Dear 2013

Where to even begin? We travelled Europe, settled into UK living, made beautiful new friends, laughed, cried, celebrated weddings and babies, made new holiday traditions and – greatest of all – became parents.


We hope that you are as good us as 2012. Tricks still up our sleeve and resolutions to be made.

May you be as cracking as the last year and give us even more beautiful blessings.

Cheers to you and yours!















On My Mind


Clementines smell like Christmas
It shouldn’t be allowed to rain in December, percipitation must be in the form of snow
They have a college football bowl for everything, from taters to flowers
There is a ridiculous amount of reality TV out there, spooky. Is anything sacred?
I need to hit the weights. Rye is going to be a bruiser
Flowers and balloons, the go-to in order to cheer anyone up
Knitting is my next conquest
My hair. needs help.
Was Britney kicked off X Factor

Welcome To The World


We proudly welcomed Ryder Andrew at 12:13 PM on December 18. Rye clocked in at 7 lbs 11 oz, 23 inches. The best belated birthday present, ever.

My oven is spectacular; we did have to go in and get him. He’s a healthy baby hippo with massive hands and feet.

We are still figuring out parenthood but every day we look at him, look at each other, and can’t believe it.

The biggest surprise about being a mom is how calm it has made me. I am typically the frantic one, but I welcome the middle of the night wake-ups and there is nothing better in this entire world than having a naked baby on your chest. I feel a bit more gentle and your motherly instincts really do kick right in.

Our first Christmas with a newborn, in another country, is one my whole family will remember forever. We made new traditions, missed some old, and can’t believe he’s only been with us just over a week. Celebrating this milestone with my parents in town has been perfect. Glad to have family here to show off the babe.

Ryder most certainly takes after his dad, right down to the trademark stork pinch just like Andrew.


Forget making a schedule and forget making plans, there is one person around here who makes all the rules. I’ve been slowly but surely getting back to routine, a quick trip to the ER set me back a day or two, but getting Ryder out on walks and showing him some of our favourite spots around town is important to us.

I count my blessings as I am grateful for a healthy pregnancy, which gave us a healthy munchkin. Looking forward to ringing in 2013 and all the wonderful happenings we have to look forward to in the new year.

And now, a montage! There’s about 400 more where this came from.






















A Very Merry Unbirthday To Me

birthday2meThis is the first birthday I can remember where I haven’t planned a damn thing. Haven’t even thought about it.

I’ll take these last few quiet moments to think about someone else’s birthday.

Mr Baby,

I still remember the day I found out. I kept it our secret for a few precious hours before I let everyone else in on what is to be our greatest joy and accomplishment. I’ve been keeping you all to myself, selfishly, for months now, and evidently I’ve made you an awesome home.

We are waiting for you, can’t wait to see your face, head of hair, and big ol’ belly.

I’m glad you’ve taught me to truly enjoy Fleetwood Mac, ice cold glasses of milk, and to slow down and sit in moments of quiet. I’ll remember the sleepless nights walking with you and talking. I will also remember singing “All I Want for Christmas” in the shower every morning for the month of December trying to persuade you to meet the world.

I hope you’re used to Indy’s antics, nana’s endless patting, and your father’s inability to sit still.

Our world is about to change and when I think about meeting you, I’m overwhelmed, anxious, and insanely happy.

So today, I can’t wait to wish you ‘happy birthday.’

2012 Rewind

This year has been nothing short of amazeballs. Blessed beyond measure.

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy. – Guillaume Apollinaire


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I’ll Be Home For Christmas

This weekend we celebrated our last one as “the two of us” before my family and our new addition arrive. Waahh, waaah, lame I know – but it’s crazy to think how quickly everything is about to change. I honestly still can’t say it has hit me, even though I could practically shake this kid’s hand as he rolls across my big belly.

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I’ve decided that I probably won’t be posting as frequently; I apologise again to the two people that read this. We’ll see how the updates go. My biggest fear is that I turn into a mom that posts nothing but baby updates here and everywhere. Yikes, and no offense to those proud mums. You’ve seen how many pics I take of Dr Jones. I’ll try to spare you. We all know I’ll be tired, and we all know that everyone thinks their kid is the cutest.

Tooting the ol’ horn in 3….2…I’m incredibly grateful to have had what my midwife calls a “model pregnancy.” Can I get an award for that? These last weeks haven’t been easy, and I think it’s in part to the fact I almost had it too easy in the beginning. I’m tiny, he’s huge, and we’re getting through it. I’m 38 weeks tomorrow, hallelujah for health.

I’m off to prepare for the Griswold’s arrival to the countryside! I guess I could blog “Sh*t my Dad Says” for the next few weeks, which should be mint!

And for our festive weekend…

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37 Weeks – Dude, We’re Almost Due

We are officially over the pre-term hurdle, bring on a healthy baby. When we went for our 36 week appointment RAM was clocking in at 3.06 kilos/6.74 pounds. That’s a lot of baby thunder for 36 weeks.

I realise the sign says 36, but we’re doing it every other week…
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How far into this thing? 37 weeks
Maternity Clothes? Define moo-moo. I refuse to buy anything else maternity. Thank you H&M for your fluffy, roomy jumpers.
Stretch marks? Nope. It seems like the 8th wonder of the world.
Best moment this week? Putting up a faux Christmas tree in Andy Jr’s room. And seeing his naughty bits FINALLY for ourselves on the big screen. That’s a long NHS story.
Miss anything? Knowing where my stomach stops. I run into everything, open doors on myself; it’s sad. I have no bump perception. Going places without a massive stare down would be great as well. I realise I’m a walking snow globe, thank you very much.
Movement? I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say I don’t know how these things don’t just fall out.
Food cravings? Ginger. I don’t discriminate against breadmen or any other ginger pastries. Prince Harry counts too.
Belly Button in or out? In, and holding on for dear life from the looks of it.
Workouts? I’ll tell you once we have a healthy baby boy:)
Looking forward to? Finally being able to call someone and not have them freak out that I’m in labor. Family, friends, the first thing they say is, “OMG you scared me.” Roo’s even given me a code word to use for the big event.

To say I’m anxious is an understatement. I cannot stay busy enough. And if one more person tells me to “enjoy these last few weeks of just you and Andrew,” my head will pop off. You try to relax when you’re carrying a Christmas Goose, no longer sleeping and can’t put on a sock without looking ridiculous.

These last few weeks seem surreal and I’m doing my best to enjoy them, but we are definitely ready to finally meet our bundle.


A Very British Christmas

It still hasn’t sunk in that we’ll be in England this year celebrating Christmas. I am accustomed to travelling home each year. It’s the first Christmas at our own home, with a REAL tree, and perhaps a munchkin. Oh holy night.

I don’t know what to countdown to – My birthday? My parents coming in town? Christmas? Baby M?

Enjoying one of the last weekends as just us, we got the house ready for the holidays. We found a local farm selling Christmas trees, and to Andrew’s enjoyment, Christmas turkeys. We were offered an opportunity to pick out our still very-much-alive turkey, which turned out was not a good idea for me. (shudder).


For the tree, it is a proper Scottish Fir from Scotland! She’s a real beaut, Clark. Unlike the groomed Christmas trees you find perfectly lined-up at your big box retailer, we had to sort through piles of pine to find our fave. There really is something to supporting local businesses/farmers. For the decor, we opted for coloured lights; that’s what we always requested on the tree as kids.






Now, let’s educate you on a Shropshire Country Christmas.

Gift Boxes – Plenty of wrapping paper. Plenty of gift bags. Absolutely no gift boxes. I had to finally ask someone how they wrap presents, which left me feeling like a total dum-dum. “Put paper around the gift” seemed to be the consensus. Our presents under the tree will look like the ones from A Christmas Story. I kind of like the no-box idea.

Christmas Stockings – Slim pickings is putting it mildly. I have no idea where I’m going to find ours this year.

If you are looking for an Advent Calendar or mince pie, we got loads of those. I would have given anything to walk into a Target, Wal-Mart, whatever and see the holiday sections complete with too many selections of stockings, decorations, tree trimmings, etc.

When in Rome England. We’re going to embrace the cultural Christmas and create some of our own traditions.