Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bright Days to Come

Because we are heading to the beach for the annual MI family vacation, we wanted to take these last moments to make note of very special events just around the corner...

First: July 31st, the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, is Mom's birthday! Happy birthday, Mom! I wish we could be celebrating once again with you and toasting to another year of your life. But, we will be praying for you and thinking of you from afar. We love you very much and thank God for your life, the meaning that you have brought to ours, and the joy you bring to the lives of so many people, including the little people that call you Grandma Mimi. Thank you for your love as Mom, Grandma Mimi, friend. May God continue to bless and guide you on your life's journey, and may His dear Mother always hold your hand and lead you to her Son. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, Grandma Mimi! Happy birthday to you! Second: On August 1st, Pita will celebrate her First Birthday as the daughter of God through Holy Baptism. Just one year ago, we were cuddling a one-month-old, who was wrapped in a beautiful white garment--the same that her big sister wore just two years prior. Guadalupe Belen Maria, may your guardian angel always guide you. May Christ always hold you near his dear chest. And, may His holy Mother keep you pure all the days of your life. Happy birthday! You are a true delight, Ra-Ra! You are full of spunk. May your soul always be as spunky with joy as you are spunky romping around in your life's journey!

Third: On August 5th, Maddy celebrates her third Birthday as God's holy daughter through the sacrament of Holy Baptism. Madge, you are a gem. You love to pray as emergency vehicles like fire trucks and ambulances pass by. You say, "Mom, we gotta pray." And, you ask why we are not praying when you see them pass and they do not have their sirens going. You love Jesus very much, and I wish I could see the smiles on His face when you say prayers, like the other day, when you said: "Thank you for letting us find 2 beach chair. Thank you for letting Pita wake up. And, thank you for this little girly" and you reached over to touch Pita in her car seat. There was the one morning that you were saying your morning prayers and you said, "Thank you for a new day. Thank you for the sun coming up. Thank you for the sun coming up on it's own. Thank you for Mom. Thank you for Dad. Thank you for our parents. Thank you for all you've given us." Madge, thank you for reminding us that God is in charge. You reminded me of that so well, when, after I told you that we found a house to buy (you had been so compassionate after all the times we went out looking that you would say, "Sorry you can't find a house, Mom." So, I told you that we found a house, and you responded: "No, Jesus found a house." Boom. Humility and childlike trust. We love you, dear girl. May you always follow Jesus' path in your life. And, always hold Blessed Mama's hand. She knows the way home best. Happy birthday!

Friday, July 17, 2009

You Are 3, Beauty Queen

Dearest Madge, Today we celebrate your life, your love, the value your presence in our lives truly is. God has richly blessed us with three years of joys with you. How many moments we have shared with you from your birth in Beijing to your early life in Hawaii to your many travels and your future travels to come. As Dr. Seuss would say, "Oh, the places you'll go!" It is very true! We have shared so many beautiful times with you. Every morning is a rich blessing, and every night is a serene delight to see your little eyes closed and your sleeping peacefully in Jesus' and Blessed Mama's arms, as you are lost in slumber. May you always follow the path Christ has set for you and may you always hold your Mama's hand no matter where you go or where Jesus takes you. We love you, oh, so much. Happy birthday, Sweets!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Yesterday Pita I put Pita in her crib briefly while Maddy was eating lunch so that I could run to the car and carry up the groceries. Pita was not too happy about her spot so she was fussing. Maddy heard her and jumped down from the table to say, "I'm gonna go make Pita happy!" Sure enough, she did and sang her a song. You are such a good sister and big help. I love you!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Silly Little Girl--old picture (03/2008), new stories

At the pool over the weekend: Mary and I were talking about whether we should stay longer at the pool or return home. In a phrase she probably picked up from us, Madge asked Mary, "Mom, what are your thoughts?" Good use of words, my little diplomat.

After Mass on Sunday: at the conclusion of Mass, I typically take Madge up to the front of the Church to pray on the side of the altar. Normally, we pray out loud together (in a hushed voice) and I try to use the opportunity to teach her how to pray. I pray, and then Maddy repeats after me. I was saying, "God, help me to be a good girl, and to listen to my Mom and my Dad." (This is a staple prayer.) Maddy repeated a slightly different version: "God help me to be a good girl, and help Mom and Dad to give me ice-cream." Just a minor variation.

After grace at dinner last night: Mary took a moment after Madgey rapidly made the sign of the cross to refresh her on how it's done. She was explaining to her how you move from the head to the heart, to the left shoulder and then to the right. With all these body parts, Madge replied, "And can we do 'head, shoulders, knees and toes,' too?" We tried to suppress our laughter!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, Miss Lil!

Happy 3rd Birthday to Lili! It is amazing to think that you are a big 3! It seems like a week or two ago Mommy was pregnant with you and together Mommy and I were comparing notes on our simultaneous pregnancies. But now, look, you are three years old, Lili, and you have blessed the lives of all of those around you. You have a best friend in your brother, and two parents who love you dearly, and a big family that sees your life as a treasure, a gift. Happy birthday, little lady. May you always know how much Jesus loves you and cares for you and that He is with you every step of your journey through your life. We love you!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Natural "Teething" Toy?

...How about a cheese grater?
Pita loves to get random objects out of our kitchen cabinets and then carry one or two (or more) things around the house and hand them to us. We love you, Ra-Ra Girl!

Your Words Hit Our Funny Bones

Madge, yesterday we were riding in the car and you were showing Daddy how your lips form when you say the "th" sound in "Thursday." (These days you often ask me: "Mom, what's today?" You are curious as to what day of the week it is.) So, the other day (Wednesday) I told you: "It's Wednesday today, but tomorrow is THURSDAY." So, you said, "Mom, watch my lips... Th-ursday." Perfect "th" there between your teeth and tongue! So, on our way home from picking Daddy up last night, you went through this whole thing again. But, after you precisely stated "Th-ursday," you said: "Dad, watch my lips: 'Hairlip.'"
We cracked up, because you have no idea what a hair lip is nor have you heard that word before. Maybe you were thinking about hair and lips...I don't know, but it was so funny! In the next breath you said, "Watch my lips: 'Liphair.'" Maybe this is a new way of saying "mustache"? We love you.

This morning at Mass it was the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle. As Fr. S. was reading the Gospel and said "Thomas," you were so happy to hear that name and leaned over to me to tell me your excitement. You said: "Mom, Fr. said 'Thomas the Train!" You bring a smile to our face each and every day!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Four Years Ago Today We Were Walking Down the Aisle

You're invited to a trip down memory lane, back to the St. Louis July of 2005!The night before our wedding, the entire bridal party along with many of our family members and friends attended a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. We had a marvelous time surrounded by the people we love.
The next day was our wedding.To my dearest wife, the most lovely woman in the world, my Mares:
As we celebrate four years of bliss in marriage, I cannot but express my utter gratitude to God for bringing you into my life. We're becoming seasoned married fogies now! He, he, he. For every new trial that comes our way, five new joys come as well. The beauty of our marriage is not that we experience trial and joy but that we face these trials and joys together! That's the rub. I love you so much. I know that you enjoy the fruit of our love (our little girlies) as much as I do. They undoubtedly enhance our relationship...and keep us on our toes. (How many times did we have to jump from the dinner table just last night to keep Pita from power cords? :) ) You truly are my best friend. Thanks for your patience in those moments when I'm down. Thanks for your love when I'm feeling insecure. Thanks for your faith when I'm weak. Thanks for your love, your simplicity, your classy style, your humor, your wit, your faith...well, thanks for you. I look forward to the rest of our lives together.
All my love, Your Husband of Four Years,

I Love you More Today than Yesterday, Happy 4th Anniversary

Mi Amor, with four years passed and two beautiful daughters in our lives, life continues to blossom and become a treasure of memories and a reality of new beginnings with you at my side. Thank you for your love, your support, your gentleness and faithfulness each and every day. We have so many awesome times together from day one. Remember our drive to Wintergreen after a full wedding weekend? Our playing tennis and walking back to the resort in the rain before getting a ride with that kind lady and her granddaughter? Ahh, that delightful foggy drive to the restaurant for an evening together with candlelight? Our travels to Beijing, looking for an apartment, walking the streets of Beijing and bowing before the workers that pointed at me and nudged each other in awe of my big pregnantbelly? Loved those times! Hawaii? Remember walking into our 14'x14' room and seeing two single beds in dorm-style? I loved our little "house."All of these moments are beautiful memories and were steps towards so many amazing times to come. Thank you for taking so many adventures with me. I know there are so many to come. Thank you for loving me and our family so very much and always being willing to learn to do better. It inspires me. Together with Christ, I know all things are possible. May we always call on Him and include Him in our every action. May He always be the apex of our triangle, drawing us together as we soar for Him.
Our Nuptial Blessing:
May God bless you, hold and keep you. May God's mercy shine on you. Guide your work and guard your resting. Make your love forever new.
May God join your hopeful spirits. Fill your hearts with truth and courage. Trust to share both joy and tears. Teach love to your children's children. Make your household learn to witness living faith through all your years.
May God bless you, hold and keep you. May God's mercy shine on you. Guide your work and guard your resting. Make your love forever new.
May God make your home a refuge where you warmly welcome strangers, and the lowly find a place. Make your caring kind and patient, help you meet the needs of neighbors. Finding Christ in every face.
May God bless you, hold and keep you. May God's mercy shine on you. Guide your work and guard your resting. Make your love forever new.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"Congratulations! Today is your day...."

"You're off to Great Places! You're off and away!...There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won't want to go on. But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On you will hike. And I know you'll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are...So...get on your way!"(Taken from: Oh, the Places You'll Go)

(Written memories from your delivery and your 1st birth day, along with pictures to follow.)

You had a beautiful birthday, little girly. You even wore your sister's beautiful Sri Lankan party dress from our friend Vanathy, who gave it to Maddy before her 1st birthday. Madge wore it on her 1st birthday. How special! Mommy made a lady bug cake , so we kept with a bug theme throughout and even your big sister got a lady bug puzzle from the library the night before. You enjoyed your day with some playtime with Moi and Addie in the morning, a nap in the afternoon, romping around the house afterwards and a quiet dance with Mommy in the livingroom. That evening we picked Daddy up from the train and came home for a yummy dinner followed by cake and ice cream, opening a few gifts from your family and friends far and near (what a big help your sister was in opening gifts for you...nice when the enjoyment is mutual.:)