showing me their selection for the evening, a merlot from the Willamette Valley in Oregon! It was fun to see the bottle and read the label. Although it was wonderful having so many adults around for some philosophical and fun conversations, I would have to say that little Miss Shayla stole the show, and had the attention of everyone around her for the entire day. She's such a cutie-pie in her Thanksgiving outfit.
Shayla with her Me-ma (Krysty's mother)
Shayla with her Great-Grandpa.Shayla with Uncle Keith and Uncle Luke.
Shayla with her second cousin Alex.
Shayla with Aunt Taryn

With so many people to talk with, I sadly didn't take as many photos as I had originally intended to, so I'm sorry, but many people are missing from the blog. But I hope you enjoyed this little nibble of photos to help give just a taste of what the afternoon was like at the Kaufman house.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Engaging Engagement!

This past Thursday while at the office I received a telephone call from Christian's brother Luke. I could hear in Luke's voice that he was positively beaming. Honestly, I don't think I've ever heard such a lightness and bounce in his voice before, and trust me Luke is always very animated and fun to listen to when he speaks. But on this day he was simply bubbling over with joy, and I could hear it loud and clear. I gave the phone to Christian and he took the call into his office. Behind the closed door I heard Christian give a very excited blurt out, "REALLY?!?" and at that moment I knew that Luke and his wonderful girlfriend Emily were engaged!

Luke and Emily have been dating for a little over two years. They both live and work in New York City. So I find it absolutely appropriate that Luke would choose the backdrop to his engagement to be one of the most beautiful and serene place that could be found in the big city, Central Park.

Emily and Luke have walked through this park more times than they can even count, but this past Thursday's walk will be one they will both remember for the rest of their lives. One of Emily's favorite spots in the park is called, "The Central Park Mall." It's a walkway that when one stands at the very tip of it looking down the row of a perfectly manicured tree lined path it seems to trail off into infinity. This is where Luke on bended knee asked Emily to be by his side for the rest of his life. She accepted his proposal, and after the ring was placed on her finger Luke and Emily continued on their walk, and as Luke shared with Emily the moment he said, "We started down the path as boyfriend and girlfriend, and from this point on we move ahead into the future we share together as husband and wife."
The family is so thrilled at the news, and we're extremely excited for Emily and Luke. Personally, I'm over joyed with the engagement because I adore Emily and I love now having the knowledge and comfort of knowing that she will be my sister-in-law.

Congratulations Luke and Emily! We love you both and are so happy for you!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Nana!

Today is my grandmother's 85th birthday! My Nana is truly one of the most amazing people I've ever known. She has always been a pillar of strength for me, and has been by my side as I walked through many of life's tough lessons. I attribute my style of cooking to her, as she was my main influence in the kitchen. (No measuring cups, we just "eye-ball it." And don't worry Nana, your broccoli salad recipe is still safe. I won't share it with a soul!) Nana's sense of humor always cracks me up, and I love to hear her laugh. When I'm homesick I crave her figure of speech, because only Nana can come up with sayings like, "It's colder than a well digger's shovel." I don't know how she does it, but she masters pretty much everything she puts her mind to. She is so creative, and such a hard worker. I remember hearing her get up at 4 a.m every morning, so that she was in the kitchen at work pealing potatoes and cracking eggs by 5 a.m. to make food for all the airmen on the base, or later all the college students she fed at OIT's campus. Nana has had a tough year, but she's pushed through chemo-therapy and radiation treatments, and still I can hear her smile on the other end of the phone when I talk with her. It's that strength with in her that I admire and hope has rubbed off on me. I love my Nana and want to be just like her some day. A truly wonderful grandmother, who baffles her grandchildren with loads energy, hard work day in and day out, an overwhelming wealth of knowledge, and an unending supply of hugs, just like my Nana!

Happy Birthday Nana! I love you!!!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Clavicle Saga's days are numbered!

I just wanted to let all those who have been keeping up with the never ending, plot twisting, nail biting clavicle saga, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! I very bright light filled with hope and joy! Yes, that's right folks, the fourth and final surgery has been scheduled. All the hardware will be removed, the plate and all six screws, and my beautiful bone will finally have room to breathe.

Today at the orthopedic surgeon's office, the two of us gazed lovingly at the x-ray on the wall. He, I'm sure, was pleased with his work on the second plate, (If you recall with his first surgery on my shoulder, the plate, screws, pins, string, wire, etc... all that junk didn't go so well.) and as for me, the love in my eyes was simply because I was ecstatic to see a beautiful solid white clavicle bone with no gaps, cracks or floating bone fragments.

So what does this mean? It means, stick a fork in me because I'm done! So on December 17th we will remove all hardware, and that's that. I'll have to take the holiday season a little easier than I usually do, but heck, if an uncomfortable Christmas and New Year is the price I have to pay to officially move on with my life, sign me up, I'll take it!

So lets all sing out with jubilant triumph, "The plate is coming out! WAHOO!!!"

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Shayla's Christening Day

This afternoon family and friends gathered together to witness little Shayla's baptism. She was beautiful in her christening gown and looked like such a little grown up. She was such a content babe as the Priest spoke out the prayers and blessing, and when it came time for the baptism by water she barely even cried, showing her more peaceful nature.

We're so happy that Shayla chose this family to become a part of. She has brought to the family a new spark of life that is a treasure to behold. It was wonderful so see such joy and happiness with everyone, and it is because of Shayla that we were all brought together today.
The Kaufman Boys (Minus John, as he was attending to his daughter)

Getting ready for the baptism to begin.Shayla's parents, and her Godmother and Godfather.

The baptism.

Her blessings.Celebrating her baptism into the church.

The happy little family.

Her Godmother Danielle and her Godfather Curt.Shayla showing off her beautiful christening gown.

Four generations of the Kaufman family and three generations of the Perhach family.

The Perhach Family.

The Kaufman Family.

A princess, fairytale theme party to celebrate Shayla's christening.

Her cake. Very impressive!

Luke and his girlfriend Emily.

The family's little princess.