Miss Gioia

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Since the movers have packed up all of our stuff in a container, we are staying at the Hyatt. Luckily, Gioia made a little Christmas tree at school, so our room is fun and festive. This year, our Christmas Eve celebrations consisted of eating a hearty afternoon tea, opening presents small enough to carry with us on the flight, doing some Christmas dancing in the room (simply having a wonderful Christmas time...) and taking a picture on Santa's lap in the lobby. Ha!

On Christmas Day, we will be flying to India for the wedding - first to Mumbai and then on to Goa on Saturday. Do you think Cathay Pacific will serve Christmas cookies and gluhwein?

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009


There have been a lot of things going on behind the scenes here the last month or so. I have been so busy that I even forgot to take a picture of the mini sweater that I made for a swap last month. All I can show you is the adorable version I received in the mail which now graces our little apartment tree.

Our big news is this: after over four years in Greater China, we are now moving back to the United States. We found a place to live two weeks ago and the dog shipped out Monday. Which means there is no turning back now.

We have a busy month ahead - getting ready for the move, wrapping things up at work, saying goodbye to beloved friends. But there are fun things in store too, like a last hurrah weekend in Macao, Christmas at the Grand Hyatt and a long trip home, which includes a stop-off at our friends' wedding in Goa.

I have decided to stop blogging after this month, though. For some reason, I feel more anonymous blogging in Taiwan and China than in the United States. I just don't have the energy to face the creepy creeps who may come out of the woodwork once we land stateside. People who figure out where you live by the photos you post or the words you write about playgrounds and restaurants. I will continue to write here in December as we transition out of Taiwan, but the beginning of January will mark the official end of this endeavor.

It has been a long, fun ride. Four years as expats and three of blogging. Thanks for joining me.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

90th Birthday

We celebrated Chris' Grandmother's 90th birthday this past weekend in Nashville. It was a great party, complete with dancing and cake. We were very happy that we were able to be there to celebrate with the family.

Happy Birthday Oma!

More pictures are here.


Saturday, May 30, 2009


When you are two years old, you can no longer hold up one finger when people ask how old you are. But two fingers is tricky. Needs some practice.

I took these pictures while we were laying around in our hotel in Rome yesterday. The one below is my Every Day in May 28. Other recent Every Day in May images can be seen in my Flickr set here.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Auntie Rebecca

My nephew was born on Friday! His Mom and Dad would probably not want his pictures posted all over the internet, so a little bitty baby ear is all I will show of his cuteness.

Tonight as I prayed with Gioia before she went to sleep, we went through all of the things we were thankful for - Tu (her bunny), Mom, Dad, clothes, food, fish, birds.... and then she said "baby!" I said "That's right! Thank you Lord for your new baby cousin." To which she responded with wide eyes: "Present!"

We have been talking a lot this weekend about the new baby and how we need to send him a present, so it makes sense. But it was very cute nonetheless.

We all wish we were able to there to meet Baby J in person. Hopefully soon!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Shutterfly Love

Chris' Oma, Gioia's great-grandmother, lives in the United States. She is not a big internet user, which is not surprising as Oma is 89 years young. That means, though, that she is the only one in the extended family who does not get regular kiddo love through this website. But we really do want her to see Baby G grow. So we send her little photo books from Shutterfly every three months.*

We like the 4x4 brag book. It is the perfect size for stashing in a purse. With these little books, Oma can easily carry 18-20 pictures of Gioia around her community. Low tech for her, but easy-peasy, high tech for us. We just upload the pictures, organize them in a little book, click 'Send to Oma' and voila! It is only a little over 20 bucks too, with shipping.

A great way to keep non-wired family abreast of all things Gioia.

*I have absolutely no connection to Shutterfly. Well, no connection except for the fact that I use the company to make little books on a regular basis. Hidden blog adverts are creepy. I'm just sayin'.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Handy Man

My husband is so fabulous. I needed a sunny ledge for my seedlings, so on Sunday, he put up this trellis with a shelf that hangs above the balcony sink.

He also worked on a play kitchen for Gioia. We had an option to buy a ready made one in a local store. But even if we ordered the kitchen now, it wouldn't arrive until January. Which is not very Christmas-y. I had been eying some of the fabulous do-it-yourself play kitchens, which have been featured lately on Ohdeedoh. We decided to make one instead of buying it. When I say we, I am not really being honest. Really I cajoled Chris into breaking out the power tools and building one similar to this one. It is not finished yet, but I definitely see lots of play food in Gioia's future.

A fabulous Handy Man. Wouldn't you agree?

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

End of the Day

Chris playing guitar, a salad made with arugula from the balcony.

Baby doll's new ride.

Gioia learning to play under the furniture. Crawling under chairs and tables.

A nice end to the day.


Saturday, June 21, 2008


We took a little trip to Yingge today, which is a small town about forty minutes outside of Taipei. Yingge is famous for its ceramics and pottery. I went with low expectations, actually, but was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. I thought it would be store after store selling little brown teapots (like these). Instead, the stores had a varied selection of low to high end items, from teapots and bowls to beautiful bronze art pieces.

We had a fabulous lunch in a little modern cafe. We liked the water mugs so much that we bought them right off the table. Gotta love China (I mean, Taiwan). Everything is for sale.

The sun was bright and hot, but we cooled down by dipping into stores and sampling the air-conditioning. The town's famous ceramics museum was closed, but we had plenty of fun just wandering up and down the "old" street. More pictures from today's outing are here.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Momma

Mom is here! She flew all the way to Taipei to meet little Miss G. They have already played with balls, put blocks "in" and "out," read books, hugged new bunnies (for the record - she definitely knows the difference), and changed diapers. In sum, kiddo and Grandma have had all sorts of fun.

Mom went to the National Palace Museum today to view the stolen borrowed re-housed treasures. When she came back, Gioia broke into a big smile, clapped her hands and asked to be picked up.

A good day, surely.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Chris, you are a wonderful Father.

Happy Daddy's Day.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

How Big Are You?

When he was growing up, Chris and his sister had their measurements marked on a wooden stick made by his Opa. The stick said, in Dutch, the following:

This stick shows you
at all times
how small you were
how big you are

A few months before Miss G's birthday, Chris asked his parents if they could make her a measuring stick too. Wow, did they ever.

Chris' dad designed the stick to fold in half for easy storage in our apartment and traveling life. He cut out the wood, printed out the images, and painted and varnished it from top to bottom. There even is a custom carrying case that Chris' dad designed and sewed. The top has a circle for easy hanging, and the back has precise measurements marked in inches/feet and centimeters/meters. Chris' mom selected all of the images; some even came from this website!

What a fabulous, thoughtful, homemade gift. Thank you Rod and Linda!

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Gu Gu

Gioia's Aunt Lisa is here to visit this week. Gu Gu (sounds like goo goo) is the Chinese term for paternal Aunt. All day we have been saying - Gioia, where's your Gu Gu? There's your Gu Gu! It was such a fun day.

We are so glad you are here Lisa!

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Dad Coke

Thanks for coming to visit us in Taipei, Dad. We had a lovely weekend, and (most importantly) Gioia got to meet her Grandfather!

More pictures are here.