Monday, April 28, 2008

Fun in the Sun

This weekend it was HOT HOT HOT! Spring has barely begun and it already feels like summer. We were able to spend some fun time cooling off though. Saturday we went out to Malibu. We were invited by Patric's parents, Moni and Juergen. Robert and Patric have been friends since the 4th grade...a veeeeeeerrrrrry long time.;o) Anyway, his parents were very kind to invite us for lunch. We had a lovely visit and were given a tour of their beautiful new home. After 12 years of living in a single wide mobile home on their land there, they finally finished building it, I guess about 2 years ago or so. That is a long story, but I think it was worth the wait!

Lily kicking back in the hammock on the balcony.

Standing on the same balcony. I love how it looks like her head is surrounded
by a heart with the iron scroll work behind her. The view behind her isn't too shabby either!

Moni and Juergen gave Lily some fun new toys to play with at the beach.
Of course it's going right into the mouth. This is fairly new...she's usually not too
interested in putting things other than food in her mouth.
I guess another new phase has begun!

Lily looks so small in this big room!

Me and Lily with Moni and Juergen on the balcony.

These aren't great shots...the lighting was less than ideal, but it's better than nothing!

On Sunday after church, my mom came over for lunch and we decided to pull out Lily's little pool from last summer. The top layer had a hole somewhere so it wouldn't stay inflated, but the bottom part was fine. Lily still had fun. She loves water and she loves to be outside. She is continually standing at either the front or back door saying, "Ow-sigh? Ow-sigh?"
(Lily language for "outside").

Lily had lots of fun jumping up and down on Lao-Lao's lap.
I don't think Lao-Lao minded too much.:o)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Lily's Day of Firsts

Lily had a very big day yesterday. I finally signed her up for some classes which we have not done before. I had been thinking about it for a while, but put it off mainly because I just wanted to be able to spend time with her...just the two of us. We have had so much fun bonding over the last 9 months and I didn't want to have to be tied down to any obligations just yet. Now that I feel there is definitely a secure attachment, I figured it was about time for us to venture out. She has spent time with other kids...those of my friends and also in the nursery at church, but I thought this might be a great way for her to get to know kids in our own neighborhood that are also her age. She started gymnastics yesterday. We'll be going every Thursday for the next 7 weeks. When we first walked into the room, she was pretty apprehensive and held on to me pretty tightly. Once she saw the other kids playing, and I took off her shoes and socks, she wanted to get right in there with them. She did so well and had so much fun! She loved walking on the balance beam and running and jumping on the mats. I think her favorite was the parachute at the end. She loved running under and just laughed and spun in circles. I am glad we are doing this. Next week she also starts a music class. I hope she has just as much fun there!

Last night was also Lily's first Dodger game. We had purchased several Dodger outfits for just such occasions, so she was ready to go! We weren't sure how she would do. We got there early for the batting practice and she was pretty squirrelly. She just wanted to walk around everywhere and was constantly walking up and down the aisle steps. But once the game started, she was very content sitting on our laps, eating Dodger dogs, peanuts and soft serve ice cream, and cheering on her daddy's favorite team. She was so cute and would clap and cheer every time the crowd was. I just wish there was a section for non-drinkers as they do tend to kind of spoil it for the rest of us. I do not appreciate obnoxious behavior...especially drunken obnoxious behavior. Other than that, it was a blast. Thank you Luke and Carina for inviting us and sharing in Lily's first Dodger game!

We had great seats along the first base line...foul ball territory...and look what Lily caught! Well, ok, she didn't really catch it. It was hit into our section during batting practice, so I ran over to get it for her. I've never gotten a foul ball at a game before, and Lily gets one on her first go!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Look Who Came to Visit...

She showed up in our front yard this weekend...

Lily is also displaying some very cute ladybugs. (She does have several outfits with ladybugs...not sure how that happened....ahem.)

Our first child, who has unfortunately been rather neglected since Lily showed up. But she is just as cute as ever!

Many women who were mothers before I was told me "parenting is the hardest job you'll ever love". While I was able to comprehend what they were saying, I didn't fully understand it until now. I sure do love this job!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Anniversary Weekend

This weekend, Robert and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. Boy how time flies. I know I say that a lot, but it becomes more and more real every day. I see now how it seems to go by much more quickly when you have a baby in the house. Watching Lily learn and grow and change everyday just puts it all right in my face how short our time on earth is. Anyway, we spent a very hot spring day at Descanso Gardens. Lily had fun pointing to all of the different flowers and telling us what colors they were, I had fun watching her, and Robert had fun photographing all of it! Later, my mom came over to babysit so we could go on a date. We went to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse for dinner. This is probably my favorite restaurant of all time. If you have one near you and haven't been, I highly recommend saving all of your pennies (you will need MANY of them) and treating yourself. I would say we go every other year or so. It is pricey, but thankfully our anniversary falls shortly after we get our tax return from Uncle Sam.;o) Here are a few pictures from our best anniversary yet.

Tulips are my favorite flowers. We were a little disappointed there weren't more of them considering it is the season, but we enjoyed the ones that were there. The first two pictures I took and the third with the pink tulips is Robert's.

More beautiful flower shots from Robert.

Lily is at the stage now where she loves to help. Although it isn't always really "helping", I will appreciate the effort now because I know that desire won't last forever!
Robert doing what he loves best!

Robert got some great shots of Lily and I. Like most women, I usually hate pictures of myself, but I really like these!

My favorite part of the garden was the lilac garden. They were blooming like crazy and were so beautiful and fragrant.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Bring Me Hope

If you can take 7 minutes out of your day, I promise it will be worth it. Watch with a box of kleenex.

I frequently find myself overwhelmed at the thought of how many children in the world are without the basic need of a mother and father to love them. I look at the beautiful gift of our daughter and am filled with joy that God has blessed us with this precious little girl, and saddened at the thought of the ones left behind. Lord willing, we will be able to bring home another precious baby to love some day. How about you? Do you have room in your heart and your home to give the gift of love to a parentless child? The greatest gift anyone could give me would be the knowledge that our story somehow inspired you to open your heart and your home to a child who needs you. I pray God puts it on your heart to consider it. I could never describe the joy Lily has brought to our lives. Our experience has been an incredible journey. If you feel God calling you to adoption, I pray you will answer Him and reach out to that child who needs you.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Happy Spring!

Although living in Southern California, I can't really say we have "seasons". It's pretty much summer most of the time...maybe a little chilly and wet in the winter. Robert and I have very different opinions on what it means to be "cold". I have to be able to see my breath when I'm outside before I'll start hearing anything about how cold it is. Robert doesn't like it when it dips below 72! Being from Alaska, I never got used to the hot weather here and am not looking forward to the arrival of summer. However, one great thing about summer this year will be celebrating Lily's 2nd birthday! I'm already trying to decide what her birthday party theme will be this year.:o)

Speaking of Lily...;o) are a few pictures taken in March. I can't believe she is 19 months old already...almost 20. Ack! We experienced our first "parental manipulation" (for lack of a better term) a few days ago. I was in the kitchen and Robert was in the living room. Lily had been snacking on some crackers and came to me asking for more. I told her no...she had had enough already. She usually takes "no" pretty well...she just looked at me and walked away. Next thing I hear is her running over to daddy asking "more?". I could not believe it! I knew this would happen, but I had no idea it would be this soon! Robert yelled out to me, "Did you hear what she just did?!?". Part of me was in shock, part of me wanted to laugh, and part of me was very impressed with my brilliant daughter!;o) Needless to say, Robert and I took a united front and Lily was denied a second time. And so it begins...

Lily in our backyard. I wanted to get some pictures of her outside
for a special gift I am making Aunt Paula for her birthday.

We went out to dinner with several friends a couple of weeks ago. While we were waiting for our food, one of the waitresses brought me a plate with some whipped cream and blueberries and asked if Lily could have it. She was so sweet to do that and to ask if it was could I say no? Obviously, Lily enjoyed her special treat.

She is just the sweetest thing in the whole world (even when she is manipulative!).
This picture starts to capture just a little bit of that side of her.
This top is actually a dress I thought was way too short for her.
Even though she is a baby and people think it's so cute, we want to start early with lessons in modesty. I thought I'd try it with jeans, and it looks so adorable! I love this new trick. She has several short dresses that will now be tops!

My friend Jenny was right...the big toothy smiles are just as cute as the big gummy ones!