Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Braces are the best!

So here I am, a little bit over a year ago with braces....yes, I totally look like a 15 year old. I work at an Orthodontist office(I still will have my job when I get back from China...you are the best Dr. Swenson!) and it took 2 years for me to finally give in and get them. I was in for a big shock! I finally understood what our patients were going through! Braces feel so weird. When you work at an Ortho office you realize the imperfections in your own teeth, and so I gave in to this torture. You can all laugh, I remember when my brother first saw me he said "hey tin grin, how are ya?" I am sure Robb felt a little awkward kissing me, and eating was a chore, because I always took so much time cleaning out the food in my braces(I wish some of our patients would be so kind to do so before I untie them). Any who, I thought I would share this awesome picture with you...It may bring thoughts of middle school and high school to your mind, accompanied with memories of your own braces fiascos

My Blobby

What would I do with out this dimpled grin?

So here is to the love of my life...Robb also called Blobby(his brother Ryan called him that when they were little, plus Robb has the cutest baby picture ever with his legs sticking out of his crib with about 20 rolls up his legs). Love is patient, love is kind and that is Robb to a tea. Old boyfriends out there would agree I am not the easiest girl to deal with, but somehow Robb knows just what to do...that is just one reason I am sure we found each other. Robb LOVES to play soccer, and comes home with battle wounds...I am always greatly concerned. Robb loves juice...grapefruit, grape, apple, coconut, orange and all the flavors in between. He loves healthy food, but not because it is healthy, but it tastes better to him!(man I wish some of those taste buds could transfer to me, since I love everything unhealthy!) Robb loves Church...he has dragged me there on more than one occasion, and he has an amazing testimony. Robb loves singing out loud and has changed the lyrics to a number of famous songs(it always makes me giggle). I could go on forever about my guy, and I am sure you will come across another post about the greatness that is Robb, so to spare the sticky sweetness that are my thoughts on Robb I will lastly say that Robb loves me for me. He always thinks I am pretty and seems to be blind to the flaws that cover my body(a few too many dimples, and not when I smile...) I love you Robb-buh buh!

Hong Kong

Long time no post....there has been a lot going on. Robb and I went to GuanZhou and ZhongShan for a business meeting Robb had, and then took the ferry to Hong Kong. It was an absolute blast! We stayed in the Patron housing near the temple(We are poor students, and it was 28 u.s. dollars per night for both of us) and it was quite the experience. You can see the bunk beds in on the pictures above. There are two sets to a room, and Robb and I shared the bottom one in this picture....we are used to sleeping on small beds, I just got to cuddle with my hubby a little more than usual! We attended four sessions and each did Initiatory's and I have to say it was the most amazing temple experience of my life(next to marrying most amazing guy in the world). We got a picture with the Temple President...President Goo. The Hong Kong Temple reminds me the Manhattan New York Temple. Church is held on the second floor, and the Temple is on a busy street in between apartment buildings and such. We met some saints for Thailand who were going through for the first time ever....some of them were grandma's, and I was amazed by their commitment and faith. Vio(pictured with Robb) is 29 and from Thailand, going through the Temple for the first time. He is the only member in his family, and is an incredible individual. It is pretty cute when he talks because he says "Lobb" instead of Robb. The last picture of us is coming back on the subway, after finding out the we couldn't go to Ocean Park. We were so excited to go to this Amusement Park/small zoo, but when we got to the bus station, no more buses were going to Ocean Park because it would close in 2 hours. We were pretty bummed, and so we documented our disappointment. Hong Kong is amazing. It was super humid, and hence, Robb and I got some serious back sweat(especially when we wore the back pack). People get fined for spitting and smoking in most places, and so it was a most refreshing change from Mainland China. OH, and they serve sausage, egg, and cheese mcmuffin all day long at the McDonalds in Hong Kong...mmmmmmm.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Five Chinese Men....

Sorry it has been so long since my last post, Robb and I have been traveling to other parts of China having some unforgettable experiences! Update on Bear: She is fine, has placenta previa and is in the hospital for the next month...(She is going nuts as she has three sweet kids at home that she can't love on, so please keep her in your prayers still...Thank you so much friends)

Allrighty-Roo! On April 13th Robb and I took a 17 hour train ride to GuanZhou for a business meeting that Robb had in Zhonshan. We took a sleeper train and were unable to get soft sleepers(four beds to a room) and thus were left to fend for ourselves with the hard sleepers(six beds to a room). I knew I would be okay as long as I had Robb in the bunk next to me....we boarded the plane and come to find out our beds were in two different rooms! AHHHHHH! My bed was the top bunk of five other bunks in the room filled with Chinese business men. Panic button! Robb had some Chinese people in his room that spoke English and he had the bottom bunk, so I hung out at the "cool table". I tried not to drink too much water as to avoid any bathroom experience I may encounter, but come one....I am a girl and my bladder is TINY! Plus I am not sure I know anyone who can hold it for 17 hours...and if you can or you know someone who can, I want to know them! I venture down the train to find the bathroom and hesitantly open the door to the germ-filled unknown and I saw a toilet in the floor, a bar in front of it half way down the wall and what seemed to be water and dirt wetting the floor I now stood on(okay...I am sure it wasn't water, but I had to use the power of thought) There was no way I could hold it, as much as I wanted to after seeing what lie before me and so it began. The first and only time I had squatted in my life was on a camping trip with my bro and sis-in-law and the woods were much cleaner than this room I was trapped in! I pulled down my pants(sorry if this seems graphic) and was grateful for that bar that was in front of me as I held on for dear life and leaned back to make certain I stayed dry. As I held on with my left hand, I finagled some toilet paper with my right hand with a prayer in my heart that my feet would not slip out from under me and I fall in....This story ends well, as I survived, but was extremely traumatized and had one more horrible experience with a Chinese potty where I actually cried....but I am alive! (Although I am certain I am coming down with some disease as I write, because of the germs in those toilets that could only be truly known with a microscope) Robb the wonderful husband that he is, offered to sleep in the room with the five Chinese Men, and I got the bottom bunk with our new found friends...he is a sweet heart! I am posting some pictures of our trip to this great city in China and our new friends we made along the way. Pigeon heads, shrimp with their eyeballs, fresh water market and much more proved to be a time I will never forget!

Friday, April 11, 2008


This post is for my beautiful, incredible, amazing sister-in-law. Her name is really Cherilyn, but we all call her Bear....and A Booba is something my awesome brother Dave(her hubby) puts on the end of every name...it is a term of endearment. Bear is due on May 25th with her fourth child, and third boy. I received an email from my sweet Mom at 12:30am Mountain time and I was surprised at how late it was. Bear came home from a night of playing with my other brother's kids when she started to hemorrhage profusely and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. She has a condition known as Placenta Previa, and will most likely deliver the baby within 2 weeks if not sooner. I am no baby expert, but I have been researching it on the computer and the lungs are not developed completely in the baby. What can I do here in China for my sweet sis-in-law?!?! Anyone that knows Bear loves her...and for those of you who are seeing her picture for the first time will agree she radiates! She is amazing and I love her to pieces. Please pray for Bear and her family in this difficult and scary time. If there ever was a woman, who IS the definition of love, patience, humility, and faith, it is Cherilyn Gillett Pinegar. I love you Bear! (I love you Dave, Carson, Kessley, Tayson, and baby boy)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Monkey Business

Do I look a little scared here? These pictures were taken our second week here in China. We had just gone out to eat at a Thai restaurant with some people from our Branch and we were walking home for the night after a delicious cup of Cold Stone ice cream when we passed this guy and his monkey. There are a lot of people here that beg, and this guy had a bowl out by him and a rope around his monkey. I was so shocked that I was staring at a live monkey, so I went to get my picture taken with him and it was crazy! Thank goodness I had a hoodie on because the monkey kept biting my arm, and would look at me and cock his head back and open his mouth like he was going to attack my face! It was quite the experience....and I came home and washed every article of clothing I had on. I only wish I had taken a picture of the guy with his monkey because I think you could have seen it better. Maybe we will run into these two again, and I will take more pictures. I want a pet monkey!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

For Chloe

This post is for Chloe...she is the sweetest dog on the planet, no contest. She was given to me on Mother's day 3 years ago by Robb and his mother. My mother-in-law Sandra had Chloe first for about 3 years. I am grateful everyday for this sweet little dog. She is the runt of her litter, and her left leg dislocates when she walks on it so as you can see in this picture, she holds it up. When we take her to the park and she runs about, she uses it. You look at her and she is so small, but you would be shocked to know that she is quite the bed hog! Sometimes I think she feels she is married to Robb because she is always sleeping between Robb and I and most often than not in Robb's arms. She loves her dad! She will snuggle under the covers and when she gets too hot, she comes out and literally plops her head down on Robb's pillow. I miss her so much! My sweet mother-in-law is watching her while we are here in China and she has been so patient while Chloe gets used to her new surroundings(there have been more than a couple of accidents...) Thanks Sandra! Chloe has also never barked before...She doesn't know how, but she does know how to whine and it melts my little heart. Chloe thinks she is the toughest dog on the block, especially with her little stuffed toys that she shakes in her mouth and throws off the bed. It is amazing how much pets become part of the family. She seriously has the sweetest little spirit and she loves us unconditionally. We love you Chloe and can't wait to take you to the park in May! XOXOXO

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Yu Yuan Gardens

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Hey all! These are a few pictures from our outing last Friday with two of Robb's class mates. CC has the longer hair and Kokia is wearing the hat in one of the pictures. Kokia took us to Yu Yuan Gardens which is a huge street market where you can buy pretty much anything. It gets to be quite the maze as you get towards the center of it all. On our way to the gardens, we took a bus and on the way there was a woman who must have gotten bus sick, because she whipped out this small plastic bag and started dry heaving....and I swear it sounded like she was throwing up hair balls. It was so hard to hear that I had to cover my mouth once, or else I may have grabbed that darn bag from her. Kokia saw me getting kind of sick, so she moved us toward the front where we stood and waited to get off. I felt sorta bad for the lady, because it is not fun being sick, and the person sitting next to her got up and moved to a different seat. I hope she feels better! We bought Robb a helmet for him to wear while he rides his scooter when we get home, and I took a picture of him with one on(the one we bought is black with a red start). The had some other colors, but black is totally stealth. The lady told us she could go no lower than 300 RMB which is about 42 dollars. We haggled her down to 150RMB, and she told Kokia and CC that they should be helping them and not us because we are foreigners! We ate at this little restaurant within the main part of the gardens and I was nervous. I do not do well with different food, I have a pretty sensitive gag reflex, and when we walked in Kokia said she would pick some stuff out for us. She showed me a bowl of steamed snails with their shells and asked me in all seriousness if I would like them...I had to tell her no, I don't eat snails. We ended up finding some stuff to eat and it was all stuff I hadn't eaten before. We got these dumpling type things that had cooked snail meat inside of them. Robb loved them, and kept trying to get me to try one....I eventually bucked up and tried one, so I wouldn't be such a woose, and it was good! I ate snail! We went to another shop to buy some Chinese art and we were haggling and had to walk out because they wouldn't give us the price we wanted, and the lady said in Chinglish that we were clever...one guy in the shop gave us the price we wanted and she crustied us all the way down the street! I was laughing so hard! Things here are amazing. I seriously wish I could bring all of you here and we could discover things together! My words and pictures do not come close to describing the things I see and experience here. Thanks for taking the time to visit our blog. It brings me happiness posting these things and sharing some of our life with others. Until next post....