Saturday, June 29, 2013

Aunt Leanne Reacts to Big Announcement

Aunt Leanne has been missing from the blog lately.  Perhaps that's what happens when you move more than 700 miles away :-(
But for those of you eager for an Aunt Leanne fix, this post is for you.  First, here is the thank you note she sent us for the birthday gifts.  We sent her a bunch of personalized photo gifts because we believe when you're as cute as Leanne is, you should have your photo plastered EVERYWHERE!
So she received a photo calendar, a photo tee shirt,
photo stickers,

and photo paper:
Dear Sis Family,
Thank you for
the calendar
book, stickers,
and this paper.
I love it.
Did you notice how I translated just like she types?  Although, I think I should have hit the "Enter" key a few more it!
Josie examined that note for the longest time.  When I asked her what it said, she replied "I pray for you".  I had to laugh because Leanne always tells Josie "I pray for you".
 But we saved the best part of this post for last.  Travis works for a great company and his job has afforded us the opportunity to move all over the country and live in some really cool places.  However, this being 700+ miles away from Mama Hop and Aunt Leanne just won't work.  So for many, many reasons (most importantly, as an investment in our relationship as a family), we found a little place here in our new residence where Mama Hop and Aunt Leanne can spend part of the year.  Here's how Leanne reacted when we revealed the news:

It's difficult to hear Leanne's response but she immediately inquired as to whether or not we have a Starbucks here!  Girlfriend has her priorities - she's not going anywhere without access to Frappuccinos! 
We are so excited about this little place we found.  It's conveniently located near Starbucks.  It has a park right around the corner where the girls can play.  It even has a nice little kitchen where Mama Hop can cook up all of her delicious meals and we're all looking forward to that! We plan to have fun making a few cosmetic changes and if all goes well with the inspection/closing (knock on wood) we'll be able to get started in August.  Suddenly living so far away from family seems much more bearable!


  1. I am soooo happy that you will be able to see Leanne more! I was just talking about your awesome family and how I was kinda sad when you said you were moving far away, since your Leanne posts are my favorite! And heck yea, you gotta have a Starbucks!! :)Happy for all of you!

  2. You are an inspiration to me!

    I have 3 boys (26, 22, 22) and when the twins were 15 they got the flu. Joshua got better and Jacob did not. The flu virus invaded his heart and caused complete heart and multiple organ failure. When he crashed he stroked and was left disabled. Four days after their 17th bday, he had a heart transplant. He is now 5 and half years post transplant (Thank God!) and while he has re learned much (how to speak, swallow and use his hands) he is still not independently mobile. He uses an electric scooter to get around and works hard on his standing and walking daily.

    But that back story was not the purpose of my comment... I just wanted you to know that as a sister to sweet Leanne you give me hope! Joshua is Jacob's best friend, ally and exercise guru. He accompanies him to each and every transplant appt, procedure and slept in the hospital by his side for months on end! Five years ago we added 2400 sq feet to our family home to make a space for the twins to have an apartment on the third floor that is completely accessible, an elevator and a PT gym. When we made this "investment in our family" (great term for it!) it was with the hope that Joshua and Jacob could live together in a home that is essentially a "mother daughter" or in our case a "brother brother"!!! There is a guest house out back that my husband and I will move to when and if Joshua (or Jacob!) marries someday and then they will have the entire house for their generation. The boys both just graduated from college this year - (mommy brag, both Suma Cum Laude!) and are hopefully on their way. But, Jacob will always need help - both physically and medically, and knowing that Joshua will be here for him gives me incredible peace, just like I'm sure it does your Mama!

    The love and dedication that you and your gorgeous family put into your relationship with Leanne warms my heart and lets me know that this is do-able for Joshua too!

    Thank you and warm, gentle mommy hugs all the way from out here in NJ....


    1. Hi Gena,

      Wow, your comment brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful bond Joshua and Jacob have. You can tell they were raised well with an emphasis on family :-) Your story really resonates with me because it is a testimony to the power of unconditional love. Can you email me when you have a chance?


  3. oh my gosh, too funny about starbucks !!!

  4. If I had beloved family members who bought an extra house because they would want me to visit them for a long visit, I would cry tears of joy. What was your mom's reaction?

    1. I was worried she would be resistant to the idea and have all these reasons why she couldn't do it but she loved the idea from the start. She just told me to make sure and find something with a decent sized kitchen and a table that seats 6 :-)

  5. Gena, I expect to get teary from Elizabeth, not expecting it in the comments.
    I'm overwhelmed by the "family" in this post. I love that your mum can be near.
    We spent 8 years away from our family - had two babies in that time. I would have loved my mother closer and I do like the "in their own space" idea too. You guys rock.

  6. Happy happy dance for your family. I wondered how hard it must be for your family to be far apart like this, glad you were able to find a solution :)

  7. That is such great news about your house! What a blessing it will be to have Mama Hop and Aunt Leanne so close.

  8. Hip Hip Horayyy! I'm so happy for ALL of you! And us because we will see more of Aunt Leanne and Momma Hop! That just brings tears to my eyes knowing what a close loving caring family you have.

  9. I have read your blog for over a year now and I love it! I am a Family Living Coordinator at a non profit organization that places adults with special needs with families within the community (if they don't have family or if their family opts out of caring for them regularly). I just love your girls and it gives me so much inspiration to read about how loved they are...and how you teach them so much!! Some of the people that we serve were originally placed in institutions and some of them were there for over 20 years, (weren't potty trained, didn't know how to communicate, ect). People don't believe that places like that exist in the United States, but they do! I take a lot of the activities that you do and pass them on to our Day Programs. I noticed that Pudge and Biggs' mom went private, and was wondering how I would contact her about being on her list so that I won't miss out on some great opportunities. You two ladies are such an inspiration to me and make me strive to do the best that I can every single day, not only in parenting but also work.

  10. Of course it's funny that Leanne was concerned about Starbucks.

    Gena, I love the creative solution for your family and happy you are able to make it work out. It sounds like it's both a supportive situation, yet the adults are allowed to be adults with all their own spaces.

  11. This is wonderful news! It will be great to be able to see Leanne and Mama Hop again :)