Friday, December 16, 2016

Headed Home for the Holiday's

Less than two months after we got here, we were homesick and getting used to our new surroundings, and on a whim we booked a two week trip home for Christmas (after getting it approved by my boss) for December 16th - January 1st.  It seemed impossibly far away at the time, but now we just can't believe the time is here!! As you are reading this, we are en route home and we cant wait to spend time with all of our family we have missed so so much!! Posting will be light over the next couple of weeks because as you can imagine we want to soak up as much Christmas magic as we can with our families and our girls!  We cannot wait to give hugs and kisses to Nonni, Papa George, Grandma and Grandpa (and everyone else!), eat our fair share of tex Mex, drive our own car, get a white chocolate mocha at Starbucks, take the girls to the trampoline park (and all their other favorite places) and just be home (ahhhh, it feels so nice to say that!).

We just want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! Thank you for reading our little family blog - it means so much to me :).   

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Little Girl, Big Ocean

I know it seems like I have been skipping around a lot lately (which is true!), but with limited time to blog I am picking and choosing and going at random in the order I get all of the pictures ready (it looks like the Great Wall will have to be blogged about next year!). So back to the beach we go :).  I shared this picture with you from my iPhone when we chatted about our Thanksgiving in Thailand; however, at this point I had not downloaded the pictures from my 'real' camera and there are just too many good ones that I felt compelled to share.

^^ my favorite so I moved it to the top, I caught her with both feet off the ground! ^^

^^ this post is focused on Emma; it makes me so giddy that she loves the ocean so much ^^

^^ her little reflections get me every time ^^

^^ I strongly believe the beach and 'going on holiday' is her happy place ^^

^^ her spirit comes alive, there is plenty of room for her to explore and just be a kiddo and she is just so so full of joy ^^

^^ I can't blame her - going on holiday at the beach is my happy place too ^^

^^ I have become mildly obsessed with watching her practice her ballet moves at the ocean ^^

^^ there are several more beach vacations in their future so we are pretty thrilled that they are just as happy at the beach as we are! ^^

^^ she still looks like my baby here and yes, I am loving all pictures that I identify her looking like my baby still because she is turning 5 in a few months and where has the time gone??? ^^

^^ little girl, big ocean ^^

^^ she would stay out there for hours ^^

^^ When Wes and I thought about having kiddos, I just *knew* that I was meant to have one daughter (and we honestly thought we would be one and done) and the minute I gave birth (literally within the following few days), I knew I was meant to have two daughters.  Looking at this picture, I just can't imagine our life any other way. Every single day I am just so so grateful they are mine and they complete are our family. ^^

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

November Little Things

November was a transition month for us in Chengdu: we went from rapidly exploring to doing more low key things.  As the month went on, the weather got colder, we discovered red cups and toffee nut lattes and we found ourselves there every.single.saturday.  Like I legitimately looked forward to it every week - it's the small things right? Here is what we were up to in November if you would like to take a peek.

First Saturday morning of November at Starbucks. Check. (p.s. no red cups yet) (pps. don't let that smile fool you, I vividly remember that the girls could not get their act together this morning and one or two girls left in tears - with no treats ;)).

We went to a Japanese store and found Christmas shaped sushi!

That afternoon, we found ourselves at a new bar-b-que restaurant in town - I would say it was just all right, I am not sure if we will go back. But I did enjoy the cowhide rug and the country music playing in the background.

Since that did not satisfy our bar-b-que hunger pains, Wes whipped up some delicious ribs for us (that Emma especially enjoyed!).

One Friday evening when I got home from work, I found Emma like this - preschool is exhausting, especially when your class doesn't take naps anymore ;).

2nd Saturday morning in November - red cups arrived! I was legitimately excited about this because I didn't think Chengdu would get red cups.  Also, my first toffee nut latte!!

We headed to our favorite playground for the last time before Christmas and as usual the girls had a great time - this go around, Evsie's was really into the pulley/swing thing.

I always have so much fun watching these two play, explore, and discover that they are capable of doing new things.  I have found that it is best to pack them (identical) snack bags so they have plenty of snacks while we are there and when the snack bag is finished it is time to head out.  Shoes are optional for the last part ;).

This time, we headed to Grandma's Kitchen for a late lunch/early dinner - the girls got their favorite watermelon juice, which made them pretty happy!

On Sunday night, they wanted to wear their Ho-Ho jammies and they were being ridiculously cute (although most of the pictures turned out a bit blurry because they never stop moving, here are a few of my favorites).

A few minutes later, I discovered them like this, so I walked around to see what they were looking at.

They were looking at pictures of them holding a baby tiger :), I think they were as obsessed with this experience as I was. And Everly's hand on Emma's back kills me :).

All month, Emma has been wanting us to draw animals for her (you should have seen my pathetic attempt at a horse!), Wes whipped up this alligator for her one day while she was at school.  Impressive, right???

Third Saturday in November.  Third time at Starbucks ;).  This time we went to the Starbucks at Jin Li street.  Their behavior was much better this time and Emma picked out a chocolate bear cake,

while Evsie's opted for a gingerbread cookie!!

It seems that most of November, Emma could be found 'working' on something of sorts.

We explored Jin Li street - Wes and I briefly visited during our look-see trip last December (side note, can you believe it has almost already been a year since Wes and I visited Chengdu together for the first time!).  We have some of our own delicacies, similar to Beijing ;).

I decided I had to try something, so I settled on this pineapple rice bowl that seemed to be a popular choice amongst the visitors.  It was not great at all, I tried to convince myself that I liked it and took about three bites before ultimately just throwing it away.

The girls picked out some stickers and Emma picked out a pomegranate, we had our snacks and then called it a day.  Not a complete day, because we headed to get the girls some McDonald's after this ;).

During November, the leaves changed colors and I loved this view of our street.

A dress plus tights plus moccs will always be my favorite look on her (I think it reminds me of baby Everly ;)).

We stopped for a Sunday treat - similar to Dippin Dots (and yes, Emma is helping herself to a bite of Ev's ice cream).

Everly re-discovered her stroller (we have been intentionally unpacking their toys very slowly) and she got right to work setting all of her babies up and giving them stroller rides around the house!

I had a rough couple of work weeks in there, and then before we knew it, we were off to Thailand to celebrate Thanksgiving (complete with a red cup of Starbucks plus two bags of goldfish in the airport at 10pm!).

When we got back, the girls spent hours organizing their seashells, Emma's teacher even asked her to bring them to class!

Wes went to Carrefour so that we could stock up on supplies for our North Pole breakfast from Snowflake.

These definitely look like stuffed animals, right??

And he got me my very own red cup to use everyday at work, it has definitely put me in a festive mood :).

And with that, November is in the books!