Friday, December 30, 2011

Sierra Skiing!

You're going to LOVE these videos of Sierra and her first time skiing...

Sierra Learns to Ski!

Sierra Grace skied today! We were so proud of her, our hearts were jumping for joy! She was brave, happy and willing to learn. Sam, her ski instructor, was great and Sierra liked her a lot! Take a peek at our wonderful skiing adventure as Sierra gets a lesson and so do I...

We learned how to put on our skis, balance, tow on the rope line, and ski down the mountain! Sierra's a natural and if we didn't mention it before Victor and I are so very proud of her for making a great effort and learning to ski!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Yawgoo Valley Ski Area

There's a local ski spot called Yawgoo Valley about 20 minutes from our house. They make their own snow and have ski lessons, so we thought we'd check the place out, play in the snow and see what Sierra thinks. She LOVED it! So, we signed her up for a ski lesson with an instructor named Sam. Since I'm going to have to help her learn during the season, we signed me up too! Below are the photos of our day at Yawgoo...Having lunch at the restaurant...
Daddy and Audrey playing by the slopes...
Sierra jumping and running in the snow...
And, below Audrey tries her new snow boots!
We had a great day and Sierra didn't want to leave. But, we'll be back tomorrow for our lessons!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thank you Santa Clause!

Our Christmas morning started out with an unexpected gift...the girls slept in until 8:00 a.m! We were amazed and delighted, but once Sierra announced it was morning time, our day revved up and didn't slow down. We had a wonderful time and Sierra was especially surprised by Santa Clause and all the goodies he shared. We were also very excited to see snow falling for a few hours during mid-morning. Sierra and I ran outside to see if we could catch a few of the snowflakes! Enjoy the photos of our day!

Thank you Santa Clause! Also many thanks to Mimi & Grand-pop-pop, Gigi, Janet & Rolland, Joe, and all our friends & family who shared in making this Christmas fun for our girls!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Feeding the Reindeer!

Until moving to Rhode Island, we had never heard of feeding the reindeer on Christmas Eve. But, evidently, it's a major event here & all the children know about it. Sierra was very well prepared and versed us in this Christmas eve tradition of sprinkling "Magic Reindeer Food" in the front yard, so that the reindeer would magically see the sparkling glitter and fly toward it to find the yummy food. We are sure Santa wouldn't miss our house, but having the food in the yard was an extra special treat for the reindeer just to make sure.
Sierra decorated her reindeer food bag at the YMCA and brought it home to tell us what she needed to do. Inside was Magic Reindeer Food...essentially a delicious mixture of oats and glitter!
After sprinkling the food in the yard, we took a photo to document the event. Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

Our Last Shopping Day...

On our last shopping trip of the year, we were all pretty much exhausted. The last item we needed were snow boots for Audrey, so as I looked for the boots with Audrey, Sierra and Daddy had other plans...they found the massage chairs! The next photo is what I saw on my return...It was a beautiful sight seeing Sierra and her Daddy looking so content and relaxed. The entire scene made me smile from ear to ear!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

So much has happened over the last 12 months that has shaped our lives for the better. As I look back at all the events of the year, it is clear to me that, "faith" is the resonating theme through it all. Once I accepted all the changing and disorderly elements of our life, I began to see faith at work everywhere: In the birth our second beautiful daughter Audrey Faith; the acceptance of my having to relocate; the process of leasing our Florida home; finding a new home in Rhode Island; acclimating to our new community; and coming to the realization that there is a higher purpose for us on our journey in Rhode Island. Each turning point instilled faith in my heart to strengthen my resolve and confidence.

The birth of Audrey began our year with a great test of faith. Having the “shoulder” trauma while waiting for our doctor began our year with the knowledge that life is fragile and unpredictability surrounds us. We were at the mercy of God’s plan. Thankfully, Audrey was born healthy. We named her Audrey Faith, in memory of Andrea (since the name reminds us of Andrea, yet is still unique to Audrey) and to remind us how important it is to have Faith in our lives.

Today we celebrate how Audrey’s life has affected our family in the deepest most profound way. With her, our family is energized, more complex and full of unpredictability. Audrey has affected her sister’s life by allowing Sierra to think outside of herself, and to have to give of herself through sharing and thoughtfulness. Making the transition from one child to two was exponentially more difficult and exhausting than we imagined. But, seeing our darling little girl grow and evolve is a wonderful gift. It gives thanks to all the hard work we devoted to her during the beginning of her life. Now, we get wonderful smiles and grins of gratitude. We get expressions that are awe-inspiring. We are thankful for our dear new addition to the family, Audrey Faith.

Sometimes accepting change is not an easy task. My vision of our future was different from our actual path and it was difficult for me to accept the relocation. I wasn’t ready to move out of state away from my family with our newborn and toddler. Victor and I debated the issue and decided to leave it up to fate. If God wanted our family to move, a lot of things would need to fall in to place to make it happen: Selling or renting our home in a depressed real estate market, finding a suitable home in Rhode Island within a week, and traveling over 1,200 miles with our family. Having faith gave me solace during the waiting period. It allowed me to let go of my stubborn ideas and be open to change. Having solace during such a stressful period was a blessing. I was able to witness the positive change with an open heart and mind.

As you all know, everything worked out perfectly as if we were destined to live in Rhode Island. Out of only one inquiry, we rented our home to a private school, and were able to announce it to my boss during the same week he had the final interview with my replacement candidate. Then we traveled to Rhode Island and, out of 5 homes, we found the rectory of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, which was 10 minutes from Galaxy and centered within a social, family-oriented community. As we approached the move date of July 1st, challenges surfaced, including issues with the lease term, no signed contract and discovering lead paint in the home, which required more faith. Trusting in the church to make good on our lease was in God’s hands. Once again, everything worked out fine – the church finalized the contract to our requests, and brought in a full work crew to rid the house of any lead paint. Another small miracle - It passed inspection the week of our arrival. And, finally, having my mother's family travel all the way from Texas to Florida to help us prepare by painting and cleaning our home for the new tenants was a wonderful gift that we appreciated so much.

As I reflect on Audrey’s birth and our relocation, having “faith” was the essential quality that kept our lives and emotions in tact. Faith gave me peace of heart and calmness in my mind. Furthermore, faith made me open my eyes to see this was a positive change for us.

Finally, as we look upon our time in Rhode Island since July, the entire experience has been uplifting for us. We have met wonderful neighbors that welcomed us with open arms into their community. We also discovered our small village of Wickford is a social mecca with family oriented activities for every season. And, by living next door to St. Paul’s Episcopal church, it has allowed us to become part of a church family and for Sierra to frequent Sunday school - a wonderful blessing for all.

Moreover, we are also planning to have both of our daughter’s baptized at St. Paul’s on January 8th. The church has even expressed open arms to Victor’s father, Carl, a Methodist minister, to take part in the ceremony!

This year has brought us so many gifts and reasons to be thankful. We feel in our hearts that this is a fresh start for our family and we were drawn here for a purpose greater than what we can see today. We are not sure what path our lives will take as we start a new year in 2012, but know there is a higher purpose than simply relocating for my career. Miracles seem to be everywhere if you look for them.

Which brings to mind a book a friend recently loaned me titled, "Small Miracles” - a wonderful collection of stories about learning to see miracles in your life. Sometimes we may not know or understand why something is happening, but by having patience or stepping back to take a look at the bigger picture, miracles become evident. I encourage all to read it and become open to miracles in your own lives. So, as we invite new miracles to occur for us, we’ll be sure to keep you all informed on the blog.

As winter weather approaches, we’re looking forward to celebrating our first white Christmas! Thanks to all for being so supportive during our year of change and faith. We wish love, faith and joy to all this Christmas season and throughout the New Year.

All Our Love,
Victor, Dawn, Sierra & Audrey Robért

Friday, December 16, 2011

Guess who loves blueberries?

We were making blueberry pancakes this morning and discovered Audrey loves blueberries. At least we think she does...take a peek at the photos below to decide for yourself!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Our Family Christmas Photo Debacle...

This year attempting to take our family Christmas photo was not as easy as I thought it would be. We considered having the above card because it epitomized the entire event and also made us laugh.

Dressing the girls was a feat in itself, since Sierra only wants to wear Princess gowns these days. Audrey doesn't understand directives and Sierra's attention span for patience is about 5 minutes. So, I was hoping for the perfect shot in the first few rounds of pictures. I was oh so wrong! Take a peek at the various mishaps in our Christmas photo fiasco...
We call this one, "Crazy Sierra," because "Crazy Sierra" never smiles, she exaggerates all her expressions.
Getting the girls ready for the big picture... brushing hair and accessorizing. Audrey was supposed to have a pretty lace headband or at least one bow clipped to her hair. Needless to say, she didn't like it and out it came in about 2 seconds!
I knew Sierra would be great in the was Audrey that was the wildcard. And, she proved to be the one with the different agenda. Her goal was to be close to Sierra and that meant touching her face, her hair or anything she could reach at every given moment.

Here, it became obvious to me that Sierra had had enough...the blank stare while I begged her to smile or laugh. In my desperation, I even asked her to pose like "Crazy Sierra" one last time. To my dismay, it didn't work.

We did get a couple good individual shots, which we'll use on the blog later. This year, our Christmas card will be a wonderful collage of past photos we loved throughout the year. We hope you enjoy it when you get it in the mail.

Daddy's New Toy...

With the cooler weather approaching, Victor bought a new toy. We were worried my 350Z wouldn't handle icy terrain so well, so I'll drive the Acura MDX to work while he hauls the girls around in the safest vehicle on the road, a Hummer H1! His beast will drive through any foul weather or blizzard or over any obstacle that comes his way. As Sierra always says, "safety first!" Thanks for thinking of the girls and their well-being honey!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Presents from Mimi & Grand-Pop-Pop...

We're still celebrating Sierra's 3rd birthday! Today presents from Mimi and Grand-pop-pop arrived. Sierra was very excited to open the box to find a beautiful Princess card with a special song for her. It also had an interactive chip that allowed us to go online to see her card come to life. It transformed into a video of Cinderella's castle. It was the best card ever and Sierra watches it and sings along many times a day! Thank you Mimi and grand-pop-pop! Sierra also loves her new Angeline doll and kitten hat! You both are so very thoughtful!
Above Daddy poses with Sierra in front of the computer ready to play her card again! We love to see her smile!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Sierra!

As you can see below, Sierra is very excited that it's her birthday. We let her pick out 1 present early and open it before breakfast...It was a Thomas Train book, which she loved and read cover to cover immediately!
And, of course, no birthday is complete without the most delicious Minnie Mouse pancakes made with fresh blueberry eyes, scrumptious banana ears, a yummy strawberry mouth and drizzled with honey & powdered sugar!
Her Auntie Donna's card arrived first in the mail, so we opened it right away to find a fabulous Princess Crown to wear on her special day! Thanks was a big hit!
Sierra's princess themed birthday cake had princess rings and pink icing!Audrey was always close by...pictured below she was practicing her walking and bouncing by the window...
Since it was raining outside, we opened a few more presents...the first of which was a beautiful fairy princess dress with wings that Gigi sent Sierra. It took all of 2 seconds to get out of her pretty dress and jump into the new outfit. Thanks Gigi, we love it!
In addition to lots of books from us, Aunt Janet and Uncle Roland sent Sierra the cutest stamp set with butterflies, hearts, paw prints, a smiley face and flowers. It was the best gift and Sierra started stamping things right away!
Then Sierra unwrapped a great book called, "The Man in the Moon," by William Joyce and many other Christmas books.

Sierra was feeling especially loving toward Audrey today and on many occasions gave her big loving hugs and kisses!
Thomas the train is always a big hit with Sierra...below she unwrapped a water-coloring book. She was so excited and spent the next hour painting many of the pictures...
Halfway through her creative painting streak Sierra announced, "I loooooove to paint!"
And, she was very good about not mixing all the colors together. She's a natural artist!
Above, Sierra poses for a photo in her new Fairy Princess outfit from my thoughtful Mom, Gigi!
A pretty dress from her Mommy and Daddy since Sierra loves dresses! And, it happened again...Audrey got another spontaneous hug from her loving big sister!
And, below Sierra poses with her wonderful and incredibly proud father as Sierra wears her most prized gift of all...the beautiful Belle gown from Beauty and the Beast complete with a red rose from her Daddy! Happy 3rd Birthday Sierra! We love you!

Thank you all for contributing to Sierra's wonderful day! She sends thank you hugs and kisses! We love and miss you all.