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I am 27 years old and am blessed to have my husband Brady, as my partner and best friend. We have two children, Parker and Piper, our little yorkie. We are constantly amazed by the joy they bring into our lives and can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!
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Monday, December 31, 2012


Goodness...what can I say...we have officially been in the states for two weeks...so much has happened yet it feels like time has flown...my brother came home a day early to surprise us...I turned 30 (crazy, I know)... my parents, brady and friend heather threw me an amazing surprise party...seriously, I am so blessed...I have had the joy to watch Parker 'tackle' just about every member of brady and I's families...I just love being home...we had amazing Christmas celebrations in Kansas City, Mankato and Wichita...we were able to see all of our grandparents at least once...I have eaten at every restaurant I was craving (the tuna sandwich at watermark books was the most satisfying:)...so blessed to have had such a great trip so far, yet so much more to come...we leave for Kansas City again today and then Phoenix on Wednesday...Parker is beyond excited to see a game...lucky, lucky us:)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The secret...

...to a happy boy on a flight...superman earphones, pillow, blankie, and orange juice!

Here's to a quick nine hours and a content Parker!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

And we're off!!

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness! Today finally arrived...after a crazy week of errands, cleaning, cookie-making, packing, shopping, and more cleaning (gotta love having hurricane Parker around;), it is finally time to go home!!! Wahoo! We left norwich today and just spent a fantastic afternoon in London with our friends, Tom and Kat. We leave their house for the airport tomorrow at 7:30 AM...fly out at 12PM...and a mere 14.5 hours later, we will finally be in Wichita!!! We. Can't. Wait.

Monday, December 10, 2012

All I want for Christmas...

...is to get back home, but until then, we have been making the most of our time here.  I feel like it has been a crazy couple of weeks packed with trips to see Santa, parties with friends, school parties and lots of Christmas shopping.

Last Friday, we had Parker's school party.  It was kind of hilarious.  All of the parents got there to watch them sing and then the kids had a party while the parents had tea.  I was so excited to see Parker sing (I had already heard all of the songs in the car), but during the concert, P just sat there....literally...he was so tired (he had already been there two hours longer than a normal day), and he barely mouthed more than a couple of words per song.  He did, however, find enough energy to protest when the teacher handed him a star with 'too many sparkles'.  Silly kid.  I did video, but we were told we couldn't post any videos or pictures online...so...shoot.

We also celebrated our family Christmas this weekend.  Santa made a special trip to our house on Saturday night...Parker was so, so excited.  The worst part about celebrating Christmas early is that no one else is celebrating.  Brady was out of town until late Friday night, so we had to do Santa on Saturday night (plus we had to have soup and queso for dinner:)...but then we had church and a birthday party all day on Sunday (and brady had to work, ugh).  So, while it was a great morning...it was just a morning.

P is at such a fun age and he was so excited about all of his presents...such a great morning...

carrying treats for Santa

We tried to get him to leave Santa a 'traditional' mince pie, but P insisted that he like cookies better.

'Christmas' morning and seeing his new workbench from Santa.

He went straight to get his toolbox out:)

Such a good little builder

Cars...Santa actually could have just gotten him these two cars and P would have been ecstatic!

A book that folds into a pirate ship...he loved it!!

Trying out new crayons...the best part of doing Christmas before is that Santa was
able to bring some things that mommy needed to get for the plane ride anyway:)

So blessed to have these two...such a lucky, lucky mommy.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Purple pride

Parker has been asking to take his jersey to school for a while now. In his words...
"I think the kids want to see my jersey. They've never seen a football jersey before."

He has a point, so today I let him take it, in his bag, with instructions not to get it out unless he asks a teacher. Well, this is what he looked like when I picked him up (minus the coat). Apparently, he did at least ask his teacher if he could wear it...pretty sure this was his plan all along...

Monday, December 3, 2012

light switch-on

I am a little behind on blogging.  To be honest, I ran out of storage space for pictures on my blog and I wanted to consult the experts (aka Rachel and Victoria), before buying the storage space on google. 

Anyway, we had the annual Christmas light switch-on in Norwich a couple of weeks ago.  It was actually Thanksgiving and because Brady was working so much and had to go out of town right after the lights came on, this was how we decided to spend the holiday....dinner at the new Jamie Oliver restaurant (sadly, we won't be going back), and the awesome atmosphere of the evening.  Norwich really does this event right...bands, snow machines, fireworks, crepe stands, and giant snow globes...it is one of my favorite nights of the year, and a great way to get into the Christmas spirit!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

at least he's learning something...

Parker is loving school...thank goodness...but lately, he has been coming home and correcting me...for example...

P, "...and then we had lunch, and then you came, mommy!"
Me, "did you see a lot of the other kids' mommies?"
P, "yeah, but they have 'mummies.'"
Me, "oh, ok"

Randomly talking about Christmas and Santa in the car after school...
P, "mommy he's called 'father christmas'"
Me, "gotcha"

Me, "were you helping Annabelle push the stroller when I came?"
P, "it's called a 'buggy'"
Me, "right"

My favorite moment this week was when we were driving home and Parker sang me 'Tiny Tim' from school.  It is a song he had already learned at church, but this time he sang it to me with an accent...it was kind of awesome:).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Today was probably the coldest, wettest, windiest walk we have ever had to and from the gym (imagine me pulling the wagon, P sitting in the wagon with his umbrella, and my umbrella constantly flipping)...seriously...
Today I hoped that someday, when I am back home shopping at Bradley Fair, I will remember today when I am tempted to drive from Banana Republic to Ann Taylor...
Today I realized that Parker's British vocabulary is constantly expanding...he called his sweater a jumper (never mind that he now thinks he needs to jump while wearing it)...
Today I bought every can of pumpkin pie puree left in the 'posh' grocery store...there were only six (from the stock room) and Brady promised his coworkers that I would bake them pumpkin pies...
Today I realized that I should really go to said grocery store to make friends the day before Thanksgiving because apparently (according to the grocer) that is when all of the other Americans came to buy the rest of the pumpkin puree...
Today I was shocked and pleasantly surprised when Parker passed his level of swimming lessons...until I realized that there were four possible levels he could have passed and he passed level 1...yep, that sounds about right...
Today I realized that while I love our current situation and staying home with Parker, it is affecting Parker's perception...for example, 'mommy can you do the dishes while daddy and I play rugby?'  or 'mommy can you cook us some breakfast while daddy and I play catch?' or 'oh, mommy will clean that up!'  Oh goodness...
Today I realized that I am in even more trouble than I thought when disciplining Parker...his newest routine is to do something funny while I'm trying to discipline and when I try not to smile he says, 'come on mommy, that was a little funny...if you laugh it will make you smile!'  Serious trouble.
Today I felt so, so blessed when Parker talked all day about how excited he was to go to school tomorrow and play with his friends.  Love, love, love that he loves school:).

Sunday, November 25, 2012

If only...

...the world worked according to the imagination of a three year old...

Friday night Brady was out of town so Parker and I decided to get pizza. On the way home, we saw a homeless man and (because I didn't have any cash) gave him our leftovers. This prompted a conversation about why the man didn't have a home, etc.

Tonight, Parker and I passed the same spot we had seen the man on Friday, but he wasn't there. This was Parker's thought...
"Mommy, mommy look!! He's not there anymore someone must have built him a home!!"

Gosh I love this kid:)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Love him, love books

Gosh I just love, love, love that he loves books as much as I do...especially when I find him like this, with his 'story lamp' on, an hour after I thought he was asleep!

Mom's day out!

I am pretty lucky to have such a great friend here who is in exactly same situation and who has kids that are close in age to Parker.  Mandy has been wanting to take a shopping trip to London for a while and when she mentioned it to me, I gladly agreed!  Despite the three hour bus/train trip to get there (we picked a weekend with rail work...darn), we had a great time.  It was kind of weird being there without Parker...he is my little buddy and it was strange to be able to walk into a store and only worry about me breaking something:).  

I was so excited to get to go into Liberty for the first time...I could live in this store, and if I could afford it, could get myself into a lot of trouble.  I am just so glad that we were able to enjoy London at Christmas!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

great ending

Today was a great ending to a rough week.  I can't lie (I know you are all really worried about me being candid:)...this week was really hard.  I think that P and I were living in a bubble last week...pretending that school was temporary and not really dealing with our new reality.  Reality definitely hit us this week...I have practically had to tackle Parker to get his uniform on in the mornings,  and would talk about how he didn't want to go to school.  Dropping off got harder too...I could always  tell that he wanted to cry but was trying to be brave.  Even his teachers thought that he seemed really tired and 'teary'...especially during lunch.  I loved that he was so excited to see me when I picked him up, but I could tell he was on the verge of tears each time he saw me...broke.my.heart.

This morning started off just as hard...he didn't want to go, and worse, he completely broke down once we pulled up in front of the school.  He was so upset and I stayed for an extra 10 minutes trying to calm him down.  I was so worried about him, and was sure I would probably get a phone call half-way through the morning to come and get him.  Nope.  I was so relieved to find him playing dinosaurs with a few other kids, and, although he still ran to see me, he was happy when I picked him up.  It just made my day.  He even got to bring home one of his favorite books from their library...awesome.  Oh and as I was putting him in his carseat, he told me this...

'Mommy, when I was born I went to school many, many moons ago.'

So apparently, we're ok...:)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

oh shoot...

...like when you hear your son playing with Woody and telling Jessi to "hurry up woman," and you honestly can't say whether he learned it from Madagascar 2 or his dad...
...or when you lift up the blinds on the second floor for the first time in a few days and realize the mold (or mould as they would say here) is back again...time to start leaving the windows open during the day again...ugh...
...like when your wake up call is your son coming into your bed and singing, "we beat the bears, we beat the canes, we turned the mean green blue, stomped the hawks, killed the clones, dominated OU..."  in his best twang...we didn't realize he knew so much of the song...
...or when you realize you may never sleep past 5AM again...the person who came up with daylight savings obviously did not have small children...
...like when you realize you have made three batches of sugar cookies and one batch of cupcakes (all for other people...with a few for us) and you still find yourself making chocolate concoctions to satisfy your insatiable sweet tooth...
...or when you're pulling the wagon and you turn to reply to a smart remark from a passerby and you realize that you've poured out all of the water that you have in your other hand in the process...
...like when you have a 'near-miss' with a biker in a round-a-bout (in the dark...crazy bikers) and he stops, slams his fist on your hood and yells, "What the F*** are you on!" seriously...
...or when you tell yourself you've been good all day so you have dessert and you don't remember the six oreos you had at lunch until the last bite...

Oh yes?
...when you pick up your son from school and he tells you this story...
Me, "who did you sit by at lunch?"
P, "some girls but I don't know their names."
Me, "were they nice girls?"
P, "one was nice, but the other one was not nice...but I was a nice boy."
Me, "what did she do?"
P, "Annabelle got hurt and I was just trying to check her heart, but the girl told me 'no!'"

hahahahahahaha, oh goodness, my little doctor Parker...

Monday, November 12, 2012


I don't know if you realized this, but here, we have fireworks in November.  I'm not going to lie...I kind of love it.  I know that it defeats the whole purpose of Independence Day, but it is so nice to be able to go and watch the fireworks at 7PM and still have your little one in bed on time.

Friday was Taverham's annual fireworks and bonfire fundraiser.  We had a great time.  We ate hamburgers, kept warm by the bonfire and then watched some pretty spectacular fireworks.  Not to mention that Parker left going, "I love my school!"  Worth it.

Parker's school...main hall...

cheapest entertainment ever

Thursday, November 8, 2012

school days

Deciding to start Parker in school was a really hard, tough decision.  He still seems so young and because I am staying home, I really felt like his education at this age was my responsibility.  However, we live in a place where we have no family and few friends nearby and I truly believe that it takes a village to raise a child.  Because of this, we felt like we needed to provide Parker with another constant.  Another safe place with familiar faces that he would look forward to going to when we come back at Christmas (leaving Wichita gets harder for him every time).  Plus, in a year, he will be required to go to school so we wanted to make sure he could ease into it (if we are still here).

So, with that said, we decided to find a school that we were comfortable with and worked for us.  We decided on Taverham.  It is a forest school with tons of outdoor activities.  Here, Parker either has to go three half days a week or two full days (at least)...we chose the three half days option.  The school is about five miles from our house and I drop him off between 8:30 and 9:00.  There are between 8 and 12 kids in his class (depending on the day), three constant teachers (with a couple coming in and out to help as necessary), and more activities and toys than you can imagine.  P stays there until 1:00 which means that he has lunch there.

I have to admit, I had lots of grandiose plans of working out, scrubbing floors, volunteering and blogging more during my time...not so much...Monday, I managed to run for an hour (the first time I have worked out for an entire hour in three years), go to the grocery store, shower, get ready (we're talking half-wet ponytail with no make-up), and eat a bowl of cereal while I balanced our account and folded clothes.  I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly the time went, but also a little disappointed that I didn't get more done.  Honestly, I do prioritize running because it is on thing I do completely for myself and if I don't do it during the day, chances are, I won't do it at all (brady works out in the morning and gets home late from work).  So, yes, if I took out the running, I could probably get more done...but right now I'm not willing to let it go...

Anyway, the answer is yes...we are both adjusting to our new schedule and I think this is going to work out just fine:).

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

first day of school

Our conversation on the way to school today pretty much sums up how the drop off went...
Parker, "mommy, are you going to cry?"
Me, "no, but I am going to miss you while you're at school."
Parker, "ok, but don't cry."

In other words, P did great and could not wait to go play with all of the kids and toys.  Actually, mommy did surprisingly well too...no tears...I think the 'practice day' is more for the parents than the kids, and definitely helped prepare me for today.

When I picked up Parker, he seemed a little sad.  Apparently, Parker was repeatedly told to sit in his seat during mealtime and then started crying when the teacher had to put him back.  I'm not going to lie...I was not that surprised...we have been having meal-time battles for the last month or so...hopefully, between us and his teacher, he will start listening...hopefully...

Once we were back in the car, he told me that he had fun, but then he told me this, "Mrs. Rose asked me if I was happy or grumpy and I said grumpy."  Oh geez...later as we were having hot chocolate and a biscuit at Costa he told me all about not sitting at lunch and crying.  I was so glad to hear it from him.  Plus, he promised to sit next time...we shall see...

Don't judge, I was going to work out right after...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

quick trip

We love London...seriously, it is one of our favorite places and now that our friends, Tom and Kat, have moved there, we have one more reason to visit.

Parker and I took a train down on Friday afternoon and met Kat.  Thoughtful as ever, she had bought tickets for the aquarium....we had never been...it.was.awesome.

I apologize for the picture quality...I forgot my camera and I'm pretty sure the frequent drops are beginning to have an effect on my iphone camera....shoot.

Even better?  We spent part of Saturday at the Natural History Museum.  This is pretty much P's favorite place and he was so excited.  The only thing that could have made our visit better was a shorter line to see the dinosaurs...poor P had to miss them this time.

Thanks for such a great weekend Tom and Kat!!