Wednesday, March 31, 2010

~Best Buddies~

This is Alexa with her best friend Claudia. Boy, are these girls two peas in a pod. They hang out every day at school and Alexa talks about Claudia constantly. She says " she knows Claudia's brain very well." I believe it! I'm not sure who is sillier but I sure know that they are the cutest best friends ever!
At school they had a "twins day" where they were supposed to find a friend and dress alike for the day. Well, you can imagine that was an easy task! : )

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

2nd Hubei Family Reunion

In Austin Texas at Ray and Angel's house the first night. A couple of the girls weren't there yet, so are not in the photo. Big Emma and little Alex are siblings of two of the girls. We had a great Chinese dinner and we all enjoyed catching up with each other. The girls weren't shy and immediately were best friends again. They had so much fun playing together!

In downtown Austin the next morning by the river.

All the girls at the Austin Children's Museum where we celebrated all their birthdays together and exchanged gifts. We all had a blast!

Outside the museum. We caused quite a stir wherever we went. We are a crazy bunch!

Next, off to some good ole' Texas barbecue. The girls were super silly after dinner and oh so tired!

The party didn't end there. It was back to the hotel for a quick stop to get into our pj's and back we went to Ray and Angel's for a pj party. The plan was to stay over but the girls ( and moms) were wiped out so we left a bit before midnight to get the girls in bed. The guys had a boys night out so the came in soon after us. We were wiped out from the day!

The last day of the reunion was a farewell Dim Sum brunch. All the girls wore their traditional dresses and looked so pretty. They sure do know how to pose!

Next, the moms and then the dads. We are picture happy bunch!

We had a wonderful time! It is always sad to say goodbye. This group is like family and we enjoy getting to know each family better each time we reunite. The girls love being together and we hope they form lifelong bonds and friendships with each other as the years go on.

The final stop before we headed home was a stop at our adoption agency Great Wall China, which is located in Austin. We were very lucky to have a chance meeting with Ms. Snow Wu. She was super nice and accomodating, taking time from her morning to talk with us and take photos. It was great to show Alexa where it all started.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Long Goodbye

My beloved Georgie lost her battle with Lymphoma early Tuesday morning. This photo was taken last March and shows my baby healthy, the way I need to remember her. She was diagnosed in July 2009 and was only given 6 months to live with aggressive chemo. She was stage v at that point but we had so much hope. She defied us all and lived 9 full months. Her spirit never wavered and every week we went to chemo her doctors called her "the wonder dog". She was a fighter and we truly cherished every moment of the past nine months. She certainly got spoiled, getting a scrambled egg every Sunday and as many treats as she wanted. She and I spent many quiet moments sitting in the sun together. She lived 10.5 years and I know she was happy for all of them. She was like a child to me and was my constant companion, never leaving my side. The void I feel right now is immense. When you experience anticipatory grief, it is such a long goodbye. Even though I feel blessed to have had her for an extra 9 months, I feel so robbed because had she not gotten cancer, she would have lived until she was 18. Her spirit was that great! I will always miss my sweet girl.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Today's Adventure

We live right on the edge of the Tonto National Forest. About 5 minutes from our house is a place called Sears Kay. Hundreds of years ago the Hohakam Indians lived on this land and we have quite a few intact Indian ruins around where we live. We hiked up today and checked out some really great ones that we had yet to discover. Alexa brings her walking stick on all hikes and was the self designated leader.

Here she is entering some ruins of the structures that the Indians used as rooms.

There is Weaver's Needle in the background. The views are amazing up there. We've had a lot of rain, so the desert is very green..not the usual but very pretty.

That's Four Peaks with snow still on it in the background. It was a beautiful day and a great family hike!