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Our favorite toy -- Magna-Tiles! Evan is playing a hockey game and Joy set up all her little dolls to watch. They can play with these for hours. I'm amazed that even after 8 years they're in great shape and the kids still love playing with them. I remember Evan's chubby baby fingers grabbing pieces and just marveling at the light shining through. As the years went on their creations got more complex yet sometimes still stay as simple as using the pieces as pretend money or food. We donated or gave away so many toys yet these are the ones we held on to because they get played with all the time!

London 2017
A video from our London trip -- goo.gl/4s9KkQ (link in profile)
Trying to have a fancy traditional tea with Joy and she says, "It looks like pee I don't want to drink the tea!" Andy's response, "Have a wonderful tea!"
When I was trying to take photos of the kids at landmarks and realized there's no way to beat the crowds I started adding Andy to the background for fun.
I always have a short list of "scavenger hunt" photos we try to take on every trip -- one is a cool spot with our shoes. The kids love looking around for a good shot!
We took a chance and tried @onefinestay for the first time and loved it! You can see a bit of it in the video but it was so convenient having 2 separate rooms and bathrooms and a full kitchen. They even give you an iPhone to use during your stay!

Hi buddies! We've been super busy and my short IG break turned into 6 months! We spent a few weeks in Europe in the spring then the whole summer in Asia. Now we're back and still settling into our new home. I've learned and discovered so many things while I was away and I can't wait to share them with you. Hope you've been doing great~ please fill me in on how you've been! Happy Halloween!

Hi buddies! Things have been so hectic that I didn't even get to properly plan to be gone. If you've texted or messaged me I haven't been able to receive them! Andy had meetings in Europe so we decided to tag along. Even though we had to take the kids out of school my mom encouraged me to take them on this adventure to get some real world education.
We left with three different crews working on our backyard and many open projects in the house. I ordered a bunch of things for the trip (including a camera lens!) that didn't arrive in time. I was basically throwing things into the luggage all the way up until it was time to leave. The kids had rice in the car on the way to the airport because I didn't have time to feed them. At least it was brown rice...I told myself. There were so many more things going on that made it hard to leave but we made the jump and here we are...over 5,000 miles from home.
Wifi is spotty so I'll try to catch up with you when I can! Hope you've been doing great! ❀

Thanks so much for all your sweet get well wishes for Evan! It was a rough week for all of us~ especially him! He was highly contagious so we had to keep the kids apart. Joy missed Evan so much and said she wouldn't fight with him if she could see him again. My heart melted when I saw them playing Sticks together through the window. Truly thankful for this glimpse into their friendship (which took a long time to form). Hope you're all healthy and having a fabulous start to your week!

It's 10pm and I'm sitting in my pjs eating a Haagen-Dazs ice cream bar and chatting with Andy about tree varieties when my world stopped as I heard Evan gasping for air saying he couldn't breathe. He had gone to sleep with some hives so my first thought was that he was having an allergic reaction. I called 911 and the ambulance came. The dispatcher told me the most important thing to do was to stay calm. I don't know how I got through those first few minutes or even hours. Evan ended up staying the night in the ER and was treated for strep throat, croup and the flu. How in the world could he go from not having any symptoms to escalating so quickly in just a few hours?! Thankfully he is on the mend but that night was one of the scariest in my entire life! I am just so thankful to be able to enjoy ordinary moments with my Evan~ playing cards, laughing, reading and singing together!

We hopped on a red eye flight to Miami. Andy had a meeting the next morning but forgot his shoes! We arrived in Miami at 5am and the only place open was Walmart so as the car waited outside we ran across the store looking for dress shoes. Luckily we found some and after his meeting we were able to enjoy Miami! β˜€οΈπŸŒ΄β›±
Silly selfies, walking around aimlessly on the beach, late night ramen, yummy Cuban food and dreaming up new ideas for the house -- priceless memories with my favorite person. On the way home the flight attendant told us she thought we were so cute and sweet together. Warms my heart to think that even after all these years we can make someone smile just by being us. So very thankful to my in-laws and Andy for encouraging me to take this much needed break. Now back to my full-time construction management job!πŸ‘·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

When you're trying to read a book peacefully but everyone around you is having a party -- your dog jumps up and paws at you, your sister is doing acrobatics and your mom can't stop laughing. πŸΆπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜†
I always tell Evan he needs to learn how to focus even when there are so many distractions and how great it is that Joy is always available to provide him opportunities to practice this skill. 😊

So thankful we have such generous neighbors! They gave us a science party gift certificate they won from a charity auction. Since we didn't have a place to host the party we figured out a way for the science session to be at school. Evan told me over the weekend we need to write a thank you card. I said we can't write it until the event actually takes place so he asked me to set a reminder on my phone. Love his grateful heart!
I really appreciate Joy's love for school. She is so excited for each new project. This week we got to bring home Hilda the hippo and read the sweetest story about a friendship that bloomed between an orphaned hippo and an elderly tortoise -- Owen and Mzee. My favorite kinds of stories are about unexpected friendships and how love rises above any differences we may have. ❀️

My last post talked about how I can never quite finish a cup of coffee since I'm always reheating it and running around. Thank you for sharing all of your reheating coffee stories~ love how this is actually a common occurrence, lol! I came home from drop off yesterday to find that Bella drank the rest of my lukewarm coffee. Now I can add "dog drank my coffee" to my list of why I don't get to finish my coffee. I never even used to drink coffee and now it's such a simple but nice perk to my day. Hope you've been doing great! I tend to disconnect when I'm busy and just get through the days talking to and interacting with people who are physically present but that means I don't get to keep up with the online world and faraway friends. I miss you all! πŸ’•

I want to remember and be thankful for even the busiest of days so I'm writing it down. A typical Skippee day:
6-7am Wake up, eat breakfast and get the kids ready for school. Make coffee. β˜•οΈ
8am Drop Evan off at school. πŸ‘¦πŸ»
9am Hang out with Joy before dropping her off at school. πŸ‘§πŸ» Then a supermarket sweep through Trader Joe's grabbing anything that looks healthy and tasty. πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ
9:30am Make it back home in time for meeting with landscape architect. Heat up coffee. Spend the next 2 hours measuring and figuring out how to build an air conditioning unit enclosure. πŸ€”
11:30am Meet with contractor to walk through different open items. Spend 30 minutes trying to brush and cut Bella's fur before the groomer comes. Get Bella groomed. 🐩 Heat up coffee. Get a gift for Andy's assistant and drop it off. Send back failed lighting purchase via UPS.
2pm Read to Joy's class. Pick up Evan. Hide in the car with Evan while Joy is in tennis class (because she won't participate if we're there). 🎾😳
4:30pm Take Evan to Taekwondo and play in the car before it starts.
6-8pm Throw away full cup of cold coffee. 😝 Prepare dinner, eat, play, homework, bath for kids, clean, etc. Work on figuring out new light fixture with Andy but fall asleep even before the kids. πŸ’‘πŸ› πŸ˜΄
12am Wake up and try to clean but fall asleep again. πŸ’€
I've had to use any in between time to research house stuff, handle kids' school logistics, plan events/trips and return phone calls. I realized I haven't even been able to eat lunch or just leisurely sit. Today I decided to take a break and catch up with all of my favorite buddies. Hope you've been doing great! Would love to hear about your typical day too~ and wouldn't it be fun to look back years from now to see a glimpse of this stage in your life? If you do share please tag me! ❀️

Last week Evan's teacher said that instead of journal homework they should use that time to prepare Valentine's Day cards for each of their classmates. There are only 15 other kids so there was more than enough time to finish them. Somehow the whole week passed and I didn't have time to buy any or even think of preparing anything. On Saturday I thought~ we need to buy Valentine's Day cards! So we went to Target and I got them.
It's the night before Valentine's Day and I couldn't find the cards anywhere! Then it slowly started coming back to me. I could see myself in Target setting down the cards so I could climb up to reach the last box of chia seed pouches. Oops! Andy ran to Target to try to scrounge up some last minute cards while Evan wrote To/From and his friends' names on Post-it notes so we could stick them on whatever Andy could find.
Evan was cracking up and jokingly asked me...Omma, did you really need those six boxes of chia seed pouches? So funny! I'm glad he's really mellow and doesn't let little things like this bother him. In the spirit of being more like him~ I just laughed it off. There might be a day in the future (or maybe never) when we can work on those beautiful Pinterest Valentine's Day projects but for now we are happy with Post-it notes and we have enough chia seed pouches to last us for weeks! Happy Valentine's Day!
#skippeeholidays #ValentinesDay2017

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