Happy Birthday Michael!


Dear Michael,
I think a HAPPY BIRTHDAY is in order! Although I’m a little late, I couldn’t miss out on wishing you the best birthday ever, especially since I have Birthday Anxiety Syndrome (to those who don’t know what that means, don’t ask!). Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that you are the best brother I could ever have and I love you! Your love, support, and happy attitude is definitely missed over here in Tianjin.

Love, Maddie

Reaching Out on Valentine’s Day

For Valentine’s Day this year, Jessie, Maddie, and I, invited some friends over for flower arranging and some much needed spring-time festivities. It took a full two days to prepare for this get-together. The first day was spent traveling around 天津 looking for materials, buying flowers, and finalizing snack menu ideas. We then spent the actual morning of the party; cleaning a very cluttered house, assembling a cake (most of the hard work was done the night before), and arranging table settings. Of course my favorite part of the preparations, was to bake the Valentine’s cake…  second to that, I enjoyed setting out flowers (in preparation for the bouquets), as well as decorating the table with candy and anything rosie&pink.  



I loved watching the creativity flow throughout this flowery project. Watching the unique style of each individual was so enchanting- their personalities were expressed through such distinct and beautiful technique.

threecakeThe lesson I learned through this, was to host more than just one or two gatherings a year! Its not until I am in the midst of something like this, that I realize how much fun I am having. Spending time in fellowship with friends (outside of school and mandatory events) is more important than I often give credit.  Ask Jessie, Maddie, or Michael and you will know that I am terrible at hosting events and am often not willing to get out and socialize much. SeriouslyI am such a home-body.






and let me just say that Jessie and Maddie are such pleasant people to collaborate with on these type of things…

I so didn’t deserve to be blessed with such precious sisters. Jessie inspires me to forget myself and dive into adventures with hard work and lots of prayer! She is honestly the hardest working person I have ever met… she will be a treasure to her future boss 😉 Maddie is completely un-phased by life’s troubles, she lets go and enjoys life… free to be herself. I wish I had her confidence and spirit! Hosting this party with these two was delightful.


Irresistibly adorable group photo, I know.


Cheers to friendships and creeping out of that ever clinging comfort zone.

Party of Three

Earlier this month, the girls and I enjoyed a small dinner celebration for the start of this blog, Connecting Four. Maddie made her famous chicken skewers (which are actually BakedBree’s famous kabobs), I mixed up a delicious bread dip which we spread on Mom’s homemade French bread toasted in the oven. Jessie contributed with the cake pops which we are still trying to get a hang of… they take a while to master. I think Dad, Mom and Megan felt a little left out but they made up for it with a “special” dinner with Megan at her little IKEA play table. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that Michael showed up half way through the meal on skype, we talked over video chat for a while which was nice.

If you are in the mood for a celebration of your own, here are a few tips to spruce up the party:

1.) As far as food goes, small appetizers such as chips and dip, prunes wrapped in bacon, veggies and dip, and other finger foods (things you can find here!) are great.
2.) Table decoration are always fun to make and we’ve found that paper place mats are awesome! Stop by at a crafts store and you can find paper in any color scheme with any pattern imaginable, I’m talking EASY way to expand your options.
3.)Make sure you have music!
4.) Don’t be afraid to move furniture around, we moved couches, chairs, side tables and desks to finally achieve the ambiance we wanted.

Have a wonderful Monday and find excuses to party with your friends and family this month!