Team America

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Jet lag lingers. Double that time with a babe.

Ryder’s first plane ride. First international flight. He didn’t cry once. I still think I’m crazy for doing it. Sat in my lap the whole 10 hours.

Sharing our joy with everyone for the first time is emotional. Their faces are priceless. Glad I’m able to finally show off our fantastic man. He certainly isn’t getting any smaller. Wish dad was here to celebrate.

Thank you spring weather! Going outside without layering up is amazing. My translucent skin can use all the UV it can get. Ryder’s melon is another story.

There have been a million first new experiences. He’s become much more animated and vocal. Ryder is also completely off a schedule, which I’m paying for at night.

The Georgia Spring Game almost was worth the trip alone. It made me miss college for the first time. Papa was thrilled to take Rye to his first Georgia game. Ryder loved the marching band.

It’s truly been an outstanding first week home. I am thankful for the family and friends who have gone out of their way to say a simple hello.

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Weekend Shenanigans & Pinterest Problems

I seriously have a Pinterest problem. I did not one, two, but three Pinterest activities. It reminds me of being addicted to Michael’s craft store when I was a kid.

Pardon the pics, I am clearly not a foodie or craft blogger. eesh.

St Patty’s Day Gift Bottles: Or home decor. Not a big fan of Skittles so this rainbow is still around the house.

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Baked Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Recipe: OK this was really good. Great fuel for our morning run. It was a big family weekend around here.

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Mini Omelet Muffins: Not a big fan of eggs but this is one way to get me to eat them.

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And you won’t see a pic of the St Patrick’s Day Rice Krispie Treats because they turned out the colour of camo and looked like German war paraphernalia. We will leave it at that.

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We had rain, snow, sun, the works. Thank you, England. The sun, when it did participate, was relatively warm and we enjoyed an impromptu picnic in the park.

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Dating My Husband – Happy Valentine’s Day

Some say Valentine’s Day is a stupid holiday invented by Hallmark. It’s commercial, but it’s also a chance for you to make special time to spoil and fuss over someone you care about. Single, relationship, whatever, enjoy the holiday with friends or loved ones.

Get out there and love up on someone!

The plans I’ve been making keep getting sidetracked but I’m hopeful to pop some bubbly with the mans soon.

I attempted to create an uber cute Valentine with Rye, but it ended up looking like we squished Cupid. I did learn how to make homemade finger paint if anyone is interested. Pinterest 1, Me 0.

Anyways, this peanut stole my heart this Valentine’s.

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To my Valentine of 10 years – thanks for the adventures. Looking forward to loads more, luvah!

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And to my Valentine’s across the pond, misses!
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Our Little Americano

Two 3+ hours train rides, 4 tube rides and a few miles by foot, Ryder is now an official US citizen. Whoop. xx

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We survived travelling to London with a newborn. And our sweet, sweet friends survived a night with one as well. We had our moments but overall he was a cool customer in the big city. It was incredibly exhausting yet obviously worth it.

The Italian, Canadian and U.S. Embassy are all in the same area. We stood in front of them all and asked Ryder if he was certain he wanted to be American.

The U.S. Embassy doesn’t eff around. I had this whole idea to recreate a Jason Bourne experience and run towards the embassy waving my passport screaming, “I’m a citizen, let me in!” But upon arriving and being scolded by a CIA woman, prolly on her way to capture terrorists, for taking a picture of the embassy and seeing the guards holding M16s, I had a change of heart.

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Another fun embassy fact, you can’t bring in anything techy: mobile phones, headphones, car fobs, laptop, etc.

It wasn’t too bad of a wait and everything went smoothly. Best question from the gentleman interviewing us, “Did you have any doubts about little Ryder becoming a U.S. citizen?”

Ummm, now that you mention it. My reaction to his question is probably on some embassy blooper reel.

Ryder’s first trip to America was a success. Still bummed there wasn’t a Chick-fil-A or Target on the premises.

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On My Mind

Shrewsbury

Never underestimate a good playlist.
Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln = all other actors surrender the Oscar.
This weather is unseasonably warm and welcome.
I missed season three of Downton Abbey MONTHS ago because I am a complete moron.
I now have the best.job.ever.
Baked my 300th banana bread.
NHL is back, but too little too late?
Aaron Murray is back, but too little too late?
Rye and I are now known as “The Decemberists.”
Brewing day today.
I need to own a coffee shop to save money.

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).

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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.

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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.

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The Most Celebrations Squeezed Into One Weekend

Proper Disney World tired today. We kicked off the weekend with a friends 90s themed fancy dress birthday bash. Roo went as one of the dudes from Men in Black, and I went as 9 months prego. I have 1. Never seen so many spice girls costumes in one place 2. Been asked if I was really pregnant.

I was right depressed on Thursday seeing everyone’s yummy Thanksgiving celebrations back in the states. On Saturday we more than made up for it. Our 2nd Annual Euro Thanksgiving was a massive success. This year we knew what we were doing. The food was amazefest. Big ol’ 17 pounder turkey and all the fixings, which included a British twist. Go on and Google Yorkshire Puddings. I loved feeding everyone Libby’s pumpkin pie for the first time. Norak’s Sweet Potato Casserole was the favourite dish of the night, two year’s running. We stuffed ourselves.

We celebrated Sunday Funday with a baby shower for Baby M. It was absolutely lovely. A tea party theme with a Christmas twist. More biscuits and nibbles. Did I mention how much we ate this weekend? It was beyond thoughtful of my friends, as baby showers are not very common on this side if the pond. It’s also quite crazy to think how quickly our lives are about to change.

This week should fly by again with more parties and holiday celebrations. I’ll take anything that keeps me busy.

31 Days Til Christmas…And That Other Thing

Shrewsbury town centre Christmas Cracker festivities were this week, marking the official start to the holiday season. The town’s “festive lights” were switched on.

The celebration included the Mayor of Shrewsbury, the Town Crier, Martin Wood, who lead the parade of lanterns as part event. I finally met the 7’2 Town Crier. Big friendly giant. The nicest guy. You hear and see him coming miles away and he’s been the Shrewsbury Crier for 27 years.

(yes, that’s an official Gryffindor Harry Potter scarf – it actually keeps me warm)

This weekend we’ll be getting our Thanksgiving on – hoorah! 90s theme birthday bash and another lil surprise.

Happy Thanksgiving – On My Mind

You’re there. I’m here. Of course I miss my family, even more today than others.

I am going to stream the Thanksgiving Day parade. 90% of it is rubbish, but it’s not Thanksgiving until it comes on. You have wait until Santa shows up at the end, uh classic.

I try to celebrate even more being away from the states. Overcompensating I guess.

Andrew and I are having a mini Turkey Day and then the big Euro Thanksgiving this weekend.

Happy thanksgiving! And remember to count those blessings.