Sunday, January 27, 2013

London

So, obviously, we went into London this weekend.
I took three hundred and sixty seven pictures.  One hundred and eight of them made the final cut when I got them on my Mac Mac, and I whittled it down to maybe seventeen images for you.  It was hard.  Mega hard.  Collages help, but still, a lot of times, I'm on my way to cram my sweet rotten kids into a tiny window of a collage, and I just can't do it.  So I shadow it and just put it up nice and big.

Basically, for the next two years, this blog is gonna be blowin up with half assed photography.  If you hate my photography or my kids or the United Kingdom and surrounding areas of Europe, you should probably just steer clear.

If you love all of the above and you want MORE PICTURES MORE MORE MORE, then you, my friend, have come to the right place.

I'll just jump right in.  We got up early (for me, this means eight...) but even still, we missed the bus right outside our house and so we walked to the subway station in town.  Honestly, it was miserable and the worst part of my day.  My camera bag was too heavy, the kids kept falling in the ice, and I just KNEW it was a bad omen, a horrible sign of how our day was going to go.  There may have been a few tears.  I may have begged Nick to just turn around and cancel.

What can I say, the therapy lamp is helping, but I'm still a TAD overwhelmed.

Anyway, we made it to the station and after I fell down the stairs while carrying Warren, who was understandably terrified by that experience, everything else was smooth sailing.  I knew we were close to London here in Northwood, but I didn't really understand just HOW close we were.  We rode the first train for a while, but probably not more than maybe thirty minutes (please realize that I have no concept of time, so I made that up.  It was enough time to check facebook and instagram and read two posts on my google reader, but that's it.  So it seemed pretty short) then we transferred at Baker Street (how cool is THAT?!?!) and it wasn't more than ten more minutes and we got off at the Waterloo station, right by the Eye!! So, two trains, less than an hour, from my door to the heart of the city.

My life is so ficking cool!!

We rode the London Eye.  Even typing it out, I can't believe it actually happened.  I'm terrified of heights, so we didn't do it on our honeymoon (I'm serious, TERRIFIED.  I had to literally get up and walk out of the theater at the new Mission Impossible movie when he was scaling that building in the UAE <is that where it was?> ) but I just said fuck that, you HAVE to do it, and I did!! And it wasn't bad.  The worst was the very beginning and the very end, other than that, it seemed fake, like there was no way we could REALLY be up that high, so it didn't bother me AT ALL.  I panicked every time a kid got close to the door, but Nick handled that and it was fine.  So cool!!
 The views were OBVIOUSLY to die for.




 Nick is getting pretty comfortable with the camera.  I have to specifically ask him to take one, but I don't mind, and I love having proof that I actually WAS a part of my kids' lives.

After that ball of awesomeness, we headed over the Westminster Bridge for lunch.



If you follow me on instagram, you know that we found the cutest little place to eat, but EVERY SINGLE PATRON in the place was staring at us!!! The kids weren't being ill-behaved AT ALL, they were hungry and we'd had a pretty good hike, so they were just sitting there shoveling food into their mouths. It's like no one had ever seen a big family before!! And we're not even THAT big!! It was weird.  But the food was really good.  Like REALLY good.  Or maybe I was just really hungry.  Either way.

After that, we went to Westminster Abbey, but decided not to go in.  Maybe next time.

From there, we walked through St. James' Park (so adorable, by the way) to the Palace.



Y'all.  I had to do a side by side.  Ten years ago on our honeymoon, versus ten years and four kids later.


 I don't know whether to laugh or cry.  So I'm doing both.  How could our lives change so much, but so much stayed the same? I can say that I'm just as in love- nay, MORE in love- with that man as I was ten years ago, standing in the freezing cold on my honeymoon.



After that, we trucked it up to Trafalgar Square.  I don't know why, but Ava was OBSESSED with Trafalgar.  Like, seriously.  She read about it in Katie Goes to London, and she hasn't stopped talking about it since.  I think it lived up to her (strange little) expectations.  She obviously would have been more excited if the lion had come to life and taken her on a tour...


 Then we went to Costa for coffee and a crap ton of cakes and muffins, then we just sort of wandered around for two hours (in the Picadilly and Trafalgar areas, we didn't try to get to the Tower Bridge or St. Paul's or anything else that was sort of far away) before we headed back to the Westminster station.  It was just an amazing day.  You know how like, when you go on vacation, you have to do SO MUCH every day, because you're only there for a little while and you want to make the most of it? Well, we didn't have that, because WE LIVE HERE.  We could go into London every weekend!! It only cost like five pounds to get there!!!

However, the kids were pretty beat, even after a relatively short day, as far as sightseeing is concerned. We asked some dude to take our picture before we headed underground, and he was nice enough to do it...but he just ignored the girls.  Kinda strange, right? Whatever.
 I can't wait till people start to visit and we can do it all again!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

More Pictures and a Few Random Updates (Not Really Though)

Here's a few more pics right quick.  I figured out how to like use my cell phone for a wifi router or something (??? No idea) but it's painfully slow.  Supposedly the internet man will be here on Friday to get me back to my social media addiction in full force.

This is the World's Most Charming and Badass Hotel.

Isn't it GORGEOUS?!?!? And look at all that sunshine!!! I miss it.  It was sunny for two days (for about three hours a day) last week, then NADA.  My light therapy anti crazy lamp should be here early next week.  Hopefully it will help with this feeling that I need to claw all my skin off and climb up the walls.  Fingers crossed!!

And also, if you're somehow reading this because you're about to move to Northwood, or anywhere in the northwest London area, and you'd like to stay in this AMAZEBALLS hotel (three rooms!!! two floors!!! biggest bathroom in the ENTIRE WORLD!!!) just drop me a line.  It's the Barnyard Hotel in Ruislip and I can hunt down the number for you.


These are from Move In Day.  Future Warren, I'm so sorry.  But I had to do it.  Your wife will understand when you have little babies of your own.

 As a side note, for Scott, moving snow around in trucks and tractors is SERIOUS business.  Yes Mom, I know, he needs gloves.  Good luck convincing him to wear them.  And to zip his jacket.


We were bored and had cabin fever yesterday, so we drove to the Air Force base to stock my pantry and all that good stuff.  I snapped these crap pics from the car, through the windshield, but I just love all this snow stuff!!! I'm sure it will wear off, but right now I LOVE it.  All caps.  From inside, of course.  I don't actually go into it.





Random shot of Ava.  So fricking gorgeous.  And smart.  While watching a CSI rerun where a showgirl was murdered because she was so desperate for people to see her as beautiful, Catherine reminded me how important it is to make sure Ava knows how smart she is.  And she REALLY is, so hopefully that will be an easy one for me.



Front of my new house.  Notice the two chimneys? There's not a fireplace to be found on any of the three floors.  Very strange.



And my favorite traffic sign.  Love.





 More snow.  Getting sick of seeing it yet?






And more random shots of the kids.




We seem to be adjusting well.  No more jet lag.  I stay up way too late watching Dexter, but I'm not actually jet lagged.  We moved Daisy to a real bed, and she didn't get up at all last night.  Well, not enough for us to come in there.  I found the channel with Girls, so I've got that to look forward to tonight, and I'm basically so excited that I can't sit still.  I love that show so fricking much.

Nick starts work tomorrow.  We got a confusing letter from the school Scott interviewed at, so I have to call them tomorrow.  I'm trying to give myself a pep talk, but my heart is racing just thinking about it.  Will this ever go away? I feel like my zoloft dose is pretty well calibrated for everything else- maybe I'm going to be terrified of talking to people for the rest of my life?  Oh well.  Once he gets settled somewhere, it's on to finding something for Warren because he's driving me crazy.  Hopefully the express shipment will get here this week too and I can finally get everything put to rights.

Who am I kidding, I've got sixty five episodes of Dexter left.

Think I can get through them by the end of the week?

Challenge accepted.

Engelbrecht out.

Friday, January 18, 2013

England

We did it.
We packed up our four kids and moved from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Just Outside of London, England. I can't believe it actually happened. Seriously. I also can't believe how hard it is to blog from my phone.

I can't slide down between the pictures I uploaded during my four free wifi minutes in the McDonald's parking lot, so I guess I'll just ramble on and on with no picture breaks, and then you can see all the pics at the end if you're still around.




The flight was easy peasy. One good thing about my twenty three hour flight time to Guam? Makes anything less seem easy. It was an hour from my mama to Atlanta, then just under eight hours from Atlanta to Heathrow. We left Atlanta at like ten at night and I gave everyone a baby Dramamine and that was all there was to it. I sat between Junebug and Warren and Nick sat in front of us with Ava and Scott. Mine slept LITERALLY the entire flight, Nick slept for a good few hours, the bigs slept for about six, and I watched the new Bourne movie, six episodes of Big Bang, and most of I Am Legend.

I don't know why I was born without the gene that enables you to sleep on planes. It would be slightly more fun if I had it.

Then we landed, spent an hour looking for a lost bag (one out of seventeen was left in Atlanta-I'll count that as a WIN), and when we finally made it through customs, the sweet sweet taxi driver we'd hired for the luggage was STILL there waiting with his little ENGELBRECHT sign. I cried when I saw him. I also cried when we got to our tiny rental car, which was slightly bigger than the car we ended up buying.

Anyway, we checked in to the Most Charming and Badass Hotel in the History of Ever (two floors!!! Three separate rooms!! Two full bathrooms!!! Biggest jacuzzi tub I've ever seen!!!) and I fell asleep within twenty minutes.

Kids had jet lag, Nick dealt with it, we went to breakfast and discovered they don't use creamer here. No problem, I learned to drink coffee coffee, with a little milk. Not my fave, but it'll do. Then we went to meet the real estate agent at our first showing. We wanted to jump right in because we didn't know exactly how badass that hotel was going to be.

Long story short, we took the first house we saw. It's huge, great yard, nice neighborhood, and Nick can walk to work. We realized we were wrong about private schools, so we quickly got Ava into an amazing girls school and we're waiting to hear back about the place where Scott interviewed. I'm not looking for Warren until I get Scott figured out, but I'm hopeful.

England is gorgeous. The towns look just like they do on TV. Everyone really does have a British accent (I know, right?!?!) and everyone is SUPER nice. I was prepared for some bitches, but I haven't seen a single one so far.

We haven't really done anything cool because we've been busy with boring shit, but we're planning to go into London next weekend, and to get to Ireland at the kids' half term break, which I think might be in Feb, but truthfully I have no idea.

TV is weird, it's mostly reruns of really early csi. Netflix UK has Dexter though, which I've been DYING to watch. I'm only two eps in, but so far, it's every bit as awesome as everyone says.

Hopefully we'll get Internet soon and I can adjust these pics.

Keep us in your prayers.

And how cool is this?!?! WE LIVE IN ENGLAND!!!

I just can't fricking believe my life.