Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Confessions

I love reading Blonde Ambition's Confessional Friday posts and I always think about participating and then before I know it, it's Saturday and I'd feel lame showing up so late to the party.
Since it's still actually Friday, I'm down with the confessing, friends.
1) I am so not ready for my kids to go back to school. Or my husband to go back to work. (He took this week off.) I ran into three different people at the grocery store today who said they couldn't wait for their kids to go back and I was all, "Really? 'Cuz I need at least another week!" What can I say? I love having my people with me.
2) England is taking some getting used to. I've come a long way in the four months we've been here but it's not the easy breezy I thought it would be. This is coming from someone who moves every two years and usually adjusts pretty quickly. I think it's because we loved LA so much but I miss my friends. I miss the south. By golly, I miss Chick-Fil-A. Amen.
3) Over this holiday I have become addicted to playing Rock Band. I'm the singer. Always. I can belt some tunes like nobody's business. Rock Band: Making people who can't carry a tune feel like a Rock Star since 2011.
4) I need to exercise. Oh, the jiggle in my rear.
5) I will eat these words very soon but right now, I'm loving Caroline at two years old. She's talking more and loves her Mama like nothing else. She even gives me an unprompted "I love you" lately. I'm head over heels. I'm wrapped around that little finger and she knows it.
6) We took down our Christmas decorations today. I would have had them down on the 26th but J. talked me down. We are in a small house and I needed our space back in order. We had them down and put away in about ten minutes flat.
Whew. That was fun! Now, if Friday will stop sneaking away before I get a chance to post, I'll do this again!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How Did This Happen?

Alternate title: Please Pass the Tissue.

My baby. My little baby. She once looked like this:

Now, she looks like this:

My baby is two. She talks, she dances, she runs. She's always up to something. Her sense of humor is awesome. That little grin gets me every time. I've got a feeling it's going to get her out of a lot of trouble.

I love everything about her.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

You Can't Take Us Anywhere

We unlock our car with a fancy key fob rather than an actual key. Just have the fob on you and stand close enough to the car and you can push a button on the door to unlock. Same goes for driving. No key needed, as long as the fancy fob is inside of the car. There is an actual key, of course. We've just never needed it.

A couple of weeks ago, we were about to leave home when we got a warning (LARGE FLASHING ORANGE WARNING!!) that J.'s fancy fob battery was getting low.

Have I mentioned that we live in a new country and that we have no idea where to get regular stuff here like fancy fob batteries? We thought we'd need to find a dealership for our brand of car and ask them to wave their magic bank emptying wand over our fancy fob and bring it back to life.

So, we delayed. After all, we have two fancy fobs. We also rarely drive. We live on base, our school is a block away and J's office is right across the street from school. No need for driving most days.

We asked around and found out that there was an appropriate dealership about half an hour away. We knew we had a very busy week so we decided that Saturday would be our day to drive up there and get Fancy magically recharged. This fob being as fancy as it is, of course this process won't be easy so we need to set aside the appropriate time to get the job done.

In the mean time, Fancy had decided that the flashing! orange! warning! was no longer needed and, lo we may not have to take a day to get it fixed after all!

Yesterday (the day before we are going to get FF fixed) was the busiest day on record since we've moved here. Early release at school, friends over in the afternoon and base Christmas tree lighting in the early evening. Following that, we were to pick up pizza and meet a babysitter at our house because J.'s office party was last night. We drove over to the tree lighting because it was super cold out and we didn't want to freeze.

After we finished up, we headed to the pizza place and ordered. Our friends offered to stay until our pizza was ready and then bring it to our house so we could head out and start getting ready for the party. Coming out of the pizza place, I marveled at how well we were doing on time and how I'd have plenty of time to get gussied up for the party. (Seriously? Will I ever learn?)

Click the unlock button on the outside of our door and NOTHING. Try to manually push the button on front of Fancy Fob. After all, it just worked an hour ago to LOCK the doors. NOTHING. No problem. We pull out the secret key tucked inside of Fancy and stick in the very old fashioned lock on the door.

This is not a good time to find out that when the dealership (the one in another country) sold us this car, they forgot to actually, you know, cut the key to fit the car they were selling it with. We have a blank key. And a very Fancy Fob.

Fancy Fob feels decidedly less fancy right now.

Remember how we have another one and we live just down the street? Well stop remembering it because spare keys aren't really considered spare when they are locked inside of the car in my purse.

So, Fancy Fob #2 is tucked safely inside of the (locked) car while Fancy Fob #1 died a slow death somewhere between singing Jingle Bells and ordering a large cheese pizza.

We walked home in the freezing cold to find our babysitter (this was her first time sitting for us...first impressions are our strong suit) standing outside of our house thinking we've stood her up like a bad prom date. She offers her car and J. says we'll be fine since the party is on base, just a few blocks away.

I reminded him that I'd be wearing heels so unless he wanted to carry me those few blocks or hear me whine about my poor feet the whole time, we might want to re-think his response. You've never seen a man grab a set of keys so fast.

All wasn't lost. We made it to the party with nary a second to spare and had a good story to tell our new friends.

Today, J. realized there was an actual battery compartment on the back of Fancy. Upon opening, we see that Fancy just needs a simple battery from the auto parts store five minutes away.

The moral of this story? Even half way across the world, we're still those people.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes

Recently, Sister and I were talking about our favorite things to do in autumn.

Hers: jump in leaf piles. Mine: drink warm beverages and watch her jump in leaf piles.

Our discussion lead to reminiscing about last Thanksgiving. J. deployed just a few weeks before so we were still in a bit of a fog. I call it the "Survival Fog". Just do what you have to do to make it through the day in one piece.

We were so thankful when his Mom and older sister said they would like to come and celebrate Thanksgiving with us.

Despite the fact that we missed him terribly, last Thanksgiving will always be one of my favorites. We jumped in the leaves for hours at a time, played Bananagrams until the wee hours, ate amazing food and just spent time loving on each other. Having them there made me feel less alone for my favorite holiday.

(Come on....a holiday where you basically eat and hang out with your favorites all day while watching TV? Why isn't this everyone's favorite?)

My sister in law even ate fried alligator. When in Louisiana....

Last Thanksgiving, we were pretty sure we knew what the next year held. At least the gist of it. We'd be in LA for another year. We'd live in the same house, on the same street and attend the same school. We would get to love on our church friends for another year, watching their children grow and play with ours.

J. got home at the very end of May and we took an extended road trip. Back home in late June, he had another couple of weeks off before going back to work after Independence Day. A couple of days before he went back to work, he got a phone call that changed all of those things we thought we were sure of for another year.

We were moving. To England. Very Soon.

There was so much to be done in such a short time. This was the beginning of July and we needed to be there by late August. None of us had current passports. We would need Visas. We would need to seriously downsize because the house we would be moving into was almost half the size of the one we were currently living in. The one we were sure we'd be in for another year.

I hope to share soon about how God so perfectly worked out every single detail for this move and how He blew our minds with how the timing was more perfect than we knew possible.

The job was one that J. had worked been preparing for since the beginning of his career and this was a chance of a lifetime! Not to mention, he was getting to do it in ENGLAND!

Castles, palaces, accents, CS Lewis, royalty, history.....ENGLAND.

If I'd been trying to plan this, I would have messed it up beyond repair. We'd all be sitting in an airport in LA wondering where we went wrong. Thankfully, we have been here for three months and have almost settled into our (tiny) house.

When we were told it was impossible to get passports and visas for five people in less than six weeks, God did it. When we didn't know how official paperwork would get filed, furniture would be sold, kids would get enrolled from across the ocean and we would say goodbye to a place we truly loved, God did it.
The life I'm living this year is not even in the same hemisphere as I was sure it would be. A year later, I look back and laugh (and sometimes cry) at how little I knew.

What a difference a year makes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Coming Back

I left my blog hanging rather abruptly last fall just after we found out that Big Daddy was deploying again. Sorry about that. To be honest, I felt like I was juggling a thousand balls that had set on fire and the thought of just one more thing to keep up with was overwhelming.

So, I walked away.

It wasn't a conscious decision so much as a "no time to blog today" followed by a "gosh, I'm just so tired, I'll do it tomorrow" which led to opening up my blog and not knowing how to begin again with so much time between us.

Like an old friend you haven't seen in ages, this blog was never far from my mind and heart. So often, I'd compose a post in my head but couldn't move past the awkward stage to make it real. I'm praying that just like that old friend, I can jump back in here as if no time has passed and catch up on all the things I've missed while I was away. SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED, you guys! Small things, big things. The updates are coming very soon. I'm determined not to let this space go to waste.