Nik joined me in Tennessee
to listen to the wind-chimes
before walking around the block.
We went to the circus,
and visited Paducah during the worst ice storm of the century.
We cruised around Nashville in the Pontiac,
I ate the best cinnamon roles ever,
and flew to the other side of the world...
We had arrived at our new home. Shanghai, China.
I purchased a Giant...
to explore like a local.
While Nik was at work, I explored the flower market,
a Chinese Garden,Â
and a few out of the way places.
While Nik wasn't at work, we explored construction sites,
and highway overpasses.
and ate all-you-can-eat dinners with friends.
we started thinking of this as home,
saw the sights of a tunnel on the Bund,
found my favorite coffee shop,
celebrated 3 years,
took a day trip to a water town,
and played polo on bikes.
We took a trip with the boys,
biked around the city every chance we had,
found my solitary place,
and got out of the country...
by riding the 18-hour train to Hong Kong.
I payed attention to the little details of the city:
ladies wearing white sun-sleeves,
and construction signs.Â
I took a pottery class,
hid under a bridge during a thunder storm,
took a few bike ferries,
and discovered the antique markets.
I indulged my sweet tooth,
more than once.
I made a couple pieces I was proud of,
conquered my fear of taking photos of people,
and Nik and I went to Jingdezhen to see...
clay bashed so that...
it could be worked...
into pots that would be shipped around the world.
Then I turned 28!!!
I locked our love in Seoul,
commuted every day,
and taught 80 high school students how to fold origami cranes....and math.
I was too preoccupied with teaching to take photos,
so I stole these from Nik!
Nik proposed at the top of a mountain in Seoul!!!!!!!
I said yes, and the rest of the month was a blur of happiness and throwing around the word "fiancÃ©" every chance we got!
I tagged along with a few students on a trip to the Yunnan Province,
explored Shanghai with Nik on foot one last time,
said goodbye to good friends,
ate my last breakfast in Apartment 1835,
temporarily said goodbye to my fiancÃ©,
and officially said goodbye to Shanghai, the place I called home for 2009.
From there, I made it home just in time for Thanksgiving dinner,
and a family portrait.
Keisha, Mom and I took New York by storm,
Mimi told me all about quilts, dresses, and the old days,
we played an epic game of Pictionary,
and my sister made Christmas brunch.
Then Mom and Dad drove me down to Dallas...
so that Nik and I could take them to the Sky Room,
and introduce them to my future in-laws.
When 2009 began, I didn’t know what it had in store for me. I didn’t know where I would live, where I would work or what I would see. I knew that it would be exciting and full of memories, but I never could have planned such an incredible year. It goes to show that as long as I surround myself with people that I love and take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves, everything will be okay. Better than okay.
Once again, as 2010 begins, I don’t know what it has in store for me. I don’t know where we will live, where I will work or what I will see. I know that I will spend my days with the one man that I love more than anything, and beyond that, we’ll just have to see!