Saturday, February 24, 2018


Hit the pool first thing after arriving 
Pooltime with Papai 

Exploring Old Town Hoi An 
More exploring 

Impromptu date while both kiddos napped

Peekaboo in the pool 

Tae explaining to Elea where we are going on his "paper" 

Our little traveler 

Wandering around our resort 

The water was not super warm, Tae tested it out on me by splashing

We had a great holiday over Chinese New Year.  We went to Hoi An, Vietnam. It is only an hour and a half flight from Hong Kong so it was nice and convenient.  We stayed at the Hoi An Silk Village and I highly recommend it, especially if you have kids and want a little separation from the bustling city.  It is a 5 minute ride outside of the town, it's a beautiful village with a silk "factory" on the premises. There was tons to explore on our walks and it even had a spa less than 100 steps from our villas. We had two villas right in front of the pool and the restaurant, a perfect place for us.  We were able to play at the pool while Elea napped and enjoyed the wonderful Vietnamese food. 

We went into town a few times, but mostly enjoyed the pool and beach. Jess got a tailored made suit and a few shirts, and I got some dresses and linen pants made. We walked the streets taking in ALL THE PEOPLE and ate ALL THE FOOD.  The kids were very popular, everyone wanted to hold them or came up to them. Tae was outgoing and talked with lots of them, Elea stuck right on my hip, not happy with a stranger.

We head back into work with full bellies, hearts, and lots of memories.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Dear Elea, 

It’s hard to know where to start, but I’ll start with thanking you. Thank you for completing us as a family and letting me enjoy your first year by soaking up every second. With you I knew in advance just how fast this first year would fly by and because of that I savored every laugh, smile, cry, babble, stumble, and clap. Everything about you is a joy to our lives. 

You are such a mix of quiet contentment and feisty desire. Your personality is always evolving, just like your ability to do new things. You mastered walking in what seems no time at all, which shouldn’t surprise me considering you understand Mandarin and English.  You are such a smiley baby, particularly at people. You laugh so hard and scrunch up your little nose and show your toothy grin to anyone who will watch.  

Elea, you doubled my heart in size, it sounds cliche but before you I didn’t know if I could love a child as much as I love your brother.  But from the moment Dr. Barini placed you on my chest I was in love all over again. Your full head of hair, your newborn cry, and your squishy face melted me from the inside. My love for you has grown with each passing moment I spend with you. I can’t help but wonder how you are going to change the world.

You have humbled me greatly this year, just when I thought I had everything figured out because it worked with your brother I realized I was so wrong. You like things differently than he did, and that is awesome because you retaught me how we are all different. It’s great you are different than Tae, I always want you to be true to yourself.  God created you, Elea Holbrook, and there is no one else on this entire Earth that is like you.  If I can teach you one thing in life it would be to see and value your worth. The world and people in it shouldn’t be where your value comes from, but rather your Creator. I struggled still struggle with this and I want you to learn it early. 

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart, but you my love make it easy. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to see you smile, hear that laugh, or to have you stumble into my arms. Thank you for being patient with me, your daddy, and Tae as we all figured out our new roles in our little family. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds, we love you Mei Mei. 

I love you desperately, 

Elea and Mama February 12, 2017

Elea and Mama February 10, 2018