Here I am, on the eve of leaving America to move to China for our year abroad. It’s been a lovely whirlwind of family and friends that’s often felt like my own Olympic of goodbyes.

My emotions by Wordle:

The week started with a last goodbye with the readergirlz divas where we toasted each other for our great year and conspired on new literacy programs. And then my mentor, Janet Wong, who refused to let me take her picture. She didn’t say anything about me blogging about her though.

Then it was on to the annual Meat-and-Corn Fest at our friends Bill & Kristin’s home. If there are any people who can make miracles happen, it’s these two.

Yes, yes, Kristin is a genius and bestselling author (The Motherhood Manifesto) and political activist (Moms Rising). But Bill? He can preside over Congress. He can start businesses. And most importantly, he can bake! Here it is, my very own China pie a la Bill.

Then my sister and kids ventured to the Puget Sound Blood Center with me. There, we met some of the crew who, after hearing about Girl Overboard, thought we might have some mutual interest in getting more minorities to give blood and register for the National Bone Marrow registry.

Not only is my sister gorgeous, but she’ll be attending nursing school in a few weeks. She was fascinated with our tour: from the blood extraction to the bones warehoused at the center for surgeries. I was…faint. Who knew that bones and heart valves could be…freeze dried. (Fine, fine, there’s some scientific term for this procedure, but look at this ankle bone for yourself. Freeze dried, yes?)

And then! At last! My buttons from the wonderful Kyle at Button Arcade arrived just in time. (Love Button Arcade.)

As a present for all the wonderful authors who have blurbed my previous novels and my readergirlz crew, I had their book covers turned into buttons.

Shhhh…it’s supposed to be a surprise. But I just had to share since there buttons are so darn cute! Can you name all the books and authors? (Major shout out to Lorie Ann Grover who coordinated this project for me as a PRESENT to me! I love that woman.)

And then…the goodbyes. To my mom and sister. (I can’t even begin to express how much I will miss them.) To my kids’ track team. To my writing mentor, Janet Lee Carey and Janet Wong. To my readergirlz buddies, Lorie Ann, Dia Calhoun, and Holly Cupala.
And one last goodbye to my local library. I love libraries, and I especially love my local one. Let me ask you this: how many librarians come to your house to say goodbye? How many librarians email you to assure you that they will help you research WHATEVER YOU NEED?!

It’s a good thing they offered. Because I need a lot. (Of books, that is. And friends. And family.)


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