Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Looking Back ...

It has been a year since I was in my van with my sweet dog, Joy, driving to Kentucky.

Just the 2 of us.  

Chilling with the 80's music, Shania Twain and Jeremy Camp.

So many things are not as I thought they would be at this point 

but I have to say ... 

THANK YOU, LORD that none of life is a surprise to Him & I am thankful each day for His Grace.

Every day is a gift.

I Remember how incredibly sick Hannah was in July 2009 
with bi-lateral pneumonia & a temperature of 107.

I am thankful for each & every day I have with my precious oldest daughter ...

 She is healthy enough to play soccer ..

to love on her little sister & watch out for her when I cannot .... 

to ride the school bus each day ... 

and to enjoy normal life with a 3rd grade teacher
 & friends ....

Hannah has her life & I don't take a moment of it for granted.

Life is good.
I remember how L.O.N.G. I waited to see Lily's face.

3 1/2 years of waiting for China to process the paperwork.

The Lord used that wait to teach me to trust in Him with all my heart ...

a lesson I will never be done learning.

I wondered for 3 1/2 years what Lily looked like ...

And then I finally saw her face on August 11, 2008 ...
Her beautiful, happy, joyful face that brought sunshine all the way from China.

How happy my heart is to be mom to this girl that loves life.

She is a love bug & a gem

She is a delight ... in the morning
 and at night

She is so strong willed at times   ... 

But she is mine.
All mine.

Life really is good.  

Things may not be what I imagined

but God's faithfulness has not changed

& it is His love that sustains me each day.

All God's best from HOME in KY,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lily Day

Today was just an easy day with miss Lily.

Hannah has a week left of school so today was one of the last times that I will be alone with Lily until August.   

We started with breakfast in my bed.  Bagels & cream cheese .... only Lil decided to just smear the cream cheese all over her lips / face.

So, of course, I grabbed my camera to document the craziness.

I love it!

We went to Meijer so she could ride Sandy FIVE TIMES before we even shopped at the store.

Five times.  Before the shopping part.   You'd have thought I gave her the world.  At one cent per ride, the world is affordable. 

And for the Fashion Police (T) .. Lily put on this outfit today.  I didn't have the heart to make her change her clothes.  She swore it matched.   Apparently I have some more training about matching patterns not just colors ... there is blue in the shirt & pants  :-)!

Her good friend from pre-school came over for dinner.  Very fun for these girls to be together outside of school.  They picked at their dinners.  Drank their milk.  Jumped on the trampoline.  And got soaked in the creek.  It was a good time for all.

 After they ran back up to the house to get warm they put on matching dresses & bows and 
promised to wear these outfits tomorrow so they can be "twins" at school. 


Warm weather is here & we are enjoying the good life in Kentucky! 


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Manual Mode with My Camera

I am taking a photography class -- learning the Manual Mode of my camera.  

It is overwhelming after being in the AUTO zone of my camera for years but it has also been fun to just learn something new! 

Despite not knowing what I am doing, I have jumped in the deep end & been clicking away at my girls.
Here are a few pictures from this week ... all in Manual Mode: 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Where Have The Days Gone?

Time just seems to fly by ... can't believe that June is coming fast!!

We are counting the days to summer 2011!!  Hannah has 2 weeks left of school ... thanks to snow days. 

Last weekend was Blair's college graduation in Indianapolis. 

For those of you that don't know, Blair is my Cousin Extraordinaire.

She has saved the day on many occassions (flying with the girls last year so they didn't have to drive to Kentucky & being with me on the East Coast for part of Summer 2009 when Hannah was sick) and is a dear friend to all. 

What a blessing Blair's life is & I am so proud of her!  

Here are some pictures from my weekend with the girls in Indianapolis: 


Blair & her best friend, Laura!

 It was sort of like a mini-family reunion at Blair's graduation party 
because both of my sisters were there & our kids (except one!).
It was a Cousins Unite Party.

 Cousins: Sarah (17... Happy Birthday, pretty girl!!!), Hannah, Lily & Julia
 Cousins: Justin & David
 My sisters & I at the "Blairtini" party  
 Hannah & Cousin Justin
  My 14 year old nephew, David ....
He's a wrestler, an A Student & one Super Sweet Guy!
I was holding his Mom's hand when he came into this world ... where have the years gone??
 My cousins: Blair, Christine & Lindsey.  
Great to see you guys!! 
Have another "Blairtini" for me.
Cheers!!  :-)

Life is good & I am thankful to the Lord each day for the health of my girls!  

No complaints from Kentucky.

All God's Best from HOME,

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was PERFECT.

I couldn't have asked for anything more! 

There are some beautiful parks along the Ohio River so we went for a bike ride along the river.  

While we were riding on the trail I kept ringing the bell on my bike (yes, I have a bell on my bike.  I'm 6.) to warn all the "people" up ahead that we were coming through.   Hannah & I were cracking up because there was NO ONE up ahead.  The path was empty.  

Just one more reason that I truly love living in Kentucky: no crowds at all.  
Life is so much calmer & without a lot of the stress of Southern California.  

Lily loves that she still fits in the baby seat on my bike.  
She sat right behind me on my ride holding her "baby", of course, while Hannah & I rode our bikes.  

This was my 10th year celebrating Mother's Day (well, as a Mom, that is) & it just gets better!

Lily indulged me with a mini photo shoot in our backyard and I was able to get some good shots of her.  Amazing because I was totally out of my comfort zone selecting the aperture & the ISO ... the camera automatically selected the shutter speed.  

This first picture is my absolute favorite from our shoot. 
This one is going in a frame this week!  
Look at her face!

Hannah was sitting by the creek writing songs while I took Lily's pictures.  
After we were done, Hannah indulged me by getting in a few shots 
& I was even able to set up the tripod to get the one of the three of us.  

I love pictures and I couldn't ask for a better Mother's Day gift 
than these reminders of such a great weekend with my girls.  

And wow, the power of a few doses of anti-biotics -- Hannah was totally back to herself by Sunday.  
So glad she is feeling better!!

I have so much to be thankful for!