Monday, July 31, 2017

we moved!

Okay, that sounds more exciting than it really is. We're still in the same apartment building on my school's campus, but we're now in a 2-bedroom on the 8th floor instead of a 1-bedroom on the 6th floor. As happy as we are to have more space, I'll miss our old apartment for a few reasons.

It has better light, a better view, a better bathtub, a (slightly) prettier kitchen counter and window area.

But most of all, it was home for 4 years. That apartment is the one where Tony and I moved in together. It's where we learned a lot about each other and ourselves. And it's where we brought Mabel home. So many memories.

A friend and former boss (hi, Jean!) once told me that you shouldn't always crop the background out of photos because it can provide context and evoke memories years later. I've always remembered that and even though Tony and I have been (and probably will be) in the same apartment building for a long time, I've tagged all the Instagram photos that show our home (or aspects of our home) with #zhangsathome. I love scrolling through those photos sometimes—seeing what's changed and what's stayed the same—and remembering moments from our life, good and bad.

Here are some of the photos and what I remember when I look at them (sorry, a lot of them became blurry when I downloaded them from Instagram):

I remember that Tony is a pro mosquito killer, which is great, because every spring our apartment would have at least one mosquito every night. 

I remember buying that lego calendar for Tony in Hong Kong. I remember that he often works late. 

I remember that it was in this apartment I discovered a love for baths. I remember we got a new bathtub last year (not this one) and we were both pumped it was almost long enough for us to stretch out our legs. 

I remember that Tony was so excited to find this clock by the garbage and to hang it in our apartment. I remember buying that card in Vermont for the sole purpose of framing it. 

I remember buying Jenga for Tony for Christmas and as soon as he opened it, he said, "Let's play!"

I remember getting back from our vacation in Cambodia to find a red button in our bedroom. Of course, Tony pushed it and a LOUD alarm went off. 

I remember having to convince Tony it wasn't weird to have hanging plants inside, that it's a normal thing in Canada. 

I remember getting into the habit of coming home from work, changing into pyjamas, and lying in bed reading until Tony got home from work. 

I remember the first time we hooked up our water filter in the shower; charcoal sprayed everywhere and I ran away leaving Tony to deal. Oops. (I came back to help him clean up.)

I remember how excited I was to buy these dishes at IKEA.

I remember that Tony celebrated Christmas for the first time in this apartment. I remember that this was my first fake Christmas tree

I remember we hosted Thanksgiving and it was so much fun cooking in our toaster ovens and on hot plates (not even being sarcastic). 

I remember how happy Tony was to discover we could have hot pot delivered!

I remember loving our trip to Bali, but realizing I'm just as happy at home with Tony. I remember watching Friends with Tony (he loves Joey; "he's so funny!"). I remember that quilt was a gift from my friend Emily when I graduated from STU and I was so happy the year I finally had room in my suitcase to bring it to Beijing.

I remember having regular FaceTime dates with Cara. I remember putting that sticker on the mirror as a daily reminder.

I remember Tony and I would always go to bed at the same time, even if one us wasn't tired yet. I remember always having a drying rack full of laundry in the bedroom. 

I remember decorating for Christmas. I remember being so happy I had a cart full of tea and mugs. I remember that poster said, "Fortune favours the brave" in Latin. I remember making the decision to keep twinkle lights up all year long because they make me happy.

I remember Tony got me a Wii for my birthday. I remember always beating Tony and Melissa at Mario Kart. 

I remember trying to focus on the positive. I remember always loving the light.

I remember loving white walls. I remember buying that downloadable poster after Tony and I decided to move in together; I loved it because it said "I love you" in English and Mandarin. 

I remember buying our own curtains and finally getting rid of these beige ones. 

I remember Tony bought me that lap desk because I was always working on my blog on the couch. I remember we bought that blanket in Cambodia

I remember having a floor picnic to celebrate being back in our own apartment after it took forever for it to be painted. I remember the bathtub cracked the next week. I remember Tony loved Gung Ho so much he bought a membership. 

I remember going to IKEA on a Friday night right before they closed to buy that coffee table. I remember my Nan made us matching blankets. 

I remember buying Tony Monopoly Deal for his birthday and we played it all the time. I remember we even played it at the hospital when I was in labour with Mabel. 

I remember we could watch the sunset from our apartment. I remember loving the evening light.

I remember being so mindful not to fill our apartment with too much unnecessary baby stuff. I remember bringing Mabel home and she still had jaundice so she had to hang out by the window. 

I remember Tony convinced me we should buy this couch because it had storage space. I remember he wanted it because it pulled out into a sofa bed. 

I remember we didn't have room for a changing table, so we used waterproof pads and changed Mabel's diaper on the couch and bed.

Going through all of these photos made me think, I love our life together.

P.S. This was my apartment when I first moved to Beijing.

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