Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Chinese Danish American Wedding

Bride and Groom
This past weekend, we had the pleasure to attend the wedding of our college friend Karl, to his lovely bride Chueng Wei. Guests from Denmark, China and the US came to Del Mar California to share in the moment on a beautiful cliff park overlooking the sea.

Amazingly, we hadn't been to a wedding in a very long time. The last one I can recall was our sister-in-law's wedding back when Chloe was just a baby and we didn't even have Pearl yet. I was seriously worried how the girls would do at this one, given they are used to being "entertained". And while there were some challenging moments ("Mommy, I can't see!" was uttered incessantly), we all left with a wonderful memory of the very special joining of two lives and two cultures.

Chloe and Pearl spent the majority of their time either chasing squirrels or catching ladybugs. The ladybugs were an easy conquest since they congregated in the wedding flowers attached to the rows of chairs. It was easy pickin's for the girls and there was joy and laughter all around.

The wedding was on a Sunday, so we decided to take Monday off work and take our time coming home. We stopped by Legoland for a few hours and BOY WAS IT HOT! We were almost eager to leave (after spending oodles of money on tickets). I think we only lasted about four rides and some free play time. When we got back to the car, we realized it was 95 degrees as we melted into our seats for the long air-conditioned ride home.
Del Mar Beach
Flower girl & Ring bearer
Flower Girl and Ring Bearer

Ladybug Hunting
Hunting for Ladybugs

Ladybug on Bud
Two in the hand
Pearl resting
Plaza fountain
Danish Wedding cake
Taking Vows

Friday, April 17, 2009


Chris & Chloe
Taken with my Cannon 50d, using a Lightroom preset.

I apologize for posting another repeat picture, but since I don't have anything else to blog about today, I am going to post this as an entry for
we picture {this}

"Daughters" is the current theme. Pictured in my photo is my youngest daughter Chloe exploring pine cones with Chris, our exchange daughter from China. Chris is now attending college in Washington and she came to stay with us for her Spring Break. It was so nice to see my daughters together again.

Tomorrow we are headed to San Diego for a wedding. Hopefully, I can get some more good pictures and I get to dress the girls up all pretty.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I ♥ Faces-Week 14-Easter/Spring

This weeks' theme from I ♥ Faces is Easter or Spring and they have a special category for amateurs, like me, so I thought I would enter. I posted this picture earlier last month and liked it so much, it even made the header, but it seems perfect for this challenge, so I am going to repeat it here. To see the other entries, go to I ♥ faces.
Blue Pearl flowers

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Coloring Eggs

In the picture with Pete, he is applying decorative shrink wraps to the girls' colored eggs. I didn't realize that the kitchen faucet was blocking the view. Chloe is holding up one of these eggs in the final picture, but I was playing around with selective blur, so it doesn't show up there either.

Casa de Fruta--A Hundred Year Old Fruit Stand

Whenever we get the opportunity to drive by Casa de Fruta, we do. This time it was on our way home. In the past, my husband has done some engineering for the owners of this historical fruit stand. It has now grown to be a destination. They have huge markets with fruits, veggies, nuts, sauces and local specialties. There is a sweet shop and a wine shop and a restaurant. For the kids, there is a train ride, a petting zoo and a new carousel. On the day we stopped by, there was even a craft fair.
I just loved the artwork on this double-decker carousel. I wonder why I never noticed it before. Even though it was the day before Easter, the turnout was light and we almost had the carousel to ourselves.

After the girls had a chance to ride the attractions, we took them over to the watermill to sift for treasures. The girls were thrilled to find that their bags of sand contained special stones.
Two and a half years ago, just after bringing Pearl home from China, we stopped by Casa de Fruta to get pumpkins for Halloween. It was another fun time and I shot this first picture below in a miniature railroad car that the children are allowed to play in. Yesterday, I saw that the car had been moved over by the carousel and I decided to take another picture of the girls in it, just like I did in 2006. I was amazed to see the comparison of the girls below. In my mind, they are somewhere in between. In the first picture, they look so little and young and in the second picture, they look so much older and almost grown up. Both pictures seem out of touch with my present reality.

A Mini Vacation

At almost the last minute, we decided to take a long Easter weekend and venture off to the Monterey Bay for a few days of fun. We were able to meet up with another family with a daughter from China and had a nice loooooooooong dinner (or more accurately, a long wait for the table). Dad had to bring some work with him on the trip, but he was able to get it done, so we had lots of time for playing around. We found this really neat playground at a local elementary school and the girls were able to expend some energy. There was even a little track and Chloe ran two laps around it. Maybe we've got a future cross-country athlete in our midst.
On Thursday, we took a trip north to visit with Cousins Bruce and Lorene. Lorene wasn't feeling well, so we only had time for a hug, but we were able to stay for a little while to visit with Cousin Bruce on his birthday. The girls totally love him and were playing all over him. Later he attempted to teach them Checkers. I am not sure the girls got it, but they sure enjoyed the effort.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Spring Break

Here is a teaser from our Spring Break trip to Carmel. I will write more in future posts.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Forever Family Day

Chloe in the Yard

Saturday April 4th was not only Pearl's birthday party, but it was also the fourth anniversary of Chloe joining our lives. It was she who made us a family and it was she that showed us how much more joy we were capable of feeling.

I don't really know how to express the words for how she changed our lives. When I first held her, it wasn't instantaneous love. It took me a few months for that love to grow, but now it is so strong that it scares me. I wish so much that I could have had these deep feelings from day one.

We traveled to Nanning China in the Guangxi province. The nannies brought Chloe in from the orphanage in Qinzhou. She had been in foster care for 4 months. There were 14 other babies in our group, 5 of which were from the same orphanage as Chloe. Chloe didn't cry much at first. She was scared and sick. She slept very well. It was a rough two weeks, but we never regretted a moment.

Tonight we watched videos from when she was a baby and when we met her. I cannot believe how small she was. That cute little baby is gone and now she's my sweet loving little girl. I haven't seen her like that in over three years. I am so glad Dad thought to tape those moments.

Today I got her some flowers and we took her picture. In two weeks, we are attending a wedding and I ordered the girls some very fancy dresses. Chloe tried hers on to see if it fit. The tags were still on it.

Chloe's Flowers
Chloe in Doorway

Just for Fun

I was watching the girls ride their bikes in the yard Sunday and I decided to take a few pictures. We have a whole planter of California Poppies (our state flower) that come out every year. I thought it was interesting that when I went to photograph one, it was very shiny. They only have four petals.
Shiny California Poppy
Up in the Tree
Japanese Maple

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Pearl's 6th Birthday Party

I think the pictures say it all.
Tinkerbelle cake
Pearl on Throne
Chloe & Damian
Caelin & Chloe
Chloe Sitting
Miranda with Lily & Morgan
Birthday Group
Jeff Olivia Morgan