Summer Update

Well as the summer is starting to come to a close with the weather changing and schools back in session we are looking back at our summer adventures. We had a hiatus from the blog this summer during our match with an expectant mom. There just wasn’t much time to keep the blog updated while navigating the new relationship. Now it is time to get back into the swing of things though and keep our followers up to date on what we have been up to.

We Finished the Nursery

The reason was due to the match although a majority of the room was completed already. It was great to put the finishing touches on it though. We bought the custom sheets we wanted, made a custom ruler to measure our future child’s growth, created a keepsake box, and hung some custom art work. It is great to know that the room is done and ready for an adoption. Luckily we don’t have to pass the room or go anywhere near it if we are having a rough week with the wait.

We Visited Family for a Reunion

millersburgWe have fun visiting family whenever we can but since it is an odd year this summer brought about my side of the family reunion. We were originally planning a week long journey to visit parts of Pennsylvania and some other family but ended up cutting that part out of our plans because of the match and not wanting to waste what little vacation time I have to take off then. We had a lot of fun with the activities that we did get to do though and I am already looking forward to the reunion in 2 years.

 

 

We Visited Friends in Asheville

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Through this wonderful but sometimes trying adoption journey we met some friends of friends that have been so supportive of us. We met them a little over a year ago only but have already visited them twice and they are getting ready to come for their second visit in a couple weeks! While visiting we got to tour around the Biltmore estate and eat some delicious food. Their daughter is also awesome to play with while visiting and she is always excited to see us!

 

We saw my Sister’s Family Twice

HoustonThe upside of having a match in Houston was that we got to visit my sister and our nephews. We don’t see them as often as we would like usually but this summer we saw them three times (two times in Houston and once at the family reunion). While visiting them we got to go to the Lacrosse All Star Game and go with the boys when they got to meet their teachers for the new school year. The next several months will go by fast hopefully when we get to see them again at Thanksgiving!

 

Stephanie Went to Vegas for Work

vegasMy current company has an annual conference that we host and this year it was in Las Vegas. It was five days of lots of work but also lots of fun networking and getting to know so many new people at my company and with some of our partners. Originally Andy was planning on coming with but we will just have to hope that the conference is in Vegas another year for him to join me out there. Luckily he doesn’t enjoy gambling really so even with kids in tow (hopefully in the near future) he will still be able to enjoy the pool and walk the strip taking pictures.

 

 

 

 

Andy Worked on some New Projects

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In addition to a couple Lacrosse tournaments this summer Andy also shot a summer camp for children with disabilities and custom photos for a landscape company in the area. He has a couple other potential projects coming up soon too that will be great to keep him busy. Plus, Lacrosse fall league will give him lots of teams to shoot again and have full weekends running around to the games.

 

In Addition

We also had fun celebrating with local friends and family for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and my birthday. Spending time with friends and meeting new additions to their family has been great too. It is exciting that so many of our friends are growing their families and hopefully we will soon too so that we will have kids of similar ages to grow up together.

 

Cancun Vacation/Work Trip

A view from our resort, this is going to be a great week!

A view from our resort, this is going to be a great week!

It was a wonderful vacation/work trip for us this year. Every year Stephanie’s company sends everyone on a training weekend event to team build, network, and learn about what is going on in the company. It is a blast every year and we are thankful that Andy is able to join. This year we also got the opportunity to extend the trip by a couple extra days to make a vacation out of it for us.

We spent the first couple days relaxing around the resort, laying in the pool, eating lots of food, and going kayaking. It was a great way to start off since we have both been so busy working the last couple months. We also met a couple of other guests from Brazil and had fun getting to know them. The kayaking was a bit of a struggle as I ended up in the water since the double kayak had very low back support and was a flat top.

Chichenitza was so amazing!

Chichen Itza was so amazing!

Selfie on our tour of the ruins

Selfie on our tour of the ruins

Cenote (sink hole)

Cenote (sink hole)

We then decided that it was time to see a little culture while in Mexico. We took a guided tour of Chichen Itza and a Cenote. It was amazing! Although it was hot outside and by the end of the day we were exhausted it was great to learn so much about the area and the Mayans. We were also lucky to have a couple helpful coworkers and other tourists that were willing to help us down and out of the Cenote. The water in the Cenote was so cold and refreshing to get into and we all were wishing we were able to go for another dip after walking around in the hot sun at Chichen Itza.

Team building and giving back. We built bikes for local children and gave them some school supplies.

Team building and giving back. We built bikes for local children and gave them some school supplies.

There were a couple of days of work meetings and events that came at the end of our trip. I won’t bore you with most of the details as it can be tiring to sit through if it isn’t your company. Andy was asked though to take photos for the company at all the events since we didn’t have a photographer. Everyone was so happy to see all the photos that he took and couldn’t wait for him to finish editing them!

Some of the best parts of the work days though are the team building (pictured above) and the dinners with coworkers. This year our team building activity included multiple events on the beach trying to complete challenges to ‘earn’ pieces of a bike. Afterwards, we all had to take our bike pieces and put them together. What made it even more fun was that the children we were donating the bikes to were there helping each team. It was so awesome to see them excited about the bikes and the supplies we gave them in new book bags. They were all showing off their gifts to their friends and seeing what they got!

All dressed up and excited to party!

All dressed up and excited to party!

Stephanie cutting up the rug on the dance floor with her coworkers!

Stephanie cutting up the rug on the dance floor with her coworkers!

Andy dancing at the banquet on Saturday

Andy dancing at the banquet on Saturday

The final part of our trip was Saturday evening when we had the company banquet. After handing out a few rewards and eating some good food it was time for the entertainment. There were many hilarious things happening on the dance floor but it was a lot of fun and everyone in attendance had a blast. I wasn’t able to include it in the blog but there was even a great video of Andy dancing because he happened to be standing in the wrong place trying to take pictures!

 

Denver Seckinger (Andy’s mom) Family Reunion

Andy’s mom’s side of the family decided to have a family reunion for the first time in a long time. It was a great time getting everyone together (aside from a couple of cousins who couldn’t make it and were missed). It was also the first time Stephanie got to meet some of Andy’s cousins and families.

We started with a couple days in Denver on our own to explore and see as many sites as possible. On Thursday we went to the Forney Transportation Museum, walked around downtown Denver, and Buffalo Bills grave site on top of Lookout Mountain. After all of that excitement we then met Stephanie’s old coworker (Michelle) for dinner and one of her old college buddies (Anni) for drinks to round out the day!

Transportation Museum in Denver

Transportation Museum in Denver

One of the capital buildings in downtown Denver

One of the capital buildings in downtown Denver

On our next day there we took the time to drive down to Colorado Springs and visit the Olympic training center (that Stephanie trained at back in 2004) and also the Garden of the Gods. It was great for Stephanie to be able to show Andy around some of her favorite spots while living there for a summer and also the center where she was fortunate to live.

Inside Olympic Training Center

Inside Olympic Training Center

Stephanie in front of the rings at the Olympic Training Center

Stephanie in front of the rings at the Olympic Training Center

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

Andy and Stephanie at Garden of the Gods

Andy and Stephanie at Garden of the Gods

On our last full day in Denver it was time for the reunion itself. To start we had lunch with the family when the ‘parents’ surprised all the cousins, their spouses, and their children with a birthday party celebrating all the birthdays at once with gifts, balloons, and cupcakes. After that Andy and Stephanie spent all afternoon in the pool swimming with the kids and talking about how we all can’t wait for the next one. Finally, that night we had a great cookout with some good food at Andy’s cousin Mike’s house with the kids all running around blowing bubbles, making bracelets, swinging, and playing games.

Stephanie and Mary Kate hanging out blowing bubles

Stephanie and Mary Kate hanging out blowing bubbles

Mary Kate eating a popsicle before dinner

Mary Kate eating a popsicle before dinner

Immediate family on Andy's side

Immediate family on Andy’s side

We can’t wait for the next family reunion and have already started talking about it and want to look into some ideas we had to get everyone together again soon!