Monthly archives of “June 2011

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i’m addicted

ok, i have to share this blog with you because i just can’t get enough. if you have not already found smile and wave on my blogs i love page, you are missing out!

my favourite find today was a great project idea (complete with tutorial) for making this gorgeous and adorably simple pillowcase dress! click on the photo to read the original post and please peruse, it will inspire you.

step one: download my sewing machine instruction manual from the internet cause i can’t find it anywhere and the tension is messed up after my bunting adventure.

step two: get rae looking super cute in a few of these babies!

love, s

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10 the green: chapter 2


yes, this is my new backyard. and yes, this is only a third of it. yes, i know. i can’t believe it either!

a few days after richard and i’s conversation (to catch up on chapter 1 click here) about dreams and houses, etc, i was hanging out with another american ex-pat. we were sharing our stories about how we have found the cultural shift and lifestyle differences between home and here and i shared with her about what rich and i had talked about. she then tells me that a mutual friend was looking to rent a house in our area but was having a hard time finding one that was in good decorative order.

well, i was stoked to say the least! for starters our house was pretty cute compared to what you can get on the rental market here, so i was confident it would at least get a second look. i also just had a feeling that something exciting might be around the corner. its like when you open the door and fresh air pours in, you know? so, i immediately called to arrange a viewing and he loved it!

but there was a catch. he needed to move before mid-may. so the pressure was on. we set up saved searches in our preferred areas on all relevant house websites and i started the task of clearing out 6 years worth of accumulated stuff. almost everytime i have gone into our attic over the past few years i have looked at everything in it and thought to myself, ‘i can never move, this is going to be a nightmare to clear out!’ but, it was time, and i figured that even if we didn’t end up moving, we could at least start living a little less cluttered. i was ruthless. and it was so cathartic!

i made my way through the attic and upstairs within a few weeks, but there was no luck on the house hunt. there were 3 great houses within the first few weeks of looking that we loved. with each one there were different benefits, one had studio space (a dream of mine!), another was right across the street from bedford’s huge victorian park, another in the heart of a super cute town community. but they got snatched up before we could put down the holding fee. one of them we lost by literally 20 minutes. it was so hard. when we lost the 3rd one, i was getting discouraged. i had pretty much moved out of our house in my head and the thought that maybe we would have to end up staying filled me with such sadness. we kept looking everyday, but for the next 4 weeks, NOTHING we saw was suitable for us, or worth the move. we were running out of time.

one night, whilst feeling particularly discouraged, and thinking to myself, ‘if this doesn’t pan out, that’s it, we are moving back to the states,’ i decided to have one last look online before heading to bed. and there was something. it hadn’t been listed when i looked at 5pm, so someone must have been working late. but there was a house. a cute house. in a village 5 minutes down the road from where we were. a 2 minute walk from a good school. with a freaking, massive garden. i ran in to show richard. we left a message on the estate agents answering machine and we went to bed.

with butterflies in our stomachs.

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what happened this weekend


if a facial expression could describe how I have felt about living in england the past 7 years, this would be it.

seriously, i have found it so hard and have been pretty cranky about it. bless richard’s heart.

it’s really been nothing to do with not liking england…don’t get me wrong there was an angry, hating everything that was different phase. but it has been more about what, admitting there are things i like about england, means issue. like, if i admit i’m happy am i betraying my family? if i say i quite like life here, does that mean i will never move home? i have almost felt like i need to hold onto my disdain as a way of preserving my heritage. or ensuring that everyone knows i still miss home.

this is ridiculous. i am american by birth. texan by the grace of god. and living in england with the love of my life and our 2 kids. these can all go together. i can admit that england has good qualities without betraying the states. i can enjoy living here whilst still grieving being away from my family. the two can live side by side. they have to. because i live here now. who knows for how long. but if i am determined to be miserable as long as i am here, just to prove that i still love my family and my home country, it will be a very long, however long, you know what i mean?

i realised this this weekend whilst listening to a south african woman talk about loving the people of the country you are in and getting god’s heart for that country while you were in it. something in me cried, ‘yes! i want that!’ something very, very small. most of me wants to put up my fists and yell, ‘no! its not like home and i miss home so i’m not going to like it!’

the nice thing about god is that he can work with something very, very small. just like an embryo turns into a kid that runs up to you after a nap and says, ‘i missed you so much,’ (yes, it made my heart melt and was so precious. i love that boy), a very small and reluctant, ‘yes’ can be turned into a heart of compassion towards an adopted country. at least that is what i am hoping in!

in order to add my small and slightly pitiful strength to what he can do, i am going to do what i love to do, and make a list. an ‘english love’ list. i’ll give you what i have so far, and add to it as i think of things. who know, maybe we will all be amazed at how a cranky, ethnocentric heart goes all compassionate and loving with the strength of god…

english love: take 1

  • its green (granted this is because of all rain…) but its really green and lush and pretty.
  • it’s pretty easy to find healthy food without looking too hard or traveling to far. no GMO’s in this country baby.
  • the people are sensitive to others’ privacy. you may call it reserved, and it usually bugs me because i interpret, ‘getting all up in my business’ as being interested in me. but after a while here, i can see that they are actually trying to be honoring. i like that, its nice. cause when this american wants some privacy or some space. she can get it.
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rae’s party

my sweet little girl turned one this past week and we had a suitable celebration in her honour! here are a few pictures capturing the moments. the party dress (courtesy of lulu!) the homemade bunting (my first try!) the white chocolate and sour cream cake… Read More