Monday, July 9, 2007

Pingjiang Reunion


Mya, Sophia, Lily, Maggie, and Emily eating b-day cake


Baithing beauties: Chloe, Sophia, Emily and Lily


Emily and Lily eating popsicles poolside






Red couch photos: with all of them pictured it is (left to right)Emily, Leah, Mya, Olivia (on top), Hannah, Maggie, Sophia, Lily, Chloe, and Anna.



So, this past weekend was our Pingjiang reunion. We drove to Tennessee to spend Friday and Saturday with 10 (out of the 11) families we traveled to China with in 2005.

I don't even know if I have words to describe how amazing this trip was for us. We had been looking forward to it for months, and it did NOT disappoint. The girls are all so beautiful, funny, charming, happy, and unique. It was so wonderful to feast my eyes on all of them splashing around in the pool together, drawing with sidewalk chalk, sharing meals, giggling, playing "simon says" and "ring around the rosies"...I could just go on and on. It was also such a treat to share the same space with my friends that will always feel more like family to me. No one else in my life quite understands what my journey to Lily FELT like...not like these folks.

The Oatsvall family hosted us at their beautiful home. (You can check out Gwen's blog listed on my sidebar). I have never in my life met a family like them. They are the most incredible people and gracious hosts! Gwen thought of EVERYTHING! In addition to wonderful meals, a large inground swimming pool, swingset, and trampoline, she also hired lifeguards, a professional photographer, and she even bought the girls a birthday cake! (they all turned, or are turning 3 this summer). We all felt so welcome and comfortable...we did not want to leave. And I personally cried like a baby on the way home. These people have always held a special place in my heart, and this weekend it just grew a bit. I have posted a few of my favorite pictures, but I'm sure there will be more to come. To my Pingjiang "sisters": I love you and miss you already. Lily has already asked today if she can go see her "fwends fwom China PWEEZE!?" It was so nice to SEE you and give you all hugs...can't wait till we do it again in 2009.
*To Gretchen and her lovely family: you were deeply, deeply missed. We thought about you all and wished you could've been there...next time FOR SURE!*

31 comments:

Steffie B. said...

Miss you too.....I hope you meant 2008 and not 2009! I can't wait two years! ;)

Verna said...

You know, I was thinking, as we drove through the WI Dells, that would be fun too. They have such cool accomodations. See, we're already thinking to NEXT time. Good thing we have these blogs to keep us connected.

kerri said...

These pictures melted my heart, beautiful girls.
I am so glad the girls get together for a reunion, they will life long friends.

Janet said...

Sounds like so much fun! What gorgeous kids!

Jonni & John said...

The reunion looks like it was so much fun. It's so cute to see all the little girls lined up on the "red couch". Isn't it wonderful to make so many awesome friends during the journey?

Hugs,
Jonni

Beckyb said...

I was down too - didn't want to leave but I AM SO glad we email and have our blogs - otherwise I'd REALLY hate it!!

Mommy Spice said...

You guys are soooo lucky. It looks like y'all had a blast. Who wouldn't? Love the pictures!!

GWEN OATSVALL said...

you are sweet and your words make me cry ... it is unreal and only of God how we are connected forever and will be our own unique family ~~~ i can't wait for the next one ... i will start planning some new surprises for the next one ... a fun jump perhaps ... hee hee ... love ya truly like a sister !!!!

kris said...

Sounds like you guys had such a wonderful time, and reading this stuff and seeing thoes pics makes me look forward to sharing similar events with Macey! I live vicariously through you!

C.J. said...

What an amazing opportunity to stay in touch.

The girls are just beautiful!

Dannye said...

it's amazing to watch the girls grow up....and to be part of the "family" is the most amazing of all!! thanks for sharing your reunion with us....so very cool!!!

new girl said...

What an AWESOME weekend and experience. It will be so much fun to compare the red couch photos over the years -- they're all so grown up, and yet still so tiny on that couch. You guys are so lucky to have this group (as if you didn't already know)!

Jewels of My Heart said...

What a wonderful weekend. The girls are too cute for words.
Happy Reunion little ones

Emmie said...

I had a blast at the reunion as well! Seeing you all again and watching the girls all play together was wonderful! I can't wait to see you guys in a month! :)

Diana said...

Looks like a LOT of estrogen at that party and it sounds like the Oatsvall family are great hosts. Did you guys all sleep at their home?
Just being my usual nosey self...

P.S. Great pictures of the wee ones...

Lynn said...

What an amazing opportunity! I'm bummed the red couch picture didn't open up for me!

I love their embroidered tee's!! Where did you get them from?

I'm giddy just thinking about all those girls getting a chance to be together again! How incredible!

Doris & Dan said...

What an amazing and special time together.

Keep smilin!

LIZ said...

I saw reunion pics on Steffie's blog also...looks like you all had a great time!

LaLa said...

Such a fun time!!! We had our first one last July and seeing everyone again was so wonderful. Glad you had fun..

redmaryjanes said...

How wonderful for you all. I'm so glad that so many of you were able to go.

eggrolls and chopsticks said...

I have read about the weekend on lots of blogs but the bit about crying on the way home made me cry too....what on earth is that matter with me.

WHERE DID THOSE FABBY T-SHIRTS COME FROM??? Inquiring minds want to know

Shannon said...

That looks so fun. I can hardly wait!!!!

Gracie said...

Looks like a fun day with friends, food, and the pool!

Holly said...

Oh I am so glad you guys had a great time. Those are great pictures. They are so cute together. What lovely girls.

The Shocks said...

We miss you all. It was great seeing you all. I don't think I can wait until 2009. I feel an empty spot inside since you all left and my sister also went home. Too much for one weeks time.

tracy said...

How sweet and special! Love the updated red couch photo!

Roy and Lori said...

The kids are so cute!

Roy and Lori said...

The kids are so cute!

Beth and Shayna said...

How great you are still so close to your travelmates. It looks like the girls just had a blast!

theghelertertwins.blogspot.com said...

I'm sorry I missed out! Looks like a good time was had by all.

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