Showing posts from December, 2012

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One of my boys is at a friend's house. The other is curled up on the couch devouring the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book which our friend from America was kind enough to bring over (for half the price of buying it here in Shanghai!). Having the afternoon to myself, I thought I'd finish up the half dozen blog posts in the pipeline that are just in need of photos... Ha! Joke's on me, all the photos are stored on an external drive thingy which is currently not talking to my computer, and I can't even open the program to see them! Since my personal IT guy is working at his day job right now and can't help me, all I can do is pull some photos off my phone to share with you. They happen to be some of my favorites from this past week down in Hong Kong, so that works. First up, here is me and my boys outside Hong Kong Disneyland:  I love, love, love Disneyland. All of them. I especially love the Disneyland Parks during the Christmas season. All the extra decorations, mu…

Merry Shanghai Christmas!

I had a pretty spectacular Christmas Eve birthday yesterday despite the fact that temperatures here were below freezing (and definitely not part of my birthday wish list!). We spent the last week in Hong Kong with a quick one day visit back in Macau, and spent every single day hugging old friends. I was willing to spend Christmas in Hong Kong, but the boys wanted to wake up Christmas morning in their own beds at home, not a hotel room, and the fact that they consider Shanghai to be home means we're doing pretty well at getting all of us settled in here. More about today's celebrations coming later! Just wanted to pop on and share our 2012 Christmas card with all of you. The photo was taken at the Shanghai Sculpture Park in Sheshan by our friend Luke who (along with his wife Anni) came to visit us for a week last month. The sculpture is called 'Meteor' by Italian artist Riccardo Cordero. And yes, the artwork at the Park is meant to be explored and is all quite intera…

Pajama Party

Every December for as long as I can remember our friend Miss Amy has thrown a family Christmas Pajama Party on a Sunday afternoon. Everyone comes in their jammies and brings breakfast foods and the kids get to open a gift in a massive crazy moment of joyful noises. (Here's 2008, here's 2009). We missed it last year, and we'll miss it again today. Another challenge of living abroad - missing out on traditions. Tonight we put on our Christmas pajamas and took a photo to send to Miss Amy and our Southern California friends, and then we snuggled up on the couch to watch Singin' in the Rain.

Our nine year old son didn't get the movie at all, and asked us to explain the whole thing to him when it was over. And neither kid understood what was so wrong with Lina Lamont's voice. I think today's cartoons and animated films have inured them to crazy voices that don't necessarily match the character's image. But then again, they also hear many different accen…

Be light

In the last seven months, I've turned on our television three times. The first two times it was just out of curiosity to see what channels we get on our satellite (we get a lot actually, I just never have time or the inclination to flip through and watch anything). The third time was last night.

I'm under the weather and trying my best to get healthy before our upcoming, much needed, long awaited vacation to Hong Kong on Tuesday. Last night friends were having a big Christmas party and since I was fevery, I stayed in bed while Michael took the boys to the party to give me quiet and time to rest. I napped with our lap dog, and then got up and turned on the television, flipping until I got to CNN to watch the coverage 24 hours after the horrific event in Connecticut. I just sat and let the tears fall down my face while listening to stories from the parents of survivors.

One father said his six year old son was evacuated through the hallway where his schoolmate's lifeless b…

Do or do not?

I'm going through a year's worth of photos, looking for something specific at the request of two of my sister-in-laws, and I came across this one from May.

It was taken in Chiangmai, Thailand, outside the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, a Theravada Buddhist temple which sits atop Doi Suthep mountain. We left our shoes with the shoe attendant who sat in a large alcove about twenty feet behind where I'm standing under a giant sign that said Leave Your Shoes Here. When we entered, there were piles and piles of shoes under the red sign above. When we came out, there were less as you can see. But it's still funny.

It's been quite a trip to cruise through 2012 in photos. It's been an awesome, amazing, difficult, heartbreaking, magical, change-filled, adventurous year. Looking forward to 2013!

Christmas in the Classroom

I'm a strong supporter of the arts being taught in school. This little video with Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, Mariah Carey and a bunch of instruments typical of what you'd find in the average classroom (along with some students) made my heart bubble with joy.

On Comet, on Cupid!

This year Santa's sleigh looks a whole lot like a suitcase, flying from San Francisco to Hong Kong. And Santa looks a whole like like dear friends of ours from seven moves ago when we lived in the city of Benjamin's birth in the San Francisco Bay Area nine years ago! So excited to get a whole bunch of products we've been without for a really long time, along with some new clothes and a few surprises for the boys which we'd said no, absolutely no to when we saw the markup price here in Shanghai.

Of course suitcase full of gifts aside, we are excited to see our friends. Our brief time in the San Francisco Bay Area was quite the roller coaster. We'd just moved to America from Tokyo and experienced some of the worst culture shock we've ever encountered. And then we had Benjamin, born with congenital heart disease requiring surgery when he was just days old. My friends were the safety net that kept me walking the high wire of navigating life with a medically fragil…

Be humble

I've done a lot in my short life. Gone a lot of places and seen a lot of things. But every day I'm reminded that there is so much more to see and do. Even with the crazy vast collection of experiences I've amassed, I don't know everything. I'm still learning. I'm a hungry student of the world, insatiably curious.

Today I was involved in a conversation with three people who were absolutely convinced of something which I knew first hand was completely incorrect. First hand, as in I was intimately involved in the creation of this large thing for over a year of my life. When I tossed out the correct information (without mentioning my background with it), they dug in even deeper and got very defensive. It was such a bizarre situation to be in. I wanted to tell them how I knew the correct information, but I also know no one likes to be told they are wrong. So I shrugged it off, as I'm no fan of conflict and this wasn't something worth rising their level of ag…

Most Popular

I added a little sidebar on the blog which lists my ten most popular posts here on My Wandering Life. I just went back and read them all, wondering what about them makes them the most popular.

If you are new here (welcome!) or read this in a reader or via email (thanks!), feel free to click through to the blog to check them out. My current favorite of the list is this one. I guess I'm a sucker for a good love story, especially my own!


On Saturday Michael and I went off to pay our mobile phone bills in person like we do each month (good grief, this is a frustrating way to have to do things! More on bills later). We pay this bill on the second floor of the local grey market (grey market = place to buy semi-legit and knock off electronics that you've heard about plus every little gadget you've never heard of but now can't live without. Bargain hard.) In front of the building there is always a large tented area selling something new each week. Once it was Lee Brand denim (most with cut labels meaning they are seconds/overruns). Another time it was a knock off of Uggs boots. Sometimes it's luggage or tennis shoes. Always a new configuration with new products. This weekend it was a Muslim food fair.

All the food at every booth was served on a long wooden stick. People could dispose of their sticks in one of several boxes placed around the perimeter. I couldn't help but be that anoying person stopping…


I hate to say it, but I've been having one of those weeks. I'm not usually the type to wish a day (or a week in this case) to be over. Every day is a gift, we shouldn't squander our time away, and all similar sayings are ones I take to heart. But this week was the kind of gift you desperately wish to exchange, only to find the store has an adamant policy about receipts (which you must have left in your pocket which went through the laundry), and even regifting isn't an option because it's truly a stinker and you don't dislike anyone enough to lay it at their feet no matter how fancy the wrapping. Yeah, that sounds about right. I'll spare you the details, but just know there was more than once where I quietly locked the door to my bedroom, sat in my picture window looking at my beautiful view, and let tears stream down my face in solitude (the jean ripping incident was the proverbial straw that provoked one of those tearful episodes). I awoke early this mo…