March 28, 2009

Weekend in San Antonio.......

Last weekend while Mekenzie and Mekarlie were on Spring Break we took the opportunity to make a quick trip down to San Antonio. Needless to say we were accompanied by the million other people on spring break at the same time :) Paul and I are definitely working on making Avery a little traveling fool!

We left our house bright and early Friday morning (well, it wasn't exactly bright because the sun had not risen yet!) and hit the road! Arriving in San Antonio around noon we immediately started our touring. First stop: The Rivercenter Mall! The great thing about San Antonio is that the mall, the riverwalk, the Alamo, and tons of other touristy things are all located in the same area. We decided to grab a quick lunch at the mall food court and made our way through a few shops along the way.

Kiesha, Mitch, Mekarlie, and Mekenzie on the bridge outside the Rivercenter Mall

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?
Avery found this little vanity seat at the Disney store and was very enthralled with looking at herself in the mirror.

After a quick run through the mall (after all we weren't really in town to shop) we made our way over to the Alamo

Our little family!!

After seeing the Alamo and walking around the square it was time to check into our hotel.
Mekarlie found a very convenient way to get to the ice machine!

We went back and took the opportunity to relax for a little bit before we hit our next attraction: the Riverwalk at night! After walking around for a while we has once again worked up good appetites. We found a great steak place right on the river that had no waiting so off we went.

Kiesha and Avery goofin' around while waiting for their food to be served.

This was the host for the restaurant. He was responsible for luring into his establishment rather that the multitude of others lining the river. He was definitely quite a character.
He definitely cracked me up while I was trying to take this picture: Imagine a Friday night with hoards of people on the sidewalk and him rudely yelling "Stop right there I am trying to get my picture made and we don't want you in it!" The girls of course were mortified but Kiesha and I thought it was hilarious.

After dinner we decided to take the boat ride down the river. Paul and I had done this tour before but it is definitely a different experience at night.
Avery getting ready for her boat ride.

By the time our boat tour was over we were all exhausted from our very full day so it was back to the hotel to get some quick rest for our day at Sea World.

Once again we were up bright and early for a full day of fun
The guys decided to opt out of this picture with Shamu. I have to admit that Avery did alot better this time with the character (remember her reaction to characters at Disneyworld?) She wasn't thrilled but at least there was no screaming!! We may just make a theme park girl out of her yet!

The first attraction we visited was the dolphin feeding.

Next it was on to the shark tanks
Avery was trying her hardest to reach out and grab those sharks!

Paul and I getting ready to watch the acrobats and beluga whale show.

I had to snap this picture because Little Miss Avery thinks she is so big!! Here she is walking alongside daddy and Mekenzie.

Our favorite roller-coaster at Sea World, The Steel Eel. We couldn't convince Mekenzie or Mekarlie to ride it but Kiesha, Mitch, Paul, and I loved it!

I am always amazed when we watch the Sea Lion show. The animals are trained so well!

The girls getting ready for the Shamu show!!

There were 4 different killer whales performing at the same time!

Their awesome backflips!

Our next stop was Shamu's Happy Harbour play area.
Paul, Avery, Mekenzie, and Kiesha make there way up the rope wall to get to all the tunnels.

After playing in the kids area for a little while we were all kind of winding down so it was back to the hotel.

3 very happy yet exhausted girls!

Sunday morning found us packing up and getting ready to head back home. Paul and I couldn't leave San Antonio without eating at our favorite mexican restaurant in the city, Mi Tierra. We love this place and since we discovered it we can't make a trip to the city without at least one meal there.

Me, Avery, and Paul enjoying our meal.

Mitch, Mekenzie, Kiesha, and Mekarlie

I don't quite think "Little Miss Attitude" is ready to head home yet.

After we hit the road we had one more stop to make: the outlet malls in San Marcos. We knew we were running short on time and still had a long drive to make before getting home and ready for school/work on Monday morning but the shoppers in use could not be deterred. We picked up some great bargains and then once again gathered for one last vacation meal before hitting hitting the highway to home.

Overall it was an awesome, action packed weekend and we had a great time!!

Thanks for checking in with us!!!

March 27, 2009

Disney on Ice

I know I am a little behind but wanted to post these pics of Avery's first Disney on Ice show. I have always thought these shows were good and couldn't wait to share that experience with my own child. There is nothing like watching her little eyes light up with wonder when the lights went down and the first characters skated out. We were joined by some great friends and a good time was definitely had by all!!

Ariel (aka The Little Mermaid) and Prince Eric

The Peter Pan crew took flight over the ice arena.

My favorite: Minnie!!

I think this was the first show I have seen that included Lilo and Stitch.

Mekarlie and Mekenzie joined us and were all smiles throughout the show.

The Disney Lovin Crew!

Avery modeling the flounder hat that was included with our cotton candy purchase.

Erin had to get on that hat modeling action! I think this pic is definitely a keeper!

Mekarlie wearing the hat while also showcasing the adorable minnie mouse snowcones.

Thanks for a great time girls!!

March 24, 2009

Avery's 1st Year!!!

March 24, 2008.....a day that changed our lives forever. It is the day Avery was placed our arms. Today we celebrate our first year together as a family!!

In celebration of the one year anniversary from Gotcha Day here is Avery's year in pictures and highlights from each month:

March 2008, taken while we were in China.
Major milestones this month: met mommy and daddy!!!! had first solid food, began sitting up on her own

April 2008, shortly after we came home. Are those not the most kissable little cheeks?
Major milestones this month: arrived home in the grand ole USA, met tons of family, started standing up on her own, was the star of her Welcome Home Party, attended her first family reunion, had her first road trip, turned 1! Whew...what a month!!

May 2008, showing off her teeth!! Little did we know there were a ton more to follow.
Major milestones this month: got her ears pierced, was dedicated at church, first time in the pool (we definitely have a water baby)

June 2008, celebrating her first Father's Day. Note to other new moms: red frosting does stain!!
Major milestones this month: started crawling, first call to 911, had first sleepover at Grandma and Papa's house

July 2008, celebrating her first 4th of July!! She loved the fireworks!!!
Major milestones this month: first 4th of July pool party, first trip to the zoo, started walking

August 2008, the month she was introduced to Texas High School Football!!
Major milestones this month: first football game, started climbing out of the bathseat, spent lots of time in the swimming pool

September 2008, lovin' lake life!!
Major milestones this month: first haircut, first camping trip, first watercraft ride, first carnival

October 2008, first Halloween. She wasn't quite sure about the trick or treating but she loved all the candy!!
Major milestones this month: Trip to Walt Disney World, wading in the ocean, first trip to the pumpkin patch, first Halloween

November 2008, Avery's first Thanksgiving. A holiday all about food; her kind of day!!
Major milestones this month: basketball games galore with Avery entertaining everyone, first Thanksgiving, loving seeing all the Christmas decorations and helping put ornaments on our tree

December 2008, her first Christmas!! A little overwhelming I am sure!!
Major milestones this month: First time to sit on Santa's lap, spent weekend at Grammy and Daddy Sonny's with tons of family, and of course Christmas was a big hit

January 2009, becoming quite the expressive little girl!!
Major milestones for this month: tea party with daddy, got her own toy room, received her first pair of boots

February 2009, our little girl is growing up.
Major milestones this month: started daycare, began gymnastics classes, attended first Chinese festival, sat on the potty for the first time.

March 2009, Avery has a smile that can light up a room!
Major milestones this month: Disney on Ice show, trip to Sea World

I know I have left a ton of stuff out but these are just some of the things we have done together in our first year as a family. I am very excited to see what the future holds in store for us!!!

Thank you for continuing to follow our journey!!

March 18, 2009

One year ago today.....

this was us in the airport before getting on the plane to Beijing and our daughter.

Wow!!! What an amazing year it has been!!!

Can you believe.....

I did not get my camera out all last week? I think that has to be some kind of record for me!! Life has been pleasantly calm around our house. Just the same old routine with work, family, etc. Avery continues to thrive in both daycare and gymnastics. She is babbling more and more everyday we expect her to be talking in full sentences before long.

We have a couple of exciting things coming up this week. Tonight we are going to see Disney on Ice. I love these shows and can't wait for Avery's reaction to her first one. Then on Friday we are leaving to go to San Antonio for the weekend. We are taking Avery to Sea World. We have to keep that theme park quota going up you know..... So I am sure the next few posts will contain alot of pictures.


Thanks for checking in with us!!

March 9, 2009

What we've been up to......

This past weekend was a whirlwind for us. We started on Thursday with Sandra's birthday dinner (see previous post) and then on Friday we left town to attend Mekenzie's dance competition. When we arrived at our hotel Friday night we got settled and anticipated a night of just chilling out. That quickly changed when we had not 1, not 2, but 3 teenage girls giggling in our room. Avery was in heaven running around with all the girls. Kiesha and I joined in all the fun and giggling and boy talk and Paul just rolled his eyes and laughed at all of us. Yes, folks this is what memories are made of......

Saturday Mekenzie's dance time changed so that she didn't have to be ready until late afternoon so we had several hours to kill. We did what we always do when we are together and in an unfamiliar place......we found a mall!! Keisha, Paul, Avery, and I walked every inch of that mall and shopped our little hearts out. We even had a "celebrity sighting". I came out of the dressing room in one store and saw someone I thought looked familiar. After a few minutes it came to me: it was Michelle, last season's winner from The Biggest Loser. I didn't go all stalkerish and take her picture of approach her or anything but let me tell you she looks good! After our little shopping expedition we headed back to the hotel to get ready for competition.

We watched Mekenzie dance once on Saturday and then 3 times on Sunday. She walked away with 1st place on her solo and second place on her duet, trios, and small group. Way to go girl!!!

We didn't arrive home until bedtime Sunday night and by that time we were exhausted!! Monday it was back to the work week!

Tonight was the season premier of Dancing with the Stars. I can't help but think back to when the season started last March. It was the eve of the night we left for China. I remember that Monday night like it was yesterday. We tried to go to bed early since we were getting up to go to the airport in the wee hours. I couldn't sleep and since I had set the DVR I got out of bed at 11pm and watched the premier knowing that these were the last hours I would spend in my house before our daughter came home. I can't believe we are quickly approaching that one year anniversary. Some days it seems as if Avery has been with us forever and some days it seems like only yesterday that we were packing up getting ready to make a trip of a lifetime.

I have been reflecting alot lately on the last year of our lives....there have been both ups and downs and more changes than we could have ever imagined. Paul and I have both felt totally inadequate at times but just looking at our little girl's smile makes us think we must be doing something right.

I know this is a rambling post but since I use this blog for my journal I like knowing that there is a record of the activities and thoughts of our daily lives. It is fun to go back through the archives and look at we were in our lives at a particular time.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!!

Happy Monday!!!

Celebrating Sandra's Big 60!!

Last week we gathered Paul's immediate family together to celebrate Sandra's birthday. We started out with little shopping at Sam Moon's and then headed over to Red Lobster for some good food and even better company. Avery gifted her Mimi with digital photo frame preloaded of photos of guess who. Since grammy and daddy sonny both share February birthdays they were also the lucky recipients of a digital photo frame. Not that any of these people are lacking for pictures of our sweet Avery but now they can have their slide shows running all the time.

Our celebrating crew!!

What restaurant dinner would be complete with out the waitstaff singing and a candle thrown in a dessert?

Me and my sweet baby girl. How did I ever get so lucky?

Grammy and Daddy Sonny enjoying a night out on the town!

The birthday girl and her hubby aka Avery's Mimi and Poppy

I don't guess I have to identify this couple, huh?

Tony and Melinda hanging out with the family.

Avery and her mimi.

It was a very fun evening and we really enjoyed hanging out together! We hope you had a wonderful birthday celebration dinner Sandra!!!