Our Annual Visit with Santa

Every year – like a million other families – we take our daughter to see Santa. We are very lucky that we live so close to Disneyland – and we almost always go and see Santa at the Big Thunder Ranch. This year was not any different. We went and waited in line with LOTS of other anxious and excited little kids and got to see Santa.
Miss K told him the same thing he does every year. She always asks him to bring her a surprise – a toy or something he knows that she will like. I absolutely ADORE this about her! She knows he is working super hard to get special things for every good girl and boy and she wants to make it easier for him. She knows she will get something she loves – and she has yet to be disappointed!
We also met Mrs. Claus this year – and she was super excited that her dress looked so much like Mrs. Claus’ dress!
It was a fantasy filled day – just like it always is with Santa, Christmas time, and Disneyland!
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I used the kit – Heart of Christmas by Ginger’s Scraps and Pixels and you can find it here:
http://www.godigitalscrapbooking.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_dnld_info&cPath=29_272&products_id=22657
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My Tiny Dancer and Making a Joyful Noise for the New Year!!

My first page with this super cute kit was created using a photograph I took on my daughter’s birthday. She loves to dance and perform, and I managed to catch her as she curtsied at the end of her “birthday” dance!
This was the day my baby girl turned 7 years! It is now 1 whole year later, and she just turned 8 – and she still loves to dance & perform!
My second pages’ pictures were taken the same day as the one above – but these were to celebrate the new year.
Every New Year’s Eve we take down the horns and we welcome the new year. None of us are very good at it, but it is fun to try! We are loud, we laugh, we all take a turn!
These are memories that we will never forget. Amazing times with an amazing family!
Happy New Year!
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I used the kit – 12 Days of Christmas by Ginger’s Scraps and Pixels and you can purchase it here:

Beautiful Christmas Memories

Christmas 2012 was the last Christmas that we got to celebrate with my Dad healthy and at home. We had a wonderful, peaceful, close family day.
My family will tell you that I am obsessed with taking photos – of family, of celebrations, of everyday life. I will admit that it’s true, I am, and I am SO glad that it extended to making sure that we always got a photo of the whole family (or as much of the family who could be with us) This is the last family photo that we have from a Christmas with both of my parents.
There is nothing really more I can say about this photo, except that it makes me smile, and also makes me a bit weepy at the same time. It is a bittersweet photo – but one I will always cherish.
So thank you to my family – for putting up with my crazy obsession and helping me to capture one last fleeting moment of a beautiful family at a special time of year!
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I used the kit – Heart of Christmas by Ginger’s Scraps and Pixels and you can find it here:
http://www.godigitalscrapbooking.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_dnld_info&cPath=29_272&products_id=22656

 

Apologies

I am so sorry that I have not been posting for awhile.  My life has been very difficult and the last two months just crushed me. As I think I mentioned a few months ago, my Dad unexpectedly passed away the day after my wedding anniversary this year in May.

Still processing and grieving from his loss, as I was a total Daddy’s Girl, I had been helping my Mom to work on his estate, and help her to see her new path, and make plans for a very different life. My Mom and Dad were married for just shy of 54 years. They had an amazing marriage, friendship, love, and life together.

My Mom loved my Dad beyond words, beyond emotions, beyond anything, and I truly believe that her heart was broken with his loss.

In November, my Mom was scheduled for open heart surgery to repair some damage to her heart – all of which were fairly minor, but together made for a very long and difficult surgery.

On November 12th she had her surgery, and it went fairly well, though there were some complications. She fought hard and made it through surgery and into the CICU for recovery. The next few days she got stronger, an seemed to be getting better.  She had some issues with a few things, and as is typical post major surgery, had very little appetite.  On November 18th, she began to really have problems, and the hospital began major intervention in the hopes that they could stabilize her and help her to continue to recover. But it was not to be. That afternoon she went into kidney failure and things continued to get worse.

That night I received a phone call I never wanted to get. My Mom was going to make it through the night, but she was sedated and they weren’t sure she would pull through. At 4am on November 19th, I was called by her night nurse and told I needed to come to the hospital.

I loaded my sleeping daughter into the car and drove to Flagstaff to be with my Mom as she passed away. Thankfully, I had dear friends of the family with me, and my amazing husband – who received all of this bad news upon getting off a plane from a business trip to China – drove 8 hours to  be by my side and say goodbye to a woman he felt was his other Mom.

We said goodbye to my Mom just after he arrived at about 9pm on November 19th, and she passed away peacefully as I held her hand and cried. I have never wept so much, for so long, and for so many, many reasons.

My life has been ripped apart in the last 7 months, and I am struggling to put the pieces back together and keep going. I am determined to continue to make her and my Dad proud. To be a good person, a wonderful Mom, and to be the woman they raised me to be. But everyday is a struggle. Somedays I laugh, and for a moment the pain is gone, I almost forget that they are not here with me anymore. More often than not however, I feel a huge hole. I used to talk to my Mom every single day. So many times I reach for the phone, or think – I need to share this with Mom, then I remember I can’t talk to her on the phone anymore.

I know she and my Dad are here with me in spirit, but it is not the same. I miss her laugh, his smile, their obvious love, and all the quirks that made them…them.

Anyway, I know that life goes on, and I am trying to start again – to regain and rediscover my joys in life. Their cats bring me joy and help keep a piece of them with me. My daughter is a constant reminder that I am blessed and she brings me joy – just as she brought to them, and my scrapbooking – it brings me joy – amazing memories, captured on film and preserved with the stories behind the photos – those things I will always hold close to my heart.

So, in honor of the things that bring me joy, I am trying to get caught up on the layouts I had started way back in November, and begin some new layouts to help me smile, and more importantly heal.

Below are some of my favorite photos from the last few years. I will treasure these forever.  No need for them to be placed into a layout – but someday when I can look at them and not burst into tears I will scrap them with the stories behind them – to preserve those precious moments for my daughter and her children.

All my love, and thanks for waiting for me.

Chandra

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