In case you live on another planet, the biggest sporting event in the world is taking place right now in Germany.  No, I’m not talking about the Olympics.  That was two years ago in Greece.  I’m talking about the FIFA World Cup.  Most know that soccer is something I enjoy tremendously, so I often get asked if I’ve been watching any of the World Cup games.  To the surprise of many, I’ve observed only small portions of a few games.  I’ve been keeping up a little through the wonderful world wide web.  With my new role as a father, soccer must take a backseat.  Fatherhood certainly does have its perks though.  Grace does a great job filling up the Pampers just after they’ve been changed.  No big deal.  We have hundreds.  Hearing dada from time to time is super cool even though she might not know what she’s saying (Let me believe).  She enjoys smearing egg yolk all over her face which cracks us up.  I should try it some time.  I think Grace would enjoy the bonding.  When I come home from Chinese lessons now there are always two smiles waiting for me that I can count on.  After we’ve done some mild wrestling on the bed she might spit up in excitement.  Maybe in the future, she’ll be like dad and do snot rockets on the pitch.  Continuing to squeeze my face with her iron grip despite my yelp of pain seems to be something she likes.  We have a tough one here.  I won’t be surprised if she drives on the old man one day and dunks the ball in my face.  I’ll respect it.  Grace is also excellent at slobbering all over the furniture.  I was guilty of that in my younger days too.  With all these perks for me to enjoy, I don’t mind missing World Cup games at all.

Mom isn't big on naps, but Grace and I are all about them.

Gotcha Week

It’s nearly midnight, and my wife and daughter are sound asleep.  Normally I zonk out before Megan, but my mind is thinkin’ a million things.  It has been quite a life-changing week.  You see I officially became a daddy on Monday.  When we return home to Tianjin on Saturday our second bedroom will no longer be a place of total quietness.  I now have a nine-month-old girl who likes to shake her head when filled with joy, clapping her hands to the sounds of music, and laugh with excitement when dada plays peek-a-boo.  The past 3 1/2 days we’ve been absolutely thrilled to see Grace’s personality get livelier and livelier.  We weren’t sure what to expect, but we’re pumped to see Grace attaching to us so quickly.  On day one Grace didn’t want me holding her, but now she is all about hangin’ with poppa.  With almost two months before I have to return to work, Megan and I are extremely thankful that Grace and I will have lots of time to hang out.  His timing is always perfect.  I’m blown away that our Father would allow me to be a father.  He has done great things for us, and we are glad.  He is GRACIOUS in all his works.  Xiexie Shangdi.

Mommy and Grace relaxing on the train.

Our Last Days Before We Become Three

Today was a really nice day.  Due to a much-needed shower, we were gifted with a gorgeous blue sky and puffy white clouds.  This is an uncommon sight due to all the smog that normally engulfs Tianjin.  With the sun coming out so quickly and blasting its rays, all the water in the streets dried up in time for my bike ride.  Sweet.  I had a great Chinese lesson in the morning.  Not exactly a regular thing for me.  Normally I walk away from class remembering that I have another 49,900+ characters to learn.  Not feelin’ sore from my workout yesterday.  Cool beans.  I’ve been able to get my lazy butt in the gym a lot lately.  I be in the zone.  My mid-afternoon nap was a very pleasant experience.  I realize that could be a thing of the past starting next week.  Read some from Ezekiel and Luke.  Need to get fed from both the Old and the New.  Our washing machine was fixed for only a few bucks.  That was quite a pleasant surprise.  We finalized our Wuhan hotel accommodations, translation services, and travel arrangements for next week.  We continue to countdown to Gotcha Day and are so thankful for all that have helped us through this process.  Went to one of the many TJ Starbucks tonight with Megan to cap off our June 7th.  Used coupons to obtain two free drinks –  an Espresso Frappuccino and a Green Tea Frappuccino.  These drinks are da diggity bomb, but they taste even better when they’re free.  A shout out goes to one of my students for the caffeine pick-me-up.  Also purchased some grub for 1/2 off due to the late hours.  Good eats.  On top of that, Megan didn’t want all of her drink so I got a bbbbonus.  Today was a really nice day.