Friday, March 28, 2014

Fast week and it is FRIDAY!

It's FRIDAY.  And this week has flown by.

I have to say that I'm so so excited that I'm writing this week back in Kansas!  London was so fun, but coming back home this week made me realize the little things that I missed so much.


Join the link up too with DarciAprilNatasha and Christina.


I missed the weekend errands with my little man and husband.  I got home late on Friday night and Saturday morning, I ran into Charlie's room the minute I heard him rumbling around.  Oh man - being there when that little guy wakes up was something I missed.

Even that extra hour of sleep I got the mornings in London, nope, not worth it at all.  I've woken up every morning this week thrilled that I get to wake up next my husband and then just wait for Charlie to wake up and I pounce on him!  Haha.  Seriously.


I missed mealtime with this little man.

I have to say, it is very nice to have adult-only meals every now and then, especially because meal time can be one of the most frustrating things with a 20 month old (aka you cook him a meal and then he doesn't eat or throws half of it on the floor), but it was way more fun and cute than my meals alone in London.  I appreciated every single one of them this week.  And laughed when he got blueberries and yogurt all over his shirt.  Because even though that meant extra clean up + extra laundry, he's pretty darn cute and a good date.


I missed spending my weekend days/evenings playing with this kid too.

Whether it was just hanging out playing with cars and toy kitchens, but also seeing his PURE JOY when his parents broke down and got him a new truck.  Yep, we did it.  This is something that he wanted for his first birthday but didn't get...we thought about buying him one, but didn't (obviously).  His teachers go on and on about how much he loves the car at school.

Then we were at Buy Buy Baby over the weekend checking out double strollers and this truck was in the stroller department.  And he was in love.  We online price checked with Amazon, whipped out our 20% off text message from BBB and that was it.  Jimmy put it together during his nap time on Saturday and his face coming down the stairs and seeing the truck in his own house was literally amazing.

It was seriously better than Christmas.  He gave it a big "WOAH" and his face.  Oh man.  Jimmy and I still keep talking about it.  It was seriously the best thing ever seeing him so happy.


I missed my after work routine.

Yes, seeing the sights of London was seriously amazing.  Like how fun was it to leave work everyday and grab a ferry or the tube to an amazing sight in such an electric city.

But leaving work to go pick up Charlie from school and seeing his face through the classroom window every day when he drops his toys or books and runs to give me a hug.  Yep, I missed that.  And I missed our car rides home where I ask him who his day was and he doesn't really say much except "uh oh" and "Elmo" while pointing to the screen.  He cracks me up when he tries to take off his shoes and laughs his silly laugh about it.  Then blows me a kiss.

I would give up the sights and sounds of London for the sights and sounds of Charlie after work any day of the week!


Finally, last but for sure not least, I missed this guy.

Yep - I sure did.  I missed our incessant trading of emails, texts, etc.  And conversations at night during dinner and when we are getting Charlie ready for bed and after Charlie goes to sleep.  He's the best and I'm so happy to be home with him!!!

I'm excited that I got the chance to get away and am now feeling a lot more appreciative of what I thought was just a normal life, but realize with a different lens to look through is a pretty darn great one with a lot to be thankful for each and every day!

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Monday, March 24, 2014

24 weeks of growing

How Far Along?  24 weeks

Size of Baby: size of a grapefruit (yum, I love grapefruits!)!

Gender: Little baby GIRL 

Weight Gain: 16.5 lbs

Maternity Clothes: Yes - all maternity pants and I'm in desperate need for some maternity leggings.  I'm ready for SPRING to officially get here because my coats are starting not to zip up!

Nursery: So I think I've found what I'm looking for.  Going with coral, gray, orange and cream.  A little different from the light pink I was thinking - but I found some amazing sheets at Target that I'm going to use as fabric and I think it will be awesome!  Lots of thinking and dreaming of ideas in my head and on Pinterest!

Movement: I'm loving it!  I just love love love feeling her move around all over.  

Symptoms: Heartburn - oh lovely heartburn.  For sure starting to set in!

Sleep:  Doing ok - slowly but surely adjusting my body back to US time.  I woke up incredibly early on Saturday and Sunday morning and couldn't go back to sleep.  Not sure if it was the time change coming back late on Friday night or just lots of things spinning in my head

Cravings: Hmm...nothing that I can think of in particular.

What I Miss: Last week I was missing having a drink at a pub...but I lived!!  I am still craving sushi and Mr. Goodcents and a Jimmy John's beach club - just like last time!

Best Moment This Week: Coming home to Kansas City and seeing Charlie!  I ripped him out of the car seat (have to say it wasn't like I imagined because Jimmy stopped to get gas so wasn't waiting for me inside!!) and hugged him and kissed him.  Even though he really wanted to get back to watching Elmo on the way home, he made me hold his hand the whole way home.  It was amazing.  I know that has nothing to do with being pregnant - but everything to do with how special being a mom is!

Panic Moment This Week: #somuchlaundryinmyfuture  Essentially I washed all the 0-3 month clothes and oh my goodness.  I forget how many clothes a little baby can wear because they seem to get everything dirty!

Looking Forward To:  More progress on the nursery and feeling like her clothes are organized!  And making a list of the stuff that we will need for baby #2.  FAR less than the first baby, of course, but we will need a few things - like an extra camera, double stroller, stuff like that!

Cannot believe how fast the time is going!!!

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

A thankful five on Friday

Well - I've blogged every night this week about my London adventures, so wanted to focus on all the things that I'm very thankful for this week!

The last few weeks some things have happened that have really made me thankful for the friends and family and wonderful support system I have.  Even though it was nothing that directly affected me, there are some things that just make you realize how blessed you are, right?  So in the spirit of that - Five things that I'm thankful for right now!


Join the link up too with DarciAprilNatasha and Christina.


My family.

Being away from them all this week made me realize how thankful I am that we all live in the same area (and so close) and how nice that is to have that support and love so close to home!

On Saturday, when I left, Jimmy and Charlie went over to his parents house to enjoy the beautiful weather and play with his cousins.  How great it has to have built in friends like that!  They are all such wonderful little people that Jimmy and I have loved watching grow up and now we love watching them play with our son!!

My parents were also there to help out and invited Jimmy and Charlie over for dinner on Wednesday night.  While I mentioned it made me homesick face timing with them all, it also made me realize how lucky we are to have them all so close and that they can go pick up Charlie early from school to give him a few hours of fun "riding the bike" and playing "pinball" with Nana and Papa!


My friends.

Oh jeez.  I don't even know where to start.

I am thankful for all our friends.

My long-time friends from elementary school that our time together is approaching over 20 years as friends.  Thinking of all the things we have been through together all this time and how wonderful it is to still have those constant people.

My husband's friends that I now am lucky enough to call my friends.  He sure picked some good people to run along with in high school.  From the guys, to the girls, to the spouses that all those people have picked - it has been such a blessing seeing their support and love for us over the years and I have loved how my friendships with them have grown enough that they now can call or text or email me.  I love that.

My college friends.  Wow.  These past weeks have truly shown me who strong our bonds are.  I will say our bonds of wine and silver blue because we are Pi Phis and that is where we all met.  But while that's where we started - it's something more than that.  Much more and much bigger.  It's unbelievable to me how we have people scattered all over the country and how we still band together when one of us needs support - during the good times and the bad.  I am so so thankful for these strong, fun, hilarious, loyal and gorgeous women that I was lucky enough to be sorority sisters with.


I am thankful for our jobs.

I know this might seem like a weird thing to be thankful for, but in all honesty, when you both work outside the home 40 hours or so a week + travel time, it says a lot when you are both happy.  I mean a lot.  I would say that my life has changed for the better in many ways with the recent job change.  And it's so nice to see how that has transformed our life at home as a family.

We eat dinner together (that is not dinner that ALWAYS only required 5 minutes to be cooked) and we have time to play at night before we put Charlie to bed.  We don't come home totally stressed out or sit on our phones or computers all night working.  While we might not be the richest people in the world, Jimmy and I are on the same page that money isn't everything.  And we have learned that money won't always make you happy.  It's the life you live and the people you surround yourself and also the work you do, whether you are paid for that or not.

So yes, I'm thankful for our wonderful jobs that provide us the income for all the things we want and need but also that they also keep us happy (for the most part!).


I'm thankful for our church.

Lucky for us, we didn't have to switch churches when we moved about 25-30 minutes away from ours.  It is a big church in Kansas City and has multiple campuses, which one of those just happens to be 5 minutes for our house.  While we were hesitant to try it out, as we knew it would be different going to the smaller campus versus the main one, we have been so happy.  And we are actually really enjoying the smaller church atmosphere a lot.

We have already met some great people, Charlie is doing great in the nursery during the service (which he wasn't at first, but now that he knows the girls there, he loves them) and we are slowly but surely starting to get more involved in classes, groups, etc.  I'm so excited to start the Alpha Marriage class that they are offering on Friday nights this next Friday.  We did Alpha together before we got engaged (or maybe married? I cannot remember), but this is different in that you sit at a table with just your spouse and eat dinner while listening to a speaker and then have time after the speaker to talk, ask each other questions (with I believe some fun prompts) and get some quality time together.

When I saw this class advertised, I knew we had to do it.  Every parent knows how hard it is to get a good date night in and when you do, you realize how long it's been just the two of you and find yourself wondering when the last time was you had a really good talk (or is that just us?!).  So I cannot wait to have some good time alone with Jimmy and some great conversations.  Just what we need as our life is about to get a lot more crazy with baby girl on her way!


I'm thankful for Jesus and this time of Lent and Easter.

Easter is that holiday where even if you don't go to church regularly, you are likely to go on Easter Sunday.  And of all the days of the year, I would say it's one of my favorites to go to and hear all about Jesus and his resurrection.  Thinking about the ultimate sacrifice that God made of watching your own son hang on the cross for the forgiveness of all our sins.  Yep, that's pretty amazing.

So yeah, I'm thankful for God and Jesus and the wonderful feeling I have of knowing there is a heaven and that no matter what, in good times and bad, He is always with me making sure I know that eventually it will be all right.

What are you thankful for?

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London day 5: nothing too exciting!

Today - I worked.  And I'm tired.  This London gig is sure wearing me out!!

Don't worry though - I have one meeting from 8-9AM tomorrow and then a car is picking me up and taking me to the Heathrow Express and then begins my journey back to Kansas City.  I am supposed to arrive after a stop in Chicago at 7:20PM.  We'll see how that goes.  I'm hoping it's on time!

And I'm SO excited.  Seriously, the thought of kissing my sweet boy (and man's) face just makes me so so happy.  My whole family was together last night face timing me (Jimmy, Charlie, my mom, dad and sister) and it was good to see everyone's face, but it made me want to be there SO bad.  And then my mom told me she was making fried cauliflower and that made me even more sad (have you ever had fried cauliflower?  Well - it's amazing).

My plans were to attempt to take the train to Notting Hill after work and explore around there.  Unlucky for me, something at work had me stumped and I'm one of those people that cannot leave without figuring it out.  Especially when it's the topic of the 8AM meeting the next morning.  So I worked "late" until about 6:45 and then FINALLY got my sushi.  Luckily when everyone was walking out, they were talking to me and I got a great recommendation of a lovely sushi place just right by the office.  Wahoo!  No getting lost tonight chasing after Yo Sushi!

When I left the office, it was sprinkling and rather cold.  So all worked out in the world of traveling and I was so happy I didn't have big plans to explore tonight because I don't think I would have made it very far, given that my umbrella (or brolly as they say here sometimes) was back at my room.  When I found the sushi place and went in to ask to order take out (which apparently they call take away) and make sure they take American Express - they were just so nice.  They had me sit down, gave me the menu and let me order - then brought me a free cup of green tea because I was pregnant. The cute little waitress told me I looked very "happy" - which was very sweet of her because I wasn't feeling too happy + I was feeling large and in charge.  Just not happy because I wanted to eat so many yummy sushi rolls they had there, but in my duty as a mum to be, I stuck with cooked stuff. 

However, the green tea did warm me up and make her kick around a little!

They do have a sushi train!  But wasn't happening tonight!

I had to take a picture of the name so I would remember it for next time (when I'm not pregnant!)
And just for the heck of it, I shot a few photos on the walk home.

This one was in the middle of the roads waiting to cross the street - that is traffic going over the London bridge.  You seriously could not pay me to drive in this town.  It's nuts! 

I happened to pass by the Monument to the Great Fire of London on my walk back.  Hmm - interesting.  See, that's just not the type of history or items you are going to cross by in KC!

One thing that is weird yet fascinating to me about this city is that there are toilets out on the streets that you have to pay to use.  It's so strange.  I feel like they are everywhere - but I finally grabbed a shot of one of them!  Just insert your 50 pence and pee away!

While I'm on the subject of bathrooms, I didn't get a shot the other night of the bathroom in flat that I really really like.  Mainly because the shower head is hanging from the ceiling and it's like rain.  And it's amazing.  And this place is just so clean and white and Ikea-ish.  So here are some pictures.

One other very different thing here is the amount of water in all the toilets here.  And the aggression of a flush.  (I'm not sure if that is the correct term, but please tell me you know what I'm referring to?).  So the water level is VERY low in all the toilets - which I'm sure is much more efficient than us wasteful Americans are, but it's just weird and you can never hear yourself pee.  not that I want to - but that's just normal in the US because your pee hits the water, right?  

And flush aggression.  It's very minimal.  And I'm not a fan.  While the aggressive flusher toilet can sometime be scary in the US and I HATE when it squirts up water on you - I'm not a fan of the flushing here.

Ok - off my toilet soap box.

But when I got back, I was so excited to kick off my shoes, get my pajamas on, eat THIS sushi and start getting ready for an early night AND packing up my stuff!!  

Apparently it's odd that I only brought a carry on for LOTS of people.  The guy that I work with that we'll be traveling on the same flight back was in shock!  I think this all stems from my Deloitte days when I traveled every week and just had to be efficient with my stuff.  But really - I only wear one outfit a day, just brought one shirt and pants for PJs, my bathroom stuff (which the liquids had to be smaller, which was fine) and that's really it.  I mean what else do you need?  I still did bring 4 pairs of shoes too.  It's just nice to actually wear everything you bring!!!!  And then tomorrow I can get straight in the car after hugging my men and go HOME!

Happy Thursday to all!

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

London: Day 4 - defeated tourist

Today, I think exhaustion has start to hit.  Work is crazy and trying to get everything that I would like to wrapped up before I leave Friday morning is not looking like the easiest task - especially because I'm not going to sit at the office all night missing out on stuff in this city!  But I'll make it work.

Tonight I headed to the London Eye (after taking the awesome ferry again).   I had already bought my ticket online, so that was nice and saved me from waiting in one line!  

Headed first into the 4D experience about the London Eye.  I wasn't sure what to think about "4D", but I guess that means it's not just on the screen, but really touches you.  Because there were real life bubbles popping and lights going off and confetti being thrown.  It was pretty neat.  Worth the 4 minutes of my life!

Waiting in line *yes, I feel like all I do is wait in lines* to get on the London Eye.

But this scene made it worth the wait!

It was a pretty amazing structure.   When I was first riding in and saw it from the car, I was terrified and thought it was a fast ferris wheel.  But nope, it moves pretty slow that you can barely feel it moving.  And I only got afraid a few times when it stopped randomly!

Then I just took lots of pictures.  LOTS.  So sorry.  It was just so pretty.

Everyone at the office was making fun of me because I was going to go on Monday night and actually stood in a rather long line to get my ticket, but then realized by the time I finally got on it, it would likely be dark and I really wanted to time it perfect so that I was going up when it was light still and down when the sun was setting/it was getting dark. 

Well - apparently I did time it perfect, because that was exactly what happened and it was beautiful!

The car in front of us was a party of women that someone brought on champagne & appetizers (it must have been like a package or something, but it was pretty cool!).

Selfie (I only got one of these - unlike the crazy foreign girl that stood there for 15 minutes snapping God knows how many pictures of herself.  So weird!)

Headed down!

Waterloo train station (which I eventually got majorly lost in/around)

If I would have just got on the tube and gone back to my flat after that, it probably would have been a good call.  Instead, I had googled where this Yo Sushi place was that I visited on Sunday (but didn't eat at) and I was determined to find it.  I had the google location brought up on my phone, but that apparently wasn't good enough.  My sense of direction in that area (had never gone exploring on that side of the river with really no plan) was useless.  I walked the wrong way for awhile and it was starting to get cold.  I knew I eventually was going to get back on the tube at Waterloo, so I just gave up and decided to head back.  When I finally bit the bullet and turned on the data on my phone so Google maps could guide me there (yes, even though it's a company phone, I'm still cheap and feel bad for spending loads of $$ on data).  Apparently, that couldn't even help me.  I wandered for what I felt like was an hour and still couldn't find it.  By this point I was starving.  And hadn't been on the tube route I was thinking I needed to take back ever, so I figured to start that path and I'd find something along the way.

Well - I got on the right tube, but oh my goodness.  The map is for sure not to scale.  I had to walk so long to get to my train (guess that's what I get for going to the biggest station in London to get on) and then when I got off, I had to walk forever through all these tunnels and up and down all the escalators to FINALLY emerge on the streets again!  It was crazy.  I was getting pretty discouraged (and still hungry) and my legs were hurting from walking.  So I was feeling like a defeated tourist.

One of the billion escalators I walked up
 When I finally started walking streets I was familiar with and saw the building that our office was in - I'm not going to lie, I felt so much better!!  I just wanted to get back!

But then the search for food began.  And since the area I'm staying in is very heavy with tourists and workers during the day, there is not much open at night.  Or let me put it this way, not much open that is good that also takes Amex.  Haha.  Still dealing with this.  Almost over.

I even went into 2 places on my walk back thinking I could just grab take out or something, but one was a super swanky bar that didn't do take out (and I didn't want to sit in alone) and then the other was a pub that smelled bad that I walked in and walked out.  At that point, all I wanted was a burger.  I would have taken McDonald's at that point.

But I decided to just be safe and get it over with, I'd start walking back to my flat and just go to Wagamama (where I'd been Sunday night AND we are having for lunch in our office tomorrow).  But decided I'd just get a salad I'd been eyeing there.  

However, I wanted a burger?  Well - I walked up and guess what I saw?  Gourmet Burger Kitchen.  Very similar in my opinion to Blanc Burgers in KC.

I ordered a completely delicious Avocado, Bacon burger with skinny fries and it was amazing.  I walked back home, read a few chapters from my book and was satisfied.  

Still feeling like a somewhat defeated tourist today, but I'm going to try to go to bed early, hoping that shakes off tomorrow for my last day of work in the office here!

Tomorrow's plans?  One of my coworkers from Lenexa is also here with his wife and son and they are going to see the Lion King tomorrow night and wanted to see if I wanted to tag along.  I thought about it because it was so nice of them to ask, but then I think I'm going to take the tube to Notting Hill and just walk around.  I'm sure there will be nothing too exciting to see, but for some reason, I am so close to it that I kind of just want to say that I've been there.  Plus, I've seen the Lion King on Broadway when it came to KC.  I'm sure the KC Music Hall is NOTHING like a London Broadway experience and if it was Wicked, I'd go again in a heartbeat, but I think I'll stick to flying solo and enjoy one last night alone before I head back to KC on Friday morning.  (OMG - I'm so excited to go home and see my boys and sleep in my own bed!!)

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