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Saturday, March 22, 2014

It Got Better!

The most recent trip to Vietnam was hard.  At the beginning of the trip Violette got sick and stopped eating for several days.  I got online and searched for earlier return flights but the cost was too high to justify.  I told my friend Sunny in Vietnam and she prayed for Violette every day until mid-week, she started eating again.  So I began to relax and look for beauty in Vietnam.  The hotel staff was very kind.  The manager checked on me frequently to make sure my stay was comfortable.  I got a two foot massages.  Sunny took me out for wonderful meals.  The computer tech at the factory messed up my computer so I could only get internet at the factory - he manually changed the IP address - so at the hotel I could only read so I got caught up on alot of books.

It became a restful, peaceful and productive week. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

When I'm Travel Weary

There are a few things that can get me really down on a trip like this.  One of them is missing my family but that can usually be fixed with a SKYPE call.  This time though, it made me feel worse.  My youngest is not eating, she's lethargic and fell asleep on my husband at 6pm.  This is NOT my firecracker almost 2 year old.  Usually she's making funny faces and jabbering away.  I don't know if she's depressed or what.  Nothing makes me want to turn right around and come home like a sad sick child. 

I talk with them for almost 40 minutes until it's time for them to get dinner started and then I go back to bed, curl up in a ball and pray for her.  I know I'm in danger of slipping into a depression and being alone that cannot be a good thing.  I recall a verse in the Bible that says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28.   Suddenly I remember there is a Calvary Chapel service on Saturday night that should be already started.  Get back up, turn on the computer. 

It's a slow progress but listening to Pastor Bob snaps me out of my funk and I remember my purpose.  I'm not here for myself, I'm here in this place specifically to help my co-worker Sunny (yes that's her name!) in Vietnam get through a difficult work week.  I'm here for her, not myself.  I was also reminded of the following verse:

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

How can I be these things this week if I'm longing for home?  I can't, I need to ask God for the strength and wisdom to live for others this week, not myself, not my own desires. 

I have faith that God will heal Violette and help her through whatever is troubling her little heart; we don't believe she's sick because there are no physical signs.  I think she is very sad in missing me; we've been so close lately and I miss her too.  There is something so special about one year olds, they can't talk yet so they use many other ways to get your attention.  She's precious and I can't wait to get home to her and my other rambunctious kids, but for now I'm here for two weeks and I need to find peace in where I'm at and what I need to accomplish. 

And just in case Charlotte and Sam are reading this some day, I miss you guys too!!!  You are just a little older and more independent; you are more used to mom traveling so I don't worry about you as much now.  It doesn't mean I love baby Vi any more or less.  You are all equal and special in my eyes. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Time to Travel

Right now, I'm in a season of travel.  My job sends me to Asia twice a year, and has for the past 13 years.  It's hard on my family, but I tell myself it's just a season, there will come a day when I won't travel to Asia anymore and when that day comes, I'm sure I'll miss it. 

My mom worries when I come here, I'm sure because it's so far away.  I actually feel very safe when traveling to Asia, but she's right, it is so very far away and it takes quite a bit of effort to come here.

In this particular trip, I left for LA on Wednesday which started with a 3:15am wake up call and a 1.5 hour drive to Baltimore.  I expected my husband to just drop me off at the front door because that's faster and I'm practical that way.  He surprised me by parking.  He wanted to walk me inside and take his time saying goodbye.  That's one of the things I love about my husband, he's rarely in a hurry, he takes his time with things and in a relationship, especially with a go-go-go wife, it can be a very good thing. 

The flight to LA is 5 hours and I sleep most of the flight.  Upon landing I find the terminal is vastly updated since I was last here and there are some amazing food places.  Breakfast at a place called Klatch's followed by a walk around the terminal to look at trendy toy stores before my boss flies in.

The rest of the day is spent with my boss and going to meetings.  It's pleasant and we end at a most amazing hotel that I wish we had more time to enjoy - Langham in Pasadena.  I told my husband later that it was such an incredible spa hotel that we must come back together for a weekend some day.  He asked me what are the things that make a 5 star hotel any different from our typical 2 star hotels that we stay at on vacation so I made a short list:

1.  They give you bathrobes and slippers
2.  Very nice toiletries
3.  Expensive restaurants and full spa menu
4.  Room service - which even for just one pot of tea will cost $18
5.  Gorgeous pool and hot tub
6.  Beautiful flower gardens to walk through (really regret not waking up earlier to do this)

Here are some photos from this hotel:

Next stop, Hong Kong.

Monday, March 10, 2014

One More Spring Photo Before I Leave for Asia

These little beauties are right outside our front door.  The kids are in awe of them and are very careful to stay on the sidewalk and not step on them.  It's cute to watch them get excited about flowers.  

Sunday, March 09, 2014

If only I could turn down travel in March because my Amaryllis' are blooming

Alas, who turns down a business trip for that reason?

 But they are so gorgeous, and they only bloom once a year!  And for some odd reason, I have 2 others ready to bloom - which means I'll miss seeing them - tragic.

Spring is coming on March 20th, and after such a brutal winter I'd love to see spring roll in.  I'm afraid that when I get back on the 27th it will already be here!  But maybe that's okay - I might miss one more snow storm promised this week - the day after I leave.

I will also miss "Talk Like William Shatner" 3/22, Pi Day 3/14, St. Patrick's Day, Spring Equinox, Maryland Day and my mom's birthday!

Well, we celebrated mom's birthday today so glad we fit that in before I leave!

Hopefully husband will send me photos of the flowers while I travel.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

It's the little stuff that collectively makes up a happy childhood, like walks to the park

If you ask me to name one memory from my happy childhood I'd be hard pressed to find one perfect moment.  I remember my parents taking us so many places that sometimes my brothers and I have to compare notes on all the places we've been!  I remember going to DC every spring and summer to see the flowers and museums.  We did one family vacation per year and then multiple little trips to Patton, PA to visit mom's home town and then there were the trips to the parks.  Lots of parks!!

On the days when I'm tired and just want to stay home, I remember my parents were probably tired to, and they took us lots of places. 

Saturday is my day off to spend with the kids.  I try to get stuff done in the morning with chores and what not but after nap time it's party time!  This day we finally had some gorgeous weather and these kids were just itching to get outside.  I combined snack time with outdoor time by handing each a snack cup which they each clutched while swinging (Violette's is hidden inside her swing but she has a death grip on it):

They run through all the playground equipment in five minutes and start looking for something to do.  I suggest they pick up sticks to make a fire - thinking imagination!  They took me quite serious and ran around picking up sticks until we had such a big pile that I called upon husband to bring the wagon because they were getting so excited about building a real fire! 

We had fun and the next day, their dad really did build a fire for them.  I did the same thing my mom did, watch and fret that everyone was going to fall in but they did fine.  My dad used to build fires to burn the trash, we lived in the country so I guess that was a practical way to dispose of trash.  Memories blend with current life.

Spring is Coming!!!

Spring never felt so good in Florida.  After surviving the coldest, snowiest winter, spring feels like a million bucks!

This week these lovely flowers popped up.

And this bloomed in my office!  I can't tell you how exciting this is for me because it means we didn't kill them in the winter hibernation.  This was the first year I put the Amaryllis' into hibernation because in South Florida they can live happily in the sunlight year around but I've read that it's really good for them to go into hibernation in winter so I've had them in the basement since September with only the occasional watering when we'd remember them.  I think hibernation did them well because these are really some of the prettiest flowers, so rich and full of color with really full blooms.

Spring is coming!  My cat is shaggy and losing his thick winter coat!! I can't wait for warmer weather!!!

Thursday, March 06, 2014

What if I said yes to everything my 3 year old requests in one hour?

I had this thought today as I stayed home with my three year old while husband took the baby to pick up Charlotte from kindergarten - what if I said yes to everything he requests in one hour?

1st request happened when I said "I'll be right back, going to the mailbox".  "Can I go with you?", he said.  Um sure, even though I'm worried you'll want to stay outside forever and I don't like being cold, I said to myself, while putting him in coat and boots.  But no, he dutifully went to the mailbox, collected the mail and came right back inside.

2nd request - can I play marbles and machines (translation - put marbles into a gumball dispenser)?  Absolutely yes!  No babies around to pop them into her mouth.

3rd request - I'm hungry, how about some cheese?

4th request - Can I have strawberries?  Sorry no, all out of strawberries.

5th request - How about Cottage Cheese?  Wow, someone's a hungry hungry hippo but sorry, out of cottage cheese.  Quick text to husband should remedy that!

6th request - Can I play Hungry Hungry Hippo's?  Uh, I want so badly to say no but I promised I'd say yes to as many things as I possibly could.  Okay, let's go downstairs into the dirty basement and find the game.  Oh wait, I'm completely inept when it comes to assembly and my husband always always takes it apart and consolidates it neatly like an engineer designed it to go.  Oh look, he finds a way to play with it even though the hippos are sitting forlornly on the table waiting for dad to come home.  I even take a client call for 19 minutes and he keeps on playing.  You go boy!!!