31 March 2011
If I had to narrow down all of my faults and shortcomings and pick the worst one, I would have to say it is comparison. I have an (awful) tendency to compare my life and situation to others. not all the time, but jsut enough to make it an issue. And if that wasn't bad enough, I compare regardless of circumstances. That really gets me because you can not take a persons life out of context- everyone has their own set of struggles and complexities even if on the surface (i.e. their blog) everything seems perfectly fine. Even though my head knows this, sometimes my heart (and head too) forget this. And I compare as I read. Bad idea.
When I 'blog compare' one of two things happens:
Option 1: I end up feeling annoyed that other people have a house, space, expendable income, family close by, a dog, two cars, a gym they belong to, a donut shop near by, chick-fil-a...you get the picture. I get annoyed that they have things or conveniences that I don't. I never stop to think about all the benefits and advantages that my life offers. I never remember those when I am getting annoyed....no, no it's all doom and gloom.
Option 2: Self righteous Kristina comes out and I say (only to myself) that the author of the blog is either selfish, ungrateful, wasteful, arrogant, too 'Americanized' and so on. Both options suck and they both leave me feeling guilty and annoyed at myself for being so trivial.
It's a cycle and I know exactly how it is going to end and yet it happens anyway. You would think the easy solution would be to stop reading blogs. But the blog comparing only happens about 5% of the time, so I justify its ok. (I have an amazing knack for justifying my actions)
But it happened two days ago. Option 2 came out in full force. It was a fluke really. I just happened to read 4 blogs all of which discussed moving. The first one I read was a great story about God's provision and I was genuinely pleased for said blogger. But it all went down hill after that. The other 3 blogs mentioned how they wanted to move, but couldn't. They wanted/needed more space but had to try to be content in their 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses respectively. Yikes- watch out world here comes self righteous Kristina- and she is not very nice!
My first thought was "seriously? you are a family of 3 and live in a 4 bedroom house and are complaining? Not enough space eh? Oh, poor little rich southern family. Try living in a flat the size of a one car garage with a family of 3 and then complain!" Gosh, when I type it out, I sound like a _____!! I did warn you, self righteous Kristina is not very pleasant. I should have stopped reading then. I knew I was getting frustrated for no reason. Every one's situation is different. Sure I may have lived in a tiny flat, but I lived in London. And I LOVED it. So I had no reason to complain. But logical thoughts do not win when I am being self righteous. So I kept reading the blogs.
These were random people too! I didn't even know them and I was getting frustrated! It was craziness. I kept reading and kept getting more annoyed that people wanted to move and have more space and bigger houses and a 3rd or 4th car. Never mind the number of materialistic posted I have written about the things that I want. No, no self righteous Kristina is perfect. I got frustrated and decided to tell Rhys all about it when he came home, because I just knew he would agree with me.
And I almost did too. But we got distracted playing with Ele, and eating dinner, and laughing....and then it happened. Conviction. Perspective.
We put on a BBC program about Thailand. The crux of the show was explaining how yes, tourism is a huge benefit to the Thai people, but there is a darker side as well. The Thai people are suffering because of high cost and poor conditions. Big hotel industries come in, buy up Thai land displacing hundreds of local people. The prices of goods (i.e. food, drinks etc..) goes up for the tourists, but the locals are then forced to pay the higher prices as well. The show profiled several different places and types of people, but the one that stoof out ther most was a group of 5 women working for a popular resort hotel. They were 2 plus hours from their families, living together in one room, working 6 days a week, 9 hour days and making a whopping £4.50 a day. And that is above minimum wage. These women were grateful for the work and they worked hard too. They were willing to do what it took to provide for their families, even if it meant being far away and working long hours.
One point the show tried to make was that the British tourist comes and goes freely in Thailand because it is so cheap. They spend hundreds on drinks, boating trips and spa treatments, however, they rarely tip. Leaving even something as small as a £1 or £2 tip could make the difference between eating and not eating to these women and their families. These women were really grateful to be making £4.50 a day. They were thankful to have a decent, clean place to live as so many others they knew were on the streets.
Yeah, I suck.
Here I am complaining about my jet setting European lifestyle and these women were thankful to even have a life. Ok, so maybe not 'jet setting' but I have lived and travelled freely around the UK and Europe and some of that freedom was because we lived in a smaller flat that was more affordable. We always had food, we always had more than enough clothes and even had enough money for extras. What was I complaining about again? And yeah, I wanted more space, just like the people whose blogs I was reading. Remind me again what was wrong with that? Self righteous Kristina sucks.
I am blessed. Really and truly blessed. I have an awesome life. There is honestly nothing to complain about. And there is absolutely no need to compare either. It starts of slow process of self destruction. Comparing myself with others robs me of the joy I should have. Not only rejoicing with others when things are going well for them, but also rejoicing in whatever my particular circumstance is. Being self righteous and negative doesn't uplift others and it certainly isn't positive for me either. Even if no one but me sees the self righteous Kristina, it is a prideful attitude that has no place in my life. Blog comparison (or any other type for that matter) sucks.
Maybe it goes to show that in our human nature we will always want more. Maybe part of that is longing for the home we are promised but don't yet have. Maybe it is just me and no one else struggles with comparison or 'the grass is greener over there' syndrome. But whatever the issue, I am grateful for the BBC helping me put it in perspective. (Although I have a sneaky feeling it was someone else reminding me to be grateful and thankful.)
"Give thanks in ALL circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18
"Pride goes before destruction, ahaguhty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly with the oppressed than share in the plunder of the proud." Provers 18:18-19
29 March 2011
The events of the past few weeks have finally caught up with me. Finally being done with immigration, packing up every single thing we own into a 6 x 6 crate and shipping it to America, leaving parties, good bye visits across the UK, last trips to loads of cities, apply for new jobs in America, looking for houses in Arkansas, planning the trip and so on and so on. It has been a lot.
and now I am tired.
I can not put into words how ready I am to have my own place, my own space. But right now I just want a holiday! Although that would mean more packing and to be honest the thought of packing one more thing makes me want to cry. I want to close my eyes and magically wake up in a house completely furnished, without the hassle of actually buying and furnishing said house. No more packing. No more planning. I am so tired.
It is less than 3 weeks now until we move. I am grateful that it is close. Sad to be leaving, but overjoyed to be one step closer to our own space. Rhys asked me what I wanted more than anything in the world. I said that more than anything else, I wanted to be settled in our own house by Eleri's 2nd birthday. I have images of a fantastic back yard party for the little one. But even the thought of that makes me tired.
Eleri is napping and I should be applying for jobs, working on cover letters, returning emails, and looking for houses in Arkansas. I think I will take a nap instead. I am so tired. Tomorrow is a new day and I can be productive then. Right now- Sleep!
27 March 2011
The bright jeans are great. My current favourite colour is similar to the pink ones pictured- perhaps a bit more coral. Love them! They are some of my favourite jeans to wear because they look great with anything. You don't have to buy designer either. J.Crew, H&M and Primark all have great, bright jeans.
I am also a fan of the yellow jacket. I went for the cardigan instead, but ah, its like wearing the sun. Again, you dont have to go designer. I did fall in love with Dsquared colour, but some other good options are (again) J.Crew, H&M, Primark or Gap.
Another great spring trend I am a big fan of is the high waisted skirt with a blazer. I have tried to capture said outfit below, but it's not the most brilliant image. (ignore the toys in the background) It is an easy outfit to wear; meaning it can look smart or casual. Pair with a bright coloured skinny belt and it makes a great outfit. Which brings me to the next thing- skinny belts. They are cheap, versatile and frankly they make me happy. I think they might be my favourite spring accessory. Well that and jewelry. Because what is not to love about bright, chunky necklaces and big rings. The flower as an accessory is another wonderful addition to my wardrobe. I had some darker coloured flowers for the winter, but the white, bright colours are great for the warmer weather. (see above picture) I have decided to get little ele in on the trend and she is really excited. Ok, she probably doesn't care one bit, but since I buy her clothes she is jumping on board. And this is my new favourite top of little e. How awesome is that?! Next on the list is rolled skinny jeans with a blazer. In case you hadn't guessed by now, I am a big fan of the blazer. I am just wearing a plan t-shirt underneath, but when coupled with a blazer it makes for a nice outfit. Easy when I don't want to put effort in to what I am wearing- put on whatever you want underneath and throw a blazer on top. Done. Favourite scent for the spring? Miss Dior Cherie. To quote their website "a chypre accord which is enlivened with a springtime spirit" A fancy way of saying the orange, neroli and patchouli make it smell like little drops of a tropical island for your skin. I love it. Another of my spring favourites is the Burberry trench coat. It is perfect for British spring- a light jacket when it seems warm, but is actually quite chilly. It is soft, smooth and an amazing little bit of luxury for your top half. By the time we land in America I assume it will be too warm for a jacket, even a light weight one. So I guess this will have to become a fall fashion favourite as well. But the best of all? Ballet flats. I just can't get enough of these. They are the perfect shoe for British spring and summer time. I am assuming that come July in Arkansas I wont want to be wearing closed toe shoes....but for the meantime, I love them! There you have it, Kristina's favourites for spring time. I know I am not the most fashionable person in the world, especially when people like Michelle read this (who is one of the most fashionable people I know) but I like what I like. What are your spring time favourites?
25 March 2011
610. that is how many days little eleri ann has been a part of our lives. 610 wonderful days. Yesterday, the 24th, she reached 20 months. I can hardly believe that it has been nearly 2 years since we brought our tiny bundle home. Ok, so at 9 and half pounds she wasn't so much tiny, but I can't believe how quickly the time has gone.
I am fairly sure that at some point in her life this characteristic will change, but until then, eleri is fearless. Seriously. the child has absolutely no concept of fear. She climbs, jumps, runs, and crawls into the most bizarre places. She would climb on the roof if we would let her. I am convinced that she thinks she is 25 instead of 1 and half because of the things she tries to do. and the amount of bumps and bruises that poor kid has...
Take the below picture for an example. She loves to slide, head first- eyes closed, down the slide. Here I managed to catch her mid run right before she dove/threw herself down. Laughing until she landed on her head and got a MASSIVE bump. You would think that would teach her to not do it again. About 3 minutes later she was back up there. Fearless, I tell you. Fearless.
And it is not just physical activity. She is still not afraid of the dark, has no fear of any animal- in fact, she just giggles and giggles when dogs bark (even giant, scary dogs) and constantly tries to climb the fence to go play with the horses. You have to watch her like a hawk or off she would be trying to ride a cow!
Ele also has no fear of strangers. One of her new tricks (thanks Karen for the idea) is to 'meet' new people. She walks up to them, sticks her right hand out and says 'do do' meaning 'how do you do' Oh my word, it is the funniest thing in the world. All you have to say is 'Ele what do you do when you meet someone new?' and off she goes hand out, saying do do, do do. You could be a 10 foot tall giant and she would still walk right up to you. No fear of anyone. well, anyone except maybe crazy people dressed up like a French man. (cause who likes the French? ;)
(picture of the leaving do weekend with Rhys' uni friends.)
As she really likes to feed herself, she has perfected cereal/porridge in the morning and pasta. We get a few spills with potatos and pie dishes, but she is pretty good with the spoon and fork. Recently she has half mastered the art of drinking from a regular cup. If if it only about 1/3 of the way full, she can do it. Any more liquid in and it ends up all over her. But she is getting there.
The biggest change this month is that she has really transformed from baby into toddler. She likes to hold hands and play 'ring around the roses'. She can out on a bike helmet all by herself and climb on the bike. She can almost swing on a big kid swing and has mastered her colours and shapes. She is not a baby. She is a big girl.
While I am in shock over the fact that I have a child who is nearly two, I love the place where she is. I love watching her grow and learn and discover. I love watching her smile overtake her entire face when she tries something new. I love watching her giggle and laugh when we feed the ducks and she tires to waddle around like them. Pretty much I just love being with her. She is awesome.
21 March 2011
I am having a difficult time with moving. Again, Surprise! Another new thing to mention on the blog.... Ok, but even if you already know that I am struggling with leaving Europe and moving to middle America, did you know that I started making a list of things I was going to miss? And that list is now over 6 pages long? Bet you didn't know that!
I have decided that it was a big one sided. Sure there are some down falls to leaving Europe. But there are some big up sides to moving to America. Instead of putting all the things I will miss into one post, whilst subconsciously pointing out how much America will suck without them, I have decided to counter each sad point with a happy one. For example, I am going to be sad to leave proper fish and chips from a chip shop, but really glad to have chick-fil-a again. See? Sad counteracted with the positive. I may say goodbye to the chip shop, but I will say hello to Chick-fil-a.
As I process externally, and this is my blog and I can write about whatever I want, you can expect quite a few of these posts. Hence the label 'Part 1' So without further ado, here is the first goodbye, hello list.
-Goodbye Rugby: 6 nations, tri-nations, Autumn internationals, having the World Cup actually be a big deal...
BUT, Hello college football and basketball again. March Madness doesn't exist in the UK, so thats a plus.
-Goodbye Fish and Chips..... BUT Hello, Chick-fil-A.
-Goodbye Indian Food, take away hmmm.... BUT Hello, Mexican food. (with unending baskets of chips and salsa!)
-Goodbye British baked beans on toast....BUT Hello, Kraft Mac and Cheese!
-Goodbye rainy, crap weather year around.....Hello nice sunshine and 4 seasons!! Ok so that one I wont really miss. I am more than ready to say goodbye to the grey soup that is the UK weather.
-Goodbye Cadbury luxury chocolate, BUT Hello Reece Pieces and Peanut Butter Cups!
-Goodbye a sink and my hands to wash the dishes and Hello a DISHWASHER!! Ok, again that is all good!
-Goodbye easy travel to places like Italy, Spain and Switzerland....BUT hello, Texas and Mississippi? Uh, ok so that one might be an awful comparison. Leaving Easy Jet flights sucks anyway you look at it.
-Goodbye American TV's 4 months behind....Hello TV shows that are right on time!
uh..... Ok, so the next few ones I cant actually come up with a positive counter to...Any suggestions my fellow Americans?
-Live at the Apollo? (awesome stand-up)
There are hundreds and hundreds more where this came from, but I will leave it at this for now. Having the leaving do this weekend made it all the more real that we are actually going, that things (and most importantly people) will actually really be missed. It was a great weekend, but brought everything a little closer to home. I suppose that is why this is on my mind today.
More parts will come of this for sure, but little ele requires my attention now. Tomorrow will be pictures and details of the weekend...it was crazy. Big Bird even made a visit.....
18 March 2011
Check out how high the little lamb is jumping. This picture makes me laugh every time I see it. It looks like he is flying! Ah, lambs are crazy.
Happy weekend everyone. Enjoy!
17 March 2011
That is the way it is in most flats in London. They come fully furnished. It is great on one hand because it meant Rhys and I didn't have to buy furniture and worry about the cost, and then move it from place to place. But on the other hand it meant that in my entire married life I have never owned, picked out or had a say in the entire furnishing of my house. The bed and mattress included.
The mattresses in both our flats were awful. I mean really, really awful. Bumpy, springs sticking out, sagging in the middles, uneven- awful. You would think that after the first flat we would have learned. Check out the location, bathroom, kitchen, make sure the mattress is in one piece. But it is something you don't really think about when you are looking to move.
The bed in Rhys' parents house is much nicer. However, it was Rhys' old bed so it has been around for a while. It is not awful, but it is not brilliant either. Which means that for the last 4 years the beds Rhys and I have slept on have been, uh... less than desirable.
Why am I telling you this? Because the bed/mattress (and perhaps the couch) will be the only exception to our new rule. What is this rule you ask?
The $50 Rule
That's right people, the $50 rule is coming to play in our house. I have borrowed the idea from my friend Abby. She is pretty awesome and you can read all about her over HERE. Her blog is full of great ideas and inspiring life moments. Her '$50 project' results are incredible, I strongly suggest you take a look. Which is why it has inspired Rhys and I to do the same.
To furnish our new home, everything we buy must be $50 or less. Simple. We are excited about the possibilities. Thrift stores, garage sales, the side of the road...the options are endless really. We both like to do 'crafty' things. Rhys is quite the handy repairman, is good with carpentry and can build just about anything. I like to sew, paint and can come up with some unique uses for everyday things. Combine our talents and we are convinced that we can take what we find and make it perfect for our home.
We have created some caveats to our rule:
1.The bed and mattress can cost more than $50. Heck, it can cost whatever it takes to have a comfortable bed. We are ready for some restful sleep!
2. The couch. We may or may not find a good couch for $50. (I am thinking may not is more realistic) but we will limit ourselves. We are primarily looking on craigslist and closeouts.
3. If the initial price is $50 or less, but it goes slightly over to fix it up nicely, that's ok too. Not hundreds and hundreds. But if we are careful in choosing our pieces, and dedicated to making them our own, then we will give ourselves some leeway in the $50 rule.
4. Things given to us dont count. If we are not buying it, it doesn't have to cost less than $50. For example, my brother has given us his old kitchen table. When I say old, I really just mean they wanted a new one. The one they gave us is perfect and way more than $50. But that's ok, because it is a gift. To us it was free- well within the $50 rule!
I am pretty pumped about our new plan. Because we are going straight from the UK to my parents house until we get settled, we will have some time to sort ourselves out furniture wise. Which is another reason this plan fits so perfectly. We have time to buy and refurnish pieces. We have the storage space at my parents and the extra help of mom and dad. I know that I tend to get overly excited, and I know that I have a tendency to be unrealistic. But whether or not we can stick to this plan for an entire house is irrelevant. We are going to try our very best, and I can say with 100% certainty that it will be a heck of a lot of fun trying to!
16 March 2011
As with January, some of the new things were great. and some were pretty stupid. Dancing on the streets of Rome with Rhys? Awesome. Accidentally pressing 'buy' and purchasing £300 worth of clothes from Zara. Not awesome. (and they were all returned as soon as they arrived) Good and bad, here is my list from February
-New Tradition: fulfilling another new years resolution of creating a new tradition every month, February's is Fiesta Friday! the last Friday in February is now Team Williams Fiesta Friday. Which means that we will cook up copious amounts of Spanish/Mexican food and invite loads of people over to fiesta with us. This year we had James and Hannah come down to Wales. Next year? I am thinking house party in Arkansas....
-British driving lesson
-Went to Rome with Rhys
-danced on the streets of Rome, at night, on a dimly lite bridge...ah romance
-cleaned out the game room of our old crap
-sold lots of baby clothes on ebay. (i love ebay!)
-ate a bowl of gnocchi as a 'starter' and then had a bowl full of spaghetti as a main. whoa that was lots of food.
-New words for ele: Spoon, draw, ta, door, cup, walk
-e ate a pastie for the first time.
-I painted my nails blue (another new years resolution fulfilled)
-British driving test in Brecon
-Passed said test and received my British Drivers License.
-bought e a special 'book' that she can draw and put stickers in. she loves it and carries it with her everywhere.
-girls night in watford- Indian in Kings Langley
-First spring visit to the duck pond
-Shopping in Swansea with Han
-James and Hannah down for the first time from London
-saw a lamb being born (not a pretty sight, at all)
-swimming at the brecon leisure centre- on the big kids water slide!
-e stopped eat fruit. which was not a good first
-but she started eating veggies. which is a good first!
-I officially became British as I received my passport in the post!
There you have it, all the new things done in February.
15 March 2011
At the time, they were two things that were not redily avaliable to me in the UK. As the weather tends to be crap nearly 100% of the time, I was desperatly missing the sunshine. And pringles, classed as an import, seemed unbelievalbe expensive. Of course that was only 4 months after I moved and I was still converting everything in my head. grocery store trips went something like this
Me: Man, I would LOVE some pringles
Rhys: go buy some.
Me: ok...uh lets see.... £2.25 a can. WHAT?!!? that is $4.50 for a can of pringles!!! (at that time the exchange rate was 2:1)
Rhys: ah! stop converting it in your head! you make the pound, so spend the pound!
Believe me, it didn't take much longer for me to stop that habit and think in the pound. Bet Rhys is sorry now he told me to 'spend the pound' But that is another story.
The point is, while I still don't know a lot about blogging. (I still cant get the really cool, new design to upload) I have decided to go back to the original title of the blog. Sunshine and Pringles. I love the sunshine and even though they are quite possibly the worst thing for me, I love pringles. They make me happy. They make me smile. And it is the little things that matter the most.
I have been having a hard time lately. Try as I might to hide it, I know that some of those feelings have been made evident in the blog. And while the entirety of the situation is too lengthy, detailed and personal to really dive into in this particular forum, let me just say that it is a new day. A new attitude. A fresh outlook on life, love, marriage, parenting, friendship, and family. A new start as it were.
Traditionally January is the time for resolve for a better future. But mid-March is as good a time as any. It's a new day. The 'big' things that bother you only get big because you let them. From now on, it's the little things that really count. Sunshine and Pringles.
12 March 2011
10 March 2011
We have rented a transit van and will load the boxes first thing tomorrow morning for the 3 plus hour trek to the docks. There we will say one last goodbye to the boxes as the begin their 9 week sea journey to America. Although we are insured for it, here's hoping there will be no pirate attacks or capsizing of the boat!
9 March 2011
This is a special season for me. Not only because the death and resurrection of Christ is what enables us to have life everlasting, but also becasue it is a time when I really draw away from the negative and refocus; get new perspective if you will. It is a great time to really reflect on the ultimate sacrafice that God made for us in sending His son to die. As a mother, I can't even begin to imagine sending little eleri anywhere that I can't get to quickly, let alone sending her to die! It was a sacrafice indeed.
This year was tough deciding what I would give up for lent. I couldn't really come up with anything that I felt would serve the purpose of reflection and rememberence properly. In my attempt to come up with something, I looked over this past year (lent to lent) to review- see what was what. After some prayer and thinking I have come up with this:
-I comfort eat. BIG time. When I am sad, happy, angry, confused, stressed, anxious, hurt, pleased- anything- I eat. Not to be confused, I never reach for fruit or raw veggies. Nope. For me it is all crisps and chips and wine gums and then some more crisps. Ok, and some peanuts or cashews as well. Reflecting on this past year I can see some really tough times where my first reaction should have been to really seek the Lord's direction. Instead I found my answers in a bag of West Country Bacon and Cream Cheese Red Sky Crisps. *(they are amazing! I am shipping some over so come to my house when i first land if you want a bite. they wont last long believe me!)*
I didn't really find any answers, but I did find a huge amount of time and energy wasted eating crap and then feeling bad about eating so much crap. A waste. Energy and effort better spent elsewhere.
-I am lazy. Given that the previous discovery was that I eat bags and bags of crips at a time, I can imagine that there is a picture forming in your mind of me, slouched over on the sofa, gourging myself on crisps all day long. That is not quite the case. But I have found by reading through journals and looking at past experiences that sometimes it is all too easy for me to pick the more comfortable, easy thing of staying home instead of getting out to exercise.
This is crucial because exercising is one of the times when I really connect one-to-one with Jesus. I have great prayer time, listen to sermons, scripture and worship music. It is a really soul feeding time and I notice it tremendously when it is not there.
So what am I going to do with those two revelations? And what does it have to do with Lent?
I am giving up snacking on crap outside of normal meal times and I am commiting to exercise in some form everyday.
If I put it out there in the blogging world than it means I actually have to stick to it! Accountability and all that. And what that sentence really says is that I am going to refocus my time and energy onto God. When I am distressed, stressed, upset or even happy instead of finding a snack, I am first going to seek out Jesus. Instead of watching reruns of Cogar Town (which is awesome!) I will get on my running shoes and spend some time talking to God. As I said, Lent is a time for me to really redirect my attentions to things that matter; to get back on track with what is really important. 40 days sounds like a long time at the moment, but I am trusting that the fruit of the sacrifice will make it feel like it was even a sacrifice at all.
7 March 2011
-Fill in US Customs declarations and tax forms. in triplicate. awesome.
-Organise hire van for Friday morning to drive boxes to London
-Correctly label and allocate all 37 boxes, 3 backpacks, 4 suitcases, 2 strollers, 1 car seat, a play kitchen and 1 drawing board. yeah, somehow we ended up with lots of stuff to ship. and customs demands precision packing!
-clean out bedrooms for a final check
-E's doctor appointment.
-Order in new contacts. (i'm out. great timing)
-Finish packing up eleri's toys. How do you pack up toys when you still have 5 weeks left? that's a tough one!
-Last ladies dinner at church on Thursday, organise menu.
-Finish plans for 'leaving do' for 19 March.
-Make pancakes for Pancake Day on Tuesday. (it's what the Brits call Fat Tuesday)
-Get hair cut (my fringe is crazy long)
-and the most important thing on the list: play with eleri and hang out with Rhys.
Lots to do this week. Unfortunately, quite a bit is boring paperwork but hey ho- its got to get done at some point. Joys of moving a family across an ocean.
2 March 2011
Ah, my passport. Not only does this mean that Rhys and I are officially, documents in hand, 100% free from immigration control for the rest of our lives, but it also means that I have TWO passports. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but that makes me pretty awesome. At least I feel pretty awesome.
As mentioned before, I have always wanted to have another passport. At one point in my life, I figured out how I could get 4 different passports. It's a completely legit plan folks, if only Rhys would go along with it I would be set! But having a British passport is incredibly freeing.
We have spent several months out of every year since we got engaged worrying about immigration. We have spent countless hours filling in paperwork, sitting in government offices, going from one embassy to a consulate, back to an embassy. By the time you add up travel costs to embassy/consulate, paperwork fees, administration fees, passport fees, and general documentation costs we have spent nearly £20,000. (thats nearly $40,000) Just think, for that we could have paid off a good chunk of a mortgage or gone on some pretty rad holidays.
so that passport means a lot to me. Aside from the fact that we will be savings tens of thousands of dollars, it opens up the option for our family to live and work pretty much anywhere in the world. There are lots of places that Americans are not welcome. Granted most of those places I would not really want to visit anyway, but now I can travel to and from Cuba. I have been wanting to go on holiday there for a while and now I can! Plus we can work in any European country(EU country, I should say), Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, Gibraltar, some Pacific islands and of course, the good ole' UK/US. having these two passports opens up quite a few doors.
so yeah, it was pretty awesome to fulfil my life long dream of duel citizenship. But even more awesome to think of the adventures that now await my family and I. Today is a good day for Team Williams.
1 March 2011
Yesterday some friends and I took our babies and headed down to our local IKEA for a day out. They do really cheap and tasty hot meals in the cafe, and great coffee in the bistro. Plus there are toy centres and play lands scattered through out the store. It has all the makings for a perfect day out. And yesterday did not disappoint.
I could not have asked for more perfect timing. We got their, played a bit, had some lunch, e picked out some toys and then she went to sleep in her stroller. For 2.5 hours. And I had baby free shopping time! £70 later we had some coffee and headed home. It was an awesome day, causing my love of IKEA to only grow stronger.
I have taken a picture of two of my favourite purchases. Cloth veggies for ele to put in her kitchen...
And a lampshade for e's new room in America.
I know we don't even have a house yet, let alone a room, but the shade is awesome! I left the plastic on it because we are shipping our stuff and I wanted it to stay nice. It is white with hand embroidered flower designs. I love it!
I also came away with a few more toys (hey they were only £1!) and some baskets for our bathroom in America. Apparently I am planning ahead! ha, I just couldn't help myself. I love IKEA.
What about you guys? Like IKEA or think it is cheap crap? Let's here what you have to say.