English is NOT his FIRST language…..

Have you ever had an AH HA moment? An epiphany? A moment of clarity that made you see things clearer? I had one of those moments today.  Those of you who read my about me page know that I am married and that my husband is Chinese. We have been married for almost 6 year now. Before I got married I had this romance novel, hollywood love story idea about marriage. Despite the fact that both my mother and my father together have been married over 8 times. I grew up being shown that marriage was overrated and not something that an intelligent self-loving person would choose.

I guess you could say that my mother and father weren’t the best examples of love, marriage, and harmony. Even with that, books and movies made me feel like real true romantic love was possible and waiting for me.  Life had other plans for me. Before I could find love, or before it could find me, responsibility took control of my life. It wasn’t until years later that I would discover that love didn’t make me a priority because I didn’t make it one. I was too busy for love and dating, and when I finally had time, love was to busy for me. Once I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and focus on me, love came. Okay fast forward. What I didn’t know was that marriage is a fulltime job. It is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year gig. It takes patience, communication, compromise, and so much more. It is hard work.

My AH HA moment. So one of the biggest challenges in our marriage is communication and understanding. Up until today I thought that my husband at times was intentionally ignoring me, and not listening to me. This has been the cause of many heated discussions. There are so many cultural differences and  of course our strong personalities also play a role. Commuincation is important. We run a business together. We spend ALL day together literally.  So the ignoring me thing sets me off quickly. We spend wayyyyy to much time together for that to be okay.

So today, as we were packaging the orders for the day. I told my husband which cookies belonged to which order. I placed them in order and told him 3 times which ordered belonged to who. Now no one wants another person underfoot when you are trying to complete your job, so of course I get out of his way. I handle the baking and he handles the packaging and shipping. Long story short, he calls me back into the room to ask me a question. I answer the question and inspect his work. I notice that something isn’t right. He mistakenly mixed two orders Now I made sure to tell him 3 times which cookies belonged to which order.

 

It dawned on me that he didn’t make that mistake because he had ignored me. it was because he didn’t understand. Although his English is near perfect, there are still moments that he just simply doesn’t understand. so from now on I need to make sure that he not only hears me, but that he also understands.

What a growth moment……

Be blessed my dears…….

 

 

 

And the story continues…..

So, where was I? Oh yes, I remember now. I came here to teach and travel, but after a while it started to weigh on me. I couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t what I was meant to do. There is a tremendous difference between doing what you love and doing what you are good at. I was good at teaching, but I didn’t love it. What I loved was baking.

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I learned to bake and cook at My Grandmother’s Kitchen Culinary Institute.
Directly after high school I moved in with my grandmother. She told me that she was lonely and needed the company. I suspected that she secretly knew that she was ill and wanted to spend as much time as possible with me. I didn’t mind. My only plan was to attend the local university, and I knew that I could do that living with her. Besides, she was one of my favorite people.

I lived with her for 3 years. Shortly after moving in, she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. I am so thankful that I lived with her. I was blessed with the honor of nursing her and taking care of her until she passed away. I learned so much about life and baking from her. That is why I love to bake today. Everytime I bake I feel like she is standing right next to me guiding me along every step. When things turn out the way that I want, I can see her smiling with pride. When things turn out less than I had hoped for, she is there still smiling and encouraging me to try again.

I remember when I made my first apple pie. She had gone out for the day and I decided that I wanted to surprise her. I spent what seemed like hours upon hours on it. When I finally took it out of the oven I was so proud of myself. I placed it in the center of the dining room table and eagerly waited for her to return. When she came through the door I rushed towards her with a hug, like always. She walked in and placed her purse on the table. The first thing that caught her eye was my pie. She smiled and soon her smile turned in laughter that she seemed to be working hard to control. I grabbed some plates so that she could get the frist piece.

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She ate the entire piece without saying a word. It was killing me. I wanted to scream, “why are you torturing me.” She finally told me that it was the ugliest apple pie that she had ever seen, but that it was absolutely delicious. We must have laughed an entire hour about my ugly pie. She was right. It was UGLY! The next few hours passed with her teaching me the proper way to make pie dough. Those were good times and great memories.

Anyway, I had great friends here that encouraged me to start a business baking. I wanted to, but truth be known I was afraid. I was also going through a rough patch in my marriage.  7 years in China had passed and I had not been back home even once. I was homesick and sad. A much needed trip home and engouraging friends was just what I needed to give me the right push.

Last Christmas I baked some gifts to give to a friend and from there my dreams started to materiaize. I now bake fulltime, no more teaching…….

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Well, I left out out so much, but those are blogs for another day. Rest easy my friends and be blessed.

My very first blog post

This is my very first blog post. You have no idea how excited I am. Thanks for reading. Where do I begin? So, I told a little about me already in the about section. I guess I should use my first blog post to go a little deeper. So here goes…

Okay, I came here for the same reason that a lot of people do, to teach English and travel. It’s as simple as that. I didn’t come because I was a loser back in Atlanta. Surprisingly enough, that’s what a lot of Chinese people think. I had a fabulous apartment and a good job that I was great at. A job might I add, I had done for almost a decade.

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If you read the about me section, then you know my back story. I came because I was missing me. I had spent so many years taking care of other people, that I neglected myself.  I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. Even though I was good at my job, it was boring. The kids were grown and no longer needed me as much. They had built there lives and family. Moving to China to teach and travel was my way of doing something for me. I wanted something new and adventurous. Guess what? I found it.

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I planned on living in China for two years at the most, and then I would move to Europe. The best laid plans, as they say. Enter Lawrence my husband and exit my plans. My short 2 years turned into almost 9.

In the beginning teaching was fun and exciting. I loved my students and the hundreds of questions that they always seem to have. Now just because English is your first language, doesn’t mean that you can teach it.  Many teachers come here thinking that it’s a breeze. Some don’t even care about really teaching. They come to do the least required, get a salary, and get laid. Don’t get me wrong, not all are like that, but a lot of them are. Anyway, I just wanted to do a great job, make money, and spend money traveling.

About 3 years into teaching I got married and things changed for me. I went from being free and single to being devoted and married. I started to realize that I needed to think about my family’s future. Now that I had someone other than myself to think about, I had to make serious adjustment to my way of thinking and living. Now, what I really wanted to do was bake. I wanted to start my company and work for myself. As long as you are working for someone else you are building their dream, not your own. It was time for me to build and work towards my dream. Well, it didn’t happen right away. It took many years and a good swift push from a good friend for me to finally step out on faith and start my business.

Goodness there is so much to tell. I am going to stop here. I will be back tomorrow with more.

My friends, sleep well if you are in the east and have a great day if you are in the west, all others be blessed.