Friday, June 29, 2007

Sarah's Homecoming

My sister, Sarah, has been teaching English in Taiwan over the last year and she came home today. In fact, we planned our arrival date to Edmonton to be in time to go pick her up from the airport. She had kept her arrival a secret from my parents. They weren't expecting her to arrive for another week. Gracie took no time at all warming up to Di Dao (Auntie Sarah's Vietnamese name), but that was no surprise. Sarah is awesome with kids and of course it'd only be fitting that she'd easily bond with her niece. Welcome home, Sarah! (By the way, the sign says Mr. Sarah Tong because when she first arrived in Taiwan, the person who came to greet her at the airport had a sign expecting a Mr. Sarah Tong- inside joke!)

Gracie waiting for Di Dao's arrival

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Back in the Great White North

Well, here we are in Edmonton! I'm going to take a moment to debrief on all that's happened in just these last two days. Everyone's heard about all the passport hassles as of late... Well, my passport didn't arrive in time for our trip even though I had sent off my application well in advance. On Monday, Jason and I had to make a "quick" last minute day trip to San Francisco to Canada's consulate office. They issued me a Letter of Identification that allowed me one-way access into Canada. I'm supposed to use my green card upon returning back to the USA. Hopefully that'll be a smooth process. Anyway, our visit to the consulate office was a very unpleasant experience. I'm going to be writing a letter of complaint. I don't want to get into details, but let's just say that Jason's comment about the whole situation was, "Maybe because of this, now you'll consider getting U.S. citizenship." Umm... nope, still not at that point in my life!
Yesterday was a long day of traveling- we had planned to wake up earlier, but woke up at 4am to catch a 6am flight. We flew from Fresno to Seattle, and then from Seattle to Edmonton. Gracie did well on both legs of the trip, but she barely slept. Our flight got delayed out of Seattle and we ended up getting into Edmonton at about 1:30pm. My dad picked us up at the airport and we then drove to see my mom at her work. (Their business is the Valley Cafe at Edmonton's Muttart Conservatory. I'll post more information and pictures about that some other day). We ate a quick lunch and went "home" for naps. We didn't wake up until it was time to go out for dinner. My parents insisted on going shopping afterwards to get Grace something she could use while she is here. They ended up getting her a low-rider Dora tricycle which she absolutely loves. (She also picked out a helmet). This morning, Jason assembled the tricycle and my dad helped Gracie ride it around their backyard. She still hasn't quite learned how to pedal yet, but she sure looks cute! It has been really nice to see my parents with Gracie. I had been somewhat concerned about how she would respond to seeing them again after a whole year. She has quickly warmed up to them and they obviously love having her here. They have the Grandparents Syndrome- they've been giving in to almost everything she wants- she better not get used to life being like this!! :)
After the busyness of the last two days, it was kind of nice to not really do anything today. Jason managed to find a station that aired the Giants/Padres game, so even though they lost, at least he got to watch that. The highlight for me was going out for Pho and bubble tea. There are places in Fresno that sell both items, but I haven't found any that compare to my Edmonton favorites. I LOVE BUBBLE TEA! In fact, I'm going to keep a running record of how many times I get it while we're up here. We're probably not going to be doing a whole lot while we're up here, but if we do anything, I'll try to blog about it. I'm really proud to hail from Edmonton- maybe I'll be able to give glimpses into some of the reasons why!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Reminiscing about Gracie's First Year

This past week, I had to take a computer class. The highlight was that as an extra project, I was able to work on something not school related. I decided to put together some snapshots of Gracie's first year of life. During these last few weeks, Jason and I have been reminiscing about Gracie's birth and the months following that... We've recalled how she came into the world, how tiny she was, and how we were sleep-deprived... We've also talked about the milestones- her first smile, her giggles, her first teeth, rolling over, eating rice cereal for the first time... Now we look at her, and it's hard to believe that we're going to experience a newborn all over again. Just as Gracie's on the verge of being potty-trained, we're about to begin this whole process again!
I'm emotional anyway, but putting together this short movie allowed me to really revisit the joy of having a child. The pictures remind me of what a treasure Grace is, and how grateful I am to have her in my life. It also helps me to realize how fortunate I feel that we get to have another little one. Please continue to pray for us- for me and my health, for the baby's healthy development, for Jason as he works hard on getting our house ready, and for Gracie, who's going to be a big sister!

("Gracie" sung by Ben Folds)

Happy Birthday to Me!

I just wanted to thank my friends for their well wishes, cards, calls, and emails this past week. So far, I can't say that being 31 is any different from 30, but it's only been a few days! I guess I'm actually "into the decade" now...
I've had some great meals in these last few days- Jason made me a special birthday dinner. It was delicious! He got me tickets to go see Josh Groban in August. I didn't get to see him when he was here in Fresno. The August concert will be in Stockton. Yeah, Stockton- go figure. Of course I'll post pictures when that time comes!
Calamari Steak with a Caper Cream Sauce on Linguine (and artichokes)

As well, I went out to dinner with a few of my friends to The Cheesecake Factory. I had such a wonderful time- good food and good conversation. It was nice to sit, relax, and talk... Thanks so much! I feel really blessed!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

San Jose

This past weekend, our family went to San Jose to attend the wedding of one of Jason's childhood friends, Jon Patrick. The ceremony was sappy and lovey-dovey, and Lincoln Glen's gym was beautifully transformed! There were pretty lights hanging across the ceiling, and black drapes covered the awful walls underneath from top to bottom. It was great to see Jason's friends again and spend time with them. We stayed overnight with Darren and Julie Pozzi. Their daughter, Jenny, and Grace would make great friends if we saw them more often. They had a lot of fun together. The next day was Father's Day. It was a very hard day for Jason. We took our time getting ready in the morning, and soon headed off to Santa Cruz. Along the way, we drove through Jason's hometown, Los Gatos. It is truly one of the most charming places... It was pretty busy at Santa Cruz, so we drove further on to Capitola. We grabbed some lunch from Gayle's and headed to the beach to eat. Grace was so excited to be surrounded by sand that she barely ate. It was a bit chilly that day, despite the sun shining through. After eating, Grace and Jason played in the sand while I sat and tried to soak in the sun. We walked through the town and ended up at an ice cream shop. We usually let Grace share with us, but since it was a special day, we let her get her own cone. She picked "tink." Yum! We were so impressed that she didn't drop anything- she devoured it. It turned out to be a pretty relaxing day. Happy Father's Day to Jason- he is an amazing dad and I am so grateful to have such a great partner to share life and Gracie (and our littlest one) with.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


We found out through Jamie Mack that at Edwards Theaters throughout the summer, they are doing free 10am showings of kids' movies. Isn't that cool? Not only is the movie free, but in this crazy heat, you get to go and sit in an air-conditioned theater! Today just so happened to be a showing of "Curious George." Grace has been into "George" lately. In fact, when she and I went shopping for her "big girl panties" last week, rather than choosing Dora, flowers, Cinderella, or Elmo, she actually chose "George." Anyway, Jason was able to take her since I'm taking a class all of this week. He said that she clapped when the movie started, and aside from two potty breaks, she sat and watched the whole movie without squirming, wanting to get out of her seat to run around, or falling asleep. No pictures to post- just thought I'd share about her first movie theater experience!
(By the way, I do have some pictures I'll post later on about our trip this past weekend to San Jose).

Sunday, June 10, 2007

"The Last Supper"

(L to R: Russ & Alison Lee with Rebecca, Ethan, and Kendall; James & Ann Siebert with
Melody and Joy; Allen & Kristen Co with Jackson; Jason & Jane with Grace,
Brian & Teresa McCreary with Caleb and Joshua)

Our friends, James and Ann Siebert have been a part of our small group (Bible Study) for several years and tonight was their last night with us. Later this week, the Sieberts will be moving north to Edmonton, where they will continue working with Intervarsity and International Students at the University of Alberta. It has been so weird to be able to talk about my beloved hometown to people who will eventually get to experience and actually have an idea of what I'm talking about. Anyway, we joined together with all of our families for a barbecue tonight. The kids played in the kiddie pool while the adults just "hung out." While many goodbyes were said, for us, it was truly a "see you soon" because we will get to see them again in just a few short weeks in Edmonton. We're glad that we will still have the opportunity to see them and keep in touch- our girls are only a few weeks apart in age, and since our small group meets weekly, they have gotten to play together quite a bit over the years. Our families have shared a lot and been through a lot together. They have become an important part of our lives, and their support, encouragement, and prayers have been so deeply appreciated. We love them and will miss them dearly!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

John Mayer and Ben Folds

Last night, Jason and I went to the John Mayer concert at the SaveMart Center. I got tickets for Jason for his birthday. Actually, I got him tickets to go see the opening act, Ben Folds. Jason's taste in music is somewhat "different" so if you've never heard of Ben Folds, well, you're not alone. Last night though, even I found Ben Folds to be entertaining. One of the few Ben Folds songs I like: Still Fighting It. Here's something more people have heard: Rockin' the Suburbs.
John Mayer was in top musical form. He's such a talented musician. However, we both wish he had been more interactive. He didn't really "talk"- he just played one song to the next. I particularly enjoyed his acoustic set. Two songs he played last night: Belief and Gravity.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Two New Blog Features

We're adding two new features to our blog. Every once in a while, we're going to ask a "Poll Question." Thanks to the Wiens' for the idea! To start off this new feature, how's this question: Should we find out whether we are having a boy or a girl? We keep meaning to scan the images from our ultrasound last week to post, but haven't done so yet... Sorry about that! The ultrasound showed us many glimpses of our little one. He/she is extremely active! I was very tempted to find out while we there what we were having, but the moment passed and I still don't know. However, the imaging lab printed out a picture of "the area" and typed in if it was a boy or girl. They sealed the print in an envelope for us, so if we really, really wanted to know, we still could. It's been sitting on the table in our front room for the past week... I've tried not to think about it, but... I love the idea of surprises, but can I really wait that long to find out?!
The second feature is a Pregnancy Due Date Ticker Countdown at the bottom of our blog. Thanks to the Alveys for this idea! As of this week, I'm halfway there! Can I wait another 20 weeks to find out whether "it" is a he or a she?

Spending the Day with Friends

(picture is missing Ethan)
We spent the day at the zoo with some friends from our small group: the Sieberts, the McCrearys, and the Lees. The Sieberts are moving to Edmonton in a few weeks (gee, isn't that funny... I know a thing or two about Edmonton) and have never visited the Fresno Zoo, so we all decided to go with them. The day was wonderful! We arrived early enough that it wasn't too crowded and though it was warm, not too hot. After several hours walking around to see the animals, we had a picnic lunch in Roeding Park. Great memories!