Happy New Year!!!
I just got back to Maui today from China (so yesterday if you’re reading this on Friday, January 3rd) and what was supposed to be a “quick” nap to get over the jet lag turned into a 9-hour sleep. It’s almost 1AM here which means this has to go out in 1 hour, so I plan to share with you as quickly as possible!
Please forgive the rush job, I won’t have much time to edit it! 🙂
Here’s this week’s #Grattitudes – what I’ve enjoyed, appreciated, or discovered:
1. Apple AirPods Pro > Bose headphones
I am thrilled to report that in the 20+ hours it took to travel to Shanghai China, my AirPods Pro performed to my satisfaction in muting pretty much everyone around me. I even had my Bose noise cancelling headphones with me, and I switched between the two to reach my final verdict.
I can confidently say that for future travels I would bring just my AirPods Pro (aw, all the room I’ll save in my backpack!), and am now seriously considering selling my Bose ones.
2. the best trip to Shanghai YET-
I don’t even know where to begin with describing this trip. I’m getting overwhelmed, so I’m just going to start firing away!
Well first of all, Chad and Gail treated us to an unforgettable all-expenses-paid Adventure of 2019. Seriously, Brandon joked that he forgot what it felt like to have a wallet for the last 13 days because we were so taken care of.
All 5 Wittman kids have grown up so much! They’re so fun to have conversations with, and each of them have such different personalities.
You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced dining with Chad. We got to try anything and everything we wanted at every restaurant they took us to… I mean these guys are living examples of abundance and blessing the crap out of loved ones. Gail kept reminding me to receive.. that God gave them a lot so they could share it with us.
I woke up every morning to Brandon making me coffee, and Chad making us breakfast. We went dancing one night and I let loose like I’ve never let loose before. All of us screamed at the top of our lungs and jumped around like wild animals. We made out with our spouses in public (like the kind of PDA that would normally make me so uncomfortable.) I fell deeper in love and appreciation for Brandon.
The four of us had discussions about tender and painful parts in our marriages, we reached untapped levels of vulnerability that made it hard to look each other in the eyes the next day. Someone ended up crying every single day, and some days we sobbed. It was emotionally draining and SO SO SO good. God was astonishingly real on this trip. Here are some snippets of our time together:
that night we went clubbing
Art Time with Ms. Jenn, an annual tradition
visiting the new Reebok office (Brandon leaving a note for an old coworker he used to work with in Korea who’s now in China)
3. experiences > things-
These beautiful people asked us what we wanted for Christmas and our answer was that we wanted experiences with them and not material things. So experiences we received:
at Hakkasan, likely the best restaurant we’ve been to in Shanghai
some sea urchin corn soup that was pretty delicious
FEASTIN’ AT HOME!
4. introduced the Enneagram to Chad & Gail-
This is the thing that sparked magic and the beginning of some groundbreaking transformations.
Chad, Gail, (and even Brandon!) took the Enneagram test one morning, and then we spent 2 full days lying around in the living room listening to the podcast episodes by Sleeping At Last for each of our Types.
I’ve never seen Chad and Gail cry they way they did.. or look at each other with such love and clarity. There’s so much to be said here, but I’ll have to save that for another time.
One of the beautiful things that came out of it was Brandon setting up a website for Gail so she can start blogging. I’m not sure if she’s willing to share it publicly yet, but if/when she’s ready you can bet I’ll pass it along to you.
5. lead a vision board party for us-
I think this may be one of my favorite things we’ve EVER, EVER done together.
It took place the night before Brandon and I had to leave. I brought all the magazines from my local library’s donation pile, Gail whipped out 4 blank canvases from her stash of kids’ art supplies, Chad blasted hip hop to extreme volumes (shocked none of the kids didn’t wake up!), and Brandon made sure the drinks kept flowing.
We sat around flipping through magazines and cutting out words/phrases/images not just for ourselves but for each other! THAT part was so cool. It made everything so much more dynamic and interactive. So much love was passed around the four of us.
Mid vision boarding, Chad decided to call up the airlines to get our flights changed because he didn’t want us to leave the following day. He was on the phone with the rep for a while.. it was so sweet (the cost to change the flights was may more than we all agreed on, so we aborted the plan).
When we were all done making our boards, we took turns presenting and explaining our creations. I suggested we play each of our Enneagram songs when it was our turn. OMG the whole experience was out of this world. Thankfully we have each person’s presentation filmed, so we can look back on it together years from now.
This moment really touched me:
And here’s my 2020 vision board, crafted with the help of my friends: