Big 1-1

I must have blinked a little too long because, somehow, on Saturday, my Gracie turned 11.  It just doesn’t seem like it has been that long since she took her first breath on this earth, nor do I feel old enough to actually have an 11 year old.  This was a much different birthday than any before it…I mean, seriously, we live in China.


The day started with blue pancakes…topped with frosting.  Although I have to admit, the frosting and sprinkles were more for me than for Gracie.  I’m not sure she even had it on hers.  But the idea was truly magnificent (thanks Pinterest!).

ImageShe couldn’t wait to open her presents.  A box from her Nanny and Papa (Cam’s parents) arrived last week and its presence has been taunting her from the corner of the living room for daaaaays.

ImageWho doesn’t love a little cash in a card?!  Ma and Papa left this card here for her to open today because she sweet talked her way into all the other gifts from them early.  I really don’t know where she gets the impatience from…surely not from me.  Gracie has an inability to save money (must be that impatience popping up again)…so this will be gone as soon as possible.  She has her eye on a Vera Bradley backpack, so perhaps she will save a bit to buy one!


It’s the little things.  I’m not sure Gracie knew Snapple existed before we moved to China, but now that she has discovered it, she has a craving for it.  Unfortunately, it can only be purchased on the uber-expensive import aisle.  I thought it would be fun to wrap a bottle for her, and she was SO excited!


Y’all.  Gracie got her feet from my brother.  They are SO big.  I mean, they appear normal, but when we go shopping for shoes here, the people always say “Ohh.  SO big!!”    I realize that Chinese people are tiny little things, but really, Gracie just has big feet.  However, she is female, and as we know, girls like shoes.  She is growing to really love shoes, and I have to admit, shoe shopping with your daughter is kind of fun!


I’m pretty sure our love of owls will never fade because part of our hearts are still in Joshua (Home of the Owls).

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

 -Winnie the Pooh


She has grown into such a lovely young lady.  Sometimes I think she may be a little too much like me and that drives me nuts because I see all the things about me that I wish were different, but then, I think it’s pretty cool that I get to watch her grow and make decisions and become exactly who He has designed her to be…with me or without me.

ImageThat box that she’s been waiting to open all week…totally worth the wait.

ImageShe wanted Subway for lunch…again not something we ate much of in America, but love here!  I think it just feels familiar.  Well, that and the cookies.  She told me her favorite part of Subway was the cookies.  I know she gets her sweet tooth from me!

ImageShe chose to spend the afternoon ice skating.  I, for obvious reasons (remember my gracefulness?), chose to watch.  This rink had blocks of time (2 hours per block) from which to choose.  Our block only had 90 minutes left in it, but that was plenty of time to wear them out!  It makes my heart all fuzzy to see her holding her Daddy’s hand.  Also makes me fall in love a little bit more with him.

ImageI love this girl so much!  I love her smile, her love of reading, her soft-spoken-ness, the way she plays with her sisters when no one is watching, her ability to stand up for herself, her strength and stubbornness when something is just not right, her confidence.  She is a fabulous daughter who has forever changed me.


3 thoughts on “Big 1-1

  1. We experienced the size thing in Japan with Stacia too. She (at just 8) is as tall as some of the adult women and many of the grannies. Wow – loved the glimpse of Gracie’s birthday 11th birthday. Happy birthday to her. I can’t remember if Faith or Ellie were the baby when I first met you and Shannon. Time is flying.

    The winne the pooh quote is perfect for the move transition month we’re experiencing. I’m going to share it with the kids. Love reading about your life in Asia….at times it brings tears as I miss our slice of Asia…but most often great comfort as I determine to embrace our years here loving the perks of America but believing God is going to get us back there.


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