Jaelin's Birthday Week Extravaganza!!

(The following was written by Judy)
Every year, my goal is to keep it simple. Plan just one birthday event. But it is hard for me to stop at just one, if not seemingly impossible. This year was no exception.

When asked what she wanted to do for her birthday, Jaelin expressed overwhelming enthusiasm to see the immortal Shamu. So we visited Sea World the weekend before her birthday. While we were in San Diego, Jeremy's family and our good friend, Drew, also had a birthday celebration for her. Then on Sunday, Jaelin celebrated her birthday with my extended family - my cousins and their significant others, aunt & uncle, and maternal grandparents. On Monday, Jaelin's actual birthday, Jeremy and I brought her favorite treats to her preschool. The kids sang "Happy Birthday" to her (so cute!) and indulged in ice cream cupcakes and doughnuts. After picking her up from school that day, we drove to my parents' house to celebrate her birthday with my immediate family members. My dad shares the same birthday as Jaelin. Then the following Saturday, I could not help myself from planning another party for Jaelin with her friends. Some of our closest friends also attended. Because many of them do not have children (yet - ha!), I know it took a lot of courage and love to choose to be in the midst of chaos central. And for that, my heart is grateful.

We were beyond exhausted by the end of Jaelin's birthday extravaganza. But seeing her so happy was fuel to our soul. Our hearts were also delighted with inexpressible thanksgiving seeing the love of others for her. Happy birthday, my Lady. May you shine ever so brightly this fourth year of your life. May your every step be blessed with divine presence and guidance. May love and peace continue to root deeply into your soul, such that the unraveling of life would not alter the simple faith and trust you naturally display that speak healing to this dark world. I love you from a place of eternal thanks to our God for my good and perfect gift - you.

Starting the birthday week with homemade chocolate cake, complete with fairy dust, by Mor Mor (Jeremy's mom)

Sea World

Jaelin personally picked out a Shamu necklace bought by great grandmother Kay

To my horror, reaching into germ infested water. And to my even greater disgust, no washing facility nearby!

Jaelin with her preschool friends. Chase makes a handsome background.

Cooper Dooper Dolan


Jaelin smiling as her butterfly designed cupcake "cake" was being creatively lit (the box blocked some of the wind)

Blowing out four candles has become a full time job!

Jaelin's pink chocolate cupcake

So this is how you get a bunch of kids to sit in a row!

Cooper and the ladies - Elissa, Kajsa (standing), Hannah, Carly, Jaelin, Ashley, Natalia & Ella

Carly's baby brother, whom I refer affectionately as "Grandpa Baby Dylan"

Jaelin and Carly, the other blond in her world (besides Ashlyn)

This is an exquisite picture of Ashley. And yes, she is this cute in person, too :)

Natalia - an absolute princess

Cooper and his dad, Mike

This little man makes my heart skip!!!

Our brave friends without children, clinging onto each other to survive the crazy world of too many excited children all together in too small a place

Jaelin with Carly and Hannah

Ella - swinging underneath the golden sun

LIFE comes CRASHING in...

This has been one tough week...

Someone ran a red when I was making a left. Thank God no one is seriously hurt.
More thoughts on this when I get a chance...

Sarah and John's Wedding (sneak peak)

Sarah and John,
It was an absolute honor to be part of your special day. I had so much fun working with you two. Here is a quick peak before you set off on your honeymoon. Enjoy!

Sarah and John's Engagement Photos are Here!

This weekend I had the pleasure of celebrating the love between Sarah and John. We had so much fun roaming the streets of Pasadena and causing lots of mischief. These two couldn't keep their hands off each other. Next weekend (the 14th) is the big day! I can't wait!

At last John gets to see what I wrote on this card. Sarah and I kept it a secret :)

Sarah and John's Engagement (sneak peak)

This is just a tease. More to come soon :)

New School, New Friends

Jaelin started pre-kindergarten last month at a new school. She's adjusting well, thanks to a couple of friends who have welcomed and taken her under their wings. Thank you to Noah and Rachael! You mean the world to her :)

Jaelin's 4-year-old Photo Shoot

My gosh is it THAT time again already? We decided that we would do a photo shoot of the kids on their birthdays every year. Well, Jaelin is turning 4-years-old, so we had another birthday photo shoot over the weekend. She's just blossoming in front of our very eyes. We're so proud of our little lady.

(the following was written by Judy)
I used to hear my own parents say this at every year of my development but truly, seriously, oh-my-goodness-gracious (!!!) I cannot believe that I am a mother of a (soon to be) four-year-old! Jaelin is full of spirit. Some might perceive it as stubbornness. But being someone who is often misunderstood in the same way, I'd like to describe it as "passionate." She knows what she likes, and she makes sure what she likes is as she likes it. Nothing wrong with that, right? For example, Jaelin insists that her ketchup forms a line on top of her hot dog. She likes ribbons on her hair. She loves bossing Jeremy around (ha!). Jaelin also loves to play Cinderella (interesting enough, she likes assuming the role of the stepmother or stepsister). She loves tea time. She often carries a tray of tea cups, cream and sugar, along with cookies & cake nicely arranged on top of small tea plates for us to share. She is very thoughtful. When I sit down, she asks if I need a pillow to be comfortable (she knows I have trouble with my back). She is very caring towards her baby brother. She makes sure that small toys are out of his reach because she knows they are dangerous for him. She also LOVES it when Chase watches her, and he just LOVES staring at her. She has been verbally spelling her name and is now writing it out. She already draws better than me! She is our sunshine, our world, our hope & dream. We thank God for every moment of her life. Happy 4th birthday, my lady. You are mommy's love, life and heart.

Here are a couple of shots from last year's photo shoot (3-years-old)...