Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bringing Home Britt-Part 5

Our last three days in Kunming were pretty low-key.

Wednesday, we started off the day touring a Budda Temple.
It was rainy, yucky, and just cold outside.  I hadn't packed well for a day like this.

 Everyone had a great attitude about getting out despite the weather.

Our hotel had several umbrellas they let us borrow.

These two huddled up to stay warm.  :)

Miss Britt realized on this day she could perform a little tug on her headband and they'd come right off.

For a Wednesday morning, I thought this area was rather busy.  Our guide told us it was mostly retired people or tourists.

I'm not sure why they're flexing here??

It was the kind of damp day you just couldn't get warm in...know what I mean?  I've never wanted sweatpants so badly in my life.  haha!

Since I hadn't packed warm enough clothes after the temple tour we asked the driver and guide to take us to Gap.  I'd spotted one earlier on our way into town.  I knew we'd fine some warm things we'd wear again in America.  So we went to Gap to get some warmer clothes for the next day.

There was a big important meeting happening in Kunming during our stay as well.  Two different times the police shut down traffic so the caravan could come through.

I took Britt back to the hotel to nap and Tab took the big kids out for lunch.  They went a little authentic during this meal.

I'm crazy proud of them for trying all that!

About the time they returned, Britt was waking up.  We spent a lot of time playing in our room.  Just getting to know each other.


We walked back to Salvador's for dinner.  :)

Thursday was our last full day in Kunming.  Up first was the Minority Village.  It's an area close to Kunming that has a variety of minorities represented...we'd see their houses, clothes, etc.  These minorities happen to make up the Yunnan province.

The kiddos and I look like a Gap ad, but we were warm!

Each minority represented had a home set up so we could see what it was like living in their village.

Me and my girls. :)

Can you spot the peacocks right behind those three cuties?

These were fancy little buildings built around wells.  Nixon thought he was too funny getting awfully close to the inside.

In each little village area, you could rent the typical costumes to try on.  This couple looked so legit we asked to take a picture with them.  :)

I've got a baby wrapped up in that blanket.

Daddy's girl :)

One village had this big meeting with all kinds of people fully dressed in costume.  We asked if we could join them for a picture and they were all so nice.  Can you spot our crew?

The boys thought sounding this gong was the coolest.


Sweet girl had a big day!

Our guide, Mrs. Susan, took us to another authentic lunch spot.  This girl right here is hands down our most adventurous eater.

It was at this moment we should have noticed Nixon was feeling a little under the weather.  I kept blaming the food-he's pretty picky so I thought he was just skipping lunch.

There's a pretty popular show in Kunming and we'd gotten tickets for this evening.  But later this afternoon, Nixon got sick in the hotel room.  Britt, Nixon, and I stayed back while Tab took the others.  They said the show was awesome!

In true Bowen fashion, he slept through the entire show!

Friday mid-morning we met in the lobby all packed up for our flight to Guanghzo.
We said our final goodbyes to Kunming and Mrs. Susan.

We got ready to board the flight as a family of six!

You know who did amazing on her first flight?  THIS GIRL!  She slept for just a bit and was so good.

These days were full of trying to figure out Britt...what she likes/dislikes, what to feed her, how to comfort her, and the list goes on.  These two days were my toughest days.  It was just a lot at one time.  I was full of all the emotions and mixed with little sleep that can sometimes be rough.  haha!  God was there every step of the way and I had amazing friends and family who were lifting us up in prayer, were sending me the most encouraging texts, and who really helped carry us through.

I know this adoption thing isn't for everyone, but if you have friends in the midst of adoption-be their encouragers!  It's hard to explain how my people were the hands and feet of Jesus to us at this point so many miles away but they were.  I felt their love and prayers all the way in China.  If adoption isn't for you, then be those hands and feet for others.

Thanks again for reading.  XO

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tuesday Talk

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

It's been a while since I've been here on a Tuesday, but I'm so happy to be here.  Fancy Ashley and I host this link-up once a month where we chat about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING!  We'd love for you to join us!   

To recap a bit this year, I've shared things that drive me crazy,  swimsuits (EEK-it's here!), vacations, and spring/summer dresses

Today, I want us to chat about workout clothes and your favorite at-home workouts.  I know every adoption story is different, but for us we're still working on building that attachment and bonding.  Which means we aren't leaving Britt with anyone else just yet.  I usually go to the gym two to three days a week, but that just hasn't been in the cards lately.  Tab will (hopefully) be able to stay at home with her a couple mornings so I can make it back to the gym but that's been tricky since he was out for China and then last week on a business trip.  I shared that little back story to say that I NEED SOME AT HOME WORKOUT HELP!  :)

First up, let's chat clothes....when Nordstrom asked me to chat workout gear I jumped at the chance. I'm sure I sound a bit like a broken record, but with free shipping and free returns Nordstrom makes my life so much easier!  And there's just something about some cute workout clothes that makes you push a little harder.  Don't you think?   I thought I'd share a couple outfits that are super similar to what I'd wear on any given day (whether I'm headed to the gym or not...ha!). #amitheonlyone

I paired this Zella tank with the Zella high waist crop leggings (the black is sold out but this is another high waist black option with super cute detailing)  and it was a match made in heaven.  :)  I'm also a big fan of the Zella low profile socks.  They have this small piece of rubber that fits around your heel to keep your sock from riding up or slipping off.  I'm sporting the socks only because I wanted you to see them.  ha!


My favorite thing about this tank is it's reversible!  Not to mention the high neck line is also my jam!  I forgot to mention my sports bra is old and long gone, but this racerback option, this mesh option, and this lace back option all caught my eye when I searched for you.


The second outfit is just as cute and functional during a workout or a grocery store run.  ;)  This top paired with these shorts (my favorite waistband) and of course-the socks


Post workout-I go one of two ways...I shower and get really ready for the day OR I stay in my workout clothes, throw on a cardigan, and shower right before bed.  In the latter case, THIS cardigan would be perfect.  I'm all about some comfy clothes when I'm working around this house and this one doesn't disappoint.


Sorry for the blurry pic!  But the cardigan has a cute back.  It'll be something I throw on heading to the gym as well.


 And when we're talking at-home workouts sometimes I just throw on a hat before a walk/run in case I see anybody and I'm sporting day old pool hair!  I'm a big fan of this hat!  It's sold out right now, but I'll be watching to see if it gets restocked.  If so, I'll let you know.


This is how my real life is looking these days.  hahaha!




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Now that we've chatted a bit about the clothes...let's talk workouts!  First, I should add I'm not a professional in the workout department.  I don't worry much about the scale, but I do want to be healthy.  I think it's important for my kiddos to see Tab and I taking care of our bodies.  When it comes to workouts, I prefer to change my workouts up or I get too bored.  I also like to keep at home workouts around thirty minutes or less.  (I know.  I know.  They should be longer but that's just the truth.  If it takes over thirty minutes, I start thinking about all the things I should be doing instead of working out.)

I downloaded this on Amazon Prime and grab this workout very often.  It has four different workouts ranging from beginner to more advanced.  The plan is to do week one (beginner) workout for one week and then advance to week two and so on.  But...who wants to do the same workout for an entire week?  I need a little variety so I tend to start with week one and then move on consecutively.

Shay shared this online instructor, Cassey over at Blogilates.  She has a wide variety of workouts on YouTube.  I've done several and have enjoyed them all.

This weekly workout from Bitty Birdie Designs had my backside burning!  I put on my favorite reality show and worked out as I watched.  The time flew by!

I also have been getting outside.  For me alone time right now is few and far between, but I can snag a few minutes of quiet outside while I walk or run.  Not only am I moving, but I'm helping my mental state as well.  haha!

I would LOVE to hear any and all at home workouts you recommend.  Do you do videos?  Do you have a favorite online workout?  Some workout you pinned?  PLEASE SHARE!  Our swimsuit bodies will thank you!  :)

Don't forget to check out Fancy Ashley's blog to see what she's talking about on this Tuesday.

And a big THANK YOU to Nordstrom for partnering today.

See you tomorrow!  XO


Monday, June 19, 2017

Bringing Home Britt-Part 4

EEK!!!  TODAY IS THE DAY WE MET OUR GIRL!

Originally our meeting to get the girls was scheduled for the morning, but when we arrived in Kunming our guide told us (the night before) the time had been changed to that afternoon.  WAAAHH!  I mean let's talk about that.  We got up in the morning and just did our best to kill some time!  Kunming is a much smaller city (and by small I mean just six or seven million people-ha!). 

Just killing time waiting to meet Britt!  We woke up early and headed to the Starbucks, which was just a quick walk from our hotel.


These three were pumped!

This guy knew he was just buying time as the baby of the family getting to ride in the stroller.   Our guide met us in the morning to give us a little tour of things that were close to our hotel.


Our guide wanted us to see some good restaurants near by and on our walk over we popped into this local market.  You guys I'd say five days a week I could easily be vegetarian (I'd probably crave meat the other two) so walking around this market was CRAZY to me!  The butchers were saving every piece they possibly could.  And I mean every.  single.  piece.


Bowen's face sums it up.

This sweet girl's parents were dying to get her picture with Bowen.  He didn't seem to mind.  Look at his arm!


We walked right by a kindergarten.  There were big gates with windows and I was the creepy American taking a picture.  I thought it was so cool to see.  Our playgrounds are very similar.


I don't remember the name of this park but it was BIG and gorgeous!  If you're in Kunming, CHECK IT OUT!

This gentleman was watching our crew take pictures, took a few pictures of us Americans, and then asked for his picture with Tab.  Tab asked him to flex his muscles and he thought it was hilarious.



One area of the park had men playing this game...looked a little bit like checkers.  These guys NEVER looked up...even with our crazy crew surrounding them.

Remember me mentioning how Tab likes to immerse himself in the culture?  Here he is taking his shoes off enjoying this massage rock area.

The park had a large koi pond inside.  Definitely a highlight for my kiddos.




This guy decided to dump his entire cup of food at one time.  Not the BEST decision.


Someone's still upset they "fed" the fish so quickly.  Can you guess who?

What a journey!  So thankful to have this guy by my side.

We had a bit of down time in our hotel before our guide and driver met us to GET OUR GIRLS!  My stomach was a ball of nerves.  I had no idea how this guy fell asleep.  haha!


We met the girls in the Civil Affairs office.  When we arrived there was a family there getting their daughter.  (I want to add that I thought I would be sobbing at this point.  haha!  Just thinking about the day that's what I imagined myself doing.  The family that was getting their little girl was saying goodbye and I heard the little girl's foster mom say she had to leave because she was about to burst into tears.  My heart ripped open for this foster mom who had loved this little girl with everything she had for the last year and was now saying goodbye forever.  I snuck off in the corner and had my moment.)  Our girls hadn't arrived just yet so we anxiously awaited their arrival.  Remember how I mentioned the W family (we were traveling with) was amazing?  We're all nervous, anxious, and excited and we circled up and prayed with this family.  Such a sweet time.


We were all looking out the window, which happened to be the wrong window, while our girls walked in!  A lady was carrying Britt and I'll never forget Nixon shouted, "Britt!".  And there she was.  I walked over and took her in my arms.  She was a little unsure but not really crying.

Oh my heart.  Just seeing these pictures makes me realize how far we've come in a month.


Can you spot the proud big siblings?


She went to Tab easily and then did not want a thing to do with me.  You guys...it broke my heart.  I wasn't sure if I should just let him hold her the entire time to make her feel as good as possible or force it a bit to let her know I'm your mama. 




We snapped a few pictures with the civil affairs' worker and the orphanage director before we left the office.


We grabbed some dinner, all got clean, put on matching pajamas, and played before going to bed.


At this point she was still a little unsure about all of us.


She started warming up a bit playing with the kids on the bed.


She even flashed us a couple smiles.

Best Big Sister Award goes to Ebby Lee.  She was so sweet with her.

May 15th is a day I'll forever remember.  It couldn't have been more bittersweet.  Our family was so excited to welcome Britt into our family, but at the same time this sweet baby was giving up everyone and everything she'd ever known.  Not only her but the orphanage workers who had cared for her for the last eighteen months were saying forever goodbyes.  It was just a tough day.  


On Tuesday our plan was to sign the paperwork at the Civil Affair's office, drive three hours to check out the girl's orphange, and while we were there we needed to apply for their passports.  But the day before the orphanage told us they had applied for the passports for us.  We decided since our group had a lot of kiddos and we would have been in the car for over six hours we'd skip the orphanage visit.  One day I might regret that but in the moment the thought of taking Britt in a car for six hours just didn't sound right.


When we went back I toted Britt around in the carrier. She fell asleep and slept the entire time we were signing paperwork.  This was one of the orphanage workers who had cared for Britt while she was there.  She was really sweet and so sad to see the girls go.  My heart ached for her.


Our guide took us to Wal-Mart and I was the crazy lady taking all the pictures because I wanted to show you what Wal-Mart looks like in China.  :)

For the most part, it looked really similar.  The only major difference was when you purchased something in the health/baby section you had to pay there before moving on to another section of the store.  I'm not sure if that's how all Wal-Marts are in China or just this particular one.




We walked around doing a little sightseeing of our own.

At this point she was okay with me or Tab.  I think the night time snuggling we got helped her open up to me.  haha!


Britt was (is...we're still seeing her little personality come out) super shy.  She would be super stoic when we were out during the day in a big group but once we got back to our hotel room with just us six she'd be a little more playful.


There was one western restaurant, Salvador's, a quick walk from our hotel and we hit that place up!  We introduced Britt to pasta on this first night...big hit!


Can you tell?


We brought lots of Puffs, which she was also a huge fan of.


Our crew during dinner...poor Britt is looking squished.


On the walk home Tab was holding her and Nix kept jumping up.  She was laughing out loud.


We covered a lot of emotional ground in the first twenty-four hours.  This sweet girl had a lot of change happening, but we did our best to love on her as much as we possibly could.

To see other parts of our trip, 

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I'll be back tomorrow for Tuesday Talk!