It’s been close to a year since you’ve heard from me. 2016 meant a new job, new city, region, ending on a good note or two.
ZJ and I moved to Bismarck, N.D. in late January. I continue to work at The Bismarck Tribune as a copy editor. ZJ now shuffles between working at the U.S. Postal Service in Mandan during the day and Starbucks on evenings and Sundays. December means extra packages, deliveries so Christmas will be his first day off all month. A Jewish Christmas of hotpot, dumplings and a trip to the local Egyptian-themed theater are all part of the plan.
In January and February, Mother Nature treated us well with little snow, wind chills or low temps. Can’t say the same about this winter so far. A snowstorm dumped nearly 18 inches in Bismarck-Mandan three weeks ago. Wind chills of 30 to 40 below zero and temps dipping well below zero. Forecasts also suggest a Christmas Day storm will grace the area with 8-12 more, dropping temps to single digits again.
I’m accustomed to a township that prioritizes plowing while snow is still falling. Snow, now sheets of ice, litter many roads, including main thoroughfares to downtown. We live about a five minute walk from the Capitol grounds, the entry point to downtown Bismarck.
The parking lot at work is a real mess. A heightened sense of falling plagues me because my family is expanding. ZJ and I will welcome baby Zhang in mid-May. We go to the 20-week ultrasound appointment next week, however, we won’t be finding out the baby’s gender. You’ll all have to wait along with us.
Immigration Services also finally approved removing the conditions on ZJ’s status; he’s now a ten-year green card holder.
What else can I tell you about 2016? Too much Netflix, protests, and politics. Not enough time together, trips or traveling, socializing, coffee, and friends.
My parents and sister will be visiting us after baby Z arrives. I’ll be taking time off work to bond with baby and recuperate.
I’m hoping we can manage to return to China to visit with my in-laws, introduce baby Z.
In January, I’m going to take a hiatus from Facebook and make every concerted effort to stay off social media platforms for the duration of my pregnancy. This will not extend to WordPress.
There’s so much I miss about Xi’an and that’s why I’m renewing a blogging schedule. Posts you can look forward to reading:
- Comparing life in Xi’an, Bismarck
- A repat’s ramblings
- Two years later: Dealing with reentry culture shock
- Travel series focusing on Xi’an, other cities in China, U.S. I’ve visited, lived
- More AMWF posts
- China news and commentary
- Cooking Chinese at home series
- Book, film and podcast reviews
So here’s to 2017: motherhood, more blogging, connecting, reading and moving forward, whatever that last one may entail.
Wishing you all a happy holiday season. Until next year 😊！ 祝大家节快乐和元旦快乐！