Eden's Awesome Hair

Eden was born with a full head of hair, and it has continue to just grow and grow.  We are having a lot of fun having an infant that has hair that can already be put into pigtails!! :)

My mom, Eden's grandma, calls Eden's hair "firework hair" because of the way it stands up and then just goes which ever way it wants to.


Actually, the Taiwanese call pigtails "fireworks."  And, after seeing Eden's "pigtails" it totally makes sense!!  She was only nine weeks old when I first attempted to put pigtails into her hair:

It didn't take long before people started making comparisons of Eden to certain cartoon characters.  Some said she looked like Agnes from Despicable Me, while others said she favored Boo from Monster's Inc.  And, in her natural state, I thought her hair looked a lot like many of my male college students, who are attempting to be like Goku from Dragon Ball.

Regardless of who she might or might not resemble, we love her wild, crazy and very unpredictable hair, and we are having a blast trying to tame it every so often when the mood strikes us.

My First Mother's Day Reflections

This time a year ago, Lawrance and I had just completed an application to adopt here in Taiwan.  We were just taking the first steps of a long journey.  Perhaps that made Mother's Day a little easier on me last year.  I wasn't a mother yet, but  I did know that someday, even if years away, I'd be a mom.

Oh, but our merciful Heavenly Father, had different plans for us!  So true is the verse that says "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps" (Proverbs 16:9, ESV).  In fact, going back and checking my charts, the day I ovulated was the same day we mailed in our application.  I have no doubt that we were obeying the Lord by filling out that application and submitting it.  And, I have hope that adoption is still a future option for us. But those are posts for another day.

It was right after Mother's Day last year that we found out we were expecting!  I've been thinking all week about how much has changed in a year.  To think that this time a year ago our sweet little Eden was "tiny ball consisting of several hundred cells that were multiplying madly" (babycenter) and today she's a 13lb bundle of joy who loves sucking on her fingers and playing with her toes.  It is simply mind blowing how much she has grown in the last year.

We are blessed beyond measure.

Each Mother's Day for the past five years was progressively more difficult.  It was so hard to sit there in church while little kids passed out carnations to all the mothers.  It was hard to feel the physical ache of my empty arms and the emotional ache of a deep longing left unfilled.

So, I am grateful to be able to celebrate Mother's Day this year.  Not because I want to be recognized for the sacrifices I've made or because of the quality of mothering I'm doing, but simply because I am able to and because the Lord has blessed us with a little one, entrusted us with her to help her grow and develop, to train her in the way she should go.  This Mother's Day and all that follow, I don't want it to be about me; it never is nor should it be about me.  It will always be for me a day to rejoice in the blessing of being able to be a mom.

Sure there have been sacrifices and adjustments, but the joy of being Eden's mommy far surpasses any of the discomforts of pregnancy, the hard work of labor, and the exhaustion of taking care of a newborn.

Eden Joi is Here!!

After 24 hours of "false labor" followed by 25 hours of unmedicated, natural labor, Eden Joi arrived by c-section on Feb 3 (41w3d).  Due to cultural differences in medical practices, my recovery has been a very slow one. Both of us are doing well, but last week was one of the longest weeks of my life.  

We've seen God's hand of mercy over and over again, both during labor, the surgery, and in the week we spent in the hospital. Too many to name them all right now, but we sing the Lord's praises for His kindness to us.

Eden Joi, our little miracle
Feb. 3, 2013 born at 6:31am
4220 grams / 9lbs 5oz
50.5 cm / 19.9 in

Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

Did you miss us?  I haven't blogged regularly for probably two years now.  There are two reasons.  One, I felt like I had blogged just about everything I could have about life in Taiwan. I felt like there wasn't much more to say about life here that I hadn't already said.  And, two, infertility was a personal struggle that I didn't feel comfortable blogging about in public.

[Interesting how--at least to me--being single was an ok thing to struggle with on my public blog, but not infertility.  Perhaps one reason is that when I first started blogging I was anonymous--I didn't know my readers and they didn't know me.  But the longer I blogged, the more I met readers and more IRL people started reading it.  So, it no longer felt like I was talking into an empty hole.]

Well, in May of this year, after nearly four years of trying unsuccessfully to conceive, Lawrance and I filed for adoption.  And, we are expecting a little girl in January of 2013.  However, this little girl will be from my womb!!  We found out a week or two after we turned in our application that I was pregnant!!  ;)  God has been gracious with us.  We are excited that he has chosen to bless us in this way at this time.

Here's how we announced to family and friends when we first found out.
I'm currently 24 weeks pregnant.  I'm going to attempt to revive the blog, and quite honestly it's focus will change . . . and that's ok with me since it is supposed to be our family's blog.

the everyday stuff

Cultural differences come in all shapes and sizes.  And, one of my favorite cultural differences is keys (I've blogged about them before).  They are so different here.  My first apartment had a "treasure chest" key that I thought was awesome, now our new apartment has a "retractable key" that also has a "treasure chest" key  feel to it and it's super long.  The round gray disk attached to the key allows me to enter our apartment complex's main door, our building's door within the complex  and access the elevator.  Without that gray disk, the elevator will not budge.

KH Keys

The two cards in this photo are also apart of my daily life now.  The bottom one is an subway card--we add money to it, and then zap it when entering and leaving the subway stations, and the cost of the fare for the ride is taken off our card's value.  The top one is a magnetic pre-paid card that I can use to buy train tickets with without having to use coins at a ticket vending machine (pictured below).  If you use one of these pre-paid cards, just remember to always take it from the machine when you leave--sadly, I can give this piece of advice from personal experience to the contrary. :(

Buying a Train Ticket

room with a view (part 2)

After showing you what I can see from our home, I thought I'd show you what I can see from one of the rooms where I have class twice a week.  We meet in the 9th floor of the "E building. Buildings here in Taiwan are often "lettered."

Tall building to the far right is Dorm #6, while the other building, considerable shorter, on the far left is another dorm. The "track and field" is between these two dorms.  The "street" down the middle of the photo is one of the main walkways through the campus.
STUT--View from my classroom

In this photo you can see the N building (short), the T building (tall), and the school's gym/auditorium.  My office and some of the language labs I teach in are in the N building.  I also have class twice a week over in the T building.
STUT--View from my classroom

And, here is part of the soccer field, one of the campus buildings, and the city beyond the campus.
STUT--View from my classroom

room with a view

In 2007, I shared the views from my windows:
And, I thought I'd do it again from our new apartment--we now live on the 10th floor, so the view is pretty good from up here.

First of all we have an entry way (which I totally LOVE--a place to store things and to take off our shoes before entering our home).
Entry Way Area

From this entry way we can this:
View from the Front Door

and this:
View from the Entry Way

Our bedroom has the worst view of all.  We can see this:
View from Our Bedroom

and this from our bedroom windows:
View from the Master Bedroom

Our master bathroom's shower actually has a better view that our bedroom:
View from the Shower

And, perhaps our study and guest room have the best views of all.  We can see the park right in front of us:

View from the Guest Room

We can also see a department store within walking distance:
View from the Guest Room

And, we can also see down the street in the other direction too: 
View from the Guest Room
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