29 December 2008

San Francisco

This post is way overdue, since this all happened before Christmas, but we really fell in love with San Francisco and we definitely don't want to forget our fun moments there.

Here are a few highlights:

Our hotel (as I mentioned before, NOT the best, but definitely good enough) was just a 15 minute walk to Union Square where you could find beautiful Christmas decorations, ice skating, and some serious shopping! I don't often shop on vacation because honestly, I'm the only one that enjoys it, but it is fun to see the fancy decor in all the windows. Jack was amazed at the whole idea of ice skating. If you can't tell... we were FREEZING!

We planned to get over our jet-lag in San Francisco so we wouldn't be so tired when we finally reached our families. We did a LOT of sleeping (and a few 3am movies)! I loved this picture of Jeff and Jane. I have a similar one of Jack and Jeff when he was around this age. Jeff is such a loving dad; there's no question why my kids both adore him.

We were a little bummed one day when we showed up at our destination, the California Academy of Sciences, only to discover they were all out of tickets for the day. Jeff suggested we just find the toys in the park instead (this museum is located IN the Golden Gate Park). It's always hard to not do the thing you had planned on, but this turned out to be our best day of the entire trip! We just spent time playing... so nice.

Jack will climb anything, and Jane will swing as long as we'll let her. They were both ready for some good, clean, outdoor playtime, so this came at a good time for all of us!

We then went to Fisherman's Wharf, where we had previously spent an afternoon, but we loved it so much we made our way back there to see it again! I love street performers; even terrible ones can be fun. These guys look the part, but they really weren't anything fantastic. (For me, it's ruined when they completely break out of character in the middle of it all.) Jack thought they were awesome, so that's really what matters, right? We also loved watching the street artists with the spray paint pictures. Very cool.

We were freezing and starving and decided we needed to try some famous San Francisco sourdough bread, so it all came at a good time. We stopped at the Boudin Cafe for some Clam Chowder soup bowls, and they did not disappoint. Even Jeff, who can't stand the thought of soggy bread, dug right into his and loved every bite! I was even more impressed by our picky eater, Jane, who ate her entire grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough. I'm already planning on trying out some homemade sourdough recipes. Any suggestions?

Inside the Boudin Bakery, Santa was just sitting around waiting for company. When they told me the kids could talk to him for free, I didn't honestly know if they'd want to. Jane said, "I want to see Santa!" and walked right up to him. They had a good chat, and Jane was MORE than happy to sit on his lap for a picture. Even though Jack was doubtful this was the real Santa, he decided to still get in the picture. I think this is the very first good picture with Santa we've ever had. Jack's never been a fan, and who would have guessed Jane would be SO comfortable with him? She even stopped by to say goodbye after we ate. Thank you, Santa!

A member at the ward on Sunday had recommended we try the Musee Machanique on the Wharf. It's a room full of some old, and some really old arcade games. For about $2 we entertained ourselves watching a player piano, making a clown dance, watching flip picture shows, and playing all sorts of old-school games. It was really fun for all of us.

Our evening enjoying the Wharf.

We traveled everywhere by bus, and it was extremely easy to get around. Thank you San Francisco for being such a booming metropolis! (Can you imagine getting around Utah only by bus or train? Impossible!) Anyway, we spent our last morning at the Exploratorium, a huge science museum mainly designed for kids, but I dare say we enjoyed it just as much! I can't remember the name of this building on the same property, but isn't it stunning? And I love pictures like this of my kids. I hope they always love each other like they do now!

The kids played and touched everything in this Exploratorium. Jane was particularly attached to anything with water or sand, and Jack loved to read all the information plaques and ran from one thing to the next. It was fun family day out with more than enough to do. I love going to museums in new places.

This picture looks really weird, but I had to put it up to see if my sisters remembered this same kind of room in the old Children's museum in Salt Lake. Anyone else? This is where you go in this room with semi-green walls and every 30 seconds a flash goes off and takes a picture of your sillhouette against the walls. We stayed here for quite a while. Jeff was the master at getting the "jumping" shot, and for some reason Jack thought making a silly face would enhance his shape. Hmmm... it didn't really, but I thought it was funny anyway.

I wished that we could have had a chance to walk along part of the Golden Gate Bridge, but we had so many days of bad weather, PLUS with getting over the jet-lag, our time was limited! We got this good shot and a little closer look and felt quite satisfied. Isn't this city just full of gorgeous things?

Remember our hotel I talked about? Yes, "ancient" is the word for it. When we were checking in and got into the "elevator", I was sure we were never coming out. You actually have to open a door to get into it. It was wooden. Scary, but adventurous.

I just think San Francisco bursts with character. This is the city that, at the age of 13, inspired my dream of living in a big city. ANY big city! I was not disappointed as I made memories in this city with my own family, just like my mom made memories in it with me during her free flying days as a flight attendant! We loved this city, but I have to admit, by the end of it, we were ready to finally take that last flight HOME! That short plane ride into Salt Lake City seemed to take forever! It was all worth it, even with our delayed flight, to see our sweet parents waiting for us with open arms and plenty of things to keep us warm! It's been so nice to be home for the holidays.

22 December 2008

Don't touch my moustache

Three days in Tokyo just isn't enough. What an incredible city it turned out to be! The first evening we arrived, we wandered around to check out the territory, like we always do, and we immediately fell in love. After our short time there, there was no question that Tokyo goes in the "we could totally live here" category. It's hard to say exactly WHAT we liked about Tokyo. It was just the whole feel of the city. The people were friendly and helpful and the city was CLEAN, eco-friendly, and just overall extremely efficient. The transportation, which always interests me, was amazing. There were more people riding bikes than I've ever seen. The buses all seemed brand new, the sidewalks were well-marked and maintained, and the train system, as intimidating as it was, was very impressive. Here's the train map. It was by far the most complex in any city we've encountered PLUS there was very little that was in English! Tell me this isn't intimidating!

Here's a shot of the crowded train station.

We spent our first full day at Disney Sea, a Disney park near Disneyland, but based on an entirely different idea. Instead of the "lands", there were seven Ports of Call. It went from being able to ride a gondola in the Mediterranean Harbor to enjoying a Broadway show on the American Waterfront, which turned out to be a highlight for all of us. We honestly didn't take a lot of pictures. It was FREEZING the entire day and turned into being SUPER-FREEZING by the end. This is us waiting in line for the gates to open. In my family, we get there bright and early!

It quickly started to rain. Then, it started to rain harder. So, we gave in and bought rain ponchos that the kids thought were the best!

Our pictures were limited because we basically dashed from one ride to another, with every available show in between. I love that my kids enjoy the shows just as much as the rides. I think I might even be converting Jeff! If not, he sure is a good sport! We were waiting for the Little Mermaid show in King Triton's land, which was full of rides and playgrounds just perfect for our kids' ages. I LOVE the stages my kids are in right now.

Jane loved this "Sinbad's adventure" ride. It was very "It's a Small World"-ish, but a lot less annoying. Sorry for all of you who love that one. I just hate that I can't stop singing the song for at least a couple of days. You're all singing it now, aren't you?

This park was So amazing. Every detail was thought out. I took a lot of pictures of scenery and such, but none of them even came close to showing all the character of this place. It was so unique and as fun for Jeff and me as it was for the kids. This ride Jack wasn't tall enough to go on and, hello, I'm pregnant, so it was one of the few we didn't try. Jack thought the fire on the waterfall was awesome.

Did it rain? Yes! Was it freezing? Yes! Did we have a GREAT day? You bet! Nothing was going to ruin it for us. We loved every inch (centimeter?) of Disney Sea! We even found a Mexican place for lunch (yum!) and immediately a REAL Mexican band came out to perform. It felt like home to hear Spanish! It was totally our day! Not too many pictures, but definitely a lot of fun memories.

We were lucky on our only other full day in Tokyo to have our very own guide. Jack's friend, Kazuya, moved to Japan in August and when we had to say goodbye we were SO hoping we'd have a chance to come and visit, but definitely didn't know it would actually work for us to stop over like this! Taka pulled Kazuya out of school for the day and we spent the day together visiting and seeing some sights. Jack was SO excited to see Kazuya. It was like they never had to say goodbye! Friends like that are priceless.

In our hotel lobby where we met up. The kids were going nuts, so we headed outside as fast as we could!

How cool is it for these two to actually see each other again? They were as comfortable as ever roaming the streets of Tokyo together.

We went up to the top of a government building to see the view of the city. Lucky for us, it was a clear day and we could even see Mt. Fuji off in the distance (the faint white peak). It was a gorgeous view!

We went to the Meiji shrine which was the highlight for Jeff and me. In the middle of the city, there was a large path in a forested area. We walked through to the temple, with the kids collecting countless sticks, and spent some time admiring the Japanese architecture. This is Jack and Kazuya washing before entering, a purifying ritual of sorts.

Jane enjoyed paying respect and throwing the money in as she made a wish. Do three-year-olds make wishes? Who knows, but she was enjoying doing what Taka showed her and Jack, so why not?

This wall was a place where people would pay 500 yen (about $5) for a wood board where they could ask for a specific blessing. Many were in Japanese, but I read some English ones that were anything from asking for health and happiness to hoping for the right man to come along.

We even got to visit Taka's home for a bit before calling it a day. I was excited to see her home, as I always find it fun to see how the locals live. Taka's home is MUCH smaller than her apartment in Bangkok (but it's Japan, and everything is tiny!), which is all she would tell me about her home. When we got there, I fell in love with their little house! So darling with a great character about it. We could NOT get the kids to stand still, they were SO excited!

When we got there, the kids were tired, so they settled in front of a Dora the Explorer DVD for a bit while we visited. It took me a while to figure out why they were sitting under that table with a blanket. Taka explained to me that it was a heated table/blanket. As soon as I put my legs in there, it was SO warm! We all sat there for a bit before heading home.

Taka was the best hostess we could have asked for! She was so helpful and definitely spoiled us more than she should have. It was awesome to have her there to answer our questions and just to get reaquainted after four months of being away. She continues to be a great friend since we first met. We only hope someday we'll have the chance to show her the same hospitality she's shown us!

The last day we had one goal. To see our temple before catching our flight. We conquered the train system one last time (thanks to Taka's help the day before) and found it right away. It is always awesome to turn around a corner and see that beautiful angel Moroni peaking through the tree tops. It is a beautiful temple and we enjoyed entering the foyer to look around and warm up a bit. It was next to impossible to get a good picture of us AND the temple, so here's us...

Look here for a good picture of this beautiful temple, on the church's temple website.

We spent a few minutes at a gorgeous park right across the street before heading back to catch our bus to the airport. This park was not what we were expecting, but it was incredible. We've never felt the need to be quiet in a park before, but we definitely felt that here. It was gorgeous and very unique, and if I had any photography skills at all, I would have gone nuts. The landscaping was amazing.

I said in my last post how small our hotel room was. Well, here are the pictures, but they still don't do it justice. Luckily, our kids are small and it worked just fine!

I thought the size of this garbage can was hilarious. What can you really fit in that? Floss?

Jane loved to jump on the bed since there really was no other place to play!

The guys tried on these awesome yukatas that Taka gave Jeff and me. Japan is so awesome.

It feels like we have spent a lot of time at the Narita airport because we always stop there whether we are on our way to Bangkok or back to the States. We generally don't have very good memories of this airport, because it just means more waiting. This time was a much better, because we got to stay in Japan to see more than just Terminal 1. The airport is very clean and organized, but as this shot of Jack shows, it can be a little confusing when you are trying figure out how to dispose of your trash.

We left the afternoon of the 19th for San Francisco, and arrived the morning of the 19th. Funny how that works. We basically lived that day twice, and slept that night twice, if you can call what we did on the airplane sleeping! The flight went well and overall felt like a breeze. While the kids were awake, they played with their new friend, Asia, who was traveling from Taiwan. It was nice for them to have a friend who had all new toys for them to share and was extremely talkative! We didn't mind the parent's company either!

The kids love riding on the luggage cart.

So, we arrived yesterday in San Francisco. Our hotel is a whole different kind of an adventure. I got a killer deal on priceline... maybe too good of a deal. This place is ancient, but it has character. It actually reminds me of my Aunt Vi's home, which I'm sure my family will remember. It has really narrow hallways, lights with a string to turn them on (which Jack thinks is awesome!) and you're never quite sure if the doors will shut right because there are just so many coats of paint on those things! Vi was born in her house in 1905 (I think). I loved that house. I'm sure this hotel was built right around that time too. Also, our window, which is actually quite a nice bay window overlooking the street view of the lovely "adult shop", lets us experience what Tom Hank's character in "Big" experienced during his first night at his hotel in New York City. Minus the gun shots. Do you remember that scene? It was pretty loud last night, but luckily, jet-lagged kids generally sleep pretty heavily when they do sleep.

We're adjusting to jet-lag okay and we are loving San Francisco already. We spent yesterday on the wharf. It's nice to be back in America. Jack keeps pointing out all the American flags, and he is loving that he can read so many things on the streets because it's all in English! It keeps catching me off guard to have him reading stuff all over the city. We're so happy to be on holiday at such a fun time of year, but we are also quite anxious to get home and get our arms around our family! We miss you all!

16 December 2008

Final day...

We spent our final day in Bangkok wrapping up loose ends. We officially checked out of our apartment... so empty. I love that apartment.

We said our goodbyes to all the apartment staff who we've absolutely loved the entire time we've been here. They have been fantastic!

The guard at the door EVERY morning. I don't know if he ever gets a day off. He's always got a huge smile for us.

We met up with Preeya for one last goodbye. We'll miss her! She took good care of us for 2 years!

Stopped by for a quick (which didn't end up being too quick!) visit to the Preens. How could Jack leave without saying goodbye to Scarlett? And me to Heather. She's been such a great friend for this whole time, and I'll miss her fun sense of humour, and the way being around her makes me extremely optimistic! (I also get in this mode of speaking in my head with a British accent after a long visit. Lucky for everyone else, it never actually comes out!) We will miss this fantastic family.

Aren't these two so cute? They were the 2 new kids in school that first day and have been dear friends ever since!

Our last night, we all slept terribly, probably in anticipation of the adventure ahead of us today. Jane was awake at 2am! She was SO excited at 3am when I told her it was finally time to get ready to go to the airport. We had a fun visit with Napa, Dipu, Anutra, and Bird before we when through security. What great friends, and what fun memories we have with each one of them!

I think THIS was the best photo of the day. Jane sure loves Khun Bird! So many people to love!

So our five hour flight to Japan went really well. It felt like the easiest flight of our life. ONE airplane? Piece of cake! We were thrilled to actually get to spend some time in Tokyo this time. So far, after arriving, taking a bus to our hotel, and exploring our area, we are in love. Tokyo is awesome. Check out these crowds walking across the street. It's like New York City, and I love that city!

Remember how I talked about how tiny our room was in Singapore? That was a suite compared to this one! It's SO small, as is everything else here. It's hilarious! I was warned by my Japanese friends, but honestly, you just don't get it until you've seen it (I'll try to get a decent picture later). I can't help but laugh as we try to find a place just to PUT our luggage, let alone find a surface for us all to sleep on. It's awesome, and we're loving it so far! We'll keep you updated. Lots of love from Tokyo.

15 December 2008

Mr. Jack's Debut

Jack was SO excited to play his violin for the school Christmas program. This was his first time really performing for a crowd and he did GREAT! We couldn't have been more pleased! Thought you might enjoy seeing the big performance too (which is about 20 seconds long!). Enjoy!

14 December 2008

People we love...

Can I just warn you that this is LONG? Proceed with caution...

When I first started blogging I loved to document the unique things we saw everyday. We were constantly discovering new places to visit, and interesting things to spend our time doing. Somewhere in the two years that we've been here, my blogging focus has drastically changed. Maybe it's because things that once seemed odd, now seem normal. Or, things that surprised us, we now expect. Maybe it's because it just takes time to discover what really matters. I don't know what it is, but I've just noticed it, and although it may not be as fun to read about, I couldn't be happier. Looking through my last several weeks, I've realized that my focus has been almost entirely on people, rather than things. We always knew we loved the Thai people, right from the beginning. I've never been anywhere that could compare to the generous, warm-hearted people we've met here. I have tried not to grow accustomed to it, as I've known I will be returning to a country where for the most part, people are nice, but keep to themselves. After two years, how could I not absolutely fall in love with people here? This post is dedicated to people that we love, some of whom are pictured here from our week's activities. I wish I had pictures of everyone, but honestly, how could I possibly? At least this is a start.

We had a very memorable Family Home Evening on Monday night with two of our favorite Sri Lankan families. We always leave this family feeling physically stuffed with food, and spiritually fulfilled. Jeff shared a lesson, they sang a Sri Lankan song for us, we sang one of our favorites, we played a game, and then we ate and ate while we visited for as long as we could. I was kicking myself for not remembering the camera, but luckily, we have other pictures with them, like these that were taken at our ward Christmas Party on Friday.

And Brother Leon's family who was also with us...

There's something about this sweet sister. We can communicate very little, mostly through her son's translation (thank you Nitharshan, you are awesome!), but she has become like a sister. She has taken care of me, given me countless hugs and kisses, and become someone I'll never forget. Why she and I were dealt such different circumstances in life, I'll never know. We are equals as daughters of God, yet in her life, she has experienced things I can't even imagine. I admire her strength and faith through such trying times. I don't know how she does it, but I do know the Lord has a plan for them.

When we went to dinner, I delivered some fabric that my friend, Alice, had bought for her so she could make a dress for her daughter. She showed up to the Saturday night Stake event with a darling dress she had made for JANE! Can you believe this women? We couldn't keep it off Jane, so she wore it Saturday night We made sure Jane and Abby got a picture in their matching dresses on Sunday as well.

Jeff's had many chances to teach with the missionaries while we've been here. It's been an awesome opportunity for him, and I've loved having him be out with them as well. This is Susi, who he has met with many times, and was able to baptize several months ago. Susi is on his way to being a Canadian citizen (yay!) next week, after spending a week in IDC (Immigration Detention Center). We were thrilled to have one last chance to visit before he takes off just a few days after we do. I wish I could see all our refugee friends safely off, before we go. If I could have anything for Christmas, that would be it.

Thiva is also on his way to IDC, then off to Canada! We've got to start planning this Bangkok reunion in Canada so we can all meet up! (On a side note, when we were visiting our Nepalese friends in IDC this week to say goodbye, we ran into another friend who was going in for a week before his flight to Canada. It's nice to know that as awful as this IDC is, there will be many friends in there together this week, which is probably a huge part of their optimism as they enter.)

Brother Thasi we've gotten to know just recently, but he's great. We were happy to have him in our home recently, and hope he'll keep in touch too!

The You family is from Taiwan and have always been so incredible. Angelina is Jane's same age, and they get along really well, even with Angelina speaking mostly Chinese. Sylvia and Ryan run our nursery now and I love knowing those children are in such good hands!

For the last six weeks or so, I've been working with our newly formed French class in Primary. These three children have won me over! I have loved teaching them, training our friend, Taylor, to be their teacher (as he's one of the few french speakers in the ward), and spending time with these sweet siblings. They are full of life and LOTS of energy! Luckily, Taylor happens to be a professional boxer, so he can keep up with them just fine. They speak just a little more English than I do French (and if you know me, you know I don't speak French!). Luckily, I've learned that language barriers don't always need to be a problem, particularly with children.

Tuesday was going to be our "down" day in the week. It wasn't, which turned out to be a good thing. Napa and Nan met us at the church because they had bought a cake for Jane. While we met with the Stake Presidency, they took the children to the market for some toy hunting. It was a blessing for Jeff and me, and the kids had a blast.

We met up with them and Dipu for some dinner and to see the Christmas decor at Central World. It was a late night, but very worth it. Oh, how we love them!

Wednesday, we had a dinner date with our dear friends, Khun Anutra and Khun Bird. We were also thrilled that Koong came along, as Jack has always had a crush on her, and her on him. We had a fantastic meal that I took lots of pictures of, becuase the food was so exotic looking. Clam chowder with actual clam shells in it. Is that cool, or am I just really sheltered? We went for a good one of all of us outside the mall with the Christmas decor. We love these three, and can hardly believe we have to leave just two weeks before Anutra's graduation! What timing!

One of the things on Jack's list of things to do before we leave was to spend a day with his friend, Sasha. We had a holiday on Wednesday, so we had a fun lunchtime playdate, where we we hoped the kids were getting their fill of each other. These four just LOVE to play together.

Another on his list was to go over to Issac and Lucas' home to play. Luckily, Catherine volunteered to have him over, and even picked him up from school for me on one of our moving days. What an angel! Jack loves these boys, and I'm happy to know that we'll see them this summer as they have their leave in Utah and Idaho before starting their next job in DC. Plus,the movers accidentally packed one of their favorite toys Jack was borrowing. Oops. Like I said, they just pack things too quickly! Notice Elder Harmon in the background. Love that guy.

Friday was Jack's Christmas program at school. He was SO excited for what they had prepared, and why not? He got to spike up his hair and spray-paint it purple and grey! They did a lipsync, then sang some Christmas songs, and he got to hold this cool guitar the aide made for him.

Jack also was asked to do a special performance on his violin as part of the program. He was so excited about getting up on stage for the first time. He made one false start, but handled it perfectly. He played fantastically, and the audience went wild! He was so pleased with himself, and I loved that he had a chance to share his talent with others. That is why we have talents, right? I'll probably post the little video of his "Jingle Bells" sometime this week.

I just had to put this one in, aren't they cute?

Jack's special friend, Sonami, was sad to say goodbye. They had several playdates over this school term, and I became good friends with her mother, Akiko, as she helped me several times when I was in a bind. Another person I couldn't possibly repay! What a fun friend and a good family. Jane couldn't stop from cuddling Jack this day. I love it.

Saturday night at our Stake event, "Joy to the World", Jeff and I participated with a choir. Jeff sang of course (they always choose him to sing and I'm happy he's so willing!), and I played my violin on a few numbers. Doesn't Jeff look sharp in his choir get up? It was a fun group, and they really sounded great.

Jack has made many special friends here, but one of his favorites has been Sister Wendy Anderson. When we got a ride home with her and Bishop from the airport after seeing some friends off a while back, Jack sat with her and they visited the whole time. She's been a favorite friend ever since. He adores her, and she's such a natural. I loved the moment when she explained that she was just like the all-grown-up Wendy in the story of Peter Pan. Her home is always open to little boys. Jack loved that. She and Bishop have been like family the entire time we've been here. They're on their way to Saudi Arabia for two years, then hopefully back to Cardston where we're hoping they'll let us come and visit.

Sukma and the kids attended our Christmas celebration and the kids had one last night together. It was really fun, but sad to say goodbye, as always.

The kids were watching the stage performances here, I think. Notice Jane in her new dress, with her long socks. Remember, she started out the evening in pants, then couldn't resist her new dress. I couldn't decide if she looked like a candy cane or an oompa-loompa. Either way, she was cute!

The Neilsen family I've written about before. I love this family. Jeanette is such a super woman as she home schools all her children, teaches them piano, speaks fluent Thai, and is the most patient woman I've ever met! She's amazing, and I don't know how she does it all with her husband traveling the world much of the time. We're thrilled they have ties to Utah, so we know we'll get to see them again the next time they visit.

This is the Dzandu family. Eric, the father, is fantastic. His wife passed away some time ago, and he's raising his two children on his own. They are such great kids, and I've especially loved getting to know Patrick in Primary. They travel for several hours each way to get to church, and also make it for nearly all the mid-week activities. Amazing.

The DeJesus family, Curt, Crisse, and Neil. Jack and Curt have been good friends since they moved to Bangkok from the Philippines. To finish off strong, they took Jack for most of Saturday to the park and market, and they got some solid playtime in. Jack came home exhausted with a live fish and ice cream all over his face. Was that a good day or what? Crisse and Neil have stayed with us a number of times, and we will miss them all!

I had the perfect opportunity to get this picture of Jack's primary class during the transition. They are such sweet kids! From the left: Isaac, Lucas (or vice versa), Jack, Sophia, Carissa, Abby, Curt, Daniel, and Molly, and in the front, their teacher Naorwat. I was sad that their other teacher, Sis. Maskovich was still wrapping things up inside the room. She's been a fantastic teacher for this high-energy class.

I broke down today as Jane had to say goodbye to Dipu, Napa, and Nan. It's almost harder for me to watch my children say goodbye than it is for me to do it. They've loved Jane and Jack like their own. Actually, Napa was telling some sister missionaries that came into Dipu's shop a while back that Jane was her daughter, as she showed off the "Janie shrine" at Dipu's desk. The sister laughed knowing full well who Jane was, as her family in Utah is my sister's neighbor. Oops! Napa knows she's not Jane's mother, but she certainly loves her like family! How could I, as a mother, not just absolutely love people who love my children like they do? I've never seen anyone care for them like this who wasn't family. It felt almost wrong to walk away after saying our goodbyes.

On a happier note (my coping strategy), we do have high hopes that we will see Dipu and Napa again, as Dipu's hoping to take his custom tailoring business to Utah for small periods each year. So, if anyone's in the market for a good suit, look no further. He is the best.

When we first arrived here and I started to meet all these embassy families, I was totally jealous. I would LOVE to move around every two to three years, living in interesting places, experiencing the cultures, and meeting all kinds of people. Honestly, if that's all it was, I would love it. What I didn't think of is all the goodbyes they have to say every time they leave. My heart just couldn't take it. Maybe after a while I'd get calloused to the whole thing, but would I really want to be that way? I could pick up and move to a different country, attempt to learn a new language, and get used to living away from home, but I could never get used to leaving so many people behind. I don't know how they do it. For now, I'm sad to go, but I'm overjoyed to have this experience to remember for the rest of my life. I want to remember and keep in touch with everyone, but realistically, I know that doesn't always happen. No matter where we go, or who we hear from again, I will always have amazing memories of people we love, and who loved us in a way we never could have expected.

We leave a big chunk of our hearts in Thailand as we begin our journey home. We will continue our blog, (although eventually we'll have to change the name), not so much for our family and friends in Utah, who we started if for, because we hope we'll just be with YOU! We will continue it for all our family and friends in Bangkok who have now spread out all over the world. Thank you for being a part of our adventure, we've loved to share it with you and hope to make more and more memories as a new stage of our life begins.