testing our crazy

what did i do for my birthday? #2 took me to a movie - her choice. it was all her idea and she paid for it. i was a bit skeptical, thought it might be dumb, but it turned out to be very cute. then came home to a surprise ice cream cake - and since it's colder outside than it is in the freezer it was on the porch to greet me. and what's the best way to have a little cake? like this of course...


and with whom? family and friends, including her...


there really were others, but i didn't take their pictures. only winey's. cuz i was too busy eatin' cake and drinkin' wine. and then the party really started. the man and i sat down and took out our pencils and winey proctored a test for us. cuz that's how we roll on birthdays around here. what test you ask? the mmpi-2. and i know i don't have to tell you what that stands for, but i'll tell you anyway - the minnesota multiphasic personality inventory-2. and any test that starts with answering true or false to "i like mechanics magazines" and ends 567 questions and 90 minutes later with "most married couples don't show much affection for each other" and includes the phrases "make talk" and "my people" - well, you know that's a good time.

i'm getting ready to sit down and take the mbti (myers-briggs type indicator), the version 2000 of the enrich questionaire, and the taylor-johnson temperament analysis. i know - sounds like way too much fun for new year's eve. the man has already done them and after i finish them we send them off to the counseling place and from all of this information they will be able to tell us just what kind of crazy we are - and if it's the right kind of crazy.

i wonder if it will bother them at all that question #59 on the mmpi-2 has a stain. what could possibly be, i mean there's just the slightest chance ever, that it's a very small wine stain? think that will affect our score?

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why are we doing this: part deux

for why are we doing this - the original post - go here.

bh and i have been talking alot about this move the past few days. everyone wants to know about it - so lots of the exact same questions which means lots of the exact same answers. and that's a good thing. it makes us think about it all. this move has caused an amazing amount of stress in our lives. at times it feels impossible. things keep getting thrown at us and it's just so unfair - there seems to be so much unknown information and the last minute hurdles that keep coming our way - how will we ever do this? it's possible we're only three weeks away - we have one last hurdle to clear before we know anything for sure - three weeks that seems impossible.

but the funny thing is while we're scared, overwhelmed and stressed - we don't know everything and there's so much to be done - we feel right about this. we know it's what we're supposed to be doing, we have confidence that we're doing what God wants us to do, and that makes all the other stuff seem so minor. it makes it easier to be excited about this move.

you know what else is interesting about all the people we've talked to? their reactions. who will be dumbfounded and think we've gone off our rockers and who will be over the top supportive? i bet 75% of the time we're wrong in our assumptions about what reaction people will have. we should have figured that one out by now, it's been true from the beginning.

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homeward bound

where my thought’s escaping

where my music’s playing…

this is it, the last leg. we’re in bangkok for the night. hong kong tomororow morning and then the states. we checked our email when we arrived in bangkok and had some wonderful news – the letters of acceptance for 3 members of our family from the kids’ school. what three members? well, #1, #2 and the man. yep, the man was accepted into grade 3. i’m most proud.

this is confirmation that only one of the adults in our family might possibly be smarter than a fifth grader.

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chiang mai - day five

i did it!


i squatty pottied!


oh, yeah, baby, on one of these. go me, go me, go me. and don't ask for details. just know, i didn't fall in, get wet or make a mess. and i washed my footprints off the sides.

today is sight seeing day.

our first stop was doi suthep. a mountain that over looks chiang mai. the highest altitude of this mountain is 5498 ft. - not quite the altitude at which we currently live. on this mountain we stopped at wat prathat doi suthep, a holy buddhist temple. now, i don't claim to be an expert or anything but i had done a little research about how to behave when visiting a wat - no shorts, no sleeveless shirts, no PDA - and they even have printed on the ticket they give you to get in - no shorts, no sleeveless shirts, no PDA. and probably 2/3 of the other tourists we saw were breaking 2 or more of these simple guidelines. i found that very annoying and i'm not buddhist and i am a tourist. how hard is it to comply with a few simple guidelines?

next up was bhubing palace - the palace the royal family stays at during seasonal visits to the northern part of thailand. the palace and the grounds are beautiful. it looks like the romanticized vision i have when i think of living in thailand.

lunch break - all three of us, the man, me and our driver ate for under $4 american.

then we were supposed to go to a silk factory and ended up at a silk shop. i think maybe it was a communication issue. our driver speaks no english and we speak no thai. and so between the two of us we licked the platter dry... sorry, got carried away.

we did find the bor sang umbrella factory - by far my favorite stop of the day - to see how they make these beautiful umbrellas - all by hand. they turn the handles and the spindles for the top and use a very sharp knife for all the detail work - no special tools, just one really, scary sharp knife. then they finish creating the skeleton of the umbrella, cutting and trimming, again using those sharp knives. the material goes on. they are trimmed and if they have tassels they're added - than all the pieces are put together. next, is the painting. very quickly they paint all sorts of designs on the umbrellas. they are amazingly beautiful. as your walking by they will offer to paint your purse or your clothing. i had an elephant painted on the end of my pants and bh had one painted on his murse. it's very neat.

now we're taking a break at the hotel, waiting for dinner. we're going to khum kantoke later on - the description we've been given is it's cultural dinner and performances.

tomorrow we head to bangkok and again have one night in bangkok. then we head home. we leave bangkok at 8:45 am on friday and arrive home at 12:45 pm the same day. love the time change going that way.

and the most important thing to happen today? it's #2's birthday! happy birthday, #2! we miss you and will see you soon.

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chiang mai - day four

it turns out big ears are believed to be good luck here. we had been told that and it has now been confirmed. oh, and we have also learned that it really isn't rude to call someone fat here, either. the man, was stopped by a man on the sidewalk who grabbed his earlobe, gave it a good rub and then commented - oh, how lucky he must be and this same lovely gentleman asked where we were from and when we said colorado, he said, "oh, big mountain must be good place for big man" and then gestured very widely with his arms. and as good and funny as that is - when he commented on me - it.was.not.funny. at all. so, now added to my to do list - is lose weight. okay, so maybe it's always been on my to do list, but now it's priority a #1. right now i'm thinking that might be easy to do, because it is just too hot to eat - but i know that won't last forever.

so today we saw another house. it was a perfectly fine house, maybe not as big as we would like and it was on the far other side of town as the school, so not the house for us. we also did a bit of window shopping. checking the prices on things to get an idea of what it will cost to set up house - this was very encouraging. next we need to prioritize what we will need first. tv or pots and pans. can you guess which one of us is rooting for what?

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chiang mai - day three

we saw a few more houses today, one that was very cool, but really not quite big enough. but it had an amazing yard and a guard house and a banana tree. pretty neat.

we visited what will be the kids’ school. i liked it very much. and it looks like all three kids will get in – can i get an “amen”.

visiting the school today has been somewhat of a confirmation for me. it’s no longer one of the many unknowns. i guess being there, touring, talking with the director and the admissions person have made it tangible. i keep trying to remind myself that this is maybe the equivalent of a honeymoon period. tell myself that i’m seeing this all basically as a tourist right now. and it will be different once we’re living here. but it feels good to be here. and never in my wildest dreams would i ever have thought i would do something like this – much less be able give this opportunity to my kids. God is good.

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chiang mai - day one

house hunting and the night market

first house hunting. we didn't get off to a great start. i think possibly our realtor had some misconceptions about what we might be looking for because we're americans. but these were small, cookie cutter houses. they felt like something you might find in any city, anywhere. sort of plain, non-descript, not what we had imagined. then she took us to see two that we liked. big enough for our family, every one can have there own bedroom - well, each of the kids can, i still have to share with bh. a nice kitchen and trees. plenty of shade from trees. i miss trees. we meet with the school on monday and will hopefully be able to come up with a time line after that.

the night market is huge. we saw just a fraction of it. i couldn't go anymore - i think the no-sleep situation has caught up with me. but we will go back another evening this week. there is tons of stuff. lots of it is traders village-y, but we did find a few places where things seemed to be made here.

today was a nice day, tomorrow we have nothing planned until after lunch. so i can sleep in.

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what time is it?

hong kong airport: 8:12 pm here – 5:13 am at home.

it has been over 24 hours since i was dropped off at the colorado springs airport and over 23 hours since i boarded the first plane on this journey. i am thrilled that i found free wifi here – especially since i have to blog everyday, darn those holidailies. i’m tired and disoriented – that’s not just a statement, it’s also a disclaimer – it might show in this post.

i have already added a few things i’ve learned to my things i’ve learned about international travel list (did you catch that mom? i said list, and not just list, my list).

  • when the stewardess says they are empty rows in the back of the plane, don’t be bashful. jump up and claim one – it’s much easier to sleep across 2 seats than it is cramped into one – especially when you’re on an impossibly tiny plane.
  • middle seats are bad. even when you’re on a plane that might be bigger than the nina, the pinta and the santa maria all together. a window seat would be good. a row seat isn’t too bad – unless you have to constantly let people out. but the best would be a seat at the front of a section. leg room galore.
  • some asians are american citizens. and some caucasions are not american citizens. imagine. this could be a sign of the sheltered life i’ve lead. and before you ask, yes, i have had many friends who are asian and american. but when waiting in line to board a flight for hong kong, one (okay, I) might have assumed that all the asian people who were waiting in line were citizens of one asian country or another. and brace yourself for this – right here in the hong kong airport, i have come across several caucasions, knew we shared that special we’re american bond, we didn’t even have to say anything it was just there. and then i heard them speak, either in another language or with a heavy accent.

i’m sure this is a list that will keep on growing… hopefully.

so, we left the springs at 6am. as you might have guessed there were some empty rows at the back of the plane – the stewardess offered them up, but being the thoughtful gal that i am, i figured there was some other poor deserving soul who should be allowed the comfort of spreading out. that won’t happen again. no way. get to lax, have to switch airlines and while checking in am offered an amazing deal. $400 cash to wait for the next plane, because the one i was booked on was overweight. i’m willing, but can’t. they can’t get me connected to my flight from bangkok to chiang mai. and i’d already imagined the amazing christmas presents i was going to buy in thailand with an extra $400 – rats. so, i get on the flight from lax to hong kong. i’m tired, hungry (didn’t realize that there would be nowhere to eat once i went through security at lax) and cramped. i have a bad middle seat. the window seat girl could lean towards the window to sleep. the aisle guy could fudge a little over into the aisle. the middle seat girl, me, had to contend with the elbows of the other two. i slept maybe a total of 2 hours. got no knitting done – no room to knit in the middle seat, but did watch 3 in flight movies.

so, here i sit, waiting for my connection to bangkok. hoping there is free wifi at the hotel so i can come back and update. and while i’m sitting here there is a nice group of people sitting next to me talking about me. and while i can’t understand them, i know i’m not being paranoid. they keep pointing at me and motioning to my short sleeves and jacket sitting next to me. because it’s 70 degrees here and humid. and i’m hot. they are not hot, they are wearing coats. and several layers. i tried to explain it was in the teens where i left from yesterday – they didn’t understand. they just keep motioning for me to put my jacket on. they have yet to notice the sweat beads on my forehead.


spent my one night in bangkok. took forever to get through immigration – and then had to do it all again. discovered that they have a very, very limited use of english here. top of my list is now language school for me. then i narrowly escaped death, even had to yell out to warn the bus driver that we were getting ready to die – then i was kindly, and i’m not saying that sarcastically, informed that these folks drive on the wrong side of the road. and the person i was giving my helpful hints to wasn’t driving, she was a passenger. so, get to the hotel. have no electricity. head down to the front desk, they inform me of the special way you get electricity to work – put your room key card into the slot in the wall and viola – i have electricity. and then i have to go down to the front desk again because the phone isn’t working. or perhaps i just need help hanging it up. then i spend 4 hours sleeping. get up and head back to the airport and only a one hour flight to chiang mai – a window seat, yep, for one hour.

i get off the plane in chiang mai and realize the man and i made no firm plans about how to meet up. and my seat mates on the plane are very worried that i have no idea of what hotel or how to even begin to contact him. but he shows. and we take a very scary, life threatening ride to the hotel. the man says it wasn’t scary, but it was. so i’m here. now i’m gonna take a nap. and then we’re meeting with a realtor.

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a journey of a thousand miles...

...begins impossibly early in the morning.

...begins without a watch.

...begins in an airport, in the u.s. - where the threat level is orange.

...begins on an empty stomach, because i'm too nervous to eat.

...begins without caffeine. (no, really, it does. i wouldn't have thought so, either.)

...begins on a very, very, impossibly small plane (i can see it out the window right now. it's tiny. maybe not, private jet tiny, more of 4 seats to a row tiny.)

...begins right now.

i'm doin' it. i'm sitting here in an airport waiting for a plane. waiting for a plane that will take me to los angeles - where i'll wait for another plane. a plane that will take me to hong kong. where i'll wait again - for a plane that will take me to bangkok. where i thought bh would be meeting me. but, he won't. instead i'll be spending...

wait for it...

it's worth it...

one night in bangkok.

yep. and, of course, i had to look up the lyrics. i'm hoping that maybe this one will be my lyric - "one night in bangkok and the world's your oyster". and not this one - "one night in bangkok makes a hard man humble" - or this one - "one night in bangkok and the tough guys tumble". you know, i sing the song, or rather i hum most of it and then belt out the one night in bangkok part (until just a few moments ago those were the only words i knew. ) it's a fun song to hum/sing. the tune made me think bangkok might be fun. but the lyrics - they scare me. anyway, after my one night in bangkok, it's back to the airport and off to chiang mai. that's where bh will meet me. we have an interview at the kids school. i feel like i should have every moment planned. know what we're doing each day - have something to accomplish. but i don't. wait, i mean we do have plenty to accomplish, it's just i don't know how we go about doing it.

so, now i sit here. in the colorado springs airport. very aware that this is a big moment. change is in the air. and i don't even know how to describe it other than to say it feels big, huge, momentous. not so unlike the night before my scheduled c-sections. you know somewhat scary - but in a good way, scary in an i can't wait to get going kind of way, but know i can't even begin to fathom how my life will change. and it's not just my life. it is the life of 5 of us. what happens to a kid when you pick them up and transplant them to a completely different culture? i can't help but believe they'll be better for it, i'm sure we'll all be better for it.

and so the journey begins. and for those who might be curious - it's not a journey of a thousand miles. it's a journey of eight thousand eighty one miles. wow.

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