Friday, July 18, 2014

Our Year in the USA

Today has been an emotional day for me.  I woke up very confused.  The news was saying the Malaysian Airlines flight had been shot down in the Ukraine.  My first thought was, how could that flight have gotten to Ukraine?  Crazy conspiracy theorists, but then, oh then, I realized it was ANOTHER Malaysian Airlines flight that crashed.  Malaysia,  you know the country I am leaving for in two weeks?  And then the calls came, "Are you still in the US?"  "What airline are you going to be taking?"

And the pit in my stomach began to grow.  No, I don't know anyone on that flight but I know what kinds of people were in that flight and I know it will affect me and I am heartbroken because it is awful, because it feels personal, it could have been me and my kids, it could have been anyone who flies internationally.

My kids start school in a week.  They are going to an international school and there will be people in that school who knew people on that plane.  That's the way expat life works.  It is a very small village.  I feel sick, it isn't fair.

To help myself get lost from my sad thoughts I made a slideshow of our happy year in the USA.  I am not a huge Miley Cyrus fan but the song fit and if the song fits it fits.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Last Party in the USA

I don't want to be a blog quitter.  I like blogging.  I like keeping track of things and keeping friends up to date with our day to day.  However, when my plate is full, it is full and the blog usually gets the boot. I have been a wee-bit busy.  Here is the happenings.

I got older.  No picture needed.

Tiger turned five and had a Ghostbuster themed birthday party.

Stella turned seven.  We went to Six Flags on a Wednesday when everyone was still in school.  It was awesome!

We saw old friends from our Manila days.  Addie, Bella, Ashlynn, Sara, and Justin are as cute as ever.  It was great to see them.

Then, we ended school.  Tiger finished preschool.  I want to say there were tears but since he was going to camp the next week at the same preschool it didn't feel real.  I don't think he really gets it either, or he just doesn't care.  Both are probably true.  I can't believe my sweet guy is going to be a kindergartner.

Then Stella finished first grade.  She is such a great kid.  She has grown up to be such a little adult and I just adore her.  She is on top of everything.  She just finished reading Harry Potter and I am so proud of her.  She makes my heart swell with her awesomeness.

The day after Stella finished school we hopped on a plane and went to Utah where I am currently blogging from.  We had drove up to Wyoming for a big family reunion.  Everyone had a great time.  Then Seth returned to DC to finish fixing our house up, packing, cleaning, and getting ready for Malaysia.  I miss him like crazy.

Being a single mom is much easier when there is family around.  My brothers and sisters and I have been meeting regularly and it is so much fun.  We watched fireworks, ate smoked meat, and played with sparklers.

We rented a boat and then went to the middle of Utah Lake to practice our cannonballs.

I am now living in a basement apartment.  It is in my aunt's place but she is leaving me alone for the most part and I have to say, I love having my own place.  I love deciding when I clean it, deciding when I make my beds (mornings), and having control of my laundry.  I want to buy a pied a terre in Utah Valley someday, someday.  But I know I will never quite fit in here, for reasons like this:
Yes, they are selling purses that conceal your pistol.  Gotta love the West.

We leave for Malaysia in three weeks.  Right now it still doesn't feel real.  I love being here but I realize I don't belong here.  I love being abroad and I am hungry for our next adventure.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me

How do you know you are getting older?  You buy a toilet for your 35th birthday.  That's right folks, I treated my best side to the finest toilet this side of the Mason-Dixon line.  Tomorrow this baby will be all mine.  I might have Seth put a bow on it and give me the honors.
For those who are toilet-curious this is a Toto toilet, it is supposed to be the best.
MMMhmmm, look at her curves

Happy birthday to me.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Stress Cracks

Last night she was up at midnight, screaming.  We couldn't get her to wake up.  Then at two, then at four.  Finally at four I got into bed with her and comforted her as she cried in her sleep.  The next morning she looked tired.  She has a standardized end-of-year test to see her reading level.  She went to school with bags under her eyes.

He has been crying a lot.  He keeps saying his friends are teasing him, they aren't.  He likes to lie down under things and snuggle in a blanket.  When he comes home from school he just daydreams, more than usual.  He has been a pickier eater than normal.  He lost a pound and his pants are falling off him.

While there is nothing going on or nothing wrong, both my kids are feeling it.  They feel the impending move, the stress of the move, the nervousness of yet another jump.  They are used to it, they are good at it, they expect it.  Tiger just asked me, "Mom when do we move because we have been in this house too long."

No matter how prepared you are, no matter how amazing you are, no matter what you do to get ready the stress of a move trickles down in the family.  My kids are both feeling it.  They are fine, but they are not unaffected.

I am not a freshman on this moving thing anymore.  I have done it enough that I get it.  I am no old pro either, and grateful for that.  I have tried every time to be organized and together and invested so much emotion and energy.  No more.  No matter what I do my pillows end up with my pots.  This year I am not doing it.  I am going out of town with the kids and Seth is going to do the move solo.  Maybe I am crazy, maybe I am mean but it needs to happen.  This will be my grand experiment, does my preparation make a difference? Let's find out.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Springing Back

Sometimes after a long day it is nice to just make petal angels in the ground.  

We are going to miss spring, not winter, summer, or fall, just spring. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Forgive Me Blogger, For I Have Sinned

Sorry... I know it has been two months since I have touched my blog.  I have no good reasons for not blogging, other than life gets in the way and it is less exciting to blog about the going ons of McLean than it is when I am overseas.

So this is what happened for the past sixty days:
Winter Came
And stayed.  And stayed so more.  In fact it stayed so long I got tired of complaining about it.  Instead I started up the wanderlust again.  The dream of Malaysia is getting closer and I used any spare minute to read about it.

We got our housing and I am beyond excited.  There will be pools, tall buildings, city parks, and mall shopping.

We found renters for our house.

We may have found our car in Malaysia (emails in the works).

Now we just need to solidify our summer plans.  Sigh.

While all of this was happening Julie and Tim and baby George came to visit.  They came to see the Cherry Blossoms and sadly DC was having none of it.

We found the one tree with blossoms on it.
A few weeks later we decided to get out of this eternal winter and go to Southern Utah for spring break.  I always want to go when we visit in the summer but 120 degree weather just can't get me out there.

We all had so much fun.  

There was hiking, family, staying up too late, eating amazing food and loving our time together before it takes 27 hours to go for a visit.  

Catching lady bugs

Playing with cousins.

Playing in the creek.

When we came home, my tulips were in bloom and I had a renewed vigor to get my act together before we have to pack-out.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Tease of Spring

Today temperatures hit the sixties.  It was nice.  I forced our family to go outside and walk to the local high school.  I made the kids run around the track.  I made myself run around the track.  It was fun to run outside instead of having a floor move underneath me.  I am excited about the idea of running again.  The snow has mostly melted and the sidewalks are clear enough that I might start running again.
Then I went to my dear friend Nancy's baby shower.  I am so excited for her.  I love new babies.

When I got back I took the kids on a bike ride and met my neighbors.  We spent the rest of the entire afternoon chatting with all of our wonderful neighbors.  The kids played for three solid hours outside.  They played on the dirty snow bank, they played in trees, and they played in the mud.  When they were done they looked like this:
Tiger the Ninja Turtle got messy
Always the lady, Stella did not get muddy.  She chose to avoid mud fights.  

She has been very busy this year selling girl scout cookies to our town.  Here she is selling it outside the wine store.  Nothing like pairing your cookies with a proper wine.

My little Daisy Scout

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Living in the Snow Globe

It has been a terrible winter in DC this year.  Terrible.  Stella has missed over a week of school and has had a delayed start at least seven times.

This has meant a lot of snow fun.  I am not much of a winter sports gal and in ten years of marriage we have yet to go skiing.  This all changed yesterday when we decided to make lemonade out of these snow lemons and go skiing.

We stayed at Massanutten which is out in Shenandoah Virginia.  It was about a two hour drive and we stayed in a cute little condo that had deer in the back yard.  These deer were strangely friendly.  Doesn't seem like a good plan for the species but who am I to judge.

We tried out the indoor water park which was fun but grossly overpriced in the winter since it only had three slides the kids could go on.  Still, we were all exhausted after day one.

Day two we decided to brave the mountain and teach the kids to ski.  This resort requires you to be seven to go to ski school which is crazy.  So mom and dad became the instructors.  Now, I am not a very strong skier.  I can't say I even like skiing.  It always makes me super sore.  Nonetheless, I braved it again and taught Tiger to ski while Seth helped Stella. Tiger was not too bad.  I was really proud of him.

We went up the lift and he got off like a pro and then went down and had a great time.  We were all exhausted after four hours of skiing but we had a great time.  Stella was able to start turning and was a real champ by the end of the day.  I am so proud of them.

I let Seth do a few runs on the black diamonds here and he was surprised at how tame the Eastern black diamonds are compared to our lovely Park City resorts we are used to.
This was the best pic I could get of them.  Tiger borrowed Stella's sunglasses because it was super bright and he has no vanity.  Stella is blinded by the crazy bright mountain.

It was a great end to what I hope is the last of winter because I am done.  No. More. Snow. For. Three. Years.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Is it Really 2014?

Based on Scholastic Book Club's recommended reading for my six year old daughter you would think it was 1972, where girls were finally legally allowed to wear trousers to school.

The books that the Scholastic brochure pushes for first and second grade girls these days are called The Rainbow Fairies.  Lest you think this is some liberal progressive movement that introduces the struggle for gay rights and human equality for little girls, it is not.  No, instead these books focus on fairies and their special gift or talent. 

Here is the list of fairies in the Scholastic brochure:

They also have other series with interests like animals, colors, glittery things, tiaras, and shades of pink.

I hate to be the Grinch here but haven't we had this argument like 34,000 times since I was six?  Why is there not electrical engineering fairy?  Why is there no chemistry fairy?  Why is there no mathematician fairy?  Why is there no fairy where women are missing in the adult working world today?  Because, my friends, there is no fairy for women in those industries and these books are the reason.  We teach our little girls to reach as high as their closet, their figures, their hair, and their accessories.  Gag.  We can do so much better.  

Back to good old Ramona Quimby, Pippi Longstocking, and our secret confession, Captain Underpants, Stella's new favorite but not mine, but that is a different post.

Friday, January 24, 2014


Stella hits the nail on the head.  After four days of winter lockdown, I am done.