We are here.

My kids keep looking at me and saying, “Mom, we’re in China!” with wonder in their eyes.

We arrived all safe and sound with all sixteen of our bags after some pretty crazy fiascos getting them packed and weighed and situated.

Dave’s business partner picked us up at the airport with an extra van for all the luggage (he’s the best).  He had the place we’re staying all set for us and today we got all unpacked and situated.  

We went and visited the kids’ school today so they could get their bearings straight before the first day on Monday.  

They were all smiles, every one of them which made me so happy.  Grace got a little worried when she realized she would be in a different section from everyone (middle school) but Elle jumped in and buoyed her right up.  They have some great attitudes and I’m so proud of them because I will tell you, secretly inside I am scared to death for them!  This is gonna be tough…much higher academic standards and not a single other Caucasian student.  But we’re going to do it all as a family…Dave and I will be able to help a lot in the evenings and man alive, we’re all going to learn a lot!  The administration took great care of us today and we even happened to get to meet the assistant teacher in Lucy’s class who is darling.  

We had our first trip to the grocery store and the kids were mesmerized by everything, especially the meat section, even though it was lacking the pig’s heads like I remember last time we were here.  They were all pretty amazed at the fish swimming around, one that jumped and splashed them.

We have already had the most quality family time I can imagine, so many good talks and so many new things we’re all noticing and discussing, and we’ve only been here a day.  We are in for the experience of a lifetime.  No doubt about it, it’s going to be hard.  But it’s going to be awesome.

It’s 8:30 right now and I’ve been working my tail off keeping my family awake ’til 8.  We are all laughing at this jet lag stuff which Lucy seems to be doing the very best at.  We started reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on the way home from the airport and she will hardly set that thing down now.  But now they’re all tucked safely in bed and I guess I better go join them.

The internet is going to take a while to work out the tweaks but for now, there’s the news.  

There’s this family who live close to us back in the desert who have lived here in China for I think a year now.  The mom and I have been in touch about a few things as we prepared to come, and she sent me this video her daughter made from one of their trips (she’s Elle’s age and so very talented!). Makes me so excited to go here as soon as we can figure out timing!

Here you go:

guilin favorites from brooke taylor on Vimeo.


  1. Congrats! You guys are rock stars! Seriously- such an amazing family and you two are rock star parents! So excited to hear about this great adventure! By the way what kind of work does Dave do for China?

  2. Your deliberateness is so inspiring!! It makes me want to take the month my husband has off every summer and live in different places. Thank you for sharing your awesomeness.

  3. WOW!!! I am so excited for you. What an amazing adventures you and your children are able to experience. I had to laugh at the video as I have two daughters…one named Brooke and one named Taylor 😉 I can't wait to have the opportunity to visit China!

  4. Yay! You made it! I am so happy for your family. Just getting there is a huge accomplishment. Good luck this first week in school. I wish all the best for your family in this amazing adventure. Thank you for sharing. This was a great way to start my day. 😉

  5. I am so excited for the adventure you're all embarking on, just cool. And neat video from your friend! I'm getting itchy traveling feet:)

  6. Congratulations on making the trip! Now you can embark on the journey. I wish you nothing but the very best for an amazing, peaceful, and educational adventure. We look forward to hearing your stories as you're able to tell them. Godspeed.

  7. Now watching the video I am so excited for you! So so cool! We were in China in January as we were adopting a little girl and I love the place. Such sweet people! What an adventure you are going to have! So happy you made it safely.

  8. oh that video makes me miss China. Such a neat place. My sister and I taught English there for 6 months. It was hard being away for that long but it was the best experience. So grateful for it. Your kids will be so grateful they had this experience as well. So fun!

  9. Yay! You made it and are writing about it! I wasn't sure if we would hear from you before January! I'm glad everyone is in a wonderful mood and absorbing the new culture! I wish all the kids the best on Monday and hopefully we can hear from you soon!

  10. I wish you all a wonderful time abroad! I am glad that we readers get a glimpse of your time over there 🙂
    I love the video, the girl is very talented!

  11. I have been thinking about you and your crew all week just hoping for an update! Sounds amazing! Cannot wait to hear more when you have a chance! : )

  12. I think it is fantastic and now I want to do something like this with my children when they are a bit older. This will be amazing for your family!! I am excited to see updates and live vicariously a little through you!

  13. When our kids were starting to enter HS, we saw them all heading in different directions. We decided to move to Mexico for a few years where my husband worked a lot in hopes of having more family time. It was the hardest, yet more rewarding experience we've ever had. It was craziness, and the kids experienced hard things, but we had to drag them home by their fingernails when it was all said and done, what a fabulous experience not only in another country/culture, but as a family. Now, 16 years later, they've served missions abroad, and have a great love for other cultures and languages. There are things that can not be learned in any other way. Good luck! And have the time of your lives!!! I admire you.

  14. You will thrive. Your children will thrive. You will thrive as a family. You will, I promise. It will be the best of times. Even the hard stuff will be rewarding.

    The decisions we make in life are often not right or wrong. Sometimes it's just God saying "here is an opportunity, a gift, you can take it or not, it will be both easy and hard". The truth is that oft The Lord doesn't really care what we choose as long as what we are doing is being actively engaged in good works. ( don't misunderstand, I do think The Lord at times in our life has a specific mission for us to accomplish. I just think that sometimes choices aren't meant to be as hard as we make them)

    Your children are going to remember this always. It will be a marker in their lives. We moved to England when I was fourteen. Too much to tell here. We kids loved it! Three of us children came with our parents. There were things to work out. A few bumps here and a few bumps there. But again, WE LOVED IT! A year after England we moved to Saudi. Loved it, all of us. Things to work out? Heck yes! So worth it. The three of us even went to boarding school. Yep, you heard me right. LDS parents let their kids go to boarding school at fifteen? What were they thinking? Lol, we loved that too. Again, there were things to work out. It was exciting, fun, busy, hard work and yes we had to do hard things at times. So what? Who cares? No matter what you do, where you go, who you know, how much money you have or not. Life will present challenges. It's the plan man. Go with it….for that is when life gets grand!

    I have so much more. But I'll save it. Have fun! Enjoy! Laugh! Cry! But never despair! Gods got your back. You don't even have to look back to make sure he is still there. Thats what faith is for!

    Side note…after being married twenty six years my husband and I ( whom I met in Saudi as a teenager, that's another story) moved back to Saudi with our daughter. Three grown sons in the states. We have been there six years. We all love it. In fact we take our daughter to boarding school today. 🙂 🙁 mixed emotions) Happy for her, selfishly sad for us.

    The American way is only one way of living. I love being an American! But Our big beautiful world is full of amazing cultures that are just as beautiful. Don't walk, RUN to these places and amazing addventers. It really does open doors!

  15. This is AWESOME!!! Good for you and Dave. Good for Max, Elle, Grace, Claire and Lucy. This is fantastic in so many wonderful possibility-ways.


  16. Hello! Seems truly exciting!
    Anyway, if you ever decide to pop by Singapore, I'd be truly flattered to show your family around. =)

    Also, there's an upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival holiday coming up. Enjoy the mooncakes, and lovely lanterns. Such a good base to make short trips everywhere else too.

  17. I am very happy for your family! You will have life changing experiences, meet amazing people, and grow closer together as a family in a way that few other opportunities could provide similarly. My husband, children and I moved from Nevada to Oxford, England the end of 2011 and while it was meant to be a 6 month adventure, we're now approaching our 3 year mark in England and now live in greater London with our 4 children. It has been absolutely amazing-even with the challenges-we have grown and developed individually and as a family leaps and bounds. I'd love to go to Shanghai and hope to someday visit some Chinese friends that live there. My husband has attended church in Shanghai (we're LDS) and had a great experience. Best wishes to each of you! You will be forever grateful for the experience!

  18. Well I haven't managed to catch up with your blog for a month or so and when I come back you've up and moved to China! WOW!

    Your dedication to giving your family a life full of amazing experiences is an inspiration. You will have an awesome time, I'm sure and the kids will learn so much.

    Still "wow-ing" here. LOL.


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