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Giving Thanks

12/10/2014

I’m playing a little blog catch up. I meant to share this photo on Thanksgiving. Every day in November leading up to the holiday we would think of something we were thankful for and write it on the chalkboard wall. It was fun to hear what Ali would come up with. She answered “trees and leaves” or “leaves” at least three times. I think it’s safe to say she had fun playing in crunchy, colorful leaves this fall. My favorite, though, was when she’d say “Mommy-Daddy-Ali love” or “Mommy-Daddy love” or any combination of our names. I’m not really sure if it’s our love for her that she was thinking of, or if it was each unique relationship dynamic. Either way, it melted my heart. She also listed “baby brother or sister” and “messy [fried] eggs.”

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Here’s my little heart melter on Thanksgiving. We hosted at our house but I failed to take any photos once the gathering began.

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I snapped this selfie (bumpie?) of my baby belly and a grapefruit because at 19-20 weeks, the baby was supposedly about this size. I thought that seemed crazy until I looked at the photo. OK, I guess a grapefruit would fit in there.

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Turkey Day 2013

12/02/2013

We hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year which actually worked out pretty well because everyone else brought the majority of the food, we just did the turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole and lots of dishes.

Turkey #1:

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Turkey #2:

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‘Twas a beautiful day.

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I asked Ali if she would take a picture of Jason and me before anyone else arrived. She’s getting pretty good with my iPhone!

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Ali with my parents, Grandma and Grandpa:

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Ali with Jason’s parents, Nana and Papa:

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Mmm… Jason did an awesome job with the turkey and stuffing. It was delicious.

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I didn’t get too many pictures of the actual dinner party but suffice it to say, it was a great day. These two little ladies laughed and played and ate too much dessert. Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite days of the year. I have so much to be thankful for. God is good!


Thanksgiving 2012

11/28/2012

I had a really nice Thanksgiving, partly because my sister and her family visited for 3 days and partly because I was forced to take a 4-day break from work during a busy deadline period because I had no place or time to work. And of course, also because of all the time with family, friends and delicious food!

It was a beautiful sunny, warm day so we took a walk down to our new house to show my sister’s family. Ali and her cousin Iris rode in the red wagon.

Jason and his brother Daniel finally had an opportunity to deep fry a turkey this year. They used a Cajun Butter injection. Oh my goodness…it was so good!

Both of Ali’s girl cousins were there for Thanksgiving. That’s Eliza on the left and her mom Aunt Ginger (Daniel’s wife) and Iris on the right. Iris and Eliza look like they could be cousins too, but they’re not related.

My mom also roasted a turkey in the oven with stuffing. My dad and sister Jessica carved it.

Clearly Jason was very excited about how the fried turkey turned out.

Papa (Jason’s dad) and Ali were intrigued by the turkey, too.

I didn’t take any pictures of everyone at the table this year. Boo. We had a diverse group of my family, Jason’s family and some friends … 18 people I think. After dinner, Ali and Eliza took a bath in the living room. (Not really.)

Self-portrait mode on the iPhone = a good trick to get a low quality picture of a toddler looking at the camera…

…and maybe even smiling at her cute self! Hi Eliza

Jason’s mom/Nana/Grandma K made Iris an owlie hat just like Ali’s but with shut eyes. So cute!

Piddling around behind a record store on Black Friday.

We tried a new hairstyle for Ali: pigtails! She looks so different!

Her hair looked absolutely hilarious when we took the piggies out.

After dinner my early Christmas present from Jason arrived in the mail. A NEW CAMERA!!! I’m so excited to start getting better quality pictures. I have a lot of learning to do but the good news is that I’ll be practicing a lot which means lots of pictures to share with you here.

My very first picture of the most easy going subject. A little dark but I was quite impressed that it could capture her tongue mid lip-lick without a flash in low light.

Cousins in matching PJs horsing around on the couch also made willing subjects. (Testing out the external flash on these ones.)

Ali giving Iris a big smacker kiss.

It was a wonderful, fun weekend! I’m already looking forward to Christmas break now, which will be spent at our new house. Yay!


#ImThankfulFor

11/22/2012

Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all! Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorites because I love good food, getting together with family and friends, and I love to be thankful. We have been blessed with so much and this day is all about giving gratitude to God for His provision and abundant blessings. I’ve been participating in the Twitter Trend #ImThankfulFor this month, each day listing another thing I’m thankful for. These have been pretty random based on whatever is happening each day. Here’s my list so far:

Day 1: #ImThankfulFor Good friends and a girls’ night out … even when the kiddies come along. Mostly I’m thankful for our awesome friends!

Day 2: #ImThankfulFor my daughter’s bio family and especially her bio mom – for carrying her, loving her and wanting the best for her.

Day 3: #ImThankfulFor honest, fair and hard-working business people like our contractors, our architect and our mechanic … to name a few.

Day 4: #ImThankfulFor my church @gracechurchnash and my pastor @LindellCooley. Every Sunday I’m both challenged and encouraged.

Day 5: #ImThankfulFor my husband @JAhlb814 getting to travel the world playing music. But, #jealous he has 12x more passport stamps than me.

Day 6: #ImThankfulFor my rights as a U.S. citizen and glad to live in this country. And, I’m grateful that campaign season is finally over!

Day 7: #ImThankfulFor a knowing smile from a fellow adoptive mom at the grocery story, when stories are exchanged without words.#adoption

Day 8: #ImThankfulFor the wonderful people I work with who are creative, hard-working, trusting, encouraging, independent and supportive.

Day 9: #ImThankfulFor Friday night shopping dates with my daughter whenever @JAhlb814‘s on the road, even if it’s to Kroger. We have fun.

Day 10: #ImThankfulFor friendship that has survived college, careers, motherhood and distance…the kind of friendship that lasts forever.

Day 11: #ImThankfulFor times apart because they make reunion oh so sweet. Thankful my awesome hubby & best friend @JAhlb814 is almost home!

Day 12: #ImThankfulFor inspiring people who are kind, hard-working, motivated and optimistic even after coming through horrific situations.

Day 13: #ImThankfulFor electricity and light, gas and heat, running water, four walls and a roof … It’s easy to take them for granted.

Day 14: #ImThankfulFor a mid-week night out with my two favorite people and warm Italian food on a cold, dark evening.

Day 15: #ImThankfulFor the miracle that happened one year ago today! https://mymcmlife.com/2012/11/14/i-believe-in-miracles/ … #fostercare #court#custody #adoption

Day 16: #ImThankfulFor family near and far, but especially the ones close by that are willing to babysit their granddaughter so often!

Day 17: #ImThankfulFor estate sales! Found all kind of great stuff today, haggled for good discounts & got a workout moving furniture, too!

Day 18: #ImThankfulFor siblings. My childhood would have been so dull without them. Happy bday to my favorite sister!pic.twitter.com/AAkSVXUD

Day 19: #ImThankfulFor really big dreams and the first exciting/scary step of a new adventure.

Day 20: #ImThankfulFor Oreos. And the sweet guy who is willing to get them from the grocery store at 10:30pm. @JAhlb814 #itsthelittlethings

Day 21: #ImThankfulFor getting out of work while the sun’s still shining & an early start to a much needed 4 days off! pic.twitter.com/MU2j9jxL

Day 22: #ImThankfulFor Father God, from Whom all blessings flow! I have so many, many things to be thankful for today. Praise the Lord!

Follow me on Twitter @mahlbrandt if you’d like.


Thanksgiving 2011 – in Pictures

11/29/2011

We spent Thanksgiving at my sister and brother-in-law’s house in Philadelphia this year because they have a newborn, my sweet little niece Iris. It was so nice to finally meet her! Also, my siblings got to meet Precious. Here’s some photo overload from the long weekend:

Lovely table setting

My sister Jessica looking awesome as a mama.

My dad and my brother-in-law Jeff

Iris getting burped by Grandpa – the best baby burper

Grandpa and Grandma with Iris

My brother, Aaron and his wife Laura meeting our Precious on turkey day. In 2 months they’ll be welcoming their own little cutie into the world.

This is my favorite picture from the weekend.

Time to eat! Thankful that both babies slept through the meal.

Iris has a really cool mural painted in her nursery.

Precious’ hair is growing in nicely. I love her swirl.

Grandma and Grandpa with their grandkids. Two granddaughters added to the family in 2 months and a grandson on his way in January.

Do you ever accidentally pick out matching outfits for you and your baby?

A couple of firsts over the weekend: grabbing toys and putting them in her mouth AND giggling/laughing out loud!


Phone Photo Friday

11/25/2011


I Told You She’s Precious

11/24/2011

Thanksgiving 2011. I can’t think of a better time to share the sweet face of our little Precious girl. Getting full custody of her last week was an unexpected gift and wonderful blessing. God is so good!

Jason has been working on an acoustic guitar lullabies album to be dedicated to our sweet daughter. The whole album should be done in early 2012 but since we suddenly need to come up with several thousand dollars for a private adoption attorney to settle all this mess, Jason has decided to release one song early as an adoption fundraiser. The first song is “Hush Little Baby.” I know I’m biased but it’s a truly beautiful, layered finger-style guitar rendition. Think Phil Keaggy, Tommy Emmanuel, Chet Atkins style. I can’t wait to hear the rest!

Click here to make a minimum donation of $1 and I will email an mp3 of the song, “Hush Little Baby” by Jason Ahlbrandt within 3 business days. It’ll be well worth your dollar, I promise. (Of course, if you’re motivated to give more than a dollar, that would be tremendously appreciated!) Thank you for your help!