July Fly By

Spent the weekend around Shropshire. Here are some snaps, and I promise for once, not one has been photoshopped.

Proper beer garden, what happens when you take your beer into a garden.

Britain LOVES their athletes and to have a US swimmer appear on the cover of a weekend paper floored me. Go Lochte. Team USA!

Don’t cut your hair or do anything drastic. I did both, woops. Fuzzy pic courtesy of the hus who can’t be bothered to take a pic of moi. Meanwhile I schlep around like a personal photographer, bah.

Evening sunset on Sunday. End to a lovely day.


Olympic Sized Fun

Ok that title blows goats, but it’s Monday so get over yourself.

I adored the Olympic opening ceremonies. And of course we’re partial because we’re living in England, but I had a strange sense of pride watching the ceremony. I know many of y’all thought snoozefest, so let’s recap.

Three Reasons the Olympic Opening Ceremony Rocked:
1. The grassy hill they built, complete with live working sheep! England is, in my opinion, 90% countryside and 10% city (like you see in London). The mountainside honestly reminded us of where we live, Shropshire. Bit of history lesson, Lord of the Rings is based on Shropshire, which looks like Middle Earth, and the Industrial Revolution took place in a neighboring town of Telford. JRR Tolkien was from these parts.
2. James Bond & the Queenie. Come on, that was pretty cool.
3. Could you count all the British rock hits that played? Epic music from the UK.

Three Reasons the Olympic Opening Ceremony made me snooze:
1. Will they ever find a cool way to introduce the athletes?
2. The “tribute” to the NHS (National Health System) featuring the gigantic baby. Now you know why I had a fleeting moment to bolt once I found out we were preggars.
3. Lighting of the torch was so-so. David Beckham should have been on his little motor boat in his H&M undies.

Breathe It In

To try to unwind, on Sunday we went to one of our favourite spots a short drive away. Lake Vyrnwy provides perfect running, cycling or hiking routes. We took Dr Jones and made a day of it.

One Year Bananaversary Across the Pond

Yep, on Sunday we celebrated our one year anniversary of living in the United Kingdom. Too much excitement this weekend.

The year has flown by and we’ve been able to truly experience some amazing things. I won’t bore you with the details, but you can check out the rewind here if you want.

We haven’t stopped adventuring since we landed on this crazy island and looks like our adventures are only going to pick up. It’s been a learning experience that certainly came with some pebbles in the road. We’ve only grown closer, and now I’ve fallen in love with the munchkin and it’s better this time than ever before.

In truth, just a few months ago when I found out we were pregnant I was the most homesick I have been since moving. Maybe it was because we were held up like animals in Noah’s ark, or the raging hormones, but I craved the simplicity of going back to the states and having everyone 100% normal the way I was accustomed to. Give me the big aisles of Costco, the smell of Target and large assortment of Betty Crocker baked goods. Then a funny thing happens where you decide you have to fully let go of what you are used to, realise that this isn’t some third world country and suck it up.

Thank you for following this stupid, crazy, random, often boring, journey of ours.

August will be a rush.

And y’all are way too sweet about the baby boy news. I can’t believe how many of you suckers cried! Crying is for girls, mwhaha.

Boy, Oh Boy!

I know many of our friends and family on the other side of the pond missed our big gender reveal party, so we made y’all a little present. And you can see what a crazy person I was for 24 hours…

On Friday we made our way to the ultrasound to do a little gender inspection. We told our Dr that we wanted the sex of the baby to be a surprise, so she put the gender into an envelope. There was no sneaking a glance at all, we looked away when she was checking out the undercarriage.

Then it was 24 hours of absolute torture. I really wanted to know; didn’t sleep at all that night. And someone else knew, that drove me bonkers. We dropped of the envelope with our local baker and she was probably as excited as we were. Her job was to bake a cake with a neutral outside and the flavor of our baby on the inside. By the time our gender party gathering rolled around in the afternoon I was exhausted – no sleep and a 6 mile morning run will take a toll on a prego woman.

The cake was a-mazing. There was no way we could even cheat to see the color. We had a whole strategy to cutting the cake – try to make a big pie slice quickly.

Andrew sported blue to the part and never waivored on going “boy” the whole time. I was “boy” from the beginning until the ultrasound appointment. The Dr made a few comments that made me think girl. I wore pink and blue – need to be supportive.

Our friends placed their bets…

Andrew eventually forced me to cut the cake and pushed my hand down. I was incredibly nervous.

No sooner than we cut, we saw a bit of blue cake crumble out. And then we lost it.

That entire night I couldn’t focus, form thoughts, etc. I was wired. It was probably cooler than even finding out we were pregnant. We couldn’t be happier to welcome a baby boy this Christmas.

And now the trouble fun begins — shopping!!

London Town

Oh yea, we went there too! When we went to Wimbledon we stayed in London, but I was sidetracked and forgot to post our London shots. We did the touristy bits this time like The Tower — wicked. City is looking good for the Olympics.

Yes, I’m going through old pictures because I’ll do anything to speed up this week!

Driving Me Mad

I’ve mastered right hand driving. I’ve mastered a manual. I refuse to master the driving test.

After a year in the UK us ol’ Americans have to get a proper local license. Andrew is in the process of getting his UK license which makes the DMV in the states look like the gold star standard in customer service. It’s that bad.

You have to take a written exam (theory test) and a driving test. Andrew has honestly been studying a ton, and trust me it’s a pain in the a** to pass. He’s also taken driving practice tests with an instructor. If you don’t take a practice test your chances of failing sky rocket. It’s a gigantic ridiculous ordeal.

And the kicker for me is that if you have an EU license you’re free to drive like a bat out of hell on the roads – no UK license required. Not all EU countries are right-hand drive, most are left! Have you seen the way Italians drive? Yea, come on over to where it’s backwards from your country – have at it! I’ve driven with a few of my EU mates, bless them, but sweet mother did I hold on for dear life.

I am thankful I live in a town where I walk everywhere, but help us all if there comes a time where I have to take the test.

Sex Party/ Gender Party

1. Any excuse to have cake.
2. You have a 50/50 shot of getting it right.

We are going to find out if we’re having a Ms or a Mr on Friday. We’ll keep it a surprise by having our Dr write the gender on a sheet of paper and stuff it in an envelope. We then drop off the envelope with the baker and on Saturday she’ll whip up our cake with a pink or blue center depending on the flavor of Baby M.

I have an idea, my parents have an idea… we just want 10 fingers, 10 toes, happy and healthy.

Can’t wait to see the trolls that come to the site thanks to the punchy title.

Rolling Around

Date night, no hate night. Best dinner evah.

Now you see it, now you don’t. If you blink you just might miss it.

9th overall, 4th in Masters. 1st in Muddiest. Out of 450 other crazy mountain biking enthusiasts. My wellies were used proper this weekend.

Oh you know, just strolling round Shrewsbury.

Five Things

To The Best Blueberry Muffins You’ll Ever Make. I promise petit Baby M that I will start baking from scratch, no offense Mrs Crocker. You might as well hang out on A Cup of Jo, she’s as addicting as my morning coffee.

Cherry Season. I could drink cherry smoothies all day.

Anytime the hus asks me to bake my heart skips. Homemade cookies are delicious. Even when my cookies refuse to rise on this island. If only the Tollhouse elves where here to kick my convection oven in the pants.

Many of us on Facebook can relate, if you can’t, then we’rev obviously talking about you. 10 Things Facebook Has Taught Me, including people have children, then promptly lose their minds and some people should really invest in an actual therapist.

Oh Happy Day. It brings out your creativity. Or in my case, reminds me of all the things I want to do but probably never will.