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Tag Archives: Family

A Bump in Beijing: Weeks 26-29

23 Aug

With less than 11 weeks to go until our little bun-in-the-oven makes her debut, her current home (my bump) is certainly making room for her growing baby body.

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Better Late Than Never: Hutchinson Visit

27 Jul
Better Late Than Never, Right?  Here is a very tardy post of our wonderful visit with the Hutchinsons last November.

What a treat it was to be able to spend time with Brett’s parents, his brother Cory, and beautiful Kara here in Beijing.  There are just some things that cannot be expressed through words or photos – which is why we love visitors.  It actually enables us to really show what our life is like in this crazy, polluted, overcrowded…but still pretty fascinating foreign land.

Unfortunately, their visit fell on an extremely busy week for Brett (which I think the majority of you, through deductive reasoning, will be able to tell by the absence of him in the photos below) which left us all missing him and forced the Hutchinsons to see China through the eyes of a Blonde in Beijing.  I am hopeful that a good time was still had by all!

In addition to celebrating Brett’s Big 4-0 at Maison Boulud, we were able to show them quite a few of the sites  – The Olympic Village, The Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Wangfujing Snack Street, Tea Street, and The Forbidden City.  And of course – we made sure that they tried all the top foods – Beijing Duck, Din Tai Fung dumplings, and don’t forget the street meat.  (Okay – I don’t think Donna actually tried this…but Cory & Kara braved a variety of interesting delicacies – i.e. scorpions, silk worms, etc.)

As their tour guide for the week, I did my best to document the trip for them (a service I only provide for true VIP visitors!)  Here are some of my favorites…

This would be a fantastic Christmas card if Cory was their only son! The Great Wall Mutianyu – November 2011

Tom & Donna Hutchinson. The Great Wall – November 2011

How cute are they? Seriously. The Great Wall – November 2011

Tom with his D-in-L’s. The Great Wall – November 2011

Kara & Cory – The Great Wall.

Perhaps I got a little camera happy with the happy couple….

Up, up, and away! Riding the chair lift to the top of the wall.

Kara cruising down the slide. The best part of visiting the wall at Mutianyu!

Quite possibly my favorite picture of the trip. Clearly, Cory is not pleased with Tom’s choice of speed. His face is the physical definition of boredom.

Tom and Donna in front of The Bird’s Nest. Olympic Village – Beijing.

Brett finally makes it! Family dinner at Mao’s Red Capital Club. This restaurant, hidden in an ancient hutong alleyway, serves tasty food – but the main reason to visit is to step back in time and soak in a bit of “Mao’s China”.

Walking into the gardens surrounding the Temple of Heaven. We were so lucky to have such a beautiful Beijing day. A rarity to say the least.

Donna, Cory & Tom at the Temple of Heaven. Beijing – November 2011

Temple of Heaven – Beijing

I would say I was trying to be artistic…but perhaps Cory is just too tall! I still like it though. Temple of Heaven – Beijing, China.

A tiny Donna at the Temple of Heaven. It is terribly difficult to capture an image with no other tourists. I didn’t crop the original for this very reason. I love the emptiness of it. Temple of Heaven – Beijing, China

The beautiful and extremely old Cypress trees in the grounds that surround the temple. Temple of Heaven – Beijing, China

Tree Gazing. Temple of Heaven Grounds – Beijing, China

Another potentially great Christmas card if Tom and Donna only had one son and also decided to adopt a random blonde from Murray, Kentucky… Temple of Heaven Grounds – Beijing, China

Old school online dating?? We stumbled upon a mass of middle-aged, local Chinese men and women in the gardens surrounding the Temple of Heaven with dozens of papers like these taped to the ground. After chatting with a few of them, who were actually willing to talk with me in Chinese – I was able to learn that they were all there to find mates for their children. These “papers” are actually dating profiles including personal details such as height, age, and occupation. Some even go so far as to say if they are home or car owners. Amazing!

Okay…so this is obviously Cory, not Brett. But for those of you who truly know Brett…you know that this is an impersonation of his “intense face”. Complete with the drumming of the fingers. Nice tribute, Cory.

The Forbidden City – Beijing, China

Kara & Cory – Forbidden City, November 2011

The Forbidden City – Roof Tile Detail.

The Forbidden City – Beijing, China

Tea Tasting on Tea Street. Somehow I didn’t snap a picture when they put Kara to work separating proper tea leaves from the bad ones…what a missed opportunity. I have a feeling that her daily wage might be more than they are used to paying.

This is the coup de gras of photos from the trip. Apparently, my harassing comments to Tom about the fact that of all things to bring to Beijing, he packed his “Turkey Trot 1997” t-shirt hit a nerve. His response to my torment was to jokingly wear it under his sport coat for Brett’s birthday dinner and party at Maison Boulud. Loved it. He did change – although I think I would have preferred him like this.

A Bump in Beijing: Weeks 22-25

25 Jul

We are certainly progressing in the “bump” area!  For those of you who requested new shoes each week…I hope you are not disappointed.  If you commented on the fact that my hair grew bigger in each photo during weeks 18-21…I am sorry but my thin, baby fine hair is pretty much maxed out with the teasing and “Big Sexy” aerosol hairspray.

Only 15 weeks to go until we meet our little Olive!

Check out Weeks 18-21 for a “Bump Comparison”!

 

The Big Reveal

22 Jul

Next to the delicious “duckie” cupcakes at our couples’ shower in Murray to celebrate Baby Hutch. Thank you to our amazing hosts!

As I am sure I have mentioned before – one negative of living 6,800 miles away from family and friends back in the States is not celebrating the “big moments” of life with those who we love most.  So when we had the opportunity to reveal our little one’s gender with our nearest and dearest in person…we could not pass up the opportunity!

I cannot take any credit for how fun and creative the “Big Reveal” turned out to be.  Leave it to Kim Willson and Mary Kay Bowden, my best friends since we met as teeny little girls on Olive Street, to create the perfect “Margarita Mama” baby shower complete with a baby carriage piñata busting to announce GIRL or BOY!  I think you will see in the short video clip below that we were completely SURPRISED!

It’s a GIRL!!

Well…in case you couldn’t see clearly enough – all the candy inside the piñata was PINK – revealing that we are in fact having a baby GIRL.  And although Mary Kay and Kim obviously knew what we were having (as they filled the piñata themselves) they were totally shocked that we had not tried to milk it out of our mothers  – who were with us the day before at the ultrasound when the doctors determined that our little bun-in-the-oven is of the female variety.  To be fair – Donna (my mother-in-law) should also be given credit.  She read the ultrasound herself!

Brett busted it open with one swing! What a big strong baby daddy!

Honestly, it was a bit of a risk to do a big reveal so early in the pregnancy.  I was only 4 months at the time…which is still a little early to be 100% sure – but it was our only chance as it is not permitted to learn the baby’s sex here in China.  At 6 months in – we are 100% that Brett has his hands full with another “little me” on the way.  I believe my father’s words were “good luck with that”.  I am thrilled to continue on with the pink parade…and I feel confident that Brett is too!

Excited and totally surprised! Full disclosure…we had taken the “Intelligender” test (an over-the-counter pee stick type thingy” while we were in New Orleans a few days before, and it said BOY! Well…that was fifty bucks down the toilet – literally.

Our sweet guests watching Brett bust the piñata. The joy of growing up in a community like Murray, Kentucky (officially American’s friendliest small town) never fades. Thank you to all of you for celebrating this moment with us!

Hugging my mom. As her side of family only seems to produce little girls – I think she was a bit relieved. I did overhear her telling Brett’s mom – “I don’t think I would have known what to do with a boy!”  Mom…I have no doubt you would have figured it out!

Getting parenting tips from my dad. With my little brother, Bailey, having just turned six…his experience is not as dated as one might think!

With my sweet Mary Kay. Thank you to you and Kimmy for all the amazing details. What a treat to share this moment with you!  I can’t wait to watch Annabelle, Drewsie, and Olive tell Sanders and Russell that “NO BOYS” are allowed just like we told Robert!

Drew, Kimmy, and Mary Kay enjoying some tasty treats!

“Baby Girl Talk” with the ladies of the family. My mother-in-law Donna, My Aunts Jane, Lorna, & Cindy, and My Grandmothers Bettie and Jean.

Admiring the gift from Nanny, my maternal grandmother, a necklace given to her when she was five by my great-grandparents. So precious! Can’t wait to give it to our little Olive Bee when she turns five.

Chatting with some of my favorite humans on the earth!

What a special day for our family of 2.5!  Thank you again to our hosts and guests who made the day even more memorable for us.  We are so blessed!

A big thank you to Tara Dennison for capturing this moment for us on video!  It is such a treasure.

A Bump in Beijing!

27 Jun

While I cannot yet confirm whether or not our little one will be another Blonde in Beijing – I can confirm that this bump does in fact contain a petite-pois with an ETA of November 4th!  Brett and I couldn’t be happier.  I hope that this announcement will excuse my absence from posting of late.  Between the morning sickness, exhaustion, migraines, and two transatlantic trips to the states – leaving me with two lovely and lingering cases of jet lag, my creative juices have not been flowing…to say the least.  Now that I am 21 weeks along – my energy appears to be back a bit and my appetite for living vicariously through the Resort 2013 collections is in full force – I believe that I am back to being the Blonde in Beijing.  I am just a bigger version!

Speaking of bigger…here are shots of The Bump in Beijing from week 18 to 21.  More weekly “bump” shots to come (mostly for our family’s sake!)  And for my fashion followers – you needn’t worry.  With resort just finishing and couture shows around the corner, there will be plenty!

The Bump in Beijing: Weeks 18-21

Confetti Dressing

31 Dec

Happy New Year from 3 confetti obsessed 8-year-olds circa 1988! *Check out my beautiful white tights! Hot, right?

I LOVE confetti!  Seriously – it is absolutely my favorite thing about New Year’s Eve (although I do love the midnight kiss with my husband!)  I have loved this holiday from a very young age simply because of the tremendous joy running through confetti gives me. My mother, Leigh Haverstock Moric, and Kristin Kopperud can certainly vouch for this.  You see…at just 8 years old, I convinced my mother to allow me to host a formal dinner party for 2 close friends.  What does a “formal dinner party” mean for an 8-year-old you ask?  Well – in my case, it meant asking my mom to make three coordinating evening gowns in different colors.  I chose red lamé with black velvet accents for myself, blue taffeta with sequins for Kristin, and pink satin with pearl details for Leigh.  (In my opinion – we all looked elegant and very grown up – in reality, we looked like 8-year-olds in play dresses!)  My idea of a formal dinner party also including eating our meal of choice (take-out chinese) on the china in the dining room and drinking sparkling grape juice out of the crystal.  If she didn’t realize it before, NYE 1988 undoubtedly confirmed to my mother that she was raising a super girly girl.  Truth be told – the movie Overboard with Goldie Hawn is most likely to blame for it.  I still have high hopes of going to a party like the one she dreams of in the movie.  I also have high hopes of having a revolving shoe closet someday like the one Kurt Russell builds for her on the yacht!

This year I decided that I would like to dress like confetti for NYE. Care to join me?  (My NYE outfit to come later.)  In the meantime, here are some super fun brights to inspire your “confetti dressing”.  And remember, confetti is NOT just one color – feel free to mix, match, and add other bright  accessories in the form of bags, shoes, and bangles.  I know I am going to!  Happy Confetti!!

Bill Blass Spring 2012

Antonia Marras Spring 2012

Elie Saab Spring 2012

Jenny Packham Spring 2012

Juan Carlos Obando Spring 2012

Norma Kamali Spring 2012

Roksanda Ilincic Spring 2012

Mathew Williamson Spring 2012

All images courtesy of www.style.com

Circus of Love: Family, Friends & Festive Features!

30 Dec

My dear Auntie Lorna reminded me this week via email (during an apparent moment of insomnia…it was 4AM Beijing time) that I never finished uploading the rest of the photos from The Circus of Love.  This was a complete oversight on my part.  With the Chinese wedding, the trip to South Africa, the burn incident, the Hutchinson visit (those pics to come soon), Brett’s birthday, and then the holidays…it totally slipped my mind!

I think I have actually saved the best for last though – the pictures of our family, friends, and the festive atmosphere (created with the amazing help of my mom and Aunt Lorna) are so much fun.  Enjoy!

**If you missed the other entries about the Circus of Love – here they are: Calling All Circus of Love Guests, An Upstaged Bride, Southern Ladies and Their Lipstick, Silly Schafers…Tricks are for kids, Happy Couple at the Circus of Love, The Classy Bride.

Tates, Raglands, Hites, Bolins, Lehnings, Neelley's, and newly wed Hutchinsons!

The Hutchinson Klan

Greeting our Guests!

Besides being greeted by us, our guests were also welcomed with the sounds of a vintage carnival themed horn section, cotton candy, and circus themed cocktails like Mint Julep Snow Cones and Spiked Pink Lemonade.

It's a Mo-Mo! My wonderful mom. I don't what was causing her to look so serious...maybe it was the power outage issues. The venue wasn't used to having so many "carnival" food stations. In fact...every time the cotton candy machine started going - the band lost power! In the end, we opted for dancing over spun sugar.

With my Dad and Becky

My sweet Alabama ladies. Brandace Burnham, Morgan Hutchinson, Christa Crow and Jessica Solon.

We really wanted to have fun with the decorations.  Hence, the Morgan and Brett flying trapeze artists in the background of the picture above.  You can get your own custom set at www.cardboardpeople.com!  We also used hundreds of yards of awning striped fabric in circus bright colors, striped table clothes, giant 36″ helium balloons, and any other circus inspired trinkets we could find to play up the theme.

Brett chatting with the Alabama gents. I have to assume the topic of conversation was SEC football.

Part of the NYC Crew. Shana Spavin and Jill Hacker.

With one of Brett's childhood friends, Kelly Campbell.

With mom and two of her best friends from college. These lovely ladies (plus 5 more) have been getting together every summer for over 30 years! Love it.

With cousin Lizzie and Aunt Cindy.

Friends since the first grade. Ellen Carpenter and Morgan Hutchinson

Columbus ladies taking advantage of the candy cigarettes!

Tate Family Dance Number. We had to at least "try" to keep up with the Schafers!

Mom and I with great family friends - Ruth and Anne Bligh.

With the Amazing Hutchinson sisters - Emmy and Jess! Looks like all of us had just made a trip to the Pabst Blue Ribbon bucket!

With my Auntie Lorna. Thank you so much for your help and creativity. The Circus of Love would not have been the same without you!

With my fantastic mother-in-law!

Pretty in Pink with Fiona!

A big thanks to the lady who introduced us in the first place! With Miss Shana Spavin.

With Leigh and Damir. Love Leigh's self-made feather accessory!

In addition to the rides and games, we also hired a stilt walker, a flame thrower, and a unicyclist to keep the guests entertained.  Truth be told though – it was the silly stuff on the prize table that kept them happy all night!  Who knew that wax lips and bangle bracelets would be so popular?

Newlyweds - Brett and Morgan Hutchinson with Andy and Jess Schemick

With Christina and George Karolis...and their little one that was still a bun-in-the-oven at the time!

Dancing with my dad

We danced to the lovely sounds of Mr. and Mrs. Todd Hill and the Todd Hill Band. Here is the lovely Kala Hill.

Todd Hill singing and playing one of the classic tunes they are known for.

Dancing with Aunt Lorna and Nannie.

With my two gorgeous grand-mothers: Jean Blankenship and Bettie Tate

One of my favorite pictures of the night. The lovely Mrs. Amy Barto getting her groove on!

Of course, Brett and I also wanted to be sure that our “outfits” were Circus of Love appropriate.  So, we added special details whenever we could – like the pink lining of Brett’s dinner jacket with M+B monogrammed on the inside and our special shoes!

Thank you to our wonderful family and friends for celebrating with us!  Sharing our Circus of Love with each of you was such a blessing.  Thank you to our parents for countless hours of help, for storing loads of “Circus” paraphernalia in your homes, and specifically to the Hutchinsons for a fantastic golf tournament, Friday Night BBQ, and Sunday Brunch at the Club.

We would also like to send big thank yous to A Catered Event – the catering company who helped create the perfect “carnie” menu, Laura at White Star Farm – our venue, Sterling Funways for the rides and entertainments, and Abigail at Eden Ink Photography for capturing every moment so perfectly.

Images courtesy of Eden Ink Photography.

Classy Bride?

25 Sep

I don’t know if it was the carnival theme itself that made me forget that I was the “bride” or just the nature of being a Kentucky girl at heart that brought out my “trashy” side…but after looking through the photos, I realized that I may have had a few questionable moments at the Circus of Love.  I mean – there was a point when my mother’s amazing friend, Jeannetta, told me to put down “one” of my drinks.  Seriously…a double-fisting bride?  Who did I think my groom was? Edward Forty-Hands?

Taking a shot of Blanton's with my friend, Ellen. Clearly, she is also a Kentuckian!

 

Big Top Bourbon Tasting

 

Ouch! Caught "pink" handed with 2 drinks!

 

Cracking open a Pabst Blue Ribbon!

 

Why toast with champagne when you have PBR?

Images courtesy of Eden Ink Photography

The Happy Couple at The Circus of Love!

24 Sep

We are so excited to be able to share some pictures!  Abigail at Eden Ink Photography did such an amazing job capturing our big top day!

 

More images from The Circus of Love by Eden Ink Photography to come!

 

 

 

Silly Schafers – “Tricks” are for Kids!

23 Sep

Technically, I am now a Hutchinson – but the real truth is that when it comes to Brett’s family, the Schafers pretty much dominate.  The sheer volume of them alone is quite phenomenal (Donna – Brett’s mother is 1 of 14)!  Then, when you add in their entertaining personalities and their uncanny ability to coordinate routines that would put the Partridge Family to shame…they become an unstoppable force.

It should come as no surprise to you (since you are reading this) that I not only like, but prefer over-the-top things.  So when my new family welcomed me into their crew by writing a song and singing it for us, staging a FLASH dance in the middle of the Circus of Love, and performing the famous Schafer Magic Show – I could not have felt more at home.

Here are a few pictures from “The Schafer Shows!”  Another big thank you to all of you.  You made our big day under the BIG TOP even more “Carnie”!

Settling in our seats for The Schafer Song!

                               Brett and Morgan Song

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schafer FLASH MOB

 

Gary Schafer...The Ring Leader!

 

The guests get involved!

 

I Heart Donna Schafer Hutchinson!

 

Let the Magic Begin!

Susie the Clown

Schafer sisters stomping and clapping to notify the crowd that the show is about to begin...

I "magically" reappear with a flying trapeze inspired costume change....

Brett Approves!

Let the Show Begin!

Toasting Before the Show

Amazing 1st Trick!

Clearly, we were impressed...

This is a good one...light bulb lit by cleavage!

We like it!

Saved the Best for Last!

Officially becoming part of the family...

Images courtesy of Eden Ink Photography

 

 

 

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