Monday, August 22, 2011

Meeting friends.

This vacation was all about meeting friends, some old and dear ones, but also quite a few new ones. Friends we met through blogging or via FB connected most of the times because we are all parents to adoptive Thai children. How fun it was so see so many friends I have been writing to and following their blogs or journey towards a waiting child, and then finally meeting them in real life is surreal and so much fun!

Jennifer and Jason we met while we were in NC, I wrote on FB that we were there and then she responded: We are there as well, let's meet. So we did one night and it was so much fun! Hope our paths will cross again. They already have a handsome little boy age 3 and are now waiting for a precious Thai little girl, soon to be picked up from Thailand! Good Luck guys, we wish you all the best and hopefully your little girl is home before Xmas!!

Then after a week on the beach on the Outer Banks we headed to NYC for 4 days. We are meeting even more blogging and FB friends. Jenn and Ruby we already met in Delaware, they stayed with us for a few days and we spent some lovely days and evenings drinking bubbles and chatting away. This was not the first time I met Jenn, 2 years ago we also saw her in the City but then Ruby was not home yet. This year we saw Ruby for the first time and we instantly fell in love with this sweet little girl!! She stole JJ and Jezz's hearts!

And we saw Wendy, Lily and Becky again, well for Becky it was the first time, but Wendy and Lily we met in 2005 and it was so good to see them again. We stayed in touch all this time, and I feel we quite know each other. Are very comfortable talking online with each other and now seeing each other again, is like meeting a good old friend, so fun!!

Since we all 3 came from different directions we planned to meet at Central Park at the Balto statue. While we were waiting we took a picture with Balto.

By the way, this statue has an interesting story... read here.

In January 1925, Alaskan doctors feared a deadly diphtheria epidemic would spread among the children of Nome. Medicine to stop the outbreak existed, but doctors needed to travel nearly a thousand miles to Anchorage to retrieve it. With no trains running that far north and the only available airplane sidelined by a frozen engine, the best chance of transporting the medicine across the icy tundra was by sled dog.

More than 20 sled teams coordinated to make the trip through blinding snow and sub-zero temperatures. On the first of February, the package was handed off to the final team. Lead by Balto, the team covered 53 treacherous miles back to Nome in 20 hours. Newspapers and radio around the world followed the trek, fascinated by the brave team whose efforts eventually helped end the epidemic.

Balto became a national hero. Just 10 months after the successful mission, this statue by animal sculptor Frederick G. R. Roth was dedicated in Central Park. The sculpture depicts Balto surveying the distance, hind legs braced and a sled harness hanging from his back.

Balto spent many happy years in the Cleveland Zoo, but his statue remains a favorite for children and adults here in Central Park.

Then Wendy, Lily and Becky arrived and we took some pictures of our Thai princesses, dressed in white... :-) Aren't these girls just the loveliest?

Then we headed off to Alice's Tea Cup for some magical times at a cute little tea shop. Time to see Jenn & Ruby and drink some tea and eat some scones. We had a lovely time!!

Here are we all, from L to R: Jenn, me, Wendy, Becky and front row: Jasmine, Lily, Ruby & Juliet

I so loved meeting all my wonderful friends!! So good to see you all again, I treasure these meetings and friendship!!
Hope for sure that we will see each other again, come and visit me now in South Africa!!
Love, M xx

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Move, Learn, Eat by Rick Mereki

Saw this video at my friend Wyndee's Blog and liked it so much, that I like to share it with you all. She only had the first video on her blog, but I like to show you all 3....

3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage... all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ....into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films.....

= a trip of a lifetime.

move, eat, learn

Rick Mereki : Director, producer, additional camera and editing
Tim White : DOP, producer, primary editing, sound
Andrew Lees : Actor, mover, groover

What do you think, fun or what??
Enjoy your weekend!
M xx

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pine Knoll Shores, Outer Banks ~ part 3

Since the last photo shoot on the beach went so easy, relaxed and had such great outcome, I decided to take another photo shoot in the dunes in front of our beach house.

I asked the girls to wisk up their hair in a loosely bun and we headed off to the right spot, but Jasmine was pouting and giving me a hard time. She totally didn't work with me at all... so I became a bit mad. Because everything she asks ME I will do, I give these girls so much of my effort, love and affection and that is what I told her. I said we will try it again in a few days and I hope you will work a bit better with me... she promised a bit reluctant. But these are the shots of the first difficult session....

Later she told me that she totally hated the hair, so I promised her we will do a different hairdo the next time....

Poor JJ, she feels the tension and is trying really hard, but even her smile is not genuine..

Another sunset and we start with a new session, let's see how this works out... The hairdo is better now for Jezz, so nothing stands in the way... It's funny how the twins work each other. When Jezz gives me a hard time with anything, JJ tends to become easier, more compliant than ever! I guess she feels bad and wants to mend the situation... too funny! And you can see this on the faces... Jezz still reluctant to fully give herself and JJ over the top happy smiles :-)

JJ is diligent working it, Jezz is slowly thawing... and I see a sneak peek of a smile.

But not too long, and definitely not full force!

Oh, here comes the smile....

But then it leaves again, while JJ must have pain in her jaws from the constant smile :-)

But finally I get them both to smile... such sweet faces!

The beach was gorgeous this evening...

Oh how I love these girls!! With or without moods :-)
But I can see a pre-view of what the teenage years will bring me!!
I hope I'll survive... LOL

Mireille xx

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pine Knoll Shores, Outer Banks ~ part 2

One day around sun set, Dirk, me and our friends were having a cocktail on the beach (see pic from last post) and the girls had enough of swimming. So they went back into the house and got dressed... into these white dresses. They wanted to find some shells. So I didn't say anything... ran back into the house (see that is what you can do when you live right onto the beach and grabbed my camera). This shoot was not planned and took only 10 minutes... if that!

The result is awesome! See for yourself, how great are these shots, straight out of the camera, no editing, no planning, just the best memory of our time on the beach!

Since there were not much shells to find, they decided to jump the waves!

I changed a few to B/W, gives you a total different feeling, more artsy. What do you think? Which ones you like better?

How fun to have your sister at all times around to share these memories!
I feel blessed!

What a great summer!
Mireille xx

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Outer Banks ~ Pine Knoll Shores, part 1

We are heading to the Outer Banks for a week on the beach, and I mean directly on the beach! We went to this beach house 4 years ago and we had such a good time, that we decided to go again. Although that is a bit against my principles, rather explore a new spot than go to the old... but we met such wonderful friends the last time in the hopes to see them again. And the location doesn't hurt either, as you can see!

This is what DIRK wanted... the view from his balcony, right onto the ocean.

He is a happy camper!

Just stroll to the beach within 2 seconds, and his chair, umbrella, beer & books are waiting for him :-)

This is what JASMINE & JULIET wanted; to catch the waves with daddy. Totally happy campers!!

This is what I wanted; no crowded beaches, peace & quite, everybody happy means mommy is happy! Time for reading!

This is what we ALL wanted; to see our dear friends Barbara & Wallace! We had such great memories of spending our last vacation here, that we definitely wanted to see them again. And we had so much fun together!!

Barbara showed the girls how to catch ghost crabs at night the last time we were here. The girls were 5 years old, but they still remembered and looked so much forward seeing Barbara again and borrowing her gear to catch crabs, and sure they did!

The BEST time is when you can spent it with friends or family, and that is what Pine Knoll Shores means to us... spending time with dear friends. We loved seeing you again! Love to you Mrs. A & Pop Pop!!

More to come...
Mireille xx

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Meeting friends in Virginia Beach

Dirk has joined the forces and now we are moving from Bethany Beach to Pine Knoll Shores in the Outer Banks. A 5 hour drive but we stop in the middle to meet our blogging and FB friends April and her gorgeous family. I couldn't wait to meet them, since we have been in touch via internet for so long, it is nice to finally meet!

Instead of meeting in a local restaurant, April and her husband Hung invited us to their home to have lunch there. That was just so fabulous!! I love it when people feel comfortable enough to do that, it makes the visit 10x more memorable!

To see your friends in their own environment gives you a better idea of how the family interacts together, and since we had only time for lunch and a bit chatting before and after this was just the BEST!!

We hit it off really well, and I am hoping that if we come next time to the USA we can spend some more time together!

Here some pictures of some of us, April will send me another picture with all of us together and then I will add it later! For now we have to do with these ones.

Juliet, Grace, Jasmine and Gabriel.

Juliet and Grace, 2 pretty Thai girls.

Me & April, who is expecting twin girls. Can't wait to meet these little babies!

JJ & Jezz are showing their hermit crabs to Grace & Gabe, fun how kids immediately bond.

And here they are all engrossed in the new Nintendo 3D DS, electronic games and pets... that is what all kids like!

Thank You so much Hung & April for your hospitality!! We truly enjoyed the visit and lunch at your house!! Please come and visit us in South Africa!

April is a great writer and military mom, where she writes on her blog about, check her site out. She is good!!

Now up to another beach!
Mireille xx

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ship Ahoy!

OK, my last post was while we were in Delaware, our 3+4th week on vacation. We met Jenn, Jeff and Ruby for a day to go take a boat ride on a Pirate ship. (Jenn and Ruby had stayed with us for a few days but were now in their in-laws summer house just down the road.) It seemed like a wonderful adventure but Jasmine and Juliet were a bit worried that this was only for small kids, and mind you, they are not small any more :-)

But at first a bit apprehensive, the girls ended up liking the boat ride a lot! So sometimes they just have to trust their mother on these kind of things and it all works out!

See here some pics of the day....

This creepy guy welcomed us on board!

See how JJ and Jezz are a bit reluctant, but Ruby is in her role, totally dressed up for the day, so fun!! Go Ruby!!

All the kids have to come and learn the PP ~ Pirate Pledge!

Then they got taught what 'All Hands on Deck' means....

The task of the day is to find the treasure and see where Pirate Pete is.

The kids on the look-out for Pirate Pete and the treasure, of course they find both!

My girls were having fun at last! And Ruby had a total blast!! So fun to see how she enjoyed this huge adventure!

After the boat ride and a yummy lunch we went to Jeff's parents beach house in South Bethany and since the house has a canal in the back the girls did some crabby catching. This was for sure their high light of the day!!

And look as real pros they got a big one at the first try!! So much fun!

Here Jeff is releasing one crab from the net and then it will go back into the waters. Jasmine, Ruby and Juliet are watching carefully to see if everything goes well with their crabby...

Another great day spent in Bethany Beach, it was so much fun here!

Dirk joined the forces and now we are heading to Pine Knoll Shores in the Outerbanks, but on our way we will meet fellow blogger and FB friend April and her family, more about that the next time!

Ciao, Mireille xx


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