You know those little surges of pure joy that can just hit you sometimes?  Those little moments that just whack you over the head and remind you how dang lucky you are?  Like when you notice someone actually put away their shoes for the first time in a whole week or you have an epiphany about what needs to be done for such-and-such a problem or you see the most amazing sunset you think you’ve ever seen in your whole life?

That happened today over and over again.  

As I walked home from the metro today, heavy-laden with bags
of vegetables I picked up from this awesome little hole-in-the-wall market my
friend introduced me to in Puxi, my heart was so lifted up so high and
happy.  We have such an abundance of
learning and growing going on here. 
I met some friends for lunch in the most beautiful French Concession area with tree-lined streets and was so inspired by their stories of life in China.

I walked through the metro so invigorated by my surroundings.

As I maneuvered my way home it hit me how at home I’m starting to feel here.  And then I got to pondering about how much more relaxed and at home I can tell the kids are feeling.  How so many things that were so shocking and different have now become such an integral part of life.

Tonight (it’s already late, late Monday night here) was a blessed night because the kids didn’t have so much homework (mid-terms this week so the school has banned the endless hours of work they usually assign) so we could actually sneak away to meet up with Dave on a little adventure for Family Home Evening.

And I hope I’ll never forget how my kids looked.  How they danced to the song “Happy” on the way to the metro.  How their laughs sounded mingled together as we all maneuvered our way through the crazy streets where pedestrians do not have the right of way.

I hope they will never forget how they ooooo’ed and ahhhhhh’d over all the lit-up towers surrounding us when we walked out of the metro…

And Claire’s over-the-moon excitement when I told her we were eating in that blue world financial center down there below:

It was the tallest building in Shanghai when we were here eight years ago and now it’s towered over by that new one I posted a video about in this post back HERE.

My brother and cousin are in town and it has been a non-stop party since they arrived.  Love them so much.  Love how my kids love them so much.

Lucy couldn’t get her nose out of her book.

 Love that.

I love coming across cool art too.

The view from the 87th floor:

So grateful for this city we get to be a part of for a short while, and how I feel it changing us in good ways.

Sure, there are a lot of frustrating things we come across every day… we never know when the internet will work (which is especially tough with big school projects), they are remodeling the house next door and boy howdy, I’ve never heard so much noise in all my life.  We have plumbing problems and oh, and there’s a teeny communication problem with the language.

But oh man how grateful I am for all the good going on here.

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  1. What an adventure such amazing things your kids and YOU are learning! Although I think my introverted self might go crazy with all the hustle and bustle of China, I would love to do something like this (maybe I need a rural adventure instead 😉 with our family.

  2. Loving your posts thank you. Was wondering why you don't use a wheeled trolley to go to the markets as we saw alot of people use them on the Metro when we visited China a few years back?

  3. Hi Shawni, I read your blog pretty much every day, and have for years. I just wanted to leave a little comment to let you know that I so so appreciate you taking the time to post and also for your bravery in making your life and thoughts/feelings public for the world to see. I for one am so grateful! You have given me so many ideas of things I now do with my kids and also have given me many ideas of things I would eventually like to do as a deliberate mother. Thank you!! You don't know me, but I feel like I know you- and I am grateful for your influence in my life. Hugs to you and your family on your wonderful China adventure and I truly hope that amidst critics, you feel the good you are doing and the light you are spreading in the world. Thank you! <3

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