The Year Is Almost Over
I can NOT believe that almost an entire year has gone by without updating Rachel’s website! I do most of my photo posting on Facebook these days. When the Ferrazano family first surprised us with this website as a shower gift FIVE years ago, Facebook was not very popular – now everyone is on Facebook, well almost everyone! I am sad to say at the end of this year I will switch over to Facebook exclusively. As you can tell there are just not enough hours in the day to keep up with Rachel’s website.
This year has been a whirlwind. Each individual day is so busy with things to do and then we as a family stay really busy having awesome adventures together. We started 2014 with another trip to see the Ringling Brother Circus. It’s always so much fun to see the crazy things they come up with. Then we celebrated Rachel’s 4th birthday with all of our family and friends. With Rachel’s birthday being December 29th her parties always fall in January! At the end of January we attended our first birthday party of one of Rachel’s school friends – little did we know at that time there would be a long string of school friend birthday parties that would lead to some great friendships!
In February we made our second annual family trip to see Monster Trucks with the Butler’s and Ferrazano’s. How can you not have fun with those family’s! We also spent three days at Disney World. We stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort, which we loved – the weather was warm and perfect so Rachel got to spend some time in the kid’s pool area. We also went to Epcot for the first time and Hollywood Studios! We always have so much fun but boy is Disney exhausting.
March was a crazy, busy, fun month for us! We had 6 birthday parties to attend and only one of those the birthday honoree was over the age of 4! That over the age of 4 birthday honoree was Uncle Gary who celebrated his 60th birthday!
Easter fell not only in the month of April this year but it fell on Jeff’s birthday so we got to celebrate both events the same day! We started Easter off with a flashlight Easter Egg hunt two day’s prior with the Butler’s. And our family came for Easter dinner and we had an outside Egg hunt for Rachel and Ayden!
In May we spent another two days at Disney to use up our four day pass. This time we visited Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom! We also got to celebrate Rachel’s best friend from school birthday, Katy B. We rounded out May with Rachel’s end of the school year park celebration and Rachel’s last day in her 3 year old classs. She had a great school year with Mrs. Rownd. Between all the birthday parties we attended and being class Mom, we got to know some of the families and made some great new friends! In May baby Charlotte made her arrival, mine and Jeff’s new niece and Rachel’s cousin!!
In June we got to finally meet Charlotte since we were all sick when she was born. She had so much hair, was so cute and sweet! We celebrated Ayden’s 3rd birthday on my Dad’s birthday June 14th! That was a nice way to mark the day and remember my Dad and Rachel’s Grandpa! Everyone had so much fun; I think the adults had as much fun as the kids did! Near the end of June we made a trip to Busch Garden’s for Ryan’s birthday. That was a fun day!! Rachel also took a 4 week basic soccer class. She had begged for months to play soccer so we felt an introduction to the basics was a good place to start! Thank goodness because she did not fall in love with it – she actually disliked it. As the weeks went on she got better but the first few weeks were rough!
In July we were so lucky that our nephew’s, Rachel’s cousins – Kaleb and Mason came to visit and stayed with us for a few days! It was a blur of kid craziness, no sleep and lots of fun! We also got together with some of Rachel’s school friends and had a playdate in the park. We spent a day at Sea World, boy was it HOT but we had a cool lunch dining with the sharks!
August was another busy month we spent a few days visiting Jeff’s brother, sister-in-in law and Kaleb and Mason in Atlanta. We visited Stone Mountain and Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Kaleb and Mason had already returned to school when we visited so on Monday Jeff, Rachel and I drove into downtown Atlanta and visited the Georgia Aquarium. The first hour we were there we were not overly impressed but once we saw the penguins, beluga whales and whale sharks we were hooked! The penguin exhibit is so amazing and immerses you in their environment. It was the coolest thing to crawl through a tunnel and then pop up in a glass tube with penguins walking around your head. The whale shark exhibit was amazing; I could have spent hours watching the whale sharks. That evening we walked around downtown Atlanta and spent the night. The next morning Jeff and Rachel took a spin in the giant ferris wheel that you could see from our hotel room called Skyview Atlanta. After we arrived home from our trip Jeff had one more day off so we went to visit Old Mickey’s Farm about an hour from our house. We got to see chickens, a turkey, a calf, baby sheep and Rachel got to ride a horse! My Grandparents, Rachel’s great-grandparents also came to visit for the first time in almost 4 years! They were staying about an hour away from us but we made as many trips as we could to see them. It was so fantastic to see them after so many years! On August 25th Rachel started VPK and her last year at Anona Child Development Center – sniff, sniff! We have made so many wonderful friends and love the teachers and support staff so much that it will be hard on us all to say goodbye at the end of the school year!
In September we celebrated my brother Nick and sister-in-law’s Amanda’s, wedding reaffirmation that they had for the entire family! They officially were married December 31st 2013. This was the big celebration of their wedding and they reaffirmed their vows with all the family and the friends! We made another Busch Garden’s trip specifically to see the new ride Falcon’s Fury and Jack Hanna who was speaking that day! While we were at Busch Rachel found out she loves roller coasters and road the Air Grover roller coaster about 10 times. We rounded out September with a trip to Sunken Gardens and the children’s museum.
October we signed Rachel up for her first gymnastics class. She went with her school friend from last year Katy M. It was hard to watch a month of Rachel falling on her head and contorting her neck in a thousand ways! She had fun but I think it was more because of her friend then her enjoying gymnastics! Early in October was St. Patrick’s Church fun fair. Jeff and I use to go when we were kids and it’s just two blocks from where Jeff’s parents bought their house a year ago so we are hoping to make it a tradition with Rachel. We also made another trip to Sea World. It was a perfect, beautiful day! We had a surprise visit in October from my cousin Ryan, his wife Courtney, and two boys Torin and Colton. Rachel and Torin are a year apart and get along fantastically! We were able to see them a couple of times and they went with us to Spooktacular in Largo Central Park. Rachel and Torin had a blast dressing up, doing bounce houses and riding the train. Of course October ended with Halloween and Rachel chose to dress up as Elsa. She was a beautiful Elsa! Her hair was the hardest part of her costume, it took both Jeff and I working as a team and some blood, sweat and tears to pull it off!
November was filled with more excitement. We went to the Grand Prix in Tampa and rode go karts. Rachel did the bungee trampoline jumping. She would have stayed there all day if giving the chance but her poor little legs were exhausted. We also went to Indian Rocks Baptist Jamboree with Rachel’s buddy Jackson! They always have a blast together! The end of November brought a week off of school and lots of activities! We were honored to bring home for the week Rachel’s class mascot Clifford the big red dog but a tiny version. He went everywhere we did and at the end of the week I wrote a story about his stay for the class book and included pictures. During that week we went to the Frozen Experience with Ryan and Kolby. They had short video’s from the movie and falling snow and at the end they got to see Santa! Clifford also went to Thanksgiving dinner with us at Shephards restaurant!
And now it is once again December! How did December arrive so quickly? Where did the time go? Oh yeah we were busy having fun! This month will fly by with Christmas events, shopping, decorating and most importantly Rachel’s 5th Birthday! Rachel turning 5 is a milestone event in our house. We are having Rachel’s birthday in the park this year and are hoping for good weather. She has asked me for months to have a Curious George party. For awhile I was opposed to it but seeing how excited she was each time it came up I figure it is truly what she wants! I’m sure the day of her birthday will be filled with lots of joy and a few tears. She is growing up way too fast! Our baby days are behind us she is a strong-willed, mostly independent, sweet, energetic little girl! She likes to be busy and on the go and wants attention 24 / 7 from someone that loves her. There are many a days that I want, need, wish for her to play alone and not ask me a million and one times “Mommy will you come play” but I know those days are numbered. I know that as she grows that she will stop asking for me to play with her and it scares and thrills me all at the same time. I want her to be fierce, smart and independent but I also always want for her to turn to me and for her to need me. I guess there is not a Mother out there that does not feel the same way!
We would like to say thank you for keeping up with us over these past 5 years! We are so blessed to have so many people that care and love us. These past 5 years have been a wild and awesome journey!
All our love,
Denise, Jeff and Rachel
Did you know... Rachel said her name for the first time 01/02/2012 more fun facts