Our household has had more than one shock to the system in recent weeks. It’s been fun and exhausting and stretching and the best thing ever, all wrapped in to one, so we’re doing our best to roll with the punches and soak up every wonderful moment we encounter along the way!
We have a two year old. Sure, that’s news from two months ago, but it seems to be one of those gifts that keeps on giving.
We casually rang in her new milestone with breakfast out, an eternal ceremony of unwrapping gifts (how different from year one!), yummy dinner and cake, and the company of sweet friends.
Then, the celebration quickly took on reality in the form of that much dreaded third airplane ticket to buy, applying to schools – which everyone here will let you know should have been done before BIRTH…thank you, the deadline is December, we’re working on it!- and this week, jolting our beings once again via an attempt to potty train and set up E’s very own big girl bed.
Everyone said they grow up quickly, but really?! This is too much.
My husband is another year older. And not only does he still not look old enough to be a dad of one; he REALLY doesn’t look old enough to have two. In our usual form, we celebrated Troy’s birthday quietly at home and sang “Twinkle Star” as he blew out the candles on his “Happy Daddy Cake” (because “birthday” simply wasn’t making the vocabulary cut that day!). Though in lieu of travel this year, we did take the opportunity to explore London via a cozy Italian tapas experience and the Phantom of the Opera to finish off the “must-see” London shows instead.
Troy and I both turn 29 this year, and while it’s not exactly one of the big milestones on the birthday chart, we found ourselves reflecting and reveling in what those years have already gifted us: 11 years together (and a few more years of friendship before that!), six years of marriage, and already two years of being the best dad to his baby girl. He’s held a few jobs, navigated his way through grad school, moved often and still managed to travel the world with all of us in tow. And he’s been my person, my best friend, my favorite travel buddy, and the greatest life partner through it all.
I’ve had the incredible chance to watch this man grow as a person, a husband, a father, in fun times and through hardships. I’ve been blessed by his love and long list of talents. He’s leapt in to challenges and waded through the mundane moments.
I know you’re not supposed to have everything in life right now – and it’s no secret that if I were living out my plan, I’d still be seeing the world and living life in a much lonelier way at this point (thank goodness His plan is always better than anything we can dream up!) – but I feel like we’ve truly been blessed to have had such an endless list of mind blowing life experiences together at such a “young” age.
Fall came to England, quickly followed by winter. I saw fall this year! Last year’s sights had me convinced that London does not experience this most glorious season. E and I made it of highest priority this year to explore other areas of town to ensure we could soak up the beautiful colors along with that biting chill – and, thankfully, we did it with overwhelming success! In all of our excitement, we even went all-American by carving a pumpkin and dressing E up as a fairy for Halloween.
Baby #2 is on the way. Again, not new, but it’s a realization that we are only now truly beginning to grasp. This poor – still unnamed – boy inside me has been severely and sadly neglected when it comes to planning and chatter. Is it just me, or is this that second child syndrome everyone talks about? I jump at my reflection in shop windows and still can’t figure out why it gets harder to bend over with each passing day. The third trimester is already here, and I’m just beginning to lose sleep over what to do with E while we’re at the hospital and whether I’ll be frustrated by my surprising lack of interest in how different the British system might really be. I should be knee deep in research and strategy right about now, and instead, I’m choosing to enjoy the freedom that (all too quietly) comes with all of these cultural and circumstantial differences. But comfortable step one? We bought a dresser and freed up the crib to make a little special space for our new guy this week.
Thanksgiving is hardly a topic of discussion this year, but Christmas will be spent at home! Though we’ve wavered on hosting a turkey dinner for friends or co-workers this year, the plethora of horror stories that surfaced following the big day last year (“Turkeys sold out before your grocery delivery slot? So sorry to leave you in a bind…we wish you all the best in finding one elsewhere last minute!”) left us rather unwilling to add the unnecessary craziness to our schedule this week. On the plus side, I DID recently realize that Christmas will be spent at home for the first time in years! A real tree, a holiday feast and cozying up by the fire are all on the schedule, and I cannot wait. They say it may even be a white Christmas in London this year.
And how does all of this change and chaos mixed with every day monotony and excitement truly play out in my daily life? It causes me to re-arrange the entire house, of course. Good-bye to the master bedroom and hello to a completely re-configured upstairs, and let’s not forget the new linens and overflow of Christmas decorations that snuck into my shopping bags just begging to find a special place within our four walls! There’s lots going on in our little household, and fingers crossed, I’ll start getting back on top of sharing more of our adventures with you.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US!