Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Blog

I'm moving! Come see me here from this point on and make sure to change your links in your own blogs.


I want to also add...did you know that you can preserve your blog memories now with www.blurb.com with a book very inexpensively?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

It was a Birthday Blow-out Weekend...

Leah started her birthday celebration on Thursday and continued the festivities through Father's Day. Three parties for turning three!

We are fortunate enough to know this wonderful family whose adorably cute daughter, Lily, also shares the same birth date as Leah. So we joined forces on Saturday and had a wonderful birthday celebration at a gorgeous park. Here's a peak into this fun day...

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More photo's can be found here. Thank you so much Leslie & Larry for sharing your daughter's special day with Leah.

Here's a few more pictures from other parties...
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and finally...this is what Shawn looked like after we finished all our birthday and Father's day celebrations (Oh, he's going to kill me for this)...

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Happy Father's day to all the dad's out there...especially to my awesome dad, Leah's wonderful daddy, Yee, and Uncle Andrew & Brad.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy Day!

Look who's 3! Oh, beautiful baby girl, you are the light of our lives! Mommy and Daddy are so humbled and forever grateful that you were given the chance to be born and found your way into our arms. You have brought so much joy and laughter into our lives and we can't wait to see what this year brings.

Happy birthday my sweet, amazing Leah...we love you so much!

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bring it on...

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It's looking more & more promising that little Miss Kate could be home for Christmas, maybe Thanksgiving...or at least Valentine's day...or certainly before St. Patrick's day. I hesitate because it's a not-really-that-funny running joke among adoptive parents...that you don't really commit to a time frame, because it's a constantly moving target.

We started the adoption process for Kate in October 2006 and sent in our MCC (Medical Checklist) to our agency, CCAI, for a potential referral of a minor SN child in October 2007. The wait at the time was around 10-12 months. However, the waiting child program is experiencing an unexpected boom right now and we have a great shot of receiving a referral this summer. Now, how much fun is that?

Coinciding with this cool news, is that our U.S. approval to adopt is set to expire...figures. So we are in the midst of completely refiling all of the requirements to extend our approval status from the department of immigration to be eligible to adopt. The paperchase includes: medical physicals, birth certificates/marriage license, several financial disclosures & proof of income, reference letters, criminal background checks, FBI fingerprinting and another home study visit/recommendation.

Piece of cake.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cruisin'

and loving every minute of it....




Shawn & I have collectively lost over 40 pounds since the beginning of March. That's so much fun to type. We've titled our "get fit" journey as "getting back to us".

Life's stresses and pressures over the last several years had taken a toll on us and we just weren't taking as good of care of ourselves as we should have. I thought we were looking AND feeling just terribly...old. Shawn is former 3rd degree black belt instructor and I'm a former college tennis player and instructor, so we both love being physically active. We are so happy...no, I need a better word...ELATED to get moving again and to feel like our "normal" selves.

So now we are both at the weight we were when we first met 9 years ago and have set a "college weight" goal, which we should hit around July. It's been a blast and I'm seeking out new ways to exercise, thus the fab new cruiser. Isn't it pinkalicious?

If you haven't tried http://www.thedailyplate.com/, I highly encourage you to give this free web site a chance. It's a great way to track your fitness & food intake. We are never hungry and have had so much fun using this site as a guide. My extended family also started using this site and have lost a lot of weight as well. Congrats Mom, Dad, Rich and Rachel...you look fabulous!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Home




More pictures of our fantastic, fun vacation to Watercolor, Florida....

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Hug them a little tighter...


One of orphan's and adoption's biggest advocates, Steven Curtis Chapman suffered an unimaginable loss of his daughter Maria. I'm so late to post on this, but my heart is broken for their family. One of my most favorite songs of his recently has been "Cinderella" (posted on the side bar), it's meaning now is even more poignant. Please pray for this family as they heal and support Maria's Miracle Fund , in memory of Maria.


"Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman
lyrics below...

She spins and she sways
To whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I'm sitting here wearing
The weight of the world on my shoulders

It's been a long day
And there's still work to do
She's pulling at me
Saying "Dad, I need you

There's a ball at the castle
And I've been invited
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I danced with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I danced with Cinderella
I don't wanna miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone...

She says he's a nice guy and I'd be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of her dress
She says, "Dad, the prom is just one week away
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I danced with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I danced with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

She will be gone

Well, she came home today with a ring on her hand
Just glowing and telling us all they had planned
She says, "Dad, the wedding's still six months away
But I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I danced with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I danced with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Off to the Beach

Another year of beautiful pictures of the beach and my baby girl coming soon...a recap of last year's wonderful trip is below.









Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I celebrated the day with my beautiful mom. I'm just so proud of her and the things she has accomplished in her life. She has such a humble servant's heart, gracious spirit--coupled with a witty, friendly personality and too many talents to list. I am very lucky to call her my mom and friend. She's taught me so much about life and has been there every step of the way taking care of us. We love you!




Happy Mother's day to all the mom's out there as well as the mom's to be!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

2nd Year Gotcha Celebration

On that unforgettable May 8th in 2006, I held our precious daughter in my arms for the first time. Just the thought of that entire China trip makes me get all teary-eyed. It was a realization of a long-time dream coming to life, coupled with the nervousness of being a first-time mommy no where near the comforts of home. More than anything it was seeing the absolute miracle of God's love & his plan...and how this beautiful little baby with so much personality and determination on the other side of the world was without a doubt meant to be in our family. What an amazing experience it was.

View this montage created at One True Media
Our Journey to Leah









A week and some change later, we were reunited with Shawn for our official family day..again, the thought of THAT gets me all teary-eyed too. So to celebrate...we've had cake, sang made up "Gotcha day" songs, got presents, gone to the playground (lots) and even went to see the Backyardigan's Live!...and the highlight of our "Forever Family" festivities...we will celebrate two years of being together on a beach in beloved Destin next week. Why celebrate such a wonderful occasion in our lives on just one day?

Words aren't big enough to describe how much I love my family.
I am so blessed.

















Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Showing Off A New Do

Okay..I know I'm totally partial and hopefully among friends that feel the same way...but how cute is she with this new haircut? :)


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

On Being a Mom

I found an article on another blog by Anna Quindlen, an author and columnist in Oprah magazine. This essay is yet another reminder to enjoy my small child while she is...well, small!

Life is crazy busy, and I already see the time passing too quickly. Last night, I revisited some photos from the past two years and I can't believe how much she has grown...her little legs are so strong, her vocabulary is exploding, her heart is so big.



Today we were sitting at breakfast just chatting as we usually do and she said, "Mommy, when you didn't have me you were sad...", she continued, "but now that you have me, you are so HAPPY!" Oh, if only she knew how right she is! That little girl is the definition of joy to me. She brought color into our life and a spring in our step!

My goal is to really enjoy this and every stage of her life and not wish away a single moment.

So here's to goldfish crackers, twirl skirts, tiaras, and reading Fancy Nancy (which I ADORE) a hundred times a week.


You can read Anna Quindlen's full essay here.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wanna Play?


I saw this on another blog and I can't resist starting this game!

How does it work?

Here are the rules:

I will send a gift (of my choosing) to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this "PIF" exchange, and who make the same pledge on their own blog.

The only thing you have to do in return is PAY IT FORWARD - on your own blog.

So, if you want to get a goodie from me, and are willing to do the same via your blog, let me know!

(Note that you'll need to give me your real (snail mail) address... which you can do by private email.) Just leave a comment and I will get with you.

So, who's up for it?

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A House Divided

Well...it's looking like a very real possibility we will be traveling to China either before the end of 2008 or in early 2009. WOW.

So in my usual fashion of indecisiveness in picking out names (I changed Leah's about 80 different times before finally settling)...I've added a few other favorites to the list.

Shawn and I decided that this time, we would wait until we saw her pretty little face to see which name would serve her best. However of the 6 names in the poll, all three of us have a favorite, and of course, they are all different. I love them all, so I don't think we can go wrong with any of them.

Got another name to throw into the mix or have a favorite?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Growing Up

Leah is just 2.5 months shy of being three years old. This is a huge topic in our house...we talk about her birthday every single day, several times and the theme of her party changes just as often. The only thing that stays cosistent is that the party must have "lots of balloons and lots of presents".

This afternoon, she desperately wanted to wear this dress and have her picture taken, so being the Mamarazzi that I am, she didn't have to say it twice....

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Sunday, March 23, 2008