Brian & Julie

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60th Wedding Anniversary of the Grandparents

Brian’s grandparents on his mother’s side, Grace and Richard—Grandma and Papa to us—celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Saturday, December 28th 2019. The family planned a huge surprise party, and flew in from all around the country to be there. We had the very fun job of distracting Grandma and Papa so the rest of the family could set up the surprise in their home for when we returned. Brian’s aunt Diane has a lot of medical issues and lives with Grandma and Papa, and we prefer family gatherings at Read more »

Visits with the Little Cousins!

This Christmas, we had a nice long visit with Brian’s side of the family, including quality time with our little cousins who are 2 and 7. It’s so refreshing to spend time with them—2 and 7 are such fun ages! So much imagination at work! A favorite activity of theirs this season was to play hide-and-seek with a set of Read more »

Merry and Bright

One of Brian’s favorite things to do is decorate for Christmas! Julie likes it too, but Brian’s love of Christmas borders on Buddy the Elf standards! We put on festive music, dust off the decorations, and of course wear our ugly Christmas sweaters. It’s something we look forward to doing together each Read more »

Visiting Wisconsin

Julie’s little sister Anita got married to her College sweetheart in June, and now they are happily living in Wisconsin. Last weekend, we trekked on our to see them! Anita and Eli are adventurers; they love riding bikes, hiking, and trying new things. They brought us on an awesome walk around Lake Michigan—it was Read more »

When life gives you lemons…

We are big believers in making the best of every situation and finding joy in unlikely places. This past weekend is a good example. On Halloween night our home lost power due to a big storm in the area. Our electric company estimated that power would be restored on Sunday. Our plan had been to work on cleaning our bedroom Read more »

A Tale of Four Weddings: Wedding #3

This past weekend, we welcomed ANOTHER great brother to the family when Brian’s youngest sister Emily married her college sweetheart. Emily is a special ed teacher, and her new husband Rob is an accountant. Emily loves to paint, and can often be found at her easel working on new projects. Rob, like Brian, loves to play ice Read more »

Spotlight on Brothers: Rob

With all the sisters/future aunts getting married, it occurred to us we haven’t had any posts to help you get to know our brothers/future uncles! Today’s entry is about Julie’s youngest sibling, Rob. Rob is a senior in college studying engineering. He’s actually in the same program Brian went through to become an Read more »

Friends trip!

This summer, we were blessed to go on many weekend trips to visit friends and family! One of the highlights was a trip to CT with two other couples and their dogs and kids! We all met in college, and actually, these two couples were kind enough to write our recommendation letters for our adoption home study. We stayed at a Read more »


Early on in our adoption diary, we mentioned that when we first started our research, we realized many friends of ours had build their families through adoption. Another common factor was that many of our friends had adopted children from the state of Kansas. We are from PA, but these beautiful stories from our friends Read more »

The Beach House

Growing up as a Navy brat, I moved around a lot. But the one place which has remained a constant was the beach house my mom’s side of the family shares. Now, I want this picture to be accurate. Some people hear “beach house” and think of a mansion on the ocean, six bedrooms, a pool. These kinds of structures are indeed Read more »

Gardening: An Update

Got to spend some quality time in the garden this weekend, and it seems to be really taking off! Check out the size of these tomato plants! Read more »

Gardening: A Suburban Epic

You may have read in other posts of ours that both Brian and I love to work outside in the yard and garden. This is true, but I am a novice gardener, and it remains to be seen if I will in fact be any good at this particular hobby! For example. This year, we decided to make the yard our special house project. We like to have Read more »

My Buddy Nancy

As a “Navy Brat”, my family moved around the country often in my early childhood. I am the oldest child in my family, and remember far more of those days than my siblings, who were all born either on our second-to-last or last military tours. I spent a lot of my early years around adults—namely my parents. Trips to Read more »

Baking Bonanza!

Brian’s side of our family are some of the most talented bakers I have ever encountered. I’m talking Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood caliber bakers. This was a new experience for me. On my side of the family, growing up, we would buy boxed cake mix for birthdays. And a can of icing. If we were lucky, the cake or cupcakes Read more »

A Tale of Four Weddings: Wedding #1

As you probably know from our letter, Brian and I each have two sisters. And all four of them are getting married within the next twelve months! This past weekend was the First of the Four Weddings. Brian’s sister Laura married a wonderful guy, and we are so excited to have another member join our family. Laura is the next Read more »

Our Adoption Research Journey

When Brian and I decided to begin our adoption journey in earnest, the first thing we did was look for people in our lives who had first-hand experience with adoption. What we found was astonishing. SO MANY of our friends had, unbeknownst to us, built their families through adoption! Co-workers, neighbors, even one of Read more »

Food, Glorious Food

If you are Italian or know someone who is, it probably comes as no surprise to you that food plays a key role in all my family gatherings. But it’s not just the making of and eating of elaborate traditional dishes that makes this theme important to us, though of course those parts are fun too! In my family, food is also Read more »

About This Diary

In this diary, we will post stories about our lives and our families so you can get to know us better. Have a topic you'd like us to expand on? Please feel free to send us your suggestions!

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Brian & Julie

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Brian & Julie