Friday, February 26, 2010

She's Got......

She's got.......


something that propelled her to read before the age of 5........

something that drove her to master the deep end of the swimming pool, simply because she wanted to jump from the diving boards and ride the water slides like the big kids.......

something deep within herself that squelches any self- doubt and says, "yes, you can" tackle those Heelies/roller skates, even if only by sheer will.......even if it means stumbles & falls....

something that whispered urgently last year ~ it's time for a snowboard ~ and when none arrived it told her to improvise by standing up and riding down the hills on her sled ~ until the long awaited snowboard DID arrive this year!

something.......yep, call it moxie, courage, strength, passion, stubbornness(lol) or will.......

she's got it and I need to share it with you all before Winter takes it final bow! ( well, yes, wishful thinking as I'm sure we will be celebrating this "season of the white stuff" for a bit longer....LOL ) *sigh*

I think.......

this "something" is something she was born with(and needed) & interestingly its tempered well by her innate caution ~ she's not reckless, just determined! Her Daddy & I can encourage, support & foster each endeavor, but honestly its all hers! Just this past week she asked me what the average age of an Olympic Snowboarder is..........hmmmm......Winter Olympics 2022?? :)~ Would she board for the U.S. or maybe Kazakhstan? Who knows? :) I just know she's our very best girl and I would travel the world to cheer her on, no matter what the challenge big or small!

I love the look of sheer anticipation on her face as she sets her sights down the hill......
From further back......

Hanging on to the ride with joy and truth? Snowboarding IS NOT easy! LOL

And yes, there are plenty of falls too......sometimes they discourage her too........

But she gets back up with greater resolve.......

And keeps trying & trying.......

Summer the high dive she goes!

And the low board too.......

And yes, that strong will and determination can be exasperating as her Mama at times too. But when I look at that face I can only admit that courage without the caution and sweetness without the occasional sass, just wouldn't be our Lauren! Remind me of that please when the "tween" years arrive! :)

Happy Weekend everyone! (Busy tomorrow all day)....but Sunday afternoon?, look for us on the slopes! :) I'll be the one whose holding her breath while cheering her on! Oh yes, and I'll be pulling the baby up the hill on the sled so he can ride too! Cuz guess who else is already eyeballing a "no bosh"(snowboard)???? yep...... Ha! Ha! Ack!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Black & White Wednesday

It's time once again to play along with Lisa's Black & White Wednesday!

As this is my third week to participate and the previous weeks have been split equally between both kiddos, I thought it only appropriate to make this week's theme: My 2 Angels......

Tyler of course is too little to pay any attention to my blogging, but Lauren does peek from time to time and requested photos of both herself and Tyler together for this week's contribution. Of course I was more than tickled to oblige!

AND this might be a new record for me.......2 blog posts in just about 2 days!! LOL I hate to bump our New Year's celebration down the way(and thanks so much for all the sweet wishes and comments!) but am just enjoying this nostalgic peek back so much.

The photos below are not new, but the treatments are different & fresh. The middle shot I have not shared on the blog before and is the oldest of the 3.....taken last February shortly after bringing Tyler home.

I can't wait to see all the rest of gorgeous shots and would LOVE to see lots of bloggy buddies play along too!

I have always called this last one.........."Embrace"
Happy Wednesday everyone!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gong Xi Fa Cai!!

Xin Nian Kuai Le!!
Gung Hay Fat Choy!!
Happy New Year!!

and last but absolutely not least......

Happy Valentine's Day!

Yesterday we took the kids downtown to Chinatown in celebration of the Chinese New Year. Our first visit to Chinatown was last July to attend the Dragon Boat Races and we just fell in love with the area, the food, the folks and the yes, the shopping! :) Last year we were readying ourselves for travel to Taiwan during the CNY and our celebration was limited to purchasing a few books and reading them with Lauren. So it was with much pleasure that we celebrated the Lunar New Year this year as a family of 4!

We were relieved to awaken to a sunny and relatively mild day........yep, still wintry, but decent all things considered! We should have anticipated the extra crowds such a day would gosh it was crowded and the name of the day quickly became, "patience" AND celebration! We walked a whole lot further than expected from our remote & slightly creative parking spot *grin* and the kids were such troopers. Once we arrived though, it was complete celebration and FUN! We shopped a bit, looked around a lot and felt very welcome.

For those who may not know, the Chinese New Year begins with a new moon and finishes on the fifteenth day, which is a full moon. It generally falls between mid January and mid February each year and the fifteenth and final day, The Lantern Festival, marks the end of the festival. Last year, sweet baby Tyler was placed in our arms on the 9th of February or Lantern Festival and we witnessed much preparation & joy all around Taiwan. This new year marshalls in the Year of the Tiger!! Grrrrrrr.........

Below are some photos of our day and a bit of the celebration leading up to it. I'm a bit behind in wishing everyone a Happy New Year and I just can't wait to see how everyone else has celebrated the CNY and Valentine's Day!

LOL I have to laugh as I see this pic and the next one too. During a quiet moment on Saturday Tyler motioned towards the outfit we purchased for him in Taiwan(we have it hanging in his room). Often he asks to wear it, just as he did on his First Birthday, but usually I defer and distract. :) On this day though a wee light bulb when off and my yen to snag a photo or two of him experiencing this holiday in traditional dress spurred me on! Perfect, right? Ha! Ha! Not so much.....I said he could wear it if Mama could take his picture and he readily agreed. Mmmm hmmmm.......he was only all too eager to accommodate Mama UNTIL that camera appeared ~ then the Taiwan tornado appeared and I was lucky to snag the above picture of him playing with his zodiac animals and below, reading a few of our CNY books. But its hard to stay mad at him, cuz he's so darn cute and clever!

Our two tigers just before heading downtown! We found these matching shirts thanks to a tip from a fellow Taiwan Mama friend and of course especially Lauren LOVED LOVED matching with her baby brother! However, like so many other Mamas of toddlers ~ sitting happily for a picture? No, not so much! :)

Yep, a bit happier to be on the move and wearing the hat he insisted Lauren put on for him! LOL
In Chinatown, posing in front of the Tiger zodiac statue. They have a beautiful statue for each sign situated in the main plaza of the outdoor mall area. Mama ~ happy. Lauren ~ gleeful. Tyler ~ not too tickled to be trapped in the little stroller!

I know this is far away, but I wanted the sculpture of the horse to show. Lauren is a Horse and just loved this spot!

Mid day brought a festive parade down Wentworth. So many floats and groups to enjoy and above and below are a few of the parade entries.

We were so excited to see this Taipei 101 float and the other Taiwan participants! The children on board were all so cute and excited to shout out, "Happy New Year'!

Just after we finished our yummy meal, 2 dragons and a small band began touring the square area and ducking into each restaurant and store. Both Tyler and Lauren were transfixed by this procession and we followed it for quite some time!

And of course we celebrated Valentine's Day too. This year the children found lucky red envelopes tucked into their treats and presents. All in all a charming way to blend two holidays that represent family, tradition and love.
Wishing you all a blessed year ahead!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today the most beautiful baby boy imagineable was placed into our arms. He was 7 months old to the day and perfect in every way possible ~ perfect for us.

In thinking of this day, I am struck by the understanding that its so much more than one day or even one moment in time; its a collection of moments, both big & small that truly create a family. The shared laughter and joys......the moments of struggle and misunderstanding.......moments of pure bliss & of self- doubt. Trips to the park...ordinary errands & outings...... picnics......evening walks around the block and stories at bedtime.....heads bent over coloring books and hanging treasured ornaments on the Christmas tree. Discovering yourself & one another, while uncovering the sweet cadence of everyday family life.

One year ago we glimpsed our precious son and finally held him in our arms. A day of celebration and joy for us; a day of confusion and sadness for someone so small. In looking back on our photos & videos I am again struck by his magnificent resilience as he was swept away from the only home he knew by 2 strangers. For certainly, though our love for him had grown all along, sadly his awareness of us was limited to a 30 minute visit in his foster home.

He grieved ~ I know he did, though it mostly manifested itself late at night. Missing his familiar faces, sounds, scents & surroundings must have been terrifying. Our hearts broke in unison for his loss & pain while at the same time wept with wonder at his stunning spirit and willingness to embrace this change. So quickly he opened his heart completely and totally to us. A gift beyond measure and a measure of his strength.

This past year has challenged us in ways I didn't think possible; this past year has also blessed us more than I can adequately express or anticipated.

I awoke last night to his sweet baby stirrings and gathered him close to rock and soothe. I realized then that only one short year ago it was another set of arms that would have cradled and held him close. Another pair of loving arms in the night.

Today and for the past year, it has been my (our) blessed arms to soothe and hold this gentle babe. My hands have bathed, diapered, dressed, hugged, caressed, protected and encircled. My lullabies that softly reassured in the night and greeted in the light of morning. My smile turned to his, our laughter ringing out in a shared moment of glee. My voice that cried out in warning or shared in teaching. My heart that shattered with joy at the arrival of this second miracle child. This amazing baby boy!

Not a day goes by that I don't thank god for the privilege and gift of being Tyler Pei-En's Mama(and of course our beautiful Lauren's too.). One year ago today I whispered in his ear.....murmurings of love, devotion and reassurance. I pledged to him that each day would be better than the next and I pray I have been able to keep that promise.

Words have honestly failed me this past week as I've thought back on our travels last year and all the days since(and that just doesn't happen often!) hope is that the pictures(slide show) below & my musing from previous posts might better express the journey of this past year.

I thank you all for coming along with me and for the love and support shown our family throughout.

P.S. I've added some music for just a brief time so please have a quick listen while you watch! :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Black & White Wednesday

I've got a magical little man on my mind of late as we prepare to celebrate one year since his arrival into our lives. ( Yes, I have something special planned for next week!) He enchants in every possible way.....................

So this week my contribution is simply: Tyler

The first photo was taken professionally and used for our announcements; for all the obvious reasons I cherish it.

The second is mine, taken during a playful moment last summer. It reminds me of pudgy baby fingers & toes that delight at Mama's tickle!

Want to see more or play along? Head over to Lisa's blog:
I love visiting all the Black & White Wednesday blogs and have been mesmerized with all the beautiful captures!