Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Family pics with Kjrsten

Tyler chose the location for these pictures Kjrsten took. It is Leadenhall Market (the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in Harry Potter!). Usually it is so packed, but we did it on a Saturday because Ty had to work. So Kjrsten had 20 minutes to take these before Tyler had to get to work. We really love them.

Last few days in Iceland

We stayed in a house in Sulfoss for our last few days. Sulfoss is right on the sea and borders a really quaint and colorful town.
 The tundra. Ty was so fascinated with the tundra. It was like hiking on a wet sponge.
 Betsy and I were dead set on doing a hike up to a geo thermal river. But it was pouring rain when we got to the trail head and some hikers coming down said it was very treacherous and that you had to take your shoes off and wade through multiple river crossings to get there. Ty knew it wasn't feasible with the kids but let us come to terms with it on our own time. He stayed in the car with the kids so Bets and I could get our hike fix by hiking up to these hot pots, they were really stunning.
Iceland is a trip that I will never forget. Everyday I was in awe of the natural beauty around me. Having Betsy with us multiplied the fun by 10. Ty made the best CDs for us to listen to and Of Monsters and Men will always remind me of Iceland. Everyday was a road trip with stops at almost every town along the way for a dip in the geo thermal town pool. The kids were in heaven at the simple pools with waterslides. I really that we will go back some day.

Leaving Iceland meant saying goodbye to Betsy. It was a sad day for everyone.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


It might be because it is the eve of Thanksgiving, but my heart has been so full that last few days. For a lot of reasons, but lately I have been feeling so thankful for the diversity of London and how blessed I feel to live here. A part of my heart is always aching for home and family, especially this time of year but today my heart is full of gratitude for the wonderful experience we are having.

Our two favorite babysitters are from Kosovo and Poland and Otie's soccer teacher is Russian. At Otis' school there are 35 different mother tongue languages spoken. I don't think I could even list 35 different langages. On Tuesdays I stay in his class and help the kids pick a new book to put in their pack to take home that day. Otis loves to help me call out his friend's names like Aditi, Satymiya, Ahmed, Luigane, Mataeuse  and will correct me "no, Mom it's An-WAH, not Anwar!"  One of Otie's teachers is Muslim and wears a hijab every day. I love this experience for Otis and hope that he remembers all of these people in his everyday life that he loved and adored and played with, without any pre-conceived notions or judgements.

The other night we were having dinner with a group of friends that included some Americans, 2 Germans, a girl from Wales, an Englishman and 2 Aussies. I sat back and watched the conversations going on around me and just felt so grateful to be having this experience. Surrounded by so many unique people so different from me. Open minded people from backgrounds so different from my own, and people that I really love to be around.

Sometimes I think life here seems glamorous, the idea of living in Europe sounds "cool". But mostly our day to day is similar to what it would be with my 2 kids at home. Days full of making and cleaning up meals, wiping bottoms, folding clothes, doing dishes, playing Dora memory and Zingo, watching and fighting over the TV, endless animal fights with Otis on my bed, reading the same books over and over and over, constant changing of outfits- Otis into multiple super hero or animal costumes and Milly insisting on different dresses, skirts or "dance outfits". 

Some days I think I might die if I hear another whiny cry or see another tantrum. Some  afternoons I hide and catch up on my phone or emails and hold my breath until there are tears and a fight in the other room. But most of the time I am happy. Happy to have two kids and a husband who love me and need me and adore me. Happy to have a little boy who sneaks in my bed to snuggle with me everynight and a little girl who is so dramatic and girly and lovely that I don't know where she came from. So it isn't glamorous, and it isn't all that exciting. But I love it and I am thankful.