Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What's Up Wednesday | May 2017

It has been forever since I have linked up with Shay, Sheaffer and Mel for What's Up Wednesday :), actually I just looked it up - last June when we were just getting ready for our first summer in China,  so let's go for it.  If you are brand new here we are a family from the Dallas/Fort Worth area currently on expat assignment in Chengdu, China.

One. What we are eating this week...
Somehow I don't have any pictures, but we had a fish fry with our friends in the neighborhood last Saturday and we have made fish tacos with the leftovers.  I also made my first ever batch of pico de gallo and Wes made our umpteenth batch of hot sauce.  Living in China has forced us to learn to make so much from scratch and it has been a fun learning process.

Two. What I am reminiscing about...
Ahhh, my post on Monday had me reminiscing about our recent trip to Thailand.  Thailand is our happy place.  If you are new here, we are total beach people and are thrilled it looks like our girls are too. We feel spoiled beyond belief that we get to head back there in June with my mom.

Three. What I am loving...
Our neighborhood has been killing it in the beautiful department lately.  It seems like everything is in bloom and life is just better when there is no smog.

Four. What we've been up to...
Weekend exploring.  In the fall and spring we try to pick a place to go to every weekend.  Two weekends ago we headed to People's Park and most recently we headed to Aroma (something or other) park - I don't know the name in Chinese and there is not a good English translation.  Even if we just get out for a couple of hours, we have a blast seeing new-to-us places or rediscovering places that we went when we first arrived.  These purple flowers (thousands upon thousands of them) made this my favorite park experience to date.

Five.  What I am dreading...
Nothing, really. And it feels amazing - I have been working hard to not worry so much and it seems to be paying off.

Six. What I am working on...
At work I am working on a long range plan out to 2020 and it is blowing my mind every time I type 2020.  On a personal note, Wes and I are working on a potential trip to Australia next spring and that has us pretty excited!

Seven. What I am excited about...
Nonni and Papa George arrive in Chengdu on June 14th!!! And we cannot wait!! We have been anticipating their visit since we moved here and we cannot contain our excitement that the day is almost here!

Eight. What I am watching/reading...
We just finished Survivor (if you are new here, I still unabashedly love Survivor so many seasons later) and I was pretty happy that officer Sarah won and that they call her officer Sarah ;).

Nine. What I am listening too...
Podcasts galore.  Ones that I have listened to and like are: Young House Love has a podcast, Call Your Girlfriend, Here's the Thing and The Longest Shortest Time.  I am sure I am the latest to the bandwagon on podcasts, but I have to say it has improved my commute by 1000%.  If you have any recommendations make sure to send them my way.

Ten. What I am wearing...
Nothing worth mentioning - living in China is kind of like a forced clothing spending freeze.  Which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, I did just order my girls some new dresses for next summer from my favorite clothing brand, Alice and Ames.

Eleven. What I am up to this weekend...
We are thinking about taking the girls back to Polar World - part theme park, part oceanarium and part water park.  We went last year near the end of the summer and the girls had a blast.

Twelve.What I am looking forward to next month...
Since I already mentioned above what we are the most excited about - Nonni and Papa George visiting Chengdu and a return trip to Thailand, we are also excited about our neighborhood pool opening up.  The girls have been bit by the swimming bug (thanks in part to their school swimming lessons and in part to our recent trip to Thailand) so we have been swimming indoors, but we are pumped about the outdoor pool opening - crossing our fingers for this weekend.

Thirteen. What else is new...
The girls got roller blades. And it as exciting and hilarious and as painful as it sounds.  We took them out for the first test ride and while I thought they might be naturals, they will definitely have to put in some hard work to be the roller bladers in their dreams.

Fourteen. What is your favorite vacation spot...
Mexico will still always be number one for me and Wes (because we got married there and just honestly have loved every vacation there - we have been four times), but our favorite family vacation spot in Asia is definitely Thailand (very similar vibe to Mexico).  However, we have truly not had a bad vacation here: we have loved Guilin, Hong Kong, Borneo, Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo and we cannot wait to see what other travels we have while we are here.    

Monday, May 29, 2017

Twirling in Thailand

Every time we head to a beach, I like to get the girls dressed in one of their twirly dresses and head to the beach one morning and get a few shots of them twirling on the beach.  There is just something that draws me in: the innocence and girliness of the twirl (and my favorite dresses don't hurt), the giant ocean and mostly the two little girls and their child like spirit.  Their joy is infectious.  I just adore it.  

I don't think I had quite as good lighting as I did the last time we were in Thailand, but here are a few pictures if you would like to take a look.  p.s. Emma is way more into these pictures than Everly which is why you see less of her here.

I hope they indulge me in twirling pictures even as teenagers on the beach - a mom can dream, right??

Friday, May 26, 2017

Thailand | Our Happy Place

About three weeks ago, we headed to Thailand for five full days of fun in the sun and pure relaxation.  Thailand is our happy place :).  Wes and I adore going there and so do our kiddos (last Saturday, Everly woke up asking if we could go to Thailand for the weekend ;)).  We have our routine down - the girls are typically up no later than 6:30 in the morning and we head to breakfast, we scarf down as much coffee as possible and then head to the hotel room to get ready for the day.  We alternate between the swimming pool and the beach from 8 to 2 often breaking for ice cream or watermelon smoothies somewhere in between.  About 2, we take the girls back to the room for snacks and a rest.  At 4 we wake them up, they feed the fish, most likely hop back into the pool before we get ready for dinner between 6 and 6:30.  We eat dinner, the girls watch a show on TV and then we head to bed and get ready to do it all over again the next day.  And sometimes, I sneak away for a massage during their rest (this last time, I got two!!).  It is so relaxing, the girls behave pretty well and we all just have the best time.  Here are a few pictures from our first two days if you would like to take a look :).

^ this sweet elephant was waiting on our beds when we checked in around 1 in the morning. ^
^ obsessed with the palm tree reflection in the infinity pool. ^
^ even though we went during rainy season, only the first day was overcast. ^
^ my three loves on the beach. ^
^ excited for her first seashell hunt of the trip. ^
^ ocean loving girl ^
^ two sisters ^

^ how did she get so big?? ^
^ best friends (some of the time ;)) ^
^ watermelon smoothie (the other caption could be: rough life ;)). ^
^ when we headed to the room, Wes surprised the girls with a new floatie!! ^
^ it was crazy big and the talk of the hotel (seriously, so many people asked us where we got it from - answer, tao bao). ^
^ right after we got it out, it poured.  this was the only time the rain got in the way of anything we had planned, but we headed back to the hotel room and had a nap.  after the nap (and apparently a swimsuit change for Ev's again) we headed back to the pool - ginormous floatie in tow. ^

^ when your swimsuit accidentally matches your floatie, I must take a picture. ^
^ that night we had a few drinks while we watched the girls swim and we headed back to the room and just grabbed room service for dinner. while waiting for our food to be delivered, I noticed the sunset so we headed down to snap a picture :). ^
^ after breakfast, we headed to the ocean for twirly beach pictures (more to come on that in another post). ^

^ me and my mini ^
^ palm trees and blue skies ^
^ stunning ^
^ that cute family on the right had two boys about the girls age and they were staying right next door.  the girls loved playing with them during the remainder of the trip. ^
^ this girl likes to jump off things :) ^

^ I honestly can't tell which girl this is... I am leaning towards Emma though. ^
^ this girl has been going to swimming lessons at school and we were so happy that she would go under water!! ^
^ go, Evsie's go! ^
^ Emma went down this slide no less than 100 times a day it seemed like.  she doesn't need anyone to catch her anymore either! ^
^ we brought our giant unicorn back out!! ^

^ chilling ^

Can't wait to share more with you soon.