Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Weekend!

This was such a special weekend that I hardly know where to start. First, I need to thank Amber for joining me as she was much wiser than I was and  knew I needed a family member on this journey! Amber kept me grounded and was a constant source of encouragement, psychological support and was able to keep the conversation going in those few awkward moments when there was silence. It was fun traveling with Amber,  seldom do we have one-on-one time together and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for our late night talks and glad we were able to walk around old town!

When we arrived in Phoenix I could feel myself tighten up with was I going to get through the next few hours before the first meeting? We arrived at the hotel and of course it was too early to check in so we freshened up in the lobby bathroom. I changed, tried on a few pair of pants and blouses before Amber chose the outfit, and reapplied makeup before I deemed myself presentable for this very important first meeting!

We arrived at Wendy's hotel just a little past noon, went into the lobby and had the desk person ring their room...No Answer!!??  I then called Wendy's cell and she said they would be right down..Amber was facing the hall and she got one of those crazy grins..and then I see WENDY..the child I had given up those many years ago, I was able to put my arms around her for the first time, touch her face and feel her warmth. I can not describe how emotional this was..but I did not cry. I think I was taken aback by all the cameras and the video camera that I felt a little uneasy. Although I did feel uneasy, I am so glad they had the forethought to do this and it will be fun to look at the pictures. Although, I will probably look like a deer in the headlights!

After meeting the family, we settled into chairs to review Wendy's life via family photo albums. Dawna had brought many albums to share and told delightful stories of Wendy as a child. I think I had trouble concentrating because I could only think of the ones that showed her as an infant when they first brought her home from the hospital. Dawna was able to fill in a few blanks for me and it was so nice to know how much she weighed at birth, the time of her birth and how long I stayed in the hospital. At this time, I can still see the pictures of that sweet little baby and feel so grateful that Dawna thought to bring the albums with her. 

To say that Dawna and Frank were kind would be a terrible injustice..they were unbelievable! I knew when I saw their pictures on FB that I would enjoy meeting them but the emotion that I felt knowing these two wonderful people raised Wendy..well I can not describe it in words. Suffice it t say, I will be for ever grateful to the Greer's and hope to form a deep friendship. I so enjoyed Frank's humor and loved when we took the illegal U turn..You Go Frank!!!

This is so dark but I wanted to put a picture of Dawna and Frank
Wendy!!! What can I say, she is Beautiful!!!
Wendy and Dave..let me tell you it only took about two minutes to fall in love with Dave
Kandra, Wendy's sister, and her husband Jarred. It was so nice meeting these two!
Dawna- the woman I could never thank enough!!

  After looking at the albums and hearing stories, we were all hungry and decided to go for a late lunch. Thank you again, Frank, that was so kind of you! I still remember how good the Portabella Mushroom sandwich tasted and only wish I had a picture of the cheesecake!
I love Sweet Potato Fries!!!

We had a great time visiting during our lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, then back to their hotel where we continued our visit. Kandra, Wendy's sister and her husband, Jarred, and their little boy Gavin decided to leave to make the drive back to Heber. It was so nice meeting them and that little Gavin ( or G Man) is a doll and although he must have been very tired he was a very well behaved little guy!  
Kandra, expecting her second baby, looks tired!

  Since Amber, and I, had been up since 4am we were both tired and decided to go back to check into our hotel room and call it a night.  It was sad to leave that night because I knew that Dawna and Frank would be leaving in the morning and we probably would not see them again this trip. Hopefully, this will be the start of a wonderful friendship. I wish I had some pictures of Amber, but she was my photographer!!

MY  BFF Debbie and her husband Dennis were having a BBQ at their  home in Surprise and had asked Amber and I to join them on Sunday. I was torn because that would take a day away from Wendy but I did need some down time to process and I so wanted to see Debbie this trip. Well, we had a ball! Dennis' sister, Donna, who I have not seen in about 16 years, was there with her husband. It was so much fun catching up with her especially since she had not been at our 40th High School Reunion. Also, Dennis' mom and dad, Donny and Twila, were there and Debbie's sister Kim and her husband.  Of course,  Jennifer and Chad, Dennis and Deb's kids, and their children were there. What a wonderful time. The kids swam in their beautiful pool, Dennis made a great BBQ, we sat on the porch and talked and laughed just like the old times. Boy I miss those two!

Looks like a Resort!

Debbie (MIMI) and two of her Grand Kids
Dennis, I have known him since I was 5 or 6
Donny, Donna and Elmer
Sister, Kim
Now, this is a BBQ!!
     After we got home from the BBQ, we went down to the bar and had a glass of wine ( Amber had a beer) and rehashed the last two days! It was so much fun spending the time with Amber. We called Wendy and made plans to take her  out for lunch on Monday, just us girls!  I could not wait to see Wendy and her family!       

We got up on Monday morning, Hunter's BD, ate breakfast and took off to do some shopping. I knew what I wanted to get Wendy as I had been scoping  out the gift stores in Thornton and Loveland. I wanted to get her a   Willow Tree Angel, something that I could add to over the years!  Also, I wanted to pick up at gift certificate for Hunter. What a treat to be with them for their birthdays!  It did not take long to find what we wanted and then it was time to pick Wendy up at her hotel! I was so excited and knew it was going to be a wonderful day!

When we got to the hotel, we asked the desk clerk to suggest places to eat and she was kind enough to give us a printed list of all the local restaurants.  Then we asked Wendy, actually made Wendy, pick out where she wanted to go for her Birthday Lunch!    Let me tell you, Wendy has decida-phobia, just like me!  She did choose Maggianos' and off we went!  Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures during our lunch, but we stayed there about three hours talking. Amber quizzed Wendy and i learned so much about her childhood, her religion  and her family. It was such a special time, I will never forget it!  Wendy is an amazing woman!

After lunch, we went back to her hotel, took some pictures with the kids then it was off to the Sugar Bowl for Ice cream!
Wendy, Autumn and Summer

The Man!  Love the blue shirt!

We are both on our knees..that is why I look taller!

Amber and the Gang!
Aunt Amber, Nana Shawn and the Skousen kids! I already love each and every one of them!
Love you all!

These two look so much alike! It is all in the eyes!

                                              After taking a few pictures we went to our hotel to open birthday gifts.

                                                             Giving my daughter the first Birthday gift in 42 years


                      I hoped she would like this, it meant so much to give her the first birthday gift.

I gave Hunter a gift certificate, then found out that they do not have a target in Pinetop, soI traded him for cash..i think this was to his liking. Now it was off to the Sugar Bowl for ice cream! Unfortunately, the Sugar Bowl was closing early so we could not take the Trolley. Off we went in cars and it was so nice to have Summer and Autumn with us. In this short time we felt so close to these two lovely women and I can  not wait to see them again.

                                                                                    Summer and Autumn

Summer is definitely  my Tiffany and Autumn is quieter like Erin was. Hopefully, this is the first of many fun times together!
                                                                   Aunt Amber and Hunter (the birthday boy)
                                                                     of my favorite pictures!
                                                                                                    Dave and Wendy    

Clay and Skyler

What is not to like about this?

After our ice cream splurge, we went back to our hotel and watched a video of my side of the family.  We talked and I know each one of us hated to end the night..but it had to be.  When they were leaving I had this great sadness wondering when I would see them next.  In these few days I had gained such a strong bond to them and did not want to let go!

The Whole Gang!

After they left I talked with Tiffany on the phone for about an hour! Amber and I talked then Erin called! I can not begin to express my feelings that night. I felt such love for a family I had just met. The Skousen's are everything I could have hoped for and more. They are a very loving family and welcomed Amber and I with open arms.  Wendy is an AMAZING woman. She is beautiful, loving, a wonderful wife and mother. I was so impressed with her openness , her spirit, her sense of humor..OH YES ..I am in love with Wendy!!  What a blessing, God has given me this beautiful new family..what have I done to deserve this?  I so love all my children and grand children, and now we add this beautiful family to ours! I can not wait to continue this journey! were always in my Heart!




  1. What a beautiful post!! I couldn't have written it any better:) We love you too, it has been a dream come true for all of us! I can't wait for our next visit. Hopefully soon:) You have also been in my heart<3

  2. It was so fun to hear about your adventures! I know it has meant so much to Wendy. She was raised by wonderful parents...I also love Frank's sense of humor! I am glad the trip was everything everyone wanted it to be.

  3. You do so well expressing yourself and telling the story. This day was such fun for all of us. We had all been together in our hotel room waiting anxiously for you to call and let us know you had arrived at the hotel. We're sorry we bombarded you all at once together but it was a long time coming! It will be fun making a scrapbook of Wendy's childhood pictures to give to you. We already feel like close friends and are so grateful to have had this opportunity (the first of many, we hope) to see you.

  4. Thank you all for the nice comments! Dawna I feel such a closeness to you already and feel so blessed that I was able to begin this journey with all of you. It meant so much to me to meet Wendy and the wonderful parents that raised, loved and cherished her all these years. Sometime, I hope I will be able to meet all of your family. God has truly blessed you!
    Shannon, I enjoy looking at the pictures of your beautiful family and hope to meet you someday.

  5. Okay, I'm running out of Kleenex between my cold and our posts!!!! I wished we all lived a little closer, but knowing how much you love us and my parents is so awesome:) I am so excited for this new special friendship that we are forming! I believe Ma Eve has had a hand in this one for sure:)

  6. We had a great time meeting you both too. I still can't believe that after all of this time that moment came and went. Glad it had a happy ending.

    ps.Glad you clarified that I was pregnant because I do look "tired" (aka. terrible) in those pictures! :)

  7. Kandra, you do not look terrible! You were tired..I am so glad we were able to meet you. I know what you mean about the time came and wen, It reminds me of preparing for a big party or a wedding..or even when I much anticipation then it is over so quickly! I was so sad to see the weekend pass so quickly but hopefully there will be many more times together.