Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Day In The Life | Chasing Cherry Blossoms

Ready for another day in the life post - these are some of my most favorite (but most time consuming) posts to write, but they are the best to look back on hence why I put myself through this once a quarter (most of the time, I skipped 1Q because we were recovering from jet lag and the winter is the worst in China).  For those of you that are new, hi! I am Lauren :).  I am currently living in China with my husband, Wes,  and our two girls, Emma (5) and Everly (3.5).  If you are new here you might wonder how we ended up in China! We are originally from the Dallas, Texas area and we have now been living in China for just over a year.  If you want to learn more about our adventure, I answered some frequently asked questions about our expat assignment here and blogged about what we are loving and a few of our challenges six months in and most recently shared an updated question and answer session one year in.  

So with that introduction, here we go (I chose Saturday, April 8th for this post)!!

5ish am: Everly is stirring, I go into her and Emma's room (Emma was in our room because she wasn't feeling well the night before) and convince her to go back to sleep. It is much too early to wake up on the weekend.  She falls back asleep - yay!

6:59 am: Ev's is up again, roll over to look at my clock and realize that I have woken up exactly one minute before my alarm was set to go off at 7am. It is time to go, go, go - our driver is coming  8am which is early for us on the weekend, but we wanted to go ahead and go somewhere that is about an hour away from our house and we were attempting to beat the crowds.  From 7 - 8 am, Wes and I drank coffee, made Everly waffles for breakfast, painted Emma and Everly's fingernails and toenails (the night before Emma had found her nail polish that she picked up as her souvenir from Disney and would not let it do that she needed her fingernails and toenails painted), packed snacks, got the girls dressed, got the camera/strollers all ready to go, got ourselves ready.  It was a whirlwind of an hour.  After we were in the car, Emma told us that we forgot to get her breakfast. She wants blueberry waffles and pretzels so I rush back into the house to make her breakfast (to go, obviously).

8 am(ish): we are all in the car and headed to Phoenix Lake (earlier in the week Wes and I had both done independent google searches of best places to see cherry blossoms in Chengdu) and this was at the top of both of our lists.

9:15am: arrive at Phoenix Lake, our driver finds a spot to park and we unload and get ready to go.  We spent over four hours here and took way too many pictures so there are captions under most picture that cover the morning :).

^ out of the car and ready to go!! ^
^ I was happy to see so many cherry blossoms right away ^

^ my littlest lady ^
^ my biggest lady ^

^ cherry blossom close ups - I didn't realize how obsessed I was with finding cherry blossoms until we returned from Japan ^
^ Emma was in the best mood - evening smiling and posing for strangers ^
^ luckily, she saved her best poses/smiles for me ;) ^
^ I loved this little area where you could see the cherry blossoms peeking out and the rocks for the girls to climb on ^
^ she requested a picture of just her and Minnie ^
^ looking for fish ^
^ looking so ginormous here ^
^ I loved to put her hair in pigtails from 6 months onward (she had a lot of hair as a baby) so pigtails always bring her back to her baby days for me - which is why I think I am so obsessed with them ^

^ loved these flowers ^
^ but not as much as I love these two girls ^
^ my favorite picture of the day ^

^ sister smooch-a-looch for the win ^

^ smelling flowers ^
^ we had to go check out the swans that we had spotted a few pictures back. ^
^ you will see a theme in the following pictures - Ev's requesting her picture with Minnie ^
^ this age/phase of toddlerhood and pure innocence suits her well ^

^ what is better than a picture of her and Minnie? a picture of her, Minnie and our entrance ticket ;), per her request of course ^

^ my favorite picture of Emma from the day ^

^ Ev's got in on the cherry blossom action too! ^
^ proof that Wes and I were there too :) ^

^ the best part of the whole day for the girls was this waterfall that we found ^
^ they loved jumping from rock to rock ^
^ the exploring possibilities were endless at this park ^

^ Everly wanted to take a picture of the waterfall with my phone ^
^ this always happens to the girls and sometimes to Wes too - someone stopped and asked him for a picture ^
^ 'help me, mommy!' I hope she always reaches back for my hand... ^
^ once we were done we went back to fetch the strollers and this was our view ^
^ Ev's got a blister on her foot - but nothing a bandaid from dad couldn't fix ^
^ we found the cutest hearts ^
^ I loved this flower ^
^ these are my favorite adventures where there are so many things to do at every turn - it really keeps the girls attention ^
^ we called these fire tulips - Wes and I both want these for our house at home! ^

^ we spotted boats - the girls wanted to take a boat out so we walked over to give it a try ^

^ and of course we picked up some fish food only to find out there were no fish in this part of the lake ^

^ we did find black swans though ^
^ and attempted to feed them our fish food ;) ^
^ I am not sure I have ever showed you this before, but it is the different signs in china (I am not sure if they call them zodiac signs here or not?) like the pig, rooster, rat, etc. and you spin this to see which one you land on and that is the sugar candy/sucker thing you get.  The girls love these and we see them at different things so we had tried this before. This time Emma got a rat and Everly got a rooster. ^

^ favorite cherry blossom picture of the day ^
^ I was hoping we would find a cherry blossom lined street just like this! The only problem - the girls were starting to be completely over having their picture made. And they just wanted to eat their sucker. ^
^ I convinced Emma to give twirling a try (I am going to get her an A for effort though), but she ended up breaking her sugar lollipop thing so we moved on ^
^ I found a similar street with less people so we decided to try pictures again - want to know what you can't see in the picture above?? ^
^ Everly standing behind Emma giving her best pout ^
^ it makes me giggle every time I look at it ^
^ we rectified Emma's broken sugar lollipop situation and low and behold, she spun the dragon! the most lucky and biggest prize on the board (these are less than $1USD just in case you are wondering) ^

^ which made her pretty delighted ^ 
^ Everly wanted ice cream ^
^ for our last stop of the day, we found some fish to feed so we could finally use up our fish food ^

^ tippy toe life ^

^ the girls each picked out a toy - these little caterpillars and Evsie's wanted her picture with the caterpillar before we wrapped up our visit ^

1:30ish: we were famished (mainly Wes and I because we opted out of the treats in favor of a nice lunch), we texted our driver to let her know we were ready to leave and we got into the car and headed south to eat at a new-to-us bar-b-que restaurant that we had heard really great things about, but that we had not tried in the year we have been here - Iron Pig.

Oh my goodness gracious, it was so delicious! Not pictured is the brisket - we gobbled it up because it came out first, the biscuits served with honey and a mojito for me and a long island for Wes.  Biscuits are so hard to find here and these were divine! We had a lot of leftovers, but that was perfectly ok with us ;).

Next, we headed down the street and picked up some fruit.  Our strawberry loving girl was in strawberry heaven.

Between 3:30 and 4 we arrived home and the girls ate the fruit they had picked out.

I took a nice hot shower (I was feeling yucky from all of the humidity here) and we snuggled up on the couch for some downtime.

Before too long, the girls convinced us to take them on a bike ride and caterpillar hunt.  This is Emma's container that she likes to capture them in, play with them a bit and then (hopefully) release them back to their home.

Riding bikes and scooters is one of their favorite springtime activities.

After this experience, I will never take blue skies for granted!

Eventually they switched out their bikes and continued riding.

Do you see the glorious sun!! The winter was challenging and quite brutal so we are very pleased with the better conditions.

6:30ish: we call up Emma's bestie and leave her a message to see if she wants to meet us at the playground.  Wes takes the girls down on the scooter while I walk because frankly I had enough of pushing them around in their stroller all morning ;).  Emma's friend meets us there and the girls get right to playing.

Emma brought her magnatiles (sp?) and the girls build a castle for their princess.

They garner quite a bit of attention on the playground ;).

Emma wanted to walk L home, so we walked for a bit and once she was home, Wes took the girls home on the scooter as I continued to walk.

8:00ish: home and Emma requests her 'midnight snack'.  She always calls her snack before bed midnight snack which just cracks me up.  She chose frozen peas and corn which is what she chooses most nights.

8:30ish: the girls are in bed - it is Wes's night to put the girls down (we alternate every other night) and I am always delighted when it is his night ;).  I get into bed for some downtime/internet browsing while he puts them down.  I can't remember exactly, but we go to bed about 10ish this evening.

Whew! If you made it to the end of this post, you are a rockstar! We had a great day and I am so glad I recorded it :).


  1. those pouting pictures of Everly are everything. lol, so cute.

  2. So funny that you get asked to take picture with strangers - guess ya'll are rockstars in Chengdu. Great shots of the cherry blooms and flowers and of course of the girls. Looks like a fun day!

  3. That park you went to in the morning looks so awesome! Also, so strange that you and the girls have your picture taken by strangers all the time.

  4. Beautiful flower pictures. I love Evs pout, but am a little disappointed the wig didn't make an appearance.