Sure, we're already a month past July 17th, but I wanted to point out a few things that happened that day.
First, Disneyland turned 55 years old.
Second, this here little Boy Wonder blog turned two years old.
And third, the Chase Family pulled up its roots and moved.
We lived in our old rental house for four years and two months. This beats our previous record from up in the San Francisco Bay Area where we lived for 23 months. In fourteen years of marriage, we've moved twelve times. It was nice to stay put for awhile, but unfortunately, things weren't going so great there. We've had major problems with the house, and when the owner became ill and could no longer manage those problems, she passed the house off to a property management company.
The property management company took a look at the house and fixed only the biggest of the laundry list of problems. Despite months of gently prodding them to come fix the rest of the things, nothing was happening. Well, that's not true. What was happening was I was growing depressed over our house being the 2nd ugliest on the block and growing bitter every month I wrote a very big rent check for a house I was embarrassed to have company in.
One night I clicked onto Craig's List and looked at rentals in the area. One place jumped out at me. I printed the listing and tossed it to my husband. He was interested enough to call and we went over to look at the place. Compared to our old home, the place was like a posh resort. The owners were incredibly friendly and so nice that we ended up chatting with them for a couple of hours instead of the 20 minutes we promised the baby sitter. We thought it over for a few days and then jumped.
Of course, we jumped right when my husband is working six to seven days a week, 18+ hours a day. Which meant that the bulk of the move fell on my shoulders. But it's not like we haven't done this before! I point you toward Exhibit A: we moved to Japan for a year with a newborn on exactly four weeks notice. Or Exhibit B: I managed to get everything packed for our move to Hong Kong with two toddlers underfoot and a husband who was out of the country for the entire month before our move. This should have been a piece of cake, right?
Actually it was a tough move. I did 95% of it in my minivan with the help of teenage friends. The new house is three miles away from the old house. I put 250 miles on the van in five days. You can do the math to see how many trips that represents! I've never been so happy to be done moving in all my life!
We love the new place, we actually gained an extra room which has been turned into my studio/office so I don't have to work and sew in the dining room any more. We did lose a yard. But we gained a ten acre park with a pond which our bedrooms overlook, and we have two good sized patios. We lost our huge garage for a smallish one. But we gained a pool, spa, dry sauna, and clubhouse. We lost the 2nd ugliest house on the block and gained the best landlords we've ever had in twenty years of renting. And, the boys gained a two-story home, which they've been begging for since they discovered that some houses have stairs. And we're gaining better looking buns from going up and down those stairs all day! Can't complain about that!
So there you go. My explanation for why nearly two months have passed with no posts. There will be more soon. We're having lots of adventures and enjoying the new digs. Life is good. Glad you're here to share it with us, even if it's only via the web.
Goodbye, Old House.
(Photo taken after we locked the door for the last time and started to drive away.)
Hello, New View.
(Photo taken just now from my bedroom window, as the sun is starting to set.)
Fair warning, this is a long, serious, and intensely personal post. Did you know that today, September 10th, is World Suicide Prevention Day? Per the International Association for Suicide Prevention: Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world, especially among young people. Nearly one million people worldwide die by suicide each year. This corresponds to one death by suicide every 40 seconds. The number of lives lost each year through suicide exceeds the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined. My life was affected by suicide from an early age. My fourth grade teacher at a private school in California's San Fernando Valley took her life during the school year. A close classmate from the public school I attended in 5th and 6th grade took her life in 7th grade after I had moved away. A boy I knew in middle school killed himself. A close friend in the 7th and 8th grade attempted suicide, and my mom took me to visit him at the hospital a few hours from our h…
As Chinese New Year approaches (February 10th this year), we bid a fond farewell to the Year of the Dragon. My oldest son was born in the Year of the Dragon, so all year long when we saw anything with a dragon on it, we'd point it out to him. And now as the Year of the Dragon roars out, we make way for the new year... the Year of the Mouse!
Okay, not really. It's actually the Year of the Snake. But for us Chases, there is a spectacularly magical Mouse-related year about to commence!
For Christmas this year, we gave the boys these photos:
And then we told them we'll be going to all of the Disney Theme Parks worldwide in 2013!
I'm not sure who was more excited, the boys or their Mama! Truth be told, Michael, Nathan, and I have already been to all the Disney Parks except for the two in Paris. But Benjamin wasn't yet born when we lived in Japan. For that matter, Nathan was just a 13 week old baby when we went to Tokyo Disneyland and a ten month old when Tokyo DisneySea …
Michael and I got to jump on a plane from Shanghai to Los Angeles to attend a four day conference on leadership, creativity, and humanity two weeks ago. It was something we really wanted to do, but the limitations to our finances living here in Shanghai mean that we can budget a trip to America only every other year, and this was not our year. But in the beautiful way that things sometimes have a way of working out when you are absolutely meant to be somewhere, someone else totally unrelated to the conference provided the funds via an envelope filled with cash to cover the cost of round trip airfare and the conference admission. The conference was amazing. So much good stuff that I'm still mulling it over and trying to find ways to adjust my life to fit all the new information we were flooded with. But this isn't a post about the conference. I don't even know how to write about it just yet. In addition to the four conference days, we decided to stay an extra three days in …