Sunday, September 29, 2013

The 584th Time, China is Calling Us.

The thought of moving to China hits Kason and me pretty frequently, every time with different reasons and varies levels of power. The hesitation comes when we receive this idea separately, but hardly anytime we consider this option rationally and spiritually together as a family.

In my mind I miss EVERYTHING in China/Asian crazy. I literally mean everything, dear families, delicious food, fast-speed life style, opportunities, risks and growth, even including air pollution,  busy crowd and food poisoning. But, surprisingly, Kason is the one who always wants to move out of Utah and move to China and seek for valuable growth, for career, family and spirituality.

Most of times, I don't dare to think far and create fantasy illusion. I try to enjoy the most out of the peaceful life in Utah. And, I definitely love the families and close friends who love to hang out with us. I blueprint the future where Kason and I will grow a big family here and raise our children the comparatively relaxing, happy way. On the other hand, thinking of moving to Asia, noises are there telling us that is not a good idea - "be cautious, for your own good."Again, the the boiling feeling hits me again - China is calling.

Back in April when I visited my families and some good friends in China, I also got a full-time job offer from a great company that I always want to work for. I said "no" to it with no second thought.

Later, I visited an American family in Shenzhen, Karin's sister. On Sunday, I visited the expat. ward in Shenzhen - in a not-so-big villa where the foreign LDS members meet. I still remember the piercing feelings I had when everyone sings the opening hymn Called to Serve.  The empty looking villa suddenly was transformed to a holly chapel and I saw the spirit coming. Listening and singing, my heart was instantly melted and inspired by this particular "chosen" group. However, I knew at that moment, the time was not right for me and things will probably not work out. And, I knew that God will take care of my good desire in his way, if I follow his will.

Coming back to the States, Kason mentioned this a couple of times too. I was glad and also worried about how things will work out. Leave his good job/company? Where to? What about cost of living? What if we start to have children? How are we supposed to save money and not have financial burdens?

The thoughts always come back at us, with unsure answers. We try our best to follow the spirit, act on it based on our own understanding and develope our potentials as His children. Chances are, we still have times standing in confusion, wondering if we actually did something absolutely right.

I still know that Heavenly father is there directing us. Thus, if we can be sensitive to the spirit prompting, we will know. If not, we will make decisions and let the experiences come.

 Picture of my mom standing by the wax version of Kason's current fav. Asian actor.
My darling-looking mom and I on Peak of HK. HK is definitely not my cup of tea. But I bet Kason would love to visit there, just for the record, haha :p. Mayyyyybe, he will like there. But, I guess not.

Blended China is my fav. theme park in Shenzhen. I love the ethical groups there. I must take Kason there sometimes, he'd really enjoy there, different architectures, clothing and beauties. Shenzhen was such a kind and approachable city with warm weather. Kason would love that!

 Kason is still a genuinely nice man, such a fun husband! That day, when we had hotpot together. He asked me: "honey, does eating hotpot make you homesick?" I said: "no! It makes me happy... Why?" He was chewing on the meatball after dipping it in hot souce, and said: "It makes me miss those days visiting your family in China." Awww...

Especially recently, I feel even closer when we're going through hard things together.  I never knew I would be this blessed to have him as my husband because he is so perfect to me.
 Some nights, we love to watch some shows together on the couch.  Guess what we watch?
Ta-da! We occasionaly watch this show on projector. Palace, the Chinese show on Hulu. Oh yeah~

In terms of making ugly faces, I never let him win the competition.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

On the Other Side of the Phone

I stayed home all day today to compensate for my upcoming working Saturday :) SWEET!

By the end of the day, my credit card was charged $539. The mysterious charge was from a hotel that I never heard of.

So, I called the credit card company. Well, actually my mom called the company since it's a Chinese card. And, report the strange charge. The end, my card got frozen and was claimed lost. Go, credit card company! Fight my money back ;)

Well, the juicy part is when I searched for the hotel and called them to report this charge on my card. The reception guy spent 10 mins trying to get my name right. It's so funny sometimes that people on the phone cannot get my Chinese name right. First of all, this guy kept spelling my name wrong. And then, they keep calling me Ms. Yin and then swtich to Ms. Mo...then Mo Yin, Yin Mo... 15 mins later......"That was a painful phone call for that guy." Kason smirked. We both laughed hard.

Working on the phone all the time now, I actually understand how that guy may feel. I have great sympathy towards him, so I wasn't frustrated at all. Instead, I felt very related ;)

Last week, a Spanish speaking lady yelled at me on the phone for about 1 minute (I am glad that she didn't swear at me) because I didn't find the Maria whom she was talking about. FYI, she had at least 5 Maria with very similar but different last names under her account. Looking back, I handled that situation pretty well. In the end, she apologized to me: "I am so sorry that I was so mean to you earlier. I bet all those Spanish names could be very confusing......" I did appreciate her apology and felt glad.

Working on the phone is not technically difficult, but indeed challenging. I'm so glad that I am put on the spot to practice my temper and patience.

People calls for help, in which, most of times, they are very frustrated. Guess what? It is so easy to be that person who is kind in person but difficult on the phone. Maybe it is human nature, not seeing the person's face makes it a lot easier to be mean or attacking the other side without even having a second thought. I am hoping that I can serve people on my job with all my best. Eventually, I hope that I can just be simply a nice person with charity in my mind, to everyone who is either great or ordinary like me. I noticed that I did start to appreciate people's services more than ever......I take a bus home after work almost everyday. Sometimes, some bus drivers are super nice and considerate. When they smiled at me, I instantly knew that they had great attitude on the job. However, it's just as obvious when one person is absolutely hating the job and just trying to do the service in order to check off the to-do lists.

Anyway, my job has been interesting. I thought I'd be doing the same thing over and over again. Surprisingly, every morning when I go to work, I still have this "butterfly" - or anxiety - in my stomach. Because, every call, I have a completely different person on the other side. There are different voices, emotions, manners, and stories. I often wonder what is going on in that person's life, behind that voice on the phone. Also, I question myself how I can make their day a little bit better. So far so good.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Things/People Who Inspire Me

I am pretty happy recently because I don't need to try to be happy anymore.

The feeling of satisfaction comes when I am stepping forward outside of my comfort zone, pressing forward proactively and feeling needed.

I feel Heavenly Father's love strongly at times. And, at times I felt He is there, close to me.

Three and half weeks ago, I could not fall asleep for some reason. I had questions about what I believe. And, I wondered if how I felt and what is in my mind is not just illusion. The questions marks in my brain were overpowering my good thoughts.
Night seemed so long.
I felt I needed some little miracle known from someone or somewhere unknown, telling me that God really is there watching over me.

Annnnnnnd, I MOST RANDOMLY found Katilette (an all-time inspiring youtuber/a cute, stylist, fun lady/ a mom of 4 children/ a truly nice person).
After this long, I could not explain the very special feeling I had watching this video. I certainly cannot express it in words very well. But this coincidence really touched my heart and made me tear in gratefulness and happiness. Looking back, it was not just the video itself - there was something so precious I felt warming my heart. I was so excited to feel this little miracle that I had to wake up Kas and share the testimony with him.
We were both amazed.

I hope this does not sound dramatic or weird to you. I knew that was real.

FYI, watch her videos.

My New Job Starting on My 23rd Birthday

I don't have that fancy job, but I am (and should be) soooo grateful for it.  It does not pay as well as my last part-time job, but it came perfectly in time.

Call center job is constantly under pressure. In the beginning 3-week-long training, it should be somewhat easier. However, answering calls from strangers always gets my nerves. I constantly hope that I won't receive angry calls anytime soon. Thus, my respect to customer service people of any type is soaring high.

Freebies at work are AWESOME! I got tons of free products every month - what a blessing! I love using them myself and giving the rest away to people I love as gifts.  I am a big fan of skin care products so I am so far in Heaven. Learning new products for me is very exciting. I guess I am never good at promoting things to people, so that's my new challenge that I am surprisingly excited about. I always want to be a good seller and the skill set behind is very applicable to almost all other jobs.

My birthday was great. I don't get excited about birthdays anymore, weird. I'm so glad that I got to hang out with Tara's cute kids on my birthday. At least, somebody was excited about my birthday, especially about my cake! Woohoo!! For example, Boston ;) He couldn't wait and ran to turn off the lights so that everyone could sing over birthday song in 2 seconds. And then, have some yummy cake! Madi was such a SWEET little girl - She made me a mini poster saying "Emma, you are a great aunt! Happy birthday." 

Kas's Passion at Work
I think guys are very attractive when they are deeply focused in things they work on. That's why I fell in love with Kason again and again when he was doing the tough cleaning at home, such as brushing off toilet stains. And, I am not joking ;)

I am generally impressed at people who have passion in good things, any good thing! Indeed having passion for work is such a positive energy in life. I am grateful for my intelligent husband who brings excitement to and from his work.

Well, most of times, when he got some particularly difficult programming tasks solved, he would be so thrilled to explain the processes to me - even though I could not digest much of it, I was happy to share his joy. Those moments usually reboost my energy in those average days and remind me of how wonderful it is to develope in things we love to do.

Rebecca and Her Boys 
 Rebecca's new baby, the 3rd, and I

 New baby was learning how to smile in his dream. I caught the moment.
 Max, her 2nd boy. He loves to call me "Emmaline". This smile is typically him, the sweetest boy that I have ever known.
 Karin and I

 Supermom Rebecca Plus 3

Rebecca, my good friend Karin's sister, had her baby boy 2 months ago when her parents were on a mission in Malaysia. I am SO glad that I was able to help her to run errands/go to grocery stores/ hold her baby boy while she watched her other two boys/ give her kids treats. In the time I had too much free time and not much to do, I felt loved when I was given chance to spend time with her, help her and feel that I can contribute! She really made a big part of my August so much better! I also learned what a young, patient mom should be like and how to teach children with love and light. No wonder why her boys are so sweet and polite.
We went to Costco yesterday after my work hour. Rebecca was so nice - She always said hi to people who gave samples to customers and thank them by their names (which is shown on their name tags). The boys would thank Costco employees whenever they tried something new, without their mom reminding them to do so.  Grant said "Thanks Lynn for your cheese..." after he swallowed a cheese sample with happiness. Children are precious.

Seth in Nursery 
Kason and I enjoy our calling in Nursery very much. Unlike a babysitting volunteer, we have to teach the little children about things we believe, in simple language, with the spirit.

The past month I saw such improvement in the relationship between us and those adorable children. They brought us lots of happy moments and unforgettable experiences.  I started to understand why we're taught to be like children.

There is a little boy Seth in our nursery. He usually had a special attachment to a father/uncle-type character in the room. So, he loved to hang out with Kason. He constantly talked about his daddy and how great it was to play with him. He would name a toy owl "daddy owl". When we asked the kids if they love their family, he jumped up and down and bursting out his answer "I love my daddy!"  If you pushed him further by asking "do you love your mommy", he would look away and made his statement clear- "I love my daddy!"

This boy has great manner. He never forgot to say "thank you" whenever. I firmly believe that his mom did a really good job as well, just as much if not even more than his dad.

Little children make my heart melt. Seth can easily crack me up. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Just Another Mountain to Climb

After peeling three big, whole garlic for more than half hour, defreezing the ribs in the hot water, marinated the meat and then frying them with garlic sauce in perfectly 40% heated oil, I pictured it be a delicious and nutritious meal......The meat keeps look weird and I keep telling myself something need to be added. Hours later, I simply found out the whole invented dish turned out to a plate of bitter taste trash. What's more? I smelled like a big garlic myself, talking about not being pretty!

The scene of "the sweet, elegant wife cooking delicious meal to her husband and getting a sweet thank-you kiss back" got destroyed when Kason walked in our home, laid on the couch and told me that the fried garlic smell is sort of making him sick. (Now when I think about that, he was probably just telling me the truth and felt tired after work. That was NOT  a big deal. But you guess can imagine how it could light me on fire?) Then, the picture got worse when I started to emotionally melt down like a furious, inpossible-to-understandable wife. I saw him hurt, confused and eventually refused to talk further.

Thankfully, a warm shower saved me from bad mood. I went to bad fairly early last night. In the morning, I read the sweet email that my husband sent me after the fight last night. It explains how he still feels for me, loves me and most importantly, understand me. I don't like to be cheesy. But, this was one of the moments that I was reminded how much I loved reading his letters and why I chose to marry him.

Naturally to everyone, at least to me, I occasionally feel lost and feel the need of having a uplifting boost in life, like something new, something sweet or something exciting. I'm unsure whether I am at a low point in my life because I don't want to recognize myself as a numb, ungrateful human being. So I call this time, a struggle.

A struggle to identify what the struggle really is. A struggle to progress and feel accomplished. A struggle to feel excelled in anything, anything at all.

After a relatively long, tiring time of waiting, wandering around, pondering about my strengths and the difficulty I am currently facing, I finally felt a little bit accomplished this week after passing my written driver license test and got my learner's permit.

Today I read my good friend Sisi's blog post, I am touched, speechless and amazed. I found it very inspiring to me. There are lots of success I seek after, such as having a good job, being a supportive and loving friend/wife, cooking great meals to my beloved husband every single day, keeping my home very clean and organized, looking good not lousy everyday, finishing my online course ASAP, getting a car and driving myself around without asking others for help....Day after day, I found myself failed mostly all of them.

I easily compete myself with the friends whom I admire and give myself no credit at all. Day after day, I start to lose my confidence and blame for the things that I don't do well. When the time hits, I mourn some more for even thinking negatively without actions.

Time to stop that cycle. The conclusion. Day after day, I considered only  financial problems, job searching stress, family issues.etc as glorified challenges from God. I thought other people's challenges are probably more meaningful/worthwell to worry about( Just to clarify, I am NOT saying those are better. So, I don't want other people's challenges either). As a person who faces none of the above, but cannot handle well having too much time and not being busy, I really need to recognize that this is my challenge at this time of my life. I need to deal with it with gratitude and faith. Then, I need to give myself credits when I am making progress and after trying my own best.

p.s. I never really post anything on this blog because I always frequently update my Chinese blog for the past 5 years. All my side of the family, friends and bunch of unknown readers loved my Chinese blog so I didn't care to start another blog. But, I figured it may be good to start a English blog for my husband, my American families and my future children who may not care or know Chinese well enough to read my blog(if that's the case, I'd be sad).

Life is good!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The McEwen's Thanksgiving Fun

I was excited for Thanksgiving break for a while before it actually arrived.

My travel document from USCIS is still an unknown issues (which is a pain), but KK and I were able to do our very best to fix the situation. Cross my fingers for getting my travel document in time and spending Christmas break in my motherland China...... Mama Panda has been looking for good places to take KK and me for food. She is way excited for KK to come back - I guess a daughter is less meaningful when she got a sweet/smart/handsome/nice son-in-law ;) Just to explain the situation, Mama Panda shipped him a winter package, filled with love, 3 nice sweaters and 1 heavy coat. I got nothing. I guess sweeter kids always got more candies from parents, and I am the spicy kind. Anyway, I love how my parents love KK so much, because I love him too <3

Going back to the Thanksgiving topic, my camera died and KK's camera did not have a memory card, so....I did not take any picture at all :(

Here is the video I took with my ipad. Suggest you to watch it in HD.

My sister-in-law Rachel made this turkey piƱata, and the kids certainly had lots of fun there. What's better than stuffing your pockets completely with candieeeees?! (Watch Madi here, she made me laugh :) Rachel always has creative and fun ideas!

Also, during the break, I was able to go on a girls' date with some of my friends, on Black Friday. Shopping is so fun when I can find great deals with other passionate shoppers. I don't like going shopping with people who don't like shopping. It would be a long, painful experience for shopping hater to wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait little longer...... I am grateful that KK let me have a fun day with my girlfriends. Shopping would certainly be a blizzard for him. I don't blame you if you don't like shopping, and you are not alone ;) By the end of the day, I was able to have lots of shopping done before we go to China.

Now, time to go back to school and rock!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Grandma Rawson and Her Mysterious Store

KK and I had a sweet date with Grandma Rawson. At least, I couldn't think of any better idea than spending time with Grandma this Friday night.

And yes, we finally watched the movie with her, after purchased the DVD and prepared for this movie night for so long. Cloudy with the Chance of Meatballs is a pretty funny movie that we love, but grandma fell asleep in her chair until the movie is almost over. She commented, "hmmm...this movie only borrowed the title from the book."

Grandma wanted to go downstairs when we were there. I was in shock of her "store" downstairs! That's like 10 year's food storage. She totally inspired me to use the commercial papers more wisely and clip the coupons out. Grandma was so cute! When we asked why she would keep so much food, she was putting the food cans in the racks(wow, she even has the racks that they have in grocery stores) and paused. She said :"well, before, I have grand children shop here. Now, I don't have have any grand children shop here anymore......So, if you guys see something you want, feel free to take some." Haha, I loved her humor. Truly, I am impressed by her mysterious store. I guess I am acting foreign here, but my family never did food storage in China.

About being super nice and humorous, KK has a wishful thinking that he wants to be a very nice old man when his hair turned grey. But on Friday, he got  a fortune cookie saying that "The older the crab, the tougher his claws." That was not fortune! Or, maybe it is for him, saying that he would be fusty and mean- that would really be a bad fortune for him ;)

Right before we left, Grandma also gave us half loaf of her homemade bread. I swear that is probably the best bread I have ever tasted. She even let me borrow one of her books to read over Thanksgiving break. The simple conversation we had with grandma really made me feel great peace and love inside, just like the feeling you have when you watch a heart-warming movie. We love her!