Back on the rock


The girls and I are back on the rock for the summer and absolutely loving it. Jet lag is still brutal, as I write this blog at 4:30am, but we are doing fabulous and loving seeing our peeps. We are surrounded by love. It feels amazing. I cannot wait for Glenn to join us soon. We need to decompress and regroup in our home. It’s going to be a beautiful summer. 

There are many things I notice and appreciate when I return home. Drinking fresh, cool water from the tap is incredible. I can’t get enough of it. 

The air is so clear. Can’t get enough of that either. 

There is so much less tension all around me. No busyness and so much more calm. It doesn’t take the same work to calm my own energy. It’s nice to have a break from that. 

But the thing I notice most about being in Newfoundland is the people. My friends in Shanghai consider me to be a pretty funny person but what they don’t realize is that I’m on the low end of the Newfoundland funny spectrum. People here are so quick and every encounter I have with people, random and otherwise, involves busting a gut laughing. That has been so good for the soul. 

So here’s to a summer of busting a gut laughing. Looking forward to sharing some of our experiences with you all. 

Until next time!

Only joy, only love,

Michelle

❤️❤️

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Happy Father’s Day

I have three amazing fathers in my life. My dad, Kevin Smith in Newfoundland, Glenn’s dad, Poppy JJ, who is already on the other side, and the love of my life, Glenn.

I’ll start with my dad. I was dad’s buddy growing up and still am. I was the third daughter so he was really hoping for a Michael but it wasn’t mean to be.  Even so, I was kind of the boy he never had. Always hanging out with him, chopping wood, camping out in torrential rainstorms and out on the water in the boat fishing. Most of my favorite childhood memories are at the cabin in Spread Eagle, NL, with my dad.  (and yes, that is what it’s really called and is my dad’s birthplace 😂😂). He bought me a tomahawk for Christmas one year and gave me my first tool kit. Even in high school I would call him every afternoon at work just to chat…..so much so that I still remember the phone number. You are so loved, Dad. Thank you for being an incredible role model in every way to me and the girls.

Glenn’s dad, Joe Antle, was a kind and loving man. He owned a gas station known as “Antle’s Irving” and I knew him as a child when I regularly visited there with my dad…..again, hanging out with dad. Joe worked hard his whole life and raised his beloved family of 6. I really loved him and always knew how much he loved me. He told me once to never loose my spark. I can still hear him saying it and it helps me when that spark is dimming slightly. We miss him but talk about him regularly and will visit him the summer “where he is planted”. That’s what the 4 year old Julia called his grave.

And to my partner in crime and absolute love of my life, Glenn. This roller coaster of a life we are living is made better every day with you by my side. After 16 years together, I am proud of our life we are building and the way we are living it together. With so much love, respect, laughter and growth. And our girls….we made them and they are pretty darn incredible. You are an amazing father and husband. Thank you for all you do for our family.

All 3 of these men have many things in common but the biggest one is  the strong love for their families and the people in their lives. The girls and I are blessed to have you all.
Father’s Day is well underway here in Shanghai. Glenn enjoyed a sleep in while the girls and I cooked breakfast. I basically just watch now while the girls prepare it. They love being in the kitchen. Breakfast in bed, morning cuddles and giggles were a perfect way to start the day!  Julia even ran to Starbucks, by herself, to pick us up coffees. This was a first to go by herself and she was so excited…and a little bit nervous. They are growing up so fast! Glenn and the girls are gone to hit some golf balls now which gave me some time to write this blog.
To all the incredible fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day!  Keep rocking on.

I wanted to share some photos of these 3 dads.







Until next time!

Only joy, only love,

Michelle

❤️❤️

Hot Sunday in Shanghai

After torrential rains on Saturday, Sunday greeted Shanghai hot and sticky. It is hard to enjoy a coffee in that heat. Made me a little cranky. 

But then I received a wechat from my friend asking us to go swimming at a local compound. Heck yes!  Glenn had a meeting so it was just me and the girls. So my two girlfriends and I set off with our four kids. 

I have to say, I love spending time with these ladies, who also happen to be Canadian. Siobhan and I met my first couple of months here on the Shanghai Mamas website. We met for coffee and have been friends ever since. Our kids love each other and our husbands have become incredibly close. We go on family vacations and just have a blast!  

Monica moved here a couple of years ago but we really only started hanging out a few months ago. We both kick ourselves for not connecting sooner but things happen in their own time. Her two beautiful daughters are the same age as mine. Our oldest daughters could totally be sisters. 

Our friendship is based on understanding, compassion, kindness and a ridiculous amount of laughter. Their friendship is a safe place to always be myself….the good the bad and the ugly.  😜 They never judge and always have solid advice. I always leave feeling lighter…and loved. That is a beautiful thing. Thank you ladies for being in my life. ❤️❤️ 

We are getting ready to wrap up our 3rd year in Shanghai. It has been a rollercoaster of a year and the future is a bit uncertain but there are exciting times ahead. And what a year of growth it has been. The support and love from the people in our lives had been incredible. 

Only 9 more days until the girls and I fly home to NL. We are going to get our house on Berteau Ave ready to sell. When we bought it 7 years ago, it was our dream home but our dreams have since changed, as they often do. If you know of anyone looking for an amazing and unique property in the heart of St. John’s, give them my contact info. 😁😁 It will be a busy summer but I can’t wait for one last one on Berteau. So many happy memories there. Bitter sweet….but more sweet. 

Below are some photos from our day. These humans fill my bucket! 




I have big plans for my blog in the upcoming months. Stay tuned!

Until next time!

Only joy, only love,

Michelle

❤️❤️