Life Update: Traveling & the Coronavirus

Hello!

I haven’t written anything on here in a hot minute, but I thought it was time to update y’all on what’s been happening for the past few months!

Let’s jump straight to the topic that everyone is most curious about: the Coronavirus.

Taylor and I came back to the States December 17th for our scheduled Christmas vacation. We had one month to see family, enjoy the holidays, and take a few trips! If you follow me on social media, than you’ll already know that the Coronavirus threw a wrench into our plans to return to China, because as you can see, we’re still in America. On the morning of our flight, we got a call that we had to cancel our flight to China until further notice. Currently, we’re being told that we can’t fly back until March 10th. However, that’s still subject to change because most major airlines aren’t flying to China until later this spring. Originally, I was supposed to return to China at the end of January and then fly back to South Carolina on March 10th, where I’d remain until the baby comes (did I ever mention I was pregnant?). Now, I don’t have time to go back to China without it being too close to our delivery date.

It’s very bitter-sweet, because I was looking forward to spending a few weeks in China before coming home for the birth. All my belongings are in China, and I won’t be able to get any of that back until Taylor returns in May. However, I’m grateful for the extra time at home and I don’t have to worry about long travel days during the third trimester.

If you know Taylor and I, you know that we’ve been filling all this extra time up with loads of adventure and quality time together. Really, the second trimester has been one giant baby moon! 🙂

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Let’s recap:

In January we rang in the new year in Ireland! IMG_2766IMG_2772

Then, we spent a few days exploring the countryside of England and the streets of London. IMG_29021

My family in Pennsylvania threw us a beautiful baby shower for baby Stevens!IMG_31972

We’ve been to a couple of Clemson basketball games.IMG_3372

We went to visit Kendall in Arizona for a week, where we watched the Waste Management Open. 2IMG_3427

We explored Joshua Tree National Park while we were out west.IMG_3456IMG_3466IMG_3489Where we stayed in the cutest tiny house via Airbnb! You can see the house HERE.

Get $79 towards your first Airbnb trip!

BDC05D6F2F945AF79C1178CC090ED45D1Joshua Tree was the perfect park for me because I didn’t have to hike in order to see all the beauty. Taylor and I were able to drive through the park and relax. IMG_3454

That leaves us with today, where we’re spending time getting boring adult stuff done and trying to plan the next month. 🙂 We don’t have plans at the moment, so we’re taking each day as it comes, snuggling with our favorite girl. IMG_3515

Stay tuned for more updates, and have a great week!

Summer 19′ – Home, Waco, and MLB

Hey there!

Long time no see! I took a bit of a blog hiatus this spring and summer, because Taylor and I were busy and I was soaking up every second in America with our friends and family. The two of us were hopping all over the place this summer, so it’s a bit confusing to keep up with. Here’s a breakdown of what went down during our crazy summer vacation!

I started my time in South Carolina for a bachelorette party in Charleston. IMG_0049Untitled design-5

…and I spent a lot of quality time time with Maybelle! She’s living her best life with her grandma on the farm. ❤ Untitled design-4img_1238.jpg

Afterwards, I flew to Lancaster for 6 weeks. Thankfully, my parents let me invade their space for a majority of the summer. 🙂 IMG_0394.jpgUntitled design-3IMG_0308IMG_0946img_0177.jpg

I went to my best friend Katie’s beautiful wedding and watched her marry her soulmate, Jon. I was also reunited with my best college gals! This night was filled with loads of dancing and reminiscing, which is exactly what I didn’t know I needed. I left the wedding feeling so much joy for Katie and Jon, and thankful for sweet friendships that the Lord blessed me with years ago.  IMG_0269Untitled designIMG_0234

For a long weekend in July, I flew to Waco with Lindsey and Lacie for a girls trip to Magnolia! We chose the perfect time to visit, because it was the annual warehouse sale weekend. The sales were so good that Lacie and I had to buy an additional checked bag to get all our things home. Ha! If you want a separate post on Waco, let me know. DSC_6096.jpgUntitled design-2.jpgimg_0614.jpgIMG_0464

After the Waco trip, I flew back to Lancaster for the last half of my time there. During the time, I celebrated my dad’s birthday, my 27th birthday, welcomed my best friend Grace’s new baby boy into the world, and enjoyed my final days in my adolescent home. My parent are selling their beautiful home in a few weeks and building something much more manageable within a few minutes away. I’m excited for the change, but it’s always bitter sweet saying goodbye to a place you’ve known as home for so long. DSC_6118.jpgimg_0988.jpgimg_0406.jpgUntitled design-7IMG_0439

At the end of those 6 weeks in Lancaster, I flew back to South Carolina to meet Taylor and the China MLB team! They were playing in a few tournaments here in the States, and stopped at Taylor’s house for a team cookout! This was one of the coolest days of my life. It was surreal to have both of our worlds come together.DSC_6191_1DSC_6178.jpgIMG_1098DSC_6169DSC_6180

Taylor and I spent the next two weeks in South Carolina jumping between family and watching the China MLB team play in America!IMG_1185Untitled design-6

At the end of August, we parted ways again and I headed to Seattle for a cruise to Alaska and Taylor headed to LA for a mini vacation with the MLB staff. I will write a separate post about my Alaska trip! 🙂

At the very end of August, we flew back to China! 🙂

Christmas in America Recap

We’ve returned to China, so that means I’m back to updating y’all on the blog! Welcome back!

Before I jump into more posts about our life in China and the upcoming adventures we have planned (yay!), here’s a brief recap about our time in America during the holidays! (You can read about the specific timing of our vacation HERE.) Sorry if this post is a little jumbled. We did so much in such a short amount of time, so there’s a lot to cover.

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During the months of November and December, I visited all my friends and family in Pennsylvania while Taylor was still working in Florida/China! Here are some of the things I did:

img_5091Kicked off the holiday season with a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with my family.

IMG_53081Explored the city of Philadelphia with one of my best friends. You can read that post HERE.

6img_4692Snuggled with Bubba and Riley. a lot.

a.r. workshop spartanburg, scDrank copious amounts of coffee with friends.

img_5575Helped plan our annual Mast-Family Christmas party.

24135a05-5bd1-44af-b36b-1bc800d2a79c.jpgWhen Taylor met me in Pennsylvania at the end of December, he brought Maybelle along with him so she could meet all the other pups! I was in puppy heaven with three adorable yorkies under one roof.

Processed with VSCO with av8 presetimg_5764We celebrated Christmas with my side of the family, then drove down to South Carolina together on the 23rd. (We alternate Christmas each year.) While we were visiting the south for a month, here’s what we did together:

dsc_5855a.r. workshop spartanburg, sc-2Celebrated Christmas with Taylor’s side of the family.

img_6378img_6388Traveled to Dallas to watch the Clemson Tigers play in the Cotton Bowl against Notre Dame.

img_6981dsc_5964Visited Charleston. Twice.

5img_6643IMG_6619.jpg4Processed with VSCO with g6 presetimg_6694Flew to Portland and drove down to Santa Clara, California to watch Clemson win the National Championship against Alabama! We saw the Redwood National Forest and Napa Valley along the way!

3Snuggled with Maybelle.

img_6808Watched a few Clemson basketball games.

2img_6896Participated in an A.R. Workshop for the first time. We made a lazy suzan for the house we don’t have. 🙂 This was a lot of fun though!

In total, I was in America for 3 months and Taylor was there for 1. We’re so thankful for all the friends and family we have who support us on this crazy journey and welcome us into their homes for extended periods of time. We were able to return to China feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the new year!

Going Home to Lancaster

Good Morning!

I feel like every time I start a new blog post, I’m in a different location! I never thought I’d spend a whole month traveling around and going wherever my heart desired. I think I could get used to this! 🙂

Once I left Hawaii, I flew home to surprise my parents. With the help of my sister and brother in law, we were able to completely throw them off guard. They had absolutely no idea I had plans of visiting, especially before Christmas! I left Hawaii around 4pm Hawaiian time and flew 7.5 hours to Chicago, where I had a 2 hour layover. I boarded my next flight at 6:30am Central time and landed in Baltimore at 9:30 Eastern time. I was EXHAUSTED to say the least. My time zones are completely out of whack. Hawaii was 18 hours behind China, and then I flew home which was 6 hours ahead of Hawaii and 12 hours behind China. Confusing right? 🙂

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Either way, I’ve loved being home and am extremely thankful for the life and career I have, which allows me to come and go as I please. Taylor is still doing well in Tianjin, and you can read about his update HERE. I’m sad he couldn’t come with me, but it was better this way. He’s been having a blast completely immersing himself into the Chinese culture, and I’ve enjoyed being able to see friends and family and refresh myself before going back.

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Coming back to America after living in China for two whole months was one of the best decision I made. I really needed to step away and readjust. I feel so relaxed, and can return to China knowing I’ll only be there for a few months before we return together for the holidays! I wish I would’ve know that I was coming home two months ago, because I think it would’ve made my transition a lot easier. In my mind, I was in China until Christmas!! Coming home has also shown me that I’m not trapped and I can come home whenever I need. The flight is long, but home is always here. This brings me so much peace.

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I’m off to South Carolina next to visit Maybelle and my in-laws! I’ll be there for a few days, and then we’re off on our next adventure! I can’t wait until you see where we’re headed next! Where do you think we’re going? 😉

 

Roadtrip to Pennsylvania

Last weekend included a lot of driving, a ton of coffee, and way too much food! At 4am Friday morning, Taylor and I packed up the car and started driving to Pennsylvania, where we would spend time visiting my family. The last time I was home, it was during Christmas, so a trip home was well overdue.

For the first few hours, Taylor drove from South Carolina to Virginia, where we stopped for some breakfast at Waffle House. Taylor ordered a chocolate chip waffle and a large side of hash browns with cheese. I ordered the grilled cheese with bacon and a side of cheesy hash browns!

After we paid, we filled the car up with gas, ordered a latte and frappe at Starbucks, and then I finished the drive to PA. To kick off summer the right way, my family decided to camp together at Muddy Run!

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If you look close enough, you’ll notice he’s watching THREE DIFFERENT baseball games!

It was a beautiful weekend to park the camper, grill some hot-dogs and hamburgers, and roast some s’mores!

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The following afternoon, Tay and I had a wedding to attend for a good friend of mine.

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Dress: Modcloth

This was our first Italian wedding and we had the best time! The food was amazing, and the dancing afterwards was a blast.

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And of course the bride was stunning! I’m really thankful to have a friend as great as her! 🙂 I’m also thankful to have a guy who’s willing to spend his weekend driving all the way to PA to attend a wedding with me.

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Unfortunately our time in Pennsylvania was limited, and we had to drive back to South Carolina the next day. We weren’t in a huge rush to leave, but ended up taking off the same time my family left the campground.

After a couple hours on the road, we made it to Baltimore and Taylor really wanted to stop for lunch at Chaps Pit Beef. He had eaten there years ago, and insisted that it was the best place to get a sandwich. I’m not going to lie, this restaurant is not located in the best part of town but, their food was worth it.

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They are really popular for the meat in their sandwiches! They’ve even been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Man vs. Food, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and 101 Tastiest Places to Chowdown. Taylor ordered a turkey and swiss, and I ordered a ham and swiss. We also split a side of cheese fries!

I’ll have to admit, I was a little hesitant about this place, but it was surprisingly delicious! The cheese fries were good, but not my favorite. However, the sandwiches were extremely flavorful and you could tell that the meat had been smoked for a really long time. Also, they packed so much meat into each bun, making it worth the money.

thumbnail_IMG_3599.jpgWhen we left earlier, Taylor could tell that I was really sad to leave my family. To make me feel better, he detoured through DC to pick me up some of my favorite cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes!

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Whenever we road trip through DC, we ALWAYS talk about how we want to come back for a long weekend to explore. Now that it’s summer and the weather is nicer, I really want to visit before he heads back to school!

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I could spend hours walking the streets and taking pictures of all the charm.

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Georgetown Cupcakes was busy as usual. If you ever visit, the shop is so small that there is almost always a line out the door. Thankfully, the line moves pretty quickly, but if you’re ever visiting during the winter, come prepared!

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Now, somehow from the 5 minute walk from the bakery to our car, I managed to flip all but 1 cupcake completely upside down. I did the same exact thing last time we went and I have no idea how!! I wasn’t swinging the bag around wildly or anything and they were snuggly placed into a cupcake holder. Who knew cupcakes were so sensitive?

They all still tasted amazing though! I always get the red velvet and salted caramel cupcakes!

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Once we were back on the road, we drove straight home. I’m so thankful I was able to go see my family, even for a brief weekend!