Auntie Mimi

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Our first year in NC, none of our family members were nearby. The closest were my parents who were still a 5-7 hour car ride away (depending on traffic). But a year ago, my SIL moved from Chicago and she now only lives three hours away. We are fortunate to have Auntie Mimi (Emma calls her that) nearby so she can visit often! Em loves her so much, and you better believe it’s serious fun whenever she comes for a visit.

Not having any family nearby when raising a child is tough. I didn’t realize the importance of having extended family, especially for Em as she grows up. Both Steve and I are very close to our siblings, so we are super lucky that Emma gets to experience that bond. And of course they spoil her rotten with unconditional love, so that’s a huge plus. ย ๐Ÿ˜€ This blog post is titled “Auntie Mimi”, but really, it’s for all of our siblings, Mary and Paul included. Thank you for always being there for our little family and loving Emma like she is your own. Em is so blessed to have y’all in her life! We miss you and love you!

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Now enjoy some pictures from Mimi’s last visit when we went to the Museum of Life and Science!

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Happy Easter!

Looks like Easter Bunny came to town! Last weekend, our little posse got together for an Easter egg hunt. It was the cutest thing ever to see these little babes pickup the eggs and put them in their baskets. We even got to take a picture with the Easter bunny! I guess she prefers Easter bunny over Santa because she didn’t cry at all. She was actually super excited, kept saying “bunny, bunny, bunny” until it was her turn to take the picture. We traded in the eggs Emma picked up for some candy, it was her first time trying a lollipop. Needlessly to say, she loved it. She full blown cried when I tried to take it away. I guess lollipops are now exposed. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway, so glad to have these little friends of Emma nearby, they are so dang cute together! โค

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Hope everyone enjoys Easter weekend!

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First Snow of 2017

This is our second winter in North Carolina, and I LOVE our mild winters especially after Chicago.ย However, I was hoping for some snow so Emma could experience it for the very first time. Weather gods must have granted my wish, because we got lots of fluffy snow back in January, well a lot for NC anyway. Needlessly to say, everything shut down and Steve and I had a field day trying to find a snowsuit for Emma. All the stores were sold out of their snow garments if they carried them at all in the first place. Steve ended up driving 30 minutes to buy it off of some lady just so our daughter can “play” the next day. But it was definitely worth it because we got about 2 or so inches of snow and our yard was covered in white.

Emma was so confused when she first saw snow. At first she didn’t know what to do and stood frozen. She then realized she could walk on it and started exploring but definitely did not like that it was cold when she fell in the snow. Her play time in the snow was short-lived but I’m glad she was able to experienceย it!

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Happy Holidays!

One of my absolute favorite things to do is sending out Christmas cards to our family and friends. In the past, we did DIY family photos for our Christmas cards, but nowadays, it’s getting a bit difficult to take DIY pictures with a mobile toddler. Thankfully for this year, we did a photo swap with my friend and photographer, Morgan. We went toย Boyce Farms, a Christmas tree farm to take our holiday photos, and it could not have gone any better! Emma was all smiles running around, super animated, playing with the jingle bells Morgan brought which made for the cutest pictures! Steve wasย also able to snag some cute shots of our babies together! I cannot get enough of these two little ladies, so adorable!

Em had a little accident when we got to the farm, so I had to change her pants at the last minute, but I tried to coordinate our outfits for the pictures – Steve and me wearing vests, and Emma and me matching with grey. Next year, I’ll spend a bit more time on our outfits so all three of us can match!

We also got our Christmas tree while we were there. We are still continuing with our family tradition of getting a real Christmas tree and a new ornament each year. This year, we got our ornament from theย Christkindlmarket in Chicago.

We had a lot of fun taking these photos and picking out our Christmas tree. Big shout out to Morgan for making the photo session easy and even more fun!! We had a great time shooting your adorable family as well!

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Em isn’t a fan of PDA ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope everyone has wonderful holidays full of love!

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First Santa Encounter

‘Tis the season to be jolly! I absolutely love the year end festivities. We get tons of family time and holiday spirits are all around! For Thanksgiving, we spent a week in Chicago with Steve’s family, it was nice getting some quality time with them as we don’t get to see them too often. Christmas will be spent in our home with my side of the family. It’ll be our first Christmas in our new home, so we are super excited!

This year we introduce Emma to Santa for the very first time. Although we celebrated Christmas last year as a family of three, Emma was only itty bitty newborn, so we didn’t take her to meet Santa. Our neighborhood had Santa come to the community lodge which was nice. Definitely better than waiting in line at the mall to meet Santa, it was more relaxing and not at all chaotic. But that didn’t make it any better for Emma, she immediately bursted into full on cry – no sound, holding her breath and all. It made for a cute picture though!

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First time seeing Santa!

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Maybe next year she will ease up to Santa. Fingers crossed! Emma’s friend Cole also came to see the Santa at the same time, so we had to take pictures of the babies. They were too adorable in their ‘picture with Santa’ outfits!

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We are continuing our tradition this year and picking out our Christmas tree this Sunday! It’s going to be extra fun because we are making a family photo session out of it! Can’t wait to share those photos! Stay tuned! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Emma’s First Birthday Party: Korean Dol

In Korean culture, first birthday is a big celebration called dol (๋Œ). There are several traditions to follow at the dol party. Both my husband and I are Korean American, and we definitely want our children to embrace their Korean heritage. So for Emma’s first birthday party, ย we decided to keep as much of Korean traditions as we could. We wore traditional Korean garments called hanbok (ํ•œ๋ณต); set up dol table to display traditional first birthday items and food such as rice cakes, colorful fruits, dates, and dol towers; and had an activity called doljabi,ย a fortune telling ritual at first birthday parties. I also wanted to incorporate modern day birthday decor, so Emma’s dol table was combined with sweets, birthday cakes and decorations. To add a personal touch, I arranged her party decor and even made some decorations from scratch. We incorporated one of her favorite books, “Oh the Places You’ll Go”, and it ended up working out pretty well – a low key themed party.

We were so fortunate to have almost all of our immediate family members join us for the weekend and even had a few of my close girlfriends fly in from Chicago! The preparation of Emma’s first birthday was stressful, but it was all so worth it seeing all of our loved ones! Emma must have felt the love and care as well because she was so well behaved the entire day – even through multiple outfit changes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

As for the doljabi activity, Emma took 20 minutes to choose an item. She definitely did not act on impulse and ended up choosing pencils then money after deep contemplation. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We also did the ever so popular “cake smash”. She was a bit confused at first on what to do with the cake, but as soon as she tasted it, it was game over. ๐Ÿ˜€

I really can’t say enough about how grateful I am to have spent a wonderful day with our family and friends. Thank you all so very much for celebrating Emma’s special day with us, and thanks to others who could not make it but sent gifts and lots of love! I know, I say this all the time, but Emma truly is so blessed!

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Halloween Fun

I’m not gonna lie, having a toddler (yes, she’s a toddler now!) makes Halloween so much more fun! Because we were away from home for a good chunk of October, we didn’t get to prepare for Halloween. I’m sad to report, even though Steve and I like to dress up, we just didn’t get around to it this year like we did last year. But we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to dress Em up and partake in the neighborhood’s festivity! Her costume was a no brainer. We had to go with a puppy. I mean, it’s her favorite animal. She just goes crazy over dogs!

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We were especially excited about celebrating Halloween in our new neighborhood.ย Our neighborhood is huge with tons of families with kids/babies, so I knew Halloween night was going to be big! And as predicted, itย did not disappoint. The streets were filled with trick or treaters! The club house had a kids’ Halloween party, so we stopped by for a bit and it was jammed packed! I can’t wait until next year when Em can actually go door to door trick or treating. It’s going to be so much fun!

Since moving into the neighborhood, I befriended a couple of neighborhood moms, so I thought it would be a great idea to take some pictures of our babes in their costumes. And I’m so glad we did, because look how darling they are! We decided to make this a tradition each year for Halloween, and we cannot wait to show these pictures to them when they are older!

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Thank you so much, Morgan, a fellow mama blogger and a photographer for snapping these shots of our babes!

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