Black and White Wednesday: My Christmas Wish

Two Extraordinary Children
Kids Front Steps Blog It WM BW
make for one VERY happy (and fortunate) Mama!

Yep...my Christmas Wish came true...

I woke up on Christmas morning and there,
right under my Christmas tree...
sat those two smiling sweethearts!

Kids BW Ballerina

There is no greater gift!

Kids Front Steps Blog It WM

It's Black and White Wednesday!

To see some superdeduper images from some very cool mamas,
click on over to

the long road


Merry Christmas!

Make a Wish!
JRR Make A Wish
"Santa is that YOU?"
JRR Santa Big Eyes Blog It WM
JRR Santa Boots Only WM

JRR Santa Full Steps WM


Our Little Sentinel

She's a formidable taskmaster.
She doesn't miss a trick.


She waits by the door for her father to arrive home; like clockwork.


Although patience is not her strong suit.


She's just learning to count and cannot tell time (she's THREE!)
but she frequently and quite convincingly checks her watch.

Tick Tock, Tick Tock

She has that exasperated look down to a science.


It all adds to the drama....
and what's a girl's day without some drama, after all.

She's got the heart and tenacity of her mother;
the punctuality and sweet disposition of her father.

Just one look at her reminds us every single day
how incredibly fortunate we are to have our sweet little girl.

It's Black and White Wednesday!

To see some fabulous images, click on over to


Remember Me?

I barely do so I imagine I'm hardly a blip on the radar these days!

Things have gotten so hectic here
that blogging has completely fallen by the wayside.
Not that I don't think about it every day.
Not that I haven't written myself at least a dozen lists of photos I've taken,
all with very special stories that I plan to share here.

You have no idea how much I miss visiting the blogs of my friends
that are near and dear to me. (yeah, you all know who you are!)

So, I decided to get out of my work/holiday/real life frenzy; get off my blogger laurels
and do something I've never done before...enter an
I Hearts Faces Photo Challenge

How appropos....this week's theme is Self Portraits!

I've been doing a lot of soul searching lately
(in a good way)
and when I look in the mirror these days I can honestly say
that I'm awfully glad to see this girl looking back at me...

CN Selfie Grunge Bone Smile Blog

flaws and all...
she's been with me every step of the way so far
and I have to admit...she's kinda growin' on me.


Maison Malfara

I'm tellin' ya right off....this is going to be a serious teaser post.
You're not going to be happy.
Heed my warning 'cause I'm not kidding.

Now, don't get me wrong; you're gonna love these pictures of our visit to Quebec to see Wanda and her Lovelies. The problem is, I love these pictures so much and there are more than 500 of them that I took in a little over 2 days. Well, let's just say, the editing, organizing and posting really needed to be done by a team of professionals....not me with JR and the kids at my feet after what now seems like the longest days since its dark when I get home from work. Yes, a team dedicated to photos would be nice.

However, I don't have one...so each one of my photos will be lovingly touched by me...to see if it passes muster for the slideshow I'm making for Wanda.
These are cherished the moments I've been spending going through every picture to remember each unique little detail of Maison Malfara and its very special inhabitants.

To say we had a wonderful time is an understatement.
To say we all had trouble saying good-bye a week ago Saturday,
really doesn't do our trip justice.

Here are a few photos capturing the flavor of our trip...
beware....you are about to enter into the Lovefest Zone...
which spares no adult nor child.

Yep.....you've been warned.

I assure you, though, MANY more wonderful photos of our very special trip are to follow in the next few days so stay tuned!

(oh, and don't bust my chops about Black and White....if you notice, no self respecting member of either family had the nerve NOT to wear black and white the entire weekend at Maison Malfara....so THERE'S your black and white...!)




Wanda Girls BW WM




Sew Many Things Sew Little Time

Sometimes we get so bogged down in what we insist
in our own minds must be; that we become prisoners of our own makings
in rigid, regimented black and white worlds with

Sew Stripes Thread JRR
the only variation being the stages of gray in between.

Sew Stripes Thread JRR
We fail to see the beauty in the details, the LIFE that is in the colors
that lie upon the spectrum of what we often call
"too much to do" or "overwhelming."

We can map it out, plan and choreograph it...
but in the end, it is the haphazardness of how it actually comes together
that makes the moments unique...

Sew Stripes Thread JRR
rather than our relying upon expectations, achieving precision and striving for absolutes.

Savor the randomness in the carefree moments that cause you to take pause;
realizing that you are, in very large part, master of your own destiny.

Sew Stripes Thread JRR
Cherish your unique role in thinking outside the box;
venturing out of your comfort zone as you take chances
that others might not be so willing, apt or able to do.

Sew Stripes Thread JRR

And revel in the courage you have to live LIFE OUT LOUD...

Sew Stripes Thread JRR
In TECHNICOLOR, exactly as you were meant to.

Lisa & Reagan are FINALLY home
and it's Black and White Wednesday!

To see some fabulous images, click on over to


The Gifts of Forever Family and Forever Friendship

Two weeks ago Friday, the Darlings and I spent the evening with three very special friends...
Lisa, Pat and Marla.

Lisa and Pat have spent the last 4+ years waiting to hold the daughter from China they dreamed of when they married nearly 6 years ago. During those waiting years, they were blessed with the opportunity to share in the joy of raising their son, Nick, and watching their daughter, Sarah, another very unique miracle in their lives, blossom into a precocious little girl.

As the years passed, they both knew that their family was not complete and never would be until the little girl from China who visited them in their dreams was home safely in their arms.

Now for Marla.

Marla is the stunning Texan from Fort Worth, wife extraordinaire to Derek and mom to 4 J's (Jakob, Jacey, Jaden and Jack) all 11 years old and under. Marla is an amazing woman, wife, daughter, sister, photographer and the most incredibly giving friend one can imagine.


Marla heard that our friend Lisa was going to travel to China alone.
Having been to China twice to bring home her two beautiful Chinese daughters,
Marla just wasn't having it.
Apparently, friends don't let friends go to China without them!

So, she pulled out her Superwoman cape, juggled like no other and put together a calendar that even the Secret Service would envy. With Derek, the ridiculously handsome and very capable right hand man she married, having her back...
she actually jumped on a plane to China with Lisa for 2 weeks.
(yes, 16 hours straight each way!)
I know, kinda makes you wonder if you'd have
the guts and the gumption to do the same, doesn't it?
Selfless generosity!


So, 2 weeks ago, on the eve of these two special girls heading over to China for Operation Reagan, we all gathered along the Hudson River for a bon voyage dinner.

The evening couldn't have been more perfect, unless of course, they had already been and were sitting there with Reagan in their arms across from us.

Here are some shots of that very magical night.


Note the delectable cocktails!

The specatular view!
The emotions really ran high that night with the gravity of what was about to happen to the expectant couple and their family finally hitting each of us.

China was a whirlwind those two weeks for the girls.
They saw and experienced so many new things and chronicled them for us all in true blogger fashion. I (along with so many others) felt like I was experiencing the trip first hand as I'd read through both of their blogs each day. Click here for Lisa's Blog and here for Marla's Blog
(you will not be sorry you visited but you might smack me for getting you addicted!)

The images and sights of China, through their stunning photos
and eloquently written words, really speak for themselves.

The highlight of the journey was, of course, meeting Reagan for the first time.
Lisa has compiled memories and images that will last a lifetime; hers and Reagan's!

This past Friday night, two weeks to the day we saw the girls off,
the Darlings and I had the privilege of being present at the airport
when the girls returned from China...with Reagan at center stage.

There really are no words that can express how much joy we felt being a part
of that very special moment....
when The Long Road to China finally intersected at Happily Ever After.

We are absolutely overjoyed for Lisa, Pat and their beautiful family of 5.
We are so in awe of the gift of themselves that Marla and Derek
so graciously bestowed upon them.

Here's a little sneak peak of that very special day...







JR and I look forward to the memories we will share in friendship
with the broods Furey and Westbrook in the years to come.

Welcome Home Reagan Elizabeth WenYi Furey...we love you!
(Both Lisa and Marla are suffering some serious jetlag...be patient...their posts will be up soon!)