February 17, 2007

Gimme an "i"

There is another mom of girls from China who puts out a Family Foto Fun "challenge" each Friday on her blog This week she assigned each participant a letter and asked them to list things that they love that begin with that letter, and to include a photo to accompany each item. I've never participated before but thought this would be fun.

So, here it goes, ten things I love -- or at least like a whole lot -- that begin with the letter "i."

1. Internet

What did we do before the Internet? It’s the way I shop, communicate, get connected, stay connected, look things up, figure things out, update the grandparents, chat with friends, share complete strangers "Gotcha Days" and surprisingly, it's the way I've met some other amazing adoptive parents as well.

2. Ice cream

I really like ice cream but am somewhat of a snob about the kind I eat. By far my favorite is Haagen Dazs – either classic vanilla or anything with chocolate in it. My latest indulgence is their Mayan Chocolate. Chocolate and cinnamon . . . what could be better?

3. Islands

Give me a beach, beautiful blue water and a few days to enjoy it and I’m happy as a clam. I love the Hawaiian Islands but think the Caribbean Islands have some pretty spectacular spots too. I also love the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington State. Ironically, I don't like lying in the sun but do like lying under an umbrella with a good book.

4. Italian Food

Pasta, glorious pasta! Angel hair with a nice marinara sauce, fettuccine with a waistline-increasing alfredo sauce, ravioli, manicotti, lasagna . . . I actually can’t think of a single pasta dish I don’t like.

5. Illinois

When we moved here, I never ever thought I would fall in love with a state known as the "Land of Lincoln." I grew up in the West, went to college on the West coast and never expected to call the middle of the country home, but it is and I do love it. The people here are truly warm and kind, the city is vibrant and exciting, and we met our dear friends here whose daughter, Grace, inspired us to adopt from China too.

6. Ice

I love drinks, even water, with a ton of ice. The colder the drink is, the better. When I was a little I even put ice in milk and, come to think of it, I sometimes still do. One of my happiest moments in China was when I learned that the ice at the White Swan in Guangzhou is made from filtered water.

7. IKEA

How can you not love a place where you can buy a kids’s three-piece train set for $3.99, a green frog pillow for $14.99 and three picture frames for $2.99? Plus, they've given cool Swedish names, like Kelig Groda, to mundane everyday objects. But that's not all. You can eat lunch – Swedish meatballs and potatoes or a spinach salad -- for less than $5.00 and then drop the kiddos off at the playroom or let them run amuck in the kid’s section. Finally, you can take home 12 cinamon rolls -- that are simply to die for -- for a mere $4.00! One final bonus is that my girls think the glass elevators and the escalators are an official ride and would go up and down ten times if I let them.

8. Indonesia

One of my very favorite places in the world is Bali. It’s breathtakingly beautiful, the people are kind and the culture is fascinating. It truly is a magical place.

9. InStyle Magazine – I’m kind of a magazine junkie and usually have 10 or so subscriptions at any given time. I kind of wax and wane on what I subscribe to but my current favorites are: InStyle, Cookie, Child, Martha Stewart Living, Traditional Home, O Home, Elle D├ęcor, Domino and Wondertime. If you haven’t seen an issue of Cookie or Wondertime, I highly recommend both. They’re both parenting magazines written from a witty and intelligent perspective unlike many of the other parenting magazines out there.

10. Identical twins – Ahhh, I saved the very best for last. The two little girls, our daughters, who literally changed our lives and now fill our home with giggles and smiles and make every day a joy!

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