It's hard to believe that it's already been a year since we traveled to China to get Tenley. At this time last year we were packing furiously, and our Gotcha Day was only 17 days away.
Pictured at left is Scott & Gayor's backyard under siege by Group 103 &104 families as we celebrated our 1 Year Reunion yesterday.
Mother Nature cooperated by giving us a perfect warm, sunny day that wasn't a scorcher. Those of us that were local brought food and set up the entertainment; and we all spent the day relaxing, catching up, and watching our beautiful little girls (and boys) happily playing together.
It was so great to see everyone- most of us have had very little contact over the last year, and we've all vowed to try to get our girls together more often. It was really amazing to see how much they had (and hadn't) changed, and to compare notes with each other and discover how alike they all are. It was also amazing to see how well they still knew each other and how well they played. Most everybody was polite, shared and took turns- there were hardly any fights or toy snatching...which is odd for a group of 2 & almost 2 year olds.
For our part, we're always delighted to see Scott & Gaynor and their princesses and we got to see all of the McAdams clan...the only 2 families we've seen more than once in the flesh since we've been home! Katie, Amanda and Tenley all know who each other are and seem to enjoy playing and getting into mischief together. I was delighted that Susan & Jerry came with their son Truman and Ivy- who was one of Tenley's cribmates at Yang Xi. Susan and I talked and discovered that Ten & Ivy were apparently cut from the same bolt of cloth as they are almost exactly alike in their tempers, likes & dislikes, and behaviors. Oddly, they both seemed to remember each other and if you told Tenley "go give that to Ivy" she would search the house and yard for her and give her the object. We were also really happy to see Dennis & Teri with their cutie pie Elenor(who loves to be chased and have her bellybutton tickled), and Hal and Loren with Kira - all of whom made the trip down from No.Cal. I can't believe how big Pete & Faith's daughter Kate has grown, and it was fabulous to see she and Chris & MaryFrances' daughter Grace so happy and healthy...considering they all had chicken pox in China! It must also be said that the big kids were really great about playing with each other and with the little ones.
All in all: our girls were happy, healthy and beautiful. They're all cutting molars, finding language, and smart as whips. Their little eyes sparkle, and they all know who their Mommy & Daddy are.The air was filled with happy little shrieks and giggles, and the padding of little toddler feet as they ran through the house and all over the yard.
Some favourite moments: Nathan negotiating a trade with Tenley of his balloon sword for the Little Tykes car she was riding around in.
Watching Tenley and several of the other little ones discovering Play-Doh for the 1st time. Seeing all the adults covered in glitter because our kids decided to decorate themselves instead of the foam visors.
Laughing hysterically as we turned ourselves into a bunch of idiots trying to get the girls to sit on the couch, look at us, and get their picture taken...yeah right- it's like herding cats.
That chesse & pesto thing Susan made- yummy!
Amanda not wanting Tenley to leave when the party was over...it was so cute.
Just seeing everyone and chatting with all the other Red Thread moms & dads while we reminisced about our trip and how it feels like it was 1,000 years ago.
It was so much fun, and I'm sorry that all of the 103/104 families couldn't make it...hopefully everyone will make it next year...and hopefully we'll see more of each other before then.
The pictures are up at www.jeffandmichelle.net! Just click on "photos" and enjoy!