All the things: birthdays & leaving London

I can hardly believe it but several things are taking place in the next 35! days that are pretty momentous in my life.

Item 1. My youngest turns 11. I could look at it like she’s growing up, wah!, or she’s pretty much in teenager mode, and it’s only 7 more years till I can make her move out. It really depends on the day and the attitude.

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On top of the Cliffs of Mohr, Ireland

Item 2. I’m turning 40 in ten days. I’ve generally been fine with this, age is just a number, yada yada, and I’ve got far more important things going on right now to worry about it (see next item). That is until a friend who is giving a birthday dinner for me wrote in the email Andrea’s 40th Birthday Celebration, then I started freaking out a bit.

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But in almost 40 years I have lived in 3 countries and 6 US states, visited 18 countries (so far), and I have seen so many wonderful things I couldn’t even begin to describe them all. That’s not too bad considering most of the people I went to high school with still live in the town where I grew up. I caught the adventure bug early on and I think I’ve made the most of it.

Item 3. We are moving back to the US in 35 days and saying cheerio to London. I can’t even describe how happy I am about that. It isn’t that London has been the worst place I’ve ever lived (middle of nowhere central Kentucky has that honor), but would I choose to do it again? No, probably not. It is not lost on me that my dearest wish as a naive 18 year old was to live in a thriving city (the goal was NYC). I can now say that I have lived in a city, and the experience did not really agree with me. London is loud, dirty, crowded,  my neighbors are obnoxious, and I am very much looking forward to closing the door on this experience.

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Taken June 27, 2015, our first weekend in London

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from the bus

I will miss the art museums, Kew Gardens (which you’ll note isn’t technically IN the city), and even the tube. It is sometimes nice to get to a destination while watching a movie on your phone, or reading a book, instead of driving.

But mostly I miss the quiet solitude of our US home, with it’s deer walking down the street, and nothing but mountains and evergreen trees out the window.

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Item 4. We are traveling to two different countries in the next two weeks (Scotland and Norway). I am quite excited about both. In Glasgow we will be visiting our tiny little 2 square feet of land that legal allows us to use the titles Lord and Lady. And no, I’m not joking. It’s part of this scheme (and there are other programs like it) used as a way to raise money to restore the castle on the grounds. I bought us the titles for our anniversary this year. They came with full fancy certificates with wax seals and everything. I’ve already started changing all my official documents to

LADY ANDREA OF CHAOL GHLEANN

It does have a nice ring to it (even if I have no idea how to pronounce it). The Husband has asked the children to call him Lord Father. So far, they aren’t complying. The cool part is that we are allowed to use them on legal documents. Something about that makes me happy.

It’s the little things.

The next 35 days will be so very, very busy. Saying goodbye to favorite places like Kew, the Italian restaurant in Notting Hill, and the Royal Academy. Making sure everything in the house has a designation for shipping: SEA, AIR, or SUITCASE. Selling off electronics, and storage closets; donating clothes, and books to the local charity shop. Making sure every single piece of paper you need for moving four people and a dog across two countries is filled out and stamped and sorted in triplicate.

35 days to go.

 

Double Dose of Birthdays

This week is a double dose of birthdays.  Hubby on the 26th and Boo on the 1st.  One refuses to tell me what he wants (‘nothing really’) and the other has requested a Lego’s Racer that can interchange with his green one (exactly as it is phrased on the list) and, this one cracks me up, a compass holder.  Santa brought him a compass for Christmas and he loves to tell us where we are as we drive.  North, now west, now south.  He’s so stinkin’ cute. 
I actually still need to shop for the presents.  Maybe the word of the week should have been procrastination? (Hubby just called to tell me he found a Disney/Pixar Monopoly game, Boo’s currently in love the with Monopoly game he got from McDonalds.  So he’s getting that.  Even though it’s in German that’s ok it’s easy enough to figure out.)
Busy day today.  I have to clean because we have a sitter tonight (wahoo!) and she cleans houses and babysits (not that she cleans my house) but I can’t let her see my lack of cleaning.  We are going out with Hubby’s co-workers/friends of ours tonight for Italian food.  Yum.  It should be interesting because I will be meeting two new people from Hubby’s work whom I’ve heard mentioned a lot.  It’s been a long time since we’ve gone out and I’m looking forward to it.  Thankfully Boo is better.  And I don’t know why but Chick slept through the night last night.  I am not complaining because we stayed up until midnight so we could catch the new episode of Numb3rs (which comes on at 11 here) and I had a killer headache.  So whatever I did last night to make her sleep please let me do it again tonight.
Only when you’ve had broken nights of sleep for 11 months can you truly appreciate sleeping through the night!

I have my project to finish up before Friday (hopefully going to get done by tomorrow night) and then there’s a book contest that starts on the 2nd I am debating entering but I don’t know if the piece I want to enter is completely ready yet.  I also have the start of my month long psychology of characters class starting the 1st (incidentally also Boo’s bowling birthday party).  
Listen to the words of the first song on my iPod.  Yes, it’s country but it is SO funny!  What song’s do you listen to that the words move you or make you laugh?  Do you have cruise wear?  Do you wish you did?  What are your goals for February?
And in case you’re keeping count like we are
  25 days till we go on our Disney Cruise Vacation!

Upcoming post – cruise wear, I’ll show you mine, you show me yours.

Sunrise


I captured this beautiful sunrise yesterday morning.  It was about 8:15 am which means that the days are again getting longer.  Thank goodness!  I’ve been feeling the winter blues funk lately and here in Germany it hits especially hard.  I read on Mausi’s site that there are even tonics here to fight this.  Of course if you need to kick the winter blues head over to J’s site where you can scroll down a few posts to the disgusting pictures of his Thailand beach vacation.  (Warning jealousy will ensue upon looking at these pictures.)  But I am happy to see he has crash landed back into the world of German Weather.  Good to have you back!

The worst part is that it is very deceiving when you look out the huge windows here.  It’s absolutely sparkling with sunshine and you get al excited thinking ‘Ohhh!  It’s nice outside.  Quick grab the pram and lets walk to pick up Boo from school.’  Once outside you realize you should have grabbed scarf, mittens and a wool hat to combat the bitter frigid weather.  I think I miss snowy Maryland about now.  Even though every February we lived in the Northeast there was always some freak Noreaster snowstorm you could count on unseasonable temps from January on (and I mean the good kind of unseasonable.)  Heck, I fondly remember wearing shorts in mid April and turning on the AC come May.  If it wasn’t so darn expensive to move back there we’d be looking forward to a return in two years.  Of course our other dream option is Alexandria, Virginia.  Someone please win the lotto for me 🙂  To find out where you should live go to Find Your Spot for a cool quiz.
We had our second moving evaluation this morning.  And I can safely say hubby and I would love for this company to get the job.  They said they’d put our kitchen together even though they wouldn’t be moving it to the new house.  Hubby said he’d get the cabinets together but if they’d hang them and hook up the appliances, wahoo!  The guy even took a sketch of the kitchen plan with him.  Now, we had no idea they would do this and never mentioned it to the other company, so hopefully that won’t throw the bid too much.  
Not a lot going on at the moment.  Boo is playing soccer after school.  I can only imagine what that must be like for the coach.  12 boys between the ages of 5 and 7 fighting to kick a ball.  I wish parents were allowed to watch!
Hubby turns another year older on Saturday, which is good cause then that means he is officially one year and four months older than me and I can feel young for a bit longer.  Boo turns SIX on the first and I can hardly believe my baby boy is getting so old.  Makes me weepy for his tiny little baby self.  
But he still lets me cuddle him so I haven’t lost my ‘little’ boy completely.