Chen Family Temple & Liuhua Park

Sunday we got in a fun day of sightseeing around Guangzhou.  This is always good for us because A) We get to be out and about and not stuck in our hotel and B) We get to be around other families who are with their kiddos as well.  It’s just always nice to meet other people and hear about where they are…the good, the bad and the struggles.  It’s nice to not feel so alone.

We first went to the Chen Family Temple.  We actually went here with Everett and it was my most favorite place.  You can read about our last visit HERE.  I read my post from last year and just cried.  I miss our boy more than words could ever articulate and I miss my old self.  I miss the not-so-jaded, not-so-skeptical, more trusting me.  I miss believing all those words all of the time, but here I sit completely mucked over by Everett’s death and when I read my words I ache.

Being in this gorgeous place again with our whole family, but missing Everett was both beautiful and painful.  Those two words keep emerging over and over again on this trip.  How could they not?!?!  The museum felt so nice…the atmosphere, the busyness, the weather.  It’s basically a big outdoor art museum filled with art in every different kind of medium you could imagine.  Scrolls, calligraphy, paintings, carvings, paper, knits & textiles, fans, porcelain, sculptures and the list goes on.  It is absolutely amazing and digs deep into my creative side.  I honestly enjoyed being back in this place.

I have such vivid memories about Everett here.  It was sweet to be in this incredible place with Amon, our littlest and Leo as well.  I love that our entire family has experienced pieces of China’s amazing culture and history.  I love that we’ve all got that stamp in our passports no matter the pain & baggage carried with it.

I always buy a piece of art when I visit another country and I thought about buying another scroll like we did last time, but it’s this fine dance of honoring Shuai, but also not letting his death overshadow our other children’s lives.  Does that make sense?  It’s this constant thing that runs through our heads so I decided for this trip…Leo’s trip…I would look for something different somewhere else.

We all loved wandering around and seeing all the artwork.  At one point I noticed Solomon standing so cute against a giant post and asked to snap a picture of him.  Then he asked to take mine.  His photo was better. 🙂

Last time we didn’t check out any gift shops, but this time we did and we spent more time looking at several of the sculptures as well.  The kids picked up a few things for friends and teachers back home and I accidentally bought a Chinese Rudolf thinking it was a sheep.  Insert eye roll emoji.  I didn’t notice until Josh Kelley said, “It has a red nose.”  Hahahahaha.

After The Chen Family Temple we went the Liuhua Park.  This was our first time and we all really enjoyed it.  At first I thought it was going to be a total bust, but then it ended up being just right.  All the parks we had been to so far had fair/amusement park rides and we’re actually pretty pricey…especially when you’ve got 6 kiddos wanting to do things.  Liuhua was sooooooo much cheaper and the kids had a blast.  The littles raced these small cars and had an absolute blast.  The big kids did the swings and bumper cars.

We also walked around sucking on suckers and climbing through the crazy big, weird trees.  There was a big exercise area where all the kids had so much fun.  Hudson, Solomon and Amon even put on a monkey bars show and had a whole crowd gathered around watching and videoing them.  I’m sure they’re somewhere on Youtube as we speak.

Everyone was pretty wiped after a busy day.  We went back to our hotel and crashed.  We had dinner out that night and I finished up the last of our paperwork for our upcoming consulate appointment.

Leo is so little and was so confused about what all was going on so I’m trying to be really aware and mindful of all of his progress…no matter how small or big.  This was the first day he slept without his little shoes on and it was the sweetest noticing this seemingly small, but giant step.  The fact that I get to be his mom…that we get to be his family…geeze, it’s pretty dang great.


  1. Glenda Hoagland says:

    Following your journey is so humbling and uplifting. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Laura I think you are pretty amazing. You and your precious family break my heart and uplift it all at the same time. I’m still praying for you all x

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