Sunday, January 15, 2012

Finally Ashley!

I finally found the SD card that I used when Ashley was over visiting from Houston. I had forgotten about the things we all did while she was here and was so happy to see the pics. Since she is a photographer, I would expect she would want her picture taken when the time arose. She absolutely didn't! Each of these pics was the result of a "please let me take your picture so you have proof you were here" conversation...

And anyone who knows Asley isn't surprised by this:

We had a great time and we look forward to her next visit.

Video of adventures:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

To be or not to be...

Last week, I felt I might be transitioning to a Brit. While out with a guy on my team, I asked him if I could "put my rucksack in his boot". Of course for my Texan friends, I was asking if I could put my backpack in his trunk. I giggled a bit at the ability to actually ask this question.

I have been having a bit of an identity crisis lately. Virtually 90% of my communications on email are with British people. While it is all English, it is quite different that American English as mentioned in a previous post. However, it isn't just the words now that I am more aware of, it is the spelling.

Here's a little example:

British English:
My favourite neighbour whose young boy has been ill of late has gone to her paediatrician. They immediately recognised that he needed surgery and rushed him off to theatres. The doctor adviced that he would need long term treatment.

Now in Texan:
My favorite neighbor whose little boy has been sick lately took him to the pediatrician. They immediately recognized that he needed surgery and rushed him off to the OR. The doctor advised that he would need long term treatment.

So the delimma is this. I work with all these nice British people, one of whom informed me last week she thought I just didn't have good spelling (not realizing/realising the differences between English and British...). It would be quite easy to change my spell check in Outlook to British English, but for some reason, it feels like I am giving up my American roots. I'm here based on my American experiences, so why turn my back on that? BUT to not change it, most of the folks here think I am lacking... What to do, what to do?

For now, I shall continue to be a US English speller. I hope I can stick it out for the remainder of our stay in the UK.

While this is a silly and fun thought to even worry about, I simply have to add: What a lucky world I live in for this to be a "problem" that even requires thought!

Keali turns 5

Keali had her 5th birtday last weekend, and she wanted nothing more than a birthday party with her friends from school.

So we went to an indoor playspace and invited her entire class of girls. Caden had a blast as well since one of his friends is the older brother of one her classmates. Perfecto. Everybody's happy. The party was super easy (they provided food, drinks and entertainment), and we needed only to provide the cake and the birthday girl.

Keali relished in the attention. She especially liked it (and continues to laugh) about the fact that when lighting the candles on her birthday cake, the flags caught on fire. Disaster avoided with quickly pulling the flag out and extinguishing the flames.

The day was successful, and made even more so since Keali was able to have Stanley for the weekend. Stanley is the class stuffed-animal and provides hours of entertainment... Keali felt like the princess girl she is and had a great birthday. Happy happy to our little girl!

Video of the last 5 years...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Let me introduce you...

This is Ashley. Ashley Allen. Amazing photographer and all around good person.

She has been kind enough for the last three years to photograph our family for our annual pics. She has traveled internationally twice to do so. We have become good friends and I can't wait for her to come back and see us. THANK YOU ASHLEY!!

A video of her pics:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A warm Spanish get-away...

We enjoyed our first Christmas in London. Mom and KC kindly made the journey over. I know it was just to see Caden and Keali, but it was still nice to see them.

I spent the first week of their visit in bed. I have literally not been so sick for so long as a grown up. Everyone is saying it was the flu, but I have a hard time believing that since I've never had it, and it was far worse than anyone has ever described. Almost 7 days in bed, and still almost 2 weeks later, still feeling like I may lose a lung at any moment. All in all though, I am recovering.

Sick or not, we had a great time. Mom, KC and Scott took the kids to their first play in London to see the Gruffalo. The only word to describe them is mesmerized. I am pleased they enjoyed the play, but secretly I am hoping they don't want me to take them to any! Scott loves the play, so they have that going for them!

Santa was busy and brought plenty of gifts for the family. The following day, we all loaded up and headed to the southern coast of Spain. We flew into Malaga, but stayed in Marbella. What a beautiful and sunny place it was. Everyday we went to the beach and watched the kiddos play in the sand and water, while we enjoyed cocktails. A true vacation in my mind! One day we ventured out and did an ecotour of the southern mountains of Spain. Absolutely amazing. I saw my first blooming almond tree. Not a nature enthusiast, I am still amazed at how pretty the white blooms were and how lovely it looked on the mountainside.

I think five days in Spain wasn't enough. We hope to return for a bit longer when it is even a bit warmer.

New Years Eve was great. Scott made chateaubriand. Delicious. The remainder was spent as probably most "old" people spend theirs... Every few minutes, someone asked if we really needed to stay up until midnight. I am happy to report we made it! 2012 is here and we are excited about the adventures it will bring.

I am so lucky with such a great family, great friends, and great adventure. I hope the black eyed peas Scott just whipped up continue our run of good luck. Furthermore, I hope all my friends and family have the same good luck! Bring on the next adventure!

A video of the Spain holiday: