Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Texas Excitements

People have a bad habit of constantly looking forward to the next big thing, instead of appreciating what they have going on in the NOW. However....I need things to look forward to in regards to moving back home, or I get a bit depressed that I am leaving London. So, here are the top 10 things I am looking forward to in Texas!
My sister and brother 

1. Seeing family and friends, of course! One of my best friends will have just had a baby boy and I cannot wait to meet him. Already looking forward to getting my nails done with my sister, roadtripping to Austin to see friends, and being less than an hour's drive from family.

2. My new job! I will be a PK assistant at Kinkaid, and I am ecstatic to work at such a prestigious school. I think this will be the perfect job to help me transition to being back in the classroom after a year off.

Cannot wait to be back in my bed- no more springs digging in my back, fighting for space with Daniel, and sleeping to the sound of stomping landlords above us! 
3. Being back in my house. Lord, how our perspective has changed since living in this dark, tiny, loud London flat. I cannot wait to be back in my beautiful Heights home. We laugh how before we moved here, we thought our house was too small, too old, too much of a handful. Now, it seems like paradise compared to London living.

Great way to add some interest to my very boring fence and get some herbs too!
I can easily do this to my new fence! 

LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea....  For my dream porch! Perfect for large country porch overlooking woods or lake
I can make this...right? 

4. Speaking of being home, I have a lot of Pinterest projects to complete in the month before starting work. Before moving, we built a patio and while we were in London, we also had a new fence built in our backyard. I am excited to spend time in our yard (after a year of having a wet, rainy, cold cement patio in London).

5. Still not done with home excitements- buying new furniture for our house! We gave away our old living room furniture, so I am busy planning and pinning away different bungalow living room ideas.

6. No longer having to convert dollars to pounds! I can afford to shop again...Hello, outlet malls!

7. I don't look forward to driving, but I do look forward to having the option to drive instead of riding my bike in the rain, or waiting 15 minutes for the bus, or walking the mile to the tube station.


8. These babies to cuddle with. But I am NOT looking forward to the endless amounts of shedding that comes with them. BTW, Cole is wearing a diaper in the first picture because she was in heat before we were able to get her fixed! We called it her "big girl panties" and I actually had to put a maxi pad in her panties for her. Fun times!

9. Brisket. Fried pickles. Queso. Dos XX. Taquitos. Trader Joe's. A big juicy steak. Cheez its. Annie's Bunnies. Freebirds. Chickfila. Lupe's. Cedar Creek. $6 pitchers of Shiner at Bingo.

10. Starting new adventurers in Texas. Someone told me that "the adventure is over", but I don't look at it that way. London has changed our perspectives and I think we will view Texas in a whole new light. I think we will take more weekend trips, spend more time with loved ones, and enjoy more of the culture that Houston offers. I think we'll take the time to walk instead of drive, see a play at the Hobby Center instead of staying home, and be more inclined to try new things.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

36 Days

Hi! So, I guess it's time to announce on here that in 36 days, Daniel is moving back to Texas, and I am to follow him 10 days afterwards. It's bittersweet- I don't feel "done" with this London chapter yet. But, I am thankful to have had this time here and maybe one day we will get to have an experience like this again. And if not, well, I really don't think Houston is that bad anyway. I am excited to eat Tex Mex, be around family, and live in my old house again.

Plus, I am excited to not have 24/7 rain any more. Daniel and I had a picnic planned for yesterday, but had to cancel it due to rain. It just isn't the same having a picnic inside. 
Plus, it's hard to feel sad when we have SO much going on these next 36 days. Here's a countdown...

16 Days: Daniel's family comes to visit and we will have 6 people in our tiny one bedroom/ bathroom flat (which is hilarious, because our flat is also being shown right now...people are going to think we run a brothel with the amount of air mattresses we will have scattered around our flat).

19 Days: Back to Rome, this time with Daniel's family. And all Daniel and I are planning on doing it eating gelato and pasta.

23 Days: Athens with the family.

26 Days: Daniel's back in London, I go to Santorini with The Bond's. We are in walking distance of several wineries, so I am pretty excited for that.

27 Days: My brother comes to London from Paris. Daniel will pick him up from the train station.

29 Days: Back in London for a hot minute before...

30 Days: Prague with Gregory! It'll just be the two of us

31 Days: The Bond's return to Texas

36 Days: Daniel goes home...

40 Days: Gregory goes home...

46 Days: I go home!

And in that time, we need to pack, sell/ get rid of a bunch of random things we have bought in London but don't need back home, cancel utilities here, start utilities in Texas, etc etc. I'm not that stressed about it because I know leaving London will be much easier than leaving Texas was last year. It'll all get done!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Most Breathtaking English Countryside

Hi, friends! I am feeling so much better today, after nearly sleeping for 20 hours yesterday alone. I'm still pretty tired, but I think once I get moving, I'll feel more awake.

I'm really excited to share our day trip to the Cotswolds with you. The Cotswolds are near Oxford, starting about 70 miles north of London and a 100 mile trail of little picturesque, thatch-roofed villages. It's somewhere that I really wanted to see, but it always seemed like so much trouble, because you need a car to get around. I refuse to drive here, and Daniel has once before and said he'll never do it again. SO, when our friends Bailey and Tristan told us that they wanted to take a daytrip and didn't mind driving, we jumped on the opportunity tag along!

We rented a car through zipzar- you can either pay an hourly or daily rate, and it really wasn't too shabby when being split amongst two couples.

They picked us up around 8:45 and we were off! First stop was Bibury, about an hour and a half from our flat. Bailey and I had both read great things about the village, but it was SO small and we couldn't find any shops or pubs. I think we just didn't look hard enough? The houses were cute, though!

Next stop was unplanned- it just looked like a cute town, so we decided to have a look! Bourton-on-the-Water, also known as the Venice of the Cotswolds. It didn't even look real, and I think it was really built up to look old. Everything was a bit too perfect. 


The next town was all of our favorites- Chipping Campden. We spent a lot of time there, and if you are going to the Cotswolds, I highly recommend this town. It was just touristy enough, but mostly full of people that actually live there. There were a handful of pubs, ice cream shops, and little antique stores. 

We went to two pubs- The Red Lion....and I can't remember the other one. We had a cider at each, and lunch at the second one. It was actually pretty good, for being pub food! And cider is always the perfect compliment to a warm day (the hottest of the year in the UK!). 
A Market Hall from the early 1600's
The NEATEST church was in Chipping Campden that we truly enjoyed exploring. There was a wedding going on, and it seemed like the whole town was there! As we walked to the church, it seemed like every little cottage's door was opening, with a little old lady hobbling out, shouting at her neighbor to come along so they don't miss the ceremony. 

There's something about old English churches and cemeteries that I just love. There's such a feeling of peace and you feel so small when reading the tombstones of people that have died 500 years ago. 

Next, we were able to find a walking map and took a 5 mile hike into the countryside. First, we got to pass some old cottages. They don't ever get old to me! I really want to stay in one, one day.

The hike was incredible. Gorgeous views, wild flowers, and LOTS of sheep. Plus, it was so sunny and warm out. 


Our sheep story:
We were sitting down, watching the view, and there was a sheep next to us chowing down on some grass. There was another sheep baaing in the distance, and every time the sheep next to us kept baaing back to it. She started to sound angry, and then we turn around and see it was her baby she was baaing to! The baby runs full force to her momma, baaing hysterically. Bailey goes "AWWWW, we are about to see a tender moment!" And then the baby sheep head butts the momma in the groin, making her stumble, and then starts going to town on her nipples for some milk. It looked painful! And then after baby got her fill, she started rolling around happily in the grass. It was really freaking cute.

After our hike, we got some ice cream and asked the shop owner for another good town we should see. He suggested Broadway, and we went, but I think we were too tired at this point to enjoy any more sights. We had heard of a pub called Falkland Arms, deemed to be the "best pub in the UK" and decided to drive there, before heading home for the night. 

The pub was really old and in the middle of nowhere. I think there were more dogs than people there. We were so, so tired that we just stayed for a bit before going back to London.

Fun, fun times. I'm so thankful we got to go with Bailey and Tristan!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sick Girl

Hello all,

I had plans for a nice long post about our trip to the Cotswolds over the weekend, but I have come down with an evil flu that incorporates a nasty stomach bug with extreme lethargy and headaches. Fun! And I just don't have the energy today to do much more than drink chicken broth and lay in bed without falling asleep every 10 minutes. So, here's some random pictures and I promise I'll write a longer post once I feel better.

Last week I took the kids to Cafe Rouge (a french chain here in the UK) for dinner and we got to sit outside and enjoy the gorgeous sunny weather. They always want me to take pictures to put on my blog :-D
 Miranda wanted you readers to know that she recommends this book, called Wonder. It about a boy who has some physical deformity, but the reader never really learns what it is. Each chapter is a different character's perspective. Sounds pretty good!
 My family friends Carol and Jim came to London, along with their friends Teresa and Pat. We went to have some ciders at a cute pub by where their hotel was, and then had some delicious tapas. A great lunch!

On the way home from dining with them, I rode by Kensington Palace. Had to stop and take a picture!

Ok, sorry for the random post. Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel better!


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