28 November 2011

winter stylin'

I am not the most stylish person in the world. But I have changed quite a bit over the years. In high school I used to wear umbros and t-shirts in the summer and polo shirts and khakis in the winter. and not just any polo shirts- my brothers shirts. the brother who is 6'3 and 4 years older than me. I did not look cool. You would think college would have been better. Sadly, it was not. My freshman year a friend and I decided to see how long we could go without showering. Why did I think that was a good idea? I dont know. But I lasted so long that I could pull my hair back into a ponytail and it would stay- stay without a ponytail tie! yup, hair grease alone. I also wore hats a lot, only wore chacos (even with dresses) and generally thought t-shirts were the only thing acceptable to wear. Again, I did not look cool.

I suppose I started to invest a bit more in grad school, but travelling to Europe is what did it. Oh, the style! It was glorious! The skirts, and scarfs, and jewelry, and bags! When I went to New Zealand to 'study' I racked up huge credit card debt shopping. As a side note of the story: credit card debt is NOT cool. Do not go shopping without a budget and put it on your credit card. you will be paying it off for the next 10 years.

Moving to London changed me forever. London is stylish. No chacos and t-shirts there. In fact a fun game to play was "Spot the America" you could always tell. The girls would wear jeans, fleeces and tennis shoes and the guys would wear fleeces, baggy jeans and tennis shoes. Brits do not wear baggy jeans. or tennis shoes unless they are running or playing tennis. My wardrobe gradually changed from frumpy to...well, at least a little less frumpy.

I wore sparkly tops, skinny jeans, high heels, multiple bangles, ballet flats and even a trendy leather jacket. Living and working in London finally propelled me out of "lets not shower and dress like a boy" to "lets wear fun, stylish clothes and shower at least 3 times a week" Stylish or not, apparently I dont like to shower. And since they have super cheap clothing stores like Primark and New Look, dressing stylishly could be cheap as well!

As a result, my fall/winter wardrobe is stylish. Since there was never really a summer/spring to speak of in the UK, my warm weather clothes are pretty much exactly the same clothes I had in college and high school. But winter- oooh, man! Skinny jeans and fun tops galore.

And the point of all this? Well, I am not vomiting constantly today so thought it would be fun to write about something 'fun' like clothes instead of the toilet. and....I bought a wonderful pair of boots today. They are wonderful! They are black leather and tall and soft and beautiful. Really. Plus they were marked down from $129.00 to $109.00. Then another 40% of that. Plus I had an additional 20% off coupon and when I got to the register to buy them, I found that they were actually a further 15% off! So I purchased my beautiful boots for $39!! Seriously folks, that is a great deal. Even if you dont like boots, that is something you can get excited about!

So there you have it. Winter stylin'. Even in maternity clothes as I was pregnant in the UK the first time. All the regular stores have a maternity line as well. Brilliant. And now I am off to the doctor....hoping to find out the sex of the baby!!

my new best friend, the toilet.

So....I am pregnant. Very exciting. But also, well, let's just say that I am tired of throwing up 15 plus times a day. I am just over 13 weeks and although it would be wonderful if the sickness would let up, I am not holding my breath.

I have felt a little bit better the last few days. Which means that I have only thrown up 10 times a day. Last Friday I kept a little tally-mark count on my hand. 27 times. That's right folks, if you wonder where I have been, that's where. Stuck with my head in the toilet, throwing up 27 times. yuck.

So despite my best intentions to be thankful everyday in November and post pictures of our trip to the UK and our fun adventures in London last month, I am lucky if I can get out of bed and feed the daughter that I already have. It has been a struggle to say the least!

But because so much has gone on, here is a quick update:

-Went, and came back, from London and Wales. It was awesome.
-WE bought a house!!! YAY!!!
-We move into said house in 9 days.
-As stated before, I am pregnant.
-We are looking to buy another car. unless one of you out there knows someone who is giving one away.... :)
-Thanksgiving was AWESOME! I only threw up a little food, but it was wonderful to be in America for an American holiday.
-Did i mention that we bought a house? Finally, after 18 months of living with various parents and in-laws, we will be in a house of our own!!

Ok, so thats pretty much it. and now I am going to throw up.

2 November 2011

Thankful- Day 1

Because we are leading up to thanksgiving, which I think is a pretty awesome holiday, I am going to post something every day that I am thankful for. Even though it has been nearly a month since I have posted anything, instead of explanation or excuses, I thought I would just jump right back in. So here it goes...

1 November
I am thankful for my wonderful husband. He is currently in Miami on work (tough work trip, eh?) and in his absence I am reminded daily of just how amazingly wonderful he really is.

He cooks, cleans, works, plays with E, provides tirelessly for our family, makes me feel special, wanted loved and cared for. He seeks Jesus daily, does an incredible job at work, and even more amazing job at home and never, ever complains. Seriously, I don't know how it does it. He never complains. And on top of all of that, and additional time spent with me as special wife time, he still manages to run miles upon miles everyday. (did I mention he did the Tulsa Run 15K over the weekend in 62 minutes)

My husband is awesome. And I am first and foremost thankful for him.

4 October 2011

back in the good ole' us of a

we are back. it is good, really good, to be back home. I am beyond tired and little e is not adjusting well. poor thing. I am trying to upload pictures so I can write a more exciting post, but in the meantime, this is it.

we are back and it is good.

25 September 2011

woo hoo

We have landed in the UK. and the trip over couldn't have been more perfect. It was nap time when we boarded the plane in Tulsa, so we told E it was time to go to sleep. She slept the entire flight and we waited until every single person was off the plane, slowly lifted her out of the seat and managed to carry her off the plane still sleeping. what a star.

We found a McDonalds in DFW with a kids play area and let eleri run around like a mad woman until it was time to board the London flight. We were lucky enough to have the bulk head (yay!), and e quickly settled in to a movie. After dinner, we changed her into her pj's and told her it was time to go to bed. We explained how tonight she would be sleeping on the plane next to mommy and daddy. She seemed excited about that and by 8:30 she was out. She did not even stir again until we landed and, once again, everyone else had gotten off the plane. Seriously, she is awesome.

During the flight Rhys and I counted it up- Eleri has been on 16 flights in her short little life. Of those 16, 10 have been international flights. And out of all of those flights, this trip has been the most fantastic. Sleeping baby pretty much the whole time. I couldn't have asked for anything better.

So we are here and enjoying ourselves. It is good to be back.

11 September 2011


My favorite college breakfast was an egg, sausage, and cheese biscuit from the cafe in the LRC. I got one nearly everyday until the money on my card ran out. That morning was no exception. I slept through my alarm, but was not willing to sacrifice my breakfast sandwich so I did the only thing that made sense, I skipped class. As I was waiting for my food, my friend Pablo came into the cafe and said "your country is being attacked" I thought I misunderstood, or he was kidding, or he had misunderstood. I took my sandwich and ran back to my dorm room as fast as I could.

I flipped on the TV, sandwich long forgotten now, and watched in horror as an airplane came hurtling through the sky and plowed straight into one of the towers of the World Trade Center.

You could hear screams and cries up and down the halls of the dorm. I was dumbfounded. What was happening? I stared at the TV with tears streaming down my face. I had friends in the Trade Center. Were they alive? My brother was in law school in New York, was he ok? I just didn't understand; I don't think anyone did.

As the day went on and news of the Pentagon and Flight 93 in Pennsylvania came through, it gradually dawned on us all that America was being attacked. It was sobering and terrifying.

I remember picking up the phone and desperately dialing Joe. 212.642.3442. over and over and over again that day. I wasn't sure what I was even going to say, I just wanted to know that he was alive. No news. No word. Nothing. 3 days later I got a call. He made it out because he was late to work that day and had not made it all the way to the top. His fiance and his best friend went in on time, straight up to the 105th floor. They didn't make it out. What do you say to that? Nothing would ever be good enough.

September 11, 2001 changed our world forever. Thousands of people were taken away from their families and friends. Thousands of people who were just doing their normal daily routines were, in a matter of hours, trapped in a nightmare no one would have ever imagined.

Stories have emerged over the past 10 years, heartbreaking stories that remind us just how frail humanity is. Stories of pain and of courage. Stories of strength and of despair. Reminders of how in an instant our entire world can come crashing in around us. As I watched the towers crumble that day, tears pouring down my face, I remember feeling so helpless, so distraught. Just seconds earlier people were clinging to the windows of the towers, waving shirts and papers, desperately trying to get the attention of someone, anyone who could rescue them. Seconds later the towers lay in a heap of burring rumble. Something struck me that day that 10 years later is even stronger. "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for another" (John 15:13) I was watching in safety while hundreds of people made the choice to act. Hundreds choose to put someone elses life in front of theirs, hundreds died while saving hundreds more. As the anniversary approaches and stories from survivors come pouring in, we are reminded.

Reminders of men like Frank De Martini who was on the 88th floor of the North Tower. He was having coffee with his wife when the plane hit 5 floors above him. He, along with another man Pablo, managed to safely evacuate his entire floor. Instead of exiting the building with his staff, and his wife, the two men made the choice to go up. They made it to the 91st floor, rescuing 77 people who were trapped and would have otherwise perished. Their courage and selflessness saved the lives of dozens and dozens of others. Not just the people themselves, but their families as well.

I wish I knew specific details about each and every firefighter, emergency worker, police officer and port authority worker that selflessly sacrificed their lives and families for hte sake of others. But I don't. What I do know is that there are over 400 dead seervice men and women who made the choice that day to serve, regardless of what it would cost them. These people tirelessly fought their way through burring steel, blinding smoke and unimaginable danger to do whatever they could to save another. In the process they died, but what a legacy they left.

The men and women of Flight 93 fought the same way. They made the choice to stand up in the face of adversity. With the news of other hijacked planes hitting targets on the ground these people showed unbelievable strength and courage to do everything that was within their power to keep their plane from being next. As it went down in that Pennsylvania field, the families of those left behind can be proud of the courage showed by every passenger on that plane.

I will always remember that morning in the LRC and my breakfast sandwich. I will never forget the attacks on the country. I collected newspapers and articles everyday for 2 weeks after September 11 with the intention of having first hand accounts to share with my children one day; to explain what happened that tragic day and how Americans pulled together to show great compassionate and courage. I want my kids to know why it is such a significant day in our history.

But can we do more than remember? Often times when there is a tragedy we have a tendecney to sensationalize. It becomes more about us and telling our story rather than what we can do to the people deeply affected. September 11th is not something that we can simply put down to new, annoying airline restrictions or extra taxes. It was a real and deadly event that thousands are still paying the ultimate price for today. So again I ask myself what can we do?

It has been mentioned that people are getting "911 fatigue" it was 10 years ago and people just want to move on, stop giving, stop helping. But what does that do for everyone else? What does that kind of attitude offer to the people who so selflessly gave their all? what about their children, their families?

There is an organization called Tuesday's Children. It is a non-profit set up with the goal to help each and every child directly affected by the September 11th attacks. They not only provide the needed enjoyable, relaxing activities but also essential counseling, mentoring and support to kids whose entire world fell apart that day. AS a mother myself it really strikes a cord. Just because the actual attacks were 10 years ago, does that make the need any less? No child should have to grow up without a mom or a dad- or in some cases, without both. Over the past 5 years this organization, which is the only one of its kind, has lost over half of its funding. "911 fatigue" at its finest.

You can say that there are tragedy's everyday. and there are. You can say that worse things are happening all over the world than what happened on September 11th. And that is probably true. You can probably come up with a hundred other things to do and care about and a hundred other things that demand your time and attention. But these kids need some attention. They need to be remembered. And I will remember. I will remember the pain and desperation I felt as I watched part of my world crumble around me. I will remember the frailty of life as I think about the thousands that lost theirs that day. And I will always remember the courage and resolve that Americans showed to one another, and to the nation, as they sacrificed so much for each other.

Eleri will grow up in world very different to the one I grew up in. She will never get to say goodbye to someone at the gate and watch an airplane fly away. She will never walk up to national monuments with ease. She will never go to the top of the Statue of Libery. She wont ever be able to just walk around the Capitol building. But those are all small changes. September 11 changed Eleri's life, but not nearly in the way it changed the children who lost everything. So, in an effort to do more than just remember, for every person that leaves a comment I will give a donation to the charity Tuesday's Children. I feel like it is the least I can do. The least I can do as a mother, as a citizen of this great country, as someone who so vividly remembers that day.

Let us honor with our thoughts, words and prayers all those thousands of people who lost so much that fateful day in September, 10 years ago.

9 September 2011

"you life WAS..."

so exciting, so adventurous, fun, busy, a dream come true....and any number of other complimenting descriptors.

Key word of those sentences? WAS Your life was so exciting. your life was so adventurous. you were living a dream come true.

apparently i am no longer exciting. and to prove that fact, my blogger 'following list' has actually lost 6 people since I moved to America. since I only write about things that are going on currently, i can only assume that I am simply not that interesting on this side of the ocean.

Remember those posts where I talked about people offering me unsolicited baby advice? That type of unsolicited comment has not happened in America; oh no, it is another type of comment altogether. the WAS comments. Why people feel it is ok to say things like "man your life was so fun. too bad you moved back" hmmm...so does that mean that not only am I boring now, but you also wanted me to stay far away? I dont really feel that way, I know what people are trying to say. At least I think i do most of the time.

But it does present the question: Is life not fun in Tulsa?

I am having a bit harder time adjusting to life in America than I thought I would. And by 'a bit' read a tremendously difficult, kick you in your teeth, want to cry and scream and move back to the UK kind of time. Some days are great and some days are not so great. But I can say that I did not expect any of it to be this difficult. Some days I would sacrifice chick-fil-a if it meant I could live in London (i know, shock, horror) Some days I cant imagine living in a place where you could simultaneously sit on the toilet, brush your teeth in the sink and have your feet in the bathtub- all while touching the opposite wall. some days I would rather cut off my own hand than live in London. some days i would cut off my own hand to live in London. it's an emotional roller coaster ride to say the least.

but what about my 'new life' as people say. is that one not fun? can it not be fun? I always fancied myself a bit of an adventurer. I was never one to steer away from the unknown. to a degree that must change when children enter the picture, but perhaps living in small town middle america, i just need to make a bigger effort to make my life an adventure. Sure my days include car rides to Target instead of a tube ride to Big Ben. and I go to Hunter Park down the road instead of Hyde Park. But at the end of the day, a park is a park. it is what you make of the time spent inside the park that counts.

so readers that have decided I am too boring, I say phooey! I am just as exciting today as I was last year. Especially with presidential debates and elections coming up you can expect some exciting political posts (yay, right?) If you have stuck with me through the ups and downs of the blog the last few months, thanks. I appreciate the faithfulness. even in the presence of my mundane new life ;)

8 September 2011

you gotta love him

I was sitting down talking with my dad this evening and the conversation went soemthing like this:

dad: those things, you know those, they are pretty fun.

me: what things?

dad: oh you know those (and he gestures to the TV where a spirit commerical is featuring a flash mob)

me: a flash mob?!

dad: yeah, those. there pretty cool, for cool people like me. I like to do those, you know. just cause.

and what do you say to that?

because my dad is just pretty awesome really. This is the same guy who gave me a big, purple, blow-up hippo floaty swim ring my sophomore year of college with the words "take this, cause you just never know"

hmm....thats right dad. I just never know when I might need an over sized child's pool toy whilst in college. again, awesome.

Basically my dad is just pretty darn cool. From his sometimes cheesy, sometimes dry, sometimes just plain hilarious sense of humor to his general demeanor he is pretty awesome. and look out, you may seem him at the next flash mob.

31 August 2011


I started running long distances in 2000. Only sporadically and really only to get in shape. But the longer I ran, the more I enjoyed it. It was a time to think, process, get away, feel good about myself- and get in shape. It was a win-win situation. In 2004 I discovered that I truly loved running. I started running regularly, keeping particular paces, and training for long distance runs. 2004 was also the year that I ran my first half marathon.

To say I loved it would be an understatement. I have never used drugs, but I liken the pull on my body, mind and soul to run more to the desperate need for the next fix- whatever the cost. I couldn't get running out of my head. The week after that first race I got an index card and drew an American flag on the background. In big black permanent marker I wrote '2012' across the middle. I hung it on my mirror for years after that. Why? Because I was determined that I would run in the 2012 Olympics. My event? The marathon.

To me it made perfect sense; I had done my research. Christine Clark won the US Olympic trails in 2000 with a time of 2 hours and 33 minutes. She was a 37 year old mother of two who had only recently picked up running. She only trained on her treadmill. She ran in the Sydney Olympics. Another example, Ingrid Kristiansen. At one time she held the world record for the 5,000 meter, 10,000 meter, half marathon and full marathon. She has won the London marathon 4 times, the Boston marathon 2 times and the New York marathon once. She picked up running late in life and often trained on a treadmill. If they could do it so could I right?

Or so I told myself.

It is now nearly September in 2011. The Olympics trails have come and gone for 2012. In case you were wondering, I did not make the Olympic team. Between 2004 when I first put my Olympic sign up and now, I have run over 1,500 miles in races and many times that in training. Between the 5K's, 10K's, 15K's, half and full marathons I have covered a lot of ground. But it is not the miles run, but how well you run those miles.

Did I run those miles well enough to be a marathon runner in the 2012 London Olympics? No. Did I do any of those miles well? Sure. At one point I was running somewhere between 8-12 miles a day at 7.30 minute miles. But it wasn't done well enough, consistently enough. and that has me thinking.

Do I 'do' life well?

I am a goals type person; I like making far reaching lists full of big dreams and slightly unrealistic goals. But what do I actually do in my everyday life to try and achieve them? Do I spend my time well, being intentional or do I simply plod along taking the easy way out? Just as I would traing for a marathon, I need to be training my mind and body to be disciplined and faithful to God, my family and my surrounding. But am I?

Ummm.... probably not. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I am lazy, but I am not brilliant with time management. It sounds nicer when I say it that way- time management. I get distracted easily and end up more often that not putting time and energy into the wrong things. I am doing things, doing life, but just like those miles I ran, I am not doing them well.

God does not call us to perfection. But he does call us to be content and have a grateful heart. God is not disappointed with me because I am not part of the 2012 Olympic team. But am I pleasing God when I constantly complain about my living situation? or when I wallow in my self pity because I want a situation to work out differently? I am still doing life, I am just not doing it well. In theory 8 years would have been enough time to train, run, compete and make it to the Olympics. But it wouldn't have mattered it I had 8 years or 18 years. I was never going to truly run well enough to make it.

I dont want that to be my life. I dont want to look back in another 8 years and think 'hmm....that didn't go so well' I can make choices to think positively and be grateful, even when things are not always as pleasant or perfect as I think they ought to be. I can make the choice to learn discipline, to practice discipline and to actually live my days out well. I could probably make a choice to try and run a little better too. I tried to run today and could barely make it 2 miles! Man, I am out of shape. and in the grand scheme of life, that is ok. I dont have to be a marathon runner to live a contented, God seeking life. But I do have to have commitment and dedication to Christ to live a contented, God seeking life. Settling for the mediocre wont cut it. Only running well part of the time is not good enough.

I have no real conclusion to this. Only some thoughts brought on by some time spent at the pool today. I went with a new friend and her boys. I may have only known her for a few months but she has become such a dear friend to my heart. Instead of fully enjoying my time, i was grumpy. and mopey, and wallowing a bit in the unfortunate-ness of some of my circumstances. There was no gratefulness of where I was at that moment. No little whispers of praise for a wonderful friend. just grumpy. Thankfully my friend is wonderful and she understood. we will hang out again. But it got me thinking.

I need to practice living well. not some of the time, or when it is easy, or when I feel like it. But all the time. If only it were as easy to do as it is to type out! And who knows, maybe the Olympics are still in my future. Christine Clark was 37- that gives me another 8 years to train! and train well.

30 August 2011


This is Tesco.

To be exact, this is a picture of the Tesco that I frequented for the years I lived in London. For those unfamiliar with Tesco, it is the British equivalent of Walmat. There are some major differences- at Walmat you can get your oil changed while you grocery shop and buy at gun complete with ammunition. At Tesco you are pretty much limited to food, clothes and gardening tools. But they share the concept of large, super store with long hours.

I love Tesco. Yes, love.

(the above is a picture of the Tesco in Merythr, the one I used when we lived in Wales)

Today I went to Walmat. I wished it was Tesco. If I am honest, every time I go to the grocery store I miss the UK. Not for the food or the selection or organization. I miss UK grocery stores, Tesco in particular, because I miss being able to bag my own food. I can honestly say that it is something I had never consciously thought about, but it is so true.

I know this picture is not brilliant, but it was the best one I could find. You bring your basket to the check out. The check out people then scan your items and place them on a conveyor belt to ride to the end of the line where a big(ish) bagging area awaits them. You bag as your items come. once you are finished bagging, you pay and are on your way.

No hassle of 'oh I brought my own bags' and then dealing with the stares and loud, annoyed sighs. No going home to find smashed bread and bruised fruit because the teenage boy bagging your groceries could care less. You get to bag the way you want, with whatever bags you choose. It was easy for me; an easier way than what I deal with at walmat every time I go.

So even though it seems like a random little thing, I miss Tesco and the pleasure it added to my grocery experience being able to bag my own items.

Anyone know of a grocery store around that lets you still bag your own items? Or anyone completely disagree with me and are glad that stores do it for you? Curious your opinions on this.

26 August 2011

almost like a vacation

this past week when have been house sitting for some lovely friends, Brad and Lisa. It has been beyond words wonderful. Not only has eleri enjoyed playing with new toys like toy cars and train sets (they have 2 boys) but we have enjoyed the space to be a family of 3. In reality this is the longest time in 14 months that we have spent in our own space, just the 3 of us. It was heavenly. And even though rhys still had work everyday, it almost felt like a little vacation. Man, I cant wait until we get our own house.

In other news, Eleri had her first day of school!

I have decided to do a mix of at home teaching and 'school.' Looking at eleri's personality, I really feel like she is ready, and wants/needs to be around other kids. This was proven true yesterday when I went to drop her off. I told her goodbye and asked for a hug and kiss. She blew me a kiss then shook her little finger and said 'no mommy, you go. go' then she turned and took off to play. and she never looked back. 5 later when I went to go pick her up? she had been fine all day. no problems at all. Not even any potty accidents. She asked to go each and every time in a totally new environment. even poop! yeah, she is pretty awesome. and evidently, very ready to start exploring some things on her own. I am so proud.

So Tuesday/Thursday the little one will go to school and then Monday/Wednesday/Friday we will do play/hands on learning at home. I am very excited about the start of the new 'school' year and the possibilities ahead for us. As I type this, I am also very grateful that I have a child that is interested in reading/learning/school. Education and academia are very important to me and I am glad that it is something my daughter and I can do together and both enjoy. I feel truly blessed.

speaking of said daughter, she now wants my attention so off i go. Enjoy your weekends!

18 August 2011

18 August 2007

Our Wedding Day.

Year 1 (celebrating in London. Trafalgar Square)

Year 2 (celebrating in Callea, Spain)

Year 3 (celebrating in Paris)

So here's to year 4. I am celebrating 4 years of marriage to the most incredible, most amazing man in the whole world. I thought he was perfect when we met and I still think he is perfect today. I couldn't imagine life without him. Rhys is pretty awesome. Cheers to us!

16 August 2011

a new friend

this little guy

has recently made an appearance in our household. a little penguin that comes in his very own little igloo carrying case seems pretty cute. and it is. except every 4 hours when the little fella has to be filled with medicine and e has to have a breathing treatment.

We have been told before that e has childhood asthma. but we didn't really buy it. I know, awesome parenting to discount what the doctor says. but she never really seemed bothered by it except in rare instances, so we didn't think much of it. But it has flared up again. and her breathing and coughing could not be regulated by anything but our new little penguin friend.

our days (and nights) have been pretty consumed with breathing treatments, mickey mouse and lots of cuddles. we are decreasing the treatments to every 6 hours now, so at least we will all be getting a bit more sleep. hopefully little e will be on the mend soon!

until then, we are off for some more 'penguin medicine' as eleri calls it. bless her.

10 August 2011

a new semester

I have been out of full time school since 2006. Sure I did some school work here and there in London, but all part time. Nothing to warrant truly living by semesters. But yet still do. Live by semesters that is.

As we reach the middle of August, school will welcome students back and the carefree days of summer will draw to a close, I find myself gearing up for a new year. Even though my days are pretty much the same because I only have one child and she is not school aged yet- I still am preparing for a new start.

and it has me thinking...

What it is about semesters that make it so much easier for me to function? Already I am finding it easier to get back into a routine just thinking about the start of school. And no one I know is even going back to school! It is just a nice way to divide up the year, a good time to start again and an easy time to get some resolve.

So with that I have my 'New Semester List' A list of things from August to December that I want to accomplish/learn/do/try etc....

-Learn Calligraphy
-enroll E in football (soccer- the husband wont let me refer to it as anything other than football)
-sand, paint and recover the 2 chairs I got for free
-date night to the Blue Dome
-finally have our own space
-really and truly make a budget and stick to it
-make a headboard for our bed
-save $500 a month
-effectively pack for London in September. NO over packing
-make the 'card' book for rhys
-send monthly packages/pictures to the williams' on the other side of the ocean
-write an article
-get eleri's 2 year pictures
-incorporate Diana into our everyday life (more on Diana later)
-paint a canvas picture with eleri
-make a photo book of the last 3 years
-read 4 books
-plan the Jan/Feb vacation

Perhaps I will add to the list later. or maybe this is how it will stay, but for right now I am excited about the new semester and what is ahead for Team Williams.

2 August 2011

lots of my mind....and my plate

-We have officially purchased a lot! woo hoo for a big piece of land. who knew that one could get so excited over grass and some rocks. Our lot is pretty awesome though. not only does it face a pond and have a giant backyard space- the fact that we have purchased some land means that we are that much closer to actually getting our own space. woo hoo again!

-tickets have been purchased for our return trip to London. Since we originated in the UK when we flew here in April, we had a return back to the UK, but nothing back to America. We have rectified the situation and are now going to London in September and coming back the first week in October. very excited.

-it has been confirmed that we will have a new little niece or nephew the 5th of August. Rhys sister is due and having a c-section on Friday!! it is a surprise as to the sex of the baby so it makes Friday even more exciting. can't wait to see what it is!

- eleri is officially enrolled in school for the fall. we were on some waiting lists and i couldn't decide exactly where i wanted her to go, but it has been settled. she will be going tuesday/thursday all day starting 25 august. I am excited for the time to myself and eleri is excited to go. she asks about it quite often.

-I have recently become obsessed with pinterest. seriously, it takes up way more of my time than it should. But it is just so awesome. and some of the ideas of there are incredible.

-speaking of being obsessed, i have recently become obsessed with this map wall. I have always wanted a big wall of picture frames, but was never sure if it would be family pictures of what. after seeing this, i think it has been decided. This is awesome!! thanks awesome blog I will now obsessively follow!

-Rhys' birthday was yesterday. He is the most awesome person in the world, so he needed an extra awesome birthday present. Last year I gave him Paris as his present. Since it was extremely unrealistic to go to France this year, I gave him Memphis and Rugby instead. This weekend we are headed to Memphis, Tennessee with our good friends Jason and Sarah for the boys to play in a 7's rugby tournament all weekend. Rhys is thrilled. He has never been to Memphis before and he wants to play rugby so badly it hurts. a perfect birthday present!

-i have 3 projects i a working on. ok, 2 that i am really working on a 3rd that i have recently decided to start 'working on' since i discovered the map wall. 1.) refinishing some chairs. 2.) making a giant picture frame/jewelry holder and newly minted 3.) collecting maps. I am excited and it keeps me occupied.

and now the little one is starting to stir so I suppose I better go do the things I actually needed to do before she woke up from her nap.

28 July 2011

2 years old

To my precious Eleri,

You are 2. I can hardly believe it. I know that it sounds like a cheesy mom thing to say, but I remember the day that you were born like it was yesterday. Let me correct that; I remember certain things about that day as clear as if it were something that happened 5 minutes ago.

I remember that I listened to Jack Johnson and Stereophonics on repeat the entire labour/birth process. To this day, those are your favourite. Sure you like 'wheels on the bus' and 'itsy, bitsy spider' but put on some jack or the phonics and you rock out like nothing else. Looks like good music was instilled in you from the beginning.

I remember wanting your daddy by my side the entire time. Not once did he leave me. You carry that same attachment to your daddy. From the minute you were born, you had your daddy's heart. You can make him laugh, cry and dance around like a fool like no one else can. The day you were born 2 years ago, you daddy did everything to make sure you were ok. His attitude towards you has not changed one bit. He would lay down his life if it meant you would have a better one. I will never forget the look on your daddy's face the first time he saw you. And I will never get tired of seeing that same look, full of love and affection, every time he looks at you. It is a bond that cannot be broken.

I remember the very second that you were born. It was a mix of utter relief and intense fear. You were dark purple. and you were not breathing. I was afraid that there was something wrong. I was afraid you might not make it through. I had not even seen you for more than 5 minutes in the real world and my heart was ripping in two at the thought of losing you. It was a long 5 or 6 minutes until you started to cry and breath normally. In the grand scheme of life, 5 minutes is not long. But precious little one, mommy thought you were slipping away, and with you my entire heart. I have never heard such a beautiful noise as the first sounds you made. You may have been purple for a while, but what a beautiful purple baby you were.

The past two years have been full of memories. We have shared some wonderful times as a family and some rough times too. In your 2 years of life we have moved between 3 different countries and countless houses. You have travelled and experienced more in your short life than most adults. And the amazing thing is the grace and flexibility with which you do it. you are incredibly laid back, it takes a lot to 'ruffle your feathers' so to speak. You have handled our family transitions so well, sweet pea. Not even 4 months ago we moved to a country that you had only visited 3 times before. The people, the weather, the time zone- everything was different. And you adapted so well. You are so easy going, it is a joy to watch. Mommy can learn a lot from your sweet spirit and gentle nature.

Maybe it is the fact that you are so curious. You love to explore and learn new things. You are not afraid of anything. You jump right in. You literally jump right in when it comes to the pool- face first, underwater like you were born to do. It won't be too long before you are swimming unassisted. and you are only 2! you are willing to try new things no matter what they are. Granted, you are a bit more reserved when it comes to trying new food, but we are working on that. You are friendly and outgoing; your truly do not know a stranger. Even at 2 we are able to see so much of your personality shine through and what an amazing little person you are!

As far as accomplishments, there are far too many to mention. These past 2 years you have amazed daddy and me in a new way everyday. You know your colours, shapes (even funny shapes like octagon and hexagon) your Numbers to 10 and are even getting the numbers in Welsh. You are talking now and it is precious to hear your putting words together to form little, eleri sentences. I wish I could put into words how much you comprehend, but I dont know how to explain it. You are a genius. plain and simple. As for toys, Mickey and Minnie mouse are you favourite, but nothing can break the bond between you and your dog Oliver. He still goes everywhere with us.

I dont know what you will be when you grow up, and I don't know if the things that you like now will be the things you like in a year from now. But if today is anything to go on- you will be an athlete. Your hand eye coordination is incredible. You love balls and you especially love to kick. Daddy and I are putting you in soccer in the fall and I can't wait to see your face when you get to run around and kick balls on a giant field. You are so tough, so strong and so rough and tumble. You love anything that involves energy and I can't wait to see where that takes you.

Mommy and Daddy are incredibly proud of you, Eleri. In only 2 years you have filled our lives with more joy than we could have ever thought possible. I started off this letter telling you the things I remembered about the day you were born. So I will leave you with this one last thing. A few hours after you were born, and everyone had left for the night, it was just me and you. It was around midnight and I was exhausted. Birthing a child is hard work! I had just shut my eyes and was drifting off to sleep when you started to cry. I quickly scooped you up in my arms and started walking around the room. I was so tired and so nervous about it being just me and you that I didn't even know what to say/sing/do to help calm you down. So, through tear filled eyes, I started reciting my favourite Bible verses to you and within minutes you were still. You had wrapped your little hand around my finger and when I looked down at your face, there was a tiny smile. I know they say a baby a few hours old is too young to smile, but there it was. a smile. just for mommy. My heart melted and I knew my life would never be the same.

You are my little miracle Eleri. I could not dream of anything better for my life than to have you in it. I have so many hopes and dreams for you, but most of all my prayer for you is that just like that first night in the hospital, the word of God will always speak to your heart and govern your life. You are an incredible blessing not just to mommy and daddy, but to everyone you meet. I can't believe you are already 2. It has been an incredible 2 years, I can't wait for many more.

With more love than you could imagine,


20 July 2011

mommy blog vs academia

*this turned into a fairly long post with no pictures....just a word of warning. but it's personal and good and it's my blog so I can write long posts :)

I blog, obviously. In fact most people I know blog, or at least have a blog that they occasionally post on. For the most part, I enjoy reading blogs. I have found helpful household tips, recipes and even the funny kid story that I share with Rhys. It is a great way to keep in touch with friends that live far away and a great way for us to share our lives with family that is overseas. I am a fan of blogging.

I started this blog in January of 2008 after I had been in London a few months. Typically I am behind technologically so everyone else had been blogging for about 5 years before me. that's just how I role; put it off as long as possible, boycott all advancements and then jump in with two feet. It was fun though and I wanted to be a part. Writing about European politics, life on a commuter train, pub nights in London, rugby, European travel and throw in some more politics.

Then I found out I was pregnant. Overnight my blog morphed into a 'mommy blog' discussing pregnancy, morning sickness, birthing, poppy diapers and the like. Rarely were politics mentioned let alone anything else. On special occasions such as Remembrance Day, Pearl Harbor, September 11th, etc..., I would dedicate a post. The tragic deaths of the last remaing World War I war hero's also got a mention. But those post were few and far between.

Gradually my writing technique and style began to diminish. They say you lose brain cells with each child. I thought they were pretty stupid. But maybe it's true? Maybe I have become such a poor writer because the only things I write about any more are little e's latest accomplishments.

Don't get me wrong, what eleri does is beyond awesome. I want to record and capture every little moment so I have it saved forever. She amazes me every day in a million different ways and I couldn't imagine even one day without her. Even though I love (and sometimes crave) my space during nap time, some days I miss her during her 3 hour snooze. I love the little one and without question will continue to write about her.

But what about other things? I did not start this blog to be a 'mommy blog' nor do I desire it to stay that way. There are so many other things out there that I want to write about, so many other things that are important. Not to keep mentioning the over arching 'they', but they do say to be careful not to lose your own indintity to that of your kids, family, husband, work... It is important to stay focused on other things as well right?

When I read some other blogs out there it seems the only other thing people focus on is what craft project to do next, how to make a bow or what they got on their latest shopping trip. Ok, ok I realise that that was a horrible generalization that not only makes me sound arrogant and harsh but also downplays other peoples interests. That is not what I mean. Let me try this another way. I like crafts, I love to shop, and while bows are not my favourite they way that some people make them is pretty cool. But I feel stuck in the middle. When I read about how awesome some other stay at home mom is I often find myself feeling inadequte. But when I read about how great someone else manages their work and home life I, again, feel a little crap. An obvious answer is not to compare. But it is more than just that. I want to be a mom and do other things. Stuck in the middle.

I want to fight for social justice and make a pillow. I want to go to the mall, buy some things from the gap and start a reading program for kids from poor neighborhoods. I want to have 4 kids and have my PhD in military history. The thing is, I can not find a way to make all of those things work. Maybe that is why it seems people fall into two categories- stay at home mom or work full time mom. Can you stay at home, be involved with your kids and run a reading program for inner city kids? Logistically how would that work out?

I think I lost track of how to even try and make it work. I didn't see how it could, so I didn't really try. It is awesome to stay home with e all day, so I do. We play, read, learn, swim, eat a lot and then play some more. My days are awesome and fulfilling. My blog and my writing show only this side. Eleri. Wife. Mother.

What about the other sides?

When I was living in Wales I posted this about wanting to live in Suburbia. I am living here now and sometimes I feel like it is choking the life out of me. Does that make me a 'grass is always greener' kind of person? Wanting what I don't have, wishing for something else? I live in an affordable place where ele, rhys and I can have a house and our own space in the very near future. and all I want our flat in London. Do I just want what I cant have?

I have thought about that a lot and I think I have reached an answer. It is not that I have a 'grass is always greener' mentality, I just need a way to fulfill/achieve/reach all the different aspects of Kristina.

When I first moved to London I applied to start my PhD work. I was accepted into an awesome program and thought I would have my doctorate in 3 years. As part of the process I had to submit my masters thesis for the faculty to peruse. One of the advisers at the university is a very well known and highly respected World War I historian. He is the historian for my area of study. Like Michael Jordan in Basketball or Pele in soccer. You get the picture. He read and actually liked my thesis. The day I had that conversation ranks in top 3 of best moments of my life. Meeting Rhys, having Eleri and that moment. If I could, I would take that moment and frame it, hang it on my wall and relive it everyday.

But it didn't go as planned. I got pregnant, school and morning sickness didn't mix and I wanted to focus my attention on my newborn when she arrived. Graduate studies, research and dissertation writing no longer fit in. Which brings me to a few months ago. I received an email saying that I had been recommend by the afore mentioned gentleman as well as my graduate advisor for a PhD program at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand. It was a dream come true. A scholarship to study exactly what I wanted to. I could be a mom and get my PhD. No more mommy blogging for me. Except that didn't go exactly as planned either.

We can't move to New Zealand because of Rhys' green card status. I can not be the kind of parent I want to be to Eleri and work on my PhD. I can not even think about having another child whilst in the program and we want more kids. Remember, I want 4. NO matter how I pushed and pulled our life, we could not make it fit. It did not make it easier that the school sent 3 more request, nor was it easier that it was a full scholarship. I had to choose- mommy blog or academia.

Ok, so I know I can't really put it in those terms because a lot more plays into it that just that. Very few decisions in life are that cut and dry. But a choice had to be made and whatever was decided, something would be sacrificed. I just could not sacrifice my family. So I am staying put in Tulsa. Occasionally my dreams will transport me to a dimly lit room, full of letters and journals dating back to the early 1900's, in the back of the National Archives, New Zealand; but for the most part I will relish my chance to raise eleri and future williams' the way I want. And enjoy as much pool time as possible.

As for the blog? Well, I have to change it a bit. The dilemma about school vs family has recently come to a close and with that comes a realisation that a sacrifice I don't have to make it history. Even though some of my very dear friends make bows, I do not have to. And that is ok. I can paint with eleri, sew a pillow and write a post detailing the life of an artillery man on western front in southern Belgium in 1917. No one may actually read said post, but I can write it nonetheless. My blog, and my life, can be whatever I make it.

As the old song says 'You can't always get what you want' may be true, but sometimes what you least except (or desire) can be even more incredible than what you had imagined. So I am looking forward to writing about Eleri and all the awesome thing she does. Like have I mentioned how she will stick her face in the water and kick her legs, 'swimming' for a few minutes? I am also looking forward to spending some time writing about history and trying to get some articles published. Who knows, maybe now is when I start writing my book.

18 July 2011

E's 2nd Birthday!

For about a month I have been thinking/planning/making/inviting/making/and then planning some more for Eleri's 2nd birthday. I realize that a month may seem like a long time, but I love birthdays. love, love, love birthdays. And just in case that wasn't clear- I love birthdays. It is not the presents, but the celebration.

Growing up my parents always made a big deal out my birthday. It wasn't that I was showered with gifts, but they made me feel so special and important on my big day. It was all about me. I got to choose my party, we went out to eat and I got to choose the restaurant and then we had cake time back at home and we all talked as a family. And it was wonderful. I grew up loving birthdays and still love them today. I go overboard for Rhys' birthday. Heck, last year he got a trip to Paris. (this year will be WAY toned down- sorry Rhys, no trips for you) Now that little e is in the picture, I am sure I will go over board for her too.

At the moment, ele really likes Mickey. Remember my love for birthdays explained above? That is probably only a tenth of how much eleri loves mickey mouse. So it was an easy decision when it came to party planning. My only problem became that Mickey Mouse, or anything Disney for that matter, is not the cheapest. So making as much as I could became the way to go. Hence the month of making, planning, making and then some more making. Mickey on a budget- and it was so much fun.

The end result was perfect. I always create unrealistic expectations of events/people/parties etc... and nothing ever seems to live up to it. But her party was perfection. I couldn't have wished for anything to go better than it did. Plus eleri loved it. It was a lot of work, but completely worth it to see her face the day of her party. so much joy and excitement- I almost wish everyday could be her birthday. (uh, ok probably not every day....)

One think I will keep in mind for future party planning, never make invitations that involve stitching. It may look nice, but it takes way too much time.

Once the invitations were done and sent out, everything else just fell into place. Bright puff balls hung out by the pool

party bags painted, set up and ready to go

54' in Mickey and Minnie balloons to greet party-goers at the door

I spent quite a few hours scouting around for these balloons. Because of E's obsession with Mickey and Minnie, I knew these fellas would make the perfect addition. After finding prices ranging from $65 to $35 each, I scored an amazing deal on Amazon and got the pair for $12! Her face was awesome when she walked into the house and saw them for the first time. She kept saying 'here minnie, hand" and walking around with them holding their hands. I was afraid she might explode with excitement when Rhys told her she got to take them home. "minnie, mickkkk me? for me? me?!!"

the cousins came

as well as old and new friends

even stef and liam even made the drive from Arkansas! All in all we have 21 adults and 12 kids.

We had chick-fil-a for lunch and it didn't even last long enough for me to get a picture of the table full and set! That is by far the best party food ever. If I am honest, chick-fil-a is just the best food ever, period.

Aside from the giant balloons, I think Eleri's highlight was the cupcake.

Rhys and I were, and still are to an extent, pretty strict in terms of what sweets eleri can and can't eat. She had never had cake, chocolate, a cupcake or really candy of any kind until her party. We let her pick out a cupcake and then eat the whole thing. I have never seen her shovel something in her mouth so quickly.

In fact, she liked it so much that she tried to steal a second one off the table when she thought we weren't looking.

After swimming, food, cake, and some more swimming, we had a pinata to finish off the party. E got some good hits in!

After the party, we headed back to my parents for some cake and present time. Of course the giant balloons had to come.

We opend up the presents that all her friends broguth her and she couldn't get enough of the doll and stroller. (thanks janet and christy!)

e also got an amazing drum/music set. one of the coolest gifts I have ever seen. it was also pretty cool to see the little one walking around with a drum around her neck. (thanks, fiona)

And while I dont have pictures, it must also be mentioned that she got a HUGE floor puzzle that she insisted on doing the minute she unwrapped it, a great set of threading blocks that she walks around with and an amazing childrens bible (thanks Ally, Lisa and Stef)

I know I said it before, but it was a great day. I couldn't have wished for anything else. everyone enjoyed, especially eleri. Her smile was priceless.

13 July 2011


some days i love living in tulsa. some days i hate it. we have been here almost 3 months and it is not as easy as i thought it would be. i wonder what i would say if someone offered me a terraced house in watford. would i take it?

i am still processing a lot of these type of thoughts so instead of focusing on that, i will leave you with this awesome picture of eleri. man, that kid can jump!

11 July 2011

this year vs. last year: the 4th.

Last year on the 4th of July, Team Williams was in Paphos, Cyprus. Here we are on the evening of the 4th, enjoying a nice, relaxing Greek dinner.

Eleri was looking super British in her full coverage, one piece suit as she splashed around in the sea. The same sea that the Apostles splashed around in. (ok, maybe they were not splashing so much as teaching people about Jesus)

But there were signs every where, letting you know they had been there.

We visited ruins....

and then some more ruins...

But there was no cook out in the neighborhood. We didn't see American flags waving on every corner, on every house. No patriotic songs were heard and although I made everyone in the family wear red, white and blue- all in all it was a normal day. No special mention of America. And even though I was having an awesome time livin' it up Cyprus style, I was a bit sad. and missed my country.

This 4th of July we were in America. The first in a while for me, and the very first ever for every other member of my family. And let me tell you, we lived it up American style.

Barbecue in the afternoon with my family and grandma; we ate more ribs and hot dogs than you could count. We had some great pool and park time followed by a neighborhood cookout with some of our new friends. Kids running around, fireworks being set off in the street, and more American flags then I have ever seen. As it started to get a bit dark, everyone gathered in the driveway...

and the fireworks began. Eleri was amazed. She found a nice spot next to her friend Silas and enjoyed the show

This was the firework display in Tulsa. Pretty awesome, espeically considering that for years I have had no fireworks on the 4th.

(photo: activerain.com)

Look at her face! she loved it!

I know it is the 11th and this post is a bit late for the 4th of July, but I am a bit slow with the picture uploading. It was fun to compare this year vs. last. Nice to have had both experiences, but great to be in America for Independence Day. Happy 4th!

8 July 2011


we are here and all is well. it has just been a really, really busy last few weeks. As way of a quick update, we have...

-decided to build a house. we have spent hours (and I mean hours) looking at lots, plans, design etc... and are still in the process of narrowing everything down.

-we have been trying to find cheap tickets to london. a bit of an oxymoron 'cheap tickets to london' but we have a return trip ticket for 22 september. but nothing that gets us from london back to america. we are working on that. seriously folks, how did tickets get so expensive? who has a spare $3,000 lying around? where is easy jet when you need it!

-as long as we are on the subject of trips, we are in the midst of planning a trip to Disney world. Little E is obsessive about Mickey Mouse so we thought it would be great fun. A little tip, use British travel sites to book things in America. 7 nights at a Disney resort, breakfast included, for $354! not each, total. Benefits of knowing where to look!

-we celebrated 4th of July in America for the first time in 6 years. Well, my first time in 6 years- Rhys and Ele's first time ever! it was awesome. pictures to come later...

-did I mention that we are building a house and that takes up a lot of time?

- E is almost two! I decided to go a little crazy this year. you know, like I didn't go crazy last year to...hmmm she had 3 one year party's. guess I just like birthdays. we are doing a mickey theme per eleri's request and it is next weekend. So excited!! and planning this has been super fun. what is not super fun is making mickey mouse invitations that require hand stitching. never again!

-we still go to the pool, and the park, and the splash pads everyday. we are making the most of the sunny, summer weather and it keeps up quite busy!

so that is us in a nut shell. whenever I find the camera, I will post pictures. but until then, happy weekend everyone!

24 June 2011


knee deep mud, sleeping in tents, non stop rain, no showers or facilities, only snack bars, well and alcohol bars, and about 100,000 people crammed into one space. sound like fun?

what about if I said that U2, Colplay, the Low anthem, beyonce, chemical brothers, kaiser chiefs, cold war kids, paul simon, mumford and sons, white lies, queens of the stone and about 50 other bands and performers were going to be sharing that space too?

now does it sound like fun?

It sure as heck does to me! Wednesday marked the start of the Glastonbury Music Festival. Not familiar with it? go here and check it out. The festival started on a farm in Glastonbury, England in 1970 and has been going strong ever since. It is not a festival for the mild, but for the true music fan with tickets costing hundreds of pounds and the conditions less than favourable. But the music is well worth it. new bands, established bands, bands you will probably never hear of again. it is awesome.


Obviously we are not going as it is friday afternoon and I am sitting at my computer in tulsa, oklahoma. but i sure wish I was. The forecast for the weekend is rain and more rain. followed by intense mud and some more rain. and there is no other place that i would rather be. bring on the music!

sigh. maybe 2013.

15 June 2011

on potty training (part 2)

So remember last week when I posted about potty training? I was not ready for it. E had been asking for a while, but I was ok to put it off. until last Monday. She was asking and I couldn't make up excuses anymore.

All during breakfast we talked about the potty and underwear and how she was too big for diapers. As soon as we finished eating, E and I went upstairs and I showed her the drawer in the dresser that held all her new underwear. It was on the very bottom so she could open and shut it herself.

After she picked out a lime green minnie mouse pair, we walked around the house and looked at all the toilets. One bathroom upstairs and one downstairs had little pottys in them. I explained to her all about the bathroom and how she should tell me whenever she thought she needed to go.

That was the start. Every 20 minutes after that we stopped whatever we were doing and went to sit on the potty. I took some of her favourite books with us and we read a couple each time. If she went, I made a really, REALLY big fuss and lots of high-5's were given. If nothing happened, I congratulated her for sitting on the potty and said we would try again later.

After the months and months of her showing interest in the potty the day we actually officially start she could care less. It was a struggle to get her to even want to go into the bathroom. I didn't want to push too hard for fear she would look at it as a punishment, but I also knew that without a diaper on if she didn't use the potty we would have loads of accidents.

and we did. starting about an hour after the diaper came off and continuing all day.

after dinner she seemed to warm to the idea and every 5 minutes she would yell 'potty, potty' and run to the bathroom. she would strain to pee even the tinniest bit and would dance around so proud of herself. and then want to go put her underwear in the wash and get a new pair.

uh, yeah. not quite the point.

and i got discouraged. I know it was only day 1. I know that it is a big deal and can be a process and she is not even two...but I still was discouraged. I posted a status updated on facebook of something to the effect of 'potty training, not as much fun as you might think' Of course everyone and their dog had an opinion about that comment, but I just couldn't understand how she could be so far away from understanding the concept when for months she had been asking to use the toilet. I even went on amazon and bought 4 potty books and a elmo uses the potty dvd.

I was not excited about day 2.

I had always said whenever I started, I wanted to go straight to underwear and only use diapers for nap time/bed time. No pull ups, no switching back and forth. So I was all in. When I woke her up, we went to the draw, picked out some underwear and went straight to the potty. and she peed.

after breakfast she said 'potty, potty' and ran to the bathroom. and peed. and the rest of the day she went on her own and went when I asked. no accidents at all.

Day 3. the same. she asked and went and no accidents.

So on day 4 I decided to go to the pool. I know they say to stay home when potty training, but I am a rule breaker- a maverick if you will. so off the pool we went. We brought our little potty with us and she got out of the pool twice- all on her own- went to the potty and peed. twice. all by herself without me prompting. again, no accidents.

So it went the rest of the week. I stopped asking her and just let her tell me. If it had been a while, I would mention it but if she said no I wouldn't take her. If she said yes, we went and she went. We went to the park, the mall, out to eat and to see friends. She went on big toilets, public toilets and her little potty (which we took with us in the back of the car) She asked to go when she needed to.

And get this- poop and pee. I know, more detail than you wanted, but hey that is pretty amazing. We even went to church on sunday, left her in the church nursery and she asked the teacher in there to use the potty. Twice she went during church, with a stranger, in a strange place, with no accidents!!

So here we are on Wednesday. 9 days after we started potty training and we have been 8 days accident free. She is even dry at nap time. Only in diapers for night. I can't believe I was so uptight on day 1. I would have never imagined that potty training would be this easy. I am blessed, really. Ele is pretty great and I am pretty excited to be done with diapers. Ok, I know we still have night time diapers and I am not about to take those away any time soon, but I am pleased with the day time potty progress. She uses the potty whenever she needs to go! (again too much information I know, but poopy diapers were way easier to clean up than poopy potty!)

and nothing is more adorable than a little girl running around in tiny, tiny minnie mouse underwear. my little one is a big kid now.

My only problem now is messing with amazon returns of 4 potty books and an elmo dvd!

13 June 2011

i really like ebay

I am a BIG fan of ebay. I sell almost everything we dont want/need/use on ebay. I dont make enough to count as an income per say, but it is nice to have a little extra on the side. It is amazing what people will buy, but that is another story, for another time.

I also love ebay for the bargains. 9 times out of 10 before I buy something I check to see if I can get it on ebay (or amazon) I am not sure if everyone is aware of this, but ebay also has stores where they sell brand new things. I realize not everyone is a fan of used, however gently used it may be, but brand new at discounted price is awesome.

For example, E's crib bedding is this awesome set from Pottery Barn. I love Pottery Barn. thats right, love. Love like my life would be a little less complete without Pottery Barn. Serious love. But it is also a seriously expensive love. I have to save and save and save- or receive it as a gift- to get pottery barn. Her crib set was a gift. (thanks mom and gram gram)

As it is now time for big girl bedding, I wanted the same set but in Big Kid size. They have it. Oh, the thrill of knowing I could keep this bedding for the next however many years...ecstatic to put it mildly. Pillows, owl toys, sheets, comforter, more pillows and so on. The total came to well over $400 without tax or shipping. ouch. not in my budget.

So to ebay I went. I found the entire set, the entire set folks, owl toys, pillows and all for less than half. less. than. half. That included shipping as well. All brand new, all in packages, all straight from Pottery Barn to my little girl's bed. Half price. I love Pottery Barn, but I love ebay probably just as much. It was an incredible deal that allowed me to get exactly what I wanted within my budget. awesome.

If you do not use ebay, you should. Ebay is not paying me for this advertisement, but they should really. I can't say enough about the awesome-ness that is ebay for everything. Sometimes you have to spend some time looking through a lot of crap to get what you want, but it is worth the time.

Oh, and here is a picture of her awesome bedding. I will post another set of pictures when it is actually on her bed, in her room...this is just from the PB website.

10 June 2011

6 years exactly.

Exactly six years ago today I met Rhys. I discussed all the details in THIS post, but I couldn't let the 10th of June pass without some special recognition.

If someone had told me in 2005 that in 6 years I would be married to a random British dude that I met in New Zealand and have a 2 year little girl...I probably wouldn't have believed them. But here we are, six glorious years later.

In the grand scheme of life six years is not long. Heck, some of my closest friends have been married for six years, not just known each other. But for us it is wonderful. Our whirlwind of a romance that spanned 3 continents, 5 countries and only 79 days of time spent together is magic to me.

and it all comes down to 10 June 2005.

Happy 6 years kiddo. I wouldn't trade a second of it for anything!!

9 June 2011

7 weeks in pictures

As discussed yesterday, we have been in the US for 7 weeks. I finally figured out how to upload pictures to my parents computer, so here it is- what the last 7 weeks has looked like for Team Williams.

Our boxes arrived 4 days after we did! This truck showed up in our driveway...

and unloaded all of these boxes to the garage. Everything we own sits in those boxes. We were quite pleased to see them. On a less positive note though, there is one box that rattles when you lift it. The rattle of hundreds of pieces of broken glass. We have no idea what is in there, but whatever it is- it is broken. One day when we open everything up, we shall see...

We did however open up the box that contained little e's London train set. She loves cars/trains and this all wooden set is just the reminder of 'home' we needed.

My parents took us to the Bixby Bar-B-Q festival. Whilst e wasn't a massive fan of the food, she did love the bouncy castle.

Remember yesterday my complaint about walking in Tulsa? Yeah. This is the day we tried to walk to the closest park. No sidewalks, cars a few feet away, boiling hot...not the most awesome idea.

I turned 29.

E has been hanging out with her Great Gram-Gram.

But if I am honest what takes up the majority of our time is the pool. We spend hours at the pool, or pool parties, or just playing around with the hose.Pretty much anything that involves water. The weather is so nice I can't really stand to be inside so water time it is!

We also took our first big trip in the US. It was a family excursion with Mimi and Papa (my parents) to Six Flags. It was pretty awesome. Little e loved all the rides and Rhys tried his very first taste of funnel cake. Success.

Unfortunately we have also had to spend some time in our designated tornado shelter. Welcome to Oklahoma Rhys....we have lots of tornados!

There you have it. A picture heavy post, but a visual guide to our 7 weeks stateside.