Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Holidays

I know it's practically Easter now, but it's never too late for a taste of the holidays right?

Moving at the end of the year means celebrating the holidays in less than traditional ways.  For Christmas, we were still staying in a temporary apartment without all of our normal stuff.  This meant....Christmas pictures at the mall! 

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Cora wasn't a huge fan and would sit on her own for a picture so I had to take pictures of her in her Christmas dress another day.  Our hotel had some great lighting for a photo shoot!
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Next up was New Year's Eve.  This is our first New Year's Eve as parents and we celebrated guessed it - partying hard in our hotel room.  No, Cora did not stay up for the festivities, but we did remember to snap a few family pics to document the end of 2013.  Our hotel was close toe the Bund, which is where Shanghai had it's "Times Square" equivalent.  We were actually able to see some cool fireworks from our hotel windows. 


Not far into the new year came one of the best parts of Chinese culture - Chinese New Year.  In China, the whole country goes on hiatus for the whole week.  Some people even take months off to travel back to their hometown and visit their family.  We decided to hightail it out of China and flew to Taiwan to spend time with my family and introduce Cora to some more family members.

It was a really special trip as Cora was able to meet her great-grandmother for the first time.  She is my grandmother's very first great grandchild.  Slik was holding her when we first arrived at my grandma's and he passed Cora over, not thinking about how heavy Cora was and how old my grandmother was.  As you know, Cora is a pretty solid girl.  Needless to say, it was a good thing I was standing close by to intercede because Cora nearly took her great-grandma down.  So, we compromised and had great-grandma sit down and hold Cora in her lap.  
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Cora had such a fun time in Taiwan and was spoiled with attention.  Everyone loved her and she loved everyone - she is such an outgoing and happy child.  After all, her nickname is 可乐, which means cute and happy.  After all, it's also the Chinese word for Coke (the drink, not the drug) and is actually quite fitting for Cora's bubbly personality.  
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At the Taipei Zoo
Riding the Maokong Gondola at the zoo

And this last photo was the only one I could manage of Cora and the cute baby panda at the zoo.  There has been a panda craze sweeping the nation and it was probably debatable who would win the cutest baby contest.  Cora or the baby panda? Cora's got some stiff competition but you know who wins in my eyes :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Catching Up

Hello from the other side of the world!  I'm not sure how this happened, but I've neglected to blog for 4 months!  So much has happened and I've been away so long I don't even know how to begin to catch up.  So, I guess I'll start at the beginning with our arrival in Shanghai.  I had started writing this post, but got busy and totally forgot to post it (please excuse the present tense) .  So....back up to the beginning of December:

We arrived safely in our new home city tired, but not too traumatized from the 17+ hours of flying.  Miss Cora did pretty well and was only fussy for a few hours out of the entire flight.  We're currently staying in a fancy serviced apartment/hotel while we hunt for an apartment to rent.

View from the window of our room

Unfortunately, when we arrived, Shanghai pulled out it's worst air pollution to welcome us.  For the first few days, we experienced record levels of air pollution.  Quite a damper on our plans to explore the area.  Luckily, our hotel is connected to a mall so we spent lots of time walking around the mall.

Cora and daddy, checking out the pollution:

This is how we go outside:


On the days when it's bad, we stay inside and take pictures to pass the time.  Me and my mini-me:

Unfortunately, Cora did not fit into her skinny jeans...

These pictures basically sum up our relationship:

"Mom, you're smothering me!"

"But I love you anyway."

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Zai Jian!

That means "see you again".  And now, we fly.  See you all from the other side of the world.

I hope I can continue blogging in China so that I can give you a glimpse of what life is like over there.  But first, we have to survive the 13 hour flight.

Here's the last picture taken of us in the US:

And here's a bonus pic of Cora with her aunt and uncle that I just had to post:

Sunday, December 1, 2013


This Thanksgiving, I'm especially grateful that we have time for one last family gathering before we leave the country.  That's right, we're leaving the country - AGAIN.  I meant to announce on my blog earlier, but things just got kind of busy/stressful/crazy in the last month of planning.  It didn't help that Slik was away for 10 days right before we got packed and loaded up.  We are moving to Shanghai, China on another international assignment.  We should be there 2-3 years, but you never know what will really happen.

I have mixed feelings about the move, but now that the hardest parts of moving are behind us, I'm starting to look forward to our new adventure.  Unfortunately, we still have one big hurdle ahead - approximately 20 hours of travel with a 9-month-old.  Yeah, let's not think about that now.

Now, we're just enjoying some down time with our family in Dallas before we fly out this coming Tuesday.  Over the past couple of months, we've made our way around the US on our "farewell tour".  I'm so glad we were able to do this before we leave.  Now, we've got a couple days of rest before we make our big trek back to Asia.  We are definitely going to miss our family and friends, but I'm sure we will make many more friends in the years to come.  Life is such an adventure.

Since the weather is finally starting to feel like fall in TX, here are some pictures from our fall.  We spent a few weeks in New Jersey during the peak of autumn and got to enjoy the fall foliage and squeeze in some apple picking.  I'm not sure when I last got to experience a northeast fall - it's my favorite time of the year.

These are the woods behind my backyard

These are from Cora's first apple picking adventure
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Oh, and how could I withhold this awesome pic?  I call it "princess bee and her worker bees."
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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cora's Big Day

I know this day was a long time ago, but since I've been giving you glimpses through the adoption process, I thought I'd share the last part of how Cora became ours.

At the end of August, soon after Cora turned 6 months (a day after to be exact), we arrived at the local court to legalize our adoption.  Basically, during the 180 days following Cora's placement with us, we had to complete 5 visits with our adoption agency, including one home study.  Although Cora's birthparents relinquished their parental rights 48 hours after Cora's birth, we had to wait 6 months before we were legally named Cora's parents and thus issued a new birth certificate with our names on it.

So, we woke up bright and early and got to the courthouse early.  This was an appointment we didn't want to be late for.  Good thing, because we were the first ones to go!

Cora, excited for this great day!

In a proceeding that lasted a total of 5 minutes,  we were sworn in, asked a few questions, and legally pronounced Cora's parents.  The judge even gave Cora a little teddy bear and let us take a picture with him.

The hearing was so quick that a friend we invited, who got stuck in a little traffic, just managed to catch the end of the hearing.  But, she was gracious enough to take a few pictures for us.  Thanks Auntie Jeanie!

We're legally the Sliks!


My happy girl!

Truly, a wonderfully meaningful and joyful day for our family!  I am just amazed at what God has done in bringing our family together.  7 years ago, when Slik and I got married, I would have never dreamed that we would end up adopting a child.  Now, I can't dream of our life without our precious daughter!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

While I've been away...

(from blogging that is) lots has happened and Cora has grown like crazy.  I didn't mean to take a break from blogging, but sometimes life just gets in the way and I didn't really want to spend my 45 minute nap breaks editing/uploading/blogging my pics.  So, sorry for the hiatus, I'm going to attempt to catch up with a photo dump of our life in the past 3 months.

So, while I was away lazy...

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Cora learned to sit

and stand up in her exersaucer

She deepened her friendship with her favorite doggie, Uncle Beau

She tried her first solids - avocados.  This was her reaction.

Cora learned to read.  (Not really!)

There were lots of naps


We visited friends

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We visited family

Cora learned to ride a scooter

She went to the beach for the first time
(Immediately after Slik snapped this pic, a huge wave drenched me up to my knees.  It was COLD)

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We've really just been enjoying time together and with friends and family these past few months.  As Cora has become more interactive and active, I'm understanding how life as a mom can be so busy even if at the end of the day, all you've done is "played" with your child.  I wouldn't trade these moments for anything though - I just love how Cora has been changing before my eyes.

Right now, we're visiting my family in NJ, so hopefully I can carve out some time to catch everyone up on our lives and some big changes coming ahead :)  So, that's it for now!

Before I sign off, here's a bonus picture of my blue-eyed loves