Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What's Happening {Birthdays & Chinese New Year!}

February the month of birthdays for us!  So many friends and family have celebrations including myself and my daughter this month.  My daughter Gabby's 4th birthday was this past Friday so we did a small breakfast celebration with family on Saturday.

Friday I made her a princess cake that she had seen on YouTube. Yes, you read that right....she saw it and asked me to watch the video of how to make it so she could have it for her birthday! Kids these days...... 

So here she is (don't laugh - I tried!):

Okay, so not exactly like they show on the YouTube video, but my daughter LOVED her and that was perfect for me! 

Gabby was thoroughly impressed by my baking skills :)

 We decided to have cake before dinner to celebrate Gabby. Now let me explain this younger daughter, Lily, (crying on the right hand side of the pic) had just been told by daddy that she couldn't blow out the candles because it was Gabby's birthday. Her feelings were very hurt!

Now let me back track for a minute. First thing that morning we let Gabby open her gifts from us - this was about 6am because she insisted on getting up early on her birthday! 

The one she was most excited about was her Barbie pool. She is always grabbing bowls and filling them with water to let her Barbie dolls "swim". The bowls always get spilled so I was excited to get a properly weighted pool for those Barbie dolls :)

 Lily was just as excited as her sister about the birthday gift!

On Saturday morning her Uncle Jeremy, Aunt Amy, cousins Mason and Cooper, Grandma Jeannie and her birth mom, Michelle, and her son, Maison came to celebrate Gabby's 4th birthday. 
We had a fun and yummy brunch where I made an egg bake (get the recipe here - it was great!), bacon, sausage, scrambled egg patties for all the kiddos, biscuits and waffles with all the fun toppings. 

Then, as if that wasn't enough, we still had half of her birthday cake left from the night before so we stuck candles back in the princess skirt, sang and let her blow out candles again!

She is TOO much!! 

So after all the activity of the last 24hrs. I needed to just sit and relax (and reflect on how grateful I am for this crazy life and my incredible daughter who I can't believe just turned 4 and I love with all my heart!). This picture just makes me think I need to do this more often than I do. It is by far one of my favorite things do to relax for sure. Even though this last about all of 5 minutes....
(Apparently our poodle was worn out too ;)

So then later that same day we got to go celebrate Chinese New Year with Families with Children from China (Greater Cincinnati Chapter) with some of our friends.
 Last year we had the celebration at our house and it was really amazing. We had just brought Lily home a few months before and we thought staying closer to home would be better with some of the challenges she was having at that time.
Lily and her sweet friend from last year's party at our house. Both had just recently joined their families :)
Kiddos of the families who attended our Chinese New Year celebration 2015

This year enjoying the celebration with many of our friends that had come to our house the year before was great, but someone else did all the work this time :) Sometimes I realize I truly can NOT do it all!! 
And here is my clan (minus the oldest) ready to go celebrate!
Here we are at the event: Me, my daughter Lily, our Au Pair Morgan, Middle son Max ,youngest son Parker and our sweet Gabby up front :)

Waiting our turn in line to get into the celebration.

This is Liliana pointing to the flag we just put on the map that marks her home province of Jiangsu, China. All the flags on here had been placed by other adopted children of all ages that were celebrating Chinese New Year here together tonight with their families. It was absolutely beautiful. 

 Here are the traditional Lion Dance. It was so beautiful and the kids just loved it - of course that probably had something to do with the fact that the lions kept throwing them candy!

Here is the beginning of the Dragon Parade. This was so fun and all the kids loved joining in the parade with the Dragon around the gymnasium. 

And here is me trying to lead Gabby on because she had just stopped (essentially holding up the entire parade!) because she was taking her shoes off - notice one is missing?  Lily isn't far behind us in the bright pink Chinese dress :)

Lily was very happy with the dinner we got to enjoy!

 Look at these cuties! Ranging from about 18 months to 4 years old, these little ones have all come home within the last year and a half. It is amazing to see them all celebrating in America together and thinking back to the months and months me and all their mommas met at Starbucks to catch up on where we all were in the adoption process and pray for each other through the process. Sniff, sniff....

And here are all those amazing mommas (China Moms Group)!  What an amazing journey to share together. Now these kiddos (and a few others that weren't able to make it that night) have play dates together.  What an amazing life this is!

Our family has been so blessed by adoption (both domestic and international) and the celebrations we took part in this weekend alone are proof of that. If any of you reading this have questions about adoption, have adopted or just want to talk about it please don't hesitate to contact me. I am passionate about adoption. There is more than one way to build a family and adoption is one of the best! 

Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your week.


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