1. A week of just me and Danielle shopping and spending time together. I love her so much. She’s my first sister ever and she’ll always hold a super special place in my heart. I remember the first time I officially met her. She had taken time out of her sister’s wedding week to hang out with me. It was outside the chapel house. And we went to the mall and ate Chickfila. We had many fun excursions after that first one.
2. Lots of just me and Josh and Danielle time. I’m just so excited about it being just us. I’m pretty sure I’ve never been in the same room with these two great people and not had a good time.
3. Chinese. As in the food. It’s just so good. And tastes nothing like the American version of Chinese food. Don’t be fooled. There are no fortune cookies. But they do have one thing right….Chinese people love their rice.
4. Chinese. As in the people. They’re just so adorable and tiny.
5. Chinese. As in the language. I love it oh so much. I can’t wait to cram in as much as possible in the time that I’m there.
6. Their team. I hear they’re pretty cool. I’m looking forward to getting to know them a little.
7. My birthday. I have a feeling it’s going to be a pretty memorable birthday.
8. Getting healthy. I hear they don’t eat much processed food in this family. I guess that’s a good thing. Mom is happy about this.
9. Skype. Even though I’ll be so far away from everyone I’m looking forward to some Skype chats with all my friends and family. I told mom I’d Skype her every day and show her the baby so she can see it grow. I guess that every day thing might have been an exaggeration.
10. Beijing. Josh and Danielle love Beijing so much. I’m hoping I fall in love with it too, seeing that I’ll be living there for a while.
11. That big pregnant belly. Pregnant women are the cutest. And Danielle will be hard to beat.
12. The baby. Oh, where to start. This one needs sub-divisions.
a. The birth. The excitement when she starts feeling contractions. And when we rush to the hospital. And adorable little Asian nurses running around. And Josh getting excited and nervous…because his firstborn shall come into the world in a matter of minutes. And how hard my heart will pound waiting for the new arrival. And the first time I hear that baby cry.
b. The first time I hold the precious baby in my arms. What an awesome moment. I hope I never forget it.
c. Watching the baby grow from a tiny newborn into a smiling little (but larger than before) baby.
d. Watching Josh and Danielle be parents. I know they’ll be such an awesome mom and dad. I would have to give my parents the number one rank…but I have a weird feeling Josh and Danielle might hold the second place spot.
e. Watching Josh sing to it. Word on the street is that he’s already singing to it. And if this baby is anything like me, they’ll light up at the very sound of his voice.
f. Taking pictures of him/her. I love pictures. I love taking pictures. I love babies. I know I’ll love taking pictures of this baby. And I know I’ll love posting pictures for the grandparents back home.
g. Knowing that I’ll never, ever let this baby forget that I was the aunt that saw it before their other aunts and uncles. That I was the aunt who saw it just moments after being born. That I was the aunt that played with it for the first few weeks of its life. That I was the first aunt that taught them to love math, board games, every single sport except Nascar, music, UNC, and most importantly, Jesus, our Savior.
h. Dressing it up. Whether it’s a boy or girl, I’m forcing it to let me play dress up with them.
13. Missing my family. How does this make me excited? It’s an indication of how much I love them. Even living here I miss the ones who aren’t in Greensboro…so much. I’ve shed countless tears over how much I miss my family. Not just the ones I see only about once a year. But also the ones who live right here in North Carolina, an hour and a half away. But the point is, not seeing them for two and a half months just might kill me. I can barely go a couple of weeks without seeing them and not having a breakdown. Literally. No joke. Yeah that’s how much I love my family. And that’s why I look forward to missing them.
(Sorry, Ashley, that you're not in this picture. We don't have a picture of all of us.)
14. The return. Why would I be excited about ending this amazing trip? See number 13. I also can NOT wait to see my mom's face when she sees us walking through the airport. I know Dad, Joe, Jordan, Granma, Grandaddy, and Danielle's family's expressions will be great too. But I look forward so much to seeing the joy on her face. No doubt many tears will be shed that day. But happy tears, mind you. And I know I’ll be so happy about seeing some of my favorite people who I haven’t seen in two and a half months.
15. The trip to China. How many 15 year old girls get to fly to China by themselves?! I love airplanes. And I love traveling. I’m super pumped.
Yeah I guess it would be safe to go ahead and say I’m ecstatic about going to China.