Sunday, November 13, 2011

Xander's Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I've been really good. I've cleaned Pratt's litter box when my mom asked me. I follow the rules at school. I treat my sister nice.

I want the Lego City Space Shuttle Apollo. I want the Lego City Space Center. Halo Mega Blocks and the Lego City Police Helicopter. And the Lego City Harbour.
And then the CSI Evidence Kit, a microscope, the Air Hogs helicopter, the Fast Lane Hawk 4 radio control helicopter and Battle Machines.
An Ipad, a drum set, a Spy Gear spy video car, and a radio control giant flying shark. Yep, a radio control giant flying shark. 

Okay, I'm done. Wait, I want to ask you something for Hannah. I know she likes microphones, so a microphone.

My dad wanted me to wish you well. And I hope that you have a safe flight.

I am going to make cookies for you this year, and leave a lot of carrots for your reindeer. Give the really long one to Blitzen because he will get really hungry.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

One Year Later

The first picture we saw
It was one year ago today that we met our little Hannah. It seems more like forever.....I can't remember life without her. And I'm so happy with how well she is doing.

Our first meeting

Got places to go

"I love you" stickers
 I think about how she didn't want to have anything to do with the strangers who showed up in her life one day and how scared she must have been. Now she is standing next to me with butter smeared all over her face from eating a piece of bread, holding my camera, asking me to "help me take pictures, mama".
Hey! Keerah ate my ice cream!

Brother and sister

Cutest smile ever!
 She's grown 3 shoe sizes and 2 clothes sizes since last October. She's learned hundreds of English words and loves to talk and sing! She loves her daddy and her brother and her friends and her cat and her grandmas and her aunts, uncles and cousins.  She loves going to church and reading books and dancing and going 'bye bye'. She loves to run and run and run and run and swim and swim and swim and swim and swing and swing and swing and swing. Oh, and eat and eat and eat and drink and then drink some more.
Her day at the temple
So beautiful
So sweet
Her forever family.....literally
She's practically potty trained and it is especially rewarding when she congratulates me when I successfully go in the potty, too. She is such a happy little girl and she is loved by so many people. I'm so happy she's happy. And I'm so happy I get to be her mommy. I love her so much! 

One year later

So worth it!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Another Xanderism

This morning Alexander woke up and Hannah threw a toy and it hit him in the chin.  He started crying and said, "My fortune cookie was right!"  Me: "Your fortune cookie?"  Xander: "Yes, I got a fortune cookie at lunch yesterday."  Me: "What did your fortune cookie say?"  Xander: "Your little sister is going to hit you!" I said there is no way your fortune cookie said that.  He said, "No it didn't say that, but it did say I was going to live a happy life and this is NOT a happy life!"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Yesterday Alexander said, "Mom, why do girls care so much about their fingernails? Boys don't care about anything.  Well, except for how they live.  Boys don't care about anything on their body.  Well, except for their hair."

Later, Alexander was riding his bike and John complimented him on his awesome riding ability.  Xander said, "It's all about the aerodynamics, dad."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our Serbian Fish

In honor of fellow Serbian athlete extraordinaire Novak Djokovic, I have posted a couple of videos of our own little Serbian athlete.  Keep in mind that the first time she ever went swimming was June 20th and she has never had a lesson.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 9, 2011


When we were in New York, John's mother gave Xander Pappap's walkman.  It was the greatest gift ever.  On Monday we went to my mom's and she gave him some of her old cassette tapes, including Elvis. Xander has not stopped listening to it - during breakfast, after school, playing with friends....So yesterday at breakfast, Xander is listening to Elvis and he says, "Mom, I'm pretty sure this was recorded when Elvis was alive."  You're pretty sure, huh?

Also yesterday, Xander's legs were hurting him and he said, "I think somebody has a Doo Doo Doll that looks like me because different parts of my body hurt all the time."  Do you mean "Voo Doo Doll"?  Yep.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Today is a day that we have been looking forward to for a long time.  Hannah would celebrate her third birthday, but since she'd never celebrated a birthday before, it would be her first.  When we asked her what she wanted for her birthday she said, "Grandma and Olea (Olivia)".  Well, good, because we've already got some of those.  The plan was to take her down to grandma's house and let her swim since swimming is her favorite thing to do.  Then open presents and let her blow out some candles (another favorite) and eat cake and ice cream.

Enter Life. Unexpected.  Now Hannah will forever share her day with her Pappap.  She began mortal life on this day and he ended mortal life on this day.  I got a phone call from John around 2pm telling me that his father had just passed away.  John, his mother and his sister were all with him holding his hands as he went.

He was such a kind, wonderful man.  I was so lucky to have him as a father-in-law.  I will miss being around him.  He loved people and especially his family.  He adored his grandchildren and he and Alexander were bosom buddies.  He was so excited to have Hannah join our family and to have a connection back to the country where his father was born.  His third grandchild was born 6 months ago, and he was able to spend time with each of them.

There is so much that I admire about my father-in-law and I'm so glad I got to know him in this life.  Who knows, maybe he's already met my father and is telling him all about Xander and Hannah.  Of course, this conversation would be taking place on a golf course.

As for today, Hannah's birthday party has been postponed.  We wished her happy birthday and sang to her and she loved telling people she was "free" (three).  We'll throw her a party when we get back from New York.  In the meantime, we'll celebrate the life of John Zorich and the gifts he gave to us.

Life begins.  Life ends.  And in the middle of it all is a whole lot of unexpected.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Yesterday at breakfast Xander pulled his hair back from his face and said, "This is how I make myself look like Uncle Scott." "But don't tell him I said that."

Ha! Ha!  Love you Scott!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


John grew up in a home where his mother was devoutly Catholic (still is) and his father is Serbian Orthodox.  He went to private Catholic school from kindergarten to graduation.  When I met him 16 years ago he was an atheist.  It has been an interesting journey for a Catholic-raised atheist and a returned missionary Mormon girl.  When John joined the church, he was nervous to tell his parents.  He didn't want to hurt them and he wanted them to understand that he was happy.

Over the years we have seen miracle after miracle in the opportunities we have had to explain certain things about our doctrine or culture and help them gain a better understanding of what members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are and what they believe.  We have talked about our callings, talks in General Conference, our belief in a living prophet, social activities, missionaries, etc.  They even went to see the Hill Cumorah Pageant and invited some friends to go with them.  We truly feel that as we've increased their understanding that any fear or apprehension they may have had about the church is gone, and they see value in our religion and respect it.  This is such a blessing to us.

On a previous trip to see his parents, I asked John if he might ask his father if he could give him a blessing (he was having some other health issues) and John was hesitant about it for legitimate reasons.  On this trip to Buffalo, John asked his mother if he might be able to give his father a blessing and she agreed.  He found some extra virgin olive oil and consecrated it.  He put it into a small container to take to the hospital and as they were getting ready to go, his mom kept asking if he had the oil with him.  She was not only allowing it, she was encouraging it and supporting it. John's sister and husband arrived at the hospital as well, and John was able to give his father a blessing using the Priesthood authority that he holds in front of his mother, his sister and her husband.  John told me that when he was finished he looked at his sister and she had tears in her eyes.  I asked him if he remembered what he was able to say in the blessing and that he needed to write the whole experience down before he forgets anything.
The next miracle we hope for is John being able to give his mother a blessing of comfort and peace.

As for John's father, he is doing better.  He is off the ventilator and breathing on his own.  The antibiotic seems to be working and his lungs seem to be getting stronger.  He is still in intensive care, but he was moved out of isolation.  He has a long way to go, but he is going in the right direction.

Unexpected Experiences.  Unexpected Miracles.  Unforgettable Life.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Expected:  Today was the first day of 2nd grade for Xander.  He was so excited to ride the bus with all his friends, but he didn't want to get up, he didn't like the clothes he had to wear (we won't let him wear play clothes to school) and he said he hated school because it was so boring.  Oh boy, here we go again.

Unexpected:  John's father has been battling cancer for the past 5 months.  Radiation was working to reduce the tumor and surgery seemed likely at the beginning of September.  They did a cat scan to see if the cancer had spread and unfortunately, it had spread to his liver and lymph nodes.  He was going to start chemo treatments last week, but he had pneumonia so they put him on antibiotics.  He was rushed to the hospital Friday night due to a high fever and then on Saturday his blood pressure dropped dangerously low.  He is on a ventilator and heavily sedated.  John's sister and husband drove all night long to be with John's mother and I finally was able to speak to John last night (he's in Europe for work) and he cut his trip short and is on a plane to New York right now.  Please pray for John and his family.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Blog Links

These are the links to my other open blogs if you want to check them out.

I will be making one or two more posts in helping hannah home to finish up the story of our trip to Serbia, then everything will be on this blog.

Also, the extensive list of Xanderisms will be posted here as well.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A New Beginning

A little over a year ago I started a blog chronicling our journey to adopt our daughter, Hannah.  I also had a blog for my poetry, one for funny things our son, Xander would say, one for posting music lyrics and videos that fit my mood, etc.  I realized I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with having to try and keep so many blogs updated.  I didn't do a good job of updating in the first place, but it all just felt disconnected, so I decided to connect it all into one new and improved blog.  I will try and figure out how to link my old blogs to this one, but from now on, anything about my life I feel like posting will be found here on:
Life. Unexpected.  
Just don't expect much, and you might be unexpectedly surprised.