Red Thread

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break." ~ Ancient Chinese Beli

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

So much to be thankful for.....

With Thanksgiving on our door step, I can not help but wish I was surrounded by my entire extended family this holiday.  As I reflect on all that I have to be thankful for, my family is at the top of my list.

Summer has come and gone and I never posted about the wonderful trip we made back to the US to visit with family and friends.  This entry is dedicated to my amazing family and our long & lazy days of summer spent together.  Hope the photos bring back all the wonderful memories!  

Happy Thanksgiving......Love you all.

In mid June, we flew from Singapore to Los Angeles and spent a week in Seal Beach visiting with my sister Karen and her family.  We had a blast!

Our "Pineapple Cottage" in Seal Beach - a block from the beach.
The roof top was our second home.
Enjoying the beach with cousin Victoria, aka "Buggy"
Frick and Frack
Hanging in town with cousin Christina, aka Stina, in the early evening - loving the chill in the air!
Swimming with Aunt Karen

Ella getting in some guitar time courtesy of cousin Andrea, aka "the big one" to Lexi!
Nothing like a good carnival!
Who is having more fun?

Lunch in Huntington Beach

A day in the tide pools
Happy as a clam
Back on the rooftop of the Pineapple Cottage
... having fun with story charades!
Aunt Karen & Uncle Pete trying for a group photo with Lex but no go
Visiting Buggy at work - Taco Surf!
Nature Reserve
Resting after our strenuous walk!
Japanese Gardens at Long Beach State
What comes next was an amazing experience that Ella and Lexi had at the Japanese Gardens. 
We stumbled across a Japanese Story teller who was looking for volunteers......
Ella jumped at the chance and surprisingly Lexi followed with no encouragement from us. 

The narrator had the children act out three stories from the book Zen Shorts by 
Jon J. Muth.  
The girls played Michael, Addy and Karl in order of how they lined up.
 Karl was not quite sure what he had gotten himself into!

Addy happily engaged with Stillwater the Panda
Karl enjoyed some ball time with Stillwater before.... 
...tea time
Stillwater, the wise panda, tells Karl a story about two traveling mice monks who assist an ungrateful woman.  The story is about letting go of your anger and resentments, and most importantly going on with your life.   The lesson from this story is quite meaningful.
Boat ride around Long Beach
Enjoying the sun and the breeze
ditto from above
cousins on deck!
a bit more beach time
Finally got a smile towards the end of the week from Lex - she really enjoyed getting buried over and over again.
Saying good bye to the Espos was far easier then usual as we would be seeing them in a few weeks in CT! So off we went flying LAX to JFK to set up camp at Mimi & Papa's house for another 6 weeks.  The first few weeks were hard as we tried to establish a new routine but quite honestly Lexi took much quicker to my parents then I expected so this was a blessing.  Then again, who doesn't adore Mimi & Papa? :)

Having said that, as the rest of the gang (aunts, uncles and cousins) came in and out Lexi maneuvered in and around the settings - she kept to herself a lot but slowly began to engage more and enjoy lots of new experiences with the East Coast family.  Ella of course was over the moon with excitement.
Quinn & Lexi enjoying the Dora House
Water rats by day...... worms by night 
Quinn & Lexi clearly more interested with the Ipad then posing for the camera like their big sisters!
4th of July BBQ with Uncle Mike and family
Happy Birthday America!
Story time with Mimi
Kiera & Lexi go shopping
Playing Beauty Shop
Ella loved when I put Lexi to sleep - as it would take hours -  because she would have Mimi and Papa to herself.  And.....Mimi makes the best ice cream sundaes!!
Ella, Lexi and I took took a few days to visit my dear friends from college Heather & family and Jen & family.  Both were vacationing on the island of Nantucket which is just 30 miles south of  Cape Cod.  
Heather, Maggie , Lex and Elle
Beautiful Nantucket home

Tuck won Lexi's heart and was working hard to build the perfect sand castle
and Lexi didnt let him stop until he buried her a few times!
But even better then being buried is.....

.... breaking free!
Maggie and Ella take to the surf
riding the waves
My gorgeous Hez!
Ella clearly not feeling well...her fever was spiking right about now.

Cuddling with Auntie Hez didn't even help
Special time with Mags
The only picture I have with Jen (aka Tipper) and family :(
The next generation from me and my college gfs.
Collin, Patrick - Ella, Lexi and Bunny Foo Foo - Maggie (missing are her 3 older bros)
The kids were amazing with Lexi and kept her entertained so I could enjoy some quality time with my girlfriends.
Back in Connecticut we continued to enjoy lots of time at the pool, the Long Island Sound and the lake.  Karen and crew (minus Andrea) came East for another week and Patrick came back for our last few days to help celebrate Papa's 80th birthday!!!

The girls at Fairfield Beach where we met up with my High School girlfriends
Ella and Papa at the beach

Ella with dear friend Kelly
...and with dear friend Debbie
A great way to spend to an cream with Auntie Annie, Nolan and Gracie!
Pinewood Lake with cousins
Gracie and Ella chilling on the lake
Our gang
Uncle Pete is back!
Lexi Lu with Aunt Karen, aka God Mudda
Elza and Uncle Pete climbing the rocks in Groton
Lobster Traps

Post Lobster Roll....a happy couple!
Dane, aka Boyfriend, makes it to the East Coast 
Frick and Frack back together again
Ella & Connor 
Game time with cousins

Our wonderful summer came to an end with an early surprise 80th Birthday celebration for our dear Dad, aka Poopah and Papa.  Such an amazing man who we all adore!

Auntie Annie and Lexi Lu inspecting dessert

My niece Andrea could not join in the East Coast reunion but she was not far from our thoughts as we took this photo......

I am so grateful for my loving family!!