Christmas in Newfoundland begins

Hi friends,

I hope the beginning of the holiday season is full of a ton of fun for you and your family. We are still loving living in St. John’s. We absolutely LOVE being so close to our family and friends and living in this beautiful city. The slower pace has been a welcome change, as well. It feels so good to be home. Especially now that we are kicking off the Christmas season! The girls are so excited to be home. Julia has been praying for snow for at least two weeks and last night, her prayers were answered. 😁😁

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We spent the weekend hauling out our Christmas decorations from storage and started decorating the house. I love the glow of Christmas lights.

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Last night we went to Stella’s Circle for their Light Up Hope event. This organization does amazing things for the community. Check out their website to read about the many ways you can get involved and support this organization – http://www.stellascircle.ca. Their message of HOPE is an inspiring one for the holiday season and year round. The cider, hot chocolate, candy canes, Christmas carols and treats from the Hungry Heart were a hit with my family. ❤️❤️

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I am heading to Shanghai on Sunday to sort through everything we have in storage at a friend’s house and basically have a garage sale. Only I would travel half way around the world to have a garage sale. 😂😂 But seriously……Shanghai friends, I have a lot of good stuff to get rid of. I’ll be in touch on wechat. I can’t wait to see my SH peeps and have some Taiwanese noodle soup. Yummy! ❤️❤️

Wherever in the world you are, I hope you are enjoying beautiful time with your tribe. This is such an optimistic time of year and the world could use more of that.

Until next time!

Only joy, only love,

Michelle

xo

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Ellen is my Human Xanax 😁

Hello friends,

I hope you are having an amazing weekend wherever you are in the world. Sending out love from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

I was once referred to as a Human Xanax. I took it as a compliment. Having a calming effect on people and situations. Can’t be a bad thing. 😀

Well, Ellen Degeneres is my Human Xanax. I’m not kidding. Those days when doubt and worry seem overwhelming, I sit down with a cup of coffee and put on the Ellen show. So many beautiful stories, a great stress reliever and a nice break of pure enjoyment, love, laughter and all that is good in this world. After watching, I am then in a better headspace to take on any challenges for the day. I often watch the same episode with my daughters, ages 6 & 10, when they are having their after school snack and my husband always joins in when he’s free. I love that we can watch it together and we are all belly laughing. Although it has taken my youngest daughter a little time to warm up.  She was getting a little irritated that she couldn’t watch Horrid Henry immediately but being a family is all about compromise, right? And she is not resisting the Ellen show as much as she use to. Those who know my youngest personally will surely be able to picture this scenario. 😂😂

Even the days that you think you feel fabulous already, Ellen will make you feel even better. Thank you so much, Ellen! We love you and wanted to give you a shout out for being totally awesome. ❤️❤️

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I also wanted to share a photo of my three favorite people. They are my heart and soul and bring me joy and love every day…and sometimes a little aggravation.  I mean, some days, I practically have to go berserk to get the girls out of the house in a timely fashion but hey….a momma’s gotta do what a momma’s gotta do. haha

Until next time!

Only joy, only love,

Michelle

xo

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Free Child Labour :-)

What do you do when you have a house full of youngsters?  Send them out in the backyard with rakes and bags.

A definite pro to having children.  And the funny thing is that in the morning my mother texted and asked me to help her prepare for her stamping class so I helped her out for a couple hours in the day. Free child labour through the generations. haha

And the moon was incredible last night.

We are looking forward to Glenn getting home tomorrow night.  He’s been away for 3 and a half weeks and it feels like 3 years! We are doing good and have enjoyed our girl time but there is a lot of estrogen in this house. Glenn balances us all out. 🙂 I have a tremendous amount respect for the single parents out there.  It is A LOT! You are superstars!

Happy Friday, friends.

Until next time!

Only joy, only love,

Michelle

xo

 

 

 

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My first post on www.onlyjoyonlylove.com and my last (for a while) on www.shanghaiorbust.com

Writing is therapeutic for me. It helps me process, appreciate, learn and connect with people. I truly love it. I have been desperately wanting to write over the past few months and tried but could not get more than a few notes down. Total writers block. It’s like I was in a bit of a fog. That fog is finally lifting. I think I was too busy and my brain has been in overdrive. Let’s face it….we’ve had a bit of a shit year but we are coming out the other side of it. 😁😁

We have moved back to St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada for an undetermined amount of time. Could be a year or could be forever. Either way, we are so happy to be home. It is a beautiful and special place and we are surrounded by the love of our family and friends here. Our daughters are adjusting really well and loving their new school but they do miss Shanghai. Last week, I asked Georgia if she loved being back in our house and she said “Yes, I especially love it when it is filled with my friends and cousins”. How sweet is that! ❤️❤️

For those who don’t know, St. John’s has a population of about 250,000 people. Quite a difference from 26 million in Shanghai.  Here it takes minutes to get everywhere and I love driving again. Grocery shopping is a joy and I have a full size washer and dryer. After three years without one, we finally have a dishwasher again. Oh and the glorious clean water from the tap and the ease of washing fruits and vegetables in that tap water. I have gained hours in my day from reduced travel and vegetable washing time. It’s incredible. My friends in Shanghai will appreciate that! 😂😂

Since we are no longer in Shanghai, I have decided to put http://www.shangahiorbust.com on hold and start writing on my new blog www.onlyjoyonlylove.com. Although there are parts of this past years journey that make me really sad, I cannot be sad about the journey itself. The experiences, the joys, the tremendous growth, loads of laughter and plenty of tears and swearing but most importantly, love. So much love and kindness. I feel like this is a new chapter for our family and I am choosing to focus on what brings me joy and love in my everyday life. www.onlyjoyonlylove.com will be my space to do that and share snipets of some of my favorite people, places and things that bring me joy, make me laugh out loud or sometimes shed a tear.

And I fully realize that life is messy and there can be a lot of shit in between all that joy and love so you can expect some humour as I deal with all that as well.

A huge thank you to my friend Monica who encouraged me to get the domain http://www.onlyjoyonlylove.com months ago. It’s just been sitting there waiting for me to be ready.

Hope you’ll follow along with me there. Sign up for posts to be sent directly to your inbox 🙂

Until next time!

Only joy, only love,

Michelle

xo

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