Sunday, May 27, 2018

Strange spring in the south of Spain

I am back again for another update on the happenings around these parts and honestly there is not much to report. We have had a strange spring here in the south of Spain when it comes to weather (very cool and rainy) and the girls have been sick on and off so we have been taking it easy.

We went downtown Seville to see a few processions on one day of Holy Week. The girls were not impressed so we didn´t last very long. Laura and Vera looked cute though! 

We went to a few different ferias, both in Mairena del Alcor and in Dos Hermanas. Vera and Laura LOVE wearing their flamenca dresses. In fact, given the choice they would probably wear them every day. We have also been to a bunch of birthday parties of the girls´friends (they have a serious social calendar, highly in demand).

Jose and I have been starting to plan our summer since we will be staying here in Spain. We are trying to take advantage of our time here to work and get some projects done around our apartment. Plus we are planning a road trip up to Paris to visit Jose´s sister and our niece. My parents are coming for a quick visit this week as well, so even though we won´t be back in Michigan for a while, we will be seeing family.

We are also starting to think about maybe beginning a house hunt as our apartment seems to be getting smaller day by day. Think the scene in Star Wars where they are in the garbage compactor room. That´s basically us. I realize it is probably a ways off still but it never hurts to look right?????

So really that´s about all which is why I haven´t been on here in a while to update. Things are going well but we just aren´t doing anything all that exciting...maybe sometime soon : )

Saturday, March 24, 2018

We have 2 two-year-olds

It is official, we have 2 two-year-olds at home and although I was afraid, very afraid, things have been pretty good so far. We haven´t had many meltdowns or tantrums but we have been hearing a lot more NO! The girls want to do stuff for themselves and they have their own ideas about everything. Laura and Vera have been talking a lot more in general, too. They are still mixing languages and using their own twinspeak but have a lot more words and are making short sentences. 

We hosted a birthday party for the girls at the beginning of the month and invited both family and friends. We ended up having a lot of people come and I think everyone had a good time. First we had a paella with Jose´s family and then later cake and treats with the rest of the guests. Vera and Laura had a blast playing in the bouncy castle and ball pit. It was a great day that started with birthday pancakes and ended with two exhausted toddlers and two wrecked parents.

On the actual day of their birthday both Jose and I had to work so we had a pretty normal schedule except it just so happened to be music class that afternoon which the girls love so that was special. They go with Jose to music class once a week to sing and clap, play instruments and have fun. I took them last year to baby music class and I wish my schedule would allow me to go this year as well : ( Boo to working in the afternoons but alas, it is very important for us that I am home with the girls as much as possible in the morning to help consolidate their English before they eventually start school in the majority language. Perspective people! Sometimes I have to remind myself why we make the choices we do for our family. At least I can say that they align with our values and goals. (I plan on writing a post about our bilingual journey soon).

It has been raining a ridiculous amount the past month or so and we are hoping that it slows down soon because these girls need to run around outside. We are getting a bit stir crazy here. Being stuck inside so much has only reinforced in my mind that we are gradually outgrowing our apartment. We have been living in a tiny house before it was cool, and let me tell you that having two small children in a tight space is a chore. We are looking for solutions for our space like storage units and reorganizing. We even looked into taking the wall down between the living room and the kitchen but have since decided against it. Instead we are trying to make our apartment work for a while longer so that we can eventually start another house hunt.

The girls love coloring, which they call "cole." They are readers and LOVE books which means that Jose and I have memorized a lot of them from having read them over and over again. They like Peppa Pig and Nemo. We have tea parties almost daily and we bought them a kitchen for their birthday so we have also been cooking a lot. Vera and Laura play with their baby dolls and like pushing their strollers around. They are busy all the time! It is so fun to watch them develop their personalities and likes and dislikes. They are so different from one another, both physically and in personality. But of course, they are equally as adorable!

On a final note, I have found a group of other young, English-speaking moms with kids around Laura and Vera´s age and I couldn´t be happier. We meet about once a week for a coffee and a chat and besides the fact that I genuinely like these women, it is nice to have people who can not only relate to my stage of life but also to living outside my native country. Shout out to these moms! I am so happy that I made myself go to the first meet-up months ago even when I really didn´t want to. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

40 before 40 list

A few years ago, before I turned 30, I created a list of thirty things that I wanted to do before my next big milestone birthday. I had a lot of fun creating the list, revisiting and revising it and of course, crossing things off. That list helped me focus my goals, what I wanted to do, see and accomplish over a few years. It was a good experience for me and I have been throwing around the idea of doing it again.

I recently finally decided to try to do the same thing before I turn 40 which is still 8 years away but is looming out there in the future. At first I thought making a list of forty things I wanted to do, experience, try, accomplish, see, etc. would be easy. Turns out in some ways it was, I mean, I want to visit more than 40 different places. But my idea was to try to focus on more than just a travel bucket list. I wanted to include goals for different aspects of my life. It actually had taken since about the start of this year to come up with my first definitive list of what I would like to do over the next almost-decade. Some of them are lofty goals and others I could probably do next weekend if I wanted to. Some of them are brand new and others are repeats of my last list or things I didn´t end up getting to or finishing.

So here you have it, my list of 40 things I would like to do before reaching the big 4-0:

1. Buy a house
2. Go back to school
3. Grow our family
4. Go on a cruise
5. Go to Ireland
6. Restart my Italian
7. Walk part of the Camino de Santiago
8. Visit our family in France
9. Explore more of the north of Spain
10. Go back to Italy
11. Go to Nashville
12. Read at least ten books a year
13. Continue my blog
14. Take the girls to a show
15. Go see snow with our kiddos
16. Have another bird as a pet
17. Learn how to make homemade bread
18. Join a book club
19. Donate my hair again
20. Start going back to church
21. Find/create a mom tribe here in Spain
22. Create a new holiday tradition at Christmas
23. See a big Broadway-esque show
24. Get my Spanish driver´s license
25. Take an official Spanish language exam
26. Start a business
27. Get chickens
28. Visit a new country
29. Spend the day at the spa
30. Go camping
31. Go to a concert
32. Get a flamenca dress
33. Continue my Christmas ornament collection
34. Introduce the girls to another language
35. Be debt free
36. Learn to dance for the feria
37. Got to Disney again
38. Finish the Game of Thrones series (show and books)
39. Go on a road trip vacation
40. Go to a paint and pour class