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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cunniff Thanksgiving Photos

I promised Thanksgiving pictures, and here they are! The Cunniff Thanksgiving took place on Saturday, November 21, 2009.

The beautiful table! Mom did a great job decorating it. Each of the little kids got an ornament with their name on it, and Amy and I got blank ornaments in honor of our babies in Heaven. Amy got one, and I got two. Thanks Mom. :)

It was a semi-nice day, so after dinner we all went outside to take some pictures. Of course, the kids had to have some fun on the swingset first. Here's Caleb enjoying the slide. I also rode on the teeter-totter with him. Does anyone have a picture of that??
Zach on the swing! I love his scrunched up little smiley face. He also enjoyed playing in a pile of sticks over by the fireplace. Such a boy.
Olivia's swing was a tad crooked...but Christine said it was good enough for her kid. :) She loved the swing!
John & I. A little blurry, but still cute.Matt & Sarah, very cute picture!!Amy, Zach, Caleb & Dave. Such a good-looking family!
Olivia (with her tongue out), Shaun & Christine. I don't think Olivia had any turkey for her first Thanksgiving...
Caleb, Grampy, Olivia, Zachary & Grammy. In that order.
Dad & Mom. I love this picture, I think it turned out great!

All my photos, from now until I get a new computer (hint, hint) will be unedited. Unfortunately. You'll just have to take my family 'as is'.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


The beautiful red & green beckoned. The red box with the beautiful green bow. Was it a gift for someone? No. Did I need it? No. Not really. Did I really have the extra money to buy it? No. But buy it I did. And I filled it with what I like the best.

Peanut butter cups. Hazelnut truffles. Peanut butter logs. Creme brulee truffles. Walnut caramels. Almond toffee. Yum.

I did share. I shared with Sam at work, and I shared with John at home.

And now it's 9:20 on Saturday morning, and I'm about to share with myself. Again. Breakfast of champions!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One year...and one week

Today is November 25, 2009. Today is a day I've been dreading for awhile. I struggled my way through Mother's Day. July 18th, which would have been my due date for my first baby, was an extremely difficult day. Today marks the one year anniversary of losing my first baby.

One year ago today I called the doctor and insisted on being seen because I was concerned. One year ago today I was sent for an ultrasound, then sent straight back to my doctor to discuss the ultrasound. One year ago today I heard the words "ectopic", "surgery" and "emergency". One year ago today I called my husband, parents and sister-in-law to tell them I was checking myself into Bellevue for surgery. One year ago today I cried more tears than anyone should have to cry in a lifetime.

One week ago today, I couldn't go to work. One week ago today, I spent the day in bed. One week ago today I was in pain, physically and emotionally. One week ago today I called my husband at work to tell him it had started. One week ago today the harsh reality that my heart was refusing to grasp became far too real.

Only God knows why this has happened. Only God can see the end result and know that this will all work together for good. All I can do is trust and believe. And trusting and believing is what I'm trying to do. What I'm striving for.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

sometimes I don't have the words

I'm not usually one for just posting lyrics. But I just came upon this song and it speaks my heart. It's called I Will Carry You by Selah.

There were photographs I wanted to take
Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies, wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?
People say that I am brave but I’m not
Truth is I’m barely hanging on
But there’s a greater story
Written long before me
Because He loves you like this
So I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And I will praise the One
Who’s chosen me
To carry you
Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness
But I know
That the silence
Has brought me to His voice
And He says…
I’ve shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies, no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?
I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
And I will praise the One
Who’s chosen Me
To carry you
November 25, 2008
November 18, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Not Yet

I was going to attempt a 'thankful' post. I did one last year, around the same time. Remember? Not easy then, not easy now. And I've decided I'm not quite ready to write one yet anyway.

I don't know what the stages of grief are. I'm not sure the order, or if the order even matters. I do know that the feelings of sadness, anger and disbelief I feel are all normal.

The other night, I was tired. I'd done too much that day, went too many places and didn't have any rest. As I was waiting for John to come home from a fire investigation, I finally sat down on the couch and was struggling to hold back the tears. My body was hurting and my heart was hurting. Then I realized, why am I trying not to cry? I need to cry. Sometimes crying it out is the only thing that helps. So I cried.

I know I have lots to be thankful for. And I know it's good to 'focus on the positive' and 'find the silver lining.' But right now, it's too hard. So this is not my thankful post. I'm sure I'll be doing one soon. But not yet.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Early Thanksgiving

I know, it's not Thanksgiving yet. But today was the first ever (annual???) Cunniff Thanksgiving. While growing up, our family always traveled to Indian Lake for Thanksgiving. That was Thanksgiving to me. The first year John and I were married we went to Indian Lake. But since then, because of John's work schedule, we've had Thanksgiving with his family. Which is great! But I miss spending the holiday with my family too.

This year, my parents are the only immediate family members making the trek to Indian Lake. So my Mom decided to have a Thanksgiving today for our family. And it was so much fun! Everybody brought something and it was a great time together. We had turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, glazed carrots, stuffing, rolls, cinnamon buns, apple pie and pumpkin pie. Delish. I left very full.

We also took some family photos while we were there. I'm just too exhausted right now to get my camera and upload the pictures, so I'll post them later.

I love when our family gets together. There's always lots of laughing and lots of fun. Lots of picking on each other, but lots of love.

This past week has been, let's be honest, pretty crappy. I've had my ups and downs, mostly downs. I've been frustrated, upset, angry and sad. But today was honestly just what I needed. A happy day with my family, which I'm so thankful for. Never will I take my family for granted, I know I'm so blessed to have them.

The only thing that could have made today really feel like Thanksgiving would have been football. There's something weird about having a huge Thanksgiving dinner, and not watching football. But Thursday is coming soon!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What Could Have, Should Have, Would Have Been...

Oh, what this post could have been. It could have been happy, upbeat, exciting and full of hope. It should have been all that, and more. It would have been all those things, if only life went according to plan. My plan. Unfortunately for me (even though I know it's really fortunately, in the long run) God's plan isn't always aligned with my plan. Or, should I say, my plan isn't always aligned with God's plan.

We find ourselves now, for the second year in a row, entering into the holiday season suffering from the loss of a baby. Our second baby. We now have 2 children in heaven. Even as I write this, I find it hard to grasp. Even as we've been going through this for the past several weeks, I kept thinking to myself, "There's no way. God won't ask this much of me. There's just no way I'll have to give up another child." As if the choice were ours anyway.

I have many unposted posts. Beginning on October 3rd when I had my first positive pregnancy test. I may post those blogs at some point. They show the joy and happiness we had at the beginning of this journey. It was kind of a downward spiral, filled with ultrasounds that gave unclear answers, blood work that give distressing news and lots of nausea.

I've known for over a week that this pregnancy was not going to last. I've known, in my heart, for even longer than that. But today, when I would have been 10 weeks and 1 day, my miscarriage began. It sucks. There really aren't any other words. At some moments I can be positive. At others, I just cry and think about how much I hate this situation. Sometimes it feels like all hope has vanished, and other times I rest in the knowledge that God does have great plans for us.

Thank you to those of you who have known our situation and have been praying for me and my baby. Thank you to those who didn't know, but were praying anyway. I firmly believe that the only way we can get through this, same as last time, is to have people praying for us.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Vacation Photos

California photos. Shown in no particular order, all un-edited.

Self Portrait taken in Seaport Village:
Beautiful palm trees...Seaport Village:
Another self portrait in Seaport Village:
John's parents, our anniversary dinner at BJ's:
Amy, me, John & Kristen, anniversary dinner at BJ's:
Baby gorilla with his aunt...sucking on his finger:
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, what do you see??:
The beautiful panda decided to do some tanning:
John's favorite, the tiger:
Amy, me, John & Kristen in L.A.:
"I know in my heart than man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph and there is purpose and worth to each and every life" -President Ronald Reagan:
At the Reagan Library:
Real piece of the Berlin Wall:
Beautiful palm trees and sunset in La Jolla:

West Coast, Baby!

We had 2 uneventful flights, from Albany to Cincinnati, then on to San Diego. I paid $3 for a small can of Pringles. I also had a small frappuccino. John had a Cinnabon.

Once in San Diego we got our luggage and rental car and headed to Amy's apartment. From there, we all loaded into the Durango and headed over to Junior Seaus' Restaurant. YUM! Delicious food (I had bruschetta and a Buffalo chicken sandwich) and every game imaginable on their many TVs. We watched the first half of the Giants/Chargers game. Unfortunately, it didn't end well.

After we left Seaus' we drove to La Jolla (say: La Hoya) where we got some great pictures of the ocean and the beach with all the seals. The palm trees were beautiful. It was like paradise walking through all the little shops and such. Great weather. Then Amy took us to this high point where we could take some great pictures of the view. It was incredible! And no one was there. It was definitely a spot only locals know about. Lucky us. :)

Monday, after breakfast at our hotel, we took the long drive (depending on traffic) up to Simi Valley to visit the Reagan Library & Museum. Incredible, breathtaking, amazing. I'm so glad we got the chance to go there. On the way home we stopped in LA. It was so much fun! We got delicious cookies at the Toll House shop, took pictures of the Hollywood sign, saw the red carpet for the premiere of Old Dogs and had fun walking around. We made it back to downtown San Diego in time for dinner at Sloppy Joey's. YUM. I had rotten nachos, which were not rotten in any way. And their bread sticks were delicious.

Tuesday was our anniversary! Three years! We had breakfast at The Eggery (I had the best smoothie ever) then John and I went to the Zoo with his parents while Kristen went to class with Amy. It was fun seeing all the animals. We took tons of pictures and I had a churro! I loved the pandas. That night John's family took us out to BJ's for our anniversary. They had such good food. I had Parmesan crusted chicken. SO incredible. For dessert they have...I think they're called Bazookie's. It's a freshly baked (huge!) cookie of your choosing, topped with ice cream. So imagine a warm cookies covered in cold ice yummy. John and I shared a chocolate chip cookie with chocolate ice cream.

Wednesday was ate breakfast at Cafe 222 in downtown San Diego. It was soooo good. Kristen had found them on Food Network because Bobby Flay loves their Peanut Butter & Banana stuffed French Toast. Kristen and I both got that dish, and it was so good!! We sat outside to eat, and it was lots of fun. Did I mention good food?? The rest of Wednesday was spent right in San Diego. We went to Coronado for awhile. (Gotta be rich to live there!) Then we went to Seaport Village. There is tons to see and do there. And buy and eat! We bought lots of stuff in the little shops, took lots of pictures and had fun hanging out. We took pictures of the USS Midway which is docked there, as well as the USS Ronald Reagan across the bay. There were lots of Veteran's day activities going on. For dinner that night we went to Tony Roma's. I had a yummy burger, John had ribs, of course. Since Amy was working, we stopped at Buca to say goodbye to her.

Thursday morning we left at 3:45 for the airport. It was a long flight from San Diego to JFK in NYC. They showed 2 movies and I napped a little. We had a 4-hour layover at JFK so we sat down and ate at Chili's. Once we boarded our little charter plane for Albany, we sat on the runway for about an hour and a half waiting for takeoff. One 35-minute flight later, and we were home.

We left Zoe with my parents. They had a pretty uneventful time. I know Zoe enjoyed spending time with Caleb and Olivia and all the piano students! We stopped on our way home from the airport and she was so excited to see us!! We were glad to be home, even though we had a great time on vacation. There will be pictures to come...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Profitable Part-of-a-Day

Today was my day off. John is away at the fire academy for a few days. I woke up early (after staying up late to see the Yankees win!) I ran some errands. I've been holding on to a Colonie Center gift card for almost a year, and today I used it to buy some sneakers and dress shoes that I desperately needed.

I paid my late fees at the library and picked up some books. (Something to read on our upcoming trip to San Diego, as well as some Thanksgiving books for work.) Have I mentioned how much I love the library? Don't know why I stayed away for so long. My goal is to return these books on time.

Did a little shopping at Old Navy. I went looking for one shirt in particular that I'd seen a few weeks ago. A Giants t-shirt. Of course, it wasn't there today. So I bought a couple shirts and a sweater.

Of course, I stopped at my parents to spend some time with them and Olivia. That girl is sooooo stinkin' cute. My parents are going on a retreat so we won't see them until after our California trip. They're taking care of Zoe while we're gone. I hope she's a good girl. *fingers crossed*

On my way home I stopped at Subway. I downed a foot-long Spicy Italian sub, one bag of Doritos and 3 double chocolate chip cookies. That was about 2pm. No dinner necessary for me tonight!

Unfortunately, that's kind of where my ambition died out. I watched TV, scoured the internet and took a nap. I'm going to try to get the clean dishes put away before bed so the kitchen will be somewhat presentable. Hopefully John will be home when I get home from work tomorrow!

*On a funny note: I just discovered all the web tools that come with Blogger. My blog comes up in google search most when people type in "How to take care of a centipede." I find that funny. :)