The night before Christmas 

I (Luis) always loved reading this as a a kid, can’t wait to be able to share this with our kids:

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds;

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,

Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,

With a little old driver so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the housetop the coursers they flew

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly

That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

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Going, going, gone!

It’s been a couple weeks since we’ve updated our blog and it has been a busy couple weeks! Between getting ready for the holidays and work, we have been really busy and all over the place!

One thing we want to report is that yesterday we closed our Online Auction and we are both amazed at the generosity of family and friends to help us in the race of raising money for our adoption and we are happy to report that we raised about $2,000 with this fundraiser. Wow!

The main story that we take away from the auction is the tale of the cheesecake picture below.

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The story of the cheesecake:

The top selling item that we had was a lemon cheesecake that sold for $150. This cheesecake is a legend among the people that we attend church with, and for good reason!

Okay. so for those of who have never experienced this cheesecake, I am fully aware that $150 sounds like an insane amount for a cheesecake. If i had not experienced this gem in real life, I might be inclined to agree. The amazing lady that makes this treat is named Jo. She is a dear friend of ours, and attends our church. Her husband was the realtor that helped us to find our house. Her cheesecake is delicious, and special to us for a few reasons.

Reason #1: It’s a secret recipe

We have had this discussion with people. Part of the reason that we are all so obsessed with this thing is that it is a secret family recipe. Unlike some secret recipes, this one is under lock and key. A little mystery always makes things better.

Reason #2: It’s beautifully crafted, and made with love

Cliche, I know. But you can actually taste the love and time that has been put into making it. Jo takes such care to present her cheesecake to look and taste amazing. For our auction, she presented it on a lovely serving tray. she takes pride in making sure that it is as lovely as it tastes.

Most Importantly, Reason #3: It’s a representation of the amazing community that we have been blessed with.

Our auction was a huge success. We had a ton of items that we auctioned off, and had 80 people attend the auction online and place bids. We had friends and family who got into auction turf wars over items, and had some friendly competitions. We had bids from people out of state, and internationally. The outpouring of support that we received has been so amazing and touching.  We had people generously donate more than just material goods. They donated time, energy, love, support, and community. We have made new friends, changed and strengthened relationships, and grown as a family. One of the reasons that this $150 cheesecake means so much to us, is that it represents that community of love and support that we are so excited to have.

Luis and I are so excited to share the story of the cheesecake with Baby G. We are so excited to have our child grown up with such a community of love ans support. We cannot wait until all the people that are part of our circle of family and friends get to meet Baby G, and continue to love and support us.  We know that we are still early on this path, and have miles of road to go, but with the amazing support that we have we feel confident that we will reach our destination! Baby G, we are working for you!

~Danielle