Saturday, September 26, 2009


My family could really use as many prayers as possible right now. Please pray for my cousin Jamie, as well as her sons, husband, parents, brothers and extended family. Thanks.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mari's FIRST shower gift

Earlier in the week we had dinner with Bill's parents and grandparents. Gigi couldn't make it to the shower so she gave Mariana her very first shower gift.

Which, of course, Mari LOVED.

Mariana loves her great-grandparents.

In fact, all the kids love their Gigi and Poppy.

Three of my favorite people...

The baby doesn't REALLY take a shower with everyone!

This weekend was the Welcome Home Baby Shower for Mariana

You'd never guess from this photo that MY SISTER is the one who's actually new-found affinity for long flowy (uber-comfy) sundresses does nothing for my figure! LOL

Cake #1

Cake #2 (HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!?!?!?)

And who wouldn't LOVE a pink ducky bathtub? (Which did a FANTASTIC double duty as a punch bowl!!)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Never mind the "update"'s what everyone REALLY wants to see...

Has it really been a week already?

Sheesh! Where did it go? It hardly seems like it's been a full week but, at the same time, I can't help but feel like we've been at home together forever. Here's the rundown of what's been:

* Mariana has met about 30 of her family and friends ... but she's still waiting to meet her Papaw.

* We've learned she LOVES swimming in Memaw's pool.

* She's been to several cookouts and spent lots of time relaxing and getting acclimated to her new surroundings.

* She's been to church twice - she slept through one service and "talked" through the other.

* She's started to cry and fuss when she wants something or doesn't want something -- she didn't do this a month ago so we are glad to hear her expressing herself.

And here's what's still to come:

* First doctor's appointment next week

* Welcome home party/shower this weekend

* Lots and lots more firsts...and we can't wait

Monday, September 7, 2009

Our Welcome Home Surprise!

Mom and Bill met Mariana and me at the airport Friday night. When we dropped Mom off at home we saw surprise #1 in her front yard:

How CUTE is that?!?!?!?!

Then when we pulled in at our house we saw surprise #2:

We totally LOVED our welcome home signs. And, personally, I think this is a terrific idea for anyone with a new addition!

If you're local and want to look into these signs for yourself or a loved one, make sure to visit The Traveling Stork for more information.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Skipping most of Day 24 and getting straight to the GOOD STUFF!

Yesterday was terrific. Busy day followed by a wonderful dinner with some really great people. We were already planning what we´ll do on our NEXT trip to Bogota -- with ALL FIVE OF US!

But TODAY...TODAY is the the day I have been waiting for!! TODAY is the day I get to go home! I have a couple of errands to run this morning, then I have to go back to the embassy to get Mariana´s visa, and then it´s STRAIGHT TO THE AIRPORT! I can´t wait.

Please join us in praying for safe travels and I´ll post again from South Florida!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I've been asked for more pictures of Mariana and, like a good little girl, she provided just the perfect photo opportunity today! Enjoy!
Would you just LOOK at that face! But do you know what it means?

It means Miss Mari ate an entire bowl of sopa with dinner tonight...from a spoon! (Up until now she's refused anything from a spoon and would only take her bottle.)

HOORAY MARI!!! You did it!!!!

Such a cutie pie...and bigger and bigger every day!


Today was busy, busy. In the morning we had to get Mariana's photo taken for her visa. It is a different size than the passport photos and, after the "adventure" of getting the passport photos taken (27 times before we got one that was a "keeper"), I wasn't necessarily looking forward to it. Imagine my shock when the FIRST photo taken was a winner! Hooray Mari!

After that we came back to the hotel to drop off the photos and make sure we had everything else we needed for the afternoon, then we went to Avianca. That was a lo-o-o-o-ong task to perform. Between my sub-par Spanish and the computer issues, not to mention the logistics of what we were trying to do, the agent was not having much fun. Even still, she was so was very nice the entire time and in the end we achieved our goal. Thank God for that. By this time we were really running short on time for our next appointment. We made a quick stop at the ATM to make a mega withdrawal to pay for the hotel and the embassy visits. I'll admit my hands were a little sweaty on the way back to the hotel with all that cash!

We made back to the hotel to secure the cash and make sure we had all the documents for the doctor appointment and we were off again. When we got to the doctor's office we only had to wait for a few minutes and then we went directly in to see the doctor. Yes, you heard me right! No ridiculously lengthy wait in the lobby followed by another ridiculously lengthy wait in an examination room. I was shocked. The doctor reviewed all of Mariana's medical records (of which I was pleasantly surprised to receive many!) and then asked me some questions about her diet and how she seems to be doing. He asked if she had had any shots recently and when I told him she hasn't since she's been with me he told me we are coming up on time for a couple but she's basically up to date. She even had a flu shot in July. He asked me if I knew whether they had performed a chromosome study...I don't. Then he did a physical examination. I was glad to hear him say that if she has a heart murmur it is a VERY faint one (but she's still going to be seeing a cardiologist when we get home) and I was even more happy when he said, "Ok, that's enough. Take her home!"

We're done for the night now and tomorrow we will have a few more appointments and then a dinner date (I think). Oh! And about that trip to Avianca today? Our flight lands in Miami Friday night at 10:55pm!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


First things first: WE ARE IN BOGOTA!!! We went this morning to the passport office in Cali to get Mariana´s passport. In about an hour we had applied for and received her Colombian passport. Sure beats watching the mailbox for 6-8 weeks in the US! After the passport office we went back to the hotel for lunch. I have talked a lot about this hotel, I know, but believe me when I say if you ever have reason to stay in Cali you will want to stay at Hotel Pension Stein!

At lunch I exchanged contact information with my new friends and said my goodbyes to those who were there. It seems quite silly to say but I had to go hide in my room for the last hour to keep myself from crying all over the dining room. However, when I went to say goodbye to Karin (who I´ve usually referred to on the blog as "my Swedish friend") I couldn´t stop myself from crying. I can´t explain how much I have enjoyed getting to know her family...all of the families actually. It was really a lot harder to leave than I ever imagined.

Just as with everything else with our stay, Enrique (the owner of the hotel) made sure our departure was flawless. He accompanied us to the airport, ensured we were properly checked in, and saw us to the security checkpoint. We boarded relatively quickly after we got to our gate and Mariana was an absolute angel on the plane -- not a peep from her the entire flight. We were lucky to be seated next to a very kind gentlemen who carried our bag from the plane, waited with us for our checked luggage, and carried it all out to Andres, who was waiting for us to arrive. He told me as we were waiting for the checked bags that he was helping us because if his wife and child were in another country he hopes someone would help them. I know a guy in the US who would!

We took a taxi to our hotel here in Bogota - which even from the window of the taxi is QUITE different from Cali - and I hadbarely dropped my bags on the bed when there was a telephone call for me. I don´t know how he did it but Bill figured out where we were staying (before I was even certain myself!), found the phone number and called right as we arrived. We´ll be settling into the hotel tonight and hoping to get some rest before the whirlwind of days that is to come. Praying they go quickly and smoothly so we can get home!