Monday, August 22, 2016

A Day Trip to London!!!

A couple of months ago, I found out that my cousin's husband was coming to London!!!!!!!!!!  Of course, I was ecstatic to hear the news!  Unfortunately, he only had a limited time to hang before he was off to work for the week, so we made the most of our day trip to London.  There was no way we were going to miss out on seeing a friendly face. 

It has been ages since we traveled to London to actually explore.  I can recall the countless times before kids that Steve and I would make the most of our last weekend in England spending our time in London.  I love London - between the parks, the history, the nightlife, the shopping, the theatre, just walking the streets leaves you with a pinch me moment! 

I certainly felt it when we were walking past Big Ben, the London Eye and St. James Park a few weeks ago.  I literally thought to myself, I can't believe I LIVE here!  Well, not London, but in this great country. 

If you haven't noticed, I've kind of fallen in love with it here.  While I miss "home", I am just so darn happy here. 

My cousin Ginger and I are pretty tight and have been for years.  She is like a big sister to me and I think of her husband like a big brother.  Unfortunately, my cousin had to stay in the states because my uncle was recovering from a bypass surgery.  I'm so looking forward though to next year when he's back and she can come with him!  I just heart these people so much!!!!

Here's a look at our little day trip to London! 

We met Shaun in Feltham and caught the train to Waterloo!  My girls loved riding the train!

Shaun and I - the vibe on this Sunday afternoon was amazing!  People picnicking, chilling out on the grass, watching live entertainment was amazing!

River Thames

My girls!!!  xoxo

A rare family photo!!!

Stella was obsessed with the "Green Man"

Big Ben

In the distance is Buckingham Palace.  We didn't venture over there this time around, but will definitely take the girls the next time.  Lottie kept asking if we were going to see the Queen, but I told her she most likely would be busy!  :)

We found a pub and had a meal!  You would think that pubs would be abundant in London, but they are not.  It certainly has changed over the last few years.  There are more cafes now which kind of saddens me because when in England, a visit to the pub is a must!  On a side note, the further you get outside of central London, pubs are everywhere!!

Walking the streets of London!

After our meal, Stella was DONE! 

Lottie was our photographer!  :)  She loves taking photos!

After being awake for almost 24 hours, we left my cousin to rest!  Typically when you fly to England, you leave the states around 6:30 p.m. and arrive around 7:00 a.m. England time which is 2:00 a.m. Carolina time.  You basically lose an entire nights sleep.  I've always struggled coming here (jet lag), but he was a trooper and hung in there. 
I can't tell you how happy I was to see a friendly face.  It's as if no time had passed.  Looking forward to seeing more friends and family in the coming years!  xxxxx

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Weekly Picnics

Who would have ever thought that I could be enjoying weekly picnics with my minis each week?  While I do miss my career and the adult brain stimulation that came along with it, I have to say that I've found so much happiness in enjoying the days in and days out spent with my girls.  Sometimes you just don't realize how quick the time goes and how you will never get that time back. 

I plan on soaking up every minute until my next career move! 

With that said, England has some lovely parks and places to take the kids.  While you can't always count on the weather here, one thing you can count on is that if it is sunny, everyone is outdoors!!!!!  :)

Loughborough park is the perfect spot for a picnic.  They have lots of green grass, a playground, a bird museum, an ice cream man, etc.  On that particular day, there were loads of Christian youth groups around providing free face painting and balloon animals.  It couldn't have worked out better!

Here's a few pics from our day out! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Lottie's Last Day of Reception (Foundation Stage)

PROUD is the understated word of the year that I would use for my little Lottie!  She has truly amazed me with her ability to not only start school for the very first time, but her ability to adapt to a new country and all the things that come along with it. 

It seems like it was just yesterday I was knocking on the school's door to see if they could get her in.  As soon as our feet hit the ground in England, I knew I had exactly one month to try to get her in.  Of course with registering any child for school, there is a process and after following protocol and dealing with the counsel and waiting at their mercy to let me know whether she could get into the school of our choice, I just wasn't getting any response.  They basically said that I would have to wait until the teachers came back from their summer break (3 days before the kids would start) to let me know something.  I was freaking out to say the least!!!!  I think I did what any parent would do at that point.  I went knocking on the school's door the day I knew they would be back from their holiday.  Thankfully, everyone was so lovely and understanding.  After hearing our story, they said they would love to have her.  What a relief!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After I found out she was in, my MIL's sweet neighbor Carol drove me to collect all of Lottie's school uniform items.  I'm so grateful for her and her kindness.  My kids love her!

With just a couple of days to gather everything, we did it and off went Lottie to a new school in a new country.  After walking her to school and dropping her off that first day, I cried big, fat crocodile tears all the back to my in law's house.  I was so overcome with emotion not only because my baby was growing up, but that this was our new life.  Our new life was here in England and there was no turning back.  While exciting, it was also very frightening!  I had no idea what was in store for us! 

But here we are...................................1 year later and I couldn't be happier about our decision to move here.  We made the right decision for our family and are living a life full of wonderful adventures that we would have never experienced otherwise.

The kids are happy, the hubby is happy and I am happy! 

Here's a look back at Lottie's first day of school and her last!