Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New blog URL

And it will never get blocked!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sneaky, Sneaky

As you may have guessed, blogspot is currently blocked in China. For the moment I've found a way to sneak onto the site (but not to post pictures). I'm also trying to see if another website might work better for me this fall.

I've now been back in China for exactly two weeks, and home up in the northeast for a little bit less time then that. We had a week of team building meetings and I began teaching on Monday. This semester all of my teaching hours are jam-packed into Monday and Tuesday, leaving the rest of the week "open" for planning meetings, grading, lesson prep, graduate work, student meetings, and cooking. Yes, I consider cooking right up there with my other responsibilities. :) It's amazing how quickly the time fills up, though! Hopefully I will be self-disciplined enough to take advantage of the more open days.

In the meantime, I'm just enjoying being home again. It's amazing how "normal" life has become here, and how life in many ways seems easier (with the exception of doing laundry). I was thrilled to return to fresh fruit sold by my neighbor, my egg lady who grins whenever she sees me, and garlic sold cheaply by the pound. It's nice to again be able to walk to most places I frequent, and to hear the chorus of, "Look there's a Russian" echo behind me (in case you haven't heard me say it before, EVERYONE thinks I'm Russian. Everyone. From the old ladies in the park to the primary school kids on their way to class). I just somehow fall more in love with this place each year.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Homeward bound

Tonight, I'm doing a little dance...kind of like this...
...because I'm homeward bound in the morning. I have a couple days of meetings in Beijing and then it will be home sweet home. I must admit, I'm quite eager to get back. When I left China at the beginning of the summer, I didn't have access to this blog, so we'll see what the situation is when I get back. There's a chance I'll move sites, but I will have someone post the new address here if that's the case. In the meantime, I hope you all are enjoying the last fleeting days of summer!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First time Aunt

I'm a first time Aunt. I have one darling nephew. I only get to see him at most two weeks out of the year. In case you haven't realized it yet, I love taking pictures. Consequently, I'm currently sorting through hundreds of pictures I took while I was down visiting my sister and her family. I apologize for the sheer volume of Ethan pictures that are going to be appearing on Flickr in the coming days. If you have something against incredibly cute toddlers, I recommend you stay away for awhile.

The last time I saw Ethan, he was only 3 months old. His personality (and hair) was just starting to come out.This summer, I got to see his personality out in full force. One of the things I quickly learned was that he loves to be involved in everything...and I mean everything. His favorite part of the day is helping with chores. You are simply not allowed to sweep, do laundry, or do dishes without his participation.

He loves helping transfer clothes from washer to dryer.
He analyzes each piece of laundry...just to make sure the colors are correct.
He is quite meticulous in his examination.And shoves them all the way into the dryer.He makes sure things are spinning correctly once the dryer starts.
And then makes sure he didn't leave anything in the washer.After that it's time to do dishes.Doing dishes involves one of his absolute favorite materials to be found on planet earth.
Water. Ethan LOVES water. Water in any form. He gets very upset if he sees or hears water and can't touch it.Consequently, you absolutely cannot wash dishes without him.

I wonder if his love of doing chores will last?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Always be prepared

I should have been a boy scout...perhaps then I would have learned the lesson to always be prepared. And then I would have had more than a 50 prime lens with me when Zoe and I made a spontaneous stop at the Jefferson memorial. Don't get me wrong, I love my 50 prime. It's my favorite lens. Its portrait capabilities (see nephew post below) are stunning. But it's not so great for wide landscapes. Hence, all of those beautiful shots I had in my head as the sun set at the memorial were quite impossible to actually capture. Consequently, our trip to the Jefferson memorial ended up being a portrait shoot of Zoe. Which, to be honest, I didn't mind at all. I snapped this one when she wasn't paying attention to me. And promptly teased her for posing like a superhero. Doesn't she look like she's about to fly off to save D.C.?
Zoe and I go way back. The first time we met I believe we were in middle school. She remembers the meeting. I don't. We discovered during the week that this is the case for a lot of our history. Apparently, I have a horrific memory. We met at a youth group new year's eve party in Columbus. After that brief encounter, the next time we met was the first day of school our junior year of high school. We were both new students at the school, having recently moved to Indianapolis. She instantly recognized me; I had no clue who she was. It took us awhile, but we finally pinned down our fateful first meeting to that party in Columbus. With both a shared history and the shared experience of starting over halfway through high school, we were destined to be friends.It had been four years, and a lifetime of experiences in China, since I had last seen Zoe. But we picked right up as if no time had passed at all. A friendship like that is truly special. The great part of taking pictures of someone you have history with is you know their stories. You know how to make them laugh.
You know that exact embarrassingly funny moment in...was it econ? bring up in order to get that deep belly laugh.
Which is sure to be followed by that beautiful natural smile.
Perhaps even more beautiful than the scenery itself. The scenery you couldn't capture because you weren't prepared like a boy scout.
I even let Zoe take a few pictures of me before we headed out. I hate having my picture taken. I much prefer to be behind the camera. But I decided it wouldn't hurt to have some photographic evidence that I was in D.C.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

On hold

I had grand plans of writing about some of my adventures in DC. Perhaps I still will. But for the moment, I'm preoccupied with this.
Oh those eyes! I love those eyes...and...
His voracious appetite for watermelon.His finger chewing grin.Those expressions...
and chubby little hands.
Can you blame me?

Updates will just have to be put on hold...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Just a quick note

I'm currently finishing up an amazing week in DC. I came out to see a good friend from high school, who I hadn't seen since moving to China four years ago. It's been great to catch up and reminisce, and I've had plenty of time to traipse around the city with my camera while she's been at work. Pictures and updates will be forthcoming.

Several of you mentioned a desire to help the two kids from the orphanage with club feet. They are now down in the south of China at the center, and they need your help! While we were able to raise the funds for their travel costs to and from the center, we are not paying for their treatment. The amazing part of An Orphan's Wish is that they will not turn away kids. To see their beautiful faces and to see ways to help, head on over to Stefanie's blog for more information. Her most recent post (Lookie, Lookie) is dedicated to the kids at the club foot center. My orphanage's two little ones are Joey and Lexi. And yes, tears pooled in my eyes when I discovered them on her blog this morning!