Tuesday, October 14, 2014

BriSCA F1 World Final and a few other things.

September came and went far too quickly this year! Both of the girlies started school and adjusted to their new schedule quite well! AL still hates mornings just like me and on a daily basis she tries to get me to let her sleep longer and take her to Tiny Tots instead of "Big School" as she calls it. School starts at 9 and even though the child goes to bed at 8 and isn't woken up until 8:15 the next morning she is still overly tired which results in the two of us running through the grave yard to get to school on almost a daily basis.  Other than the morning rush, they both seem to love school so far. AJ comes home with a new painting almost every day and AL can already read short books!

The 19th and 20th of September was the BriSCA F1 World Finals. BriSCA is the racing circuit that E has been following since we moved here. When he first went last year he met and became friends with one of the drivers. Since then he has been going to almost all of the meetings and helping Mat with his car. On the 6th of September E rented Mat's hire car and gave F1 racing a go. Before the meeting started E had to do 5 laps to 'prove' that he could race and in true dirt track fashion he threw the care into the corners impressing a lot of the spectators on his first go.  They enjoyed Eric's racing so much that they invited him to represent the USA in the World Final as USA1 and several of the racing web pages over here! (I have included the links at the bottom of this post for your enjoyment!)

In true E fashion he went out with a BANG! He may not have finished the race, but everyone was talking about him and he was asked several times for his autograph! Why? Because E ended up rolling the car over and landing upside down on the fence.

Eric walked away unharmed, he was just a bit stiff and sore for a couple days after. Luckily the car wasn't damaged as much as you would have thought and Mat had it back up and ready to go racing within 3 days!
The rest of September seemed to fly by pretty uneventful but October has proven to be another busy month. The first weekend of October AL and I both (yes both) went to NCD Cheerleading tryouts. She made the Tiny competition team and I made the Senior level 3 competition team (the highest comp team they participate in and no, I am not the oldest on the team!) and we will both be traveling to Liverpool for Cheer practice every Sunday to get ready for competitions. As of now we will be likely to partake in 2 or 3 competitions, including FC Brings It On Paris which just happens to be in March at Disneyland Paris!!  There is also a possibility for AL and I to compete in a Mummy and Me competition!
Other than that we are just living day to day as normal, although I believe Mother Nature forgot that Autumn comes BEFORE Winter!!
43 days until Rome!
65 days until Home!
Links to Eric's BriSCA F1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib0sjTuZeUs   (at 5:30 is the rollover)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Summer 2014

Every time I have a free moment to sit down and "catch up" on my blogging I realize that it has been way to long since my last post. Well it seems like this time it really has been WAY too long! 4 months have passed since I have sat down with the computer long enough to put in writing what has been happening in our crazy England lives. That being said, I will do my best to catch you all up and now that the kids are both in school I will try (but cannot promise) to write on here more often. So lets catch you up month by month shall we? Here goes, a summer in a nut shell!

In May AL, along with her cheer team had a fundraising event at the Aintree Race course in Liverpool. There were several dance teams and other performances from all ages at the event. We were so proud of our little Cheerleader as she went on stage in her uniform for the first time and stunted in front of hundreds of people. She even spoke in the microphone to tell everyone that she was from America and asked them all, "How y'all doin'?"  To which everyone in the crowd did the "aawwwww!!"
(our little Cheerleader)
We also spent a few Saturday's at the horse races and lots of time outside as May began the nice season for us and E had a trip to China for work, which ended up great for me and the girls as when he came home he showered us with LOTS of gifts including some really nice noise cancelling headphones for us to take on the airplane for our trip home in June!

June consisted of our trip Stateside. Which meant a VERY long flight home for the girls and I that was made even longer because the flight was delayed by 2 hours. When we finally made it to Chicago the girls and I were exhausted but we still had a 3 1/2 hour car ride home! On the way to Dubuque my dad stopped at the Belvedere Oasis and I walked the place in search of Pepsi products (I couldn't wait to get my hands on a Mt. Dew!) I think the lady that I purchased it from thought I was strange, but oh man did that fountain Mt. Dew taste AMAZING! When we arrived to Dubuque we stopped to see E's mom and dad for a bit (by this time it was about 8pm CST or 2am England time!) then it was off to eat some dinner and go right to bed!

We had a wonderful time at home! We spent a weekend in the Wisconsin Dells, E got some racing in, we were blessed with a Nephew, attended a wonderful family wedding, had a crawfish boil (eeewwww!) for Father's day, we got to see almost all of our family and friends (including family from Florida!) Spent AJ's birthday with those we love and eat LOTS AND LOTS of American food that we miss SO much! We were even able to spend the 4th of July at home so the girls got to see lots of fireworks!
(nasty, smelly little things!)
(4th of July, photo taken by me!)
June came and went way to quickly and before we knew it we were back home in England, AL finished preschool (mommy cried). We visited Liverpool for E's work picnic and I was finally able to walk Mathew Street and see the Cavern Club! After school ended on the 21st the girls and I spent as much time as we could outside in the back garden soaking up the sun that we didn't get while we were in the States (we ended up taking the rain to Iowa with us). And July ended with me passing part 1 of my British drivers test.

August was brilliant! We started the month by surprising my Grandad (with the help of Grandma B) with a trip over here for the entire month! Once he arrived we drove to Edinburgh, Scotland where we took in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and many of the Edinburgh sights. E and I even went on a ghost tour which ended up making me have a panic attack so during the part where everyone went into the crypt of the Mackenzie Poltergeist I stayed out, by myself, in the middle of what is supposed to be the most haunted graveyard in Edinburgh!!

Now that September is here BOTH of my girlies have started school, E hired and raced our friends BriSCA F1 car this past weekend which led to him being asked, and accepting, to race in the BriSCA F1 World Final on the 19th/20th of this month as the USA representative, and I am back to crafting for another holiday season that is right around the corner!

We have done so much this summer I cannot even begin to put it all into words. We have become friends with some wonderful people and have had many BBQ's and nights out with many more to come. AL has cheerleading try outs on October 4th and if she makes one of the competition teams we will be traveling in March to Disneyland Paris for the competition! The kids are more settled in than ever and now that school has started again, I am beginning to get nervous about the next year. Our time here at the beginning seemed to move so slowly and now that we are settled in and have friends here uprooting everything next year to move back home is going to be harder than I ever imagined.

Oh and did I mention we are heading home in 100 days for Christmas?!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

40 Days!!!!

40 Days!!!  39 days, 12 hours, 49 minutes and 46 seconds from this moment to be exact!

The Girls and I are heading home for a visit!! WE CANNOT WAIT!!  I am already making a list of everything I need to take back to Iowa with me as well as list of things I need to bring back to England from Iowa and another list of all of the food I want to eat and restaurants I want to eat at when we get there and they are listed in the order of how I want to go to them!!  FOOD!!!  Isn't that ridiculous? Outside of family and friends the only other thing on my mind is FOOD!  Not shopping, not laying out by mom and dads pool or driving on the correct side of the road for a change or using the U.S. dollar for a change...None of that matters to me as much as Family, Friends and FOOD!!!! Culvers, Happy Joes, Shot Tower, Los Aztecas, Arby's....I could go on and on for days!! However to get to this glorious food I have to endure a 8(ish) hour flight home with 2 babies, 3 suitcases, 3 carry on's, a stroller, and a 6 hour time change ALL BY MYSELF!!!!!  You see, in order to make this trip REALLY worth our while the girlies and I are going back home for an entire month. However, E is only coming home for the last 2 weeks of the trip because of work and vacation time.  SO for anyone out there who reads these posts that are oh so few and far between (sorry about that, time gets away from me!), please, PLEASE, I BEG YOU, SAY SOME PRAYERS FOR ME!!!  I am really trying to avoid thinking about that part until the day of, why cause stress that is not needed...Right?!?!?!  Once we arrive in Chicago and get to the pick up spot where my dad will be picking us up, vacation for this mama starts!!

Do we need this vacation?! Oh let me count the ways...AJ has learned how to say no and she uses it quite often, potty training has become interesting now that she takes her pull-ups off all by herself, but only when they are full of poo, and her new favorite place to play is in the dog kennel!  Today AL informed me that she hates me for naming her what I did because her name is stupid and I should have named her Elsa (a friend of mine just had a baby girl and named her Elsa, that is where this came from, not just the movie Frozen) Because Elsa is a great name but her name is stupid and from now on she is no longer going to answer to us unless we call her Elsa...Speaking of the movie Frozen, have you seen it? If not, let me know and you can have our copy! If I have to hear that *stinking* song "Let It Go" one more time I think I may go INSANE! Send me to the nut house because this mama is really, REALLY tired of going to bed at night and waking up at 1am to that song being stuck in my head!!! UUHHGGHH!!!  When the movie isn't in the DVD Player, AL is running around in the dress that I made her (yes made her because all of the stores have sold out of the darn thing!) singing the song at the top of her lungs!! As if that isn't bad enough AJ has started to sing it as well but since she has the vocabulary of an 18 month old, "GOOOOOOOO" is about all you hear and understand from her! Does this movie make any of you other moms out there crazy?!?!

On a side note AL has started cheerleading! Competitive Cheerleading!!!  OH MY GOODNESS I cannot stand the cuteness of these little girls! Cheer shoes, and uniforms and bows and 4 year olds throwing stunts! SO CUTE!!  She has an event in Liverpool next Monday so I will try to post a small blurb about the day with some pictures...if I remember to...

Other than that we are counting down the days until we can come see everyone, eat some good food, do a bit of relaxing by mom and dads pool, a bit of shopping and who knows what else!

39 days, 12 hours, 23 minutes and 1 second...

Until then,
A xx

Monday, March 31, 2014

Time. Its a funny little thing isn't it? When we want it to speed up, like during the workday, it seems to slow down and the exact opposite happens over the weekends or on our days off.  When we lose someone we love we wish for more time.

Or when you decide to do something for two years, it doesn't seem like that long until you dive into it. On some days it seems like we have forever left to go on our English adventure and other days I cannot believe that we have been here for almost a year already!
So many things have changed over the last 9 months. AL has started school, tumbling and she is now in cheerleading as well. Our little 4 year old is not such a little girl anymore.  The phrase, "they are growing up to fast" is more true than I ever imagined. Makes me want to slow time down a little bit. 
(AL during Cheerleading practice)
AJ is talking more than ever and she has grown over 2 inches since we have been here which makes me wonder where the last 2 years have gone. Her favorite phrase is, "Oh poop!"
(AJ smelling the flowers out front of our house)
We have had several visitors over the last couple of weeks. My Aunt C came over from the states and at the same time my Mom and little sister B came as well. I took B to London for a couple days and together we had a great time. We visited all of the Harry Potter film sites, hit all the tourist sites and shopped tons! It was wonderful having my family here but again, time went way to quickly and now I feel like I am more homesick than I have been for a long while.

(Big Ben at night, photo taken by me)
So for now, I am wishing time away, at least until June when I get to travel back to the states with both of my babies for  a whole month! E will be joining us about 2 weeks into our visit. Until June we are wishing for warm weather like we had over this last lovely weekend, and for time to go somewhat quickly until we arrive at home, then it can slow down or even stand still throughout the month of June!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy!!

So its the middle of February already and I don't know how we got here!  Time flies when you are having fun! We had E's mum and dad visit us in January, unfortunately AJ ended up getting sick the morning that they arrived which put a bit of a damper on a lot of our plans but we still enjoyed having them here! We visited Chester, Manchester and Liverpool with them. Hit many museums, Castles and they even too AL to the aquarium! She had a blast!!
Alberts Dock, Liverpool.

My cousin came over at the beginning of January to study abroad in Bangor, Wales. She came over about a week early and we had a great time having her here as well! We toured a few places, shopped a ton and even sang some karaoke! Its nice having family only about an hour away! We even bought tickets last night to see the Backstreet Boys in concert this March!!!
Inside the Chester Cathedral

We are now getting ready to have more visitors! My Aunt, Mum and Sister are all visiting at the beginning of March. In April another cousin who is studying as an exchange student in Belgium is planning on spending a portion of her spring break with us! Is almost as if we are bank with a revolving door and I LOVE IT!!! 

Not only do we have several visitors coming and going this spring I am busily planning some holidays for us to go on as well.  We will be coming back to the States mid June and staying until after the July 4th holiday and we are also planning a trip up to Loch Ness to spend a long weekend trying to find Nessie!

Not much else to share, the weather here has been extremely rainy and cold although not as cold here as it is back in Dubuque. It is a different cold though, that damp cold that chills you to the bone. We get to see the sun only about once every 7-10 days which is very frustrating when you have little ones who want to play outside.

Happy Valentines Day week!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Tis the Season...Remember what its all about!

A lot of people think that E and I have got it made. Living in England for two years, how awesome right?! Well, let me assure you, it isn't all roses and daisy's! More like thorns and weeds! Now don't get me wrong, the day to day life is great and visiting all of these little towns on the weekends is fun but I would trade ALL of that to be home for Christmas with my family! I see people complaining all the time on facebook because this person ticked them off or they don't have enough money to buy their 18 month old daughter the $200 Disney play castle she wants for Christmas or that their iPhone broke and they can't live without it...WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! This is the most wonderful time of year and you are with your FAMILY!!! No matter how much they piss you off, buy you the wrong thing, or don't buy you anything at all they are still YOUR FAMILY and there are some people out there, me included, that would give up MANY things to be in your position right now!

Your life is hard because you didn't get that new iPad? Try telling your 3 year old on a biweekly basis that she doesn't get to see her grandparents for Christmas because the airlines think its fair to charge you your first born for a flight home. Angry because you have to spend Christmas running between 4 different houses? Try sitting by yourself, in a country where you don't know anyone so you will be spending Christmas alone! I have a new found respect for ALL of the young men and women serving our country because this is not easy, and we are not fighting a war. All we are doing is living the life that we have chosen. So yes, I understand that this is partially our fault, and I do take responsibility for that. However, when you think your life is bad because your phone is broken, or because you are forced to spend 1 day of the year with your family, all I ask is that you stop and think about the fact that you are BLESSED to have family to spend that day with! I would trade every gift from all of my 27 Christmases just to be able to spend that 1 day, running from place to place, spending time with my family.

So this year, don't spend money you don't have. If you cant buy a gift, make one. Don't worry about the commercial piece of junk that this once lovely holiday has become. Instead cherish the time you have with the ones you love. Because someone you know may not be able to have that opportunity this year but would love to have it.

Remember that Christmas isn't about getting everything you wanted, Christmas is not YOUR birthday and it certainly is not a day all about YOU. Christmas became what it is because of a birth of someone long ago, before any of this commercialization crap was even invented. So get back to the spirit of CHRISTMAS and spend time with those you love. You never know where you may be tomorrow, next week, or next year.

Happy Christmas Everyone!

Love to all!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Halloween, London, Toilet Training and Dinner 50's style...

So, for those of you who know me, I am the creative Mom. I love to cook and bake, I make lots of hair bows, clothing, home décor and other things. I have even started a shop on Etsy called "Coffee Needed" So this year, like Halloweens past, I made my girls their costumes...AL wanted to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and AJ was Rainbow Brite. So I spent a good amount of hours making these costumes, I even purchased a new sewing machine to do so! Come Halloween morning, AL informed me that she no longer wanted to be a Ninja Turtle and that she was going to be Rapunzel instead! This, my friends, was the first time since having her that I was really sad, I actually had my feelings hurt by my 3 year old. Now, I know that this is not going to be the last time that this happens in our lifetime together but I didn't expect it to, #1 start so early and #2 hurt that bad! When she told me that she didn't like the costume I made because it was stupid, I was crushed!  Anyways, once I got over the whole, "you are wearing it" attitude and realized that it was a 3 year old that I was arguing with, we proceeded to enjoy our first British Trick or Treat, and let me tell you it was AWESOME! (insert sarcastic font here) There were a total of 10 houses that the girls even went to and out of the 10 houses the people at the door said that our girls and their friend Alice were #'s 3,4 and 5 of the amount of kids they had this year...Now, the locals thought this was a great haul and AL didn't know the difference, and the "mom" side of me thinking about the cavities thought it was great! However, what is the point of having Halloween if no one participates?

The next adventure we experienced was a child free trip to London!! Yes!! I said CHILD FREE!!!  WHOOO HOOO!!!!  E and I celebrated 5 years of marriage by spending the weekend in London, we ate Indian food for the first time, on a street called Brick Street where there were more Indian restaurants than I have ever seen! They had guys walking the streets and heckling you to get you to come to their restaurant! We (2 of our friends included) ended up with a deal that altogether consisted of 2 free beers, a free bottle of wine, 4 free appetizers and 4 entrées for $10 each! The 4 of us ate for just over 40GBP!!!!  What a deal!

Prior to the Indian dinner we spent 4 hours on a bike tour through London seeing the sites, including Kensington Palace (yes, I was INSIDE Kensington Palace!!! Where Kate, Will and George live!!!!), Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, The London Clock Tower (the home of Big Ben), Westminster Abbey and a few other places that I can't remember the names of...however we did the majority of the tour in the rain so I may have mentally blocked some of the history of what I was seeing! Later in the evening we continued our tour of the city on foot and I cannot wait to get back to see more!
 (Big Ben)
 (Kensington Palace)
(Westminster Abbey)

Toilet Training is another portion of my title, now some of you may think I am crazy or insane for trying to toilet train a 17 month old....but in my opinion, when a kid starts to hide when the poop or can tell you when they need to be changed, they are smart enough to learn to use the toilet. AJ is and has been doing all of the afore mentioned things for about a month now. So we purchased a Mickey Mouse potty chair that says "hip, hip hooray!" when she pee's in the toilet and I have stocked up on lots of candy to keep in the bathroom. She is doing pretty good so far, she love wearing underwear but prefers to run around the house naked, and she has yet to poo on the potty but we are getting there. Hopefully the next time I blog I will be able to tell you that we are all finished. (Hey, I can hope right?!)

Friday night we went to this cute little diner in Runcorn, where E works called Rockwell's. Because we were heading to this 50's themed diner I decided to get out the sewing machine once again and make the girls poodle skirts to wear. Oh my goodness were they cute! They LOVED the music and the milkshakes, the food however was less than satisfying. The bathroom doors however were an American flag and a Confederate Flag, not sure how that comes into play but, whatever works I guess.
(AL and AJ at Rockwell's)
Have a great week everyone! For now I will leave you with a few of AL's British-ism's (must read these in a 3 year old British accent!)
1. Daddy, may could you please consider playing hide and seek with me?
2. Mummy, may I play with Ol-li-va (Oliver) in the ga-den (garden)?
3. Daddy, that looks like fun! May I have a go? (when she wanted to crack an egg)
Until next time...