Daycare Halloween Parade

October 31, 2011

Princess with the Long Eyelashes BLOG
The girls marched in their very first Halloween Parade at daycare last Friday. They did not go to school that day, but we took them in just for the Halloween festivities. Sarah wanted to wear a little make up so she could be like a "real princess". so I gave her a little glitter and gloss.

Lining Up Inside the School BLOG
To say that the event was a little overwhelming for Reagan would be an understatement They lined up all the kids by classroom. Here she was standing with all of her other classmates getting ready to head out. Just about 10 seconds after I took this photo, she burst into tears. There were people everywhere.... tons of kids all dressed up, teachers, parents, and grandparents. It was a lot for these little one to take in. More than half of them were in tears. While I stayed with Reagan trying to calm her down, Pat was towards the back of the line with Sarah and her classroom.

Daddy Fixing My Ears BLOG
Once we made our way outdoors, Sarah was feeling secure with her friends and Pat came up to help me with Reagan. Minnie had a hard time keeping her ears on, so Daddy tried to put them back in place.

First Halloween Parade Walking With Daddy BLOG
The only way she would walk was if one of us held her hand......since I wanted to get some photos of the event, Daddy took her by the hand and helped her make her way around the parade route.

Sarah and Bo Peep Collage
Although the beautiful "Ariel" said she wanted to be with her friends and classmates, the look on her face said differently.

Daddy and Coachie Collage
We eventually pulled back from the crowd....

Family Collage
and let both of the girls walk together with us and my parents! The girls were excited to see that Mimi and Coachie came out for the parade......and they even brought them a special Halloween treat. Of course that got a big smile out of both Minnie and Ariel.

It has been a rather strange weekend to say the least.
We were walking outdoors in sweaters and sweatshirts on Friday afternoon and woke up to snow on Saturday. A LOT OF SNOW! Our area got hit pretty hard and there are many people still without power. Schools are closed today and we are hoping that trick or treat will still happen tonight. We might need to bundle up in extra layers and trade in those light up princess shoes for snow boots, but we are long as it is safe and we can see where we are going. We are crossing our fingers and toes that all the power is restored because we have two very excited little girls on our hands.

Hope you all are safe and warm today.
Have a Happy Halloween!

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Favorite Photo Friday - "It's Like A Flip of the Switch"

October 28, 2011

Arm against wall red door fairgrounds BLOG
Busy, busy, busy week here and I am just now beginning to get my head above water.
I went on a little getaway last weekend. Friday morning I got on a plane and flew to Texas to surprise my friend Marla. She had no idea I was coming and was completely shocked when I walked into her house at 3:15pm. We totally pulled a fast one on her. It was their 20th Wedding Anniversary, my bday, and a year since Marla and I were in China together, so we thought it would be fun to surprise her with a visit. Plus I finally got to meet all the J's. They are so super cute and I loved all the time I got to spend with them. They even made me cards before I left to come back home. One of these days, both complete families will get to meet. I know Pat would have had a wonderful time in Texas and my littles would have had a blast with the 4 J's as well.
The weekend was lots of fun, but it went by so quickly and neither of us took any photos. We were too busy trying to cram about a weeks worth of things into just three days. The Westbrook Family rolled out the red carpet for me. Marla and Derek did an awesome job of showing me all the things they love about life in Texas...... They certainly made me want to come back again. I really enjoyed the food(big surprise)..... and all those cowboy boots!!!! WOWZA, Marla took me to a few stores that sell boots and all kinds of fun apparel. Stay tuned..... you may see a little "Texas" made it's way back to PA.

I flew back home on Monday night and due to a delayed flight, didn't arrive until very early Tuesday Morning.
On very little sleep, I got up to spend some time with the family before I had to go to work, then I came home and had to teach class. I have had classes every night this week, so I have been burning the candle at both ends....again.

Luckily, I had a few photos that were in my backlog, or I would not have had anything to post....... because my camera is still in hiding.

This photo was taken 3 weeks ago today. It was Reagan's 4th week of speech therapy. Can I just say that I am totally amazed at the progress she has made. It's almost as if someone flipped a switch. She is copying and imitating everything we say. It may not come out clearly, but she is trying and she is talking.

My guess is that she had it in her for some time, she just needed a different approach to get her to start verbalizing. The method that Miss Kelly uses is definitely working.

Here are a few clips taken that day.
You will want to scroll down to my music player at the bottom of the blog and hit pause so that you can hear.

She has really come a long way and is progressing more and more each day,
Just in case anyone was wondering, we are doing much better with the daycare situation too. I have to imagine that the combo of daycare and speech therapy is attributing to her speech immersion. Being around so many other children has to make her want to talk more......and sing too! They learn lots of new songs at school. Both the girls are very happy and loving their new environment. It is great to come home from work and hear about all the fun things they are doing each day. Sarah talks so proudly about all that she is learning.

Today the daycare is having a Halloween Parade!!
Hopefully that camera will finally come out of hiding to capture our very own Minnie Mouse and Princess Ariel.
Happy Halloween Weekend Everyone~

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Favorite Photo Friday - "From Camera To Canvas"

October 21, 2011

I know I seem like the type of person that is super organized and on top of everything, but truth be told........ there are certain things or areas in my life, that I just completely drop the ball and cannot keep up or get a system in place. One of the things that tops this list is printing and hanging the photos I take in our home.
This is so sad considering that amount of photos that live on my computer(everything is backed up) but, I am making an attempt to change that this year.

I originally wanted to do the entire wall going down our back staircase in framed black and whites, but I am rethinking that thanks to Easy Canvas Prints.
Hanging Vertically BLOG

The moment I finished editing these photos from our recent trip to the apple orchard, I knew they were SCREAMING to be printed on canvas.

I bit the bullet and ordered one to check out the quality and was blown away with what I received....... so the same day my first canvas arrived, I ordered a second.

The details BLOG
The color, clarity, and texture were out of this world.
Not to mention, they are super easy to hang and I don't need to find or buy frames:)

I am completely in love with these photos of the girls and hung them in the hallway that overlooks the front staircase, so they are very visible upon entering our home.

Now I need to get crackin on that back staircase!! The next purchase will be one of Nick. I am thinking the shot of him in front of the fire station door would look FAB in canvas.

If you are looking to add a little WOW to your wall and turn your PHOTOS TO CANVAS, click HERE and check out Easy Canvas Prints, but before you do that, you will want to go to their Facebook Page and "Like" them to receive 50% off your next order and free shipping.

My camera has not seen much action lately, so my "favorites" were not necessarily taken this week, but they happened to be placed on my wall this week.
That counts, doesn't it?

Happy Weekend Everyone!

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Love Does Wonders - "Celebrating One Year With Reagan"

October 18, 2011

Reags with the purse
It is hard for me to believe that exactly one year ago today, I walked into the Civil Affairs Office in Changsha, China to meet my daughter for the very first time. A day I had anticipated for just about five years, was finally happening and the amount of emotion that was involved was almost too much to handle.
(This was the very first moment we saw her. We were told she had not arrived yet, but she was sitting there quietly clutching her nanny's purse, and sucking those two fingers)

Tickled Pink BLOG IT
Even though it was one of the happiest days of my life, I also felt a huge wave of sadness come over me as I watched my daughter begin to grieve and experience loss for the second time in her short 11 months of life.
It is hard to think about all that these little ones have to go through and I remember feeling so helpless. There was nothing I could do or say to take away her pain. It was apparent that It was going to take time and a lot of love to get her to begin to trust and bond with me.....and her new life outside the orphanage.

Most of you know the story and have heard me talk about it many times..... the first few days were not easy but by day three Reagan was showing little signs that everything was going to be "A-Okay".

She slowly began to let me in....... and no longer cried when I looked at her or held her close to me.

She had given me an inch....... but it sure felt like a mile!

From that point forward, I knew there was no turning back......we were on the right track.

Me Marla and Susan with Reagan
I will forever be grateful to Marla, one of my bff's who left her family for two weeks, to travel to the other side of the world with me. She was my rock and talked me through every step of this journey. When I had fear, she was there to tell me everything would be just fine. We got to share many special and memorable moments together..... some very funny and some very sad. She will always be part of our "family" and known as Aunt Marla. We just wish she didn't live so far away....... We are missing her like crazy today and wish so much she could be here with us to celebrate!

Meeting Daddy
Poor Pat..... for two entire weeks, he was glued to his computer waiting for updates. Thank goodness for Skype, or he would have never made it through. He was so anxious to meet his new daughter....... he was hanging onto every blog post and every sweet comment left by our family and friends. He was just counting the days until we stepped off that he could hold Reagan for the first time. In a matter of seconds he was completely smitten by his brown eyed girl.

Getting to know Sarah
After a week or so at home, Reagan began to experience what life was like with a sister.
We had concerns about Sarah and whether or not she was going to be able to handle giving up her role as the baby of the family, but she surprised us and took her new role as big sis very seriously. She did not leave Reagan's side for the first few months...... they were inseparable and the bonds of sisterhood started to emerge.

Getting to know Nick
Nick had the magic touch with his littlest sister. From the very first moment they met, you could see that they were going to have a very special relationship. She was so calm with him..... and very at ease. He adored her......and still does. She can do no wrong in her big brother's eyes.

In November, we celebrated Reagan's first birthday and let her have a little fun with her own personal cake!

Next came baby's first real Christmas.........

January Collage
then Chinese New Year.

February brought that winning smile...... and we watched our girl take her first steps.

March Collage
In March we had a little eye injury and had to make a few trips to the ER, but she rebounded quickly and took it all in stride.

I can't look BLOG
April brought a little warmer weather and Reagan's first trip to the park.
Better Together BLOG

The burgundy doors gigglefest COLLAGE
During the month of May, Reagan got her first big girl haircut at the salon.

Many Faces of Reagan BLOG
June was the start of her first fun filled summer!

July Collage
We headed North to Cape Cod over the 4th of July and Reagan fell in love with the sun, sand, and water.

August Collage
In August we celebrated one year since we saw her face.

September brought lots of fall related activities. Apple and Pumpkin picking...... and long walks in the park.

October Collage

Over the last year, Reagan has come so far.

This little girl has learned to love and to be loved.

She has shown us who she is and no longer holds back
She knows she can trust and depend on us.

She has melted our hearts many times over and we would travel to the end of the earth and back again for her.
Happy One Year Sweet Baby Girl!

We love you more than words can express.

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I Heart Faces - "Tickled Pink"

October 17, 2011



If you have been a long time reader or follower, you probably know that pink is one of my favorite colors and I tend to buy the girls a lot of clothes that are PINK in color! Since this week's theme at I Heart Faces is "Tickled Pink"..... I knew I would have plenty of pics to choose from.

This photo of Reagan at the apple orchard has to be one of my favorites from the last few weeks.

I love how she is carrying the heavy basket of apples and sucking those two fingers at the same time!

To see more "Pink" photos, hop on over to I Heart Faces.

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Favorite Photo Friday - "Ruffle Rompers and Lovely Light"

October 14, 2011

Waiting on the tracks Reagan BLOG
I have been on a good roll of posting every few days or at least two to three times a week, but this week, I had to take a bit of a break. Reagan got sick for the first time since we are home from China and we all experienced a lot of sleepless nights. It was nothing too serious just a viral infection that needed to run its course.

Last night was the first night any of us slept..... and boy did we need it!
I am one that can usually get by on very little sleep, but I was hurting this week for sure.
Reags is now healthy and back to her happy go lucky little self.....and so am I now that I am back on a normal sleep schedule.

Chubby little legs BLOG
Last Sunday, before the crud officially hit Reagan, we decided to head out in search of a location to do our Christmas Card pictures this year. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. We have had some really low temps, but last weekend we hit 80 Degrees so we were out and about all afternoon.

What's that in the tree BLOG
I remembered I spot I once took Sarah a few years ago, so we stopped by to check it out.

Sarah knees together on the railroad tracks BLOG
I was totally in love with the light......

Silly Sarah walking the tracks BLOG
....and Sarah was giddy because someone put a "balance beam" in the middle of the park:)

Sarah Close Up Shot on the tracks BLOG
I let her flit around for a bit while I scoped out the rest of the area.

Sisters on the tracks BLOG
Even though I love the light, it is not exactly what I had in mind.

me and sissy in ruffles and flowers BLOG
But no worries, the girls had fun exploring and got to rock their ruffle rompers.
(love how Reags has those two fingers in her mouth and her other arm wrapped around Sarah's leg)

Reagan Rockin the Ruffles BLOG
I have to admit, I am a sucker for baby chub, but pair the baby chub with the ruffles and the cuteness is off the charts!!!

Hopefully you all have had a great week and have a wonderful weekend to look forward to.
I will be playing catch up around here as I feel I have accomplished nothing the last five days.


If you are looking for these adorable ruffle rompers, boutique wear, or hair bling, head over to Sophia Jane Boutique by clicking HERE.
You will love all the fun things she has in stock!

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