29 December 2010


Today this girlie turns one.

My heart has burst this year watching this sweet girl grow. And it has melted too. It has burst and melted. Melted and then burst. Gone are the days when she was content to snooze in my arms. Gone are the mornings when she snuggled sweetly with us in the big bed. Long gone are the tiny baby onesies and itty bitty socks.

Now we have a mover. We have a climber. We have a giggler and a 'talker'. We have a girl that loves to laugh with her big brother. We have a girl that learns something new everyday. We have a girl who has a little will of her own. We have a girl who knows what she wants.

I miss the tiny infant days. I do. But I am excited for what is to come too.

Every age is so fun. It's funny how I can be so sad to see one stage go while simultaneously beside-myself-excited for the next season. Many times I look at her big brother and see all his life and light and wit and humor and personality and I cannot wait to see what quirks and thoughts and gifts and unique things lie inside of my sweet daughter.

Oh, my dear sweet N... you are one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I am so honored to be your Mama and I can't wait to spend another year loving you and watching you grow!

Happy First Birthday!

Gone Now

I woke up this morning and my house definitely felt emptier. Quieter. A bit heavier and sad.

My parents have left.

They boarded a plane at 3am and flew out of this African city as quickly as they flew in two weeks ago.

Last night as we said our last goodbyes outside in the cool darkness I told them that their visit was one of the best gifts I have ever received.

I meant it.

They came a long way. Spent a lot of money. Spent months preparing. And took a lot of time to come here and see our home on this side of the globe. They jumped in and experienced everything. They were so adventurous and full of energy. So helpful and generous.

It was an amazing time.

Thank you so much, Mom and Dad, for loving me and our little family and for showing your love for us in this incredible, tangible, once-in-a-lifetime kind of way.

We love you too.


Mikey got creative with his gifts for me this year. There were five envelopes hidden in the tree and it was so fun to open each one.

His sense of humor really shows though on these cards (and his artistic skills too! Ha!) and it takes me back and gives me butterflies like I had when we fell in love the first time seven and a half years ago...

1. A trip to a forest full of monkeys! Who wouldn't want to go there! And snacks! He sure knows what I like...

2. My choice of potted plants! I can't get me enough potted plants! But I guess I can't choose a small tree that takes three people to carry.

Ooh... maybe I'll choose some plants for indoors!

Good idea, self!

3. Three hours to go BY MYSELF to a gorgeous hotel and sip a paid-for mocktail? Glory hallelujah!

I think the emphasis here belongs on the BY MYSELF part. Wow. What a gift!

4. A trip to a family fun park! And I always love it when the words 'all inclusive' are used.

5. This is the best one.

Can you read it? He's gonna:

a. Take me shopping. He actually used the term 'to as many stores necessary.' (Um, did you mean that honey? Cause I'm not sure you really meant that...)
b. Buy me a new stove!!!!
c. Did you catch that?
d. Buy me a new stove with functional burners AND a door that closes!!!

Wow. My heart is fluttering...

Christmas Day in Pictures

Chutes and Ladders

If you know us at all you know we love games.

And we have a small boy who also loves games.

Nature or nurture you ask?

We'll never know.

So all five of us sat down one day to play a game on his level.

Or so we thought.

A necessary lesson in spinning and we began.

Or we began after a thorough purusing of the rules by my G.M. (Game Monitor).

I'm gonna get him a tee-shirt that says that.

And I'll get one for this G.M. in training, also.

Here's me.

Aren't I youthful and bubbly?

And pink is such a good color on me.

This is my Asian mother and the African Poppi/H team piece. We're a very international family.

And we are sure excited to be climbing ladders and sliding down chutes!

This is my husband. Curly hair. Very appropriate. And he seems much 'cooler' about the game than the other players, don't you think?

Now this game has a clever new componenent that wasn't there in the version I played.

See that girlie carrying a tall stack of dishes?

Well, she should have known better.

Cause she dropped them all and now she's sad. Boo. Looks like she lost spaces and went backwards in the game.

And this clever girl ate her vegetables and now she's growing tall! Yay for her! She gets to gain spaces cause she is such a good girl.

Another example is this boy who kindly took out the trash. And now he gets to enjoy an ice cream sundae as big as his head, naturally.

Wait. What are we teaching our children?!

Oh well.

My boy spent every turn spinning the spinner and then putting his piece on this very spot.

Every time.

Here he goes...

Yup. Back again.

Uh huh.

What do you suppose it was about that spot?

Apparently it was the only desirable spot on the whole board.

And no, I don't think he really grasped the concept of the game. In case you were wondering.

After a really loooooooong time

The game ended.

Glory Hallelujah.

It was fun, but MAN that game goes on a long time. Have you played it lately?

What's Better?

Q: What's better than reading books for a long time before bed?

A: Reading books for a long time before bed with Grammi and Poppi!

A Favorite Moment

There have been many wonderful moments in the past couple weeks. This one stands out:

...our usual Friday morning crepe brunch on the balcony. Just a regular thing made so special by those we got to share it with...