Gotcha Day: The 10th Anniversary

Every year, at least for the past ten, we celebrate something special on November 14th.

That's the date Scott and I walked out of Orphanage #14 in Moscow, Russia holding an orange and pink snow suited bundle of a baby (she was still a baby at 14 months) (that's a lot of 14s isn't it?) and nobody stopped us.

Don't worry, it was all legit and she was ours (!!) through the miracle of international adoption, but after years of infertility failures I kept waiting for something to snag in our adoption.

But it didn't.

Nada, zip, zilch.

No delays or roadblocks--although the international adoption process itself is, um...rather involved.

From the time we turned in our application to the above described exit from the orphanage it took only 8 months (and yes, those 8 months were filled with dossier reports, home surveys, social worker interviews, numerous bureaucratic hoops to jump through, the agonizing (I know, it's all relative) (from early spring to late August) wait for a referral and don't forget, financial matters to attend to). 

God's hand was moving through all of it.

That little snow suited bundle now looks like this.
I brought her McDonald's for lunch (I know, I know, gag) to kick off a little Gotcha Day celebrating.
Her teacher said Annelise had stood up in front of the class (willingly) and told them about her adoption and why we celebrate Gotcha Day and answered a few questions. I was so proud of her!

We usually celebrate with dinner out at her pick of the place and a gift or two. This year, I guess because it was the 10th anniversary, we went a little overboard. Along with a new infinity scarf (not pictured, but she loves it) and hoodie she got a new James Avery charm for her bracelet (a Texas with a heart in it, like from Russia to Texas with love) and a silver ring with an anchor, cross and heart intertwined for faith, hope and love. She was over the moon excited!

We went out for dinner at BJs where the dinner part was only meh because she was all about getting her very own Pazookie.
I can understand her excitement.

Ever so often she gets out her baby book, which is a labor of love because that thing is a beast to carry downstairs, and peruses for a while, which warms my heart.
(picture from earlier this year one random afternoon of memory lane walking)

Saturday morning dawned earlier than normal (at least it seemed that way) with her last soccer game of the season at 8:00.
It was crazy cold (for Texas) and windy (felt even colder) and her team fought valiantly and lost but she still had a good time.
(Scott bootlegged this off of someone's FB page. Is that stealing? Oh well.)
(I wish my coffee had lasted longer than the first half.)
The team had a breakfast party afterwards in the least windy corner of the pavilion (as if) to celebrate the season, or maybe just to enjoy doughnuts, whichever. 

Loosely Related Sidenote: We were assigned to bring orange juice, so of course I pulled a Holly (wanting to make sure there was enough) so I bought three big jugs not realizing that it would be in the low 40s and only crazy people would want to drink cold OJ. The hot chocolate dispenser was where it was AT. We gave one unopened jug away and still have one and a half jugs cluttering up our fridge. We went to IHOP after the breakfast party for a real breakfast and Scott and Annelise had the nerve to order...wait for it...orange juice. Sigh.


Of Nerds and Pneumonia. And Such.

With only one, count it, one singular, blog post for the entire month of October, we'll just call it a dud and move on to November, m'mkay?

(The month itself wasn't necessarily a dud but in terms of blogging, yes.)

The end of October was something of a crash and burn, read: major dud. Scott went on a short business trip to Rio de Janeiro (yes, as in Brazil) (I know!) and Annelise and I had all these plans (okay, not really, but a few, including a school BBQ where she was excited to play the trumpet on stage and Trunk or Treat at church) so of course she got sick with a fever and congestion/cough.

No improvement along with a fever spike found us here Tuesday afternoon.
Where we soon discovered she had pneumonia.

I know!

Even though the fever eventually left the building her cough and general malaise lingered the rest of the week. So no school, no Trunk or Treat (our church was hosting one on Wednesday night) and no regular trick or treating later.

Believe me, there was a lot of her channeling her inner Sally.
The only Halloween-y thing we did was watch The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and buy our own candy (and of course eat it).

Thank goodness she got to celebrate and wear her costume (and I use that term loosely) early. A friend from her soccer team invited her to a Halloween party the Saturday before she got sick so at least she did get to do something festive.

(She still feels cheated. And no amount of Reese's peanut butter cups are managing to appease her.)

Here she is in all of her brief nerd glory.
We found the shirt and suspenders at a local thrift shop and the glasses at the Dollar Tree so at least there wasn't too much $$ invested in Dud Halloween 2014.

When Annelise was not on the couch or recliner last week (we've discovered a new show on Netflix to binge on, Heartland, it's a sweet family show about two sisters and their family's horse ranch) she occupied herself with some school work, legos and a newly rediscovered old favorite, Perler beads (you know, those annoying melty beads that end up everywhere).

We also killed some time binging on the awesomeness known as OK Go videos.

(Remember their cool treadmill one from a few years back?)

(And this one might be my all time favorite because it reminds me of the game Mousetrap, but this is more like Mousetrap on crack.)

They are ridiculously creative.

Sidenote: Do y'all adore the new(ish) Rob Lowe commercials for Direct TV? I can't decide which one is my favorite.

Maybe this one. (I also like how each one ends with the theme from St. Elmo's Fire, because 80s.)

(I promise I didn't intend to go so YouTube manic when I started this post.)

I'll leave you with a completely random family photo from a couple of weeks ago.
Because we like Sonic.

And aviators.

Happy Tuesday, y'all!
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