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I write novels, eat dark chocolate, raise three children, love my husband, scrub toilets, ignore the laundry, and love a good story, but hardly ever in that order.



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Friday, December 21, 2012

Traveling Mercies

Travel during the holiday season is not for the faint of heart. We just returned from a quick trip to Dallas to visit our brand-spanking-new nephew, Nathan. Here he is. I dare you to not make cooing noises.
Is there anything better than holding a newborn and kissing the little crease between his neck and his fat cheek? Can't stand it. ALMOST makes me want to procreate once more, but then I mention this to Marc and he becomes very still and very pale, and I let it go. One needs a husband and one must know one's husband's body language for "about to lose it."

Nathan is getting ready for a grand adventure, as his mom and dad, Marc's brother Scott and his wife Laura, are preparing to move to Papua New Guinea as Wycliffe Bible translators. We are so, so proud of them and of their guts, gumption and obedience. We also will be hoping they can avoid going through the Atlanta airport.

Did you know Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is the busiest in the world? These are fun facts you pick up when you miss connections because of engine troubles on phantom planes that never arrive in Dallas and then wander the busiest airport in the universe with three children and one husband who are in dire need of naps. You also learn survival strategies when you have to cross the hallways, which are so congested with people wearing Christmas sweaters and jingle bell earrings, you fear for the life of your four-year-old as she scampers across. Thea looked like she was living a live-action game of Frogger, terrified eyes bugging and toting her Barbie backpack behind her.
All those crazy people trying to kill my preschooler, however, should not be blamed for their behavior. After all, most of them were just trying to get to their loved ones to celebrate Christmas. My little sister and her family recently moved out of state, and I'm not sure how to do Christmas without Lindsay. I've been thinking about how much we are built to want family, biological and otherwise. We go to great lengths to find family, wherever we are. We go through Atlanta, even though that means risking our lives. We find new family when our first families are far away. Our new "daughter," Tse Ling, is a student at a nearby university. Much to her own peril, we are her host family while she's studying in the States. Tse Ling hangs out with us once a month or so and gets to experience American culture after we've made it thoroughly unrecognizable and loud. So far, she has endured trick-or-treating, Thanksgiving, and Christmas lunch, all while trying to extricate Thea from her personal space.
We are happy to be her family away from her home in Malaysia.  We hope she isn't scared of us.

So as you find your family this Christmas, whether that family is by blood or spirit, I wish you well. Hug each other hard, love each other beautifully, and Godspeed as you make your way to each other.


  1. I concur on the newborn issue, and also the Atlanta airport is a doodoo head.

  2. And people you spend a week with in a foreign country seem like family too. Newborns are fought over in my house by all six of us. Not kidding. If they only stayed newborns longer and less like whiny two year olds. Wasn't the Atlanta airport more fun in October except when we had to say goodbye. I am beginning to ramble, must go.

  3. Oh sis! We're missing you guys already. Love you and Merry Christmas fam!

  4. Dear Kim, Merry Christmas to you and family. Wishing all of you sleep well and eat well. I am Elaine here -Tse Ling's Mother. My daughter is so lucky to have such a great host family far away from Malaysia. She always mentioned to me that her host family are superb friendly. She is not scared of you guys for sure. She likes your lovely kids very much.
    Agreed with you, family isn't by blood only, by spirit and love is the " same same" as a good family.
    Really appreciate your kindness and friendliness given to her and also the yummy American food given to her.
    Thanks a lot and take care. Regards, elaine