Sunday, May 1, 2011

May 1, 2011: Good friends and our story shared...


Well it's been a wonderful weekend; Friday night, we had a good planning meeting for Bella's Birthday Bash!  Happy Birthday to Lara, one of Team Bella!  Then, yesterday our good friends, the McGuires, came down from northern California to spend the weekend.  John was one of my groomsmen, as I was one of his, and we've been friends since 1995.  He now has a beautiful family of his own as well, with the newest member being his 4 month old boy, Conner.

Yesterday, we embarked on the tall task of showing them as much of Disneyland in one day as possible.  No easy feat.  We got a little bit of a late start, but still intended to break our day up into two trips into the park.  Forecast was sunny and 80+, so by late afternoon, it really pays to be inside resting up for the night time.  We hit the park strong with Jungle Cruise, Tarzan, the Carousel, Casey Jones, Sleeping Beauty's Castle, The Royal Coronation, AND Small World before taking our first break.  By then, it was 3:30 and the park was beginning to sizzle, and we were beginning to fade and get cranky!  LOL

Off to our respective caves for a nap with plans to reconvene at Naples Pizzeria in Downtown Disney for dinner, followed by the fireworks and anything else we could fit in.  Well, we fit in getting silhouettes made of the kids, a custom mickey ears hat for John's daughter, the Tea Cups, the Fireworks, Pixie Hollow (sans TinkerBell), Winnie the Pooh (2x), and Pirates of the Caribbean.  All in all, a fair shake at one day in the park.  We didn't get out of the park till 12:30 and into bed till 1:45!  That was THE latest we had ever been at the park or out with Ali, but we napped from 4:30 to 6:15, so chances were we weren't going to be too tired, and while we were beat, we had more energy than we realized.

Today, we hit old town Orange for brunch at The Filling Station.  LOVE that place!  Then it was off to Irvine Park to ride the railroad and ponies, followed by a dip in the pool at the complex and a lovely dinner by Ang for the gang.  Just a fun-filled weekend with dear friends.  Can a weekend get any better?


The first story about Bella and our journey hit the (virtual) newsstands today in the Orange County  CLICK HERE to read the article.  The OC Register is our local paper, and we were lucky enough to be interviewed on Tuesday about our journey, and the article ran today!  We are so grateful to Jo Ashline at the OC Register for sharing our story so well, and for synthesizing so much material into a good, actually factual article!  Thank you, Jo!  If you haven't checked out her column called This Modified Life, now is the time.

Lastly, I just want to say how healing it was to have a healthy, 4 month old boy in our home today. I busted out Bella and Ali's old swing, he got changed on the changing station, he laid down in their crib... it was surreal watching how - please don't misunderstand me, I talked to both John and Meredith about this - easy it was to hold, play with, and care for Conner.  I am a visual/kinesthetic learner, so to see him and touch him in our home made Julian's arrival this summer so much more real and peaceful.  I noticed on so many occasions me shuddering when Baby Conner would rake, kick, or jab his feet into some hard or sharp object.  By the time the second day as over, I realized his skin wasn't going to shear off, and that we could hang out, and play without worry about harming him.  It was like I was able to dial down my alert setting to once again take for granted that amazing organ, the skin.  I started to really get happy and excited to meet Julian.

I am falling asleep writing this, so I'm going to end here and say thank you all for still being here through this long amazing journey.  I've said it before and will say it again; your presence has totally transformed our lives.  We hope we've had the chance to provide a tiny amount of inspiration in return.

Much gratitude and God night.


  1. Thinking of you all...each and every day. I am always checking in. Glad to hear that you and your family and friends had a lovely weekend.

  2. That, my friends, is "doing" Disney! I was tired reading it! After the bash, we gotta go!
    I can't wait to meet Julian, too. He's already got my heart (something about baby boys!)
    Love from home....

    PS. Happy Bday, Lara!

  3. You've provided way more than just a tiny bit of inspiration, you have seriously changed my way of thinking and handling things, and I doubt that I am the only one. What you have gone through, what your family has gone through, what sweet sweet Bella went through is anything but in vain.
    I haven't checked in in a while but I'm still here, still thinking of you.


  4. Amazing article - she hit the nail on the head! You inspire all of us - and we are so grateful that you continue to share your journey with us. And Bella still makes me smile- I love seeing her pictures and whenever I'm in the sock department I now look for the "fabulous ones!"

    Hope all the Ringgolds are having a great week!

    Love from TX,
    Laura (for the Team)

  5. Very cool! Happy baby vibes coming your way!