Monday, December 21, 2009

planning the next step

Sometimes it feels easy, even fun, to wait and see, and sometimes it feels frustrating, even frightening to not have a vision of where we'll be doing this or that next year, or the year after.

During Rob's November busy-ness I began to feel a bit alone in my anxiety, as he was, understandably preoccupied with Obama visit matters. Rob finally got the depart- for- Shanghai- go-ahead on Thursday, November 15th. I filled my extra time, if you can call it that, with next-year-questions research, trying to find some light on one path or another.

I usually find myself enjoying the time when Rob is away, not because he is gone, but just the new dynamic with the kids. Maybe we talk a bit more, and order out a bit more, and stay up a bit later. This time I kept imagining this trip times two months, times more, wondering how hard his taking a job in Afghanistan will be on the family, with first the year of training in D.C., not knowing how to house our big family there, and then the two-months-away-one -month-at- home in 2011.

It is easier to get myself worked up with anxiety in the mid-morning when the house is relatively quiet, just Grant and William, and myself, at home. In the evenings, when everyone is buzzing about, there is no time to worry. I'll admit that I was not always cheerful when Rob called to share the day's events at 10p.m. Anyway, Rob promised me we would take time to reexamine our nest year's plans when he returned to Beijing. So the weekend on.

Saturday evening, November 14, we braved the very cold night and drove up to McDonald's at Euro Plaza for dinner. It was fun to find the Carrillo family there. The place was really wild and crazy with their boys and ours running about. After the little ones were in bed, the big boys showed me one of their new favorite movies, Minority Report, while I tackled our enormous mismatched socks pile.

Sunday, the Sevy family drove us in our van to church, as I hate to drive, even in America. I only drive to ISB because I can go from here to there without turning left, which is scarier than you might think in China.

Monday, November 16, Sam borrowed my camera to take on his field trip to the Beijing Planning Hall. I tried to get Sam to come and explain his pictures but he is not inclined to use his vacation time that way, I guess. So I'll do my best.

The big view of Beijing.

The CCTV news building, also known as the "Pants building," for obvious reasons.

The Bird's Nest

After the museum, Sam and his classmates walked around the Tienanmen square area.

Tienanmen Square

The Forbidden City is across the street from Tienanmen Square.

Sam's good friend Tyler

This is called "The Egg." It was built right before the Olympics. We saw Renee Flemming perform here.

Sam said his favorite part of the day was, of course, lunch at KFC, not pictured. As for the picture at the top of the blog, I said, "Where the heck were you standing?" Sam said it is just a map of Beijing on the floor. I thought he took a very Hitchcockesque picture. I also thought it was appropriate for my rambling on about decision making, as was this picture Sam took of a sign downtown.

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