Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Snap Shot for January 31st

Oh how do I love these Sunday Snap Shot photo displays! This week I am truly excited to feature two of the most important women in my mom & my sister.

Without them, I would truly be nothing...

Even though I am the complete polar opposite of either one of them - they both are strong "figures" in my life.

My mom...she has truly made me what I am today. Without her support, encouragement, LOVE, commitment, devotion, and understanding...I would not be typing this today. She went above & beyond to give me & my sister all that we needed to survive & thrive in this world today. She also was the first one I spoke to after Keith & I decided to seek adoption. She was also the first one to stand behind us and support us when others were a little bit "worried". As I stated before, I am nothing like her....and boy what a shame that is for me...for she was IS truly the BEST mother anyone could ask for! She is smart and I mean really smart! Ask her a question about anything, and she knows the answer. We are always telling her she needs to go on a game show and wins lots of money, but that is just not my mom. She is quiet and gentle. She is one of those people I turn to when things get tough. She has been and still is my sounding board {on several occasions} and has been my cheerleader when I needed it most! She is my mom and I love her so....

now as for...

My sister, Lisa...she is the one person who can make me laugh so hard that my sides hurt! She is another extremely smart person (unlike me and so much like our mother) - ask her anything and most likely she knows the answer. I so can not see my life without my sister. Just saying those words ~ my sister ~ hold so much power & joy for me. Growing up we were not the closest of sister (seeing how we were 4 years apart) but once I start college just as she was finishing...things changed and when you saw one of us - you saw the other. When I lived in Pennsylvania, I was at my sister's house every Tuesday & Thursday (from that first cup of coffee in the morning to the after lunch naps for the kiddos)...I was there. We talk almost every single day. We just returned for an almost two week vacation together and in my opinion, those 2 weeks together were just not enough. Just walking, talking, and laughing together was all I ever needed from her. Did we fight - of course - and we still do but I wouldn't want it any other way. This is my sister and she is truly one of those people you can easily fall in love with within minutes of meeting her ~ just as I have.

And last but not least BOTH of these women are FABULOUS cooks! Both have inspired me to try new things and learn a generation of family recipes.

Snap Shot Sunday 1

Again, I could go on & on about my mom and my sister but I know I would never have enough room here to do so and I would just end up boring you all so I will end this entry for now, but you can be sure that I will be featuring these two AMAZING women once again for future Sunday Snap Shot post!

Ni Hao Y'all

Friday, January 29, 2010

two pics of mine...

Seeing how we have a ton of photos from our vacation at Disney World, I am trying to narrow down a few to share with you all over the next week. Today, I am going to share with you all two of my favorite of Annabelle and one of Francesca.

first up is our Annabelle...

Now who doesn't love a Chinese toddler sporting a traditional Chinese straw hat {I know I sure do} and what else can I say but she looks adorable in it!

Disney 2010 Photos 543

(oh how I can just eat her up!)

This photo was taken while were were visiting Epcot's China! Lets just say I did some major shopping while visiting there! (wonder why...)

and second is our Francesca...

At first view of this photo I was upset over the shakiness in it but after looking at it for a second time, I saw that this photo was just perfect ~ for it was taken while we were enjoying that famous spinning ride at the Magic Kingdom...Mad Tea Party Tea Cups! The Tea Cups has always been one of Francesca's favorite rides and it was her first requested ride on the day of her birthday. Just look at the expression on her face - it is priceless. Just seeing the excitement on her face {not to mention the thrill of the ride} makes me want to do it ~ all again...

Disney 2010 Photos 356

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Black & White Wednesday with Lisa!

One of my amazing friends Lisa from The Long Road To China has started Black & White Wednesdays a few weeks ago. Seeing how we ~ I ~ have been just crazy with getting everything ready for our Disney trip (which I am happy to report we are NOW finally home and 100% settled), I wasn't fully able to take part in this wonderful concept of showing off some of our treasured photos ~ in Black & White!

The photo I am going to share with you all today was taken while at Disney. It was actually taken on the morning of Francesca's 5th Birthday! While so many of our photos showed all of us some what posed, this one featured here was truly a snap shot that was take by Keith while Francesca was waiting for her birthday cake to be cut and served. To me, there is just something about her eyes that have me totally captivated. As soon as I was reviewing...all 1243 photos my husband took while at Disney...I knew that I wanted THIS photo to be the first of many to be display in Lisa's Black & White Wednesdays!

So without letting you all wait any longer, here it is!

B&W Wednesday 1

What is it about my Francesca that has me speechless most of the time. So much of it is her true beauty, but also so much of it is her funny and very dramatic personality!

{Oh how I love this little girl of mine!}

As for our Disney trip, we truly had a blast! Spending almost 2 weeks in Disney is a little bit crazy, but so well worth it. For many of you who have been asking, we did spend at a park, but for us it worked! We never felted rush and we were able to do it all! Coming back home has been hard. We had to say goodbye to my mom aka "Grandma" once again after having almost two whole weeks with her. While we were all so very sad about saying goodbye to her, we were not so sad to say goodbye to Disney...seeing how some of us are already making plans to return next year! In my opinion, January is the best time to visit Disney. The parks were not crowded and the weather was just prefect! Yes...I do see some more January Disney trips in our future and if the girls had their way...we would still be there today!

I will be posting some of the many photos Keith took over the two week time period we were there! Can you believe I only took about 20 photos of the whole trip! Yep, it was Keith who was behind the lens and if I might say so myself, he took some beautiful photos. So please keep checking back to see some of his photos that I will be posting over the next few days {and please leave feedback}!

Monday, January 25, 2010

{quick update}

Just wanted to let you all know that our Dossier for Benjamin has FINALLY arrived at the CCAA as of 10:32 AM this morning! Now all we need is a LID and the count down can begin ~ until we travel back to China for our son!!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

where o where can we be?


Well you all guessed it and if you are reading this post about 1PM Eastern Time today ~ we should already be at the Magic Kingdom enjoying our first day HERE! (our flight was scheduled to arrive at 10:30 this morning) I can't believe that we will be HERE for almost two weeks this time ~ it is not only a dream come true for us, but seeing how we are celebrating Francesca's 5th Birthday HERE as well, this is totally her dream come true as well...

I guess it is like they say, "a dream that you wish will come true..."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

one photo {of each girl}

(I swear she gets more beautiful with each day that passes...)

(Our little Make-Up Queen ~ Yes finally we have our girly girl!)

Since everyone has been asking me "Where are some new photos of the girls?" I thought I would share one of my favorite {of each girl} that was taken over the Christmas holiday! As many of you know, our Pennsylvania Christmas Celebration didn't happen until New Year's weekend. Even though that was the start of the illness that took me out for one week, we all were still able to have a wonderful weekend with Grandma, Aunt Lisa, Uncle Scott, Scott Joe, and best of all G.G. Keith took a ton of photos but seeing how I am very limit in my time this week to not only download all the photos but also edit/down-size each one through flickr and than copy & paste them here to the blog, I figured I would share with you all two of Francesca & one of Annabelle...that was taken over that weekend!

to my family - "We truly had an amazing weekend with you all and we are so looking forward to spending almost TWO WEEKS TOGETHER with everyone at Disney World! We love you all so very much! See you all on Friday...!"

Seeing how you guys are going to be seeing a lot of my family once we return from our vacation, I figured for now I would spare you all of the craziness that goes on within our larger-than-life Italian family and really lay it onto you once we return (trust me ~ you'll be seeing enough of them in the many of photos that will be taken while at Disney).

Monday, January 11, 2010



OK picture this...ME not being able to do anything for almost one whole week while trying to get our house ready for a vacation that is happening in a matter of four days and trying to start packing for four people ~ that is what happen to ME last week. I got hit with an acute sinus infection - double ear infection - fever - cough - basically you name it I had it! I couldn't do anything but move myself from the bed to the couch. If it wasn't for Keith, Francesca would not have attended school all of last week, the girls would have never eaten lunch (or supper for that matter) and I would have never made it to the doctor's on Thursday to find out what was going on {inside my body} and get some strong meds to treat it. The photo above (while it is not me but my beautiful daughter Francesca) shows exactly what position I was in most of the week.

Today is Monday and I am finally starting to feel better. I am not 100% but I am getting there. I hope to be catching up with you all so very soon.

Friday, January 8, 2010

once again ~ our time line....

Seeing how we are now 100% packed away from Christmas and {OK confession to make here...I actually started on December 28th and was finished by December 30th which is so not me ~ yes I must admit I am one of those crazy Christmas lovers that keep the decorations up & lite until January 2nd BUT seeing how...} we are in HIGH gear of excitement over our very anticipated Disney trip, I though I would give you all a "status report" (or time line) of where we are at in our paper chasing for Benjamin...

- We FINALLY received our approved 797C on December 28th! The original was copied and that copy was notarized the same day!

- We went to Harrisburg PA to have our last.two.documents. certified by the State of Pennsylvania on Monday January 4th!

- By January 5th, our last.two.documents. were "over-nighted" to our courier service, Legal Eaze in NYC, to have SAME DAY authentication service...

- They were than sent DIRECTLY to our agency in Colorado (thinking the last.two.documents. arrived at our agency on January 7th)!

- So now we are waiting...waiting on a review from our agency and praying for a DTC before we leave for Disney on the 15th....

(we "heard" that we were approved by USCIS on December 22nd...and because of the holiday ~ and major snow storms or at least we think ~ we didn't receive our USCIS approval until 6.days.later. Sometimes, life just isn't fair, but I am taking it as it comes. Maybe we'll see quick LOA, TA, and CA and travel in record time April or May or even June...only time will tell...)

Anyway, that is where we are at! On our end, it appears that our paper chasing for Benjamin has ended (do you hear the cheering from our amazing band of supporter ~ we love you all!) AND I will keep you all posted on these dates that will follow...DTC and LID!

Love you all and finally an end to our paper chasing days....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

{just too funny}


Isn't she just too precious for words!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday Snap Shot ~ Our Princesses!

Since we are headed out to Disney World in Florida in exactly 13 days (we leave on the 15th)...

and our girls are just super dooper EXCITED...

as we are too...

I found it only fitting to feature our two girls in a princess dress {of their choice} to be featured in this week's Sunday Snap Shot photo!


Oh how we can't wait!!!!

PS - after seeing Francesca in her Princess Aurora costume which she got last year as a Birthday gift from Aunt Molly...I am thinking she is going to be needing another one before we go! (this one is just way too small for her to be wearing) Do you know how hard it is to find any Disney Princess costume right after Christmas? I think I am going to have to wait to find one while at Disney {sigh}...

Ni Hao Y'all