Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Happy Birthday(s) and Mid-Autumn Festival

August and September were eventful months here in Taiwan. I think that's a good thing, because it's difficult to be in another country where you don't (really don't) speak the language and don't know the culture. But keeping busy helps a lot!

As you know, at the end of July, Debby and Angel came to visit, and then in August Jon and I went to Australia. After we returned it was time for Angel's birthday, so we headed up to Hsinchu to help her celebrate. It was a surprise party, so Angel had no idea!

Here are some pictures of Angel's 20th Birthday!!
The scene of the party

Our masks

The cake

One of my favorite pictures of me and Angel! Happy Birthday!

A picture of a picture

Look at all the balloons!

Trying to take the balloons home

After her birthday party, we spent some time with Angel and her family exploring Hsinchu. I just love them all so much. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have family here in Taiwan. It makes everything so much better!

Beach time

Everyone go up on this ledge at the beach and I was like... no. So guess who took the picture!?

My love

My camera turned out to be better for these kind of selfies

Pizza for dinner!

And Hong Kong style food the next day

What Jon affectionately calls the Chinese Clown Car. ;)

August was also eventful because I started my new job!!! Crazy. I really love it at BaoRen. It took me a while, but I had a lot to get used to. Here are I am with my "boss" who is not really officially my boss yet, but I suspect she will be.

Wine tasting at "inservice" meetings. Crazy!


And then September rolled around. Of course it's my birthday month, but it's also the 2nd biggest holiday in Taiwan, called Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival. Basically you spend time with your family and have a huge barbecue, Taiwanese style and then look at the moon. It's awesome.

Jon and I found a restaurant called FEED ME. It's basically the best.

The restaurant took a picture of us! Great place!

And they made me a bear balloon. :)

Here are some pictures of Mid-Autumn Festival with Angel's family. We also got to go around Hsinchu some more. I love going up there to explore more of Taiwan!

Our little BBQs

Jon with Angel's cousin

This kid loved Jon

Mmmmm meat

Hanging out with BBQ


More BBQ

Ok, last BBQ picture

Me and my clay pot I made last time we were in Hsinchu

Taking a walk in Qiding

We are so cute!

Outside a restaurant we ate at. I don't even know the name.

Ready to eat!


Feeding the fishes with Angel's cousins

Debby concentrating on her chocolate making

More chocolate making

And now the train is arriving! Time to go home! What a wonderful holiday!

Monday, November 30, 2015

August in Australia - Part 3 - Our 7th Anniversary

On Saturday we had a much needed lazy morning. As you can tell, we have been very busy on our week long vacation to Australia.

Here's me and the beautiful Cambrya.

Jon and his dance partner.

In the afternoon we took the train into town to go to the aquarium with Tim and the kids. Simone had to work. :( 

Tim let Jon drive us to the train station

Just me and Davin hanging out in the backseat.

On the train! I couldn't believe how much energy it takes to keep two kids occupied for an hour train ride. Whew!

We arrived at the aquarium and got some "green screen" photos. My shirt happens to be green  this day, so it changed depending on the background!

Dugong picture

Penguins! Love how Cambi is pointing too!


And my favorite, the sharks. Tim's face in this is classic. 

We had an awesome time at the aquarium. I spent most of my time chasing Davin around. He was so excited and I was terrified of losing him. haha

Dav and his hat

These two goofballs...

Ahhhh a shark!

I think Jon is listening to Davin in dugong language.

Tim and Cambrya

And here are some more photos I took in the reef... ;)

So beautiful!

Look at the quality!

After the aquarium, Tim and the kids went back home and Jon and I stayed downtown. We had dinner and a show to go to for our anniversary.

That's right! Sydney Opera House! This was the highlight of the trip for me. I feel like I can't go to Sydney Australia and not see an opera.

First, dinner at Bennelong. This is where we had the famous super expensive water. ;) Jon had an incredible view of the harbour... and me!

Here we are waiting for the opera to begin. We barely made it. After dinner we had 15 minutes to pick up our tickets, but that was not enough time with the super long lines. We made it though!

During intermission, selfie with the Opera House.

The stage! We saw The Marriage of Figaro and it was incredible!


At the end!

And us on our way to the train station, posing with the poster for the show.

After a too short, and too busy, week, we headed home. It's weird how now when I say "home" I mean Taiwan.

And of course the candy from Australia. Not as big a pile as the one from Europe, but still impressive!

Sometimes, when life slows down a bit, I can take a moment and realize how blessed I am. I worked hard to be where I am today, but I also had quite a bit of fortune in my life. I can't help but recognize the hand of God in so many things.

Today I am reflecting on being married for 7 years. One, that makes me feel like an old woman, but more importantly, it makes me think about all of the things that I've accomplished, all of the life that I've lived in the past seven years, and how grateful I am that I have had Jonathan beside me through it all. Happy Anniversary babe! Thanks for everything, and especially for Australia!

*A huge shout out to my friends Tim and Simone. Thank you for letting us stay with you, for driving us to and from the train station, for entertaining us with your kids, and for being great company. Love you.