Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Who's excited for another year of Lagoon fun?! Well, we all were, but on our first day back on April 14th, no one seemed more excited than Miss Vivien. When she got her first official pass in her hot little hands she looked at it and FREAKED OUT ! "It is me! It is Vivi! Stella! It is Vivi!" The second thing that filled her with a thrill was having a stamp. I guess she remembered last year how she would go to Lagoon without a stamp like everyone else. And man, she was happy to have that stamp. (Sometimes in the car these days she will out of the blue ask me what happened to her stamp that has washed off. So cute.) Notice that second picture of the girls as we came in, Vivi is looking at her stamp...

We were able to go with Ava which was so fun. The girls went on some baby rides with us and that was fun for Vivi. Vivi is pretty much fearless with most rides, and she always thinks they are "So fun!" It was such a beautiful spring day with the tulips in full bloom. It was slightly chilly, but in the sun it was amazing and I loved just sitting in the sun and thinking about the fact that we had a whole year of Lagoon fun in our future. 

Our only other spring visit was a few weeks later on April 28th. And Brent shocked the world by expressing interest in joining us as we went to Lagoon. He offered to watch Vivi while Stella and I went on the bigger rides. It really didn't make any sense to pay for him to go one day and not to just get him a season pass, so we did it. And the whole moment of him walking from the parking lot, to getting his picture taken, to getting his stamp was just great. We were all excited. I do love having us all together, even though I know Brent basically doesn't like it. We had a fun day though. Stella and I did go on some big rides. Stella is finally tall enough to go on Jet Star and so we did. She was pretty scared, but she LOVED it of course. Still, Stella didn't really like being away from Vivi. She wanted to take Vivi on all of the rides and watch her enjoy all of these new adventures. Which of course just goes to show that Stella is pretty much the best big sister of all time guys.

I love that Vivi loves Lagoon. Before we got her in China, I warned Stella that Vivi could not love the rides or all of the crowds. But apparently she is kind of a dare devil just like her awesome big sister. 


I've had such a crush on Justin Timberlake for so long. I'm not alone in this as he has many female fans, but still I dig him. Years ago one of his concerts was on TV and I was so sad I wasn't there. Brent suggested I should be glad because I am saving all this money and I am able to watch the show from the comfort of my own home, but all I could think about is how I should have just packed up and traveled the closest tour city and gone.

As far as I know, Justin has never been to SLC as a solo artist, so when I saw that he was going to be here for his next tour on April 12 I knew right away I HAD to go. Tickets were NOT cheap. In fact when I found out exactly how much they were going to be the morning they went on sale, I texted Lindsey to make sure she was up for it and I even had to think again if it was worth it to go. But I just knew I would be sad if I didn't pony up for tickets. The ticket process was crazy and when I finally was able to get into the system to buy tickets I bought the first ones they offered me. Then about an hour later I was able to buy some in the cheap sections and Ashley said for that price she did want to go and then we decided to take mom for her birthday. So that is how us girls ended up going to Justin.

I was so excited the day of and eating dinner before. I could barely take it! I made everyone get there kinda early because I didn't like how late we were to Taylor when she came two years ago and I thought it would be a similar scene. It wasn't, so we had time to kill. We walked around a bit and then mom and Ash took their seats. We then ran into Courtney and her sisters who had just purchased tickets that day.

The show was amazing! Justin played all of his hits. And that kid, oh man he is just a star. And the dancing, OH THE DANCING! So darling. So darling. I couldn't believe how much energy he had at the end of the show still! I LOVED IT!

Oh, and I bought and sold four other tickets to some strangers so technically I saw the show for free. ;)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


We celebrated Vivi's first family day by going to the Chinese lantern festival that was coming through town. It seemed like the perfect way to celebrate one year with our sweet Vivien. In true Vivi fashion our little sugar went from feeling fine, to coughing like crazy and acting like she only wanted to lay down and sleep in the course of the evening. You could hear her coughs basically anywhere on the fairgrounds.

I was a little disappointed in the festival itself. The lanterns were cool, but they advertised food and all there was was fair food, Mexican food, and a white guy selling the worst noodles I've ever had in my life. Vivi was into them so that was good. Also they claimed they would have all of this Chinese art and they only had a few things. It was not what I pictured for the ticket price, but it was still really pretty. Vivi was still slightly spry after dinner but she went down fast. She was sick the day we met her and she was sick one year later. It made sense.

The girls each got a Chinese glass egg with their names painted inside the eggs. I had brought a picture of Vivi's name in Chinese and it tickled me that the guys there looked at it and said: "SongJia." I mean, of course they could read it, but it just looks like pretty lines to me and the fact that they could read it surprised me. I think we would have stayed longer, but poor Vivi and the coughing. We had to get her home.

I find that on Stella's birthday I reflect a bit on that day when she was born and the crazy scared emotions I felt and remember what it felt like to hold that tiny baby for the first time. When Vivi has a birthday I don't have that same connection to that day. For me, April 5 is the day that I will always reflect on how it felt to first hold Vivien in my arms and how scared and terrified we both were. The way I felt about that toddler in my arms at that very moment compared to how I felt about the child in my arms who was coughing and hacking up her insides one year later while we explored the lantern festival is from one end of the spectrum of feelings to the next. In this year she has become my daughter so completely I can't imagine my life without her. How did that happen? How did she become mine? I don't even fully understand how many ways my Heavenly Father intervened in my life to make this miracle child possible. I love her so completely and simply. Adoption is such an amazing way to gain a child. Also, I think I always thought we would adopt a child that needed us as a family, but I didn't realize how much I would need her. Vivien had completely changed me in so many ways I can't even begin to describe it to anyone. I can barley describe it to myself. One of the most amazing people I know, was abandoned on a hospital bench on March 15, 2015. She was found by a stranger and then raised by women who selfishly loved her even though they knew that she did not belong to them forever. She was then snatched up by strangers who wanted to care for her desperately and show her the love of a family. Then she was taken away from her home country to become a citizen of a new country without knowing what to expect. She has blossomed in our home. She is so brave and stubborn and fun and happy. She is resilient and kind and thoughtful and she has the biggest smile and the most adorable dimples. Oh and, her eyes sparkle when she talks. She is a missing piece that we longed for and prayed for for years. She is the greatest joy and strangers tell us how cute she is all of the time. However, I don't think it is because she is physically cute (even though she is), but her personality is cute. She is friendly and likes people. She likes adventures and eats all the foods. She loves her cousins and her grandparents and her aunties and uncles and her friends. She is crazy about her sister and she always wants to know where her daddy is. She kisses and snuggles with fierce intensity and just makes me so happy. How did I get to be so lucky to be her earthly mom? I don't even know.

So I found this quote a while ago and the woman who said it make it into a little design. I bought it and I plan to hang it in Vivi's room one day:

My favorite line is: "I don't know what it's like to look at you and catch a glimpse of myself as a child. What I see in you is far more beautiful than that. I see the hand of God in my life." The first time I read that I cried and I cried the second and third time too. That was it! That was how I felt when I looked at Vivien. I look at her and I see the hand of God in my life so clearly I could never deny that He lives and He loves me. I also know that He loves Vivien and I am lucky to be a part of His plan for her life. She is the greatest blessing I'll ever receive.