A Happy Birthday

We did indeed have a mini-celebration on Kylie’s actual birthday on January 30.  But it wasn’t much and since she really doesn’t get it this year, I wasn’t too worried about it.  Due to some scheduling conflicts, the first weekend we were able to have the party was the 9th.  It just so happened to coincide with Chinese New Year.  In hindsight, I probably should have had a CNY party, but you know, that would require too much forethought.  I was lucky to get the party planned as it was.

I decided pretty early on it would be a Doc McStuffins theme.  If you don’t know who Doc McStuffins is, you are missing out!  It’s a cute Disney show in which the little girl (Doc) has a play house clinic in her backyard and a magical stethoscope which causes her toys to come alive.  Doc’s mom is a real doctor and so Doc specializes in repairing broken toys.  The opening theme song is so catchy and Kylie loves to sing along.  But I digress.

I immediately went to Etsy to see what items might be available and knew I was in over my head.  Now the cool thing is the Disney website had free printable invitations.  I decided just to use those since they would all be thrown away.doc-mcstuffins-invitations-printable-photo-260x260-fs-0020

Then I enlisted my friend, Susan R., to make the Doc McStuffins cake.  More on that in a minute.  I managed to narrow down my Etsy purchases and ended up being TOTALLY STOKED with what I got.  I mean, y’all just look…


Favor bags.  I mean, they were the absolute perfect size.  I tried to give the boys the white ones and the girls pink.  I didn’t really look at the size when I ordered, but they ended up being perfect!


Bubbles!  I mean, what 2 year old doesn’t love bubbles??  There were four colors and all personalized!  So that’s one thing in the favor bag…


Doc McStuffins lollipops!!!  And again, what 2 year old doesn’t love lollipops?!?  Kylie does!  Unfortunately, because we had almost 100% attendance, Kylie didn’t get one, but she had plenty of other things!

Then one of my favorites…


These little candy sleeves!  The photos don’t do them justice, but they were so stinkin’ cute!!


Personalized front AND back!!!  They even came with the candies (although you can buy them without, I am SO glad I paid a little extra to include them!)

I can’t believe I forgot to get a picture of these, but I also had candy bar wrappers that went around Hershey bars and they were SOOOO cute. I purchased the image from Etsy and they delivered it (ahem, twice, since somehow I lost the first one) to my email.  Print off a few and then whammo!  All done.  So those were the favor bags.

I wanted a few decorative items and so I bought this banner.  It was to die for and the detail was crazy good but I didn’t love where I hung it. 


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I wish I was this talented…but anyway…the last thing I got was a door hanger.  I’m not sure why I was interested in a door hanger, but I am so glad I got it because I’m going to hang it up on Kylie’s bedroom door now that the party is over.  It is just TOO CUTE not to do something with.



I got tons of compliments on the favor bags and decorations.  I ended up not putting a whole lot of forethought into the snacks and believe it or not, it ended up just fine.  I had 3 different kinds of popcorn, thanks to my friend Julie, grapes, goldfish crackers and then Steve bought some wings and pigs in a blanket for the adults.  It ended up being more than enough and I think everyone enjoyed the snacks.

But the hit of the party was, by far, the cake.  Y’all just check.it.out.



Not only did it look good, but it was DELISH!  Susan really outdid herself.  Check out some other cakes she’s done…

veggie tales

bubble guppies cakefarm cakebaby cake

You guys she’s talented and reasonable.  So if you are local and interested in checking out more of her creations, you can email her at susancrogers610 AT gmail DOT com (using symbols instead of capitalized words) and she will totally hook you up.

In the end, the party went well…IMG_3960

If you look closely, you can see the super cute Hershey bars wrapped…It was a cute party…lots of little kiddos and adults.  More on that in another post…


Happy Chinese New Year!!!

I’ve never really cared much about Chinese New Year until now.  CNY is one of the most celebrated and important holiday in China  This is the Year of the Snake…


Kylie was born in the Year of the Rabbit (which I much prefer to the snake in terms of animals!)  We chose to celebrate CNY by celebrating Kylie’s birthday, although it wasn’t a CNY theme (more on that later).  We also sent Kylie to church today in her China silk.


So, as they say in China…



Oh How I Love Her…

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Y’all, I just had to write this post…today will be Kylie’s 2nd birthday party and it’s gonna be great.  And there will be awesome detail and photos to follow, but today, I thought was an appropriate time to talk about Kylie and how she’s doing.

Kylie has made great strides since being home.  She has gained over 5 pounds and has grown just shy of FIVE INCHES!  She is talking up a storm, although, most times we have no idea what she’s saying.  She still attends speech therapy 2 times a week and I credit Miss Joy with all the progress she’s made.2013-01-21 19.09.59

But most amazingly, this little girl is HAPPY.  She laughs and giggles and smiles what seems like all the time.  If she is cranky, we ALL have a bad day because it’s just not like her.  My friend Jill asked me once if she was always this animated or just when she visits her house?  No, it’s not just her house…it’s all the time.

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The other night, I was changing her into her PJs right before bed.  I still put her to bed every single night except for Tuesdays when I’m at my women’s Bible study.  It is my favorite time of the day.  So I was dressing her and in pulling off her shirt, it got stuck right above her eyes on her head.

That little thing giggled and laughed until she gave herself hiccups!  And of course, I was laughing hysterically too.  And then, without warning or prompting, she leaned in and kissed me right on the lips and said “Muah!”

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And y’all.

I thought my heart would burst WIDE.  OPEN.  I’m not joking.  The moment came and went in an instant, but it was like all in slow motion and I can still see her sweet face just as it was.  So full of joy and happiness.

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And it was then that I realized how deeply and fiercely I love this little Asian princess of mine.  I have always loved her.  Even before I knew who she was.  But it was never like this.  There are just no words to adequately describe.  I shouldn’t be surprised.  I remember loving my two bigs with that kind of love when they were younger and being amazed that I could love someone so much that didn’t come from my body.  I should’ve known.

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Oh, how I love her.


Passport to Purity…Check!

Several of you have emailed me to find out how our P2P weekend went.  Well…the Monday prior to us leaving Friday, my van went on the fritz.  More narrowly defined, it wouldn’t let me put gas into the tank.  That is kind of a problem when you are about to drive 2 1/2 hours out of town.

So, about two days prior, I had to rent a car for the trip.  We ended up with a Ford Escape which was fully loaded so I pretty nice ride (bun warmers and all) for the trip.

I picked Jenna up from school and we headed out.  The program gives you a tentative schedule and because you know I’m a rule follower, you know I was trying to stick as closely to it as I could.  We mainly just talked and rode for a good part of the way.  Then, it was time for dinner so we found a Chinese buffet and ate dinner there.

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Then we headed on to Chattanooga.  You are supposed to listen to the first session, take 30 minutes to check into your hotel, finish session 1 and then do session two.  I could not have timed it any better because we finished listening to session 1 CD about 15 minutes before we pulled in to the hotel.  Jenna was a trooper, but by bedtime, she was losing interest. 

The program is really great and during each session, there is an object lesson.  Here are a few photos of those…

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I won’t give away the details of each of the sessions and object lessons, but they were each very good.  Saturday morning, we got up, went downstairs for a delicious buffet breakfast and then we got to the really…important part. 

Suffice it to say, Jenna was adequately embarrassed and grossed out, but she really did well and after those 2 hard sessions, you take a several hour break to do something fun.  Our activity was to go to the mall and have a shopping spree.  We did that and Jenna got some cute stuff.  After, since we had a little bit of time and were in the area, we stopped in to visit my friend Julie.  I finally got to meet her 3 children and told her I felt like I was meeting celebrities because I read about them all the time on her blog.  Smile

Somehow, even though Julie and I take hundreds of photos (though she’s much better than I am with her camera), we managed not to get a single shot of us or the kids or…anything.  I did get a shot of this super cute shirt she made for Kylie.2013-01-19 16.32.12

We stayed about an hour or so and then headed back to the hotel to do our final session.  They know just where to put the break because after it, Jenna really opened up and asked lots of questions which is really the whole point of the program…to facilitate and open relationship with your pre-teen so when the hard questions come, they will come talk to you rather than their friends. 

After we finished that session (we were both ready for it to be over by then), we got ready to go to a celebratory dinner.  She picked Outback which was right down the road.  The problem was there was a huge cheer/dance competition that weekend and the place was packed.  But we stuck it out and after an hour of waiting, we finally got seated.  And boy was it worth it!

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I even bought Jenna some dessert which, amazingly enough, she finished off.

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After dinner, we sat in the car and face timed with Steve and Kylie.  By this point we both were missing them like crazy.

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You wouldn’t know it unless you knew what to look for, but in the picture to the left, Kylie is flashing the sign for “I love you”….oh how my heart just melted.

Sunday morning we left bright and early and stopped for breakfast at Panera (our favorite place) and then headed home.  We got to church before the end of the second service so I went on in and picked Kylie up.  I wish I could say she was as glad to see me as I was to see her.  And she was happy, but not nearly as thrilled as we were to see her.

After church, her and Jenna hung out and played in the rental, which Kylie loves (to sit in the front).

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All in all, it was a really great weekend.  It was something that I needed to do with my big girl for reasons more than just education.  And she has continued to ask questions.  I’m so glad we did this and fully intend to repeat this trip with Kylie when the time comes.  Jenna understands that if anything happens to me before then, the responsibility would be hers.  Smile

If you have questions about this program, please let me know.  I’d love to tell you more.


I Am…An Open Book

I am Fun

An open book?  Yep.  Those who know me at all know that there’s not much I won’t tell you if you ask. 

If you have questions about adoption, special needs, family, my moral compass, political and religious beliefs, parenting, marriage, finance, work etc.ask me and very likely I will tell you. 

With that said, I do have a line that I won’t cross when it comes to my family’s privacy, but for the most part, I’m not afraid or ashamed of things like infertility, financial struggles etc. 

There’s no air of mystery about this girl.  I remember when we started looking at churches (that’s been 13+ years ago now), I was thinking how neat it would be to go from a place where everyone knew me, knew my family, knew my history to somewhere that I was just another person.  I wanted to come across as quiet and someone people wondered about.

That lasted about 2.355266 seconds.  I just don’t mind telling about myself if you want to know (or if you don’t!).

Sometimes this is good and sometime I venture a guess that it’s not good.  But it is a large part of who I am.  So if there’s something you want to know, go ahead and ask…I’ll probably be glad to share!