Monday, November 29, 2010

in this case, no news is not good news.

here we are at the start of week seven in what was estimated to be a 4-6 week wait.

do i know what's going on?


have we heard anything from the korean ministry?


should we have heard some news by now?


is it sending me over the edge?

absolutely, positively, one hundred percent YES.


i heard from our specialist at our US agency today and they informed me that as of monday in korea, our paperwork was *still* in the ministry. our korean agency will be speaking with the program director at our US agency again tomorrow evening. hopefully, by wednesday, we'll have some concrete answers.

until then, i'm just barely holding it together. i've been snippy and emotional and impatient and scatter-brained. i know i've said again and again that this wait has been hard, but this part? this last leg?

it's the pits.

i'll be back when i have news to share. hopefully my next post will be on the extreme other end of the emotional spectrum.

holding on to some truth...

do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
~phillipians 4:6

28 do you not know?
have you not heard?
the Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

~isaiah 40:28-31

Friday, November 26, 2010

this is how we do {thanksgiving}.

i love thanksgiving.

on one hand, i wish we expressed our gratitude readily all year round, but on the other, it *is* quite nice to set aside a day to truly count our blessings.

we usually spend ours with the hubs' family, but this year, we didn't plan our trip because we thought we might either be in korea or that we'd already be home and adjusting with a new toddler. we all know how that turned out...and, as hard as it was *still* not knowing anything about our status, we had a wonderful time celebrating thanksgiving with our family and friends.

here are some of my favorite thanksgiving things:

the cooking:
at our family celebrations, the men are largely in charge of cooking. it's nice. :) i'm trying to have my dad train the hubs. part of the training -- the hubs working on picking some fresh thyme. little leaf by little leaf.

dad shows peter how to care for the bird:

the family time:
the boys being...well, boys. ;)

spending time with our grandpa, who suffers from alzheimer's and was able to join us this year

the spread:


the blessing:

the carving:

the silliness:
(i always wonder what my grandpa is thinking when we get all weird, which happens quite a bit.)

the dessert:
macarons and pumpkin cheesecake from the financier patisserie in new york and the pioneer woman's blackberry cobbler. yum!

and, the trying to teach your uncle sam (uh-huh, i have an uncle sam) about flattering camera angles and not leaving too much head room:

and failing:

and just because it's funny that keeps happening, here is a special holiday edition of US*weekly's "who wore it best?":
don't really answer that question, okay?

from our family to yours, we hope your thanksgiving was lovely and that your holiday season will be merry and bright...

"give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever."
~1 chronicles 16:34

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

something only a nerd would be excited about.

{psst...thanks so much for all your insight and wisdom and thoughts on my last post...i truly hope i didn't offend anyone with my comment how easy it would be for us to (theoretically) forget. what i meant was that we wouldn't have to deal with a lot of the nastiness from strangers, but that we didn't ever want to forget or want choi boy to forget how our family was built. i think it'll be something we'll have to continue reassess as we navigate through our life together as a family, finding our balance in how to celebrate our story and how to respect our son's privacy. you know what i mean? i hope that makes sense. feel free to comment or email with other things you feel i need to know or consider. and thanks again for your thoughts -- i so appreciate them!}

and now, moving on to totally trivial matters...

last month, my favorite children's author came to town! that's right folks, MO WILLEMS was pretty much in my backyard.

unfortunately, i wasn't able to get to the book signing because i was busy prepping for this
lovely event. however, with some creative tag-teaming with one of my co-workers, i was able to secure an early number for the signing (they were giving out numbers deli-style) and pass my books off to my co-worker so she could get them signed for me along with the books for her kiddos.

i have quite a few of mr. willems' books, but the event only wanted new books to be signed, so i picked up these three beauties while getting my number:
my friend is sad is one of the first elephant and piggie books and one of my absolute favorites. it's hilarious. i never had my own copy, but instead hoarded the school library's copy from september to june. guilty as charged.

knuffle bunny free (the last book in the knuffle bunny trilogy) and we are in a book are mo's newest books and they are fantastic, as are all of his other works. seriously, i cannot talk enough about how awesome he is! he used to be the head writer on sesame street before becoming an author -- hello, dream job! another very cool tidbit about mo is that he deliberately draws his lead characters very simply so they can be copied by the children that enjoy his books. how neat! he has some really great websites (check out both!) that have games and other activities for kiddos and he also has a great blog (be sure to check out his chalkboard wall dining room doodles -- SO cool)!

and, i love him even more for taking the time to sign his books for my boy, complete with doodles of piggie and knuffle bunny:

oh, and an important note -- "knuffle" is pronounced "KUH-nuffle." it's made clearer in knuffle bunny too, and i didn't realize it until i read it. don't make the mistake i did, start saying kuh-nuffle starting with the first book. :) and, if you happen to see the animated version of knuffle bunny on DVD, GET IT. the voices are done by mo and his family, and his daughter, trixie (the inspiration for the book), does an amazing job. you and your littles will LOVE it. cross my heart.

and remember, those book plates i briefly mentioned? here they are:

yup, proudly displaying my love affair with elephants and hippos again. :) wait, that sounds kinda weird. you know what i mean, right?

by the way, mo willems has absolutely no idea who i am (although how cool would *that* be if he did!), i just love his work so much that i feel the need to share it with anyone that's willing to listen. and, i just so happen to have a ready audience whenever i so choose to whip out one of mo's books. and my students ADORE them! so much so that last week, i was invited to a former student's house to watch him and his older sister put on some elephant and piggie plays!

A was in my kindergarten class last year and really took a liking to these books and it really helped him learn about reading with fluency and expression. over the summer, he and his sister decided to read the books as reader's theatre plays and invited me over for a special performance. his two brothers also joined in for some special guest roles. ;)

check out the program they made for me:

it was beyond amazing -- so cute and so well done! i was so honored to be invited to this very special performance just for me. :) (and, p.s. totally not weird to invite a teacher over to your house for things like this, at least in my neck of the my nine years of teaching, i've been invited over to several families' houses, birthday parties, soccer games, etc and it's always been fun!)

yay! books make me so giddy! :)

i know there's a lot going on in korea right now, and really, it could send me over the edge, but i'm going to put my trust in the Lord and choose to be thankful for all the little things...even children's books...

have a happy happy thanksgiving everyone! i hope you have a wonderful and blessed day!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

a balancing act.

last week, i wrote about having to balance our life between two cultures. (thank you for your honest thoughts on that, b.t.dubs.)

my friend, joanna, brought up another important idea that we'll have to juggle. with most international adoptions, it is obvious to outsiders that the child is adopted. this can sometimes result in yucky conversations (like the one my friend, christine, had to deal with) with ignorant and rude people. {big hugs to all my friends that have had to deal with this downright ugliness.} but here's the thing...with us, it's not going to be apparent that choi boy was brought into our family through the miracle of adoption.

for us, we're not going to be reminded of the fact that choi boy is not biologically related to us when we look in the mirror. when other strangers see us, they are going to assume that i was pregnant with choi boy because they'd have no reason to think otherwise.

i feel like this is a blessing and, for lack of a better word, a curse. it's a blessing because we won't have to deal with those ugly conversations and ignorant strangers asking us how much our baby cost, etc. but on the other hand, it's a curse because it will be easy for us to forget.

in fact, in korea, some adoptive families thrive on this being able to forget. i read somewhere that there are a variety of prosthetic baby bumps that prospective adoptive mothers can buy so they can fake a pregnancy and then pass off their adopted child as their biological one. so sad. so very sad.

but *we* don't want to forget. we are so blessed to have adoption be huge part of our family story. and we are so grateful for the international adoption process that connected us to our son and allowed us to build our family.

so here's where the balancing act comes do we acknowledge our adoption and help choi boy know and understand how grateful we are to this process while not going overboard and constantly drawing attention to it?

what do we say when someone says, "wow, he looks just like you!" or "i can see that he gets his dashingly handsome looks from his dad!" (hardy har har) do we say, "thank you" and move on, or do we take the time to correct and explain their error?

what would you say? how would you handle this?

Monday, November 22, 2010

one very special bébé...

how many posts can i start with a thank you before it begins to sound ungenuine? i hope it's a very large number because i need to thank you, yet again, for your sweet encouragement and care and understanding. i so needed to read and receive all of your kind words. they lifted my spirits, truly. merci beaucoup, mes amis. and yes, i'm totally writing in french whenever possible now to be facetious. ;)

remember this lovely shower for this lovely lady?

this weekend, tina went into labor (a week and a half early!) and baby grant has now officially made his grand entrance!

we are so thrilled for tom and tina and so blessed to see them finally become parents. it has been a long and hard road for tom and tina and for us and we are grateful for God's faithfulness in bringing our families to this point.

without further ado, i'd like for you all to meet choi boy's BFF (do boys have BFFs? these two will.):
look how tiny he is!!

proud papa:

and already amazing momma:
(tina, don't kill me for posting this.)

tina and tom's first baby, scout, stayed with us while her family was at the hospital. i brought home one of baby grant's blankets so scout could get accustomed to her new brother's smell.

what do you think she thought of it?
methinks she's trying to be nonchalant and contain her excitment.

or perhaps she thinks grant smells delicious and tasty?

i am SO kidding. she really was very curious and interested in the blanket, i just couldn't whip out the camera in time. ;)

can't wait til choi boy and grant finally meet!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

tired of...


of being anxious.

tired of staring at my phone, willing it to ring.

tired of being totally scatter-brained, not being able to concentrate on anything.

of being asked questions to which i don't know the answers.

of missing my son.

tired of looking at the calendar and guessing.

tired of wanting it to be my turn.

of crying tears for a little one i have not yet met.


i'm not going to lie. last week was really hard. many tears were shed. many frustrations were voiced. i told the hubs i've reached my breaking point in this wait. i truly thought we would have heard something by now and that we would have had a more definite idea of when choi boy would be home.

i am trying so hard to trust and wait on God's timing, but the nine-month mark of waiting is coming up next week, making the grand total 16 months of waiting from the start of our process, and it's getting harder and harder.

today is monday in seoul. it is also the start of the sixth week since our EP submission, and we were told it would probably be 4-6 weeks from submission to approval. i am hoping and praying that our paperwork will be out of the ministry today or tomorrow. i am hoping and praying that we will hear something very very very soon.

until then, we'll just have to continue to wait, as hard as it is.

even piper looks like she's waiting for her brother...

choi boy, we miss you, baby...hope to have you in our arms so, so soon.

Friday, November 19, 2010


at our pre-adoption class, the social workers spent a great deal of time talking about parenting after adopting transracially or transculturally. we were kindly reminded that though we are of korean decent and are adopting from korea, we are still adopting transculturally.

and it's true.

my dad has been in the states for 41 years and my mom for 37. they met while they were students in college in philadelphia; obtained US citizenship; got married; had babies and raised me and my sister in a hodge podge of american and korean culture.

we spoke mostly english at home with my dad (who is often told he "sounds white" on the phone -- isn't that weird?) and in konglish with my mom. we had our turkey thanksgivings (my dad is an A-MAZING cook -- he and my uncle are in charge of all holiday dinners. i'm drooling right now thinking about them...); ate a mix of korean food and american food at home; went trick-or-treating on halloween; decorated our christmas tree the first week of december; and the only time my sister and i wore our hanboks (when we had ones that fit us from hand-me-downs or from relatives visiting from korea) was on new year's day to sae-beh. this was the one part of korean culture we LOVED because new year's day = pay day! (after bowing to elders, children are given words of blessing and wisdom, which is then followed by an envelope full of cash. nice.) we didn't celebrate any other korean holidays, and in fact, i didn't even know of any korean holidays until i went to korean school (aka, saturday torture) in elementary school. during the olympics and other international sporting competitions, the hubs and i root for USA, even if it comes down to a head to head between USA and s. korea. (my mom still roots for korea, so things can get a bit ugly during short track speed skating events!)

i've been to korea once in 1990 when i was nine. and my memories consist largely of lotte world and shopping. you know, the stuff that matters when you're nine.

sadly, i know little about korean history outside of the major points of the japanese occupation and the korean war. and i know the very basics about king sejong, who invented the korean alphabet (around korean school, rumor had it that he did this while staring at the shoji screen in front of him as he was, um...pooping. why are kids so crass?).

i recently asked my mom why we never celebrated korean holidays, like chusok, and she responded that to better assimilate, when her family moved to america, they just started celebrating american holidays. that and the fact that many korean holidays involve some sort of ancestral honoring (stemming from confucianism), which is not something that jived with our christian beliefs.

on one hand, i totally got what my mom was saying. i've always been really proud to be an american. and the fact that my family was "so american" and that my parents were not as "embarrassingly korean" as were some of my friends' parents was so rad and something to brag about.

but on the other hand, i'm a little sad that i don't know more about the country and the cultural background from which our family came.

i've been thinking a lot about this as we prepare to bring home choi boy, who was born in korea and up until we bring him home, raised solely in korean culture. we want to preserve that culture and honor it, helping *him* be proud of the country of his birth.

but that means a bit of stretching on our end, too. something that we're more than happy to do, but something that will also force us to face the culture that we've often left behind.

don't get me wrong, we are proud to be korean american. it's just that growing up as a minority in america often forces you to "prove" your american-ness in order to get by. does that make sense?

growing up, i wanted people to see past my black hair and korean eyes and not make assumptions about my english language skills or my background. one question i *hated* getting asked (and still do) is: "where are you from?" and when i would answer, "new jersey," the questioner would probe further because that answer was not good enough -- "no, where are you REALLY from? what is your nationality?" my answer? "i was born in america, my nationality is american." and at this point, i'd be totally facetious because i'd *know* what they were asking, but it was so annoying to always be presumed foreign. even more annoying? when people would say, "wow, your english is SO good! i can't hear an accent at all!" um, that's because ENGLISH is my first language, jerk.

i disliked having to "represent" koreans and asian americans (because i was often the "token" asian in different situations). so much so, that i just chose not to address it and would not bring it up unless forced to. in my mind, i was (and am) american and it was being american that largely shaped who i was (and am) in my thinking and in my understanding. sure, some of my thinking and understanding came from my korean heritage, but that thinking and understanding was used mainly in situations where i was in a group of other korean-americans.

when choi boy comes home, this will change...because we are so very thankful to korea for blessing us with our son. and we are proud that korea is the country of his birth and so grateful that we are privileged with the opportunity to raise choi boy, starting with a trip to korea to pick him up.

does this mean things will drastically change in our family? i don't know...we certainly want to honor more korean culture, but we don't what to lose who we are and where we've come from either.

it'll be an interesting balancing act as we continue to vacillate between american culture and korean culture. and interesting because i feel like the hubs and i have found our place within the two and are content with our in-between-y-ness...but bringing home choi boy will set things in motion and we'll have to juggle to find the right place for *our family* in between these two cultures.

i hope this all made some sort of sense...these thoughts have been running through my mind for many months and i tried to get them down somewhat coherently. seeing as how our lives are about to be turned upside down, this very well may be the first of many semi-coherent posts. :)

(one important side note: i've really loved sharing the bits of korean culture i *do* know with my fellow adoptive mommas. in a lot of ways, it's helped me gain a new sense of appreciation for my korean heritage and has helped me reconnect with forgotten parts of my korean culture. and i'm looking forward to more of this!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

point taken.

remember when i was all, "i like to pretend to be fancy and frenchy"?

look what i found staring me down at urban outf*tters last week:

duly noted, my friends. duly noted.

je suis désolé. ;)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

only because you were so nice last time...

thanks for all your encouragement and congratulations about my first sale!

i just posted up some new designs over at my shop, and since you were so very nice last time, i thought i'd post them here, too.

kris was one of the winners of my giveaway and now that the sign is safely in her hands, i'll share what she chose:
kris wanted something similar to grant's name plaque, but since she won the canvas sign, we tweaked it a little and put it on canvas.

the next two were made for my dear friend, kathleen. four years ago, i made one for her first born and since then, she's had another little boy and is now expecting a little girl! her daughter's room is yellow with some pink, so here's what i came up with:
the paint came out a little gloopier than i would have liked and i wish i had written the name a bit higher up, but overall, i like the gingham. actually, i've always liked gingham. i blame it on dorothy.

her second son just turned three, so i figured it was about time i made one for him! i hope he didn't mind that it was so belated!
the dinosaur's a bit wonky looking (i've always been a bit stinky at drawing animal legs), but i'm digging his smattering of spots. hopefully david thinks it's dino-mite! sorry, couldn't resist. ;)

thanks for indulging me again! :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

konglish funnies. {edited}

see, i knew you would deliver! thank you so very much for your incredibly thoughtful, insightful, and encouraging words in response to my panicky post. i am so grateful for your wisdom and your experience and even more so for the care you have for our little family. many of you encouraged me to reach out again once choi boy is home and we have specific issues that we are dealing with. oh, man, i am so taking you up on that! ;) but really, thank you so much for your support -- i am certain i'd be lost without it!

and now moving on to *much* lighter matters...

growing up as a 2nd generation korean american, i shifted between speaking english and korean, which then morphed into konglish -- mostly english with a few korean words peppered in here and there. any true second gen-er can speak fluent konglish. we even have our own humor.

last week, my buddy, christine, posted about her family's trip to an adopted friends picnic, where they had odeng (korean fishcake for the first time).

this reminded of a totally lame konglish joke:

Q: what did the boy say when he dropped his fishcake?
A: o. deng.
(see this is funny because "odeng" is korean for "fishcake," but it also sounds like, you know...)

i realize that any joke where you have to explain the punchline is really silly, but christine and her hubs got a kick out of the silliness, so i thought i'd share some more, explanations and all. you in?

Q: why didn't the ice cube cross the road?
A: cha-ga-wah-suh.
(this is funny because "cha-ga-wah-suh" means "because a car came," but it
sounds really similar to "cha-ga-WUH-suh," which means "because it was cold." see! funny!)

Q: what do you call a hairy robot?
A: tul-minator.
("tul" is korean for "fur" and together, it sounds like (drumroll, please) -- terminator! heehee!)

Q: how big was the tissue?
A: it was hue-jee!
("hue-jee" is korean for "tissue," but it sounds similar to "huge." haha!)

Q: what does dracula drink for breakfast?
A: ko-pee.
(this one's kinda gross. so, "ko-pee" is korean for "nose bleed," but it also sounds like the koreanized version of "coffee." gross, but funny, no?)

and in honor of thanksgiving, my favorite:

Q: what did the mother turkey tell the baby turkey?
A: gga-bul-jee-mah!
(see, this one is funny because "gga-bul-jee-mah" means "stop fooling around," but the "gga-bul" sounds a lot like "gobble," making it sound like the mother turkey is saying "stop gobbling" in konglish!)

was that punny or what? wokka wokka!

okay, go ahead, you can start throwing tomatoes at me now.

i just got back from my sister's birthday dinner and her friends and i were talking about this post (hi, julie! ;)). they reminded of two *really* good konglish jokes i had to share...seriously.

Q: what did justin timberlake say when he dropped his rice on the floor?
A: dirty bahp.
(do y'all remember that *nsync song, "dirty pop"? "bahp" is korean for rice. get it? bahdumbump!)

and this one, i love:

so, will smith was at a korean restaurant and he was just eating banchan (banchan is the free little appetizers dishes you get before the real food comes). his friend looks at him and says, "will, is that all you're eating?" to which will replies, "naw, i'm gettin' jjigae wit it."

HAHAHA! you see, "jjigae" is korean for "stew" and well, unless you were living under a rock in the late 90s, you should be able to get the rest. ;)

love it! any others i missed?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

give it to me straight.

okay, mommas, i need your input.

i'm reading parenting your internationally adopted child by the adoption guru (you know, ms. patty cogen). i know, it's about time, right? i am admittedly a procrastinator and am now frantically trying to read through the book before choi boy comes home!

the book has some really great insight and i'm learning a lot.

but, the thing is, as great as the book is, parts of it also scare the pants off me! i've been told to take the book with a grain of salt, but still...the parts that scare me the most are the parts about attachment and adjustment (so, pretty much the whole book!).

i know that it's going to be hard. and i know that there is going to be a considerable amount (a LOT) of grieving and adjusting on choi boy's part, as well as a lot of adjusting on our part. i know that things are likely going to be ROUGH for a quite a bit. i also know that there will be moments of great joy that will balance out these more difficult ones, but that does not make the hard moments less scary. (at least right now.)

now, the best part of blogging has been finding an amazing community of people who have traveled this road ahead of us and know what we might be facing in the coming weeks and months. i am sincerely grateful for your wisdom and your experience and for coaching us along as we travel in your footsteps.

so dear friends, i am going to call upon your wisdom and experience and ask you help me out. is patty right? is the attachment period going to be super duper hard??? for years? and no sugar-coating...give it to me straight.

and, if this is too personal a subject for you to comment on, no worries, i totally get that, too!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

pick a card, any card.

i love christmas cards. love them. for the last few years, i've loved receiving photo cards and seeing how everyone's family has changed through the year. and i've also wistfully longed to send photo cards of our own -- we actually did the first 2 years of our marriage and then stopped because we felt weird sending out a photocard of just the two of us when everyone else's cards featured their adorable kiddos.

well, i am thrilled that it's our turn now! yay! i've been eyeing some goodies over at shutterfly for a while now, thinking about the adorable picture of choi boy that will grace our cards this year. :)

i can't decide whether to choose one of their christmas cards, like this one:

or to go with one of their christmas birth annoucement cards (reworded for our adoption, obvs) like this one:

aren't they gorgeous? simple and lovely.

and, if i want to share some choi boy yumminess all year round, i could also make a shutterfly calendar! wouldn't that be a great gift for grandparents?

i can't wait to have my very own choi boy photo shoot! and, don't worry, there will be no barrettes or girly clothes in the pictures i take of him. :)

in full disclosure, i'm blogging about this because shutterfly is giving away 50 free cards to bloggers for posting about their card line. (though i totally would have gotten cards from them anyway!) and in full disclosure, you can get the hook-up, too! check it out!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

pete the cat.

i had this video forwarded to me at the start of the school year by one of my colleagues. and i thought i'd share it because i LOVE it. and i NEED to get this book. it would be the *perfect* addition to choi boy's library.

it's a bit long (4 and a half minutes), but i promise you'll love it! and if you have littles, pull 'em up next to you to watch, too. oh, and a warning, you might have this song stuck in your head for a few days...;) enjoy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

okay, now it just seems like i'm showing off.

guess what? i made my first sale last week! one of my co-workers saw my etsy shop link and asked me to create something for her friend's new baby.

she asked me to incorporate the color green to match the walls of the baby's room and pink and red ladybugs to match the theme.

here's what i came up with:


you wanna know a secret? i like it. a lot. and if you know me, you know that i hate bugs. abhor them. ALL bugs. even "pretty" ladybugs. but, i like how these ladybugs turned out.

i hate self-promotion and tooting my own horn, but i wanted to share my first sale. :) thanks for cheering me on!

oh, and if you're at all interested in ordering your own sign or plaque for the holidays (i'm posting new designs this week, too!), you might want to do so soon because my hands might be *a little* tied after the next few weeks.

you know, just sayin'. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

sae chingoo deul. {new friends}

now that the awkwardness is behind us (and thanks for coming out and showing your lovely faces. i so appreciate it!), let's talk about something fun, yeah?

this past saturday, our church had a food festival where lots of korean yumminess was promised. i invited some local blog buddies to come out and it was so fun eating, chatting, and hanging out with these other mommas.

of course, i whipped out the camera to capture some of the fun!

kala drove over 2 hours to come hang out and i'm so glad she did! matthew is even cuter in person. for reals. this was the fourth time i've met up with sandra and the third time i saw ben. and this time, he let me hold him! :) it was a very proud moment for me. :)
ben and matthew were too busy checking each other out to pay attention to the camera. and good thing, cause i don't know if my lens would have been able to handle the cuteness had they both been looking at me!

some more sizing up:
i wish i had gotten a shot of matthew shoveling japchae in his mouth -- it was too cute!

we ate lots of delicious food, including one of my favorites and yours, hodduk! hannah, jen's little girl, could not get enough!

after stuffing ourselves, we headed out to the playground so the littles could play. they were so cute exploring and walking around:

ben was very interested in the twigs and the mulch:

matthew LOVED the swing. his little legs were kickin' up a storm and he was laughing the cutest laugh.

ben was squealing, but i'm not sure if they were squeals of delight or terror. sandra?

matthew enjoyed watching the cars. kala wasn't kidding when she said that this boy loves his vroom-vrooms!

and ben? checkin' out more the mulch. :)

so fun seeing ben and matthew play! can't wait til choi boy is home and he can join in on their mulch-exploring/squealing-and-swinging/car-watching fun!

and finally, the obligatory group shot:
from left to right -- kala, jen (who was matched this past july and is patiently waiting for her little guy to come home!), sandra, me, and becky (who was matched with her son in september is waiting for his homecoming, too.).

this is why i love the blogging community -- the friendships i have made with these ladies (and many others of my amazing bloggy friends!) have kept me sane through this wait...and i am so excited for the day when all our littles will be home and *they* will be friends.

makes my heart smile. :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

i hate to bring this up...

happy sunday! thanks for all your sweet birthday wishes. :) you want to know what my official welcome into 30 was? two very bright grey hairs staring me in the face just minutes before i officially entered my new decade. lovely. ;)

okay, this is a bit awkward, so i'm just going to get it off my chest:


you got that, right?


okay. here's the thing.

lately, a lot of my friends and family have told me, "oh, so and so/my friend/etc loves to read your blog!"

and really and truly, i am so humbled by that. thank you for reading my random and often nonsensical drivel and for supporting us in our journey to choi boy. we are so blessed by all the friends we've made through this wee bit o'internet.

i would love it if you would continue following us on this journey. and now the awkward part: if you haven't already, can you please click the "follow" button on the right and become an official follower of chois-r-us? really, i promise it's not because i want to grow my following -- because how weird and cultish does THAT sound?! but, it's because i'd really love to know, as much as possible, who's stopping by.

i'd love to keep this blog public because on my own journey, finding and reading others' blogs has been the one thing that has really given me a community of folks that know where i've been and where i'm headed. and there's a whole 'nother slew of blogs that i read just cuz i love 'em. (for reals, i could not love PW anymore; julie cracks me up; and love inspires me.)

i know i can't control who reads this while this blog it's public on this here WORLD WIDE web, but if you do stop by regularly, i'd love to know who you are, even if i don't "know" you. you know what i mean? it would just make me feel better if i knew who was reading. you don't have to ever comment; just let me know that you're along for the ride. yeah?

and i know you might feel weird "showing your face," but i think it's awesome that you're here even if i don't know you in real life. :) i kinda felt like a creeper when i started reading blogs of people i didn't know, but you know what? i'm so glad i did 'cause i've "met" so many amazing people that way. and now i can call them my friends.

well, maybe not ree. although, i did meet her and she liked my necklace. :)

okay, that's all i have to say about that.

*sigh*. i abhor awkward situations.

let's change the subject, shall we?

here's a cute picture of baby piper to relieve the awkwardness:
is that not the saddest/cutest face ever?!

i'll try not to be awkward again for a while. k?

Friday, November 5, 2010

how the heck did this happen?

when i was little, i thought sixteen was the pinacle of one's life. i blame this on molly ringwald and the little mermaid -- "but, daddy, i'm SIXTEEN!". (hi. what's with the crazy ridiculous bad messages this movie sends to kids?)

if sixteen was the peak (and THANK GOODNESS it wasn't), then surely thirty was OLD. like, middle aged old. and boy, did it seem faaaaarrrrrr away.

well, my friends, the day has come. and, jeepers, i don't know how it got here so fast! today is the day then, according to my 9 year-old self, that i am officially old.

i know, i know, that's not really true. and many of you are likely groaning and telling me to shut up.

i know i'm not old. i don't feel old. 30 is the new 20, right? in fact, i totally believe in jenna rink's mantra -- "thirty, flirty, and thriving!" well, maybe not so much the "flirty" part. :) but even though i don't feel old (and i know i'm not), 30 just has an air of finality to it doesn't it?

like, in a there's-no-way-around-it-you're-a-full-fledged-grown-up-and-you-better-have-your-life-together kinda way, you know?

but, whatevs, i'm happy and excited for what the beginning of my fourth decade will bring...y'all know what i'm going to be wishing for, right? ;)

we had a small celebration on sunday with some close friends and family. low-key, famous d*ve's, and lots of laughs. :) my kinda fun.

the only pics i have are lame, posed pics of me and some of my pals...i promise, there *were* boys there, but my gal pals are loads prettier and more picture-worthy. :)

since it was halloween, kate came in her monkey costume! love her. my mom is a totally baby-hijacker and stole kate from her parents' arms the moment they walked in. at my grad school graduation, i looked up while i was waiting to receive my diploma and saw my mom holding a stranger's baby. like it was a totally normal thing to ask a stranger if you can hold their child. luckily, kate's parents think it's hilarious that my mom makes a beeline for her every time. actually, confession: so do i. how could you not? look at that face!

rina, one of my bffs and my favorite eating buddy:

my gorgeous sister. seriously. no make-up, not feeling well, and still, so gorgeous:

my cousin, april, flew down from nyc just for me! she was here for a mere 3 hours before hopping back on a plane. that's why she's awesome. :)

and me and amy, kate's actual mommy. love her, too. :)

i wore this necklace in honor of the big 3-0.
(sorry for the splotches. apparently, my decolletage gets stage fright.) my sister gave it to me for christmas a few years ago and i love it! except, since the charm is totally solid metal, it hurts when it hits my chest as i walk. but it's super cute, right?

thanks for celebrating with me!

oh, and p.s. a lot of you asked where my friends got that monkey growth chart. it was from target several years ago, so unforch, i don't think it's available anymore...:(