Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A quick check-in!

Jer just wrote a post from China, so you can scroll down and read that first...

I made it home!  I left at 9:30 p.m. Monday evening and arrived at almost 2 a.m. this morning.  With the time difference, that makes for about a 20 hour trip-- not too bad!  Jeremy and the girls have a much longer trip home, as the cheapest way for them to fly is to take a late night flight to Beijing, stay at a hotel, take an early flight to Seattle, have a three hour layover, then fly to SLC.  With three girls.  One in a wheelchair.  Much more difficult than my route, but saves hundreds and hundreds of dollars.  So yeah, Jer's the man.  (:

It feels SOOOOOOO good to be home!  I can't say how much I missed my sweet kiddos!  It felt amazing to hug and love on them this morning.  I woke up at 6 a.m. and went and crawled in bed with Sophi, Xander, and Lexi (who all happened to be sharing a bed).  It was so much fun to have each of them wake up and see big smiles spread across their faces as they realized who was in bed with them.  A perfect start to my day.

I'm feeling a bit fuzzy from jet lag.  I want to sleep all day, but have a million things to do.  Christmas prep and shopping is on the top of the list, as is Lexi's IEP, basketball games for the boys, unpacking, catching up on emails, homework with kids, and house stuff.  Ahhh... back to reality!  (;  It's probably good I have plenty to keep me busy-- hopefully I can stay awake most of the day and be able to get a good night's rest and get my body switched to Utah time...

Mom, Dad, Matthew, Megan-- you are AMAZING.  Thanks for being such angels and taking care of the kids!!!  I love you so much and I'm so grateful for our family!  Can't wait to introduce you to your new granddaughter/niece.  (:

Jesi, Graci, and Cali-- thanks a lot for mocking my heart-felt note.  Love you too!  (;


Loving Guangzhou

In Christi’s much-mocked note to me, she counseled, “Be happy and enjoy this time as much as you can.”  Fantastic counsel.  I can honestly say today was one of the best days of my life.  I have so enjoyed the company of my three oldest daughters.  I am really trying to live by the adage, “Don’t sweat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff!”  And it really isJ.  It has been an incredibly endearing bonding experience to be half way around the world with just the three of them.  Over the years I have had many opportunities through sports and camping to make some fantastic memories and bonds with my older boys.  But those opportunities have been less frequent with my girls.  As I have now officially retired from coaching, I have been able to enjoy more of these experiences.  And the results in my relationships with the girls are very evident. 

We were up at 7:45 today to get ready for a trip to the Guangzhou safari.  Aside from the rain, it was quite wonderful.  We saw all kinds of wildlife up close as we rode through the “Safari on wheels” portion of the park.  Then we were able to walk through the other areas and see pandas and koalas, tigers and dinosaurs (pretty decent Jurassic Park fare).  We even got to feed giraffes out of our hands.  Those are some pretty long tongues!!!  After resting for a while back at the hotel, we took a taxi down to Shamian Island, did some shopping and had dinner.  There is something about an outdoor meal at Lucy’s that completes my adoption tripJ.  We found some cross stitch patterns for the girls that will hopefully keep them interested for a portion of that long plane ride home.  Also found some good gotcha gifts and grand bag items. 

Today’s best lines:

Jessica (an email novice) while watching me type my email address into an online form:  “Hotmail?!?  What’s that mean?”  Then, after a couple seconds of thought, and with a suspicious look in her eyes, “Does that mean Christianne mail???”

Cali, at dinner after yet another taxi ride, (and through Graci as an interpreter): “Daddy, why do you always ask the taxi drivers the same questions?”  This, of course, was a reference to the fact that I can only ask about two questions in Chinese:  “Are you from Guangzhou?” and “Do you have any children?”  The funny part was that on the way home, we were in another taxi and I asked the driver, “Are you from Guangzhou?”  Cali immediately started cracking up and mocked me in front of everyone.  She has quite the sense of humor.

I am so excited to get home to my family and to the States and to Christmas.  But I am truly going to miss China and Guangzhou and the time I have here to focus entirely on three of my precious children.  Life is beautiful.