Monday, 24 January 2011

Tet Celebration

The Tet party at the Consulate on Friday evening was a lovely night of celebration with wonderful friends, who have become our surrogate family here in Vietnam. It was a special way to kick off the new year!

Tet Traditions - Lucky Money

One of the traditions of Tet is to gift people, young and old, with "lucky money". The Consul General and his wife handed out lucky money in traditional red envelopes to all of the guests at Friday's party. Apparently, my daughters are hard up for cash, because they were so excited that Allison broke into dance, singing "lucky money, lucky money" and Amelia tried to eat hers.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

My girls

As always, the outtakes are better than the intended "perfect" shot.

Amelia "What are you wearing?"
Allison "You have one on too."
Amelia "I do? This is humiliating."
Allison "Let's smile quick and then maybe she will let us take them off."

Allison "Amelia, I said smile!"
Amelia "I can't, this hurts too much."

Amelia "There, that is all the smile I can muster. My head is killing me."
Allison "Man, Mom is annoying."

Amelia "Am I bleeding yet? I need an Excedrin."
Allison "This is torture. Too bad Mom has immunity."

Amelia "Alli, turn to the camera for the love of God. Let's get this over with!"

Amelia "Wait, dinner is being served? AND DESSERT?"
Allison "That's it. Let's get out of here."

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

America's Next Top Model

On Friday evening, the LES (locally employed staff) at the Consulate will host a huge celebration of Tet for the entire Consulate community. Our family will be decked out in ao dai, the traditional Vietnamese dress. I took these shots of Amelia at her fitting with our tailor.
Yes, this is Vietnam, so we have a personal tailor who has made some amazing clothing for me and the girls at what I can only call rock-bottom prices. She is related, through marriage, to our nanny, Co Ty, and she is delightful and ADORES the girls, so it is such a treat to visit with her. Definitely one of the perks of this post.

Sunday, 16 January 2011


Tet is the most important and popular holiday/festival in Vietnam and signals the first day of the first month of the Lunar calendar, heralding in Spring's arrival. This year, Tet falls on Thursday, February 3, but preparations are well underway.

This is our first Tet in country and I am so looking forward to it, because who doesn't love a good party? And because our January has been so jumbled, I feel like I am getting a do-over for starting my new year.

There are about a zillion customs, traditions, do's/dont's surrounding this holiday and I am trying to embrace some of them. In my research so far I am learning that Tet revolves around visiting with friends and family, decorations, eating and lucky money - count me in!

A Woman's Place

is in the front seat. hands at 10 and 2. pedal to the metal. tongue out in concentration.

A man's place, in this case, is right beside his woman. Offering his comforting embrace. (and probably directions!)

Those two pictures crack me up!! Turns out Allison is a pretty good driver for 3! My new and dear friend, Mary Jo, took these pictures at a birthday party this past weekend. Her son, Dash, wanted badly to take a ride, but definitely didn't want to drive. And Allison wanted to drive, so they were the perfect pair.

Monday, 10 January 2011


Wow. This month is flying by and at the same time, is painfully taking forever. I feel like I am getting so much done and nothing done at all. Mostly due to the fact that we have been fighting off some major germs in this family. First Alli, and then me. And thrown in for good measure, Erik every once in a while. Knock on wood, sweet Amelia has been quite healthy. And while I remain incredibly grateful for our good health, little viruses are quite annoying, aren't they?

Even though we have all been recovering and laying (mostly) low for the better part of this new year, we are still in full New Year mode. Alli is back at school. Amelia is crawling and standing and babbling like an Olympian. I have been planning travel galore for this family in 2011. Lots of adventure awaits.

I hope you are all settling into a wonderful new year.

Santa brought me a new lens for my camera which has the ability to capture some serious magic.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Parole 2016

Our sweet Amelia is on the move - crawling everywhere as fast she can and then pulling herself up on all sorts of good things, so we had to institute baby prison. She is growing up WAY too fast.

Just Keep Truckin On

Chuc Mung Nam Moi