29 October 2010

i am a moron

i was all set to do a post about eleri; how cute and great she is. see? look how cute she is!

and then i discovered that i was a moron. big time. rhys and i are trying our best to provide for our little family. money is scarce. and in my brilliance i thought it would be a good idea to sign us up for the marathons, which total £465 in entry fees and accommodation. not something we could really afford, but we are stretching.

but as we have found out, it is not just those fees. we require gear as well. Apparently when one runs an ultra marathon, there is specific kit which one is required to carry. having never run an ultra marathon before, rhys and i were unaware of said rule. that meant we had to purchase additional kit. another expenditure.

and then, being as clued in and attentive as ever, i picked out a running shirt, paid for it and then left the store without the actual shirt. I purchased it on wednesday, it is now friday and just today i am noticing. awesome. there was a bit of a hulabaloo at the cash register and the shirt ended up getting passed to another cashier. and then it was rung up incorrectly and after about 5 times it finally worked, so i paid, took my fussy child and left. oh, and i promptly lost the receipt as well.

basically i am a crazy person who is going to go into the store tomorrow, a full three days after i bought the shirt, explain that only now i am noticing that it is missing and then follow up by not being able to produce a receipt. oh, and did i mention that i bought rhys a shirt as well? and whilst i made it home with his, it doesnt fit. but without a receipt we are stuck with it. again, awesome.

so instead of having a great day as it started out, i now feel like a deflated, wasteful moron. not cool. not cool at all.

but look at how cute she is?! so precious.

26 October 2010

reading the bible is good.

*i wrote this yesterday but forgot to post it, so i will post it today instead....

at the moment i feel bogged down in my circumstances. I am constantly reminded that we must wait on the Lord and his timing, but living life in difficult day to day situations makes the idea of waiting quite tedious. often times i feel it is almost impossible to trust in the knowledge that there is a bigger plan and good things are coming.

it is easy to become overwhelmed with circumstances. it is difficult to rise above that in hope; trusting in the promises of god.

today is an especially difficult day. it is barely past noon and i am already saying that. doenst bode particularly well for the rest of the day. and then, then i read this from Paul's letter to the Ephesians....

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance and his incomparably great power for us who believe"

know the hope to which he has called me. because He has called ME to live in the hope and truth of His word. His word which tells me not to be anxious about anything but in all things to present my requests to him and the peace of God will guard my heart (Philippians 4) His word which tells me that He works all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28) His word which tells me that even when I was being formed in my mothers womb He had a plan for me and my life. (Jeremiah 1:5, Ps 139 etc..)

the truth of the matter for me is that lately i have been looking to everything else for my peace and confidence. my surroundings, my husband, my friends, eleri, what i can (or cant) accomplish in the day, what i cook, what i clean (or dont clean) all of those things are setting the tone of my day and governing my emotions. and those are the very things that should not have any control over me. we are called to set our eyes on Jesus "forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead" (phil 3:13)

but i am not doing that. my hope is placed in the things around me instead of Him that is above me.

so today i will be praying paul's words over my life; that my eyes may be enlightened and i may have the hope of christ in my life. because if my eyes are turned on him, then everything else simply falls away.

22 October 2010

I am Famous

just in case you were unaware, rhys and I are running the Pembrokeshire Coast Challenge. due to my experiences with skin cancer, we are doing the race with the intention of raising money for the British Skin Founation.

The BSF has recently done a press release on us, passing the information along to major newspapers and television stations, BBC included. They have also posted about us on the homepage of their website!! AWESOME! here is the LINK to the site, go have a read. its kind of cool to see the three of us up there.

21 October 2010

becoming a BRITISH citizen....

today is the day that i take my test to become a british citizen. all my life i have wanted another passport and today i take the first step to making that dream a reality. i am SO excited!

let me also say that i would NEVER, EVER give up my American passport. when i say another, i mean in addition to. for all the ways i have changed and come to appreciate european culture, i would never trade in my american citizenship. after all, WE are the best ;)

that said, i am still very excited to become a member of the EU. the ability to work and live in any european union country is awesome!

aside from citizenship, i would like to share a link to a friends blog. her post is about something that i have been struggling with lately and i think it is simply too good to pass by. her words must be shared. whilst she is writing from a "mother tending to baby" angle, the crucial point she makes is valid across the board. our daily situations are circumstantial. our goal is to glorify God regardless. go have a read, it is worth it for sure.

20 October 2010


this past weekend, i left little e in the VERY capable hands of her father....

threw on a great pair of shoes.....

combined with a great pair of skinny jeans....

and took a fast train to london!

upon arriving i was treated to my favourite chinese food....

tasty beverages....

and spent some quality time with some crazy friends!

and the night was finished with chips from the BEST chip shop in the world!

the result? an awesome night out!

19 October 2010

some thoughts

i have a lot to say. i have even more on my mind. and that is the problem; i am not sure how to put everything that i am thinking about and everything that i want to say actually into words. i dont think anything would come out as a coherent sentence. so instead i will offer some short updates until i can get my head around what is going on.

-our 3 marathons in 3 days challenge is a LOT. it is ending up being a bit more than i had imagined. not only the hours involved in training, but the time spent fundraising as well. it has been a challenging trying to find 2 hours a day to run. and then on top of that make dinner, clean up, do laundry, make fundraising phone calls, gain support, and play with little e. to be fair we have had amazing support from the community. Swansea City Football club has donated tickets as have the Ospreys, and the Welsh Rugby Union. those are MASSIVE donations for our charity auction. not to mention the support of loads of our friends. the response truly has been tremendous. but all the same, I am glad that it is almost over.

-rhys and i booked tickets to go to Geneva, Switzerland on 19 November. we wanted a break after the marathons and we are visiting one of my dearest friends, Devi. Yesterday we got our immigration appointment from the US Embassy.....for the 19 November. We cant change it. and because we booked our tickets so cheaply and in advance, we cant change those either. so we are out the money for Geneva and cant even go. talk about disappointing. and devi doesnt know yet. (well, i guess you do know devi!)

-i am half way through my application for British citizenship. my test is thursday and my immigration appointment is two weeks on monday. but my swearing in ceremony is not until march.

-which means we are staying in the UK until March. i know, big announcement. I have such mixed feelings about it. but i know that i know that i KNOW everyone in our family needs to be free from immigration control. we needs green cards and passports respectively so that we can travel and live freely in either america or the EU. so we have no choice but to stay. to stay and to pay. all in all it will have cost us just over £10,000. awesome, i know.

-e is amazing. her comprehension is incredible. i am amazed daily at the little toddler that is my child. she is no longer a baby. i wish you all could see just how incredible she really is. little ele is seriously the coolest baby in the world.

and thats it. those are my thoughts. coming tomorrow? london weekend post! it was awesome!

14 October 2010

Olympic Hero

this is my dad.

he has always been really athletic. He played several different sports in high school and was even part of the track and field team when he was in college at the Univeristy of Oklahoma. so, yes, he is quite athletic.

when i was in high school my dad gave me all of his old medals. basketball medals from when he was in high school, track and field medals, and even his awards from OU. i was so cool. I am sad to say that i eventually lost all of his OU medals. I felt so bad. to be honest, i still feel quite bad about it.

But not all is lost. he has recently won some more medals! this past weekend my dad participated in the Senior Olympics and won two silver medals for track and field events!! WOO HOO!!

thats right, my dad is awesome.

this time around though, he has promised his medals to eleri. that is probably for the best. hopefully she can hang on to them a bit longer than i did!

12 October 2010

The Europe List

back in 2008 i posted 100 things about myself. I was reading over the list today and the majority of the list holds true. some have changed, and changed drastically. it is interesting how we grow. often in ways we never thought possible.

i like lists. lists of all kinds. i like that i made a list of 100 things about me because i liked going back and reading over it today. i like to do lists because its nice to have outlined what needs to be done, and its nice to feel accomplished when the tasks are completed. it is also nice to have a list and completely disregard it, having fun and playing all day.

i just really like lists.

i have had a 'Europe List' for a while now. things i want to do before we leave Europe. I made the list about a year ago. quite a few things have been crossed off, things like go to spain again, make skinny jeans a regular part of my wardrobe, learn to like wine, and teach ele sign language. But there is still a lot left. so i am adding the list to the blog. I will post it here, with the link off to the side. right next to my list of 100 things about me.

cause i like lists.

So here it is, the remaining items left on my 'Europe List'

*update: things accomplished have been highlighted in red*

-have a retreat at the Llangasty Monastery
-go to switzerland with rhys and the baby
-make spicy spanish pallea, the traditional way

-run a full marathon
-own a leather jacket

-take rhys to rome
-learn welsh, or at least take a welsh class
-get my BIG tattoo
-make pastry, the British way
-downsize on the shoes and clothes
-teach eleri her letters and colours (a work in progress, i know)
-really learn pilates
-solidify the green/organic change in my life
-one more game at Millennium Stadium
-make the most of the pub culture
-night out in London with Rhys
-go to Barcelona as a family
-Get my British passport
-make my own natural body scrubs and body washes
-take a day for myself and not feel guilty about it
-sail on the local lake with e and rhys
-make cod chowder bake, the British way.
-get e some staple British toys before we move back
-buy Jamie Oliver's travel cookbook.
-get my British drivers license.
-ogmore-by-sea one last time as a family
-london lights at Christmas time with e
-top of a double decker bus with e. (amazingly enough she has never been on one. even though she lived in london, surrounded by double decker buses for the first year of her life)
-go to blackpool
-climb pen-y-fan with the family
-get my small tattoo
-get rhys tickets to the wales/england game

as you can see, there is still quite a lot left to accomplish on my list. potentially we only have a few more months to try and do it all. we shall see. but there you have it. my Europe List.

*i should also note that the picture attached to my list was the picture i used way back int he day when i made the list. something about the dress, the grass, the running....it just seemed to fit me. and me in europe. so i am sticking with it!

11 October 2010


that is roughly $180,161,626.46 according to the exchange rate calculator. $181 million dollars. that is an insane amount of money. that was the Euro Millions lottery jacket pot this friday night. everyone in the entirety of Europe can play the Euro millions.

ONE person in the UK won the jackpot. ONE person in MY country won £113 million pounds.

I bought a ticket. two actually. and i would like to say that it was me. that i won the jackpot. sadly it was not. the person who won has yet to come forward and claim their prize. they will have a huge surprise when they check their ticket.

rhys and i buy a lottery ticket every time the jackpot gets massive. hey someone has got to win it right? why not us? and every time we buy a ticket we spend a good chunk of time deciding what we would do with the winnings. after we have taken out tithe and money for family, we contemplate what we would do.

we always settle on the same few things. of course we would buy some things. for example, a house in America, the UK and Australia. and a car that actually ran well. the new purse that i want. oh come on, who am i kidding? i would buy all the purses and shoes that i wanted.

but once we get over the stupid things we would buy, we always come back to organisations. Rhys and I both want to set up some charitable organisations. One for scholarships for kids who cant afford university, one for underprivileged kids in different countries, one for missionaries who need funding or missionary trips churches take which need money, one for....you get the idea. basically if we had won £113 million pounds we would have become philanthropists.

and it got me thinking. what would YOU do? So blog readers, whether i know you or not, whether you have ever posted or not, tell me. what would you do with £113 million pounds? or $181 million dollars if that is your preferred currency.

7 October 2010

waiting....but not so patiently.

Chapters is a blog that I read when i get the chance. It is always a good read and I recommend you stop by if find the time. Amy, the author of said blog, has recently posted about waiting. Her story is waiting for a child. she has called for people to write in their own stories of waiting as means of encouragement to the readers. most are stories of waiting for partners, children or jobs. most have a conclusion.

mine is a little different.

It's interesting because lately i feel like that is all i have been doing. waiting. waiting for the next thing, the next move, the next step. but it is difficult to wait. there is a fine line between waiting patiently for what is coming and wishing away the present as you long for the next thing; being content with where you are and wanting something different.

jesus tells us to wait on Him. he has perfect timing and a perfect plan. Paul writes that he has found the secret to being content in every situation.... but there is a difference between waiting on the Lord and wanting something else. i am finding that the longer i am in my particular situation, the more blurred that line becomes.

For a while now I have felt like my life is in a constant state of transition. because of certain situations, i am always having to look ahead, plan for the next step. since rhys and i became parents, we have felt like it was time to leave London. but as with any big move, it was not a decision that could be made over night. the more we prayed about it and examined our options, the clearer it became that leaving london for america was in fact the right choice. and the transitioning began. (transitioning? is that even a word? hmmm...)

immigration, visa paper work, consular papers for eleri, citizenship documentation for me, moving out the flat, planning when to ship things to america, moving to wales, and waiting. and waiting. and then waiting some more. I am always looking to the next month thinking 'what paper work needs to be submitted this month?' 'what citizenship test do i need to take?' 'what checks need to be sent to which government and for how much?' and whilst those are all valid things to be doing, the constant state of having to look forward and wait for the next deadline has caused me to question other things. 'when will i have my own space?' 'when will we move?' 'when will i have my own house?' and 'jesus, when oh when will i have my own house?!'

i think that living in transition has led me to believe that i am instead living in uncertainty. and living in uncertainty had led me to question the things around me and forced me out of living in contentment and into living in fear and anxiety. waiting on the lord and his timing has become wishing for something else.

that is a very dangerous place to be.

in some ways i feel that my life has regressed. I got married, moved into a flat, worked in the city at a high profile corporate job, made friends, became involved in the community, got pregnant, birthed a child....and then quit my job, moved out of the flat, moved in with my in laws and live in isolation with no transportation, no community aside from sheep farmers and no independence except in the 14 x 14 bedroom our family shares. a little different than what i was expecting.

when rhys and i began praying about the next step, we both felt at peace about moving in with his parents. we wanted to spend some quality time with his family before immigrating to america. i was content to wait on the Lord as he gradually made known His plan to us. But now, I am not content. there is no other way to word it. our current situation is not ideal, granted. but it is also not bad. i dont know any young family who desires to live with 7 other people under one roof; to live by someone else rules. But we are truly blessed to have a family that has so graciously accepted us into their home and that has a home that can accommodate us. besides, what ever happened to waiting on the lord for His plan?

i am reminded of the age old argument of nurture versus nature. traditionally that discussion relates to the up bringing of children. but it applies in this situation too. am i only content to wait on the Lord when things are easy? when i have a comfortable living situation with things the way I want them? is it only then that i will seek out the Lords plan and wait patiently for it to come to fruition? what about when things are not exactly as i planned them? am i such a product of my circumstances (nature) that i cant remember the point of it all, what I have always believed (nurture)

waiting is difficult. waiting requires us to trust in something besides ourselves. waiting forces us out of control and into dependence upon the One who is really in control anyway. But waiting should also drive us into contentment. "Be STILL and KNOW that I am GOD" the would still could easily be replaces with WAIT.

when we quiet ourselves before the lord we are open to listen and wait for what He has for us. that is just easier said than done. so here i am waiting. not always patiently, and not always with a spirit of contentment, but waiting nonetheless.

so there is my story. i have faith that the Lord is doing, and planning, amazing things for our lives. I know that i wont feel stuck in this situation forever. and i know that there are really positive aspects to my circumstances. and i am working on being content regardless of what is happening.

and i will wait. with an open heart.

5 October 2010


since i have recently signed up for 3 marathons in 3 days (see THIS post) I have obviously been running quite a bit more than usual. and i have had to find some more exciting routes to take. running up and down the same street over and over again can get tiring. i decided to take me camera out with me the other day to take some shots of what it is like where i live.

as i have a tendency to exaggerate, when i say i live in the middle of nowhere, i think some people take it as an exaggeration. it is not. i literally live in the middle of nowhere. i am surrounded on all sides by farm land and farm animals. nice running scenery, not always the best place to live.

yesterday i did 15K (about 10 miles) which is good considering what i have ahead of me in just 4 weeks. here is my run in pictures.

I am literally out in the middle of nowhere. if i am honest, this is some of the most peaceful and relaxing runs i have ever done in my life. but....everyday life proves to be something else. i have discovered that i am NOT a small town person. and that is reinforced every single day i am here. i recently did a facebook 'quiz' which said that the perfect place for me to live was New York City. hmmmmm, not sure that is the ideal city. but for now, i will enjoy my runs and be grateful for the beautiful landscape.