Posts

Wandering, Again (Finally!)

Image
BIG NEWS: 
Our Five Year Shanghai-versary is just a few weeks away! This is a huuuuge record for us, since becoming Mr & Mrs over two decades ago, my husband and I have never before lived in one city (or country!) for five consecutive years. 
But considering there are five of us in our little family, it seemed like five years is a good solid number of completion. Soooo after much thought and deliberation, we decided it was time to say goodbye to Shanghai and move home! 
BUT... Where is home, when you've moved fourteen times between five countries in twenty-one years of marriage? 
Is home a place you were born but have no memory of living, as America is to Benjamin, our youngest son? 
Is it one of a dozen places you've lived and loved and created family out of friends, people who are closer than any actual relative because of the crazy life you've walked through together?
We left it up to the littlest member of our family to decide where to go. And with great furry enthusiasm…

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Image
Can I tell you a secret? Though if you knew me in my childhood or in America, it is perhaps not such a secret. I'm terrible at keeping a space, any space, tidy. While plenty of people share design secrets about "less is more," my life motto since birth has been MORE IS MORE. Why settle for less? In childhood I had the messiest room of anyone I knew. And it was partially because I had more stuff than anyone I knew (I collected a lot of things. One thing was plush monkeys. You can read about that here).

A big part of my problem is that I am incredibly sentimental. If I were an actress and had to cry on cue, I could do it like a pro because just looking at something I treasure can start the waterworks. There's something about the way my memories are tied to tangible stuff that makes me want to hang onto everything. And if you ever come to my home, you'll see there isn't a single item in it that doesn't have a story attached to it. (If you do come over, you&…

Imagine

Image
Timely. Thank you, Pentatonix.

A Bookish New Year!

Image
Happy New Year from Shanghai! Ours was completely low key. We had a friend over and made my traditional New Years Eve Loaded Baked Potato Soup (recipe here) while watching an animated film none of us have ever heard of previously called Kubo and the Two Strings. Evidently it came out last summer everywhere else in the world, but is just now making its way to China. It was strange and unique and fantastic, and if you didn't see it and want a treat for the eyes and mind, check it out!
I never really do New Year's Resolutions. They are weird and silly and don't really work. In the past I've set more of an intention or a goal and have pretty much been wildly successful with those. This year I'm writing a LOT, working on a book of my own. So I decided to set a goal of that has to do with books, creating a 52 Weeks, 52 Books Challenge. I read every day, and I read very quickly, so it's not going to be a huge difficulty (I hope). It's only January 3rd and I'v…

Merry Christmas from Shanghai Disneyland!

Image
This festive greeting was over four years in the making!

Christmas cards are a big deal for me. Though we move a lot, our annual Christmas card is one way I can keep in touch with people all over the world that I don't get to see very often. We do one every year, and it occupies my thoughts throughout the year as we travel or have big family moments. Instead of a thousand words, I try to figure out what photo can tell the story of our family's year. 
We moved to Shanghai, China from Macau in spring of 2012 when my husband took on a project opening Disney's newest theme park, Shanghai Disneyland. The minute he signed his contract, I had a vision of this Christmas card. Each year as an opening date was not yet announced, I'd think, "Okay, maybe next year will be our Shanghai Disneyland Christmas Card!" When they finally announced the opening date of June 16, 2016, I knew the card I'd been waiting for was finally going to happen. Christmas card in mind, we t…

Christmas Magic With HRC

Image
I'm taking a break from Facebook. It started on November 8th and will continue until I'm ready to wade back in. It might be awhile. But I'm posting a lot on Instagram. This time of year I do a daily practice I call #ChristmasMagicWithHRC (fyi, HRC would be ME, Heather Rose-Chase, not a former presidential candidate or the Human Rights Campaign, as someone on Instagram just asked me). Every day I find a little something that is related to Christmas, post a photo, and write a little something about it. Some days it's hard to narrow it down to one thing, because in China Christmas decorations frequently stay up year round as they just look festive. My sons' local Chinese school lobby is completely decked out for Christmas, complete with Christmas tree, Santa heads, and huge garland at all times. My birthday is Christmas Eve, and if there was a Christmas Town, I'd be the mayor or the mascot or the most enthusiastic resident they've ever had. Buddy the Elf is my…

Sweet Sixteen

Image
My firstborn son is about to turn 16. And I asked him what he'd like. The conversation didn't go how I expected at all. 



Initially this seemed very strange to me, because what teenager doesn't want to ask for a free something or other for their birthday? And the cake part was perplexing to my friends after I posted this, asking what teenage boy doesn't want cake?! Mine, apparently.

But then I started thinking about my own sixteenth birthday and how all I wanted was running water, and that maybe I shouldn't be so quick to judge the lack of a wishlist...

On the first day of my freshman year of high school, my family moved from Greater Los Angeles to a small town called Lockwood, California - population 123 according the sign welcoming you as you entered. Being born and raised up until that point in a city, it was not an easy adjustment (spoiler alert: 24 hours after graduating from high school, I moved back to Los Angeles on my own... four years in the country did no…