Thursday, May 29, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

We spent our Memorial Day Weekend in South Bend & St. Joe, Michigan. I had the chance to visit my grandpa with my sisters and mom and then see him again at the White's house. It was so great to see him again and I was amazed how great he looked for just turning 90! St. Joe was such a cute town and we all had a blast there. Magnolia loved seeing 9 of her cousins, she's really starting to remember them! Thank you Strickler Family & White Family for having us. It was so nice to see you! Thank you Mom & Dad for everything! Thanks again for getting shoes for Magnolia! (I forgot to pack a single pair of her shoes. We put her in the car very early in the morning still in her sleeper. On our first rest stop I started to get her when I heard..."shoes?")

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Notre Dame

We went to South Bend this past weekend to visit family. We lived here for about 4 years when I was little and it's where both of my parents grew up. Among the many stops we made through town, Notre Dame was one of them. It's Papa's Alma mater so he bought all of the girls pink Notre Dame caps. We walked around campus and Papa gave us a little tour and history. It was a beautiful day and we all had so much fun. We spent the rest of the weekend in St. Joseph, Michigan to visit my brother and his family. My sisters and parents made the trip too. Check back soon for more pics of that part of our trip.
Lilah, Magnolia, Ellie, Lily, & Willa
Magnolia & Papa
Ellie & Curtis Magnolia & George
The Golden Dome
(My sister's account of the visit is written much better. You can read it here.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

19 Months

19 months St. Joseph, Michigan May 26, 2008
Dearest Magnolia,
Yesterday you turned 19 months old. How can I stop you from growing so fast? The things you have learned this month are jumping with both feet and climbing. You are climbing everything: stairs, chairs, ladders, slides, tables, you name it! You have gotten really good at climbing at the playground just to be able to go down the slide. We've been playing outside a lot which you love. You say "side?" and run and get your shoes. When we come home from running errands I can't just bring you in the house so I let you stay and play in the garage while I watch you from the kitchen. It's always a struggle to get you back in the house. You've been so active I feel like I'm constantly feeding you just to keep you at your current weight. You still love salty foods and like your mommy, you LOVE doughnuts. You do not like bland foods, you want flavor and spice! You just learned to slurp your soup when I recently gave you some tortilla soup and that made me laugh! You now say mommy and daddy rather than mama and dada. You will say anything you hear and continue to be a little mimic. Your daddy and I counted at least 30 words in your vocabulary. You are also saying phrases like: All gone, I don't know, I know, & do you? Every time I cut an avocado in half you do the sign for alligator. Recently your daddy and I were listening to Splendid Table on NPR and the trivia question was: What's another name for an Alligator Pear? The answer: avocado! You knew that answer all along! Today we were looking at bugs and I showed you a caterpillar. You kept doing the sign for alligator and I couldn't figure out why until I realized caterpillar and alligator sound alike. I love to see the world through your eyes, it's much more interesting. You are so easy, we can take you just about anywhere. You adapt so easily to any situation which continues to astonish me. You are very curious and very busy. You do test me trying to figure out your boundaries but when I say "no," you listen. You sang your first song the other night. We were playing and suddenly you started singing and swaying. When you stopped I asked for you to sing another song and you did! It was the sweetest thing. You really love cats, especially Nani's cats. Every time they ran away you cried and wanted to find them. We also saw a mommy mallard and her newly hatched ducklings in our neighbor's yard. You really wanted to get near the mommy duck who was not happy we were peering into her nest. You have recognized the letter "o" for a while but now you know "m." You also recognize numbers and when you see them you count, usually out of order and always skipping 7 & 8. Books continue to be your favorite things. You love Go, Dog, Go! and you can say it too! You also really love We're Going on a Bear Hunt & Goodnight Moon. I love watching you grow and learn. You continue to amaze me all of the time. You are the light of our lives and we love you so very much. Happy 19 months. xoxo mommy & daddy


On May 14, 2008 Magnolia June Ling was readopted in the state of Wisconsin. She happened to be sleeping in her daddy's arms through the whole thing. The judge said he usually has the child come and hit the gavel three times to make it official and then give them a lollipop. Well, we certainly couldn't allow Magnolia to miss that so, we woke her up. She didn't skip a beat, hit the gavel and took her lollipop gratefully. It was all done in a matter of minutes and before we knew it the Bailiff was walking us down to another floor as we watched our case get sealed and filed away for good!

Why Readopt? "First and foremost, readoption prudently secures the recognition of a legal parent/child relationship under U.S. law, thus eliminating reliance on the ongoing validity of the adoption laws of the foreign country. Whether a state recognizes a foreign adoption decree or not, readoption is a practical means of documenting the parent/child relationship under U.S. law... it is important for every child adopted overseas to obtain an English language vital record that establishes the child's date of birth, place of birth and legal name."
By readopting we were able to obtain a U.S. Birth Certificate for Magnolia. Among the many reasons she will need a U.S. Birth Certificate, using it for school admissions and driver's license (eek!) are the most immediate.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Elizabeth & Rob

I finally had a chance to put together a slide show of the wedding. It was gorgeous and I'm afraid my photos don't do it justice. The ceremony and party just flew by and I wish I could rewind the clock. I met some of Magnolia's admirers (via the blog) and wish I had more of chance to talk to you. Thank you for introducing yourselves and continuing to follow along our blog, I'm flattered! I had no idea how hard it would be attend a wedding with a toddler until we got there and our seats were in the front row. We sat for all of 2 minutes before I knew it would be trouble. Magnolia was actually quiet, she was just very busy and refusing to sit still so I ended up watching the ceremony from a distance with one eye on Magnolia. The other thing I wish I knew was not to wear heels if you take your toddler to a wedding, especially if you haven't worn them in over a year! I think it all came down to the shoes, the heels really slowed me down! Magnolia had a blast...eating two egg rolls at the reception and cutting a rug in her pjs which I regretfully missed. I also realized it's impossible to say hello to people, keep an eye on a toddler, and take photographs all at the same time so, I didn't get the photographs I wanted. I should mention that George had a small part in the wedding so I was without his help...all of these things I never took into consideration! Our camera battery died after the fire truck photos so anything taken after that was taken on our other camera which does not compare. So, like I said, these photos do not do this wedding justice. It was even more beautiful and magical in person. George's mom did all of the flower arrangements and they were SO beautiful. White paper lanterns lit by candles hung from the trees. The tables were on a terrace under a big tent and the tables were lit with votives. The music was great and everyone was dancing. It was such a fun time! Congratulations Elizabeth & Rob! We are so happy we were there to share in your day! We wish you two the best! xoxo
note: this video is 7 minutes long, if you want to get straight to the wedding fast forward to about 3 and half minutes. enjoy!

Monday, May 19, 2008


While we were in St. Louis we met up with friends Ben, Bridget, Tim, Jen, & their baby, Libby.
It was so nice to catch up with everyone!
Libby is such a little cutie!
George, Ben, & Tim
Bridget & Magnolia

We're Back

We had such a good time in St. Louis, the wedding was beautiful! I'm sifting through photographs to post but in the meantime I thought I'd post these pictures. We had the chance to have lunch in one of my old neighborhoods we lived in when I was in high school. It was a beautiful afternoon and I really enjoyed seeing our old house and stomping grounds. Check back soon for more photos!
Westminster Place.
T.S. Elliot once lived in the red brick house.

The Central West End.

St. Louis Bread Company is now Companion Bakery where we had lunch.

Check back soon!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

We're Off

We're heading to St. Louis for a VERY BIG wedding! We're so excited and it will be Magnolia's first wedding. Of course I thought she should have a garment bag to hold her party dresses so I made this one for her. Before we go today, we have to go to court for Magnolia's re-adoption! I'll post more about that later! Today Magnolia received the most beautiful hand knit sweater from her Aunt Emily. It fits her perfectly! It is just gorgeous, thank you Aunt Emily!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mother's Day

I wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember. I always knew nothing in this world would be more important to me than being a mom. I never dreamed it would take me 8 years to become one. People used to say that I would soon forget all of the pain and heartache of trying and waiting as soon as that baby was placed in my arms. That didn't happen to me and frankly, I don't know how I could forget it. I actually remember it all of the time when I hear Magnolia call me "mama" and I think, wow, I'm a mama and I'm HER mama! I'm constantly reminded how long it took me to become a mom just by being one. My mom said it best when we came home from China and I was telling her how amazing all of this is and she said, "you always knew what you were missing." Boy was she right...all those years of wanting and waiting and now I have it. It feels like a dream come true! Magnolia is the most beautiful gift I could have ever imagined and it is such a privilege to be her mother.
Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there and especially to my own dear mother whom I love so much! Thank you mom for all of your love & support! Love you.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Strawberries, Mulch & Molars

We've been having so much fun playing outside this week, the weather has been perfect. This picture was taken when Nana & Papa were here because I haven't had the camera out all week. She loves her new swing which was a real score for a $1 at a garage sale. Much better than the faded plastic one we had. We've been busy getting ready for our first trip up north this season. I've been to Walmart 4 days in a row and I think today will be my 5th! I keep forgetting things we need and then I decided to paint our front door a "terra cotta" color but it came out ORANGE! So, today we'll be back again looking for the right color...sigh. Magnolia has been following me around as I clean up the flower beds and pulling weeds and she can now say "mulch." I also made chocolate covered strawberries which she loves and calls "straw-wa." What I thought were Magnolia's incisors coming in are actually her 1st molars. Her top two are through and she's cutting her bottom two now. Surprisingly, she has hardly complained!
Another beautiful day here, I think I'll get out the camera. :)

Monday, May 05, 2008

Dr. McKenzie, Nana, Papa, & Daddy

We started off the weekend with Magnolia's 18 month checkup. On the way to the appointment I kept telling her we were going to see Dr. McKenzie and that she should say hi to him when she saw him. Sure enough, when he walked in the door, she ran and jumped into his arms and said "hi!" I couldn't believe it, he was even shocked! She continued to climb in his lap playing with his stethoscope and attempting to get his cell phone. She weighs only 21 pounds and is 30.5 inches tall. She's in the 8th percentile for weight and 18th percentile for height but she's growing along a nice curve so there's no need for concern. George had his annual trip to Orlando this weekend so Nana & Papa came to stay and keep us company. They actually stopped by the doctor's office on their way into town and Magnolia remembered them right away. We had a fun weekend together, shopping and eating out. Magnolia's Aunt Elizabeth is getting married very soon so we had fun shopping for dresses for the wedding. She really loves her Nana & Papa, so much that she didn't even care if I was in the room or not. I even went to Walmart by myself and she didn't even notice that I was gone. I think we're ready for a babysitter! Here's Magnolia waiting for her daddy to come home.
Daddy's home and boy did she miss him!
Here she is hanging out with her Papa.
Thanks for coming Mom & Dad, we had so much fun and Magnolia really misses you! xoxo