Friday, July 29, 2011

Hope Street Reunion

First...read this...


October 2007 at Britt's wedding shower
Karyn, Britt, Libby, Ruth, & Beth

In college my girlfriends and I lived on Hope Street for our last two years of school. We were called the Hope Street girls and because we'd like to think we're still 22 we still call ourselves the Hope Street girls. This year's reunion trip was amazing. My girlfriend Britt's (who I've known the longest, we also went to high school together) parents hosted our trip at their house in Urbana, Ohio (about an hour north of my parents in Dayton). Her parents were wonderful and I would be perfectly happy if we met there every summer for all of our reunion trips. They have an amazing house with a pool in the middle of cornfields, it was so peaceful. 


I wasn't initially planning on this but I ended up leaving Jonah with my parents for part of my trip. He was with me from Wednesday to Thursday and with my parents from Thursday evening to Sunday afternoon. I did see him on Saturday to deliver breastmilk and get some quick snuggling in. As much as I hated not being with him and felt like I was missing a part of myself, it was REALLY nice to be able to have uninterrupted time (aside from having to go and pump) with my friends and to be fully present with them. And catching up on sleep was pretty great too. I don't even have to thank my parents for watching him, they were so excited when I asked. Thank you Aunt Britt and Uncle Jason for coming up from Cinci to hang out with him, and Uncle Marc and Ya-ya for making sure Jonah didn't miss me too much. 



This is pretty much how we spent our days together. Soaking up a lot of sun and lots 
of great conversations in the pool together. 






So basically, this is what every meal was like, amazingly delicious. Britt's mother prepared all of our meals from beef tenderloin, twice baked potatoes, ribs, freshly picked sweet corn, strawberry cake, asparagus casserole, spinach salads, croissant breakfast sandwiches, cheesecake, plus so much more. She wouldn't let us give her money for the groceries or even let us help clean up. We seriously felt like we were at a bed and breakfast, especially when we found our beds were turned down when we went to bed each evening. Britt's parents served us so well, we couldn't say thank you enough. 

Now for lots of pictures of my beautiful friends...


Libby, Ruth, Beth, & Britt 
(sad that we are missing our friend Karyn who couldn't make the trip this year)

These pictures were taken in my parents back yard when we went to drop off Jonah. 




Enjoyed a great dinner at Adobe Gilas at the Greene.


Enjoyed some live music after dinner. The singer was pretty good but I don't think anyone should be singing Lady Gaga acoustically. 


Hung out in Yellow Springs one evening. 


A guy outside of a grocery store asked to sing us a love song.  
We couldn't possibly say no. 




A little wine tasting in a cute wine shop.

for all you Modern Family fans...Dunphy Real Estate 


Britt took us on a walk around her parents property. Lots and lots of cornfields. 


There was something really peaceful about being out there. Everything that I have been rushing to do was put on hold. Such a great reminder of God's glory through creation and also through the lives of my friends. 


It probably wasn't the best idea to go for a walk late in the day when the heat was pretty intense, but nothing a nice soak in the pool wouldn't fix. 


I think many of you remember me posting about my friend Libby a year ago when she got cancer. Praise the Lord she is now cancer free! The girls and I wanted get her a special gift to honor her and continue to encourage her for how she has been faithful to the Lord during this incredibly rocky year for her family. When I lost Leyton the girls gave me a Tiffany necklace of a key with Leyton's initials on it, so we wanted to do something similar for Libby. We got her a necklace with a key and a heart and had "DWYC" engraved on the back of the heart. That stands for "Don't Waste You Cancer". You guys should seriously read her blog, she is amazing (especially this post, it's a must read). Throughout this entire journey she has been pointing to Christ and giving God the glory. I am so honored she is my friends. 

This trip came at such a great time for me. I was definitely needing quality girl time with close friends who love me and who I can share my heart with. I am so thankful we were able to have this time together and be intentional about encouraging one another. And even though we may not do the best about keeping in touch with one another, I love that we can all get together and pick up right where we left off. 



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

His faithful steed


Jonah received this horse for Christmas from his grandma and grandpa (Josh's parents). We kept it at my parents house due to lack of space in our old townhouse, and recently brought it to our new home and he loves it. This is such a great gift because when he is a little bit older we can take off the safety seat and flip the base of it upside down and get even more use out of it.


Hard to believe this was 7 months ago. And now my baby boy is already 8 months old! Stay tuned this week for his 8 month post. Also, Jonah and I just returned from a reunion trip with my college roommates and I will be posting about that too. Basically, I have not been the best blogger (which isn't anything new) and I have a lot of blogging to catch up on. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Family Pictures

Jonah and I are getting all packed up for my annual reunion trip with my college girlfriends. This year we are going to be spending the rest of the week at my girlfriend Britt's parents' house in Urbana, Ohio. I am so thankful it's not too far away this year and we'll only be about an hour from my parents if I need them to watch Jonah. I am really excited to see these girls. I'm actually going early tomorrow to pick up Libby and her daughter Ava from the airport in Dayton. We get to have an extra day together and I'm so looking forward to hugging her and loving on her daughter and celebrating her being cancer free! 

But I will leave you with a few family pictures we had taken mid-June while we were in Michigan. A friend from college took them (see her blog here) and I'm so happy with how they turned out. Hoping to have her take more pictures of us, maybe even this fall??? when Jonah turns one, if Josh's schedule allows. I just LOVE Michigan in the fall, so many great memories of college, I get all nostalgicky (I know that's probably not a word) when I think about the fall. I digress, enjoy the pictures...






Wednesday, July 13, 2011

true joy

Monday was harder for me than I had expected. I don't know if it was harder than last year but just different. Different because we have Jonah, which makes it harder and easier at the same time. He was a great little snuggler during my low parts of the day, which was so nice because there were a lot of bad storms all day, perfect weather for staying home and snuggling.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us, called, emailed, and sent texts. Remembering Leyton is a huge blessing to us. There are times when we feel like we're the only ones who remembers we have another son. So you reaching out to us on Monday was really special to us and we so much appreciate it.

This is how my day ended...I always have quiet, calm down time with Jonah right before I put him to bed, but like usual, Josh gets him riled up just as I've settled him down. Josh was hitting his head against a pillow and Jonah thought it was the funniest thing he has ever seen, he can hardly stand himself. A great way to end the day.

video

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Grace, abounding still...two years later

quick disclaimer...sorry if this blog seems like I'm rambling, having a hard time getting all of my thoughts together into a nice cohesive post...

I just went back and read this post I wrote a year ago. Even with two years having gone by and so much having changed in our lives (having Jonah, graduating from med-school, moving to Ohio), sometimes the pain of loosing Leyton is still really fresh for me. I guess that's understandable now even having a son, I am able to see everything I didn't get to have with Leyton with Jonah now.

With all of the change that has been happening in our lives and thinking about Leyton and how I would have a two year old, I've been kind of a closet emotional mess (does that make sense?). We just got back from a short visit in Dayton to celebrate my Pop-p-'s 70th birthday, and with a busy and full weekend my mind wasn't always thinking about Leyton and the day that we lost him. I guess that I am thankful for the distractions (but then I of course start feeling guilty), as I remember last year I tried to stay busy to help keep my mind from going to a dark place. But today during worship at church my thoughts were definitely on Leyton (that happens often during worship).

As embarrassed as I get sometimes when tears start streaming down my face during worship, I love that moment when the Lord touches my heart and reminds me so much of His love for me. It is such a sweet moment of grace.

When I thought my broken heart could not possibly be put back together after loosing Leyton, the Lord has been faithful to hold every single piece and slowly but surely mend it back together. I know I have said this before but will continue to say this, the Lord's has been so faithful to bless me with His grace every single day. With new mercies every morning, Jesus remains faithful.

I'm not exactly sure how the day is going to go (emotionally). Part of me just wants to sit and and be sad but I know that is from the Enemy who does not want me to feel happy and gives me those guilty feelings. I'm sure I will have sad moments but I will also rejoice in the blessings of grace the Lord has given me, my wonderful husband and my sweet sweet Jonah. Oh how my Jonah fills my heart with so much joy.

I really want to share this song called "Beauty Will Rise" by Steve Curtis Chapman. I can't listen to it without crying. My friend Teena gave me this cd back in February 2010 when I wasn't even pregnant with Jonah yet. You don't really have to watch the video as it is an unofficial music video.


If you remember, Josh and I would certainly appreciate your prayers today. And thank you to our family and friends who continue to lift us up in prayer. Experiencing the Lord's love and grace everyday is a direct result of the many people who have been so faithful to pray for us.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Marc & Shelly's Wedding

Oh my goodness my big brother is married! I am so excited for my brother and Shelly and their wedding was so much fun! I loved our wedding (and your's too Brittany but I think I had more fun at their wedding. It was definitely different than a traditional Belcastro affair but it was so Marc and Shelly and I think that is what made it so special. And even with their outdoor ceremony getting rained out, everything turned out great. Shelly you handled that beautifully. I might have been a bit upset about that but you were totally calm, you just wanted to marry Marc, you didn't care if it was inside or out, I thought that was pretty great.

Click here for their wedding highlights video. I cry everytime I watch it, so don't say I didn't warn you.

The rehearsal dinner...

the centerpieces my mother put together. don't you just love the large hosta leaf? great job mommy.


Jonah sporting his "I heart Aunt Shelly" bib


the groom and the bride


my brother's best friend Xan and his fiance Serena drove all the way from Wisconsin 


Jason (Brittany's husband), Marc, & Xan


aren't they so cute?!!!



The wedding...


Shelly is incredibly creative. She made all of the centerpieces, the flowers were made out of paper. And the bin behind the flowers was full of games and books for Jonah. Everything was so thoughtful. And they didn't have cake they had doughnuts and I'm so mad I forgot to take a picture of the doughnut they cut together, it was pretty cute. 


Jonah in his studly vest Shelly's mother made. 
He did such a great job for being up so late and for getting passed around a lot. 
Thank you again to all who helped take care of him during the reception, that really helped so 
Josh and I were able to really enjoy ourselves. 


Mr. & Mrs. Belcastro!


My goal is usually to get Josh on the dance floor with me and of course when I'm not out there, 
I turn around and this is what I find. 


sisters! and I love love love Shelly's dress!


They had a photobooth and it was so much fun! they used all of the pictures as their guest book. 
I'm not quite sure what I'm doing in the third picture but the last on is our favorite. 


family photo


fail


win


Marcky - Josh, Jonah, and I love you sooo much and are so excited for and Shelly. You have always been an incredible big brother to Brittany and I and I know you are going to be one amazing husband to Shelly. Congratulations again!!!!!
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