Oh sure, there are the days I still wear my winter coat and get blasted with wind and say "it shouldn't be like this in MARCH!" (Southern girl that I am!) But we've had more and more lovely weather and enjoyed more walks on campus to see the flowers, like the pictures in this post from last week.
Our VPN was down for 10 days again, so we were without access to Blogger, anything Google, Facebook, and Youtube. Thus, the sudden quiet on this blog. If you live somewhere where you can go to any site on any device without any problem, be grateful. You don't realize what a blessing it is to have open internet until you live somewhere where things are restricted.
But... spring. We're all so glad to get out of the house without heavy jackets when we can! On really nice days, Ryan leaves work 30 minutes to an hour early to really let us enjoy it as a family before we lose the sun.
God answered prayer. This apartment was so one million times warmer than our first one. We could get by with just a sweater and I usually didn't even need to wear slippers, unless I was doing laundry. Someday I look forward to a laundry room not located on a porch! ;) But it was minor in comparison to last year. Despite the weather here being the coldest winter in 35 years in Shanghai, we were warm. Friends who got their living room heater replaced said that getting warm "changed his life in one day." It's amazing what just warmth will do.
http://aqicn.org/city/shanghai/ was my jailer anymore, keeping me inside unless the color on it wasn't red or purple. If everything worked for us to get outside, I rarely consulted it unless it really looked hazy. The air still isn't great; I am glad I won't have to think about the effects of living in it long-term, and feel for those that are. But I feel I am more balanced.
bleak and hard last year has been exchanged for yes, new challenges (life is full of them!) but so much more encouragement and blessing. I continue to look for things to be thankful about - writing down number 4,206 since the start of the year - and God is so good beyond imagination. Seeing spring blossoms - especially against such blue sky (still more rare here) - helps me see that even more clearly.