Good morning to you from China (it’s afternoon here…but I’m thinking for many of you, it’s morning).
We’ve had an eventful couple of days…we celebrated our sweet Kensington turning EIGHT! She was quick to point out that her birthday this year was two days because when we woke up this morning (on the 16th), it was still the 15th back home with her friends and family…so she’s still celebrating. Side note: Smith would now like to be in China on his next birthday. #goals
Okay, days 8 and 9…
At 7:00, we woke up the birthday girl with a fabulous rendition of Happy Birthday. After that, we headed down to breakfast where she requested chocolate pancakes for her birthday breakfast.
Cuddles all around on this birthday morning.
After breakfast, we played outside for about an hour by the hotel’s waterfall and pond. My kids LOVE this little area.
Madeley was pointing to herself in our selfie :).
My beautiful birthday girl. We already celebrated her birthday at home, but we told her we would do whatever we wanted on this day in China. She requested playing, burgers by the pool (and swimming), a trip to the spa and a fun dinner.
He’s smitten with another little girl.
That face kills me. We already love her so much!
While the kids played, I headed up to the gym for some treadmill time. I was pumped because each treadmill had one live station for a variety of countries. It was morning here which means primetime TV back in the States. Would I get to watch good show? Maybe a drama? Or a comedy? The news perhaps? Or reality TV? No…
…it was the Texas Rangers game. Oh heaven help me. I’d rather watch a blank screen. How ironic is THAT?! Out of all of the TV going on in the United States, it was on the Rangers/Astros game…two Texas baseball teams I despise.
My pretty view from the treadmill. Obviously, I wasn’t watching the TV…so I looked outside at pretty Guangzhou.
I went back to our room and while the kids played, I opened my Pinterest and laughed out loud…
…’tis the season, no? #pumpkineverything
Sweet Ashby loves playing blocks with Madeley.
The sun came out and we headed outside to swim! The birthday girl was PUMPED! There wasn’t really anyone up there (rooftop pool), so we got cabanas all to ourselves.
A pool with a view.
Little missy wasn’t sure what to think about all of this swimming.
And then she started watching Smith jump off the side and was all smiles…
Living the life.
We visited the kiddie pool for a bit and then headed back to the big pool.
After our burgers, the kiddos had milkshakes.
At 3:00, we headed in to the spa for Kensington’s birthday appointment. We had visited the day before to pick out our treatments and she selected a kids’ strawberry facial. She was so excited for her very first little spa appointment.
After the spa, we headed out to walk Guangzhou and head to dinner…
This one :).
Kensington wanted something fun for her birthday dinner, so Andrew found us this great German restaurant online. I know, weird, right? We’ve been eating authentic Chinese food for a week, so we thought German food would be a fun change and…oh my goodness! It was! I have said it before 7 billion times on this blog, but German food IS MY VERY FAVORITE FOOD IN THE WORLD and this German restaurant right in the heart of Guangzhou was PHENOMENAL! It’s called 1920 and it’s decorated like a German brewery, the wait staff was all dressed up in costume and the food was incredible. It was the perfect place for us to celebrate Kensington’s birthday…because just like her mama, her heart beats for schnitzel.
Unfortunately though…we had an injury on the way there that left one of us not so happy…
…obviously, it wasn’t Andrew’s injury :). Smith was fine but when he first sat down he was still irritated over his cut (hidden by the wet wipe there). On our way there, we were crossing the street and I was holding Smith’s hand. Well, we walked behind a guy pulling a crate of shrimp out of the back of a mini van when he turned around and bumped Smith with his crate. There was no lid on the crate, so shrimp water went all over Smith and his arm was bleeding (he has like 10 scratches but nothing deep). I mean…he was more irritated that his clothes were covered with shrimp water than the blood…but it took him about 10 minutes to snap out of it. Pretzel bread works wonders to snap you out of a funk.
The girls on the other side of the table were so excited to be eating German food!!!!
The birthday girl.
Oh MJ, I love you.
And you too.
When we checked into our hotel, we had to show our passports and they noted that Kensington had a birthday during our stay, so they brought us this cake…
It was a chocolate box with a pineapple cake inside. We didn’t have candles, so we decorated it with Shopkins and sang happy birthday.
Here she is pretending to blow out her candles :).
When I got out of the shower, I found two sleeping girls in my bed…
The end of her Chinese birthday.
The next day (which is today), we woke up, ate breakfast and then went for a walk outside in Guangzhou.
Three Shull girls.
After our walk, we came back and visited the fish around the hotel some more.
After our walk, we cleaned up, did our schoolwork and then headed back out.
These two girls waiting. They are so sweet together.
At lunch today, we had BIG smiles!
After lunch, we headed outside and walked, looked and took in Guangzhou.
Madeley was in my lap and these two were playing peekaboo with her. They’re being so sweet!
It was hot outside, so we popped into Starbucks for a snack and something cold to drink.
And that takes us to now. Ashby and Madeley are napping and I’m doing this.
So, a few things to note:
Yesterday, today, tomorrow and the next day are considered our “vacation days”. These four days in a row, we don’t have any adoption appointments. Our consulate appointment is Monday, so we’re just waiting around for that. After the consulate appointment (where Madeley gets her US Visa), we’re required to stay in China another 24 hours and then we can go home. So, yesterday, we celebrated Kensington’s birthday, today, we’ve been out and about in Guangzhou, tomorrow, we’re planning on visiting a museum and then on Sunday, the zoo.
I have had so many people ask me specifics about this adoption process, why we changed agencies, what this time was like, etc, and I promise to address all of that when we’re home. I’m so excited to see so many people interested in adoption! God worked a lot of stuff out this time that surprised me. This experience has most certainly been different…and so I’m always so happy to share because I hope many of you will answer the call to adopt too.