Showers of Blessings!

This past weekend my friends at church threw me an adoption shower for Kylie!  I wasn't sure what to expect because it's been a while since I have had a shower.  Jenna was the most excited because obviously, she wasn't physically present for the first one!
My hostesses were on their game...the decorations were super cute!  I loved it and the food...well, it was a chocolate fountain, so really, what else is there to say??
There were so many wonderful women there!  I tried to get as many pictures of them as them as I could, but there were just too many.  Here's one of my wonderful hostesses...
L-R Elizabeth Y., Rachel VG, me, Jill P, Leigh Ann M.
I got so many gifts for Kylie.  So many cute clothes!!!  All the 12 month ones are packed in Kylie's suitcase.  Take a look at this super cute dress my former WBFF Katelyn had made...
You can't really appreciate it from this shot, so let me show you closer up...
I.  MEAN.  So cute  And no, Katelyn was quick to admit, she did not make this, but some wonderful person from etsy. I absolutely cannot wait to get Kylie in this cute thing.

Here's another very interesting gift...I'm sure my fellow 80s folks will remember these dolls...
The old Cabbage Patch dolls!  Now I don't know if it's me, but doesn't this doll look Asian to you?  I think so.  But even wilder...take a look at her given name...
Can you believe that???  Crazy!  I can't believe they found it!  And I can't wait for Kylie to see it!  Even weirder is that this doll's birthday is one day away from Steve's!

After I finished opening all the the gifts, Leigh Ann announced she had given everyone a bead when they arrived.  Then they all went around the room giving the bead back to Leigh Ann and saying what they would be praying for as we traveled to China.  The beads will all go to make a bracelet I can wear in China and in looking at it, know I am literally covered in prayer.  Y'all.  I have never been so humbled and touched.  It was amazing and I can't wait to get the bracelet.  It was a fabulous idea! 

I'm so thankful for these friends and family of mine.  There are no words.
My sis, Teresa!
There she is!  My WBFF Katelyn and cute dress picker-outer extraordinaire!

The star of this post on my blog, Darlene!  She was just a little past 1 week from surgery but showed up!  Bless her!
So many wonderful friends and family.  Here's a neat picture of 3 generations (not counting me) and you get to see my SIL Deanne who is traveling with me to China!
L-R Deanne, me, Beth, Hannah
Oh, and last but not least, my niece whose son is Jenna's age.  Those kids act cah-razy when they get together!
A good time was had by all and there were some really nice gifts!  I wish I could post ALL the pics here but I just can't. 

But to all of my hostesses, attendees, and those who couldn't attend but sent their well wishes, THANK YOU!  Kylie is SO loved before she even gets here!


My Baby Girl is ONE!

Today my precious baby girl turned ONE!
I had so hoped I would have her home with us to celebrate, but that was not God's plan.  Instead, we sent her a birthday care package through the wonderful and awesome Ladybugs n Love.  We sent a little gift of candy and nuts for the caregivers and then we sent her a little toy for her birthday.
We know from her caregivers that she likes toys that move, make noise and light up, so sweet Angela from LNL picked this out.  And guess what?  It moves, plays music and lights up!!  Perfect!  I wish I could see her face when she gets it.

We also ordered a cake.  The money will go to the orphanage who will provide the cake.  Hopefully they will send pictures soon after her birthday so we'll see the cake and her celebration!  We were able to send another letter, which we did and asked only a few final questions about her development.

While we are sad about missing her first birthday, this is her first...and last...birthday without her family!

We are coming baby girl!


Thirty One Party

My friend Page is closing her Thirty One party today!  Remember, she is donating all the proceeds to our adoption fund!  Click here if you want to order!!!


A Farewell...

I have waited a while to post this.  Mostly because it was an emotional subject for me, so I wanted to wait until I could work through the emotion of it.  While I am still sad, I feel like I am on the other side of it (which is funny because by the time I finished writing this, I was crying again!).

Remember this girl?
That is my friend Katelyn.  You can find her over on her blog, On Repeat.  I met Katelyn about 3 years ago when she started in my department fresh out of college.  I'd like to say we were immediate friends, but that's not the way the story goes.  I was also entering a new position at work and we were both focused on finding our way around our new jobs.

But somewhere along the way, we hit it off.  A lunch here and a text there and before I knew it, we were eating lunch together nearly every day.  I've said to her before how it amazes me how we became friends because let's be honest, what does a young, single (but spoken for), non-mom college graduate have in common with a not-so-young, married, mom-with-kids?  Yeah, I'm not sure either.  But the friendship which has developed over the past 3 years proves that opposites definitely attract.

About a month ago, Katelyn stepped into my office and actually made me GUESS the news she had to tell me.  The news that she was leaving the company, packing her bags and moving across the country to Denver, CO.  I am pretty sure she thought I was going to lose my mind and I think she was closer to being right than she realized.  Lucky for her, the shock created an entirely different response.  Normally, I would have been the voice of reason in the situation (which came later, for those of you who worried I lost my edge!), but all I could summon up that day was support. 

Katelyn and I have always called each other "WBFF", work best friends forever.  And for a week or so after the news, I would think, "Oh well, life goes on."  Or so I thought.  But then I found myself crying at night when I'd think about life at work without my "WBFF".  Finally, one day, standing at the copier I realized somewhere along the way, Katelyn had become more than my tongue-in-cheek WBFF.  She was my FRIEND.  My in-real-life FRIEND. 

And she was leaving.

Looking back, I wondered how it was this deep friendship happened without me realizing it.  But in thinking about it, it was there all along.  Katelyn was the first person I told about us adopting.  She came to Jenna's baptism all the way across town early on a Sunday morning.  She attended church with me when we were at the main campus of our church.  She has attended a number of funerals and visitations since she's known me. Katelyn knows just about as much about special needs adoption in China as I do.  She was the first person (besides Steve) I told when we got our LOA. 

She is more than just a work best friend. 

She is a true friend to me. 

One of the closest I have.

And now she's leaving to pursue a dream which just happens to be clear across the country.  I won't have her to eat lunch with anymore.  When I receive travel approval, she won't be here for me to tell.  When I step off that airplane, in Nashville, with Kylie as a new family of 4...she won't be there.

Don't misunderstand, I am supportive of this leap of faith she is taking.  But in a purely selfish way, I sure wish she'd stay.  There's so much more life for us to "do" together. 

But she's leaving. 

Tomorrow is her last day at work and then she is off to Denver.  And I'll be here.  I'm pretty sure I've said to her all that I need to say.  But just in case she needs to hear it again and because I KNOW there is no way I will be able to say it on Friday...

My friend, Katelyn-

My, how I'm going to miss you!  I don't think I text anyone more than you and I know my Instant Messenger will never be the same!  I wish you all the best in Denver and I hope your dreams come true wherever you end up!   

I can't believe you are really going and I just can't imagine work without you here.  You are truly one of my best friends so let's not call this "goodbye"... just "see you later".
If there is one thing you need to know is that my life is better because you were a part of it

Good luck friend!  You will forever be in my prayers.
Friends Always,


Something to Look Forward To!

I am so excited to tell you that 4 of the best friends a girl could have are throwing me a shower on Saturday!  I actually went and registered at ToysRUs and Target, although it was not nearly the same as when I did it 10 years ago when I was pregnant and walking around with that little price gun!

Now, you can add and delete stuff online and it is great fun.  I'm just so excited.  There is so much we need desperately.  And I have been reading lately about how hard it is to do showers after she gets home, so I'm thrilled they had the foresight to do it before we left!  It will be such a blessing to us, I'm sure!  Pictures to come, for sure!

Thank you Rachel VG, Leigh Ann M, Elizabeth Y. and Jill P.!!!!  Can't wait for Saturday!!


My friend Darlene

Several months ago, I introduced you to my friend Darlene.  This summer, at the young age of 40, she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.  Since this, she has fought valiantly against this awful disease.  Late this fall, I was honored to do the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and participate on Team Darlene.

I have had several of you ask me how Darlene is doing.  So I wanted to give you an update.  Several weeks ago, she rang the bell signaling her last chemo treatment!  This past week, she had the surgery that generally follows breast cancer.  She is now at home recovering.

I am pleased to report the tumor and surrounding infected tissue was completely removed!  Praise God!  And Darlene is doing very well in her recovery at this stage in the game.  However, they did find one tiny spot of cancer in the first lymph node they removed.  This news was pretty difficult to swallow because we know this means there is the potential for more chemo treatments ahead.

However, we are thrilled that the cancer is now no longer in her body.  And her friends are ready to walk with her for the remainder of this journey no matter how long that is.  So, please continue your prayers for my sweet Darlene.  She has remained so joyful during this awful journey.  Pray for her family as they help her recover.

If you are interested, you can go to her Caringbridge site here to read more.


Thirty One Does It Again!!

Remember when I received an offer to do a Thirty-One fundraiser party to help with our adoption?  When my online friend, Anne, donated all the profits of my e-party to help us bring Kylie home by donating all of her profits to our adoption fund?

I got some super cute stuff from Thirty One just for having the party, plus I raised over $100 for our adoption!  It was so easy and I'm super thankful for Anne for doing this for adoptive families.

During the time my e-party was going on, a dear friend of mine wanted to do something more.  So instead of just buying some stuff for herself, she contacted Anne and decided to do a party of her own in January and donate the proceeds to us!  How's that for a creative and generous way to give?!

So, for those of you who missed the opportunity last time, the email Page sent out is below.  All the details are there.  Buy a little something for you, for your family (these make fabulous gifts) and help us in the process!

For those who are wondering, we need about $8000 to travel.  We have about $1000 of that saved and have several grant applications we are waiting to hear back on.  We are likely about 6 weeks away from travel.  That's a tall order in that amount of time, but in the end, we know God is up for it and we are waiting for Him to blow us away!  Read on...
Good afternoon. I just want to let you know I am having a Thirty-One catalog party from now through January 27th. This is not ONLY a party, but It’s A CELEBRATION… as the consultant is donating 100% of her commission to Sandra Taylor to go towards their adoption! Sandra works in HR and she and her husband are looking to bring their baby girl home soon to make their family of four complete. Please know that Sandra and their family truly appreciate all everyone is doing in support of their adoption.

Please take a moment to see pictures of their precious baby girl, Kylie Liann Yingbei Taylor.

You can go online to order. To order online, click http://www.mythirtyone.com/AnneLittle/ , scroll down and click My Events (found on the right side in pink) and click Shop Now (found to the right side of my name). There you will find an online catalog. If you are local (Nashville, TN and surrounding areas) and would like to save $4, please click to have your order shipped to hostess (me) and I will be more than happy to deliver it to you. It’s a great deal!


The amazing Thermal Tote sale is on for January!! Traditional Thermal Totes are on sale for only $10. The new Cinch Top Thermals are on sale for only $15. There is no minimum purchase required and no limit on the number of totes you can purchase. The Traditional Thermals can be personalized for $7. Personalization is not available on the Cinch Top Thermals.  

Also, please feel free to forward this on to anyone who might be interested in ordering. If they aren’t local, they can click on the link above for online ordering.

Please keep in mind that Thirty-One has wonderful items to treat oneself, they make great Valentine and Mother’s Day gifts and they make a sweet gift for that special loved one who is away at college!! There is something for everyone! Plus, the customer special is AWESOME!

I cant Thank You enough for your support. HAPPY SHOPPING!

Page Durham


Happy New Year!!! Well, in China at least!


Tomorrow is Chinese New Year!  This year, is the Year of the Dragon and I so wish I could be in China to see the festivities!  I just think it would be so much fun to go to a Chinese New Year parade.  I've always wanted to see one in real life.  But seems we'll miss it by a few weeks.
Chinese New Year is a pretty huge holiday in China.  Nearly the entire country shuts down for the celebration.  And not just for the day... for the entire WEEK!  That delays our paperwork for a week even though right now it's with the US consulate.

And at the time of this posting, it is already new year's in China since it's in the wee hours of the morning on Monday already.  This week will be a great celebration in China.  I hope Kylie's caregivers have a wonderful week!!


Welcome Kelly's Korner and Stuff Christians Like Readers!

If you have popped over from Kelly's Korner or Stuff Christians Like, WELCOME!  I'm so glad you stopped in.  You can read a little about our adoption story here

In short, we are about 6 weeks from bringing our special needs daughter from China home!  We are so excited, but still need to raise about $5-6000 for our travel expenses!  Please consider helping us!

5 reasons you need one of our adoption t-shirts:

5.  Because let's be honest, you can NEVER have enough t-shirts.
4.  It's a great conversations starter when someone asks you about it.
3.  They are going to make GREAT gifts for teachers, family and friends.
2.  They are a great color which goes with anything and both guys and girls look good in them.

And the top reason you should buy one of our adoption t-shirts?

1. Because you can say you had a part in bringing a beautiful baby girl home to her family.  You can be part of OUR blessing.

Back of shirt

My PayPal button is back!  If you are local, shirts are $20 and you can pay me by cash or check.  I'll of course deliver your shirt to you.  If you are not local, shirts are still $20, but $2.50 will be added for shipping.  I can expedite ship your shirt to you for $5, so $2.50 will offset part of the shipping.  And you too can pay in cash or check.  (If you've recently purchased a shirt online and have not yet received it, you will NOT owe shipping!)  Shirts are available in S, M, L,XL and a few 2XL and 3XL (if you are interested in a size over the XL, email me first...they aren't on PayPal due to limited quantities). 

If you are interested in a t-shirt, email me at sandysignr(AT)charter(DOT)net (removing the words and inserting the proper punctuation), order through PayPal or you can leave a comment below.

For those of you who already have plenty of t-shirts and have no desire to have more, or for those that have already bought (THANKS!), you can still help.  Please send this to everyone you know and ask them to help us bring Kylie home!

For us. 

For Kylie.

Front of t-shirt


Article 5...Another Wait Begins

I found out today our Article 5 paperwork was dropped off at the Consulate in China on Tuesday, January 17.  The thing about the Article 5 is that is always takes 2 weeks exactly to get processed.  So, normally that would mean, our completed Article 5 would be picked up January 31.  However, Monday is Chinese New Year and those lucky Chinese...they get the WHOLE WEEK off to celebrate!!

With that, our Article 5 will be picked up on Febuary 7.  That is when the real fun begins...we begin the wait for Travel Approval!  We are on the next to the last step in traveling to bring our Kylie home!  To be honest, I alternate between hyperventilating because it's another 6-8 weeks to travel and hyperventilating because OMG IT'S 6-8 WEEKS TO TRAVEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have more to say, but not tonight.  There's more exciting stuff coming though...so come on back.


2011 Year In Review

I know we are more than 2 weeks into 2012, but saw this 2011 recap survey on another blog and thought it might be fun, so...here we go!

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
We sent a dossier to China and got a referral!!!

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?I didn't make resolutions this year.  I did decide to just be nicer and love people more.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Well, my friend Lindsey had a baby right before Christmas.  And my friend Maribeth also had the sweetest baby boy several months ago

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thank goodness, NO.  We've had enough death in the past few years to last us a lifetime. 

5. What countries did you visit?
No new countries in 2011, but South Africa in 2010 and CHINA in 2012!!!

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?My baby girl from China?  OK, so probably more patience.  I know better than to ask for it, but I know I'm going to need it with a new baby in the house and still waiting on an answer to Steve's job search.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 3, the day we saw Kylie's face for the first time.

8. What was your biggest achievement for the year?
Finishing our dossier and getting it to China in March

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not keeping up with my quiet time with God or with my personal relationship with Christ.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a really bad bout of laryngitis in the fall.  I guess that is about it, thankfully.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hands down, my iPhone!!!!

12. Where did most of your money go?
Ha!  The adoption!

13. What did you get really excited about?Getting the referral for Kylie.  It was so unexpected.  A close runner up was getting our LOA after 144 days

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?How He Loves by the David Crowder Band

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
-Happier or sadder?  Happier!
-Thinner or fatter?  I'd love to say thinner, but no...I'm heavier.
-Richer or poorer? Poorer

16. What do you wish you'd done more of?Enjoyed time with Jenna.  It was her last year of being an only child.

17. What do you wish you'd done less of?Worrying.

18. How did you spend Christmas?Christmas Day morning was the three of us and Christmas Day afternoon with the Taylors.  The evening was spent with Chase.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

20. What were your favorite books of the year?I guess the latest installment of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum Series.  Or the Sookie Stackhouse, True Blood.

21. What was your favorite music this year?
Praise and worship mainly.  You can't beat the live music at the Church at Station Hill!

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
I don't EVER get to watch movies in the theatre. 

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 37 in June.  I went to Memphis for Steve's bowling tournament.  So literally we were driving back from there on my birthday.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?Having our LOA soon enough to have Kylie home by her first birthday.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?Wha?  I don't have a personal fashion concept.  I never buy new clothes, mainly because I don't have the money.  I'm not a clothes girl.  Sad, I know.

26. What kept you sane?
A great agency.  A supportive husband.  The best friends a girl could ask for.  But above all...a Faithful Father.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.God's timing IS perfect even when I don't understand it.  And He loves me and pursues me no matter what.


Agape Love Boutique!

Oh ya'll...I have been waiting FOREVER to get this little gem in the mail so I could blog about it!  About a month ago, I was over at a blog I frequent daily called "My Overthinking" and the author, Kelly, was doing giveaways.  There were several things I would have loved to have, but there was one that I really had my eye on.

Imagine my surprise and excitement when I read that I had WON the very giveaway that I wanted!  123 entries and I won!  It took some time to figure out what I wanted.  But I finally figured it out and just look...
Maria-Isabel at Agape Love Boutique designs and makes these necklaces (and others) for mom's to recognize not only the children you are currently parenting but also the ones that a mom might have lost to miscarriage, death or placed for adoption.
The nest represents your own nest and you choose your "eggs" for the nest.  For those lost, she places an "egg" outside the nest but still on the chain in order to always remember.  Then hanging off the nest is the wing of the ever present Mama bird.  There are a number of different colors you can choose for your eggs.

I chose purple for Jenna and pink for Kylie.  While I am no longer actively parenting Micah and Chase (because they are grown), I did not feel like they belonged outside my nest.  So, the teal color is for Chase and the cream for Micah.  I am fortunate there are no eggs outside my nest.
I loved wearing my necklace and carrying ALL my children close to my heart.  If you are interested in purchasing this necklace or any of the other very cool jewelry that Maria-Isabel offers, just click here and tell her you found her through my blog!


Ahem. More Hair Things.

In my defense...

There is an awesome group on Facebook that my friend Jill turned me on to.  It's a group just for our little town to buy, sell, or trade.  It's very much like an online yard sale or city specific Craigslist!  As soon as I was accepted to join this group, I found these headbands for even CHEAPER!  Only $.50 each!  I got one for each color she had available!



Last Sunday, Jenna came into church with her little craft from Sunday School class.  It was a little different than what I usually see her bring in...a handmade mobile.
If you can't read it, the top says, "I can be willing to do what God tells me to do".  That was nice and all, but check out the cards hanging from the mobile...
Can you read them?  They say, "I will trust that God will give Kylie a good life".  "I will be patient with Kylie" and "I will be careful about what I say around my sister."

I thought that was so sweet!  But they get better...

"I accept the things that Kylie needs even if it might take up my space."  Whoa.  That's deep right?  She is already realizing that things are going to change.  Except when I actually asked her about it she confessed she was thinking more about sharing her suitcase when we travel to China.  Ah....Ok...I'm good with that!  The next one says, "I will respect my sister" and "I will be nice to Kylie."

Then there was a couple more...
"I will take care of my sister if Mom and Dad are gone" and "I will love my sister".  Welp.  I think that about covers it.  What a sweet heart Jenna has already towards her soon-to-be-little-sister.  I know she is going to be the best sister ever!  I hope what she experiences with us throughout this journey impacts the rest of her life.  It is my heart's desire to see her grow up and eventually adopt children of her own. 


Another Step Closer!!

We are one step closer!  This morning I called the National Visa Center (NVC) to check on our progress.  I was THRILLED to find out that this morning we were cabled!  That means, the NVC has sent a letter to the Consulate in Guangzhou, China.  This evening after multiple calls back to the NVC, I received a PDF of the letter in my email which means my agency can forward it to China much quicker than waiting on the actual original!

Next up?  We'll wait for our China contact to drop off the letter and then begins the wait for our Article 5!  That usually takes 2 weeks exactly but we have a full week of Chinese New Year that we will have a delay.  So, probably in 3 weeks the Article 5 is picked up and then it's on to the wait for Travel Approval!!!

More to come!

Adoption Update-National Visa Center

Happy Friday 13th!!!

We have now confirmed that our I-800 approval has arrived at the National Visa Center (NVC) and has been entered into their system.  They will now send a letter to the US Embassy.  I need a PDF copy of this letter emailed to me so that my agency can use it to start the process of getting our Article 5.  We should be getting that PDF any day now.

From that point, there is a 2 week wait exactly for the Article 5 to be picked up.  Once the Article 5 is ready, we begin our Travel Approval wait which is averaging now about 16 days.

I will update again when I know that our PDF approval has been cabled to the Embassy!!!


Let the Fun Begin...

So this past weekend, I asked Steve to go ahead and get down the suitcases.  Because I work all week, it's hard to get any attention to anything except on the weekend.  I figured if we got the suitcases down now, I can get the non-clothing stuff packed as time allows.  Because, y'all...there is a LOT of non-clothing stuff!

My mom was definitely the planner.  And I got it honest.  I am my mother's daughter.  Weeks before vacation, clothes and shoes would go missing and turns out they would already packed away.  A fond memory of my mother.  :) 

I have a bag of toiletries that stays packed.  It has travel size shampoos, soaps, conditioners etc.  Along with a whole set of makeup, brushes, combs, bandaids, cleansers, deoderant etc.  Then when I get ready to go somewhere, I don't have to wait until the last minute to pack those very important to remember items!

When I hit hotels, I snag the travel size things there and bring them home to backfill my stash.  I even have separate travel toothbrushes.  So when I went to start packing, I was surprised to find how much stuff I actually already had.
That's my suitcase.  It doesn't look that big in this picture, but it's one of our largest.  You can see ponchos and plastic bags and over above the yellow poncho, you can see my plastic toiletries case.  The brush, deoderant, toothbrushes outside the suitcase are for the carry on. 
Ok, that black suitcase is Kylie's.  Its full.  And there are no clothes in there.  Actually, that box is the Ergo carrier I bought.  It will eventually trave without the box.  Then that plastic bag is the Moby backpack.  I think I have a pink jacket I got at the local consignent shop.  Oh, and there's a bottle or two that my friend Jill gave me.  That maroon rolling bag is Jenna's carry on.  It's full.  She doesn't quite grasp the concept of not taking everything she would normally have at her fingertips at home.  She's about to have a crash course though.  Not sure who is going to give it to her though since clearly I have a similar problem.

You can see the corner of Jenna's suitcase in the left side of the photo.  There's nothing in it yet except some critical items I have split up in case one of our suitcases gets lost.  I think I'm going to have to get another big suitcase down, give that to Jenna and use Jenna's bigger bag (which is smaller than mine) for Kylie.  I am pretty sure between the two of us we can check 4 total bags.  Can any of you BTDT (been there done that) confirm?  It's going to be a challenge for sure

But you know what???  I'm totally up for it!!!!


Other Fun Things

I was turned on to Baby Steals a few months ago when I was on the search for an Ergo for less than the $100+ it typically goes for.  Unfortunately, I never found an Ergo on Baby Steals, but I have found a number of other items!  One thing I recently found was a diaper bag back pack.

It's a Moby and it's really no frills.  But the draw for me is my concern about how me, Jenna and Deanne are going to carry everything in China.  Once we have Kylie, I'll most likely carry her around in my Ergo carrier (ended up finding it on Ebay thanks to my friend Jennifer!) and then of course, I will have my camera bag which will double as my "purse" and then her diaper bag.  I know we can split it up and each carry something, but the thought of carrying all that was definitely giving me pause.  When I saw this, I thought it would be perfect!
It's no nonsense, but roomy and super lightweight.  The outside feels a bit water resistant as well (though it might not be).  I thought it would be perfect.  It lays flat, so I can pack it going over and then we'll have it loaded up coming back but it will double perfectly as a carry on!

I was very pleased with the purchase which was just a little over $20.


More Hair Goodies!

I might have mentioned that I went a little overboard with the hair accessories when we realized Kylie was sporting a Mohawk.  I got the last of my orders this past Friday and I am so excited to show these to you!
These are from Polka Dot Posies and the little clips are sold separately and are interchangeable!  Not just that, but they can be put on other things like these cute little headbands to dress them up!
I have no idea whether Kylie will go for the headbands, but I can't wait to find out!  And the best part?  These items are like $1-$3 each so they are super economical and if one goes missing...well, no big deal!

I just love these sweet things and I hope to get many, many more!!


Hats, Headbands and Bows Oh My!!!

I received some other hair goodies late last week for Kylie to help make her mohawk a bit less obvious!  I did have a thought though...I can't remember if I blogged about this (and yes, I'm too lazy to look), but when we got the most recent pictures of Kylie, she looked so different, I didn't even recognize her at first.  It was pretty devastating to realize I hadn't recognized my own child, but I've gotten over it.  I see her all in the pictures now.  But you know how much babies change and the question crossed my mind as to whether I will recognize her when they bring her to me on Gotcha Day?  I sure hope so!!! 

Anyway, I've started accumulating some cute hair accessories that I hope she will wear.
These are from the Girly Girl Boutique and oh my word!  They have the cutest adoption bows!  If you are adopting, check them out.  I saw Ethiopia bows there too, so it's more than just China!  And the cool thing is proceeds from the adoption line goes to support New Day Foster Home.  These bows are very affordable, so let me give you a closer look...
It's kind of hard to tell, but this is a light pink bow with a darker pink embroidered heart and letter "K" on it. 
"Worth the Wait", dark purple on light purple.  Right?  So cute!  I can't wait to put these bows in her hair!
This is probably my favorite and is definitely going to China with me!  It's dark pink with neon green embroidery.  That is the Chinese character for Love and it's super cute.  I need to learn about how to create better lighting for these shots, but just haven't had time.
This little bow was a sweet "extra".  And it too is definitely going with me to China!  I just can't wait to put these bows on her sweet head!  They are alligator clips with some anti-slip stuff on them (which I had no idea even existed!)

There's more to come, so stay tuned...


Is It Already That Time Again????

I can hardly believe it, but it is already a new 9-weeks at school and Jenna got her report card last week.  She has been very consistent in her report cards...this 9 weeks she got all As and 2 Bs.  The funny thing is that her 2 Bs are in Math and Social Studies and Math is her favorite subject.

But we are so proud of our girl! 5th grade, watch out!!!


Found on my iPhone

These kinds of posts are some of my favorites to read, so I thought I'd join in the fun.  Hopefully you'll enjoy it too!

Basically, this is just a sampling of the photos on my iPhone at the moment...
Jenna and I using the Mac at Best Buy the day I was buying the iPad for our raffle.  Jenna discovered this photobooth app and was having a blast.  This picture makes me laugh every time I see it.
If I ever wanted to know what Jenna would look like if she'd been born an alien, now I know.  :)  Another funny one.  Funny enough that I would buy a Mac just to play with this!
One of my fave Christmas presents, my new camera bag!  I asked for a new one to take to China.  this one has PLENTY of room for my camera, lenses and my personal items like money etc. while in China.  More to come on that...
Jenna modeling one of her outfits from her Nana.  Think I'm going to have a heartbreaker on my hands in a few years?  Yeah, me too!
Can't remember where I was when we took this one, but thought it was cute.  I don't do a lot of the self-portrait photos, but need to do more.
My favorite photo for today...took this using Instagram.  Amazing at what that app can do!  We were at a new Mexican restaurant in our city and YUM!  While waiting on our queso, we took a few snaps...and yes, it was DELISH.


One Step Closer!

I just found out that our I-800 was approved today by the USCIS!!!  What that means is that we are one step closer to bringing Kylie home!

There are more steps to go, but I keep hearing the rest of it goes fast and I'm starting to believe!  The USCIS will now forward our 800 approval to the National Visa Center via 2 day air.  Once the NVC gets the approval, they will enter it into their system and send the request to the US Embassy in China  who will be issuing Kylie's visa.  Once it has been sent to the Embassy, we will receive a PDF letter stating as much.  When I receive that email letter, I send it to my agency who forwards it to the China contact who will take the paperwork to the Embassy.  2 weeks later, my Article 5 is picked up and then taken to the CCCWA who will then begin work on issuing our travel approval! 

We have Chinese New Year in the middle of all this, so not sure how that will slow us down, but that is a week off for everyone in China including the US Embassy!  So just pray we can travel in March during the week of Spring Break!

It's Official!

Tuesday our official LOA came in the mail for us to sign.  It was a little nerve-wracking signing such an important document and one that we'd waited for so long...
I think the original looks really cool...

basically the document is just confirming we want to adopted Kylie.
And of course we marked yes!  It was a pretty exciting moment to finally have this part officially behind us!!