This is one of those weeks when I’m acutely aware of the things I miss by living on the other side of the world. Take my “little” brother Daniel, for instance. (I say “little” because he towers over me, has shoulders the size of boulders, and a neck that looks like a tree-trunk.) A sophomore in high school, he’s a kicker on the football team and just an all-around great kid. I haven’t seen him play football, but I did get this picture of him kicking. I hope I get to watch him play at least once before he graduates! And, I’m missing my 10-year HS reunion this weekend. If I were home, I’d be able to see people I haven’t seen since graduation and watch my little brother play — all at the same time!
I think it is cute that he chose the same football jersey number as my other brother, William. He probably doesn’t want me to say that’s “cute,” though. However, I don’t think he reads my blog, so it doesn’t matter. Speaking of William, he and his wife, Jessica, arrive in China TONIGHT! They are spending 10 days with us, and I’m excited to show them around. I haven’t seen Will in over a year, so I’m super-excited to hug him and Jessica in person.
Another big event I’ve just missed is the birth of my nephew, Greyson Dean McKean. Jenny, who many of you know as Scarlet Threads’ distribution manager, gave birth to this precious little bundle just a couple of days ago! Mom and baby are doing well, and I’m sure that Jenny is especially glad to have him in her arms now… Aren’t they both beautiful?
In other baby-baking news, we are just a few days from officially entering the 6th month. Before I can blink my eyes, we’re going to have a picture like the one above. It’s still hard to believe, but made slightly easier by the increasing amount of movement. (I actually saw the baby kick me last night. It was a little Alien-esque, to be perfectly honest. And it made me laugh. I think it just freaked Jacob out.)
Random question. Jacob and I are really trying to keep our life as simple as possible when it comes to the baby, and not amassing tons of trinkets and toys. But, we know there are a few things that would probably be invaluable, some of which might be hard to find in China. We have a few people who have offered to serve as couriers on their trips to China in the next couple of months and bring us things we need. For you mommas out there, if you had to choose one or two items from your days with a newborn, what would they be? We’re gathering ideas and putting together a list so that we have ample time to get the true essentials ordered and sent to these kind folks.
We are doing well. I have finally entered the no-barfing stage of pregnancy. And, my energy level is mostly back up to normal. And, this is the best time of year in Beijing weather-wise. In fact, last weekend Jacob and I went on a scooter ride through a neighboring village, and it was one of those moments I wanted to freeze in time, for the day when I no longer see everything as being so commonplace…
a little boy harvesting onions with his grandpa. a smile as big as the great wall plastered across his face. a toothless man with a bright smile selling peaches on the side of the road. a hunched-over little old lady who came by while i was buying some. he gave her all the ones with bad spots. the sheep grazing beside the canal; their shepherd reclining on the grass hill. a village with flowers planted along the road’s edge. someone wanted the area beautiful, which honestly isn’t something that gets thought about much in most villages. a group of old men playing mah jong in front of their homes. grandmas with babies in the park. an actual sunset. the sky was clear and the sun was orange. laughing and pointing children calling out laowai (foreigner) and shouting hello. riding on a narrow road through corn fields, almost ready for harvest. farmers with their bikes parked beside the road, bending over in the fields.
It is the side of China I love. It is the side of China I wish I could show you.