Monday, November 26, 2007

Gobble Gobble

Wow, we have so much to report! It has been a very busy week. I’ll start from the beginning so sit back and get ready to read because this is going to be a long post. Before I go any further we need to let you know that Ella has gained another pound. She is now officially 13 lbs 5 oz.

On Tuesday night Joe and I had the opportunity to speak at our church Thanksgiving dinner. Apparently every year they ask someone to speak about what they are thankful for. Obviously we have a lot to be thankful for, so they asked us to speak this year. We are thankful for so much, that we decided the best way to keep things concise was to do a top 10 list. However, we weren’t able to keep the list to just 10, so we had our top 14. Here they are in no particular order.

We are thankful for:

1) All of the love and care from God’s church in our time of need—food deliveries, prayers, notes, visits and encouragement.
2) A chance to bring our two families together.
3) God showing us the skills and patience required to care for our daughter.
4) The opportunity to share about how God attends to our needs and comfort us in our time of need.
5) For the story Joella will have to tell as she grows.
6) Our deacon, Becky Brittain – Beck has earns a lot of deacon points with us.
7) That God’s word is true. Rom. 8:28 – For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
8) New friendships.
9) Strengthening of old friendships.
10) Bringing us closer together as a couple.
11) God’s miraculous healing power on our little girl.
12) The hope that her condition will resolve itself in the next few years.
13) The incredibly talented and caring medical staff and nurses at Children’s National Medical Center, Inova Hospital where Ella was born, and her current pediatrician and dermatologist.
14) God blessing us with the most precious gift we could ever imagine.

The talk went well and I’m so glad we got the opportunity to share our story and how God has worked a miracle.

Wednesday morning at 3:00 am we packed up the car and headed to Baltimore Washington Airport. We took the 6:00 am flight to Dallas/Ft. Worth to visit family for the week. Once we arrived we were walking to the baggage claim area and spotted my mom and dad (GiGi and Paw Paw) and my Aunt Gail and Uncle Clay waiting for us. Aunt Gail was the first to spot us. She let out a yelp, then started running to the door we were walking through. It was so funny because she left the rest of the family in the dust. Everyone else quickly caught up and soon there were tears galore! Ella just kept looking at them like “Who are you and why are you crying?” It was a great moment, one we thought we’d never have.

We had breakfast at Uncle Clay and Aunt Gail’s house so that Ella could get on the floor and stretch her legs. She needed to play after that long plane ride, and we had another 4 hour drive ahead of us. After breakfast we headed to Shreveport to visit Maw Maw, my paternal grandmother. We spent the rest of Wednesday, all day Thursday and Friday morning with her. Dad took Joe and me to the casino river boats for a buffet dinner on Wednesday. Who would pass up all you can eat shrimp? Yummy! Thursday Mom and Maw Maw fixed a fabulous Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings! Friday morning Joe and I met up with some of my friends for breakfast.

A little side note because this is just too weird. My friend, Jenny, and I worked in Boston together for Hearts for Boston. Jenny married Jed (I was in their wedding) and they lived in Arkansas until about 6 months ago when they moved to Shreveport. I haven’t seen Jenny and Jed since their wedding about 7 years ago I think. So we got to meet up with them for breakfast and their twins, Malcolm and Naomi (so cute!!!). Ella was of course wearing her Mets hat, to which Jed said, “I like the hat.” I asked if he was a Mets fan and he said he was. Then Jenny said that Jed was from New Jersey. Joe asked the standard question “What part?” Typically when Joe asks this question people are from north Jersey, but Jed answered “The shore.” So Joe continued, “What part?” To which Jed responded, “Monmouth County.” This led to the discovery that Joe and Jed actually went to High School together, and Joe was only a year older than Jed. Isn’t that crazy! What a small world.

Ok, so back to our weekend. We left Shreveport Friday afternoon and headed to Texas so little Ella could finally meet big Ella, who she is named after (see new video under November 2007 Videos). It was nice to have some play time with just the Bigs (Big Mama and Big Daddy) so they could see Ella and not have to deal with giving attention to other people. The 3 men watched the end of the LSU vs. Arkansas football game while the 4 generations of girls stayed in the living room. There are pictures of the 4 generations, but obviously we need to learn how to use our camera because most of the pictures are blurry.

Saturday was the ever famous Gooch Wing Ding (that’s a party for you non-southerners). Uncle John and Nancy Jane have this Wing Ding at their house every year the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s a great time with great food and great company. This year they served up barbeque ribs and sausage with all the sides you could want. Before the Wing Ding Joe got to do some target shooting with Uncle Clay, my Dad and cousin Hal. Of course he loved that! What was hysterical was that Uncle Clay and Aunt Gail were trying to find some clothes for Joe to wear shooting. They pulled out a pair of Wranglers which were just a bit too tight (see pictures), cowboy boots (I bet Joe’s family never thought they’d see him in those), and topped the look off with a traditional cowboy hat. YEE HAW!!! The Wranglers were too tight, so he ended up wearing another pair of jeans that fit better.

Sunday we rested in the morning, then had Mexican food for lunch. At 3:00 pm we headed to the airport for the flight home. Ella did great on both of her plane trips. On the way to Texas she slept the first half and played the second. On the way home she played the first half and slept the second. All in all she was a great traveler. Now we just need to get ready for Christmas, although we’re sticking closer to home for that.

We hope you and yours had just as wonderful of a Thanksgiving as we did.


Paige said...

Looks like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Katie - love your baby wrap!

Rachel said...

I loved reading your "top 14" and the new video with Big Ella and Little Ella is so cute! Thanks for sharing that with us. Glad to hear that ya'll are doing well!

Ella said...

Aloha, my name is Joella as well and I live on the island of Maui (The Valley Isle) and I just wanted to send my prayers your way for baby Ella. I hardly ever get to meet people with the same name as mine and its always fun when I do. I send all the Love and Aloha her way. May God Bless you baby girl!!