Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Winter Walk

I love my husband and our children and my friends but, sometimes . . . my soul yearns to be alone.  Perhaps it is selfishness, but I feel so liberated in solitude.  And, I truly do love a companion, but when I am alone I am free to talk with the trees, eavesdrop on the river and birds, pause to stare up at the sky for as long as I feel inspired to and smile secretly at my folly without inhibition.  When I am alone I believe in the fairies and feel mischievous enough to stomp in the muddiest of puddles.  

And, now that I've had my time, I am willing to share my lone wanderings with you . . . come along and be my companion.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Autumn Holiday, Part II: Prague, Czech Republic

 Backdated to October 2014, but here is Prague!

Our final assessment was that, though a truly beautiful city, the intense amount of tourist commercialism distracted from any authentic experience of the culture or history.  Unfortunately, the city had more of a Disneyland Main Street feel interlaced with abundant tobacco fumes and uncensored advertisements. We're glad we included it in our itinerary but a day in the city felt sufficient and we looked forward to the further adventures ahead in Austria and Germany.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Snowball Fight!

Much to the children's delight we finally got some actual snow to play in.  It only lasted a day, as it quickly turned to ice, but we enjoyed what we had.

We didn't have a sledge, but an Ikea bag worked pretty well as a substitute!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Expat Extra: The Shops

One of the biggest things that made me feel overwhelmed and displaced when we first arrived in the UK was not knowing where to go for the myriad of things we needed: groceries, mobile phone services, bungie cords or a cooler. So here, for any future expats or curious friends back home, are some of the British to American equivalents of "the shops."  This is not all inclusive, but these are the ones we frequent most ourselves.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Ben A'an Hill Walk

After spending two whole days in doors and in our jammies - it was time to get out!  And get dressed and shower before noon for that matter.  We were thrilled to have a gorgeous crisp and sunny day.  A perfect day for a hike.  We drove an hour and a half through Loch Lomond to the Trossachs National Park and made Ben A'an ("Ben" means mountain) our destination.  It was glorious.

Once we reached the base of the mountain, the girls opted out of finishing the climb for a head start back and to find a proper toilet.  The boys trekked on and were rewarded with this . . .

Gosh, even just experiencing the photographs takes my breath away.  I'm so glad they finished the hike to the top for all of us.

We all had a wonderful day out, but it is time to confess that two wee Matthews' girls were not at all pleased with the excursion at the start.  And, sometimes as a parent you just have to tune it all out, embrace your sense of humor and make the experience yours - it's either that or turn the car around.

Good times right?  But, as adept as I've become at tuning out the whining I still prefer for us to all have a happy, memorable experience if possible.

This is how we were able to turn those frowns upside down . . . continue to following post below.

*click the images to make them larger.