Thursday, August 17, 2017


We're HOME! From an amazing trip to Disney World. 8 nights!!! 9 days!!! And it was MAGICAL! WE walked in the door at 7:45 last night.

I love that first day home, I really do like to sort and power through laundry, empty suitcases and organize.

I love to notice all of the things in my home that I adore. The smooth hard wood under my feet, my kitchen, bedroom set, it's like seeing it again for the first time.

Today has a bunch of things on the calendar that we can't ignore. (Anna is getting braces!)

It'll take some time for me to load the gazillion photos of our trip to Disney to share with you. But I'll get to it bit by bit.

We have exactly two weeks before that FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. We are not ready... and I have so much more to share on that later.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Re~Post: January 16, 2014


Dear Anna Jiang Qian and Abigail Mei,

I don't know how it can; but it does.  Just the thought inside my head as I type 'letters to my daughters' takes my breath away.


How happy I am to be your mama.

You are such big girls now. I'm not quite sure how it happened; ten and six. You were just babies on my hips. I carried you everywhere and all the time. Little Abigail I can still pick you up but you and your big sister are showing me the way now. It's your personalities shining through. I'm learning each day who you are and a little bit more of what you'll become. Each day you give me a little glimpse into the future but you still hold my hand. Oh and your hands still feel little in mine.

And you are sweet. Sweet to me, sweet to your daddy, sweet to your grandparents, and sweet to each other.

You are the best sisters.  I know you will be life long best friends.  You were chosen, put together to be together by God for a special purpose in life.  Although His plan is yet to fully unfold I know that walking in His path today and tomorrow will lead you to fulfillment in life; a happiness that the world can not offer you.  You have each other and forever love from daddy and I.

Sometimes when I look at you I see the difficult events that you have gone through.  Abandonment, newborn months and months in an orphanage, a chronic disease and food allergies.  But you remind me every day that those things make you stronger.  More patient.  They give you a more loving heart.  And a faith in God so great that it's the core of you.  They are parts of your life that I would take away in an instant if I could.  For my childhood knew no pain as you've been through Anna or daily struggle as you have Abigail.  But no one in the world I believe can feel love so deeply as you do Anna and no one in the world has more empathy for others than you little mei mei.

You are both a gift to your daddy and I.  We cherish you.  We love you.  We adore you.

Love, mommy xoxoxo





5 cropped square

Monday, August 14, 2017

Re~Post: March 18, 2016

I was thinking about our summer plans and stressing out just a little.  The things that go through my mind are so varied like
* will I be able to find food for Abigail to eat (real concern)
* should I try to bring an color coordinated outfit for each day so I dont have to was or should I try to pack like a normal person (why bother asking myself that?)
* will Anna be able to handle this kind of trip that involves meeting people she doesn't know?
* what about my eating, although not allergic is so specific these days?
* should I go with mostly cool sundresses or will Anna want shorts?
* what fabric doesn't wrinkle the most but is the most cool?
* how can I possible bring enough for Abigail to eat on the day of travel (drive to NYC and 10 hour flight) ?

Crazy things.

And then I remember our first big trip.  Well, of course China was our first big trip.  But this was next.  Anna was three. And I got one of those Disney flyers in the mail.  It was a good deal.  And I asked Scott what he thought.  Three nights was what we could afford.  (which turned into four) And it was magical.


The excitement at the airport.



Lunches at the hotel.


We were constantly attached to Anna during this time in her life. Utterly, completly in love with her.


I learned looking back at these photos that the things Anna liked best about our "big trip" were the little things. A carton of milk on a boat from one park to another.


A tub of Cheerios and a fan to keep her cool.


Being held


And that toddler struggles come along on any trip


Everything is better with an orange pop (and a mommy who catches the drips so they don't stain your Animal Kingdom dress)


There were moments of tired and not caring at all where we were. (we ditched the stroller and I ended up carrying her most of the trip... in August heat... with her stuffed Nala)



And there were moments of pure joy (still attached)



The unexpected (like the raft ride to Tom Sawyer island) were the most memorable (she could have cared less about the amazing fireworks)


And that the joy in the trip is really in following your child's lead (dancing on Tom Sawyer island)


Closeness counts


And running down the hallway late at night, barefoot, with a too expensive parade balloon will be the memory we talk about for years and years.


Oh, and color coordinated outfits ARE super important!


Friday, August 11, 2017

Re-Post ~ May 20, 2014


Oh springtime in Connecticut... take a deep breath and smell the lilacs... sweet, isn't it?


We live in an old house. And she needs a lot of love in the springtime from us. She won't settle for one of those crews that come and do the 'spring clean up' in two hours. She's more of an old soul that requires all of us working in the yard. (okay, so really it's Scott but I do my part by 'holding down the fort' so to speak so he can tend to the hours and hours we call 'spring' in our yard) We turn the earth. We rake winter away. We stand in mud after a long rain to carefully slide the first of the annuals out of the pack and into the soil.

Mothers Day... flowering vines to grow up my trellis... I can hardly wait girls... grow.... grow... grow (not you Anna and Abigail... the vines) 

It's a big job but we wouldn't have it any other way.


The earth smells different than in does in the summer. There's really nothing like New England in the spring. Perhaps it is because of the harshness of winter. It all just feels so magical.


It's coming along nicely too. Everything is looking so sweet in our little yard.


And in our house too...


Scott's been working round the clock. For although spring is long and we really have plenty of time we have a little girl with a birthday party in May. So we really do have a deadline. At minimum the flowers must be planted, the grass tended to after a long winters sleep, and the mulch down. The rest can wait.



So that husband of mine (during the busiest work time of the year as a principal) worked round the clock when he was home to make spring happen in our front and back yard. And yes, I know how lucky I am that he loves a pretty yard too... swoon. There were times he was out so late he was working in the dark and up so early in the garden at 5 in the morning before work.


View from my kitchen sink... and a baseball game in the field beyond... now that's spring!

The hostas have all been split and replanted.  Check.  He splits and I get the fun job of telling him where we need to plant the other half.


And this past weekend we pulled off a big mermaid themed birthday bash in our swamp of a backyard. It rained and rained and rained the night before. But the sweet little girls stayed on the patio and the mulch (mostly). I've yet to look through those photos. But I will get them here just as soon as I can. I've got to run... a few annuls to water and then off to the girls school to volunteer. Happy spring!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Re-Post ~ July 26, 2104

(random iphone pics that don't have anything to do with my words)

I am a mother.  And sometimes motherhood can be sweet and calm, easy, just the way I pictured it to be.  I rocked my baby dolls when I was young and my strollers always were neat as a pin.  But today with my seven year old and eleven year old motherhood is


a mess so big I want to cry
fresh talk and instigating
it's Abigail waking up so early when I wanted to get a few things done
it's distraction and to dos that won't ever, can't ever get done
it's Abigail's tears because it's afternoon and she's tired
it's Anna not wanting to help me out


but motherhood is still


me listening to their silly voices as they play the most imaginative play
it's Abigail saying to me "let's cuddle"
it's Anna leaving notes outside of Abigail's bedroom door at night so she can wake up to one
it's Abigail saying, "please Anna, come to the pool and pirate day with me" and Anna drops everything and goes
it's Anna holding my hand was we go for a walk


Motherhood is my life.  It is what I am called to do.  It is time, sweet precious time with them.  It is routines and days that I won't let myself take for granted.  Motherhood is messy and it is grand.  It's the sweetness that I wanted when I was only eight but it is so much more.

I treasure my mothering so much.  I am inspired and challenged.  There is nothing more important to me in the world than just being, just being, just being a mother.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Re-post from September 2010

I know, I know, it's only 2 1/2 hours (twice a week),
but I hate it! 
I know there are EE meals to cook, Scott's shirts to iron, a house to clean, a tornado from breakfast in the kitchen, and so much more.  And I know I'll sink into this new preschool thing soon, but not today.  Not after she said the very thing we've always said to each other since she was a baby. 
It shouldn't have taken me by surprise, but it did. 
 Always after dropping off Anna safe and sound at school and I buckled her in her car seat we've always said together,
"let's spend the day together." 
 And when she said that this morning, oh boy....

I know, I know, she's only 3 years old and I have so much more with her, but I hate that the baby days are over and I have to share her with school. 

She was excited and I was nervous. 
 But she didn't 'run right in' like I thought. 
She was a bit more like Anna. 
Confident and strong, but apprehensive. 
 She didn't quite know what to do. 
But there were no tears; I'm grateful for that.

Even good change, I just don't like change. 
It takes a while for me to sink into things. 
I can remember a long walk my Dad and I took the night before my wedding.  Even though all of my dreams were about to come true the next day there was a piece of me that didn't want to let go of home, mom and dad, Cromwell Hills, and the feeling of being little.  I can remember another walk Father Bob took me on when I was going to say goodbye to him.  My dorm room was packed and I was ready to move out of college so that I could student teach.  Another day of change, and I had to have my hand held. 

Today it's not quite that dramatic but it is held by the One who knows all of the changes to happen to me.  The One who says believe me now.  Believe me here.  Remember all the times I've told you loud and clear.  I am with you and I am for you. 
Believe me now.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


I hope you're all enjoying a wonderful summer. Some of you are already back at school in other parts of the country and some of you are starting soon. Our first day is Wednesday, August 30.

Over the next week, I'm going to have some posts from the past. It will give me some extra time with my girls and I'll be able to look back at some of my favorite memories from the past 7 years this blog has been up and running.

I'll start tomorrow... hope you enjoy!

And happy August to all of you!
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