Sunday, December 30, 2007


I am a pufferfish. I've been eating everything I've missed this last 10 months, with no regard to consequences. And now I'm blowing up like a big ol' poofed-up pufferfish. Time to go back to China, where the food's not so good or so huge, and where I walk all the time.

OK, so I'm getting used to the idea and I'm missing our family routine, back to school, back to our house across the pond. I am certainly NOT looking forward to the big-ass plane ride with the kids, although they were fantastic on the way here. But I'm okay with getting back to being near Hong Kong, back to our friends, back to our life there. I will dearly miss my church, my mom and her husband, my favorite restaurants, my friends here. Of course I'll also miss my other family, though I'm used to not seeing them on a regular basis anyhow. What a lovely holiday we all had together!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

For unto us...

a savior is born!

A most blessed Christmas to you and your family! May you have a day of peace and love. Those of you who are especially lonely due to loss of a loved/cherished/irreplaceable one, may it be some small comfort to know you are in my prayers and thoughts, and I send you love and wish you God's peace.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Time Keeps On Slippin, Slippin, Slippin...

It seems like our time here in the U.S. is just flying by! Already over a week we've been here - although a few of those days were spent in a jetlag haze. Only two weeks from today we'll be heading back to China. Want to know a secret? Spending time in the U.S. is making me want to stay in the U.S.! I'm not really looking foward to going back to China. Just something as simple as using my mom's fancy-pants appliances (really, they're nice but very normal appliances...) that are so much nicer than the very old, very basic ones I have in my house over there. Yeah, I know, I'm lucky to have the appliances I have compared to most Chinese.

I do understand that regular, daily life here wouldn't be an endless stream of playdates, dinners out and parties. At least not all the time. It's the holiday season and we have many people to catch up with in a short amount of time. I think that makes life in the U.S. seem so much more fun right now. Thanks to Meredith & family, Heidy & family, Nicholas & family, Cooper & family, Jonathan & family, Dick & Jo, my brother & family, my dad & family, Dr. Angie & family, and of course, my mom and Wayne...such fun we're having here! Sure wish Barb & family were still here, too!

I hope that by January 4 I am more eager to get back home to my life in China! If only there was a Mellow Mushroom there...*sigh* I complain too much???

Sunday, December 16, 2007

You like me! You really like me!

Well, I've been hearing from so many people that you are still reading my blog and keeping up with us - thank you from the bottom of my heart. That means so much to me!!

Today I went to my church and I felt as though I'd come home. The music is now fantastic, with a band that includes drums (rock on). The smiles and hugs that were shared were priceless. I also realized why it is I miss my church so very much in China, and why Sundays are so especially lonely. It's because in my church here in the U.S., I feel loved. People know me and care about me, and I about them. We've shared sad times and good times and monitor each other's pregnancies and watch each other's kids grow up. It's a family and it's why I get so homesick. It's so lovely to be back; I don't think I could have been happier this morning. Except, of course, for missing the Sextons and a few other families that weren't there.

I am getting used to driving again, which is fun. I was nervous the first time out! In China, nobody follows the rules; people just go where they want, when they want. It's chaos, which is really kind of a bad idea when you're moving around in a big metal box at 45 mph. Here, the roads are SO BIG and people let you take your turn. Pedestrians in parking lots wave and smile when you stop for them.

I ate at my favorite pizza restaurant in the whole world yesterday for lunch. Yes, they have pizza in China - Papa John's is very popular and delivers. Pizza Hut is also popular but the one by our house doesn't deliver! Almost everybody in China delivers, right down to Starbucks! But, I digress. We went to this fabulous little pizza kitchen. They have a Clash poster that shows a guitarist smashing his guitar at a concert, in black and white. It's one of my favorite posters of all time, and it's right back by the bathroom. I just love it. I had a pizza with artichokes, roasted red pepper, sausage, and kalamata olives - many things that you won't find on a pizza in China. Pizza in China usually has squid or shrimp on it and pineapple. They also have the "normal" pies - pepperoni is popular, but honestly, nothing ever tastes quite the same there. I don't know what kind of cheese they use, but it's just different. The meat tastes different, too, and I really don't want to know why. I do know one thing: it's good to be home.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sweet Home Tennessee

Well, I am back in the US of A and it feels pretty good! The first thing that struck me when I walked in to the Newark airport is how DIVERSE this country is! In China, everybody basically has the same color hair and similar skin. There are many differences within that, of course, but here everybody looks so different. It's beautiful to see! And, everybody seems so nice here, right down to the cashier at Kroger's! It's wonderful to be wished a "Merry Christmas" and have people really mean it. In China, while Christmas is capitalized on as a way to make money and have fun, the true meaning gets missed or never even thought of in the first place. I don't say this about Hong Kong, where Christianity is just fine and they "do it up real nice." A few days ago, in China, it sure didn't feel like Christmas was coming. Here, I can feel it, smell it in the air and see it in smiles.

Walking through Target, I also was struck by how rich we are as a nation. All the space, all the beautiful packaging, all the parking spaces. Next time you get annoyed by having to go to Target, trying not being able to go for 10 months.

We are all jet-lagged and I am especially looking forward to sleeping tonight. I will post more as the weeks fly by.