Friday, March 21, 2014

Progress. Spring. Thumbs up to both!

You're wondering, aren't you? Have we found P-Man yet...Nope.

But there is progress with one of the replacements. And two of the other 'brothers' must be sleeping on her nightstand when she sleeps.

Earlier this week, new panda was this close while she slept...

Last night, they were intertwined.
 And new panda is getting dirty. Great sign.

Yesterday marked the first day of spring, so it snowed for an hour this morning. (Of course it did) Everyone in this house is antsy for open windows - even Mavis.

Enjoy your weekend, Ella-land! ~H

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Yoga moves and other stuff.

For the last several months, Katie and I take a yoga class with the girls. We meet once a week with Miss Erin. Occasionally, there are other mamas and kids there. Dex, Erin's toddler joins us too. We have been enjoying it and watching the girls become more confident is great. Just last week, we tried this move. You can tell Roz has some gymnastics under her belt. For as lanky and flexible as Ella is...well, you can see.

Our little leprechaun came home from school in this awesome hat.

Even Mavis got in on the fun.

Then Ella stole the phone to take this of me, telling me how to pose and smile all the while. Smarty pants.

I tried to steal away in the bathroom for a few minutes to myself only to be greeted by this...

On Work-From-Home-Tuesday, I treated my excellent co-worker to a treat. Oh the excitement!!!!!!!!!! She was happy to curl up on the couch with her Daddy last night to watch it and sing along, of course.

And we hosted a little playgroup for the neighborhood kids late yesterday afternoon which was big, big fun.

Thomas was such a social butterfly and Sophie loved him.

Piper and Ella.
Spring is less than 24 hours away. Woohoo!!! ~H

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Welcome to our world, Micah!

My parents tried it. They didn't like it. Not having a dog was too much. They took a few pointers from Ella, and adopted.
Micah is a sweet little man from a rescue group. He is a spry little 9 year old. And he is little, the smallest Sheltie we've ever had.

Ella is not a dog lover, even after growing up with Blake and Bentley. But she is incredibly taken with him.

So am I...

We are so happy to have him in our lives and think he is a great fit. Personally, I'm glad to have a dog back at their house and hope Ella and he continue their love fest.

Speaking of love fests, Ella was beyond excited to see her Daddy on TV on Tuesday morning as we worked from home. He was on a local news channel talking about this weekend's arts commission fundraiser. BIG Stuff!

We are 7 days away from Spring. In typical form, we got a huge storm. Level III Snow Emergency. Stuck in house all day...It was a great reprieve.

I let her go 'swimming' in the middle of the day.

The sun finally broke out late in the afternoon and we headed out to assess the damage. This was quite possibly the heaviest snowfall of the year.

As sweet as she looks in her winter gear and rosy cheeks, I. Am. Done. With. Winter.

Just this morning, Ella helped me pick out to new specs at the eye doctor's. Seeing her with these glasses on was like looking into the future at our 15 year old girl.

Happy Thursday! ~H

Monday, March 10, 2014

I never wanted to write this post.

Panda, you are gone. You are missing in action. You are AWOL.

It has been eight days.

It has been one hundred and ninety-two hours.

But who's counting?

I'm not exaggerating the least bit when I tell you that I can barely look at these images that Nikki captured this fall without getting incredibly emotional.


Panda has been with us in every single photo shoot since Ella's arrival into our lives. He's been included in every Christmas card photo.

He has brought her comfort and joy that is beyond all explanation.

And somewhere around 11:00 on Sunday morning, March 2, she put him (or I put him) somewhere in OUR HOUSE, and we have yet to locate that place.
We went through dirty laundry, piece by piece, twice.
I did this in the black of night...

No luck. You can come up with the idea and we have checked it. Losing Panda is not new to us. I mean, who could forget this?

But neither Ella nor Panda left the house on Sunday, which has narrowed our search (thankfully). And our house is NOT that big. Ella's memory of where she last left him is usually razor sharp. Not this time. And it has been all that more frustrating for her.

And sad. Did I mention sad? The heart-wrenching screams and sobs from her were just miserable the first full day and night. She needed him. She spent two nights in bed with one of us - the first night with Larry who would not leave her side, and then the next with me. We could get her to rest peacefully this way. It worked.

We introduced Panda's back-up brothers. She scoffed.

And then she asked to take one of them to school with her.

She put on her big-girl pants, puffy eyes and all, and went off to school. The following school day, she put three of the back-up brothers in her backpack. One is clearly the favored one at this point but the other two seem to give comfort as well.

The incessant, "Mom, I want Baby!!" has stopped. And believe me, she was saying it every 3-4 minutes the first several days. I've never felt so sick over her sadness before. I ought to be awesome when someone breaks her heart...

Just this morning over breakfast she said, "When it is my birthday in May and I get to blow out candles, my wish will be to have my Panda back safe and sound." I told her that was the best wish ever.

She has been unbelievably brave. I'm still 100 kinds of sad. I miss Panda's dirty little self. In the meantime, I keep turning everything upside down while she isn't watching knowing full well that the guy is going to turn up when we least expect it. And when he does, I will commit to my lifelong memory the look on her face when she's face to face with him again.



Thursday, March 6, 2014

We are here!!

The last few weeks have been busy.

What an understatement. Involved. Occupied. Engaged. Hectic. Active. Lively.

Yes, all of that - which is why I've been a little quiet here.

We celebrated our Fourth Family Day. We have been to the Art Museum. We spent an entire weekend celebrating our church's 100th birthday. We spent days thereafter trying to catch up on rest after that celebration. We celebrated our buddy Emmett's fourth birthday. We went to a wedding. We had breakfast with RJ and Isabella while Daddy's band provided background music to a packed cafĂ©. We Skyped with Grant who is teaching in Korea. Ella had an over-nighter with Grandma and Papa so that these grown ups could enjoy some of the best Vietnamese food ever all by ourselves.

Our life is big (not to be confused with perfect) and this blog is a constant reminder for me.

Our stained glass windows are incredible.

Taking a moment for a photo at our anniversary dinner. Packed house.

"The Kids' Table" when all that grown up stuff got boring.

Me with Carol and Jason - two of my anniversary planning buddies.

The celebration worship service was just perfect the following morning. The absolute cherry on top was Roz, Katie and Patrick joining us. Oh was Ella excited. We surprised her.

Little ladies in their Sunday Best.

Ella and Katie finding me in the balcony sneaking pictures.

We welcome everyone through our doors - even the dirty, furry ones!

Roz and Patrick taking notes on the sermon.

Larry has the prettiest fan club!

I spent the last week or so going through oodles of photographs I took during the celebration. I am happy to say that I'm done (which is why I've got time to update the blog now!). I'm so glad Katie grabbed my camera to capture this image of the girls and me. I was elated - that everything went well, that the attendance was wonderful, that I had these two in my arms at the end to help me celebrate and smile.

Because our girl was the best little Lutheran ever, she got ice cream on that Sunday evening after we slept the day away.

Circles under her eyes as proof.

Then there was all of this too!!

Larry with his new uke.

Oh Thomas....

Ava and her family returned from a trip to Florida, left the suitcases and laundry to meet the crew at our museum. Our artist friend held a little talk and demonstration for the kids - what big fun.

Roz and Ella with Dani

Ella was most excited to show her buds the Varujan Boghosian exhibit. For the first time in her life, she could actually TOUCH the art in an exhibit!! Ava, Roz and Ella each made their own exhibits using pieces that were important to them.

We topped off this past weekend with a much-needed breakfast catch-up gab-fest with RJ, Isabella and Marisa.

Had the bonus of my great-nephew, nephew and his fiancé Jody joining us for breakfast and a trip to the downtown library all before heading to Emmett's birthday party!

Matthew and Ella

The wonders of technology (see, even Thomas is amazed): Grant got to talk with Ella and me on Sunday morning. It was bedtime for him in Korea and we loved seeing him live.

Happy Thursday! ~H