Thursday, August 5, 2010
Summer time in Lake Villa
Hello again from the other side of the world!
Being able to spend time with my family for ten days this summer was such a huge blessing to me! They went out of their way to pamper and feed us--I could tell that they were doing everything they could to make it a fun and relaxing time for us! It was so great to be able to sit, talk, and laugh with my family--and they fed Adam and I lots of yummy food! I'm still trying to recover from all the fantastic meals! Emma and I worked a little on rearranging her bedroom, we went out to Starbucks together (where I ordered drinks that are not served in China's Starbucks!) and had fun painting ceramics in Antioch. During our time in Lake Villa, my mom, Emma, Meg, and I also went out for tea and sandwiches at a very cute little shop where I had had my bridesmaids' lunch. What a fun experience and great company! Adam went out with my brothers, dad, and a few of my brothers' friends to see "Inception" and eat at Buffalo Wild Wings...I think Adam ate at BWWs about four times while we were in Illinois. Ridiculous! At some point, my Aunt cut my hair several inches shorter. A little shorter than I had originally planned, but I'm getting used to having short hair again!
I was also blessed to have friends and and extended family visit me! The Burgs, Denise Lanier, Emily and Mrs. Heinz, Katie Koch, Amy Kang, and the Oakmans were some of my favorite visitors! I was extremely grateful that Joanna and Jay sacrificed some of their vacation time in order to visit with Adam and I while we were in Illinois! It was great to see Sarah again, and to meet Sophia for the first time! Seriously, those girls are the cutest, and I would have kidnapped them if they had passports.
After a fun and restful time spent with our family and friends in the States, we returned to Shenyang with all of our luggage intact--including Adam's bottle of Pepto Bismol that had been smuggled onto the plane in his carry-on. I found it much harder to leave America in comparison to last year. There are so many things that make America a comfortable and convenient place to live, not to mention having family near by. However, it was 100 times easier to arrive in Shenyang this year, knowing that we had a cozy, safe, and functional apartment waiting for us at the end our international journey! What a contrast to last years' feelings of anticipation and excitement for a new home, yet knowing there wasn't a "home" set up yet!
Now, it has been almost two weeks since we got back to our own little place, and time has been flying by! I can hardly believe that another year of teaching will begin next week!
I feel like we have been busy every day since returning to Shenyang, whether it be unpacking our luggage, getting to know/help our new staff, set up our classrooms, plan/research, or continue working on our apartment.
In addition, Adam went on a trip to Tianjin where he sat in on sessions regarding planning trips for students. He was able to glean some helpful ideas that he looks forward to using as he prepares for his newly added position as the high school/middle school Student Council leader. One of the sad results of Adam going on this trip was that we were not able to be together for our first anniversary. I'm slowly getting over that disappointment.
Anyway--there's lots to talk about and so much that I look forward to posting in the near future, but here are some pictures from our time visiting with my family while we were still in America.