too much info

Branch

I guess you can always tell when I am spiraling out of control… because the blogging is the first to go. I even had to go back and look to see when the last time I blogged and what I said. And just a little week ago, seems like forever! My mom and dad wrapped up their trip, and we said goodbye on Thursday… from what I understand, their trip home was smooth and flawless! A much appreciated ending to a rather intense trip. We had about enough time to wash the sheets, before Tyler and Kiley arrived Friday. Of course, we immediately started in on our list of to-dos, to-sees and to-eats! We have had beautiful weather- and clear skies! Such a treat.  Saturday evening, we had our ‘closing social’ for the branch that eric and I were in charge of. In about 2 weeks, school gets out and everyone leaves for the summer. Many families have been re-assigned, and some are just done with their Beijing time. it felt SO WEIRD to say goodbye to people. I have never really lived in a place that is ‘transient’ like this- people coming and going, just knowing that is the plan. I feel so blessed to have met, and learned from the people I have come to know and love here.  Living here, outside my comfort zone, and really having to figure everything out has been a life changing, and awesome opportunity. I’m so grateful for it.

Group_at_smpSunday night after we did more tourist stuff around Beijing- (beautiful, crystal clear day for seeing the Summer Palace)…we boarded an overnight train for Shanghi. I must say, that I LOVE traveling on the overnight train. SO GREAT… you get on, go to sleep, and the subtle rocking motion, and humm of the tracks just lulls you to sleep! You wake up-boom, a new city! Love it. We went so that the boys (eric, tyler, colton, and cory) could ride the ‘biggest skate park in the world’. Big as in pro-big. The ramps, drops, bowls and verts were HUGE… all of the guys had been watching pro videos of tricks done at that park on YOU-tube for weeks.  They immediately recognized everything, but were still awe-struck by the hugeness. And get this-they were the ONLY ones there.  Kiley, Quincy and I hung around for a bit taking photos, and sweating from the heat- and decided to go and explore the city a bit.  about 2:15pm I got a call from Eric that Colton had crashed. (you saw this coming, right). We left and met up with them at the hospital where Colton was a bit out of it, and had a huge bonk on the head. They wanted to do a CT scan because he was a bit on the delirious side, and it all came back negative… he just suffered a concussion, and we were free to go and catch the train back to Beijing. (deep breath).  Seriously- am I ok with this extreme sports stuff? Smile. The hospital in Shanghi was well equipped and we got awesome service. Wow…what a blessing.Img_6688
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Now what!?
After Ty and Kiley go on Friday, Cory and I head back to the states for a week… it’s Creative Escape preview day! that means that all the CE teachers are coming together for a bit of a ‘dress rehersal’. We’ll be teaching our classes to all the volunteers and working through the kits, presentations, and making sure that everything runs flawlessly. I am really excited to see everyone, and maybe even sit by a pool for 15 minutes. I am also teaching a couple of classes at Scrapbooks, ETC. in mesa…and have noticed a lot of familiar names on the roster! So looking forward to seeing many friends! It’s Cory’s turn to come with me, and he is such a great travel buddy. It’s nice to have one on one time with the kids, makes such a difference.  I can’t believe how quickly CE is approaching! Time is flying by, melting away so quickly… it’s crazy. I always say that.. but it’s so true. Every time I see the Olympics countdown, I think it get a little stomach ache! It seemed so far away. It’s down to about 60 days. 

Beijing is SO absolutely beautiful right now. I think that I was taking it for granted, because obviously, I have never seen it prior to Olympics preparation, but having seen some of the other cities, I am amazed at the vibe here… so beautiful! The landscaping everywhere is immaculate. Everything is so green, tons of flowers, and different colored bushes… tons of new trees have been planted. Everything is clean and in Olympic condition! They have gone all out! This is defiantly the year to live in Beijing. I have mentioned before that right after Creative Escape and the Olympics, I am hosting tour group here to Beijing… really, I am just coming along for the ride…Jim West from Scrap Map has been bringing tours to Beijing (and all over the world)for 20 years. He approached me last fall when I first got here, asking if I would be interested in doing a tour. I immediately agreed, knowing how much I already LOVED sharing this little corner of the world!  He sent me an email letting me know that there are 12 spots still available… you can find out more about it here. It’s not ONLY for scrapbookers, although I will be offering my perspective on Beijing AS a scrapbooker. I have been to pretty much all the stops on the tour, and I can tell you that it is a fabulous line up!, and Sept is the PERFECT time to come. It’s a great opportunity if you are up for a little adventure! There is a really nice mix of planned time, and time to yourself to shop and explore a bit. I will be starting to get those of you that are coming going on a pre-trip project that you will add to as we go! I am really excited to be a part of that trip!  If you are thinking about it, seriously- it will be a trip of a lifetime! And so fun to see everything here in real life after you watch the Olympic coverage.   

I also wanted to mention that Janet Hopkins is teaching 2 awesome classes at By Design Scrapbook Boutique toward the end of June. Both are featuring my new products.. and are very cool. And you get to visit a really cutie store in Dallas, TX! She has all the info on her blog, along with a few sneak peeks. Really cool classes.

While I am mentioning our education stuff…
We are getting close to unveiling the new Heidi Swapp website… wow-it’s been a big project, as if I needed another big project! going a little bit digi! 
We will also be starting ‘club heidi’ up again! Expect some ‘rockin’ deals, for sure!

We are planning a big trip to Australia for December! It’s so COLD here, that we are aiming for some beach time! while we are there, I will be teaching 2 classes in both Brisbane, and Melbourne!  If you are interested in receiving more information- the timing is tricky since it’s so close to Christmas, but maybe you can get your request into Santa early! The email address for info is: create08hks@gmail.com I am really excited to get back to AU! It’s been a long time.

Ok, see this is what happens when I don’t blog.
I stayed up all night last night scrapbooking, but it’s nothing I can show yet! Yesterday I received all the new stuff that i will be releasing at CHA summer in Chicago (gasp, another trip!) let’s just say that the photos I took at the skate board park came in mighty handy! (wink!) I think I have a new favorite color! (is that possible…) that might be going a little far, but- it’s good stuff!

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