Thursday, 31 December 2009

2009 Review of the year

Well 2009 has truly been full of ups and downs throughout.

Lets start with the ups...

Daniel gaining employment
very quickly and simple by sending in his CV (resume).

Daniel moving up the ranks so swiftly and now is manager of two of the smaller theaters and wears a suit and tie to work on ocassion. He has developed a good career from an initially more casual job and it speaks voulmes for his personality and his work ethic.

Was kinda cool to be here for the inauguration of Barrack Obama.

Friendships - and two in particular - have really taken off this year.

My family coming to visit us. Yes it was stressful at times, but overall great.

Graduation - both of my fantastic kindergartners who I was so proud of, and of my friend Amy who gained her Masters degree in Education.

Giving Daniel his Mac book...might sound superficial but the post here explains it.

Christmas in Chicago was awesome. Our hotel was so plush and so inexpensive we jut couldn't believe it. Yes, the weather was blustery, ice rain, falling ice from buildings and eventually snow, but it didn't stop us doing all we had wanted to do.

And the downs

The biggest down for me is my dear Nan having a stroke in February and passing away in August, on our wedding anniversary. I was proud to speak at her funeral. I miss her terribly, but I am grateful to have known her and had her in my life as long as I did. I love you Nan. (This also lead to kind of an 'up' as we were able to visit home, see my other equally wonderful Grandparents and friends and family). SO proud of my Dad, who took his own Mother's funeral service, (he is a minister) with grace, warmth and composure.

Close behind has been the hassle with our house in the UK...first a pretty big fire, not one but two tenants leaving, one without notice and one who was there for one month only.

The fear I was not going to be blessed with a second year in the USA. HUGE budget crisis in education here in Charlotte lead to crazy times. Also lead to other issues at school which I will only describe here as unjust and unfair. But I was strong and got through them, and kept my job which was a huge relief. I was not ready to be done here!

Looking forward to 2010

This year is going to be an interesting one for sure.

I love my class and look forward to seeing them progress to be ready for 1st grade.

I hope we will get to do a spot more traveling, San Francisco for Daniel's 30th, and Seattle to visit a friend.

The second half of the year is a little more uncertain...yes, we will be moving back to the UK, likely London to suit both of our job possibilities, but also that depends on our house situation.

I am hopeful we we obtain new jobs, and I think to be honest the return home will be stressful in terms of cleaning out this apartment an transitioning back to the UK. I can't believe our time here is amost over. Well 3/4 over. I wouldn't change it, but I feel like it is the right time to return to the UK for our next adventure.

I hope your 2009 has had ups as well as downs. Best wishes for 2010.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

post christmas blues....

I am definitely a post Christmas blues sufferer.

Something about the come down after the big build up to the season.

I am so blessed....I have had 2 wonderful Christmases, just the two of us, in new cities to explore, wonderful presents from both far and near, web cam conversations.

Secretly I am looking forward to the next one with the families...most especially, God willing, with my Grandparents.

I equally hope there will be more years where it is just Daniel and myself.

So I am feeling a little teary, if illogically, sitting in our hotel room watching revolutionary road and eating fererro rocher.

I have also been very appreciative of people who have waitied on me this restarants, in Starbucks (including Christmas day), in stores and in the hotel.

This is all.

Friday, 25 December 2009

The C Day

Things to remember

Being happy our usual breakfast place was open!

Opening up presents from Santa (via Davis family)

Calling our families on the webcam

Going ice skating. Always wanted to go skating on Christmas day.

Love presents my husband bought me...a Wii, 2 pairs of gorgeous earrings, ad bracelet, Ponyo dvd, how to photograph absolutely anything book and a Cecelia Aherne book.

A perfect Christmas meal - Cranberry and Apple Gnocchi, House salad with autumn potatoes, ice cream sundae and an Irish coffee.
And running after a guy who was asking for money for food to give him my only cash - a $1. Not much but I hope he knew someone cared enough to run after him. Many many begging on the streets but I have always felt I get a sense of who really needs it. When they need it, I know I have to do something in my heart.

Merry Christmas all.

Joyeux Noel

Things I want to remember about this Christmas...

Christmas Eve...

My favorite day of the season, because it is filled with hope, anticipation, excited and looking forward. Not that I don't appreciate getting gifts and so on but something about Christmas Eve that I love.

Candle lit service - i am such a people watcher and love to listen to or imagine people's plans for the coming day, see the kids so excited and sing my little heart out to some Carols.

Looking for somewhere to eat dinner - Chicago is NOT as globally open and alive as NYC.

Elevator Hopping our hotel (Hard Rock) to see the different memrobillia on each floor at about 10.30pm Christmas eve.

Making sure we got back to the German Market so Daniel could drink one last Gl├╝hwein.
Windswept and rain on walking to Navy Pier on Lake Michigan

Tracking Santa of course!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Hallelujah Chorus

I heard this in my head as I drove away from school do kids sense that it is time to be hyper!!?

I love my children though. Many moments touched my heart this week. Like my little girl who has some developmental problems, but has come so far, giving me a hug and saying 'Merry Christmas Miss CaFarland' and a card with touching words of thanks about being a child's teacher.

This week we have been doing secret Santa and my Santa (Ms Fudge) did good, here is what I got!

It is a snuggly fleece blanket, a book (her and I share books all the time so she knew what I would like) different teas and a travellers calendar with 100s of ideas of places to visit. I loved it all, plus the little gifts I got each day which were a chocolate orange, a box of chocolates, hello kitty stationary, and scrapbooking materials. I will miss this next year.

Also Daniel and I gave each other our 'Big' presents last night. I got a Wii and he got an ipod touch and we are both vey exctied! Obviously not going to take the Wii to Chicago and back but we have other gifts to give each other on the day!

Love my sweater dress above - got it at 3am on Black Friday!

It is snowing in Chicago right now, it is supposed to stop but start up again around Christmas eve. We will see!! Hope the flights will all be fine though.

Merry Christmas all.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

The love of giving

I am, in a way, more excited about Christmas this year than last year.

We had a wonderful wonderful Christmas in NYC last year. This year we are spending it in Chicago which I am very much looking forward to.

I have realised WHY I am looking forward to it more. It's in the giving. And for me especially giving to Daniel, my wonderful husband.

Last year we scrimped and saved to go to NYC and bought each other one present each. I LOVE the present he bought me, it was a key and padlock necklace from an NYC Christmas market. I wear it all the time.

I bought him a peanuts t shirt and a gold plated bookmark with the word believe cut out of it - a la Polar Express.

I am excited this year that we can afford to travel and buy each other a little more.

Not because I am selfish and want presents but because I love making him happy, even with materialistic things. The feeling of giving to him fills me with warmth.