Monday, July 14, 2014

Back in the Saddle!

No, that isn't melted orange plastic. It's QUESO!

I am writing to you from my beautiful, noise-free, spacious (and empty) home in Texas! It is good to be sweating my bum off, getting attacked by mosquitos, and eating disgusting amounts of Texmex here in Houston. 

It has been so hard not blogging this past month, especially because I had so much to share with you all. Six cities (5 countries!) in the past month, with 6 different visitors. Be prepared, because I will be bloggin allllll about it. But first, I just want to share with you some thoughts I have with being back in Texas after a little over a year in London.

- First of all, we are both just so grateful that we took the opportunity to live abroad. Believe it or not, we were really hesitant at first to move. There were a lot of small steps that seemed like huge obstacles at the time that needed to be taken care of before moving. Figuring out what to do with our house, my new car, our dogs. Missing family, friends, milestones. What it meant for our life and our future. It was a bit scary, but now that our London season has come to an end, those huge "what ifs" just seem silly to me and I get sad to think that those small technicalities nearly prohibited us from experiencing all that we did. London was just a short chapter of our life, but made a huge impact. The benefits outweighed the cost, and if anyone has the opportunity to go live somewhere else for a spell, I say GO! Everything will fall into place, and even if you hate it,'s just a short part of your life.

- I learned that the world is as big as it is small. There were times when I felt like I was in another dimension, and other times when I felt like I could very well have been in my backyard back home. I think the factor that always brought me back to the notion that the world is small is the interconnectedness of humanity- the need for a smile, for connection, for kindness. Granted, I didn't go anywhere too crazy, but all of the places I did go to had more in common with each other than differences.

- Being in a new city where everyone is a stranger made me realize how important friendship is, and I had to really put myself out there to meet people. I am just so tickled when I think of the friends I made while in London, because lots of them were friends that I wouldn't normally have come across while in Houston, and yet I feel such a strong emotional connection with many of them. I read something about how we tend to become friends with people just like us- there is an attraction that initially brings us to befriend like-minded people. But when we befriend people with different energies and life paths, we learn more about ourselves and the world around us. I had friends ranging from 8- 70 and from all over the world. My heart is just filled with so much love and gratitude for all of them, and they truly made my experience in London THAT MUCH better.

Ok, now on to lighter things I have thought of while living in Houston these past 2 days...

1. We are LOUD. I mean, wow. Waiting in customs, I could hear about 5 different conversations going on at once. No one knows what an inside voice is here in Texas.

2. We are informal. I am having to change the way I speak to be less formal, because I think I am coming off as rude. Here, people really do speak to you like you are their best friend...even if you just met. And I love it.

3. We are so friendly. My driver was a no show at the airport. This sweet man saw me freaking out, and asked if I needed to borrow his phone (I didn't have a US phone yet). Another example: Daniel and I were looking for a recycling box to throw away our cardboard boxes in. We went to Walmart and asked a young worker outside. They didn't have one for the public, but she offered to take our boxes and put them with Walmart's boxes. Their kindness really made our day, especially because in London, everyone is in their own world and people usually wouldn't stop to help others.
My new car! 2014 Ford Escape...really love it so far!

4. Driving is awesome. I just have to keep repeating "Right side. Right side. Right side"

5. Why, oh WHY, do we feel like we need so much "stuff"? I never realized just how much I had until unpacking. Really? 25 wine glasses? 16 everyday place settings AND fine china place settings? 8 pots? 4 skillets? 10 towels? 5 sets of sheet? It's strange going from having 6 place settings and 2 towels to this.

6. And I have a new appreciation for space. I have more cabinets in my master bathroom than I had in my whole London flat. And my drawers have 7x the volume as my ones in London. Heck, my closet is probably larger than my UK kitchen. We left TX thinking our house was so small, and now we don't think we will ever need anything larger than our 1920's, 3 bedroom bungalow.

7.Cornball alert: There really is no place like home. It is just so comfortable walking through Target with Daniel, meeting my family for lunch, taking the dogs to the park, waking up in my cozy bed, drinking Shiner, etc. etc. We truly are thrilled to be back!

So, that was very indulgent and wordy. In fact, so wordy that I couldn't bare to do a proper proof read. Next posts will be more pictures, less chatting. Thanks for reading!

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