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Showing posts from 2016

Merry Christmas from Shanghai Disneyland!

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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

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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

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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…

Things I could feel bad about. But won't.

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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 …

Hey!

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Hello? Anyone still here? Deep apologies for the lack of posts. My biggest excuse is a big one: the country I live in blocks my website (all Google products including Blogger), and the workaround I have been using to still access it (along with facebook, gmail, and instagram) has been less than reliable this year, so I haven't been able to access it at all in 2016! The only posts I've done were from Dubai, where the internet is far more open and uncensored.

However! Thanks to a photographer friend in Los Angeles who was here visiting recently, I found a new blogging platform which isn't blocked and can be accessed pretty easily. It's a platform that has sprung up since we left America 5+ years ago, so I'd never heard of it. It's not free, but I think it'll be worth it.

After going through a pretty rough season where I didn't write at all but instead poured my heart out in painting, I'm happy to say I'm back to making art with the written word ag…

MIKA in Shanghai!

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I can't remember when I first discovered singer/songwriter MIKA. I just know his music makes me happy. His Popular Song with Ariana Grande, which borrows the hook from the song Popular in the Broadway musical Wicked, is very addicting. I have the video on my phone, and when I need a quick pick me up, I watch it and laugh at the tale of revenge (and want Ariana's dress at the end).



But the song of his which has particularly resonated for me while we've lived here in Shanghai is Celebrate. In the past (rough) year, I've scribbled "It will be OK" all over the place, including on the front of my journal (which I would never rip up the way MIKA rips up his in the music video below), a line from this song.



I love his videos. They are all so creative and energetic, and everything I've read and heard says that his live performances are the same. But we live in Shanghai, China, where many BIG commercial groups come through, but not so many smaller international gr…

Friendly Face

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We've just returned from a holiday in the United Arab Emirates, visiting one of my best friends from Macau who now lives in Dubai, and a friend I went to high school with who I haven't seen in 23 years since our high school graduation day who now lives in Abu Dhabi. It's Chinese New Year here in China, and my sons, who go to a local Chinese school, have over five weeks off of school. So we looked for a place which was warm and where we have friends we could crash with (we're about to pay for the second term of the school year, so we needed to economize).

It was lovely and wonderful and exactly what we needed as a family (my husband only got to join us for a few days) and I'll write more about it later. But something funny happened, which happens pretty much everywhere we go in the world: a total stranger approached me for help in a place I knew next to nothing about. It's happened to me on my first day in London (with a Chinese man who was lost on the Undergrou…