Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out with the old and in with the new!

As 2009 draws to a close, I wanted to reflect on some memorable moments during the year. 2009 was a year of changes for our family. My dad passed away in 2008, but I became less numb in 09'. We three girls have really bonded and worked well together this year. We have learned to help one another and pitch in without too much fuss or problems. Paige has really matured in so many ways. I feel so very sad for the losses that she has had in her young life. Let's face it, loss is a big part of adoption. She lost her biological parents, lost the life she knew with her foster family, lost her cultural ties and then...then the loss of my dad. I write this with tears streaming down my face. I know she is loved beyond comprehension, but it makes my heart tear apart when I see her friends with their dads. Loss. It hurts. We grow from it. We survive. We are stronger because of it. It has fortunately brought us closer to God.

2009 proved to be the year that I became closer to Him. I feel like I have a purpose. I didn't before 2009. I just found myself meandoring through life. Always trying to be the best person that I could be, but yet, no goal in sight. I now feel like my purpose is to live a life filled with teaching Paige and my students about being the best they can be. Being a good friend, daughter and sister is at the TOP of my list for 2010. Not just walking the walk, but talking the talk.

2009 brought my precious, precious brother a new life partner. That makes this sister happier than anyone can imagine. You see, Greg is 5 years younger than me and I always felt like he was "mine". My parents allowed me to take ownership in his rearing (which in hindsight, they always let me THINK I was making decisions, but they had already made the ultimate decisions. They were slick that way). My brother is one of those people that everyone is attracted to. He has a shining personality and makes everyone around him feel safe and secure and IMPORTANT. I'm glad that in 2009, he married the girl that would make him feel safe, secure and important.

I gained and lost weight in 2009. I was very successful with Weight Watchers, but wasn't consistent. I am hopeful that in 2010 I will not only take the weight off, but I will keep it off. I need to. I deserve it and so does my family. They need me. Healthy me.

I hope that 2010 brings all of my friends and family good health, prosperity and boundless blessings. Thanks for always leaving me encouraging words and comments and being great supporters and friends. Here's to 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Movie night memory

I just watched My Sister's Keeper with Paige and it was so sweet. She made us a pallet and poured our drinks and ordered the movie on demand. While watching this terribly SAD movie, she leaned over and asked so sincerely if you can catch cancer. When I said no, she let out an audible sigh of relief. During some sad parts in the movie she put her hand up by her head to cover her eyes, as she was welling up. It was so precious. I don't know why this was such a tender time for us, but tonight was one of those nights that you don't want to forget, hence the blog post. For newer pics and exciting stuff...scroll down :)

Don't want to forget special moments in life...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ice, Ice Baby

So, lame title, but that's what comes to mind when I think of our fun outing to the Ice Spectacular at Opryland. Artisans come in from Harbin China every year and sculpt ice into a wonderful scene. This year, the theme was Charlie Brown Christmas. It has been a tradition for my best friend of almost 25 years and I to take the kiddos and then out to eat. We had SO much fun this year. Her children are 15, 6 and 3. We let the three year old stay with her daddy and we took the older kids. I can actually say that we all enjoyed each others company and there weren't any fights or crying fits or diaper changes...ahhhh! I've waited for these days to come and they are here! Don't get me wrong, I love little ones, but there is something so fun about really enjoying spending time with the bigger ones. I love Paige being this age (on most days :) lol.

Ryan, Paige and Haleigh at the entrance to Ice. FYI, it was minus 4 degrees inside. BRRR!!!!

Silly kids! Why is it that when children reach a certain age, they MUST throw up the peace signs???

Such a cutie's ok that I always say that, right?!? I'll never stop telling her how wonderful she is...haha. It never hurts to have a number one fan, right?

Ryan and Paige at dinner. Ryan was so hilarious and kept on telling Paige she was a "hottie". Rut ro!

Paige received a cell phone for Christmas and she was trying to teach Ry the basics of texting. Santa created a MONSTER! Thank goodness for unlimited texting plans :)

Tracy and I. We have been friends since we were 11 years old. I am soooo blessed to have a handfull of friends that have been by my side for over 20 years. I treasure these special friendships and feel so blessed by these sweet girls. Tracy and I were the dynamic duo in high school and in college. She is the one friend that I have the FUNNIEST memories with. She is the friend that when I tell stories to Paige about what NOT to do, well, let's just say Tracy and I were always in those stories. We weren't bad kids, but if we could get a laugh, we'd try our darndest. One of my favorite memories is of us dating two friends in college and while the guys went out for a "guys night" we thought it would be funny to break into their apartment and rearrange their furniture (at 3 a.m.). Needless to say, we didn't date the guys long, as they didn't share our sense of humor! :) She's grown into a wonderful mother, wife and friend and I am proud of the person she is. Who'd a thunk it?!?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's a Wonderful Life

To say we have had a wonderful Christmas would be an understatement! I cannot tell you how much I needed time with my sweet family to relax and just enjoy each other's company. We have spent time with my sweet brother and sister-in-law, visited family and friends (who are like family), gone to church services, and just plain had fun!

Some highlights of our holiday in pics...

Greg and Paige...two of my favorite people in the world!

My family at Greg and Laurie's house

My mom took this and it's blurry, but I still LOVE it! It's not about photo quality during the holidays, but about the love!

Pretty Paigee

Before church

Me and mom before church....can I just say how much I LOVE her!!!

Me and my girly before Christmas eve church service...LOVE!

Christmas eve at the Craigheads. These girls are precious friends.

Kids tracking Santa on Norad... I LOVE THIS PIC!!!

I hope your holidays were super special and that you got to enjoy your family as much as I did mine!
More updates to come as we have lots of fun things packed into this week off from school :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Gotcha Day Guo Changchun!

Nine years ago today we were blessed beyond measure by our little Christmas angel.

Here are NINE reasons why I love this child more than life itself:

1. Paige, you were THE most beautiful baby I have ever or will ever see!

2. No one has ever been able to make my heart skip a beat the first time I met them, but you!
untitledpaige gotcha

3. You love mom more than anything in this world and that makes me so happy! Y'all are two peas in a BEST friends!

4. You are the worlds funniest impersonater. You would make Elvis proud :)

5. You dance like NO ONE is watching.

6. You get involved in everything that you can and give it your all. You have a strong value system and I LOVE it :)

7. You always have SO.MUCH.FUN. and laugh at yourself all the time!



8. You are as CUTE as a BUTTON!

9. You Are My EVERYTHING!!!

Happy Forever Family Day my little Li Li! You are a blessing that just keeps on giving. I don't know what in the world we did to deserve you, but I know that we will live our entire lives trying to let you know how truly loved and adored you are.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Trimming the tree...

and an almost "CATastrophe"...
So remember when I took in a little orphan kitty who was preggers? She had her babies on the night that my brother got married. She had six little black beauties. All six babies have found loving homes, one being ours :) We kept a little fella that Paige and I loved. She named him Taylor (because she loves Taylor Laugtner from New Moon ... and after seeing the movie, I do, too...just sayin').

So our little Taylor is the epitemy of "naughty kitty". We couldn't find him the other night and after looking F.O.R.E.V.E.R. here's what we found...

Too close to tell what he's doing???...okay, I'll give you a different perspective.

Still not a good vantage point to tell??? Okay, i'll back out to give you the full view...


Has anyone seen Christmas Vacation??????????? Bad, bad kitty!!! Oh, how we love our little Taylor, though :)

Here is one of Paige trimming the tree...I adore this girl :)


With all of the hustle and bustle of the season, it is always so relaxing to turn off the lights in the house and play Christmas music and enjoy a little spirit...
Cheers, friends!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Parade

So the theme this year was "Christmas Carnival". I think Paige fit the description well. She danced with her studio. They won "Best Overall Act/Float" at the parade. It was exciting for the studio, as it is verrry competitive. Paige had fun!

Here she is with good friend, Arden. Aren't they nice and colorful :)

Some of Paige's dance friends. They really did a good job!

Another set of wonderful little friends!

My sweet girl and I after the parade. I look awful! However, I'll take anything I can get as Paige is at "an age" !!! When she shows the love, I TAKE IT!!!

Here is some video of her dancing. I am not great at videotaping, but I want her to be able to watch her perform. So, here it is...

I have really been neglecting my poor, pitiful blog and promise to do better! I have many pics that I need to post, but I am just going to do the best I can to keep up.

Wordless Wednesday (a little late)