Choose joy

Last December, after finding out that we were most likely moving to China in 2010, I visited my favorite store in Albany called Emma Downtown. I purchased a few Christmas gifts at Emma’s, but I also purchased a necklace for myself that says, “don’t look back” on one side and “choose joy”. That saying has been my anthem since we moved to China. I do not always follow the idea, but I wear the necklace as a reminder to live in the present, not in the past or even in the future.

Last week I spent a little too much time thinking about home, worrying about the future and not enough time appreciating Shanghai. This week, I am reminiscing about the great summer we had last year, but beginning to find joy in the adventures we will have here in Shanghai during the summertime.

Last summer was filled with daily walks to the park, concerts in the park, two trips to Oregon, a trip to Tahoe and tons of outdoor living. This year I am trying to accept that we cannot do many of the things we did last year, but instead I want to embrace the exciting things we get to do here. Next weekend we are traveling to Korea to reset our visas and to see Jim’s best friend Ouk, whom Jim has known since his first day of Kindergarten.

That was then... Jameson's 1st birthday invitation photo
 


Parktime with Daddy and Jameson with his "cruising legs"



Our trip to Vertical Horizons in Oregon where we "camped" in treehouses last June



Grandma time in our treehouse



 Jameson with his sweet little cankles!



Our poor little guy had a fever while I drove the 8-hour trip to Oregon


Everyone except Myra (who kindly looked after Jameson) went on the zip-lines!



We are definitely going back to the treehouses someday!



We had a great trip to Tahoe thanks to our neighbors Carl and Keala!



This is now...


 
Joy is a daily choice wherever you live. It is so easy to focus on what we do not have rather than what we do have. Now that we have  lived in China for a mere three months, I know that we have soooo much more than we need. I choose joy because the creator of the universe loves us all unconditionally and we are free to share that love and joy with others.

2 comments

  • Char

    Char

    Isn't it amazing how you can actually choose to be happy? No matter what the circumstances are, it is possible to find the beauty, fun, humor or lesson in everything. I have begun to believe that it is an amazing life skill to choose happiness. I enjoy reading your blog because of your profound thoughts on life. I also really love the pictures! Last summer was such a fun time! The tree houses were amazing fun and I look forward to doing it again soon! I can't believe how much Jameson has changed since then. He isn't a baby anymore: He is a little boy! Your package of birthday treats arrived yesterday and the kids are so excited to have presents from China! We have been working on fixing up the yard for the party next weekend and it is coming together nicely! (As long as you don't look too closely) Several weeks ago, Monet took your new CD out of the living room stereo (without our knowing) and began listening to it in her room! She listens to a lot of CD's in her room, but this one is cracking me up! She blasts the radio and sings along with you at the top of her voice! She actually sounds nice, too! I had planned on taking it back because I didn't want her to ruin it (she doesn't always treat her CD's as carefully as she should) but at this point I can't bear to do it! She just loves it, and especially loves that she is singing with Aunt Lori! So, know that your new biggest fan thinks of you often! I hope you have a great weekend! The kids and I are going to see The Lion King tonight (after I sleep for a few hours) and I am so excited! I have heard it is just amazing and I can't wait to share it with the kids! (John opted out for a quiet evening at home without the kids: Imagine that?!) Then Father's Day, then Monet's birthday, then last minute preparations for Kinnon's party, then his birthday! All in one week! So, that's pretty much all that's going on with us! I would love to chat some evening on Skype! The kids miss seeing you and I haven't talked to you in awhile either! I love you very much! Your Seeeeeeeeeeeeester!

    Isn't it amazing how you can actually choose to be happy? No matter what the circumstances are, it is possible to find the beauty, fun, humor or lesson in everything. I have begun to believe that it is an amazing life skill to choose happiness. I enjoy reading your blog because of your profound thoughts on life. I also really love the pictures! Last summer was such a fun time! The tree houses were amazing fun and I look forward to doing it again soon! I can't believe how much Jameson has changed since then. He isn't a baby anymore: He is a little boy!
    Your package of birthday treats arrived yesterday and the kids are so excited to have presents from China! We have been working on fixing up the yard for the party next weekend and it is coming together nicely! (As long as you don't look too closely)
    Several weeks ago, Monet took your new CD out of the living room stereo (without our knowing) and began listening to it in her room! She listens to a lot of CD's in her room, but this one is cracking me up! She blasts the radio and sings along with you at the top of her voice! She actually sounds nice, too! I had planned on taking it back because I didn't want her to ruin it (she doesn't always treat her CD's as carefully as she should) but at this point I can't bear to do it! She just loves it, and especially loves that she is singing with Aunt Lori! So, know that your new biggest fan thinks of you often! I hope you have a great weekend! The kids and I are going to see The Lion King tonight (after I sleep for a few hours) and I am so excited! I have heard it is just amazing and I can't wait to share it with the kids! (John opted out for a quiet evening at home without the kids: Imagine that?!) Then Father's Day, then Monet's birthday, then last minute preparations for Kinnon's party, then his birthday! All in one week! So, that's pretty much all that's going on with us! I would love to chat some evening on Skype! The kids miss seeing you and I haven't talked to you in awhile either! I love you very much!
    Your Seeeeeeeeeeeeester!

  • Mandy Forney

    Mandy Forney

    Hi Lori, finally came to check out your blog from your F/B posts... so glad I did! So glad to hear that you are wearing a little reminder of home around your neck that came from our little store! That made me smile from ear to ear. It looks like you are on a fabulous adventure. Enjoy every moment. I look forward to keeping up on you more here! Mandy

    Hi Lori, finally came to check out your blog from your F/B posts... so glad I did! So glad to hear that you are wearing a little reminder of home around your neck that came from our little store! That made me smile from ear to ear. It looks like you are on a fabulous adventure. Enjoy every moment. I look forward to keeping up on you more here!

    Mandy

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