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Monday, July 29, 2013

Missouri Gets Interesting: Barn Quilts

If you are looking for something to do in Blackwater, Missouri look no further than the Barn Quilts of the Boonslick. While we were in Missouri, we found this really cool thing called Barn Quilts of the Boonslick. All it took was the word quilts and I was on board. 

Basically, different barns around the area pick a quilt square they want painted on their barn, and it goes up. There are about 41 barn quilts in the Boonslick, Missouri area. 

"The mission of the Barn Quilts of the Boonslick Region is to promote and celebrate the unique agricultural experience of the region through the visual combination of barns . . . vital to the economic well being of the rural community . . . and the comfort of homemade quilts that provided warmth, beauty and an outlet for individual expression.  Travel the Boonslick Trail to experience a new trend in tourism.  Barn quilts are large colorful blocks that are designed, painted and then hung on the side of barns.  Click above for a map and further information about the individual barn quilts in  Cooper, Howard and Saline Counties. " {Source via

Barry, Mom, and I decided to take a little tour and see some of the quilts around our area. *Note: Mom thought this was really stupid, and made fun of me the whole time. But at least she came. 

I was really excited because there were so many quilts really close to us. 

Here are a few quilts that we got to see: 

"The Trails" 

"Harvest Star" 

"Star and Pin Wheel" 

"Prairie Queen" 
*This was the barn at the bed and breakfast the reunion was at. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

2004 Travel Reunion #asianbabyreunion

Okay, I know I still have a lot of updates to do about my visit with my cousins, but I wanted to put that on hold and talk about my trip home. 

I flew into Georgia on the 11th of July and immediately got in the car with my family to head to Missouri for the Asian Baby Reunion

*If you missed my explanation about what an Asian Baby Reunion is click here.

The car ride was not too terrible. {I slept pretty much the whole way.} We stopped in the City of Metropolis for the night, and the next morning we went to see the giant Superman statue.

{Olivia looks thrilled}

After 11 hours we finally arrived in Missouri!

This year the reunion was at a bed and breakfast called Aunt Jody's Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast. It was literally in the middle of nowhere, and I was a little worried that it would be boring. But everything was great. The kids had a great time, and the parents had a great time visiting. This was the largest turn out since 2005! It's amazing to see how much the 2004 girls have grown, and how big our adoption group has gotten!

Overall the kids had a great time. They mostly hung out in the house and played, they adventured to the barn, played in a corn field, and went fishing in the pond.

Next year will be the 10 year anniversary of the 2004 adoption group. I am excited to see all the girls again, and hope that we have a large turn out.

If you are interested in learning more about Children's Hope International click here.

{image via

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Friday Flashback #59

Look at these kids! They were so little. When I was home this trip, it was very obvious that these kids are no longer my little babies. Oh how time flies. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Nu'uanu Pali Lookout {Travel Series}

After hitting up Shark's Cove and Turtle Beach we went to the Pali Lookout. 

Nu'uanu Pali Lookout
Cost: Parking for non-residents is $3 
Time: 30 minutes 
Location: Off the Pali Highway 

The Pali lookout was the location of the battle of Nu'uanu in the 1700s when Kamehameha I sought to unite the Hawaiian islands. The battle was called Kaleleka'anae (leaping of the 'anae fish) because the men were forced off the cliff during the battle. This was one of the deciding battles that united the islands and made Kamehameha I the first monarch of Hawaii. {Source: Pali Lookout}

The Pali lookout also holds a beautiful lookout of the Windward Coast, and on windy days the wind is so strong it's hard to walk. I've gone a few times when it's so strong I can lean over and the wind just kept me upright.

Jessie and Jake really enjoyed the lookout and seeing the beautiful view. This stop doesn't take too much time, so I would recommend just stopping by. And what I really love is that there is NO hike to get to the lookout!

{Jake, Me, Jessie, and Sarah- a friend of mine that was in my study abroad program in London.} 

*As I end this post, I want to shout out to this week's Let's Be Friends Blog Hop. Remember this is a link up to help get your blog out there and for you to meet other bloggers! I encourage you to check it out! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Flashback #58

Last week, I was able to go to the annual Asian Baby Reunion
{blog post to come about this year's reunion.} 

If you are confused, I'll explain. Nine years ago my parents adopted Olivia from China. From then on, there has been an annual reunion for the girls that were adopted in the same group and region as Olivia. The parents of the girls decided they always wanted to get together so the girls had a tie to their past. 

I have not been able to go to this reunion since 2009, and I could not believe how big the girls got, and how many more members have been added to the group. 

I thought I would flashback to some of the reunions so you can see the change. I don't have all the pictures from all the years, but here's what I have. 

Reunion 2008 - Georgia 
Age 5 

{From left to right: Katie May, Juliet*, Charlotte, Olivia, KC} 

{Margie, Olivia, Katie May, Charlotte, KC} 

Reunion 2009- California 
Age 6 

{Olivia, Margie, KC, Charlotte, Juliet*} 

{Margie, KC, Olivia, Juliet} 

Reunion 2013- Missouri 
Age 10 

{Back row: Juliet, Olivia, Charlotte, Emily. Middle: KC. Front: Margie, Moira*, Katie May} 

{Back Row: Me, Aiden, Shane (Margie and Mora's siblings), Hank, Mary Kate*
Middle: Margie, KC, Olivia, Emily, Katie May
Front: Charlotte, Alex*, Khole*, Jud*, Moira*, Juliet, Juliet*} 

Look how much these girls have grown, and how big our group has gotten. There were 15 in the group that Olivia was adopted in and many of the families that adopted once went and adopted again. 

*Indicates siblings of the original Guangdong 2004 girls. 

MIA... Sorry

If you haven't noticed, I have been a missing from my blog the last week or so. I will try to be better while I am on my mini-cation, but I have been busy! 

In case you are wondering here is what I have been up to: 

Packing up and leaving Hawaii
{After living there for 4 1/2 years. It took 3 suitcases and many many US postal boxes, but I finally got us all moved out of Hawaii. There were some tears, but I am excited for this new adventure.} 

Flying to Atlanta and upon arrival realizing one of my suitcases did not make it. 
{The one with the shot glasses I have collected while in Hawaii, and the one with all my clothes. Of course, the clothes did not bother me, but the shot glasses did. Which lead to a complete melt down in the airport! The good news is my bag was found, and has returned to me.} 

Driving to Missouri for an Asian Baby reunion 
{post to come later}

Hanging out with these lovelies. 

Totally relaxing at the pool. 

Eating WAY too much Chick-fil-A 

Seeing my BFF 

Going to WAY too many doctors appointments 

And Skyping with this hunky man. 

I have been having a blast, and kinda don't want this trip to Georgia to end. 

But I do need to get back to my husband! 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Friday Flashback #57

I came across this picture a few days ago and just thought I had to share it. 

{Circa 2009} 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Coffee and Conversation #15 {Forgiveness}

A couple weeks ago, I particpated in my first ever Coffee and Conversation. I love the concept of getting together and sharing  on a certain topic. {I have been a bit busy and forgot to link up, but I am still going to answer the question.} 

If you missed June 24ths post click here

Coffee & Conversation

The question of the week is: 
"What does forgiveness look like? At what point do you realize it's time to forgive and move on if someone takes advantage of you?"

"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." - Les Brown

For me, forgiveness is sometimes hard because I have a hard time not bringing up the past. I have a hard time putting whatever offense happened, or whatever comment was said behind me. This is something I have always struggled with. So this topic is a little difficult because it is a challenge. 

But maybe that's the way I define it. I believe true forgiveness is not necessarily forgetting the incident or the issue, but being able to put it behind me. Being able to move forward with the person in spite of what happened. True forgiveness is leaving the past exactly where it belongs: In the past. 

And I believe sometimes that is necessary even if a formal apology was not issued. 

{image via

Forgiving is for you. You feel better when you are able to forgive, and it's necessary because no one is perfect. If we expect to be forgiven for our wrong comments or acts, we have to be willing to forgive others. 

In terms of when it's the right time to forgive- I think that's just up to you. Some offenses are slight and take much to get over, while some are large and they take a while for the hurt to heal. 

For me, when I am obsessing about the problem I usually know it is time for me to forgive. When this issue is taking over my thoughts, the only way to free myself is to let it go. This does not mean I am not going to be wary for a while after, but I will let the issue go. 

Forgiveness is a hard and necessary part of life. Without forgiveness our lives would be very empty because the fact of the matter is everyone makes mistakes. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hawaii- Turtle Beach {Travel Series}

Last week, I started my new travel series. I thought it was a perfect time to do this because my cousins Jessie and Jake were visiting and I played tour guide one last time before leaving Hawaii. 

On their second day of visit we headed to Shark's Cove, and then to Turtle Beach. 

Jessie and Jake wanted to hit up as many snorkeling places as possible, so I really wanted to take them to Turtle Beach. 

Laniakea Beach {AKA Turtle Beach}
Cost: Free 
Time: 30 minutes- 1 hour
Location: North Shore, Oahu 

At Turtle Beach you will find exactly what you would think: Turtles. We went to this place because it is famous for Green Sea Turtles. I drive by this beach everyday going to work, and there are always turtles there. I have even seen a Monk Seal laying out once. It's not the greatest beach to layout, but it's pretty cool to see the turtles on the beach and in the water. 

Jessie, Jake, and I immediately saw a turtle laying out on the beach and we could see some turtle heads bobbing around in the water. Green Sea Turtles are protected, so there is usually a volunteer making sure you don't get too close to them. They are also usually roped off. When you are there please remember to be careful and don't break the rules. There is a reason they are protected! 

Since we saw some turtles in the water, we decided to put our snorkel masks on and go in. The snorkeling can be a little murky, it just depends on the day. When we went it was pretty nice. We saw tons of sea urchins and some fish. We were about to call it a day when we finally saw a green sea turtle in the water. 

No matter how many times I see these turtles, I still get so excited. They are just so cool. If you have time and are on this side of the island- stop here. If you don't have time to snorkel, that is fine- just stop and take some pictures of the ones laying out. 

You will know you have reached Turtle Beach because there is a ton of traffic, especially in the summer. I mean a lot of traffic! {It didn't make my drive home from work any fun.} 

We had a blast at this beach, and I would encourage all of you to stop by if you ever find yourself on Oahu.